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Our Lady of Corpus Christi

Saturday, March 1, 2014 Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds Social at 6:30 p.m. • Dinner at 7 p.m. Speaker: Father Dan Estes, SOLT

Music provided by: Corpus Christi Chamber Ensemble Emcee: KLUX General Manager, Marty Wind

VIP Corporate Sponsors Diamond Level - $5,000.00 Ruby Level - $2,500.00 Emerald Level - $1,000.00 Sapphire Level - $600.00 Individual Guest Seat - $60.00

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For more information call: (361) 289-9095 or go to |  FEBRUARY 2014 SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  www.olcc-banquet.eventbrite.com


ON THE

VOL. 49 NO. 2 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas ACardenas@diocesecc.org

COVER

28

Eagle Scout Andrew Montgomery from St. Patrick’s Parish in Corpus Christi installed statue of the Holy Family at Holy Family

Parish in Taft. February is the month of devotion to the Holy Family. Photo by Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez, JCL JLopez@diocesecc.org

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Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org

Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrates Mass at the Ministry Conference in the American Bank Center. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Web Coordinator Julissa Hernandez JHernandez@diocesecc.org Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera ARivera@diocesecc.org Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, Valerie Cancino Timothy Hatch, Luisa Scolari, Robbie McGuinness 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: stc@diocesecc.org www.southtexascatholic.com FAX: (361) 693-6701

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

If you wish to read our Spanish language articles in English visit our Web site southtexascatholic.com and use the Google language translator. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio web southtexascatholic.com y utilice el traductor de idiomas Google.

Keeping up with the Faith...

www.SouthTexasCatholic.com

NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE

PARISH LIFE

Pope Francis sets new tone for the New Evangelization�����������������������������������������������������4

Family best describes Holy Family Parish ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 28

NEWS BRIEFS

NATIONAL NEWS

Black Madonna coming to Corpus Christi ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11

Brain-dead patients prompt new questions about end-of-life decisions��������������� 30

VIDA CATÓLICA

VATICAN

Al pesar de sufrimientos, familias immigrantes ponen a Dios primero�������������������� 13

Pope says abortion, hunger, environmental damage threatens peace ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 38

VOCATIONS

VIEWPOINTS

Vocations are calls to build up God’s kingdom, pope says in message������������������������� 16

Violinist violence���������������������������������������������� 40

CATHOLIC EDUCATION

OUR FAITH

Holy Family School provides quality, spiritual education�������������������������������������������������� 22

The Holy Family, God’s gift to humanity ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 45 FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  3  


Commissioned and re-commissioned catechists stand in recognition of their completion of the St. Paul School of Catechesis program. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Pope Francis sets new tone for the New Evangelization By Alfredo E. Cardenas

P

South Texas Catholic

ope Francis’ recently published exhortation on the “Joy of the Gospel” provides a new direction for the New Evangelization. That was the message participants at the 25th annual diocesan ministry conference received from Bishop Michael Mulvey and the conference’s keynote speaker, Peter Murphy, Ph.D. “We do not walk through the world to condemn for baptism. They are welcomed,” Bishop Mulvey said. the world or to join the world. We are here to serve… He urged those in parish ministry to open their our life is about service, evangelizing, bringing the doors and invite people back to the church. “Thank good news to others” Bishop Mulvey said to nearly God they have returned home, do not greet them 900 catechists at the American Bank Center. with rules and doctrine. That’s not how we welcome He told them that Pope God’s children home,” he To hear podcasts of Bishop Mulvey’s homily Francis calls us to be mission- and Dr. Murphy’s keynote address go to said. ary disciples, not just disciples. www.diocesecc.org/ministrypodcasts The bishop outlined “The Holy Father redefines us two steps to be missionas missionary disciples who walk through this world ary disciples in parishes. First, he said, pray for others. reaching others; a child in a classroom, a teenager in “Jesus never called anybody a name, neither should a group, an alienated couple who comes to the parish we. Don’t condemn. Don’t judge others,” Bishop

4  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


Mulvey said. The second step is to revitalize parish life as a place of welcome. Parish renewal has been at the heart of Bishop Mulvey’s mission since becoming bishop of Corpus Christi. “Our parishes are in the midst of neighborhoods. We cannot create rules where people do not feel welcomed. Parishes must be places of joy,” he said. “A parish is not a place filled with self-serving groups. Groups must serve not be caught up in their own agendas. Who de we serve? The poor,” he said. The poor in parishes are people in nursing homes, in jails, the homeless, misguided youths and families that are falling apart. Everyone in the parish is responsible for the poor, not just priests, deacons and religious. Bishop Mulvey said he would be working to promote this effort in the coming years. Murphy, who serves as executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, told attendees “there is so much excitement in the church today.” “Our faith is starting to remake the culture. It’s up to us to take the Holy Father’s message to a new level and explain what he is saying,” Murphy said. He reminded catechists that Pope Francis always starts with a prayer. “That’s a good example for us in our work. The New Evangelization requires continuous outpouring of the Holy Spirit…we need to keep turning to our Lord as we falter.” Like Bishop Mulvey, Murphy urged parish workers to invite their brothers and sisters who have strayed from the church to return home. He urged catechists to go outside of their religious education classrooms and find that child that does not know how to make the sign of the cross. “We all get comfortable. The Holy Father is not letting us stay there; he is challenging us. We cannot just stay in our parishes; he is calling us to go out to the periphery, to the margins, to those who have never heard the Gospel,” Murphy said. He said Pope Francis’s plan is the same as that of Jesus Christ. Evangelization is not meant to be hitting someone over the head with the Gospel. It is not meant to be in your face. “It is sharing the love and hope of the Gospel that we have in our hearts,” he said. Murphy said that the New Evangelization affords Catholics an opportunity to deepen their faith in

Christ, to grow in confidence with the Gospels. It is a new way of being church. “There has been a breakdown in how Catholics share their faith. We need to repropose the Gospel to those who have lost their faith, who no longer live as Christians, in our families, in our parishes,” Murphy said. Secularization has pushed faith from the public square, he said. It has been shunned and pushed to the outskirts of society. Marriage and family are under attack, requiring Catholics to explain those things anew. Murphy cited a study that found that only 23 per- Keynote speaker, cent of Catholics attend Mass on Sunday. “We’re so Peter Murphy, busy we don’t have time for Mass,” he said. Health Ph.D. told and disabilities are obstacles keeping people from attendees to be Mass. Family responsibilities, such as soccer games genuine and pasor scout meetings on Sunday, also keep people away sionate witnesses from church. Sunday is no longer reserved for the to their Catholic faith. Lord, he said. Conflicts with work is another reason Mary Cottingham, people are staying away from Sunday Mass. Others do not believe it is a sin to miss Mass on Sunday. People South Texas Catholic no longer believe they are religious people. Pope Francis tells catechists that sometimes they are too concerned about relaxation and their free time instead of sharing their faith with others. Sometimes they suffer from an inferiority complex, and struggle with relativism. This results in poorly done activities. The great pragmatism of our day is wearing down people’s faith. They wrestle with defeatism, thinking they cannot win. The pope reassures us that it’s okay; it’s normal, Murphy said. “He challenges us to reencounter the Lord and keep striving to follow the Lord,” he said. Who is called to the New Evangelization, he asked? “All of us. None of us are called to be passive; we must be active in the New Evangelization. We all have capabilities to spread the Gospel. You must be genuine, must be To see more photos of this event passionate and need to witness your faith. It’s not about using theological terms or doctrine. It’s about talking to people’s hearts, to share the joy of the Gospel,” www.SouthTexasCatholic.com/Ministry Murphy said.

SouthTexasCatholic.com

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  5  


One Day Workshop with Karlo Broussard ...Christian Home-like Living in a Senior Setting

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4130 S. Alameda St. Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

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Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 from 9-4 p.m.

Karlo Broussard is an Apologist and speaker for the Magis Center of Reason and Faith, presenting “Evidence for God from Physics and Philosophy.” $50 per person (lunch included). Discounted rates for Church groups.

Must pre-register at www.magiscenter.com, email: speakers@ magisreasonfaith.org or call (509) 669-1981 by Feb. 2.

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The Law Offices

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(361) 884-2411

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6  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

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

Office: 361-882-8284 Cell: 361-739-1098 Fax: 361-881-1031 clay@bonillalaw.com


NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE

Architect’s rendering of the future Spirit Center. Contributed Photo

Spirit Center is dream of Incarnate Word Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament By Mary Cottingham

T

South Texas Catholic

he Fannie Bluntzer Nason Renewal Center, also known as The Spirit Center, has raised more than $1.7 million for Phase II construction of its retreat center located between Corpus Christi and Orange Grove. The project is a vision of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Long-range plans call for the retreat center to provide overnight accommodations for at least 96 people. Phase I construction consisted of raising $2.6 million for a feasibility study, engineering and architectural design and building a

pavilion, bathrooms and campsites. Phase I was completed in February 2013. The pavilion is currently available for oneday retreats. Many people are “lost and empty… sleepwalking through life,” the Spirit

Center’s promotional materials state. The purpose of developing a retreat center for the community is to get “back to the spiritual center, to the core of who we are.” The Spirit Center is intended to

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  7  


provide a venue for groups such as “Journey to Damascus,” “ACTS,” “Walk to Emmaus,” youth-groups, businesses and other organizations that can benefit by getting back to nature and their “spiritual center”, away from the busyness of life. “A great secret of a retreat is your not giving five minutes or an hour, your really focusing on the relationship with God and the reality of God over an extended period of time,” Father Bob Dunn said. According to the Spirit Center’s executive director Sherry Bowers, they are in

the process of raising the funds needed for Phase II, which will include a dining hall, activity center and two dormitories. Part of this fundraising effort included the Jan. 10 Second Annual Spirit Center Celebrity Dinner hosted by the staff of the Fannie Bluntzer Nason Renewal Center, which included many high-profile people serving as waiters for the event. Among the celebrity waiters were Father Tom Goodwin, Assistant Chief of Police Jesse Garcia, President of Incarnate Word Academy Charles Imbergamo and Robert and Chris Adler, to name a few.

The landscape at the Spirit Center provides the

Bishop Michael Mulvey gave the invocation at the dinner, and officers of the King High School Royalettes performed a routine for guests. Stressing the need in the community to have a place that youth can deepen their faith, Incarnate Word Academy high school student Austin DeGaish appealed to The Spirit Center’s executive director Sherry Bowers, left, and board member Andy Crocker hold up a three dimensional model of the future retreat center. Contributed Photo

8  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


solitude conducive to a retreat center. Contributed Photo

them to be generous. “I definitely see a need for The Spirit Center. When you give to The Spirit Center what you are really giving is transformation, rebirth, renewal and an opportunity for renewal. It’s us coming together as a community to make the vision that God has placed on our hearts a reality,” said Hester Rodriguez, owner of Hester’s Cafe. Phase III construction will entail raising about $1.5 million to build a conference center. Also funds raised will go toward creating outdoor activities like meditation areas and nature trails built

with the possibility of adding a swimming pool, volleyball courts, ropes course and more. The final phase, Phase IV, will consist of building a welcome center, a lobby with offices, 96 more rooms with beds, closets and bathrooms and a paved parking lot for cars and buses. A chapel will also be built that can seat about 300 people. The entire project relies heavily on donors and may take years before completion. The Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament have wanted the building of The Spirit Center to be debt free, so the costs of renting will not be a

burden to users. The future overnight retreat center is located on 110 acres of property once owned by Fannie Bluntzer Nason who willed it to Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in 1964. The Spirit Center’s central location makes it accessible to everyone in south Texas. It will be open to people of other faiths and businesses throughout the community. To rent the Pavilion or find out more information contact the Spirit Center at (361) 888-7537 or spiritcenter@ bluntzerspiritcenter.org.

