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I pray that during the centennial >> year we will all be renewed in faith, hope and, above all, in charity.

26 March 2012 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Here we are 100 years later! We are very mindful at this time of the several bishops, many priests, religious brothers and sisters, deacons and dedicated lay people who have preceded us over the course of these 100 years. Having reviewed our history over the past months, we marvel at the zeal and the courage of so many pioneers of our diocese who have brought us to this point. We thank God for their faith and their dedication to Christ and the Church. As we head forward into the next 100 years, it is our turn. The circumstances have changed; the situation of our society is much different. However, our faith remains solid as we continue to bring Christ’s loving presence and His saving message to all. I pray that during the centennial year we will all be renewed in faith, hope and, above all, in charity. May our love for one another be recognized so that our brothers and sisters who are looking for “Living Water” will come closer to Christ and His Church. The New Evangelization is calling for this. The New Evangelization requires our witness of mutual love and our witness to the truth of the Gospel especially lived in our service to others by standing up for human dignity and life. As history is written over the next 100 years, may we be seen as women and men of faith and courage as was seen in our predecessors. May God bless you during this year. Let us live our faith with true dedication each day wherever we are. Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey Bishop of Corpus Christi

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Celebrating growth In faith + In service + In outreach + In communion Congratulations to the faithful of Corpus Christi as you mark the 100th anniversary of your diocese

+ Be assured of our contined prayers for your success in building up the Lord’s Church in Texas

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo

+ Auxiliary Bishop-Elect George A. Sheltz

+ Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza

+ Retired Auxiliary Bishop Vincent M. Rizzoo

+ The Clergy, Religious and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cรกrdenas Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez JCL Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Geraldine McGloin, Liz Riggle, Adrian Garcia, Timothy Hatch If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic call us at (361) 882-6191 Office Address: 620 Lipan Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434 E-MAIL: FAX: (361) 693-6701


Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate a Mass at the American Bank Center to commemorate the founding of the Diocese of Corpus Christi 100 years ago.

Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our online form, e-mail, fax, mail, or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the newspaper or diocese Web sites.

Letters Welcome Letters to the editor are encouraged and welcome. In accordance with the Fair Practices Code of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. Letters to the Editor should express opinions that further the common good, build community, focus on issues and avoid attacks against people. All letters must be signed by the writer and include a telephone number for verification. Letters are subject to editing. Publication of letters does not imply endorsement by the South Texas Catholic. Send letters to: Letters to the Editor, South Texas Catholic, P.O. Box 2620, Corpus Christi, TX 78403-2620. E-mail to stc@diocesecc. org or fax letters to (361) 693-6701. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau. (USPSN 540-860) Published monthly by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434.

Centennial Mass


Young Bishop


Ad Limina

was first to lead diocese

Bishop Mulvey visits Vatican


Sister Xavier


Cardinal Dolan


Diocesan Synods

Diocese historian, archivist

will keynote Formation Conference on New Evangelization

provided early guidance


Father Bard


Legacy of Faith


Bishops at work


Diocese gives sons



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built churches in brush country

will build future of hope

Eight bishops have guided diocese

Three local priests have gone on to become bishops

Revealing the Word of God in a modern world



A young for A young



By Msgr. Michael Howell Contributor


hen he was ordained a bishop on May 20, 1913 to shepherd the newly erected Diocese of Corpus Christi, Father Paul Joseph Nussbaum, CP, was only 42 years old. He was a young and energetic bishop to serve a young and growing diocese during some very challenging years that rapidly aged him. He was born Henry Nussbaum in Philadelphia on Sept. 7, 1870, lost his parents early in life and was raised by relatives. He professed his vows as a member of the Passionist Order, taking the religious name of Paul and was ordained on May 20, 1894 at the young age of 23. He spent 10 years in the Argentinian missions before returning to assignments in New England as a professor, a preacher, a seminary vice-rector, a pastor and a second consultor of the Eastern Province of the Passionist Order. Even before his arrival for his installation in Corpus Christi on June 8, 1913, there were already problems. When the provincial archbishop for the area, Archbishop James H. Blenk of New Orleans, sent his Vicar General to officially deliver the decree of erection of the new diocese and transfer back to Corpus Christi all previous episcopal records from Bishop Peter Verdaguer’s former residence in Laredo, no documents from the administrations of Bishop Dominic Manucy or Bishop Verdaguer were found. Thus, the new bishop assumed his post without any written record of the previous development of the faith in south Texas. Since Bishop Verdaguer had chosen to



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reside in Laredo, there was no designated home in Corpus Christi for the bishop to use as residence or personal office. The Kenedy family solved that problem by offering their cottage on the corner of Lipan and N. Upper Broadway to the bishop until he could build a suitable home in 1915. The bishop came to an area with a population of about 158,000 of whom 82,400 were Catholics; about 70,000 of these were Mexican Americans. He had 16 secular priests and 19 religious priests to serve about 19 churches and 44 missions. He quickly set out to promote vocations, Catholic action programs, retreats, the Sodality movement, Holy Hours, Holy Week retreats and new construction where needed. While he faced many challenges, he also had some important blessings to aid him in his ministry to the faithful in south Texas. First, he had the support of his brother priests from the Passionist Congregation who were used to missionary work, were fluent in both English and Spanish, had a reputation for their preaching abilities and were anxious to help out their young companion who was the first from their congregation in the United States to be named a bishop. The diocese’s first bishop, Passionist In need of vocapriest Paul Nussbaum (in front center), tions in a geographiled the first retreat of his priests in cally large area, BishJanuary 1915. op Nussbaum relied Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives on the Oblates to continue their work in the Rio Grande Valley but drew upon the Passionist to travel throughout the ranches and towns in the northern areas of the diocese to supplement the work of the local clergy that had come to south Texas from France, Spain and other areas.

These Passionists included members of the Holy Cross Province, the St. Paul of the Cross Province and even the Spanish Holy Family Province. Father Fidelis Kent Stone had founded houses in Chile before coming to serve in Corpus Christi at Holy Cross parish. Others like Father Isidore Dwyer, Father Leonard Cunningham and Father Patrick Walsh had worked extensively in Argentina. Fathers Aloysius Boyle, Paulinus Doran, Timothy Fitzpatrick, Martin Ford, Fabian Fortune, Mark Moeslein, Theodore Noonan, Damian O’Rourke, David Ferland, Erasmus Glockner and Peter Hanley had served in pastoral positions, as professors and administrators in seminaries, and in other administrative roles. From 1914 to 1928 a series of Passionist priests assisted the bishop at the Cathedral, but often traveled to serve the growing communities. One such missionary was Father Cunningham who resided at the Cathedral rectory and traveled to early missions in Portland, Calallen and Robstown. One of the pains for the new bishop was the loss of some of these companions at early ages because of disease and exhaustion. Another major blessing for the young bishop was the newly established Church Extension Society. Father Francis Kelly, in 1904, had urged the formation of an organization that could funnel personnel and finances to under-resourced and isolated communities in the United States. This effort of the Church family providing help to needy brothers and sisters in America resulted in the establishment of the Church Extension Society in 1905

through the initiative of Archbishop James Edward Quigley of Chicago. At the time of the erection of the Diocese of Corpus Christi five years later, a young and energetic Father Emmanuel B. Ledvina—who became the second bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi—was the General Secretary of the Society. Between 1905 and 1921 the Society erected 1,932 churches, 98 schools and convents for the teaching sisters and 44 rectories throughout the United States. The Vicariate of Brownsville and subsequently the Diocese of Corpus Christi shared in that blessed help. To help meet the needs of rural areas, Father Ledvina also designed chapel cars. Some were railroad cars redesigned to serve as chapels where the trains passed small communities. Others were automobiles modified to serve communities the trains could not reach. As early as 1914, the first such car—the “St. Peter”—arrived in Texas for use by the Oblates in the ranches of the Rio Grande Valley. These mobile chapels allowed the Church to come to the people until the local community and the Extension Society could erect more permanent facilities. The Society was especially helpful in the early days of Bishop Nussbaum as south Texas faced the blessing and burden of caring for refugees that had poured into the area because of the revolution taking place in Mexico and the subsequent persecutions. In Texas alone, the Society built 313 new chapels with funds to aid these Mexican refugees. The fleeing clergy were a blessing in serving their fellow expatriates. Father

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Cajetano Alvarez, who had been born in Spain in 1871 and served in Pueblo and Tamaulipas, fled across the border in 1913 and served in Falfurrias and later in Sacred Heart in Corpus Christi until his death in 1940. Entire religious communities, such as the Congregation of the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, fled with their founder Mother Julia Navarrete and flourished in their ministry to the people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and beyond. However, many of these refugees also represented a financial burden, as there were so many that had to be housed and supported while they awaited return from exile. The 1915 National Catholic Directory notes that the Diocese of Corpus Christi had 50 refugee priests. At one point, Laredo was home to 14 Mexican bishops and archbishops living in exile. The other challenge to the young bishop within the first years of his arrival was the hurricane of 1916 that essentially wiped out much of the work of the Extension Society in the northern areas of the diocese. Many of the chapels built by the Society and dedicated by the bishop in 1915 were totally destroyed or seriously damaged by the winds of the storm. Articles in the local newspapers and in the Southern Messenger, the Catholic newspaper serving all of Texas, noted that more than 16 facilities were badly damaged. Some of the new churches were a total loss after only short use. Most Precious Blood in Calallen, Sacred Heart in Pettus, Our Lady of Consolation in Vattman, St. Catherine’s at Los Reyes, St. Clement at Guajillo, St. Joseph’s at Palito Blanco, St. Francis at La Gloria, Sacred Heart in Alice and the church and rectory of St. Gertrude’s in Kingsville were all totally lost. This was a major blow to Bishop Nussbaum and community, and this hurricane and the influx of Mexican refugees would only be the first of a number of trials that drove the young bishop to submit his resignation to Pope Benedict XV while in his ad limina visit in 1919, after only seven years as bishop. On March 26, 1920, the pope accepted Bishop Nussbam’s resignation for health reasons.

AD sets out P By Alfredo E. Cardenas

W South Texas Catholic

hile the first bishop of Corpus Christi used his ad limina visit with the pope to offer his resignation, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey just returned from his visit with the Holy Father where he updated Pope Benedict XVI on the condition of the Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and his plans for its continued growth in faith. “I am very grateful to be your bishop,” Bishop Mulvey said in a message to the faithful on his departure. “Know that each one of you is with me as I encounter the Church universal and in particular His Holiness.”

Nearly 100 years after Passionist Bishop Paul Nussbaum held his first priests’ retreat in Corpus Christi, Passionist Father John Conley led priests from the Diocese of Corpus Christi in retreat on February 13-17 at Christian Renewal Center in Richardson. Christian Renewal Center



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D LIMINA Pastoral Initiatives The apostle Paul is believed to have made the first ad limina trip when he “went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” (Gal 1:18) Under Canon Law, a bishop is required to make a report to the Supreme Pontiff on the state of the diocese entrusted to him every five years; the report is called the Quinquennial Report. While in Rome the bishop is required to venerate the tombs of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and to present himself to the pope. During the visit on March 14-21, Bishop Mulvey had a personal audience with the Holy Father and other Holy See Congregations and Dicasteries, or departments of the Roman Curia. He also prayed for the people of his diocese at the tombs of Peter and Paul and at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, which is named in honor of the Blessed Mother. “The clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Corpus Christi are characteristically faithful to Christ the Church and obedient to the legitimate authority of the bishop and parish priests,” Bishop Mulvey said in his report to the pope. “On one hand they are traditional in practice of their faith and at the same time are open to both a spiritual

>> There is a need to

reawaken the call to priesthood and consecrated life in the diocese in order that local men and women can emerge and be able to continue the work of those who have dedicated their lives to the evangelization of South Texas.

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renewal and a growth in knowledge and understanding of the faith both being essential as we continue to foster the New Evangelization,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop said that the diocese had a high recognition of its social justice obligations in regards to the poor, homeless and disabled. Moreover, it has a “vibrant emphasis on stewardship” which has a positive effect on family life, parish ministries, social outreach programs and vocations.

Bishop Mulvey identified four challenges facing the diocese that he hopes to address in coming months and years. The most pressing challenge is that of vocation awareness. While the diocese has a good number of native priests, one third of the presbyterate is from outside the diocese.

Bishop Mulvey greets Pope Benedict XVI on a visit to the Holy See early in his episcopacy.

“There is a need to reawaken the call to priesthood and consecrated life in the diocese in order that local men and women can emerge and be able to continue the work of those who have dedicated their lives to the evangelization of south Texas,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop has named two priests, Father Peter Stanley and Father John Chavarria, as associate vocations directors to assist Father Joseph Lopez, JCL who is currently serving as vocations director. Efforts in the vocation field are already yielding fruits as 10 young men have applied for consideration as seminarians. Bishop Mulvey is also working with congregations of women religious to develop ways to bring in more young women into religious life.

