South Texas Catholic - December 2012

Page 1

Call to Action From South Texas to Washington

ACTION: Diocese of

Corpus Christi

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the following clarifications regarding the Health and Human Services regulations on mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs: 1. It does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. HHS does not deem them “religious employers” because they do not “serve primarily persons who share their religious tenets.” HHS denies them religious freedom because their purpose is to serve the common good -a purpose government should encourage. 2. It forces these institutions and others to pay for things they consider immoral. Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers, religious employers and schools and religious employees and students to write, provide and purchase insurance coverage that violates their beliefs. 3. It forces coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs as well as contraception. HHS’s mandate also forces employers to sponsor and subsidize coverage of sterilization. And by including all contraceptive drugs, the HHS mandate includes drugs that can induce abortion, such as “Ella,” a close cousin of the abortion pill RU-486. 4. Catholics of all political persuasions are unified in their opposition to the mandate. Catholics who have long supported this administration and its policies have publicly criticized HHS’s decision, including college presidents Father John Jenkins and Arturo Chavez; and Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association. 5. Many other religious and secular groups have spoken out against HHS. Many recognize this as an assault on religious liberty, even if they disagree with the underlying moral question. Protestant and, Orthodox Christian and Orthodox Jewish groups -none of which oppose contraception - are against the HHS’s decision. The Washington Post, USA Today, N.Y Daily News and other secular outlets have editorialized against it. 6. The federal mandate is much stricter than existing state mandates. Even without an exemption, religious employers now can avoid contraceptive mandates in 28 states by self-insuring their drug coverage, dropping that coverage, or opting for regulation under a pre-emptive federal law. This mandate closes off these avenues of relief.

Make your voice heard | Contact your representatives President Barack Obama

Mail: 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington D.C. 20510 Phone: (972) 239-1310 or (202) 224-2934 Website:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Rep. Blake Farenthold

Mail: 284 Russell Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (214) 361-3500 or (202) 224-5922 Website:

27th District: Nueces, Kleberg, Kenedy

Rep. Ron Paul

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa

14th District: Aransas

15th District: Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Live Oak, Refugio, San Patricio

Mail: 2203 Cannon House Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20515 Phone Number: (202) 225-2831 Website:


Sen. John Cornyn

Mail: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 Phone: (202) 225-3484 Website:


Mail: 2110 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-7742 Website:

Mail: 2262 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2531 Website:

Contact your U.S. Representative by e-mail, phone, or FAX letter: • Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: (202) 224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. • Send an e-mail through NCHLA’s Grassroots Action Center at • Additional contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at: and

MESSAGE: “Please co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, s. 1467) and help enact it into law. The Obama administration’s decision to mandate coverage of sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an abortion, makes passage of this measure especially urgent. Please ensure that the rights of conscience of all participants in our nation’s health care system are respected.”

WHEN: Now is the time to build co-sponsors and support. Please act today!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of the Americas

Pray for Us O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ. Th rough the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome— for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us— this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


VOL. 47 NO. 12 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD



Nan Borden and Lee Gwozdz rehearse with the Cherub Choir for the Christmas Pageant.

Photo by Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

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

Calendar Items


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


Bishop Drury Implemented reforms of Vatican II


Educators Conference


St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Bishop Mulvey tells teachers they are a part of Church’s mission

Parish in Alice nourishes faith

Keeping up with the Faith...

Bishop Mulvey ordained 23 deacons to the Permanent Diaconate.


St. Mary Mission


Christmas traditions

Ground-breaking for Mother Teresa CCD Hall

Ideas for keeping Christ in Christmas


Vatican II


Sacred music


Bishops agree on strategic plan

Restored Permanent Diaconate

Can attract lapsed Catholics, says Pope Benedict XVI

Urge better preaching


Bishop Mulvey


Thinking clearly

Where do we go from here?

About conscience and abortion





“To Serve God is to Reign”

Bishop Drury met challenges of Church in south Texas Msgr. Michael Howell

A Contributor

s the Second Vatican Council concluded in 1965, the Diocese of Corpus Christi faced a new era. The implementation of the reforms of Vatican II preoccupied the next decades of the Church in south Texas under the administration of Bishop Thomas J. Drury.

ish offices of the Cathedral, necessitating the building of a new Cathedral rectory in 1979 and in the renovations of the former Benedictine Abbey on Lantana as a Diocesan Pastoral Center. He established more than 20 new parishes, including Most Precious Blood, St. Paul the Apostle, St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, St. Philip the Apostle and St. Thomas the Apostle in the Corpus Christi area; Our Lady of the Good Counsel and St. Joseph in Kingsville; St. James in Beeville;

The new bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi responded to the challenges and opportunities of those years with new programs and diocesan departments composed of clergy, religious and laity to work with him in a spirit of collaboration. His motto was “Deo Servire Regnare” (to Serve God is to Reign). Mindful of Christ’s message that those who “reign” in God’s kingdom are those who “serve” the needs of their brothers and sisters, Bishop Drury sought to ascertain and respond to the needs of the people of south Texas. He began his administration with a census to better understand the situation of the people and the scope of their needs. Over the course of his almost 20 years as chief shepherd of the diocese, he expanded the outreach of the diocese from two to 32 departments. This led to the expansion of the Chancery offices to include the floors used for the parIn photo at left, Bishop Drury meets with Pope John Paul I during his Ad Limina visit to the Vatican. At right, a volunteer works to prepare food baskets for the poor for the newly established Catholic Charities. Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives



Bishop Drury takes time to visit with first men’s Cursillo retreat participants. Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives

and four major parishes in Laredo. He dedicated the unique St. Andrew by the Sea on Padre Island, a church without walls, on July 29, 1973. While the bishop was able to initiate many new programs such as the diocesan newspaper the South Texas Catholic, Catholic Charities, the Pastoral Council, the Finance Council and the Presbyteral Council in the early years of his administration—there were many others that took longer to develop. Among other issues he sought to address–as did his predecessors–was the need for more clergy. He decided to promote local vocations. He gradually stopped soliciting vocations from other countries and sought to develop a more active diocesan vocational department with continued support of the newly established Corpus Christi Minor Seminary and the Diocesan Vocational Directors. Another effort to promote local clergy was the bishop’s implementation of the Second Vatican Council’s directive for the re-establishment of the Permanent Diaconate. Vatican II called for the three Holy Orders of deacon, presbyter and bishop to be recognized for their unique places in the Church and urged that the diaconate be restored



as a permanent office. Since the Council of Trent, most Catholics knew the diaconate only as a station on the road to priesthood. Before the Second Vatican Council, young men to be ordained as priests served as transitional deacons for only a few days to a month before being ordained priests. The revision of the sacrament of Holy Orders called for even those in transitional diaconate to serve in that order for a longer period, such as six months to a year. On May 20, 1977, Bishop Drury ordained the first eight permanent deacons out of a class of 12 for that year and sent them out for parochial and diocesan service. The Second Vatican Council also invigorated retreat movements in the Church. Traditional movements like the Schoenstatt and Cursillo continued to grow during this period. For a time, numerous parishes also were the sights of newfound enthusiasm in Christ’s Spirit as the charismatic and the ecumenical movements made their impact at the diocesan and parish levels. For younger Catholics, the Diocesan Youth Department sponsored the SSCA (Summer School of Catholic Action, and later Summer School of Christian Apostolate) for a week each summer, hosting hundreds of young adults from

throughout the diocese. In December 1976 there was a reintroduction of the youth weekend retreats called SEARCH for Christian Maturity, in which young adults from the age of 16-21 were invited to live their faith with greater dedication and a sense of evangelization to their peers. That program continued steadily for more than 25 years in the diocese and impacted thousands of young people in their formative years. For the young adults in college, the bishop broke ground on a Newman Center at Texas A&I University in Kingsville in September 1971. The bishop also worked to promote healthy marriages through forms of retreat, counseling through Catholic Charities and initiation of a special Mass to award medals on the Feast of the Holy Family to those celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversaries. The bishop also worked to fulfill a dream of Bishop Mariano S. Garriga when he broke ground on Sept. 22, 1972 for the construction of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and Convent to promote Eucharistic devotion in the diocese. One of the last things that Bishop Drury did was begin construction on Villa Maria, a residential home for Catholic senior citizens on Saratoga Boulevard. The years of Bishop Drury’s service also witnessed some special celebrations, including the centennial of the Incarnate Word Sisters in Corpus Christi in 1971, the 125th anniversary of the Corpus Christi Cathedral parish in 1978 and the 200th anniversary of the United States of America in 1976. These historical moments were celebrated with special Masses that invited the people of the diocese to reflect upon its rich heritage and growth. Bishop Drury also experienced his share of the cross of Christ in some of the trials of those years. There were the struggles to adjust to the changes in parish life after Vatican

II. There were the divisions precipitated by the war in Vietnam and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. South Texas was not immune to the problems that beset the rest of the United States. Moreover, there was the ongoing issue of the estate of Sarita Kenedy East. Beginning with Mifflin and Petra Kenedy during the time of Bishop Dominic Manucy, this family was one of the major benefactors of the Church in south Texas through their support of hospitals, schools, parish churches and the programs that served the needy. When Sarita Kenedy East, granddaughter of Mifflin and Petra, died after a prolonged hospitalization in New York questions about her will arose. She had written it in 1948 and modified it in 1960 with the establishment of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, named for her deceased parents. However, just before her death while in the hospital in New York, she named a Trappist priest friend, Brother Leo, as sole member of the foundation. After her death in 1961, the Diocese of Corpus Christi and a number of other parties claiming an interest in her estate filed a lawsuit disputing Brother Leo’s control of the foundation. A settlement was eventually reached with the bulk of the funds placed with a foundation controlled by south Texans. The estate remained in litigation until 1981 when the United States Supreme Court refused to hear further appeals. Bishop Drury had endured many fiscal limitations over the years of this legal contest for the sake of the future of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the larger community of south Texas. Bishop Drury had done yeoman’s service in pursuing the rights of the people of south Texas, but it would be those who followed him who enjoyed the greatest fruits of those labors.

First women’s Cursillo retreat participants in 1964. Diocese of Corpus Christi Archives



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part of Church’s mission Bishop Mulvey addresses Catholic educators at their annual conference on Nov. 16. The bishop spoke on the Year of Faith. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

n his keynote address to the Diocesan Catholic Educators Conference on Nov. 16, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey told teachers they were an integral part of his mission to teach the faith. The bishop’s presentation focused on, “The Church Calls the Faithful to a Year of Faith.” “We have a diversity in the Church, but the message is always the same,” Bishop Mulvey said in his homily at the Mass preceding the conference, held at the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center. Catholic teachers from throughout the Diocese of Corpus Christi participated in the 27th annual conference sponsored by the Office of Catholic Schools of the diocese. The forum covered topics from “Bully Prevention” approaches to “Finding Gospel Values in Children’s Stories.” Bishop Mulvey told the educators

there was little he could help them with when it came to teaching math or science, but he could provide them with encouragement with their faith so that they could promote a true Catholic identity. The bishop engaged the teachers on their knowledge of the Second Vatican Council which brought about great change in the Church and whose jubilee prompted Pope Benedict XVI to call for the “Year of Faith”. While the council made significant changes to how the Mass is celebrated, it did not change what was celebrated. It “did not change the doctrine” but called for a more “passionate presentation,” Bishop Mulvey said, Only one of the 16 documents adopted by the council addressed the liturgy, but it its content remains the one most recognizable to the faithful. Many of the other documents provided guidance on the “role of the laity in the world,” the bishop said. The Second Vatican Council did not only invite the laity to participate in the Mass where its help was needed–that, however, was not their central role in the Church in the modern world. It called them to “form a good and just society.” Catholics are called to promote and protect the faith in the public square as “good Catholic politicians,” and “to

form good holy marriages.” The council provided guidance on how to speak out, how to get along with other denominations and other religions, how to implement education, how to engage in social communications, and more. While the challenges were pronounced and much change has come about, the faithful always need renewal, which is why the Holy Father called for the “Year of Faith”. “The call of the Year of Faith is to rediscover who we are,” Bishop Mulvey said. “To rediscover the joy and enthusiasm of our encounter with Jesus Christ.” The bishop encouraged educators to employ their pedagogics of teaching to learn and promote the faith. “Diagram each sentence. Break down the Creed sentence by sentence, clause by clause, adjective by adjective,” the bishop said. He encouraged them to use the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find answers to their questions about the faith. “Our office worked diligently to make this event one that will be an enriching experience for all educators in our Catholic schools. It is our hope that they take with them a feeling of renewal and affirmation for the wonderful work they do in our Catholic schools,” Superintendent of Catholic Schools René González said.



