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2  South Texas Catholic | December 2015


VOL. 50 NO. 11

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas


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

Keeping the “Christ” in “Christmas” is part of not giving in to pressure to conform to the “norm” and become like nonbelievers, Pope Francis said in a homily. Giving in to the things of the world is like saying, “Let’s put our ID up for auction. We are

the same as everyone,” the pope said. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert


26 Stained glass windows offer inspiration to donors and students at Texas A&M Kingsville’s St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel.

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.


4 VIEWPOINTS Celebrating the Year of Mercy

PARISH LIFE 31 Our Lady of Perpetual Help paved the

9 Social Work with a touch of Love

VIDA CATÓLICA 34 Ciclo de conferencias de la


way for Southside Catholics

Renovación Carismática

NEWS BRIEFS 15 Christ the King Elementary

NEWS 38 NATIONAL Paris violence will not alter church

CATHOLIC EDUCATION 17 Catholic education:

OUR FAITH 47 Indulgences in the

School to close on Dec. 18

a dividend for life

outreach to refugees, bishops say

Holy Year of Mercy

Keep up with the Faith at

October 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Celebrating The Year Of Mercy

Bishop Michael Mulvey

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


South Texas Catholic

his month, beginning on Dec. 8 we joyfully enter the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis. With a heart full of enthusiasm, I join my voice with that of the Holy Father and the bishops of the world in proclaiming that a tremendous moment of grace is upon us! During this Holy Year, the Church calls us to enter deeply into the mercy of God and to express this mercy to others in sincere and profound ways. As Pope Francis has said, this Jubilee Year of Mercy is a time to “gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become more effective signs of the Father’s action in our lives.” Thus, we see that the call to mercy especially during this Holy Year is a two-fold call, first to encounter the mercy of God poured out for us through Jesus Christ and second, to bring that mercy to our brothers and sisters around us. During this year, the Church lovingly invites us to embrace the tremendous opportunity to open up our hearts to encounter God’s merciful love so that we can be true witnesses of it to all. To understand, embrace and practice God’s mercy, we must first begin by centering ourselves on Jesus Christ for,

4  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

as our Holy Father reminds us, Jesus is the face of the Father’s mercy. When we look to the New Testament, we see that Jesus is not a mere idea nor is he just someone giving us a moral code of living. In the Gospels, we come to know clearly that Jesus Christ, while remaining fully God, is a real human being like us in all things but sin. We see that Christ is not just God loving us from afar, he truly understands and experiences our human condition. He gazes upon us with a human face; he loves us with a human heart; he redeems us from our fallen state by dying and rising in the flesh. Looking particularly to the Gospels, we see the human touch of Jesus, a touch that heals the man afflicted with leprosy (Mt 8:2-3), restores sight to the blind (Mt 9:2930; Mk 8:22-25; Jn 9:1ff ), and even raises from the dead the son of the widow (Lk 7:14-15) and the girl in Capernaum (Lk 8:54-55). We see the loving gaze of Jesus offered to the rich young man (Mk 10:21), calling him to a deeper discipleship, and to St. Peter, calling him to deeper conversion (Lk 22:61). We see the tender heart of Jesus listening to the woman at the well (Jn 4:7-42), staying at the house of Zacchaeus (Lk 19:1-10), comforting the sorrowful women

of Jerusalem (Lk 23:28) and weeping for and then raising his friend Lazarus (Jn 11:35). This touch, this gaze, this listening of Christ reveal to us the mercy of God himself, for as Christ said, “he who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). We are called to enter deeply into this profound mystery of mercy—a mercy that bends down, embraces us and lifts us out of our fallen condition, forgives our wrongs and replaces the dignity that is lost through our sinful choices. It is the mercy of the Father of the Prodigal Son who not only welcomes back his beloved child but restores to him his lost dignity by clothing him with the robe, the ring and the sandals of a son. It is the mercy of God that not only sometimes heals physical illnesses but more importantly at all times heals spiritual infirmities caused by sin (cf. Mk 2:1-12). In this Holy Year of Mercy, like those who encountered Christ in the Gospels, we too are invited to experience this same touch, look and listening heart of Jesus, a heart filled with mercy for each person. Having experienced it, we cannot help but become witnesses to it, expressing to others that same mercy of God that we have received. Perhaps it is a loving touch that we can give to an elderly

Throughout this Jubilee Year of Mercy, here in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and in union with the universal Catholic Church, we will have many opportunities to celebrate, participate in and exercise the mercy of God given to us. As a diocese we will have many events both at the diocesan and local levels that will be opportunities to experience, celebrate and practice God’s mercy. I encourage you to pay attention to your local bulletins and the diocesan website ( as these various opportunities are announced. I draw your attention in particular to one of these events that will begin our Year of Mercy here in the Diocese of Corpus Christi: On Sunday, Dec. 13, the Holy Father has called for “Holy Doors” to be designated and opened in all the cathedrals of the world. I invite all who are able to make a pilgrimage to the Corpus Christi Cathedral on this day for the 9:30 a.m. Mass where I will celebrate the opening

of the Holy Doors of Mercy at the Cathedral to mark officially the beginning of the Year of Mercy in our diocese, in union with the bishops and cathedrals throughout the world. In addition, under the permission of the Holy Father, I as diocesan bishop will designate various parishes and chapels as “holy sites” in the Diocese of Corpus Christi for the faithful to visit as pilgrims and to be able to gain, under the usual conditions, the plenary indulgences of the Year of Mercy in visiting these for a spiritual purpose. These sites will be publicized in various ways, especially on our diocesan website. In this Year of Mercy, may our attitude always grow in the attitude of Christ so that we do not find ourselves in lives that are inconsistent with that of Christ in us but rather one where our hearts experience the love of God and expresses that very love to our brothers and sisters.

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  5


person in a difficult moment of life. Perhaps it is lending an ear to a person who is lonely and in need of talking. Perhaps it is a simple gaze of love that we can extend to a son or daughter in need of affirmation. When I became a bishop, I took as my episcopal motto the beautiful words of St. Paul in his Letter to the Philippians (Phil 2:5) that we are to “put on the attitude of Christ.” In exercising acts of mercy, such as the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy, or in simply extending the touch, gaze or heart of Jesus to others, we indeed adopt this “attitude of Christ” which itself displays and effects the mercy of God to all. Christ’s attitude was one of love and mercy. This Year of Mercy called by our Holy Father is a special, gracefilled time in which we as members of the Body of Christ accept, acknowledge and pour forth God’s mercy, so that we can become more and more grafted into this “attitude of Christ.”


Alfredo E. Cárdenas is Editor of the South Texas Catholic.

‘Wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident’ Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

esus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” With these words Pope Francis opened his Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which will begin on Dec. 8 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. The Holy Father is calling the faithful to be “merciful like the Father.” Pope Francis wrote, “Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.” Through the millennia, the Catholic Church too has revealed God’s mercy in carrying out corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Diocese of Corpus Christi too has always engaged in being a face of God in the Coastal Bend of Texas. Through its many programs and affiliated institutions, such as Catholic Charities, Mother Teresa Shelter, Villa Maria, St. John Vianney Residence for Priests, Christus Spohn, Mount Carmel Home, The Ark, Hope House and others, the diocese engages in the corporal works of mercy, including feeding the hungry; giving drink to the thirsty; clothing the naked; sheltering the homeless; visiting the 6  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

sick; visiting the incarcerated; and burying the dead. Moreover, through its many diocesan, parish and school programs and initiatives the diocese performs many spiritual works of mercy, including admonishing sinners; instructing the ignorant; counseling the doubtful; bearing wrongs patiently; forgiving offenses willingly; comforting the afflicted; and praying for the living and the dead. The Church, of course, can always do more. Pope Francis calls the Church to pursue the idea of mercy “again and again with new enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action.” “Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy,” Pope Francis wrote in his bull of indiction. We, as individual Catholics, must be held to the same standard. We must reject society’s dismissive attitude towards “the practice of mercy.” The Holy Father’s challenge, in many respects, is directed at the individual. Mercy is, the pope writes, “the fundamental

law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.” Mercy is also “the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.” We are called, Pope Francis points out, “to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.” The pope recounts the parable of the ruthless servant, “who, called by his master to return a huge amount, begs him on his knees for mercy. His master cancels his debt. But he then meets a fellow servant who owes him a few cents and who in turn begs on his knees for mercy, but the first servant refuses his request and throws him into jail. When the master hears of the matter, he becomes infuriated and, summoning the first servant back to him, says, ‘Should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ Jesus concludes, ‘So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart’ (Mt 18:33, 35).” Pope Francis will begin the Year of Mercy by opening the


❝...the mercy of God is not an abstract idea,” but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child.❞

–Pope Francis

“Holy Door” at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, which will symbolically become a “Door of Mercy.” It is a symbolic act “through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instills hope.” The “Holy Door” at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican remains cemented shut except during Jubilee Years. Five days later, on Dec. 13, bishops throughout the world will symbolically open “holy doors” in every cathedral and shrine throughout the world. Bishop Michael Mulvey will open the Holy Door at Corpus Christi Cathedral at the start of the 9:30 a.m. Mass. The

faithful from throughout the diocese are invited to the ceremonial opening of the door. Those who pass through the Holy Door will be granted a papal indulgence. The pope points out that “the mercy of God is not an abstract idea,” but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child.” An indulgence, however, remains a theoretical concept to many. On page 47 of this issue, Father J. Patrick Serna provides an explanation of indulgence and what an individual needs to do to earn it.

Plenary indulgences will also be granted for making pilgrimages to shrines or churches designated as “holy sites” by a bishop. Bishop Mulvey will designate a number of churches in the diocese as holy sites to where pilgrims can journey and obtain an indulgence. The diocese is planning many other events to promote the “Year of Mercy.” The South Texas Catholic will dedicate the next year’s editions to the “Year of Mercy” and will cover extensively these events and others–that embrace God’s merciful love–by parishes, schools organizations and individuals.