A second challenge facing the diocese, Bishop Mulvey reported to the Holy Father, is the need to reach out to families. “There seems to be a prevalent breakdown of the family which inevitably leads to children and teenagers being affected personally and causing them to become increasingly involved in gangs, illegal drugs and promiscuity,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop said he will pay special attention to a renewal of the diocese’ formation programs for those preparing for marriage and reach out to teens and young adults in promoting chastity. He acknowledges that this is a “cultural battle” but it is also the core of Catholic Christian life.



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Vatican News Service

A third challenge the bishop identified in his report is faith formation for all ages. “The ‘practice’ of the Catholic faith is often synonymous with receiving the sacraments,” Bishop Mulvey said. Parents often bring their children to faith formations classes but do not come to Mass themselves. The bishop reorganized the diocese’s evangelization efforts into the new Department of Evangelization and Catechesis that is working on many fronts to assist pastors and parochial programs to evangelize not only those in the parishes but those outside the Church awaiting to hear the Good News of the Gospel.

Another challenge to the diocese is the “bringing together and uniting the variety of pro-life groups within the diocese.” The bishop hopes to expand an understanding that prolife involves “promoting and protecting life at all stages and not offending the mandates of the Gospel in the tactics used and the words we employ.” To this end, the bishop created the Office of Life, Justice and Human Dignity that will work to incorporate a multi-dimensional response in the war against the dignity of every human life, from the womb to its natural death. “It is my hope that as the Centennial Jubilee year progresses we will be able to understand how to strengthen the areas of pastoral initiatives in place and find ways to open new paths for a stronger evangelization in the Diocese of Corpus Christi,” Bishop Mulvey said.



Historian, writer, teacher and archivist By Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS



ister Mary Xavier Holworthy, IWBS is widely known as the historian of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. She was not only a historian but was a legend in her own right. She was legendary—both in the convent and in the diocese. Her sisters at the Incarnate Word Convent all knew she was vocally adamant in her dislike of the hymn “Priestly People.” But they also knew Sister Xavier was a pioneer religious and a profound person of prayer. She and the diocese “grew up” together. She entered the Incarnate Word community in 1908 and just four years later, in 1912, the Vicariate of Brownsville was elevated to the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Sister Xavier did not begin life as a Catholic. She was born in 1890 in Denver, Colorado and the family came to Corpus Christi at the turn of the century where her father, the Rev. A. J. Holworthy, was assigned as rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Not a great believer in public schools, her father sent her to school at Incarnate Word Academy. After an initial resistance, the young girl said she was “thrown to my knees” during the Benediction service. She recalled years later “grace was poured into my soul” and she made up her mind to become a Catholic. Her father forbade such a notion, but Father Claude Jaillet baptized her on Dec. 6, 1903. At the age of 18, her father finally consented to her entering the Incarnate Word convent but her mother refused. She made her final vows at the end of 1910. In 1913, Sister Xavier, requested and received a dispensation to leave the silence of the cloister during the summer to attend school for teacher training. Sister earned a B.A. degree at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio in 1929



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and her M.A. also in San Antonio at St. Mary’s University in 1939. Her graduate thesis was on the history of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The thesis was an outgrowth of her research on the history of the Corpus Christi Cathedral parish that was later published under the title, A Century of Sacrifice—A History of the Cathedral Parish 1853-1953. She went on to write much of the original material on which the Nueces County Historical Society based its handbook. She served as president of the Society as well as a director of the Nueces County Historical Survey Committee. Sister Xavier authored several books; the most notable was the biography of Father Claude Jaillet, whom she knew personally. The book, Father Jaillet, Saddlebag Priest of the Nueces, was published in 1948 and the Duval County Historical Society reprinted it in 1996 with permission of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. The book is often given to diocesan seminarians to provide them with a sense of the early years of the Church in south Texas. As a teacher at Incarnate Word Academy, Sister Xavier’s expertise was business or secretarial training, as it was called then. After they graduated, her students were much in demand by the businessmen of the city. However, business was not her only accomplishment; she also organized the first orchestra, the drama and music clubs after she went to the high school in 1924. Later she set up and organized the high school library during the 1938-1939 school year. Sister Xavier retired from teaching in 1968 and became the first diocesan archivist. At 82, she still worked an eight-hour day in the archives office at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. “If it were not for Sister Xavier, we would be in a very bad state,” said Geraldine McGloin, a local historian and Corpus Christi Cathedral parishioner, concerning Sister Xavier’s impact on the efforts of recording the diocese’s history. Sister Xavier died on April 28, 1974 in Corpus Christi. Her life and work not only helped lay the foundation for the Church in South Texas, it also recorded for future generations the legacy of those beginnings.

Sitting behind the typewriter was a common position for Sister Mary Xavier who wrote the first history of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and later went on to serve as its first archivist. Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives

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Congratulations to the Diocese of Corpus Christi on 100 Years of

Living the Faith! St. Peter, Prince of the Apostle Parish 3901 Violet Road



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Cardinal Dolan boosts

R E N E W A L hile Bishop Wm. Michael

By Alfredo E. Cardenas

W South Texas Catholic

Mulvey has not called for a synod during the centennial year of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, meetings and celebrations will be held with different groups within the diocese in which the bishop will listen to the needs and the wisdom they bring in order to develop a “Pastoral Plan” that will frame and guide efforts for the New Evangelization.

This effort towards diocesan renewal will get a boost at the Centennial Jubilee Formation Conference on March 26 when Timothy Cardinal Dolan and a group of bishops from throughout Texas will provide guidance to the faithful on various aspects of pastoral care. Bishop Mulvey said he would be looking at the 13th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops scheduled for Oct. 7-28, for additional guidance. The synod, which is called “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith,” will consider pastoral initiatives programs to assist the Holy See. “We will be anxiously awaiting the information coming

Recently erected cardinal Timothy Cardinal Dolan will share his thoughts on the New Evangelization with participants at the Centennial Formation Conference at the American Bank Center. Giancarlo Giluliani, Catholic News Service

from the Synod on Evangelization and the Holy Father’s post-synodal exhortation ready to follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit,” Bishop Mulvey said. Over the past two years, the bishop has initiated an ongoing formation and renewal of the presbyterate. Additionally, over this time a renewed importance has been given to strengthening parish life and reviewing methods for evangelization and catechesis. “I take to heart the words of Blessed John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennia Ineunte that the Church must become the Home and the School of Communion. As I began and continue my pastoral ministry as a bishop of the Church, I have tried to instill that call within my own approach to episcopal ministry and continue to promote a spirit of communion among the priests, deacons, laity and with the Curia staff with whom I work closely on a daily basis,” Bishop Mulvey said. Cardinal Dolan will share with the faithful in Corpus Christi some of the thoughts he presented to Pope Benedict XVI and his brother cardinals on Feb. 27 when the Holy Father asked him to speak to the group on the New Evangelization in view of the upcoming “Year of Faith.” In his talk to the cardinals on the New Evangelization, Cardinal Dolan cited seven pillars for effective evangelization: Even those who boast of their secularism have an innate longing for the divine; the first step of evangelization must be to keep the quest for God alive. Be confident, without being triumphalist, since it is the power of God that sends His people to evangelize. Know that the New Evangelization is not about presenting a doctrine or belief-system, but a Person, whose name is Jesus. Jesus is the Truth, therefore evangelization must be linked to catechesis. An evangelist must be a person of joy, someone who smiles. The New Evangelization is about love, the love of God made concrete in service. The Church is peopled by those who are suffering persecution for their faith, and these martyrs give impetus to the new evangelization In addition, Cardinal Dolan no doubt will remind attendees of the Church’s present struggle against the Federal government’s inAPRIL 2012



fringement on the Church’s religious liberty by its requirement through recent “health care” mandates that the Church defy its own teachings or to adhere to its teachings and deny its employees health benefits. Cardinal Dolan recently issued the assurance that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops would not back down in its drive to overturn the mandates because of its overriding concern for religious freedom. Texas bishops, including Bishop Mulvey, will provide catechists with guidance at the formation conference on a variety of issues that will help reinforce Catholic doctrine. Bishop Mulvey will speak on respect for life, from conception to natural death. The bishop will again remind the faithful of the need to approach this important issue in a pastoral manner, with forgiveness and love for those who place their soul in jeopardy by disregarding natural law. Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann will talk on medical ethics while Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville will cover issues related to family life. Parish renewal, a focus of Bishop Mulvey’s episcopacy, is the topic of three sessions. San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu will lead a discussion on catechesis and religious education in parish life and Catholic schools; Auxiliary Bishop Mark Seitz of Dallas will speak on liturgy and parish renewal; and Father Thomas Norris will make a presentation on spirituality of the parish. Bishop Placido Rodriguez, CMF of Lubbock will speak on evangelization of culture. Finally, Bishop Michael Pfeifer of San Angelo will make a presentation on Catholic Charities. “It is my hope that as the Centennial Jubilee year progresses we will be able to understand how to strengthen the areas of pastoral initiatives in place and find ways to open new paths for a stronger evangelization in the Diocese of Corpus Christi,” Bishop Mulvey said.

(Editor’s Note: This is the April issue of the South Texas Catholic, but because of the importance of the Centennial Jubilee Formation Conference and Mass, we went to press early to have the special edition available for this event.)



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SYNODS Contributed Renewal

By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


ope Benedict XIV, who served in the first half of the eighteenth century, described a diocesan synod as “A lawful assembly convoked by the bishop, in which he gathers together the priests and clerics of his diocese and all others who are bound to attend it, for the purpose of doing and deliberating concerning what belongs to the pastoral care.” Such a gathering has occurred twice in the 100-year history of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Bishop Mariano S. Garriga “solemnly” decreed that “the First Synod of the Diocese of Corpus Christi shall be celebrated in our Cathedral Church on Monday, the fourth of June, Nineteen hundred sixty-two.” Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, it was the golden jubilee year of the diocese. Under Canon Law in effect at the time, the bishop called the priests under his charge to an assembly to discuss matters regarding the needs of the clergy and the laity in the diocese. At that time, a diocesan synod was required to be held once every 10 years, but nothing precluded the bishop from calling a synod more often. Participation in the synod was limited to clergy.

Mary Christmas leads procession into the Bayfront Convention Center for the start of Synod 1988, the second synod of the diocese held in April 1988. Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives

Special committees met and sent their recommendations to Bishop Garriga and his general committee. A copy of the proposed legislation was sent to each priest and was discussed at the deaneries. Priests voted on the proposed statutes and the results were sent to the General Committee for preparation of a final draft. The actual synod was held at the Cathedral where the final legislation was promulgated, and became law after Bishop Garriga’s signature. It should be noted that in a diocesan synod there is only one voter and only one lawgiver, the bishop of the diocese; his is the final word. At the conclusion of the Synod, 223 statutes became binding upon the clergy, religious and laity of the diocese. Priests were called to set “an example to their people” in observing the civil law. Aside from voting they were prohibited from any political activity and could not allow parochial buildings to be used by politicians. Pastors were also called to be mindful of their pastoral obligations towards non-Catholics in their territory. Faithful were required to register in their own parishes and fulfill their obligations in that parish. The laity was summoned to “Catholic Action” in every aspect of life and was called to participate in at least one parish or diocesan organization. Children were to be confirmed before they completed their elementary school education. Prospective converts were granted the right to select the priest they wished to instruct them in the faith. A scanning of the statutes adopted does not suggest any great variances from what is in place today. Which is not surprising since “under no circumstances may…a synod define any new article of faith or decide any doctrinal point in dispute…” Twenty-six years later, on April 13-15, 1988, the Diocese of Corpus Christi held a second synod. Since this was post Vatican II, this synod had some notable differences from the first. The most obvious one was the participation of the laity. On Oct. 25, 1985, at the conclusion of a five-day priests retreat, Bishop Rene Gracida issued a call for the second APRIL 2012



synod in the diocese with the theme “Becoming One Body.” The bishop said he called the synod because it was time for “renewal of local church discipline and a time for the Diocese of Corpus Christi to more fully bring into reality the vision of the Church as called for by the Second Vatican Council.” Bishop Gracida sought to set a vision of Church ministry for the future and to establish norms and policies for pastoral ministry. He named Msgr. Leonard Pivonka Episcopal Vicar for the synod. Msgr. Pivonka, now pastor of St. Elizabeth in Alice, said the synod was modeled after the Second Vatican Council and followed the provisions of the new Code of Canon Law adopted in 1983. It involved a lot of work over a long period, Msgr. Pivonka said. “It was an interesting experience of the diocese being church,” Msgr. Pivonka said. After almost three years of meetings held throughout the diocese in preparation for the synod, the clergy and faithful began to file into the Bayfront Convention Center on April 13, 1988 for the convocation. “The Church has repeatedly experienced the need to examine itself in light of the Gospel message,” said Archbishop Pio Langhi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in his keynote address. “What we hope to accomplish with our synod is the preparation of our Church. We must enable the Church to be strong in its faith, life and hope,” Bishop Gracida said. The preparations for the synod had been very successful, and the assembly did short shrift with the proposed statutes completing them in two days instead of the three allocated. They adopted recommendations in 16 areas of concern, including: the diocese, the parish, priests, the permanent deaconate, liturgy, the laity, evangelization, Catholic education, Catholic health care, communications, consecrated life, ecumenism and interfaith matters, marriage and family, youth, young adults and campus ministry, spiritual life and social justice. Results of the synod were published in a 288-page book entitled “Synod 88: Becoming one Body.” “Many parishes used them as guides but as time went on they forgot about them,” Msgr. Pivonka said.



