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VOL. 49 NO. 6 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas



Stained glass window in the newly renovated sanctuary at Sacred Heart in Rockport pays tribute to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We too pay

tribute to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with stories throughout this issue. Contributed Photo, Sacred Heart, Rockport

Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Web Coordinator Julissa Rokohl 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

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Bishop Michael Mulvey greets Mother Teresa Santoyo, PCI at the start of the Consecration Mass for the Jesus Christ Our Saviour Chapel, which is the focal point of the new Pax Christi Liturgical Center. The center was a vision of Mother Teresa. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic



Bishop makes new assignments���������������� 9

St. John Paul II High School students make pilgrimage�������������������������������������������42

VOCATIONS Self-test for discerning and discovering God’s Call���������������������������������������������������������25 NATIONAL NEWS

VATICAN In Holy Land, Pope Francis focuses on unity �����������������������������������������������������������������46 VIEWPOINTS

Studies point to possible pitfalls as church becomes more Hispanic�������������17

Editing our own genes?�����������������������������48



Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús en Mathis ayuda al prójimo.......................20

We must look for opportunities for discipleship in every circumstance of life�����49 JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  3  

Msgr. Rory Deane relaxes in retirement at his home in Lamar. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

The indefatigable Msgr. Rory Deane: A priest’s priest and a man’s man By Msgr. Michael Howell Contributor

Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

n June 6, Msgr. Gregory “Rory” Deane—who was ordained in Ireland in 1954—will celebrate 60 years in the priesthood. In retirement now, he has time to reminisce about his youth, his family, his beloved Ireland and the many changes in the universal church and in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He came to Texas with three other classmates, Charles McNaboe, Patrick Higgins and Raymond Rafferty. When they first arrived, they stayed


at the Cathedral for two weeks until Bishop Mariano S. Garriga could meet them and get some idea of their gifts. “I felt like a dog at the Westminster

Dog Show being checked out,” Msgr. Dean said. A fellow Irish priest, Father William Kinlough who was assigned to

NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE Three Rivers and was famous in Ireland as a Gaelic football player, came to St. Peter’s College where Deane was a seminarian. Father Kinlough wowed the young men with stories about Texas and the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Some 30 seminarians, including Deane and his classmates, signed up to come to Texas. Leaving for Texas, of course, meant leaving his beloved Ireland and his family. Deane was born to Michael and Maureen Deane in Bunclody, Ireland, 60 miles south of Dublin. His mother died at the age of 26 and his maternal grandmother took over the task of caring for the family. His grandfather became Deane’s “hero.” His grandmother—who when he was only seven-years-old—pronounced that she believed he would be the priest in their family. The seminary during those years was tough as Ireland was poor; there was no heat in the buildings and little in the way of food. There were struggles, but his involvement in sports taught him the value of not giving up even when times are tough. He said sports kept him in the seminary. On one occasion, in a game of Gaelic football he made some famous plays including a goal with a 60-yard kick, but the team still lost as they usually did. However, he never stopped giving his best and he feels this taught him important lessons of perseverance for both life and in ministry. Bishop Garriga assigned Father Deane to work with Father Engelbert Bartosch at Sacred Heart in Mathis. He ranks Sacred Heart—and its two missions of Sandia and San Patricio—as one of his favorites because of the strong faith and good hearts of the people, as well as the example of Father Bartosch, who was from nearby Orange Grove. Msgr. Deane said Father Bartosch was a hard worker who sacrificed much of his time in service to the people, making money to help build a hall, working water wells and other needed structures in that parish and its missions. He would hunt wild pigs and then take the meat to sell for tamale meat to earn extra funds for the parish. Both of them did without a lot so as not to be a burden on the people financially. His first car was an old Buick that cost $350 and was maintained for many years by a parishioner who gave of his talent to keep the car going.

Bishop Garriga lamented that the car was so noisy he could hear Father Deane coming to the Chancery from as far away as Calallen. Over the years, Msgr. Deane has seen many changes—some good, some not so much—in priesthood, priestly habits and of course the universal and local church. Locally, he came to the Diocese of Corpus Christi when it still had all the counties with which it began—all the counties of south Texas, from the Nueces to the Rio Grande Rivers. Then four southern counties separated off to form the Diocese of

Always a sportsman, Msgr. Rory Deane still enjoys riding his bike around Lamar. On this occasion he rode to the Stella Maris Chapel and the nearby cemetery. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


Brownsville in 1965; Goliad County, where he served for some years at Immaculate Conception Parish and its missions, was transferred from the Diocese of Corpus Christi to the new Diocese of Victoria; and in 2000 he saw the western portion of the diocese becoming the Diocese of Laredo. The Second Vatican Council brought the most changes, especially with the Liturgy in the vernacular and the Mass facing the people— something he applauded as it ultimately meant that the priest became also more approachable both on and off the altar. Msgr. Deane has been greatly touched by Pope Francis and his love of the poor. Msgr. Deane saved his money over the years, and realizing he was getting closer to the end of his ministry and journey of faith, he decided—when he survived near death with pneumonia—that he would begin making plans for his passing. He put up his tombstone in the old cemetery in Lamar next to Stella Maris Chapel and began to give away his considerable savings, which had grown from wise investments. He was moved by the pope’s gesture of selling the Harley Davidson presented to him as a gift and using the proceeds of the sale to help

Msgr. Deane is getting all his affairs in order. He has already secured his tombstone, a Celtic cross, in the old cemetery in Lamar next to Stella Maris Chapel. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


feed the poor in Rome. Msgr. Deane decided to make some bequests to local charities, including Catholic Charities, the Mother Theresa Shelter and local Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. He also made financial contributions to all the parishes at which he served, including Sacred Heart in Mathis, Christ the King in Corpus Christi, St. Joseph in Port Aransas, St. Therese in Woodsboro, Immaculate Conception in Goliad and Sacred Heart in Rockport. He praises the pope’s concern that priests be individuals of prayer and humility, shepherds that serve others and not self-serving individuals concerned about ambition and honors. And of course, without thinking of it himself, he is describing the lovable and loving Msgr. Rory Deane.

Gaelic football was one Msgr. Deane's favorite sports, which he played quite well. In this vintage photo he is kicking a 60-yard goal before 50,000 fans at Croke Park in Dublin. Deane, 16 at the time, was playing with borrowed size 14 boots. Contributed photo

National Council of Catholic Women dedicated to the work of the Church Father James Stembler is the pastor at St. Gertrude Parish in Kingsville and serves as Chairman of the National Council of Catholic Women Spiritual Advisors.

By Father James Stembler Contributor

❝ The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess. I think, for example, of the special concern which women show to others, which finds a particular, even if not exclusive, expression in motherhood❞ – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, #103 Soon, I will come to the end of my term of working with the National Council of Catholic Women as the Chair of Spiritual Advisors. It has been a great blessing to meet women from throughout the country, even the world, who have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to the work of the church and are helping to spread the Gospel message in the unique way that only a woman can. We have laughed, cried, stressed, discussed and even disagreed on how we should continue as the National Council, but one thing has been very clear: we are determined to continue the vision that the bishops of the United States gave us many years ago to come

together and form a united voice for Catholic women in the United States. We are all doing our best to unite as a board of directors so that, not only are we in the same book, but we are all on the same page. And things are happening that are very positive. The bishops were very edified by the hard work that the women’s organizations throughout the country did to help the troops and the country during World War I. The bishops felt, however, that rather than having a bunch of individual women’s organizations doing their own thing, it would be more effective if all these women’s organizations came together under a National Council to unite their

efforts and give a common voice for Catholic women. Certainly, this is a Gospel value, namely, uniting together. The Gospel is rather clear on this point. Jesus prayed “…for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” ( Jn 17: 20-21). It was apparent that the women’s organizations were doing fine work. Why not bring them together under a united national council so that they could join their good work and provide a common voice? In other words, each organization would continue to do its work,


Father James Stembler with National Council of Catholic Women board of directors. Contributed photo

but together, as the National Council of Catholic Women, each organization could unite in areas that would be important to evangelize the Gospel message. And what work has been accomplished through the National Council? Due to the efforts of the National Council through its affiliated organizations and individual members, much has been done. In the area of Respect Life, for example, they have made calls to elected officials and participated in marches for life. The National Council has done much in the area of religious liberty and freedom by supporting the bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” and hosting presentations and talks on the importance of


religious liberty. Much work has been done to raise awareness on and how to stop domestic violence. Relationships have been established with Catholic Relief Services to help raise awareness on the needs in third-world countries. Perhaps the greatest need in which the National Council has helped is in the Water for Life program, which has been able to help build water wells and give access to potable water in various regions of Africa. Relationships have been established with Cross Catholic Outreach, and greater awareness is underway to reach out to our neighbors in Haiti and other underdeveloped areas of the Caribbean. Several women’s organizations have united

through the National Council and are all engaged in making “little dresses for Haiti” and “little dresses for Africa” in order to send clothing for those in need. A vision trip has been planned to Haiti with Cross Catholic Outreach, so that even greater awareness can be raised on the needs in Haiti. Similar trips have been made to Central American countries. Through all of this and more, the bishops really started something. I guess there is truth in the old adage, “The best man for the job is a woman.” That all of this is being accomplished is due to the fact that all who are a part of this National Council of Catholic Women focus on spirituality. It is because we are developing our


relationship with God as individuals and as a Council, that we are able to accomplish the work that we do. And because of the work that we do, we are desirous to develop our relationship with God and with one another. A common myth that somehow has developed over the years is that the National Council of Catholic Women is in competition with Catholic Daughters, Daughters of Isabella or other Catholic women’s organizations. Only in the minds of those who do not understand what the bishops were hoping to accomplish by forming the National Council of Catholic Women is their competition, if this the case. These organizations are fine Catholic organizations and provide a great service to the church. The National Council of Catholic Women enables these various organizations to come together as a community and unite efforts to support, empower and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership and service so that—as a united voice—Catholic women can respond with Gospel values to the needs of the church and society in the modern world. To all the individual and affiliated members here and throughout the country, many thanks for all that you do. To all the women in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, many thanks for the unique role you play in the church; as the namesake of our diocese is a constant reminder to everyone that we are called to form the “Body of Christ.”

For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has appointed Msgr. Louis Kihneman, III pastor of St. Phillip the Apostle Parish, while retaining his duties as Vicar General; Father Zenon Konowalek pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Violet; Father Emilio Jimenez pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish; and Father Jose Salazar, Jr. pastor at Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia. Bishop Mulvey also named Father John Xaviour as administrator of St. James Parish in Bishop and St. James Mission in Driscoll and Father Joseph Lopez, JCL as administrator pro tempore of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, while retaining his duties as Vocation Director. Father Peter Stanley will serve as Chaplain for the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center and Chapel at Texas A&M-Kingsville while residing at St. Gertrude Parish.

The bishop named Father John Chavarria parochial vicar at St. Pius X Parish in Corpus Christi, Father Joseph Thang Nguyen parochial vicar at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Father Alejandro O. Augustinus Saenz parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi and Father Patrick Higgins parochial vicar at Most Precious Blood Parish, while retaining his duties as chaplain of St. John Paul II High School, Bishop Garriga Middle School and the Deaf and Disabilities Ministry. Bishop Mulvey also named Msgr. Roger Smith as Vicar of Priests, while retaining his duties as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Corpus Christi. Father Piotr Koziel, STL will be in residence at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Parish while he completes his doctoral thesis. All the appointements are effective July 1, except for Father Lopez's appointment which took effect on May 20.

Bishop ordains four priests Bishop Michael Mulvey ordained four new priests at the Corpus Christi Cathedral on Saturday, May 31. Father David Javier Bayardo and Father Luis Alfredo Villarreal are diocesan priests and will serve in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Father Tristan

Abbott, SOLT and Father Michael Slovak, SOLT were ordained for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. (Editor’s note: Due to our printing schedule details and photos from this momentous event will appear in our July 2014 edition.)

