Call to Action From South Texas to Washington
ACTION: Diocese of
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
Sen. John Cornyn
Mail: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 Phone: (202) 225-3484 Website: www.whitehouse.gov
Mail: 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington D.C. 20510 Phone: (972) 239-1310 or (202) 224-2934 Website: www.cornyn.senate.gov
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: www.hutchison.senate.gov
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: www.paul.house.gov
Mail: 2110 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-7742 Website: www.farenthold.house.gov
Mail: 2262 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2531 Website: www.hinojosa.house.gov
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 www.nchla.org • Additional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: house.gov and senate.gov.
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. 5 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD
16 Centennial Mass
More than 5,000 attended the Centennial Jubilee Mass celebrated by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo at the American Bank Center. Photo by Adel Rivera, South Texas Catholic
Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas ACardenas@diocesecc.org Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez JCL JLopez@diocesecc.org Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera ARivera@diocesecc.org 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: firstname.lastname@example.org www.southtexascatholic.com FAX: (361) 693-6701
Submit your announcements by using our online form, e-mail, fax, mail, or drop it off at the Chancery office.
Letters Welcome Letters to the editor are encouraged and welcome. In accordance with the Fair Practices Code of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. Letters to the Editor should express opinions that further the common good, build community, focus on issues and avoid attacks against people. All letters must be signed by the writer and include a telephone number for verification. Letters are subject to editing. Publication of letters does not imply endorsement by the South Texas Catholic. Send letters to: Letters to the Editor, South Texas Catholic, P.O. Box 2620, Corpus Christi, TX 78403-2620. E-mail to stc@diocesecc. org or fax letters to (361) 693-6701. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau. (USPSN 540-860) Published monthly by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434.
Msgr. Heras honored
IWA mission team
Excellence in education
Bishop Wm. Michael Muley and Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody are administering confirmations at the Cathedral during Centennial Jubilee
Calendar Items 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.
18 4 6
Progressive bishop Faced many challenges
Spanish flu Claimed lives of two priests
‘Walking on ice’
Departing after 66 years
Energizes renewal with talk on New Evangelization
Cardinal DiNardo praises faithful at Mass
Parish celebrates renewal
Priests renew vows
Named distinguished pastor by national education group
Serves close to home
Local Catholic high schools score wins in academic competitions
NEWS OF THE DIOCESE
By Cecilia Gutierrez Venable Contributor
he election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 outlined the progressive direction the country would follow for the next several years. That same year the Catholic Church also chose a new path for its institution in south Texas with the Rome declaration by Pope Pius X proposing that the Vicariate Apostolic of Brownsville become a diocese, with Corpus Christi as its See and St. Patrickâ€™s Church as the cathedral. This new diocese consisted of 23,391 square miles of south Texas land, including 75 miles of the Coastal Bend on the east, the Nueces River to the north and the Rio Grande in the south and west. This new See included the present day counties of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Goliad, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Kenedy, Live Oak, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Starr, Webb, Willacy, Zapata, and parts of LaSalle and McMullen. Just one month after Wilson took the reins of the United States government, the Vatican on April 4, 1913, named Father Paul Joseph Nussbaum to lead the new diocese. Bishop Nussbaum arrived in Corpus Christi on June 8, 1913 to a crowd excited by his presence and who witnessed his formal installation that evening followed by a splendid reception and banquet in his honor. A man of his time and environment, Bishop Nussbaum incorporated progressive ideals into the diocese by building up parishes and developing organizations, which assisted the church and community, as well as promoted youth groups, which ensured future members. Under his tutelage and unceasing vigor and pious direction, the Catholic Church
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Spohn Sanitarium, in background at right, stands in the debris of the 1919 shortly afterwards asked the pope to relieve him of his post as bishop of C
L.M. Gross Collection, Special Collec
grew both in number and community influence. Several associations sprouted during his tenure, including the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Society of St. Ann, which merged and adopted the name of St. Annâ€™s Altar Society, the Holy Name Society and the Daughters of Isabella, which evolved into the Catholic Daughters of America. Involving adults in the church provided a base for the stability and expansion of the Catholic Church. Bishop Nussbaum also instituted a lecture series and promoted hymnal songs during Mass, which strengthened adult faith. To attract the youth in the diocese, he encouraged the sisters of the Incarnate Word to further expand education to children and worked with San Antonio to establish a Catholic school of higher learning. One of the special devotional exercises Nussbaum encouraged was the Forty Hours. He arranged the parish schedules throughout the diocese starting with the cathedral, and then moving to other parishes so that there was Forty Hours Adoration in a diocese parish each Sunday of the year. www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
iâ€™s PROGRESSIVE BISHOP
9 hurricane. Storm may have been last straw for Bishop Nussbaum who Corpus Christi.
ctions & Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Bishop Nussbaum also maintained a hectic schedule for himself by celebrating Mass in the cathedral every morning and attending most church functions, as well as overseeing diocese activities. In 1913, he began a confirmation tour in Brownsville and the Valley. In Brownsville, he confirmed almost 1,000 people. Nussbaum moved to San Benito and confirmed another 500 people. He continued this tour to Mercedes, Mission, Rio Grande City, Roma, Rockport, Aransas Pass and Port Aransas. He made numerous ventures throughout south Texas in an eďŹ€ort to spread the Catholic faith. His early years were marked by the assistance of his brothers in the Passionist Order as well as the Catholic Extension Society. However, unexpected weather events severely curtailed his untiring dedication to the diocese, especially the 1916 hurricane that destroyed many chapels newly erected by the Extension Society. It was followed by a terrible drought that economically devastated south Texas. The many refugee clergy that fled the troubles in Mexico and were in need of support also presented a challenge. His www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
final years in the new diocese were also marked by burdens that wore down his stamina. Returning home from Houston on Jan. 25, 1918 aboard the Gulf Coast line which left the Robstown station nearly 30 minutes late, the passenger car Nussbaum was on had just stopped to pick up a few passengers in Clarkwood and was leaving the station when it was rear-ended by a TexasMAY 2012
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NEWS OF THE DIOCESE Mexican passenger and freight train traveling at full speed. Because of the thick heavy fog, which hindered visibility, the accident killed the train engineer and injured eight people. Among the injured were Father John Schied, the Chancellor the Diocese, and Bishop Nussbaum. The bishop suﬀered severe bodily damage with cuts, a broken arm, torn fingers, bruises and pain, which followed him throughout the remaining years of his life. To add to his suﬀering, Bishop Nussbaum lost several devoted clergy and several close friends the following year. The Yellow Fever, or Spanish flu, that claimed millions of lives worldwide, hit most virulently in the beginning of 1919 in south Texas. In January 1919, Father Schied, and the pastor of St. Patrick Cathedral, Father Paulinus Doran, both passed away less than an hour apart at the sanitarium on North Beach. Then, just seven months later, Father Patrick Walsh— the bilingual priest in charge of Sacred Heart as well as assistant at the cathedral—succumbed to a foot infection and also died at the sanitarium at the age of 43. These deaths coupled with the devastating hurricane of 1919 that ravished the area, left hollows in the bishop’s army. The first Corpus Christi Catholic Daughters of the Americas member to serve on the state board of that organization, Winnie van Cleve, was among the hundreds of victims. Mother Thais was swept away from the Spohn Sanitarium on North Beach along with several patients when half the hospital was torn away by the winds and waves. Bishop Nussbaum was in a meeting in New Orleans and personally escaped the tremendous hurricane, but many parishioners feared his death until they discovered his absence from the area. In January 1920, Bishop Nussbaum embarked on his Ad Limina to Rome. His spirit and body were shattered with pain. Traveling to Rome as well as visiting the parishes in the vast diocese proved too much for Nussbaum to continue to bear. Three months after he left St. Patrick’s Cathedral, news of his resignation arrived in Corpus Christi. Although Bishop Nussbaum served the Diocese of Corpus Christi for only seven years, by the end of his administration the diocese could boast of having 31 churches, 83 missions and 46 priests. Catholic education also surged during his tenure with twice as many students in 1920 then when he established the diocese. These feats were accomplished despite extreme adversity from border disputes, hurricanes, drought, sickness and death. By implementing strong progressive ideals, Bishop Nussbaum laid the foundation for a robust Catholic Church to flourish within south Texas.
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Claimed two y By Geraldine McGloin
t was a somber afternoon in Corpus Christi in January 1919. Spanish influenza had claimed yet more victims. Members of the Rotary Club gathered at Maxwell P. Dunne’s funeral parlor and escorted the bodies of two of the town’s young priests to the small Cathedral where Bishop Paul Nussbaum, CP celebrated a High Mass. Father John H. Schied and Father Paulinus Doran, CP died within minutes of each other in Spohn Sanitarium; victims, most probably of complications of the virulent flu which had struck the city. The epidemic started in Spain, which gave it its name. It Father John H. Schied spread over Europe was serving as in 1918 arriving in this Chancellor when he country in the Atlandied of the Spanish tic seaboard cities of Flu in 1919. New York, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The Spanish flu was the deadliest outbreak of infectious disease in history, killing 20 to 40 million people worldwide. In Corpus Christi nearly 500 people were stricken, 21 died within two weeks in October. The epidemic took a heavy toll of the citizens of Corpus Christi particularly during the months of January and February. Many of those stricken recovered, but many died. There was an average of a funeral a day. The total number of dead in the city is not known. Some of its symptoms were of the usual flu variety: fever, aches and pains, coughs and general malaise. Some www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Dreaded Spanish flu
young priests with missionary zeal
Gifted with oratorical eloquence, his sermons moved his people to a deeper appreciation of our Holy Faith, and to a more fervent attendance at services, particularly Holy Mass and the Thursday evening Holy Hour, while the church was filled to capacity during Lent.
symptoms, however, were unique to this particular strain of influenza, attacking young, healthy men and women with rapid, devastating consequences. The city was practically shut down as the flu was thought to be “crowd disease;” movie theaters, pool halls and other gathering places were feared as possible sources of contagion. The Rotarians’ escort of the two priests was an indication of the high esteem and respect towards them felt in the city, by both Catholics and non-Catholics. Even City Hall was closed until after the funeral service as a mark of respect to their memory. The two men had worked together at the Cathedral parish attending to the spiritual and corporal needs of the people; “both always responded promptly and capably to all patriotic and charitable calls,” the local newspaper reported. They were now linked together in death. The actual cause of death was said to be pneumonia but as the young men were in the prime of life many felt they were actually flu victims. Both had been sick with undiagnosed respiratory illnesses but continued to celebrate Masses and preside over other spiritual devotions before becoming too ill to continue. During the epidemic, the priests were frequently at deathbeds anointing those dying of the disease. It is certain that a fair amount of contagion existed under those circumstances. The Southern Messenger of Jan. 30, 1919 reported, “Whether the illness was due to exposure in connection with the exertions of the Forty Hours Devotion or the influenza germ [that] had previously found a lodging in the Rt. Rev. Bishop [Paul Nussbaum], the two Fathers began www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
to be ill within a few hours after closing this great Catholic Devotion.” Both died a few days later. Father Schied was a highly educated priest who began life in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After obtaining his early education in Pennsylvania, he completed his theological training at Louvain University in Belgium where he earned his Doctor of Divinity degree. During the time his was at Louvain, he received a letter from Bishop Peter Verdaguer, the Vicar Apostolic of Brownsville. It was an appeal for “laborers for southwest Texas.” The bishop asked for an American candidate for the priesthood to come to Texas in a spirit of self-sacrifice. Father Schied responded to the appeal and oﬀered to labor the rest of his days far away from home and family, in a place where the greatest need of the Church was for more and Father Paulinus Doran CP more priests. was rector of St. The generous young volunteer was Patrick’s Cathedral cheerfully accepted and ordained for the when he died. Vicariate of Brownsville. Immediately after his ordination in 1911 he came to Texas, going first to Laredo. A few months after the death of Bishop Verdaguer, Msgr. Claude Jaillet brought him to Corpus Christi and made him his assistant in running St. Patrick’s parish and also Chancellor of the Vicariate. Father Schied endeared himself to Msgr. Jaillet by his readiness to work and business ability. After the elevation of the Vicariate to the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Father Schied continued in both oﬃces where his competence and kindly demeanor impressed all who came in contact with him. The young priest also had time for civic duties. He had MAY 2012
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NEWS OF THE DIOCESE been an honorary member of the Rotary Club since it’s beginning; both he and Father Doran had worked with various American Red Cross programs in the city. Father Schied was buried in the Holy Cross section of Rose Hill Cemetery. The funeral cortege was more than a mile long. Father Doran was serving as pastor of St. Patrick’s parish at the time of his death. “A Yankee to the marrow of his bones,” wrote Sister Xavier Holworthy, IWBS of him in her book “A Century of Sacrifice.” “The energy and zeal with which Father Paulinus took over his duties as pastor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was a source of inspiration to his little flock. Gifted with oratorical eloquence, his sermons moved his people to a deeper appreciation of our Holy Faith, and to a more fervent attendance at services, particularly Holy Mass and the Thursday evening Holy Hour, while the church was filled to capacity during Lent,” Sister Xavier wrote Father Doran was born in Scipio, New York on Aug. 5, 1880. He was given the religious name Paulinus when he professed his vows as a Passionist in 1900. He was ordained a priest in 1906 and assigned to St. Mary’s Dunkirk, New York as an assistant pastor. Scholarly and a gifted speaker, Father Doran was later assigned as vice director of the Passionist Preparatory School. He was then assigned as a mission preacher in Pittsburgh and Scranton, Pennsylvania and Brighton, Massachusetts. He later taught classics at St. Joseph’s Monastery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was again assigned to Brighton where he was asked to preach a series of sermons for non-Catholics. He began to experience health problems and in 1917 he volunteered to work in Corpus Christi as pastor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral with Bishop Nussbaum, a fellow Passionist who had been assigned bishop there in 1913. His term as pastor lasted a bare 14 months. The remains of Father Doran were shipped to New Jersey for internment. The body was accompanied from Maxwell Dunne Undertaking Parlor to the station by hundreds of men, women and children, bearing mute testimony to the love and aﬀection felt for this man who during the brief time that he had lived among them had established himself in the confidence of the people of the city irrespective of religious belief. The two young men joined in life and deaths came from diﬀerent places and had followed diﬀerent paths, but were endowed with the same missionary zeal to win souls for Christ. It led them to the final chapter of their lives.
