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VOL. 50 NO. 2

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD



John and Susie Sullivan share their love with newly adopted children Samantha, 11, and Benny, 15. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

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

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


Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist heal hearts at area Christus Spohn hospitals. Caren Childers, a volunteer ExtraOrdinairy Minister of the Eucharist at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline, prepares Holy Communion at the hospital’s chapel. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

INSIDE 4 The family needs the Church VIEWPOINTS

and the Church needs the family

oportunidad de brindar la esperanza en Jesús

PARISH LIFE NATIONAL NEWS 11 Sacred 37 Heart anchor for faithful in Catholics in Congress: What Corpus Christi’s inner city

EDUCATION 15 CATHOLIC Ministry conference focuses on the family

VOCATIONS 21 Sister Mary Jesus Martires, OP Keep up with the Faith at

VIDA CATÓLICA 29 Detención de inmigrantes ofrece

lives a missionary life, faithful to the Dominican charism

makes them eager to serve and electable?

VATICAN NEWS 39 Pope, at Mass with millions, tells Filipinos to protect the family

FAITH 41 OUR Mass: The Lord’s most precious gift FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  3  


The family needs the Church and the Church needs the family Bishop Michael Mulvey


South Texas Catholic

Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

f we are to really make the family “fully alive,” as the theme of our just concluded ministry conference suggests, we must focus on the Holy Father’s counsel to keep the presence of Jesus Christ at the center of our lives. The family is the critical and fundamental expression of human life. With Christ the family will discover its true future. The family is the domestic Church. It is rooted in the sacramental beauty of the love shared between a man and a woman, a husband and wife. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus reminds us of his father’s words, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh (Mk 10:7).” In the sacrament of marriage God allows the family to reflect an image of himself. The family is the image of God on Earth, the image of the most Holy

Trinity. God shares a selfless existence amongst the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, living for each other in a self-emptying love. So too are families to live; we must follow Christ’s example and empty ourselves so that the family may thrive. This is the challenge of human society and of the family today; to relearn the depth and meaning of love. We can say we are loving people, but do we understand what love entails. We will never understand it, if we take our eyes off Christ and off the highest expression of love, the self-emptying of ourselves for others. The Holy Family provides us

the human model of how families can be Christ-centered and live for mutual self-giving. The beauty of the family of Nazareth is that their focus is none other than Jesus. The purpose of the family today should also be Jesus. God made man living and dwelling in the family. That is why we as church exist. That is why the family exists. Pope Francis reminds us, “The family is an indispensable light and beacon to our world and to our Church.” The family, today, however, faces many challenges. It is constantly under attack. The family needs help. It needs to

➤ We must reject the greatest idol in our lives–

our egos. Society continuously tempts us to make everything about “me.” We must say “no!” It is not about me it is about “you.” 4  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  FEBRUARY 2015


rediscover its origin in God, in the natural law of men and women brought together in a selflessness of love. I am convinced that the world’s problems have a root in the lack of family life. The disciple John warns us to “be on your guard against idols (1 Jn 5:21).” Part of our efforts at renewing the family is to look at the idols that exist in our lives and in our families that extinguish Jesus’ presence in our lives. We must reject the impulse to have power over each other. We must turn away the idol of success over the cost of our families. We must stop seeking material goods over the value of persons in the family. We must, as the Holy Father reminds us, turn away from gossip and being judgmental. We must reject the greatest idol in our lives–our egos. Society continuously tempts us to make everything about “me.” We must say “no!” It is not about me it is about “you” (the other person). We should be present to each other. Loving “you” and “you” loving “me”– mutual love–will result in the best family. We should heed the words of John the Baptist, “He must increase; I must decrease (Jn 3:30).” If he increases and we decrease, the family will grow and be strong. The Church is here to help the family rediscover its purpose and strengthen its place in society. The family needs the Church and the Church needs the family. We must look at the family for what it can be, what it should be, but also in the reality of what it is. We must stay focused on why God created the family, not on the redefinition of the family that government and society try to impose on us. May the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, her spouse, help our families live with Christ at the center of their lives now and in eternity.

Alfredo E. Cárdenas


South Texas Catholic

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

ne of the first things we do at the start of Mass is pray the Penitential Act, in which we confess, “I have sinned…in what I have done and what I have failed to do.” Those last six words have always gnawed at my conscience. What does that mean “what I have failed to do”? Why is that a sin? Why is this important anyway? Not easy questions, nor easy answers. The Apostle James puts it quite clearly, “So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin (James 4:17)”. The Apostle John tells us, “If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him (1 Jn 3:17)?” In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus gives us a prime example of what we are called to do when confronted with someone requiring mercy. The Lord gives an even more clear understanding of mercy in The Judgment of the Nations when he says “…I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  5  


➤ God calls us to holiness and we cannot achieve that by

simply avoiding evil, we must also embrace good. do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me’ (Mt 25:42-45).” In all these situations, it seems to me that we are confronted with a choice that requires our action. We must, as James tells, know “the right thing to do” and if we fail to do it we commit a sin. In John’s example we must “possess worldly means,” which suggests a responsibility dependent on other factors, such as ability. The Good Samaritan gives an example of how we can use these “worldly means” to extend mercy. In the Judgment of the Nations, one assumes that we must see those in need in order for a responsibility to extend mercy to adhere. Even in the Penitential Act, immediately following the phrase of my

concern, we pray “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” Suggesting that if there is no “fault” there is no sin. So unless we see someone in need and we are capable of assisting that person, and we fail to do so, then we are committing a sin of omission. On the other hand, if we are not confronted by a person in need and or we do not have the means to help a person in need, we are free of the sin of omission. It would seem that way. Perhaps, but that may be an oversimplification. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that “In God’s law…men might be gradually led to virtue, first by abstaining from evil…and afterwards by doing good…(Summa Theologica,

72.6). It is not enough that we may escape sin by pleading ignorance or incompetence. God calls us to holiness and we cannot achieve that by simply avoiding evil, we must also embrace good. So my conundrum continues. What shall we do? This Lenten season we should try to grow in spirituality by doing what the Lord calls us to do; try–in all instances–to do good, whether the call to do good is before us or by taking that extra step and seek out those situations in which doing good calls out to all men. Let us fulfill Christ’s command in Mathew 25. With God’s mercy we will all be on the right side at the Judgment of the Nations.

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

• Girls perform volunteer service at Rainbow House

• JP II alum wins racial justice writing contest with poem

• Latin Mass Community celebrates Our Lady of Fatima First Saturday processions

• SOLT sisters will open convent to the public on Feb. 8

• Holy Family gets flagpole from Eagle Scout project • Robstown parish holds Christmas Pageant before vigil Mass

• IWA senior is first high school student selected to perform in orchestra at local festival

• Scholarship deadline approaches for Catholic laity

• St. John Paul II High School senior awarded Lew Borden Memorial Scholarship

• Annual school donation enriches children’s Christmas

• Gabriel Rauen looks to be next geography bee champ

• New billboards offer help to pregnant women

• St. Joseph School holds Epiphany concert


Patient Celine Leblond prepares to receive the Holy Eucharist from Caren Childers. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Rebecca Esparza



ixty-seven-year-old Celine Leblond never imagined it would be possible to receive the Holy Eucharist while at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline recuperating from a left hip replacement. But during her seven-day stay at the hospital, volunteers with the Spiritual Care Department visited her room everyday to give her Holy Communion. “I feel like my Church was right here with me, every step of the way on my road to recovery. God has been with me this entire time,” she said. Leblond is just one of dozens of patients visited everyday by volunteers with one mission: to administer to the sick and dying at six area CHRISTUS Spohn hospitals, including at Shoreline, Memorial, South, Kingsville, Alice and

Beeville. “We have approximately 60 volunteer Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist, but could always use more,” said Marjorie Chavez, RN, MAHCM, Director of Mission Services for CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. “Our Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist are a blessing to our patients, staff and entire hospital FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  7  


Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist Healing souls at the hospital


Extra-Ordinairy Minister of the Eucharist Caren Childers comforts Rachel Ramirez, a patient at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

system. Their ministry is a gift and an extension of our mission: to ‘extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ’ to all who come to us for care.” Caren Childers, a parishioner at St. Andrews By the Sea for more than 20 years, saw an item in the Sunday bulletin about becoming an Extra-Ordinairy Minister of the Eucharist and was intrigued. She spent a lot of time in hospitals caring for family members over the years and felt at ease in a hospital setting. This year, she celebrates five years as a volunteer Extra-Ordinairy Minister of the Eucharist at CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline. “I’m humbled to be part of this important ministry,” she said. “I feel we really make a difference to the patients at the hospital. No matter how sick they are, how much pain they may be in or


if death is knocking at their door, a ray of light shines when we bring the Body of Christ to them and their families. They are so grateful!” Childers added volunteers not only distribute Holy Communion to the patients, but also family members, as well. Many times, patients are lonely, so volunteers will stay and chat for a few minutes. They also hand out rosaries–handmade by the volunteers–and prayer cards. “I truly believe our visits help people heal faster,” she said. Father Joseph Olikkara, MST has been a Chaplain at CHRISTUS Shoreline for six years and witnesses firsthand the healing power of receiving the Holy Eucharist in a hospital setting. “The vulnerable, the sick, the suffering and dying…these are the people who need Jesus


