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South Texas

Catholic W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C .C OM

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We are answering the call to help this community today, and tomorrow. In all that we do, we are devoted to keeping you, your families, our caregivers and our Associates safe. And we are here when you need care. Things may be changing every day, but so are our plans so we can provide the care this community needs. We are ready. 2 

Here for a

healthier tomorrow.




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Three-year-old Nathan Huerta, a Montessori student, from Sacred Heart School in Rockport, is working on a school project from home. He told his mother that he loves wearing his school uniform every day because he wants to go back to school.


VOL. 55 NO. 5 Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD Director of Communications Julie Stark jstark@diocesecc.org Managing Editor Mary Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. BNguyen@diocesecc.org



Contributed photo


Office Manager Adel Sauceda ARivera@diocesecc.org

Correspondents Jesse DeLeon and Rebecca Esparza Translator/Correspondent Gloria Romero Contributors Dr. Rosemary Henry, Bea Romo, Daniel Flores, Shannette Hoelscher and Denise Calderon

Kristofer Morgan | for STC

STC Support Staff Elizabeth Morales

Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi Disaster Response Services, Sasha Christensen and Karen Harris, assists rural food pantries on April 22. The Mathis food pantry was open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with 300 bags of food distributed to folks in that area. A food pantry in Gregory is in the works.

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Calendar Items

Submit your announcements by using our online form, e-mail, mail or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocesan websites. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau.

(USPSN 540-860) Published monthly, excluding September, by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi, Texas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic, 555 N Carancahua St, Ste 750, Corpus Christi, TX 78401-0824. Keep up with the faith at www.SouthTexasCatholic.com

FROM THE BISHOP 4 MESSAGE Nothing can separate us from the love of God NEWS BRIEFS 7 Virtual Cathedral Tour on social media FAITH 8 AOUR seminarian’s reflection


FORMATION Is the Coronavirus reshaping our Catholic school system and the formation of students?

23 VOCATIONS Chaplain priests proudly serve those who serve 28

VATICAN NEWS Holy Spirit heals divisions caused by money, vanity, and gossip LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



Dear Friends,


he last two months have been very difficult, to say the least. For some of you, your livelihoods have been shaken, and your faith tested. The impact of the Coronavirus has spread terror across the world, bringing illness and death. In the midst of this pandemic, however, the Paschal Mystery recently celebrated at Easter assures us that neither anguish nor death will have the last word. “Who can separate us from the Love of God…” (Rom 8:35-39). You and I are Easter people, people of hope and joy. Even amidst struggles, we can discover peace in the risen Lord. Amid our concerns over health, jobs and the future, we can be people of hope. This is our witness of faith to those around us. When this pandemic is defeated, we will rejoice! There are signs of resurrection and life all around us. Throughout our communities in South Texas, friends and neighbors have stepped forward to help. They are an “angelic” presence in the gloom of uncertainty, fear and anxiety. Doctors and nurses, hospital personnel and volunteers on all fronts, men and women in law enforcement, fire departments and first responders are going beyond their normal commitment of service. Many in our communities are keeping us going with extra effort in “essential services” – grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and eating establishments. school principals, teachers, moms and dads are finding new and challenging methods to educate the youth. These neighbors have found new ways to serve their families and the community. Thank you. The deepest pain for so many of you, however, is remaining in place – not being able to gather for Sunday Mass and receive the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the sacrament of life; the Eucharist is the sacrament of resurrection. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal

life, and I will raise them up on the last day” (Jn 6:54). Although we do not know when – our parish churches will open again, and we will be invited, by God’s grace to approach the altar of the Lord. In the meantime, I invite you to recognize that we are being asked to “live” the Lord’s Paschal mystery, his death and resurrection. We are asked to become “eucharist for others.” In his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis cautioned us not to be infected with another virus, the virus of “selfish indifference.” The vaccine that overcomes selfish indifference is service to others. When we serve, the focus on ourselves, our personal worries and concerns, are being vaccinated against selfishness. This is being “eucharist” for others. The month of May is dedicated to Mary. After receiving the Lord in her womb, she left Nazareth to serve her cousin Elizabeth who was in need. Mary is the true model of living what we profess to believe. Having been nourished with the Eucharist over time and preparing to receive him again in the future, let us “be eucharist” for others. I entrust each of you and your families to the care of our Blessed Mother during this time.

“Remember, O most gracious Virgin of Guadalupe, that in your apparitions on Mount Tepeyac you promised to show pity and compassion to all who, loving and trusting you, seek your help and protection. Accordingly, listen now to our supplications and grant us consolation and relief. We are full of hope that, relying on your help, nothing can trouble or affect us. As you have remained with us through your admirable image, so now obtain for us the graces we need.” Amen. 4 


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MENSAJE DEL OBISPO Queridos amigos,


os últimos dos meses han sido muy difíciles, es lo mínimo que puedo decir. Para algunos de ustedes, sus medios de vida han sufrido una sacudida y su fe ha sido probada. El impacto del coronavirus ha esparcido terror por todo el mundo, trayendo enfermedad y muerte. Sin embargo, en medio de esta pandemia, celebramos recientemente el Misterio Pascual, la resurrección del Señor, que nos asegura que ni la angustia ni la muerte tendrán la última palabra. “¿Quién puede separarnos del amor de Dios ...?” (Romanos 8: 35-39) Tú y yo somos personas de Pascua, personas de esperanza y alegría. Incluso en medio de tantos conflictos y pesares, podemos descubrir la paz en el Señor resucitado. En medio de nuestras preocupaciones sobre la salud, el empleo y el futuro, podemos ser personas de esperanza. Este es nuestro testimonio de fe para quienes nos rodean. ¡Cuando esta pandemia sea derrotada, nos regocijaremos! Hay signos de resurrección y vida en todo nuestro rededor. Entre nuestras comunidades del sur de Texas, encontramos con frecuencia, amigos y vecinos que han dado un paso al frente dispuestos a ayudar. Son una presencia “angelical” en la penumbra de la incertidumbre, el miedo y la ansiedad. Médicos y enfermeras, personal de hospital y voluntarios en todos los frentes, hombres y mujeres, servidores públicos que hacen cumplir la ley, departamentos de bomberos y socorristas que van más allá de su compromiso normal de servicio. Es gracias a que muchas personas de nuestras comunidades hacen un esfuerzo extra, que podemos seguir funcionando, en “servicios esenciales”: supermercados, farmacias, bancos y establecimientos de comida. Los directores de escuela, maestros, madres y padres de familia, todos en la búsqueda y el encuentro de métodos nuevos y desafiantes para educar a los jóvenes. A todos ellos que han encontrado nuevas formas de servir a sus familias y a las comunidades, les damos las gracias. Sin embargo, el dolor más profundo para muchos de ustedes es tener que permanecer en su lugar, sin poder reunirse para la misa dominical y recibir la Eucaristía. La

Eucaristía es el sacramento de la vida; La Eucaristía es el sacramento de la Resurrección. “Quien coma mi carne y beba mi sangre tendrá vida eterna, y Yo los resucitaré en el último día” (Juan 6:54). A pesar de que no sabemos cuándo nuestras iglesias parroquiales, abrirán de nuevo y podremos ser invitados, por la gracia de Dios, a acercarnos al altar del Señor, si podemos mientras tanto, y les invito a reconocer, que se nos está pidiendo que “vivamos” el misterio Pascual del Señor, su muerte y resurrección. Se nos está pidiendo que nos convirtamos en “Eucaristía para los demás”. En su homilía del Domingo de la Divina Misericordia, el Papa Francisco nos advirtió que no nos infectemos con otro virus, el virus de la “indiferencia egoísta”. La vacuna que supera la indiferencia egoísta es el servicio a los demás. Cuando servimos, el pensar en nosotros mismos, o en lo que nos preocupa o en angustias personales, se vacunan contra el egoísmo. Esto es ser “Eucaristía” para los demás. El mes de mayo está dedicado a María. Después de recibir al Señor en su vientre, ella dejó Nazaret para ir a servir a su prima Isabel, quien la necesitaba. María es el verdadero modelo viviente de lo que profesamos creer. Ya que hemos sido nutridos por la Eucaristía a lo largo del tiempo y que nos preparamos para en un futuro, recibirlo nuevamente, “seamos Eucaristía” para los demás. Encomiendo a cada uno de ustedes y a sus familias al cuidado de nuestra Santísima Madre durante este tiempo.