Christm takes



mas at Corpus Christi Cathedral planning, preparation and a whole lot of Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


Lights! Camera! Action!


he Christmas Masses at Corpus Christi Cathedral are some of the most well attended events year-round in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. People need to show up a half hour before the Masses, because the Cathedral fills up quickly, Father Pete Elizardo, rector of Cathedral, said. “There will be ‘The Lessons and Carols’ before the Midnight Mass, which begins at about 11:15 p.m., so people need to start showing up about 10:45 p.m.,” he said. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will be the celebrant at the Midnight Mass and Father Elizardo will celebrate the 5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass and the Christmas Day Mass at 10 a.m. The production of these events takes the concerted effort of a large cast of players. Father Elizardo, Lee Gwozdz, Cathedral choirs director and organist, and Marty Wind, general manager of KLUX Radio and their team of professionals, organize the liturgy, music and

broadcast of the Midnight Mass to make it available for everyone to see and hear, live, on the television, Internet and radio. In addition, hundreds of volunteers give their time and talent to make it a joyful occasion for all. The Cathedral choirs have been practicing since September and will sing at the Vigil, Midnight and Christmas Day Masses. In addition to the Masses, the choirs will sing at the Christmas pageant on Dec. 21-22 (see story on page 16). These efforts involve six different choirs and several teams of professionals. “The choirs are full to the max for the first time in history. We are ready. This is the earliest they have ever been

Lee Gwozdz takes members of the Cherub choir through some of the steps during rehearsals for the Christmas pageant. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic



Richard Luna , left, is video director for the Midni

ready,” Gwozdz said. Assistant Director Nan Borden directs the Cherub Choir composed of first through third graders who will sing in the Christmas pageant along with all the other choirs. Dr. Guadalupe Rivera Jr. will conduct all the choirs for the Christmas Masses and Gwozdz will be the director and organist during the Masses. According to Gwozdz, Vigil Masses traditionally celebrate the pomp of the ceremony. The 5:30 p.m. Vigil Mass is geared more to the youth and family. The youth and children’s choir consists of 40 high school students and 50 choristers who will sing along with the hand bell choir. The adult choirs provide the music at the Midnight Mass along with the bell choir and an orchestra of trumpets and harps composed of paid professionals and parishioners who volunteer their services. On Christmas Day the music of the Mass is more traditional. The Mens Schola Cantorum will provide traditional chants of Christmas at the Christmas Day Mass. The songs take months of planning, preparation and rehearsing. The choirs will sing five or more songs for the Vigil, Midnight and Christmas Day Masses. Father Elizardo has 10 altar servers at every Christmas Mass. No altar server has to pull double duty and within the Mass itself each altar server is assigned one role. Because “they have great zeal and passion they try to make everything flow very smoothly,” Father Elizardo said. In addition to preparing for the Masses, Father Elizardo is in charge of decorating the cathedral and does most of the



sanctuary design. Decorating the cathedral involves forethought and the ability to work well with local floral shops. The arrangement of flowers is the hardest part, because “you don’t know what you’re going to get,” Father Elizardo said. The flowers arrive a week before Christmas. Vickie Compian, Arts and Environment Coordinator of Corpus Christi Cathedral, is in charge of a group who decorate the wreaths. The Christmas trees come from Gills Nursery and are ordered in July. Everything is custom made. Volunteer carpenters build the manger and take great care that it is fitting for the cathedral. The lights are the last things that go up. The youth, altar servers, members of the parish and choir members volunteer to go up on tall ladders to decorate the outside of the Cathedral. A five-person crew with KLUX runs cameras and audio behind the scenes during the Midnight Mass, taking care not to disrupt Mass. They also broadcast “The Service of Lessons and Carols” and the Midnight Mass live via television, Internet and radio. Richard Luna is the point man and video director. He is stationed in front of all the monitors and switches and directs the camera shots for the two cameramen. Video engineer Anacleto Villareal shades cameras for all sorts of lighting. Luna’s wife Ruth is audio director and is in charge of 32 microphones and anticipates who will speak next in order to open a mike. She mixes all the choir microphones with the ambience of the church so the audio is enjoyable. While Luna and his team are controlling the Cathedral, Russ Martin is back at the station taking the feed from the

ight Mass in the control room of the Cathedral. Adults and youth choirs rehearse for Christmas Masses. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

I don’t want to make it a Pete moment, where I wrote all this down and I read what I wrote. It’s really a Christ moment...I allow the Holy Spirit to do His part.” –Father Pete Elizardo

Cathedral over the Internet and broadcasting it live on KLUX HD Radio and KDF TV on Cable 47 UHF and Channel 13 on most cable systems. “I love doing it and it’s very fulfilling, especially when we get a call from viewers who say they loved it. One time I got a call from a ship captain in July who wanted a video of the Christmas Mass the year before. He wanted it for his crew, because he knew the ship would be at sea during Christmas,” Luna said. Father Elizardo said the behind the scenes preparations also involve planning his homily for the Mass. With everything that occupies his mind in preparation for the Christmas season, Father Elizardo said he must schedule an appointment with himself. “It’s an appointment I can’t afford to break. No cell phone. Too much is at stake there. The reality is there are many people who go to Mass only on Christmas. I definitely want to give them a gift of understanding–what this gift is that we have here in celebration of the Mass through the gift of our Savior, but also that the gift of the Eucharist is given every Sunday. It is an invitation from our Lord that He is always there. I remind them of God’s love,” Father Elizardo said.

He said he takes into consideration that people come from all walks of life. Some people have experienced 50 Christmases together; they may be celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple or the first time with their newborn baby; and then there are those who may be experiencing loss. “I want everyone to feel they’re not alone,” Father Elizardo said. “I don’t want to make it a Pete moment, where I wrote all this down and I read what I wrote. It’s really a Christ moment. I’ve done my part by studying scripture, taking into consideration the occasion, the people who are coming and I have prepared, but that openness is there now. I allow the Holy Spirit to do his part. “My hope and prayers is for everyone to be inspired by the atmosphere, the celebration, the music, the words that are preached, and the offering of the Holy Sacrifice. Our whole goal is to make it a beautiful celebration that will lift each person to have a blessed Christ filled year,” Father Elizardo said.

CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE AT CORPUS CHRISTI CATHEDRAL Christmas Pageant: Friday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. ($3 seating passes required for both performances.) Vigil Mass:

Monday, Dec. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Midnight Mass:

The Lessons and Carols and Midnight Mass begin at 11:30 p.m.

Christmas Mass:

Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 10 a.m.





to reduce the noise level of the lifts. Vicky Compian is in In addition to the Christmas Masses, the Cathedral choirs charge of disguising the lifts with clouds-like fabric to give will perform their annual pageant entitled “A Cathedral the heavenly appearance of the thrust of the angels’ ascent. Holiday New Year’s Spectacular! A Touch of Frost.” The Irene Corey Design Associates in Dallas designed a large production will have two showings, one on Friday, Dec. 21, collection of angel wings for the spectacular.; super dimenat 7:30 p.m. and the second on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m. sional angel wings with wingspans of four-feet are used. The Celebrating the sounds of the season and nativity, this members of the Cathedral Cherub Choir use 12 cherub wings event is under the direction of Lee Gwozdz, Guadalupe Rifor the production. vera Jr., Rachael Vasquez and Chrisi Carter and will feature The king’s capes are long trains–20 to 30 feet in length– members of the Corps de Cathedral, Cathedral Pontifical from past “Las Doñas de la Corte” coronations; they require Chorale, Youth Chorale, Cathedral Choristers, Cherub Choir a lot of strength to pull. and members from the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. Seating passes for general seating for $3 each are avail“The Cathedral Holiday Spectacular! A Touch of Frost!” able by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope or with a cast of more than 300 residents of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, will showcase the choirs of Corpus Christi Cathedral in a selection of holiday music that will delight the audience no matter what age, Gwozdz said. “The Cathedral will be filled with music to complete your holiday season, concluding with the fully staged and magically costumed pageant of “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” a re-enactment of the timeless Christmas Story including angels, shepherds, lambs and the three magi,” Gwozdz said. Carter will choreograph the interpretive movement provided by the Corps de Cathedral Liturgical Movement Ensemble. Gwozdz will direct and stage the producCherubs practice their routines before the Christmas Pageant. tion, with the coordination of Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic Rachael and Daniel Vasquez. Gwozdz said the holiday visiting the Music Office at 505 North Upper Broadway in spectacular, now in its thirtieth year, includes a secondCorpus Christi 78401. VIP passes and performance passes generation cast. Some members of the cast that performed as are required for the VIP section. A free will offering will be children in the pageant now have their children performing accepted at each performance. For seating passes or more the same roles they had as a child. information call (361) 888-7444. The two Angel lifts, provided and prepared each year The Christmas pageant is the start of the Cathedral by Jerry Mathieu of Mathieu Electric Company, raise the Concert Series 2012-13 sponsored by Citgo Corporation. angels 30 feet up in the air and go through intense safety Frost Bank is sponsoring the first pageant performance and checks prior to each rehearsal and production. Mostly used Whataburger is underwriting the second performance. for outdoor works, these lifts are cleaned, greased and oiled



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St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Alice was built in 1940. It was designed by same architect that did Corpus Christi Cathedral and has many similar features. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic




Parish strives to live the fullness of faith


e try to get people to live their faith despite the popular culture,” Msgr. Leonard Pivonka, JCD, pastor at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Alice said. “God is the one who is victorious for those who love and serve him.”

In his 12 years at St. Elizabeth, Msgr. Pivonka has introduced many practices and ministries that seek to build up the faith. He is very pleased with Pope Benedict XVI’s proclamation of the Year of Faith, which Msgr. Pivonka sees as another incentive for Catholics to grow in faith. The faith community at St. Elizabeth has maintained and nourished their faith for nearly a century. The Catholic faith came to Alice with its very founding. When the town was established, the nearby community of Collins literally picked up and moved to the new location. As early as 1885, Father Pedro Bard of San Diego had raised a sufficient amount of subscriptions to start a church in Collins. Father Bard moved the Sacred Heart Church at Collins to Alice in 1889. Sacred Heart and Father Bard, helped periodically by other priests, continued to convey the faith in Alice until 1918 when St. Elizabeth was built. Sacred Heart was badly damaged by the hurricane of 1916 and moved to a new location and shortly thereafter George Walt Sr. and his wife informed Bishop Paul Nussbaum, C.P. that there was interest in the community for a new parish. The bishop said

that if they could raise the needed funds he would support the project. On April 14, 1918, Bishop Nussbaum returned to Alice to consecrate the new parish, named St. Elizabeth in honor of a large contributor’s request that it be named after his deceased wife and mother of his 10 children. The bishop selected Father Thomas J. Connally, a recently arrived priest from the Diocese of Alton in Illinois, to serve as the new church’s pastor and made it a mission of Sacred Heart, which was also placed under Father Connally’s care. The original church was located at Reynolds and Second Streets but was moved when the current church was built in 1940 at its present location. Msgr. Pivonka said the same architect that did the Corpus Christi Cathedral also designed the church and it has many similar features, albeit at a smaller scale.

Pastor Msgr. Leonard Pivonka greets St. Elizabeth School students after school Mass held every Tuesday morning. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic



Newly ordained Deacon Ernest Gutierrez greets parishioners after his first Mass at St. Elizabeth. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

vessels after the distribution of Communion. During Msgr. Pivonka’s tenure, which began in 2000, the Holy Communion is quite distinct at St. Elizabeth, it church has undergone a number of refurbishments, includbeing the only parish in the diocese offering intinction, ing to the exterior brick and the roofing. The statuary and which is the administration of the sacrament of Comother artwork and vessels used in celebration of the liturgy munion by dipping the body of Christ have been restored and regilded. Several To see more photos of this event in the blood of Christ and giving both other buildings, such as the St. Anne together to the communicant. Msgr. House used for religious education Pivonka introduced this practice after and the St. Jude Center have also been observing it on a visit to his parents’ remodeled. Plans are being developed parish of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary to expand the parish hall to twice its in Frenstat in the Diocese of Austin and current capacity. Go to: www thought it was a nice and simple way to The physical campus is not the only receive both species. aspect of the parish that Msgr. Pivonka The pastor also introduced the ACTS retreats believing has sought to renew. His focus has also been directed at they would be a positive spiritual influence in his commudeveloping the faithful’s “Catholic identity.” nity. Starting with 13 men in its first men’s retreat, ACTS “We try to present the Catholic faith in its fullness,” is in its fifth year for both men and women and has grown Msgr. Pivonka said. to become a community retreat with parishioners from its Mass at St. Elizabeth for example, is preceded by praying sister parishes in Alice–St. Joseph and Our Lady of Guadathe Angelus and the St. Michael’s Prayer before the openlupe–participating. ing procession. At the conclusion of Communion, Msgr. In addition to the ACTS retreat, faith education for Pivonka often leads the congregation in the Prayer to the adults includes an RCIA program, as well as an active Sacred Heart of Jesus while the deacon cleanses the sacred



“We try to present the Catholic faith in its fullness.” –Msgr. Leonard Pivonka Knights of Columbus council, a thriving Catholic Daughters of the Americas circle and the Altar and Rosary Society. The parish also recently added a Eucharistic Adoration chapel that is available to all parishioners at anytime but with scheduled adorations each First Friday of the month. St. Elizabeth also has an active youth ministry with newly ordained Deacon Ernest Gutierrez in charge of the Life Teen group that numbers 40 high school-age youth. The altar servers number more than 70 and some 200 public school students participate in religious education classes. The parish also provides formation through St. Elizabeth School, which operates classes from K3-sixth grades and has an enrollment of 185 students. The school opened in 1949 and was initially staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame but now is run by lay educators. Faith formation also involves works of mercy, and the parish–together with Our Lady of Guadalupe, operates a Works of Mercy storehouse in downtown Alice that provides food, clothing and financial assistance to the needy. The generosity of parishioners is also evident with the success of their recent Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope campaign in which St. Elizabeth met 260 percent of their goal. This faith-filled community has also nurtured seven vocations to the clergy and consecrated life. Sister Rose Ann Bacak, SSND, took her first vows in 1959, two years after graduating from William Adams High School in Alice and six years after graduating from St. Elizabeth School. Ten years later her fraternal sister, Barbara Joan Bacak, also took her first vows with the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1985, Bishop Rene Gracida ordained the first priest from St. Elizabeth, Father Robert Dunn who is now pastor at Most Precious Blood Parish in Corpus Christi. In June 2011, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey ordained Father John Chavarria, a second priestly vocation from St. Elizabeth. Father Chavarria is assigned to St. Gertrude in Kingsville. In addition to Deacon Gutierrez who was ordained November 2012, St. Elizabeth has given the diocese two other permanent deacons; Deacon Alan Borse, now retired, and Deacon Jim Carlisle, who serves at St. Elizabeth. “Living the faith is a gradual thing and patience is required,” Msgr. Pivonka said.

