South Texas Catholic VOL. 47 NO. 3
NEWSPAPER OF THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
Diocese celebrates World Marriage Day Page 2 SouthTexasCatholic.com
‘Diocese of the Eucharist’
Youth ministers meet in retreat
See following news stories and more
Salinas signs with A&M Corpus Christi
Lady Angels win district
Spohn nurse delivers baby in back of buggy
40 Days for Life underway during Lent
Bishops still call for HHS mandate removal
2 SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
FRONT PAGE NEWS
Bishop blesses 41 married couples Diocese commemorates World Marriage Day By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Jerome and Audrey Hennek of Most Precious Blood Parish in Corpus Christi will celebrate 63 years of married life in December but were on hand Sunday, Feb. 12, to get a blessing from Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey along with 40 other couples celebrating anniversaries on World Marriage Day. Bishop Mulvey thanked the couples for “witnessing to a fidelity, to a commitment that they made, a commitment to one another but as a sacrament, a commitment to Christ.” “Love is obedience, love is sacrifice,” Bishop Mulvey said. “You have shown and you continue to show the world, your family, the beauty of your commitment to Christ.” The Henneks were married two days after Christmas, on Dec. 27, 1949, at St. Anthony’s parish in St. Cloud, Minnesota. At 62 years of marriage they had been married the longest of all the couples at the Cathedral on Sunday. Seven other couples celebrated more than 50 years, 22 couples observed their golden anniversary and 11 couples were celebrating their silver wedding anniversary. The World Marriage Day, sponsored in the Diocese of
Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
Forty-one couples, including Freddy and Cathy Perez from Sts. Cyril & Methodious, joined hands at the Cathedral as Bishop Mulvey prayed a blessing over them during World Marriage Day.
Corpus Christi by the Office of Family Life, honored couples celebrating their Silver (25 years) or Golden (50 years) wedding anniversary on 2012. Couples celebrating more than 50 years of marriage were invited to attend. All couples received a certificate signed by Bishop Mulvey commemorating their silver or golden anniversary. In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the wedding anniversary Mass began in 1989 and has been celebrated annually ever since. The couples receive either a silver or gold certificate recognizing and honoring their achievement and witness to the sacrament
of matrimony. One participant said that she thought, “It is wonderful for the diocese and the bishop to continue this annual event. With the number of divorces it is nice to see the diocese celebrating marriages and the fact these folks have stayed together for so many years.” A gentleman said he was very happy to be at the Mass because he had been sick and was unsure if he was going to make it. “It is a great blessing to me and my wife to celebrate our 50th anniversary and for Bishop Mulvey to take the time to be with us,” he said.
At the onset of celebrating the anniversary Mass silver jubilarians outnumbered golden jubilarians almost 2 to 1. Changes in marriage statistics over the past two decades have reversed that trend as more couples are celebrating their 25th at a later age due to earlier divorces, Deacon Stephen Nolte, Director of the Office of Family Life, said. “It will be interesting to watch this phenomenon in the future as changes continue to occur. Hopefully these numbers will stabilize as we continue to strive to build up and strengthen marriage,” Deacon Nolte said. Bishop Mulvey, along with all of the bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, places marriage and the family high on the list of priorities in the Church today. Due to a divorce rate that remains in the 50 percentiles and a high incidence of cohabiting couples, diocesan offices around the country, and in particular here in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, are working to improve pre-marriage formation and increase the awareness of couples everywhere to the harm caused to society by divorce and cohabitation. “It is incumbent upon us to recognize and honor those couples who have worked together for the good of the couple and their family. Peo-
Bishop honors religious with Mass By Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Some 90 women religious participated in the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s observance of World Day of Consecrated Life on Feb. 4-5. There are 152 men and women religious in the diocese. The observance began with a Spirituality Day on Feb. 4 at St. Pius X Parish Hall led by Father Tom Norris. It was an opportunity for those in consecrated life to reflect on their vocation. Father Norris’ topic was entitled “The Radical Choice of God in an Age of False Prophets.” The following morning, Feb. 5, Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey celebrated Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral, which was followed by reception in St. Joseph Hall where a number of religious celebrated jubilees. Bishop Mulvey told the re-
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Bishop Mulvey presents a gift of congratulations to Sister Elizabeth Pathiparambil, SABS, who celebrated 40 years of service to consecrated life.
ligious present that each one of their congregations represented one of the “flowering aspects of the life of Jesus.” Some congregations are dedicated to prayer and contemplation; some to teaching the young;
others to working in hospitals; and still others to walking among the poor. “Religious life has that dimension of bringing to life all the dimensions of the ministry of Jesus Christi,” Bishop Mul-
vey said. “Christ’s mission was to reconcile us with God and also with one another.” He told the religious present at the Mass that they were signs of hope for eternal life, for the dignity of human life which often is seen without value or meaning. “Without faith we have no meaning, we have no hope. You point to eternal values not just human values. Your service is invaluable as you point to the eternal values,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop thanked all those in consecrated life for their “witness to Christ in our diocese.” Among those celebrating jubilees was Sister Monica de la Rosa, IWBS who celebrated 60 years of service. Sister Begona Divinagracia, OP and Sister Angela Murdaugh, FSM observed their golden jubilee See SISTERS, page 5
ple just need to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. It requires hard work and dedication, and most importantly a spirit of self-sacrifice for the building up of the couple rather than the individual,” Deacon Nolte said. Manuel and Carmela García, also in attendance at the Mass, celebrated again on Feb. 26—the exact date of their wedding anniversary— at the St., Joseph Mission in Palito Blanco. Father Epi Rodríguez of San Diego, who performed the original ceremony, blessed them at their golden anniversary Mass at the same chapel.
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On the cover ....
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Tomas and Mary Ann Colin of St. Martin’s Parish in Kingsville joined other couples in receiving blessing from Bishop Mulvey.
Deacons have day of reflection CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Members of the Diocese of Corpus Christi permanent diaconate, candidates to the diaconate and their wives met at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles on Saturday, Feb. 18, for a “day of reflection.” Deacon Michael Mantz, Director of the Office of Permanent Diaconate, said Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey shared with participants his vision for the deacon in the diocese. In addition, Father Tom Norris led three sessions on homiletics during the all-day conference. Homiletics is the study of how to prepare and deliver a sermon, homily or other catechetical instruction.
NEWS OF THE DIOCESE MARCH 2012
Father Taylor was first priest ordained from new diocese It the winter of 1919, Corpus Christi was still reeling from the vicious hurricane that killed nearly 250 of its residents and demolished more than half the town. Though still too young to be ordained to the priesthood, Charles Joseph Taylor was assigned to preach his first sermon at midnight Mass that Christmas at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. His message was to bring the hope and consolation of Jesus Christ to the people was well received by the congregation that included many family and friends. Everyone was affected by the young man’s eloquence and piety. Later that Christmas day, he preached again on “The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.” Only 23 and still a dea- Father con, he was serving the Charles seminary as an assistant Taylor ordained an professor of Greek, which Oblate priest. he did until he reached 25 when he realized his lifelong dream to be ordained a priest and an Oblate of Mary Immaculate. Taylor was born in 1896 in Beeville, Texas to Frank C. and Adelaide Lovenskiold Taylor. The Taylors baptized their baby into their Episcopal faith. He was the grandson of prominent citizen and noted lawyer Charles Lovenskiold and his wife Sophia. His mother died, when he was only two years old and he was sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Corpus Christi. Emily Lovenskiold Southgate and her husband Thomas welcomed their infant nephew into their home and raised him as their own. The Southgates were Catholic converts and were active in the parish. In the years that young Charles Taylor was growing up, Thomas Southgate joined the newly organized Knights of Columbus Council while his wife was busy helping the diocese’s first bishop, Bishop Paul Nussbaum, the St. Anne’s Rosary and Altar Society and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Charles, a studious child, received his early education from the Sisters at Incarnate Word. When he was 10-years-old, Father Claude Jaillet received him into the Church, and served as his Godfather. When the boy turned 12, he entered the San Antonio Theological Seminary (Oblate). Bishop Arthur J. Drossert, D.D. of San Antonio ordained him 13 years later, in February 1920. He was the first man to be ordained from the new Diocese of Corpus Christi as well as the first Oblate from the diocese. The newspaper reported a touching moment when Msgr. Jaillet knelt at the See FIRST PRIEST, page 4
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
‘The Diocese of the Eucharist’
oted Catholic historian Carlos Castañeda observed about the Vicariate of Brownsville, “Compared with the other Texas dioceses, the Vicariate was poorer in wealth, but richer in souls to save.” Growth in the general population and the Church in south Texas continued at a steady pace during the decades under the shepherding care of Bishops Dominic Manucy and Peter Verdaguer. The National Catholic Directory at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century noted the steady rise in the Catholic population of south Texas. With a total population of about 158,000 Texans, the Vicariate of Brownsville had more than 82,000 Catholics, most of which— about 70,000—were MexicanAmerican. Not surprisingly, when Pope Pius X elevated the Apostolic Vicariate of Brownsville to the status of a diocese in 1912, he designated the city of Corpus Christi as the see city and St. Patrick’s church on the corner of Carancahua and Antelope Streets as the cathedral for the new diocese. The pope most likely chose Corpus Christi as the seat of the new diocese because he was an avid devotee of the Blessed Eucharist. More than almost all of the popes of the twentieth century, Pope Pius X had extensive pastoral experience at the parish level, and this influenced his appreciation for the value of lay collaboration and the Holy Eucharist. He had lived the self-giving love proclaimed in the Eucharist in his personal piety and charity. Pope Pius X had also encouraged more frequent communion in a time when some people only went once a year during the Easter season. He had even sought to make the Eucharist more accessible to the young by lowering the reception of First Communion to the “age of reason” which was interpreted to be as young as six or seven. The erection of the new Diocese of Corpus Christi began with something of a “mystery.” Because all of Texas at that time was a part of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Archbishop J. H. Blenk sent his Vicar General, Very Rev. Francis Racine, to Corpus Christi to deliver the papal Bull erecting the Diocese of Corpus Christi as well as orders to move the archives containing important documents and copies of letters of Bishops Manucy and Verdaguer from the city of Laredo to the city of Corpus Christi. The committee sent to Laredo to transfer the archives, informed the archbishop that they “transferred nothing because they found nothing to transfer.” Six years later, in 1918, a large package ar-
Passionist missionary Paul Joseph Nussbaum was named by Pope Pius X as the first bishop of the new Diocese of Corpus Christi. His selection came a year after the diocese was erected by papal decree.