“Recuerda, oh, dulce Virgen de Guadalupe, que en tus apariciones en el monte del Tepeyac prometiste mostrar consuelo y compasión a todos los que, amándote y confiando en ti, buscaran tu ayuda y protección. En consecuencia, escucha ahora nuestras súplicas y concédenos consuelo y alivio. Estamos llenos de esperanza, confiando que con tu ayuda, nada nos pueda turbar o afectar. Ya que te has quedado con nosotros a través de tu admirable imagen, te pedimos ahora, que obtengas para nosotros las gracias que necesitamos”. Amén.

+Most Rev. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



Office of Laity, Family And Life COVID-19 Cancellations Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Diocesan Marriage Preparation Classes have been canceled until further notice. Couples preparing for marriage may access Unveiled online http://unveiled. learnpointlms.com/register.asp?d=. Please contact your pastor ASAP if your wedding date is coming up soon. Because of county, state, or federal regulations it may need to

be postponed as well. Once we are able to offer live marriage prep classes, we will send out a communication to the parishes and resume according to the published dates in the 2020 brochure. Thank you for your patience. All Natural Family Planning live classes have been canceled until further notice. However, all our teachers are equipped

and able to teach online courses. During this time of health and financial concern, many of our teachers have offered to teach online classes free of charge or at a reduced cost. Our teachers and their email addresses can be found at diocesecc.org/findaninstructor. They will be able to email you all the paperwork you need to get started.

No new renovations scheduled at this time In the April issue of the South Texas Catholic we indicated that a story would follow in the May issue concerning future

renovations at Incarnate Word Academy, but no new plans are scheduled at this time.

Seamen’s Center We can do all things through fundraiser on June 20 Seamen’s Center Chicken and Sausage BBQ will be on June 20 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Corpus Christi International Seamen’s Center, located on 1501 N. Mesquite at Fitzgerald in Heritage Park.  Barbecue will be slowly and tastefully prepared by Corpus Christi Downtown Lions Club and the Port of Corpus Christi. It will prepared on site at the Seamen’s Center for $15 a plate, which includes chicken quarters, sausage link, savory Spanish rice, borracho beans and assorted cupcakes offered for $1 each.  Free delivery of 10 plates or more to one address within 10 miles of the Center. Benefiting the Corpus Christi International Seamen’s Center. Call for tickets at (361) 883-8405 or buy online at corpuschristiseamenscenter.org. The event is proudly sponsored by H-E-B. The Seamen’s Center is a ministry of presence. Many seafarers come from predominantly Catholic countries. Still, the Apostleship of the Sea, which is a membership organization, works closely with other denominations to provide for the spiritual needs of all seafarers. The Corpus Christi International Seamen’s Center is a “home away from home” for foreign and domestic merchant seafarers visiting and working in the Port of Corpus Christi. The center needs additional chaplains and ship visitors. If you would like to join this ministry, call Deacon Richard Longoria at (361) 446-2291 or Chaplain Tom Reilly at (361) 510-5639. For more information about the International Seamen’s Center visit their website 6 


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Him who strengthens us. We will get through this together.

learn about online retreats


Please welcome, Marc Cervantes as the new General Counsel for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Cervantes’ expertise ranges from strong written and verbal advocacy skills to corporate legal counsel, litigation strategy and management. He has been in private practice for twelve years. Cervantes is a graduate of Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, where he received his Juris Doctor degree and graduated cum laude. He is also an alumnus of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Cervantes and his wife Lisa have three children whose ages range from 13-19. The oldest, a daughter is attending Texas A&M University-College Station and the two younger children, a daughter and a son are attending middle school. He and his family are members of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Corpus Christi where he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Cervantes is also an Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion and a children’s Liturgy of the Word leader in his parish. In his spare time, you can find him

coaching his son on baseball and hanging out with his family. Cervantes has said that working at the diocese will bring the two passions of his life together – his faith and the law.


Welcome new general counsel

Marc Cervantes

Parish online giving now available on diocesan website During these uncertain times, we are praying for our brothers and sisters throughout the world. We want you to know that the Diocese of Corpus Christi will always seek to serve the needs of our community and Church in the best ways possible. If you need assistance: financial, groceries, immigration, etc., call Catholic Charities at (361) 884-0651 and they will schedule an appointment for you. We continue to receive charitable gifts and express our gratitude for your generosity, especially in this time of worldly

tensions. Sacrifices made during these days surely reflect the love of Jesus Christ. Now, as much as ever, let us love one another as God loves us. The Diocese of Corpus Christi Online Giving is safe and easy to use. It’s a convenient way to make financial contributions to your parish. Please know that while online contributions should be acknowledged seamlessly, gifts made by mail will take longer to process due to limitations we have implemented to prevent the spread of disease. Thank you for your

ONLINE GIVING Give To Your Parish patience until our operations are again at full strength. May God bless you and your families! To give to your parish go to diocesecc.org/giving or go to your parish website and search for online giving.

Virtual Cathedral Tour on social media Join Msgr. Michael Howell on social media as he guides you on a virtual tour of Corpus Christi Cathedral. Msgr. Howell’s charismatic and energetic personality will take you to areas of the cathedral that you may have never seen before. You will learn about the roots of the Corpus Christi Cathedral, which is almost as old as the city itself. In part one of the series, he will take you back to where the “parish” actually traces its founding as the “first” church in the

1850s to the 1880s where the actual “first” cathedral, St. Patrick Church was founded. Part two of the tour will cover the fire that led to the building of the present church and consecration in 1952. Tune in to part one of the series on May 30 at 10 a.m., which will be available on the Diocese of Corpus Christi and South Texas Catholic Facebook pages, YouTube and Vimeo. Part two of the tour begins on June 6 at 10 a.m. The tour leads up to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

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A seminarian’s reflection By Daniel Flores Contributor

Daniel Flores is a seminarian for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He is currently studying at Saint Mary Seminary in Houston.

“There is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence …”


– Excerpt from an ancient second-century homily given on Holy Saturday by Bishop Melito of Sardis

any of us may feel a sense of deprivation and separation, without a community. Empty pews remind us there’s not much to do, but we should see this as a time of retreat – of getting away from all the noise of this world. Sudden changes during this global pandemic have caused a halt to my classes and formation. In light of this, I continue to see it as a moment of opening my eyes and being truly grateful for pursuing my vocation – but this hasn’t always been the case. Last year in August, up until October, I began having doubts about becoming a priest. I recall a particularly stressful day. I was sitting by the patio on seminary grounds, reflecting on how upset I was with myself, when a professor, who saw how miserable I was, asked me how everything was going. After confiding in him, he told me to go to the chapel and pray for a while. Later, I recalled the scene in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ in the garden, where he found his disciples asleep – not keeping watch. The disciples were distressed; they didn’t know what to do. Jesus answered, “Stay here. Watch, pray!” It’s as if Jesus, himself, was commanding me to pray, and rightly I did so. At that moment, all my sense of doubts and fears were lifted from me. I was able to experience a sense of peace and calm in my heart, through the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. There was silence and stillness all around me at that moment. Through various conversations with my brother seminarians, I



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also felt the presence of Christ in them by listening to what they said. Today, the earth is silent. We are mourning. Restaurants and local businesses are shut down, and many places remain closed. We as Catholics are deprived of the Most Holy Eucharist. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). When we send our cares, our worries and our praises to the Lord, he hears us and grants his blessings to those who acclaim his name. The Lord promises that he would never cast his eyes away from us when we call out to him. We cannot hope to begin the change on this earth if we continue to ignore the person who loves us the most. I encourage each one of us to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Perhaps we should be like our Blessed Mother Mary, who listened to her Son, at the Wedding Feast at Cana, and when she found him in the temple. The Lord will sustain and provide for us if we continue to trust in him. Trusting in God was what I did at the beginning of this year in seminary formation. There were struggles and tribulations along the way – but casting my cares onto the Lord helped sustain my prayer life with the hope of one day serving my diocese. Now, this is the major tribulation you and I must endure. Pope Francis says, “To you and to all, I repeat: Never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished.” – These words have been my motto throughout these past six years of formation – words that have given me peace and joy in my heart. I encourage every one of us to do the same.

