The passing of Matias Rodriguez should remind all of us about service and sacrifice to a community. Sometimes we forget those who have done so much, asked for so little and have made all of our lives a little bit better. 

We need more people like Matias Rodriguez who loved Kerrville, pastoring here at Calvary Baptist Church for more than 40 years. Today it takes about two seconds to fire off a thoughtless, or even hateful, message via social media or text or by email to someone, because we’re angry or upset about an issue. 

This is a time of superheated bravado, victimization and partisanship that has everyone looking to point a finger at each other — usually over something like politics. 

During the course of the story of Tuesday’s obituary on Mr. Rodriguez, who died last week at 95, it was revealed by Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn that Matias was a man who could navigate the intricacies of politics and race that shaped Kerrville for many years. People respected him for his friendship, his grace and his words. 

Here at The Kerrville Daily Times, we often are at the center of many community discussions, and we appreciate the example set by Pastor Rodriguez, affectionately known as “Preacher” by some, and we are embarking on a series of community conversations and stories about neighborliness. How can we foster a great spirit of community engagement, support and well-being? 

Through his many years of service, Pastor Rodriguez was always there for the community. How many of you have taken the time to serve your community? How many of you have helped a neighbor? How many of you know your neighbors? 

From our place in the community, we know there are many examples of the above, but we think we can still do better. We know we can do better. 

Most importantly, we have a great example here in Kerrville in the decades of service that Pastor Rodriguez, along with his family, gave to this community, and we are grateful for that service.

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