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

• St. Anthony School in Robstown honors Veterans • News form Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Edroy • Deacon Lugo assigned to Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia

• Accountants launch toy drive to benefit Catholic Charities • Mother Teresa Shelter: give • gift that blesses less fortunate • Grounded in Truth, an opportunity for prayer

• St. Anthony School in Robstown honors Veterans • Holy Family Pre-K students celebrate Christ the King • Booster club hosts AngelFest • IWA to perform one act play, ‘The Curious Savage’ December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  7


Be an agent of God’s MERCY

Father Joseph Lopez, JCL

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



ithout question, I have spent more time helping Carla than any other person during my priesthood,” says Father Joe Hirsch, a priest from Wisconsin. “I remember the first time I saw her. I was working as a high school chaplain, and saw a timid 14-yearold girl nearly hiding in her locker. She was so shy that when I said hello, she couldn’t even respond. Right away, I knew I was called to help her.” It took weeks before they could even have a conversation more than a few sentences long. But over time, Father Hirsch was able to coax Carla out of her shell and overcome many of her fears. He kept up with her through college and young adulthood. She learned Spanish, and in a huge leap of faith for her, went on a mission trip to South America. “While serving the poor, she found her vocation to the religious life,” Father Hirsch said. “I traveled to Peru to attend her final vows. Here was this painfully shy girl who had grown into a confident woman. She was thousands of miles from home, making vows in a foreign language. When she sang a solo in front of a church full of 500 people, I was astonished. I could have never have foreseen God’s plan for her.” God does not call the equipped. He equips those he calls. God did not transform Carla into bubbly extrovert. Even today, she is a quiet person. But through God’s grace and hard work, she learned to push

8  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

God equips those he calls the boundaries of her comfort zone and discover her vocation. Men, who consider the priesthood, face many fears. Many are afraid of celibacy, afraid of public speaking, afraid of being lonely. They cannot imagine themselves worthy of priesthood, or functioning as effective priests. But the truth is that God is far more powerful than our fears. The creator of the universe, who holds all existence in the palm of his hand, can equip anyone he calls to be a holy, faithful priest. Just look at the first apostles. No man who enters seminary is ready to become a priest—and that is precisely why he is going to seminary. With prayer and good spiritual direction, you can overcome weaknesses and discover strengths you thought you would never have. Do not be afraid to take a leap of faith. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life. In this Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis, he has asked all of us to be more considerate of those that we encounter on a daily basis and extend a heart of compassion to them. As priests, this is the core of our ministry…consider joining us in being an agent of Christ’s mercy. #benotafraid Feel free to contact me any time you want to discuss what He has in store for you.

Sister Rose Paul Madassery, SABS is Operations Supervisor at the Mother Teresa Shelter.

Sister Rose Paul Madassery, SABS

T Contributor

he Commandments of God melt down to “loving God and loving neighbor.” That basic concept was well put into practice by the early Church in a very tangible way. The Acts of the Apostles tell us “All who believed were together and had all things in common (Acts 2:44).” They sold their property and possessions and shared them with all. “There was no needy person among them” because those who had plenty shared it with them (Acts 4:34). One of the blessings Jesus spoke in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the merciful” was literally followed by the early Christian community prompting others to wonder, “Look at how much they love each other.” Thus the Church’s theology of social work follows the model of the early Christian community. Many of the saints from the early centuries to modern times drew inspiration from the spirit of the Apostolic times and devoted their lives in service of others. Mother Theresa tirelessly worked for the less fortunate of society with the motto of “Doing something beautiful for God.” Her motivation was primarily from the St. Matthew, “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me (Mt 25:40).” It continues to inspire scores of others in the present age. When Pope Francis visited the Unites States in October, he very conspicuously expressed his priority by skipping the sumptuous lunch with the members of the Congress and going to the homeless shelter run by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Washington DC. His constant

invitation to assist the needy demonstrates his vision for a new world. In many of his apostolic exhortations, his concern for the poor and needy of the world takes a prominent position. The Catholic Church everywhere upholds the same vision. That is why– all over the world–Catholics consider serving at the Lord’s table and serving at the table of the poor as two sides of the same coin. The Mother Theresa Shelter for the homeless, one of the major social work ventures of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, is also founded on the same vision. All the social work we undertake is motivated by the Lord’s love manifested in his self-sacrifice on the cross. At the Shelter we are not just handing over food and clothing to homeless people. Apart from providing them a place to rest, read, watch TV, use the Internet, take a shower and wash clothes, our assistance goes into higher levels. Those who have lost their jobs and consequently their home and car are helped to send applications for new jobs, provide them with an address, help them with the formalities of preparing resumes and cover letters, give them tips to successfully do interviews, use Internet to send in applications, etc. We help some to find apartments, assist others in managing their paychecks and get proper treatments both physical and psychological for yet others. Our services are numerous. The result is very encouraging. Some people have secured jobs and a steady income because of our assistance, found safe places to live, opened bank accounts and saved money, connected with family and


Social Work with a touch of Love

❝Doing something beautiful for God.❞

–Mother Theresa

live dignified lives. The most encouraging testimony of their rehabilitation is our hiring them as staff at the shelter itself. There is a very touching story Mother Teresa used to tell. One evening she brought a bag of rice to a Hindu woman, a mother of three children. She knew that they did not have anything to eat the whole day. As soon as Mother Teresa gave the bag of rice to the woman, she saw her running out of the house through the back door. Mother Teresa got concerned, but patiently waited. After a few minutes, the woman came back. Mother Teresa was curious to know where the woman had gone. “My next door neighbors, a Muslim family, have five little children. They are just as hungry as we are. So I went to give them half of the rice you gave me,” the woman said. Mother Teresa said everyone, anyone, can offer help to the needy. That is what we try to do at the Mother Teresa Shelter for the homeless–doing something beautiful for God. Mother Teresa’s heart was always open to the spirit of God and loved others with the love of God. We all can do beautiful things in life if we really care. December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  9


Sister Joni Luna reflects on religious life Jason Moon Correspondent


n the eyes of many, Sister Joni Luna had it all. She had taught physical education for more than 20 years. She was an athletic director. She had material possessions and was just about to purchase that recreational vehicle she had always wanted. But something was missing. A native of San Antonio, Sister Joni coached and taught at Roy Miller High School in Corpus Christi, Rockport-Fulton High School in Rockport, Flour Bluff High School in Flour Bluff ISD and was women’s athletic coordinator at San Diego High School. She also served interim vice principal at Archie Parr Elementary in San Diego. “I was in my late 30s and life was good,” Sister Joni said. “But the more material possessions I had, the emptier I felt. I had everything and still, something was missing.” Sister Joni said at that point, she turned to exploring spirituality through different churches. A friend then suggested she come to a Catholic church and she did. At the time, she was not a practicing Catholic, but while at the church in Corpus Christi, she saw a flier that had been posted by Sister Barbara Bluntzer, a member of the Sisters of Providence. The flier offered people with little knowledge of Catholicism to learn more about the Church. 10  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

Sister Joni began discussing spirituality with Sister Barbara, but was still searching for more. Sister Barbara then encouraged her to travel to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Sister Joni’s first visit to the Woods was for a “Come and See” weekend for women considering religious life, although at the time, she did not want to become a woman religious. “But I felt something there,” she said. “Something I had never felt before. I didn’t want to be a sister, but I kept coming back.” Eventually, the sacredness of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods grew on Sister Joni and an old thought crept up in her mind. She believes she thought of religious life while she was in grade school, but initially, chose a different route. But after meeting the Sisters of Providence of Saint Maryof-the-Woods, that thought breezed past everything else and into the forefront. “I thought I’d give it a try,” she said. “I could always leave and buy the RV. But as providence would have it, things have worked out and I’m still here. You enter community and spend three years learning who you are. The masks that we build start to peel away and you become the person God created you to be.” Sister Joni entered the second year of formation in 2014. During that year, she volunteered with Saint Mary-of-theWoods campus ministry.

She said three of the reasons she chose the consecrated path with the Sisters of Providence were: to be the best person she can be; to get to know herself; and to serve God intentionally. “Those three things continue to happen every day,” she said. “There is an adjustment period, but the sisters allow you to watch and learn through their example. There is something peaceful to how the sisters live. They truly live intentional.” In 2015, she began her third year of formation, called the mission novice year. She is ministering as the assistant principal at St. Patrick’s School, the only Catholic school in Terre Haute, Indiana. St. Patrick’s–a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school–has 329 students. The Sisters of Providence founded the school in 1881. The pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish at that time, Father Thomas X. Logan, approached Mother Mary Ephrem Glenn–the general superior–to finance a convent and school for his parish. Mother Mary Ephrem agreed and the sisters purchased a piece of property next to the church grounds. In 1882, four Sisters of Providence officially opened the school. The school remained at its original location until the 1950s when the parish began fundraising to build a new church and rectory at a different location. In 1995, the parish raised funds for new space and renovation. The new media


❝The atmosphere is different. You can talk

about God. I feel like my hands have been untied and I’m able to reach out to students.❞ –Sister Joni Luna, SP

center is dedicated to Sister Mary Moeller, who ministered as the school’s principal from 1987-96. Even though Sister Joni has a background in education, she feels that her ministry at St. Patrick’s is a breath of fresh air. “The atmosphere is different,” she said, comparing a Catholic school to a public school. “You can talk about God. I feel like my hands have been untied and I’m able to reach out to students.”

St. Patrick’s School Principal Amy McClain said she is pleased to have Sister Joni aboard. “Sister Joni brings a whole new level of energy to our staff,” McClain said. “I love the way she works with children. When she meets with teachers, she brings a positive air and I think the sisters feel that, too. “She has also done a really good job of connecting us back to the Woods.”

Sister Joni Luna with children from St. Patrick School in Terre Haute, Indiana. Photo courtesy of Sisters of Providence.

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  11

Msgr. Tom McGettrick’s, pocket-sized books are must reads.

English Only Books 1 & 2

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“I Love You, A Chat with Jesus” & “Do You Love Me, Another Chat with Jesus” The books in English only are just $1.00 each The bilingual books are just $1.50 each. Discounts on 100 books or more. (shipping and handling included.)

Pick up your copies at the Chancery Office: 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi or call Adel Rivera at (361) 693-6605 and reserve your copies now!

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Make a donationtotothe theMother MotherTeresa TeresaShelter Shelterin in honor honor of of loved loved Make a donation onesones and and we will themthem a Beautiful Handmade Christmas we send will send a Beautiful Christmas Card.Card. Yourgift giftofof$10 $10orormore moreper perChristmas Christmascard cardwill willhelp helpprovide provideday day Your shelterfor forthe thehomeless homelessininCorpus CorpusChristi, Christi,Texas. Texas.AAChristmas Christmascard card shelter

acknowledging your your gift gift (without (without speci specific amounts listed) listed) will will be be acknowledging c amounts mailedtotoeach eachofofyour yourhonorees. honorees.AAbeautiful beautifulChristmas Christmastree treeornament ornament mailed willalso alsobe beincluded includedfor forgifts giftsofof$25 $25orormore moreper percard. card. will

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Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources at: (361) 693-6686 (office) or (361) 658-8652 (cell) for immediate assistance.

