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VOL. 48 NO. 3 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD


Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would resign at the end of the month. The 85-year-old pontiff said he no longer has the energy to exercise his ministry over the universal church.



Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas

Photo by Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez JCL Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Geraldine McGloin, Rebecca Esparza, Julissa Hernandez, Timothy Hatch, Luisa Scolari 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.

Madre de la Iglesia celebra cambio de vestido Imagen de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos y construcción de centro parroquial.

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.


A son of Ireland

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Under the blue dome

(USPSN 540-860) Published monthly by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434.

Keeping up with the Faith...

11 15 23

Bishop Carmody opens new millennium

Our Lady of Corpus Christi celebrates 10 years

Silence required When making decision to follow Christ

The boy martyr Taft church gets relic from Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez Del Rio

Twelve to Watch Cardinals who will have a strong say in who is new pope


IWA gets new track


Committed Catholics


Marriage Debate II


Maker of Heaven and Earth, and all things

First phase of capital campaign

Debate birth control in public square

What states really can’t do

Our Catholic Faith


Dominican Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas Accompany people of faith



A son of Ireland

called to Corpus Christi for the

New Millennium Msgr. Michael Howell

T Contributor

he Jubilee Year of 2000 heralded new beginnings for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, but thankfully it was not the predicted Y2K disaster so feared by many. Instead there were “tidings of great joy” in the announcement of a new bishop and a new diocese.

On March 17, 2000–on the feast of St. Patrick–a son of Ireland, Bishop Edmond Carmody, was installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Born in County Kerry, Ireland in 1934, the second of 13 children in an agricultural family that knew hard work and solid Catholic values, Bishop Carmody studied and was ordained a priest in 1957 for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. After arriving in San Antonio, he served in numerous parochial and diocesan assignments while pursuing further studies in Spanish and education. It was as a result of serving as archdiocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith that he requested permission from Archbishop Patrick Flores in December 1982 to serve for a period in the mission fields of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia–leading him to an even greater sense of a truly universal Church. However, in 1988 his missionary work was cut short when he was called back to San Antonio for new responsibilities as an auxiliary bishop. In 1992, Blessed Pope John Paul II named him bishop of the young Diocese of Tyler and eight years later, the pope sent him to Corpus Christi.



From the beginning of his ministry in south Texas, Bishop Carmody signaled his desire to be connected to his new church family. He made it a goal to visit each parish and mission at least once for weekend Masses within his first two years. This task was made easier when four counties from the Diocese of Corpus Christi were included in the new Diocese of Laredo erected in August 2000. In keeping with his belief–nurtured by his experiences as a missionary in South America–in the value of a priest in smaller communities to provide a leadership and a focus for spiritual formation, the bishop sought more priests from the international community. He recruited more than 30 priests from India, Poland and Columbia so that mission churches in the diocese visited by priests only on a weekly basis, could have a resident shepherd. The bishop consolidated the diocesan departments so that most could be housed at the Chancery. In keeping with the suggestions of the 1988 Diocesan Synod, the bishop also sought to focus diocesan ministries around evangelization, catechesis, good family and youth formation and biblical stewardship. Ministries for spiritual formation were organized, such as programs for those recovering from the loss of a spouse through Bishop Edmond Carmody was indivorce or death. In 2004, the diocese stalled as the seventh bishop of the initiated the CathoDiocese of Corpus Christi. lic Count–an effort to Archived Photo reach out to Catholics in south Texas and to get a better sense of the demographics of the area. A mass mailing was made to every known home in the diocese. The information received was forwarded to the local parishes to help in their evangelization efforts. w www ww w .S . S o uth uthT ut Te Tex T ex e xa asssC asC C at ath a tho th olllii c oli c..c c.c .co om m



Bishop Carmody places a rose at the Homeless Person’s Memorial Day Sunrise Service at Kinney Park in Corpus Christi for the 12 homeless people who died in 2008. Archived Photo

Racquetball was one of Bishop Carmody’s favorite pass times. He often engaged civic leaders, like Citgo representative Jesse Garcia, in a match to benefit the American Diabetes Association. Archived Photo

Bishop Carmody maintained close ties with Blessed John Paul II High School and was a big supporter of student athletes, including the Centurion baseball team. Archived Photo



Bishop Edmond Carmody worked to increase awareness of the diabetes problem and also became personally active in annual fundraising endeavors such as the Diabetes Walk. Archived Photo

Bishop Carmody continued the tradition of recruiting international priests and women in consecrated life when he came to the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Bishop Carmody, and his long-time secretary Mary Sedberry, shared a moment with most of the priests he recruited from India. Bishop Carmody also welcomed many priests from other countries, such as Colombia and Poland. Archived Photo

Growth on the parish level led to the establishment of the new parishes of St. John the Baptist and St. Helena of the True Cross in Corpus Christi’s south side, St. Francis of Assisi Mission in Lagarto and Stella Maris Chapel community in Lamar. New church construction included St. Thomas the Apostle, dedicated in December 2007, and St. Joseph in Port Aransas, dedicated in February 2009. Besides trying to assess and address the needs of the church in south Texas, Bishop Carmody also worked with local civic leaders in Corpus Christi to determine some of the needs specific to that urban area. As a result, the bishop made it his priority to focus on three challenges that were a concern to all local leaders: the large high school dropout rate, the increasing homeless population and the high incidence of diabetes among the population of south Texas. The bishop worked to increase awareness of the diabetes problem and also became personally active in annual fundraising endeavors such as the Diabetes Walk and his

own racquetball challenge games with community leaders. To stress support for education, Bishop Carmody and the diocese provided facilities for a charter high school for two years and then established the new John Paul II High School in December 2005. The work to address the needs of the increasing homeless population culminated in the dedication of the Mother Teresa Day Shelter for the homeless on Oct. 16, 2003. The shelter oers restroom and shower facilities, a laundry room, escape from inclement weather and individual storage lockers. In conjunction with Catholic Charities, it also provides food, toiletries, clean clothes, basic health screening and assistance, employment opportunities, counseling and the support of Christian compassion and respect. In accordance with Canon Law, Bishop Carmody submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI when he turned 75 in 2009. In January 2010, the pope named Msgr. Wm. Michael Mulvey of Austin as his successor. MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Perpetual Adoratio Geraldine McGloin



ts blue dome and stars has become a well-known landmark seen by thousands of motorists from IH 37.

“It stands at the entrance to the city,” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey said on Feb. 2, as he prepared to celebrate the Mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of the consecration of Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration chapel. The chapel, a gift to the people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi by a donor who at that time wished to remain anonymous, was dedicated on Feb. 2, 2002. The Mass was “in thanksgiving for the past 10 years of having a place of spiritual nourishment for many and a place where people can develop and deepen their relationship with God,” said Deacon Wayne Leteig, who read the prayers of petition during the Mass. In his homily for the anniversary Mass Bishop Mulvey reflected on the parable in which Jesus in the temple reads the prophesy of Isaiah and tells those gathered that it has been fulfilled in their presence, whereupon some began to question who Jesus was and where he came from. Was he not just the son of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth? Like Jesus, Bishop Mulvey said, “we too must go outside the box to evangelize people, meet them where they are. The new evangelization calls us to go beyond ourselves, move out of our category, doing all in love.” Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel also came about through people thinking out of the box. For years Father Jim Kelleher a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) had dreamed of a beautiful perpetual adoration chapel on the campus of Our Lady of Corpus Christi. In Father Kelleher’s dream, the chapel was special–yet



different. It was to be as fine as the chapel in Alabama built for the nuns at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery seen often with Mother Angelica on EWTN. It was to be Spanish Colonial style architecture featuring a blue dome with stars in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The building would be in the shape of a cross with Jesus Christ’s Eucharist presence in the center placed in a gold monstrance located at a great height so people would look

Perpetual Adoration Chapel as seen from Our Lady of Corpus Christi Campus. Contributed Photo

on Chapel celebrates milestone pel but carried the vision in his head. The organization was struggling as it was, and it was not prepared to undertake such a complex and expensive venture. Remembering that God works in mysterious ways, Father Kelleher, through a series of unplanned events, met Bill and Jo Ella Zerrussen, devout Catholics from Illinois. He prayed with them and for them and gave them Miraculous Medals honoring Our Lady, something he always does. While visiting with the Zerrussen’s he shared his dream of a chapel with them. One day in 1999, Father Kelleher got a phone call from Bill Zerrussen who said “remember the chapel you wanted? I am sending you the money to build it.” A shocked Father Kelleher received a large check in the mail a few days later. Father Kelleher got permission from Bishop Roberto Gonzalez to build the chapel. At the bishop’s urging, he went to Ireland to visit the Knock shrine and learned that it could accommodate 250 worshipers, which was what he dreamt for his chapel. He contacted San Antonio award-winning architect Michael Imber whose firm specializes in modern classical design, “looking to promote American architecture reflective of our cultural history and modern lifestyles.” Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel captures those sentiments beautifully. Later Imber handed off the project to Jose Molina, Bishop Mulvey delivers homily at Mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of the of Molina Walker Architects in Houston Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Our Lady of Corpus Christi. who completed the final design and proPhilip Wright, for South Texas Catholic duction drawings and oversaw the entire

up in adoration. The chapel was to seat 250 people. The monstrance was to be housed in a specially designed space with retractable doors surrounded by a magnificent retablo containing images of four saints–Maximilian Kolbe, Therese of Liesuex, Mother Cabrini and Frances Xavier–all of whom had special significance to the SOLTs and in particular to the Our Lady of Corpus Christi campus. Father Kelleher had no way to complete his dream cha-



building process. The Spanish liturgical art firm Talleres de Arte Granda of Spain was hired to provide the interior furnishing and the statuary for the chapel. The appointments are in the same style as the architecture of the chapel itself, and reflect the distinctive charism of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. The artistic centerpiece is a tall retablo made from carved and polished cedar wood and embellished with imitation gold leaf. It combines the arts of carpentry, sculpture, painting and goldsmithery. It is 31-feet wide and 40-feet tall. Its upper story houses the monstrance for perpetual adoration, below a Baroque arch. The five-foot tall monstrance is an original creation of Talleres de Arte Granda. It is made from sterling silver, gold-plated and inlaid with hand-painted enamels and semiprecious stones. Two adoring cherubs are beside the monstrance. Just above the monstrance is a golden image of a miraculous medal with the inscription in Chinese, a nod to the missionary work of the SOLTs. Below this is a crucifixion group of Christ on the cross, Mary and St. John. These sculptures were handcarved from birch wood and colorfully painted. The compassionate face of Our Lady, who weeps as she looks upon her Son, is especially striking. The sculptures stand before a hand-painted landscape, with the city of Jerusalem visible in the distance. Below the relief is a Baroque niche for the tabernacle. The domed tabernacle is gold-plated, with Corinthian capitals and tiny sculpted cherubs that match the design of the retablo. The Spanish firm also designed and created the freestanding altar of sacrifice. It is white marble, with a copper frontal depicting the Last Supper in relief. A matching ambo was also made, with a relief of Christ preaching.



Father Jim Kelleher, SOLT presents Bill Zerrussen a gift in honor of his parents, Bill and Jo Ella Zerrussen, who gave the SOLTs a generous donation to build the perpetual adoration chapel.

Elsewhere in the chapel are statues of St. John Vianney, St. Joseph holding the Christ Child and Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, the patroness of the Society. This image of Mary holds in her hands a blazing emblem of three interlocked circles, each containing a symbol of one person of the Holy Trinity: a right hand raised in benediction for the Father, a cross for the Son and a dove for the Holy Spirit. The Spanish firm was able to collaborate with clergy and architects to provide artwork that simultaneously expresses a historical style and a distinct spirituality in the hope that it will enhance the devotion of all to the Blessed Sacrament in perpetuity. Bishop Mulvey concluded the anniversary Mass by thanking all donors– especially the Zerrussen’s, the adorers, those who help in many other ways to maintain the chapel. A reception dinner was held after the Mass with guest speaker Bill Zerrussen, son of the couple whose donation was used to build the chapel.

