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South Texas

Catholic JANUARY 2015

Our Lady of Guadalupe brings parishes together WWW.SOUTHTEXASCATHOLIC.COM




VOL. 50 NO. 1

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD


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


Parishes throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi came together to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic


Replica of Our Lady of Consolation Church, handcrafted from mesquite wood by Fred Yaklin Jr., was on sale at the 100th Annual Thanksgiving Day in Vattman. Teresa May, Our Lady of Consolation Parish

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

INSIDE 4 Religious men and women are VIEWPOINTS

witnesses to God’s love, mercy and forgiveness

VIDA CATÓLICA 24 Conferencia ministerial tendrá presentaciones en español

LIFE NATIONAL NEWS 9 ItPARISH 30 Ferguson business owner has been going on for 100 years: A family-and faith-centered Thanksgiving

EDUCATION 12 CATHOLIC St. John Paul II High School prepares students for life

VOCATIONS 15 Promoting vocations during the Year of Consecrated Life

overwhelmed by ‘by love, kindness, service’

VATICAN NEWS 34 Pope praises Our Lady of Guadalupe as great missionary of ‘Our America’

FAITH 36 OUR Let God guide your resolutions for life

Keep up with the Faith at



Religious men and women are witnesses to God’s love, mercy and forgiveness Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Bishop Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic


efore the Diocese of Corpus Christi was established, religious men and women were present in this area of south Texas evangelizing in very poor and dire conditions. The presence of these heroic men and women has been the foundation of the faith in the life of the Church for more than 200 years. On Oct. 28, 1965, Blessed Paul VI signed the decree, Perfectae Caritatis, the Second Vatican Council’s “Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life in the Church.” This decree outlines five specific areas in which men and women in religious life can renew themselves within the life of the Church. First, that those in consecrated life that have received this call of renewal see in Christ Jesus and His Gospel their supreme rule. Second, that they realize the beauty of their unique charism which their founder or foundress was inspired to offer as a gift to strengthen the life of the Church. They should return to the original beauty of that charism and remain faithful to the original inspiration of their founder. Third, they should also understand that they are an integral part of and share in the life of the Church. Fourth, they should join the whole Church in understanding and remaining close to the realities of today’s society. Finally, above all they should renew themselves in the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience and live those vows in the community in which they are professed as


not only individual witnesses, but witnesses together as a community. These five principles for living religious life are what constantly inspire those who are already professed and those who are presently seeking their vocation to follow. In these present times, the Church must attend to another aspect of our faith life. As we continue to explore the call to the New Evangelization, I recognize with you that religious women and men play a vital role in our efforts. This call—a call to all of us from the Holy Spirit—summons us to come together in a communion, which we name Church; to work together for the renewal of our Catholic faith; and to spread the Gospel throughout our society. By their service in education, social outreach and medical care, today’s religious are vital instruments of this effort. In a society starving for expressions of healthy and life-giving relationships, we can look to communities of religious men and women to be witnesses to God’s love, mercy and forgiveness brought to us through Jesus Christ. If each one of us in the diocese took a moment to review

explore the call to the New Evangelization, I recognize with you that religious women and men play a vital role in our efforts.” our own faith journey, I think that most of us could point to a religious priest, brother or sister, or perhaps all three as playing some inspirational role in our faith journey. Two religious women were part of my family. Religious sisters taught me from grammar school to college. Religious priests and brothers were also instrumental in my education as well as my vocation. As we recognize and honor the men and women who have professed themselves in a closer adherence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and committed themselves to follow him more perfectly in charity, we give thanks for their vocation and for the witness that they give to us and to the society around us. Let us give them–during this year and always–our appreciation and our love. Let us thank God for the many charisms rooted in the inspiration of their founders. Let us support them in the continued renewal that brings a fuller life to the Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. My consecrated sisters, brothers and priests, thank you; thank you, for your presence today and for the inspiration and the dedicated ministry that you have given, give, and will give far into the future. May God’s blessing be upon each one of you and your communities, especially during this Year for Consecrated Life.

Alfredo E. Cárdenas


South Texas Catholic

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

any of us, myself included, are fond of the slogan

“Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.” But how many of us do so until Christmas is fully complete. If you have already taken down your Christmas tree and ornaments, chances are you have cut Christmas short. The Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church indicates that Christmas is not over until Jan. 11. When we are awaiting the birth of a child or grandchild we do not suddenly lose interest the minute it is born. No, we continue with our joy and cannot get enough of the newborn. We go on for weeks wanting to carry him, kiss her, toss him up in the air and make goofy faces and sounds for her. The joy seems to never end–at least until they reach the terrible twos or worse yet become teenagers. And even then, the love does not stop–it never does. So it must be with the birth of our Savior. We must continue to carry his cross, give him our loving kisses, raise our arms in exaltation to him and yes, from time to time, it is okay to share our silliness with him. I’m certain Jesus has a good sense of humor. He too never stops loving us, to love us is why he made us. As we go about our busy daily lives, the Church reminds us of the coming of Christ’s JANUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  5  


Christmas is not over yet

“As we continue to


➤ Take this time to continue to merrily celebrate and reflect

on the joy of the Gospel. birth by providing four weeks for Advent in the Church Liturgical Calendar. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us that “The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.” The Church provides us devotions, such as Advent wreaths and calendars, to help in our preparation. The Church also provides us with direction on how to continue our celebration after Christ’s birth, beginning at the Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve through the Baptism of the Lord on Jan. 11. The Octave of Christmas, the eight days after Christmas, ends

today, Jan. 1, with the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This day also honors the holy Name of Jesus. In the United States, Jan. 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation. Besides attending Mass, the family may want to gather at the dinner table, the Christmas tree or the manger scene and offer a prayer for the coming New Year. The Christmas season—especially The Epiphany of the Lord that usually is on Jan. 6 but this year will be celebrated on Sunday, Jan. 4—is the traditional time for blessing of homes. During the Mass of the Epiphany it is customary to announce the dates of movable feasts for the coming year and it is a time when the Church blesses and distributes calendars.

The Epiphany conveys that Jesus is the Messiah and Savior of the world, as indicated by the call of the wise men who came to pay homage to Jesus. During the week after The Epiphany, the Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ childhood and other appearances of the Lord. The Sunday after Jan. 6 is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and end of the Christmas season. As we can see, we still have another 10 days to celebrate the joyous coming of the Lord. Take this time to continue to merrily celebrate and reflect on the joy of the Gospel. Turn away from the stress imposed on the holidays by our material culture and rest in the love Jesus.

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

• Edroy CCD students distribute food baskets to needy families

• Mother Teresa Shelter Christmas Giving

• Silver Rose Mass celebrated at St. Joseph in Beeville

• Catholic Charities’ persons with a disability give back to area homeless

• Sacred Heart in Corpus Christi holds Advent retreat to renew parish

• Msgr. Rowsome releases second book • Islander Catholics deliver food to shelter residents


• IWA Students collect food and donations for the Share Your Christmas Food Drive • Holy Family School gets a new pre-school playground • IWA’s Second Annual Homecoming Reunion Weekend marks 101 years of alumni • IWA High School students place at Texas Renaissance Festival

Jan. 24, 1942 ~ Dec. 10, 2014


ister María Paz Aribon, OP, 72, a member of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic passed away peacefully in the Central House of the Dominican Sisters in Flour Bluff on Dec. 10. She was the principal at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Robstown. Sister Paz was born on Jan. 24, 1942 in Nandacan, Bautista, Pangasinan, Philippines to Edy Aribon and Helen Sison de Guzman Aribon, who preceded her in death. She entered religious life at 16 as a postulant at Sta. Catalina in Manila, Philippines on June 16, 1958, made her first profession of vows on Jan. 4, 1961 in Sta. Rita, Pampanga and professed perpetual vows on Jan. 5, 1964 in Manila. Sister Paz graduated from Blessed Imeldas Academy in Dagupan City, received a bachelor’s degree in education from the Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas, Manila, a master’s degrees from Michigan State University and Catholic Leadership from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Her years of ministry included teaching in the Dominican schools in Manila, San Juan, Dagupan City, Unisan, Alfonso and Cavite. She was sent to the missions in 1979 in Taiwan,

Guam, Okinawa, and in the United States at Corpus Christi, Beeville and Robstown. She maintained and lived her missionary zeal as a schoolteacher, administrator in Catholic schools and as catechist in the parishes to which she was assigned. She also availed herself in the music and liturgy in the convent, schools and parishes where she worked. Sister Paz held various positions in the Congregation of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic including, Delegate of the Superior General in the U.S. Delegation; Consultant and Secretary of the Delegate; and local Superior and Vice Superior in the U.S. communities. She also served as Vice President and Secretary of the Consecrated Life Council in the Corpus Christi Diocese.

