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VOL. 50 NO. 9

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, Luisa Scolari, Dayna Mazzei Worchel If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic call us at (361) 882-6191 Office Address: 620 Lipan Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434 E-MAIL: FAX: (361) 693-6701

Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our Online form, e-mail, fax, mail or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocese Web sites. 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. If you wish to read our Spanish language articles in English visit our Web site and use the Google language translator. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio web y utilice el traductor de idiomas Google.

Pope Francis made a whirlwind visit to the United States, looking much younger and vibrant than his 78 years. He brought a message of Jesus’ love, mercy and hope to the American people. In cover photo he embraces a woman in a wheelchair as he arrives to celebrate vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

COVER for 11 Habitat Humanity is building two homes for deserving families. The first was made possible by an anonymous donor who gave $25,000 for the Pope Francis Home. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas are building the second home.

INSIDE 4 VIEWPOINTS Respecting life by recovering the natural law




Pope Francis on vocations 15 CATHOLIC EDUCATION Reigniting faith of young Catholics 21 PARISH LIFE

Keep up with the Faith at


Woodsboro Catholics ‘remember’ 100 years

Pope Francis delights tens of thousands

Hosanna: centro diurno para adultos 50 OUR FAITH The Communion Rite–Part II

52 CALENDAR Fall festivals

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Respecting life by recovering the natural law Bishop Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic

“I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts (Jer 31:33).”


he month of October, as Respect Life Month, calls us to focus our attention on the respect of human life in all its stages, moments and situations. All human life, regardless of circumstance, is sacred and worthy of respect. Human dignity is rooted in the nature of the human person made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gn 1:26) and knowable to us through the natural law. The natural law tends to be forgotten when we are surrounded by the contemporary belief that what feels good justifies our actions or that when something is legal it is also morally permissible. These mistaken notions have gained in popularity as our culture continues to disregard the natural moral law, which God has written on our hearts (cf. Rm 2:15), that is, built into our nature to be discovered and followed. Popular thinking assumes that if something is a law or if something is done out of consent, it is also morally right. Yet history shows us otherwise. Immediately after the Second World War, Nazi officers were put on trial at Nuremberg for crimes that included the 4  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

attempted extermination of Jews, the disabled and others whom they considered undesirable or subhuman. While nearly everything that they did was legal under their laws, the Nuremberg court convicted them according to a higher law. It ruled that their actions, despite being legal, violated the humanity of their victims, that is, violated the natural law. In our own country, similar mistakes were made. It was once legal to own slaves based on the color of someone’s skin with our Supreme Court ruling that those of African descent do not have rights. Even after this was corrected, the Supreme Court held for decades that it was legal systematically to discriminate against persons of color. This same Supreme Court now holds that a child in the womb does not have the inherent rights of a person and that marriage is no longer a permanent relationship between just one man and one woman. Legal does not necessarily mean morally right. Fortunately, our loving God has given us this gift of a higher law, one that is not dependent on the whims of government, the political winds of a society, or even on our individual

desires. Rather it is a law “written on the heart,” that is, written in our nature and able to be known by us through reason. This is what we call the natural law. How does the natural law work? Natural law is understood in two ways: how the physical world functions and how we ought to act based on the nature of things. The functioning of the physical world is what we now call “science,” that is, the understanding of how the world works physically, according to God’s plan. Yet in addition to the mechanics of how things work, the natural law also plays out in another very significant way, namely in what is called the natural moral law. This natural moral law shows us that by carefully and reasonably examining the nature of what something is, we can come to understand what it is for, and then come to know how we ought to act. We then use our wills to act in accordance with this. In other words, the true nature of something reveals its purpose and calls for our proper response to it. Like the laws of nature, the natural moral law is built into the nature of a thing, person or act. As such, it can be

Applying a natural law view to the human person, we see very quickly that each and every human person has a dignity that can never be extinguished or discarded. Even our founding American Fathers recognized the truth of the natural law when in the Declaration of Independence they explicitly based the freedom of the United States on “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” which serve as the foundation of the self-evident truths that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Time and again, when a society disregards the natural moral law, those who are poor, weak or unwanted are left to the mercy of those in power. When we stray from the natural law by failing to respect the nature and purpose of our minds, hearts or bodies, our actions become misguided by our ever-changing desires. However, when the natural moral law is respected, we realize that human life—every human life, including our own—is sacred, has dignity and should be treated as such.

Natural law makes no exceptions and neither should we. The natural moral law calls us to make every decision in accord with the truth of our nature. It urges us to work so that our society will once again be built on this firm foundation of reality as God has ordained it to be. Respect Life month is a time when we reflect on the sanctity of human life at all its stages and conditions. May it also be a time that we seek to recover the rich tradition of the natural law. I highly recommend beginning with Sections 1954-1960 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The month of October has also been the traditional month of the Rosary, when we honor Our Blessed Mother who accepted life so that we may have life through him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6). Especially during this month of October, I urge all to pray the Rosary, particularly for a renewed appreciation of the natural law that God has given us, so that there may be an ever greater increase in the respect for life— all life—from conception to natural death.

Headlines from ✝ Bookmark our Web site to keep up to date on all the happenings in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Robstown mission gets new Catechetical Center, Parish Hall

Diocese of Corpus Christi will build student center in Beeville

Southside Rotary recognizes JP II seniors

St. Joseph honors fallen deputy, police officers

Catholic Daughters break ground on Habitat for Humanity home

Bishop Garriga School following pope’s visit in classrooms

‘The Sea, the Sand and the Son’ highlight Catholic youth week at Our Lady of Consolation

First responders recognized at Blue Mass in Mathis

Angel Improv troupe performs first performance of year

Sister Lou Ella Hickman publishes collection of poetry

Bishop welcomes students to new school year

700 youth from 34 parishes make gathering “Spectacular”

Eighth graders learn to build community among each other

Alice Deanery hosts ‘Back-toSchool Night of Adoration’

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  5


discovered by reason examining that nature; the more basic the principle, the easier it is to see. For example: What should labor and wages look like if the nature of work is to provide the employee an opportunity to participate in God’s creation and to provide for the employee and his or her family? How should we treat the earth if we truly understood it to be the home wherein God’s human family dwells? How would we act if by nature marriage is a permanent relationship between a man and a woman ordered towards the procreation and education of children? How must we act, as individuals and as a society, if the child in the womb is not merely a collection of tissues but rather by nature truly a human being? What would society be like if everyone remembered that all human persons are made in the image and likeness of God—regardless of whether they are wanted by society or not, whether they have a sinful past or not, whether they have a home or not, whether they have money or not, whether they have a disability or not, or whether they are born or pre-born?

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Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Pope Francis on vocations Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor


n his Regina Caeli Message on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 21, 2013, Pope Francis said “Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community…This is why Jesus said: ‘Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest,’ that is, God the Father, ‘to send out laborers into his harvest (Mt 9:38)’. Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit… “Let us invoke the intercession of Mary who is the woman of the ‘yes’. Mary said, ‘yes’ throughout her life! She learned to recognize Jesus’ voice from the time when she carried him in her womb. May Mary, our mother, help us to know Jesus’ voice better and better and to follow it, so as to walk on the path of life!” In a homily to seminarians, novices and those discerning their vocations on July 7, 2013 the pope said, “Dear seminarians, dear novices, dear young people discerning your vocations. One of you, one of your formators, said to me the other day, ‘evangeliser, on le

fait à genoux’ (‘evangelization is done on one’s knees.’) Listen well: evangelization is done on one’s knees. Without a constant relationship with God, the mission becomes a job. “But for what do you work? As a tailor, a cook, a priest, is your job being a priest, being a sister? No. It is not a job, but rather something else. The risk of activism, of relying too much on structures, is an ever-present danger. If we look towards Jesus, we see that prior to any important decision or event he recollected himself in intense and prolonged prayer. Let us cultivate the contemplative dimension, even amid the whirlwind of more urgent and heavy duties. “And the more the mission calls you to go out to the margins of existence, let your heart be the more closely united to Christ’s heart, full of mercy and love. Herein lies the secret of pastoral fruitfulness, of the fruitfulness of a disciple of the Lord!” In his Encyclical Letter “Lumen Fidei,” released on June 29, 2013, Pope Francis had this to say about vocations. “In the family, faith accompanies every age of life, beginning with childhood: children learn to trust in the

love of their parents. This is why it is so important that within their families parents encourage shared expressions of faith, which can help children gradually to mature in their own faith. “Young people in particular, who are going through a period in their lives which is so complex, rich and important for their faith, ought to feel the constant closeness and support of their families and the Church in their journey of faith. We have all seen, during World Youth Days, the joy that young people show in their faith and their desire for an ever more solid and generous life of faith. Young people want to live life to the fullest. Encountering Christ, letting themselves be caught up in and guided by his love, enlarges the horizons of existence, gives it a firm hope which will not disappoint. “Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives. It makes us aware of a magnificent calling, the vocation of love. It assures us that this love is trustworthy and worth embracing, for it is based on God’s faithfulness which is stronger than our every weakness.”

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  7


Small in stature, with a big heart Mary Cottingham

Sister Avelina Sosa, MJMJ

South Texas Catholic


or 50 years Sister Avelina Sosa, a sister with the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph has been dedicated to spreading the word of God in parishes throughout Mexico

and Texas. Sister Avelina will celebrate her Golden Jubilee with her congregation, friends and family on Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. in the chapel at Mount Thabor Convent. Sister Avelina was born and raised in Brownsville. She was the seventh of eight children born to Amalia and Juan Sosa. She has many fond memories of her childhood. Going to the Mexican movies with her mom and playing baseball with her seven siblings in a vacant lot near her home. The Sosa family made up two teams—four boys and four girls. They always had each other to play with. Her father was a carpenter. He earned just enough to provide the family with food and bare essentials. “He would help the sisters and priests in their home parish. If a sister came home from the hospital he would carry her up the stairs of the convent. If a priest needed something repaired he would repair it,” she said. Sister Avelina attended Incarnate Word Academy Catholic School for her first three years then went to Resaca Elementary and Resaca High School. In high school she learned about Spain and read both Spanish and English literature. After finishing high school, Sister Avelina told her parents she wanted to enter the convent with the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. “I felt a close

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connection to the congregation. They were founded in 1944, the same year I was born,” she said. While her father was thrilled she wanted to be a nun, her mother did not think she was strong enough. At the time many people had misconceptions that nuns had to be big and sturdy. Where her father was tall, her mother by contrast was small—so too was Sister Avelina. Shortly before she went to Mount Thabor in Corpus Christi, she began drinking a punch that was supposed to help her gain weight. It consisted of milk, eggs and vanilla. She did not gain much weight, but it did not deter her from joining the missionary sisters on June 29, 1963, where her formation began. On Oct. 5, 1965 she took her first vows and from 1966-1989 she taught catechism to children and adults and made home visits to families at Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes in Brownsville, Sacred Heart parish in Uvalde, Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Laredo and Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Austin where she had been assigned. The Diocese of Corpus Christi’s newly named Director of the Office of Consecrated Life and Women’s Vocation Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ was assigned with Sister Avelina in Austin. Sister Gloria said that Sister Avelina was very good at teaching teenagers and young girls the Ballet Folklórico de México and she would tell them the history behind their heritage. “She raised their consciousness and taught them to be proud of their heritage,” Sister Gloria said.

Sister Avelina was also instrumental in encouraging a family to form their own Mariachi group. The group played at parish events and became very prominent in the area. “Learning about their culture was something new to them. You could see they were impressed by it. She had mothers making gorgeous costumes…she’s a seamstress herself, so she knew what to do,” Sister Gloria said. From 1989-1999, Sister Avelina served three terms as Delegation Superior for her order in Texas and Mexico. While she was Delegation Superior, the missionary sisters opened two new communities in Mexico: one in Reynosa, Tamaulipas and a novitiate and a juniorate formation house in Morelia, Michoacán. The sisters also opened a community in Pecos, Texas. Since 2001, Sister Avelina was assigned to St. Patrick parish where she is pastoral assistant to their office of religious education. Among her many duties at the parish, she helps teach catechism to CCD and RCIA students; she prepares young girls for their first Quinceañera Mass; helps with the women’s ACTS retreat and plans activities for Christmas and Easter. More than 50 years have passed since others told her she was not sturdy enough to become a nun. Though still small in stature, Sister Avelina continues to do pastoral work, teach catechism and evangelize families throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi. She has instilled her love and knowledge of her faith and culture to countless people in all walks of life throughout Mexico and Texas.