Christ the most. We’re also here to help families of the sick, as well,” he said. Childers explained there are procedures to follow when dealing with sick patients in a hospital setting, so volunteers work closely with doctors and nurses to ensure protocols are strictly enforced. “Patients who are about to undergo surgery or tests are sometimes restricted from eating anything by mouth. Or occasionally a patient is quarantined, so we can give a blessing from the next room,” she said. Dale Roper, an Extra-Ordinairy Minister of the Eucharist at CHRISTUS Spohn South, said the experience has been extremely rewarding for him. “It is a blessing to see their (patients) eyes light up in anticipation of receiving Holy Eucharist. Even those who are unable to receive the Eucharist are comforted and grateful to have a fellow

Catholic offer a spiritual communion prayer for them,” he said. “Jesus truly touches us through our sincere desire and efforts to be his hands and feet in the world today.” For some volunteers, being an Extra-Ordinairy Minister of the Eucharist is a way to give back after their own personal health battles. Helen Valdes is a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor and after her remission, she and her husband Richard became Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist at their home parish in Mexico City. “A fellow parishioner asked us to bring her Holy Communion when she was hospitalized,” Richard Valdes said. “The nurse told us that we were desperately needed throughout the whole hospital. When we moved to Corpus Christi, we wanted to continue our service to those in need.”

The dynamic husband and wife team have been volunteering as Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist at Spohn Shoreline twice a week, for the past three years. Richard Valdes also serves as president of the Volunteer Association at CHRISTUS Spohn. His wife serves as secretary of the same association. “The gratitude, appreciation and love you get back is tremendous,” Helen Valdes said. “We spend time with patients who are sick or in pain, but when they receive the Holy Eucharist, we can extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ on a very personal level.” Volunteers are urgently needed for Extra-Ordinairy Ministers of the Eucharist at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospitals throughout the Coastal Bend area. For more information, contact Marjorie Chavez at (361) 881-3814.



YWCA forum addresses racism Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic

Religious leaders of various faith communities in Corpus Christi came together on Martin Luther King Day to take part in a forum on racial justice sponsored by the Corpus Christi YWCA. Among the forum speakers was Bishop Michael Mulvey. The theme of the 9th Annual Racial Justice Forum was “How the Faith Community is Eliminating Racism.” Panelists included the Rev. Claude Axel of Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church; Rabbi Ilan Emanuel with Congregation Beth Israel; Rev. Gloria Lear of First United Methodist Church; and Bishop Mulvey. Racism, Bishop Mulvey said, is the

Bishop Michael Mulvey root of disunity, disharmony and chaos in society; a society that promotes individualism that results in narcissism. The way to overcome this self-centeredness

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is through love. “We have to start with who we are, who we are called to be,” Bishop Mulvey said. “We are all created by God in his image and likeness and that is what unites the human family. We are all equal in God’s eyes.” Sin, promoted by our narcissistic ways, causes a disruption in relationships, he said. Only love of God and neighbor can overcome the disunity of human relationships. Thinking about others rather than of self destroys narcissism, the bishop said. “As a faith community we need to do more,” Bishop Mulvey said. “We need to preach more, practice more and train our people to do more, to look beyond ourselves.”


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Bishop Mulvey blesses Central Catholic kindergarten student Kieran Silgero as he greets parishioners after Mass at Sacred Heart parish during pastoral visit. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Bishop makes pastoral visit to Sacred Heart Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


or more than a century, Sacred Heart Church has been meeting the spiritual needs of the faith community in the inner city of Corpus Christi. Today it continues to serve as an anchor for this community, but more than half of its parishioners are believed to be former inner city residents that have maintained ties with the parish. FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  11  

Father Juan Coma opened Sacred Heart in 1903 on Tancahua Street, but it was first called Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1915, it was moved to Last Street and the name was changed to Blessed Sacrament. Two Incarnate Word Sisters opened a school in 1912 and soon had between 100-150 students. The church was renamed St. Mary when a new sanctuary and school were built on 12th Street to meet the increasing demand of refugees fleeing the civil war in Mexico. In 1923, the church was moved and renamed one more time. This time its address was at the corner of Comanche and Alameda, and it was then called Sacred Heart. Father Anthony Elsing, MSF came to Sacred Heart in 1936, and remained its pastor through 1952; he returned as pastor from 1960-66 and again from 1973-76. It was under his direction that the present church was built—entirely by parish labor— in 1942. Sacred Heart progressed and grew through the years, but it was not only in their neighborhood that they evangelized. In 1946, Holy Family began as a mission of Sacred Heart. Three years later, St. Joseph also got its start as a Sacred Heart mission. A great many people who grew up in the inner city and have achieved some degree


of financial success have moved To see more photos of this event to other parts of the city. Some headed south, others west and South Texas still others stayed close by, but beyond the territorial boundaries of Sacred Heart, in areas now SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI served by its former missions. But they still call Sacred Heart home and not only return every Sunday for Mass, they are active in the parish on a daily basis, serving in the pastoral and finance Bishop Mulvey met councils, as religious education teachers and with the parish and finance councils in other parish ministries. Many of them were on hand on Sunday, at Sacred Heart, Jan. 18, when Bishop Michael Mulvey made including (from left) his pastoral visit to the parish. It was the Nelda Ibarra, DRE; bishop’s first pastoral visit of the year and Rosie Gonzalez; he told parishioners it is one of the duties as Catholic Daughters bishop that he looks forward to. At the par- Court#1149; ish’s Spanish Mass, Bishop Mulvey said that Mary Gonzalez, for a long time he had wanted to be present Catholic Daughters President at parishes during their Sunday worship. The bishop was also present at the English Court#1149; Mass later that morning and had breakfast Angelica Ortiz, between the two Masses, joining parishio- Finance Chairperson; ners celebrating with pastor Father Angel and Raul Ortiz, Montana, JCL the 23rd anniversary of his Pastoral Council ordination as a priest. After the 11:30 a.m. President. English Mass, Bishop Mulvey met and had Alfredo E. Cardenas, lunch with the pastoral and finance councils. South Texas Catholic



Central Catholic School students read at Mass celebrated by Bishop Mulvey. They are, from left, second grader Kaden Colmenero who read the first reading; fifth grader Sariah Williams read the Responsorial Psalm; and fifth grader Isabel Vera read the second reading.

Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

In his homilies, Bishop Mulvey said that there were three functions of the Church and of worship, union, communion and mission. The first calls us into a deeper union with God, a union in which we must be able to listen to what God wants from us. Too often we make demands of God, but true worship involves allowing him to make demands of us, Bishop Mulvey said. “How can we listen to God if we don’t know him? How can we know him if we don’t listen to his word?” Bishop Mulvey asked. “We have to learn to listen.” We must also live in communion with Jesus Christ, the bishop said. “We live in a divided world, marked with hate, violence and racism, yet when we go to church everyone is our sister and our brother,” Bishop Mulvey said. The parish, he said, is a community of people—of saints and sinners. He said,

“we are sinners seeking to be saints... to be saints, we must come together as a family.” Worship is an empty gesture if it does not include mission. To be missionary disciples, the bishop said, “We are called to leave these doors and go” and take the treasure we have received— Jesus Christ—to others, through word and example. “Our mission is not to…draw people to ourselves…but to make disciples of Jesus Christ,” the bishop said. At the meeting of the pastoral and finance councils, the bishop said their function was to create a healthy life in

the parish so the word of God can be preached. He said the pastoral council was the “dream team” that, working with the pastor, comes up with ideas for new buildings and programs. The finance council was the reality team that advises the pastor what is financially feasible. Bishop Mulvey thanked both councils for giving of their time and talent to strengthen parish life. “It was a blessing and a privilege to have the bishop with us,” parishioner Brenda Medina said. “It felt like the Holy Spirit was with us. What an honor for our parish.”

