Grayrock residents Luis Carlos Rodriguez and María Cristina Flores Farías Rodriguez, became U.S. citizens October 2. Their Naturalization Oath Ceremony was held at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in Fairfax.
The Rodriguezes were born in Mexico near the Texas border, and moved to Kansas in 2013. After a sojourn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, they moved to Crozet in 2017. Luis works as a plant manager in Stuarts Draft. They joined the Catholic mission, recently named Our Lady of the Rosary parish. They have been working on the extensive citizenship process—including an in-depth application, civics test, reading and writing test, and personal interview—for a year, including delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We met people that we now call friends who welcomed us with open hearts. They shared with us their traditions, history, food, and personal stories. Their children became our children’s friends, we celebrated life together and helped each other during difficult times. They also passed on their devotion to their country,” Maria said in an email.
The Rodriguezes’s three children were born in Texas where Maria’s doctor was located, so they were already U.S. citizens. Ana attends Albemarle High School in the MESA Program and plays violin in the OLR choir. Felicia attends Henley Middle School, and Luis attends Brownsville Elementary School. He received first communion from Father Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi in May, 2019.
“Our friends’ homeland is now our homeland too. We are now officially part of the same national family and we feel very honored and proud. The flag took on a whole new meaning. It is very emotional,” she said.
Welcome Luis and Maria!