Shutterstock photo


Mary, a mother to all By Julie Stark


South Texas Catholic

atholics, through tradition, around the world, have dedicated the month of May to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This singular devotion awakens hearts to Mary as the first disciple, the first to love the precious savior, and the first to lead people to Jesus. Mary is the perfect model for all to imitate in order to follow Christ faithfully. St. John Paul II, when speaking as pope in Washington, D.C. said, “‘From Mary, we learn to surrender to God’s will in things. From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary, we learn to love Christ, her Son and the Son of God … Learn from her to be always faithful, to trust that God’s Word to you will be fulfilled, and that nothing is impossible with God.’” When Jesus gave her to the world at the foot of the cross and asked John to take her as his mother, she

became humanity’s mother, ‘mother to all.’ At the heart of most saints is a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Bonaventure says of St. Francis of Assisi, “He loved with an unspeakable affection the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, forasmuch as that She had made the Lord of glory our Brother, and that through Her we have obtained mercy” (Leg. Mai. IX,3). For who can make the Lord our brother, if she not also be our mother? The faithful can show particular devotion to the Blessed Mother by singing Marian songs, praying Marian prayers, and reciting the rosary. Participate in a May Crowning, an event that signifies Mary’s queenship as the mother of Christ the King, by placing a crown of blossoms on the head of her statue. This May find a special time to devote in prayer to Our Lady, to thank her for her willingness to say “yes” to God. LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



Message of Fatima By Julie Stark


South Texas Catholic

n a world where we see wars being played out on the evening news, threats of terrorism both foreign and domestic, and where the faithful are challenged and vilified by a secular society, the message of Fatima is still relevant today. Increasingly we live in a society that does not know God or that keeps him at arm’s length. Our Lady’s messages to the three shepherd children, Lucia de Jesus Santos, and her first cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, are messages to bring us closer to God and help us understand our duty to pray for people to know and love God better. On May 13, the faithful around the world celebrate the beginning of Our Lady’s visitations to the three little shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. These visitations took place on May 13, 1917, and con-



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tinued until October of the same year. Our Lady has always worked to bring people closer to God. Therefore, it stands to reason that the messages of Fatima would ask us to put God first in our lives, make reparation for our sins, pray the rosary each day for peace in the world so that all will know and love God. At this point in history, our world had been enduring World War I for three years and reeling from the loss of life. Although the end of the war was on the horizon, the global pandemic of 1919 would soon be spreading. The Russians who had begun a civil war would soon establish a communist nation. Our Lady’s appearance and the miracles that followed were God’s means of showing his love for the world, a world that had lost its way and needed to be turned from the path it was on. The visitation of Our Lady of Fatima exhorts us to return to God, to prayer, and to make reparation for the souls in purgatory. Our Lady of Fatima is still asking us to do those things. She is still pleading with us. She is still waiting for us to make things right with God so that our world will come back to the love of the Father. We need only to heed her message. In asking us to recite the rosary every day, Our Lady of Fatima also asked us to pray the following prayer after each decade of the rosary, “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy.” As we see the strife in the world around us and our own recent pandemic, let us turn to Our Lady of Fatima and heed her call to prayer. Let us not forget what happened over 100 years ago in a small village in Portugal but take up the power of the rosary and pray fervently.


Is the Coronavirus reshaping our Catholic school system and the formation of students? By Dr. Rosemary Henry

L Contributor

ike a bullet, the COVID19 pandemic shatters our world and brings us to a startling halt where fear and uncertainty know no boundaries. This health crisis has transformed how our children/youth are educated and formed throughout the world—near and far. The walls of the traditional safe and nurturing classroom, where teaching and learning commence, are replaced with a sprinting race for innovative solutions and new ways to educate those entrusted to our care. The Coronavirus has indeed become a catalyst for our Catholic schools and our public school counterparts to create a new landscape for teaching and learning. This new vibrant and verdant landscape could blossom into a lasting impact on the trajectory of learning innovation and digitization. The unknowns are plentiful, but the results may be a powerful stimulus for change in the field of education – especially Catholic education. This crisis also sets the stage for the expansion of public and private partnerships to engage in novel educational solutions. A myriad of stakeholders such as publishers, technology providers, educational experts of all levels, health and wellness agencies, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, social and emotional health care experts, licensed professional counselors, and governmental agencies have joined together to implement digital platforms and offer resources as solutions to this crisis. The pandemic is

paving the pathway for large scale and cross-industry coalitions to embrace a common but critical educational goal. Multiple organizations have reached out offering support and resources to our Catholic schools. Working together, we work smarter, and thus we become stronger. So, how does our System of Catholic Schools, in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, deliver instruction during the spread of the Coronavirus? Our Catholic schools began planning for alternative educational platforms for the delivery of instruction early in March. Our students are engaged in online and offline instruction. The online format, also known as e-learning, provides students with learning opportunities, via the internet, and guided by a teacher. This platform, managed through Google Classroom, enables students of all grade levels to study and pursue academic goals free of a traditional classroom setting. Students are provided with a high-quality education through a variety of resources, including lectures, direct instruction, thoughtful and specific teacher feedback, journal entries, videos, quizzes, discussion forums, live question and answer sessions, and interviews. Not only do students engage in subject-specific instruction, but they may also benefit from socializing with classmates and sharing in collaborative group projects. Similarly, students may also engage in offline instruction. This format consists of take-home instructional folders with carefully crafted content and assignments

Dr. Henry is Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

predicated on educational best practices, and consistent and timely teacher feedback to support student learning. Both the online and offline platforms are consistent with curricula standards and provide students with a clear sense of purpose, opportunities for expression, and empower students to work toward mastery. Thus, learning becomes authentic and meaningful. We are proud to walk through this educational and formational journey in partnership with our schools and school families. We are committed to serving with care, compassion and love. Other recent innovations supporting instruction, teaching and learning include the following: • Ongoing professional development for teachers in online and offline instruction • Teacher portal for teachers to share lessons • Communication plans and protocols for school and home partnerships • Parent resource library • Resource library for students with special needs Yes, the current pandemic has transformed our Catholic schools in the

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compassion, informed decision making, creative problem solving, academic rigor, deep learning, adaptability and resiliency. What’s more, our Catholic school students will succeed as their religious values and virtues guide them in daily prayer and reflection, compassion, charity, service to others and their zest for truth. The evangelizing mission of our Catholic schools remains strong, like a pillar untouched by disaster, during

these unprecedented challenges. It is here, where our youth are formed – mind, body and spirit. Please join me in prayer for all those impacted by the Coronavirus and especially for all our students, Catholic school faculty/staff members, school leaders, and school/parish communities. We pray for our Lord’s blessings of courage, strength, wisdom, compassion and grace. Come oh Holy Spirit.

Contributed Photo

delivery of instruction. The rapid spread of the COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of prayer and building student resilience to face health threats, fears and anxieties, economic catastrophes, climate insecurity and rapid technological change. Our children and youth need to develop values and skills to navigate through this unpredictable world. The work of our teachers and school leaders is focused on equipping our students with

The Libbey children watch a YouTube viewing of Mass at St. Patrick Church on Palm Sunday. The children, from left, Avery, Lainey and Nathan attend St. Patrick School. 12 


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Contributed Photo


Incarnate Word Academy teacher, Theresa Mader gives a class on calculus to her high school students via teleconference.

