Page 1


ON THE

VOL. 49 NO. 9

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas ACardenas@diocesecc.org

COVER

8

After having their marriage convalidated in the church, Anthony and Leticia Rodriguez got it “right with Jesus.”

Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera ARivera@diocesecc.org Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, Luisa Scolari

24

State Rep.Todd Hunter addresses participants at a presentation and strategy discussion concerning payday and autotitle loans on Wednesday, June 18. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

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: stc@diocesecc.org www.southtexascatholic.com FAX: (361) 693-6701

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

INSIDE 4 VIEWPOINTS The Joy of the Gospel reaffirms

Church teaching about the value of life

CATÓLICA 29 LaVIDA Antorcha Guadalupana:

Mensajeros por la dignidad de los pueblos divididos por la frontera

LIFE NATIONAL NEWS 36 11PARISH Divorce is changing face of Santa Rosa de Lima in Benavides celebrates annual parish festival

families worldwide, U.S.

EDUCATION 16 CATHOLIC New initiative fills desks at

VATICAN NEWS 37 Pope says spouses make each

VOCATIONS 21 Eleven men take next step in

FAITH 41 OUR The longing for a child is central

Ss. Cyril & Methodius School

diaconate formation program

other better

to the vocation of married life

Keep up with the Faith at

www.SouthTexasCatholic.com

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  3  


VIEWPOINTS

The Joy of the Gospel reaffirms Church teaching about the value of life Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

By Bishop Michael Mulvey

T

South Texas Catholic

he month of October is dedicated to “Respect Life.” Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel reaffirms the Church’s teaching regarding the value of life. The pope calls us to embrace Christ’s Gospel message of love and mercy for those most vulnerable among us. The Holy Father points out “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us… this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development.” His words urge us to remain committed to all issues of life. To do less would be an assault on our human dignity. St. John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae, The Value and Inviolability of Human Life and many other documents of the Church through the centuries have clearly explained the Church’s teaching on the issues of life. While the teaching is clear, and in no need to be redefined, what each of us needs to do is to stretch beyond our own safe zones and fully embrace the teaching on life comprehensively. Together with our Holy Father, I want to encourage all of us to embrace the word of God wholeheartedly as a foundation for a culture of life. The Gospel of Joy calls us to a personal

4  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

encounter with Jesus Christ. Our encounter with Jesus and his Gospel necessarily exhorts us to respect human life in all its stages. If we know Jesus Christ, we will know and adhere to his Gospel message, which favors life. If we do not know Christ and his Gospel we will likely not understand the precious meaning of life. Unfortunately today, some who call themselves Christian actively support abortion, the death penalty and prejudices against other people or are passive in front of other evils. With such people we can clearly see that it is not enough to “know” the Gospel, they must live the Gospel and experience the joy and freedom it brings. The purpose of the pope’s Apostolic Exhortation is to call us to a committed life in Christ, which is the ultimate human dignity. The New Evangelization requires us to be both disciples and missionaries. This means we must learn to “encounter” others and “dialogue” with them. A perfect model of encounter is Jesus with the woman of Samaria. The meeting at the well stirred the Samaritan woman to a discovery of Jesus and the source of life giving “water”. In his


Freedom calls us to follow Christ’s Gospel message By Alfredo E. Cárdenas,

P

South Texas Catholic

Alfredo E. Cárdenas is Editor of the South Texas Catholic

resident Johnson was fond of saying that he was a free man, an American and a Democrat in that order. These are words that a stalemated Washington could live by. With all due respect to my fellow Texan, I choose to be a Christian, a free man and an American in that order. It is Christ who gives me the will to be free. Without Christ’s message of love, I would be a perpetual slave to sin. As Americans we often have a warped notion of freedom. Many of us assume that freedom gives us the right to do whatever we want, whenever we want. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, “There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin’” (CCC 1733). Our Creator endowed us with “certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  5  

✝VIEWPOINTS

encounter and dialogue with her he broke down the wall of prejudice and indifference. Our defense of life also requires that we create relationships as difficult as that may seem. We cannot defend life and at the same time be the source of conflict and division. The pope warns, “In the midst of conflict, we lose our sense of the profound unity of reality.” In a recent Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father spoke of a way to resolve conflict. He stated, “Above all it is necessary to avoid the clamor of news and gossip in the community. The attitude must be that of gentleness, prudence, humility and care in relation to those who have erred, avoiding words that may harm…” It is possible to have different approaches to promoting and defending human life. What is paramount, however, is that the heart of the Gospel found in the Sermon on the Mount not be betrayed. The Beatitudes call us to embrace all situations by promoting life, peace justice and human dignity in every life issue. Too often the issues of human life become politicized. No political party is able to totally represent the teaching of Jesus and his Church with respect for these issues. To follow the political path only in the debates surrounding life can leave us encamped in our positions, with the wedge of anger and discord that creates enemies rather than friends. In order to respect all life, we must have a love for the Gospel and a respect for the dignity of every human person from in the womb until natural death. The Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching must be at the heart of who we are in addressing life issues. The issues are many: protecting the unborn, lifting our brothers and sisters out of poverty, education, honoring the elderly, providing universal health insurance, eliminating the death penalty, welcoming the immigrant and many more. With all these concerns we must remain consistent in our teaching and always respond to in every situation as “missionary disciples.” May Mary, mother of the Incarnate Word, walk with us in our efforts to protect life, for which her son Jesus sacrificed his own life.


✝ As Americans, we recognize these as self-evident rights, along with the concept that “all men are created equal.” These are gifts from God as part of his natural law. “The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of man,” according to the Catechism. “But the exercise of freedom does not entail the putative right to say or do anything... (CCC 1747). Note that God’s gifts are given to “all men,” not just Americans. As Catholics we belong to a church that has no borders. It is a universal church founded by Christ for the care and salvation of God’s children. We are all truly brothers and sisters in Christ. We must live our lives as brothers and sisters and children of

VIEWPOINTS

the one God. The bishops of the United States tell us that, “In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation…As Catholics, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group. When necessary, our participation should help transform the party to which we belong; we should not let the party transform us in such a way that we neglect or deny fundamental moral truths.” Some years ago someone came up with the slogan “What would Jesus do?” We know what Jesus would do. The real question is what will we do? Will we follow his words? Will we live by his Gospel message? Will we love

our neighbor as we love ourselves? Will we love our creator with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind? (Mt 22:37) If we do, then–and only then–we will be truly free. As we enter into the election season, we need to keep in mind that as Catholics we are called to be faithful citizens. We are called to be active in the public square. In order to do this we must have a well-formed conscience based on Christ’s Gospel message as explained in Catholic Social Teaching and not in the platforms of either major political party or on sloganeering of candidates and their campaigns. Armed with Christ’s message of love we can make the right decisions for our country.

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

• Holy Cross Parish celebrates centennial with Mass, luncheon • Most Precious Blood Parish dedicates new youth center • New adoration chapel dedicated at Our Lady of Guadalupe • Bishop dedicates Queenship of Mary at Christ the King Parish

6  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

• Manschot is new principal at Central Catholic Elementary • St. John Paul II High School earns Catholic Education honorable mention • St. Patrick School Shamrock runners honor 9/11 heroes • Dedication and Blessing of Mother Julia Hall at St. Anthony School

• Youth called to “fill the bus” with food for Catholic Charities • Incoming freshmen offered retreat to make transition to high school easier • Stewardship Day draws large crowd to St. Paul the Apostle • Deer Camp offered youth opportunity to “re-connect” with God


Imagine yourself pausing in front of a design of great

beauty. Your soul quiets and is filled with wonder and awe.

If art, created by man, can evoke such a response within us, how much more is the same wonder, reverence and respect due to each person we encounter, who was handcrafted by the very God who spoke the world into being? Now think of an artist stepping back from a great work of art and admiring his or her creation. When God created each of us, He did so with precision and purpose, and He looks on each of us with love that cannot be outdone in intensity or tenderness. Moreover, the Lord invites each of us to behold ourselves and each other with the same wonder and awe. No matter how the world might view us or others, let us treat each person as the masterpiece that he or she is.

“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” Pope Francis’ Day for Life Greeting

SPECIAL COLLECTION ON SUNDAY, OCT. 5

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  7  


Anthony and Leticia Rodriguez with their grandchildren. Alfredo E, Cardenas South Texas Catholic

AFTER HAVING MARRIAGE CONVALIDATED IN THE CHURCH

Couple got it “right with Jesus” By Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic

A

s they eagerly waited to receive the Eucharist they could not help but cry. It had been 15 years since they had last sat at the supper table of their Lord. Anthony and Leticia Rodriguez had not been married in the church and were not able to fully participate in its spiritual rewards. But now they had gotten it “right with Jesus.”

8  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014


On July 20, 2013 Tony and Letty, as family and friends call them, willingly entered into the bonds of holy matrimony at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s Schoenstatt Chapel. Their spiritual mentor Deacon Ron Martinez witnessed their exchange of consent. “It is a mistake to say that they had their marriage ‘blessed.’ It requires a new consent. They must be free to marry and to enter into with consent,” Deacon Martinez said. The Catholic Church does not consider Catholics married by civil officials, such as a justice of the peace, to be in a valid marriage. Some situations may involve the previous marriage of one spouse before they entered into their own civil marriage. Yet other couples may have been or are in common law arrangements. Yet others may have been married in a different faith and now wish to convert to Catholicism. These couples, however, can have their union recognized by the Church in a procedure called

convalidation of a marriage. Tony and Letty Rodriguez are among some 60 couples annually who have their marriage convalidated in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. In his Apostolic Exhortation On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World, St. John Paul II provided direction for pastors on how to deal with couples that were not married in the Church. As the pope noted, each situation is different and must be considered individually. There is not a one size fits all. Pope John Paul II directed pastors and others in marriage ministry to use “tactful and respectful contact with the couples concerned and enlighten them patiently, correct them charitably and show them the witness of Christian family life in such a way as to smooth the path for them to regularize their situation.” Tony and Letty Rodriguez were indeed fortunate to have a patient and charitable deacon to guide them in their journey. Deacon Martinez noticed that Letty always sat in the front pew at church with her three boys. Tony, on the other hand, played a musical instrument in the choir. The deacon noticed that neither of them, however, ever received communion. Both had been raised as Catholics. When she was eight-years-old, Letty’s mother died and her father was always working so she would walk by herself to the nearby San Martin de Porres church in her native San Antonio. She enrolled herself in CCD and the parish found sponsors for her sacraments. “Every time I went to church I felt

happy,” she said. “I wanted to be part of the celebration. I loved it. I wanted to be fed.” While she did not get married in the church, she continued to attend Mass regularly and made sure her boys all received their sacraments. Devout Catholic parents raised Tony in the church, first at Holy Family and later at Christ the King. Like many young people, he let his faith lapse when he went off to college. After returning home from college and at his sister’s urging, he began to attend Mass again. “The biggest problem up to then was falling asleep during sermons because I did not really understand what was going on,” Tony said. “The readings were just words. I didn’t feel I was getting anything out of it.” After a long-distance relationship, Tony bought a home in Corpus Christi and asked Letty to move in with him. He had never been married, and Letty was not sure the situation was fair to Tony. His mother also cautioned him about the difficulties he would encounter marrying someone with a family. But Tony was in love and determined. “She’s an incredible woman. She raised three kids on her own. They were well fed, well dressed, had great manners. She is a strong independent woman, a great mother,” Tony said. These are qualities that attracted him and he never had a second doubt about the boys. “They are my children. I have never introduced them as my stepsons. They have always called me dad.” Their marriage and family life appeared to be a success, but something was missing. OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  9  

✝NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE

➤ While she did not get married in the church, she continued to attend Mass regularly and made sure her boys all received their sacraments.


✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE

❝Couples married outside the church who wish to have their marriages convalidated must be adequately prepared to understand the sacramentality and nature of marriage.” – Deacon Stephen Nolte “At first, (when they moved in together) we were going to get the Eucharist. I found out that I couldn’t do that so we stopped,” Tony said. Letty said, “We’ve always put God first in our lives.” Now, they realized that they had made a mistake. One Sunday, after a Baptism, they approached Deacon Martinez about their situation. He quickly put things in motion to fix the problem. First, however, he told the couple that they had to begin living “as brother and sister” while undergoing the convalidation process. They were not to have marital relations and could not sleep in the same bed nor could they see each other in any stage of undress. Deacon Martinez processed annulments for Letty’s civil marriage for “lack of Canonical form,” which is an important yet simple process and means that she had not followed the proper norms for a Catholic marriage. The deacon then proceeded with the convalidation process.

For couples that have been previously married in the Catholic Church and later divorce, they must first secure a formal annulment from that sacramental marriage before remarrying. This is a much longer and involved procedure that often takes up to two years. “Couples married outside the church who wish to have their marriages convalidated must be adequately prepared to understand the sacramentality and nature of marriage,” said Deacon Stephen Nolte, director of the diocese’s Office of Family Life. “They are instructed and formed to enter into the new marriage with their freely given, total consent to be faithful and to allow their love to be fruitful.” The Church recognizes the moment of consent as the beginning of a couple’s newly valid marriage. This formation is required for all couples seeking to convalidate their marriage. In the Diocese of Corpus Christi,

the convalidation process is handled in a formation setting where couples focus on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and living Sacramental lives. Six topics are facilitated at the seminar. They include, marriage as a process, intimacy, compatibility, communication, commitment and ministry marriages. Ministry marriages provide couples who are active in their faith with the opportunity to discuss the impact the call to serve has on their marriage. The Diocese of Corpus Christi offers three convalidation seminars each year. The next seminar will be on Nov. 8 at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish. Couples should speak to their parish priest before registering for the seminar to determine whether it is the right program for their needs. For more information on convalidation of marriage call the Office of Family Life of the Diocese of Corpus Christi at (361) 882-6191.

St. Patrick School 52nd Annual

Halloween Carnival Food ted Haun

e

Hous

Friday, October 17th, 5:30-10:30 p.m. by At 3340 South Alameda Music evel er L Ra Anoth ffl e Carnival Games and Rides uction Silent A

For more information, call St. Patrick School at (361) 852-1211 10  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

Hay R

ides


✝PARISH LIFE

Sisters and life-long parishioners Margarita C. Hinojosa (left) and Fidela C. Salinas welcome Bishop Michael Mulvey to Santa Rosa de Lima in Benavides after Mass. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Santa Rosa de Lima IN

BENAVIDES

celebrates annual parish festival By Rebecca Esparza

E

Correspondent

ighty-five-year-old Elma C. Stockwell was born and raised in Benavides, Texas and recalls with great fondness when Santa Rosa de Lima Church was a simple mission. Just six years before her marriage to husband Julian in 1946, the present church was built and dedicated.

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  11  


✝ PARISH LIFE

A Catholic faith community existed in Benavides from its founding in 1880. St. Paul, as the church was originally named, was a mission of San Diego. Santa Rosa de Lima became a full-fledged parish in 1948. Stockwell, who remains one of the church’s oldest active parishioners, lost her beloved husband of 66 years last year, at the age of 92. She maintains the key to a happy life is to keep the faith and stay active in the church. “You have to have faith,” she said emphatically. “Even when things get rough, keep praying. Your prayers will be answered. You never know when or how, but it will come at a time when

you need it the most.” Like many parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Santa Rosa de Lima recently held its annual fundraising parish festival, with Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrating Mass. Father George Thomas, pastor at Santa Rosa de Lima, said parishioners were honored to host Bishop Mulvey for their 21st Annual Parish Festival held Aug. 24, the day after the bishop’s birthday. “Having Bishop Mulvey with us was a wonderful thing. He spent a great deal of time with the parishioners immediately after Mass and spent even more time with us in the parish hall, where we had a birthday

Hilma and Valentin Cantu, parishioners at Santa Rosa de Lima for 16 years, prepare fajita tacos and stuffed baked potatoes during the parish’s festival. Hilma Cantu is known as “the potato lady” in Benavides and often has people lined up outside her home wanting to purchase her potatoes. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

12  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

cake and helped celebrate his birthday. People were so happy to have him there with us,” Father Thomas said. After Mass, parishioners gathered at the parish hall for a barbeque lunch with all the trimmings, home baked treats, menudo, a country store and cakewalk. The festival continued outside with more food, and live music by a variety of conjunto favorites. “I am grateful to God that everything was so wonderful and fantastic. It was like a family reunion of people from Benavides and surrounding communities,” Father Thomas said. Father Thomas said it takes an entire community to put together a festival this size, along with a core group of dedicated volunteers working around the clock for many weeks and months before the festival. But the hard work paid off. Parishioners raised more than $32,000 during the festival, which will be used to meet day-to-day expenses and keep up with maintenance of church facilities. “When I first arrived here in July of 2013 I soon realized what a close knit community we have in Benavides. These dynamic, committed and hardworking men and women love the church and cherish their lives within the church. I’d love to see a day where we get back to the old glory of the church, where the whole town revolves around the church and its many activities,” he said. Father Thomas said one of his longterm goals is to make church and the faith life of the people even more active and vibrant. “I truly believe if we help everyone stay connected socially, then we will be focused on giving our first priority to God,” he said. Parishioners also include families


✝ PARISH LIFE

Irma Hinojosa, with the Junior Catholic Daughter’s Society, presents a cake to altar server Kevin Garcia, 11, during the parish festival at Santa Rosa de Lima. Garcia won the cake during the cakewalk. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

➤ Parishioners

raised more than $32,000 during the festival, which will be used to meet day-to-day expenses and keep up with maintenance of church facilities.

from surrounding towns. One parishioner, Roberta Moglia, said she drives 45 minutes each way to Santa Rosa de Lima from Bruni, Texas—in the Diocese of Laredo—for Sunday mass each week. “We only have a Catholic mission in Bruni and plus, we still have family ties here in Benavides, so this will always be home for us,” she said, while carrying her 18-month-old son, Robert. Meanwhile, Elma Stockwell–who was busy working the dessert table for the Catholic Daughters of America during the festival–believes there really is no good excuse for not taking on a volunteer role within your parish. Today, she is as busy as she ever was and has no plans to stop anytime soon. “God has given each one of us a

special talent. It’s up to each one of us to decide how we will use that talent to glorify God. We need to be more willing and open to saying ‘Yes, Lord, here I am!’ And I hope more people realize their true potential to help the church grow,” she said. For Mass times, call the parish office at (361) 256-3427.

For a schedule of all upcoming parish festivals see page 46. OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  13  


Oktoberfest St. Anthony’s Church “Violet”

3918 County Rd. 61 (off Highway 44)

63rd Annual

CHICKEN BAR-B-QUE OCTOBER 19, 2014

Dine-In & Plates to Go Bar-B-Que Dinner & Trimmings Serving 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Donation $8.00 per plate For information call the parish office @

(361) 387-4434

All proceeds will be used for Church Repairs: Country Store, Children’s Games, White Elephant Booth Live Auction at 1 p.m., Drawing for Gift Certificate Vintage Farm Machinery and Visit our Historic Church/Museum Built in 1910

Your Invited St. Paul’s Barbecue & Crafts Fall Fest 2233 Waldron Road (Flour Bluff) in Corpus Christi Sunday, October 12, 2014 Bri from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. whole ng the s, rger u b Ham tdogs Ho ames ies! G idd and r the k ble

ila ava

For only $8.00 you can purchase a barbecue plate, with drink and dessert from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in St. Paul, the Apostle Church Hall.

Start your Christmas shopping early at

fo

St. Paul’s Craft Fall Fest

with over 40+ vendors to choose from! 14  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

fam enjoy a fun- ily and filled with a da Enter great mea y t l. a inm also b e prov ent will game ided plus sf young or the -uns.


St. Theresa’s Catholic Church presents

Spookfest 2014 Under The BigTop

With Ringmaster Father Don Downey

Sunday, Oct. 26 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Brisket & Sausage plates

served with Potato Salad, Beans, Dessert & Drink for $8 each Serving 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Take-Out Available)

Country Store • Live & Silent Auction • Costume Contest Coloring Contest • Craft Vendors • Food & Game Booths

1212 Lantana Street

For more information and other questions contact St. Theresa Church at (361) 289-2759 or Jannell at Popcorn Etc: (361) 851-0372

St. John Paul II High School NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FOR OUR CATHOLIC IDENTITY

2014 General Marc Cisneros Award Senior, John Michael Gonzalez, was the recipient of the General Marc Cisneros scholarship on Sept. 3. The Award is given to the student who exemplifies good character and leadership skills. Pictured here in the back row, from left, is Associate Superintendent Nanette Quintanilla-Hatch, Associate Superintendent Anna Lozano, recipient’s father Jesse Gonzalez. In the middle row, from left, is Superintendent of Schools Rene Gonzalez, recipient’s grandmother, Rosa Gonzalez and recipient’s brother, Thomas Gonzalez. In the front row from left is the recipient’s mother, Christina Gonzalez, the recipient, John Michael Gonzalez and General Marc Cisneros.