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  9  


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ANNUITIES · IRAs · ROLLOVERS

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

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10  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


Black Madonna coming to Corpus Christi St. Joseph Church and Our Lady of Corpus Christi will host the traveling icon of the “Black Madonna” of Czestochowa on Feb. 25 as the image makes it way around the world. The image is on a worldwide journey to encourage prayer for Our Lady’s help in the defense of the most vulnerable and to ask her intercession for the protection of the family and the sanctity of all human life. The Black Madonna will be at St. Joseph Church (710 S. 19th Street) in Corpus Christi on Feb. 25. A procession is planned to the abortion clinic on Morgan Avenue after celebrating Mass. That evening it will be taken to Our Lady of Corpus Christi where it will stay overnight and depart for Panna Maria then to San Antonio the next day. For more up to date information call St. Joseph Parish at (361) 882-7912.

NEWS BRIEFS

First Friday will host ecumenical prayer service for breast cancer sufferers First Friday, a local volunteer organization dedicated to education about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, will hold an inter-faith prayer service to honor, remember and pray for friends and family members who have been touched by breast cancer. The service will take place on Friday, Feb. 7, in the sanctuary of Corpus Christi First United Methodist Church (900 South Shoreline) at 7:30 a.m. This year’s event theme is “quilting” and breast-cancer survivors will share their inspirational stories about “Piecing Our Lives Together After Breast Cancer”. Through First Friday’s efforts, partnering with CHRISTUS Spohn hospitals all around the Coastal bend, mammograms are provided free of charge year-round to medically underserved women who may not otherwise be able to afford them. This prayer service has been held annually for nearly 10 years. For additional information about First Friday, or about the free mammogram services, visit their Web site at www.firstfridaycc.org.

Mass celebrates cultural diversity The Diocese of Corpus Christi celebrated its annual Mass for the Evangelization of Cultures in Corpus Christi Cathedral on Jan. 17. Bishop Michael Mulvey was the main celebrant and was joined by other priests from the diocese, including Father Rogel “Ogie” Rosalinas, SOLT who was also the guest homilist. A rosary and a procession of flags preceded the Mass. The general intercessions were delivered in Malayalam (a language spoken in India), Italian, Spanish, American Sign Language, Tagalog (a language spoken in the Philippines) and Igbo (a language spoken in Nigeria). To see more photos of this event The Cor pus Christi Cathedral Choir provided the liturgical music, sung in English, www.SouthTexasCatholic.com/Multicultural Tagalog, Spanish and Italian.

SouthTexasCatholic.com

Faithful gather outside Corpus Christi Cathedral for the procession of flags at the Multicultural Mass on Jan. 17. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  11  


12  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


VIDA CATÓLICA

A pesar de sufrimientos, familias inmigrantes ponen a Dios primero Por Luisa Scolari

C

Corresponsal

omo la Sagrada Familia que emigró a Egipto y luego a Nazaret, familias están en marcha por todo el mundo en busca de asilo o de una vida mejor. Sus viajes normalmente no son fáciles, pero, como la Sagrada Familia, ponen su destino en las manos de un Dios cariñoso. En la diócesis de Corpus Christi también se encuentran muchas familias muy lejos de sus tierras nativas. Sin embargo, estas personas ponen sus vidas y bienestar en las manos de dios y se dedican a el trabajo, la familia y la iglesia para realizar felicidad. Una tal familia es la de el matrimonio formado por el señor Carlos Alberto Cruz y su esposa Elizabeth Cruz que nos abrieron las puertas de su casa para compartirnos su historia. Se conocieron en la ciudad de Río Bravo, Tamaulipas, en una posada de la fábrica en la que los dos laboraban. Con el paso del tiempo se hicieron novios y posteriormente se unieron en matrimonio el año de 1995 en la Iglesia de San Juan de los Lagos. Las cosas se pusieron difíciles por la inseguridad que vivían y eso repercutía también en la economía familiar, por lo que decidieron emigrar a los Estados Unidos, ya que Elizabeth es ciudadana

Americana, y aunque fue criada en México por sus padres, es nacida en Estados Unidos. Como Elizabeth de niña desde los cinco años de edad, había trabajado ayudando a sus padres en el campo, en la pizca de maíz y deshierbando parcelas, decidieron venirse a trabajar a Pharr, Texas. Elizabeth empiezo a trabajar recolectando melón, tomate, fresa, chile y repollo y plantando camote para mantener la economía familiar, ya que su esposo no podía ayudarla por que tardaron tres años en aprobarle su residencia. Ya con la residencia de Carlos, decidieron ir a probar mejor suerte a Pasco, Washington, en donde vivían unos familiares. Durante su estancia en Pasco, empezaron a asistir a la Iglesia de San Patricio, en la cual, cuando Elizabeth tenía 15 años y durante un viaje de visita a unos familiares, había recibido los sacramentos del bautismo, confirmación y comunión al mismo tiempo de manos de el Padre La niña Nathalie Cruz de 9 años representó a la Eliodoro Lucatero Virgen de Guadalupe el Diciembre pasado en la En Pasco consiguieparroquia de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia y el Niño Javier Martíron trabajo en una bodega nez desempeñado el papel de San Juan Diego. limpiando cebollas, pero el sueldo que recibían no era foto contribuido

suficiente para pagar un lugar digno en donde vivir. Subsistían en una cochera pequeña de lámina de metal sin aislar, llena de objetos almacenados, sin baño ni agua. Había solo un contacto que usaban para conectar un abanico cuando el calor era insoportable y lo desconectaban para conectar una lámpara o una cafetera, ya que se mantenían comiendo solo pan y café. En las noches el frío era tan intenso que dormían vestidos con varios suéteres, gorro y guantes, y usaban varias cobijas para protegerse, pero era imposible dormir con tanto frío y pasaban las noches en vela. Así que decidieron regresarse a Texas. Dada a la situación de penurias que estaban pasando, pidieron ayuda a su padrino, quien les presto $150 para el pasaje. Como no les alcanzaba ese dinero para los boletos a la frontera, compraron los boletos a Corpus Christi en donde vivían unos familiares, con la intención de que los ayudaran a regresar a la frontera. Con la suerte, al llegar a Corpus Christi en Octubre de 1996 los dos consiguieron trabajo, y las personas con las que trabajaba Elizabeth–la familia Fernández–tenía un pequeño estudio que

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  13  


La familia Cruz, de izquierda, son Leslie Cruz, Carlos Cruz, Elizabeth Cruz, Karely Cruz y enfrente en el centro la pequeña Nathalie Cruz. foto contribuido

se había incendiado. Se los ofrecieron y poco a poco lo restauraron, y se quedaron a vivir ahí por tres años, durante los cuales nació su primer hija Leslie y decidieron mudarse a un departamento un poco más amplio. “Hemos pasado por tiempos muy difíciles por el hecho de ser hispanos, sin embargo nos sentimos orgullosos y agradecidos de serlo, ya que los principales valores que nos han mantenidos fuertes, como el hecho de que la familia es lo primero después de Dios, se lo debemos a nuestra herencia latina,” Elizabeth dijo. “Así como nuestros padres lo hicieron con nosotros, ahora nosotros como padres intentamos hacer lo mismo con

nuestras hijas, inculcándole los mismos valores para que ellas también los trasmitan a sus hijos, como son: el respeto a Dios, a la familia y a nuestros adultos mayores,” Carlos dijo. Reconocen que aquí la crianza de los hijos es diferente, pero quieren que sus hijas crezcan como ellos crecieron. Por eso se mantienen muy cerca de la Iglesia que les sirve mucho de apoyo para este propósito, por eso participan en todas las actividades que es posible. La familia pertenece a la parroquia de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia. El mes de Diciembre pasado, la parroquia se lleno de actividades. La hija más pequeña de Carlos y Elizabeth,

14  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

Nathalie de nueve años, representó a la Virgen de Guadalupe en la procesión que organizó el Padre Henry Artunduaga, pastor de la iglesia. En la representación de la natividad en Navidad, la hija mayor, Leslie de 14 años, representó a la Virgen María y Karely, de 11 años, de pastorcita. Durante las representaciones de las posadas, participaron como familia representando a la familia de Santa Claus. La familia Cruz participan en retiros familiares y de jóvenes y actualmente están planeando a asistir unidos en “The Texas Rally for Life” que organiza la diócesis para marchar frente al Capitolio el 25 de Enero en Austin. “Nos interesa mucho inculcar a


nuestras hijas el respeto a la vida,” Elizabeth dijo. “Como la mayoría de las familias, sin importar de que país vengamos, sufrimos de el estrés que nos genera el querer que todas las cosas funcionen bien en la Iglesia, en la escuela y en el hogar. Como padres tratamos de apoyar a nuestras hijas y mantenerlas activas e

involucradas en las actividades organizadas por su escuela e iglesia y deportes,” Carlos dijo. Por último el matrimonio Cruz nos comenta que familias inmigrantes sólo quieren no olvidar de dónde vienen, ya que dejaron sus países únicamente para salir adelante y poderle ofrecer lo mejor a sus hijos, inculcándoles valores

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

familiares y la importancia de preparase y estudiar para que ellos se superen y puedan tener un mejor futuro. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos

en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio

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Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de Protección de Niños y Jóvenes se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Director de la Oficina de Protección de Niños y Jóvenes, (361) 6936686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata.

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FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  15  


Vocations are calls to build up God’s kingdom, pope says in message By Cindy Wooden

A

Catholic News Service

vocation to the priesthood, consecrated life or marriage is a call to center one’s life on Christ and build up his kingdom, Pope Francis said.

“The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, sacred Scripture, the Eucharist, the sacraments celebrated and lived in the church and in fraternity, the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace,” the pope said in his message for the 2014 World Day of Prayer for Vocations. All Christians are called to adore the Lord and allow the seed of his word to grow in their lives and be transformed into service of others, the pope said in the message for the day, which will be celebrated May 11 at the Vatican and in many dioceses around the world. In his message, released at the Vatican Jan. 16, Pope Francis said that while God calls each person individually by name, “no vocation is born of itself or lives for itself.” “A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well-cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service,” the pope said, and that takes place in the context of an authentic Christian community. “A vocation flows from the heart of God and

blossoms in the good soil of faithful people in the experience of fraternal love,” he said. “Did not Jesus say: ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’” Following Christ, the pope said, means that sometimes a believer will have to go “against the tide” of the predominant culture, as well as overcome personal doubts and fears. While some may be tempted to take the easy way out, Pope Francis said, “the true joy of those who are called consists in believing and experiencing that he, the Lord, is faithful and that with him we can walk, be disciples and witnesses of God’s love, open our hearts to great ideals, to great things.” When in the Bible Jesus urges his followers to pray that God will send out laborers for the harvest–a passage seen as a key support for praying for vocations–Jesus also tells his disciples that “the harvest is plenty.” “Who did the work to bring about these results?” the pope asked. “There is only one answer: God.”

❝ A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people in the experience of fraternal love.❞

– Pope Francis

16  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


VOCATIONS

Pope Francis addresses seminarians, novices and others as he celebrates Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The pope met with and celebrated Mass for 6,000 seminarians and novices who were on a Year of Faith pilgrimage in Rome. Tony Gentile for Catholic News Service

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  17  


Holy Hour for vocations to pr

By Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

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

W

e are often asked to pray for vocations to priesthood and religious life, but how? Certainly we should do so in our daily intentions as well as at Mass. Sometimes, though, holding a special Holy Hour for Vocations provides a more intensive focus for our intercession: as we join in adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, we earnestly ask him to send more laborers into the harvest. Blessed John Paul II said, “Considering that the Eucharist is the greatest gift Our Lord gives to his church, we must ask for priests…We must ask insistently for this gift. We must ask for it on our knees.”

