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South Texas

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2  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014


ON THE

VOL. 49 NO. 10

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

Sister Pam Buganski places water bottles on local ranches and by the side of public roads. The water jugs are placed inside blue 55-gallon drums clearly marked with the word “agua” and are intended to provide humanitarian relief to immigrants.

COVER

Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

PARISH LIFE 11 Sacred Heart in Falfurrias celebrates centennial

Original bell displayed on the grounds of Sacred Heart Parish in Falfurrias was donated in 1905 by local faith healer Don Pedro Jaramillo, for the first church established in Falfurrias, which was named San Isidro Labrador (St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers). Contributed photo

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.

8

INSIDE 4 VIEWPOINTS Hope for the future of marriage and family life

VIDA CATÓLICA 29 Caridades Católicas ofrece programa al servicio de inmigrantes y refugiados

FROM THE DIOCESE NATIONAL NEWS 36 8 NEWS U.S. Catholic health care Divorced Catholics in the Church

workers, dioceses respond to Ebola crisis

EDUCATION 15 CATHOLIC St. Gertrude’s School prepares

VATICAN NEWS 37 Synod of Bishops sends message

VOCATIONS 19 Sister Guadalupe’s namesake

FAITH 41 OUR St. Isaac Jogues: Man of

the ‘whole’ child

is her constant companion

of encouragement to traditional families

incredible strength and courage

Keep up with the Faith at www.SouthTexasCatholic.com

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  3  


VIEWPOINTS

Hope for the future of marriage and family life By Bishop Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic

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

T

he family is the domestic church. The family is the place where relationships are built in the image of the Holy Trinity and molded by the Holy Family in Nazareth. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church the family is described as “the first school of Christian life and ‘a school for human enrichment’. Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous–even repeated–forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one’s life.” (CCC #1657) When one considers these responsibilities of the family, one can understand the utmost importance that the family has, not only in the Church but in society as well. Today, as never before, the family is being invaded by a mentality that is contrary to the original plan of God in creating man and woman calling them to the high dignity of forming a permanent bond in marriage and cooperating with him in forming the essential cell of human society–the family. For this reason the Church must take extra care and be more solicitous to the needs of the family today. Last month, in October, the Holy Father met with representatives from around the world, both pastors and laity alike, to pastorally examine the needs of the family. It was in many ways a listening session, a session in which the meaning of the family, the joys of family life and the ills of family life were examined and discussed. We are a people of hope. Therefore, we must have a great hope for the future of marriage and the family even amidst the great challenges in the Church. Given that this coming year will be

4  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

dedicated to the family there is hope; hope is born from faith and faith is sustained by love. Therefore it is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to reinforce family life. It is also important that as pastors we reach out to those who are struggling whether in marriage or family life. To do our part to infuse the Gospel and the values that emerge from the Gospel to guide and strengthen the family. During the Extraordinary Synod a strong prayer was voiced for those families that are hurting, especially families in the Middle East. As we know, religious persecution is happening daily and families are being torn apart by war and violence. Given that violence is also present (though in other forms) in our own area of the world, it is incumbent upon all of us to pray for families and do what we can to assist families in crisis. I hope that as a diocese during the Year of the Family we will find new ways to reach out and strengthen families. May God shed his abundant love and mercy upon all families, those that are already strengthened by a spirit of harmony and peace in the sacrament of marriage and those that are struggling in whatever way. May the Holy Spirit guide all of us to work together so that every family may thrive and become a beautiful domestic church and an image of the Trinity, which they are created to be.


Alfredo E. Cardenas

T

South Texas Catholic

Alfredo E. Cárdenas is Editor of the South Texas Catholic.

he New World was discovered, settled, developed, organized, built, sustained, maintained and replenished by immigrants. The first immigrants, which we later called Indians and later still Native Americans, were in fact not Indians nor native to this area but were part of the world’s first diaspora that came across the Bearing Straits. They had no nationality, they were not illegals, they were not aliens; they were simply known to the Creator as His Children. Later came the Spanish, the British, the French, the Dutch, the Scandinavians and others. None of them had “papers”,” none came into any “port of entry” and none were turned away by border patrols. Some of His Children that were already here opened their arms of welcome, others raised their arms in defense and others still resisted their advances with anger and anguish. But still they came and we are all glad they did for otherwise none of us would be here. Other immigrants would come later–the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Germans, the Czechoslovakians, and many others. Many of these were greeted at the New York port of entry known as Ellis Island with the Statute of Liberty–the Mother of Exiles–offering her opened arms to other nations to “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Too many of us have forgotten those prescient words. Why? Because we, His Children, have

forgotten God’s own words of love, in our greed and our fear we have strayed from his love. God said to His Children, “When an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one. You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens…(Lv 19:33-34).” Later he said to them, “Judge with true justice, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the resident alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts.” But His Children “… refused to listen; they stubbornly turned their backs and stopped their ears so as not to hear. And they made their hearts as hard as diamond… (Zec 7:9-12).” When the Son of God came to renew His Father’s covenant with His Children he too became an immigrant, as his earthly father Joseph took him and his mother Mary and emigrated to Egypt for his safety. When he returned and began his ministry he NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  5  

✝VIEWPOINTS

We are all immigrants, we are all His Children


✝ told a crowd that at the Judgment of the Nations his Heavenly Father would remind them that when he “…was hungry…you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me… (Mt 25:35),” but to those who failed to provide for him he would say, “… depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you

VIEWPOINTS

gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome…you did not care for me…(Mt 25:41-43).” None of us want to be in that latter group who failed to love God at the time of His Children’s greatest need. None of us want to stand accused at the Last Judgment of having ignored his greatest of commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength

[and] You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mk 12:30-31).” Let us be a nation like the natives of Malta during that cold winter in the first century when they showed Paul and his followers of Christ “…extraordinary hospitality; they lit a fire and welcomed all of us…(Acts 28:2).” That is what the Mother of Exiles proclaims on our shores. That is what the Creator wants from His Children.

church, but now want to become Catholics, then they will have to have their marriage convalidated. This is not the case. Since non-Catholics are not subject to the form of marriage required of baptized Catholics–to be married before a priest or deacon and two witnesses–then whether they marry in a religious ceremony or a civil

ceremony, if it is the first marriage for both parties and both are baptized, then the Church recognizes the marriage as a valid and sacramental union that does not need to be repeated in a Catholic marriage ceremony if one or both parties join the Catholic Church. Apart from this, each marriage would need to be examined on an individual basis.

Correction In the October issue of the South Texas Catholic on convalidation of marriages, which appeared on page 9, there is a misleading statement that read: “Yet others may have been married in a different faith and now wish to convert to Catholicism.” This statement seems to imply that if two non-Catholics have been married in a Protestant

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

• Parishioners from diocese participate at “Rosaryfest” • Family Fun Fest Spiritual Banquet Concert slated in Kingsville • St. Martin of Tours celebrates 100 years of faith and family • St. Anthony’s in Robstown observes 11th Annual Life Chain

• MCCI Medical Group of Central Corpus Christi opens location

• IWA High School students learn about diseases such as Ebola

• American Bank Center staff will work with The Ark

• Bishop Garriga Middle School sponsors ‘Walk for Life’

• LULAC celebrates family, honor parents

• IWA student attends Hispanic sports hall of fame awards

• Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi observes Annual Day of Remembering

• School celebrates Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

6  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014


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Jesus Christ Our Peace Chapel Mass Schedule Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. English Saturday: 10 a.m. Spanish Sunday: 10 a.m. English Adoration / Holy Hour Monday–Friday: 2:30 p.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 4 p.m. Sunday: 4 p.m. Pax Christi Sister’s Mission Statement Our mission is to provide a peaceful location for spiritual formation instruction for men and women preparing for service in the liturgical life of the church.

Dormitories

The Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center is a non-profit retreat & renewal center owned and under the supervision of the Pax Christi Sisters in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas. The Regina Pacis Dormitory is available for up to 158 retreaters to rest each night of their stay. The St. Joseph Reception Hall can service up to 300 guests for their nutritional, educational, and spiritual growth needs. The mission of the Liturgical Retreat Center is to provide a retreat center that will present the opportunity for educational and spiritual growth for priests and religious, lay women / men and youth. ~ Contact Hilda at (361) 241-5479 or Sister Teresa Diaz for more information~ We welcome different groups and parishes to our facility who are seeking a home for their program to fulfill their want for spiritual growth. A special thanks goes out to the parishes and groups who have already booked with us.

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Our Holy Father, Pope Francis , has announced that 2015 will be a year dedicated to the promotion of

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In response to this joyful announcement, the Pax Christi Sisters invite you and your family to pray for all our Religious Sisters, Priests, Deacons and Seminiarians of our Diocese of Corpus Christi. Come join us for

Eucharistic Adoration followed by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament Every 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the PAX CHRISTI Sisters Chapel 4601 Calallen Drive (361) 241-2833 • www.paxchristisisterscc.org NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  7  


Sofia Boostrom speaks to a support group for divorced or widowed Catholics. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

Divorced Catholics in the Church Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic

C

atholics that are divorced can participate in the life of the church. They can still receive the sacraments unless they are not in a state of grace, but this is true for all Catholics. “It is important to recognize that when someone is divorced– as long as they are not remarried

8  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

without the benefit of the sacrament of marriage or in an irregular living situation with

another person–can receive Holy Communion,” Bishop Michael Mulvey said.


