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South Texas

Catholic Catholics begin returning to Church


JUNE 2020

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ChristusSpohn.org/Safe 20-0973



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Parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help prepare for Holy Communion following the directives for returning to Mass. The Diocese of Corpus Christi resumed celebration of public Masses on May 9, under strict guidelines designed to protect the well-being of the entire community. Rebecca Esparza | for STC


VOL. 55 NO. 6 Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD Director of Communications Julie Stark jstark@diocesecc.org Managing Editor Mary Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. BNguyen@diocesecc.org




Office Manager Adel Sauceda ARivera@diocesecc.org Communications Specialist Elizabeth Morales

Join Catholics across the country June 22-29 to pray and act for the freedom to serve faithfully and with integrity.

Correspondents Jesse DeLeon and Rebecca Esparza Translator/Correspondent Gloria Romero

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Calendar Items

Submit your announcements by using our online form, e-mail, 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 magazine or diocesan websites. 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.

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FROM THE BISHOP 4 MESSAGE The Feast of Corpus Christi invites us to renew our love and commitment to the gift of the Eucharist

COMMUNION 9 Come celebrate the beauty of the Eucharist at the Feast of Corpus Christi

VIEWPOINTS 11 The gift of religious liberty and the challenges of COVID-19


FORMATION Diocesan Valedictorians and Salutatorians say high schools have prepared them for their future

NEWS BRIEFS 21 Official Assignment

23 EVANGELIZATION Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi remains true to its mission throughout pandemic

NEWS 25 NATIONAL 43% of US coronavirus deaths in nursing homes


VATICAN NEWS Pope Francis will name Charles de Foucauld a saint. Who was he?

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,


very year the Feast of Corpus Christi invites us to renew our love and commitment to the gift of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the synthesis of the entire existence of Jesus. It is the sacrament of his body and his blood given for the salvation of the world. As we prepare for the Feast of Corpus Christi, we focus on Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist. We will never comprehend enough this mystery of God’s love for every person. I invite you to approach the Eucharist with immense gratitude and not be passive in front of this sacramental presence of pure love. When we enter the mystery of the Eucharist with the “eyes of faith,” we experience an encounter, an encounter with a person who is both God and man, the person of Jesus. It is Jesus who comes and gives you and me the strength to live as Christians. It is he who binds us together as a community. In the Eucharist, he is the source and summit of unity. When I reflect on the history of the naming of Corpus Christi, I know that nothing happens by accident in God’s plans. As the Diocese of Corpus Christi, and the City of Corpus Christi we should take note of that. The Diocese of Corpus Christi includes twelve counties. This beautiful feast day allows us to come together as a diocesan family in the Corpus Christi Cathedral, the heart of our diocese. Even though you may live in Pettus, Freer or Beeville, we are all part of the body of Christ. The Feast of Corpus Christi offers us an event, a moment in time, annually when we can come together, recognize and celebrate our unity. This is an extraordinary thing. Of course, with the pandemic, we cannot make this year’s feast as large as we would like. However, even if we cannot come together physically, perhaps through social media livestreaming, we can all share and experience the reality of God’s presence. As we continue to expand the number of people allowed to gather in one place, I pray for the moment in which we can celebrate together as Church. We suffered because we could not partake in the sacrament of the Eucharist as we were used to doing. This suffering has made us aware of what a great gift the Eucharist is. We are becoming more aware that many of our Catholic brothers and sisters worldwide see a priest only once a month to celebrate all the sacraments. We know that many brothers and sisters do not have the Eucharist because they are ill or elderly and cannot come to Church. We know that there are people who do not know Jesus, or the Eucharist and we understand that we are called to be a sign of God’s presence to them. We have a responsibility to live our faith and be an example. Understood correctly, we are Eucharist for others. During COVID-19, we have learned not to take the Eucharist for granted. The Eucharist is a gift from God. With this new awe and thankfulness, we are filled with humility at the love that God shows us in the Eucharist. May this year’s celebration ensure that our diocesan family comes together in unity of mind and heart.

Sincerely your brother in Christ, +Most Rev. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi 4 


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Queridas hermanas y hermanos:


ada año, la Fiesta de Corpus Christi nos invita a renovar nuestro amor y compromiso con el don de la Eucaristía. La Eucaristía es la síntesis de toda la existencia de Jesús. Es el sacramento de su cuerpo y su sangre entregados para la salvación del mundo. Mientras nos preparamos para la Fiesta de Corpus Christi, nos concentramos en la presencia real de Cristo en la Eucaristía. Nunca comprenderemos lo suficiente este misterio del amor de Dios por cada persona. Los invito a acercarse a la Eucaristía con inmensa gratitud y no ser pasivos ante esta presencia sacramental de amor puro. Cuando entramos en el misterio de la Eucaristía con los “ojos de la fe”, experimentamos un encuentro, un encuentro con una persona que es Dios y hombre, la persona de Jesús. Es Jesús quien viene y nos da a ti y a mí la fuerza para vivir como cristianos. Es El quien nos une como comunidad en la Eucaristía, El es la fuente y la cumbre de la unidad. Cuando reflexiono sobre la historia del nombramiento de Corpus Christi, me hago consciente de que nada pasa por accidente en los planes de Dios. Como la Diócesis y como Ciudad con el nombre de Corpus Christi debemos darnos cuenta de eso. La Diócesis de Corpus Christi incluye doce condados. Este hermoso día de fiesta nos permite unirnos como una familia diocesana en la Catedral de Corpus Christi, que es el corazón de nuestra diócesis. A pesar de que algunos de ustedes puedan vivir en Pettus o Freer o Beeville, todos somos parte del cuerpo de Cristo. La Fiesta de Corpus Christi nos ofrece un evento, un momento en el tiempo, anualmente en el que podemos juntarnos; reconocer y celebrar nuestra unidad. Esto es algo extraordinario. Por supuesto, con la pandemia, no podemos hacer que la Fiesta de este año sea tan grande como nos gustaría. Sin embargo, incluso si no podemos unirnos físicamente, tal vez a través de la transmisión en vivo de las redes sociales, si podamos compartir y experimentar la realidad de la presencia de Dios. A medida que continuamos aumentando el número de personas a las que se les permite reunirse en un solo lugar, yo rezo por el momento en que todos podamos celebrar juntos como Iglesia. Hemos sufrido porque no podíamos participar en el sacramento de la Eucaristía como solíamos hacerlo. Este sufrimiento nos ha hecho conscientes del gran regalo que es la Eucaristía. Estamos cada vez más conscientes de que muchos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas católicos en todo el mundo ven a un sacerdote solo una vez al mes para celebrar todos los sacramentos. Sabemos que muchos hermanos y hermanas no tienen la Eucaristía porque están enfermos o son ancianos y no pueden asistir a la Iglesia. Sabemos que hay personas que no conocen a Jesús, ni a la Eucaristía, y entendemos que estamos llamados a ser un signo de la presencia de Dios para ellos. Tenemos la responsabilidad de vivir nuestra fe y ser un ejemplo. Entendido correctamente, somos Eucaristía para los demás. Durante COVID-19, hemos aprendido a no tomar la Eucaristía como algo gratuito. La Eucaristía es un regalo de Dios. Con este nuevo asombro y agradecimiento, estamos llenos de humildad por el amor que Dios nos muestra en la Eucaristía. Que la celebración de este año garantice que nuestra familia diocesana se una en mente y corazón.