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Enclosed: ❏Phone/email Check (payable to Mother Teresa Shelter) ❏___________________________________________ VISA/MC/DSCV ❏Address AMEX City/State/Zip _______________________________________________________ accepted only at: Card Holder’sCredit Name card payments Card Holder’son-line Signature / Donations / Donate to Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc.

_______________________________________________________ Card # Exp. Date Mail form and payment to: Mail formTeresa and payment to: Mother Shelter, Inc. 513 Sam Rankinof Corpus Christi, Inc. Catholic Charities Corpus Christi, TX 78401 1322 Comanche Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Contact: Sister Rose Phone: Phone:(361) (361)442-2224 883-7372 Fax: Fax:(361) (361)442-2607 881-1373 Email:

14  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

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

On Saturday, Dec. 12, the Federation of Guadalupanas in the Diocese of Corpus Christi will celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a procession from Sacred Heart Church, located at the corner of N. Alameda and Lipan, to Corpus Christi Cathedral.

The celebration is open to the public, as well as all ministries in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The procession will start at 2 p.m. at Sacred Heart. Mass will be celebrated at the Corpus Christi Cathedral by Father Chris Becerra.

Attendees are asked to bring roses to present to Our Lady of Guadalupe. There will be a reception in St. Joseph’s Hall following Mass. For more information contact Carolyn Pena at or (361) 727-1502.

Christ the King Elementary School to close on Dec. 18 Faced with declining enrollment and increasing costs, the parish community of Christ the King, with the support of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, has made the decision to close Christ the King Elementary School. The school will close effective Dec. 18 at the conclusion of the current semester. This difficult decision was made taking into consideration the best interests of the community and the children, Marty Wind, director of communications for the diocese, said in a news release. With the assistance of the Office of Catholic Schools, neighboring Catholic

schools are opening their doors to facilitate transfers of Christ the King students so that those students may remain in a Catholic school environment. Teachers and staff are

being counseled on other available options in Catholic education. Christ the King Elementary School was established in 1948 and has served the community continuously since that time, most recently with grades Pre-K through 6. The Catholic community is honored by the legacy of this once thriving school, and the caliber of students it has produced including priests, bishops and community leaders, the diocese said in a statement. The school will hold a “Memory Walk” on Sunday, Dec. 13 after the 10 a.m. Mass. Refreshments will follow in the parish hall.

Bishop Mulvey assigns Deacon Loni Lugo to Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia

Deacon Loni Lugo

Bishop Michael Mulvey has assigned Deacon Loni G. Lugo as Parochial Deacon of Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia Parish in Corpus Christi. Deacon Lugo joins Deacon Manny Maldonado and pastor Father Jose Salazar, Jr. at the parish. Deacon Lugo was ordained in May 1987 by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin at Holy Name Cathedral for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Before coming to Corpus Christi he also served at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine in the Diocese of Saint Augustine. In the Diocese of Corpus

Christi he was previously assigned to St. John the Baptist Parish. Deacon Lugo has completed Cursillo at the Cursillo Center in Dallas-Fort Worth and the Journey to Damascus at Corpus Christi. He earned a Chaplain Certificate from the Pontifical College Josephinum and served as Hospital Chaplain at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Florida. He and his wife Delpha were married at St. Francis de Paula Church in San Diego on Oct. 24, 1970. He is currently employed as sales and marketing vice president for Cypress Insurance Company.

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Annual Our Lady of Guadalupe procession slated for Dec. 12, from Sacred Heart to Cathedral

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Catholic education: a dividend for life Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

osemary Henry, who holds a doctorate in family studies with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy, is the new superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Henry brings a wealth of experience, both in her preparation and execution of education. Her drive as an educator is imparting Catholic values in an educational setting. For the past three years Henry and her husband Jack Murdock lived in Ecuador, where she taught English as a Second Language. Living in South America was fascinating, she said, but it was not feeding her soul; “it wasn’t Catholic education.”

In October, Bishop Michael Mulvey appointed Henry as superintendent of Catholic schools in the diocese. Since her appointment, Henry has been visiting schools in the diocese and meeting with pastors, principals and teachers and found them to be “highly competent and dedicated leaders, who believe in the importance of Catholic education as part of the Church’s evangelizing mission.” Henry brings more than 20 years experience in Catholic education, having served as superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Buffalo and assistant superintendent for instructional services and accreditation for the Archdiocese of Seattle. She has also served students as an elementary, middle and high

Superintendent Rosemary Henry, left, shakes hands and greets St. Pius X 6th graders Josef Fischer and Araceli Saenz in Spanish at the end of Kathi Urbis’ 6th grade Spanish class. In the background Ryan Lennan and Trey Lovato prepare for their next class. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  17


❝It is a good deal for parents.

Catholic school systems are outstanding and we have to get parents to value Catholic Education as much as we value it.❞ –Superintendent Rosemary Henry

school principal in Fort Worth, Tyler and Dallas. She has studied educational systems across the globe, having served as an ambassador of the United States Department of Education to Japan, South Korea, Russia and the Peoples Republic of China. Her experience in curriculum development plans span from early childhood to university level. Henry received her bachelor’s degree in English Above photo, Superintendent Rosemary Henry attended a principals meeting at St. Joseph in Alice. At right Henry visits with St. Pius X Principal Brian Krnavek. Henry has been meeting with principals in the diocese since October. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

18  South Texas Catholic | December 2015


and Education at the University of Texas at Dallas and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and her doctorate degree at Texas Woman’s University in Denton. Her post doctorate studies include the superintendent program at the University of Texas at Tyler and an administrative and a mid-management program on supervision and administration at East Texas State University in Commerce. “I feel blessed in many ways to be able to serve the diocese and work with principals and pastors to really promote Catholic Schools and excellence of Catholic Schools–to insure their long-term success,” Henry said. She wants to ensure that Catholic schools in the diocese continue to: flourish, be Christ-centered environments, be academically strong and cultivate leaders. “I see the light and the grand spirit in so many of our leaders, who are willing to share their faith journey, who are courageous and strong–willing to unite and work collaboratively to make our schools affordable, accessible and viable. To create irresistible schools,” Henry said. In the short time she has been here, Henry has surmised that Catholic schools are the diocese’s “bestkept secrets.” “We need to be sharing the good news and the

miracles that happen in our schools every day’,” she New Superintendent said, and added the diocese needs “to assess where our of Catholic Schools strengths are and identify areas we need to improve Rosemary Henry talks with IWA senior and start improving them.” Henry said she would like to see advancement in Song Eun Kim. Incarnate Word technology and would like to help people see the value Academy of a Catholic education. “I think that with a lot of effort and intentionality, we can continue to provide environments that parents are looking for and be schools of excellence in all areas. I believe those who have left Catholic education will come back. I believe young families who have children and are school age will come to our schools and we can engage the parents and the community in our schools. It’s a dividend for life,” Henry said. In Catholic school environTo see more photos of this event go to: ments, students develop spiritually, intellectually, morally and socially, Henry said. “It is a good deal for parSouth Texas ents. Catholic school systems are outstanding and we have to get parents to value Catholic SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI Education as much as we value it,” Henry said.


December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  19

20  South Texas Catholic | December 2015



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December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  21

Cathedral wi tell story of t


long both side aisles of the Cathedral, the walls are filled with beautiful stained glass windows. On the lower level there are nine windows, each depicting one of the saints who have some significance for the Cathedral, diocese, state or country. The upper or clerestory windows, tell the history of the Holy Eucharist as it is foreshadowed in the Old Testament, brought to fulfillment in the New Testament, brought to us today in the sacraments and adored by us in various devotions. The clerestory windows are a common feature of basilicas and are designed to let light or fresh air into the room. In the Corpus Christi Cathedral they let in beautifully colored light. Each of the upper windows has two elements. The larger frame includes some aspect of the history of the Eucharist but located at the center bottom of the window are seals of various popes and bishops as well as other symbols. The lower windows also consist of two elements. The primary depiction on the window is that of two saints, but the lower part of the window is split in two boxes each containing a symbolic element of the Universal Church’s story. As you enter the nave, nearest to the rear of the Cathedral to the left or the Lipan Street side, the upper or clerestory windows

Upper window is of St. Thomas Aquinas who composed the Liturgy of the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Coat of Arms is of Pope Pius XI. The lower window depicts St. Maria Goretti, martyr and the Holy Family. The lower elements include lilies and a sword on the left and the initials JMJ below the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. All photos by Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

22  South Texas Catholic | December 2015


ndows he diocese begin with Our Lady, Queen of the Blessed Sacrament with the symbol of Mary as its second element. The lower window is St. Anthony, patron of the Province of San Antonio, which included the Vicariate of Brownsville, the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s predecessor, and St. Patrick, the patron of the original Cathedral. The next upper window depicts the Eucharistic Procession, the Feast of Corpus Christi and the Coat of Arms of Pope Pius XII, who named the Cathedral for Corpus Christi. He was also the pope during World War II and his seal includes the Dove of Peace. Where the lower window would normally be, is the Shrine of Guadalupe, which was previously occupied by the Baptistery. In the shrine are two windows. The window on the left depicts the Palm and martyrdom and the one on the right the Cross and faith. The next upper window is of St. Thomas Aquinas who composed the Liturgy of the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Coat of Arms is of Pope Pius XI. The lower window depicts St. Maria Goretti, Martyr and the Holy Family. The lower elements include lilies and a sword on the left and the initials JMJ below the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The windows after the entrance to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel are, on top, The Viaticum, the Communion for the

The windows after the entrance to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel are, on top, The Viaticum, the Communion for the Dying and the Coat of Arms of St. Pius X, who was the pope who elevated the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The lower window depicts St. Rosa of Lima and Our Lady of Guadalupe with a map of Peru showing Lima and a map of North and South America below Our Lady of Guadalupe. December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  23

Dying and the Coat of Arms of St. Pius X, who was the pope who elevated the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The lower is of St. Rosa of Lima and Our Lady of Guadalupe with a map of Peru showing Lima and a map of North and South America below Our Lady of Guadalupe. The next upper window is of St. Pius X with the Coat of Arms or Pope Leo XIII who named Bishop Peter Verdaguer, the second bishop of the Vicariate Apostolic of Brownsville. There is no window below, since the space is occupied by a confessional. The final windows on the left side of the church are (the upper window) of Holy Orders and the Coat of Arms of Pius IX, who organized Vicariate of Brownsville. The lower window includes St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church and, below him, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. To the right are the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Globe of the World showing the Western Hemisphere. As one crosses in front of the altar to the north side of the Cathedral, the first upper window depicts the Sacrifice of Abraham and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Dominic Manucy, the first bishop of the Vicariate of Brownsville. The lower window is of the Immaculate Conception and a map of United States and St. Francis of Assisi and a map of Texas. Walking towards the back of the Cathedral, the next upper window is of the Sacrifice of Melchizedek and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Peter Verdaguer, the second bishop of the Vicariate of Brownsville. Below is another confessional. The next upper window depicts the Manna in the Desert and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Paul Joseph Nussbaum, the first

Upper window depicts the Manna in the Desert and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Paul Joseph Nussbaum, the first bishop of Corpus Christi. The lower window is of Father Juan de Padilla, martyr and a tomahawk and St. Frances Cabrini and a school.

