South Texas Catholic - June 2012

Page 1

Call to Action From South Texas to Washington

ACTION: Diocese of

Corpus Christi

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the following clarifications regarding the Health and Human Services regulations on mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs: 1. It does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. HHS does not deem them “religious employers” because they do not “serve primarily persons who share their religious tenets.” HHS denies them religious freedom because their purpose is to serve the common good -a purpose government should encourage. 2. It forces these institutions and others to pay for things they consider immoral. Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers, religious employers and schools and religious employees and students to write, provide and purchase insurance coverage that violates their beliefs. 3. It forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs as well as contraception. HHS’s mandate also forces employers to sponsor and subsidize coverage of sterilization. And by including all contraceptive drugs, the HHS mandate includes drugs that can induce abortion, such as “Ella,” a close cousin of the abortion pill RU-486. 4. Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate. Catholics who have long supported this administration and its policies have publicly criticized HHS’s decision, including college presidents Father John Jenkins and Arturo Chavez; and Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. 5. Many other religious and secular groups have spoken out against HHS. Many recognize this as an assault on religious liberty, even if they disagree with the underlying moral question. Protestant and, Orthodox Christian and Orthodox Jewish groups -none of which oppose contraception - are against the HHS’s decision. The Washington Post, USA Today, N.Y Daily News and other secular outlets have editorialized against it. ‘ 6. The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates. Even without an exemption, religious employers now can avoid contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their drug coverage, dropping that coverage, or opting for regulation under a pre-emptive federal law. This mandate closes off these avenues of relief.

Make your voice heard | Contact your representatives President Barack Obama

Mail: 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington D.C. 20510 Phone: (972) 239-1310 or (202) 224-2934 Website:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Rep. Blake Farenthold

Mail: 284 Russell Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (214) 361-3500 or (202) 224-5922 Website:

27th District: Nueces, Kleberg, Kenedy

Rep. Ron Paul

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa

14th District: Aransas

15th District: Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Live Oak, Refugio, San Patricio

Mail: 2203 Cannon House Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20515 Phone Number: (202) 225-2831 Website:


Sen. John Cornyn

Mail: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 Phone: (202) 225-3484 Website:


Mail: 2110 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-7742 Website:

Mail: 2262 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2531 Website:

Contact your U.S. Representative by e-mail, phone, or FAX letter: • Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: (202) 224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. • Send an e-mail through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center at • Additional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: and

MESSAGE: “Please co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, s. 1467) and help enact it into law. The Obama administration’s decision to mandate coverage of sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, makes passage of this measure especially urgent. Please ensure that the rights of conscience of all participants in our nation’s health care system are respected.”

WHEN: Now is the time to build co-sponsors and support. Please act today!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of the Americas

Pray for Us O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ. Th rough the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome— for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us— this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


VOL. 47 NO. 6 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD



Class of 2012 Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi hold baccalaureate services to close school year.

Pictured on the cover, from left, are Valedictorians Matthew Matl (IWA) and Shelby Hathorn (JPII); Salutatorians Julia Baker (IWA) and Alexis Ybanez (JPII).

Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas 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


Calendar Items

Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice is on fire with priest who leads them to see God in “the ordinary, in the everyday life.”

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 magazine or diocese Web sites.

Father Julian leads through g his actions


Bishop Ledvina

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.


True Radiance


New Deacon

Letters Welcome

(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.


‘The great builder’

The chair of the teacher

Father shares lessons Based on Catholic teaching

Modest fashions bring out true beauty in young ladies

Becerra takes next step to priesthood


Fortnight for freedom


Rural Mass


Catholics and Jews


Our first liberty



Diocese joins national effort

Bishop blesses farmers, harvest

Holy See requires adherence to Second Vatican Council

U.S. bishops justify stand in fight for religious liberty

The hidden power of our suffering



BISHOP LEDVINA:“The By Msgr. Michael Howell Contributor


he first decade of the Diocese of Corpus Christi had been hard on its first shepherd, Bishop Paul Nussbaum, who suffered numerous painful experiences that slowly broke his stamina. What the diocese needed at this point was a strong worker, ready to build up people, structures and programs. The people of south Texas were not disappointed in the arrival of its next bishop, Emmanuel Boleslaus Ledvina who came to be known as “the great builder.”

Bishop Ledvina provided stability for the next three decades, working to build chapels, schools and social services while also building up the faith of Catholics throughout the diocese. Bishop Ledvina was no stranger to the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He had visited frequently and traveled over south Texas extensively during the 12 years since its erection as a diocese while he served as General Secretary of the Catholic Church Extension Society, headquartered in Chicago. The Extension Society magazine characterized Bishop Ledvina as the “quartermaster general of church extension” with “a methodical mind, a sense of fair play and justice



in managing employBishop Emmanuel ees, integrity that has B. Ledvina DD, no flaw in it, and a LL.D (1921-1949) was the second cool head that would Bishop of Corpus put out any flame of Christi and could be excitement even if it called “the builder.” were licking through the wood of his office chair.” That energy and work ethic of 52-year-old Bishop Ledvina was just what the doctor ordered at a time when the area of south Texas was growing by leaps and bounds. Donations made through this society’s efforts had built many of those small chapels during the time of Bishop Nussbaum, and then Father Ledvina had found ingenious ways to bring the Church to the people through his design and use of chapel cars that could travel the back roads and chapel railroad cars that brought Mass and instructions to any community along the tracks that now interlaced throughout south Texas. His reception to the diocese was a grand affair, including a Mass at the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral at which local priest, Father Mark Moeslein, C. P. preached. The next day the bishop was reminded of the challenges ahead when he went to thank Father Moeslein for his sermon, visiting him at Holy Cross parish where the small sacristy served as his living quarters at the time. One of his companions later noted in an article that Father Moeslein “entertained us at lunch…a warmed-up can of tomatoes and some stale crackers.” During his administration as chief shepherd the number of Catholics in the diocese increased from 96,000 to 225,000, the number of parishes from 32 to 64, the number of priests from 32 to 100, the number of sisters in various orders from 125 to more than 350 and the number of paro-

e Great Builder” chial schools from 25 to 40. Bishop Ledvina brought in the Benedictines to construct a new boys high school—the Corpus Christi College Academy. He oversaw to the construction of more than 50 new churches, 53 mission chapels and 47 rectories. He then began work on his crowning jewel—the Cathedral of Corpus Christi, dedicated in 1940. He led during some turbulent times with the resurrection of the KKK, strong in a spirit of anti-Catholicism. He provided spiritual strength as the people of south Texas, both Catholic and non-Catholic, sent their sons and daughters off to a war that engulfed the world in the early 1940s. Probably Bishop Ledvina’s biggest achievement in his first 10 years of leadership was the establishment of the Corpus Christi College Academy for the high school education of boys. In 1925, John Dunn donated acreage from his original 40-acre homestead for the purpose of Catholic education. The building project began in 1926 the school opened in 1928. Initially the Bishop had sought the help of the Holy Cross Fathers who served in St. Edward’s of Austin and Notre Dame of Indiana. When they declined because of limited personnel, the bishop turned to the Benedictines. At the same time he also encouraged and supported financially the Sisters of the Incarnate Word in their efforts to build a new brick convent and school in the late 1920s. In an effort to support some of the poorer members of his flock he also asked the Carmelite Sisters of St. Joseph and Sacred Heart to come to Corpus Christi to help him


establish what became known as the Carmelite Day Nursery, a haven for poor Mexican children whose mothers needed to work during the day. The first buildings that housed the nursery were relics of other days—the old home of Bishop Verdaguer and the old rectory building of the Cathedral. The sisters began arriving in 1923, and their program grew to serve a pressing need over the next decades, with an average of 100 children enrolled. Also they eventually reached out to the other end of the age spectrum, opening the Mt. Carmel Nursing Home for elderly Catholics seeking assisted living facilities. Finally, in the first decade of his administration Bishop Ledvina sought to increase the number of secular priests. When he arrived only nine secular priests served with the aid of numerous members of religious orders. Like those before him, the bishop went “home” for assistance. Bishop Jean-Marie Odin had sought priests from his native France. Bishop Peter Verdaguer had sought priests from his native Spain. Bishop Nussbaum had sought priests from his own congregation—the Passionist. And now Bishop Ledvina appealed to the alumni of his seminary days in Indiana. Men like Msgr. Albert Schmitt, Msgr. George Scecina, and Msgr. William Hennel of Evansville, Indiana answered the call. By 1939, there were 43 secular priests and 11 young men studying for the priesthood. The Bishop was seeking to build not only chapels and schools, but also the ministers needed to nurture the faith of the people of south Texas.

Corpus Christi College Academy Archived photo



“Cathedra”– the Chair of the By Msgr. Michael Howell



ach year on Feb. 22, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the “Chair of St. Peter.” It might seem rather strange to even Catholics that a day would be dedicated to honoring a chair.

Just as strange to many would be the large bronze monument in St. Peter’s Basilica that features an ornate chair held aloft by the four originally designated Doctors of the Western Church — Sts. Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome and Pope Gregory the Great. They are not medical doctors, but like those with a Ph.D. they are recognized for their

>> While the throne of a kingdo who sits upon that chair, the cha theological wisdom and teaching. But this chair, like the throne of a king, represents more than just a place to sit. While the throne of a kingdom represents the site of political power and the rule of the one who sits upon that chair, the chair of Peter represents the teaching authority of the Holy Father. This stems from ancient traditions. Those who taught as rabbis in the synagogue would sit to then expound on the Scriptures; as the Gospel of Luke notes, even Jesus did so when he first preached in Nazareth. Luke writes that after reading from the word of Isaiah, Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and then “sat down” before beginning his teaching (Lk 4:19).

Cathedra of Bishop Paul Joseph Nussbaum

Cathedra built by the Cech Mill and glass company (now Safety

who presided from the first St. Patrick’s

Glass) of Corpus Christi for the Corpus Christi Cathedral in 1940.

Church (corner of Antelope and N. Caranca-

Bishop Ledvina, Bishop Mariano Simon Garriga and Bishop Thom-

hua) which was designated the cathedral at the time of the erection of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1912. It was also used by

as Joseph Drury presided from this chair during their tenures as the

his successor,

chief shepherd of the

Bishop Emmanuel

Diocese of Corpus

Boleslaus Ledvina,

Christi. After renova-

until the building

tions that followed

and dedication of

Vatican II, Bishop

the present Corpus

Drury in the last years

Christi Cathedral in

of his administration

1940. Presently this

used a different cathe-

chair is used by the

dra. This chair is still

local priests who pre-

used in the Cathedral

side at Eucharist in the

today for other minis-

Cathedral when the bishop is

ters in the Liturgy.

not present.




om represents the site of political power and the rule of the one air of Peter represents the teaching authority of the Holy Father. In the early Christian tradition, the chair of the one presiding over the local church thus took on a special meaning. In the local church, which is called a diocese (such as the Diocese of Corpus Christi), the bishop as chief shepherd of that portion of the Lord’s flock also presides from a special chair that represents his authority to teach, sanctify and govern. That chair is called in the Latin language “cathedra” and the church in which the bishop’s chair resides is called the “cathedral.” Over the years, since the erection of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1912, the bishops have used a number of different chairs to serve as the “cathedra” in which they alone sit for services while they serve in the office of Ordinary of

the diocese. However, in each case these chairs have been the symbol of the duties placed upon them by reason of their appointment to serve the local community we call the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Many have even chosen to preach from the chair as a reminder that they are exercising both their right and their responsibility because they occupy that chair. Even when there is no bishop (including the pope as bishop of Rome) because of a death or transfer, the Church refers to the temporary absence of a shepherd as “sede vacante” (the seat being empty). Nevertheless the chair remains in the cathedral even in those times to remind the people that a shepherd will be provided by the one who is our Eternal Shepherd.

Cathedra for Bishop Roberto O. González,

This chair, originally in the epis-

OFM. His coat of arms done in cross-stitch

copal home on Ocean Drive, was

by a local Catholic was on the back of the

chosen by Bishop Drury to serve

chair. Upon his appointment as Archbishop

as his cathedra towards the end of

of San Juan in Puerto Rico, the coat of arms

his tenure. It had his coat of arms

was removed from the chair and framed as a

(removable) on the top of the back.

gift to him to remind him of the first diocese

It was subsequently used by Bishop

where he served as Ordinary. The pres-

Rene H. Gracida to serve as his

ent coat of arms on the chair is that of his successor, Bishop Edmond

cathedra (it still bears the diamond

Carmody, who presided from

the chair presently used by Bishop

this chair.

Mulvey as his cathedra in the Cor-

pattern from his coat of arms). It is

pus Christi Cathedral.

