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VOL. 51 NO. 6 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD



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Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert Contributors Rebecca Esparza, Jessica Morrison, Luisa Scolari, Dayna Mazzei Worchel

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VIDA CATÓLICA 31 4 VIEWPOINTS Emotions, conscience and prudence Haciendo peregrinación in our political obligations

9 Dating and discernment VOCATIONS

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NEWS 35 ANATIONAL crash course in ‘Miracles 101’

NEWS BRIEFS 19 Ordination slated for July 1

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Emotions, conscience and prudence in our political obligations Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Bishop Michael Mulvey


South Texas Catholic

s we continue to move more deeply into this election year, it is hard not to notice that there are bitter divides among many. It is precisely in these difficult times in our country’s political and social history that the presence of faithful, informed and discerning Catholic Christians engaged in the political process is most needed. When reflecting on our political responsibility, especially now, when we are called to participate in the serious task of electing our civic leaders, it is important to remember that no politician, no political party, no social policy can ever bring about a utopia in this current life. We live in a beautiful yet fallen world, one that is redeemed solely by the blood of Christ and not by elected officials, no matter how noble or alluring they may seem to be. Nevertheless, Pope Francis reminds us who follow Jesus that authentic faith involves “a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it (Evangelii Gaudium, 183).” In taking seriously our task of serving the common good and helping to build a civilization of love it is easy to get discouraged when the current political climate is so often characterized by high emotions that yield a disturbing degree of cynicism, coarseness and even anger often taking the form of personal attacks and insults towards those who may be in disagreement. In the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement “Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship (FCFC),” my brother bishops and I strongly reaffirm the Catholic teaching that responsible citizenship is a virtue, and that participation in political life is not just an optional privilege, it is a moral obligation. Care for the social order in which we are called by God to live is a duty rooted in our being part of the human community and responsible citizens. However, even more than this, our obligation to

4  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

participate in political concerns and the decisions of our society is “rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do (FCFC 13).” We should never sit back and give up on the world and our society. With Christ, we too should always desire and work for the salvation of all and the just ordering of society. The Church “cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice (Evangelii Gaudium, 183).” Unfortunately, the current political climate can present some serious challenges to fruitful participation in our political responsibility. Political conversation, both among individuals and in the public square, oftentimes seems to be losing its necessary civil and rational basis. Political discourse involves discussion of serious issues and topics that often touch upon the very foundations of a society’s moral principles. As such, it can be expected that many become emotionally invested in the issues and process. This is not necessarily a bad thing; after all, these are serious matters involving the well-being of our society. Nevertheless, deep concern or disappointment over legislation, candidates, direction of political parties or other factors should never serve as a justification for a hatefulness that undermines clear thinking and respect for the dignity of persons. In short, the actions that we take in political engagement cannot be motivated by anger or maliciousness but rather must be governed by reason that is informed by a well-formed conscience. The first step in any political participation, if it is to be fruitful, is the importance of developing a well-formed conscience. This is important for all but especially so for those of us who claim to bear the name of Christ. As Catholics, we have the “serious and lifelong obligation to form [our] consciences in accord with human reason and the teaching of the Church (FCFC 17).” More

Church’s clear teaching that a good end does not ever justify an immoral means. In seeking to advance the common good—“by defending the inviolable sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, by promoting religious freedom, by defending marriage, by feeding the hungry and housing the homeless, by welcoming the immigrant and protecting the environment—it is important to recognize that not all possible courses of action are morally acceptable. We have a responsibility to discern carefully which public policies are morally sound (cf. FCFC 20).” As Catholics, we can disagree over different ways to respond to the important social issues of our day, so long as these alternatives do not violate moral principles. However “we cannot differ on our moral obligation to help build a more just and peaceful world through morally acceptable means, so that the weak and vulnerable are protected and human rights and dignity are defended (FCFC 20).” Discontentment or frustration over individuals, parties or situations in the political process can never be allowed to eclipse this truth. A well-formed conscience, the rational exercise of prudence, and the moral obligation to advance the common good of life, human dignity, religious freedom, the sanctity of marriage, etc.—these cannot be ignored simply because we may be angry with the current state of our political situation. The very fact that the current political discourse seems largely to be failing to grasp adequately such essential moral truths shows an even greater urgency for us as the people of God to exercise our moral obligation of political engagement by bringing the truth and joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into our society. [The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship can be found at]

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June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  5


than just a feeling, emotion or opinion, conscience is “the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil (Ibid.)” Our society misunderstands conscience, believing that it is one’s personal opinion, determination or feeling that something is right or wrong. Conscience is not merely our opinion of the “rightness” or “wrongness” of an act, rather it is the instrument by which we reasonably check that act against objective moral principles in order not to determine but rather to discover whether something is right or wrong. A well-formed conscience begins with a desire to embrace goodness and truth (FCFC 18). For us Catholics, this means prayerfully considering all the facts, background information, and possible results of an act, but also embracing the guidance of God’s word found in sacred Scripture and the definitive teachings of the Church. It is a well-formed conscience that prepares us to be effective participants in the political life of our society and to witness convincingly to the truths of God and the morality of our actions. To ensure that our political participation is not marred by a blinding emotionalism in which we allow dissatisfaction to guide our political choices and discourse, the Church calls upon us to develop also the virtue of prudence in our lives and to bring this prudence into our political actions. Prudence, as the Catechism teaches, enables us “to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it (CCC 1806).” Our rational exercise of prudence, helps us to deliberate over the actions and possible alternatives that would be most fitting in a specific situation and to act accordingly. It helps us to keep our emotions in check while weighing whether a certain act is moral and proper. The virtue of prudence in our political engagement requires us to be courageous in our commitment to the


Catholic community brings assets to the political dialogue Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

he Church’s obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith. It is a basic part of the mission we have received from Jesus Christ, who offers a vision of life revealed to us in sacred Scripture and tradition. To echo the teaching of the Second Vatican Council: Christ, the word made flesh, in showing us the Father’s love, also shows us what it truly means to be human (Gaudium et Spes 22). Christ’s love for us lets us see our human dignity in full clarity and compels us to love our neighbors as he has loved us. Christ, the teacher, shows us what is true and good, that is, what is in accord with our human nature as free, intelligent beings created in God’s image and likeness and endowed by the Creator with dignity and rights as well as duties. Christ also reveals to us the weaknesses that are part of all human endeavors. In the language of revelation, we are confronted with sin, both personal and structural. “The Church’s wisdom,” according to Pope Benedict XVI, “has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions and in the structure of society (Caritas in Veritate, no. 34).” All “structures of sin,” as St. John Paul II called them, “are rooted in personal sin, and thus always linked to the concrete acts of individuals who introduce these structures, consolidate them and make them difficult to remove (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 36). ” Thus, our faith helps us understand that the pursuit of a civilization of love must address our own failures and the ways in which these failures distort the broader ordering of the society in which we live. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals (CCC, no. 407).” As Pope Francis, quoting Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirms, “We need to be convinced that charity ‘is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones)’ (Evangelii Gaudium 205). ” What faith teaches about the dignity of the human person, about the sacredness of every human life and about humanity’s strengths and weaknesses helps us see more clearly the same truths that also come to us through the gift of human reason. At the center of these truths is respect for the dignity of every person. This is the core of 6  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

Catholic moral and social teaching. Because we are people of both faith and reason, it is appropriate and necessary for us to bring this essential truth about human life and dignity to the public square. We are called to practice Christ’s commandment to “love one another (Jn 13:34).” We are also called to promote the wellbeing of all, to share our blessings with those most in need, to defend marriage and to protect the lives and dignity of all, especially the weak, the vulnerable, the voiceless. In his first encyclical letter, Pope Benedict XVI explained, “charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as ‘social charity’ (Deus Caritas Est 29).” Some question whether it is appropriate for the Church to play a role in political life. However, the obligation to teach the moral truths that should shape our lives, including our public lives, is central to the mission given to the Church by Jesus Christ. Moreover, the United States Constitution protects the right of individual believers and religious bodies to participate and speak out without government interference, favoritism or discrimination. Civil law should fully recognize and protect the right of the Church and other institutions in civil society to participate in cultural, political and economic life without being forced to abandon or ignore their central moral convictions. Our nation’s tradition of pluralism is enhanced, not threatened, when religious groups and people of faith bring their convictions and concerns into public life. Indeed, our Church’s teaching is in accord with the foundational values that have shaped our nation’s history: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Catholic community brings important assets to the political dialogue about our nation’s future. We bring a consistent moral framework—drawn from basic human reason that is illuminated by Scripture and the teaching of the Church—for assessing issues, political platforms, and campaigns. We also bring broad experience in serving those in need—educating the young, serving families in crisis, caring for the sick, sheltering the homeless, helping women who face difficult pregnancies, feeding the hungry, welcoming immigrants and refugees, reaching out in global solidarity and pursuing peace. We celebrate, with all our neighbors, the historically robust commitment to religious freedom in this country that has allowed the Church the freedom to serve the common good.