Philip Wright, for South Texas Catholic

He spoke of his personal belief in the Real Presence and his joy at seeing the chapel become the spiritual home for so many. He spoke movingly of his parents. His father Bill is deceased after suffering for years with Alzheimer’s. His mother, who was her husband’s principal caretaker, would have loved to attend the celebration but ill health prevented it. “We never know why things happen the way they do, like the chapel, they just seem to evolve,” the son said. He spoke of his father’s desire to reach out in love to save souls. Father Kelleher said the chapel was “inspired by Divine Providence, a work of faith.” “There were moments of anxiety and fear but God’s grace always intervened so that the project would just move forward and forward,” Father Kelleher said. He also noted that ground was broken for the chapel on Nov. 27, the Feast of the Miraculous Medal. “Our lady does things in a big way,” he said.

Silence required in order to make decision to follow Christ Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


n Wednesday, Feb. 13, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral and urged the faithful not to let Lent end at the end of the Mass or the end of the day, but to live it for 40 days in the desert in silence, listening and making a decision to follow Jesus Christ. “The fundamental decision of our lives is to follow Jesus Christ,” he said. “We must live as a disciple of Jesus Christ, that is what Lent is all about.” In making a decision to follow Christ, Bishop Mulvey pointed to Pope Benedict XVI as an example of how people should make decisions. In his Wednesday General Audience at the Vatican, the Holy Father said he had spent much time in prayer and in clear conscience in front of God to make his decision to renounce the papacy. A “clear conscience,” Bishop Mulvey said is crucial in decision-making. Too many people, he said, live life with

Bishop Mulvey places ashes on Orlando Zepeda at Ash Wednesday services in the Corpus Christi Cathedral. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

a “clouded conscience” under peer pressure, trying to please others, “trying to conform our will to the society of today.” People use their intelligence to rationalize even simple things, to do things “contrary to the natural law,” he said. “Because our consciences are clouded our wills are weak and we think its okay.” In the silence of the desert we must recognize the temptations that plague us, Bishop Mulvey said. But we

must listen to the Scriptures, to the Church and to God and not to those who tempt us. “The question to ask ourselves is ‘can people see in me what they want to see in Jesus Christ’,” he said. In the closing of his homily, Bishop Mulvey returned to the pope as a “gentle example of an extremely intelligent man, and at the same time an extremely humble human being,” makingg a decision in prayer before God. MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI NEWS BRIE Vatican II Symposium slated for March 9 at Cathedral As part of the Year of Faith, the Diocese of Corpus Christi will host a second symposium on the documents of Vatican II on March 9 in St. Joseph Hall at Corpus Christi Cathedral from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will deliver the opening address and Father Tom Norris, Paluch Professor of Theology at Mundelein Seminary, and Father Donald Nesti, CSSp, Director of the Center for Faith and Culture at St. Thomas University in Houston, will be the presenters for this symposium. Father Norris will speak on Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation and Father Nesti on Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Admission is free and lunch will be provided. Please call (361) 882-6191, ext. 631 for more information.

Year of Faith Lenten mission at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Contemporary Christian music pioneer and best selling author John Michael Talbot will present a Year of Faith Lenten Mission at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles on Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No tickets are required but “a love offering” will be accepted. Talbot, who bills himself as “America’s Motivational Minister,” has sold 4.5 million records and published 24 books. He began his ministry over 35 years ago. He is considered one of the pioneering artists of what has become known as Contemporar y Christian John Michael Talbot



Music. Talbot founded the Little Portion Hermitage where he serves as Minister General of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. His artistic and humanitarian efforts have been recognized with awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Gospel Music Association, Mercy Corps and the Mother Teresa award. The mission features different topics for the morning and afternoon sessions. Confessions will be held following the afternoon session with the recitation of the Holy Rosary at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Vigil Mass at 6 p.m. Lunch and snacks will be provided for all who attend and childcare will be available, if you call in advance to arrange. For more information please contact the Parish Office at (361) 241-3249 or visit the parish Web site at St. Peter is located at 3901 Violet Road in Corpus Christi.

True Radiance retreat All high-school aged girls are invited to join their friends or make new ones at the True Radiance Retreat and the True Modesty Fashion Show. It all begins March 9, at 9 a.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall, located at 1200 Lantana in Corpus Christi. The Diocese of Corpus Christi Office of Youth Ministry and the Office of Life, Justice and Human Dignity are cosponsoring the event. The cost is $75, which includes seven sessions. Installment payments can be made. For more information, contact Tina Villegas at (361) 693-6657.

Retreat invites teens to open up to God’s Holiness Ninth trough twelfth graders are invited to participate in a T.O.U.G.H. Youth Retreat on March 15-16. T.O.U.G.H. stands for “Teens Open up to God’s Holiness.” The three-day event will be held at the Cursillo Retreat Center, located at 1200 Lantana Street in Corpus Christi. The event begins on Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m. and ends on Sunday, March 17 at 5 p.m. T.O.U.G.H. is only $50 for the whole weekend with

FS food, lodging, prayer, reconciliation, adoration, Holy Mass, fellowship and the opportunity to reflect on God’s Holiness. To register online, download the Registration Packet at For more information, contact the Office of Youth Ministry at the Diocese of Corpus Christi at (361) 882-6191.

in the administration of the sacraments in the diocese throughout the year. Prior to the Chrism Mass, Bishop Mulvey will meet with the priests for a reception and a fraternal dinner. This year the Chrism Mass will also serve as the official closing of the diocese’s Centennial Jubilee, marking 100 years of existence. The Centennial has been observed since March 2012.

Mini Youth Spectacular The Office of Youth Ministry of the Diocese of Corpus Christi will host a Year of Faith Mini Youth Spectacular at Saint Theresa of the Infant Jesus in Premont on March 23. The retreat is being held in Premont to accommodate parishes in the southern end of the diocese that may find it difficult to attend events in Corpus Christi. Omar Pena, in conjunction with the Office of Youth Ministry, will direct the “Mini-Youth Spectacular.” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will be in attendance and would like to visit with all the youth. The event is for high school and middle school youth and will contain all the normal elements of a Youth Spectacular including dynamic speakers, praise music, adoration and a closing Mass with Bishop Mulvey. The Mini-Youth Spectacular will cost $10 per person and will include lunch and a T-shirt. For more information, call the Office of Youth Ministry at (361) 881-6191. Registration forms are available at

Chrism Mass will also serve to close Centennial Jubilee On March 26, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will celebrate the Chrism Mass at the Corpus Christi Cathedral at 7 p.m. This will also be the official close of the Centennial Year celebration. This Chrism Mass, which is held during Holy Week, expresses the unity of the priests with their bishop. Priests of the diocese will join Bishop Mulvey at the Cathedral to celebrate the Chrism Mass. The bishop will bless three oils—the oil of catechumens, the oil of the infirm and holy chrism—that are used

Father Patrick Higgins from St. Patrick Parish in Corpus Christi visited with Irish President Michael D. Higgins, no relation, on a recent trip to his native Ireland in February. MARCH MARCH 2013 2013 || SOUTH SOUTH TEX TEXAS AS CATHOLIC CATHOLIC





Blessed José Luis Sanchez Del Rio:

The Boy Martyr Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


ary Ann González had a total hysterectomy last May and the biopsy results were not what she and her family had been praying for. “I was diagnosed with stage two uterine cancer,” the lifelong parishioner at Immaculate Conception in Taft said. “Before leaving for more surgery with a gynecological oncologist in San Antonio, I saw a movie that encouraged and inspired me. Actually, it ended up changing everything.” The Texas Catholic Conference arranged a special screening of the movie “For Greater Glory” at a Corpus Christi theater in June 2012. The movie depicted the true story of the Cristero War in México during the 1920s. The government in México persecuted Catholics for their faith, between 1926-29. During the movie, González learned about a young boy–José Luis Sanchez Del Rio–who was destined to become a martyr for his role in the Cristero War. Born on March 28, 1913, José had older brothers who were all committed to the war against the Mexican government, and he wanted to join the fight as well. He was too young for combat, but was allowed to participate as flag bearer. During a particularly brutal battle, he was captured by Mexican soldiers and imprisoned. At just 14-years of age, he felt called to defend his faith until his ultimate death. He endured cruel torture at the hands of the Mexican government’s soldiers. The enemy troops beat him, forced him to witness his fellow prisoners Mary Ann and Victor Gonzalez carry the first class relic and a photo of Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio to the altar of Immaculate Conception Church in Taft. Rebecca Esparza, for South Texas Catholic

The first class relic from Blessed Jose sits in front of his photo at the altar at Immaculate Conception Church in Taft, during a recent Mass in his honor. Rebecca Esparza, for South Texas Catholic

murdered and even taunted him with promises of freedom if he renounced his faith. Under severe pain and agony at the hands of his captors, Jose’s last words were “Viva Cristo Rey!” (Long live Christ the King). After being shot and stabbed, he drew a cross in the sand and kissed it before dying. Pope Benedict XVI beatified him on Nov. 20, 2005, making Blessed José one step closer to canonization as a saint. “I knew immediately after seeing the movie Blessed José would watch out for me. I asked him for courage to go through my surgery,” she said. “I also made a promise to him that if I were to come out of the surgery successfully, I would do everything in my power to share his story with more people.” By July, González had the surgery in San Antonio and the news was a complete surprise. Tissue samples taken during surgery revealed no evidence of cancer and chemotherapy MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Parishioners at Immaculate Conception in Taft held a Mass and procession throughout their neighborhood in celebration of the arrival of a first class relic belonging to Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio. The 14-year-old martyr’s last words were “Viva Cristo Rey” which means “Long live Christ the King.” Rebecca Esparza, for South Texas Catholic

treatment was not needed. “My promise to Blessed José was to move heaven and earth to make him more well-known,” González said. “I remember sitting down with his picture in my hands, a few weeks after surgery thinking ‘I made a promise, now what?’” And then an idea came to her; bring a relic of Blessed José from México back to Immaculate Conception. With the support and guidance from her husband Victor, the first thing she did was to discuss it with her parish priest at Immaculate Conception, Father Jesus Francisco Lopez. “He gave me the go ahead to make a few phone calls to México,” González said. “I spoke with the lady in charge of the relics. All we needed was a letter from Father Francisco stating our request. Within two days, we received word the relic would be mailed to us and would receive it in 15 days. I was completely overjoyed.” But the blessings did not end there. González learned she would be receiving a first class relic, which means it was actually a bone fragment from Blessed José. “We were not expecting this,” she said excitedly. “I was afraid to send the relic through the mail. We asked a priest friend of ours in Nuevo Laredo to bring it with him during a previously scheduled trip to Corpus Christi and we had the



relic by Nov. 27.” Father López acknowledged the great blessing from God she received through the intercession of Blessed José. “In thanks for her blessing, she wanted to spread her devotion. Communication was established with the parish of Santiago Apóstol in Sahuayo, Michoacán in México where the remains of Blessed José Luis are located. The process took an unbelievable three weeks from the time of the first communication to when the relic arrived in Corpus Christi,” he said. Father López said preparations for the arrival of Blessed José’s relic at Immaculate Conception then kicked into high gear. Parishioners decided to install the relic on the anniversary of Blessed José’s martyrdom, Feb. 10, 1928. “Our local Knights of Columbus Council was chosen to head the event because of the historical link between the Knights of Columbus and the Cristero War. Several members of the Order were martyred during the persecution of the Church in México and the Order was instrumental in aiding priests, orders of religious men and women and other persecuted Catholics to take refuge in the United States,” Father Lopez said. The first class relic was presented at a Mass at Immaculate Conception in Taft after a procession around the

hood with the Blessed Sacrament. Mary Ann and Victor González carried it during the procession behind the Blessed Sacrament. “This whole story goes perfectly with our concentration on the Year of Faith. Giving up his life for Christ at such a young age…he’s a role model for young people all over the world,” Gonzalez said. The acquisition of the relic has brought a sense of peace to the entire community, she said. “We all need someone to look up to, not only young people. I’ve also witnessed first-hand how this has uplifted our parishioners. Each one has used their talents to make the installation of Blessed José’s relic possible, all for the greater glory of God, as it should be,” she said. The relic is available for public veneration, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-7p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-noon. Today, Mary Ann González is the picture of perfect health and is thankful for the gift of life, as well as the chance to spend more time with family, including her three grandchildren. “This whole experience has taught me to persevere in my faith until the end, like Blessed José did. I’m doing well health-wise, but only our Lord knows. He will always give me the courage to forge through what lies ahead.”