Priests home dedicated The St. John Vianney Residence for priests was blessed on Thursday, May 29. Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated a consecration Mass for the chapel at the home, located at 3150 Saratoga. The bishop then proceeded to bless all duplexes and the community building. An open house for the public was held on Sunday, June 1. The home has

accommodations for 16 priests to live in and also provides for two other rooms for priests in assisted living. The St. John Vianney residence for Priests was made possible by contributions to the Legacy of Faith, Future of Hope campaign. (Editor’s note: Due to our printing schedule details and photos from this joyous event will appear in our July 2014 edition.) JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  9  

Chaplains for the Apostleship of the Sea-USA gathered for their annual meeting at Holy Cross Parish Hall. They listened to several speakers on various issues affecting seafarers. At far right is Bishop J. Kevin Boland, AOS Bishop Promoter. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

Apostleship of the Sea works to meet spiritual needs of merchant marines By Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

ather Eulalio P. Ibay, STD, chaplain of the Apostleship of the Sea in the Diocese of Corpus Christi said the ministry “offers spiritual and practical help to seafarers, their families and all who work and travel on the waterways.” “This maritime ministry shows the church’s care and concern to seafarers who are often away from home for many months because of the nature of their work and who cannot participate in a regular parish life,” Father Ibay said. Father Ibay hosted the annual national meeting of the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States at Holy Cross Parish in Corpus Christi on April 29-May 2. The group celebrated Mass in the Emmanuel Chapel at the Corpus Christi Cathedral on April 30, to worship with the community of Corpus Christi.


Father Sinclair Oubre, JCL of the Diocese of Beaumont and the immediate national past president of the Apostleship of the Sea-USA said “even if seafarers want to go to Mass on Sunday, they can’t.” This is particularly true in the United States, which makes getting off a ship very difficult. Father Oubre said this is due partly because of the concerns that sprang up after 9-1-1 and partly from longstanding prejudices against seafarers. While someone arriving in the United States from a foreign country on an airline has little or no difficulty entering the country, this is not the

case for those arriving by boat. Consequently, it is nearly impossible for seafarers to “share in the grace of the Eucharist, to share in the grace of the Word” Father Oubre said. Because of the Eagle Ford Shale, the number of seafarers entering the Port of Corpus Christi is skyrocketing. Many of these seafarers come from predominantly Catholic countries. Still, the Apostleship of the Sea, which is a membership organization, works closely with other denominations to provide for the spiritual needs of all seafarers.

Father Ibay, who visits the ships every Thursday and sometimes on the weekend, said his team of volunteers includes several Baptists. They also work closely with the Corpus Christi International Seamen Center, which is a “home away from home” for many seafarers visiting the Port of Corpus Christi. “It is the task of the maritime apostolate of the Corpus Christi International Seamen Center to offer pastoral care to seafarers who come to Corpus Christi Port,” Father Ibay said. During their visits to the ships docked at the port, volunteers take religious reading material and offer “spiritual and practical help to seafarers, their families and all who work and travel on the waterways,” Father Ibay said. Father Oubre said the Apostleship of the Sea is a membership organization akin to the Knights of Columbus. While the bishop appoints the chaplain, in this case Father Ibay, the volunteers are members of the organization and answer to the Apostleship of the Sea. Anyone interested in joining should contact Father Ibay at Holy Cross Parish. Among the issues discussed at the

national meeting was lending support to legislation currently in Congress to provide funding for maritime job training in high schools. Father Oubre said the merchant marine field is experiencing an “exploding” job market, but there is no program available in the schools to “train stevedores, diesel mechanics, radar operators and merchant marines.” “We are a maritime nation,” Father Oubre said, “jobs are expanding, ships are being built. We need to have people to do that work. It is good work; it is good wages.” Another issue discussed was reaching out to the fishing communities and to work with them to meet their spiritual needs. The group also received a report from Bishop J. Kevin Boland, Apostleship of the Sea Bishop Promoter, on a partnership with the Confraternity of Our Lady Star of the Sea to place an image of Our Lady Star of the Sea in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The project is becoming a reality and is currently under construction. But of immediate need are volunteers to go on ships to deliver Catholic literature, rosaries and also coordinate with the priest to celebrate

Father Sinclair Oubre, JCL, immediate past president of the Apostleship of the Sea-USA, delivered the homily during Mass in the Emmanuel Chapel at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

the sacraments, especially Eucharist on board of ships, Father Oubre said. The national ecumenical group of the Apostleship of the Sea is scheduled to have its annual meeting in Corpus Christi in October.

Pastors with the Apostleship of the Sea-USA participated in a Mass with the "worship community" of Corpus Christi at the Emmanuel Chapel in Corpus Christi Cathedral. In back row are cathedral rector Father Hanh Van Pham and to his left is Father Eulalio P. Ibay, STD, chaplain for the Apostleship of the Sea in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


The steeples of the Jesus Christ Our Peace Chapel rise above the administration building and gift store at the Pax Christi Liturgical Center. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


The Word and the Eucharist are the focus of the Pax Christi Liturgical Center By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


Mother Maria Elva Reyes, PCI Superior General of the Pax Christi Sisters gave thanks at the close of the Mass consecrating the Jesus Christ Our Peace Chapel. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

uoting from Psalm 124, Mother Maria Elva Reyes, PCI, Superior General of the Pax Christi Sisters, closed the consecration Mass at the new Jesus Christ Our Peace Chapel with the words “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad.” The celebrants burst into thunderous applause. The chapel, whose dome rises high above Calallen Street in the western outskirts of Corpus Christi, is the centerpiece of an impressive complex of buildings that make up the Pax Christi Liturgical Center. Behind the chapel are the administrative offices and gift shop, further down is the Regina Pacis dorms that can accommodate 158 retreat participants and to the rear is St. Joseph Hall with a fully equipped kitchen that can serve up to 300. Bishop Michael Mulvey blessed the Liturgical Center on Saturday, May 3, after the chapel’s consecration. The center was the vision of the aging Mother Maria Teresa Santoyo, PCI, founder of the Pax Christi order, and brought to completion by Mother Maria Elva and the rest of the Pax Christi sisters. Mother Teresa and her family were present to hear Bishop Mulvey acknowledge the “wonderful accomplishment.” Following longstanding tradition, the bishop opened the doors of the sanctuary and was followed in by several hundred anxious friends of the Pax Christi sisters. The bishop proceeded to bless, anoint and incense the structure and the altar. Bishop Mulvey shared a story with the congregation about a woman he met in Houston who

told him “what a beautiful cathedral” you have off Interstate 37 and US 77. He had to inform her that the cathedral was downtown and she was referring to the Pax Christi Chapel. On May 3, the chapel could have been confused for the cathedral in the inside as well, as the bishop celebrated Mass and the cathedral choir provided the Liturgical music. “This building will be set apart as a sacred space, consecrated to the Lord,” Bishop Mulvey said in his homily. “People will come here to pray, to lift up their prayers, their own heart, their own needs and the need of their loved ones to the Lord.” They will come, the bishop said, to get away from the busyness of their lives and to spend a few days or a few hours in reflection in the presence of God. “I pray as bishop of the diocese that here they will find Jesus Christ, because it is for him that this building is built,” he said. “I pray they meditate on the Word and allow the Lord to speak to them; allow his word to speak to them. It will change us if we allow it.” The sisters, said Bishop Mulvey, have plans that this place be a liturgical formation house where they can assist young people to make their first communion, to prepare them for confirmation, to JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  13  

help them understand the Mass in depth and to appreciate the beauty of the Eucharist. The Word and the Eucharist, those are the focus of the Pax Christi Liturgical Center, he said. These are words that ring like music to the ears of Sister Teresa Marie Diaz, PCI, administrator of the Liturgical Center, and Hilda Gonzalez, coordinator for retreats. The Liturgy and the Word will be celebrated daily—at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be available from 2:30-5:30 p.m. daily.

While Mass will be a daily occurrence, at this time none of the sacraments can be administered at the chapel because it is not a parish. That means that while a wedding reception may be held at St. Joseph’s Hall, the wedding Mass would have to take place at a parish church. Sacramentals, such as blessings of a quinceañera in a special Mass, will be possible. The main focus of the Liturgical Center is catechesis but the sisters still have to pay for the buildings and staff, and therefore will host events that are not fully catechetical, events sponsored by Protestant and secular groups, including retreats, workshops,


➊ Following longstanding tradition,

➍ The bishop blesses the chapel.

the bishop opens the doors of the new sanctuary.

➎ After Mass, friends and supporters

➋ Bishop Mulvey enters the sanctuary, followed in by several hundred anxious friends of the Pax Christi sisters. ➌ Pax Christi sisters listen to Bishop Mulvey's homily in which he praised the work done to bring about the Liturgical Center.

of the Pax Christi Sisters gathered for dinner at the spacious St. Joseph cafeteria, which sits 300.

of Catholic books and items, including First Communion, confirmation and baptismal wear. Photos by Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

➏ Room in the Regina Pacis dormitory that can accommodate 158 retreat participants.

➐ The gift shop carries an assortment JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  15  

conventions, business meetings, parties, banquets, dinners, etc. Indeed, they will also host fundraisers for the center itself to help defray costs. These events will be held only if they are not contrary to Catholic teaching and if they do not conflict with other retreats already scheduled. The gift shop offers a wide variety of items, such as crucifixes, rosaries, Catholic books, votive candles, medallions and confirmation, first communion and baptism items. The two-story dormitory has 78 rooms, including rooms especially equipped under requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also has a meeting room and a small chapel. The Liturgical Center has its first retreat tentatively scheduled for June 6. The Neocatechumenal Way—a parish-based faith formation program—will offer a retreat to parishioners of Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia. On June 20 the diocese will host the Diocesan Vocation Awareness Retreat, a weekend retreat of prayer, silent reflection, presentations, group discussion and sharing oneon-one encounters and guidance from priests and religious sisters and brothers, to help those interested

Sister Teresa Marie Diaz, PCI will serve as administrator of the Pax Christi Liturgical Center. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

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to learn more about priesthood and religious life. “Our objective is to help people grow in the sacraments,” Sister Teresa said. In this regard, Sister Guadalupe Maria Cervantes, PCI will develop catechetical programs. Sister Teresa invites anyone interested in holding an event at the Liturgical Center to give her or Gonzalez a call at (361) 241-2833. “We want people to come see it,” Gonzalez said. “We pray that in the future, those who come to our Pax Christi Liturgical Center may enrich their faith and deepen their relationship with God as they encounter the Lord in the silence of their hearts, adore the Blessed Sacrament and participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist,” Mother Maria Elva said.

To see more photos of this event

Studies point to possible pitfalls as church in the U. S. becomes more Hispanic


By Patricia Zapor


Catholic News Service

wo reports on Latinos and religion released the first week of May paint a picture of the U.S. Catholic Church at a potentially precarious point with its fastest-growing demographic. One risk: Hispanics will soon constitute a majority of the U.S. church, but the National Study of Catholic Parishes with Hispanic Ministry suggests outreach to that population has not kept up with the growth. Another risk highlighted by a Pew Research Center report on Latinos and religious practice is a 12 percent drop in just four years in the number of Latinos who describe themselves as Catholic. In 2010, 67 percent of U.S. Hispanics told Pew they were Catholic, while in 2013, 55 percent said they were Catholic. “We need to get our act together as a church,” said the parish studies’ principal author, Hosffman Ospino, Boston College assistant professor of theology and ministry. While he repeatedly described the shifting demographics as an exciting time, he said the church must stop thinking of different groups as “them.” “We need to come to terms with our diversity,” he said. “The Catholic Church needs to start thinking of whatever happens to Latinos not as a ‘Latino issue’ but as something that happens to all of us.” The study of 5,100 Latinos for Pew, interviewed in summer of 2013, found

about 24 percent consider themselves “former” Catholics. The largest declines came among foreign-born Latinos who are Catholic—down by 15 percent in four years—and people under 50, with declines of 14 and 15 percent for the age brackets 30-49 and 18-29, respectively. By comparison, Pew found net gains in the number of Latinos who describe themselves as Protestant, up by 8 percent, or “unaffiliated,” up by 10 percent. The reason cited most frequently for leaving the Catholic Church, especially among those who are not affiliated with a church, was that they “just drifted away.” The Catholic parishes study, conducted by Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, found that Hispanic ministry offerings are not keeping up with the rate at which Latinos are becoming the majority in the U.S. church. Hispanics account for 40 percent of all U.S. Catholics and 55 percent of Catholics under the age of 30. The Boston College report counted just under a quarter of U.S. parishes as providing some

sort of ministry to Hispanics, whether an organized program or Masses in Spanish. In an interview about the implications of the data, Ospino said that with Hispanics accounting for 55 percent of all U.S. Catholics under age 30, the time is past for treating Hispanics as a subgroup. “We need to shift the language,” he said. “In many parts of the country to speak about Hispanic Catholics is to speak about the majority of the church.” Given that, he called it shocking that only a quarter of parishes have some kind of ministry directed at the population. He referenced one archdiocese with 300,000 Latinos and just 40 parishes offering any kind of ministry to Hispanics. That raises the questions: “Is that enough? Are we ghettoizing people?” he asked. Ospino said he gets the sense that the assumption among parts of the largely white Catholic population is that Latinos will mimic previous generations of immigrants from Europe, who assimilated into the existing Catholic culture. But the majority of the U.S. Hispanic population is already several generations beyond “immigrant,” Ospino noted, and many come from families whose roots in what is now the United States predate the border with Mexico that was established in the 19th century. Instead of expecting assimilation, Catholics ought to be thinking of the shift to a majority Hispanic church as “an opportunity to be Catholic in new ways,” Ospino said, with no culture necessarily JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  17  

dominant over others. “It’s naive to think either part is going to assimilate into the other.” The alternatives available to people who do not readily find a home in a Catholic parish worries some, as was noted at an event hosted by Boston College to launch its study May 5. Conversation for a while centered around the observation that today there are many options for people who start out as Catholics but who might feel unwelcome in a Catholic parish and, as the Pew study suggests, go to another denomination or leave religion altogether. Data released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops shows about 15 percent of the 477 men being ordained priests in the U.S. this year are Hispanic, representing less than half the percentage of Hispanics in the church, although it shows a gradual increase in recent decades. Ospino said he was optimistic about the U.S. church remaining strong with its new majority of Hispanics. He said part of the gap in what ministry is available lies simply in the youth of the Hispanic population. “We’re not going to see a huge upsurge in the number of people in leadership for 20 years,” simply for reasons of age, he said, adding that now is the time to invest in resources to train the next generation of leaders. That means a sense of solidarity is necessary, said Ospino, particularly in terms of financial support for the developing population by the more-established parts of the church. “From the middle to the end of the 20th century, the U.S. Catholic Church thrived as a middle-class church,” he said. From a largely immigrant church in the previous century, its members came to have financial and political clout as strong as the predominant Protestant culture of previous centuries, Ospino


