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South Texas

Catholic DECEMBER 2014




VOL. 49 NO. 11

Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Associate Editor Mary E. Cottingham Administrative Assistant Adel Rivera Correspondents Rebecca Esparza, Luisa Scolari, Dayna Mazzei Worchel


In this fourteenth century painting by Duccio, the disciple Cleopas and his companion invite Jesus into their home. Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas reminds us that we too must be prepared to invite Jesus into our lives and to walk with him in faith.



Marty Wind, executive vice president and general manager of the Diocesan Telecommunications Corporation says that a live stream of the Cathedral’s Midnight Mass is planned to be Web cast on the World Wide Web.

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.

INSIDE 8 Catholic Charities’ immigration

NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE and refugee department helps people from all over the world

LIFE 12 St.PARISH Martin of Tours in Kingsville celebrates 100 years of faith, family and community

VIDA CATÓLICA 28 ¿Un parroquiano sencillo o discípulo, cuál es usted?

NATIONAL NEWS 36 Rio Grande Valley still aids dozens of Central American migrants daily

EDUCATION VATICAN NEWS 39 16CATHOLIC Mexican bishops plead for IWA Middle Level paves the way for future scholars

VOCATIONS 20 Religious life provided Sister Amor a family

peace, call violence a ‘national crisis’

FAITH 44 OUR Our Lady and Christmas in the 21st century

Keep up with the Faith at



Christ invites us to open the

‘door of faith’ By Msgr. Louis Kihneman, III

Msgr. Louis Kihneman, III is Vicar General of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and pastor of St. Philip, the Apostle Parish.

M Contributor

arie, an eight-year-old child in second grade, was from a family who had no church affiliation. She and her older sister Angelica were loved and provided for by their parents, Roberto and Letty, who both worked. The family did not talk about God or church much, but somehow both Marie and Angelica knew there was something more. Then one day, Marie found herself enrolled at Sacred Heart School in Rockport and everything began to change. It was the Word and prayer that began the change for Marie. She found herself looking forward to the daily Bible reading and Morning Prayer broadcast live to her classroom. As the days and weeks went by, something began to stir in her that she had not experienced in her other school. She did not know what was happening at the beginning, but she knew she wanted more. Calling on Christ is what Marie’s teacher did each day in her classroom. It had a powerful effect on Marie. She began to understand that the something special that she was experiencing had a name. With great enthusiasm Marie would run home and tell her parents and her sister about the stories she had heard about Jesus and how he loved them and how she could not wait for the next school day to hear more. Marie found the Gospel stories drawing her in as she listened to her teacher. She felt excited and wanted to know more about God and asked


a lot of questions at school and at home. Then one day the pastor of Sacred Heart parish and school came to visit her family in their home. He blessed their home and spoke about the life giving water of Baptism and God’s love for them. Her heart seemed full as he spoke and she began to feel a call to be baptized in God’s love. When Marie’s teacher heard that she was asking about Baptism, she was overjoyed. With her parents’ permission, Marie entered the R.C.I.A. for children with a deep desire to learn more about Christ and his Church and a special desire to learn how to pray. Her teacher walked hand-in-hand with Marie every step of the way. Soon after Marie took this step in faith, her family began to attend Sunday Mass regularly. With her teacher as her sponsor and her family present to witness her full initiation in the Catholic faith, Marie was literally glowing as she

it can be taken home. The Scripture of the day or Sunday Gospel can help transform each school day into a day of the Word and God’s grace poured forth. To enter the door of faith means that we as ministers, educators, students, families and parishes are open to encountering Christ and his Church. As we open the door of faith, we immediately hear Jesus say to us, “A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (Jn 13:34-35) With these words, Jesus exhorts us as ministers, educators, students, families and parishes to live in a new way, to live in and through and with God’s love so that we are signs of God’s love and the “Word made flesh.” Imagine each of our Catholic schools and your school, in particular, being a center in which God’s love is freely expressed. Thus, building relationships with one another in our Catholic schools is basic to answering Christ’s call to love one another. It sounds simple, but the true challenge is in practice. To live in the love of Christ takes a conscious effort. Each day, from the moment we first see our face in the mirror in the morning to the last person we greet at the end of the day. Consciously recognizing Christ in each of our personal encounters, school meetings and especially in our classrooms, is at the heart of what it means to open the door of faith and is a transforming moment. Asking Jesus Christ by name to be present with us in every school meeting, parent-teacher session, classroom moment, etc., fulfills his invitation to us “for where two

or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst (Mt. 18:20).” Not only are we not alone, but Christ also lives in us and invites us to open the “door of faith” into his love and communion. Seeing our Catholic schools as “the home and the school of communion” requires at the very least a conscious decision by all involved and quite possibly a change in vision. It is not enough for us to presume that our schools are “doors of faith” if we ourselves have not made the personal and school commitment to make the Word and prayer an integral part of our school day. As we come to see that education is not just about books, but an acceptance of the other—our students, faculty, staff and their families—in the love of Christ. Being willing to meet our school families in their lived experience means that we need to be open to reach out to them beyond the school to where they live. Home visits and house blessings are proven methods in the effort to “open the door of faith.” When done in conjunction with the parish priest or school chaplain, these home visits enable the “door of faith” to open wide. The kind of relationship that can be formed with this type of personal contact is a powerful call to communion. Our visible relationship with God and our willingness to share our faith journey are what enable us to be evangelizers, and therefore “missionary disciples.” If we really want to be “the home and the school of communion,” we must invest ourselves wholeheartedly in the lives of our students, faculty and staff and–as we are able–in the lives of their families.



was baptized and confirmed during the Holy Saturday Mass. She seemed to take special joy in receiving Jesus for the first time in the Holy Eucharist during the Easter Vigil. Marie’s journey of faith touched her family so deeply that the very next year, Roberto, Letty and Angelica entered the R.C.I.A. and were received into full communion with the Church. Marie could not stop smiling, nor could her teacher and their pastor. “The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his Apostolic Letter, “Porta Fidei”. These words call all of our Catholic schools to be a “door of faith” in which our students and their families, our faculties and staffs, and our parishes are invited into relationship and communion with God and His Church. This door into communion is opened when “the Word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace.” As the school day begins, the Word of God and God’s transforming grace are present. This means that it is critical for us to begin our school day with prayer and the Word of God. It sets the tone for the day, but not only that, it is really another step in the journey through the door of faith. Thus, prayer and the Word of God need to pervade the entire school day. It can be as simple as reading one of the daily readings from daily Mass or the Sunday Gospel or taking a Scripture phrase from the reading that can be remembered throughout the school day. This can be done before or during each class or at lunchtime, and especially at the end of the school day so



the joy, mercy and love of Jesus Christ is our mission Alfredo E. Cárdenas Alfredo E. Cárdenas is Editor of the South Texas Catholic.

South Texas Catholic


n behalf of our publisher, Bishop Michael Mulvey, our theological consultant, Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, our staff, Mary Cottingham and Adel Rivera, and our correspondents and contributors, I wish to extend to all of our readers our wishes that they are having a blessed Advent and will have a joyous Christmas. I pray that we are all on a saintly road to meet Jesus at his Second Coming and that like the disciples on the road to Emmaus we are accompanied by Jesus on our journey. Like Cleopas and his companion, we may not at first recognize him but we are motivated by his words and deeds. We can see Jesus in all that we do. He is there in the sacramental commitment we made to our spouses; he is there in the Baptismal promise we made to our children; he is present in the love we extend to our neighbors; we see him in the mercy we extend to the poor, the homeless, the immigrant, the imprisoned; he is ever present with the sick and dying; he is everywhere–if we only look for him with an open mind and a giving heart. The South Texas Catholic is an instrument for evangelization,


which in its purest form means that we are called to preach the Gospel so that we may convert our brothers and sisters to be followers of Christ. Under the “New Evangelization,” first proclaimed by Blessed Paul VI in his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, we are called “to proclaim the Gospel to the people of today, who are buoyed up by hope but at the same time often oppressed by fear and distress…(Evangelii Nuntiandi, 1).” Pope Paul VI said, “… it is absolutely necessary for us to take into account a heritage of faith that the Church has the duty of preserving in its untouchable purity, and of presenting it to the people of our time, in a way that is as understandable and persuasive as possible …(Evangelii Nuntiandi, 3).”