She is survived by four sisters and four brothers, Carmen (Dizon) of Glendale, Arizona; Milagros (Florece) of California; Amanda (Azarcon) of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Maria Lourdes (Casillano) of California; Caesar; Elpidio Jr.; Felipe; Emmanuel; and many nieces and nephews and their children in the U.S. and in the Philippines. The Liturgy of the Christian burial, celebrated by Bishop Michael Mulvey, was held on Saturday, Dec. 13, at St. Anthony’s in Robstown. Interment was at Seaside Memorial Park, Corpus Christi.



In Memoriam Sister María Paz Aribon, OP


In Memoriam Sister María Begoña Divinagracia, OP


Feb. 12, 1939~Dec. 13, 2014

ister María Begoña Divinagracia, OP, a member of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic passed away peacefully on Dec. 13 at a local hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was born on Feb. 12, 1939 in Tamboilan Dumangas, Iloilo, Philippines to Anastacio Divinagracia and Felicidad Diasnes. She joined the Religious Institute on April 15, 1960 as a postulant. She made her first profession of vows on Dec. 29, 1962 and professed her perpetual vows on Jan. 10, 1968 in Sta. Rita, Pampanga, Philippines. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas, Manila, her master’s degree in religious education from the Pontifical Institute of Regina Mundi, Rome and the Catholic School Leadership Program from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. Her years of ministry included

teaching in the Dominican Schools in Manila. She was sent to the mission in 1989 in Rome, Taiwan and the United States where she lived her missionary zeal as schoolteacher, prefect of discipline, catechist, Catholic school administrator and spiritual director of Legion of Mary in Oxnard, California. Sister María Begoña held various positions in the Congregation of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic including Mistress of the Novices and Juniors; Secretary of the Provincial Councils in the Philippines and Taiwan; local Superior in the Taiwan

communities; Member of the General Council in Rome; and Secretary of the Delegate of the Prioress General in the United States. Three stepsisters, Olympia Delicana, Leonora Divinagracia and Amelia Deanon survive her. Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated the Liturgy of Christian burial on Dec. 16 at St. Paul the Apostle. Interment was at Seaside Memorial Park.

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Families serve food at the annual Thanksgiving Day fundraiser for Our Lady of Consolation Church. Generations of families have celebrated Thanksgiving for 100 years. Serving the dressing are from left, Judy Temple, Sydney Hubert, Miles Cumberland and Joe Charles Kuntscher. Teresa May, Our Lady of Consolation Parish

It has been going on for 100 years

A family-and faith-centered


By Tony Gutiérrez



urkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean salad. It was standard Thanksgiving food, as I sat at the table with my wife, our newborn daughter, and my wife’s family…and about another 400 people in the Our Lady of Consolation Parish hall in Vattman. For 100 years, members of this small community founded by German-Czech

immigrants have been gathering for a Thanksgiving Day Picnic fundraiser. At

the end of the day, more than 2,000 people had been served a Thanksgiving



meal. Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass with the parish the night before. For many, like my wife’s grandfather Fred Yaklin, it is the only Thanksgiving they have ever known. When my wife Tiffany and I pulled into the church parking lot, we saw a sea of cars in the grass, and a line of people extending about 100 feet from the parish hall to just in front of the church building. After praying in the church for a little bit, we were put to work. Our extended family was put in charge of the store outside the parish hall where we sold T-shirts, bags, hats, coffee mugs and other items commemorating the 100th Thanksgiving Day Picnic. “If it wasn’t for everyone’s family coming back to work—children and grandkids—if we didn’t have extended families come back, we couldn’t do it,” Ronnie Unterbrink, who chaired the committee that planned this year’s picnic, said. When Tiffany and I took a break, we wandered into the country store, where

Families partake in the Thanksgiving Day meal at Our Lady of Consolation Church. Teresa May, Our Lady of Consolation Parish parishioners had donated hundreds of homemade decorations, jams and knick-knacks to support the parish. I was surprised when I bumped into Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody, who said that he comes to the picnic every year. I had been to Vattman twice in my life before. The first time was for Thanksgiving 2008, when Tiffany

There were many booths and games at Our Lady of Consolation Church. Teresa May, Our Lady of Consolation Parish


and I were still dating, I worked in the kitchen, so I didn’t truly comprehend how important this event was in the parish’s life. The second time was last summer, after we were married, to celebrate my grandmother-in-law Liz’s birthday. Standing outside of the hall, I was able to appreciate the significance of Thanksgiving in Vattman. Behind me was a kiosk on the side of the country store where my father-in-law and uncles-in-law were selling beverages. In front of me, I saw Tiffany, our two-month-old daughter Katie, my mother-in-law and aunts-in-law, selling commemorative items. To my right, children participated in a turkey shoot. And to my left, the line continued. One woman, Pam Markham, recently bought some property about five miles away. “We’re not Catholic, but we’re going to come to church here, anyway,” she said. Her family had not heard about the Thanksgiving Day Picnic until this year. “We just said this is what we’re doing, this is our new tradition. I think


it’s fabulous. We love the weather and we love being able to meet people and everyone’s been real friendly.” John Lennan, a member of St. Pius Parish in Corpus Christi, came to his first Vattman Thanksgiving in the 1990s when he was covering the event as a journalist. “We’ve been coming here as a family for several years,” Lennan said. “We keep coming back and have been making it a family tradition.” Towards the end of the day, after all the visitors had gone through the line, it was our family’s turn to sit and eat. We had to wait for 12 seats together, to accommodate Tiffany’s extended family. Liz, or Grammy as we call her, had been in the kitchen all day preparing the vegetables. She sat next to us and was glad to be able to finally eat.

We were not the only family helping with the Vattman Thanksgiving. As Ronnie had pointed out, a good number of the volunteers were out-of-towners with family ties. Katherine and Al Schorbert from San Antonio and Leah and Andy Waller from College Station are the two most-recently married couples in Our Lady of Consolation. “I don’t think I’ve ever missed a Vattman Thanksgiving,” Katherine told me. “This is all we’ve ever known and this is where our family is and we want to be with our family for Thanksgiving,” Leah said. “It’s not just our immediate family, it’s everyone we grew up with that we consider family.” And that’s what it was about. It was a parish fundraiser, to be sure, but it’s also a community gathering. After supper,

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we were outside, and there were four generations of women: Liz, her daughter Valerie, her granddaughter and my wife, Tiffany, and great-granddaughter and our daughter, Katie. This may be a different experience of Thanksgiving than I may be used to, but for Katie’s first Thanksgiving, it was family-and faith-centered. In his homily, the night before, Bishop Mulvey encouraged the young people to continue “this beautiful tradition as a way of evangelizing to those who come.” (Tony Gutierrez is the Associate Editor of the North Texas Catholic in the Diocese of Fort Worth.)



