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Natural Family Planning

following God’s design

NATIONAL MARCH FOR LIFE PILGRIMAGE MEETING Please join us at our first meeting to discuss a pilgrimage to the National March for Life. When: Thursday, August 8, 2013, 6:30 pm—8:30 pm Where: Diocese of Corpus Christi – 1st Floor Conference Room 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Who:

18 years old and above


To be discussed during meeting

*Light meal will be provided

The National March for Life Opening Mass will be held on January 21, 2014 in Washington, D.C. The Respect Life Rally and March for Life will be held on January 22, 2014. We will depart on January 19th and return on January 23rd. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Amy Palomo at (361) 882-6191 or




VOL. 48 NO. 8 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas


Simon and Christina Purnell of Corpus Christi are firm believers in the teachings of the Catholic church and have embraced Natural Family Planning as a way of honoring God’s design. They recommend its use for other couples planning their families.


Contributed Photo

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


Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our online form, e-mail, fax, mail, or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocese Web sites.


Bishop ordains six SOLT transitional deacons

Urges them to ‘serve, serve, serve’

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Pilgrimage to Compostela

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30 Years of Spectaculars!


A story in images


Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Keeping up with the Faith...

What’s next for Msgr. McGettrick in his retirement

Recalling Youth Spectaculars over the years

Part three of the Coats of Arms of the bishops of Corpus Christi

OLCC retreats during Year of Faith

St. Joseph in Kingsville breaks ground on multi-purpose center Looking forward to next 50 years


Movimiento Carismático Se centra en la oración y la alabanza a Jesus Cristo


Texas abortion reform law


Pope Francis issues his first Encyclical


Continuing to fight for marriage


Marriage: A profound and holy union

Legislature tightens when and who can perform abortions

A celebration of Christian faith

Reaction to Supreme Court rulings

Authentic love requires a ‘yes’



Bishop tells new deacons:

‘serve, serve, serve’ Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


n the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey ordained six brothers of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity to the transitional diaconate.

“A tired body with a joyful heart is what I hope for you throughout your life of service. That will be the measure for yourself and your own examination,” Bishop Mulvey told the new deacons. The ordination Mass was celebrated at the Corpus Christi Cathedral with


family, friends and the SOLT community present. Those who were received into the diaconate include Brother Alphonsus Zaldy Martin Abainza, SOLT; Brother Tristan Donnelly Abbott, SOLT; Brother Patrick Earl Prajzner II, SOLT; Brother Michael Wayne Slovak, SOLT; Brother Juan Villagómez, SOLT; and Brother Michael Mary Mercy of Christ Crucified Wight, SOLT. Bishop Mulvey told the future priests that their Baptismal call must always remain front and center for they were committed to God and to Jesus Christ when baptized. “We’re all servants, but in particular ways deacons are called to serve particular needs to be a particular presence in the mission of the church today,” Bishop Mulvey said. Deacons serve as servants of the word, servants of some of the sacraments and “above all” servants of charity.


Too often, Bishop Mulvey said, “we have substituted the substance of the word with beautiful devotions, beautiful prayers based on the word” but the church is asking us “not to forget our devotions, but to center our personal lives and the preaching we give to the name of Jesus Christ…to give the word focus.” “You must eat those words, incorporate those words, be transformed by those words and become those words. Then preach,” Bishop Mulvey told the six new deacons. “Devotion does not substitute the word, it embellishes the word. The word of God as written in the Gospels as spoken by Jesus Christ must be pure and simple, a transparent call to all of us even in the most difficult situations,” the bishop said. The bishop told the deacons, not to let rituals become a habit. He told

Bishop Mulvey ordained six brothers of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity to the transitional diaconate. The new transitional deacons pictured above are, from left, Brother Alphonsus Zaldy Martin Abainza, Brother Patrick Earl Prajzner II, Brother Juan Villagómez, Brother Michael Mary Mercy of Christ Crucified Wight, Brother Michael Wayne Slovak and Brother Tristan Donnelly Abbott. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

them to be aware that the baptized are precious to God, to the church and to society. Baptism is introducing a child to a new life. “Be patient with those who come for marriage,” Bishop Mulvey said. “We who study theology have a couple in front of us who have no idea what we are talking about; they may not be even coming to church, someone pushed them to church. Get your hooks into them. We don’t get our hooks into them by repeating our theology; we get our hooks into them by loving them, by guiding them of the truth and beauty of the sacrament.” Since his elevation to the papacy, Pope Francis “constantly reminds the pastors of the church not to throw theology at them, throw them nets of God’s unending love and mercy” instead. Funerals are another opportunity for the new deacons to live the word. Some funerals will be for “saints and those less than saints” but they should remember God in his mercy will take care of those lying in the coffin. “Many times in those moments of

ritual, our audience is sitting in front of us alive,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Speak your heart to them. Call them to a new life.” In front of the bereaved is their destiny. They forget that we are destined for eternal life, the bishop said. It’s not all here. “Those moments in funeral services somehow remind us that our true moments are in heaven. Be kind and compassionate to those families you serve on the death of their loved ones. Bring them to a better life.” The most important service they will perform as deacons is being “servants of charity.” “We are called to that service. That is the Gospel in action. That is characteristic of your call as deacons,” Bishop Mulvey said. He reminded the new deacons of Pope Paul VI’s advice, “Today people do not listen to teachers but they will listen to witnesses, they will listen to that person who exemplifies what they believe in.” The bishop urged them to be a “witness of charity, of love; laugh with those

who laugh; cry with those who cry; mourn with those who are mourning; calling them to hope, give to those who ask from you.” “We have only one right, one privilege as a servant of God in the church and that is the right to serve; even to those who don’t want our service,” the bishop said. “That spirit can break down any wall, tear apart any chain and unleash any barrier between two people. Serve, serve, serve.” As members of the SOLT community, the new deacons will be called to serve in communities in the United States and internationally. Deacon Abainza will remain in Corpus Christi at St. Joseph Parish. The others will be assigned to North Dakota, Colorado, Belize and two will go to Sacred Heart Seminary. To see more photos of this event



In Memoriam: Natur Father Thomas Francis Showalter, SOLT t is important for Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic



ather Thomas Francis Showalter, SOLT passed peacefully on Saturday, July 13. He was pastor at St. John Nepomucene Parish in Robstown and Dean of the Five Points Deanery in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Father Showalter was born on Sept. 6, 1957 in Spokane, Washington where he grew up. His family later moved to Minnesota. After studying in Rome, he was ordained into the priesthood on June 7, 1997. Previous to his service at St. John Nepomucene in Robstown, Father Showalter faithfully served in Belcourt, ND and in Irkutsk, Russia, where he did such a good job at conversions that the Russian government did not renew his visa. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, who celebrated at Father Showalter’s Mass of Christian Burial, said that they gathered “in joy, sifted through tears.” “The legacy of Father Tom to all of us is love,” a family member said


couples today to embrace God’s design for human sexuality.

Father Thomas Francis Showalter, SOLT Sept. 6, 1957 – July 13, 2013 in his eulogy. His parents Don and Britta Showalter survive Father Showalter, along with his siblings Steve (Vicki) Showalter, Ann Serdar, Mary Jo (Dan) Rolczynski, Robert Showalter, Meg (George) McManmon and Teri Drake; 13 nephews and six nieces; 15 great-nephews and nine great-nieces; and his SOLT community. Father Showalter was laid to rest at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cemetery in Robstown.


Natural Family Planning provides couples with the tools they need to plan their family while respecting God’s plan for marriage, said Deacon Stephen Nolte, director of the Office of Family Life for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. One couple that has taken up the call for sanctification of sexuality in their marriage is Simon and Christina Purnell of Corpus Christi. They have invited God into their lives and are open to his will concerning the gift of children and they have been rewarded with four boys and a girl. “The message of NFP is to honor or respect God’s design for married love,” said Theresa Notare, PhD, assistant director for the Natural Family Planning Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The bishops’ conference points out that “NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the

al Family Planning

follows God’s design

said. She said NFP is a tool to achieve a healthy, mindful and logical way of working with God’s design. “You have to remember that sexual intercourse is coming together in your union because of your love for each other in a worthy way of bringing new life into the world. It gives couples a means to live out a life that God wants them to live out,” Notare said. “Contraception on the other hand,” she said “harms His design, harms the body and does nothing to support God’s design. It pretty much locks out the Lord. They are objectively immoral devices that harm God’s design.” “If women–and men– knew how much damage is caused to their bodies and to the environment by hormonal contraceptives, ever y couple, including non-Catholics would seek to learn and utilize natural, healthy methods of family planning,” Nolte said. The Purnells, parishioPurnell family on vacation in Marble Falls. The family is very tight-knit; the children are home-schooled. ners at St. Pius X, came to Contributed Photo realize the harm of contraception early on. Not being fully aware of church teachvalue of the child. By respecting the A couple discerns together when ing on the subject, they love-giving and life-giving natures of it is a good time to try to achieve a used contraception in the early years marriage, NFP can enrich the bond pregnancy or not. “They are doing of their marriage. After their first between husband and wife.” nothing to shut God out,” Notare two boys were born and losing two



The Purnell children—Gareth, 14; Gabriel, 12; Kolbe, eight; Christopher, six; and Juliana, four—attend Mass daily. Contributed Photo

other babies to miscarriages, they turned to God and to His church. Their two miscarriages were “really eye openers.” The experiences led them to be “more open to life.” Christina Purnell was raised in a Catholic home but, like many Catholics, was not exposed to indepth catechesis. She was committed to the aspects of the faith that she knew, but did not know enough to embrace all aspects of her faith.


Simon Purnell grew up in Venezuela in a Protestant home. After making a retreat on the “Journey to Damascus,” he decided to convert to Catholicism. As a couple they began to mature in their faith. Once they first learned about NFP, it “felt in my heart really easy,” Christina Purnell said. “It just felt right, going back to contraception felt wrong.”


This epiphany changed everything; their sexuality, their attitude to each other and their relationship with the children. Several different methods of NFP are available to couples. They can use NFP to both achieve and avoid pregnancies. The methods require obser ving the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples

using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy. “What is surprising to me is how many people are unaware of the decades of medical research which have led to the various forms of NFP today. When a couple is seeking to avoid a pregnancy and practice NFP according to the rules, it is 98-99 percent effective–virtually the same percent of accuracy as the most effective artificial birth control,” Nolte said. NFP requires communication, and works best when the husband is aware of what going on, Christina Purnell said. It is easy to practice; it requires keeping track of things more diligently. The couple gets into a regular pattern of doing things, of

tracking the wife’s cycles, she said. Simon Purnell said that, like most things in our modern lifestyle, there is a phone app for NFP. Couples can also take an online course on NFP at “I in no way find it negative. This is very important for people to understand. It’s openness to life rather than planning a family ‘two years apart’,” he said. The Purnells recommend that couples start NFP by making the effort to incorporate it as part of their ordinary life. “If you get pregnant even if you were trying to do NFP, it should be seen as a gift,” Christina Purnell said. “NFP is also helpful for couples that are having trouble conceiving.” NFP involves trust. “There are many benefits to NFP that are unexpected, most especially the deep bond that couples experi-

ence through the total, complete and sacrificial gift they offer each other in the marital embrace,” Nolte said. “In contrast, when couples use contraceptives, there is an underlying message that says ‘I don’t trust you with my fertility; therefore I have to protect myself from you’.” The Office of Family Life with the Diocese of Corpus Christi sponsors qualified persons trained to teach NFP to other local couples. They are in need of couples interested in teaching NFP at their parish. Anyone interested in joining the Office of Family Life, Natural Family Planning program as a parish representative or NFP instructor, should call Kristie Rutledge at (361) 463-8182 or email nfp@diocesecc. org. “Be open to God’s will; every child is a gift,” Christina Purnell said.

Pilgrimage to Spain November 6-15, 2013 Join Father Rodolfo Vásquez, pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, on an inspiring journey to one of the most fascinating regions of Spain and Europe. The pilgrimage begins in the vibrant and progressive Mediterranean gem, Barcelona, – where we will visit not only the historic Gothic Quarter, but also the world-renowned Sagrada Familia basilica, designed by Gaudi and recently consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI. The journey will continue to historical destinations such as Montserrat, Poblet and Zaragoza, and places of unprecedented natural beauty that inspire the soul. We will visit major sites along the Camino de Santiago such as Burgos and Leon. We will visit the great European pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela before returning to Madrid via Avila, a beautiful walled medieval village where St. Theresa of Avila lived and wrote her spiritual masterpieces. We have created a program that balances group and individual time and balances spiritual and pilgrimage interests with cultural ones. We look forward to welcoming you on this journey!

Make all payments to the parish ofce. For more information call (361) 991-4400 or Email: churchof Visit our Web Site:



I made it to COMPOSTELA:

Msgr. Tom McGettrick on the “camino” to Compostela and the tomb of the apostle James. Contributed photo



What’s next? Msgr. Tom McGettrick Contributor


ome years ago when Lou Holtz was the football coach

at Notre Dame University he shared in a talk that he had once written down all the goals he wished to accomplish in his lifetime. After reading that article I decided to put together my own “bucket list.” Among my goals was my desire to one day participate in the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. While the “walk” has a long history, it was given a big boost in the Englishspeaking world by the release of the movie “The Way” a few years ago. This summer I finally achieved my goal. The Camino (way) to Compostela honors the memory of the apostle James, who found his way to northern Spain after the death of Jesus. St. James became famous for the great work he did in evangelizing and caring for the poor. On returning to Jerusalem to report on his work, he was arrested and executed. His body was returned to Compostela and for 2000 years has been a place of prayer. In the Middle Ages, when pilgrimages became an important part of religious life, the journey to Santiago de Compostela became one of the world’s

great attractions. People from all over the world traveled to Spain to show their respect for St. James. Today, most people make the pilgrimage for a religious motive but others do it simply because they like hiking and the Camino de Santiago is one of the most famous hiking trails in the world The pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James (Santiago) entails a walk of about 12 to 15 miles each day for five days. To walk around 75 miles over that period of time may not appear to be a burdensome task but it is quite challenging. Much of it is up-hill and if it is raining, going downhill can be even more treacherous. Adding to the difficulty is carrying a backpack weighing 18-20 pounds. My greatest source of inspiration and encouragement was my friend from Austin, Beth Korasch. A little over a year ago she broke her back and damaged a knee in a fall from a horse. Without complaint she made the daily walk and is now a certified pilgrim of the Camino. The advantage of youth could be seen from the fact that Rick Richard and his wife Melissa, from St. Andrew by the Sea Parish, who did more miles than necessary to be certified as pilgrims. Every few miles there are rest areas that serve coffee, tea, fruit and sandwiches. These ‘stop areas’ are essential as walking six to eight hours a day can be very taxing. The stop areas also give the walkers an opportunity

to meet fellow pilgrims from all over the world. On meeting people along the way the common greeting is “buen camino” (Have a good journey). The “Camino” is a true pilgrimage. Many of the conveniences of life are not available. Sleeping is in large dormitories holding as many as 50 to 60 people. It may not always be possible to get a shower and carrying all ones belongings in a back-pack can be quite exhausting. Breakfast is usually a very simple meal but, at the end of the day, a more substantial meal is usually available. The Spanish people are most hospitable and do everything they can to make the journey as pleasant as possible. Fellow pilgrims come from almost every Christian country in the world. All have the same goal: to eventually arrive at the tomb of St. James in the cathedral of Compostela. The Pilgrims Mass was in Spanish but it was quite moving to hear all the people sing the Mass parts in Latin. A special feature of the Mass is the swinging of an extraordinarily large censor filling the Church with the most beautiful smell of incense. People have asked me if I would recommend the pilgrimage. The answer is a definite “yes” but I would recommend it to those who are younger rather than older because of the physical challenge involved. The only thing remaining on my “bucket list” is to parachute out of an airplane, so stay tuned.



