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VOL. 48 NO. 11 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas


A depiction of Maria Santisima de Luz with the Baby Jesus is one of 21 retablos on exhibit at the Kenedy Ranch Museum in Sarita. The retablos, and ex votos also on exhibit, are Mexican Catholic art from the 18th and 19th centuries being salvaged and preserved. Photo by Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez, JCL


Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Web Coordinator Julissa Hernandez

St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville begins celebration of centennial year. Parish was dedicated in 1914 by the diocese’s first bishop. Archival Photo

Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, Valerie Cancino Timothy Hatch, Luisa Scolari, Robbie McGuinness 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.

If you wish to read our Spanish language articles in English visit our Web site and use the Google language translator. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio web y utilice el traductor de idiomas Google.

Keeping up with the Faith...



Religious education at St. Patrick’s entails many volunteers who know their faith ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������9

Bishops elect new leaders, approve liturgical texts, discuss relief aid ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 32



Posadas: Una tradición navideña que ensena la alegría y esperanza ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12

Pope prescribes daily rosary of what ails you ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 37



The Annual Retirement Fund for Religious Collection will be held Dec. 7-8 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 16

The homes of the bishops of Corpus Christi over the years, Part 3 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 38



Michael Meaney, Ph.D. writes book on “Prayer: The Greatest Need of Our Time” ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 23

Becoming attuned to guilt, we discover a real cause for hope ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 41



‘Be it done unto me according to you word ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31

Prayer at Christmas ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 48 DECEMBER 2013  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  3  


This year lets really try to keep Christ in Christmas By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


ow often do we hear “let’s put Christ back in Christmas?” We hear it often, but how many of us actually do it?

In this issue we reflect on that sentiment. You will find no snowmen, elves, Santas, sleds, etc. here. Following Church teaching we dedicate our December issue to Advent and the birth of Our Savior. With every coming year, Madison Avenue takes over the meaning of Christmas more and more. Many of us, like zombies, go along and cave to all the advertising and all the secular hype. It’s time, nay well past time, that Christians regain the “reason for the season.” On Page 34 we run a story from our news partner Catholic News Service on recapturing the Advent season. The writers point out that “It requires some intentional work by families, and sometimes parishes, to keep the intent of Advent intact…” As we begin Advent, we also enter a new liturgical year for the church. To start the new church year, the bishops of the United States have chosen new leadership as well. On Page 32 you can read about the new head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky. Our Cardinal Daniel DiNardo was elected vice president. In our Vida Católica section, beginning on Page 12, Luisa Scolari tells us about the ancient Mexican Advent practice called Posadas, which depict the coming of the Savior. This ancient tradition, long practiced in the Diocese of Corpus Christi is fading from use. Some parishes still observe this celebration in various forms. If we are to maintain the Christian aspect in the Christmas season, we must start with the young. Rebecca Esparza tells us, beginning on Page 9, about a unique method


of teaching religious education, which is gaining favor in the diocese. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd uses the Montessori method of instruction to inculcate the young with the teachings of their Catholic faith. The Catholic faith is indeed alive and robust at St. Martin of Tours parish in Kingsville, which is yet another parish in the diocese celebrating a centennial (Page 5). Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated the opening centennial Mass and praised parishioners for keeping the faith alive in their families for 100 years. He urged them to continue to focus on family life and on the young. Our cover story in this issue is about an art exhibit at the Kenedy Ranch Museum featuring Mexican artworks on Catholic themes. The collection is very interesting, both in its artistic quality and in the themes the pieces depict. It is an amazing show at a museum that is equally impressive. And, as in every issue, our clergy and religious sisters provide a rich array of faith-filled articles. Sister Kathleen Donahue writes about “Prayer at Christmas.” Sister Lou Ella Hickman introduces us to “Our Lady of Knots,” and Father J. Patrick Serna continues with his treatise on the Creed with “He rose on the third day,” On behalf of our publisher Bishop Mulvey, our staff, freelance writers and contributors we wish to extend to everyone a beautiful Advent Season and a faith-filled Christmas.



St. Martin of Tours celebrates 100 years as faith community By Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


t a centennial celebration Mass held at St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville on Nov. 17, Bishop Michael Mulvey told parishioners that “people of faith, people of family” have been living at St. Martin’s for 100 years. He urged them to continue to focus on family and on the young. It was, in fact, a little more than 100 years ago that a faith community began to come together in what became St. Martin of Tours. In 1911, shortly after establishing St. Gertrude’s, Bishop Peter Verdaguer had secured a $500 commitment from the Catholic Church Extension Society to build a chapel to be named St. Martin of Tours for the Mexican Catholics in town. Bishop Verdaguer died later that year, and Msgr. Claude Jaillet—in charge while a new bishop was named—directed Father Jose Solsona to began building a chapel.

Father Solsona was called away to Spain on a family emergency, so construction was delayed until his return in 1912. The new bishop, Bishop Paul Nussbaum, CP, came to Kingsville in December 1914 to visit the new chapel, which was under the care of Father Benito Gonzales, CP. Early on, the St. Martin’s faced many challenges. It had to fend off incursions by Protestant proselytizers; it was given charge of building chapels in Rivera, Sarita, Bishop and Laureles; and its priest was being summoned back to Mexico. Father Ysidro

Mutualistas donated their hall for use as a parish hall. Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


St. Martin, Bishop of Tours (A.D. 387) The great St. Martin, the glory of Gaul and a light to the western church in the century, was a native of Sabaria, a town in Pannonia. From there his parents, who were pagans, had to move to Pavia in Italy, for his father was an officer who had risen through the ranks in the Roman Anny. Martin himself had— rather curiously—come to be looked upon as a “soldier saint.” As a son of a veteran he was forced into the army against his will at the age of 15. For some years, though not yet formally Christian, Martin lived more like a monk than a soldier. It was while stationed at Amiens that it is said to have occurred the incident which tradition and image made Martin famous. One winter day during a severe freeze, he met at the gate of the city a poor man almost naked, trembling and shaking cold and begging alms from passersby. Seeing those that rode ahead take no notice of this miserable creature, Martin—wrapped in his warm cloak—thought the man was reserved for himself. But he carried nothing with him but his sword. So he dismounted and drew his sword, cut his cloak into two pieces and gave one to the beggar and wrapped himself in the other half. Some of the by-standers laughed at his appearance with only half a Roman army cloak around him, but others were ashamed not to have helped the poor man. In his sleep that night Martin saw Jesus Christ, dressed in that half cloak which he had given away, and heard Jesus say, “Martin, yet a catechumen, has covered me with this garment.”


Cavazos—who had taken over from Father Gonzales—like many other priests in Mexico had been given permission by his home diocese in Mexico to find work elsewhere until things calmed down with the ongoing revolution in their home country. In 1915, the Diocese of Tamaulipas was rebuilding and wanted Cavazos back. Bishop Nussbaum, however, directed Father Cavazos to stay put and indeed he never returned to Mexico, staying as pastor of St. Martin’s until his death in the mid-1930s. In 1916, Father Cavazos was busy building a new school at St. Martin’s. The Extension Society had

secured $1,000 for the school. Among those working to build the school were José de la Paz, Juan Tunches, Dionicio Telles, José Lomas, Eduardo Ramírez, Ventura Almaraz, Andes Ramírez, Pedro Ramírez and José Almaguer. By 1917 the school was fully operational with an enrollment of 120 and the Sisters of the Institute of the Purity of the Immaculate Virgin Mary in charge. St. Martin’s was also in charge of missions in La Parra Ranch (Sacred Heart), Riviera (Our Lady of Guadalupe) and Sarita (Our Lady of Victory). Through the years St. Martin served as a catalyst for the establishment of other parishes

in Kingsville and Kleberg County. The parish was placed under the care of the Oblates in 1940, who soon moved to make improvements. In 1946, Father Tomas Fernandez, OMI directed efforts to build a new church, which remains in use today. Six years later, Father Fernandez and the parish built a new school. Through the years, St. Martin continued to be an anchor of faith in Kingsville, but change—as is its custom—remained constant. In 1964, a fire destroyed the rectory, with only the sacramental records being salvaged. St. Martin School closed in 2000, after providing 84 years of service to the community. Three years later,

the Oblates ended their care of the parish after nearly 75 years. Still, parishioners at St. Martin continued to grow in faith and overcame all challenges. The rectory was rebuilt. On Sunday, Bishop Mulvey blessed the old parish hall, which was renovated and converted into a CCD Building to continue to teach the faith to the young. The new religious education building contains seven classrooms, a meeting room and an office, Father José Naul Ordoñez, parish administrator said. Bishop Mulvey also blessed a new Parish Hall, which is actually the old Mutualistas Hall that has been renovated.

The Mutualistas donated the facility to the parish and St. Martin’s is using both parish fundraisers and the Legacy of Faith~Future of Hope to fund renovations for both buildings. “We opened our celebration today with the bishop’s visit, but we have big celebrations planned every month,” Father Ordoñez said. Among these events is a celebration recognizing the contributions made by the Oblates as well as another recognizing the longstanding service of the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, MDPVM. “I get life being with you,” Bishop Mulvey said to parishioners at the

St. Martin’s children’s choir provided entertainment during luncheon at newly renovated parish hall. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic


Monthly Celebration Dates of St. Martin of Tours (Red indicates other church events Centennial Committee will participate in.)

◗◗ Nov. 17 - Bishop Michael Mulvey blessed CCD building and Parish hall blessing ◗◗ Dec. 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast. St. Martin, St. Joseph, Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Gertrude. Procession starts at 5:30 p.m. at St. Gertrude and ends at St. Martin. Mass at 6:30 p.m. at St Martin with reception at Parish Hall.

◗◗ May 11, 2014 - Mother’s Day Celebration ◗◗ June 14, 2014 - Marriage Sacrament; 3 p.m. followed by dinner and dance ◗◗ June 15, 2014 - Father’s Day celebration after noon Mass ◗◗ June 22, 2014 – Feast of Corpus Christi Procession

◗◗ Jan. 11, 2014 - Religious Marriage Anniversary Celebration (1-25 years); 5:30 p.m. Mass followed by dinner and dance

◗◗ July 5, 2014 - Civil servants, medical personnel and veterans celebration and Mass

◗◗ Feb. 22, 2014 - Religious Marriage Anniversary (26-50 years); 5:30 p.m. Mass followed by dinner and dance

◗◗ Aug. 31, 2014 - Educators reception following noon Mass

◗◗ Aug. 30, 2014 - Youth Family Fun Day; 12-5 p.m.

◗◗ March 29, 2014 - Religious Marriage Anniversary (51+ years); 5:30 p.m. Mass followed by dinner and dance

◗◗ Sept. 21, 2014 - Religious women 1:30-5 p.m.

◗◗ April 26, 2014 - Ministries Celebration; 5:30 p.m. Mass followed by reception

◗◗ Nov. 9, 2014 – Priest and closing celebration and reception (details will be provided at a later date)

◗◗ Oct. 4, 2014 – 100th Festival Day

Children at St. Martin take their offerings to Father Ordoñez at Centennial Mass, before the regular collection is taken up. It is a way to teach the children that they are part of the church and should contribute their part as well. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

centennial Mass. He thanked priests, sisters and deacons for their service to the church. “I have found faith alive here today, in this one hour,” the bishop said. “God is beautiful and harmonious. When you come together and you experience beauty and harmony, you experience God. Beauty in your reverence and harmony is the diversity of people. I didn’t see just elderly people, which is wonderful, but I saw young people, I saw middle-aged people, I saw families. That’s harmony, which music helped bring together as an expression of prayer.