3036 Saratoga Blvd. • Corpus Christi, TX 78415 • (361) 855-5744

www.jpiihighschool.org

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  15  


First grader Micaela Trevino works on classwork at Ss. Cyril and Methodius School with her teacher, Sr. Helga Leija, IWBS. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

New initiative fills desks at Ss. Cyril & Methodius School By Rebecca Esparza,

N

Correspondent

o student is ever turned away from attending Ss. Cyril & Methodius School and thanks to this innovative open-door policy enrollment has steadily increased the past two years in a row.

“With the full support of Msgr. (Lawrence) White, we decided to fill seats and provide assistance to any student who wanted to join us,” Lilly Samaniego, principal at Ss. Cyril & Methodius School, said. “We have to pay teachers

whether we have five students in a classroom or 20, so we try our best to fill our classrooms up with children ready to learn.” When Samaniego arrived three years ago, enrollment was at 94 students. This

16  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

year, enrollment is up to 167. Samaniego, who has worked in the Diocese of Corpus Christi for 25 years, began her career as a secretary at Holy Family School. From there, she moved to the superintendent’s office for seven


✝ CATHOLIC EDUCATION

a classroom or 20, so we try our best to fill our classrooms up with children ready to learn.” – Principal Lilly Samaniego, Ss. Cyril & Methodius School Ss. Cyril and Methodius students Kiara Washington, first grader and her brother Logan Washington, third grader, enjoy pancakes with their grandmother, Janice Washington, during a recent event at the school to celebrate Grandparent’s Day. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

years, eventually moving to Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School and Incarnate Word Academy. She has also worked hard to incorporate the latest technology tools for use in the classroom and by parents. A Web site portal for parents allows them to check on their child’s progress in realtime, not just when report cards arrive. “It’s a rewarding feeling knowing the difference I’m making in the lives of these children, helping to provide them with a quality Catholic education,” she said. Brandi Villarreal has four children and never thought a Catholic education

would be possible. Today, all four–two in second grade, one in third and one in fourth–attend Ss. Cyril & Methodius and are thriving at their new school. “My kids seem to have more of a drive to succeed,” Villarreal said. “They have a special connection with each of their teachers that they never had in public school. My little one loves to read now. I know I made the right choice.” Providing a Catholic education costs money and the church counts on the generosity of individuals and businesses to assist with those costs. One day, Samaniego recalled, a generous soul walked into her office. Gary Polasek,

president of Red Oak Petroleum Corporation, wanted to make a difference in the lives of current students. Although he had moved away from the city many years ago, he had recently purchased property on Padre Island. “He was an alumni of the school and said he wanted to give back. I thought of the perfect opportunity for him. We had just learned we needed new science books for the entire school. He is a geologist, so he offered to purchase books for one of our classes,” she said. But his generosity did not stop with just one donation. Polasek came back a week later with a $5,000 check; enough

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  17  

✝CATHOLIC EDUCATION

❝We have to pay teachers whether we have five students in


✝ CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Johnathon Ramirez (left) and Jacob Guerrero (right), work with fourthgrade teacher Mairaed Gillooly on their spelling words. Gillooly is teaching at Ss. Cyril and Methodius School thanks to the Alliance for Catholic Education Teaching Fellows Master’s of Education program through the University of Notre Dame. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic to cover purchasing science books for the entire school. “I would pass by the church every time I headed to Padre Island and got to thinking about what an amazing influence Ss. Cyril & Methodius School made on my entire life, not only academically, but most importantly spiritually. Finally, one day I decided I had to do something about it and give back a fraction of what was given me,” Polasek said. Overcome with the gratitude expressed by the students and staff alike, Polasek said the rewards he has garnered have been priceless. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to make a donation and would like to challenge other former students of Ss. Cyril and Methodius to give back, as well.” And the blessings do not end there, either. Ss. Cyril & Methodius is hosting a participant of the Alliance for Catholic Education Teaching Fellows masters of

education program out of the University of Notre Dame. Mairaed Gillooly is part of the Alliance for Catholic Education program and teaches fourth grade at the school, while working on her master’s degree in the summer. “At the end of the program, I will have my masters in education from Notre Dame and will have had two years of amazing teaching experience. What is unique about this program is that we are placed in these communities at random, from all over the U.S. to live with, and support other first and second-year teachers while we undergo this journey together,” she said. Gillooly said teaching fourth graders has been an amazing experience and she cannot imagine teaching any other grade. “I love their wonderful personalities and senses of humor. We really are

18  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

learning some amazing things. They are so ready and excited to learn,” she said. She is one of six Alliance for Catholic Education participants currently teaching in schools throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi, including St. John Paul II High School, Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School, Christ the King and two at St. Anthony School in Robstown. “This is my first year here at Ss. Cyril & Methodius, but I feel as though I have been here for years. I love how tightknit the students, staff and parents are. We are like one big family here. I also love how small the class sizes are. I get to focus so closely on each of my students’ individual needs, it’s the best situation possible for students and teachers alike.” For more information about Ss. Cyril & Methodius School, visit: their Web site at www.sscmc.org or call the school office at (361) 853-9392.


By Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic

S

ister Celia Hernandez, MJMJ has worked 12-hour days for many years as a cook and cleanup crew all rolled-into-one. Now, at the age of 80 she is tired and her feet and knees hurt. A few months ago she was able to slow down to about a 4-hour day, but the “little ones” and the staff still depend on her quietly working in the background at The Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for youth. Sister Celia celebrated her Golden Jubilee with her congregation, the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph on Aug. 23 in the chapel at Mount Thabor Convent. One of eight children, she was born in May 1934 to Felipe and Rosa Hernandez in Durango, Mexico. Her family included four boys and four girls who lived on a ranch with 25 other families. She was baptized Catholic, but “because the ranch was too far away from the city, they could not attend Mass every Sunday,” she said. Everyone on the ranch prayed together. They did not have phones back then, so when someone made a new rosary or they wanted to celebrate a Holy Day, “firecrackers would alert the ranchers that it was time for prayer and a family would give a supper,” she said. She received her confirmation when

she was just two-years-old. She said when she was little the priest held Mass, baptisms, blessings and confessions all in the same visit. In March 1955 Sister Celia went to live with her aunt in El Paso and began volunteer work at Sacred Heart Church, going from house to house, taking children to Mass. She then started work as a cook with the Sisters of St. Joseph who were also at Sacred Heart in El Paso. A turning point in her life happened when she accepted an invitation to join the sisters for prayer and adoration during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. She had a spiritual experience and she spoke to God in prayer saying, “I want to serve you all the days of my life, but…” she said, “as a good Catholic– not as a nun.” Two years later she asked to join the Sisters of St. Joseph. “They were

very kind,” she remembers, but they encouraged her to join a different congregation. They told her it would be difficult to learn English and she should, “pick sisters who spoke her own language,” she said. Later she joined the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (MJMJ) in El Paso and entered the convent as a postulant in June 1962. She received her habit the following year. After discerning for a year she took her First Vows on Aug. 23, 1964 and her congregation assigned her to Corpus Christi in September the same year as head cook for the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary. Six years later, in 1970, she became a United States citizen. She cooked for 150 youth who attended the all-male school and the priests and nuns who staffed the facility. Sister Milagros Tormo, MJMJ

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  19  

✝VOCATIONS

Sister Celia: 50 years of nourishing bodies and souls


✝ VOCATIONS

Two of Sister Celia’s “boys”, Msgr. Michael Howell and Msgr. Roger Smith, concelebrated her jubilee Mass. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

remembers Sister Celia “begging the staff to give up some of their own food, so she could give it to the boys who were still hungry.” “When they were hurt, hungry or sick they came to me. I was there mama,” Sister Celia said. Six sisters worked at the seminary. “We cleaned, cooked, washed. I was the main cook and I made everything from scratch. I learned a lot,” she said. In the evenings she would visit the Incarnate Word of the Blessed Sacrament Convent and learn English with Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS who she remembers fondly also gave “her religious classes.” “I read my first books in English–the missal and the cookbook. It was very hard work, but I was very happy,” she said. She fondly remembers several of the boys who later became priests, monsignors and bishops, including Father James Harris, Msgr. Lawrence White, Bishop James Tamayo, Msgr. Mark Chamberlin, Father Bob Dunn, Msgr. Michael Heras, Msgr. Michael Howell, Msgr. Louis Kihneman III, Father John

McKenzie, Msgr. Richard Shirley, Msgr. Roger Smith, Father James Stembler, Msgr. Leonard Pivonka and many who now serve in the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Sister Celia believes in the power of prayer, whether for good or ill. In a hushed voice she speaks of a day in 1970 when she was very angry with members of her congregation–so angry in fact that when Father John Walsh, SJ walked in on her while she was making a racket in the kitchen he wanted to know what had made her so mad. “I asked God to send us a good wind to shake us, but I spoke to him in Spanish, so he didn’t understand me,” she said. After the outburst she remembers taking a long nap and when she awoke so did Hurricane Celia. “I didn’t tell anyone about it for 20 years,” she confessed. When the minor seminary had to close in the early 1980s, Sister Celia went to work in El Paso for a daycare center run by the Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph where she cooked for nine more years. Afterwards she asked permission

20  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

from her Mother Superior to take time away to care for her mother in Mexico, who was dying of cancer. After her mother’s death she came back to Corpus Christi and cooked for troubled young girls in the Catholic Charities’ New Life Program, under the auspices of Msgr. Robert Freeman, who was director of Catholic Charities at that time. The program helped girls ages 13-17 from all over the diocese. They would spend every other weekend with the sisters of Mount Thabor Convent and Sister Celia cooked for them. When The Ark opened 15 years ago, Sister Celia became head cook for the children and staff–cooking all three meals daily. Today Sister Celia should feel satisfied. She has done her job well and will leave a legacy of nourishing bodies and souls.