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In Memorium: Sister Olga Cardona, IWBS Sister Olga Cardona, 61, a Sister of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, died peacefully at Incarnate Word Convent on Friday, July 5, after complications with cancer. Sister Olga, born Nov. 3, 1951, to Richard and Dubelia Cardona in Mathis, Texas, was baptized and confirmed at Immaculate Conception Church in Gregory, Texas. After graduating from Mathis High School, she entered the Bee County College nursing program and received her LVN license in 1971. While working at the Migrant Health Clinic in Mathis, she kept in contact with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament vocation director in Corpus Christi. She entered Sister Olga Cardona, IWBS the Incarnate Word Nov. 3, 1951 - July 5, 2013. Congregation on Aug.1, 1972, and made first profession of vows two years later, on Aug. 11, 1974. She professed perpetual vows on Aug. 6, 1978. During her early years of ministry as a Sister of the Incarnate Word, Sister Olga served as nurse for the infirm sisters at the Motherhouse in Corpus Christi, and in the Diocese of Corpus Christi as school nurse for parish schools and Incarnate Word Academy. She also practiced nursing at Christus Spohn Shoreline and Memorial Hospitals in Corpus Christi, and volunteered at the Gabbard Clinic of Metro Ministries. Sister Olga also participated in catechetical work in the diocesan mission of Arteaga, Mexico during several summers. After earning her Bachelor of Science, with a major in education, Sister Olga taught science and physical education at Incarnate Word Junior High. After completing Montessori training, she taught Montessori for more than 20 years at Incarnate Word Academy. Sister Olga found the most rewarding aspect of Montessori teaching was her interaction with students and parents during the most active growth and learning periods of the child’s experience. She found that the elements of surprise, joy, and amazement in learning new skills, in discovering God’s many miracles of creation, and in developing friendship and

Christian values spill over into the lives of the parents In Sister’s words, “Children speak God’s message of love and peace in their work, their play and their prayer.” Sister Olga’s experience in ministry, her expertise in nursing, in science and in sustainable living, and her studies in the spirituality and mission of the Incarnate Word, were well utilized in her service to the young children she taught. In 2012, Sister Olga retired for health reasons and cancer treatment. She continued on the board of the Spirit Center and was making plans for an outdoor classroom where children could participate in nature studies, conservation and gardening. Sister Olga was preceded in death by her father, Richard Cardona. She is survived by her mother, Dubelia Cardona of Mathis, her sisters, Effie (Joseph) Obregon of Beeville, Alison Diana (Roland) Torres of Sandia, Irene (Charles) Scheuer of Georgetown and Bernadette (Karl) Gibson of Skidmore; her nephews Woody (Denise) Salazar, Karl Gibson, Jr., Seth Gibson, Austin Salazar, Zander Salazar; and her niece Teri Salazar. Sister Olga was laid to rest at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Corpus Christi.

Let your beauty shine! The Diocese of Corpus Christi’s Offices of Youth Ministry and Life, Justice and Human Dignity will host its second annual True Modesty Program Fashion Show on Aug. 24 at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, located at 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd. in Robstown. The program’s mission is to show that fashion can be both beautiful and modest. The program focuses on the true meaning of femininity and growing in faith, virtues and style. Female participants in the program go through a series of meetings, fittings and a retreat in preparation for the fashion show. For more information, contact Amy Palomo at (361) 693-6657 or visit www. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Remembering those who made Jaime Reyna

Youth Spectaculars



s years pass and Youth Spectaculars continue, it is good to remember all those who made the Youth Spectaculars– well...spectacular! Sister Jude Janacek, the first Youth Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, remembers some people who helped her make the Youth Spectaculars “amazing” and provided the template for Youth Spectaculars to come. She recalls individuals like Jim Unverferth, Brian Reynolds and Tom Hooper who helped her with planning the early Youth Spectaculars. Sister Jude recently saw Hooper in Rockport and spoke with him about this year’s 30th anniversary of Youth Spectaculars. Hooper is a retired Exxon Mobile Engineer who lives in Wyoming and was surprised that Youth Spectaculars were still going strong. “Jim and I helped Sister Jude with the numbers,” Hooper said. “We were college students studying engineering and we were good with numbers, Sister Jude was not. Anyone who has ever met Sister Jude knows that she is sincere and pure and a person just felt the desire to help her with anything she needed.” Other people that Sister Jude remembers as contributing to the early Youth Spectaculars include Augie and Minnie Soliz from Gregory and Portland, Rachel Munoz from Most Precious Blood Church and Deacon Alfonso Ramirez from Our Lady


of Perpetual Help. She remembers Deacon Ramirez as a young man who assisted her with the many workings of Youth Spectaculars. Deacon Ramirez continued his ministry with the Youth Spectacular under the direction of Sister Jude until 1990. The first junior high Youth Spectacular for students in grades 6-8 was held in 1991 at the Corpus Christi Pastoral Center on Lantana with some 1,000 youth in attendance. Subsequent junior high Youth Spectaculars were held at the Bayfront Plaza, now known as the American Bank Center. In 2000, the middle and high school Youth Spectaculars were combined in order to coordinate their efforts with other millennium conferences. After evaluating the event, it was decided to return to separate gatherings the following year. Father Pete Elizardo, who was ordained in 2001, served as co-director

Albert Saenz, at left, master of ceremonies and Father Pete Elizardo, motivate youth to welcome the guest speaker at the 2002


Youth Spectacular. Archived Photo

of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the following year became the Youth Director. Father Elizardo remembers the hard work it took to continue to coordinate the Youth Spectaculars. “I had a great team helping me do all that was needed to have the Youth Spectaculars ready for the youth. People like Alfonso Ramirez, Fred Castillo, Jeremy Youngers, Nellie Serna, Cindy Delao, Omar Pena and many other youth ministers from the diocese did a lot of the work in coordinating the event,” Father Elizardo said. “I remember the Diocesan Youth Council and other youth leaders from the diocese that would help decorate the day before and would stay up all night doing the work behind the scenes, practicing their skits and doing setting up and cleaning up at the location.” Father Elizardo said it’s important “for all the youth from all our parishes to know that though we are many from different parishes, we are one church. No divisions–like we are from here and you are from there, but that we are all one family, one body, one church.” Father Elizardo remained the Youth Director until September 2010. As the Diocese of Corpus Christi is coordinating the 30th anniversary of Youth Spectacular this year, anyone who is interested in helping be a part of this special event should contact the Office of Youth Ministry at the Chancery. This year’s theme is “30 years of sharing the Faith–Youth Spectacular.” This year’s Youth Spectaculars will be held at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds on Sept. 22 for the



Our Lady of Assumption parish in Ingleside took 30 youth to the 20th Youth Spectacular in 2002. Group leader Paulette Storms said the young people were there to learn how to love the Lord while young, rather than later in their lives. Archived Photo

middle school youth and Sept. 29 for the high school youth. Information on this year’s Youth Spectaculars is online at youth. As One Body, the Office of Youth Ministry is asking for everyone’s participation in praying for the youth and that many can come to experience this gathering of youth in our diocese that Sister Jude started. Everyone is invited to the closing Mass, after which they will have the opportunity to thank Sister Jude and many others that helped keep Youth SpectacuGirls that attended the lar remain a vi2002 Youth Spectacular able evangelizing stay warm and comforttool for the youth able while waiting for their of the Diocese of workshops to begin. Corpus Christi. Archived Photo



WYD pilgrims on way to Rio

Some 25 pilgrims from the Diocese of Corpus Christi joined Pope Francis and Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the last week of July. Here they are shown as a they prepared to board their plane to Brazil. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

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BISHOP RENE H. GRACIDA The personal insignia of Bishop Rene H. Gracida depicts a series of blue and silver lozenges from the coat of arms of St. Vincent Benedictine Archabbey at Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where the bishop studied for the priesthood. The blue and silver diamonds give witness to the Bavarian origins of Abbot Boniface Wimmer under whose leadership at Latrobe the Benedictine Order grew in the United States. The palm tree and the two crosses are taken from the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Miami where Bishop Gracida was serving as Vicar General at the time of his call to the e p i s co p a c y. The two parts of his shield thus serve to identify the ecclesiastical lineage of the bishop both with regard to his priesthood and his e p i s co p a c y. His motto, “Abyssus AbBishop Rene H. Gracida yssum InvoCoat of Arms cat,” taken from Psalm 41:8 (Vulgate), is translated “Deep is calling to deep” and expresses the program and spirit of the bishop who from the depth of his heart seeks to hear the word that comes from the heart of the Lord that His will may be done.

BISHOP ROBERTO O. GONZÁLEZ The coat of arms of Bishop Roberto O. González Nieves, OFM displays an image of Our Mother of Divine Providence who is the heavenly patroness of the people of Puerto Rico, his native commonwealth. Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, is on a field of the Pentecostal color red. The blue “chief ” above her denotes truth and perseverance and contains two golden Tau Crosses emblematic of the Franciscan Order. The dove with the olive branch of peace is a special symbol of the bearer’s family and represents Bishop González’s brother José who died while studying for the priesthood.



A story in The dove’s attitude of “rising” suggests readiness to carry the Gospel message of the Prince of Peace. A silver or white border encompasses the coat of arms of the bishop even as the joy of redemption s h o u l d s u rround us all. The red, white Bishop Roberto O. González and blue are Coat of Arms the colors of the flag of Puerto Rico. His motto “Vita Per Jesum” proclaims that we have “Life through Jesus.”

BISHOP EDMOND CARMODY The shield of Bishop Edmond Carmody symbolizes his family, his priestly and missionary service and his devotion to the people, especially to the poor. The green shield in the upper left corner of the bishop’s coat of arms is the color of hope and stands for his birthplace, Ireland. The gold cross that divides his shield is taken from the papal shield of Pope John Paul II and shows the bishop’s union with Rome and solidarity with the Holy Father. In the upper right side of the shield is a silver star on a blue field. As with the coat of arms of former bishops of Corpus Christi, this star denotes the state of Texas, the site of his priestly vocation and episcopal ministry. The sprouting oak stump comes from the Carmody family crest and recalls the strength of the oak, its roots in the earth, that even though cut down to the stump is capable of generating new life. The green leaves signify new hope and life. The



his ministry as a priest of Jesus Christ. The upper portion of Bishop Mulvey’s insignia is a field of gold with a red escallop (Scallop shell) displayed upon it. This is taken from the arms of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, who called the bishop to the fullness of Christ’s priesthood as a bishop. The shell is also a symbol of baptism and the journey of holiness to which all are called. The lower portion of the design has two blue lions that are taken from the Mulvey family coat of arms. The blue wavy bar across the center of the design represents the Colorado River that runs through the Diocese of Austin. It is taken from the arms of that diocese, the home diocese of Bishop Mulvey and the people of God he served for 35 years in many capacities, including as the diocesan administrator. The three silver stars signify the heritage of Bishop Mulvey’s mother as well as the Most Holy Trinity. For his motto, Bishop Mulvey selected the phrase “Sententia in Christo Vobis.” This Latin phrase, derived from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Phil 2:5), means essentially “have the same attitude in yourselves as is found in Christ” and expresses the bishop’s deep belief that in order to be a man of communion, our hearts must be moved by the same sentiments that moved the Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey heart of Christ Coat of Arms Jesus in his life and mission. Just as the stain glass in the Gothic cathedrals of Europe became pictorial lessons in the stories of the Scriptures and the primary doctrines of the Faith, so also the seals of the bishops of our diocese are messages in symbols–stories in images–that relate something of these men’s personal and family histories and through their mottos offer a glimpse into elements of the teaching of Christ that are a source of inspiration to them in their ministry.

For his personal coat of arms, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey has adopted a design that reflects his heritage and

(Editor’s note: This is the third and final installment on the Coats of Arms of the bishops of Corpus Christi.)

Msgr. Michael Howell Contributor

red of the background is for courage, readiness to suffer for the faith, even as the Carmody ancestors once were persecuted and martyred for their faith. Finally, next to the oak can be seen a condor in gold with red beak and claws on a field of green. This majestic bird of the Andes represents Bishop Carmody’s five years of missionary service in Ecuador as a member of the Society of St. James the Apostle. The bird is strong, graceful and high flying. It is a near relative to Bisho p Ro b e r t o Bishop Edmond Carmody O. González Coat of Arms Nieves and also on the crest of the Carmody family. The red claw and beak is a sign of struggle, especially the struggle for independence by the Irish and the Ecuadorian people. By this sign the bishop seeks to ally himself with the poor and the powerless to defend and protect. Unlike previous bishops, Bishop Carmody chose to express his motto in English—“With Christ all is Possible.” These words represent the bishop’s desire to be the instrument of Christ’s power going out to others, offering hope that is necessary to bring about needed change in people, society and the world.




hen people want to get to know people better, they often take time to get to know the family members who helped to form and encourage them to be the persons God created them to be.