Learning continues as COVID-19 crisis reaches a peak


South Texas Catholic

ince the beginning of March, Catholic school teachers in the Diocese of Corpus Christi continue to amaze. From mastering such platforms as Google Classroom and Zoom to providing workbook assignments and take-home projects, students continue to learn and teachers are available for questions through Google Voice. On Facebook, teachers and parents of students post loving messages, indicating just how much they are missed. Since coming on board, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Rosemary Henry, has been committed to providing

quality education in Catholic Schools by infusing them with advanced technology. As a result, Catholic schools have been able to ease into distance learning two weeks earlier than their public school counterparts. Three years ago, each school began integrating technology in the classrooms. Schools appointed a technology administrator and they trained with Monica Maldonado, the diocese’s director of technology. Monica also trained teachers in the class-room setting in order to enhance their technological skills and confidence using Google Classrooms. She continues to offer weekly virtual

professional development sessions for teachers. “Her expertise and skills have helped our schools create new pathways for teaching and learning,” Dr. Henry said. Beginning March 21, Incarnate Word Academy has also been ahead of the curve. Students have kept up with a range of classes using S.T.E.M. for art and science projects and Zoom meetings for calculus. “Since many of our schools have been current with technological advances, and teachers and students were effectively integrating technology, the transition to online learning due to COVID-19,

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Holy Family second-grader, Trace Trevino, works in Google Classroom.

Mary Cottingham | STC

became a natural progression,” Dr. Henry said. “We have been committed to delivering high-quality education to all students at all grade levels.” Most students in the diocese have access to some form of online technology, but for those who don’t, the diocese provides an alternative method by sending offline lessons and assignments with well-developed instructional packets. “Both platforms serve to challenge our students with relevant 21st-century content and inspire creativity,” Dr. Henry said. Many students are already familiar with new technology thanks to funding from the Kenedy Memorial Foundation and the many grants Dr. Henry has written over the years. The schools have been kept up to date by using Chromebooks, projectors, robotics equipment and 3D printers in the classroom. Also, many tech companies have rushed to their rescue during the COVID-19 crisis by providing free Wi-Fi services indefinitely for school families in need. “What a blessing,” Dr. Henry said. “Additionally, I have worked with many educational companies and numerous publishers to provide a

Fourth-grade teacher, Eileen Valverde from Ss. Cyril & Methodius helps student Izzy Gonzales on an assignment via teleconference. 14  


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Daniel Ramirez from pre-K5 at Holy Family School is deep into an art project at his home

myriad of free and high-quality instructional materials, resources, apps, webinars and seminars for students and teachers.” Dr. Henry said that delivering instruction online and offline had presented some challenges at first, but the issues have been resolved. All schools have been provided with best practices in grading and assessment techniques for on and offline instruction. “To date, I have been informed all students are completing instruction and assignments according to required timelines.” Children with special learning needs are also provided with accommodations and modifications, while families continue to work closely with teachers to ensure continued learning. In addition, parents and families receive weekly communication from the Office of Catholic School’s diocesan staff, who keep them appraised of any developments, ensuring a strong parent partnership. “Parents have engaged in two surveys with regards to instruction, needed resources, equipment, children’s progress, etc.,” she said. “Parents have applauded our efforts and the efforts of our school leaders and teachers and have expressed gratitude.” Schools have been provided with a two-week window later in July to schedule and plan for year-end grade promotions and graduations for students and families should social distancing be relaxed. “These once in a lifetime events deserve celebration and students deserve recognition for their successes,” Dr. Henry said. “Several schools in the interim are planning some May virtual events like May Crowning, Virtual Graduation Breakfast, Virtual Field Day and Virtual Honor Awards Banquets.” See more photos at SouthTexasCatholic.com/ news/distancelearning.

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Students give a SHOUT-OUT,


South Texas Catholic

ay 4-8, our nation celebrates Teachers Appreciation Week. Catholic schoolteachers throughout the diocese have shown a remarkable aptitude and resiliency for continuing education through distance learning during the most unprecedented crisis of our time, the COVID-19 pandemic.

uiz Jonathan R

“St. John Paul II has some of the best teachers I have ever had in my whole school career. Honestly, they’re truly spectacular! They teach us to think critically and to be the best versions of ourselves. My favorite thing about them is that they would not only teach us to be our best, but they lead by example by their everyday actions.

~ Jonathan Ruiz, 12th-grader at St. John Paul II High School

“Teachers inspire children’s lives. Over many years, God has blessed me with the privilege to attend Catholic Justin Bro school. With many different wn teachers with different personalities, They show where our limits are and push us to exceed them. They spark the joy in creativity and make learning fun. They inspire us to work as a community, as a team and act with love as God intended. They support us to do the right thing Elizabeth Esparza while having faith in God. The teachers’ job is extra tough, but the teacher’s heart has an everlasting effect on children’s lives.” ~ Justin Brown, fifth-grader at Most Precious Blood 16  


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The pandemic has forced parents to become the teacher’s aide. Although probably exhausted, parents have proved up to the challenge and grateful to educators by sending a plethora of thankyou notes through the airwaves. Read first-hand what students are saying about their teachers. To see all the student’s quotes go to SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/TAW. “It’s pretty cool to chat and learn online with my teacher and my classmates on Google Classroom. I know it took a lot of work for our teachers to prepare this for us. Thank you, Mrs. (Mary Lilly) Garza and all the teachers at SES!”

~ Elizabeth Esparza, third-grader at St. Elizabeth School, Alice

“Man, there are so many reasons I love Sacred Heart. First, because we get to learn about Jesus, and I love the teachers.”

Braxton Yarnall

~ Braxton Yarnall, secondgrader at Sacred Heart, Rockport

“Mrs. (Laura) Longoria makes learning fun! We play games to practice what we’ve learned. We play Science Tic Tac Toe, Fluency Find It and sometimes Fluency and Fitness.

Joshua Mendez

~ Joshua Mendez, first-grader at Most Precious Blood

“I love my teacher Mrs. (Alyssa) Thomas. She is so kind to us, and she teaches us everything we need to do in second grade. She is so important to me because she teaches me about Jesus and my church, and I love religion so much.”

~ Ava Castaneda, second-grader at St. Pius X


astane Ava C


, thanking their teachers “My favorite teacher is by far Mrs. Hynes. She’s a very approachable person, and nothing short of an incredible theology teacher. It’s difficult to describe in detail why I admire her without writing more of an essay than a brief comment. All I can really say is that without her, my senior year wouldn’t have been half as special.”


Lane Behn

~ Lane Behnke, 12th-grader at Incarnate Word Academy “My teachers do so much for us to learn. They go above and beyond for us. I really appreciate them for everything they do for me and all the students. THANK YOU ALL!!!

~ Luke Lara, sixth-grader at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School

“I LOVE Sacred Heart because I get to learn about Jesus every day. I also LOVE it because people get along so well sometimes. We learn new things every day and all of the teachers are super nice! Mrs. (Kathy) Barnes is an awesome principal and she cares for everyone. I would never want to leave. I’m sad that I have to leave this school this year.”

~ Marysa McAllister, 11th-grader at St. John Paul II High School

Luke Lara

~ Rhylee Parsons, pre-K4 student at Holy Family

“I love the treasure chest and Science center in our classroom and I love Mrs. Lang. She is the best teacher in the whole world”

Marysa McAllister

Joy Antwi-Boasiako

~ Joy Antwi-Boasiako, pre-K3 at St. Patrick

Tricia Boehm

~ Tricia Boehm, fifth-grader at Sacred Heart, Rockport

“I love my assignments, but miss my friends at Holy Family.”

“The teachers here are some of the best ones I have ever had. The entire theology department is amazing in passing the message that our faith is important and that we should aim to be our best selves because of it. I can honestly say, all the teachers here have made a good impact on me each day I have their class.