Oktoberfest St. Anthony’s Church “Violet”

3918 County Rd. 61 (off Highway 44)

64th Annual


Dine-In & Plates to Go Bar-B-Que Dinner & Trimmings Serving 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Donation $9.00 per plate For information call the parish office @

(361) 387-4434

All proceeds will be used for Church Repairs: Country Store, Children’s Games, White Elephant Booth Live Auction at 1 p.m., Drawing for Gift Certificate Vintage Farm Machinery and Visit our Historic Church/Museum Built in 1910

All the care she needs, all at no cost. Welcome to Medicaid con cariño. Driscoll Health Plan offers full medical, vision and prescription drug benefits for your child. Plus many other free services.

Free Value-added Services* $100 for eyeglasses every 2 years (age 2 and up). Free membership to Boys and Girls Club. $20 gift card after completing required checkup. Free help with asthma. Rides to medical visits and health classes.


*Not a complete list. Restrictions and/or limits apply. Valid through August 2015. Visit our website for an updated list.

Learn more: STAR: (877) 220-6376 TOLL-FREE CHIP: (877) 451-5598 TOLL-FREE (800) 735-2989 TTY DHP MKTG-002-A 1/27/15

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  9

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New home, new blessings Dayna Mazzei Worchel Correspondent


ine-year-old Maika Hammaker had just one question for her mother when they learned in March they had been accepted in the Habitat for Humanity Corpus Christi program. “She asked when we could move in,” Esmi Hammaker said with a smile. The two had come to the building site for their new Habitat home on Soledad Street on a hot Aug. 17 for a special reason. The Hammakers, along with their associate pastor, Sergio Santoyo of the Corpus Christi Worship Centre, and some Habitat for Humanity officials, had come to place a Bible underneath the threshold of what would be the front door of the new home before the foundation would be poured. Bishop Michael Mulvey blessed the site at a groundbreaking ceremony held on Aug. 5. The home is being built and named in honor of Pope Francis. And placing a Bible underneath the front door before a foundation is poured is a Habitat for Humanity tradition for every home, which is built through their program. “I had to explain to her that it would be a while before we could move,” said Esmi Hammaker, who works as a hairstylist and has been living in an apartment with her daughter. The apartment they call home is in bad condition with numerous problems,

including the plumbing. But Esmi Hammaker expects to celebrate come February. She turns 50, and her two-bedroom; onebath home will be completed then. She hopes to be moved in by then, if not before. The Pope Francis home on Soledad Street, which the Hammakers will call home, is the 50th house to be built through the Habitat for Humanity program in Corpus Christi since 1990. Eleven mortgages have since been retired, said Board President Cheryl Andrews. “The Nueces County Community Action Agency gave us three lots and we replatted them into two,” Andrews said of the property on Soledad Street. The lot next door to the Pope Francis home will hold another Habitat house to be built with volunteers from the Texas Catholic Daughters of the Americas organization. Catholic Daughters of the Americas is continuing a 10-year tradition of partnering with Habitat for Humanity by providing volunteers for building homes. In August, a family was selected and in September, a blessing was held and ground was broken at the site. “This will be the seventh home Catholic Daughters has built since 2004,” said Eve Trevino, state regent for the Texas State Court of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. The national Catholic Daughters office has given the Texas State Court a $25,000

Esmi Hammaker and her daughter Maika look forward to moving into their new home–the Pope Francis Home–made possible by an anonymous donor and their own “sweat” equity. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  11


grant and the Texas State Court must raise another $25,000 to sponsor the home, Trevino said. “A part of the State Regent’s goal is to build a Habitat home for a deserving family,” she said. An anonymous donor from outside Texas gave $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity to build in the name of Pope Francis in Corpus Christi, representatives said. He also challenged the organization to raise an additional $30,000, which they did through a donation from the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Foundation. The anonymous donor had two stipulations: the home had to be built in honor of Pope Francis, and it must be finished by December, the Habitat for Humanity officials said. The Kenedy Foundation gift had special meaning for Carolyn Smith, the executive director of the Habitat for Humanity organization of Corpus Christi until earlier this summer. She had held that position for 10 years until the death of her husband, O.K. Smith, from cancer on June 1. She began with the nonprofit organization as a volunteer in 2003 on a Catholic Daughters home build. “I was very touched . . . he was one of the best, most loved people and he was a good man,” Carolyn Smith said of her husband, who was in the real estate business and who served as the Habitat for Humanity real estate advisor. O.K. Smith also served as chairman for the ReStore Committee. ReStore is a retail outlet which sells donated building materials and gently used household items, which helps fund the building of more Habitat for Humanity homes.

Catholic Daughters of the Americas help National Regent Shirley Seyfried (fourth from left) raise the first wall of new Habitat for Humanity house. Mellie Smithwick for South Texas Catholic

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Hammaker, who called the home “an answer to our prayers,” wants the public to know she is not receiving the home for free. “There is a lot of work I must do,” she said. One part of the requirement for receiving the home is performing 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity,” Carolyn Smith said. At least 200 hours must go into actual home construction at the site, and the prospective homeowner must be physically active on the site. A single parent may receive up to 75 hours of outside help toward the sweat equity, Carolyn Smith said.

Hammaker said she has worked at other home sites doing painting and caulking. Homeowners must also be able to pay an interest-free mortgage of about $300 to $400 per month. They must also have need, and be living in an overcrowded or unsafe situation, Carolyn Smith said. “This is not a giveaway program. People fill out an application and are given a punch list. We are dead serious,” she said. Habitat for Humanity receives no federal or United Way funding. Their sole source of support comes through sponsors and donors. Maika Hammaker is looking forward to two things about moving in to her new home. “I’ll have a room of my own and yard for my dog,” she said with a giggle.

Maika Hammaker bows her head in prayer as Bishop Mulvey blesses the land where her new house will be built. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic


Kingsville hospital gives help, hope Dayna Mazzei Worchel Correspondent


rica Rios-Garza told the story about a young girl and her brother who crossed the border from Mexico in September with the help of a Coyote, or a human smuggler. The pair ended up at Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg in Kingsville after the girl was bitten by a rattlesnake and the Coyotes told her brother to leave her and let her die, said Rios-Garza, a registered nurse who serves as patient care manager of the emergency room and the intensive care unit. “Her brother didn’t want to leave her and he carried her to the side of the highway where they got help,” Rios-Garza said. Hospital staff pitched in to get the girl clothes and shoes and of course, treated her wound and made sure she got clean. “They are so appreciative of the care. They often cry with us because they have no one else,” she said. Rios-Garza was not sure what happened

to them after the girl was released. Sometimes, undocumented immigrants are sent back to their home countries immediately, and other times, they are given a citation and told when and where to appear for a court hearing, she said. One thing is certain: when they come to the ER at Christus Spohn Kleberg for treatment, they are treated there with dignity and respect, regardless of the ability to pay, said Rick Morin, chief nursing officer there.

“When we talk about the mission of Christus Spohn we are also talking about Jesus Christ and his mission, which was to care for those who society had forgotten,” said Morin, who is also a permanent deacon at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Kingsville since 2008. The hospital strives to care for each patient as an individual, with care and compassion, he said. “That’s what drives me more each day

The Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg Emergency Department team discusses the day’s caseload during a meeting at the nurses’ station. Steven Alford for South Texas Catholic

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  13


Richard Morin, Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg’s Chief Nursing Officer reviews a case with nurse Erica Rios-Garza, Patient Care Manager. Steven Alford for South Texas Catholic

❝When we talk about the mission of Christus Spohn we are also talking

about Jesus Christ and his mission, which was to care for those who society had forgotten.❞ –Richard Morin

than anything,” Morin said. The main reason so many immigrants seek treatment at the hospital in Kingsville is its proximity to the border with Mexico, he said, adding he is not certain how many go to the valley for emergency treatment. Morin did say that patient volume overall has decreased at Christus Spohn Kleberg, and that includes immigrant patients. He did not have any exact figures, but said reasons include federal health care reform in the U.S., the state of the economy and declining Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements to hospitals. He added that there is a new urgent care clinic in Kingsville, which also treats emergency patients. The Christus Spohn Hospital system provided $54.3 million in unpaid charity care in fiscal year 2014 for the 12-county area they serve in South Texas, said Katy Kiser, spokeswoman for the system. Dr. Ricky Thomas has been the ER Director at Christus Spohn Kleberg for only two months and said immigrants who come needing immediate treatment come from Mexico and Central and South America. He sees a variety of patients with 14  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

serious conditions, including serious dehydration because they have not eaten for three or four days, trauma such as broken bones, sometimes from being crowded onto trucks as they are transported across the border. “They usually need to be hospitalized and have extensive rehydration for one or two days or longer,” he said. Another common problem are infections from drinking bad water from animal cisterns during their journey, along with snake and insect bites, Thomas said. The majority of the immigrant patients are men. He sees some young women come into the ER, often after they have been sexually assaulted by the people who smuggle them across the border. A few of the women have been pregnant. Thomas said he has not treated many children, but his colleagues have treated them. The hospital does not have any formal arrangements with authorities to bring in immigrant patients, he said, although the U.S. Border Patrol usually does bring them. The summer months are the busiest times for seeing these patients, Thomas said.

Treating the undocumented immigrants regardless of ability to pay when they come to U.S. hospitals can be a source of contention for some. The mission statement for the Christus Spohn Hospital System is to “extend the healing mission of Jesus Christ and to treat all people with dignity and respect,” said Matthew Lohmeier, vice president of mission integration there. He pointed to a December 2005 pastoral letter, “You Welcomed Me,” written by the Bishops of Arizona to parishes there on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the letter, the bishops acknowledged the strong feelings parishioners there have about undocumented immigrants and the need for the U.S. to control its borders. The letter says the questions raised are valid and that there are no easy solutions to the problem. But still, parishioners in Arizona are urged to welcome and integrate the newcomers to make a strong and more united Catholic church while educating themselves on the issues and helping efforts to reduce poverty in Mexico . “God doesn’t see the lines on the map we have drawn,” Lohmeier said.


Reigniting faith of young Catholics Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


ony Guajardo, 25, has a vast number of places in Corpus Christi he could volunteer, but giving his time at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Newman Student Center is a mission close to his heart. When his job with the forest service transferred him to the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi campus last summer, a chance meeting with Deacon Alfonso

Ramirez changed his life. “God’s grace put me here. I walked in to find out information about Mass times on campus and met Deacon Alfonso. We had lunch and I was instantly part of the family,” Guajardo said. Guajardo began volunteering alongside Deacon Ramirez on the “Young Catholics Ablaze” program, as well as the “Awakening Retreat.” On Nov. 2, 2014 Deacon Ramirez passed away from pancreatic cancer, but

according to Guajardo, he left a legacy that will live on forever. “Even as he was battling cancer, he had a do-not-stop attitude,” he said. “He would tell me there was just too much work to do. Today, I do my best to do proud by him through my work here.” One of the last assignments Deacon Ramirez completed at the Newman Center was to hire Amy Barragree as campus minister for the Newman Center. Her primary goal is not only ministering to the young people of the university, but all young adults in Corpus Christi. “A large percentage of young people leave the Church between the ages of 16 and 25. Of course, it would be so much better if we don’t lose them in the first place, so our goal here is to keep them active in their faith,” Barragree said. “Our students of faith want a place they can grow and learn more about what it means to be a Catholic, through activities like retreats, community service and camaraderie with their peers,” she said.

