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Burying and praying for the dead W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C . C O M • J U LY 2 0 1 6

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VOL. 51 NO. 7 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas


Kingsville funeral director Roy Cantu, Father Peter Thenan of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary of St. Martin's Convent pray at the cross of immigrant that died off U.S. Highway 77.


KRGV-Channel 5 News

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

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Catholic Charities has opened a satellite office to assist those in need in the Flour Bluff area of Corpus Christi with a food pantry, clothing, diapers and referrals.

Jessica Morrison for South Texas Catholic


VIDA CATÓLICA 4 VIEWPOINTS 27 Diócesis planea eventos para servir a Solidarity and Spirituality of Unity la comunidad hispana

NATIONAL VOCATIONS 30 11 Removing What Catholic leaders are saying obstacles to discernment about Paul Ryan’s poverty plan

CATHOLIC EDUCATION 20 Marketing campaign highlights

33 VATICAN Pope Francis: Let’s be clear–assisted

LIFE 22 PARISH Bishop recognizes those who

OUR FAITH 35 Bear wrongs patiently, you never

value of Catholic education

exemplify the Joy of the Gospel

suicide is ‘false compassion’

know what is in God’s plan

July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Solidarity and spirituality of unity Bishop Michael Mulvey Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

W South Texas Catholic

e continue our reflection on faithful citizenship by turning this month to an important bedrock principle of Catholic social teaching that guides our social and political interaction—that of solidarity. The principle of solidarity is the notion that because we all share in the same human nature created in the image and likeness of God, we all share a common humanity and thus have a responsibility for one another. The entire human society, as individuals and all together, has the duty to assist those who are in need, beginning first with those who are closest to us. True solidarity is rooted in our nature as social beings. In other words, the human person is made for relationship. God has given us the mandate to love him and to love our neighbor and this means going outside of ourselves. We are designed by God not to be solitary creatures existing only for our own interests and ourselves. Rather, in sharing a common human personhood with each other, we also share a common responsibility of rights and duties towards each other. In short, we share a common human dignity that must be respected both in ourselves and in our neighbors. We can say then that solidarity with others moves us towards the fullness of love for others. As the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church" teaches, “solidarity highlights in a particular way the intrinsic social nature of the human person, the equality of all in dignity and rights and the common path of individuals and peoples towards an ever more committed unity… (CSD, 194).” As much as we may be tempted to believe otherwise, we are made to go beyond ourselves and seek the good of others. This is the true nature of love—to will and act for the true good of the other, even when we, or they, may want otherwise. It is in this love, rooted in our common humanity as God has created us, that

4  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

we find true unity. In "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," we bishops of the United States have stated, “We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they may be…while the common good embraces all, those who are weak, vulnerable and most in need deserve preferential concern. A basic moral test for any society is how it treats those who are most vulnerable (FCFS, 52-53).” Our current political discourse seems to have forgotten this important concept of our human solidarity with each other. As such, it has lost its focus. When ideologies, political parties or personalities overshadow principled conversations or when clever turns-of-phrases, name-calling or put-downs replace civil interactions, it is then that our political discourse has lost its way. Even worse, it is then that our social and political engagement—meant to exercise our solidarity with our neighbor, to work for the common good and to imbue the world with the love of Jesus Christ—becomes an occasion for a hardening of ourselves against others. This hardening of our hearts blinds us to love of God and love of neighbor. It blocks true relationships of solidarity with others and keeps us from being people of justice and peace. So much of the political conversations today, whether at the national level or in our everyday interactions, whether in the public square or on social media, seem to have resorted to using elaborate—and sometimes not so elaborate— insults and insinuation, ever-ready to expose and embarrass the other. We are quick to call out the faults of others while failing to recognize sin and the effects of sin in ourselves. For some reason, our society has adopted the erroneous notion that if one is right it is somehow allowable to forget our solidarity with other human persons who may disagree with us. We wrongly think that if the other

dialogue with others, a dialogue that is necessarily rooted in and respects the dignity of each human person created in the image and likeness of God, even with those whom we may seriously disagree or who may have harmed us somehow. This is not always easy but true dialogue in human solidarity can transform our bitter political culture and it can transform our world. It leads to action for the common good. It calls us to be free from mere partisan ideologies and opens us up to one another so that together we can move towards fulfilling our personal and social duties of working for the common good and caring for the other, especially those who are most vulnerable. The spirituality of unity helps us to build what Pope Paul VI called a “civilization of love.” Our current polarized and acrimonious political climate—unfortunately at times also found among members of the Church—can be disheartening to see. However, our Catholic Faith calls us to be witnesses even in these times and especially in these times. As St. John of the Cross tells us “where there is no love, put love—and there you will find love.” In the same way, where we find no civility, there we are called to put civility so that civility can be found. Where we find no respect for human dignity, there we are to put respect for human dignity so that it can be found. And where we find no solidarity, there we are to establish genuine human relationships, so that authentic solidarity for the common good can be found. In this way, we are called to be the love that we see lacking today. In solidarity, we become the Gospel proclaimed to the world and to be the presence of Jesus Christ in the world.

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• Allyson Sturgeon goes on Medical Mission in Costa Rica

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• Students help mothers in need in honor of the Virgin Mary

• Six St. Patrick Parish scouts achieve Eagle Scout rank

• Bishop calls for county to abandon plans for family detention facility

• Yearbook students place at South Texas Press Day competition July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  5


person is wrong, it is somehow permissible to treat or speak of him or her in a less than dignified manner. In short, much of our political discourse seems to have accepted that at least part of the human dignity of those with whom we disagree no longer needs to be respected. However, our beautiful Catholic faith teaches us otherwise and calls us to so much more. Solidarity means genuine relationships. It must be formed among all of us who share a common human nature, made in the image and likeness of God, and thus a common human dignity. Solidarity calls us to transform these relationships into relationships that move us toward working for the common good that does not violate the dignity of any human person. Thus, solidarity is the basis for all aspects of human relationships, from interpersonal ones to familial, economic, political, cultural and technological ones, but also ethical, moral and even spiritual ones. As many of you may know, throughout my priesthood, I have been deeply formed by the spirituality of the Focolare movement, a Catholic spirituality movement rooted in the Gospel and Christ’s prayer to the Father, and his call to us, to “all be one” as he is in the Father (cf. Jn 17:21). This spirituality of unity seeks to live out human solidarity in a very real way. One sentence of the Gospel is focused on each day, and is applied to all the experiences of the day. As such, we begin to allow the Gospel to transform us, to transform our actions and interactions with others. Along the way, our experience of unity with the other is strengthened. The spirituality of unity necessarily means true


Catholics called to make practical judgments regarding good and evil choices in the political arena Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship


Unite States Conference of Catholic Bishops

he Church equips its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience…Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere “feeling” about what we should or should not do. Rather, 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. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truths of our faith. The formation of conscience includes several elements. First, there is a desire to embrace goodness and truth. For Catholics, this begins with a willingness and openness to seek the truth and what is right by studying Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church as contained in the Catechism. It is also important to examine the facts and background information about various choices. Finally, prayerful reflection is essential to discern the will of God. Catholics must also understand that if they fail to form their consciences in the light of the truths of the faith and the moral teachings of the Church they can make erroneous judgments.

The virtue of prudence

The Church fosters well-formed consciences not only by teaching moral truth but also by encouraging its members to develop the virtue of prudence, which St. Ambrose described as “the charioteer of the virtues.” Prudence enables us “to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it (CCC no. 1806).” Prudence shapes and informs our ability to deliberate over available alternatives, to determine what is most fitting to a specific context, and to act decisively. Exercising this virtue often requires the courage to act in defense of moral principles when making decisions about how to build a society of justice and peace. The Church’s teaching is clear that a good end does not justify an immoral means. As we all seek to advance the 6  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

common good-by defending the inviolable sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until 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. Catholics may choose different ways to respond to compelling social problems, but 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.

Doing good and avoiding evil

Aided by the virtue of prudence in the exercise of wellformed consciences, Catholics are called to make practical judgments regarding good and evil choices in the political arena. There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called “intrinsically evil” actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, “abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5).” It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed. Similarly, human cloning, destructive research on


human embryos and other acts that directly violate the sanctity and dignity of human life are also intrinsically evil. These must always be opposed. Other direct assaults on innocent human life, such as genocide, torture and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war, can never be justified. Nor can violations of human dignity, such as acts of racism, treating workers as mere means to an end, deliberately subjecting workers to subhuman living conditions, treating the poor as disposable or redefining marriage to deny its essential meaning, ever be justified. Opposition to intrinsically evil acts, which undercut the dignity of the human person, should also open our eyes to the good we must do, that is, to our positive duty to contribute to the common good and to act in solidarity with those in need. As St. John Paul II said, “The fact that only the negative commandments oblige always and under all circumstances does not mean that in the moral life prohibitions are more important than the obligation to do good indicated by the positive commandment (Veritatis Splendor, no. 52).” Both opposing evil and doing good are essential obligations. The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights—to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive. All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors—basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education and meaningful work—is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. Catholics must seek the best ways to respond to these needs. As St. John XXIII taught, “[Each of us] has the right to life, to bodily integrity and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care and, finally, the necessary social services (Pacem in Terris, no. 11).”