Father Angel Montana, JCL pastor at Sacred Heart, celebrated 23rd anniversary during bishop’s visit. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic



CRS Rice Bowl

has become Lenten tradition


atholics in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and throughout the U.S. live a vibrant Lenten experience through CRS Rice Bowl. The familiar cardboard box and the Lenten calendar tucked inside is the primary resource for families and individuals. It helps turn awareness into response. “As we are gearing up for the papal visit for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the Rice Bowl is a good way to have the family come to do works of mercy,” Father Ray Yrlas, CRS Diocesan Director, said. The Catholic Relief Services’ annual Rice Bowl program offers help to Catholics in meeting their Lenten obligations, as well as helps many to keep their New Year’s resolutions, especially when trying to change one’s eating habits to reduce calorie intake. There is nothing like getting some made-to-order recipes from a popular chef to help keep one motivated. Weekly recipes created by Father Leo Patalinghug, host of Grace Before Meals, have been linked to Rice Bowl, the 40-year-old CRS campaign to raise awareness about hunger and raise funds to combat hunger and poverty. Father Patalinghug provides five recipes, one for each week of Lent. The recipes are available from the CRS Web site,, and on YouTube. They feature lowcost, meatless ingredients. The CRS

Web site also includes recipes from previous years that can be searched by year and country of origin. In addition to the recipes, CRS has a free Rice Bowl app available for smartphones and tablets. It allows users to schedule delivery of daily reflections during Lent, to set and track progress toward a Lenten goal and view the recipes or see stories about people whose lives have been changed by the program. The app can be downloaded at: iTunes, the Google Play Store or the CRS Web site. Recipes, reflection and other information about the campaign are also available on the CRS Web site, which also provides parishes and schools resources–in English and Spanish–for helping the entire community celebrate Lent richly. There are prayer services, intentions for Prayers of the Faithful, bulletin notices, a letter to families, weekly 10-minute enrichment resources for religious education, and activities. Catholic schools are provided weekly lesson plans, prayer services and activities for various age groups.


For both parishes and schools, there are prayer services for the beginning and end of Lent that integrate CRS Rice Bowl into the community’s Lenten life. For teens, special resources for prayer, learning and action are provided for both parish and school settings. Young adult groups and universities have community reflection resources designed for them. This year, for the first time, CRS is making available a video series on Lenten practices; this is a formational series that does not focus on CRS Rice Bowl itself. “We invite pastors and principals to engage in the Rice Bowl program to help us engage in works of service,” Father Yrlas, who is also pastor at Sacred Heart in Rockport, said. “It helps our young people focus on people beyond our own neighborhood. It gives them a new perspective on problems children face in other parts of the world.” (Catholic News Service, Catholic Relief Services and South Texas Catholic contributed to this article.)


Families were among the 700 plus faithful that attended the 26th Annual Ministry Conference. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Ministry conference focuses on the family Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


ore than 700 Catholics from throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi attended the 26th annual Ministry Day Conference on Jan. 10. This year’s conference, titled “The Family Fully Alive,” was dedicated to the family. “The family is the church in the home,” Bishop Michael Mulvey told participants. “It is rooted

in the sacramental beauty of the love shared between a man and a woman, a husband and FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  15  


Winners of the Office of Vocations essay contest are, from left, Teddy Trevino, a fourth grader at St. Gertrude School in Kingsville; sixth grader Sirena Vela from St. Joseph School in Alice; and Ryan Fleming, senior at Orange Grove High School and parishioner of St. Frances of Rome Church in Agua Dulce. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

a wife.” Bishop Mulvey thanked conference participants for coming to learn how to become better ministers in their parishes so that they could better assist him, priests, deacons and religious. He said he was grateful not only for what they did in ministry but “I’m most grateful for who you are–people of faith.” The bishop asked the participants to “be present for each other” and to “let Christ be alive” in them. The featured speaker, James Healy, Director of the Center for Family Life Ministry in Joliet, Illinois, said those

in ministry “have to know” what they are calling people to, while not being anxious about it. Among those taking part in the conference were people interested in learning more about their Catholic Faith, especially those who do ministry in the Church, including catechists, youth ministers, young adult leaders, liturgical and music ministers, Bible study leaders, Catholic schoolteachers, RCIA teams, adult education leaders and evangelization teams. The event featured more than 40 workshops and presentations in both


English and Spanish. Among the topics covered were faithful citizenship, the Gospel of life, the family as the domestic church, the sanctity of the family, catechesis, stewardship, vocations, youth, young adults and more. “The Church is here to help the

Thirty-two participants at the Ministry Conference received certifications from St. Paul School of Catechesis. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic


family rediscover its purpose and strengthen its place in society. The family needs the Church and the Church needs the family,” Bishop Mulvey said. “We must look at the family for what it can be, what it should be, but also in the reality of what it is. We must stay focused on why God created the family, not on the redefinition of the family that government and society try to impose on us.” Winners of the Office of Vocations essay contest were announced at the conference. They are: Teddy Trevino, a fourth grader at St. Gertrude School in Kingsville, in the elementary school division; sixth grader Sirena Vela from St. Joseph School in Alice, in the middle school division; and Ryan Fleming, senior at Orange Grove High School and parishioner of St. Frances of Rome Church in Agua Dulce, in the high school division.

Eighteen individuals completed the required study to fulfill commissioning requirements for the St. Paul School of Catechesis. They are, Eva Amaro, Winifred Lee Bockholt and Mark Steven Bolu, Most Precious Blood School; Janet W. Daehne, St. Pius X School; Sonia Davila and Donna Marie Metz, Holy Family School; Bridgid Dillashaw, Johnson Dillashaw and Cecilia Gamboa, Santa Maria Mission; Lucy H. Garcia and Adelaida R. Segovia, Christ the King; Martha A. Gomez, Sister Flaviana Macasling, OP and Sister Adela Sereno, OP St. Anthony School; Catherine Marie Harrel, St. Philip the Apostle; Jackie Sepulveda Holt, St. Patrick School; Ann Marie Lippincott, St. Thomas More; and Dale Pittman, St. Theresa in Corpus Christi. Another 14, received their five-year re-commissioning, including, Belinda

Aguilar, Cathy (Katie) Lynn Brown and Beverly Ann Lanmon, St. Gertrude School; Katherine K. Barnes, Sacred Heart School; Susan Alice Canales, Christ the King; Sister Lucia Rosa D’Cunha, St. Joseph in Corpus Christi; Belinda Espinosa, Anna Munoz and Lisa Perez, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy; Frances Grace Lozano and Ciria Puente, Central Catholic Elementary; Cynthia A. Ramirez, Incarnate Word Academy Elementary; Priscilla D. Schneider, St. Elizabeth School; and Marian Rose Swetish, St. Patrick in Corpus Christi.

To see more photos of this event South Texas





The Priesthood: Vocation of Last Resort? Father Joseph Lopez, JCL



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

onsider this remarkable statement, “The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator (CCC, 1603).” That is a strong statement. It makes it sound as if everyone is called to the vocation of marriage. But what about the guy who has searched and searched for the right woman, with no success? In that case, he obviously should consider the priesthood. Right? Wrong. The priesthood is not the vocation of last resort. It is not a refuge for men who are considered “unmarriageable.” And when an affable young man does become a priest, his name is not “Father What-a-Waste.” The priesthood is, quite simply, for the men God calls–and he calls all kinds, regardless of appearance or personality. There are boisterous priests and quiet priests, handsome priests and homely priests. Here is the thing: good priests are men who would have been good husbands and fathers, too.


That is why it is important not to assume that if you can easily find a date on Friday night, marriage must be your vocation. Like any other vocation, marriage must be discerned, not assumed. But what about the opening statement taken from the catechism? It is saying in no uncertain terms that the vocation to marriage is naturally present in men and women. How do we square that with the celibate priesthood? There are at least two ways to answer the question. The first is the observation that Holy Orders is not a natural vocation, but a supernatural one. As Father Robert Barron puts it, “I see celibacy as a kind of irrational, over-the-top, poetic, symbolic expression of the soul in love.” And that leads right into

the second way to answer the question–that the priesthood is indeed a kind of marriage, a marriage to the bride of Christ, the Church. As one vocation director noted, “I no longer ask men if they are called to marriage or the priesthood. I now ask, ‘To which marriage are you called?’” If you have even the slightest attraction to the priestly life, do not ignore it. Life changes fast. Do not miss your opportunity to “date” the potential “bride,” the Church, by entering into a period of intense, ongoing discernment in the seminary. Be assured that the priesthood is a vocation filled with joy. If Jesus is truly calling you, it will be even more fulfilling for you, personally, than the vocation of marriage. To which marriage are you called?


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

Celebrating Consecrated Life:


Sister Annette Wagner, IWBS



onsecrated or religious life has always been an integral element of the Church. Therefore the story of the Body of Christ is reflected in the story of religious life. The first followers of Christ understood that to identify with Christ often meant to join him in suffering, even death. Therefore martyrdom—from the Greek word for witness—was recognized as the perfect way to follow Christ. When Christianity became legal early in the fourth century, Christians were challenged to look at the way they lived (not the way they died) as the form of martyrdom—of witness—to their belief in Christ. So the Spirit called a new, twopronged movement forth.