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 Mulvey, at center, is joined by, from left, Patrick Villarreal of KJM Commercial Construction, Deacon Teo Farias, Pauline Medrano, Msgr. Morgan Rowsome, Mother Mary Elva PCI, Raymond Gignac Architect and Msgr. Seamus McGowan. Photo contributed by Joe Garza

St. Mary Mission breaks


t. Mary Mission in Calallen broke ground on the Mother Teresa CCD Hall on Sunday, Nov. 4. The $712,000 hall will be used for meetings, religious education, Vacation Bible School and other Mission events, and is expected to open in 10 months.

“My dear friends, the work we are beginning today should enliven our faith and make us grateful,” Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey said at the ceremony. “We know the familiar words of the psalm: ‘If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor.’ Whenever we look to the interests of our



neighbor or the community and serve them, we are, in a sense, God’s own coworkers.” After celebrating Mass, Bishop Mulvey, along with Msgr. Seamus McGowan and Msgr. Morgan Rowsome, led a procession to the ground-breaking. Members of St. Mary gave time and talent to prepare the grounds and the area for the ground-breaking ceremony. The existing hall, which was built in the early days of the Mission established by Msgr. Robert Freeman in 1947 as a Mission of St. Anthony in Robstown, was determined to be beyond repair so it was decided to build a new hall. “Over the past five years the people have worked very hard to raise the needed money for the project and were blessed with generous grants from the John G and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, the Pax Christi Sisters and the mother parish, St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles,” Msgr. Rowsome, pastor at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles said.

ground for new CCD Hall The total cost of construction includes parking, lights and moving of portable buildings. The fund-raising events and grants have already yielded about half the cost of construction. A loan was obtained from the Diocesan D & L Fund for the remainder of the cost and will be paid back over five years. Bishop Mulvey recognized and thanked the founding members of the Mission that were present at the ground-breaking. The bishop said that in the Year of Faith it was wonderful to see the beginning of a building that will be used to keep the Catholic faith alive and to educate people to pass it on to future generations. Danny López led all present in singing “This is the Day the Lord has made” and “This is Holy Ground” at the beginning and the end of the gathering. Msgr. Rowsome extended a special word of thanks to Joe Quitugua and the members of the Mission Advisory Board who “have devoted so much time and energy to raising funds

and overseeing the planning of this new hall.” The pastor also thanked the ladies of the Mission for preparing the hall, the meal and the drinks and the youth that served at the Mass and the reception in the hall. Msgr. McGowan celebrates Mass at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday morning at St. Mary Mission and Pax Christi Sister Susana María Rentería, PCI is in charge of religious education, the youth, altar servers, visiting the sick and other ministries at the Mission. Architects on the project are Gignac & Associates and the contractor is KJM Commercial Construction of Corpus Christi. The work will start immediately. “Let us pray for His help, that God will bring all of our efforts in building the Mother Teresa CCD Hall for St. Mary’s Mission to a successful completion and that his protection will keep those who work on it safe from injury,” Bishop Mulvey said. DECEMBER 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


How can we keep Ch

Suggestions and ideas for celebrati

Julissa Hernandez South Texas Catholic

As we prepare for Christmas, many might wonder, “Are my traditions honoring the true meaning of Christmas?” We asked around for answers to some common questions and found some great ideas. So before you buy that batteryoperated Feliz Navidad-singing reindeer, you may want to consider what some clergy and religious in our diocese have to say about some Christmas customs for the holidays, and how to include religious symbolism in your celebrations. __________________________________________________

Should Santa and elves be left out of decorations? Can I include these decorations while still celebrating the true meaning of Christmas? Msgr. Louis Kihneman says… Parents need to use their own judgment in deciding whether or not to include Santa and elves during the holidays, but here are some things to consider. Children who believe that the gifts they receive Christmas morning are from a magical man with unending resources are less likely to appreciate what they have been given, and the sacrifices their parents make in providing them. Greed and materialism can overshadow the holiday season, which is meant to be about giving, loving and worshiping God. This doesn’t mean we must leave Santa completely out of Christmas. Children can still play the “Santa game” even if they know it is all pretend. They can make lists, sit on his lap at the mall and leave out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. This will not rob them of their joy of the season, and gives parents the opportunity to tell their children about the godly qualities of the real Saint Nicholas, who dedicated his life to serving others and made himself into a living



example of Jesus Christ.

Fun ideas: We found one Web site that has free printable coloring books, games and stories about Saint Nicholas, courtesy of The Saint Nicholas Center. At the top of their home Web site,, there is a “For Kids” tab, which links to an abundance of educational materials. __________________________________________________

What is the significance of the colors of the advent candles? Why isn’t Advent as widely celebrated anymore, and how can I make it a bigger part of my family’s celebration? Father Pete Stanley responds… The candles of the Advent wreath include three violet and one rose. The violet candles are lit on the first, second and fourth Sundays of Advent. The violet candles remind us that we are in a time of penitence and preparation. Advent helps us to recall and in a sense relive the preparation of the people of the Old Testament in their anticipation for the coming of the Messiah. They underwent a form of penance–that is of conversion–a turning away from sin and turning more and more toward God as they prepared to receive the Anointed One. While we join them in their anticipation to celebrate the birth of the Savior, we also incorporate our anticipation, our waiting, our preparation for the Savior’s Coming again. We, like our ancestors, fall into sin and are in need of penance. This penance helps us to live in that great expectation of the coming of the Lord. The rose-colored candle, which is lit on the third Sunday of Advent or Gaudete Sunday means joy. In lighting this candle we are filled with joy knowing that soon the Lord will arrive. Our celebration of Advent has diminished over the years due partly to an increasing materialism in our society and due to an

hrist in Christmas?

ing traditions with genuine meaning

Msgr. Thomas Mc Gettrick explains…

crease of demand on people’s time in other activities. Parents can help turn this around by ensuring that they and their children participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation once during the Advent season.

Fun Ideas:

“This is a scripturally correct arrangement of the figures. Having Baby Jesus absent from the crib until Christmas Day is rich in symbolism both from before Dec. 25 and after. It is also fitting to have the Three Kings at some distance as they were on a journey to Bethlehem. We too are on a journey…”

Fun Ideas:

Photo courtesy of Kristina Karkovski,

Parents can help their children build an Advent wreath where the entire family can gather around the wreath before dinner or bedtime to read the daily Mass readings and say prayers of thanks. Families can also prepare by using an Advent Calendar, which uses Old Testament symbols that tells the story of expectation of the Messiah. Another part of the advent celebration is using a Jesse Tree, which is Jesus’ family tree; this can also be a fun family tradition. And who can forget the traditional Spanish Posadas, which are always a fun and prayerful experience for young and old alike. __________________________________________________

In a nativity, some people place the three kings some distance away, and don’t move them into the nativity until Jan. 6. Some people also leave baby Jesus out of the manger until Christmas day. Why do people do this?

For an inexpensive nativity, look online for free printable, paper-doll nativity characters. We found one that comes colored, or uncolored, courtesy of Illustrator Marloes de Vries ( If you have children, this is a good project to teach them about the birth of Christ. __________________________________________________

Is there any religious significance to fruitcake, pan de polvo or tamales, or are these cultural traditions? Sister Kathleen McDonagh informs… These traditions are specifically cultural. Fruitcake is widely used in many cultures as part of the Christmas celebration. Pan de polvo and tamales are part of Hispanic celebrations, not just Christmas, but also weddings, quinceañeras and fiestas. Cultural traditions are important to the people of each culture, so in essence, we are celebrating Christ’s birth with foods that are special to us, like fruitcake, pan de polvo and tamales. While the religious celebration of Christmas is most important, many people return from Mass to continue the celebration of Christ’s birth with these special foods. Thus, the religious celebration “spills over” into our meals and our everyday lives where, indeed, it has an important place. Hopefully, our baking traditions will continue to enhance the Christmas season and our Christian lives.

Fun Ideas: For very “good”



cake, pan de polvo or tamales, sprinkle in some holy water, and say a prayer of thanks. Here’s a simple prayer, with a line from Romans 8:28: “Thank you Lord, for all things great and small. We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Amen!” __________________________________________________

What is the significance of the Christmas tree? Is there a Catholic prayer for blessing the family Christmas tree? Msgr. Lawrence E. White answers… The significance of the Christmas tree has progressed over the years. The story that I particularly like is the one that credits St. Boniface with giving us the Christmas tree as a means of teaching us about the Holy Trinity since it has a triangular shape. He also saw the Christmas tree as a holy tree, the tree of the Christ Child and a symbol of Christ’s promise of eternal life. Legend has it that he encouraged people to carry

the evergreen tree from the forest to their homes and to surround the tree with gifts that symbolized love and kindness. As we look upon the Christmas tree, decorated with lights, let it be a reminder of the gift of life given to us with the birth of the Christ Child and of the light that He brought into the world.

Fun Ideas: Yes, there are blessings for the Christmas tree in your home. One of the many blessings comes to us from the Shrine of Our Lady of Providence: Dear God, two thousand years ago, you brought your son, Jesus into this world to teach us the power of love and sacrifice. As we raise this tree, we remember his birth and the meaning of his life for us. Bless this tree as a symbol of our celebration of Jesus’ birth and our gratitude for his sacrifice. May the joy this tree brings and the gifts we place under it remind us of the many gifts you have given us. We ask your blessings upon our loved ones, this day and always. Amen.

Calendar of Events:

Dec. 7-8: True Devotion Consecration Retreat (Talk and confession available on the evening of the 7th). Consecration will be at the 11:00 Mass on Saturday the 8th (all are welcome). Dec. 8 Star Gazing-Moons of Jupiter, See the wonders of God’s Creation in the Night Sky, hosted by Father Dan at 7:15 p.m. in the Chapel area Dec. 13-16: Men’s St. Ignatius Silent Retreat (for more info or to sign up, visit Jan. 11: Young Adult Evening of Reflection. Father Phil Hurley, S.J. of Hearts on Fire, will lead an evening of reflection for young adults from 6-9pm. More info at: http://

Our staff wishes you and your family a Blessed Christmas!

Jan. 17-20, 2013: Women’s Silent Retreat (for more info or to sign up, visit

You Are Invited:

Dec. 7-8 True Devotion Consecration to Jesus through Mary Free Coffe

March 1-10, 2013: 8-Day Directed Retreat “Come and See” Jesus in our beautiful Perpetual Adoration Chapel! e at

Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:15 p.m. Star Gazing-Moons of Jupiter

1200 Lantana • Corpus Christi

(361) 289-9095 Bookstore: Ext. 309 Retreats: Ext. 321 26


Ongoing Events: Every Tuesday from 7-8 p.m. Miraculous Medal Novena Holy Hour Every Thursday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Church History with Deacon B. Vessa Every 1st Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. St. Peregrine Healing Mass

Great Christmas Gifts in our store AND “Like” us on facebook @ “Our Lady of Corpus Christi and Cafe Veritas”

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Christmas Giving “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

• Pregnancy Test • Limited Ultrasound • Baby Supplies • Parenting Classes • Adoption Information • Abortion Recovery Classes

Corpus Christi


Resource Center

4730 Everhart Rd


Christmas shop and help the homeless at the same time! Make a donation to the Mother Teresa Shelter in honor of loved ones and we will send them a Beautiful Christmas Card. Your gift of $10 or more per Christmas card will help provide day shelter for the homeless in Corpus Christi, Texas. A Christmas card acknowledging your gift (without speciÀc amounts listed) will be mailed to each of your honorees. A beautiful Christmas tree ornament will also be included for gifts of $25 or more per card.

YES! I would like to support the Mother Teresa Shelter at Christmas. R Please accept my donation of $ ___________________________ and NO cards are necessary.

R I am enclosing $ ____________ for___________cards as follows: R In Memory of

R In Honor of

_______________________________________________________ Please send an acknowledgement of this gift to: _______________________________________________________ Name Address _______________________________________________________ City/State/Zip Please use copies of this form for additional names _______________________________________________________ Your Name _______________________________________________________ Phone/email _______________________________________________________ Address City/State/Zip Enclosed:

R Check (payable to Mother Teresa Shelter) R VISA/MC R AMEX

The television, internet and radio broadcasts of The Service of Lessons and Carols and the Midnight Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Dec. 24 at 11:30 p.m. are presented live thanks to a generous gift from

_______________________________________________________ Card Holder’s Name Card Holder’s Signature _______________________________________________________ Card # Exp. Date Mail form and payment to: Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc. 1322 Comanche Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Phone: (361) 442-2224 Fax: (361) 442-2607 Email:

HEB and its employees desire that everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas.

KDF-TV (CH 47 UHF) Channel 13 on most cable systems DECEMBER 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


By Alfredo E. Cardenas and Geraldine McGloin



23 men resp

ishop Wm. Michael Mulvey ordained 23 men as Permanent Deacons on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Corpus Christi Cathedral, capping a five-year program discernment and preparation. SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC | DECEMBER 2012

pond to call The Cathedral was overflowing with family, friends and well-wishers, including brother deacons and scores of priests that will serve as mentors and co-workers in God’s vineyard.