24  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

bishop of Corpus Christi. The lower window is of Father Juan de Padilla, martyr and a tomahawk and St. Frances Cabrini and a hospital or school. The next upper window is of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and the Coat of Arms Bishop Emmanuel Boleslaus Ledvina, the diocese’s second bishop and builder of the Cathedral. There is an entrance to the Cathedral below the upper window. Moving across the entrance the next upper window is of the Last Supper and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Mariano Simón Garriga, the third bishop of Corpus Christi who consecrated the Cathedral. In the lower window are St. Paul and the Bible and the words “Spirit of the Sword.” On the right the window shows a rendering of St. Jean Vianney with a rosary draped over his hands and below him is the Eucharist and the Bible The next upper window is of the Crucifixion and instead of a Coat of Arms are symbols of the Passion, nails, a hammer and tongs. Below is another confessional. St. Peter offering Mass and loaves and fishes are in the final upper window. The lower window features St. Pius X and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Adolph Marx, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the first bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville, and Pope Pius IX who declared the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the Coat of Arms of the diocese consisting of three ciboria, communion cups, signifying the Holy Trinity. In next months edition will visit the Cathedral’s two chapels.

Upper window is of the Last Supper and below it is the Coat of Arms of Bishop Mariano Simón Garriga, the third bishop of Corpus Christi who consecrated the Cathedral. In the lower window, left, is St. Paul holding a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other. Below St. Paul is an opened Bible with the words “Spirit of the Sword” in Latin. On the right, the window shows a rendering of St. Jean Vianney with a rosary draped over his hands and below him is the Eucharist and the Bible.

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  25


Stained glass windows offer inspiration to donors and students Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


hen Bishop Michael Mulvey commissioned 19 stained glass windows for the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel at Texas A&M University-Kingsville back in 2014, a great deal of thought was given to what specific Biblical images would be featured on the windows. “We asked the students for their input on which Catholic parables they would like to see depicted on the windows,” Bishop Mulvey said, during a special Mass and dinner held especially for donors in early November at the Kingsville chapel.

26  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

“The images on these windows reflect the beautiful lives of saints. Each window has a unique history and is special in its own way. The top three images the university students wanted to see were the Prodigal Son, the Last Supper and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. This chapel serves the students here on campus, so it was only fitting they have significant say in what images they would see on the stained glass windows in their church,” the bishop said. The stained glass windows were made possible by the generous donations of 23 donors, some who teamed together as a group to sponsor one window. Some donors chose to memorialize a


Among the saints depicted on the windows the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel in Kingsville are the Holy Family, at right, St. Michael the Archangel and Sts. Cabrini, Drexel and Seton, on previous page. Rebeca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  27

Bishop Michael Mulvey took time after the Mass and blessing of the new windows at St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel to visit with members of the Catholic Student Organization at Texas A&M-Kingsville. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

loved one, while others wanted to leave a legacy for future generations. Lupe Ruiz, a parishioner at St. Martin’s in Kingsville since 1954, was delighted to learn of the opportunity to sponsor a stained glass window at the chapel on behalf of his parish. “I feel there is an importance for churches to support each other. St. Martin’s felt the opportunity to support St. Thomas through the co-sponsorship of a window. Our name will be inscribed for eternity, or until a new church is built. Of course we also wanted to show support for one of our own. Father Peter Stanley grew up attending St. Martin,” said Ruiz, who attended the Mass for donors in November with his wife, Ilda, on behalf of St. Martin. Cande De Leon, director of the Office of Parish Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, said the stories behind why families came together to sponsor a window were truly inspirational. “It was a pleasure witnessing their generosity to support such a beautiful chapel. It was inspiring hearing the stories of why many of the donors paired a particular saint or Bible story to a window so they could memorialize a loved one. From veterans, athletes or patriarchs of a family, every window has a story behind why it was chosen for a loved one,” he said. Elaine Haby, 20, is currently president of the Catholic Student Organization for Texas A&M-Kingsville. An animal science pre-vet major, Haby said seeing a community come to together for the chapel was a special show of devotion not only for the church, but for the students, as well. “Many of us see St. Thomas as a second-home. Anything that allows us to build on our faith is a blessing and we are truly honored to have such support from throughout the community,” she said. As an extra show of love and appreciation, students from the Catholic Student 28  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

Organization served dinner to donors after the Mass where Bishop Mulvey blessed the windows. The stained glass windows also portray saints of fields and majors at Texas A&M-Kingsville, added Bishop Mulvey,

such as St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers and rural communities; Sts. Cosmos and Damian, brothers who are patron saints of pharmacists, druggists and medicine; St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes and archers, among many others.

“I hope these windows serve as inspiration for many future generations of students here on the campus of Texas A&M at Kingsville. I pray the students will be inspired to come here often and pray about their future…whether that

entails a married or a religious life.” Bishop Mulvey added he had faith that students in distress, times of anxiety or stress would find their way to the chapel and let the images on the ornate stained glass windows ease any doubt or fears

about the future. “I want students to come in here and look at the people depicted on these windows. I pray they remember the obstacles these saints faced and how they are all examples by which to live our lives.” December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  29

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hen Joann De Los Santos learned Bishop Michael Mulvey would make a pastoral visit to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Corpus Christi, she knew immediately her family had to be there. “I’m so thankful! We were so deeply moved by Bishop Mulvey’s homily. And

I think it’s important for the bishop to be present in our community. It shows he wants to know us on a personal level. That means a lot.” De Los Santos and her husband Tom have two boys, Justin, 14, and Thomas, 21, who is currently serving in the military in Germany. “There are so many distractions in today’s world,” she lamented. “Bishop’s homily was a powerful reminder about being fully

present. We are bombarded with so many distractions. It’s sometimes hard to remember what is really important.” Not only did Bishop Mulvey celebrate

First church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help built in1954. Archived Photo

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  31


Our Lady of Perpetual Help paved the way for Southside Catholics


with OLPH parishioners at the 9 a.m. Mass, he also stayed for the 11 a.m. Mass, as well. He challenged parishioners to come to Mass prepared to listen attentively for the call of God’s presence in their day-to-day lives and not be easily dissuaded by the distractions of life. “If we really understood the power of God’s word, we would not be thinking of: ‘Did I turn the oven off before I left home?’ or ‘How’s that ball game gonna go later on this afternoon?’” The most important hour of our entire week is the hour we give to God at Mass each Sunday, he said. “I hear some people say they don’t like to come to Mass because it’s boring,” Bishop Mulvey said. “It’s not boring! We are not listening. We are so wrapped up in our own problems, difficulties or anxieties…just thinking about everything we want to be doing, that we

32  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

❝The most important hour of our entire

week is the hour we give to God at Mass each Sunday.❞ –Bishop Michael Mulvey don’t truly hear. Coming here, to this parish community, to listen to God’s word, is perhaps one of the most delicate things we can do this week.” Our Lady of Perpetual Help was built in 1954 to serve the growing population in Corpus Christi’s south side. It was entrusted to the Redemptorist Fathers. It did not take long for Bishop Mariano S. Garriga to realize the parish was badly needed in the area. In January 1955 the parish was home to 300 families but the following month, the pastor estimated 500 people attended Mass

each week, leading Bishop Garriga to remark the church was “one of the fastest growing churches in the city.” Fast forward to April 1972, when a brand new church was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Thomas Drury. By July 1985, it was announced the Redemptorist Fathers would leave OLPH after 32 years of faithful service. The order was leaving parishes throughout the south. Several parishes have been erected in what was OLPH’s parish boundaries, including: St. Pius X, 1963; Most Precious Blood, 1966; St.


Bishop Michael Mulvey poses for picture with the De los Santos family, from left 14-year-old Justin, his father Tom and mom JoAnn. The Santos’ other son Thomas, 21, is currently serving in the military in Germany. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Paul the Apostle, 1967; St. Philip the Apostle, 1982; Saint John the Baptist, 2002; and St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus, 2004. At the conclusion of both masses, Father Frank Martinez, current pastor at OLPH, thanked Bishop Mulvey for visiting the parish. Long lines of parishioners waited for the chance to greet the bishop, take photos or ask for special blessings. “Having Bishop Mulvey celebrate the Masses and visit with the parishioners gave

us all a sense of being loved, listened to and guided by our shepherd. He took time to take pictures, dialogue and give some of his

insights on what a dynamic parish is called to be in our diocese. We are blessed.” Father Martinez said.