them, that she is not far from them and suffers because of their situation. The divorced and remarried are and remain her members, because they have received Baptism and retain their Christian faith.❞ –St. John Paul II said in an address to the Pontifical Council for the Family in Jan. 24, 1997. If a divorced Catholic has not separation of their parents and often fault destroys a canonically valid marremarried he or she is welcomed and torn between them, and because of its riage,” the Catechism says. encouraged to attend Mass and receive contagious effect which makes it truly “God loves them, the Church loves the sacraments. a plague on society,” the church also them and wants to help them in any “Let these men and women way to bring them back to know that the Church loves them, fullness of communion,” that she is not far from them and Msgr. Smith said. suffers because of their situation. Deacon William BoosThe divorced and remarried are trom and his wife Sofia, and remain her members, because who were both divorced and they have received Baptism and after receiving a declaration retain their Christian faith,” St. of nullity for their previous John Paul II said in an address marriages were married in to the Pontifical Council for the the Church, now offer help Family in Jan. 24, 1997. to others who were in their Msgr. Roger Smith, who is same situation. They lead pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish and a grief support group for has served on the tribunal that divorced or widowed Cathreviews annulments for the Dioolics. The 10-week peer cese of Corpus Christi for 30 years, support group is offered said a problem arises when people twice a year at St. Patrick’s to remarry outside of the church. assist widowed and divorced They cannot take the sacraments. Deacon William Boostrom and his wife Sofia, persons work their way from While divorced individuals who offer help to divorced Catholics. grief to recovery and healthy remarried outside of the Church living. It is open to anyone in Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic cannot participate in the sacrathe diocese. recognizes that “It can happen that one ments, they are encouraged to attend “People often stay together in of the spouses is the innocent victim Mass and participate at some level abusive relationships for the wrong of a divorce decreed by civil law; this to receive the graces of the Word reasons. They feel guilty about being even though they cannot receive spouse therefore has not contravened divorced or thinking about divorce. the moral law” (CCC #2385-2386). communion. They think it’s their fault. They feel “There is a considerable difference The Church considers divorce to be guilty so they step away from the between a spouse who has sincerely wrong “because it introduces disorder Church. They feel they failed the into the family and into society,” which tried to be faithful to the sacrament of Church, their families and God. They “brings grave harm to the deserted marriage and is unjustly abandoned, think, ‘I must have done something spouse, to children traumatized by the and one who through his own grave wrong’,” Deacon Boostrom said.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  9  

✝NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE

❝Let these men and women know that the Church loves


✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE

Msgr. Smith agrees that sometimes some spouses are not in control of their situation; one spouse may abandon the other while others are experiencing physical or emotional abuse. “They suffer a great amount of guilt. As pastors we need to help them deal with the guilt, the hurt. They had a dream and lost it,” Msgr. Smith said. “There is a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of misinformation,” Deacon Boostrom said. “People don’t understand. They feel guilty; they are so devastated that they don’t want to approach the priest. A lot of them go to Mass and sit quietly in the pews.” Msgr. Smith regularly includes information on the annulment process in his parish’s Sunday bulletin. He said many divorced Catholics want full membership and participation but do not know what they need to do.

A common misunderstanding people have about annulment is that if the Church annuls a marriage their children are illegitimate. They should not worry about this because when the children were born they were the product of a legal marriage according to the civil law and what everyone assumed was a good faith marriage in the Church. An annulment does not affect a child’s legitimacy. It is not, as some people think, a “Catholic divorce.” Therefore the legitimacy of the children is not affected. “Children are a gift from God and the civil divorce or annulment cannot negate that fact,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Sometimes you need to go that extra mile to help people. As Church we need to do all we can to reach out to people where they’re at,” Msgr. Smith said.

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Deacon Boostrom said it is hard to reach out to people who are not there. If they are not coming to church it is more difficult for a priest to be aware of their situation and be able to reach out to help them. Bishop Mulvey encourages Catholics that have experienced or are contemplating divorce to contact their parish priest for help. They can offer counseling and advise on the individual’s status in the Church and how they may remedy the situation so that they may enjoy the full communion with the Church. “The church must be the reconciling agent of God’s mercy in all situations with every person. We as priests and pastoral ministers in the parishes and in the diocese must reach out to people who are in difficult situations regarding marriage,” Bishop Mulvey said.

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✝PARISH LIFE

A special Mass celebrating Sacred Heart parish’s 100th anniversary was held at the Falfurrias church on Sept. 21. Concelebrating the Mass were, from left, Father Julian Cabrera, a son of Sacred Heart and now pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice; Father Charlie Banks, OMI former pastor at Sacred Heart now in San Antonio; Bishop Mulvey, Father Matthew Stephan, pastor at Sacred Heart; and Father Alejandro O. Augustinus Saenz, also a son of Sacred Heart and now parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi. Assisting on the altar were Deacons Richard Costley (in back) and Ramiro Davila (at far right), another son of Sacred Heart now serving in the Diocese of Brownsville . Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Sacred Heart in Falfurrias

steeped deep in history Rebecca Esparza Correspondent

S

acred Heart Parish in Falfurrias wrapped up its centennial celebrations in October marking the parish’s 100-years of serving the local Catholic community. Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated Mass with parishioners, followed by a lunch banquet in the parish hall on Sept. 21. The last big celebration was held on Oct. 25, an alumni reunion dinner of Sacred Heart’s Catholic school, which closed in 1965.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  11  


✝ PARISH LIFE

Lourdes Trevino-Cantu (left) and Lucy Trevino pose with their 104-yearold mother, Maria L. Trevino who was fouryears-old when the parish was founded. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

“There is a tremendous amount of history at this parish,” said Father Matthew Stephan, who has served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church for the past 25 years. “We wanted our 100-year anniversary celebration festivities to remind our community of the numerous ways so many people sacrificed to make our church what it has become today. Sometimes you can forget over the many years, and events like these help everyone better appreciate our heritage.” The church is steeped in a rich history that goes back to 1905 when the first Mass was celebrated in a woodframed church initially named after San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of farmers. According to life-long parishioner and historian Lourdes Trevino-Cantu, Charles Premont donated a vacant piece of land for the church back in 1904. Today, Sacred Heart is still located on that same tract of land. “Don Pedro Jaramillo, a legendary faith healer from that era, provided the funds for the purchase of a bell for the church. This bell is preserved and currently displayed next to the Schoenstatt Chapel located on the grounds of Sacred Heart Parish,” she said.

The church was formally organized in 1914 and by 1925 the church was officially renamed Sacred Heart. Trevino-Cantu said Ursuline nuns from Laredo established the first school at the parish in 1917. It closed after a few years. The Dominican fathers headquartered in San Diego reopened the school in 1939, and it served the parish until it closed its doors in 1965. The parish has been generous, giving eight of its sons and daughters to serve the church in religious life. Among them are three priests, three deacons and two religious sisters. The priests are Msgr. Gustavo Barrera, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in McAllen; Father Julian Cabrera, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice; and Father Alejandro O. Augustinus Saenz, parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi. The deacons include Richard Costley at Sacred Heart, Ricardo Gonzalez at St. Joseph Parish in Kingsville and Ramiro Davila at St Joseph Parish in Edinburg. The

12  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

two religious sisters are Sister Noelia Garcia, SMSM now living in Massachusetts and Sister Bernadine Reyes, OSB, who is in Boerne, Texas. Father Stephan said the 1980s were a turning point for the church and the community as a whole, as the economic climate started to change, affecting population and growth for the Falfurrias area. “Our local economy took several big hits during this time, as we saw dairy farms, citrus groves and textile mills leave the area. By 1986, the Oblate Fathers left, and the Diocese of Corpus Christi took over the administration of the parish. And despite seeing so many major industries leave, we have still been able to maintain a large percentage of college graduates. I think that’s because parents in our community have always stressed education,” he said. There may be no greater example of how important a quality Catholic education was to some in the community


✝ PARISH LIFE

Bishop Mulvey poses for a Facebookbound “selfie” with 14-yearold parishioner Jessika Perez. “If Pope Francis can do it, so can I,” Bishop Mulvey said. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

than the story of the parish’s oldest parishioner, 104-year-old Maria L. Trevino who sent all eight of her children to Sacred Heart School from the late 1940s until the school closed in 1965. “In lieu of tuition, my mother would cook for the nuns and act as their chauffeur. I was the only one of my mother’s eight children who did not

graduate from Sacred Heart School, since I was a sixth grader when it closed in 1965. I had to attend public school after that,” her daughter, Trevino-Cantu, said. Father Stephan added there are still opportunities to admire some historical artifacts from the early days of the parish. The Our Lady of Guadalupe

Chapel, which is still used every day, houses the altar, pews and some religious statues that date back at least 100 years, he said. “It’s very important we never forget about the blood, sweat and tears that went into building the foundation for our church over the span of many years. Hard-working Catholics sacrificed greatly for us long ago and we must never forget that,” he said. For more information on Sacred Heart Parish, call (361) 325-3455 for Mass times. Bishop Mulvey blesses a sleeping infant after a special Mass celebrating Sacred Heart’s 100th anniversary on Sept. 21. The Falfurrias parish recently wrapped up a year’s worth of special events commemorating their centennial anniversary. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  13  


St. John the Baptist 2014 Parish Family Festival

Live Music, Inflatable Games, Family Fun, Great Food and Silent Auction

Saturday, November 8, 2014 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. On Church Grounds • 7522 Everhart Road Corpus Christi, Texas Musical Line Up: 12:00 p.m. Jason Suthern Band 2:00 p.m. CC Veterans Jazz Band 3:00 p.m. Grupo Vidal |  NOVEMBER 14  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  2014 Proceeds go toward

4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m.

Scarecrow People Latin Talk Marcos Orozco

St. John’s New Church Campaign


✝CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Fourth graders, from left, Emmie Purdy, Lainey Pickard and Maddie Moreno practice playing on their recorders in Rachael Bustamante’s music class at St. Gertrude. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

St. Gertrude’s School prepares the ‘whole’ child Rebecca Esparza Correspondent

J

oAnn Castro smiled with great fondness when she recalled what a special year 2004 was for her family. Castro, librarian and financial record keeper at St. Gertrude School in Kingsville for the past nine years, said 2004 was the year all six of her children were enrolled at the school, all at the same time. “It made laundry easy and we didn’t have to make several stops around town to drop off children at different schools,” she laughed. “It was actually easier for us in a lot of ways, but most of all, we were extremely pleased with the education our kids received at St. Gertrude.” She and her husband Mauro had all six of their children enrolled at the school that year: K3, K4, second,

third, fourth and sixth grades. The chance occurrence would never be repeated again, but Castro said a quality Catholic education is not as expensive as people may first think. And the rewards are priceless. “Yes, it’s a sacrifice, but it’s worth it. We can do without luxuries so our kids can have this foundation that will last for a lifetime. Having the Catholic doctrine be a part of the

daily curriculum is important and the academics are strong, too. Each of our children excelled when they had to attend public school for middle and high school,” she said. “I like the fact that we can talk openly about our beliefs in every subject taught. That’s something you can’t do in public school. Everything we teach here has a moral compass and a link back to the Bible,” she

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  15  


✝ CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Seven-year-old Leanna Aguilar solves a math problem as her teacher, Anna L. Huerta observes. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

said. Established in 1951 by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word of the Blessed Sacrament, St. Gertrude currently has an enrollment of 98 school children, according to Principal Griselda Gonzalez-White. “We teach the ‘whole’ child, academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are the only Catholic school in the Kingsville area and also the only private school that offers fifth and sixth grade. We have students that attend our school from all the surrounding areas,” she said. Gonzalez-White taught for six years at Santa Gertrudis Independent School District prior to joining St. Gertrude’s as principal this year. Her favorite part of the job is based in the knowledge this is where she truly belongs. “I feel at home here and look

forward to coming to work every single day. I know this is where God wants me,” she said. Despite the fact she does miss the classroom environment, Gonzalez-White said she now has the chance to be a part of so many classrooms, not just one. “I enjoy walking in and seeing the students full of enthusiasm and ready to learn. Their smiles and kindness towards everyone around them makes my day worthwhile, because I know that my faculty, staff and I are a huge part of these children’s lives and success. I am a firm believer that it takes a village to raise a child,” she said. Not only do children at St. Gertrude receive the educational structure that is the basis of a quality, well-rounded education, but the school also places a great deal of emphasis on service.