To know Jesus more fully, one must come to know Mary Timothy Hatch Contributor



The process works similarly when we want to get to know Jesus, the Son of God who became flesh to become one of us. No other person but Mary, His mother, the most perfect human being other than Jesus Himself, would have done better to raise Jesus and form Him to be who God the Father created Him to be. Hence, if one really wants to know Jesus more fully, he or she must come to know Mary. In fact, Jesus calls all the faithful to come to know Him through His mother and invites them to bring their intentions to Him by way of His mother. After all, who can say no when our own mothers ask of something? The concept is simple and is the premise behind the “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary Retreat” at Our Lady of Corpus Christi. The Total Consecration to Jesus, developed by St. Louis de Montfort is an exercise designed to increase spirituality and the ability to truly serve the Lord. The basic idea set forth is simply that Jesus came into the world through Mary and that for the faithful to always be assured of being close to Jesus, to be even closer than ever before, they should go through Mary. Why consecration through Mary, one might ask? Consecration means “to set aside for a sacred purpose.” Mary’s life was set aside for the sole purpose of serving the Lord. By following her example, the faithful too can completely give themselves to Christ in a fundamental way that consecrates them to Him. They give their lives to Him in service and love. Consecration to Jesus through Mary is a method used by many, including Blessed Pope John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The objective of this consecration is, through Mary, to cast off the spirit of the world, which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ, in order to acquire fully the spirit of Jesus. “This retreat has been developed to help people commit themselves entirely to Jesus by availing themselves of the special assistance of Our Lady. It’s based on True Devotion by St. Louis De Montfort, which promotes renewing our baptismal promises by consecrating ourselves to Jesus through Mary,” Father Dan Estes, SOLT, Director of Our Lady of Corpus

Christi Retreat Center said. The retreat divides the Total Consecration into five themes: the Spirit of the World, Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Mary, Knowledge of Jesus and the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. There are three steps to consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary. First, attend the day of prayer to gain an understanding of the consecration process, to deepen one’s relationship with Jesus and Mary and to increase one’s faith, hope and love. Our Lady of Corpus Christi begins the Total Consecration Retreat process several times a year about a month prior to a Marian feast. The next Total Consecration will lead up to the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8 and will begin with a day of prayer on Oct. 26 at St. Teresa’s Library on the campus of Our Lady of Corpus Christi. Check in is at 8:30 a.m. and the day ends at 2:30 p.m. A light lunch is provided. “Each talk, activity and reflection were deep and refreshing at the same time. It does not really matter how long you have known the Lord Jesus or if you do not have a profound relationship with Him yet, the retreat will be used by Him to reach out to you exactly where you are,” Gabriela Pinedo, a former retreat participant, said. “It gave me a greater clarity of how much my dear Jesus wants to be a constant daily companion in my life.” After the day of prayer, participants are invited to attend four weekly meetings to grow in understanding of prayer, contrition for sins, renouncing their own wills, imitation of Mary’s virtues and love for the person of Jesus. Participants are asked to pray and meditate daily through the 33-day preparation by St. Louis De Montfort and meet occasionally with a spiritual director. The final step is an overnight day of silence where participants immerse themselves in total quiet to listen to God’s calling. “I’m more aware of the great need my spirit has of silent, prayerful times to be able to hear the Lord, to let Him order my day with His peace and guidance,” Pinedo said. The day of silence concludes with the personal consecration to Jesus through Mary where participants commit themselves to cast off the spirit of the world that is counter to Jesus. “This really is a hallmark of the spirituality of Blessed John Paul II. It can be summed up as a renewal of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Father Estes said. Consecration is made at the noon Mass. The next day of silence will be Dec. 7-8. It will be held at Our Lady’s Retreat House on the campus of Our Lady of Corpus Christi and will begin at 4:30 p.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. the next day. For more information or to register, call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321 or visit

24th Annual Celebration for Life Guest Speaker, Father Shenan Boquet

Father Shenan Boquet is President of Human Life International and has traveled throughout the world spreading the Gospel of Life. He is a widely recognized voice in the Catholic and broader Christian community.Throughout his priesthood, Father Shenan Boquet has been dedicated to Pro-Life and Pro-Family teaching and advocacy.

Fund-raising Banquet with Proceeds to Benefit: • Birthright • the gaBriel Project • corPus christi hoPe house

Solomon P. Ortiz Center, Sept. 5th 6:30 pm For Tickets: (361) 852-2273 Limited Seating Available Platinum Benefactors Golden Benefactors Silver Benefactors Patrons Sponsor Supporters General Admission

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AppreCiAtion BAnquet Friday, October 18, 2013 Solomon ortiz Center

402 Harbor Drive | CorpuS CHriSti, tX 78401 Guest Speaker: Dr. D’Ambrosio New York Times Best-Selling Author, Dr. D’Ambrosio brings a practical perspective to teaching the Catholic faith. He has been featured as a world-renowned Catholic commentator on Fox News, Geraldo, and The O’Reilly Factor.

Main Speaker: Bishop Michael Mulvey Tickets: $50

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Fieles asisten a la conferencia carismática de español el dia 15 de Junio en los salones de Most Precious Blood. Foto Contribuido

Movimiento carismático:

‘Evangelizar la cultura y no culturizar el Evangelio’ Luisa Scolari Corresponsal


l pasado 15 de Junio, el grupo del Renovación Carismática Católico en la diócesis de Corpus Christi disfrutó de una conferencia impartida por el Padre José Ordóñez, quien fue director del Movimiento Carismático durante tres años en la Diócesis de Eunápolis en Brasil. El Padre Ordóñez descubrió cosas muy interesantes acerca de este grupo, siendo “el carisma de los carismáticos lo que más me gustó.” 24


“El Movimiento Carismático se centra en la oración y la alabanza fundamentada en las Sagradas Escrituras y la acción del Espíritu Santo, se inspiran y se dejan guiar por El,” el Padre Ordóñez dijo. El grupo muestra una profunda obediencia a la Iglesia, haciendo extraordinarios trabajos de evangelización y pastoral, siendo un grupo muy unido y aceptado en la mayoría de las parroquias. El origen del moPadre José vimiento se basa en Ordóñez la oración que hizo Conferencista el Beato Papa Juan del Movimiento XXIII al inicio de el Carismático Concilio Vaticano en el año de 1961, invocando la inspiración del Espíritu de Dios para la iluminación de la Iglesia. “Señor, dame tu Espíritu para que la Iglesia sea renovada según tu voluntad,” el papa expresó.

VIDA CATÓLICA En 1966, un grupo de jóvenes en los Estados Unidos, después de asistir a un retiro se sintieron tocados por el Espíritu Santo y aprovecharon e incluyeron la efusividad de la alabanza que generalmente es asociada con los evangélicos protestantes. Por eso, y por cargar siempre con la Biblia, el movimiento generó cierta desconfianza y fue rechazados al principio. Con el paso de el tiempo, y conociendo cada vez más su cualidad de servicio a disposición de la Iglesia, empezaron a ser bien acogidos. Desde entonces el movimiento ha crecido cada vez más. Como dice Gamaliel, el gran maestro judío, “Si las cosas son de los hombres, terminarán acabándose por sí solas, si las cosas son de Dios, nunca podremos con ellas…” El Padre Ordóñez, que ha sido conferencista en encuentros de “Revivir en Cristo” en otras diócesis comenta que las personas que pertenecen al Movimiento Carismático son fieles a las acciones del Espíritu Santo y dejan que las cosas fluyan, ya que los carismas son regalos de Dios y El quiere que los pongamos al servicio de su Iglesia. En Brasil, el Movimiento Carismático cada vez tiene más seguidores, sobre todo entre los jóvenes, ya que organizan un “Carnaval con Cristo” los mismos días que se

celebra el carnaval del Río de Janeiro. De sábado a martes más de 16,000 jóvenes se reúnen en el estadio de la ciudad, en donde bailan y cantan alabanzas al Señor y oran y rezan el Rosario durante todos estos días. Igual en la vigilia de Pentecostés, se reúnen a la siete de la noche y se quedan orando y alabando hasta las cinco de la mañana cuando participan en la Santa Misa. Durante la conferencia en Corpus Christi este Junio se abordó el tema de la fe. “La fe es la confianza plena en el Señor y nos lleva a un compromiso personal y de grupo de evangelización dentro de la iglesia. El sentido verdadero del Cristiano es entregarse a los demás; la fe en Cristo no está al servicio personal, es y debe ser un instrumento de transformación para Alfredo Zapata los demás. El verdadero Coordinador sentido de la Renovadel Movimiento ción Carismática es, Carismático llenarse de el Espíritu Santo para que los carismas estén siempre al servicio de la Iglesia,” dijo el Padre Ordóñez, que actualmente se encuentra atendiendo en la Parroquia de San Martín de Tours en la ciudad de Kingsville, Texas. El sacerdote dijo que todos hemos recibido muchos carismas o dones de Dios los que nos son dados para el bien común, por lo tanto no podemos descuidar ni dejar de atender a quienes quieren ponerlos al servicio de la iglesia. Repitió la frase del Beato Papa Juan Pablo II, “Evangelizar la cultura y no culturizar el Evangelio.” Si alguno de nuestros lectores está interesado en pertenecer a este grupo del Movimiento Carismático, puede comunicarse al (361) 850-3281 con el señor Alfredo Zapata, quien es su coordinador o visitar a el sitio web www.

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espués de que los médicos le dijeron a Floribeth Mora Díaz que un aneurisma cerebral la vía dejado con días de vida, se retiró a su casa en Costa Rica y rogó al Beato Papa Juan Pablo II.

permite a la canonización del Papa Juan Pablo II y el Papa Juan XXIII. Más tarde ese día, Mora se dirigió a los medios de comunicación en la capital de Costa Rica, San José. Con un retrato del Beato Papa Juan Pablo II colgando detrás de ella, Mora dijo a la prensa que había enfrentado a la muerte inminente. Comenzó a sufrir de dolores de cabeza muy fuertes en abril de 2011 y fue diagnosticado con un aneurisma. Su vida estaba en peligro, su médico, el doctor Alejandro Vargas, dijo a los reporDesde su habitación en un pequeño teros después de la conferencia Floribeth Mora Díaz presenta una portada de pueblo en la provincia de Cartago en de prensa. Costa Rica, Mora dijo que escuchó la voz revista con la imagen de Papa Juan Pablo “Fue muy triste,” dijo Mora, del Papa Juan Pablo II que le habló con las “ver a mis hijos viéndome de pie II cuando da su testimonio a los medios de palabras, “¡Levántate! ... No tengas miedo.” junto a mi cama, viendo a mi macomunicación en San José, Costa Rica, 5 de Se levantó de la cama, y su marido le rido haciéndose fuerte.” julio. pregunto, “Mi amor, ¿qué estás haciendo La familia de Mora había consJuan Carlos Ulate, Catholic News Service aquí?” Mora, con lágrimas en los ojos retruido un altar al Papa Juan Pablo cordó en una conferencia de prensa el 05 II, y alguien le dio una revista con de julio, le respondió a su marido, “Me su foto en la portada. siento mejor.” Mora dijo que mientras miraba la fotografía, el Papa Eso fue en mayo de 2011. Los médicos no podían exJuan Pablo II empezó a hablar con ella. plicar su alivio y Mora se convirtió en el segundo milagro “Estaba sorprendida. Me quedé mirando la revista. atribuido al Papa Juan Pablo II, que murió en 2005. El Dije, ‘Sí, Señor,’ y me levanté,” le dijo a una estación de primer milagro fue una monja francesa curada de la entelevisión Mexicana en una entrevista. fermedad de Parkinson en el mismo año. Sostuvo la revista en la conferencia de prensa, mientras El 5 de julio, el Papa Francisco firmó un decreto que las lágrimas rodaban por su cara.



Un altar con imágenes del Beato Juan Pablo II se representa en la casa de Floribeth Mora Díaz, la mujer costarricense cuya curación inexplicable se ha atribuido a la intercesión del fallecido pontífice polaco. El Vaticano anunció el 5 de julio que el Papa Francisco ha firmado el decreto de aprobación de su santidad. Juan Carlos Ulate, Catholic News Service

Vargas dijo a una televisión local que no había explicación médica para su alivio. “Me sorprendió....dije, ‘Realmente es un milagro, porque no puedo explicarlo’,” el doctor dijo.

Mora dijo que su enfermedad la dejó con mucho miedo. “Pero siempre he mantenido la fe. Siempre he sido un firme creyente. Tengo un profundo amor de Dios,” dijo.

Alcance a las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso sexual por el clero y / o personal de la iglesia

Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero

Obispo Wm. Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi se ha comprometido a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso sexual. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en la necesidad de dichos servicios, por favor llame a Stephanie Bonilla ante la Ocina de Protección de Niños y Jóvenes, (361) 693-6686 (ocina), (361) 658-8652 (celular).

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 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Pro-life supporters participate in a procession in Austin, July 9, as the Legislature met to consider a bill to restrict abortion. The Republican-led majority in the Senate passed the measure to adopt tougher abortion regulations July 13. Mike Stone, Reuters

Texas stiffens abortion restrictions;

pro-lifers rally to support bill Enedelia J. Obregón Catholic News Service

The drama in Texas over abortion that drew national and international attention came to an end for the moment after the state House of Representatives and the state Senate voted to adopt tougher abortion regulations. The law prohibits abortions at or later than the 20th week of pregnancy, requires abortion clinics to be certified as surgical centers and increases regulations on doctors and abortion-


inducing drugs. Jeff Patterson, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference, said the law protects life by requiring no termination of pregnancies at or after the first 20 weeks and it improves standards for abortion facilities. The conference is the statewide association of the Catholic dioceses in Texas and the public policy arm of the bishops of Texas. It represents


Catholic positions on issues before the Texas Legislature, the Texas delegation in Congress and state agencies. “Twenty weeks is five months– that’s late term and a point where babies can feel pain,” Patterson said. The stricter regulations for doctors and the abortion-inducing drugs such as RU-486 are to ensure they follow Food and Drug Administration guidelines. “A lot of doctors don’t follow the


prescription guidelines,” Patterson said. “It means two separate visits, but that’s to make sure there are no problems.” The measure also requires that doctors performing abortions have hospital privileges within 30 miles of the facility in which the abortion is performed. “About 20 percent of the time there are complications,” Patterson said. “In case there’s a problem they can get the woman to a hospital to care for her.” According to the Texas Department of Health, five mothers in Texas have died during an abortion procedure, along with nearly a million deaths of babies. For pro-life groups, the legislation is another incremental step in ending abortion. In 2011, Texas legislators

passed a bill requiring a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram from the doctor who is to perform the procedure at least 24 hours before the abortion. Texas lawmakers, focused on the state budget and other matters, were unable to get to abortion reform legislation during the 140-day regular session. Gov. Rick Perry decided to add abortion reform legislation to his call for a special session that began hours after the regular session adjourned. After a series of delays culminated by a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, in the waning hours of the session, the measure died despite clear majority support. Perry called a second special session to consider the legislation. Marie Seale, director of the Diocese of Austin Office of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living, said the filibuster got the attention of pro-life supporters and brought them out to the Capitol in large numbers for the second special session. “People were wildly upset about what Wendy Davis did to legislation in the first special session,” she said. “When pro-lifers saw the vote being taken from them, they riled up.” Seale said that pro-life supporters realized their presence was needed in large numbers and they were moved to take action. “It means being inconvenienced, packing lunches and getting at line early in the morning,” she told the Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Diocese of Austin. “That’s...what Christian life is supposed to be. A call to action.” Although the church, the Texas Catholic Conference and other prolife groups regularly ask people to make their presence known, this was a grass-roots effort to get as many pro-life supporters to the Capitol as

possible. Laypeople got on Facebook and called on friends and other prolife people they knew to show up dressed in blue at the Capitol. “I’ve never been so impressed,” Seale said. “It’s a grass-roots movement, but at the same time I’ve never seen the laity really answer the call… this is our faith in action. I’m in awe and praying it doesn’t end.” The challenge is now to keep the momentum going and Seale said the events made her realize how much work her office has to do. “Many women came forth with post-abortion stories,” she said. “They felt called to share how abortion affected them. That means Project Rachel has to grow. I’m hoping to pull people who are now on fire and get them involved.” Project Rachel is a diocesan pro-life ministry for those who are suffering from the spiritual and emotional trauma of abortion. Seale said the Gabriel Project, a diocesan ministry for women in crisis pregnancies, also would need to grow to meet the needs of the mothers and their babies. She said that many pro-life people who had not been politically active before now realize the challenge of getting legislation passed. The next legislative session is in 2015, and Patterson said the bishops want an end to judicial bypass, which allows girls under age 17 to forgo parental consent for abortions by getting approval from a district judge. They also want expansion and funding of crisis pregnancy centers and an end to regulatory requirements that prevent the centers from providing options other than abortion, as well as social services that will allow a woman to keep her child. (Obregon writes for the Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Diocese of Austin.)