Planning the Holy Hour

To hold a Holy Hour for vocations in your parish, it is essential to have the participation of your parish priest. Work with him to choose an appropriate date. There is no bad time to pray a Holy Hour, but some dates may work better than others, such as May 15, “World Day of Prayer for Vocations”. Most often it is useful to have a small group plan the Holy Hour, such as the Parish Vocation Awareness Committee; this helps to spread the work among more people, and also ensures better attendance. Sometimes a cluster of nearby parishes can work together to plan one single area-wide Holy Hour for Vocations to priesthood and religious life.

Promotion is key

Even when only two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, a Holy Hour

18  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

❝Vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life are first and foremost the fruit of constant contact with the living God and insistent prayer lifted up to the ‘Lord of the harvest’, whether in parish communities, in Christian families or in groups specifically devoted to prayer for vocations.❞ – Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 48th World Day of Pray for Vocations, May 15, 2011

can be a powerful event—but it sure is nice to have more people. Promoting your Holy Hour, then, becomes critical. Here is one rule of thumb: you must do far more than place a notice in the bulletin. Sometimes, to boost attendance, the Holy Hour can be planned in conjunction with another event, such as immediately before the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry, or as part of a youth group event. Similarly, you may want to include other groups in the Holy Hour planning process, so it is a “multi-ministry” event, in conjunction with the Boy Scouts, the Ladies’ Guild, a Bible Study, the RCIA group, etc. With your pastor’s cooperation, try to make it a parish-wide event, promoted widely via pulpit announcements, displays outside of Mass, email, parish Web site, Facebook, Twitter,


iesthood and religious life Holy Hour format

There is a standard format for Holy Hours that can be adapted for different purposes. Most follow a basic outline: an opening hymn while the Blessed Sacrament is placed in the monstrance, scripture readings, time for silent prayer, devotions such as the rosary or litany of saints, then Benediction and a closing hymn. Remember that the format of your Holy Hour needs to be approved by the priest who leads it. Here are some very useful resources for structuring your Holy Hour: • Holy Hour for Vocations from the U.S. Bishops • Booklet about Praying for Vocations • Serra Club Holy Hour

Is it worth the effort? FlockNotes, etc.—even automated phone calls have been known to increase attendance. If Holy Hours are not common in your parish, make sure you explain what is involved and why they are so important.

listen live

Yes! Sure, it takes some work—coordination, creativity, and leadership—to plan your Holy Hour for Vocations to priesthood and religious life. But what better way to ask God for vocations than directly before Him in the Eucharist? At a time when our church so badly needs more priests, it is worth the effort to do our part.

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For H-D Radio Information: KLUX.org FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  19  


Vocation essay winners annou The Diocese of Corpus Christi offices of Vocations and the Youth Ministry announced winners of their vocations essay contest at the Ministry Conference on Jan. 11. Winners included Angelique Saenz, a fourth grade student at St. Joseph School in Alice; Brooklyn Moreno-Arispe, a seventh grade student at Incarnate Word

Academy Middle Level; and MyRanda Lynn Hager, a senior at Blessed John Paul II High School. Excerpts from their essays appear below. “Thank you for coming forth and writing the essays,” Bishop Michael Mulvey said to the essay winners. “Let’s continue to

The Priest that influenced me the most

The most influential an individual of my adole

By Angelique Saenz

By Brooklyn Moreno-Arispe

Contributor

Angelique Saenz, age 9, fourth grader at St. Joseph School in Alice

Since I am not a very big person most people think I have nothing to say. I have a lot of questions and this is why I know that the priest that influenced me the most was Father Benito [Retortillo] from my San Diego church. Father Benito baptized me but I did not know him then. He knew my name ever since I can remember going to church with my parents. I do not remember a week when he was not at church on Sunday ready to ask me what my question of the day was. He always had an answer. He made me think about my question and answer it myself. I was asked to join my older sister and brother as an altar server and that means a lot to me because I am little and may not be trusted to hold the water or wine. Father Benito trusted me to be part of the Mass. Father Benito gave each of us a blessing after each Mass and I felt really special belonging to this church. My mom and dad know that going to church is important for the whole family...He gave us a blessing to last us the whole week. Father Benito left back to Spain and I miss asking him questions…God picked Father Benito to teach me, so I can go to heaven. Father Benito influenced my faith. He is the priest that influenced me the most…He will continue to influence my family and me because he is good. God is good.

20  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

Contributor

Brooklyn Moreno-Arispe, age 13, seventh grader at Incarnate Word Academy Middle School, Parish is Corpus Christi Cathedral and Holy Famly Church

The most influential and spiritual individual of my adolescence is a remarkable woman who epitomizes the Catholic faith, Sister Patricia Rodriguez of the Mercedarian Sisters of The Holy Sacrament. She was the school principal at Holy Family Catholic School where I attended elementary. She impacted my young life in such a profound way that I often reminisce about the obstacles and challenges I experienced with clarity far beyond my teenage years as a result of her patience and dedication to children and the Catholic faith… I was an unruly student, but Sister Patricia with her never exhausting patience taught me to read the Bible and the different stories it held. I can recall a time when she told me “Brooklyn you will never find a better book to read in life. The bible holds all the answers to every question; it is the key that will unlock what you cannot see.” I spent my entire elementary school career in her office reading bible verses praying for any miracle…She took the time and made the effort to eloquently explain each and


nced at Ministry Conference encourage all our young people and young adults, especially, to get involved in their church and to witness to their faith.” The essay contest was open to all Catholic students in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, both in public and private or parochial schools. Topics included, “What is your understanding of the priesthood or

d spiritual scence

religious life today?”; “What does it take to give your whole life to Christ?”; and “Which priest(s)/sister(s) do you most admire and why? Which priest(s)/sister(s) have most influenced you and how?” Winners received a VISA Check Card to help with their educational expenses.

The helpful hand of a religious man By MyRanda Lynn Hager Contributor

every verse. I came to understand that God did not like ugly. I often joked with Sister Patricia that it was both a blessing and a curse to be as witty and smart as I was. She would roll her eyes at me, let out a suffering sigh, cross her arms and shake her head but always with a smile before saying “Aye Brooklyn, you need to think before you act and you need to listen to your teachers.” Sister Patricia was a source of strength for me when I unexpectedly lost my father in a fatal car accident in the fourth grade. I was angry with God… My pain would not allow me to see reason and I acted out against my teachers, my mother and God. It took time, a lot of patience and a lot of love for my mother, siblings and Sister Patricia to get through to me. I spent several afternoons with Sister Patricia in her office reading the same bible verses that once bored me and started seeing them again with a fresh pair of eyes and an open heart…

MyRanda Lynn Hager, age 17, twelfth grader at Blessed John Paul II HighSchool and a parishioner of St. Patrick Parish in Corpus Christi

About a month before my freshman year, my mother told me that she had scheduled us to take a tour of John Paul II High School’s campus. I could not understand why we were going. My mother and father had chosen to homeschool me from the fourth grade on. I excelled academically, and remained super involved in my homeschool group… When we arrived at the school, Bishop Edmond Carmody met us at the door. With his sweet Irish accent, he welcomed us onto the campus and began to change my life. Bishop [Carmody] started walking us through the courtyard, telling us the history of the school. One easily saw the love he had for the school and the students shining in his eyes. As he spoke about the teachers and students, and his dream for the school’s future, I began to understand the beauty of the campus…After following Bishop [Carmody] throughout the school campus I decided that I liked him a lot… Before I knew what hit me, I was enrolled at John Paul II High School…Bishop Carmody walked

us to our car to say goodbye. He told me how special I was, and as I shook his hand, he handed me a silver charm. Bishop [Carmody] told me that he had taken this charm to Rome, and that Pope John Paul II had blessed the charm. He wanted me to have the little silver pendant. I stood amazed that Bishop [Carmody] gave me, a girl he got introduced to only that day, this irreplaceable charm… Bishop [Carmody] is the type of person that lights up anyone’s day with his simple words of kindness and loving smile. He never displayed selfishness and willingly cared about others more than himself. Thanks to his example of how a Good Samaritan should act, he helped set an example for the whole school… When I first started at John Paul II, my faith was a tad bit rocky. Through Bishop’s example of a true religious man, I longed to have a faith like his. His choice to live his faith helped me to experience what a true person of God can accomplish, and how they can inspire others to do wonders in the world… Through simple acts of kindness and contagious smiles I will follow Bishop’s example.

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  21  


Holy Family School Principal Maria Elena Zavala helps second grader Gabriela Guerrero, 8, with a question about the Ten Commandments. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Holy Family School provides quality, spiritual education By Rebecca Esparza

T

Contributor

he Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament founded Holy Family School in Corpus Christi in 1946. Today the school remains a vibrant institution providing a detailed curriculum that addresses every aspect of a child’s developmental needs: academic, spiritual, physical and social. The school serves 138 students from PreK3 to fifth grade.

22  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


The Catholic Church traditionally has dedicated February as a time to recall the Holy Family, a time focused on devotions honoring Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the model of virtue for Catholic families everywhere. This year, Holy Family School commemorates 68 years of serving the community’s families and their children with a quality, spiritual education. “The legacy of the school has created a major impact with the thousands of students that have attended our school,” Maria Elena Zavala, principal at Holy Family School, said. “Now more than ever, you hear people talking highly of the difference Holy Family Catholic School made on their lives.” Holy Family School is committed to preparing and enabling students to use their God-given talents in making a positive contribution in the community. Today, the emphasis is on improving the quality of education through the use of technology. In the last two years, under the guidance of Father Patrick Donohoe–pastor at Holy Family Parish, the school has invested almost $100,000 in building, education and technology improvements. Principal Zavala noted that teachers and staff instill the values of the Holy Family daily at the school. “We strive to live the Gospel values and create a safe and loving environment where students learn spiritually, academically, socially and physically in order to become lifelong learners,”

she said. She said living the school’s mission statement is accomplished by being role models for their students, as well as their parents and com-

munity as a whole. Matthew Seagrave grew up in Corpus Christi and attended St. Pius X School for his last three years in elementary. Seagrave, who previously taught in Colorado and South Carolina, now teaches fourth grade at Holy Family School. He specializes in working with children with dyslexia and other learning differences. “This is my first opportunity to teach in Catholic

CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Thomas Delagarza, 8, and Gabriella Garza, 7, read about the Ten Commandments. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  23  


Donna Metz, talks with her student Olyvia Gonzalez, 7, during an instruction about the Ten Commandments. The class is learning about making a good reconciliation, in preparation of their First Communion this spring. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

school and I am truly enjoying it,” he said. “It’s an amazing feeling to share my faith with my students. Being at Holy Family adds a special meaning to teaching for me. I realize I’m an important part of molding these young people, spiritually, as well as academically.” Donna Metz, who has taught for three years at Holy Family School, said practicing her faith and sharing her experiences with her students has been rewarding. “I teach what I live, believe and practice,” she said. Recently, her second graders were reviewing the Ten Commandments in preparation to making

24  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

their First Communion. “Of course, none of this would be possible without the support and attention of their parents,” she added. “Parents are the center of a child’s wellrounded education and really, their first teacher.” “Together we strengthen our faith, and together we work to ensure our teachers set high standards of learning for all our students,” Zavala said. “Knowing who our students are, knowing our parents and being a part of the Holy Family community reflects our commitment to our school. I know each of the children’s names and they know me, as well. It’s important to make that connection.”


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CITGO Kenedy Memorial Foundation Michael Thorn & Family Law Office of Ralph Rodriguez Texas A&M-Kingsville IBC Bank Upcoming Events Feb. 5 : Open House Feb. 15 : 2014 Extravaganza April 23-30 : Pilgrimage to Rome Visit us at www.jpiihighschool.org to learn more about the great things happening at Blessed John Paul II High School. FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  25  


2014 CatholiC StewardShip appeal My brothers & sisters in Christ, Thank you for the years of support you have given to the Diocese of Corpus Christi and our annual Catholic Stewardship Appeal. Your commitment to the Church continues to impact the lives of countless people in our community. Everyday our Appeal reaches Catholics in 12 counties spread over 10,000 square miles in South Texas. Most importantly our Appeal serves as an opportunity for Catholics across our diocese to assist our brothers and sisters in Christ, many of whom we may never have the opportunity to know.