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Pilgrimage to the

HOLY LAND AND JORDAN Walk the footsteps of our Lord Nov. 6-17, 2013 Join Spiritual Director, Father Jairo Motta from Sacred Heart Church in Corpus Christi on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jordan. At the end of this pilgrimage, you will have prayed all the 20 decades of the Rosary where each mystery occurred.  Cost is $3,190. Call for more information

(361) 510-1411



Msgr. Louis Kihneman, vicario general y canciller de la Di贸cesis de Corpus Christi, bendice el terreno para el nuevo centro de catequesis en Nuestra Se帽ora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia mientras el Pastor Padre Henry Artunduaga y feligreses observan solemnemente. Luisa Scolari, para South Texas Catholic




Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia

Por Luisa Scolari Corresponsal

l pasado 10 de Febrero, en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia, se celebró el tercer aniversario de la llegada de la Imagen de la Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos a esa parroquia en Corpus Christi. La celebración fué destacada por la ceremonia de cambio de vestido de la imagen de la Virgen, siguiendo la tradición que simboliza nuestra renovación espiritual. En este Año de la Fe, en donde el Santo Padre nos invita a una renovación interior, la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos invita a todos los fieles y devotos a renovar su encuentro con Jesús y María. El vestido fue donado por una familia de la comunidad y confeccionado en San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, por las mismas personas que elaboran los de la Virgen de allá. Éstá adornado con hermosos bordados en hilo de oro sobre seda color perla. El Obispo de San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, Monseñor Felipe Salazar, fué quien cedió la imagen elaborada por los indígenas de la región de los Altos de Jalisco en 1869, y es la misma que acompañó a su Santidad Juan Pablo II la noche en que pernoctó en la Basílica de San Juan de los Lagos en Jalisco en su encuentro con los jóvenes el 8 de Mayo del 2005. Para conmemorar el tercer aniversario de la llegada de la Imagen de la Virgen de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos a la ciudad de Corpus Christi, el Padre Henry Artunduaga organizó una serie de eventos con la ayuda de los diferentes grupos que conforman la Parroquia como

La imagen de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos es el centro de la vida espiritual en la parroquia. Luisa Scolari, para South Texas Catholic

son: Los soldados de la Virgen, Los Caballeros de Colón, el grupo de la Divina Misericordia, el grupo de Guadalupanas, el grupo de Evangelización, el Encuentro Matrimonial, Ministros Extraordinarios de la Eucaristía, el grupo de Catequesis Parroquial y el grupo Juvenil. A el medio día se celebró una Misa Solemne presidida por el Vicario General Monseñor Louis Kihneman III, y al término se procedió a bendecir los terrenos en donde se construirá un nuevo edificio dedicado a la Catequesis Parroquial. A las 3 p.m. se ofrecieron confesiones con la presencia MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Msgr. Kihneman y Padre Artunduaga, junto con feligreses de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia, rompen la tierra para e

de ocho sacerdotes y la exposición del Santísimo. A las 5 p.m. se rezo el Santo Rosario orando por la unidad Familiar. A las 5:30 p.m. se llevó acabo una procesión con la imagen de la Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos luciendo su nuevo vestido. Después, ocurrió la Solemne Eucaristía de la fiesta de la Virgen, en donde feligreses, devotos y visitantes, le rinden un sentido homenaje a la Madre del Cielo, porque a lo largo de estos tres años, ha fortalecido la fe de la Comunidad Hispana radicada en Corpus Christi. El Padre Artunduaga invita a la comunidad en general a visitar al Santuario todos los días y los invita a participar en los grandes eventos que ahí se realizan, tal como: • La Semana Santa en vivo, con la representación del Viacrucis todos los Viernes de Cuaresma. • La Fiesta de las Colonias el Domingo de Pascua, en

Peregrinación a

TIERRA SANTA Y JORDANIA Andando los pasos de nuestro Señor Jesus Nov. 6-17, 2013 Acompaña Director Espiritual, Padre Jairo Motta de la Iglesia Sagrado Corazón en Corpus Christi en una peregrinacíon a Tierra Santa y Jordania. Al final de esta peregrinación, usted habra rezado todos los 20 decados del santo Rosario, donde cada misterio ocurrio. Costo es de $3,190. Para mas información, llamar Dora Hidalgo

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donde todos los parroquianos comparten comidas típicas de sus países de origen. El día del Padre y día de las Madres. Retiros de Evangelización con el Banquete Parroquial. Día de Independencia con paseo Parroquial el 4 de Julio. El grito de Independencia de México el 16 de Septiembre. Jamaica Parroquial en el mes de Octubre. Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe el 12 de Diciembre. Posadas y pastorelas a partir del 15 de Diciembre.

El Padre Artunduaga comentó que la Parroquia de 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

el nuevo centro parroquial.

Nuestra SeĂąora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia actualmente estĂĄ conformada por mas de 250 familias registradas y continĂşa en crecimiento, en especial la poblaciĂłn infantil. Este crecimiento ha resultado en a la necesidad de construir un nuevo edificio para la Catequesis Parroquial, el cual albergarĂĄ: cinco salones para clases, tres salones para juntas, una sala de descanso, un salĂłn de computaciĂłn, dos baĂąos, una recepciĂłn y una oficina administrativa en un ĂĄrea de 6,500 pies cuadrados, que tendrĂĄ un costo de 1.25 millones de dĂłlares. El Padre Artunduaga dijo que el y sus parroquianos agradecen los buenos oficios de la DiĂłcesis y de la FundaciĂłn Kennedy y el apoyo y esfuerzos de la comunidad para sacar adelante los proyectos materiales y pastorales. Se tiene contemplado que este proyecto junto con la habilitaciĂłn

Luisa Scolari, para South Texas Catholic

del ĂĄrea de estacionamiento estarĂĄn concluidos para el mes de Agosto prĂłximo.






En estos dĂ­as festivos de familia, hay que ser consciente que es posible que la celebraciĂłn incluya bebidas alcohĂłlicas. Ese brindis sobre la comida con parientes reunidos, te puede costar hasta $17,000 dolares en multas, costos de abogado y cuotas si manejas a casa tomado. Porque en Texas si tomas y manejas, vas a la cĂĄrcel.


Antes de tomar y manejar, asegura a donde vas a llegar.

;64( 4(5,1( 22





Twelve to watch

As cardinals gather in Rome Cindy Wooden and Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service


herever journalists and bookmakers may be getting the names on their lists of top candidates for the next pope, it’s not from the cardinals who will actually vote in the election. Both custom and canon law forbid the cardinals to discuss the matter in such detail with outsiders. Moreover, the true “papabili” -- literally, pope-ables -- are likely to emerge only after all the worlds’ car-

U.S. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

dinals -- not just the 117 who will be under 80 and The South Texas Catholic is eligible to vote -- begin providing most of its stories on meeting at the Vatican in the papal transition in Spanish at the coming days. One thing is already clear, however: because of El South Texas Catholic está their experience and the ofreciendo en español la mayoría de esteem they enjoy among sus historias en la transición papal en their peers, certain carsu sitio Web: dinals are likely to serve as trusted advisers to the rest in the discussions and election. Here, in alphabetical the United States’ economic and geoorder, are 12 cardinals expected to political dominance. But the extrohave a major voice in the deliberaverted and jocular Cardinal Timothy tions: M. Dolan, 63, charmed and impressed Conventional wisdom has long many in the College of Cardinals held that the cardinals will never elect in February 2012 when he delivered an American pope, lest the leadership the main presentation at a meeting of the church appear to be linked with Pope Benedict XVI had called to

Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave. MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

discuss the new evangelization. The pope himself praised the New York archbishop’s presentation on how to revive the faith in increasingly secular societies as “enthusiastic, joyful and profound.� Although not a familiar name in the press, Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, 60, is a major figure among his peers in Europe, the church’s traditional heartland and the region of more than half the cardinal electors. He was elected to a second five-year term as president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences in 2011. Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, is a member of the Society of St. Sulpice, whose members are, strictly speaking, diocesan priests but which is normally considered a religious order. Hence he is one of only 19 members of religious orders among the cardinal electors, who are overwhelmingly diocesan clergy. He is prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, which coordinates the nomination of bishops in Latin-rite dioceses around the world, so his work has brought him

Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

into frequent contact with most of his fellow cardinal-electors. As president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, he is well acquainted with one of the church’s largest and fastest-growing regions. The former archbishop of Quebec, who taught at the John Paul II Institute at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University, is also a well-respected theologian. Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, 70, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was the prelate chosen by Pope Benedict to lead his 2013 Lenten retreat, which will make him a prominent voice at the Vatican in the run-up to the election. The cardinal, a scholar with little direct pastoral experience, has been leading the universal church’s eorts to develop a non-confrontational dialogue with non-believers, trying to make Christianity intelligible to the modern mind and build a reason-based consensus on key moral issues. Another Salesian, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, 70, is president of Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella group of

national Catholic charities around the world. As a result, many of his peers have come to know the multilingual cardinal as the person spearheading assistance to the neediest of their people. He aroused controversy in 2002 with remarks about clergy sex abuse that struck some as overly defensive of accused priests and the church’s past policies. But he was already widely mentioned as a possible pope before the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict. Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69, was born to parents of Italian descent and has maintained strong ties with both Italy and Argentina. As prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, he is familiar with the challenges facing Eastern Catholics and the pastoral concerns of the church in the Middle East. He has worked in the Vatican for more than a dozen years, and previously served as nuncio to Venezuela and then Mexico. His only experience in a parish was a brief assignment shortly after his ordination as a priest. Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, 67,




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Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

is president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” which promotes Catholic charitable giving. He has used his leadership to emphasize Pope Benedict’s teaching that Catholic charitable activity must not be simple philanthropy, but an expression of faith, rooted in prayer and Catholic identity. A scripture scholar and former diocesan bishop, he served nine years as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Another leading voice of the South American church is 63-yearold Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the country’s largest diocese. The son of German immigrants, he also has strong ties to Rome. He studied philosophy and theology at Rome’s Pontifical Brazilian College and Pontifical Gregorian University and worked as an official of the Congregation for Bishops from 1994 to 2001. Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, 68, has known Pope Benedict for almost 40 years, having studied under him at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Even before

Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

his former professor became pope, the cardinal was well known at the Vatican and in wider church circles. He was invited in 1996 to preach Blessed John Paul II’s Lenten retreat and was the main editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published in 1992. As the church in Austria has struggled with declining attendance and calls for change in some of its most basic disciplines, Cardinal Schonborn’s response has received increasing attention, with some praising his prudence and pastoral sensitivity, and others calling for more decisive action. Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71, is the archbishop of Milan, the archdiocese led by both Popes Pius XI and Paul VI when they were elected. He previously served as patriarch of Venice, once the see of Blessed John XXIII. The cardinal, a respected academic theologian rather than a popular preacher, has longstanding ties to one of the new church movements, Communion and Liberation, which is based in his archdiocese. Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle of

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is eligible to vote in the upcoming conclave.