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Mother Teresa opening DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
Housing for homeless By Mary Cottingham
or the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey has made the following priest appointments. Father Emilio Jimenez is assigned as the Diocesan Vicar for Clergy. Father Jimenez has been serving as the Vicar for Priests but now has the added responsibility of overseeing the Permanent Diaconate program in the diocese. He will continue to serve as vicar for active priests. The appointment was made eﬀective March 1. While retaining his duties as pastor of St. Joseph Parish (Kingsville), Father Romeo Salinas has been assigned to the Finance Council for a period of five years, effective immediately. While retaining his duties as pastor of St. John Nepomucene Parish (Robstown), Father Thomas Showalter has been assigned as the Dean of the Five-Points Deanery for a period of five years, eﬀective immediately.
NEWS OF THE DIOCESE
Father Emilio Jimenez will also oversee the Permanent Diaconate
Father Romeo Salinas assigned to Finance Council
Father Thomas Showalter assigned as Dean of FivePoints Deanery
South Texas Catholic
Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi unveiled its new $1 million Mother Teresa Transitional Housing facility located at 1605 Mestina St. in Corpus Christi on March 23. The facility was set to open with a few residents in April, but due to unforeseeable circumstances it is now scheduled to open in May. The transitional facility will house 24 residents, each with their own room, bed and dresser. Residents will share a kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, laundry room and living area. The facility also provides a kennel for residents who have pets. The shelter will also oﬀer three cooked meals and two snacks daily. Mental Health and Behavioral Case Manager Teresa Bohem and Senior Case Intergenerational Manager Julia Ramone will work on a daily basis with residents. Yiyi Dean, grant writer and program developer for Catholic Charities and Mother Teresa Shelter, leveraged $70,000 approved for the project by the Catholic Charities board of directors to secure a city of Corpus Christi $74,000 grant, a $100,000 grant from the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation and a grant for $817,719.53 from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Aﬀairs. Mother Teresa Shelter used the funds to purchase four vacant lots and a two-year-old classroom building from Annapolis Christian Academy and moved them to their present location. “Let us seek to make this home a MAY 2012
Linda McKamie, executive director of Catholic Charities, speaks to need of transitional housing for homeless. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
dwelling of friendship,” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey said as he oﬀered a blessing and thanked family members of the late Daniel D. Meaney who died last year and for whom the facility is named. Meaney was a founding director and member of the Kenedy Foundation. “He was a giant of a person. He had the corazón (heart) that you would expect from an organization that’s out to help people,” retired Lt. Gen. Marc Cisneros, Executive Director of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, said. Meaney family members were in attendance as were several religious, including Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody who spearheaded the creation of the Mother Teresa Shelter, city councilwoman Nelda Martinez and several members of the board of Catholic Charities.
To see more photos of this event
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NEWS OF THE DIOCESE
Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament will miss their home at Holy Family parish and school. They are, from left, Sister Mary Rodriguez, Sister Dolores Castellanos, Sister Patricia Rodriguez and Sister Estella Contreras. Not pictured are Sister Encarnacion Martinez and Sister Agnes Rangel.
Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
after 66 years at Holy Family
fter prayerful discernment, the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament have decided that it is for the best to withdraw from Holy Family School and Parish at the end of this school year.
“It is sad to leave Holy Family after 66 years of service, nevertheless, it is with satisfaction and joy that we celebrate the fruits and accomplishments of all these years, as well as all the memories of so many good and generous people of the parish and school with whom we have shared our life,” said Sister Maria del Rosario VegaR, HMSS, regional superior, based in Cleveland, Ohio. “We are convinced that this decision is in favor of everyone since everything has occurred smoothly and timely as are many of the decisions that come from God.” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey was saddened and taken aback by the departure of the Mercedarian Sisters after 66 years of service in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “However, I understand the sisters’ position. I have made sure that the sisters know that the door to the Diocese
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of Corpus Christi is and remains open should their situation change at any time,” Bishop Mulvey said. The sisters initiated a discernment process on the permanence of their stay at the service of Holy Family in February. After taking some time to meditate, seek advice and pray about how this change would aﬀect their lives and the lives of those they serve they thought it best to make this decision, Sister Maria del Rosario said. The six sisters that are currently living at the convent on Frio Street have been reassigned to other Mercedarian convents in the United States. Sister Patricia Rodriguez, for example, will transfer to Cleveland. Sister Maria del Rosario thanked Bishop Mulvey for his support and gratitude. “His Excellency has also left the doors open for the Mercedarian Sisters to return when we have the needed
personnel to suﬃciently respond to the apostolic needs of a school or parish in the Diocese of Corpus Christi,” she said. “I want to thank each one of the sisters for their tremendous service in the diocese and let them know that they have a home to return to at anytime. I wish God’s blessing upon each and everyone of them and will continue to pray for an increase to vocations to the community,” Bishop Mulvey said. “On behalf of all the Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament who have been at Holy Family throughout these years, I thank you for all the support and love that we have received from you at all times. You will always be in our hearts through our prayers. I entrust our community and myself to your prayers for an increase of vocations in our congregation,” Sister Maria del Rosario said. www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Vocations contest WINNERS The diocese Offices of Consecrated Life, Young Adult and Campus Ministry and Youth Ministry have announced the winners of the their Vocations Contest. Winner of first place in the high school Level was Clarissa Lara from Incarnate Word Academy High School.
She will receive $500 for designing and composing a prayer card entitled “Reach Out” (at right). Maria Matilda Sandoval from St. Joseph School in Alice (second grade) was the first place winner of Elementary Level for her painting of a child praying outside a church (below). She will receive $100.
Tabitha Adkins from Coastal Bend College was winner of first place college level and will receive $500 for designing and composing a prayer card entitled “Dear Heavenly Father” (at
right). Winner of first place middle Level was Jordyn Harney from St. Pius X School (6th grade). She will receive $300 for her poster depicting God calling a girl on the beach (below).
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Cardinal Dolan visits workers, Pink Sisters, Cardinal DiNardo, sings with Dana Scallon and dons a Stetson.
Cardinal Dolan, bisho
By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
e need to fall in love all over again with Jesus Christ and His Church,” Timothy Cardinal Dolan told more than 2,000 of the faithful gathered at the Corpus Christi’s Selena Auditorium for the Centennial Formation Conference on March 26. Cardinal Dolan said that Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey has made the New Evangelization the theme and the mission as the diocese approaches its second century. Over the past two years, Bishop Mulvey has initiated an ongoing formation and renewal of the presbyterate, strengthening parish life and reviewing methods for evangelization and catechesis.
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In his less than 24-hours in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Cardinal Dolan said he had detected vitality, promise, commitment and cohesion “in abundance.” He said the diocese, from its beginning, was marked by evangelical zeal. The archbishop of New York arrived in Corpus Christi on March 25 and one of his first acts was to pay a surprise visit to diocesan staﬀ and volunteers that had gathered at Corpus Christi Cathedral’s St. Joseph Hall for last minute preparations. Cardinal Dolan, accompanied by Bishop Mulvey, made a few remarks and then walked around the room shaking hands and posing for pictures with the volunteers. The following morning, Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass at 7 a.m. to a standing room crowd of worshipers gathered at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, more commonly known as the Pink Sisters. Word of the cardinal’s plans to celebrate Mass spread and the small chapel was filled to capacity and hour before the start of the Mass. Bishop Mulvey wanted to include the sisters in the Centennial celebra-
tion but since they are cloistered and could not attend the Centennial Mass that evening at the American Bank Center, he took Cardinal Dolan to them. Cardinal Dolan said his ties to the Pink Sisters went back to his time in St. Louis. He declared the nine sisters at the local convent as his “starting line up.” After a press conference with local media at the Corpus Christi Town Club, Cardinal Dolan went to the American Bank Center where he shared with the faithful in Corpus Christi some of the thoughts he presented to Pope Benedict XVI and his brother cardinals one month earlier when the Holy Father asked him to speak to the group on the New Evangelization in view of the upcoming “Year of Faith.” So what is “new” about the New Evangelization, Cardinal Dolan asked. After a review of the historical nature of the Church’s evangelization eﬀorts, beginning with Christ’s command to “go make disciples of all men,” Cardinal Dolan said the Second Vatican Council had set out the “who” and “where” of the New Evangelization, without giving it that name. The “who” is everybody. “All of us, www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
South CatholicTexas Catholic
ops boost by our very Christian identity, by the sacraments…are called to be missionaries,” Cardinal Dolan said. The “where” of evangelization is “wherever we are” not just in some distant land. Evangelization is at the very heart of the identity of the Church. Quoting Pope Paul VI, Cardinal Dolan said, “the Church doesn’t have a mission, the mission has a Church.” The Church is a mission. “Evangelization is not something extraneous to the Church, it is intrinsic to the Church. It’s at the very heart of the Church’s identify,” Cardinal Dolan said. It was Blessed Pope John Paul II who first gave this notion the name of the “New Evangelization.” Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Dolan said, believed that “we need evangelization of people who are technically not only Christians and Catholics but whose faith has grown lackluster.” “We ourselves need to be evangelized. He [Pope John Paul II] called us back to he Church of the Acts of the Apostles. To be Christ-centered and people-driven,” Cardinal Dolan said. Pope John Paul II called us to be confident in our faith and counseled www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
us to “be not afraid” and “cast out to the deep.” Pope Benedict XVI is following in this example and calls us to “holiness, which means friendship with Jesus,” Cardinal Dolan said. Cardinal Dolan noted that today we live in a secularist culture where the Church is no longer at the center of our lives. He set out six characteristics of the New Evangelization, which can be used to catechize ourselves. The first is that the Church herself is in need of evangelization. Translating a Latin phrase, Cardinal Dolan said, “You can’t give it if you ain’t got it. We can’t give Jesus to others if we don’t have him.” Secondly, evangelization “starts with ourselves.” One cannot evangelize others, unless “you first come to interior conversion,” the cardinal said. The third characteristic of the New Evangelization is that the Church does not preach a doctrine but introduces people to a person, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. “A person who revealed truths and doctrine,” Cardinal Dolan said. The primacy of discipleship is the fourth characteristic of the New Evangelization Cardinal Dolan said. He
described Pope John Paul II’s Marian model of the Church in which, like the Blessed Mother, we are called to be attentive to the Word of God and eager to obey God in all things. The fifth characteristic is that “we got a Church that says yes and not no,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The Church says yes to everything that is noble, and decent, and liberating, and up building and good and honorable,” the cardinal said. The only thing the Church says no to is to the “negating of the dignity of the human person.” The Church is at the service of the human person, he said. The sixth characteristic of the New Evangelization is that the Catholic Church is a Church of martyrs. Again, citing Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Dolan said, “If it ain’t worth dying for, it ain’t worth living for.” “There is someone worth dying for and living for and his name is Jesus Christ,” Cardinal Dolan said. The cardinal closed his talk, with a challenge to the faithful in Corpus Christi. “The ringing call to this Diocese of Corpus Christi, as we thank God for the first century and recommit
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NEWS OF THE DIOCESE ourselves to the future, is will we give the Word a human nature, will we allow the Word to take flesh and dwell among us like our Blessed Mother did?” Bishop Mulvey is looking at the 13th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops scheduled for Oct. 7-28, for additional guidance. The synod, which is called “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith,” will consider pastoral initiatives programs to assist the Holy See. “We will be anxiously awaiting the information coming from the Synod on Evangelization and the Holy Father’s post-synodal exhortation ready to follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit,” Bishop Mulvey said. “I take to heart the words of Blessed John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennia Ineunte that the Church must become the Home and the School of Communion. As I began and continue my pastoral ministry as a bishop of the Church, I have tried to instill that call within my own approach to episcopal ministry and continue to promote a spirit of communion among the priests, deacons, laity and with the Curia staﬀ with whom I work closely on a daily basis,” Bishop Mulvey said. After Cardinal Dolan’s keynote address, Texas bishops, including Bishop Mulvey, provided catechists with guidance at the formation conference on a variety of issues that will help advance the New Evangelization. Bishop Mulvey, along with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, spoke on respect for life, from conception to natural death. The bishop again reminded the faithful of the need to approach this important issue in a pastoral manner, with forgiveness and love for those who place their soul in jeopardy by disregarding natural law. Cardinal DiNardo endorsed this approach but urged the faithful to at the same time be consistent and constant. Always support life and never stop advocating for the respect for life and human dignity. The challenges that have arisen recently against our religious liberty require Catholics to be active and persistent participants in this struggle. Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann talked on medical ethics while Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville covered issues related to family life. Parish renewal, a focus of Bishop Mulvey’s episcopacy, was the topic of three sessions. San Antonio Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu led a discussion on catechesis and religious education in parish life and Catholic schools; Auxiliary Bishop Mark Seitz of Dallas spoke on liturgy and parish renewal; and Father Thomas Norris made a presentation on spirituality of the parish.
