South Texas Catholic - April 2016

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VOL. 51 NO. 4 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas


The three staff members who work daily on the CareVan extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, from left, nurse practitioner Rebecca Lawhon, driver Carlos Ortiz, and Delmira Torres, medical assistant and phlebotomist.


Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, Luisa Scolari, Joshua Stephens, Dayna Mazzei Worchel If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic call us at (361) 882-6191 Office Address: 620 Lipan Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434 E-MAIL: FAX: (361) 693-6701

Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our Online form, e-mail, fax, mail or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocese Web sites. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau. (USPSN 540-860) Published monthly by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434. If you wish to read our Spanish language articles in English visit our Web site and use the Google language translator. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio web y utilice el traductor de idiomas Google.

20 Deacon Allen Cicora of St. Peter Prince of the Apostles Parish leads discussion in class of Catholics Returning Home. The program has enjoyed much success over the years at the Annaville area church. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic


NATIONAL NEWS 28 4 VIEWPOINTS Marriage prep should address porn Unity, engagement and Jesus Christ: Especially in an election year

7 St. John Bosco:


Drawing others to Christ

BRIEFS 18 NEWS McCullough to speak at 2016 CHRISTUS Spohn Lyceum


32 VATICAN No place is safe for Syria's children OUR FAITH 35 Visiting the incarcerated challenges most believers

APRIL CALENDAR VIDA CATÓLICA 37 23 Compartiendo Keep up with diocesan, parish and la palabra en el año de la Misericordia

school activities

Keep up with the Faith at

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Unity, engagement and Jesus Christ: Especially in an election year Bishop Michael Mulvey


South Texas Catholic

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

very four years, our country embarks on the election of a new president. The process by which a country chooses its leader is a solemn and noble task. At times, in the relatively young history of our country, this process has unfortunately become combative and contentious. Currently, there is no doubt that we are witnessing how disagreeable and oftentimes uncivil we can be to one another throughout this process. The current political climate leads us to wonder why we are so divided and whether the people of this country are so hopelessly fractured that we are not able to move forward without antagonism towards each other. It tempts us to believe the incorrect notion that faithfulness to our own views and positions allows us the false luxury of belligerence, name-calling or degrading others. Yet in the midst of politicians attacking each other, citizens exalting their favorite candidate to the point of being demigods and others demonizing them to the point of maliciousness, we must ask ourselves "in whom do I believe, in whom do I trust." Our Faith is not placed in fallen human beings or political parties, no matter what they represent or promise us, but in the person Jesus Christ. His prayer during the most important time of his paschal mystery expressed God’s desire that we all be one as he and the Father are one (Jn 17:21). We forget that this prayer for unity from Jesus was not just for a harmony among believers, but that we all would be united, as he and the Father are one. It is this prayer and vision of Jesus that must guide us as we live our lives in society today, striving to be faithful and faithfilled citizens, especially during election time. In the current bellicose political climate one person whose actions stand out for me as an example of Christian civility is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died recently. Justice Scalia never stopped dialoguing, speaking with and even socializing with those whose thoughts and opinions radically differed from his own. Though no stranger to spirited

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argumentation and political controversy, Justice Scalia maintained close social relationships with other members of the Supreme Court, including joyful friendships with those who vehemently opposed his opinions on a whole array of issues. This for us is a modern day message from the highest court in the country on how we should deal with others who may think and vote differently than we do and even those who may embrace different morals than we do. Perhaps even more than all of his legal opinions and all his learned wisdom, Justice Scalia’s actions modeled for us the truth that we must never cease dialoguing and engaging with others, even in difficult times. A civil unity, if not friendship, with those who differ from us can enrich our lives and our society. This is a step in the direction of what Jesus had in mind when he prayed his prayer of unity “that they all may be one.” It is a step towards establishing a true relationship with Christ, the one to whom we should all look to before we wrongfully exalt our favorite candidates or degrade our least favorite ones. Several popes, including St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, remind us that faith is not about a set of formulas, doctrines or precepts. Though these are essential, critical and crucial for our faith in the Gospel, they only help us grow in our authentic relationship with God. Faith is about following the person of Jesus Christ and adhering to his words. In the life of Christ, he too encountered a difficult and antagonistic political situation, one far more confused and contentious than our own. The occupation by the Roman Empire, the multi-faceted and oftentimes corrupt structures in the synagogue system, the various religious and political groups ranging from pacifists to guerrilla warriors, all created a world in which it seemed impossible for the Gospel to be planted and to grow. Despite all of this, when someone disagreed or challenged Jesus, even perhaps violently (cf. Jn 8:59), he did not run from them or cast stones at them but rather, with great love and

United States. In it my brother bishops and I emphasize: “first and foremost, we remember that we relate to the civil order as citizens of the heavenly Kingdom, whose reign is not yet fully realized on earth but demands our unqualified allegiance. It is as citizens faithful to the Lord Jesus that we contribute most effectively to the civil order.” As we enter more deeply into this election year, I urge you to take seriously the duty of forming your consciences to reflect the mind and attitude of Christ and to engage in the political process with our fellow citizens with the love, patience and holiness of Jesus. In the months ahead and leading up to the general election this fall, look for articles and resources in the South Texas Catholic that we as a diocese and as a Church will be offering to assist and guide us in forming our consciences to the best of our ability according to the mind and heart of Jesus Christ. In this way we can become effective citizens of our beloved country, infusing our society with the Gospel. May God continue to bless the United States and us as we continue to discern in the months ahead. [The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship can be found at faithful-citizenship/.]

Headlines from

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

• KJT awards check to OLPH CCD program

• KLUX announces Easter week schedule

• Ayala brings home silver medal from Kingsville tennis meet

• Junior Catholic Daughters fete dads with Valentines Day dance

• Friends say farewell to Msgr. Rory Deane

• High school students learn CPR

• Angrisano leads Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish mission

• Dominic Dominguez returns to CHRISTUS in leadership role

• IWA Gala marks 145 years of school's service to community

• St. Patrick men reflect on Year of Mercy at Hill Country retreat

• Dialogue Institute hosts friendship dinner

• JP II's Remi Garza makes top 20 in Corpus Christi Idol contest

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  5


patience, sat with those who disagreed with him: such as the tax collectors and sinners (Lk 5:27-32); engaged with those whom his society had cast out such as the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:1-42); and stretched out his hand even to those who had radically different morals but were in great need of hearing God’s message of mercy such as the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:1-11). His encounter with each and every one of them was a moment of engagement, of unity without sacrificing truth, and of an invitation to the Kingdom of God in their midst. In the same way, in our current political climate, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, we too are called to dialogue with those who may seriously disagree with our embrace of the truth, to engage those whom society has written off and to be an invitation to God’s mercy even to those who may thoroughly reject our political views, faith and morals. We are now called to be his presence to the world and to all those most in need of hearing and seeing the Gospel. For us as members of the Body of Christ, it is important that we reflect and understand who we are as children of God living in the world, but not of this world. To help with this, the Catholic bishops of the United States have again offered to all people of good will a statement entitled "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" as guidance and teaching on our political responsibility in the


A mural showing St. John Bosco is seen in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Help of Christians in Turin, the site of St. Bosco's home for poor and abandoned boys. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

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

St. John Bosco: Drawing others to Christ Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

St. John Bosco is well known for his work in forming youth to be excellent disciples of Jesus Christ. His exemplary apostolate led many young men and women to excel in their vocations to religious life, the priesthood and marriage. What enabled him to be so successful? It was not costly diocesan programs, or a privileged position or even fortuitous circumstances. In fact, it would have been easy for him to hide behind many excuses if he had wanted to avoid the difficulty of his mission. On the contrary, many things worked against him and his efforts, beginning with his own vocation to the priesthood. Bosco did not come from a privileged family, and despite the fact that poverty—at that time—was often an impediment to a priestly vocation he was eventually ordained. As a priest, his efforts of discipleship resulted in the formation of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, which went on to become the third largest missionary organization in the world, as well as co-founding the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. He ministered to the poor, destitute and delinquent children who were products of the industrialization of Italy in the 1800s. At times he was robbed and taken advantage of by those to whom he ministered, but he continually labored to find employment, food and shelter

for the poor, and advocated for their rights when their employers abused them. Seeing Christ in the faces of the poor, oppressed and even the delinquent, Bosco did not turn away those who were not already exemplary Christians. Many youth who were the most unlikely candidates even became holy priests and religious, vocations that may never have come to fruition without his loving guidance and advocacy. What was so special about St. Bosco? He was an authentic Christian disciple. A faithful servant of God and son of the Church, he kept things simple and faithfully went about the work that he saw was necessary. He did not worry about money, circumstances, people’s opinions or programs. He let God take care of those things as needed, and he just did what needed to be done. His genuine approach appealed to those he served. Many were drawn by his Christ-like love, and vocations arose even from the most unlikely of places. St. John Bosco can be an example for all of us who promote vocations. The more simply and authentically we live Christ-like lives, the more we draw others to Christ—even others who may not seem receptive to Christ's message— and the more we encourage young people to want to give themselves to Our Lord and his mission.

