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Divine Mercy Healing Service

February 22, 2013 - 6:00 p.m.

Sacred Heart Church 304 South Caldwell St. Falfurrias, Texas 361-325-3455

Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will f ill it with peace. Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary, 1074

Youth and Parent Retreat Saturday Feb. 23, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Grades 6 - 12 Lite breakfast & Lunch included

Be renewed and touched by the Lord of Mercy through:

The Message g

The Music

Healing begins with one of the most moving multimedia presentations you will ever experience by Dave & Joan Maroney of Mother of Mercy Messengers, leaders in spreading the Divine Mercy Message across the globe since 1999.

The beautiful voice and songs of award winning Catholic singer-songwriter Annie Karto lifts souls to the healing mercy of God, the heart of her music ministry for over 20 years.

Th The he S Sacraments acraments

ivin iv inee He Heal aler al er w illl be present il preseent The D Divine Healer will and work in us as we adore Him in the Holy Eucharist, reconcile with Him in the Sacrament of Penance, venerate His Image of Mercy and receive the laying of priestly hands.

For complete details visit: or call Cindy Salinas 361-296-5367


SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC | FEBRUARY 2013 www.South h Tex TexasC asCath a olic.c .com om

VOL. 48 NO. 2 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD


Sister Maria Elizabeth Brehony reads through Bible scriptures with fourth grade students from Incarnate Word Academy. Sister Brehony is celebrating 60 years of service to her congregation, the sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.



Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas

Photo by Rebecca Esparza, for South Texas Catholic

Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez JCL Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Geraldine McGloin, Rebecca Esparza, Liz Riggle, Julissa Hernandez, Adrian Garcia, Timothy Hatch If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic call us at (361) 882-6191 Office Address: 620 Lipan Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434 E-MAIL: FAX: (361) 693-6701


Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our online form, e-mail, fax, mail, or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocese Web sites. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau. (USPSN 540-860) Published monthly by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434.

Keeping up with the Faith...


New missionary


New vocations direction

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey commissioned 28 catechists at the annual ministry conference.

Bishop Gonzales closes out millennium

Bishop Mulvey emphasizes vocations

17 20 37

Profession of faith Sister Angela enters contemplative life

Mass in vernacular Introduction of English Mass presented challenges

Conferencia regional de Cursillo Viene a Corpus Christi


Liturgy and the flu


Legislature in session


The pill as health care?


‘The Father Almighty’


The veneration of relics

Epidemic prompts common sense practices

Bishops promote life, dignity and common good

Making sense of bioethics

Our Catholic faith

Often misunderstood FEBRUARY 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


A New Franciscan Missionary for Msgr. Michael Howell




s the world prepared for the end of the second millennium in 2000, hearts were filled with both joyous anticipation and a degree of fearful anxiety. Some predicted dire times, the failure of computers and all systems dependent on them, even the second coming of Christ. The people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi too were anxiously awaiting a change in its spiritual leader. Bishop Robert Octavio Gonzalez, OFM, was welcomed to the Diocese of Corpus Christi as coadjutor to Bishop Rene Gracida in 1995. His appointment marked the return of Franciscan missionaries, who had brought the faith to Texas and the American Southwest. Bishop Roberto, as he preferred to be called, served as coadjutant for two years until the retirement of Bishop Gracida in April 1997, at which time he assumed full responsibilities as bishop. These were challenging years because of a highly publicized investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office of the Kenedy Memorial Foundation and its board of directors. Because of changes in allocation of the foundation’s funds–as a result of the investigation–the diocese could no longer depend on the same amount of funds it had received in the past decade and found itself in need of trimming its budget by about $3 million and cutting its staff by about 50 employees. Bishop Roberto shouldered the task of bringing about an amiable solution to some difficult problems. In this work and in his brief tenure as bishop he set a deeply



personal, humble and soft-spoken tone as a shepherd, true to his Franciscan heritage. Robert O. Gonzales was born in New Jersey, the eldest of nine children. However, his parents returned to Puerto Rico and it was there Bishop Roberto received his early education. After completing preparatory studies, he was accepted as an affiliate of the Franciscan Order in 1970 and professed his first vows two years later at St. Francis Friary in Brookline, Massachusetts. While still in studies for the priesthood, young Franciscan Roberto was assigned as a bilingual teacher at the Charles Street Jail in Boston, then as an organizer for the United Farmworkers Union in Washington, DC, before making his solemn profession of vows in the Franciscan Order. After completing his theological studies he was ordained to the priesthood in 1977 and began a ministry that involved him in parish and diocesan assignments as well as further studies in sociology. He completed a master’s in 1980 and then a doctorate in 1984 at Fordham University in New York. Pope John Paul II acknowledged his pastoral and theological expertise by appointing him an auxiliary bishop of Boston in 1988. At that time he became the youngest Roman Catholic bishop in the country. With years of service in the Archdiocese of Boston as well as on numerous committees of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Gonzalez already had ample experiences when he again received the call from Pope John Paul II in 1995 to serve as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. His immediate focus upon arrival in Corpus Christi was to address the debt. He met with numerous lay, religious and clergy groups to get insights and suggestions in an effort to draw upon the experiences and wisdom of many who had been a part of the diocese for more years than he had been a priest. Bishop Robert Octavio Gonzalez, OFM, served as Coadjutor Bishop before becoming the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Archived Photo



In 1998 Bishop Roberto was present along with many other prelates to concelebrate with Pope John Paul II at the Sunday Mass in the plaza which the pope repeatedly referred to by its original name—the Jose Marti Square of Havana. Archived Photo

tive on the national and international scene of the church, As parishes and religious communities prepared to particularly on behalf of the Church in Cuba. From celebrate the Great Jubilee in 2000, he offered the cancelthe time of his work as an auxiliary bishop of Boston, lation of debts in the spirit of the Jubilee Year as described Bishop Roberto had made multiple trips to Cuba and had in Sacred Scripture. Some 20 parishes and schools in met with Fidel Castro the diocese found relief in efforts to serve as a of daunting burdens as Some 20 parishes and schools in the diocese representative of the they were notified that Hispanic bishops of the their financial debts to found relief of daunting burdens as they were Americas who sought to the diocese had been notified that their financial debts to the diocese aid the Church in Cuba either partially or totally as well as seek release of forgiven. The Debt-Rehad been either partially or totally forgiven. political prisoners. duction Committee recBishop Roberto also ommended a total of $1.2 encouraged financial aid from some of the parishes in the million in forgiveness to the Diocesan Finance Council, Diocese of Corpus Christi for needs of their brothers and which advised the bishop. The council and bishop gave sisters in Cuba. The bishop, along with many other prelunanimous approval. ates, concelebrated with Pope John Paul II at a Sunday A further preparation for the Great Jubilee was the Mass on Jan. 25, 1998 in the Jose Marti Square in Havana. completion in 1999 of a self-study of the diocese designed More than 300,000 Cubans were present for that Liturgy to better assess the needs of the area and make recomand to hear the words of the Holy Father. mendations for the coming millennium. Bishop Roberto was also quick to offer aid to those Meanwhile, Bishop Roberto continued to be quite ac-



in Honduras devastated by Hurricane Mitch in 1997. In December of that year he personally toured the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa and met with the homeless and those still rebuilding. While visiting the capital, Bishop Roberto presented Archbishop Oscar Rodriguez with funds collected by all the bishops of the United States. Meanwhile, in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Jim Trammel and Msgr. Robert Freeman–who had personally surveyed damage in Honduras–supervised the collection of some 29,000 cubic feet of donated clothing, food and supplies that were shipped to Central America in January 1998. As a son of St. Francis, Bishop Roberto also sympathized with the plight of those from Mexico and Central America driven by desperation to seek work in the United States. Many died of dehydration and starvation on their journey, and the bishop welcomed the gesture of the Kenedy Ranch, which donated a portion of land for the Christian burial of undocumented immigrants who had died in Kenedy County, unknown and far from family. The bishop also sought to address some critical needs

in the diocese through the help of an organization of lay people known as “The Bishop’s Guild” which met for the first time on April 21, 1999 at the home of Lawrence Wood. The Guild, which still meets regularly for social and religious functions, has provided funds for Catholic Youth Education, parochial school scholarships, the enculturation and support of our diocesan international priests, Catholic Charities, aid to immigrants and disaster relief to name a few of their beneficiaries. Bishop Roberto’s attention became divided, however, when on March 26, 1999 he was appointed the new archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico while remaining administrator of the Diocese of Corpus Christi until a new bishop could be appointed. From March 1999 to March 2000 he found it necessary to spend most of his time shouldering his new responsibilities in San Juan, while delegating to vicars in Corpus Christi the responsibility of addressing the immediate needs of the diocese as it prepared to welcome a new millennium and a new p bishop.

Archbishop Roberto with Blessed Pope John Paul II. Archived Photo





Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, the new full-time vocation director for the diocese looks on as Bishop Mulvey tells participants at Project Andrew Dinner the importance of vocations to the diocese at this time in its history. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Bishop names Father Lopez to bolster priestly vocations Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic

With vocations a crucial part of the development of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey has named Father Joseph Lopez, JCL as full-time Vocation Director. Father Lopez had been serving as a part-time director for the last year, while at the same time serving as Chancellor. “I am so dedicated to promoting vocations in our diocese that I’ve asked Father Lopez to take this job full-time. He has already begun preparing some exciting ideas and

programs, which gives me the confidence that we have a bright future for vocations ahead of us,” Bishop Mulvey said. One such undertaking is Project Andrew. Father Lopez explained that Project Andrew is named after the Apostle Andrew who recruited his brother Peter to be a follower of Jesus. (Mt 4:18-20, Jn 1:35-42) ) In a similar way, pastors invite young men to come see if they might have an interest in a priestly vocation. Pastors invite young men that may

have an interest in a priestly vocation to participate in an informal dinner where they can meet the bishop, other priests and other young men like themselves that are also considering a possible call to the priesthood. Thirty young men attended such a dinner at St. Pius X on Friday, Jan. 18. The pastors and young men came from a number of parishes in the diocese, including St. Elizabeth and St. Joseph in Alice, the St. Thomas Aquinas Center at Texas A&M-Kingsville, Immaculate Conception in Taft and FEBRUARY 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Father Richard Libby, at left front, and Msgr. Leonard Pivonka, JCD second from left, share in a humorous moment with invitees from Alice at the Project Andrew Dinner. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Patrick in Corpus Christi. After Vespers and a dinner, Bishop Mulvey presented a talk on the various elements of discernment. He explained that the word vocations means calling, which is usually a “subtle kind of thing.” Sometimes it can be like a bolt of lightening, Bishop Mulvey said, but in many cases it is an almost imperceptible evolving reality. So, how does one begin to discern or figure out if he has a call, the bishop asked? “First, you must realize that it’s Jesus that calls,” Bishop Mulvey said. “We need to spend time with Jesus because it is he who is calling you.” Prayer is the first element of discernment, the bishop said. He urged the young men present to spend time with Jesus, “in your own room, in front


of the crucifix or in Adoration.” He urged them to learn to spend time with Jesus. The second element in the discernment process is to “share your interest with someone,” your parents, a priest or a nun. Sharing is extremely important, the bishop said. “A spiritual director can help you map out the events of your life; its an objective voice to help you understand your thoughts,” the bishop said. The Eucharist is at the very core of our life, it gives us meaning, Bishop Mulvey said. Spending time in Eucharist is the third element of discernment. He urged anyone thinking about a vocation to go to Mass more regularly, not just on Sunday. The fourth element is to know the Word of God, the Scriptures. “You must have a deep love for the Gospels,


for what Jesus said, what Jesus did,” Bishop Mulvey said. The fifth element in discernment is to be silent. “That’s where it all comes together. Its in silence that we hear Jesus speaking to us,” the bishop said. The more vocations to the priesthood that are realized the bishop said, the better we can serve the Church. He said the diocese has a great need for priests, pointing out many priests are reaching retirement age and there needs to be somebody there to pick up their work. He explained to the young men at the dinner that the primary need is in parishes but priestly ministries are also needed in hospitals, the military, prisons and as teachers in seminaries and schools. Priests are needed to bring people together. A parish priest today needs

to know how to live on the cross, Bishop Mulvey said. “Its not easy, but it’s the most beautiful life-giving ministry we can have,” he said. It is hard sometimes to find the time needed for careful discernment, but Bishop Mulvey encouraged the young men to find the time; “do this in overtime,” he said. The more priests we have the more we can expand the ministries in the diocese. “That is primarily Father Lopez’s mission,” Bishop Mulvey said. It was the element of time that led Bishop Mulvey to make the decision to ask Father Lopez to take on the vocations office on a full-time basis. Father Lopez’s time was split doing two full-time jobs so the bishop asked him to focus on the work of vocations director.