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Bishop Placido Rodriguez, CMF of Lubbock made a presentation in Spanish on evangelization of culture. Finally, Bishop Michael Pfeifer of San Angelo made a presentation on Catholic Charities.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass at Blessed Sacrament Convent with Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration (SSSPdeAP) or more commonly known as “the Pink Sisters” on the morning of the Centennial Jubilee. Pictured above, from left, Sister M. Feliz Caballero, Sister M. Lucy Cuvin, Sister M. Carmelita de Jesus, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, Sister M. Margaret Friedl (Superior), Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Sister M. Louise Alindayo, Sister M. Gracelyn Palisa and Sister M. Bertha Horning. Sisters M. Leticia Acayan and Sister M. Angelica Nigos are kneeling in front row. Contributed Photo
State Senator Eddie Lucio addresses workshop on life with Bishop Mulvey to his left and Cardinal DiNardo and San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller in the front row listening attentively. George Gongora for South Texas Catholic www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
www.SouthTexasCatholic.com w SouthTexasCatholic com
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By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
aniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston celebrated the Centennial Jubilee Mass before more than 5,000 faithful at the American Bank Center on March 26. He said he would title his report to the Holy Father on the event as “Walking on ice with confidence.” He was referencing the fact that the Mass he had celebrated was on the floor of an ice rink used by the local semi-pro hockey team; and the ice was underneath the flooring. He said in his homily that the Church does not view itself as triumphant but is always confident in its teaching and belief. It is from the Diocese of Galveston that the Diocese of Corpus Christi sprung forth and it is today the province to which it belongs. Cardinal DiNardo is no stranger to Corpus Christi having presided over the installation Mass for Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey two years ago. Bishop Mulvey, Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody and bishops from Texas and other invited bishops and priests concelebrated the Mass with Cardinal DiNardo. With more than 5,000 faithful in attendance, it is believed to be the largest attendance of any Mass in the history of the diocese. In 1962, four cardinals filled the now demolished Memorial Coliseum, which was a smaller venue. In his opening remarks before the Penitential Rite Bishop Mulvey expressed his appreciation to Cardinal DiNardo and the many other clergy and religious present. San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller and bishops from throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota and Connecticut were in attendance. Benedictine Abbots from Oklahoma and Arkansas were also present. Among the bishops present were four that were born and served as priests in the diocese of Corpus Christi, including Bishop Emeritus Raymundo Pena of Brownsville, Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville and Bishop Michael Pfeiﬀer of San Angelo, who was born in Alamo and ordained a priest while the Rio Grande
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Valley was still part of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Bishop Mulvey acknowledged “with gratitude and fraternity” the presence of Bishop Carmody, his predecessor in the See of Corpus Christi. He thanked him for his leadership and service. In addition to the numerous bishops, priests from the Dioceses of Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Laredo, Victoria, San Antonio and Austin were also present. Many retired priests and active deacons were also on hand. Bishop Mulvey extended a special thanks to the many women religious in attendance. He told them they “played a vital and indispensable role in the life of the Church.” Even before the diocese was erected, women religious educated youth, comforted the sick, gave shelter to the homeless and consoled those in need, Bishop Mulvey said. Bishop Mulvey acknowledged the presence of ecumenical, inter-faith and civic leaders. He pledged his willingness to work with them for the betterment of the community. He thanked the faithful for their “willingness to march together into the future with hope to bring to life the Word of God...” Bishop Mulvey also shared with attendees his meeting with the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI earlier in the month. The pope, Bishop Mulvey said, sent “not only his greetings but his blessings.” www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
NEWS OF THE DIOCESE
Cardinal DiNardo, assisted by bishops from throughout Texas and other states, celebrated the Centennial Jubilee Mass in The American Bank Center to more than 5,000 faithful. Staff South Texas Catholic
Cardinal DiNardo read a letter from the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano on behalf of the pope. The letter said that Holy Father was confident that the people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, inspired by their pioneering predecessors, would continue their “missionary commitment to the spread of the Gospel.” Seminarians from the Diocese of Corpus Christi as well as altar servers representing parishes from throughout the diocese served at the Mass. Ushers from various parishes in the diocese served as ushers and hospitality ministers. Sister Michelle Marie Kuntscher, IWBS, and seminarian Christopher Becerra proclaimed the readings. Daniel Vasquez was the cantor. Representatives from the eight deaneries in the diocese served as gift bearers. Lee Gwozdz, assisted by Guadalupe Rivera, directed the Diocesan Chorus and Eddie Fernandez directed the Cathedral Schola Contorum. The choir was organized from members of parish choirs from throughout the diocese who tried out for a place in the special choir assembled for the Mass. In his homily, Cardinal DiNardo oﬀered congratulatory remarks to Bishop Mulvey and the faithful of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The Centennial Mass fell on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and the Cardinal’s homily focused on the Blessed Mother’s “yes” www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
to the Lord, which resulted in the Word made flesh and in Corpus Christi—the body of Christ, which is the Church. Recalling the tumultuous first decade of the diocese, which faced two hurricanes, the unexpected death of clergy during the Spanish flu epidemic and the caring for clergy and religious fleeing the uprising in Mexico, Cardinal DiNardo said the people possessed a “resilience of faith in the Word made flesh.” “What a tremendous history you have of that reality in the Diocese of Corpus Christi,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “We need to take this 100th anniversary, stand back, thank God, praise God, ponder and then move ahead in mission, the mission is to make Jesus known,” the cardinal said. “I ask that in the Year of Faith about to begin in October, that all the members of Corpus Christi here in Corpus Christi—your town happens to be called Corpus Christi but you are the members of the body of Christ—I beg you that you make your own yes that of the Virgin Mary,” Cardinal DiNardo said. He closed his homily by reminding the faithful of the urgent challenge the Church faces today against incursions into its religious liberty. He said that they are called to provide witness in the public square. This challenge, he said, “is all the more reason why we need prayer and sacramental life to flourish so we can enter into this delicate arena.” “It’s arduous and tricky work and we are going to have to deal within the public square on behalf of human personal life and its beauty and brilliance from its moment of conception until natural death and the aligned problem of religious liberty now greatly challenged in our less than healthy culture,” Cardinal DiNardo said. He said this challenge required of everyone to adhere to the central lesson taught to by Jesus in the beatitudes that “blessed are the pure of heart.” “You can’t do anything unless there is purity of heart… if you don’t have that, all the battles we have to deal with, it won’t work,” he said. MAY 2012
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Confirmations held in
ccording to Canon Law, “The sacrament of confirmation strengthens the baptized and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith. It imprints a character, enriches by the gift of the Holy Spirit the baptized continuing on the path of Christian initiation, and binds them more perfectly to the Church.” In the Centennial Jubilee year of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey is doing all confirmations at the Corpus Christi Cathedral, the Mother Church of the diocese. Bishop Mulvey began this year’s confirmations at the Cathedral on March 31 with candidates from the Corpus Christi parishes of St. Joseph and Our Lady of Pilar. Confirmations of some 2,000 candidates will continue at the Cathedral through the month of May. Having confirmations at the Cathedral “made it special, Yulisa Garcia said.
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“This is nice; diﬀerent, more symbolic. Wasn’t the same ole thing,” said Charlette Valdez whose daughter Mia was confirmed with the group from Our Lady of Pilar Parish. Except on rare occasions, the bishop is the only one that can perform the sacrament of confirmation. This year, Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody is assisting Bishop Mulvey with the confirmations. “Confirmation is all about confirming you in the Holy Spirit and to send you out,” Bishop Mulvey said to those making their confirmation. “Never forget what Jesus said, ‘the Spirit of the Lord is now upon me and He has sent me.’” Christ came to spread the Good News and commanded His disciples to do the same. The newly confirmed, the bishop said, are also required to evangelize or proclaim the Gospel, which means good news. “You will be hearing the word evangelization a lot so get used to it,” Bishop Mulvey said. He challenged them to be evangelizers not just in words but also by their example, which takes courage. The Christian life is all about living Christ not “like Christ.” “Let Christ live in you,” Bishop Mulvey said. He told the candidates for confirmation that in order to make a diﬀerence in their family, school, society and in the world, they must first change themselves. It is too easy to follow the crowd, not to stand out so people will not see “what we are doing,” the bishop said. “That is not the life of a Christian, that is not he life of a Catholic. A Catholic stands out; a Christian stands out and is noticed, not because they want to be but because their actions are diﬀerent. “Where other people are Bishop Mulvey embraces Msgr. Marcos Martinez, pastor hating other people, we love them; where other people are at Our Lady of Pilar, during out looking for revenge because confirmation Mass. somebody hurt them, we forgive Mary Cottingham them; where other people see the South Texas Catholic needs of others who are hungry and ignore them, we help them. That’s what is means to be a disciple of Christ. That’s what it means to be a follower of Christ. And that is what you’re being confirmed into today—into that life,” Bishop Mulvey said. www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Bishops Mulvey and Carmody extend blessings over confirmation candidates from Our Lady of Pilar and St. Joseph parishes. David Perrone, Picture Playhouse
The bishop invited those confirmed to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in order to change. “You have to make a decision everyday. ‘I don’t have to live like everyone else; I do want to stand out, I do want to be diﬀerent,’ not to be seen but to be an evangelizer for the New Evangelization, to bring Christi, to be Christ for others,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop confers the sacrament of confirmation through the anointing with chrism oil on the forehead and proclaiming “Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti,” which means, “be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” He and Bishop Carmody extended their hands over the whole group and invoked the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with the words, “All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit You freed Your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in Your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifies that “Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit—his actions, his gifts, and his biddings—in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life.” Each baptized Catholic has the right and the obligation to receive the sacrament of confirmation, but the candidate has the responsibility to personally choose to complete initiation into the faith life of the Church. The parish community bears special responsibility for the preparation of candidates. In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, students receive confirmation at the end of their sophomore year. Preparation is a two-year process beginning in the 9th grade. Extensive catechesis is required, distinct from the regular MAY 2012
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PARISH LIFE religious education program. To receive confirmation one should receive the sacrament of penance. Candidates for confirmation, as for baptism, should have the spiritual help of a sponsor. The sponsors should participate with the candidates in their preparation, as well as the celebration. It is desirable—to emphasize the unity of the two sacraments—to choose as a sponsor the same person that served as sponsor for baptism. Parents also play an important role as a spiritual companion and advisor; together, the parents and child learn and grow in understanding of Catholic traditions
and beliefs. As part of their continuing support and witness, parents are asked to attend catechetical sessions provided by the parish. “Rely on the power and strength of God. When that happens, you see your life changed and this is the beautiful transforming powder of the Spirit. You become joyful, you become people of self-control who know right from SouthTexasCatholic.com wrong,” Bishop MulPHOTO ALBUMS To see more photos of this event vey told those receiving confirmation.
2012 Confirmation Schedule Corpus Christi Cathedral
May 3, (Thursday) May (Th Thur ursd sday ay)) 6:30 p.m. St. Paul the Apostle, Flour Bluff Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Portland Sacred Heart, Corpus Christi May 5, (Saturday) 11 a.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Alice St. Elizabeth, Alice St. Joseph, Alice St. Peter, Ben Bolt Saint Frances of Rome, Aqua Dulce May 6, (Sunday) 3 p.m. St. John of the Cross, Orange Grovee St. George, George West St. Pius X, Sandia Sacred Heart, Three Rivers Sacred Heart, Mathis St. Patrick Mission, San Patricio May 12, (Saturday) 10 a.m. Our Lady of Consolation, Vattman Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rivera Our Lady of Good Counsel, Kingsvillee St. Martin, Kingsville St. Gertrudes, Kingsville St. Joseph’s, Kingsville St. Pius X, Corpus Christi
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May 12, (Saturday) 2 p.m. St. James, Bishop St. James, Driscoll Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sarita Santa Rosa de Lima, Benavides St. Theresa, Premont Sacred Heart, Falfurrias St. James, Beeville
May 18, (Friday) 6:30 p.m. Christ the King, Corpus Christi Sts. Cyril & Methodius, Corpus Christi Holy Family, Corpus Christi Immaculate Conception, Gregory May 19, (Saturday) 10 a.m. St. Anthony, Robstown S St. Mary, Robstown S St. Thomas More, Corpus Christi S St. Patrick, Corpus Christi May 19, (Saturday) 2 p.m. M Our Lady of Refuge, Refugio O O Our Lady of the Assumption, Ingleside St. Mary Star of the Sea, Aransas Pass S St. Therese, Woodsboro S Sacred Heart, Rockport S May 20, (Sunday) 3 p.m. M St. Mary, Freer S St. Francis de Paula, San Diego S St. Joseph, Beeville S May 27, (Pentecost Sunday) 3 p.m. M Corpus Christi Cathedral C Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Corpus Christi O Our Lady of Guadalupe, Corpus Christi O
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By George! A parish is getting it done By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
ith the help of the diocesan Office of Parish Stewardship and Development, Father George Johnson, administrator of St. George Parish in George West is reawakening the spiritual life of the parish, which will celebrate its centennial in 1916.
