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Father Alex is provided us with a tearful homily this past weekend at our little church of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Somerset, TX. In his last message he addressed parishioners to abide by 3 simple words when you feel lost or going through life’s numerous adversities. “Faith, Words, & Diligence.” He said that we have so much to be thankful for in our country, we celebrate our independence and are given the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But God wants so much of us than to just live. He wants us to thrive. He wants each of us to live a life where we are in the constant pursuit of our own happiness, to not just live the day to day going though the notions but to be passionate about our purpose that God intended for us to live. He also further stated that if at anytime you feel lost if you practice to grow stronger in your Faith, place your trust in his Words, and Diligently live by the message he has taught us you will continue to move Forward. FWD.

Through this message Father Alex invites us to pursue what God’s plan is for each of us, even if we don’t even know what that may be. To always know that the paths we are placed on in life may not always be easy, but God is placing us on a path that he intended in order to pursue our happiness.

We are given one life to live, to make it ours and to live it in the best light possible.

The power of his message this past Sunday left us in tears. We will miss him as he is moving to impact the lives of a larger parish. We know that it may not be his choice to leave but it’s God’s will to seek even Father Alex’s larger purpose to not only his life in the pursuit of happiness but possibly 100s more.

We were so thankful for his time with us, for the messages and guidance he had given to our family throughout the past 6 years. He was able to witness marriage and be present for our life chapters as we introduced children into our family.

Thank you Father Alex for all that you do and I know and pray that you will accomplish wonderful purposes for so many other families as you did for ours.

Father Alex in front of our beloved St. Mary’s Church. Build in 1933 and has served as a home to numerous occasions in our family. My father was baptized here, these pews were where he began his first round of prayers and then later brought myself along with my siblings, Kristan and Brad to do the same. We were baptized here and prayed together with our small parish of 100 or so members. Every time I step foot in this small rock house church it feels like home.

Lexi beginning her start in the church. Waiting to be baptized!

Sweet Lexi becoming a member of the Catholic Church, baptized in the Christian faith. I am so honored to have been part of this action for this sweet child.

Father Alex with our sweet Alexis Ray just newly baptized into the Catholic Faith. My sister, Kristan along with her husband & my brother in law, Jonathan.

I was so honored to be Alexis’s God Mother and to help guide her in her faith. Her God Father, Tyler a long time best friend to Jonathan also shares this same role.

Such a beautiful little family!

And those fun uncles!!

My parents, “Popo” & “Nana” along side with Jonathan’s parents Teri & Tommy!

Father Alex we pray that your light continues to shine so much through others as it has brightened our lives. Thank you for your years of service to our small hometown parish. We love you and will pray that God continues to guide you in the pursuit of happiness and bring God’s light to numerous families as you have done for ours.

Mucho Love,

Jessica

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  1. Kristen says:

    Love this story, feature, ADORABLE baby girl, and BEATIFUL photos! Great work UTS!

  2. Such great photos! (@baymur)

  3. Erika says:

    You are blessed to have father Alex in your life and we are blessed to have your blog in ours. Have a bless day. Instagram name: smiley872

  4. Erika says:

    Your baby is so cute. Looking at these pictures makes me want to baptize my 5-month-old baby soon. @smiley872

    • jrakowitz says:

      I am so happy that this blog post could inspire baptism in your family! It’s a wonderful sacrament and the start of wonderful journey in their faith.

  5. Peggy says:

    What a beautiful testimony to your faith! Loved reading this story about your family’s church that holds such special memories to all of you!

    Love,
    Peggy @pl_georg

    • jrakowitz says:

      Thank you Peggy! Life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have the big man upstairs to thank for each day! I’m so blessed to have others that love this vision as well!

  6. Jeralyn says:

    Such precious photos, especially little Lexi and now big Parker! Love the Jenschke clan! @agcommunicator

  7. Courtney says:

    Such a beautiful post! Can’t wait to baptize our 3 week old baby girl in a church that also has family history 🙌🏼 @court956

    • jrakowitz says:

      How wonderful!! I love to see tradition carry through in families and I know the baptism it going to be an absolutely beautiful day!

