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VOL. 49 NO. 3 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD



Kindergarten students in Mary V. Gonzalez’s class at St. Joseph School in Alice stop to pray before heading outside to line up for lunch.

Photo by Rebecca Esparza for the South Texas Catholic

Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Msgr. Michael Howell Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Web Coordinator Julissa Hernandez Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, 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

Bishop Michael Mulvey congratulates Sister Celia Hernandez, MJMJ for 50 years of service to the Church. Mary Cottingham,

Submit your announcements by using our Online form, e-mail, fax, mail, or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocese Web sites. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau.

South Texas Catholic



The Joy of the Gospel........................................4

Sixteen couples celebrated years of devotion ....................................................... 32


(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.

Focus of Pope Francis’ first lenten message is on poverty, generosity ...................................................................................6

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

VIDA CATÓLICA Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos celebra cuarto aniversario ........................................... 16 VOCATIONS Seminarians are challenged to an intense formation............................................................ 20 PARISH LIFE

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‘Confirmation strengthens us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit’ ...................... 28

NATIONAL NEWS New study on abortion rate does not tie drop to new state restrictions ..................... 34 VATICAN A turbulent year that strengthened the papacy ................................................................ 38 VIEWPOINTS Difficult moral decisions in brain death and pregnancy ................................................. 40 OUR FAITH Joseph, True Father ......................................... 44 MARCH 2014 | SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC


Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel By Bishop Michael Mulvey Diocese of Corpus Christi

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


n the Feast of Christ the King last year Pope Francis published his Apostolic Exhortation following the Synod on the New Evangelization from the previous year. It is a document that I believe can serve as a manual for us to examine ourselves as “missionary disciples” of Jesus Christ and on how we can better make him known and the truth of his Gospel lived in this modern times. His Holiness begins the Exhortation by explaining the joy of living the Gospel. He then addresses the several issues commonly found in today’s society that can easily impact the efforts of evangelization and deface the dignity of the human person. These issues can also extinguish the fervor that the disciple should have in order to live his or her life in Christ. Pope Francis also addresses very candidly the many temptations that can face us as pastoral workers or ministers in the Church. He addresses also the need to proclaim the Gospel in a new and fresh way that will address not only the needs of people and society but also lift up the world to discover the joy of living Jesus Christ. In this, the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Church is emphasized. Not to leave the call of the Gospel to the spiritual realm only for personal spirituality, Pope Francis



➤ He [Pope Francis] addresses also the need to proclaim the Gospel in a new and fresh way that will address not only the needs of people and society but also lift up the world to discover the joy of living Jesus Christ.

makes specific applications regarding aspects of human life, from the poor, the economy, existing wars and conflicts and ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. I hope that we will be able to reflect upon the depth and the call of this Exhortation of His Holiness and use it as a guiding document for our future endeavors of the New Evangelization and renewing ourselves in the light of that Gospel. Over the next few months I will reflect in the South Texas Catholic on the various sections of the document and hope that many of us will find a new fervor and impulse to live the Gospel and to spread the life that Jesus came to give us when he was born in Bethlehem, and proclaimed his word during his short life. May Mary the mother of the New Evangelization guide our efforts and inspire us to live more radically the word of God.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Ramirez church story fills reader with nostalgia … I enjoy reading your articles in the South Texas Catholic. Ramirez and the church in Ramirez is where I was baptized, where I served by holding bingos and dances for the church, where I have two babies buried in the family plot and more important where I got married and where later I taught school in the

one-room school. My children attended Catholic schools here in Corpus Christi…all of these did not let us forget our dear Ramirez where all of them spring from and why Ramirez and its church is so close to me. My dear husband and I are not that young anymore. We do not go to

Ramirez, anymore, but through your articles, the memories never fade. Thank you, Mr. Cardenas, for writing about Ramirez, our church, Concepcion and all those communities in the “brush country” of South Duval. Delia Oliveira Corpus Christi

Respect for name of Jesus should be taught at early age In the recent edition of South Texas Catholic, Father Vasquez hit very close to home.  As a child, I attended St. Ignatius Academy in Fort Worth, Texas.  The good sisters of St. Mary of Namur always taught us from an early age to nod our heads at the name of

Jesus.  I still find myself doing just that at age 76.   I know our good teachers already have enough of their plates, but it still could be taught at an early age.  The sisters who taught us had to deal with two grades in one classroom, but they managed to get

that across, plus a lot more.  St. Ignatius was the school just across the yard from the now St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Thank you for such a blessing.   Eileen Free Corpus Christi

St. Gertrude parishioner reached out to those in need I don’t know what brought Louisiana native and St. Gertrude Parish member Ed Sanders to Kingsville, but for whatever the reason this community greatly benefited. Many residents may not have even heard of his name. That is because Ed worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help the

poor, downtrodden and those who had no voice…He knew and lived the premise that ‘here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own’… Ed departed this life Dec. 4 as quietly as he worked through it. Kingsville was richer for his being here and poorer at

his passing. What comes to mind when remembering Ed at this sad turn of events is Matthew 25:21, “Well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Master.” Georgia Wingate Thompson Kingsville, Texas

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Ash Wednesday Focus of Pope start of Lent message is on The Lenten Season begins on Ash Wednesday March 5. While many look forward to this time for opportunities for spiritual growth and renewal, quite often many people see it as a liturgical season to dread focusing on “What am I going to give up?” “How long can I live without whatever it is I am going to give up?” “How many more days before I don’t have to give up whatever it is that I am giving up?” Who would not dread a liturgical season with such a narrow focus? Over these next few days, everyone is encouraged to begin reflecting anew on the real purpose of Lent, the power such a season can be for everyone, and the real potential for a deeper commitment to the Catholic faith, and most important, a deeper communion of love with God. Such a deeper understanding provides a new attitude for Lent. Baptism is one of Lent’s foundational focuses. At the Easter Vigil, the catechumens (referred to as “the elect”) will be fully initiated as Catholics through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. It is no coincidence that on Easter Sunday, all the baptized will renew their baptismal promises. Note that they are going to “renew” their baptismal promises and not merely “repeat” them. “Repeating” simply recalls something that happened in the past. “Renew” is entirely different. “Renewing” baptismal promises recognizes something still foundational in a person’s life. Renewing baptismal promises opens hearts to God’s grace. Grace reveals God’s great love for everyone and God’s purpose for their lives. This great divine love energizes our own love and leads people to a deeper commitment to live these promises more faithfully. Easter is one time in the liturgical year for everyone to remember that they are baptized once for a lifetime and not merely once in a lifetime. Lent is the time set aside to prepare to make that renewal faithfully. The world, the country and the Church all need people to rediscover the beauty and power of baptism and the call to be co-redeemers with the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism calls people to a life of holiness that reveals Jesus’ great and merciful love to all humanity and all creation. Faith also commits the people of God to restoring the human community and all creation to a life of justice, peace, and solidarity.


s Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of St. Paul: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” The Apostle was writing to the Christians of Corinth to encourage them to be generous in helping the faithful in Jerusalem who were in need. What do these words of St. Paul mean for us Christians today? What does this invitation to poverty, a life of evangelical poverty, mean to us today?

CHRIST’S GRACE First of all, it shows us how God works. He does not reveal himself cloaked in worldly power and wealth but rather in weakness and poverty: “though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor …” Christ, the eternal Son of God, one with the Father in power and glory, chose to be poor; he came amongst us and drew near to each of us; he set aside his glory and emptied himself so that he could be like us in all things. God’s becoming man is a great mystery! But the reason for all this is his love, a love which is grace, generosity, a desire to draw near, a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved. Charity, love, is sharing with the one we love in all things. Love makes us similar, it creates equality, it breaks down walls and eliminates distances. God did this with us. Indeed, Jesus “worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, he truly became one of us, like us in all things except sin.” By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as St. Paul says, “that by his poverty you might become rich.” This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different!

e Francis’ first lenten n poverty, generosity When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet St. Paul is well aware of the “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” that he is “heir of all things.” So what is this poverty by which Christ frees us and enriches us? It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbor, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbor to the man left half dead by the side of the road. What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love. Christ’s poverty, which enriches us, is his taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us. Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus’ wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant. Jesus’ wealth lies in his being the Son; his unique relationship with the Father is the sovereign prerogative of this Messiah who is poor. When Jesus asks us to take up his “yoke which is easy,” he asks us to be enriched by his “poverty which is rich” and his “richness which is poor,” to share his filial and fraternal Spirit, to become sons and daughters in the Son, brothers and sisters in the first-born brother. It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.


We might think that this “way” of poverty was Jesus’ way, whereas we who come after him can save the world with the right kind of human resources. This is not the case. In every time and place God continues to save mankind and the world through the poverty of Christ, who makes himself

poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his church, which is a people of the poor. God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ. In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope. There are three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds, which disfigure the face of humanity. In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing. No less a concern is moral destitution, which consists in slavery to vice and sin. How much pain is caused in families because one of their members–often a young person–is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography! How many people no longer see meaning in life or prospects for the future, how many have lost hope! And how many are plunged into this destitution by unjust social conditions, by unemployment, which takes away their dignity as breadwinners, and by lack of equal access to education and health care. In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide. This type of destitution, which also causes financial ruin, is invariably linked to the spiritual destitution, which we experience when we turn away from God and reject his love. If we think we do not need God who reaches out to us though Christ, because we believe we can make do on our own, we are headed for a fall. God alone can truly save and free us. MARCH 2014 | SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC


The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep. In union with Jesus, we can courageously open up new paths of evangelization and human promotion. Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt. May the Holy Spirit, through whom we are “as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything,” sustain us in our resolutions and increase our concern and responsibility for human destitution, so that we can become merciful and act with mercy. In expressing this hope, I likewise pray that each individual member of the faithful and every church community will undertake a fruitful Lenten journey. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you safe.