A gift to the Catholic Stewardship Appeal supports: • The hungry, homeless, imprisoned and marginalized through Catholic Charities, Mother Teresa Shelter and prison ministry • Parish Staff, ministry leaders and clergy administering the day to day operations of our Church • Seminarians education and formation • Families through counseling, marriage preparation programs and education • Our youth, young adults and college students • Families needing tuition assistance in Catholic Schools I invite you to join me and thousands of Catholics across our diocese to make a pledge to the Catholic Stewardship Appeal. Your gift will directly support 35 ministries, 69 parishes, 32 missions and 397,000 Catholics throughout our diocese. Together our support for this appeal will serve as a concrete sign of how the Body of Christ together supports the mission of the church as missionary disciples of Jesus. May God bless you and may our diocese become the home and school of communion. Sincerely in Christ,

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

Coming to your pa

For more information or questions please contact T cdeleon@diocesecc.or

26  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014


arish Feb. 15 & 16

The Office of Parish Stewardship & Development at rg or (361) 693-6643

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  27  


Family best describes Holy Fami

Mark Montez, engages high school class in discussion at Holy Family religious education program. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic

F

ather Dennis P. Zerr, administrator at Holy Family Parish in Taft, describes his church as a small town parish with all that involves. Everybody knows each other. It’s intimate. It’s family oriented. “You’re sitting next to someone you know or who knows your father,” Father Zerr said. It is not unusual, especially during Christmas and Easter, for extended families to take up several rows of pews. It is just the type of parish that suits

Father Zerr who grew up in Hondo, a small farm and ranch community in the Archdiocese of San Antonio very much like Taft. The Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company, one of the largest cattle ranches in Texas that spread into four counties,

28  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

founded the town of Taft in 1909. The old watering place with shipping pens for cattle changed its name from Mesquital to Taft. There were some 150 Mexican families serving the ranch as grubbing crews that cleared the land. At that time “saddlebag” priests came around to celebrate Mass at private family homes. By 1911, Taft Catholics could attend Mass at St. Gregory in nearby Gregory. By 1914 the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company donated land to build a church to serve the families working for them in the Taft area. The Catholic


PARISH LIFE

ly Parish in Taft Extension Society provided $500 for building the church and August Keliman went around the surrounding countryside raising $670 from Catholics and non-Catholics alike. On November 1914, Bishop Paul Nussbaum, CP came from Corpus Christi and brought with him the Cathedral Choir to dedicate the new 300-seat chapel with a high Mass. In addition to pastor Father Michael Puig, Bishop Nussbaum brought with him a number of priests, including two Mexican Passionists who held mission before the dedication. After blessing the chapel, Bishop Nussbaum also spoke to those gathered in Spanish. The next year, Bishop Nussbaum provided Father Puig—who served an extensive area—with help by relieving

him of the Sinton and Taft chapels. Father Puig informed the bishop that Leandro Flores had the keys to the Taft church since he took care of the chapel. Thirteen years later, Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina established a second church in Taft. Immaculate Conception became a parish in 1928. For many years, the same priest served as pastor at Immaculate Conception and Holy Family. Thirty years, after the founding of Immaculate Conception, Holy Family became an independent parish. Father William Kelly was the first resident pastor for the new parish. He soon set out to build a new church. Five years later, on Feb. 5, 1961, Bishop Mariano Garriga came to dedicate the new sanctuary. Much like the 1914 dedication of the first chapel, the faithful had to put up

with inclement weather as sleet and rain failed to mar the faithful’s excitement. Much like parishioners in the early years who built the rectory across the street from the church, today’s parishioners at Holy Family take on much of what needs to get done. “Everything in church is made by parishioners,” Father Zerr said. “They are familiar with all the statutes and icons in the church. It’s their church.” Father Zerr said the parish is not ordered so much on formal groups but rather on volunteers. It is volunteers who take care of the parish’s annual big fundraiser. The men cook the briskets, ladies prepare the side dishes and the youth coordinate the pick up of plates. And volunteers are plentiful in the parish with 275 registered families with town folks and farm families. “It is growing, I baptized a lot of babies last year,” Father Zerr said. An encouraging group of volunteers help with the more than 100 young people in religious education classes. In addition to the many volunteers, Father Zerr has the help of Deacon William Boostrom. “People come together and make things happen,” Father Zerr said.

Father Zerr greets parishioners after Mass at Holy Family in Taft. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  29  


Nailah Winkfield, right, mother of 13-year-old Jahi McMath who doctors declared brain dead, and Martin Winkfield, the stepfather, arrive at the U.S. District Courthouse for a settlement conference in Oakland, Calif., Jan. 3. Winkfield has said her Christian beliefs require her to remain open to the possibility that God will perform a miracle and restore her daughter to health. Beck Diefenbach for Catholic News Service

Brain-dead patients prompt new questions about end-of-life decisions

By Nancy Frazier O’Brien

R

Catholic News Service

ecent conflicts in California and Texas between physicians and the families of patients considered to be brain dead have prompted new questions about end-of-life decision-making.

But the nationally publicized case of 13-year-old Jahi McMath in Oakland, Calif., and the less-well-known case of

Marlise Munoz, a 33-year-old pregnant woman in Fort Worth, Texas, provide a teaching moment to help clarify Catholic

30  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

teaching on the determination of death, according to the leading Catholic bioethical organization.


NATIONAL NEWS

The cases are distinctly different, but each pits health care professionals against relatives of the brain-dead patients. McMath’s family transferred her from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland to an undisclosed location Jan. 5 to continue medical treatment despite the issuance of a death certificate Dec. 12. Her doctors had declared McMath brain-dead following complications after routine surgery for sleep apnea. McMath’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, has said her Christian beliefs require her to remain open to the possibility that God will perform a miracle and restore her daughter to health. Munoz, who was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed at home in November and was deprived of oxygen for up to an hour, is being kept on life support at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth against the wishes of her husband and parents. Hospital officials say they cannot remove her respirator because of a Texas law that prohibits doctors from withdrawing “life-sustaining treatment” from pregnant women. On Jan. 14, Munoz’s husband, Erick, sued the hospital. The motion filed in Tarrant County District Court states Erick “vehemently” opposes keeping his wife on life support, and would like to bury her. But the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia said in a Jan. 7 statement about the McMath case that nothing in Catholic teaching would contradict the determination of death by the teen’s physicians, using “the rigorous application of neurological criteria.” Those criteria can include “a complete lack of blood flow to the brain, the absence of any electrical activity of the brain, the absence of cranial nerve response and the ability of the patient to breathe on her own,” the statement said.

If the facts in the McMath case are being accurately reported in the media, the center’s statement said, the determination of death has been made “by physicians repeatedly and rigorously applying the neurological criteria” and confirmed by an independent, court-appointed pediatric neurologist from Stanford University. “If this is accurate, at this point there would be no moral obligation for a hospital or physician to perform any procedure on a corpse such as placing a feeding tube or trying to stabilize the bodily functions that are kept working using mechanical means,” it added. The center quoted from talks by Popes John Paul II and Pius XII, as well as the U.S, bishops’ “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” to back its conclusion. The directives, which guide ethical decision-making in Catholic health facilities, read: “The determination of death should be made by the physician or competent medical authority in accordance with responsible and commonly accepted scientific criteria.” The Munoz case in Fort Worth is complicated by several factors—her pregnancy and the inability of her unborn child to survive outside the womb; the law passed in Texas in 1989 and amended 10 years later that requires the continuation of life support for pregnant women; and federal health privacy laws that restrict any sharing of information with the media without the permission of Munoz’s family, which the hospital says has not been granted. Even if Munoz’s physicians have determined her to be brain dead, there is another patient to consider, said Marie T. Hilliard, director of bioethics and public policy and a staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center. The unborn

child cannot survive without receiving oxygenated blood from his or her mother until he or she reaches at least 23 or 24 weeks of gestation, Hilliard said. The unborn child’s surrogate decision-makers—which in the Munoz case would apparently be his or her father, Erick Munoz, 26—must act in the child’s best interests in determining whether continuing medical treatment would be disproportionately burdensome on the patient, the family and the community in relation to the anticipated outcome, Hilliard said. Catholic teaching is clear, she added, that any “direct, intended termination of a pregnancy” before viability is an abortion and not permitted. “But we don’t have the facts to ascribe any intent” to Munoz’s husband and parents, who are seeking to force the hospital to remove the woman’s respirator, Hilliard said. It also is unclear whether the Texas law barring the removal of “life-sustaining treatment” for pregnant women was intended to apply to women who have been declared brain dead. According to a 2012 report from the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington, Texas is one of 12 states that “automatically invalidate a woman’s advance directives if she is pregnant.” Another 14 states base their legislation on the model Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act, which requires that a pregnant woman be given life-sustaining treatment if it is “probable” that the pregnancy will develop to the point of a live birth. Five states—Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Vermont— allow women to specify in advance directives whether they should apply if she is pregnant and require that her wishes be followed.

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  31  


➤ Several people who volunteer as “sidewalk counselors” outside Planned Parenthood clinics in Boston, Springfield and Worcester, Mass. brought the case, McCullen v. Coakley. Under a 2007 state law, there are yellow semicircular lines painted 35 feet from the entrances to the clinics, delineating how far away the sidewalk counselors and abortion protesters must stay.

Court takes up whether buffer zone excessively limits free speech By Patricia Zapor

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Catholic News Service

upreme Court justices Jan. 15 pressed attorneys about when it is constitutional to prohibit certain kinds of speech in a case over buffer zones around abortion clinics. In oral arguments in a case over a 35-foot buffer zone around Massachusetts Planned Parenthood clinics, the attorney for people who want to approach clinic patients for “sidewalk counseling” to discourage them from having abortions argued that the state law “runs into a big First Amendment problem of even eliminating peaceful, consensual conversation that doesn’t disrupt anything.” Mark Rienzi, attorney for the people who sued the state, told the court that the idea of the government picking one topic, in this case abortion, “and saying, well, around this, suddenly the character of the public forum changes from a place where people can have peaceful, consensual conversations to a place where we will imprison them for doing that, I think that’s a dramatic restriction of First Amendment rights.” Several justices questioned attorneys on both sides about how a law could be structured narrowly enough to prevent aggressive conduct at clinics that was targeted by the Massachusetts statute, without stepping too far into First Amendment rights. Attorneys conceded that no other states have laws creating such large restricted zones at abortion clinics. Several people who volunteer as “sidewalk counselors” outside Planned Parenthood clinics in Boston, Springfield and Worcester, Mass. brought the case, McCullen v. Coakley. Under a 2007 state law, there are yellow semicircular lines painted 35

32  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

feet from the entrances to the clinics, delineating how far away the sidewalk counselors and abortion protesters must stay. The law prohibits conversations about abortion within the zone by anyone except employees of the abortion clinics. In arguing that the 35-foot zone and its restrictions are necessary, Jennifer Grace Miller, Massachusetts’s assistant attorney general, disagreed with Justice Antonin Scalia’s assertion that “this is not a protest case. These people don’t want to protest abortion. They want to talk to the women who are about to get abortions and try to talk them out of it.” Scalia said, “if it was a protest, keeping them back 35 feet might not be so bad. They can scream and yell and hold signs from 35 feet. But what they can’t do is try to talk the woman out of the abortion. It’s a counseling case, not a protest case.” Miller said, “it’s a congestion case,” adding that people can have the conversations with clinic patients, “it’s just that those conversations are moved back a few feet.” She said the 35-foot zone was necessary to prevent people from impeding the entrances to clinics. A federal law that prohibits blocking clinic entrances is not applicable, she said, because it only applies to activities such as sit-down protests and people chaining themselves to doorways, not to the act of trying to converse with patients. The last time the court considered the


constitutionality of buffer zones around abortion clinics in 2000, it upheld Colorado’s law prohibiting abortion protests or sidewalk counseling within eight feet of people approaching any medical facility. The court ruled 6-3 that the law was not a regulation of speech but “a regulation of the places where some speech may occur.” Eleanor McCullen, a parishioner of St. Ignatius Parish at Boston College, is the lead plaintiff among those who sued, saying the law limits their ability to exercise their rights under the First and 14th Amendments to free speech and equal protection under the law. Last summer after the court agreed to take the case, several people who do sidewalk counseling told The Catholic Free Press, newspaper of the Worcester Diocese that they hoped for a ruling in their favor so they could be more low-key in their approaches to people. Nancy Clark, a parishioner of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Worcester, told the newspaper that with a change in the law, “I wouldn’t have to yell.” When yelling to get clinic clients’ attention from a

distance “you look like a fanatic” and “they may not hear what we are saying,” she said. Sidewalk counselor Mark Bashour of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Melkite Catholic parish in Worcester, said even those not against abortion should see that the law is unconstitutional and dangerous. “What happens when the government doesn’t like what you’re doing with your freedom of speech?” he said. “What are they going to do next if this is found constitutional?” “This is a First Amendment right,” McCullen told the Free Press. “My feeling is, I should be able to speak to whomever I want, wherever I want. I shouldn’t be curtailed by this line, because I lose people. I’m not harassing. ... I’m just a grandmother trying to offer help.” Other plaintiffs in the suit include Father Eric Cadin, a priest who does sidewalk counseling or praying outside the Boston Planned Parenthood location. A ruling in the case is expected before the court adjourns for the summer in late June.