“He accepted very generously. He will continue to help me as my canonical advisor,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop said Father Lopez has many great ideas to promote vocations. In addition to Project Andrew, Father Lopez has also initiated The Melchizedek Project, a discernment group for high school seniors and above. The group meetings are not meant to convince anyone that the priesthood is their vocation, but as a Catholic man at some point you have to ask yourself whether or not God is calling you to be a priest, Father Lopez said. “Every Catholic man should at least consider priesthood as an option. Hopefully someone at some point in your life has asked you in these or similar words, ‘Is Jesus calling you to be a priest?’ It’s not an easy question

to answer. It takes prayer and study to discover your true vocation,” Father Lopez said. With the help of Father Peter Stanley and Father John Chavarria who serve as associate vocation directors, Father Lopez is working with parishes to set up vocations committees made up of persons dedicated to keeping the parish informed about ways of supporting the vocation work of the Church. “The aim of such a committee is to encourage prayer for priestly and religious vocations, and to create an awareness of vocations to the priesthood and religious life through programs and materials. Every parish should maintain a vivid awareness of the need to encourage and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life,” Father Lopez said.

Another initiative undertaken by the Vocations Office under Father Joseph Lopez, center, is an annual Vocations Essay Contest. Pictured with the 2013 winners are seminarians Richard Gutierrez, at left, and Oscar Chaparro, right. Contest winners, from left, are Gabriella Martinez, high school; Amber del Bosque, middle school; and Damien Cisneros, elementary school. See the essays at Adel Rivera, South Texas Catholic



WORLD DAY FOR CONS Religious Sisters

enrich us all

Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey


Bishop of Corpus Christi

n Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2-3, we will celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life; on Saturday with a day of reflection and on Sunday with a Mass in the Cathedral in which the sisters and religious brothers will restate their commitment before the entire diocese.

Women religious played a very important role in my spiritual formation and also in my vocation to the priesthood. From the early years of second grade, I recall an Incarnate Word sister–Sister Oliver McGee–who encouraged vocations but also encouraged us in the second grade to listen intently to the Gospel on Sundays and to speak about them on Monday in the classroom. This left is an indelible impression upon me from the very beginning. Also in my family there were two religious women. A Poor Clare sister


Christ, to serve in our diocese and to in my mother’s side, my mother’s aunt, serve in the Church. and a Dominican sister from Houston At present, the women religious on my father’s side, his aunt as well. I in our diocese have formed a vocawould write to them and they would tions committee to work together to write letters that were very encouragvisit parishes and the various diocesan ing and spoke to me of the importance events in order to make themselves of prayer in my journey of faith, my known, especially among the young. journey to the priesthood. I also call for vocations when I give Religious women have played a homilies and especially when young very important role in the developpeople are present. ment of our diocese. As we are aware, We can always do more and hopefulthe Incarnate Word sisters existed in the diocese before the diocese was formed. Many Many…orders have come to other orders have come to the diocese and worked in the the diocese and worked in classroom teaching; evangelizing in the classroom teaching; parishes; in social services helping evangelizing in parishes; in social services helping the the poor and homeless; assisting poor and homeless; assistthose who are confined in hospitals; ing those who are confined and caring for the elderly. in hospitals; and caring for the elderly. From the very ly as we try to form vocation commitfirst act of Christian life, the Pink Sistees in our parishes that this awareness ters have had a tremendous influence can be channeled through parishioners on the spirit of prayer in our lives as in our local parishes, calling young they pray for the whole diocese. women to consecrated life to serve. We of course can always benefit Without the presence of religious from more vocations. It is important women we would be poorer as a diothat young women open their hearts to cese. Their role is always to express the the call of Christ to serve in so many commitment and the love of Christ. ways. I pray that more young women These committed and consecrated from our diocese become aware of women in our diocese continue to play these various religious communities in a vital role in the life of the diocese. our diocese and beyond and dedicate themselves to a life of consecration to


ECRATED LIFE 365 Combined Years of

Selfless Dedication

Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


ine religious sisters representing a combined 365 years of selfless service to God’s people will be honored at a special Jubilee Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 9:30 a.m. The celebration coincides with observance of World Day for Consecrated Life.

Sister Maria Elizabeth Brehony reads through Bible scriptures with fourth grade students from Incarnate Word Academy. Sister Brehony is celebrating 60 years of service to her congregation, the sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic



Sister Flaviana Macasling, a music teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School in Robstown, celebrates her 40th year of service to her congregation. She has served the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic in the Philippines, Houston, Beeville and currently in Robstown. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

“As sisters, we’ve been given special gifts to be used for the benefit of the people of God. This is a chance to see the richness of the different charisms present, whether it’s through the ministry of administering a Catholic education, serving in a retirement home, parish or hospital; all bring the presence of God and his love in their own unique way,” Sister Annette Wagner, IWBS, director for the diocese’s Office of Consecrated Life, said. Sister Annette, who has served 46 years herself, said the Mass–celebrated by Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey–also allows jubilarians to “come together for a day of spirituality, share in prayer and reflection on their vocation.” “I’ve always wanted to be a sister,” said Sister Maria Elizabeth Brehony, IWBS, who will celebrate 60 years of service to her congregation and the Church. “When I was a small child I automatically thought everybody wanted to be a sister, and then my cousin exclaimed, ‘No, I don’t want to be one!’ Then I thought…well, isn’t that odd?” Born and raised in Ireland, Sister Maria Elizabeth had two older sisters already serving in the United States


with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. After she made the final decision in her third year of high school to join the same congregation, she traveled by boat to the United States. “It took seven days and if you can imagine, it was quite an adventure for a 16-year-old girl,” she said. “One of the Incarnate Word sisters met me in New York City and from there we traveled by train to Texas. It was a culture shock. When we arrived in July of 1951, south Texas was in the middle of a typical heat wave.” Sister Maria Elizabeth professed religious vows on April 18, 1953 and immediately began her teaching ministry. In 1994, she had the opportunity to serve in Kenya, East Africa, which was an “enlightening, grace-filled experience.” “The country and people are so beautiful, yet they are surrounded by poverty. People live so simply. I noticed immediately they are always willing to wait–for transportation, food, medical attention. They are such giving, faithfilled people,” she said. After returning from Kenya, she was involved in ministry at the Diocesan


Center for Spiritual Direction. Sister Maria Elizabeth has also served in Port Isabel, Alice, Goliad, Rockport, Sinton and Brownsville. She has a long history of teaching in Catholic schools as a classroom teacher, and more than 20 years as elementary and middle school principal. She is currently involved in ministry in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Incarnate Word Elementary. “I have been enriched and blessed abundantly during my years in religious life. I have always received much more than I have given,” she said. Sister Maria Elizabeth sees the need for an increase in awareness for vocations and said prayer is the key to discernment for any young person thinking of a life dedicated to God. “Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” she advised. “Find a friend or spiritual director that is supportive, will listen and be a prayerful guide, especially when fears and doubt arise, which are inevitable.” “Fear can paralyze. Discernment of a religious vocation is a process and one must be patient and open to God’s will,” Sister Maria Elizabeth.

Another jubilarian, Sister Flaviana Macasling, OP, will celebrate 40 years of service. Born and raised in the Philippines, Sister Flaviana studied with the sisters of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic all four years of high school. After one semester at college in Manila, she entered the convent at age 17. “I was merely following the example of the sisters,” Sister Flaviana said. “With the grace of God and with prayers, sacrifices, I became closer to God. He did the rest.” She received her Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas in Manila. She was teaching music at a Dominican College when she was sent to Texas in 1990, landing at St. Joseph Catholic School in Alice. Sister Flaviana also spent almost ten years at St. Jerome Catholic School in Houston, teaching music to pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students. In 2006 she was assigned to St. Anthony School in Robstown, where she currently teaches music. “Music will always remind me of my childhood in the Philippines,” she said with a broad smile. “My father put the love of music in my heart from a very young age. I still remember the ballads he would sing. I always tell my students the music in your heart is the only thing you can bring with you to heaven.” She stresses the importance of using God-given talents daily, especially the gift of music. Currently, her students are working on songs focused on the “Year of Faith” for a program to entertain Godparents and their loved ones involved in their Baptism. Celebrating 40 years with her congregation, the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic, Sister Flaviana said she enjoys the life she has chosen. “I live everyday to its fullest. I like to learn something new about a different saint everyday and the lives they lived. When I read about the suffering some saints endured, I think, I have nothing

to complain about,” Sister Flaviana said. Discerning a life dedicated to the Church might appear difficult for today’s youth, especially with the distractions cluttering our lives, Sister Flaviana said. “We’re surrounded by material things. I understand why some young people might be afraid to enter religious life. They think they’ll lose everything, which is not the case,” she said, her eyes lit brightly, with a beaming smile. “We

like to go to Fiesta Texas, too! Sisters like to have fun, just like everyone else.” Other sisters celebrating jubilees during the Mass are Sister Mary Teresa Curran, Carmel DCJ, 65 years; Sister Michelle Marie Kuntscher, IWBS, and Sister Maria Purificacion Palis, OP, 50 Years; and Sister Guadalupe Therese Licea, PCI, Sister Bernadette Mangila, OP, Sister Raquel Newman, IWBS, and Sister Mary Anne Pagano, IWBS, 25 years.

Bishop Mulvey celebrated a jubilee Mass on Dec. 29, 2012 for Sister Maria Begonia Divinagracia, OP, 50 years and Sister Maria Bernadette Mangila, OP, 25 years. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Arina Zavala and Monica Frank are two new postulants from San Diego, California. They are discerning with the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus at Mt. Carmel Assisted Living Center.

Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic



Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters in St. Louis, Missouri greet Sister Angela Hiracheta. Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters



Sister Angela

chooses contemplative life

Geraldine McGloin Correspondent

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” With this famous passage from St. Augustine resting in her heart, Angela Hiracheta, made her profession of faith on Nov. 21, 2012 upon her entrance into and acceptance by the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, also known as the Pink Sisters. She will live her novitiate in St. Louis, Missouri at the Mount Grace Convent. A native of Taft in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Sister Angela taught first grade for eight years in the Taft schools before beginning her journey in religious life. Her discernment for a vocation in contemplative life has been ongoing and active. Sister Angela was greatly influenced by the doctors of the Church, such as the Carmelites, St. Therese of Liesuex and St. Teresa of Avila. “I was especially drawn to the autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, ‘Story of a Soul.’ I had read it as a child, but it was not until I was in my early twenties–after reading St. Teresa of Avila’s ‘Book of My Life’¬–that I began to seriously think about the possibility of becoming a nun and I told my family about it,” Sister Angela said. In the coming years, her family helped her discern, as did her pastor Father Francisco Lopez at Immaculate Conception parish. After reading an article in the South Texas Catholic about the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters she felt inspired to contact their local convent for more information. As is recommended by her order for young women disSister Angela Hiracheta, a new postulant of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters in St. Louis, shares a laugh while visiting with her family one last time before they leave back to Corpus Christi. Esteban Hiracheta for South Texas Catholic