➤A faithful servant of God and son of the Church, he kept things simple and faithfully went about the work that he saw was necessary. He did not worry about money, circumstances, people’s opinions or programs. He let God take care of those things as needed, and he just did what needed to be done. April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  7


Sister Bertha rejoices in 70 years of cloistered service Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


n May, Sister Bertha Horning, 91, a sister with the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration—affectionately known as the Pink Sisters—will celebrate 70-years in consecrated life, living in a cloistered vocation. Sister Bertha wears the customary light pink habit worn by all the sisters who live inside the Blessed Sacrament Convent on Shoreline. She uses a walker and looks at the world through large round glasses. When the thought first dawned on her to become a certain kind of nun, Sister Bertha was just a teenager. She recalls looking up at the monstrance and praying during the 40-hours of adoration and thinking, “what in the world is more important than the Incarnation and the Eucharist.” She was born in January 1925; her parents died before she was a year old. Her maternal aunt and uncle adopted and raised her as one of their own and she became one of their seven children in Springfield, Missouri. They were her “mother and daddy.” “Mother had plans for me to go to a Benedictine College,” Sister Bertha said. But when Sister Bertha spoke to a priest who was her spiritual director, he told her, “God calls–that’s the time to go.” She entered Mount Grace Convent in St. Louis, Missouri in May 1953 when she was 18-yearsold and has been in Perpetual

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Adoration ever since. She has lived in houses overseas and three houses in the United States. Along with learning a little German, she learned to play the organ in the Motherhouse in Steyl, Holland. She spent most of her years as an organist, a librarian and a correspondent in the correspondence room, which requires lots of attention.

“We get many requests for prayers. I help to assure people that we are praying. People call a lot,” she said. Retired from being an organist, Sister Bertha now attends to the convent’s library. The library consists of mostly religious books and the books about the saints. On special occasions—such as, a recent biography of Pope Francis and the coverage of the pope’s visit to Mexico— they watch television. Most of the sisters arise at 5:15 a.m., but like many elderly people, Sister Bertha does not sleep well at night, so she says— sheepishly—that they let her sleep-in a little later in the morning. “We sing and pray a lot all day at different times of the day and we talk to each other during evening recreation,” she said. During recreation they can participate in community sharing, hobbies, arts, games, music or outdoor activities like gardening. “The garden is beautiful,” she said. “The Lord takes care of me. They [her congregation] take good care of me,” Sister Bertha said. She is happy.


Sister Maria Helen DelaPeña, SOLT Beth Nguyen for South Texas Catholic

25 years of a simple life serving the poor Beth Nguyen

T Contributor

his year, Sister Maria Helen DelaPeña, SOLT celebrates her 25th anniversary of consecrated life with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Her journey to a life devoted to Jesus through Mary began in the Philippines, where she grew up. From a very early age, her parents

instilled in her and her three sisters and brother a foundation of faith and devotion. “My mom always called us every evening at six to pray the Angelus in Spanish. Even though I did not understand, I remembered that being very important to her. She also had a devotion to pray the Rosary,” Sister Helen said, who was not a Spanish-speaker April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  9


at the time. Additionally, Sister Helen’s grandmother insisted on a daily visit to the church near their house. Sister Helen said that since about 80 percent of Filipinos are Catholic, she had many opportunities to participate in the Catholic faith. During her high school years, she participated in Junior Cursillo, and it was then that she first felt the calling of Jesus. “I remember being in the chapel in front of Jesus. It felt so good and peaceful to be with him. I knew that God gave me this beautiful life. I just wanted to share how God loves me. I wanted everyone to know about this life,” Sister Helen said. After high school, Sister Helen went to college in a bigger city. She felt a strong desire to follow Jesus, live simply and leave everything behind, so she went to a priest to ask his advice. He told her to wait and keep studying, and that right then, her vocation was to study. “But I was afraid to lose that fire, that burning love for Jesus," Sister Helen said recalling the encounter. "He told me not to be afraid and that the desire to follow Jesus would still be there when I graduated.” Upon graduation, Sister Helen went back home and told her parents she wanted to enter the convent, but they wanted her to work for a year to make sure it was what she really wanted to do. In obedience to her parents, she worked full-time at her family’s business, and, since St. Francis was her patron saint, she found time to visit the Franciscans every weekend. It was there that she first encountered SOLT priests and sisters. “I was attracted to the life, how they serve. It’s a simple life,” Sister Helen said. Sister Helen made her first vows to the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity on May 31, 1991. In her first mission after her profession, she was assigned to one of the SOLT mission islands in Bicol, Philippines to serve the poor. “We were living the simple life of the islanders with no lights, no electricity, no telephone, no running water, roads or bridges," she said. "The lives of Jesus and Mary become so real and inspiring in the humble, long suffering witnesses of those we served.” After that first, moving experience of life as a missionary sister, Sister Helen took some courses in theology in Manila as part of her continuing formation. In 1995, Sister Helen was sent to Mexico, where she learned to speak Spanish through immersion in mission life. After spending five years in Mexico, she was assigned to Rome, where she began formation work with the sisters and assisted in teaching children. In 2010, Sister Helen was elected to be the Regional Sister Servant for the American Region, and she has served in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, where the administrative offices of SOLT are located, ever since. “I feel like in SOLT that the relationship we have with the Trinity, it shows us how to be a family with all the vocations. I like the simplicity of life. We serve the poor, those in need. We make ourselves available. The community helps us to do our work. There’s a joyful spirit. We have this interaction with each other. We can relate to each other,” Sister Helen said. “The things that I learned from my parents at such a young age, I can now share with the whole world because of my vocation in the religious life,” she said. 10  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

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In Memoriam

Msgr. Gregory Msgr. William Celestine Murray “Rory” S. Deane April 3, 1931 ~ Feb. 25, 2016


sgr. William Celestine Murray died Thursday, Feb. 25, at Angel Bright Nursing Home in Corpus Christi. Msgr. Murray was born on April 3, 1931 in Waterford, Ireland and served the Diocese of Corpus Christi for 60 years. “Msgr. Murray served the Diocese of Corpus Christi with dedication and dignity,” Bishop Michael Mulvey said. Msgr. Murray was ordained June 19, 1955 and was invested as a monsignor on Jan. 5, 2005. He served as pastor and associate pastor in many parishes throughout the diocese, including Christ the King, Our Lady of Refuge, St. John of the Cross, St. John Neumann in Laredo–now in the Diocese of Laredo, St. Frances of Rome, Immaculate Conception in Goliad–now in the Diocese of Victoria, St. Gertrude, Sacred Heart in Rockport, St. Elizabeth, St. Therese in Woodsboro and St. Anthony in Violet. He also served: as Dean of the Kingsville and Refugio Deaneries; a Pro-synodal examiner; on the Senate of Priests; as an advocate of the Diocesan Tribunal; on the Priest Personnel Board; and on the Presbyteral Council. Msgr. Murray taught religion at Incarnate Word High School; served on the Conference of Christians and Jews; served as director of Catholic Boy Scouts; was on the National Committee on Scouting; served as chaplain of the Serra Club in Kingsville; was a member of the Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; and was a fourth degree Knight having served as chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Council 1202. Msgr. Murray was laid to rest in the St. Anthony Cemetery in Clarkwood.