Alan Hoyle rallies in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington . The high court heard oral arguments in a challenge to a a Massachusetts law that created a buffer zone around abortion clinics to keep protesters a distance from the facilities. Supporters of the law say it addresses public safety concerns women patients seeking health care at clinics that also offer abortions. Yuri Gripas for Catholic News Service

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  33  


High court to hear two cases on HH

T

Catholic News Service

he U.S. Supreme Court agreed Nov. 26 to take up two cases that challenge provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage on behalf of for-profit companies whose owners object to the mandate for religious reasons. On Dec. 2, the court announced it had declined to hear the appeal of Liberty University of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Christian university must adhere to the health care law’s employer mandate. When the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of parts of the health care law in 2012, it didn’t address the employer mandate to provide coverage. The court will hear oral arguments on the cases of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based, family-run arts-and-crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania family-run company that makes cabinets, on March 25. A decision is not expected until late June. At issue in both cases will be First Amendment arguments that a federal requirement that the owners of the companies provide insurance coverage they morally oppose violates the owners’ Free Exercise rights as well as their rights under a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In the Liberty University case, which the court without comment declined to consider, the institution argued the mandate for employers to provide government-defined health insurance violates the school’s rights, and the individual rights of employees. The law requires all employers—with 50 or more workers—to provide health insurance. This is the second unsuccessful attempt to challenge the mandate in the Supreme Court. Other cases are still working through

lower courts. The deadline for the requirement to take effect has been postponed until Jan. 1, 2015. It was to have taken effect Jan. 1, 2014, but the deadline was delayed to give employers more time to adjust. In a Nov. 26 statement, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, was

➤ We pray that the Supreme Court will find that the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protect everyone’s right to religious freedom. pleased with the court’s decision to take up the private employer cases. His statement said the review “highlights the importance of this conflict between the federal government and people seeking to practice their faith in daily life.” “We pray that the Supreme Court will find that the Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protect everyone’s right to religious freedom. We are encouraged by the advances in the lower federal courts so far in cases involving family-owned companies as well as nonprofit

34  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

religious organizations.” In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the Green family won a ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said their Hobby Lobby chain of more than 500 stores and Mardel, a chain of 35 Christian bookstores, could proceed with seeking an injunction protecting the companies from meeting parts of the contraceptive mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the health care law. Both the Justice Department and the Greens asked the Supreme Court to review the case. The government requires most employers’ health plans to include free coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and some abortion-inducing drugs. The Greens say they object to that part of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate requiring they provide emergency contraceptive coverage—such as the morning-after pill or Plan B—saying that violates their religious freedom. The family has no moral objection to covering “preventive contraceptives” and will continue to cover those for employees, they have said. The court agreeing to hear their case is “a major step for the Greens and their family businesses in an important fight for Americans’ religious liberty,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead lawyer for Hobby Lobby. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court


HS mandate; declines employer case will clarify once and for all that religious freedom in our country should be protected for family business owners like the Greens,” he said in a statement. In a statement on the Hobby Lobby case issued by the press secretary’s office, the White House said it does not comment on specifics of any case pending before the high court, but “as a general matter” it said the HHS mandate is designed to “ensure that health care decisions are made between a woman and her doctor.” President Barack Obama “believes that no one, including the government or for-profit corporations, should be able to dictate those decisions to women, it said. The administration said it has already taken steps to “to ensure no church or similar religious institution” is forced to provide

contraception coverage and allow women, not “corporate CEOS,” to make their own health decisions. The second case, Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, is an appeal by the Hahn family, the Mennonite owners, of a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that they had to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement. The circuit court ruled that as a for-profit, secular corporation, Conestoga Wood and its owners are not protected by the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment. In its petition for the Supreme Court to review its case, Conestoga Wood argued that the 3rd Circuit’s decision conflicts with rulings by other circuit courts that recognized religious rights of for-profit corporations.

The Singing For Christ Ministry is looking for a guitarist to join us in bringing a little touch of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in Christ in nursing homes. Visits are once a week to a nursing home singing English and Spanish songs.

“Well done good and Faithfull Servant your faithful Service is an offering to God.” –Matthew 25:21

Juan Olivares (361) 739-5364 Juan5Olivares@gmail.com

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The 1993 law, known as RFRA, says that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest.” The legal question raised in the case is whether RFRA protects a for-profit company from having to provide a benefit to which employees are entitled under federal law but to which the owners have religious objections.

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FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  35  


Kerry, Vatican counterpart meet on Syria, Mideast, U.S. health mandate By Cindy Wooden

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Catholic News Service

ardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, hosted a lengthy meeting with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, to discuss ongoing tensions in the Middle East, as well as the U.S. bishops’ concerns about the Obama administration’s health care mandate. “The meeting was very broad; it lasted about one hour and 40 minutes,” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman said. Father Lombardi said the two secretaries of state did not meet alone Jan. 14, but had top aides with them for the discussions. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s foreign minister, participated, as did Victoria Nuland, Kerry’s assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; Shaun Casey, special adviser to Kerry for faith-based and community initiatives; and Ken Hackett, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. “Various themes were discussed and naturally those regarded the Middle East first of all—the situation in Syria and preparations for the (upcoming peace) conference in Geneva,” Father Lombardi said, referring to the U.N.-sponsored peace talks. Father Lombardi said the Vatican’s position on the Syrian conflict, which has been ongoing since March 2011, was explained by the pope in his Jan. 13 speech to diplomats serving at the Vatican. The Vatican’s top concerns, he said, are to restore peace, address the

serious humanitarian situation and help the suffering Syrian population. The two secretaries of state “also discussed the United States, especially the themes that have been the object of concern and discussion by the U.S. bishops: the health care reform and its relationship to guarantees of religious freedom,” Father Lombardi said. In general, employers who provide health insurance to workers were required as of Jan. 1 to comply with a government mandate that those policies include various types of contraceptives, including sterilization and abortifacients. The penalty for noncompliance is potentially thousands of dollars daily in fines. Although the Obama administration has made some allowances for exemptions for religious institutions, when final rules were issued in June, some Catholic employers said the exception still did not address their moral objections. While legal challenges to the mandate are making their way through the U.S. courts, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the bishops’ conference, asked Obama Dec. 31 to exempt from fines religious

36  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

institutions who believe funding contraception and sterilization violate their religious principles. In remarks later to members of the press traveling with him, Kerry said, “it was a privilege for me as the first Catholic secretary of state in about 32 or 33 years…to talk with the new secretary of state there about the broad array of issues that we face together across the world. And on a personal level, it was a thrill for me to be able to do that; as an altar boy as a young kid, I would never have imagined that I would have been crossing the threshold of the Vatican to meet, as secretary of state, with the secretary of state of the Holy See.” Cardinal-designate Parolin and Kerry “also discussed negotiations between Israel and Palestine, in which the American secretary of state has been deeply involved, as you know,” Father Lombardi said. Kerry told reporters, “Archbishop Parolin asked me for a solid briefing with respect to the Middle East peace process. Pope Francis will be going to Israel and the Palestinian territories and to Jordan in May, and so we agreed, after I gave a briefing, that we


VATICAN

would stay in touch in order to keep him abreast of what we’re doing and then what progress there may be in the peace process.” Father Lombardi said the two also spoke about Africa, “particularly about the situation in South Sudan, which has been deteriorating recently, and the hopes that the mediation underway will succeed.” The United Nations reported Jan. 13 that some 355,000 South Sudanese had been displaced during a month of fighting between forces loyal to the president and those following a former deputy vice president. The U.N. Mission in South Sudan estimated that that up to 10,000 people may have been killed since the conflict started Dec. 15. Kerry said: “There is a large Catholic population in South Sudan. President (Salva) Kiir, himself, is Catholic, and I think that our efforts over the last days could be augmented by the efforts of the Holy See with respect to trying to end the violence and bring about a peaceful resolution.” Kerry also said he and his Vatican hosts discussed Cuba and the need to promote respect for religious freedom and human rights on the island. “I raised the issue of Alan Gross and his captivity, and we hope very much that there might be able to be assistance with respect to that issue,” Kerry said, referring to the American man convicted in 2011 of crimes against the Cuban state and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He had been working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, serving on a democracy-building project financed by the agency. “This was as comprehensive a conversation as I’ve had with any secretary of

Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, right, meets with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, at the Vatican. ’Osservatore Romano, for Catholic News Service

state or foreign minister in the course of my tenure, and I think, happily, we agreed on an enormous amount of things that we can cooperate on,” Kerry told reporters. He also said: “I know that the Holy Father is anticipating the visit of President Obama here, and the president is looking forward to coming here to meet with him. So much was agreed on as a mutual agenda this morning.” Father Lombardi said Cardinal-designate Parolin also was pleased with the discussions, the climate of the meeting and the opportunity to discuss a variety of themes and share concerns. “There was a positive atmosphere and it was a fruitful encounter,” Father Lombardi said Cardinal-designate Parolin told him. The Vatican Television Center released a brief video montage of moments from the meeting, including a

clip in which Kerry told Cardinal-designate Parolin, “Thank you very much for doing this and arranging this on short notice.” The U.S. secretary of state congratulated him on being named a cardinal by Pope Francis and explained that, after his stop in Rome, he was going to Kuwait for the Syria donor’s conference. The video montage also shows Nuland saying goodbye to the cardinal-designate and telling him, “Pope Francis is exciting for non-Catholics as well.” Cardinal-designate Parolin replied: “That is good news. Thank you.” To see more Vatican News go to:

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FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  37  


Pope Francis exchanges greetings with Ken Hackett, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, and his wife, Joan, during a meeting with ambassadors to the Holy See at the Vatican. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

Pope says abortion, hunger, environmental damage threaten peace By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

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ope Francis said world peace requires the defense of human dignity from violations such as world hunger, human trafficking and abortion. The pope made his remarks in his first annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, offering a survey of world conflicts and crises he said were caused by

“envy, selfishness, rivalry and the thirst for power and money.” Speaking in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia, the vast “royal hall” where