Photos by Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic



Catholic faith provides foundation for father of five

By Geraldine McGloin



few minutes of conversation with Dan Shea quickly reveals how important his Catholic faith and his family are to him. His role model for fatherhood was his own father Joseph Shea. “He worked hard to support his family but his faith remained an important element in the home life,” Dan Shea said about his father. “He gave up opportunities so he could be at home. He always took time to be with his children. He made sure he was home for meals. Our family mirrored Catholic tradition, we said grace before meals and everyone shared what was on their minds that day.” Shea’s father and mother, Elizabeth, provided their children with a quality Catholic education. In addition, the parents saw to it that the children were exposed to Catholic culture in various ways—visiting the sick in hospitals and nursing homes and working in soup kitchens. They were also active in pro-life activities and performed with “The Shea Six” a musical group of the children who performed in nursing homes. They adopted individual nursing homes for special attention. They stressed compassion for others that helped reinforce a strong spiritual component, which integrated into the children’s lives. It all seeped deeply into Daniel Shea’s conscious. Today, Shea and his family are active members of Cathedral parish. He and his wife Debbie are coordinators of the Altar Servers and serve as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. They have five children. The oldest is Danny, 26, a married father of one with another on the way. Next is Drew, 24, who—like his older brother—is a petroleum engineer working in Houston. The eldest daughter Katie, 22, is a recent graduate with a degree in accounting and plans to go to graduate school in the fall while working in Houston. Next is Mary Jane, 19, like all her older siblings, is attending Texas A & M University in College Station. The youngest of the family is Patrick, 10, who is a fourth-grader at Incarnate Word Academy. Shea met Debbie at FlorDan and Patrick dressed in ida International University Scout uniforms following an while both were studying awards ceremony take a break physical therapy. She was a in their three-story tree house. devout Baptist with extensive biblical training. She Photo Contributed by Shea Family was very curious about the

Mass and especially the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Once she received adequate training through a Catholic inquiry program at the university, she was convinced and became Catholic. Patrick arrived some nine years after the Sheas thought their family was complete and had made plans accordingly. Dan Shea’s eyes light up when he talks about Patrick being a “blessing from God.” “I have learned so much from him and I am so grateful for the opportunity,” he said. “I have parented him differently as I was older, and had more time. It was easier to do things, read stories, talk and of course share the sports that we all enjoy: swimming, soccer and fishing.” Shea also took the time to help Patrick build an enormous three-story tree house in a large oak in the backyard.

“...successful child rearing is based on providing on-going faith formation, a stable and loving home life, involvement in children’s lives academically, physically and emotionally and a healthy amount of discipline.” It’s a favorite place for Patrick who can climb up the levels and survey the neighborhood. “This was so much fun. Patrick just kept asking if we could build more… going up the tree. We could and we did,” Dan Shea said. It is a testament to having more time to spend with the kids. Shea said his philosophy of successful child rearing is based on providing on-going faith formation, a stable and loving home life, involvement in children’s lives academically, physically and emotionally and a healthy amount of discipline. As they began their family, he had an opportunity to put into practice what he had learned in his home from his father. Busy with the business side of life, setting up a physical therapy center, he saw a need to find ways to be involved in his children’s lives. JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


First came their Catholic training and exposure. This The Shea family got together at Katie’s began early as the children repeated the activities of the graduation from Texas A&M-College Station previous generation of Sheas. As members of St. Philip’s on May 12. Pictured, from left, are Dan, Debparish they continued corporal works of mercy by visitbie, Mary Jane, Lauren (Danny’s wife), Danny, ing the sick, lonely and elderly. Meal times were always regarded as special, a time of family prayer and sharing by Patrick, Katie and Drew, carrying Mary Kate. each family member. Photo Contributed by Shea Family For the last nine years he has accompanied the IWA Mission Team on trips designed to provide service to those learn to respect themselves and how in need. “The team is exposed to those who are impovthey want to be treated by their boyerished and yet still happy. It made them wonder if they friends and husbands,â€? he said. really need all the material things that are so important The Shea girls have also had to them after seeing people with so little who are happy. plenty of experience with service That was another good experience.â€? programs to charitable agencies. As professional physical therapists, physical activity is They have assisted at The Ark, made very important to Dan and Debbie Shea. Proper care of and served breakfast at the body as a temple the Mother Theresa Day of the Holy Spirit is “Boys are easy, but girls Shelter through the Caa part of their belief need to have dads who thedral Youth Ministry system and family life. Physical activity is re- are willing to ‘connect’ with program. The boys have been very involved in quired to take care of them. One of the greatest Scouting. They finished the body; they do it their Eagle rank, and through exercise and gifts is to show love and brother, Patrick sports. Dan Shea has respect for their mom. This youngest is following the tradition coached swimming, helps them learn to respect in Cub Scouts. baseball and soccer. “I am a parent first, “Sports teach parthemselves and how they and not their buddy. I ticipants the imporwant to be treated by their need the support of my tance of rules, fair play and teamwork; boyfriends and husbands.â€? wife and we need to be unified. Though they may important life lessons. not understand our decisions at the I began coaching at IWA and found those opportunities moment generally they come to unto get involved with the kids. It was a good experience,â€? derstand later,â€? Dan Shea said. Dan Shea said. “We didn’t indulge our children “Boys are easy, but girls need to have dads who are with material things; they earned willing to ‘connect’ with them. One of the greatest gifts is money by cutting grass, their own and the neighbors’. We to show love and respect for their mom. This helps them don’t have a lot of electronic gear around the house, so they aren’t looking at it all day. They had to pay 49 percent of ÂƒÂšÇŚ ‡ˆ‡””‡† Â?Â?—‹–‹‡• Čˆ • Čˆ ‘ŽŽ‘˜‡”• their first car and buy their own gas. From ages 14-15 they ‘‡• ‘—” ‡–‹”‡Â?‡Â?– baby-sat, had summer jobs and worked to help pay their ƒ˜‹Â?‰• ŽƒÂ? own tuition. It is so important they learn a strong work ÇŤ ethic,â€? Dan Shea said. $3< ,QFOXGHV &XUUHQW <LHOG When it came to the social aspects of teenage years, )LUVW <HDU $GGLWLRQDO ,QWHUHVW Shea addressed the use of alcohol or drugs head-on. Any incident involving the use of those substances would result in immediate loss of the car. He stressed that one incident ƒ› ‡”‡œ ƒ”› ‹•Â?‡”‘• such as a DWI can aect a person for life. He told the ͙͛͞njÍ&#x;ÍžÍ?ÇŚÍœÍšÍĄÍĄ Í›ÍžÍ™ÇŚÍšÍšÍ ÇŚÍœÍžÍ&#x;Í&#x; boys, “you can forget about being a petroleum engineer with that on your record, who do you think will let you ÎŽ/ĹśĆšÄžĆŒÄžĆ?Ćš ĆŒÄ‚ĆšÄžĆ? Ä‚ĆŒÄž Ć?ĆľÄ?ĹŠÄžÄ?Ćš ƚŽ Ä?ŚĂŜĹ?Ğ͘ DĹ?ĹśĹ?žƾž Ĺ?ĆľÄ‚ĆŒÄ‚ĹśĆšÄžÄžÄš ĆŒÄ‚ĆšÄž Ĺ?Ć? Ď­Í˜ϳϹК͘

,ŽžÄž KĸÄ?Ğ͗ ^Ä‚Ĺś ŜƚŽŜĹ?Ž͕ dĞdžĂĆ?͘ Ρ ^ Ď­Í˜Ď­ĎŽ



drive their expensive equipment?” The Sheas also are very open about teaching the children about human sexuality through Catholic doctrine. “We use ‘Theology of the Body’ and the Catechism, to teach respect for the body and the dignity of the person,” Debbie Shea said. She said it is important that young people understand the proper parameters with the opposite sex. Rules such as not allowing the opposite sex in the bedroom and entertaining only in the common areas of the house should be among healthy house rules to be maintained. Another important rule is to have guests of the opposite sex leave no later than midnight. “It is important that kids learn these things as one mistake with alcohol, drugs or sex can have a negative effect

on a person’s entire life,” Debbie Shea said. Faith formation continues for the Shea offspring as they go off to college. The parents sign them up at St. Mary’s Church in College Station and donate to the parish. This way the children can then go to the church and begin as members of the parish. It gives them a sense of belonging as they go away from home. It is also very important that they learn that they need to give something back to God, Dan Shea said. “We socialize with other Catholic families, people who share our values. We learn a lot from watching good Catholic families, people who are living their faith. We are doing our best and hope to be an example for others,” Dan Shea said. JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


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T rue R

Modest beauty is By Julissa Hernandez South Texas Catholic


rom vintage finds, to multipurpose scarves, to one of a kind dresses; the first ever True Radiance Fashion Show emphasized that clothing can be at once fashion forward and modest. True Radiance is a modesty program developed by the Diocese of Corpus Christi to promote chastity and modesty among high-school girls. About 500 people attended the inaugural event held at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown on May 3. Local youth leaders, such as husband and wife team Benjamin and Chelsea Nye, and motivational speaker Angie Windnagle provided strategic support for the program. “We recognize a great need among men and women to find ways to dress fashionably and modestly,” director of the



Office of Life, Justice and Human Dignity Deacon Stephen Nolte said. “Through the True Radiance program, girls are taught that they never have to dress inappropriately to fit in, that they can be confident as children of God.” The modesty fashion show was the culmination of six months of formation for the young ladies enrolled in the program. “Formation” involved faith inspired group activities, including mentoring by devout Catholic women and required the young ladies to do some soul searching on their own. “The girls were amazing,” True Radiance coordinator and clothing designer Chelsea Nye said. “I felt very blessed to work with a group of such grateful and attentive young women.” Guests of the fashion show were greeted by ushers and servers who had participated in True Valor, the male counterpart of the program. “The fashion show was an overall amazing experience. Serving this event and helping the girls put on the show was incredibly fulfilling,” usher,Victor Gonzales said. Benjamin Nye, True Valor coordinator and theology teacher at Blessed John Paul II High School emceed the event. Designer Chelsea Nye explained the elements of the fashion show. The girls participating in the fashion show were intro-

True Radiance participants model modest fashions from Chels Marie, a line of designs by Chelsea Nye for the True Radiance fashion show.


Kateri Reyes, Dulce & Bellizza - A Boutique Photography Studio

duced by a video interview, complied by Caroline McFarland. Msgr. Louis Kihneman, Vicar General, led the assembly in a prayer. The girls modeled modest fashions from Chelsea Nye’s clothing line called “Chels Marie.” The first collection showcased fashionable modesty at its most affordable, with an assemblage of vintage thrift store pieces, like shift style dresses, a pink tool skirt, high rise jeans and trendy clutch purses. The second collection showed spectators different ways to wear the most modest accessory of all—the scarf. Around the neck, around the waist, and across the shoulder, the scarves modeled came in all colors, materials and sizes. Before the final collection, Windnagle made a presentation on the value of a positive self-image. “We are all constantly going through this mental checklist of what we should be, and what we need to realize is that there isn’t much depth to that,” she said. “When we begin to see ourselves as daughters of our God, we become attractive to God and we become truly beautiful.” The final collection was all about the participants—their inner beauty enhanced by their own unique style. The girls showed-off long flowing dresses and spunky bright colored

pants, to the applause of family members and friends. True Radiance participants had the opportunity to serve as models or as crew members for the fashion show. After the completion of the program, girls received certificates of completion and are eligible to participate in the modesty formation program on a leadership level. “The True Radiance Program helped me see the beauty of being a woman. It has given me confidence knowing that I am a child of God,” participant Alexis Ybanez said. True Radiance is unique to the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Program Directors hope to expand the program into middle schools. The following girls participated in the event: Alexis Ybanez, Bryttany Hernandez, Kaitlyn Polly, Myranda Hager, Isabel Hendricks, Pilar Montez, Lauren Rodriguez, Justine Rodriguez, Naomi Moreno, Savana Marie Saenz, Cristina Mendez, Celeste Ballien, Bethany Hernandez, Shelby Hathorn, Maria Willingham, Clarissa Salinas, Rebecka Gonzales, Elizabeth Mendez, Miranda Celeste Clark, Alyse Sanchez, Amanda Espericueta and Theresa Loera. To view more photos go to and scroll down the page. JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Becerra takes next step to pr By Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


ear of not accepting God’s call was motivation enough to keep seminarian Christopher Emmanuel Becerra on course throughout his long years in the seminary, a course that has taken him one step closer to becoming a priest.

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey by the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit ordained Deacon Becerra to the sacred order of transitional diaconate on May 26 in Corpus Christi Cathedral. Becerra was born in Laredo to Manuel and Teresa Becerra and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, for the first 12 years of his life. During this time the Mexican authorities confiscated the family car, threatened to take away their home and his sister Elizabeth, became dangerously ill. The family was able to get through these tough times by praying together and staying strong in their Catholic faith. God answered their prayers. They were able to keep their home and Elizabeth made a miraculous recovery and has been fine ever since. In 2001, shortly after the death of his dad, Becerra and the family moved to Corpus Christi where their main priority, after finding a home, was finding a church. They began at-



tending Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where he became an usher, joined the Spanish choir and printed the Spanish bulletins. He loved the idea of serving and the Church gave him that opportunity. The idea of becoming a priest was the furthest thing from his mind, but he thought it “cool” that a priest could change the bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ. Becerra attended and graduated from Ray High School. During those years he described himself as a straight “A” student, but while looking good to his teachers he would skillfully manipulate others behind the scenes. Still the instigator, he now applies his powers for good. As the high school years were wrapping up, Becerra thought he had his future wrapped up; he would become a doctor and set up a clinic in a poor country. But thoughts of becoming a priest overcame him. He felt God’s call while praying during Holy Hour at a Search Retreat. “It was one of the most intense hours of my life, but at the end I had run out of excuses not to join the seminary. Fear was not an excuse; fear of not accepting God’s call was my motivation,” Becerra said. He called the vocation director and went through the interview process and two months after graduating from high school he was on his way to the seminary. “As the years went along, my understanding about the priesthood grew, and I felt peace, but I still did not understand ‘why me?’ or, ‘why am I even doing this?’” Becerra said. About three years ago Becerra hit a dry spell; sometime during his fifth year of formation. Feeling tired and