After graduating from college with her master’s degree in reading from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Angela Hiracheta, taught first grade for eight years at Petty Elementary in Taft, in the same neighborhood she grew up. Esteban Hiracheta for South Texas Catholic

cerning a religious life, she asked Father Lopez to serve as her spiritual director. “Spiritual direction is a process for everyone; some take longer than others,” Father Lopez said. “I spent time with her looking at different possibilities of religious life for her to pursue; active ministry or contemplative.” Sister Angela chose the contemplative life. “I found God’s will was written in me, in that I felt an attraction to a complete and special life of prayer and work instead of an active life,” Sister Angela said. “The purpose of this order particularly is to pray for the missions and the priests, who are doing the active work, which appealed very much to me. Although I loved working with the staff, children and families as a teacher, I wished to have a sole focus on prayer and intercession to be able to touch as many people as possible with my prayers. I saw the other service orders as very good but not as what God was calling of me.” Sister Angela feels her strong Catholic upbringing and education were critical to her call to contemplative life. She said her parents Ernestina and Henry Hiracheta were largely responsible for her spiritual yearning. “Even though they had limited financial means and prospects, they tried to give us (she and her five siblings)



any opportunity they could to form our spiritual growth, making sure we prayed regular family Rosary, sharing and having available to us good Catholic books on saints and Catholic teaching,” Sister Angela said. Her parents endeavored to be good role models, putting the children in Catholic schools as long as they could even though they could not easily afford it. At times her father worked three jobs and her mother worked off and on as she was able to between her work as wife and mother. The Mass and sacraments were of first priority. “We attended our local weekly religious classes, regular confession, daily Mass when possible, visits to the Adoration Chapel as much as possible even night adoration. My parents worked in a team effort to do the best they could to make our faith the first priority in our lives,” Sister Angela said. Catholic schools were a great help, providing regular and solid Catholic teaching to further the children’s spiritual growth. Faithful priests also provided good examples to the children while they grew up. Sister Angela attended Catholic elementary schools at Holy Family and Most Precious Blood in Corpus Christi. She attended Taft High School and ultimately graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where she received

her bachelor and master’s in science, which prepared her for a teaching career. Her years in the classroom caused her to reflect on her small charges. “I saw the goodness and love my little students had, they wanted to be good and loving. That is a gift from God,” Sister Angela said. “Some came from families with a strong spiritual foundation, others, not so much. I wanted to pray for all of them and eventually realized that through a life of prayer I could focus on it all of the time and also pray for the world.” Essential to a contemplative life is silence, which is often mysterious to the outside world. “We learn to maintain our inner silence and to quiet the chatter both external and internal. I used to have a lot of chatter going on,” Sister Angela said, with a small laugh. The order of Pink Sisters, which is strictly contemplative and cloistered, maintains 21 convents around the world, including one in Corpus Christi. Nine sisters live in the local convent. Once she is professed, the order will decide where Sister Angela will be assigned. Asked about the rewards she expected after choosing a contemplative life, Sister Angela said, “Joyful freedom in

doing God’s will as it manifests itself in my daily life.” “Even in difficult moments, Jesus is ever ready to help us,” she said. “In following God’s will, in my case, particularly as a cloistered contemplative nun, God helps me be aware of grace in a way I had not been before and gives me joy where I did not know would come. I am finding a beautiful peace here at the convent thus far at this point in my vocation process. The rewards of such a life are being able to rejoice in God’s goodness in being able to assist in the salvation of priceless souls helped through our prayers.” Her advice to other young woman considering a consecrated contemplative life is not to be afraid. “If she is afraid or if any challenges present themselves as she works to discover God’s will for her vocation, bring her fears to Jesus and allow him to solve them for you. Find a novena to pray, I recommend the Infant Child Jesus of Prague,” Sister Angela said. She also suggested going to Mass more than once a week if able, visiting the Adoration chapel and reading Scripture. “Just whatever you can to listen more closely to Jesus and spend more time with him. Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘Do not be afraid to open wide the doors to Christ. He takes nothing away and gives back a hundred fold’.”

Grill separates Sister Angela from her mother Ernestina, as the two enjoy some time together before family returned home from Missouri. Esteban Hiracheta for South Texas Catholic



Use of vernacular at Mass presented some challenges Timothy Hatch Correspondent


he introduction of the vernacular at Mass in October 1967 was a breath of fresh air to the Church. Looking back on the big change today, many people who remember when these changes were implemented still hold to this opinion.

Like many of the changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council were not new, in fact they were a restoration of ancient practices. This is true of celebrating Mass in the vernacular. In the earliest times, the Mass was celebrated in Aramaic–the language of Jesus’ time. For the next several centuries it was celebrated Greek and finally in Latin. The predominant and exclusive use of Latin was common only in the West. The eastern rites of the


Church used any language so long as the translation was “faithful.” In these rites, “the Liturgy remained closer to the people” and local manners and customs were incorporated into the Liturgy. “I think the greatest thing that happened really and surely was when the cardinals and the Holy Father and the bishops all recommended strongly that we say our Holy Mass in the vernacular,” Msgr. Gregory Deane, a retired priest of the diocese who experienced first-hand the change, said. He explained how pleased he was that priests could pray the Liturgy of the Hours from their breviaries in English and fully understand and enter into the heart of what they were praying without translating back and forth from the Latin. The Second Vatican Council brought about many changes within the Mass. Since there were so many, including modifications to the rubrics of how Mass was to be prayed, these changes were implemented in stages so that the faithful could smoothly adjust. The Church officially introduced the vernacular into the Mass on the


First Sunday of Advent 1964 with the singing of hymns. In the United States, the celebration of the Mass in the vernacular occurred on Oct. 22, 1967. Sister Kathleen McDonagh IWBS, was teaching theology at the time, and helped to prepare the faithful for the big change as part of her work. When it came to learning the responses in the vernacular for the Mass, she started with the shorter responses and gradually worked in the longer ones. However, for most it was a matter of just following the translations, she said. “It was relatively easy. I never felt there was any pressure to bear,” Msgr. Deane said. “I don’t think the congregation ever felt they were really lost. There were missals with the English translations. Most people had a missal to follow along.” Dioceses across the country prepared extensively for the change as well. Barbara Bassett, a parishioner at St. Paul the Apostle in Flour Bluff, remembers attending workshops in San Diego, California designed to help the faithful understand the changes and why they were brought about.

Pictured left, headlines from the Texas Gulf Coast Register in 1967, following the Second Vatican Council. Before the Second Vatican Council priests faced the altar (right) rather than the congregation. South Texas Catholic Archives

“They tried to make the transition easier for people to understand, especially for the older people who were born and raised in the Latin. They tried to do so as it would be easier for us in the pew to understand. I do know that it was very helpful to attend those classes. There were quite a few that attended; and as far as I remember, they didn’t get too deep. It was very simple and easy to understand,” she said. Despite the relatively smooth transition, there were some drawbacks to switching from the use of Latin, according to Msgr. Tom Mc Gettrick, Pastor at St. Andrew by the Sea parish. While, the Corpus Christi Parish Post, a privately printed newspaper–not officially part of the diocesan structure– published full page translations, some parishioners were not as prepared as they could have been. Msgr. Mc Gettrick said the Church did a better job preparing the faithful to use the more accurate translations that were recently implemented. While Mass was now understandable to the faithful, taking away the Latin also took away a sense of mystery

and wonder. One other drawback to the vernacular is more freedom in translation. Over the last 50 years this freedom has led to an imprecise use of language in expressing the Church’s deep and rich theology found in the prayers and hymns used at liturgies. That is why Blessed Pope John Paul II commissioned a more accurate translation of the prayers that had been in use at Mass. This new translation was introduced the First Sunday of Advent 2011 in order to preserve this richness found in the original Latin. However, some people feel more needs to be done to bring Gregorian chant back into the sacred liturgy. “People liked the vernacular, but they missed the Gregorian chant. They were disappointed about liturgical music losing its sacred quality,” Msgr. Mc Gettrick said. Modifications to the rubrics of the Mass, which were more difficult for the faithful to accept, followed the change to the vernacular. Among these changes were not praying the St. Michael prayer after Mass, taking away the altar rail at Communion and the

priest facing the people. “It was very nice to be able to understand what was being said at the altar. Most of the changes that upset me happened afterward,” Bassett said. Even though some had more of an adjustment to these changes than others, the bishops, in union with the pope, strived to make the Church more accessible to the faithful in a changing world. Many priests and religious at the time were of the opinion that if the change to the vernacular was something the Church was calling for, they ought to do it with the hopes that it would draw people into a deeper appreciation of the Mass. “No matter what language you’re using, Mass is being celebrated and you’re praying the same prayers to our Lord, and of course, they’re bringing about the changing of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. You have to keep that in mind. Ultimately, the most important thing is that which is central to the Mass, celebrated all over the world. It’s important that we understand it and celebrate it together,” Sister McDonagh said.



San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller delivered the keynote address at the 2013 Ministry Conference on Jan. 12. Alfredo Cardenas South Texas Catholic



The Church’s mission is to evangelize Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


ome 1,000 Catholic faithful converged on the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi on Saturday, Jan. 12, to participate in the annual ministry conference of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller told the faithful, “the Church exists to evangelize–that’s it.” Archbishop Gustavo, as he prefers to be called, recently returned from a synod of bishops from throughout the world who met at the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the New Evangelization. The New Evangelization is aimed, Archbishop Gustavo said, at lapsed Catholics who have “drifted from their faith.” Evangelization used to be a “scary word” for Catholics, the archbishop said. It was something other denominations did. The Church, he said, has two evangelical missions. The first is the announcement of the Gospel to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ. The other is aimed at those baptized that have drifted away and live without reference to the Christian life. “They know there is something missing, something bigger than themselves, something they care about,” Archbishop Gustavo said about these lapsed Catholics. “Religion is something they do without giving it any attention or meaning. In their pursuit of their faith they have not encountered Jesus Christ.” Only Christ can quench their thirst, he said. Using John’s Gospel about the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well who believed Jesus was the Messiah and went out to tell others, Archbishop Gustavo said all Catholics need to be like the Samaritan woman and take the message of Jesus to their families and neighbors. The archbishop lamented that Catholics do not share their faith, their encounters with Jesus with others. They go to retreats, missions, workshops and



seminars, and then return home without giving any thought to sharing what they learned with others. “We cannot just have a personal experience with Christ. That would be a lie or deficient. The encounter must be with Jesus Christ in the Church,” the archbishop said. “We need to multiply the wells and offer an oasis in the desert of life” to our brothers and sisters who have strayed from their faith, he said. “Evangelization is not new,” the archbishop said, “the newness of the New Evangelization is how we do it today in the context of those who have lost their way.” He said the Sacred Scriptures are the central resource in carrying out the mission of the New Evangelization. The Scriptures are not intended just for Sundays, “we must draw on the Scriptures constantly, in all our daily needs,” Archbishop Gustavo said. “We do not need to invent new strategies, we need to rediscover the word of Bishop Mulvey celebrated the annual Ministry Conference Mass at the American Bank Center where some 1,000 were in attendance. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic



Jesus Christ, the way of Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said. “Jesus already did it and his did it well. We need to rediscover His ways.” The Church can carry out the mission of evangelization by using the same approaches Jesus used. People do not want to hear “pieces of doctrine” they are seeking for answers to their daily difficulties. They see the Christian faith as a list of rules and regulations that must be followed out of “obligation, fear and ignorance of the real world.” It may not be easy to connect on a spiritual level but everyone has personal knowledge and experience on the human level, whether it is with the loss of a loved one, marriage, child rearing or work. “Frequent reading of the Sacred Scriptures, illuminated by Church Tradition, helps us to discover opportunities, truly evangelical approaches rooted in the fundamentals of human life; family, work, friendship and trials of life,” the archbishop said. In his homily in the Mass opening the conference, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey warned participants to guard against the sins of ministry. He described these sins as lack of charity,

careerism and competition. “We must not allow the rules and regulations of our ministries to supersede charity,” Bishop Mulvey said. He told those in attendance that they were all part of the Body of Christ, not just individual ministries. “We are called to a life of Communion,” the bishop said. “We must build wa spirit of communion, mutual love and mutual understanding.” “As we refresh ourselves, we should reexamine ourselves,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop said to those in attendance that while they should love their ministries, they must love Jesus Christ who is the object of those ministries. He encouraged them to welcome those who are not regular parishioners with love. The conference provided participants a number of workshops aimed at helping them in carrying out their ministries in service to the Church. This year, the conference included a special track for youth. Former NFL football player Chris Horn was the keynote speaker for the Youth Track. He told the youth that they had been given a gift of faith and

that they should “grow and share this gift with a firm attitude.” Bishop Mulvey commissioned or re-commissioned 28 catechists at the conference. Those commissioned included, Mary Arnold, Gloria Grace Cantu, Maria Elena Crawford, Jamie Marie Daniel, Mary Ellen Galvan, Sylvia Mendoza Garcia, Mary V. Gonzalez, Sister Bernadette Mangila, OP, Delia M. Martinez, Angela Kristy Mincey, Katherine Lucio Orines, Sister Agueda Oviedo, Sister Eliza Santiago, OP, Hector Soza, Katheryn Teresa Tackett, Rachel G. Trevino, Debbie Ann Unterbrink, Elizabeth Anne Vasquez and Janey B. Wilkins. Re-commissioned were Linda Lou Anderson, Cindy Bunch, Diana Maria Gonzales, Josephine “Josie” Kaufmann, Barbara Jo Lamson, David Charles Mason, Sister Esperanza Seguban, OP, Sarah Cruse Smith and Sister Amor Maravilla Vigare, OP To see more photos of this event

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Calendar of Events: Feb. 16: OLCC Rummage Sale - 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If you would like to donate items for our rummage sale, please contact Mona Lisa Biberstein, 289-9095 ext. 301 Feb. 16: True Devotion and Consecration Day of Prayer, followed by weekly prayer meetings and consecration retreat March 24-25. Feb. 21-24: Women’s Silent Retreat March 1-10: 8-Day Directed Retreat March 2: Booksigning with Albert E. Hughes, LTC USAF (Ret). His book, “Paradise Commander” recounts his miraculous conversion while serving as commander in Antigua, West Indies in the late 70’s. April 4-7: Divine Mercy Retreat (men and women)

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DIOCESE OF CORPU For the good of the Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey has made the following appointments.