Bishop Mulvey greeted parishioners at the end of both Masses and concelebrated Mass with Our Lady of Perpetual Help pastor Father Frank Martinez. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  33


Ciclo de conferencias de la Renovación Carismática Luisa Scolari

E Corresponsal

n la iglesia de St. Patrick en Corpus Christi se llevó a cabo, el 30 de octubre, un ciclo de conferencias Carismáticas impartidas por el obispo Michael Mulvey, el obispo Sam Jacobs, Martha Fernández-Sardina y el padre Alfredo Gaytán. “Debemos vivir en unidad y comunión con Dios ya que todos estamos llamados a la santidad,” dijo el obispo Jacobs. “Siempre debemos tratar de ser santos ya que la única real tristeza es no tratar de ser santos. Estamos en Cristo y Cristo está en nosotros, ya que en el bautismo no solo estamos inmersos en agua, sino que estamos inmersos en el cuerpo de Cristo. Por eso a donde quiera que estemos, nosotros somos la iglesia de Cristo.” Jesús manda, dijo el obispo, que esparcimos el Evangelio. Y el pueblo Cristiano debe de obedecer. “Como miembros de la Iglesia debemos entender nuestra experiencia misionera y evangelizar, ser testigos de Jesús. El llamado misionero no quiere decir que es solo ir al África, sino que podemos evangelizar a nuestro alrededor; teniendo como nuestra verdad el amor de un hombre que con su amor cambió al mundo y nos dio la libertad,” el obispo Jacobs dijo. Jesús toca corazones y espera que se abran. Si el Cristiano recibe a Jesús dentro de su mismo, entonces Jesús saldrá a través de ellos. Y cuando Cristianos cambian con Jesús, también cambian el mundo y hacen una diferencia en el. “No debes dejar que la cultura evangeliza a ti, ya que el mundo gradualmente y sin darte cuenta te va cambiando muy sutilmente sin que te des cuenta. Cada día 34  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

debes provocar un cambio en otra persona; hacer la diferencia haciendo reír a alguien, desearle buenos días, escucharla. Debemos dar testimonio con nuestro modo de vivir, ser auténticos y congruentes de lo que hablamos con lo que vivimos,” el obispo Jacobs dijo. Cuando el Cristiano invita alguien a la Iglesia, debe de insistir hasta que se logre, y después acompañarlo. Y ya que esté bien, debe seguir con alguien más, porque “¿Si no tú, quién? ¿Si no ahora, cuándo? ¿Si no con el evangelio, con qué? y ¿Si no en tu ambiente, dónde?” El obispo Mulvey dijo que cuando uno piensa que la Misa es muy aburrida, es porque la persona misma es aburrida, “porque si vives el evangelio, aunque se diga lo mismo, lo escuchas diferente.” “Dios no ve los pecados pero sí la fe. A mí me hace sentir seguro cuando me dicen que rezan por mi. Pero me preocupa no mi destino, sino el destino de toda la iglesia. El Católico del futuro debe ser místico. El papa nos está pidiendo que oremos, que creemos puentes, y nunca renunciemos, y sigamos orando en la intimidad de Jesús,” el obispo Mulvey dijo. Cristo vino y creó la iglesia como un solo cuerpo. Si el Cristiano lleva a Dios dentro de su persona, en sus acciones se verá reflejado el Espíritu de Dios, el obispo Mulvey dijo. “El evangelio es el espíritu de Dios, debemos saber estar solos en unión con Dios, aprender de la belleza del silencio en compañía con Dios y poder escuchar la voz de Jesús en nuestro corazón cuando nos pide ‘Ama a tu prójimo como a ti mismo’ y ‘Amaos los unos a los otros como yo los he

Marta Fernández-Sardina dirigió una sesión en la Conferencia de la Renovación Carismática. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

amado’, es por esto que lava los pies de los apóstoles para enseñarnos y darnos ejemplo del espíritu de servicio que debemos tener para con todos nuestros hermanos, el obispo Mulvey dijo. Martha Fernández-Sardina dijo que un padre nunca olvidará a un hijo aunque el hijo se olvide del padre. “Es lo que Dios El Padre Chris Becerra de St. Patrick pone el Santísimo en la frente de una fiel mientras Eduardo Saiz, Coordinador de la Renovación Carismática Católica de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, está preparado para ayudar si alguien se cae. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

El Cristiano siempre debe salir a pescar, siempre debe tirar la red sin perder la fe. El Papa Francisco les pide que salgan a las periferias, pero para poder salir mas adentro el Cristiano debe estar bien preparado y alimentado bien por la Misa, adoración al Santísimo, confesión y comunión, grupos de oración y conferencias. “El amor de Dios es para todos y Dios tiene un plan para tu vida,” Fernández-Sardina dijo. No podemos traicionar la misión—que el Señor nos dio— de ir y hacer discípulos de todas las naciones. “Ahora te dejo con estas preguntas: ¿Yo evangelizo, y tú? ¿Yo amo, y tú? ¿Yo tengo

Misericordia, y tú? Para que cuando lleguemos a la casa del Señor nos reciba diciéndonos: ‘bien hecho sierva fiel, no solo has vivido bien tú, sino que has ayudado a cientos y miles de personas a conocer el rostro de la misericordia y saber que son amados y a vivir la vida de iglesia y entrar al reino’.” Padre Alfredo Gaytán dijo que le gusta mucho predicar de la vida y resurrección en medio de los funerales. Dijo que es Cristiano alabar a Dios en de los funerales, como los Cristianos en las catacumbas cantaban llevando a sus muertos. “Y todavía en mi pueblo la gente va

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  35


nos quiere decir en la parábola del hijo pródigo. Que Dios hará lo que sea por salvar un alma y es lo que ahorita nos está pidiendo la iglesia, que no nos olvidemos que detrás de los ojos de cada ser humano hay un hijo de Dios. Aunque esa persona esté tan alejada, aunque tenga un corazón tan duro, aunque no esté viviendo la fe o la esté viviendo a medias, esa persona es un hijo de Dios y por mucho que esa persona se manche por el pecado o se manche a sí misma esa persona es un hijo de Dios y por más lejos que esté, nunca perdamos la esperanza de que vuelva,” Fernández-Sardina dijo.


Emma Molina, Carolina Garza, Zulay Gamboa se ponen de rodilla mientras el Padre Alfredo Gaytán de la Parroquia St. Frances Cabrini en Laredo pasa con el Santísimo por todas las personas durante el servicio de sanación. Alfredo García, a la derecha, ayuda al sacerdote. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

cante y cante llevando a su muertito,” dijo el sacerdote. “Cantan porque ya está en la gloria de Dios. Aprovecho el funeral para evangelizar. A la carta de los Romanos se le llama también el evangelio del Espíritu Santo porque los evangelios no explican a qué vino nuestro Señor Jesús y aquí San Pablo nos explica de una forma maravillosa a que vino el Espíritu Santo; que hace en nosotros, como nos toca, como nos cautiva, como nos llama, como nos transforma y como nos purifica y como nos santifica. “Que es su función principal, llevarnos a la conversión en Cristo Jesús y santificarnos para después glorificarse. “El proceso dice que por el Espíritu Santo Cristo nos salvo, nos justificó, nos purificó, nos santificó y nos glorificó y ya estamos sentados a la derecha del Padre junto con Cristo. Muchas personas se confiesan solo porque se quieren sentir bien y calmar su conciencia, no porque necesito a Cristo, no porque necesito amor, no porque necesito la verdad y la santidad de Dios. El poder de la sangre de Cristo es la que nos libera. Cuando no sientas al amor de Dios, no tienes más que ver la cruz y a Jesús crucificado en ella. Cambió a su hijo amoroso

36  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

y lo sacrificio por ti siendo un pecado; ¿y eso no te dice que te ama? Redentor quiere decir que te compró, que pagó tu precio y no de una manera barata para que vivamos la vida del Espíritu Santo y no la vida de la carne.” Cuando Cristianos están en pecado se ponen en un modo que no deja actuar al Espíritu Santo en ellos. El Espíritu habita en el corazón, por eso se deprimen cuando pecan; Cristo Jesús llama e invita al Cristiano, y el demonio los acosa. Jesús es la vida, el pecado es la muerte; la sangre de Jesús purifica.

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



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

“Con Permiso”

Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en Domingos a las 7:30 a.m.

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

con el P. Julian Cabrera y Gloria Romero

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


MINI-CONFERENCIA JUVENIL Esta Conferencia es para toda la familiar. Sesiones en Español y sesiones para jóvenes. Presentadores Principales son Dr. Ray Guarendi y Jackie Francois.


Adultos: $30 hasta 11 de diciembre $40 en la Puerta Adolescentes de Secundaria y Preparatoria: $10 hasta 11 de diciembre $15 en la Puerta Cuidado de Niños: $10 per el Primero/a $5 per niño/a adicional



MISA 8:30 A.M.

CONCLUYE 4 P.M. December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  37


Syrians refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp. Muhammad Hamed, Catholic News Service

Paris violence will not alter church outreach to refugees, bishops say By Dennis Sadowski


Catholic News Service

hurch resettlement programs in the United States will continue to aid refugees who are fleeing violence and social ills despite calls that the country’s borders should be closed to anyone but Christians.

The church’s response is focused on people in need of food, shelter and safety and not their particular faith, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told reporters. “We at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities, we are always open to helping families who come into the United States in need of help,” he said at a news conference. “We have that tradition of doing it and we’re going to contribute.” Archbishop Kurtz explained that any 38  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

assistance provided to refugees and immigrants is carried out under government contracts and that the vetting of newcomers will have been completed by government agencies long before Church agencies become involved. “Our efforts are going to be to reach out to people and to serve them,” the archbishop said. “My hope would be that the Church would continue to be able, within the law, to help those families.” Questions about U.S. practices in the resettlement of refugees were renewed in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks by extremists on popular venues in Paris. French authorities said coordinated attacks left at least 129 people dead and more than 300 wounded. Police raids in France and Belgium have led to the detention of several suspected extremists. The archbishop said he and other USCCB representatives met with President Barack Obama at the White House Nov. 13 to discuss

immigration. Archbishop Kurtz was guarded in his comments about details of the Obama meeting, saying it was initiated by the White House and that he did not want to violate the president’s request for privacy about it. He said prison reform and religious freedom also were discussed with Obama. The archbishop also said that he planned to meet with House and Senate leaders. “One of the areas we’ll be looking at is bipartisan efforts to reach out in a manner that takes into account the safety of the families and our capacity to reach out to people of all faiths,” Archbishop Kurtz said. Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Communications concurred during the news briefing, saying the faith of people being resettled is not a factor in the church’s outreach efforts.