The first was a movement into the desert, its members recognized today as the Desert Fathers and Desert Mothers. These individuals, hearing the call to encounter the same spiritual challenges Jesus did in the desert, sought union with Christ through prayer and discipline. Recognized as wise concerning spiritual realities, they were sought out as spiritual guides. Thus loose associations of hermits were formed. The second movement centered on concern for Jesus’ “little ones” oppressed and

tempted within the society formed by city life. Individuals with a strong sense of prayer and purpose in living the works of mercy attracted like-minded men and women. They formed communities of mutual support for spirituality and service. Late in the fourth century, Basil–guided by the practices of his sister Macrina–composed the first recorded rule for this shared life. Others followed. When the Roman Empire was destroyed, the only remaining stability was provided by Church structures. For several



centuries, monasteries of both women and men served as reservoirs for spirituality, knowledge and education, arts and crafts—in short, all things cultural. Spiritual leaders Scholastica and Benedict adjusted their monastic rule in such a way that it became the model for all European monasteries. By the fifth century, the practice of cloister became the common expectation. Members of a religious community were committed to one location, concentrating their service on those who came to them. Their focus remained on the physical needs while expanding to address the spiritual needs as well. In some cases women and men’s monasteries were established in close proximity, both occasionally ruled by either an abbess or abbot. Cities often grew up around these established monasteries. As life in general became more stabilized, the next set of needs became apparent: religious presence among the city dwellers themselves. Because those suffering from spiritual poverty were rarely interested in visiting a monastery, men such as Francis and Dominic brought the monastery’s message to them. Thus the twelfth and thirteenth centuries saw the appearance of the “mendicant orders.” Preachers moved among the common folk to provide them with the Good News of God’s love and the invitation to live as a member of the Body of Christ. As more apostolic orders of men developed, women interested in this same dynamic experimented with a variety of movements

addressing a life of commitment to spirituality and service outside the confines of the religious cloister. By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, newly founded orders of women left behind the cloister to address the physical, spiritual and social needs of the poor wherever they lived. With the discovery of the New World and the expansion of European colonization, both women and men’s apostolic orders heard and answered the call to witness and serve in new, challenging settings. This flurry of missionary activities on every inhabited continent continued through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries—producing systems of education and health care, contributing to major societal changes. During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Council Fathers urged religious to reflect on their roots and founding charisms, to discover anew the call first heard by their founders. Thus they could respond in fresh ways to the needs of these times. Orders of women and men have maintained this awareness so that their consecrated life can be faithful to its past and responsive to its present. Centuries-old orders continue their life and service even as the Spirit calls new orders into existence. Like those first movements toward community living and service, developments in consecrated life through the centuries have resulted from the Spirit’s urging to respond to the realities and needs of the times. The Spirit still calls. Women and men still answer.


“Each day is an

occasion to be deeply rooted in Christ, to renew oneself in one’s commitment to vocation and realize with gratitude the marvels of God in oneself. This is the true meaning of a jubilee celebration.” –Archbishop Yllana Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, presents Sister Mary Jesus Martires, OP the Papal Blessing from Pope Francis for her 50th Anniversary in consecrated life. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic



Lives a missionary life, faithful to the Dominican charism

Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


ister Mary Jesus Martires, OP celebrated her Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession with a Thanksgiving Mass and reception at St. Paul the Apostle Church on Jan. 3. Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, was the main celebrant.



Sr. Mary Jesus Martires, OP A host of family, friends, priests and other religious in the Congregation of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic celebrated with Sister Mary. “A golden jubilee…is an inexplicable joy that ‘arises from grateful remembrance’ as Pope Francis put it in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, which like the Apostles would never forget that moment when Jesus touched their hearts on the way to Emmaus. So each day has

become a gradual discovery of the beauty of one’s communion with the very person of Christ,” Archbishop Yllana said in his homily. Sister Mary was born and raised in the Philippines in the Bicol Region. She made her profession with the Congregation of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic in 1965. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Santa Tomas in Manila and later a master of arts at Michigan State University. Her order sent her to evangelize in the Philippines, Taiwan and Chile. Later she was sent to Rome and then set out to found a new mission in Thailand and from Thailand she opened another mission in Cambodia. “Mission is often fraught with challenges, difficulties, dangers and risks even to one’s life. But, in all these, God is ever present in the one he calls and sends,” Archbishop Yllana said. Sister Mary’s missionary work brought her to the United States where she taught elementary level classes in California and later at St. Anthony School in Robstown and at Our Lady Rosary of the Catholic School in Corpus Christi. She is now delegate to the prioress general for

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the United States Chapter and lives at Our Lady of the Rosary Convent in Corpus Christi. Archbishop Yllana described Sister Mary as “a courageous woman, who would willingly face up to challenges that come her way as a determined religious, faithful to her commitment in consecrated life.” He spoke of religious life as being a daily challenge, one in which a religious faces and overcomes with the grace of God. “Each day is an occasion to be deeply rooted in Christ, to renew oneself in one’s commitment to vocation and realize with gratitude the marvels of God in oneself. This is the true meaning of a jubilee celebration,” Archbishop Yllana said. For 50 years, Sister Mary has lived a missionary life and has been faithful to the Dominican charism of sharing the Gospel to people wherever she was sent.

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On a Monday night, Jan., 11-year-old Samantha Sullivan proudly wore a pink chiffon dress with a gray, sparkling sweater and white sandals she had received as a Christmas gift. She was happy and it showed. She could not stop smiling inside the Corpus Christi home she shares with her brother Benny, 15, and her new parents, John and Susie Sullivan. The Sullivans adopted the two siblings–who had been in foster care for several years–in November and the four of them became a permanent family. “I liked their personalities. They were fun and they like learning with us,” Samantha said of her new parents. One of their first weekend outings after they met was to a museum where they saw a Samurai exhibit. Samantha liked wearing the headphones to learn about the Japanese warriors from ancient times. But her brother enjoyed learning all about the Samurai from John Sullivan, 51, who teaches martial arts in addition to being a chiropractor and a nutritionist. “Who needs headphones when you have John?” Benny said with a laugh. A sense of humor can come in handy when parents and children come together as an adoptive family, said Dr. Ray Guarendi, a clinical psychologist and father of 10 adopted children of all races, ranging in age from 15 to 27. He has written numerous books on parenting, and hosts a weekly television show on EWTN Global


Catholic Television called, “Living Right with Dr. Ray.” “Child rearing is too important to be taken seriously–you must be able to keep a sense of humor,” said Guarendi, who was in Corpus Christi to speak in January at the annual Ministry Conference, where the theme was “The Family Fully Alive.” He acknowledges some difficult times with his own children, who came from various challenging home environments. Guarendi advised any would-be adoptive parent that the journey “can be bumpy and long.” But he calls the Catholic Church “sky-high on adoption” for faithful, practicing Catholics. Guarendi mentioned two passages from the Bible’s new testament to drive the point home. One from the Book of James, “to care for orphans and widows” and another from the Book of Mark, which says “whoever receives one child like this in my name, receives me...” Susie Sullivan said it was the Holy Spirit who had always told her to consider adoption. She had volunteered with CASA of the Coastal Bend,

The Sullivan family, from left, John, Benny, Samantha and Susie enjoy time together in their home. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic


...the Catholic Church “sky-high on adoption” for faithful, practicing Catholics. whose mission is “to speak up for and find permanent homes for foster children in crisis…” “I even called about being a foster parent while I was still single, but I wasn’t quite ready, yet,” she said. The more Susie Sullivan learned about her Catholic faith and her vocation the more she wanted to adopt older children. And they had the room in their house, she said. She knew the first time she saw Benny and Samantha they were meant to be her children. The family attends several churches in Corpus Christi, including Most Precious Blood, St. John the Baptist and the Corpus Christi Cathedral. Benny and Samantha attend St. John Paul II High School and Bishop Garriga Middle School, respectively. Susie Sullivan credits many clergy in the city with influencing her Catholic faith, but the most important people who did so were her parents, Trinidad and Gloria Infante, who live in Corpus Christi. “Her family has been such a blessing,” John Sullivan said. He also has a 27-year-old son, Ron, who lives in San Antonio and is a former Marine. The clan, which also includes Susie Sullivan’s sister and her family, turned out for a Mass a few days before Christmas at Most Precious Blood, where Benny and Samantha were baptized, received their first communion and were confirmed.