Deacon Manuel Marroquin, left, kneels before Bishop Mulvey as part of ordination rite. Above, bishop gives fraternal kiss to Deacon Alfonso Ramirez. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

“You are called to minister to the Word of God, you are called to serve the sacramental life of the church and you are also called to be a true sign of charity,” Bishop Mulvey told the new deacons. The ministry of the Word includes proclaiming the Gospel during Mass, preaching and teaching. The sacramental ministry includes various parts of the Mass proper to the deacon: being an ordinary minister of Holy Communion and the proper minister of the chalice when Holy Communion is administered under both species. Deacons are also ordinary ministers of the sacrament of Baptism and can serve as the Church’s witness at the sacrament of Holy Matrimony; they may preside in certain funeral rites not involving a Mass, such as the final commendation at the grave site or the reception of the body at a service in the funeral home. They may preside over other various services such as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Deacons cannot hear confession, give absolution, anoint the sick or celebrate Mass. The ministry of charity involves service to the poor and marginalized and working with parishioners to help them become more involved in charitable works. Reading from the ordination rite, Bishop Mulvey presented the Book of the Gospels to each candidate with the words “believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.” In addition to presenting the book to the candidates, each



candidate knelt before the bishop and placed their hands between those of the bishop and promised to respect and obey the bishop and his successors. The candidates then prostrated themselves as a sign of humility while the congregation prayed a litany of supplication. After the litany, the men knelt before the bishop as the bishop laid his hands on each one of their heads and then prayed the prayer of ordination. After the ordination, other deacons and priests present helped the new deacons put on their stole and dalmatic, which were brought to the altar by their wives. The wives also brought the offerings to the altar. All of the men are married, and are living their vocation of marriage. “People have referred to the diaconate ordination of married men as a second vocation. I have always believed that a married man’s vocation is his marriage. Holy Orders to the diaconate as a permanent deacon and a married man is the Church sacramentalizing the ministry of service and commitment that each man gives to Holy Mother Church in helping to build –up the Body of Christ,” Deacon Michael Mantz, Director for the Permanent Diaconate, said. Bishop Mulvey concluded the ceremony with a fraternal kiss to the newly ordained. Deacon Mantz said the men and their families worked very hard, and made many sacrifices over the last five years. The work and sacrifice will payoff, Deacon Mantz said, and

Ayala, St. Joseph; Francisco Rodríguez Jr., St. Paul the Apostle; the men “will be excellent ministers for our local Church.” Daniel P. Shaunessy, St. Philip the Apostle; Manuel G. MarMsgr. Louis Kihneman, Vicar General, and Father Emilio roquín, St. Pius X; and Albert Galván, Sts. Cyril & Methodius. Jimenez, Vicar for Clergy, contributed greatly to the men’s New deacons serving parishes in the rest of the diocese formation, Deacon Mantz said. include Ernesto Gutiérrez, St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Alice; Preparation for the men who wish to become permanent Emede M. González, St. Joseph in Alice; José Alonzo Garza deacons entails a year of prayerful preparation, a five-year Jr., St. James Mission in Driscoll; Danny L. training period that resembles a colTo see more photos of this event Herrera, St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville; legiate course of study and a year of Robert Flores, Sacred Heart in Odem; Jesús post-ordination formation as well Rubén Maldonado, St. Theresa of the Inas the need for lifelong continuing fant Jesus in Premont; and Daniel Boehm, education credits. Sacred Heart in Rockport. Candidates receive instruction The new deacons bring the total numin philosophy, theology, Scriptures, Go to: www ber of deacons in the diocese to 103, of homiletics, sacramental studies, which 16 are retired. The current class evangelization, ecclesiology, counselof deacons, scheduled for ordination in 2016, includes 13 ing and pastoral care and ministry before ordination. candidates. The formation program requires wives to go through the A new class of deacons starts at the time of ordination for training alongside their husbands. the current class and goes through five years of formation Bishop Mulvey thanked the new Deacons and their wives under the guidance of Deacon John Joiner who heads the and wished them well in the challenges they will encounter formation team. The teaching staff of the University of St. in their new ministry. All 23 men have already been assigned Thomas, St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, provides classes to the parishes they will serve. for the prospective deacons. The new deacons and the parishes they will serve include The bishop reminded the new deacons that their ministry Jesse Lee Hinojosa, Corpus Christi Cathedral; Alfredo Castogether with the bishop and their pastor is not their ministry. tillo and Tomas Gallegos, Holy Family; David G. Castillo “It is the ministry of Jesus Christ,” the bishop said. and Félix Muñoz, Most Precious Blood; and Arnold Marcha Sr., Alfonso L. Ramírez and Armando Sánchez, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Newly ordained deacons take memorial picture with Bishop Mulvey Also serving parishes in Corpus Christi are Bernardo C. in front of Cathedral on Nov. 10. Vargas, Sacred Heart; Richard Longoria, St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus; Julio Dimas, St. John the Baptist; J. C. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic



Geraldine McGloin Correspondent


ollowing the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council, in 1967 Pope Paul VI restored the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination. Ten years later, in May-August 1977, Bishop Thomas J. Drury ordained the first permanent deacons in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

On May 22, 1977, Bishop Drury ordained eight men at the Cathedral, including Armando Bolaños, Noel Breland, José Cantú, E. Robert Cantwell, Linard R. Harper, William F. Oliver, Fernando G. Rodríguez and Pedro Ybarra. The following Saturday, May 28, 1977, the bishop ordained Bruce Aycock, Jorge Garza and Larry Sandlin at Blessed Sacrament Church in Laredo. The final ordination for Antonio Castillo took place at Sacred Heart Parish in Corpus Christi on Aug. 27, 1977.


Of the 12 ordained in 1977, three remain with the diocese; Deacon Bolaños is in active ministry at Our Lady of the Pillar parish; Deacon Breland is retired from the diaconate but is still active in ministries at St. Pius X Mission in Sandia; and Deacon Oliver is retired. Upon receiving papal permission to inaugurate a permanent diaconate program, Bishop Drury announced that the diocese would “embark on a training course which will prepare eligible and mature men to take this solemn obligation upon themselves.” “In the early church deacons were provided to look after the temporal needs of the faithful. Eventually, the practice was discontinued,” Bishop Drury said. “The program had been in progress throughout the nation for nearly 10 years, but local diocesan officials wanted to see how it worked out before beginning it,” Msgr. Michael A. Howell, who served on the seminary faculty teaching the liturgy to the candidates, said. Deacon Michael Mantz, who has served as Director of the Permanent Diaconate program of the diocese for the past 12 years said the original program was a mini seminary–style program that took place over several weekends per month for several years, where candidates and their wives came together to study the various courses being offered. “I have the utmost respect for the original group that was ordained, not only here but nationwide. They were true trailblazers and missionaries. They paved the way for what has


grown on a national level. They were men of courage who possessed a real zeal and charisma for Christ and for offering themselves as servants. I am truly humbled by their sacrifice and by their service,” Deacon Mantz said. After hearing early morning Mass and leading fellow worshipers in a Rosary in October, Deacon Breland sat down to reminisce about his 35 years as a permanent deacon. Soft-

Deacon Noel Breland, member of the first deacon class in 1977. Geraldine McGloin, for South Texas Catholic

spoken and with an easy smile he has many stories to tell. Perhaps the most stunning of which is the fact that once he was an atheist; this story demonstrates God’s grace working in human hearts that are open to His will. “I said to God, ‘Okay, if you are there, show me’. Later I decided to watch TV and what came on was the movie about Our Lady of Fatima,” Deacon Breland said. The movie reenacts probably the most dramatic miracle of God in modern times. Proof enough for him. “I couldn’t doubt Him anymore, I knew He was there,” Deacon Breland said. Some time later he met Estefana Cristan and wished to marry her. “Not unless you are Catholic” was her reply. So, he attended RCIA and was baptized believing, yet not filled

with zeal. Happily married to Estefana, and at her urging, he enrolled in the Cursillo program and met Dr. Michael Meaney who instructed him in the principals of the Cursillo, which are “piety, study and action.” The working of God’s grace in his life continued and led to his eventual decision to pursue ordination to the permanent diaconate program. Years later, he recounted, being invited to a dinner for all the deacons and aspiring candidates at the bishop’s home. “While waiting for my car in the parking lot, a group of young men called out, ‘Are you Deacon Breland?’ I was puzzled and didn’t recognize them but I answered, ‘Yes.’ When they approached, I saw they were the new deaconate candidates who greeted me and said, ‘You taught us Catechism in 8th grade.’ It was perfect, knowing that they were now on the way to fulfilling their vocations.” Deacon Breland, while somewhat restricted due to health problems, illustrates the required lifelong commitment to serve the people of God. He began his ministry at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Corpus Christi. “When we were first ordained, they didn’t know what to do with us,” he said with a laugh. “

ally it all worked out, we began by giving instructions for those seeking Baptism.” Later the deacons taught CCD classes up through the eightgrade level. After leaving OLPH he moved to

St. Thomas the Apostle parish and worked with the late Father Louis Joseph, then he moved to St. John of the Cross in Orange Grove and finally to St. Pius X in Sandia. “After I began to teach, I wanted

to learn more,” Deacon Breland, who expresses a great love of teaching and learning, said. He continued his studies at the old Pastoral Center, where he took every course he could. He also completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Corpus Christi State University. During vacations from his regular job as a letter carrier, he completed his Master’s degree in Religious Studies at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio. Today, Deacon Breland remains active and teaches at St. Pius X Mission, where presently he facilitates the course “Catholicism” by Father Robert Barron. The course consists of 10 hour-long periods of study and group discussion. “We need more people to come, but we do what we can,” Deacon Breland said. This retired deacon remains an example of service as spelled out in the Apostolic Letter of Pope Paul VI setting out the Church’s general norms for the restoration of the order, to which he was ordained. “Let the deacons, as those who serve the mysteries of Christ and of the Church, abstain from all vice and endeavor to be always pleasing to God, ready for every good work for the salvation of men. By reason, therefore, of the order received they must surpass by far all the others in the practice of liturgical life, in the love for prayer, in the divine service, in obedience, in charity, in chastity,” Pope Paul VI said.





En estos dĂ­as festivos de familia, hay que ser consciente que es posible que la celebraciĂłn incluya bebidas alcohĂłlicas. Ese brindis sobre la comida con parientes reunidos, te puede costar hasta $17,000 dolares en multas, costos de abogado y cuotas si manejas a casa tomado. Porque en Texas si tomas y manejas, vas a la cĂĄrcel.


Antes de tomar y manejar, asegura a donde vas a llegar.

;64( 4(5,1( 34






a Misión Santa María en Calallen comenzó la construcción de el Salón CCD Madre Teresa el domingo, 4 de noviembre. El salón de $712,000 se utilizará para reuniones, la educación religiosa, escuela bíblica de vacaciones y otros eventos de la misión, y se espera que este listo para ocuparse en 10 meses.

“Mis queridos amigos, el trabajo que estamos empezando hoy debe animar nuestra fe y hacernos agradecidos,” el Obispo Wm. Michael Mulvey, dijo en la ceremonia. “Sabemos que las conocidas palabras del salmo, ‘Si el Señor no construye la casa, en vano se cansan los albañiles’. Cuando miramos a los intereses de nuestros vecinos o de la comunidad y servimos a ellos, que son, en cierto sentido, adquirido por Dios para los compañeros de trabajo.” Después de celebrar la misa, el obispo Mulvey, junto con Monseñor Seamus McGowan y Monseñor Morgan Rowsome, encabezaron una procesión al sitio de la nueva finca. Los miembros de Santa María dieron tiempo y talento para preparar el terreno y el área para la ceremonia. El salón existente fue construido en los primeros días de la Misión establecida por Monseñor Robert Freeman en 1947 como misión de San Antonio en Robstown. Se determinó que necesitaba mucha reparación y se decidió construir una nueva sala. “En los últimos cinco años la gente a

trabajado muy duro para conseguir el dinero necesario para el proyecto y fueron bendecidos con generosas donaciones de la John G y Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, las Hermanas Pax Christi y la parroquia madre, San Pedro, Príncipe de los Apóstoles,” Monseñor Rowsome, pastor de San Pedro, Príncipe de los Apóstoles, dijo. El costo total de la construcción incluye estacionamiento, luces y movimiento de los edificios portátiles. Los eventos de recaudación de fondos y donaciones ya lograron la mitad del costo de la construcción. Se obtuvo un préstamo del Fondo Diocesano D & L para el resto del costo y será pagado en cinco años. El obispo Mulvey reconoció y agradeció a los miembros fundadores de la Misión, que estuvieron presentes en la ceremonia. El obispo dijo que en el Año de la Fe, es maravilloso ver el comienzo de un edificio que se utilizara para manInterpretación arquitectural del nuevo salón Madre Teresa CCD. Gignac & Associates



tener la fe Católica viva y educar a las personas para transmitir a las generaciones futuras. Danny López dirigió a todos los presentes a cantar “Este es el día que hizo el Señor” y “Esta es tierra santa” al principio y al final de la reunión. Monseñor Rowsome extendió un agradecimiento especial a Joe Quitugua y los miembros de la Junta Consultivo de Misiones que “han dedicado tanto tiempo y energía a la recaudación de fondos y la supervisión de la planificación de esta nueva sala.” El pastor también agradeció a las damas de la Misión por la preparación de la sala, la comida y las bebidas y los jóvenes que sirvieron en la Misa y la recepción en el salón. Monseñor McGowan celebra la Misa a las 9:30 todos los domingos por la mañana en la Misión Santa María y Hermana María Susana Rentería, PCI está a cargo de la educación religiosa, la juventud, los servidores del altar, visitar a los enfermos y otros ministerios en la Misión. Arquitectos en el proyecto son Gignac & Associates y el contratista de construcción KJM Comercial de Corpus Christi. El trabajo se iniciará inmediatamente. “Oremos por Su ayuda, para que Dios traiga todos nuestros esfuerzos en la construcción de el Salón CCD Madre Teresa para la Misión de Santa María a una conclusión satisfactoria y que su protección se mantendrá a los que trabajan en ella para que no tengan ningún accidente,” el obispo Mulvey dijo.