“When it comes together on Sunday to celebrate beauty and harmony it’s a community of faith; and I found that here this morning at St. Martin’s.”

To see more photos of this event stmartin blessing


Trained catechist Kristin Rock works with children discovering more deeply the riches of the priceless pearl which reminds us of the kingdom of heaven.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is new approach to religious education

Contributed photo

By Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


t first glance, the children in the Atrium at St. Patrick’s parish appear to be playing with wooden figures of people and sheep, but it’s not any ordinary play session.

The three-year-olds are learning hands-on instruction about the Bible thanks to a new religious

education tool called “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd,” which immerses children ages 3-12 in basic DECEMBER 2013  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  9  

Children recall the gestures seen in Holy Mass while working with the miniature altar in the Atrium Contributed photo

tenets of the Catholic faith with interactive lessons. Two Catholic women in Italy developed the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd that follows the teaching methods of Maria Montessori. It teaches children the Catholic faith using an approach rooted in the Bible and the liturgy of the church. Children are taught in a room called the atrium that has materials used to explain the essential elements of the faith. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is now being used in 10 religious education programs in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Director of Religious Education Margaret Allaria said. Another five programs are also considering its use. Some 75 percent of parishes in the diocese have religious education programs with some 8,000 to 10,000 students being taught their faith. Some 1,000 volunteer teachers help with religious instruction throughout the diocese. These volunteers receive 160 hours of instruction in the St. Paul School of Catechesis, Allaria said. In some cases, older children help the younger ones with instruction, as well, said Marian Rose Swetish, Director of Religious Education at St. Patrick’s. “We have 65 volunteers, including teachers,


helpers and childcare workers who help us educate 185 children in our religious education program each Sunday,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the support of our parishioners, who have allowed this program to flourish over the years.” Swetish, who has been at the parish since 2008, has worked tirelessly over the years to grow the program and she has recently overseen the implementation of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd curriculum. She said parishioners play a bigger role with each passing year. She also noted religious education is the more commonly used term to describe what many adult Catholics grew up knowing as “CCD,” which stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. “That’s an outdated term,” she said. “More parents might be familiar with it, but it doesn’t adequately describe the religious transformation these children undergo each week and the learning that transpires, which is why we now refer to it as religious education.” Not all grades are exposed to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd yet, but the more volunteers are trained, the more current volunteers are allowed to advance to the next level. Swetish added that volunteers are always needed.

Trained catechist Laura Cable presents the prophesies of the Messiah. Contributed photo

“All inclusive, it’s a six-year process. The training is intense, but it’s truly amazing. Everyone I’ve talked to who has completed training has commented how much they have learned about our faith and about themselves throughout the process. It can be life-changing,” she said. The program allows children to touch and see concepts and ideas about the church, such as the proper way to set up an altar or explain specific scriptures with handmade figures. “We prefer to use handmade items to make it more personal for the children, as opposed to purchasing figurines anyone can find at the store,” she said.

All of this means more volunteers are always needed, for instruction or general maintenance of the materials needed for the Atrium. “Volunteering can be somewhat of a personal spiritual retreat. You become immersed in our faith with the goal of teaching others and in the process learn about your own relationship with God,” Swetish said. “Religious education is lifelong and should be taken seriously by every Catholic,” Allaria said. “Formation builds our knowledge of the faith and relationship with God. Please inquire with your pastor or director of religious education for more information.”


Una tradición navideña que enseña la alegría y esperanza que es el nacimiento de Jesús Por Luisa Scolari



a palabra tradición proviene de el latín traditio, de el verbo trader que significa entregar. Por lo tanto, tradición quiere decir entregar lo que nos ha sido entregado. Las tradiciones son la manera de preservar acontecimientos transmitiéndolos de generación en generación de forma oral, escrita o de representación.

Daniel Herrera y Gabriel Herrera tocan a la puerta durante la promulgación de posadas en San Martín de Tours en Kingsville. Foto contribuido


Las posadas son una tradición en forma de representación que se vive en tiempos de adviento. Se celebran del 16 al 24 de Diciembre formando una novena siguiendo cierto formato, aunque actualmente se le hacen algunas variaciones o ajustes según las necesidades y posibilidades de la parroquia o familia que las celebra. El origen de las posadas se remonta a la época de la conquista, cuando los españoles que llegan a México, se encuentran con que los Aztecas celebraban la visita de su rey Quetzalcóatl durante el solsticio de invierno y las fiestas en honor al dios Huitzilopochtli que se celebraban del 6 al 26 de Diciembre. Estas fechas solemnes eran precedidas por cuatro días de ayuno, adornaban los árboles frutales con banderas y le rendían culto a su dios en el templo mayor donde le tenían un gran estandarte ofreciendo ritos y bailes sagrados a su dios. El pueblo se reunía frente al templo, alrededor de grandes fogatas a esperar la llegada del solsticio de invierno la noche de el 24 de Diciembre. Y al día siguiente, el 25 de Diciembre, había fiesta en todas las casas con mucha comida. A la llegada de los misioneros a finales del siglo diez y seis y ante la necesidad de catequizar a los indígenas, aprovechan estas costumbres Aztecas y comienzan a darles el sentido Cristiano de preparación a recibir en su corazón a Jesús en Navidad. Fray Diego de Soria, superior del Convento de San Agustín de Acolman, en 1587 obtiene del Papa Sixto V el permiso de celebrar las “Misas de Aguinaldos” del 16 al 24 de Diciembre en donde se representaban escenas de Navidad, y para hacerlas más amenas les agregaron las luces de bengala, cohetes y cantos de villancicos y por último la piñata. Empezaban rezando el Rosario, continuaban con los cantos y representaciones basadas en el Evangelio donde se menciona el peregrinar de la Virgen María y San José, de Nazaret a Belén para empadronarse. A terminar los misioneros regalaban frutas y dulces a los asistentes como símbolo de las gracias que recibía todo aquel que aceptaba la doctrina de Jesús. Todo está lleno de simbolismos. El hecho de que sea una novena representa los nueve meses que María estuvo en cinta. Los siete picos que tiene la piñata representan los pecados capitales, que si los destruimos con fe (la banda en los ojos, ya que la fe es ciega) y con la ayuda de la fuerza de Dios (el palo), brotarán

de dentro las gracias otorgadas por Dios. VIDA CATÓLICA El Padre James Farfaglia nos comenta que en la parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Corpus Christi, tienen tres años que comenzaron a restituir esta tradición, comenzando el 16 de Diciembre y terminando el 24, antes de celebrar la misa de gallo. Los parroquianos se reúnen en la misa de 5:30 p.m. y al terminar se reza el Rosario y sale la peregrinación por el barrio, en donde se tienen ciertas casas designadas. La última es la que recibe a los peregrinos y ofrece una cena típica con tamales, menudo y pozole. Al final, se rompe la piñata tradicional. Se escogen tres casas de familias diferentes cada día y el 24, se termina en la iglesia con la celebración de la misa de gallo. El Padre Farfaglia hace énfasis en que las posadas no son una fiesta de navidad o “Christmas Party,” sino que son un evento religioso con la finalidad de prepararnos para el nacimiento de el niño Jesús. La Iglesia de San Martín de Tours en Kingsville, también celebra las posadas. Los días 16-20, con oraciones y el rezo del Santo Rosario El Padre James en la Iglesia. El 21 y 22 empiezan con el Rosario en la Farfaglia está iglesia, siguen los peregrinos a la casa del sacerdote y supervisando el terminan con una convivencia en el salón parroquial. regreso de posaEl día 24, inician el rezo del Rosario en la casa de das en Nuestra el padre de donde sale la peregrinación al salón de Señora de Guala iglesia, continúan con la celebración de la Santa dalupe en Corpus Misa, de donde pasan al salón parroquial a la fiesta Christi. Foto contribuido de cumpleaños de Jesús. DECEMBER 2013  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  13  

Niños de San Philip el Apóstol en Corpus Christi participan en Posada. Son, de izquierda a derecha, Lucas Gómez, Jaclyn Deluna, Audrey Deluna, Sophia Deluna y Jude Victor Guajardo. Foto contribuido

La iglesia de Saint Joseph en Corpus Christi también celebrará las posadas comenzando el sábado 21 de Diciembre con un desfile navideño y el domingo 22 la primer posada. Empezando con el rezo de el Rosario en la iglesia, pasan peregrinando al convento, después a una casa y regresan a la iglesia. Para los cantos de las letanías se acompañan de dos guitarristas, uno acompañando a los caseros y otro a los Santos Peregrinos. Los niños van vestidos unos de peregrinos, otros de los Reyes Magos y los demás de angelitos. Terminan con un convivio en la iglesia organizado cada día por los diferentes grupos

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

Llamada 1-877-571-9748


pertenecientes a esta parroquia. Los señores Ralph y Margarita Gómez, feligreses pertenecientes a la parroquia de Saint Philip en Corpus Christi, amablemente abren las puertas de su hogar a la comunidad cada año, con la intención de preservar esta tradición. En la posada se le explica a los niños de que se trata, lo que representa cada cosa y se les narra el pasaje Bíblico del peregrinar de la Virgen María y San José. También se reza el Rosario, se cantan villancicos, se pasa a cenar y al terminar se rompe la piñata tradicional de la estrella de los siete picos. Unos niños

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

The Office for Child and Youth Protection

representan a los santos peregrinos y así se visten, y los demás niños se visten de pastores. Es importante que los fieles se acerquen a su iglesia o parroquia para informarse de que celebraciones ofrecen para la preparación de la Navidad, y que no se olviden el verdadero sentido religioso que ésta tiene y vivirla con alegría y plenitud. Y si se animan a preparar una posada, será una experiencia inolvidable, en familia, con un grupo de amigos, en casa de los abuelos, con los vecinos de el barrio o con un grupo de oración. El fin de preservar esta hermosa tradición navideña es difundir esa alegría y esperanza que el nacimiento de el Dios vivo nos da. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio web y utilice el traductor de idiomas Google.