spiritually empty, he did not feel a hundred percent sure about his vocation. He was not happy. He began to question his decisions, and even why or if he believed in God. His negative thoughts only increased when he saw the movie “Therese,” about St. Therese of the Little Flower. “She could not receive Jesus moments before her death. It made me aware of my mortality. Is it going to be worthwhile doing what I was doing? If I was going to be a priest, I wanted to believe what I preached. I needed some proof, something concrete,” Becerra said. That summer he was to attend a program in Omaha, Nebraska, about the spirituality of the diocesan priesthood. “I love retreats, but I did not want to go to Omaha for a retreat and I waited until the eleventh hour to turn in my application,” Becerra said. “It was a one-thousand-mile drive and I was mad about having to go there.” The 10-week program included a weeklong silent retreat. Despite being tired and frustrated he recognized that unless he surrendered completely to God’s will he would have wasted that week. It was in a simple outing in downtown Omaha that he found his answers. As he was walking the streets he saw a homeless man going into the kitchen of a restaurant and coming out with a yellow helium balloon. Blessed with a child-like curiosity, Becerra followed him. As the man headed toward the park, Becerra noticed a blind couple at the bus stop. They were holding hands and seemed very happy. He saw families walking and people taking naps in the grass. He could not remember the

riesthood last time he had done that. Losing the homeless man for a moment, he lay down and closed his eyes. When he sat up a few moments later he saw the homeless man with the yellow balloon join other homeless people under a bridge. They were singing “Happy Birthday” to one of their friends. “Wow! They were able to be happy. Here I was feeling so incomplete and these people were able to find joy, friendships and companionship. That was my proof of God. Every single day he gave me gifts and I never saw them. “Suddenly, I felt so reassured. God was reminding me, you are my son and I’m still taking care of you. I felt so complete. This was the greatest moment in my life,” he said. His vocation became clear. He was a child of God. His mission was to share that joy. “I was also reminded of a truth I once held as a child –God will make this well at the end. This is the source of joy for the Christian, to know that God takes care of us as a father cares for his children. I finally understood the nature of my call at that moment; I am to share the joy that comes from being a beloved child of God,” he said. The bishop has assigned Deacon Becerra to serve as parochial deacon at St. Philip the Apostle parish in Corpus Christi, effective June 4-Aug. 3. He will then return to St. Mary’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for his final year. He will be assigned to St. Martha Parish in Kingwood for two weekends a month. Christopher Becerra became the diocese’s newest transitional deacon on May 26. God willing he will be ordained a priest next year. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Priest meets people By Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

ather Julian lives stewardship and leads through his actions.”

Those words spoken by Ethel Dulak with the Diocese Office of Parish Stewardship most succinctly describes the resurgence at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice under the leadership of Father Julian Cabrera. “He has made sure there is something for everyone,” Dulak said. As a result, there has been a big surge in youth activities, Mass attendance and collections and the recent Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope campaign exceeded all expectations. Father Cabrera modestly shrugs off the compliment. The parish was Father Julian Cabrera blesses parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe after Sunday Mass. in good shape when he got there and any Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic revival is due to many factors; most importantly to parishioners themselves. “I try to meet them where they’re at, to etc., in order to raise money with the hope of someday in bring them to where they should be,” Father Cabrera said. the near future to have their own church erected,” Father Where they are at is in Rancho Alegre, historically one Caldeano wrote the bishop in February 1967. of the poorest sections of Alice. In fact, the area started A little over a year later, in March 1968, Bishop Drury as a colonia and the city has never seen fit to incorporate agreed to have a church built for the Mission of Our Lady them. Still, like any colonia dweller, residents in the area of Guadalupe at a cost of $87,874, with the diocese providexude the self-determination of people who value the idea ing $50,000. On May 1, 1970, Bishop Drury elevated the of homeownership, which is what brought them to the area mission to a parish. in the first place. More than 40 years later, Our Lady of Guadalupe conBy 1964, the area had about 600 families, most of tinues as a vibrant parish. Once a mission itself, today it them Catholic. Father Javier Caldeano, O.P., pastor at St. oversees Santo Nino de Atocha Mission in Tecolote. But it Joseph Parish purchased three acres of land and bought is not without challenges. an old schoolhouse to serve as a church. Father Caldeano The parish is carrying a note of $600,000 and the parkreported to Bishop Thomas J. Drury that the church had ing lot is “holier” than the church. Father Cabrera and seating for 300 and—much like today—on Sundays it was parishioners are taking on these challenges head on. With filled to capacity. the help of the Office of Parish Stewardship they received “The good people of the Mission are working very hard pledges of $808,000 for the Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope with bingos, raffles, barbecues, door-to-door campaigns, campaign, exceeding their goal of $300,000 by more than




‘where they’re at’ 200 percent. Father Cabrera has been making one-and-a-half monthly payments on the note, and will use collections from the Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope to pay off the debt. As for the potholes, the parish will use the nearly $100,000 they made in their recent parish festival to pave the parking lot. “People have been extremely generous,” Father Cabrera said. The debt and improvements to the physical plant, while challenging, are clear targets and less difficult to attack. The spiritual and pastoral needs of the parish are harder to tackle; harder, but not impossible. Father Cabrera was born in Falfurrias, a mere 30 miles south of Rancho Alegre. He tells parishioners he understands their problems because he grew up in a community very much like their own. He shares their hardscrabble life experiences, their family structures, their cultural customs and their social justice issues.

Part of what has happened, Father Cabrera said, is the people have changed their self-image and internalized the racism directed at them. “I tell them ‘don’t think of yourselves as others see you’,” Father Cabrera said. “The general consensus is always the little church in the barrio, but it really isn’t. It’s been healthy for a number of years. I keep telling them ‘we are already the church that God is calling us to be.’ We just haven’t realized it.” A large part of Father Cabrera’s success is his caring approach. “It’s easy to tell them ‘too bad’, it’s harder to take the time to talk with them about their situation,” Father Cabrera said. “Even in tribulation, God sends us blessings,” he told the congregation in his homily at a recent Sunday Mass. The pastor’s approach was evident that Sunday. The church was filled to capacity. The crying room was jampacked. People were standing in the rear of the church and on the side isles. He said that he had a responsibility to those coming

Sunday Mass at our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice is standing-room only. Parishioners respond to Father Julian Cabrera with enthusiasm and joy. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic



for a blessing during Holy Communion, to “invite you and bring you into the Eucharist.” “We come here to be fed so we can go out into the world to give witness to the communion of the Holy Trinity,” Father Cabrera said. After the Mass, between handshakes, hugs and high fives, he blessed a man who was scheduled for surgery and a medallion for an elderly woman. After greeting people, he counseled a woman in an “irregular marriage” to enter into a Sacramental marriage even if her husband did not want to become Catholic, so that she could receive the Eucharist. Later that day, while having lunch at a nearby restaurant, Father Cabrera remained engaged with his parishioners. A waiter approached him about starting a Spanish Mass. Father Cabrera told the young man to encourage his friends to volunteer as Eucharistic ministers and readers and he would start the Mass. A waitress came over to talk to the priest about her recent health issues. A bus boy confessed freely and openly to not having attended Mass for more than a year but promised to return. People in adjoining tables engaged Father Cabrera about other problems, and he ministered to them all. Ministering to his flock is Father Cabrera’s focus. He visits the sick, blesses homes, performs funeral services and gives last rites to the dying. Before coming to Our Lady of Guadalupe he assisted Msgr. Louis Kihneman, Vicar General, at Sacred Heart in Rockport. Father Cabrera values his training under Msgr. Kihneman and often asks himself “what would monsignor do?” Part of the trick, Father Cabrera said, is to find a balance. “People want to be acknowledged but you don’t want the Church just to be a social outlet, the Church has more to give than that,” he said. “But you use whatever you have to bring them in.” “People are really hungry, but they are struggling and so I try to be as welcoming as possible,” Father Cabrera said. “One of my goals when I got ordained was that I wanted people to see God in the ordinary, in the everyday life.”


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Diocese supports effort against unjust laws Catholic News Service and Staff Reports


merican Catholics must resist unjust laws “as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith,” a committee of the U.S. bishops said in a new statement on religious liberty.

A depiction of the Statue of Liberty appears in mosaic, part of a larger piece in a side chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee, meeting in Washington March 13-14, vowed in a statement to continue to fight against the government mandate that all private insurers cover sterilization and contraception in their health plans. “This is not about the church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the church... to act against church teachings,” the committee’s statement said. Nancy Phelan Wiechec, Catholic News Service



Titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the 12-page statement by the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty also calls for “a fortnight for freedom” from June 21, the vigil of the feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, to July 4, U.S. Independence Day. “This special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty,” the committee said. “Dioceses and parishes around the

NATIONAL NEWS try could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, after consultation with the Presbyteral Council in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, will launch the fortnight with a Mass imploring God for the protection of all religious liberty. The Mass will be held on Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral. The following Sunday, June 24, priests and deacons in every parish in the diocese will hand out material on religious liberty. Homilies at all Masses will focus on religious liberty. On Wednesday, June 27, the diocese will hold a symposium on religious liberty at the Cathedral, beginning at 6 p.m. There will be time for prayer, adoration and Bishop Mulvey will give a major address on religious freedom. Bishop Mulvey is asking that every priest, deacon and religious attend the symposium. “This will be an educational night for catechists to develop and strengthen their knowledge on religious liberty,” Bishop Mulvey said. A video of the symposium will be made for use as an educational tool when CCD and religious education classes resume in the fall. Bishop Mulvey is encouraging all parishes in the diocese to develop plans for a closing ceremony on Wednesday, July 4. These could take the form of a Mass, prayers, adoration, novenas, etc. Additionally, the bishop is encouraging the faithful to watch a nationally televised Mass from the National Cathedral in Washington, DC which will air on July 4. These are the initial ideas approved; other events may be announced later. The bishops’ statement, which is being printed in this issue of the South Texas Catholic and distributed throughout the diocese, provides several “concrete examples” of recent threats to religious

liberty, saying, “this is not a theological or legal dispute without real-world consequences.” Cited first was the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that most health plans must include contraception, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. “In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are ‘religious enough’ to merit protection of their religious liberty,” the statement said. “These features of the ‘preventive services’ mandate amount to an unjust law.” Among other examples of “religious liberty under attack” the bishops named: immigration laws in Alabama and other states that “forbid what the government deems ‘harboring’ of undocumented immigrants and what the church deems Christian charity and pastoral care to those immigrants;” an attempt by the Connecticut Legislature in 2009 to restructure Catholic parishes; discrimination against Christian students on college campuses; government actions in Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia and the state of Illinois that have “driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services” because the agencies would not place children with same-sex or unmarried heterosexual couples; a New York City rule that bars small church congregations from renting public schools on weekends for worship services, while allowing such rentals by nonreligious groups; and changes in federal contracts for human trafficking grants that require Catholic agencies “to refer for contraceptive and abortion services in violation of Catholic teaching.”

The statement quotes the Founding Fathers and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to bolster its arguments. Rev. King, writing from jail in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, described an unjust law as one “that is out of harmony with the moral law,” and said he agreed with St. Augustine that, “an unjust law is no law at all.” “An unjust law cannot be obeyed,” the bishops’ statement said. “In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. “If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them,” it said. “No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.” The bishops also distinguished between conscientious objection and an unjust law. “Conscientious objection permits some relief to those who object to a just law for reasons of conscience— conscription being the most wellknown example,” the committee said. “An unjust law is ‘no law at all.’ It cannot be obeyed, and therefore one does not seek relief from it, but rather its repeal.” In addition to the “fortnight for freedom” June 21 to July 4, the bishops designated the feast of Christ the King—Nov. 25 this year—as “a day specifically employed by bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty...” (Editor’s Note: The full text of “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty” is found on Page 41 of this issue of the South Texas Catholic and can also be downloaded from CherishedLiberty.) JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Catholic creates ‘Rosary for the USA' a nation in need of prayer By Joyce Coronel Catholic News Service


s Manny Yrique prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, his heart was burdened with concerns about the United States and the level of animosity in American discourse.

“I knelt down to pray and I was overwhelmed by the feeling that Our Lord wanted me to pray a rosary,” Yrique said. “I felt him telling me, ‘Take it to my mother.’” He pulled out his rosary beads and as he began to pray, he was struck by the realization that each of the 50 Hail Mary prayers of the rosary could be offered for one of the 50 United States. Yrique said he has always had a strong devotion to Mary. He remembers being eight years-old kneeling with his six-year-old sister to pray the rosary while their mother was undergoing surgery. “We didn’t know if our mom was coming back home, so we took out our plastic rosaries, knelt down at the Virgin of Guadalupe statue that was over my mom’s bed and we prayed a rosary,” Yrique told The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese. “It was like, ‘Nothing’s going to happen as long as Mary’s with you.’” Yrique said he designed the Rosary for the United States of America through prayer, often waking in the middle of the night to compose the intentions. He has already given away or sold 3,000 of the red, white and blue rosary beads and has ordered another 2,000. He has a Web site, Along with the rosary, people can order a prayer booklet or prayer card



that lists all the intentions as well as the names of the 50 states. Each of the five decades has a designated intention. The first three decades are prayed for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The fourth decade is dedicated to state and local governments as well as police and firefighters. The fifth decade is devoted to U.S. military personnel. Yrique’s conviction about the love of the mother of God is something that he said can partly be explained by his own mother’s unshakeable devotion to her children. “I believe that a mother has tremendous impact on her family—I saw that in my mother,” Yrique said. “We knew that nothing would happen to us as children as long as Mom was there. I believe the Blessed Virgin Mary is the same way—she’s always been my mother and I believe she has the ear of God at her command.” The “Rosary for the USA” is not a political statement, Yrique said. He’s not praying for a particular candidate to win the upcoming election or for any political party’s success. He’s simply praying for the United States—its leaders and populace. “At the time I started praying for my country, I was really concerned with how divisive we became over the S.B. 1070 (immigration) issue,” Yrique said. “So when I saw things happening on the news—when I saw people being angry at one another, shouting at one another, I thought, ‘This is not the way I was brought up.’” Yrique said it’s important for the 30 million Catholics in the United States to pray for their leaders, regardless of political persuasion. “I really believe that it doesn’t matter who we elect if the power of God is not working through our elected officials,” he said. --Coronel writes for The Catholic Sun in Phoenix.