16  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

“Each class is responsible for their own service project that takes place throughout the school year. For example, our fifth and sixth grade classes assist our parish outreach ministry. We teach our students to be disciples of God and to live like Jesus Christ. Our students discuss their faith in classes and feel comfortable discussing their faith with others. We raise confident and bright students,” Gonzalez-White said. This year marks another special occasion for the Castro family: their only granddaughter is now a student at St. Gertrude, attending Pre-K 3, so the tradition continues with the next generation. For more information on St. Gertrude School in Kingsville, visit www. stgertrudechurchkingsville.org or call (361) 592-6522.


✝ CATHOLIC EDUCATION

Sporting t-shirts that were replicas of what the boys wore in school, members of the 1960 eighth grade graduating class at Christ the King School recreate their graduation picture in front of the church. They are, from left in front row, Robert Trevino, Toby Garcia, Laura Anne Veselka, Janice Kassner, Lanelle Weigelt, Mike Carlucci, Buddy Lane and Msgr. Rory Deane. In second row are Richard Black, Linda Pfeiffer, Homer Ahr, Dolores Valcik, June Loosemore, Anita Garcia, Robert “Bobby” Knox and Al Escalante. In third row are Don Mayne, Ernie Gamez, Betty Bezdek, Nora Garcia, Joyce Gootee, Mary Helen Adams, John Adams and Conrad Cazalas. In the back is Henry Serna. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

CHRIST THE KING ALUMS

return home, praise Catholic education, pledge support Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic

M

ore than half of the 1960 eighth grade graduates of Christ the King School attended their 54th class reunion on Saturday, Oct. 4. They all praised the importance of Catholic education in their lives and pledged financial support to their alma mater.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  17  


✝ CATHOLIC EDUCATION

“Personally, I think our class is one of the most successful and the best of Catholic grade school education in Corpus Christi’s history,” said Homer Ahr, an IT architect with NASA during the Apollo era of the space agency. “The real legacy is the people, the way they have lived, and what they have done with their lives for God, themselves, their families, friends, churches and communities. They have made the world a better place, they have made mankind better.” Indeed, the class boasts of a number of very successful people. In addition to Ahr who has had a distinguished career with the space program, class president Henry Serna has been city and county manager for a number of Arizona communities, including South Tucson where he served as city manager for more than 30 years. Toby Garcia is a pediatrician in his native Corpus Christi; Bobby Trevino has a PhD and has taught at the university level, Ernesto Gamez is a computer programmer, Gilbert Lane, retired as a sales manager with Yamaha, Nora Garcia is a math professor, and the list goes on. While today, Christ the King School has an enrollment of 70; in the golden age of Catholic education in the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 1960 the school boasted 590 students up to the eighth grade, including 313 boys and 277 girls. The graduating class numbered 40. Twenty-four attended the reunion, including John Adams, Mary Helen Adams, Ahr, Betty Bezdek, Richard Black, Michael Carlucci, Conrad Cazalas, Alfred Escalante, Gamez, Anita Garcia, Nora Garcia, Toby Garcia, Joyce Goatee, Janice

Kassner, Robert Knox, Lane, June Loosemore, Donald Mayne, Linda Pfeifer, Serna, Trevino, Dolores Valcik, Laura Vaselka and Lenelle Weigel. Graduates not making the reunion included Linda Alaniz, Alice Barrera, Claudette Colvin, Mary A. Escalante, Jeraldine Fox, Edward Garana, Veronica Garnett, Raymond Luckie and Catharine Martinez. Seven–Christine Catron, Mary Hajek, Phillip “Nick” Huth, Robert “Bobby” Opfel, Julia Tipton, Kathleen Walsh and Dickie Zipprian–are now deceased. The class remembered many of the people who served as an inspiration for them, including Msgr. Albert Cannon, then pastor of Christ the King. At that time three recently arrived Irish priests were also serving the parish, including Father Gregory Dean, W. Celestine Murray and Father Patrick G. Higgins. Msgr. Dean attended the reunion. Toby Garcia recalled that all of the boys served as Knights of the Altar with Msgr. Dean. The school had 13 teachers, including eight Sisters of Notre Dame and five lay teachers. Sister M. Verona served as principal. One lay teacher that had a profound influence on the class was Art Loosemore who served the school in a number of capacities. “He was janitor, band and choir director, teacher and oversaw BBQs and bingos,” his daughter June Loosemore Cotton said. She remembered her parents and a family of 10 siblings lived in a small white house on the parish grounds. Her father, she said, taught Father Deane how to drive. The Crusader band, organized in

18  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

1956 by Art Loosemore, performed at the annual Spring Concert, at football games, participated in the Buccaneer Days Parade and in a number of other events. The choir, drill team and twirlers often joined the band at these events. The Class of 1960 also excelled at sports. Both the boys and girls Crusaders baseball teams won the City Parochial City championships. The year before, the boys football team also won the city championship. In keeping with a strong school spirit the returning alumni wore t-shirts that were replicas of the shirts the boys wore in 1960. The girls wore jumpers with red beanies back then. This class was the first to graduate at the new parish church. Bezdek recalled how they wore caps and gowns and said her eight years of Catholic education at Christ the King was the best thing her parents gave her. Bezdek, who served as a Sister of the Incarnate Word for seven years, said the school provided her a strong “formation in deep faith and Catholic life.” “One main reason for the reunion is fellowship, to bring our past together. Mainly we wanted to call attention to the school. We want to foster Catholic education and contribute financially,” Valcik said. Toby Garcia echoed his classmate. “We want to support the school. These graduates are a testament to the school. Many have medical degrees, PhDs, they are successful alumni,” he said. Most of the graduates of Christ the King went on to graduate high school from Corpus Christi Academy in 1964, and participated–along with Incarnate Word Academy graduates– in their 50th reunion on Oct. 5.


By Mary Cottingham

S

South Texas Catholic

ister Guadalupe Cervantez, PCI describes her life as “Prayerful and joyful, I love my life,” she said. “If I were born again, I would become a sister.” Sister Guadalupe celebrated her 25th year Jubilee with her congregation, the PAX Christi sisters, on July 19 in the PAX Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. She was born to Carlos and Socorro Cervantez on Jan. 21, 1971 in Queretaro, Mexico. Her parents named her Guadalupe, after Our Lady of Guadalupe. She has two brothers and five sisters. When she was a teenager, Sister Guadalupe was like many teenagers. She enjoyed dancing and going to parties with her friends, but when she went home after a night of dancing she always felt an emptiness inside and she would ask herself, “What after this.” Other than going to Sunday Mass, her family was not very active in their parish. It was not until her older sister began to volunteer, teaching religious education at their parish, that she too became more active. They both joined the Legion of Mary, whose devotion was to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Accepting an invitation from a friend who had joined the Pax Christi congregation, Sister Guadalupe attended a 3-day silent retreat with them. During the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament she prayed for direction. After the retreat she was invited to be part of the Pax Christi community without commitment–“just to visit and discover more about myself,” she said. She would go often, but every time she went back home she felt that emptiness that she now knew only God could fill. As high school was coming to an end, the mistress postulant of the Pax Christi Sisters advised her to help out more with her parish, St. Francis in Queretaro, which she did. In her heart, she knew she wanted to be a Pax

Christi sister. “The only problem I had was convincing my parents,” Sister Guadalupe said. When she told her parents that she wanted to join the Pax Christi Institute they expressed their immediate disapproval and told her “no” many times. They had many reasons. Her mother told her that no one in the family had ever done such a thing before and she wanted her to wait until after college. Her father wanted her closer to home. He even arranged a meeting for her to see a Franciscan priest who advised her to join NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  19  

✝VOCATIONS

Sister Guadalupe’s namesake is her constant companion


✝ VOCATIONS

a cloistered convent like the Franciscans. “They knew more about the Franciscans and they were right here in town. I guess they were afraid I would leave and go to United States, which is what I did,” she said. “They did not have the experience of having a nun in the family and they were also afraid I would be disappointed in the future,” she said. She persisted in following her call and after months of going back and forth with her parents, they agreed to let her go, but refused to visit her when she became a postulant in Aug. 16, 1986. For two years she went to visit them once a month. “I was worried about them,” she said. “Eventually they did come around and are now very happy for me.” She came to Corpus Christi as a novice in 1988 and made her first profession of vows with Sister Teresa Santoyo on Jan. 23, 1989 and began attending Del Mar College to learn English. She received eight years of study, including four years at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, a masters and doctoral degree in ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana and studied liturgy at Sánt’ Anselmo in Rome. School was hard for Sister Guadalupe. She had not quite mastered the English language, so she had to record the classes, rewrite everything in English and memorize what she had written. She had help from other students, but “it was most challenging,” she said. “Mother Teresa Santoyo was very compassionate, but firm. She told me that I have to do this and to trust in God.” Mother Teresa Santoyo now has Alzheimer’s, but back then Sister Guadalupe described her as “a very good listener.” “She wanted us to grow in our spiritual life and grow in education. She would tell us ‘if you don’t feel happy, you need to find out for yourself what is it that makes you happy,’” Sister Guadalupe said. “I was always happy, but it was hard. She’d say go wash your face and get back to work. At that moment I was not able to understand, but later I appreciated it,” Sister Guadalupe said. She taught four years in New York City, lived in the Bronx and worked as a Hispanic coordinator with several different parishes. She worked with Cubans, Puerto Ricans and people from the Dominican Republic. “It was challenging, but at the same time a learning experience to work with more of a multicultural society,” she said.