Los tres Reyes Magos, interpretado por Rolando Gutiérrez, Benjamín Cantú y Raymundo Ramírez, rinden homenaje al Niño Jesús en la recreación de Posadas en Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Foto contribuido

Homenaje a la Virgen de Guadalupe

La parroquia Sagrada Familia en Corpus Christi rendirá homenaje a la Virgen de Guadalupe el miércoles 11 de diciembre, con bailarines Mexicanos tradicionales, grupos de baile folclórico, música y más. El homenaje dará comienzo a las 7 p.m. Tradicionalmente, en México el homenaje a la Virgen de Guadalupe, la patrona de las Américas, se celebra el día anterior de la Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y continúa al día siguiente con mañanitas en la mañana y misas todo el día. El 12 de diciembre, Sagrada Familia comenzará las mañanitas a las 5 a.m. y seguirá con Misa a las 6 a.m. Sagrada Familia invita a la comunidad para una noche de oración y celebración. Maclovio Pérez con KRIS 6 News servirá como maestro de ceremonias. Sagrada Familia se encuentra en 2509 Nogales Street en Corpus Christi. Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con Antonio López en el (361) 882-3245, ext. 41 o al correo electrónico


Annual collection helps religious communities address retirement shortfall By Beth Kennedy Contributor

The annual retirement fund for religious collection will be held Dec. 7-8 in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Now in its 26th year, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) in Washington, D.C. coordinates the collection that benefits more than 34,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests. Last year, the Diocese of Corpus Christi contributed had a median age of 75 or older. Accompanying the higher $65,316.74 to this collection. In 2013, the Congregation median age is a decrease in the number of religious able to of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Missionary serve in compensated ministry. By 2023, the NRRO projects Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, Religious Mis- that retired religious will outnumber wage-earning religious sionaries of St. Dominic Inc. and the Schoenstatt Sisters of by four to one. Mary received a combined total of $75,482.58 in financial Visit to learn more. support made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious. Additionally, women and men religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may benefit from the annual appeal. The 2012 appeal raised $27 million and enabled the NRRO to distribute $23 million to 440 religious communities throughout the country. Communities utilize these funds to bolster retirement savings and to subsidize such day-to-day expenses as prescription medications and nursing care. Despite the generosity to the collection, numerous religious communities struggle to provide adequate care. In the past, Catholic sisters, brothers, Please give to those who and religious order priests—known collectively as have given a lifetime. women and men religious—served for small stipends that did not include retirement benefits. Their To donate: sacrifices now leave their religious communities National Religious Retirement Office without adequate savings for retirement. Of 548 3211 Fourth Street NE communities submitting data to the NRRO in 2012, Washington DC 20017-1194 Make your check payable to Retirement Fund for Religious. only eight percent were fully funded for retirement. Or give at your local parish. At the same time, the number of religious needing care is on the rise. In 2012, 61 percent of the religious communities providing data to the NRRO

Retirement Fund for Religious



Mother Teresa Shelter Christmas Giving This holiday season, Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi and the Mother Teresa Shelter invite the community to give the gift that blesses others less fortunate. Through Dec. 31, 2013, with each donation of $10 or more to the Mother Teresa Shelter, a beautiful angel Christmas card 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. The Mother Teresa Shelter, located at 513 Sam Rankin St. in Corpus Christi, is the area’s only day comprehensive shelter for the homeless. Each gift to the Mother Teresa Shelter helps clients come for a place to eat, rest, clean up and care for their families. The shelter provides breakfast, snacks, laundry and shower facilities, job counseling, mental health services, medication supervision, communication with family and friends, productive outdoor pastimes and therapeutic activities to more than 200 people each day.

In October 2013, the Mother Teresa Day Shelter celebrated its 10-year anniversary of serving the homeless in need. Clients are treated with respect and dignity. “With donations like yours, we have been given the blessing of adding much needed improvements to our home that will help the clients of this shelter for years to come,” Mother Teresa Shelter Executive Director Sister Rose Paul Madassery, SABS said. Call (361) 883-7372, email or visit for more information.

Tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe Holy Family parish in Corpus Christi will pay tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe
on Wednesday, Dec. 11, with traditional Mexican folk dancers, folklorico dance groups, music and more. The tribute gets underway at 7 p.m.
 Traditionally, in Mexico the tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe—the patron saint of the Americas—is celebrated the day before the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and continues the next day with mañanitas in the morning and Masses throughout the day. On Dec. 12, Holy Family will begin the mañanitas at 5 a.m. and follow with a 6 a.m. Mass. Holy Family invites the community out for a night of prayer and celebration. Maclovio Pérez with KRIS 6 News will serve as master of ceremonies. Holy Family is located at
2509 Nogales St. in Corpus

Christi. For more information, contact Antonio López at (361) 882-3245, ext. 41 or email at DECEMBER 2013  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  17  

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The Leo Majek Orchestra: Five generations of faith, family and music

The members of the Leo Majek,Sr. Orchestra in 1958, are pictured from left to right, Leo Majek, Sr, and his sons: Joe, Charlie, Frank, Leo, Jr., John and Julius. Contributed Photo

By John Ahlers Contributor


he great American composer, Aaron Copeland, once said, “To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” The flow of music coming from the Majek family has been such an unstoppable current for 115 years. The Leo Majek Sr. Orchestra, founded in 1897, was based on faith, family and music, that all continue today.


The original Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church located on Agnes Street in 1940, was a faith home to many Czech families of the area. A fire later destroyed the house of worship and reopened at its current location on the corner of Kostoryz and South Padre Island Drive. Contributed Photo

Leo Paul Majek Sr. was born in 1885 in Slovak, Moravia, which is the present-day Czech Republic. Majek began playing his accordion in 1897 when he was 12-years-old. He had no formal training and played by ear. The playing of polkas and waltzes became a lifelong passion. A new era in Czech music history had begun and Majek’s music was a bright spot in the lives of the Czech people during hard times. In 1908, Majek married Rosie Pruch, also from Moravia. A year later they had a son, Julius, and a daughter, Mary, arrived in 1912. Majek worked in a sugar factory by day, and after work he played his music for weddings and parties, walking from venue to venue with his accordion. Europe was on the verge of World War I and economic times were hard. Rosie Majek’s brother— already in America—encouraged them to come to this new land. It was a better place with more opportunities and freedoms. In 1913, Majek sailed for America and landed in Galveston. His destination was Cameron in Central Texas. With faith on his side and a strong motivation to provide for his family, he soon found a farm to rent. In 1914, his wife and children joined him and they became cotton farmers. Majek continued with his accordion playing at weddings and parties, but instead of


walking he traveled by horse. By 1929, the couple had five more sons, John, Leo Jr., Charlie, Frank and Joe. The boys started playing musical instruments at an early age just like their father. Eventually they had a band. Father and sons made music in the Cameron area for 26 years. The Leo Majek Orchestra became known far and wide. In 1940, the Majeks relocated to Corpus Christi where there were more work opportunities for a growing family. With their Catholic faith being the center of their life, they attended Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish, which was located at the time on Agnes Street, between Brownlee and Staples. Msgr. Francis Kasper was the pastor. “Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church would have a fundraiser each year. It was held at the Moravian Hall on Kostoryz Road. The band would play at no charge to help the church and even Msgr. Kaspar would get up on the stage and play a few notes,” recalled Mary Pittaway, John Majek’s daughter. The parish men and ladies would serve as cooks for an old fashion barbecue. They had games for the kids, bingo outside and gave away prizes. The band also played at fundraisers for other parishes. “Playing for their church was a part of the talent they would offer to the community. This was an all day festival for the whole family to enjoy,” Pittaway said. Ss. Cyril and Methodius ministered to many Czech people, including farmers and others from all

walks of life—even musicians. While the musicians had other professions for their livelihoods, music—like their faith—came from within and brought them and others great joy. A wedding dance or a church festival brought out their feelings with the sounds of the accordions and horns, after a hard day in the field or on the job. The Majeks became known nationally and were recognized for their music. In 1992, the Texas Music Association recognized the orchestra with the Lifetime Achievement Award for the “family band dedicated to preserving and promoting polka music for 95 years.” The Texas House of Representative also honored them in 1997 with a resolution recognizing the Leo Majek Orchestra as the longest performing Czech family orchestra in the country. In 2013, with Leo Majek and his six sons gone, the band is in its fifth generation and is still thriving with its two newest Majeks joining the band, 17-year old Lauren and eight-year-old Austin. They continue to make music and honor their Catholic faith, both planted and nourished in them by Leo and Rosie Majek more than 100 years ago.

❝Playing for their church was a part of the talent they would offer to the community. ❞

The current Majek Band members are from left to right, Jerome Majek, Lauren Majek, Martha Ann and Jerry Majek, Austin Majek, Michael Majek, and Trey Maresh. Jerry and Michael are grandsons of Leo Michael, Sr.; Jerome is a great grandson of the founder; and Lauren, 17, and Austin, 8, are the great, great grandchildren of Leo Majek, Sr. Contributed Photo


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Prayer: The greatest need of our time

By Timothy Hatch



n an ever-increasing tumultuous world, there is a special need for prayer. In fact, some say that prayer is the foundation necessary to devise the solutions to combat the troubles of our society today. A new book, “Prayer: The Greatest Need of Our Time,” written by local author Michael Meaney offers fresh insight into prayer for everyone from the seminarian on the cusp of ordination to the priesthood or the novice in a religious community; to one struggling with his or her faith; to the faithful who simply wants to deepen their prayer in order to speak to God and respond to Him with greater love. Meaney, who has a doctorate in philosophy, explains how Jesus teaches us how to pray the Our Father as a way of life, not merely words. Jesus invites the faithful to call on God the Father for all their needs and petitions in a more loving and intimate way with confidence, trust and humility, as a child might call out “Daddy” to his own father. Just as God the Father lovingly invites everyone to himself in deeper prayer, so too we must approach all things, including prayer for others, with a spirit of love. “This is the best start in prayer, for God’s love for us is the most important of all truths and goods, the ultimate source of our being and well-being, of everything

that we are and have, of our prayers as well as the greatest incentives to pray,” Meaney says in the book. The Our Father challenges us to strive for perfection on the earthly journey to heaven—just as God is perfect. We ask of God the goods we need while on earth, such as gifts and charisms needed to do the work of His Kingdom and to accomplish His will and we ask of the nourishment for our spiritual journey. We also ask God to help us avoid evil and our strongest temptations to sin. Most importantly, we ask God to help us grow in love, forgiving others as God forgives. It is important to incorporate the actions that Jesus calls us to in praying the Our Father with the prayer of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In silence, reverent attitude, and actions like kneeling, genuflecting and speaking to Him, we refocuses our attention to Jesus Himself, the source of our being, and away from

Michael Meaney, Ph.D.

the passing busyness of the world. Adoration strengthens the faith in those whose faith may be faltering. Jesus gives a person in adoration the strength and encouragement needed to go back and face the world. We are reminded that the things around us are nothing in comparison to the real presence of Jesus. Thus, in humility people realize the limitations of humanity and how much we need God. We also realize that God is the greatest good, and in response, adoration gives God the worship that He deserves. Taking the time out for adoration helps people to become more disciplined and focused on prayer time and the sacrifices involved. Adorers realize that as much as God does for them, it is small in comparison to give time to adore Jesus. The book expounds on common obstacles to prayer. First and foremost is mortal sin and the preference of our will over God’s in terms of committing serious sin. Another strong obstacle to prayer is the influence of secular humanism and self-centeredness in the world, whose philosophy leads people to believe that man does not need God’s help or reliance. Next, giving into the pleasures of the flesh. Refusing to accept the struggle needed to overcome the temptations and


➤ In silence, reverent attitude, and actions like kneeling, genuflecting and speaking to Him, we refocus our attention to Jesus Himself, the source of our being, and away from the passing busyness of the world. pleasures of the flesh is a common obstacle all must be on guard to avoid when pursuing a deeper relationship with God in prayer. Praying for Mary’s intercession is the “divine solution to the errors and needs of our time” because she most perfectly accepted and followed God’s will and Jesus gave her to the world as its mother. Jesus calls all to follow her example. Finally, the book examines how the saints explain and demonstrate prayer by their example. “God is our Supreme Good and Final End whose love for us brings us into existence from nothingness and destines us for eternal communion in heaven with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Hence, our greatest good is heavenly union with God and our worst evil is rejection of God, or hell, Meany said. “Since God is the simultaneously-whole and perfect possession of everlasting life, and shares His nature and life with us, we not only enjoy natural life, but can also supernaturally share in divine nature, life and love through grace, providing we respond by loving God and neighbor as he has loved us. That makes divine love for us the ultimate source, way and end of Christian life both on earth and in heaven,” he said. This book tells that story through the works and lives of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Jesus and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. “Prayer: The Greatest Need of Our Time” was produced by Goodbooks Media of Corpus Christi. Other books by Meaney include “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Throughout Life” and “Good News of Great Joy.” A book signing of his newest book will be held at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Bookstore on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 1–4 p.m. For more information, call (361) 289-9095.