Manila, 55, is one of the youngest and newest members of the College of Cardinals. Although he did not receive his red hat until November 2012, he had already made a name for himself at the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in 2008. This leader of one of the world’s fastest-growing churches is a popular speaker with a doctorate in systematic theology and has served on the International Theological Commission, an advisory body to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Peter Turkson is the 64-year-old former archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, and current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The cardinal, a biblical scholar who was active in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, has frequently appeared on lists of possible popes. He aroused controversy in 2011 with a proposal for a “world central bank” to regulate the global financial industry, and then in October 2012 when he showed bishops at the Vatican a video warning about the growth of Muslim populations in Europe.

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




FACTOIDS about the time between pope’s Catholic News Service

Here is an explanation of some of the terms and practices related to the time between Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and the election of a new pope.

“Sede vacante” Dioceses are also called sees. The Latin for “when the see is vacant” is “sede vacante.” When the vacant see is the Diocese of Rome, all major church decisions, such as new legislation or the appointment of bishops, stops until a new pope is elected. Only ordinary business and matters that cannot be postponed can be conducted by the College of Cardinals.

Interregnum The period between popes is called an interregnum-between reigns--even though Pope Paul VI set aside many of the regal trappings of the papacy and references to a papal “reign” gradually fell into disuse. Pope Paul inaugurated his ministry in 1963 with a coronation, then set aside the papal tiara. It was the last time a pope wore the beehive-shaped tiara, a triple crown.

Conclave A meeting of cardinals to elect a new pope is a conclave. The word -- from the Latin “cum clave” (with key) -- means under lock and key. In 1268, cardinals couldn’t decide on a new pope. After nearly three years the people finally locked them up and cut their rations. The man elected, Pope Gregory X, ordered that in the future cardinals be sequestered from the start, and eventually the practice became normative.

La Tiendita

Camerlengo Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as camerlengo, or chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, assisted by the vice chamberlain and a canonical adviser, is in charge of safeguarding the temporal goods of the church and its temporal rights during the interregnum. The chamberlain heads a three-member commission that oversees physical preparations for the conclave and leads what is called a “particular congregation” -- a group of three other cardinals chosen by lot -- to conduct the minor day-to-day business of the Vatican until a new pope is elected.

Dean, of the College of Cardinals Cardinal Angelo Sodano is the current dean. As dean, he calls the cardinals to Rome and presides over their daily meetings before the conclave. Because Cardinal Sodano is over 80 and ineligible to enter the conclave, the dean’s duties inside the Sistine Chapel will be handled by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the top-ranking cardinal-bishop of those under 80. Inside the chapel, Cardinal Re will administer the oath of secrecy and preside over the conclave. When a candidate achieves a two-thirds majority vote, the dean -- in the name of the entire college -- asks the candidate if he accepts the election and what name he will take.

Cardinal-electors Only cardinals under the age of 80 on the day the “sede vacante” begins can enter a conclave and vote for a pope. Even if he is retired from other church posts, if a cardinal is under 80 he is considered an active cardinal for the purposes of the conclave. As of Feb. 28, there will be 117 cardinal-electors.

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s resignation and papal


General congregations


All cardinals who are able to go to Rome attend the general congregations, which are daily meetings in which the College of Cardinals prepares for a conclave, discusses the needs of the church and handles more serious church business that must be attended to between popes. Cardinals over 80 may participate in these meetings but they are not required to. General congregations end when the cardinals enter into conclave.

These are three cardinals, chosen by lot at the start of a conclave, to oversee the depositing of the marked, folded ballots for pope into an urn. They shake the urn, count the ballots to assure the number of votes and voters matches, then open each ballot and record and read aloud the name on it. They add the votes cast for each candidate to determine if a pope has been elected and handle the burning of the ballots and any notes taken by cardinals.

Particular congregations


Between popes, the church’s camerlengo and three other cardinals chosen by lot handle the day-today business of the Holy See in daily meetings called particular congregations. These continue while the cardinals are in conclave. Every three days three new cardinals are chosen by lot to assist the camerlengo.

Three cardinals, chosen by lot at the start of a conclave, to oversee conclave balloting by any cardinal-electors who are too ill or infirm to sit through the conclave sessions in the Sistine Chapel. On each ballot, after depositing their votes in an urn, they go together to the sick cardinals with blank ballots and a locked box in which the completed ballots can be placed through a slit. They return to the conclave and deliver the votes.

“Extra omnes” The Latin command, “all outside,” orders everyone who is not authorized to be in the Sistine Chapel during the conclave to leave before the conclave starts.

Secrecy Cardinals take two oaths of secrecy: not to reveal to anyone anything directly or indirectly related to the election of the pope. The first is taken the first day a cardinal joins the general congregation; the second, at the start of the conclave. The few noncardinals authorized to assist the cardinals while they are in conclave also take an oath of secrecy.

Revisers Three cardinals, chosen by lot at the start of a conclave, to recount and verify each round of balloting for the election of a pope, whether a pope has been elected on that ballot.

White smoke, black smoke The traditional signal, from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, whether a pope has been elected: Black smoke, no; white smoke, yes. The smoke is generated by burning conclave ballots and notes with chemicals to make the smoke the right color. To avoid any possible confusion, the cardinals decided to have white smoke accompanied by ringing bells.

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Pope resigns! Cites health reasons


Catholic News Service and Staff Reports

aying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would resign after an eight-year pontificate. His role as supreme pontiff came to an end at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time on Feb. 28. He was elected in April 2005 and is the first pope to resign in more than 600 years. The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the pope said to cardinals gathered for an ordinary public consistory to approve the canonization of new saints. “In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the



life of faith, in order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” the pope said. Even though the announcement caught almost everybody by surprise, it was not a snap decision, but rather one that “had matured over the past few months,” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman said. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey of the Diocese of Corpus Christi was among those surprised by the announcement. He said he was not expecting it but recalled his last trip to Rome in November that the Holy Father looked very frail. “Pope Benedict is looking for the good of the church, it was very brave for him to do this,” Bishop Mulvey said. The pope made his announcement in Latin from a pre-written text during a morning ordinary public consistory where a large number of cardinals were present. When he delivered his announcement, the pope seemed very

“composed, concentrated” and read “in a solemn manner” in keeping with the importance of what he was saying, Father Lombardi said. Fulfilling the canonical requirement that the decision must be made freely and “duly manifested,” Pope Benedict said to the cardinals, “Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new supreme pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.” No one needs to formally accept a pope’s resignation for it to be valid. Father Lombardi said after the pope steps down, he will move to the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. He will stay there until the renovation is completed of a cloister, which is located inside the Vatican Gardens. The pope will then live in the cloister, called the Mater Ecclesia monastery, and dedicate his time to prayer and reflection, the Vatican spokesman said. He will spend more

Bishop Mulvey and Vocations Director Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, visited with the pope in March 2012 during the bishop’s Ad Limina visit. Vatican Photographic Service



Diocese of Corpus Christi seminarian Eric Chapa receives a rosary and a warm handshake from the Holy Father in a March 2012 visit to the Vatican. Chapa is a Theology II student at the Ponticial North American College in Rome. Vatican Photographic Service

time dedicated to study and prayer. He is not likely to play any role in the “interregnum” or time between popes because “there is no role for a predecessor pope” during this period, the priest said. The Jesuit priest said a “sede vacante” usually lasts less than a month, and that it was more than likely a new pope would be elected in time to lead the full schedule of Holy Week and Easter liturgies. Bishop Mulvey said the Holy Spirit is working “amongst all the politics, all the talk, all the speculation” and will make sure the right person will come forward to serve as the next pope. It was obvious that the pope’s decision was based on a “great affection” for the well-being of the church, the cardinal said. Bishop Mulvey agreed with this assessment. Pope Benedict, he said, “is looking for the good of


the church,” which was “very brave for him to do.” “I think our Holy Father in the last days of his pontificate shows that gentle example of an extremely intelligent human being, and at the same time extremely humble human being,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Putting those two together and saying ‘for the good of the church I will renounce what has been given to me in freedom, in front of God’. Let him be our example.” The pope has increasingly had trouble walking in the past year, often using a cane and always being assisted getting up and down steps. However, the Vatican has never released medical information that would make it appear the pope suffers from anything other than joint pain connected to his age. Pope Benedict had long said it would be appropriate for a pope to


resign for the good of the church if the pontiff felt he were unable to physically bear the burden of the papacy. “One can resign at a peaceful moment or when one simply cannot go on,” the pope had said. Before ending his remarks during the consistory, Pope Benedict said to the cardinals, “I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the holy church to the care of our supreme pastor, our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the cardinal fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new supreme pontiff.” The pope said, “I wish to also devotedly serve the holy church of God in the future through a life dedicated

to prayer.” Eric Chapa, a seminarian for the Diocese of Corpus Christi at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, had the opportunity to meet the pope in March 2012 when Bishop Mulvey made his Ad Limina visit to the Vatican. “What immediately struck me about the Holy Father was his gentleness and humility,” Chapa said. “For being a global leader, in person he was astonishingly approachable. He genuinely embodies the power of Christ, in that his authority and power are solely by virtue of his service, which is quiet and never put ‘on display’,” Chapa said. “I have no doubt that the reason people are so surprised by the weight of his ill health–that his resignation has unveiled–is that he never, ever showed it. What physical suffering he has, he always bears it internally and makes of it an offering unto God. He is truly a man of the Cross, and a man with Christ’s heart,” the seminarian said. Indeed the Holy Father’s heart is one that came through to those close to him. Bishop Mulvey recalled the words his friend James Cardinal Harvey shared with him when the bishop asked him how he would describe Benedict XVI. “Without hesitation, Cardinal Harvey said, ‘He has the intelligence of five men and the heart of a child’.” “Personally, I have a lot to be thankful for to the Holy Father. It was he who called me to serve the Church as a bishop. I will forever be grateful for his affection and his trust and I pray that I will be able to fulfill his confidence in me’” Bishop Mulvey said. “We have nothing but to be grateful to the Almighty God for this man and to pray for him as he goes into a new phase of life,” the bishop said, who celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Holy Father on Feb. 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

Text of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation announcement Dear brothers, I have convoked you to this consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new supreme pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. Dear brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the holy church to the care of our supreme pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the cardinal fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new supreme pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the holy church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer. From the Vatican, Feb. 11, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Pope Benedict XVI is shown in side-by-side images from 2005 and 2013. At left is the pope in a photo taken May 4, 2005, about two weeks after his election. At right is an image taken Feb. 9 at the Vatican. The 85-year-old German pontiff announced Feb. 11 that he was stepping down saying he does not have the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church. Nancy Phelan Wiechec and Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

Important events in the papacy of Benedict XVI Catholic News Service

April 19, 2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, elected pope and takes the name Benedict XVI. Dec. 22, 2005: In a meeting with top aides at the Vatican, Pope Benedict insists the teaching of the Second Vatican Council must be read in continuity with



the church’s tradition. Sept. 12, 2006: In a speech about faith and reason at the University of Regensburg, Germany, Pope Benedict cites a historical criticism of violence in Islam, setting off consternation and protests.