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1998 Study follows SYNOD


en years after the Second Synod of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, newly arrived Bishop Roberto Gonzalez directed a diocesan wide self-study to determine how the faithful viewed diocesan ministries and the extent to which those ministries served their needs. The study was prompted by Bishop Gonzalez’ efforts to streamline and implement cost savings by downsizing of diocesan operation the year before. While not a third synod, this effort had similar aims with a different, more contemporary approach. The study, which was implemented by a committee appointed by the bishop, included a questionnaire that was completed by parishioners across the diocese after a Sunday Mass in July 1998. This effort resulted in 20,962 questionnaires being completed and returned for analysis. Students at Texas A & M-Corpus Christi, under the direction of Dr. Robert Bezdek, entered survey responses into statistical tabulation software. In addition to the questionnaire, in October 1998, focus group sessions were held in each of the six deaneries across the diocese. These groups included more than 220 participants. Grace S. Rank, RN, BSN organized and supervised this activity and compiled the results. The examination looked at seven areas of diocesan activities, including the mission of the Church, diocesan administration, education, communications, Catholic charities, vocations and general beliefs and behavior toward some aspect of Church life. Because of time constraints, the focus groups dealt only with vocations, education and communications. The findings of the questionnaire and the focus group sessions were compiled into a 94-page report with a series of recommendations. Generally, the questionnaire analysis discerned that the faithful the Diocese of Corpus Christi had a positive image of the Church. More than 90 percent of the respondents thought the Church was making a positive difference in their life. Two-thirds felt that contributions to the Catholic Sharing appeal were spent wisely and believed that the diocese is currently well managed. Almost half of the respondents agreed that they read the South Texas Catholic. Forty percent indicated they listened to either KLUX in Corpus Christi or KHOY In Laredo but few watched diocesan television programs. Only 30 percent used the programs of Catholics Social Services but more than 90 percent felt that the diocese should continue to provide these services. Eight out of ten respondents felt that all Catholics have a responsibility to encourage vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate and religious life, but only half of those had done so. Four major inter-dependent themes were distilled from the priorities and suggestions developed by the focus group effort. These included the need to: engage youth; strengthen recruitment to vocations; streamline, improve and increase resource allocation for lifelong Catholic education; and reformat diocesan radio, TV and print media to increase responsiveness to the needs of the diocesan Church and would actively engage youth. The study made three primary recommendations.

> First, that greater involvement and representation of all groups of age, gender and educational background be included in advisory bodies both at parish and diocesan levels, including telecommunications. > Second, that the diocese hire a professional development director to further the overall mission of the local Church and its ministries. > Finally, the report suggested that the self-study committee be continued so that it could formulate progress reports and provide a follow-up survey in five years. By this time, Pope John Paul II had named Bishop Gonzalez as the archbishop of San Juan de Puerto Rico. Taking into consideration a new bishop would be named soon Archbishop Gonzalez delayed implementation of the study findings. This report is available on the diocesan Web site at

The Office of Family Life offers congratulations to the Diocese of Corpus Christi on the celebration of its Centennial Jubilee. May the next 100 years continue to be fruitful for the families of the Body of Christ in South Texas. “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? … Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” – Matthew 12:48, 50

FATHER BARD father of churches in brush country By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


t was a large territory that radiated from the frontier town of San Diego north to the Nueces River, to 20 miles south of Concepcion at Baluarte Creek—100 miles from north to south, and from Banquete to 40 miles west of San Diego—60 miles across.

St. Catherine’s in Los Reyes in Duval County was built by Father Bard with the help of the Catholic Extension Society. It was destroyed the following year by the hurricane of 1916.

The last Indian raid was still fresh in peoples’ minds and the railroad soon reached San Diego bringing peace and prosperity. Some 6,000 people, mostly Mexicans and mostly Catholics, populated the land. It is to this dangerous but stimulating country that a young Frenchman came in 1876 to assume his first assignment as a priest. Bishop Dominic Manucy ordained Father Jean Pierre Bard in 1876 shortly after his arrival from France. Soon, Bishop Manucy sent Father Bard to join fellow Frenchmen Father Claude Jaillet, who had founded the first Catholic Church in the brush country of south Texas at San Diego. It was not long that the Frenchmen became known as Padre Pedro, much like his fellow countryman who the local faithful affectionately called Padre Claudio. Father Jaillet was recalled to Corpus Christi in 1884 to take over

Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives

the new St. Patrick’s Church and Father Bard remained in San Diego for almost half a century. He served his entire priestly service in San Diego. After Father Jaillet’s departure, Father Bard continued his mentor’s practice of visiting some 200 ranches throughout the area. He visited the ranches in a buggy drawn by two horses. At first he carried a gun for protection against hostile Indians and outlaws, but after accidentally shooting one of his horses he discontinued that practice. He usually left for the ranches on Monday and came back to San Diego on Thursday, where he rang the church bells to let people know he was home. His ministry included all types of situations. One newspaper account said that Father Bard would go about the countryside “performing marriages, consoling afflicted and preaching the word of God.” APRIL 2012



In 1884, for example, he accompanied convicted murderer Ruben Gomez to the gallows in San Diego. He stayed with him until the end. In 1886, after marrying Daniel Saenz and Margarita Pena at Palito Blanco Ranch, he “baptized a large number of juveniles.” In May 1887, the Corpus Christi Caller reported that Father Bard “can marry more couples and bind them together than any person and no divorce follows.” He also presided over the funerals of rich and poor alike. In 1888, San Antonio Bishop John Claude Neraz—who

was also serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Vicariate of Brownsville—joined Father Bard to perform confirmations in San Diego. Twenty-seven boys and girls also made their First Communion. In 1900, Father Bard accompanied Bishop Peter Verdaguer to Benavides where they baptized 40 children and confirmed 60. St. Paul in Benavides was one of many churches Father Bard founded. In his career he founded a score of churches, some which are no longer active, but many which are thriving today. He is credited with establishing Immacu-

Congratulations on 100 years of Living the Faith! Saint Francis de Paula Parish - San Diego 401 South Victoria Street 24


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late Conception at Concepcion in 1879. Six years later he load from Father Bard and his responsibilities at San Diego established a church in the new town of Collins, which were not as demanding. His parish at San Diego had the later was moved to Alice where it served for many years following missions, St. Paul at Benavides; Immaculate Conas Sacred Heart. In 1887, he built the church in Benavides. ception at Concepcion; St. Clement at Guajillo; St. Isidore The following year he built a church in Realitos. In 1890, at Hebbronville; St. Francis at La Gloria; St. Catherine’s at Mendieta had a church. Los Reyes; Our Lady of Loreto at Mendieta; St. Joseph at By the turn of the century in 1900, Father Bard’s parish Palito Blanco; Our Lady of Guadalupe at Realitos; St. John of St. Francis de Paula in San Diego had four missions in at La Rosita; and Sacred Heart at San Diego. Alice, Benavides, Concepcion and Mendieta. It also oversaw Father Bard died of influenza on March 4, 1920 and is sacraments at Agua Poquita, Alamo, Alanisco, Amargoso, buried under the floor of the vestibule at St. Francis de Paula Bandera, Barroeneño, Beleno, Calaveras, Cibolo, Cuatos, Church in San Diego. Gloria, Guajillo, Huerta, Javoncillos, Juan Adame, Julios, Writers have remembered Father Bard as frank, outspoLa Trinidad, La Vaca, Loma Alta, Los Nacos, Los Caballos, ken, of irreproachable character and indomitable will, posLos Lotos, Los Olmos, Los Prietos, Luparra, Mota de Santa sessed of inexhaustible energy, filled with zeal in the pursuit Clara, Moto de los Olmos, Palo Amarillo, Palo Blanco, Reyn- of souls for God, a scholar and a linguist who was respected old’s Ranch, Santa Gertrudes, La Cabra, Lagarto in Live Oak by people of all faiths. County, Lara, Las Auras, Tio Mandolla, Toro and Tramajos. The National Catholic Directory for 1900 lists a number of churches from Duval County as stations of St. Peter’s in Laredo but most likely were founded by Father Bard. These included Clovis, Encinos, Pena, Realitos, Rosita, San Carlos, and perhaps a few others. Hebbronville does not appear in the directory but was already an established church. Father Bard built a chapel in Falfurrias in 1903. In 1909, the current church was built in San Diego, and Father Bard used the old church to open a new chapel on the North Plaza named Sacred Heart. By 1916, after the establishment of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the area Father Bard built St. Paul, the first church in Benavides, which was later renamed had grown and some of the churches he Santa Rosa de Lima. founded—such as Sacred Heart in Alice and Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives St. Isidore in Falfurrias—took some of the

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‘Legacy of faith’ prom By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


n 1885 when Father Peter Bard embarked on building a church in the new town of Collins he went directly to the people and solicited “subscriptions” or pledges. He soon reached his goal and Sacred Heart was built.

Architect’s aerial depiction of the St. John Vianney Priests Residence to be built with funds from Legacy of Faith Future of Hope campaign. Office of Parish Stewardship

Today, the Diocese of Corpus Christi is conducting a capitol campaign entitled “Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope” to address the most pressing needs and most promising opportunities facing the diocese today. The notion of asking for the faithful to contribute to efforts promoting the faith is not new. In the early days of the Diocese of Corpus Christi when it was still a missionary field, organizations such as the Propagation of the Faith and the Catholic Extension Society made substantial contributions to build churches in the remote and less affluent areas of the diocese. As the diocese grew in numbers and wealth, stewardship for its patrimony fell on the lay faithful in the pews. “Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope is an opportunity for us to give a part of ourselves to the Church that will build our faith and help our children as well as generations to come,” Cande de Leon, Director of Parish Stewardship and Development, said. “At the very core of Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope is the gratitude we have for our forefathers that have built our local Catholic community and carried our faith to us. We see their sacrifices as a model for how we can give of ourselves to help lead the Church



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and Development

with the same spirit of love and generosity.” After his installation, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey engaged in consultation with the presbyterate and layfaithful and identified some areas of immediate need in the diocese. He directed that a feasibility study be done, which reached out to all pastors and key religious and laity. After further discussion of the study’s findings with a Priest Advisory Committee, five areas of need were identified as the most pressing. The five areas of most need are: caring for retired clergy; investing in young adults; increasing access to Catholic education, as well as increasing the support for the education of seminarians; providing ministry support to brothers and sisters in need in outlying areas of the diocese; and directing financial support to parishes. “We are ever grateful for the legacy of faith that we have inherited. Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity, for over a century, have worked together tirelessly and selflessly, in communion, to build the Body of Christ,” Bishop

motes ‘future of hope’

Mulvey said. “Each, in their own way, gave of themselves sacrificially as the genuineness of their faith was tested as they gave witness and glory to Jesus Christ. For their legacy of faith, we are forever grateful because today their efforts provide us a solid foundation to continue building our Church.”

retired priests who would prefer to live in community with other retired priests. Additionally, the diocese hopes to raise sufficient funds to establish an endowment fund to ensure the operational needs of the residence. This endowment will guarantee the availability of funding long into the future.