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855-842-8001 Carmela A. Manago Executive Director

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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More than 50 high profile community celebrities “Serving Up The Fun” as waiters and entertainers! Friday, January 10, 2014 Solomon Ortiz Center 6:00 7:00 7:50 8:30

pm—Doors Open & “Johnny Dee’s Rocket 88’s” Performs pm—Invocation by Bishop Mulvey & Dinner With Celebrity Waiters pm—Live Auction, Photos with Celebrities and Awards pm—“Johnny Dee’s Rocket 88’s” Performs Dinner ~ Dancing ~ Silent & Live Auctions ~ Raffle ~ Photo Booth ~ Free Gift Table Decoration Contest ~ Awards ~ Cash Bar & More ~ CASUAL ATTIRE

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➤ The exhibit at Sarita includes a series that depicts the life of Christ from birth to His crucifixion.

comes to Ken By Alfredo E. Cárdenas


South Texas Catholic

hey came from one of the largest cities in the world to be shown in one of the smallest cities in Texas— the Catholic faith being their binding connection. “Retablos: The Art Of Faith II” exhibit will be at the Kenedy Ranch Museum in Sarita through Jan. 17, 2014. The exhibit includes 21 retablos and five ex-votos depicting the Catholic faith in Mexico. It is the second time the museum has shown retablo artwork from the Instituto Manuel Toussaint; the


first showing was in 2007. The institute is an ecumenical center in Mexico City for the conservation and promotion of Mexico’s artistic heritage. The artwork is part of a collection of the Isaac and

nedy Ranch Museum Alicia Backal, a Jewish family residing in Mexico City. The exhibit is part of the Kenedy Ranch Museum 10th anniversary observance, Museum Coordinator Homero S. Vera said. The museum is part of The John G and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation, which is a great benefactor of the Catholic Church in south Texas. Most of the artwork being preserved by the Backals is “popular” art of great value and rich in Christian tradition. This iconography began from the early years of the faith and through the centuries the church has enriched the art of the world. Christians see a need to include images, not only in places of worship, but also in heir homes or places of work, Armando Ruiz said in the institute’s book, “Pintura

en Lamina, Un territorio por Descubrir.” The 21 retablos on exhibit are from artists in Central Mexico during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These artists did not sign their works, Vera said. Only one retablo in the exhibit is signed, a 1799 rendering of San Luis Gonzaga by Jose Arciva, a famous colonial era painter. Most retablos of this period are done on either zinc or copper instead of canvas, Vera said. They are devotional paintings of holy images. The exhibit at Sarita, for example, includes a series that depicts the life of Christ from birth to His crucifixion. A few pieces are of the Holy Trinity in a style not normally seen. Through the ages God the father has been represented as an older man, Jesus the son as a younger man, often with his passion wounds

The retablo exhibit includes some unique pieces, such as the depiction of the Holy Trinity as identical persons (at left). Depicting the three persons of the Trinity as identical was condemned by Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century. Another rare depiction is that of the Blessed Mother’s family with St. Joachim and St. Anne pictured with a young Mary (second from right). Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


Ex votos, which depict a scene with a narrative below, is another distinctive art form that is part of the exhibit. Five ex votos are shown at the museum, including one from 1917 in which a family of peasants was saved from execution after praying to the crucified Jesus. Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic

exposed, and the Holy Spirit may be represented by a dove. While the depictions have taken on various forms through the centuries, they have usually depicted three distinct persons. For a time in the fifteenth century artists were painting the Trinity as three identical persons. Pope Benedict XIV condemned this art form in the 18th century. Still, either out of ignorance or defiance, artists in Mexico continued this practice and several are included in the exhibit. Another somewhat unique retablo is of the Blessed Mother as a young girl with her father St. Joachim and her mother St. Anne. Another retablo features Our Lady of the Light with the baby Jesus. A number of saints are also contained in the exhibit, including San Emigdio, Obispo, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Santo Niño de Atocha, Santa Clara de Asís, San Luis Gonzaga and San Antonio de Padua. Ex votos, while sometimes thought of as retablos, is a different art form. Vera said the five ex votos


in the collection represent art from the common man rather than professional artists. They usually have a handwritten narrative below the rendering describing a miracle that is attributed Homero S. Vera to Jesus through the intercesKenedy Ranch sion of the Blessed Mother or Museum a saint. Coordinator In a 1853 ex voto, for example, San Antonio de Padua intercedes for the protection from a rabid dog or wolf. In an 1877 incident, Our Lady of the Light petitions God for a cure for a young boy afflicted with an eye problem. In a 1917 ex voto, peasants are rescued from execution after praying to the crucified Jesus. The exhibit is showing at the Carriage House of the Kenedy Ranch Museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and holidays. Group and student tours are available by reservation. Contact the museum at (361) 294-5751 for more information.

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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

H-E-B and its partners desire that everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas.

KDF-TV (Check your cable guide for ch. #) Radio: KLUX-HD 89.5 INTERNET:

The Singing For Christ Ministry is looking for a guitarist to join us in bringing a little touch of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in Christ in nursing homes. Visits are once a week to a nursing home singing English and Spanish songs.

“Well done good and Faithfull Servant your faithful Service is an offering to God.” –Matthew 25:21

Canonization Pilgrimage of Blessed Pope John Paul II Come, See Our Beloved

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April 22, 2014, return May 1, 2014

Juan Olivares (361) 739-5364

Join Father Frank Aceves to the Canonization in Rome. Assisi will also be visited. Stay at religious houses for the duration of the pilgrimage, breakfast and dinner daily. Cost: $3,100 R/T air plus more. For more information call Dora Hidalgo at:

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‘Be it done unto me according to your word’


By Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

’m my own man! I’m self-made, and I alone should determine my destiny! I will let nothing stand in the way of what I want. There is no other road to happiness! That is what contemporary society would have us believe. But the Christian viewpoint is much different. Not in the end— we were certainly created to be

will we be able to find the happiness that God has planned for us. God never makes a mistake when He calls. It can be hard to fathom, but it’s true: God will

➤ God will never call you into a vocation that is not the perfect fit for you. happy—but in the means. We were created to be happy with God, and God has an idea of what we need to do to attain that happiness with Him. What that means, essentially, is that we cannot be the ultimate self-determining men society calls us to be. We have to allow ourselves to be re-created by God for His purpose. Only in doing so

never call you into a vocation that is not the perfect fit for you. The creator of the universe never makes mistakes. The only rational response to God’s will is total surrender. Mary knew this. She revealed her deep trust in God’s will when she responded to the angel, “Be it done unto me according to your word.” It was a moment of total

surrender that changed the world forever. Interestingly, when priests tell their vocation stories, the Blessed Mother almost always plays a role. Sometimes it’s dramatic: “I prayed a novena asking for Mary’s intercession and she sent me a sign.” Most often, though, it is simple: “I started saying the rosary every day, and over time, my vocation became clearer.” And throughout their priesthood, priests continue to rely on the Blessed Mother as a comforting feminine presence, a true spiritual mother. Mary always leads us to her Son. Imitate her complete trust, and you’ll eventually be able to surrender your will completely to God. Who knows? Maybe He is calling you to be a priest, married to the bride of Christ, the church. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life.

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


Bishops elect new leaders, approve


By Catholic News Service

n Nov. 12, the bishops elected Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., to succeed New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The archbishop had been USCCB vice president. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected vice president. Both prelates begin their three-year terms at the conclusion of the USCCB meeting. In an interview with Catholic News Service shortly after his election, Archbishop Kurtz spoke of seeing the example of Pope Francis as a model for outreach, listening and collegiality. “He’s asking us to go beyond what we’ve been doing,” he said. The bishops also approved the development of a pastoral statement on the dangers pornography poses to family life that would serve as a teaching tool for church leaders. The Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will develop the statement, providing a draft to the bishops in 2015. “The more pornography spreads, the more violent and debased it becomes and the more it exploits the men and women who are part of the industry,” Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., incoming chair of the committee, said. The bishops also approved—nearly unanimously—several steps toward adapting the Mexican Misal Romano for use in the U.S. The Mexican translation

of the missal will have Mass propers for the U.S. calendar included, with publication possibly as soon as fall of 2015. In his final address Nov. 11 as USCCB president, Cardinal Dolan stressed the importance of protecting religious freedom around the world and outlined action steps the bishops could take on the issue. He urged the bishops to create an awareness of “today’s new martyrs” persecuted for their beliefs by writing and talking about the issue in diocesan newspapers, blogs, speeches and pastoral letters. He also said the bishops should contact their political leaders and urge them to make the protection of “at-risk Christians a foreign policy priority.” Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, reflected on Pope Francis’ call to have a church built on Christ’s love. “The Holy Father wants bishops in tune with their people,” he said. When he met with the pope this summer, he noted, the pontiff made “a special point of saying that he wants pastoral bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology.”


Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Hou ence of Catholic Bishops Nov. 12 in Baltimore Louisville, Ky. Cardinal DiNardo was elected

The bishops also approved adaptations for the Order of Celebrating Marriage and OK’d a new translation of the Order of Confirmation for use in U.S. dioceses. The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage said the legal defense of marriage is “at a critical point in this country.” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco discussed the Supreme Court’s ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and Senate passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination


e liturgical texts, discuss relief aid

uston addresses a news conference during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. Confere. At left is the newly elected president of the USCCB, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of vice president. Nancy Phelan Wiechec, Catholic News Service

Act. He said the DOMA decision is being used to judicially challenge marriage laws in more than a dozen states. He also noted that laws similar to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act “have contributed to the erosion and redefinition of marriage at the state level.” The bishops voted to extend through 2016 a “Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Freedom,” originally intended to coincide with the Year of Faith, which began October 2012 and ended Nov. 24.