To see more photos of this event

SouthTexasCatholic.com

www.SouthTexasCatholic.com/News/Celia


✝ VOCATIONS

Eleven men take next step in diaconate formation program

Deacon candidates pose for a picture after the Aug. 3 Installation Mass. In top row, from left, Deacon Mantz, Bishop Mulvey, Shayne Katzfey and Stephen Mark Christoph. In middle row are Michael Valenzuela, Louis Naro, Amando Leal and Ronald Janota. In front row are Fernando Perez, Narciso Ortiz, Robert Rosales, Emilio Flores and Hector Salinas. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic

By Alfredo E. Cárdenas

O

South Texas Catholic

n Saturday, Aug. 30, Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated the Installation Mass in the Corpus Christi Cathedral for 11 candidates to the permanent diaconate. The men were installed as Candidates and Lectors in the next step of the diaconate formation program for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  21  


✝ VOCATIONS

❝God calls each of us to serve him in a unique way, and we must continually listen and respond in the way he wants us to serve. I first felt the call to the diaconate in 2007, however, I didn’t answer it at the time, and I felt as though I had missed my opportunity to serve God on his terms.” – Deacon candidate Robert Rosales The program, a five-year program of study that prepares men to serve as permanent deacons, consists of three major paths; Inquiry, Aspirancy and Candidacy. Each path contains several dimensions, such as human, academic, pastoral, spiritual and diaconal. Those admitted as candidates and instituted as lectors were Stephen Mark Christoph from Sacred Heart in Mathis; Emilio Flores from St. Anthony of Padua in Robstown; Ronald Janota from Sacred Heart in Rockport; Shayne Katzfey from St. George Parish in George West; Amando Leal from Corpus Christi Cathedral; Louis Naro, from Sacred Heart in Rockport; Narciso Ortiz from Our Lady of Perpetual Help; Fernando Perez from Ss. Cyril & Methodious; Robert Rosales from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland; Hector Salinas from St. Patrick Parish in Corpus Christi; and Michael Valenzuela from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sarita. “These men have worked very hard but they are still only half-way through in terms of their studies,” Deacon Michael Mantz, Director for the Permanent Diaconate, said. “At this point, the new directory

for the Diaconate Formation Program calls for the aspirant to make a public commitment by stating to the bishop and the community that they will resolve themselves to complete their studies and to prepare themselves in mind and spirit to give faithful service to the church,” Mantz said. Rosales said he was first accepted into the diaconate inquiry process in the summer of 2011. The following year he applied and was accepted into the diaconate formation program. “God calls each of us to serve him in a unique way, and we must continually listen and respond in the way he wants us to serve,” Rosales said. “I first felt the call to the diaconate in 2007, however, I didn’t answer it at the time, and I felt as though I had missed my opportunity to serve God on his terms.” When the next call to the diaconate came, Rosales answered the call and “God opened all the doors” necessary for him to enter the formation process. “God continually reminds me of Isaiah 43:1, ‘I have called you by name: you are mine’,” Rosales said. The men and their wives attend

22  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

practicums and academic classes on most Saturdays for about 10 months out of the year. The University of St. Thomas, St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, conducts the academic portion, which is done via video conferencing. Local and visiting clergy conduct the practicums. When they complete the diaconate formation program and are ordained permanent deacons they will receive their assignments from the bishop, which may or may not be at their home parish. “The Letter of James warns us against presumption in chapter four,” Rosales said. “Since we have no idea what life will be like tomorrow, I can only say that if the Lord wills it the bishop will ordain me a deacon and assign me to our parish.” The Diocese of Corpus Christi’s permanent diaconate department will begin to advertise for the next formation class during the spring of 2015. Anyone interested in diaconate studies should contact Deacon Mantz at the Permanent Diaconate Office at (361) 289-2343 or diaconate@diocesecc.org. (Ervey Martinez contributed to this story.)


✝ VOCATIONS

HELP FAMILIES Promote Vocations By Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

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

One of the most important institutions for promotion of vocations is also one of the most basic–the family. As young people mature, their families are the first point of contact with the faith, as well as the lived example of vocations. So vocation promotion really hinges on Catholic family life. Consider this crucial observation from the 2012 letter Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry, “The family remains the primary community for the transmission of the Christian faith. It can be seen everywhere that many priestly vocations are born in families where the example of a Christian life in keeping with its calling and the practice of the evangelical virtues give rise to the desire for complete self-giving. Care for vocations presupposes, in reality, a strong family pastoral ministry.” This can, of course, be applied to each vocation. But while it may be obvious that families are a key point in promoting vocations, it is not always clear how we can help them. Here are some pointers you may find helpful in encouraging vocations in younger people and families: Discipleship is key. If we are not helping families to encourage discipleship in young people, it will be almost impossible to expect them to be able to discern a vocation. The rest of these points, therefore, are really about discipleship. Young people today, as always, want to be challenged. This is particularly poignant in a society that values ease and luxury. Because they know the difficulties inherent in life, young people look to the Church to give them direction with her tradition of solid moral doctrine and practical wisdom. Do not be afraid to challenge young people. Young parents can feel left out of parish life for various reasons. It is difficult to raise a family

today. While in the past, families could often rely on extended family members and community for help; modern circumstances frequently separate families by distance, leaving young couples feeling more isolated and even frustrated. Whatever you can do to be warmly encouraging to young parents, without making them feel awkward, will help them feel more welcomed, and they and their children will be more likely to participate in the Catholic culture and grow holy vocations. Young people and families do not need “programs.” They need a living, breathing culture, a faith that is well taught, lived, and loved by the church. Programs can help with this, but they are no substitution for living an active faith. Young people, especially families with children, want to belong to something important–they want to belong to God. The church can provide this by just being what she really is. Young people are not interested as much in politics as previous generations, particularly in Church politics. While these things may seem important to some, in general, younger people would prefer to avoid that and just learn and live the faith. If politics get in the way, it can be a real turnoff to them, and a hindrance to real vocational discernment. One of the most important things you can do to help young people and families live the faith is find out what they really need. The best way to do this is personal contact and friendship. Committees and surveys may have their place, but these often do not represent what is really helpful. Find out from the source. Reviving the faith of our young people and families is key to encouraging holy vocations in the church. Let us work to strengthen Catholic family life so that all young members of the church will be inspired to live their vocations in a holy way. OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  23  


PAY DAY LENDING PRA PREY ON THE POOR, D By Alfredo E. Cárdenas

A

South Texas Catholic

lberto Lugo, Jr. was born deaf and relies on government assistance to take care of his wife and three sons. Sometimes this assistance is not enough to take care of his family’s needs and Lugo has fallen prey to unscrupulous lenders who have no problem in taking advantage of his disadvantage. Lugo is not alone. Almost every client of Catholic Charities’ Representative Payee Program has fallen prey to payday and auto title lenders who find the disadvantaged and the disabled as easy marks. According to the Texas Catholic Conference, “payday loans are marketed as short-term small cash advances for unexpected, discrete costs. Typically it is a two-week loan term and requires a postdated check or electronic access to a debit account as collateral. An auto title loan has a similar concept. However, it is [the borrower’s] car title that serves as collateral. If a borrower defaults, meaning if he fails to pay off the loan at the agreed length of time, the loan company will take the vehicle.” Research suggests these loans are set up to fail. Due to the added fees and short period of time, repayment becomes difficult and a cycle of debt is inevitable. In

24  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

the end, payday loans create greater financial burdens and hurt rather than help consumers, the Texas Catholic Conference points out a special Web site it has on payday lending. “People who enter into these loans are disabled, on limited income and in desperate situations,” said Marco Crawford, an attorney who is vice chancellor for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “The problem is rampant.” Lugo, who is still paying on two loans, borrowed to pay earlier loans and has not been able to clear off he loans. He said loan company representatives routinely come to his home to collect and threaten to take his valuables and take him to court if he does not pay. He also had an auto title loan and nearly lost his car when he missed a payment. The loan company picked up his car and was getting ready to sell it when Lugo


ACTICES

DISABLED ❝People who enter into these loans are disabled, on limited income and in desperate situations. The problem is rampant.” Marco Crawford, Vice Chancellor, Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Alberto Lugo Jr. stands in front of several of the loan companies he borrowed money from indicating “stop” in sign language. The strip center on Ayers street is peppered with payday and auto title lenders. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  25  


❝I believe it is a criminal act... Why do all bankers have to follow regulations but not payday lenders?❞ – Mayor Nelda Martinez

Church Teaching Basic Christian principles require the community to provide protection for the poor and vulnerable. Parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and Catholic Charities witness the high cost of being poor every day as they assist families forced into alarmingly high debt when they take out a payday or auto title loans to cover an unexpected expense. The teachings of the Catholic faith has many warnings about usury and exploitation of people. Lending practices that, intentionally or unintentionally, take unfair advantage of one’s desperate circumstances are unjust. Catholic Social Teaching demands respect for the dignity of persons, preferential concern for the poor and vulnerable, and the pursuit of the common good. These principles coupled with the Church’s teaching on economic justice animate the Church’s questioning of current payday lending practices. “I hope that these institutions may intensify their commitment alongside the victims of usury, a dramatic social ill. When a family has nothing to eat, because it has to make payments to usurers, this is not Christian, it is not human! This dramatic scourge in our society harms the inviolable dignity of the human person.”