Rhylee P arsons

“I like being Ms. (Olga) Tschoepe’s class, because it is fun and we learn and she rewards when we behave. I want her to be my teacher every year.”

Zoe Pare d


~ Zoe Paredez’s pre-K5 student at St. Anthony, Robstown

“Mrs. Mader, because she takes the time to make sure every student understands her lessons and she always show us how much she cares about us.”

~ Emmarie Rossiter, 12th-grader at Incarnate Word Academy


rie Ro


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Shannette Hoelscher | for STC

Catholic Charities Mother Teresa Shelter’s Sister Rency Moonjely, SABS hands out breakfast to some of our homeless brothers and sisters in need.


Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter still serving during COVID-19 pandemic Shannette Hoelscher

C Contributor

atholic Charities of Corpus Christi and the Mother Teresa Shelter are committed to helping during these difficult times. For the safety of clients, as well as the staff, we have altered our procedures until further notice. Although most of the main buildings are empty, we are still open. “I am extremely proud of our organization,” said Executive Director Warren Phipps, Jr. of Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter. “The staff and volunteers have pulled together to develop innovative ways to continue to serve those in need.” With the COVID-19 stay-at-home order for Nueces and the surrounding counties, the needs of our community are greater than ever before. Our Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter services are critical and essential, so a “Continuity of Operations Plan” has been in effect since March 30. To keep serving our clients, a minimum number of essential personnel will report to the office. Others will work remotely from home, where we will be able to maintain our case management functions remotely. Our dedicated employees continue to care for our community, and we will continue to be open with limited services. “We have been faced with extreme challenges in recent weeks as we navigate unchartered waters with determination to continue serving those in greatest need throughout our community,” said Director Sasha Christensen for Disaster Response Services. “Together, we have remained committed and intuitive on

doing just that.” Through the Emergency Aid Program, our Food Pantry and Financial Assistance programs are open by appointment only. For the Food Pantry, we have implemented a drive-thru system. Clients are first required to call in to get an appointment date and then come at any time during that day to receive their food bag. They never have to get out of their car. The drive-thru service allows the clients to receive their food bags but also keeps our staff at a safe distance. With many people in the community losing their jobs, the need for financial assistance is on the rise. We have seen a weekly increase in the need for food. For our Financial Assistance program, a by appointment only system has also been implemented. All financial assistance is now being done over the phone. At this time, we are only able to make minimal home deliveries to some of our existing senior and disabled clients who are unable to travel. To keep everyone safe, we schedule a time with the client and drop-off deliveries only at their door. The Emergency Aid Program is not the only program to make adjustments. The Ministry & Life Enrichment for Persons with Disabilities Program has canceled all programming until further notice, and The Father Walsh Summer Camp has been postponed. Sister Antonietta “Letizia” Le Re continues sewing face masks for Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter staff and volunteers. All Immigration Services are also by appointment only and the Catholic Charities-Flour Bluff location was temporarily

closed but reopened for food pantry assistance via drive-thru at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, located on 2233 Waldron Rd. on the week of April 27, Tuesdays and Thursdays only, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. until further notice. Please call (361) 929-6077 for assistance. We are working with the rural food pantries we assist. On April 22, the Mathis food pantry was open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with 300 food bags being distributed. A food pantry in Gregory is in the works. Our Parents as Teachers (PAT) staff are now doing virtual home visits with clients. The PAT team has also prepared learning packets for each client to use while they stay at home. Each pack contains three activities, a coloring book, crayons, and a reading book. Please call Catholic Charities at (361) 884-0651 between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and ask for your caseworker or an appointment for the service you are seeking. We will do our best to assist you and your family. The Mother Teresa Shelter has also made some changes in procedures. Until further notice, the courtyard, main day room, showers and laundry facilities are closed due to COVID-19. The shelter still offers breakfast Monday-Friday at 8 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m. in the form of takeout meals. Each food container provides an uplifting message for the clients, such as “Keep the faith. Hold on. Things will get better.” The Mother Teresa Shelter is averaging 120 clients for breakfast and 100 clients for lunch each day. The staff is working very hard to keep everyone safe and healthy. As of April 15, five temporary portable toilets have been placed at 1221 Caldwell

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Shannette Hoelscher | for STC

Catholic Charities’ client, at right, applies for financial aid with Irma Martinez in March. Clients are now applying over the phone, since the building has been closed.

(vacant lot located at N. Staples, Alameda and Caldwell). These toilets will be open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. for the homeless to use while the “stay at home” order is in place. There is a security guard on premise as well as hand-washing stations and trash cans. This has been made possible courtesy of private donors and through a partnership with the Ed Rachal Foundation. We are also working with the City of Corpus Christi on getting a shower trailer to be placed at the same location. During these uncertain times, Catholic Charities and the Mother Teresa Shelter has had an outpouring of love from donors such as Fajitaville Grill North Beach, CC Produce Co., and Nueces County Community Action Agency. Meat, rice, beans, tortillas, fresh produce, and dairy items have all been donated. Our partner, Coastal Bend Food Bank, has also helped us tremendously by providing us a critical resupply of non-perishable food and produce daily. Our clients are so thankful for their generosity. We have also had numerous volunteers come out and help restock the food pantry and fill food bags. “We have 2 0 


been blessed with volunteers!” said Elma Ortiz, Emergency Aid program director. “They have been and continue to be a big help for our small staff.” “I am extremely proud of all the efforts being made at both Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter to help as many individuals as we can,” Christensen said. “Each day, I am amazed by the resilience of the staff as we face daily challenges to meet the needs of our community members,” said Senior Director Angelina (Angie) Garcia, of programs and grants. “We are committed to serving as long as God wills us to be His hands and feet. I am proud because we are the picture of joy in service to Him.” “I am also very grateful to our diocese and our partnered non-profits and faithbased organizations for their collaboration during this difficult time. Indeed, working together, we can better assist the less fortunate,” Phipps added. “I am inspired by the Lord’s blessings each day, which free us from fear and give us hope.” Like never before, Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi and Mother Teresa Shelter

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Follow Us On

Facebook @catholiccharitiesofcc Twitter @ccharitites_cctx Website catholiccharities-cc.org Address: 615 Oliver Ct., Corpus Christi, Texas 78408 Phone: (361) 884-0651 For the Mother Teresa Shelter go to motherteresashelter.org Address: 513 Sam Rankin Ave., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401-2621 Phone: (361) 883-7372

needs your support. There are many ways to get involved: Give funds; Give your time; Give your talent; Get involved; We need you! Please give today to help ensure we can meet the needs of our community tomorrow. May God Bless you and protect you, your loved ones, and our community. Our prayers are with you all. Donate to Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi or Mother Teresa Shelter at catholiccharities-cc.org/ donate-to-catholic-charities.


A nursing career filled with many blessings By Rebecca Esparza

B Correspondent

Betty Lou Rutherford

Contributed photo

daughter) who developed is a nurse at dementia at an early CHRISTUS Spohnage, was the moment Shoreline’s Cardiac she knew she made the Intensive Care Unit right decision to become in Corpus Christi. a nurse. “I feel like becoming a nurse helped me learn how to deal with his disease and take care of him until he passed. I’ve had many patients and families touch my heart and made me feel glad I became a nurse,” she said. She recalled one particular instance where she felt incredibly proud to provide care, love and compassion to patients and their families. It was a moment she knew becoming a nurse was “My oldest son and I were having the best thing she had done in her life. breakfast at a restaurant one day, and a

An older photo of nurses and staff from CHRISTUS Spohn-Shoreline sharing a moment with Bishop Michael Mulvey, from left, Nancy Porras, Betty Lou Rutherford, Bishop Mulvey, Haziel Camota, Marcel Marcelo, Father Joseph Olikkara and Ian Carino. LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  