Sinceramente tu hermano en Cristo, +Reverendísimo Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Obispo de Corpus Christi M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E | J U N E 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  


Rebecca Esparza | for STC




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Parishioners return to Mass with passionate hearts and cautious minds amid pandemic By Rebecca Esparza



ngela Sulik and her 82-year-old mother were among thousands of parishioners throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi returning to Mass after stayat-home orders were lifted in Nueces County due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bishop Michael Mulvey issued specific guidelines for reopening parishes and the faithful flocked to churches after an unprecedented two-month long closure of public Masses due to the deadly virus. “We decided to attend Mass because of the safety protocols and options set in place,” said Sulik. “I truly missed being in his house every Sunday. I know God is everywhere, but in his house is where I feel most comfortable celebrating Mass.” Parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sulik said she and her mother felt completely safe at their first Mass at church after the lockdown. “I felt safe attending Mass in person because of the protocols set in place by Bishop Mulvey and Father Frank’s clear explanations of procedures and reassurances,” she added. For other parishioners, the decision to stay home was tough. “With this virus, we are all learning as we go, so I knew the first week back could come with a lot of challenges. We decided as a family we would stay home and follow Mass via livestream on Facebook,” said Isabel Jones, a parishioner at Most Precious Blood. Jones said having a three-year-old who doesn’t quite understand social distancing rules yet played a major factor in deciding to stay home. But until the time is right for her and husband Lee, the family will continue to view Mass at home. Meanwhile, Jones remains optimistic At left, Father Frank Martinez hands Parishioner Angie Garcia a palm leaf folded into a decorative cross, while Lee Alvarado holds a basket filled with more palm crosses after a Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Since the stay-at-home order prevented any churches from holding services on Palm Sunday, Father Martinez distributed the crosses to each parishioner at a recent Mass.

about the situation. “I do miss a sense of community and of course Communion. But more now than ever, we need to stay strong spiritually. I have learned to look at staying home in a positive way. Since we started streaming Mass, I have watched Mass with Pope Francis and was part of a Mass in New Mexico,” she said. Father Frank Martinez, pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, said there is no pressure to attend Mass in person if parishioners feel uncomfortable because of the coronavirus. “Bishop Mulvey has issued a special dispensation for all parishioners in the Diocese of Corpus Christi through the end of June,” he said. “Above all, we want our parishioners to stay safe and make the best decision for their own health and well being.” Father Martinez said although the first week of Masses were much anticipated by many parishioners, he did not see a mad rush of people clamoring to return. “I think people are not ready to be in an enclosed area with a group of people. However, we have marked each pew in our church with painter’s tape, indicating where people can safely sit six feet away from others not in their household,” he said. “We have also noticed the majority of people attending Mass are wearing masks, which is encouraged, but not mandatory. Our extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, ushers and other volunteers are all wearing masks.” He added although some parishes had some challenges gathering supplies needed for sanitizing the church and finding volunteers to clean the church after each Mass, that was not an issue at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, even though they had seven Masses to prepare for. “My sister lives in South Korea, so in early March she told me about the pandemic they had already experienced. The next day, I called an emergency meeting of our staff. We ordered gloves, masks, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer,” he said. “After Bishop Mulvey issued the guidelines for opening up our parish for Masses again, it was not difficult to mobilize.” At Our Lady of Perpetual Help, when parishioners first walk into the church for Mass, an usher counts each person to track seating capacity. Another usher invites parishioners to use hand sanitizer before entering and opens the M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E | J U N E 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



door for them. Throughout the entire Mass, parishioners stay six feet away from each other, even during Communion. After Mass, specially trained volunteers clean every single pew, wipe down doors and anything else parishioners may have had contact with. Omar Javier Pena, parishioner and volunteer coordinator at St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Parish in Premont said rounding up supplies was a bit of a challenge for them since they are a much smaller parish. “Being in a rural area made it difficult to track down necessary supplies, so we opted to open to parishioners on the second week. It also gave us time to organize how we would adhere to the capacity limit,” he said. “Since 25% capacity for us means only 50 people in the pews, we decided to create a document where parishioners could sign up ahead of time, so our ushers could be prepared.” For Lisa Cervantes, a parishioner at St. Philip the Apostle,

returning to Mass was not a hard decision to make. “We really missed being in the presence of our Lord in full communion. I believe Christ would not want us to live in constant fear. Furthermore, if I can go to H-E-B, I can go to Mass,” she said. Cervantes and her family arrived at Mass 30 minutes early to guarantee a seat, since the seating capacity was limited. Their first Mass in two months was emotional. “I’ll never forget the rush of emotions as I prepared to receive holy Communion and the tears that streamed down my cheeks,” she said. “After receiving the holy Eucharist, I was overcome with happiness and felt extremely blessed to be in his presence.” Visit the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s website for a vast library of resources related to the coronavirus pandemic, including a copy of specific guidelines for Catholics returning to Mass at diocesecc.org/covid-19-updates.

At left, Ned Perez, Usher Coordinator at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, joined other volunteers sanitizing each pew after a Saturday evening vigil Mass recently. The complete sanitizing of the entire church is just one of many precautions for returning to Mass, ensuring the safety and well-being of the entire community.



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Rebecca Esparza | for STC

Rebecca Esparza | for STC

Below, Deborah Saavedra receives holy Communion from Father Frank Martinez during Mass celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help recently. It was the second week Masses have reopened since the stay-at-home order mandated all places of worship in Texas close to avoid the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.



Come celebrate the beauty of the Eucharist at the Feast of Corpus Christi


South Texas Catholic

he Feast of Corpus Christi, also called the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is a day of celebration. A celebration of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, for which our city and diocese was named. The Diocese of Corpus Christi invites all to attend part of the day’s events on June 11, which begin at noon in Corpus Christi Cathedral.

Some of the events will have a different look and feel from the previous year, yet beautifully maintain the importance of the celebration. Social distancing, hygiene guidelines and limited seating are some of the actions the diocese is implementing to safeguard those in attendance. While practicing social distancing, Catholics will come together to celebrate the feast day with a bilingual Mass, followed by adoration. Then every hour upon the hour, a reflection will be offered by a

dean from each deanery throughout the diocese during adoration. The event will end with the celebration of the Chrism Mass by Bishop Michael Mulvey. Also, confessions will be heard in the church courtyard beginning at 1 p.m. and ending before the Chrism Mass which begins at 6:30 p.m. The events will be livestreamed. St. Joseph Hall and Emmanuel Chapel will be open to allow for overflow. The Diocese of Corpus Christi Office of Multicultural Ministry is hosting the

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event, and all are invited to attend, but social distancing is required, and wearing masks strongly encouraged. For those who prefer to celebrate this momentous event virtually, it will be livestreamed thanks to the Catholic Communications Network. It will be available on the Diocese of Corpus Christi YouTube, Vimeo, website and GoCCN.org. On the days leading up to the Feast of Corpus Christi join Msgr. Michael Howell on social media as he guides you on a virtual tour of the Corpus Christi Cathedral. In this two-part series he will take you to areas of the cathedral that you may have never seen before. You will learn about the roots of Corpus Christi Cathedral, which is almost as old as the city itself. Go back to where the “parish” actually traces its founding as the “first” church in the 1850s to the 1880s, where the actual “first” cathedral, St. Patrick Church was founded. Part two of the tour will cover the fire that led to the building of the present church and consecration in 1952. Tune in to part one of the series on May 30 at 10 a.m., which will be available on the Diocese of Corpus Christi and South Texas Catholic Facebook pages, YouTube and Vimeo. Part two of the tour begins on June 6 at 10 a.m. A detailed agenda of the feast day on June 11 can be found at diocesecc.org/corpuschristi. Volunteer opportunities are available. If you would like to serve, please contact Margie Rivera or Jaime Reyna at (361) 882-6191.

Full schedule on page 32.