A report on the work of Catholic Relief Services highlighted what the agency is doing for survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Immediately after the storm hit the Philippines, the agency committed $20 million in emergency aid, with the funds expected to come from a second collection the agency asked U.S. bishops to undertake in their dioceses before the end of the year. Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., chairman of the CRS board, said it was expected that some funds will be set aside for the reconstruction of Catholic

churches, schools and agencies, but the immediate need was for relief efforts. In a report on the U.S. bishops’ priorities for 2013-16, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, said the bishops continued to “make important progress” in their efforts to protect the life and dignity of the human person, to strengthen marriage and family life, to promote religious liberty, and to improve faith formation and sacramental practice. Archbishop Sartain also asked the bishops—and they approved—to add a new staff person to the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities to work on a national level with the post-abortion ministry Project Rachel. The position will be funded by a grant from the Knights of Columbus. The bishops elected three new members of the Catholic Relief Services board: Bishops William P. Callahan of La Crosse, Wis., Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla. and Cirilo B. Flores of San Diego. They also elected Bishop Richard J. Garcia of Monterey, Calif., and Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski to the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, better known as CLINIC. (Contributing to this report were Mark Pattison, Patricia Zapor and Dennis Sadowski in Baltimore and Carol Zimmermann in Washington.) To see more National News go to: South Texas






National News


Secular Christmas seen as encroaching on Christian

Advent season Monica Wallace, 13, with brother MJ, 6, sister Grace, 11, and mother Christine, light an Advent wreath at their Maryland home. Advent, a season of joyful expectation before Christmas, begins Dec. 1 this year. Tom McCarthy Jr., Catholic News Service

By Mark Pattison


Catholic News Service

t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Already. Even before Halloween jack-o-lanterns were carved, retailers were advertising the joys of Christmas gift giving—and getting—on television. And no sooner had the Thanksgiving turkey been


carved before radio stations started playing Christmas music, some of them nonstop, through Christmas Day. “In a sense we’ve done this backwards,” said Vicky Tufano, general editor for Chicago-based Liturgy Training Publications, which publishes books and other resources for parishes and families on all manner of Catholic life and practice. “We put up the Christmas tree four weeks before Christmas, and we throw it out the next day” after Christmas. It requires some intentional work by families, and sometimes parishes, to keep the intent of Advent intact, Tufano said. She acknowledged that even Catholic families unused to instilling Advent customs in their homes might be feeling uneasy over the ever-encroaching Christmas

creep, even if they cannot put their uneasiness into words. Christmas, she said, “gets closer and it starts earlier and earlier,” taking note of the new craze of stores opening the night of Thanksgiving Day to get more shoppers, and more money. “As Catholics, we kind of live in a symbolic ritual world, and we need to interpret the world as we believe it is—that it’s been redeemed by Christ,” she said, even if it requires explaining the presence of so many Christmas lights at the mall. “Think about it and talk about it with your family as a way of Christ being made manifest for the world to see.” Parishes have “gotten the message” about maintaining the liturgical integrity of Advent and resisting Christmas carols, she added, but “the harder thing is keeping the parish groups from having their Christmas parties on the fourth of December.” “We’re challenged constantly by the messages of urgency toward ‘retail Christmas’ beginning

before Halloween,” said Patricia J. Hughes, director of the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Dallas, in an article written last December for The Texas Catholic, diocesan newspaper. “The church gives us Advent to joyfully anticipate the celebration of justice and peace that came with the birth of God-becoming-man, over 2,000 years ago,” Hughes said. “Today, the secular world often mutes our joyful anticipation of the time when Christ returns at the ‘end of time.’” “There is something wonderful that happens in the church if we turn our hearts toward cooperating with Advent,” she said. “The parish can help the regular Mass participants as well as visitors and guests by creating spaces of ‘pause’ and ‘time out.’” Hughes suggested mingling ancient and modern. “Sacrifice a video game for a YouTube video that celebrates the music of the church’s joyful season, both Advent songs of

❝Advent by its very definition has a twofold character: to prepare for the first time when Christ came into the world and to prepare for Christ’s second coming.❞

Calendar of Events:

Dec. 7: Day of Prayer from 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral in Corpus Christi begins with Mass Dec. 14: Book Signing with “Kent North” otherwise known as Doug Norman, author of “Percival, Guardian of the King”, Noon3 p.m. Dec. 21: Book Signing with Dr. Meaney’s newly published book “Prayer, The Greatest Need of Our Times,” 1-4 p.m. Jan. 16-19: Women’s Ignatian Silent Retreat Feb. 8: Seminar with a Karlo Broussard (see below) Feb. 20-23: Men’s Ignatian Silent Retreat


Two Book Signings Dec. 14 and Dec. 21

Get your books signed by writers Doug Norman and Dr. Meaney

For more information and to register for the silent retreats, please visit or Email:

(361) 289-9095

“Come and See” Jesus in our beautiful Perpetual Adoration Chapel!

1200 Lantana • Corpus Christi Bookstore: Ext. 309 Retreats: Ext. 321

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 from 9-4 p.m. – One Day Workshop with Karlo Broussard, Apologist and speaker for the Magis Center of Reason and Faith, presenting “Evidence for God from Physics and Philosophy.” $50 per person (lunch included). Discounted rates for Church groups. Saturday, March 1, 2014 - The Banquet Friday, April 25, 2014 - The Golf Tournament Friday-Saturday, May 9-10, 2014 - The DOME Fest AND “Like” us on facebook @ “Our Lady of Corpus Christi and Cafe Veritas”


longing and Christmas hymns traditional and true.” “Christmas caroling or joining in the celebration of Las Posadas can link the secular season with sacred celebration of Jesus’ birth,” she said. “Advent is a wondrous time to meet a friend for Mass and a simple meal—perhaps someone who has been away from the church and needs a fresh welcome. We evangelize through building these relationships. The point is the pause that we make during the season—an intentional, simple, doable reminder about the presence of Christ in your life and in the world.” Rita Thiron, executive director of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, stressed formation as a way to keep the meaning of Advent strong. “The parish as a whole needs to have a concerted effort to celebrate Advent. That means formation for both the adults and children as to what Advent is,” Thiron said. “Advent by its very definition has a twofold character: to prepare for the first time when Christ came into the world and to prepare for Christ’s second coming.” “The hearts and minds of people will always be buffeted by things that are antithetical to the church, and that’s why it’s to the church’s credit that they stand firm not only in their beliefs but in their practices and devotions and certainly the liturgy. But I don’t think we’re too far-gone at all. We just need to be very strong in our formation,” Thiron said. When Christmas comes Dec. 25, she said, Christians should celebrate for 12 days. “I think it’s easy to look at the secular onslaught and completely separate it from the cause, which is the greatest—well, if not the greatest, most joyful event in Christianity,” Marci Alborghetti, author of the Advent guide “People of the Nativity,” said. “I think that’s really the key—to offer a reason.” Of the secular pre-Christmas avalanche, Alborghetti said people over do it and it becomes ridiculous, but they have a reason for being ridiculous and overdoing it. They start to get catalogs before Halloween. “It’s nuts,” she said. “You continually have to bring it back to the reason, to be as spiritually excited and thrilled as people tend to try to be from the secular perspective.” Alborghetti suggested taking a historical perspective. “God is in relationship with us. He develops relationships with us. For all the tension of gift giving, it’s not easy, because gifts signify relationships, and relationships aren’t easy. It wasn’t easy for Mary and Joseph. We are in times of doubt and uncertainty and political violence and anger.” She said that people need the ‘comfort and joy’ sung by the Jews and the people of their time. “I think that’s something people tend to forget,” she said.


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

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 specic 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. ❏ Please accept my donation of $ ___________________________ and NO cards are necessary.

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

❏ 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: ❏ Check (payable to Mother Teresa Shelter) ❏ VISA/MC/DSCV ❏ AMEX _______________________________________________________ Card Holder’s Name Card Holder’s Signature _______________________________________________________ Card # Exp. Date Mail form and payment to: Mail form and payment to: Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc. Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc. 513 Sam Rankin 1322 Comanche Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Contact:(361) Sister Rose Phone: 442-2224 Phone: (361) 883-7372 Fax: (361) 442-2607 Fax: (361) 881-1373 Email: Email:

Pope prescribes daily rosary for what ails you


Cindy Wooden


Catholic News Service

ope Francis admitted he was not a pharmacist, but he did not hesitate being the spokesman for the heart-healthy benefits of 59 little pills strung together—the rosary. “I want to recommend some medicine for all of you,” the pope said Nov. 17 at the end of his Sunday Angelus address. “It’s a spiritual medicine.” Holding up a white medicine box with an anatomical drawing of the human heart on it, Pope Francis told some 80,000 people gathered for the midday

prayer that the boxes contained a rosary. “Don’t forget to take it,” he said. “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” Praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet will help people reap the fruits of the Year of Faith, he said, because they are “a spiritual aid for our

One of 20,000 boxes containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medicinal-style instruction sheet was handed out at the Vatican recently. Pope Francis held up an identical box of “spiritual medicine” after praying the Angelus with people in St. Peter’s Square. The pope said the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet are “a spiritual aid for our soul and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood to everyone.” Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

To see more Vatican News go to: South Texas






The Vatican

soul and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood to everyone.” Volunteers, led by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Director of Papal Charities, gave away about 20,000 boxes containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medical-style instruction sheet. In addition to describing how to pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a devotion begun by St. Faustina Kowalska, the information sheet states categorically that no negative side effects have been reported. The sheet recommends daily use of the beads for both adults and children, but adds that it can be repeated as often as necessary. It also notes that receiving the sacraments increases the efficacy of the prescription and that further information and assistance can be received from any priest. The Swiss Guards, their family members and the Albertine Sisters who work in their barracks spent weeks in October, the month of the rosary, preparing the boxes and inserting instructions in Italian, French, English or Polish. Archbishop Krajewski got the idea from Archbishop Slawoj Glodz of Gdansk, Poland; a seminarian in Gdansk had made similar boxes for youths attending a retreat.


‘A dwelling among the flock’

The present Chancery started out as episcopal home and offices

PART 3 Msgr. Michael Howell



➤ The initial plans were drawn up in 1940, but the demands of World War II meant the availability of materials and construction workers (now in military service) was diminished.

rior to the dedication of the present Corpus Christi Cathedral rectory in September 1979, the clergy of the parish had their offices and living quarters in the present Chancery building behind the Cathedral church. However, possibly only older Catholics may remember that the building was intended by Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina to serve also as the episcopal residence along with diocesan offices. At the time of the dedication of the new Corpus Christi Cathedral in July 1940, Bishop Ledvina had already requested the same architect and contractors—Charles Lester Monnot of Oklahoma City and Walsh & Burney of San Antonio—to design and construct a new residence nearby to the Cathedral to serve both the bishops and the Cathedral clergy for the future. The initial plans were drawn up in 1940, but the demands of World War II meant the availability of materials and construction workers—who were in military service—was diminished. In addition finances for the diocese, which was still paying for the new Cathedral, were also strained. The project had to be postponed. Meanwhile in order to keep watch over the new church on Broadway and Lipan, the Cathedral clergy would take turns traveling from their residence at 804 N. Tancahua to spend the night in the room above the new Cathedral’s priests’ sacristy. Multiple times the architect was asked to revise


the original plans for a new residence, and the final changes came in 1947 when the war was over and Bishop Ledvina was approaching his 80th birthday. The bishop wanted to complete this project prior to his retirement. It became his final residence as active bishop and then as the retired bishop of Corpus Christi. The building was sufficiently complete that Bishop Ledvina began moving in by late November 1948. In a letter to the former caretaker of the Cathedral property, Toni Kimper, he complemented the work of Kimper’s successors, Ed and Annie Machacek, who served the Cathedral faithfully for the next 20 years while residing in the apartments above the Cathedral garages. The Bishop invited Kimper to check out the new facilities and reported that he had just finished moving “most of my chapel furniture to the chapel in the cathedral above the priests’ sacristy.” Bishop Ledvina was only in his new residence a few months when his retirement and the immediate