Dec. 26, 1929 ~ March 6, 2016


sgr. Gregory “Rory” S. Deane, 87, passed away on March 6 at his residence in Rockport. Msgr. Deane was born Dec. 26, 1929 in Bally Shannon, County Donegal, Ireland to Michael and Maureen Lancaster Deane. Msgr. Deane attended St. Peter College, Wexford, Ireland where he was ordained for the Diocese of Corpus Christi on June 6, 1954. He celebrated his first Mass in his home parish of St. Mary Magdalen Church, Bunclody, County Wexford, Ireland. Upon his arrival in South Texas, Father Deane accepted his first parish assignment as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Mathis where he served from 1954-59. After taking a one-year assignment as chaplain to St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, he returned 1960 to Corpus Christi as an assistant at Christ the King Parish. In 1962, Father Deane was given his pastorate of St. Therese Parish in Woodsboro, where he served for 10 years. In July 1972, he was transferred to be the pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Goliad. In March of 1980, Father Deane received appointment as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Rockport and after 12 years in Rockport, in 1992, he was appointed as the first pastor of the St. Joseph Mission in Port Aransas. During his pastorate, the mission was elevated to the status of a parish. After 14 years as the pastor of St. Joseph in Aransas Pass and 52-years in service as a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, on Jan. 1, 2007, Msgr. Deane retired from the parish and active ministry. During his long service to the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Msgr. Deane was an avid supporter of the Knights of Columbus and frequently served as the KC Council Chaplain. He joined the April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  11


Knights of Columbus on April 1, 1955 and became a fourth degree Knight on Nov. 1, 1986. In October 1987, Father Deane was invited and was invested in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. In recognition for his many years of service as a priest in the diocese on Feb. 25, 1999 received the Papal Honor and rank as a Monsignor of the Papal Household. Over his many years in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Msgr. Deane served on many commissions and councils, including

the Diocesan Finance Council from 1997-2006. During his retirement, Msgr. Deane continued to serve the faithful of the diocese by assisting in many parishes as a substitute priest to cover when the parish priest was sick or on vacation. Msgr. Deane often said, “I have loved my priesthood and each and every parish that I have served and for that I am very grateful.” Msgr. Deane was laid to rest in the Lamar Cemetery next to the Stella Maris Chapel in Lamar.

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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. 12  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

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

• Pregnancy Test • Limited Ultrasound • Baby Supplies • Parenting Classes • Adoption Information • Abortion Recovery Classes Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources

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Corpus Christi


Resource Center


CareVan extends healing ministry

Nurse Practitioner Rebecca Lawhon says the CareVan has a Class D pharmacy on board, which includes antibiotics and vitamins for patients. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

Dayna Mazzei Worchel

R Correspondent

elief mixed with gratitude. These are the most common and overwhelming feelings in the hearts of the people who come to the Christus Spohn Health System’s mobile CareVan for their health and obstetrical care, CareVan staff said. The CareVan, which operates Monday through Thursday, offers free medical care to uninsured and under-insured patients in under-served areas of the Coastal Bend. For Victoria Garza, who lives in the community of Taft, a small town of about 3,000 on Highway 181

North, about 22 miles from Corpus Christi, it has been a Godsend. She is pregnant with her fourth child, a girl, due in June, and she lives and works in Taft. Without the CareVan, Garza would have to spend much of her day traveling to and from Corpus Christi for medical appointments, arranging for a babysitter for her older children and taking time off from work to receive her prenatal care. “This is so much closer and a lot less stressful for me,” Garza, who does have health insurance, said. She came to the CareVan for two of her previous pregnancies, and said the staff has always been friendly April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  13


‘‘It’s difficult to navigate the healthcare system…We try to do a lot of that here…It’s reassuring and helpful for patients.


– Rebecca Lawhon

Marjorie Chavez, Director of Mission Services/ Community & Health Wellness explains the purpose of the CareVan ministry. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

and helpful. “I would recommend it for anyone,” Garza said of the service. Once a patient has reached the seventh month of her pregnancy, Lawhon refers her to a physician. The services that CareVan provides is a component of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, which the Christus Spohn Health System is called to serve, Marjorie Chavez, director of Mission Services/Community Health & Wellness for Christus Spohn said. “The CareVan is one piece of that ministry. It’s a beautiful example of living that out when responding to people in need, one patient at a time,” Chavez said. Chavez spoke of Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis of France, who served as the first bishop of Texas in 1866. As he traveled through the state on horseback, he saw great suffering, disease and poverty. He wrote a letter to his friend Mother Angelique, Superior of the Monastery of the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Lyons. In the letter, he said, “Our Lord, Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of a multitude of the sick and infirm of every kind, seeks relief at your hands.” From the basis of that ministry, the CareVan program began in 2004 when the Colston family of Riviera donated a used 14  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

RV to the hospital to provide care for those in need in rural areas. In 2010, American Bank donated the current mobile clinic RV, outfitted with two exam rooms, a waiting area, a pharmacy and much of the medical equipment necessary to perform patient tests, including comprehensive lab work for diabetes, anemia and thyroid conditions. The pharmacy dispenses antibiotics, vitamins and other medications, but not controlled substances or narcotics, said Rebecca Lawhon, nurse practitioner. She’s a part of a three-person crew, which includes Delmira Torres, a medical assistant who draws blood, and Carlos Ortiz, the driver. Lawhon also provides routine screenings for women, including breast exams and pap smears. “I have caught breast and cervical cancers. The patients come in scared…when they hear there is no charge to patients, they are very relieved,” she said. She refers those with cancer to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services, a state program that is administered through the counties the CareVan serves. The CareVan also partners with several clinics in the area that provide care to patients

without insurance who need other types of care besides prenatal care, such as Mission of Mercy, which provides care for those with chronic health conditions. Lawhon said most patients hear about the CareVan at work or church or from friends within their communities. “It’s difficult to navigate the healthcare system sometimes. They have to bounce around here and there for lab work. We try to do a lot of that here…drawing blood and giving test results. It’s reassuring and helpful for patients,” Lawhon said. She also carries diabetic socks, reading glasses and blood pressure cuffs to monitor high blood pressure to patients who need them. All work on board from Monday to Thursday of each week, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment. They travel to Sinton, Taft, Mathis, Aransas Pass and Bishop and stop at St. Paul the Apostle

CHRISTUS Spohn CareVan Women’s Services Patient Victoria Garza, whose baby girl is due in June, uses the services of the CareVan in Taft because she says it would be time consuming to make a round trip to Corpus Christi and she would have to make arrangements to care for younger children and be away from work. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

Catholic Church on Waldron Road in Corpus Christi on the third Wednesday of each month. Lawhon, who has worked on the bus for 12 years, typically sees eight to 12 patients per day and saw 115 during the month of February. The amount typically spent on all women’s health services each month during the four-day week of CareVan operations is $150,000, she said. On weekends, a second team uses the CareVan to go out into the community to give free flu shots and take blood pressure readings, as well as perform finger-stick blood tests for patients with diabetes and also to test blood lipids, Lawhon said. The weekend CareVan team goes to homeless shelters and health fairs to help the elderly and veterans and others who are uninsured or under-insured. Funding for the CareVan comes from the Christus Spohn Health System, and other corporate partners provide medications and equipment, Chavez said. The most important piece of the equation for the staff that works daily on that mobile clinic vehicle is the personal connections and relationships they form while treating patients. Torres, who has worked three years on the CareVan, said the most rewarding part of all for her, are those relationships. “It feels good. Many people come in without a social security number. Once we let them in and they know it’s okay, they are so relieved,” Torres said, adding that the patients are so grateful. “They become like family, bringing us little treats and gifts,” she said. Ortiz said he enjoys getting to know the patients better. “The patients will call and ask for all of us. They hear about us through word of mouth,” he said.

The CHRISTUS Spohn CareVan travels throughout the Coastal Bend providing Women’s Services and Prenatal Care to uninsured women. Women who are receiving prenatal care will be referred to a physician or clinic in their seventh month of pregnancy for continuing care. This CareVan takes CHRISTUS Spohn's Mission of Healing and Message of Wellness to the uninsured and under-served. Women’s Services include:

• • • • • • •

Physical exams Pap smears Pregnancy testing Complete laboratory services Wellness education Prescription medication/prenatal vitamins Referral for mammogram screenings and ultrasound testing • Treatment of minor problems and illness • Screening & treatment of sexually transmitted diseases(STD) and other chronic diseases • Referral to WIC and Medicaid

Locations for Service Aransas Pass Every Thursday St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church 342 Rife Street

Corpus Christi 3rd Wednesday of Month St. Paul The Apostle Catholic Church 2233 Waldron Rd

Bishop 2nd, 4th and 5th Wednesday of the Month Bishop Community Center 104 West Joyce Street

Mathis Every Monday San Patricio Health Department 600 North Frio Street

Corpus Christi 1st Wednesday of Month Holy Cross Catholic Church 1109 North Staples

Taft Every Tuesday First United Methodist Church 302 McIntyre

To schedule an appointment for any location call

(361) 877-3547. April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Pope Francis sets the example for making a confession during a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica. Pope Francis surprised the priest by going to confession during services at the basilica. L'Osservatore Romano, Catholic News Service


Confession is 'centered on God's mercy' Joshua Stephens Correspondent


onverts to Catholicism, and those in RCIA classes on the path to entering the Church in Easter, say that confession is both an exciting and intimidating part of becoming Catholic. Several candidates and catechumens in RCIA classes said that their teachers went to great lengths to emphasize that the priest-confessor is not there to judge the penitent or to remember their sins. They took consolation in the idea that the priest is a mediator between the penitent and Jesus Christ, and not a harsh judge. Pope Francis and Bishop Michael Mulvey have placed considerable emphasis on the sacrament, known colloquially as confession. Both have been promoting an increase in the availability of confessions and have made the sacrament of reconciliation a frequent theme of their public statements. "May every man and woman who comes to confession find a father who welcomes them and the Father who forgives them," Pope Francis said recently. He rarely misses an opportunity to