And now comes Pope Francis, who with one colorful colloquialism after another everyday calls us to be missionary disciples; to “be shepherds with the smell of sheep.” The Holy Father is calling us to go out to the periphery of society and evangelize amongst those who truly need to hear the Gospel of Christ and receive his merciful love by way of our own unselfish giving. In response, the South Texas Catholic is searching for a new voice, one in which we can carry out the call of the New Evangelization with greater effect. In recent months we have begun to run stories that aim to fulfill St. John Paul II’s call to address the needs of “entire groups of the baptized [who] have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church, and live


➤ The South Texas Catholic is searching for a new

voice, one in which we can carry out the call of the New Evangelization with greater effect. a life far removed from Christ and his Gospel (Redemptoris Missio, 33).” As we move forward during a year in which Pope Francis has called our focus to the family, “to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church (Letter of Pope Francis to Families),” we have run stories on convalidation of marriages, the life of divorced Catholics in the Church, the plight of immigrants and the abuse of the poor by unethical lenders who take advantage of the poor’s desperate circumstances. At the recent meeting of the U.S. bishops’ conference, the bishops received the findings of a survey conducted to find out what Catholics in

the pews think about and why they accept or reject church teachings (see story on Page 38). Among the findings were that Catholics see a disconnect between the teachings of the church and the teachings of Jesus; they see too many rules in the Church that they do not understand; they feel people in the Church can be too judgmental; they sense that their parishes are divided into pro-life and social justice camps; and they want to understand the whys of Church teaching. These are the questions we hope to find answers to and provide some measure of catechesis in the pages of this magazine. We will adopt as our mission the words of the new head of the bishops’ committee on communications,

who said, “The priority…has to be to proclaim the joy, the mercy and the love of Jesus Christ at all times and in all places and to all people.” We ask for your prayers and support as we continue on this road of the New Evangelization, a journey that we pray will bring us all closer to Christ and his message of love and mercy. One concrete way in which you can help is by donating what you can to our annual appeal. You will find more information on Page 47 of this issue. Please share what is appropriate to your circumstances and if you are unable to help financially please include us in your prayers. May all of you have a very merry Christmas and a joyful New Year.

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

• St. Antony’s in Robstown hosts Mini-Youth Spectacular • St. Joseph in Alice honors veterans

• St. John Paul II High School students receive ‘Student of the Month’ awards

• Serra Club district governor installs local officers

• Sister Agnes Marie Tengler Class of ’43 receives President’s Leadership Award

• St. Joseph celebrates All Souls Day with visits to cemeteries

• Accountants launch toy drive to benefit Catholic Charities

• Jazz Mass brings joy into the hearts of many

• Garza and Havel make commitment as Providence Associates

• Grace by the grotto

• Day of Giving raises record donations, Catholic social service agencies benefit

• New Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion • Catholic students celebrate Red Ribbon Week


Helping peo

Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


ur mission is not only to welcome and serve the immigrants and refugees in our midst, but it is also to educate and advocate for the immigrant and refugee community,” Catholic Charities’ immigration and refugee lawyer, Carrie Thompson said. “We consider it a very important and necessary piece of our mission to ensure that the greater community— but especially our Catholic brothers and sisters—understand the Church’s mandate to ‘welcome the stranger,’ and work towards a just immigration system,” Thompson said. Thompson is one of two lawyers who work at Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. The other lawyer, Kimberly Hall Seger, case worker Meddie Barrera, along with refugee program coordinator Juanita Cardiel, make up the Department of Immigration and Refugee Services. Thompson and the staff work in the administrative area of the law helping people apply for and receive benefits if they are eligible. Clients are charged a small consultation fee of $25. The office schedules consultations on Thursdays and collectively they see about 800-1,000 people a year, many who do not have a viable case. If they qualify, Thompson and her staff guide them through the immigration process.

Most of the office’s clients are from Mexico. Last year the department helped about 200 clients with document translations or to apply for family-based immigration petitions, adjustment of status, removal of conditions, naturalization/citizenship, renewal/replacement of legal permanent resident cards (green cards), temporary status, legal relief for victims of domestic violence and other crimes, consular processing for immigrant visas, U-visa processing for victims of violent crimes and deferred action for childhood arrivals. There are many documented workers living in the United States who have a work authorization card but do not speak English. Some of them come from countries that have suffered a major catastrophe and the immigrants were living in the United States at the time. They have Temporary Protective Status and will not be sent back if they can prove they were here at the time of the catastrophe. They will be allowed to stay until their country is stable.


For most of the Spanish-speaking countries, except Spain, it is not easy to travel here legally. In order to get a visa to visit the U.S. a person has to go to an embassy or a consulate. Thompson said, people from Mexico and Central America know there are employers who will employ them, but they have no legal way to get here. It is really dangerous to try to cross the border illegally and people often die trying, she said. According to Thompson, if there was a lawful way for people to enter the United States, “most would try to find a way…” “Maybe if you have a family relation–someone who can sponsor you–or you have enough money to study in the U.S., or you are extremely intelligent and you receive a special scholarship or maybe you specialize in a field and a company wants to sponsor you for a work visa,” she said. While a large percentage of their clients are immigrants from Latin America and Mexico, in the past couple of years the office has also


ople from

Catholic Charities’ Immigration and refugee attorney Carrie Chavez Thompson and case worker Meddie Barrera helped a brother and sister from Burma, who had immigrated to the U.S., reunite with their family. Pictured, from left, are Tabora Paw, Mee Mee, Barrera, Monday Thau, Thompson and Eh Dah. The siblings, Mee Mee and Eh Dah, had been living in a Thai refugee camp for several years. They were reunited in Port Lavaca, Texas. Contributed Photo



Refugee program coordinator Juanita Cardiel consults with two clients. She finds out if they are eligible for benefits and guide them through the immigration process. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

ministered to refugees from China, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Thailand, Cameroon, Canada, South Korea, Burma, Ireland, England, Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan. When an individual comes to the United States as a refugee they have already been determined to be a refugee overseas, and the definition of who is “a refugee is very technical,” Thompson said. All refugees receive direct assistance from the government when they arrive, a one-time payment to help them for the first two weeks after they get here. A refugee can apply for food stamps. They can apply for refugee medical assistance for a period of eight months. They could also qualify for refugee cash assistance through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, while they look for a job. After one-year a refugee can apply for a green card or a permanent resident card, which will allow them to live indefinitely in the United States, unless they commit a crime of moral turpitude, which is defined as “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals.”

According to Thompson, most of the refugees know enough English to communicate, but in the case of a family from Burma who spoke only Karen, they had to have an interpreter. In some of these cases, the International Office of Migration will send an interpreter and will work out travel arrangements, along with financial assistance. Many refugees have lived in a refugee camp for at least 10 years, before they come to the United States. “Some families have had children born in refugee camps,” Thompson said. They are not accustomed to many things that Americans take for granted, like recognizing currency, personal hygiene or that it is the law for their kids have to go to school. “We explain to them that they should not be afraid to call a police officer or go up to a police officer,” Thompson said. Unlike refugees from other parts of the world, asylum claims from Central America have not been successful in the past. There are no centers to apply for refugee status for countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. The women and children who are coming from these countries cannot apply for refugee status.


“We know they are having a drug war in Mexico. It’s verifiable. There are so many kidnappings and killings, but that’s not enough to make someone a refugee,” Thompson said. “It has gotten to be such a crisis that these moms and children are willing to identify themselves and ask for help from our country. It’s a complicated, delicate issue. If they can show they have an asylum claim, then they will get a future court date and they may be able to pay a bond, but if they do not have a claim that can be verified they will be sent back.” The immigration attorneys do not see a lot of these people, because they are being detained and because they do not do representation. Catholic Charities does help them with food and goods. “We are in a discussion to start classes with those at the detention centers like ‘Know your rights.’ There are women and children in these detention centers who have a credible fear claim, but there aren’t enough attorneys to help. It’s not something we usually do, because we keep pretty busy, but we are volunteering to help take a handful of these cases,” Thompson said.


January Ministry Conference will draw hundreds of faithful Dayna Mazzei Worchel



f someone wants to learn about the Catholic faith or just gain a deeper understanding of it, the 26th annual Ministry Conference in Corpus Christi is the place to go. About 800 people from 69 parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi are set to attend the conference, Margaret Alarilla, director of religious education for the diocese, said. The year’s theme is the “The Family Fully Alive.” Alarilla has co-chaired the event for the past five years with Jaime Reyna, director of youth ministry for the diocese. The conference is set to take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2015, at the American Bank Center, and will feature 14 nationally-recognized speakers on topics ranging from “Laughter: The Sanity of Family,” to “Faithful Citizenship and the Family.” The conference is open to all people wanting to know more about the Catholic faith. Pre-registration for the conference ends Dec. 5, for $30 per person. Workshop options will be available on the day of the conference, when registrations will be accepted for $40. The registration fee includes a hot meal and parking, Alarilla said. The day will begin with Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrating Mass, followed by keynote speaker James Healy, director of the Center for Family Ministry of the Catholic diocese of Joliet, Ill. Healy will speak on

“Making Happiness a Habit: Four Steps to a More Joyful Marriage.” After the keynote address, the first workshops will be offered, followed by lunch. The second and third workshop sessions will take place after lunch. This year’s conference includes a Youth track; a Spanish track; and childcare for children aged three to 10. The children’s ministry will feature the Catechesis of The Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based approach to formation, Alarilla said. This ministry will take place while everyone else meets in workshops throughout the day. Speaker Roy Petitfils will give three workshops for the Youth Track, including “YOLO” (You Only Live Once)-Making Your One Life Count;” “What Young People Want Us to Know but Don’t Tell Us;” and “It is What it is, but it Can be What You Make of It.” Three speakers will give workshops in Spanish and English. Hector Molina, Catholic speaker and apologist with more than 20 years experience in professional pastoral ministry and leadership in the Church, will speak on “Fishers of Men or Keepers of the Aquarium.” Rita Martinez, an educational

consultant with Loyola Press, with 31 years experience as a youth minister and Catholic schoolteacher, will give a workshop on “Forming, Maintaining and Empowering Catechists in Your Parish.” Victor Valenzuela, a national religion consultant for bilingual resources at William H. Sadlier, who has 25 years of experience in Catholic ministry, will speak on “Five Ways to Incorporate Families in Religious Education.” Other speakers and topics at the conference are: • Marco Crawford: “Faithful Citizenship and the Family;” • Madonna Healy: “Families are Called to Dance, Even if Someone is Out of Step;” • Ray Guarendi: “Laughter: The Sanity of Family;” • Monica Gatlin: “One Family’s Life as the Domestic Church;” • Angela Franks: “Gospel of Life: Persons Fully Alive;” • Father Jeffrey Kirby: “Our Christian ABC’s: Acknowledgment & Adoration; Believing and Belonging; Conversion and Community;” • John Leonetti: “Mission of the Family;” and • Kevin Prevou: “Working Together to Create a Culture of Safety: Protecting Our Youth From Cyber, Physical, Social and Verbal Bullying” and “We Are Family– Imperfect, Messy and God’s Greatest Gift.” For more information about the conference, go to www.diocesecc. org.