rived at the office of the bishop of Corpus Christi from Chicago. In it were a few records and Roman documents of Bishop Verdaguer. Outside of these records there is no substantial documentary evidence of the work of the previous administrators of the Vicariate in the Corpus Christi diocesan archives. Father Paul Joseph Nussbaum, the shepherd appointed on April 4, 1913 by the Holy See as the first bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, was a 42-year-old native Philadelphian who had been educated by the Christian Brothers and Passionists, had professed his vows as a member of the Congregation of the Passion in 1887 and was ordained in St. Michael’s Monastery of Union, New Jersey in 1894. The Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had ordained Father Nussbaum. He had spent 10 years in Argentine missions before returning to the United States as Vice-rector of St. Mary’s Passionists Seminary in Dunkirk, New York. He had also served in parochial assignments in New Jersey and was serving as a consultor of the Eastern Province for his order when he received word of his appointment to the new Diocese of Corpus Christi. The new bishop understood missionary work, and so did the Passionists priests he brought with him to serve the mission fields of south Texas. They were fluent in Spanish and were used to traveling from community to community. They served the new bishop as diocesan assistants, as pastors in the larger parishes in and around Corpus Christi, and in traveling to such communities in Gregory, Calallen and Robstown to build the first churches for those flocks. Father Nussbaum was consecrated a bishop in the church of the Passionists Community in Union
City, New Jersey on May 20, 1913, by the Apostolic Delegate to the United States. On June 7, he arrived by train in San Antonio where he celebrated his first Mass in Texas at Santa Rosa Hospital. Assisting him at that Mass was a young Father Mariano Simon Garriga who later became the third bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the first native Texan to be appointed a bishop in Texas. The next day Bishop Nussbaum boarded the train to continue his journey to Corpus Christi where he met a warm welcome. He went directly to the newly designated cathedral where he offered thanks for his safe arrival and asked the divine guidance of God’s Holy Spirit in fulfilling his responsibilities as the chief shepherd of the new Diocese of Corpus Christi. Monsignor Claude Jaillet, who had been serving again as the administrator of the area, led the bishop to a local hotel for a reception and dinner in his honor before then proceeding to formally install the new bishop in his cathedral that same evening. Bishop Nussbaum thus became the head of a Diocese that then included all of south Texas as delineated by the former Vicariate of Brownsville at a time when the only other dioceses in Texas were Galveston (erected 1847), San Antonio (1874) and Dallas (1890). The Kenedy family offered the bishop, for use as his temporary residence, a cottage they had on the northwest corner of Lipan and Broadway. It was probably the one used by Mifflin and Petra Kenedy while they awaited the building of their larger mansion. The new bishop believed in being among his people and so See NUSSBAUM, page 4
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NEWS OF THE DIOCESE
FIRST PRIEST: Authored prayer book, helped poor missions Continued from page 3 feet of his Godson to receive his priestly blessing. Father Taylor celebrated his first Mass the next Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Corpus Christi. Described as a “gifted and consecrated young man,” he began his priestly life, and for the next 40 years worked “to evangelize the poor,” particularly the Spanish-speaking of the Oblate Province. He began his service in the Texas Winter Garden area; first in Uvalde, Texas where his parish covered five counties, later in Asherton, which included three counties and then in Crystal City and Big Wells where he built churches and a school in Crystal City. In Crystal City, he helped
organize the first farm workers union in Texas. In November 1930, relations between the spinach growers and their labor force came to a head. The workers met with Father Taylor to discuss their grievances. Out of the meeting the Catholic Workers Union, with Father Taylor as president, was formed to “help the laborers in their difficulty according to their rights and obligations, as taught by the Catholic Church.” A notice was published in the local newspaper listing conditions the union wanted met, including living wages, prohibitions against child labor, proper notification of acceptance/rejection of work done in the field and direct payment of wages rather than through a contractor.
Within a week, 25 of the more prominent growers and processing companies in and around Crystal City signed an agreement incorporating the main demands, though not the minimum living wages stipulated. Father Taylor later ministered in Laredo, Brownsville, San Antonio and in San Fernando, California. He served as the first pastor of St. Joseph’s parish in Laredo. Bishop E. B. Ledvina wrote in 1953, “Since the spiritual needs of the people of St. Augustine Parish in Laredo, Texas, cannot be properly attended to because of the large territory of the parish, I …hereby divide St. Augustine Parish and erect St. Joseph Parish in Laredo as a national parish for the
Spanish-speaking faithful.” Father Taylor accepted the pastorate and began work to build a large vibrant urban parish. Oblate province sources relate that, “He generously used his family inheritance to help the poor missions and his Oblate province.” Father Taylor authored the “The Home Prayer Book,” a collection of indulgence prayers which went into several editions and was used by thousands of the faithful. Although, he was an extremely active missionary, the little spare time he had was devoted to the study of theology and Canon Law. His less
Diocesan Calendar 3rd Annual Golf Tournament St. Joseph Parochial School
NUSSBAUM: Promoted lay societies Continued from page 3 he began his ministry with a Confirmation tour in August 1913 that gave him a better sense of some of the parish communities within the area. He, in quick succession, worked for the promotion of lay societies such as the
Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Corpus Christi Catholic Club for the youth, the Society of St. Ann’s for married women, the Court of Isabella (Catholic Daughters) and the Holy Name Society for men and boys. Like Pope Pius X, he actively promoted spiritual
growth and devotion to the Eucharist by introducing the Holy Hour and Forty Hour Devotions throughout the diocese. The new diocese was after all the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the “Diocese of the Eucharist.” -- Msgr. Michael Howell Contributor
Corpus Christi Catholic Daughters co-host Texas State CDA Court 95th anniversary The dioceses of Corpus Christi and Brownsville hosted the kick-off celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Texas State Court held at the Port Isabel Court #2569 on Jan. 14. Court Regent Judy Gutierrez welcomed representatives from national, state and 18 area courts that gathered in Port Isabel to celebrate the bountiful successes over the 95 years. Father James Erving celebrated the opening Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea See SENATOR, page 5
Saturday, March 3 at Alice Municipal Golf Course (1600 N. Texas Blvd. in Alice.) Tee Time: will be 8:30 a.m. [Scramble Format ] Registration at 7:30 a.m. Entry fee: $50. Registration fee includes: Green fee, cart, registration pack and lunch. Awards will be given during lunch. Please reserve early.
IWA Gala Event
March 3 from 6:30-11 p.m. at the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center.
March 3 at Corpus Christi Cathedral’s St. Joseph’s Hall, 505 N. Upper Broadway on. Check in at 8:30 a.m.
Men’s Glee Club
March 15 at 7:30 p.m. Cathedral Concert Series 2011-12 presents Men’s Glee Club.
Sisters of St. Benedict Come & See Event
March 16-18. For single, Catholic woman between the ages of 18 to 40. Get to know Benedictine sisters, share in community life and prayer, and meet other women who are considering religious life - no pressure, no commitment! For more information or to register online, visit www.thedome.org, or call Sister Michelle Sinkhorn at (800) 734-9999, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come and See Weekend the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate
March 23-25 at the Motherhouse in San Antonio. The Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate are a pontifical
Proudly displaying the state CDA banner are National Director Olga Samaniego, El Paso; State Regent Carolyn Malik, Shiner; First Vice State Regent Peggy Rosales, Austin; Second Vice State Regent Eve Trevino, Corpus Christi; State Secretary Rosie Stockwell, Edinburg; and State Treasurer Melodie Brunt, Texarkana.
bookish colleagues conferred a “doctorate” on him, and for many of his contemporaries, he was affectionately known as “Doc” Taylor. Father Taylor died on Oct. 4, 1967. A prayer card distributed at the time reads “In the priesthood which continues the work of the Apostles, O God, you raised to the priestly dignity your servant Charles; grant also that he may be associated in their eternal happiness. This we ask of you through Christ our Lord. Amen.” --Geraldine McGloin Corespondent
missionary community working in the United States, Mexico, and Zambia, Africa.
7th Annual Catholic Men’s Conference
March 23-24 at St. Matthew McDonald Center on 10703 Wurzbach Parkway in San Antonio. Hosted by the Pilgrim Center of Hope. Doors open Friday at 5 p.m.; departure 9 p.m. On Saturday doors open at 7 a.m.; closing Mass at 4 p.m.
Natural Family Planning Class
March 24 from 12-2 p.m. Steve and Ann Craig will have a power-point class for married or engaged couples to learn how to avoid or achieve pregnancy. Theology is also presented. Please call them to register or get materials beforehand: (361) 767-1228 Online course available www.nfpandmore.org
The Spanish Cursillo Movement is beginning to form Spanish retreats for the following dates: Women’s Cursillo March 29 - April 1 Men’s Cursillo April 26-29.
Vocation Discernment Retreat
March 30 - April 1 at the Convent of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament for single Catholic women ages 17 to 40 beginning Friday, evening at 6 p.m. with dinner.
CALENDAR For more calendar events
NEWS OF THE DIOCESE
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
MARCH 2012 5
Enjoy the Rich History of the church in South Texas “Becoming the Body of Christ: A History of the Diocese of Corpus Christi”
This 208-page coffee table book features the tales of Catholic faith in south Texas, including stories and photos of every parish and mission. Each chapter of the book begins with a stained glass window from Corpus Christi Cathedral and scriptural reflection. Also featured are many historic photos of early churches in the diocese. Call (361) 882-6191 for more information.
Order Now! Limited Copies Available!
Pick up your copies at the Chancey or Order by mail with this coupon: I would like to order ____ copies of “Becoming the Body of Christ: A History of the Diocese of Corpus Christi” Books are $20 each, shipping and handling included. Enclosed is my check or money order for $ _____. Please send my order to:
Send check or money order with this coupon payable to: Diocese of Corpus Christi South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan Corpus Christi, TX 78401
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Sisters celebrating jubilees were joined by Bishop Mulvey at St. Joseph Hall. They are , from left, Sister Begoñia Divinagracia, OP, and Sister Angela Murdaugh, FSM, celebrating 50 years; Sister Elizabeth Pathiparambil, SABS, and Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS, celebrating 40 years; Sister Jo Ann Saenz, IWBS, celebrating 25 years; and Sister Claudia Ongpin, OP celebrating 40 years. Those not present were Sister Monica de la Rosa, IWBS, celebrating 60 years; Sister Alicia Maria Garcia, PCI , and Sister Mary Louise Mount, IWBS, celebrating 25 years.
Texas Priest Hosts
National Parks Tour Kings Canyon – Sequoia – Yosemite Arches – Canyonlands – Bryce Canyon Zion – Capitol Reef – Grand Canyon
Departs June 22, 2012
Take time for reflection of God’s remarkable creation! Take a relaxing trip on your luxurious coach as you travel with other Catholics through the changing desert landscapes of Nevada to the farmlands of central California. Witness the giant Redwood trees in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, then be amazed at the rock formations and waterfalls in Yosemite National Park. You’ll also visit majestic Lake Tahoe with 72 miles of pristine shoreline and stop in historic Virginia City, Reno, Winnemucca and Elko, Nevada. In Utah tour the world’s largest man-made excavation – the Kennecott Copper Mine; 2, 2/3 miles wide plus the Great Salt Lake! Next tour the unique rocks shaped by wind, water, sun and frost at Arches’ National Park; and Canyonlands, with enchanting vistas carved by the Colorado and Green Rivers. Next your Catholic group will visit Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks and drive through the Dixie National Forest. On Monday, July 2, you’ll arrive at the grandest of all National Parks, The Grand Canyon, for both a day and night. Enjoy the sunset that evening and sunrise the following morning! Spend the fourth of July in exciting Las Vegas with an included day excursion to Zion National Park. That evening enjoy all the hoopla and excitement Las Vegas is famous for on Independence Day including free fireworks shows. Your Chaplain is Father Frank Wittouck, SCJ, from Houston, Texas. He retired as an Army Chaplain in 2010 yet currently ministers in the Cypress Assistance Ministries. His recent YMT pilgrimage was to the Holy Land. *Per person, double occupancy, includes taxes. Airfare is extra. For details, itinerary, reservations & letter from YMT’s chaplain with his phone number call 7 days a week:
SISTERS: Celebrate jubilees after Mass Continued from page 2 of 50 years. Commemorating 40 years in religious life were Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS; Sister Claudia Ong-
pin, OP; and Sister Elizabeth Pathiparambil, SABS. Sister Alicia Maria Garcia, PCI; Sister Mary Louise Mount, IWBS; and Sister Jo Ann Saenz, IWBS marked their
silver jubilee of 25 years. Not all jubilarians attended.