Parking for the Feast of Corpus Christi. 10 


Ven a celebrar la belleza de la Eucaristía en la Fiesta de Corpus Christi


South Texas Catholic

a Fiesta de Corpus Christi, también llamada Solemnidad del Santísimo Cuerpo y Sangre de Cristo, no es tan solo un día santo de obligación, más bien es un día de gran celebración. La celebración de la presencia real de Jesucristo en la Sagrada Eucaristía, en cuyo nombre se instituyó nuestra ciudad y diócesis. La Diócesis de Corpus Christi invita a todos a participar a alguno de los eventos, del día 11 de junio, que comenzarán al mediodía en la Catedral de Corpus Christi. Algunos de los eventos se verán y se sentirán de manera diferente a la celebración del año pasado, pero mantendrán bellamente la esencia y el significado de la Fiesta. El distanciamiento social, las pautas de higiene y la limitación de asientos son algunas de las acciones que la diócesis está implementando para proteger a los asistentes. Practicando el distanciamiento social, los católicos podrán unirse para celebrar el día de Corpus Christi, con una misa bilingüe, seguida de la Adoración al Santísimo. A partir de entonces y durante cada hora, un Decano de cada Decanato ofrecerá una reflexión a través de la Diócesis durante las horas de Adoración. El evento finalizará con la celebración de la Misa Crismal presidida por el Obispo Michael Mulvey. Por otra parte, se podrán escuchar confesiones para quienes lo deseen en el patio de la iglesia a partir de la 1 p.m. y terminarán antes de iniciarse la Misa Crismal que comenzará a las 6:30 p.m. Los eventos serán transmitidos en vivo. Para ampliar el cupo de los asistentes las puertas del Salón San José (St. Joseph Hall) y de la Capilla Emanuel (Emmanuel Chapel) estarán abiertas para permitir su participación. La Oficina del Ministerio Multicultural de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi

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está organizando el evento, y todos están invitados a asistir, aunque se requiere distanciamiento social, y se recomienda usar mascarillas o tapabocas. Para aquellos que prefieran celebrar este evento trascendental, de manera virtual, podrán hacerlo, gracias a la Red de Comunicaciones Católicas que lo transmitirá. Estará disponible en las páginas de Facebook de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi y del South Texas Catholic, en el sitio web de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, en YouTube y Vimeo, así como en GoCCN.org. En los días previos a la Fiesta de Corpus Christi, únase a Msgr.. Michael Howell a través de las redes sociales mientras le guiará en un recorrido virtual por la Catedral de Corpus Christi. En esta serie de dos partes, le llevará por áreas de la catedral que probablemente, nunca antes había visto. Aprenderá sobre las raíces de la Catedral de Corpus Christi, que es casi tan antigua como la ciudad misma. Regresará en la historia para rastrear la fundación de la “parroquia” que en realidad fue la “primera” iglesia en la década de los años 1850 a 1880, donde se estableció verdaderamente la “primera” catedral, la Iglesia de San Patricio. La segunda parte de la gira cubrirá el incendio que condujo a la construcción de la iglesia actual y la consagración en 1952. Sintonice la primera parte de la serie el 30 de mayo a las 10 a.m., que estará disponible en las páginas de Facebook de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi y del South Texas Catholic, YouTube y Vimeo. La segunda parte de la gira comienza el 6 de junio a las 10 a.m. Se puede encontrar una agenda detallada del evento en diocesecc.org/ corpuschristi. Oportunidades de voluntariado están disponibles. Si desea servir, comuníquese con Margie Rivera o Jaime Reyna al (361) 882-6191.


The gift of religious liberty and the challenges of COVID-19 By Benedict Nguyen, MTS, JD/JCL

E Contributor

very summer, we in the United States of America look forward to the celebration of Independence Day (Fourth of July) when we collectively take the time to appreciate the blessings of liberty and the freedom that we are fortunate to enjoy in this country. However, in this unusual year, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly became a sober reminder that many of those blessings and conveniences that we have grown accustomed to are fragile and could be so quickly lost or limited. Throughout the last few months, we found ourselves as a society grappling, perhaps more than we have in quite a while, with questions of needs versus wants, necessities versus convenience, essential versus non-essential. For Catholics and other people of faith, the sudden loss of the ability to receive the sacraments or to worship publicly in our churches became a particular point of suffering. It profoundly reminded us that we do not live on bread alone but on “every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). This painful lack caused us to have a greater appreciation not only for our brothers and sisters in faith who have lived in times of religious persecution, but also for our current brothers and sisters in faith who may, even at this time, be living in difficult situations where their freedom to worship and practice their faith are being limited or denied. It reminded us and, hopefully through us, it also reminds our society that the life of faith and with it the accessibility of churches and religious institutions are indeed profoundly essential to the human person, to families, and to human society. As grocery stores and hospitals feed and heal the body, churches and religious institutions feed and heal the soul. As food and medicine are of utmost

importance to the life of the human person during a pandemic, so too spiritual food and spiritual medicine are essential to the spiritual life of a human person during a crisis. Because the human person is made up of both body and spirit, the care of both is essential to human life and human dignity. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a crisis to remind us of this. The difficulties we have experienced, and in many ways are still experiencing due to the COVID19 pandemic, continue to challenge us to ask ourselves whether or not we have taken our religious freedom too much for granted, and whether we have too casually passed up precious opportunities from God to come to know and love him more. So many of us have found ourselves asking, “why didn’t I go to Mass, receive the Most Holy Eucharist, or go to Confession more often when I had the chance?” Perhaps one of the good but no-doubt difficult lessons that we are being confronted with throughout this pandemic is a call to examine our consciences. To see if we have truly appreciated God’s gift of liberty and religious freedom and whether or not we have been vigilant enough in working with our society and communities to ensure the protection of this gift for all. Because religious liberty is given to us by God and is inherent in the dignity of the human person, the role of any government is not to be the giver or taker of religious freedom. Rather, the proper role of government is to recognize and to ensure that this inalienable human right is protected. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, this ranks among the essential duties of government (Vatican II, Declaration on Religious Liberty, #6). Life is the most basic of human rights, and with life comes the duty and thus the right to worship God and live our

Benedict Nguyen, MTS, JD/JCL is Chancellor Diocese of Corpus Christi.

faith in all aspects of that life. Vatican II reminds us that the duty of caring for this right falls upon “the whole citizenry, upon social groups, upon government, and upon the Church and other religious communities, in virtue of the duty of all toward the common welfare, and in the manner proper to each.” (Ibid.) The blessings of religious liberty – that is, the duty and thus the right to seek God, to worship him and glorify him in our daily lives, in everything that we do – should not be taken for granted nor taken lightly, even and especially in situations of emergency, pestilence, or pandemic. Rather, now that we have experienced a small glimpse of what it could be like to lose that opportunity, our duty is to shake off our complacency and appreciate it more deeply. Ever stronger should be our commitment to attend Mass and to receive the sacraments regularly, to voice our Christian commitment in the public square so that all in our society may always work to protect this precious God-given religious liberty that is rooted in our human dignity. As we celebrate the Fourth of July 2020 this year, we thank God more than ever before for his goodness in bestowing upon us the blessings of liberty and especially the inviolable gift of religious liberty to seek him, to know, and to love him.

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Diocesan Valedictorians and Salutatorians say high schools have prepared them for their future


South Texas Catholic

lthough their end of the school year experience proved a bit disappointing, like missing their proms and parties, seniors celebrated their graduations in coronavirus style by attending a Baccalaureate Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23. Sixty-three seniors from Incarnate Word Academy and 66 seniors from St. John Paul II completed their high school journey at the altar of Corpus Christi Cathedral. The students were allowed to have two guests, and their ceremonies were livestreamed thanks to Catholic Communications Network. Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass for both schools and the featured speakers at the Incarnate Word Academy High School commencement ceremony were class valedictorian Claire Thomas and salutatorians Anthony Matl and Alexandria Beltran. On the following day, at the St. John Paul II commencement ceremony featured speakers were valedictorian Sarah Lee Sang and salutatorian Sara Landa. Top-ranking graduates from Incarnate Word Academy and St. John Paul II High School have worked hard to achieve their goals, and they know that through their hard work and perseverance, they can become anything they set their minds to.