Contributed photo

etty Lou Rutherford was 55 years old when she decided to pursue a new career in nursing. She had just been laid off from her engineering job of 30 years and needed to make a last-minute shift in her plans for the future. “I feel God guided me into this profession so that I could do his work for the rest of my life. I have always felt that my going into nursing was a calling from God just like sisters and priests get a calling,” said Rutherford, who is now 69. “Once I made up my mind, there was no turning back.” Rutherford, who is currently a parishioner at Corpus Christi Cathedral, said taking care of her brother (along with her


gentleman told me how grateful he was I took care of one of his loved ones,” she recalled. “He told my son I was a great and loving nurse. I was so proud and could see the pride in my son’s eyes.” Born in Victoria but raised in Tivoli, Rutherford raised her four children as a single mom for most of their lives. She currently works as a registered nurse at CHRISTUS Spohn-Shoreline’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in Corpus Christi. Rutherford carries her Catholic faith with her, wherever she goes, but most especially when she is with her patients. “I have prayed many times with patients that are dying, and no one is at their side. I have reached out to our spiritual care team when I see things are not going well for a patient or when I see a family member is having a hard time dealing with their loved one’s illness. You have to stay in tune with your surroundings and use your faith to get through a rough day,” she said. “I pray for my team, my work family … I know

they have prayed for me.” She added she takes to heart the mission of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System: “to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.” “I feel we fulfill this through the work that we do day in and day out. God wants us to take care of his people … those people are my patients,” she said. As a nurse on the frontlines of the global pandemic, COVID-19, Rutherford said the biggest battle lies in what little is known about the virus. As of mid-April, the coronavirus had killed 1.9 million people around the world and over 23,000 in the United States alone. “Information changes daily, sometimes hourly, so keeping up with these changes is critical in order to keep our patients, their loved ones and medical professionals safe. We have to keep our safety in mind. We are the ones that will be there with these patients, holding their hand, reassuring them we are doing everything to take care

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(361) 884-2411 (361) 994-6551 Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources at: (361) 882-6191 for immediate assistance. 22  


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of them, and get them well. We try to ease their fears,” she said. For Rutherford, it’s about working as a team, especially since family members cannot be there for loved ones. “Communication is critical with families because the nature of this virus keeps them away. We are an awesome team of nurses that work well together and know the dangers of this virus. It’s scary at times, but we support each other emotionally. We’ve had to adapt to changes in our unit quickly, but then that’s what ICU nurses do best,” she added. Rutherford said she understands some people live their entire lives not having the chance to achieve a dream job, so she feels blessed to have hers. “If I died tomorrow, I can honestly say I did what I really wanted in my lifetime: to do God’s work and help humanity,” she said. “I pray God gives me good health to do this job for many years to come – after all, I’m doing it for him.”


Chaplain priests proudly serve those who serve By Jesse DeLeon

N Correspondent

ational Military Appreciation Month is celebrated every year in May. It includes Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day – both days honor the many brave men and women who served or continue to serve our country. Amid the heartfelt remembrances, the month-long celebration resonates with a strong affirmation for diocesan priests, Father Raju Thottankara and Father Tung Tran, who continue to serve as chaplains for the brave men and women who risk it all in service of our country. Although Father Thottankara is far away from his native India, he has navigated a genuinely remarkable mission as a military man, priest and chaplain. After arriving in the United States in 2000, he served in the Air Force and, in 2010, achieved the rank of major. Father Thottankara’s commitment to his military duty dovetailed into his calling as a priest and chaplain, and it has become one that he whole- Father Raju Thottankara heartedly embraces. Father Thottankara said the majority of his ministry depends on being a good listener. “As a chaplain, I counsel the men and women who have been overseas fighting,” Father Thottankara said. “I am there to console them and their spouses as they transition from the military lifestyle to civilian life.” Father Thottankara is Vicar for Priests for the Diocese of Corpus Christi and also ministers to the people of St. Peter Prince of the Apostles, his home parish. Even though he enjoys fulfilling the demands of his work in the diocese, he still maintains a strong commitment to his military brethren. “Two days every month, I travel to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio,” he says. “I celebrate Masses, hear confessions, and also counsel military personnel in person or on the phone.” His ability to be an understanding presence and guide to the military personnel he counsels is what Father Thottankara

sees as his biggest challenge. Still, it is one that he wholeheartedly embraces and looks forward to continuing. Diocesan priest and military chaplain, Father Tung Tran, also welcomes the tests and triumphs of serving the military men and women who seek his consolation, comfort and counsel. His commitment to his ministry has taken him across the globe to places like Naples, Italy, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as Guam, Hawaii, Romania, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand. From December of 2018 until the end of February 2020, Father Tran’s most recent assignment was at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, located in Jacksonville, North Carolina. “I was a boat person during the exodus of the Vietnamese boat people after the Vietnam War,” recalls Father Tran. “In the Lenten and Easter seasons of 1984, I experienced hunger, robbery and a shipwreck in the exodus to freedom in the waters of Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.” Father Tung Tran After surviving that harrowing experience, it is somewhat ironic that he chose to return to the sea by enlisting in the United States Navy. His rank in the Navy is Lieutenant, which is the 3rd rank of a commissioned officer (O-3), the equivalent of Captain in other branches of the military. As both an officer and as a priest, his work continues to be both challenging and rewarding. “At Camp Lejeune, I was the only Catholic chaplain at one of the two largest Marine Corps bases in the United States,” he says. “This involved serving 40 thousand Marines and their dependents, so I was practically the pastor of a good-sized parish.” The large number of Catholic military personnel Father Thottankara and Father Tran have ministered to in their respective assignments is truly impressive. Their unwavering commitment to continue their work makes them worthy of our thoughts and prayers in observance of Armed Forces Day. Both priests are proud to serve those who serve. LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  


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(361) 241-8153


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

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

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KLUX 89.5 HD-1


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

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

Good Company For 35 years! Call us at 361-289-2487 24 


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

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

Bea Romo | for STC


Sophomore student, Shania Esquivel, above, teaches children from Café con Leche some English words. She shared that during their service week, they were able to teach the children to dance, make slime, and much more. “The feeling of seeing the children so happy and grateful for what they have had an enormous impact on me,” she said. “While we did teach the students many things, I was ultimately the student at the end of each day. I was able to learn about their culture, ways of living, new foods, language, and overall, how to appreciate everything that God has given to me.”

An extraordinary experience of God amid an unprecedented global crisis By Bea Romo



accompanied a group of ten students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Newman Center on a service trip to the Café con Leche School in the Dominican Republic. We immersed ourselves in a cultural experience of service, community and spirituality. We deepened our relationship with God and with one another through service. The love, the novelty, the openness, the multiple encounters that we experienced, and the enthusiasm of everyone were the elements that gave birth to the ecosystem that nourished us throughout the week. It was in that ecosystem

that everyone flourished while acquiring deep insights into life. The team’s journey began much earlier than the trip itself. In September 2019, we started meeting regularly once a week to prepare individually and as a group. This preparation consisted of lots of work, fundraising, personal reflection, prayer, paperwork and developing school activities. During this time, we experienced beautiful growth as individuals and as a community. “God was present through it all – even before we left – we were fundraising and preparing our hearts to serve these children, and throughout