Father Harold Purcell first brought the faith to the new town in a chapel car in 1915, shortly after the townâ€™s founding in 1912. The new town included a number of Polish, Bohemian and German families that together with the Irish and Mexican families already there formed a strong nucleus for the Catholic faith. The early going for the new church, much like the early going of the new diocese, was met with disaster. The church built in 1916 was heavily damaged by the hurricane that hit the area in August of that year. Three years later, the 1919 hurricane destroyed the rebuilt church again. Like the diocese, the George West church showed plenty of spunk.
St. George honored couples that had been married 39 or more years as part of World Marriage Day. St. George Parish
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In 1920, Father David Buckley began visiting the mission church and moved in as permanent pastor two years later. With contributions from the faithful the church was rebuilt and was reset on a strong foundation, both physically and spiritually. That spirit of determination continues to this day. Stewardship for treasure is not a concern for Father Johnson. “People are always generous,” he said. Indeed the St. George campus, including the church, oﬃce, parish hall and rectory, are maintained in excellent condition. What Father Johnson noticed was that too many of the faithful were simply “doing routine stuﬀ.” Attending Mass on Sunday seemed like a duty. “I am not saying there is no faith. Faith is there, but all of us need some awakening,” Father Johnson said. Father Johnson started this reawakening by explaining the diﬀerent parts of the Mass each Sunday. Then he heard that the Oﬃce of Parish Stewardship and Development could provide help so he gave them a call. Director Cande De Leon met with Father Johnson and Ethel Dulak was assigned to work with the parish. “Father George is very spiritual, very likable. He knows how to lead. The people love him and feel comfortable with him,” Dulak said. Father Johnson, who has three paternal uncles who are priests, received his training to the priesthood in his native India from the Jesuits. After several years as a Jesuit, he came to the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 2007 where he was incardinated as a diocesan priest. His first assignment was at St. Joseph in Alice and arrived at St. George in 2009. Since Father Johnson knew most of his parishioners by name, he had built up a good rapport. This allowed him to choose people for the new stewardship committee from diﬀerent age groups, cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. St. George, Dulak said, is more active than it had ever been in stewardship and has accomplished more in a very short period of time. Since initiation of the stewardship campaign a year ago, the parish has undertaken five projects. Stewardship usually involves time, talent or treasure. As indicated, St. George was already providing the needed treasure. Father Johnson wanted a stewardship campaign that would enrich, not the parish treasury, but its spiritual life. “My focus was families and deepening of the faith,” Father Johnson said. “I was looking for more than going to Mass on Sunday as the only commitment to God.” The campaign started with a prayer card commitment. Cards were handed out at Sunday Masses where parishioners pledged instead of money a prayer commitment. Some of the options in the card were to pray the rosary weekly, engage in daily prayer, etc. To Father Johnson’s pleasant www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Two banners representing family values were processed into church during Mass and were hung on either side of the altar. St. George Parish
surprise, 450 prayer card pledges were returned. During Advent, families were asked to work together on gathering information on their heritage and working at home to build a family frame to display at the church. Three hundred families were invited and 50 responded with a family photo that was hung in the church’s Christmas tree. “This symbolized that families make up the Church,” Dulak said. During Lent, the parish stewardship committee handed out pieces of cloth to parishioners for them to make a family crest, depicting its family values. Families were also assigned Bible readings and prayers every week. “Father gave each family a piece of cloth and asked them to pray together, read scripture, prepare a meal together and eat as a family. They were to put into practice what we do in the Mass in the domestic church, which is the family,” Dulak said. The parish handed out 220 pieces of cloth and 80 were MAY 2012
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PARISH LIFE me and my God. We are not returned, enough to make an individual salvation, we two banners. The banners have a collective salvation; were processed into church my salvation comes from during Mass and were hung others because I belong to on either side of the altar. a community of believers,â€? On Feb. 11, as part of Father Johnson said. World Marriage Day, St. It is hard to measure, George honored couples but both Father Johnson that had been married 39 or and Dulak believe that the more years, in keeping with program is being successful. the theme â€œjourney to the Attendance at Masses is up, promised land.â€? Father Johnthe number of volunteers son renewed the vows for 46 is up and, while individual couples that were honored contributions are the same, with a dinner after Mass in the number of contributhe Parish Hall. tions and the total of conThe latest project of the tributions have increased. stewardship committee was With the help of the diocesan Office of Parish Stewardship and â€œChange is a slow proa couples retreat in which Development, Father George Johnson, administrator of St. cess. What we are used to couples learned about eleGeorge Parish in George West is reawakening the spiritual life doing sometimes needs a ments of spiritual renewal of the parish. lot of shaking to throw us in a marriage, such commuAlfredo Cardenas South Texas Catholic oďŹ€ the comfortable zone. nications, spending quality Iâ€™m hopeful, and I really time with their spouse and can feel that there is a lot involving God in the union. more of interaction and knowing one and another,â€? FaEighteen couples participated. ther Johnson said. In addition to these projects, the parish bulletin is The stewardship committee is taking a break while used to introduce a family every week and for children to Father Johnson in on vacation, which unfortunately was write about their experiences. The parish continues with interrupted by the death of his brother. Plans for future many of its regular activities such as maintaining its food projects include something for youth in July. pantry, its prayer blanket ministry for the sick, a healing While youth is the next focus, Father Johnson plans to Mass attended by 200 during a weekday, a Spanish Mass reach out to families that are staying away from church celebrated on the fourth Sunday of each month, a strong and provide support for widows and widowers. prison ministry and other projects. â€œFaith has to be shown in the way we live, itâ€™s not just
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se celebran en la catedral durante el año centenario
egún la ley Canónica, “El sacramento de la confirmación refuerza los bautizados y les obliga con más fuerza para ser testigos de Cristo mediante la palabra y de obra y de difundir y defender la fe. Por imprimir un carácter, enriquece por el don del Espíritu Santo, el bautizado a continuar en el camino de la iniciación cristiana, y se une más perfectamente a la Iglesia “
“Esto es bueno, diferente, más simbólico. ¿No era lo mismo de todos dias,” dijo Charlette Valdez cuya hija Mia se confirmó con el grupo de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Con excepto de raras ocasiones, el obispo es el único que puede realizar el sacramento de la confirmación. Este año, el obispo emérito Edmond Carmody está ayudando a obispo Mulvey con las confirmaciones. “La confirmación tiene que ver con confirmarlos con en el Espíritu Santo y para enviarlos como discípulos,” dijo el
Obispo Wm. Michael Mulvey, Obispo
Emérito Edmond Carmody, y el Padre Ángel Montana concelebran la misa
de las confirmaciones de San José y Nuestra Señora del Pilar en la Parroquia Catedral de Corpus Christi. Mary Cottingham
South Texas Catholic
En el año del jubileo del Centenario de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, el obispo Wm. Michael Mulvey está haciendo todas las confirmaciones en la Catedral de Corpus Christi, la Iglesia Madre de la diócesis. El obispo Mulvey empezó confirmaciones de este año en la Catedral el 31 de marzo con los candidatos de las parroquias de Corpus Christi de San José y Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Las confirmaciones de unos 2,000 candidatos continuará en la Catedral hasta el mes de mayo. “Tener confirmaciones en la Catedral, lo hizo especial,” Yulisa García dijo. www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
obispo Mulvey a los quienes participaron en su confirmación. “Nunca olviden lo que dijo Jesús, ‘el Espíritu del Señor está sobre mí y me ha enviado’. “ Cristo vino a predicar la Buena Nueva y mandó a sus discípulos a hacer lo mismo. Los recién confirmados, dijo el obispo, también están obligados a evangelizar o proclamar el Evangelio, que significa una buena noticia. “Ustedes van a escuchar la palabra evangelización mucho, así que bale mas que se acostumbren a oír esta palabra”, dijo el obispo Mulvey. Él obispo los desafió a que sean evangeliMAY 2012
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VIDA CATÓLICA zadores no sólo con palabras sino también con su ejemplo, que requiere ser valiente. La vida cristiana es todo sobre la vida de Cristo, no “como Cristo.” “Que Cristo habite en ustedes,” dijo el obispo Mulvey. Les dijo a los candidatos para la confirmación de que el fin de hacer una diferencia en su familia, la escuela, la sociedad y en el mundo, primero deben cambiar ellos mismos. Es muy fácil seguir a la multitud, para que la gente no va a ver “lo que estamos haciendo,” dijo el obispo. “Esa no es la vida de un cristiano, no es la vida de un católico. Un católico se destaca, un cristiano se destaca y se nota que no, porque ellos quieren ser descubiertos, sino porque sus acciones son diferentes. “Cuando una gente odia a otra gente, nosotros los amamos, donde otras personas están en busca de venganza porque alguien les hizo daño, nosotros los perdonamos, donde otras personas ven las necesidades de otros que tienen hambre y los ignoran, nosotros los ayudamos. Eso es lo que significa ser un discípulo de Cristo. Eso es lo que significa ser un seguidor de Cristo. Y eso es a lo que están siendo confirmado en el día de hoy-en la vida del cristiano, del católico,” dijo el obispo Mulvey. El obispo invitó a los confirmados a cooperar con el Espíritu Santo a fin de cambiar. “Uno tiene que tomar una decisión todos los días. Yo no tengo que vivir como todo el mundo, quiero destacar, quiero ser diferente, de no ser notado, pero para ser un evangelizador de la Nueva Evangelización, para llevar a Cristo, para ser Cristo para los demás,” el Los candidatos para obispo Mulvey dijo. la confirmación de El obispo confiere las parroquias de el sacramento de la Nuestra Señora del confirmación a traPilar y de San José vés de la unción con el óleo santo crisma escuchan al obispo en la frente y proclaMulvey. ma “ser sellados con Mary Cottingham el don del Espíritu South Texas Catholic Santo.” Él extendió sus manos sobre todo el grupo y invoco la efusión del Espíritu Santo con las palabras: “Dios todopoderoso, Padre de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, por el agua y el Espíritu Santo le liberó sus hijos e hijas del pecado y les dio nueva vida. Envía tu Espíritu Santo sobre ellos para ser su ayudante y guía. Dales el espíritu de sabiduría y de inteligencia, espíritu de consejo y de fortaleza, espíritu de
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conocimiento y reverencia. Llene con el espíritu de asombro y admiración en su presencia. Te lo pedimos por Cristo nuestro Señor. “ El Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica establece que “Preparación para la Confirmación debe tener como meta conducir al cristiano a una unión más íntima con Cristo y una familiaridad más viva con el Espíritu Santo, con sus acciones, sus dones y sus llamadas, con el fin de ser más capaz de asumir las responsabilidades apostólicas de la vida cristiana.” Cada católico bautizado tiene el derecho y la obligación de recibir el sacramento de la confirmación, pero el candidato tiene la responsabilidad de elegir personalmente para completar la iniciación en la vida de fe de la Iglesia. La comunidad parroquial tiene una responsabilidad especial para la preparación de los candidatos. En la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, los estudiantes reciben la confirmación al final de su segundo año in la escuela secundaria. La preparación es un proceso de dos años que comienza en el 9º grado. Extensa catequesis es necesario, distinto del programa de educación religiosa regular. Para recibir la confirmación se debe recibir el sacramento de la penitencia. Los candidatos para la confirmación, como para el bautismo, deben contar con la ayuda espiritual de un padrino. Los patrocinadores deben participar con los candidatos en su preparación, así como la celebración. Es deseable-para enfatizar la unidad de los dos sacramentos-a
elegir, como uno de los patrocinadores la misma persona que sirvió como padrino para el bautismo. Los padres también juegan un papel importante como un compañero espiritual y consejero; juntos, los padres y el niño aprenden y crecen en la comprensión de las tradiciones www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
y creencias catĂłlicas. Como parte de su continuo apoyo y testigo, a los padres se les pide que asistan a las sesiones de catequesis previstas por la parroquia. â€œConfĂen en el poder y la fuerza de Dios. Cuando esto ocurre, verĂĄn sus vidas cambiar y esto es el hermoso transformaciĂłn del EspĂritu Santo. Ustedes se convierten en alegrĂa, se convierten en personas en control de sus vidas y que saben la diferencia del bien y el mal,â€? dijo el obispo Mulvey a los que confirmo.
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Church in Central & Eastern Europe Collection Collection Taken Feb. 22, 2012 Total from all parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi
$38,314.73 Amounts received through March 31, 2012
To view your parishâ€™s contribution go to WWW.DIOCESECC.ORG/SPECIALCOLLECTIONS
Thank you for your contribution
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Priests, bishop meet to reaffirm per By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
n April 3, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey celebrated the annual Chrism Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral with more than 100 priests of the diocese present to renew the promises they made at their ordination. The bishop also blessed the oils used for catechumens, the sick and those being confirmed, baptized or ordained.