Deacon Alfonso Ramirez blesses a dorm room at Teas A&M-Corpus Christi last year. Students, from left, are Analese Doherty, Amanda Macias, Tony Guajardo and Frances McDonald. Contributed photo

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Students from the Newman Catholic Center at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at last year’s kick-off event. Contributed photo

The Newman Center not only offers students a place to attend Mass, but they can study, watch movies or simply hang out. The center staff and volunteers host Bible study classes, religious education, RCIA classes and a host of different spiritually based activities. Barragree said work has begun on an additional building next door that would allow for a dedicated chapel. The project is part of the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s Legacy of Faith-Future of Hope and plans for the new center will be put in motion soon. “We’re still in the land survey phase, but one day we will have meeting rooms, a kitchen for all our social activities we host for the students and a chapel for Mass. It will be amazing.” Barragree was quick to point out any student is welcomed at the Newman Center, not just Texas A&M University students. Currently, she is also working on outreach activities at Del Mar College called Viking Catholic. Meetings are the first and third Friday of each month at St. Thomas More Church, across the street from Del Mar College. Pam De LaMora, 21, is a third year communications major at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, said her involvement with the Newman Center has been a tremendous blessing. She was born in Mexico City and raised in San Antonio so her move to Corpus Christi to attend college was a major change for her. “The Newman Center has become a second home for me. When I first moved here for school, I did not know about it. And even when I did find out, it took me a little while to get involved. Last semester I really started to do more and my faith has been renewed,” she said proudly. “Amy has played a big role in my involvement. She is 16  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

always available to students and cares about our relationship with God.” At Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Father Peter Stanley has the task of reaching out to 9,300 university students and helping them stay connected to their faith. “We also reach out to those who may have already strayed, to see if we could bring them back in,” he said. “We serve free lunch on Thursdays, when school is in session and feed anywhere from 700-800 students. It’s open to all students and it gets them in the door, so we’re able to develop personal relationships. Once you make a connection, you can move into discussions of faith and offer them opportunities to remain connected.” Located at the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center and Chapel on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus, students engage in a wide variety of activities, such as prayer groups, movie night, Bible study, pro-life events, visiting nursing homes and many other community oriented, faith-based activities. Father Stanley is familiar with the topics on the minds of today’s youth and he believes in frank, no holds-barred discussions. “We talk about faith, body image,

virtues, trying to live the faith in today’s fast-paced world. I deliberately walk across campus to check the mail and many times students walk up to me and just start talking. They might have something on their mind and see me nearby. Sometimes just being present on the campus makes a huge difference in ministering to young people,” Father Stanley said. Students are also dealing with homesickness, he said. “We’re now four weeks into school and homesickness is starting to kick in, especially for freshmen. Addictions to porn and alcohol are huge. We are also dealing with same sex attraction and working on bringing a program called ‘Courage’ for the students. The program will help young people with same sex attraction understand why the Church teaches what it does on the subject. Ultimately, it will make them feel more welcomed in the Church, as opposed to an outsider,” Father Stanley said. Meanwhile, Guajardo from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi added he recalls being Catholic at Texas A&M-College Station had been a wonderful time in his life, but one filled with temptations that popped up when he was far away from home. “I remember college life and dealing with


the various temptations that came along with it. It’s a battle for souls. As a college student, it’s easy to get caught up with the rank and file. I’m happy to have this outlet to share my Catholic faith and serve God, while helping young people lay the foundation for their faith.” The diocese is also looking to develop a

campus ministry at Coastal Bend College in Beeville. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the diocese held a groundbreaking in Beeville for a new $500,000 student center. Coastal Bend College in Beeville serves more than 1,000 students who can benefit from an increased attention to their spiritual needs with the campus ministry center.

For more information about activities and services at the Newman Center at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, visit: For information on St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at Texas A&M-Kingsville, visit: Both organizations can also be found on social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

Catholic Schools offer labor of love Sister Anne Brigid Schlegel, IWBS Contributor


given to boys and girls. mothers and encouraged Lunches were often given to the teachers to give them those who could not afford greater responsibility the school lunch and extra until they were able to food was sent home for the handle the classes comfamilies. All of these everypetently in the teachers’ day kindnesses made an absences. They changed indelible mark on my heart. many lives in this way. After six years of teachIn 1986, I was again ing, I entered the convent of assigned to Sacred Heart the Sisters of the Incarnate School, which had Word; one of my hopes was become Central Cathoto follow in the footsteps of Sister Anne Brigid Schlegel, IWBS lic Elementary after the those three sisters. bishop merged it with Two different times I was assigned to Cathedral School. Many of the same probChrist the King School, first as a fourth lems were still there: families that could not grade teacher and then, a few years later, pay full tuition, teacher salaries that were at as principal. During that first time as a the poverty level, needed repairs that could teacher, my principal, also an Incarnate not be done and classroom supplies that Word Sister, was equally concerned about really could not be afforded. the families who struggled to give their chilBut, once again, the positives far outdren a good Catholic education. She was weighed the negatives. It was a joy to teach a frequent visitor to homes in the nearby the students; the families, by and large, were housing project where she spent time coun- deeply appreciative of all that was done to seling with families and encouraging them help their children and so willing to pitch to come to Mass and be instructed in the in and help with school upkeep, carnivals sacraments. and other fundraisers; and the teachers She resembled gave their very best and took part in many my Sacred Heart extra-curricular activities without stipends. principal in that So many of the teachers over the years ...Christian Home-like Living they both often have commented that there was much more in a Senior Setting hired mothers to than just the money—there was a great help as aides in satisfaction and joy that came from being Mount Carmel Home the classrooms; the part of a Catholic school and the atmosalaries were small, sphere created there. For that matter, go of course, but they to any Catholic school and see how many An Assisted Living Facility helped the family of their teachers have been there for many Operated by the Carmelite Sisters D.C.J. economy, often years because of what exists in the whole considerably. Both picture: love, prayer, the presence of Jesus (361) 855-6243 4130 S. Alameda St. sisters had an eye in the classroom and the knowledge that all Corpus Christi, Texas 78411 Facility ID # 000607 for talent in those of it is in the hands of God.

orty-five years ago this month I walked into what was then Sacred Heart School in Corpus Christi to begin what I knew would be a short-lived teaching job as I waited for my “ship” to come in. That was on a Thursday and by the weekend I was in love—with the fifth graders, with teaching and with the three Sisters of the Incarnate Word who lived in the nearby convent. Their company and their mentoring and their great example are what helped to make me the person and teacher I am today. Another of the many memorable gifts from those years was the love and support of the families, several of whom I have now taught second and third generations. Sacred Heart was basically a low socio-economic school and many of the parents struggled to pay the tuition. The sisters also regularly took in quite a few students who could pay almost nothing. The sisters’ help for these students went beyond tuition; used uniforms were carefully mended, washed and pressed, and

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  17






F ESTIVA L Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 1008 S. Alamo St. Refugio, TX


10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Country Store 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. BBQ Dinner/$8 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Children’s Carnival 12:00-12:30 p.m. Register for Contest 12:30-1:30 p.m. Costume Contest 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Silent Auction 1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Live Auction

18  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

Raffle Drawing at close of the Auction Many Great Prizes!

Come Join Us!

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  19

20  South Texas Catholic | October 2015


Woodsboro Catholics ‘remember’ 100 years

Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated centennial Mass at St. Therese of the Little Flower in Woodsboro on Aug. 15. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


uoting Pope Francis, Bishop Michael Mulvey told parishioners of St. Therese of the Little Flower in Woodsboro that “a person of faith is a person who remembers.” The occasion was a Mass “concluding a year of remembering” 100 years of the parish’s

existence. The Aug. 15 Mass marked the centennial of the parish. The parish began the centennial celebration in October 2014 with a “Festival Mass.” Every month after, a celebration was held to recognize various aspects of parish life, including “All Souls,” Our Lady of Guadalupe, marriages, ministries, mothers, fathers, etc. “It was very successful, well organized and very well done,” pastor Father Andrew Hejdak said. “People are very happy. We cooperated with the Holy Spirit.” “We stand on the efforts, the faith, the sacrifices of

those who have gone before. That is the beauty of church; we stand on those that have gone before us. We stand and remember,” Bishop Mulvey said in his homily. The March 26, 1908 issue of the Southern Messenger reported, “On Sunday, March 8, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered up for the first time in Woodsboro… at one time called Church…in future Mass will be said in Woodsboro twice a month…” At first services were held at “a private residence.” In 1914 Father B.J. Donada, with Bishop Paul Nussbaum’s approval, set in motion the building of a new church. Father Stephen Dever of Philadelphia made a sizable donation for construction of the church in memory of his brother Father Bernard Dever. The first church was named St. Bernard in his honor. Bishop Nussbaum dedicated the new sanctuary on Aug. 15, 1915. In its early years, St. Bernard was a mission or station October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  21


of Our Lady of Refuge in Refugio. But when the new church was built it was listed as an “independent” church with missions in Tivoli, Austwell and Vidauri (O’Connor Ranch). The bishop named Father Joseph Duenn as the new pastor. As early as 1929, Father L. W. Guilluame, of French origin, began to call the parish “The Little Flower” in honor of newly canonized French saint, St. Therese of the Little Flower. Father Guilluame reasoned that the parish had improved and enlarged the church at a cost of six times its original cost. The commitment to naming it St. Bernard had been met and exceeded and renaming it was justified since it was in effect a “new church.” A storm in 1942 damaged the church to the point that it could no longer serve as a sanctuary and Masses were moved to the parish hall. Due to limits on materials placed by the war effort, a new church—which is still in use—was not built and dedicated until July 26, 1949. For many years, St. Therese did not have a mission church to oversee, but in 1961, St. Mary in Bayside became a mission of St. Therese. On October 15, 1983, Bishop Rene Gracida ordained Reynaldo Rodriguez, Jr. as a deacon, the first and only vocation to religious life from the parish. “It is important that we not stand still,” Bishop Mulvey said to parishioners. “We must move forward.” He pointed out that society today is not the same as it was At left, St. Bernard’s dedicated on Aug. 15, 1915. Below is St. Therese of the Little Flower dedicated on June 26, 1949. Archival photos

22  South Texas Catholic | October 2015


100 years ago. “We had a Catholic society, the culture is now secular, not religious. We’re being challenged of our religious freedom by many intrusions by government.” The society is faced with many “false teachings,” Bishop Mulvey said and he cautioned parishioners not “to be taken in by false teachings because it will destroy not only your faith but the image of God in us.” He reminded those at Mass that St. Therese taught in a simple way. She understood that it was love that drove the Church; love was everything, love was eternal, love was essential. He said church groups should be animated by love,

“love is in every vocation.” “I’m working with teachers, with groups, that is the best way. That is the plan,” Father Hejdak said. Father Hejdak is trying to impress people with the value of the Catholic faith. He hopes to give them a greater and deeper understanding of their faith. He refers to the saying in Spanish “se sembra la semilla” (the seed is planted). “What has been remembered in this parish for 100 years is the person God sent us, Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christi we would not be here,” Bishop Mulvey said.

Bishop Mulvey greets parishioners after Mass. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

To see more photos of this event go to: South Texas



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For H-D Radio Information: October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  23

The Pax Christi Sisters and the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center will be hosting

Las Nuevas Tamaleras Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.


9768 La Branch in Corpus Christi, TX 78410 Las Nuevas Tamaleras is written and directed by San Antonio playwright Alicia Mena. The bilingual play captures three contemporary Latinas in an uproariously comical attempt at making tamales for the first time. Things become even more entertaining when the spirits of two seasoned tamaleras, Doña Juanita and Doña Mercedes, appear to help the novices make the perfect tamale!

Tickets are available at (361) 445-7834 or (361) 241-2833 with Stella Hatch. Tickets run from $18.00-$25.00. Twelve or more tickets get a 12% discount. Church and civic groups are encouraged to purchase tickets by the dozen.


SPOOKFEST IN THE OLD WEST country store food & Game Booths craft vendors coloring contest live and silent auction costume contest

St. Theresa

Catholic Church 1212 Lantana, Corpus Christi, TX


OCTOBER 25, 2015

11 a.m.–5 p.m.