Go to our Online Store to order a back issue, the new Catholic Directory, books, prayer cards or an official portrait of Pope Francis and Bishop Michael Mulvey

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mention the sacrament of reconciliation. Bishop Mulvey echoes the pope's invitation. In his homily opening the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, Bishop Mulvey urged everyone to confess sins often during this Year of Mercy, particularly because the sacrament of reconciliation is “centered on God’s mercy.” “Have we been merciful to others? In the depth of our beings, do we know what mercy really is?” Bishop Mulvey asked, after telling the faithful that mercy does not end in the confessional. In the early Church, confession was tied closely to the sacrament of baptism. Converts to Christianity made public confessions and renunciations of sin in conjunction with their baptisms. Later, confessions could be heard after baptisms, but they were still rare. Penitents confessed grave sins and the penances assigned were often severe and public. Today, frequent private confession is commonplace for many Catholics. Most parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi have established times once or twice a week for penitents to come and confess, and confession is available at all parishes by appointment. Priests in the diocese say there is an increase in the number of people receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. Priests acknowledge this reality by explaining the sacrament of reconciliation, exhorting the faithful to partake of it and correcting misconceptions about it. “Mortal sin is forgiven through the Sacrament of Confession,” Father James Farfaglia, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Corpus Christi said. On the other side of the confessional, Father Farfaglia points to the link between the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist, lamenting that “many times the lines of people going up to receive Communion do not match up to the size of the lines of people waiting to go to Confession.” April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Pro-life advocate and former sheriff James Hickey dies at 79 Confirmations slated at Cathedral April-May As has been his practice, Bishop Michael Mulvey will be administering the sacrament of confirmation at the Corpus Christi Cathedral beginning on April 8. Every parish in the diocese will present their candidates for confirmation and ceremonies will be held multiple days a week through May 15. The full schedule for confirmations is available at Bringing candidates for confirmation to the Cathedral gives participants a sense of community with others in the diocese and also provides them with the opportunity to visit and participate in the Liturgy at the Cathedral, for many it will be their first visit to the Cathedral.

Former Nueces County Sheriff James T. Hickey died March 13 in his Corpus Christi home of 50 years, which was located across the street from Incarnate Word Academy where his children attended school and down the street from his parish St. Patrick where he was an active parishioner for 50 years. Among his many achievements, being a leader in the local anti-abortion movement was one he treasured. Sheriff Hickey decided that his office would not patrol protests at the local abortion clinic. His decision earned him the adulation of pro-life advocates. Hickey also co-founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

McCullough to speak at 2016 CHRISTUS Spohn Lyceum Continuing its tradition of bringing distinguished speakers to South Texas, the CHRISTUS Spohn Foundation's guest for the 2016 CHRISTUS Spohn Lyceum is author David McCullough. The event will take place April 12 at the American Bank Center. Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and a “master of the art of narrative history,” McCullough also was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The “matchless writer,” also has twice earned the esteemed Francis Parkman Prize. As may be said of few writers, none of his books have ever been out of print. He also is among the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress. The 2016 Lyceum will help support CHRISTUS Spohn’s construction of the new Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center, which includes a 40,000 square-foot medical home base of care, providing easy walk-in access to coordinated health care with a focus on wellness and prevention and chronic condition management.

18  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

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Cat Si



Catholics Returni Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


arlos Reyna and his wife Anna never expected his job working offshore would interfere with their Catholic faith. But being away from home for two weeks straight made it difficult for their family to attend Mass regularly. “I worked two weeks on and two weeks off for about four or five months. It felt like an eternity,” Reyna said. “Being gone that

20  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

long made us want to be more committed to the Church and the Catholics Returning Home program was perfect for us.” Every year since 2008, St. Peter Prince of the Apostles in Annaville has hosted the program designed to reach out to inactive Catholics, inviting them to return home to the Catholic Church. The program at St. Peter has welcomed 329 individuals back to the Church. “After my offshore work was done, our


ing Home daughter began working on her confirmation. Although we had remained parishioners here at St. Peter’s during our absence, we felt we needed to do something to re-energize and refocus our priorities. We also wanted to set the example for our two kids,” Reyna said. Sally Mews, the founder of Catholics Returning Home—an international program, visited the diocese in 2008 to promote it among local parishes. Deacon

Allen Cicora and his late wife Kathryn were instrumental for the program’s longevity and long-term success at St. Peter Prince of the Apostles. “Catholics Returning Home must be the cause of much joy in heaven,” Deacon Cicora said. Individuals who have been away from the Church are invited to return and are given a warm welcome, Deacon Cicorra said. Some have been away for just a short time, others as long

as 52 years. They return to the Church, begin to receive the sacraments again and "are filled with joy—joy that reaches all the way to heaven!” Annyssa Villarreal began going to the meetings when the class started. She had strayed away from the Church for a year. The week before the meetings started she had been thinking about God and what happens after one dies. "The thought of not being close to or

Deacon Allen Cicora (left) interprets the Nicene Creed with participants at a recent "Catholics Returning Home" meeting at St. Peter Prince of Apostles Church in Annaville. The group meets for six two-hour sessions on Thursdays at the church to reacquaint themselves on what they have been missing from regular church participation. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  21


Michelle Sanchez (left) and Sabrina Perez (right) review notes in the book "Returning Home to Your Catholic Faith" after a recent meeting of the "Catholics Returning Home" meeting at St. Peter, Prince of Apostles Church. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

having a good relationship with God when I died scared me," Villarreal said. "Well, a few days later my mom sat me down and told me about the class because she had gone last year. It was almost like God was telling me to return home, to my Catholic faith." Going to the meetings helped her realize she was not the only one that strayed from the Church. "I felt that since I was away for so long, I was a bad Catholic or I could never be as strong in faith as I was before, but in the first meeting the deacon shared that even he strayed away from the church during college but he came back to his faith even stronger than before." Now, she looks forward to Thursday's every week and because she learns about her Catholic faith she feels at home. The program consists of six, two-hour sessions. Various subjects are presented in order to help people who have been away from the Church feel more familiar and comfortable with the Mass and the teachings of the Church upon their return. One recent class focused entirely with interpreting the Nicene Creed, line by line. “The first two sessions focus on welcoming people back. We share stories of faith, by the staff and later by the attendees, as they feel comfortable,” Deacon Cicora said. “At the first session, a priest is invited to speak for 10 minutes, apologizing for anything that might have occurred that resulted in the attendees leaving the Church. No one 22  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

is pressured to say anything, but welcomed to share their concerns.” The third through sixth sessions have to do with re-familiarizing individuals with the Mass and the teachings of the Church, including a history of the Church with emphasis on the changes since the Second Vatican Council and a discussion of the Mass, with a visit and tour of the church. Deacon Cicora added that by the end of the program, the attendees have bonded with each other, becoming fast friends. “After the sixth session, we have a banquet to celebrate the return of each individual, and provide certificates. At that point, people are usually asking when the next session will be. In fact, we have had several individuals go through the program twice or more, because they found it instructive, enjoyable and warmly welcoming. Every group has wanted to continue with more teaching,” he said. The program cannot operate without the assistance from active parishioners, so a small staff of returned Catholics assist Deacon Cicora. “Food and drink are provided at each

session, with the main intention of serving those who have come directly from work. Free childcare is provided,” Deacon Cicora said. “The rest of our parish serves the important function of praying for the success of the program, inviting inactive Catholics to participate and displaying yard signs announcing our program.” Meanwhile, Reyna says listening to everybody’s stories about returning to the church has been inspirational. “It just motivates you even more to get back into your faith. Some people I know had been gone 10-12 years, proving it’s never too late to come back. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most has been meeting new people. Now, coming to church feels more personal. We feel more welcomed than ever before. Making new friendships has definitely been an unexpected benefit of coming to these classes,” he said. (For more information on “Catholics Coming Home” visit the website or call Deacon Allen Cicora, St. Peter Prince of Apostles at (361) 563-7943.)