A reflection on Lenten fas By Father Daniel Merz Contributor

n the early Church and, to a lesser extent still today, there were two fasts. There was the “total fast” that preceded all major feasts or sacramental events. The ancient name for this fast was “statio” from the verb “sto, stare” to stand watch, on guard or in vigil. The second fast was a fast of abstinence from certain foods, e.g., meats or fats. This was more an act of self-discipline and self-control. The statio fast was total and a meant of watching and waiting—for something. The fast of abstinence was more general and personal, to help oneself be more disciplined or self-controlled. The total fast is still kept today prior to reception of Holy Communion. Following Holy Communion, the total fast ceases because Jesus explicitly said that we do not fast when the bridegroom is here, in other words, what we are keeping vigil for has arrived, the wait is over. On the other hand, the fast of abstinence was allowed on Sundays because the continuity of abstinence can be important for it to be effective. These initial observations, then, teach us that the Eucharist is always the end of a preparation. It is always the fulfillment of an expectation. In the Orthodox

Church during Lent, they have Eucharist only on Saturday and Sunday. But because Wednesdays and Fridays are total fast days, those two days are also days for the Communion service (Liturgy of the PreSanctified), which are held in the evening, after the day of preparation. Fasting is always preparatory. But how did fasting become such an important means of preparing for the Eucharist and of learning virtue through self-discipline? Christian fasting is revealed in an interdependence between two events in the Bible: the “breaking of the fast” by Adam and Eve; and the “keeping of the fast” by Christ at the beginning of his ministry. Humanity’s “Fall” away from God and into sin began with eating. God had proclaimed a fast from the fruit of only one tree, the tree of knowledge of good

sting and evil (Gn 2:17), and Adam and Eve broke it. Fasting is here connected with the very mystery of life and death, of salvation and damnation. Food perpetuates life in this physical world, which is subject to decay and death. But God “created no death” (Wis 1:13). Humanity, in Adam and Eve, rejected a life dependent on God alone for one that was dependent rather on “bread alone” (Dt 8:3; Mt 4:4; Lk 4:4). “Their god is their belly” (Phil 3:19). The whole world was given to man as a kind of food, as a means to life, but “life” is meant as communion with God, not as food. The tragedy is not so much that Adam ate food, but that he ate the food for its own sake, “apart” from God and to be independent of him. Believing that food had life in itself and thus he could be “like God.” And he put his faith in food. This kind of existence seems to be built on the principle that man does indeed live “by bread alone.” Christ, however, is the new Adam. At the beginning of his ministry in the Gospel of Matthew, we read, “When he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, he became hungry.” Hunger is that state in which we realize our dependence on something else—when we face the ultimate question: “on what does my life depend?” Satan tempted both Adam and Christ, saying, “Eat, for your hunger is proof that you depend entirely on food, that your life is in food.” Adam believed and ate. Christ said, “Man does NOT live by bread alone.” (Mt 4:4; Lk 4:4) This liberates us from total dependence on food, on matter, on the world. Thus, for the Christian, fasting is the

Almsgiving only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature. In order for fasting to be effective, then, the spirit must be a part of it. Christian fasting is not concerned with losing weight. It is a matter of prayer and the spirit. And because of that, because it is truly a place of the spirit, true fasting may well lead to temptation, and weakness and doubt and irritation. In other words, it will be a real fight between good and evil, and very likely we shall fail many times in these battles. But the very discovery of the Christian life as “fight” and “effort” is an essential aspect of fasting. Christian tradition can name at least seven reasons for fasting: 1. From the beginning, God commanded some fasting, and sin entered into the world because Adam and Eve broke the fast. 2. For the Christian, fasting is ultimately about fasting from sin. 3. Fasting reveals our dependence on God and not the resources of this world. 4. Fasting is an ancient way of preparing for the Eucharist—the truest of foods. 5. Fasting is preparation for baptism (and all the sacraments)—for the reception of grace. 6. Fasting is a means of saving resources to give to the poor. 7. Fasting is a means of self-discipline, chastity, and the restraining of the appetites. (Father Daniel Merz is Associate Director, USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship. This article draws in part on the writings of Alexander Schmemann’s “Notes in Liturgical Theology.”)

“Reach out in charity. As we experience weakness and suffering during Lent, we should be renewed in our compassion for those who are hungry, suffering or otherwise in need. The third part of the Lenten formula is almsgiving. It’s about more than throwing a few extra dollars in the collection plate; it’s about reaching out to others and helping them without question as a way of sharing the experience of God’s unconditional love.” –Bishop David Ricken The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God.” In his 2008 Message for Lent Pope Benedict XVI said, “In inviting us to consider almsgiving with a more profound gaze that transcends the purely material dimension, Scripture teaches us that there is more joy in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35). When we do things out of love, we express the truth of our being; indeed, we have been created not for ourselves but for God and our brothers and sisters (2 Cor 5:15). Every time when, for love of God, we share our goods with our neighbor in need, we discover that the fullness of life comes from love and all is returned to us as a blessing in the form of peace, inner satisfaction and joy.” There are several special opportunities for almsgiving through donations to Church ministries for which collections are conducted during the Lenten season including: • Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe; • Catholic Relief Services Collection; • Collection for the Holy Land; and • Operation Rice Bowl. Many dioceses hold special appeals for local needs during Lent and there are countless other ways to offer your time, talent and treasure to needy individuals and organizations during Lent and throughout the year. For ideas, contact Catholic Charities or your parish. MARCH 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  9  

Lenten Prayer Prayer is one of the three pillars of Lenten practice. Through prayer, we raise our hearts and minds to God in thanksgiving and praise. Prayer is our “vital and personal relationship with the true and living God.” During Lent, we place special emphasis on prayer and contemplation on the Passion and Death of our Lord through expressions of popular piety such as the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) and veneration of the Crucified Christ. The Stations of the Cross are traditionally prayed on the Fridays of Lent. Many parishes hold missions or retreats during Lent. The “Seven Penitential Psalms” (Ps 6, 32, 38, 51,102, 130 and 143) and the “Songs of the Suffering Servant” (Is 42, 49,50 and 52) from the book of the Prophet Isaiah are traditional ly used for meditation and prayer during Lent. Many resources are available for Lenten prayer and contemplation. 10  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  MARCH 2014

Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up By United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

In his Lenten message for 2014, Pope Francis takes inspiration from the words of St. Paul (Cor 8:9), and asks us to contemplate Paul’s invitation to live “a life of evangelical poverty.” We can begin to embrace this call by fasting from or “giving up” material things, including certain foods, that are superfluous to our basic needs; “taking up” habits that our directed to helping others; and “lifting up” our brothers and sisters through prayer and devotion. By taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we recognize that to be evangelists, we must be evangelized ourselves. The Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The fasting that all do together on Fridays is but a sign of the daily Lenten discipline of individuals and households: fasting for certain periods of time, fasting from certain foods, but also fasting from other things and activities. Likewise, the giving of alms is some effort to share this world equally—not only through the distribution of money, but also through the sharing of our time and talents. In Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a period of learning and discernment

for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics. The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but also to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ. During Lent, Catholics are encouraged to make going to confession a significant part of their spiritual lives. Dioceses are encouraged to make the sacrament available often during Lent and to promote participation.

Questions and answers about Lent and Lenten practices


Why do we say that there are 40 days of Lent? When you count all the days from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, there are 46. It might be more accurate to say that there is the “forty-day fast within Lent.” Historically, Lent has varied from a week to three weeks to the present configuration of 46 days. The 40-day fast, however, has been more stable. The Sundays of Lent

are certainly part of the Time of Lent, but they are not prescribed days of fast and abstinence.


So does that mean that when we give something up for Lent, such as candy, we can have it on Sundays?

Apart from the prescribed days of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and the days of abstinence every Friday of Lent, Catholics have traditionally chosen additional penitential practices for the whole Time of Lent. These practices are disciplinary in nature and often more effective if they are continuous, such as kept on Sundays as well. That being said, such practices are not regulated by the Church, but by individual conscience.


I understand that all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat, but I am not sure what is classified as meat. Does meat include chicken and dairy products?


Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs—all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made

from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consommé, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden. However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste). Fish are a different category of animal. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.


I have noticed that restaurants and grocery stores advertise specials on expensive types of fish and seafood on Fridays during Lent. Some of my Catholic friends take advantage of these deals, but somehow I do not feel right treating myself to the lobster special on Fridays during Lent.


While fish, lobster and other shellfish are not considered meat and can be consumed on days of abstinence, indulging in the lavish buffet at your favorite seafood place sort of misses the point. Abstaining from meat and other indulgences during Lent is a penitential practice. On the Fridays of Lent, we remember the

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sacrifice of Christ on Good Friday and unite ourselves with that sacrifice through abstinence and prayer.


I understand that Catholics ages 18 to 59 should fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, but what exactly are the rules for these fasts?


Fasting on these days means we can have only one full, meatless meal. Some food can be taken at the other regular meal times if necessary, but combined they should be less than a full meal. Liquids are allowed at any time, but no solid food should be consumed between meals.


Are there exemptions other than for age from the requirement to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?

Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Also excluded are pregnant or nursing women. In all cases, common sense should prevail, and ill persons should not further jeopardize their health by fasting.

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Children from Terry Garcia’s third grade class and Deacon Ernest Gutierrez’s fourth grade class enjoy indoor athletics at St. Joseph School in Alice recently. The children were exercising inside to escape freezing temperatures. Coaches Esmeralda Gutierrez and Angie Abrego led the children in their workout. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

St. Joseph School in Alice readies for diamond jubilee By Rebecca Esparza



t. Joseph School in Alice will celebrate their 75th anniversary next year, but plans for the monumental occasion are already underway.

“We’re working on some amazing special events to commemorate the founding of our school 75 years ago by

the Sisters of Divine Providence,” said Mary Sandoval, principal at St. Joseph. “Two years later, the Dominican Sisters

took over and they operated the school, up until 2012.” The main event will be an alumni celebration, where past graduates will be invited to celebrate along with former teachers, parents and pastors. “I met a gentleman the other day who attended kindergarten here back in 1940,” Sandoval said. “It was wonderful MARCH 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  13  

Children in teacher Martha Leo’s first grade class work on grammar, with the assistance of paraprofessional Luby Tellez. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

catching up with him and listening to his stories. Although he lives in New Mexico now, he is planning to attend the celebration next year.” Sandoval, who is in her ninth year as principal for the school, was a teacher in public schools for 25 years before joining St. Joseph and added the experience has been like no other. “It’s the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had,” she said. “Nothing can ever replace faith-based learning. And our parents are the best. They truly understand the importance of our faith in their children’s educational foundation.” Sylvia Garcia, a teacher at St. Joseph whose two children attend the school, said they enjoy their varied opportunities for prayer throughout the day in addition to the sense of community with their fellow students. “I believe while academics is important in becoming successful, having a sense of how God fits into your life grounds a person and helps in the decision making process we face everyday,” she said. Father Pete Elizardo, recently assigned as pastor at St. Joseph Church, said the dedication the school receives from its alumni is amazing. “It is a presence the entire community of Alice is aware of, but also a presence that is greatly admired and supported. I have come to realize the great blessing the school is for the community,” he said. “As more time passes by, I learn more and more from those dedicated to the school.”


With an enrollment of 166 students in grades pre-k 3 through 7th grade, Sandoval acknowledges that there are obstacles at the school. But the challenges are not insurmountable. “Our facilities are older, but we work well with what we have,” she said. “And we take special care to keep up with

technology. The students are very aware of the different gadgets that exist today. We have a new computer lab and the students use hand-held tablets in the classroom everyday.” Sandoval added the legacy of the Dominican sisters lives on at the school to this day.