One-hundred years of fait Rebecca Esparza



upe Ruiz was just five-years-old when his newly single mother moved her family to Kingsville from the Rio Grande Valley. A long-time parishioner at St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville, Ruiz recalls how the church has played a central role in his life for as far back as he can remember. “I was six years old when I started as an altar boy at St. Martin of Tours,”

he said with a broad smile. “And I was named ‘Altar Boy of the Year’ several


times throughout the 10 years I served as an altar boy, which was until 1964.


th, family and community Fourteen priests concelebrated the Centennial Mass at St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville on Nov. 11. They were, from left, Father Fernando Gámez, Father Ponnuswamy R. Victor, Father Jim Foelker, OMI, Father Mathew Stephan, Father Naul Ordoñez, Father Arularasu Mathias, Father Lee Guarnieri, OMI, Father Leo Pérez, OMI, Father José Isidore García, OMI, Father Joe Torres, OMI, Father Ángel Montana, JCL, Father Peter Antony, Father Andrew Hajdek and Father Sebastian Pasupalety. Benny Guerra, St. Martin of Tours

Also, I attended St. Martin Catholic School until seventh grade.” All of his children attended St. Martin School, including his oldest

grandson. But the ties to the church do not simply end there. His grandfather was a contractor and one of the builders of the current church. Currently,

Ruiz is president of the St. Martin Catholic Men’s Club, president of the Finance Council and a member of the Parish Council. His wife Ilda is



also a member of the Parish Council, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. “I had an aunt who was a nun with the Missionary Sisters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary,” he said. St. Martin of Tours in Kingsville has celebrated its 100-year anniversary throughout the year, culminating with a centennial celebration Mass on Nov. 11, followed with a banquet attended by several hundred. Every month different events and activities have been promoted. Fourteen priests concelebrated Mass, assisted by three deacons. Among the priests was Father Leo Pérez, OMI a native son of the parish. Father Pérez is currently assigned to the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. Another native son, Father Peter Stanley, Chaplain at the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center and Chapel at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, was unable to participate in the Mass but joined the celebration at the reception afterwards. The three deacons, Deacon Raúl G. Rosales, Deacon Tiburcio García and Deacon Danny Herrera, are native sons of St. Martin’s parish. The parish has also given the church three other deacons, Deacon Tony Barbour who is retired and lives in the San Antonio area, Deacon Jerry Treviño who is retired and living in San Angelo and Deacon Arturo Flores (deceased). Before the final blessing, City Commissioner Arturo Pecos, followed by Kara Talip, a representative from the county, presented resolutions to the church to commemorate the special occasion. Father José Naul Ordoñez, pastor at St. Martin, explained the special meaning behind celebrating

Members of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Men’s Club, Daniel Zapata and Paul Ruiz, carry a statue of St. Martin during the procession at the beginning of their 100-anniversary celebration Mass. Benny Guerra, St. Martin of Tours

100 years. “It is important to celebrate 100 years to honor those in our past who sacrificed so much for our parish community to thank and acknowledge those who currently do so much for the good of our parish,” he said. “It’s also important to educate and share our rich traditions and faith with our young people for our future.” Although the first Catholic Church


built in Kingsville was St. Gertrude’s, St. Martin of Tours was actually built later that same year in 1914, when church leaders decided the population of Spanish-speaking Catholics in Kingsville indicated a need for two Catholic churches. Soon, the Missionary Sisters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary from Aguascalientes, Mexico arrived under the direction of Mother Julia Navarrete.


Three daughters of the parish by our Men’s Club, which my have joined the congregation, husband is a part of, I got really including Sister Guadalupe Aguiemotional and thanked God lar and Sister Consuelo Ramírez, for all the many blessings he both deceased. Also Sister Oralia has bestowed upon me and my de la Paz who is in Washington family,” she said. “My dad was state and was not able to attend 10 years old and my mom 14 the celebration. years old when our first church By 1929, during the height of was built just three blocks from the Great Depression, sacrifices our home. My parents are no by parishioners led to the buildlonger living, but my family and ing of its first brick church that I were blessed to have them with included a rectory and school. us for more than 80 years.” In 1940, the Diocese of Corpus Ochoa said she considered it a Christi entrusted St. Martin of blessing from God to be a part Tours to the Missionary Oblates of the anniversary celebration. of Mary Immaculate. “I was so happy that so many Father Thomas Fernánwere present to witness our dez, OMI was the first Oblate church’s 100-year anniversary,” pastor and under his leadership, she said. “It brought back so in 1946, the present church many happy memories to see was dedicated. In 1968, parish many of our church’s previous buildings saw renovations and priests be a part of this celebrathe purchase of property allowed tion as well as some priests who for additional parking. Extensive attended and were parishioners renovation of the church and of St. Martin to be a part of rectory was undertaken again this beautiful and memorable Father Naul Ordoñez, pastor at St. Martin in 1985, including the installacelebration.” tion of its “strikingly beautiful” of Tours in Kingsville, carries birthday One final event of the censtained glass windows. In 2010, cake served at the celebration dinner after tennial is the publication of the Oblates relinquished the Mass. a centennial book. Father church back to the Diocese of Ordoñez appointed a comDiana Ochoa, St. Martin of Tours Corpus Christi. mittee to research and write a “My four children have been book to coincide with the 100th baptized, made their Holy Com- pictures since then,” she said. “I’m anniversary of the parish. Commitmunion and been confirmed at St. involved in many organizations with tee members include Father Ordoñez, Martin. My grandson was baptized the church from Catholic Daughters, María Guerra, Ilda Ruiz, Sister Rafafive years ago and my granddaughter to parish council, the centennial book ela Valadez, Sister Máxima Cruz, will be baptized in a few weeks,” said committee, dinner and dance commit- Sister Consuelo Ramírez, Sister Delia life-long parishioner Diana Ochoa, tee, hospitality ministry, to organizing Zapato, Mary Idalia Del Bosque, who also has had all her sacraments church festivals.” Rosalinda Gutierrez, Alma Flores, conferred at St. Martin of Tours. Ochoa said being a part of the 100- Diana Ochoa, Carmela C. Alvarez, Ochoa said Father Ordoñez asked year anniversary celebration for St. Donavan Lopez and Mary Flores. The her to be in charge of an import- Martin of Tours was something she committee’s goal is to provide a clear, ant duty at the church: official will never forget. unbiased history of facts about their photographer. “As Mass started and I saw the St. parish. The committee hopes to pub“I think I have taken over 8,000 Martin of Tours statue being escorted lish the book by February 2015.


Brooklyn MorenoArispe, 14, and Sister Agueda Oviedo, IWBS review a Bible passage together during Religious Studies class. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic


Paving the way for future scholars Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


aura Esparza believes the Catholic education her 11-yearold daughter Teresa is receiving at Incarnate Word Academy, Middle Level is unmatched, anywhere. A sixth grader at IWA, Teresa is excelling at school, during a time which can often mark a difficult change from elementary to middle school. “The middle level is a huge transition,” Esparza said. “They offer tutoring, which helps tremendously, plus all her teachers are always available via email or in person for advice. For example, Teresa was at a loss planning her science fair project. Mrs. Hill, her science teacher, took time to give her an idea, and then guided her through data collection after school. Teresa won first place for all of sixth grade.” But for Esparza, it is not all about academics, but family, as well. And the extended family at IWA has helped keep her family together, as Esparza and her two small children dealt with the untimely death of their husband and father Oscar Esparza in January 2010. Oscar Esparza was a math instructor and coach at IWA Middle Level. “IWA is one big, beautiful family.