Participation in political life is a moral obligation Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

aymen should know that it is generally the function of their well-formed Christian conscience to see that the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city; from priests they may look for spiritual light and nourishment…Since they have an active role to play in the whole life of the Church, laymen are not only bound to penetrate the world with a Christian spirit, but are also called to be witnesses to Christ in all things in the midst of human society. Bishops, to whom is assigned the task of ruling the Church of God, should—together with their priests—preach the news of Christ that all the earthly activities of the faithful will be bathed in the light of the Gospel. All pastors should remember that by their daily conduct and concern they are revealing the face of the Church to the world, and men will judge the power and truth of the Christian message thereby. (Gaudium et Spes 43) In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. “People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens” (Evangelii Gaudium 220). The obligation to participate in political life is rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person…As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life (CCC 1913-1915).” Unfortunately, politics in our country often can be a contest of powerful interests, partisan attacks, sound bites and media hype. The Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by the moral convictions of wellformed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good and the protection of the weak and the vulnerable. As Pope Francis reminds us, “Politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good…I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! (Evangelii Gaudium 205).” The Catholic call to faithful citizenship affirms the importance of political participation and insists that public service is a worthy vocation. As citizens, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a

political party or interest group. When necessary, our participation should help transform the party to which we belong; we should not let the party transform us in such a way that we neglect or deny fundamental moral truths or approve intrinsically evil acts. We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our values and our votes, to help build a civilization of truth and love. Clergy and lay people have complementary roles in public life. Bishops have the primary responsibility to hand on the Church’s moral and social teaching. Together with priests and deacons, assisted by religious and lay leaders of the Church, bishops are to teach fundamental moral principles that help Catholics form their consciences correctly, to provide guidance on the moral dimensions of public decisions and to encourage the faithful to carry out their responsibilities in political life. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the Church’s leaders avoid endorsing or opposing candidates. As Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “The Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest…The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the state. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice (Deus Caritas Est 28).” “The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society is proper to the lay faithful,” Pope Benedict said. This duty is more critical than ever in today’s political environment, where Catholics may feel politically disenfranchised, sensing that no party and too few candidates fully share the Church’s comprehensive commitment to the life and dignity of every human being from conception to natural death. Yet this is not a time for retreat or discouragement; rather, it is a time for renewed engagement. Forming their consciences in accord with Catholic teaching, Catholic lay women and men can become actively involved: running for office; working within political parties; communicating their concerns and positions to elected officials; and joining diocesan social mission or advocacy networks, state Catholic conference initiatives, community organizations and other efforts to apply authentic moral teaching in the public square. Even those who cannot vote have the right to have their voices heard on issues that affect their lives and the common good. June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  7

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

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.

8  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources


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

Father Joseph Lopez

T Contributor

here are lots of charming Catholic women who want to get married to a good Catholic man. The problem is, when a man feels called to marriage, all these women go into hiding. But when a young man begins to discern a vocation to the priesthood, lots of wonderful Catholic women suddenly become available— and they would all love to date him! Of course, that’s an exaggeration, but there is an element of truth. Many seminarians meet the woman of their dreams at a most inopportune time—like the summer before they begin seminary! So what is a guy to do about dating and discernment? Here are some points to consider. Every situation is different Literally hundreds of thousands of men have gone to seminary and been ordained without ever having dated, and have lived fulfilling and happy lives. Other men will only have peace of mind about a vocation to the priesthood once they have explored dating. Should they enter seminary later, a chaste dating experience can help prepare them to willingly give up the beauty of marriage. As one priest put it, “My own dating experience gave me freedom of heart to apply to seminary.” Discern one vocation at a time One happily married father of five remembers attending Mass with his then-girlfriend. The idea of priesthood would frequently pop into his head, but he knew it was just that—an idea. He knew it was not the same thing as discernment, which is a very deliberate exploration of God’s call. In general, it is best to discern one vocation at a time. If you feel called to marriage, by all means get to know some good Catholic women. On the other hand, if you feel called to the priesthood, it is best to discern without any romantic ties, which would likely be an obstacle to good discernment of a priestly vocation.

Date for marriage Ideally, dating is for discerning marriage. As mentioned above, some men need to discern marriage before they discern the priesthood. But a man who feels called to the priesthood should be very careful about dating just to “rule out” the possibility of marriage. This would be using the other person, which is never morally acceptable. Think about it from a different perspective: if you were dating a woman who thought that she should seriously consider marrying a different man, would it not be disingenuous for her to continue dating you? It is not “God or the girl” Do not think of your vocation in terms of “God or the girl.” A vocation is not just a rejection of other possibilities. It is, more importantly, an embrace of the best option. What God wants for you is always best—for you, for “the girl” and for his plan. A marriage which is contrary to God’s best plan for you may well lead to an unhappy situation. The same goes for a priest who was originally called to marriage. Avoid the hook-up culture The concept of courtship has faded in our society, and even the idea of dating is waning. In its place is the practice of “hooking up.” A Catholic man who is striving for virtue needs to be very careful about dating in today’s culture. Falling into serious sin is always an obstacle to clear-headed discernment. When a man feels God tugging at his heart to consider the priesthood, at some point he must make the difficult choice to forego dating, or else risk not listening to God’s call. However, as you may have experienced in your own life, some of the best results come from the most difficult decisions. This is especially true with a vocation. Sometimes, especially for such an important matter, God requires that you make a difficult choice in order to gain a greater reward. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life. June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  9


Sister Dorothy counts every year of her life a blessing Sister Juliane Kuntscher, IWBS Contributor


ister Dorothy Anhaiser, IWBS is always happy to be of assistance in any project and has enjoyed a full life, experienced many challenges as a teacher, cafeteria manager, librarian and archivist and counts every year of her life a blessing. But, she said the greatest gift for her was serving as an extraordinairy minister for Holy Communion. Sister Dorothy was born in Dubina, Texas, the daughter of Anton and Mary Nohovitza Anhaiser. She attended Ss. Cyril and Methodius School in Dubina, staffed by the sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament from Victoria. She left home at age 17 for San Marcos, Texas to learn how to be a machinist and crane operator. From there she moved to Corpus Christi to work for a chemical company. She completed her high school education at Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi. Recalling a specific event in her discernment regarding religious life, Sister Dorothy points to her recuperation period following an accident as having played a part. Sister Xavier Holworthy, IWBS of Corpus Christi sent her a note asking, “Why don’t you get off the fence and enter the convent?” Later, she called Sister Xavier to ask what would it take to be accepted in the convent. Sister Xavier’s response was, “Good health, reasonable intelligence and a small dowry.” Reflecting on this, she decided to seek admission to the convent, at that time located at Leopard and Carancahua Streets in Corpus Christi. She entered the convent on Nov. 21, 1944. At the time of her reception to the novitiate, she received the religious name, Sister James Marie. She made her first profession on June 1, 1946, and professed perpetual vows June 2, 1949. Later, when given the option, sister

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chose to return to her baptismal name and became known as Sister Dorothy. Many former students still refer to her as Sister James Marie. Sister Dorothy attended Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and Texas A&I University in Kingsville. She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a master’s degree in education from Texas Women’s University in Denton. She did post-graduate work in theology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. As a teacher, Sister Dorothy worked in many different schools on various academic levels. She taught in Sacred Heart, St. Theresa and Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi; Sacred Heart in Sinton; Santa Rosa de Lima in Benavides; Our Lady Star of the Sea in Port Isabel; and at Incarnate Word Academy and Villa Maria High School in Brownsville. Assignments in religious education programs included the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi and the parishes of St. Anthony in Violet and St. Mary’s and Christ the King in Brownsville. She also served as a sacristan, a school librarian and a cafeteria manager. In Brownsville, she introduced computerization of library materials at Villa Maria Academy. As cafeteria manager, she developed a policy, which offered free and reduced-price meals for children in need of that service. Involvement in her religious community included positions such as sister-in-charge at the convent and local councilor and membership on commissions and committees, as well as being a general chapter delegate. In 1998, sister received an award in the Diocese of Brownsville for exceptional service to Catholic Schools. On May 3, 2011, the Nueces County Historical Society awarded her the Daniel Kilgore Local History Award

Sister Dorothy Anhaiser, IWBS for her work as archivist for the congregation. Sister served as a member on the executive board of the Council of Institutes of Consecrated Life in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Dear to her heart is the work of Sara Merdes Judd of Corpus Christi, who devoted much time and effort in helping the poor in Guatemala. Sister Dorothy traveled with Judd to Guatemala where missionaries worked and was deeply touched by the experience. She then devoted her energy to support this project. “Sister Dorothy’s love for God and people, her fidelity and her joyful spirit, have touched many persons over the years,” said Sister Judith Marie Saenz, her friend, fellow community member and former co-teacher. “Reaching out to lend a helping hand in a variety of situations has animated her generosity, creativity and tireless response to be the face of Jesus for others, and her sense of hospitality continue to guide her fidelity to Jesus, the Incarnate Word, as life unfolds each day.”


Sister Rosemary celebrates 50 years Sister Juliane Kuntscher, IWBS Contributor


ister Rosemary Lichnovsky, IWBS, will celebrate her golden jubilee on June 4. After 50 years in consecrated life she still assists—with love and compassion—in the care of the spiritual and physical needs of the sisters in St. Ann’s healthcare section at Incarnate Word Convent in Corpus Christi. She was born in the town of West, Texas north of Waco. After having completed elementary and secondary studies in West, she worked at her father’s grocery store and at the McLennan County district clerk’s office in Waco. During her freshman year at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, she discerned a call to religious life. Her family, including two aunts and a cousin who were Sisters of Divine Providence, and a cousin, Sister Martha Ann Snapka, IWBS encouraged and supported her in discerning her vocation. On Aug. 30, 1963, she entered the congregation of the sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Corpus Christi. She professed first vows on June 4, 1966 and perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1970. Sister Rosemary holds a bachelor of music education degree from Incarnate Word College, San Antonio, and a master’s degree in religious education/adult faith formation from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Her teaching experience includes ministry in elementary and secondary schools in the dioceses of Brownsville and Corpus Christi. She taught adult classes for the Pastoral Institute of Corpus Christi and extension courses for Incarnate Word College and St. Mary’s University. In 1980, Sister Rosemary accepted

the invitation to ministry as Religious Education Coordinator for the southern area of the Corpus Christi Diocese, and remained in that ministry until 1987. She initiated rural religious education programs, educating catechists and parents and advocating retreats and Bible studies for children, teens and adults. During that time, Sister served in approximately 12 parishes and 16 missions of the Corpus Christi diocese, including Alice, Kingsville, Falfurrias, Three Rivers and Freer. Sister served as Spiritual Coordinator for Casa de Vida Retreat House in Brownsville in 1987 and was a member of the Brownsville diocesan committee which advocated a Diocesan Counseling/ Spiritual Direction Center. She completed clinical pastoral education at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, and served as a chaplain for the hospital and for Hospice. In 1990, she was appointed Bereavement Coordinator for the Sandi Jo Funk Hospice Program, and in 1999 was named Bereavement Coordinator of the Year by the Texas and New Mexico Hospice Organization. Her bereavement ministry with the Hospice team included coordinating support groups for family members, annual memorial services and educating volunteers to assist with bereavement communication. In 2005, Sister Rosemary returned to internal ministry at Incarnate Word Convent in Corpus Christi, where she serves on various congregational committees, including Incarnate Word Associates and the On-going Formation Committee, as coordinator of the annual retreats at the motherhouse for the sisters. In 2009, Sister Rosemary became a member of the Initial Formation Team, providing