IWA Valedictorian, Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas, Incarnate Word Academy valedictorian, loves to serve and grow in her faith. She plans on attending Thomas Aquinas College in California in the fall and will shoot for a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. She chose the college because of its curriculum. She will be studying the Great Books, books written by masters like Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Instead of lectures, she will have discussion-based classes. “I think that will help me understand theology and philosophy so much better,” she said. “I’ve always kind of thought about going to law school or possibly becoming a lawyer.” Claire grew up in the Catholic faith, she and her family have been long-time parishioners at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland. “My parents encouraged me to make the most out of high school and always to do my best in every activity I pursued,” she said. “What I admire most about Claire is her love for the Lord, her outlook on life and work ethic,” Alyssa Thomas said of her daughter. Echoing the same sentiments as his wife, Stephen 12 


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Thomas, added, “Claire inspires me to be a better Catholic. She’s devoted and knowledgeable about her faith, and she’s interested in learning more about Christianity and the Church,” he said, adding, “She has been an altar server for as long as she could be.” She is also willing to serve the Church in whatever capacity is needed. This year she provided the liturgical music for Mass at the middle level, taught Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and played the piano for the choir. Claire has other interests too; she played on the high school basketball team and ran cross-country on the track team. When she was just a freshman, she founded Angels for Life, a Pro-Life organization and served as president for three years. She was in the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society. “My favorite class in high school was calculus because I had an excellent teacher, Mrs. [Theresa] Mader, who helped me to truly understand and appreciate mathematics,” Claire said. “Incarnate Word Academy has allowed me to grow in faith and knowledge for the past twelve years,” she said. “High school has prepared us for anything the world can throw at us, as long as we rely on God.”

IWA Salutatorian, Anthony Matl

Anthony Matl, one of two salutatorians from Incarnate Word Academy this year, wants to become a Software Developer. He will be attending Texas A&M University College Station in the fall. He received several grants and awards, which will help get him started in the fall. Like Claire, his favorite class was calculus, “because it challenged my critical thinking,” he said. Anthony said that it was his father who encouraged him the most to excel in school. “My father grew up an immigrant, so he really knows the value of a good education. Had he not escaped from communist Czechoslovakia, he would not have received an education past middle school,” Anthony said. During high school, Anthony was an Eagle Scout, Debate Club President, National Honor Society Vice President, and a member of the Varsity Basketball team. “Incarnate Word Academy really helps you make the most out of high school. The teachers and counselors all know you and help you every step of the way as you prepare for college,” he said. “To the Class of 2020, I would like to say – whether it seems like it or not, our entire lives are a spiritual journey. We are not truly living if we are not growing in our faith.”



Incarnate Word Academy distinguished graduates are, from left, Salutatorian Alexandria Beltran, Valedictorian Claire Thomas and Salutatorian Anthony Matl. Claire has a cumulative GPA of 4.29 and both Alexandria and Anthony earned a GPA of 4.22.

IWA Salutatorian, Alexandria Beltran Alexandria Beltran, another salutatorian from Incarnate Word Academy, has attended Christian schools from elementary through high school. She said the Christian values she has learned helped strengthened her spiritual foundation. A foundation that she says, “I continue to build upon every day.” She tributes her family for encouraging her to be curious and learn as much as possible – whatever her interests. “Because of this, I have found a passion for learning about different cultures and perspectives around the world,” Alexandria said. “My parents definitely pushed me to do my best academically, but they also emphasized the importance of enjoying all aspects of high school, including sports, clubs and community service,” she said. “Basketball has been a huge part of my life since I love

to play and have played since I was in fifth grade.” In addition to basketball, Alexandria also played softball. She had many other interests as well. She was a member of the National Hispanic Institute, the National Honor Society, treasurer in the National Spanish Honor Society, vice president of Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council member and Coronets Club, and a volunteer for Beautify Corpus Christi, Communities in Schools and Altus Hospice. “My first experience with IWA was my freshman year, and I only knew two people in the entire school. Four years later, I have made lifelong friends because of the welcoming and tight-knit community that this school fosters. Additionally, each teacher and faculty member went above and beyond what was required by helping me with everything that I may have asked for,” she said. “They have ensured that I was successful.” M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E | J U N E 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



Of all her classes, she enjoyed math the most, because, “I like finding a solution to every problem,” Alexandria said. She will be attending McCombs Business School within the University of Texas in Austin with hopes to pursue a career in international business that would allow her to travel. To her classmates of 2020, she says, “Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. If it is in God’s plan for you, nothing can prevent you from succeeding in your endeavors.”

St. JPII Valedictorian, Sarah Lee Sang

Sarah Lee Sang, the Valedictorian at St. John Paul II High School, says she grew up in a crazy family full of eight people, lots of pets, and lots of love. “My family has always stressed the importance of grades, but they have always encouraged me to find something that I am passionate about,” she said. For Sarah, that passion is music. She loves to sing and play many instruments, including piano and guitar. “I also really enjoy painting, swimming and gymnastics.” Last year, Sarah said she had been so focused on her schoolwork, taking dual credit classes off-campus, and holding down a job, that she missed “a lot of the fun of high school.” So, she promised a friend that she would live the high school experience during her senior year, which she did. “I have gone to volleyball games for the first time and more sports games than I can count. I have spent lots of time with friends and made experiences I will never forget,” she said. Her favorite class was Ms. [Yvette] Garza’s English II class. “I have always struggled with English classes throughout my life, but through her teaching, I felt that I could do well in the subject. I liked how she would use projects to show our understanding of the material rather than just papers and tests. Also, the books that she chose during the school year showed me that I could enjoy rereading books by myself for the fun of it,” Sarah said. According to parents Jerome and Cindy Lee Sang, their daughter pitches in wherever she sees a need. “She tends to say ‘yes’ to anyone who needs help,” Cindy said. “Sarah is very dedicated at whatever she tries to do,” added Jerome. At St. John Paul II, Sarah has been a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Challenge Team, Academic Team, Swim Team, Cross-Country Team, St. Francis Club, Gardening Club, choir and band manager. She has also helped staff school retreats and participated in Voices That Care, Special Hearts Prom, the Treat-or-Treat in the Quad and West Side



Helping Hand. “St. John Paul II has been such an amazing experience for me. I have had wonderful opportunities that I could have never imagined, such as Special Hearts Prom and Trick-or-Treat in the Quad, where I have met amazing and beautiful people,” adding, “I have been given awesome experiences through all of the retreats that have brought me close to God. “The [St. John Paul II] family atmosphere is like no other; you can tell that the teachers really care for their students, and every club or team you join becomes a great support system,” Sarah said. “The school truly has been a real blessing for me.” To her classmates of 2020, she says, “No experience in life is wasted. They are there to teach a lesson or help you realize something about yourself. As a wise baboon once said, ‘The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.’” She will be attending Texas A&M University College Station in the fall and currently wants to pursue a career in the dental field and become an orthodontist.

St. JPII Salutatorian, Sara Landa

Sara Landa, the salutatorian of St. John Paul II High School, says Jesus has always been an essential part of her life. She has attended Catholic school since she was three years old, and her faith has deepened since she began attending St. John Paul II. Sara likes to dance and spend time with friends. Raised in Corpus Christi, she enjoys walking the bayfront and the yearround sunny weather. “My faith has been strengthened by my time at JPII. Throughout high school, I made a lot of friends and learned so much about Jesus’ teachings,” she said. “I’m confident in starting the next chapter of my life.” Landa tributes her father for always reminding her to do her best and keep going strong. If she had to choose her favorite class, she said it might be art. “It was always so lively as my teacher, Mrs. (Lisa) Brown, loved to interact with her students.” She would always ask about their day, and the assignments were “very fun and creative.” Sara has been in track and field for three years, though she couldn’t finish this year’s season because of the pandemic. She was also a member of the Centurionette Drill Team and made a lot of friends from other classes. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Legati Circle. She has participated in service projects such as March for

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St. John Paul II High School distinguished graduates are, from left, Salutatorian Sara Landa and Valedictorian Sarah Lee Sang. Sarah has a cumulative GPA of 4.74 and Sara earned a GPA of 3.9.

Life in Austin, the Coat Drive with the National Honor Society and Relay for Life in Robstown. She has also staffed school retreats and was a member of the St. Francis Garden Club. Not only did she participate in the school’s Live Nativity, but she also helped set it up and take it down every year. Sara touts that St. John Paul II is a very close and welcoming environment, and she couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend her high school years. To the class of 2020, she says, “school may

seem difficult at times, but never stop giving your best effort, especially in college. The quality of what you do counts more than ever. It will only be worth it in the end.” She will be attending Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in the fall and is pursuing a major in biology. “I’ve always loved science, and I want to be in research to help discover new things about the world and environment.” To see more photos of this year’s graduates go to SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/2020Class.