St. John Paul II explained the importance of being true to fundamental Church teachings: Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights— for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture—is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination (Christifideles Laici, no. 38). Two temptations in public life can distort the Church’s defense of human life and dignity. The first is a moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity. The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed. The second is the misuse of these necessary moral distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. The current and projected extent of environmental degradation has become a moral crisis especially because it poses a risk to humanity in the future and threatens the lives of poor and vulnerable human persons here and now. Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture, war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care, pornography, redefining civil marriage, compromising religious liberty or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act. These are not optional concerns which can be dismissed. Catholics are urged to seriously consider Church teaching on these issues. Although choices about how best to respond to these and other compelling threats to human life and dignity are matters for principled debate and decision, this does not make them optional concerns or permit Catholics to dismiss or ignore Church teaching on these important issue…We are not factions, but one family of faith fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.

❝ Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of

human rights—for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture-is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination❞ – St. John Paul II (Christifideles Laici, no. 38) July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  7


Political choices may affect the individual’s salvation Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship


Unite States Conference of Catholic Bishops

t must be noted that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church’s social doctrine does not exhaust one’s responsibility toward the common good.

Making moral choices Decisions about political life are complex and require the exercise of a well-formed conscience… This exercise of conscience begins with outright opposition to laws and other policies that violate human life or weaken its protection. Those who knowingly, willingly and directly support public policies or legislation that undermine fundamental moral principles cooperate with evil. Sometimes morally flawed laws already exist. In this situation, the process of framing legislation to protect life is subject to prudential judgment and “the art of the possible.” At times this process may restore justice only partially or gradually. For example, St. John Paul II taught that when a government official who fully opposes abortion cannot succeed in completely overturning a pro-abortion law, he or she may work to improve protection for unborn human life, “limiting the harm done by such a law” and lessening its negative impact as much as possible (Evangelium Vitae, no. 73). Such incremental improvements in the law are acceptable as steps toward the full restoration of justice. However, Catholics must never abandon the moral requirement to seek full protection for all human life from the moment of conception until natural death… Catholics [should] listen carefully to the Church’s teachers when we apply Catholic social teaching to specific proposals and situations…the Church’s guidance on these matters is an essential resource for Catholics as they determine whether their own moral judgments are consistent with the Gospel and with Catholic teaching. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote 8  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position even on policies promoting an intrinsically evil act may reasonably decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil. When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods. In making these decisions, it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions. These decisions should take into account a candidate’s commitments, character, integrity and ability to influence a given issue. In the end, this is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching. It is important to be clear that the political choices faced by citizens not only have an impact on general peace and prosperity but also may affect the individual’s salvation… Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptized, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or


political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defense from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms. . . . (Sacramentum Caritatis, no. 83) This calls for a heroic commitment on the part of Catholics who are politicians and other leaders in society. Having been entrusted with special responsibility for the common good, Catholic leaders must commit themselves to the pursuit of the virtues, especially courage, justice, temperance and prudence. The culmination of these virtues is the strong public promotion of the dignity of every human person as made in the image of God in accord with the teachings of the Church, even when it conflicts with current public opinion. Catholic politicians and legislators must recognize their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values and oppose laws and policies that violate life and dignity at any stage from conception to natural death. This is not to bring a “Catholic interest” to the political sphere, it is to insist that the truth of the dignity of the human person, as discovered by reason and confirmed by revelation, be at the forefront of all political considerations.

Four principles of Catholic Social Teaching The permanent principles of the Church’s social doctrine constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching. These are the principles of: the dignity of the human person,…the common good; subsidiarity; and solidarity. These principles [are] the expression of the whole truth about man known by reason and faith…(Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 160).” In the words of Pope Francis, “progress in building a people in peace, justice and fraternity depends on four principles related to constant tensions present in every social reality. These derive from the pillars of the Church’s social doctrine, which serve as ‘primary and fundamental parameters of reference for interpreting and evaluating social phenomena’ (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 221).” Taken together, these principles provide a moral framework for Catholic engagement in advancing what we have called

elsewhere a “consistent ethic of life (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 22).” Rightly understood, this ethic does not treat all issues as morally equivalent nor does it reduce Catholic teaching to one or two issues. It anchors the Catholic commitment to defend human life, from conception until natural death, in the fundamental moral obligation to respect the dignity of every person as a child of God. It unites us as a “people of life and for life (Evangelium Vitae, no. 6)” pledged to build what St. John Paul II called a “culture of life (Evangelium Vitae, no. 77).” This culture of life begins with the preeminent obligation to protect innocent life from direct attack and extends to defending life whenever it is threatened or diminished. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing and health care…If we understand the human person as the “temple of the Holy Spirit”—the living house of God—then these issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 22). Catholic voters should use the framework of Catholic social teaching to examine candidates’ positions on issues affecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace, and they should consider candidates’ integrity, philosophy and performance. It is important for all citizens “to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 33).” As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet if a candidate’s position on a single issue promotes an intrinsically evil act, such as legal abortion, redefining marriage in a way that denies its essential meaning or racist behavior, a voter may legitimately disqualify a candidate from receiving support. As noted previously, the Catholic approach to faithful citizenship rests on moral principles found in Sacred Scripture and Catholic moral and social teaching as well as in the hearts of all people of good will.

➤It must be noted that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  9

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Father Joseph Lopez

A Contributor

priest’s life is boring and lonely.” “All he does is pray all day and say Mass on Sundays.” “He’s a priest because he couldn’t make it in the ‘real world.’” “Sisters don’t have social lives.” “All they do is teach or pray.” “They’re crotchety disciplinarians.” “They don’t have any fun.” “Religious men are uneducated.” “Their lives have no adventure.” “All they do is work.” “They have to give up everything good.” “They hide from the world.” Unfortunately, these misconceptions about the priesthood and religious life are common. Not only are they untrue, but in most cases, they are the opposite of the truth. They make discerning one’s vocation difficult or even impossible. How can a man discern his vocation to the priesthood if he has no idea what the priesthood actually is? How can young people discern a vocation to religious life if they have no idea how brothers and sisters live? Many young Catholic people see marriage as just another default step on the road of life. Because they do not know much about priestly and religious vocations, they think of these vocations—if they even think of them at all—as life without joy, pleasure and love; but that marriage has all of these things in great abundance. These extreme views are false and dangerous. Discernment can quickly become, “Do I want joy, pleasure and love in my life—or not?” A vocational discernment based on this misconception will likely lead to ruin. If a simple

uninformed decision often leads to a negative outcome, how much more can an uninformed discernment lead to an unhappy life? How can we counteract such obstacles to discernment? Through good preparation. Education and experience are fundamental to a diligent discernment. Good education provides remote preparation by providing knowledge, and good experience provides proximate preparation through immediate experience. Once discerners have the facts about vocations as well as first-hand experience of good priests, religious and married couples, they are more readily able to properly discern God’s call. Today, there is an abundance of excellent resources available online or in print about vocations to marriage, religious life and the priesthood, so it is fairly easy to make sure discerners have access to the best information. There are also widely available “come and see” and summer camp events that put discerners in direct proximity with priests and religious. A direct invitation and encouragement to attend such events may help encourage a young person who needs a personal invitation. A great place to find good resources and discernment events is our vocations website Also, watch for events from religious communities you are connected to. Obviously, there are many positive qualities to see in each vocation, but we need to do some work to spread good information and facilitate positive experiences. Let us work on changing, “I would never do that,” into, “Wow! I would love to do that!”