Sister Rosemary Lichnovsky, IWBS resources for formation directors, novices and temporary professed sisters, in communication with other Incarnate Word congregations and the National Religious Formation Conference Sister Caroline Fritter, who has known Sister Rosemary for 50 years, says of her, “During those years I have seen and experienced her faithfulness, generosity, gentleness, concern, friendliness, as well as a touch of her humor. Moreover, with her beautiful voice, sister is always a welcomed member of the sisters’ choir.” Sister Rosemary is grateful to God for the love and prayerful support of family, friends and her community for the past 50 years of religious commitment in extending the Incarnate Word to God’s people. “My hope and prayer is that other women will have the courage to respond to God’s call to consecrated life,” she said.

June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  11

12  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

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June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  13

Mario Cárdenas reads to his son Sebastian during dialysis treatment at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Sebastian has been waiting a year for a new kidney and must endure dialysis three times a week for four hours each day, until a new donor is found. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Faith holds family together Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


ario Cárdenas recalls with great clarity the precise moment when he thought his son Sebastian would die. “It was right after his first kidney transplant in 2012. He had severe bleeding in his stomach and doctors pulled us aside, explaining there was nothing more they could do,” he said, his voice breaking. “It was at that point my wife and I gave our son to God and prayed. I remember we said, ‘If your decision is to take him, the decision is yours’.” After a few hours, doctors shared some 14  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

wonderful news. “They said he made it and he would be OK. This experience made our faith in God even stronger. We know our son is a walking miracle,” he said. Cárdenas and his wife Cecilia Cárdenas were both raised Catholic, so their faith was already strong when they learned their youngest son Sebastian had a disorder called nephrotic syndrome, a disease in which his kidneys stopped working and is resistant to traditional treatment. At the time of his initial diagnosis in 2011, Sebastian was just one-year-old and by the age of two, he had his first kidney transplant.

Today, Sebastian is currently waiting for another kidney donor to save his life. Until a donor is found, he must undergo dialysis three times a week at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. If it were not for the feeding tube adhered to his cherub-like face, you would never know six-year-old Sebastian was facing a life-threatening illness. “He doesn’t let his illness slow him down,” his father said with a chuckle. “He plays soccer at school, he plays with his older brother Emiliano and the kids at his school love him.” Sebastian attends St. Patrick School and

Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

his teacher, Toni Nelson, feels blessed by God to have him in her class. She added his classmates have been incredibly supportive. “The class has been very compassionate, loving and patient with Sebastian. He is always in our thoughts and prayers everyday,” Nelson said. Mario Cárdenas reiterated this fact and shared a story about a young boy in his son’s class who saw a recent television story about Sebastian’s search for a kidney during World Kidney Day in March. “As soon as he saw Sebastian at school the next morning, he ran up to hug him and said, ‘I’ll give you one of my kidneys, Sebastian!’ It was very moving,” Mario Cárdenas recalled. “I know Sebastian is pretty popular in school, they all love him, even kids from different grades, they love to take him to church. They have a program at school where children in the older grades help the little ones. More than one person has told me they can’t believe he is sick. God has a reason for him to be with us,” the father said. Evelyn Burton, principal at St. Patrick School, said Sebastian is a friend to all and his personality is infectious.

“He is quick with a joke and has a wonderful sense of humor. Sebastian reminds us everyday about the miracle of life,” she said. “His laugh, excitement and joy of life permeate our school.” Although Sebastian is quite young, he still has an understanding of what he is going through, explained his father. “Last November, his grandmother— Cecilia’s mother—passed away. She had been ill for a year with breast cancer. During that year, he would ask if she was going to get better and we talked to him about the power of prayer. Now he knows his grandmother

is in heaven, watching over him. His faith has grown ever since and I believe this has a lot to do with St. Patrick School. There is no better place for him to be right now,” Mario Cárdenas said. Meanwhile, the family is waiting for yet another miracle. Everyday that passes makes their faith grow stronger. Unfortunately, neither Mario Cárdenas nor his wife Cecilia are kidney donor matches for Sebastian because the young boy’s body has developed antibodies to their kidneys. Sebastian has endured so many blood transfusions in the past, which make finding the right match much harder. “We’re waiting for God’s timing, the right moment. We know the right match for Sebastian is out there,” Mario Cárdenas said. “We are waiting for that right angel to appear for Sebastian. We have faith that day will come because God has special plans for our son.” For more information about becoming a kidney donor, visit the United Network for Organ Sharing at

Sebastian Cárdenas presents the Blessed Virgin Mary with flowers during a crowning ceremony at St. Patrick School. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  15


St. Patrick 's school guidance counselor, Cathy Rehmet works with Sebastian's class on how to call 911 in case of an emergency.


Diocese marriage classes h Dayna Mazzei Worchel

R Correspondent

andy and Jeanette Vela learned a lot about each other recently. For instance, having the last word in an argument is not always important, because words can hurt sometimes, Jeanette Vela said. And her husband learned how difficult it was for his wife when he would hand his paycheck over to her and expect her to pay all of the family bills. “He didn’t realize how difficult it is. He would ask why some bill hadn’t been paid and I would say it was because I had paid something else,” she said. The parents of four children now sit down together to pay the bills and Jeanette Vela recently began to look for a job to bring in extra income. The two, who were married at St. Anthony of Padua in Robstown on April 23, had been married civilly for five years. They credit the diocesan marriage preparation program, offered by the Diocese of Corpus Christi, in giving them valuable lessons about communicating with each other in a positive way. The new weekend program is for engaged couples and couples who want to convalidate their existing marriage and be married in the Catholic Church, said Leslie Brown of the Office of Family Life for the

Randy and Jeanette Vela learned a lot about each other at the diocese marriage preparation program. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic 16  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

diocese. Three times a year, there is a oneday seminar for convalidation. The weekend convalidation classes, which began in February, are offered once a month at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center in Calallen, with an overnight stay. “The program gives us a deeper understanding of God’s plan for marriage. It’s a lifelong covenant versus a contract, which means it can’t be broken at anytime,” Brown said. Beginning early on a Saturday morning and ending early Sunday afternoon, time is carved out to do the necessary work on a relationship that will last as long as the couple is alive, she said. The couple is given a workbook in which they each answer

questions about themselves privately, and then they come together during the seminar to see each other’s answers and dialogue privately. The program is facilitated by couples who are married in the Catholic Church, including Brown and her husband, Michael. The couples view video clips and participate in breakout sessions on finances and stewardship, decision-making, sexuality and children, communication and conflict and spirituality in marriage. They also hear from priests and professors and learn how to pray together as a couple, Brown said. “We let them know it’s okay to be imperfect,” Brown said, adding that the


help couples prepare facilitating couples are honest about their own marriages and are honest about subjects like pornography and cohabitation. Rolando Rivera, who attended the February weekend seminar with his fiancée, Selma Gonzalez, said they appreciated the candor of those couples about their own challenging situations when facilitating the discussions. “It was refreshing how they shared their stories. They made it real and said we would have our struggles,” Rivera said. Rivera and Gonzalez were high school sweethearts at Alice High School and even went to the prom together back in 1985. Although the two teenagers went their separate ways after high school, married

other people and had children with their respective spouses, they never really lost touch because Rivera’s sister and Gonzalez’ brother communicated throughout the years. Rivera, who was married in the Catholic Church for 26-years, is awaiting an annulment. He is civilly divorced. Gonzalez, who had also married before in the Church, became a widow in 2000. The couple has eight children between them, ranging in age from 16 to 26. They re-connected through Facebook in 2014, and became engaged in October of last year. They plan to marry this summer at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Alice. The couple said that the marriage

preparation program gave them valuable help and communication skills, even though they did not think they would need it at their ages and with their life experiences. “We learned to pick our battles and to be careful what we say because you can say things that wound,” Rivera said. Both said they believe their religion and having attended the seminar will make their marriage stronger. “Marriage is based on trust and forgiveness and religion helps with that. Jesus forgave everyone,” Gonzalez said. The two text each other every day to say they are praying for each other, which is one thing the seminar taught them. “We would advise any couple to take the class,” Rivera said. “It’s not about having one person complete the other; it’s about having two independent people who complement each other,” he said. The cost for the weekend seminar is $275 per couple and covers lodging, meals and materials, Brown said. Scholarships are available to help cover costs. For more information, visit or contact Brown at the Office of Family Life at (361) 882-6191 or via email at

Rolando Rivera and Selma Gonzalez appreciated the candor of facilitating couples about their own challenging situations. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  17


CDA builds Habitat for Humanity home in diocese On Saturday, April 30, representatives from the national, state and local Catholic Daughters of the Americas came together in Corpus Christi for the blessing of their latest Habitat for Humanity building. The home was made possible by a $25,000 donation from the national CDA office and an equal amount contributed by local courts in Texas. “This is not just a shelter from the elements, it is where families are created, it is where love abides,” Bishop Michael Mulvey told the large crowd gathered at 2818 Soledad St. in Corpus Christi. He told CDA members that their love was “very visible, very strong, very concrete.” He assured the recipients of the home, “we are with you” and acknowledged that the homeowners also contributed greatly to the building of

the project. “Habitat for Humanity is very near and dear to Catholic Daughters’ heart,” State Regent Eve Trevino of Corpus Christi said, noting that the first Habitat for Humanity home built by the Texas CDA was in Corpus Christi in 2004. “We are committed to improving the quality of life for committed families, even if it is only one family at a time.”