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the journey,” Jessie Baza said. God’s love empowered us throughout this period in many ways, especially through the overwhelming support of our Newman community and many local parishes, organizations, and individuals who made this trip possible thanks to their donations and personal gifts. The group arrived in Santo Domingo on March 7, before the coronavirus had become a pandemic. The small group worked with young children in a school in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods’ in the outskirts of the country’s capital. And they were hosted by a Focolare group that lived in a house nearby. On the first day at the school, Cafe con Leche (coffee with milk), we had the impression that there was some disorganization at times. Nonetheless, there was a powerful sense of harmony that took you over and swirled you into the atmosphere of love that they teach and practice at the school. Our time there was a “school of life,” and we were gifted with so many fundamental lessons in only seven days. The whole experience was amazing! We felt so blessed for being called to be part of it. We immersed ourselves in community life, in a constant “self-giving” mindset, in the new friends that we were making at the retreat center and at the school and in a different culture that made us more dependent on one another. It opened the way for us to slide into the powerful experience of God that each one of us had. One of the main takeaways that came out of this experience is that every participant reflected on the reality lived in those days is the experience of love. Many of the students referred to this in several ways: “This experience has opened my eyes to God’s love. The students at Cafe con Leche really showed me how to love my neighbor. I strive to love like they do,” Katelyn Jezierski said. And another student, Natasha Medina said, “I felt God when we saw where these kids live, it truly touched my heart, it was definitely heartbreaking to see, but it reminded me to be so grateful for what I have,” “The love that was shown in the Dominican Republic is a love so deep that it truly cannot be put into words. I can only relate the feeling to a type of love given to us by God,” Shania Esquivel said. And Aliciana Mireles shared, “The main highlight for me was the unconditional love that I received from the children at Cafe con Leche. Regardless of the hardships these children experience on a daily basis. They never fail to express their love for one another and towards us.” The community and spirituality aspect during these days was a key piece in this whole experience as we supported and enriched one another in unthinkable ways. As Yasmin Sanchez and Michael Lozano put it in their own words, respectively: “Living in community for a week was way better than I expected! I saw God in every single one of my brothers and sisters as we grew closer every day throughout our laughs and struggles. Although I was out of my comfort zone, I never felt uncomfortable,” Sanchez said. “We started every morning with an intention, we went to daily Mass, and we prayed during the entire day. Ever since – I’ve been praying for the smallest reasons.” 26  


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We’ve built some unbreakable bonds through both the easier and tougher times. We grew together in this experience, and words can’t describe how much I thank them for everything,” Lozano said. “I saw God’s presence throughout the week through Marisol, the principal of the school, the volunteers and teachers,” Mireles recalls. “Marisol shared some amazing words with us and stated that regardless of where we were in the world, we will always be family and are all children of the same Father, and it showed throughout the week.” Little did we know that by the end of the week, we were going to come back to a different world than the one we had left. “During this time of global crisis, this service trip has brought some perspective in my life, senior Jessie Baza said. “Life is fragile, and plans change quickly – our experience has taught me how to go with the flow – because we aren’t going to be in control of every situation. In many ways, the group prepared for eventual difficulties, but you can never prepare enough for the moment when you experience them in real-time. These setbacks always came in the most unexpected ways and challenged us to overcome them. Sanchez said she struggled to keep laughter and jokes to a minimum at inappropriate times like prayer or someone speaking. “I struggled not having my entire closet to put together an outfit. I struggled being bitten by mosquitoes in the middle of most nights (which consisted of little sleep as well). I struggled to lend an ear when I was ready to rest. I struggled to keep my stuff confined to my area when I had to share a tight space.” Sanchez shared that she saw God everywhere, especially at the Focolare house where they stayed. “The Focolare women that graciously hosted us, greeted us with open arms so early every morning, then every evening; with gourmet meals, a helping hand, and ears to hear out our day. God shined in their kindness through serving us amid their everyday lives, with compassion, and love no matter what.” She said she overcame these struggles by focusing a little more on God through everything she faced. “I started with apologizing to those I ignored. The mosquito bites and itch were a reminder that I was in another country for someone other than myself, so I offered them up to God. I pushed myself to be patient with lending an ear because I would want the same thing, and lastly, I learned how to organize myself with the tight space that had been provided, Sanchez said. “I made a little dirty clothes-section, a tomorrow’s outfit-section, and why did I even pack you? section.” It was a gift for each one of us that will still keep on shaping our lives as we move forward in time. It was a transformative experience filled with graces that will take a lifetime to unpack. See full story and photos at SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/DRmission. See story in Spanish at SouthTexasCatholic.com/news/DRmision-spanish. Bea Romo is a consecrated lay member of the Focolare movement. She accompanies young people in their journey of faith, offering spiritual direction to students at the TAMUCC Newman Center and Holy Family Parish.


Dutch Supreme Court rules doctors can euthanize dementia patients By Christine Rousselle


he Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled on Tuesday, April 21, that it is lawful for doctors to euthanize patients with severe dementia, provided that the patient had expressed a desire to be euthanized while still legally capable of doing so. Lower courts had previously ruled that a doctor had not acted improperly when he euthanized a 74-year-old woman with advanced dementia, even though the woman had to be repeatedly sedated and physically restrained during the procedure. The case was sent to the Supreme Court for further clarification of the country’s euthanasia law, which permits doctors to kill patients considered to be in “unbearable suffering.” Per Dutch law, euthanasia is only legal for those with dementia if they had written or discussed an advanced directive with their doctor. “For some people, the prospect of ever suffering from dementia may be sufficient reason to make an advance directive (living will). This can either be drawn up independently or discussed first with the family doctor. A physician can perform euthanasia on a patient with dementia only if such a directive exists, if statutory care is taken and if, in his opinion, the patient is experiencing unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement,” says the Dutch government’s website. The woman who resisted her euthanization had written an advanced directive four years prior, requesting the procedure in lieu of being put in a nursing home. In the directive, she had said she wished to “be able to decide while still in my senses and when I think the time is right.” Prosecutors argued that her attempt to fight off the doctor indicated that she could have changed her mind, but was unable to verbally communicate. Dr. Charles Camosy, a professor at Fordham University and bioethicist, told CNA that the supreme court decision is part of a legal “slippery slope” in the Netherlands on euthanasia. Camosy said that patients with conditions including mental deterioration will be at the heart of future debate. “I believe the next great fight over fundamental human equality will be over the value of human beings with advanced dementia,” he said. “It is impossible, in my view, to separate what is happening in the Netherlands from the broad rejection in the post-Christian West of fundamental human equality.” A person with advanced dementia or a severe brain injury, Camosy said, is unable to communicate consent to be euthanized, meaning that the doctor performing the euthanasia will be likely the one to decide if the patient is in severe enough suffering to merit death.

Shutterstock photo

Catholic News Agency

“Doctors are notoriously bad at judging these things,” said Camosy. “Study after study finds that they rate the quality of life of their patients worse than the patients do themselves. They assume people want more quality of life than length of life, when in fact the numbers show exactly the opposite.” Camosy told CNA that given how the Netherlands has euthanized newborn infants, who are also unable to communicate a degree of suffering, for about two decades, “it follows logically that they could say it about someone with late-stage dementia.” “Like prenatal human beings, and human beings with massive brain injuries, human beings with late-stage dementia simply don’t ‘count,’ morally speaking, the same as human beings that have been determined to have the traits that make someone a person,” he said. Instead of further expanding euthanasia, Camosy suggested that the Netherlands instead ramp up the number of caregivers for dementia patients, and work to empower families of dementia patients to provide care for them. LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  



Holy Spirit heals divisions caused by money, vanity, and gossip


Catholic News Agency



‘What a good person that is…’ -- ‘Yes, yes, but…’ Immediately the ‘but:’ that’s a stone to disqualify the other.” Yet with the Holy Spirit we are able to resist all three temptations, he said, concluding: “Let us ask the Lord this docility to the Spirit so that He may transform us and transform our communities, our parish, diocesan, religious communities: transform them, so that we may always move forward in the harmony that Jesus wants for the Christian community.” After Mass, the pope presided at adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. He led those watching via livestream in an act of spiritual communion, praying: “My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the

Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as being already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you.” Finally, those present sang the Easter Marian antiphon “Regina caeli.” At the start of Mass, Pope Francis noted that amid the coronavirus lockdown towns and cities had fallen silent. “In this time there is so much silence,” he said. “One can also feel the silence. May this silence, which is a little new in our habits, teach us to listen, make us grow in our ability to listen. Let us pray for this.”