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SENATOR: Presents CDA proclamation Continued from page 4 in Port Isabel. In his homily Father Erving said, “Even after 95 years, our Father’s love for you is a deep profound longing.” “Through your service you have known His love for you individually as His precious daughter; ‘In love He destined you in adoption to Himself.’ It’s not only about your Martha service; it’s about who you are as daughters of the Father. The real gift of CDA is the witness of who you are to men, women and children because of your love. You bring the gift of hope to His people,” Father
Erving said. Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio presented State Regent Carolyn Malik of Shiner with Senate Proclamation No. 24 recognizing the Catholic Daughters of the Americas as an “exceptional organization having a profound influence on their communities,” while practicing the values of faith, hope and charity. The resolution commended the Texas State Court on their many achievements and dedication for the past 95 years. Father Gregory Labus was the guest speaker at the luncheon. His message focused on “Spirituality & Service
through Unity & Charity.” “Each of us is here as illegal aliens on a temporary visa because heaven is our real home. We’re on a road to unity consecrated in truth by love. It’s a sacramental love that we are all called to because of the transforming true love of Christ Himself,” Father Labus said. Among those attending from the Diocese of Corpus Christi were Eve Trevino, Corpus Christi; Rosalinda Gutierrez, Kingsville; Pat Medina, Corpus Christi; Iris Hinojosa, Benavides; Delma Cantu, Odem; and Benita Sanchez, Kingsville.
PARISH LIFE 6
MARCH 20 12
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
Parish youth ministers hear bishop’s vision Contributed Photo
She has sung for popes and her EWTN show, but in March she will perform for the faithful in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Irish singer Dana will be at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles on March 24-25.
Dana will perform at St. Peter, Jubilee Irish recording artist Dana, who has performed for popes, will present a Lenten Retreat at St. Peter Prince of the Apostles Parish in Corpus Christi on Saturday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Theme of the Retreat is “Remember, Rejoice and Renew,” which reflects the theme of the Centennial Jubilee of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. In add i t i o n t o Msgr. Morgan the retreat, Rowsome Dana will perform at a family concert at the parish on Sunday, March 25, from 3-5 p.m. The following day, March 26, she will participate in the diocese’s formation conference and jubilee Mass at the American Bank Center. All her appearances in the diocese will be free of charge, said Msgr. Morgan Rowsome, pastor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. Msgr. Rowsome spoke with Dana by phone recently and said “she is very excited about being with us for the miniretreat, the family concert and the Jubilee Mass.” Dana is today recognized as one of Ireland’s most successful entertainers, having enjoyed outstanding acclaim through best selling recordings, top rated television appearances, performances for popes and at World Youth Days. At the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, she sang for Blessed John Paul II, leading more than 280,000 young people with her song, “We are One Body.”
During the 1990s she hosted her own music and talk show television series, “Say Yes and We are One Body” on EWTN Catholic Cable Network. She also toured throughout the United States performing in concerts and giving talks about the importance of her Catholic faith and her respect for life. Dana has remained close to her Irish roots, working tirelessly for peace, Christian values and respect for life. Her music and witness to family values has earned her respect in the United States and in Europe as a spokesperson for the Christian family and the pro-life movement. In the spring of 2004, she became the first woman to be awarded the highly acclaimed San Benedetto (St. Benedict) Award in Subiacco, Italy, for her outstanding work in defending family and life. She was personally congratulated by the then Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In 2006, Dana founded her own new music production company that has released many albums, such as “In Memory of Me”, “Totus Tuus” dedicated to the memory of Blessed John Paul II, “A Rosary of Healing,” as well as several contemporary Christian music albums, such as “Little Baby”, “Songs for Life”, “Dana’s Ireland” and “Lady of Knock.” “All are invited to attend Dana’s mini retreat at St. Peter’s,” Msgr. Rowsome said. The church is located at 3901 Violet Road in the Annaville area of Corpus Christi. For more information, call the St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles parish office at (361) 241-3249.
ROCKPORT, Texas – Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey reminded youth ministers, in retreat at the Lighthouse Inn in Rockport on Feb. 3-4, of Jesus’ parable in Luke’s Gospel on the lost sheep. “Our work does not end with the youth in our groups, but that one that is still lost and does not know Jesus. How do we reach those youth?” The Diocese of Corpus Christi Office of Youth Ministry sponsored the retreat to recognize youth ministers for their years of service, to network with other youth ministers, to share resources and ideas, to have time to reflect in prayer and fellowship and to be reminded as to why they serve the “young church.” Paul Flores from Playtime Ministry in Arizona served as retreat master for the weekend. Bishop Mulvey presented certificates of appreciation to 44 youth ministers for their service. Bishop Mulvey also shared with the youth ministers his vision for working with the youth in the diocese. The bishop reminded them of the “New Evangelization” that is outlined in “Renewing the Vision,” a USCCB document on the framework for Catholic Youth Ministry. “Youth ministers work with the bishop in bringing young souls to Christ. Even if you have 20, 50, 100 youth in your youth groups, let’s not forget the ones that are not in church or not in the youth groups,” Bishop Mulvey said. Bishop Mulvey told the youth ministers that the diocese is working on policies to assist them in using the “digital resources” young people use to communicate, such as blogging, tweeting
Nellie Serna for South Texas Catholic
Jaime Reyna, with the Office of Youth Ministry, presents a tablet with a keyboard, the grand prize at the end of the retreat, to Janida DelaRosa from OLPH. The prize was selected specifically as youth ministry must move forward in evangelizing the youth through social media and this prize is a tool for youth ministers to use for videos, pictures, movies, etc., Reyna said.
and Facebook. “We must be willing to use these methods to reach those that are not coming to church or are searching for something that is missing in their lives, but with the policies, we can do it correctly and safely,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop also mentioned the important role youth ministers have in bringing more vocation awareness to the youth. Youth ministers should also help the bishop in bringing more awareness to one’s vocational discernment, the bishop said. Young people should have at least once in their lives considered the possibility of being a priest or a religious. Youth ministers should be ready to assist them in nurturing that idea with the office of vocations. “We all have a role to play in our future priests and sisters,” Bishop Mulvey said.
Jaime Reyna for South Texas Catholic
Paul Flores engages in an icebreaker game that had youth ministers mooing, falling to the floor, dancing and singing.
The weekend included not only video and book resources, but also the most important resources–each other, said Jaime Reyna, Director of Youth Ministry for the diocese. Flores reminded everyone that they can and should work together because even if a youth minister has one year or 30 years of experience, they can learn from one another and they do not have to do it alone. Parishes represented at the retreat included Saint Frances of Rome in Agua Dulce, Most Precious Blood, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Saint Anthony in Robstown, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice, St. Mary’s Mission in Robstown, Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia, St. Patrick, St. Martin in Kingsville, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton, St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, Corpus Christi Cathedral, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission in Clarkwood, Our Lady of Pilar and St. Pius X. Reyna reminded all youth ministers that the Office of Youth Ministry is available for pastors and youth ministers to provide financial assistance, resources for youth ministry and consultation and evaluation to assist with any plan that the parish has for youth ministry. For assistance, a parish can contact Reyna or Nellie Serna (361) 882-6291.
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
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Religious Gift Shop at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church
All New Merchandise A.C.T.S. Silver Jewelry
Holy Family Spring Festival
3210 S.P.I.D. 10 - 5 P.M. MON. - FRI. & 8:30 - 2 P.M. SUN.
Sunday, March 4, from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at 2509 Nogales in Corpus Christi. Jimmy Gonzalez y el grupo Mass will be performing. A brand new 2012 Nissan Frontier Truck and nine other prizes will be raffled off.
Study on the 7 Capital Sins
Begins Tuesday, March 6, at 8:30 a.m. at Most Precious Blood Thompson Center, Room C1. â€˜Women of the Wordâ€™ presents â€œBathe 7 Times,â€? a contemplative look at the seven capital sins. Books can be purchased through WOW. Email Susan Groves for more information, groves. email@example.com.
Study on the Mystery of Men and Women
Tuesday evenings in March and April beginning March 6 at 6 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Thompson Center, A study on The Mystery of Men and Women, by Edward Sri For more information contact Matthew Moore: firstname.lastname@example.org (361) 548-8621, or Susan Groves, groves. email@example.com.
Patrician Meetings at OLPH
March 9 at 7 p.m. in Room #1 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Hall located at 5830 Williams Dr.
OLG Presidents Breakfast
Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m.-1 p. m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral Classroom 4. The President and Vice President of each Affiliated Society are urged to attend. For more information, please call (361) 563-8661
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Irish Festival & Brunch at St. Pius X
Sunday, March 11, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The St. Pius X Irish Leprechauns will cook and bake a delicious home-made Irish meal. Brace yourself for the dynamic toe-tapping music of the well
known Gravel Walk Irish Band.
â€œA Covenant of Love with Maryâ€?
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish will have monthly classes entitled â€œA Covenant of Love with Maryâ€? in the Parish Hall beginning March 12. There will be Mass beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by a video and talk at 6:45 p.m. and a light dinner and celebration.
March 17 at 8 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Portland. Catholic Daughters Court #2181 and Knights of Columbus use the funds raised to support their scholarship fund and many service and charity projects in the community.
St. Patrick Mission Annual Barbecue
March 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Mission in Historic Old San Patricio. There will be chicken barbecue plates, a live auction, a country store, childrenâ€™s games and a raffle drawing at 3 p.m.
March 19-21 from 7-8 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Robstown. Msgr. Richard Shirley will conduct the Mission. On Thursday, March 22 there will be a Penance Service beginning at 7 p.m.
CALENDAR For more calendar events
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MARZO 2 012
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
“La Diócesis de la Eucaristía” E
l historiador católico Carlos Castañeda observo acerca de la Vicaría de Brownsville, “en comparación con las otras diócesis de Texas, el Vicariato era más pobre de patrimonio, pero más rica en las almas para salvar.”