With the median age of priests at 55, a growing number of priests in the diocese are beginning to reach the retirement age of 70. Most retired priests continue to work in some capacity long after the ‘official’ retirement. “After a lifetime of devotion and service, we must ensure that they are taken care of in their retirement years,” Bishop Mulvey said. Currently there are 20 priests in retirement. Between 2011 and 2020, 12 priests will reach retirement age and 27 more will reach retirement age between 2021 and 2030. To help meet this growing need, the diocese plans to build the St. John Vianney Residence for Priests, a facility for

The diocese currently funds priest retirement through the Diocesan Priest Pension Plan, which is currently underfunded and will not be able to take care of the growing number of priests reaching retirement age. Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope will augment the Priest Pension Plan to enable the diocese to prepare for the influx of retired priests over the next 10 years. Another area of concern is that of ministering to the needs of young adults. Campus Ministry reaches out to young adults during their critical formative years. It is during these important years that these young adults are the most vulnerable and inquisitive regarding their faith

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and place in life. A recent opportunity has developed with the Newman Connection to strengthen the campus ministry in Texas A&M–Kingsville. The Newman Connection will build dormitories for 300 students and proceeds generated from the dormitories will be used to support the Newman Center ministry. The diocese will provide additional funds to build a chapel that will provide young adults and students at the university an intimate place to pray and reflect. In addition to the chapel, a Newman Center will provide pastoral services and ministries to the students of the university. Finally, an endowment fund will be needed to ensure continued operation of the chapel and center. The capitol campaign will also help expand the campus ministry facilities at Texas A&M–Corpus Christi, which will provide students with an ample place to continue to learn and grow spiritually. A growing area of opportunity to serve the needs of young adults exists at Coastal Bend College in Beeville where more than 1,300 students can benefit from an increased attention to their spiritual needs by building a Young Adult/Campus Ministry Center on their campus. While Catholic schools provide students with stability, moral values and the individualized attention that enables them to excel as responsible members of society and faithful members of the Body of Christ, many Catholic parents cannot afford to send their children to Catholic Schools. Through Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope, the current Diocesan Catholic School Tuition Assistance Endowment will be increased to create more scholarship opportunities so more Catholic families with extraordinary need can be able to send their children to a Catholic school within our diocese. The formation of seminarians is another area of education that the campaign will address. Funds will be raised to help offset the rising cost of tuition in seminaries and post graduate studies, so we can ensure that financial impediments will not hinder young men from responding to



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>> At the very core of Legacy

is the gratitude we have f have built our local Catholic our faith

the Lord’s call. Currently there is a strong need in the outlying areas of the diocese for support of services provided by Catholic Charities. Current accessibility to Catholic Charities resources for families living in these outlying areas of our diocese is limited because families do not have the means to travel into Corpus Christi to receive critical assistance. Funds raised by Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope will be allocated to bring satellite locations of Catholic Charities to outlying areas of the diocese, such as Alice, Refugio,

sole their families,” Bishop Mulvey said. To meet all the sacramental, spiritual formation and religious education needs of Architectural drawing of the front the growing Catholic popuview of the community building lation, parishes must act now by repairing, maintaining, for the St. John Vianney Resiand in some cases, constructdence for Priests. ing new facilities to meet Office of Parish Stewardship the demands for services and Development and ministries. Churches, parish halls, rectories and schools must be improved or repaired to address the needs of each community. Twenty percent of funds raised by a parish for Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope will remain in the parish. If a parish meets its assigned goal, eighty percent of the excess ~ collected will remain with the parish to meet its capitol needs. Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope is currently being tested in a select number of pilot parishes and will soon come to every parish and mission in the diocese. “Your gift to this campaign is an opportunity to leave a legacy for generations to come. Scripture tells us that Christian stewardship goes beyond our giving from our Beeville and Kingsville, and make the services of Catholic surplus. Stewardship requires a gift made from substance,” Charities more accessible to people in these areas. de Leon said. Finally, Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope will begin to “At this important moment of our history, let us keep in address Bishop Mulvey’s plans to strengthen parish life. mind the many blessings the Lord has given us. Recogniz“The parish is the center of our Catholic life. It is ing that all of our material goods are gifts from the Lord, where we enter the Church through baptism, and grow we are asked in the Gospel to give back a portion of these closer to God through reconciliation, Holy Communion, gifts in thanksgiving for God’s generosity and goodness to confirmation and adoration. We bind members of our us,” Bishop Mulvey said. parish communities together in matrimony, and we pray

y of Faith Future of Hope for our forefathers that c community and carried to us.

for those who go before us to be with the Lord and con-

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AT WORK >> For nearly 100 years as a diocese, we have found

stability in the leadership of our eight bishops and we stand on a firm foundation of the lived faith of countless men and women. –-Mission Statement of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Four bishops lie peacefully in

EMMANUEL CHAPEL By Geraldine McGloin Correspondent


ach of the eight men who have guided the Diocese of Corpus Christi brought special gifts and priorities, which shaped and enriched the diocese and helped to move its mission forward. They are a varied group. With the exception of two natives of Ireland, all are native born Americans. Each has left his imprint on the diocese; whether it is a ministry developed to meet a new situation, new buildings, people or institutions. Four bishops lie peacefully in what is now the Emmanuel Chapel located in the lower level of the Corpus Christi Cathedral. The chapel was built as a crypt for the final resting

place of the diocese’s bishops. Currently entombed in the chapel are Bishops Paul Nussbaum, Emmanuel B. Ledvina, Mariano S. Garriga and Thomas Drury. Bishop Paul Joseph Nussbaum, CP, DD (1913-1920) was the first Bishop of Corpus Christi. He was named to a Diocese covering an area from south of San Antonio to Brownsville and west to Laredo with a population of 158,000 of whom 82,400 were Catholics. Of these, more than 70,000 were Mexican Americans, many of whom did not speak English. It is important to note that transportation was a major problem at the time, which tended to isolate small communities within the area. To help minister to these souls, the Spanish-speaking Bishop called on his fellow Passionist priests, also bilingual, to come to the new diocese to help with this important work. The cadre of priests under his command included 19 secular priests and 19 religious who ministered through 19 APRIL 2012



churches and 54 misBishop Paul sions. They instructed Joseph and confirmed thouNussbaum, CP, DD sands of people in the (1913-1920) was faith. A belief that the the first Bishop of growth of religion is Corpus Christi. determined by the growth of individual piety was the driving force behind Bishop Nussbaum’s efforts. Bishop Nussbaum felt that Catholic action is essential to the promotion of personal holiness among Catholics generally. Toward this end he worked for the establishment of lay societies. Three are still functioning: the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and St. Ann’s Rosary and Altar Society at Corpus Christi Cathedral. These organizations have been instrumental in the establishment of local units throughout the entire region. Bishop Nussbaum introduced many practices devoted to the development of personal piety and Catholic formation, including the Holy Hour devotion, congregational singing, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary and meetings of young men and women. Bishop Emmanuel B Ledvina DD, LL.D, (19211949) was the second Bishop of Corpus Christi and could be called “the builder.” This native of Indiana served as a pastor prior to being appointed secretary General of the Catholic Church Extension Society which built numerous missions, churches, schools and convents all over the diocese. One of his first acts as bishop was to recommend to the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Corpus Christi that they Bishop Emmanuel build a new convent B Ledvina DD, of solid construction. LL.D (1921-1949) was the second They had for years Bishop of Corpus lived in old, unsafe and Christi and could be unsuitable buildings. A called “the builder.” much-needed school building followed the new convent for the Academy. He then turned his attention to the education of boys through the establishment of Corpus Christi College Academy. The entire campus was completed by 1928. Run by the Benedictines, the school boasted a full complement of school buildings and residents for faculty, student borders and other staff. The academic program was equally complete offering the youth of the parish a quality Catholic education. The facilities for boarding students made Catholic education possible for a number of youth from rural areas, which was not possible before. Under Bishop Ledvina’s episcopacy, the number of parishes grew to 57 with 115 missions and stations. Catholic education included 34 parochial schools, six academies for girls and three for boys.



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Bishop Ledvina’s crowning achievement was the construction of Corpus Christi Cathedral completed in 1940. He oversaw the entire process down to the smallest detail, insisting that only the best be used for this house of God. Bishop Mariano S. Garriga, DD, LL.D, (1949-1965) had the honor of being the first native Texan elevated to the hierarchy as bishop. He was born in Port Isabel, Texas in 1866, which eight years later was within the new Vicariate of Brownsville and later the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Bishop Garriga served as coadjutor for Bishop Ledvina for 16 years and succeeded him in 1949. He presided over the consecration of Corpus Christi Cathedral in 1952, dutifully following the direction of Bishop Ledvina for the completion and installation of the ecclesiastical art that had been a part of the original plan of the church. Its Eucharistic theme was further enhanced with decorative painting and other art pieces. Stained Bishop Mariano S. glass windows and moGarriga, DD, LL.D saics were among the (1921-1949) (19491965) had the honor elements added to tell of being the first the story of the Euchanative Texan. rist. The church was considered the finest work of architect Charles Monot. In addition Bishop Garriga built 59 new churches, 20 schools, convents and hospitals. He also started the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary, which encouraged native vocations to the priesthood. Bishop Thomas Joseph Drury, DD, LHD, (19651983) was known for his pastoral style and friendly demeanor. He showed loving concern for each person he met. Bishop Drury will be remembered as the bishop who began the work of diocesan telecommunications. In 1966 he established the weekly Texas Gulf Coast Register, later called Texas Gulf Coast Catholic and today the South Texas Catholic as the official newspaper of the diocese. He also authorized the groundwork toward acquiring a license for a diocesan radio station, which eventually became KLUX. Bishop Drury expanded diocesan offices from two to 32 departments. This included the establishment of Catholic Charities, the office of Catholic Schools, the Bishop Thomas Catholic Youth OrgaJoseph Drury, DD, nization, the Family LL.D (1965-1983) Life Bureau and the expanded diocesan permanent diaconate offices from two to program. 32 departments. Bishop Drury was responsible for bringing in a number of Irish priests, some of who are still serving in the diocese.

Four bishops are still involved in

EVANGELIZATION must be caring because that is how >>theWeFather treats us. We must be inviting because that is how Jesus brings us into His life. We must be enabling because that is how the Spirit works in us.


he four living Bishops of Corpus Christi are dynamic men still involved in evangelization. Bishop Emeriti Rene H. Gracida and Edmond Carmody are frequently seen and welcomed by the people at various diocesan functions; they often celebrate Masses on special occasions. Bishop Roberto Gonzalez, now serves as the Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey is the eighth and current ordinary of the diocese. Bishop Rene H. Gracida, DD (1983-1997) is a decorated war veteran, an architect and a pilot. He served as a flight engineer during World War II and was involved in the bombing of Dresden for which he was awarded the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. Under Bishop Gracida, the diocese experienced considerable growth. The bishop placed an emphasis of communications and built a center to house the newspaper and radio station. He built religious education centers in parishes and further expanded diocesan ministries.

Bishop Gracida Bishop Rene initiated the SecH. Gracida, DD ond Synod in 1988, (1983-1997) is slightly more than a decorated war 25 years after the veteran, an architect and a pilot. First Synod of 1962. During his administration, Villa Maria was acquired to provide a safe and peaceful home for elderly, many of whom are on a fixed income. It provides a combination of reasonable rent, beautiful landscaping and an opportunity for independent living in a Catholic environment. During his tenure, major changes were made in the Cathedral sanctuary with the installation of the presbytorium. The Blessed Sacrament chapel was added with its altar of repose for the tabernacle and Holy Eucharist. Bishop Gracida presently resides in Corpus Christi and continues to attend religious and social functions. Bishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez, OFM, DD, (1997-1999) served as coadjutor to Bishop Gracida for two years prior to his installation in 1997. He crisscrossed the region meeting with priests, religious and laity, seeking their input and cooperation on the ongoing work of the Church in south Texas. Bishop Gonzalez began the Bishop’s Guild, an organization of lay people dedicated to helping the bishop meet critical needs in the diocese, which may take the form APRIL 2012



of assistance in opBishop Roberto erating poor and Octavio Gonzalez, OFM, DD developing parishes (1997-1999) now and missions, or serves as the whatever the bishArchbishop of San op may see as a seriJuan, Puerto Rico. ous need. Bishop Gonzalez was named Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1999. He remained as administrator of the Diocese of Corpus Christi until the following March, making monthly visits to Texas until the appointment of a new bishop. Bishop Edmond Carmody, DD (2000-2010) was the seventh bishop of Corpus Christi. A native of Ireland, he was welcomed by a huge crowd on St. Patrick’s day, March 17, 2000 at Corpus Christi Cathedral. His quick Irish wit was evident when he remarked that “It was nice to go to church where everyone knew your name and everyone is glad you came.” Bishop Carmody worked to bring church life to the rural areas of South Texas. He felt that a small parish where personal piety was cultivated was what was needed for the faith community to grow. Bishop Carmody worked to provide each small town its own parish or mission with a resident priest. “It’s important that little communities have their own place to worship with their own priest,” Bishop Carmody said. With this in mind Bishop Carmody brought 36 priests, primarily from southern Bishop Edmond India, Poland and Carmody, DD Colombia, to the (2000-2010) brought diocese. priests, primarily from It w a s w i t h southern India, Poland the same spirit of and Colombia, to the diocese. “bringing the people to the Lord” that he founded Blessed John Paul II High School for the education of diocesan youth. These days he is often found on the school’s cam-



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pus, teaching and interacting with students to bring them to the Lord. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD (2010-present) was installed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi on March 25, 2010. A native of Houston, he completed his early education at Catholic schools there and in Austin where his family later moved. He earned advanced degrees in Sacred Theology from Gregorian University in Rome in 1976. Pope Paul VI ordained Bishop Mulvey a priest for the Diocese of Austin in 1975 in St. Peter’s Square. As a priest of the Diocese of Austin, Bishop Mulvey had many assignments both in parishes and seminaries. Prior to his arrival in Corpus Christi he served as chanBishop Wm. Michael cellor, vicar general Mulvey, STL, DD and administrator (2010-present) now of the Diocese of serves as the Bishop Austin. of the Diocese of Since his arrival, Corpus Christi. Bishop Mulvey has worked towards strengthening parish life, building communications and fraternity with the presbyterate and increasing vocations. He is advocating increased ministries to serve families, youth and young adults. He is also committed to the New Evangelization, and is directing the diocese to embrace the new social media that is so much a part of the evangelization of the future. He has instituted multiple uses of electronic communications through weekly update e-letters; an interactive diocesan Web site that features online forms, calendars, news events, videos and the first-ever episcopal blog; and a presence on social media sites, such as, Facebook and Twitter. The celebration of the centennial of the diocese is another high profile activity initiated by Bishop Mulvey. Its theme, “Together We Remember, Rejoice, and Renew” will serve as a springboard to continued evangelization and renewal.