Nov. 30, 2006: Pope Benedict stands with Muslim leader in Turkey’s Blue Mosque; says he prayed that God would help all believers see each other as brothers and sisters. April 16, 2007: The first of what would be a three-volume work, “Jesus of

Nazareth,” by Pope Benedict goes on sale and is an immediate commercial success. May 27, 2007: In a letter to Chinese Catholics, Pope Benedict criticizes government restrictions on religion and urges reconciliation among the country’s Catholic communities. July 7, 2007: Pope Benedict issues an apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum,” permitting wider use of the pre-Vatican II Mass. April 15-20, 2008: Pope Benedict visits Washington, New York and the United Nations, meets victims of clerical sex abuse for first time. July 12-21, 2008: Pope Benedict travels to Sydney for World Youth Day. Jan. 21, 2009: With Pope Benedict’s approval, the Vatican issues a letter lifting the excommunication of four traditionalist bishops belonging to the Society of St. Pius X to clear the way for reconciliation talks with the group. May 8-15, 2009: Pope Benedict travels to Jordon, Israel and Palestinian territories. Nov. 4, 2009: With the apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus,” Pope Benedict establishes personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. July 15, 2010: With the approval of Pope Benedict, the Vatican releases streamlined procedures for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and removing those found guilty from the priesthood. May 1, 2011: Pope Benedict beatifies Pope John Paul II. March 23-28, 2012: Pope Benedict visits Mexico and Cuba. Dec. 22, 2012: After nearly a year of Vatican scandal over leaked documents and the papal butler being convicted of theft, Pope Benedict visits the butler in jail and pardons him. Feb. 11, 2013: Pope Benedict informs a group of cardinals that he will resign effective Feb. 28.

People watch from St. Peter’s Square as Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus from the window of his apartment at the Vatican Feb. 17. A man in clerics was holding a sign that read, “We’ll miss you!” Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters/CNS

Pope recalls experiences as Vatican II consultant VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI, who has dedicated much of his pontificate to shaping the church’s understanding of the Second Vatican Council, devoted one of his last public addresses to the subject, recalling his experiences and lamenting widespread distortions of its teachings. Pope Benedict said that popular understanding of Vatican II has been long distorted by its coverage in the press, which presented the council as a political struggle for “popular sovereignty” in the church. This “council of the media” was responsible for “many calamities, so many problems, so much misery,” the pope said. “Seminaries closed, convents closed, liturgy trivialized.” But the pope said that the “true

council,” which was based on faith, is today “emerging with all its spiritual strength,” and he called on his listeners to “work so that the true council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and the church is really renewed.” The talk gave Pope Benedict a chance to underscore one of the major themes of his pontificate almost at its end. In a landmark speech during his first year as pope, he had proclaimed the importance of reading Vatican II in continuity with the church’s millennial traditions, not as a radical break with the past. His efforts to promote such interpretations have culminated in the current Year of Faith, which opened last October on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


In the face of secrecy, drone faces barrage of moral ques Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service


or a program that militants hardly remains the White House a secret. has never official- Even so, while pledging to protect around the globe in his ly acknowledged, the use Americans State of the Union address Feb. 12, Barack Obama never used of missile-laden drones to President the “D” word -- or what the military strike suspected Muslim calls unmanned aerial vehicles.



“Where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take grave action against those terrorists who pose a threat to America,” Obama said, offering no other details. Beyond the White House, however, the topic of drones is getting plenty of attention. From pointed questions from members of Congress to grass-roots resistance


warfare tions movements around the country, drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia has come under increasing scrutiny. The widening debate has focused on moral and ethical concerns surrounding “kill lists” as drone strikes are planned by the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, the legality of drone attacks under international law when war has not been declared, and the expansion of executive power. “It’s a conversation the country needs to have,” said Morris B. Davis, assistant professor of lawyering skills at Howard University’s School of Law. “I think it’s been a real disservice by Republicans and Democrats alike (to fail to address drones). The only thing we’ve really found out about the drone program ... has been through leaks. It hasn’t been through the government informing us about what’s being done in our name,” Morris told Catholic News Service after a presentation on torture Feb. 12 at the annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering. Despite the president’s unwillingness to discuss the drone program, some in the

administration have addressed it. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Feb. 5 after a Justice Department white paper outlining the legal argument for targeting U.S. citizens working in suspected terror networks overseas was leaked. In a series of interviews in early February before stepping down as defense secretary, Leon Panetta maintained that drone strikes are necessary to keep the country safe. As CIA director from 2009 to 2011, Panetta authorized about 200 drone strikes in Pakistan under rules drafted early in the Obama administration. “I think we had a responsibility to use whatever technology we could to be able to go after those who not only conducted that attack (on 9/11)

but were planning to continue to attack this country,” he told Agence France-Presse. Panetta, who is Catholic, acknowledged in an interview with National Public Radio that his task was not easy. “As a Catholic, suddenly realizing that I had a responsibility of saying we’re going to have to kill somebody was something I did not take lightly,” he said. “It’s a heavy responsibility.” Such decisions since 2004, the earliest days of the drone campaign, have led to thousands of deaths, innocent victims included. Although the administrations of Obama and former President George W. Bush have declined to release casualty figures, the New America Foundation has tracked drone strikes and the resulting loss of life.

A tribesman walks near a building damaged in 2012 by a U.S. drone (pictured above) strike targeting suspected al-Qaida militants in Azan in southeastern Yemen Feb. 3. From pointed questions from members of Congress to grassroots resistance movements around the country, drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia has come under increasing scrutiny. CNS photo/Khaled Abdullah, Reuters



Through Feb. 11, the foundation said an estimated 351 strikes claimed between 1,944 and 3,263 lives. While the vast majority of deaths are believed to be suspected militants, civilians, including women and children, are included in count. The findings show that drone strikes escalated rapidly under Obama after he took office in 2009. Under Obama 255 strikes have occurred compared with 48 under Bush, the foundation said. The loss of innocent life concerns some Catholic observers. Identifying suspected militants based on observed suspicious activity from thousands of feet in the sky is problematic, they said. Charles Camosy, assistant professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University, advocated framing drone warfare as a pro-life issue. “It involves violence and violent killing. It involves the killing of the innocent in a way that doesn’t follow the church’s teaching. It’s an exercise of raw violent power in a way that I think should get pro-lifers really, really upset,” Camosy explained to CNS. Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, suggested that drones have led to “a battlefield without borders.” “We have a global battlefield, which completely undercuts any possibility of talking about just war. There are no boundaries on this thing,” she said. Through its increasing dependence on drones the U.S. has set itself up to be engaged in a “perpetual state of war,” said Gerard Powers of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. While acknowledging that the U.S. has a moral obligation to protect the country and to avoid placing soldiers at unnecessary risk, Powers ques-


tioned whether the use of drones to attack suspected terrorists fulfills just war criteria. “Does the use of drones make it easier to go to war because there’s no risk? If it makes it too easy to use force, too easy to drop bombs, too easy to go to war, then that’s a concern,” Powers said. Two years ago the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace encouraged the White House to review the use of unmanned drones. The suggestion came in a letter April 6, 2011 on the country’s transitioning role in Afghanistan to Thomas Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., then the committee chairman, acknowledged that the U.S. must continually review the use of military force in Afghanistan and “whether and when force is needed to protect the innocent and resist terrorism.” Addressing the consequences of the drone strikes in non-combatant countries, Michael J. Boyle, assistant professor of political science at La Salle University, told CNS the U.S. risks driving people into militant ranks. “Does the president have the right to be judge and jury and executioner for terror suspects? There is no presentation in a court, no congressional oversight, no ability for a person to defend themselves.” Boyle said. In a lengthy analysis in the January issue of International Affairs, Boyle suggested that the use of drones is not as effective as Panetta and others claim. The U.S., he wrote, “is encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent, destabilized and polarized between those who have drones and those who are victims of them.”


USCCB provides resources for papal transition WASHINGTON (CNS) -- To help dioceses, parishes and other groups pray for Pope Benedict XVI and for the selection of a new pope, the Secretariat of Divine Worship of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has provided liturgical and musical resources as well as specific prayers. The resources and prayers can be found at upload/Pope-Resignation-Resources. pdf. The material suggests that homilies reflect on a particular ministry of Pope Benedict XVI as an example to follow, especially as it relates to Lent. It mentions highlighting a major theme in Pope Benedict’s teachings and writings such as: “the need for an authentic personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Other themes include the pope’s love for the liturgy, efforts to achieve peace in the world, his ecumenical outreach and his constant care, concern and outreach for the poor, the sick and oppressed. Suggested petitions for the pope include prayers that he be given the strength needed to complete his remaining ministry, prayers for peace and consolation, and prayers that his efforts in fostering unity may bear

fruit. Once the pope’s resignation takes effect Feb. 28, a special Mass for the election of his successor can be celebrated, according to the guidelines of the liturgical calendar, during weekdays in Lent. Suggested homilies include reflecting on the pope’s role and ministry and stressing the role of the universal church. The guidelines note that Catholics should take this time to offer prayers, works and almsgiving for the successful election of a new pope. It also suggests that petitions during the Prayer of the Faithful should pray for the Holy Spirit to “inspire and strengthen the cardinal-electors” and that the cardinals be open to God’s grace in the election process. When the new pope is elected, again bishops and priests could offer a special Mass for the newly elected pope according to the guidelines of the liturgical calendar, only on weekdays in Lent, but not during the days of Holy Week. Catholics are urged to pray for the newly elected pope and churches are encouraged to affix gold and white bunting above entrances or flowers near the Vatican flag. Suggested petitions in the Prayer of the Faithful include prayers for the new pope to be strengthened in his ministry, to work with the world’s bishops to build up the church and to be “a champion of the poor, a reconciler of nations and a force for peace and unity in our world.”


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Religious liberty

Group urged to help Catholics see threat Ambria Hammel Catholic News Service


rchbishop William E. Lori said in an address in Scottsdale, Arizona that Americans are “once again at a crossroads in how religious freedom is understood and exercised in our country.”

“We remain a nation where most people still value some form of religious faith,” Archbishop Lori said at the Legatus Summit on Feb. 7-9. The archbishop repeatedly affirmed the need to have principles grounded in natural law and invited Legatus members to use personal influence to convert the hearts of others. The church, thanks to immigration from Central and South America, continues to grow in the United States. The country, the archbishop said, remains what Abraham Lincoln described it to be: “the last, best hope on earth.” But the place of religion is slipping. “While a solid majority of Americans still believe in God and describe themselves as Christians, fewer people in almost all denominations practice their faith,” he said. It is estimated that only 27 percent



of Catholics attend Mass regularly while the number of sacramental marriages has declined steadily in recent decades, he said “If throughout the country our churches were filled to capacity and all Catholics were vibrantly evangelized and systematically catechized, religious freedom would not be challenged so readily by bad laws, judicial decisions and administrative regulations,” he said. Lack of religious practice leads to a lack of belief in moral truths, Archbishop Lori said, adding that an understanding of natural law, indispensable in a democratic form of government, is also lacking. Religious freedom is limited, he said, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring most religious employers -- including Catholic universities, hospitals and social service agencies -- to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health plans despite these employers’ moral objections to such coverage. “That we are even engaging in this long struggle over the HHS mandate goes to the larger points that we are losing our freedom to create a workplace rooted in Catholic values, such as respect for human life from conception until natural death,” Archbishop Lori said, “and that religion is increasingly regarded almost as a foreign element in an open society where there are no fixed truths or values to guide the journey.”