El crecimiento de la población en general y la Iglesia en el sur de Texas continuó a un ritmo constante durante las últimas décadas bajo el cuidado pastoral de los Obispos Domingo Manucy y Pedro Verdaguer. El Directorio Nacional Católica al final de la primera década del siglo XX, señaló el aumento constante de la población católica del sur de Texas. Con una población total de alrededor de 158,000 residentes de Texas, la Vicaría de Brownsville tenía más de 82,000 católicos, la mayoría de los cuales-unos 70,000-eran MéxicoAmericanos. Cuando el Papa Pío X elevó el Vicariato Apostólico de Brownsville a la situación de una diócesis en 1912, se designó a la ciudad de Corpus Christi como la sede de la diócesis y la iglesia de San Patricio en la esquina de las calles Carancahua y Antelope como la catedral de la nueva diócesis. El Papa seguramente eligió Corpus Christi como la sede de la nueva diócesis, porque él era un devoto ferviente de la Santísima Eucaristía. Mas que casi todos los papas del
siglo XX, el Papa Pío X tenía una amplia experiencia pastoral a nivel parroquial, y esto influyó su aprecio por el valor de establecer la colaboración y la Sagrada Eucaristía. Había vivido el amor abnegado proclamado en la Eucaristía en su piedad personal y la caridad. El Papa Pío X había animado también la más frecuente la comunión en un tiempo en que algunas personas sólo iban una vez al año durante la temporada de Semana Santa. Hizo la Eucaristía más accesible a los jóvenes mediante la reducción de la recepción de la Primera Comunión a la “edad de la razón,” que fue interpretada para ser tan jóvenes como seis o siete años. La erección de la nueva diócesis de Corpus Christi se inició con una especie de “misterio.” Debido a que todo Texas en aquel tiempo era una parte de la Arquidiócesis de Nueva Orleáns, el arzobispo JH Blenk envió a su Vicario General, el Muy Reverendo Francisco Racine, a Corpus Christi para entregar la bula papal estableciendo la diócesis de Corpus Christi, así como las órdenes para mover los archivos que contenían documentos importantes y las copias de las cartas de los Obispos Manucy y Verdaguer de la ciudad de Laredo a la ciudad de Corpus Christi. El comité que el arzobispo envió a Laredo para transferir los archivos, le informó que “transferimos nada, porque no encontramos nada que transferir.” Seis años más tarde, en 1918, un paquete grande llegó a la oficina del obispo de Corpus Christi
de Chicago. En ella había unos pocos registros y documentos romanos del obispo Verdaguer. Fuera de estos registros no hay prueba documental de la labor de los administradores anteriores de la Vicaría en los archivos diocesanos de Corpus Christi. Padre Paul Joseph Nussbaum, el pastor nombrado el 4 de abril de 1913 por la Santa Sede como el primer obispo de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, fue un nativo de Filadelfia de 42 años de edad que había sido educado por los Hermanos Cristianos y los Pasionistas, había profesado sus votos como miembro de la Congregación de la Pasión en 1887 y fue ordenado sacerdote en el Monasterio de San Miguel de New Union, Nueva Jersey en 1894. El Arzobispo de Río de Janeiro, Brasil había ordenado Nussbaum como sacerdote. Paso 10 años en las misiones de Argentina antes de regresar a los Estados Unidos como vicerector de Pasionistas de el Seminario Santa María en Dunkirk, Nueva York. Él también había servido en las tareas parroquiales en Nueva Jersey y se desempeñaba como consultor de la Provincia Oriental, por su orden cuando recibió la noticia de su nombramiento a la nueva diócesis de Corpus Christi. El nuevo obispo conocía el trabajo misionero, y también tenían este conocimiento los sacerdotes pasionistas que trajo con él para servir a los campos misioneros del sur de Texas. Ellos hablaban con fluidez en español y estaban acostumbrados a viajar de una
comunidad a otra. Sirvieron el nuevo obispo diocesano como asistentes, como pastores en las parroquias más grandes en los alrededores de Corpus Christi, y en viajar a esas comunidades como Gregory, Calallen y Robstown para construir las primeras iglesias de los rebaños. Padre Nussbaum fue consagrado obispo en la iglesia de la Comunidad Pasionista en Union City, Nueva Jersey el 20 de mayo de 1913, por el Delegado Apostólico en los Estados Unidos. El 7 de junio, llegó en tren a San Antonio, donde celebró su primera misa en Texas en el Hospital Santa Rosa. Uno de los sacerdotes que le ayudo a celebrar la misa fue el joven padre Mariano Simón Garriga que más tarde se convirtió en el tercer obispo de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi y el primer tejano nativo de ser nombrado obispo en Texas. Al día siguiente el Obispo Nussbaum subió al tren para continuar su viaje a Corpus Christi, donde se encontró con una ardorosa bienvenida. Fue directamente a la catedral, recientemente designado en el que ofreció las gracias por su llegada a buen puerto y pidió a la guía divina del Espíritu Santo de Dios en el cumplimiento de sus responsabilidades como el pastor principal de la nueva Diócesis de Corpus Christi. Monseñor Claude Jaillet, que había estado sirviendo de nuevo como el administrador de la zona, llevó al obispo Vea NUEVO OBISPO, pagina 10
En el sur de Texas nopalitos son parte integral de la Cuaresma Por Geraldine McGloin Correspondiente
Geraldine McGloin para el South Texas Catholic
John L. Bluntzer examina la planta de nopal que Julia Mayorga está creciendo en su patio. Después de revisar la planta, Bluntzer dijo la seca a hecho una cosecha escasa de los nopales nativos, que según dijo Bluntzer tiene un sabor mejor que el nopal castellano.
La vida en los rancho de el sur de Texas incluye varios elementos interesantes de cómo la población rural utiliza la cultura y las costumbres para ayudar a enseñar la fe católica. Se lleva un poco de trabajo, pero vale la pena, imprimiendo grandes lecciones de fe con lo que esta disponible. El nopalito humilde es un buen ejemplo. El nopal es la plataforma de los cactus. Crece en abundancia en México y Texas. El nopalito, o nopal pequeño, proviene de los segmentos jóvenes de la almohadilla de la planta. A la vuelta del siglo, los inmigrantes mexicanos en el sur de Texas se unieron a los tejanos en el uso de este recurso como medio para ampliar las comidas sin carne requeridos durante la Cuaresma. Algunas personas piensan que el
viernes de abstinencia de la carne se ya no se acostumbra. No es verdad. La ley canónica, comenzando con el Canon 1250, establece que los días de penitencia en la Iglesia universal, como todos los viernes de todo el año y la temporada de Cuaresma. Además, la abstinencia de comer carne es que se celebrará el viernes durante todo el año a menos que sean solemnidades. Ayuno y abstinencia se guardarán el Miércoles de Ceniza y el Viernes de la Pasión y Muerte de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo. En los viernes fuera de la Cuaresma, la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de EE.UU. obtuvo el permiso de la Santa Sede para los católicos en los EE.UU. que pueden sustituir a un penitencial, o incluso una práctica de caridad, de su propia elección. Dado que esto no se declaró como obligatoria bajo pena de pecado, que no Vea LA CUARESMA, pagina 9
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
MARZO 2012 9
LA CUARESMA: Ofrece posibilidades culinarias Continuación de la página 8 lo haga en una sola ocasión no es pecado. Sin embargo, dado que la penitencia es un mandato divino, el rechazo general a hacer penitencia es un asunto serio. Para la mayoría de la gente, la manera más fácil de cumplir consistentemente este comando es la tradicional, que se abstengan de comer carne todos los viernes del año, que no son solemnidades litúrgicas. Así católicos tienen una forma sencilla de practicar la penitencia. La cosecha de nopalitos es particularmente adecuado para el momento de la abstinencia cuaresmal, por que se producen en primavera, cuando el nopalito está disponible. Es una importante fuente de alimento en México y en Texas, y su historia se remonta siglos para atrás a la cultura indígena de los pueblos originarios. La gente en las rancherías en la Diócesis de Corpus Christi no fueron una excep-
ción. Hicieron uso de lo que estaba disponible. No había tiendas de abarrotes de pescado y otras materias y si las había, no eran fácil para conseguir y también eran caras. “Comí tantos nopalitos que me sentí como una vaca”, dijo Julia Mayorga en español en platica con su vecino John L. Bluntzer. Se acordó de una mañana de primavera fría en un rancho del sur de Texas, cuando a los 18 años de edad, ella fue con su padre, Gerónimo Rodríguez a la cosecha de nopalitos. Llevaron una caja de madera forrada con papel de periódico en el que colocaban los nopalitos de cactus que cortaban. Los Rodríguez habían estado en su rancho mucho antes de que Texas era un estado. Mayorga nació en el rancho de Bluntzer en el oeste de el Condado de Nueces, donde la cosecha nopalito era una tradición familiar. “Nopal crece en forma silvestre en todas partes por aquí”, dijo Bluntzer. “La gente venia a piscar el nopal. Era
común ver a varios coches en la propiedad piscando nopal. “ Por lo general era una empresa familiar. Mayorga, quien se casó con Manuel Mayorga en 1952 y tuvieron una familia de seis hijos, describió cómo se preparaba la cosecha. “Se cortaban los nopalitos y se pelaban las espinas cuidadosamente,” dijo ella. Hay muchas maneras de utilizar la verdura, pero a muchas personas en el sur de Texas prefieren “nopalitos Con huevos,” hecha “salteara en aceite, con cebolla, y a veces el ajo o el comino, y luego mezclar con los huevos revueltos”, dijo Julia Mayorga. Los nopalitos se sirven con una tortilla de harina hecha en casa, y hace una muy buena comida nutritiva sin carne. “Los frijoles estaban incluidos a veces en el menú en viernes”, dijo Julia Mayorga. El propósito de la comida sin carne el viernes recuerda a la gente de la pasión y muerte
de nuestro Señor. Es una vieja forma de la abstinencia, el cual es requerido por la Iglesia como una forma específica de la penitencia. Una disciplina tradicional de la fe católica, que está destinado a enseñar el arrepentimiento, de alejarse del pecado y volverse a Dios, una forma de penitencia, que ayuda a los cristianos a
permanecer en el estrecho camino hacia la salvación. Nopalitos y otros alimentos de “Viernes” están ahora disponibles en los restaurantes o en los estantes de supermercados. Ya no hay necesidad de ir en los montes por el lado de los caminos rurales para la cosecha. Hasta la penitencia es más fácil hoy en día.
foto de Colaboración
Jose Angel y Ana Rosa Martinez participaron en encuentro matrimonial.
Pareja recomienda Encuentro Matrimonial José Ángel y Ana Rosa Martínez han estado casados 13 años y tienen tres hijos, una niña y dos niños. Son feligreses de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia en Corpus Christi. La pareja asistieron el fin de semana de Encuentro Matrimonial en la sugerencia de amigos que habían hecho previamente un fin de semana de encuentro. Ana Rosa Martínez, se mostró sorprendida por la cantidad de parejas que estaban interesados en el fortalecimiento de su matrimonio y con saber que no hay matrimonio perfecto, como lo había creído antes. El número de problemas o malos entendidos que existen dentro de un matrimonio sorprendió a José Ángel. “Hasta este fin de semana, no me daba cuenta que realmente necesitaba este encuentro. Estoy muy agradecido a mi esposa por motivar me a que me fuera a el encuentro. En realidad, mejoró nuestro matrimonio”, dijo José Ángel. Dijo que estaba agradecido de tener la oportunidad de expresar sus sentimientos y tiene esperanzas de que su experiencia ayudará a otros a fortalecer sus matrimonios. “Hoy tenemos una mayor comunicación entre nosotros. Dialogamos sobre cualquier desacuerdo que tenemos”, dijo Ana Rosa. “Me ha permitido valorar más mi
matrimonio, mi familia y mis amigos.” José Ángel dijo que el fin de semana de Encuentro Matrimonial cambio su relación con su esposa. “Ella ahora tiene más confianza en mí con respecto a ciertos problemas de que antes no hablábamos, sino que nos cerraban uno a otro. “Ahora le pedimos la opinión del otro para que podamos resolver los problemas que nos encontramos. Nos ayudó a mantener una relación amorosa con nuestros hijos “, dijo José Ángel. “Nuestros amigos también notan el cambio en nosotros y se dan cuenta de que sus relaciones también podrían cambiar si se comunicaban unos con otros.” Ana Rosa dijo que su marido es muy comprensivo y siempre le demuestra su amor. El dijo que Ana Rosa es muy atenta, cuidando y amando los niños y demostrando su amor por él todos los día. Ellos dicen que parejas deben tomar tiempo para asistir a un fin de semana de Encuentro Matrimonial, que no se arrepentirán, no van a perder nada, por el contrario van a ganar y aprender muchas cosas. Es algo que va a fortalecer su relación. Para obtener información sobre cómo asistir a un encuentro de matrimonio, por correo electrónico wwme. firstname.lastname@example.org o llame al teléfono (361) 851-8306.