A woman prays during a Mass for the national encounter of the Cursillo movement at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. A Cursillo, Spanish for “little course,” is a three-day retreat focused on prayer, study and Christian action. Bob Roller, Catholic News Service

said. Now, the Hispanic population is still developing the widespread level of education that leads to financial and political power. It is coming, he said, but in the meantime there are two choices:

“Either the more established community extends a hand in solidarity and lifts up the Hispanic church ... or this gap keeps growing, with the wealthy, mostly white Catholic Church shrinking, in fact it might disappear.”

Appeals court stays Texas execution over claim of mental disability By Catholic News Service


federal appeals court in New Orleans stayed an execution scheduled for May 13 in Huntsville, two hours before the state of Texas was set to execute Robert James Campbell. The court said prosecutors in Campbell’s case did not take into account evidence that he had an intellectual disability. The U.S. Supreme Court has banned the execution of anyone with such a disability and has pegged an IQ of 70 or below as evidence of it. Campbell’s first IQ test as a child showed his IQ to be 68. When he first arrived on death row, it was 71. A test conducted in April at the request of his lawyers put Campbell’s IQ at 69. Campbell’s attorneys contended Texas had concealed evidence of Campbell’s low IQ scores during his trial. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in its ruling, said: “It is regrettable that we are now reviewing evidence of intellectual disability at the eleventh hour before Campbell’s scheduled execution. However, from the record before us, it appears that we cannot fault Campbell or his attorneys, present or past, for the delay.” The Austin-based Texas Catholic Conference, public policy arm for the state’s bishops, had written

in February to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, asking him to grant a stay of execution. “Mr. Campbell’s execution wrongly suggests that society can overcome violence with violence. At a time when the sanctity of life is threatened in many ways, punishment by death is not a solution but instead effectively undermines our society’s respect for life,” said a Feb. 20 letter to Perry from Jeffery R. Patterson, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference. “Our society has the means of effectively rendering criminals harmless in order to provide them with an opportunity for reform, yet the death penalty denies them this opportunity,” Patterson said. “The Catholic Church opposes the use of the death penalty as a means of punishment or a deterrent to crime because there are alternative means to protect society available.” Campbell, now 41, was convicted of the 1991 abduction, rape and

Robert James Campbell has been on death row in Huntsville, Texas, since he was convicted of capital murder in 1991. A federal appeals court issued a stay May 13, saying prosecutors had ignored evidence he is mentally incompetent to be put to death. Texas Department of Criminal Justice

murder of Alexandra Rendon. A state court had in early May rejected a stay of execution based on his lawyers’ disability claim. According to Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Campbell “was talking with the chaplains who were there at the front of the cell” when he got word of the stay. “He was smiling. He says, ‘I’m happy. The Lord prevailed.’” JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  19  

De izquierda a derecha, Mary Garza, Silvia Jiménez, Maria Carranza, Olivia Cruz y Rosa Silva sirven platos de comida a los dolientes después de un entierro. Este servicio facilitada y preparado por los feligreses es una muestra de apoyo a los dolientes. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús en Mathis ayuda al prójimo como Jesús enseñó con su ejemplo Por Luisa Scolari



a Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús en Mathis, Texas, esta enclavada en una comunidad humilde pero con mucho corazón y deseo de ayudar al prójimo como Jesús mismo nos lo enseñó con su ejemplo. En el juicio final de Mateo, Jesús dijo, “Vengan, benditos de mi Padre, y reciban en herencia el Reino que les fue preparado desde el comienzo del mundo, porque


tuve hambre, y ustedes me dieron de comer; tuve sed, y me dieron de beber; estaba de paso, y me alojaron; desnudo, y me vistieron; enfermo, y me visitaron; preso, y

me vinieron a ver…Les aseguro que cada vez que lo hicieron con el más pequeño de mis hermanos, lo hicieron conmigo” (Mt 25:3436, 40).

VIDA CATÓLICA El Papa Benedicto XVI, en su primer encíclica, "Deus Caritas Est, Sobre El Amor Cristiano," nos habla del amor de Dios hacia los hombres y de el amor que debe de haber entre los hombres. Hay que ver al mismo Jesús en cada persona, y así podremos ver sus sufrimientos y necesidades y así compartir el pan de cada día que Dios nos da. Siguiendo estos mandatos de la obra de misericordia de Dios, la Padre Christopher Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón de Becerra bendice la Jesús tiene varios grupos y ministecomida que la parroquia rios destinados a ayudar al prójimo, sirve a los dolientes después de un funeral y el sin importar su raza o religión. El banco de comida parroquial— entierro. Mary Cottingham, apoyado por Caridades Católicas South Texas Catholic y por el Banco de Comida de Corpus Christi—todos los miércoles ofrece 120 despensas a familias

necesitadas. Los jueves, ofrecen asistencia de emergencia con el apoyo de Caridades Católicas a personas que necesitan cubrir los pagos de servicios públicos. “Hemos tenido una larga historia de colaboración con Sagrado Corazón en Mathis para proporcionar ayuda financiera a las personas en la comunidad, que visitan la oficina de servicios de emergencia en la parroquia. Así evitamos la falta de vivienda,” dijo Linda McKamie, Director de Caridades Católicas. Con fondos donados por un párroco anterior, el Monseñor Rory Dean, la parroquia ayuda a quienes necesitan ropa para la escuela. También ayudan con hospedaje a quienes hayan sufrido un incendio en casa o para familias migrantes.

Silvia Jiménez muestra uno de una docena de jarras de tomates preservada con los excedente de tomates recibidos del Banco de Comida en Corpus Christi. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

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

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La parroquia también atiende a los trabajadores migrantes con ayuda y dirección y con alojamiento temporal mientras encuentran algo permanente. Otro ministerio que tiene la parroquia es preparar y servir comida en los funerales—hasta para 50 personas—sin costo alguno para los deudos, que se encuentran lidiando con el dolor de su pérdida. Es una muestra de apoyo de parte de la comunidad a los dolientes. Sin importar el día, el grupo empieza muy temprano a elaborar los platillos y siempre con una actitud muy positiva y llenos de la alegría que da el de servir al prójimo. La cantidad de funerales que atienden varia de uno a cinco por semana. Durante las misas dominicales, los monaguillos se encargan de recolectar a la entrada de la iglesia dependiendo de la época, chamarras y cobijas, comida enlatada o útiles escolares que después entregan a “Communities in School,” escuelas y diferentes organizaciones que se encargan de distribuirlos a los niños necesitados. El Padre Raju D. Thottankara, pastor, junto con el Padre Christopher Becerra, vicario parroquial, dirigen la Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. El Padre Becerra nos comenta que, “Mathis es una comunidad que me conmueve mucho cuando veo como la gente responde a

ayudar, a pesar de su situación. Ayudamos a todos los necesitados aunque no sean Católicos, como Cristo lo quería.” “Para el día de acción de gracias regalamos muchos pavos, unos sin cocinar y otros cocinados, otros se preparan para los que quieran venir a comer. Si por alguna razón alguien no puede asistir, la comida se le envía a su casa,” Padre Becerra dijo. En el mes de diciembre se hace la novena de las posadas de Navidad. Cargando a los Santos Peregrinos, los fieles ruegan el rosario mientras caminan de casa en casa pidiendo posada. En la última casa se hace un rezo especial y se dejan los peregrinos para recogerlos el siguiente día. El peregrinar de pedir posada se sigue hasta el 23 de Diciembre. La última posada se pide en la parroquia. En Navidad se celebra la misa de gallo a media noche. La Parroquia cuenta con misas en español, inglés y bilingüe. El Diácono Antonio Lara dirige los grupos de oración, que hacen discursos y cantos de alabanza, ya que el es director de el coro de la misa bilingüe. A la gente le gusta mucho la música en español, Padre Becerra dijo. También ofrecen rosarios y ayuda en español. “Para poder hacer todas estas obras de misericordia recibimos mucha ayuda de los vecinos, Católicos o no Católicos, que nos ayudan a ayudar. La gente que en

alguna ocasión ha sido ayudada, devuelve el favor, algunas veces con dinero y algunas veces con ayuda. Como sacerdote me llena de gozo el ver que aunque ellos no tengan todo lo que quieren, tienen ese gran deseo de ayudar a otros,” el padre dijo. El Padre Becerra dijo que la gente dice que están contentos, y cada vez hay más gente en misa los Domingos. Dicen que hay una nueva vida en la parroquia y que es mucho mejor que haya dos padres en vez de uno porque los hace más accesibles a los feligreses, quienes en ocasiones piden que los padres les bendigan su casa o su carro nuevo. “Doy gracias a Dios por haberme puesto aquí, el servicio comunitario tan lleno de amor y con toda la comunidad involucrada. Me da gusto que en el nivel parroquial hay una unidad basada en el amor de Cristo, la iglesia nos une, somos uno en Cristo. Doy gracias a Dios de estar en una parroquia en donde todos con nuestras diferencias, somos iguales,” el Padre Becerra dijo. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos

en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio

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Después de un funeral, voluntarios sirven bebidas a dolientes en una recepción en el salón parroquial de la iglesia Sagrado Corazón en Mathis. Los voluntarios son, de izquierda, Pepe Gonzales, Javier Paiz y Joe Muñoz. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic


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

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Discipleship is ground zero By Father Joseph Lopez, JCL



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

hy does a man become a priest? Because he saw a clever poster that says, “Consider a White Collar Job”? Because someone gave him a brochure about priesthood? In God’s economy of grace, these things can help, but there is something deeper going on in the hearts of would-be seminarians. A document about fostering priestly vocations released by the Vatican in 2012 titled “Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry” noted that “despite the organized and creative” promotion of priestly vocations, “the results obtained do not correspond to the efforts made.” A well-reasoned article by Father Damien Ferrence expanded on this theme. Provocatively titled “Why Vocation Programs Don’t Work,” the piece challenges Catholics to re-think their approach to reaching young men about the priesthood. His logic is as follows: Millions of dollars have been spent by vocation offices with only mildly positive results…The root of our current vocation problem is a lack of discipleship, and therefore the remedy is to make more disciples…The best way to make disciples is personal witness, such as, the example of good spouses and good priests…Thus we need to re-evaluate every parish and


diocesan program on the basis of what they do to create disciples. The main point should be obvious—by and large, men only consider the priesthood after they establish an authentic relationship with Our Lord. Bishops, vocation directors and seminary rectors who read the autobiographies of seminarians corroborate this thesis repeatedly. Before seminary, these men had a conversion on a retreat; they fell in love with service on a mission trip; they had a profound encounter with Jesus during Mass one Sunday, etc. Just as the first men who followed Jesus were attracted to him by sincere faith, so will be each generation of men who are called to follow him in the priesthood. But the title of Father Ferrence’s article should not deflate the morale of those who do, in fact, help with programs to promote vocations. Rather, it should refocus our energies in the right direction. Let us say, for example, that we

help run a vocation essay contest for middle-school students. Topics in the past included, “What are your favorite things about Father Smith?” and “Why is a priest’s job so important?” To be sure, these are good topics that can get students thinking. But we should keep in mind the primacy of discipleship. Perhaps consider tweaking this year’s contest with a topic like, “Write a fictional story about a young man who encounters Jesus and decides to go to seminary.” Yes, a simple vocation essay contest helps. Yes, we need vocation posters and prayer cards. Yes, we need to encourage prayer for vocations. In all these efforts, though, let us remember Jesus’ command, “Go and make disciples.”