“Many people here remember them quite fondly. They were a great presence here at the school and they will always be remembered for their dedication and devotion to the children,” she said with a broad smile. Their influence of ser vice to others lives on through the students

today. Sandoval explained the school recently held a “sock-hop” benefiting Mother Teresa Day Shelter in Corpus Christi. “Admission to the dance was a pair of socks, which were donated to the shelter. We always teach the children the importance of service to others and

those in need around them.” The staff of St. Joseph School in Alice is currently seeking former students, teachers, parents or anyone with a prior connection to the school for their 75th anniversary celebration next year. Call (361) 664-4642 for more information. MARCH 2014 | SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC


Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos celebra cuarto aniversario en su presente parroquia Por Luisa Scolari Corresponsal


l Domingo 7 de Febrero en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia, se llevó a cabo la ceremonia de el cambio de vestido de la Virgen en su cuarto aniversario de haber llegado a esa iglesia. En esta ocasión los “padrinos de vestido” fueron las familias Cerna y Álvarez, integradas por los señores Cesar y Yolanda Cerna y sus hijos Juan, Yareli y Yolanda y los señores Francisco Silvestre e Ivon Álvarez y sus hijos Ivon y Silvestre quienes fueron los encargados de mandar hacer el vestido y traerlo. Francisco Álvarez comentó que el motivó de a hacer esto es porque desde



Los fieles llenaron las bancas en Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de La Iglesia para el cuarto aniversario de su fundación como parroquia. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

chico iba a visitar la virgen desde Guanajuato hasta San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco y siempre apreciaba una gran devoción hacia la Virgen de San Juan. “Para mí es muy importante inculcar a nuestros hijos a compartir las mismas creencias en nuestro Dios, y es un privilegio haber podido dar un poquito de lo mucho que El nos ha dado,” Álvarez dijo. “Cuando me enseñaron el vestido

me encantó el color (verde) y me dijeron que el vestido originalmente había sido confeccionado para la Virgen que se encuentra en la Iglesia de San Juan de los Lagos en Jalisco pero que no lo quisieron por el color.” El vestido fue confeccionado por el mismo diseñador que elabora los vestidos para la Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos que está en Jalisco, para la que está en el valle de sur Tejas, para la Virgen de Zapopan en Jalisco, para la Virgen del Carmen que está en Celaya Guanajuato, la de Oaxaca y la de Monterrey. La tela está entretejida en hilos de oro y seda

color verde y todos los diseños bordados a mano por artesanos Mexicanos con hilo de oro. La señora Yolanda Cerna creció con la devoción a la Virgen de San Juan y el poder de participar en este proyecto le dio mucho gusto y le fue un gran ocasión para agradecerle todo lo que la virgen hace por su familia. Los encargados de vestir a la Virgen fueron el señor Héctor Gutiérrez, quien fue el responsable de traer la Virgen de México, auxiliado por las señoras Obdulia Vallejo y Rosa Fernández, quienes también se encargaron de organizar la


decoración y elaboración de las cortinas de la parroquia para tan importante fecha, auxiliadas por otras parroquianas Obispo Mulvey celebra la Misa con la asistencia, de izquierda, el Padre Patrick Higgins, Diacono Manny Maldonado y Padre Henry Artunduaga. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic



Rosa Fernández, Obdulia Vallejo, Héctor Gutiérrez, César Cerna y Francisco Silvestre Álvarez. Cerna y Álvarez son los dos “padrinos” que compraron el nuevo vestido de la Viegen, Gutiérrez fué quien acompañó a Padre Artunduaga traer la Virgen desde San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco. Todos ellos juntos fueron los encargados de cambiar de vestido a la Virgen. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

voluntarias. El señor Carlos Mendoza, miembro de el grupo de los soldados de la Virgen dijo que el grupo está conformado por aproximadamente 40 parroquianos, que cuando llegó la Virgen a Corpus Christi a su antiguo Santuario, voluntariamente se comprometieron con ella a resguardarla. Desde entonces se reúnen cada sábado a las 7:30 de la mañana a rezarle el Santo Rosario en su casa y en compañía del Padre Henry Artunduaga, pastor de la iglesia. Este grupo de los soldados de la Virgen fueron los encargados de transportar a la Virgen al salón en donde la cambiarían de vestido y posteriormente


transportarla y acompañar la a su nicho original. El Obispo Michael Mulvey y el Padre Artunduaga, acompañados por las familias Cerna y Álvarez y el mariachi Mexicanísimo, y recibiendo los honores de los Caballeros de Colón, encabezaban la peregrinación. El Señor Obispo Mulvey celebro la Misa completamente en español, y se mostró muy emocionado por el amor y la entrega que la feligresía mostraba hacia la Virgen. El Padre Artunduaga durante su homilía invito a los concurrentes a responder al llamado a la nueva evangelización que nos hace el Papa Francisco. Haciendo referencia a que como la Virgen trae su nuevo vestido de color

verde y el verde es el color de la esperanza, el sacerdote comento que la gente de dios tienen el compromiso de ser hombres y mujeres de esperanza, y la Virgen de San Juan tiene cuatro años despertando nuestra esperanza y el deseo de caminar en un proceso de la nueva evangelización, invitándonos a brillar con la luz de Jesús. También comentaba el Padre Artunduaga que el pecado mas grande de hoy es el de la indiferencia, y que la verdadera felicidad se encuentra en compartir lo que soy y lo que tengo con nuestros hermanos. Nos pide rescatar la familia a través del auxilio de la Virgen, ya que la contaminación de un mundo de tecnología ha desvirtuado la unión familiar.

Por ultimo el Padre Artunduaga dijo, “Estamos aquí porque estamos enamorados de Dios y de una Virgen que recibió la luz, y brilló una luz de esperanza y amor de Jesús en nuestros corazones.” También agradeció a los diferentes grupos que conforman la parroquia, los soldados de la Virgen, los Caballeros de Colón, los encuentros matrimoniales, las Guadalupanas, los grupos de niños y

jóvenes, el grupo de lectores, los ministros de la Eucaristía, la divina misericordia y a todas las familias de la parroquia por el apoyo que brindaron para la organización y realización del evento. Al finalizar la misa el señor obispo se mostraba muy contento y convivió con los feligreses, quienes después pasaron a disfrutar de una cena en los salones del Centro Parroquial y se partió el pastel

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

para conmemorar los cuatro años de la llegada de la Virgen a la Parroquia de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos

en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio

web y utilice el

traductor de idiomas Google.

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

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Seminarians are challenged to

By Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor


t does make sense to become a priest: the world needs priests, pastors, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time,❞ Pope Benedict said, speaking from his heart, to seminarians throughout the church in an open letter on Oct. 18, 2010.

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

Addressing the confusion and uncertainty the members of the church encounter in the world with regard to the priesthood, he sought to reassure and strengthen men who are discerning the priesthood as their potential vocation. While his letter was directed specifically to seminarians, every Catholic can benefit from the Holy Father’s insight and wisdom, and can learn a great deal about seminary formation and the priestly vocation–especially those who are discerning their own possible vocations to the priesthood. While there are many elements of seminary education, the pope addressed some of the basic components that help to form a well-rounded priest: prayer, sacramental life (especially the Eucharist and Penance), popular piety, study and maturity. Speaking of the unique role of a priest, the Holy Father noted the great need for a priest to be a man of prayer, and encouraged men who are discerning to lives


of holiness. He emphasized that a relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important part of preparation for the seminarians. “Anyone who wishes to become a priest must be first and foremost a ‘man of God’...The priest is not the leader of a sort of association whose membership he tries to maintain and expand. He is God’s messenger to his people. He wants to lead them to God and in this way to foster authentic communion between all men and women,” Pope Benedict said. Because of the fact that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, that personal relationship takes place largely in the context of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. “At the heart of our relationship with God and our way of life is the Eucharist,” Pope Benedict said. A priest, he said, should make his encounter with Christ in the Eucharist the center of his day. Penance also plays a role in helping the priest to be who he really is. “ It teaches me to see myself as

God sees me, and it forces me to be honest with myself. It leads me to humility,” the pope said. It also helps him to be more compassionate toward the people under his care in their own struggle with sin. Of course, study is very important for the man preparing to become a priest. “Be committed to your studies…Certainly, the subjects which you are studying can often seem far removed from the practice of the Christian life and the pastoral ministry...The point is not simply to learn evidently useful things, but to understand and appreciate the internal structure of the faith as a whole, so that it can become a response to people’s questions,” he said. Though it is not always evident that a particular subject is directly useful, it is important for seminarians to realize that the more they learn about a wide range of subjects, the more likely they are to be able to comprehend the whole of faith and human experience. They will be better able to address

an intense formation the difficulties of human life when they have a well-rounded understanding. Finally, Pope Benedict spoke about maturity. “It is important for the priest, who is called to accompany others through the journey of life up to the threshold of death, to have the right balance of heart and mind, reason and feeling, body and soul, and to be humanly integrated,” he said. A priest will be best able to serve God’s people if he takes care to understand himself and become a role model of Christian life. The Holy Father ends his letter by noting that seminarians come from a wide range of backgrounds.

“The origins of a priestly vocation are nowadays more varied and disparate than in the past,” he said. Because of this, seminarians will have the challenge of living in a community of people who are not always like themselves; however, this can be beneficial, he said, if they learn to bear with and support each other in their common goal, for the good of the Body of Christ. Even as many people in the world think that the Church and the priesthood have been made “obsolete,” Pope Benedict encourages men who are discerning the priesthood to not be afraid, “because people will always

listen live


have need of God, even in an age marked by technical mastery of the world and globalization: they will always need the God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, the God who gathers us together in the universal Church in order to learn with him and through him life’s true meaning and in order to uphold and apply the standards of true humanity.”



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Msgr. Seamus McGowan embraces Sister Mary Anselm, his sister in faith.

Sister Mary Anselm Till, IW

Sister Julian Kuntscher, IWBS

Contributed Story


ister Mary Anselm Till, IWBS celebrated 75 years of profession of vows on Feb. 25 as a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. “Sister Anselm exemplifies the happiness and commitment of someone ready to follow Jesus and serve others,” Sister Mary Juliane Kuntscher, IWBS, Secretary General for the order, said.


WBS celebrates 75 years

Her parents Adolph Till and Emma Mary Krees Till named her Catherine Pauline when she was born in Corpus Christi on Aug. 23, 1918. She attended Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) in Corpus Christi and earned a Bachelors degree in education from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio. She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament on Aug. 2, 1937, and made her first profession of

vows on Feb. 25, 1939. Sister Mary Anselm devoted 53 years of ministry in Catholic education. She taught in elementary schools in Corpus Christi, Alice, Beeville, Kingsville, Goliad, Brownsville and Sinton. During the summer months she taught summer classes at IWA and taught catechesis in Brownsville, Portland, Goliad, Raymondville, Kingsville, Woodsboro and Sinton. She also served as Sister-in-Charge

Bishop Michael Mulvey greets Sister Mary Anselm Till, IWBS and Sister Maria Elizabeth Brehony, IWBS outside the chapel of the Incarnate Word of the Blessed Sacrament. Sister Raquel Newman,IWBS


for convents in Alice, Beeville and Kingsville. “Her life is an example of faithfulness to prayer, community life and family ties, and to church and civic responsibilities,” Sister Mary Juliane said. Sister Mary Lucy Garcia, IWBS who taught with Sister Mary Anselm when St. Patrick School first opened, said, “Sister Anselm served wholeheartedly, and with great energy and enthusiasm. She loved to do the cooking at St. Patrick Convent, and would allow the other sisters to help only with the salad.” Sister Mary Anselm’s favorite recreation included card games, jigsaw puzzles, gardening and making jams and jellies with her cooking and gardening friend, Sister Raphael Bartosch. While working outdoors, Sister Mary Anselm donned her trademark red and white, checkered sunbonnet, with a highly starched wide brim and habitually invoked the intercession of the Blessed Mother into all of her work and activities. She often starts her prayer with “Come on, Blessed Mother…” and advocates singing the Hail Mary to locate lost articles. Sister Mary Anselm is famous for

Pictured on the left is Sister Mary Anselm in earlier years and right, in recent years. Contributed Photo

❝ Sister Anselm exemplifies the happiness and commitment of someone ready to follow Jesus and serve others.