The children had a lot of questions about their new faith, so they became involved with two Catholic youth groups; Life Teen for Benny and Edge for Samantha. “Our kids have the biggest hearts and they have been through a lot,” their dad said. John and Susie Sullivan adopted their children through the non-profit Spaulding for Children adoption agency, which has offices in Corpus Christi, McAllen and Houston. The couple first went to Spaulding in January 2013 to begin their long journey. The adoption of Benny and Samantha became final in November 2014. “We went through tests–it was an arduous process,” John Sullivan said. They took classes in parenting and in self-defense; had physical exams; and a home study. Some of the classes had expired and had to be taken again because the process took so long, Susie Sullivan said. There were no substantial fees involved, other than traveling to McAllen for training and a fee for fingerprinting, they said. After the couple was approved, they saw Samantha and Benny’s photo in a book, and traveled to where the children were living to spend Memorial Day weekend 2014 with them. The kids moved in permanently in June. “It was definitely worth it,” the Sullivans said about the process.


Adoption p Dayna Mazzei Worchel Correspondent

Children available for adoption– especially older children–and expectant mothers often come from abusive situations. One 21-year-old Corpus Christi woman, who chose to remain anonymous, found herself in such a situation and abortion was not an option for her so she chose adoption for her child. “I wanted to give this child a chance at life,” she said, adding that she considers her decision to place her baby with an adoptive family as an act of love. Now 29, she placed her baby boy for adoption eight years ago. She did what she had to do after living in an abusive situation and trying to escape, she said. “The child’s father was 10 years older and he beat me while I was pregnant,” she said. The baby’s father broke bones in her face and knocked her teeth out. The young woman said she could not have an abortion when she learned of her pregnancy. The adoption was not an open one, so the young mother, who now has four other young children, said she plans to contact the boy when he turns 18. “I think about the day I’ll see him...I don’t know what I’ll tell him, but I owe him the truth,” she said, adding she wondered what his personality is like and what his interests are. “It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but I feel in my heart it was the right decision,” said the young mother who attends life skills and parenting classes and receives counseling at Corpus Christi’s Hope House. She hopes to become an LVN

process takes time, patience and eventually an RN. Sometimes the decision is not the parents’ to make. The state becomes involved when children are removed from their home because of abuse or neglect, said Rose Banda of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Children go through a mix of emotions when they are removed from the only home they have ever known, even though they may be glad to be removed from an abusive situation, Banda said. “It’s difficult for children to process all of that because they don’t have the life experience,” Banda said. A court decides if the child goes back home or not, based on the presentations of the attorneys and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Sometimes the agency recommends the child not be returned to their home, she said. “Child Protective Services strives to keep children with family, and if there is no family, we look for someone they know. Once all other options are exhausted, they must be placed in a nurturing, structured and stable home,” Banda said. Sometimes a family will go into the

adoptive process not grasping the full concept of what it entails, and will decide not to go through with it, she said. “It’s all about commitment. The kids will push every button and they will challenge everything,” Banda said. It can take from four months to two years to adopt, from the time the home study is approved, said Michelle Lopez of Spaulding in Corpus Christi. The agency contracts with the State of Texas to provide adoptive homes for foster children, some as young as aged two. Someone interested in adopting must go through Parent Resource Information Development Education classes through the agency, Lopez said. “There is a lot of training about past trauma such as emotional and sexual abuse, how to discipline and preparing your family to integrate the child’s past, present and future,” she said. Requirements for adoption include that the prospective parents, whether single of married, be at least 21-yearsold. Married couples must be married for at least two years, Lopez said. Prospective parents must also submit personal references, provide proof of

insurance and income, take the PRIDE training and have a criminal background check. Once parents are approved, the matching process starts, and parents will get to read a health, educational, social and genetic history of the child, along with redacted case files. “Based on that information, they decide if they want to go forward,” Lopez said. Once the children are placed, CASA, Child Protective Services and attorneys officially supervise them for six-months to assess the situation so there is not a failed placement. Once the adoption process is finalized, children are eligible for post adoption services such as therapy if they are needed, Lopez said. Parents can receive a subsidy for adopting children who are a minority, or a part of a sibling group until the children turn 18. The children are also eligible for Medicaid and free tuition at Texas public colleges, she said, and there is no fee for a family to adopt. There are currently about 6,000 to 8,000 children available for adoption in Texas. “There is a real need for forever families,” Lopez said.

“Child Protective Services strives to keep

children with family...Once all other options are exhausted, they must be placed in a nurturing, structured and stable home”


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

All Services FREE:

Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Child and Youth Protection are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse.

If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection, (361) 693-6686 (office) or (361) 658-8652 (cell) for immediate assistance.

The Office for Child and Youth Protection


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Libros que la hermana Pamela entrego a las mujeres en el centro de detención, comprado con donaciones que recibió de benefactores. Hermana Pamela Buganski para el South Texas Catholic

Detención de inmigrantes ofrece oportunidad de brindar la esperanza en Jesús Luisa Scolari



er testigos de la fe y visitar a los detenidos es parte de la misericordia y nos da la oportunidad de brindar la esperanza en Jesús y crecer en nuestra propia transformación en Cristo, dice la hermana Pamela Buganski, quien ministra a las mujeres en el centro de detención de inmigrantes del condado de Brooks en Falfurrias, Texas. FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  29  


Cristo nos juzgará en los últimos días y para los que lo vieron con hambre, y le dieron comida; con sed y le dieron de beber; como extranjero y le dieron la bienvenida; desnudo y lo vistieron; enfermo y se preocupaban por el; en la cárcel y lo visitaron, les dará la bienvenida en el reino de su padre (Mt 25:35-36). La hermana Pamela, nos compartió las experiencias que en los últimos dos meses ha tenido llevando esperanza a través de la palabra de Dios, visitando el centro de detención, en donde se encuentran detenidos aproximadamente 630 adultos de los cuales unas 100 son mujeres. Estos datos no son exactos, ya que como el centro es solo un lugar de transición, la población es fluctuante por el hecho de que solo permanecen detenidos ahí mientras esperan su juicio o a que los trasladen a otros centros penitenciarios. “El ser miembro de la Iglesia es lo que me otorga el permiso de visita a las internas como visita religiosa, con quienes me reúno en un grupo de unas 35,” la hermana Pamela dijo. Ella las recibe con un abrazo de una por una. Generalmente comienzan rezando el padre nuestro y continúan con una oración abierta “en voz alta” y en su propio idioma por unos 10 minutos. La hermana se encabeza del grupo, y al estar al frente, no puede dejar de sentir “esa sensación que pone mi piel chinita” al presenciar el fervor con el que rezan y ser testigo de la fe con que lo hacen y agradecen con lágrimas en sus ojos mostrando una profunda relación con Dios. “Presenciar esto me deja sin palabras observando que el reino de Dios está presente sobre nosotros,” dijo la hermana Pamela. Después, una de las mujeres lidera el grupo con cantos religiosos que sorprendentemente todas, aún siendo de diferentes países, conocen sin necesidad de papel para leerlas y claramente se puede ver que las palabras les brotan del corazón. Es una forma de adoración diferente a la de nuestra cultura, la hermana Pamela dijo Continúan con la lectura de las escrituras y se hacen comentarios de lo que entendieron. Despues, voluntariamente, pasan para dar testimonio de Dios en sus vidas. Se termina la reunión con otra oración abierta y cantos. En otras ocasiones durante las visitas, la hermana Pamela les lleva hojas para colorear. Coloreando les permite pasar tiempo platicando. De esta manera se establece una relación que le da a la hermana Pamela oportunidad de hacerles sentir que cuida de ellas. “Y me hace testigo de la iglesia para recordarles que son


Hermana Pamela desarrolla un ministerio en el centro de detención para satisfacer las necesidades espirituales de las mujeres inmigrantes. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

amadas por mí, pero sobre todo por Dios. La esperanza que les brindamos y la fe que se vive son algo que no se puede describir fácilmente,” la hermana dijo. El padre Matthew Stephan de el Sagrado Corazón en Falfurrias está encargado de ofrecer misas en el centro y el diácono Richard Costley también hace visitas. Si alguien quisiera participar ayudando a la hermana Pamela, los invita a reunirse al grupo de visitadores ya que para ella es muy difícil comunicarse en español. Es muy importante a la hora de orar, por lo que ofrece capacitarlos e instruirlos, compartiendo experiencias para trabajar conjuntamente. La hermana recomienda organizarse en grupos de visita para que por lo menos asistan en parejas. Las experiencias de servir en este ministerio cambiará positivamente


❝Y me hace testigo de la iglesia para recordarles que son amadas por mí, pero sobre todo por Dios. La esperanza que les brindamos y la fe que se vive son algo que no se puede describir fácilmente.”