There’s a bond among the students and staff that exists due to his Holy Presence. The community at IWA will be there to share your joys and sorrows. Everyone gathers around in these times lift each other up,” she said. Adolfo Garza, IWA Middle Level principal, said the entire school community is committed to the school’s mission to “form students in a loving and challenging environment where the individual gifts of every student are recognized, celebrated, and developed as a reflection of Christ.” “Besides providing a Christian environment for our students, the IWA Middle Level faculty, administration and staff have high expectations for each of our students,” he said. “We provide an academically challenging program,

the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for all students and a sports program in which over 83 percent of our students participate.” Advanced technology is a high priority at IWA Middle Level, as instructors and faculty strive to provide students every advantage in keeping up with the fast-paced digital world. Priscilla Ramos, director of technology and communications for IWA, said making technology accessible for students inside and outside the classroom is a high priority, whether that means having five computer labs across the campus or iPads in the classrooms. “We have laptops students can check out. There is secure wireless Internet accessible to any student throughout the campus and we even have ‘Gadget Days’ where



IWA Middle Level:


Nata Quintanilla, 13, studies a timeline made by her fellow eighth grade students on the Roman Empire. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

students are encouraged to bring their own electronic device from home and integrate its usage into their classwork,” she said. Ramos said she also makes frequent presentations throughout the campus on Internet safety, teaching students how to be safe from online bullying and predators. And the increased usage of technology helps parents, as well as students. “Parents have access to a special site where they can view homework assignments, quizzes, lesson plans and grades. I sometimes see parents checking online before they even leave campus to make sure their child is leaving the school


with the correct books needed for homework,” she said with a laugh. “Students have access to the same apps on their phones, so they always know where they stand. It’s just another way students are held accountable.” Ramos, who has been at IWA for 11 years, also has two teenagers who are students at IWA, one at the Middle Level and another in High School. She sees their education at IWA as an investment in their future. “I am very confident in their education here at Incarnate Word Academy. We–IWA, my husband and I–are a team and we have an effective partnership that works towards the continued growth of my children in a loving

and challenging environment,” Ramos said. “They partner with us in helping our children grow academically, athletically, creatively and spiritually.” Students at the Middle Level are already being prepped for college through the utilization of a college guidance program called Naviance. The program helps the students analyze their hobbies, interests and personality traits to help them target possible career paths. It even assists with expected salary ranges. The accolades, awards and recognitions that IWA students receive are sometimes so plentiful it is oftentimes difficult for the communications staff to keep up-to-date. “Everything from academics, to fine arts, to athletics but even more rewarding is their commitment to serving others; the countless hours of community service projects. Just recently, the middle level band and middle level Junior Optimist Club volunteered for Driscoll Children’s Hospital Thanksgiving Dinner and performed for residents at Mount Carmel Home,” Ramos said. When faced with tough questions about tuition costs, Ramos emphasized that it does not need to be a deterrent for parents who want their children to receive the best education possible, especially when tuition assistance is readily available. Last year more than $700,000 in tuition assistance was awarded to 32 percent of IWA students. “I do my best to explain that it is a sacrifice, but one worth taking. There are daily sacrifices, both big and small that we make. These sacrifices do not compare to the satisfaction we experience watching our children grow in this community and having the support IWA provides. The money that we pay in tuition could be used for something else but, our children’s future, without a question, is by far the most important thing to us,” Ramos said. Ramos also echoed Esparza’s sentiment on the IWA family, one that she considers accessible to anyone who wishes to join. “We endeavor to provide opportunities and challenges, appropriate to each child’s age and ability. IWA brings to bear whatever resources may be necessary: social, emotional, academic, spiritual, motivational or remedial to assist our students in the goal of achieving their personal best, achieving a commitment to habits that make one not only academically successful but personally fulfilled.” For more information on Incarnate Word Academy Middle Level, visit or call (361) 8830857. IWA is also accessible on social media via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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:

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Religious life provided Sister Amor a family Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

rphaned at an early age, Sister Amor Vigare, OP found a family with the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic.

Amor Maravilla Vigare was the eighth child of 12 born to Eduardo and Asuncion Maravilla Vigare on Aug. 25, 1953 in the province of Binangonan, Rizal in the Philippines. When she was in elementary school her uncle told her their last name had been de la Cruz, but their great-grandfather had to change it for some reason. She said that her name would have been Amor Maravilla de la Cruz, which means “wonderful love of the cross.” She did not know if it was true or not, but she loved the thought of it. “We were very Catholic,” Sister Amor said. She received her baptism and confirmation at St. Ursula Parish where her family attended Mass regularly. In elementary school she joined the Legionaries of Mary along with her older sisters. “We recruited people by evangelizing,” she said. They made home visits and also cleaned the church. They enjoyed family life together. For family outings they would take the city bus. It was the first time she saw sisters in their habits. “My uncle used to put a towel around my head and tease me that I would someday be a nun,” she said. Her father died suddenly in 1962.

Her mother was so overcome with grief, that she was unable to take care of herself or her youngest children still living at home. She eventually got sick and died three years later. One of her older sisters volunteered to care for the younger children, but Sister Amor missed her parents. “We had an altar with a statue of Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns and I prayed to that statue. I would ask God, why would you take away my mom and dad? Who will take care of me? Give me back my happiness,” she would say, in a demanding tone. Later she realized that Jesus probably answered her prayer by leading her to her vocation. “In the Bible there is a saying, ‘I’m not going to leave you an orphan,’” she said. In hindsight she realized that God had always been taking care of her. After finishing elementary school, Sister Amor realized her sister was not pursuing her dreams, so she volunteered to take the rest of the children and leave her childhood home to go live with her uncle and eldest cousin in another part of the city. After a few years in public school, she started attending Camiling Catholic High School in the province of Tarlac, which was a 30-minute ride from her


uncle’s place. It was there that she came to know the Dominican Sisters who taught at the school. She first felt the call to religious life after attending a vocation retreat when she was in high school. After high school she persuaded the mother general of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic to allow her to enter the convent. Because she was so young she thought she would not be able to enter, but the mother general saw that she was sincere and she became a postulant on May 24, 1971. Her uncle and cousin, with whom she had been living, had misconceptions of nuns, so she gave them the impression that she was going to enter the convent for a work-study program. But when she became a postulant they tried to talk her out of it. “‘You are a high school graduate,’ they would say or ‘you can be anything you want.’ They didn’t want me doing menial chores, which were sometimes required of a nun. Eventually they did come around,” she said. She received her certification to teach religion and she and the other novices taught children who had no education and lived in the slums of Manila. Sister Amor made her first profession

closed. In 2004-10 she was a catechist and second grade teacher at St. Joseph in Alice. “I loved the children and their parents,” she said. In 2000 she went to see a doctor for a regular check-up. He told her she needed further testing. Not heeding the doctor’s advice, she did not go back to the doctor for another 10 years.

The year 2010 proved to be an important year for Sister Amor. She became a U.S. citizen, she began teaching at St. Anthony School in Robstown and she joined other sisters on an ongoing spiritual formation, by going on a pilgrimage to Italy, Spain and France. While she was at Our Lady of Lourdes in France, she knew there was something wrong with her physically, but was unaware just how bad her health was. While there she asked God “to make it less serious.” “If I had known then what I know now, I would have asked God to take it away,” she said. On Dec. 16, 2010 she was severely anemic and was rushed to the hospital. They discovered she had Stage 2 cancer that required major surgery. She underwent 12 sessions of chemotherapy. She still has to endure “peripheral neuropathy,” which is one of the side effects of taking the chemo. In July 2011 she returned to the classroom at St. Anthony School and continues to love the children and their parents. She celebrated her 40-year jubilee at the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life earlier this year. “I have no regrets. When I became a Dominican sister I no longer felt like an orphan. I know now that God has always taken care of me. I felt that in religious life,” she said. Sister Amor Vigare, OP at the dedication and blessing of Mother Julia Hall on Sept. 12. She is pictured with teacher Molly Shawhan, left, and student Ryan Garza and the student on the floor is Aristeo Ramirez. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic



on Jan. 1, 1974 and her final profession on Jan. 1, 1979. From 1981-84 she studied at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Manila and in 1986 she was sent to America where she was a sacristan, catechist and a teacher. From 1993-2003 she taught at St. Joseph School in Beeville, which later


Asking the right questions

Seek answers to selfless questions, not selfish questions By Father Joseph Lopez, JCL Contributor

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

“Failure to Launch” was the title of a popular movie a few years ago about a shiftless young man with no direction in life. Psychologists use the term “launch” to describe the period when a young person is trying to make a life for himself outside of the care of parents. For many young people, there is often a time of “spiritual launching;” of making decisions about what to believe, what to value and what to pursue in life. This is precisely the time to be asking God about one’s vocation. During this launching period, it is critical to ask the right questions. The questions we ask determine the direction of our lives. If we ask the right questions, we will go one direction. Ask the wrong questions, and it is likely we will go in the wrong direction. Many people have internalized these kinds of questions: • How can I be more popular? • How can I have the most fun? • How can I make more money? • What will make me feel good? • How can I be most successful? But the saints ask different questions. The greatest heroes and leaders ask questions like these:


• Who am I? • Why was I created? • Who is Jesus Christ? • What is my purpose and mission in life? • Where am I going? How do I get there? • Whom will I serve? • How much of myself will I give? • To what state in life is God calling me? One hundred percent of men in the seminary are asking the second set of questions, and so are 100 percent of men and women in the best marriages. They are seeking answers to selfless questions, not selfish questions. What kind of questions are you asking yourself? Try bringing your deepest questions to prayer, then listen to the Holy Spirit for answers. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Mt 10:39).” Thank you for taking the time to discern your vocation. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life.

Pax Christi Religious Goods Store Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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(361) 241-2979 • Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center

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


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

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4601 Calallen Drive (361) 241-5479 •

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

Consecrated Life.