Self-test for discerning and discovering God’s Call

By Father Joseph Lopez, JCL



he unexamined life is not worth living,” Socrates famously said. He really meant it, too, as he also said that a person must “interrogate his own nature” and “work precisely” or else he will “miss what is good and become involved in what is bad.” Every Christian man and woman consistently should be asking themselves, “What kind of person am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses?” That sounds like a pretty serious exercise, and it is, but it can also be very satisfying. The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote about the thrill of discovering “the dearest freshness deep down things.” Discerning our vocation, at base level, is discovering the deepest truth about ourselves. It is the journey of self-knowledge par excellence. It is glimpsing the built-in purpose given to us by the Creator

of the universe, eons before we existed. If we authentically think about this, it could be both daunting and thrilling at the same time. Self-knowledge is a life-long work, and it involves many different aspects of our emotional, spiritual and psychological make-up. We could spend a lot of time in prayer, for instance, just evaluating our own virtue of patience, or lack thereof. But the purpose here is to examine our vocation—our mission in life—and whether or not one could be called to the priesthood or consecrated life. Of course, to determine that,

❝ Discerning our vocation, at base level, is discovering the deepest truth about ourselves. It is the journey of self-knowledge par excellence. ❞

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Self-evaluation Exercise Answer questions “Yes” or “No”. Do not be too lenient or too hard on yourself. Just be completely honest. 1. ______ I love Jesus Christ and I have a thirst to bring Jesus and his teachings to the world. 2. ______ I am endeavoring to be a believing, practicing Catholic Christian. 3. ______ I am trying to live a life of prayer and I desire a life of prayer. 4. ______ I am trying to serve others and I desire a life of service to others. 5. ______ I feel a desire to be a priest/sister, though it is sometimes stronger than at other times. 6. ______ I have had others tell me that I should be a priest/sister or that I would make a good priest/sister. 7. ______ Prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture leads me to believe I might be called to be a priest/sister. 8. ______ I am endeavoring to live virtuously. 9. ______ I like to be around people and I have sufficient social skills to engage others. 10. ______ I have enough intelligence to complete graduate-level coursework and function as a priest/sister. 11. ______ I think that I have the physical, emotional and psychological stability to become a priest. 12. ______ I am joyful and I have a good sense of humor. 13. ______ I think that I have a “pure heart”. 14. ______ I believe that I have the self-mastery to be a good priest/sister. 15. ______ Generally speaking, I have demonstrated stability in life. 16. ______ People who know me would say I am Christian gentleman/woman. 17. ______ I have had events happen in my life that seem to be signs pointing towards priesthood/consecrated life. 18. ______ I am usually able to accept both success and failure without losing my peace. 19. ______ I believe that I have a healthy balance of life. 20. ______ I am trying to be truly open to the will of God for my life.


one would need to gather good information, talk to a priest or sister that one trusts, and be committed to a life of prayer. The self-evaluation exercise included to the left may help. For each item, consider how it applies to you. The perfect person would say “YES!” resoundingly to each of these items. However, none of us is perfect. This is not a list which should make one feel badly about oneself; rather, it should help us to know our strengths and weaknesses so that we can have a better idea what we may need to work on more if we think God may be calling us to serve him as a priest or sister. Reflecting on each of these points will take us a long way down the road of self-discovery. Finding the areas that need strengthening—then actually taking steps to improve—will make you a much better Catholic, even if you are not called to become a priest or sister. Keep in mind, however, that this list is by no means a sure way to discern one’s vocation–it is simply a tool, which can be very helpful to give perspective to discernment. If you would like, call me at (361) 882-6191 or email me, at, after this exercise. I will be happy to give you feedback. May God bless you as you discern and discover your vocation. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life.

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Sister Mary Lelia After retiring as educator, she still enjoys participating with IWA students By Sister Mary Juliane Kuntscher, IWBS Contributor


ister Mary Lelia Aguilar, IWBS will celebrate 60 years in consecrated life on July 31. She and several other novices made their first profession of vows July 31, 1954, and she professed perpetual vows on Aug. 17, 1958. Baptized Dorina Aguilar, Sister Mary Lelia was born in Port Isabel, Texas, to Hilario and Herlinda Pena Aguilar. As a youngster she attended Washington Park and Immaculate Conception elementary schools. She received her high school education from Villa Maria High School, the first high school of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Brownsville. On Sept. 2, 1952, the same year that she graduated from Villa Maria, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in Corpus Christi accepted her as a candidate. She began her novitiate June 3, 1953. Sister Mary Lelia received her bachelor’s degree with a Spanish

major from St. Edward’s University in Austin. She earned a master’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, with a specialization in administration and supervision. Sister Mary Lelia’s years of ministry include teaching and school administration in parochial and private schools in the Archdiocese of San Antonio and the dioceses of Corpus Christi and Brownsville, including assignments at Sacred Heart, Corpus Christi Cathedral, Incarnate Word Junior High, Christ the King and St. Pius X Schools in Corpus Christi, Our Lady of Victory School in Beeville and St. Luke School in San Antonio. She ser ved as principal in

several Catholic schools where her congregation ministered, including Incarnate Word Elementary School in Corpus Christi, Blessed Sacrament School in Laredo, Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Incarnate Word Academy and Villa Maria High School in Brownsville. For several years, Sister Mary Lelia served as director of the annual “A Little Bit of Mexico” program and of the Villa Maria Alumni Association in Brownsville. She also served many years as director of Villa Maria Language Institute in Brownsville. The Institute will honor her on Aug. 1, at the anniversary celebration of the language summer program, which she initiated. JUNE 2014  SOUTH TEXAS TEXAS CATHOLIC CATHOLIC     27     JUNE 2014  ||   SOUTH

Sister Colette

Willing to share talents generously wherever needed By Sister Mary Juliane Kuntscher, IWBS



ister Colette Brehony, IWBS comes from a family of women that embraced religious life. Three sisters—Sisters Catherine, Rita and Maria Elizabeth, two aunts and three cousins were members of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. “I was blessed with the faith, love, example and support of my family,” Sister Colette said. “I treasure the memories of the happy times, the joys and the sorrows we all shared.” She was born Agnes Josephine, the seventh child of John and Catherine Anne McDonagh Brehony, of Riverstown, County Sligo, Ireland. She received her early education at National Elementary School and

Mercy Secondary School in Sligo and joined her sisters, aunts and cousins in Corpus Christi in 1952 to pursue her dream as a religious sister. Sister Colette was accepted as a candidate of IWBS on Sept. 2, 1952 and began her novitiate on June 3, 1953. She took her first vows on July 31, 1954 and made her perpetual vows on Aug. 17, 1958. Sister Colette received her bachelor’s

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degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, majoring in history and social studies. She completed graduate work at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she earned a master’s degree in education, with a concentration in administration. Sister Colette continued educational pursuits, enrolling in courses from the Pastoral Institute at St. Thomas University in Houston, St. Mary’s University and

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Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio and Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her ministry experience in the Catholic school system includes work in Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Laredo and Goliad. Her assignments led her to a number of schools, including Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville and St. Patrick, Sacred Heart, Cathedral School, Central Catholic, Christ the King and Incarnate Word Junior High in Corpus Christi. Sister Colette held the position of principal at Blessed Sacrament School in Laredo, as well as schools in Corpus Christi, including Cathedral and Sacred Heart–and Central Catholic after these two schools merged, Christ the King and Incarnate Word Junior High School. During her tenure at Christ the King School she was a member of the Finance and Parish Councils. In Laredo Sister Colette served on the school board of Blessed Sacrament School and in Corpus Christi she served as a board member of Incarnate Word Academy for many years. She was Director of Religious Education at St. Gertrude Parish in Kingsville for 12 years, and was also

❝ It has been a great privilege to be a member of a religious community dedicated to Jesus, the Incarnate Word.❞ – Sister Colette Brehony, IWBS commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister in the parish. She was also active in various state and national education groups, such as, the Texas Catholic Conference, National Catholic Educational Association, Pax Christi and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Membership in commissions and committees of the Congregation,

including those of education, ministry, justice and peace and on-going formation, exemplify Sister Colette’s willingness to share her talents generously wherever she is needed. She has served as a delegate to the General Chapter of the Congregation and served on the planning committee for the chapter at various times. She was elected to the Leadership Team of the Congregation in 1992 and again in 1996, serving two four-year terms. During that time she was an active member of the Regional Leadership Conference of Women Religious. After her service at St. Gertrude Parish in Kingsville, Sister Colette retired from the DRE position and moved to Corpus Christi where she was appointed sister-in-charge at Incarnate Word Motherhouse. “It has been a great privilege to be a member of a religious community dedicated to Jesus, the Incarnate Word,” Sister Colette said. “My life is doubly blessed with my community sharing and the loving support I received in my work in parishes and schools. I always enjoyed my ministry, in whatever I was doing or wherever I was sent. It has been a great journey.”

St. Theresa Catholic Church


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acred Heart Church in Rockport is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year with renovations that have transformed the church and inspired its parishioners to take a look back at its colorful history with reverence. The history of Catholics arriving in the Rockport area can be traced back to at least 1838, according to historians at Sacred Heart. That is when two Vincentian priests from Missouri made the trek to Texas to investigate the possibility of starting a church in the area. Decades passed as various priests, missionaries and bishops traveled throughout the coastal areas of south Texas looking to start a new church. It is believed the first Mass



Parishioners at Sacred Heart in Rockport celebrate Mass in their newly renovated sanctuary. Father Raynaldo Yrlas, Jr., pastor, incenses the altar. Contributed photo

Workers rebuilt the Altar at Sacred Heart in Rockport. The ornate marble altar partially comes from a repurposed communion rail from San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio. Contributed photo

in Rockport was celebrated in a house on Austin Street, owned by Judge John Hynes, sometime between 1868 and 1870. With the help of local settlers and immigrants who wanted a permanent place to worship, construction on Rockport’s first Catholic church, Sacred Heart, was completed in 1889. Just a few months later, the wooden church was destroyed in a severe windstorm. The church was rebuilt in 1891. The current structure was built in 1954. The last major renovation occurred in 1988. Father Raynaldo Yrlas, Jr., pastor at Sacred Heart, said reflecting on the church’s past 125 years will give parishioners a unique perspective into the hardships endured by those who founded the church more than a century ago. “Taking a look at our history will give us a chance to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are currently and where we are going in the future,” Father Yrlas, who has been at Sacred Heart for three years, said. Instead of opting for parties, luncheons or BBQ’s commemorating 125 years, Father Yrlas


said a better way to celebrate would be an extensive renovation of the church. “A beautiful church always lifts the soul. It takes your spirituality to a different level. Also, we began to receive comments from parishioners that a renovation to the church was badly needed,” he said. Fred Gibbs, a parishioner at Sacred Heart since 2006, said the renovations are being undertaken in three phases. Gibbs, along with Tom DeGrazia, B. J. Kittle, Ed and Barbara Morikawa, Gary Mysorski and Mary Alice Pena, serve on the Gateway Into Worship oversight committee. “The first phase was to perform emergency repairs to fix water leaks whenever it rained,” Gibbs said. “We wanted to make sure any renovations we started inside wouldn’t be ruined by a leaky roof.” Gibbs said second phase renovations began the day after Easter 2013 and continued for six months. The church was closed during the renovations. The Activity Center, which also serves as the school gym, was refurbished and a sanctuary, altar and a sound system were added to make it

functional for Mass. “We started after Easter and wanted to be done by Christmas. The entire inside of the church was redone. All statues were restored, the sanctuary redone, new lighting, new pews…it was a total overhaul of the inside,” he said. Also rebuilt during this phase was an ornate marble altar, which partially comes from a repurposed communion rail from San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio. The third phase of the renovations is currently underway with engineering design and includes the addition of a narthex—entrance area—to the church. “This will provide 2,000 square feet of additional space, an inside gathering space, ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant restrooms, a choir room, a baptismal font, overflow seating for 75 and a shrine area for the Sacred Heart statue,” Gibbs said. The campaign for this part of the renovations is called “Gateway Into Worship” because the new narthex will be a new entrance into the church, a new “Gateway Into Worship,” he said. Father Yrlas said he has noticed an upswing

in attendance and attributes it, in part, to the renovations. “We have a largely transient population of parishioners year-round that include Winter Texans and summer vacationers, which also helps our attendance,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase of people coming in from other faiths, too.” Gibbs explained the renovations were a perfect time to investigate the history of the church and the early settlers to the Rockport area. He found a dedication booklet from 1954, which chronicled some historical facts from the 1800s. The research blossomed from there. “With the help of long-term parishioners, we added both earlier and later history of the church in this area, so now we have a history from the earliest explorers to today. I believe our rich history helps people see the sacrifices others have made over the years and helps our stewardship and campaign efforts,” Gibbs said.