That many fellow Catholics and citizens do not see that religious liberty is threatened means the church must do a better job evangelizing and catechizing, he said, emphasizing marriage and family life. Schools, charities and health care institutions must not be “Catholic in name only.” The Founding Fathers saw a relationship between rights and moral obligations and understood the value for democracy of virtue, morality and religion, he said. The modern civil rights movement, the archbishop pointed out, was rooted “in deep convictions about the dignity of the human person whose rights and freedom are to be recognized and guaranteed by law.” If the objective is to expand human rights to include “behaviors heretofore deemed immoral,” then the documents of the founding of the United States must be stripped of “any reference to the Creator and his will or words and distinctions that define reality,” the archbishop explained. First, religious and moral teachings are scrutinized and public opinion is shifted away from them, he said. Second, laws contrary to these teachings are enacted. Third, “allowances are made for such teachings through exemptions and carve outs,” he explained. These “allowances” shrink over time and “some religious and moral teachings are branded as a form of intolerable bigotry.” (Hammel is a staff writer at The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese.)





Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic

he ribbon cutting for the new Incarnate

Word High School track took a novel approach on Feb. 1 as members of the school’s track team, Ethan Metz, Sarita Pettus, Tyler Cortez, Remy Ellison, Jackson Bright and Kayla Dural, raced around the track breaking a red ribbon at the finish line. 40


craftsmanship, the pursuing ideas It marked the completion of for decades. Lessons learned –it is Phase I of the school’s capital worth dreaming. It’s worth workcampaign, “Enlighten, Inspire ing hard for.” and Strengthen,” which raised apMore than 500 people, includproximately $950,000 from private ing church officials, students, donors and the John G. and Marie parents, faculty, Stella Kenestaff and alumni dy Memorial were present at Foundation. the blessing and Work on the Charles Imbergamo IWA President dedication, which Austin Street coincided with Athletic Comthe last day of plex began on National CathoOctober 2012. lic Schools Week. Bishop Wm. “A facility like this tries to Michael Mulvey gave the blessing achieve new highs,” IWA president and students Isabella Williams, Charles Imbergamo said. “We are Mary Matl and Elizabeth Kirkland up for the challenge. We plan to led attendees in the pledge of alcontinue to build and improve legiance and Theresa Lopez sang what we have. All around us is the National Anthem with accompatience and hard work, skilled


The ribbon cutting of IWA’s Austin Street Athletic Complex was different than traditional ribbon cutting events. Seniors Jackson Bright (from left) and Kayla Dural, seventh graders Tyler

To see more photos of this event

Cortez and Sarita Pettus, and fourth graders Sarita Pettus and Ethan Metz rejoice as they make it to the finish line at the blessing and dedication ceremony of the complex. Lori Cruz, Incarnate Word Academy

paniment from the high school band. The Austin Street Athletic Complex includes more than a new allweather surface for track. It also includes new equipment, new batting and golf cages, a new fence, a natural grass turf for the soccer field, areas for high jump, discus and shot put, a long jump runway, a vault box, a new storage area for sporting equipment and new equipment to orchestrate field events. Reynaldo “Gator” Garcia, IWA Athletic Director, said the vision of revitalizing the athletic complex had

Reynaldo “Gator” Garcia IWA Athletic Director

been 40 years in the making. With Phase I completed, the school is ready to start Phase II. “Today does not mark the end of the enlightenment campaign,” Imbergamo said. “We are going to continue to inspire and dream and work hard, so

Go to: www

that Phase II–building the new Montessori school, and Phase III–adding a middle school gymnasium–are realized.” “We all get very caustic about the future of America, but when you look here you know we’re in good shape,” retired Army Gen. Marc Cisneros, CEO and executive vice president of the Kenedy Foundation, said as he looked out to the students. “When I visit the Academy I get that same positive feeling, the sense of patriotism and selfless service that makes you so great.” MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Young scientists to compete at Coastal Bend Science Fair The 2012-13 Diocesan Science Fair was held at Blessed John Paul II on Jan. 26. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade competed for the opportunity to go to the Coastal Bend Science Fair March 9 at the American Bank Center from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. First grade winners include Noah Sanchez, (left) from Central Catholic, 1st place; Daniela Benavides from St. Joseph in Alice, 2nd place; Reece Perez from Holy Family, 3rd place; Isaac Silva from St. Joseph in Alice, fourth place; and Kevin Burnette from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy, 5th place. For the complete list of winners and more photos go to Contributed Photo

Calendar of Events: March 2: Booksigning with Albert E. Hughes, LTC USAF (Ret). His book, “Paradise Commander” recounts his miraculous conversion while serving as commander in Antigua, West Indies in the late 70’s. March 16: Divine Mercy Day of Prayer “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” in St. Joseph’s Beeville 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Preparing for the Divine Mercy Retreat. All are welcome! April 4-7: Divine Mercy Retreat (men and women) April 7: Divine Mercy Sunday Day of Prayer 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. followed by the 1st Sunday. St. Peregrine Healing Mass at 4 p.m. in our Adoration Chapel. Confessions available all day. April 13: True Devotion Day of Prayer 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. April 27: Day of Prayer “Deepening your life in Christ” in St. Joseph’s Beeville June 8: Save the date: 1st Annual DOME FEST!

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The pope resigns


e find no good reason for honoring the decision of his holiness Pope Benedict XVI to resign the Petrine office at the end of this month with anything less than the gratitude and prayerful best wishes one would offer any good servant of the Lord who has labored long and hard in the vineyard.

Though surprising to most everyone, the eminently reasonable self-evaluation by the Holy Father, citing his conscientious awareness of the diminishing state of his physical capacity in proportion to the demands of his office, should not only be respected but applauded. The Holy Father, however, deserves much more. This is an action both courageous and exemplary. Courageous--because anyone who breaks new ground, departing from conventional expectations--will risk criticism and unusual scrutiny. Popes have resigned before, though not in modern times, and not for the same reasons. The example of the Holy Father, however, sets something of a precedent that may help others consider that retiring is less of concession than a fully free and conscious moral decision, grounded in human reality and a deep sense of responsibility for oneself and to those whom one serves. We are accustomed to a period of mourning at the close of a pope’s tenure because it is typically his death and not his own deliberation that ends it. Although the old Roman counsel--“de mortuis nil nisi bonum” (“of the dead speak nothing but good”) seems less and less to be practiced, it is still the custom to remember the life and accomplishments of a deceased pontiff in a more positive light--at least until after the next election. We can only hope that our Holy



Father will receive such courtesy. Since this is new ground, we do not know how a living “former pope” will be publicly engaged or regarded. The alacrity with which the conclave will begin--most probably in mid-March--may find newsmakers more anxious to speculate on Pope Benedict’s successor than his own successes. Yet for all the likely theorizing, the old adage that the man who goes in as pope always comes out as cardinal may be more apt this time than ever since there is little time for anything like a campaign to be mounted or a “front-runner” to emerge as some would love to proclaim. In 1981, the year in which assassination attempts on both President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II occurred within a two-month period, the late and much-esteemed church historian, John Tracy Ellis, was being interviewed after the pope was shot. He reflected that he was far more concerned in the uncertainty after the Reagan shooting than that of the pope. Unashamedly, he said on public television, the church, unlike the United States, has “a divine guarantee.” If electing another pope is not quite as routine as changing cars or as casual as making a bus transfer, there is much wisdom in the historian’s remarks. We trust the Holy Spirit is at work in the church, even through the all-too-varied personalities give the divine action a human face. What we are about to experience should once again give Catholics great pride in how peacefully the transition is likely to take place, considering its importance and consequences. Catholics throughout the world will unite around the successor of Peter whatever his age, race, nationality or photogenic qualities might be. So also, we suspect will many people of good will. In the meantime, we owe his holiness our most profound thanks for his faithful service for so many years and we pray that the Lord will give him the serenity and prayerful retreat that he now seeks from the burdens of the office he has born so well. (Unsigned editorial titled from the Feb. 13 issue of The Tablet, newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Debating birth control in the public square Making Sense

Father Tadeueusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.


out of


overnor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, in his Dec. 13, 2012 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, argues that eliminating the required doctor’s visit to get a prescription–making contraception available “over the counter,” could reduce the cost of birth control.

If it were made available this way, it would no longer be reimbursable by health insurance, and people could simply purchase it on their own. Jindal posits that this approach would result in “the end of birth control politics.” He relies on several simplistic assumptions and inadequate moral judgments, however, as he tries to advance this argument. First, he misconstrues the objective. The goal should not be to remove birth control from political debate, but rather to arrive at reasonable

medical, ethical and constitutional judgments about birth control and public policy. Contraception is an important topic for public discussion because it touches on basic human and social goods, such as children, family and sexual fidelity. Indeed, laws about contraception have always been based upon concerns for the public good and public order, as in the case of the State of Connecticut, which in 1879 enacted strong legislation outlawing contraception, specified as the use of “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” This law, similar to the anticontraception laws of many other states, was in effect for nearly 90 years before it was reversed in 1965. These laws codified the longstanding public judgment that contraception was harmful to society because it promoted promiscuity, adultery and other evils. It relied on the nearly universal conviction that children should be seen as a gift and a blessing to society, and that, in the words of one social commentator, “a healthy society, however tolerant at the margins, must be based on the perception that sex is essentially procreative, with its proper locus in a loving family.” Yet Gov. Jindal fails to engage these

BIOETHICS core concerns, and instead retreats behind a common cultural cliché when he goes on to say, “Contraception is a personal matter–the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it.” If it is true that contraception is often harmful to individuals and families, to marriage and to women’s health, then it clearly has broader public policy implications, and is, objectively speaking, not merely a “personal matter.” Consider just a few of the health issues. Women who use contraception have increased rates of cardiovascular and thromboembolic events, including increased deep vein thrombosis, strokes, pulmonary blood clots and heart attacks. Newer third and fourth generation combination birth control pills, which were supposed to lower cardiovascular risks, may actually increase those risks, and recently there have been class action lawsuits brought against the manufacturers of Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, because women have died from such events. In seeking to serve the public interest, the government may determine to become involved in such MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


matters, as it did back in 1879, through specific legislative initiatives or through other forms of regulatory oversight. Indeed, the recent deployment of the HHS contraceptive mandate–as a component of ObamaCare–reflects an awareness of the public ramifications of this issue, even though the mandate itself is profoundly flawed and ultimately subverts the public interest. It compels Americans, unbelievably, to pay for the sexual proclivities of their neighbors, not only by requiring employers to cover costs for the pill in their health plans, but also to pay for other morally objectionable procedures, including direct surgical sterilizations and potential abortion-causing drugs like the “morning-after” pill. Gov. Jindal goes on to argue, “As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18-years-old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it.” Yet Gov. Jindal is really quite apologetic, and inconsistent, in his pro-life stance by arguing in this fashion. Contraception can never be pro-life. It regularly serves as a gateway to abortion, with abortion functioning as the “backup” to failed contraception for countless women and their partners. Abortion and contraception are two fruits of the same tree, being anti-child and therefore anti-life at the root. Certain “emergency” contraceptives (like Plan B and the new morning-after pill known as EllaOne) also appear able to function directly as abortifacients. IUD’s can function similarly, making the uterine lining hostile for an arriving human embryo, and forcing a loss of life to occur through a failure to implant. Gov. Jindal, a committed Catholic, should not be minimizing the medical and moral risks associated with promoting contraceptive use, nor lessening social vigilance by promoting “over the counter” availability. Committed Catholics and politicians of conscience can better advance the public discourse surrounding contraception by avoiding such forms of circumlocution, and instead, directly addressing the medical and ethical evils of contraception and the unacceptability of the coercive HHS mandate itself. (Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See