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In 2011, a year after they began construction of the Pax Christi Liturgical Center, Sister Guadalupe was diagnosed with cancer. She saw two doctors and both their biopsy’s revealed the same–lymphoma. “I thought it was a mosquito bite,” she said. Her family doctor from Mexico sent her to MD Anderson in Houston where they again confirmed she had cancer. Before she was to undergo extensive treatment, her doctor from MD Anderson told her to come back in two weeks and to prepare for a lengthy stay in the hospital. “I kept remembering to keep the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with me at all times. Everybody prayed. The day before I went to Houston the sisters offered Mass for me. I told Jesus, ‘It’s your will. I promise I am open to your will, but let me help mother [Mother Maria Elva Reyes] finish construction of the Liturgical Center before I go’,” Sister Guadalupe said. Before being prepped for surgery, the doctor told her to sit tight for about an hour, as she wanted to run some final tests before giving her the entire treatment. Sister Guadalupe waited for several hours until finally the doctor came back and said, “Sister you must have all the sisters praying for you. I’m not supposed to say this, but…. their prayers worked. I cannot give you any treatment.” There was no sign of cancer and the doctor brought her every X-ray to show her before and after that day. Sister Guadalupe was able to help get the Pax Christi Liturgical Center up and running and the sisters were able to open their doors earlier this year. She is now in charge of developing catechetical programs for retreats. She attributes all she has been given to her namesake, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Sister Guadalupe feels that Our Lady has been and will always be her constant companion.

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✝ VOCATIONS

➤ To make grateful remembrance of the recent past

while embracing the future with hope.

“Days with Religious” will focus on prayer, service and community

A

s the Catholic Church prepares to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is promoting “Days with Religious” initiatives and resources to help families learn about the consecrated life of religious men and women. Activities will focus on sharing experiences of community life, service and prayer with those living a consecrated life. The Diocese of Corpus Christi will observe World Day of Consecrated Life at the Corpus Christi Cathedral on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 with a 9:30 a.m. Mass, followed by reception at St. Joseph Hall in honor of those in religious life with a special recognition of those celebrating their jubilees. “Our brothers and sisters in Christ living consecrated lives make great contributions to our society through a vast number of ministries,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the Bishops Conference. “They teach in our schools, take care of the poor and the sick and bring compassion and the love of Christ to those shunned by society; others lead lives of prayer in contemplation for the world.”

Pope Francis proclaimed 2015 a Year of Consecrated Life, starting on the First Sunday of Advent, the weekend of Nov. 29, and ending with World Day of Consecrated Life on Feb. 2, 2016. The year also marks the 50th anniversary of Perfectae Caritatis, a decree on religious life, and Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council’s constitution on the Church. Its purpose, as stated by the Vatican is to “make a grateful remembrance of the recent past” while embracing “the future with hope.” “These ‘Days with Religious’ activities will represent great opportunities for families and adults to look at the many ways men and women serve Christ and the Church while answering the call to live in consecrated life,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of

Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, individual religious houses will be planning their own ways to observe the “Days with Religious” designated on Feb. 8, 2015, during the summer and on Sept. 13, 2015. In addition, the Office for Consecrated Life will sponsor special projects to celebrate this gift to the Church. Projects already planned include a series of articles in the South Texas Catholic exploring aspects of Consecrated Life and offering personal insights of those living it, and radio spots on KLUX spotlighting the congregations serving the Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

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✝ VOCATIONS

National Vocation Awareness Week is Nov. 2-8

Special focus needed on underrepresented communities

T

he Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 2-8. This observance, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life. The Diocese of Corpus Christi is encouraging parishes and schools to celebrate Vocation Awareness Week. “It’s a great opportunity to get young people to really consider what God may have made them for, and how they can become truly happy and fulfilled,” Vocations Director Father Joseph Lopez, JCL said. “It’s easy to lament about declining vocations. But instead of just focusing on the need for vocations–we all know about that, we should consider emphasizing something more positive: that discovery of a vocation enables a young person to participate in the cosmic plan of our Lord for the salvation of souls, theirs and others’,” Father Lopez said. “A culture of vocations is one that provides the necessary support for others to hear and respond to God’s call in their lives,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “With God’s grace, we help build that culture through fervent

prayer, the witness of our lives and the encouragement we extend to those discerning a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life.” A 2012 study, “Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S. Catholics,” conducted by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, highlighted the role community encouragement plays in the discernment process. “The number three seems to be critical in making a difference in the life of someone contemplating a vocation,” said Father Shawn McKnight, USCCB’s executive director of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “When three or more people encourage someone to consider a religious vocation, he or she is far more likely to take serious steps toward answering that call.” Father John Guthrie, associate director of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, said that National Vocation Awareness Week should also focus on communities that are underrepresented among religious vocations today,

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especially Hispanics. “While numbers of U.S. Hispanics pursuing religious vocations are picking up, they still lag behind the overall demographic trends,” Father Guthrie said. “Fifty-four percent of U.S. Catholics under the age of 25 are Hispanic, yet only 15 percent of students in major seminaries are Hispanic, and many of these were born in other countries. To reach this untapped potential, the Church must do far more to engage and support young people in these communities.” Father Lopez encourages everyone to work to make Vocation Awareness Week an opportunity for young people to see the challenge and adventure offered to everybody by the Lord, and help to “get them excited about discovering what amazing things God has planned for their lives.” “Discovery of one’s vocation will not be encouraged nearly as much by dread of a ‘declining Church’ as it will by the challenge and excitement of what a vocation is really about,” Father Lopez said.


NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  23  


Church responds with Alfredo E. Cárdenas

I

South Texas Catholic

n June, the Los Angeles Times wrote that south Texas had “become ground zero for an unprecedented surge in families and unaccompanied children flooding across the Southwest border, creating…a humanitarian crisis.” Only a few days later, the local Corpus Christi Caller brought the story even closer home with a story blaring the headline “Mass graves of migrants found in Falfurrias.” It was a call for the Church in south Texas to respond to the Gospel message “love the alien as yourself…(Lv 19:33-34).” “People who are crossing the border should be responded to both in thought and action as brothers and sisters in the Lord,” Corpus Christi Bishop Michael Mulvey said. “When human suffering and human need are in front of us we must respond according

to the Gospel, in particular the Gospel of Matthew, ‘whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me’.” With Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi taking the lead, the Diocese of Corpus Christi responded as Christ asks. The faithful in Corpus Christi quickly mobilized and collected some

24  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

10 tons of items—everything from non-perishable food items to over the counter medications for children. Local volunteers quickly drove the donations down to the Rio Grande Valley for distribution to the children. “It was a great act of solidarity by so many people in the Diocese of Corpus Christi to respond to


charity to immigrants the needs of the children who were housed in the valley,” Bishop Mulvey said. “This response of charity is what we are about as Christians. May we continue to act in this way in all circumstances where there is human need and suffering.” The discovery of bodies at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Falfurrias reminded everyone of the ongoing tragedy of migrants losing their lives in the unforgiving brush country of south Texas. It again called for a response to the Gospel. As it happened, the Sisters of Notre Dame, Toledo Province, were in search of a diocese in which to serve the immigrant population. They were invited by Bishop Mulvey to work in the diocese and in particular to look at ways to assist in ministering to immigrants journeying through the diocese’s southern border.

Sister Pam Buganski, who spent the last two years in Guatemala, volunteered to work in Brooks County with the newly organized South Texas Human Rights Project, whose mission is to “end death and suffering among migrant border crossers”. In addition to work with the Human Rights Project, Sister Pam will also work with deacons in the area to help in prison ministry; will help in Catholic Charities’ Office of Immigration; and will assist with vocations in the southern part of the diocese. The Human Rights Project recently offered an informative seminar at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall for local residents, landowners and law enforcement personnel. They also hosted a luncheon at the parish hall for

participants with the Antorcha Guadalupana Runners who are running from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to bring attention to the plight of migrants. “There is not an immigrant community in Falfurrias. Some migrants work on ranches but most are just passing by,” Sacred Heart Parish pastor Father Matthew Stephan said. “Highway 281 has always been a corridor, not a stopping point.”

Flag with aid sign can be detected in the middle of the unforgiving brush in Brooks County, calling immigrants to water and relief from possible death. Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  25  


Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi and local volunteers collected some 10 tons of items and drove donations down to the Rio Grande Valley for distribution. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

Still, Brooks County for many migrants becomes their final destination. So far this year Brooks County personnel have recovered some 55 migrant bodies. The county is in charge of recovering bodies found in the brush and for their burial. Father Stephan has been at Sacred Heart for a quarter of a century. The cemetery where the bodies were unearthed bares the parish’s name but the Diocese of Corpus Christi sold it to Brooks County in 1986. In his 25 years at Sacred Heart, Father Stephan has never been called to officiate at a burial service at the cemetery for unidentified immigrants. The human smugglers, known as coyotes, drop migrants off in Encino south of the Border Patrol Checkpoint

and “tell them Houston is around the corner,” Father Stephan said. They bail out two miles past Encino, look for a way around the checkpoint through some very big ranches between Encino and Falfurrias. They get disoriented in the brush and often die. Since they are trying to circle around Falfurrias, in most cases locals do not meet or see them. “Its very uncommon for them to come to our door,” Father Stephan said. “You almost never see them to minister to them. If they come, we provide them humanitarian help, such as food and water. Most ask for use of the phone and a ride to Houston.” In order to reach out to the migrants where they are most vulnerable, Sister Pam and Eddie Canales with the

26  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

Human Rights Project have begun to place water bottles on local ranches and by the side of public roads. The water jugs are placed inside blue 55-gallon drums clearly marked with the word “agua”. Sister Pam believes the water stations are succeeding in providing some humanitarian relief. Brooks County Chief Deputy Benny Martinez considers the Human Rights project as a resource, a branch of the Sheriff’s Office. “They perform administrative stuff for the Sheriff’s office when people call looking for missing people. They gather information. I filter through it and run it through Border Patrol. They are an asset for the office,” Martinez said. He said both his office and the Border Patrol agents approach their


In addition to work with the Human Rights Project, Sister Pam will also work with deacons in the area to help in prison ministry; will help in Catholic Charities’ Office of Immigration; and will assist with vocations in the southern part of the diocese.