Lupita Elswick, Olaya Solis y Martha García visitan pacientes en el hospital Spohn South y les fungen la Eucaristía. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

Compartiendo la palabra en el año de la Misericordia Luisa Scolari

E Corresponsal

n el año de Jubileo de la Misericordia, el papa Francisco invita al pueblo católico que se acerquen a vivir las obras de misericordia corporales y espirituales. Que se acerquen a los ministerios que sus parroquias ofrecen. Las señoras Celina Muraira, Magdalena Rodríguez y Erika Vargas-Camacho de la parroquia St. John the Baptist cumplen con este precepto en el asilo Villa South Assisted Living, a donde acuden cada miércoles de 10:30 a 11:30 a.m. Llevan paz y esperanza a través de la palabra de Dios y rezan junto con las personas que ahí viven. “Hace mucho sentía una inquietud de pertenecer a un ministerio pero no sabía cual y no me daba el tiempo hasta que me

hice el propósito de por fin hacerlo," Muraira dijo. "Pues sentía la necesidad de servir y me gustó la idea de convivir y acompañar a las personas mayores que se encuentran solas, pues se me hacen muy indefensas y pienso en mi mamá que pasa mucho tiempo sola en casa." Muraira dijo que le gustaría que alguien hiciera lo mismo con su mamá, pues cuando la visita "disfruto mucho ver la misa en María Visión y rezar con ella." "En cada cara de estas personas veo la de mi mamá. Es una gran bendición y satisfacción poder compartir con ellos esa alegría que muestran al rezar el Rosario y cantar alabanzas," Muraira dijo. "Es una experiencia muy gratificante pues por fin encontré la manera de entregar mi servicio al prójimo y ya no April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  23


De izquierda, Magdalena Rodríguez, Celina Muraira y Erika Vargas-Camacho ayudan en Villa South, un asilo para ancianos. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

me siento vacía." La señora Vargas-Camacho comenzó por una inquietud que nació en ella de atender a la obra de misericordia corporal de visitar a los enfermos en este año de Jubileo de la Misericordia. Como Muraira, Vargas-Camacho compara la situación de sus padres con la que encuentra en el asilo. “Cada vez que vengo recibo mucha paz, pues pienso que podrían ser mis padres ya que como no vivo en la misma ciudad 24  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

que ellos y no los puedo visitar a menudo, pienso que ellos pueden recibir este cariño a través de otra persona que haga lo mismo que yo," Vargas-Camacho dijo. Sentía que debía dar algo de lo mucho que el señor le ha dado a ella y también le ayuda a sentir que esta colaborando con el ano de la Misericordia consagrada a María. La señora Rodríguez tiene ya tres años asistiendo al asilo. “La necesidad que sentía de compartir algo de lo que el Señor me

ha dado me motivo a querer hacer el trabajo del Señor, ya que somos sus manos, sus pies, su boca, sin nosotros la palabra y el amor de Dios no podría extenderse," Rodríguez dijo. Dijo que recibe mucha paz y al estar consiente de las limitaciones que trae la edad, le hace prepararse para aceptar que va a ser una realidad en su vida. "Veo que otras personas sufren mas que yo y que con los dones que Dios me da

puedo traerles paz y alegría a las personas que visito, y en este tiempo que tengo visitándolas, siento que he llegado a amarlas y por seguro he recibido mas de lo que he dado," ella dijo Por otro lado, las señoras Lupita Elswick, Martha García y Olaya Solís fungen como ministros de la Eucaristía en el hospital Spohn South. Cuando una persona esta hospitalizada existe una necesidad de auxilio espiritual y sed de fe.

La señora García dijo que para ella el poder asistir al asilo y atender a las personas que ahí viven es una inquietud que tenia de poder hacer algo por los demás. "Tenerles paciencia, cariño y entrega a estas personas me llena de satisfacción porque siento que estoy haciendo algo por los demás. Me llena de gusto y agradezco a Dios la oportunidad de poder ayudarlas a rezar el Rosario, me siento muy bendecida de poder pertenecer a este ministerio," García dijo.

Solís tiene 11 años de estar practicando este ministerio ya que primero asistía a la misa diaria en el hospital porque su hija trabajaba en el hospital y eso le hacia sentirse conectada con ella y su profesión. "Empecé a sentir la necesidad de compartir mi fe con los pacientes," García dijo. "Poco a poco fui desarrollando mi propia manera de rezar dependiendo de la situación por la que este pasando el paciente y sus familiares que en ocasiones no están April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  25


preparados para recibir la Eucaristía y les ofrecemos rezar con ellos y eso les trae mucha paz." "Es una alegría y un honor llevar a través de la Eucaristía la salvación a quien tiene hambre espiritual de Dios, ya que la enfermedad los hace conscientes de estar preparados," García dijo. "Siempre me encomiendo al Espíritu Santo y eso hace que la palabra fluya y siento un gran agradecimiento de que puedo compartir la palabra y el amor de Dios a personas que están sedientas de ella. El hecho de ser bilingüe es una ventaja, ya que muchas personas prefieren rezar en español. Al terminar el día y al salir del hospital le invade a García un sentimiento de paz y alegría y se siente mas bendecida que cuando llego. La señora Elswick también siente que es un privilegio ser una escogida para pertenecer al ministerio de la Eucaristía. "A mi me invitaron cuando venia a misa porque estaban necesitando personas para

este ministerio y en oración pensé: 'Bueno Señor, si esto es lo que necesitas de mi y es lo que quieres que yo haga, pues hágase tu voluntad'," Elswick dijo. Las personas hospitalizadas se encuentran decaídas y les alegra y les da mucha paz y tranquilidad cuando visitamos. El hospital ofrece para todos sus pacientes el servicio de comunión, comunión espiritual, oración y visita del sacerdote. "Cuando visito un paciente, a medida que voy hablando con ellos se va creando un lazo de confianza y empiezo a rezar el padre nuestro analizándolo parte por parte y así voy guiando la oración," Elswick dijo. "Me encanta cuando me preguntan: 'vas a venir mañana?' Les regalamos un Rosario con un folleto para que ellos lo recen, estampitas de diferentes santos y de la Virgen de Guadalupe." Dijo Elswick que es muy lindo ver que les pueden llevar paz a través de la comunión y de la palabra del Señor y eso le hace "sentir en las nubes cuando salgo

del hospital". "Servir es una cosa muy linda, y la alegría de llevar el pan de vida y alimento del alma es una oportunidad que no dejo de sentir agradecimiento a Dios," ella dijo. "Salgo con un gusto y paz interior inexplicable, sentimientos de paz, amor y servicio." Los ministros de la Eucaristía dependen del departamento de espiritualidad del hospital y pertenecen a diferentes parroquias. Donna Stockwell es la coordinadora de voluntarias en Spohn South. Ella se encarga de revisar que las voluntarias estén al corriente de sus cursos de ambiente seguro que la diócesis exige a todos los voluntarios además de la vacuna de la gripe, la prueba de tuberculosis y el curso de entrenamiento y actualización de ética y confidencialidad. Si algún lector esta interesado de ser voluntario, debe informarse en su parroquia que ministerios ofrece e inscribirse a participar en el que sienta que le acomode mas.

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

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. 26  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

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April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  27


MARRIAGE PREP shoul Tom Tracy Catholic News Service


icensed clinical therapist and family therapist Peter Kleponis believes it is time for Churchbased marriage preparation programs to address pornography addiction and to urge assistance for addicted individuals before proceeding with marriage. "Given the severe harm caused by pornography in marriage, pre-marriage programs have to address this issue," said Kleponis during a talk in the Miami Archdiocese. He recently spoke to Catholics gathered at St. Gregory the Great Church in Fort Lauderdale. Typically, young couples in marriage preparation programs will hear about the dangers of drug and alcohol addictions in marriages, but little about pornography. "We need to talk about this in marriage prep programs because a lot of guys are going into marriage addicted to this stuff," he said. "If a man is unwilling to address and resolve this conflict, a woman should really reconsider marrying him. "We wouldn't want a woman marrying an active alcoholic or drug addict, why would we want her marrying an active sex addict? We have to take this seriously," he said. The messages embedded in pornography include a plethora of false messages that pollute the user's perspective of the opposite sex, according to Kleponis, who noted the absurdity of some couples thinking that viewing pornography could help spice up their romantic life. "This is not about healthy relationships; the damage is an involvement in a fantasy world that undermines

28  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

your ability to communicate and relate to women in a healthy manner, it interferes with the development of a healthy personality because it fosters selfishness, and it harms your ability to understand and want to make a loving commitment in marriage," Kleponis said. Studies show that young adults who are regular consumers of pornography do not want to get married, and it fosters the "'hook up' culture in which porn consumers use other people for your sexual pleasure," Kleponis said. "Pornography does not make you a man, if anything it takes away your manhood," Kleponis said, noting that the effect of pornography on women is equally damaging and hurtful to a woman's self-image. He noted alarming statistics showing that today's young adult women increasingly admit to being regular consumers of pornographic imagery, whereas older women have favored using online tools and social media for anonymous, often dangerous relationships. (Tracy is a correspondent for the Florida Catholic, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Miami.)