Speaking in the Cathedral filled with the faithful from throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Mulvey reminded his brother priests that they had only the previous week begun to celebrate the diocese’s Centennial Jubilee and were sustained by “the strong faith of so many.” “We can acknowledge as well that there were moments in which faith was also fragile and less than exemplary. Recognizing that our weak humanity remains a part of life, we recall the profound words in our preparation for Holy Communion at Mass, ‘Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church’,” Bishop Mulvey said. Each year throughout the Catholic Church, priests
rsonal and communal existence and bishops meet together as a presbyterate to confirm and reaﬃrm their personal and communal lives. With the bishop, the priests renew the promises made at their ordination. The name of the Mass is taken from the Chrism oil used to in the administration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and holy orders; in the consecration of churches, altars and altar-stones; and in the solemn blessing of bells. The oil is made from olive oil and balsam and must be blessed by the bishop. The bishop also blessed the oil of the sick, which since Apostolic times has been used by priests to pray and to anoint the sick with oil in the name of Jesus.
Finally, the bishop blessed the oil of catechumens used to anoint those who enter the Church. These oils will be used during the upcoming year throughout the diocese. “We are not a people who witness or are saved on our own individual virtues—God help us if that were the case—but we are a communion of persons, a communion of priests, a communion of saints, who rely upon the witness of those who have gone before us, but also upon the faith, hope and love of those who stand with us and strengthen us each day through lives of prayer and service,” the bishop said in his homily. Following is Bishop Mulvey’s entire homily.
Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic
More than 100 priests of the diocese joined Bisop Mulvey for the Chrism Mass at start of Holy Week.
PARISH LIFE Dear Brothers, each year throughout the Universal Church, priests and bishops meet together as a presbyterate to confirm and reaﬃrm the profound reality of their personal and communal existence. Through baptism, they have entered into the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through their priestly consecration, they are transformed, by Him, through a total gift of themselves in conformity to the One Priesthood. In this Cathedral tonight, you have come to renew yourselves in the gift that was bestowed upon you at ordination. You come to recommit yourselves to the personal call you received to be His priests. With me, you come to rekindle our communal relationship with the very person who, through His Paschal Mystery, has called us to participate in His priestly life in public ministry. As at the Last Supper, He is calling us to a deeper relationship with Him and, according to his New Commandment, with one another. We have just embarked on the celebration of 100 years of faith as the Diocese of Corpus Christi. We stand here today because of the strong faith of so many. We can acknowledge as well that there were moments in which faith was also fragile and less than exemplary. Recognizing that our weak humanity remains a part of life, we recall the profound words in our preparation for Holy Communion at Mass: “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church.” We are not a people who witness or are saved on our own individual virtues (God help us if that were the case) but we are a communion of persons, a communion of priests, a communion of saints, who rely upon the witness of those who have gone before us, but also upon the faith, hope and love of those who stand with us and strengthen us each day through lives of prayer and service. “Set out into the deep” and “Be not afraid” were the decisive appeals proposed to us by Blessed John Paul
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II. He was calling the Church to unfetter the ropes of strong certainty and triumphalism, so often associated with the Church, in order to rediscover as our sure and certain hope in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The Year of Faith, soon approaching, coupled with the call to a New Evangelization have this rediscovery as our first and primary challenge: to re-propose Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life for every man, woman, teenager and child. This is our task together, my brother priests. It is an arduous one, one that may, in many of our personal lives, cause us to examine our manner of life. The task of proposing Jesus Christ will bring us to a new and fresh faith in Him and calling us to examine anew our reason for becoming and remaining a priest. But, let us not be afraid! The motivation for our recommitment to Christ and his Church today need not be the same as when we came before the bishop on our day of ordination. Grace, the presence of the Holy Spirit, continues to be at work in the silence of each of our lives. God’s grace is the agent of our holiness. Although not always present to our consciousness, on the day of our ordination we were asked six questions which remain fundamental to both our royal and ministerial priesthoods. First we were asked if we were committed to be a fellow worker with the Order of Bishops. No doubt we all answered ‘yes’ (or we would not be here in this cathedral tonight). The reality of this question and our response as a priest is often challenged as the ugly temptations of individualism and self-importance raise their heads deep within us. It is no surprise that these temptations (individualism and selfishness) alive and well in our society, can challenge our call to be a man of communion and can weaken and dilutes the commitment we made. The Church is Communion - in the image of the Most Holy Trinity. Our promise, dear brothers, is not a pledge to simply working together, but an obligation to penMembers of the etrate into a communion of life faithful and religious and ministry with one another so participated at the that the promise of Jesus Christ can be realized among us and Chrism Mass in Corexperienced by others: “Where pus Christi Cathedral two or three are gathered in my Alfredo Cardenas name, I am there (present) in South Texas Catholic their midst.” The result of communion is consequently contagious: “by this all will know that you are my disciples – by your love for one another. Yes, my brothers, Communion is not an option for us now www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
to tantalizing messages and quick “fix” from Sacred Heart theories is alive in our culture. Let us not fall Parish in Rockport prey to these decaying and Father John ideas, but find a new Chavarria from St. faith in Christ who is Gertrude Parish in as alive in his word as Kingsville (front) proHe is in the Eucharist. He is the Power and cessing into Corpus the Wisdom of God. Christi Cathedral Thirdly, we were before Mass begins. asked if we were reAlfredo Cardenas , solved to celebrate the sacraments, the South Texas Catholic mysteries of Christ faithfully and with reverence. Our love and or in the future. Communion is our identity in order personal devotion for the sacrament of the Lord’s Body to bring Jesus Christ to a world that is so yearning for and Blood is paramount in calling others into a deeper Him. Communion is fundamental to a New Evangelizaunion with his real presence in the Eucharist. I ask you, tion. Programs become ineﬀectual when communion is brothers, to spend time in the presence of the Eucharist diminished or absent. Therefore, tonight, dear brothers, in your parishes in the presence of your parishioners. let us recommit ourselves to be fellow workers and felPeople’s reverence for the Eucharist, I believe, will inlow disciples. I pledge to you, as I did on the day of my crease when they see us, not only men of compassion Episcopal Ordination, to work with you in building up and caring, but also priests who are in love with the Communion, the presence of Christ among us; I ask you Lord, present in the all to do likewise. Sacrament of the In a second quesWe will only The Church is Communion - in the image of the Altar. tion we were asked find this to be true if we were ready to practice it. Most Holy Trinity. Our promise, dear brothers, is if we be true and faithMentioned also ful ministers of the in the third question not a pledge to simply working together, but an Word of God. Again was the Sacrament we answered ‘yes’. obligation to penetrate into a communion of life of Reconciliation. The focus and As the sacrament centerpiece of the and ministry with one another so that the prom- of Penance is made New Evangelization more available in is the word of God. ise of Jesus Christ can be realized among us and parishes, the reality I ask you to please of sin and a person’s experienced by others. give yourself to a need to be forgiven silent, prayerful and and be reconciled active reading of the will become more word, especially the Gospel. St. Jerome reminds us, obvious. We, too, need this sacrament. Administering “Ignorance of the word is ignorance of Christ.” We canany of the sacraments leads us to a familiarity with them. not give with conviction what we ourselves experience Unfortunately, this familiarity can lead to the temptaas alien or unfamiliar in our own lives. Let us recommit tion to harden ourselves at the core of our being against ourselves tonight to live according to His word and to their eﬀectiveness as God’s grace working through these prepare well for every homily and proclamation of His signs in our own lives. The invitatory psalm of the Litword. urgy of the Hours each day reminds us of the response Every renewal in the life of the Church has originated of the Israelites at Meriba and Massah as God’s work in a new love and attentiveness to the Word of God. His among them became “common”. We will not harden our words are our treasure; I cannot emphasis enough our hearts, but have the heart and attitude of Christ, when need to re-open the treasure chest of the Word forsaking we actively seek the Mercy of God in the Sacrament of all false or alluring theories. The temptation to be drawn Father Alex Saenz
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The unity that can and must exist between you and me is the surest guarantee and most visible expression that we are the living Body of Christ. Penance. A good penitent is a good confessor. In the fourth question, we were asked if we would pray without ceasing and unite our lives to Christ, the High Priest who oﬀered himself for us to the Father as a pure sacrifice and with him consecrate ourselves to God for the salvation of all. My brothers, the wisdom of time and the wisdom of our personal journey will enlighten us that as a priest with the awareness that our life is not our own. Our life is gift, a gift that is now gift for others. To be a true priest it cannot be any other way. The temptation Msgr. Michael Howell to stay shackled to and Father Thomas Northe past certainties ris lead procession into for security, to seek a spirit of triumpha- the cathedral for Chrism Mass. lism, to want to impose personal ideoloAlfredo Cardenas gies as the path for South Texas Catholic the Church’s future or to be self-seeking in ministry will only inhibit our own growth in the Lord and arrest the Father’s will to bring the Church to realize her true nature of communion at service of the New Evangelization for the good all of humanity. We are again reminded of the words of Blessed John Paul II at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium: “To make the Church the home and the school of communion: that is the great challenge facing us in the millennium which is now beginning, if we wish to be faithful to God’s plan and respond to the world’s deepest yearnings (NMI #43). To assure that we would not fall prey to the devil’s work of spreading division and confusion in the Body of Christ thus diminishing Christ’s presence in the world, we were asked to make a promise in the hands of our ordaining bishop: “Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?” In the saintly fervor of the ordination moment, this promise of respect and obedience may not have posed a challenge to us. With the passing of time, however, and the demands of ministry, the challenges of the bishop’s decisions and requests and the inevitable diﬀerences of personality and opinion may have become a permanent or at best 32 SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC MAY 2012
an occasional struggle. As your bishop, in my weak and fragile human person, I deserve no such respect or commitment from any of you. But let us recall the meaning of this promise. The true strength of the Church and the principal agent of her growth and spreading are unity and communion. Standing with His Holiness Benedict
XVI two weeks ago, I again realized, in a real way, that I belong to the Body of Christ, a reality that is greater than me, or even my own diocese bearing that same name. The unity that can and must exist between you and me is the surest guarantee and most visible expression that we are the living Body of Christ. Without this unity our ministry can easily fall into the hands of the one who wishes to remove Christ from the world’s memory and conscience. The ills caused by radical secularism today, dear brothers, can be diminished, if not cured, by our communion with Christ and the Church. As your bishop, I ask for a renewal of your commitment tonight to a life of communion and unity: the sure foundation of the Kingdom of God and a future of hope. Thank you for your dedicated ministry. May the celebration of the Sacred Triduum, culminating with Easter the Day of Resurrection, be for you, your parishioners and family members the source of the joy and peace that only He can give us. www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
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NAMED DISTINGUISHED PASTOR B
Msgr. Michael Heras honored for outsta By Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
he National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has named Msgr. Michael Heras, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Corpus Christi, a 2012 Distinguished Pastor. He is one of 10 pastors nationwide chosen to receive NCEA’s Distinguished Pastor Award this year.