....Christian Home-like Living in a Senior Setting

Mount C M Carmell Home H An Assisted Living Facility Operated by the Carmelite Sisters D.C.J. 4130 S. Alameda St. Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

(361) 855-6243 Facility ID # 000607

Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero La Diocesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendacion del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicacion mas alla para la buena administracion y responsabilidad ¿nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso ¿nanciero. La Diocesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anonima y con¿dencialmente el abuso ¿nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de paca etica ¿nanciera dentro de la Diocese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones seran trtadas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anonimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

Pilgrimage to Spain November 6-15, 2013 Join FU Rodolfo ' Visquez, 3astor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, on an inspiring journey to one of the most fascinating regions of Spain and Europe. The pilgrimage begins in the vibrant and progressive Mediterranean gem, Barcelona, – where we will visit not only the historic Gothic Quarter, but also the world-renowned Sagrada Familia basilica, designed by Gaudi and recently consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI. The journey will continue to historical destinations such as Montserrat, Poblet and Zaragoza, and places of unprecedented natural beauty that inspire the soul. We will visit major sites along the Camino de Santiago such as Burgos and Leon. We will visit the great European pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela before returning to Madrid via Avila, a beautiful walled medieval village where St. Theresa of Avila lived and wrote her spiritual masterpieces. We have created a program that balances group and individual time and balances spiritual and pilgrimage interests with cultural ones. We look forward to welcoming you on this journey!

An $800 deposit is due to the parish of¿ce by November 15, 2012 to secure your space.

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



Su acción se necesita Desde el sur de Texas a Washington

Diocese of

Corpus Christi

La Conferencia Estadounidense de Obispos Católicos ofrece las siguientes aclaraciones con respecto a la reglamentación de la oficina federal de Salud y Servicios Humanos sobre la cobertura obligatoria de los anticonceptivos, la esterilización y las drogas que inducen el aborto: 1. La regla no perdona a organizaciones católicas, como agencias de servicios sociales, escuelas, universidades o hospitales. HHS no los considera como “empleadores religiosos” porque no “sirven principalmente a las personas que comparten sus principios religiosos.” HHS les niega la libertad religiosa, ya que su propósito es servir al bien común, un propósito que el gobierno debe apoyar. 2. Le regla obliga a estas instituciones y otras empresas que paguen por cosas que consideran inmoral. Bajo su mandato, el gobierno obliga a las aseguradoras religiosas, empleadores religiosos y las escuelas religiosas y empleados y estudiantes a destacar, facilitar y adquirir una cobertura de seguros que viola sus creencias. 3. La regla obliga la cobertura de la esterilización y las drogas para inducir el aborto, así como la anticoncepción. El mandato del HHS también obliga a los empleadores a patrocinar y subsidiar la cobertura de la esterilización. Y mediante la inclusión de todos los medicamentos anticonceptivos, el mandato HHS incluye medicamentos que pueden inducir el aborto, por ejemplo, “Ella”, que tiene carácter de la píldora del aborto RU-486. 4. Los católicos de todas las tendencias políticas están unidos en su oposición al mandato. Católicos que han apoyado durante mucho tiempo este gobierno y sus políticas han criticado públicamente la decisión del HHS, incluyendo presidentes de universidades como el Padre John Jenkins y Arturo Chávez, y la Hermana Carol Keehan, presidente y CEO de la Catholic Health Association.

ACCIÓN: Póngase en contacto con su representante de EE.UU. por e-mail, teléfono, carta o fax: • Llame al Capitolio de los EE.UU. centralita: (202) 224-3121, o llame a la oficina local de sus deputados federales. • Envien un correo electrónico a través de NCHLA Centro de Acción Popular en • Información de contacto adicional se puede encontrar en los sitios web de los Miembros en: y MENSAJE: “Por favor de co-patrocinar la ley sobre el respeto de los derechos (Ley de Conciencia HR 1179, s. 1467) y ayudar a promulgar esta ley. La decisión de la administración Obama para exigir la cobertura de la esterilización y los anticonceptivos, incluidos los medicamentos que pueden provocar un aborto, hace la aprobación de esta medida especialmente urgente. Asegure que los derechos de la conciencia de todos los participantes en nuestro sistema de salud del país se respetan”. CUÁNDO: Ahora es el momento de construir copatrocinadores y de apoyo. Por favor, actúe hoy mismo!

5. Muchos otros grupos religiosos y seculares han pronunciado en contra de HHS. Muchos reconocen esto como un asalto a la libertad religiosa, incluso si no están de acuerdo con la cuestión moral rendida. Protestantes y ortodoxos judíos y cristianos, ninguno Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los cuales se opone a la anticoncepción – se oponen a la decisión del HHS. Los Patrona de las Américas periódicos Washington Post, USA Today, New York Daily News y otros medios secuRuega por nosotros lares han publicado editoriales en contra. 6. El mandato federal es mucho más estricto que los mandatos estatales en efectivo. Incluso sin una concesión, los empleadores religiosos ahora pueden evitar los mandatos de anticonceptivos en 28 estados por medio de auto-asegurar su cobertura de medicamentos, renunciando esa cobertura, o optar por reglamentos en virtud de una ley federal preventiva. Este mandato cierra estas pasos de remedio.

Exprese su opinión | Póngase en contacto con representantes President Barack Obama

Sen. John Cornyn

Mail: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20500 Phone: (202) 225-3484 Website:

Mail: 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington D.C. 20510 Phone: (972) 239-1310 or (202) 224-2934 Website:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Rep. Blake Farenthold

Mail: 284 Russell Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (214) 361-3500 or (202) 224-5922 Website:

27th District: Nueces, Kleberg, Kenedy

Rep. Ron Paul

Rep. Ruben Hinojosa

14th District: Aransas

15th District: Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Live Oak, Refugio, San Patricio

Mail: 2203 Cannon House Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20515 Phone Number: (202) 225-2831 Website:

Mail: 2110 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-7742 Website:

Mail: 2262 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2531 Website:

O Señor, Creador nuestro. De tu mano bondadosa hemos recibido el derecho a la vida, a la libertad y a la búsqueda de la felicidad. Nos has hecho tu pueblo y nos has dado el derecho y el deber de venerarte a ti, único Dios verdadero, y a tu Hijo, Jesucristo. Por el poder y la obra del Espíritu Santo, nos llamas a vivir nuestra fe en el mundo llevando la luz y la palabra salvadora del Evangelio a todos los confi nes de la sociedad. Te pedimos nos bendigas mientras cuidamos del don de la libertad religiosa. Danos fortaleza de mente y corazón para estar siempre dispuestos a defender nuestras libertades cuando son amenazadas. Danos valentía para que se escuchen nuestras voces en defensa de los derechos de tu lglesia, y de la libertad de conciencia de todas las gentes de fe. Te pedimos, Oh Padre celestial, que en esta hora decisiva de la historia de nuestra nación, y reunidos en tu Iglesia, des a todos tus hijos e hijas una voz clara y unida para que con cada prueba que encaremos, y cada peligro que superemos, —por el bien de nuestros hijos, de nuestros nietos, y de todos los que vengan después de nosotros— este gran país sea siempre “una nación, bajo Dios, indivisible, con libertad y justicia para todos”. Te lo pedimos por Jesucristo, Nuestro Señor. Amén.






Sacred music can attract lapsed Catholics back to God, pope says Carol Glatz Catholic News Service


acred music can bolster people’s faith and help lapsed Catholics rediscover the beauty of God, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Sacred music can, above all, promote the faith, and, what’s more, cooperate in the new evangelization,” he told participants attending a conference and pilgrimage sponsored by the Italian St. Cecilia Association. St. Cecilia, whose feast day is Nov. 22, is traditionally honored as the patron saint of musical performers. “Music and singing that are done well can help (people) receive the word of God and be moved in a positive way,” the pope said in his address Nov. 10. Many people, including St. Augus-

tine, have found themselves attracted to God because of some profound experience prompted by the beauty of liturgical music and sacred song, he said. In the church’s missionary outreach, he said, it urges Catholics to recognize, respect and promote the musical traditions of the local people. Traditionally Christian countries, like Italy, have a rich heritage of sacred music which can help lapsed Catholics rediscover God and be drawn again to the Christian message and the mystery of faith, he said. Because of their important role in new evangelization, he urged church musicians to dedicate themselves “to improving the quality of liturgical song, without being afraid of reviving or emphasizing the great musical tradition of the church, which has two of its highest expressions in Gregorian and polyphony.” “Show how the church may be the place in which beauty feels at home,” he said. “Sacred song united to the words,

Pope Benedict XVI, accompanied by his brother, Msgr. George Ratzinger, gives his blessing as he attends a concert by the Sistine Chapel Choir in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Nov. 10. CNS photo/Paul Haring

form a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy,” he said, quoting from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium.” The reason why sacred music is “necessary and integral,” Pope Benedict said, isn’t simply for aesthetic purposes, but because sacred song “cooperates in nourishing and expressing the faith and, therefore, in glorifying God and sanctifying the faithful.” Sacred music “is not an accessory or embellishment of the liturgy, but is the liturgy itself.” The pope thanked the men and women musicians and singers for helping the faithful “praise God and make his word sink deep in their hearts.” That evening, in the Sistine Chapel, the pope attended a concert with his brother, Msgr. George Ratzinger, who was the director of the Regensburg Boys Choir for decades. They listened to music from a Mass composed by Msgr. Ratzinger, as well as to pieces by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Msgr. Massimo Palombella -- the director of the Sistine Chapel Choir -- and Colin Mawby, a contemporary British composer who has served as director of music at Westminster Cathedral.



Four years later

Vatican takes a different approach toward Obama Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The day after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, hailed his election as a “choice that unites,” exemplifying America’s ability to “overcome fractures and divisions that until only recently could seem incurable.” Pope Benedict XVI sent the president-elect a congratulatory telegram the same day, noting the “historic occasion” of his election. Four years later, the Vatican’s reaction to Obama’s re-election had a markedly different tone. “If Obama tr ul y wants to be the president of all Americans,” said L’Osservatore Nov. 7, “he should finally acknowledge the demands forcefully arising from religious communities–above all the Catholic Church–in favor of the natural family, life and finally religious liberty itself.” Speaking to reporters the same day, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, voiced hope that Obama would use his second term for the “promotion of the culture of life and of religious liberty.” The statements alluded to Obama policies favoring legalized abortion, same-sex marriage and a plan to require

nearly all health insurance plans, including those offered by most Catholic universities and agencies, to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, which are forbidden by the church’s moral teaching. The insurance mandate in particular, which U.S. bishops have strenuously protested for the past year, has proven

an honorary degree in 2009. Yet the Vatican itself remained largely aloof from such disputes, at least in public statements, and cooperated with the Obama administration on such common international goals as assisting migrants, working against human trafficking and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. But seeing a threat to the freedom of the church itself, the Vatican changed its approach and chose to address matters more directly. In January, Pope Benedict told a group of visiting U.S. bishops that he was concerned about “certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion,” through “concerted efforts ... to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.” Any hopes that the administration might change its policy to the satisfaction of the church grew faint as the year wore on and the election drew nearer, to the increasingly vocal frustration of several U.S. bishops. Two days before Americans went

Any hopes that the administration might change its policy to the satisfaction of the church grew faint as the year wore on and the election drew nearer, to the increasingly vocal frustration of several U.S. bishops.


an even greater source of division between the church and the Obama administration than their previous disagreements and threatens to aggravate tensions between Washington and the Vatican during the president’s second term. From the beginning of Obama’s presidency, his support for legalized abortion and embryonic stem-cell research inspired protests by the church and controversy within it. Some 80 U.S. bishops publicly criticized the University of Notre Dame for granting Obama


to the polls, the papal nuncio to the U.S. made it clear how urgent a priority the nation’s religious liberty had become at the highest levels of the universal church. Speaking at the University of Notre Dame Nov. 4, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano devoted most of a speech about “religious freedom, persecution of the church and martyrdom” to the situation of the United States today. “The menace to religious liberty is concrete on many fronts,” Archbishop Vigano said, noting the insurance mandate, anti-discrimination policies that require Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, and mandatory public school curricula that present same-sex marriage as “natural and wholesome.” Recalling persecution of Catholics in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the archbishop said that the “problems identified ... over six decades ago that deal with the heavy grip of the state’s hand in authentic religious liberty are still with us today.” A government need not be a dictatorship in order to persecute the church, the nuncio said, quoting the words of Blessed John Paul II that a “democracy without values easily turns into openly or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” If the mere timing of his speech was not sufficient to underscore its political implications, Archbishop Vigano concluded by lamenting the support of Catholic politicians and voters for laws and policies that violate church teaching. “We witness in an unprecedented way a platform being assumed by a major political party, having intrinsic evils among its basic principles, and Catholic faithful publicly supporting it,” he said. “There is a divisive strategy at work here, an intentional dividing of the church; through this strategy, the body of the church is weakened, and thus the church can be more easily persecuted.” Jesuit Father Gerald P. Fogarty, a professor of history at the University of Virginia and an expert on U.S.-Vatican relations, said it is extremely rare for a papal diplomat to comment publicly on a host country’s politics in such a way. The closest thing to a precedent in the U.S., Fogarty said, occurred nearly a century ago, during the Vatican’s efforts to persuade belligerent nations to end World War I. The archbishop’s speech would seem to suggest that the Holy See has made religious liberty in the U.S. an issue in its diplomatic relations with Washington. Yet Miguel H. Diaz, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican since 2009, said that the disagreements between the church and the Obama administration over the insurance mandate have not interfered with his efforts to cooperate with the Vatican on areas of common concern. Asked whether such compartmentalization would be possible during Obama’s second term, Diaz, who will step down in mid-November, voiced hope that current tensions, including the dispute over the insurance mandate, might be resolved soon.