➤How can a man discern his vocation to the priesthood if he has no idea what the priesthood actually is? How can young people discern a vocation to religious life if they have no idea how brothers and sisters live? July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  11


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

Removing obstacles to discernment


Sister Mary Carmen was one of first SOLT sisters Beth Nguyen

S Contributor

ister Mary Carmen Sandoval, SOLT celebrates her 50th anniversary this year as a consecrated religious sister in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. As one of the first SOLT sisters, she has seen her association grow from just a handful of priests, brothers, sisters and lay faithful into a society of diocesan rite with hundreds of members and thousands of associates that reaches out to 12 countries throughout the world. Sister Mary Carmen began her life near the town of Mora, New Mexico which is tucked in the picturesque Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Her parents named her Margarita Sandoval. As the fifth of nine children who helped their parents farm the land and tend to the animals, she was an athletic girl and an expert horseback rider. Her family attended Mass every Sunday at St. Gertrude’s Parish. After she graduated from high school, she attended college then moved out to California to find work. Having been devoted to a life of deep prayer even as a young girl, she continued to practice her faith as a young adult. She walked several miles to attend Mass since she had no car. She regularly prayed the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross and read many books about the Catholic faith. In her parish, she taught catechism classes, prepared children for first

communion, and was an active member of the Legion of Mary. The pastor of her parish observed her dedication and faithfulness, and his enthusiastic recommendation accompanied her when she answered God’s call to live as a consecrated sister. Sister Mary Carmen began her formation in New Mexico with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in 1964 and continued during the relocation to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri that same year. She made her first profession of vows in 1966. Shortly after, she was sent to serve the indigenous people of the Zinaconteco tribe in Chiapas, Mexico. After three years of mission work in Mexico, she returned to Kansas City and received another mission assignment to assist with the religious formation of young women who were desiring to enter consecrated life through SOLT. Sister Mary Carmen’s work in the formation of young women for consecrated life led her to be part of a team within SOLT that traveled around and ministered to migrant workers in a variety of regions and states. “The local Spanish-speaking and migrant people needed a model of courage and encouragement in living and giving witness to their Catholic faith and love of God and to be proud of and share their cultural heritage and traditions,” said Father Vincent Albano, SOLT, recounting Sister

Sister Mary Carmen Sandoval, SOLT Mary Carmen’s role on the migrant worker team that started out based in the Diocese of Brownsville. “Sister Carmen provided inspiration, encouragement and strong leadership among her own sisters and migrant team members as well as for the non Spanish-speaking people with whom they lived with and with whom they were in contact within their communities.” Eventually, Sister Mary Carmen was assigned to Robstown where she served in parish pastoral work. She continues to live in Robstown and is being cared for in her advanced age by her fellow SOLT sisters.

❝Sister Carmen provided inspiration, encouragement and strong leadership among her own

sisters and migrant team members as well as for the non Spanish-speaking people with whom they lived with and with whom they were in contact within their communities. ❞ – Father Vincent Albano, SOLT

12  South Texas Catholic | July 2016


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July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  13


Sisters Agueda Durazo and Maxie Cruz of the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, Father Peter Thenan of Our Lady of Good Counsel and funeral director Roy Cantu pray over cross for immigrant. Photos by KRGV-Channel 5 News

The Holy Year of Mercy, calls for us to bury and pray for the dead Luisa Buttler Correspondent


hen they die, many of them are alone. They are often barefoot and covered in bites from snakes, scorpions and ticks. They are thirsty, hot and suffering. Nobody but God knows their final thoughts. It is a tragedy when anyone dies, even when that person is called home after a long and beautiful life, but Roy 14  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

Cantu has a special place in his heart for the immigrant who perishes in the most desperate of ways—on their journey in search of a better life for his or her family. “It’s torture. Walking through those fields alone, in 110 degree heat, all because they hope for a better life. They are often found clutching rosaries, prayer cards or with scapulars around their necks. My prayer is that the Virgin Mary welcomes them into heaven with open arms,” Cantu,

Roy Cantu.

Father Naul Ordoñez. Mass intentions in her name.” Cantu called on Father Jose Naul Ordoñez, pastor of St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville, to bless the body. “As Catholics, we believe in new and eternal life,” Father Ordoñez said. “We must bless and pray for people who lost their life, especially this way. Our prayers connect us together as one. Our blessing helps the person who died and their family.” Father Ordoñez says his parish says special rosaries, prayers and Mass intentions

and he keeps all immigrants in his personal petitions. “They need our mercy, no matter what country they came from,” Father Ordonez said. “We can’t divide or discriminate. We need to recognize the love of Jesus Christ is for all of us.” Once Cantu was able to find out exactly where the woman perished, he organized a group of religious men and women to place the cross. The group included Father Peter Thenan of Our Lady of Good Council in Kingsville and sisters with the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary from St. Martin’s Convent in Kingsville. In 2015, Pope Francis called for a Holy Year of Mercy—which includes the spiritual work of praying for the dead and the corporal work of burying the dead. “In the summer of 1978—the year I started working at Turcotte-Piper—I entered into a personal Holy Year of Mercy,” Cantu said. “For me, that Holy Year will continue until my death. I have done my best to bury the dead in his name. I am not a perfect man, but I do all of this for the glory of God and his Holy Mother.”

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a funeral director in Kingsville said. Their bodies, once discovered by authorities, are processed and an effort is made—although not always successfully— to identify them. They are then turned over to funeral homes in the area, like Turcotte-Piper where Cantu is funeral director. If the body is identified, it goes back to the person’s homeland. If the body is not identified, the county where the body was discovered pays for a pauper’s burial. There is no policy for the funeral home to notify a minister or priest. Cantu does it anyway. “I can’t just bury a person like they are nothing,” Cantu, who once thought about becoming a priest, said. “That person is a human being, a creature of God. Though I never became a priest myself, I feel led to help give people a proper Christian farewell.” Earlier this year, a Guatemalan immigrant was killed in a roadway accident near U.S. Highway 77. The woman was identified a few days after her death, and her family asked Cantu for a special favor. “They asked me, ‘Please place a cross at the spot where she died and please find a priest to bless her body,’” Cantu said. “Not only did I do that, but I also made three


Office contact Catharine McNew helps distribute donated pastries to children. Jessica Morrison for South Texas Catholic

16  South Texas Catholic | July 2016


Catholic Charities’ new location provides hope and support Jessica Morrison Correspondent


atholic Charities has opened a satellite office to assist those in need in the Flour Bluff area of Corpus Christi with a food pantry, clothing, diapers and referrals. The new office also connects clients to additional Catholic Charities services, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), family and individual counseling, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), immigration/refugee services and emergency aid. Prior to the new location’s opening, the Catholic Charities’ Rural Outreach Program worked with parishioners and volunteers from St. Paul the Apostle and St. Andrew by the Sea to provide the local community a donation-based food pantry. These combined efforts helped address a pressing need identified by caring school teachers in the area. The teachers noticed that some elementary students had a need for food during the weekend,which led to the initiation of a “backpack” program by which food was sent home for those students in need. St. Paul the Apostle’s pastor, Father Peter Martinez, working with Linda McKamie,

executive director of Catholic Charities, also identified a great need in the area for supplementation of staple items. St. Paul the Apostle provided a refurbished office on its grounds, and at the suggestion of Father Martinez, the initial goals included assisting with food, clothing and diapers. The two parishes of St. Paul the Apostle and St. Andrew by the Sea worked together to meet the needs of the local community. Both parishes elicited food, clothing donations and volunteers—via regular announcements at Mass and in church bulletins—to continue to help set up and run the new location. “We receive many great donations from St. Paul’s and St. Andrew’s, both of which have very active volunteers,” Flour Bluff Office case worker Catharine McNew said. “St. Andrew’s also contributes personal care items, which are especially valuable when, in a tough situation, a mother must forgo them in order to instead provide food for her children.” The food products are provided by the Food Bank of Corpus Christi, parishioner donations and local grocers. Catholic Charities has a long standing relationship with HEB to purchase

overstocked goods, McKamie said. This includes items such as baked bread and similar goods. “At the end of May, our new Flour Bluff location was recognized by the Food Bank, and so now we are also able to offer meats and fresh items [and]… so much more,” McKamie said. Catholic Charities rural outreach coordinator Gessete Salcido helps oversee the new location. “Several of our clients have recently lost jobs and are in need of reassurance that it is okay to ask for help. We want them to know that they do not need to be embarrassed or ashamed of needing assistance, because that is what we’re here for,” Salcido said. “For many families, there is a need to fill in the gaps between jobs to make ends meet.” There is also a significant elderly population in the area on fixed income that— although they are used to living on a fixed income, because of changes, such as needing to raise young grandchildren—find themselves needing to supplement their income.” “Men that come in are often victims of crime, having had their IDs or personal documents stolen or lost, making them vulnerable to similar future situations,” Salcido said.