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M Correspondent

arshall Matthews was nervous and excited when he walked back inside St. John Paul II High School to teach physics and chemistry in August 2014.


Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

“The school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, and a 95 percent college acceptance rate.” The 22-year-old had graduated from the school in 2010, where he was the valedictorian of the first graduating class. So it was not totally unfamiliar territory. But he had concerns about students who might try to take advantage of someone new to the profession. “I wanted to find balance between being mean and being a good teacher,” Matthews said. If his interaction with his students is any indication, it looks like he has found that balance. Matthews credits his teachers and the staff at St. John Paul II High School with giving him the tools and the confidence to succeed in his life.

Because the classes were small, about 75 graduated in the first class in 2010, Matthews and his classmates received a great deal of personal attention from teachers, he said. The largest class he teaches has 24 students, but most of his classes average about 16. The total school population is 358 for grades nine through 12. “I wanted to come back and share and give back to the school that gave me so much,” he said. Being a student there prepared the once introverted boy for college academics and gave him a good foundation in his faith and in his life, Matthews said.

Perry Le Grange has been principal at the school for six years and said much of the credit for that preparation goes to great faculty and staff. “We have the unique challenge of educating the student mentally, physically and spiritually,” Le Grange said. But the students there are hard workers too, and deserve their fair share of accolades, Le Grange said. The high school had its beginnings in 2006, when it started with one ninth-grade class, adding a class each year until 2010. Bishop Edmond Carmody, who served as bishop of the Diocese of



Teacher Marshall Matthews works out a physics problem with junior and senior honor students at St. John Paul II High School. Matthews was a 2010 graduate of St. John Paul II and now teaches physics and chemistry at the high school.


Corpus Christi from 2000-10 was instrumental in helping found the school, Development Director Laura Okoniewski said. A group of priests in the Diocese of Corpus Christi recommended an endowment be established, and Carmody sold the few possessions he had at auction at a special fundraiser for the school. He also helped to establish a $10 million endowment to fund the operations at the school. Tuition at the high school runs $5,750 per year and 70 percent of the students receive tuition assistance, either through the school’s endowment, donations or the annual Black and Gold Gala fundraising dinner, Okoniewski said. The fundraiser, in its sixth year, raised $140,000 in 2014, all of which

Perry Le Grange Principal of St. John Paul II High School

went directly to student tuition assistance, she said. This year’s event will be held on Jan. 31, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the American Bank Center. It will feature a live and silent auction, a live band and dinner. Sponsorships are still available. The school boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, and a 95 percent college acceptance rate, Okoniewski said. More than half of the staff has

postgraduate degrees. And there is a full array of programs, which could rival that of any public school, including sports, art, music and dual credit classes. Because the classes are much smaller, students get more one on one time with teachers, Okoniewski said. In 2012, the school had a National Merit Scholar. Beyond academics, students participate in a wide variety of volunteer projects, and each year, a class gets to attend a retreat, Okoniewski said. “At St. John Paul II, our mission is to provide a good Catholic education. We are about the whole student,” Okoniewski said. For more information about the Black and Gold Gala, go to www. or call (361) 8555744, ext. 233.


BLACK & GOLD GALA All proceeds go toward providing an exceptional Catholic education to the students at John Paul II High School.

BECOME A SPONSOR! $25,000 - St. John Paul II Sponsor

Your choice of one or two tables of ten seats each, plated dinner, special recognition at event, website, all publications and advertisements, door prize drawing tickets

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One table of ten seats, plated dinner, logo recognition at event, website and social media site, door prize drawing tickets

Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. American Bank Center Dinner Live music by “Five Card Draw” Live, Silent and Black Board Auctions

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A Special thanks to Alan J. Stoner, Bob Becquet and familes for your generous support!

Please contact Laura Okoniewski at (361) 855-5744 ext. 233 to learn more about sponsorship opportunities. WWW. JPIIHIGHSCHOOL.ORG

the Year of Consecrated Life Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, is vocations director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.


he Church is celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life, which began on the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, until the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus on Feb. 2, 2015. In order to better understand how we can celebrate this year, let us look at the definition of Consecrated Life, and what the Holy Father is proposing to us. What is consecrated life? Jesus offered his followers a radical way to follow him, which the Church calls the evangelical counsels: chastity, poverty and obedience. All Christians are called to follow Christ in this way, even though the manner in which the counsels are lived will be different, depending on the individual’s circumstances. Consecrated life is simply defined as, “The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels.” Consecrated men and women publicly profess to live these counsels in order that they might more closely follow Christ, and be better able to transform the world through the perfection of charity. Though all of the faithful are called to do the same, those in consecrated life are called

to it in a special, public way (CCC 914-5). The Church currently recognizes four types of consecrated life (CCC 919-30): religious (brothers, sisters, monks, nuns); hermits; consecrated virgins (women who are attached to a diocese but are not part of an institute of consecrated life); and the secular institutes (those who live in the world and work to transform it from within). How do we celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life? In his letter opening the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis explains that it is dedicated to the renewal of consecrated men and women and their communities. While this is obviously a great thing for consecrated members of the Church, how can or should this affect the rest of

the Church? The Holy Father reiterates in his letter what the Church has continually taught regarding radical Gospel living. “Radical evangelical living is not only for religious: it is demanded of everyone. But religious follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way,” Pope Francis wrote. So essentially, he is saying that the Church always looks to consecrated men and women and their communities as prime examples of living the Gospel in the radical way to which we are all called. Because of this, there is a very real connection between consecrated men and women and the rest of the Church, even if it is not always obvious to all her members. Later in the letter, the Holy Father directly addresses the



Promoting vocations during


entire Church, urging everyone to participate wholeheartedly in the Year for Consecrated Life in several ways. First, by recognizing the good that religious institutes have done in the past and continue to do. The sanctity and fidelity of the founders and members of these institutes have provided for the continual growth of the Church, and their example and good works have positively affected every member. We should acknowledge this blessing in a special and public way during this year. By offering thanksgiving to God for the gift of consecrated life. Having recognized the goodness and beauty of consecrated life, we should offer thanks to God, whose wisdom has provided the charisms of these communities at the proper times and places for the good of all men and women. We can draw closer to them, celebrating with them, growing with them, working with them. The Holy Father encourages us to become more closely connected with our consecrated brothers and sisters, to show them gratitude for their sacrifice and work, to rejoice with them and to

be open to the ways that the Holy Spirit wants to work in forming a closer community between all of the Church’s members so that we can be a more fruitful instrument for his work of redemption in the world. We can also become more aware of and connected to the many forms and institutions of consecrated life, which will allow for “mutual enrichment and support” in living the Gospel.

Promoting vocations during this year If all members of the Church were to openly embrace the Year of Consecrated Life and follow the Holy Father’s suggestions, we would see a flowering of many religious vocations. Here are some of the more concrete ways we can use this Year as an opportunity to promote vocations with youth, at the family and parish level. Encourage youth to have good contact with and participation in the life and work of religious institutions. For example, this could be a simple visit to a religious order, participation in a come-and-see weekend or discernment

Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Fatima, Lisbon Summer 2015 Join Father Angel Montano for a pilgrimage July 7-16, 2015 to visit these three sanctuaries. Participate in the submerging of the miraculous baths, procession of the sick, of the Blessed Sacrament, of the candles and the Rosary. For complete information call Dora Hidalgo at

(361) 510-1411 or


retreat or regular volunteer work with a local apostolate run by consecrated men or women. Provide opportunity for youth to learn about the great saints–well known and lesser known–who have founded or lived as part of a religious institution. Take the opportunity during religious education to delve in-depth into the principles and various forms consecrated life. Watch the vocations Web site for events, which can help youth to discern a vocation to consecrated life. Let us work together to celebrate this Year of Consecrated Life, taking to heart our Holy Father’s recommendations, and listening to what the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do for the good of the Church and for the flowering of many holy vocations.

Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Child and Youth Protection 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 Child and Youth Protection, (361) 693-6686 (office) or (361) 658-8652 (cell) for immediate assistance.

The Office for Child and Youth Protection

Pax Christi Religious Goods Store Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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We have an array of religious and gift items in our store. Keep in mind there is a wide range within each selection such as kid’s rope bracelets to a gold saint’s bracelets for women. We invite you to stop by and take a few minutes to look around.

4601 Calallen Drive

(361) 241-2979 • Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center

Jesus Christ Our Peace Chapel Mass Schedule Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. English Saturday: 10 a.m. Spanish Sunday: 10 a.m. English Adoration / Holy Hour Monday–Friday: 2:30 p.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 4 p.m. Sunday: 4 p.m. Pax Christi Sister’s Mission Statement Our mission is to provide a peaceful location for spiritual formation instruction for men and women preparing for service in the liturgical life of the church.


The Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center is a non-profit retreat & renewal center owned and under the supervision of the Pax Christi Sisters in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas. The Regina Pacis Dormitory is available for up to 158 retreaters to rest each night of their stay. The St. Joseph Reception Hall can service up to 300 guests for their nutritional, educational, and spiritual growth needs. The mission of the Liturgical Retreat Center is to provide a retreat center that will present the opportunity for educational and spiritual growth for priests and religious, lay women / men and youth. ~ Contact Hilda at (361) 241-5479 or Sister Teresa Diaz for more information~ We welcome different groups and parishes to our facility who are seeking a home for their program to fulfill their want for spiritual growth. A special thanks goes out to the parishes and groups who have already booked with us.

Small Chapel in Dorms

Liturgical Instruction: ~ Contact Stella Hatch at (361) 241-2833 for more information~ • • • •


Altar Servers Bereavement Catechism Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

• • • • •

Lectors Sacristans Hospitality Care of the Sick Bible Study 101

4601 Calallen Drive (361) 241-5479 •

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis , has announced that 2015 will be a year dedicated to the promotion of

Consecrated Life.

In response to this joyful announcement, the Pax Christi Sisters invite you and your family to pray for all our Religious Sisters, Priests, Deacons and Seminiarians of our Diocese of Corpus Christi. Come join us for

Eucharistic Adoration followed by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament Every 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the PAX CHRISTI Sisters Chapel 4601 Calallen Drive (361) 241-2833 • JANUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  17  


Sister Annette Wagner, IWBS is director of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Celebrating Consecrated Life:


Sister Annette Wagner, IWBS



emember when people asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to do when you grow up?”

These are very important questions that should be answered thoughtfully and whole-heartedly. In a way, however, the answers have already been given…even before the questions are asked. For God has already chosen each one of us to be the beloved of God and to do God’s work of bringing love to fullness in our world. At our baptism we are formally given that identity and mission, initiated into the life of the risen Christ and welcomed into a covenant that is nothing less than commitment to live in loving relationship; a loving relationship that embraces us and compels us to share that love with others. Beyond our immediate family, the “others” that welcome us into this loving relationship are members of the faith community who provide our baptism. This faith community we call the Church, the Body of Christ in our world. As Paul reminds us, the body has many parts, each enjoying a particular dignity, each offering


important contributions to the health and welfare of the whole, each assisting in the body to accomplish its work. Thus each of us has an important role to play in sustaining and extending this love relationship to which we have been called. Yes, we are to live that love and offer it to others. And so the real question is, “How do you choose to answer God’s call to be God’s beloved and to carry on the mission of love?” Within this basic call to love is hidden what is commonly called “our vocation,” the style of loving that best fits our personality, temperament, interests, gifts and talents. The style of loving that will help us grow into that person God dreams for us to be. One such vocation is the vocation or call to consecrated life. The lifestyle of consecrated life contains an array of appearances and offers a variety of voices. Yet, this diversity within consecrated life still holds a consistency formed


➤ Within this basic call to love is hidden what is commonly called “our vocation,” the style of loving that best fits our personality, temperament, interests, gifts and talents. by a sharing of common essential elements. No matter what the particulars, those in consecrated life will affirm that their life is defined by the vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience; a focused prayer life; a unique charism and particular spirituality; commitment to community relationship; dedication to caring for those in particular need. The Church universal rejoices in the presence of such a lifestyle within its faith communities. Through the diversity within this unity, all members of the Body are strengthened…nurtured…comforted…challenged…

Locally, the Diocese of Corpus Christi is enriched by the presence of 19 different religious congregations. Individually and communally, through their presence and actions, these sisters, brothers and priests bring a special flavor to parish life and diocesan services. In turn they, through faithfulness to their call, and the support of the other members of the Body of Christ, become who God is calling them to be. (Editor’s note: This is the first in a yearlong series of articles in celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life.)

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Father Jesus Francisco Lopez, Spiritual Director for the Federation of Our Lady of Guadalupe Societies, leads procession from Sacred Heart to the Corpus Christi Cathedral to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas and the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic



South Texas Catholic

arishes from throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi came together on Dec. 11-12 to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. From San Diego to Corpus Christi, the faithful


ADALUPE BRINGS ER IN CELEBRATION donned native Aztec costumes, listened to Mariachi music and processed with candlelight to pay homage to the Patron of the Americas.


In Kingsville, Bishop Michael Mulvey joined the 1.3-mile procession from St. Martin of Tours to St. Gertrude where he celebrated Mass on Friday, Dec. 12. Parishioners from Kingsville’s two other parishes, Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Joseph also participated. An Aztec native dance group from Our Lady of Good Counsel led the procession into the church while a mariachi composed of musicians from three of the city’s parishes provided the music. A choir that came together for the Mass with members from all four parishes provided the music liturgy. Bishop Mulvey expressed his joy at seeing all four parishes coming together for the celebration. This was the second year for this celebration, with last year’s event including a procession from St. Gertrude’s to St. Martin of Tours. Parishes in Alice and San Diego also came together for the celebration, which kicked off on Thursday, Dec. 11, at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice. Parishioners from St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth in Alice, as well as St. Francis de Paula in San Diego took part. El Mariachi Los Guadalupanos from Mexico provided the music for the procession, from State Highway 44 to the church, and Mariachi Mexicanismo from Corpus Christi provided music at the church. The matachín


group Danza Guadalupana from Alice also performed. Mass was celebrated at 10 p.m. with Father Julian Cabrera celebrating and Msgr. Leonard Pivonka of St. Elizabeth, Father Pete Elizardo and Father Fernando Gámez from St. Joseph and Father Alex Saenz from Holy Family in Corpus Christi concelebrating. After Mass, clergy and parishioners placed flowers at an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and others serenaded her. On Friday, worshipers celebrated at St. Francis de Paula in San Diego and then at St. Joseph in Alice. In Corpus Christi, meanwhile, the annual procession from Sacred Heart Parish to Corpus Christi Cathedral took place. The Federation of Our Lady of Guadalupe Societies sponsored the celebration with members coming from chapters from throughout the diocese.

SEE MORE PHOTOS AT: Our Lady of Guadalupe is paid homage at the Alice parish named in her honor. Eddie Perez for the South Texas Catholic

➏ ➎ ➊ Father Peter Thenan from Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish awaits as parishioners carry a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe into St. Martin in Kingsville before procession to St. Gertrude's. Contributed Photo,

➋ Msgr. Leonard Pivonka of St. Elizabeth leaves a flower to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Eddie Perez for South Texas Catholic.