Under the leadership of coordinators Minnie Dennis and Patsy Cantu, local courts contributed not only money, but also much of the labor to build the home on Soledad St. In addition to helping with the construction, the local courts provided meals for volunteers every Saturday. Habitat for Humanity’s building supervisor Mark Blankenship provided the direction for volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Barbara Sweeney, at left, receives check from state regent Eve Trevino (center) and national CDA regent Shirley Seyfried. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Knights of Columbus hold state convention here The 112th Annual State Convention of the Texas Knights of Columbus was held on April 29 - May 1 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. Bishop Michael Mulvey, a brother Knight, provided a

welcoming message and participated in many of the convention events. The main event of the weekend gathering was a banquet Saturday evening. Other events held earlier on Saturday included

the state deputy’s report, a Ladies program, caucus meetings and a Memorial Mass. The convention wrapped up on Sunday with a Rosary. “It has been an honor to represent all of you in our great State,” Texas Supreme Knight Terry Simonton said in a farewell note, as he presided over his last convention. “We want to thank everyone for all their hard work and their dedication to the Knights. You have certainly made these past two years very special. We hope you have had as much fun as we have had.” Ron and Margo Alonzo served as the convention chair couple. The 112th Annual State Convention of the Texas Knights of Columbus was held on April 29 - May 1 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic

18  South Texas Catholic | June 2016


Father David Bayardo For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has made the following assignments. Father Yul Ibay, while remaining at his current assignment, will serve as Chaplain for the Disabilities Community, effective July 1; Father David Bayardo, while remaining at his current assignment, will serve as Chaplain for the Newman Center, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, effective July 1; Father Joseph Lopez, while remaining at his current assignment, will serve as Chaplain of the Newman Center, Texas A&M Kingsville, effective July 1;

Father Chris Becerra, Father Pedro Elizardo, Father Hahn Pham and Father Bayardo, while remaining at their current assignments, will serve as members of the Diocese of Corpus Christi Vocation Team, effective May 6; Father Jose Gutierrez will serve as Paro- Father Pedro chial Vicar of Corpus Christi Cathedral, Elizardo effective June 9; Father Darryl D’Souza will serve as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Corpus Christi effective May 20, 2016; and Deacon Manuel Marroquín will serve as deacon at Christ the King in Corpus Father Joseph Lopez Christi, effective June 1, 2016.

Father Chris Becerra

Father Darryl D'Souza

Father Jose Gutierrez

Father Yul Ibay

Father Hahn Pham

Deacon Manuel Marroquín

Corpus Christi native professes solemn vows On Jan. 30, Sister Bernadette Marie of the Sacred Heart, OP, nee Eva Teresa Torres, a native of Corpus Christi, professed solemn vows as a cloistered Dominican nun into the hands of Sister Maria Guadalupe of Jesus Crucified, OP, prioress of the Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin. Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler presided over the Mass of religious profession. Among the concelebrants was

Sister Bernadette Marie’s brother, Father José Torres, OMI from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Brownsville. Sister Bernadette Marie is the youngest of six children of the late José Rafael Torres and Tomasa Torres. She was baptized and attended Holy Family Church in Corpus Christi, graduating from Mary Carroll High School. Her solemn profession completes six years of training as a cloistered Dominican nun.

Ordination July 1 at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles On Friday, July 1, at 6 p.m. Bishop Michael Mulvey will ordain seminarian Eric Chapa, a parishioner at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, to the transitional diaconate at his home parish. By then Chapa would have completed his seminary studies at The Pontifical North American

College in Rome. On Jan. 15, 2012, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio installed Chapa as a lector and on March 5, 2013, Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia installed him as an acolyte; both installations were held in Rome. The transitional diaconate is the

final step before ordination into the priesthood. Chapa is the son of Gabriel and Priscilla Chapa, longtime parishioners of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. Eric Chapa June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  19


The Class of 2016


ishop Michael Mulvey celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass for St. John Paul II High School on May 26, with 77 graduating seniors and their families and on June 3 he will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass for 47 graduating seniors from Incarnate Word Academy and their families.

Featured speakers at the St. John Paul II commencement ceremony were class salutatorians Noah Dimas and Natalie Trevino and valedictorian Theresia Hendricks. On June 3 at the IWA commencement ceremony featured speakers will be class salutatorian Megan Santillan and valedictorian Amber Cox.

Emily Adams

Dana Alonso-Bauer

Francesca Bendas

Reema Bhakta

Brandon Camacho

Jenna Clark

Avery Cohen

Erin Cohen

Steven Coutin

Amber Cox

Kristen Creamean

Jian Cruz

Helena Daubourg

Leslie Fagan

Laura Garcia

Hunter Garza

Justine Guzman

Taylor Guzman

Hannah Hall

Cesar Hernandez

Gabriel Hinojosa

Mamiko Hosoe

Angela Hubbard

Song Eun Kim

20  South Texas Catholic | June 2016


Congratulations Graduates S I N C E

1 8 7 1

Edward Layton

William Layton

Thomas Loeffler

Cristina Madero

Isabella McCabe

Mark McCracken

Stephen McCullough

Karina Melchor

Pablo Mendizabal

Lillie Mills

Andrew Montgomery

William Nicholson

Thalia Parizot

Joshua Peetz

Kate Pekar

Andrea Puyol

Draven Reyes

Sarah Rosales

Megan Santillan

Janel Soliz

Amanda Spiegelhoff

Gabriella Vargas

Alexsander Villagomez June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  21


Theresia Hendricks is Valedictorian from St. John Paul II High School. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Valedic inspired

Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

aledictorians Theresia Hendricks and Amber Cox are two exemplary students, not only because of their exceptional abilities in academics, sports and music, but also because of their dedication to serving others throughout their entire high school years and their desire to continue to do so throughout their adult lives. Hendricks currently has accumulated 216 hours of community service. Each student at JPII is required to have 110 when they graduate. “We have a lot of service hours opportunities. I like staffing retreats. I really like to see them [other students] go through what I went through,” Hendricks said. “It’s kind of like reliving the retreat.” She accumulated other service hours by volunteering at the food bank and staffing Special Olympics and trick or treat at the school’s quad for persons with special needs. Hendricks also excelled at tennis. She started playing in her junior year and has been on a doubles team, which competed at district then state. Other extra-curricular activities included being an altar server at her home parish, Corpus Christi Cathedral. She also sings in the Cathedral Youth Choir. She was one of the 5,000 youth from all over the world who sang at the 40th International Congress of the International Federation of Pueri Cantores in Rome last Christmas. It was “a huge experience, I was 10-feet from the pope on Dec. 31, my 18th birthday,” Hendricks said. In addition to singing for Pope Francis, seeing the Holy Doors open at St. Peter’s Basilica has deepened her faith. “I have been through a lot this year spiritual-wise. I have had a lot of moments that I had to forgive and I’m not one of those people who believe in coincidences. I think God is always working,” she said. “I love the Year of Mercy and how he [the pope] is bringing that to light…there is a lot of conflict in the world right now,” Hendricks said. Attending St. John Paul II High School has really made an impact on her faith. “I want my kids to go to school at JPII, with the teachers I had,” she said. Although the choice of her major is open-ended, Hendricks feels called to help people through counseling. She will be taking her basics her first year and her major will be psychology. 22  South Texas Catholic | June 2016


ctorians to serve

Amber Cox is Valedictorian from Incarnate Word Academy. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

While Hendricks is inspired to help people through counseling, Cox wants to be a neonatal surgeon. “I think graduating in the Year of Mercy really inspires me to make that my mission in my future life. Once I have the funding, I want to have a clinic for people who can’t afford it and show them mercy in their suffering,” Cox said. Describing herself as “an analytical thinker,” Cox prefers “reasoning and logic rather than interpreting,” she said. Her strength is in math and the sciences. She will be graduating with the Jeanne de Matel Laureate Diploma, an advanced diploma given to students who have an exemplary record in conduct, who have also completed AP (advanced placement) calculus and who have participated in one major service project their junior year. Cox completed 188 service hours during her four years in high school. She is vice president of the National Honor Society and president of the student council. “It’s been a crazy four years,” she said. Cox has been in a Christian environment all her life. She attended St. James Episcopal School until eighth grade. She is an acolyte (altar server) at her home church, the Church of the Good Shepherd, and has been a staff member for summer camp. “My parents wanted me to stay in a good Christian environment and get a good education. The teachers at IWA are more available than public schools and the emphasis is on service to everybody around you. I would want my kids to go here,” Cox said. Besides her volunteer work, she plays the piano and was selected to be in an ensemble to play at the Texas Music Teachers Association State Convention. She is also a gymnast and has competed with other gymnasts from all over the United States. She was also on the varsity track team at IWA for all four years of high school. Cox has received a $20,000 annual scholarship from Baylor University in Waco and the Carr P. Collins scholarship. The scholarships will help her to achieve her goal of becoming a doctor. She then wants to attend Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to get her medical education. If valedictorians Hendricks and Cox are any indication of the caliber of students graduating in 2016, then the world will be a better place. June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  23