St. Joseph breaks ground o Alfredo E. Cardenas

A South Texas Catholic

s its golden anniversary as a faith community dawns on St. Joseph Parish in Kingsville, it is

readying itself for the next half century of service to the church. 30


On July 20, the parish broke ground on a half milliondollar multi-purpose building that will serve as parish hall, religious education building and parish offices. Before joining a host of parish community leaders in breaking ground for the new facility, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey reminded those in attendance that Pope Francis continually asks us to simplify the complexity of our faith life. “Our faith is in Jesus Christ; He is the cornerstone of

on a multipurpose building Bishop Mulvey and Father Romeo Salinas (to bishop’s left) join parish leaders in breaking ground for new multi-purpose building that will house parish hall, religious education classrooms and parish offices. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

our faith. Lets keep that in mind as we dig into the dirt today,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop thanked Father Romeo Salinas for his leadership as pastor of St. Joseph. “He had the vision with you and to listen to you in your needs, and then help you bring it to fruition,” Bishop Mulvey said.

Father Salinas said the project was four and half years in the making, beginning in 2008 when the old parish hall was razed due to infestation. Since then the parish has operated without a parish hall and religious education classes have been held on the second floor of the old convent. The facility is so small that classes are held in AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Bishop Mulvey blesses ground behind St. Joseph church in Kingsville where new parish hall will be built. Alfredo Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

shifts in order to accommodate the 200 children enrolled in religious education. The struggle with facilities has been part of parish life at St. Joseph since the beginning. The idea for building a church in the northeast corner of Kingsville came about in 1962 when St. Martin Parish was looking to meet the needs of Catholics in Kingsville. It received permission from Bishop Mariano S. Architectural rendering of new parish hall at St. Joseph parish. Ferrel/Brown & Associates



Garriga to borrow $20,000 to build a chapel in the area. The new chapel was established in June 1963 and blessed on Oct. 20, 1963. The following year, Father Julian R. Johnson, OMI reported to Bishop Garriga that one Mass was offered at the chapel of St. Joseph weekly. Late in 1968, Father John McGrath, OMI, wrote to Bishop Thomas J. Drury that St. Joseph was in need of a large parish hall and had the opportunity to secure a surplus building from Naval Air Station Kingsville. Four months later, on March 3, 1969, Bishop Drury approved for the “H-shaped wooden barracks” to be moved to St. Joseph. The diocese’s Home Mission Fund gave St. Joseph $5,000, $3,000 for relocation of the barracks building and $2,000 for remodeling. Ten years later, the parish hall’s roof needed repairs and Bishop Drury approved a request from Father John Diehl, OMI to spend $6,797 on the roof. St. Joseph, a mission of St. Martin, had grown to include 348 families. This prompted Bishop Drury to elevate it to a parish, effective Dec. 15, 1979. The Navy barracks continued to serve as a parish hall, but were constantly in need of repairs. In 1982, St. Joseph’s new pastor, Father Felipe Matias, OMI, reported to the bishop that the Mutualistas and others had offered to renovate the parish hall, “no strings attached.” In 2004 the parish commissioned an engineering

study to determine how to best remodel the parish hall. The study concluded that it was not economically feasible to salvage the barracks. The old barracks continued to serve as a parish hall until 2008 when the parish was forced to tear them down for health and safety reasons. Sylvia Molina, parish secretary and grants writer, said that St. Joseph began a capitol campaign in 2008 and with the help of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation the project was becoming a reality. The parish will also use proceeds from the diocese’s “Legacy of Faith-Future of Hope” campaign to complete the project. The parish is a “close knit community, very supportive of parish needs,” Molina said. Father Salinas echoed her assessment, saying the parish is “real faithful and hard Father Romeo working.” Salinas One parishioner is Jose Gravely, Pastor of St. Joseph whose construction company will in Kingsville build the 4,500 square-foot project at a cost of $567,000. Gravely hopes to complete the construction, weather permitting, in four to five months. David Brown, with Ferrel/Brown and Associates, is the architect for the project. “We will be able to have classes for CCD, marriage preparation classes, baptismal classes and Bible study,” Father Salinas said. The facility will also serve as a meeting place for men and women groups in the parish, as well as other ministries, he said.



Catholics urged t ‘with love’ in religi Mark Zimmermann Catholic News Service


s people of faith and as Americans, the nation’s Catholics should kneel in prayer and also stand in defense of religious freedom, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said July 4 during the closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. “There is a time to be on one’s knees. There is also a time to stand up. Today, there are things that should mean enough to all of us, including our religious liberty, that we simply need to stand–to stand up for what is right, to stand up for what is ours, to stand up for freedom of religion,” the cardinal said. The cardinal said that American Catholics, through their faith and love, could change the world and make it a better place. “It begins with all of us having the courage to stand for what we believe…[to stand up] for our faith and freedom.” The Mass marked the close of the second annual Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period in which the nation’s bishops called on Catholics across the country to pray and act in defense of religious freedom. Dioceses across the U.S. celebrated Masses, held prayer services and organized marches and other events to mark the close of the fortnight, which began June 21, the vigil of the feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, who were martyred for their faith. In Washington, the liturgy–televised nationally by EWTN–drew an overflow crowd of 5,500 people and was concelebrated by five bishops and by 72 priests. An honor guard of dozens of Knights of Columbus saluted the clergy as they processed into the Independence Day Mass. People of all ages and backgrounds, ranging from families with young children to senior citizens, filled the pews and lined the outside aisles of the cavernous shrine. In welcoming the congregation, Msgr. Walter R. Rossi,



the basilica’s rector, praised the individual Catholics who had driven from different parts of the country and members of movements like the Neocatechumenal Way, some of whom came in buses and played joyful music outside the shrine’s entrance before the Mass. Their witness, Msgr. Rossi said, demonstrated that “faith matters.” Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty who opened the fortnight with a Mass at his city’s historic basilica, was among the concelebrants for the July 4 Mass in Washington, and he spoke after Communion. He noted that the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on same-sex marriage, and the ongoing controversy over the federal contraceptive mandate, demonstrate real-life threats to religious liberty. “We must stand firm and be emboldened by the strength of our religiously-held convictions not just two weeks a year, but always, for the threats continue to come,” Archbishop Lori said. “We defend marriage and defend religious liberty not for our own sake, but for the good of our church, for the good of our fellow man, and for the good of the United States of America.” He said the Supreme Court’s decision the Defense of Marriage Act “effectively paves the way for more lawsuits to redefine marriage to include two persons of the same sex, and in doing so, raises the religious liberty stakes for the men and women of conscience and the religious institutions that continue to teach the truth about marriage.” Archbishop Lori encouraged the nation’s Catholics not

o speak truth ous freedom fight

to be “unfairly shamed into remaining silent when it comes to supporting marriage.” He added, “We are not against anyone. ... We are for marriage, we are for children, we are for families, and we are for preserving the religious liberty God has given us and our Constitution guarantees us as Americans who are also people of faith.” Speaking about the HHS mandate that would force

Catholic institutions like schools, hospitals and social service agencies to violate Church teaching by providing employee health insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs, contraception and sterilizations, Archbishop Lori said, “Sometimes issues like a government mandate can seem abstract. But they affect real people and real ministries.” He encouraged people to go to the USCCB website at and see a video about three women whose conscience rights have been violated in the medical field and in private business. One day before the fortnight’s closing Mass, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that the HHS final rule on its mandate requires action in Congress and in the courts. Numerous Catholic dioceses, institutions and private businesses are challenging the mandate in court. In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl Crowds gather outside the Basilica of spoke about the the National Shrine of the Immaculate nation’s legacy of religious Conception in Washington after the freedom, and Fortnight for Freedom closing Mass he noted how July 4 to sing songs for Jesus with the Maryland is reCatholic group Neocatechumenal Way. garded as the The campaign, initiated by the U .S. birthplace of religious liberty bishops in 2012, is a two-week period of in the United prayer, education and action on preservStates, because ing religious freedom in the U.S. the colony was Leslie E. Kossoff, Catholic News Service founded in 1634 on the principle of religious toleration. But by 1704, the royal governor there ordered a Catholic chapel in St. Mary’s City, then Maryland’s capital, to be locked, and until the American Revolution, Catholics there could not worship publicly and faced a variety of restrictions. In 2009, the cardinal participated in a ceremony in which AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


the doors of the rebuilt 1667 Brick Chapel in historic St. Mary’s City were unlocked, and he helped push open the doors. That story, the cardinal said, demonstrates the fragility of religious freedom, and the need for people of faith, like the early Marylanders, to persevere in their defense of “our inherent human right to religious liberty and the blessing of freedom of conscience.” Cardinal Wuerl noted how there are still efforts to lock the doors of people’s religious freedom, and he pointed to a case this past spring, when a small group of students tried to oust Father Greg Shaffer, the chaplain at George Washington University in the nation’s capital, because at Mass he taught “what Jesus said about marriage.” Intolerance against people of faith “is the new form of locking doors,” the cardinal said. He encouraged Catholics not to respond in kind, but as followers of Jesus Christ, to speak the truth in love. The intercessions at the Mass including a prayer for government officials to respect religious liberty, and a prayer for Catholics in educational, health care and social service ministries to have the freedom to carry out their work while remaining true to their faith. After the Mass, people leaving the national shrine reflected on why they had come to Mass on July 4 to pray for religious freedom. Juliana Anamelechi, a member of the Nigerian Catholic Community in Washington who works as a pharmacist at Providence Hospital in the nation’s capital, said: “Today is Independence Day. We want to pray for the country we’re living in ... so our country will allow us to live a Catholic life, the way God wants us to live, without any hindrance from politics or a government mandate.” (Zimmermann is editor of the Catholic Standard, newspaper of the Washington Archdiocese.)


New El Paso ‘deeply comm Andy Sparke Catholic News Service


ishop Mark J. Seitz promised to lead his flock into a new century characterized by the new evangelization as he was installed as bishop of the nearly 100-year-old Diocese of El Paso.

In a homily presented in both English and Spanish, Bishop Seitz addressed more than 4,000 people who attended the installation Mass in the grand hall of the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center July 9. He promised to listen for the voice of the Lord in the words of the priests, the deacons, the laity “and the voices of the poor, for I am sure he will speak through them.” “I will have confidence in the voice of Holy Father Francis and the magisterium of the church,” he said. Msgr. Jean-Francois Lantheaume, charge d’affaires at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, read a message from Pope Francis relieving Bishop Seitz of his duties as auxiliary bishop of Dallas and appointing him the sixth bishop of the El Paso diocese. His appointment was an-


nounced May 6. San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller conducted the installation rite, which was attended by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, and 22 archbishops and bishops from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, California, Louisiana, Wyoming, Illinois and Nebraska. In his homily, Bishop Seitz recounted his visits to parts of the El Paso diocese in the time since his appointment was announced and said, “I can see the diocese is deeply committed to the Catholic faith.” Noting that the city of El Paso derives its name from El Paso del Norte, “the pass of the north” traveled by early Spanish explorers and missionaries, he said it has long been a beacon for “refugees and immigrants, people so dear to the Lord.” Next March, the Diocese of El Paso will mark the 100th anniversary of its founding by Pope Pius X. Made up of 10 counties covering 26,700 square miles in the western tip of Texas between New Mexico and Mexico, the diocese has a Catholic population of more than 650,000. Bishop Seitz told those gathered for his installation, “I will call you to open a new chapter in the history of the diocese in this new century.” “The world needs the testimony of faith now more than ever,” he said. “This is the time for the new

bishop sees a diocese itted to Catholic faith’ any shepherd cannot reach his goal alone, but must be accompanied by this flock. “We are going to be connected in the pilgrimage” toward holiness, he said. “I hope that I can help you with the model of my life and preaching.” He said, “I hope to help you to work through this life with more joy and more peace.” “It is a great honor,” he said, “to be here in this great Diocese of El Paso where the evangelization of Texas began,” referring to the early Spanish missionaries who established the missions in the diocese in the 1600s; Migrants from Annunciation House greet Bishop Mark J. Seitz during his installation Mass as the sixth missions which are still acbishop of the Diocese of El Paso, July 9 in the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center. More tive parishes today. Earlier in the day, Bishop than 4,000 people attended the Mass for the former auxiliary bishop of Dallas. Seitz and members of his Christ Chavez, Rio Grande Catholic family were guests of honor at a luncheon hosted by the evangelization.” tic congregation in singing the psalms Native American Tigua Tribe, whose More than 800 Catholics from the and hymns for the service. home parish is the Ysleta Mission in El diocese faithful filled St. Patrick CaIn his homily, Bishop Seitz said his Paso’s Lower Valley. thedral to overflowing for the vespers appointment, as new bishop of El Paso, The bishop was greeted by members service the evening before the installawas both a “great surprise and great joy.” of the tribal council, honored with a tion of the new bishop. He told the gathering he was ambipresentation of the Eagle Dance, and Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of tious to be a saint “like Father Pedro joined tribal members and guests in Fresno, Calif., apostolic administrator de Jesus Maldonado who was ordained dancing a community round dance. of El Paso and former bishop of the in this cathedral.” Father Maldonado “I want every Catholic in El Paso diocese, met Bishop Seitz at the door was martyred in the Mexican state of to be an evangelizer,” the bishop said. of the cathedral and led him toward the Chihuahua in the 1930s and canonized “Together we will announce a new path altar amid long applause from those in by Pope John Paul II. that leads us to God.” attendance. Bishop Ochoa was named Noting that he would become to Fresno in December 2011. shepherd of the El Paso diocese on (Sparke is editor of Rio Grande Catholic, newspaper The diocesan choir led an enthusiasthe following day, Bishop Seitz said of the Diocese of El Paso.)