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Sacerdote se reúne la gente Por Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

adre Julián vive la administración y dirige a través de sus acciones.”

Esas palabras pronunciadas por Ethel Dulak con la Oficina Diocesana de Corresponsabilidad Parroquial sucintamente describen el resurgimiento de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Alice, bajo la dirección del Padre Julián Cabrera. “Él asegura de que haiga algo para todos,” Dulak dijo. Como resultado, ha habido un gran aumento en las actividades de los jóvenes, la asistencia a misa, las colecciones y la reciente campaña Legado de la Fe~Futuro de la Esperanza sobresalió todas las esperanzas. Padre Cabrera humildemente hace menos de este cumplido. La parroquia estaba en buena forma cuando llegó allí, y cualquier recuperación se debe a muchos factores, especialmente a los feligreses mismos, el dijo. “Trato de encontrarlos donde están, para llevarlos a donde deben de estar,” el Padre Cabrera dijo. Dónde están es en Rancho Alegre, históricamente uno de los sectores más pobres de Alice. En realidad, la ciudad nunca ha incorporado el área que comenzó como una colonia. Sin embargo, como cualquier habitante de colonias, los residentes en el área exhiben una independencia de personas que valoran la idea de ser dueños de sus hogares, que es lo que los llevó a la zona en el primer lugar. En 1964, el área tenía cerca de 600 familias, la mayoría de ellos católicos. Padre Javier Caldeano, OP, párroco de la iglesia San José compró tres hectáreas de tierra y compró una escuela desusada para servir como una iglesia. Padre Caldeano informó al Obispo Thomas J. Drury que la iglesia tenía capacidad para 300 personas y, al igual que hoy, los domingos se llenaba a capacidad. “Las buenas gentes de la Misión están trabajando muy duro con los bingos, rifas, asados, campañas puerta-a-puerta, etc., con el fin de recaudar dinero con la esperanza de algún día en un futuro próximo a tener su propia iglesia constituida,” Padre Caldeano, le dijo al el obispo en una carta enviada febrero de 1967. Un poco más de un año después, en marzo de 1968, el Obispo Drury aprobó a que se construyera una iglesia de la Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a un costo de $87,874, con la diócesis contribuyendo $50,000. El 1 de mayo de 1970,



el Obispo Drury elevó la misión a estatura de parroquia. Más de 40 años más tarde, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe continúa como una parroquia llena de vida. En tiempos pasado era una misión, pero hoy supervisa la Misión Santo Niño de Atocha en Tecolote. Sin embargo, no existe sin dificultades. La parroquia tiene una nota de $600,000 y el estacionamiento requiere bastante reparación. Padre Cabrera y los feligreses están confrontando estas problemas directamente. Con El Padre Julián Cabrera toma todas las op la ayuda de la Oficina de Corresponsabilidad Parroquial recibieron promesas de los parroquianos de $700,000 para la campaña Legado de la Fe~Futuro de la Esperanza, superando su meta de $300,000 en más de un 200 por ciento. Padre Cabrera ha estado haciendo los pagos mensuales de un mes y medio en la nota, y utilizara las colecciones del Legado de la Fe~Futuro de la Esperanza para pagar la deuda. La parroquia va a utilizar casi $100,000 que ganaron en su reciente festival para pavimentar el estacionamiento. “La gente ha sido muy generosa,” dijo el Padre Cabrera. La deuda y la ampliación de la planta física son metas claras y menos difíciles de atacar. Las necesidades espirituales y pastorales de la parroquia son más difíciles de afrontar; más difícil, pero no imposible. Padre Cabrera nació en Falfurrias, 30 millas al sur de Rancho Alegre. Les dice a la gente que él entiende sus problemas porque él es uno de ellos. Él comparte sus experiencias de la vida mísera, sus organizaciones familiares, sus costumbres culturales y sus temas de justicia social. Parte de lo que ha sucedido, el Padre Cabrera dijo, es

e en donde están

portunidades para servir as sus parroquianos. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

que las personas han cambiado su imagen de sí mismo y han interiorizado el racismo dirigido contra ellos. “Yo les digo ‘no piensan en sí mismos como otros nos ven’,” dijo el Padre Cabrera. “El consenso general siempre es que somos la pequeña iglesia en el barrio, pero en realidad no lo somos. La iglesia ha sido vigoroso por un número de años. Sigo diciendo al pueblo que ‘ya somos la iglesia que Dios nos llama a ser.’ Simplemente no se han dado cuenta de ello.” Una gran parte del éxito de Padre Cabrera es su compasión. “Es fácil decir ‘ni modo’, es más difícil tomar el tiempo para hablar con la gente acerca de su situación,” dijo el Padre Cabrera. “Incluso en la tribulación, Dios nos envía bendiciones,” le dijo el Padre Cabrera a la congregación en su sermón en una reciente misa de domingo. El perspectiva del pastor se manifiesto ese domingo. La iglesia se llenó a capacidad. El cuarto para niños estaba repleto. La gente estaba de pie detrás de la iglesia y en las islas secundarios.


Dijo el Padre Cabrera que él tenía la responsabilidad de los que vienen por una bendición en la Santa Comunión, a “invitamos a la Eucaristía.” “Hemos venido aquí para ser alimentados para ir por el mundo dando testimonio de la comunión de la Santísima Trinidad,” dijo el Padre Cabrera. Después de la misa, entre saludos de manos y abrazos, bendijo a un hombre que estaba programado para la cirugía y una medalla de una mujer de edad avanzada. Después de saludar a la gente, aconsejó a una mujer en un “matrimonio irregular” para que entrara en un matrimonio sacramental, incluso si su marido no quería convertirse al catolicismo, para que pudiera recibir la Eucaristía. Más tarde ese día, mientras comía en un restaurante cercano, el Padre Cabrera seguía ministrando a sus feligreses. Un mesero se acercó y le pidió a el padre si se podría comenzar una misa en español. El Padre Cabrera le dijo al joven que si animaba a sus amigos para ofrecerse como ministros de la Eucaristía y lectores les comenzaba la misa en español. Una mesera se acercó a hablar con el sacerdote acerca de sus problemas de salud. Un ayudante de mesero le confesó que no había asistido la misa en más de un año, pero prometió volver. La gente en las mesas seguidas hablaban con el Padre Cabrera acerca de otros problemas, y él ministró a todos ellos. Ministrar a su rebaño es el enfoque del Padre Cabrera. Visita a los enfermos, bendice hogares, lleva a cabo los servicios funerarios y le da la extremaunción a los que están en agonía. Antes de llegar a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, el Padre Cabrera fue asistente de el Monseñor Louis Kihneman, Vicario General, en la iglesia Sagrado Corazón en Rockport. Padre Cabrera estima su formación con el Monseñor Kihneman y, a con frecuencia se pregunta así mismo, “¿qué hiciera el monseñor?” Parte de la solución, el Padre Cabrera dijo, es encontrar un equilibrio. “La gente quiere ser reconocida, pero no podemos dejar que la Iglesia se use sólo como salón social, la Iglesia tiene más para dar que eso,” el dijo. “Sin embargo, tenemos que usar todo lo que tenemos para traer la gente a la iglesia.” “La gente tiene mucho deseo, pero están batallando y por eso trato de ser lo más amable posible,” dijo el Padre Cabrera. “Una de mis metas cuando fui ordenó fue que quería que la gente viera a Dios en lo ordinario, en la vida diaria.” JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Farmers humbly trust Go

By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


s if on cue, the clouds above Alice opened and the rains began to fall 30 minutes before Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey began celebration of a Mass to bless farmers and their crops. For an area that has been withered dry by an extended drought, both the rains and the bishop’s prayers were welcomed indeed. Farmers from throughout the diocese were invited to the special Mass on the Feast Day of St. Isidore the patron of farmers, which the bishop plans to make an annual Mass to be celebrated in 28


different rural parishes each year. While the recent rains have been a blessing, all agree that the area has a ways to go before it can get out of the drought designation and its effects. The rains have helped establish good crops, but a lot more has to happen to get out of drought conditions, Rogelio Mercado, Jim Wells County Extension Agent, said. “We have started to see a long-term weather pattern that promises more rain this summer and a wetter winter,” Mercado said. Still, to get out of the “hardest drought on record,” much more rain is needed to create a “deep moisture profile” and “fill the aquifers,” Mercado said. The rain has been good for some crops and not so good for others. Crops have suffered “too much stress that yields will not reach bumper

od and are thankful

crowd levels,” Mercado said. The range and pasture conditions are looking good for ranchers, Mercado said. While there is a shortage of hay, and livestock numbers are down, the prices are good. The drought may be breaking, but it could come back anytime, said Lawrence Pawlik who farms nearly 6,000 acres between Alice and Orange Grove with one of his sons. Two other sons also farm in the area on their own farms. This year he planted milo, corn and cotton. In years past he has also grown sunflowers. Pawlik, 81, has been farming for 60 years and has seen worse times. The early 1950s were rough, he said. In 1955, he donated more to the church than what he made. “Of course it wasn’t much,” he said with a chuckle. Pawlik appreciated Bishop Mulvey coming

to Alice to celebrate the Mass for farmers and ranchers. “It was a very nice thing to do. I enjoyed it more than I have any other Mass in a long time. It showed that other people do think of us,” Pawlik said. Bishop Mulvey shared with those in attendance the wisdom a pastor had shared with him once, when he was assigned to do his diaconate in Liverpool, England. The people who work the land, the pastor told him, “are the most real of all people, because they depend on someone else, they depend on the Almighty God and they know that, day after day.” “We cannot turn on the rain, we have to ask for it. We cannot…create the crops. We have to plant them, care for them, till them. For that we depend on God,” Bishop Mulvey said. JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Prayer of

Blessing Bless, Almighty God, +

these farmers and ranchers in all they do. May health and purity, goodness and meekness, and every virtue reign on their farms and ranches. May they be filled with faithfulness to Your law and with thanksgiving to You, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. May this blessing remain on their farms and ranches and all who dwell there. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Longtime Jim Wells County farmer Lawrence Pawlik thanks Bishop Mulvey for best Mass he has attended in a long time. He said he was grateful for the bishop thinking about farmers and ranchers.

This dependence on God and the elements underscore the character of farmers who must possess humility, trust and thanksgiving, the bishop said. Their humility comes from the understanding that as people who work the land they are “children of God and…depend on our Heavenly Father.” They also have to trust God, “even when crops fail.” Bishop Mulvey said God “will never harm us” but will at times test our faith and our perseverance. “We are trusting people,” Bishop Mulvey said. People this “close to the elements God has given us” are also people of “thanksgiving,” the bishop said.



Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

“When we are working the land, we are near the elements of Creation, such as you are here. You realize that in that humility of spirit, as a child of God—trusting in the Father—that He will give what we need that when we receive, we also give thanks,” Bishop Mulvey said. The Mass was celebrated at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, with its Pastor Msgr. Leonard Pivonka and Fathers Julian Cabrera, Romeo Salinas and Tom Showalter, SOLT, concelebrating with Bishop Mulvey. Father Joseph Lopez was Master of Ceremonies and Deacon Jim Carlisle also served. St. Elizabeth parishioners hosted a reception for the farmers and ranchers in the parish hall after the Mass.



2012 High Scho


n Friday, May 25, 62 Incarnate Word Academy seniors completed their high school journey at the altar of the Corpus Christi Cathedral. A week later, on June 2, 96 seniors from Blessed John Paul II High School will do the same.

Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi traditionally hold their commencement ceremonies at the Cathedral. This year, the setting has a special significance as the Diocese of Corpus Christi is in the midst of its Centennial Jubilee celebration.

Dylan Alaniz

Alyssa Biggins

Danielle Compian


Brianna Bostick

Frederick Cook

Patrick Allman

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass for both schools. The IWA commencement ceremony featured speakers were class Salutatorian Julia Baker and Valedictorian Matthew Matl. As part of the graduation ceremony, IWA candidates presented roses to their parents in appreciation for their support throughout their childhood. The IWA Class of 2012 also presented Bishop Mulvey with a rose in appreciation for celebrating the Baccalaureate Mass, conferring diplomas and also for his leadership of the diocese. The Bishop, along with Principal Jose Torres, and Incarnate Word Sisters, Martha O’Gara, Judith Marie Saenz, and Raquel Newman, conferred the diplomas to each graduating scholar. Blessed John Paul II Valedictorian Shelby Hathorn and Salutatorian Alexis Ybanez will speak at their school’s ceremony.

Alexandra Armstrong

Julia Baker

Lacee Beal

Parixit Bhakta

Samantha Brozo

Emma Camarena

Marissa Carreon

Amris Chacon

Yeun Chang

Camilla Childs

Garrett Cox

Hannah Dodson

John Dunne

Catherine Fergie

Shelby Fincher

Laurel Flanigan



ool Graduates Mary Ellen Flood

Brett Garcia

Gabriela Garcia

Robert Garza II

Evelyn Gayle

Amelia Gonzalez

Trevor Gonzalez

Sarah Green

Hannah Grunwald

Sarah Hall

Cody Hammond

Alexandra Harrel

Raquel Kasprzyk

Corey Kerr

Cameron Knox

Maria Kroeger

Lauren Kuffel

Clara Marti

Matthew Matl

Matthew McClung

Danielle Mladenka

Joseph Morrison

Miles Novack

Zachary Pekar

Thomas Pesek

Teresa Perez

Karissa Rangel

Christina Rivas

Maria Rivera

Christina Robertson

Adrian Rodriguez

Bita Salamat

Regina Salinas

Samantha Skurka

Clara Tamez

Victoria Torres

Miranda Trevino

Ted Turner III

Corina Villarreal

Seung Joo Yang



Blessed John Paul II Joshua Acosta

Michael Alcoser

Maridel Aldana

Carlos Almeida

Eugene Alvarez

Daniel Apacible

Steven Ballien

Daniel Carr

Sarah Charbonneau

Elijah Chupe

Krystal Cochran

Thomas Robert De Los Santos Esparza

Ryan Estrada

LetiMaria Flores

Vicente Flores Jr.