S T. J O H






✠ x




pu i, s Christ


Devin Aguilar

Nic Alaniz

David Apacible

Victor Armadillo

Mikayla Burton

Madison Carrion

Jonathan Cifuentes

Laureen Cisneros

Jonathan Conde

Matthew Corona

Zoe Cortez

Robert Cruz

Catalina Davila

Kaitlin Deeb

Jacqueline Deleon

Ruben Delgadillo

Deniss Delgado

Sabrina Delgado

Erika Diaz

Noah Dimas

Cynthia Escamilla

Vanessa Falcon

Maria Fernandez

Veronica Fernandez

Kevin Figueroa

Bryan Flores

Roland Flores

Maria Fradera

Alyssa Garcia

Bianca R. Garcia

Jordan Garcia

Katherine Garcia

Michaela Garcia

Remi Garza

Tomas Gonzales

Kyle Gonzalez

Steven Gonzalez

Nina Greses

24  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

ons Graduates


David Guerra

Kane Hellums

Theresia Hendricks

Adriel Hernandez

Charles Hernandez

Gabrielle Hook

Alexis Jaimes

Cathryn Johnson

Jacob Juarez

Nicholas Kimmel

Julia Maldonado

Joshua Martinez

Miranda Martinez

Billy Miles

Shannon Moore

Renee Muniz

Alex Nwosu

Noela Ortiz

Andrea Pena

Adrian Pichardo

Bryanna Quintanilla

Miranda Quintanilla

Elijah Ramos

Kayla Reyna

Natalya Reyna

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Mary Rodriguez Jessica Ruiz

Ceejay Saenz

Ileene Salazar

Kaylee Salinas

Yliana Sanchez

Fabian Sandoval

Leonard Seals

Miranda Soliz

Jared Trevino

Natalie Trevino

Jacob Zamarron

Rheanna Smith

June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  25

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Vacation Bible School programs gear up for another summer

VBS group leaders at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Celeste Cantu, Isaiah De Leon and Gabe Guerra teach the Bible lesson: God has the power to heal. Contributed photo

Jessica Morrison Correspondent


ountain climbing, deep sea diving, cave exploration—all in a week’s time. With themes ranging from Deep Sea Discovery (“God is With Me Wherever I Go”), Everest (“Conquering Challenges Through God’s Power”), Marvelous Mystery (“The Mass Comes Alive”) and Cool Kingdom Party (“Mary Leads Me Closer to Jesus”), Vacation Bible School programs in the Diocese of Corpus Christi provide action-packed fun. They provide each child with unique and lasting ways to deepen their love for Jesus and apply the lessons to real life. Preparations are currently underway for this summer’s Vacation Bible School programs in the diocese, with at least eight local parishes

participating and hosting their own VBS program in 2016. They include Our Lady of Victory in Beeville, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland and Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Pius X, St. John the Baptist, St. Andrew by the Sea and Christ the King, all in Corpus Christi. Aimed at reaching children of all cultures and religious backgrounds, Vacation Bible School offers a welcoming and enjoyable environment where kids can discover Christ through Bible stories and creativity. Using Scripture and easy to remember songs, VBS leaders teach children to experience God’s word in “fun-filled” faith lessons. Each parish has a particular theme that it explores each year. The program typically runs for one week each summer, from approximately June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Students in the music station at St. John the Baptist learn the dance moves to the VBS song of the day. Contributed photo

8 a.m. until noon. The age of children that participate generally range from prekinder to the sixth grade, and the cost is minimal, ranging from free registration to $25 per child for the week. Volunteers include teen group leaders and parish teachers and mentors. “This year’s Vacation Bible School theme is Birthday Blast: A Celebration of Life where we will be focusing on the beauty of God’s creation and the dignity of a every human being. Youth will learn what it means to be a child of God and to respect, protect, serve and celebrate life,” said Youth Formation Coordinator Elizabeth Griss at St. John the Baptist. “VBS provides the children in our community with a fun and faith-filled morning, demonstrating that learning about their faith does not have to be boring or dreary.” Griss said from her experience, “young minds of the Church are thirsty for knowledge of Christ and the ins and outs of their faith, we just have to find a way to do so that caters to their fast-paced, constantly changing way of life.” She believes they can accomplish this through the “tangible joy of our volunteers, the energetic dance tunes and the lessons bursting

28  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

with the love of Christ.” The overall goal of each VBS is the same: bringing the souls in front of us closer to Jesus Christ and inviting them to have a relationship with him. Each year we strive for this goal through different avenues,” Griss said. At Ss. Cyril & Methodius Parish, director of religious education Kiki Garcia said, the goal is that at the end of the week children will learn that God loves each one of them and he, is whom they should turn to in times of struggles. “This year the theme is Cave Quest: Following Jesus, the Light of the World.” Garcia said.  “The activities will focus on building a solid foundation on God’s love, even in our dark times,” she said.  The different stations include KidVid Cinema, Bible Story, Imagination Station and Games. “Our volunteer catechists for Vacation Bible School all work together and put a lot of time and effort in preparing for the VBS week; even though it is a short week the impact is overwhelming.  You can truly see that the children get it,” Garcia said. Check with your parish office to see if they are holding a Vacation Bible School this summer.


Mother’s Day with Bishop Mulvey at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton Rebecca Esparza


Bishop Mulvey greets parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton after Mass on the Feast of the Ascencion. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic


arishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton celebrated Mother’s Day, as well as the feast day of the Ascension of the Lord, with a visit by Bishop Michael Mulvey. After the bishop’s homily, every mother at the Mass received a blessing from their pastor Father Patrick Serna, along with a single red rose. Bishop Mulvey celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe as part of his visits to individual churches throughout the diocese. “The bishop is the priest of the entire diocese, so it’s important to me to visit individual parishes,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Visits like today’s at Our Lady of Guadalupe allow me to experience the fullness of the priesthood.” Father Serna added the visit by Bishop Mulvey was

important to parishioners on many levels. “Every bishop is a direct successor to the apostles, who were also the first bishops, ordained by Jesus himself. When a bishop celebrates Mass at their home parishes, they are reminded of the four marks of the true church, established by our Lord,” Father Serna said. “Having Bishop Mulvey here, with us at our parish, reminded us in a very visible and tangible way that our Church is universal—catholic—and apostolic.” During his homily, Bishop Mulvey talked about the significance of the feast day of the Ascension of the Lord. He noted the meaning of the day has become lost in today’s fast-paced society. “It is the feast of hope, but we are so focused on the here and now, that we forget this journey of faith has a conclusion, which is not here, but in heaven,” the June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  29


bishop said. “We must remember the journey of faith does not end today, but ends when we return to our heavenly father. This journey of faith is not only about remembering certain truths or moral principals, but remembering about the role Jesus Christ plays in our daily lives,” he said. Bishop Mulvey said he realizes that life can sometimes feel like a pilgrimage and as such, we tend to follow the wrong people, especially during such a discouraging time politically and socially. “We follow the wrong images,” he said. “We get disconnected from the Church. The pilgrimage of life does not end until we see God face-to-face. The promise of seeing God someday is our greatest hope and the ultimate meaning of the Feast of the Ascension.” Parishioner Veronica Barrera, who also serves as the church’s Youth Group leader, said she truly appreciated Five-year-old Queen the bishop’s visit and took his homily to heart. Genevieve Schneider “With everything going on globally and nationally, and King Trae especially the negative things regarding our religion Treviño pose with around the world, it was refreshing to hear Bishop MulBishop Mulvey and vey give us encouragement. It was a good reminder that Father Serna after we are all working towards one goal and it inspired me the crowning of the to hear his words,” she said. Virgin Mary. Barrera’s daughter, five-year-old Genevieve Schneider, Rebecca Esparza for participated in a church tradition after the blessing of South Texas Catholic all mothers: the crowning of the Virgin Mary by the

30  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

parish king and queen. “It’s a tradition we’ve always had in our parish,” Barrera said. “We raise funds for our church and the top fundraising children get the honor to represent our church for one year. It was heartwarming to see her up there. We worked hard for an entire year, holding bake sales, making meals and selling raffle tickets.” After Mass, Bishop Mulvey met with approximately 50 church community leaders from the Knights of Our Lady, Catholic Ladies Group, Guadalupanas, as well as several other groups. “I want to learn from you, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s leaders, what are the pastoral needs of the parish,” he told the group. “You each serve as the heart of Jesus in the parish. You play a vital role in building up the spiritual life of each parishioner.” Visits like this one help Bishop Mulvey stay in touch with the people in the diocese. “It’s encouraging for me to see the faith of the people firsthand,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Seeing their faith invigorates my own ministry.” Father Serna added he hopes his parishioners realize the bishop cares. “The bishop sincerely wants what is good for them and their church,” he said. “I hope this visit reminded them that yes, our Church is large and massive, but it is also personal.”