In first encyclical, pope celebrate Francis X. Rocca

P Catholic News Service

ope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy and the natural sciences. The document, released July 5, completes a papal trilogy on the three “theological virtues,” following Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals “Deus Caritas Est” (2005) on charity and “Spe Salvi” (2007) on hope. Publication of the encyclical was one of the most awaited events of the Year of Faith, which began in October 2012. Pope Benedict “had almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith” before his retirement in February 2013, Pope Francis writes, adding that “I have taken up his fine work and added a few contributions of my own.” Commentators will likely differ in attributing specific passages, but the document clearly recalls the writings of Pope Benedict in its extensive treatment of the dialogue between faith and reason and its many citations of St. Augustine, not to mention references to Friedrich Nietzsche and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. On other hand, warnings of the dangers of idolatry, Gnosticism and Pharisaism, a closing prayer to Mary as the “perfect icon of faith,” and an entire



Excerpts from Pope Catholic News Service

Here are excerpts from Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”). Introduction: Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. In the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere. We Have Believed in Love Faith, tied as it is to conversion, is the opposite of idolatry; it breaks with idols to turn to the living God in a personal encounter. Believing means entrusting oneself to a merciful love which always accepts and pardons, which sustains and directs our lives, and which shows its power by its ability to make straight the crooked lines of our history. Faith consists in the willingness to let ourselves be constantly transformed and renewed by God’s call. Our culture has lost its sense of God’s tangible presence and activity in our world. We think that God is to be found in the beyond, on another level of reality, far removed from our everyday relationships. But if this were the case, if God could not act in the world, his love would not be truly powerful, truly real, and thus not even true, a love capable of delivering the bliss that it promises. ... Christians, on the contrary, profess their faith in God’s tangible and powerful love, which really does act in history and determines its final destiny: a love that can be encountered, a love fully revealed in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Faith is necessarily ecclesial; it is professed from within the body of Christ as a concrete communion of believers. It is against this ecclesial backdrop that faith opens the individual Christian toward all others. ... Faith is not a private matter, a completely individualistic notion or a personal opinion: it comes from hearing, and it is meant to find expression in words and to be proclaimed. Unless You Believe, You Will Not Understand Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing. It remains a beautiful story, the projection of our deep yearning for happiness, something capable of satisfying us to the extent that we are willing to deceive ourselves. Either that, or it is reduced to a lofty sentiment which brings consolation and cheer, yet remains prey to the vagaries of our


s faith as the light of human life

e Francis’ encyclical ‘Lumen Fidei’ The light of love proper to faith can illumine the questions of our own time about truth. Truth nowadays is often reduced to the subjective authenticity of the individual, valid only for the life of the individual. A common truth intimidates us, for we identify it with the intransigent demands of totalitarian systems. But if truth is a truth of love, if it is a truth disclosed in personal encounter with the other and with others, then it can be set free from its enclosure in individuals and become part of the common good.

“Once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim,” says the encyclical “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”) from Pope Francis. Pictured are votive candles at the St. Kateri Tekakwitha shrine in Fonda, N.Y. Nancy Phelan Wiechec, Catholic News Service

spirit and the changing seasons, incapable of sustaining a steady journey through life. Love and truth are inseparable. Without love, truth becomes cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives. The truth we seek, the truth that gives meaning to our journey through life, enlightens us whenever we are touched by love. This discovery of love as a source of knowledge, which is part of the primordial experience of every man and woman, finds authoritative expression in the biblical understanding of faith. In savoring the love by which God chose them and made them a people, Israel came to understand the overall unity of the divine plan. Faith-knowledge, because it is born of God’s covenantal love, is knowledge which lights up a path in history. By his taking flesh and coming among us, Jesus has touched us, and through the sacraments he continues to touch us even today; transforming our hearts, he unceasingly enables us to acknowledge and acclaim him as the Son of God. Christian faith, inasmuch as it proclaims the truth of God’s total love and opens us to the power of that love, penetrates to the core of our human experience. Each of us comes to the light because of love, and each of us is called to love in order to remain in the light.

I Delivered to You What I Also Received Those who have opened their hearts to God’s love, heard his voice and received his light cannot keep this gift to themselves. Since faith is hearing and seeing, it is also handed on as word and light. ... Faith is passed on, we might say, by contact, from one person to another, just as one candle is lighted from another. Precisely because all the articles of faith are interconnected, to deny one of them, even of those that seem least important, is tantamount to distorting the whole. Each period of history can find this or that point of faith easier or harder to accept: hence the need for vigilance in ensuring that the deposit of faith is passed on in its entirety (cf. 1 Tm 6:20) and that all aspects of the profession of faith are duly emphasized. God Prepares a City for Them Faith is truly a good for everyone; it is a common good. Its light does not simply brighten the interior of the church, nor does it serve solely to build an eternal city in the hereafter; it helps us build our societies in such a way that they can journey toward a future of hope. The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gn 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light.



“It is impossible to believe on our own,” the pope writes. “By its very nature, faith is open to the ‘we’ of the church; it always takes place within her communion.” section on the relevance of faith to earthly justice and peace echo themes that Pope Francis has already made signatures of his young pontificate. “Lumen Fidei” begins with a brief survey of the biblical history of faith, starting with God’s call to Abraham to leave his land–”the beginning of an exodus which points him to an uncertain future”–and God’s promise that Abraham will be “father of a great nation.” The Bible also illustrates how men and women break faith with God by worshipping substitutes for him. “Idols exist, we begin to see, as a pretext for setting ourselves at the center of reality and worshipping the work of our own hands,” the pope writes. “Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires…Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another.” Pope Francis sees another way of turning from God in the Pharisees’ belief that salvation is possible through good works alone. “Those who live this way, who want to be the source of their own righteousness, find that the latter is soon depleted and that they are unable even to keep the law,” the pope writes. “Salvation by faith means recognizing the primacy of God’s gift.” Faith finds its fulfillment in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the pope writes. By virtue of his humanity, Jesus is both the object of faith and the ultimate model and mediator for all believers. “Christ is not simply the one in whom we believe, the supreme manifestation of God’s love,” Pope Francis writes. “He is also the one with whom we are united precisely in order to believe. Faith does not merely gaze at Jesus, but sees things as Jesus himself


sees them, with his own eyes: it is a participation in his way of seeing.” This participation means that faith inevitably makes a Christian part of Christ’s mystical body, the church. “It is impossible to believe on our own,” the pope writes. “By its very nature, faith is open to the ‘we’ of the church; it always takes place within her communion.” The church transmits the faith across time “through an unbroken chain of witnesses,” allowing us to “see the face of Jesus,” Pope Francis writes. “As a service to the unity of faith and its integral transmission, the Lord gave his church the gift of apostolic succession. Through this means, the continuity of the church’s memory is ensured and certain access can be had to the wellspring from which faith flows.” Accordingly, members of the hierarchy stand as the authoritative teachers of the contents of Christian faith. The “magisterium of the pope and the bishops in communion with him,” the pope writes, “ensures our contact with the primordial source and thus provides the certainty of attaining to the word of Christ in all its integrity.” Yet faith in its fullness is more than doctrine, Pope Francis writes; it is “the new light born of an encounter with the true God, a light which touches us at the core of our being and engages our minds, wills and emotions, opening us to relationships lived in communion.” Thus the primary means of transmitting faith is not a book or a homily, but the sacraments, especially baptism and the Eucharist, which “communicate an incarnate memory, linked to the times and places of our lives, linked to all our senses; in them the whole person is engaged as a member of a living subject and part of a network of communitarian relationships.”


The belief that the “Son of God took on our flesh” and “entered our human history” also leads Christians “to live our lives in this world with ever greater commitment and intensity,” the pope writes, arguing that faith inspires both the use of human reason and pursuit of the common good. For faith, Pope Francis writes, truth is not attainable through autonomous reason alone but requires love, a “relational way of viewing the world, which then becomes a form of shared knowledge, vision through the eyes of another and a shared vision of all that exists.” By affirming the “inherent order” and harmony of the material world, and “by stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation,” Christian faith encourages scientific research, while dispelling the philosophical relativism that has produced a “crisis of truth in our age.” Faith also inspires respect for the natural environment, by allowing believers to “discern in it a grammar written by the hand of God and a dwelling place entrusted to our protection and care.” According to Pope Francis, faith has proven itself essential to the promotion of “justice, law and peace,” by contrast with failed modern ideologies that also claimed those goals. “Modernity sought to build a universal brotherhood based on equality,” he writes, “yet we gradually came to realize that this brotherhood, lacking a common reference to a common father as its ultimate foundation, cannot endure. “We need to return to the true basis of brotherhood,” the pope writes. “Faith teaches us to see that every man and woman represents a blessing for me, that the light of God’s face shines on me through the faces of my brothers and sisters.”

Pope Francis says


Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation his decisions by himself; he was always following oneself, doing what interests was “a great example” of what it means “in full union” with God and obeyed me, what’s worthwhile for me, what I to follow one’s conscience through him after listening carefully and closely like,” he said. prayer, Pope Francis said. to his will, the pope said. The conscience is “listening to the Following one’s conscience doesn’t Because he acted after careful contruth, to the good, listening to God” mean chasing after one’s own selfsideration “together with his Father” and this is fostered by having a close interests; it calls for listening to God, and in line with the truth, Jesus was relationship with God, “who speaks understanding his will and carrying able to be decisive and sure, and “found to my heart and helps me to discern, out his plan with determination, Pope the strength and light for his journey.” understand the path I have to take.” Francis said. “We, too, have to learn to listen to God also helps people “go forward Pope Benedict provided a “recent our conscience more,” the pope said. and be faithful” once they have made marvelous example” of following one’s “But be careful! This doesn’t mean their decision, he said. conscience, Pope Francis said, evidently referring to the retired pope’s decision to leave office. “Pope Benedict XVI gave us this great example when the Lord led him to understand, in prayer, what was the step he should take,” Pope Francis said. “He followed, with a great sense of discernment and courage, his conscience, that is, the will of God, who spoke to his heart.” References to the retired pope drew applause from the crowd, which Pope Francis urged on with encouraging gestures. Jesus provides many examples of how important it is to follow one’s conscience by “listening to his Father’s voice in his heart and following it,” he said. Jesus, who is God-made-man, Pope Francis, right, embraces retired Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony in the Vatican had free will and wasn’t “remotegardens. During the service, Pope Francis blessed a new statue of St. Michael the Archangel and controlled” by God. recited separate prayers to consecrate Vatican City to St. Joseph and to St. Michael. However, Jesus never made L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters



Pope offers future priests, nuns a how-to guide to a happy vocation Carol Glatz Catholic News Service


e joyous, authentic and loving while resisting fly-by-night commitments, catty gossip and sleek cars, Pope Francis told future priests, brothers and nuns. Vocations do not come from catchy campaigns or pursuing personal goals; the consecrated life is the result of prayer and answering an “unsettling” yet loving invitation from God, he told some 6,000 seminarians and men and women who were considering religious life. Men and women from 66 nations came to Rome in July on a four-day pilgrimage as part of the Year of Faith celebrations, which included an informal audience with Pope Francis. The pope spent more than 45 minutes speaking off-the-cuff to a packed audience hall, giving young and old a thorough how-to guide on the secrets of a successful vocation. Some of the greatest dangers standing in the way of a happy religious life are materialism and a culture that believes nothing is forever, he said.


Even religious men and women have to avoid the temptation of thinking “the latest smartphone, the fastest moped and a car that turns heads” will make them happy, he said. He said it pains him when he sees a nun or priest driving an expensive car, and he praised the beauty of the bicycle, noting his 54-year-old personal secretary, Msgr. Alfred Xuereb, gets around on a bike. However, with all the work to be done and distances to be covered, cars are a necessity, he said. Just “get a humbler one,” and if the flashier model still looks tempting, “think about how many children are dying of hunger,” he said. True joy doesn’t come from things or “living on the edge,” having wild, fleeting experiences, he said. “It springs from an encounter, a relation with others, it comes from feeling accepted, understood and loved, and from accepting, understanding and loving” others, he said. Jesus is telling people, “You are important to me, I love you and I’m counting on you,” the pope said. Opening up to this love and divine call is “the secret of our joy,” he said. “Don’t be afraid of showing the joy of having answered the Lord’s call, and of giving witness to his Gospel in service to the church.” Joy is contagious, he said, and attracts people to learn more about the source of that happiness.


“Please, no nuns or priests with the face of a pickled pepper,” he insisted. “There is no holiness in sadness.” The source of that dissatisfaction and sadness is not celibacy, the pope said; it’s living a consecrated life that is sterile and lifeless. Nuns and priests are called to be spiritual and pastoral mothers and fathers, bringing life, healing and love to all they meet. The pope pointed to a petite, elderly nun whom he had spared from the crush of an over exuberant crowd pressing down on her as they sought to shake the pope’s hand before the audience. The pope had told a guard to lift her from the fray and give her a front-row seat, safe from the scrum. He said in his talk that he was struck by the sister’s bright eyes and smiling face, despite the difficulties of being squeezed against the barricade, and said she was a beautiful example for everyone. The pope also told everyone to always be clear and honest with their confessors. Jesus already knows people’s sins, defects and limits, “he just wants you to tell him what he already knows.” Truth and transparency “do good because they make us humble.” Do not be hypocrites, and practice what is preached, he added. “In this world in which wealth does harm, it’s necessary we priests, we nuns, all of us are consistent with

Novices look on as Pope Francis meets with those discerning vocations and those on the path to becoming members of religious orders July 6 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. Tony Gentile, Reuters

our poverty,” he said. Midway through his talk, the pope told the event’s main organizer, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, that he could go on all night, but that someone had better bring everyone “a sandwich and Coca Cola if it goes until tomorrow.” The pope then highlighted the importance of living as a community and avoiding petty gossip and rivalries. The pope said he was guilty and ashamed of being caught up in gossip and complaining. He said ideally he preferred speaking directly to the people he has a problem with or with someone who can resolve the issue, never talking behind people’s backs

“to smear them.” He urged everyone to be contemplative, pray the rosary and be a missionary, reaching out to the outcast and disadvantaged. The next day, at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope used his homily to offer additional encouragement and wisdom for a happy vocation. “The paschal mystery” of death and resurrection help shelter religious men and women “from a worldly and triumphalistic view” of their mission and “from the discouragement that can result from trials and failures.” The human notions of success and failure cannot measure effective evangelization, but only “by becoming conformed to the logic of the Cross of Jesus” of giving oneself totally and

completely with love, he said. Vocations come from prayer because it is God who chooses his disciples, not “advertising campaigns or appeals of service and generosity.” Prayer also gives the strength and direction needed to be a courageous, loving apostle. And finally, the pope said, never see one’s vocation as a job. It’s a relationship with God that requires constant cultivation, being united with Christ, especially “amid the whirlwind of more urgent and heavy duties,” he said. “What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life,” the Lord’s cross, he said.



10 great vocation videos Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor


odern media is a great tool,

and the Church has taught us

Fishers of Men (2006, 18m22s)

that it should be embraced

and used wisely as a tool for the salvation of souls. The reason it is so effective is that it can produce a strong emotional response, which can help confer important information. In vocations work, especially, good media is extremely important to capture the minds and hearts of young people. Because media surrounds youth, not just anything will catch their attention. It is important that the media is aesthetically inspiring and that it soundly portrays the doctrine and life of the Church. While there are many videos available online, a few gems rise to the top. Below is a “Top 10” list of videos that are great for viewing by young people. You’ll notice there are more than 10, but who has a “Top 12” list? Depending on the situation you are in as a promoter of vocations, there are many different ways to use these videos effectively: in a class or youth group, watched together in a family, even posting a link on Facebook or sending a link by email. Perhaps you may have seen some of these before, or maybe not. Regardless, they are quite captivating.


Videos promoting the priesthood can be viewed at



This first video is well known; it was created and published by the USCCB as part of a program to help revitalize the priesthood in the U.S. It contains a description of priestly ministry, inspiring stories of vocation discovery and an invitation to men to discern the priesthood.