38  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

popes traditionally received Catholic monarchs, Pope Francis spoke of what he has frequently called a “throwaway culture” exemplified by widespread food waste that leaves children starving or malnourished. “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food or disposable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as if they were unnecessary,” the pope said. “It is horrifying just


to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; children turned into merchandise in that terrible form of modern slavery called human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.” The pope also lamented what he called rising numbers of “broken and troubled families,” which he attributed to both moral and material factors: the “weakening sense of belonging so typical of today’s world” as well as the “adverse conditions in which many families are forced to live, even to the point where they lack basic means of subsistence.” Noting the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan in November, Pope Francis warned against “greedy exploitation of environmental resources,” and quoted what he said was a popular adage: “God always forgives, we sometimes

forgive, but when nature—creation—is mistreated, she never forgives!” Most of the pope’s speech was devoted, as usual for the occasion, to geopolitical problems in different regions of the world. The pope called for an end to the almost three-year old civil war in Syria, voicing hope for upcoming peace talks and praising neighboring Lebanon and Jordan for accepting refugees from the conflict. He also noted what he called “significant progress” in ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Pope Francis lamented the “exodus of Christians from the Middle East and North Africa,” as well as violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Without specifying countries, the pope noted sectarian tensions in Asia, “where growing attitudes of prejudice, for allegedly religious reasons, are tending to

deprive Christians of their liberties and to jeopardize civil coexistence.” The pope recalled his July visit to the southern Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, an entry point for immigrants without legal permission to enter Europe, and voiced sympathy with those who, “in the hope of a better life, have undertaken perilous journeys which not infrequently end in tragedy.” “I think in particular of the many migrants from Latin America bound for the United States,” he said, “but above all those from Africa and the Middle East who seek refuge in Europe.” After his speech, the pope personally greeted the attending ambassadors and their spouses. The Holy See has full diplomatic relations with 180 nation-states, the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as well as “relations of a special nature” with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

February Liturgical Calendar Feb. 1: Sat: Weekday: green/white [BVM] 2 Sm 12:1-7a, 10-17/Mk 4:35-41 (322) Feb. 2: SUN: 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: Mon: Weekday (Fourth Week in Ordinary Time): green/red/white [Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr; Saint Ansgar, Bishop] 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:513/Mk 5:1-20 (323) Pss IV Feb. 4: Tue: Weekday: green | 2 Sm 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30—19:3/Mk 5:21-43 (324) Feb. 5: Wed: Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr: red | Memorial | 2 Sm 24:2, 9-17/Mk 6:1-6 (325) Feb. 6: Thu: Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs: red | Memorial | 1 Kgs 2:1-4, 10-12/Mk 6:7-13 (326)

Feb. 7: Fri: Weekday: green | Sir | 47:211/Mk 6:14-29 (327)

Methodius, Bishop: white | Memorial | 1 Kgs 11:29-32; 12:19/Mk 7:31-37 (333)

of the Church]Jas 2:14-24, 26/Mk 8:34—9:1 (339)

Feb. 8: Sat: Weekday: green/white/ white/white | [Saint Jerome Emiliani; Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin; BVM] 1 Kgs 3:4-13/Mk 6:30-34 (328)

Feb. 15: Sat: Weekday: green/white | [BVM] | 1 Kgs 12:26-32; 13:33-34/Mk 8:1-10 (334)

Feb. 22: Sat: The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle: white | Feast | 1 Pt 5:1-4/ Mt 16:13-19 (535) Pss Prop

Feb. 9: SUN: FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: green | Is 58:7-10/1 Cor 2:1-5/Mt 5:13-16 (73) Pss I

Feb. 16: SUN: SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: green | Sir 15:15-20/1 Cor 2:6-10/Mt 5:17-37 or 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37 (76) Pss II

Feb. 10: Mon: Saint Scholastica, Virgin: white | Memorial | 1 Kgs 8:1-7, 9-13/Mk 6:53-56 (329)

Feb. 17: Mon: Weekday: green/white | [The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order] Jas 1:1-11/Mk 8:11-13 (335)

Feb. 23: SUN: SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: green | Lv 19:1-2, 17-18/1 Cor 3:16-23/Mt 5:38-48 (79) Pss III

Feb. 11: Tue: Weekday: green/white | [Our Lady of Lourdes] 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30/Mk 7:1-13 (330)

Feb. 18: Tue: Weekday: green | Jas 1:12-18/Mk 8:14-21 (336)

Feb. 25: Tue: Weekday: green | Jas 4:1-10/Mk 9:30-37 (342)

Feb. 19: Wed: Weekday: green | Jas 1:19-27/Mk 8:22-26 (337)

Feb. 26: Wed: Weekday: green | Jas 4:13-17/Mk 9:38-40 (343)

Feb. 20: Thu: Weekday: green | Jas 2:1-9/Mk 8:27-33 (338)

Feb. 27: Thu: Weekday: green | Jas 5:1-6/Mk 9:41-50 (344)

Feb. 21: Fri: Weekday: green/white | [Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor

Feb. 28: Fri: Weekday: green | Jas 5:9-12/Mk 10:1-12 (345)

Feb. 12: Wed: Weekday: green | 1 Kgs 10:1-10/Mk 7:14-23 (331) Feb. 13: Thu: Weekday: green | 1 Kgs 11:4-13/Mk 7:24-30 (332) Feb. 14: Fri: Saints Cyril, Monk, and

Feb. 24: Mon: Weekday: green | Jas 3:13-18/Mk 9:14-29 (341)

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  39  


Violinist violence Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.

I

Contributor

Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.

n her still-widely-read 1971 article “A Defense of Abortion”, Judith Jarvis Thomson sets up a thought experiment known as “The Famous Violinist Problem” to argue that abortion ought to be morally justified when a pregnancy arises out of sexual assault. “You wake up in the morning and find yourself back-to-back in bed with famous unconscious violinist,” she said. “He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind it’s only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.” Most people would share the intuition that they should be able to unplug themselves from the violinist, since they did not consent to being hooked up in the first place. Others would suggest an analogy with becoming pregnant from rape, so the mother could “unplug” herself from the child by abortion.

40  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

At least two serious problems, however, exist with this analogy. First, the famous violinist is not a good parallel for the child conceived by sexual assault. The violinist in Thomson’s thought experiment is basically a stranger to us. But the child conceived in rape is not, properly speaking, a stranger at all, and the analogy should probably be corrected to indicate this: “When the woman wakes up, she finds herself connected to a prodigy violinist who also happens to be her 12-yearold son.” In such a scenario, she would far more easily admit an obligation to remain attached to him, even for an extended period of time. Following a rape that results in pregnancy, a woman likewise finds herself connected to her own progeny, her own child in utero, with similar natural moral obligations to nurture and care for her own flesh and blood. The second problem with Thomson’s analogy is that abortion is not like “unplugging” a tube connecting one person

to another, and allowing the dependent individual to expire from a condition like kidney failure. Instead, abortion invokes various surgical and obstetrical procedures that directly end the life of, and even dismember, the in utero child. Norma McCorvey, the former “Jane Roe” of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, herself once worked in an abortion clinic and later described what happened there. “When a later abortion was performed, workers had to piece the baby back together, and every major part— head, torso, two legs, and two arms—had to be accounted for,” McCorvey explained. “One of our little jokes at the clinic was, ‘If you ever want to humble a doctor, hide a leg so he thinks he has to go back in.’ Please understand, these were not abnormal, uncaring women working with me at the clinic. We were just involved in a bloody, dehumanizing business, all of us for our own reasons. Whether we were justifying our past advocacy, as I was, justifying


a previous abortion, as many were, or whatever, we were just trying to cope—and if we couldn’t laugh at what was going on, I think our minds would have snapped.” McCorvey’s comments remind us that abortion is essentially a violent and deadly act, not a euphemistic “unhooking” or “separating” of mother and child. Thus we might wish to modify Thomson’s analogy once again in order to maintain parallelism. “A woman wakes up in the morning and finds herself attached to a violinist. To free herself from any further involvement with him, she asks a doctor to come in with a knife and to dismember the renowned musician.” The absolute wrongness of such direct killing would remain beyond dispute, as would the wrongness of any direct killing actions by a raped woman directed against her unborn son because of the sins of his father. In reflecting on the specifics of “The Famous Violinist Problem,” we begin to appreciate the importance of never subjecting an innocent third party, whether a musician or an in utero child, to direct lethal harm simply because they find themselves in a state of radical dependence upon another human being. Although we are not obligated to use extreme or extraordinary measures to try to save the violinist in Thomson’s thought experiment, we should not make the error of supposing that the state of pregnancy itself is somehow extraordinary or extreme, even in the tragic case of sexual assault, given that it objectively embodies the natural and familial line of duty to care for our own offspring.

VIEWPOINTS

The poorest of the poor By George Weigel

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Contributor

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

ope Francis has ignited a useful and necessary conversation about our responsibilities to the poorest of the poor—those who some may be tempted to write out of the script of history as hopeless cases. That conversation would be enhanced if participants in it took a close look at Paul Collier’s suggestive book, “The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It.” Collier shares the Holy Father’s passion for the well being of the poorest of the poor. As he wrote, “I have a little boy who is six. I do not want him to grow up in a world with a vast running sore—a billion people stuck in desperate conditions alongside unprecedented prosperity.” The poorest of the poor—the “bottom billion,” in Collier’s trenchant phrase—should be a challenge to everyone’s conscience. Meeting that challenge means getting the facts straight, both about our current circumstances and the best means of fostering prosperity. As for our current circumstances, Collier’s book was published in 2007, before financial dislocations shook the world

economy, but the basic picture he drew remains valid: there are some 7 billion people on planet Earth; 1 billion or more of us enjoy unprecedented material prosperity; another 5 billion or so are en route to prosperity, although at different rates and to different degrees; and then there are Pope Francis’s “peripheries,” the “bottom billion,” who live in the 21st century as a matter of chronology but whose reality, Collier wrote, is “the 14th century: civil war, plague, ignorance.” On Collier’s reading of the data, most of the world’s poor are in fact not getting poor—think of China and India, but the poorest of the poor—think large swaths of Africa—are sliding down a slippery slope to whatever lies beyond destitution. The question, as ever, is: why? The poor who are not getting poor have, in the main, been incorporated into global systems of production and exchange. Sometimes roughly, to be sure,

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  41  


and often unevenly, but where economic growth lifts large numbers of people out of poverty, that growth comes from being part of a global market, not from any other source. By contrast, the poorest of the poor, the outliers of the “bottom billion,” are disconnected. Disconnected from the global economy and disconnected from the skills and habits necessary to participate in what has become a world market. And why is that? Collier, who studied the varying impacts of development assistance at the World Bank before teaching economics at Oxford, lists four “traps” that hold the “bottom billion” down. There is the “natural resource trap,” in which oil, minerals or other marketable resources make a few oligarchs and politicians rich but deflect a country’s attention from pursuing the human and material infrastructure of genuine economic development. There is the “conflict trap,” in which countries are destroyed economically by civil wars, genocides or both. There is the “bad governance trap,” in which corruption and bureaucratic incompetence wastes development aid and make it impossible for investment to flourish, resulting in what amounts to endemic lawlessness. And there is the curse of geography, by which landlocked countries in a bad neighborhood find their commerce and communications strangled. Providing effective assistance to the “bottom billion” is neither simple nor easy, but it is morally imperative. If getting countries not to be poor were just a matter of money, the vast sums that have been spent on development assistance since the era of de-colonization would have done the job. But the job has manifestly not been done. That is no reason to abandon development aid. The challenge is to deploy development aid, and other instruments of foreign policy, more intelligently and strategically, providing immediate assistance to the desperate while helping build public cultures that can sustain productivity, exchange and prosperity.