-Pope Francis (speaking in the National Council of Anti-Usury Foundations)

26  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

was able to borrow from a family member to pay the loan, which he said was for $2,000 and he ended up paying $4,000 all told. His story is not unusual. The Representative Payee Program helps people who are unable to manage their financial affairs. They help them to pay bills, make budgets, etc. Most of their clients have payday loans and most secure payday loans to pay off their original payday loan. Crawford helped one client who had nine loans, eight of which were recurring loans used to pay previous loans. After meeting with her for two minutes Crawford could tell the 33-year-old woman had the mental capacity of a child. She was paying 564 percent interest on her latest loan. She was born with cerebral palsy and brain damage. She has a number of mental disorders. She is on 11 medications. The Federal government had declared her mentally disabled. “She could not legally enter into a contract under Texas law,” Crawford said. “She is unable to grasp what she is doing. She was not capable of entering into any legal agreement.” After discussions with the lender’s attorney, the loan company agreed to waive the payment of the loan. Crawford is working with two other clients of the Representative Payee Program who find themselves in similar situations. All of their clients are disabled and receiving Social security, about $700 per month. “The assumption is that they (borrowers) should read agreements but the agreements are lengthy with tons of small print,” Crawford said. “Most people do not understand them.” Lugo said that when he went in to get a loan the loan company did not have an interpreter that could explain the loan to him in sign language. “They just gave me the papers and told me to sign here. I signed and that was it. No explanation. They didn’t explain anything to me. They didn’t take time to communicate with me by writing back and forth and then I saw the interest was high but they just told me ‘sign’,” Lugo said. Crawford said it was difficult for him as an attorney to

To see more photos of this event

SouthTexasCatholic.com

www.SouthTexasCatholic.com/News/Lending


understand the contract. The average person does not know what they are getting into. “I think the interest rates are unethical. They are questionable but on top of that they are preying on individuals that are mentally disabled. It’s reprehensible. It’s a serious problem,” Crawford said. Unfortunately, while the loans are unethical they are legal. While Crawford thinks the situation is reprehensible, Corpus Christi mayor Nelda Martinez uses much stronger language to describe the practice. “I believe it is a criminal act,” the mayor said at a meeting recently held in Corpus Christi to discuss the problem. “Why do all bankers have to follow regulations but not payday lenders?” The mayor said the practice of payday and title lenders “ravages the city” and “is a negative economic multiplier.” Some 18 cities in Texas have already adopted ordinances regulating payday lending and Mayor Martinez said she plans to have Corpus Christi join the group. She said now that the city council has dealt with other pressing priorities it would turn its attention to this issue. “Unfortunately, ordinances are limited to within city limits and the authority of municipalities in these cases is limited,” Texas Catholic Conference executive director Jeff Patterson said. “True reform affecting all Texans is only possible when undertaken by the Texas Legislature.” State Representative Todd Hunter who joined the mayor–as well as Bishop Michael Mulvey–at the meeting pledged support for reform of this issue at the state level. Thus far, “attempts to reform the payday and auto title practices during the last session of the Texas Legislature crumbled in the face of an expensive lobby effort by the payday lenders,” Patterson said. The Texas Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of Texas bishops, will continue to urge the Legislature to adopt reform legislation. Lugo said he would never recommend a payday loan to anyone. “The interest is so high and you never finish paying it off,” he said. “It’s not a good idea.” If one of his sons asked if he should borrow from a payday lender he would tell them “no”. “Never, never, never go borrow money from them,” Lugo said. “I know I will never do it again. I learned my lesson.” For more information on Payday Lending visit the special Texas Catholic Conference Web site txcatholic-fairlending. org.

Comments... from caseworkers attending a payday-lending workshop hosted by Catholic Charities earlier in the year: • They are in every block • They don’t know, don’t ask, don’t care • People go from one lender to another lender, refer them to lender across the street • No installment plans, need to pay whole amount • Borrowed $500 had to pay $900 • Month after month, after month • Veteran lost car • Client had five payday loans • Food is last on their list • Pawnshops are also an issue • Payday ads are very enticing • Many people don’t know about programs that can help • Some use loans for non-essential items like take out • Bad credit scores lead people to Payday lenders • Many people do not know how to manage their budgets • Some people make bad choices but others simply don’t get enough • Has become lure to get someone to come in • Payday workers get bonuses on number of people they bring in, loans they make • Payday lenders use many marketing gimmicks • Sixty percent of clients had six payday loans • Rent to own is another issue • It’s a continuous rollover, they borrow from one to pay another and so on OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  27  


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Mensajeros por la dignidad de los pueblos divididos por la frontera Por Luisa Scolari

S

Corresponsal

e acerca la catorceava edición de la Carrera internacional de “La Antorcha Guadalupana,” y el señor Joel Magallanes, quien es el director ejecutivo de la Asociación Tepeyac de Nueva York, dice que La Antorcha tiene la sagrada intención de la unión de todos los pueblos de América, ya que Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe es considerada la “Reina de las Américas.” La antorcha será encendida y partirá de la Basílica de Guadalupe en la Ciudad de México en Sept. 21, iniciando su camino hacia la Catedral de San Patricio en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Padre Patrick Donohoe y Jona Gómez sostienen la antorcha en ano pasado.

En su trayectoria la antorcha recorrerá los estados de México, Morelos, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz y Tamaulipas. En los estados unidos Texas, Luisiana, Alabama, las Carolinas, Virginia y Washington, arribando

Foto contribuido

a la ciudad de Nueva York en Dec. 12 en donde será recibida por aproximadamente 2,000 corredores. En su ruta por el sur de Texas, La Antorcha cruzará la frontera por la ciudad de Laredo en Oct. 29 y el

➤ El Padre Donohoe invita a toda la comunidad para que se unen en intención y oración por la unión de las familias y los migrantes, pero sobre todo, por los niños migrantes que viajan solos, vulnerables y expuestos a tantos peligros.

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  29  

✝VIDA CATÓLICA

LA ANTORCHA GUADALUPANA


✝ VIDA CATÓLICA

Los organizadores de la antorcha cuando llega a la Sagrada Familia en Corpus Christi son, de izquierda, Julia Alvarado, director de la evangelización, Padre Patrick Donohoe, Padre Alejandro Orlando Augustinus Sáenz y Irene Anes, director de formación de la fe. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic siguiente día pasara por Hebbronville, Falfurrias y continúa hacia Alice donde van a parar en la iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe para una misa y para descansar durante la noche. Al día siguiente se reanudan con una parada en Robstown y luego se espera la llegada a la ciudad de Corpus Christi a las 5:30 p.m. en donde será recibida por el Padre Patrick Donohoe de la Parroquia de la Sagrada Familia. El Padre Donohoe oficiará una misa a las 7:30 p.m. Al término de la misa se ofrecerá una cena para todos los asistentes, para celebrar la llegada de la luz y bendiciones de Nuestra Señora la de las Américas a Corpus Christi. La antorcha viene con un mensaje de amor a nuestros hermanos, sin importar raza, color o nacionalidad, ya que la virgen nos ama a todos por igual y

sin distinción alguna. El Padre Donohoe invita a toda la comunidad para que se unen en intención y oración por la unión de las familias y los migrantes, pero sobre todo, por los niños migrantes que viajan solos, vulnerables y expuestos a tantos peligros. En Nov. 1, a las 7 a.m., la antorcha después de una bendición sigue su camino y parte hacia Mathis donde van a parar para comer. Desde allí continuarán a Beeville donde van a trasladar la antorcha a los corredores de Gonzales en la Iglesia San José. La Señora Carmen Salazar de los Reyes, quien funge como coordinadora de la carrera Guadalupana en la ciudad de Corpus Christi, invita a todos los Católicos a participar en este evento de la manera mas conveniente para cada quien. Pueden

30  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

inscribirse como corredores o cooperar con donaciones de botellas de agua, Gatorade, frutas (naranjas y plátanos) o tarjetas de gasolina para las camionetas acompañantes. También hace la petición de apoyo si alguien puede participar con su camioneta en el traslado de los corredores o en brindar hospedaje a alguno de los corredores. Si alguien tiene la oportunidad de apoyar con sus porras o simple presencia para dar ánimo a los corredores. En Corpus Christi la ruta que seguirán será la entrada a la ciudad por la 44, siguiendo por la calle Agnes, Port, Tarlton y MacArthur, hasta llegar a la Parroquia de la Sagrada Familia. Para cualquier información, donación o inscripción, pueden comunicarse con la Señora de los Reyes al (361) 933-7543.


✝ VIDA CATÓLICA

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

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

The Office for Child and Youth Protection

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OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  31  


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Retreatants and seminarians come together for an end of retreat photo. Contributed photo

Explore draws 24 young men By Eric Chapa Contributor

As a general principle of living, one simply never knows how simple, everyday moments in one’s life will become something quite seminal in God’s communication with us. This was the hope that was expressed in “Explore”, the week-long discernment retreat for young men held during the week of July 28–Aug. 1 at Camp Zephyr in Sandia. The week gathered nine seminarians of the Diocese of Corpus Christi with 24 high school age men, from throughout the diocese, including Corpus Christi, Portland, Robstown, Alice and Premont. The sole aim of the week was to open ever wider the communication between God and these young men, which is animated by the diverse experiences of every single one of them. The week consisted of prayer, faith sharing and recreation. A central intent of the program was to introduce the men to the life of a seminarian, most especially the life of prayer expected of a candidate for the priesthood.

Yet, it did not aim to “recruit” men for the priesthood. The “recruiting” is God’s own mysterious project, given greater and greater clarity by one’s own experiences. The hope of the retreat was to add to the many experiences in which each person’s vocation is, over time, made known. “Explore teaches about the Church and how we are all called to be disciples of Christ,” Father Joseph Lopez, JCL vocations director for the diocese said. The Explore retreat is to be an annual fixture for the diocese, and there is no reason that someone cannot return to the retreat. Certainly, the Holy Spirit is creative enough that each retreat will have its own character and be ever new in what it has to offer. “I saw the Holy Spirit very present in our group. Many said that they couldn’t wait for next year’s Explore retreat,” first-year seminarian Sam Beattie said. Information about the next retreat will be available as it approaches.

The Red Mass celebrated annually at the Corpus Christi Cathedral has been set for Thursday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. This year’s keynote speaker is Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor Michigan. Thompson’s address will immediately follow the Mass. Thompson gained national prominence, as a prosecuting attorney, for his uncompromising stand against Jack Kevorkian. He has filed numerous federal lawsuits challenging the HHS Mandate. Local judges, elected officials, attorneys and the public are invited.

Overflow crowd turns out for annual celebration for life An overflow crowd turned out to hear Rex Moses at the 25th Annual Celebration for Life banquet on Thursday, Sept. 4. Moses was credited by many in attendance for providing the direction and energy to the pro-life movement in Corpus Christi during its early years. Moses said one of the most important achieveRex Moses, ments was the “Gabriel pro-life activist Project,” which enlists parishes to assist mothers during pregnancy. “It was a moment that changed history,” he said. Today more than 940 parishes and Protestant chapels throughout the country display Project Gabriel signs in front of their churches. Moses took time to pay tribute to the many “sidewalk counselors” that had dedicated their lives to the pro-life movement; people such as Manuel Garcia, Paul Laudadio, Cliff Zarsky, Father James Harris and others. OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  33  

✝NEWS BRIEFS

Red Mass slated for Oct. 2 at Cathedral


Lawmakers’ override of vetoes an ‘affirmation that all life matters’ By Joseph Kenny Catholic News Service

T

he Missouri Legislature voted Sept. 10 to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes of bills establishing a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion decision and a tax credit bill that benefits pregnancy help centers, maternity homes and food pantries. The Senate voted late in the evening 23-7 to override the veto of the waiting-period bill, which had been passed earlier by the House of Representatives, 117-44. Earlier, the Senate voted 27-2 to override the tax credit bill after the House voted 123-37 for override. Passage makes Missouri the third state in the nation to enact a 72-hour waiting period, along with Utah and South Dakota. Karen Nolkemper, executive director of the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, called the votes “a public affirmation that all life matters, even that of the most vulnerable among us.” Mike Hoey, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, said concerned Catholics had played a key role in getting the laws finally passed. The conference, which is

34  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, helped usher the bills into law with significant bipartisan support in both chambers and vocal citizen feedback. “Catholics from around the state contacted their legislators, and that made a big difference,” Hoey stated. “Without those calls and emails I don’t think we could have passed this much pro-life legislation. Loud chants, calls to action, reflection, personal witness and even the singing of “Happy Birthday” marked a noon rally in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol Sept. 10 as 300-400 people gathered to urge the state Legislature to override Nixon’s vetoes. The two major pro-life bills he vetoed were the focus of weeks-long lobbying efforts seeking an override by the Legislature.