➌ Father Julian Cabrera (at right) leads parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice to pay tribute to Blessed Mother. Eddie Perez, for South Texas Catholic.

➍ Father Jairo Motta receives gifts at St. Francis

➐ de Paula in San Diego. Eddie Perez for South Texas Catholic.

➎ Young boy in native Aztec dress accompanies Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Francis de Paula. Eddie Perez for South Texas Catholic.

➏ Father Juan Fernando Gamez leads procession in St. Joseph’s in Alice. Eddie Perez for South Texas Catholic.

➐ Mariachi group composed of musicians from Kingsville parishes play at St. Gertrude’s celebration of Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Andrew Ramirez for South Texas Catholic JANUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  23  


PRESENT Luisa Scolari Corresponsal


conferencia m i n i s te r i a l

anual, facilitada por la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, se llevara acabo el día 10 de Enero en el American Bank



Corpus Christi. Expositores reconocidos a nivel nacional, como expositores de la diócesis, harán presentaciones en español. “Si queremos sentirnos acogidos por la iglesia, tenemos que estar dispuestos a participar en lo que se nos ofrece,” el padre Julián Cabrera, director del ministerio hispano, dijo. La Iglesia, el Padre Cabrera dijo, responde a la realidad y necesidad de Padre Julián Cabrera, director de la Oficina de Ministerios Hispanos de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, anima fieles de habla español que participen en la conferencia ministerial. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic



sus parroquianos recién llegados, que aunque ya hayan aprendido el inglés, el español sigue siendo su lengua materna y forma parte de su espiritualidad y la Iglesia respeta mucho eso. “Sabemos reconocer que la espiritualidad tiene un lenguaje y se asemeja a esa comida que a veces buscamos que nos recuerda a nuestros seres queridos y a nuestra niñez y buscamos esa paz y tranquilidad que nos brinda,” el padre dijo. “La Iglesia reconoce que muchos que han llegado de otros países hablan inglés, pero es importante tener esa conexión con Dios en nuestra lengua materna. “A veces vamos con nuestra madre porque nos brinda calor y paz en un mundo que a veces es frío y ruidoso, así mismo debe ser la Iglesia y ofrecer esa misma paz y calor a toda la feligresía. Es por eso que el señor obispo crea la oficina del ministerio hispano, porque está comprometido a hacer que todos los hispanos se sientan acogidos por la Iglesia.” El señor Jaime Reyna, coordinador de la conferencia ministerial, dijo que es un evento anual apoyado por la Diócesis de Corpus Christi y provee una oportunidad de formación para todos: padres, adolescentes de secundaria y preparatoria, adultos líderes

Reyna dijo. “Algunas veces hay líderes que son voluntarios y hablan español y quieren ofrecer su tiempo y talento en los ministerios de la Iglesia, pero cuando el sacerdote les pregunta acerca de su formación y entrenamiento, muchos hispanos dicen que no tienen ningún entrenamiento o talleres en español o que no tienen tiempo. Esta conferencia ofrece una oportunidad de prepara– Padre Julián Cabrera ción para estas personas.” La formación es muy imporde los niños en los dos ministerios, en tante para hispanos porque inglés y en español. es parte del entendimiento de sus “Mucha gente piensa que esta fe y–en la cultura de hoy–eso es más conferencia es solo para personas importante que nunca antes. Hay que trabajan o son voluntarios en muchas familias que son Católicos, la Iglesia, pero en realidad es para pero cuando se les pregunta por que cualquiera que sea Católico y quiera son Católicos, responden “porque crecer y entender mas sobre la fe,” mis padres son Católicos.” Cuando Reyna dijo. alguien de otra denominación de Este año la conferencia proveerá fe pregunta a un Católico “por qué servicios de guardería, para que las haces eso en la iglesia” o “por qué familias con niños puedan asistir sin crees en eso todavía?” muchos respendiente y los puedan traer, ya que ponden, “porque mis padres lo hacen además de cuidarlos, recibirán ense- o porque mis padres me criaron de ñanzas con “La Catequesis del buen esa manera.” pastor.” Es por eso que es mucho más impor“Esta conferencia es especialmente tante responder a las preguntas con importante para la comunidad his- respuestas concretas definitivas, apopana porque viviendo en el sur de yadas en la biblia y tradicionalmente Texas, tenemos mucha gente que dadas a desde los tiempos de Jesús. habla español y forman parte de El primer lugar en donde se recibe la comunidad de nuestra Iglesia,” catequesis y tradiciones de la fe es en

sentirnos acogidos por la iglesia, tenemos que estar dispuestos a participar en lo que se nos ofrece.”



cia ministerial tendrá


los hogares, por eso es tan importante que tanto niños, adolescentes, adultos y padres aprendan todo lo que puedan sobre la fe Católica. Es por esto que la conferencia es una grandiosa oportunidad para familias y cualquiera que quiera asistir a talleres de calidad sin tener que viajar a otras ciudades o estados y gastar el dinero en viajes y hospedajes. Es obvio que los talleres y conferencias en español son muy necesarias, pero tristemente los hispanos casi no asisten a ellos, por lo que es importante contar con una buena asistencia de los hispanos para poder seguir invirtiendo en más eventos en español, Reyna dijo. Para las familias, los talleres ayudan a los padres a recibir mas recursos, habilidades y entendimiento sobre la fe y puedan estar mejor capacitados para poder guiar a sus adolescentes o niños en la fe. “Así que por favor considera asistir a estas conferencias y cualquier otro taller, conferencia y retiros que se ofrecen en español, ofrecidos

por la comunidad para ayudar a crecer mas la fe y la relación con Dios y sus familias,” Reyna dijo. La conferencia dará comienzo con una misa celebrada por el Señor Obispo Michael Mulvey a las 8:30 a.m. En esta edición la conferencia cuenta con tres expositores en español, quienes impartirán las siguientes conferencias: Víctor Valenzuela con el tema “Cinco maneras para incorporar a los padres de familia en la catequesis.” Héctor Molina con los temas: “Pescadores de hombres o guardias de acuario.” Rita Martínez con el tema: “Formando, manteniendo y conservando catequistas en la parroquia.” Personas interesadas en asistir a la conferencia, pueden registrarse en el sitio Internet www. o si prefieren, llamar a la diócesis y pedir informes al (361) 882-6191.

Victor Valenzuela

Héctor Molina

Rita Martínez

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 Protección de Niños y Jóvenes 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 Protección de Niños y Jóvenes, (361) 6936686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata.

The Office for Child and Youth Protection


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Altar servers were recognized in three categories at the Diocese of Corpus Christi Altar Server Recognition Ceremony. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic

Bishop recognizes altar servers for their service Bishop Michael Mulvey presided over the Diocese of Corpus Christi Altar Server Recognition Ceremony at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Sunday, Nov. 23. The recognition ceremony was for both boy and girl servers. The bishop recognized servers in three categories, Eucharistic Cross Bearers, Outstanding Servers and Ten Years of Service. The Catholic Daughters hosted a reception in St. Joseph’s Hall after the recognition ceremony. (For more pictures visit servers.)



Ray Paz on keyboard and a group of Pax Christi sisters provided prayer through songs at the Ecumenical prayer service. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

Diocese responds to plea for peace Responding to the Mexican bishops’ conference impassioned plea for peace and an end to the bloodshed in Mexico, the Christian faithful in Corpus Christi gathered for an ecumenical prayer service for peace on

Sunday, Nov. 23. Several hundred turned out to the Cole Park Amphitheater to pray for the 43 teacher trainees allegedly captured by crooked cops, killed by organized crime and burned.

“With sadness we recognize that the situation of the country has worsened”--since 2010, when the bishops published a pastoral letter on violence--”unleashing a true national crisis,” the bishops said in Mexico City.