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Sister Mary Juliane Kuntscher, IWBS

her ability to remove difficult stains from any material. She turned altar cloths, vestments, flags, tablecloths, napkins and bedding from dingy to snow-white using her recipe of lemon juice, soap and hours of sunshine. After her retirement in 1985, Sister Mary Anselm continued gardening, rosary making and teaching CCD classes for as long as her health allowed. Prayer ministry throughout her life was very important to her. “Sister’s smile and presence each day gives wonderful witness to the Incarnate Word charism of extending Jesus to others,” Sister Mary Juliane said. “Now, in her time of waiting for Jesus to call her, Sister Mary Anselm’s expressions and movements still speak volumes, even though she is confined to bed. During the 75 years of her vowed life as a religious, Sister Mary Anselm has brought many blessings to her sisters in community and to those whom she served; now she is served by others who continue to be blessed by her faithful witness to consecrated life, giving her all to Jesus, the Incarnate Word, in the spirit of Mary, his mother,” Sister Mary Juliane said.

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Happy to be of service Jubilarians honored on World Day for Consecrated Life

Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

here were many smiling faces before and after the Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Feb. 2, World Day for Consecrated Life. Fourteen sisters celebrating their jubilees were recognized and honored by Bishop Michael Mulvey, who thanked them for their multiple years of service to God.

Sister Elizabeth Close, IWBS shaking hands with Bishop Michael Mulvey during the reception for World Day for Consecrated Life. Sister Annette Wagner, IWBS director of the Office for Consecrated Life is in the background. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic



Bishop Mulvey congratulates Jubilarians during a reception following the Mass for World Day of Consecrated Life. Pictured, from left, are Sister Mary Lelia Aguilar, IWBS; Sister Martha Ann Snapka, IWBS; Sister Mary Catherine Brehony, IWBS; Sister Elizabeth Close, IWBS; Sister Barbara Bluntzer, SP; Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS; Sister Lydia Plastas, SFCC; Sister Guadalupe Cervantes, PCI; Sister Amor Vigare, OP; Sister Mary Camelia Herlihy, IWBS; Sister Mary Colette Brehony, IWBS; and Sister Celia Hernandez, MJMJ. Not pictured are Sister Patricia Zuniga, PCI; and Sister Anselm Till, IWBS. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

“My sisters, you have committed yourselves to the Lord through professing the evangelical counsels of celibate chastity, poverty and obedience. On behalf of His Church, I thank you for your years of dedicated service,” Bishop Mulvey said. In his homily Bishop Mulvey stressed the importance of having humility. “It takes humility to overturn the powers of the world. That’s what you represent to people. It’s not on the focus on self that we are saved it is in service,” he said. A Spirituality Day for Religious hosted by the Office of Consecrated Life and the Committee for Institutes of Consecrated Life was held at St. Pius X Parish on the day prior to World Day for Consecrated Life making it a weekend event. Spirituality Day began with Mass celebrated by Bishop Mulvey. Sister Helen Marie Raycraft, OP of the Dominican Missionary Preaching Team in Austin gave presentations throughout the day. “Bishop Mulvey initiated the Spirituality Day for ❞ those in consecrated life to provide them an opportunity to reflect and prepare for the celebration on Sunday’s observation


of World Day for Consecrated Life,” Sister Annette Wagner, IWBS Diocesan Director of the Office of Consecrated Life said. “One of the main responsibilities of the Office of Consecrated Life is to extend the bishop’s pastoral care to the men and women in consecrated life. It does so by providing social and spiritual support throughout the year. Calendar of events include socials, retreats and a special day of dialogue with the bishop,” Sister Annette said.

❝It’s not on the focus on self that we are saved it is in service

More than 100 sisters and brothers in consecrated life participated in World Day for Consecrated Life on Sunday Feb. 2. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

After the Mass sisters and brothers in consecrated life joined friends and family in St. Joseph Parish Hall for food and fellowship. Bishop Mulvey presented each of the jubilarians with a gift bag, which included quotes from Scripture. The weekend events were to support those in consecrated life and give them opportunities to live their consecrated life more fully. At this annual Mass we recognize and gratefully celebrate those observing their jubilees. This year they ranged from 25 to 75 years in vowed life,� Sister Annette said. Jubilarians presently serving in the Diocese of

Corpus Christi are Sister Guadalupe Cervantes, PCI and Sister Patricia Zuniga, PCI celebrating 25 years; Sister Amor Vigare, OP celebrating 40 years; Sister Elizabeth Close, IWBS; Sister Celia Hernandez, MJMJ and Sister Lydia Plastas, SFCC celebrating 50 years; Sister Mary Lelia Aguilar, IWBS, Sister Mary Colette Brehony, IWBS, Sister Mary Camelia Herlihy, IWBS and Sister Martha Ann Snapka, IWBS celebrating 60 years; Sister Barbara Bluntzer, SP, Sister Mary Catherine Brehony, IWBS and Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS celebrating 65 years; and Sister Mary Anselm Till, IWBS celebrating 75 years.

To see more photos of this event



Nick Cardenas, a parishioner at Our Lady of Victory in Beeville, speaks to candidates for confirmation and their sponsors on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

‘Confirmation strengthens us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit’ By Alfredo E. Cardena,


South Texas Catholic

he sacrament of confirmation is a path of Christian initiation for the baptized. Through the sacrament of confirmation the baptized receive the Holy Spirit who was sent upon the Apostles by the Lord on the day of Pentecost. “Confirmation reveals to us the important role the Holy Spirit has in our lives. Many of us live in a, ‘I can do it myself ’ culture often referred to as individualism. This kind of mentality can easily deafen our hearts to listening to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,”


Bishop Michael Mulvey said. “Confirmation strengthens us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s plan in our personal lives and our call to be missionary disciples.” Bishop Mulvey said it is important that family, parishes and pastoral workers

assist young people to learn how to “both pray and listen through silence to the voice of the Holy Spirit in their lives.” Any baptized Catholic has the right and the obligation to receive the sacrament of confirmation, but the candidate has the responsibility to personally

choose to complete initiation into the faith life of the Church. The candidate may request the sacrament if he or she: is baptized and able to renew baptismal promises, unless a grave reason suggests otherwise; exhibits an active faith life and knowledge of the Church; participates in the sacramental life of the Church, especially Eucharistic liturgies; is willing to commit to active involvement in the parish confirmation catechesis; is willing to respond to the call to active ministry; and is willing to continue to learn and grow in faith following confirmation and throughout his or her lifetime. In the Diocese of Corpus Christi preparation for the sacrament of confirmation begins when a child is in the ninth grade and lasts for two years. Typically, this preparation is done at the child’s resident parish through the religious education program. In smaller parishes the diocese provides assistance with the required catechesis in the form of a confirmation retreat. Thirteen parishes, from St. Peter Mission in Ben Bolt to St. James is Refugio, came together on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Our Lady of Victory Parish Hall in Beeville

to participate in a confirmation retreat conducted by the diocese Office of Youth Ministry. More than 75 confirmation candidates and their sponsors participated in the daylong retreat. Students receiving confirmation do so by their sophomore year. The preparation covers two years with extensive catechesis, distinct from their regular religious education instruction. The freshman year covers more general catechesis, but the sophomore year is more specific to the sacrament of confirmation. The Beeville retreat was for students in their second and final year of preparation. Staff from the Youth Ministry office, with the help of volunteers from Our Lady of Victory, led students and sponsors through a series of activities—including “ice breakers,” praise and worship, music, and group discussions—to help them learn the meaning and requirements of the sacrament of confirmation including the responsibilities of sponsors. The diocese requires that opportunities for catechesis be offered to the sponsors to assist them in fully understanding their role in the ongoing formation of the candidates. Sponsors represent, in a per-


Jaime Reyna Director of Office of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of Corpus Christi led confirmation retreat at Our Lady of Victory. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

sonal way, the witness and support of the parish community. They should participate with the candidates in their preparation, as well as the celebration. It is preferable that the sponsor from baptism be the same for confirmation. To perform the role of sponsor a person takes the place of the parents in their absence. The sponsor must be at least 16 years old unless the bishop has set a different age or if it appears to the pastor that an exception should to be made for a just cause. Sponsors must be Catholics who have been confirmed and have already received the sacrament of the Eucharist and lead a life in harmony with faith and the role

Candidates and sponsors discuss picking a name for confirmation at retreat held at Our Lady of Victory in Beeville. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


Retreat particpants participate in discussion at confirmation retreat at Our Lady of Victory in Beeville. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

they are assuming. An example of not living the life of faith includes an invalid marriage. Sponsors cannot be bound by any canonical penalty. Parents of the one to be confirmed cannot serve as sponsors. One of the activities at the Beeville retreat was picking a confirmation name. Candidates may choose a confirmation name if they so desire, especially if their baptism name is not a saint’s name. Deacon Rogelio Rosenbaum made a presentation on the importance of a name. At table discussions the name of St. Juan Diego, used by the Blessed Mother to introduce her son to the masses of indigenous people in the Americas, was being considered for a confirmation name by one of the candidates. Another was St. Dismus, the “good” thief that was crucified with Jesus and is considered the patron saint of prisoners.


❝ is important that family, parishes and pastoral workers assist young people to learn how to “both pray and listen... to the voice of the Holy Spirit.❞ Bishop Mulvey

Nick Cardenas, spoke to the candidates and sponsors on the gifts of the Hoy Spirit, enumerated in Isaiah 11:2-3. They are present in their fullness in Jesus Christ and are found in all Christians who are in a state of grace. The seven gifts include wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. Confirmation is one of three sacraments of initiation to the Catholic Church—the others being baptism and Eucharist. A parish must provide the opportunity for their candidates as well as the encouragement to receive the sacrament of penance before the reception of confirmation. The Office of Youth Ministry is conducting a second retreat on March 1 at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and will hold a third on March 15 at Ss. Cyril & Methodius.

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Tell us what you think. Please fill out the survey form online at Thank you for your faithful support! MARCH 2014 | SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC


Diocese contributes more than $200,000 to special collections For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, after thoughtful prayer and consultation with the Diocesan Priest Personnel Board, Bishop Michael Mulvey has appointed Father Alphonsus Z. M. Abainza, SOLT, as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Corpus Christi, effective Jan. 24. The bishop also named Deacon Alfonso Ramirez as Diocesan Director of Campus and Young Adult Ministry effective Feb. 1. Deacon Ramirez will continue as Parochial Deacon Deacon Alfonso Father Alphonsus at Our Lady of PerRamirez Z.M. Abainza, SOLT petual Help.