HISTORY OF THE DIOCESE installation of his coadjutor bishop—Bishop Mariano Simon Garriga—was announced on March 15, 1949. The local newspaper noted that Bishop Ledvina had just turned 80 on Oct. 28, 1948 and that he had served as the chief shepherd of the Diocese of Corpus Christi for 28 years. At his arrival, the diocese covered 22,000 miles and had only 32 priests. Upon his retirement in 1949 there were 134 priests. He had built 55 churches, 37 schools, five major convents, 24 sisters’ residences and 50 rectories. Bishop Ledvina resided at the new episcopal residence until his death in 1952. Like the former residence built by Bishop Nussbaum in 1915, the new structure housed offices of both the bishop and the Cathedral clergy. However, it also prompted his successor, Bishop Garriga, to seek a separate dwelling to serve as his residence while he maintained his diocesan offices at 620 Lipan Street. The entrance to the Chancery was through doors fronting Lipan Street while the entrance to the Cathedral parish offices were at the top of a stairway on the east side of the building, opposite an outside stairway leading to the Cathedral church sacristy. Bishop Ledvina even had an enclosed walkway extending from the floor of his living quarters to the second floor sacristy of the Cathedral where he had a private chapel for prayers and daily Mass. The 1949 city directory notes that Bishop Ledvina and Bishop Garriga as well as Father John F. Basso (pastor of the Cathedral) and his associates claimed 620 Lipan as their residence. Probably, Bishop Ledvina gave the best description of the new facility in a letter to Bishop C. E. Byrne of Galveston in 1948. He described the arcade bridge from the residence to the Cathedral, his private chapel above the priests’ sacristy and the many rooms. He noted that the structure was practically fireproof, with concrete and steel beams. The basement floor included a laundry room, boiler room, kitchen cellar and wine vault, and a clergy recreation room that also hosted the clergy assembling for solemn Masses at the Cathedral. His two rooms on the second floor near the

arcade bridge to the Cathedral were next to the room reserved for pastor emeritus Msgr. John J. Lannon. Father Basso resided across the hall on the same floor. The residence also provided a room for the housekeeper with an encased porch to serve as a sewing room. The top floor housed the other

clergy of the parish, a library and more rooms for house-help. The bishop expressed his wish to get sisters to help in some of the domestic work. The first floor with the separate Chancery and Cathedral entrances contained the rectory reception room and two instruction rooms, the dining room, butler’s pantry, a small house-help dining room, the general kitchen with its own spacious pantry and off the kitchen an encased rear porch accessible from rear stone steps. The bishop estimated the cost at $200,000 and noted that he already had $175,000 available. In

The present Chancery building behind the Cathedral initially served as the bishop’s and Cathedral priests’ residence and offices. Archival photo


A delegation of priests in procession from the Chancery to the Cathedral for installation of Bishop Garriga as bishop of Corpus Christi. Archival photo

that same letter of February 1948, Bishop Ledvina was already anticipating the building of what would become the new Incarnate Word Convent and girls’ high school. His hope was to help cover much of the expense for these projects through the sale of “the old cathedral block”—the site of the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Incarnate Word convent and the school built by architect Charles Carroll, bounded by Leopard, N. Tancahua, Antelope and N. Carancahua Streets. However, those projects remained for Bishop Garriga to complete. Meanwhile, Bishop Garriga began a new tradition by purchasing a residence removed from the work of the Chancery and Cathedral that afforded him some privacy while providing room for visiting prelates. The final building project of Bishop Ledvina has stood the test of time, and even today continues to house the diocesan offices dedicated to an increasing variety of ministries in a


rapidly expanding Catholic community in south Texas. (Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 of a continuing series on the residences of the bishops of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.)

Sex, truth and the illumination of our guilt


Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.



uilt has gotten a lot of bad press recently. We live in an age where guilt is practically always something bad, something to get past with the help of a shrink. Particularly when discussing sex, people will declare that religion and morality do nothing more than make people feel guilty. Andrew Aaron, a sex and marriage therapist in New Bedford, Massachusetts seems to subscribe to this view. “Through centuries,” he writes, “religious education has associated sex with what is wrong and sinful rather than what is sacred. Instead of an expression of the divine, sex is suspiciously regarded as weakness of the flesh. The result of this influence is that sexuality, a natural part of being human, is tainted with shame, guilt and ambivalence.” Every instance of erotic satisfaction, sexual activity or orgasm, however, cannot be automatically branded as sacred or as a divine manifestation. We all recognize how easily the unbridled pursuit of sexual gratification can become an exploitative, self-centered and demeaning enterprise. “Context” matters critically

when it comes to getting sex right, and it is too easy in the sexually permissive environment of today’s society to miss the core truth that the unique context for human sexual activity is a very specific one, namely, the beautiful setting of marriage, with its mutual commitment and openness to children. Father Thomas O’Donnell, SJ, in his “Medicine and Christian Morality,” distills the matter to its essence in this way. “In the moral order, all deliberately induced venereal pleasure is restricted to marriage and related in some way, either immediately or remotely, to a proper marital act.” From this perspective, the real harms we bring upon others and ourselves when seeking to satisfy the sexual impulse outside of its specific context should, in fact, elicit feelings of guilt on our part.

To put it simply, there is such a thing as “good guilt,” which manifests our own inner awareness of how we have acted against what is good for us, and violated the objective moral order. I recall a story of a woman who committed adultery, and over time she struggled with feelings of guilt. What she ended up doing, in this situation, was to rationalize her guilt away with the help of her therapist. He managed to convince her that she was a “genius of friendship.” The woman became “spiritually thinner” in her relationships with men, and ceased to grow humanly and personally. Simply put, she entered into the worst possible state of spiritual affairs. The potential that she had for any deep relationships with members of the opposite sex was dashed by the way she resolved her guilt; men became objects for her crafty genius, and her relationships were reduced to power plays and manipulation. She gradually became an empty shell of a woman, with little left that was genuine inside of her. She had encountered real guilt in her life, but had failed to engage it in a way that could lead to growth, conversion and fulfillment, and her therapist likewise failed her, because he

➤ No matter what our education or background, no matter what our level of sophistication may be, we have all received the gift of conscience, and the gift of “good guilt” that is ordered to helping us confront ourselves and turn away from wrongdoing.


was not sensitive to the value of true guilt and the deepest human needs reflected in that guilt—the need to forgive and to be forgiven. A few years back, Naomi Wolf wrote about a friend of hers who was a “Cornell-educated, urban, Democratic-voting 40-year-old cardiologist.” This friend had once had an abortion, and afterwards she said something Wolf found very interesting; “You know how in the Greek myths when you kill a relative you are pursued by Furies? For months it was as if baby Furies were pursuing me.” No matter what our education or background, no matter what our level of sophistication may be, we have all received the gift of conscience, and the gift of “good guilt” that is ordered to helping us confront ourselves and turn away from wrongdoing. Pushing away our good guilt or hiding it under the rug only makes our situation worse. We are the only creatures in the animal kingdom capable of illuminating our guilt, of asking why we feel guilty. Guilt is like a pain of the soul, and pain often indicates that something is wrong and we should see a doctor. Our guilty feelings about wrongs or evils we have committed should lead us to seek the Divine Physician, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where God’s healing touch is personally experienced. Forgiveness from God and neighbor leads us to healing and wholeness. In this sense, “good guilt” points to possibilities of inner renewal and freedom. By becoming attuned to our guilt, and addressing it honestly, we discover a real cause for hope. (Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See

Women and the pr By Sister Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT



here is a question that still seems to be unsettled in the minds of many ordinary Catholics. It is a question that comes up when people positively assess our new Holy Father, Pope Francis, but think he still does not go far enough. The question: Why can’t women be priests? Many of the responses given to this question seem, in the end, to fall back solely upon authority. Pope Paul VI said that respect for the modern mind requires more than this. In order to shed light on the questions of the present, Blessed Pope John Paul II often led us back to the beginnings, to reflect on God’s creation of man and woman before the fall. It is incontestable that both man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God; because of this both are equal in dignity. But this does not make them the same in every other respect. They are two different expressions of the human person, created to live in unity with one another, via a complementarity that assists them to reflect in some respect, the inner life of communion between the Persons of the Trinity. Further, Pope John Paul II said—in one of his many engaging teachings on man and woman—that the closer a person comes to God the more they become either mother or father. This is because God is Father. And both human motherhood and human fatherhood are


reflections of God’s fatherhood that is divine. So women are meant to be mothers and men fathers. But this requires a deep understanding. All men and all women are meant to be mothers and fathers, regardless of whether they are married, single, religious or ordained. This means that a woman is not a mother simply because she has given birth to a child or has a body capable of bearing children. She is called to be a mother because in her spirit she is maternal, and the physical realities of her body simply correspond to the deeper spiritual principle of her being. Likewise, men are not called to be fathers simply because they have bodies capable of begetting children. They are called to be fathers because in their spirits they are paternal. Their bodies too simply manifest the deeper spiritual principles of their being. We know that the church is a family, God’s family. Mothers and fathers are the essential elements for any family regardless of what the world says in its attempts to redefine family. Unless the

riesthood paternal meets the maternal, life cannot be conceived, born, nor can it be nurtured to maturity. This is true in both the natural order and in the spiritual order as well. In the church, this distinction is sometimes referred to as the Petrine and Marian dimensions. St. Peter, the pope, bishops, priests are called to be spiritual fathers to the whole people of God, and therefore need to be men. But mothers are also essential to this order and Mary, religious and all women fill this role. In fact, the church herself is called mother. It is why the church has been stressing the importance of women so much, speaking about the feminine genius and the need for a greater presence of women and their gifts in the church and in the world. It is the dimension that has not been understood or appreciated as well as it needs to be. Paul Evdokimov, a famous Russian Orthodox theologian who was an official observer at Vatican II, said that without woman God could not be born into the world. In the Incarnation, Jesus takes His flesh from the body of a woman. God establishes His link with humanity through maternity. This is a divine order that has not changed. Pope John Paul II pointed out that because of the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus links Himself with every human being who comes into the world. And in the order intended by God that is through the body of a woman. We know that the priest brings Jesus to us in the Eucharist and in the sacraments. Yet if God calls us even before we are born (Jer 1:5) then there would be no priests without women who give birth to them in the first place, and nurture the life of God within them.