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He will come again i and the dead and hi By Father J. Patrick Serna

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Contributor

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

s we all journey through this earthly pilgrimage, we experience time and again the expectation to take tests, and pass them. Whether it be tests for school, work or sports, we know that we must pass requirements on days of testing, or the ability to proceed is denied. The Nicene Creed speaks to us about the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, at which time the living and the dead will be judged; “God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world” (CCC 677). God tells us through His prophet Daniel, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, others to reproach and everlasting disgrace.” The kingdom of God is in seminal form here on earth, and will continue forever in heaven after the Day of Judgment takes place. It has become fashionable in recent decades to hear the words, “I know I am going to heaven, God doesn’t send anyone to hell because hell does not exist.” We do well to remember that only God is the judge, not us, and disbelief in a Judgment Day wherein there are “alternative outcomes” is contrary to teachings of the Bible and of the church. G. K. Chesterton once wrote that, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions,” and it is better to trust in reality than in wishful thinking. We are told in the New Testament book of James to avoid presumption in these stern words, “You believe that God is one. You do


OUR FAITH

n glory to judge the living s kingdom will have no end well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.” from the Catechism that, “When he comes at the end of In his “Sermon on the Apostle’s Creed,” the Domin- time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ ican St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that, “...there are four will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render antidotes against the fear of judgment. 1-Good works, to each man according to his works and according to his 2-Confession and penance for sins, 3-giving alms, and acceptance or refusal of grace (CCC 682).” 4- charity because ‘charity covers a multitude of sins’ (1 For centuries it has been speculated that Jesus will not Peter 4:8).” We receive similar advice about preparation return to judge the living and the dead until all the Jews for Judgment Day from the Franciscan Blessed John Duns convert over to Christianity. The biblical passage which is Scotus’ “Opus Oxoniense”. In giving the following advice, referred to for the aforementioned theory is found in St. Scotus exhibits great psychological insight into human Paul’s letter to the Romans, where he says that the end will nature: “A useful and saving not transpire, “until exercise in sacraments is the full number proposed to man, whereby of the Gentiles he might shun a vain and comes in, and noxious occupation; for he thus all Israel will I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven who takes leisure in good be saved.” There and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one exercise is not easily caught is another way to Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the by the tempter (Oxon. 4 d.1 interpret this bibFather before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true q.3 n.1).” lical passage, and God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with We know that Jesus will the interpretation the Father; through Him all things were made. For us men be the one to judge us when is quite an interthe Day of Judgment arrives, esting one at that. and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the for we are told in Chapter Saint Anselm Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became 5 of John, “Nor does the of Canterbur y, man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, Father judge anyone, but the famous BeneHe suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the he has given all judgment dictine monk and third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into to his Son.” Aquinas tells archbishop, has heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will us that Jesus will appear to been given the come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His us on Judgment Day as a prestigious title, kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the human, because as humans “Father of SchoLord the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the this is how we are best able lasticism.” The Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, to relate to Him. Aquinas perspicacious who has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy, also reflects on the fact that Anselm paved the Catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the the One who was judged way for scholastic forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of unjustly, will come back to giants like Aquithe dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. judge with justice. nas, Scotus and We learn magisterially Bonaventure, and

Nicene Creed

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  43  


is conspicuous in theological arenas for the acuity of his intellect. Anselm speculates that “Israel” and “Sons of Israel” are references to the holy men on earth who attain the beatific vision in heaven. Anselm writes, “If by ‘children of Israel’ we mean only holy men; it may be explained in two ways: that God has appointed the bounds of the people according to the number of the angels of God, or that a people will continue to exist upon earth, until the number of angels is completed from among men. Although lost angels must have their ranks filled by men, it does not follow that the number of lost angels was equal to that of those who persevered.” Before Jesus comes again, people will start treating human teachings as an alternative to true religion, and worldly leaders will be given the respect of a messiah. We are taught that “Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh (CCC 675). ” The kingdom of God is already among us in seminal form here on earth, and after the Day of Judgment, the kingdom will continue forever without end. We prepare for countless earthly tests in order to pass examinations for school, sports and work. We should use our minds to reflect on our Beloved, and our hearts to love Him; in so doing we are preparing for the happy day when we will meet Him on that Day of Judgment.

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The Holy Family, By Deacon Stephen Nolte

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Contributor

Deacon Stephen Nolte is Director of the Office of Family Life and Director of the Office of Life, Justice and Human Dignity in the Diocese of Corpus Christi

hen looking for family role models, we cannot find a better one than the Holy Family, and with good reason. It provides Christian families everywhere a glance into family life. By reflecting on their persons and unity as a family, we can gain a great appreciation for their importance as role models and see God’s plan for the family revealed in them. Chapter three of the book of Sirach reveals the structure of families as set forth by God. The Holy Family exemplifies this example of how we are to live as families. God sets a father in honor over his children and confirms a mother’s authority. Children who honor their father and respect their mother will receive all blessings. Their prayers will be heard and their lives will be rich with atonement and joy in their own children. Their strength will be found in honoring and serving their parents, and their kindness not be forgotten. In Colossians 3 we read these words: “Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged.” Husbands and wives tend to look at one another whenever they read or hear these words, perhaps remembering a time when they did not act according to this precept. Both parents may look at their children, silently planning to emphasize the part about obedience, while the children hear only the words about provocation. But the negative aspects of these words are not the point of the lesson. Loving, honoring and


, God’s gift to humanity respecting one another is. It is what inspires the unity and love modelled by the Holy Family. Honoring our parents, respecting our spouse and treating our children with kindness may at times seem impossible. Parents can be as annoying to children as the children are to them. Spouses do not always fulfill their wedding vows of total commitment and love. Children often do not behave as they should, especially as adolescents. Instead of showing unconditional love, parents often focus on their children’s wrongs rather than their postiives contributions. Being family is not always easy; the sacrifices and challenges can be daunting, but that is what makes a family strong and unites us when we follow God’s plan. His plan is fully revealed in the Holy Family, in the persons of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Our gaze on them through the lens of Scripture reveals the fullness of their life and their devotion to God and one another. St. Joseph is described as a just and righteous man. His quiet heroism is often overlooked, yet he remains a profound figure in the life of Jesus. When we read the little that is written about him in the Gospels, we easily recognize him as a man whose life is directed by a great faith. That faith empowers him to be open to God’s design for his life, open to hearing God’s plan and open to acting on it. Four times in dreams St. Joseph heard God’s words and responded to them. As a faithful and prudent servant, he was obedient to the law, both God’s and the civil authority. He seemingly already knew how to render unto Caesar what was his and praised God for all other things. He went to Bethlehem to enroll in the census and to Jerusalem for Passover as prescribed by the Mosaic Law. We must not overlook his fidelity to Mary, living chastely with her even as she was with a child not his own. His love and compassion for her would not allow him to expose her. He worked hard to provide for Mary and when Jesus was born, took him into his care as his own son. Consider St. Joseph’s humility. He lived with the only two

perfect people the world has ever known. His patience must have been great. Anything and everything that could possibly go wrong in his family was something that he could be at fault for. Nevertheless, he stuck it out, at the very least through Jesus’ twelfth year. Many of our early Church Fathers held the tradition that Joseph’s presence probably continued for some years beyond. His influence was still known when Jesus began His public ministry, for people remarked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph, the craftsman?” (Mt 13:55) Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is also known as the Mother of God and through our adoption in Christ, our Mother as well. We know much of her example: her receptivity, faithfulness, humility, obedience and self-sacrifice. We remember her as a woman of sorrows, but also of joy; as someone who showed great charity in her visit to Elizabeth; and, of course, as a woman full of grace. But we must not forget her silence, her contemplative side. Even as Joseph heard God’s words through dreams, Mary pondered all things that happened and held them in her heart of hearts. She was fully in communion with God, her husband Joseph and her Son Jesus. As the Son of God, the person of Jesus is well known to us. Our faith is wrapped around His person, informed by His life, and sealed by His Passion, Death and Resurrection. For this reason not much needs to be written here to remind us of His role in the Holy Family other than to recall Luke’s words when Jesus was found in the Temple: “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them…And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” Notice the common acts of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. They were all open and obedient to God’s word, faithful and humble. They never put themselves first. This is the example they have given us, and they are God’s gift to us. As we continue our journey toward God, let us reflect on the Holy Family and follow their example. May our words and actions always reflect the unconditional love we find in the Holy Family.

➤ Children who honor their father and respect their mother will receive all blessings. Their prayers will be heard and their lives will be rich with atonement and joy in their own children. Their strength will be found in honoring and serving their parents, and their kindness not be forgotten.

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Discernment in the modern age By Sister Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT Contributor

Sister Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

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ne of the banes of modern life is the plethora of bad books, bad both in the sense of poorly written and bad in the sense of poisonous content. It’s an observation that can be applied to movies, music, TV and other forms of human activity as well. This is not meant to be a moral judgment so much as a reflection on what constitutes healthy food for the soul. We have great concern for the health of our bodies and our environment. And we feed them and protect them accordingly. At the same time, we seem to have much less conscious concern for what goes into our minds, our souls and our spirits. We simply consume whatever is offered, no longer recognizing the difference between junk food and delicacy, nutrients and toxins. Entertainment of a rather mindless variety seems to be the common fare these days. It is big business to translate the written form into visual form thus making things more sensual, gripping and exciting. Books are made into movies, and articles are covered with images that engage the senses and the emotions in ways that are particularly potent. We are attracted to manipulated, computer-generated scenes, enchanted by special effects, and seduced by music that diverts us away from a close examination

46  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

of content. We find ourselves being moved in certain directions without the benefit of having our intellect fully engaged. In fact, our intelligence is often purposely bypassed. This can be very dangerous. It is a lot like seeing a glass of cold, refreshing water, after coming in on a hot, dusty day. The reaction is almost overwhelming, immediate, physiological and emotional. We would, without thinking, take the water and drink it. But if someone told us that despite its inviting appearance, the water actually had e-coli in it, we would not approach it, much less drink it, no matter how thirsty we were, knowing it would be hazardous to our health. This is very much like what happens when we indiscriminately read or watch whatever is the latest rage—whether it be fictional stories, movies, TV shows or current book marketing of pornography—that mock God, believers and our faith. So many times people say: “It’s not so bad. It’s just a little sex, or just a little

violence, or just a little language.” It does not matter whether the poison is hidden in small amounts. A little poison will kill you just as dead over time. When our emotions, our passions, our senses, apart from our intellects, make our decisions for us, we are capable of drinking to the dregs whatever contaminant is presented to us. And today, very deadly poisons abound. Our culture prizes acceptance, tolerance and open-mindedness. It has been noted though that the danger comes when people become so open-minded their brains fall out. Curiosity can be a grave temptation. Being “well-informed” is another hook. Pope Benedict XVI mentioned that knowledge for its own sake only leads to sadness, and sometimes to much worse things. This is not a new problem. The young St. Teresa of Avila had an attraction to the romance/adventure novels of her time until she realized that the illusions, vanity and worldliness they sowed in her were a great obstacle to her life in


general and to her relationship with God in particular. They did not help her live in reality and especially in the reality of her dignity as a woman, a beloved daughter of God with a great destiny, a great part to play in the life of the church and the world. St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, also had this problem before his conversion. He is famous for realizing how the books he read affected the movements of his soul, for better or worse. While recovering from a serious battle injury, he began to recognize that the worldly books he was fond of, and which also fed his vanity, gave him a feeling of excitement, which quickly passed and left him feeling discontented and restless. On the other hand, when he read books on the lives of the saints and their great deeds, he found himself inspired and filled with a desire to follow their example. These feelings did not change. From this simple observation St. Ignatius developed his principles for discernment, which are now indispensable

teachings for anyone serious about the spiritual life. We of course need discernment in many areas of our lives. And because we live in a complicated age, it is good to look for some general direction. One place to find this is back at the very beginning. God gave some very simple directions for life in the Garden, and repeated them again after the fall, through Moses. He told Adam and Eve that they could eat from the Tree of Life and the other trees in the Garden, but not of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Later, He reiterated this directive again to the Israelites in Exodus: “Choose life that you may live.” In all honesty, when our question becomes: “Is what I am about to say or see or do, life-giving to me and to those around me?” we are able to frame issues in a new light. This is not the only question we sometimes need to ask. But it is a very good place to start and finish. Is this life giving or is this poison to me, to my relationships,

to my own dignity or someone else’s dignity? It is a question that can be used with many of the choices we should make today with more deliberation than we do. And it is a question that avoids the dissembling of moral relativism. Something is either life-giving to all involved, or it is not. If it brings death of any kind in its wake, it is to be avoided. God’s commandments and the church’s counsels are not meant to cramp our style or dampen our fun. They are simply meant to protect us. God knows what is good, what is healthy for us. And He also knows what will make us sick. Technology and the creative powers of mankind in many different fields have the potential to serve life or to bring death, both physical and spiritual death, depending on how they are used. If we truly want to live and live well—live the abundant life Jesus promises us—then we have to stop starving our own souls and eat more plentifully from the Tree of Life.