❝Several of our clients have recently lost jobs and are in need of reassurance that it is okay to ask for help. ❞

– Catholic Charities rural outreach coordinator Gessete Salcido

July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Volunteer Kay Trial packages and prepares staple items for a mother and her children. Jessica Morrison for South Texas Catholic

“We are extremely grateful to have facilities such as the Mother Teresa Shelter to help these individuals get back on their feet.” Also among those in need are transient men and women who seek warmer areas such as the Coastal Bend to take refuge during the winter months. Salcido said many people and families are living in cars and are not enrolled to receive government assistance. Most people need information. Many know that Catholic Charities has a food pantry, but not a lot are familiar with the range of services that Catholic Charities offers, Salcido said. “We assist in online applications for financial aid, rent, utility and cell phone assistance programs and we strive to help families meet their nutritional needs with limited income,” she said. The satellite office also offers classes on topics, such as nutrition awareness, shopping for nutritious foods on a budget and healthy eating. Clients are guided in money management workshops and nutritional practices. “We are trying to improve people’s lives, not simply hand out food,” Salcido said. The Flour Bluff Catholic Charities office, located at 2233 Waldron 18  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

Road, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., except holidays and holy days. The office is accessed from the Hustling Hornet Road entrance, opposite from St. Paul the Apostle Church.

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Corpus Christi


Resource Center

Diocese kicks off Fortnight for Freedom The Diocese of Corpus Christi kicked off the Fortnight for Freedom on June 21 with a talk by Ben Nguyen entitled “Witness to Freedom: Faithful Citizenship in Today’s World.” The Fortnight for Freedom is an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and runs from June 21—the feast day of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher— through July 4, Independence Day. This year, the Fortnight looks at the lives of more than 14 women and men of faith, from all over the world, who bear witness to authentic freedom in Christ.

MASS IN THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM (formerly called the Tridentine Latin Mass)

Every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church For more information call the parish office at (361) 991-4400 or visit us online at

The Corpus Christi Cathedral Choirs will be the featured performers at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians national convention’s program “Voices of Texas Sing!” to be held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston on Tuesday, July 12, at 3:30 p.m. Lee Gwozdz will conduct and Adam Brakel will be the organist. The Corpus Christi Cathedral Brass and Percussion and Choristers choirs under the direction of Guadalupe Rivera, Jr., will provide performances. Other choirs participating include the Pontifical Chorale, the Co-Cathedral Schola Cantorum of Houston and the Pueri Cantores Choirs of South Texas. “We will also be premiering a new World Library Publication: “God We Praise You: Concertato on Nettleton”­ arranged by Eugene Gwozdz,” Lee Gwozdz said. “It is dedicated to Bishop Michael Mulvey and was commissioned by the Diocese of Corpus Christi in celebration of the Centennial Jubilee held on March 26, 2012.” Among the songs that will be performed are “Call to Festival!”, “Choir Prayer: O Lord Open My Lips”, “Jesus Here Present”, “Hail Mary”, “God Has Gone Up with a Merry Shout”, “Ave Verum”, “Personent Hodie”, “Hoy Es Día de Placer”, “The Morning Trumpet”, “Ubi Caritas” and “Come on Let’s Go”.

Bishop calls for county to abandon detention facility Bishop Michael Mulvey urged the Jim Wells County Commissioners Court not to pursue the creation of a family detention facility in Jim Wells County. The county abandoned its plans a week later, citing other reasons for their decision. "Family detention, particularly the detention of children, is contrary to the tenets of Catholic social teaching and bringing this practice to Jim Wells County will not better our community,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishops of the United States oppose the detention of immigrant women and children and urges humane treatment of all of God's children as well as the respect of human life and dignity, the bishop said. July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  19


Cathedral choirs will perform in Houston's co-cathedral


Marketing campaign highlights value of Catholic education Dayna Mazzei Worchel Correspondent


aul Ramon, principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy in Corpus Christi, said he sees the value of a Catholic education in his students

everyday. “The knowledge they possess of the traditions of their Catholic faith, of a loving and merciful God and the hopefulness for life everlasting is immeasurable,” Ramon said. Life lessons, such as prioritizing for life’s journey, choosing friendships based on similar familial values and the value of a prayerful life can be found daily through a Catholic school education, he said. Officials with the Diocese of Corpus 20  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

Christi agree with that assessment and they want to spread the good news to the community about the importance of a Catholic education. They began rolling out a new marketing campaign in May with a billboard located at the Crosstown Express Way and S.P.I.D and have also unveiled 8-foot-tall door wraps at La Palmera Mall. “We’re really excited about the new campaign. It’s rich, bold and vibrant with many different layers,” Rosemary Henry, superintendent of schools for the diocese, said. The images feature photos of students from Catholic schools within the diocese with bright wedges of color resembling stained glass. The students in the photos are engaged in activities such as athletics, the arts and general academics. Each

picture is inscribed with the phrase “Let them Shine,” and with one of the seven pillars or foundations found in a Catholic education within the diocese, such as “Values and Virtues,” “Goals and Grades” and “Creative Thinkers.” Other elements of the campaign will include a news website,, placing the banners on the various diocesan school web sites and a presence on Facebook. The three to five-year media plan also calls for radio spots, produced by KLUX radio, and Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority bus wraps to reach as many people as possible. “The purpose is to tell the stories and good news about Catholic schools,” Henry said, adding that there are 18 schools in the

environment and an opportunity to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.❞ – Superintendent Rosemary Henry diocese, located in Corpus Christi, Alice, Kingsville, Robstown and Rockport with a total of 3,390 students in pre-k through 12th grade. And there is plenty of reason to be proud, Henry said. The schools provide well-qualified teachers with advanced degrees. Ninety-nine percent of the students are college-bound and exceed national averages on standardized testing scores. The two high schools, St. John Paul II and Incarnate Word Academy, offer dual enrollment in college classes and have smaller class sizes so students get more individual attention, she said. “The schools also offer a Christ-centered environment and an opportunity to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Henry said. Increasing the enrollment in the diocesan schools is another goal of the marketing campaign, she said, noting that enrollment has fallen between 10 and 20 percent in the past two to three years in the diocese. “This is consistent with Catholic schools across the country,” she said. The reason for the enrollment drop in the diocese may be attributed to the economic slowdown in oil and gas production in the region, Henry said. “Sometimes, there is a family crisis or an illness,” she said, adding that life can be difficult and sometimes students must withdraw. Henry pointed out that Catholic schools have tuition-assistance for families

who need it. Response to the campaign so far has been enthusiastic. “It’s been amazing. So many are excited when they go on the websites or go through the mall and see the banners. They will email me,” Henry said. Evelyn Burton, the principal at St. Patrick School in Corpus Christi, said she is happy about the campaign because she considers Catholic education to be a gift to each child.

“Public awareness opens this gift up to a much bigger audience, thus extending the gift to more children,” Burton said. As both a parent of children who have attended Catholic schools and an educator, she said there is no greater gift to give them. “Catholic Education gives us the opportunity to form the whole child. We are able to instill our beautiful faith in everything we do.  We give children the knowledge that touches their hearts and their minds,” Burton said.

Photos are representative of the promotional materials the Office of Catholic Schools is using to promote Catholic education in the diocese. Contributed photos July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  21


❝ The schools also offer a Christ-centered

Seventy-six individuals from 47 parishes received recognition from Bishop Michael Mulvey for demonstrating the "Joy of the Gospel" in the conduct of their lives. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Bishop recognizes those who ex Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


ishop Michael Mulvey presented the Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel) recognition to 76 recipients from 47 parishes on Friday, May 27, at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. This is the second year—of what will be an annual event—of acknowledging those who exemplify the “Joy of the Gospel”. Those recognized were not receiving an award, Bishop Mulvey said; they were being thanked for being an example of some aspect of the Gospel. “It is a recognition of the joy you receive by serving,” the bishop said. 22  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

The recipients, the bishop said, were witnesses of Jesus Christ and examples of the joy in being a Catholic Christian. He said, that it was no accident that the ceremony was held on the weekend of the Feast of Corpus Christi. “Thank you for who you are. Thank you for your faith, that you share through example and word, and thank you for your love,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Thank you for the mercy that you show for your brothers and sisters.” Pastors nominate the recipients from their parish who exemplify the Joy of the Gospel, which is Pope Francis’ first encyclical.

Those recognized include Johnny and Edna Alvarado, Our Lady of Consolation; Salvador and Baudelia Andrade, St. James, Beeville; Rubén and Sarah Jo Anzaldua, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Alice; Mary “Lela” Baldarramos, Our Lady of Victory; Tomasita Benavidez, Sacred Heart Mission, Pettus; Kenneth and Eleanor Bretsch, St. Philip the Apostle; Jason and Carly Carlough St. Joseph, Port Aransas; Roger and Elisa Cavazos, St. Anthony of Padua; Dagoberto Cavazos, St. Martin of Tours; Gary and Ann Clark, St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Patrick Mission; Tip “Eula” Crutchfield, Our Lady of Refuge; and Allan and Patricia Cumberland, St. Gertrude.