Msgr. Heras accepted the national award at the association’s annual convention held April 11–13 in Boston, Mass. He is the second pastor Msgr. Michael Heras from the Diocese of Pastor of Corpus Christi to reOur Lady of ceive the award, in as Perpetual Help many years. Last year, Msgr. Louis Kihneman III, VG received the honor. When Msgr. Heras was assigned pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish 18 years ago he found its Catholic school in decline. Enrollment at OLPH Academy had decreased to 163 students. Principal Linda Cantu said Msgr. Heras was instrumental in reviving the school. “He worked tirelessly to pay off huge debts, improve the facilities, the curriculum and the evangelization programs. Under his leadership a Montessori 2 1/2 year old unit and a Middle School were added in 2008. Enrollment has increased to 222 students with a waiting list in elementary grades,” Cantu said. Although he was honored to receive the award, Msgr. Heras expressed shock for three reasons. “Number one, Msgr. Kihneman got it last year; and two, we missed being a Blue Ribbon School by a half a point,
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because we don’t refuse any child And three, we have a new bishop and he doesn’t know us very well, he hasn’t seen us enough to give us his stamp of approval,” Msgr. Heras said. It did not take Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey long to get to know the energetic Msgr. Heras. A year into his episcopacy he named Msgr. Heras Episcopal Vicar for the Centennial Jubilee while still asking him to continue to perform his regular duties at the parish. “I am very proud of the award of NCEA to Msgr. Michael Heras as a distinguished pastor of a parish with a school,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Msgr. Heras has worked very hard to assure that Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy grows and offers an excellent education to its students. I join with the school community as well as the diocese and our brother priests in thanking Msgr. Heras for his dedication to the ministry of Catholic schools.” Before he was put in charge of the Jubilee, Msgr. Heras opened every school day with a prayer. He celebrates Masses on Wednesday and Friday for all grades levels at the academy, he pays the bills, writes grants and subsidies for the Montessori classes and teaches religion to the seventh and eighth grade students. In addition to his involvement with
Msgr. Heras, right, with two staff members and Student Council at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy from Left, front row: Noela Ortiz, Alexis Peter, Mikayla Peter, Msgr. Heras, Isabel Mueller, Andrew Garcia, Ryan Espinosa and Rylan Jimenez; from left, back row Assistant Principal Michelle Garcia, Allan Rayo, Natalya Reyna, Sabrina Delgado, Mikaela Rendon, Christianne Lu, Miranda Garcia, Erika Suniga, Abram Hernandez, Samuel Banuelos, Cristian DeLaRosa, Emily Netek, Cesar Landa, Noah Miranda, Savannah Flores, and Principal Linda Cantu. Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
OLPH Academy, Msgr. Heras is on the board at Blessed John Paul II High School and celebrates Mass there every Thursday before visiting with many of the 55 OLPH Academy alumni enrolled at the high school. He hears confessions and provides counseling. Msgr. Heras described a two-stop education process for students that attend OLPH Academy. A child can stay at the academy until eighth grade, and then continue on to JP II High or Incarnate Word Academy high schools www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
BY NATIONAL GROUP
anding support of Catholic education
through 12th grade. “Stability goes along way with students. Even those who do not end up going to Catholic high school, 96-98 percent of them go on to attend college,” he said. “Msgr. Heras has a Velcro aﬀect on the kids, they just love him,” Cantu said. “Msgr. is very friendly, he talks to us about the Gospel,” one student said. “We can tell him our dreams and problems,” said another student. He believes that dreams are part of www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
important events and decisions in the Bible and that they can be used to grow in understanding God’s will in a person’s life, Cantu explained. In fact, Msgr. Heras believes that dream interpretation is very important, so much so that along with a degree in philosophy he holds a degree in depth psychology from the University of Dallas, during which he did dream interpretation and has since kept up with it. “Kids have dreams at night and we talk about how it will reflect their
day life. It becomes a starting point to engage them on formation and their relationship with God. Dreams can be symbols of faith. Depth psychology involves imagination, symbols, color, art and drama. We are more like lower angels than higher animals,” Msgr. Heras said. Most principals usually have a hard time dealing with financial councils, but not so at OLPH Academy, Cantu said. “If we need it Msgr. will get it. Msgr. helps fund emergency repairs such as
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Msgr. Heras believes in staying on the cutting edge of technology. Pictured here are PK2 children learning on computers. They are listed from front to back: Reyna Ghaffari, Arnoldo Hinojosa, Jeremiah Paredez and Alena Gutierrez Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
the purchase of new air conditioners and the repair of the sewer lines under the parish hall’s cafeteria,” she said. Msgr. Heras provided extra funding for staﬀ development and training, for purchasing teaching materials and equipment such as library books for the middle school and the Montessori Unit and equipment for the Middle School science laboratory, which were areas of need. He allows fund raising sales outside
the church after Masses. He uses the church bulletin to advertise fund raisers and to thank the parish and community for their help and support. Msgr. Heras stressed the importance of staying on the cutting edge with regards to curriculum and technology. His goal is to continue to maintain the Montessori, 7th and 8th grade classes, provide ongoing funding and prepare students to be good people. Msgr. Heras believes that a Catholic
school graduate is someone who leads a holy life, who prays daily, is active in the church and sacraments, nurtures a health body and mind, excels in academics and is involved in community service. “We have to compete not with just other Catholic and private schools, we have to show to our families that this is the better route. We have to show the public sector that our school is a gifted and talented counter part to the public school system. “We believe we have to come up with an oﬀering that is tremendously formational. They’re learning how to be good people. We are preparing them for the world by teaching them how to deal with conflict and dialogue,” Msgr. Heras said. “Young kids need a social life. Our children are more sheltered than children from other schools, because they are ours from K2 and up. We try to provide opportunities for them to see the
ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC SCHOOL in Corpus Christi is seeking an exceptional individual to ﬁll a teaching position for the 20122013 school year. Applicants should have the appropriate degree. Certiﬁed applicants receive priority and retired teachers are encouraged to apply. The school also has openings for part-time positions in the Extended Day Program. Applicants must have a high school diploma. St. Patrick is a Blue Ribbon School providing excellence in education to all students through an outstanding academic program, spiritual formation, athletics, ﬁne arts, and extra-curricular activities. Interested persons should call 361-852-1211 or visit the school at 3340 S. Alameda for more information or to request an application. Applications will be accepted until the positions are ﬁlled.
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An artist from Mexico, Jesse J. Flores, was commissioned to paint this mural on the wall of the hallway at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy. Msgr. Heras is among Noah and his animals. Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
world and provide social settings that they would not normally be exposed to. A big plus about a small school like this, is that it’s like a close knit family, when someone dies in the school, the entire school attends the rosary and the funeral,” Principal Cantu said. Msgr. Heras is very strict about monitoring children using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He works closely with children and parents to help enforce rules. He believes it is the role of the parish to educate. “It’s a priority to fuse youth ministry with the school,” Msgr. Heras said. “We do a whole plethora of community and parish building activities. We have a Junior and National Honor Society. We involve them in day and weekend retreats, they attend Mo Ranch, which is a hands on nature study/leadership building weekend,” Msgr. Heras said. “They are also involved in the Mardi Gras Parade, celebrations for Advent, www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Texas Independence Day, the Christmas Musical, plays, and Stations of the Cross and our 7th and 8th graders help out at the food bank,” Cantu said. “Every two years during Spring Break we take junior and senior high school students to Rome. These are students who have been involved in ministry all there lives and have had a chance to raise the funds go,” Msgr. Heras said. “What sold me on sending my girls Natalya and Rachel to OLPH was Msgr. Heras and the addition of the junior high,” said Jaime Reyna, a parent of two girls who attend OLPH Academy. “Msgr. Heras is a great communicator and teacher and he is so chipper.” Superintendent of Catholic Schools Rene Gonzalez said Msgr. Heras stands out, because “he really devotes a great deal of his time to be present to students for spiritual direction with whatever problems they have. He takes a vested interest in the lives of his stu-
dents faculty, staﬀ and administration and he is truly a pastor in every sense of the word.” “Msgr. Heras frequently verbalizes his vision for the school during parent orientation, the church bulletin and during evangelization classes,” wrote Linda Cantu, principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy, in a letter to the NCEA. “He has a clear vision and truly believes that Catholic schools are the center of evangelization in a parish.” “Pastors provide support that is vital to maintaining excellent Catholic schools, both through their spiritual leadership and their eﬀorts to work closely with the school community,” said Christian Brother Robert Bimonte, executive director of the NCEA Department of Elementary Schools. “In honoring these individuals, we acknowledge the many pastors across the country who give so much to assure outstanding Catholic education in their communities.”
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IWA mission team serves close to home
By Nickie Stillman
atholic missionary service is deeply rooted in the history of South Texas. Many parishes, communities, the educational efforts in the Diocese of Corpus Christi trace their founding to the first missionaries who brought the Gospel to this rugged frontier. Missionary work is a cornerstone of Catholic faith, which is reflected upon and passed on through the generations to be celebrated by those who serve along with those who receive. Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) students were reintroduced to the missionary experience in communities in the area. Students were given the opportunity to get to know the people of three small rural towns—their faith, culture and their way of living. “In years past when the Mission Team travelled to Mexico, part of the experience was immersing into the lives of the people in the towns where they traveled,” Sister Rosa Ortiz, IWA Director of Campus Ministries said. “We wanted to give our young people the gift of seeing life through the eyes of others. So in addition to the manual labor that our students put forth to help revitalize these communities, they also had the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the lifestyles that are very different from their own life experience. ” For Holy Week, the IWA Mission Team of 62 high school students, along with 22 adult chaperones, traveled over three hours to the Dimmit County communities of Big Wells, Asherton and Catarina. During the week, as part of their revitalization eﬀorts, students painted homes, put up fences, performed renovation work on a parish building, trimmed many trees and mowed many lawns. Another group of students, who were unable to
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travel for the week, but still wanted to serve, did their mission service with Sacred Heart Parish in Corpus Christi. They performed the Live Stations of the Cross alongside parishioners at the church’s annual depiction of the Passion play. The student missionaries who served locally also helped members of Sacred Heart Parish with a complete spring-cleaning and beautifying the grounds and facilities. “The experience here in Corpus was great,” junior Katia Mendizabal said. “It helped me realize that you don’t have For Holy Week, the IWA Mission Team to travel somewhere to Catarina. During the week, as part of t help someone, because many lawns. there are plenty of people in need of help here at home. I was able to relate my faith and passion through my short time at Sacred Heart. It was an experience I will never forget.” Students worked and worshiped together with the people in the parishes. They participated in “visiteo” which included visiting house-to-house inviting residents to triduum services. What stood out for the student missionaries was not the physical work that they accomplished, but rather the notable eﬀect their visit had on the members of the parishes. “I think the lasting impact that we left with the people in Catarina, is that people do care,” sophomore Ashley Zawicky said. “Other people share their faith, morals and www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
of 62 high school students, along with 22 adult chaperones, traveled over three hours to the Dimmit County communities of Big Wells, Asherton and
heir revitalization efforts, students painted homes, put up fences, performed renovation work on a parish building, trimmed many trees and mowed Incarnate Word Academy
beliefs.” Zawicky, as well as other Mission Team members and organizers, was very touched by the appreciation shown by the people in the towns. “They spent their time and money trying to show us gratitude. This experience has made me want to come back next year into the Mission Program to love and serve others.” Sophomore Jacob Bartlett, who served the community of Big Wells, www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
echoed this sentiment. He felt the team’s greatest contribution was, “filling their hearts with renewed spirit and building a new foundation for their faith to grow.” “I believe the spirits of many were lifted, knowing that young people were there to help,” Bartlett said. “Through our preparations and celebrations of communion services during the triduum, we built a new root for faith to grow.”
Sister Celia Ramirez of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Asherton expressed the sentiment shared by her parish. “We have no words to express our gratitude and appreciation for all you have done. Your level of work and the change you have brought to our community will not be forgotten.” Both, those who served and those who received, celebrated in the works of the IWA 2012 Mission Team.
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EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE academic team. Members include Victor Gonzalez, Tobias Local Catholic high schools continue to show the comHendricks, Isaac H. Kimmel, Daniel Ramos, Marcus Romunity the value of a good Catholic education. Incarnate dríguez and Patrick Sheridan. Word Academy (IWA) High School won the state Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Academic State Championship title for 2012—the fifth time in six years. Blessed Pope John Paul II High School (JPII), meanwhile, defeated Flour Bluﬀ High School 440 to 330 to capture the KEDT Challenge Championship for the second consecutive year. IWA sent 28 students to the competition, including Alex Armstrong, Caitlyn Hornsby, Ashley Arriaga, Maria Kroeger, Julia Baker, Lauren Kuﬀel, Shannay Baradaran, Erin Kuﬀel, Parixit Bhakta, Clarissa Lara, Kristen Biggins, James Matl, Evan Buhidar, Matt Matl, Emma Camarena, Matt McClung, Daniel Cassidy, Savannah Moore, Austin DeGaish, Tommy Pesek, Brittany Donald, Jackie Salazar, Cristian Fernandez, Samantha Skurka, Derek Ficenec, Michael Tinning, Joseph Gore and Chelsea Guerra. Sandra Quintero coaches the team. Blessed Pope John Paul II High School scholars captured the KEDT ChalJane Elia Longoria is the sponsor for the JPII lenge for the second year in a row.
Incarnate Word Academy High School won the state academic championship for the fifth time in the last six years.
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History exhibit travels around diocese The Diocese of Corpus Christi’s traveling exhibit “Becoming the Body of Christ” is showing at La Retama Central Library, located at 805 Comanche in Corpus Christi until Friday, June 1. The exhibit depicts the growth of the diocese since its beginning in 1912 to recent times. “The Corpus Christi Public Library promotes the study of local history. The Central Library houses a large local history collection, where numerous items relating to Corpus Christi are on permanent exhibit in the second floor gallery. The exhibition on the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Corpus Christi enhances the library’s efforts to educate the community about the city’s history as it tells the story of the significant development of the Catholic Church in the area,” Herb Canales, Director of Libraries for the city of Corpus Christi said. The exhibit includes material from the diocesan archives, including replicas of glass photographic negatives made at the turn of the century for the Catholic Extension Society. The images show people, buildings, activities and events. In addition to the photographic displays, it includes a number of small items displayed in museum style locked boxes. These include the Chal-
Herb Canales, director of libraries for the city of Corpus Christi views traveling exhibit at La Retama Library where it will be showing though May. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
ice of Father Claude Jaillet, known as the “Saddlebag Priest of the Nueces” and the gold pectoral cross of Bishop Peter Verdaguer. The exhibit consists of several panels that fold and a kiosk, which contains a television that plays a threeminute video, narrated by Msgr. Daniel Flores, now bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville. The exhibit is showing on the first floor of the library.
The library is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. If your business, library, school, parish or organization would like to host the traveling exhibit, please call the Diocese of Corpus Christi Chancery Oﬃce at (361) 882-6191 or email email@example.com.
Bishop will ordain Becerra as deacon Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will ordain Christopher Emmanuel Becerra to the Sacred Order of Deacon through the laying on of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. The ordination will take place on Saturday, May 26 at 10 a.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral with a reception in St. Christopher Joseph Hall immediately after. Becerra, a Becerra parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, is a third year theology student at St. Mary Seminary in Houston.
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the Mystery: The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme.” Father Norris is on sabbatical from the Diocese of Ossory, Ireland and has resided at the Corpus Christi Cathedral rectory since December 2010 where he
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Enjoy the Rich History of the church in South Texas “Becoming the Body of Christ: A History of the Diocese of Corpus Christi” This 208-page coffee table book features the tales of Catholic faith in south Texas, including stories and photos of every parish and mission. Each chapter of the book begins with a stained glass window from Corpus Christi Cathedral and scriptural reflection.
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n Father Thomas J. Norris’s newly published book, “Mary in the Mystery: The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme,” the central focus is the Virgin Mary’s unique role in the Catholic faith.