PlannedParenthood abortion facility in Texas, told of the importance of a 72-hour waiting period’s impact on an abortion operator’s need to have more clients to boost their income. “Women deserve better than to be rushed into a decision...leaving her with a lifetime of pain and regret,” she said. House Speaker Tim Jones, a Republican from Eureka, told the group that Republicans and Democrats in Missouri are convinced of the need to promote life. “Our nation was founded on moral principles. This is greater than all of us. This comes from the Creator,” he said. Elice Estrada, a student at a community college in Washington whose family is from St. Louis, was among the people attending the rally. “A lot of young women like myself are misguided by the media, told lies about the dangers of abortion,” she said. “After an abortion, women are more prone to suicide, depression...They need the time to understand it’s a life, not a mistake.” Catholic Charities representatives also have lobbied for the charitable tax credits for food pantries, maternity homes and pregnancy resources, saying they provide support for the most needy and most vulnerable in Missouri. Legislators voted to override the governor’s veto of re-entry grants intended to help reduce recidivism through services that help create dignity for formerly incarcerated individuals. The override reinstates $2 million in grant funding for 4,200 ex-offenders and the 25 statewide organizations that serve them. Another budget item veto that was overridden was increasing funding for Missouri’s Alternatives to Abortion programs, or ATA, as well as expanding tax credits for donations to pregnancy help centers, maternity homes and food pantries. Donors can claim a state income tax credit for 50 percent of their contribution. “Taken together, the ATA program and the tax credits provide powerful assistance to some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens,” Hoey said. State Rep. Jay Barnes, a Republican from Jefferson City, said the veto override for alternative programs might possibly be the best the General Assembly could bring about. “I think it is heroic to choose life,” he said. “ATA programs help women make that heroic choice and help them build a life to look forward to.” (Kenny is a staff writer at the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the St. Louis Archdiocese. Contributing to this story was Jay Nies, editor of The Catholic Missourian, newspaper of the Diocese of Jefferson City.) OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  35  

✝NATIONAL

The Missouri House and Senate began debate on the measures just before the noon rally, which followed a Morning Prayer vigil sponsored by Show Me Life Missouri. A dozen women spoke at the gathering, including a woman who suffered post-abortion trauma, the grandmother of a child conceived by rape and the former manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. A large number of bills were being considered for veto override, including several budget items. The crowd, that were mostly wearing red, shouted “Override, override, override” in repetition. The loudest chants came later and were led by about 70 teenagers who came from several schools around the state, including St. Louis Priory School. “We love babies, yes we do. We love babies, how about you?” evolved into “We love women, yes we do. We love women, how about you?” The chants followed others from a few dozen supporters of legal abortion on the second-floor balcony. They wore purple T-shirts with the message “Stand With Missouri Women.” Chants of “don’t go back” and “abortion is safe” failed to overpower pro-life speakers. Before the pro-life rally, as the rally for abortion outside was underway, Bill Winters of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in New Melle shouted, “Don’t kill babies,” as he was walking into the state Capitol. Paula Willmarth of Kansas City, president of the Missouri State Women’s Political Caucus, confronted him and asked him to leave. Winters continued on his way, and Willmarth later explained that she asked him to be respectful of her group’s demonstration, as her group should be of his. But her group overruled her wish when they entered the Capitol and tried to disrupt the pro-override rally. The override speakers repeated the need to stand for life. One was Susan Jaramillo, a native of Jefferson City who lives in Georgia. She told of the three abortions she had before a dramatic change in her life in 2007 and finding out in 2010 that she had been conceived in rape, a secret her mother had kept from her. Jaramillo was told during her abortions “in a few days, you’ll be fine, like nothing ever happened.” Only later, she said, she began suffering from guilt and shame, with the decision to abort affecting every area of her life. Her decisions were selfish, she said, especially when compared to her mother’s selfless decision to give birth to her. Ramona Trevino, former manager of a


✝ NATIONAL

Divorce is changing the face of families worldwide, in U.S. By Nancy Frazier O’Brien Catholic News Service

T

he family under discussion when the extraordinary Synod of Bishops convenes at the Vatican Oct. 5 will bear little resemblance to the family of 50 or even 20 years ago.

The blended and extended families created by high rates of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation have combined to change forever the view of family as limited to a mother, father and their children. But children are still most likely to live in two-parent families in all countries except South Africa, according to the World Family Map 2014, a research project sponsored by the Bethesda, Maryland-based nonprofit Child Trends and a variety of educational and nongovernmental institutions from across the globe. “The family is the core institution for child-rearing worldwide, and decades of research have shown that strong families promote positive child outcomes,” said Laura Lippman, co-director of the World Family Map and senior program director for education at Child Trends. The report, co-written by Lippman and W. Bradford Wilcox, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, found that “growing up with a single parent is especially common in sub-Saharan Africa, in Central and South America, and in several English-speaking Western countries.” One-fifth or more of children in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada live with only one

parent, while Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe have the world’s lowest rates of single parenthood. The report also found that “although marriage rates for adults aged 18-49 are declining worldwide, they remain high in Asia and the Middle East (between 47 percent in Singapore and 80 percent in Egypt), and are particularly low in Central/South America.” The rate of cohabitation for adults aged 18-49 tops 30 percent in some Central and South American countries and 20 percent in some European nations, the report said. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey shows that only 48 percent of U.S. households include a married couple and 34 percent of households include only one person or two or more people without family ties of marriage, blood or adoption. Thirteen percent of “family households” in the U.S.–defined as one in which two members are related by birth, marriage or adoption–are headed by women with no husband present, while 5 percent of family households are headed by men, with no wife present. In a report prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, based in Coral Gables, Florida, Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University

36  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

of Maryland, found that the “typical” American family that existed in 1960, with a breadwinner-father married to a stay-at-home mother, now only applies to 22 percent of U.S. children today. Meanwhile, 23 percent of U.S. children live with single mothers, 7 percent with parents who cohabit with unmarried partners, 6 percent with single fathers, and 3 percent with grandparents and no parent present. “Different families have different child-rearing challenges and needs, which means we are no longer well-served by policies that assume most children will be raised by married-couple families, especially ones where the mother stays home throughout the children’s early years,” Cohen said in the report. Randall Woodard, an associate professor of theology/religion at St. Leo University in Florida, told Catholic News Service that divorce is the biggest issue facing American families, “and Catholics in the U.S. generally aren’t particularly distinct or different from the rest of the culture here.” He said the synod would need to find a way to make divorced Catholics who have remarried feel welcomed into the church, even if their status might preclude them from receiving the sacraments.


By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

P

residing over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated marriage as the union of a man and woman playing complementary roles during their common journey through life. “This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has

the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man,” the pope said Sept. 14. “Here we see the reciprocity of differences.”

Newly married couples kneel as Pope Francis celebrates the marriage rite for 20 couples during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Sept. 14 Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  37  

✝VATICAN

Pope says spouses make each other better


✝ VATICAN

The pope spoke during a wedding Mass for couples from the diocese of Rome. In typically frank style, Pope Francis admitted married life can be tiring, “burdensome, and often, even nauseating.” But the pope assured the brides and grooms that Christ’s redemptive sacrifice would enable them to resist the “dangerous temptation of discouragement, infidelity, weakness, abandonment.” “The love of Christ, which has blessed and sanctified the union of husband and wife, is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out,” he said. Pope Francis also offered practical advice for dealing with marital discord. “It is normal for a husband and wife to argue,” he said. “It always happens. But my advice is this: never let the day end without having first made peace. Never. A small gesture is sufficient. Thus the journey may continue.” Speaking three weeks before the start of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the pope emphasized the importance of the institution based on marriage. “It is impossible to quantify the strength and depth of humanity contained in a family: mutual help, educational support, relationships developing as family members mature, the sharing of joys and difficulties,” he said. “Families are the first place in which we are formed as persons and, at the same time, the bricks for the building up of society.” The newlyweds ranged in age from 25 to 56 and represented a variety of situations, with some already having children or having lived together before marriage. Cohabitation, though not a canonical impediment to marriage, violates the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and sexual love. Pastoral ministers helping Catholic couples prepare for the sacrament are urged to encourage them to regularize such situations prior to marrying. At the start of the papal wedding Mass, the brides’ fathers or other male relatives accompanied the brides, wearing traditional white gowns, up the aisle of the basilica. The grooms entered with their mothers. The pope called out each couple’s names as he read the rite and then each couple, groom and bride, separately, responded “si.” As a thank-you present to the pope, the couples jointly contributed to an educational and recreational center for disadvantaged youth in a suburban neighborhood of Rome, to be established by the local branch of Caritas. The ceremony was the first public papal celebration of a wedding since 2000, when St. John Paul II joined in marriage eight couples from different parts of the world as part of the Jubilee for Families. He also publicly presided over another joint wedding for a group of couples in 1994 as part of his celebration of the International Year of the Family.

38  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

New feast days for new saints By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

I

n light of “countless requests from every part of the world,” Pope Francis has approved putting Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII on the church’s universal calendar of feast days. Called the General Roman Calendar, it is the universal schedule of holy days and feast days for the Latin rite of the Catholic Church. The two saints’ feast days, both of which have the ranking of an optional–not obligatory–memorial, are Oct. 11 for St. John XXIII and Oct. 22 for St. John Paul II. The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published the decree Sept. 11 from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The pope determines who makes the universal calendar based on recommendations from the congregation for worship. In 2007, Pope Benedict approved stricter guidelines for determining which saints will be remembered with mandatory feast days. The new norms were necessary, the congregation had said, because the year does not have enough days to include all the saints in the universal calendar, particularly when Sundays and holy days are subtracted.