Father Patrick Donohoe blesses the new early development playground for preschooler’s at Holy Family School on Dec. 3. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Holy Family School gets a new pre-school playground Father Patrick Donohoe, pastor of Holy Family Parish, blessed the new early development playground for preschoolers at Holy Family School on Dec. 3. Father Donohoe, the students and representatives of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial

Foundation participated in the ribbon cutting of the playground. The playground, made possible through a grant from the Foundation, “is a much-needed addition to our early childhood development area of the school,” Tony Lopez, Director of

Marketing and Stewardship at Holy Family, said. Teachers from the different grade levels and Father Alejandro Saenz presented gifts to Foundation representatives Silvia Whitmore, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and Judy Gilbreath, Chief Grants Officer on behalf of Holy Family Church and School. A group of prekindergarten students were immediately allowed to begin playing on the newly blessed playground.


Eugene Gills plays his trumpet in front of the former Juanita’s Fashions R Boutique store in Ferguson, Missouri. As of Dec. 9, 667 donors from around the world had given $21,698 to help rebuild the small business destroyed in the rioting following a grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of a teen by a police officer. Dave Luecking, St. Louis Review

Ferguson business owner overwhelmed

‘by love, kindness, service’ Dave Luecking

Catholic News Service


lywood covered the broken front windows of her restaurant, the back door served as the main entrance, and no diners appeared on this afternoon. Yet, María Flores counted her blessings. “God was watching over us,” Flores said, standing in the intact dining area at El Palenque restaurant about a block from the Ferguson Police Department. With the exception of broken windows, the restaurant and other businesses on the same street suffered no major damage in the rioting, looting and arson that impacted


the area in the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in August. The dining area at El Palenque looked like it normally does, with richly stained tables and benches, festive colors throughout, and, of course, a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe overlooking the restaurant. Our Lady

“ We hear people

praying for peace, we hear people crying out for justice as well, but what binds the two together and gives them compassion is charity.” fortunate. Arsonists torched 21 buildings; they looted many more. Although Gov. Jay Nixon had called in the National Guard, members of the guard were absent on the night of the decision, and firefighters retreated after taking gunfire. Among the destroyed businesses, Juanita’s Fashions R Boutique subsequently benefited from the kindness of strangers. Four young men from West St. Louis County, including two brothers from St. Anselm Parish, set up a crowd funding account at gofundme. com to raise money for business owner Juanita Morris. “It was really terrible that so many people were just having their livelihoods destroyed in just one night,” Eric Lee told the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the St. Louis Archdiocese. Devastated that 28 years of hard work had gone up in smoke in a matter of hours, Morris initially was skeptical when Lee called to offer help. Thinking this might be some kind of scam; she put him off again and again before several people asked her why she did not have a gofundme account. With these nudges, Morris figured Lee was legit, and Lee, Jeff Lu and Alex Conway went to Morris’ home and three hours and a half later, www. was up and running. Just eight days later, on Dec. 3, 643

people from around the world had contributed $20,608, topping the account’s goal of $20,000. By Dec. 9, donors numbered 667 and the tally was $21,698. The young men’s willingness to help “just blew my mind,” Morris said. “I was overwhelmed by their love, kindness and the service they were begging me to take as much as I was with the fire. I don’t believe there are people who would give their time and service at no charge. “I tried to give them $50 for gas, and they said, ‘No. No. No.’” That is understandable, though. Conway, a freshman at St. Louis University, graduated from De Smet Jesuit High School, where the motto is, “Men for Others.” His brother, Max, who attends St. Louis Priory High School, also worked on Morris’ behalf. Like Alex Conway, Lee and Lu are college freshmen–Lee at North Carolina and Lu at Penn State. Their work, as well as Sister Cathy’s effort on behalf of Flores, symbolizes the charity to which St. Louis Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice referred in the archdiocese’s “Faith in Ferguson” prayer service Dec. 1 in January-Wabash Park. “In the course of all of the rhetoric we’ve heard over the past days, maybe that’s what our Catholic faith has to offer–charity,” he said to about 100 priests, deacons, seminarians, religious and others huddled on the bitterly cold day. “We hear people praying for peace, we hear people crying out for justice as well, but what binds the two together and gives them compassion is charity. Maybe charity has been missing from all of our discussions.” (Luecking writes for the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.)



of Guadalupe also is painted on the plywood where the window used to be at the neighboring sandwich shop. Flores has asked for the board when the replacement window goes in. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a big part of Flores’ life. Not only are she and her husband, Joel, originally from Mexico, but also they are parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, three-quarters of a mile away from the restaurant. Msgr. Jack Schuler, the former pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe, encouraged the couple to open the restaurant, which has been in business nine years. Their son Ricardo works there, and daughter Alejandra helps out on a part-time basis. Sister Cathy Doherty, a School Sister of Notre Dame and pastoral associate at Guadalupe, has been a regular at the restaurant and has pitched in to help in the Flores’ time of need. On the day after the rioting, Sister Cathy helped set up El Palenque to cater lunch at Cor Jesu High School. She also has spread word that catering is available for Christmas parties. “She takes care of us very well,” Flores said, adding that members of the parish “don’t want us to close down.” El Palenque closed for just the day after the rioting but has closed early, around 6 p.m., since then. Though diners have been sparse, regular customers have started returning, and one of them might have helped save the business from arson. “A lady called the next day and told me, ‘I love to go to your place,’ and that she was kind of watching the neighborhood,” Flores said, adding that the caller told her the business might have been set afire if not for police presence. Other businesses were not as


Monstrance fished from reservoir centerpiece of new adoration chapel P. Matysek Jr.

Catholic News Service


man fishing at the Loch Raven Reservoir in north Baltimore County some two decades ago was convinced he had snagged a big fish after his line hooked something substantial.

After reeling in his haul, the angler had no fish. He had, however, caught something even more remarkable: a large Gothic monstrance used by Catholics to hold the Eucharist for worship. Unsure what the ornate object was, but thinking it looked “churchy,” the man took the monstrance to a local Catholic church. A priest examined the vessel, suggesting that the man take the beautiful brass finding to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, where it subsequently remained in storage for years. During a joyous Mass that attracted hundreds of people to the historic basilica, Archbishop William E. Lori placed a consecrated host inside the restored monstrance fished from the water and carried it in a solemn procession to the church’s undercroft. There, he placed the monstrance atop a gleaming altar inside a new adoration chapel that he dedicated to be used in a

special way to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. “Using a monstrance fished out of a


lake, we will ask the Lord to send us new ‘fishers of men,’” Archbishop Lori said in his homily Nov. 23, prior to dedicating the new chapel, “both here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in the whole church.” How the monstrance found its way into the reservoir is a mystery, Archbishop Lori said, “but how it found its way here to the basilica is a remarkable sign of God’s providence.” Archbishop Lori announced that the new adoration chapel will be dedicated to the basilica’s 24th rector, Msgr. Arthur Valenzano, in gratitude for his “goodness and priestly example.” The surprise announcement stirred the congregation to give the priest a prolonged standing ovation, during which Msgr. Valenzano, who is battling cancer, smiled and placed a hand over his heart. Msgr. Valenzano established a small adoration chapel in the same spot as

(Matysek is assistant managing editor of the Catholic Review, newspaper of the Baltimore Archdiocese.) A monstrance fished from Loch Raven Reservoir in Maryland is the centerpiece of a new adoration chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. Olivia Obineme, Catholic Review