Pamphlets containing information on the Church's teaching on pornography can be used in marriage prep programs. Gregory A. Shemitz, Catholic News Service April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  29


ld address porn addiction


Kerry says Islamic State i Barb Fraze


Catholic News Service

.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that atrocities carried out by the Islamic State group against Yezidis, Christians and other minorities were genocide, the first U.S. declaration of genocide since Sudanese actions in Darfur in 2004. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that atrocities carried out by the Islamic State group against Yezidis, Christians and other minorities were genocide, the first U.S. declaration of genocide since Sudanese actions in Darfur in 2004. Kerry said he was not judge and jury, but the Islamic State had self-defined itself as genocidal because of its actions against Yezidis, Christians, Shiite Muslims and other minorities. Reaction was swift from two organizations and a religious community with ties to the region. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked U.S. Catholics to sign a pledge calling for an end to the slaughter of Christians and members of other religious minority groups in the Middle East. "As a people of faith, we must convince the U.S. Department of State to include Christians in any formal declaration of genocide," he said March 14, just days before Kerry's deadline. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, welcomed the declaration, saying it is "correct and truly historic." The Knights and In Defense of Christians released a report March 10 detailing accounts of rape, murder, torture, kidnapping and forced removals experienced and witnessed by hundreds of Christians. 30  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

"By joining its voice to that of the House of Representatives, the American people and the international community, the United States today makes clear to ISIS that its attempt to stamp out religious minorities must cease," he said in a statement. "The United States and the world are united on this and simply will not look the other way." In Defense of Christians said in a statement that Kerry's declaration "used the word that has the moral authority to raise the international consciousness and compel the international community of responsible nations to act." By acknowledging that religious and ethnic minorities are victims of genocide, the organization said, "the United States has done a great justice to the victims of the atrocities committed by ISIS, including the over 1,100 Christians who have been killed because of their faith." The Iraq Coordinating Committee of the North American Dominicans' Justice and Peace Promoter's office, also hailed the declaration in a statement, saying it gives "moral weight" for the organization's years-long call for increased protection of refugees and the responsibility of countries around the world to fund and staff refugee programs to internally displaced Iraqis. The Dominican order has been committed to justice in Iraq for more than 20 years after the United Nations adopted economic sanctions against the regime of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and has sent delegations to work alongside

suffering and displaced communities. A 66-member coalition is "working intensively to stop the spread of Daesh," Kerry said, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State. He said the world must "marginalize and defeat violence extremists, once and for all," so they were not replaced by another extremist group with a different acronym. "We must recognize and hold the perpetrators accountable," Kerry said in a March 17 statement that included a litany of atrocities such as rape and murder. He said Christians often were given the choice of converting to Islam or death, which was a choice between two types of death. Kerry said military action to defeat Islamic State was important, but so were other actions. He said the coalition against Islamic State was working to strangle the group's finances and to ensure that people who fled would someday be able to return. On March 14, the House of Representatives, in a bipartisan 393-0 vote, approved a nonbinding resolution that condemns as genocide the atrocities being carried out by Islamic State militants against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in the areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria. They gave Kerry until March 17 to decide whether to make a formal declaration of genocide. The European Parliament passed a similar resolution in February. State Department spokesmen said Kerry studied volumes of information before deciding on the genocide information.

Iraqis inspect the wreckage of the grave of the prophet Jonah in Mosul, Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry must decide whether to make a formal declaration of genocide over atrocities committed against Christians and other religious minorities by the Islamic State in areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria. Stringer, Catholic News Service


is committing genocide Last October, they hinted that a genocide designation was coming for the Yezidi minority in the region, but not for Christians. The comments led to a firestorm of protest from Christian groups that resulted in the congressional action. In his remarks, Kerry said the U.S. government did not have total access to everything going on but was basing its decision on intelligence and military sources and

outside groups. The Knights and In Defense of Christians issued their 278-page report in Washington. It contained dozens of statements collected from Feb. 22 through March 3 from witnesses and victims of atrocities carried out by Islamic State forces. The incidents included torture, rapes, kidnappings, murder, forced conversions, bombings and the destruction of religious

property and monuments. In Beirut, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan commended the "courageous and clear resolution." He said adopting the resolution would "help the (world's) first Christian communities survive in their homeland of the Middle East." He made the remarks before leaving March 17 to visit Homs, Syria, his fourth visit since the liberation of the city.

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  31


No place is safe for Syria's children Dale Gavlak


Catholic News Service

s peace talks get underway in Geneva trying to end the five-year-old war in Syria, the U.N. children's agency warned that more than 80 percent of Syria's children have been harmed by the destructive conflict. "No place today is safe for Syria's children," Peter Salama, UNICEF's Mideast director, told reporters in the Jordanian capital at the launch of the organization's latest report on the Syrian crisis. "A new and disturbing pattern of violations against children's rights has emerged in the conflict," Salama said, as youngsters have been killed and maimed, boys under age 15 have been forced into active combat, 32  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

while still others have been exposed to siege and starvation. Nearly seven million children in Syria live in poverty and are potential targets for recruitment by armed groups, Salama said. UNICEF has called for the unconditional and sustained access to children in Syria, including two million in besieged areas. "This generation is at grave risk. Almost three million of these children are out of school," Salama said. "If we don't have them educated, we won't have the next generation of people to rebuild Syria." A 12-year-old Syrian named Saja told UNICEF that she is trying to educate herself by reading, but she does not always understand everything in her books. She lost one of her legs in a bombing that killed

several of her friends. "It's a struggle, but what can I do," she said. Despite her handicap, Saja hopes to train as a gymnastics coach and plays soccer, using crutches. Meanwhile, Catholic Relief Services reports that it has supported more than a million people affected by the Syrian conflict, mainly sheltering in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. "The scale of the suffering is devastating," said Kevin Hartigan, CRS regional director for Europe and the Middle East, who has overseen the response. "But as Pope Francis reminds us, there are human faces behind the staggering statistics. Each of the millions of displaced Syrians is an

Peter Salama, UNICEF's Mideast director

individual uprooted from a full life, a family member, a loved one." CRS, the U.S. bishops' international relief and development agency and a member of the international Caritas aid federation, has made education a priority for Syrian refugee children who have fled the conflict. CRS and Caritas have set up education facilities for refugee children and have introduced a certification process that will allow them to return to their education system in Syria when the war is over. These Catholic aid agencies also have provided psychosocial support and trauma healing to children exposed to the horrors of seeing loved ones killed and their homes destroyed. In addition to this support, food, clothing and medical care have been supplied to refugee children and their families. The Catholic agencies and the U.N. have called for an end to attacks on civilian infrastructure in Syria so that schools, hospitals and water supplies are kept safe. They also urge the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties to the conflict. Hind Kabawat, a Syrian Christian lawyer who attended the Geneva talks, said that it is up to the Syrian people to decide whether to keep Syrian President Bashar Assad. Assad's fate, presidential elections and the type of new government are among the talks' main obstacles. The Syrian regime says Assad's future is not on the table. "The Syrian people have the right to decide if they want to keep Bashar Assad or not. When we have somebody who has committed all of these crimes in Syria, I don't think he is qualified to be a president," said Kabawat, formerly with the U.S. Institute of Peace. "We have to live in hope. This is the only thing we can do now," she said. "We don't have other options. The other option is war, which is death to Syrian people."

Mother Teresa will be made a saint on Sept. 4 Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service


ope Francis will declare Blessed Teresa of Kolkata a saint at the Vatican Sept. 4. The date was announced March 15 during an "ordinary public consistory," a meeting of the pope, cardinals and promoters of sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process. At the same consistory, the pope set June 5 as the date for the canonizations of Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski of Poland, founder of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, and Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad of Sweden, who re-founded the Bridgettine sisters. In addition, Pope Francis declared that Oct. 16 he would celebrate Mass for the canonizations of Argentina's "gaucho priest," Blessed Jose Brochero, and Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio, a 14-year-old Mexican boy martyred for refusing to renounce his faith during the Cristero War of the 1920s. Setting the dates concludes a long process of studying the lives and writings of the sainthood candidates. Mother Teresa was widely known as a living saint as she ministered to the sick and the dying in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the world. Although some people criticized her for not also challenging the injustices that kept so many people so poor and abandoned, her simple service touched the hearts of millions of people of all faiths. Born to an ethnic Albanian family in Skopje, in what is now part of Macedonia, she went to India in 1929 as a Sister of Loreto and became an Indian citizen in 1947. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950. Shortly after she died in 1997, St. John Paul II waived the usual fiveyear waiting period and allowed the opening of the process to declare her sainthood. She was beatified in 2003. After her beatification, Missionary of Charity Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the postulator of her sainthood cause, published a book of her letters, "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light." The letters illustrated how, for decades, she experienced what is described as a "dark night of the soul" in Christian spirituality; she felt that God had abandoned her. While the letters shocked some people, others saw them as proof of her steadfast faith in God, which was not based on feelings or signs that he was with her. The date chosen for her canonization is the eve of the 19th anniversary of her death and the date previously established at the Vatican for the conclusion of the Year of Mercy pilgrimage of people like her who are April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  33


"This generation is at grave risk. Almost three million of these children are out of school. If we don't have them educated, we won't have the next generation of people to rebuild Syria."