✝ VATICAN

Australian Cardinal George Pell and U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke leave a meeting of Pope Francis and cardinals in the synod hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 21 file photo. Both cardinals oppose proposed changes to church practice that would allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

Cardinal Pell rules out change on Communion for divorced, remarried By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

I

n a book coming out just before October’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, Cardinal George Pell rules out proposed changes to church practice that would allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. “Doctrine and pastoral practice cannot be contradictory,” writes Cardinal Pell, a former archbishop of Sydney who now serves as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. “One cannot maintain the indissolubility of marriage by allowing the ‘remarried’ to receive Communion.” The cardinal calls for a clear restatement of traditional teaching, to avoid the sort of widespread protests that greeted

Pope Paul VI’s affirmation of Catholic teaching against contraception in 1968. The eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion is bound to be a major topic of discussion, inside and outside the synod hall, during the Oct. 5-19 gathering. According to church teaching, Catholics who remarry civilly without an annulment may receive Communion only if they abstain from sexual relations, living

with their new partners “as brother and sister.” Pope Francis has said the predicament of such Catholics exemplifies a general need for mercy in the church today. In February, at the pope’s invitation, German Cardinal Walter Kasper addressed the world’s cardinals at the Vatican and argued for allowing some Catholics in that predicament to receive Communion.

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  39  


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

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

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

The Office for Child and Youth Protection


By Denise Bossert Contributor

M

y oldest daughter sat across the table from me and shook her head no. The gesture was full of sadness and quiet acceptance. She tapped into an inner strength that she had discovered over the past few years. This was the first time she had said the words. “That ship has sailed. There will be no babies for us, Mom.” She did not go into details. I knew the back-story. And I grieved for my daughter and son-in-law who had accepted infertility with marital resolve and met it with reordered plans. My daughter had cried plenty of tears, she said, and then smiled softly when she saw the tears forming in my eyes. Her strength, her calm acceptance, had not come easily or quickly. It had come with each passing month. Each time her younger sister announced another pregnancy– and again when her brother’s wife became pregnant–the wanting returned. And then the wanting was processed and quietly set aside.

She was working on her master’s degree, she said. They were planning a trip to Costa Rica for their anniversary. I wanted to change things for her. I wanted to make life fair as I had during my children’s youth. When one of my children played with a toy for a while, another one had a turn. When one child had a birthday, the other celebrated because his birthday would come in time. The longing for a child is central to the vocation of married life. Love presses on to this great event. So why does pregnancy come so easily to some, yet not for all? I had no answers. The next morning we worshipped at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in New Brighton, Minnesota. As I genuflected and knelt to pray, I

thought of Sarah, and Rebekah, and Hannah. These women symbolized Israel. Daughter Zion. The barren one. The tears of each woman–the tears of a nation–accompanied each supplication. When, oh Lord? When will the promised one come to us? This ache-for-God’s-blessing had touched the matriarchs of salvation history and reached its summit in the lives of Mary and Elizabeth in the hills of Judea. As I waited for Mass to begin, I thought of Elizabeth. Was there a moment when she sat across from her own mother and said these words? “There will be no baby for Zechariah and me. We are focusing on other things now.” Had Elizabeth cried? Had those tears dried up as the years passed?

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  41  

✝OUR FAITH

Denise Bossert writes columns on her Web site “Catholic by Grace.”

The longing for a child is central to the vocation of married life


✝ OUR FAITH

Had she watched as siblings welcomed babies into their own little families? Had she rested in her husband’s arms with reluctant acceptance hanging heavy in the air around them? There I was, praying, offering up a petition as I went forward to receive the Eucharist that Sunday morning. For months, I had been working on a book proposal called Gifts of the Visitation, but this was the first time I truly felt Elizabeth’s pain. Elizabeth’s longing. Israel’s longing. It seemed as though some kind of spiritual pilgrimage had ended at the feet of Elizabeth, her son’s name on the bulletin, the signpost, the priest’s lips. St. John the Baptist Church. I had a glimpse into the matriarchs of salvations history that I had never had. They had no reason to believe they would ever hear their own child’s first cry. They would not know what it was like to push that final push–the one that instantly transforms pain into joy. They had no reason to believe–except a faint hope that remained in the deepest, most hidden part of their hearts. Where God listens. Where each tear is saved and returns to earth full of divine grace. Last January, my daughter called to say that they were expecting a baby. Her little girl is due this month. Soon, I will travel to Minnesota and hold my granddaughter for the first time. And I will return to St. John the Baptist parish to say thank you. Thank you, oh Lord, for hearing the supplications of women throughout Sacred Scripture, for giving life where new life is least expected, for raising up sons and daughters–and grandsons and granddaughters–who will learn to hear your voice and take their own places in this Christ-bearing mission.

42  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

Jesus is our link t By Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS Contributor

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

S

ometimes Catholics muse, “What does it mean for me to be a Catholic? What more can I do to grow in my faith?” As a result, we may rush around, seeking to do good deeds to prove our Catholicity. Nevertheless we sometimes feel that we are not growing any closer to God– certainly not growing as close to him as we would like. But first and foremost, as baptized persons, we are called, not so much to work very busily doing things, even very good things. No, rather, first and foremost, we are called to live in relation to a personal God, to center our lives in him, to deepen our relationship with him. In this effort to live out this relationship with God, it is of vital importance for us to realize that God is not just one but three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father has fully revealed himself to us by communicating the other two persons to us by sending into our lives his beloved Son–our Lord Jesus Christ–and the Holy Spirit. For us human beings, the second person, Jesus Christ, is our connecting link with the other two. This truth arises from the fact that he, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, chose to become a human being even as he maintained his divinity. He shares human nature with us. We are called to love him not only as a divine being, but also as


✝ OUR FAITH

to the Father and the Holy Spirit human being. As we mature, and hopefully attempt to grow spiritually, where do we find these three persons? The most basic source is Scripture–the Bible. The Catholic Catechism states “Sacred Scripture in the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit” (#81). Scripture is central to our spiritual lives because, in Scripture, we meet God in Jesus who is both God and man. Often referred to as the Word of God, He leads us to the Father and the Holy Spirit. When we human beings speak of God’s word, we often mean a section of the words found in Sacred

Scripture. That is a correct, but not the most profound, meaning of the phrase. Again the Catholic Catechism clarifies the most profound meaning of this phrase when it states, “Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word” (#102). Note the capital “W”. That single Word (through whom the Father expresses himself completely) is not just a thing but also a person–Jesus, the second person of the Trinity. We speak of him as incarnate because incarnate means being a human being with all the qualities of a human being (cf. Hb 1:1-3). This, Jesus chose to acquire at the time of the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel

to Mary. When Mary responded affirmatively to the angel, she then became pregnant with Jesus. And when Mary gave birth to her baby Jesus at the time of the first Christmas, Jesus was truly her son, a human person even as he maintained his Godliness. We accept with gratitude the very important series of beliefs that Jesus brings to us. But first and foremost, we are called to live our spiritual lives in relationship with a person–Jesus, the person from whom all truth emanates to us. Let us strive always to relate in love to the divine person who is also a human person–the second person of the Blessed Trinity and simultaneously, the human Jesus of Nazareth.

October Liturgical Calendar 1 | Wed | Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Jb 9:1-12, 14-16/Lk 9:57-62 (457) 2 | Thu | The Holy Guardian Angels | white | Memorial | Jb 19:21-27 (458)/Mt 18:1-5, 10* (650) Pss Prop 3 | Fri | Weekday | green | Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5/Lk 10:13-16 (459) 4 | Sat | Saint Francis of Assisi | white | Memorial | Jb 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17/Lk 10:17-24 (460) 5 | SUN | TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Is 5:1-7/Phil 4:6-9/Mt 21:33-43 (139) Pss III 6 | Mon | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Bruno, Priest; Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin] Gal 1:6-12/Lk 10:25-37 (461) 7 | Tue | Our Lady of the Rosary | white | Memorial | Gal 1:13-24/Lk 10:38-42 (462) Pss Prop

8 | Wed | Weekday | green | Gal 2:1-2, 7-14/Lk 11:1-4 (463) 9 | Thu | Weekday | green/red/white [Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions, Martyrs; Saint John Leonardi, Priest] Gal 3:1-5/Lk 11:5-13 (464) 10 | Fri | Weekday | green | Gal 3:7-14/Lk 11:15-26 (465) 11 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Gal 3:22-29/Lk 11:27-28 (466) 12 | SUN | TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Is 25:6-10a/Phil 4:12-14, 19-20/Mt 22:1-14 or 22:1-10 (142) Pss IV 13 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31—5:1/Lk 11:29-32 (467) 14 | Tue | Weekday | green/red [Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr] Gal 5:1-6/Lk 11:37-41 (468) 15 | Wed | Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Gal 5:18-25/Lk 11:42-46 (469)

16 | Thu | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Hedwig, Religious; Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin] Eph 1:1-10/Lk 11:47-54 (470) 17 | Fri | Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Eph 1:1114/Lk 12:1-7 (471) 18 | Sat | Saint Luke, Evangelist | red | Feast | 2 Tm 4:10-17b/Lk 10:1-9 (661) Pss Prop 19 | SUN | TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Is 45:1, 4-6/1 Thes 1:1-5b/Mt 22:15-21 (145) Pss I 20 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest] Eph 2:1-10/Lk 12:13-21 (473) 21 | Tue | Weekday | green | Eph 2:12-22/ Lk 12:35-38 (474) 22 | Wed | Weekday | green/white [Blessed John Paul II, Pope] Eph 3:2-12/ Lk 12:39-48 (475) 23 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Saint

John of Capistrano, Priest] Eph 3:14-21/Lk 12:49-53 (476) 24 | Fri | Weekday | green/white [Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop] Eph 4:1-6/ Lk 12:54-59 (477) 25 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Eph 4:7-16/Lk 13:1-9 (478) 26 | SUN | THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Ex 22:20-26/1 Thes 1:5c-10/Mt 22:34-40 (148) Pss II 27 | Mon | Weekday | green | Eph 4:32— 5:8/Lk 13:10-17 (479) 28 | Tue | Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles | red | Feast | Eph 2:19-22/Lk 6:12-16 (666) Pss Prop 29 | Wed | Weekday | green | Eph 6:1-9/Lk 13:22-30 (481) 30 | Thu | Weekday | green | Eph 6:10-20/ Lk 13:31-35 (482) 31 | Fri | Weekday | green | Phil 1:1-11/Lk 14:1-6 (483)