➤ God’s commandments and the church’s counsels are not meant to cramp our style or dampen our fun. They are simply meant to protect us. God knows what is good, what is healthy for us. He also knows what will make us sick.

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FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  47  


Prayer and busyness in the Gospels By Sister Kathleen Mcdonagh, IWBS

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Contributor

Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS is a member of the order of the Incarnate Word of the Blessed Sacrament

ark’s Gospel is the earliest of the three Gospels known as the Synoptic Gospels—those written by Matthew, Mark and Luke. In them, we see an emphasis on activity as well as on prayer, all for the sake of the Lord. For example, in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel Jesus is presented as coming to Galilee and calling on people to “repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:1415) And then, He begins to call as His followers those who will be His closest co-workers and who will be known as apostles. These, however, up to now in their lifetime, had not been noted for their prayerfulness. They had been fishermen, farmers, workers engaged in various forms of manual labor. Jesus addresses those who are fishermen, issuing an invitation in terms that will appeal to them: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mk. 1:17, 20) “Fishers of men?” These men had probably never thought of being able to serve God as “fishers of men.” However, now that the invitation was given in these terms, they begin to see the possibility of making their ordinary lifework a special means of connecting with God. Two others—James and John— were called as they worked in a boat mending their nets. They could have protested, “We have work to do.” But no! They left

48  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

their father working with hired men and followed Jesus. So the call comes to hardworking people in the midst of their ordinary work and in words that relate to their ordinary work. This begins to affect their way of life. On the Sabbath, as we might expect, Jesus and His followers proceeded to the synagogue in Capernaum. There, however, they are described as engaging in prayer, but also as challenging an unclean spirit who possesses a man. Jesus confronts the demon and orders him: “Quiet! Come out of him!” (Mk 1:25) And the demon has to do so. Prayer in the synagogue, yes; casting out of demons in the synagogue, yes. Prayerful activity is a reality in the lives of the close followers of Jesus. Further cures are implied, even on the Sabbath. Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was cured of a fever on the Sabbath day. And when she rose up, she spent her time, not in praying directly to God in gratitude for her cure, but as a good housewife—“waiting on them.” (Mk 1:29-31) And the next brief paragraph, Mk 1:32—34, describes healing of

those who are ill and those possessed by demons even as Jesus refuses to allow the demons to speak. So, for followers of Christ everywhere, there are people for whom specific prayer is most important in their lives. We often call these people contemplatives. There are also people for whom prayer is very important but for whom action in order to lead others to God is equally important, in some cases, perhaps more so. These we call active Christians. What is shared is the fact that members of both groups are focused on the Lord. What is different is that the contemplatives’ lives are centered specifically on prayer while active Christians do pray a certain amount each day, but then they devote some—much—of their time to action that will help others. Both discover that their way of life involves recognition of a vocation that they are living out. The more active group balances the strictly contemplative group; the contemplatives balance the more active group. Both find the experience of God in their life styles.


FEBRUARY CALENDAR

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On Feb. 2, beginning at 9:30 a.m. World Day of Consecrated Life will be celebrated with a Mass, followed by a reception, at Corpus Christi Cathedral. The Cathedral is located at 505 North Upper Broadway Street in Corpus Christi. For more information, call Sister Annette Wagner at (361) 882-6191.

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www.iwacc.org/word101

True Beauty Retreat On Feb. 8 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Philip Parish (3513 Cimarron Road). True Beauty helps girls discover the inner beauty of being created female in the image and likeness of God and the dignity they possess as God’s beloved daughters. Retreat includes a catered lunch, snacks, tote bag, t-shirt, take home materials, second session and

15

Valentine Dance

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Day of Prayer and Reflection

www.diocesecc.org/ truebeauty

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IWA Middle Level Word & High School Level101 Open House On Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. for middle level, and on Feb. 6 from 6-8 p.m. for high school level. Word 101 is an informative, insightful session in which families can get to know the place, the people and the philosophy that make IWA a unique scholastic opportunity. Tour middle level classrooms and learn about academics, athletics and financial aid. This is a great opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, parents and students at IWA. For more information, visit

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luncheon. Cost is $60 which also includes 4 sessions. To download the flyer and registration packet go to

World Day of Consecrated Life Mass and Reception

Seminar with guest speaker, Karlo Broussard On Feb. 8 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Our Lady of Corpus Christi will be hosting a one day workshop with guest speaker Karlo Broussard, Apologist and speaker for the Magis Center of Reason and Faith, presenting “Evidence for God from Physics and Philosophy.” Fifty dollars per person (lunch included). Discounted rates for church groups. Must pre-register at www.magiscenter.com, email: speakers@magisreasonfaith. org or call (509) 669-1981 by

Feb. 2.

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The Melchizedek project meeting On Feb. 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. For information on location contact Rachel Dimas at (361) 882-6191 or rdimas@diocesecc.org The Melchizedek Project is a discernment group for high school seniors and above who love Jesus Christ and His church, and who are willing to talk to other like-minded men about their future. The group meetings are not meant to convince you that priesthood is your vocation. You could very well be called to marriage or another vocation. But as a Catholic men–even if you are currently dating–at some point you have to ask yourself whether or not God is calling you to be a priest. Learn more at www.ccpriest.org

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On Feb. 15 from 9 p.m. to midnight at Mesquite River Bend 534 Club (at Lagarto). Join St. Francis of Assisi Mission for a Valentine Dance. There will be a live auction and music by “Borderline.” The cover charge is $5. For more information, contact the Altar and Rosary Society at (361) 547-9386.

On Feb. 15 from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Portland (1008 Austin Street). Come learn the power of prayer and silence. Go deeper in this relationship of prayer. All are welcome. Day begins with Mass. Light breakfast and lunch provided. The day will be led by members of Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Register at www.deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Confirmation Retreat On Feb. 15 at Our Lady of Victory in Beeville. Every year, the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office sponsors a Diocesan Retreat for those parishes that are unable to conduct their own retreat or for those candidates that missed their parish confirmation retreat. The deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 7. To download registration packet go to www.diocesecc.org/cretreat

15

True Courage Retreat On Feb. 15 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. True Courage Retreat teaches you that chivalry

FEBRUARY 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  49  


FEBRUARY CALENDAR CONTINUED . . .

begins with respect for self and everyone else you meet in life. Retreat includes a catered lunch, snacks, tote bag, t-shirt and take home materials. Cost is $60 which also includes four sessions. To download the flyer and registration packet go to

seating and for more information call (361) 888-7444.

20

On Feb. 20-23. This is a weekend to go deeper in your relationship with Our Lord through the power of prayer and silence. “Be still and know that I am God.” Learn to listen to His voice in prayer by praying with Scripture according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Register at www.deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

www.diocesecc.org/ truecourage

15

Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary Day of Prayer at OLCC On Feb. 15 from 8:30 a.m.2:30 p.m. in the library at Our Lady of Corpus Christi. There will be Mass, a series of talks and time to pray with Our Lady. A light breakfast and lunch will also be provided. Register www.deepprayer. org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

15

16

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Blessed John Paul II High School’s Extravaganza On Feb. 15 at the L&F Distributors in Corpus Christi at 5:30 p.m. The Extravaganza is an annual dinner and dance event to benefit the students of Blessed John Paul II High School. Please visit the school’s Web site at www. jpiihighschool.org for more information.

Men’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat at OLCC

23

The Canadian Brass On Sunday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m. as part of the 2013-14 Cathedral Concert Series now in it’s 30th season. For VIP memberships for priority reserved

50  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2014

St. Anthony’s Fiesta Centennial Banquet Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown. In honor of the Parish’s 100th Anniversary (1914-2014 ) parish will be honoring all former pastors of St. Anthony Parish.

call (361) 883-4507.

27

St. Pius X’s Altar & Rosary Society Card Party On Feb. 27, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., St Pius X Altar and Rosary Society will hold their annual Card Party in the Parish Hall at 5620 Gollihar Rd. in Corpus Chrsti. Come and enjoy fellowship, good food, fun, games, and win some door prizes. Bring your playing partners and playing cards or whatever games you want to play. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Join us for the luncheon even if you cannot play. For more information or tickets, contact Emily Dickinson at (361) 446-2401 or at dickinson.erd@gmail.com

The parish office can also be contacted at (361) 993-4053.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Annual BBQ Fundraiser On Sunday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, 3110 E. Causeway Blvd. (North Beach). Dine in or take out. There will be a raffle and live auction. Come out and support our fundraising efforts. Meal includes: BBQ beef, beans, potato salad, bread, dessert, coffee or tea. Donations are $7 per plate. For more information

To see more calendar events go to:

SouthTexasCatholic.com

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I

n September of 2011 the Diocese of Corpus Christi launched a 5 year Capital and Endowment Campaign that we called the Legacy of Faith ~ Future of Hope. In just 24 months, through your generosity the Campaign has received over 9,000 pledges totaling over $38 million! On November 20, 2013 by the grace of Our Lord and your generosity, the first fruits of the Campaign were brought to reality when His Excellency, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey consecrated the altar and dedicated the St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel along with the Newman Center and Residence Halls at Texas A&M University in Kingsville! The St. John Vianney Residence for Retired Priest is nearing completion and is scheduled to be consecrated and blessed in early 2014. These blessings to our diocese could not be possible without your generosity and support. Thank you for helping the Church in South Texas leave a Legacy of Faith and a Future of Hope! Please read below to see the detailed progress and future plans for the remaining campaign projects.

PROJECTS COMPLETED OR NEAR COMPLETEION: • St. John Vianney Residence for Retired Priests - $5.5 Million Opening Early 2014 • Priests’ Residence Operations Endowment - $1.5 Million Fully Funded • Chapel on campus of Texas A&M Kingsville - $1.5 Million Open Nov. 2013 • Direct Parish Support to parishes of our Diocese - $1.5 Million • Newman Center at Texas A&M Kingsville - $500,000 Open Nov. 2013 • Operations Endowment for Newman Center - $500,000 Fully Funded

• Texas A&M Corpus Christi Campus Ministry 2015 - 2016

• Catholic Charities Outreach to Outlying Area 2015 - 2016

• Tuition Assistance Endowment for Seminary Education 2015 - 2016

• Tuition Assistance Endowment for Catholic Schools 2015 - 2016 • Fully Funding the Priests Retirement Pension Plan 2017 • Ongoing Parish Support 2017

PA R I S H S U P P O R T

please contact the Office of Stewardship & Development at (361) 882-6191 or email dwyrwich@diocesecc.org

• Coastal Bend Community College Campus Ministry 2015 - 2016

COMING TO A PARISH NEAR YOU...

For more information,

emartinez@diocesecc.org

STILL RECEIVING FUNDS:

REV. JOHN OUELLETTE ST. THERESA OF THE INFANT JESUS PARISH

“The great thing about Legacy of Faith ~ Future of Hope is that small parishes have opportunities of having large amounts of money returned back to the parish. With what we receive back form the Legacy of Faith ~ Future of Hope, we will be able to do some extensive work here in our own parish.”


Feb. 2014 Issue

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

South Texas Catholic - February 2014  

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...

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