In 2013, parishioners from the Diocese of Corpus Christi contributed $215,540 to special collections in support of national campaigns, such as Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and support of various mission churches throughout the world. The largest contribution of $30,000 went to support the Holy See, which helps Pope Francis “offer service properly to the universal church.” The diocese contributes $28,141 to support the church in Latin America, $26,691 in solidarity with the church in Africa and $26,333 for the church in Central and Eastern Europe. Additionally, the faithful in the diocese gave $25,675 to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; $23,540 for the Peter’s Pence Collection, which provides the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster and disease; $$23,463 for Catholic Relief Services; $19,354 for the Catholic Home Mission Appeal; and $12,757 for the Catholic Communications Campaign.

16 married couples celebrated years



Catholic Charities staff Elsa Ortiz, left, and Betty Berry get ready to receive pizzas from Little Caesars Love Kitchen Driver Rick Moreno. Sister Rency Moonjely, SABS and Executive Director Linda McKamie are pictured in the background. They fed more than 250 area homeless hot slices of pizza from Little Caesars Love Kitchen at the Mother Teresa Shelter on Feb. 11. Little Caesars Love Kitchen travels across the United States and Canada to feed the homeless and disaster survivors. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

St. John’s/Assumption Seminary readies for Centennial celebration From August 2014 to October 2015, St. John’s/Assumption Seminary in San Antonio will celebrate its 100 years of leadership in educating and preparing men for priestly ministry for dioceses in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and California. The St. John’s/Assumption Centennial Committee is inviting former students to participate in this celebration.

of devotion

This will be a year-long celebration beginning Aug. 14 and concluding Oct. 2, 2105. That October date in 1915 was the founding of the seminary. To be placed on the mailing list for all the celebratory events send your address to or contact Mike Davis at Assumption Seminary, 2600 West Woodlawn Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78228.

To see more photos of this event

Bishop Michael Mulvey blessed 16 couples who celebrated 25 and 50 years in sacramental marriages. The celebration of World Marriage Day was held at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Feb. 16. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


New study on abortion rate does not tie drop to new state restrictions By Navar Watson Catholic News Service

Almost two weeks after the national March for Life rally in Washington, the Guttmacher Institute reported a 13 percent drop in national abortion rates from 2008 to 2011—making for the lowest rate since 1973 when abortion on demand was legalized in the U.S. However, “no evidence was found” of a correlation between the declining rate and new abortion restrictions set between 2008 and 2011, said the study released Feb. 3. CarolTobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, said that the study“shows the long-term efforts of the right-tolife movement,” even though Guttmacher gave no credit to groups against abortion. Legislative efforts and pro-life campaigns “should not be minimized when discussing the decline in abortion numbers,” Tobias said. The study reported 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women



ages 15-44 in 2011, totaling almost 1.1 million abortions that year. The peak was in 1981 with nearly 30 abortions per 1,000 women, according to The Associated Press. Guttmacher wrote that “more effective contraceptive methods” might have contributed to the decline in unintended pregnancies, thus causing a decline in abortions. “Contraceptive use improved during this period, as more women and couples were using highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptive methods,” Rachel Jones, an author of the study, said. Jones said the recent recession may have also contributed to the decline in pregnancy rates, as more women wanted to “avoid or delay pregnancy and child bearing” in tough economic times. The study also showed a 4 percent drop in the number of abortion providers, but that had no effect on the decline


in abortion rate, Jones said. Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said the authors of the study “conceded the fact that there was no data” to confirm a direct link between legislation and abortion decline, implying there was no way to trace such evidence. “They have decent data that’s not 100 percent accurate, and they say that in the (study),” Monahan said. Despite this, March for Life and other organizations need data from the Guttmacher Institute to track measurement, she said, because there are no official government reports that have the same data.

Though pro-life organizations see positive signs in Guttmacher’s study, Monahan said there is more to do. “Obviously, we’re delighted,” she said of the decline. “It’s great news for women and (the) babies...but the statistic ‘1.1 million’ is still so sad.” Though the annual March for Life rally on the National Mall has come and gone, Monahan encouraged pro-life supporters on the March for Life organization’s blog to “make an impact all year-round in our communities, be it through starting a group, writing an op-ed, joining a school board or health board, or praying in front of an abortion clinic.”

Thousands of young people rallied and prayed before taking part in the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. Leslie Kossoff, Catholic News Service MARCH 2014 | SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC


Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said, “A decline in abortion, for whatever reason, leads us closer to our goal of protecting children in the womb by law. The fewer abortions there are, the more legislators will consider it realistic to change public policy on the matter, and the more judges will consider it prudent to uphold such changes.” In a commentary posted on the Web site of the Witherspoon Institute, Richard M. Doerflinger, associate director of the U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, noted various inconsistencies in the study by Guttmacher, which he said is described as a “pro-abortionrights think tank. He said Guttmacher’s “spin overwhelms its reporting.” In one example, the study mentions there were 49 fewer abortion clinics from 2008 to 2011 and said that accounted for a 4 percent drop in the number of abortion providers. But Doerflinger said he did his own calculation of the study’s numbers and the number of abortion clinics dropped from 378 to 329 in that time period, which is a decline of...13 percent,” the same as the decline in the number of abortions, he said. “The significance of this underscored by Guttmacher’s apparent effort to hide it,” Doerflinger said. Furthermore, he said, each abortion clinic performs up to 5,000 each year, so closing just one clinic could still have “a significant impact” on overall abortion decline. “In short, pro-life Americans should rejoice at the good news, and redouble their efforts to help pregnant women and their unborn children,” Doerflinger said. “Notwithstanding the spin doctors of the abortion industry, we are seeing some light at the end of that long dark tunnel.”

‘Son of God’ movie ‘a say husband-wife prod By Peter Finney Jr.



Catholic News Service

he movie “Son of God,” now showing in theaters, should be seen as “a love story,” according to two of its executive producers, the husband-and-wife team of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. “This really is a differently” for mullove story—the greattiplexes than “The est love story ever Bible” had been for told,” Downey said. TV. “We use different The couple brought camera angles. We the 10-hour miniseshoot so much film ries “The Bible” to of every scene it’s easy to make alternate television last year, garnering sizable ratchoices.” ings on the History Diogo Morgado stars as Jesus in “Son of God” precable channel. miered in theaters “Son of God.” Catholic News Service Among those 10 nationwide Feb. 28 hours was the story and is showing at of Jesus. Burnett and Downey decided Century 16 in Corpus Christi. It tells even before the miniseries was televised the story of Jesus through the eyes of that they would make a separate movie an elderly St. John—the only apostle who did not meet a martyr’s fate—on focusing on Jesus. “When we were in Morocco filmthe isle of Patmos. ing,” Downey said, “I said to Mark, The film portrays the same kind of brutality seen in “The Passion of the Christ” ‘We should have been making a film a decade ago, although it is concealed or here.’” Downey, perhaps best known for her starring role for nine seasons on suggested, as it had been in the minise“Touched by an Angel,” plays Mary, ries. “Son of God” is rated PG-13 by the mother of the adult Jesus. Motion Picture Association of America Burnett, whose TV successes have for “intense and bloody depiction of the been primarily in reality programming Crucifixion, and for some sequences of from “Survivor” to “Shark Tank” to violence.” Some material may be inap“The Voice” to “The Apprentice” to propriate for children under 13. “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,” Downey did not dwell on the violent concurred, but said, “It wasn’t shot any aspect of the movie, but in comparing

a love story,’ ducers the two films noted Mel Gibson’s film presupposes the viewer knows the story of Jesus, as it begins with Holy Thursday. “Son of God,” though, begins with Jesus’ birth, and through the signs and wonders he performs in the first hour of the movie, she said, “you get a chance to fall in love with him all over again.” Downey said the endorsement of religious leaders is a big help. Two Catholic prelates have endorsed “Son of God”: Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles. High-profile Protestant leaders endorsing the film include Bishop T.D. Jakes and the Rev. Rick Warren. “Cardinal Wuerl has been so much of a help to us,” she said. Burnett said the Anti-Defamation League had also given its own stamp of approval, based in large part on the depiction of events that lead up to Jesus’ death: Pontius Pilate having been the fourth Roman governor of a politically restive Judea in the last 20 years; Jerusalem’s temple leaders, embodied by Caiaphas, being aware of Pilate’s threat to shut down the temple, even at Passover, if Jewish unrest is not tamped down; and the arrival into the holy city of a Nazarene miracle-worker whose reputation precedes him. Burnett added his hope that “Son of God” audiences “could actually see themselves as the disciples” in this stew of political intrigue. One of Downey’s favorite moments in the movie is not from the dramatic side of the movie, but something that was not

even in the script. In a scene presaging Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, Jesus and the Apostles are in a boat near the coastline. Children running along the shore wave to Jesus, and Jesus (Diogo Morgado) waves back and smiles. “That wasn’t Jesus waving,” Downey said. “That was Diogo waving. We got so much feedback (after the miniseries) from people saying they like what Diogo Morgado brought to the role.” She added that she thought it fortuitous that a Latin American was cast as Jesus—Morgado is Brazilian—as the Argentine-born Pope Francis was chosen to lead the Catholic Church. Downey said she wished they had 20 hours to tell Bible stories instead of the 10 that was eventually settled on for the

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National News

Producer Mark Burnett, actors Darwin Shaw and Diogo Morgado are seen on the set of the movie “Son of God.” The movie now in theaters should be seen as “a love story,” according to two of its executive producers, the husband-and-wife team of Burnett and Roma Downey. Catholic News Service

TV audience. Now, with two-plus more hours, they were able to go into a bit more depth with Jesus’ story. “It could have just as easily been three hours, 20 minutes,” Burnett said. The success of “The Bible” also produced another spinoff: “A.D,” a 12-hour miniseries to be shown on NBC, taking the story of the Apostles and the early Christians to the small screen. MARCH 2014 | SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC


A turbulent year that strengthened the papacy By Francis X. Rocca


Catholic News Service

hen Pope Benedict XVI announced, on Feb. 11, 2013, that he would become the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign, speculation was as varied as it was excited about the long-term consequences of his historic act. But one common line of thought held that, for better or worse, his decision might leave the papacy a less exalted and powerful office, bringing the supreme pontiff closer to the level of other bishops, clergy and faithful. Might the presence of two living popes inside the Vatican sow confusion over where governing authority actually lay, or, at least, dilute the prestige of the unique role of Vicar of Christ? Might the precedent of resignation make it easier to drive a future pope from office, thus introducing a new kind of political pressure into the leadership of the church? The background of Pope Benedict's decision added to the sense of crisis. Although the 85-year-old pope said he was stepping down due to deteriorating “strength of mind and body,” it was easy to believe that a year of scandal and controversy—over leaked correspondence documenting corruption and incompetence in the Vatican—had helped convince him he was “no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” From that assumption, it was a small stretch to wonder whether the demands of the 21st-century papacy—in terms of communications, management and travel—had grown too heavy for any


man, especially one as old as most popes. When the newly elected Pope Francis stepped out on the loggia in front of St. Peter's Basilica on the evening of March 13, 2013, his words and gestures seemed to encourage predictions of a downscaled papacy. The new pontiff broke with usual practice by asking for the people's blessing before he gave them his own, and referred to himself simply as the bishop of Rome. Was Pope Francis signaling his intention to play a less commanding role than his predecessors, demoting himself to the status of first among episcopal equals, in a move toward some sort of democratization of the church? The prospect of a weakened papacy may have seemed plausible in the wake of Pope Benedict's announcement, but over the subsequent year, the world has watched his successor assert his leadership in ways that have made the office only stronger. With his informal charisma, plain speaking and spontaneous style, Pope