Matthew Franke

Gabriella Garcia

Joshua Garcia

Marina Garcia

Cristina Garza

Mikaela Garza

Daniel Gonzalez

James Gonzalez

Kayla Gonzalez

Siera Gonzalez

Victor Gonzalez

John Graham

Armando Guerrero

David Guerrero

Shelby Hathorn

Matthew Hayles

Tobias Hendricks

Megan Hernandez

Kelsey Hill

Brandon Jones

Jeremy Juarez

Georgia Kapusta

Kristopher Kelley

Isaac Kimmel

Theresa Loera

Candace Longoria

Dominic Lopez

Joseph Lopez

Alexis Luna



Amanda Espericueta

Angela Martinez

James Martinez

Joseph Martinez

Ricardo Martinez III

Vanessa Martinez

Adam Mata

Blake McKenzie

Krystal Mireles

Mason Mireles

Nicole Montelongo

Emilie Morales

Christopher Moreland

Aaron Nye

Jilissa Ojeda

Keara Olivares

Jose Padron

Matthew Perales

Robert Puentes

Andrea Ramirez

Christine Ramirez

Daniel Ramos

Jacob Reyes

Iliana Reyna

Joseph Reyna

Alexandria Rodriguez

Christopher Rodriguez

Lauren Rodriguez

Christina Ruiz

Liana Salas

Mark Saldana

Clarisa Salinas

Allyse Sanchez

Christopher Shull

Adrian Silguero

Jakob Silva

Charles Silvas

Woody Solomon

John Soto

Brianna Torres

Fernanda Torres

Victoria Torres

Fernando Trevino III

David Tver

Cassandra Vaiz

Dimitri Villanueva

Brittany Yanez

Alexis Ybanez

Abraham Zuniga



Catholics must accept Vatican II on Judaism By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service


of anti-Semitism and of the idea that he Catholic Church’s relation- itsthecondemnations Jews were to blame for the death of Jesus. “All the doctrinal decisions of the Church are binding on ship to Judaism as taught by the a Catholic, including the Second Vatican Council and all its Second Vatican Council and the texts,” Cardinal Koch said when asked if the SSPX would expected to accept all the teachings of Vatican II. “The interpretations and developments of that be‘Nostra Aetate’ declaration of the Second Vatican Council is a clear decree and is important for every Catholic,” he said. teaching by subsequent popes, “are bindAt the same time, Cardinal Koch said, “it is very necesing on a Catholic,” said sary to make clear the difference the position of the Socithe Vatican official re- God’s plan of salvation between ety of St. Pius X and the negation the Shoah (the Holocaust), sponsible for relations for humanity began ofwhich is a position that has no with the Jews. with his covenant with place in the Catholic Church. It is very clear.” Following the revelation of Bishop Williamson’s comments about the Holocaust, SSPX leaders issued a statement saying his position in no way reflected the views of the society. “I’m very happy about this,” Cardinal Koch said. “The Holy Father has spoken clearly about this position of Williamson, that it’s not possible, there is no place for deniers in the Catholic Church.” In his speech at Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Cardinal Koch said “Nostra Aetate” is “the ‘foundation document’ and the ‘Magna Carta’ of the dialogue of the Roman Catholic Church with Judaism.” The declaration highlighted the Jewish roots of Christianity and took “an unambiguous position against every form of anti-Semitism,” he said. The church’s theological reflection on its Jewish roots, as well as on the relationship between God’s covenant with the Jewish people and the new covenant instituted by Christ have been developed further and authoritatively by Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, he said. God’s plan of salvation for humanity began with his

the Jewish people and if Christianity ignores that “it is in danger of losing its location within salvation history.”

Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, spoke to reporters May 16 after delivering a speech on Catholic-Jewish relations in light of Vatican II’s declaration “Nostra Aetate” on the church’s relations with non-Christian religions. The afternoon speech followed Cardinal Koch’s participation in a meeting of the doctrinal congregation to examine the latest progress in the Vatican’s reconciliation talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X. “There are questions to clarify in discussions with this community. I can’t say more than that,” he told reporters, echoing a Vatican statement saying the reconciliation talks are ongoing. In addition to the highly publicized position of Bishop Richard Williamson, an SSPX bishop who denies the Holocaust, public statements by the society’s superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, leave in doubt whether the society as a whole accepts the entirety of “Nostra Aetate,” including



VATICAN covenant with the Jewish people and if Christianity ignores that, he said, “it is in danger of losing its location within salvation history.” Cardinal Koch said that for Pope Benedict, the key to the theological understanding of the importance of a relationship with Judaism and Jews is that the Bible is one book detailing the entire history of salvation. While Catholics profess that, in the end, all salvation

will be accomplished through Jesus Christ, “it does not necessarily follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the son of God,” the cardinal said. “That the Jews are participants in God’s salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery.”

Former British prime minister Tony Blair met Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey and Msgr. Louis Kihneman, Vicar General, during his visit to Corpus Christi on May 9 to address the Lyceum, a fund raising event for CHRISTUS Spohn. Raymond Gray, Gray Photography

Without faith, world would head for disaster Catholic News Service


ormer British Prime Minister Tony Blair made an impassioned defense of religion, saying the world would be heading for tragedy and disaster without faith. In a May 14 interview in front of more than 4,300 people at an Anglican conference in the Royal Albert Hall, London, Blair also revealed that he had once been rebuked by an official for proposing to end a speech with the words: “God bless Britain.” Blair, a former Anglican who became a Catholic in 2007—less than a year after he stepped down from leading his country for a decade—said that faith was vital because it introduced the virtue of humility into societies. “What is the essence of our faith besides all the things we believe, certainly as Christians, about Jesus Christ and

his place in our lives?” he asked. “It is also fundamentally a belief that there is something bigger and more important than you, that you are not the only thing that matters, that there is something that is greater and transcendent,” he said to the leadership conference organized by the Holy Trinity Brompton, an influential Anglican parish in London. “I think that essential obligation of humility for humanity is deeply important,” he said. “It is what allows us to make progress; it is what keeps us from ideology or thought processes that then treat human beings as if they were secondary to some political purpose. “For a long period of time, what people thought was that as society became more developed and as we became more prosperous, that faith would be relegated, that it would become a kind of relic of the past—what kind of ignorant people do but not what civilized, educated people do. “I think a world without faith would be a world on the path to tragedy and disaster, I really believe that,” he said. JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Vatican splits negotiations with Pius X CNA/EWTN News

Frederic Baraga

Miriam Teresa Demjanovich

Pope advances causes of two possible US saints VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) - Two figures in U.S. Catholic history, a 19th century bishop and a 20th century religious sister, moved closer to possible sainthood with a May 10 decree from the pope approving their public veneration. During a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Benedict XVI authorized decrees of “heroic virtue” for the Servants of God Frederic Baraga, the first Bishop of Marquette, and Miriam Teresa Demjanovich of the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth. Both will now bear the title “Venerable,” in the place of “Servant of God.” Catholics now have formal approval to pray directly to Bishop Baraga and Sister Miriam Teresa as intercessors before God. Thursday’s meeting was also notable for the pope’s action in regard to St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12-century Benedictine nun and author who has long been venerated as a saint. On Thursday, the Pope formally added her to the Church’s roster of saints, extending her liturgical feast throughout the world. Bishop Alexander K. Sample of Marquette announced on May 10 that he was “thrilled beyond words” by the “significant step” toward the beatification and canon-



ization of his predecessor, Venerable Frederic Baraga. Canonization will require two documented and verified miracles through his intercession. Born in Slovenia during 1797, Baraga came to the U.S. as a missionary to Native Americans in Michigan during 1830. Nicknamed the “snowshoe priest” for his preaching journeys in the Upper Great Lakes, he served as the area’s first bishop from 1853 until his death in 1868. Sister Miriam Teresa, the daughter of Eastern Catholic immigrants from Slovakia, was born in 1901 and lived only 26 years. After graduating with high honors as a literature major, she taught and later joined the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey. Sister Miriam Teresa continued to teach during the last two full years of her life. She also gave a series of spiritual conferences, which were compiled after her death in the book “Greater Perfection.” The conferences stressed the call to holiness for people in every state of life. She died after several months of health struggles in 1927. Along with the two now-venerable U.S. Catholics, nine other prospective saints were found to have led lives of heroic virtue, advancing them from the title of “Servant of God” to the rank of “Venerable.”

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has announced it will hold separate talks with the superior general of the breakaway traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and each of its three other bishops to try and achieve reconciliation. The Feria Quarta, a 16-person committee, met May 16 to discuss the modifications made by the Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, to a “doctrinal preamble” prepared last year by the Vatican. The document establishes a framework for agreement on some key issues of Church doctrine, including acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. In contrast to Bishop Fellay, the Society’s three other bishops seem hostile to the idea of reconciliation with Rome. The Vatican said the situations of the three other bishops “will have to be dealt with separately and singularly.” Prior to today’s statement, many obser vers thought it was possible that the committee would announce an agreement with the Society that could be presented to Pope Benedict XVI for his judgment.

Emulate Chirst’s love by living life of service



entecost concludes the Paschal Mystery; the mystery of Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. This is the treasured mystery we carry within us and forms us as Christians.

In faith we believe that Christ is risen from the dead with charity. We emulate His love by giving our life in service; ready to die for one another. With ascension our eyes are fixed in hope of our Eternal Life. With Pentecost upon us, we live the Spirit formed

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic

by this myster y of Christ in us. May the spirit strengthen us to live the mystery we celebrate in the Eucharist and live out in our daily lives. Today, as we are confronted by serious challenges to our religious liberty, we pray the Holy Spirit grant us wisdom and courage.

Fatherhood, a gift of self


he celebration of Fathers’ Day is foremost a continuation of the celebration of Mothers’ Day, for in a certain sense, as a celebration, it is a response to the gift of woman to man, of Eve to Adam by which God blesses mankind with the nuptial blessing. Human fatherhood arises only through this gift of unity with the beautiful mystery which is woman. Furthermore, it is only through God’s gift that man receives the possibility of being a father. In Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity & Vocation of Women), Blessed Pope John Paul II observed “that man cannot exist ‘alone’ (cf. Gen. 2:18); he can exist only as a ‘unity of the two,’ and therefore in relation to another human person.” “Being a person in the image and likeness of God… involves existing in a relationship,” the pope wrote. It is in this relational aspect of being that “we can understand even more fully what constitutes the personal character of the human being.” God’s self-revelation of his inner life as the unity of the Trinity in a communion of persons sheds further light on the meaning of man created in God’s image and likeness. Not only is man and woman individually like God, but in the “unity of the two in their common humanity, [they]

Deacon Stephen Nolte Contributor

are called to live in a communion of love” like that which is in God. This deeper understanding of personal being invokes a call and a task for both man and woman. That task is succinctly expressed by Pope John Paul II, “In the ‘unity of the two,’ man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist ‘side by side’ or ‘together,’ but they are also called to exist mutually ‘one for the other’.” From Vatican II nearly 50 years ago, a passage from Gaudium et Spes recalls, “man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” This task or vocation to the gift of self can only be realized through free, responsible action. To restate what is noted previously, it is the constitutive character of personal being. This act of the free gift of self by man is preceded by a more original gift of self that makes man’s gift possible. It is in the being of creation itself which is not just fact but in essence is a free gift from God to every created being. It derives from God’s JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


free will and is directed toward the freedom of created being to accept the gift and to respond as a gift. This exchange of self-giving becomes an interpersonal dialogue from one to the other, originating from God to man and in His image and likeness finding human expression between man and woman. This vocation to giftedness which is to be lived out in the “unity of the two” culminates in the gift of being father or mother and finds fulfillment in the free self-gift of God. Human mystery finds its definitive light in Christ, who, “by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.” Humanity therefore finds itself fully revealed in Christ and through His sacrifice is called into adoption as sons and daughters of God. Our relationship to God as children to the Father enables us to become spouses and thus father or mother. The overabundance of God’s original gift bears fruit in the sacrament of matrimony. This fruit is the openness to communicating the gift which is first received from God. Its expression arises from the total self-gift of the man and woman in unity with the other. From this unity comes the child and through the child the gift of being father and mother. If a man is to claim the gift of being a father, he must first accept the mystery of woman’s unique giftedness to be a mother. The woman offers herself totally and freely as a

gift to her husband in order to receive God’s gift of her own maternity, and in order to fully receive his wife’s self-gift man must give himself freely and totally to her. Unless they do this, they deny God’s gift of fatherhood and motherhood. To deny God’s gift is to deny their own dignity as adopted sons and daughters of the Father. It cannot be stated enough that from the beginning man was created to receive the gift of God and to respond to His gift with his own, self-gift. Subsequent to the creation of Eve, this task of receiving the gift of the other and responding with his own, self-gift was to be extended to his wife in that the “two shall become one.” The difficulties we have in living this out today arises from original sin in which the man and his wife, faced with the trickery of the serpent, took and ate the fruit, which had not been given to them. Ever since original sin mankind has been plagued with a desire to take rather than to receive. This is often disguised by a false notion of receiving when something is presented as a gift but the conditions placed upon the thing prevent it from being a free gift. Finally, we arrive at the truth of fatherhood. We find its finest human expression in St. Joseph who cooperated with the great mystery of salvation in the fullness of time as determined by God. He thus made his life one of service to Mary; to Jesus; and to the mission of redemption connected to Jesus.