Announcing new series of talks about family, pope reviews synod Cindy Wooden


Catholic News Service

he October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was not the scene of “a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops,” a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod “for the good of families, the church and society,” Pope Francis said. Announcing a new series of Wednesday general audience talks about the family, the pope insisted that no one at the extraordinary synod “called into question the fundamental truths about the sacrament of marriage: its indissolubility, unity, fidelity and openness to life.” “Some of you might ask me, ‘But, father, didn’t some of the bishops fight?’ I wouldn’t say ‘fight,’ but they did speak strongly, that’s true. This is the freedom that exists in the church,” the pope said to the applause of the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “I asked the synod fathers to speak with frankness and courage and to listen with humility–to say everything that was in their hearts with courage,” he said. “There was no pre-censorship at the synod. None. Everyone could, or better, had to say what was in his heart, what he really thought.” Pope Francis told people at the audience that no one should be surprised or scandalized that the bishops at the synod had different opinions on certain issues; that is part of Christian history, he said. The day’s audience began with a reading from the 15th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles describing how Jesus’ disciples wrestled with questions regarding the conditions placed on non-Jews who wanted to join the Christian community. The disciples had a “strong debate,” the pope said, “they were shouting at each other. Yes, the apostles, because they were seeking the will of God about the pagans, whether they could enter the Church or not. It was something new. Always when one seeks God’s will in a synodal assembly there will be different points of view and debates. That isn’t something bad as long as it is done with humility and with an attitude JANUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  33  


the new one in 2011. It is located near the tombs of several archbishops of Baltimore, including the nation’s first bishop, Archbishop John Carroll. The new chapel features an altar inspired by the basilica’s side altars in the upper church. The adoration chapel altar includes an octagonal baldacchino, a canopy with metal shingles that Archbishop Lori said were set in a pattern inspired by the design of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. “The tiles of blue glass which cover the interior of the baldacchino and serve as a backdrop for the monstrance recall the water of the lake from which the monstrance emerged,” Archbishop Lori said, “and also the words of the Lord to the Apostles, the first fishers of men, to ‘put out into the deep.’” Msgr. Valenzano told the Catholic Review, Baltimore’s archdiocesan newspaper, he hopes people will visit the chapel frequently to pray and draw closer to Christ by making a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. The chapel seats eight. “At first, a Holy Hour can seem like an obligation,” the rector said, “but eventually, it seems more like an opportunity. It’s a time when we communicate silently with God and God communicates with us.”



Catholic News Service

P Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 10. In his talk, the pope reviewed the October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service of service.” Pope Francis thanked the news media for the “abundant” coverage of the synod, but he told the thousands of pilgrims and visitors at the audience that “frequently the view of the media was a bit in the style of sports or political coverage: There was much talk of two teams, for and against, conservatives and progressives, etc.” Instead, he said, every bishop spoke from his heart and his experience; “it was edifying” to see how everyone listened. The synod’s midterm report–which raised controversy for how it seemed to seek out positive values in the relationships of people living contrary to church teaching, for example, those cohabitating or in same-sex relationships–was just “a draft,” the pope said. In small groups, the bishops worked on rewriting the draft–and their reports were published to ensure “transparency,” he said. The reports were the basis for the final report,

which kept the midterm report’s framework: “listening to reality, looking at the Gospel and making a pastoral commitment.” The final report, the shorter message to the Church and the pope’s own final speech, he said, were the only “official documents” from the synod. The Church’s reflection on the mission of families in the Church and the world and the challenges facing the family today continue with the publication of the preparatory document for the 2015 general synod, he said. In dioceses around the world, he said, the preparatory document with its 46 questions will be an instrument to ensure “the work of prayer, reflection and fraternal discussion continues with the aim of preparing for the next assembly.” Pope Francis asked Catholics to join him in praying “Mary would help us make the decisions necessary to provide more and better assistance to families.”


receded by a procession of flags from the nations of the Americas and the recitation of the rosary in Spanish, Pope Francis and thousands of Catholics from across the Atlantic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Vatican. The Argentina-born pope celebrated the Dec. 12 Mass to the sounds and rhythms of many of South America’s indigenous peoples; the principal sung parts of the Mass were from the “Misa Criolla,” composed 50 years ago by the late Ariel Ramirez. His son, Facundo Ramirez, conducted the choir that featured Patricia Sosa, a famous Argentine singer, as well as guitars and traditional instruments from the continent. With St. Juan Diego’s vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531, the pope said, Mary “became the great missionary who brought the Gospel to our America.”


SES OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE MISSIONARY OF ‘OUR AMERICA’ In his homily, Pope Francis prayed that Mary would “continue to accompany, assist and protect our peoples” and that she would “lead all the children who are pilgrims on this earth by the hand to an encounter with her son Jesus Christ.” “Imploring God’s forgiveness and trusting in his mercy,” the pope prayed that God would help the people of Latin America forge a future of hope, development and opportunity for the poor and suffering, “for the humble, for those who hunger and thirst for justice, for the compassionate, the pure of heart, peacemakers and those persecuted for the sake of Christ’s name.” Mary’s “Magnificat,” her hymn of praise to God, he said, proclaims that God “overturns ideologies and worldly hierarchies. He raises up the humble, comes to the aid of the poor and the small, and fills with good things, blessings and hope

those who trust in his mercy.” Pope Francis said the day’s reading from Psalm 66, with its “plea for forgiveness and the blessing of the peoples and nations and, at the same time, its joyful praise, expresses the spiritual sense of this Eucharistic celebration” in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “for whom devotion extends from Alaska to Patagonia.” The dark-skinned image of Our Lady of Guadalupe traditionally believed to have been miraculously impressed on Juan Diego’s cloak, the pope said, proclaimed to the indigenous peoples of the Americas “the good news that all its inhabitants shared the dignity of children of God. No more would anyone be a servant,

but we are all children of the same Father and brothers and sisters to each other.” Mary did not just want to visit the Americas, the pope said, the image on the cloak or “tilma” is a sign that “she wanted to remain with them.” “Through her intercession, the Christian faith began to become the greatest treasure” of the American peoples, Pope Francis said, a treasure “transmitted and demonstrated even today in the baptism of multitudes of people, in the faith, hope and charity of many, in their precious popular piety and in that ethos of the people who show that they know the dignity of the human person, in their passion for justice, in solidarity with the poor and suffering.”

Children carry flags of American nations during a Mass marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 12. Pope Francis celebrated the Mass. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service


Let God guide your resolutions for life Father John Catoir Catholic News Service

Father John Catoir is president of the St. Jude Media Ministry.


don’t know about you, but year after year I find myself breaking my New Year’s resolutions. Having said that, I readily admit that as we approach New Year’s, we need focus. This is a good time to get serious about our future happiness. Am I on the right track or not? To test yourself, you might find it helpful to stop and think about what God wants you to do for him. Surely you must realize that your happiness for all eternity is linked to that


question. We usually think quite a lot about New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t think it’s helpful to stress much about them. We tend to break them a few weeks after

Jan. 1 and then drift back to our normal lives. I prefer to put the emphasis where it belongs: on God. What does he want? Here’s the heart of it. When you love others, you try to

As you can see, we’ve moved away from the topic of your happiness. Or have we? Clarifying the definition of happiness is precisely the point. Self-centered people are usually grasping, egotistical, dominating, obnoxious and unhappy. They moan and complain, even when they have much more than the average person. God wants you to be happy. He knows that egotism is exactly the wrong way to achieve happiness. It usually breeds misery. That’s why he commands you to love your neighbor. It’s not a suggestion; it’s not a plea. It’s a command. God’s will is deadly serious. Your eternal happiness depends on it, but so do your self-respect, your joy and your happiness in this life. Knowing that God wants you to be happy and that he actually teaches

you the way to achieve it can be a life-changing experience. It has been known to alter people’s entire direction in life. Am I serious about not making any New Year’s resolutions for 2015? Yes and no. If you feel more comfortable with a specific goal, then God bless you. My hope is to convince you to be open to the whispering of the Holy Spirit so that all year long you will have the holy desire to surrender to the urgings of the Holy Spirit as they come along. These urgings are called graces. Be assured that your good intentions are duly noted in heaven, but try to let God be the one who reminds you of them. May the Lord be your strength and your joy.