Haciendo peregrinación a una Puerta Santa Luisa Scolari

C Corresponsal

atólicos han recibido una gran bendición de el Papa Francisco. El 8 de diciembre de 2015, día de la Inmaculada Concepción, abrió la Puerta Santa de la Basílica de San Pedro dando inicio al año de Jubileo Extraordinario de la Misericordia. Con la apertura de la Puerta Santa el papa ofreció la posibilidad de recibir la gracia de indulgencias plenaria para uno mismo o para algún familiar fallecido o alma del purgatorio. Con el mismo motivo, y con el permiso de el santo padre, el obispo de Corpus Christi Michael Mulvey, ha designado como lugar de peregrinaje a la Puerta Santa las siguientes iglesias de la diócesis: la Catedral de Corpus Christi; St. Joseph en Beeville; St. Joseph en Kingsville; St. Elizabeth en Alice; la capilla de Our Lady of Shoenstatt en Lamar; y Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Peregrinos de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia preparan para entrar la Puerta Santa en la iglesia Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Luisa Scolari pare el South Texas Catholic.

en Corpus Christi. El papa invita al pueblo católico que se beneficien de esta gracia practicando la misericordia de una forma tan agradable a los ojos de Dios como es el acto de hacer la peregrinación a la Puerta Santa. También ofreciendo por algún alma necesitada del purgatorio, ya que ellas, como Iglesia Purgante, son incapaces de hacer oración o sacrificio para ganar indulgencias y poder llegar mas rápido a la Gloria y compañía de el Creador. Esto los hace depender de la Iglesia Militante. Para ganar la indulgencia plenaria se debe cumplir con los siguientes requisitos: no estar en pecado, hacer peregrinación a una Puerta Santa, rezar un credo, Padre Nuestro y Ave María por las intenciones del papa y de la Iglesia y confesarse y comulgar 20 días antes o después de la visita a la Puerta Santa. También se puede ganar la indulgencia plenaria realizando una o mas obras de June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  31


El padre Frank Martínez, párroco de Our Lady of Perpetual Help extiende una buen venida a todos pelegrinos que desean pasar por la Puerta Santa. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic 32  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

Misericordia Espirituales y cumpliendo con los mismos requisitos anteriormente mencionados para la Puerta Santa. “Es un privilegio que tenemos esta oportunidad para recibir estas bendiciones con humildad,” el padre Frank Martínez, párroco de la parroquia de Our Lady of Perpetual Help, dijo. “Y sobre todo las indulgencias, porque cuando vamos a la confesión recibimos el perdón de Dios, pero con las indulgencias pasa como cuando tenemos una cirugía, el pecado es como el cáncer y la confesión es la cirugía para eliminarlo. Pero queda una cicatriz como resultado del cáncer (el pecado) y las indulgencias nos ayudan a eliminar el resultado del pecado y sus posibles ramificaciones. Dios perdona pero la cicatriz queda y la indulgencia la borra. Nosotros debemos rezar por los fallecidos porque ellos ya no pueden rezar por ellos mismos pues ya han sido juzgados.” El padre Martínez invita al pueblo que vengan a pasar por la Puerta Santa en su parroquia para liberar de los efectos del pecado a la gente que han amado. El participar en esta peregrinación demuestra un acto de amor y misericordia por personas fallecidas. El padre Martínez también dijo que “Como en todos los santuarios, tenemos un corcho en donde los peregrinos visitantes pueden dejar constancia para compartirnos sus ‘Milagritos’, fotos de milagros concedidos o gracias alcanzadas o peticiones de oración por una persona en especial. También tenemos el libro de firmas para registrar su visita al Santuario.” La parroquia también posee un gran tesoro no muy conocido por muchos: una reliquia de la Cruz de Cristo. Así que cuando personas asisten a su peregrinación de la Puerta Santa, también pueden visitar esta importante reliquia. “Durante la ceremonia del viernes santo, la reliquia se puso sobre la cruz para adoración y se sintió muy fuerte la presencia del Espíritu Santo. Cuando todos los feligreses empiezan a descalzarse para subir al presbiterio haciendo tres reclinaciones (por las tres caídas de Jesús) muy emocionados por haber podido tocar la reliquia. Era muy emocionante ver como todos empezaron a ayudar a las personas mayores y a los enfermos para poder acercarse a tocar la reliquia,” el padre Martínez dijo. El Padre Martínez hace invitación a todos católicos que visiten la Puerta Santa en su parroquia donde serán recibidos con brazos y corazón abierto todos los días de 8 de la mañana a 5 de la tarde. Si en caso de venir de algún lugar lejano o si necesitan otro horario, con mucho gusto los reciben con previa cita, nada mas necesitan avisar a la parroquia la fecha y la hora de su visita para poder recibirlos. “Si nos comunican sus necesidades estamos dispuestos a tratar de ayudarlos en todo,” el padre Martínez dijo. Como por ejemplo si viene un grupo con un sacerdote y quiere oficiar misa. O si necesitan algún refrigerio y bebidas, la parroquia esta en posibilidades de ofrecérselos, solo piden que les avisen con anticipación para poder


estar preparados para recibirlos y atenderlos como se merecen. “Ya que para nosotros es un honor haber sido escogidos como Santuario destino de la Puerta Santa, y poderles dar la bienvenida a los peregrinos y apoyarlos para que tengan un acercamiento y una relación mas profunda con Jesús,” el sacerdote dijo. Varias parroquias en la diócesis han hecho peregrinación a la Puerta Santa de Our Lady of

Perpetual Help, como son los de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Alice y St. Philip the Apostle en Corpus Christi.

Para ver más fotos de este evento:

El padre Julián Cabrera da explicación a parroquianos de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Alice durante una peregrinación a la Puerta Santa en Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

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.

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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.

Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  33

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A crash course in ‘Miracles 101’ Mary Rezac

W Catholic News Agency

hat do a grilled cheese sandwich and the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe have in common? Both bore what appeared to be images of Mary. One was determined to be authentically miraculous, the other was not. Not to spoil any secrets, but it is not Our Lady of the Grilled Cheese that converted Mexico and continues to draw millions of people on pilgrimage every year. But have you ever wondered just how the Church determines the bogus from the divinely appointed? In his new book, “Exploring the Miraculous,” Michael O’Neill gives readers a crash course of sorts in “Miracles 101” - including common questions about the importance of miracles, an explanation of the approval process and descriptions of the various types of miracles found within the Catholic Church. “This is a very rare book in that it tries to cover the entire spectrum of miracles within the Catholic Church,” O'Neill said. Catholics by definition are people who have to believe in at least two miracles, O’Neill said—that of Christ’s incarnation and his resurrection, two pillars on which the Catholic faith rests. For modern-day miracles, belief is never required of the faithful. The highest recognition that the Church gives to an alleged miracle is that it is “worthy of belief.” Investigations of reported miraculous events—which include extensive fact-finding, psychological examination

and theological evaluation—may result in a rejection if the event is determined to be fraudulent or lacking in super natural character. Or the Church may take a middle road, declaring that there is nothing contrary to the faith in a supposed apparition, without making a determination on whether a supernatural character is present. But while official investigations can take years, the mere report of a miracle can bring Catholics from long distances, hoping to see some glimpse of the divine reaching into the human. And it is not just the faithful who find miracles fascinating. “It’s important for atheists and skeptics, those people who don’t believe, they’ve got to have an explanation for the inexplicable,” he said. “There’s something for everyone.” The universal nature of the experience of the miraculous is also what draws people from all belief spectrums to these stories, O’Neill said. “We all pray for miracles of one sort or another. They can be these really sort of small things like praying for an impossible comeback in a football game, or it can be a lost wallet or wedding ring,” he said. “But they can also be these really big things, such as our loved ones, they fall away from the faith and we want them to return, or somebody from our friends or our family is very sick and we desperately implore God’s help for them. It’s something that everybody experiences.” O’Neill’s own fascination with miracles

started in college, when for an archeology assignment he studied the miraculous tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Marian apparition to which he had inherited his mother’s devotion. He had heard stories about miracles associated with the image, both from within his own family and from the larger Church, and he wondered how much truth there was to the tales. He also started learning about the larger tradition of miracles within the Church, and was struck by how the Church has carefully investigated thousands of claims over the years, only to select certain ones that it eventually deems as of divine origin. “I thought that was fascinating that the Church would stick its neck out and say these things are worthy of belief,” he said. Although he continued his engineering studies throughout college, a piece of advice at graduation from Condoleezza Rice, who was serving as vice provost at Stanford University at the time, stayed with him. “She asked what we were going to do after graduation, and her advice was to become an expert in something,” he said. “And I thought about what would be a great thing to study? My mind went back to all those hours I’d spent in the library and my promise to return to it someday and I said ‘you know what? I want to be the expert on miracles’.” For a while he kept his studies private—he did not want to be seen as the guy who was obsessed with weird things like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. But eventually, he realized that many people June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  35


were interested in miracles and found them helpful for their own faith. “It’s a way that people feel connected to God, they know that God is a loving father watching out for them, so it’s one of those things—a miracle is a universal touchstone,” he said. “No matter how strong we think our faith is or want it to be, we always want to know that God is there for us, and miracles are that sort of element that bridges the gap between our faith and our connection with God.” In his book, O’Neill provides descriptions and examples of every basic category of miracle within the Catholic Church, including healing miracles from saints in the canonization process, biblical miracles, apparitions, locutions (audible messages from God or a saint), miraculous images, Eucharistic miracles, incorrupt bodies (those that either partially or fully do not decompose after death) and stigmata (the wounds of Christ appearing on some living people). The most popular kind of miracle, and O’Neill’s personal favorite, are Marian apparitions—when Mary appears in a supernatural and corporeal way to a member of the faithful, most often with a message. There have been about 2,500 claims of Marian apparitions throughout history. Curiosity about Marian apparitions was also a large part of what spurred O’Neill to create his website,, where he files information about miracles in their respective categories and provides information on their origin story and whether or not they have been approved by the Vatican. “The Vatican didn’t have a resource where you can find out what’s approved and what’s not, and what messages are good for our faith and what ones we should stay away from, so I tried to create a resource for the faithful for that,” he said. He has been running the website for 15 years. O’Neill also loves Eucharistic miracles, because unlike several other types of miracles, whose validity are largely determined by faithful and reliable witnesses, science can be applied. “They can check to see if it’s really human blood, and what type of blood, and in some cases you have heart muscle in these hosts that have turned into true flesh,” he said. 36  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

One of O’Neill’s favorite Eucharistic miracles occurred in Argentina while Pope Francis was still a bishop there. It was August 1996. A priest in Buenos Aires, Father Alejandro Pezet, discovered a host in the back of his church, and so he took it and placed it in some water in the tabernacle to dissolve it. Over the next few days he kept an eye on it, and it grew increasingly red. The priest decided to present the case to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who ordered that the host be professionally photographed and eventually examined by a scientist in the U.S., who was not told the origin of the specimen he was testing. The tests showed the sample to be heart muscle with blood type AB, the same blood type found on the Shroud of Turin. “The scientist was an atheist and he said, ‘why did you send me this heart muscle, what was the point of this?’ And they said it was a consecrated host, and actually that atheist scientist converted to Catholicism as a result of that study,” O'Neill said. O’Neill also notes in his book that when

considering miracles, it is important to not go to extremes. “The question of the role of miracles in our life of faith is an important one and requires avoiding two extremes: an overemphasis and credulity regarding the supernatural on the one hand and a denial of the possibility of divine intervention and a diminishment of the role of popular devotion on the other,” he wrote. Either way, obedience to the magisterium of the Church and their teachings on particular miracles is key. Miracles are an important asset for the faith because of their ability to connect people with God, either as first-time believers or as long-time faithful who need a reminder of God’s presence. “I like to think of miracles as a great way to engage young people, to get them excited about the faith,” he said. “They shouldn’t be the centrality of anybody’s faith, but it’s a way to open the door for people... so I think miracles can play a huge role in evangelization.”