GAVE SONS to Church


ishop Mariano S. Garriga was born in the Vicariate of Brownsville, which became the Diocese of Corpus Christi, and went on to become the first native Texan to assume the episcopacy in the state. Three other men from the Diocese of Corpus Christi were also named bishops, including Raymundo Peña, James Tamayo and Daniel Flores. All three served as bishops in dioceses that were created from the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Bishop Garriga became bishop of Corpus Christi but received his formation in Kansas and Wisconsin and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Bishops Peña, Tamayo and Flores were local priests, still remembered fondly by many parishioners throughout the diocese. Bishop Raymundo J. Peña, now Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Brownsville, remembers his 19 years of service as a priest in the Diocese of Corpus Christi with fondness. Bishop Garriga ordained him in 1957 and he served in various parishes as parochial vicar during the early years of his priesthood. Father Peña served as Diocesan Youth Director, associate editor, then editor of the Texas Gulf Coast Catholic, and as founding pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Corpus Christi. He also served as a diocesan consultor. “It was exciting to launch the diocesan newspaper. My service there helped me realize the importance of using

Bishop Raymundo Peña was named auxiliary bishop of San Antonio and later bishop of El Paso and Brownsville. Catholic News Service

the media as a tool for evangelization, and this experience motivated my establishment of the Rio Grande Catholic in the Diocese of El Paso and The Valley Catholic in the Diocese of Brownsville,” Bishop Peña said. Bishop Peña said his work in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, “helped me to appreciate the development of the entire diocese as a particular Church served by the bishop with assistance and collaboration of the priests, sisters and lay faithful of the diocese.” In 1976, Pope Paul VI named Father Peña Auxiliary to the Archbishop of San Antonio. He went on to serve as bishop in El Paso and Brownsville. Bishop James Tamayo, DD recently recalled the question posed by Sister Mary Lilia Aguilar, IWBS, while he was a first grader at Sacred Heart School in Corpus Christi. “Who wants to be a priest?” Bishop Bishop James Tamayo was named Tamayo’s hand imvicar of the Western Vicariate in Laredo mediately shot up and after serving a time as auxiliary and has never wabishop of Galveston-Houston, returned vered. to Laredo as its first bishop. He continued on Catholic News Service to Christ the King APRIL 2012



School, where he attended from 2nd-8th grade. “The environment of Catholic schools provided me a path toward servant leadership,” Bishop Tamayo said. With his parent’s blessing, he entered Corpus Christi Minor Seminary after graduating from Foy H. Moody High School in 1968. “Those two years of seminary formation with the Jesuit fathers in Corpus Christi laid a strong foundation for a life of prayer and service in the Church,” Bishop Tamayo said. He attended St. Mary’s Major Semi- Bishop Daniel E. Flores was the youngnar y in Houston est bishop in the United States when under the direction Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary of the Diocese of bishop of Detroit in 2006. Galveston-Houston Catholic News Service and the St. Thomas University School of Theology under the guidance of the Basilian fathers. Throughout his seminary years, there was a special sense of pride that he was a seminarian preparing to be a priest for the Diocese of Corpus Christi—the diocese named for the Body of Christ. In 1976, Bishop Thomas Joseph Drury ordained him a priest at Corpus Christi Cathedral. He went on to serve in parishes from St. Patrick in Corpus Christi to St. Andrew by the Sea Church on Padre Island. He also served as vicechancellor, secretary to the bishop and vicar for clergy. “I have received so many blessings and prayers from the people whose lives have touched mine. I pray that all to whom I ministered to may have also felt the presence of Christ the Good Shepherd responding to their needs,” Bishop Tamayo said.



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Bishop Daniel E. Flores began his priesthood in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The early years as a priest in the Diocese of Corpus Christi were “happy years” for Bishop Flores, who is now bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville. “It gave me a chance in my first years of the priesthood to develop my personal sense of the many ways a priest can touch peoples’ lives. They were happy years for me, giving me a strong foundation in the joy of the priestly life, as one of service to the Lord Jesus, building up the local community through the bonds of grace,” he said. Bishop Flores, who grew up in Corpus Christi, was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Corpus Christi by Bishop Rene H. Gracida on Jan. 30, 1988. He served in a number of capacities, including assistant to the rector and then rector of Corpus Christi Cathedral, secretary to the bishop, diocesan master of ceremonies, assistant chancellor, rector of the Saint John Vianney House of Studies and Episcopal Vicar for Vocations. Bishop Flores said he values his years of service in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the experience he gained over the 18 years of his priesthood in the varied positions. “I think my sense of priestly priorities developed in my early experiences continue to influence me profoundly,” Bishop Flores said. “We have to be a people of communion, joined together in following Christ. We also have to be a people of service to those in need, and we have to be constantly nourished by the grace of the Eucharist and the other sacraments.” Seven years after his ordination, Pope John Paul II named him a chaplain to His Holiness, with the honorary title of Monsignor in September 1995. In 1997, Bishop Roberto Gonzalez, OFM, sent him to Rome to study at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). While there he completed his doctoral degree in sacred theology (S.T.D.). He returned to Corpus Christi

in 2000, and was appointed chancellor of the diocese by Bishop Edmond Carmody. He was assigned to serve in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in August 2001, as part of the formation faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary and the teaching faculty at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology. He was named rector of Corpus Christi Cathedral in September 2005. He administered this office while completing his assignment in Houston during the 2005-06 academic year, and in June of 2006 he returned to assume the position of cathedral rector on a full-time basis. Among the blessings of serving as a priest in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, he said the people are the ones who had the greatest impact. He said he values “the many generous and kind priests and people I grew to know and love, and whom I still remember in my prayers.” Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Flores an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit on Oct. 28, 2006, and he was ordained bishop on Nov. 29. 2006. On Dec. 9, 2009, Pope Benedict named Bishop Flores the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville. Bishop Flores, whose mother and other family members live in or near Corpus Christi, remains connected to the city where he began his priestly ministry.

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Will lead



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DINARDO d Centennial Mass


aniel Cardinal DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will be the principal celebrant at the Centennial Jubilee Mass for the Diocese of Corpus Christi at the American Bank Center on March 26. It is from the Diocese of Galveston that the Diocese of Corpus Christi sprung forth and it is today the province to which it belongs. Cardinal DiNardo is no stranger to Corpus Christi having presided over the installation Mass for Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey two years ago. Bishop Mulvey, Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida, Bishop Emeritus EdDaniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston will celebrate the Centennial Jubilee Mass before an expected throng of 120,000 faithful. Catholic News Service

mond Carmody, bishops from Texas and other invited bishops and priests will concelebrate the Mass with Cardinal DiNardo. Some 10,000 faithful were expected to attend the Mass, making it the largest attendance at any Mass in the history of the diocese. In 1962, four cardinals filled the now demolished Memorial Coliseum, which was a smaller venue. Arrangements were made for a live video feed of the Mass to an adjacent conference room where the overflow from the convention center will be seated. The Centennial Mass falls on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Bishop Mulvey will make some opening remarks before the Penitential Rite and Cardinal DiNardo will issue a proclamation. Seminarians from the Diocese of Corpus Christi as well as altar servers representing parishes from throughout the diocese will be servers at the Mass. Ushers from various parishes in the diocese will serve as ushers and hospitality ministers. Sister Michelle Marie Kuntscher, IWBS, and seminarian Christopher Becerra will proclaim the readings. Daniel Vasquez will be the cantor. Gift bearers will be representatives from the eight deaneries in the diocese. Lee Gwozdz, assisted by Guadalupe Rivera, will direct the Diocesan Chorus

and Eddie Fernandez will direct the Cathedral Schola Contorum. The choir was organized from members of parish choirs from throughout the diocese who tried out for a place in the special choir assembled for the Mass. Cardinal DiNardo is expected to offer congratulatory remarks to Bishop Mulvey and the faithful of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, but as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on ProLife Activities he will likely also address in his homily the current controversy involving the administration’s attacks on religious liberty. On Feb. 15, Cardinal DiNardo called on Congress to solve conscience protection problems with the federal health reform law by passing the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.” He said resolving this “needless dispute,” would free everyone to “return to the most pressing of all the real problems—the fact that many millions of Americans still lack basic coverage for health care.” Timothy Cardinal Dolan, who earlier in the day was scheduled to provide the keynote address to the Formation Conference, was unable to stay for the Mass. (Editor’s Note: This is the April issue of the South Texas Catholic, but because of the importance of the Centennial Jubilee Formation Conference and Mass, we went to press early to have the special edition available for this event.)

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Congratulations on 100 years of Living the Faith


Cardinals p

D Congratulations!

to the Diocese of Corpus Christi for the Centennial Jubilee Celebration. St. Joseph Catholic Church Corpus Christi, TX

The Catholic Community of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Alice Rev. Monsignor Leonard Pivonka, JCD, Pastor

congratulates and shares in the celebration of the Diocese of Corpus Christi

Centennial Jubilee 44


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aniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston will celebrate the Centennial Jubilee Mass at the American Bank Center on March 26. It will not be the first time that a Prince of the Church celebrates the Eucharist in a public venue in Corpus Christi.

In fact, in 1961 five Cardinals participated in the celebration of Mass at the Memorial Coliseum. The event, like the venue, is now stored in he recesses of memory, but thanks to old newspaper archives it is preserved for history. Bishop Mariano Simon Garriga was in a celebratory mood in 1961. He would turn 75 on May 30; on July 2, he would have been a priest 50 years; and on June 20 his episcopacy would reach the milestone of 25 years. To top it o, he was anxious to dedicate his newest achievement—the opening of Corpus Christi Minor Seminary and the Immaculate Conception Chapel that served the school. The entire community, Catholic and non-Catholic, expressed their congratulations and well wishes to Bishop Garriga. Mayor Ben F. McDonald proclaimed May 8, 1961 as Bishop Mariano S. Garriga Day. The Corpus Christi Caller ran a 60page special insert on May 7, in honor of Bishop Garriga. It included histories of the diocese and descriptions of its organizational structure. The celebration got underway at the Immaculate Conception Chapel

pay tribute to Garriga

Old Memorial Colliseum was site of first Mass in the diocese celebrated in a secular venue in 1961. Five Cardinals of the Church participated in the historic Mass.

where the Most Rev. Egidio Vagnozzi, D.D., Apostolic Delegate to the United States, celebrated Mass and Albert Cardinal Meyer of Chicago delivered the homily. Also, participating at the Mass were James Francis Cardinal McIntyre of Los Angeles; Joseph Cardinal Rivera of Guadalajara, Mexico; and Aloysius Joseph Cardinal Muench representing the Roman Curia. The chapel’s dedication was carried live on television over KZTV, with Msgr. G. J. O’Doherty, pastor of Sacred Heart in Rockport serving as narrator. That evening, the celebration moved to the Memorial Coliseum for one of the few occasions in which it was filled to capacity. Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York was called on to celebrate the Mass at the coliseum with El Paso Bishop Sidney Matthew Metzger giving the homily. As they processed into the coliseum, the cardinals, bishops and priests were greeted by a fanfare of trumpets under the supervision of Ralph Galvan Jr. A 100-person choir was organized under the direction of Joseph W. Lane, with members coming from parishes from throughout the diocese. Seminarians from the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary rendered the propers of the Mass. Nearly four years later, Bishop Garriga died at the age of 78 while still in office. He had the honor of being the first native Texan elevated to the episcopacy of a diocese in the state. Indeed, he was born in Point Isabel in the future Bishop Mariano S. Garriga in remembrance Diocese of Corpus Christi while it of his Golden Sacerdotal Jubilee and Silver was the Vicariate of Brownsville. He Episcopal Jubilee. also served as a Council Father in the The Portal to Texas History, first session of the Second Vatican Council.

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Hope House consists of two shelters, Faith Home and Birth Haven, each having live-in housemothers from the Missionary Congregation of the Daughters of St. Thomas who share their lives with the residents, providing guidance and compassion.

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The OfÀce for Child and Youth Protection is committed to supporting our parishes, priests and schools and those who follow the call to serve our children and vulnerable adults within our faith community. From the provision of education, training, referral services and direct support, we continue to strengthen our Church community in working towards prevention, and support to those in need, against the societal ill of abuse. For more information, please call (361) 882-6191.