Vatican Media

he Holy Spirit can help Christians overcome the three temptations that destroy community life, Pope Francis said during morning Mass on April 21. Speaking from the chapel of his Vatican residence, Casa Santa Marta, the pope turned to the day’s first reading (Acts 4:3237), which describes the harmony among the first Christians. This description was no fantasy, he said, but rather a model for today’s Church. “It is true that immediately after this, problems will begin,” he observed, “but the Lord shows us how far we can go if we are open to the Holy Spirit, if we are docile. In this community there is harmony.” Pope Francis said that many things divided parishes, dioceses, communities of priests, and men and women religious. He identified three major temptations: money, vanity and idle chatter. He said money, vanity and idle chatter have divided believers since the early days of Christianity. “Money divides the community,” he said. “For this reason, poverty is the mother of the community. Poverty is the wall that guards the community. Money divides ... Even in families: how many families ended up divided by an inheritance?” He continued: “Another thing that divides a community is vanity, that desire to feel better than others. ‘Thank you, Lord, that I am not like the others:’ the Pharisee’s prayer.” Vanity could be seen at the celebration of sacraments, the pope said, with people vying to wear the best clothes. “Vanity enters there too. And vanity divides. Because vanity leads you to be a peacock and where there is a peacock, there is division, always,” he said. “A third thing that divides a community is idle chatter: it’s not the first time I’ve said it, but it’s reality ... That thing that the devil puts in us, like a need to talk about others.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

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Hannah Brockhaus/CNA


St. Peter’s Basilica and square closed to public March 10, 2020.

Vatican City prepares to ease coronavirus restrictions in May By Courtney Mares


Catholic News Agency

atican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met with members of the Roman curia on Wednesday to discuss the gradual reopening of Holy See offices as Italy prepares to end its national lockdown. The heads of Vatican dicasteries decided to implement a “gradual reactivation of ordinary services” starting in May, while “safeguarding the health precautions to limit contagion,” according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office April 22. Italy’s strict lockdown is scheduled to end May 4 after 55 days of mandatory quarantine for the entire country. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced April 21 that he will be releasing a plan to slowly lift the coronavirus restrictions and reopen businesses.

“I wish I could say: let’s reopen everything. Immediately. … But such a decision would be irresponsible. It would bring up the contagion curve uncontrollably and it would frustrate all the efforts we’ve put in so far,” Conte wrote in a Facebook post published April 21. After over a month of lockdown, more than 100,000 people are currently ill with COVID-19 in Italy after 183,957 total cases were documented by the Italian Ministry of Health. When the Diocese of Rome announced the suspension of all public Masses one day before the national lockdown was declared, there had been a total of 87 coronavirus cases documented in Lazio, the region surrounding Rome. As of April 21, there are 4,402 active cases reported in the same region with an additional 1,130 people recovered and 363 deceased.

Vatican City itself has reported nine cases of COVID-19 among its employees. The most recent confirmed case was reported by the Holy See Press Office this week after the patient was hospitalized. “Appropriate sanitisation and checks were carried out among those who had had contact with the interested party on the only day of his presence at the workplace in the two weeks prior to the response, all with negative results,” Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni said April 20. Bruni has repeatedly said that Vatican City is implementing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in coordination with the Italian authorities. St. Peter’s Basilica and square, the Vatican Museums, and several other public offices in the Vatican City State have been closed for more than six weeks.

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May Liturgical Calendar 1 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/white [Saint Joseph the Worker] Acts 9:1-20/ Jn 6:52-59 (277) or, for the Memorial, Gn 1:26—2:3 or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24/ Mt 13:54-58 (559) 2 | Sat | Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Acts 9:31-42/Jn 6:60-69 (278) 3 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 2:14a, 36-41/1 Pt 2:20b-25/Jn 10:1-10 (49) Pss IV 4 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 11:1-18/Jn 10:11-18 (279) 5 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 11:19-26/Jn 10:22-30 (280) 6 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 12:24—13:5a/Jn 12:44-50 (281)

11 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 14:5-18/Jn 14:21-26 (285) 12 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/ red/red [Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs; Saint Pancras, Martyr] Acts 14:19-28/Jn 14:27-31a (286) 13 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Our Lady of Fatima] Acts 15:1-6/ Jn 15:1-8 (287) 14 | Thu | Saint Matthias, Apostle | red | Feast | Acts 1:15-17, 20-26/Jn 15:9-17 (564) Pss Prop 15 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ white [USA: Saint Isidore] Acts 15:2231/Jn 15:12-17 (289) 16 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 16:1-10/Jn 15:18-21 (290)

7 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:13-25/Jn 13:16-20 (282)

17 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER11 | white Acts 8:5-8, 14-17/1 Pt 3:15-18/Jn 14:15-21 (55) Pss II

8 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:26-33/Jn 14:1-6 (283)

When the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the following Sunday, the Second Reading and Gospel from the Seventh Sunday of Easter (see no. 59) may be read on the Sixth 11

9 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:44-52/Jn 14:7-14 (284) 10 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 6:1-7/1 Pt 2:4-9/

Jn 14:1-12 (52) Pss I

Sunday of Easter. 18 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/red [Saint John I, Pope and Martyr] Acts 16:11-15/Jn 15:26—16:4a (291) 19 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 16:22-34/Jn 16:5-11 (292) 20 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Bernardine of Siena, Priest] Acts 17:15, 22—18:1/Jn 16:12-15 (293) 21 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white/red [Saint Christopher Magallanes, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs] Acts 18:18/Jn 16:16-20 (294)

Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, Virgin] Acts 19:1-8/Jn 16:29-33 (297) 26 | Tue | Saint Philip Neri, Priest | white | Memorial | Acts 20:17-27/Jn 17:1-11a (298) 27 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop] Acts 20:28-38/Jn 17:11b-19 (299) 28 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 22:30; 23:6-11/Jn 17:20-26 (300) 29 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Paul VI, Pope] Acts 25:13b-21/Jn 21:15-19 (301)

22 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious] Acts 18:9-18/Jn 16:20-23 (295)

30 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Morning: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31/Jn 21:20-25 (302)

23 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 18:23-28/Jn 16:23b-28 (296)

31 | SUN | PENTECOST SUNDAY | red | Solemnity | Vigil: Gn 11:1-9 or Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b or Ez 37:1-14 or Jl 3:1-5/Rom 8:22-27/Jn 7:37-39 (62) or, for the Extended Vigil: Gn 11:1-9/Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b/Ez 37:1-14/Jl 3:1-5/ Rom 8:22-27/ Jn 7:37-39 (Lectionary for Mass Supplement, 62) Day: Acts 2:1-11/1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13/Jn 20:19-23 (63) Pss Prop

24 | SUN | THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Acts 1:1-11/ Eph 1:17-23/Mt 28:16-20 (58) Pss Prop 25 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/ white/white/white [Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church; Saint Gregory VII, Pope; Saint

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Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero La Diócesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendación del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicación mas allá para la buena administración y responsabilidad nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso nanciero.

La Liturgia Católica en Español se transmite por Internet todos los domingos por la mañana a las 11 a.m. en vivo, desde la Catedral de Corpus Christi, y disponible para todo el mundo en: goccn.org. La santa misa se retransmite a traves de los sistemas de cable de Corpus Christi (public access cable) los martes a las 10 a.m. y los jueves a las 7 p.m. Todas las transmisiones en vivo y grabadas son producciones de CCN “Catholic Communications Network”. Ver transmisiones por cable en bit.ly/cathedral-tv-schedule-2019-2020

La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y condencialmente el abuso nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de påca ética nanciera dentro de la Diócese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones serán tradas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anónimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

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

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

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Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en KLUX.org Domingos a las 7 a.m. con los Padres Juan Fernando Gámez y José Naúl Ordóñez LO V E O N E A N OT H E R | M AY 2 0 2 0 | S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C  


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


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SAVE THE DATE June 11, 2020 Corpus Christi Cathedral Sign up to receive news regarding the 2020 Feast of Corpus Christi, by simply texting the word, “CorpusChristi” to the number “84576” on your smartphone. Sponsored by The Office of Multicultural Ministry W W W. DIOCESECC .ORG/CORPUSCHRISTI

Profile for South Texas Catholic

May 2020 - Vol. 55 No. 5