10 SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
NUEVO OBISPO: Conocía el trabajo misionero Continuación de la página 8 a un hotel local para una recepción y cena en su honor antes de proceder a la instalación formal del nuevo obispo en su catedral, esa misma noche. Obispo Nussbaum se convirtió así en la cabeza de una diócesis que entonces incluía todo el sur de Texas establecidas por el Vicariato antigua de
Brownsville. En aquel tiempo los únicos diócesis en Texas eran Galveston (construido 1847), San Antonio (1874) y Dallas (1890 ). La familia Kenedy ofreció a el obispo, para su uso como residencia temporal, una casa de campo que tenían en la esquina noroeste de Lipan y Broadway. Probablemente fue donde vivieron Mifflin y Petra
Kenedy mientras esperaban la construcción de su mansión más grande. El nuevo obispo profesaba en el ser de su pueblo y así comenzó su ministerio con un recorrido de confirmación en agosto de 1913 que le dio una mejor idea de algunas de las comunidades parroquiales de la zona. Él, en rápida sucesión, trabajó para la promoción de
los laicos sociedades como la Cofradía de la Santísima Virgen María, el Corpus Christi Catholic Club para la juventud, la Compañía de Santa Ana para las mujeres casadas, la Corte de Isabel (Hijas Católicas) y la Sociedad del Santo Nombre para hombres y niños. Tal el Papa Pío X, el Obispo Nussbaum promovió activa-
mente el crecimiento espiritual y la devoción a la Eucaristía mediante la introducción de la Hora Santa y Cuarenta Horas Devocionales en toda la diócesis. La nueva diócesis era después de todo, la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, la “Diócesis de la Eucaristía.” ---Geraldine McGloin Correspondiente
CATHOLIC EDUCATION MARCH 2012
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
Bishop Garriga students accept healthy challenge By Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
Regina Salinas signs letter of intent with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Sharing in her excitement, from left, are Salinas mother Rebecca Salinas, her father Edalio Salinas and Amelia De Los Santos, Regina’s elementary school coach.
IWA cross-country state champion signs with Islanders
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - On Feb. 8, more than half the students and the entire staff at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School committed themselves to a program of exercise of mind and body. The staff and students took on the moniker “3H Club” and adopted the motto “healthy, holy and happy.” The program is part of a $15,000 “Healthy Campus” grant awarded to the school under the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards to help the school fight its students’ risk to diabetes. The “Texas Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Children” screening done at the school showed that there were a large number of children who had an acanthosis marker, which is indicative of pre-diabetes, and an even
a larger number of children who were overweight and obese. According to the National Institute of Health, 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States are overweight and obese, which is triple the rate from just one generation ago. Students have access to sugar drinks and less healthy foods at school throughout the day from vending machines, school canteens, at fundraising events, school parties and sporting events. “I became concerned and brought this to the attention of the school principal. We both agreed that something needed to be done,” said Teresa Martínez, School Health Administrator for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The grant will pay for breakfast for the students, consisting of boiled eggs, fruits and other healthy
foods. The school will begin serving milk at lunch and an anonymous donor offered to give the school a refrigerator to store the milk. Water bottles and t-shirts with the club logo will be given to all participants. Teachers and staff will break up in sets of two and each set will meet regularly with a different set of sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls or boys. Martinez will meet once a week with all the classes. She plans to bring speakers and experts on different subjects relating to health to speak with participants. More than 130 students weighed in on Feb. 8 and the challenge has begun. Their progress can be followed at www.activelifehq.org/herewe-come. (Editors Note: This will be the first of periodic articles following the success of the “3H club.”)
ByNickie Stillman Contributor
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Incarnate Word Academy (IWA) Regina Salinas, the 2011 TAPPS State Cross Country Individuals Champion, signed a letter of intent with Texas A&M—Corpus Christi on Feb. 8. Salinas has been a member of the cross-country varsity team since her freshman year, helping the team land three state championship titles. In addition to her athletic achievements, Salinas is an honor roll student, was a member of the IWA AllState Academic Team and is a member of the student council. Salinas will major in political science at Texas A&MCorpus Christi and looks forward to being a part of the Islander Cross Country team. “The Islanders already have a winning tradition,” Salinas said. “Their coaches have high expectations of their athletes, which is what I am used to at IWA.” IWA Cross Country Coach David Rodriguez said Salinas’ drive and focus will make her a great asset for the Islanders. “Regina works hard every day—on and off the track. She never quits, and she never stops pushing herself. Any obstacle that has been
Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
Staff at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School shows their support for the students and teachers that have joined the 3H Club program designed to help students become healthy, holy and happy. Pictured, from left, are Delia Rosenbaum, David Emrich, Ana Garcia, Diana Sanchez, Delia Esparza, Divina LeGrange, Celina Garcia, Lien Crum, Michael Derocher, Mario Vasquez (Principal), Erin Brennan, Gloria Barrera, Teresa Martínez, Meghan McDermott and Randy Bailey.
Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
Regina Salinas proudly displays her Islanders jersey after signing letter of intent.
thrown at her, she has overcome,” Rodriguez said. “As an athlete coming from Incarnate Word, you try to find a family setting to help make the transition a little smoother. After one visit to A&M and meeting their girls cross country athletes, I felt like I was already part of the team,” Salinas said.
St. Anthony School celebrates Centennial Jubilee with bishop By Blanca Konitzer Contributor
ROBSTOWN, Texas - Students at St. Anthony School in Robstown took a novel approach to National Catholic Schools Week, combining the event with the Centennial Jubilee of the Diocese to promote learning in the classroom. To cap their celebration they invited Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey to join them for the occasion.
Students in Noemi Gonzalez’s eighth grade history class researched the history of the five oldest parishes in the diocese and decorated hula hoops with banners displaying the names of this first five parishes, which began to spread of faith in our diocese. The hoops were the same colors of the rings represented in the Olympics games. Students Miranda Quintanilla, Jackie Velasquez and
Sydney Fleury helped their teacher decorate the hoops and John Charo, Troy Gonzalez, Miranda Quintanilla, Anna Cisneros and Lourdes Cortez served as runners passing a lifelike torch as they ran around the church. The event showed the school’s observance of the diocese’s upcoming Centennial Jubilee. See STUDENTS, page 12
12 SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
National Catholic Schools Week
The Blessed John Paul II High School marching band provided the music for students at St. Pious X School as they paraded in celebration of National Catholic Schools Week.
Sister Paz Aribon, OP, hands Bishop Mulvey a makeshift torch with a lifelike flame to mark the beginning of National Catholic Schools Week at St. Anthony School.
STUDENTS: Study diocese’s history Continued from page 11
Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
Holy Family students enjoy a variety of Asian dances performed by students under the direction of gymnastics coach Grace Salomon.
...Christian Home-like Living in a Senior Setting
Bishop Mulvey celebrated Mass before the activities got started. Father Tony Blount, SOLT, Father George Nedeff, SOLT, and Father Mike Crump, SOLT, concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Mulvey. After Mass, students, faculty and parents invited the bishop to join them in front of the church to participate in the torch relay. When the
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last runner arrived in front of the church, the torch was handed to Bishop Mulvey and he lit the lifelike flame that symbolized the official beginning of National Catholic Schools Week at St. Anthony School and the light radiating a tradition of faith of our diocese.
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As soon as the bishop received the “faith torch,” five balloons were released. After that, Bishop Mulvey spoke to the students about the Centennial Jubilee. “The bishop took time visiting all our classrooms from K3 through 8th grade, including a brief tour of our multi-purpose building construction. He joined the middle school students at lunch time,” school principal Sister Paz Aribon, OP, said.
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NATIONAL NEWS MARCH 2012
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
HHS mandate ignores religious liberty By Carol Zimmermann Catholic NewsService
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic bishops across the country have expressed their disapproval of President Barack Obama’s newly announced revision to the contraceptive mandate in the health reform law, saying it does nothing to change what they and other religious leaders and organizations consider an intrusion on religious liberty. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Jan. 20 that religious organizations could delay but not opt out of the requirement that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge. On Feb. 10, Obama announced a revision that allows religious employers not to offer such services to their employees but would compel insurance companies to do so. The change came after three weeks of intensive criticism that the contraception mandate would require most religious institutions to pay for coverage they find morally objectionable. And now questions have been raised over how that revision will pertain to selfinsured parties, like many dioceses and Catholic organizations, and whether it could
still force entities morally opposed to contraception to pay for such services. “We can appreciate the efforts of the White House to quiet the furor over the president’s HHS mandate that would violate the religious freedom of millions of Catholics and other American citizens,” Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski said in a Feb. 10 statement. He noted that hundreds of Catholic universities, colleges, hospitals and other entities offered comments to HHS before the mandate was announced but they “were given short shrift by the administration.” “The administration continues to insist that the issue is about contraception; we disagree. It is about the first freedom of our Bill of Rights: the freedom of religion and respect for the rights of conscience,” he added. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said he found the president’s revision “troubling and frustrating.” “Unfortunately, he did not really respond to the deep moral concerns raised by America’s Catholic community,” he said in a Feb. 13 statement. The archbishop said the fact the revision requires payment of contraceptive coverage to now be borne by
insurance companies, rather than religious employers, “completely misses the point. The issue here is not one of bookkeeping or accounting. It is a matter of moral principle and religious liberty,” he said. He also said the government has “no right to require the Catholic Church or other institutions to pay for -- even indirectly -- products and services that we find to be immoral and unconscionable. Again, this is not a question of contraception. It is a question of religious liberty. This mandate continues to represent a grave government intrusion on Catholic consciences and on the freedom of our Catholic institutions.” Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl similarly
noted that the federal mandate “remains essentially unchanged” and criticized the president’s “fix.” “Regardless of how it is characterized, shifting the cost of these drugs and procedures to insurance companies does not make their requirement any less objectionable or lessen the infringement on our religious liberty and rights of conscience,” Cardinal Wuerl wrote in a Feb. 13 e-letter sent to Catholics of the Archdiocese of Washington. The cardinal said the “only complete solution to the problem that this mandate poses” would be for Congress to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.
Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York told Catholic News Service Feb. 13 in Rome that Fortenberry’s bill would produce an “ironclad law simply saying that no administrative decrees of the federal government can ever violate the conscience of a religious believer individually or religious institutions.” “It’s a shame, you’d think that’s so clear in the Constitution that wouldn’t have to be legislatively guaranteed, but we now know that it’s not,” he added. The cardinal-designate said with his revision to the HHS mandate, the president offered “next to nothing.” “There’s no change, for instance, in these terribly restrictive mandates and this grossly restrictive definition of what constitutes a religious entity,” he said. “The principle wasn’t touched at all.” Other U.S. church leaders in Rome on a periodic “ad limina” visit to the Vatican echoed that opposition to the HHS mandate and the revision. Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said he was disappointed the issue is being perceived as something that isolates the bishops from the faithful. “To try to divide Catholics is a new challenge See DIALOGUE, page 14
Doctors wonder how mandate will affect practice of medicine By Nancy Frazier O’Brien Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -Whether they are just starting out or nearing the end of their careers, Catholics who want to practice medicine in conformity with the church’s teachings wonder how a new federal regulation requiring health plans to cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge will affect their work. Although the requirement will not directly impact physicians, some said it represents a governmental intrusion into health care that could grow in the future. Dr. Anne Nolte, a family physician with the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility in New York, thinks the mandate
represents “such a dramatic violation of such clearly defined civil rights” that it is bound to be overturned in court. But, she said, “If Congress failed to pass an act that provides an exemption for the groups affected by this, and the courts in some incomprehensible way allow (the mandate) to stand, then Catholic health care will have to make a decision to practice civil disobedience.” Dr. Kim Hardey, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Lafayette, La., said he hopes the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Obama administration will cause Catholics and other Christians to rise up against “the liberal left” and “misguided
feminists” who would like to see abortion also become a required part of every medical practice. “If we can allow the infringement of any group’s beliefs,” everyone’s beliefs are threatened, he said. The new contraception mandate, with a narrow exemption for religious organizations, is part of implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which sets up new preventative health care coverage specifically for women at no cost. That coverage includes services such as mammograms, prenatal care and cervical cancer screenings. But it also mandates free contraception, sterilizations and drugs (such as ella and
Gregory A. Shemitz Catholic News Service
Dr. Anne Nolte, right, a family physician with the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility in New York, follows Catholic teaching and guidelines for health care in her practice. She said about 40 percent of her patients are Protestants or have no religious affiliation. She is pictured at her New York office with patient Judith Guzman.
“Plan B”) considered by the Church to be abortifacients-all of which are contrary to Catholic teaching. Sarah Smith is not a doctor yet, but she worries that the HHS mandate will further sour an atmosphere in which she already finds some
challenges to her pro-life convictions. “The one safe environment--Catholic hospitals--is not even going to be safe anymore” if the contraceptive mandate stands, she said. See CONVICTIONS, page 14
14 SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
DIALOGUE: Is possible and must be engaged Continued from page 13 to religious liberty,” he said. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., said no president has ever “tried to tell us what to believe or define what is our ministry.” The notion the church “must cooperate with intrinsic evil is appalling,” he said. Cardinal Wuerl encouraged Catholics not to become complacent or distracted by “incomplete proposals presented as definitive solutions.” He said the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, chaired by Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., would be working on action steps to oppose the mandate. In a Feb. 13 phone interview with CNS, Bishop Lori also called for a legislative remedy, saying, “Our religious freedom is too precious to be protected only by regulations. It needs legislative protection.” An Obama administration official who asked not to be named told CNS in an email Feb. 13 that the White House plans in the coming weeks to convene “a series of meetings with faith community leaders” about the HHS mandate. He said a particular focus of the meetings would be selfinsured group health plans that cover the employees of many Catholic dioceses and institutions. “The administration will work with faith-based organizations, insurers and other interested parties to develop policies that respect religious liberty and ensure access to preventive services for women enrolled in selfinsured group health plans sponsored by religious organizations,” he said. The official said the meetings would be convened “in the coming days” and that “the bishops and others” would be invited. Meanwhile, Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Wash., said the current situation about the HHS mandate
Bishop Blase J. Cupich says the debate provides an opportunity to have a “fundamental dialogue about the role of religion in society...”
provides an opportunity “to have a deeper and, on a prolonged basis, a fundamental dialogue about the role of religion in society in general and the nature of religious liberty, especially as it applies to faith-based charitable, health and social service ministries in the United States.” Writing in the March 5 issue of America magazine, a Jesuit-run national weekly, Bishop Cupich quoted from Obama’s biography, “Dreams From My Father,” and his 2008 campaign speech on racism to show that “the president, relying on his personal experience with church, ... has not only the potential but also the responsibility to make a significant contribution to this more sustained and expansive discussion.” The bishop offered points of “common ground that may shape both the dialogue that needs to take place to unpack the details following the president’s announcement Friday, and the further national discussion on the role of religion in society.” He said the church “should make every attempt to clarify the misrepresentations about its intention,” emphasizing that it “is not trying to impose its will on others” by objecting to being forced to participate in activities that violate its core religious beliefs. The state, for its part, should be reluctant “to make national policy that is so inflexible that it fails to take into account the country’s diversity,” Bishop Cupich said. (Contributing to this story were Nancy Frazier O’Brien, Dennis Sadowski and Mark Zimmermann in Washington and Francis X. Rocca in Rome.)
CONVICTIONS: Challenged Continued from page 13 A fourth-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Smith made clear that her Catholic convictions prevent her from involvement in abortion, sterilization or contraception. She said she has found
that “most doctors as individuals respect my beliefs and my conscience; they might not agree with me, but they’ll defend my right to practice medicine.” Problems are more likely to arise at the institutional level, where medical students and residents are “culturally at the bottom of the totem pole,” Smith said.
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THE VATICAN MARCH 2012
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
Pope names Dolan new Cardinal at Vatican ceremony By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -Pope Benedict XVI created 22 new cardinals from 13 countries -- including three from the United States and Canada -- placing red hats on their heads and calling them to lives of even greater love and service to the church. The churchmen who joined the College of Cardinals Feb. 18 included Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and former archbishop of Baltimore; and Thomas C. Collins of Toronto. Cardinal Dolan will be in Corpus Christi on March 26 to give the keynote address at the diocese’s Centennial Jubilee Formation Conference. In their first official act in their new role, the new cardinals were asked to join their peers in giving the pope their opinion, in writing, on the canonization of seven new saints, including Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, an American Indian, and Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai, Hawaii. The pope announced at the consistory that the canonization ceremony would be celebrated Oct. 21 at the Vatican. Cardinal Dolan mentioned the consultation on the canonization of Blessed Kateri, who was born in what is now New York state, and Mother Marianne, who served there before going to Hawaii. “As grateful as I am for being a cardinal,” Cardinal Dolan said. “I really want to be a saint. I mean that, but I have a long way to go.” St. Peter’s Basilica was filled to overflowing for the ceremony, and several thou-
Paul Haring CNS
Pope Benedict embraces Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York after presenting him with a red biretta during a consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 18. The pope created 22 new cardinals from 13 countries -- including two from the United States and one from Canada.
sand people sat in a sunny St. Peter’s Square watching on large video screens. Choirs from New York and from several Italian dioceses provided music for the service. At the end of the ceremony, the College of Cardinals had 213 members, 125 of whom were under the age of 80 and, therefore, eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope. The consistory took the form of a prayer service. After the Gospel reading, in what the Vatican described as an allocution, not a homily, the pope told the cardinals that love and service, not an air of greatness, are to mark their lives as cardinals. “Dominion and service, egoism and altruism, possession and gift, self-interest and gratuitousness: These profoundly contrasting approaches confront each other in every age and place,” Pope Benedict said, but the cardinals must model their lives on that of Jesus, loving others to the point of giving up his life for them. Cardinal O’Brien told re-
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porters afterward that the ceremony and the pope’s remarks underlined that becoming a cardinal “is not a reward, it brings on greater responsibilities -- something the pope experiences every day.” Cardinal Dolan, who delivered the main address on evangelization at a meeting of the College of Cardinals the day before, said that when he knelt before the pope, the pope thanked him again for his presentation. “I said thank you, for this, I’m the one who is grateful,” he said. “The Gospel and the homily were very sobering,” he said, because they recalled the words of Jesus that “we’re not in it for the prestige, we’re not in it for the honor, we’re not in it for the glory. We’re in it to serve.” In all things, Pope Benedict had told them, “the new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for
God, love for his church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters, even unto shedding their blood, if necessary,” a fact underlined by the red color of the biretta -- a threecornered hat -- and the red cardinal’s robes. “He is servant inasmuch as he welcomes within himself the fate of the suffering and sin of all humanity. His service is realized in total faithfulness and complete responsibility toward mankind,” the pope said. “The free acceptance of his violent death becomes the price of freedom for many,” he told the new cardinals, praying that “Christ’s total gift of self on the cross” would be “the foundation, stimulus and strength” of their faith and that it would be reflected in their love and charity toward others. During the ceremony, Pope Benedict placed rings
on the fingers of the 22 new cardinals and assigned them a “titular church” in Rome, making them full members of the Rome clergy and closer collaborators of the pope in governing the universal church. Cardinal O’Brien’s titular church is the historic Church of St. Sebastian on the Palatine Hill. Cardinal Collins was assigned the Church of St. Patrick in the Via Veneto neighborhood, where an English-speaking congregation worships; and Cardinal Dolan became the titular cardinal of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Monte Mario neighborhood. The new cardinals, the pope said, “will be called to consider and evaluate the events, the problems and the pastoral criteria which concern the mission of the entire church.” The pope asked the new cardinals “to serve the church with love and vigor, with the transparency and wisdom of teachers, with the energy and strength of shepherds, with the fidelity and courage of martyrs.” The Bible reading at the service was taken from the Gospel of Mark and recounted how the disciples were tempted by the idea of honor, but Jesus told them that greatness means becoming the servant of all. “Serving God and others, self-giving: This is the logic which authentic faith imparts and develops in our daily lives and which is not the type of power and glory which belongs to this world,” the pope said.
Pope: Vocations are born from openness to the love of God VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Love of God nurtures love of neighbor, especially in people with vocations to the priesthood or religious life, said Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The papal message for the 49th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be observed April 29, was released Feb. 13 at the Vatican. “The profound truth of our existence is thus contained in this surprising mystery: Every creature, and in particular every human person, is the fruit of God’s thought and an act of his
love, a love that is boundless, faithful and everlasting,” Pope Benedict wrote. “It is in this soil of selfoffering and openness to the love of God, and as the fruit of that love, that all vocations are born and grow. By drawing from this wellspring through prayer, constant recourse to God’s word and to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, it becomes possible to live a life of love for our neighbors, in whom we come to perceive the face of Christ the Lord,” the pope wrote. Pope Benedict wrote that love of both God and other
people “must be lived with a particular intensity and purity of heart by those who have decided to set out on the path of vocation discernment towards the ministerial priesthood and the consecrated life.” Calling on the church to “create the conditions that will permit many young people to say ‘yes’ in generous response to God’s loving call,” the pope recommended “Scripture, prayer and the Eucharist” as the most valuable means “enabling us to grasp the beauty of a life spent fully in service of the kingdom.”
OUR FAITH 16
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
This Lent try silence to find communion with God
n perhaps the most direct advice we receive from Jesus regarding our Lenten obligations, He tells us that when we pray we should “close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.” Likewise, Jesus tells us to perform charity with discretion and give alms surreptitiously. We must fast in a way that only God will know our sacrifice. He does not suggest that these acts are concealed, but rather He wants us to be humble, that our love for our fellow men and for God be an inward act. (Mt 6:1-18) Our Savior, of course, did not give advice He did not follow Himself. The New Testament is replete with instances where Jesus went off by Himself to find solitude. Before selecting His 12 Apostles, Jesus “departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.” (Lk 6:12) Upon learning of the death of John the Baptist, He “withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.” (Mt 14:13) After healing the leper, He withdrew “to deserted places to pray” (Lk 5:16) and when He healed Simon’s mother-in-law and others they brought to him that evening, He “went off to a deserted place, where He prayed.” It was during these quiet moments, during times of silence that he conversed
with His Father. (Mk 1:32-35) Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Verbum Domini, “in the dynamic of Christian revelation, silence appears as an important expression of the word of God.” The Holy Father reminds us, however, that, “Ours is not an age which fosters recollection; at times one has the impression that people are afraid of detaching themselves, even for a moment, from the mass media. For this reason, it is necessary nowadays that the People of God be educated in the value of silence.” The pope is referring to the modern world’s dependence on the television, radio, Internet, Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, i-Pods and a seemingly endless array of communications media. Pope Benedict pointed out in his recent Communications Message that different religious traditions “consider solitude and silence as privileged states which help people to rediscover themselves and that Truth which gives meaning to all things.” The pope says, “The mysteries of Christ all involve silence. Only in silence can the word of God find a home in us, as it did in Mary, woman of the word and, inseparably, woman of silence.” Those of us in religious life, especially those in
Most. Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi
contemplative orders, are about being countercultural—not withdrawn, but countercultural. What is more countercultural in our society today than learning the value of silence, of learning to be quiet? I ask all of us, especially the young people, during Lent to learn from almighty God to simply be silent. Because in silence—and this is what our religious brothers and sisters in contemplative life teach us—you touch your inner being. In silence, you remove all of the distractions and all of the noises. In silence, you discover your dignity. In silence, you touch God’s life in you. In silence, you find love. In silence, you find true faith. Moreover, in silence, you find hope. Lent is a tremendous opportunity for all of us to take time in silence; to learn to be quiet; to pray, as Jesus did, to our Father in solitude.