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  43  


✝ OCTOBER CALENDAR

2

4

Red Mass

On Thursday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Corpus Christi Cathedral. The Red Mass is a special service calling upon God for his guidance and blessings on the administration of justice and those whose duty it is to teach, judge, and resolve legal matters. The keynote speaker is Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

7

PreCana Seminar

On Oct. 4 from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish. PreCana is a one-day marriage preparation seminar for the engaged. Registration is $60, due 14 days prior to the seminar date. For registrations after the due date add $10. No refunds will be issued. Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received in full. Register online or print and mail the Printable Registration Form at www.diocesecc.org/precana

9

Second annual Rosaryfest On Oct. 7 beginning at 8 a.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary Church (1123 Main Drive) in Corpus Christi. There will be hourly praying of novena prayers and rosaries by various groups and will conclude with a Mariachi Mass at 6 p.m. Food and fellowship will follow in the parish hall. To schedule a time for participating in praying the rosary call (361) 241-6583 or (361) 443-4285. Prayer requests may be sent; they will be placed at the feet of Our Lady of the Rosary. For more information contact the parish office at (361) 241-2004 or ourladyoftherosary@stx.rr.com

Men's Ignatian Spiritual Retreat

On Oct. 9-12 beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday and ending at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Register at www.deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

11

12

Natural Family Planning Class

On Oct. 11 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin Blvd, Corpus Christi. Registration is $125, which includes a six hour introductory class, materials, and unlimited follow-up as needed. Register and pay online, or download registration brochure at www.diocesecc.org/NFP

11th Annual Life Chain

On Oct. 12 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at West State Hwy 44 (in front of Robstown High School). Life Chain is a silent peaceful community prayer service against the evils of abortion. The Pro-Life Ministry of St. Anthony Catholic Church will stand in silence for one hour and close with the Divine Mercy Chaplet. For more information call Cynthia Espinoza, Administrative Assistant at St Anthony Church at (361) 387-2774 or email: stanthonyparish@gmail.com

Calendar of Events: Oct. 9-12: Men’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises Retreat. Oct. 13: Global Living Rosary in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at 7 p.m. Oct. 17-19: Encuentro Matrimonial (Spanish Marriage Encounter). Call (361) 742-9520 for reservations. Oct. 18: Day of Prayer and Reflection at St. Martin’s Kingsville from 8 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. at St. Martin’s Parish (715 N 8th St) in Kingsville.

Please join us for the Family Healing Retreat

Oct. 24-26

Led by Deacon Bob Allen and Father Dan Estes

Our Lady of Corpus Christi

1200 Lantana • Corpus Christi

(361) 289-9095

Bookstore: Ext. 309 Retreats: Ext. 321 44  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014

Store Hours Mon-Sat 11-6pm Closed SUN

Oct. 24-26: Family Healing Retreat from Friday, Oct. 24 until Sunday, Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. Led by Deacon Bob Allen and Fr. Dan Estes. Nov. 7-9 : World Wide Marriage Encounter. Call (361) 851-8306 for

reservations.

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

www.ourladyofcc.org AND “Like” us on facebook @ “Our Lady of Corpus Christi and Cafe Veritas”


13 18

The Guadalupanas of Sacred Heart Church will have a one day pilgrimage to San Juan Church in San Juan, Texas on Oct. 12. Be at the church rectory at 7 a.m. and return by 7 p.m. Cost is $35 per person. For more information call Dora Hidalgo (361) 510-1411 or Tina Soza (361) 687-4182.

18

Global Living Rosary

On Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel (1200 Lantana). All are welcome. Join 60 children who will be forming the beads of a Living Rosary.

Day of Prayer and Reflection

On Oct. 18 from 8 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. at St. Martin’s Parish (715 N 8th St) in Kingsville. Day begins with Mass. Light breakfast and lunch provided. The day will be led by members of Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Register at www.deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

19

4th Annual KOC Flea Market on the Island

23

On Oct. 18 from 7 a.m.-12 noon at the parking lot of St. Andrews by the Sea (14238 Encantada Avenue) on the Island. Rent a booth space for $25. Sellers begin set-up at 6-7 a.m. For more information contact Cliff Johnstone at (361) 816-7338 or Email: cjohnstone@s-gins.com.

Annual Jazz Mass

On Oct. 19 at 12:15 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick Church (3350 S. Alameda Street). Msgr. Roger Smith will be celebrating Mass as the Holy Cross Choir and Jazz Mass choir, accompanied by Texas Jazz Festival musicians, will lead the singing.

23 Family Healing Retreat

On Oct. 23-26, beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday and ending at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Retreat will be led by Deacon Bob Allen and Father Dan Estes, SOLT.

25

Cursillo de hombres (Español)

Cursillo de Hombres se esta formando para el 23 al 26 de Octubre, 2014 en el Centro de Cursillo Obispo T. Drury localizado en el 1300 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para obtener mas informacion, por favor llame al Vocal del Pre-Cursillo Juan Garza al (361) 595-1858. Ser un amigo, Hacer un amigo, y traer al amigo a Cristo! Padrinos/ madrinas por favor de entregar las aplicaciones lo mas pronto posible para reservar un espacio de los candidatos. Dios los bendiga.

Engaged Encounter

Weekend of Oct. 25-26 at the Pax Christi Retreat Center (4601 Calallen) in Corpus Christi. It is for engaged couples who are not civilly married or cohabitating. Registrations are due two weeks prior to the weekend. Registration for couples residing within the Diocese of Corpus Christi is $225. For couples residing

OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  45  

✝ OCTOBER CALENDAR

12

One day pilgrimage


✝ OCTOBER CALENDAR outside the diocese the fee is $250. For registrations after the due date add $50. No refunds will be made with less than 14 days’ notice. Register at www.diocesecc.org/eeonline

30

The Annual Clergy and Religious Appreciation Banquet

Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Congressman Solomon Ortiz International Center (402 Harbor Drive) in Corpus Christi. Join us,

as we appreciate our clergy and religious with Bishop Michael Mulvey and guest speaker, Father Leo Patalinghug, founder of Grace Before Meals. For more information contact Ron Alonzo at (361) 9471346 or mpdunne@sbcglobal.net. To RSVP go to www.diocesecc.org/CRbanquet

To see more calendar events go to:

FALL FES VALS

IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI

All fundraising events will include a variety of food, games, entertainment and fun. To find out more information go to www.SouthTexasCatholic.com/events

SouthTexasCatholic.com

Social Media

Calendar

News

Contact Us

◗◗ St. Paul's BBQ and Crafts Fall Fest | Oct. 12 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at St. Paul, the Apostle Church Hall (2233 Waldron Road). ◗◗ Our Lady of the Rosary Annual Jamaica | Oct. 12 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1123 Main Drive in Corpus Christi.

◗◗ The 65th Annual Jamaica at Immaculate Conception in Gregory | Oct. 4 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and Oct. 5 from noon-9 p.m. at 107 Church St. in Gregory.

◗◗ Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival in Tivoli | Oct. 12. at 11 a.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Tivoli. Look for signs Hwy. 35 at Tivoli .

◗◗ Holy Family will hold Casino Night | Oct. 4 from 5:30 p.m.-12 a.m. at the Richard Borchard Regional Fairgrounds (1213 Terry Shamsie Blvd.) in Robstown.

◗◗ Corpus Christi Cathedral Rummage Sale | Oct. 1719 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. in the St. Joseph Hall (505 N. Upper Broadway) located in the basement of Corpus Christi Cathedral.

◗◗ 31st Annual Czechfest at St. Thomas the Apostle Church | Oct. 5 from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. (or when all items from the auction are sold) on the church grounds of 16602 FM 624 in Robstown (located 3.5 miles west of the Five Points Shopping Center in (Calallen). ◗◗ Three Rivers Sacred Heart Annual BBQ | Oct. 5 from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at 307 E. Alexander in Three Rivers. ◗◗ ICC Church Fall Fiesta | Oct. 5 beginning at noon at Immaculate Conception Parish Hall (600 E. First Street) in Skidmore. ◗◗ 14th Annual Jamaicafest at St. Joseph Church in Alice | Oct. 11 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at 801 So. Reynolds St. in Alice.

◗◗ St. Patrick School 52nd Annual Halloween Carnival | Oct. 17 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. at 3340 South Alameda. ◗◗ 63rd Annual St. Anthony's Church Oktoberfest in Violet | Oct. 19 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at St. Anthony Church (3918 County Rd. 61 off Highway 44) in Violet. ◗◗ 31st Annual St. Pius X Halloween Carnival | Oct. 24 from 5:30-10 p.m. at 737 St. Pius Drive. ◗◗ 2014 MEGA Festival - Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Sinton | Oct. 25 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at San Patricio County Fairgrounds - Events Center Arena. ◗◗ Annual BBQ Brisket Plates at Sacred Heart | Oct. 26 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at 422 North Alameda St.

◗◗ Family Fun Fest BBQ Chicken Dinner | Oct. 11 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish (2414 Main Street) in Ingleside.

◗◗ Fall Festival at Our Lady of Refuge in Refugio | Oct. 26 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at 1008 S. Alamo St. in Refugio.

◗◗ "La Jamaica 2014" at Our Lady of Pilar | Oct. 11 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 12 from noon-8 p.m. at 1101 Bloomington St. in Corpus Christi.

◗◗ Spookfest 2014 Under the Big Top | Oct. 26 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Theresa Church (1302 Lantana Street).

◗◗ Family FunFest Spiritual Banquet, Concert | Our Lady of Good Counsel Church is hosting the event Oct. 11 from 7 to 9 p.m at Jones Auditorium (on Texas A&M Kingsville campus). Doors open at 6 p.m.

◗◗ Great Church Festival | Oct. 26 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos, Mother of the Church (1755 Frio St. in Los Encino's neighborhood -the area around the church and the existing buildings).

46  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  OCTOBER 2014


Now offering Childcare Ministry (ages 3-10) Youth Track (ages 11-17) Spanish Track, & more!

The Family

Fully Alive

January 10, 2015

American Bank Center Keynote Speaker: Jim Healy, Ph.D

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD

Director of the Center for Family Ministry (Joliet, IL) WWW.DIOCESECC.ORG

Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi

(361) 882-6191 OCTOBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  47  


October 2014 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191

South Texas Catholic - October 2014  

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

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