Father Thom Thomas J. Norris
The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme Currently on sabbati sabbatical from the Diocese of Ossory, Ireland and residing at the Corpus Christi Cathedral recC tory, Father Norris has sp spent the past year researching, writing and a publishing this book. Father Norris’s short and easy to read book is broken into int three secplace in tions exploring Mary’s M the creation of the Church, communion with the her commun Church and her mission Church. in the Chur “Mary has a unique role in the Church. She is the dia dialogue partner of God. God Mary represents resen Israel and humanity. Chrishum tianity is a covtian enant religion, en and Mar y shows the completeness of o humanity in her willingness to say yes to God,” Father Norris said. This book illustrates that because Mary said yes to the Lord, “God showed He has a beautiful plan for us. God does not reduce us; God made Himself small as He grew in Mary’s womb. Mary is the reflected glory of God’s love for humanity,” Father Norris said. Father Norris wants his audience to understand that although “Mary is a central mystery because she said yes to the Lord; she is not the center of the faith. Mary highlights the faith through her son. Christ is the center of the Church.” “Mary in the Mystery” is a book that explores the outcomes of Mary graciously receiving the ultimate gift www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
from God. “God does not barge into our lives. God wants us to come to Him. Mary freely welcomed the gift of His son. God and humanity are united in Christ. The word of God became alive in Christ,” Father Norris said. Although Father Norris has been busy working on his book, he found the time to conduct retreats and lead days of reflection for the priests, seminarians, deacons and religious of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Father Norris has celebrated masses and heard confessions at the Cathedral. Father Norris, 67, found his way to Corpus Christi due to friendship with Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey. The two priests met and became friends about 26 years ago when they were both part of the ecclesial Focolare Movement. Two years ago Father Norris reached retirement age of 65, and his bishop in Ossory granted him a two-year sabbatical to come to the United States. Bishop Mulvey invited him to Corpus Christi, where he arrived in December 2010. Born and raised on a farm in County Kilkenny, Father Norris was ordained in 1969 and has spent the majority of his priesthood as professor of Theology at St. Kieran’s College in Kilkenny and St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, Ireland. Father Norris said he has greatly enjoyed being able to participate in the centennial anniversary celebration of the creation of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “I am very conscious of the strong ties between Irish Church and the South Texas Church. It is a special joy to me because so many priests and sisters have come from Ireland to help form the Catholic Church in South Texas,” Father
Norris said. He said he was impressed with the “dedication of the people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in organizing the 100th celebration.” “Their dedication to creating such a wonderful event made my impressions of the people of South Texas even stronger. The Diocese of Corpus Christi is very vibrant and loving. The celebration had a marvelous atmosphere of joy, unity and love of the Church,” Father Norris said. Although Father Norris has authored 12 books, he is not ready to rest on his past accomplishments. He is currently working on his next book on the topic of the theology of Christ. “I am focusing on forgotten perspectives of our Lord. I am using two New Testament Gospel readings of Mark and Matthew. Mark 15:34 ‘My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me’ and Matthew 18:20 ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in their midst.’ The Gospel passage of Mark is a reflection of today and how so many people feel abandoned while the Gospel passage of Matthew says something extraordinarily beautiful that anytime, anywhere God is among people united in his name. This Gospel passage of Matthew was the guiding principle of the early church,” Father Norris said. Father Norris’s research and writing of this new book will not take place in Corpus Christi. On August 2012, Father Norris will become a visiting professor at Loyola University in Chicago. “Mary in the Mystery: The Woman in Whom Divinity and Humanity Rhyme” is available for purchase at the Corpus Christi Cathedral bookstore or on-line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Word of God must first permeate our own lives
By Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic
ear Brother and Sisters, as we continue through the Easter season we give thanks for Christ risen from the dead. He is our hope; He is the highest expression of God’s mercy for every human being. His mercy is sorely needed in our society consumed by violence. We witness violence in diﬀerent degrees throughout the world and across our nation. It appears in our cities, our homes, in our schools and most tragically violence has reached the unborn in the womb of their mothers. No one is immune.
Does violence have a common denominator? I believe we could say that all violence is rooted in the marginalization or negation of God’s love. As the presence of God becomes less and less discernible in our society violence can only increase.
Is there a solution? The long-term solution is for all of us as men, women and young people of faith is to become a sign of God’s mercy today. Christ provided us the blueprint in His second commandment; “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22:39) If we love those around as we love ourselves we would never do them wrong, we would never harm them, we would never perpetrate violence upon them. Notice that the Lord stated this as
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an aﬃrmative act. He commands us to love one another. It is not enough to love by omission, which is to love someone by not hurting him or her. The virtue of mercy requires us not only to have compassion but also to alleviate our brother’s tribulation. Our church over the centuries has developed expressions of mercy, both corporal and spiritual. The corporal works of mercy include to: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; care for the sick; visit the imprisoned; and bury the dead. The spiritual works of mercy are to: instruct the ignorant; counsel the doubtful; admonish sinners; bear wrongs patiently; forgive offenses willingly; comfort the aﬄicted; and pray for the living and the dead. This is something that as Christians—challenged by the New Evangelization—we must be responsible for and active participants in. To show mercy means to put ourselves in the place and in the position of showing love to everyone. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, talking to the youth of Mexico about the violence that is pervasive in their country, said that to change the world we must first of all change ourselves. This is at the heart of the New Evan-
gelization. Each of us is a missionary and each of us has a mission. We must spread the Gospel in word, yes, but also in deed. The word of God must first permeate into our own lives and then to those around us—family, friends, neighbors, classmates, parishioners, etc. I appeal to all of us, especially during this centennial year, to be renewed by a fresh love for God’s word and the sacraments of the Church, to renew ourselves in an active witness to our faith. This is demanded by the New Evangelization. If faith is alive in us God’s mercy will become more visible and present to others With new faith, we ourselves can receive God’s mercy through the presence of Jesus in all of the sacraments of the Church and share His mercy with others. Let us therefore move forward into the New Evangelization—into the Year of Faith, which is approaching in October of this year—as a time of renewal. Let us move forward with our lives rooted in God’s love, His immense love, for each one of us and for every human being. We must be convinced that we are and can be instruments and ambassadors of the Father’s mercy for everyone. www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Honoring mothers glorifies their Creator By Deacon Stephen Nolte
rom antiquity, from the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks and Romans, mankind has honored motherhood in some form. Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. During the spread of Christianity to Europe, the common pagan festivals began being replaced by a celebration honoring the “Mother Church.” The Mother Church, usually the closest cathedral under whose jurisdiction people received their sacraments, would be decorated with flowers, jewels and other such oﬀerings. As this practice developed and spread to England in the 1600s, the celebration was broadened to include one’s own mother as well. When the first English settlers arrived in America, they discontinued this tradition because the necessities of daily living consumed most of their day and because many of them had come to avoid political and religious persecutions. By comparison to these past celebrations, the personal honoring of mothers as celebrated in 70 countries around the world today is a relatively new phenomenon. Every year, on the second Sunday of May, we honor mothers in the United States. The modern day celebration of Mother’s Day began with Julia Ward Howe’s proclamation of Mother’s Day in 1870. Distraught by the death and carnage of the American Civil War, Ward wanted to gather mothers together to protest the futility of war. Her www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
idea succumbed to a lack of support; even so, she is credited with planting the seeds of the current celebration. The banner of motherhood was next adopted by Anna M. Jarvis, who campaigned for creation of an oﬃcial Mother’s Day in remembrance of all mothers and peace. On May 10, 1908, the first oﬃcial Mother’s Day was celebrated in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. By the end of 1909 all the states were holding Mother’s Day services. White carnations were used to honor deceased mothers while red and pink ones were given to the living. In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to oﬃcially recognize Mother’s Day, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Understanding the history of traditions and celebrations helps people to appreciate them and their heritage. Understanding who and what is honored oﬀers, perhaps, an even deeper appreciation for what is celebrated. As we begin the month of May and prepare to honor our mothers, it is good to reexamine what it means to be a mother. Spiritually, many of us have little appreciation for the profound depths of being a mother. As an embodied soul,
the human person is created for three levels of vocation in response to God’s love. The first level of vocation is a universal vocation–namely, to be children of God. Secondly, we each have a vocation according to gender–either male or female. In this level of vocation, we become aware of being created for unity and communion with one another through a gift of self. The third level of vocation, common to every person, involves the unique vocation God calls the individual to. This is God’s plan for us in salvation history. Everyone has a uniquely specific vocation to fulfill, just as each tile in a mosaic contributes to the overall picture depicted in the mosaic. When we develop who we are as persons, apart from the roles we play or the activities we engage in, we honor God. For most women, the second and third levels of vocation involve embracing who they are as women. This means acknowledging that they were created with a gift to receive and nurture life and that they also have a particular, personal mission God has called them to fulfill. Without acknowledging the first two levels of vocation, we can never attain an understanding of the third, personal call, for the first two help di-
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The most humble task, such as changing a diaper or bandaging a scraped knee, performed with love gives rise to that which is most noble in the human person–the glorification of God. rect us to that unique personal call. For that reason we want to recognize, honor and build up the second vocation of women–that unique role they have in creation, the gift of receiving from and giving life to another human person. Mankind was created for worship, for filial friendship with God. Our expression of worship moves beyond the church walls to every action of our day, regardless of how large or small. Created by God in His image as men and women, even our worship is expressed according to how we live
our life as man or woman. For the woman, who embodies such feminine gifts as gentleness, empathy, warmth, devotion, compassion and mystery, this means embracing the full, authentic feminine genius, including the possibility of motherhood. Some will lead lives that result in spiritual motherhood rather than that of a physical nature. They too are honored. The most humble task, such as changing a diaper or bandaging a scraped knee, performed with love gives rise to that which is most noble
in the human person–the glorification of God. This is why we honor our mothers. We do so because their selfless offering of their physical being that we might have life gives glory to God. By their many acts of sacrifice they teach us also to give our yes to God’s love and to oﬀer our worship. Without the gift of motherhood, we would not know this. Mothers deserve to be honored, for to honor them is to honor the Father who created them as women with all the many gifts that entails.
MAY LITURGICAL CALENDAR May 1 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/ white | [Saint Joseph the Worker] | Acts 11:19-26/Jn 10:22-30 (280), or, for the memorial, Gn 1:26-2:3 or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24/Mt 13:54-58* (559) May 2 | Wed | Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | memorial | Acts 12:24—13:5a/Jn 12:44-50 (281) May 3 | Thu | Saints Philip and James, Apostles | red | feast | 1 Cor 15:1-8/Jn 14:6-14 (561) Pss Prop May 4 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:26-33/Jn 14:1-6 (283)
May 10 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white/ white | [Saint Damien de Veuster, Priest] | Acts 15:7-21/Jn 15:9-11 (288)
May 18 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ red | [Saint John I, Pope and Martyr] | Acts 18:9-18/Jn 16:20-23 (295)
May 26 | Sat | Saint Philip Neri, Priest | white | memorial | Morning: Acts 28:1620, 30-31/Jn 21:20-25 (302)
May 11 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 15:22-31/Jn 15:12-17 (289)
May 19 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 18:23-28/Jn 16:23b-28 (296)
May 12 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/ red/red | [Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs; Saint Pancras, Martyr] | Acts 16:1-10/Jn 15:18-21 (290)
May 20 | SUN | SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26/1 Jn 4:11-16/Jn 17:11b-19 (60) Pss III
May 13 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48/1 Jn 4:7-10/Jn 15:9-17 (56) Pss II
May 21 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/ red | [Saint Christopher Magallanes, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs] | Acts 19:1-8/Jn 16:29-33 (297)
May 27 | 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) | 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 (62) | Day: Acts 2:1-11/1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Gal 5:16-25/Jn 20:19-23 or Jn 15:26-27; 16:12-15 (63) Pss Prop
May 5 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:44-52/Jn 14:7-14 (284)
May 14 | Mon | Saint Matthias, Apostle | red | feast | Acts 1:15-17, 20-26/Jn 15:917 (564) Pss Prop
May 6 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | Acts 9:26-31/1 Jn 3:18-24/ Jn 15:1-8 (53) Pss I
May 15 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/ white | [Saint Isidore] | Acts 16:22-34/Jn 16:5-11 (292)
May 7 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 14:5-18/Jn 14:21-26 (285)
May 16 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 17:15, 22—18:1/Jn 16:12-15 (293)
May 8 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 14:19-28/Jn 14:27-31a (286)
May 17 | Thu | The Ascension of the Lord | white | solemnity | [holy day of obligation] | Acts 1:1-11/Eph 1:17-23 or 4:1-13 or 4:1-7, 11-13/Mk 16:15-20 (58) Pss Prop
May 9 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 15:1-6/Jn 15:1-8 (287)
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May 22 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/ white | [Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious] | Acts 20:17-27/Jn 17:1-11a (298)
May 28 | Mon | Weekday (Eighth Week in Ordinary Time) | green | 1 Pt 1:3-9/ Mk 10:17-27 (347) Pss IV
May 23 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 20:28-38/Jn 17:11b-19 (299)
May 29 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Pt 1:10-16/Mk 10:28-31 (348)
May 24 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 22:30; 23:6-11/Jn 17:20-26 (300)
May 30 | Wed | Weekday | green | 1 Pt 1:18-25/Mk 10:32-45 (349)
May 25 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ white/white/white | [Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church; Saint Gregory VII, Pope; | Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, Virgin] | Acts 25:13b-21/Jn 21:15-19 (301)
May 31 | Thu | The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | feast | Zep 3:14-18a or Rom 12:9-16/Lk 1:39-56 (572) Pss Prop
BLACK AND WHITE, OR
The behavior of the figure of Robin Hood is sometimes mentioned as an example of this “gray area” phenomenon, since he was a character who stole money (morally bad) for the purposes of helping the poor (morally good). By focusing on the good intentions motivating our choices, and by arguing that morality is ambiguous and mostly “gray” anyway, a person can more easily justify and provide cover for morally www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
ne widely encountered idea today is that there is no black and white when it comes to morality, only a kind of “gray area.” This is often taken to mean that we really can’t know with certainty what is right and wrong, allowing us to “push into the gray” as we make certain moral decisions that at first glance appear to be immoral.