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Congratulations, S I N C E

1 8 7 1

Amisha Agarwal

Isaiah Aguilar

Sofia Alexander

Luis Armstrong

Rilley Arreola

Drew Bandas

Elysheva Barnett

Emma Becker

Lane Behnke

Alex Beltran

Juliana Bocanegra

Julian Boehm

Jackie Brown

Owen Burke

Perry Burkett

Gregg Cervantes

Gil Chapa

Sophia Cheaney

Josef Cuevas

Vivian DeArman

Jeremy DeGaish

Alaina DeLeon

Josh DeLuca

Sabrina DeSantiago Alison Duncan

Savannah Flores

Lexi Galvan

Joseph Garcia

Sarah Garcia

Peach Garcia-Esparza Gabrielle Garcia 16  


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Graduates! Riley Gourley

Eleanor Greco

Connor Hein

Annie Hoffman

Charlie Hornsby

Amber Jones

Harrison Keenan

Minji Kim

Paxton Longwell

Bethany Lopez

Anthony Matl

Richard Recio

Sneha Reddy

Ruben Resendez

Jacob Rivera

Sean Rodriguez

Emmarie Rossiter

Marina Salinas

Patrick Shea

Emily Sheets

Claire Thomas

Yanet Vazquez

Gavin Vicknair

Bella Williams

Kelsi Wood

Bella Ysassi

Zach Zepeda

JonLaPeer-Donnelly Drake Leeson

Sebastian Mondragon Esteban Moreida

Juliana Perez

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S T. J O H






✠ x




pu i, s Christ


Carmen Almeida

Kabbad Arruda

Jackson Carel

Rene Castillo

Madelyn Burton

Richard Campos

Ethan Crain

Jacquelynn Cruz

Carmen Franco

Aaron Garcia

Alejandro Garcia

Jaz Garza

Isaias Gonzales

John Greses

Maximilian Kimmel

Sara Landa



Corina Cuya Gonzalez William David

Enrique Garcia

Dominique Baker

Kaila Cavazos-Guerra Olympia Chavez

Albert Diaz

Angelica Flores

Isaiah Garcia

Gage Garza

Armando Hernandez Camie Jimenez

Kevyn Lara

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Casey Burnette

Sarah Lee Sang

Evelyn Karabanoff

Alejandro Lerma

Graduates! Jason Mai

Isaac Martinez

Annisa Maxwell

Patrick McCullion

Jillian Moore

Nhan Ngo

Sabrina Nicacio

Timothy Nye

Rolando Perez

Duy Phan

A’Marie Pollard

Veronica Ramirez

Christian Ramos

Joshua Reyna

Taniya Richardson

Gabriella Rocha

Mia Rodriguez

Rudy Rodriguez

Jonathan Ruiz

Matthew Sanchez

Mackinnley Scott

John Solis

Marc Tercero

Joao Trindade

Anh Truong

Daniel Urbina

John Paul Villarreal

Kassandra Ybarra

Lance Zuniga

Madeleine Villanueva Bryan Villarreal

Roxana Ortiz-Martinez Jose Pena

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All Services FREE: • Pregnancy Test • Limited Ultrasound • Baby Supplies • Parenting Classes • Adoption Information • Abortion Recovery Classes

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(361) 241-8153


Help Us Prevent Financial Abuse The Diocese of Corpus Christi at the recommendation of the Diocesan Financial Council and Presbyteral Council have furthered their commitment to good stewardship and nancial accountability on behalf of generous donors by instituting a nancial abuse hotline. The Diocese of Corpus Christi has selected an independent third party, The Network, to provide you with a new way to anonymously and condently report nancial abuse and fraud. Employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors and other interested parties will be encouraged to report concerns they have regarding nancial misconduct within the Diocese of Corpus Christi. All inquiries will be treated promptly and discreetly. Callers will have the right to remain anonymous. Call 1-877-571-9748

“Con Permiso” Programa de Radio en Español

We can do all things through Him who strengthens us. We will get through this together.

en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en KLUX.org Domingos a las 7:30 a.m.

learn about online retreats

con el P. José Salazar, Jaime Reyna y Gloria Romero 2 0 


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For the good of the People of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the Most Rev. Wm. Michael has made the following assignment: Rev. Tung T. Tran is appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Pius X Parish, Corpus Christi, effective May 1, 2020.

Deacon Amos “Stanley” Millsap, dies at 89 Deacon Amos “Stanley” Millsap, a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, passed away on May 15, 2020, at the age of 89. He was born on September 26, 1930, to Amos Irvin Millsap and Lizzy Bell MacDowell Millsap in Brady, Texas. He was raised in Brady, San Angelo, and Abilene,, where his first paying job was selling newspapers on the streets when he was ten years old. He said his best day, and also, the worst was the day was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Stanley was preceded in death by his parents, Amos Irvin Millsap and Lizzy Bell MacDowell Millsap, brother, Charles Irvin Millsap, and a sister, Gayle Laverne Millsap. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Naomi Dueese Millsap, his son, Deacon Stacy Dee Millsap (wife Rhonda), their son, Scott Allen Millsap, and brother, Wilford Doug Millsap (wife Carol). Stanley and his wife Naomi converted to Catholicism in 1980 at Most Precious Blood Parish under the guidance of Msgr. William Kinlough. Stanley was ordained as a Permanent Deacon in October 1983 and assigned to Most Precious Blood Parish, and as an Advocate for the Diocesan Tribunal. He was named Associate Director of Formation of the Permanent Diaconate in February of 1986 and became the Director

of Formation in June of 1986. Stanley served the good people of St. Philip the Apostle Parish from June 1984 to April 1989. He served as Administrator of St. Anthony Parish in Violet, along with its missions of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Clarkwood and St. Vivian in Petronilla from 1989 to 1991. He was appointed Vicar for Deacons, Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1991, then became Secretary for Deacons in 1997. He also worked as the Director of Human Resources for the Diocese of Corpus Christi from 1993 to 2005. In 1999, Holy Father, Pope John Paul II bestowed upon Deacon Stanley Millsap, and also his wife, Naomi Millsap, the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” award, which translated means “For the Church and the Pope.” This award is given by the pope to reward those who “deserve well of the pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.” He retired from the diocese in 2008. See full story at SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/millsap.

Educator from Minor Seminary of Corpus Christi, Father A. Ferdinand Derrera, SJ, dies at 96 Father A. Ferdinand Derrera, SJ, died May 15, 2020, in Grand Coteau, La. He was 96 years old, a Jesuit for 68 years and a priest for 58 years. He was rector of the Minor Seminary of the Corpus Christi Diocese, principal, and superior of the Jesuit community for many years. Ferd Derrera was born in Segundo, Colorado., on Oct. 9, 1923, to Fred and Theresa Gonzales Derrera. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his sisters Alice Ann Ten Eyck, Martha Sanchez, and Maxine Duran, and his brothers Ruben and Lawrence DeHerrera. Father Derrera served in the U.S. Army from April 1943 to October 1945, in the European Theater of Operations during World War II and was part of the D-Day landings in Normandy. Following his discharge after the war, he attended Rockhurst College (now Rockhurst University), where he earned

a bachelor’s degree in English in 1950. He entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 7, 1951, at Grand Coteau and pronounced his First Vows on Sept. 8, 1953. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 30, 1961, at Loyola in Azpeitia, Spain. He pronounced Final Vows on Aug. 15, 1976, at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau. Memorial gifts may be made to the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus at 4511 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 or online at jesuitscentralsouthern.org. See full story at SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/ferdinand.

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The 1,000-foot tower that held the KLUX 89.5 transmitter for the last thirty years crashing to the ground.