Word of bishop’s appointment

traveled slow By Alfredo E. Cardenas

W South Texas Catholic

hispers in the Loggia was not around in 1912 when a vacancy occurred in the bishop’s office of the Vicariate of Brownsville, but that did not stop Vatican watchers from speculating on who was next in line for the job. In its Jan. 6, 1912 edition, the Corpus Christi Caller & Daily Herald reported, “Announcement Expected in the Next Few Days” on the naming of a new bishop. There was no Internet, much less Catholic Web sites or blogs, but unsubstantiated reporting was rampant even then. The newspaper reported that there had been much speculation among both Catholics and Protestants on who the pope would name to replace Bishop Peter Verdaguer who had died in office. Adding interest to the gossip was the titillating tidbit that whoever was picked would make Corpus Christi the Vicariate See city. Verdaguer had moved the chancery to Laredo. The Diocesan Consultors had met in November 1911 and voted in secret on a recommendation, the newspaper said, and forwarded it to Archbishop James Blenk in New Orleans. The assumption was that Father James M. Kirwin, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Galveston would be the next bishop. All the speculation was for naught as 10 weeks later the Vatican announced, on March 25, that it would erect a new diocese in Corpus Christi. The naming of the new bishop, however, was put off for another year. There was no local Catholic newspaper to report on these events, in fact the only Catholic media outlet in the

entire state was the Southern Messenger based in San Antonio. Indeed, it was the Southern Messenger that broke most of the news regarding the new diocese and the new bishop. More than a year after Pope Pius X issued the Papal Bull erecting the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the Messenger cited an Associated Press report from Rome, dated April 3, 1913, that the pope had named Passionist Father Paul Nussbaum as the bishop of Corpus Christi. At the time, Father Nussbaum was stationed at St. Michael’s Monastery in West Hoboken, New Jersey. On May 5, the Messenger announced Bishop-designate Nussbaum was to be consecrated on May 20 at West Hoboken. The report was picked up by the local media, and on May 18, the Laredo Times reported the same story, including the same photo of the new bishop that had appeared in the Messenger two weeks earlier. The Messenger reported on the “Great Ecclesiastical Pageant” in Hoboken in its May 22 issue. Unlike recent consecrations of local bishops, the faithful in 1913 were not able to participate or even observe the installation of their shepherd; there was no live feed on the Internet. Bishop Nussbaum left West Hoboken for Corpus Christi and his first acts as bishop were performed far away from his Cathedral at St. Patrick’s. He confirmed a group at Baltimore on May 25; on June 1 he ordained nine priests in a St. Louis suburb; and then he stopped in New Orleans to pay his respects to Archbishop Blenk. He went on to San Antonio where he visited Catholic universities, orphanages and the Spanish Missions. He finally entered his diocese on Sunday, June 12, making Beeville his first stop. His train next stopped at Skidmore, Taft and then at Gregory where Msgr. Claude Jaillet who had been acting as Administrator joined him along with a delegation from Corpus Christi. He entered his See City to great fanfare, greeted by a band, secular and church dignitaries, priests, religious, ecumenical leaders, students and laity. After a full day of activities, the bishop retired to a suite at the new and elegant Nueces Hotel. The following APRIL 2012



morning he moved to the episcopal residence and began to receive visitors. The first was Father John Coma from Beeville. Sisters of Mercy and the Ursulines from Laredo and Mother Augustine from Refugio visited next. Visitors came all day. Ten days after arriving in Corpus Christi, Bishop Nussbaum made an episcopal visit to Laredo and on Aug. 9, 1913 he made his first visit to the Rio Grande Valley. It was an auspicious start for the young bishop, which would end seven years later rather dishearteningly with Bishop Nussbaum resigning at the age of 49 for health reasons. Two years later, he was named bishop for the Diocese of Marquette, Wisconsin where he served until his death in 1935 at the age of 64.

Bishop Nussbaum’s response to his welcome “Rt. Rev. Monsignor [Claude Jaillet], Very Rev. and Rev. fathers of the diocesan and monastic clergy, and dearly beloved faithful of the laity: “The Pontifical letter just read tells you who I am, who sent me, and for what purpose I have been sent. The Chief Shepherd of Christ’s flock on Earth, the Holy Father, Pope Pius X, has sent me into this newly erected See of Corpus Christi to join forces with you; and he has commissioned me to direct our combined efforts for the salvation of souls and the glory of God. “My advent among you is the result of the Church’s Catholicity or Universality, in virtue of which the Chief Shepherd details a man from the north to the south, from the east to the west, or vice versa, as he judges wise and prudent; it is the result of unity of faith and loyalty of obedience God’s grace enables us to hold and to give. “A stranger to you in name. I am no stranger to you in that spiritual relationship which is begotten not of the will of man, nor of the blood, but of God. Our faith and obedience makes us to be of one mind and one heart.

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“Perhaps the thought is in your minds as to what the policy of the new bishop will be. It is not hard to state it. For what other could be any policy of a bishop of the One Holy, Roman, Catholic Apostolic Church of Christ, but entire loyalty to the Holy See. I hold this office by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See, and the least I can do is to administer it according to the mandates of the Holy See. “Again the See by its very name is Roman, and I venture to say it gave the Holy Father much joy to erect this See whose name embodies his own specific devotion. For certainly, he will go down the ages as the reviver and restorer of devotion among the faithful to the Sacramental God. “Holding, then, a See by command of the successor of St. Peter, and that See bearing the Roman name of Corpus Christi, and it being my fortune to constitute the first link of that chain which joins this See to the Apostolicity of the Church, it shall be my aim to so thoroughly weld it as to withstand every strain it may have to bear. What better plan can I adopt than to imitate the men of missionary zeal and self-sacrifice who, following the wise regulations of the Councils of the Church succeeded in establishing the Kingdom of Christ in these parts. Thus shall I aim to emulate them in preaching the faith, establishing schools, urging the frequent reception of the Sacraments, spreading farther the Kingdom of Christ and of Him crucified. “And to you, my priests, I say remember that while I differ from you in my livery, I am still a priest; I am not a stranger to missionary work. I know how helpless I am without your co-operation. I will look for the expression of confidence from you and will value your suggestions, all the while deeming myself only your co-laborer. Let my home be yours, and yours mine. Thus we shall have harmony, union and full understanding. “And you, beloved brethren of this flock, be assured that I shall strive to imitate the Good Shepherd in my care and solitude for you. I beg your fervent prayers that God may shed His fruitful grace upon our new diocese.”

W W W. L AT I E N D I TA R E S A L E . W E B S . C O M



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Communicating the Word of God:

Then and now

By Alfredo E. Cardenas

A South Texas Catholic

t the turn of the twentieth century, news of the universal Catholic Church was sparse and moved slowly across oceans, mountains and plains. News of the local Catholic Church mostly went unreported, as no local Catholic press existed. What a difference 100 years makes. The Southern Messenger was the only source of Catholic news in Texas in 1912 when Pope Pius X created the Diocese of Corpus Christi. It remained so for many years to come. Today, every diocese in the state has its own newspaper; many have radio stations and some use television as an additional medium to convey their message to the faithful. The Internet and its progeny of communications media are now supplanting these mediums, to a degree. Bishop Joseph Nussbaum rightfully announced his missionary experience, which would be helpful in his new diocese that was still seen as a missionary field. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey,

A New Beginning: The Catholic Church has always been a missionary Church. Jesus told His disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” (Mt 28:19) Our own diocese began as a missionary field with Spanish, Mexican, French, Irish and others spreading the Word of God. Today, the missionary fields are over a much wider area, reached by more technical means. The new “Digital Continent” is ripe for the New Evangelization called for by Blessed John Paul II. Many of our young and not so young people have migrated to this new missionary field. The Holy Father, in his 2009 Communications message, acknowledged this phenomenon when he said, “It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this ‘digital continent.’” Of course, young people need guidance. As shepherd of the flock in this end of God’s Kingdom, it falls on me to lead the way in this missionary field. With this blog, I take my first step into the Digital Continent and I ask all its current inhabitants to pray that I may be able to navigate it with at least modest success. In this endeavor, I am prepared to bear my own cross so that I can truly be Christ’s disciple.

the incumbent bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, wrote in his initial blog earlier this year, “Today, the missionary fields are over a much wider area, reached by more technical means. The new ‘Digital Continent’ is ripe for the New Evangelization called for by Blessed John Paul II. “Many of our young and not so young people have migrated to this new

missionary field…As shepherd of the flock in this end of God’s Kingdom, it falls on me to lead the way in this missionary field,” Bishop Mulvey wrote as he implored his flock to pray for him in this new endeavor. Indeed, Bishop Mulvey has been willing—somewhat hesitantly he will admit—to embrace the new media. It is not hard for anyone to get all

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the Catholic news they want or need. Every Catholic organization, from the Vatican on down, has instant access via their Web sites. Diocesan newspapers, such as the South Texas Catholic in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, are provided news daily by the Vatican News Service, Catholic News Service and other news sources. The challenge to Catholic media is to provide the right mix of news services. The print media, such as newspapers and magazines, remain the preferred source of news by the faithful in the pews. Many, however, are moving towards the Internet and, while some will use both sources, many are abandoning the print media altogether. With time, many believe, this situation will be reversed and the Internet will make the printed news a thing of the past. Given this development, diocesan communications personnel are

preparing for whatever change comes about, whenever it comes about. The Diocese of Corpus Christi continues to provide news and information via the South Texas Catholic and KLUX Radio, but it already has moved onto the Internet on an impressive scale with two diocesan Web sites, www. and acenturyoftradition. org. In addition to the Bishop’s blog found at, the diocese has its own fan page on Facebook ( and Twitter account (https://twitter. com/#!/diocesecc). The South Texas Catholic is now a monthly publication and with this edition has adopted a magazine approach rather than a newspaper format. What will this mean for its readers? Stories and reports will now be more in depth. They will seek to explain Church doctrine, both as it applies

to the sacraments and to the issues Catholics face in the secular society. What the Church requires from us in a rapidly changing world. How we can be true to Christ’s message in a culture that more and more becomes relativistic and turns inward. The everyday news and announcements will be reported in the South Texas Catholic Web site, These will include parish and school news and calendar announcements, such as festivals, open houses, retreats, etc. All the news that’s fit to print, as the saying goes, will appear on the Web site including photos of plays, games, confirmations, etc. Between the magazine and the Web site, no news will be left on the editing floor or on next month’s file tray. This new approach will take time to get used to but it provides the most effective approach under the times we live in.

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APRIL 2012



En estos dĂ­as festivos de familia, hay que ser consciente que es posible que la celebraciĂłn incluya bebidas alcohĂłlicas. Ese brindis sobre la comida con parientes reunidos, te puede costar hasta $17,000 dolares en multas, costos de abogado y cuotas si manejas a casa tomado. Porque en Texas si tomas y manejas, vas a la cĂĄrcel.


Antes de tomar y manejar, asegura a donde vas a llegar.

;64( 4(5,1(




Padre de iglesias en el sur de Texas

Por Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


ra un territorio grande que irradiaba de la ciudad fronteriza de San Diego hacia el norte hasta el río Nueces, a 20 millas al sur de Concepción en el arroyo Baluarte, a 100 millas de norte a sur, y desde Banquete a 40 millas al oeste de San Diego, 60 millas de ancho.

La última incursión de indígenas todavía estaba fresca en la mente de la gente y el ferrocarril pronto llegaba a San Diego realizando la paz y la prosperidad. Unas 6,000 personas, la mayoría de ellos mexicanos y católicos, vivían en esa terreno. Es a este país peligroso, pero estimulante que un joven francés llegó en 1876 para asumir su primer destino como sacerdote. El Obispo Dominic Manucy ordeno el padre Jean Pierre Bard en 1876, poco después de su venida de Francia. Pronto despues, el obispo Manucy envió al Padre Bard ayudar a su paisano de

Francia el Padre Claude Jaillet, que había fundado la primera Iglesia Católica en San Diego en la área de el boscaje que se encontraba en esta parte del sur de Texas. No pasó mucho tiempo que el pueblo se referían a los franceses como el Padre Pedro, al igual que su compatriota, que los fieles locales llamaban cariñosamente Padre Claudio. El Padre Jaillet fue llamado a Corpus Christi en 1884 para hacerse cargo de la nueva Iglesia de San Patricio y el Padre Bard se mantuvo en San Diego por casi medio siglo. Sirvió su puesto sacerdotal entera en San Diego. Después de la salida de Padre Jaillet, el Padre Bard siguió la práctica de su mentor de visitar unos 200 ranchos en toda la zona. Visitaba las estancias en una carreta tirado por dos caballos. Al principio llevaba un arma para la protección contra los indios bárbaros y bandidos, pero después de que hirió un caballo con un disparo accidental, suspendió esa práctica. Por lo general, visitaba los ranchos, el lunes y regresaba a San Diego el jueves, donde tocaba las campanas de la iglesia para avisarle a la gente que ya estaba en casa. Su ministerio incluía todo tipo de situaciones. Un informe periodístico dijo que el Padre Bard

Padre Bard construyó la iglesia del Sagrado Corazón en 1885 en la nueva ciudad de Collins y se trasladó más tarde a Alice. Archivo del Diócesis de Corpus Christi