All Christians must face challenge of secularization together, pope says VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sharing an obligation to spread the good news of salvation in Christ, all Christian communities are challenged by the fact that many people today do not think they need God, Pope Benedict XVI said. “The spiritual poverty of many of our contemporaries, who no longer perceive the absence of God in their lives as a privation, represents a challenge for all Christians,” the pope said Nov. 15 in a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Pope Benedict said authentic ecumenical prayer, dialogue and cooperation cannot ignore “the crisis of faith that vast regions of the planet are experiencing,” nor can Christians ignore signs that many modern people still feel a need for some kind of spirituality. Efforts to reunite all Christians are an essential part of the new evangelization, the pope said. Responding to the obligation to share the Gospel and to heal a divided Christianity, he said, every Christian must “return to the essential, to the heart of our faith, giving the world a witness of the living God, that is, a God who knows us and loves us and in whose gaze we live; a God who awaits the response of our love in our everyday lives.” Pope Benedict said the theological dialogues the Catholic Church is engaged in with other churches and Christian communities are important means of keeping the ecumenical focus on finding unity in the faith and not simply on trying to find ways to get along better. “Even when one cannot see in the immediate future a possibility for the re-establishment of full communion,” he said, the dialogues “allow us to become aware not only of resistance and obstacles, but also of the richness of experiences, spirituality and theological reflections that can become a stimulus for an ever deeper witness.” The pope said Jesus’ prayer that his disciples be one so the world would believe means that Christians cannot accept dividing differences as something normal. “It is full communion in faith, sacraments and ministry that will make the present and active power of God concretely visible in the world,” he said. DECEMBER 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC


Bishops agree on need for bett BALTIMORE (CNS) -- During their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 12-15, the U.S. bishops voted down a document on the troubled U.S. economy, passed documents on penance and better preaching, approved a reorganization of their Communications Department and endorsed the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day. On the assembly’s opening day, the bishops discussed on the nation’s troubled economy and what their response to it should be, but a day later their proposed document “The Hope of the Gospel in Difficult Times: A Pastoral Message on Work, Poverty and the Economy” did not gain the two-thirds vote required for passage. When it was introduced Nov. 12, some bishops criticized the document for being too long to be practical and for failing to include a variety of points and historical references. On the assembly’s second day, the bishops approved their first new document in 30 years on preaching. The document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily,” encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, chaired by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, prepared the document. When he introduced the document Nov. 12, the archbishop said preaching must be done “more effectively in the context of the new evangelization... Our people hunger for better preaching, preaching that would help them rediscover their faith.” The bishops also overwhelmingly approved an exhortation encouraging Catholics to take advantage of the sacrament of penance, or reconciliation. The bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, chaired by Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., prepared the text. The exhortation, to be made available in pamphlet form, will aim to ease the fears of Catholics who have not gone to confession for some time. It will be made public in time to allow for dioceses to prepare for Lent 2013. On a voice vote, the bishops endorsed the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement. New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, USCCB president, is promoting Day’s cause; her Catholic Worker ministry was based in New York City. The cause was first undertaken by one of Cardinal Dolan’s predecessors in New York, Cardinal John O’Connor. Cardinal Dolan and other bishops who spoke Nov. 13, in-



At their annual fall meeting in Baltimore, the U.S. bishops issued a call to Catholics to take advantage of the sacrament of penance, especially those who have not gone to confession for some time. In a 2009 file photo, Bishop Michael O. Jackels of Wichita, Kan., hears confession during a youth rally in Washington. Gregory A. Shemit, Catholic News Service

cluding some who had met Day, called her sainthood cause an opportune moment in the life of the U.S. church. The bishops also approved expanding the memorial for Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, a German-born Redemptorist priest who ministered throughout antebellum-era America for more than 20 years. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Ala., noted that Blessed Seelos ministered at a time when “immigrants were not welcomed well in many circumstances,” which he said has contemporary significance. A year after U.S. Catholics began using a new translation of the missal at Masses, the bishops agreed to begin revising the Liturgy of the Hours -- updating hymns, psalms, various canticles, psalm prayers, some antiphons, biblical readings


ter preaching, more penance and other components of the liturgical prayers used at various parts of the day. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the Committee on Divine Worship, said the work would probably take three to five years to complete and the aim would be to more accurately reflect the original Latin texts. The bishops approved a reorganization of their Communications Department that would include hiring a director of public affairs who would work to unify messages on the activities and stances of the USCCB–not individual dioceses or bishops–and better carry out church campaigns related to new evangelization, according to Cardinal Dolan. Cardinal Dolan said the USCCB’s communications effort must take advantage of new communications technologies. The cost of hiring a public affairs director and support staff and other services is estimated at $400,000 annually, according to the supporting document. The plan calls for a reorganization of the Communications Department, which includes a media relations office, customer and client relations, creative services, which is responsible for online and video messages, and Catholic News Service. The bishops were also urged to broaden their support for their national collections. In a Nov. 13 report, they heard that a decline in diocesan participation in these collections since

2009 has been a loss of $8.7 million to Catholic programs that benefit from the collection. Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas, chairman of the Committee on Na-

tional Collections, described the collections as “an important mechanism for mobilizing collective action in the church universal and a way for all the faithful to participate in solidarity with the rest of the church.” The bishops were initially scheduled to consider a document titled “Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities for the Exercise of the Teaching Ministry of the Diocesan Bishop,” developed by the Committee on Doctrine. The document urged bishops to take advantage of new technologies–social media, blogging and cell phone technology–to respond and explain church teaching when it is portrayed inaccurately, particularly by theologians. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, committee chairman, decided to withdraw the document in favor of a more comprehensive statement in line with the bishops’ new commu-

nication plan and the ongoing work throughout the USCCB related to the new evangelization. The bishops Nov. 12 agreed in a voice vote to the appointment of a working group–made up of the committee chairmen for doctrine, evangelization and catechesis, and canonical affairs and church governance–to draft the document. The bishops voted for a strategic plan that will guide the USCCB’s work for the next four years, a “road map” to shape conference programs and activities to strengthen the faith of Catholics and help them actively live out their faith. During the first year, the focus will be on faith and activities closely tied to the Year of Faith. In 2014 and 2015, initiatives will strengthen parish life and worship. The final year calls for Catholics to be witnesses to the wider world. The bishops also approved a 2013 budget of $220.4 million and agreed to add a national collection for the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services. The budget for 2013 represents a 1.3 percent increase from 2012. The new collection for the military archdiocese would begin in 2013. Under the plan, it would be taken voluntarily in parishes every three years. Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of WheelingCharleston, W.Va., USCCB treasurer, said the 2013 budget includes a surplus totaling more than $749,000. He also told the bishops that there was a projected surplus of $250,000 for 2014, meaning there was no need to seek an increase in the annual diocesan assess-



“...preaching must be done more effectively in the context of the new help” ment for USCCB operations. In his presidential address to open the assembly, Cardinal Dolan Nov. 12 told the bishops they couldn’t engage culture, dialogue with others or confront challenges unless they first recognize their own sins and experience the grace of repentance. The cardinal also said the sacrament of penance was something the USCCB planned to stress for all Catholics year-round with reflections on re-embracing Friday as a day of penance, including the possible reinstitution of abstinence on all Fridays. The bishops’ assembly, which opened nearly a week after Election Day, included discussions about religious liberty, marriage and immigration. In a statement issued Nov. 13, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, as chair of the migration committee chair, urged President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to work together on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. He also encouraged people to make their voices heard in support of an immigration system “which upholds the rule of law, preserves family unity and protects the human rights and dignity of the person.” During a news conference just after the statement was released, several bishops underscored their support for immigration reform. The bishops’ assembly, which opened nearly a week after Election Day, also included discussions about religious liberty and marriage. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said Nov. 12 the work of defending religious liberty would continue despite “setbacks or challenges.” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said Election Day was “a disappointing day for marriage,” which points to the need to “redouble our efforts.” (Mark Pattison, Patricia Zapor and Dennis Sadowski in Baltimore and Carol Zimmermann in Washington contributed to this report.)



Americans United for Life files brief against mandate WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Americans United for Life filed a brief Nov. 13 in Nebraska v. Health and Human Services, a case initiated by the state of Nebraska and six other states challenging the HHS mandate requiring most employers, including religious employers, to provide free coverage of contraceptives. The Washington-based group filed the brief on behalf of the Catholic Medical Association, the National Catholic Bioethics Center and five other national medical organizations, saying that the group they represent -- physicians, bioethicists and other health care professionals -- has a “profound interest in defending the sanctity of human life in their roles as health care providers, medical experts, and consumers.” It also said in the brief ’s introduction that these members “are supportive of a variety of public, private, and charitable efforts that address health care affordability and accessibility” but they oppose the contraceptive mandate of the health care law because it “violates sincerely held religious beliefs and freedom of conscience.” The HHS mandate requires most employers, including religious employers, to provide insurance coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. A narrow exemption applies only to those religious institutions that seek to inculcate their religious values and primarily employ and serve people of their own faith. The mandate does not include a conscience clause for employers who object to such coverage on moral grounds. The U.S. Court of Appeals is hearing the Nebraska case on appeal for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis. The U.S. District Court for Nebraska in Omaha dismissed the case. It is one of at least 38 cases that have been filed across the nation by Catholic dioceses and other Catholic entities, but the only case that has been filed on behalf of a group of states: Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Also joining the states were several Catholic and other nonprofit organizations. The states had explained to the lower court that because the mandate offends the beliefs of some religious organizations, those organizations may opt to cease providing health insurance coverage to their employees.

As Sandy recovery continues, parishes help meet theirs and others needs OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (CNS) -With the hurricane winds, massive tides and driving rain now more than three weeks behind them, Long Islanders continue to help rebuild their community, homes and lives. Hurricane Sandy hit all of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island, which lies east of New York City, but some communities, particularly those on the South Shore, were devastated by the swollen tides created by the storm. Damage caused by Sandy has been estimated at $50 billion, though some reports put the figure at $60 billion. As of Nov. 14, the Long Island Power Authority had restored electricity to 99 percent of its customers, more than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. About 35,000 customers still had no power, because their homes were damaged by flooding and in need of electrical repairs. At the peak of the storm, power was knocked out for 8.5 million customers in 10 states, with the majority in New York and New Jersey. The Rockville Centre Diocese has asked parishes to take up both a monetary collection and a collection for needed items such as food, blankets and hygiene supplies, and set up four distribution centers. “We’re coordinating the response,” said Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Brennan, diocesan vicar general, assigned by Bishop William F. Murphy to organize the diocese’s response. “That way the parishes that were not as badly hit can help those that were.” Long Beach was one of the hardesthit areas in the region. On Nov. 14, Long Beach Catholic Regional School

A Bible is seen Nov. 14 amid flood-damaged family belongings cleared out of Shawn McKeon’s house after clearing it out in the Midland Beach area of Staten Island, N.Y. McKeon has been told his damage claims have been denied by his homeowners insurance, flood insurers and FEMA because of loopholes in the different policies. The federal government’s flood insurance program may not have enough funding to cover anticipated claims from Hurricane Sandy victims, a top official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. Brendan McDermid, Reuters

was able to reopen. A message on the school’s website announced a Nov. 13 parent meeting. “We hope that many of you can join us,” it said, “but if this meeting time causes a hardship and you cannot make it, then please feel free to contact us either through email or call school -- once we are open -- and we will answer any of your questions. Be well, stay safe and God bless you all.” “Long Beach looks like the Gulf Coast of Louisiana during Katrina,” said Father Kevin Smith, Nassau County fire chaplain and pastor of St. Dominic’s Church in Oyster Bay. He had visited several hard-hit areas. St. Ignatius Martyr on Long Beach,

a barrier island off the South Shore of Long Island, “is a disaster,” Father Smith added. “It’s located near the beach and the storm surge waters came up to the building. There are four to five feet of sand on the church property.” The rectory basement was flooded. Long Beach was evacuated before the storm and many homes were destroyed, Father Smith explained. Some remained despite warnings, “afraid to leave because they fear that they might not be able to get back,” he added. Other South Shore parishes were hard hit, such as St. Jude’s in Mastic Beach.