24  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

Your Invited

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Father Gervan Menezes, chaplain at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tennessee sits alongside a group of 22 students from the high school. They were waiting patiently for the crowds to disperse after listening to the pope’s address to Congress. A total of 87 people from the Diocese of Nashville made the pilgrimage to Washington, DC. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Pope Francis delights tens of thousands Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


ngrid Maldonado came to the United States 30 years ago from Bolivia. The single mother of four said seeing Pope Francis in person was an incredibly emotional experience and one she felt especially blessed to experience alongside one of her sons. “It means a lot to me because I want to thank God for everything he has ever provided me. It was an extreme sacrifice, but I was able to send all my children to Catholic school growing up. Today, all of my kids are proud to be Catholic and stand by their faith,” she said. Maldonado and her son Luis were among an estimated 50,000 people who gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the chance to watch the pope’s historic address to Congress via telecast on three giant screens. Never before in U.S. history has a pontiff ever addressed a joint session of Congress. Pope Francis packed his 50-minute speech with timely topics important to all Americans, including climate change, capital punishment and poverty. He

26  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

called upon Congressional leaders to protect human life, respect the human dignity of immigrants and value the sanctity of traditional family values. Although English is difficult for the pope, he made his entire address to Congress in English. His words were slow and deliberate, but that seemed to make them all the more powerful. “We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners,” Pope Francis said. “I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.” “I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,” he said. “Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.” “Pope Francis brought the presence of God and the

from almost every conceivable agency, including the FBI, Secret Service, local police departments and ATF. Snipers could be seen at the very top of the U.S. Capitol, keeping a watchful eye for any suspicious activity. Tickets to the event were said to be the “hottest tickets in town,” as non-Catholics, as well as the faithful and even those who have strayed from the Church wanted a chance to catch even a brief glimpse of Pope Francis in person. Kevin O’Connor, 28, lives in Washington, D.C. and described himself as “not a weekly Mass attender” but admitted the Pope has made him take his Catholic upbringing more seriously. “His charisma is interesting and I think his views on climate change are welcomed,” he said. Over a dozen parishioners from Mary, Queen of All Saints in Pennsauken, New Jersey arrived at the U.S. Capitol at 6 a.m., including five sisters from the order of Misioneras de Maria Formadora. Sister Gabriela Jose de Jesus said she believes Pope Francis is trying to unify everyone towards a common goal. “He wants us all to be happy and wants us all, brothers and sisters, to live in a more beautiful world. And he believes we all deserve this, despite your background, race or even religion. This is an experience I will never forget. I feel much peace being here,” she said. The pope ended his address to Congress with a clear call to action. “In these remarks I have sought to

present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream,” he said. His final words: “God bless America!” was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation from Congress, including the tens of thousands of people standing outside. As the pope made his way through from inside the U.S. Capitol to the speaker’s balcony facing the East Lawn, the crowd outside was eagerly awaiting his appearance, enthusiastically chanting “Viva Papa!” and “Papa!” When he finally appeared, the audience erupted in overjoyed screams and more chanting. The crowd cheered for a minute and a half before the pope had a chance to start his impromptu speech in Spanish. Once he started speaking, the air fell completely silent, as everyone hung on his words. “Buenos dias! I’m so grateful for your presence here, including the most important ones here: children.” The pope then gave a blessing to the faithful and asked the audience to pray for him. “I ask you all please to pray for me and if there are among you who do not believe or who cannot pray, I ask you please to send good wishes my way.” He concluded in English: “Thank you very much, and God bless America.”

Luis and Ingrad Maldonado, who emigrated to the United States from Bolivia 30 years ago, were among 50,000 faithful that watched the pope’s address to a joint session of Congress from outside the Capitol. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Church into the public square,” Corpus Christi Bishop Michael Mulvey said. “He showed the power of the joy of the Gospel and the beauty of dialogue. We are grateful to all who are in public service. Together we can work for the common good and promote the dignity of all. I hope everyone will take time to meditate on his words.” Caroline Roche, 27, arrived at the U.S. Capitol at 7 a.m. with her two sisters, Annie, 25, and Maureen, 22. “This is an historic day and I could not be more proud to be Catholic right now,” she beamed. “I feel extremely blessed to witness this in person. I’m especially impressed with how many non-Catholics are excited about the values and tenets the pope talks about.” Maureen Roche added she thinks the pope has reached “rock star” status, especially with younger Catholics. “I’m excited about just being in his presence. I can tell he wants to engage people my age in particular. He is relatable to me and I think he is revitalizing the Church like we’ve never experienced before.” The Roche sisters, who live in Washington, D.C., noted they are acutely accustomed to dignitaries and foreign heads of state visiting the District for meetings with the President or Congress. They have also seen their fair share inaugural events but they all agree the pope’s visit has surpassed all those combined. The security on-site was unprecedented, with law enforcement officials

Pope wows crowd with Laura Ieraci

Catholic News Service


ope Francis threw away a prepared text and, to the delight of tens of thousands of people on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, spoke from the heart about the challenges and love that come with being part of a family. After listening to testimony from six families from various continents Sept. 26,

he thanked them for sharing their stories. “A witness given in order to serve is thoroughly good, it makes us good persons, because God is goodness,” he began, continuing to increase in speed and emphasis to the delight of the crowd. He smiled, gestured with his hands and the crowd cheered as he said it was “worth being a family.” God sent his son into a family, he said,

The delegation from the Diocese of Corpus Christi experienced an exciting, faith-filled week in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. They learned a lot, met many fellow Catholics from throughout the world and are looking forward to sharing their experiences with their parish communities. The delegates from Corpus Christi are, from left, Father Ray Yrlas, Byrdi Gonzalez, David Perrone, Sara Perrone, Olga Alvarado, Margot Rosales, Deacon Roger Rosenbaum, Bishop Michael Mulvey, Nellie Serna, Sister Jude Janecek, Ana Rosa Everett, Dr. Carlos Everett and Emma Ramos. Not pictured are Patty Berger and Ninfa Jacobs, who were volunteering. Contributed photo

28  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

“and he could do this because it was a family that had a truly open heart,” he said. The pope spoke in Spanish, the language in which he is most comfortable; his talk was translated by Msgr. Mark Miles. “We are celebrating the Feast of the Family,” he told the crowd. “Families have a citizenship that is divine. The identity card that they have is given to them by God so that within the heart of the

h spontaneous talk family truth, goodness and beauty can truly grow.” “Some of you might say of course, Father, you speak like that because you’re not married,” he said. “Families have difficulties. Families— we quarrel, sometimes plates can fly, and children bring headaches. I won’t speak about mother-in-laws,” he said in jest. “However, in families, there is always

light” because of the love of God’s son. “Just as there are problems in families, there is the light of the resurrection,” he said. “The family is like a factory of hope,” he said. “In the family, there are indeed difficulties” and children bring challenges, too, he said. “But those difficulties are overcome

with love,” he said. “Hatred is not capable of dealing (with) or overcoming any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot overcome a difficulty; only love can overcome.” The three-hour celebration of Catholic family life began as the sun started to set over Philadelphia. The festival included prayer, music, dance, comedy and testimonies of faith and followed on the heels of the eighth World Meeting of Families

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  29


Sept. 22-25. Shortly after 7 p.m. the pope began his approach to the festival site in his popemobile, waving to the thousands of people who lined the route. Dozens of flags and banners of different countries hung over steel barricades lining the route into Benjamin Franklin Parkway toward the Festival of Families stage. He mounted the festival stage to raucous cheers, and led the crowd in a prayer of petition for the family. Actor Mark Wahlberg emceed the portion of the evening featuring the pope. Among the renowned entertainers to perform for the pope and offer testimonies of faith were American soul singer Aretha Franklin and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla read a letter her mother, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, had penned to her father, bearing witness to their faithful marriage. Six couples from different continents also shared their life stories. The night before the festival began,

30  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

people began gathering behind barricades on downtown streets, many sleeping on flattened cardboard boxes and donning Pope Francis T-shirts, World Meeting of Families caps or apparel from their home parishes. Those with tickets started to enter the heavily secured area in the early afternoon, including numerous priests, seminarians and women religious, who sat under a canopy of trees in the cool breeze watching performers practice before the celebration. The delegation from the Diocese of Corpus Christi were able to secure space “right at the front of the line,” said Nellie Serna, one of its members. They arrived at 4 a.m. and the pope was not expected until about 7 p.m. “But we will wait for him with much joy,” Serna said. Beginning Friday road closures began and the amount of security was unbelievable. There were members of the military, police, Secret Service, fire fighters

and more. “We prayed for the protection of all the people working to keep us safe. And we asked St. Michael the Archangel to protect them,” Serna said. “I can’t believe I’ve been given this opportunity for this trip,” Serna said. “The entire trip has been filled with such beautiful moments. There were people from all over the world at the World Meeting of Families conference. “We were able to be among the top theologians in the world. The speakers talked about the importance of supporting family life and understanding the dignity of the human person.” Mother Joan Paul of the School Sisters of Christ the King in Lincoln, Nebraska, brought four sisters with her to the World Meeting of Families and to see the pope. “The Holy Father is someone who I want to be near. I am near him in his thoughts every day, but I wanted to be here physically,” she said. “And for us to


be here with families also is important because our families are being pulled so many different directions because of society, and we need to reconnect and come back to our important values.” In his talk, the pope noted the challenges families face, including quarrels and inimical relationships. “Never let the day end without making peace,” he said. “A society is strong, it’s solid if it’s edified on beauty, goodness and truth.” He told those present that God likes most “to knock on the doors of families and to find families that are united, that love each other” and who raise their children in view of creating “a society of truth, goodness and beauty.” The family must take special care of children and grandparents, he said. Children are “the strength that moves us forward” and “grandparents are the living memory of the family. They pass on the faith; they transmitted the faith to us.” “To look after grandparents and children is an expression of love,” he said. “A people that does not know how to look after children and grandparents is a people that has no future because it does not have the strength or the memory to go forward.” Jay and Tracie Ciccarone, members of St. Katharine of Siena Catholic Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania, brought their four pre-teen boys—Wylder, Truitt, Tommy and David—to the festival. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for them,” Tracie Ciccarone said before the pope spoke. “We wanted to do it together because it is all about the family. “It is all about making memories and having something to look back to,” she said. Steve Giuliano, who is not Catholic, received tickets to the festival for in-kind services he and his employer provided for the pope’s visit. He said his mother was among numerous area residents who left the city for the

weekend, fearing gridlock and chaos, and many business owners had blamed loss of income to the street closures. But he said that the pope’s visit was good for everyone. “He is bringing so many people back to the Catholic Church,” he said. “He is a great leader for the Church, no matter your religion.” “There has been so much excitement here in celebration of familes,” Father

Raynaldo Yrlas, pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Rockport, Texas said. “The many speakers have encouraged us to lift up families in prayer and defend who they are...communities of love and sanctuaries of life. Everyone has been having a great time in solidarity with one another.” (The South Texas Catholic contributed to this article.) Bishop Michael Mulvey, in forefront, joins other bishops as they line up for processing into Mass with Pope Francis. Contributed photo

People cheer as they watch Pope Francis on a large screen as he makes his way to the Festival of Families. Bob Roller, Catholic News Service

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  31


Understanding marriage can lead to healthier society

M.J. Nevadomski


Catholic News Service

herif Girgis and Robert George think the current marriage debate has started on the wrong point. “The way we’ve thought of it—or the way it’s been framed for us as—is as something about the equality of the LGBT community. But it’s not about the eligibility requirements,” Girgis said. “You have to know what marriage is—and why it’s important for policy.” Speaking to a packed room in a morning breakout session Sept. 24 at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Girgis, a postdoctoral candidate at Princeton and Yale universities, was one of two speakers presenting a talk titled “Creating a Flourishing Marriage Culture.” Together with his mentor and former professor at Princeton, Robert George, they are co-authors of a book defending traditional marriage from a nonreligious, classical perspective. Framing the question less as one of exclusion and inclusion, Girgis nonetheless spoke about two opposing views of marriage: a conjugal, or traditional, view; and a revisionist one. Regardless of religious perspective, Girgis explained the political importance of conjugal marriage as “fundamentally right by the light of natural reason,” he said. The problem, he said, is that at the beginning of the debate on marriage equality, nobody asked about the inherent nature of the institution. The things that are “fundamentally right about the nature of marriage cannot be explained by the revisionist view,” 32  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