Francis quickly garnered colossal popularity, whether measured by record turnouts at papal events or by the intensive and almost entirely favorable coverage by secular media. Within the Vatican, the pope has not hesitated to replace officials in key positions and launch a process leading to a major overhaul of the church's central administration, the Roman Curia. While Pope Francis has stressed the importance of collegiality, or consultation with his brother bishops, his institutional application of that principle has so far taken the form of the Council of Cardinals, an eight-member panel he named to advise him on reform of the Vatican bureaucracy and governance of the universal church. By streamlining the process through which recommendations from bishops reach the pope, the council has only made it easier for him to make executive decisions in his own name, such as the establishment of a special commission on sex abuse, which he approved in


Retired Pope Benedict XVI greets Pope Francis at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican. Catholic News Service

December less than a day after hearing the proposal. Pope Francis has spoken of the importance of the Synod of Bishops, but his most eloquent statement on its role may be his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” published in November in response to the October 2012 synod on the new evangelization. Previous popes have typically based such documents on a draft by synod officials, which synthesized recommendations by bishops at the gathering. Pope Francis scrapped the draft provided to him and wrote his own document, in his distinctive voice and focusing on his particular concerns. Even the presence of the retired pope,

living quietly in his successor's shadow within the Vatican walls, has proven not a hindrance to Pope Francis but instead a major asset. Pope Francis has told reporters that he consults with his predecessor as he would with a “wise grandfather.” No less importantly from the point of view of the faithful, the two men's affectionate relationship has reinforced a sense of fundamental continuity between their pontificates, despite their striking stylistic differences when it comes to evangelization and celebration of the liturgy. Such reassurance is invaluable, given the pope's essential role in preserving church unity. For all of Pope Francis' virtues as a leader, the strength of the office he holds

today ultimately owes even more to his predecessor, who affirmed its importance in the very act of resigning. No words or gestures could have demonstrated more powerfully that the pope is not a mere figurehead, but truly the leader of 1.2 billion people around the world, than Pope Benedict's admission that a stronger man was needed to fill the role. To see more Vatican News go to: South Texas






The Vatican



Difficult moral decisions in brain death and pregnancy Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.



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


NN recently profiled the case of a woman named Marlise Muñoz, who was both pregnant and brain dead. Its report noted that Mrs. Muñoz was “33 years old and 14 weeks pregnant with the couple’s second child when her husband found her unconscious on their kitchen floor Nov. 26. Though doctors had pronounced her brain dead and her family had said she did not want to have machines keep her body alive, officials at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, argued state law required them to maintain life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant patient.” The family sought a court order to have Mrs. Muñoz disconnected from the ventilator because she had shared that she never wanted to be on life support. It remained unclear, however, whether Mrs. Muñoz would have felt the same way about life support if she knew she were pregnant and nurturing a child. As weeks on the ventilator turned into months, Mrs. Munoz began to manifest overt signs of death: her skin texture changed, becoming cool and rubbery like a mannequin’s, and her body began to smell of deterioration. Maintaining a mother’s corpse on a ventilator requires significant effort and expense, and imposes real burdens on family


members, who would like to be able to grieve their loss, and are not fully able to do so while their loved one remains in a state of suspended animation—deceased, yet not quite ready to be buried because she is still supporting a living child. Mrs. Muñoz’s case raises challenging questions. Should the continued use of a ventilator in these circumstances be considered extreme? Could such life-sustaining measures be considered abusive of a corpse? These are hard questions, in part because people can give their bodies over to a variety of uses after they die. Some donate them to science, so students can open them up, look around inside and learn about anatomy. Others donate their organs to help strangers who need transplants. Similarly, a mother’s corpse—no longer useful to her—may be life saving for her child. Would not a mother, carrying a child in her womb, and having expended so much effort to foster that new life, naturally want to

offer her child this opportunity to live, even after her own death? The medical literature documents several cases where such a child has been delivered later by C-section and fared well. Thus it can clearly be reasonable in certain situations for medical professionals to make a serious effort to shuttle a pregnancy to the point of viability, for the benefit of the sole remaining patient, i.e. the child. As Mrs. Muñoz’s pregnancy approached 22 weeks—with 23 weeks generally being considered “viable” for life outside the womb— lawyers for the family declared that the child was “distinctly abnormal,” with significant deformities in the lower extremities. The child was also reported to suffer from hydrocephalus and a possible heart defect. Some commentators even speculated that the defects of the unborn child might have been “incompatible with life.” In prenatal cases, depending on the likelihood of survival until viability, efforts may be made to at least

VIEWPOINTS offer a C-section and provide baptism. Often the family, with the assistance of perinatal hospice, can hold and name their child right after such a delivery, even as his or her brief life draws to a close. This can provide valuable healing and closure for the family. Whether Mrs. Muñoz’s unborn child (later named Nichole by her father) had defects that were genuinely “incompatible with life,” or whether she would have simply been born with handicaps, is an important question; extensive prenatal testing was rendered difficult by the machine-driven, ICUbound body of Mrs. Muñoz. The possibility that a child might be born with handicaps, of course, should not become the equivalent of a death sentence for the unborn, as members of the disability community are quick to remind us. We should love and welcome those with disabilities as much as anyone else. Public reaction to Mrs. Muñoz’s case ranged from strong support and hope that her child would be born, to claims that hospital officials were treating her deceased body as an incubator to “preserve the fetus she carried.” In the end, a judge in Fort Worth ordered Mrs. Muñoz’s corpse to be disconnected from life support, even though the pregnancy had been successfully maintained for nearly two months and Nichole was a mere stone’s throw from viability. While it was clearly a difficult and heart-wrenching situation for all involved, including the courts, this legal decision seemed questionable, given the uncertainty surrounding Nichole’s actual medical condition and her apparent proximity to being able to be delivered.

Accelerating Catholic reform By George Weigel



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

wo recent books suggest that, amidst challenges and problems, the pace of authentic Catholic renewal is accelerating in these United States. Anne Hendershott and Christopher White’s “Renewal” (Encounter Books) was nicely timed to coincide with Pope Francis’s recently published comments on seminary reform. There, the pope stressed the imperative of integral formation, in which human development, spiritual growth, intellectual formation and the development of pastoral skills mesh together in preparing the priests of the future. Hendershott and White demonstrate that American seminaries–once deeply troubled by the confusions of the immediate post-Vatican II decades–are at the forefront of renewal, in ways that might well be imitated by other countries in the West. The Long Lent of 2002, and the corruptions it exposed, made it clear that dumbing down seminary formation had had disastrous consequences for the church’s ministry and credibility. Not without difficulty, the bishops of the United States took seminary reform in

hand. Today, rather than playing defense, American seminaries like Mundelein in Chicago are exploring how the church might go on offense–not in an offensive way– but by developing new models of a 21st century apologetics that invites disenchanted post-moderns to experience the divine mercy and come to know the truths to which that experience leads. As Hendershott and White show, the days of seminaries dominated by various forms of psychobabble are, in the main, over. Moreover, the recent increase in the number of applicants for priestly formation demonstrates both the enduring influence of John Paul II (who many 21st century seminarians continue to identify as their role model) and the importance of a strong sense of Catholic identity in attracting and forming future pastors. That strong sense of Catholic identity will yield evangelical effectiveness if it is deepened by a man’s immersion in the mystery of



the Eucharist, in which the redemption wrought by the unique, salvific priesthood of Jesus Christ is extended through history sacramentally. Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, himself a reforming seminary rector when that was no easy thing, once remarked, “a man will give his life for a mystery, but not for a question mark.” That is why, in the reformed American seminaries of the 21st century, immersion in the Eucharistic mystery, theological scholarship, pastoral skills, a strong sense of Catholic identity and a commitment to evangelical mission go together. And that, Hendershott and White suggest, is true of U.S. Catholicism as a whole, especially in its pastoral leadership. Among the most effective priestly and episcopal leaders in U.S. Catholicism today, there is no antinomy between pastoral compassion and evangelical zeal, on the one hand, and robust Catholic identity, on the other. It is all of a piece. The growing ends of the church in the United States are those that have grasped that truth and are living it in mission. Then there is Duncan Stroik’s splendidly illustrated essay collection, “The Church Building as a Sacred Place: Beauty, Transcendence, and the Eternal” (Hillenbrand Books). The book’s publisher takes its name from a pioneer of the liturgical movement in its classic period, Chicago’s Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand. And it’s altogether appropriate that a house named in Hillenbrand’s honor should publish 23 reflections by one of the architects who is leading American church architecture into a nobler future. If seminaries were in trouble in the immediate post-conciliar period, so was church design. Happily, the days of Pizza Hut “worship spaces” seem over. And in no small part that is because scholar-practitioners like Stroik have helped Catholicism rediscover how various classical approaches to architecture and decoration can suggest, through stone and glass and other worldly materials, something of the divine mystery at the center of Catholic worship. Beauty, Stroik knows, is a uniquely attractive path to the true and the good in a world confused about truth and goodness. Thus in the approach to church design and decoration taken by Stroik and those who share his convictions, the full richness of Catholic theology, not a spare modernism, informs the architect’s vision–and the church’s worship. Identity and mission, as always, go together.