“We had about 1,000 families whose homes were affected,” Father Gregory Yacyshyn, pastor of St. Jude’s, “and possibly as many as half of those will have to be condemned.” Diocesan Catholic Charities officials have been focusing on repair and cleanup efforts of its facilities and trying to plan for the long-term response. The agency has partnered with the diocese to coordinate donations of goods and services, said Kristy D’Errico, disaster relief coordinator for Catholic Charities. A tractor-trailer of supplies from St. John’s University arrived at the agency’s Hicksville offices Nov. 11. Staffers and volunteers divided the goods to deliver to four parishes across Long Island, where the items were to be divided again and sent to the parishes in most need. The North Shore suffered less intense storm surges but still had extensive power loss. Father Larry Duncklee, pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Riverhead, described celebrating an evening Spanish Mass Nov. 1, four days after Sandy hit, despite the power outage. The church was cold, he said, and “people brought candles and flashlights and I used a Karaoke machine.” One North Shore church, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport, was spared any damage or power outage, said Msgr. John Gilmartin, pastor, “but 95 percent of our parishioners weren’t spared.” For several nights, the parish community center was an emergency shelter. “We had as many as 90 people staying there one night,” Msgr. Gilmartin said, with fewer people coming as more homes had power restored. In addition, parishioners responded to an appeal for needed items, filling several truckloads that went to two other parishes. “We weren’t hit as hard as some parishes,” said Msgr. Brian McNamara, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in West Islip, on the South Shore. “We have people who are hurting, but many of them haven’t come to us yet.” After he urged parishioners to donate needed items, he said, “we got a ton of stuff.” Though his church lacked power for days, said Msgr. Joe Granata, pastor of St. Hugh’s near the North Shore, parishioners took part in an interfaith effort with the town of Huntington. Three churches and one Jewish temple set up warming sites for people to spend a few hours to get warm, recharge cell phones, and, in some cases, have a meal. “I was touched by the number of people who knocked on the rectory door and asked how we were doing,” noted Msgr. Granata, adding he has been moved by the many who have offered to help. “We still have the long-term response,” helping people rebuild their lives,” Bishop Brennan said. “And, of course, there is always prayer.”



2012 Thank You

“Dinner & Dialogue with Bishop Mulvey”

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Where do we go from here?


ver the past months, we have experienced the democratic process for electing a president. As a result, President Barack Obama has been re-elected. We pray for him. We also need to pray for all our legislatures that they will seek to pursue the common good, and protect life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. During this process, we have also experienced a tremendous amount of division and unfortunately as Catholic Americans we have not been spared this tragedy. A genuine question arises: Where do we go from here? The answer to this question should be placed in the context of the Year of Faith. The purpose of the Year of Faith is to re-encounter the person of Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are also called to focus our lives on His word both as individuals and as a community. The Gospel at Mass the Thursday after the election found Jesus in the middle of the tax collectors and sinners on one side and the scribes and the Pharisees on the other. In a political context, this would mean He was found between the Right and the Left; Conservatives and Liberals. He did not encamp Himself on either side but took the opportunity to state His identity and mission. He presents himself as the Good Shepherd who left the 99 good people to seek

out those who were lost and to reconcile opposing camps. Jesus gave His life for reconciliation and unity. As Catholics, I call us to do the same. The faith journey of St. Paul brought him to this same mission as he dealt with Most Rev. Wm. divided communities, Michael Mulvey faced imprisonment, Bishop of Corpus Christi and combated false teachings. Toward the end of his faith journey and life he wrote in the letter to the Philippians, “For me, life is Christ and death is so much gain.” This must be our identity and mission as well to live our faith in Jesus Christ working for reconciliation and unity among all. In His final prayer on earth, Jesus prayed, “Father, may they all be one.” This is what God wants of us. Very difficult and deep-seeded problems in our nation continue; however, let us strive to build communion rooted in the Eucharist and let us seek reconciliation among our brothers and sisters, at home, in our parishes, our communities, and even in our country. My dear friends, there has been enough anger and division over the past months. As men and women of faith, let us set out anew in Christ Jesus and work for peace, truth, forgiveness, and unity. Doing so we will contribute to God’s will for the human family and every person’s deepest desire: that they all may be one. May God bless you all and may God bless America.

The crisis of a second Obama administration

George Weigel


Denver Catholic Register

The Catholic Difference 48


resident Obama’s re-election and the prospect of a second Obama administration, freed from the constraints imposed by the necessity of running for re-election,

have created a crisis for the Catholic Church in the United States. In the thought-world and vocabulary of the Bible, “crisis” has two meanings. In the conventional sense a grave threat and in a deeper sense a great moment of opportunity. Both are applicable to the Church in America these next four years.

from the civil marriage business will be lost. Many thoughtful young priests are discussing this dramatic option among themselves; it’s time for the rest of the Church to join the conversation. Yet another threat to the integrity of the Church comes from the re-election of a vice president of the United States who has declared “transgender discrimination” to be “the civil rights issue of our time;” who has openly celebrated the abortion license; who has grossly misrepresented the Church’s teaching on the life issues; and who is, in myriad ways, an ecclesial embarrassment. So are Catholic members of the House and Senate who not only vote against truths The immediate threat, of course, is the HHS (Health and known by moral reason, but then have the gall to justify Human Services) mandate requiring Catholic institutions and their irresponsibility by a faux commitment to “pluralism” Catholic employers to include coverage of contraceptives, or, worse, by recourse to what they are pleased to call “social sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs in the health insurance justice Catholicism.” offered to their employees. The legal challenges mounted Thus pastors and bishops must continue to explain why against this obvious violation of the life issues are “social justice the first freedom, religious freeissues,” and indeed priority “social Only a robustly, dom, may well be vindicated. But justice issues.” And some effective with Obamacare now seemingly unapologetically way must be found to make clear, set in concrete, the Church will evangelical Catholicism, publicly, that men and women face a host of such implementing like Vice President Joe Biden and winsomely proposing and “mandates” and it will be imperaRepresentative Nancy Pelosi are nobly living the truths about tive to contest those that are morliving an auto-defined Catholially unacceptable, time and time the human condition the cism so incoherently that their again. Church teaches, will see us communion with the Catholic Authentically Catholic health Church is severely damaged. through the next four years. care in America is now in mortal Absent such clarity, ill-catechized danger, and it is going to take a Catholic voters will continue to concerted effort to save it for future generations. misunderstand both the nature of discipleship and the A further threat comes from the gay insurgency, which responsibilities of citizenship. will press the administration to find some way to federalize As for the opportunity embedded in this crisis, it is noththe marriage issue and to compel acceptance of the chimera ing less than to be the Church of the New Evangelization, of “gay marriage.” Thus it seems important to accelerate a full-throttle. serious debate within American Catholicism on whether Shallow, tribal, institutional-maintenance Catholicism the Church ought not preemptively withdraw from the is utterly incapable of meeting the challenges that will civil marriage business, its clergy declining to act as agents now come at the Catholic Church from the most aggresof government in witnessing marriages for purposes of sively secular administration in American history. Only a state law. robustly, unapologetically evangelical Catholicism, winIf the Church were to take this dramatic step now, it would somely proposing and nobly living the truths about the be acting prophetically: it would be challenging the state and human condition the Church teaches, will see us through the culture by underscoring that what the state means by the next four years. “marriage” and what Catholics mean by “marriage” are radiRadically converted Christian disciples, not one-hour-acally different, and that what the state means by “marriage” week Catholics whipsawed by an ever more toxic culture, is wrong. are what this hour of crisis, in both senses of the term, If, however, the Church is forced to take this step after demands. “gay marriage” is the law of the land, Catholics will be pil(George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and loried, as bad losers who’ve picked up their marbles and fled Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.) the game, and any witness-value to the Church’s withdrawal



Thinking clearly about consciousness and abortion Father Tadeueusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. National Bioethics Center


magine a deadly scenario like this: after a serious car accident, to help him heal a successful businessman is rendered unconscious by medical professionals using powerful pharmaceutical agents to cause a medically induced coma. A few days later, a business competitor, wanting him dead, enters the hospital and kills the comatose patient.

During his trial, when questioned about the murder the competitor tries to argue–with an unnecessarily detailed explanation–“the medically induced coma rendered him quite incapable of feeling any pain, because those parts of his brain involved in sensory processing and pain perception were clearly decoupled from consciousness. So killing those who are unconscious, at least on the grounds that they might feel pain,


should not be seen as problematic nor should it be restricted as a personal choice.” Anyone would appreciate the absurdity of such an argument, much as they ought to recognize the unreasonableness of a similar conclusion reached by neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Bor in a recent piece in The Dallas Morning News. “The evidence,” Dr. Bor opined, “is clear that a fetus can respond to sights, sounds and smells, and it can even react to these by producing facial expressions. The evidence is equally clear, however, that these responses are generated by the most primitive parts of the brain, which are unconnected to consciousness, and therefore these actions don’t in any way imply that the fetus is aware. “Furthermore, the fetus is deliberately sedated by a series of chemicals produced by the placenta, so even if it had the capacity for consciousness, there is almost no chance it could ever be conscious in the womb. Consequently, it can’t consciously feel pain...There are therefore no scientific reasons for restricting abortion on the grounds that the fetus will experience pain, at least until very late in pregnancy. This evidence has heavily influenced my views here, and consequently I am very much pro-choice.” As a neuroscientist and an ethicist myself, it’s clear how Dr. Bor’s conclusion does not follow from his premises. He seeks forcibly to crown conscious-


Making Sense out of

BIOETHICS ness as king, turning it into the highest good, elevating it above life itself. Consequently, he misses the deeper truth that human consciousness (and particularly self-consciousness) is a feature of certain kinds of beings, namely human beings, who are valuable in and of themselves. Our humanity precedes our consciousness, and affords the necessary basis for it, with our value and inviolability flowing not from what we might be capable of doing–manifesting consciousness or awareness–but from who we intrinsically are–human beings and members of the human family. Regardless of whether we might or might not be able to manifest consciousness at a particular moment, as when we are asleep, under anesthesia, in a coma or growing at early time points in utero, our humanity is still present and deserving of unconditional respect. Those who lack consciousness or awareness are still human, and should be cherished and protected as much as anyone else with limitations or disabilities. Some might reply that a sleeping or comatose person’s consciousness is merely dormant. If they wake up, they will have memories, awareness, etc. For a very early human embryo, on the other hand, no consciousness exists yet, since the brain has not developed,

>> Our humanity precedes our consciousness, and affords the necessary basis for it, with our value and inviolability flowing...from who we intrinsically are– human beings and members of the human family. or may not have developed sufficiently. Until that development occurs, the argument continues, there is “nobody home,” and therefore nothing important can be stripped away by abortion. But it would be false to conclude, “nobody is home.” As that embryonic human continues to grow up, she will develop a brain, as well as memories, awareness and consciousness. Such carefully choreographed and remarkable embryonic development will occur precisely in virtue of the kind of being she already is, namely, a very small human being. All of us, in fact, are embryos who

have grown up. The human embryo is special because of her humanity, not because of her consciousness, which will invariably arise as long as she is afforded even the smallest chance at life. We actively deny her the right to manifest her future personality, her individuality, her consciousness and her genius by selecting her for termination. Hence, we should appreciate an argument like Dr. Bor’s for what it really is, namely, an attempt to carve out a subclass of human beings who are deemed weaker than the rest of us due to their diminished personal consciousness so that they can be singled out for

death by abortion. This move constitutes an unjust form of discrimination against a voiceless class of humans, cloaked in a specious intellectual construct that misconstrues both the essential character of being human, and the essential moral obligations we have towards each other. (Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See



Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-theWoods came to teach


dictionary definition of the word providence is “care or preparation in advance.” We experience God’s Providence by His loving care for us as we endeavor to love and serve Him throughout our lives.

If we are people of faith, we believe that God will bring good out of any present difficulty, whatever it may be. And our experience leads us to continue to love Him and to trust in Him in whatever difficult situation we may find ourselves. It is not surprising then, that among the many religious Institutes

in the Church, one at least is named after the Providence of God. The Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods founded in Indiana to honor Divine Providence and further God’s loving plans by devoting itself to works of love, mercy and justice in service to God’s people. Certainly, over the years, this purpose has been fulfilled by those Sisters of Providence who have lived and ministered in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. In the 1940s, the pastor of St. John Nepomucene Parish in Robstown was Father George Scecina. He had grown up in Indiana and been taught by the Sisters of Providence. Seeing a need for Catholic education in his Texas parish, he invited the sisters to come minister there and so to begin to bring Christ to others in this very

Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS

southern state. In January 1946, four Sisters of Providence arrived in Robstown where they immediately opened a school, beginning with an enrollment of 82 students in grades 1–6. The four pioneer sisters were Sisters Loretta Clare Gehring, Helene Marie Kelly, Ann Kathleen Brawley and Mary Ethel Ringe. Within five years, their impressive success in bringing Christ to others through education was obvious because, by 1951, the increase in student numbers necessitated additions being made to both classrooms and convent. In the same year, there was also sufficient appreciation of the ministry of the sisters to lead to the establishment of a four-year high school in which they taught. Twelve years later, the “KC hall” be-

Among the Sisters of Providence that served at Robstown are, top row from left, Sister Mary Dominic, Sister Charles Agnes, Sister Mary Martha and Sister Therese Eleanor. In bottom row are Sister Perpetua, Sister Marie Clarice and Sister Eleanor Mary. All are deceased except for Sister Charles Agnes, aka Sister Mary Margaret Quinn and Sister Mary Martha, aka Sister Barbara Bluntzer. Archive photo, Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods



OUR FAITH longing to the Knights of Columbus and located about a mile away from their base, was donated to them at a time when renovations were needed to accommodate the increased number of students and faculty in the high school. The gift was much appreciated and was seen as an enormous help in regard to renovations. The sisters were very aware of students who were not benefitting from education in the faith because they were not attending Catholic schools. For a number of years, therefore, in addition to teaching in the schools during the week, the sisters went out to missions in Clarkwood and Violet each Saturday morning to teach religion in order to prepare children who were attending public schools for the reception of the sacraments. By 1955, as many as nine sisters lived in the convent and ministered in St. John’s School and other part-time