Father Joseph Lopez is now full-time vocation director Father Joseph Lopez to assume fulltime responsibilities over the Vocations Office. He will continue as a Canonical advisor to the bishop. The appointment is effective Feb. 1.

Father Joseph Lopez, JCL

Msgr. Kihneman is now also serving as Chancellor Msgr. Louis Kihneman III to assumed the role of Chancellor. He will continue as his current duties as Vicar General. The appointment is effective Feb. 1.

Msgr. Louis Kihneman III

Crawford to serve as Vice-Chancellor Marco Crawford has assumed the role of Vice-Chancellor. He will continue as his current duties as in-house counsel. The appointment is effective Feb. 1.

Marco Crawford

Mary Taver named Judge in Tribunal Effective Jan. 14, Mary Taver was named a Judge in the Diocesan Tribunal Office. Her appointment is for a period of five years.



Mary Taver, JCL

Regional Cursillo conference coming to Corpus Christi The Cursillo Region VIII Spring Encounter 2012, “Friendship – Through Him, With Him, And In Him,” will be held at the Bishop T. Drury Cursillo Center in Corpus Christi beginning on Friday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. and concluding on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m. Region VIII includes the states of Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas as well as 19 dioceses. The Bishop T. Drury Cursillo Center is located at 1200 Lantana Dr. in Corpus Christi. The Cursillo Center has 76 beds and there are a number of hotels within 5-10 minutes from the Center. A registration fee of $70 is required per person, which includes food and lodging at Cursillo Center on a first come basis. Price will be the same if participants stay at the Cursillo Center or elsewhere. For more information, visit the Cursillo Web site at

Music missionary brings ministry to diocese Danielle Rose, a music missionary who spreads the Gospel through a joyful witness of story and song, will perform a concert on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 9, at Most Precious Blood Church in Corpus Christi. Admission is free. Rose celebrates the dignity of the human person with the release of her new album, “Culture of Life.” The album’s songs showcase a diverse range of 15 themes including the sacrificial nature of motherhood, the redemptive value of suffering, the gift of chastity, post-abortive healing, the unrepeatable nature of each soul in the scheme of eternity and the universal call to holiness. The album was released Jan. 22, on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and will be available for purchase the evening of the concert. There will be a “Morning of Reflection” the morning of the concert, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the parish’s Family Center. This will include music, prayer, fellowship and a reflection by Rose.

S CHRISTI NEWS BRIEFS Prior to the concert, Rose will sing a meditation song at the 5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass. The concert will follow the Mass. Most Precious Blood is located at 3502 Saratoga Blvd. For more information call the Parish Office at (361) 854-3800.

Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio relic coming to Taft church Immaculate Conception Church in Taft will receive and install a first class relic of Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. The day will start with celebration of Holy Mass followed by benediction with the Blessed Sacrament and then the welcoming and installation of the relic. Blessed Jose Luis was a 14-year-old boy killed during Mexico’s Cristero War or La Cristiada, which erupted after the Mexican government sought to implement antiCatholic measures. Blessed Jose Luis refused to denounce his Catholic faith and was executed by Mexican government forces. Pope Benedict XVI declared him a martyr and he was beatified on Nov. 20, 2005. A relic is an object, such as a body part, remaining as a memorial of a martyr. “It is not only an honor for our parish to have this relic of this young martyr, but because Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio is a great role model for everyone in this day and age especially in this the Year of Faith,” said Father Jesus Francisco Lopez, pastor at Immaculate Conception. Immaculate Conception Church is located at 120 E. Escobedo St. in Taft. A reception will be held immediately following in the parish hall.

World Marriage Day honors gold and silver anniversaries Couples from across the Diocese of Corpus Christi will gather on Sunday, Feb. 10, to celebrate their gold and silver wedding anniversaries during the 9:30 a.m. televised Cathedral Mass. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will be the main celebrant. A reception will follow immediately in St. Joseph’s Hall. Bishop Mulvey will be present to greet and congratulate the couples while thanking them for their witness to

riage to family and to the Church. Couples who have been married for more than 50 years are also encouraged to attend, even if they have participated in years past. Those celebrating their 25th or 50th anniversary will be presented with certificates signed by Bishop Mulvey. To register please submit a completed registration form online at For more information call Tina Villegas at the Office of Family Life at (361) 882-6191 or email her at

Ash Wednesday starts Lenten season on Feb. 13 Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent, will be on Feb. 13. The Diocese of Corpus Christi will have a special page on its Web site with everything we can gather on “Corpus Christi Lent.” Information such as on communal penance services, Ash Wednesday services, Lenten missions and retreats and Lenten fish fries will be available at CCLent. Please check this site often for the latest news on Lenten activities in the diocese.

St. Peter’s hosts Christian Life seminar in defense of families St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles parish will hold a Christian Life Seminar for married couples, single parents, divorcees, single men and women, widows, widowers and grandparents on Feb. 16, 23 and March 2. Couples for Christ Family and Life will present the seminar. The Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life is called to rise in defense of the family, which is God’s work. It is called to bring families back to the plan of God, and to bring the Lord’s strength and light to those who are struggling to be truly Christian families in the modern world, pastor Msgr. Morgan Rowsome said. The seminars will be in St. Mathew’s Hall and will start promptly at 11 a.m. Lunch, snacks and drinks will be provided. The sessions end at 5:30 p.m. Childcare will be provided for all participants with children. For more information call Michelle Sumabon at (361) 558-2816. FEBRUARY 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


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Monsignor joins canons of St. Peter’s Basilica, a ministry of prayer Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service


lthough his curriculum vitae includes parish assignments, seminary positions and years devoted to promoting religious education throughout the United States, Msgr. Francis D. Kelly said, “All my life I’ve been a closet monk.”

As he prepared to take his post as a canon of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, a position focused on the service of prayer, Msgr. Kelly said, “God knows what he’s doing.” The chief task of the two dozen canons, he said, is prayer and worship. For the past eight years, the 75-yearold monsignor from the Diocese of Worcester, Mass., has served as superior of the Casa Santa Maria, the residence for U.S. priests studying at the pontifical universities in Rome. He was named a canon of the basilica by Pope Benedict XVI and was to be formally installed Jan. 20. In a Jan. 17 interview with Catholic News Service, Msgr. Kelly said he did not know how he came to be appointed the first U.S.-born canon in almost 50


years; “it’s not something I asked for or expected.” Italian-born Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, 82, a retired Vatican diplomat and priest of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pa., currently is the senior canon; he and Msgr. Kelly both hold positions at the international offices of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The last U.S.born priest to serve as a canon was Archbishop Martin O’Connor, a native of Scranton, Pa., who had served as rector of the Pontifical North American College before being named a nuncio, and as president of the then-Pontifical Commission for Social Communications. He retired in 1971 and died in 1986. In a 2007 meeting with the Chapter of St. Peter’s Basilica, which includes the canons, Pope Benedict XVI said that for more than 1,400 years, there has been an “uninterrupted presence of praying clergy” around the tomb of St. Peter. In the early centuries different orders of monks had the responsibility, but in 1053 St. Leo IX created the College of Canons and appointed a group of priests who were not members of monastic orders. Pope Benedict told the canons their service is to offer “the ministry of prayer. While prayer is fundamental for all Christians, for you, dear brothers, it can be called a professional duty.” The pope said that the best way to


Msgr. Francis D. Kelly, a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, Mass. will be the first U.S.-born canon in almost 50 years. The canons devote their ministry to prayer in the basilica. Msgr. Kelly was serving at the Casa Santa Maria, the residence for U.S. priests studying at the pontifical universities in Rome. CNS photo/Paul Haring

ensure that the millions of people who visit St. Peter’s every year know it is a church, and not a museum, is to find people praying inside. Like Msgr. Kelly, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination this year, the canons all have a long history of ministry and service to the church; several of them, like Archbishop De Andrea, are retired Vatican ambassadors. On Sundays and major feast days, they concelebrate and take turns preaching at the 10:30 a.m. solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and lead the recitation of evening prayer in the basilica. Msgr. Kelly said, “For those who know me and my life story and my inclinations, this was a perfect fit. It’s not at all a radical change of style; it’s really doing something that I’ve always been attracted to and done in different ways.”


Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd at the beginning of his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 16. The desire to see and know God is innate in everyone, even nonbelievers, the pope said during his audience talk. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Everyone, even atheists, has human desire to know who God is, pope says Carol Glatz Catholic News Service


he desire to see and know God is innate in everyone, even nonbelievers, Pope Benedict XVI said.

But it’s especially important people don’t just seek God when they need him, but make room for him throughout their busy lives, he said during his weekly general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall Jan. 16. At the end of the audience, the pope also greeted U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who was raised Catholic. The brief encounter came during the so-called “baciamano,” that is, the moment when the pope offers a select group of prelates and special guests a brief handshake one-by-one rather than

a private audience. The pope spoke at length with the former CIA director, who was smiling and gently holding both of the pope’s hands, and gave him one of the medallions reserved for special guests. Panetta, who was stepping down as Pentagon chief, was in Rome as part of a Europe-wide tour to meet with European defense ministers to discuss the conflicts in Afghanistan and Mali. During his catechesis dedicated to the Year of Faith, the pope said, “The desire to really know God, that is, to see the face of God, exists in everyone, even atheists.” It can even be an unconscious desire to simply know “who is he, what is he for us?” the pope said. That yearning finds fulfillment in Christ, he said; as Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

The pope said it was important to follow Christ “not just those moments when we need him,” but to “find room for him in our daily tasks” and throughout one’s life. “The splendor of the divine countenance is the source of life, it’s what lets one see reality” and its light is a sure guide in life, he said. At the end of his catechesis, the pope made an appeal for people to join the observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan. 18-25. The theme for this year’s week is “What does God require of us?” “I invite everyone to pray, ceaselessly asking God for the great gift of unity among the disciples of the Lord. May the inexhaustible power of the Holy Spirit encourage us in a sincere commitment to the search for unity, so that together we may all profess that Jesus is the Savoir of the world,” he said.



Bishop echoes Vatican spokesman’s comments on Jewish relations WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs agreed with the Vatican spokesman that derogatory comments about Jews by the head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X were “unacceptable” in a letter to members of the USCCB Catholic-Jewish dialogues. Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore said in his letter Jan. 15 that comments by Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the society, who called Jews “the enemies of the church,” were contrary to church teaching. “I wish to assure you as both colleagues and friends that the Holy See and the USCCB find the statements of Bishop Fellay both false and deeply regrettable. His remarks are not only prejudiced, but also hurtful. Comments that cause pain to our Jewish partners are painful to us as well,” Bishop Madden wrote. Bishop Fellay’s comments were posted on You Tube Dec. 30. They were made during a nearly two-hour talk Dec. 28 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario. Bishop Fellay said that Jewish leaders’ support of the Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the church’s.” The Society of St. Pius X has rejected the Catholic Church reforms that emerged from Vatican II including the document “Nostra Aetate,” which described Christians and Jews as having a common heritage and a profound spiritual bond, and denounced any form of contempt of the Jews. In his letter, Bishop Madden cited comments by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, who said, “It is absolutely unacceptable, impossible to define Jews as enemies of the church.” Bishop Madden also pointed to the work of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to extend the teachings of “Nostra Aetate throughout the Catholic Church and to condemn anti-Semitism. Bishop Madden also expressed gratitude for recent statements from Jewish agencies and individuals that reaffirmed Catholic statements renouncing centuries-old attitudes of anti-Judaism. “The Catholic Church deeply values the friendship of the Jewish people and looks forward to the day when bias against them is eliminated everywhere,” Bishop Madden wrote.