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

Eucharistic Adoration followed by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament Every 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the PAX CHRISTI Sisters Chapel 4601 Calallen Drive (361) 241-2833 • DECEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  23  

Corpus Christi Cathedral

Midnight Mass will be seen live on

World Wide Web Dayna Mazzei Worchel



elping ill or disabled Catholics who cannot be at Mass in person because they are homebound, living in a nursing home or in prison is a mission those responsible for the weekly Cathedral Sunday Mass TV broadcast take very seriously. And they will celebrate their 30th year of continuous Sunday broadcasts in 2015. It is all about being a part of a large Catholic family and not letting anyone feel isolated say those who broadcast the Corpus Christi Cathedral’s Sunday Mass each week. “Our primary audience are the disabled and shut-ins,” said Marty Wind, executive vice president and general manager of the Diocesan Telecommunications Corporation that produces the Mass for distribution. “We are conveying the spirituality of the Mass. No matter where they are, we don’t want them to feel alone,” Richard Luna, who has produced and directed the broadcast since the early 1990s, said. Come Christmas, that Catholic family of watchers will grow when a live stream of the Cathedral’s Midnight Mass is planned to be webcast on the World Wide Web. Although the goal

is to make the households Marty Wind live stream each week. It Executive Vice available for can be seen live President and the Midnight at 9:30 a.m. General Manager Mass, it is Sundays on of the Diocesan possible the public access Telecommunications live webcasts television staCorporation may not be tion K D F. available until About 50 to 2016, Wind said. 100 people per week download the After the Christmas live stream video broadcast, Wind said. debut, the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass And the audience may now listen to will also be broadcast live weekly on live audio of the Sunday Mass on radio the Web, accessible through links to station KLUX. The Sunday Masses in be available on the Catholic Commu- Spanish and English are also recorded nications Network Web site at www. and, beginning on Dec. 7, they will be They are now testing the broadcast on KLUX throughout the links and preparing the equipment to week. The English Mass can be heard make sure the webcast will work prop- at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and at 10 erly, Wind said. a.m. on Thursdays. The Spanish Mass The audience for the televised Mass will be on at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and currently numbers about 2,000-3,000 at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays.


Richard Luna operates cameras from the control room for a live televised Mass. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic

➤ We are conveying the spirituality of the Mass. No matter

where they are, we don’t want them to feel alone.

The telecast, complete with closed captioning, is the only church service in the Coastal Bend to be shown live, Wind said. He said non-Catholics who watch are curious about the Church and the Mass. It is also a great evangelization tool, he said. “This gives them a front line view of

what goes on,” Wind said. Another plan in the works for 2015 is for the Masses to be broadcast in high definition. They are now broadcast in standard definition, Wind said. Before the HDTV broadcasts begin, replacing infrastructure inside the cathedral must take place. Two new high definition cameras will be added

and the control room at the cathedral will be renovated. The $50,000 cost will be funded from grants, but Wind is also hopeful that viewers will donate. Currently, four cameras operate in the cathedral sanctuary, with Luna operating one from the control room. One is a fixed camera behind the altar with no operator, and individuals


operate two more. Wind said he hopes to replace two of the cameras with the HDTV cameras. Funding for the operating budget to provide the TV ministry telecasts is covered, in part, by grants from the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation and the Dr. and Mrs. Hugh A. Kennedy Foundation. The Christus Spohn Health System also provides funding for the telecast’s $40,000 annual operations budget,

Wind said. “This includes production supplies, airtime, contract labor for five people, Internet maintenance and Internet bandwidth,” he said. It does not cover the salary and benefits for Luna, who edits, directs and delivers the final product to the public access channel each week as part of his normal workload. As a part of the move to make the telecast available worldwide, Christus

All Services FREE:

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

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

The Office for Child and Youth Protection

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SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMMING 5:00 - 6:00 6:00 - 6:30 6:30 - 7:00 7:00 - 7:30 7:30 - 8:00 8:00 - 8:30 8:30 - 9:00 9:00 - 9:30 9:30 - 10:30 10:30 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:30

Spohn will fund the digitizing program needed to send it to the server so that anyone with a computer can watch the Sunday Mass from anywhere in the world, Wind said. Currently, the only place now to get the live Mass is on television station KDF. To help fund these upgrades to make it possible to provide the Sunday Mass to a wider audience, visit and click on the “Cathedral TV Mass” tab. Or call (361) 289-6437.

Sacred Music Jesus En Mi Vida Diaria Spanish Rosary Semillas De Esperanza Con Permiso The Catholic Cafe Personally Speaking Our Shepherd’s View Cathedral Sun Mass Live Labors of Love Catholic Answers Live

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CATHOLIC Programming on RADIO, TV and INTERNET Cathedral Sunday Mass - LIVE BROADCAST at 9:30 a.m.

KLUX-HD 89.5, KLUX.ORG AND KDF-TV (cable subscribers should consult their cable guide)

Mass video replays on local public access channels Cathedral Sunday Mass: Wed. 7 p.m. , Thurs. 10 a.m. “La Santa Misa”: Tues. 7 p.m. & Wed. 10 a.m.

Internet Podcasts & video at

Cathedral Sunday Mass, La Santa Misa, Our Shepherd’s View, Simmillas De Experanza, Labors of Love, and Con Permiso

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Teens Open Up to God’s Holiness Youth Retreat High School age Youth Retreat (9-12 grades)

December 19-21, 2014

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13

6 p.m. on Friday - 5 p.m. Sunday at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center




for the who le w lodging, pr eekend with food Adoration, ayer, Reconciliatio , n, Holy Mass, fellowship the opport an unity to re flect on Go d Holiness fo d’s r each one uf us

4601 Calallen Drive • Corpus Christi, TX 78410 TOUGH is sponsored by the Diocese of Corpus Christi Office of Youth Ministry (361) 882-6191 To register go to: and return registration packet to: Diocese of Corpus Christi, c/o Office of Youth Ministry, 620 Lipan St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401. DECEMBER 2014  |  SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC  27  

¿Un parroquiano sencillo o Luisa Scolari



l que no vive para servir, no sirve para vivir.” Estas palabras de Beata Madre Teresa de Calcuta encapsulan una de las premisas y características mas importantes de todo aquél que se haga llamar Católico: el espíritu de servicio. Existe una gran diferencia entre ser Católico y ser un “buen Católico”.


El padre Julián Cabrera, Director del Ministerio Hispano para la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, dice que hay una diferencia entre ser un simple feligrés y ser un discípulo. Muchos feligreses asisten a la iglesia el domingo y contribuyen financieramente, pero no toman parte en la vida de la parroquia o de

sus ministerios. La parroquia de Ss. Cyril y Methodius en Corpus Christi ofrece un ejemplo de como sus 3,000 familias viven en comunidad y como existir envueltos en la vida de la parroquia. En su programa de educación religiosa tienen inscritos y participando 450

niños que asisten a escuelas públicas, más los 160 que están inscritos en su escuela parroquial (K3 hasta quinto grado). Además la parroquia cuenta con un grupo de Guadalupanas, con Hijas Católicas de las Américas, con el Rito de Iniciación Cristiana para Adultos,

Las parejas, de izquierda, Velda y Lee Trujillo, Patricia y Abel García y Michelle y Daniel Rodríguez son parroquianos activos en Ss. Cyril y Methodius. Luisa Scolari, para el South Texas Catholic



discípulo, cuál es usted?


➤ La Parroquia también cuenta con un grupo muy activo de organizadores de retiros ACTS (Adoración, Comunidad, Teología, Servicio). Estos retiros…Proporcionan una oportunidad de desarrollar una relación más estrecha y profunda con Nuestro Señor a través de la oración, cantos, rezos, meditaciones y compartiendo experiencias. con Caballeros de Colón, con la Sociedad del Altar y otros ministerios. “En nuestra parroquia somos como una familia que nos apoyamos en todo momento, sobre todo en tiempos difíciles como los funerales, las familias vienen a apoyar. También en los lunes de adoración y confesiones hay mucha asistencia y convivencia entre los parroquianos,” Velda Vela-Trujillo dijo. La Parroquia también cuenta con un grupo muy activo de organizadores de retiros ACTS (Adoración, Comunidad, Teología, Servicio). Estos retiros de fin de semana se ofrecen, por separado para hombres y para mujeres. Proporcionan una oportunidad de desarrollar una relación más estrecha y profunda con Nuestro Señor a través de la oración, cantos, rezos, meditaciones y compartiendo experiencias. Pero siempre partiendo de la premisa de poner a Cristo como centro. “Estos retiros crean una relación más

estrecha entre los parroquianos participantes por la cercana convivencia de los tres días, permitiendo que se conozcan más y creen lazos más estrechos para beneficio de la parroquia. Y se ve reflejado cuando después de misa los domingos no salen corriendo apurados para irse a otro lado, sino que como ya todos se conocen, se quedan a platicar y convivir en familia,” Lee Trujillo, quien participó en un retiro ACTS, dijo. Comentó que ACTS es un escalón para aprender más sobre la Fe, despertando la emoción de querer conocer más y más sobre la Fe y seguir creciendo en ella. El retiro lleva a participantes al estudio de la Biblia cada vez más profundo, llenando los de un sentimiento de amor tan grande que les hace querer compartirlo con la comunidad, y cuando lo hacen, el amor crece mas dentro de ellos. “Mientras más das, más recibes,” Trujillo dijo.