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The amazing promise of adult stem cells, and how the Church supports it Elise Harris and Kevin J. Jones

O Catholic News Agency

to people. And that’s really the rgan transcare that people responded to,” plant therArchbishop Tighe said. apy for canThe conference at the Vaticer victims can was titled “Cellular Horithat reduces zons: How Science, Technology, fatalities by Information and Communica75 percent and 3-D printing of tion Will Impact Society.” human tissue. These developThe event was co-hosted by ments are on the cutting edge of the Pontifical Council for Culwhat adult stem cells can do for ture and the U.S.-based Stem for the medical field. And standing Life Foundation, a non-profit alongside them is the Catholic based in New York. Since 2011, Church, which promotes ethiit is the third regenerative medcal forms of research that have icine conference that has been yielded the most promising organized in the Vatican. results. The conference gathers scienA recent Vatican conference tists, physicians, patients, relifocused specifically on ethical gious leaders, philanthropists forms of stem cell research drew and government officials to discompanies and leading experts to cuss adult stem cell research and discuss the future of the rapidly its uses and therapies. Among developing field. those at the conference was Dr. “For the Church to be workDonna Skerrett, the chief mediing with those who are finding cal officer of the Australia-based exciting new cures and new thermedical company Mesoblast apies is a very natural thing to Archbishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Limited. She said her compado,” Archbishop Paul Tighe said. Council for Culture. ny’s stem cell research appears to The Ireland-born archbishop, ©ITU/I.Wood have aided treatments for comwho serves as adjunct secretary plications in organ transplants of the Pontifical Council for for cancer victims. Culture, said that the Catholic Donated adult stem cells can help a condition called acute Church’s concern for the good of human beings means the graft versus host disease, which otherwise has a fatality rate Church has to be involved in the discussion. of over 80 percent among transplant patients. According to Catholics have an institutional presence in the forms of Mesoblast’s trial research data, Skerrett said, these patients are universities and hospitals. They are also motivated by another now surviving at a rate of 80 percent. inspiration. She said “we’re very encouraged by the positive results and the Jesus was “above all a healer,” he said. “He restored health 38  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

animal research models are lacking. In three or four years, Organovo hopes to start clinical trials for a “liver patch” to help diseased or failing organs. The treatment could extend the waiting period for a person who needs a liver transplant. While Catholic teaching forbids research on embryonic stem cells—which requires the destruction of humans at the early embryonic stage—it allows and even encourages research on adult stem cells, taken from developed tissue without destroying a human life. “Most cell therapies these days are not embryonic anymore,” Murphy said. “Not a lot of companies have used embryonic stem cells as therapies, in part just because you stay away from any ethical issues if you go a different route.” Embryonic stem cell treatments tend to rely on injection into the bloodstream, while Organovo’s patching technology could allow a large amount of cells to go “exactly where you want them and stay there.” He said adult stem cells have also shown promise in fighting immune diseases, strokes and Crohn’s Disease. Embryonic stem cells, in contrast, have failed to yield results in any treatment or cure, despite large amounts of government funding.

Archbishop Tighe said that the Church has always tried to ensure that researchers would prioritize adult stem cell research, which avoids the ethical problem of embryonic stem cells. “This is a form of research that doesn’t have that ethical difficulty about it. What’s reassuring is that the experts seem to be saying that it’s also a more efficient form of research. It’s giving more results,” he said of the adult stem cells. He said such research examines “forms of healing that come from within our own God-given bodies.” He suggested that the Church’s lack of a commercial interest in the research can help it serve as an “honest broker” to ensure good attention. The archbishop said it is important that the research benefit the whole world and not just address the diseases prioritized in the technologically advanced West. It is also important that financial approaches to the research both respect those who have invested in new medicine and ensure that humanity’s benefits can be shared by everyone. Discoveries about nature’s capacity to cure itself might also draw from “some of the traditional wisdom that was embodied in traditional medicine” in the less developed parts of the world, he suggested.

Do not lock up the Holy Spirit in your heart


Catholic News Agency

he Holy Spirit seems to be a “luxury prisoner” in many Christians’ hearts: someone who is welcomed to stay, but not allowed to act or move us forward, Pope Francis said. “We keep the Holy Spirit as a ‘luxury prisoner’ in our hearts: we do not allow the Spirit to push us forward, to move us. The Spirit does everything, knows everything, reminds us what Jesus said, can explain all about Jesus,” the Holy Father said May 9 during his Mass at the chapel of Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. In the day’s reading, when St. Paul

speaks with the disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19: 1-8), Pope Francis pointed out that they had “not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Likewise, while Christians today have a knowledge of the Holy Spirit as part of the Holy Trinity, they do not know what the Spirit’s role is in the Church. “The Holy Spirit is the one who moves the Church, the one who works in the Church and in our hearts,” the pope said. The Third Person of the Trinity is “the protagonist of the Living Church,” he said, while cautioning against simply reducing the Christian life to a code of “morals and ethics.”

The faith, the pope said, is something more. It “is not just an ethical life: it is an encounter with Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit “frees us from the ‘orphan-like’ condition which the spirit of the world wants to put us in. The Holy Spirit is the one who ‘moves us to praise God, to pray to the Lord’ and who ‘teaches us to see the Father and call him Father.’” There is one thing the Holy Spirit “can’t do” the pope said. “The Holy Spirit cannot make us ‘virtual’ Christians who are not virtuous.” Instead, “The Holy Spirit makes real Christians. The Spirit takes life and prophetically reads the signs of the times pushing us forward.” June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  39


ongoing trial is in place to keep going.” Keith Murphy, the CEO of the San Diego-based company Organovo, said his company’s technology creates living human tissues in a technique known as “bioprinting.” “We take cells of many different types and we print them with a 3-D printer to make tissues,” he said. “It’s a little like making something out of Legos, where you’re going to actually place specific blocks of specific colors in a position and you’re going to build something up layer by layer. Except that we use cells as blocks. “You put different cell types on top of each other or next to each other. You create a pattern, you put that into a computer, and the automated system deposits the cells and creates a living tissue. All the cells will join together and make one living tissue.” Just as 3-D printers use plastic or metal, human tissues can be printed in a way useful for research and, perhaps one day, transplant. Murphy’s company creates human tissue for drug research. “We’re so reliant on animal models for drugs and drug discovery,” he said. Research like his company’s could help find new drugs for conditions like fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease, where good


Admonish the sinner Father J. Patrick Serna

T Contributor

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

he third spiritual work of mercy is to admonish the sinner. There are two extremes that many believing Christians take when it comes to addressing (or not addressing) sin, and neither one is healthy. One extreme finds it too uncomfortable to address sin, so, it is ignored and not addressed. Another extreme tends to pontificate about sin in a heavyhanded, judgmental and impersonal manner, which frequently alienates the sinner even more. So, then, how should we put into practice the third spiritual work of mercy? The first extreme of watering down the reality and dangers of sin, does damage because the point of departure with this modus operandi is not based on truth. God is the truth incarnate, and in order to bring others to him we must do so in the truth. To ignore the truth about sin is as cowardly as it is lazy. Sweeping a pile of pet hair and dirt under a living room rug serves the purpose of getting rid of the ugly visual reality, but the filthy mess still remains and new dirty organisms begin to grow in the hidden darkness. Dealing with the filthy mess by hiding it is never recommended, but to fully remove the mess by acknowledging it and then removing it is always the best method. The same thing with sin. Pretending that physical or moral filth is not there is, after all, just pretending, and pretending does not reside in the truth. An “open-minded” permissive consideration of sin does not properly respect God’s

warning through the prophet Isaiah, “Ah! Those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness to light, and light into darkness… (Is 5:20).” The second extreme of addressing sin, namely, by impersonal pontification, shaming or browbeating, serves only to alienate and harden sinners who were potential converts. This is not to say that the truth about objective sin should only be addressed privately, rather, “personal” sin should primarily be addressed privately. The third spiritual work of mercy does not require us to “admonish sin,” but rather, to “admonish the sinner.” A sinner is a person not a sin, a sinner is a person not a group of people, a sinner is someone with feelings and personal history. Jesus was most impatient with the pharisees, and they were guilty of advertising the sins of others, publicly. The pharisees were not faulted for loving the law, since to love the law is a good thing. The pharisees were faulted for “how” they tried to apply and enforce the law. Where is the golden mean in all of this? How are we to address sin without ignoring or watering it down publicly and privately, while at the same time not pushing the sinner away because of insensitivity? We do well to take Jesus’ advice from the Gospel of Matthew, “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother (Mt 18:15).” We observe in the foregoing words of Jesus, first of all, that the sinner is referred to as a “brother.” The word “brother” presupposes

➤The third spiritual work of mercy does not require us to “admonish sin,” but rather, to “admonish the sinner.” A sinner is a person not a sin, a sinner is a person not a group of people, a sinner is someone with feelings and personal history. 40  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

if it is a new friendship or association, the sinner who needs conversion will be most ready to make the necessary changes. Have you ever wondered why drug or alcohol addicts usually have to hit rock bottom, before they can truly convert and make progress? It is because when one hits rock bottom, one is forced to be vulnerable and let other people in, to help. When others are truly allowed into the addict’s inner life, when the addict is finally honest and vulnerable with these new relationships, this is when the graces of conversion are able to bud and blossom. The aforementioned insight should give all of us added resolution to be intentional about forming bonds with people, when trying to address their sin and when encouraging them to conversion. The expectation that we form a bond with someone before addressing their sin does not preclude public shows of prayer and protest, like

pro life rallies at state capitols or abortion providers. Prayer services at abortion providers or capitols, when done properly, are focused on God, forgiveness and conversion of hearts. When done properly, the prayer warrior encourages and invites the person about to procure an abortion to a new relationship by asking them to share their fears, to find consolation in prayer, and to be open to listening to other friendly options. When done improperly, the zealous believer comes off as one who demonstrates rather than prays, or as one who judges rather than encourages options. The few times that things are done improperly should never minimize nor dismiss the importance of the majority of times that public demonstrations are done properly. “...whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins (Jas 5:20).”