To see more photos of this event go to:

South Texas



xemplify the Joy of the Gospel Also, Tom and Sarita Donald, St. Joseph, Alice; Martin and Kathleen Dossett, Our Lady Star of the Sea; Brenda Evans, Most Precious Blood; Deacon Eluterio and Rose Farías, St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles; Deacon Pilar Gonzales, St. Michael the Archangel; Ricardo and Belinda Gonzales, Sacred Heart, Mathis; Melba Gonzales, Our Lady of the Assumption; Chuck Gross, St. Pius X, Corpus Christi; Cheryl Hooper, St. Andrew by the Sea; Ramon Isassi, St. Joseph, Kingsville; Lelia Keliehor, St. Elizabeth of Hungary; and Pearson and Beth Knolle, St. Pius X Mission, Sandia. Others recognized are Gilbert and Norma Leal, Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mission, Ramirez; Kevin and Amelia Limerick, St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus; Maria Marroquín, St. George; Olivia McDonald, St. Patrick, Corpus Christi; Oscar and June Mendiola, St. Joseph Mission, San Jose; Moisés and Graciela Mercado, Our Lady of Good Counsel; Joel and Ayme Morales, Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia; María Yolanda Muñoz, Ss. Cyril and Methodius; Lorenzo and María Olivarez, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Odem; Omar Pena, St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus, Premont; Mike Pierson and Diana Gutierrez-Pierson, Sacred Heart, Three Rivers; and Ed Preston, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sarita.

Also, Rene and Mary Ramos, Holy Family, Corpus Christi; José and María Rivera, St. Joseph, Corpus Christi; Gary and June Robinson, St. Paul the Apostle; Jim and Norma Sheffer, Immaculate Conception Mission, Conception; Elma C. Stockwell, Santa Rosa de Lima; Manual and Esther Torres, Corpus Christi Cathedral; Amando and María G. Vallejo, Sr., Sacred Heart Mission, Realitos; Casper and Emily Wenzel, Sacred Heart, Corpus Christi; Tiburcio “Yogi” Ybarra, St. Frances of Rome; Greg and Andrea Young, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Portland; and Rogelio and Silvia Zuniga, Immaculate Conception, Gregory. July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  23


Bishop visits St. Thomas More parish Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


ishop Michael Mulvey recently visited St. Thomas More Parish as part of his regular pastoral visits to parishes across the diocese. St. Thomas More began as a collegiate parish serving Del Mar College, located across from the church on Baldwin Blvd. A few years after that designation, it was elevated to a full parish. Pastor of St. Thomas More, Father Thomasz Kozub, welcomed

24  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

Bishop Mulvey with open arms, noting during Mass what an honor it was to have the special visit. “I want to thank you for your faith,” Bishop Mulvey told a packed church on June 12. “One of the reasons I make these visits is to help you strengthen your faith and it helps strengthen mine, too. These visits also allow me to personally thank parishioners for their participation in


Bishop Mulvey and Father Kozub (above) celebrate Mass at St. Thomas More. At left, Bishop Mulvey greets parishioners after Mass. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

different initiatives within the diocese, including the Legacy of Faith-Future of Hope, which we are one and a half years away from completing.” Mulvey said he was proud to announce a success story from one of the many projects of the Legacy of Faith-Future of Hope Capital Campaign. “We built new facilities at our local universities and one of the reasons for doing that was to foster vocations. I’m happy to report we already have two young men who have joined the seminary and we look forward to many more in the future,” he said. Bishop Mulvey’s homily explained how Jesus is the presence of God in our faith and how he has power over death. “We may ask ourselves, what about our own healing, when we have called out to the Lord…does he hear us? Our faith tells us, absolutely, he does. But what he is also saying is, ‘Give yourself to me, so I can be Lord of your situation.’” Bishop Mulvey said that a sad commentary on society today is the rapid progression of secularization, where God is removed from our daily experiences and where God simply becomes an idea. He cautioned parishioners to be aware and on the lookout for this trend, ready to combat it with their faith. “What replaces that presence of God, which should be with us always, is ourselves. We as a society are fixated on ourselves. In the midst of these difficult moments, we are either brought to our knees asking for God’s presence or we just write him off as non-existent,”

Bishop Mulvey said in his homily. He asked parishioners to examine their relationship with God, especially when faced with life’s daily challenges and struggles. “Do we realize God is first in our life and always present? It is in these difficult moments we come to understand and accept God’s presence. And even if that restoration of life or health does not happen, there is a sense in us through faith, that God is present to us. His powerful presence and love is there,” he said. Bishop Mulvey also shared his recent experiences with the prison ministry, recalling the difficult hardships one particular prisoner had in his life, which eventually led him to choose an adult life of crime. The prisoner wrote to Bishop Mulvey a letter outlining why the bishop's visit was so important and how his life changed at a three-day Catholic retreat. “These stories of Jesus bringing people back to life are so important to us. It is the pattern of our life, our Christian life of faith. We need to rely on God and it’s in these painful moments of life that we come to realize this,” he said. As he wrapped up his homily, Bishop Mulvey asked parishioners to delve deep into their hearts and examine how we touch other people’s lives, with Christ in us. “Are we at that point of having God first in our lives, through our own personal struggles, through our past and present? Have we become self-absorbed or have we given everything to God, everyday? Give everything over to God, what is his to begin with.” July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  25

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Diócesis planea eventos para servir a la comunidad hispana

Padre Julián Cabrera explica a miembros del comité del ministerio hispano los programas que se han propuestos para el resto de el año. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

Luisa Scorlari Corresponsal


urante la primera semana de junio se llevo a cabo en la parroquia de St. Thomas the Apostle en Robstown una reunión de trabajo y planeación del ministerio hispano, de la diócesis de Corpus Christi. El padre Julián Cabrera, director del mismo y párroco

de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Alice, presidió sobre la junta. El ministerio hispano es el resultado del esfuerzo e interés que tiene la diócesis, bajo la dirección de el obispo Michael Mulvey, para atender los asuntos de interés y necesidades de la comunidad hispana, inclusivo tener los boletines, solicitudes, folletos y July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Miembros del ministerio hispano incluyen Lupe Mendoza, María Mendoza, padre Naul Odoñez, Rosemary López, Alberto López Jr., Jesse Aguirre, Nora Aguirre, Servando Gómez, Martha Cabrera, Romelia Torres, Germania Hosking, Sister Rosa María Ortiz, Raquel Ramírez, Leonor, María Pacheco, padre Fernando Gámez, padre Julián Cabrera, Rachel Muñoz, Carmen García, José Luis Sifuentes, Sandra Juárez, Juan Juárez, Carolina Garza, Lucina Juárez, Irma Escobedo y José J. Escobedo. Representan diversas parroquias de la diócesis y asistieron a una junta en la parroquia de St. Thomas the Apostle en Robstown para planear actividades para el resto de el año 2016. Luisa Scorlari para el South Texas Catholic

sacramentos en español. “Aunque sabemos que no es tarea fácil, reconocemos la importancia de ofrecerlo”, el padre Cabrera dijo. “Debemos enfocarnos en brindar mas cursos de certificación en español, para que los que hablan español se certifiquen y tengan un nivel mayor de formación y puedan ayudar a impartir clases”. Los sacerdotes Fernando Gámez, vicario parroquial de la iglesia de St. Joseph en Alice y Naul Ordoñez, párroco de la iglesia de St. Martin of Tours en Kingsville, igual como miembros del ministerio hispano representando las diversas parroquias de la diócesis, asistieron y apoyaron al padre Cabrera. Fieles laicos provenientes de Alice, Aransas Pass, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Mathis, Odem y Sinton participaron el la reunión. El Padre Gámez dijo que el ministerio hispano esta estructurando para llevar a cabo el trabajo pastoral, organizándolo para hacerlo proyecto, ya que el obispo le encargo esta importante tarea al padre Cabrera. “Pero se debe fortalecer el grupo, pues es duro el trabajo para una sola persona y