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Pro-life activist Lila Rose, 24, got an early start in the pro-life movement and at age 15 founded Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit specializing in investigative journalism. Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

Pro-lifer says activism has shown her ‘despair’ in abortion ‘mind-set’ Gretchen R. Crowe Catholic News Service


ro-life activist Lila Rose was a just child when she first became aware of the tragedy of abortion.

Growing up in San Jose, Calif. the third of eight children, “we were


taught from a young age to love and respect human life,” she told more than 150 pro-life advocates gathered at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington for a mini-retreat. Rose, a 24-year-old Catholic convert, officially became involved with the right-to-life movement at 15 when she founded Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit specializing in investigative journalism.


But at age 9, Rose, a prolific reader, stumbled upon a book on abortion. She went to her mom and asked, “Is this real?” Hearing the affirmative answer, Rose, stunned and uncomprehending, began reading everything she could find on the topic. “I began to see and realize that even though I was safe, there were

I began to see and realize that even though I was safe, there were other children (who) were not safe.

other children (who) were not safe,” she said in her talk Jan. 12. “As I learned more of these things, my heart began to seek out an answer to the question: ‘What can I do? ... Isn’t there something to be done?’” Rose prayed to the Lord for him to use her in whatever way he knew was best. “It’s very dangerous to ever ask God to use you ... because he will,” she said. “Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile. He’s a gentleman, so he’ll wait for you to pray and for you to offer yourself. But then he wants all of you.” When Rose was a student at the University of California-Los Angeles, she began visiting Planned Parenthood clinics, posing as an underage, pregnant teen. In her first foray as an investigative journalist, Rose went into a California abortion clinic posing as a 15-year-old pregnant girl who had gotten impregnated by a 23-yearold male -- what Rose called “a clear case of statutory rape in California.” Instead of reporting it to the authorities, she said, the Planned Parenthood employee told Rose to lie about her age on the paperwork. Later that day, Rose went to a second clinic in downtown Los Angeles where the manager told her that she knew what Rose was going through -- that she had gotten pregnant at 17 and had the baby, a son who was then 16 years old. But, the manager said, if she could do it again, she would have had an abortion. Whether the woman’s story was true, Rose said she

NATIONAL NEWS didn’t know, but it gave “a peek into the culture of death and the hopelessness and the despair in that mind-set.” After graduating from college, Rose made the trip east to Arlington,Virginia where she continues to work for Live Action. Part of her ministry is giving talks, such as the one at St. Charles. To combat the culture of death, Rose told the prolifers gathered in the church’s sanctuary to remember how much God loves each person and for them to remember always to trust in that love. She encouraged receiving the sacraments frequently, especially the holy Eucharist, and praying in front of abortion clinics. And she recommended speaking the truth about abortion gently, lovingly and plainly. “Every vocation is a call to build a culture of life, because at the heart of that call is loving Jesus and being part of his saving of souls -- ours souls and the souls around us,” Rose said. “It’s so exciting and marvelous that we are invited every single day -- if we just say ‘yes’ -- to be part of God’s salvific plan for the whole world.” (Crowe is senior staff writer at the Arlington Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Arlington, Va.)

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Flu epidemic prompts some to stop offering Communion chalice Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service


his year amid the raging flu epidemic in the United States, several dioceses have issued recommendations for receiving Communion, offering the sign of peace and even attending Mass.

According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu season started earlier than usual this year. As of Jan. 16, 47 states were reporting widespread influenza activity, up from 41 states the previous week. The report also stated that the flu was beginning to subside in some areas, especially in the Southeast, where it first appeared. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted on its Facebook page and blog the recommendations it offered in 2009 regarding the flu and church practices. The recommendations stressed that the diocesan bishop should always be consulted regarding any changes or restriction of options in the celebration of the liturgy. It also noted that in localities where outbreak of influenza was high, “bishops have introduced several liturgical adaptations in regard to such practices as the distribution of


holy Communion and the exchange of the sign of peace in order to limit the spread of contagion.” The recommendations urged the use of common sense and basic hygiene stressing that priests, deacons, and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion should “always wash their hands before Mass” and that “the faithful should be instructed not to receive from the cup if they feel ill.” In mid-January, several Catholic dioceses posted guidelines on their websites about liturgical practices during flu season. Guidelines posted online by the Washington Archdiocese stressed that “no one is ever under an obligation to shake hands during the sign of peace” and that a statement, bow or other gesture is appropriate. It also noted that “no one is ever under an obligation to receive from the chalice” and that “anyone who is ill, or suspects he or she is ill, should refrain from receiving from the chalice out of good will and consider receiving the host in the hand rather than by the mouth.” The archdiocesan guideline also urged Catholics who are unwell to “consider remaining at home” and if possible, watching the televised Mass. Priests in the Boston and New York archdioceses received letters in mid-January reminding them they could suspend distributing wine from a the Communion chalice and suggesting they ask parishioners to bow instead of shaking hands to wish one another the sign of peace to curb the


spread of flu germs. Some bishops went a step beyond recommendations and stressed that during the flu season, Communion would only be offered in form of consecrated bread and parishioners should not shake hands at the sign of peace. Bishop Peter A. Libasci of Manchester, N.H., said the extreme flu season in New Hampshire made it necessary to follow such precautions. “As always, your pastoral judgment is critical to ensure that these temporary changes are seen as being in the best interest of the faithful, as well as ensuring that no one with special circumstances is excluded from the table,” he wrote. “Once the flu season is over, we will quickly reinstitute our traditional means of sharing the sign of peace and norm of distributing Communion from the cup for those parishes that elect to do so at each Sunday celebration of the Eucharist,” he added Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer of San Angelo, Texas, also made the same recommendation. In a Jan. 11 letter to diocesan priests, he requested that they “suspend the use of the Communion cup at all Masses” until further notice. He also recommended that parishioners not offer the sign of peace with a handshake, but simply offer the exchange verbally or with a bow. “Once the danger of transmitting the flu has lessened, I will restore the use of the Communion cup,” he wrote.

Liturgy and the Flu Here are some common-sense liturgical practices to help everyone stay healthy and to care for one another during flu season and throughout the year.

If you are sick, take care of yourself. We care for the Body of Christ by first taking care of our own body. The obligation to participate in Mass is not required for those who are sick. If you are sick, do not worsen your illness by trying to get to church, and do not put others at risk of catching your illness. It is not sinful to miss Mass if you are sick; it is an act of charity. If your children are sick, keep them home from Mass, religious education or youth ministry meetings. If you are seriously ill, the Church wants to celebrate with you the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. You can arrange for this by contacting your parish office.

Wash your hands often, especially if you are a greeter, usher or Communion minister. Soap, water and a good scrubbing are the best defense against the cold and flu viruses. Scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are not near soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or disposable hand wipe. Keep a small bottle or packet in your purse or pocket.

Avoid shaking hands with others before, during and after Mass if you are sick or have been in direct contact with someone who is sick. At the Sign of Peace, you can offer a smile or a wave or a simple bow of the head to those around you. Respect should be given to individuals who refrain from sharing a handshake at the Sign of Peace. This is at the discretion of each individual person.

Refrain from receiving Communion on the tongue or from the Cup if you are sick. When receiving the Eucharist, we receive the fullness of the Body and Blood of Christ under the species of bread alone or wine alone. The sign of Communion is more complete when receiving under both kinds, but receiving both is not required. If you are accustomed to receiving Communion on the tongue, you will prevent spreading your saliva to the hand of the Communion minister by receiving Communion in the hand during times of flu outbreaks or when you or someone in your household has been sick.

Should distribution from the Cup be suspended? For the sake of caution, the bishop or the pastor of a

particular parish may choose to suspend temporarily the distribution of the Blood of Christ at the Eucharist in order to prevent the spread of disease during the time of a flu outbreak.

If Communion ministers need to clean their hands during Mass, do this discretely. All ministers of Holy Communion, both ordinary and extraordinary, should wash their hands with soap and water before and after Mass. Then, if Communion ministers have practiced good hygiene during the Mass, there is no obligation for them to wash their hands again during Mass. But if Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion need to wash their hands during Mass, the best way is to clean their hands in their pew, using a sanitizing liquid or antibacterial wipe, after the Sign of Peace and just before they come to the sanctuary. The action of sanitizing their hands should be done in such a way as not to delay the Communion Rite or distract from the focus at the altar.

What if the priest is sick? If the priest is sick, it’s best that he not preside at the Mass. However, if this is not possible and he must preside while he is sick, the duty of distributing Communion to the assembly can be done by other ordinary ministers: assisting deacons and concelebrants at the Mass. If these are not available, the presiding priest may temporarily refrain from distributing Communion to the assembly in order to prevent the spread of disease, allowing the extraordinary ministers to be the ones to distribute Communion to the assembly.

Keep the holy water fonts clean. On a regular basis, holy water from the fonts at church entrances should be disposed of appropriately, and the containers should be washed, dried, and sanitized with disinfectant before being refilled.

Visiting the sick. All ministers of Holy Communion who visit nursing homes, hospitals, and private homes should wash their hands with soap and water before and after they make their rounds. Between patients they should use hand sanitizer.

Pray for the sick. Especially during cold and flu season, remember to pray for those who are sick, for their caregivers, for those who have died because of sickness, and especially for those who suffer with no one to care for them.



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LEGISLATIVE AGENDA “Promoting Life, Dignity and the Common Good”

he Texas Catholic Conference advocates on behalf of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas for policies and programs that support the life and dignity of every human person from conception through natural death. The bishops believe that every human being is created in God’s image and, without exception, possesses dignity and value. The bishops’ public policy positions are rooted in Catholic social and moral teaching and serve to uphold the sanctity of life; lift up the poor and vulnerable; and help promote the common good.

Protecting Human Life Because we are made in the image of God, there is an inherent value of human life from which all of our social obligations and rights flow. It is the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church that human life is intrinsically valuable and should be protected from conception to natural death. Our foundational principle to protect the life and dignity of all human persons calls us to work to end abortion, prevent euthanasia, stop destruction of human embryos and oppose cloning.

THE BISHOPS SUPPORT: • state funding to abortion alternative providers.

• a ban on all forms of human cloning, while recognizing the life of all human embryos by opposing legislation that would allow cloned embryos to be destroyed. • efforts to restrict judicial bypass in parental consent law. • the protection and improvement of air, land and water quality in Texas.

THE BISHOPS OPPOSE: • all public funding to abortion providers, including funding for contraceptive purposes. • any legislation that would allow or fund embryonic stem cell research.

Children and Families The Catholic Church supports legislation that promotes strong, stable and healthy families. The Church recognizes parents as the primary educators of their children and supports the freedom of parents to choose a school for their children with a safe, produc-

tive learning environment and rejects the notion that a parent’s address and income level should determine a child’s educational or child care opportunities.

THE BISHOPS SUPPORT: • efforts to promote the permanency of marriage for the good of the community. • efforts to ensure access to marriage for undocumented immigrants. • abstinence-only education in Texas schools. • a school choice program of tax credits to ensure equal educational choices for low-income families. • efforts to ensure students who attend Texas public schools have access to in-state college tuition and access to financial aid. • increased access to public and private pre-kindergarten programs. • access to quality, affordable before and after school care for public and private schools.



Justice For Immigrants Catholics derive our special concern for the immigrant from the many biblical accounts of immigration. The Church supports reform of our immigration system that is merciful, charitable and compassionate to those here simply working for a better life, while also recognizing the legitimate responsibility of the federal government to maintain control of our nation’s borders.

THE BISHOPS SUPPORT: • comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to legalization. • improvements to conditions at immigration detention facilities. THE BISHOPS OPPOSE: • local and state entities enforcing federal immigration laws. • efforts to reduce access to education and healthcare for immigrants. • federal and state funding for a fence along the Texas-Mexico border. • efforts that make acquiring Texas drivers’ licenses and identification documents more difficult for immigrants.

The Poor And Vulnerable For 2000 years, the Catholic Church has manifested a special concern for the poor and the vulnerable. The Church is a provider and supporter of services that help those among us most in need of assistance. In these difficult economic times those unable to help themselves are in particular need of society’s compassion. We call on state leaders to craft a balanced approach to solving the budget problems of our state, including seeking revenue to adequately fund needed public services and prepare Texas for the future.