I believe in the Ho By Father J. Patrick Serna



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

s we begin our consideration of God the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, we first call to mind the fact that all life, spiritual and physical, comes from our Trinitarian God. The first sentences of the first chapter of the first book of the holy Bible instantly reveal our God to be a creating God: “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters...” (Genesis 1:1-2). Catholic theologians have mined these divinely inspired words for 2000 years, but these words do not cease to bring us new riches. During a general audience in January 1990, Blessed John Paul II reflected on the creative power of God the Holy Spirit, when he said, “In the Bible, the Hebrew term for the Spirit is ruah. The first meaning of this term, and that of its Latin translation spiritus, is ‘breath.’ The relationship between spirit and respiration is still apparent.” It was with great frequency that Pope John Paul II referred to the Holy Spirit as a “dynamic impulse,” or as a “force of life.” On another occasion, he referred to the Holy Spirit’s role in creation, as presented in Genesis 1, as a, “vital force.” He went on to say that Genesis 1, “...suggests that the breath or spirit of God had a role in creation: a life-giving power, together with the ‘word’, which imparts being and order to things.” Some say–incorrectly–that the Holy Spirit did not exist before the ascension of Jesus into heaven. It must be remembered that the Holy Spirit, who


oly Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life is co-eternal with Father and Son, animal kingdom, and water is presmanifested himself frequently in ent at the moment of baptism, when spiritual life is given indelibly to God’s the Old Testament, even if not always explicitly. If God spoke to children. his people through the prophets– The Holy Spirit gave life to the first and he did–and if God speaks to us wife from the side of the first man, through the prophets who wrote the because the side of man is close to his divinely inspired words of the Old heart, which is the symbol of love. We know that the Church was born at Pentecost, but some have Testament which we still use today–and he does– then it was also conjectured that the bride of Christ, which is the Church, by God the Holy Spirit that these works were and are done. found her origin in the side of the Bridegroom, (cf. Mk 2:19, The fourth century philosopher and theologian, St. Augustine, must have had the dew of heaven on his brow when he Rv 19:7) after the soldier, “...thrust his lance into his side, and recognized the Holy Trinity in the first two sentences of Geneimmediately blood and water flowed out” ( Jn 19:34). sis, when he wrote, “Where There was once a very Scripture says, ‘In the begingifted bishop in Constanning God made heaven tinople who was referred and earth,’ we understand to as “Chrysostom” by the Father in the name of the people, which means I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven God, and the Son in the “golden mouthed.” St. John and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one name of the Beginning, the Chrysostom (347-407) was Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the alpha and the omega, Who as famous for his symphoFather before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true is the beginning, and since nious sermons as he was God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Spirit of God moved for his profound theological the Father; through Him all things were made. For us men reflections, and the followover the waters, we see a and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the full commemoration of the ing excerpt from his work, Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became Trinity.” (“On Genesis” I, 6) “Blood and water from His man. For our sake He was crucifi ed under Pontius Pilate, Where there is water, side,” provides a vivid illusHe suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the there is life. Whether it is tration for the thoughtful third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into microscopic life, vegetaChristian. “Water and blood heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will tive life or mammalian life, symbolize baptism and the come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His where there is water, life holy Eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church soon follows or is already kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the is born: from baptism, the present. It is no surprise Lord the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the that we find God at work cleansing water that gives Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, with water in the biblical rebirth and renewal through who has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy, the Holy Spirit, and from creation accounts. In the Catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the the holy Eucharist. As God womb there is water (i.e., forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of amniotic fluid), water and then took a rib from Adam’s the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. blood are present at birth side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood for most creatures in the

➤ As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church.

Nicene Creed



Joseph, True Father

❝For the spirit of God made me, the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive❞ and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.” While God the Holy Spirit was eminently present during the work of creation when created life first appeared in our universe, the Holy Spirit’s role is even more remarkable in the work of re-creation, that is, redemption. The Holy Spirit does the work of re-creation in many ways, but especially, through baptism and the Eucharist. Over the centuries, saints have written that we can think of God the Father as mind, of God the Holy Spirit as breath and of God the Son as the word. In his “Sermon on the Apostle’s Creed,” St. Thomas Aquinas said, “Just as the word of God is the Son of God, so the love of God is the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is the love between Father and Son, and he is God’s love to us. The breath of God, the Holy Spirit, groans and speaks for us in the book of Job: “For the spirit of God made me, the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive” ( Jb 33:4). It is in the life giving waters of Scripture that we drink from the Source of Life, and are moved by the breath of God. May we always drink, and inhale, from the Source who is God.


By Father Rodolfo Vasquez



Father Rodolfo Vasquez is pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish in Corpus Christi


year ago at the Inauguration Mass of the pontificate of Pope Francis, the occasion being the Solemnity of St. Joseph the Spouse of Mary, the Holy Father meditated in his homily on the humility and fidelity of the patron of the Universal Church. A few weeks later, the pope issued his first decree ordering that the name of St. Joseph be added to three Eucharistic Prayers. With all the attention given to any hint of reform–real or imagined–that the pope may be undertaking, the Holy Father’s quiet but powerful homage to St. Joseph has gone mostly unnoticed. Perhaps it is fitting, since his vocation was one hidden in obedient service of true fatherhood. Sacred Scripture speaks sparingly of St. Joseph but the Gospel of Matthew records a testimony of his powerful witness; “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1:24). What did the angel command him? What did Joseph do so faithfully and obediently? He responded promptly with generosity to the vocation of fatherhood, one that only the “just man” was prepared to fulfill for Jesus as his father among men. Two aspects of St. Joseph’s exercise of paternal authority serve as standards for all fathers. The first is his diligence in fulfilling his role as protector. Joseph was commanded by the angel to take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt for Herod was attempting to kill the child. Joseph understood that one of the most important roles of fathers is to protect their children from harm. While our thoughts turn to physical harm, of which many fathers perform heroically, the higher calling is to protect their children from the harms and dangers of sin. The effect of sin can have catastrophic impact on our souls and our happiness, for this reason one of the most important responsibilities is to

➤ Fathers must be men of prayer, listening and dialoging with God. In doing so, men draw their strength and grow in the gifts of counsel and wisdom, valuable virtues God wishes to bestow on faithful fathers.

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guard their children. Our modern society deemphasizes the need for strong and heroic fathers so often that men are often reduced to inept bystanders. St. Joseph reminds us of the need for courageous fathers who are vigilant for the sake of those God has entrusted in their care. His custodianship of the Holy Family serves as an example to all fathers. The second example of Joseph’s paternal character is that of faith. Joseph was a man dedicated to God, well known for his faithfulness. This aspect of his fatherhood is a necessary quality, especially for fathers today. Only when men dedicate themselves as servants of God are they able to become true Christian fathers. Or as Pope Francis said in his inaugural homily as pope, “By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans and not simply to his own.” Fathers must be men of prayer, listening and dialoging with God. In doing so, men draw their strength and grow in the gifts of counsel and wisdom, valuable virtues God wishes to bestow on faithful fathers. The father as a man of faith responds to God’s calling to direct his family toward the God he serves. Drawing on the inspiration of the venerable carpenter from Nazareth, men today have a true hero to emulate, a patron whose life stands as a witness to Christian fatherhood, a model of true holiness.

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Reading poetry as a spiritual exercise for Lent By Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS Contributor

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

❝It is difficult/to get the news from

poems/yet men die miserably everyday/for lack/of what is found/there.❞ Great poets have their finger on the pulse of their society. William Carlos Williams did so, both as a doctor and as a poet. Williams’ poem above continues to ring true–even though he died in 1963–in this second decade of the 21st century because far too many people die both literally and figuratively in their struggle to make sense out of what they experience as living. If you are considering spiritual reading for Lent this year, perhaps a small volume of poetry could help you get more out of the upcoming season. Many people say, “I don’t understand poetry.” Well, sometimes I don’t either and I am a published poet. I often reread beloved poems in order to relish the words and the images. I also want to experience again the feeling I have when I read them rather than try to understand their content. And that’s what poems do; they share simple, sometimes very painful experiences of what means to be a human being. They give voice to what we do not have words for. In some way, all great poetry is spiritual because it speaks to



the spirit in all of us for–as one author put it–poetry is “the path to transcendence.” Then there is poetry that is explicitly spiritual because it deals with spiritual themes. I would like to share with you three of my favorite poets and poems you might con-

➤ In some way, all great poetry is spiritual because it speaks to the spirit in all of us for–as one author put it– poetry is “the path to

transcendence.” sider reading this Lent. “In the Custody of Words: Poems” by Philip C. Kolin is a very recent discovery. It is a thin volume that would be an apt companion to use during adoration. If you do, sit with “The Prayer

Lady” or “The Shrouded Air,” for example, and let the words do what silence does best—speak when the heart is ready. Consider embracing Holy Week with “Procula’s Tears” or let the poem help you focus on what truly matters as you enter the heart of Good Friday. Then ponder on the resurrection with the poem “The Shepherd Boy from the Cova.” On one level, it tells the story of Blessed Francisco Marto, one of the three children who saw our Lady in Fatima, yet on another level it whispers another story: mystery. Kolin’s book can be purchased directly from the author at Kolin. Another of my favorite poets is Denise Levertov, an adult convert to Catholicism. One of her longer pieces is entitled “Feet” from her collection in “This Great Unknowing: Last Poems,” available from or at the library at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. It consists of six sections each expressing a different slant on the title. One that might help you prepare for Holy Thursday would be Section VI with its image of the washing of feet that flows into the image of fleeing refugees. Section IV tells of her encounter with a homeless man in his attempt to buy a “$2 special” at a restaurant. While she raises

Possible difficulties in your prayer By Sister Kathleen Mcdonagh, IWBS



a question at the end of this section, she avoids moralizing, which allows the reader to wrestle with his or her own conscience. Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD, aka Jessica Powers, was a cloistered nun in Carmel of the Mother of God in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before she died in 1988, she had authored seven books of poetry. If the Stations of the Cross is one of your prayer choices, consider incorporating her poem, “The Seventh Station” from “The Place of Splendor,” also available from When you pray at this station, you might savor one or two words that catch your attention. You might be inspired to write your own poem on one or more of the other stations you could use as a prayer. Even if you use a Stations of the Cross prayer book available in the church, you could gain a fresh insight into Jesus’ journey to Calvary with Sister Miriam’s poem. Lent is an invitation for us to step out of our comfort zones. The spiritual exercise of reading poetry by such authors as Philip Kolin, Denise Levertov or Sister Miriam can help us do that. One word of caution though–it could be habit forming.