By Jennifer Brinker Catholic News Service


n a recent November day, a woman came to Birthright in St. Louis seeking help. A friend was with her for moral support. The woman had already taken a pregnancy test at Planned Parenthood. It was positive. She was told she had to wait 72 hours before she could have an abortion; according to Missouri law that went into effect a little over a year ago. Birthright counselor Helen Pennington said the woman immediately went into “acute-reactive mode.” How was she going to care for this child? Would the father be involved? Should she have an abortion? The woman sat down and made a list of pros and cons. Even though she made a follow-up appointment to have an abortion, she knew she could not make a decision right away. At the end of the 72-hour waiting period, the woman had calmed down and made the decision to have her baby. “I am so proud how that worked for me, and I am so thankful,” she told Pennington. “I am very happy.”

Earlier in November, state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, chair of a Senate committee investigating Planned Parenthood’s practices in Missouri, revealed that a University of Missouri student is conducting a survey on the 72-hour waiting period for abortion. The student also is an employee of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis. A consent form for the survey notes that the purpose of the study is to “better understand why a significant number of women sign the 72-hour consent form to have an abortion, but then never return to the clinic to have the abortion procedure.” The University of Missouri says it is not violating state law or its conflict of interest policy in regards to a study. Schaefer, who is chair of the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, said that the university is violating state law that prohibits public funds, public employees and public facilities to be used to perform or assist in abortion or for “encouraging or counseling a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life.” Birthright St. Louis, a nonprofit organization that provides free counseling to

abortion-minded women, has seen an increase in visits at its four locations in the past 14 months, executive director Maureen Zink said. Based on anecdotal stories, social workers believe there is a correlation between the increase in clients and the law, although it’s impossible to know for sure, Zink said. In the past year, Birthright’s Midtown office has seen a 21 percent increase in clients, according to Pennington. The office is less than a mile’s walking distance from Planned Parenthood. About 91 percent of women come to Birthright prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy, said Zink. The cutoff for obtaining an abortion in Missouri is 21 weeks and six days gestation. Of the 2,074 pregnant women the organization has seen to date in 2015, 94 percent have chosen life for their babies. Women generally are seen in the early stages of their pregnancies, with the initial visit focused on taking a free pregnancy test. Clients generally make the decision to carry their baby an average of three times during the first 24 weeks of an unintended pregnancy, Zink said.

❝At Birthright, women can find their

strength and embrace the joy of their pregnancy. They can make their decision from a position of confidence and hope.❞

– Birthright St. Louis Executive Director Maureen Zink December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  39


Missouri’s 72-hour waiting period for abortion seen as ‘gift to women’


“She can be accepting of the pregnancy and later break up with the baby’s father, lose her income or have a concerning genetic test,” she said. “Women need ongoing care. I believe Birthright is so successful due to our ongoing emotional and in-kind support. “The 72-hour wait is such a gift to women as it frees them from making a reactive and fear-based decision,” Zink said. “At Birthright, women can find their strength and embrace the joy of their pregnancy. They can make their decision from a position of confidence and hope.” In October 2014, Missouri joined South Dakota and Utah in establishing a 72-hour waiting period. North Carolina and Oklahoma passed a 72-hour waiting period this year. All states require patient consent before undergoing a medical treatment; the consent must be “informed,” meaning they must have the capacity to make decisions about their care; participating must be voluntary and they must be provided adequate and appropriate information. In addition to abortion counseling requirements, many states require at least a 24-hour waiting period between counseling and the abortion. Several states mandate when and how an ultrasound is performed prior to an abortion; six states, including Missouri, require that women seeking an abortion are told that life begins at conception. Pennington, who has worked as a Birthright counselor for 16 years, said the 72-hour waiting period gives a woman time for her body, mind and emotions to calm down. The woman sometimes first sees the pregnancy as the perceived threat, but in reality, it is the circumstances surrounding her life—economic status, education or work, relationship with the father or other family members—that play a bigger part. After an initial visit, a counselor will follow up with a phone call a few days to a week later. By then, she might still be scared, but she is no longer in a panicked state, said Pennington. “Her problem-solving skills have naturally increased,” she said. (Brinker is a staff writer at the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.)

40  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

Keep Christ in Christmas fight pressure to conform to world By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service


eeping the “Christ” in “Christmas” is part of not giving in to pressure to conform to the “norm” and become like nonbelievers, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. Giving in to the things of the world is like saying, “Let’s put our ID up for auction. We are the same as everyone,” the pope said. Celebrating an early morning Mass Nov. 16, Pope Francis warned against the very small, hidden way worldliness

takes root in a culture and then leads to apostasy and religious persecution. In fact, “the liturgy in these final days of the liturgical year” urges people to be careful of the “poisonous roots” that lead people away from God, he said. The pope focused on the day’s reading from the First Book of the Maccabees in which many “children of Israel” wanted an alliance with the Gentiles in order to be better protected. They abandoned their religious practices and covenant with God, and took to the pagan ways of the Gentiles.


The Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst

The pope said the reading showed how the king’s order to create one identical people led to apostasy. “In the history of the Church, in history, we have seen—I’m thinking of one example—how the name of religious holidays has been changed—Christmas has another name, in order to erase identity.” But this new “humanism” in which differences are not accepted leads to religious persecution, the pope said, as the day’s first reading shows how those who were determined to keep to their religious practices were condemned to death by

royal decree. “It begins with a root, it’s small, and it ends in the abomination of desolation, in persecution. This is the deceit of worldliness,” he said. Today, too, there is pressure from “this humanism that comes to take the place of the true man, Jesus Christ, that comes to take away our Christian identity and leads us to a single way of thinking: ‘Everyone does it this way, why not us?’” He said people today must ask themselves, “What is my identity? Christian or worldly? Or do I say I’m a Christian

because I was baptized as a baby and I was born in a Christian nation where everyone is a Christian?” Worldliness seeps into one’s life very slowly and then grows, it seems justified and backed by sound reason, “and in the end it contaminates, and many evils come from there,” he said. The pope asked that people pray that God protect them from taking on a worldly mentality and the desire to be “normal” and like everyone else. He also asked that the Church always keep its identity grounded in Jesus. December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  41


Tear down this wall:

Holy Year calls for human barriers to tumble down By Carol Glatz


Catholic News Service

or a spiritual leader who denounces a world divided by walls, a Church shuttered by cliques and hearts hardened to compassion, opening wide the Holy Door for the Year of Mercy will be a significant and symbolic moment for Pope Francis. In Catholic tradition, the Holy Door represents the passage to salvation—the path to a new and eternal life, which was opened to humanity by Jesus. It also symbolizes an entryway to God’s mercy—the ultimate and supreme act by which he comes to meet people. Mercy is “the bridge that connects God and humanity, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness,” the pope wrote in “Misericordiae Vultus” (“The Face of Mercy”), instituting the Holy Year of Mercy. Doors have always had a special meaning for the Catholic Church, according to the late-Cardinal Virgilio Noe, the former archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica. “The door of a church marks the divide between the sacred and profane, separating the church’s interior from the outside world. It is the boundary defining welcome and exclusion,” he wrote in the book, “The Holy Door in St. Peter’s” in 1999. The door is also a symbol of Mary—the mother, the dwelling of the Lord—and she, too, always has open arms and is ready to welcome the children of God home. Pope Francis was scheduled to open the door Dec. 8, the feast of Mary’s immaculate conception. But the door especially represents Christ himself—the one and only way to eternal life. As Jesus said, according to the Gospel 42  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

of John, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture (Jn 10:9).” The Holy Year traditionally begins with the opening of the Holy Door to represent a renewed opportunity to encounter or grow closer to Jesus, who calls everyone to redemption. Jesus knocks on everyone’s door; he yearns to accompany and nourish everyone. “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me (Rev 3, 20). But doors are also narrow, Cardinal Noe wrote, and people must stoop with humility and “be brought down to size by conversion” in order to be “fit” for eternal life. That is why passing through a Holy Door is part of a longer process of sacrifice and conversion required for receiving an indulgence granted during a Holy Year. A plenary indulgence, the remission of temporal punishment due to sin, is offered for pilgrims who also fulfill certain other conditions: reception of the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, visits and prayers for the intention of the pope and performing simple acts such as visiting the sick. This spiritual process of encounter and conversion is made tangible in the elaborate rituals developed over time for the opening of the Holy Door. The symbolic ceremony of opening a Holy Door came more than a century after the first Holy Year was proclaimed in 1300. Pope Martin V, in 1423, opened the Holy Door in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for the first time for a jubilee. Next, Pope Alexander VI called for all four Holy Doors in Rome to be opened at Christmas

in 1499 for the Jubilee of 1500. Starting in the 16th century, the ceremony to open the door in St. Peter’s Basilica included the pope reciting verses from the Psalms and striking the wall covering the Holy Door with a silver hammer three times. Masons completed the task of dismantling the brick and mortared wall, which represents the difficulty and great effort required to overcome the barrier of sin and to open the path to holiness. Some have found meaning in the fact that Jesus had five wounds and St. Peter’s Basilica has five doors. Opening the Holy Door recalls the piercing of Jesus’ side from which poured forth blood and water, the source of regeneration for humanity. The Holy Door of St. Peter’s, in fact, is decorated with 16 bronze panels depicting the story of Jesus, in his mercy, seeking his lost sheep. The symbolism of the hammer in the hands of the pope represents the power and jurisdiction God gives him to cast away the stones of sin, chink open hardened hearts and break down walls separating humanity from God. The removal of the wall also conjures up pulling away the stone that sealed the tomb of Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrected from the dead. For the closing of the door at the end of the Holy Year, the traditional rite included the pope blessing and spreading the mortar with a special trowel and setting three bricks for the start of a new wall —a symbol of the spiritual rebuilding of the Lord’s house as well as the ever-present human temptation to put up new barriers against God with sin.