THE BISHOPS SUPPORT: • efforts to increase access to affordable housing. • the creation of regulatory standards


for payday and auto title lending to curb usurious lending practices and prevents a cycle of consumer debt. • safe and dignified working conditions, access to safety training and professional development, fair compensation, and a safety net for workers and their families. • policies to alleviate food insecurity and hunger, including expansion of access to summer nutrition and school breakfast programs and increased access to healthy foods and good nutrition • efforts to end human trafficking and provide care for victims. • legislation that protects all Texans’ right to safe, affordable water essential for life. • legislation that ensures reliable, affordable power for vulnerable Texans

Health and Human Services Along with food, clothing and shelter, health care is a necessary means for the proper development of life. Justice demands that medical and behavioral health care be easily available for all. Under no circumstance should the availability of health care threaten life itself or place restrictions on the right to exercise one’s conscience. Because human beings are sacred, we must ensure that all persons have a safe place to live, enough nutritious food to eat, and adequate income to support themselves. Particular care must be offered to those who have special needs because of age, addiction, physical or mental disability.

THE BISHOPS SUPPORT: • improvements and modernizations of the Medicaid and CHIP eligibility system. • improvements to Texas’ critical public health safety net and infrastructure. • the elimination of all system barriers that delay access to newborn or prenatal care.


• access to basic and preventative health care for low income uninsured women and children, including access to breast and cancer screenings. • efforts to increase access to mental health care. • efforts to reform the current Advance Directives statute to expand the family notification period while maintaining the ethical standards of care and protecting providers’ consciences. • funding for adult stem cell research and for the expansion of the Texas Cord Blood Bank. • care and dignity for persons who are aging or who live with disabilities.

Criminal Justice The task of society should be to restore a sense of civility and responsibility to everyday life, and to promote crime prevention and genuine rehabilitation. The common good is undermined by criminal behavior that threatens the lives and dignity of others and by policies that give up on those who have broken the law. The Church supports fiscal and moral reform in our state’s criminal justice system with an emphasis on ending the death penalty and supporting successful rehabilitation and reintegration of those re-entering society.

THE BISHOPS SUPPORT: • a ban on executions of people who were mentally disabled at the time of the offense. • the chaplain corps within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), including ensuring access to inmates by all chaplains. • efforts to improve access to medical care for the incarcerated in Texas. • efforts to assist in the transition of exoffenders into society, including the opt-out ban on drug felons receiving SNAP and student loans. THE BISHOPS OPPOSE: • the use of the death penalty in Texas.

Civil Discourse: Speaking Truth in Love Cardinal Donald Wuerl Archbishop of Washington


he preacher’s pulpit, the politician’s podium and the print and electronic media all bear some responsibility to encourage a far more civil, responsible and respectful approach to public debate and the discussion of issues in our country today.

Over and over again, we are hearing, in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, that it is time to examine the tenor and tone of debate. Sadly, it took something as tragic as the Tucson shooting to generate a conversation about how we debate issues, especially those that engender great emotion. A wise and ancient Catholic maxim has always insisted that we are to “hate the sin and love the sinner.” At the heart of this time-honored wisdom is the simple recognition that some things are wrong and yet we still distinguish between what is done and who does it. Increasingly, there is a tendency to disparage the name and reputation, the character and life, of a person because he or she holds a different position. The identifying of some people as “bigots” and “hate mongers” simply because they hold a position

contrary to another’s has unfortunately become all too commonplace today. Locally, we have witnessed rhetorical hyperbole that, I believe, long since crossed the line between reasoned discourse and irresponsible demagoguery. It should not be acceptable to denounce someone who favors immigration reform that includes the process to citizenship as a “traitor” and “unpatriotic.” The representatives in federal and state government who voted against the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program or against tax credits for Catholic schools educating minority children should not be labeled in the media as “anti-Catholic bigots” or “racists” since the majority of the children are African American. People and organizations should not be denounced disparagingly as “homophobic” simply because they support the traditional,

worldwide, time-honored definition of marriage. The defaming words speak more about political posturing than about reasoned discourse. Why is it so important that we respect both our constitutional right to free speech and our moral obligation that we not bear false witness against another? A profoundly basic reason is that we do not live alone. While each of us can claim a unique identity, we are, nonetheless, called to live out our lives in relationship with others–in some form of community. All human community is rooted in this deep stirring of God’s created plan within us that brings us into everwidening circles of relationship: first with our parents, then our family, the Church and a variety of community experiences, educational, economic, cultural, social and, of course, political. We are by nature social and tend to come together so that in the vari-

call to truthfulness is far from being a denial of freedom >> The of speech. Rather, it is a God-given obligation to respect

the very function of human speech.



ous communities of which we are a part, we can experience full human development. All of this is part of God’s plan initiated in creation and reflected in the natural law that calls us to live in community. What does this have to do with toning down our rhetoric? Everything! No community, human or divine, political or religious, can exist without trust. At the very core of all human relations is the confidence that members speak the truth to each other. It is for this reason that God explicitly protected the bonds of community by prohibiting falsehood as a grave attack on the human spirit. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Ex 20:16) To tamper with the truth or, worse yet, to pervert it, is to undermine the foundations of human community and to begin to cut the threads that weave us into a coherent human family. The call to truthfulness is far from being a denial of freedom of speech. Rather, it is a God-given obligation to respect the very function of human speech. We are not free to say whatever we want about another, but only what is true. To the extent that freedom is improperly used to sever the bonds of trust that bind us together as a people, to that extent it is irresponsible. The commandment that obliges us to avoid false witness also calls us to tell the truth. We, therefore, have an obligation to ascertain that what we say or hear or read is really the truth. Someone once described a “gossip” as a person who will never tell a lie if a half-truth will do as much harm. When we listen to news accounts or read what is presented in the print and electronic media, we are too often reminded that spin, selecting only some of the facts, highlighting only parts of the picture, has replaced too often an effort to present the facts–the full story. We all know the tragic results


of gossip against which there is little or no defense. In an age of blogs, even the wildest accusations can quickly become “fact.” Gossip is like an insidious infection that spreads sickness throughout the body. These untruths go unchallenged because the persons who are the object of the discussion are usually not present to defend themselves, their views or actions. Irresponsible blogs, electronic and print media stories, and pulpit and podium people-bashing rhetoric can be likened to many forms of anonymous violence. Spin and extremist language should not be embraced as the best this country is capable of achieving. Selecting only some facts, choosing inflammatory words, spinning the story, are activities that seem much more directed to achieving someone’s political purpose rather than reporting events. One side is described as “inquiring minds that want to know” and the other side as “lashing out in response.” We need to look at how we engage in discourse and how we live out our commitment to be a people of profound respect for the truth and our right to express our thoughts, opinions, and positions–always in love. We who follow Christ must not only speak the truth but must do so in love. (Eph 4:15) It is not enough that we know or believe something to be true. We must express that truth in charity with respect for others so that the bonds between us can be strengthened in building up the body of Christ. Freedom of speech and respect for others, freedom of expression and regard for the truth, should always be woven together. This should be true of everyone, whether they speak from a pulpit, a political platform, or through the electronic and print media and other means of social communications.


Ground Rules for Civil Dialogue We are all called to engage in civil dialogue. Here are some possible ground rules for civil dialogue: 1. Make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak. 2. Share your personal experience, not someone else’s. 3. Listen carefully and respectfully. Speak carefully and respectfully. Do not play the role of know-it-all, convincer or corrector. Remember that a dialogue is not a debate. 4. Don’t interrupt unless for clarification or time keeping. 5. Accept that no group or viewpoint has a complete monopoly on the truth. 6. “Be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than condemn it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2478, quoting St. Ignatius of Loyola). 7. Be cautious about assigning motives to another person.

The pill as health care? Father Tadeueusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. Columnist


hysicians will sometimes prescribe a hormonal regimen–in the form of a hormonal contraceptive like the birth control pill–to treat certain gynecological problems like heavy menstrual bleeding, dysmenorrhea (painful periods), PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), endometriosis or other conditions like severe acne. In these cases, the pill is used not as a contraceptive, but as a therapy for a medical condition. This can be morally permissible under the principle of double effect, which allows for the treatment of a serious medical problem–the good effect, while tolerating its unintended consequences, when other less harmful treatments are not available. In this case, the unintended consequences would be the impeding of one’s fertility and the potential health risks and side effects of the pill–the evil effect. Married couples may sometimes struggle with the question of whether a pathology is serious enough to warrant the therapeutic use of the pill.

The wife of one couple I worked with reflected on the matter and concluded, “Yes, the bleeding is intense, and I’m basically wiped out for at least two or three days each month, but it’s not so debilitating that my husband and I can’t manage, and we’d really prefer, morally and medically speaking, not to get mixed up with a powerful pharmaceutical like the pill.” Other treatments beside the pill may at times be available to remedy these medical conditions without having to impede fertility. Some young women, though, may be content to

Making Sense out of

BIOETHICS opt for a treatment that also offers more latitude for sexual activity. Approaching the medical use of the pill in this way can raise concerns about ambiguous intentions. A friend of mine who dated several young women who were on the pill for a medical condition described his own experiences and struggles this way: “Those I know who have done this also tended to be the ones who were sexually active…I believe it does have an effect on one’s psyche and soul. In fact, in the past I’ve dated two women who were doing this and it made it really, really hard at times to be chaste. When I brought up alternative ways to treat something that doesn’t involve the pill, they got very defensive. So I think it definitely blurs a line even in the minds of the most faithful Catholics who rationalize that this is what the doctor ordered.” Lines can blur not only in the minds of those who may be dating,


Lines become further blurred when medical professionals start to insist that the pill, taken purely to avoid pregnancy, is “health care.” It is not, in fact, health care, but a lifestyle decision.



but also in the minds of medical students, who may be taught to prescribe the pill almost reflexively for various gynecological issues rather than addressing the root cause of the problem. As Lili Cote de Bejarano, M.D., has noted, “For most of these conditions, the pill is only treating the woman’s symptoms, while her underlying medical problem–the cause of the symptoms–remains unaddressed and undiagnosed.” Lines become further blurred when medical professionals start to insist that the pill, taken purely to avoid pregnancy, is “health care.” It is not, in fact, health care, but a lifestyle decision. When pregnancy itself would seriously threaten the woman’s life or health–they can opt for periodic abstinence during part of her cycle by assessing various indicators of fertility. This is sometimes referred to under the general heading of “fertility awareness methods,” and offers a morally acceptable, safe and effective approach to spacing children. To sum up, then, the use of the pill for medical–non-contraceptive–purposes requires a disciplined approach to the matter. Alternative medical therapies should be seriously considered, the great good of fertility should be respected, and unspoken sexual agendas should not be allowed to trump the duty to exercise moral responsibility and sound medical judgment. (Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See


The Marriag

“Discriminatio Confusions about “Equality” a George Weigel Columnist


he Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments about the Constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 guarantees that the debate over marriage will be at the forefront of American public life for the foreseeable future.

DOMA defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for purposes of federal law; it says nothing about what states may or may not define as “marriage.” Prop 8 was a voter-initiated correction of the California Supreme Court’s interpretation of that state’s constitution as containing a “right” to same-sex “marriage.” Irrespective of whether the U.S. Supreme Court takes a narrow approach to these cases, or tries to find a “right” to same-sex “marriage” in the U.S. Constitution that would be binding on all the states, the marriage debate will continue. Indeed, if the Court preempts the political process, the marriage debate will likely intensify, just as the right-to-life argument intensified after Roe v. Wade eliminated the abortion laws of every state, 40 years ago; all the more reason, then, to try and clarify some of the issues here. Laws authorizing same-sex “mar-


riage” have been successfully promoted as the equivalent of civil rights laws that ban racial discrimination. Indeed, that’s a large part of the power of the “marriage equality” movement; it has battened onto the one available public moral reference point for “Getting it right in 21st-century American politics”—the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. For almost two centuries, equality before the law had been denied to Americans of African descent; that blatant injustice was challenged by a movement of moral persuasion and legal maneuver; the movement was ultimately vindicated by a change of hearts, minds and statutes. If then, on matters of race, why not now, on the question of who can “marry”? That’s the argument; it has considerable emotive power. But it’s wrong. In their recent book, “What Is

ge Debate I n” nd “Discrimination” Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense,” three Catholic thinkers with Princeton connections—Robert P. George who holds Woodrow Wilson’s old chair at that eminent university, and two of his former students, Sherif Girgis and Ryan Anderson—argue persuasively, and on grounds of reason, that America can’t arrive at a serious answer to the question “Should government redefine marriage to include same-sex partnerships?” by appealing to equality. Why not? Because every marriage policy in every polity known to history draws boundaries, excluding some types of relationships from “marriage.” Parents can’t marry their children. Brothers and sisters can’t marry. People beneath a certain age can’t marry. People who are already married can’t marry. In other words, governments, whether autocratic, aristocratic, mo-

The Catholic Difference

narchical or democratic, have always “discriminated”—i.e., made distinctions—in their marriage laws. And in that sense, there is no “equality” issue in marriage law similar to the equality that racial minorities rightly sought, and won, in the civil rights movement. If marriage law is always going to involve distinctions, the moral and legal/constitutional question is whether the distinction inflicts a “discrimination” that is arbitrary or invidious. Or does the distinction inhere in the very nature of marriage and serve a genuine public good? In 21st-century post-modern culture, it’s hard to make an argument from the “nature” of anything. Try this, though. When the Nov. 2, 2012, issue of Entertainment Weekly refers to “Lincoln” screenwriter Tony Kushner as “the husband of Entertainment Weekly columnist Mark Harris,” aren’t you jarred? Doesn’t something seem,

not just unfamiliar, but mistaken? Do you have the same instinctive reaction—something’s awry here—when reading a London Daily Mail headline from Oct. 23, 2012 that heralded “Ellen Degeneres receives comedy award as her gorgeous wife Portia De Rossi looks on”? For millennia, governments have legally recognized the nature of “marriage” as the stable union of a man and a woman, both because that’s what it is and for good public policy reasons, including the well being of children and the promotion of family life. Does that recognition involve distinctions? Yes. Does it result in injustice? No. (George Weigel is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver, distributes his column.)