NYPriest 2008 (1m), NYPriest 2009 (1m33s) These two short videos are produced by Grassroots Films, the same company who filmed the “Fishers of Men.” They have a knack for doing this kind of film just right. The films are filled with great sound and imagery, both of which can be very effective at moving young minds to consider the priestly vocation as a heroic challenge.

A Day in the Life (14min 59s) Experience a day in the life of a young Roman Catholic Priest, Father John Muir. This video shows a priest’s regular daily life as well as his extraordinary priestly and sacramental ministry.

A Week in the Life of a Priest (10m 44s) From Australia (a great way to give a universal sense of the Church), this video also shows the ordinary and extraordinary

VOCATIONS life of priests.

Women in consecrate life

to the world, contemplative orders are even less so. This video interviews a younger and an older cloistered sister, showing a series of beautiful still shots of the sisters at work, prayer and recreation. It addresses both the joys and struggles of religious life.

Sister Anne Elizabeth - Wash. Post (2m29s); Sister Allison Hearing The Call - EWTN (2m25s)

“Bonus” video

Videos promoting the religious life for women can be viewed at

These two videos are interviews with young sisters; they both show how normal young women can leave the world to do the work of God and be very happy doing so.

A Day in the Life of Nuns - Oprah Show (3m13s); Marrying Christ - Oprah Show (2m18s) Both of these videos portray the lives of the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The first is about the life of the sisters, and the second is about the formation and commitment of the sisters after they enter the convent. These videos show the beauty of life in a vibrant religious community.

Catholic Nun Commercial (31s) Great short “commercial” promoting consecrated life for women.

A Divine Vocation (5m30s)

Pray, Listen, Act, Repeat (3m07s) Laying out the basic components of vocation discernment, this contemporary video is appealing and informative, and is a great tool for every young Catholic starting to discern a vocation. It stresses the importance of persisting in prayer and being open to God’s will, knowing that God will lead us to our ultimate happiness if we give our lives to him. Thank you for your assistance in promoting vocations in our diocese! Our Lord has provided plenty of work in His vineyard. Feel free to contact me at to talk about ways you can help encourage vocations.

While active religious orders are not always readily visible

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Be not afraid! God never speaks through fear Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor


erhaps priesthood has crossed your mind, but fear

pushes the idea away. • • • • • • • • •

My friends would punk me if they heard I was thinking about the priesthood! My parents would be shocked. My mom wants grandkids. I’m scared to death of speaking in public. I’m nowhere near holy or legit enough. I don’t want to give up sex. I’ll be lonely. Seminary studies may be too hard for me. Being a priest looks boring and lame.

These fears are very common, even for men who are already in seminary. But literally thousands of men have had the same concerns and then went on to become holy and effective priests. The first principle to remember is that God does not speak through fear. Fear is a tactic of the enemy to keep us from pursuing God’s will; it is like the bite of an animal that paralyzes its prey to keep it from moving. A man in fear will find it difficult to move toward God’s will. If we are paralyzed by fear, even if we are pointed in the right direction, we will never get to where God is leading us. So how do we overcome fear? Here are five ideas.

Turn fears into concerns You may have legitimate concerns about celibacy or preaching. Many


areas of formation for priesthood require ability, discipline and serious self-knowledge and assessment. You will probably discover areas that need to change and improve. All of that, however, is different than being afraid. You can discern with a cool head and realistic view, but not with a heart full of fear. Be not afraid! (Mk 6:50)

Walking in God’s will was not an easy road for Mary, as Simeon prophesied, “You yourself a sword shall pierce.” Yet Mary had the strength to follow her Son because she had “kept all these things in her heart.” Entrust your fears to her intercession, and she will help calm your heart and find the will of Jesus.

Look to scripture for consolation

Remember what seminary is for

“Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 Jn 4:18) Recall that when Jesus called Peter (Lk 5:1-11), our first pope said, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus then replied, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” Likewise, Jesus knows your difficulties and weaknesses, yet he calls. Later, Peter would write, “Cast all your worries upon him, because he cares for you.” (1 Pt 5:7)

From a purely practical perspective, it is comforting to know that if God calls you to be a priest, ordination is still years away. Seminary offers a period of serious discernment and intensive formation to help a man address his concerns, grow in holiness and prepare for an effective priestly ministry. No man enters seminary ready to be a priest. And no man ever becomes a priest on his own. Blessed Pope John Paul II reminded us throughout his pontificate: Be not afraid! Do not let fear paralyze you. Instead, address your concerns to God, trust in His word, reflect upon His love, ask for Mary’s help, and remember that you have time. St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Fear will never lead you to your vocation, whatever it may be, but only the peace of Christ. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life. Feel free to contact me at (361) 882-6191 or jlopez@diocesecc. org any time you want to discuss what He has in store for you. God bless you.

Reflect on God’s love Father Brett Brannen, in his book “To Save a Thousand Souls,” recommends this meditation when a man feels fearful: “God is infinite in power and He loves me infinitely. There is no snatching out of His hand. God will never send me where His grace cannot sustain me. If He asks me to do something difficult, like become a priest, He will give me the grace to do it. I will not fail because He is with me. And I will be happy because I am doing His will. Even if I lack some of the needed qualities, God will help me develop them. In His will lies my peace.”

Entrust your fears to the Blessed Mother Recall that after the angel told Mary to “fear not.” she readily accepted God’s will for her; “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”


Prayer helps Sister Michelle Marie maintain balance Sister Julianne Kuntscher, IWBS Contributor


ister Michelle Marie Kuntscher, IWBS, baptized Elizabeth Ann, was born Nov. 14, 1942, to Frank John Kuntscher and Margaret Marie Remlinger Kuntscher in Riviera, Texas. Her early education took place at Our Lady of Consolation School in Vattman, staffed by Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.  Her education continued at Riviera High School and later at Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi. She graduated from IWA in May 1960 and entered the convent in September of the same year. During formation years she attended Mary Immaculate College and later graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. On entering the Congregation of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, she joined her great aunt, Sister Mary Ange Remlinger, and her sibling, Sister Mary Julianne Kuntscher.  Her paternal aunt, Sister Mary Clement Kuntscher, a Sister of Mercy, was also happy to welcome her niece to the ranks of religious life. Sister Michelle Marie made her first profession of vows in 1963 and

professed perpetual vows on Aug. 14, 1966. Sister Michelle Marie earned a bachelor’s degree in English/Journalism from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and a master’s degree in English from Texas A&M University, College Station. Her ministry experiences include teaching in Catholic schools in the dioceses of Brownsville and Corpus Christi. She began teaching seventh and eighth graders at St. Patrick School in Corpus Christi, and later met her St. Patrick graduates at Incarnate Word Academy, where she taught English, theology and journalism. In addition to teaching at Villa Maria and Incarnate Word Junior High Schools in Brownsville, Sister Michelle Marie served in diocesan communications there. She supported and served Texas migrants who traveled to Minnesota for summer employment in the sugar beet industry. She fulfilled a dream of being a missionary during her two years of mission work in Oaxaca, Mexico, with the Congregation of the Religious of the Incarnate Word from Mexico City. On her return from Mexico, she returned to teaching at Incarnate Word Academy and helped with the initiation of the Incarnate Word Associate program in Corpus Christi. She served with Msgr. Louis Kihneman in the diocesan vocations office and was congregational vocation director before her first term as Superior General. Membership in numerous com-

missions and committees of the congregation has been ongoing for Sister Michelle Marie. She served as a delegate in many general chapters of the congregation; in 1992, 1996, 2008 and 2012 she was elected Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of the Incarnate Word. Her work on committees and boards include Fannie Bluntzer Nason Renewal Center, Inc. and Incarnate Word Academy (Corpus Christi) Board of Directors; Diocesan Centennial Planning Committee; and the Texas Tri-Conference Committee of Bishops and Major Superiors. For years she also volunteered support for Metro Ministries, The ARK Assessment Center and the Mother Teresa Shelter. Sister Michelle Marie describes her responsibilities as congregational leader as trust in God’s plan for the congregation; communication of hope for the future of consecrated life in the Church; appreciation, understanding and articulation of the Incarnate Word charism and mission; stewardship of resources through cooperation, collaboration and solidarity with other religious communities and support and cooperation with the ecclesial and civic community. “Prayer and closeness to nature helps me maintain a healthy balance in carrying out these responsibilities in a spirit of loving obedience and faith in God’s plan for me and for the congregation,” Sister Michelle Marie said.



My vocation: A gift from God Sister Gabriel John Torres, DCJ Contributor


was nine years old when I first experienced the desire to serve the Lord. While all of my friends were collecting pictures of Elvis Presley, I was fascinated in collecting holy cards and pictures of nuns. After informing my parents that I wanted to be a nun, they said that I was too young, and that I had to finish school. After I finished high school I again talked to my parents about entering the convent. My father got angry

and said, “I do not want any of my children begging.” In the Philippines in those days nuns used to beg. From then on I kept silent about wanting to be a nun. My parents did not encourage me at all. After college, I got a job and emigrated to the United States. I had a good job, my own apartment, a nice car and a good circle of friends. I was a volunteer in the church and sang in the folk choir at Mass. I was content and happy. Once in a while, however, the convent desire arose in my mind, but I would quickly dismiss the idea. Once, during my nighttime prayers, I heard something like a whisper from within me saying, “You try everything you want for your life, but what you really long for you never try.” I was frightened because I knew it was God calling me to the convent. I was overwhelmed and answered, “I am going, I am going!” Soon afterwards, I visited the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus in La Mesa, California and was attracted by their contemplative prayer

life that is lived side-by-side with their active apostolate of caring for the children and the elderly. The congregation called to me to their simplicity and to their life of prayer; but I was scared. Having to give up everything I worked for, especially my good job with its good salary and benefits terrified me. I was reluctant to give up my friends, my car, my apartment and other material things. I thought of my mother, fearing I would not be able to visit her regularly especially because she was getting older. Perhaps I was afraid of the unknown–but I promised the Lord I would give it a try. After I came to grips with my fears I entered the Carmelite Order in August 1991. I plunged zealously into the life of a religious and from then on I felt the peace that only God can give. God showered me with many graces. I made my first vows on July 2, 1994 and my perpetual vows five years later, on July 2, 1999. My vocation has taken me to California, Texas and Canada. Since January 2013 I have returned to Texas to serve.

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Is it wrong now to buy health insurance? Father Tadeueusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. Columnist


he Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate represents bureaucratically coerced personal and institutional involvement in the commission of intrinsic evils. No person should ever be coerced by the state to be directly complicit in such acts. The HHS mandate is an affront to every American. It is immoral and offensive. Many individuals and business owners are struggling in conscience about whether to purchase health insurance coverage, either for themselves or for their employees, on account of the HHS mandate. A provision of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), the mandate requires “preventive health services” to be covered by all health insurance issuers and all group health plans. Those insurance plans must provide coverage, with no co-pay, for the full range of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved contraceptive methods for women. These include not only surgical

sterilizations, but also potential abortion-causing agents such as Plan B–the morning-after pill, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and another form of “emergency contraception” known as Ella. This drug, which the FDA acknowledges may also work against the life of the embryo “by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus,” can be taken up to five days after sex. The chief moral concern, of course, is that by purchasing such mandated coverage, an individual would be subsidizing pharmaceutical abortions, contraceptives and sterilizations for others, and business owners would similarly be subsidizing these procedures for their employees through their health plans. Employers, in other words, would provide coverage for, and thereby potentially facilitate, various acts of vice on the part of their employees, and all who pay for health insurance coverage would potentially fund and thereby support the vice of their neighbors. This raises the serious moral concern of “cooperation in evil.” In general terms, any cooperation in evil should be avoided, or at least minimized to the extent prudently possible. By purchasing a policy with problematic inclusions, one would likely cooperate “materially” in the commission of various evils by others, but the debate on this matter hinges on whether that material cooperation should be considered “immediate” or “mediate.” Immediate material cooperation– when your assistance is essential to the evil action–is never morally permissible, but mediate material cooperation–when

Making Sense out of

BIOETHICS your assistance is incidental or remote from the bad activity itself–may be allowable under temporary extenuating circumstances. It could be allowable as long as the cooperator manifests resolute opposition to the evil and takes reasonable steps to limit and ultimately eliminate that cooperation. This is a key difference between allowable toleration and tacit approval. In evaluating the specifics of the HHS mandate, the National Catholic Bioethics Center has reached the provisional conclusion that paying premiums for a policy that also includes coverage for the above-mentioned procedures, devices and drugs while opposing the mandate does not appear to involve an individual in immediate material cooperation in evil, because a number of intervening causes are likely to exist between the paying of the premiums by a subscriber, and the action of another enrollee who chooses to engage in one of the immoral activities. The key difference between acceptable and unacceptable forms of material cooperation involves the “causal distance” between what we do by our act of cooperation, and the act of the other person using the abortifacient substance or the contraceptive that is covered by the health plan into which we have paid. The paying of the premiums does not appear to be causally im-



mediate to the chosen action of direct sterilization, abortion or contraception. To put it another way, payment into a healthcare plan that includes coverage for immoral procedures would only “make possible,” but would not “bring about” the evil action of the principal agent, and hence would represent mediate material cooperation on the part of the person paying into the plan. Such a payment could be made, albeit under protest. Thus, the position of the National Catholic Bioethics Center is that individuals purchasing insurance under the HHS mandate could choose to do so licitly as mediate material cooperation assuming a proportionately serious reason, and a lack of suitable alternatives, and an ongoing effort to resist and oppose this unjust mandate through case-appropriate means. A proportionately serious reason is often likely to exist, because of the seriousness of our obligation to care for our health. For business owners, meanwhile, it is a particularly difficult question, and they may find it best to discontinue providing health insurance to their employees even though they may have to pay associated fines. The National Catholic Bioethics Center discusses this option, and some of the morally relevant factors surrounding such a decision, in its analysis available at: doc?id=450&erid=0

If the government’s current attempt to coerce Americans into violating their most deeply held convictions doesn’t breach their religious freedom, then nothing does. No individual or institution should have to be concerned about violating their conscience when they merely seek to safeguard the well being of themselves, their families or their employees by purchasing health insurance. (Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See