28  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

el resultado seria pobre sin un buen equipo de trabajo”, padre Gámez dijo. “Debemos conocernos para planificar y trazar las metas a seguir”. “Debemos identificar cuales son nuestras necesidades como hispanos en común para hacer nuestra agenda de trabajo que involucre a todos los hispanos de la diócesis para unirnos en ese sentimiento hispano”, el padre Ordoñez dijo. En la agenda de la reunión se tocaron varios temas de interés para la comunidad hispana de la diócesis. Se revisaron las actividades, retiros y conferencias que el ministerio ha llevado a cabo en el ultimo año y se inicio la planeación de las que se están organizando. Un proyecto que esta en planeación es una gran peregrinación que es contemplada para el 30 de octubre a la Puerta Santa en la Catedral, atendiendo al llamado de el Papa Francisco con motivo del Año del Jubileo de la Misericordia. Se anticipa que las comunidades hispanas de las diferentes parroquias de la diócesis participarían. La peregrinación se daría inicio en la


parroquia del Sagrado Corazón en Corpus Christi con una charla de reflexión e información acerca de lo que significa el Año de la Misericordia, inclusivo detalles sobre que se necesita para obtener la indulgencia plenaria a través de hacer una peregrinación a la Puerta Santa durante el Año de Jubileo de la Misericordia. Después, se llevara acabo la peregrinación multitudinaria rumbo a la Catedral para cruzar la Puerta Santa. El evento se culminaría con la celebración de una Santa Misa concelebrada por los sacerdotes presente. También se contempla la organización de un gran retiro general diocesano de adviento. Otro evento que esta planeado es un concierto en Alice organizado por la oficina diocesana de la juventud y el ministerio hispano. La recaudación del concierto será usada para el banco de comida que ahorita se está alimentando 300 familias que están en necesidad debido a la baja del precio del petróleo, que ha resultado en el despido de muchos trabajadores. El concierto tendrá lugar el próximo 19 de agosto, en el parque Zeke Luna, localizado en el 1430 de la calle Beam Station Road en Alice. Las puertas se abrirán a las 5 p.m. y a las 6 p.m. comienza la música y comida, con un costo de $5 por persona y $20 por familia de mas de cuatro. También habrá oportunidad para confesiones. El padre Gámez dijo que hay que reconocer que el hispano

nacido en la diócesis es diferente al hispano que inmigro y que trae su obligación cultural. “Debemos saber bien que es lo que queremos lograr, ya que la comunidad hispana crece rápidamente. Y como iglesia tenemos la obligación de atender sus necesidades”, el padre Gámez dijo. El padre Ordoñez dijo que, “La diversidad es lo que mas enriquece al ministerio hispano, por lo que debemos darle la importancia que se merece su forma de expresión”. La expresión en los Rosarios, las novenas, los festejos, las mañanitas el día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, y las peregrinaciones es lo que hace a la comunidad hispano sentir identificados. “Pertenecer a las diferentes culturas, en lugar de dividirnos nos enriquece mas. Estas sesiones nos sirven para programar un plan de trabajo para organizar encuentros que crean un ambiente de identidad, no dividirnos de la diócesis sino enriquecerla con nuestras valiosas aportaciones, porque cuando caminamos juntos caminamos fortalecidos. Debemos poner a trabajar nuestros dones y talentos bien comprometidos al servicio de la diócesis”. Al final de la sesión se formo un comité organizador del evento de la gran peregrinación de la Puerta Santa. Personas o grupos que están interesado en pertenecer a este comité organizador o al equipo de trabajo del ministerio hispano, o para ofrecer cualquier don o talento que tengan y ponerlo al servicio de Dios y la comunidad hispana diocesana, pueden contactar a el padre Cabrera por teléfono al (361) 453-2991.

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Director de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia: (361) 693-6686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata.

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

Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  29


What some Catholic leaders are saying about Paul Ryan’s poverty plan Catholic News Agency


fter U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a task force on poverty, Catholic leaders and economists weighed in, saying that it was a good starting point, but that more needed to be done. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami voiced hope that the proposal would be a conversation-starter on poverty, saying it “ought to be a catalyst for strong bi-partisan dialogue about our brothers and sisters in need and our obligations to give them priority in our policymaking.” Speaker Ryan’s 35-page plan, “A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confidant America,” proposes changes to the welfare system, more cooperation between faith and community-based initiatives and the federal government and a more results-based critique of federal anti-poverty programs. “No amount of government intervention can replace the great drivers of American life: our families, friends, neighbors, churches and charities,” the plan’s introduction states. “And Americans do not need more one-size-fits-all, top-down government programs that limit their ability to get ahead. Instead, they need opportunities to help them escape poverty and earn success.” Among the plan’s proposals are work requirements for welfare recipients, letting workers avoid the welfare “cliff” by keeping some benefits as they accept wage increases, giving states and local governments more freedom to tailor welfare benefits and 30  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a task force on poverty to seek "a better way." Christopher Halloran via

incentives to the needs of specific communities, promoting the use of data and information technology to determine the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs and working with community programs for at-risk youth to prevent incarceration. “All too often, our current system of welfare programs and education programs are too complex, or don’t provide the assistance that individuals need in their unique circumstances,” the plan stated. “This is the

beginning of a conversation.” Ryan, who ran for U.S. vice president in 2012, has described his budget principles as being based on the Catholic pillars of solidarity and subsidiarity. Prominent Catholics voiced gratitude to the House Speaker for raising the issue and starting a dialogue on the matter, although they added that the conversation is only beginning. “It is time for a major national discussion

“not having a job with a sufficient wage,” he said, but Ryan’s plan has “no wage-support programs” like a minimum wage hike, and has “no jobs program” to create jobs and bring people out of poverty. Work requirements for welfare can only be a part of policies fighting poverty, Archbishop Wenski said. Lawmakers should look at other possible causes of poverty and symptoms “like access to nutritious food for people of all ages,” he said. “While work is crucial for the flourishing of those who are able-bodied—and here St. John Paul II reminded us that work constitutes a foundation for the formation of family life—we need to account for the current state of our job training and the availability of actual, good paying jobs,” the archbishop said. According to a study cited in the poverty report—a 2012 Census Bureau report on “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States”—“the poverty programs actually do ease poverty” in that “people who didn’t have them would

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be starving,” Médaille said. Many people who are poor and receiving welfare benefits are actually “working very hard,” he said. In many families both parents are working and having to pay high daycare costs which can be second only to rent in monthly budget expenses. The “effect of wage stagnation on family life” has had a very deleterious effect on families’ livelihoods, Médaille said. Young white men earn “about the same” as in the 1970s, he said, and “household income” has stayed about the same for almost 20 years. It is definitely “part of the cause” of poverty, he said, but it receives “not even honorable mention in this document.” One area in which Médaille agreed with the plan was support for the Earned-Income Tax Credit. It should be “expanded radically” or even replaced with a guaranteed income, he said, noting that experiments in Canada and India show that people with a guaranteed income are “more likely to take a risk” and “become entrepreneurs.”


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on the moral challenge of overcoming poverty in the richest nation on earth,” John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, said. “I think Speaker Ryan’s proposal is a contribution to that, and I hope it will encourage others to offer their own plans and priorities.” Carr was glad that the plan avoided touching “block grants, Medicaid and Food Stamps,” noting that to do so “posed major practical and political problems” and did “not help the poor, in my view.” Archbishop Wenski agreed. “Commendably, the plan does not seek to be a blunt instrument with regard to the social safety net,” he said. However, John Médaille, an adjunct professor of theology at the University of Dallas, said many of Ryan’s proposals “turn out to be aspirational at best, and contradictory at worst.” The document “concentrates on symptoms, not causes” of poverty, he said. “Poverty is the result of not having a job” or of


Pope Francis offered prayers for 50 dead and 53 wounded in Orlando, Florida in what is being called the biggest mass murder in U.S. history. Catholic News Agency

Pope horrified by deadly attack in Orlando Ann Schneible

Catholic News Agency


ope Francis has offered his prayers and compassion for those affected by a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida that claimed 50 lives, including the shooter, and left 53 wounded. In a June 12 statement Father Federico Lombardi, the Holy See press officer, said the “terrible massacre,” which has left a “dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred.” “Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion,” the statement reads. “Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort.” 32  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

“We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence which so deeply upsets the desire for peace of the American people and of the whole of humanity.” At least 50 people were killed and 53 were wounded in the early hours of June 12 when a gunman identified as 29-yearold Omar Mateen exchanged fire with a police officer working at Pulse nightclub, which caters to a Gay clientele. Mateen, a native of New York City and a resident of Florida of Afghan descent, took hostages for as much as three hours, and was shot to death by Swat officers. Bishop John Noonan of Orlando tweeted on Sunday saying, “We pray for victims of the mass shooting in Orlando this morning, their families and our first responders. May the Lord’s mercy be upon us.” Bishop Michael Mulvey of Corpus

Christi, offered prayers for the victims and their families. “It is with great sorrow that we witnessed the massacre perpetrated recently in Orlando, Florida. These deplorable murders remind us that such acts of violence are not true paths to peace or justice,” Bishop Mulvey said. “In these difficult times, our faith calls us to love one another and to stand in solidarity with one another in defense of the sacredness of every human life and the dignity of every human person made in the image and likeness of God. We lift our prayers to God for all those involved, especially the victims of this horrible tragedy and their families. May our merciful Lord grant healing and peace to them, to our country, and to our world.” (The South Texas Catholic contributed to this article.)