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


El señor Abel García también participo en ACTS, y comentó, “Los retiros de ACTS generan una relación muy estrecha con Dios y a poner a Cristo como centro de tu vida. Esto lo ven tus hijos y aunque no lo dicen, lo están viviendo y seguirán tu ejemplo.” Este año se ofrecerá el primero retiro para matrimonios. Sera enfocada a consolidar matrimonios dándoles herramientas y fortalezas necesarias que benefician a las familias Católicas y que impactan positivamente a nuestra sociedad. Daniel Rodríguez dice que siendo parejas unidas pueden impactar la vida de sus hijos, que a su vez impactaran la sociedad. “Tenemos que ayudarlos a descubrir sus dones y talentos como nuestros padres lo hicieron con nosotros. Mis padres me hicieron confiar mucho en mí, pero lo que me hizo crecer mucho personalmente fue servir, pues vi como

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


los dones iban viniendo a mí,” Rodríguez dijo. Además de los retiros de ACTS, la Parroquia de San Cirilo durante el año tiene varios eventos como son: retiro para matrimonios, gala anual, comida de acción de gracias, Festival de Otoño y Noches Familiares. El pastor, Mons. Larry White, cuenta con la asistencia de casi todos sus parroquianos. “Cuando sirves, impacta tu vida pues sales de tu zona de confort y te hace una persona más fuerte, y no sólo en la iglesia, pues lo trasladas a tu familia y a tu comunidad. Crecí con unos papás muy involucrados en la iglesia y muy activos en su parroquia pues eran cursillistas y pertenecían al grupo de oración, yo lo viví con ellos y ahora mis hijos nos ven hacerlo y ellos lo hacen sin temor,” Michelle Rodríguez dijo.

“La Iglesia Católica nos brinda unos cimientos muy fuertes y la estabilidad necesaria para permanecer firmes en nuestros principios en medio de una sociedad tan cambiante,” Trujillo dijo. “En ACTS aprendes la importancia de ser más activo en tu parroquia para formar nuevas familias en valores Católicos, el estar involucrado nos da más fortaleza y vemos el resultado de esto materializado en nuestros hijos, por que ante todo siempre nos ponemos al servicio de Dios, y al poner a Dios como eje central en tu vida. “Debemos rezar juntos para no ser vulnerables, ya que Jesús nos hizo la promesa de que ‘si dos o mas rezan juntos en mi nombre, ahí estaré yo’; y así, la familia que reza unida permanece unida, es por eso que debemos de enseñar a nuestros hijos a rezar, ya que es lo que los mantiene enfocados

en lo que es correcto en esta época.” “Debemos de estar bien conscientes que si no ejercitamos la Fe, se enfría. Cuando vives la experiencia de este acercamiento con Jesús y sientes como entra en tu vida y en tu Corazón, te invade la emoción y quieres que todos la experimenten y te nace un gran deseo de servir,” García dijo. “Aprendes mucho de ti cuando sirves y de que tanto vas mejorando o creciendo como persona, y es que es Cristo que está obrando en ti, pues cada vez aprendes más sobre la Fe y el estudio de la Biblia, y el servicio lo hace más fácil.” Para participar en cualquiera de los eventos, póngase en contacto con la parroquia localizada en el 3210 de S. Padre Island Drive o llame al teléfono (361) 853-7371. Y no dejen de informarse sobre las oportunidades en su parroquia.


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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Holy Family will pay tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec. 11. On Thursday Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi will hold their annual “Homenaje” or tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The celebration is in keeping with the Mexican tradition of honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe before her feast day on the Dec. 12. Maclovio Pérez with KRIS-TV will serve as master of ceremonies.

TOUGH retreat slated for Dec. 19-21 Some 28 teens and 10 adults are meeting, going over talks, planning games, practicing skits and planning other details for the upcoming Office of Youth Ministry high school teen weekend retreat where participants will come together and have an encounter with Jesus and make new friends from other parishes in the diocese. The retreat is called the TOUGH (Teens Open Up to God’s Holiness) and it is scheduled for Dec. 19-21 at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. More than 50 teens are expected to attend the retreat. For more information and to register online, visit

In Memoriam Deacon Richard Robert Lewinski April 22, 1947~Oct. 21, 2014 Richard Robert Lewinski finished his life of service on Oct. 21. His greatest pleasure in life was proclaiming God’s word on Earth. On Nov. 8, 2008, he was ordained as a Deacon for the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and was assigned and served in his home parish of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles

Church in Annaville. Lewenski was born to Clarence C. and Mary Jane Lewinski on April 22, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He traveled to Texas in 1969 to meet his pen pal, Maria Dahlia Garcia, whom he married in 1970. He valued family life deeply. He was a loving husband and father. Mourning his loss are his wife of 44 years, Dahlia Lewinski; seven children, Gabriel J., Patrick T. (Kelly), Clarence E. (Krystal), Christi N. (William


Russell), Benjamin P., Matthew H. (Teri), and Andrew X. Lewinski; 14 grandchildren, Nathan Vera, Nicholas Savage, Lauren Vera, Allison Vera, Tiffany Pena, Alex Dove, Magdalene, Logan, Lucia, Lilliana, Lyla, Andrew (A.J.), Baby Lewinski, Augustus and Daphne Russell and great grandchild, Audrey Nance. Also in mourning are brothers, Clarence (Diane), Rudy (Anna), Harry (Connie) Lewinski; fourteen nieces and nephews and various great nieces and nephews.

Corpus Christi Court 246 of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas celebrated their Centennial Jubilee on Sunday, Oct. 26. In August 1914, 37 charter members organized the Corpus Christi Court. Among the special guests at the centennial celebration were Carolyn Bachmann, National Director; Peggy Rosales, Worthy State Regent from Austin; Eve Trevino, First Vice Regent of Corpus Christi; Rosie Stockwell, Second Vice Regent from Edinburg; Melodie Brunt, State Secretary from Texarkana; Becky Brown, State Treasurer from Angleton; Iris Hinojosa State Education Chairman from Benavides; and district deputies Erica Garcia #16 and 41 in Corpus Christi and Janie Corona #22 from San Benito.

Court officers of Corpus Christ #246 include, from left, Barbara McDonald, Recording Secretary; Valerie Commons, Vice Regent; Mary Helen Rios, Regent; Priscilla Moreno, Financial Secretary; and Bettye McLaughlin, Treasurer. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic

In Memoriam Deacon Alfonso Luis Ramirez April 12, 1964~Nov. 2, 2014 Deacon Alfonso Luis Ramirez passed from this life to eternal life on Nov. 2. Deacon Ramirez spent more than 30 years serving the youth and young adults at St. Patrick’s, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Diocese of Corpus Christi, mostly as a volunteer, and the last eight years full time.

Deacon Ramirez was born April 12, 1964 to Adolfo and Alice Ramirez in Corpus Christi. He was the seventh of eight children. He was a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church and spent his entire adult life serving his Lord, the Church, and the young people of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He met his wife Susan while ministering at St. Patrick’s Church. They married in 1987. Through the grace of God they had five children–Efrain,

of Alexandria, LA, Myryam (Gabriel) Vela, from Tyler, Texas, Deborah (Daniel) Martinez, from Houston, Texas, Christine and Nicole who both still live at home. He is survived by his wife and children, three grandchildren: Isabela, Isaiah and Iryna; his brothers Adolfo, Efrain (Anna), Richard (Deanna), his sisters Norma Adams, Melinda Ramirez Holdsworth and Sonia (Jesse) Nuncio; and many nieces and nephews.



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Rio Grand

still aids dozens of Central A Patricia Zapor


Catholic News Service

ational attention may have turned away from the summer’s big story of tens of thousands of Central American children and families crossing the U.S. border, but the Diocese of Brownsville, is still assisting dozens of people daily at respite centers it opened to help. Bishop Daniel E. Flores said in an interview that because the Catholic Church had social services infrastructure in place, the diocese was able to ramp up assistance when it became apparent early this year that vastly more immigrants were coming across the border and in need of basic things like food, clothing, diapers and baby formula. “We had the infrastructure to flexibly respond” to the quickly developing crisis, Bishop Flores said. There was space at a parish not far from the bus station in McAllen, for example. The situation also has led to some great examples of interfaith and ecumenical cooperation, Bishop Flores said, including a visit to the Catholic operations by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, who quickly joined in offering assistance, including volunteers, supplies and public statements of support for the efforts. Social service providers had seen steady increases in the number of Central Americans arriving in the Rio Grande Valley, the bishop said. “We had a sense” that a crisis was developing, he said. “Mothers and children were fleeing conditions that were unconscionable.” In June, federal agencies were scrambling to deal with tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and families with

American migrants daily

❝We had a sense that a crisis was developing, he said. Mothers and children were fleeing conditions that were unconscionable.❞ –Bishop Daniel E. Flores young children from Central America who were crossing the U.S. border from Mexico, with most voluntarily turning themselves in to border agents. By the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, agents had apprehended more than 68,541 unaccompanied minors and more than 68,445 families with young children, most from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The totals for each category for the previous fiscal year were 38,759 unaccompanied minors and 14,855 families. The vast majority of those apprehensions occurred in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Sector, where Brownsville is located. As Bishop Flores explained, apprehended youths are moved into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Homeland Security, which provides temporary housing and locates relatives or foster care situations while deportation proceedings continue. But parents traveling with their children, once processed by immigration

authorities, are typically released to make their own way to their relatives around the U.S. as they await further legal proceedings. Those are the people who come to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, he said. Since the diocese opened its Respite Center in McAllen and a second one in Brownsville in June, more than 13,000 people have been assisted there, according to Brenda Nettles Riojas, director of diocesan relations. As various measures have been enacted in the Central American countries and in the U.S. to discourage such crossings, the numbers have declined. Riojas said the center in Brownsville closed in September, but 30 to 60 people a day still seek help in McAllen. Bishop Flores said the centers have been getting volunteers and donations from throughout the country and from Mexico. He told of volunteers arriving from out of state to spend their summer vacations packing supplies for the families.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, responds to a reporter’s question during an interview at the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. Bob Roller, Catholic News Service



de Valley

A tradition of interfaith cooperation also helped, he said. So it was relatively easy to ensure that different churches did not duplicate efforts and instead were able to fill gaps in necessary services, he said. Bishop Flores participated in an interfaith prayer service that included various faiths that had sent volunteers. Nettles said more than 5,000 volunteers helped in the centers from July through October, for a total of more than 28,000 hours of work. The volunteers came from 25 states. Among the ongoing needs for the families still being helped are backpacks, shoes and winter clothing, Nettles said, as many of the families will go from Texas to stay with relatives in northern states.