Joseph shows us how to live as fathers and husbands
arch 19, in the Church’s liturgical calendar, marks the Feast of St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary. This feast has been celebrated continuously on this date since the end of the tenth century. In recent times, due to societal changes and lower attendance at daily Mass, feast days of the saints often pass us by with little or no acknowledgment. This is unfortunate because they represent opportunities for us to receive encouragement for living the faith from those who mastered the spiritual life. While we cannot fully examine this greatest of saints in the short space allotted here, St. Joseph’s life of example is one of those to which we should pay close attention, never allowing it to pass by unnoticed. Almost faceless among the many people in the Gospels, St. Joseph is nevertheless a giant in the spiritual realm. From all of eternity God chose Joseph to take custody of what are arguably the two greatest treasures the world has ever known – Jesus and Mary. He did not entrust them to King David, to Elijah or to Isaiah, but it was to this quiet man, described by Matthew as just, to whom God entrusts the care of His only Son. For this reason if no other, Christians everywhere should reflect on Joseph’s life and what it reveals. While St. Joseph is not given credit for speaking a single word in any of the Gospels, he speaks from the silence of his life with an eloquence that should overwhelm us with a divine tsunami of revelation. Joseph’s silence is not empty; it is a profound silence of words in the form of dreams
and actions that indicate much contemplation. We can be assured that Joseph’s silence is fully occupied beyond himself, with the actions of God occurring through Mary. Joseph does not draw attention to himself; rather he simply does what is necessary. His strength is to be found in his obedience and willingness to act without hesitation in accordance with God’s will for him. This willingness is grounded in his deep and abiding trust in God; his silence, which can only be seen in the light of humility, a humility that springs from deep within. Genuine humility arises from knowing and acknowledging ourselves in relation to God and others. For genuine humility to exist within a person, they must truly be a person of prayer and reflection that leads to this knowledge. Joseph knew what was entrusted to him, he learned of it in a dream from an angel. He had the choice to say no, but instead chose to act in compliance with the message of the angel. This helps us to understand Joseph’s relationship with God and Mary as a relationship based upon prayer. Joseph’s task is the same that is asked of every father in every family– to protect its members and to shepherd their growth, thereby protecting the integrity of the family. He carries out his task with precise obedience to the directives he receives. He does not
concern himself with pride nor does he curry favor for himself. Neither does Joseph permit his knowledge of who Mary and Jesus are to fill him with a pride which would prevent him from achieving that which is entrusted to him. It is in relegating himself to being the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus that Joseph finds joy and honor. This requires a great humility from him and only his willingness to stand in the background makes this possible. A father must be the defender of his wife and their family. In this sense he must also be the defender of the bond of marriage, not allowing anything to threaten to overcome it. Today marriage is assailed on every front – adultery, same sex unions, pornography, job demands and children who seek to come between their parents in order to get what they want without regard to the rest of the family. Joseph shows us how to live the bond of the sacrament as a servant leader within the family by his very actions in protecting Jesus and Mary. This is evident in the flight to Egypt and the return to Nazareth when he does not consider the personal cost to him or his business but acts with immediacy when moving became necessary to protect the child and His mother. In the search for the child Jesus when he remained in the Temple in Jerusalem, Joseph shows the need to protect the integrity of the family
Deacon Stephen Nolte Director, Office of Family Life
from anything that would separate it; and Jesus confirmed Joseph’s and Mary’s authority when “he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.” God’s yardstick measures the mark of love that demands a selfsacrificing gift of self for the sole purpose of building up the object of our love, namely, the beloved to whom we give glory and honor. For Joseph the beloved is God, Mary and Jesus. For us it should be God, our spouse and our children. None of us is worthless in the eyes of God–each of us is called to participate in His life in the kingdom of heaven and has great value as such. We each have our own responsibilities, our own role at home, our own family, friends and work. It is sufficient to live our lives in relative obscurity, accomplishing the ordinary functions of life with love and humility, obedient even for the sole purpose of pleasing God. St. Joseph stands to remind us of this reality It is in living out the tasks given to us that we proclaim and give witness to the good news of the Gospel. We do so in imitation of the saints, particularly St. Joseph. When you awaken on March 19, be sure to ask for St. Joseph’s intercessions; seek to fill your day with his silence in order to better hear God calling, and once you hear Him, go forth in obedience to respond to your calling.
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 17
The diocesan bishop and priests are a blessing
s the Catholic people of our diocese strive to live lives of holiness, their obvious leaders in maturing in the life of faith are our bishop and priests. At the time of their ordination, our priests consecrate their lives totally to God, serving Him through these consecrated lives as they try to lead others to holiness. To do so, they have to be striving for personal holiness in their own lives. The principal effect of the Sacrament of Holy Orders is “the character, a spiritual and indelible mark impressed upon the soul, by which the recipient is distinguished from others, designated as a minister of Christ, and deputed and empowered to perform certain office of Divine worship.” (Summa III, 63:2) As our priests minister to the people of the diocese, we look instinctively to them to lead us in the way of holiness. The character mentioned by the Summa above has the effect of consecrating them especially to God, enabling them to live in a special relationship to Him. At the same time, they are given the gift of the graces needed to enable us to grow in our personal relationship to Him also. In the lives of every priest there are, of course, many calls to a ministry seemingly not directly related to God–
Sister Kathleen McDonagh Sisters of the Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament
the calls of construction of buildings in a parish or diocese, for example, the necessary raising of funds, calls to be a member of this panel or that group of citizens. Nevertheless, these calls come precisely because the group involved wants the priest as priest to be involved in a process, which is part of their Church membership. This process may, however indirectly, lead to a better situation for the priest, the people of his parish and the diocese. But primarily, priests are people of prayer. We look to our priests to celebrate the Eucharist – with special emphasis on the Sabbath celebration. The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist is – spiritually– the high point of the week. However, some people who are aware of the greatness of the sacrament look for it even more frequently, and this leads to daily or several- times-weekly celebrations also. Most priests make this frequency of
celebration available to their people. We look to them to make available to us the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) – as a real necessity if we are guilty of having committed serious sin, as an aid to grow in holiness for those who are aware of a conscious call to such growth in their lives. Priests also minister to us through the sacraments that are received much less frequently in our lives; sacraments such as the sacrament anointing of the sick received when one is seriously ill or in danger of death and the sacrament of marriage, which may be received more than once if one’s spouse passes away. And then there are those priests who, in response to some people’s great desire to grow in holiness, commit themselves to give spiritual direction to them on an ongoing basis. Spiritual direction is advice, suggestions, encouragement to make ongoing efforts to grow in holiness. A commitment to do this on an ongoing basis surely must come from people who are themselves committed to growing in holiness. Encouragement in frequenting the sacraments, assistance with growth in prayer and with growth in virtue, especially in the virtue of charity, aid to overcome difficulties in the spiritual
life and advice as to how to achieve such growth. All are part of the process of spiritual direction and surely come from priests who themselves are aware of the spiritual giftedness given to them by God as His priestly representatives. And if such great gifts are part of the consecrated life of dedicated priests, how much more are they part of the consecrated life of the bishop of the diocese – the leader of all priests in his diocese. The consecrated life of the bishop shows itself in his leadership in the diocese, his encouragement of his priests to live their priestly lives as totally as possible, in his calling them together from time to time to pray together and plan together how they will live out their consecration and in his ongoing dedication to them and to the people who are both his and theirs. How blessed we are to have a bishop and priests who lead us in the ongoing process of spiritual growth. Who are available to us in times of greatest joys and greatest sorrows and in all the times in between. Let us thank God in an ongoing manner for the great gift of the consecrated life of our diocesan bishop and clergy and ask Him to continue to bless them and to direct them in the way He wants them to go.
We must let Jesus free us from sickness of body and soul
esus, in His public life, healed many sick people, thus revealing that what God wants for man is life, life in abundance. The Gospel of Mark shows us Jesus in contact with a form of sickness considered at that time to be the most serious, leprosy, which made the sufferer “unclean” and excluded him from social life. While Jesus was preaching in Galilee a leper came up to Him asking to be healed. Jesus did not seek to avoid contact with the
Pope Benedict XVI
man. Quite the contrary, moved by intimate concern for his condition, He stretched out His hand—breaking the legal proscription—and said: “I do
choose. Be made clean.” Christ’s gesture and words encapsulate the entire history of salvation, they incarnate God’s will to heal us, to purify us from the evil that disfigures us and blights our relationships. That contact between Jesus’ hand and the leper broke down all barriers between God and human impurity; between the sacred and its opposite, certainly not in order to deny evil and its negative power but to demonstrate that the love of God is stronger than
all evil, even the most contagious and terrible. Jesus took our infirmities upon Himself. He became a ‘leper’ that we might be purified. The victory of Christ is our profound healing and our resurrection to a new life. Through His Mother, it is always Jesus Who comes to us, to free us from all sickness of body and soul. Let us allow ourselves to be touched and purified by Him, and let us show mercy to our fellows.