Thank you and more Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


e want to thank everyone who responded to our request last month to send in a post card expressing your wishes whether you want to continue receiving the South Texas Catholic. We received thousands of replies. The replies mirrored what we expected. The vast majority wishes to continue receiving the magazine. Of those who indicated they no longer wanted to receive the magazine, we received the kinds of responses we anticipated; some said they were moving, some said the addressee had passed away, some said they were getting multiple copies and some said they prefer reading it online. While the response was gratifying, we are again asking those of you who have not yet responded to do so. One respondent’s suggestion alerted us to the fact that we, perhaps, had not made one point clear. The writer suggested we just call everyone and clarify their address status. We mail out more than 47,000 magazines, so calling them would be prohibitive. A couple of thousand responses, while gratifying, do not address our concern completely. This month we have again included the post card for those that still have not responded. To be clear, we will continue to mail the magazine to everyone who has made a contribution to the South Texas Catholic Appeal and to the Catholic Stewardship Appeal over the last five years. Your magazine does not include a post card. The same is true for all those who sent in their post cards last month. Only readers who did not respond


last month or who have not contributed to the appeals in the last five years will receive a post card with their magazine. This will be your last opportunity to inform us of your desire to continue receiving the magazine. Continuing the practice we established last year, this edition is a combined issue for August and September. There will not be a magazine in September. Our next issue will be in October. We will use the brief respite to catch up on some internal housekeeping, including issuing the latest Catholic Directory. We will also look at ways on how to continue to improve the South Texas Catholic, both the print and Web editions. The South Texas Catholic also produces two internal weekly electronic newsletters, maintains four diocesan Web sites as well as the diocese’s social media accounts. We also oversee video and podcast production for our Web sites. We are also in the midst of developing an intranet site. As you can see, this month “off” will not be without work. It will be an opportunity to refresh our products so that they are the best they can be. We ask your continued prayers for our ministry of spreading the Word to every corner of God’s kingdom assigned to the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Continuing to fight for marriage George Weigel Columnist


esponses from right-minded marriage proponents to the Supreme Court’s June 26 decisions in two cases involving the (re)definition of marriage seemed to come in three waves. The immediate reaction, influenced no doubt by a partisan press, was that the friends of marriage had suffered a severe, and perhaps lethal, blow when the Court first struck down the key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and then denied standing to those challenging the judicial overturn of California’s “Proposition 8,” an initiative that restored the classic meaning of marriage to California law. The next, more considered reaction went something like this: “Hold on here. The Supreme Court did not declare a constitutional ‘right’ to ‘gay marriage.’ This is not another Roe v. Wade, and the Court did not ‘nationalize’ the marriage debate by peremptorily settling it, like it tried to do with abortion in 1973. The fight for marriage rightly understood, and for an understanding of what government simply cannot do, will go on in the states. Experience shows that the friends of marriage, civil society, and limited government can win a lot of those battles.” The third reaction tempered the second: “Not so fast. The terms in which DOMA was struck down—defense of

marriage rightly understood involves an irrational bias—make it much more difficult to fight this battle in state legislatures, because the rhetorical and moral high ground has been ceded to the proponents of ‘gay marriage.’” Moreover, the understanding of marriage in the DOMA decision—marriage is an expression of personal autonomy and lifestyle choice—offers ground on which successful, state-level ‘limitations’ of ‘marriage’ to heterosexual couples will be challenged at the federal level.” Contradictory reactions? At first blush, perhaps. But upon further review, as they say in the NFL, all three reactions make sense. The initial reaction—these decisions were bad defeats for marriage rightly understood—was correct, both in terms of the defense of marriage and a proper understanding of constitutional order. The DOMA and Prop 8 decisions were bizarre in their reasoning at some points, and notable for their lack of reasoning at others. The proponents of “gay marriage” and their media echo chamber knew what they were about when they popped the corks: they had won a major victory. But it’s also true that it was not the Roe v. Wade-type victory they sought. The proponents of marriage and limited government rightly understood—indeed, the defenders of reality-based law and public policy—have not been denied the opportunity to continue the fight at the state level. And yet, on the other, other hand, those of us who propose to do precisely that have been labeled bigots and enemies of civility by a majority of the United States Supreme Court. The Court has implicitly accepted the

The Catholic Difference absurd and offensive mantra of President Obama’s second inaugural address— “from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall”—which identified the defenders of marriage rightly understood with those who manned the fire hoses, wielded the Billy clubs and unleashed the attack dogs against peaceful civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s. Our opponents have been given highcaliber rhetorical weapons to launch against us; we need not doubt that they will. And if some way isn’t found to counter that false analogy between racial bigotry and marriage rightly understood, we are not going to win many of statelevel battles in this period when we’re permitted to conduct them. So now what? In the words of the “Red Tails,” the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, “we fight, we fight, we fight.” For we are not only fighting in defense of marriage rightly understood; we are fighting against what Benedict XVI often called the “dictatorship of relativism,” elements of which were ominously present in Justice Kennedy’s DOMA decision. Some of those battles will be won, and those expressions of popular will may further stay any temptation by the Supremes to settle this once and for all by federal diktat. At the same time, and as I have suggested before, the church must think through, even reconsider, its relationship to civil marriage. (George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The Denver Catholic Register, distributes his column.)



Through Him all things were made Father J. Patrick Serna Contributor


or 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. In an earlier reflection we pondered on why the Incarnation was necessary for our salvation, inasmuch as our sins against God resulted in an infinite debt, which needed to be satisfied, and since only God is infinite, it was appropriate that God would become man, since man had to satisfy the debt. Since Mary supplied the human nature, which was assumed by The Son, the church’s teaching authority, the magisterium, declared at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. that Mary is theotokos, which is the Greek word for “God Bearer.” Over the centuries, and still now, it is understood that theotokos refers to Mary’s motherhood of Jesus, and since Jesus is God, it follows that Mary is properly understood to be the mother of God. St. Augustine said, “If the Mother were fictitious, the flesh would also be fictitious...and the scars of the Resurrection.” At the Annunciation, when Mary said “yes” to God via His archangel Gabriel, the Incarnation took place. The Incarnation, considered in another way, is referred to as the Hypostatic Union, which means that the human nature and the divine nature of the Second Person were united in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is a divine person with a human nature and a divine nature without any kind of commingling. NEVER refer to Jesus as a Human Person. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Blessed Pope John Paul II once summed up the Incarnation by saying it is: “The virginal conception in Mary’s womb of the One who had always been the eternal Word of God.” When we proclaim to believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit The Son became incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man, we recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in the actions of the Father as well as of the Son. The respected Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar reflected on this article of the creed by writing,



“The indivisible Our Catholic Faith Spirit of both, becomes, in the Father, the Spirit who issues directives and, in the Son, the Spirit who receives directives. Already so in the act of the Incarnation itself, since the Spirit conveys the Son as ‘seed of the Father,’ into the Virgin’s womb, and the Son, in the same Spirit, allows Himself to be so conveyed. The Holy Spirit, as a single Person, is both fruit of, and testimony to, the mutual love between Father and Son.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen once used a powerfully vivid analogy, in order to give a unique insight into Philippians 2:5-8. He said, “.... though He was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human

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.

form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Archbishop Sheen’s analogy goes something like this, and please allow for some adaptations. There once existed in south Texas a pack of mean and wild dogs. These mean dogs were well known and notorious for wreaking all kinds of havoc and mayhem on good, innocent babies, children and adults. Because of these vicious dogs, this part of south Texas gained a bad reputation, and no one wanted to visit this area anymore. Now, imagine that there existed a superhero that possessed an extraordinary superpower, and this person had the ability to change from being a human to being an animal of his choice. This superhero truly believed that there was goodness in these mean vicious dogs; he believed that they could change and transform. Since these dogs would not let a human get close to them, this superhero decided to become a dog, and be one of them. The superhero decided to become a dog and show these mean dogs, by example, how to be kind, gentle, and loving. This superhero had great vision while in human form, and every day he would appreciate the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. These eyes, which would gaze at the moon and stars, would now become beady dog eyes, which would not look up anymore, but down only. This superhero would use his hands while in human form to paint famous masterpieces and play musical instruments, but now these hands would be in the form of dog paws, incapable of creating beauty. The mouth of our superhero would regularly be used for praising God and singing melodious songs, but now, his mouth would be a dog’s muzzle, capable only of barking and biting. So now, in the shape and form of a dog, our superhero joined this pack of mean vicious dogs, and tried in every way possible to show them love and good examples. Rather than appreciate this overly generous act of selfless sacrifice, the mean dogs chose instead to kill the superhero. It took a long time, but eventually, those dogs felt bad about what they did, and they gradually stopped being mean, and became loving. The superhero knew that they would murder him, even before he chose to become one of them, but he did it anyway. By way of analogy, we can say that this is what God the Son did for us, when He chose to leave Heaven, not cling to it. The God Who knew no limits became limited, the God who knew infinite joy and happiness would now know infinite suffering, rejection, betrayal and torture. The source of Life would now know death, on account of leaving heaven and becoming man. “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” (1 Jn 4:9)

Marriage: A profound and holy union of man and woman Deacon Stephen Nolte Contributor


n last month’s issue of the South Texas Catholic, “The Assent of Love,” we raised the question of

what it means to love and love well. We proposed that authentic love requires an assent, or yes, to rise above oneself for the sake of the beloved. Simply stated, true love requires ascension, or rising above our own brokenness, in order to live for the good of the beloved. This rising necessitates our freely given consent, or yes, to be moved by a higher power, namely God’s love. This conjugal consent to love can in some ways become a creed, a profession of what the couple believes. Consider the questions asked of a couple entering into the sacrament of matrimony, “Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage? Will you love and honor each other as man and wife for the rest of your lives? Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and His church?” Presumably every couple entering into the sacrament of marriage has responded positively to these questions, giving their assent with the words “I do” and inferring “I do so believe and will do it.” In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read that when we profess the creed with the whole church, we are really saying ‘I believe’, or ‘I pledge myself to what we believe.’ (CCC 185) To say the creed with faith is to enter into communion with the Holy Trinity and with the whole church; it is to enter into the “great mystery” of the marriage of the bridegroom Christ and His bride, the church. This understanding of the profession of faith gives rise to the form of a “conjugal” creed contained in the words of consent by which man and woman become husband and wife. This “creedal” statement is confirmed AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


in a particular profession of love specific to marriage. “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.” (CCC 1601) While the nature of the sacrament of matrimony is directed to the service of communion with Christ, this is accomplished by the sacrificial acts of love that husbands and wives are called upon to make on behalf of their spouse and children. These acts are only possible by the power of Christ acting through the spouses on behalf of His bride, the church. His Paschal act of suffering and rising is the great mystery through which the road to holiness must pass if we are to enter into proper union in Christ as men and women. Left to our own devices, and the diseased images we act upon and call human love, we could never attain the deep union and intimacy God desires for us. Marriage is, after all, a rather messy business. Christ’s marriage to His bride is consummated through his passion and death! If spouses are to love as Christ loves, how could it be otherwise? Marriage will inevitably involve a similar agony, the same mingling of blood, sweat and tears, the same rending of heart and soul that Christ encountered. But it is only by embracing the purifying suffering of love that we can experience its ecstasies and glory. Even in the midst of His greatest agony Christ remained mysteriously consoled in the eternal, loving embrace of the Father. This is the hope of all who love, that their suffering will not be for naught but will lead to an inexpressible joy. If husbands and wives are to climb to the heights of love and enter into that profound and holy union to which they have been called, they must learn to help one another see the fullness of God’s plan for married love. All too often spouses fail to recognize the calling to ascend to the heights of that love because the world around them holds them to a lower standard of unity, which, in fact is not unity but disunity. This disunity is the result of embracing the diabolical distortion of the beauty of authentic love for a lesser, self-directed desire that they wrongly believe will make them happy. This distortion leads to husbands and wives forgetting the conjugal creed they professed in their consent to mar-



...the sacrament of matrimony is directed to the service of communion with Christ... riage. They accept the lie of contraception that promises freedom but is always opposed to life. They buy into the idea that if the going gets too tough, the tough get going and seek divorce. They begin to believe that death is the end of all things and that they seek entitlement to end their suffering whenever they determine it is too much. More than anything, they deny what it is to be created in the image and likeness of God, an image and likeness of sacrificial love and a life of eternal glory. Once they have accepted this lie and denied their vocation as man and wife according to God’s plan, they put on the image and likeness of the one who is opposed to God. We should find this image disturbing. If we do, we need to encourage one another to return to the creed we profess with the whole church, and as couples, return to the consent we gave when we entered marriage. Let us work together to restore marriage to its proper place as a profound and holy union between man and woman.

Save The Date

Saturday, August 10 Refuge of Hope – A Pregnancy Resource Center

6th Annual Benefit Gala Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds

Guest Speaker

Shawn Carney

Music by Better Late than Never Dinner and Entertainment $50/ticket Doors open at 6 p.m.

Pregnant? Scared? Need Help?

4035 Violet Road Corpus Christi, TX 4035 Violet Road For more information go to our web site at:

WWW.REFUGEOFHOPECC.ORG or call (361) 241-5300

Prayer without words Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS Columnist


very basic definition of prayer is, “Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God.” Note, this definition does not mention the use of words. But many of us are taught from childhood to remember to “say our prayers,” and saying something, of course, always involves words. When we can recite the basic prayers–the “Our Father,” the “Hail Mary,” the “Glory be to the Father,” the “Apostles Creed”–we are happy to say, “I do know my prayers. I can say all the well-known prayers.” And perhaps we can also recite some prayers that are not so well known. However, what if we are “lifting up our minds and hearts to God,” but are not saying words? Are we then praying? Father Benignus O’Rourke, O.S.A., an Augustinian priest in England, insists that we are. In his book, “Finding Your Hidden Treasure,” he describes prayer without words as “one of God’s loveliest gifts, the purest form of prayer.” Is it possible to pray by being quiet in the presence of the Lord even while being very much aware of His presence? If so, then hopefully, we will come to the realization that yes, indeed, we can pray without words. I can reflect and talk about “praying” rather than about “saying my prayers.” After St. Augustine discovered prayer without words, he expressed his surprise this way, “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new! Late have I loved

you...You were within me, but I was outside. There I sought you, as I rushed about among the beautiful things you had made. You were with me, but I was not with You. You called; You cried out; You burst through my deafness. I breathed Your fragrance, and now I pine for You.” Having discovered the beauty, the fragrance of God, Augustine pined for God. Like him, if we discover that God is within us, then perhaps we too will be moved to pine for him, to seek to find Him within. With Augustine, we will be led to accept Christ within us and to love Him passionately. As a bishop, Augustine prayed the prayer of the church with his people, but he also was aware of the importance of prayer without words. Of this he said, “Prayer at its deepest is more than words.” St. Matthew, in his Gospel, tells us that Jesus in one of his parables compares the kingdom of God to treasure in a field, which someone finds. Matthew records Jesus as saying, “The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything, and buys the field.” (Mt 13:44) Our lives are the fields in which God’s treasure is hidden, but we are not always aware of this. If we become aware of it, we will surely take time to seek the treasure and hopefully to find it. We will take time to spend in God’s presence in communion with Him. If we are willing to sit in silence and journey to the still center of our being, we will discover that we already have everything we need for our spiritual journey, and we will find blessings at every step along the way. Jesus, I thank You for the gifts You give to me.

Our lives are the fields in which God’s treasure is hidden, but we are not always aware of this.