Catholics want to learn more about their faith Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service


or three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings. To this end, they have conducted multiple surveys and interviews of various groups of Catholics, including fervent believers, Latinos, singles, parents, priests and church leaders. Although responses have varied, one of the takeaways is that Catholics by and large want to learn more about what it means to be Catholic. Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, chairman of the Committee on ProLife Activities, introduced the findings to the bishops during their annual fall assembly in Baltimore. He said the research was initially conducted to determine how to better communicate with Catholics and why they accept or disregard Church teachings on the value of human life. Cardinal O’Malley said the research grew in scope from its initial quest and he noted that the working group’s committee leaders would only be able to present a fraction of their findings in the time allotted for their report. He said they planned to make the research

available online to the bishops and to conduct workshops to further explain their findings. Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, presented a snapshot of the findings and said they reveal both challenges and opportunities for church leaders. Among the challenges evident in the responses was that many Catholics experience a disconnect between the teachings of the church and teachings of Jesus. He also said many of those surveyed and interviewed have had little or no catechesis. They also expressed how the clergy sex abuse scandal impacted the church and felt that not enough had been done to rectify it. On a positive side, he said many Catholics expressed a sense of God’s love and they also were more involved in parish life when parish ministries were tied into the Gospel message.


Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, presented a snapshot of the findings and said they reveal both challenges and opportunities for church leaders. Bob Roller, Catholic News Service

Across the board, some Catholics felt there were too many rules in the church that they did not understand and others felt that people in the church can be too judgmental. Some sensed that their parishes are divided into pro-life and social justice camps. Many wanted to understand the whys of church teaching. Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, who is chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, told the bishops that the research was “enlightening and sobering.” He acknowledged that it was “a lot to unpack and unfold” but urged the bishops to be “encouraged, not discouraged” by it. He said the findings essentially point to the need “to proclaim the Gospel and bring people to a renewed encounter with Jesus.” One way the working group of bishops’ committees plans to do that is through a Catholic convocation in Orlando, Florida, in July 2017.

David Agren


Catholic News Service

esponding to the Mexican bishops’ conference impassioned plea for peace and an end to the bloodshed in Mexico, the Christian faithful in Corpus Christi gathered for an ecumenical prayer service for peace on Sunday, Nov. 23. Several hundred turned out to the Cole Park Amphitheater to pray for the 43 teacher trainees allegedly captured by crooked cops, killed by organized crime and burned. “With sadness we recognize that the situation of the country has worsened”—since 2010, when the bishops published a pastoral letter on violence—”unleashing a true national crisis,” the bishops said in Mexico City. “Many people live subjected to fear, finding themselves helpless against the

threats of criminal groups and, in some cases, the regrettable corruption of the authorities.” Pope Francis also said he wanted to express to the Mexicans present in St. Peter’s Square, “but also to those in your homeland, my spiritual closeness at this painful time.” While the

students are legally missing, “we know they were killed,” the pope said. Their disappearance and deaths “make visible the dramatic reality that exists behind the sale and trafficking of drugs.” The Office for Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Corpus Christi called

People join hands in prayer at the ecumenical prayer service held in Corpus Christi on Nov. 23 Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Cathoic



Diocese of Corpus Christi responds to plea for peace


Episcopal priest Father John Hardie, at left, and evangelical pastor David de Hinojosa, right, make prayer presentations at ecumenical prayer service for peace. Father Julian Cabrera, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice, is to Hinojosa’s left. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

for the prayer service for peace, which was open to people of all faiths. Among the worship leaders were Father Julian Cabrera, director of the Office for Hispanic Ministry, Father John Hardie pastor of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Corpus Christi and David de Hinojosa an evangelical pastor from the Rio

Grande Valley. Bishop Michael Mulvey was unable to attend but sent a message to those gathered at Cole Park, that the students and people in Mexico were in his prayers and in his heart. He said he was praying for them. Ordinary Mexicans have taken to

the streets, condemning the crimes committed against the students and the apparent collusion between criminals and the political class in parts of the country. The bishops lent their support to peaceful demonstrations, which often have been led by students, and called for a day of prayer Dec. 12,

Prayer participants show solidarity with students in Mexico by holding up placards reading “I am tired”, “We too are all Ayotzinapan” and the number “43” for the 43 students killed.” Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic


when millions of Mexicans celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “In our vision of faith, these acts make it evident that we have distanced ourselves from God,” the bishops said. “In the midst of this crisis, we see with hope the awakening of civil society, which as never before in recent years has protested against corruption, impunity and the complicity of some authorities. We believe it is necessary to proceed from protests to proposals.” Authorities arrested José Luis Abarca, mayor of Iguala, and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, Nov. 4 in Mexico City, alleging they ordered the attack on the students. The couple claimed the students were coming to protest a community event planned by Pineda. Classmates said the students went to Iguala, 120 miles south of Mexico City, to collect funds for a future trip to the capital, but had their borrowed buses shot at by police—who detained 43 of the teacher trainees and handed them over to members of the Guerreros Unidos gang. The group in Corpus Christi read the names of the 43 students killed. Families of the missing students refuse to believe the government and said they only will accept evidence presented by Argentine forensic experts working on the case. Protests have continued, especially in Guerrero, where students and their supporters have burned government buildings, blocked highways and marched through the tourist zone of Acapulco. (Alfredo E. Cárdenas with the South Texas Catholic contributed to this article.)


Give your children the best: your faith, pope says Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service


aith always has been transmitted best through example, but with young people constantly bombarded by images of all kinds, living models of a commitment to truth and love are more important than ever, Pope Francis said. Welcoming dozens of school children to his morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives, Pope Francis’ homily was a mix of a dialogue with them and an admonition to their parents and teachers. “We all have a responsibility to give the best that we have,” the pope said, “and the best that we have is the faith. Give it to them, but give it to them through your example.” According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis said that “in this world of images,” where most young people have a smartphone, tablet or computer, “words don’t work. Examples! Examples!” The day’s first Scripture reading, from the Second Letter of John, spoke about the beauty of “children walking in the truth” and keeping God’s command to love one another. Pope Francis asked the adults at the Mass, “Do we teach them what we have heard in the first reading: to walk in love and in truth? Or do we teach

them with words, while our lives go in another direction?” “These young people are a responsibility for us,” he said. “A Christian must take care of young people, children and transmit the faith to them, transmit to them what is living, what is in your hearts.” Young people, he said, are “small plants that grow,” and no Christian adult can ignore them. Turning to the children, Pope Francis asked them why they came to the early morning Mass. After some hesitation, one spoke up and said, “To see you.” The pope responded that he was pleased to see the young people there, but he said, “You also came to see Jesus. Right? Or do we set Jesus aside?” At that point the children shouted, “No!” “Now,” the pope told them, “Jesus will come on the altar and we will all see him. It is Jesus,” present in the consecrated bread and wine. “Let us ask Jesus to teach us to walk in truth and love,” the pope said.



St. Peter’s Square restrooms will include showers for the homeless Cindy Wooden


Catholic News Service

he archbishop who distributes charity on behalf of Pope Francis has announced that the public restrooms in St. Peter’s Square will include showers where the homeless can wash.

The service will require volunteers and donations of soap, towels and clean underwear, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, said. “We have to be evangelical, but intelligent, too.” Several people living on the streets of Rome or in tents say it is not difficult to find a parish or charity that will give them something to eat, but finding a place to wash is much more difficult. Barbara, a Polish woman who lives in a tent with her teenage son and a companion, said showers in the Vatican’s public restrooms “would be good. We’d thank them if it works.” Her companion, who calls himself Stefano, said: “I’m a mason without work. I’ll help them build it. No problem.” The news site Vatican Insider first reported the news that Archbishop Krajewski had asked the office governing Vatican City State to include showers in an already-approved project to remodel the public restrooms in St. Peter’s Square. The archbishop said the three shower stalls would be located in the public restrooms a few steps north of Bernini’s Colonnade, just behind the Vatican post office. The archbishop said that he was

➤ Archbishop Krajewski [said] that he is visiting parishes in areas where homeless people gather and is encouraging them to install public showers if they have not already. talking to a homeless man near the Vatican and discovered it was the man’s 50th birthday. He invited the man to a restaurant for dinner, but the man declined, saying a restaurant would not let him in because of his odor. Sitting on the steps of the Vatican press office, Barbara and Stefano were discussing the plans with a small group of Polish friends–and expressing some doubts about it to reporters. The Rome diocesan Caritas, the Community of Sant’Egidio and other organizations offer shower facilities to the homeless in Rome, Barbara said, “but there are so many things you have to do. You have to get there at


four in the morning to sign in. Then only 15 people get in each day.” In addition, she said, because the number of homeless men is so much greater than the number of homeless women, many of the shower facilities are only for men or are open to women only a half day each week. Archbishop Krajewski said he is visiting parishes in areas where homeless people gather and is encouraging them to install public showers if they have not already. His office will help fund the building, he said. “It is not simple,” he said. “It is easier to prepare sandwiches than to run a shower service–you need volunteers, towels, clean underwear.”