January Liturgical Calendar 1 | Thu | The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord | white | Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God | Solemnity [Holyday of Obligation] Nm 6:22-27/Gal 4:4-7/Lk 2:16-21 (18) Pss Prop 2 | Fri | Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, | white | Bishops and Doctors of the Church | Memorial | 1 Jn 2:22-28/Jn 1:19-28 (205) Pss I 3 | Sat | Christmas Weekday | white/ white [The Most Holy Name of Jesus] 1 Jn 2:29—3:6/Jn 1:29-34 (206) 4 | SUN | THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Is 60:1-6/ Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6/Mt 2:1-12 (20) Pss Prop 5 | Mon | Saint John Neumann, Bishop | white | Memorial | 1 Jn 3:22— 4:6/Mt 4:12-17, 23-25 (212) Pss II 6 | Tue | Christmas Weekday | white/ white [Saint André Bessette, Religious] 1 Jn 4:7-10/Mk 6:34-44 (213) 7 | Wed | Christmas Weekday | white/ white [Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest] 1 Jn 4:11-18/Mk 6:45-52 (214) 8 | Thu | Christmas Weekday | white | 1 Jn 4:19—5:4/Lk 4:14-22a (215)

9 | Fri | Christmas Weekday | white | 1 Jn 5:5-13/Lk 5:12-16 (216)

17 | Sat | Saint Anthony, Abbot | white | Memorial | Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310)

19 | Mon | Weekday | green | Heb 5:1-10/Mk 2:18-22 (311) 20 | Tue | Weekday | green/red/red [Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr; Saint Sebastian, Martyr] Heb 6:10-20/Mk 2:23-28 (312) 21 | Wed | Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 7:1-3, 15-17/Mk 3:1-6 (313) 22 | Thu | Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of | green/Mass: white/ violet | Unborn Children | Heb 7:25—8:6/Mk 3:7-12 (314) or, for the Day of Prayer, any of the following readings: Gn 1:1—2:2 (41) or 2 Mc 7:1, 20-31 (vol. II, 499) or Is 49:1-6 (587) or Rom 11:33-36 (121) or Eph 1:3-14 (104) or Eph 3:14-21 (vol. III, 476) or Col 1:12-20 (162) or 1 Jn 3:11-21 (208)/Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 (414) or Mk 9:30-37 (134) or Lk 1:39-56 (622) or Lk 17:11-19 (144) or Lk 23:35-43 (162) or Jn 1:1-5, 9-14, 16-18 (755) or Jn 6:2435 (113), or the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Mass “For Peace and Justice,” nos. 887-891

18 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | 1 Sm 3:3b10, 19/1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20/Jn 1:35-42 (65) Pss II

23 | Fri | Weekday | green/red/white [Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr; Saint Marianne Cope, Virgin] Heb 8:6-13/Mk 3:13-19 (315)

10 | Sat | Christmas Weekday | white | 1 Jn 5:14-21/Jn 3:22-30 (217) 11 | SUN | THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD | white | Feast | Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Is 55:1-11/Acts 10:34-38 or 1 Jn 5:1-9/Mk 1:7-11 (21) Pss Prop 12 | Mon | Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) green | Heb 1:1-6/Mk 1:14-20 (305) Pss I 13 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306) 14 | Wed | Weekday | green | Heb 2:1418/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 15 | Thu | Weekday | green | Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308) 16 | Fri | Weekday | green | Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)

24 | Sat | Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Heb 9:2-3, 11-14/Mk 3:20-21 (316) 25 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Jon 3:1-5, 10/1 Cor 7:29-31/Mk 1:14-20 (68) Pss III 26 | Mon | Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops | white | Memorial | 2 Tm 1:1-8* or Ti 1:1-5* (520)/Mk 3:22-30 (317) 27 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [Saint Angela Merici, Virgin] Heb 10:110/Mk 3:31-35 (318) 28 | Wed | Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Heb 10:11-18/Mk 4:1-20 (319) 29 | Thu | Weekday | green | Heb 10:19-25/Mk 4:21-25 (320) 30 | Fri | Weekday | green | Heb 10:3239/Mk 4:26-34 (321) 31 | Sat | Saint John Bosco, Priest | white | Memorial | Heb 11:1-2, 8-19/Mk 4:35-41 (322)



please them, isn’t that true? Pleasing God is simple when you think about it. Everything in Scripture tells us that God is pleased when we invite him into our lives and then strive to do his will. He wants us to accept his love and share it with others. It all comes down to the art of pleasing God by becoming spiritually altruistic. Are you spiritually altruistic? God wants us to love one another. Do you see yourself as a loving person? God wants us to help one another. Do you strive to help others? God wants us to teach one another. Do you teach spiritual values by good example? God wants us to forgive one another. Do you harbor anger or resentment? God wants us to comfort one another. Do you have compassion for those who suffer?



Friday, Jan. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 3, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral (505 N. Upper Broadway in Corpus Christi). Seating passes are required for all performances. Call (361) 888-7444 to obtain passes.



Family Life Conference

Jan. 16-18 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Talks on family communication techniques, establishing family boundaries

Annual Martin Luther King 2015 holiday celebration

Opening ceremonies begin Jan. 19 at noon at the Nueces County Courthouse (901 Leopard Street) in Corpus Christi. Led by the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi, participants will march in procession to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd (located on 700 S. Upper Broadway Street). There will be special entertainment, refreshments, Gospel music, door prizes and more. Shuttle bus service will be provided by RTA. The Invocation will be offered by Bishop Michael Mulvey. All are welcome. For more information and vendor information call Marsha Hardeman at (361) 9916541 or (361) 739-4045.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi’s 26th Annual Ministry Conference

Jan. 10 from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. at the American Bank Center. The conference entitled, “The Family Fully Alive,” will begin with Mass with Bishop Michael Mulvey and is open to all people interested in learning more about their Catholic faith. The keynote speaker is Dr. Jim Healy, the director of the Center for Family Life Ministry in Joliet, IL. This year’s conference features childcare ministry, a youth track and a Spanish track. Learn more on the official page ministryconference


and more. Come grow in holiness together as a whole family. Children’s program available for children 12 and under. Register or call OLCC Bookstore: Registration deadline Jan. 12.

The Cathedral New Year’s Spectacular-The Joy of Christmas!


Women’s spiritual exercises retreats at OLCC

Jan. 22-25 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Learn to listen to the Lord’s voice in prayer by praying with scripture

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


according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.



Texas Rally for Life

Join thousands of Texans at the Texas Rally for Life on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the State Capitol in Austin. Show the media and elected officials that Texas is PRO-LIFE! The 2015 Texas Rally for Life will commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, which made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy. For more information go to www.

Waffle Breakfast

The Guadalupanas invite you to a Waffle Breakfast on Jan. 25 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church (3210 S.P.I.D.) in the Msgr. Kasper Youth Center. All you can eat dine-in, coffee and juice included for $6. For more information call Manuel V. Garcia at (361) 548-5682.

To see more calendar events go to: South Texas







Msgr. Tom McGettrick’s, pocket-sized books are must reads. “I Love You, A Chat with Jesus” & “Do You Love Me, Another Chat with Jesus” are bilingual books for just $1.50 each. (shipping and handling included.)

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


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


South Texas


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South Texas Catholic - January 2015  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...

South Texas Catholic - January 2015  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Its mission is to carry out the Gospel message to eva...