August Liturgical Calendar Aug. 1 Thu Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church white | Memorial | Ex 40:16-21, 34-38/Mt 13:47-53 (404) Aug. 2 Fri Weekday green/white/white [Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop; Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest] Lv 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37/Mt 13:5458 (405) Aug. 3 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Lv 25:1, 8-17/Mt 14:1-12 (406) 30 Aug. 4 SUN EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Eccl 1:2; 2:21-23/Col 3:1-5, 9-11/Lk 12:13-21 (114) Pss II Aug. 5 Mon Weekday green/white [The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major] Nm 11:4b-15/Mt 14:13-21 (407) Aug. 6 Tue The Transfiguration of the Lord white | Feast | Dn 7:9-10, 13-14/2 Pt 1:16-19/Lk 9:28b-36 (614) Pss Prop Aug. 7 Wed Weekday green/red/white [Saint Sixtus II, Pope, and Companions, Martyrs; Saint Cajetan, Priest] Nm 13:1-2, 25—14:1, 26-29a, 34-35/ Mt 15:21-28 (409)

Aug. 8 Thu Saint Dominic, Priest white | Memorial | Nm 20:1-13/Mt 16:13-23 (410) Aug. 9 Fri Weekday green/red [Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Virgin and Martyr] Dt 4:32-40/Mt 16:24-28 (411) Aug. 10 Sat Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr red | Feast | 2 Cor 9:6-10/ Jn 12:24-26 (618) Pss Prop

[Holyday of Obligation] | Vigil: 1 Chr 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2/1 Cor 15:54b-57/ Lk 11:27-28 (621) Day: Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/1 Cor 15:20-27/Lk 1:3956 (622) Pss Prop Aug. 16 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Stephen of Hungary] Jos 24:113/Mt 19:3-12 (417) Aug. 17 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Jos 24:14-29/Mt 19:13-15 (418)

Aug. 11 SUN NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Wis 18:69/Heb 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2, 8-12/Lk 12:32-48 or 12:35-40 (117) Pss III

Aug. 18 SUN TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Jer 38:46, 8-10/Heb 12:1-4/Lk 12:49-53 (120) Pss IV

Aug. 12 Mon Weekday green/white [Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious] Dt 10:12-22/Mt 17:22-27 (413)

Aug. 19 Mon Weekday green/white [Saint John Eudes, Priest] Jgs 2:11-19/ Mt 19:16-22 (419)

Aug. 13 Tue Weekday green/red [Saints Pontian, Pope, and Hippolytus, Priest, Martyrs] Dt 31:1-8/Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 (414)

Aug. 20 Tue Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church white | Memorial | Jgs 6:11-24a/Mt 19:23-30 (420)

Aug. 14 Wed Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr red | Memorial | Dt 34:1-12/Mt 18:15-20 (415) Aug. 15 Thu The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary white | Solemnity

Aug. 21 Wed Saint Pius X, Pope white | Memorial | Jgs 9:6-15/Mt 20:1-16 (421) Aug. 22 Thu The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary white | Memorial | Jgs 11:29-39a/Mt 22:1-14 (422)

Aug. 23 Fri Weekday green/white [Saint Rose of Lima, Virgin] Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22/Mt 22:34-40 (423) Aug. 24 Sat Saint Bartholomew, Apostle red | Feast | Rv 21:9b-14/Jn 1:45-51 (629) Pss Prop Aug. 25 SUN TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Is 66:18-21/Heb 12:5-7, 11-13/Lk 13:2230 (123) Pss I Aug. 26 Mon Weekday green | 1 Thes 1:1-5, 8b-10/Mt 23:13-22 (425) Aug. 27 Tue Saint Monica white | Memorial | 1 Thes 2:1-8/Mt 23:23-26 (426) Aug. 28 Wed Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church white | Memorial | 1 Thes 2:9-13/Mt 23:27-32 (427) Aug. 29 Thu The Passion of Saint John the Baptist red | Memorial | 1 Thes 3:713 (428)/Mk 6:17-29* (634) Pss Prop Aug. 30 Fri Weekday green | 1 Thes 4:1-8/Mt 25:1-13 (429) Aug. 31 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] 1 Thes 4:9-11/Mt 25:14-30 (430)

September Liturgical Calendar Sept. 1 SUN TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29/Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a/Lk 14:1, 7-14 (126) Pss II

Sept. 8 SUN TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Wis 9:13-18b/Phlm 9-10, 12-17/Lk 14:25-33 (129) Pss III

Sept. 2 Mon Weekday green/white [Labor Day—proper Mass: For the Sanctification of Human Labor] 1 Thes 4:13-18/Lk 4:16-30 (431), or, for Labor Day, any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Mass “For the Blessing of Human Labor,” nos. 907-911

Sept. 9 Mon Saint Peter Claver, Priest white | Memorial | Col 1:24—2:3/Lk 6:6-11 (437)

Sept. 3 Tue Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church white | Memorial | 1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11/Lk 4:31-37 (432)

Sept. 12 Thu Weekday green/white [The Most Holy Name of Mary] Col 3:12-17/Lk 6:27-38 (440)

Sept. 4 Wed Weekday green | Col 1:1-8/Lk 4:38-44 (433) Sept. 5 Thu Weekday green | Col 1:914/Lk 5:1-11 (434) Sept. 6 Fri Weekday green | Col 1:1520/Lk 5:33-39 (435) Sept. 7 Sat Weekday green/white [BVM] Col 1:21-23/Lk 6:1-5 (436)


Sept. 10 Tue Weekday green | Col 2:6-15/Lk 6:12-19 (438) Sept. 11 Wed Weekday green | Col 3:1-11/Lk 6:20-26 (439)

Sept. 13 Fri Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church white | Memorial | 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14/Lk 6:39-42 (441) Sept. 14 Sat The Exaltation of the Holy Cross red | Feast | Nm 21:4b-9/Phil 2:6-11/Jn 3:13-17 (638) Pss Prop Sept. 15 SUN TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Ex 32:7-11, 13-14/1 Tm 1:12-17/Lk


15:1-32 or 15:1-10 (132) Pss IV Sept. 16 Mon Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs red | Memorial | 1 Tm 2:1-8/Lk 7:1-10 (443) Sept. 17 Tue Weekday green/white [Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] 1 Tm 3:1-13/Lk 7:11-17 (444) Sept. 18 Wed Weekday green | 1 Tm 3:14-16/Lk 7:31-35 (445) Sept. 19 Thu Weekday green/red [Saint Januarius, Bishop and Martyr] | 1 Tm 4:12-16/Lk 7:36-50 (446) Sept. 20 Fri Saints Andrew Kim Taegŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, red | and Companions, Martyrs Memorial | 1 Tm 6:2c-12/Lk 8:1-3 (447) Sept. 21 Sat Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist red | Feast | Eph 4:1-7, 11-13/Mt 9:9-13 (643) Pss Prop Sept. 22 SUN TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN OPRDINARY TIME green | Am 8:4-7/1 Tm 2:1-8/Lk 16:1-13 or 16:10-13 (135) Pss I

Sept. 23 Mon Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest white | Memorial | Ezr 1:1-6/Lk 8:16-18 (449) Sept. 24 Tue Weekday green | Ezr 6:7-8, 12b, 14-20/Lk 8:19-21 (450) Sept. 25 Wed Weekday green | Ezr 9:5-9/Lk 9:1-6 (451) Sept. 26 Thu Weekday green/red [Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs] | Hg 1:1-8/Lk 9:7-9 (452) Sept. 27 Fri Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest white | Memorial | Hg 2:1-9/Lk 9:18-22 (453) Sept. 28 Sat Weekday green/red/red/ white [Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr; Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs; BVM] Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a/Lk 9:43b-45 (454) Sept. 29 SUN TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME green | Am 6:1a, 4-7/1 Tm 6:11-16/Lk 16:19-31 (138) Pss II Sept. 30 Mon Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church white | Memorial | Zec 8:1-8/Lk 9:46-50 (455)




1200 Lantana in Corpus Christi. For more information, call PreCursillo Chairperson Gloria Franco, at (361) 249-2450. Make a friend, be a friend, and bring a friend to Christ.

Pre Cana Seminar On Aug. 3 from 8:45 a.m.5 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral St. Joseph’s Hall at 505 N. Upper Broadway. It is a one day marriage preparation seminar for engaged couples preparing for marriage and couples married civilly for less than one year. The seminar is designed to inform couples of the spiritual and practical aspects of a Catholic marriage. The day encourages the couple to concentrate on building a lifelong relationship. For more information call the Family Life Office at (361) 693-6638.

‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ Classes 12 at OLPH On Aug. 12 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish hosts a monthly class entitled “A Covenant of Love with Mary” in the Parish Hall. There will be Mass beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.

Safe Environment Training 13 Recertification Class On Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Pius X, Corpus Christi in the Community Center Room #1. Call (361) 993-9024 to register.

Women’s Cursillo 15 (English) From August 15-18 at the Corpus Christi Cursillo Center located at

17 & 18


Corpus Christi Catholic Engaged Encounter On Aug. 17-18 beginning on Saturday at 7 a.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center at 1200 Lantana St. in Corpus Christi. For more information call the Diocese of Corpus Christi Family Life Office at (361) 8826191 or go to www.DioceseCC. org/FamilyLife or Deacon Ron Martinez at (361) 765-1124 or email

Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity on Aug. 25 from 2:30 -4:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel for Eucharistic Holy hour for life, marriage and religious liberty.

Gran Banquete 30 Parroquial El 30 de agosto Nuestra Senora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia los invita a un Gran Banquete Parroquial disfruta de una Noche Espectacular con su familia y amigos. Ameniza Grupo Tradicion de Colombia (Serenata y show Vallenato) Baile: DJ (Mucica Internacional) Donacion por persona: $45. No se hara reservacion de mesas. Las puertas se abriran a las 6:30 p.m. con cena a las 7 a 8:30 p.m


Men’s Silent Retreat Join members of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity on Aug. 22-25 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. For more information go to www.

True Modesty 24 Fashion Show On Aug. 24 begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, located at 1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd. in Robstown. Guest can enjoy “Shirley Temple” hour with live band and hor’doeuvres before the show begins. For more information go to www.diocesecc. org/TrueModesty.

Divine Mercy for 25 America Join members of the Society of

St. Paul School of 7 Catechesis Cohort Would you like to learn more about your Catholic Faith and build community at the same time? Then join the first ever Cohort in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Classes begin on Sept. 7 from 9 a.m.-2:30 Corpus Christi Cathedral, Classroom 4. Classes are once a month for four months. For more information visit

RCIA Vision 7 Conference The Diocese of Corpus Christi Presents the RCIA Vision Conference. DRE’s, catechists, RCIA Coordinators and any other faith educators are welcome Sept. 7 at Blessed Pope John Paul II High School Cafetorium. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Conference from 9 a.m. - 5:30



AUG/SEPT CALENDAR p.m. For more information visit



Pre Cana Seminar On Sept. 7 from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral St. Joseph’s Hall at 505 N. Upper Broadway. For more information call the Family Life Office at (361) 693-6638.

Cursillo de 12 hombres (Español)

Join Immaculate Conception Parish for the First Annual Viva la Virgen Fiesta on Sept. 8, from 12-6 p.m. The church is located at 600 E. First Street in Skidmore. There will be brisket plates, fajita tacos, sausage wraps, a raffle, bingo, a cakewalk, children’s games and train rides. There will also be music of all kinds to enjoy and dance to.

On Sept. 9 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. There will be Mass beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.

Women’s Silent 12 Retreat

join members of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity on Sept. 12-15 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. For more information go



Middle School Youth Spectacular


On Sept. 22 at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. For schedule and times visit


Faith Educators’ Workshop: Open the Door of Faith On Sept 28 and Oct. 5 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. the Diocese of Corpus Christi presents the Faith Educators’ Workshop with the Catechetical Theme “Open the Door of Faith.” This workshop is for catechists, youth ministers, faith formators and Catholic school teachers and it’s free to attend. Two workshop locations are offered in Corpus Christi and Alice.The workshop in Corpus Christi will be held at Corpus Christi Cathedral’s St. Joseph’s Hall, located on 505 N. Upper Broadway on Sept. 28 and the workshop in Alice will be held at St. Joseph Parish Hall at 801 S. Reynolds on Oct. 5.


Natural Family Planning Class On Sept. 28 at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostle Parish from 12-2 p.m. Natural Family Planning Class is for engaged or married couples. We use the NFP method and theology. For more information visit or to register, get class materials and details call Steve or Ann Craig at (361) 767-1228 or

Cursillo de hombres se celebrará del 12 a 15 septiembre en el Corpus Christi Cursillo Center localizado en el 1200 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para obtener más información, llame l America Lopez, Vocal del PreCursillo- mujeres, al (361) 5921927 o americalopez@yahoo. com. Hacer un amigo, ser un amigo, y traer a un amigo a Cristo!

First Annual Viva la Virgen Fiesta

‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ 9 Classes at OLPH




Fall Festival in Banquete St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Banquete will hold their 11th annual Fall Festival on Sept. 28 from 10 a.m - 12 a.m. (midnight). There will be live music all day by Krazy Boyz, Los Arias, The Rockers, Indomable, Jason Suthern Band, Grupo Vida, and Grupo Solido. There will be food, a variety of booths, games for the children and a raffle with 25 prizes for a donation of $5. No coolers please. Admission is free.

High School Youth Spectacular On Sept. 29 at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. For schedule and times visit

To see more calendar events go to:

Social Media Calendar News Contact Us

Calendar of Events:

Aug. 22 - 25: Men’s Silent Retreat ( Aug. 25: Divine Mercy for America for 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Eucharistic Holy hour for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty. Sept. 12 - 15: Women’s Silent Retreat (

We thank our Lady and our Triune God for the great gift given during our Chapter of the following new members to The SOLT Community:

New Deacons

Deacon Tristan Abbott, Deacon Michael WIght, Deacon Al Abainza, Deacon Michael Slovak, Deacon Patrick Prajzner and Deacon Juan Villagomez

You are invited to: Divine Mercy for America

2:30-4:30 p.m. Beginning with a Eucharistic Holy Hour for: Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty Mass will follow at 5 p.m.

1200 Lantana • Corpus Christi

(361) 289-9095

Free Coffee at

Bookstore: Ext. 309 Retreats: Ext. 321

New brothers

Brother Nick Coombs, Brother Nick Hamilton and Brother Danny Tozzi

Definitive lay members:

Martha Clark, Rosalie Buergler, Mary Sweat, Dolores Villagomez and Mr. and Mrs. Gene Carrillon

New sisters

Sister Rachel Craig, Sister Patricia Johnson, Sister Monique Surette and Sister Cindy Whitehouse

For more information for the silent retreats, please visit “Come and See” Jesus in our beautiful Perpetual Adoration Chapel! AND “Like” us on facebook @ “Our Lady of Corpus Christi and Cafe Veritas”



True Modesty

Presents their 2nd Annual

Fashion Show August 24, 2013

Schedule of Events: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Social Hour: Live Music, Silent Auction, Hors d’ Oeuvres 7:30-9:00 p.m. Fashion Show : Featuring Original Designs by Chels Marie

Invocation by Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey

Richard Borchard Fairgrounds Featuring Guest Speaker Mario St. Francis Herrera, International Catholic Actor, Model and Chastity Speaker and Master of Ceremonies Jennifer Lira of KRIS 6 News

Ticket Prices Youth (under 18) $5 Adult $10 (presale), $15 (at the door) VIP passes $20 (Limited Seating) True Modesty Accessories will be available for purchase

For Tickets or For More Information Contact Amy Palomo 60


Phone: (361) 882-6191 Email: AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

South Texas Catholic - August/September 2013  

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

South Texas Catholic - August/September 2013  

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