JUNE LITURGICAL CALENDAR June 1 | Fri | Saint Justin, Martyr | red | memorial | 1 Pt 4:7-13/Mk 11:1126 (351) June 2 | Sat | Weekday | green/red/ white | [Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs; BVM] | Jude 17, 20b-25/Mk 11:27-33 (352) June 3 | SUN | THE MOST HOLY TRINITY | white | solemnity | Dt 4:3234, 39-40/Rom 8:14-17/Mt 28:16-20 (165) Pss Prop June 4 | Mon | Weekday (Ninth Week in Ordinary Time) | green | 2 Pt 1:2-7/ Mk 12:1-12 (353) Pss I June 5 | Tue | Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr | red | memorial | 2 Pt 3:12-15a, 17-18/Mk 12:13-17 (354) June 6 | Wed | Weekday | green/white | [Saint Norbert, Bishop] | 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12/Mk 12:18-27 (355) June 7 | Thu | Weekday | green | 2 Tm 2:8-15/Mk 12:28-34 (356) June 8 | Fri | Weekday | green | 2 Tm 3:10-17/Mk 12:35-37 (357) June 9 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/ white | [Saint Ephrem, Deacon and


Doctor of the Church; BVM] | 2 Tm 4:1-8/Mk 12:38-44 (358) June 10 | SUN | THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST | white | (Corpus Christi) | solemnity | Ex 24:3-8/Heb 9:11-15/Mk 14:12-16, 22-26 (168) Pss Prop June 11 | Mon | Saint Barnabas, Apostle (Tenth Week in Ordinary Time) | red | memorial | Acts 11:21b26; 13:1-3* (580)/Mt 5:1-12 (359) Pss II June 12 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 17:7-16/Mt 5:13-16 (360) | 13 | Wed | Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | memorial | 1 Kgs 18:20-39/Mt 5:17-19 (361) June 14 | Thu | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 18:41-46/Mt 5:20-26 (362) June 15 | Fri | The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus | white | solemnity | Hos 11:1, 3-4, 8c-9/Eph 3:8-12, 14-19/ Jn 19:31-37 (171) Pss Prop June 16 | Sat | The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | memorial | 1 Kgs 19:19-21(364)/Lk


2:41-51* (573) June 17 | SUN | ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Ez 17:22-24/2 Cor 5:6-10/Mk 4:26-34 (92) Pss III

1:8-12/Lk 1:5-17 (586) | Day: Is 49:1-6/ Acts 13:22-26/Lk 1:57-66, 80 (587) Pss Prop

June 18 | Mon | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 21:1-16/Mt 5:38-42 (365)

June 25 | Mon | Weekday (Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time) | green | 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18/Mt 7:1-5 (371) Pss IV

June 19 | Tue | Weekday | green/ white [Saint Romuald, Abbot] | 1 Kgs 21:17-29/Mt 5:43-48 (366)

June 26 | Tue | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36/Mt 7:6, 12-14 (372)

June 20 | Wed | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 2:1, 6-14 /Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (367)

June 27 | Wed | Weekday | green/ white [Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] | 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3/Mt 7:15-20 (373)

June 21 | Thu | Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious | white | memorial | Sir 48:1-14/Mt 6:7-15 (368) June 22 | Fri | Weekday | green/white/ red [Saint Paulinus of Nola, Bishop; Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs] | 2 Kgs 11:1-4, 9-18, 20/Mt 6:19-23 (369) June 23 | Sat | Weekday | green/white | [BVM] | 2 Chr 24:17-25/Mt 6:24-34 (370) June 24 | SUN | THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST | white | solemnity | Vigil: Jer 1:4-10/1 Pt

June 28 | Thu | Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr | red | memorial | 2 Kgs 24:8-17/Mt 7:21-29 (374) June 29 | Fri | Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles | red | solemnity | Vigil: Acts 3:1-10/Gal 1:11-20/Jn 21:15-19 (590) | Day: Acts 12:1-11/2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18/ Mt 16:13-19 (591) Pss Prop June 30 | Sat | Weekday | green/red/ white [The First Martyrs of Holy Roman Church; BVM] | Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19/ Mt 8:5-17 (376)


Our First, Most Cherished Liberty A Statement on Religious Liberty e are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens.


By Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together. Freedom is not only for Americans, but we think of it as something of our special inheritance, fought for at a great price, and a heritage to be guarded now. We are stewards of this gift, not only for ourselves but for all nations and peoples who yearn to be free. Catholics in America have discharged this duty of guarding freedom admirably for many generations. In 1887, when the archbishop of Baltimore, James Gibbons, was made the second American cardinal, he defended the American heritage of religious liberty during his visit to Rome to receive the red hat. Speaking of the great progress the Catholic Church had made in the United States, he attributed it to the “civil liberty we enjoy in our enlightened republic.” Indeed, he made a bolder claim, namely that “in the genial atmosphere of liberty

[the Church] blossoms like a rose.” From well before Cardinal Gibbons, Catholics in America have been advocates for religious liberty, and the landmark teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty was influenced by the American experience. It is among the proudest boasts of the Church on these shores. We have been staunch defenders of religious liberty in the past. We have a solemn duty to

discharge that duty today. We need, therefore, to speak frankly with each other when our freedoms are threatened. Now is such a time. As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad. This has been noticed both near and far. Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke about his worry that religious liberty in the United States is being weakened. He

called it the “most cherished of American freedoms”—and indeed it is. All the more reason to heed the warning of the Holy Father, a friend of America and an ally in the defense of freedom, in his recent address to American bishops. “Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion,” the pope said. “Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience. “Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and wellformed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.” Religious Liberty Under Attack— Concrete Examples Is our most cherished freedom truly under threat? Sadly, it is. This is not a theological or legal dispute without real JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


world consequences. Consider the following. HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. The mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services has received wide attention and has been met with our vigorous and united opposition. In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty. These features of the “preventive services” mandate amount to an unjust law. As Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, testified to Congress, “This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. Instead, it is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.” State immigration laws. Several states have recently passed laws that forbid what the government deems “harboring” of undocumented immigrants—and what the Church deems Christian charity and pastoral care to those immigrants. Perhaps the most egregious of these is in Alabama, where the Catholic bishops, in cooperation with the Episcopal and Methodist bishops of Alabama, filed suit against the law. “It is with sadness that we brought this legal action but with a deep sense that we, as people of faith, have no choice but to defend the right to the free exercise of religion granted to us as citizens of Alabama,” the bishops said in their suit. “ The law makes illegal the exercise of our Christian religion which we, as citizens of Alabama, have a right to follow. The law prohibits almost everything which would

assist an undocumented immigrant or encourage an undocumented immigrant to live in Alabama. This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the confession of, celebrate the anointing of the sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant. Nor can we encourage them to attend Mass or give them a ride to Mass. It is illegal to allow them to attend adult scripture study groups, or attend CCD or Sunday school classes. It is illegal for the clergy to counsel them in times of difficulty or in preparation for marriage. It is illegal for them to come to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or other recovery groups at our churches.” Altering Church structure and governance. In 2009, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut Legislature proposed a bill that would have forced Catholic parishes to be restructured according

This is not even a >> matter of whether

vices. Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the state of Illinois have driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services—by revoking their licenses, by ending their government contracts, or both—because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit. Discrimination against small church congregations. New York City enacted a rule that barred the Bronx Household of Faith and 60 other churches from renting public schools on weekends for worship services even though non-religious groups could rent the same schools for scores of other uses. While this would not frequently affect Catholic parishes, which generally own their own buildings, it would be devastating to many smaller congregations. It is a simple case of discrimination against religious believers. Discrimination against Catholic humanitarian services. Notwithstanding years of excellent performance by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services in administering contract services for victims of human trafficking, the federal government changed its contract specifications to require us to provide or refer for contraceptive and abortion services in violation of Catholic teaching. Religious institutions should not be disqualified from a government contract based on religious belief, and they do not somehow lose their religious identity or liberty upon entering such contracts. And yet a federal court in Massachusetts, turning religious liberty on its head, has since declared that such a disqualification is required by the First Amendment—that the government somehow violates religious liberty by allowing Catholic organizations to participate in contracts in a manner consistent with their beliefs on contraception and abortion.

contraception may be supported by the is a matter of...religious beliefs.



to a congregational model, recalling the trusteeism controversy of the early nineteenth century, and prefiguring the federal government’s attempts to redefine for the Church “religious minister” and “religious employer” in the years since. Christian students on campus. In its over-100-year history, the University of California Hastings College of Law has denied student organization status to only one group, the Christian Legal Society, because it required its leaders to be Christian and to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. Catholic foster care and adoption ser-

Religious Liberty Is More Than Freedom of Worship Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day, both here at home and overseas. What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society—or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it. Religious believers are part of American civil society, which includes neighbors helping each other, community associations, fraternal service clubs, sports leagues, and youth groups. All these Americans make their contribution to our common life, and they do not need the permission of the government to do so. Restrictions on religious liberty are an attack on civil society and the American genius for voluntary associations. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued a statement about the administration’s contraception and sterilization mandate that captured exactly the danger that we face. “Most troubling, is the Administration’s underlying rationale for its decision, which appears to be a view that if a religious entity is not insular, but engaged with broader society, it loses its “religious” character and liberties. Many faiths firmly believe in being open to and engaged with broader society and fellow citizens of other faiths. The Administration’s ruling makes the price of such an outward approach the violation of an organiza-

tion’s religious principles. This is deeply disappointing.” This is not a Catholic issue. This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon, or Muslim issue. It is an American issue. The Most Cherished of American Freedoms In 1634, a mix of Catholic and Protestant settlers arrived at St. Clement’s Island in Southern Maryland from England aboard the Ark and the Dove. They had

is not a Catho>> This lic issue. This is not a Jewish issue. This is not an Orthodox, Mormon, or Muslim issue. It is an American issue.

come at the invitation of the Catholic Lord Baltimore, who had been granted Maryland by the Protestant King Charles I of England. While Catholics and Protestants were killing each other in Europe, Lord Baltimore imagined Maryland as a society where people of different faiths could live together peacefully. This vision was soon codified in Maryland’s 1649 Act Concerning Religion (also called the “Toleration Act”), which was the first law in our nation’s history to protect an individual’s right to freedom of conscience. Maryland’s early history teaches us that, like any freedom, religious liberty requires constant vigilance and protection, or it will disappear. Maryland’s experiment in religious toleration ended within a few decades. The colony was placed under royal control, and the Church of England became the established religion. Discriminatory laws, including the loss of political rights, were enacted against those who refused to conform. Catholic chapels were closed, and Catholics were

restricted to practicing their faith in their homes. The Catholic community lived under these conditions until the American Revolution. By the end of the 18th century, our nation’s founders embraced freedom of religion as an essential condition of a free and democratic society. James Madison, often called the Father of the Constitution, described conscience as “the most sacred of all property.” He wrote that “the Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” George Washington wrote that “the establishment of Civil and Religious Liberty was the Motive that induced me to the field of battle.” Thomas Jefferson assured the Ursuline Sisters—who had been serving a mostly non-Catholic population by running a hospital, an orphanage, and schools in Louisiana since 1727— that the principles of the Constitution were a “sure guarantee” that their ministry would be free “to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules, without interference from the civil authority.” It is therefore fitting that when the Bill of Rights was ratified, religious freedom had the distinction of being the First Amendment. Religious liberty is indeed the first liberty. The First Amendment guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Recently, in a unanimous Supreme Court judgment affirming the importance of that first freedom, the Chief Justice of the United States explained that religious liberty is not just the first freedom for Americans; rather it is the first in the history of democratic freedom, tracing its origins back the first clauses of the Magna Carta of 1215 and beyond. In a telling example, Chief Justice Roberts illustrated our history of religious liberty in light of a Catholic issue decided upon by James Madison, who guided the Bill of Rights through