The Marriag What states George Weigel

I Columnist

n his acute analysis of the character and institutions of the United States, “Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century French liberal, stressed the importance of what we call “civil society.” American democracy, Tocqueville understood, was not just a matter of the state, here, and the individual, there. “Between” the state or government and the people there were the many free, voluntary associations that formed the sinews and musculature of America. Those free associations also performed many essential social functions: they educated the young, served the poor and cared for the sick. Writing a century and a half after Tocqueville, Blessed Pope John Paul II also highlighted the importance of voluntary associations for the free and virtuous society. Those associations, the pope argued, shape the human personality of a political community–what Pope John Paul II called, in his philosopher’s vocabulary, the “subjectivity of society.” Thus, in a democracy–a way of self-government that depends on the character of a people–the institutions of civil society are schools of freedom: the elementary schools of democracy. Think about it this way. Every two-year-old is a naturalborn tyrant, a beautiful bundle of willfulness and selfabsorption who demands–sometimes winsomely and often loudly–that he or she get what he or she wants–now. Who, or what, turns all those two-year-old tyrants into democrats, mature men and women capable of being democratic citizens? Where do we learn what Tocqueville called the habits of mind and heart, and what moral philosophers from Aristotle to Pope John Paul II have called the virtues, that are necessary for the machinery of democracy to work well?

ge Debate II: really can’t do We learn them first in the family, which is the fundamental, irreplaceable institution of civil society. We also learn those habits of heart and mind in friendships and in school, in clubs and sports and in religious communities. Men and women who, later in life, take responsibility for making government work first learned how to do so, not from the state, but from the civil society institutions in which they grew up. Adults who take the responsibilities of citizenship seriously did not learn their sense of civic obligation from a governmental agency; they learned to be responsible and civil and tolerant, flexible but principled, in more humane schools–the free, voluntary associations that Tocqueville and John Paul II celebrated. Democracy means, among many other things, that the government is not everything; thus Mussolini’s definition of totalitarianism “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” is the absolute antithesis of democracy. Indeed, the very antithesis of freedom. Throughout history, just states, whether democratic or not, have understood that there are limits to their powers; there are certain things that just states simply cannot do. With rare exceptions, the just state cannot interfere in the doctor-patient relationship or the lawyer-client relationship; it can never interfere in the priest-penitent relationship; it ought to be extremely wary of interfering

The Catholic

in the parent-child Difference relationship, save in obvious cases like abuse; and there are limits–always subject to debate and adjustment–about the state’s reach into the employer-employee relationship. The just state acknowledges the integrity of these primary, fundamental, civil society relationships and protects them legally. It has no business reinventing or redefining those relationships, for the just state exists to serve civil society, not vice versa. Marriage is the primordial civil society relationship, for it is the basis of the family, which is the primordial civil society institution. That is why, for millennia, states have protected marriage, understood as what-it-is: the stable union of a man and a woman ordered to the begetting and raising of children. When a state claims the right to alter the definition of “marriage” to include same-sex relationships, it is tacitly claiming the right to redefine the number of persons who may make a marriage–why stop at two; it is also tacitly claiming the right to redefine, by governmental fiat, every other pre-existing free association of civil society. That claim is antithetical to the freedom of individuals, families and society. (George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The Denver Catholic Register distributes his column.)

history, >> Throughout just states, whether

democratic or not, have understood that there are limits to their powers; there are certain things that just states simply cannot do.



Father Patrick Serna Contributor


n the first sentence of the first book of the Old Testament, we read the words “In the beginning… God created the heavens and the earth…” (Gn 1:1) In the New Testament, St. Paul tells us that “In Him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible…” (Col 1:16)

This revelation of God as “Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible” is of course, one of the primal beliefs we proclaim in the Nicene Creed. The Catechism of the Catholic Church encourages us to reflect on our Creator and creation, since doing so “…makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic questions that men of all times have asked themselves: ‘Where do we come from?’


What we first learn about God from sacred Scripture is the fact that He is a God who creates and works. Later, in Genesis 1:27, we are told that “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” As we reflect on the God who creates and works, we humans will realize that reflection on ourselves is also taking place, for we are made in his image and likeness, after all. By reflecting on where we came from, we can further reflect I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and on where we will–hopeearth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord fully–be going. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father St. John also tells before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from us that God created true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; everything seen and through Him all things were made. For us men and for our unseen. He reminds salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit us, “Through Him all was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our things came into being, sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death and apart from Him and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance nothing came to be.” If with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at God thinks it is importhe right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to tant to remind us repeatedly in sacred Scripjudge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no ture that His creation end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life, who is beautiful and that He proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father created it, we will gladly and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through be reminded and give the Prophets. I believe in one holy, Catholic, and apostolic His work as Creator Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I every consideration. look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the From what we know world to come. Amen. about beautiful created


‘Where are we going?’ ‘What is our origin?’ ‘What is our end?’ ‘Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?’ The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.” (CCC 282)

Nicene Creed

realities, we can safely ascertain by way of analogy that our God who created is–amongst other things–generous, industrious, concerned, motivated, expressive, ordered, harmonious and, most of all, beautiful. What we Christians know more fully, because of the Incarnation, the Bible and the Magisterium, the Greek philosophers were able to know more ambiguously, through reason alone and philosophical reflection. The pre-Christian philosophers of Greece discovered a God of beauty, not from revelation in Scripture, but from reason and from following beautiful created things to the Source, who some of these philosophers called “The Unmoved Mover.” Four hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the philosopher Plato frequently referred to the deity as “The Beautiful,” which simply IS. Tangible things on earth merely participate in the BEING of The Beautiful. We learn in the New Testament that St. Paul had an encounter with Athenians who believed in the god of philosophy, who later turned out to be

the incarnate God, Jesus Christ. “Men of Athens,” St. Paul said, “I note that in every respect you are scrupulously religious. As I walked around looking at your shrines I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To a God Unknown.’ Now, what you are thus worshipping in ignorance, I intend to make known to you.” (Acts 17:22-23)

Our Catholic Faith sea, the beauty of the wide air around you, the beauty of the sky; question the order of the stars, the sun whose brightness lights the days, the moon whose splendor softens the gloom of night; question the living creatures that move in the waters, that roam upon the earth, that fly through the air; the spirit that lies hidden, the matter that is manifest; the visible things that are ruled, the invisible things that rule them; question all these. They will answer you: ‘Behold and see, we are beautiful.’ Their beauty is their confession to God. Who made these beautiful changing things if not one who is beautiful and changeth not?” When used improperly, creation can lead us away from God. However, when appreciated properly, creation leads us to the Creator, as the foregoing Augustinian reflection shows us. If we can walk in the middle of visible created things and be reminded of Who created them, if we can but meditate on

When used improperly, creation can lead us away from God. However, when appreciated properly, creation leads us to the Creator…

The Greek philosophers found God through the use of reason alone, and while this endeavor of approaching God will always fall short, it was and still is a very legitimate way to consider the Creator. Four hundred years after the birth of our Savior, the great philosopher and theologian St. Augustine wrote a neoplatonic musing on creation, which leads the reader to a rich consideration of the Creator, Who must be infinitely more beautiful than the finite, which He creates. “Question the beauty of the earth,” he wrote, “the beauty of the



invisible laws of gravity or musical harmony and appreciate that even these are mere whisps of vapor left behind by the ineffable and omnipotent God Who put them there, then we will be on the path of wisdom, which leads to God. St. Bonaventure is another philosopher and theologian known for his neoplatonic reflections on creation and the Creator. In his “Journey of the Mind to God,” St. Bonaventure presents the reader with various insights, which can help the Christian in his or her personal life of meditation and prayer. “In our present condition,” he writes, “the created universe itself is a ladder leading us toward God. Some created things are His traces; others, His image; some of them are material, others spiritual; some temporal, others everlasting; some are outside us, and some within.” For St. Bonaventure, beautiful

creatures are the mere footprint of a Creator God Who is infinitely more beautiful than finite creatures created by Him. In your search for the Creator God while still in the midst of His created things, remember that the well of meditation is not reserved only for saints, philosophers and theologians. If a simpler nature approach to the Creator suits you, then you would do well to learn from “the boy” in Robert Ruark’s “The Old Man and The Boy.” While fishing with “the old man” after dusk, the boy contemplated: “The stars had crept out bright now, and a little wedge of moon was slipping sneakylike up over the trees. The frogs, the bugs, the night birds, and the animals were making a din. I got to thinking about eternity, and how long something that never ended would be, and I got to thinking about how much trouble

Somebody went to, to make things like cocoons that butterflies come out of, and seasons and rain and moss on trees, and frogs and fish and possums and coons and quail and flowers and ferns and water and moons and suns and stars and winds.” The next time you find yourself wanting to reflect on God the Creator of things visible and invisible, just take a little time to look at some of the beautiful footprints of God, which surround you. If you make the time to look close enough, you will come to the very definite conclusion that Somebody is all around you, and He has made things extravagantly beautiful just for you. If you think the footprints look wonderful, just keep searching for the One who left them. (Editor’s Note: This is the third installment in a continuing series on the Nicene Creed.)


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Celebrating Centennial 1913-2013

Dominican Sisters of Saint Thomas Aquinas Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS Columnist


he Dominican Sisters of Saint Thomas Aquinas are a religious Congregation founded in Mexico in 1913 and are celebrating their centennial this year.

As with all Dominican Congregations, their initials are O.P. for Order of Preachers. This title arises from their charism, which is to contemplate the truth revealed in order to be able to communicate it to others. Dominican spirituality calls for preaching the truth, having a special devotion to Our Lady whom they regard as their co-foundress, and following in the steps of Saint Dominic whom they regard as their spiritual father. Their mission is to accompany people in faith, hope and love while the end of all their endeavors is the salvation of souls. Sister Maria Rosa de la Torre founded the order in Mexico. Included in the reason for the foundation of the Congregation in Mexico was the concept of helping those in greatest need. In the 1970s, Father Domingo de Llano requested support of the

Dominican Congregation of Saint Thomas Aquinas for his mission in Sinton, Texas. In September 1975, four Sisters of the congregation came to Sinton. The first sisters who came were Sister Candelaria Villa Gómez, Sister Esther F. Rodríguez, Sister Concepción Moreno and Sister Rosa Huesca. Sisters Candelaria and Esther were assigned to the Sinton mission while Sisters Concepción and Rosa were assigned to the mission in Agua Dulce, which was under the care of Father Luis Joseph. Four years later, in 1979, three more sisters–Sisters Euphemia, Paulita and Benita¬–were assigned to the Sinton mission. The sisters served in Sinton for 19 years, giving examples of the love and caring of Jesus for His people. However, in 1998, the diocese decided to close the Sinton mission house, and the sisters moved to Corpus Christi. In Corpus Christi, they served in the social services program for Catholics, collaborating with the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They also began to work in different parishes and later began to offer bingo gatherings in order to increase the meager funds, which, at that time, was all that they had for their own sustenance. When the Dominican Sisters ar-

rived in Corpus Christi they had no place to live. The Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph rose to the occasion and offered them hospitality for two months until such time as a home could be made available to them. At that time, they moved temporarily to the second floor of the Centro Catequístico Guadalupano. Simultaneously, Msgr. Robert Freeman introduced them to a benefactor who gave them the gift of a car for transportation. The sisters continued to search for a property on which to build their first Texas convent home, and on July 10, 1997, they placed the first brick of the convent of Saint Thomas Aquinas on Hearne Road in he Annaville area of Corpus Christi. Msgr. Freeman was the celebrant of the ceremony. On Dec. 31, 1997, the sisters moved into their new convent, and on Jan. 28, 1998, then Bishop (now Archbishop) Roberto González blessed the Convent of Saint Thomas Aquinas. From there, the sisters served the mission of Saint Mary, a mission of the parish of Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles. In previous years, they had taught catechism and had visited the sick at Saint Mary’s Mission, and they continued to aid those in need by visiting the sick. They also gave assistance to the children’s choir in Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish. MARCH 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Their mission is to accompany people in faith, hope and love while the end of all their endeavors is the salvation of souls. From the beginning, they considered constructing a building in which they could care for children while their parents were at work. With the passage of time and by the grace of God, they later recognized also the great need of caring for older people who were left alone in their house

while their families went to work. So the Sisters continued to try to raise money by offering bingo games as a source of funds while they worked to build an Adult Day Care Center, which is completed and will open soon. In all of their efforts, following the

example of Saint Dominic and Saint Thomas Aquinas and also the plan of their foundress Mother Maria Rosa, the sisters strive to serve the most needy, seeing in this a way to preach the Gospel for the salvation of all. This they did and continue to do in our diocese.