Catholic News Agency


hysician-assisted suicide is part of a “throwaway culture” that offers a “false compassion” and treats a human person as a problem, Pope Francis told medical leaders meeting in the

Vatican. “True compassion does not marginalize anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude– much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing,” the pope said. He criticized “those who hide behind an alleged compassion to justify and approve the death of a patient.” “You are well aware of the meaning of the triumph of selfishness, of this ‘throwaway culture’ that rejects and dismisses those who do not comply with certain canons of health, beauty and utility,” he said. The pope addressed the managers of the Medical Orders of Spain and Latin America in the Apostolic Palace on June 9. According to Vatican Radio’s translation, he described compassion as “the just response to the immense value of the sick person.” This response is composed of respect, understanding and tenderness “so that the sacred value of the life of the patient does not disappear or become obscured, but instead shines with greater splendor precisely in suffering and helplessness.” Compassion is a necessary part of the

medical profession, Pope Francis said. “The doctor’s identity and commitment depends not only on scientific knowledge and technical competence, but principally on the attitude of compassion and mercy towards those who suffer in body and spirit. Compassion does not mean pity, it means ‘suffering with’,” he said. Technological and individualistic culture does not always consider compassion well, he said. It even disdains it and regards it as humiliation. “Frailty, pain and infirmity are a difficult trial for everyone, including medical staff. They call for patience, for ‘suffering-with.’ Therefore, we must not give in to the functionalist temptation to apply rapid and drastic solutions, moved by false compassion or by mere criteria of efficiency or cost-effectiveness,” he said. “The dignity of human life is at stake. The dignity of the medical vocation is at stake. Nothing must prevent you from ‘putting more heart into your hands’,” the pontiff said to the medical leaders, citing St. Camillo de Lellis. Pope Francis reflected on the theological aspects of health and medicine. In the biblical tradition, there is a close link between health and salvation. “The Fathers of the Church used to refer to Christ and his work of salvation with the title ‘Christus Medicus’ (Christ the

Pope Francis. Daniel Ibáñez, Catholic News Agency

Doctor),” the Pope said. “He is the Good Shepherd who cares for the wounded sheep and comforts the sick. He is the Good Samaritan who does not pass by the injured person at the roadside, but rather, moved by compassion, cures and attends to him.” The pope added he likes to bless doctors’ hands as a sign of recognizing “this compassion that becomes the caress of health.” July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  33


Pope Francis: Let’s be clear–assisted suicide is ‘false compassion’

St. Theresa Catholic Church

Christmas in July GIFT & CRAFT BAZAAR

Saturday, July 16 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. FREE ADMISSION

St. Theresa Parish Hall 1212 Lantana Street • Corpus Christi FOR BAZAAR OR VENDOR INFORMATION CONTACT: CELIA (361) 289-7092 / DORA LINDA (361) 883-2370 OR EMAIL AT: CHRISTMASINJULY@LIVE.COM

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.

34  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources

Father J. Patrick Serna

W Contributor

here the Old Testament was open-minded regarding laws that frequently did not challenge the urges of fallen human nature, like the teaching of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” Jesus and the New Testament frequently went directly against fallen human tendencies. Basically, the Old Testament permission for lex talion, or retaliation authorized by law, went with the grain of fallen nature, whereas the New Testament usually goes directly against it. Rose Sayer, played by Catherine Hepburn in The African Queen, summed up this comparison quite nicely when she told her companion, played by Humphrey Bogart, “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above!” The Works of Mercy help us rise above, and overcome, fallen human nature, which is why we should take these works seriously. Why is it that when a stranger or important person annoys us, or frustrates us, or commits a wrong, we seem to be extra patient when compared to a family member or old friend? Now, if a family member looks at another family member in a slightly imperfect way, or if a family member makes mouth noises while eating, watch out! Impatience and frustration frequently show up in full force, usually sprinkled with a little bit of anger. There is an old saying that goes something like this: “It is not the mountain in front of you that will stop you, but rather, it will be the pebble in your shoe.” The works of mercy help us get rid of the “pebbles in our shoes.” The fourth spiritual work of mercy, to bear

wrongs patiently, exhorts us to be patient and gracious, especially when the other person is in the wrong. To give in to impatience and anger, especially in the face of wrongdoing whether intended or not, is a very natural temptation. The works of mercy are direct challenges against fallen nature, and they invite us to participate in something higher, that is, the supernatural which is of God. The basis for the fourth spiritual work of mercy is found directly in the words of Jesus, where he says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.... Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles (Mt 5:38-39, 41).” This means, first of all, that we should be more patient with the people we are very close to, in our families and in our friends. In the law of averages, we probably commit more sins of impatience or lack of charity against the people we live with, or the people we see most frequently. It is true that God often reveals his strength and power through our weakness, as St. Paul so eloquently acknowledged, “‘...power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me (2 Cor 12:9).” We are always able to see the divine side of these marvelous events, whereby God places one of his representative ministers at the right place at the right time. The following account is a true story. While it does not put the current writer in a good light—the truth often does that, the humbling truth can often edify us. Matthew Moore has been a long time friend July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  35


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

Bear wrongs patiently, you never know what is in God’s plan


➤God used my friend’s human error to bring an ordained priest…to people who were in desperate need of prayers and sacraments that only an ordained priest could administer. of mine. A few years ago, we were on our way to a wedding in Houston. After 45 minutes or so of driving north, I realized that we were on Interstate 37, which leads to San Antonio, instead of U.S. Highway 59, which leads to Houston. This drastic mistake was going to cost a huge waste of unnecessary gasoline for both vehicles and make us three hours late. I called Matthew on the cell phone and proceeded to scold him for taking us to San Antonio instead of to Houston. He calmly responded by saying that I could just as easily have corrected the error sooner, but did not. While scolding my friend on the phone, I soon realized that traffic was coming to a stop, due to a car crash. After pulling my pickup truck into the median, I jumped out with the holy oils and the book of rites. It was a horrible car crash. Several young ladies were thrown from the car and paramedics were running around frantically trying to find all the victims. In that

moment I realized that God used my friend’s human error to bring an ordained priest, sinner and hypocrite though I was, to people who were in desperate need of prayers and sacraments that only an ordained priest could administer. I have experienced traumatic events up close and personal on several occasions, and it is always difficult, but this was possibly the most difficult encounter of them all. I was going from young lady to young lady, listening to their cries and their fears, praying with them, blessing them, anointing them and trying simultaneously calm down paramedics who were also having a hard time. Later, I told a paramedic—who had thanked me and had some grateful things to say—that I was in the middle of being unkind to a friend, whose error God used to direct me in my ministry. Bear wrongs patiently, you never know what is in God’s plan.

July Liturgical Calendar 1 | Fri | Weekday | green/white [USA: Blessed Junípero Serra, Priest] Am 8:4-6, 9-12/Mt 9:9-13 (381) 2 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Am 9:11-15/Mt 9:14-17 (382) 3 | SUN | FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Is 66:10-14c/ Gal 6:14-18/Lk 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9 (102) Pss II 4 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [USA: Independence Day] Hos 2:16, 17b-18, 21-22/Mt 9:18-26 (383) or, for Independence Day, any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Mass “For the Country or a City,” nos. 882-886, or “For Peace and Justice,” nos. 887-891 5 | Tue | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Anthony Zaccaria, Priest; USA: Saint Elizabeth of Portugal] Hos 8:4-7, 11-13/Mt 9:32-38 (384) 6 | Wed | Weekday | green/red [Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr] Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12/Mt 10:1-7 (385) 7 | Thu | Weekday | green | Hos 11:1-4, 8c-9/Mt 10:7-15 (386)

8 | Fri | Weekday | green | Hos 14:210/Mt 10:16-23 (387) 9 | Sat | Weekday | green/red/white [Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs; BVM] Is 6:1-8/Mt 10:24-33 (388)

16 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/ white [Our Lady of Mount Carmel; BVM] Mi 2:1-5/Mt 12:14-21 (394)

11 | Mon | Saint Benedict, Abbot | white | Memorial | Is 1:10-17/Mt 10:34—11:1 (389) 12 | Tue | Weekday | green | Is 7:1-9/ Mt 11:20-24 (390)

17 | SUN | SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Gn 18:1-10a/ Col 1:24-28/Lk 10:38-42 (108) Pss IV 18 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [USA: Saint Camillus de Lellis, Priest] Mi 6:1-4, 6-8/Mt 12:38-42 (395) 19 | Tue | Weekday | green | Mi 7:1415, 18-20/Mt 12:46-50 (396) 20 | Wed | Weekday | green/red [Saint Apollinaris, Bishop and Martyr] Jer 1:1, 4-10/Mt 13:1-9 (397)