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

hen you move toward a time of prayer, normally you look forward to it as a time that will be one of peace and joy. Sometimes, however, for one reason or another, you may be surprised to find that this is not so on this particular day and that it is very difficult for you to settle down to celebrate such a relationship with God. Although you may not be aware of any reason for being distracted from God and the things of God, you find that, today, it is very difficult for you to pray quietly and to be aware that you are indeed in God’s presence. Perhaps, in your relationship with others, something has happened that is a source of anxiety, even a cause of anger, to you, and it is difficult for you to set this feeling aside. You may try to pray with the joy you have experienced at other times, but you do not feel joyful, and you cannot pretend that you do. What can you do in this situation? You may say to myself, “Oh, this is hopeless. I just can’t pray today,” but this is really not true. What is true is that you cannot feel the joy of prayer that you have felt at other times. However, faith is calling you to communicate with God, and the only thing you really can do is to

maintain your awareness that you are in God’s presence and to hope that your present mood or feeling of distraction or hurt will be lifted. Will God step in and lift the mood immediately? That is unlikely. Can you continue to sit in His presence although you have no feeling of great joy such as you have had at other times when you prayed to Him? Yes, you can do this. It may not seem easy or even worthwhile to do so at this point in time, but it is living out of an act of faith, one that God will accept in love from you. It can even happen that, when you do try to rest in stillness and to quiet your distracted mind, your lack of quiet and peace in God may seem to get worse. Yet, you should not give up on the effort. There is stillness at the center of your being, and if you can find this center, you will be aware of peace deep within



you from which you can reach out to God and share in His peace. An Augustinian priest in England, Father Benignus O’Rourke, O.S.A., has this to say about the situation: “To reach the place where Christ awaits us, we need to be prepared for long periods of silence and quiet, long enough for our doubts to dissolve, our cares to lose their urgent pressures, our uncertainty to give way to trust. To wait in silence for as long as it takes is to be taken eventually to our still center where we find that the mind has become quiet and the heart is at peace. And in the stillness we find God (Benignus O’Rourke, Finding Your Hidden Treasure, page 57).” Are you aware of having a “still center where [you] find that the mind has become quiet and the heart is at peace, and in that stillness, [you] find God”? Maybe so, maybe not. But now that it has been brought to your attention, perhaps, sooner or later, you may experience this. Do you

have to say endless vocal prayers to assure yourself that you are praying? No. Father Benignus, in the same little book, quotes an unknown poet who writes:

Abandon yourself to Him in longing love, simply holding on to nothing but Him so that you may enter the silence of eternity and know the union of yourself with Him. And if in the silence, He does not answer, He is still there. His silence is the silence of love… It is good to wait in silence for His coming. “In the silence, He is still there. His silence is the silence of love…” Do you sometimes experience “the

silence of love” with other human beings whom you love? Perhaps you do with a friend who is very close to you as you both engage in activities, which for a time, call for all your concentration. You are focused on your activities, but at the same time, you are aware of and appreciative of each other’s presence, and you know that, sooner rather than later, you will once again be communicating directly with each other in your usual style. In the same way, in our prayer, we can sometimes move from a sense of Christ being distant in our lives to a sense of His presence. Let us continue to try to pray the prayer of silence especially when, for one reason or another, we cannot seem to feel or be aware of God’s presence during our prayer time. The more active group balances the strictly contemplative group; the contemplatives balance the more active group. Both find the experience of God in their life styles.


March 1: Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Jas 5:13-20/Mk 10:13-16 (346)

Religious] Is 58:9b-14/ Lk 5:27-32 (222)

March 2: SUN EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Is 49:14-15/1 Cor 4:1-5/Mt 6:24-34 (82) Pss IV

March 9: SUN FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT violet | Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7/Rom 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19/Mt 4:1-11 (22) Pss I

March 3: Mon Weekday green/ white [Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin] 1 Pt 1:3-9/Mk 10:17-27 (347)

March 10: Mon Lenten Weekday violet | Lv 19:1-2, 11-18/ Mt 25:31-46 (224)

March 4: Tue Weekday green/white [Saint Casimir] 1 Pt 1:10-16/Mk 10:2831 (348)

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

March 5: Wed Ash Wednesday violet | Jl 2:12-18/2 Cor 5:20—6:2/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (219) Pss IV March 6: Thu Thursday after Ash Wednesday violet | Dt 30:15-20/Lk 9:22-25 (220) March 7: Fri Friday after Ash Wednesday violet [Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs] Is 58:1-9a/ Mt 9:14-15 (221) March 8: Sat Saturday after Ash Wednesday violet [Saint John of God,


March 12: Wed Lenten Weekday violet | Jon 3:1-10/Lk 11:29-32 (226) March 13: Thu Lenten Weekday violet | Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25/Mt 7:7-12 (227) March 14: Fri Lenten Weekday violet | Ez 18:21-28/Mt 5:20-26 (228)

March 17: Mon Lenten Weekday violet [Saint Patrick, Bishop] Dn 9:4b10/Lk 6:36-38 (230) March 18: Tue Lenten Weekday violet [Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Is 1:10, 16-20/Mt 23:1-12 (231) March 19: Wed 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: Thu Lenten Weekday violet | Jer 17:5-10/Lk 16:19-31 (233) March 21: Fri Lenten Weekday violet | Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a/Mt 21:33-43, 45-46 (234)

March 15: Sat Lenten Weekday violet | Dt 26:16-19/Mt 5:43-48 (229)

March 22: Sat Lenten Weekday violet | Mi 7:14-15, 18-20/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 (235)

March 16: SUN SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT violet | Gn 12:1-4a/2 Tm 1:8b-10/ Mt 17:1-9 (25) Pss II

March 23: SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT violet | 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 24: Mon Lenten Weekday5 violet | 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab/Lk 4:24-30 (237) March 25: Tue The Annunciation of the Lord white | Solemnity | Is 7:1014; 8:10/Heb 10:4-10/Lk 1:26-38 (545) Pss Prop March 26: Wed Lenten Weekday violet | Dt 4:1, 5-9/Mt 5:17-19 (239) March 27 Thu Lenten Weekday violet | Jer 7:23-28/Lk 11:14-23 (240) March 28: Fri Lenten Weekday violet | Hos 14:2-10/Mk 12:28-34 (241) March 29: Sat Lenten Weekday violet | Hos 6:1-6/Lk 18:9-14 (242) March 30: SUN FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT violet/rose | 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 31: Mon Lenten Weekday6 violet | Is 65:17-21/Jn 4:43-54 (244)


On March 1 at Alice Municipal Golf Course (1600 N. Texas Blvd.).Scramble format. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. and tee time at 8:30 a.m. Registration fee of $50 will cover the green fee, cart, registration pack, lunch and awards. For more information, contact the parish office: (361) 664-7551 or Mary at School Office: (361) 664-4642.


auction items, contact Amy Canterbury at (361) 883-8229, ext. 104 or: For more information, visit:

St. Joseph School Golf Education Tournament


21st Annual Ethnic Festival On March 1–2 from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Parish (2233 Waldron Rd.) in Corpus Christi. Enjoy Filipino, Vietnamese, Polish, American, Korean, Irish and Mexican food. Car displays, entertainment and more. Raffle drawing at 3 p.m. For more information, contact Father Peter Martinez at (361) 937-3864 or at



On March 1-2 at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown. The event will kickoff with a parade on Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m. downtown Robstown. Live entertainment from 2-10 p.m. On March 2 the event begins with celebration of Mass at 9 a.m. and entertainment from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. The coronation of Fiesta's King and Queen winner will be at 7 p.m.

Incarnate Word Academy’s 2014 Gala On March 1 from 6 p.m. -12 a.m. at the American Bank Center. This year’s theme is Paradise Island. For sponsorship and ticket information, or to donate live/silent

Fish Fry at Our Lady of the Rosary Two Fish Fries on Ash Wednesday, March 5 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 7–8:30 p.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Church (1123 Main Drive). There will also be two Fish Fries on the following Fridays: March 14 and March 28. For a donation of $7 you get a plate of tilapia, cole slaw, hush puppies and French fries. Free delivery on 10 or more plates. For more information call (361) 241-2004 between the hours of 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.

St. Anthony's 35th Annual Fiesta Mexicana festival



On March 1 Our Lady of Corpus Christi will host “The Banquet” at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds (1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd.) in Robstown beginning with a social at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The speaker will be Father Dan Estes, SOLT and music will be provided by Corpus Christi Chamber Ensemble. For more information call (361) 289-9095 or go to


The Banquet


The Melchizedek Project Meeting On March 6 from 6-7:30 p.m. The Melchizedek Project is a discernment group for high school seniors and above who love Jesus Christ and his Church, and who are willing to talk to other like-minded men about their future. For information on location please contact Rachel Dimas at (361) 882-6191 or




Rummage Sale On March 7-9 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. in the basement of Corpus Christi Cathedral (505 N. Upper Broadway). Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Cathedral Parish building maintenance fund. The sale will feature quality furniture, house wares, appliances, toys, sporting goods, hardware and much more. For more information call Donald Harris at: (361) 883-4213, ext. 27.

Fish Fry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission On March 7 from 4-7 p.m. at Mount Carmel Mission (1080 South Clarkwood Rd.) in Corpus Christi. For a donation of $7 you get a plate of fish with all the trimmings. For more information call Elisa Hinojosa at (361) 816-6833.

“To Serve is to Reign” Parish mission on March 9-13 at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary (603 E. Fifth St.) in Alice. The mission will be presented by the Fathers of Mercy over five consecutive days. For more information call Norma Langford at (361) 664-6481, ext. 23.

English Cursillos An English Cursillo de Cursillos will be held for all Cursillistas to renew and relive their Cursillo. The event will be held from March 13 -16 at the Corpus Christi Cursillo Center (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. For availability or for more information, call Molly De La Fuente, at (361) 462-7568 or email Alma Ruiz at: MARCH 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  49  


Confirmation Retreat On March 15 at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Parish (3210 S.P.I.D.) in Corpus Christi. The deadline to register is Friday, March 7. For more information go to:


On Thursday, March 20 at 5 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) and ending Sunday, March 23 at 1 p.m. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext 321. Mar 22. sscmConfirm


Alumni Open House Calling all alumni of St. Patrick School. Join an alumni open house on Saturday, March 15 from 2-5 p.m. There will be ongoing tours of the school with a chance to revisit with former teachers, principals and students. For more information or to RSVP contact Yvonne Brown at:




The Cathedral Concert Series in its 30th season presents a St. Patrick's Day celebration with The Whiffenpoofs of Yale, a world renowned collegiate mens glee club on March 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral. For VIP memberships for priority reserved seating and for more information call (361) 888-7444.



King of the Court Basketball Tournament

Cursillo de las

Cursillo de mujeres se celebrará del 20 a 23 marzo en el Corpus Christi Cursillo Center localizado en el 1200 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para obtener más información, llame a Gloria G. Morales al (361) 364-4808 o Hacer un amigo, ser un amigo, y traer a un amigo a Cristo!


Day of Prayer and Reflection


Lenten Mini Youth Spectacular

On Sunday, March 16, the members of St. Patrick's Mission in Old San Patricio will have their annual Chicken Barbecue, raffle, auction and Country Store. The event starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m., when the winning raffle tickets are drawn. Please join us for food, fellowship and fun. For more information, call (361) 438-8165.

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale


Men's Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

20 mujeres (Español)

St. Patrick's Mission Annual Barbecue and Raffle

Women’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

On March 22 from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Parish in Corpus Christi (3350 South Alameda St.). Come learn the power of prayer and silence. Day begins with Mass. Light breakfast and lunch provided. The day will be led by members of Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

On March 22 at St. Joseph in Alice starting at 8 a.m. It is for students grades 6-12. Register with $10 payment and liability forms by March 7 to receive a free T-shirt. No registrations will be accepted after March 19. For more information, contact Julia Fracker at (361) 664-2953 or email:

On Thursday, March 27 at 5 p.m. until Sunday, March 30 at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Learn to listen to God’s voice in prayer by praying with scripture according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext 321.

On March 29 at Blessed John Paul II High School Gym. Each winning team receives $250 for their youth group or youth related event for their parish. Teams must be registered to enter. March early registration is March 7-14. Late Registration is March 15-21. For more information call Heath Garcia at (361) 693-687. To register go to:

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For more information call or Email: Al Lujan at (361) 215-8173 at or Carlos Trujillo (361) 742-2946 at


March 2014 Issue

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


Profile for South Texas Catholic

South Texas Catholic - March 2014  

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

South Texas Catholic - March 2014  

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

Profile for diocesecc