Original Sacred Heart Church superimposed on architect's rendering of the ultimate look of the church when it is completely renovated. Contributed photo

(For an overview of the history of Sacred Heart Parish in Rockport, including information on early settlers to the area, visit the church’s Web site: JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  33  

The Class of 2014







n Thursday, May 29 and Friday, May 30, 64 seniors from St. John Paul II High School followed by 71 seniors from Incarnate Word Academy completed their high school journey at the altar of the Corpus Christi Cathedral.



✠ x




pu i, s Christ


Kiara Ilyse Aguilar

Juan Margil Alvarez

Jonathan Matthew Andrade

Nayelli Jacquelyn Arriaga

Celeste Natalie Ivana Rebecca Ballien Barrera (Valedictorian)

Robert Nathaniel Brock

Sara Elizabeth Chupe

Elizabeth Arenee Coronado

Manuel Alexander Cuellar

Josephine Marie Delgado

Gabrielle Rebecca Donna

Desiree Valencia Escobedo

Alex Mercedes Flores

Daniel Andres Flores

Madeline Annette Flores

Claudia Adelina Franco

Cameron Anthony Galvan

Gabriella Gamez

Rebecka Lynn Gonzales

Steven Ray Gonzales

Gabrielle Naomi Gonzalez

Jacob Alexander Gonzalez

Luis Alfredo Gonzalez

Justin Andrae Hall

Isabel Marie Hendricks

Justin Michael Hernandez

Kenya Mone Johnson

Michael Rey Lira

Esteban Raul Lopez


CATHOLIC EDUCATION Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass for both schools. The featured speakers at the St. John Paul II commencement ceremony were class Salutatorian Patrick Sheridan and Valedictorian Celeste Ballien. On the following day, at the

IWA commencement ceremony featured speakers were class Salutatorian Jacob Bartlett and Valedictorian James Matl. As part of the graduation ceremony, IWA and St. JPII candidates presented roses to their parents in appreciation for their support throughout their academic years.

Manuel Lopez, IV

Kristopher Todd Lowry

Ruperto Aaron Lujan

Breanna Wilma Martinez

Edye Elaine Martinez

Jonathon David Martinez

Charles Edward Miles, Jr.

Megan Nabila Mitchell

Brianna Celeste Mora

Ceila Esperanza Moreland

Nyssa Alexandra Nadin Saenz

Nicholas Reuben Nye

Nayeli Alejandra Perez

Stephen Ryan Rivas

Mary Justine Rodriguez

Stephanie Renee Salazar

Hilari Sanchez

Miranda Elisa Sanchez

Patrick Joseph Avien Sheridan Jessica (Salutatorian) Siegfried

Brianna Jane Smoot

Maribel Solis

Christian Jesus Soliz

Jo Marie Stone

Yu Su

Meaghan Victoria Tipton

Kourtlin Vahn Williams

Eric Joseph Willingham

Carlos Alberto Sosa

Alyssa Renee Meehan

Chastity Rae Pena

Johnathan Andrew Merino

Andrew James Perez

Darien Michael Trevino

Congratulations JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  35  


1 8 7 1

Megan Nicole Acuña

Aaron Joseph Chloé Fredericka Jacob Steven Daniel Bajaunaid de Bartlett Alexander Rochè (Salutatorian)

Dakota Rayce Beal

Samuel John Beattie

Bradley Frank Becker

Bertram David Beecroft

Elliott Brendon Bottom

Evan Paul Buhidar

Caitlin Marie Butler

Moiz Imran Butt

Jaran Austin Cadena

Jared Severo Camacho

Kimberly Ann Crockett

Austin Shaff DeGaish

Michael Paul Alexander DeLeon

Genevieve Marie Devlin

Sarah Elizondo

Cassidy Rae Faught

Megan Rose Flanigan

Gabrielle Kaylee Garcia

Alexandra Marie Gauntt

Theresa Marie Gayle

Kyle Joseph Guerra

Stevens Arthur Herbst

Oscar Daniel Hinojosa

Rylee Claire Hopkins

Annikà Antonia Naomi Johnson

Marivel Anissa Jurica

David Ryan Kring

Sarita Elena Kroeger

Erin Blair Kuffel

Samuel James Bassett Lathrop

José Andrés León

Miguel Ramon León León

Kristian Faith Lopez


Theresa Marie Lopez

Briana Victoria Martinez

Liana Faye Martinez

James Katherine Edward Matl Jane (Valedictorian) McClung

Charles Justice McCrann

Charles Edward Mendoza, Jr.

Bobby Raymon Moore, III

Illeana Vivaree Moore

Vincent Franco Morin, III

Loc Nguyen

Phillip Ochoa

Lucero Irene Perez

Margaret O’Brien Pesek

Courtney Dawn Ramirez

Anna Marie Rodriguez

Alexander James Saldaña

Mark Emile Genuino Salloum

Michael Thomas Selph, Jr.

Abbey Reneé Shockley

Tobias John Shull

Michael Aaron Spillar

Cyndle Swaim

Mackenzie Leigh Thering

Gabriella M. Trejo

Lucas Aaron Treviño

Michael Adam Treviño

Ryan Eric Treviño

Megan Marie Allen Turner

Meri-Ashton Johneé VanWinkle

John William Wallace, Jr.

Allison Lee Woodall

Ashley Marie Zawicky

Congratulations JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  37  

Belinda Garcia, Montessori instructor at Sacred Heart School in Rockport, works with James Birdwell, 4, on creating new words with the help of phonetics. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic


Gracie Cantu’s Primary Montessori students, comprised of 4 and 5-yearolds, say a short prayer before heading to lunch at Sacred Heart School. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Affordability and service are central to education at Sacred Heart in Rockport By Rebecca Esparza



chool children travel from throughout the area to attend Sacred Heart Elementary in Rockport, which has a long history of providing a quality Catholic education. Although the school, which first opened in 1921, has been closed several times over the years, it has remained an important part of Aransas County and the surrounding area since 1981. JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  39  

First graders in Jim Pozzani’s tumbling class at Sacred Heart School enjoy this weekly physical activity inside the school’s cafeteria. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

“Today, some of our children come in from as far away as Portland, Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Port Aransas,” Kathy Barnes, principal at Sacred Heart, said. “We are the only Catholic school serving this entire Rockport area community.” Barnes, who has been at Sacred Heart for 22 years—eight years as a teacher and 14 years as principal—noted the close-knit community has been a crucial factor in keeping the school thriving and successful for the past three decades. “Our volunteers and supporters are vital to the success of our school, as we are blessed to have all kinds of support,” she said. “Our students learn through Scriptures that Jesus gave his life for us, and they see adults every day, starting with our pastor, Father Ray Yrlas, and our staff, who give of themselves and provide great examples of what it means to serve.” The school is comprised of 172 students from first through fifth grades. The Montessori Program has several classes of three, four and five year-olds. “We believe that our faith traditions, our love of God and each other, the academic


and cultural programs we offer, and our desire to serve and be served are all vital to the overall success of each student as these things address the needs of the whole child,” she said. Barnes added that the support of the local community has been integral to their success and longevity over the last three decades. Thanks to funding from foundations, individuals and local businesses and groups, those who cannot afford tuition at the school receive assistance. An endowment left by a former teacher who recently passed away provided much-needed funds for a brand new school bus. “We believe the examples our supporters provide and the products of their service are essential. For example, our dedicated Gregory Personnel volunteer several days a week to provide support for the local resale shop, Castaways. And our Guardian Angel Program is made up of loyal donors who assist families who cannot afford the cost of tuition,” she said. Barnes said she ensures the children are keenly aware of the gift of community service and are constantly giving back to the

community for the many gifts they receive. “This is a great lesson for our students. They learn early that ‘to serve’ is an important part of God’s plan,” Barnes said. “Through teacher-directed lessons and activities, visits from missionaries and needs of individuals, our students serve not only our school, parish and local community, but they also make a difference in the lives of those in need across our nation and the global community through Kids2Kids Mission Outreach and Heifer International’s Read to Feed Program.” Belinda Garcia, a teacher in the school’s Montessori Program for the past 17 years, said her favorite part of the day with her young students is the morning. “I love to see all of the students coming together and interacting as a family. We start the day with religion class learning the Golden Rule and respect for one another just as Jesus taught us. The older students love to help guide the younger ones and become an important role model in their lives,” she said. Garcia also had some gentle words of advice for parents of her students, as they start their academic pursuits. “Take the time everyday to listen to your child when they want to read or express thoughts or feelings to you,” she said. “Parents will never get that moment back, so it’s important to take the time to listen and interact. Spending quality time with one’s child is always a big positive in both your lives.” A family’s lack of finances should never be a barrier for children to receive a quality Catholic education, Barnes noted. “God has been good to us,” she said with a smile. “Our tuition is lower than most Catholic schools. However, if a parent expresses to me that they want to enroll their child in our school but can’t afford the cost, I ask them to pray about what they can afford and apply for tuition assistance.”

Calendar of Events:

June 7: Day of Reflection and Prayer from 8 am- 2:30 pm at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) for all Knights of Columbus and their wives. Day begins with Mass at Adoration Chapel. Light breakfast and lunch provided.

June 12-15: Men’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises Retreat June 27-29: Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Please contact Nelda and Rolando Garza at

Come visit us in Our Lady’s Bookstore

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merchandise in our bookstore (some exclusions apply) Coupon expires June 30, 2014

Our Lady of Corpus Christi 1200 Lantana • Corpus Christi

(361) 289-9095 Bookstore: Ext. 309 Retreats: Ext. 321

Store Hours Mon-Sat 11-6pm Closed SUN

Weekend in July SOLT Family Life Conference More details coming soon July 31-Aug 3: Hechos de Los Apostoles 2:42 Retreat at OLCC in Spanish for Catholic and non-Catholic men over the age of 18 throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Email gdealcala@ for more information.

For more information about the Spiritual Exercises Retreats, please visit or Email: “Come and See” Jesus in our beautiful Perpetual Adoration Chapel! Ongoing Events: Every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m.: Miraculous Medal Novena Holy Hour Every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Church History with Deacon B. Vessa Every 1st Friday of the month at 7 p.m.: Charismatic Renewal Mass Every 1st Sunday of the month at 4 p.m.: St. Peregrine Healing Mass

Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School Honors Mary Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School recently held a May Crowning ceremony which included students dressed in Marian costumes. Kneeling, from left to right, is Evelyn Karabanoff dressed as Our Lady of Lourdes, Monica del Real Trevino dressed as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Victoria Fuentes dressed as Our Lady of Fatima. Pictured in the second row, from left to right, is Isabel Estrada dressed as Immaculate Heart of Mary and Melyna Moreno dressed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Bishop Garriga is a diocesan, Catholic school located at 3114 Saratoga Blvd. in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ms. Judith Priest serves as principal and Mr. Michael Derocher as Vice-Principal. For more information visit their website at: or call (361) 851-0853.


Students from St. John Paul II High School and some of the chaperones visit the Vatican museum. The Vatican gardens and the basillica of St. Peter’s dome is in the background. The students were part of a pilgrimage to Rome during the canonization of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II. Pictured in the first row, from left, are Father Patrick Higgins and Ted Garcia. In the second row, from left, are Olivia Hinojosa, Christina Hinojosa, Ileana Villarreal, Jane Elia Longoria, Cameron Galvan, Maria Lloyd and Iliana Beltran. In the third row, from left, are Tony Gonzalez, Father Peter Martinez, Perry LeGrange, Benjamin, Nye, Michael Lira, Alexander Fletcher, Matthew Sanchez and Stephenie Broll. Contributed Photo, St. John Paul II High School


St. John Paul II High School students make pilgrimage to canonization of patron saint By Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

t took a very long trip, and an even longer wait outside and inside St. Peter’s Square, but it was all worth it for the nine students from St. John Paul II High School who were part of history—the canonization of two saints including their school’s patron.