  8. Megan Martin says:

    Love this!! Welcome to the Church!
    @meganme31

  9. Sarah says:

    Love everything about this! (@sarahbnfranklin)

  10. Mackenzie Turner says:

    These pictures are beautiful. Great way to capture this special moment. And man is Parker getting big! Instagram: mackenzie_t8

  11. Meagan Grubb says:

    Sweet post and sweet family! 💜
    Insta: meagan.grubb

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Jess is the best, from the moment we met her we knew we made the right decision. We had to make major changes to our wedding due to covid, Jess addressed all our concerns, and answered all our questions along the way making all the necessary changes effortlessly. Jess captured our engagement, bridal and wedding day photos each every photo is absolutely amazing. We have the most beautiful moments of our lives captured so beautifully because of Jess.

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"Jessica was right there with us getting ready and capturing some very sweet and intimate photos that I know we will forever treasure. She knows exactly what to say and when to say it to get that best smile out of a very nervous bride! We had a perfect ceremony and I've seen a sneak peek of my wedding photos and am just speechless! Jessica was with us for our entire FIVE hour reception and was the perfect combination of photographer and dance partner! Jessica very quickly became a guest favorite and a family member for life! I would have her as my photographer and friend 100 times over! I will never be able to thank Jessica enough for making my day even more special."

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"Jessica is so much more than a photographer! She is a planner, friend, someone who listens, and such a beneficial asset to any wedding! I cannot recommend her to enough people. She exceeds any bride's high expectations - all with a smile on her face. It is impossible to feel uncomfortable around her, she is goofy and will constantly keep you laughing. She does anything for her Bride and Groom and will not stop until you are satisfied."


- Kayla & Derek

"Jessica is so much more than a photographer! "

I love Jessica and her work!! She took mine and my husband’s engagement pictures, wedding pictures and bridals and did an outstanding job. My husband is not very happy when it comes to taking pictures (especially with PDA ) but by the time the first session was done she turned him into a pro. The night after our wedding he was telling me he was ready to see how all the pictures turned out! She definitely knows how to help you feel comfortable in your own skin while in front of the camera. Highly highly highly recommend her for your wedding! I cannot say enough good things about her work!

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My husband isn't happy when it comes to taking pictures, by the time the first session was done she turned him into a pro.

"Would recommend to any and everybody! She did an amazing amazing job with our wedding and engagement photos. I couldn’t feel more grateful and thankful that we found Jess! She is amazing and funny and finds all the great moments that we take for granted. Thank you so so much for taking care of us and our crazy family!"


- Kaitlyn & Chris 

I couldn’t feel more grateful and thankful that we found Jess! 

"Jessicas passion for photography radiated from her soul the moment I met her. When looking for a photographer, We decided that we would call a few to get a feel for the type of people they were and if they (the photographer) would fit into what we were looking for in our wedding vendors. We saw your work, we LOVED your work, but we didn’t know you. From our first conversation up until now you made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day! On my wedding day you made me feel like the prettiest bride to ever walk this planet! Your photos blew my husband away! You captured the uniqueness and beauty of us, our surroundings and our guest! This review, nor my “thank you”, will ever be enough to show you how grateful we are for your talent!"

- Eliza & Bradley 

 You made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day!


I can't say enough great things about UTS. Jessica is the BEST photographer, not just because she makes you look great, but she makes you feel great! She fills the shoot with funny jokes, music, and laughs to make sure you feel comfortable because not everyone is a super model. Each and every time I get our photos back I am blown away by great they look! She went way above and beyond anything I ever expected from a vendor. She helped us out on the wedding day in so many different ways and worked side by side with our other vendors to make our day successful and perfect. The sneak peak was incredible! She also brought a partner with her who was equally as fun as Jessica. I loved how they both worked and made the pictures fun. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. My husband & I will be using UTS exclusively for all of our photography needs. 

- Bailey & Doug

She went way above and beyond anything I ever expected from a vendor!


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-Kailey & Garrett

she makes you feel so beautiful and comfortable while you’re with her!