Dec. 1 | Sat | Weekday | green/white | [BVM] Rv 22:1-7/Lk 21:34-36 (508) | YEAR C – WEEKDAYS I Dec. 2 | SUN | FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Jer 33:14-16/1 Thes 3:12—4:2/Lk 21:25-28, 34-36 (3) Pss I

ministries. In addition, two sisters taught for some years at the College Academy on Up River Road, commuting daily to those classes. In 1970, sadly, but in line with the financial and personnel developments of the times, the high school had to be closed. The sisters and staff could, however, look at and be grateful for its accomplishments for, during the 20 years of its ministry, approximately 320 young men and women had graduated from the Catholic high school. Over the years, a total of 63 Sisters of Providence served in St. John’s School during the 40 years the school was open. Father Jerry Zurovetz and Sister Maureen Abbot are former students who attended St. John School at some time during its years of operation. Sixteen years later, in 1986, the grade school also was closed and, at the end of the academic year, the

1:26-38 (689) Pss Prop

4:4-7/Lk 3:10-18 (9) Pss III

Dec. 9 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Bar 5:1-9/Phil 1:4-6, 8-11/Lk 3:1-6 (6) Pss II

Dec. 17 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Gn 49:2, 8-10/Mt 1:1-17 (193)

Dec. 10 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 35:1-10/Lk 5:17-26 (181)

Dec. 3 | Mon | Saint Francis Xavier, Priest | white | memorial | Is 2:1-5/Mt 8:5-11 (175)

Dec. 11 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Damasus I, Pope] Is 40:1-11/ Mt 18:12-14 (182)

Dec. 4 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church] | Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24 (176)

Dec. 12 | Wed | Our Lady of Guadalupe | white | feast | Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47 (690A), or any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712 Pss Prop

Dec. 5 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 25:6-10a/Mt 15:29-37 (177) Dec. 6 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Nicholas, Bishop] | Is 26:1-6/ Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178) Dec. 7 | Fri | Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | memorial | Is 29:17-24/Mt 9:27-31 (179) Dec. 8 | Sat | The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, | white | Patronal Feastday of the United States of America | solemnity | [holy day of obligation] Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk

three Sisters of Providence who had remained in Robstown moved back to their Motherhouse. This, however, was not the end of the ministry of the Sisters of Providence in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Subsequently, other Sisters of Providence came to minister here, in such diverse ministries as the Office of Worship, the Marriage Tribunal, the Pastoral Institute, the Religious Education Office and at Archbishop Oscar Romero Junior High School. After 65 years of ministry in the diocese, the Sisters of Providence continue to have a presence here in the person of Sister Barbara Bluntzer, a native of St. John Parish, who is presently ministering in St. Pius X Parish in Corpus Christi. May the Lord reward Sister Barbara and all the Sisters of Providence for their contributions to the love and faith life of the people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Dec. 18 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Jer 23:5-8/Mt 1:18-25 (194) Dec. 19 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195) Dec. 20 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 7:10-14/Lk 1:26-38 (196) Dec. 21 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:14-18a/ Lk 1:39-45 (197) Dec. 22 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | 1 Sm 1:24-28/Lk 1:46-56 (198)

(13) Midnight: Is 9:1-6/Ti 2:11-14/Lk 2:1-14 (14) Dawn: Is 62:11-12/Ti 3:4-7/Lk 2:15-20 (15) Day: Is 52:7-10/Heb 1:1-6/Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14 (16) Pss Prop Dec. 26 | Wed | Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop Dec. 27 | Thu | Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist | white | feast | 1 Jn 1:1-4/Jn 20:1a, 2-8 (697) Pss Prop Dec. 28 | Fri | The Holy Innocents, Martyrs | red | feast | 1 Jn 1:5—2:2/Mt 2:13-18 (698) Pss Prop Dec. 29 | Sat | The Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr] 1 Jn 2:3-11/Lk 2:22-35 (202) Pss Prop

Dec. 13 | Thu | Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr | red | memorial | Is 41:13-20/Mt 11:11-15 (184)

Dec. 23 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Mi 5:1-4a/Heb 10:5-10/ Lk 1:39-45 (12) Pss IV

Dec. 14 | Fri | Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | memorial | Is 48:17-19/Mt 11:16-19 (185)

Dec. 24 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Lk 1:67-79 (200)

Dec. 30 | SUN | THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH | white | feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or 1 Sm 1:20-22, 24-28/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17 or 1 Jn 3:12, 21-24/Lk 2:41-52 (17) Pss Prop/Pss I

Dec. 25 | Tue | The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) | white | solemnity | [holy day of obligation] Vigil: Is 62:1-5/Acts 13:16-17, 22-25/Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25

Dec. 31 | Mon | The Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Sylvester I, Pope] 1 Jn 2:1821/Jn 1:1-18 (204) Pss Prop

Dec. 15 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Mt 17:9a, 10-13 (186) Dec. 16 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet/rose | Zep 3:14-18a/Phil



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(SOLT) community to celebrate the Perpetual Profession of our SOLT Sisters. Reception to follow in the Kolbe Bldg.

Advent Morning of Reflection

On Dec. 1 at 8:30 a.m. the Catholic Daughters of the Americas #246 will host an Advent Morning of Reflection, “Becoming the Saint You were Created to be,” at Corpus Christi Cathedral’s St. Joseph Hall. Free of charge, no registration required.


IWBS Come and See Event

On Dec. 1 from 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m. the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament invite you to a Come and See event at the IWBS Convent, located at 2930 South Alameda in Corpus Christi. For information, contact Sister Anna Marie Espinosa, IWBS at (361) 774-4910, or by emailing samespinosa@iwbscc. org. Also, visit


St. Patrick’s Young Patriots’ 4-H Club Meeting

On Dec. 1 at the church office meeting room St. Gertrude Church in Kingsville. For more information call club Manager Susan E. Webb at (361) 355-1922 or Assistant Manager Patricia Cumberland at (361) 5928462.


Book Signing at OLCC

On Dec. 1 from noon- 3 p.m. Msgr. Thomas McGettrick will introduce his new book “Do you love me? Another chat with Jesus.” Get your book signed by the author in the bookstore at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Campus on 1200 Lantana.


Fine Arts Christmas Showcase On Dec. 1 beginning at 6 p.m. join Blessed John Paul II High School in its Fine Arts Christmas Showcase on Saturday, December 1. Tickets are available for a $10 donation. Reserved seating is available for an additional fee. For tickets and more information, please contact Catalina Longoria at (361) 855-5744 ext. 241.

KJT Annual Matching Grant Bake Sale, Polka Mass & Meeting

On Saturday and Sunday Dec. 1-2, KJT (Catholic Union of Texas) at St. Thomas More Church is having their Annual Matching Grant Bake Sale after all Masses and a Polka Mass at the 10:30 a.m. Mass on 2045 18th St. in Corpus Christi. A meeting will follow at 2 p.m. at Moravian Hall on 5601 Kostoryz. Call Rosalie Williams at (361) 852-1409 for more information.

Perpetual Profession of SOLT Sisters

True Devotion Consecration Retreat

On the evening of Dec. 7 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center on 1200 Lantana. Talk and confession available on the evening of the Dec. 7. Consecration will be at the 11 a.m. Mass on Saturday the Dec. 8. All are welcome. For more information call (361) 289-9095 Ext. 321.

On Dec. 8 see the wonders of God’s Creation in the Night Sky, hosted by Fr. Dan at 7:15 p.m. in the chapel area at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Chapel area on 1200 Lantana. For more information call (361) 2899095. On Dec. 8 from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Corpus Christi Cathedral’s St. Joseph’s Hall, 505 N. Upper Broadway. Pre Cana is for engaged couples preparing for marriage and couples married civilly for less than one year.

‘A Covenant of Love with Mary’ Classes at OLPH

On Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. join the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity


On Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. the Federation of Guadalupanas of the Diocese of Corpus Christi invites everyone to the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The procession will make its way from Sacred Heart Church located at the corner of N. Alameda and Lipan to Corpus Christi Cathedral. Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey will celebrate Mass. There will be a reception in St. Joseph’s Hall following the Mass. For more information you can call Dora Hidalgo at (361) 5101411.

Winter Festival at St. John of the Cross

On Dec. 15 from 5-10 p.m. St. John of the Cross Parish, located at 200 S. Metz in Orange Grove, will have its Winter Festival. Vendors are welcome. There will be food, music, bingo, games and more. For more information, contact the parish office at (361) 384-2795.


On Friday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. Christmas Pageant of more than 200 singers, dancers, musicians and angels aloft in the air in the Corpus Christi Cathedral. Seating passes only $3 each are required for both performances. Call (361) 888-7444 to obtain passes.


Natural Family Planning


Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc. Christmas Giving

On Dec. 10 beginning at 6:15 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish there will be Mass, followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

On Saturday, Dec. 15 at the church office meeting room at St. Gertrude Church in Kingsville. For more information call club manager Susan E. Webb at (361) 355-1922 or assistant manager Patricia Cumberland at (361) 592-8462

Cathedral Holiday 21ASpectacular: A Touch of

Pre Cana Seminar

On Dec. 11-13 from 6-8 p.m. at Blessed John Paul II School come and drive-through for a live nativity with free hot chocolate and cookies.



Star Gazing Moons of Jupiter

11 Live Nativity at JPII 12


St. Patrick’s Young Patriots’ 4-H Club Meeting

On Dec. 29 beginning at noon at St. Peter, the Apostle Church on 3901 Violet Road in Corpus Christi. The class is for engaged or married couples. Call Steve or Ann Craig to register at (361) 767-1228 or see online options at www.nfpandmore. org.

Until December 31 give a donation of $10 or more to The Mother Teresa Shelter and receive an angel Christmas card which will be mailed to the donor’s honorees to notify them of the tribute (without specifying the gift amount). For gifts of $25 or more per Christmas card, a keepsake Christmas tree ornament will also be included. For more information, please call (361) 442-2224, Ext. 24, email, or go to www.

To see more calendar events go to:

Men’s St. Ignatius Silent Retreat

On Thursday, Dec. 13-16 beginning at 5 p.m. at the Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center on 1200 Lantana in Corpus Christi.

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2012 Bishop’s Guild Members: Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Convent, Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. AȘerbach, Deacon and Mrs. Robert J. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Armando G. Avalos, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Bass, Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Becquet, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Bell, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Berlanga, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Biggins, Mr. and Mrs. Roberto Bosquez, II, Mr. and Mrs. E. Brent Bottom, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Boudloche, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Boyd, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Brannigan, Mr. and Mrs. David Brown, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Bynum, Mrs. Stella M Campos, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Cantwell, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Carel, Mr. Thomas L. Carlisle, Dr. and Mrs. Henry Casillas, Mr. and Mrs. L. D. Cassidy, III, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Cazalas, Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Chatelain, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Chavez, Deacon and Mrs. R. Allen Cicora, Mrs. Martha Conwell, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Cox, Mr. and Mrs. Joe L. Cusack, Mr. and Mrs. Edward DeLaGarza, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Jim T. Devlin, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dodson, Mr. and Mrs. Luis Elizondo, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Elswick, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ewing, Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Samuel B. Ganz, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Garcia, Dr. Mary Jane Garza, Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Gough, II, Deacon and Mrs. Roy Grassedonio, Mr. and Mrs. Wade Grassedonio, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Guernsey, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Harris, Mrs. Phoebe Hatch, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius M. Hayes, III, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hesse, Mr. Robert J. Hewitt, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Hicks, Mr. and Mrs. David Hoelscher, Mr. and Mrs. Laverne P. Hubert, Mrs. Pat Hubert, Mr. and Mrs. Mark J. Hulings, Mr. Charles Imbergamo, President, Ms. Ana Jaime, Ms. Mariella Kay Killian, Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Klostermann, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson Knolle, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Kubicek, Mr. and Mrs. Paul D. Laudadio, Ms. Barbara A. Little, Mr. and Mrs. Tony Maingot, Dr. Al Malvino, Ph.D., Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo Martinez, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard May, Drs. Michael and Sandi McCutchon, Dr. and Mrs. John R. McIntyre, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald McKamie, Mrs. Alice M. Milloy, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Mirabal, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Jim Moloney, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Monroe, Mrs. Evelyn M. Nemec, Deacon and Mrs. Frank N. Newchurch, III, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick A. Nye, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Odle, Mrs. Jacqueline O’KeeȔe, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald H. Park, Mr. Bernard Paulson, Mr. and Mrs. Rene Eloy Perez, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Polly, Mr. Mack Ray, Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Fleetwood Richards, III, Mrs. Elaine M. Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Eduardo A. Riddle, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Rodebaugh, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rosales, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Schmidt, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Schmidt, Judge and Mrs. Richard Schmidt, Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Schultz, Dr. and Mrs. Bernard M. Seger, Mr. and Mrs. William Smith, Mr. and Mrs. David Smithwick, Ms. Martha St. Romain, Mr. and Mrs. Ted M. Stephens, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Stoner, Mr. and Mrs. Joe D. Sullivan, Jr., Mrs. Helen S. Swetman, Mr. and Mrs. Donald M. Taft, III, Ms. Mary Louise Till, Mr. and Mrs. Gary S. Tindall, Dr. and Mrs. Hugo R. Tolentino, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry J. Trevino, Mrs. L. E. Turcotte, Jr., Ms. Jean Claire Turcotte, Dr. and Mrs. Arnoldo Villarreal, M.D., Mr. Michael Volker, Mr. and Mrs. David Yeary, Mrs. Joyce Zarsky

The Bishop’s Guild is an organization of Catholic and nonCatholic lay persons and other friends dedicated to helping the Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi meet critical needs within the diocese. The Guild meets periodically at special functions designed to be both social and spiritual. DECEMBER 2012 | SOUTH TEX AS CATHOLIC 55 If you would like to know more information about the Bishop’s Guild, please contact Cande DeLeon at (361) 693-6643 or

December 2012 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191