Girgis said. A revisionist view, he said, rests essentially on “a deep emotional bond; your relationship with ‘your number one’ or, if one likes, the ‘soul mate view.’” Attractive as it may seem, he said, this view that even shapes many opposite-sex relationships ends up collapsing into a number of arbitrary distinctions. The inherent aspects of a conjugal union—what he defined as permanence, exclusivity, monogamy and sexual union—have no place in the revisionist view if marriage is only based on an emotional, and thus unstable, bond. Enshrining this view in law has consequences because “the law teaches. Law shapes culture and culture shapes what people do,” Girgis said. George built on these points in the second portion of the session. He addressed the concerns of parents for their children in a society that teaches a poor definition of marriage to young people—not just in the current marriage equality debate but in terms of divorce, cohabitation outside of marriage, and a lack of commitment in relationships. There is, he said, a very powerful and compelling argument that has nothing to do with religious opinion at all. “Marriage,” according to the definition from George and Girgis, “is the relationship into which a man and woman enter that is naturally ordered to procreation and the rearing of children and would be fulfilled by any couple if they are blessed with children.” George clarified that the phrase “ordered to” does not mean infertile couples are

somehow invalidly or illicitly married. Such claims, he said, risk “instrumentalizing” marriage to the end of childbirth. But marriage “is not of mere means to end. Marriage is an ends in itself. But a particular type of end. A particular good. A conjugal bond. And it’s that understanding of marriage that is at the heart of the family,” George said. The state has a stake in the family and in the structure of marriage. The problems of broken homes—of the fatherless, of the abandoned—that politicians are quick to pick up as important are not solved by money. Rather, George said, they are ones that must be taught by the values the law espouses. By dismantling the structures of father and mother, the state creates a culture of indifference to the inherent reality of that structure. “We cannot solve this with money,” George said. “We cannot solve this with economic development. Glamorizing this attitude toward sexuality is the greatest injustice you can inflict on poor people, black or white.” The culture should reinforce and teach that structure to rebuild and reverse the horrific trends of broken homes and the crime, depression and abuse that follow from them, he suggested. Society must understand why past cultures, the majority of which have been non-Christian, have espoused the conjugal view of marriage. Contemporary culture, George asserted, must re-learn why human beings have chosen to perpetuate traditional marriage as an institution by understanding its true nature.


Pope Francis thrilled thousands of onlookers as he drove up to the canonization Mass in his popemobile.

Pope canonizes saint before 25,000 faithful

Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Rebecca Esparza



ister Linda Thiel, OP, never imagined she would win a contest for a ticket to see the pope’s Canonization Mass at the Catholic University of America during his historic visit to Washington, D.C. A graduate of Catholic University, her alumni association held a contest and Sister Thiel won. “I found out about three weeks ago I won a ticket for the Mass and was absolutely shocked! But I almost didn’t come because I teach college and was worried about being gone too long. But then I thought: this is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can’t miss this. I think I can find someone to cover my classes,” she said with a chuckle. A Dominican Sister from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sister Linda said she is drawn to

Pope Francis’ charismatic spirit and generous heart. “The pope is a man of ultimate compassion and love,” she said. “I feel so blessed to be here today.” Pope Francis celebrated Mass with a crowd of approximately 25,000 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception located at Catholic University. During the outdoor Mass, he canonized St. Junipero Serra. Father Serra was an 18th-century missionary who spread Catholicism to California. Serra dedicated 15 years of his life to evangelical work, founding nine missions in northern California. The cause for his beatification began in 1934 and the process ended in 1949. Pope John Paul II beatified Serra in 1988, which led to his canonization

last week in Washington. The canonization, the first canonization ceremony held on U.S. soil, was seen as a significant milestone in modern history. Crowds began arriving at the university early that morning, for the Mass that was scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. At 1 p.m., the line for a mandatory security check snaked around several parking lots and between several buildings. Law enforcement, including Vatican security, Secret Service and the ATF could be seen throughout campus. At 4 p.m., one of the large screens near the altar showed the pope preparing to enter the grounds in his popemobile and the cries from his faithful were electric. His security detail walked alongside his vehicle, as he warmly greeted the faithful, some October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  33

Pope Francis celebrated the canonization Mass for St. Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

who had been waiting for hours in the hot sun for just a glimpse of the pontiff. At one point, he passed by the crowd at the very back of the venue and quite unexpectedly, asked his security detail to turn around and drive past again, igniting the crowd into hysterics, as they realized they would see him up close once again. The pope made his way into the Basilica, where the church was filled with seminarians and other guests. Shortly after the procession to the outdoor altar, Mass began in the Pope’s native Spanish, with readings in different languages. The canonization portion of the Mass included the Litany of the Saints and presentation of the relics from Father Serra, as well as the pope’s proclamation that Father Serra was now officially a saint. During his homily, Pope Francis told the faithful to be agents of joy. “We ought to ask ourselves, what

34  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

can we do to keep our heart from growing numb, becoming anesthetized? How do we make the joy of the Gospel increase and take deeper root in our lives?” “Jesus is the answer,” he said. “He said to his disciples then and says it to us now: Go forth! Proclaim! The joy of the Gospel is something to be experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away.” Rebecca Solloa, executive director of Catholic Social Services in Laredo was at the Canonization Mass. Being with the pope, she said, revived her spirit. She and co-worker Edith Cedillo also attended the pope’s ceremony at the White House and his address to Congress. “Back home we help people get out of poverty, so hearing his words of compassion for those who live in poverty everyday validates my work,

especially as the leader of the organization. His words were powerful and it was a privilege to be here,” Solloa said. Cedillo, an immigration specialist in Laredo, said for her, the experience was life changing. “My heart is overwhelmed. Hearing him encouraging Americans to be more welcoming to immigrants was a highlight for me. Like he said: ‘We have all been foreigners before,’” she said. “I hope his words will encourage more immigrants to come to us for assistance with their immigration issues.” Cedillo is certain the pope’s visit has affected non-Catholics, as well. “One of our cab drivers in Washington was overjoyed that we were so excited after seeing the pope. Maybe this will affect how we treat each other. I think positivity can be contagious. It would be nice to see us all at peace with each other,” she said.


Those struggling with divorce told ‘God pulls beauty out of the ashes’ Jen Reed


Catholic News Service

tepping to the microphone to offer a break-out session on healing from divorce, Rose Sweet hit her crowd with honesty. “I’ve been married and divorced three times,” she said. “I’m here to tell you that God pulls beauty out of the ashes. The message of the church is that there is hope. You are not alone, whether you are separated or divorced. There is hope and healing for you.” A show of hands from those gathered at Sweet’s session Sept. 24 during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia illustrated that she was giving her message to those who needed it. Assembled in a theater-like lecture hall, nearly everyone in the audience raised their hands when she asked how many people knew someone who was separated or divorced; a vast majority kept their hands up when she asked who among them had been separated or divorced themselves. Sweet’s workshop, “I Am With You: Struggling With Divorce,” offered direct remedies for those who are hurting, and ways in which family members, friends and those who minister in the Church can help care for them. “Yes, the separated and the divorced are in a unique situation” that requires compassion and care, Sweet said. “But what is not unique is that all of us suffer from anger, depression, guilt, grief, loneliness, fear, anxiety. You worry about the house. You worry about the kids. You worry about your spouse. I’ve found that healing that is available—and it’s the right healing

available for the person going through separation and divorce—really applies to all of us.” That healing comes through Christ alone, she said. “As Catholics, as Christians, our faith and our hope in anything in life is that Jesus is with us, every day, every moment, any time that we call out to him,” said Ms. Sweet, a noted Catholic author and speaker who frequently appears on Catholic radio and on the Eternal Word Television Network. Pointing to a PowerPoint image of Christ bruised and bloodied on the cross, she said: “Distress is a universal reality, and nobody understands this more than Christ himself.” “Yes, it is terrifying when you learn that your spouse has another lover, or when you spouse is just done with you, or when they don’t even care about the kids. Fear can grip your heart for a long time,” she said. “But Jesus was afraid, he was betrayed, he was abandoned. He is close to the brokenhearted, and he is our answer.” The oldest of nine children and a child of the 1950s, Sweet considered her first marriage a ticket out of the house. It lasted nine months. She divorced and sought an annulment, not even really knowing what it meant. Twice more, she married and divorced. “I hit the lowest of the low,” she said. “Yet, Our Lord came in and he took my pathetic little life and my offerings, and he made something very beautiful out of it. He taught me to love him first and foremost. He taught me to love his Church.” She offered four chronological steps that

family, friends and those in church ministry can take in helping those suffering from separation or divorce: listen, lead, love and let go. “Listen to their story first. They don’t need your advice or counsel right away; they need you to listen to their pain and their story,” she said. “When you establish that relationship, lead them to Jesus, lead them to the truth,” Sweet said. “And love them, no matter how they respond to the truth and to the love of Jesus,” she said. “Finally, let go. This is the hardest part sometimes,” she said. She advised against pressing to offer them more counsel, Bible quotes or dinners to discuss the subject. “Let them go. God always proposes, never imposes…Let them go for God to find a way to reach their hearts. This doesn’t mean let go of the person or your love for them, but let go of your own fears, worry and anxiety for them.” Sweet acknowledged that many separated and divorced Catholics have felt ostracized, criticized or abandoned by the Church and her members. “You can trust the church,” she said, “but not everyone in her. A lot of the reasons that the separated and divorced have felt so estranged and rejected is because many people just don’t know what to say or do.” She called upon parishes to direct Catholics who are separated and divorced to ministries and outreach programs designed specifically for their needs, and to practice listening, leading, loving and letting go. October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  35

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Pope offers kudos to men, women religious Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service


uring an evening prayer service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, Pope Francis thanked the nation’s priests, brothers and women religious for their service and gave particular thanks to women religious asking, “Where would the church be without you?” The pope began with unscripted remarks, extending his sympathy to the Muslim community for the stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that killed more than 700 people that morning. He offered his “sentiments of closeness in face of tragedy” and his assurance of his prayers. “I unite myself with you,” he said. The pope arrived by popemobile at St. Patrick’s Sept. 24 after traveling from Washington. He encouraged those with religious vocations and also acknowledged the pain of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Church saying, “You suffered greatly in the not distant past by having to bear the shame of some of your brothers who harmed and scandalized the Church in the most vulnerable of her members.” He said he wished to accompany them “at this time of pain and difficulty.” Although the pope was speaking in Spanish, a translation of his remarks was posted on large screen TV. The congregation applauded his remarks about women religious in the United States, whom he described as women of strength and fighters 38  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

and said their “spirit of courage” puts them “in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel.” “To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say thank you, a big thank you, and to tell you that I love you very much.” “The Pope’s recognition of women religious’ ministries was very touching when he thanked religious for their ‘spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel’ and for ‘being the sisters and mothers of this people’. Women religious thank Pope Francis for his love and support,” said Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ, Director of Consecrated Life and Women’s Vocation for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Speaking to all in the cathedral, he said to them: “I know that many of you are in the front lines in meeting the challenges of adapting to an evolving pastoral landscape. Whatever difficulties and trials you face, I ask you, like St. Peter, to be at peace and to respond to them as Christ did: He thanked the Father, took up his cross and looked forward.” The pope urged those in religious life to be thankful for their many blessings and graces and encouraged them to continue their “spirit of hard work” without getting caught up in “spiritual worldliness” or simply being efficient, which he said can weaken one’s commitment to serve and also “diminishes the wonder of our first encounter with

Christ.” The pope gently reminded the priests and religious men and women that they have “been entrusted with a great responsibility, and God’s people rightly expect accountability from us.” He also said they need to view their apostolate “by the value it has in God’s eyes” which calls for “constant conversion” and great humility remembering that their job is to plant the seeds and God will see to “the fruits of our labors.” Pope Francis also warned the priests and religious against surrounding themselves with “worldly comforts,” which they might say would help them serve better. The danger with that, he said, is that it slowly but surely “diminishes our spirit of sacrifice, renunciation and hard work. It also alienates people who suffer material poverty and are forced to make greater sacrifices than ourselves.” “Rest is needed, as are moments of leisure and self-enrichment, but we need to learn how to rest in a way that deepens our desire to serve with generosity. Closeness to the poor, the refugee, the immigrant, the sick, the exploited, the elderly living alone, prisoners and all God’s other poor, will teach us a different way of resting, one which is more Christian and generous,” the pope said. At the close of the prayer service, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan welcomed the pope to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and said that once he came through the

doors he “became an official New Yorker,” even though “you already have a home in our hearts and souls.” He told the pope that in the past three years the cathedral, built in 1879, has been going through major renovation, which he likened to the spiritual renewal the pope has asked. “Your presence renews all of us,” he added, urging him to stop by again. Those in attendance, who included religious and laity from the New York Archdiocese, had waited for several hours in the cathedral for the vespers, or evening prayer. William Lacerenza of New Rochelle, New York, and his wife, Daniella Raciti-Lacerenza, said the pope has a lot that resonates with New Yorkers. William Lacerenza said that as someone who comes from a family of immigrants, even a few generations removed, “it’s a humble reminder” when the pope points out about the immigrants who helped build this country. “It resonated with me,” he said, and it’s something that a lot of New Yorkers and Americans can identify with,” he said. Even a city that has lot of riches

appreciates what the pope is asking of the world, he said. “He tells us that we have to look out for the poor.” Even people who are wealthy are receptive to the pope’s message, he said. “It’s not lost on them.” (The South Texas Catholic contributed to this article.)