June Liturgical Calendar 1 | Wed | Saint Justin, Martyr | red | Memorial | 2 Tm 1:1-3, 6-12/Mk 12:1827 (355) 2 | Thu | Weekday | green/red [Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs] 2 Tm 2:8-15/Mk 12:28-34 (356) 3 | Fri | THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS | white | Solemnity | Ez 34:11-16/Rom 5:5b-11/Lk 15:3-7 (172) Pss Prop 4 | Sat | The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | Memorial | 2 Tm 4:1-8 (358)/Lk 2:4151 (573) 5 | SUN | TENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 1 Kgs 17:1724/Gal 1:11-19/Lk 7:11-17 (90) Pss II 6 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [Saint Norbert, Bishop] 1 Kgs 17:1-6/ Mt 5:1-12 (359) 7 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 17:7-16/Mt 5:13-16 (360) 8 | Wed | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 18:20-39/Mt 5:17-19 (361)

9 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Saint Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church] 1 Kgs 18:41-46/Mt 5:20-26 (362)

11:1-4, 9-18, 20/Mt 6:19-23 (369)

10 | Fri | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-16/Mt 5:27-32 (363)

19 | SUN | TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Zec 12:1011; 13:1/Gal 3:26-29/Lk 9:18-24 (96) Pss IV

11 | Sat | Saint Barnabas, Apostle | red | Memorial | Acts 11:21b-26; 13:1-3 (580)/Mt 5:33-37 (364) 12 | SUN | ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 2 Sm 12:710, 13/Gal 2:16, 19-21/Lk 7:36—8:3 or 7:36-50 (93) Pss III 13 | Mon | Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | 1 Kgs 21:1-16/Mt 5:38-42 (365)

18 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] 2 Chr 24:17-25/Mt 6:24-34 (370)

20 | Mon | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18/Mt 7:1-5 (371) 21 | Tue | Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious | white | Memorial | 2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36/Mt 7:6, 12-14 (372)

14 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 21:17-29/Mt 5:43-48 (366)

22 | Wed | Weekday | green/white/ red [Saint Paulinus of Nola, Bishop; Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs] 2 Kgs 22:813; 23:1-3/Mt 7:15-20 (373)

15 | Wed | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 2:1, 6-14/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (367)

23 | Thu | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 24:8-17/Mt 7:21-29 (374)

16 | Thu | Weekday | green | Sir 48:114/Mt 6:7-15 (368)

24 | Fri | THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST | white | Solemnity | Vigil: Jer 1:4-10/1 Pt

17 | Fri | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs

1:8-12/Lk 1:5-17 (586) Day: Is 49:1-6/ Acts 13:22-26/Lk 1:57-66, 80 (587) Pss Prop 25 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19/Mt 8:5-17 (376) 26 | SUN | THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21/Gal 5:1, 13-18/Lk 9:5162 (99) Pss I 27 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Am 2:6-10, 1316/Mt 8:18-22 (377) 28 | Tue | Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Am 3:18; 4:11-12/Mt 8:23-27 (378) 29 | Wed | SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES | red | Solemnity | Vigil: Acts 3:1-10/Gal 1:11-20/Jn 21:1519 (590) Day: Acts 12:1-11/2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18/Mt 16:13-19 (591) Pss Prop 30 | Thu | Weekday | green/red [The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church] Am 7:10-17/Mt 9:1-8 (380)

June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  41


relationship either by blood, or by friendship or by association. Just as it is lazy to ignore sin and pretend that permissiveness is a form of mercy, so too it is lazy for one to think that he is fighting evil by simply calling people, and their sins, out in public. To simply blast someone for their sin, privately or publicly, without first of all trying to inspire conversion via the private forum, is to be a special kind of sinner who only does damage. To call someone out publicly first, be it with social media or other means, is to ignore Jesus’ invitation to first form a human relationship or bond with the person who is guilty. Public shaming or blaming only alienates, and the sinner is given new reasons for not reconciling with God or neighbor. The rest of Jesus’ exhortation for fraternal correction in Matthew 18 does allow for public admonition, but only after the private admonitions have proven ineffective. When a personal bond is made, even


2 Holy Hour

June 2, 5-6 p.m. Holy Hour First Thursday of the month. Sacred Heart Church (422 North Alameda Street). For more information visit

2 Holy Hour for Vocations

June 2 from 6-7 p.m. at Sacred Heart (209 N. Church Street) in Rockport. The Diocesan Office of Vocations invites everyone to a monthly Holy Hour of Adoration for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. For more information call (361) 334-2781 or email


Holy Hour at St. Anthony's

June 2 from 7-8 p.m. Holy Hour First Thursday of the month at St. Anthony of Padua Church (204 Dunne St.) in Robstown. Join us in prayer for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.


Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus


Sacred Heart Bible Course on the Gospel of St. Luke

June 3 at 6 p.m. at Sacred Heart (422 North Alameda Street). Mass will be followed by a reception in the school cafeteria at Central Catholic School.

June 6-July 21, every Monday and Thursday at 7 p.m. in Central Catholic School cafeteria (1217 Lipan St. ). Raul Ortiz will speak on the Gospel of St. Luke.


Ven a Mi, Un Encuentro Personal Con Jesus

El retiro empieza el 9 de junio a las 7 de la tarde con un breve introducción a la Nueva Evangelización y termina con la Misa de las 9 de la mañana el 12 de junio. Formas de registro se pueden encontrar en la oficina de la parroquia Sagrado Corazon. Para detalles llamen a Camilo Salinas a (361) 444-4253.

Joseph Catholic School 11 St.Freedom 5KRun/Walk

June 11 at Anderson Park (North Texas Blvd) in Alice. Pre-registration required by May 18. For more information:

42  South Texas Catholic | June 2016

11 Diocesan Marriage Preparation June 11–12 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). The Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is a two-day overnight event for the engaged. For more information:

del mes tendremos 11 Sabado Nocturnal Adoration

June 11 and every second Saturday/ Sabado del mes tendremos Nocturnal Adoration empezando con la misa a las 8 de la noche y terminando a las 5 de la manana. Beginning with Mass at 8 p.m. and ending with Benediction at 5 a.m. For more information go to

Patrick Altar & Rosary 16 St.Society's Annual Card Party

June 16 from 1-5 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish Hall (3350 S. Alameda St.) in Corpus Christi. Bring your own cards or the games you wish to play. Donation is $7 per person. For more information call Mary Castillo at (361) 888-4123 or Mary Ryan at (361) 288-1971.

16 A Covenant of Love with

Mary Information Classes

June 16 and every third Thursday of the month at 6-8 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines St.) in Corpus Christi. For more information call the office at (361) 992-9841 or email

17 Catholic Daughters of the Americas Rummage Sale & 18

June 17-18 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. CDA Court 2399 will host an annual rummage sale at St. Philip the Apostle Church (3513 Cimarron Blvd.) in Corpus Christi. Proceeds benefit the scholarship fund for graduating seniors.

17 Healing Retreat at OLCC

June 17-19. Begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). 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 at

18 Natural Family Planning

June 18 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin. Natural Family Planning allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the Church and respecting the gift of their married love. For more information:

in Truth at 18 Grounded OLCC in Cafe Veritas

June 18 and every third Saturday of the month at 7-8 p.m. on Our Lady of Corpus Christi Campus (1200 Lantana). An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to OLCC's Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. For more information call (361) 289-0807.

21 Tuesday Tea with the Saints

June 21 and every third Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center's St. Joseph Hall (4601 Calallen Dr.) in Corpus Christi. Includes introduction to a saint, a complimentary pamphlet with quotes and suggested reading. Cost is free, but donations welcome. For more Information call (361) 241-2833.

Annual Fried Steak

26 Dinner at St. Theresa

June 26 from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall (1302 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. Hosted by Catholic Daughters Court 2433. There is a donation of $8 for the meal.

Collection for the 25 Second Peter’s Pence Collection & 26

A second collection to be collected in your parish on Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26 To see more calendar events go to: South Texas







June 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  43

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



Serving the Diocese of Corpus Christi since 1966

1hankyouforyoursupport! "I enjoy receiving the STC Magazine every month and catching up on the happenings within the Diocese! The history articles are enjoyable to see where we came from - Keep up the exceptional work." -Mrs. Stephanie Falcon St. Andrew By the Sea, CC

"South Texas Catholic is a very informative magazine. It keeps us informed of everything that is happening in the Corpus Christi Diocese. I like it because I learn a lot of things about the Catholic faith." -Mr Trinidad M. Espinoza St Anthony ofPadua, Robstown

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South Texas Catholic - June 2016  

In our June issue we take a look at a St. Patrick School first grader who is awaiting a kidney transplant and how their faith keeps his fami...

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