“It was crazy. When we started waiting in line, we thought, if we could just get in the square it will be calmer, because it’s holy ground, but it was worse, so we got out of there,” junior Olivia Ann Hinojosa said. Father Peter Martinez calmed them with prayer and “we were able to see the beauty of the moment,” she said. With Hinojosa and Father Martinez were Stephenie Broll, Christina Hinojosa, Ileana Villarreal and Iliana Beltran. Hours before the canonization of St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II started on April 27, the street leading to St. Peter’s Square “was packed with people trying to enter the square,” Hinojosa said. After waiting a number of hours to get into St. Peter’s Square, Hinojosa and her group, which included Father Martinez, spent five minutes inside before being pushed out by the crowds. Not everyone was pushed out of St. Peter’s Square, though. Theology teacher

Benjamin Nye and students Cameron Galvan, Michael Lira, Alex Fletcher and Matthew Sanchez waited in line for 10 hours just to get into the square. When they did get in at around 5:30 a.m. they had to wait another four and a half hours before Mass began. Once inside St. Peter’s Square, Nye said that he just curled up into a ball and went to sleep on the cobblestones. “I was done,” he said. The first five hours were well worth the wait, Nye said. A woman from Poland with a guitar climbed one of the olive trees lining the streets and played and sang for three hours. Voices could be heard in the distance, and throughout the crowd, singing familiar songs in their native languages. The students saw flags from all around the world draped on police barricades used to cordon off certain areas. Lira said he had always wanted to go to Rome. “The hardest part was keeping

yourself together,” he said. He had to remember they all had the same goal. “The flags and languages symbolized all of us coming together. Singing the songs in different languages…we would all kneel down and pray together, ‘John Paul II pray for us.’ To see the Catholic faith come alive in front of you showed me that our faith is universal,” Lira said. When the huge screen to the left of where Galvan was standing lit up with a picture of St. John Paul II, the crowd roared and he thought, “I go to a school named after that great man.” “Although my teacher and I had been standing for hours, the excitement and awe of St. Peter’s Basilica on the morning of April 27 astounded me. Seeing the canonization that morning, made me feel closer to the fact that I am now a part of history. I was there to witness an event for someone who is with God. It was amazing to see how two men who were

Some of the students from St. John Paul II High School tour the sites in Rome at night, including the Piazza del Popolo. The students are, from left, Iliana Beltran, Stephenie Broll, Olivia Hinojosa, Matthew Sanchez, Michael Lira, Cameron Galvan and Alexander Fletcher. Benjamin Nye, St. John Paul II High School


once sinners like us, now became saints who united thousands, if not millions in one city,” Galvan said. Before the canonization, the students toured Rome and Vatican City. Nye said they would go into various churches. Some of the churches were not all that interesting to look at on the outside, but were magnificent on the inside. “Every church was decorated—from the floors, to the walls to the ceilings and even the bathroom,” Nye said. “I was really moved by the art in the Vatican, the museums and the basilicas. The art expressed the faith in such a vibrant and alive way.” In the Basilica of St. John Lateran they saw 20-foot statues of the 12 apostles and how they were martyred. In the Cornaro Chapel in Santa Maria della Vittoria, they saw the Ecstasy of St. Teresa. In the church of St. Andrew, they saw the crucifixion of St. Andrew. In the Vatican they saw Tommaso Laureti’s “Triumph of Christianity.” “At St. Peter the Basilica we saw Pope Leo the Great facing down Attilla the Hun—not to sack Rome. What struck me was his courage. No one expected him to do that. I felt called in a small way to be like St. Leo. Not to count on other people to do the right thing and not to just sit back. I need to step up,” Nye said. Hinojosa said the highlight of the trip for her was the Scala Sancta, which are said to be the steps leading up to the palace of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem. She said that St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, brought them from Jerusalem to Rome and that “It was very moving. To climb the steps on your knees, granted you a plenary indulgence.” For Lira the highlight of the trip was seeing Assisi. “St. Clare of Assisi is my patron saint for theology,” he said. “It was just so peaceful. It was a great place to meditate. You can see the beautiful


❝ It was humbling to see the millions in Vatican City, the flags, the cheers, the diversity, all–beautiful. It made me realize there is not just Corpus Christi, Texas there are places and people the world has I wish I could see❞ – Cameron Galvan countryside and hear the birds chirping…that would be something I’d definitely like to do again.” The nine students were accompanied by chaperones, including priests, teachers, parents and staff. All told the pilgrimage took eight days and included touring sites in Rome, Vatican City, Assisi, Pompeii, Monte Cassino and—for a few—witnessing the historic canonization of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II. Father Patrick Higgins and Perry LeGrange, principal of St. John Paul II High School, led the pilgrims. Father Martinez, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish, also accompanied the students. The students held a car wash and sold raffle tickets to help with the cost of the trip. With the help of an anonymous donor and a raffle-drawing put on by the school, four students went on the pilgrimage all-expenses-paid. Freshman students Sanchez and Salazar won a raffle and seniors Lira and Galvan received an anonymous donation.

“The students made us proud and they represented our country well,” Principal LeGrange said. Remembering the first day they had arrived, LeGrange said his jaw dropped upon entering the Vatican. He found the tomb of St. John Paul II and knelt before it. “Everything just came to my mind, being the principal of John Paul II, all the students past and present and my family. I just kind of left it all there. It brought everything together for me and I thought how blessed and grateful we are to be on this trip. Things we deal with here were very minimal at that point. I realized there are bigger things out there.” All the pilgrims agreed that the trip to Rome was a great experience. For Galvan, it was the first time he flew on an airplane, the first time he went anywhere out of the state of Texas and the canonization just made the trip all the more special. “It was humbling to see the millions in Vatican City, the flags, the cheers, the diversity, all–beautiful. It made me realize there is not just Corpus Christi, Texas there are places and people the world has I wish I could see,” he said. “The trip inspired me to be a role model to others, and to represent the United States well. I thank God for granting me the opportunity to participate. It was the trip of a lifetime. There are countless stories to be told and it will be a memory I will carry for the rest of my life,” Galvan said.

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A nun walks past a banner with an image of Pope Francis hanging on the Christian Information Center building in Jerusalem’s Old City. Pope Francis visited Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Israel during his May 24-26 trip, his first as pope to the region. Amir Cohen, Reuters/Catholic News Service

In Holy Land, Pope Francis focuses on unity By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service


n Pope Francis’ first trip to the Holy Land, May 24-26, his agenda focused on the search for Christian unity, particularly between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. But inevitably, in a region so rich in history and so fraught with conflict, he addressed other urgent issues, including dialogue with Jews and Muslims, the Israeli-Palestinian



peace process and the plight of the Middle East’s shrinking Christian population. The Vatican emphasized that the pope’s main purpose on the trip was to meet in Jerusalem with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, considered first among equals by Orthodox bishops. The official logo for the papal visit is an icon of the Apostles Peter and Andrew, patron saints of the churches of Rome and Constantinople, joined in a fraternal embrace. Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew met four times during the pope’s three-day visit. Their private meeting May 25 marked the 50th anniversary of the encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, which opened the modern period of ecumenical dialogue. At an ecumenical service that evening, representatives of the three churches who share custody of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher—Catholic, Greek-Orthodox and Armenian—prayed together at the site of Jesus’ burial and resurrection. The event was “extraordinarily historic,” according to the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, since the three communities normally observe strict separation when they worship in the church. Despite the focus on relations among Christians, Pope Francis’ brief visit did not take in the northern Israeli region of Galilee, where most of Israel’s Christians live. Both St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict included the region on their much longer visits, respectively, in 2000 and 2009. About 1,000 Galileans, out of a total congregation of about 9,000, attended

Pope Francis’ Mass in Bethlehem May 25. Christians from Lebanon and Iraq attended the other public papal Mass of the trip, in Amman, Jordan, May 24. The predicament of Christians throughout the Middle East were “among the principle concerns” that the pope discussed with Patriarch Bartholomew. The region’s Christian population has sharply diminished and grown increasingly precarious over the last decade, following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring revolts against authoritarian regimes and the Syrian civil war. Pope Francis has been especially vocal about Syria, and met with Syrian as well as Iraqi refugees following a visit to a possible site of Jesus’ baptism. The pope’s encounters with non-Christian religious leaders during the last day of his visit, when he met with the Muslim grand mufti of Jerusalem and the two chief rabbis of Israel in separate events. In contrast to the visits of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, this papal trip to the Holy Land did not feature any event with representatives of the three major monotheistic faiths. Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, called that omission a “missed opportunity” for promoting peaceful coexistence, and speculated it could reflect the Vatican’s desire to avoid a repeat of an embarrassment during the 2009 papal visit. On that occasion, an interreligious event in Jerusalem involving Pope Benedict was cut short after a Muslim cleric who was not scheduled to speak took the microphone and criticized Israeli policies toward the

Palestinians. The interreligious dimension of the trip was enhanced when—for the first time in history—the papal entourage included Muslim and Jewish leaders: Omar Abboud and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, two friends of the pope from his days as archbishop of Buenos Aires. All of the events on Pope Francis’ schedule unfolded against the sobering background of the latest breakdown in peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. The pope addressed the problem in private remarks to Palestinian and Israeli political leaders. His meeting with Palestinian refugee children May 25 also served as a poignant illustration of the need for a resolution. In a larger sense, the pope’s support for the unity and well-being of the region’s Christians serves the cause of peace among other groups as well, said Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, who accompanied the pope in the Holy Land. “We build bridges not walls,” said the cardinal, noting that much of Palestine’s Muslim leadership was educated in Christian schools. “The presence of Christianity in the Middle East, even though a minority presence, is and has been for many years a very important ingredient for peace and harmony,” the cardinal said. “But it’s facing extinction right now.” (Editor’s note: Due to our printing deadline, we were unable to bring full coverage of this historic event. Look for a more in-depth report in our July issue.) JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  47  


Editing Our Own Genes? By 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.

number of serious diseases are known to occur because of defects or mutations in our DNA. Rewriting the DNA to fix the mutated base pairs could in principle cure such diseases. Yet until recently scientists have remained largely stymied in their attempts to directly modify genes in a living animal. Findings described in the March 30 issue of Nature Biotechnology, however, reveal that a novel gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), can be used successfully in mice to reverse disease symptoms for a liver defect known as type I tyrosinemia. In humans, this potentially fatal ailment affects about one in 100,000 people. CRISPR, which enables researchers to snip out the mutated piece of DNA and replace it with the correct sequence, holds the potential for treating other genetic disorders as well. As the MIT Technology Review explains, the recently developed CRISPR technique is proving to be remarkably versatile in the hands of biomedical researchers. “This technology,” wrote Susan Young MIT Technology Review, “could allow researchers to perform microsurgery on genes, precisely and easily changing a DNA sequence at exact locations on a chromosome.” She went on to say that “...CRISPR could make gene therapies more broadly applicable, providing remedies for simple genetic disorders like sickle-cell anemia and eventually even leading to cures for more complex diseases involving multiple genes. Most conventional gene therapies crudely place new genetic material at a random location in the cell and can only add a gene. In contrast, CRISPR and the other new tools also give scientists a precise way to delete and edit specific bits of DNA—even by changing a single base pair. This means they can rewrite the human genome at will.”


Correcting mutations in the DNA to remedy a serious medical defect would certainly be desirable and permissible. In 2008, in a document called Dignitas Personae, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith agreed that trying to restore “the normal genetic configuration of the patient or to counter damage caused by genetic anomalies” would be morally acceptable as long as the person being treated will not “be exposed to risks to his health or physical integrity which are excessive...” Our ability to rewrite the human genome at will through precise DNA editing techniques, however, does raise substantial concerns about misusing the technology. In fact, researchers are already discussing the possibility of going beyond therapies and treatments, and instead, using CRISPR and other gene-alteration technologies to enhance human characteristics. For example, one possible direction would be to engineer changes in the genes of human muscles so that they could be worked harder and longer, thereby enhancing the performance of athletes and soldiers. This kind of human re-engineering would cross an important line: instead of helping human beings who are struggling against serious diseases, scientists would now begin manipulating human beings for ulterior motives. As “Dignitas Personae” puts it, “such manipulation would promote a eugenic mentality and would lead to indirect social stigma with regard to people who lack certain qualities, while privileging


[others].” The document also notes how attempting to create a new type of human being could unmask a dark and troubling ideology “in which man tries to take the place of his Creator,” resulting in an “unjust domination of man over man.” Yet the line separating a therapy from an enhancement is not always an obvious one. Some researchers have claimed that the most common versions of genes that many people carry are not necessarily the ideal versions from the standpoint of health. Thus researchers might be able subtly to improve matters, for example, by rewriting normal genes so that people could better fight off infectious diseases. Would such a step be enhancement or therapy? Even as scientists move forward with the project of rewriting our own genes to cure grave diseases, some will be tempted to go further and use techniques like CRISPR to engineer designer human embryos during in vitro fertilization; genetically modified monkeys have already been produced using this method in China. A prior document, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called “Donum Vitae” unequivocally describes the grave problems with subjugating embryonic human beings for research purposes: “To use human embryos or fetuses as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings having a right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person.” The remarkable tools becoming available not only for genetic therapies but also for human enhancement projects and embryonic manipulation raise daunting ethical concerns about the subjugation of man to his own technology, and call for thoughtful measures and vigilance to ensure the proper use of these techniques now and in the future.