In photo above, members of the Missionaries of Charity cheer as Pope Francis arrives to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for an evening prayer service Sept. 24. Below, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York embraces Pope Francis after an evening prayer service in St. Patrick’s. Catholic News Service

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  39


Pope sign of hope for the Dennis Sadowski

Catholic News Service


enedict Zama looked out from her table and Pope Francis was coming toward her moments after he arrived at the St. Maria’s Meal program of Catholic Charities of the Washington Archdiocese. “Hello,” she said in her native French, extending her right hand. “Welcome. How are you?” “It’s going well,” Zama said the pope responded, also in French. That’s when her son, Ezekiel, 7, walked up to the pope, hugged him and shook his hand. “It felt good,” Ezekiel said after the encounter. Zama, a native of the Central African Republic and client of the Catholic Charities’ Family Re-Housing and Family Stabilization program, said she was surprised and pleased to meet the pope. “I am glad,” she said. The pope’s visit lasted about 15 minutes and he was unable to sit down for lunch in the makeshift dining center set up under a tent in front of Catholic Charities headquarters in downtown Washington. Many of the 500 invitees swarmed the pope after he said a brief prayer over the food, wished the mixture of Catholic Charities clients, volunteers and staff “buen apetito” and stepped into the tent. He walked slowly through the crowd accompanied by at least five security agents, smiling, shaking hands and exchanging brief greetings. He stopped at several points, including once to address one of the security agents. Although short, the visit left a lifetime of memories, especially for those who got to meet him. Alan Lockett, 53, a resident of the Adam’s Place, shelter Catholic Charities operates, 40  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

showed off the photo he took of the pope with his smartphone and posted on Facebook. The 23-year retired Navy veteran said he never thought he would “get this close” to the pope. “He put his palm in my palm,” Lockett said. “He held it for five seconds. It seemed like an hour.” Juan Pablo Segura, 27, a volunteer with the meal program, said he invited Pope Francis to stay for lunch, but the pontiff declined, saying he had to leave. “But he said to enjoy lunch. He asked me to pray for him,” Segura said. Prior to the pope’s arrival, a festive atmosphere enshrouded the tent, where 55 tables had been set up for people. People mingled and walked from table to table sharing their excitement about the pope’s visit. Robert Lee Grant Jr. sat at a table the pope passed. He said he shook the pontiff’s hand, never thinking he would ever meet any pope, let alone one who places the needs of poor and homeless people foremost. Given life’s challenges—Grant said he has been shot, stabbed, hit several times by a car and was injured at a construction site when a cement block fell 18 feet and hit his head—meeting the pope was especially memorable. “I’m a religious man anyway and anything that is lifting up God, I have to be there,” he said prior to the pope’s visit. “I’ve been saved by a lot myself. Just glad to be around.” Grant and the others waited more than three hours for the pope to arrive. Most had gathered by 8 a.m. in the tent and got periodic updates on the pope’s schedule. The anticipation grew after hearing Pope Francis had left the Capitol, where he had addressed a joint meeting of Congress and toured Statuary Hall to see a sculpture of the Church’s newest saint, Junipero Serra,

a Spanish-born Franciscan who was a missionary in California. At another table, Tyeshia Harrison, 28, was keeping two of her toddler sons busy. Year-old Nemo was squirming and grabbing everything in sight. Agape, 3, was coloring pictures of Pope Francis that Catholic Charities staff had distributed. “It’s an honor to be here,” said Harrison, who is living with all four of her boys in Catholic Charities’ Angel’s Watch shelter for domestic violence survivors in Charles County, Maryland. “God put it in my heart to show my appreciation by being here. Catholic Charities has opened the door for me to provide a safe haven, a comfortable bed, school supplies, many positive resources in my critical time,” she said. Ron Dorsey was equally thankful for the work of Catholic Charities and the chance to see Pope Francis. The resident of the 801 East Men’s Shelter in Washington’s Anacostia neighborhood said the pope is a man of the people. “They call Pope Francis the ‘slum pope.’ He really reaches out to people who are down and I really like that about him,” Dorsey said. He and several others were hopeful that the pontiff’s speech to Congress and his visit to St. Maria’s Meal program would push society to begin to concretely address homelessness, poverty and other social concerns. Kenneth Pearson, 46, another 801

At right, a girl hugs Pope Francis as he visits with people at St. Maria’s Meals Program of Catholic Charities in Washington Sept. 24. In top photo, a prisoner kisses pope’s hand as he visits prison in Philadelphia Sept. 27. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service


e poor resident, said that having the pope around should remind people of the needs of the less fortunate. “I am glad to see him in Washington, to visit to talk with the homeless and to see what he could do to help the homeless. It would be a blessing if he could help us out with housing,” Pearson said. “Nobody should be in this predicament like this…I wish I had my own place. Trying to survive, figuring out where your next meal will be, where you’re going to shower. It’s not right. “So we ask for his blessing to get these people off the street, to find affordable housing. I count on him helping my brothers.”

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  41


Ground zero Carol Zimmermann


Catholic News Service

ope Francis’ Sept. 25 visit to ground zero was unlike any of his other stops in New York or Washington. It was somber, quiet and reflective, fitting for the location and for the assembled crowd of about 1,000 people who had been directly impacted by the 2001 terrorist attacks. Certainly there were cheers for the pope when he first arrived and cameras held aloft to capture a glimpse of him, but there was none of the flag-waving and reaching out to the pope, and not much more than a wave from him to the crowd, some of whom held pictures of loved ones who had died in the Sept. 11 attacks. In his 20 minutes outside the 9/11 Memorial before praying with religious leaders inside the museum, the pope prayed silently

42  South Texas Catholic | October 2015


visit somber moment ❝In those family members we see the face of pain, a pain which still touches us and cries out to heaven.❞

–Pope Francis

next to a candle by the memorial’s south reflecting pool, then personally greeted about 20 people, including first responders and victims’ family members. The pope shook their hands, blessed them and gave them rosaries. Some wiped tears from their eyes when they walked away. While the pope was meeting this group, the memorial grounds were almost silent except for the rushing water from the two pools where the twin towers once stood. On the outside edge of the pools are the names in bronze of all who died in the 2001 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. There was an interrupted yell of “a blessing, please,” and when the pope finished greeting the family members there were shouts of “Francisco, Francisco!” The pope did not address the crowd but simply walked into the 9/11 Museum,

Pope Francis prays at the South Pool of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum and visits with family members of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. Tony Gentile, Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

leaving the group to linger on the grounds on the sunny and clear morning or line up to wait near the exits while the pope prayed with religious leaders. But many felt that just by his presence, the pope made a difference. “It meant the world to us,” said Moraima Doubraski, whose husband worked in the World Trade Center and is a 9/11 survivor. The fact that the pope wanted to come to this site and meet with 9/11 family members 14 years later “speaks volumes about the kind of person that he is, his heart and his soul and his desire to be with and among people who are experiencing some sort of loss or tragedy,” said Anthoula Katsimatides, whose 31-year-old brother, John Katsimatides, died in the north tower. Monica Iken-Murphy, whose husband Michael died in the south tower, said the memorial is a “sacred and hallowed space” made even more symbolic by the pope’s blessing, since he represents peace. And the blessing was not just for those who died on this very spot. Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles was the pilot of American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, said the pope’s blessing was “for all of us who are in such desperate need.” She said the pope’s visit was a sign of hope and love, not unlike the outpouring of “great love and affection” from the world after 9/11. Katsimatides, Iken-Murphy and Burlingame were among those who met the pope

personally, representing those behind the barricades who obtained their spots through a lottery. For Joan Higgins, the 82-year-old mother from Our Holy Redeemer Parish in Freeport, New York, the day was not what she had expected. “I was actually disappointed. I expected him to give us all a blessing,” she said. She would have even been happy if the pope had merely looked over to the section where she was standing holding a gold framed photo of her son Timothy, a member of the New York City Fire Department, who died at age 43 in the north tower. Higgins, who has only been to the 9/11 Memorial one other time, placed flowers at her son’s name on the pool’s edge. She said the difficulty of coping with her son’s death “changes but never ends.” During Pope Francis’ time of prayer in the 9/11 Museum, which was not broadcast to the crowd outside, the pope said that meeting the families of victims was a concrete reminder that “acts of destruction are never impersonal, abstract or merely material. They always have a face, a concrete story, names.” “In those family members,” he said, “we see the face of pain, a pain which still touches us and cries out to heaven.” However, the pope said, they also demonstrate “the power of love and remembrance,” which is something the memorial promotes. October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  43

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Hermanas de la congregacion Dominicas de Santo Tomás de Aquino y voluntarias pronto habran su centro de cuidado diurno para adultos. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

Hosanna: centro diurno para adultos Luisa Scolari

L Corresponsal

a congregación de las Hermanas Dominicas de Santo Tomás de Aquino, por años ha tenido un sueño que está a punto de hacerse realidad: un centro de cuidado diurno para adultos en Calallen. El “Hosanna Adult Day Care Center” cumple con su misión de servicio a los hermanos mas pobres y desamparados. “Es obra de Dios, yo solo soy el instrumento,” era el dicho de Sor María Rosa de la Torre Guerrero quien fundo la congregación en 1913 en la Ciudad de México. En Corpus Christi la congregación cuenta con tres hermanas, Sor María Carmen Tavares Garcia, sor María Elena Banderas Rangel y madre María Pérez Vega. La Madre María dijo que al empezar 46  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

a conocer personas de la comunidad, se dieron cuenta de que el 80 por ciento de los ancianos son cuidados por sus familiares. Pero las mujeres de clase media y baja se ven en la necesidad de trabajar duro para poder ayudar a la familia. Y los ancianos se quedan sin supervisión durante el día. “Las hermanas y yo íbamos a darles la vuelta para ver como estaban y cuidarlos, pero notamos que eran demasiados los que estaban en esa misma situación,” la madre Maria dijo. “Esta inquietud se fue convirtiendo en un sueño que ahora es una realidad.” Ahora la congregación esta lista para operar el negocio no lucrativo “Hosanna Adult Day Care”. La madre María nos comenta que en su congregación, las prioridades en su misión son mostrar a Cristo

en la educación de la niñez y juventud y el de los enfermos, haciendo el bien a todos y atendiendo a las necesidades del vecindario. “Somos fieles al sentimiento de compasión y entrañas de misericordia que heredamos de Nuestro Padre Santo Domingo de Guzmán, que no nos permite estar ajenas ante ninguna aflicción o miseria humana,” la madre Maria dijo. “Por lo que hemos optado por el apostolado con los hermanos adultos, contribuyendo así a la misión de la congregación de una manera muy significativa, pues las hermanas están llamadas a tener delicadeza, entusiasmo y amabilidad, así como amor misericordioso y compasivo con las personas que se les ha confiado.” Cuidar al adulto es una oportunidad mas de hacer el bien, de practicar la caridad con hermanos mayores y de ayudar al mismo

Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

tiempo a sus familiares que tienen que ir a trabajar y no pueden cuidarlos. “Nos parece muy importante proporcionar al adulto un ambiente de cuidado profesional, seguro y Cristiano; un lugar limpio, bonito y digno. Respetando siempre la fe que cada quien practique,” la madre dijo. Hosanna Adult Day Care proporciona un programa con actividades que llenan el alma de las personas y se sientan vivas al oír que se les llama por su nombre. Cooperar para que cada persona supere positivamente su situación, sea de soledad, dolor o enfermedad y ayudarle a que reconozca los valores que tiene y se sienta con la dignidad que Dios le da como hijo suyo y ser humano. “Nuestro deseo es proporcionar al adulto un ambiente sano y armonioso, que la persona se sienta amada, que pueda redescubrir la vida y encuentre una razón para levantarse en la mañana y llegar al centro con ilusión,” la madre Maria dijo. La idea del programa fue surgido por la observación de la preocupación y necesidad que algunas personas manifestaban de dejar a sus familiares solos en casa durante todo el día mientras van a trabajar. El el edificio fue diseñado y construido especialmente con la aprobación de los permisos de la ciudad. Las instalaciones deben contar con las facilidades para las diferentes necesidades que se puedan presentar, como rampas de acceso para sillas de ruedas, baños especiales, enfermería, cuartos de descanso, comedor, sala de usos múltiples, capilla y cocina y un gran jardín. Los alimentos serán proveídos por una compañía externa, que seguirá las normas de nutrición que cada uno de los asistentes tenga, atendiendo situaciones y necesidades especiales que pudieran presentarse como podrían ser, alergias, diabetes, alta presión, por nombrar algunos. El cuidado de los asistentes al programa estará a cargo de personas especializadas y certificadas, inclusivo una enfermera de planta y el apoyo de un grupo de voluntarios también previamente capacitados, siempre bajo la supervisión de la congregación. La capacidad máxima del centro será de 47 habitantes

Para ver más fotos de este evento South Texas



southtexascatholic/Hosanna October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  47


El centro está diseñado para satisfacer las necesidades de las personas mayores en todos los sentidos.


y funcionará de Lunes a Viernes de 8 a.m. a 4 p.m. Bertha Aguilar, la administradora del lugar, dijo que “es muy importante tener una enfermera de planta. Pues nos da mucha seguridad saber que alguien capacitado y certificado va a estar a cargo y al pendiente de que todos los asistentes al centro se tomen las medicinas a sus horas.” Las hermanas pretenden atender tanto las necesidades físicas como espirituales, por lo que necesitan el poder de Dios para atender tanto el cuerpo como el alma. El centro no pertenece a la diócesis ni a la parroquia. Para poder funcionar y mantenerse, el centro tendrá que cobrar una cuota de recuperación. “Parte importante es nuestra espiritualidad, ya que muchas personas quieren estar con religiosas porque buscan que les ayuden con el área espiritual,” sor María Elena dijo. “Para nuestra congregación es muy importante el apostolado de evangelización y llevar la palabra de Dios a ellos y a sus familiares. Buscamos proporcionar un ambiente que no se sientan solitos sino que se sientan útiles y que aprendan algo nuevo. La convivencia de las personas es como un club, en el que se crean lazos de amistad del

corazón. Buscamos cubrir el área afectiva, que se sientan aceptados, un lugar acogedor a donde les den muchas ganas de llegar.” Sor María Carmen dijo que esta esperando con mucho entusiasmo para comenzar a dar servicio. Se recibieran personas de cualquier religión, todos son bienvenidos y todas las actividades se impartirán de manera bilingüe. Las hermanas están muy agradecidas de muchos voluntarios que les han ayudado en muchas formas y les dan sus muy sinceras gracias. Para mas información sobre Hosanna Adult Day Care llame a el numero de teléfono (361) 242-2845.

El centro tambien ofrece ayuda espiritual que necesitan los clientes para atender tanto el cuerpo como el alma. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso.

Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en Domingos a las 7:00 a.m. con el P. Juan Fernando Gámez P. José Naúl Ordóñez

Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Director de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia: (361) 693-6686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata.

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

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748 48  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

December 20 – 29, 2015 $2,890.00

Price includes: Roundtrip air transportation from Houston, superior first class hotels, double occupancy, two meals a day – breakfast and dinner, daily Mass, attend Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in Manger Square, daily sightseeing, airport taxes, fuel surcharges (subject to change), and tips to drivers and guides.


MOSES KHANO, PRESIDENT TEL: 713-961-2785 TOLL FREE: 1-800-231-6287



Saturday November 7, 2015 Texas Hold’em Blackjack Roulette Let-It-Ride Poker Live & Silent Auction Craps



Other Activities: • Bingo • 50/50 •Guessing Jar • Hole-in-One •Sweet Shoppe

A Weekly Retreat from The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

$40.00 / per person includes entrance to casino, dinner, a non-alcholic pre-sale

Wednesdays @ 6:30p

Begins October 7

drink and $5,000 in gaming chips.


6:00 PM Doors Open 6:30-7:30 PM Dinner 8:00 PM Gaming Begins

@ St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Robstown

(@ the Door - $50.00) Music Provided By ENTERTAINMENT

Featuring reflections by: Casino Entrance tickets now on sale after all Masses or purchase them at OLPH Parish Office. For more information call the OLPH Parish Office @ 361-991-7891

Sr. Miriam James Heidland, Fr. Peter Marsalek, Fr. Dan Estes, Fr. James Kelleher, & more

5830 Williams Drive • Corpus Christi, TX • 78412-4415 email: •

Sr. Mediatrix,

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  49


Sister Guadalupe Maria Cervantes, PCI is a member of the Pax Christi Institute.

The Communion Rite–Part II Sister Guadalupe Maria Cervantes, PCI

H Contributor

oly Mother Church never tires of inviting us, never ceases to urge us to receive holy Communion frequently, yes, even daily. And she encourages us, whenever we assist at the holy sacrifice of the Mass, to receive the body and blood of Christ with the priest, not only spiritually, by way of desire, but actually, by the sacramental participation of the sacred species. The divine heart of Jesus burns with desire to communicate himself to those who assist to the holy sacrifice of the Mass. “Take and eat,” he says, “this is my body (Mt. 26:26).” Receiving holy Communion at Mass is a gift of Christ, but it is necessary that we examine our conscience to make sure we are truly prepared to receive Jesus. What are the “required dispositions” of which the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” speaks? 1. That we are in a “state of grace,” not conscious of any unconfessed grave sins. 2. That we have observed the one-hour fast from food and drink. Processing the Altar Now we leave our place and process toward the altar ourselves. This procession should be dignified and reserved. We should walk with our hands together, contemplating the great moment that is about to take place. We should receive the Eucharist with the same devotion and seriousness that accompanied our first holy Communion. Before we receive holy Communion, if we are standing, we should bow as a sign of reverence toward the Eucharistic Lord before receiving him. Receiving the Eucharist There are two ways in which we may receive Communion: on the tongue, or in the hand, where this is permitted. The priest or Eucharistic minister will slightly raise the Eucharist as we

50  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

approach, and say “The body of Christ.” We reply “Amen.” This is our assent to the following: 1. We believe that Jesus Christ is fully present under the appearance of this bread that we receive. 2. We believe that all his body, the Church, teaches is true. 3. We declare that we are members of his body—the Church. We should receive the Lord reverently in the manner we choose. If on the tongue, open our mouth and extend our tongue in a reverential way allowing the Eucharist to be placed there before closing our mouth. If we receive our Lord in the hand we should hold our hands open, making a throne for the Eucharist. Again, we meaningfully take the Eucharist with our right hand and place it in our mouth. We consume the body of Christ immediately. Everything should be done reverently. After receiving the Eucharist, we walk back to our place in the congregation in the same reverential manner that we approach the altar. It is time to contemplate and adore this great gift that we just received. The moments that immediately follow holy Communion are most precious and rich in graces. We received our Lord into the abode of our heart; we have satisfied not only our longing to receive him, but also his longing to be united with us. There is no more fitting or efficacious time to thank God for his favors and to implore new ones than in the precious moments after holy Communion, when our Lord himself, with body and soul, divinity and humanity, reposes in our breast. St. Philip Neri once saw a person turning his steps toward the church door very soon after having received holy Communion, evidently

❝Our Lord does

not send us out into the world as orphans, but equips us for the journey.❞

–Sister Guadalupe Maria Cervantes

tabernacle, at the beginning of the Mass and after receiving Communion. Now we receive a blessing. How should we receive a blessing? We should bow our head slightly in a posture of receptivity, and listen the prayer that being prayed for us and make the sign of the cross slowly, reverently and deliberately. Go In Peace The Lord has come into our lives, and in the same way that the Lord sent out his disciples; he is sending

us out, too. The Mass receives its name from the concluding statement of the priest or deacon: “Ite Missa est” a Latin phrase that literally means “Go, all of you, she (the Church) is sent.” The fact that the Mass takes its name from this final act of the celebration points to the purpose of it. We are being sent on a mission. Our Lord does not send us out into the world as orphans, but equips us for the journey. He has formed us by teaching us through his word, which we have heard proclaimed, and he has fed us with his very presence for our missionary activity. The Closing Procession At the end of the Mass the priest will go to the altar again, and kiss it. After this he is joined by the other ministers in front of the altar, and after a brief moment they all bow toward the altar. While this is happening the congregation may sing a final hymn that usually gives expression to the fact that we—now renewed—are being sent back into the world.


with the intention of leaving. The saint immediately ordered two acolytes to accompany him with lighted candles. The man, astounded at this action, inquired of St. Philip what was the purpose of this ceremony, and the latter answered with grave courtesy: “When a priest carries the Blessed Sacrament in a ciborium he is invariably accompanied by two boys with lighted candles, and it seems to me that a similar honor ought to be paid to him who bears the holy Eucharist in his heart.” Thereupon, the man, greatly ashamed, knelt down to offer the acts of adoration and thanksgiving, which were his due. After Communion, the priest invites us to pray, a prayer that gives thanks to God for what we have received in this Eucharist. We answer this prayer with an “amen.” Final Blessing At the beginning of the Mass we blessed ourselves. Throughout the Mass we blessed ourselves. We bless ourselves coming into the church, as we genuflect or bow toward the

October Liturgical Calendar 1 | Thu | Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12/Lk 10:1-12 (458) 2 | Fri | The Holy Guardian Angels | white | Memorial | Bar 1:15-22 (459)/Mt 18:1-5, 10* (650) 3 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Bar 4:5-12, 27-29/Lk 10:17-24 (460) 4 | SUN | TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Gn 2:1824/Heb 2:9-11/Mk 10:2-16 or 10:2-12 (140) Pss III 5 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest] Jon 1:1—2:2, 11/Lk 10:25-37 (461) 6 | Tue | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Bruno, Priest; Blessed MarieRose Durocher, Virgin] Jon 3:1-10/Lk 10:38-42 (462) 7 | Wed | Our Lady of the Rosary | white | Memorial | Jon 4:1-11/Lk 11:1-4 (463) 8 | Thu | Weekday | green | Mal

3:13-20b/Lk 11:5-13 (464) 9 | Fri | Weekday | green/red/white [Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions, Martyrs; Saint John Leonardi, Priest] Jl 1:13-15; 2:1-2/Lk 11:15-26 (465) 10 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Jl 4:12-21/Lk 11:27-28 (466) 11 | SUN | TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Wis 7:7-11/Heb 4:12-13/Mk 10:17-30 or 10:17-27 (143) Pss IV 12 | Mon | Weekday | green | Rom 1:1-7/Lk 11:29-32 (467) 13 | Tue | Weekday | green | Rom 1:1625/Lk 11:37-41 (468) 14 | Wed | Weekday | green/red [Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr] Rom 2:1-11/Lk 11:42-46 (469) 15 | Thu | Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Rom 3:21-30/Lk 11:47-54 (470) 16 | Fri | Weekday | green/white/white

[Saint Hedwig, Religious; Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin] Rom 4:1-8/Lk 12:1-7 (471) 17 | Sat | Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Rom 4:13, 16-18/Lk 12:8-12 (472) 18 | SUN | TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Is 53:10-11/ Heb 4:14-16/Mk 10:35-45 or 10:42-45 (146) Pss I 19 | Mon | Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, | red | and Companions, Martyrs | Memorial | Rom 4:20-25/Lk 12:13-21 (473) 20 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest] Rom 5:12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21/Lk 12:35-38 (474) 21 | Wed | Weekday | green | Rom 6:1218/Lk 12:39-48 (475) 22 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Saint John Paul II, Pope] Rom 6:19-23/Lk 12:49-53 (476) 23 | Fri | Weekday | green/white [Saint