KLUX tower update By Jesse DeLeon, Correspondent 89.5 KLUX-FM, the flagship station of the Catholic Communications Network, has been navigating some rough conditions lately. On April 29, a dangerous storm with high winds sent the 1,000-foot tower that held the station’s transmitter for the last thirty years, crashing to the ground. As a result, areas outside Corpus Christi have not received the station’s programming of spiritual messages, community information and easy listening music.

Happily, 89.5 KLUX-FM is now broadcasting at a slightly increased power compared to the past few weeks. On Memorial Day weekend, station engineers were able to bring online a more powerful signal, which expanded coverage to the outlying areas. The station’s HD signal will be added in the coming weeks. More people outside the Corpus Christi city limits can now hear the station. The rebuilding of essential equipment needed

to restore the station’s reach to its original coverage continues to be a highly challenging work-in-progress. “We would like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and support,” says General Manager Marty Wind. “We will continue to work tirelessly, and we should return to full power by October.” In the meantime, listeners are invited to enjoy the online audio stream or download the free app available at klux.org.

Corpus Christi Cathedral Sunday Masses English & Spanish Broadcast / Online Schedule English Holy Mass, Sunday, 9:30 a.m. LIVE!

Listen Live at klux.org

KLUX 89.5 HD-1


SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMMING 5:00 - 6:00 6:00 - 6:30 6:30 - 7:00 7:00 - 7:30 7:30 - 8:00 8:00 - 8:30 8:30 - 9:00 9:00 - 9:30 9:30 - 10:30 10:30 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:30

Sacred Music Jesus En Mi Vida Diaria Spanish Rosary Semillas De Esperanza Con Permiso The Catholic Cafe Personally Speaking Our Shepherd’s View Cathedral Sun Mass Live Christopher Close-Up Catholic Answers Live

Good Company For 35 years! Call us at 361-289-2487 22  


KDF-TV (consult cable guide for Ch #) KLUX 89.5 HD-1 Radio KLUX.org “ListenLive” audio stream GoCCN.org “Live Video” * Diocese of Corpus Christi Facebook * Corpus Christi Cathedral Facebook * vimeo.com/dioceseofcorpuschristi * YouTube.com (Search Diocese of Corpus Christi) Public Access Television Replays (Corpus Christi Cable Systems) Spectrum: Ch 1303 Tues. 7 p.m. & Thurs. 10 a.m. Ch 1304 Tues. 10 a.m. & Thurs. 8 p.m. Grande: Ch 10 Tues. 7 p.m. & Thurs. 10 a.m. Ch 18 Tues. 10 a.m. & Thurs. 8 p.m. Holy Rosary can be heard on CCN Radio, KLUX HD-2 (Relevant Radio Network) Monday through Sunday at 7 p.m., followed by Daily Mass at 7:30 p.m. KLUX HD-2 is full time digital radio with Catholic news, talk, commentary and information, 24/7, and requires a digital receiver, available in most new autos and electronics stores. La Santa Misa, Sunday, 11 a.m. LIVE! GoCCN.org “Live Video” * Diocese of Corpus Christi Facebook * Corpus Christi Cathedral Facebook * vimeo.com/dioceseofcorpuschristi * YouTube.com (Search Diocese of Corpus Christi) Public Access Television Replays (Corpus Christi Cable Systems) Spectrum: Ch 1303 Tues. 10 a.m. & Thurs. 7 p.m. Ch 1304 Tues. 8 p.m. & Thurs. 10 a.m. Grande: Channel 10 Tues. 10 a.m. & Thurs. 7 p.m. Channel 18 Tues. 8 p.m. & Thurs. 10 a.m.

Sunday Mass Videos and audios of the Corpus Christi Cathedral are available approximately 2 hrs. after initial webcast at http://podcasts.goccn.net

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Catholic Charities remains true to its mission throughout pandemic


South Texas Catholic

challenge,” he said, adding, “and I can’t say enough about the wonderful board of directors who are all volunteers – very distinguished individuals from across the diocese. We have successful businessmen; we have distinguished members of the community; we have elected officials; we have educators. What a great group of people who just want to give back, and they do that as volunteers themselves.” According to Phipps, their first priority was to ensure the safety of the men at the Mother Teresa Transitional Housing for Men. They had to close off the home to visitors and amp up their cleaning processes. The second priority was to feed the homeless. Thanks to


n an interview with Jaime Reyna, Office of Social Ministry Director, Warren Phipps said his transition as executive director of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi was unique due to the pandemic. His first day on the job was March 2, and on March 13, President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 a national emergency. “It was a sort of D-Day,” the retired Major General recalled. What struck him most was the “innovation and agility of the staff.” They used smartphones, iPads, and Telehealth software to provide continuity of services across the 12 counties they serve. “I’ve been amazed to see the staff raise to the

Jaime Reyna, Office of Social Ministry director, interviews Warren Phipps, executive director of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, on May 21. The event was livestreamed on the Social Ministry Facebook page, but the replay can be viewed on You Tube at https://youtu.be/lRSCQg8Lp2k. M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E | J U N E 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



the Coastal Bend Foodbank, H-E-B and other vendors, their seven pantries have never been empty, and they’ve been able to continue to meet the needs throughout the diocese. “When a crisis hits like this – we never shut our doors. We continued to feed them from day one, on,” Phipps said. The day shelter initially averaged feeding 60 people a day. During the pandemic, they averaged 130 people a day, and instead of a light snack for breakfast and lunch, Mother Teresa Shelter began giving out two full meals a day at the shelter’s entrance. Now homeless are allowed under the covered pavilion, but not the kitchen. Besides increasing the content of their meals, they have also provided hand-washing stations and portable toilets. “Our counselor, Gloria [Garcia, department director] continues to provide services using Telehealth, and parent educators are providing virtual home visits with families,” Phipps said. “Catholic Charities has leveraged technology for financial aid claims through smartphones, and we’ve been able to help 288 families to date with rent and utilities. It’s about $48,000 from private donations.” The hardest-hit program was the Ministry and Life Enrichment for Persons with Disabilities. “They are a very vulnerable

population … so, we weren’t able to bring them together,” he said, adding, “but I’ve got a wonderful department head, Celia Mendez, who went the extra mile to reach out to them.” He said that Mendez and Sister Antonietta Letizia, with the congregation of the Sisters of St. Ann, delivered goody bags to each of their clients, and Father R.J. Regalado celebrated Mass virtually. “What a tremendous capability to make those that we service through that life ministry to feel connected, connected not only to Catholic Charities but connected to the church and our faith,” Phipps said. “In keeping with the mission of Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa’s shelter, we continue to offer our programs in one form or another to focus on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our community. We address their spiritual, emotional, physical and financial needs. We promote family, individual self-sufficiency,” he said. “Even though some processes have changed, we’ve been true to the mission and true to what we hope to accomplish.” See a full interview with Reyna, which had been livestreamed on the Social Ministry Facebook page and is now available at https://youtu.be/lRSCQg8Lp2k.