tinction between conscientious objecto the full measure of that freedom was Congress and is known as the architect tion and an unjust law. Conscientious the specific contribution Christians are of the First Amendment. objection permits some relief to those obliged to make. He rooted his legal and The chief justice wrote, “[In 1806] who object to a just law for reasons of constitutional arguments about justice John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop conscience—conscription being the in the long Christian tradition: “I would in the United States, solicited the Exmost well-known example. An unjust agree with Saint Augustine that A ‘ n unecutive’s opinion on who should be law is “no law at all.” It cannot be appointed to direct the affairs obeyed, and therefore one does of the Catholic Church in the not seek relief from it, but rather territory newly acquired by the its repeal. Louisiana Purchase. After consultThe Christian church does ing with President Jefferson, thennot ask for a special treatment, Secretary of State James Madison simply the rights of religious responded that the selection of freedom for all citizens. Rev. church ‘functionaries’ was an ‘enKing also explained that the tirely ecclesiastical’ matter left to church is neither the master nor the Church’s own judgment. The the servant of the state, but its ‘scrupulous policy of the Constituconscience, guide, and critic. tion in guarding against a political As Catholics, we know that interference with religious affairs,’ our history has shadows too in Madison explained, prevented the terms of religious liberty, when Government from rendering an Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. sits in a jail cell at the we did not extend to others opinion on the ‘selection of eccleJefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama October the proper respect for this first siastical individuals.’” 1967 from where he wrote his famous letter in which he quoted freedom. But the teaching of the That is our American heritage, from Saint Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’ Church is absolutely clear about our most cherished freedom. It is Photo: Bettman/Corbis religious liberty: “The human the first freedom because if we are person has a right to religious not free in our conscience and our freedom. This freedom means that all practice of religion, all other freedoms just law is no law at all.’ Now what is the men are to be immune from coercion are fragile. If citizens are not free in their difference between the two? How does on the part of individuals or of social own consciences, how can they be free one determine when a law is just or ungroups and of any human power, in such in relation to others, or to the state? If just? A just law is a man-made code that wise that in matters religious no one is our obligations and duties to God are squares with the moral law or the law of to be forced to act in a manner contrary impeded, or even worse, contradicted by God. An unjust law is a code that is out to his own beliefs…whether privately or the government, then we can no longer of harmony with the moral law. To put it publicly, whether alone or in association claim to be a land of the free, and a beain the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, with others, within due limits…This right con of hope for the world. an unjust law is a human law that is not of the human person to religious freedom rooted in eternal law and natural law.” Our Christian Teaching is to be recognized in the constitutional It is a sobering thing to contemplate During the civil rights movement of law whereby society is governed. Thus it our government enacting an unjust law. the 1950s and 1960s, Americans shone is to become a civil right.” An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the the light of the Gospel on a dark history As Catholics, we are obliged to defend face of an unjust law, an accommodation of slavery, segregation, and racial bigotry. the right to religious liberty for ourselves is not to be sought, especially by resortThe civil rights movement was an esand for others. We are happily joined in ing to equivocal words and deceptive sentially religious movement, a call to this by our fellow Christians and believpractices. If we face today the prospect of awaken consciences, not only an appeal ers of other faiths. unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in to the Constitution for America to honor A recent letter to President Obama solidarity with our fellow citizens, must its heritage of liberty. from some 60 religious leaders, includhave the courage not to obey them. No In his famous “Letter from Biring Christians of many denominations American desires this. No Catholic welmingham Jail” in 1963, Rev. Martin and Jews, argued that “it is emphatically comes it. But if it should fall upon us, we Luther King Jr. boldly said, “The goal not only Catholics who deeply object must discharge it as a duty of citizenship of America is freedom.” As a Christian to the requirement that health plans and an obligation of faith. pastor, he argued that to call America they purchase must provide coverage of It is essential to understand the dis-



contraceptives that include some that are abortifacients.” More comprehensively, a theologically rich and politically prudent declaration from Evangelicals and Catholics together made a powerful case for greater vigilance in defense of religious freedom, precisely as a united witness animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their declaration makes it clear that as Christians of various traditions we object to a “naked public square,” stripped of religious arguments and religious believers. We do not seek a “sacred public square” either, which gives special privileges and benefits to religious citizens. Rather, we seek a civil public square, where all citizens can make their contribution to the common good. At our best, we might call this an American public square. The Lord Jesus came to liberate us from the dominion of sin. Political liberties are one part of that liberation, and religious liberty is the first of those liberties. Together with our fellow Christians, joined by our Jewish brethren, and in partnership with Americans of other traditions, we affirm that our faith requires us to defend the religious liberty granted us by God, and protected in our Constitution.

human rights are found in the laws of several countries, and also in acts of persecution by adherents of other faiths. If religious liberty is eroded here at home, American defense of religious liberty abroad is less credible. And one common threat, spanning both the international and domestic arenas, is the tendency to reduce the freedom of religion to the mere freedom of worship. Therefore, it is our task to strengthen religious liberty at home, in this and

As bishops we >>seek to bring the

light of the Gospel to our public life, but the work of politics is properly that of committed and courageous lay Catholics.

Martyrs Around the World In this statement, as bishops of the United States, we are addressing ourselves to the situation we find here at home. At the same time, we are sadly aware that religious liberty in many other parts of the world is in much greater peril. Our obligation at home is to defend religious liberty robustly, but we cannot overlook the much graver plight that religious believers, most of them Christian, face around the world. The age of martyrdom has not passed. Assassinations, bombings of churches, torching of orphanages—these are only the most violent attacks Christians have suffered because of their faith in Jesus Christ. More systematic denials of basic

other respects, so that we might defend it more vigorously abroad. To that end, American foreign policy, as well as the vast international network of Catholic agencies, should make the promotion of religious liberty an ongoing and urgent priority. “All the Energies the Catholic Community Can Muster” What we ask is nothing more than that our God-given right to religious liberty be respected. We ask nothing less than that the Constitution and laws of the United States, which recognize that right, be respected. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, we know as bishops that what our Holy Father said is true. This work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity

endowed with a strong critical sense visà-vis the dominant culture.” As bishops we seek to bring the light of the Gospel to our public life, but the work of politics is properly that of committed and courageous lay Catholics. We exhort them to be both engaged and articulate in insisting that as Catholics and as Americans we do not have to choose between the two. There is an urgent need for the lay faithful, in cooperation with Christians, Jews, and others, to impress upon our elected representatives the importance of continued protection of religious liberty in a free society. We address a particular word to those holding public office. It is your noble task to govern for the common good. It does not serve the common good to treat the good works of religious believers as a threat to our common life; to the contrary, they are essential to its proper functioning. It is also your task to protect and defend those fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. This ought not to be a partisan issue. The Constitution is not for Democrats or Republicans or Independents. It is for all of us, and a great nonpartisan effort should be led by our elected representatives to ensure that it remains so. We recognize that a special responsibility belongs to those Catholics who are responsible for our impressive array of hospitals, clinics, universities, colleges, schools, adoption agencies, overseas development projects, and social service agencies that provide assistance to the poor, the hungry, immigrants, and those faced with crisis pregnancies. You do the work that the Gospel mandates that we do. It is you who may be forced to choose between the good works we do by faith, and fidelity to that faith itself. We encourage you to hold firm, to stand fast, and to insist upon what belongs to you by right as Catholics and Americans. Our country deserves the best we have to offer, including our resistance to violations of our first freedom. To our priests, especially those who



have responsibility for parishes, university chaplaincies, and high schools, we ask for a catechesis on religious liberty suited to the souls in your care. As bishops we can provide guidance to assist you, but the courage and zeal for this task cannot be obtained from another—it must be rooted in your own concern for your flock and nourished by the graces you received at your ordination. Catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. The Catholic Church in America is blessed with an immense number of writers, producers, artists, publishers, filmmakers, and bloggers employing all the means of communications—both old and new media—to expound and teach the faith. They too have a critical role in this great struggle for religious liberty. We call upon them to use their skills and talents in defense of our first freedom. Finally to our brother bishops, let us exhort each other with fraternal charity to be bold, clear, and insistent in warning against threats to the rights of our people. Let us attempt to be the “conscience of the state,” to use Rev. King’s words. In the aftermath of the decision on contraceptive and sterilization mandates, many spoke out forcefully. As one example, the words of one of our most senior brothers, Cardinal Roger Mahony, 35 years a bishop and recently retired after 25 years as archbishop of Los Angeles, provide a model for us here: “I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience than this ruling today. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic community



can muster.” A Fortnight for Freedom In particular, we recommend to our brother bishops that we focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” in a special way this coming summer. As pastors of the flock, our privileged task is to lead the Christian faithful in prayer. Both our civil year and liturgical year point us on various occasions to our heritage of freedom. This year, we propose a special “fortnight for freedom,” in which bishops in their own dioceses might arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending our first freedom. Our Catholic institutions also could be encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths, and indeed, all who wish to defend our most cherished freedom. We suggest that the 14 days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that

period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty. In addition to this summer’s observance, we also urge that the Solemnity of Christ the King—a feast born out of resistance to totalitarian incursions against religious liberty—be a day specifically employed by bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty, both here and abroad. To all our fellow Catholics, we urge an intensification of your prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country. We invite you to join us in an urgent prayer for religious liberty.

Almighty God, Father of all nations, For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1). We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

POWERLESSNESS: The hidden power in our suffering? Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.

Making Sense



n a 1999 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients with serious illness were asked to identify what was most important to them during the dying process. Many indicated they wanted to achieve a sense of control.

This is understandable. Most of us fear our powerlessness in the face of illness and death. We would like to retain an element of control, even though we realize that dying often involves the very opposite: a total loss of control, over our muscles, our emotions, our minds, our bowels and our very lives, as our human framework succumbs to powerful disintegrative forces. Even when those disintegrative forces become extreme and our suffering may seem overwhelming, however, a singularly important spiritual journey always remains open for us. This path is a “road less traveled” a path that, unexpectedly, enables us to achieve genuine control in the face

of death. The hallmark of this path is the personal decision to accept our sufferings, actively laying down our life on behalf of others by embracing the particular kind of death God has ordained for us, patterning our choice on the choice consciously made by Jesus Christ. When asked about the “why” of human suffering, Blessed Pope John Paul II once said, with piercing simplicity, that the answer has “been given by God to man in the cross of Jesus Christ.” He stressed that Jesus went toward his own suffering, “aware of its saving power.” The pope also said that in some way, each of us is called to “share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished.” He concluded that through his onlybegotten Son, God “has confirmed His desire to act especially through suffering, which is man’s weakness and emptying of self, and He wishes to make His power known precisely in this weakness and emptying of self.” The Holy Father echoed St. Paul’s famous passage: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” The greatest possibility we have for achieving control, then, is to align ourselves in our suffering and weakness with God and his redemptive designs. This oblation of radically embracing our particular path to death, actively offered on behalf of others and in

out of

BIOETHICS union with Christ, manifests our concern for the spiritual welfare of others, especially our friends and those closest to us. We are inwardly marked by a profound need to sacrifice and give of ourselves, a need that manifests our inner capacity to love and be loved. As no one had ever done before, Jesus charted the path of love-driven sacrifice, choosing to lay down His life for His friends. He was no mere victim in the sense of being a passive and unwilling participant in His own suffering and death. He was in control. He emphasized, with otherworldly authority, that, “nobody takes my life from me: I lay it down, and I take it up again.” Yet we see that His life was, in fact, taken from Him by those various individuals and groups who plotted His death and sought His execution. His life was taken from Him by evil men, even though, paradoxically, nobody took His life from him, because nobody had power over His being, unless granted from above. We experience a similar paradox in our own deaths: while it may seem that our life is being taken from us through the evil of a particular ailment or the ravages of a particular disease, we can reply that nothing takes away our life, because nothing has power over our being, except what is ordained from JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC



We experience a similar paradox in our own deaths: while it may seem that our life is being taken from us through the evil of a particular ailment or the ravages of a particular disease, we can reply that nothing takes away our life, because nothing has power over our being, except what is ordained from above. above. In His providence and omniscience, years before the fact, God already knows and foresees that unique confluence of events that will constitute our death, whether it is by stroke or cardiac arrest, liver failure or Alzheimer, or any other means. By spiritually embracing in God that specific path to death, our freedom is elevated to new heights; indeed, we “achieve control”” in the most important way possible, through willed surrender and radical gift in our in-

nermost depths. Jesus foresaw that His greatest work lay ahead as He ascended Calvary to embrace His own powerlessness and self-emptying. Although we may feel condemned to our powerlessness as we receive help from others in our sickness, and although we may feel supremely useless as we are “nailed” to our hospital bed, our active, inward embrace of the cross unleashes important graces for ourselves and others, and reveals a refulgent light beyond the obscurity of every suffering.

Jesus’ radical embracing of his Passion–and our radical embracing of our own–marks the supreme moment of a person who achieves control over his or her destiny through immersion into the hope-filled and redemptive designs of God. (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



Applying Catholic Teaching to Major Issues By Committees on Domestic Policy, International Policy, Pro-Life Activities, Communications, Doctrine, Education and Migration United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


olitics is about values and issues as well as candidates and officeholders. In this brief summary, the bishops of the United States call attention to issues with significant moral dimensions that should be carefully considered in each campaign and as policy decisions are made in the years to come. As the descriptions below indicate, some issues involve principles that can never be violated, such as the fundamental right to life. Others reflect our judgment about the best way to apply Catholic principles to policy issues. No summary could fully reflect the depth and details of the positions taken through the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). While people of goodwill may sometimes choose different ways to apply and act on some of our principles, Catholics cannot ignore their inescapable moral challenges or simply dismiss the Church’s guidance or policy directions that flow from these principles. Human Life Our 1998 statement “Living the Gospel of Life” declares, “Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental good and the condition for all others.” Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable and must always be opposed. Cloning and destruction of human embryos for research or even for potential cures are always wrong. The purposeful taking of human life by

assisted suicide and euthanasia is not an act of mercy, but an unjustifiable assault on human life. Genocide, torture, and the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war or terrorist attacks are always wrong. Laws that legitimize any of these practices are profoundly unjust and immoral. The USCCB supports laws and policies to protect human life to the maximum degree possible, including constitutional protection for the unborn and legislative efforts to end abortion and euthanasia. We also promote a culture of life by supporting laws and programs that encourage childbirth and adoption over abortion and by addressing poverty, providing health care, and offering other assistance to pregnant women, children, and families. The USCCB calls for greater assistance for those who are sick and dying, through health care for all and effective and compassionate palliative care. We recognize that addressing this complex issue effectively will require collaborative efforts between the public and

private sectors and across party lines. Policies and decisions regarding biotechnology and human experimentation should respect the inherent dignity of human life from its very beginning, regardless of the circumstances of its origin. Respect for human life and dignity is also the foundation for essential efforts to address and overcome the hunger, disease, poverty, and violence that take the lives of so many innocent people. Catholics must also work to avoid war and to promote peace. Nations should protect the dignity of the human person and the right to life by finding more effective ways to prevent conflicts, to resolve them by peaceful means, and to promote reconstruction and reconciliation in the wake of conflicts. Nations have a right and obligation to defend human life and the common good against terrorism, aggression, and similar threats. This duty demands effective responses to terror, moral assessment of and restraint in the means used, respect for ethical limits on the use of force, a focus on the roots of terror, and fair distribution of the burdens of responding to terror. The Church has raised fundamental moral concerns about preventive use of military force. JUNE 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