. . . every marriage policy in every polity known to history draws boundaries, excluding some types of relationships from “marriage.” Parents can’t marry their children. Brothers and sisters can’t marry. People beneath a certain age can’t marry. People who are already married can’t marry.




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‘The Father Almighty’ Father Patrick Serna Contributor


n this prayerful reflection over the Nicene Creed, we look at our belief in “…the Father Almighty.”

We have many stories about and by God the Son, but the same cannot be said of God the Father. Relating to a Father-God who is not incarnate can sometimes be challenging. For some, God the Father might appear to be more of an observer, but that is farthest from the truth.

This inquiry is distinctively human.” (CCC 285) Our God is not the father-god of Greek mythology, Chronos, who ate his own babies. Nor is our father-god the abstract god of Plato, who was referred to as “The Good,” by which the “forms” participated in being. Aristotle’s principle of existence was referred to as the abstract “Unmoved Mover,” and the imaginary god of the

Our Catholic Faith

Aztecs was an angry bloodthirsty one. Our God the Father is at once in the here and now while also mysteriously out there in the unknown beyond. There is an ancient story about a The Nicene Creed tells us that powerful king surrounded by elite solour God is a father, and in diers who was being carried Holy Scripture the Lord through a large crowd. A boy Almighty tells us “I will was pushing his way through be a father to you, and the crowd of “important you shall be my sons and people,” not caring much daughters…” In the Gosfor their clout and prestige. I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and pel of Matthew, Jesus tells As the boy neared the litter earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord us that we are to pray to that carried the king, one of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father our Father in Heaven. (2 the soldiers scowled and told before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from Cor 6:18; Mt 6:9) Three the boy that the king could true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; times in the New Testanot be approached in such an through Him all things were made. For us men and for our ment God the Father is reinformal manner. The boy salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit ferred to as “abba,” which responded, “For you, that was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our is the familiar way to say powerful man is the king. For sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death “father” in Aramaic. (Rom me, that king is also my lovand was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance 8:15; Gal 4:6; Mk 14:36) ing dad. Get out of my way.” with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at The Catechism of the Knowing and loving the the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to Catholic Church sheds king as a dad did not underlight on the human longing judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no mine any power or might, for knowing whence we all rather, this personal dynamic end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life, who came. “Ancient religions made those attributes more proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and cultures produced personal. Similarly, knowand the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through many myths concerning ing and loving God as a the Prophets. I believe in one holy, Catholic, and apostolic origins… All these attempts personal Father allows us to Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I bear witness to the perappreciate His omnipotence look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the manence and universality and almightiness more with world to come. Amen. of the question of origins. our hearts and not just our

The Father

Nicene Creed



>>Our Father God is a true God of time and

non-time; He loves, He gives and He forgives. Best of all, our loving God the Father is real... intellects. Our Father God is a true God of time and non-time; He loves, He gives and He forgives. Best of all, our loving God the Father is real, unlike the other fictional ones out there.

The Almighty The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes an interesting observation about the word “almighty,” as used in the Nicene Creed. “Of all the divine attributes, only God’s omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives.” (CCC 268) In several years as a pastor, and one year as a full time hospital chaplain, I have seen time and time again how the “almighty” attribute of God can be questioned or even doubted. When tragedy strikes by way of illness or death of a loved one, isn’t one of our first questions usually: “But if God is such a powerful caring God, then why did it happen?” In the Old Testament, God gives us the story about Abraham and Isaac. While it is a true story about Abraham and Isaac, it is also a story rich in symbols, which points to the story of God the Father and God the Son. In this account we see the father of an only son lead the way to a height, where there will be a sacrifice. (Gn 22:1-13) The place of sacrifice was approached from travelling on a donkey. There were two other men with Isaac, and Isaac was carrying wood for the


sacrifice. Abraham was torn up, about to watch his son die, but he would let it happen because of his trusting faith, which was greater than his understanding. Abraham had to watch his son cooperate with his own sacrificial death, who for complex reasons chose not to use his strength to prevent this sacrificial death. Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us to first read biblical stories on the literal level and then go on to find various meanings on other levels. This account of Abraham and Isaac is a literally true story, but there are more interpretations than just the literal one. Like Isaac, Jesus carried the wood for his own sacrifice and was killed on a height, there were two men on each side of Jesus during the sacrificial death, and God the Father had to watch this brutal event with much sorrow and grieving, in the same way Abraham had to almost watch his son die. If you can appreciate the torture and grief for father Abraham as he watched his only beloved son almost die, then you also have sympathy for the suffering of God the Father who DID have to watch His only beloved Son die. The Catechism tells us, “Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary hu-


miliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil.” (CCC 272) It is by the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can make sense of all other human tragedies. The only ladder to Heaven on Easter Sunday is the Cross of Good Friday, there is no resurrection without the paradox of the cross, and the cross means nothing unless there is a resurrection. We might never understand the almightiness of God vis-a-vis the crosses of tragedies and weakness, but believing is not the same thing as understanding. We do not have to understand, but we must believe. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) Our Father-God is powerful and almighty, but He has an almighty love and affection for us as well. “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.” (Mt 10:29) Biblical scholars have remarked, “falls to the ground” means something more along the lines of, “alights on the ground” or “dances on the ground.” Imagine that! A Father-God who is paying close enough attention to notice every time a little sparrow lands and dances on the ground, only to land and dance again! Then, to drive the point home even more, about God’s almighty tenderness for us, we are reminded, “So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Mt 10:31) Here, fellow Catholics is the God the Father we believe in.

The veneration of relics often misunderstood Father Francisco Lopez Pastor, Immaculate Conception Church in Taft


Catholic tradition that is oftentimes misunderstood by Catholics and non-Catholics alike is the veneration of relics. There is a notion that in and of itself the physical element of a relic, i.e. the bone of a saint, a piece of cloth or tool associated with a saint, is the source of grace. This notion may give rise to the idea that there is something “magical” about a relic thereby rendering the practice superstitious. A common objection raised by non-Catholics is that the practice of venerating relics is not biblical. They also do not accept the idea that spiritual reality can be communicated through physical reality. All of these points of view are erroneous and can cause much confusion to the faithful. We can arrive at a better understanding of the use of relics both through the Church’s venerable tradition and Holy Scripture. It must be understood that the physical relic in and of itself does not contain the power of God’s grace, for God’s supernatural power is not subject to physical matter. When it is said that someone has received a miraculous cure “from”

a saint’s relic what is in fact meant is that God has performed a miracle “through” contact with a relic. Sacred Scripture records such events where people experience a miracle through physical contact with an object associated with a holy person. In the Old Testament, a dead man is restored to life when his remains come into contact with the bones of Elisha (2 Kgs 13:20-21). In the New Testament, the sick were laid out in the streets in the hope that St. Peter’s shadow might fall across them and heal them (Acts 5:14-16). Ha n d ke r c h i e f s a n d a p r o n s touched by St. Paul were taken to the sick, who were cured of their illness and evil spirits fled from them (Acts 19: 11-12). The Gospels present two particular instances where Christ performs a miraculous cure through material objects that had been touched by Him. First, the woman with a hemorrhage who touches Jesus’ cloak is cured of her illness. Jesus turns to her and says, “Courage my daughter, your faith has saved you.” (Mt. 9:2022) Second, the man born blind, for whom Jesus mixes His own spittle with dirt and applies the mud to the man’s eyes. The man is cured and he attributes the miracle to God who comes to aid His faithful followers (Jn 9:2-34). Neither of these two miracles are attributed to the actual cloak that Jesus wore nor to the mud that He

made. They are attributed to the faith of individuals who devoutly do God’s will. These examples are proof of how people in biblical times understood that God could effect a miracle through the use of relics. The veneration of relics continued in the Church and is seen as early as A.D. 156 with the martyrdom of St. Polycarp. After he was burned at the stake Christians took his bones and put them in a special place where they could gather to honor his martyrdom. Many centuries later in response to the iconoclast heresy, which sought to abolish the tradition of venerating holy images, the Council of Nicaea in 787 decreed that relics were to be placed in every Church. Furthermore, the Council decreed that no Church could be consecrated without relics. In response to questions raised by the Reformers, the Council of Trent (A.D. 1563) decreed that the holy bodies of martyrs and other saints who are now glorified in heaven are




...the physical relic in and of itself does not contain the power of God’s grace, for God’s supernatural power is not subject to physical matter. to be venerated by the faithful for through these bodies God bestows many blessings on men. This timeline of events demonstrates how across the millennia the Church has understood and encouraged the practice of venerating relics; it does so to this day. What about the authenticity of a relic? The Church does not officially pronounce any particular relic, even those of the true cross, to be authentic. However, a relic’s authenticity can be determined by considering its historical context.

It is much easier to establish authenticity if a saint was well known and to know the post mortem account of the treatment of his or her remains. When it is established that a relic is genuine the Church will offer its approbation for the relic to be venerated. Relics are categorized into three classes. The first class is designated to an actual body or body part of a saint. The second class is associated to a piece of clothing worn by the saint or some other article that he or she used. The third class is linked to an object touched up to a first

class relic. Skeptics will always raise their questions and many will tr y to relegate the veneration of relics to the realm of idolatry. However, the wisdom of both Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of Holy Mother Church is not on the side of the skeptic. We are encouraged to faithfully venerate the holy relics seeking to, first and foremost, emulate the life of that saint. It is in seeking to live a saintly life where we shall be most blessed by our Heavenly Father.