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Our Lady and Christmas IN THE 21ST CENTURY

By Sister Kathleen McDonagh, IWBS Contributor

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


hristmas! With the business world putting pressure on 21st century people to spend money buying gifts, the most important reason for the celebration of Christmas—the celebration of the human birth of Jesus—is apt to get lost in many lives. Yet Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. That, of course, brings us to consider, not only Jesus, but also his mother Mary, through whose consent he became a human being. Mary was a young Jewish girl who had grown up in a humble home. She and her parents, Joachim and Ann, were simple, small town people, seemingly not recognized as being special in the society in which they lived. But, in her early teens, Mary had taken a vow of virginity—an almost unheard of action in her society; yet this did not seem to cause her to stand out in any way among the local people. And then, one day, into her simple home at Nazareth came the angel Gabriel with the incredible announcement of Mary’s becoming pregnant. In view of her vow of virginity, Mary did not understand how this could possibly be. The angel, however, explained that the pregnancy would take place through the action of the Holy Spirit on Mary, and the babe to be born would be the Son of God. This explanation convinced her that this was God’s plan for her, and Mary then accepted with the words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Lk 1:38).” Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in the last section of his Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel,” develops many of the results of


Mary’s acceptance. In his discussion, he goes far beyond the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Pope Francis entitles the two sections of his study, #287 and 288, “Star of the New Evangelization,” and in these sections, he describes Mary as “the woman of faith who lives and advances in faith.” He goes on to say “her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church.” The Holy Father does not, however, fail to point out that living in faith—as we are all called to do—even in relation to the human birth of Jesus, can cause difficulties. “Along this evangelization journey, we will have our moments of aridity, darkness and even fatigue. Mary herself experienced these things during the years of Jesus’ childhood in Nazareth,” the pope wrote. The Holy Father then turns to the reason for Mary being so loved and accepted. “Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness,” he said. He describes her as, “the handmaid of the father…the friend who is ever concerned that wine not be lacking in our lives…the woman…whose heart was pierced by a sword…a sign of hope for people suffering the birth pangs of justice…the missionary who… accompanies us through life…a true mother who…shares our struggles, and…constantly surrounds us with God’s love.” And the Holy Father ends his work with the

come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness.❞ –Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel.” words, “Mother of the Living Gospel, wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones, pray for us. Amen. Alleluia” The Virgin, who in her teens became pregnant with Jesus, continues to assist us members of the Church in

every age in our giving birth to him again. In doing this, she leads others and us ever closer and closer to him. May we, in our turn, do as she did—help to bring Jesus to others!

December Liturgical Calendar 1 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 2:1-5/Mt 8:5-11 (175) 2 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24 (176) 3 | Wed | Saint Francis Xavier, Priest | white | Memorial | Is 25:610a/Mt 15:29-37 (177) 4 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Is 26:1-6/ Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178) 5 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 29:17-24/Mt 9:27-31 (179) 6 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Nicholas, Bishop] Is 30:19-21, 23-26/Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8 (180) 7 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | Is 40:1-5, 9-11/2 Pt 3:8-14/Mk 1:1-8 (5) Pss II 8 | Mon | The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, | white | Patronal Feastday of the United States of America | Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38 (689) Pss Prop

9 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin] Is 40:1-11/Mt 18:12-14 (182)

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

Day: Is 52:7-10/Heb 1:1-6/Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14 (16) Pss Prop

10 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 40:25-31/Mt 11:28-30 (183)

18 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Jer 23:5-8/Mt 1:18-25 (194) 19 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195)

26 | Fri | Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | Feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop

11 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Damasus I, Pope] Is 41:13-20/Mt 11:11-15 (184) 12 | Fri | Our Lady of Guadalupe | white | Feast | Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47 (690A), or any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707- | 712 Pss Prop 13 | Sat | Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Mt 17:9a, 10-13 (186) 14 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet/rose | Is 61:1-2a, 10-11/1 Thes 5:16-24/Jn 1:6-8, 19-28 (8) Pss III 15 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a/Mt 21:23-27 (187) 16 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Zep 3:1-2, 9-13/Mt 21:28-32 (188)

20 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 7:10-14/Lk 1:26-38 (196) 21 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet | 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Rom 16:25-27/Lk 1:26-38 (11) Pss IV 22 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | 1 Sm 1:24-28/Lk 1:46-56 (198) 23 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint John of Kanty, Priest] Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66 (199) 24 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/ Lk 1:67-79 (200) 25 | Thu | 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) |

27 | Sat | Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist | white | Feast | 1 Jn 1:1-4/Jn 20:1a and 2-8 (697) Pss Prop 28 | SUN | THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH | white | Feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or Gn 15:16; 21:1-3/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17 or Hb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19/ Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40 (17) Pss Prop 29 | Mon | Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr] 1 Jn 2:3-11/Lk 2:22-35 (202) Pss Prop 30 | Tue | Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white | 1 Jn 2:12-17/Lk 2:36-40 (203) Pss Prop 31 | Wed | 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



❝Whenever we look to Mary, we



Dec. 2 at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Featuring the worldrenowned von Trapp children: Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and Justin – the great-grandchildren of Maria and Baron von Trapp of “The Sound of Music.” For VIP memberships for priority reserved seating and more information call (361) 888-7444.





Deadline Extended for Ministry Conference

Until Dec. 5. Individual registration for the Ministry Conference will continue at $30 per person. The conference is open to all people wanting to know more about the Catholic faith. For more information and to download registration forms go to ministryconference


Dec. 6-7 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall (204 Dunne St.) in Robstown. Don’t miss this special holiday shopping event. Vendors will be displaying various crafts, jewelry, candles and home cooked food. There will be music and entertainment.

Live Nativity at St. John Paul II High School

On Dec. 8-10 from 6-8 p.m. at St. John Paul II High School (3036 Saratoga Blvd.) Drive through viewing and refreshments. Gates will close at 7:45 p.m. each night, so be prepared to come early. This year there are more than 200 students participating. Donations are accepted. For more information contact Laura Okoniewski at or call (361) 855-5744.


Day of Prayer and Reflection at St. Philip the Apostle


The Light of Christmas Advent Retreat

Dec. 6 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Church in the Msgr. William Thompson Family Center’s Great Hall. Featured speaker is Father Robert Dunn. Come join us for


Registration Form at




OLCC Men’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat

Dec. 11-14 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center. A weekend to go into a deeper relationship with the Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

PreCana Marriage Preparation Seminar

Dec. 13 from 8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen) in Corpus Christi. PreCana is a one-day marriage preparation seminar for the engaged. Registrations after Nov. 30 is $70. No refunds will be issued. Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received in full. Register online or print and mail the Printable

Engaged Encounter

Dec. 13-14 begins at 8 a.m. at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen) in Corpus Christi for engaged couples who are not civilly married or cohabitating. Registrations are due two weeks prior to the weekend. For registrations after the due date add $50. No refunds will be made with less than 14 days’ notice.Register at

Early Registration Deadline for Family Life Conference at OLCC

Adults and teens, register by Dec. 15 and receive 20 percent off cost of registration. Deadline to register children under 12 is also Dec.15. To register call (361) 289-9095, ext., 309 or go to

Rosary in honor of Venerable Julia Navarrete

Dec. 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Venerable Mother Julia Chapel located at 408 E. Richard in Kingsville. Celebrate a Christmas Miracle with a “Noche de Luminaria” rosary. Everyone will have an opportunity to place remembrance petitions for loved ones on the altar to stay throughout Advent.

2014 Christmas Extravaganza

Dec. 6 from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at St. Philip, the Apostle Parish (3513 Cimarron Blvd.) in Corpus Christi. All are welcome. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Mass at 8:30 a.m. in the St. Jude Chapel prior to the retreat. For more information or to RSVP, contact Margaret Arenas at (361) 299-5902 or Liz Yzaguirre at (361) 548-8515.

Christmas with The von Trapps and the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra


Ministry Conference Vocation Essay Contest

Deadline for all essay entries is Dec. 19. The Office of Vocations and the Office of Youth Ministry sponsoring the essay contest in celebration of Diocese of Corpus Christi Ministry Conference. For more information go to

TOUGH Retreat

Dec. 19-21 at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Drive) in Corpus Christi. The TOUGH weekend is a weekend retreat for both boys and girls in high school in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. For more information and to download the registration packet at

To see more calendar events go to: South Texas







South Texas Catholic PO Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403-2620


December 2014

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

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South Texas Catholic - December 2014  

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

South Texas Catholic - December 2014  

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