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(361) 884-2411 (361) 994-6551 Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources at: (361) 882-6191 for immediate assistance. 24 


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Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources


43% of U.S. coronavirus deaths in nursing homes By Matt Hadro


new report on Tuesday says that more than 40% of deaths from the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States have occurred in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. “Much more attention must be paid to the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nursing homes, especially through nursing home staff who work at multiple facilities,” wrote Avik Roy and Gregg Girvan for the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. “Nursing homes must use best practices for testing and cleanliness,” they wrote. Analyzing state data on COVID-19 deaths, Roy and Girvan noted that, of the states reporting coronavirus deaths in long-term care centers, 43% of the overall deaths from the virus occurred in the centers; outside of New York state, that percentage rose to 53%. New York, they said, may be an “outlier” among state reports because the volume of deaths outside of nursing homes may have driven the percentage share of nursing home deaths down. New York also reportedly changed how it was counting COVID nursing home deaths in early May; nursing home patients who died from the virus at a hospital were not counted as nursing home deaths. The death rates at nursing homes were particularly high in the Northeast. In New Jersey, almost one in ten nursing home residents died from the virus, with 954 COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes per 10,000 residents. In Connecticut, the number of fatalities per 10,000 residents was 827; in Massachusetts, it was 703. However, in some other states such as Minnesota, the percentage of coronavirus deaths at nursing homes—as a share of overall deaths from the virus—was


Catholic News Agency

extremely high. In Minnesota, more than 81% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes, as of May 22. In Rhode Island, 77% of virus deaths happened in nursing homes; in Ohio, 70% of COVID19 deaths occurred at nursing homes, and New Hampshire was close behind at 69.8%. Pennsylvania saw 69.2% of its deaths from the virus occur in nursing homes. In the wake of reports of the high number of deaths in nursing homes, some have pointed to policies of several states that sent positive COVID patients to nursing homes, to free up hospital beds. New York, New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania instructed nursing homes that they could not refuse COVID patients discharged from hospitals. Charles Camosy, a theology professor at Fordham University, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that nursing homes already had problems of poor training or funding before the pandemic struck. Sending patients who had COVID to nursing homes started an “uncontrollable

wildfire of infection and death,” he told CNA. However, he added, as nursing homes and long-term care facilities “were already pushed to the margins of our culture, it actually made sense that the dignity of these residents and workers was ignored and their lives discarded.” The high percentage of U.S. nursing home deaths from the virus was reflected in other countries, Roy and Girvan wrote. They cited a study by the International Long Term Care Policy Network that analyzed COVID deaths in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In those countries, more than 40% of reported COVID-19 deaths occurred in nursing homes. “States and localities should consider reorienting their policy responses away from younger and healthier people, and toward the elderly, and especially elderly individuals living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” Roy and Girvan wrote.

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Join Catholics across the country June 22-29 to pray and act for the freedom to serve faithfully and with integrity United States Catholic Conference of Bishops

Freedom to serve in health care and social services: Monday, June 22

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PRAY: that governments would respect the consciences of the Little Sisters of the Poor and all Christians who care for the sick and vulnerable. REFLECT: For centuries, the Church has carried on the healing ministry of Christ by building institutions dedicated to medicine and accompaniment of the dying. Indeed, the Church invented the hospital as we know it. Today, orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor serve elderly low-income Americans of all backgrounds. But the Little Sisters’ work is at risk because of lawsuits brought by the states of California and Pennsylvania against the expanded religious and moral exemption to the HHS mandate, and Catholic hospitals are constantly defending themselves against lawsuits and government orders that try to force them to participate in harmful procedures, such as sterilization, gender reassignment surgery, and even abortion. It is unthinkable that we would undermine our mission to heal by destroying innocent life and harming the persons for whom we are called to care. ACT: Take action to support religious liberty! Text “FREEDOM” to 84576 to receive news updates and action alerts.

America, churches have been desecrated. Priests all over the world have been killed, even while celebrating liturgies. The problem is not limited to attacks on Christians. Over 50 people were murdered in two mosques in New Zealand, while there have been several attacks on synagogues here in the U.S. in recent years. Mosques and synagogues have been vandalized, while there has been a rise in attacks on Jews and Muslims who are simply going about their daily life. These kinds of attacks are assaults on the image of God and cannot be tolerated. ACT: First, take time during this week, if possible, to pray a decade of the rosary, fast from a meal, or spend time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, offering up your act as a sacrifice in reparation for sins against human dignity. Then, support increased funding for the FEMA Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This program provides grants to nonprofits, including houses of worship, to improve security. While we should hope, pray, and work for a country where people can worship without fear, we can also take practical steps to protect churches, mosques,

Tuesday, June 23 PRAY: that people of all faiths would be free to worship without fear of attacks and harassment. REFLECT: Houses of worship provide spaces for people to step back, often with fellow believers, and pray. The disturbing rise in attacks on these places is an attack on religious freedom. Gunmen in churches, synagogues, and mosques terrorize faith communities. In Europe and North




Respect for houses of worship:

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and synagogues. Contact your Representative and Senators today.

Religious Minorities in China: Wednesday, June 24

Adoption and Foster Care: Thursday, June 25

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PRAY: for the freedom of the Church in China, and that the rights of all religious minorities would be respected. REFLECT: Under the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese citizens have limited religious freedom. Since 2013, religious persecution has intensified under a government campaign for the “sinicization” of religion—an effort to have religions conform to government-sanctioned interpretations of Chinese culture. Muslims have suffered grievous human rights abuses. Since 2017, 800,000 to possibly two million ethnic Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Hui Muslims have been arbitrarily detained in mass internment camps. Other religions are impacted by the government’s “sinicization” campaign including the estimated 12 million Catholics in China. While the Vatican has reached a provisional agreement with China on the issue of episcopal appointments, reports of persecution by the Chinese government persist as underground churches are closed and their priests detained, crosses destroyed, bibles confiscated, and children under 18 forbidden from attending Mass and receiving religious instruction. Ultimately time will tell if the faithful will be allowed to practice their religion independent of State control. ACT: Solidarity with people of faith in other countries begins with learning about their struggles. Stay informed by signing up for the USCCB’s religious liberty newsletter, First Freedom News.

PRAY: that children waiting to be placed in a loving home and the caregivers who selflessly serve those children will find strength and support from the Church. REFLECT: Caring for ‘the orphan’ is a demand of the gospel. Over the centuries, the Church has put this work of charity into practice by building adoption and foster care institutions. Today, the opioid crisis has put a strain on the foster care system. Yet while more children are waiting to be placed in families, faith-based child welfare providers are being targeted for closures because of their religious convictions. In places like Illinois, Massachusetts, California, and D.C., the service providers who have a track record of excellence in recruiting and assisting foster families have already been shut down. In

Michigan, sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) activists have gone out of their way to challenge Catholic Charities, and Philadelphia Catholic Social Services is taking the struggle to continue to foster children to the Supreme Court. Worse still, in recent years, states that have worked to protect faith-based adoption and foster care have found themselves targeted by powerful corporations looking to appeal to SOGI activists. Intolerance for religious views has real consequences, and in this case, it is vulnerable children who have suffered. Let’s pray and act to keep kids first. ACT: The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (CWPIA) prevents faith-based child welfare service providers from being targeted by government discrimination. The Act would prohibit the federal government and any state that receives certain federal funding from discriminating against child welfare service providers on the basis that they decline to provide a child welfare service that conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions. Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative today and ask them to co-sponsor and support the federal Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. See full schedule for “Religious Freedom Week” at SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/freedom. Resources available at usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/religious-freedom-week/index.cfm.

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Pope Francis will name Charles de Foucauld a saint. Who was he? By Hannah Brockhaus


he Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood causes of 14 men and women, including Bl. Charles de Foucauld, a French missionary killed in Algeria in 1916. De Foucauld, also known as Brother Charles of Jesus, was a soldier, explorer, Catholic revert, priest, hermit, and religious brother, who served among the Tuareg people in the Sahara desert in Algeria. He was assassinated by a band of men at his hermitage in the Sahara on Dec. 1, 1916. De Foucauld was born in Strasbourg in 1858. He was raised by his wealthy and aristocratic grandfather after being orphaned at the age of six. He joined the French military, following in the footsteps of his grandfather. Having already lost his faith, as a young man he lived a life of indulgence and was known to have an immature sense of humor. De Foucauld resigned from the military at age 23, and set off on a dangerous exploration of Morocco. Contact with strong Muslim believers there challenged him, and he began to repeat to himself: “My God, if you exist, let me come to know you.” He returned to France and, with the guidance of a priest, came back to his Catholic faith in 1886, at the age of 28. The following saying is attributed to him: “As soon as I believed in God, I understood that I could not do otherwise than to live for him alone.” De Foucauld realized a vocation to “follow Jesus in his life at Nazareth” during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was a Trappist monk in France and Syria for seven years. He also lived as a hermit for a period near a convent of Poor Clares in Nazareth. He was ordained a priest in 1901 at age 43 and left for northern Africa to serve among the Tuareg people, a nomadic ethnic group, saying he wanted to live among “the furthest removed, the most abandoned.” In the Sahara he welcomed anyone who passed by, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or pagan. He was deeply respectful of the faiths and cultures he lived among. During his 13 years in the Saraha he learned about Tuareg culture and language, compiling a Tuareg-French dictionary, and being a “brother” to the people. The priest said he wanted to “shout the Gospel with his life” and to conduct his life so that people would ask, “if such is the servant, what must the Master be like?” De Foucauld was the inspiration for the founding of several