The life of grace received from priests in the sacraments also often needs this maternal care. A close friend confessed that before her conversion she was caught in an adulterous relationship she could not break. She knew it was wrong and took it to confession a number of times. But within a week she was always back in the relationship. She finally got a priest in confession who told her she needed to find someone to walk her through it, someone she could call and talk to every time she was tempted to go back. She befriended a religious woman, opened up to her, and after some time, was able to completely break things off. What was going on? She received grace in the sacrament but it was like a seed that needed nurturing and strengthening in her soul. Once it was rooted and grew, through contact with her friend, she became strong enough to withstand the temptations. That is the maternal charism in action; hidden perhaps, but essential to both our natural and spiritual lives. On one occasion, I was challenged by a group of seventh grade girls on this issue of women in the priesthood. When the reality of the church as the family of God was explained, and when the need for mothers and fathers was spoken about, there was no further argument. Too many of them came from single-parent families where they would have given anything to have a mother and a

father. They did not want their mother to be their father or their father to be their mother even though a mother can do many things a father can, and vice versa. They wanted a family with both. And they knew experientially and sadly that without both, something fundamental in their lives was missing. In a beautiful passage, Pope John Paul II said, “Mary was not called to the ministerial priesthood, but the mission she received had no less value than a pastoral ministry. Indeed it was quite superior. She received a maternal mission at the highest level, to be the mother of Jesus Christ and thus Theotokos the mother of God. This mission would broaden into motherhood for all men and women in the order of grace, and the same can be said of the mission of motherhood that women accept in the church. They are placed by Christ in the wondrous light of Mary, which shines at the summits of the church and creation.” We must have ultimate respect for the dignity of the ministerial priesthood. But if women truly understood the magnificence and greatness of their own calling, and the urgent need that the world has for their gifts, they would not be interested in trading it for a false equality.

➤ She is called to be a mother because in her spirit she is maternal, and the physical realities of her body simply correspond to the deeper spiritual principle of her being. DECEMBER 2013  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  43  

The Church persecuted By George Weigel



➤ More Christians were killed for fidelity to Christ in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries of Christian history combined.


ach issue of the admirable ecumenical journal Touchstone includes a department called “The Suffering Church.” It’s a title that Catholics of a certain age associate with purgatory; in Touchstone’s vocabulary, however, “the Church suffering” is the church being purified here and now by persecution. It’s a useful reminder of a hard fact. For that hard fact too rarely impinges on the Christian self-awareness, much less the Christian conscience, of the church comfortable, the church lax or the church of nice—even though the historical commission created by Blessed Pope John Paul II in preparation for the Great Jubilee of 2000 made clear that Christians today live in the greatest tribulation-time in Christian history. Indeed, that historical commission suggested that more Christians were killed for fidelity to Christ in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries of Christian history combined. As I have noted in this space before, “martyrdom” is not just a matter of Richard Burton and Jean Simmons turning their backs on Jay Robinson’s madcap Caligula while Michael Rennie (St. Peter) looks on benignly, in the classic


Hollywood romance, “The Robe.” Martyrdom is going on around us, all the time. Thus a single page of a recent issue of Touchstone noted that some 1,200 Protestants are being imprisoned in shipping containers in Eritrean desert camps where “torture is routine”; that Mostafa Bordbar, a 27-year-old Christian convert, was arrested and charged with “illegal gathering and participating in a house church” in Iran—a sobering reminder to those bears of little brain who discern a new “moderation” in Tehran these days; that Kazakh Christians, many of them converts from Islam, are “encouraged”—by the arrest and imprisonment of their pastors—to refrain from evangelism; and that a Muslim leader in central Nigeria regularly abducts Christian girls and women and holds them captive in his home,

in order to compel their conversion or reversion to Islam. As these micro-dramas are being played out, Christians live in daily fear for their lives in Syria and Egypt, two imploding societies where the majority Muslim factions and sects can seem to agree on one thing only: it’s open season on Christians. Within two decades, perhaps less, Christianity may well have ceased to be a living ecclesial reality in many of the places where Christianity was born, not to mention the cities where sub-apostolic and patristic Christianity developed; the sole exception to this pattern throughout the Middle East and North Africa is Israel. Thus Tom Holland, a popular historian and author of “The Forge of Christendom,” an intriguing book exploring the ways the late first millennium’s expectation of an imminent end time shaped the West’s triumph in the second millennium, said recently at a London press briefing that “In terms of the sheer scale of the hatreds and sectarian rivalries” afoot in the Middle East today, “we are witnessing something on the scale of horror of the European 30 Years War.” At that same conference, my old friend and colleague Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Religious Freedom Center in Washington, raised some pointed questions about western media ignorance—or worse—about this persecution. Shea noted that a

He rose again on the third day fourth-century Coptic church dedicated to Our Lady was recently destroyed in Egypt, even though it was on a shortlist to be declared a UNESCO world heritage site. The church was 200 years older than the UNESCO-listed Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, whose destruction by the Taliban in 2001 was widely reported and universally condemned; yet the mainstream media treated this grotesque act of anti-Christian religious and cultural vandalism in Egypt as a non-event. So what is to be done? Support those non-governmental agencies that work to sustain the pastoral life of Christianity in its historic birthplace. Demand that U.S. diplomacy take religious freedom in the Middle East more seriously. And make the cause of these and other persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ a regular part of liturgical prayer, remembering the church persecuted in the general intercessions at every Mass and praying publicly for the conversion of the persecutors. Yes, their conversion. (George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver, distributes his column.)


By Father J. Patrick Serna



he resurrection of Jesus was and is the loving reason for all of Jesus’ salvific choices. Without the resurrection of Jesus, there would be no hope for the salvation of humans, and since Jesus wants us to be with Him forever in heaven, accomplishing the work of rising from the dead was and always will be of primary importance. Jesus left heaven and became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary so that He could later resurrect and make the resurrection of all believers possible. The ladder to heaven is the cross of Good Friday, and without the cross of Good Friday there is no Resurrection on Easter morning. The entire Old Testament is filled with predictions and prophecies of the Messiah to come, and later we understood that the Messiah’s task was fulfilled with the Resurrection of Easter morning. In the Old Testament around the fifth century B.C., we learn about Jonah being swallowed by the whale, and how the whale spat him out onto the beach on the third day. (cf. Jon 2:1, 11) Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:39 that the sign He will give us will be the sign

of Jonah. The belly of the whale anticipated the belly of hell that Jesus descended to; just as the whale’s belly could not keep Jonah, so too the belly of hell could not keep Jesus. The whale launching Jonah onto the beach prefigured the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday morning. In April of the year 2000, the seminary I was attending gave us one week of vacation time during Holy Week, so I spent most of that week in Salamanca, Spain. Holy Week of 2000 was the most memorable Holy Week of my entire life, and it gave me a new appreciation of Jesus’ Resurrection on the third day, the morning of Easter Sunday. During Easter Triduum of 2000, from Holy Thursday night until Holy Saturday morning, I walked up and down the streets of

➤ Catholic altars, historically, have been built facing the rising sun in the east. The rising sun symbolizes Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday morning, the Risen Son of God.


❝Because Jesus Christ is Risen and the tomb was empty on Easter Sunday morning, life forever in heaven has the last word, not death. This is why we keep vigil.❞

Salamanca with Catholics I never knew to be so long? Why on earth did I ever before, taking a few short catnaps during enter this church?” Then, at 7:23 AM, those two days. The Catholics I walked the sunrise broke on the horizon, and and prayed with were wearing red and sunlight came streaming in through a violet outfits that covered their bodies church window, shining beautifully and from the tips of their toes to the tops of symbolically on the newly consecrated their heads, and there was much symbol, host in the priest’s hands above the altar! which reflected the paschal mystery. The bread that just then became the body These rituals are called “penance proof Jesus had the first ray of sunlight on cessions,” and in Salamanca there are it from the new sunrise! approximately 22 processions from Good Catholic altars, historically, have been Friday until Easter Sunday morning. built facing the rising sun in the east. The These penance processions in Salamanca rising sun symbolizes Jesus Christ on date back to 1240 A.D., the same date dormir, tengo sueno! Porque estaEaster Sunday morning, the Risen Son as their university. If your Catholicism mos vigilando, que es tan importante? of God. Bells were ringing and all the needs to get “recharged,” attend Holy Déjame dormir!” “I want to sleep, I am children were singing. The children were Triduum services in Spain. sleepy! Why are we keeping vigil, what now singing: “This is why we kept vigil! On Holy Saturday I was wiped out, and is so important? Let me sleep!” This is why you didn’t let us sleep! This took the train to Madrid. Never have I At 7 a.m., I started to see some daylight is the big deal! The sun has risen, He ever been so tired or sleepy in my entire through the church windows. With total is Risen! He is Risen!” I was no longer life, and it was my intention to get midexhaustion I was asking myself: “What is sleepy but fully awake, and for the first night Mass “out of the way” near the the big deal? Why can’t they just let me time the importance of Jesus’ ResurPlaza Mayor in Madrid, in order to recugo to sleep? Why does this Mass have rection affected my heart more than my perate and sleep all of Easter mind. Better late than never. Sunday. If you want to make Jesus was adopted by Saint God laugh, tell Him your plans. Joseph, a carpenter. Joseph After pulling up a seat next to taught Jesus how to be a cara married couple, I introduced penter, and God the Father I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven myself as a seminarian from intended this. Jesus created and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Corpus Christi. The bell rang many beautiful carpentry Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the and Mass began, at which point works with his hands, using Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true the lady told me happily: “You wood. The hands that created God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with are in for a treat. This Mass will beautiful works with wood the Father; through Him all things were made. For us men last eight hours, and we have later performed the ultimate and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the the most famous children’s magnum opus of infinite value Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became choir in all of Spain. You will from the wood of the cross. man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, hear them sing during the entire The hands of the God carHe suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the Mass!” My lips and eyelids penter, which once fashioned third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into began to tremble. wood, were now nailed to the heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will This was the longest eight wood of the cross that led up come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His hours of my life, and the most to His Resurrection on the kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the difficult. While fighting the third day. Lord the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the sleep, and between each of the Because Jesus Christ is Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, several long bible readings, I Risen and the tomb was empty who has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy, listened to little children take on Easter Sunday morning, Catholic, and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the turns singing solo, and their life forever in heaven has the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of angelic voices would sing last word, not death. This is the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen. words to this effect: “Quiero why we keep vigil.

Nicene Creed


Our Lady, Untier of Knots: A title both ancient and new

By Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS



lexander the Great wanted the world as his kingdom. He was a young man in a hurry, a big hurry. A legend tells that Alexander, impatient in his attempt to untie the Gordian knot, sliced it in two with his sword. Thus he fulfilled the prophecy that whoever could untie the knot would rule the world. The legend then gave rise to the saying, “to cut the Gordian knot”— to solve a difficult problem in a simple—or sometimes disingenuous—way. But many problems in our complicated world, unlike the Gordian knot, do not always have a simple solution. And who among us does not have some sort of difficulty in our lives? Yet we have access to a heavenly resource to aid us: Our Lady, Untier of Knots. While you may have never heard of the Blessed Mother Mary with that title, it may be due to the fact it is a rather new one even though theologically it dates back to the second century. St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.” (Against Heresies 3, 22) Fast forward to 1700. Wolfgang Langenmantel and his wife Sophie were on the verge of divorce. Wolfgang presented his wedding ribbon to a priest he had

Mary, your intercession was first invoked to help a couple at the wedding in Cana and again to heal a marriage. We confidently come before you to ask for your aid for all married couples and for those who are preparing for marriage. Mary, help us to do what we can in untying the knots of injustice, hardness of heart, fear and ingratitude. When we have done what we can, untie what we cannot. Mary, help us to find ways to bring peace to our broken world. When we have done what we can, untie what we cannot. Mary, help us to model faith in your Son for those who do not believe. When we have done what we can, untie what we cannot. Mary, help us to love those who are the most difficult to love. When we have done what we can, untie what we cannot. We pray in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen. approached for help during their fourth visit. The ribbon was the traditional symbol used during the wedding ceremony to signify the couple’s union. After the priest prayed, untied the knots and smoothed out the ribbon, it became brilliantly white. Wolfgang and his wife Sophie reconciled and their marriage was saved. The couple’s grandson, Father

Hieronymus Langenmantel of Augsburg arranged for Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner to paint the image for a family altar that was donated to the church of St. Peter am Perlach where it now hangs. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, now Pope Francis, brought a postcard of the image to Argentina after he had seen the original in Germany where he was studying. He had the image engraved on a chalice which he presented to Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. The people of Argentina presented another chalice with the same image when Bergoglio was elected pope. Veronica Guerra, an Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament associate as well as a retired university professor, shared her story concerning a novena she made to Our Lady, Untier of Knots. She began her novena and the Divine Mercy chaplet approximately a week before her brother died of esophageal cancer. He was not only estranged from the church, he had also lived a dissolute life. On her way into the hospital a priest walked out. Asking him to join her, they both entered her brother’s room. Due to the fact that her brother was semi-conscious, the priest spoke to him saying, “Show me by a head nod if you will accept absolution.” Which he did and a short time later he died smiling; reaching out into the air as if grasping someone’s hand. Alexander’s empire came and went, however, Mary remains queen of heaven and earth. May she untie the difficult knots in our lives.