❝The face of Jesus is written in every human being’s face. Therefore we must respond accordingly.❞ –Bishop Mulvey

Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

work with compassion to what is occurring. They understand some migrants are criminals, some are just persons of interest but most do not rise to that level. They try to treat every migrant with dignity. Still, they have a job to do. “A cop is a cop. They have faith. They have to have faith to be out there,” Martinez said. “That’s where we get our everyday strength to come to work. It’s through faith. We wouldn’t be out there without that. You have to have that compassion, the Holy Spirit in you to guard you through these situations. The compassion is there, the faith is there but there are people out there that will challenge you.” Since June, Martinez said there has been a significant decrease in the

number of immigrants being apprehended or “recovered”. “We have seen a decrease from 400500 to 100-200 monthly in detentions and we are maintaining at 55 deaths in the county,” Martinez said. He attributes the lower numbers to the weather and help Gov. Rick Perry sent to the border. Martinez said the Texas Guard has rescued some 500

immigrants since initiation of the governor’s help. Martinez thinks it is important for the Church to stay active in the area, which is remotely situated and far from traditional and needed services. “The face of Jesus is written in every human being’s face. Therefore we must respond accordingly,” Bishop Mulvey.

Eddie Canales with the Human Rights Project points to one of many unknown graves of migrants who died while trying to cross the south Texas brush country. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  27  


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“…Porque fui forastero y me recibiste…” (Mt 25:35)

A

ctualmente estamos pasando una crisis humanitaria por la migración generada por la violencia y la pobreza que se vive en algunos países de América Latina. Ha causado que muchas personas, que en su mayoría son niños, sean víctimas de el tráfico humano y tienen sus derechos humanos violados. Hay mucha falta de información que genera confusión y hace a migrantes presas fáciles. Para atender las necesidades que esta situación genera la iglesia Católica—fiel a sus principios—atiende asuntos de inmigración. Hay muchos abogados y notarios que ofrecen estos servicios pero no están certificados ante el

gobierno federal. La misión del Departamento de Inmigración y Refugiados de la agencia Caridades Católica es ofrecer el mas alto servicio de calidad legal, educación y representación para la comunidad inmigrante en la Diócesis de Corpus Christi. Proporcionan estos servicios con compasión y de

una manera que asegura y respeta la dignidad de cada persona, sin tener en cuenta su raza, clase o religión. “Para atender cualquier asunto de inmigración, vengan aquí primero por asesoría, en caso de no poderles ofrecer algún servicio, los guiaremos con la persona o oficina indicada,” dijo la directora

El personal de la oficina de inmigración de Caridades Católicas, desde la izquierda, Carrie Chávez Thompson, Kimberly Hall Seger, Mildren Barrera y Juanita Cardiel discuten casos de inmigración. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  29  

✝VIDA CATÓLICA

Caridades Católicas ofrece programa al servicio de inmigrantes y refugiados


✝ VIDA CATÓLICA

de este centro, la abogada Carolyn Thompson. “Tengan cuidado con lo que ven en las noticias y anuncios en la televisión, o lo que los vecinos y familiares comentan, es mejor que acudan con nosotros que los atenderemos profesionalmente.” Thompson también dijo que la misión de su oficina es ayudar sin importar el estado migratorio ni condición económica. Caridades Católica no cobra por estos servicios, solo piden una módica cuota de recuperación de $25 por cita. En caso que una persona necesite ayuda y no tenga esa cantidad de dinero, debe de visitar con Thompson que dijo, “de alguna manera los ayudaremos.” “Estamos viendo una falta de representación legal para las personas que se encuentran en los centros de inmigración,” Thompson dijo. “Nos vemos en la necesidad de estar en contacto con las diferentes agencias, ya que nosotros podemos ser la voz para esas personas…debemos tener el espíritu de servicio y defender los derechos humanos y no convertirnos en los jueces de las personas y la causa que los trajo aquí.” Los obispos de los Estado Unidos Americanos dan lecciones de justicia social que, como Católicos, nos vemos en la necesidad de ayudar a cada persona que llega aquí, dijo Thompson. Negar ayuda a migrantes, sería como decirle no a Jesús. “Sabemos y aceptamos que hay reglas necesarias para mantener la seguridad del país, pero no al costo de los derechos humanos,” Thompson dijo. Mucha gente cree que la oficina de inmigración solo ayuda a gente que está ilegal o sin documentos en este país. Es cierto que ayudan a

cualquiera sin importarse de su estatus migratorio, pero solo hacen cosas dentro del marco de la ley. “No les damos falsas ilusiones o expectativas si no califican,” Thompson dijo. “Los aconsejamos con la realidad, respeto y dignidad que se merecen y les damos la guía para no ser engañados en su desesperación de obtener sus documentos, ya que también estamos para consultar y educar a las personas.” Otra integrante del equipo de este centro es la licenciada Meddie Barrera, quien está encargada de los servicios para refugiados. Estas son personas que han pedido asilo porque sus vidas están en peligro por diferentes motivos o que vienen huyendo de alguna guerra civil, víctimas de tráfico sexual, tráfico humano, persecución política, etc. La mayoría de refugiados son provenientes de Asia y África. Barrera les ayuda a tramitar apoyo social y asistencia pública, como Medicaid y estampillas para comida. También los ayuda a estudiar inglés. Después los preparara para encontrar empleo. Esto los inculca con la idea de que se puedan integrar a la sociedad productivamente y a valerse por sí mismos. La abogada Kim Seger también forma parte de el equipo. Ella trabaja en casos de inmigración que pueden ser: ajuste de estatus migratorio, ciudadanía, residencia, peticiones bajo el acto de violencia en contra de la mujer, peticiones de visas basadas en la familia, retiro de condiciones, renovación de tarjetas de residencia permanente, estatus de protección temporal, programa de acción diferida, proceso consular de visas para inmigrantes, perdón provisional, refugiados, ajuste de estatus

30  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

para cubanos, asistencia financiero para refugiados y traducción de documentos. La señora Juanita Cardiel apoya a las tres abogadas. Cardiel es una representante acreditada y licenciada con el gobierno federal y ayuda en todo lo que sea necesario para el trámite y seguimiento de todos los casos en proceso. Este centro no recibe fondos del gobierno, por lo que además de las aportaciones de la diócesis depende de las módicas cuotas de los clientes y donaciones que personas humanitarias hacen para ayudar y apoyar a quienes lo necesitan. Como la mayoría de victimas de abuso o tráfico no son capaces de remediar los costos de sus procesos, de todas maneras se les atiende y se les da el servicio. Si usted está interesado a ayudar este programa lo puede hacer fácilmente en el sitio de internet catholiccharities-cc.org ó en persona en sus oficinas ubicadas en 1322 Comanche St. en Corpus Christi. Aparte del programa de inmigración y refugiados, Caridades Católicas tiene otros programas de ayuda a la comunidad; inclusivo el departamento de ayuda de emergencia, programa de asistencia rural, programa de representante de pagos, departamento de consejería para la vivienda, departamento de consejería familiar o individual y ministerio de enriquecimiento de vida para personas discapacitadas. Caridad Católicas es el primer contacto de conexión entre personas y recursos y centros de ayuda comunitaria de educación y salud. Para mas información de estos servicios puede pedir información en el (361) 884-0651.


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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

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  31  


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The United States Army Concert Band & Soldiers Chorus highlights the next Cathedral Concert Series with a 7:30 p.m. performance on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. No tickets are required to enjoy the “musical ambassadors of the Army.”

On Dec. 2, the Cathedral Concert Series will present “Christmas with the Von Trapps” and the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lee Gwozdz. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral. For VIP memberships and priority reserved seating call (361) 888-7444.

In Memoriam Father Joseph R. Lawless, MSF May 2, 1926~October 18, 2014 Father Joseph R. Lawless, MSF died on Saturday, Oct. 18, and was laid to rest at St. John Cemetery in Stamford, Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 25. Father Lawless was a priest in the Diocese of Corpus Christi for many years, with his last parish being St. Joseph in Corpus Christi where he served for more than 25 years. His ministries included visiting jails, hospitals, Mexican Missions, police chaplaincy, school administration, AIDS ministry and gangs. He also served on several bishops’ committees and task forces, as well as on the governing board of the Missionaries of the Holy Family.

Father Lawless was born during the Depression in East Orange, New Jersey on May 2, 1926 to Joseph and Alice Lawless and was the oldest of four siblings. After graduating from a Franciscan-staffed high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944 at the age of 18 and served as a combat infantryman until 1946. Father Lawless graduated from the University of Georgia on the G.I. Bill. He was a student staff member on the university newspaper. Later, while a member of the ROTC, he was called into active duty during the Korean Conflict. He entered the seminary in 1965 as

a late vocation. His studies began at the Blessed Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. He later transferred to the Missionaries of the Holy Family in 1966. Further preparation continued at a Franciscan Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Father Lawless was ordained under the Holy Family Order on June 17, 1971.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  33  

✝NEWS BRIEFS

Cathedral Concert Series has two holiday concerts on tap

For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has appointed Father Gerard J. Sheehan, SOLT pastor of St. John Nepomucene Parish in Robstown for a term of six years. Effective Sept. 6, Bishop Mulvey accepted the resignation of Deacon Russell W. Duggins of St. Joseph Parish in Beeville. Deacon Duggins will retain faculties for special requests as needed. Bishop Mulvey also accepted a petition from seminarian Joshua Stephens to be installed in the Ministry of Acolyte. Bishop Michael Sis of San Angelo conferred the ministry on Stephens at Our Lady’s Chapel at the Assumption Seminary in San Antonio on Oct. 25.


