MISSION — Pulling into the parking lot of the Mission church you might’ve thought people were gathering for a rock concert. People stood outside putting the finishing touches on signs protesting the wall as “Proud Mary” played loudly from the church’s PA system, and the sun began to peek outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe church.

MISSION — Pulling into the parking lot of the Mission church you might’ve thought people were gathering for a rock concert. People stood outside putting the finishing touches on signs protesting the wall as “Proud Mary” played loudly from the church’s PA system, and the sun began to peek outside the Our Lady of Guadalupe church.

Just before 7 a.m. Saturday several hundred people gathered outside the church in the heart of Mission as they prepared to march four miles south to where government contractors want to erect a wall that would close off a historic shrine located 100 feet from the Rio Grande. Simultaneously, with the secular music in the background, the bells rang out as the final attendees for the march signed in and filled out postcards addressed to the decision-makers in Washington, hoping that those who will potentially fund the construction of the wall here — hear their amplified voices.

Before departing for the chapel, Father Roy L. Snipes, a Catholic priest who has been with the church for more than 25 years, and who helped in the efforts to stage the march, recited a few words from the Bible as the event got underway.

The protest, the result of a culmination of the efforts between numerous organizations that oppose the wall, was planned as a means to unite different groups against a government bent on placing a wall throughout the entire U.S./Mexico border.

Word spread quickly last month when it was confirmed by government officials that preliminary planning for the Trump Administration’s much talked about border wall had begun at one of the most prestigious pieces of land in the region, the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Last week came word of plans for 28 miles of border wall in Hidalgo County to be placed on the levees, affecting private landowners and other areas in the Rio Grande Valley.

Flanked by several hundreds of protesters, Father Roy led the march from his church, down four miles south, to the La Lomita Chapel, a more than 100-year-old structure founded by Oblate Missionaries in the mid to late 1800s.