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realizaba por el campo “la celebración de matrimonios, consolar afligidos y predicando la palabra de Dios.” En 1884, por ejemplo, acompañó a el asesino convicto Rubén Gómez a su ejecución en San Diego. Se quedó con él hasta el final. En 1886, después de casar a Daniel Sáenz y Margarita Peña en el rancho de Palito Blanco, “bautizo un gran número de menores de jovenes.” En mayo de 1887, el periódico Corpus Christi Caller informó que el Padre Bard “puede casar más parejas y unir los como nadie y el divorcio nunca sigue.” También conducía velorios, de los ricos y pobres por igual. En 1888, el obispo John Claude Neraz de San Antonioque también servía como Administrador Apostólico del Vicariato de Brownsville, se unió con el Padre Bard para llevar a cabo confirmaciones en San Diego. Veintisiete niños y niñas también hicieron su Primera Comunión. En 1900, el Padre Bard acompañaba a el Obispo Pedro Verdaguer a Benavides donde se bautizaron 40 niños y confirmaron a 60. San Pablo en Benavides fue una de muchas iglesias fundadas por el Padre Bard. En su carrera, fundó una multitud de iglesias, algunas que ya no están activas, pero muchas de los cuales están prosperando hoy en día. Se le atribuye el establecimiento de la Inmaculada Concepción en Concepción en 1879. Seis años más tarde fundó una iglesia en la nueva ciudad de Collins, que más tarde se trasladó a Alice, donde sirvió por muchos años como el Sagrado Corazón. En 1887, construyó la iglesia en Benavides. Al año siguiente construyó una iglesia en Realitos. En 1890, Mendieta tenía una iglesia. Por la vuelta del siglo en 1900, la parroquia de San Francisco de Paula en San Diego tenía cuatro misiones, en Alice, Benavides, Concepción y Mendieta. El Padre Bard también supervisaba las estaciones de Agua Poquita, Alamo, Alanisco, Amargoso, Bandera, Barroeneño, Beleño, Calaveras, Cibolo, Cuatos, Gloria, Guajillo, Huerta, Javoncillos, Juan Adame, Julios, La Trinidad, La Vaca, Loma Alta, Los Nacos, Los Caballos, Los Lotos, Olmos, Los Prietos, Luparra, Mota de Santa Clara, Moto de los Olmos, Palo Amarillo, Palo Blanco, Rancho de Reynolds, Santa Gertrudis, La Cabra, Lagarto en el condado de Live Oak, Lara, Las Auras , Tio Mandolla, Toro y Tramajos. El Directorio Nacional Católico de 1900 enumera una serie de iglesias de el Condado de Duval, como las estaciones de San Pedro en Nuevo Laredo, pero probablemente la mayoría fueron fundados por el Padre Bard. Entre ellos Clovis, Encinos, Peña, Realitos, Rosita, San Carlos, y quizás algunos otros. Hebbronville no aparece en el directorio, pero

ya era una iglesia establecida. Padre Bard construyó una capilla en Falfurrias en 1903. En 1909, una neuva iglesia fue construida en San Diego, y el Padre Bard utilizo la antigua iglesia para abrir una nueva capilla en la Plaza del Norte llamada Sagrado Corazón. En 1916, después de la creación de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, el área había crecido y algunas de las iglesias fundadas por él-como Sagrado Corazón en Alice y San Isidoro en Falfurrias, fueron asignadas a otro sacerdote. Ya no eran parte de la carga del Padre Bard y sus responsabilidades en San Diego ya no eran tan exigentes. Su parroquia de San Diego tenia las siguientes misiones, San Pablo de Benavides, Inmaculada Concepción en Concepción, San Clemente en el Guajillo, San Isidoro en Hebbronville, San Francisco en La Gloria, Santa Catalina en Los Reyes, Señora de Loreto a Mendieta, San José en Palito Blanco, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Realitos, San Juan en La Rosita, y el Sagrado Corazón en San Diego. Padre Bard murió de influenza el 4 de marzo de 1920 y está enterrado bajo el suelo del vestíbulo de San Francisco de Paula Iglesia en San Diego. Los escritores recuerdan a Padre Bard como franco, abierto, de carácter irreprochable y voluntad indomable, poseedor de una energía inagotable, lleno de celo en la búsqueda de almas para Dios, un erudito y un lingüista que fue respetado por la gente de todas las religiones.

APRIL 2012



....Christian Home-like Living in a Senior Setting

Mount C M Carmell Home H An Assisted Living Facility Operated by the Carmelite Sisters D.C.J. 4130 S. Alameda St. Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

(361) 855-6243 Facility ID # 000607

Congratulations on your Centennial from the Office of Religious Education Director: Margaret Alarilla Administrative Assistant: Leonor Quesada “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” – Pope Paul VI

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares, and the Catholic Community of the Diocese of Phoenix

Praise the Lord! Thanks be to God for all the blessings to our diocese all these years as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary. From:

The people of Sacred Heart Church and St. Paul mission in Sinton

Congratulate the Diocese of Corpus Christi on celebrating 100 years as a diocese.

CONSECRATED LIFE: Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters: Contemplative Life Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS Contributor


mong the many congregations and orders of religious in the Diocese of Corpus Christi we find the congregation known as the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters who came to the diocese in 1970. These are sisters the main thrust of whose life is a life of prayer. Their life style, lived in Corpus Christi in their convent at 4105 Ocean Drive, is cloistered. This means that it is “a simple, uncluttered, quiet and uncomplicated life,” lived almost totally within the confines of their convent. There, silence is maintained most of the time, but “the center of the silence becomes the voice of God speaking to the person in a language that is not heard but understood.” In their chapel, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, and there, from morning until evening, the sisters alternate in taking time to pray for the whole Church and the whole world. But also, for up to 12-hours a day, their chapel is open to other members of the Church–clerical, religious, lay–who realize the blessedness that comes from taking time to pray in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. At various times during the day, the sisters gather together in their adoration chapel for liturgical prayer–participation in the celebration of the Eucharist and in the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours. In addition to formal prayer, each sister has an additional hour for personal prayer during which she prays the prayer



of her choice, including such treasured devotions within the church as praying the rosary and making the way of the cross. And when communal prayer in the chapel is completed and the majority of members of the community disperse to serve the Church, the people of God, in other ways, one or two sisters remain in silent prayer to continue the prayer of the community.


...the center of the silence becomes the voice of God speaking to the person in a language that is not heard but understood.

All forms of the sisters’ prayers are based on the very firm foundation of Scripture. In addition to their prayer, the sisters study Scripture–God’s written word–for an hour a day beyond their time for prayer in chapel. Thus they feed their hearts and minds with His authentic teaching and so grow in their relationship to Him. When the sisters leave the chapel, they do so to serve the Church–the peo-

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ple of God–in other ways. These other ways include the ordinary demands of life: washing, ironing, cooking, sewing, answering doorbells and telephones, taking care of sick sisters. “Since our life revolves around the Eucharist and the liturgy, there must always be a sister on hand who cares for preparations involved in the daily celebration of the Eucharist and other liturgical functions,” a sister said. Sisters print names on perpetual prayer cards and in the correspondence department, they answer the many prayer requests received every day, assuring those who write them of prayers for the writer’s intentions and offering words of hope and encouragement. And very important also in the lives of the sisters is the care of their lovely cloister garden where some sisters delight in spending a short time each day caring for plants, rooting out weeds and making sure that the bird feeders are kept filled with food. There are, of course, persons who question the validity of so many dedicated and loving women engaged–as far as the observer can see–in a world that is largely silent. As a result, we sometimes hear such comments as “What a waste! Why don’t these women get out in the world where there is so much need of dedicated people and help the Church and the world in that way?” The answer is obvious. The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, and all cloistered and contemplative persons, are contributing to meeting the needs in

the world. However, they do so in a way that differs from the lifestyle of the many who are called to active vocations and in the way to which God is calling cloistered religious. How does a person know that she has a vocation to the life of a cloistered sister such as the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters? The answer differs from person to person, but the one specific factor that is common to all religious vocations is an inner urge that seems to draw the person to a particular religious Congregation. Some potential candidates try to avoid answering this call, and sometimes they succeed in doing so. In most cases, the call of God wins out, and the person who answers it does find joy and happiness in a new way of life; more so than she could have thought possible. God rewards persons who are willing to take the risk with “a combination of courage, love, freedom, and lightheartedness that will be given to everyone who takes the step of complete faith in God’s gentle call. It is a case of living by the truth in order to come to the light, as Christ has said.” Hearing God’s call … answering God’s call (whatever it may be) in faith … trusting in His love for us and His support for us … all are factors in answering the call positively. The authenticity of the life is witnessed to us by our Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters through their joy and their prayerfulness.

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Enjoy the Rich History of the church in South Texas “Becoming the Body of Christ: A History of the Diocese of Corpus Christi” This 208-page coffee table book features the tales of Catholic faith in south Texas, including stories and photos of every parish and mission. Each chapter of the book begins with a stained glass window from Corpus Christi Cathedral and scriptural reflection. Also featured are many historic photos of early churches in the diocese. Call (361) 882-6191 for more information.

Order Now! Limited Copies Available!

Pick up your copies at the Chancey or Order by mail with this coupon:

I would like to order ____ copies of “Becoming the Body of Christ: A History of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.” Books are $20 each, shipping and handling ncluded. Enclosed is my check or money order for $ _____.

Send check or money order with this coupon payable to: Diocese of Corpus Christi South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Please send my order to: Name: Address: City:

Zip code:

Bishop Mulvey and The Diocese of Corpus Christi On the Centennial Jubilee Celebration!

Deacon Michael Mantz and the entire Permanent Diaconate Community



APRIL 2012

The Columban Fathers

Congratulations to the


Diocese of Corpus Christi

The Diocese of Corpus Christi

for a century of service in the Lord’s vineyard –

on the occasion of your 100th Anniversary

The Missionary Society of St. Columban P.O. Box 10, St. Columbans, NE 68056 402.291.1920 •

although less than an eyeblink in eternal reckoning, this has been 100 long years for the Lord’s servants in the sand, by the sea, under the sky of South Texas We have sent you a bishop; now we send your our prayers from the piney woods of East Texas and the people of God

in the Diocese

of Tyler

Congratulations to the Diocese of Corpus Christi on its Centennial Jubilee from The Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youth’s board of directors, executive director/administrator, staff and residents The Ark ... keeping abused and neglected children safe while making a difference in their lives More information about The Ark is available on its Web site: A Nonprofit Community Project 12960 Leopard St. • Corpus Christi, TX 78410 (361) 241-6566 • Fax (361) 241-5279

Making Moral Choices


t must be noted ... that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law, which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church’s social doctrine does not exhaust one’s responsibility towards the common good. (Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, no. 4)

Decisions about political life are complex and require the exercise of a well-formed conscience aided by prudence. This exercise of conscience begins with outright opposition to laws and other policies that violate human life or weaken its protection. Those who knowingly, willingly, and directly support public policies or legislation that undermine fundamental moral principles cooperate with evil. Sometimes morally flawed laws already exist. In this situation, the process of framing legislation to protect life is subject to prudential judgment and “the art of the possible.” At times this process may restore justice only partially or gradually. For example, Pope John Paul II taught that when a government official who fully opposes abortion cannot succeed in completely overturning a pro-abortion law, he or she may work to improve protection for unborn human life, “limiting the harm done by such a law” and lessening its negative impact as much as possible (Evangelium Vitae, no. 73). Such incremental improvements in the law are acceptable as steps toward the full restoration of jus-



APRIL 2012

tice. However, Catholics must never abandon the moral requirement to seek full protection for all human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Prudential judgment is also needed in applying moral principles to specific policy choices in areas such as the war in Iraq, housing, health care, immigration, and others. This does not mean that all choices are equally valid, or that our guidance and that of other Church leaders is just another political opinion or policy preference among many others. Rather, we urge Catholics to listen carefully to the Church’s teachers when we apply Catholic social teaching to specific proposals and situations. The judgments and recommendations that we make as bishops on specific issues do not carry the same moral authority as statements of universal moral teachings. Nevertheless, the Church’s guidance on these matters is an es-

sential resource for Catholics as they determine whether their own moral judgments are consistent with the Gospel and with Catholic teaching. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who takes a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, such as abortion or racism, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity, and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching. It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation. Similarly, the kinds of laws and policies supported by public officials affect their spiritual well being. Pope Benedict XVI, in his recent reflection on the Eucharist as “the sacrament of charity,” challenged all of us to adopt what he calls “a Eucharistic form of life.” This means that the redeeming love we encounter in the Eucharist should shape our thoughts, our words, and our decisions, including those that pertain to the social order. The Holy Father called for “Eucharistic consistency” on the part of every member of the Church: It is important to consider what the Synod Fathers described as Eucharistic consistency, a quality which our lives are objectively called to embody. Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms . . .. (Sacramentum Caritatis, no. 83) The Holy Father, in a particular way, called on Catholic politicians and legislators to recognize their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values, and urged them to oppose laws and policies that violate life and dignity at any stage from conception to natural death. He affirmed the responsibility of bishops to teach these values consistently to all of their people.

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We the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus,

on behalf of the retired Priests, the Residents and StaĹŠ of Mount Carmel Home

extend warmest wishes, prayers and Congratulations to Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey and the Diocese on our 100th Anniversary of Faith in South Texas.