Prayer at Christmas By Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS



hristmas—the very name brings joy to the hearts of most people. But is our joy brought about by Christmas parties, Christmas gifts, Christmas outings and more of the same or are we focused on the Person, the central Person, Jesus, whose birthday we are celebrating? And if we are aware of our Birthday Person, are we willing to spend time in communicating with Him in love? At Christmas, we look around our society and see signs of celebration everywhere. There are decorations wherever decorations can be placed. Wrapped packages, snow scenes—even in south Texas where snow is very unlikely to fall—scenes of partying are evident. But not so evident, except in churches and in other religious situations, are scenes of a simple couple, the pregnant wife, making slow progress to Bethlehem. Our Christmas carols and songs ring out joyously, speaking of snow, bells, decorations, fun, while in a scene of direst poverty Mary and Joseph rejoice in the birth of Jesus. Can we sing and talk about partying, gift-giving, decorations, as we celebrate the birth of a Child born into direst poverty,


“wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger”? Indeed we can for we know that this baby is truly Jesus, the Son of God, born for us. On the other hand, we look at Him in His poverty, and we appreciate His situation. We can talk to Him, to Mary, to Joseph, in words and songs of joy that express our appreciation of the Holy Family’s first difficult hours of His presence here on earth. We can also sit with them in silence, savoring the presence of Jesus with us here on earth, but very aware of the difficulties that they experienced. The first option of expressing our joy and appreciation by talking and singing is the one that is taken by most people at Christmas, and it is indeed an option open to us. The second—sitting with them in quietness—calls us

to the prayer of quiet. Jesus came to us “wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.” In this situation, He is accessible to all of us. And the “all” includes you and me. We have the opportunity to be with Him as Mary and Joseph were, as were the poor shepherds, as were the Magi. At Christmas, do we have to seek material gifts, brightly wrapped packages, things that we have awaited for a long time? Perhaps. Or can we move beyond the material and simply be happy to “be with” Jesus, to grow in our closeness to Him and to Mary and Joseph? The Babe of Bethlehem – the Son of God, born into what seems to be the direst poverty, yet full of the appreciation of God and the things of God. During this Christmas season, let us try to grow in our appreciation of God and the things of God. Let us grow in our love of Him.

➤ During this Christmas season, let us try to grow in our appreciation of God and the things of God.

December Liturgical Calendar Dec. 1 SUN FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Is 2:1-5/Rom 13:11-14/Mt 24:37-44 (1) Pss | YEAR A - WEEKDAYS 2 Dec. 2 Mon Advent Weekday | violet | Is 4:2-6 (second choice)/Mt 8:5-11 (175) Dec. 3 Tue Saint Francis Xavier, Priest | white | Memorial | Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24 (176) Dec. 4 Wed Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Is 25:6-10a/Mt 15:29-37 (177) Dec. 5 Thu Advent Weekday | violet | Is 26:1-6/Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178) Dec. 6 Fri Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Nicholas, Bishop] Is 29:17-24/ Mt 9:27-31 (179) Dec. 7 Sat Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 30:19-21, 23-26/Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8 (180) Dec. 8 SUN SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Is 11:1-10/Rom 15:4-9/ Mt 3:1-12 (4) Pss II Dec. 9 Mon The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white

| Patronal Feastday of the United States of America | Solemnity [not a Holyday of Obligation] Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38 (689) Pss Prop Dec. 10 Tue Advent Weekday | violet | Is 40:1-11/Mt 18:12-14 (182) Dec. 11 Wed Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Damasus I, Pope] Is 40:25-31/ Mt 11:28-30 (183) Dec. 12 Thu Our Lady of Guadalupe | white | Feast | Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Lk 1:26-38 or 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. 13 Fri Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Is 48:17-19/Mt 11:16-19 (185) Dec. 14 Sat Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Mt 17:9a, 10-13 (186) Dec. 15 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet/rose | Is 35:1-6a, 10/Jas 5:7-10/Mt 11:2-11 (7) Pss III

Dec. 16 Mon Advent Weekday | violet | Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a/Mt 21:23-27 (187) Dec. 17 Tue Advent | Weekday violet | Gn 49:2, 8-10/Mt 1:1-17 (193) Dec. 18 Wed Advent Weekday | violet | Jer 23:5-8/Mt 1:18-25 (194) Dec. 19 Thu Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195) Dec. 20 Fri Advent Weekday | violet | Is 7:10-14/Lk 1:26-38 (196) Dec. 21 Sat 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 SUN FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Is 7:10-14/Rom 1:1-7/Mt 1:18-24 (10) Pss IV Dec. 23 Mon Advent Weekday | violet [Saint John of Kanty, Priest] Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66 (199) Dec. 24 Tue Advent Weekday | violet | Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Lk 1:67-79 (200) Dec. 25 Wed The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) | white | Solemnity [Holyday of Obligation] Vigil: Is 62:1-5/Acts

13:16-17, 22-25/Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25 (13) Night: 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 Thu Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | Feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59/ Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop Dec. 27 Fri Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist | white | Feast | 1 Jn 1:1-4/Jn 20:1a, 2-8 (697) Pss Prop Dec. 28 Sat The Holy Innocents, Martyrs | red | Feast | 1 Jn 1:5—2:2/Mt 2:13-18 (698) Pss Prop Dec. 29 SUN THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH | white | Feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17/Mt 2:13-15, 19-23 (17) Pss Prop Dec. 30 Mon Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white | 1 Jn 2:12-17/Lk 2:36-40 (203) Pss Prop Dec. 31 Tue Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Sylvester I, Pope] 1 Jn 2:18-21/ Jn 1:1-18 (204) Pss Prop


Cursillo de hombres (Español)

TOUGH Retreat

Cursillo de hombres se celebrará del 5 a 8 diciembre en el Corpus Christi Cursillo Center localizado en el 1200 Lantana en Corpus Christi. Para más información, llame a Gloria G. Morales al (361) 364-4808 o por correo electronico al Hacer un amigo, ser un amigo, y traer a un amigo a Cristo!

On Dec. 13-15, is a TOUGH Retreat for High School age boys and girls. The retreat will be held at the Cursillo Center, located at 1200 Lantana St. in Corpus Christi. For more information call Heath Garcia at (361) 693-6687.

True Radiance Retreat

Corpus Christi Catholic Engaged Encounter

On Dec. 7 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish in Alice. The mission of the True Radiance component of the True Modesty Formation Program is to provide young ladies of high-school age the true meaning of femininity and what it means to grow in faith, virtues, and style. For more information call Deacon Stephen Nolte at (361) 693-6638.

On Dec. 14-15 beginning Saturday at 7 a.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center on 1200 Lantana St. in Corpus Christi. For more information call the Diocese of Corpus Christi Family Life Office at (361) 882-6191 or go to or Deacon Ron Martinez at (361) 765-1124 or Email

St. Pius X Craft Bazaar

Book signing with Doug Norman

St. Pius X women’s circle is hosting a craft bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. in the parish hall (5620 Gollihar Rd. in Corpus Christi). Besides handmade items, there will be a children’s craft room, food bar, raffles and silent auction. For more information call Mary Saylor at (361) 994-5204.

Tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe On Dec. 11 at Holy Family located at 2590 Nogales St. in Corpus Christi with traditional Mexican folk dancers, folklorico dance groups, music and more. The tribute gets underway at 7 p.m.
For more information, contact Antonio López at (361) 882-3245, ext. 41 or email at

March for Life Pilgrimage Meeting March for Life Pilgrimage meetings are for those who plan on attending the 2014 March for Life Pilgrimage. The next three meetings will be on Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Jan. 9 (final payment due, participants must pay in full). All meetings are from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the Diocese of Corpus Christi Chancery Office, 1st floor conference room.

On Dec. 14 Doug Norman, author of “Percival, Guardian of the King” at Our Lady of Corpus Christi book store. For more information call (361) 289-9095, ext. 309.

Pre Cana Seminar On Dec. 14 from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral St. Joseph Hall. Pre-Cana is a one day marriage preparation seminar for the engaged. It is for engaged couples preparing for marriage and couples married civilly for less than one year. The seminar is designed to inform couples of the spiritual and practical aspects of a Catholic marriage The day encourages the couple to concentrate on building a lifelong relationship. For more information call Deacon Stephen Nolte at (361) 693-6638.

True Valor Retreat On Dec. 14 at St. Joseph in Alice. The program is designed to educate and form high school aged boys into young men with a real appreciation of what it means to be a true man of God. True Valor consists of a one day retreat and three two-hour follow up sessions. For more information call Deacon Stephen Nolte at (361) 693-6638.



The Melchizedek Project Meeting On Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. at the House of Discernment. The Melchizedek Project is a discernment group for high school seniors and above who love Jesus Christ and His Church, and who are willing to talk to other like-minded men about their future. The group meetings are not meant to convince you that priesthood is your vocation. You could very well be called to marriage or another vocation. But as a Catholic man – even if you’re currently dating – at some point you have to ask yourself whether or not God is calling you to be a priest. For more information call Rachel Dimas at (361) 882-6191.

2014 Ministry Conference Vocation Essay Contest The Office of Vocations and the Office of Youth Ministry is sponsoring an essay contest on vocations. Winners will be announced at the Ministry Conference in January. This essay contest is open to all Catholic students in the diocese. The deadline for all essay entries is Dec. 20. For more information go to

The Cathedral Holiday Spectacular The Cathedral Holiday Spectacular, “A Touch of Frost” will be on Friday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 21 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seating passes required. For passes or for more information call (361) 888-7444.

Book Signing On Dec. 21 from 1-4 p.m. join Michael Meaney, Ph.D. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Book Store. He will sign copies of his newly published book, “Prayer, The Greatest Need of Our Times.”

To see more calendar events go to:

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Dec. 2013 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191

Profile for South Texas Catholic

South Texas Catholic - December 2013  

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

South Texas Catholic - December 2013  

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

Profile for diocesecc