MARCH LITURGICAL CALENDAR March 1 Fri Lenten Weekday | violet | Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a/Mt 21:3343, 45-46 (234) March 2 Sat Lenten Weekday | violet | Mi 7:14-15, 18-20/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 (235) March 3 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15/1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12/Lk 13:1-9 (30), or, for Year A, | Ex 17:3-7/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 (28) Pss III March 4 Mon Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saint Casimir] | 2 Kgs 5:1-15b/Lk 4:24-30 (237) March 5 Tue Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 3:25, 34-43/Mt 18:21-35 (238) March 6 Wed Lenten Weekday | violet | Dt | 4:1, 5-9/Mt 5:17-19 (239) March 7 Thu Lenten Weekday | violet [Saints Perpetua and Felicity, | Martyrs] Jer 7:23-28/Lk 11:14-23 (240) March 8 Fri Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint John of God, Religious] Hos 14:2-10/Mk 12:28-34 (241) March 9 Sat Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Frances of Rome, Religious] Hos

6:1-6/Lk 18:9-14 (242) March 10 SUN FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT | violet/rose | Jos 5:9a, 10-12/2 Cor 5:17-21/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 (33) or, for Year A, 1 Sm 16: 1b, 6-7, 10-13a/ Eph 5:8-14/Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 (31) Pss IV March 11 Mon Lenten Weekday6 | violet | Is 65:17-21/Jn 4:43-54 (244) March 12 Tue Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 47:1-9, 12/Jn 5:1-16 (245) March 13 Wed Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 49:8-15/Jn 5:17-30 (246) March 14 Thu Lenten Weekday | violet | Ex 32:7-14/Jn 5:31-47 (247) March 15 Fri Lenten Weekday | violet | Wis 2:1a, 12-22/Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 (248) March 16 Sat Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 11:18-20/Jn 7:40-53 (249) March 17 SUN FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Is 43:16-21/Phil 3:8-14/ Jn 8:1-11 (36) or, for Year A, Ez 37:1214/Rom 8:8-11/ Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45 (34) Pss I March 18 Mon Lenten Weekday7 |

violet [Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62/Jn 8:12-20 (second choice) (251) March 19 Tue Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | Solemnity | 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16/ Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22/Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Lk 2:41-51a (543) Pss Prop March 20 Wed Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95/Jn 8:3142 (253) March 21 Thu Lenten Weekday | violet | Gn 17:3-9/Jn 8:51-59 (254) March 22 Fri Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 20:10-13/Jn 10:31-42 (255) March 23 Sat Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop] Ez 37:21-28/Jn 11:45-56 (256) March 24 SUN PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD | red | Lk 19:28-40 (37)/Is 50:4-7/Phil 2:6-11/ Lk 22:14—23:56 or 23:1-49 (38) Pss II March 25 Mon Monday of Holy Week | violet | Is 42:1-7/Jn 12:1-11 (257) March 26 Tue Tuesday of Holy Week

violet | Is 49:1-6/Jn 13:21-33, 36-38 (258) March 27 Wed Wednesday of Holy Week | violet | Is 50:4-9a/Mt 26:14-25 (259) March 28 Thu Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday)8 | violet/Mass: white | Chrism Mass: Is 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9/Rv 1:5-8/Lk 4:16-21 (260 Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14/1 Cor 11:23-26/Jn 13:1-15 (39) March 29 Fri Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday) red | Is 52:13—53:12/Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9/Jn 18:1—19:42 (40) Pss Prop March 30 Sat Holy Saturday | violet Mass: white | Easter Vigil: Gn 1:1—2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a/Gn 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18/ Ex 14:15—15:1/Is 54:5-14/Is 55:1-11/Bar 3:9-15, 32—4:4/ Ez 36:16-17a, 18-28/ Rom 6:3-11/Lk 24:1-12 (41) Pss Prop March 31 SUN EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Acts 10:34a, 37-43/ Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/Jn 20:1-9 (42) or Lk 24:1-12 (41) or, at an afternoon or evening Mass, Lk 24:13-35 (46) Pss Prop

5 The following readings may be used on any day this week, especially in years B and C when the Gospel of the Samaritan woman is not read on the Third Sunday of Lent: Ex 17:1-7/Jn 4:5-42 (236)

7 The following readings may be used on any Lenten day this week, especially in years B and C when the Gospel of Lazarus is not read on the Fifth Sunday of Lent: 2 Kgs 4:18b-21, 32-37/Jn 11:1-45 (250)

The following readings may be used on any day this week, especially in years B and C when the Gospel of the man born blind is not read on the Fourth Sunday of Lent: Mi 7:7-9/Jn 9:1-41 (243)

If necessary, the Chrism Mass may be celebrated on a suitable day before Holy Thursday.





MARCH CALENDAR Golf for Education Tournament On March 2, at the Alice Municipal Golf Course. St. Joseph School in Alice will hold its 4th Annual Golf for Education Tournament. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and Tee Time at 8:30 a.m. Registration forms are available at St. Joseph Church Office. The registration fee of $50 will cover the green fee, the cart, a registration pack, lunch and awards. For more information, please call the parish office (361) 664-7551 and ask for Celina or Violet or the school office (361) 664-4642 and ask for Mary Sandoval.

Book Signing at OLCC On March 2 from 12-3 p.m. and Tuesday evening, March 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. there will be a book signing by Albert E. Hughes, LTC, USAF (Ret) “Paradise Commander” at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Book Store on 1200 Lantana in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 289-9095, ext. 309.

IWA Moonlight Masquerade Gala On March 2 from 6 - 11 p.m. at Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center. Guests will be treated to an evening of mingling, dining, dancing, auctions and entertainment. For more information on sponsorship benefits and underwriting opportunities, contact Amy Canterbury at (361) 883-8229, ext. 104 or

Brochure Basics for Beginners On March 2 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry is sponsoring a free workshop for designing brochures and flyers. Meet at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy Computer Lab on 5814 Williams Drive in Corpus Christi to learn the basics of creating informative, attention grabbing brochures that can be used in your ministry. Bring projects to work on. For more information call Heath Garcia at (361) 882-6191 or e-mail YouthOffice@

34th Annual Fiesta Mexicana St. Anthony Catholic Church in Robstown will have their 34th Annual Fiesta Mexicana on Saturday, March 2 from 1-10 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 with Mass at 9 a.m. and Fiesta Fun from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event will kick off on Saturday with a Main Street Parade at 1 p.m. and will proceed to the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. Two days of fun-filled activities, authentic Mexican Food, and much more! For more information call (361) 387-2774.

2013 Convalidation Seminar On March 9 from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Office of Family Life, will be hosting this seminar at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles on 3901 Violet Road in St. Matthew’s Hall. For more information call Tina Villegas at (361) 882-6191 or go to

True Radiance Retreat On March 9 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall on 1302 Lantana. For more information call Tina Villegas at (361) 693-6657 or go to

Guadalupana Society President’s Breakfast Meeting On March 9 at 10 a.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral in Classroom 4. All Guadalupana Society Presidents and Vice Presidents are encouraged to attend.

Vatican II Symposium On March 9, as part of the Year of Faith, the Diocese of Corpus Christi will celebrate a Vatican II Symposium at Corpus Christi Cathedral, which is located at 505 N. Upper Broadway in Corpus Christi. The event begins at 10 a.m. and finishes at 2 p.m. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will deliver the Opening Address. Other Presentations include Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World from Father Donald Nesti and Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation from Father Thomas Norris. Admission is free and lunch will be provided.

Theology of the Body Spring Break Camp On March 11-15 at Deer Creek Camp. Cost is $200. Call Heath Garcia at (361) 882-6191 for more information.

‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ Classes at OLPH On March 11 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish will have monthly classes entitled “A Covenant of Love with Mary” in the Parish Hall. There will be Mass beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.

Diocesan Confirmation Retreat On March 16 at Blessed John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi. The total cost of the day retreat is $40 for both candidate and sponsor, includes lunch. The deadline for the March 16 retreat is Friday, March 8. For more information, e-mail Heath Garcia at or go to

Divine Mercy Day of Prayer On March 16 at St. Joseph in Beeville at 609 East Gramman Street for Divine Mercy Day of Prayer, “Consoling the Heart of Jesus,” from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Magnolia in Mathis. Call the parish office at (361) 546-5748 to purchase raffle tickets.

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Festival and Brunch On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 at St. Pius X Parish Hall on 5620 Gollihar Road, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. All tickets will be presold. Tickets may be purchased at the St. Pius X office or after Masses on March 2 and March 9. Keep in mind this event sells out all 300 tickets each year. Buy your tickets early. For additional information please call Sue Dougherty at (361) 855-8541.

Year of Faith Mini Youth Spectacular On March 23 at St. Theresa Community Life Center in Premont. Contact Omar J. Pena Email: or call (361) 227-0882. The event is sponsored by the Diocese of Corpus Christi Youth Office. Go to register at www.

The Melchizedek Project Meeting On March 23 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. All meetings will be held at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish in the Works of Mercy Building. The Parish is located at 3210 South Padre Island Drive in Corpus Christi.

Adult Confirmation Mass On March 23 at 12 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral.

Cursillo de las mujeres (Español) Cursillo de mujeres se celebrará del 28 a 31 marzo en el Corpus Christi Cursillo Center localizado en el 1200 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para obtener más información, llame a America Lopez, Vocal del Pre-Cursillo- mujeres, al (361) 592-1927 o americalopez@yahoo. com. Hacer un amigo, ser un amigo, y traer a un amigo a Cristo!

Natural Family Planning Class On March 30 at 12-2 p.m. at Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles located at 3901 Violet Road in+ Corpus Christi. Call Steve and Ann Craig at (361) 767-1228 or register via email at Visit Natural Family Planning International, for online options.

To see more calendar events go to:

St. Patrick’s Day BBQ in Mathis On March 17 from 11 a.m. onwards at St. Patrick Mission Parish Hall on 20742

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

Palm Sunday, March 24

Holy Thursday, March 28

Sunday Vigil Mass Saturday Evening at 5:30 p.m. Sunday Masses 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. (En Español) & 12:30 p.m.

7 p.m. – Mass of the Lord’s Supper, transfer of Blessed Sacrament and stripping of the Altar 11:45 p.m. – Night Prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Chrism Mass / Closing of Centennial Year, March 26

Good Friday, March 29

Tuesday - 7 - 9 p.m. – Blessing of the Holy Oils for use during the coming year

12 p.m. – Communion Service andVeneration of the Cross 6 p.m. – Solemn Stations of the Cross

Saturday Easter Services, March 30 8 p.m. – Easter Vigil and reception of Candidates and Catechumens

Easter Sunday Masses, March 31 56

7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. (En Español) & 12:30 p.m.


South Texas Catholic - March 2013  
South Texas Catholic - March 2013  

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