For Your Prayers & Reflections the Liturgical Year B Readings March 1 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25/ Mt 7:7-12 (227) March 2 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 18:21-28/Mt 5:2026 (228) March 3 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin] | Dt 26:16-19/Mt 5:43-48 (229) March 4 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18/Rom 8:31b-34/Mk 9:2-10 (26) Pss II
Mt 20:17-28 (232) March 8 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saint John of God, Religious] | Jer 17:5-10/Lk 16:19-31 (233) March 9 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saint Frances of Rome, Religious] | Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a/Mt 21:33-43, 45-46 (234) March 10 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Mi 7:14-15, 18-20/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 (235)
March 6 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 1:10, 16-20/Mt 23:112 (231)
March 11 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Ex 20:117 or 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17/1 Cor 1:22-25/Jn 2:13-25 (29), or, for Year A, | Ex 17:3-7/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 (28) Pss III
March 7 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs] | Jer 18:18-20/
March 12 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet | 2 Kgs 5:1-15b/Lk 4:24-30 (237)
March 5 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 9:4b-10/Lk 6:36-38 (230)
March 13 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 3:25, 34-43/Mt 18:21-35 (238) March 14 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dt 4:1, 5-9/Mt 5:1719 (239) March 15 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 7:23-28/Lk 11:14-23 (240) March 16 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Hos 14:2-10/Mk 12:2834 (241) March 17 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saint Patrick, Bishop] | Hos 6:1-6/Lk 18:9-14 (242) March 18 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT | violet/rose | 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23/Eph 2:410/Jn 3:14-21 (32) or, for Year A, 1 Sm 16:1b, | 6-7, 10-13a/Eph 5:8-14/Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 1317, 34-38 (31) Pss IV March 19 | Mon | Saint Joseph,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | solemnity | 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16/Rom 4:13, 1618, 22/Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a or | Lk 2:41-51a (543) Pss Prop
34/Heb 5:7-9/Jn 12:20-33 (35) or, for Year A, Ez 37:12-14/Rom 8:8-11/ | Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45 (34) Pss I
March 20 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 47:1-9, 12/Jn 5:1-16 (245)
March 26 | Mon | The Annunciation of the Lord | white | solemnity | Is 7:10-14; 8:10/Heb 10:410/Lk 1:26-38 (545) Pss Prop
March 21 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 49:8-15/Jn 5:1730 (246)
March 27 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Nm 21:4-9/Jn 8:21-30 (252)
March 22 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ex 32:7-14/Jn 5:3147 (247)
March 28 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95/Jn 8:31-42 (253)
March 23 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | [Saint Turibius de Mogrovejo, Bishop] | Wis 2:1a, 12-22/Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 (248)
March 29 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Gn 17:3-9/Jn 8:5159 (254)
March 24 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 11:18-20/Jn 7:40-53 (249) March 25 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT | violet | Jer 31:31-
March 30 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 20:10-13/Jn 10:3142 (255) March 31 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 37:21-28/Jn 11:45-56 (256)
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
How does the Church help the faithful speak about political questions? Consider This Stephen Kent Catholic News Service
A well-formed conscience
A year to T ‘adapt’? No thanks
nyone looking for validation of the pope’s frank assessment of the state of the culture in the United States did not have long to wait. A day after Pope Benedict XVI described to a visiting delegation of American bishops his view of hostility to unchanging moral truths in the United States the government offered the perfect example to prove his point. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rejected requests from Catholic leaders and institutions to revise the religious exemption from its requirements that all health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge. Showing what was either a gratuitous insult or abysmal ignorance, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, said groups that do not currently provide contraceptive coverage would have an additional year “to adapt to this new rule.” The secretary showed no lack of chutzpah to say those who hold to millennia of traditional moral teaching have a year to abandon their beliefs, as if basic truths are some sort of platform issue. Moral truths are not the same as the flip-flop philosophy of politicians for who long-held beliefs might extend from one election to another. At the heart of every culture, the pope said, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good. “Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such,” he said. These meetings between pope and bishops, known as “ad limina,” are usually polite affairs where a pope will comment on certain situations in the visiting bishops’ dioceses to which they respond. Not often do you hear a pope say, as did Pope Benedict, that “it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression See FREEDOM, page 19
he Church equips its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience. Catholics have a serious and lifelong obligation to form their consciences in accord with human reason and the teaching of the Church. Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere “feeling” about what we should or should not do. Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil. Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truths of our faith. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right” (no. 1778). The formation of conscience includes several elements. First, there is a desire to embrace goodness and truth. For Catholics this begins with a willingness and openness to seek the truth and what is right by studying Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
It is also important to examine the facts and background information about various choices. Finally, prayerful reflection is essential to discern the will of God. Catholics must also understand that if they fail to form their con-
sciences they can make erroneous judgments. The Virtue of Prudence The Church fosters well-formed consciences not only by teaching moral truth but also by encouraging its members to develop the virtue of prudence. Prudence enables us “to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1806) Prudence shapes and informs our ability to deliberate over available alternatives, to determine what is most fitting to a specific context, and to act decisively. Exercising this virtue often re-
quires the courage to act in defense of moral principles when making decisions about how to build a society of justice and peace. The Church’s teaching is clear that a good end does not justify an immoral means. As we all seek to advance the common good—by defending the inviolable sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death, by defending marriage, by feeding the hungry and housing the homeless, by welcoming the immigrant and protecting the environment—it is important to recognize that not all possible courses of action are morally acceptable. We have a responsibility to discern carefully which public policies are morally sound. Catholics may choose different ways to respond to compelling social problems, but we cannot differ on our moral obligation to help build a more just and peaceful world through morally acceptable means, so that the weak and vulnerable are protected and human rights and dignity are defended. Doing Good and Avoiding Evil Aided by the virtue of prudence in the exercise of well-formed consciences, Catholics are called to make practical judgments regarding good and evil choices in the political arena. There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incomSee OBLIGATION, page 19
Nickels, dimes and family size A
few years ago, I spoke with a young man preparing to get married. His aunt told him that she thought he and his fiancée were too financially strapped to have a child, and that it would not be fair to bring up a baby in poverty. Keenly aware of his joblessness and his minuscule bank account, he concluded she was probably right. The young man and his fiancée were ready to tie the knot in a few months and they expected that she would be at the infertile phase of her cycle around the time of their honeymoon, so they would be able to consummate the marriage while avoiding bringing a child into the world. They agreed they would use Natural Family Planning (NFP) after that to avoid a pregnancy. A few years later when they felt financially secure, he told me, they would have their first child. He admitted, however, that he was conflicted about whether they were really being “open to life” in their marriage if they were going into it with this kind of forethought and intention of avoiding children.
out of Bioethics Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
In marriage, it can certainly be challenging to harmonize spousal love with the responsible transmission of life. Janet Smith and Christopher Kaczor, in an illuminating passage from one of their recent books, acknowledge this challenge and point to the need for a “spirit of generosity” when it comes to procreation. They cite Blessed John Paul II who “spoke of ‘responsible parenthood,’ in which a couple uses practical wisdom, prayer and a spirit of generosity in determining how many children they should have. Some Catholics believe that the Church permits the use of NFP only for reasons that verge on the truly desperate, such as a situation where a pregnancy would threaten a woman’s life or a family is living in dire poverty. Magisterial documents,
however, state that spouses may have physical, psychological, economic or social reasons for needing to limit family size, using several different adjectives to describe those reasons: One can have ‘just’ reasons, ‘worthy’ reasons, ‘defensible’ reasons, ‘serious’ reasons and ‘weighty’ reasons. In short, the Magisterium teaches that spouses must have unselfish reasons for using NFP and limiting their family size.” At times, then, our justifications for avoiding a pregnancy may merit further reflection and scrutiny on our part. When it comes to “poverty,” for example, would our poverty, in the true sense of the word, mean that the child would be malnourished and without warm clothing, or would it simply mean that he or she would forego some of the latest hi-tech gadgets that other children in the neighborhood might be enjoying? I recall what a father of seven children on a tight budget once told me in a conversation, “Honestly, there’s always room around the table for
See MARRIAGE, page 19
SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
OBLIGATION: Is to oppose evil and to do good Continued from page 18 patible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic good of persons. These are called “intrinsically evil” actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia. In our nation, “abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others” (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed. Similarly, direct threats to the sanctity and dignity of human life, such as human cloning and destructive research on human embryos, are also intrinsically evil. These must always be opposed. Other direct assaults on innocent human life and violations of human dignity, such as genocide, torture, racism, and the targeting of noncombatants in acts of terror or war, can never be justified. Opposition to intrinsically evil acts that undercut the dignity of the
human person should also open our eyes to the good we must do, that is, to our positive duty to contribute to the common good and to act in solidarity with those in need. As Pope John Paul II said, “The fact that only the negative commandments oblige always and under all circumstances does not mean that in the moral life prohibitions are more important than the obligation to do good indicated by the positive commandment.” (Veritatis Splendor, no. 52). Both opposing evil and doing good are essential obligations. The right to life implies and is linked to other human rights—to the basic goods that every human person needs to live and thrive. All the life issues are connected, for erosion of respect for the life of any individual or group in society necessarily diminishes respect for all life. The moral imperative to respond to the needs of our neighbors—basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, education, and meaningful work—is universally binding on our consciences and may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. Catholics must seek the best ways to respond to these needs. As Blessed Pope John XXIII taught, “[Each of us] has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are suitable for the proper development of life; these are primarily food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and, finally, the necessary social services.”
(Pacem in Terris, no. 11). Pope John Paul II explained the importance of being true to fundamental Church teachings. “Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights—for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture—is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.” (Christifideles Laici, no. 38) Two temptations in public life can distort the Church’s defense of human life and dignity. The first is a moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinctions between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity. The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed. The second is the misuse of these necessary moral distinctions as a way of dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity. Racism and other unjust discrimination, the use of the death penalty, resorting to unjust war, the use of torture, war crimes, the failure to respond to those who are suffering from hunger or a lack of health care, or an unjust immigration policy are all serious moral issues that challenge our consciences and require us to act.
FREEDOM: Must include autonomy to practice beliefs Continued from page 18 in the political and cultural spheres.” Curtailing the proclamation of truths by “suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule,” he said, is a “threat not just to Christian faith but also to humanity itself.” Assaults on the freedom of religion will not come by big things -- jackbooted soldiers ransacking churches before locking their doors. It will come from the erosion of so-called
little things such as these HHS regulations, easily overlooked as technical rule making, their significance not grasped. Religious freedom means more than freedom of worship. It means the freedom to practice beliefs. It is meaningless without respect for freedom of conscience, as the pope said. “The church has a critical role to play in countering cultural currents which, on the basis of extreme individualism, seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth,”
the pope told the U.S. delegation. “There can be no doubt that a more consistent witness on the part of America’s Catholics to their deepest convictions would make a major contribution to the renewal of society as a whole,” challenged the pope. Government grants “a year to adapt.” That can also become a “year to reject” and to provide that witness that freedom of conscience will prevail. (Stephen Kent, now retired, was editor of archdiocesan newspapers in Omaha and Seattle.)
MARRIAGE: Must be entered into with children in mind Continued from page 18 one more, and with ‘hand me down’ clothing we always manage. And my goodness, isn’t it a momentous thing to receive that trust of preparing another soul for an eternal destiny with God?” His wife pointed out how the older children ended up helping with raising the younger ones, lessening the burdens on mom and dad, and turning it into a “team effort.” The ancient Christian teaching on the two-fold purpose of marriage, namely, the “procreation and education of children,” and the “mutual help and sanctification of the spouses,” accurately summarizes the inner order of marriage. As the future John Paul II wrote in his great 1960 book “Love and
Responsibility,” radical personal openness to both of these purposes is essential to the success and meaning of any marriage. We should never enter into marriage with active opposition to the very ends for which it exists. If a couple is preparing to embark upon marriage with the immediate intention of avoiding offspring (even if they are using morally acceptable means such as NFP), they perhaps ought to consider delaying the exchange of their vows until they have resolved the various impediments, whether financial, career-related, or personal, that are leading them to be closed to the idea of having children. I recall hearing about another family that had six children. They did not have two nickels to rub together. After the father came down with
mental illness, the mother had to support the family single-handedly. A clear-thinking woman with an unflinching faith, now elderly and reflecting on her past, she memorably remarked to her neighbor, “I’ve never seen the Lord send a child without also sending a lunch pail.” God, who is the very source of the immortal souls of our children, is a provident God who invites us to examine the heart of our marriages. He invites us to entrust ourselves to him, so that we might be courageous and authentically open to the gift of life he sends us in the midst of the marital embrace. Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did postdoctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.ncbcenter.org
MARCH 2012 19
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20 SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC
Published on Mar 1, 2012
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...