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PAX Christi


Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS Columnist


nder the direction of Bishop Thomas J. Drury, Mother Teresa Santoya founded the Pax Christi Sisters in the Diocese of Corpus Christi on July 19, 1969. The order was initially named the Society of Christian Social Service. Mother Teresa and the sisters who joined her were originally members of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor, a religious congregation founded in Mexico. Mother Teresa had served in this congregation for 21 years, and during that time she demonstrated her love and compassion for the poor, especially for those closest to her–the children she cared for in a Laredo, Texas orphanage. On Nov. 3, 1968, while living in an orphanage in Laredo, Mother Teresa was

faced with the challenge of changing her status as a religious. Providence intervened and that afternoon, the bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi was in Laredo, and Mother Teresa and a contingent of her religious sisters met with him and with the dean of Laredo to discuss their situation. The result of the meeting was the birth of a new religious community of which Mother Teresa was the founding superior. The members of the budding community were invited by Bishop Drury to come to Corpus Christi, which they did in the first week of January 1969. On July 19, 1969, they signed the statement of the dispensation from their vows in their original community and immediately afterwards, in the presence of Bishop Drury, they professed the first vows of their new religious community which would be known as the Society of Christian Social Service. On Nov. 3, 1982, Bishop Drury responded positively to the formal petition of the sisters to be established as a new faith community and changed

their title from Society of Christian Social Services to Pax Christi Institute. The charism of their community is described as contemplative/apostolic, through which they endeavor to serve as an enabling instrument of peace to the Pax Christi members in the pursuit of the attainment of perfect love–oneness with God. Their spirituality is based on the Scriptural quote “As you, Father, are in me, and I in you, I pray that they may be one in us,” and the Pax Christi Prayer is voiced as “Jesus lives in me; I live in Jesus. Jesus and I are one.” Their ministry is to take the Good News of Jesus Christ–the peace of Christ–to all humankind. The sisters see their apostolate as twofold. Through their spiritual apostolate they endeavor to lead the people of God to a profound understanding of the Mass, even as, through sharing the Pax Christi spirituality, they endeavor to bring about the salvific love mission of Jesus, described in the words, “That all may be one.” Through their apostolic apostolate they endeavor to share truth and love with all those whom they serve. The Pax Christi Sisters endeavor to help those in very diverse needs. Food, clothing and shelter

>> The sisters see their apostolate as two-

fold. Through their spiritual apostolate they endeavor to lead the people of God to a profound understanding of the Mass...



are often provided for those who do not have them. From 1970 to 1982, they operated a residence for girls, within which the staff was committed to the attainment of the highest ideals in providing the very best toward achieving the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of needy children. In 1985, a new ministry began. Vacant houses were purchased, remodeled and presented to families. From 1985 to 2011, more than 40 houses were presented to those who needed them. The sisters serve at Saint Mary’s Mission in Corpus Christi, provide vocation retreats and have a religious goods store which they find is a good source for counseling and evangelization. At present, they are in the process of constructing a Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. The Sisters see the mission of this center as a commitment to strengthen the faith of the participants by sharing the values of the Pax Christi spirituality, especially “Oneness in the Lord,” and by creating a sacred place where Christ may be encountered and faith renewed. The Pax Christi Sisters have expanded their ministries beyond the limits of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Pax Christi Sisters now minister in San Antonio, in Brenham, Texas, the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia–where they have their house of studies, the Bronx, New York and in two Mexican dioceses, Querétaro and Michoacán. As of August 2011, two of their members are in Rome, participating in the Liturgy Program in Sant’Anselmo. “With faith, hope and love, in oneness with Our Lord

Rendering of Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center currently under construction. Pax Christi Sisters

Jesus Christ, we continue our journey in prayerful service to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ, through His people,” a Pax Christi Sister said.

FEBRUARY LITURGICAL CALENDAR Feb. 1 Fri Weekday | green | Heb 10:32-39/Mk 4:26-34 (321) Feb. 2 Sat The Presentation of the Lord | white | Feast | Mal 3:1-4/Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32 (524) Pss Prop Feb. 3 SUN FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Jer 1:4-5, 17-19/1 Cor 12:31—13:13 or 13:4-13/ Lk | 4:21-30 (72) Pss IV Feb. 4 Mon Weekday | green | Heb 11:32-40/Mk 5:1-20 (323) Feb. 5 Tue Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 12:1-4/Mk 5:21-43 (324) Feb. 6 Wed Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial | Heb 12:4-7, 11-15/Mk 6:1-6 (325) Feb. 7 Thu Weekday | green | Heb 12:18-19, 21-24/Mk 6:7-13 (326)


Feb. 8 Fri Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Jerome Emiliani; Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin] Heb 13:1-8/ Mk 6:14-29 (327)

Feb. 14 Thu Thursday after Ash Wednesday | violet [Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop] Dt 30:15-20/Lk 9:22-25 (220)

Feb. 9 Sat Weekday | green/white [BVM] Heb 13:15-17, 20-21/Mk 6:30-34 (328)

Feb. 15 Fri Friday after Ash Wednesday violet | Is 58:1-9a/Mt 9:14-15 (221)

Feb. 10 SUN FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Is 6:1-2a, 3-8/1 Cor 15:1-11 or 15:3-8, 11/Lk 5:111 (75) Pss I Feb. 11 Mon Weekday | green/white [Our Lady of Lourdes] Gn 1:1-19/Mk 6:53-56 (329) Feb. 12 Tue Weekday | green | Gn 1:20—2:4a/Mk 7:1-13 (330) Feb. 13 Wed Ash Wednesday | violet | Jl 2:12-18/2 Cor 5:20—6:2/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (219) Pss IV


Feb. 16 Sat Saturday after Ash Wednesday | violet | Is 58:9b-14/Lk 5:27-32 (222)

Doctor of the Church] Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25/Mt 7:7-12 (227) Feb. 22 Fri The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle | white | Feast | 1 Pt 5:1-4/ Mt 16:13-19 (535) Pss Prop Feb. 23 Sat Lenten Weekday violet {Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr] Dt 26:16-19/Mt 5:43-48 (229)

Feb. 17 SUN FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Dt 26:4-10/Rom 10:8-13/ Lk 4:1-13 (24) Pss I

Feb. 24 SUN SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Gn 15:5-12, 17-18/Phil 3:17—4:1 or 3:20—4:1/Lk 9:28b-36 (27) Pss II

Feb. 18 Mon Lenten Weekday | violet | Lv 19:1-2, 11-18/Mt 25:31-46 (224)

Feb. 25 Mon Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 9:4b-10/Lk 6:36-38 (230)

Feb. 19 Tue Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 55:10-11/Mt 6:7-15 (225)

Feb. 26 Tue Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 1:10, 16-20/Mt 23:1-12 (231)

Feb. 20 Wed Lenten Weekday | violet | Jon 3:1-10/Lk 11:29-32 (226)

Feb. 27 Wed Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 18:18-20/Mt 20:17-28 (232)

Feb. 21 Thu Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and

Feb. 28 Thu Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 17:5-10/Lk 16:19-31 (233)

FEBRUARY CALENDAR Mass for the Evangelization of Cultures Come and join in this celebration of international food, music, and prayer on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. For more information, please contact Jaime Reyna at (361) 882-6191. Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to carry a country’s flag and bring an ethnic food to share at the reception.

10th Anniversary Celebration On Feb. 2, join Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Consecration of Our Lady of Corpus Christi Adoration Chapel on 1200 Lantana in Corpus Christi. A dinner reception will follow Mass at 6 p.m.

Theology on Tap: Life Choices Part 1 On Feb. 5, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Carino’s Italian Restaurant located at 1652 SPID in Corpus Christi join us as guest speaker, Sister Anna Marie Espinosa, IWBS, takes us through a two-part series on making life choices and discerning our vocations. Dinner will be provided. For more information go to or email Adam Koll at

Viva Las Vegas On Saturday, Feb. 2, from 6–10:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn – Airport, located at 5549 Leopard St. in Corpus Christi. Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School will host the Second Annual Casino Night. There will be dinner, casino tables, a silent auction and a cash bar. For more information or to purchase tickets call (361) 877-1448.

IWA Middle Level Open House On Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. at Incarnate Word Academy Middle School Level. For more information (361) 883-0857, ext. 113.

True Beauty On Feb. 9, from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. at St. Pius X Youth Building. One day retreat for middle school girls. Sponsored by the Office of Life, Justice and Human Dignity and the Office of Youth Ministry. RSVP by Feb. 7 to Tina Villegas at (361) 882-6191. Go to to find out more.

Night of Mardi Gras On Feb. 11 from 6–9 p.m. at the Richard Borchard Fairground Ballroom, located at 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd. in Robstown.

Join Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey and World Youth Day Pilgrims to a dinner fund raiser with music, auction and testimonies. To purchase your tickets, call the Office of Youth Ministry at (361) 882-6191. There will be a $25 donation per ticket. This event is sponsored by the Office of Vocations and the Office of Youth Ministry.

Catholic Christianity: A Journey Through the YOUCAT

Freedom to Love

On Feb. 14 join Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry through a weekly DVDseries on Theology of the Body for young adults (18-35). Thursdays from 10–11 a.m. and 2–3 p.m. For more information go to or email Adam Koll at

Cathedral Rummage Sale

On Feb. 11 from 7:30–9:30 p.m. join the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry to discuss Catholic beliefs and practices with the help of the YOUCAT, a new catechism for young adults. For more information go to or email Adam Koll at

On Feb Feb. 15 15-17 17 from 8 a a.m.-6 m 6p p.m. m at Cor Corpus Christi Cathedral Parish Hall located in the basement of the Cathedral. The sale will feature quality furniture, house wares, appliances, toys, sporting goods, hardware, and much more. The Corpus Christi Cathedral is located at 505 N. Upper Broadway. Please contact Donald Harris at 883-4213 ext. 27 with any questions.

IWA H. School Level Word 101 Open House

Free storm-spotting seminar

On Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. St. Martin’s Parish in Kingsville is hosting this free seminar at the parish hall, located at 715 North 8th Street.

On Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. Incarnate Word Academy located on 2920 S. Alameda, in Corpus Christi welcomes prospective parents and families to visit the IWA campus during its high school level open houses. For more information call (361) 883-0857, ext. 112.

IWBS Come and See Event

On Feb. 23 beginning at 8:45 a.m.–3 p.m. the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament invite you to learn about consecrated life. Meet at the IWBS Convent, located at 2930–3030 S. Alameda in Corpus Christi. For information, please contact Sister Anna Marie Espinosa, IWBS at (361) 774-4910, or by E-mailing Also, visit the IWBS Web Site at

Blessed JPII Open House On Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at Blessed John Paul II High School.

Valentines Dance On Feb. 8 from 8 p.m.–12 a.m. at Crystal Reception Hall on 2033 Airline Road at Holly (C-3 Windchase Shopping Center) in Corpus Christi, Our Lady of Guadalupe Missionaries presents ‘Dance The Night Away,’ the 13th Annual Valentines’ Dance. For tickets call (361) 815-0313 or (361) 815-1518.

The Melchizedek Project

On Feb. 23 from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish in the Works of Mercy Building. The Parish is located at 3210 South Padre Island Drive in Corpus Christi.

Women’s Cursillo (English)

St. Paul’s Ethnic Festival On Saturday Feb. 9 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Paul, the Apostle Church on 2233 Waldron Road in Flour Bluff. Highlights include World Cuisine (American, Italian, Filipino, Polish, Irish, Mexican, Korean, and Puerto Rican); silent and live auctions; big car display; arts and crafts, country store, children’s games and live entertainment. Call (361) 353-4233 for more information.

A Women’s Cursillo will be held from Feb. 28–March 3 at the Corpus Christi Cursillo Center located at 1200 Lantana in Corpus Christi. For more information, call Pre-Cursillo Chairperson Gloria Franco, at (361) 249-2450.

To see more calendar events go to:

‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ Classes at OLPH On Feb. 11 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Hall. Mass begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.

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2013 CATHOLIC STEWARDSHIP APPEAL My brothers & sisters in Christ, This past year the Diocese of Corpus Christi undertook an extraordinary effort in raising 18.5 million dollars in pledges for the Legacy of Faith ~ Future of Hope Capital and Endowment Campaign over the next 5 years. The response from the people of our diocese has been both remarkable and inspirational in meeting this challenge, and I am grateful for this generosity. The historic effort of the Legacy of Faith ~ Future of Hope also brings a sense of gratitude and renewed enthusiasm in the ministries of our church. These ministries rely on the sacrificial giving of the Catholic Stewardship Appeal. The Catholic Stewardship Appeal is unique and differing from the Legacy of Faith ~ Future of Hope, since this appeal serves our diocese by funding the annual operational costs of our diocesan ministries. Through the generosity and leadership of the priests, religious and laity throughout our diocese we have been able to support a multitude of ministries, which benefit thousands of people in our community.

Some of these ministries include: • Catholic School Support • Clergy Support • Evangelization & Parish Ministry Support • Social Services & Outreach (Catholic Charities & Mother Teresa Shelter) • Vocations & Seminary Support • Young Adult & Campus Ministry Support

Once again, I come to you in gratitude and hope that you will be able to assist our diocese in strengthening our parishes through ministries, resources, training and education. I ask that you pray, support and give a sacrificial gift of any size that will help us achieve our goal of 1.613 million dollars. Together we can better serve the people of our diocese, and continue to grow our church. May God bless you and provide for all your needs, Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi





February 2013 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191

United States






St Paul the Apostle Catholic Church

20th annual ethnic festival WORLD CUISINE •Arts & Crafts •Games •Auto Show •Live & Silent Auction •Country Store

Mass Times St Paul’s Saturday Vigil 5pm in Flour Bluff 2233 Waldron Rd 361-937-3864

Sundays 8:30am, 11am & 6pm

saturday, feb. 9th, 11 to 4pm

fun for the whole family and food for every taste! Philippines


S. Korea


Puerto Rico




Profile for South Texas Catholic

South Texas Catholic - February 2013  

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 - February 2013  

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...

Profile for diocesecc