A poster of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata and Missionaries of Charity are seen in Kolkata, India, in this 2007 photo. Pope Francis will declare her a saint at the Vatican Sept. 4, the conclusion of the Year of Mercy jubilee for those engaged in works of mercy. Jayanta Shaw, Catholic News Service

engaged in works of mercy. Blessed Papczynski founded the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in Poland in the 17th century. Today the Marians are special promoters of the Divine Mercy devotion of St. Faustina Kowalska. Born in 1631, he was ordained as a Piarist priest, but left the order after 10 years. His new congregation was established officially in 1679 and he died in 1701. He was beatified in Poland in 2007. Blessed Hesselblad was born in Faglavik, Sweden, in 1870 and went to the United States at the age of 18 in search of work to help support her family. She studied nursing in New York and, impressed by the faith of the Catholics she cared for, began the process of entering the Catholic Church. Coming from a Lutheran family, she was conditionally baptized by a Jesuit priest in Washington, D.C. On a pilgrimage to Rome, she visited the home of the 14th-century St. Brigid of Sweden and was welcomed by the Carmelite sisters who were then living there. She received permission from the pope to make religious vows under the rule of St. Brigid and re-found the Bridgettine order that had died out in Sweden after the Protestant Reformation. She was beatified in 2000. Blessed Brochero, the "gaucho priest," was born in Argentina in 1840 and died in 1914. Ordained for the Archdiocese of Cordoba, he spent years traveling far and

34  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

wide by mule to reach his flock. Pope Francis, in a message in 2013 for the priest's beatification—a ceremony scheduled before the Argentine pope was elected—said Father Brochero truly had "the smell of his sheep." He gained particular fame for his work caring for the sick and dying during a cholera epidemic in 1867. With his own hands, he built churches and chapels and opened paths through the western mountains of Cordoba province. During his travels, he contracted Hansen's disease, more commonly known as leprosy; many people believe that Father Brochero contracted the disease when he shared a cup of mate, an herbal tea, with someone who already had the disease. Blessed Sanchez was martyred in Mexico in 1928, just weeks before his 15th birthday. In 1926, Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles introduced tough anti-clerical laws and confiscated Church property across the country. Some 90,000 people were killed in the ensuing Cristero war before the government and Church reached an accord in 1929. Young Sanchez wanted to fight in the war alongside his brothers, but he was too young. Eventually, he was allowed to be the flag bearer of a unit. During an intense battle, he was captured by government troops, who ordered him to renounce his faith. He refused, even when tortured. The boy was executed about two weeks later. He was beatified in 2005.


Visiting the incarcerated challenges most believers Father J. Patrick Serna is pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton.

Father J. Patrick Serna



n this Year of Mercy, we are invited and encouraged to represent the love and mercy of God to the forgotten and marginalized. The choice to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy is one that goes against natural instincts. How many times have we pretended not to see or remember a hungry person when it would have been relatively easy to share or buy a meal for them? Yet, the works of mercy challenge us to leave our comfort zones for values given to us by Jesus himself. To clothe the naked is one of the works of mercy, and we frequently feel good about ourselves when we give away old or used clothes. To be honest though, would we not throw away many of these used clothes if needy people would not take them? How often do we buy new clothes or shoes for those who are poor? The selfishness of human nature inspires us to be frugal when it comes to giving things to others, but more generous when it comes to the things we get for ourselves. We often make resolutions to visit the sick, but the "busyness" of life frequently gets in the way and we fail to show up, despite the fact that this is one of the works of mercy that should be a priority for all believing Christians. How often do we visit the sick, not including family members or friends? Jesus gives us a reality check: "And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same (Lk 6:33)." To visit the incarcerated is one of the works of mercy that definitely challenges most of us,

especially if the incarcerated person is not a relative or friend. How often do we Christians go visit, or take appropriate gifts, to strangers who are incarcerated? Yet, Jesus makes it clear that it will go well on Judgment Day for those who do the works of mercy, and it will not go so well for those who do not (cf. Mt 25:36). On one particular morning at our parish, there was an air conditioner that needed servicing and there was a new plumbing problem with the parish hall restrooms. On top of that, there were new sick people who requested sacraments at out of town hospitals, and it seemed like these new obligations would be easier to accomplish if I would simply "cancel" my scheduled monthly visit to the county jail. More often than not, we experience temptations during times of feeling overwhelmed, and this was one of those times for me. A temptation came my way, and it sounded something like this: "You can always go to the jail next month, will your ministry really help them anyways? The sick people at the hospital can better appreciate your priestly ministry." Surprise, surprise! Priests can be tempted even while doing ministry, and this is why we always ask lay people to pray for us. An interesting "God incident" happened, a few seconds after trying to rationalize a possible cancellation of jail ministry in order to tend to other "more pressing" matters. A friend sent me a random text with the following words from out of nowhere: "Don't judge someone just because they sin differently than you." My friend did not realize that God inspired him to

➤Don't judge

someone just because they sin differently than you.

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  35


send me this message at just the right time. Later that morning, while doing ministry at the jail, I encountered some beautiful souls, but there is one soul I will never forget. While visiting with a young man, I asked him, "How did you get caught?" The young man replied: "I didn't get caught. I admitted what I did to my mom, and she told me to turn myself in. A mom's prayers and tears are very powerful. It is because of my mom's love and tears that I am here in jail. I knew my mom was right, and I need to do restitution on earth in order to become a better man. Meeting you here Father is confirmation to me that I am on the right track and it was good that I turned myself in. I was doubting my choice Father, so thank you for being here. I needed someone to bring God to me, your visit means everything to me." The conversation after that was one of the most meaningful ones in all my years as a priest, and all of us can be an answer to prayer, if only we choose to show up. Many Latin Rite Catholics have a devotion to Jesus as represented by el Santo Niño de Atocha. During 15th

century Spain, the caliph forbade jailers from feeding Catholic prisoners, and if nourishment did not come from friends or family, the prisoners would die. The caliph only allowed food and water to be brought by boys 12-years-old and younger, and the local Catholic women asked Our Lady of Atocha for a miracle for the men who had no local relatives to care for them. There were several reports about a young boy dressed like a pilgrim, with a gourd in one hand and a bread basket in the other hand, who took food and drink to the friendless Catholic prisoners. During this same time frame the shoes of the Infant of Atocha statue frequently went missing, or, muddy little footprints appeared leading up to el Santo Niño's statue. There have not been recent reports of the Atocha child in jails and prisons in our diocese, and maybe because God wants people like you and me to take the initiative. Will you be the one to bring God's love and mercy to prisoners? "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me (Mt 25:40)."

April Liturgical Calendar 1 | Fri | Friday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 4:1-12/Jn 21:1-14 (265) Pss Prop

5:27-33/Jn 3:31-36 (270)

2 | Sat | Saturday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 4:13-21/Mk 16:915 (266) Pss Prop

9 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 6:1-7/Jn 6:16-21 (272)

3 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER | white (OR SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY) Acts 5:12-16/Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19/Jn 20:19-31 (45) Pss Prop 4 | Mon | THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Is 7:10-14; 8:10/Heb 10:4-10/Lk 1:26-38 (545) Pss Prop

8 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:34-42/Jn 6:1-15 (271)

16 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 9:31-42/Jn 6:60-69 (278) 17 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 13:14, 43-52/Rv 7:9, 14b-17/Jn 10:27-30 (51) Pss IV

10 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41/ Rv 5:11-14/Jn 21:1-19 or 21:1-14 (48) Pss III

18 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 11:1-18/Jn 10:1-10 (279)

11 | Mon | Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Acts 6:8-15/Jn 6:22-29 (273)

20 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 12:24—13:5a/Jn 12:44-50 (281)

12 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 7:51—8:1a/Jn 6:30-35 (274)

5 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Vincent Ferrer, Priest] Acts 4:32-37/Jn 3:7b-15 (268) Pss II

13 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white/ red [Saint Martin I, Pope and Martyr] Acts 8:1b-8/Jn 6:35-40 (275)

6 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:17-26/Jn 3:16-21 (269)

14 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 8:26-40/Jn 6:44-51 (276)

7 | Thu | Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest | white | Memorial | Acts