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

la vida de los visitadores y las internas, la hermana Pamela dijo. Las visitas son una vez por semana. Pueden contactar la hermana Pamela a través de su correo electrónico: La hermana también hace el pedido de donaciones de biblias y libros en español ya que les hacen mucha falta.

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

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

The Office for Child and Youth Protection




New billboards offer help to pregnant women Hope House of Corpus Christi has signed a one-year contract for two 12’ x 40’ rotating billboards at prime locations in and around Corpus Christi with Corpus Christi Pregnancy Resource Center’s phone number. The billboards are now located at 1821 SPID by Greenwood near Wal-Mart and at the Crosstown and Brownlee intersections. “The billboards will be rotated periodically at different locations in and around Corpus Christi for one year,” Ray Reeves, Chairman of the Board for Hope

House, said. “This is so exciting! We already had one call,” said Becky Bailes Price Board Chairman of Corpus Christi Pregnancy Resource Center. “I’m so Happy for Hope House and grateful for the blessings you have shared with the Pregnancy Center. May God richly bless these ministries in the coming year and all who serve and support them.” Hope House is also planning an expansion project this spring with an additional 1,300 square-foot building.

Bishop Mulvey returns to pray with Texas Legislature Bishop Michael Mulvey delivered the benediction at the close of the opening session of the 84th Texas Legislature on Jan. 13. This is the second time the bishop is asked to pray with the Legislature. In 2013, Bishop Mulvey offered the invocation for the Texas House of Representatives’ opening session. Reps. Todd Hunter and Abel Herrero, members of the Nueces County delegation, escorted Bishop Mulvey to the podium. Bishop Mulvey told legislators he came to “pray with you and for you.” He prayed also for the legislators’ staffs and families, “who will sacrifice many hours of family time in the coming five months.” The bishop urged the lawmakers to “speak and act with a clear conscience, open and respectful” to God’s will. He said they should be “mindful of the poor and most vulnerable,” especially those near the end of life and the unborn at the beginning of their lives.

He also asked God to bless the legislators “with kind and compassionate hearts.” “Grant them also a spirit of justice to understand those who flee violence and poverty to find a better place for their families,” Bishop Mulvey said. Finally, he asked the Lord to “grant us peace,” in our homes...and among all nations.” FEBRUARY 2015  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  33  



United States






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Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi introduces Speaker of the House John Boehner after his re-election. Pelosi and Boehner are two of 164 Catholics elected to Congress in November.

Catholics in Congress

Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

What makes them eager to serve and electable? Mark Pattison


Catholic News Service

he numbers do not lie. Once again, there are more Catholics in Congress than members of any other religious denomination. And the numbers stay strong term after term.

Even though Catholics account for only about 22 percent of the U.S. population–admittedly the largest body of religious belief in the country– they make up 31 percent of the House and the Senate. If you are looking for differences

between the two major parties, there is indeed some, but Catholics are still overrepresented in both the Democratic and Republican parties. According to figures issued in a Pew Research Center study issued shortly before the 114th Congress was sworn in Jan. 6, there

are 83 Catholics among the 234 Democrats in the House or Senate, good for 35 percent of the Democrats’ total, and 81 Catholics among the 301 Republicans in Congress, or 27 percent of the GOP’s total. What makes Catholics so eager to



want to serve in electoral office, and what makes them so electable? Daniel Philpott, director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame, speculated there is a “strong tradition of social thought in the Catholic Church, more developed than in the mainline Protestant churches.” Philpott pointed to the issuance of Pope Leo XII’s 1891 encyclical “Rerum Novarum” as the starting point, “Where the church decided to engage the modern nationstate.” Philpott said the Second Vatican Council also did much to advance the notion of politics as a noble vocation, even more than the election of John F. Kennedy as the first, and so far only, Catholic U.S. president. Vatican II’s endorsements of religious freedom, human rights and democracy left an imprint in the minds of Catholic laity at that time. Closer to home, “the American Catholic bishops have for decades touted and advocated social justice as part of the mission of the church, it may be in part because of the immigrant character of the church” that led bishops to go to bat on such issues as workers’ rights and welfare benefits. Frank Orlando, a political science instructor at St. Leo University in Florida, said Catholics benefit from voters’ strong preference for their elected officials to profess religious faith. He cited a 2013 Pew study that showed that 53 percent of those responding said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who was an atheist. By the same token, according to Orlando, only 8 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a Catholic candidate; that number more than doubles to 17 percent for evangelical candidates. Pew statistics reveal that 20 percent of Americans now profess no religious belief or are atheists. But only one self-proclaimed atheist serves in the House, and she was only first elected in 2013. The traditions of Catholic moral teaching and Catholic social teaching can appeal to Catholic office-seekers and voters across the political spectrum. “In a bad year for Catholic Democrats, they get replaced by Catholic Republicans,” Orlando said. “And in a bad year for Catholic Republicans, they get replaced by Catholic Democrats.” Catholics have such appeal, Orlando added, that they can get elected in districts in the Deep South where the Catholic population registers in the single digits.


Supreme Court agrees to take up same-sex marriage cases this term By Catholic News Service


he Supreme Court Jan. 16 agreed to hear four cases over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, tackling the questions of whether the 14th Amendment requires states to allow such marriages and whether it requires them to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states. In brief orders, the court accepted petitions from Tennessee, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio, consolidating them into one hearing that will be held probably in late April, meaning a decision would likely come before the end of the term in late June. The court allotted an unusually lengthy period of time for oral arguments, two and a half hours, compared to a typical 60-minute period. As of Jan. 16, 36 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages, either under court rulings or state laws. In the other 14 states, they are prohibited, but those bans are all under legal challenge. The Catholic Church upholds marriage as a union between one man and one woman and teaches that any sexual activity outside of marriage is sinful. The church also teaches that homosexual attraction itself is not sinful and that homosexual people “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.” The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage said that a decision by the Supreme Court on whether a state may define marriage as the union of one man and one woman “may be the most significant court decision since the court’s tragic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision making abortion a constitutional right.”

Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

Pope, at Mass with millions, tells Filipinos to protect the family By Francis X. Rocca


Catholic News Service

ope Francis told a crowd of an estimated 6 million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family “against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.” The pope’s homily at the Jan. 18 Mass also reprised several other themes he had sounded during the four-day visit, including environmental problems, poverty and corruption. Despite continuous rain, the

congregation in Rizal Park began to assemble the night before the afternoon celebration. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila canceled other Masses throughout the archdiocese to enhance turnout. The crowd

was so dense in spots that people passed hosts to fellow worshippers unable to reach priests distributing Communion. The government estimated total crowd size at 6 million-7 million



Pope Francis meets young people at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, Jan. 18.


people. According to the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, that would be the largest number of people ever to gather to see a pope. A Mass with St. John Paul II in the same place 20 years earlier is believed to have drawn 4 million-5 million people, often described as the largest live crowd in history. The Mass was celebrated on Santo Nino Day, or the feast of the Holy Child Jesus, one of the most popular feast days in the Philippines. Many of those who walked great distances down closed roads to get to Rizal Park held statues of Santo Nino. For his final scheduled public talk in the country, Pope Francis stuck to his prepared English text and did not improvise in Spanish, as he had done at several emotional points during the visit. Yet his voice rose with emphasis during the passage about protecting the family. Those words echoed his warning, during a Jan. 16 meeting with Filipino families, against “ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family” through such practices as same-sex marriage and contraception. In his homily, Pope Francis said Christians “need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets.” The pope praised the Philippines, whose population is more than 80

percent Catholic, as the “foremost Catholic country in Asia,” and said its people, millions of whom work abroad, are “called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.” Yet he warned the developing nation, one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, against temptations of materialism, saying the devil “hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being modern, like everyone else. He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by

Inclement weather did no keep people from attending Pope Francis’ celebration of Mass in Manila, Philippines. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service


tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink.” Pope Francis, who had urged a group of young people earlier in the day to address the challenge of climate change through dedication to the environment, told Mass-goers human sinfulness had “disfigured (the) natural beauty” of creation. Other consequences of sin, the pope said, were “social structures which perpetuate poverty, ignorance and corruption,” problems he had emphasized in his Jan. 16 speech at Manila’s presidential palace.

most precious gift Sister Guadalupe Maria Cervantes, PCI

O Contributor

Sister Guadalupe Maria Cervantes, PCI is a member of the Pax Christi Institute.