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

We must look for opportunities for discipleship in every circumstance of life By Bishop Michael Mulvey


South Texas Catholic

ope Francis has called for a missionary transformation of the Church. He is calling all of us not to simply be disciples of Christ, but that we become “missionary” disciples.

What the Holy Father is pointing out is that we are all missionaries, whether we are clergy, religious or laity. An ordinary disciple suggests good people performing their religious duties and seeking holiness. This is wonderful, but a missionary disciple means that we are not simply disciples seeking holiness, but that call to holiness leads us to mission, to take the good news to others. Missionary discipleship picks us up off our chairs and says “go to your brothers and sisters, be active as God has been active in our midst through Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit continues to be active among us.” At the end of every Mass the final word is “go,” which is a missionary word. Go to the ends of the earth, go to other parts of the city, go to the poor, go to the homeless, go to so many in need of Christ. How can we be missionary disciples in our ministries? JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  49  

One of the words that can hold us captive is “routine.” As an example, administering the beautiful sacrament of confirmation to our young people can seem routine to a bishop. The ceremonies are long and the bishop has to stand for pictures with every person being confirmed. But posing for the pictures is anything but routine; it is a moment for evangelization. Sometimes I encounter family members who may not be close to the church. Jesus is present in them. As bishop I must reach out to those people with patience and kindness. And so taking confirmation pictures unfolds for me as an opportunity to do ministry. Each priest too must see the opportunity for mission when administering the sacraments, whether at a funeral, while visiting someone in a hospital, when performing a wedding ceremony or in some other occasion where he may encounter people who are not close to the church. The priest can reach out to each person with a greeting, a kind word or by offering him or her friendship. These actions give us a missionary zeal, which is different from routinely celebrating sacraments or ceremonies. In these encounters–in the brief time that we have with them–we can welcome the chance to bring the Gospel to them. The laity can be missionary disciples by feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, clothing the homeless, caring for the sick and visiting those in jail (Mt 25:35-36). Simply by walking up and talking to someone and introducing or reintroducing yourselves can bring Christ to those who need his love. In many areas of our diocese, even in the smallest towns, the church is present whether it is in people or a building. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus said, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also” (Mk 1:38). As Jesus went to the next village, those who stayed behind preached the Gospel. Those who are left


➤ The laity can be missionary disciples by feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, clothing the homeless, caring for the sick and visiting those in jail (Mt 25:35-36). Simply walking up and talking to someone and introducing or reintroducing yourselves you can bring Christ to those who need his love. behind many times are the laity; family members and the friends down the street who can do their part in being a friend in Christ. The laity then must be there to support and to encourage people. They can encourage them to attend Mass. Sometimes people just need a friend. The laity, whether a person is family or not, can spread the word of God by their example, by a word but mainly by action. They can encourage people and they can try to enliven their faith again. Each one of us needs to be present to people in the town where we live. Pastors should also venture into the rural areas where the church may not always be present. We should be proactive in reaching

out to people who have been given the seeds of faith so that those seeds grow. Part of my ministry as bishop is to encourage the faith in some of the smallest parts of our diocese. There are a few small communities that I have not visited since becoming bishop. Occasionally on Sundays I take the opportunity to visit these parishes and missions. I have been going to parishes where there may be 30 people at Mass. I want to let them know that they are a part of our diocese, that they are part of the Body of Christ. Hopefully through them and their pastors they can also reach their friends or family members who may be less active. The Holy Father is challenging us on all levels. He is asking us to look beyond just the four walls of our church. It is no longer a mentality of build it and they will come. There are many, many challenges that face people every day. We need to find more ways to reach out to them and to go where they are. The image that is perhaps most profound for all of us to keep in mind is that when God wanted to come to us he sent his Son who emptied himself of his divinity to become one of us. That very reality of the Incarnation is our reality. We are called to empty ourselves of our previously held notions of being a bishop, a priest, teacher, lawyer, doctor, etc. and get our hands dirty or as the Holy Father has said, we need to “be shepherds with the smell of sheep.” We need to “go” to them and not expect people to come to us. This is the time for all of us to look for creative ways to reach out to those alienated from the faith for one reason or another and invite new people and keep them active in the church. The more that we go to people, the more they will find Christ. May Mary, the mother of all disciples, accompany us in our journey as missionary disciples.

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

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church By J. Patrick Serna



n the Nicene Creed, we profess our belief in the four marks of the church, namely, that she is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. In the Book of Revelation, one of the seven angels says about the church, “I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rv 21:9). The church is one

Jesus’ love for his bride is alluded to in Song of Songs: “One alone is my dove, my perfect one…” (Song 6:9), and we are reminded of the fact that Jesus died for his perfect one–the church (cf. Eph 5:25). This bride, known as the church, is one. Common sense and reason tell us that unity is better than division, and order is better than chaos. As such, it follows that God’s church is essentially united, despite the attempts to divide it. God’s revelation tells us in the Book of Ephesians that there is: “... one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:4-6). While unity and oneness are at odds with division and chaos, oneness is nevertheless

in harmony with diversity, many members and varied expressions. We are reminded of the church’s unity in diversity in the following words of St. Paul: “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many” (1 Cor 12:12-14).

The church is holy

The word holy comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “different,” or “set apart.” The place for worshipping God is supposed to be different than other common or worldly buildings. The holy day of the week is supposed to be different or holy, compared to other days of

the week. The church, filled with sinners, is herself holy and perfect, as made clear by the psalmist: “…holiness befits your house, Lord…” (Ps 93:5). The church is different, but different from what? The church is different from the world, to be exact. When men and women allow the church to have an effect in their lives, they will be less worldly and more holy. The church helps us to become holy through the divine word, through prayer and through the sacraments, which are made possible by the ordained priesthood. Every member of the church is one of the spiritual bricks of Christ’s church, and every church member is commanded by Jesus to transform the world and help to make it become different, that is, holy: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15).


The church is catholic

Catholic comes from the Greek word “Katholikos,” which means “universal.” The universal nature of God’s church is best described in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). God’s church is not esoteric or gnostic, it is not for those with special knowledge or special genetics. God makes it clear that we are all his children, and it is not for nothing that Jesus told us of his universal goal: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places” ( Jn 14:2). God’s “universal salvific will” is his will that all humans be saved and enter the eternal joy of heaven. In the Gospel of John, Jesus states in explicit language the universal salvific will of the Father, when he said, “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day” ( Jn 6:39). It then follows, that if God has a universal salvific will, then he also has a universal church designed to help accomplish this universal salvific will, and this universal nature is what is meant by “catholic.”

The church is apostolic

We know that the church is apostolic, because St. Paul tells us that the church is “...built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets…” (Eph 2:20). The apostolic nature of the church does not change in heaven, as we are told in the Book of Revelation, “The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev 21:14). Jesus laid hands on the first bishops– that is, the apostles–and they in turn laid hands on new bishops. The ordination of bishops and priests through the laying of


Nicene Creed I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; through Him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. hands is an unbroken tradition that continues until the Second Coming of Christ. The Catholic Church has an unbroken tradition of ordination by the laying of hands, and this is what we understand to be the apostolic nature of the church. God’s is a church that does not come from a vacuum; it is a Bible-based church that enjoys a rich apostolic history. The Holy Spirit tells us in the Vatican II document “Lumen Gentium”: “...just as the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles, is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles’ office of nurturing the

church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops” (Lumen Gentium 20:3). The four marks of the church remind us that there is no “mere Christianity.” God’s church has order and uniqueness, because God is not a “mere generic God.” He is unique and is the source of order. “The church is ultimately one, holy, catholic and apostolic in her deepest and ultimate identity, because it is in her that ‘the Kingdom of heaven,’ the ‘Reign of God,’ already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time” (CCC 865).

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the urgency of divine love


By Sister Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT Contributor

n 1673, Jesus began appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a humble nun of the Visitation Order, in Paray Le Monial, France. He revealed to her the tender wonders of his love for her, desiring through her to reveal these same wonders to the whole world. In the course of his revelations to St. Margaret Mary, Jesus complained of our ingratitude. But his complaint was weighted with the sorrow of a lover who does not know what else he can do to gain the attention of his beloved, a beloved who is totally distracted and uncomprehending.

José de Páez, Mexico, 1727-1790

In the great apparition, which occurred sometime during the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1675, Jesus said– in what must have been an imploring spirit–”Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify


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

its love.” We should ask ourselves: “What is it we behold, what is it we see, when we look at the Heart of Christ? What is Jesus trying so hard to show us?” It is interesting that Jesus says, “Behold the heart,” and not: “Behold My heart.” Jesus, in his Incarnation, comes to reveal the Father to us. Scripture says Jesus “is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15). He tells the Apostles, “If you see me, you see the Father” ( Jn 14:9). So is he not really saying, “Behold my Heart, which is the Heart of the Father! If you only knew the depths of His love?” One of the most compelling revelations of the heart of God in Scripture is found in the father of the prodigal son. The younger son, returning home after losing everything, is in survival mode. He approaches the father completely broken by his own sinful choices. He has utterly spurned his father’s love and squandered every gift that has been given to him. Yet the love in the heart of the father who has been anxiously watching and praying for his son’s return sees only that his son is back. And though the son has no real expectations, other than to be treated as a slave, the father’s response instead is an explosion of love! He orders the best robe, a ring for his finger, sandals for his feet and the commencement of a feast. His heart has no other response–not anger, not judgment, not punishment–only rejoicing, tearful embraces and celebration. Perhaps we are sometimes held back from approaching or returning to our Father, because we have the same poor expectations as the prodigal son did. Our defective appreciation of God’s love only harms us. The sufferings of our lives, especially those that come from our sinful choices, wound our hearts and often plunge us into our own little hells on earth. But the Wound in the Heart of Christ, which we caused, is different. It is a gateway into the Father’s love. Entering that Wound takes us on our first steps into heaven. Witness the promises of Jesus to those who recognize his love, the Father’s love, and seek to live in the Heart that is the source of that love. These promises were given to St. Margaret Mary as part


of the revelations of Divine Love and are made to those who are devoted to Jesus’ Sacred Heart: 1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life. 2. I will establish peace in their families. 3. I will console them in all their troubles. 4. They shall find in my heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death. 5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings. 6. Sinners shall find in my heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy. 7. Tepid souls shall become fervent. 8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection. 9. I will bless the homes where an image of my heart shall be exposed and honored. 10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts. 11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in my heart, never to be effaced. 12. The all-powerful love of my heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour. Does that not already sound like heaven begun on earth? Is that not what we are seeking? But there is even more. Poor as we really are, and we are all poor in the presence of God–just as stripped as the prodigal son we have the possibility of being able to bring joy and consolation to the Heart of Jesus, to the Heart of the Father, by returning to him, by remembering him in the ways he asks above. This helps repair, in some mysterious and superabundant way, the hurt Jesus feels, the hurt the Father feels, over the indifference and ingratitude of the vast majority of men. When we behold the Sacred Heart that has loved us so, these are small requests. But fulfilling them can transform our lives.

We are living in the era of the Holy Spirit By Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS



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

fter Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to the apostles throughout a 40-day period, presenting himself to them to assure them that he was alive and urging them to remain in Jerusalem until they would receive the “promise of the Father.” Although they did not understand it clearly at the time, this promise of the Father would be the occasion of their being baptized with the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:3-5). As a result, they would receive power that would enable them to be witnesses to Jesus “in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). In view of their lack of understanding, they did what they thought was best—as a community, they retired to the upper room, and there, joined by Mary, the Mother of Jesus and some other devout women, they devoted themselves to prayer seeking to know God’s will for them. Nine days later they experienced a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the whole

house in which they were. There appeared to them tongues of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues as the S pir it enabled them to proclaim (Acts 2:1-3). The coming of the Holy Spirit on the early church took place at a time when there were many Jews from all parts of the world in Jerusalem. These were astonished because each of them heard the disciples speaking in their language. They were astounded and in amazement asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each one of us hear them in his own native language?” (Acts 2:7-8).

➤ Visualizing Jesus is important. Recognizing his divinity is also important. Recalling the age of the Father—before Christ became human—is important. Now it is important for us to realize that we are living in the age of the Holy Spirit, and it is the Spirit who leads us back to both the Father and the Son.