15 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 9:1-20/Jn 6:52-59 (277)

Nine readings are assigned to the Easter Vigil: seven from the Old Testament and two from the New. If circumstances demand in individual cases, the number of prescribed readings may be reduced. Three selections from the Old Testament, both from the Law and the Prophets, should be read before the Epistle and Gospel. In any case, the reading from Exodus about the escape 9

36  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

19 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 11:19-26/Jn 10:22-30 (280)

21 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Acts 13:13-25/ Jn 13:16-20 (282) 22 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:26-33/Jn 14:1-6 (283) 23 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/ red/red [Saint George, Martyr; Saint Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr] Acts 13:44-52/Jn 14:7-14 (284)

24 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 14:21-27/Rv 21:15a/Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35 (54) Pss I 25 | Mon | Saint Mark, Evangelist | red | Feast | 1 Pt 5:5b-14/Mk 16:15-20 (555) Pss Prop 26 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 14:19-28/Jn 14:27-31a (286) 27 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 15:1-6/Jn 15:1-8 (287) 28 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white/ red/white [Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr; Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest] Acts 15:7-21/Jn 15:9-11 (288) 29 | Fri | Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Acts 15:22-31/Jn 15:12-17 (289) 30 | Sat | Easter Weekday | whitewhite [Saint Pius V, Pope] Acts 16:1-10/Jn 15:18-21 (290)

through the Red Sea (reading 3) should never be omitted. Although not given the title of Solemnity, “[t]he first eight days of Easter Time constitute the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord” (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 24). 10

April 1. Registration at 12 p.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. There is a $160 fee, which includes: golf, lunch, beverages, prizes and awards. For additional information call (361) 992-1343 or email:



April 1 at 6 p.m. at Solomon P. Ortiz Center. Entertainment by "Cruise Control" and "Sweet Adelines". BBQ by Corpus Christi Mustangs. Free photo opportunity with a custom built helicopter. Dress in scrubs, fatigues, camo or favorite M*A*S*H character. For more information call (361) 883-5500 or go to

Fourth Annual Spring Fiesta/Trail Ride




Divine Mercy Feast

April 3 from 2-5 p.m. at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church (3210 South Padre Island Drive) in Corpus Christi.

Sabado del mes tendremos Nocturnal Adoration

Reception after Divine Mercy Mass at Sacred Heart


Diocesan Marriage Preparation


Holy Hour for Vocations


Men's Retreat at OLCC


April 6 from 6-7 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel (1008 Austin Street) in Portland. For more information call (361) 334-2781 or email April 7-10 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Begins Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and ends on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. A weekend to go deeper in our relationship with Our Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Holy Hour First Thursday of the Month


April 7 and first Thursday of the month at Sacred Heart Church (422 North Alameda Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information go to

Come and See

April 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Mt. Thabor Convent (12940 Leopard St.) in Corpus Christi. Come meet communities of sisters in the diocese. Single women between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to meet the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Call ahead at (361) 241-1955.


April 3 after 11:30 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart Church (422 North Alameda Street) in Corpus Christi.

Couples Retreat

Saturday, April 2. Registration will be at 2 p.m. An evening for married couples Renewal of Marriage Vows , Spiritual Reflection and Holy Mass at 5 p.m., followed by a candle light “Italian dinner”. Registration fee per couple $30. For more information call (361) 992-9841 or email:

Missa Musica Sacra (Sacred Music Mass)

April 3 from 5:30-6:45 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Join us on Divine Mercy Sunday in a special Eucharistic celebration for the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the music of Franz Joseph Haydn Mass in B Flat Major "Kleine Orgelmesse" with special guests from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

M*A*S*H Bash 2016

April 2 from 12 p.m.-12 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Church grounds (Church Street) in Concepcion. There will be live music, dance and a DJ all day. Bring your lawn chairs to La Fiesta. Many kinds of great food and drinks, a variety of booths, games, train ride and hay ride for children, arts and crafts for sale. No coolers on church grounds. Contact trail boss Joe Salinas at ( 361) 537-4149.




popular throughout the Englishspeaking world. Open to men, women, and couples. Cost is $220. Call Susan Oakley at (361) 576-1515 or (361) 649-6391 or email:

April 9-10 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. The Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is a two-day overnight event for the engaged. It is designed to inform couples of the spiritual and practical aspects of Catholic marriage and facilitate couple dialogue on these important issues. For more information go to:

Third Annual Spring Fest

April 10 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church (107 Church Street) in Gregory. There will be food and drinks, live auction, live music, cake walk plus a chance to win a 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe. For more information call (361) 643-4505 or email

Women's Conference at St. Theresa

April 16 from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall (1302 Lantana Street) in Corpus Christi. It is for all women ages 16 and above. Refreshments will be served. There will be door prizes and a raffle. Requested donation of $8 will be used to cover expenses of conference. To RSVP for seating or to request more information call or text Irma Rodriguez at (361) 774-6660 or Maria Evans at (361) 249-2004.

Retreat in Victoria

April 8-10 at the Spiritual Renewal Center in Victoria. The retreat will be led by lecturer, columnist and author Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, titled Living the Ups and Downs of our Faith: Dark Nights and Doubt, a Failure of Faith or a Failure of Imagination. His books, including The Shattered Lantern, The Holy Longing and The Restless Heart, are

April 9 and every 2nd Saturday/Cada segundo sabado del mes tendremos Nocturnal Adoration empezando con misa a las 8 de la noche y terminando a las con la Bendición 5 de la manana. Beginning with Mass at 8 p.m. and ending with Benediction at 5 a.m. For more information go to:

16, 17

Retired Diocesan Priest’s Fund A second collection to be collected in your parish on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17.

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  37



Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and blessing of articles by Deacon Galvan to follow. Refreshments in Msgr. Kasper Youth Center after service. Everyone is invited. Bring a friend.

St. Pius X 14th Annual Golf Classic




of the month from 6-8 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information call the office at (361) 992-9841 or email

Grounded in Truth at Cafe Veritas-OLCC

April 16 and every third Saturday. An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel 7-8 p.m. followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus Christi's Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. This month's musician is Brenda Hernandez. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.

22 Healing Retreat at OLCC

April 22-24 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Retreat begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of silent reflection asking God to reveal where we need healing and concludes with a Healing Service. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Natural Family Planning Class April 16 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin in Corpus Christi. Natural Family Planning allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the Church and respecting the gift of their married love. To register online go to

Home 23, Catholic Missions Appeal 24

A second collection to be collected in your parish on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24.

19 Tuesday Tea with the Saints

prayer group 23 St.busJoseph's trip to San Juan

April 19 and every third Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center's St. Joseph Hall. Includes introduction to a saint, a complimentary pamphlet with quotes and suggested reading. Cost is free, but donations welcome. RSVP at (361) 241-2833. If you do not RSVP, do not worry, you are still welcome.

April 23 begin loading onto bus at 6 a.m. at St. Joseph Church parking lot (710 South 19th Street) in Corpus Christi. Bus leaves at 6:30 a.m. Plan on visiting San Juan Basilica and St. Jude Grotto. Lunch at Golden Corral and shopping at the outlets. $35 a person. For more information call the St. Joseph's Prayer Group at (361) 883-7590 or email

Covenant of Love with 21 AMary Information Classes

April 21 and every third Thursday

The Law Offices


wiLLiam BOniLLa, P.c.

cLay BOniLLa aTTOrney



“Saint Thomas More, Pray For Us!”

2727 Morgan Ave., 3rd Floor Corpus Christi, Texas 78405

38  South Texas Catholic | April 2016

Office: 361-882-8284 Cell: 361-739-1098 Fax: 361-881-1031

Daughter 29 Mother Retreat at OLCC

April 29-May 1 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). This weekend retreat will be led by Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT. It is for mothers and adult and teenage daughters (ages 14+) and is designed to bring mothers and daughters on a deeper journey of healing and freedom within their own hearts and with one another. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Annual Mom Prom Ladies' 30 6th Night Out Black & Gold Gala April 30 from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Parish Hall (2414 Main Street) in Ingleside. There will be music, door prizes, silent auction, prom queen, photographer and lots of fun. Proceeds benefit Our Lady of Assumption Community Food Pantry. For more information call the parish office at (361) 776-2446.

To see more calendar events go to: South Texas







Open 7 Days A Week Prizes now up to $750 Sponsored by:

Lost Pet Hotline, Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary, Inc., & Dobie Haven, Inc. Big Brothers, Big Sisters

9840 B Leopard Street, Corpus Christi (between Rand Morgan & McKenzie)

(361) 241-8153

April 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  39

April 2016 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191

Share in the Care

Please give to those who have given a lifetime. Donate generously to your local parish collection

April 16-17, 2016

Retired Diocesan Priests Fund