Catholic magazine and newspaper leaders delve into how to battle polarization within the church in an Oct. 16 forum at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall. The program of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life featured from left, R.R. Reno, editor of First Things magazine; Gregory Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor; Jesuit Father Matt Malone, editor-in-chief of America magazine; John Carr, founder of the initiative; Caitlin Hendel, president and CEO of National Catholic Reporter; and Paul Baumann, editor of Commonweal. CNS photo/courtesy Georgetown University

Seeking the COMMON GOOD and avoiding polarization in Catholic media Patricia Zapora

P

Catholic News Service

ope Francis’ call to Christians to examine and reconsider the way they treat others brings challenges for Catholic publications in combatting polarization within the church, said a panel of editors and publishers Oct. 16. In a forum at Georgetown University, the struggles of “Seeking the Common Good in a Time of Polarization,” as the program was titled, were identified by

representatives of Catholic newspapers and magazines as coming from their usual supporters as well as their usual critics.

34  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

The editors of Commonweal, First Things and America magazines, and the presidents of the National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor


The range of Catholics who make up the target markets for the publications was described by the program’s moderator, John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown. When America and other Jesuit magazines published a lengthy interview with Pope Francis, Carr quipped, “America said, ‘Come to America to hear what the Holy Father says.’ It was the Jesuit pope talking to a Jesuit journal. National Catholic Reporter said: ‘About time we had a pope who talks like this, but what about women?’ and Our Sunday Visitor said, ‘This is wonderful, let me explain what the pope really meant.’ First Things sort of said: ‘This is what the pope should’ve said. And Paul (Baumann, editor of Commonweal) would’ve said: ‘What’s all this fascination with the pope?’” America magazine is not typically identified as falling on either extreme of a political spectrum. National Catholic Reporter was founded during the Second Vatican Council by journalists who wanted a stronger voice for laypeople supporting change in the church. Our Sunday Visitor traces its origins as a counter voice to a popular anti-Catholic publication early in the 20th century. Commonweal is a lay Catholic journal of opinion. First Things was founded “to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society,” as the event’s program described it. The panelists agreed that the pontificate of Pope Francis has been accepted by their readers in different ways— some with glee, some with nervousness and some with confusion. All said that no matter how their readers react, they find that in covering Pope Francis they sometimes take guff from their own usual supporters. R.R. Reno, editor of First Things,

said he gets “pushback from some of my donors, who canceled, saying we’re anti-capitalist.” He explained that the magazine was founded as the Soviet Union was crumbling but socialism still seemed a viable form of government, which alarmed its strongly capitalist founders. But the world is now different, Reno said. “Global consensus is now in favor of what First Things was founded to argue for,” he said, adding that it seems foolish to think there isn’t room for also focusing on the poor and marginalized as Pope Francis suggests. “At some point you have to take yes for an answer.” Carr steered the panelists to discuss what responsibility they have in fighting polarization. Paul Baumann, editor of Commonweal, said his journal strives to give voice to a wide range of opinion, debating the pros and cons of samesex marriage, for example. “None of us has a corner on the truth,” he said. “If we’re going to get to it we have to get there together.” Gregory Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, focused on inadequate religious education as part of the problem. His publication was founded to educate Catholics about the church, he explained and it still takes that need seriously. “Catholic journals and periodicals are the only widespread form of faith formation in the country,” Erlandson said. Recent polls show only 15 percent of Catholic elementary school children are in Catholic schools, and only 5 percent of Catholic high schoolers are. Doing a better job of educating Catholics about their own church’s teachings can go a long way toward cutting down on polarization, he said.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  35  

✝NATIONAL

newspapers acknowledged that their publications represent a spectrum of what are perceived to be conservative and progressive approaches to Catholicism. Despite representing a wide range of readers, the panelists raised common problems in reporting on Pope Francis, including that too few Catholics are well versed enough in the church’s teachings to understand what he says in context, and that Americans tend to think of every issue as a win/lose proposition between two opposing sides. Caitlin Hendel, president and CEO of National Catholic Reporter, said she has found that “covering the Catholic Church is not that different from covering Congress ... you’re always trying to cover two sides... that are both trying to own the story.” That has happened with reporting on the Synod of Bishops, she said, with the two-week discussion on family life being covered as if it’s a political debate. With Pope Francis, Hendel said, the pattern of news coverage has been: “He says something or his people say something. That becomes news. Then The New York Times or Huffington Post runs it and suddenly he is in favor of gay people ... and then the next day, comes the other side, ‘No, he didn’t mean that.’ Then that becomes the story.” At the synod, Hendel said, the debate became the story, yet the message Pope Francis has given over and over is that “we don’t have time” to get caught up in debates, that “these other stories are distracting us” from doing the work of reaching out to the disenfranchised and caring for the needy. “Francis doesn’t believe in parties, he doesn’t believe in the two sides,” she said. “He has one message ... mercy and service to the poor ... and that’s not two sides.”


✝ NATIONAL

U.S. CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE WORKERS,

dioceses respond to Ebola crisis Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

T

abiri Chukunta has been trying to get the word out to the West African community in New Jersey that their families and friends in Liberia need to put on hold—at least temporarily—cultural traditions of greeting people affectionately and washing bodies of the dead. For now, Chukunta, executive director of community outreach at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey—a long way from his Nigerian homeland—feels the educational campaign has been effective. As he put it: “cultural responses have been sustained for now” particularly as people begin to understand that avoiding certain practices can save lives. Since a Sept. 12 meeting at the Catholic hospital of local West African community leaders and officials from the New Jersey Department of Health, the consistent message has been the need to take precautions against the spread of Ebola. That means being alert to symptoms of the disease and being aware of the health of others especially when traveling to West Africa or being in contact with those who have recently traveled there. Dr. Robert Heaney, associate dean for clinical affairs at St. Louis University School of Medicine, said hospitals need to “screen for risk as far forward as possible”—not after someone has been sitting in the waiting room for a

while. Which means, questions asked at the emergency rooms’ registration desks need to determine if someone is an Ebola risk and if so that person should be immediately isolated. Heaney, who is on the planning team for the Ebola response for SLUCare, the clinical arm of the St. Louis University School of Medicine, said he cannot emphasize enough with students and residents the need to practice using protective gear in caring for infectious patients—particularly putting it on and taking it off. He also stressed that nurses, on the front lines, especially need proper training. On the side of vigilance, the dioceses of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, have issued guidelines for liturgies because of concerns about the flu and Ebola viruses. The two recent cases of Ebola in the state involved nurses working with a patient who died of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. One of the nurses, Nina Pham, grew up attending Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Fort Worth, but has not been to that church recently. She is currently

36  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

receiving care at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The other nurse, Amber Vinson, is currently hospitalized in Atlanta. Pat Svacina, director of communications for the Diocese of Fort Worth, pointed out that the guidelines were the same as those issued by the diocese during previous flu outbreaks. The liturgical adaptations urge Catholics not to hold hands while saying the Our Father or to shake hands during the sign of peace. It also asked parishes not to distribute wine from the Communion chalice. A statement from the Diocese of Dallas urged parish priests to use common sense and carefully wash their hands and Communion vessels. It said parishes did not need to refrain from using the Communion chalice, but individuals should not receive the consecrated wine if they do not feel well. The Dallas statement said that holy water and baptismal fonts do not pose a threat for Ebola transmission since the virus is not transmitted through water but said the fonts should be kept clean.


Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service

O

n its last day of business, the Synod of Bishops on the family approved and released a three-page message expressing solidarity with Christian families around the

world.

The message, released Oct. 18, is distinct from the synod’s final report, which the assembly was scheduled to vote on later the same day. Following two weeks of often-contentious discussion that included sensitive questions of sexual and

medical ethics and how to reach out to people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, the synod’s message, which was approved by a large majority of the assembly, focused on the challenges and virtues of traditional families.

“We recognize the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love,” the bishops said, citing obstacles including “enfeebled faith,” “individualism,” “stress that excludes reflection” and a lack of “courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to

Pope Francis talks with Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi as they leave the concluding session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 18. At right is Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  37  

✝VATICAN

SYNOD OF BISHOPS sends message of encouragement to traditional families


✝ VATICAN

forgive one another.” The message praised parents caring for disabled children, families suffering economic hardship and the trials of migration, and women victims of human trafficking. “Christ wanted his church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone,” the bishops said. The document noted the reality of spouses in failed marriages who enter into second unions, “creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious.” The synod fathers said that they had reflected on one of the assembly’s most controversial topics—the question of whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion— but gave no suggestion that they had arrived at any conclusions. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who led the panel that drafted the message, was asked at a news conference why the document included no reference to homosexuals, following remarkably conciliatory passages on “welcoming homosexuals” in the synod’s Oct. 13 midterm report. “With this message we address Christian families, so the matrimonial model is the traditional one, with all its problems,” the cardinal said, adding that the synod’s final report would treat a wider range of subjects, including homosexuality. The message ended on a positive note, celebrating the prayerful Christian family as a “small, daily oasis of the spirit” and sacramental “conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble (and) endures despite many difficulties.”

Pope beatifies Blessed Paul VI, the ‘great helmsman’ of Vatican II Francis X. Rocca

Catholic News Service

B

eatifying Blessed Paul VI at the concluding Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis praised the late pope as the “great helmsman” of the Second Vatican Council and founder of the synod, as well as a “humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church.” The pope spoke during a homily in St. Peter’s Square at a Mass for more than 30,000 people, under a sunny sky on an unseasonably warm Oct. 19. “When we look to this great pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle, we cannot but say in the sight of God a word as simple as it is heartfelt and important: thanks,” the pope said, drawing applause from the congregation, which included retired Pope Benedict, whom Blessed Paul made a cardinal in 1977. “Facing the advent of a secularized and hostile society, (Blessed Paul) could hold fast, with farsightedness and wisdom—and at times alone—to the helm of the barque of Peter,” Pope

38  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

Francis said, in a possible allusion to “Humanae Vitae,” the late pope’s 1968 encyclical, which affirmed Catholic teaching against contraception amid widespread dissent. The pope pronounced the rite of beatification at the start of the Mass. Then Sister Giacomina Pedrini, a member of the Sisters of Holy Child Mary, carried up a relic: a bloodstained vest Blessed Paul was wearing during a 1970 assassination attempt in the Philippines. Sister Pedrini is the last surviving nun who attended to Blessed Paul. In his homily, Pope Francis did not explicitly mention “Humanae Vitae,” the single achievement for which Blessed Paul is best known


✝ VATICAN

today. Instead, the pope highlighted his predecessor’s work presiding over most of Vatican II and establishing the synod. The pope quoted Blessed Paul’s statement that he intended the synod to survey the “signs of the times” in order to adapt to the “growing needs of our time and the changing conditions of society.” Looking back on the two-week family synod, Pope Francis called it a

“great experience,” whose members had “felt the power of the Holy Spirit who constantly guides and renews the church.” The pope said the family synod demonstrated that “Christians look to the future, God’s future...and respond courageously to whatever new challenges come our way.” The synod, dedicated to “pastoral challenges of the family,” touched on sensitive questions of sexual and

medical ethics and how to reach out to people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, including divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and those in same-sex unions. “God is not afraid of new things,” Pope Francis said. “That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways. He renews us; he constantly makes us new.”