ver two thousand years ago, on the night before he died, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples. In a mysterious manner it contains the sacrifice of his Body and Blood and enables that sacrifice to continue in history until he comes again. He entrusted the Eucharist to his Church. “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me (1 Cor 11:25).” What is our response to this command of Jesus? To understand what the Mass is about and how we should respond to this precious gift that he has given to us; it is important that we understand what it means for us, the faithful, to be active participants in the Mass and what the role of the priest is. Active participation begins with external acts, but goes beyond our external acts. Thus, as active participants we are called to attentively listen to the readings and homily and reflect upon their meaning in our lives as well as to sing and recite the appropriate responses. Mass is not a spectator event where the priest does everything. As the priest acts in Persona Christi, or in the person of Christ, and offers the

Sacrificial Offering, we, the congregation, stand in union. We sit as we listen, we kneel as we offer the Eucharist and we pray as a sign of humbling ourselves before our God and King. Through the celebration of the Eucharist each week, we have the opportunity to renew our faith and to be strengthened to live the Gospel more fully. In the coming months we will journey together through the Mass, which will ensure an awareness of the meaning and graces of our Sunday Liturgy. First of all, what is the Mass? The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Mass by saying, “The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out

the graces of salvation of his Body which is the Church (CCC 1407).” The Mass is made up, as it were, of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, two parts so closely connected that they form but one single act of worship. For in the Mass, the table of God’s word and of Christ’s body is laid for the people of God to receive from it instruction and nourishment. There are also certain rites to open and conclude the celebration. The purpose of these rites is for the faithful coming together to take on the form of a community and prepare themselves to listen to God’s word and celebrate the Eucharist properly (adapted from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal 7, 8, 24). Our first journey in next month’s issue will consist of the parts preceding the liturgy of the Word, called the Introductory Rites.



MASS: The Lord’s


Scripture central to our

spiritual growth Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS



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

cripture–the content of the Bible–is central to our spiritual lives. No other writings are comparable to Scripture because, in Scripture, we find God’s word sent directly to us through inspiration. It should, therefore, be central to everything in our faith. The Catholic Catechism tells us “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit (CCC, 81).” I look at the two phrases, “the speech of God” and “written under the breath of the Holy Spirit,” and I ask myself, “Could the Catechism state more clearly the source of Scripture?” Imagine God speaking directly to us. That is precisely what God does in Scripture. The Catechism delves even more deeply into the importance of Scripture (CCC, 102). It connects all the words of sacred Scripture with one single word–and that word is not a thing but a person–the person of Jesus. Jesus is presented as the reflection of the Father, the word incarnate–a human being. So, first and foremost, we need to center our spiritual lives in a person rather than a program–the person of Jesus, the incarnate word. Perhaps we remember from


childhood reading stories about Jesus–his birth in Bethlehem and other events of his early years; his loss to his parents at the age of 12; his return to Nazareth where he lived like other young Jewish boys for a number of years; beginning his public life when he reached adulthood. He was preceded in preaching by John the Baptist who made such an impression on the crowds that all were wondering in their hearts if John might be the Christ. But John reassured them, “ I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire (Lk 3:16).” John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah, but he absolutely refused to allow people to say he was the Messiah. He knew his place in relation to Jesus and insisted that people accept that reality. Luke tells us about the

beginning of Jesus’ place in public life by saying, “When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age. He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph… (Lk 3:23).” “As was thought,” the supposition was much less than accurate. Luke follows with a listing of those in Jesus’ seeming family tree but, when we go sufficiently far back in this family tree, we find we come to “…the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the Son of God (Lk 3:38).” None of the others in the family tree make the claim to be the Son of God. Jesus is the only one who accepts this claim as it is made in his regard. As the Son of God, he is divine– one of the three Persons of the Trinity. Thus, he can and does lead us to the Trinity where we come into contact with the Father and the Holy Spirit as well as Jesus, the Son. Through Jesus, we come to know the most basic truths of our faith.


LENT: A time for random acts of gratitude Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS Contributor

Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS is a member of the order of the Incarnate Word of the Blessed Sacrament.


ent is the apt season to begin cultivating an attitude or lifestyle of gratitude for it is the Church’s annual wake-up call for us to grow beyond our comfort zone. And perhaps the most important area where we need to stretch is developing a refined sense of gratitude. The soldier-saint Ignatius of Loyola believed ingratitude was “the cause, beginning and origin of all evils and sins.” For William Shakespeare, ingratitude was “sharper than a serpent’s tooth.” Jonathan Swift, another English author, wrote, “He that calls a man ungrateful sums up all the evil that a man can be guilty of.” Jesus graphically portrays ingratitude when he said, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God (Lk 17:17-18)?” One Biblical scholar says the foreigner in this passage is the Church for she is one who daily gives thanks in the Eucharist. There are many exercises that we can use to strengthen gratitude muscles. During a family meal, for example, we can discuss how Jesus was a man of gratitude. Rather than watch TV after supper, we can act out ways Jesus lived out

gratitude. We can read and pray thanksgiving psalms together; for example, Psalms 147:7-8, 95:2-3, 7:17, 28:7 and 100:4. Perhaps we can memorize these verses. There are other ways that a family can practice appreciativeness. They may incorporate a “gratitude bowl” as part of their evening meal ritual. Have each member of the family pick one of the slips of paper from a bowl with its suggested gratitude activity. Be sure the activity is doable for younger children. Brainstorm as a family a list of people society considers invisible and discuss ways to express gratitude to them. Then create a Lenten calendar to schedule these activities as a family. This project could be done throughout the year. It is also important that we make time to write. Send a note to someone to consider a religious vocation. Include “I think you would make a

great priest, sister, brother, deacon because…. Thank you for praying about it.” Send a note to thank a teacher; they make every job possible. Surprise your children and spouse with a letter through the mail. Name at least three things you see in them that you are grateful for. Check for the names of the parish staff on the church bulletin and write a thank you letter to one of the staff members. Being grateful should be a daily occurrence. At the grocery store checkout counter, call the person helping you by name (it’s on their name tag) before you rush off. If possible, take a few moments to chat. Depending on the time of day, the person in front of you may look tired. Make it a special point to say thank you. If you meet someone cleaning a bathroom in the mall or a gas station, remember he or she is close to the top on society’s invisible list. Lift their spirits



➤ When you attend Mass this Lent, take a few

moments to ask God for the grace of gratitude. with a warm greeting, a thank you and, perhaps, a tip. Leave an unsigned thank you note on a co-worker’s desk. Gratitude, of course, can be central to your spiritual activities. As you prepare for the sacrament of confession, include your level of gratitude or ingratitude. When you attend Mass this Lent, take a few moments to ask God for the grace of gratitude. Make a mental list of people you find difficult. Read 1 Cor 1:4-9

prayerfully each day, then thank God for each difficult person and ask him to give them whatever he or she needs to come closer to him. How might the following statement be used for prayer during Lent? “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough (Meister Eckhart, O.P.).” Now more than ever, our world, our country and our Church need people whose gratitude speaks louder than

the mere, “Thanks for passing the salt.” If we are truly Eucharistic people, then we must have the lifestyle of gratitude, of giving thanks both to God and to others. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s words describe the time of Lent well, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Indeed, let us begin living the joy filled life of gratitude today.

February Liturgical Calendar 1 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Dt 18:1520/1 Cor 7:32-35/Mk 1:21-28 (71) Pss IV

Mk 6:53-56 (329)

2 | Mon | 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

11 | Wed | Weekday | green/white [Our Lady of Lourdes] Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17/Mk 7:14-23 (331)

3 | Tue | Weekday | green/red/white [Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr; Saint Ansgar, Bishop] | Heb 12:1-4/ Mk 5:21-43 (324) 4 | Wed | Weekday | green | Heb 12:47, 11-15/Mk 6:1-6 (325) 5 | Thu | Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 12:1819, 21-24/Mk 6:7-13 (326) 6 | Fri | Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial | Heb 13:1-8/Mk 6:14-29 (327) 7 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] | Heb 13:15-17, 20-21/Mk 6:30-34 (328) 8 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Jb 7:1-4, 6-7/1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23/Mk 1:29-39 (74) Pss I 9 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gn 1:1-19/

10 | Tue | Saint Scholastica, Virgin | white | Memorial | Gn 1:20—2:4a/Mk 7:1-13 (330)

12 | Thu | Weekday | green | Gn 2:1825/Mk 7:24-30 (332) 13 | Fri | Weekday | green | Gn 3:1-8/ Mk 7:31-37 (333) 14 | Sat | Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop | white | Memorial | Gn 3:9-24/Mk 8:1-10 (334) 15 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Lv 13:1-2. 44-46/1 Cor 10:31—11:1/Mk 1:40-45 (77) Pss II 16 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gn 4:115, 25/Mk 8:11-13 (335) 17 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order] Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10/Mk 8:14-21 (336) 18 | Wed | Ash Wednesday | violet | Jl 2:12-18/2 Cor 5:20—6:2/ Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (219) Pss IV