John of Capistrano, Priest] Rom 7:1825a/Lk 12:54-59 (477) 24 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop; BVM] Rom 8:1-11/Lk 13:1-9 (478) 25 | SUN | THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Jer 31:7-9/ Heb 5:1-6/Mk 10:46-52 (149) Pss II 26 | Mon | Weekday | green | Rom 8:1217/Lk 13:10-17 (479) 27 | Tue | Weekday | green | Rom 8:1825/Lk 13:18-21 (480) 28 | Wed | Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles | red | Feast | Eph 2:19-22/Lk 6:12-16 (666) Pss Prop 29 | Thu | Weekday | green | Rom 8:31b39/Lk 13:31-35 (482) 30 | Fri | Weekday | green | Rom 9:1-5/ Lk 14:1-6 (483) 31 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Rom 11:1-2a, 11-12, 25-29/Lk 14:1, 7-11 (484)

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  51





All fundraising events will include a variety of food, games, entertainment and fun. To find out more information go to

Central Catholic Annual Fall Family Fun Festival | Oct. 3 from 4–11 p.m. at Central Catholic School Courtyard (1217 Lipan St.) in Corpus Christi. Immaculate Conception Church of Gregory 66th Annual Jamaica | Oct. 3–4 begins on Saturday at 5–10 p.m. and Sunday from 12–9 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church (107 Church St.) in Gregory. Three Rivers Sacred Heart Annual Barbecue | Oct. 4 begins at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church (307 E. Alexander) in Three Rivers. Meat to go sold by the pound. Live Auction starting at noon and Silent Auction is from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Bingo starts from 2:30– 6:30 p.m. St. Joseph 15th Annual Parish Festival | Oct. 10 from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. at St. Joseph Church (801 S. Reynolds St.) in Alice. Our Lady of Pilar Jamaica | Oct. 10 from 6–9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 11 from 12 p.m.–8 p.m. at Our Lady of Pilar parish grounds (1101 Bloomington St.) in Corpus Christi. St. Paul’s BBQ & Crafts Fall Fest | Oct. 11 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at St. Paul, the Apostle Church Hall (2233 Waldron Road in Flour Bluff) in Corpus Christi. Indoor craft vendors. Celebrating One Faith, Two Cultures Jamaica 2015 | Oct. 11 from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. at Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia (1755 Frio St.) in Corpus Christi.

Annual Christ The King Church Fall Festival | Oct. 16 from 6–10 p.m. Music by Mark Urbina, Chicka’s Rock, and Clarrisa Serna a contestant in the hit show “The Voice.”. St. Mary’s Fall Festival | Oct. 17 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea (342 South Rife Street) in Aransas Pass. Annual Jamaica at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Tivoli | Oct. 18 from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (501 Williams St.) in Tivoli. CDA Court 2460 Waffle Breakfast | Oct. 18 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. at St. Pius X Parish Hall (5620 Gollihar Road) in Corpus Christi. Donation is $6 per person. St. Anthony’s Oktoberfest in Violet | Oct. 18 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church (3918 County Rd. 61 off Highway 44) in Violet. IWA Fall Fun Night | Oct. 23 from 5-8 p.m. at the James R. Dougherty, Jr. Center (2920 S Alameda St) in Corpus Christi. 32nd Annual Halloween Carnival at St. Pius X School | Oct. 23 from 5:30–10 p.m. at St. Pius X School (737 St. Pius Drive) in Corpus Christi. Our Lady of Refuge Fall Festival | Oct. 25 from 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Refuge (1008 S. Alamo St.) in Refugio.

October Family Fest | Oct. 11 from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (540 Hiawatha) in Corpus Christi.

Our Lady of the Rosary Annual Jamaica | Oct. 25 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Church (1123 Main Dr.) in Corpus Christi. Main Dr. is located off of Leopard Street between Taqueria Banda’s and the Orkin Company. Take Exit 7 (Tuloso & Suntide Rd.) from I-37 to Leopard.

St. Patrick School 53rd Annual Halloween Carnival | Oct. 16 from 5:30–10:30 p.m. at St. Patrick School (3340 South Alameda).

Our Lady of Guadalupe Fall Fest | Oct. 31 from 5:30– 10:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Grounds (1010 Beam Station Road) in Alice.

52  South Texas Catholic | October 2015


On Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman will be the keynote speaker. For more information visit: redmasstradition

Inaugural Pro-Life Ministry Conference “Viva La Familia”

On Oct. 3 beginning with Mass at 8 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church (204 Dunne Street) in Robstown. After Mass the conference will take place in the parish hall until 2:30 p.m. Talks will focus on bringing awareness to the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. Keynote speaker is Father John Patterson, SOLT and a special guest from Rachel’s Vineyard, Phyllis Young. Conference is free; $5 donation for lunch. RSVP by contacting Elisa Cavazos at (361) 207-4909 or Edward Mireles at (361) 331-2075.



Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

Oct. 3 at 9:30 a.m. in the fenced-in backyard of the rectory office at St. Patrick Church (3350 S. Alameda St.) in Corpus Christi. Father Chris Becerra will give each animal an individual blessing and a blessed medal to affix to their collar or cage. Light snacks will be provided. Please obey the city leash law and bring small animals in cages or carriers. Call (361) 855-7391 during business hours for more information.

Fall Music Workshop Sessions: Making the Rite Choices

If you are the director of music, in charge of choosing and preparing music for Masses,

4 4


Second Collection for Respect Life

Mass and a fellowship dinner. For more information call the parish office at (361) 241-2004.



Oct. 4. Supports Office for LIfe, Justice and Human Dignity activities. Please give generously.

12th Annual LIfe Chain

Oct. 4 from 1:30–3:30 p.m. at West State Hwy 44 (in front of Robstown High School). Everyone is welcome to stand up for life with St. Anthony’s Pro-Life Ministry. Life Chain is a silent peaceful community prayer service against the evils of abortion. For more information call Elisa Cavazos at (361) 207-4909.


Annual Rosary Fest 2015 Oct. 7 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church (1123 Main Drive) in Corpus Christi. The daylong event will open with Mass at 8 a.m. Prayer services, novena prayers and Rosary devotions will be held hourly for the remainder of the day, culminating with a “Living Rosary” at 5 p.m. followed by


Weekly Retreat at St. Anthony in Robstown

Weekly retreat “Becoming Missionary Disciples” put on by The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity will begin on Oct. 7 and continue on Wednesdays at St. Anthony Church in Robstown. Featuring reflections by Sister Miriam James Heidland, Father Peter Marsalek, Father Dan Estes, Father James Kelleher and more. For more information email Sister Mediatrix at

Melchizedek Project

Oct. 8 from 6–8 p.m. at Texas A&M Corpus Christi Newman Center (7002 Ocean Drive) in Corpus Christi. The Melchizedek Project is a discernment group for high school juniors and above who love Jesus Christ and his Church, and who are willing to talk to other like-minded men about their future. All meetings will be led by Father Joseph Lopez, Vocation Director, and will be private in nature. To RSVP, or for more information contact Rachel Dimas at (361) 334-2781 or rdimas@

Rachel’s Vineyard

Oct. 9–11 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. To register please email: ccrachelsvineyard@yahoo. com. All correspondence will remain confidential.

Engaged Encounter

Oct. 10 from 7:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. For more information or to register go to: engaged-encounter

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  53



director or leader of a choir or ensemble, or a cantor, choir member or instrumentalist choose a workshop to attend: • Oct. 3 from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish (801 S. Reynolds) in Alice; • Oct. 5 from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Hall (1325 W. Corral Ave.) in Kingsville; • Oct. 12 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at St. Pius X Church (5620 Gollihar Road) in Corpus Christi. The workshops will explore how to prepare the liturgical music for each of your Masses and more. For more information or to print registration form go to: eventsfallmusicworkshopsessions3

Red Mass


10 10





Oct. 10 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. For more information or to register go to:

16 17

Dia Familiar de Sanación

Oct. 10 from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at Iglesia Nuestra Señora Del Perpetuo Socorro (Our Lady of Perpetual Help on 5830 Williams Drive) in Corpus Christi. The Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Corpus Christi will be hosting a Family Day of Healing Retreat. The retreat will have sessions for parents, young adults, middle school and high school students. There will be child care available. For more information call Elda at (361) 664-2953 or email There is no charge.


Public Square Rosary

Oct. 10 at 12 p.m. at SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church (3201 S. Padre Island Drive) in Corpus Christi. Rosary will be recited outside in front of the church. Bring lawn chairs and umbrellas. For more information call Mira at (361) 510-5754.

Global Living Rosary at OLCC

Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel (1200 Lantana). All are welcome. Join 60 children who will be forming the beads of a Living Rosary.

Men’s Cursillo (English) Oct. 15–18 at Corpus Christi Cursillo Center (1300 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. For more information call Pre-Cursillo Chairperson Gloria Franco, at (361) 249-2450.

54  South Texas Catholic | October 2015

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Cathedral Rummage Sale

Begins on Oct. 16 at 8 a.m. and ends on Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral (505 N. Upper Broadway). The rummage sale will be held in the Cathedral Parish Hall located in the basement of the Cathedral. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Cathedral Parish building maintenance fund. The sale will feature quality furniture, house wares, appliances, toys, sporting goods, hardware and much more. For more information call Donald Harris at (361) 883-4213, ext. 27.



Natural Family Planning Class

Oct. 17 from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at the Education Service Center (1426 Baldwin) in Corpus Christi. For more information or to register go to: diocesecc. org/natural-family-planning

2015 Annual Jazz Mass Oct. 18 at 12:15 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Church (3502 Saratoga Boulevard) in Corpus Christi.


Second Collection for World Mission Sunday

Oct. 18. Please give generously to help evangelize the world.

Healing Retreat at OLCC Oct. 23–25. Begins on Friday 5:30 p.m. and ends on Sunday 3:30 p.m. Discover the ways we block God’s grace in our life and remove obstacles that prevent us from growing in our prayer life. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of silent reflection asking God to reveal where we need healing, and concludes with a Healing Service. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference

Oct. 24 at St. Patrick Church (3350 South Alameda Street) in Corpus Christi. Bishop Michael Mulvey will celebrate Mass and Bishop Emeritus Sam Jacobs from HoumaThibodaux, LA will give the keynote address. To purchase tickets or more information call (361) 850-3281.

Two Acts Missions Workshops

Leadership Workshop will be on Oct. 24 from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and CORE Workshop on Oct. 25 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Parish Hall (2233 Waldron Road) in Corpus Christi. Cost for both workshops is $40. Lunch will be provided. Limited space available for both workshops. For more information or to register call Laura Hebert at (361) 960-1758 or email

Men’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat at OLCC Aug. 27–30. A weekend to go deeper in our relationship with our Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Consecration to Jesus through Mary—Day of Prayer at OLCC

Oct. 31 from 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. in the Library at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). There will be Mass, a series of talks and time to pray with Our Lady. A light breakfast and lunch will also be provided. The day will finish by 2:30 p.m. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

WWW.DIOCESECC.ORG | (361) 882-6191

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  55

October 2015 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191

23rd AnnuAl Clergy & religious

AppreCiAtion BAnquet Thursday, October 29, 2015 Solomon ortiz Center

402 Harbor Drive | CorpuS CHriSti, tX 78401 6:30 - 7 p.m. CaSH bar 7 p.m. Dinner & program Father Albert Haase Keynote Speaker

Albert Haase, OFM, is a popular parish mission preacher, teacher, spiritual director, and radio show guest. A former missionary to mainland China for over eleven years, he is the award-winning author of eight books on popular spirituality and the presenter on three bestselling DVDs.

Bishop Mulvey


Wm. Michael Mulvey was ordained the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi on March 25, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI named him Bishop on January 18, 2010.

Join us, as we appreciate our Clergy and Reigious! For tickets and more information, please call Ron Alonzo at (361) 947-1346 or email at

South Texas Catholic - October 2015  

In our October issue we have extensive coverage of Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States.

South Texas Catholic - October 2015  

In our October issue we have extensive coverage of Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States.