problematic actions. When we begin to scrutinize the claim that morality is “gray,” however, we encounter significant problems and contradictions. The romanticized exploits of Robin Hood, for example, end up providing little more than a “veil of gray” that quickly dissolves when we place ourselves in the situation of the victim of his thievery, having our windows broken and our goods plundered. Those who have been robbed of their possessions often describe, in vivid detail, the awful awareness of personal violation; the crushing of their feeling of security. In these circumstances, we see the moral problem with Robin Hood’s depraved actions, and appreciate the direct, black and white character of the universal moral injunction against stealing. Universal moral prohibitions are clearly at the heart of any discussion about the “grayness” of morality. Many human actions, when freely chosen, will always be unacceptable. These actions, referred to as “intrinsic evils,” are immoral regardless of circumstance. Adultery is an example of an intrinsic evil. Regardless of how much a married man or woman may desire to be with a new romantic flame, and regardless of how terrible his or her current marriage and sex life may appear to be, the decision to have sexual
relations with someone who is not his or her spouse will invariably constitute an act of moral depravity on his or her part. Every spouse who has suﬀered infidelity, and every child who has seen the betrayal of one of their parents by the other can attest that there is no such thing as a “gray zone” for adultery. Many people who recognize that an action may be black may still be tempted to think that because their intentions are white, the “gray” action may be done. But good intentions cannot bleach the blackness of a deed. Acknowledging the existence of intrinsic evils and recognizing the binding character of absolute moral prohibitions is an important part of our moral growth and awakening. Indeed, morality itself, as an inner determinant of man’s character, is not fundamentally “gray” at all, but is, by its very nature, a code of black and white. In the final analysis, the cult of moral grayness is too easily a revolt against fixed and essential moral values. Although fixed moral values must always guide our decisions, correctly applying a general moral principle to a particular situation will often require specific knowledge of the circumstances and details of that situation. For example, I might have to grapple with the question of whether I have a moral duty to get out of bed
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and go to work in the morning. Whenever a particular set of circumstances prevail, such as I am healthy; today is a workday; my employer expects me to be present at the workplace; my vehicle is functioning normally, then I would reasonably conclude that I have a moral duty to go to work because of the objective moral commitments I have as a company employee— and, likely, the other employees who would “take up the slack” in my absence. Meanwhile, if I am very sick, I might reasonably conclude that I do not have a moral duty to go to work. Of course, deciding to stay in bed all day out of mere laziness would constitute an objective failure in terms of my moral duty. The question of my
moral duty to go to work, then, is not a “gray area” at all, nor a matter of relative morals, but rather a question
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moral obligation may sometimes be diﬃcult to discern, and may even appear gray at first glance, but when we sort out the relevant details and seek to purify our own motives, and become willing to submit to the binding character of absolute moral prohibitions, that gray haze can dissipate, enabling us to see the real moral lines that were there all along.
Every spouse who has suﬀered infidelity...can attest that there is no such thing as a “gray zone” for adultery.
of careful discernment, weighing of variables, seeking to do the good and so on. In sum, the objective lines of our
Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.ncbcenter.org.
Catholic social teaching in the public square Seven key themes he consistent ethic of life provides a moral framework for principled Catholic engagement in political life and, rightly understood, neither treats all issues as morally equivalent nor reduces Catholic teaching to one or two issues. It anchors the Catholic commitment to defend human life, from conception until natural death, in the fundamental moral obligation to respect the dignity of every person as a child of God. It unites us as a “people of life and for life” (Evangelium Vitae, no. 6) pledged to build what Pope John Paul II called a “culture of life” (Evangelium Vitae, no. 77). This culture of life begins with the preeminent obligation to protect innocent life from direct attack and extends to defending life whenever it is threatened or diminished. Catholic voters should use the framework of Catholic teaching to examine candidates’ positions on issues aﬀecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace, and they should consider candidates’ integrity, philosophy, and performance. It is important for all citizens “to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party aﬃliation or mere self-interest” (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 33). As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not suﬃcient to guaranwww.SouthTexasCatholic.com
tee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support. As noted previously, the Catholic approach to faithful citizenship rests on moral principles found in Scripture and Catholic moral and social teaching as well as in the hearts of all people of good will. We now present central and enduring themes of the Catholic social tradition that can provide a moral framework for decisions in public life. The right to life and the dignity of the human person Human life is sacred. The dignity of the human person is the foundation
of a moral vision for society. Direct attacks on innocent persons are never morally acceptable, at any stage or in any condition. In our society, human life is especially under direct attack from abortion. Other direct threats to the sanctity of human life include euthanasia, human cloning, and the destruction of human embryos for research. Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture, unjust war, and the use of the death penalty; to prevent genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suﬀering. Nations are called to protect the right to life by seeking effective ways to combat evil and terror without resorting to armed conflicts except as a last resort, always seeking first to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We revere the lives of children in the womb, the lives of persons dying in war and from starvation, and indeed the lives of all human beings as children of God.
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In a fundamental way, the right to free expression of religious beliefs protects all other rights USCCB FAITHFUL CITIZENSHIP
Call to family, community and participation The human person is not only sacred but also social. Full human development takes place in relationship with others. The family—based on marriage between a man and a woman—is the first and fundamental unit of society and is a sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children. It should be defended and strengthened, not redefined or undermined by permitting same-sex unions or other distortions of marriage. Respect for the family should be reflected in every policy and program. It is important to uphold parents’ rights and responsibilities to care for their children, including the right to choose their children’s education. How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly aﬀects the common good and the capacity of individuals to develop their full potential. Every person and association has a right and a duty to participate actively in shaping society and to promote the well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. The principle of subsidiarity reminds us that larger institutions in society should not overwhelm or interfere with smaller or local institutions, yet larger institutions have essential responsibilities when the more local institutions cannot adequately protect human dignity, meet human needs, and advance the common good.
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Rights and responsibilities Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible, and a right to access to those things required for human decency—food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing, freedom of religion and family life. The right to exercise religious freedom publicly and privately by individuals and institutions along with freedom of conscience need to be constantly defended. In a fundamental way, the right to free expression of religious beliefs protects all other rights. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities—to one another, to our families, and to the larger society. Rights should be understood and exercised in a moral framework rooted in the dignity of the human person. Option for the poor and vulnerable While the common good embraces all, those who are weak, vulnerable, and most in need deserve preferential concern. A basic moral test for our society is how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst. In a society marred by deepening disparities between rich and poor, Scripture gives us the story of the Last Judgment (see Mt 25:31-46) and reminds us that we will be judged
by our response to the “least among us.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: Those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere. (no. 2448) Pope Benedict XVI has taught that “love for widows and orphans, prisoners, and the sick and needy of every kind, is as essential to [the Church] as the ministry of the sacraments and preaching of the Gospel” (Deus Caritas Est, no. 22). This preferential option for the poor and vulnerable includes all who are marginalized in our nation and beyond—unborn children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and terminally ill, and victims of injustice and oppression. Dignity of work and the rights of workers The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. Employers contribute to the common good through the services or products they provide and by creating jobs that uphold the dignity and rights of workers—to productive work, to decent and just wages, to adequate benefits and security in their www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
VIEW POINTS old age, to the choice of whether to organize and join unions, to the opportunity for legal status for immigrant workers, to private property, and to economic initiative. Workers also have responsibilities—to provide a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, to treat employers and coworkers with respect, and to carry out their work in ways that contribute to the common good. Workers, employers, and unions should not only advance their own interests, but also work together to advance economic justice and the well being of all. Solidarity We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions and requires us to eradicate racism and address the extreme poverty and disease plaguing so much of the world. Solidarity also includes the Scriptural call to welcome the stranger among us—including immigrants seeking work, a safe home, education for their children and a decent life for their families. In light of the Gospel’s invitation to be peacemakers, our commitment to solidarity with our neighbors—at home and abroad—also demands that we promote peace and pursue justice in a world marred by terrible violence and conflict. Decisions on the use of force should be guided by traditional moral criteria and undertaken only as a last resort. As Pope Paul VI taught: “If you want peace, work for justice” (World Day of Peace Message, January 1, 1972).
Caring for God’s creation We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of God’s creation. Care for the earth is a duty of our faith and a sign of our concern for all people. We should strive to live simply to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We have a moral obligation to protect the planet on which we live—to respect God’s creation and to ensure a safe and hospitable environment for human beings, especially children at their most vulnerable stages of development. As stewards called by God to share the responsibility for the future of the earth, we should work for a world in which people respect and protect all of creation and seek to live simply in harmony with it for the sake of future generations. These themes from Catholic social teaching provide a moral framework that does not easily fit ideologies of “right” or “left,” “liberal” or “conservative,” or the platform of any political party. They are not partisan or sectarian, but reflect fundamental ethical principles that are common to all people. As leaders of the Church in the United States, we bishops have the duty to apply these moral principles to key public policy decisions facing our nation, outlining directions on issues that have important moral and ethical dimensions. Conclusion Building a world of respect for human life and dignity, where justice and peace prevail, requires more than just political commitment. Individuals, families, businesses, community organizations, and governments all
have a role to play. Participation in political life in light of fundamental moral principles is an essential duty for every Catholic and all people of good will. The Church is involved in the political process but is not partisan. The Church cannot champion any candidate or party. Our cause is the defense of human life and dignity and the protection of the weak and vulnerable. The Church is engaged in the political process but should not be used. We welcome dialogue with political leaders and candidates; we seek to engage and persuade public oﬃcials. Events and “photo-ops” cannot substitute for serious dialogue. The Church is principled but not ideological. We cannot compromise basic principles or moral teaching. We are committed to clarity about our moral teaching and to civility. In public life, it is important to practice the virtues of justice and charity that are at the core of our Tradition. We should work with others in a variety of ways to advance our moral principles. In light of these principles and the blessings we share as part of a free and democratic nation, we bishops vigorously repeat our call for a renewed kind of politics: • Focused more on moral principles than on the latest polls. • Focused more on the needs of the weak than on benefits for the strong. • Focused more on the pursuit of the common good than on the demands of narrow interests. This kind of political participation reflects the social teaching of our Church and the best traditions of our nation.
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MAY CALENDAR Most Precious Blood ACTS Weekend
ACTS is an acronym for Adoration, Community, Theology and Service and it is these four themes that are the focus of the activities of a retreat weekend hosted several times each year. There are two upcoming retreats, a women’s retreat from May 3 - 6 and a men’s retreat from May 24 - 27.
5 & 12 11
Cathedral Concert Series 2011-2012 presents the “Centennial Choral Spectacular” on Friday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. Celebrating the Centennial of the Diocese of Corpus Christi Featuring the Cathedral Choirs and members from the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra directed by Lee Gwozdz and Dr. Guadalupe Rivera, Jr.
HUD Approved Housing Counseling 2012 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 Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651. The next class is May 5 and 12.
‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ Classes 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, May 14. Call OLPH office at (361) 991-76891 or Mrs. Maria Rodriguez at (361) 991-3356 for more information.
6th Annual Golf Tournament The St. Andrew Parish Knights of Columbus Council #10677 will be hosting its 6th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, May 11 at Padre Isles Country Club located at 14353 Commodores Drive on North Padre Island Corpus Christi. The tournament is a fund raiser to support its spiritual and corporal works of mercy for the community. Awards, prizes, and dinner buffet provided will be at 5 p.m. and a party on the patio will follow from 5 p.m. to dusk. Cost: $75 per person (includes dinner buffet on patio). Tee time starts at 1 p.m.
Cathedral Concert Series 2011-2012 Centennial Choral Spectacular
Signing at OLCC 19 Book Bookstore Msgr. Tom McGettrick, author of “Inspired by Others” and “A Chat with Jesus (both in English and Spanish) will be at the Our Lady of Corpus Christi Bookstore from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Everyone
is invited to come meet the author and get his books signed.
19 Maritime Festival
Saturday, May 19 from 5-10 p.m. at the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center. Dance to the Island Beat of Still Crazy! There will be raffle prizes, BBQ by the Mustangs, a cash bar and valet parking. Also, tour the Texas A&M Galveston Maritime Academy training vessel Kings Pointer. Only $25 per person. All tickets are advance purchase only at The Seamen’s Center on 1501 Mesquite Street in Heritage Park. For more information call (361) 883-8405.
of OLG 26 Federation Biannual Conference The Federation of Our Lady of Guadalupe Societies in the Diocese of Corpus Christi will have its first biannual conference on Saturday, May 26, at St. Joseph’s Hall at Corpus Christi Cathedral from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Several priests and deacons will present interesting topics on Our Lady of Guadalupe and other saints. All Guadalupana societies in the diocese are invited to attend. A donation of $5 per person will include all handouts and lunch. For more information, please call (361) 563-8661.
For more calendar events
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SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191
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May 6, 2012 Retired Diocesan Priests Fund
Published on May 1, 2012
Published on May 1, 2012
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