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Catholic News Agency

A statue of Bl. Charles de Foucauld in Strasbourg, France.

lay associations, religious communities, and secular institutes of laity and priests, known collectively as “the spiritual family of Charles de Foucauld.” At his beatification in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI said as a priest, de Foucauld “put the Eucharist and the Gospel at the center of his life.” “He discovered that Jesus -- who came to unite Himself to us in our humanity -- invites us to that universal brotherhood which he later experienced in the Sahara, and to that love of which Christ set us the example,” he said. After meeting with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the congregation for saints’ causes May 26, the pope approved a second miracle attributed to de Foucauld’s intercession, paving the way for his canonization. On May 27, Pope Francis also advanced the cause of Bl. César de Bus, a French priest who lived from 1544 to 1607, and founded two religious congregations. He also advanced the cause of Italian Bl. Maria Domenica



Mantovani, co-founder and first general superior of the Institute of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family, who died in 1934. The pope also approved the first miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Michael McGivney, a 19th-century American priest who founded the Knights of Columbus. He may now be beatified. French laywoman Venerable Pauline-Marie Jaricot, who lived from 1799 to 1862 in Lyon, may also now be beatified. She founded the Living Rosary Association and the Society of the Propagation of the Faith -- which later became the first of the four pontifical mission societies. Jaricot, a member of the lay Dominicans, was devoted to promoting support of the Church’s missionary efforts around the world. She was the youngest of seven children. After losing her mother when she was 17, Jaricot took a vow of perpetual virginity and devoted herself to prayer. For many years, St. John Vianney was her spiritual director. She was declared Venerable in 1963 by St. Pope John XXIII.

In 2013, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, then head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said “Jaricot’s heroic virtues do not consist in a series of miraculous events, but in that fruitful fidelity to Christ, to whom she devoted herself both in good times and in those difficult and tormented moments, as well as in the long-term vision of a commitment to evangelization, so that all people get to know Christ and of the merciful love of God.” Pope Francis also confirmed May 27 the martyrdom of six Cistercians, the Servant of God Simeon Cardon and his five companions, who were killed in 1799 in Casamari, Italy. He also confirmed the martyrdom of Cosma Spessotto, a priest and Franciscan from northern Italy who was killed in El Salvador in 1980. Servant of God Bishop Melchior de Marion Bresillac, who was apostolic vicar to Sierra Leone and the founder of the Society of Africa Missions, was also advanced on the path to sainthood. A Frenchman, he died in 1859 in the West African country.

Pope Francis speaks at a general audience in the apostolic library. M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E | J U N E 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  


June Liturgical Calendar 1 | Mon | The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church | white (Ninth Week in Ordinary Time) Memorial | Gn 3:9-15, 20 or Acts 1:12-14/Jn 19:25-34 (572A, see USCCB.org/ motherofthechurch) Pss I

2 | Tue | Weekday | green/red [Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs] 2 Pt 3:12-15a, 17-18/Mk 12:13-17 (354)

3 | Wed | Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial

(580)/Mt 5:20-26 (362)

12 | Fri | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-16/Mt 5:27-32 (363)

13 | Sat | Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | 1 Kgs 19:19-21/Mt 5:33-37 (364)


| 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12/Mk 12:18-27 (355)

(Corpus Christi) Solemnity | Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a/1 Cor 10:16-17/Jn 6:51-58 (167) Pss Prop

4 | Thu | Weekday | green | 2 Tm 2:8-

15 | Mon | Weekday (Eleventh Week in

15/Mk 12:28-34 (356)

5 | Fri | Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | 2 Tm 3:10-17/ Mk 12:35-37 (357)

6 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Norbert, Bishop; BVM] 2 Tm 4:1-8/Mk 12:38-44 (358)

7 | SUN | THE MOST HOLY TRINITY | white | Solemnity | Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9/2 Cor 13:11-13/Jn 3:16-18 (164) Pss Prop

8 | Mon | Weekday (Tenth Week in Ordinary Time) green 1 Kgs 17:1-6/Mt 5:1-12 (359) Pss II

9 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [Saint Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church] 1 Kgs 17:7-16/Mt 5:13-16 (360)

10 | Wed | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs

19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36/Mt 7:6, 12-14 (372)

24 | Wed | THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST | white | Solemnity | Vigil: Jer 1:4-10/1 Pt 1:8-12/ Lk 1:5-17 (586) Day: Is 49:1-6/Acts 13:22-26/Lk 1:5766, 80 (587) Pss Prop

25 | Thu | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs

16 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs

26 | Fri | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 25:1-

21:17-29/Mt 5:43-48 (366)

17 | Wed | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 2:1, 6-14/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (367)

18 | Thu | Weekday | green | Sir 48:114/Mt 6:7-15 (368)

19 | Fri | THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS | white | Solemnity | Dt 7:6-11/1 Jn 4:7-16/Mt 11:25-30 (170) Pss Prop

20 | Sat | The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | Memorial | 2 Chr 24:17-25 (370)/Lk 2:41-51 (573)

18:20-39/Mt 5:17-19 (361)

21 | SUN | TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Jer 20:10-13/

11 | Thu | Saint Barnabas, Apostle |

Rom 5:12-15/Mt 10:26-33 (94) Pss IV

red | Memorial | Acts 11:21b-26; 13:1-3

22 | Mon | Weekday | green/white/red

La Diócesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendación del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicación mas allá para la buena administración y responsabilidad nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso nanciero. La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y condencialmente el abuso nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de påca ética nanciera dentro de la Diócese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones serán tradas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anónimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748 S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C

23 | Tue | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs

Ordinary Time) | green 1 Kgs 21:1-16/ Mt 5:38-42 (365) Pss III

Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero

3 0 

[Saint Paulinus of Nola, Bishop; Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs] 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18/Mt 7:1-5 (371)

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24:8-17/Mt 7:21-29 (374) 12/Mt 8:1-4 (375)

27 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; BVM] Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19/Mt 8:5-17 (376)

28 | SUN | THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 2 Kgs 4:8-11, 14-16a/Rom 6:3-4, 8-11/Mt 10:37-42 (97) Pss I

29 | Mon | SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES | red | Solemnity | Acts 12:1-11/2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18/Mt 16:13-19 (591) Pss Prop

30 | Tue | Weekday | green/red [The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church] Am 3:1-8; 4:11-12/Mt 8:23-27 (378)

Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Directora de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia: (361) 882-6191 para asistencia inmediata.

Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia

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JUNE 2020 ISSUE SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 555 N Carancahua St, Ste 750 Corpus Christi, TX 78401-0824 (361) 882-6191

Feast of Corpus Christi The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

June 11, 2020 12-8:30 p.m.

Corpus Christi Cathedral Schedule of Events: 12-1 p.m.

Bilingual Mass & Adoration with Very Rev. Pete Elizardo “Eucharist & Holiness”

1-2 p.m.

Adoration with Very Rev. Richard Gonzales “Eucharist & Illness”

2-3 p.m.

Adoration with Very Rev. Ray Yrlas “Eucharist & Family”

3-4 p.m.

Adoration with Very Rev. Chris Becerra “Eucharist & Youth”

4-5 p.m.

Adoration with Very Rev. Joseph Lopez “ Eucharist & Vocations”

5-5:30 p.m. Adoration with Very Rev. Richard Libby “Eucharist & Community Renewal” 5:45-6 p.m. Benediction with Very Rev. James Stembler 6:30 p.m.

Chrism Mass with Most Rev. Michael Mulvey

Profile for South Texas Catholic

June 2020 - Vol. 55. No. 6