13 | Wed | Weekday | green/white [Saint Henry] Is 10:5-7, 13b-16/Mt 11:25-27 (391) 14 | Thu | USA: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin | white | Memorial | Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19/Mt 11:28-30 (392) 15 | Fri | Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8/Mt 12:1-8 (393)

21 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13/Mt 13:10-17 (398) 22 | Fri | Saint Mary Magdalene | white | Memorial | Jer 3:14-17 (399)/ Jn 20:1-2, 11-18 (603) Pss Prop 23 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Bridget, Religious; BVM] Jer 7:1-11/Mt 13:24-30 (400) 24 | SUN | SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY

10 | SUN | FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Dt 30:10-14/ Col 1:15-20/Lk 10:25-37 (105) Pss III

36  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

IN ORDINARY TIME | green Gn 18:20-32/Col 2:12-14/Lk 11:1-13 (111) Pss I 25 | Mon | Saint James, Apostle | red | Feast | 2 Cor 4:7-15/Mt 20:20-28 (605) Pss Prop 26 | Tue | Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | Memorial | Jer 14:17-22/Mt 13:36-43 (402) 27 | Wed | Weekday | green | Jer 15:10, 16-21/Mt 13:44-46 (403) 28 | Thu | Weekday | green | Jer 18:16/Mt 13:47-53 (404) 29 | Fri | Saint Martha | white | Memorial | Jer 26:1-9 (405)/Jn 11:1927 or Lk 10:38-42 (607) 30 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; BVM] Jer 26:11-16, 24/Mt 14:1-12 (406) 31 | SUN | EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Eccl 1:2; 2:21-23/Col 3:1-5, 9-11/Lk 12:13-21 (114) Pss II


An omelet breakfast and a First Holy Communion Father Paul Kottackal is Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Beeville.

Father Paul Kottackal



t has been said that St. Thomas Aquinas taught that God sought in the Eucharist, “not the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into Jesus’ body and blood, but the transformation of ourselves into Jesus’ presence.” Recently, I was invited by an immigrant family in England to officiate at the First Holy Communion ceremony of their first child. I happily obliged, and stayed with them for three days prior to the function. The couple has two children, AnnRose and Albin. Ann-Rose was the communicant. As an experienced pastor I asked Ann-Rose about the preparations she underwent to receive Holy Communion at her local parish. I asked her some questions, which I regularly ask first-time communicants. She answered them rather well. Still, I would have given her only a pass mark. Since the moment I met these children they, especially Ann-Rose, appeared very cheerful and welcoming. She was very excited perhaps because she was going to receive Jesus. The ceremony was well-organized. Everybody was happy. The next day being a school holiday, both kids stayed home while the parents went to work. Assuming that the children were still sleeping, I came down early to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. To my surprise, Ann-Rose was downstairs waiting for me, and she greeted me. “Good morning uncle. You had a good sleep?” I answered yes. I was wondering, was this not the same girl whose parents struggled to rouse up from bed the previous mornings? Having seen her mom offer me tea the previous mornings , she asked, “You want tea?” “Yes. I am going to make a cup of tea,” I answered. “No. I will make it for you,” she said. “You want black tea, or with cream,” she inquired. “Black,” I replied. “How many bags? One or two? I know you don’t use sugar, ” she said. She appeared to be a very mature host sensitive to the needs of a guest. She started boiling water, and offered me a cup of strong black tea. While drinking, I told her that it was very tasty; a half-truth. As soon as I finished tea, she asked,

“Uncle shall I make you an omelet?” I asked her if she knew how to make an omelet. “I have seen mom making it. I will try,” she said. In 30 minutes she served me an “omelet?”. I asked her jokingly, “What shall I call this, omelet or a scrambled egg or any other name?” I think she grasped the humor, and with a smile she said, “As you like!” I enjoyed the breakfast as if it was the best one that I had ever eaten. Having finished it, I congratulated her, “Excellent, a good job.” I could see a beautiful smile of satisfaction on her face. I later learned from her parents that it was the first time that she ever made a breakfast and tea herself. Afterwards I asked her if her mom told her to prepare the breakfast for me. She said, “No, I have seen her preparing food for guests.” She added, “The teacher who prepared us for Holy Communion taught us that once we received Jesus, we should act like him; we have to be at the service of others.” I guessed, having received First Holy Communion, Ann-Rose was making use of the first opportunity to act like Jesus, serving someone who was in need of breakfast. Is it not the same thing that Blessed Virgin Mary did as she received “First Holy Communion” at annunciation? Her first and spontaneous response was to rush to Elizabeth who was in need of help. I regretted having given Ann-Rose only a pass mark after inquiring about her preparation for Holy Communion. I believe Ann-Rose deserved an A+ in her preparation for First Holy Communion. I was mistaken in giving her pass mark only. This was a learning experience for me; the best preparation for First Holy Communion is not to teach children to memorize a few prayers, but to train them to act like Jesus and to be at the service of others. It is a miracle that after receiving Eucharist the recipients are transformed into Jesus. I will forever joyfully cherish in my memory the omelet this little girl prepared for me and more importantly the lesson that I learned from her kitchen. July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  37


4, 11, Sacred Heart Bible Course 18 & on the Gospel of St. Luke July 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 25 Mondays 7 p.m. in Central Catholic school

7 7

cafeteria. Raul Ortiz will speak on the Gospel of St. Luke.

Holy Hour for Vocations

July 7 from 6-7 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle (2233 Waldron Road) in Corpus Christi. 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.

Holy Hour First Thursday of the Month

II High School from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $10 (lunch will be provided). Altar servers must be age seven and above.

in July, Gift 16 Christmas and Craft Bazaar

July 16 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall (1212 Lantana St.) Free admission. For bazaar or vendor information contact Celia at (361) 289-7092; Dora at (361) 883-2370; or email:


July 7 from 5-6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church (422 North Alameda Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information:



New Grief Support Group at OLPH

July 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (5830 Williams Dr.) in Corpus Christi. For more information about joining a grief support group, please contact Chaplain Ray Clavería at (361) 947-8146.

8 & 9


Love and Mercy of God conference at OLCC

Friday, July 8, from 7-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 9, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). There will be presentations given in Spanish and English by SOLT priests, sisters and laity. There will also be Mass, adoration, confession, musicians and more. Children and teen programs offered for youth of all ages. Cost: $40/ adult $60/couple $5/child $10/ child 5 and under. Register online at or call (361) 289-0807.

Altar Server Camp

The Office of Vocations will be hosting its first Altar Server Camp on Saturday, July 9, at St. John Paul

38  South Texas Catholic | July 2016

July 16 from 9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin in Corpus Christi. Natural Family Planning allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the Church and respecting the gift of their married love. For more information visit

in Truth at 16 Grounded Cafe Veritas-OLCC

July 16 at 7 p.m. Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana) invites everyone to Grounded in Truth, every third Saturday. An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel 7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in the newly renovated Cafe Veritas from 8-9:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.

St. Anthony's Holy Hour for Vocations

July 7 and every first Thursday of the month at St. Anthony of Padua Church (204 Dunne St.) in Robstown.

Natural Family Planning Class

17 & 18

Solidarity Fund For The Church In Africa

A second collection to be collected in your parish on Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18.

19 Tuesday Tea with the Saints

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

Covenant of Love with 21 AMary Information Classes

July 21 and every third Thursday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center

(4343 Gaines Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information call the office at (361) 992-9841 or email

Annual Church and 23 7th Community Rummage Sale

July 23 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation's Vattmann Hall (about 12 miles south from Kingsville on Hwy 77, then five miles East on FM 628) in Vattmann. Call today and reserve a booth. For more information contact Teresa May at (361) 296-4642.

Charities kicks off 18 Catholic Homeownership Month

July 23 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Catholic Charities (615 Oliver Ct.) in Corpus Christi. For more information and to reserve a table contact the Housing Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651 or email us at or


July 25-29 at Camp Aranzazu in Rockport. Cost is $25. Explore is a summer experience for young men who want to understand their faith better, know themselves better, have fun and make new friends from all over the diocese. To register or for more information call the Diocesan Vocations Office at (361) 334-2781.

s Spiritual 28 Women’ Exercises Retreat

July 28-31 begins on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. A weekend to go deeper in our relationship with Our Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Missions Corpus Christi 30 ACTS Chapter Town Hall gathering

July 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church (2233 Waldron Rd.) in Flour Bluff. All ACTS folks are invited to attend. There will be food and fellowship. For more information contact Sandra Carlisle at (361) 668-8137.

To see more calendar events go to: Click on Calendar

July 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  39

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

South Texas Catholic - July 2016  

In our July issue we report on what some Kingsville parishes are mercifully doing to pray for and to bury immigrants who lose their lives in...

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