Facilitating forgiveness does not downplay sin By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service


Pope John Paul II kneels at the Holy Door during the opening of the Holy Year of the Redemption in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in 1983. Pope Francis will open the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Dec. 8 during a Mass marking the opening of the Holy Year of Mercy. CatholicNews Service

lways, but especially during a Holy Year, the Catholic Church does everything possible to help Catholics repent of their sins, receive forgiveness and draw closer to God. The church’s law and its canon lawyers are part of that effort, said Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and a prelate of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court handling matters of conscience. When Pope Francis announced the Holy Year of Mercy would open Dec. 8, he also said he would appoint “missionaries of mercy” to preach and teach about God’s mercy. They will be given special authority, the pope said, “to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.” Then, in a letter released at the Vatican Sept. 1, Pope Francis announced his decision “to concede to all priests for the jubilee year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.”The first step, of course, is to recognize an action is a sin and confess it, expressing contrition and a willingness to do penance. Bishop Arrieta said the pope’s action is designed to ensure that the path to penance and reconciliation is not blocked by a priest not having the full authority to offer absolution in the name of God and the church. Bishop Arrieta said the pope’s mention of “reserved” sins in his holy year proclamation refers to actions that can bring with them automatic excommunication, for example, abortion when the person is aware of the penalty and commits the sin anyway. The missionaries of mercy will have the “faculties” or authority to remove the excommunication and grant absolution in cases that normally require the intervention or permission of the local bishop or the Apostolic Penitentiary, he said. Pope Francis’ decision to extend to all priests the faculties needed for absolving a woman who confesses to having had an abortion is “not in any way minimizing the gravity of the sin” December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  43


❝For millions of women, in their hearts abortion is the unforgivable sin. This sin holds people hostage.❞

– Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel of abortion, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. For Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel, a ministry promoting healing and forgiveness for those who regret an abortion, expanded opportunities for forgiveness are a crucial part of the Year of Mercy. “For millions of women, in their hearts abortion is the unforgivable sin. This sin holds people hostage,” Thorn said. She said some women keep coming back confessing the same sin over and over “She knows she has committed a sin—the hard part is to convince her of God’s mercy.” In the Latin Church’s Code of Canon Law, Bishop Arrieta said, the offenses that carry automatic excommunication are: apostasy, heresy and schism; profanation of the Eucharist; physical violence against the pope; attempted absolution of an accomplice in sexual sin; attempted ordination of women; consecration of a bishop without papal approval; violating the secrecy of the sacrament of confession; recording the words of a confessor or penitent during confession; procuring, performing or actively assisting or pressuring a woman into having an abortion. “All sins can be forgiven,” Bishop Arrieta said, but more serious sins are also considered crimes under canon law and carry penalties. In order to receive absolution, a person must be allowed to receive the sacraments, which he or she cannot do while under the penalty of excommunication. However, when an excommunicated person is in danger of death, any priest can hear his or her confession and grant absolution, the bishop said. That is because the priority in the Church’s law is the salvation of souls. 44  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

“All the barriers of canonical penalties fall when faced with the need to save souls and the danger of death,” he said. When a woman goes to confession seeking absolution for abortion, “the problem is not the sin, but the penalty, which prevents the reception of any sacrament,” Bishop Arrieta said, which is why Pope Francis is making special global provisions. In most dioceses of the United States, England and several other countries, the bishops regularly give all their priests the faculties to grant absolution for abortion. But in other places, like Italy, such permission is given only on special occasions. During the April 19-June 24 public exposition of the Shroud of Turin, for example, Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin granted his priests such faculties to “demonstrate the Father’s mercy toward those who repent of an evil committed.” He said, however, the permission would be valid only during the shroud’s public display so as not to “diminish the rigor of the law,” which is designed to teach people how seriously wrong it is to kill an innocent life. Bishop Arrieta said that when the Code of Canon Law was being revised in the 1970s and ‘80s, church officials had long, passionate discussions about removing the penalty of automatic excommunication for an abortion. After all, the serious sin of murder does not carry the penalty of automatic excommunication. The penalty was maintained, however, because officials believed it could “give a distorted impression that the Church no longer sees abortion as so grave,” he said. “Sin is sin,” Bishop Arrieta said, and the offenses that can carry automatic

Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is pictured in his office at the Vatican June 2. Bishop Arrieta explained why Pope Francis is appointing “missionaries of mercy” to preach and teach during the Holy Year of Mercy, which opens Dec. 8 and runs until Nov. 20, 2016. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

excommunication are especially serious, but a Holy Year is an especially serious time of grace. “The pope is not saying abortion is no longer important. No. It’s important,” the bishop said. “It is the most frequent cause of excommunication.” By granting a special faculty to priests during the Year of Mercy, he said, Pope Francis is trying to balance a desire “to facilitate reconciliation as much as possible” while also “trying to form consciences” about the seriousness of abortion. “The church has a spiritual patrimony and during a Holy Year, it encourages the faithful to draw on this patrimony” for the grace and strength to reconcile with God and begin a new life, he said. The pope is not saying that any sin is unimportant, the bishop said. “No, not at all. The pope is saying the Church is like a field hospital in the middle of battle and the treasure of the merits of Christ and of the saints must be distributed broadly” to heal the wounded.


Pope says nothing can justify terrorist attacks By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service


sing God’s name to try to justify violence and murder is “blasphemy,” Pope Francis said Nov. 15, speaking about the terrorist attacks on Paris.

“Such barbarity leaves us dismayed, and we ask ourselves how the human heart can plan and carry out such horrible events,” the pope said after reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors in St. Peter’s Square. The attacks in Paris Nov. 13—attacks the French government said were carried out by three teams of Islamic State terrorists—caused the deaths of at least 129 people and left more than 350 injured, many of them critically. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a soccer stadium, gunmen attacked customers at cafes and restaurants and a team of terrorists gunned down dozens of people at a concert. The attacks, Pope Francis said, were an “unspeakable affront to the dignity of the human person.” “The path of violence and hatred cannot resolve the problems of humanity, and using the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy,” he said. Pope Francis asked the thousands of people who gathered at St. Peter’s for the Sunday midday prayer to observe a moment of silence and to join him in reciting a Hail Mary. “May the Virgin Mary, mother of mercy, give rise in the hearts of everyone thoughts of wisdom and proposals for peace,” he said. “We ask her to protect and watch over the dear French nation,

the first daughter of the Church, over Europe and the whole world.” “Let us entrust to the mercy of God the innocent victims of this tragedy,” the pope said. Speaking the day after the terrorist attacks, Pope Francis had told the television station of the Italian bishops’ conference, “I am shaken and pained. I don’t understand, but these things are difficult to understand, how human beings can do this. That is why I am shaken, pained and am praying.” The pope has spoken many times about a “third world war being fought in pieces.” “This is a piece,” the pope said. “There are no justifications for these things.” On social media, Islamic State militants claimed responsibility, but Pope Francis insisted there can be no “religious or human” excuse for killing innocent people and sowing terror. “This is not human.”

French authorities reported that eight terrorists were dead after the night of attacks; six of them committed suicide and two were killed by police, who stormed the concert hall where the terrorists had taken hostages and where the majority of victims died. Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris issued a statement calling for calm and for prayers, not only for the Paris victims, but also for the victims of recent terrorist attacks in Lebanon and in Africa. “May no one allow himself to be defeated by panic and hatred,” the cardinal said. “Let us ask for the grace of being peacemakers. We must never lose our hope for peace if we work for justice.” With some 1,500 inside Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral and hundreds more gathered outside, Cardinal Vingt-Trois celebrated a special Mass in memory of the victims. As the cathedral bells

Soldiers pass the main entrance of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris while Sunday Masses were celebrated amid tight security outside the cathedral in the aftermath of Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 and injured 352. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  45

✝ VATICAN tolled a death knell, police patrolled the square in front of the cathedral and checked people as they entered the Paris landmark for Mass. The cardinal told the assembly—which included government officials and ambassadors from a variety of nations—that the Mass was intended as a sign of sharing the pain of the victims and of praying for them, their families, for Paris and for France. “The savage killings this black Friday plunged entire families into despair, and this despair is all the more profound because there can be no rational explanation that would justify the indiscriminate execution of dozens of anonymous people,” the cardinal said. The only Christian response, he said, is to be “messengers of hope in the heart of human suffering.” The terrorists succeed if their actions shake Christians’ hope founded on faith in Christ and on a belief that all of history, including moments of suffering, is in God’s hands, he said. The appropriate response to the “barbaric savagery” of the terrorists, he said, is “to demonstrate additional trust in our fellowmen and their dignity.” Just a few hours after the attacks occurred, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement saying the Vatican was “shocked by this new manifestation of maddening terrorist violence and hatred, which we condemn in the most radical way.” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a message in the pope’s name to Cardinal Vingt-Trois, calling the attacks “horrific” and relaying the pope’s prayers for the victims, their families and the entire nation. “He invokes God, the father of mercy, asking that he welcome the victims into the peace of his light and bring comfort and hope to the injured and their families,” Cardinal Parolin wrote. The pope also “vigorously condemns violence, which cannot solve anything, and he asks God to inspire thoughts of peace and solidarity in all.” Father Lombardi was asked about security concerns throughout Europe, and particularly whether the terrorist attacks would impact plans for the Year of Mercy. “These murderers, possessed by senseless hatred, are called terrorists precisely because they want to spread terror,” Father Lombardi responded in a statement. “If we let ourselves be frightened, they will have already reached their first objective.” “I would say that the Jubilee of Mercy shows itself even more necessary,” Father Lombardi said. Preaching God’s love and mercy also is a call for people to love one another and reconcile with each other. It “is precisely the answer we must give in times of temptation to mistrust.”

...Christian Home-like Living in a Senior Setting

Mount Carmel Home An Assisted Living Facility Operated by the Carmelite Sisters D.C.J. 4130 S. Alameda St. Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

(361) 855-6243

46  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

Facility ID # 000607


Father J. Patrick Serna is pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton.