Most Reverend Hebert A. Bevard & The Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands Extends Congratulations and Prayerful Best Wishes To

As you celebrate your 100th Anniversary as a Diocese

Prudent Financial Services Providing: Life, Health, Dental, Vision, LTC, IRA’s, Supplemental Ins., Annuities and Disability Plans

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To view your parish’s contribution go to WWW.DIOCESECC.ORG/SPECIALCOLLECTIONS

Thank you for your contribution

State Farm Home OfÀce, Bloomington, Illinois 61710

Mike Kaspar Agent 6019 South Staples Corpus Christi, Texas 78413 OfÀce: 361-854-4638 Fax: 361-854-4690

FEDERAL MANDATES... ...and the crushing of religious freedom Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.

Making Sense out of




n Jan. 20, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a mandate placing first amendment rights and religious freedom in the crosshairs. The mandate, as a provision of ObamaCare, requires “preventive health services” to be covered by all health insurance issuers and all group health plans. Those insurance plans must provide—with no co-pay—the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods for women. These include not only surgical sterilizations, but also potential abortion-causing agents such as Plan B—the morning-after pill, intrauterine devices and another form of “emergency contraception” known as Ella. This drug, which the FDA acknowledges may also work against the life of the embryo “by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus,” can be taken up to five days after “unprotected” sex.



Essentially all employers would thus be forced—and therefore made complicit in—financially subsidizing pharmaceutical abortions, contraception and sterilization procedures for their employees. All these procedures represent sinful and damaging human choices, as the Catholic Church has never ceased to point out. The mandate constitutes a direct intrusion into the religious works and governance of the Church and represents a federally sponsored violation of her members’ consciences. The Church, as the largest provider of notfor-profit health care in the United States, operates roughly 600 hospitals and employs three quarters of a million people, in addition to employing hundreds of thousands of others in her educational and social service ministries. Francis Cardinal George of Chicago aptly described the authoritarian environment being created by the HHS mandate in one of his recent newspaper columns. “The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The

APRIL 2012

state is making itself into a church.” In the words of another commentator, “As is more and more obvious, ObamaCare has nothing to do with controlling healthcare costs. It has everything to do with government control. It’s time to admit a mistake, repeal the law, and look at market-based ways to control health care costs.” Critics of every persuasion have condemned the HHS mandate as a particularly egregious violation both of religious freedom and the rights of conscience. “I side with those who feel this was an insult to freedom of religion and a slap in the face of faith-based institutions,” Rabbi Eliot Pearlson of Temple Menorah in Miami Beach said. Rabbi Dr. Michael Korman of Congregation Anshei Shalom in West Palm Beach said, “The entire contraception policy was poorly instituted. It appears to be in violation of our first amendment.” Jessica Devers in a Letter to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal perhaps put it most clearly when she wrote: “I am not Catholic. I am a social liberal and a supporter of Planned Parenthood. I’ve educated my children about birth control since they were young. Nevertheless, I am offended at the arrogance of our government ruling that the Catholic Church must provide a benefit that the Church believes is immoral.”

On Feb. 10, after stormy reaction even from President Obama’s staunchest Catholic supporters, he announced a so-called “accommodation,” which—as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops quickly explained—really changed nothing. When the government documents were made available, it became clear that there was no compromise at all but rather some slight procedural modifications that left the substance of the mandate entirely intact. The day the “accommodation” was announced, in fact, the mandate was entered into the Federal Register with no changes, along with vague assurances of possible modifications at a future date (reminiscent of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s famous line when campaigning for ObamaCare: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”) Philip Rovner in the same issue of the Wall Street Journal sums it up this way: “The …premise in favor of the birthcontrol mandate is based on [its] being ‘essential to the

health of women and families.’ I assume such items as food, housing, clothing and transportation are ‘essential to the health of women and families,’ as well. Therefore, I propose that the ObamaCare mandates be extended to cover food, shelter, clothing, autos, etc. In this scenario, everybody would be paying for everyone else’s essentials…” The real issue, of course, has nothing to do with access to particular “reproductive issues,” like abortion or birth control, and everything to do with whether someone else can be forced by the strong arm of a federal mandate, in direct violation of their religious freedom, to p pay for practices they recognize as morally reprehensible. (Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.

APRIL 2012



This is the year the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad! Thank you God, for the gift of Msgr. Jaillet. He has left his indelible marks on the sands of South Texas, and his footprints are eternal.

The parish family of

St. Anthony’s Church, Violet

Congratulations! St. Joseph Mission in Palito Blanco

Congratulations to the Diocese of Corpus Christi on the occasion of 100 years of serving and living the Word of God. “I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10. As Jesus has come that we might have life, so may we continue to strive as the Body of Christ to respect the life and dignity of every human person from conception to natural death as we begin the next 100 years of living the Gospel. Office of Life, Justice and Human Dignity Deacon Stephen Nolte, Director Yvonne Recio, Administrative Assistant

100 Years of Grace God has blessed us with

Sacred Heart-Three Rivers/ Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission-Pawnee

We wish you a graceful Jubilee year from the Parishioners of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Aransas Pass.

Congratulations and Best Wishes

from Fr. Luke and the parishioners of Our Lady of Victory, Beeville.

Diocese of Corpus Christi…

100 Years

…continuing ti i tto bl bless the Coastal Bend

SACRED HEART SCHOOL – ROCKPORT Serving families of children 3-yrs old thru 5th Grade

Ss. Cyril y & Methodius Religious Gift Shop at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church All New Merchandise • A.C.T.S. • Silver Jewelry 3210 S.P.I.D. 10 - 5 P.M. MON. - FRI. & 8:30 - 2 P.M. SUN.

854-1853 Dominican Sisters of St.Thomas of Aquinas 12217 Hearn Rd. Corpus Christi, TX 78410 Phone 242-8829

Open 7 Days A Week Prizes now up to $750 Sponsored by: Lost Pet Hotline, Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary, Inc., & Dobie Haven, Inc.

9840 B Leopard Street, Corpus Christi (between Rand Morgan & McKenzie)

(361) 241-8153

Todo por Dios Nos unimos a la alegría del centenario de la Diocesis y al Excmo. Sr. Obispo Michael Mulvey, nuestra admiración y apoyo espiritual por su labor pastoral.

APRIL LITURGICAL CALENDAR 17a, 18 28/Rom 6:3 11/Mk 16:1-7 (41) Pss Prop

April 1 | SUN | PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD | red | Mk 11:1-10 or Jn 12:12-16 (37)/Is 50:4-7/Phil 2:6-11/Mk 14:1—15:47 or 15:1-39 | (38) Pss II April 2 | Mon | Monday of Holy Week | violet | Is 42:1-7/Jn 12:1-11 (257) April 3 | Tue | Tuesday of Holy Week | violet | Is 49:1-6/Jn 13:21-33, 36-38 (258) April 4 | Wed | Wednesday of Holy Week | violet | Is 50:4-9a/Mt 26:14-25 (259) April 5 | Thu | Holy Thursday | violet/ Mass: white | Chrism Mass: Is 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9/Rv 1:5-8/Lk 4:16-21 (260) | Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14/1 Cor 11:23-26/Jn 13:1-15 (39) April 6 | Fri | Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord | red | Is 52:13—53:12/ Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9/Jn 18:1—19:42 (40) Pss Prop April 7 | Sat | Holy Saturday | violet/ Vigil: white | Vigil: Gn 1:1—2:2 or 1:1, 26 31a/Gn 22:1 18 or 22:1 2, 9a, 10 13, 15 18/Ex 14:15—15:1/Is 54:5 14/Is 55:1 11/Bar 3:9 15, 32—4:4/Ez 36:16-

April 8 | SUN | EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD white | solemnity | Acts 10:34a, 37-43/ Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/Jn 20:1-9 (42) or Mk 16:1-7 (41) | or, at an afternoon or evening Mass, Lk 24:13-35 (46) Pss Prop April 9 | Mon | Monday within the Octave of Easter | white | solemnity | Acts 2:14, 22-33/Mt 28:8-15 (261) Pss Prop April 10 | Tue | Tuesday within the Octave of Easter | white | solemnity | Acts 2:36-41/Jn 20:11-18 (262) | Pss Prop

April 14 | Sat | Saturday within the Octave of Easter | white | solemnity | Acts 4:13-21/Mk 16:9-15 (266) Pss Prop

April 23 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/red/red | [Saint George, Martyr; Saint Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr] | Acts 6:8-15/Jn 6:22-29 (273)

April 15 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | (OR SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY) | solemnity | Acts 4:32-35/1 Jn 5:1-6/Jn 20:19-31 (44) Pss Prop

April 24 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/red | [Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr] | Acts 7:51— 8:1a/Jn 6:30-35 (274)

April 16 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 4:23-31/Jn 3:1-8 (267) Pss II April 17 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 4:32-37/Jn 3:7b-15 (268) April 18 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:17-26/Jn 3:16-21 (269)

April 11 | Wed | Wednesday within the Octave of Easter | white | solemnity | Acts 3:1-10/Lk 24:13-35 (263) Pss Prop

April 19 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:27-33/Jn 3:31-36 (270)

April 12 | Thu | Thursday within the Octave of Easter | white | solemnity | Acts 3:11-26/Lk 24:35-48 (264) Pss Prop

April 21 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/white | [Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] | Acts 6:1-7/Jn 6:16-21 (272)

April 13 | Fri | Friday within the Octave of Easter | white | solemnity | Acts 4:1-12/Jn 21:1-14 (265) Pss Prop

April 22 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | Acts 3:13-15, 17-19/1 Jn 2:1-5a/Lk 24:35-48 (47) Pss III

April 20 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:34-42/Jn 6:1-15 (271)

April 25 | Wed | Saint Mark, Evangelist | red | feast | 1 Pt 5:5b-14/Mk 16:15-20 (555) Pss Prop April 26 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 8:26-40/Jn 6:44-51 (276) April 27 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 9:1-20/Jn 6:52-59 (277) April 28 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/red/white | [Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr; Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest] | Acts 9:31-42/Jn 6:60-69 (278) April 29 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | Acts 4:8-12/1 Jn 3:1-2/Jn 10:11-18 (50) Pss IV April 30 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/white | [Saint Pius V, Pope] | Acts 11:1-18/Jn 10:1-10 (279)

Hearty Congratulations! From the Sisters of St. Ann

Greetings and best wishes to the Catholic Community of the Diocese of Corpus Christi from your Catholic Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese of Victoria!





There will be a Theology on Tap, April 3 from 5:307:30 p.m. at Carino’s Italian Restaurant. This event is for young adults ages 18-35. We will be going through Father Robert Barron’s new video series called “Catholicism: Journey Around the World and Deep into the Faith.”


A Covenant of Love with Mary’ Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish will host classes entitled “A Covenant of Love with Mary” in the Parish Hall. There will be Mass beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.

Journey to Damascus The Journey is for Christians who desire firmer foundations for their lives and for fostering unity in Christ. This men’s retreat is from April 12-15. Visit for more information.

22 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center, 1200 Lantana St., Corpus Christi. Contact Diocese of Corpus Christi Family Life Office at (361) 882-6191 or go to for more information.

change, so please call to confirm. For more information please call the Housing Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651.

Theology on Tap

21 & 22

HUD Approved Housing Counseling 2012 Free Home-buyer Education Class Sponsored by Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc. Dates may

Schoenstatt Annual Rummage Sale Monetary donations, household appliances and furniture, children’s toys and games and clothing are welcomed. Also, lunch will be served from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. for $7 per plate. For more information please call Mary Rodriguez at (361) 991-3356 or Virginia Saldivar at (361) 853-6812. Entertainment will be provided on Saturday, April 21 at 11:30 p.m.

22 & 29

Engaged Encounter Corpus Christi Catholic Engaged Encounter is for couples preparing for marriage in the church who are not yet married civilly or who are married civilly less than two years. It is designed to give couples an opportunity to talk honestly and intensively about their future together – weaknesses, strengths, desires, ambitions, goals, education, money, intimacy, children, family, their relationship with God and their role in the church. On Apr. 21-

March 30 - April 1


Youth Spectacular Location: Richard Borchard Fairgrounds in Robstown. Middle School, April 22 beginning at 9 a.m. High School April 29. Every year, the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry hosts the Annual Youth Spectacular for Junior High & High School teens. The Youth Spectacular Mass begins at 5 p.m. There will be no confessions at this year’s Youth Spectacular. Youth should go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at their parish before attending the conference.

Endow Training Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) is a Catholic educational program that brings women together to discover their God-given dignity and to understand their role in humanizing and transforming society. This FREE training will be held Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chancery Offices located at 620 Lipan Street in Corpus Christi. For more information, call Leonor at (361) 882-6191, ext. 627.

Vocation Discernment Retreat A weekend Vocation Discernment Retreat will be held at the Convent of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament for single Catholic women ages 17 to 40 beginning Friday, evening at 6 p.m. with dinner.



APRIL 2012


For more calendar events

SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191 ONLINE

Profile for South Texas Catholic

South Texas Catholic - April 2012  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

South Texas Catholic - April 2012  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

Profile for diocesecc