19 | Thu | Thursday after Ash Wednesday | violet | Dt 30:15-20/Lk 9:22-25 (220) 20 | Fri | Friday after Ash Wednesday | violet | Is 58:1-9a/Mt 9:14-15 (221) 21 | Sat | Saturday after Ash Wednesday | violet [Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Is 58:9b-14/Lk 5:27-32 (222) 22 | SUN | FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Gn 9:8-15/1 Pt 3:18-22/Mk 1:12-15 (23) Pss I 23 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet

[Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr] | Lv 19:1-2, 11-18/ Mt 25:31-46 (224) 24 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 55:10-11/ Mt 6:7-15 (225) 25 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jon 3:1-10/Lk 11:29-32 (226) 26 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25/Mt 7:7-12 (227) 27 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 18:21-28/Mt 5:20-26 (228) 28 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dt 26:16-19/Mt 5:43-48 (229)

A Women’s Conference

Woman Fully Alive: Mary as Our Model A Morning of Spiritual Awakening (For women aged 17 and older)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. St. Theresa Parish Hall (1302 Lantana) Suggested Donation: $5 • Please RSVP for Seating For more information call: Irma Rodriguez–(361) 774-6660 or Connie Nolte–(361) 510-5297 Sponsored by Catholic Daughters of America Court #2433






Feb. 1, 9:30 a.m. Mass, followed by reception in Corpus Christi Cathedral, St. Joseph Hall (505 North Upper Broadway Street).

12th Anniversary of Adoration Chapel


Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral (505 N. Upper Broadway). Honoring the Coastal Bend Community Foundation for it’s long term support of all the arts in the coastal bend. Featuring the Cathedral Showcase singers and NYC Broadway pianist, Eugene Gwozdz and master showcase host Charles Doraine. For VIP memberships for priority reserved seating and more information call (361) 888-7444.

Feb. 2 under the Blue Dome. Mass in the Adoration Chapel will be at 6 p.m. and a reception will follow at St. Joseph’s Hall at OLCC (1200 Lantana). All are invited.

IWA Word 101 Open House Elementary Level

Feb. 3 from 6-8 p.m. at Incarnate Word Academy (450 Chamberlain) in Corpus Christi. For more information call the IWA Elementary Level-Traditional Office at (361) 883-0857, ext. 115 or IWA Elementary LevelMontessori Office at (361) 653-2500. IWA Word 101 Open House is a great opportunity to tour our campus and get information about academics, athletics, and financial aid. For additional details, visit our Web site at



St. John Paul II High School Open House

Feb. 4 from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. John Paul II High School (3036 Saratoga) in the High School Cafetorium. Tour the campus. See the new Robotics and Z Space computer program. There will be door prizes. For more information call Laura Okoniewski at (361) 855-5744 or email:

IWA Word 101 Open House High School Level

Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Incarnate Word Academy (2920 S.

Centennial Jubilee Wedding Anniversary Mass

Feb. 8 at 9:30 a.m. In conjunction with World Marriage Day, the Office of Family Life is inviting all couples celebrating 25 or 50 years of marriage to an Anniversary Mass with Bishop Michael Mulvey. Participating couples in attendance will receive a picture with the Bishop and a certificate commemorating their silver or golden anniversary. Go to to download registration form.

IWA Word 101 Open House Middle Level

Feb. 4 from 6-8 p.m. at Incarnate Word Academy (2920 S. Alameda) in Corpus Christi in the Angel Avenue Student Center. For more information call the IWA Middle Level Office at (361) 883-0857, ext. 113.

The 2015 Angel of the Arts Banquet Project Romeway to Broadway


Christi. Featuring world cuisines: American, Filipino, Polish, Irish, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese and Italian. There will be live and silent auctions, arts and crafts, games, car display and entertainment. It will be fun for the whole family and food for every taste.



22nd Annual Ethnic Festival at St. Paul the Apostle

Feb. 14 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church (2233 Waldron Rd.) in Corpus

Feb. 14 from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. at St. Theresa’s parish hall (1302 Lantana) in Corpus Christi hosted by Knights of Columbus Council #15828 of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Corpus Christi. For details and ticket information call Grand Knight Sam Armadillo at (361) 510-1630.

Consecration to Jesus through MaryDay of Prayer

Feb. 14 from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Library at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). There will be Mass, a series of talks, and time to pray with Our Lady. A light breakfast and lunch will also be provided. The day will finish by 2:30 p.m. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Healing Retreat at OLCC

Feb. 13-15. Begins Friday at 4:30 p.m. ends Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Come learn how God seeks to bestow grace and healing upon us and how Satan seeks to deceive and separate us from God. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of reflection asking God to show us where we need healing, and concludes with a Healing Mass. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Valentines Day Dinner and Dance Fundraiser


Men’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat

Feb.19-22 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana) Retreat Center. Experience a weekend to go deeper in your relationship with the Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Annual Lenten Fish Fry at St. John of the Cross in Orange Grove

Feb. 20 from 4-7:30 p.m. at St. John of the Cross Catholic Center (200 S. Metz St.). Tickets are $8 and will be sold at the door. For presale tickets call the church office at (361) 384-2795. Plates may be taken home or enjoyed in the hall and desserts will be available for sale. Everyone is welcome. For more information call Natalie David at (361) 384-9641 (daytime) or (361) 384-2342.




Alameda) in Corpus Christi in the Angel Avenue Student Center. For more information call the IWA High School Level Office at (361) 883-0857, ext., 112.

World Day of Consecrated Life



8 a.m. Open to confirmation candidates and their sponsors who prefer Spanish language instruction.

Holy Cross Church Annual Fish Fry Fundraiser

Feb. 20 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Holy Cross Church (1109 N. Staples St.) For a donation of $8 plates include: seasoned fried Pollock fish, cheesy mashed potatoes, buttered green beans, tartar sauce, bread and condiments. Free delivery for 10 plates or more. For tickets, orders and other information call: Paul Tisdale at (361) 658-9199; Armando Ortiz at (361) 774-3226; or the parish office at (361) 888-4012.



Confirmation Retreat

Feb. 21 at Our Lady of Victory Church (707 North Avenue E) in Beeville in the parish hall. Registration begins at 8 a.m.; Retreat is 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Deadline to register is on Feb. 13. For more information or pack mailout for your parish call DRE Laly Arteaga at (361) 542-9409. Open to confirmation candidates and their sponsors.


Our Lady Star of the Sea Church Annual BBQ Fundraiser

Feb. 22 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish (3110 E Causeway Blvd. on North Beach). Dine in or take out. There will be a raffle and live auction. Donations are $8 per plate. For more information call (361) 883-4507.



Spanish Confirmation Retreat

Feb. 21 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Nuestra Senora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia (1755 Frio Street) in Corpus Christi in the parish hall. Registration begins at

Women’s Cursillo (English)

Feb. 26 - March 1 at the Corpus Christi Cursillo Center located at 1300 Lantana in Corpus Christi. For more information, call pre-Cursillo chairperson Gloria Franco, at (361) 249-2450.

St. Pius X Altar & Rosary Society Card Party

Feb. 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in St. Pius X Parish Hall (5620 Gollihar Rd.) in Corpus Christi. 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

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

(361) 510-1411 or


a.m.-1:30 p.m. Join us for the luncheon even if you cannot play. For more information or tickets, contact Susan Dougherty at (361) 855-8541 or The parish office can also be contacted at (361) 993-4053.



Confirmation Retreat

Feb. 28 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, (1102 East Kleberg) in Kingsville in the Community Building. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Open to confirmation candidates and their sponsors.

30th Annual Polka Fest

Feb. 28 at Sokol Hall (5502 Kostoryz) in Corpus Christi. Doors open at 10 a.m. Admission is $8. There will be Czech fun, bands, a variety of foods to choose from, Country Store, raffle, silent auction and dancing. For more information go to

To see more calendar events go to: South Texas







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PILGRIMAGE TO PARTICIPATE in the World Meeting of Families and Papal Mass

8 Days & 7 Nights in Historic Philadelphia Package Includes: ✝ Round-trip motor coach fare from Corpus Christi to Houston International Airport; ✝ Round-trip airfare from Houston International Airport to Philadelphia

(including airport taxes & fuel surcharges, subject to change)

✝ 3 star Hotel accommodations at Hilton Garden Inn Philadephia for 7 nights in downtown Philadelphia, PA ✝ Full World Meeting of Families Conference Registration (including 2 Lunch Buffets)

COST: $2400 (Per Person, Double Occupancy) Limited Seating Available

For More Information

Call: 361-882-6191 Deacon Stephen Nolte or Ethel Dulak




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

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South Texas Catholic - February 2015  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

South Texas Catholic - February 2015  

The South Texas Catholic is the official publication of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.