Indulgences in the Holy Year of Mercy Father J. Patrick Serna Contributor


n Divine Mercy Sunday, 2015, Pope Francis announced the Holy Year of Mercy, to begin on Dec. 8, and to end on Nov. 20, 2016. In his papal bull, Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis wrote, “A jubilee also entails the granting of indulgences. This practice will acquire an even more important meaning in the Holy Year of Mercy.” What is an indulgence? We Catholics are familiar with this word, but there is usually a lot of confusion surrounding the meaning and implications. God gives us the short answer about indulgences, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.” The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead (CCC #1471).” Jesus gave the Catholic Church the power to “bind” and “loose” in the Gospel of Matthew, after Simon son of John proclaimed that indeed, Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus responded to Simon, and in this response Simon’s name was changed to “Peter” (which means “rock”), and the power of binding and loosing was granted to Peter and all the popes after him. Jesus said, “And so I say to

you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Mt 16:18-19).” In this encounter between Jesus and Peter, Jesus gave to Peter and all legitimate popes thereafter the power to “bind” and “loose” regarding teachings, disciplines and practices. Why should practicing believers worry about earthly punishment when this life is over, especially when one goes to sacramental confession on a regular basis? The answer can be gleaned from this simple, yet insightful, example. Pretend that there is a little boy who accidentally threw a baseball through his neighbor’s window. The little boy went over to the neighbor’s house, to apologize to the neighbor. The neighbor accepted the little boy’s apology and granted forgiveness, but the neighbor asked the little boy to pay for a replacement window. The little boy did not have any money, so the boy who broke the window agreed to mow the neighbor’s lawn a total of three times, which equaled the price of a new replacement window. Was the little boy forgiven at

the time the neighbor granted forgiveness, on the day that the window was broken, or was the forgiveness granted only after the lawn was mowed three times by the boy? The answer to the question is as follows: two realities take place when forgiveness is granted, and these two realities are forgiveness and reparation. The boy was forgiven the moment the man granted forgiveness, on the day the window was broken. However, reparation needed to be made, and the reparation was not completed until the lawn was mowed three times. When a person receives forgiveness and absolution in sacramental reconciliation, the forgiveness of God takes place then and there. However, reparation for the already forgiven sins now needs to be made. Reparation is partly accomplished by and through the sufferings, which we endure in this life on earth—be they unwanted sufferings, penances given by a confessor or self imposed penances. Whatever reparation is lacking, when this life is over, must be made up in purgatory. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes purgatory in this way: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  47


❝Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.❞

–2 Maccabees 12:46

salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (CCC #1030).” This is where indulgences come in. Basically, we believers wish to enjoy to bliss of paradise with God and our loved ones as soon as possible, after our earthly lives are completed. Passing through purgatory not only deprives us of being with God and loved ones, but, let us state the obvious: purgatory is a time of painful purification and we do not want to be there more than necessary! Nor do we want our loved ones to suffer more than is necessary. This is where the mercy of God comes in, with the gift of indulgences. The Holy Spirit tells us through the magisterium of the Catholic Church that “An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins (CCC #1478).” The “treasury of the Church” refers to the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, who gained these merits for us by his passion, death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit tells us through the magisterium that, “This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary (CCC #1477).” The merits of all the other angels and saints are also in this treasury. Indulgences “tap in,” so to speak, into this treasury of merits, and the souls who receive these indulgences benefit by having some or all of their purification abrogated. In the 1500s, the priest Johann Tetzel distorted some of the teachings regarding indulgences. The church officially scolded Tetzel for some of his erroneous teachings, but the bad teachings of one priest in no way negate the legitimate spiritual benefits that we can receive from acquiring indulgences. There are several ways to gain indulgences, and certain criteria must be met. These ways and criteria can be found online, or priests and bishops can show the way. What better time to gain indulgences for yourself and for your deceased loved ones than now, during the Holy Year of Mercy. 48  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

Criteria for attainment of indulgences A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be: • • •

in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed; must be a Catholic; and must not be excommunicated or in schism.

In order to obtain the indulgence, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace, have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but, it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required except—obviously, detachment from even venial sin. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

December Liturgical Calendar 1 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24 (176) 2 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 25:6-10a/Mt 15:29-37 (177) 3 | Thu | Saint Francis Xavier, Priest | white | Memorial | Is 26:1-6/Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178) 4 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Is 29:17-24/ Mt 9:27-31 (179) 5 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 30:19-21, 23-26/Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8 (180) 6 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Bar 5:1-9/Phil 1:4-6, 8-11/Lk 3:1-6 (6) Pss II 7 | Mon | Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 35:1-10/Lk 5:17-26 (181) 8 | Tue | The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white (Patronal Feastday of the United States of America) Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38 (689) | Pss Prop 9 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet/

white [Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin] Is 40:25-31/Mt 11:2830 (183) 10 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 41:13-20/Mt 11:11-15 (184) 11 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Damasus I, Pope] Is 48:1719/Mt 11:16-19 (185) 12 | Sat | Our Lady of Guadalupe | white | Feast | Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47 (690A), or any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712 Pss Prop 13 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet/rose | Zep 3:14-18a/ Phil 4:4-7/Lk 3:10-18 (9) Pss III 14 | Mon | Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a/ Mt 21:23-27 (187) 15 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Zep 3:1-2, 9-13/Mt 21:28-32 (188) 16 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 45:6b-8, 18, 21b-25/Lk 7:18b-23 (189)

17 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Gn 49:2, 8-10/Mt 1:1-17 (193) 18 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Jer 23:5-8/Mt 1:18-25 (194) 19 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195) 20 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Mi 5:1-4a/Heb 10:510/Lk 1:39-45 (12) Pss IV 21 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:1418a/Lk 1:39-45 (197) 22 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | 1 Sm 1:24-28/Lk 1:46-56 (198) 23 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint John of Kanty, Priest] Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66 (199) 24 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Lk 1:67-79 (200) 25 | Fri | The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) | white | Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Vigil: Is 62:1-5/ Acts 13:16-17, 22-25/Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25 (13) Night: Is 9:1-6/Ti 2:11-14/ Lk 2:1-14 (14) | Dawn: Is 62:11-12/Ti

3:4-7/Lk 2:15-20 (15) | Day: Is 52:7-10/ Heb 1:1-6/Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14 (16) Pss Prop 26 | Sat | Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | Feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:5459/Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop 27 | SUN | THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH | white | Feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or 1 Sm 1:20-22, 24-28/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17 or 1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24/ Lk 2:41-52 (17) Pss Prop 28 | Mon | The Holy Innocents, Martyrs | red | Feast | 1 Jn 1:5—2:2/Mt 2:13-18 (698) Pss Prop 29 | Tue | Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr] 1 Jn 2:3-11/Lk 2:22-35 (202) Pss Prop 30 | Wed | Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white | 1 Jn 2:12-17/Lk 2:36-40 (203) Pss Prop 31 | Thu | Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Sylvester I, Pope] 1 Jn 2:18-21/Jn 1:1-18 (204) Pss Prop

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  49


Advent 4 Annual Afternoon of Reflection 8 Dec. 4 from 1-3 p.m. at St. John Paul II High School entitled “Mercy and the Incarnation” presented by Father Dan Estes, SOLT. The event is for Catholic school teachers, catechetical leaders and catechists and it is free. No RSVP or registration is required.

4 5

5 5

Healing Retreat

Dec. 4-6 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). Begins Friday 5 p.m. ends Sunday 3:30 p.m. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Cursillo Formation Workshop


100th Anniversary of Immaculate Conception Parish

St. John Paul II High School Live Nativity

Dec. 7-9 from 6-8 p.m. The Live Nativity drive through starts at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School entrance (3114 Saratoga Blvd.) to pick up hot chocolate and snacks then will continue to St. John Paul II (3036 Saratoga Blvd.) for Nativity scenes. Entrance gate will close at 7:50 p.m.

50  South Texas Catholic | December 2015

Men’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat

Dec. 10-13 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321,

Dec. 12 from 2-5 p.m. Procession begins at Sacred Heart Church (N. Alameda and Lipan) to Corpus Christi Cathedral and is open to the public. Please bring roses to present to Our Lady. There will be a reception in St. Joseph’s Hall following the Mass. For more information call Carolyn Pena (361) 727-1502 or email:

St. Pius Craft Bazaar

Dec. 5 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at St. Pius X (5620 Gollihar Road). Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Dec. 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (7522 Everhart) in Corpus Christi. The music of Missa Ave Maris Stella by the composer Josquin Des Prez will enhance our Eucharistic celebration.

of Our Lady 12 Feast of Guadalupe

Dec. 5 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cursillo Center (1200 Lantana Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information call Father Angel Montana at Sacred Heart Church at (361) 883-6082.

Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Parish (314 North 1st Street) in Skidmore. For more information call (361) 287-3256.



Sacred Music Mass


Dec. 12 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Pax Christi Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. Registrations are due one week prior to the seminar. The registration fee is $75 per couple; payable by check or money order made out to Family Life. No refunds will be issued, no cash payments. Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received in full.

12 Engaged Encounter

Dec. 12-13 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. Cost is $250 per couple. Cost includes overnight accommodations, all meals and materials. For more information call Office of Family Life at (361) 882-6191 or email


Schoenstatt Retreat Center Open House

Dec. 12 from 3-6 p.m. Holy Mass and blessing of retreat center will be

officiated by Bishop Michael Mulvey, followed by brunch. For more information call Sister Mary Lorena Segura at (361) 729-1868 or email

Fund 13 Retirement for Religious

Second collection on Dec. 12-13 will be for the Retirement Fund for Religious. Please give generously.

the King School 13 Christ Memory Walk

Christ the King School will have a Memory Walk on Sunday, Dec. 13 after the 10 a.m. Mass at Christ the King Church (1625 Arlington Dr.). Refreshments to be served in the parish hall. The school is closing Friday, Dec. 18.

18 TOUGH Retreat

Dec.18-20 begins on Friday at 6 p.m. and ends on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. TOUGH is sponsored by the Diocese of Corpus Christi Office of Youth Ministry (361) 882-6191. To register go to: and return registration packet to: Diocese of Corpus Christi, c/o Office of Youth Ministry, 620 Lipan St., Corpus Christi.

The Consecrated

27 Woman and the New Evangelization

Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2016 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. A preached silent retreat for religious sisters. For more information call Sister Maria Laudem Gloriae at (361) 289-9095, ext. 321 or email

To see more calendar events go to: South Texas







Retirement Fund for Religious on Dec. 12-13 Please give to those who have given a lifetime. Throughout her life Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS, has served as a teacher in Catholic schools, as spiritual director for religious and lay persons, and as researcher into the spirituality of Jeanne Chezard de Matel, foundress of the Sisters of Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. She has shared the details of Jeanne’s spirituality with many and contributes articles on spirituality for the South Texas Catholic. She and some 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious. Your gift helps provide prescription medications, nursing care, and more. Please be generous.

More than 93 percent of donations aid senior religious. To donate: National Religious Retirement Office 3211 Fourth Street NE Washington DC 20017-1194 Make your check payable to Retirement Fund for Religious.

Or give at your local parish. Photos: (top) Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS; (bottom, from left) Sister Consuelo Flores, PCI; Father James Foelker, OMI and Brother Michael Brady, SOLT.

December 2015 |  South Texas Catholic  51

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

South Texas Catholic - December 2015  

In our December issue we take a look at the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis, which begins on Dec. 8 and provide an overvi...

South Texas Catholic - December 2015  

In our December issue we take a look at the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis, which begins on Dec. 8 and provide an overvi...