Sister Giacomina Pedrini carries relics of Blessed Paul VI during his beatification Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 19. The Mass also concluded the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Blessed Paul, who served as pope from 1963-1978, is most remembered for his 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” which affirmed the church’s teaching against artificial contraception. Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

NOVEMBER 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.

40  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

The Office for Child and Youth Protection


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

Man of incredible strength and courage By Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

W

hen people think of strength, of manliness, of courage, how likely is it that they think of the example of a saint? Holiness and virtue are frequently maligned by common opinion, but that certainly does not mean that a saint is weak, or ignorant, or that he has turned to religion because he has failed to become successful in the world. On the contrary, a man who lives his vocation well, who gives his life entirely to the service of God, is always going to be a man of greater strength, courage and wisdom than a man who does not. He will be more of a man! A man who loves God strives to endure everything for the sake of that love. As an incredible example of strength and courage, take St. Isaac Jogues, missionary and martyr of North America. Having joined the Society of Jesus at 17, he spent the next 12-years studying and teaching in France, during which time he was ordained a priest. While a novice, he had learned about a group of his Jesuit brothers who were traveling to New France to preach the Gospel to the natives, and he was drawn toward this mission. He received orders to sail to the New World when he was 29, after his Jesuit formation was complete, and he arrived in Quebec after a few months of travel. Père Jogues worked among the Huron and Tobacco Indians for five years, learning their language and the work of a missionary. These years

were mostly uneventful, though he encountered some hostility from the Tobacco Indians who blamed the “black-robes” for illness and disease. At the end of this time, after a quick scouting trip further inland, he was sent to resupply the Quebec mission. On the second day of this journey, the Iroquois—who killed and scattered most of the Huron who were accompanying the missionaries—attacked their party. They took the Christians, both French and Huron, prisoners and throughout that night beat them and ripped out their fingernails. They were further humiliated by being stripped, exposed to the sight of the natives and to the elements. They were taken to an Iroquois village where the same abuses were repeated. The Iroquois cut off one of Père Jogues’ thumbs. At night their arms and legs were staked to the ground, and the children and adolescents threw hot coals on them and tore open their wounds. They were then left to the vermin for the rest of the night. After three days of similar tortures, they were NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  41  

✝OUR FAITH

St. Isaac Jogues:


✝ OUR FAITH

taken to two other villages, where the tortures continued. Though the Iroquois relented in the direct abuse, Père Jogues was to remain a slave of the tribe for two-years. The Dutch, who lived in the nearby settlement of Fort Orange, rescued him and he eventually returned to France, where he was greeted with surprise. Rumor had it that he had died. He remained in France for only a short while. Though he was canonically unable to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because of his mutilated hands, the Holy Father gave him a dispensation. As soon as the spring came, Père Jogues sailed once again to the missions in New France—his heart was still with the people who did not know Christ! After two years in Montreal, Père Jogues was given orders to act as ambassador to the Mohawks, with which the French Canadians had an uneasy peace. Though he naturally feared the tortures that might await him, he embraced the mission and went with hopes to secure peace. But it was not to be so; a dominant Mohawk clan, the Bear clan, only wanted war. When they encountered the French ambassador, they took him captive. He was killed shortly after when one of the Mohawk hit him in the head with a hatchet. His head was cut off and mounted on the palisade of the village. While some may not understand the reasons for what he did, it is doubtful that many would disagree that St. Isaac Jogues was a man of great strength and courage. He is, along with many saintly men and women, an example of living courageously in the service of God. Their lives of strength can be great inspiration for our own. Let us not forget to study the lives of these men and women let us and pray for their intercession as we struggle to live faithfully the lives to which God calls us for the sake of his Kingdom. Thank you for taking the time to discern your vocation. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life.

42  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

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

Carrying out Gospel mission By Denise Bossert Contributor

I

t is the key to unleashing the New Evangelization. It is essential to carrying out the Gospel mission. What is the key? It is the confessional. You might have expected me to say the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. That is true. But I would posit that priests already carry out this part of their ministry with great faithfulness and devotion. My own parish has four Sunday Masses, daily Mass Monday through Saturday, and numerous other special Masses throughout the year. And they come. People show up at every Mass. But we are sinners. As much as we do not wish to do it, we fall back into sin–often. And so the net result is that many people are approaching the Eucharist while carrying the baggage of sin, perhaps even mortal sin. That is a problem. Receiving Our Lord while in a state of serious sin only adds mortal sin on top of mortal sin. One cannot advance in holiness this way. Without holiness, we cannot be a people on mission. In his papal address on the Sacrament of Confession in March 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made it clear that, “the New Evangelization draws its lifeblood from the holiness of the children of the Church, from the daily journey of personal and community conversion in order to be ever more


✝ OUR FAITH

➤ When the scheduled confessions are right before Sunday Mass or at a time when most people are unavailable, we are teaching our parishioners that confession is a last-minute sacrament, a kind of triage-only sacrament, a rarely-needed sacrament, a practically-unnecessary sacrament. closely conformed to Christ.” Because personal holiness depends upon the sacrament of confession, Pope Benedict XVI went on to say that the new evangelization begins in the confessional. While most parishes are incredibly accommodating in providing opportunities for Mass attendance, many are abysmal–tragically so–when it comes to providing opportunities for the sacrament of confession. Some may say that nobody shows up for the scheduled opportunity–those fleeting 15 minutes before Sunday Mass.
But this is what the one with venial sin thinks: “I don’t want to bother my priest before Mass because it’s just a venial sin, and he’s so busy right before Mass, and I would guess there are others far more sinful who need these few minutes more than I do.” This is what the one with mortal sin thinks: “If I go to confession right now, then my parents (wife, children, husband, friends) will know that I have mortal sin that I need to deal with. Who wants to open that can of worms? I’ll just go another time.” But there is no other time. That is it. Sunday before Mass, if you can find the priest. And expect a whirlwind confession because the priest is bound to have his mind on Mass and his eye on his

watch. Every parish should have one night a week set aside for confessions. The parishioners need to know that their shepherd is there, waiting. The people need to be reminded often that a merciful Lord is waiting for them. During Advent and Lent, the opportunities for Confession should be even more generous, highlighted by every means of communication. Here is what will happen in the parish. People will become holy. People will be on mission. The New Evangelization will come to your parish. The faithful will begin to discern vocations to religious life. Here is what will happen in individuals. They will be healed of mortal sin and lose their attachment to it. Then they will begin to address chronic sins; jealousy, gossip, eating disorders, bitterness and unforgiving spirits and laziness. Then they will become stronger, more accustomed to walking in grace. When I was a teacher we used to talk about the hidden curriculum. By hidden curriculum we meant those things students learned that we did not set out to teach. Youngsters figure out what is important and what is not important. They learn which corners can be cut and what the teacher really cares about. Sometimes, to our

dismay, we realize that the students jettisoned things that are really important because we inadvertently fostered problems and created issues we never meant to foster or create. That is the situation right now. When the scheduled confessions are right before Sunday Mass or at a time when most people are unavailable, we are teaching our parishioners that confession is a last-minute sacrament, a kind of triage-only sacrament, a rarely-needed sacrament, a practically-unnecessary sacrament. While we do not believe any of these things it is the hidden curriculum, the catechesis we did not intend to teach. Reality check. Some of the holiest people have availed themselves of the sacrament of confession weekly. If even two people in every parish decided they wanted to emulate that kind of holiness, the current confessional schedule would not be sufficient. If evangelization depends on holiness, we need to throw open the doors on every confessional. We need to say, “Come soon; come often.” Let them know that Jesus Christ is waiting just for them. Holiness and Gospel mission; the first opens the door for the second.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  43  


November Liturgical Calendar 1 | Sat | All Saints | white | Solemnity [not a Holy day of Obligation this year] Rv | 7:2-4, 9-14/1 Jn 3:1-3/Mt 5:1-12a (667) Pss Prop 2 | SUN | THE COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE | white/violet/black | FAITHFUL DEPARTED (All Souls’ Day) Wis 3:1-9/Rom 5:5-11 or Rom 6:3-9/Jn 6:37-40 (668), or any readings from no. 668 or from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Masses for the Dead, nos. 1011-1016 Pss Prop 3 | Mon | Weekday (Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time) | green/white [Saint Martin de Porres, Religious] Phil 2:1-4/Lk 14:12-14 (485) Pss III 4 | Tue | Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop | white | Memorial | Phil 2:5-11/Lk 14:1524 (486) 5 | Wed | Weekday | green | Phil 2:12-18/ Lk 14:25-33 (487) 6 | Thu | Weekday | green | Phil 3:3-8a/Lk 15:1-10 (488) 7 | Fri | Weekday | green | Phil 3:17—4:1/ Lk 16:1-8 (489) 8 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM]

Phil 4:10-19/Lk 16:9-15 (490) 9 | SUN | THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA | white | Feast | Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12/1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17/Jn 2:13-22 (671) Pss Prop 10 | Mon | Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church | white (ThirtySecond Week in Ordinary Time) Memorial | Ti 1:1-9/Lk 17:1-6 (491) Pss IV 11 | Tue | Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop | white | Memorial | Ti 2:1-8, 11-14/Lk 17:7-10 (492) Pss Prop 12 | Wed | Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Ti 3:1-7/Lk 17:11-19 (493) 13 | Thu | Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin | white | Memorial | Phlm 7-20/Lk 17:20-25 (494) 14 | Fri | Weekday | green | 2 Jn 4-9/Lk 17:26-37 (495) 15 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/white [Saint Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; BVM] 3 Jn 5-8/Lk 18:1-8 (496) 16 | SUN | THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green | Prv 31:10-13,