The answer to their question is that, through this gift of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues, the church in which we live today was born. We are now living in the era of the Holy Spirit and through his presence among us we approach the other two members of the Trinity—the Father and the Son. Every year after Pentecost, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we follow the teaching of Jesus as presented in one of the Gospels. Our liturgical prayer—the official prayer of the Catholic Church—relies on the Holy Spirit to give a focus to our approach to the Trinity, and through the Holy Spirit, to lead us to the Father and the Son. As we live our Christian

lives, we cannot separate the Persons of the Trinity from each other; we can focus on the Holy Spirit in our Christian lives, trusting him to lead us to the other Members of the Trinity. If we focus on the image of the dove—the image usually used to represent the Holy Spirit since he does not have a human body—we might end up thinking, “Why in the world should I pray to a Dove?” But we are not praying to a Dove. We are praying to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity of whom the symbol used is a dove. Many of us may say, “Oh, I pray to Jesus. Him I can visualize—as a baby, as a boy, as an adult. Why would I ever want to pray to a dove or to a mysterious being to whom I am urged

to call father?” The response, of course, is that when I pray to one Person of the Trinity I am praying to all of them. But visualizing Jesus is placing the emphasis only on his human nature. We are called to adore God, and God is Three Persons—all of them divine. Visualizing Jesus is important. Recognizing his divinity is also important. Recalling the age of the Father—before Christ became human—is important. Now it is important for us to realize that we are living in the age of the Holy Spirit, and it is the Spirit who leads us back to both the Father and the Son. Let us pray to the Triune God asking that we may grow in our appreciation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

June Liturgical Calendar 1 | SUN | SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white | Acts 1:12-14/1 Pt 4:1316/Jn 17:1-11a (59) Pss III 2 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/red [Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs] Acts 19:1-8/Jn 16:29-33 (297) 3 | Tue | Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial | Acts 20:17-27/Jn 17:1-11a (298) 4 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 20:28-38/Jn 17:11b-19 (299) 5 | Thu | Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Acts 22:30; 23:6-11/Jn 17:20-26 (300) 6 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/white [Saint Norbert, Bishop] Acts 25:13b-21/Jn 21:15-19 (301) 7 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 28:16-20, 30-31/Jn 21:20-25 (302) 8 | SUN | PENTECOST SUNDAY | red | Solemnity | Vigil: Gn 11:1-9 or Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b or Ez 37:1-14 or Jl 3:1-5/Rom 8:22-27/Jn 7:37-39 (62) Extended Vigil: Gn 11:1-9/Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b/Ez 37:114/Jl 3:1-5/Rom 8:22-27/Jn 7:37-39 (62)

Day: Acts 2:1-11/1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13/Jn 20:19-23 (63) Pss Prop

in Ordinary Time) green | 1 Kgs 21:116/Mt 5:38-42 (365) Pss III

Day: Is 49:1-6/Acts 13:22-26/Lk 1:57-66, 80 (587) Pss Prop

9 | Mon | Weekday (Tenth Week in Ordinary Time) | green/white [Saint Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church] 1 Kgs 17:1-6/Mt 5:1-12 (359) Pss II

17 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 21:17-29/Mt 5:43-48 (366)

25 | Wed | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 22:813; 23:1-3/Mt 7:15-20 (373)

18 | Wed | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 2:1, 6-14/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (367)

26 | Thu | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 24:817/Mt 7:21-29 (374)

10 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 17:716/Mt 5:13-16 (360)

19 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Saint Romuald, Abbot] Sir 48:1-14/Mt 6:7-15 (368)

27 | Fri | The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus | white | Solemnity | Dt 7:6-11/1 Jn 4:7-16/Mt 11:25-30 (170) Pss Prop

20 | Fri | Weekday | green | 2 Kgs 11:14, 9-18, 20/Mt 6:19-23 (369)

28 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/red/ white [The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr; BVM] Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19/Mt 8:5-17 (876) or, for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart, Is 61:9-11/Lk 2:41-51* (573)

11 | Wed | Saint Barnabas, Apostle | red | Memorial | Acts 11:21b-26; 13:1-3* (580)/Mt 5:17-19 (361) 12 | Thu | Weekday | green | 1 Kgs 18:4146/Mt 5:20-26 (362) 13 | Fri | Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-16/Mt 5:2732 (363) 14 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] 1 Kgs 19:19-21/Mt 5:33-37 (364) 15 | SUN | THE MOST HOLY TRINITY | white | Solemnity | Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9/2 Cor 13:11-13/Jn 3:16-18 (164) Pss Prop 16 | Mon | Weekday (Eleventh Week


21 | Sat | Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious | white | Memorial | 2 Chr 24:17-25/Mt 6:24-34 (370) 22 | SUN | THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST | white (Corpus Christi) Solemnity | Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a/1 Cor 10:16-17/Jn 6:51-58 (167) Pss Prop 23 | Mon | Weekday (Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time) green | 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18/Mt 7:1-5 (371) Pss IV 24 | Tue | The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist | white | Solemnity | Vigil: Jer 1:4-10/1 Pt 1:8-12/Lk 1:5-17 (586) |

29 | SUN | SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES | red | Solemnity | Vigil: Acts 3:1-10/Gal 1:11-20/Jn 21:15-19 (590) Day: Acts 12:1-11/2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18/Mt 16:13-19 (591) Pss Prop 30 | Mon | Weekday (Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time) green/red [The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church] Am 2:6-10, 13-16/Mt 8:18-22 (377) Pss I



Day of Prayer and Reflection for the Knights of Columbus at OLCC

On June 7 from 8 a.m.–2:30 pm at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) for all Knights of Columbus and their wives. Come learn the power of prayer and silence. Go deeper in this relationship of prayer. Day begins with Mass at Adoration Chapel. Light breakfast and lunch provided. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321




On June 7 from 10–11:30 a.m. The Melchizedek Project is a discernment group for high school juniors and above who love Jesus Christ and his Church. For more information and location contact Rachel Dimas at (361) 882–6191 or

Pentecost Sunday Pilgrimage to Oblate Missions

Retreat begins on June 12 at 5 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) and ends on June 15 at 1 p.m. Learn to listen to His voice in prayer by praying with scripture according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Register www. or call (361) 289-9095, ext 321.


Council 9220 at (361) 8345862 or at



One Day Bus Trip to Basilica of Lady of San Juan Shrine

On June 14 bus departs from Most Precious Blood Parish in Corpus Christi at 6 a.m. and will return no later than 10 p.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe Society is sponsoring this one day bus trip to the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Shrine in the valley, as well as shopping at the Mercedes Outlet Malls and Bass Pro Shop. The cost is $42 (non-refundable) per person. For more information, please contact Senona or Javier Casas of Our Lady of Guadalupe Society at (361) 960-7229 or at

Knights of Columbus Council #9220 Casino Night

On June 14 at 6 p.m. St. Philip the Apostle Parish Hall (3513 Cimarron Rd.) in Corpus Christi. Fundraiser will help the Knights of Columbus continue their work in service to the church, community, council, family, pro-life and youth. Gaming tables include, blackjack, roulette and dice. Tickets for the event are $20 and will include $10,000 in “fun money.” For more information about tickets or sponsorships, call Steven Rivera, Grand Knight

Natural Family Planning Class

On June 14 from 9:30 a.m.3:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin Blvd, Corpus Christi. Natural Family Planning allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the church and respecting the gift of their married love. Registration is $125, which includes a six hour introductory class, materials and unlimited follow-up as needed. Register and pay online, or download registration brochure at

Cursillo de las mujeres (Español)

Cursillo de mujeres se celebrará del 12 a 15 de junio en el Corpus Christi Cursillo Center localizado en el 1200 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para obtener más información, por favor llame a Gloria G. Morales al (361) 364-4808 o Hacer un amigo, ser un amigo, y traer a un amigo a Cristo!

The Melchizedek Project Meeting

On June 8 bus departs at 7:30 a.m. from Sacred Heart Church located at the corner of Lipan and N. Alameda. The Guadalupanas from Sacred Heart Church are sponsoring a one day bus pilgrimage to San Antonio to the Oblate Missions for Spanish Mass at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $35 per person. To sign up and pay for the trip call the church rectory at (361) 883-6082 or call Dora Hidalgo at (361) 510-1411.


Men’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises


Diocesan Vocation Awareness Retreat

On June 20-23 at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat


Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. The cost to attend is $25. For more information please contact Rachel Dimas at (361) 882-6191, ext. 618 or email To Register online go to


Cathedral Concert Series: 30 Year Reunion Gala Concert

On June 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral. For VIP memberships for priority reserved seating and more information call (361) 888-7444.



couples of the spiritual and practical aspects of Catholic marriage. Registration is $60, due 14 days prior to the seminar date. For registrations after the due date add $10. No refunds will be issued. Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received in full. Register online or print and mail the printable at


Engaged Encounter

On June 21-22 begins on Saturday at 7 a.m. at Our Lady’s House (1200 Lantana St.) in Corpus Christi. Engaged Encounter is an investment in your future. It is a weekend for engaged couples who are not civilly married or cohabitating. Registrations are due two weeks prior to the weekend. Registration for couples residing within the Diocese of Corpus Christi is $225. For couples residing outside the diocese the fee is $250. For registrations after the due date add $50. No refunds will be made with less than 14 days’ notice. Register online, or download registration at

PreCana Marriage Preparation Seminar

On June 21 from 8:45 a.m.–5 p.m. PreCana Seminars will now be held at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish. PreCana is a oneday marriage preparation seminar for the engaged. It is a day designed to inform



more about Sponsorship Opportunities go to ArkBenefit


Natural Family Planning Class


Our Lady of Guadalupe Society Pilgrimage

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend

On June 27-29 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Designed for married couples, to revitalize and enrich their relationship. There is an emphasis on rediscovery and communication. The retreat also provides support and encouragement to priests/ religious dedicated to their vocation in life. For more information go to

Fourth Annual Benefit Golf Tournament for The Ark

Come support the Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youths’ mission at their Fourth Annual Benefit Golf Tournament on Friday, June 27 at NorthShore Country Club in Portland. Sign in begins at 6:30 a.m. and Tee time is at 8 a.m. Registration deadline is Friday, June 20. If enough players are registered, an afternoon tournament will be held (morning and afternoon to be filled in order of registration). Cart and green fees, lunch and an entry for drawing of door prizes. See Registration Flyer and learn

On June 28 from 9:30 a.m.3:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, (603 E. 5th Street) in Alice. Natural Family Planning allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the church and respecting the gift of their married love. There will be a class. Registration is $125, which includes a six hour introductory class, materials, and unlimited follow-up as needed. Register and pay online go to

On June 28 bus departs at 6 a.m. Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church in Corpus Christi and will return about 8:30 p.m. The Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe from Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church is sponsoring this one day pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle - National Shrine, the St. Jude Shrine and shopping at the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets in Mercedes. Cost is $30 per person. For more information call Manuel Garcia at (361) 855-9288 or San Juana Fuentes at (361) 853-9746.

To see more calendar events go to:

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Great gifts for retreats, confirmations and other occasions

One bo in both Enok g & Spanishlish

Pick up your copies at the Chancey or Order by mail with this coupon:

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2014 Summer Institute Coping with Grandiosity in Our Lives: the Deity and the Dragon Inside Us


Robert Moore, Ph.D. &

Ron Rolheiser, OMI

CHRISTUS Health Plan offers you great benefits like: 4 Hospitals to choose from in every community 4 Clinic locations close to home for mother and child checkups & well care 4 Care at the children’s hospital closest to you 4 Faith-based care The CHRISTUS Health family has faithfully cared for the lives of South Texans for more than 100 years. CHRISTUS Health Plan offers a wide range of health care services for pregnant women and children without insurance who qualify for Medicaid STAR and CHIP.

Get started today! Call 1-877-428-3057 or visit

June 16-18, 2014 Whitley Theological Center Included are numerous break-out sessions in the afternoon.

Meals and on-campus lodging are available for an additional fee. Oblate School of Theology 285 Oblate Drive, San Antonio, TX 78216 Brenda: 210-341-1366 x 212


Learn more about CHRISTUS Health Plan: 1-877-428-3057 JUNE 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  59  

June 2014 Issue

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

SAVETHEDATES Youth Spectacular Middle School

Sponsored By Diocese Of Corpus Christi Youth Office

September 21, 2014


Youth Spectacular High School

September 28, 2014


For more information call the Office of Youth Ministry at (361) 882-6191 or see the youth web page at: WWW.DIOCESECC.ORG/YOUTH

South Texas Catholic - June 2014  

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

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