“The family is the basic cell of human society. The role, responsibilities, and needs of families should be central national priorities.” USCCB FAITHFUL CITIZENSHIP

Our Church honors the commitment and sacrifice of those who serve in our nation’s armed forces, and also recognizes the moral right to conscientious objection to war in general, a particular war, or a military procedure. Even when military force can be justified as a last resort, it should not be indiscriminate or disproportionate. Direct and intentional attacks on noncombatants in war and terrorist acts are never morally acceptable. The use of weapons of mass destruction or other means of warfare that do not distinguish between civilians and soldiers is fundamentally immoral. The United States has a responsibility to work to reverse the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and to reduce its own reliance on weapons of mass destruction by pursuing progressive nuclear disarmament. It also must end its use of anti-personnel landmines and reduce its predominant role in the global arms trade. The war in Iraq confronted us with urgent moral choices. We support a “responsible transition” to end the war in a way that recognizes the continuing threat of fanatical extremism and global terror, minimizes the loss of life, and addresses the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the refugee crisis in the region, and the need to protect human rights, especially religious freedom. This transition should reallocate resources from war to the urgent needs of the poor. Society has a duty to defend life against violence and to reach out to victims of crime. Yet our nation’s continued reliance on the death penalty cannot be justified. Because we have other ways to protect society that are more respectful of human life, the USCCB supports efforts to end the use of the death penalty and, in the meantime,



to restrain its use through broader use of DNA evidence, access to effective counsel, and efforts to address unfairness and injustice related to application of the death penalty. Family Life The family is the basic cell of human society. The role, responsibilities, and needs of families should be central national priorities. Marriage must be defined, recognized, and protected as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman and as the source of the next generation and the protective haven for children. Policies on taxes, work, divorce, immigration, and welfare should help families stay together and should reward responsibility and sacrifice for children. Wages should allow workers to support their families, and public assistance should be available to help poor families to live in dignity. Such assistance should be provided in a manner that promotes eventual financial autonomy. Children are to be valued, protected, and nurtured. As a Church, we affirm our commitment to the protection and well-being of children in our own institutions and in all of society. We oppose contraceptive mandates in public programs and health plans, which endanger rights of conscience and can interfere with parents’ right to guide the moral formation of their children. Parents—the first and most important educators—have a fundamental right to choose the education best suited to the needs of their children, including public, private, and religious schools. Government, through such means as tax credits and publicly funded scholarships, should help provide resources for parents, especially those of modest means, to exercise this basic

right without discrimination. Students in all educational settings should have opportunities for moral and character formation. Print, broadcast, and electronic media shape the culture. To protect children and families, responsible regulation is needed that respects freedom of speech yet also addresses policies that have lowered standards, permitted increasingly offensive material, and reduced opportunities for noncommercial religious programming. Regulation should limit concentration of media control, resist management that is primarily focused on profit, and encourage a variety of program sources, including religious programming. TV rating systems and appropriate technology can assist parents in supervising what their children view. The Internet offers both great benefits and significant problems. The benefits should be available to all students regardless of income. Because access to pornographic and violent material is becoming easier, vigorous enforcement of existing obscenity and child pornography laws is necessary, as well as technology that assists parents, schools, and libraries in blocking unwanted or undesirable materials. Social Justice Economic decisions and institutions should be assessed according to whether they protect or undermine the dignity of the human person. Social and economic policies should foster the creation of jobs for all who can work with decent working conditions and just wages. Barriers to equal pay and employment for women and those facing unjust discrimination must be overcome. Catholic social teaching supports the right of workers to choose whether to organize, join a union, and bargain

collectively, and to exercise these rights without reprisal. It also affirms economic freedom, initiative, and the right to private property. Workers, owners, employers, and unions should work together to create decent jobs, build a more just economy, and advance the common good. Welfare policy should reduce poverty and dependency, strengthen family life, and help families leave poverty through work, training, and assistance with child care, health care, housing, and transportation. It should also provide a safety net for those who cannot work. Improving the Earned Income Tax Credit and child tax credits, available as refunds to families in greatest need, will help lift low income families out of poverty. Faith-based groups deserve recognition and support, not as a substitute for government, but as responsive, effective partners, especially in the poorest communities and countries. The USCCB actively supports conscience clauses, opposes any effort to undermine the ability of faith-based groups to preserve their identity and integrity as partners with government, and is committed to protecting longstanding civil rights and other protections for both religious groups and the people they serve. Government bodies should not require Catholic institutions to compromise their moral convictions to participate in government health or human service programs. Social Security should provide adequate, continuing, and reliable income in an equitable manner for low- and average-wage workers and their families when these workers retire or become disabled and for the survivors when a wage-earner dies. Affordable and accessible health care is an essential safeguard of human life

and a fundamental human right. With an estimated 47 million Americans lacking health care coverage, it is also an urgent national priority. Reform of the nation’s health care system needs to be rooted in values that respect human dignity, protect human life, and meet the needs of the poor and uninsured, especially born and unborn children, pregnant women, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations. Religious groups should be able to provide health care without compromising their religious convictions. The USCCB supports measures to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid. Our Conference also advocates effective, compassionate care that reflects

no one should face hunger in a land of plenty, Food Stamps, the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and other nutrition programs need to be strong and effective. Farmers and farm workers who grow, harvest, and process food deserve a just return for their labor, with safe and just working conditions and adequate housing. Supporting rural communities sustains a way of life that enriches our nation. Careful stewardship of the earth and its natural resources demands policies that support sustainable agriculture as vital elements of agricultural policy. The Gospel mandate to “welcome the stranger” requires Catholics to care for and stand with immigrants, both documented and undocumented, including immigrant children. Comprehensive reform is urgently necessary to fix a broken immigration system and should include a temporary work program with worker protections and a path to permanent residency; family reunification policies; a broad and fair legalization program; access to legal protections, including due process and essential public programs; refuge for those fleeing persecution and exploitation; and policies to address the root causes of migration. The right and responsibility of nations to control their borders and to maintain the rule of law should be recognized. All persons have a right to receive a quality education. Young people, including those who are poor and those with disabilities, need to have the opportunity to develop intellectually, morally, spiritually, and physically, allowing them to become good citizens who make socially and morally responsible decisions. This requires parental choice in education. It also requires educational institu-

>> The Gospel mandate

to “welcome the stranger” requires Catholics to care for and stand with immigrants, both documented and undocumented, including immigrant children.

Catholic moral values for those suffering from HIV/AIDS and those coping with addictions. The lack of safe, affordable housing requires a renewed commitment to increase the supply of quality housing and to preserve, maintain, and improve existing housing through public/private partnerships, especially with religious groups and community organizations. The USCCB continues to oppose unjust housing discrimination and to support measures to meet the credit needs of low income and minority communities. A first priority for agriculture policy should be food security for all. Because



tions to have orderly, just, respectful, and non-violent environments where adequate professional and material resources are available. The USCCB strongly supports adequate funding, including scholarships, tax credits, and other means, to educate all persons no matter what their personal condition or what school they attend—public, private, or religious. All teachers and administrators deserve salaries and benefits that reflect principles of economic justice, as well as access to resources necessary for teachers to prepare for their important tasks. Services aimed at improving education—especially for those most at risk—that are available to students and teachers in public schools should also be available to students and teachers in private and religious schools as a matter of justice. Promoting moral responsibility and effective responses to violent crime, curbing violence in media, supporting reasonable restrictions on access to assault weapons and handguns, and opposing the use of the death penalty are particularly important in light of a growing “culture of violence.” An ethic of responsibility, rehabilitation, and restoration should be a foundation for the reform of our broken criminal justice system. A remedial, rather than a strictly punitive, approach to offenders should be developed. It is important for our society to continue to combat discrimination based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, disabling condition, or age, as these are grave injustices and affronts to human dignity. Where the effects of past discrimination persist, society has the obligation to take positive steps to overcome the legacy of injustice, including vigorous action to remove barriers to education and equal employment for women and minorities. Care for the earth and for the environment is a moral issue. Protecting the land, water, and air we share is a re-



ligious duty of stewardship and reflects our responsibility to born and unborn children, who are most vulnerable to environmental assault. Effective initiatives are required for energy conservation and the development of alternate, renewable, and clean-energy resources. Our Conference offers a distinctive call to seriously address global climate change, focusing on the virtue of prudence, pursuit of the common good, and the impact on the poor, particularly on vulnerable workers and the poorest nations. The United States should lead in contributing to the sustainable development of poorer nations and promoting greater justice in sharing the burden of environmental blight, neglect, and recovery. Global Solidarity A more just world will likely be a more peaceful world, a world less vulnerable to terrorism and other violence. The United States has the responsibility to take the lead in addressing the scandal of poverty and underdevelopment. Our nation should help to humanize globalization, addressing its negative consequences and spreading its benefits, especially among the world’s poor. The United States also has a unique opportunity to use its power in partnership with others to build a more just and peaceful world. The United States should take a leading role in helping to alleviate global poverty through substantially increased development aid for the poorest countries, more equitable trade policies, and continuing efforts to relieve the crushing burdens of debt and disease. Our nation’s efforts to reduce poverty should not be associated with demeaning and sometimes coercive population control programs; instead, these efforts should focus on working with the poor to help them build a future of hope and opportunity for themselves and their children. U.S. policy should promote religious liberty and other basic human rights.

The use of torture must be rejected as fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of the human person and ultimately counterproductive in the effort to combat terrorism. The United States should provide political and financial support for beneficial United Nations programs and reforms, for other international bodies, and for international law, so that together these institutions may become more responsible and responsive agents for addressing global problems. Asylum should be afforded to refugees who hold a well-founded fear of persecution in their homelands. Our country should support protection for persons fleeing persecution through safe haven in other countries, including the United States, especially for unaccompanied children, women, victims of human trafficking, and religious minorities. Our country should be a leader—in collaboration with the international community—in addressing regional wherever and whenever they flare up. Leadership on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an especially urgent priority. The United States should actively pursue comprehensive negotiations leading to a just and peaceful resolution that respects the legitimate claims and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, ensuring security for Israel, a viable state for Palestinians, and peace in the region. While the Holy See and our Conference have raised serious moral questions regarding the war in Iraq, as bishops we urgently call on our country to work with the international community to seek a “responsible transition” in Iraq and to address the human consequences of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defending human life, building peace, combating poverty and despair, and protecting freedom and human rights are not only moral imperatives— they are wise national priorities that will make our nation and world safer.






Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651. The next class is June 9.

Beeville Knights celebrate 100 years Knights of Columbus Council No. 1653 from St. Joseph Parish in Beeville will celebrate 100 years on Friday, June 1 with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey at 6 p.m. followed by a reception and dinner at the Beeville Community Center, located at 111 E. Corpus Christ Street in Beeville.


Corpus Christi KJT Society #72 Meeting Meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at the Moravian Hall, 5601 Kostoryz Rd. For more information please call (361) 852-1409.


Fiesta for St. Jude in Gregory Join us at Immaculate Conception Church in Gregory for a fiesta in honor of Saint Jude on Tuesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. Celebration will be at 107 Church Street and will include mariachis, food, drinks and door prizes! Will meet every Tuesday, thereafter, at 7 p.m. for the continuation of Saint Jude Novena: An Evening of Prayer & Blessings. All are welcome. For more information, please call (361) 6431916.

Free Home-buyer Education Class HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency is offering free Home-buyer Education class, sponsored by Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc. Dates may change, so please call to confirm. For more information please call the Housing



Mass in the ExtraOrdinary Form

15 & 16

Life in the Spirit Retreat

16 & 17

Engaged Encounter

Pre-Cana Seminar Seminar at Corpus Christi Cathedral’s St. Joseph’s Hall, 505 N. Upper Broadway, Corpus Christi on June 9 from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. Pre-Cana is a one day marriage preparation seminar for engaged couples preparing for marriage and couples married civilly for less than one year.

‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ at OLPH Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish will have monthly 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. The next class is on Monday, June 11. Call OLPH office at (361) 99176891 or Mrs. Maria Rodriguez at (361) 991-3356 for more information.

Saint Patrick Parish Annual Dessert Party Saint Patrick Church Annual Dessert/Card Party is Thursday, June 14 from 1-5 p.m. in the Parish Hall, located at 3350 S. Alameda in Corpus Christi. Please bring your own cards and games you wish to play. Donation is $5 per person. Call Mildred Hoffer at (361) 8845975 or Trudy Charleston at (361) 991-2158 for reservations.


A Mass in the Extra-Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Church (7522 Everhart in Corpus Christi) June 15 on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at 7 p.m.

Christ The King Church prayer group, located at 3423 Rojo, will be hosting a retreat called Life in the Spirit with Father Michael Deleon at the Parish Hall on June 15-16. Call (361) 882-6111 for more information.

On June 16-17 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 or call Deacon Ron Martinez at (361) 765-1124 for more information.

Free Financial Literacy Class HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency is offering free Financial Literacy class, sponsored by Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. Dates may change, so please call to confirm. For more information please call the Housing Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651. The next class June 23.


For more calendar events



Holy Land Collection Collection Taken April 6, 2012 Total from all parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi

$27,135.36 Amounts received through April 30, 2012

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

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