44  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

19-20, 30-31/1 Thes 5:1-6/Mt 25:14-30 or 25:14-15, 19-21 (157) Pss I 17 | Mon | Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious | white | Memorial | Rv 1:1-4; 2:1-5/Lk 18:35-43 (497) 18 | Tue | Weekday | green/white/white [The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles; Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin] Rv 3:1-6, 14-22/Lk 19:1-10 (498), or, for the Memorial of the Dedication, Acts 28:1116, 30-31*/Mt 14:22-33* (679) 19 | Wed | Weekday | green | Rv 4:1-11/Lk 19:11-28 (499) 20 | Thu | Weekday | green | Rv 5:1-10/Lk 19:41-44 (500) 21 | Fri | The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | Memorial | Rv 10:811/Lk 19:45-48 (501) 22 | Sat | Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Rv 11:4-12/Lk 20:27-40 (502) 23 | SUN | OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE | white | Solemnity | Ez 34:11-12, 15-17/1 Cor 15:20-26, 28/Mt 25:31-46 (160) Pss Prop

24 | Mon | Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs | red (ThirtyFourth or Last Week in Ordinary Time) Memorial | Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5/Lk 21:1-4 (503) Pss II 25 | Tue | Weekday | green/red [Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr] Rv 14:14-19/Lk 21:5-11 (504) 26 | Wed | Weekday | green | Rv 15:1-4/Lk 21:12-19 (505) 27 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Thanksgiving Day] Rv 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a/Lk 21:20-28 (506), or, for Thanksgiving Day, any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Mass “In Thanksgiving to God,” nos. 943947 (see esp. Sir 50:22-24 [943.2]/1 Cor 1:3-9 [944.1]/Lk 17:11-19 [947.6]) 28 | Fri | Weekday | green | Rv 20:1-4, 11—21:2/Lk 21:29-33 (507) 29 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Rv 22:1-7/Lk 21:34-36 (508) YEAR B – WEEKDAYS 1 30 | SUN | FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT violet | Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7/1 Cor 1:3-9/Mk 13:33-37 (2) Pss I


1

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Nov. 1 from 6-10 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe parking lot (1010 Beam Station St.) in Alice. The Fall Fest is entitled “Harvesting for Jesus.” Come as your favorite biblical person, saint or animal from Noah’s Ark for a costume contest.

Day of Prayer at OLCC

On Nov. 1 from 8:30 a.m.2:30 p.m. in the Library at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). There will be Mass, a series of talks, and time to pray with Our Lady. A light breakfast and lunch will also be provided. Register www.deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Sacred Music Mass

On Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church (7522 Everhart Road) in Corpus Christi. Sacred music provided by Mozart Chamber Singers and Orchestra presents Requiem Mass by composer Gabriel Fauré. For more information go to www.sjbcctx.org.

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Registration underway for 2015 Ministry Conference

Early Registration for the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s 26th Annual Ministry Conference, “The Family Fully Alive,” is currently underway until Nov. 2. The conference will be held at the American Bank Center on Jan. 10, 2015. Keynote Speaker is Dr. Jim Healy.

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8th Annual St. Elizabeth Country Picnic

Nov. 2 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Merchant’s Building JWC Fairgrounds in Alice. BBQ served 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

St. Joseph Annual Fall Festival

Nov. 2 at St. Joseph Church (710 South 19th Street) in Corpus Christi.

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10-Session Course on Beatitudes at St. Pius X

On Monday evenings Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 from 7-8:30 p.m. or on Tuesday afternoons Nov. 4 and Nov. 11 from 2-3:30 p.m. at St. Pius X in CC-2 (use the parking lot off Lum Street, on the Alameda side of the Youth Building.) For more information Contact Sister Annette at (361) 993-0299 or awagner@stpiusxcc.org.

information, or to register, go to www.retrouvaille.org. For questions about the specifics of the program in San Antonio, call (830) 612-2035

7

Real Life

On Wednesdays, Nov. 5, Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 from 6:30-9 p.m. at St. Anthony Church (204 Dunne Street) in Robstown. Adults of all ages come together to share a meal and learn more about the Christian faith.

Virtual Training for Lectors & Gospel Readers Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 7 at 12 p.m. and Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. This Virtual Workshop entitled “I Will Proclaim Your Name” will combine the liturgical and spiritual aspects of being an effective lector with public speaking techniques, addresses the role of the lector according to Vatican II and provides the latest information on the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. For more information go to: www.diocese.org/virtualtraining

Cursillo de las mujeres (Español)

6-9 de Noviembre, en el Centro de Cursillo Obispo T. Drury localizado en el 1300 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para obtener más información, por favor llame al Vocal del Pre-Cursillo America Lopez al (361) 228-3316 o a Gloria G. Morales al (361) 3644808 o glomore54@yahoo.com. Padrinos/madrinas por favor de entregar las aplicaciones lo mas pronto posible para reservar el espacio de las candidata. Dios los bendiga.

Retrouvaille in San Antonio

On Nov. 7 in San Antonio. The program offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. For more

8

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend

On Nov. 7-9 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. Designed for married couples, to revitalize and enrich their relationship. The retreat also provides support and encouragement to priests/ religious dedicated to their vocation in life. To learn more or to apply go to www.mecorpuschristi.org

St. Patrick Church, Altar and Rosary Society’s Christmas Bazaar

On Nov. 8 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Patrick Parish Hall (3350 S. Alameda) in Corpus Christi.

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Convalidation Seminar

On Nov. 8 at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish in the St. Williams Parish Hall. No walk-in payments or registrations will be accepted. Convalidation is the recognition and validation of a marriage by the Catholic Church. To register go to www.diocesecc. org/convalidation

St. John the Baptist 2014 Parish Family Festival On Nov. 8 from 12-9 p.m. at 7522 Everhart Road in Corpus Christi.

General Meeting of Our Lady of Guadalupe Societies

On Nov. 8 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at St. Joseph Hall, Corpus Christi Cathedral. Please bring an unwrapped baby gift for the Gabriel Project. Society group pictures to be taken this day. Lunch will be served. New members and those wanting to join a Parish Guadalupana Society are encouraged to attend this meeting and rosary. For more information call (361) 727-1502 or (713) 204-6587 or email: cpenarockport@yahoo.com.

NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  45  

✝ NOVEMBER CALENDAR

1

Fall Fest at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice


✝ NOVEMBER CALENDAR

8 8

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8 13

13 14

St. Theresa 6th Annual Thanksgiving Fest

and discerning God’s call in their lives. The cost to attend is $25. For more information contact Rachel Dimas at rdimas@diocesecc.org or to register online go to www. diocesecc.org/dvar

On Nov. 8 from 4-10 p.m. at the Community Life Center (formerly KC Hall) in Premont.

Discipleship Day of Prayer at OLCC

On Nov. 8 from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) in the Blue Dome. Register at www.deepprayer. org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

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Mini-Youth Spectacular

On Nov. 8 from 8:30 a.m.5:30 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua in Robstown. The keynote speakers are Cooper Ray, Joseph Cipriano, and a surprise guest. For more information contact Katherine Lopez at (361) 3879874 or katherine.lopez@ stanthonyrobstown.org.

IWA Angelfest

On Nov. 8 from 6-11 p.m. at the IWA High School.

Women’s English Cursillo

On Nov. 13-16 at the Corpus Christi Cursillo Center (1300 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. For more information call Pre-Cursillo Chairperson Gloria Franco, at (361) 2492450. See all Cursillos of Christianity events at www. diocesecc.org/cursillo.

Men’s English Cursillo

On Nov. 13-16 at the Corpus Christi Cursillo Center (1300 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. For more information, please call Pre-Cursillo Chairperson Gloria Franco, at (361) 249-2450.

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Diocesan Vocation Awareness Retreat

On Nov. 14-16 at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive.) For single men and women of faith, ages 18-35, who are searching

46  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  |  NOVEMBER 2014

service that facilitates online donations. A 4.5 percent credit card processing fee will be charged, but you can choose to either have it deducted from or added to your donation. Each donor will receive an email receipt for tax purposes. Thanks to the generosity of South Texas foundations, 35 local organizations will be eligible to receive matching funds for financial gifts of at least $10 that are donated online via major credit/debit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) at www. coastalbenddayofgiving.org.

Day of Prayer and Reflection

On Nov. 15, from 8 a.m.2:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (540 Hiawatha St.) in Corpus Christi. 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.

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CTK Fall Festival

On Nov. 15 from 4-10 p.m. at the Christ the King Church (3423 Rojo Street) in Corpus Christi.

Natural Family Planning Class

Nov. 15 from 9:30 a.m.3:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin Blvd. and on Nov. 22 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, (603 East 5th Street) in Alice. Pre-registration required. No walk-in payments or registrations will be accepted. To register go to www. diocesecc.org/nfp

6th Annual Coastal Bend Day of Giving

On Nov. 18 beginning at midnight and ending at 11:59:59 p.m. the same day. Financial gifts to the Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youth, Corpus Christi Hope House, Catholic Charities and the Mother Teresa Shelter or one of the other nonprofits will provide basic needs and will be matched dollar for dollar up to $14,285 per agency. All gifts made through the Web site are processed by a nonprofit

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Women’s Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

On Nov. 20-23 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). The retreat will be directed by Sister Miriam James Hiedland SOLT, a nationally known speaker. Register www. deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095 ext., 321

Altar Server Recognition

On Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Servers will gather in St. Joseph’s Hall beginning at 2 p.m. to get organized so the servers may process in with the bishop. Please note there will not be a Mass held this year. Be sure to attend Mass at your respective parishes.

100th Annual Thanksgiving Day Picnic in Vattmann

Thursday, Nov. 27 at Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Vattmann (south of Kingsville -from Hwy. 77, travel 5 miles East on FM 628.) All fundraising events will include a variety of food, games, entertainment and fun. To find out more information go to www. SouthTexasCatholic.com/ events


NOVEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  47  


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

South Texas Catholic - November 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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