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2  South Texas Catholic | October 2016 70777_Christus_Spohn_Goggles_7_68x10_18.indd 1

9/1/16 2:53 PM


VOL. 51 NO. 9 Publisher Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL DD


Central Catholic teacher Frances Lozano teaches Leonard Montes about God. The Central Catholic second grader's love of God has led his family to a deeper relationship to their Church, which has yielded to them many blessings.


Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert Correspondents Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Jessica Morrison, Luisa Scolari, Dayna Mazzei Worchel

If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic call us at (361) 882-6191 Office Address: 620 Lipan Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434 E-MAIL: FAX: (361) 693-6701

15 Father John

Tran Nguyen celebrates Mass at St. Perter in Fulton, which he is shepherding to a new future. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our Online form, e-mail, fax, mail or drop it off at the Chancery office. Only announcements for the month of publication will be included in the print edition, if space permits. All other calendar items will appear on the magazine or diocese Web sites. The South Texas Catholic is not liable or in any way responsible for the content of any advertisement appearing within these pages. All claims, offers guarantees, statements, etc. made by advertisers are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. Deceptive or misleading advertising is never knowingly accepted. Complaints regarding advertising should be made directly to the advertiser or to the Better Business Bureau.

(USPSN 540-860) Published 11 times a year by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434. If you wish to read our Spanish language articles in English visit our Web site southtexascatholic. com and use the Google language translator. Si desea leer nuestros artículos escritos en Inglés en español, visite nuestro sitio web southtexascatholic. com y utilice el traductor de idiomas Google.

INSIDE 4 Faithful citizens, faithful voting

NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE 21 Retrouvaille, Marriage Encounter

VOCATIONS 9 Celibacy and fatherhood

NATIONAL 24 Bishops, faithful pray


VIDA CATÓLICA 11 Parroquias en Alice se unen para ayudar a familias

BRIEFS 17 NEWS Father Michael Burke Keep up with the Faith at

passes from this life

offer communication skills to couples

for peace in communities

27 VATICAN Spirit of St. Teresa of Calcutta

is alive and well in the Body of Christ

OUR FAITH 31 Comfort from a friend

or stranger is always appreciated

October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Faithful citizens, faithful voting Bishop Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic

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


n the next few weeks, citizens of our country will participate in the important civic duty of choosing those who will lead and represent us. As is common during an election year, but particularly over the past few months, Catholics ask "how should I vote, for whom?" Though every election cycle brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. Our current political climate seems to bring unique, difficult questions to be discerned by voters who are committed not only to the well-being of our social and political life and to living out the Gospel in all aspects of life (cf. Mk 16:15). It is not my intention to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Neither is it my intention to endorse any particular candidate or political party. As my brother bishops and I have expressed in our statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" (FCFC), “our intention (as bishops) is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth. We recognize that the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience.” As human beings made in the image and likeness of God, we possess the gift of an intellect to discern right from wrong in accordance with objective moral principles. This is the precious gift of conscience. Continuing to form our consciences and discern voting as a faithful citizen and a faithful Catholic, it may help to remember first how one should not vote. As Catholics, we should not vote for a person or political party simply because of habit. To be true witnesses of Jesus today we cannot be content with supporting candidates or political parties simply because we have always voted that way or our families or friends voted for them. Much less should we vote for candidates or political parties because a popular actor or sports figure endorses them, or simply because they profess to be a Catholic or a Christian.

4  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

The current political climate starkly reminds us that, for good or for ill, candidates and political parties can and do change, sometimes dramatically. When considering how a Catholic should vote, it is important to remember that we belong first and foremost to Jesus before we belong to any particular political party or candidate. When we are committed to Jesus, and his Gospel, we cannot merely “go with the flow.” Rather, we must be willing to put in the hard work of seeking out accurate information on particular candidates and political parties—not just at the national level but also at the local and state levels. Faithful citizenship requires that we research reliable information and not just accept media spin or commentary by the media personalities regarding a certain candidate or political party. We should be keenly aware of sound bites or manipulations designed either to support or vilify a candidate. We should challenge ourselves to look beyond ugly and oftentimes irrelevant negativity from candidates, their political parties, supporters or detractors. We should engage in a true consideration and discernment of what a particular candidate or political party stands for, their views and intentions particularly regarding objective moral principles affecting the dignity of every human person, especially the most vulnerable. In seeking to thoughtfully discern candidates and their positions, it would be helpful to challenge ourselves to not only consider their shortcomings but also to see the good and unique gifts that the candidate may possess. In doing this, we allow candidates to define and communicate their vision, positions and concrete plans and allow them to be accurately understood. With so much negativity in current political discourse, perhaps we as faithful Catholic voters can become models of integrity and civility, to seek out what is positive about a candidate we engage in respectful discourse and where there are disagreements we do not

or as a society, because they are always incompatible 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…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 (FCFC 21).” It is important to understand that not all issues objectively carry with them the same moral weight. Some issues, such as the destruction of innocent human life through abortion, active euthanasia of the elderly or infirmed, human cloning or so-called same sex “marriage,” are intrinsic evils that always violate human dignity. Other issues, such as the death penalty, just war and immigration, do allow for a legitimate diversity of opinion regarding their application. When evaluating a political candidate or political party on important issues, a well-formed Catholic conscience must carefully discern first whether it is an issue that allows for a legitimate diversity of opinion or whether it is one that concerns an unchangeable, objective moral norm. To help understand which are objective moral wrongs and which allow for legitimate diversity, I strongly recommend that every Catholic consult the "Catechism of the Catholic Church", the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s "Doctrinal Note Regarding Participation of Catholics in Political Life" and the United States bishops’ document "Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship" for a clearer understanding of these. These can all be found online. Unfortunately, oftentimes it can be that no candidate completely enshrines conformity with the moral principles that our formed consciences know to be objective moral norms. It may be the case that one candidate may support the objective moral law on certain issues but not on others, while other candidates may support or deny certain other ones. In such situations, a well-formed Catholic conscience must first weigh—as much as possible—which issues concerning intrinsic moral principles are in question and which are more key or foundational to the current moral health of our society. However, it is important to remember that this must be concerning key issues of objective moral evils, such as abortion or human cloning, and not just issues of prudential applications, such as just war or immigration. Then a careful discernment should be made as to which candidate would be most likely to support laws and policies that would limit the proliferation of intrinsically, morally objectionable wrongs. In such situations, Catholic moral teaching allows us to act in October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  5


become enmeshed in misrepresenting, insulting or demonizing the other. After true discernment of a candidate’s or political party’s positions, our exercise of faithful citizenship requires that we carefully check these against the objective moral principles known through a wellformed Catholic conscience. Though it may be difficult, we must then have the courage to consider not voting for a candidate or a political party—even one that we may happen to like—if that person or party stands for principles, positions or public policies that run contrary to these objective moral principles, especially those that violate basic principles of life and human dignity or strikes against the common good. The current political conversations in our nation tend to have us believe that the candidate or political party to vote for is the one that will bring about the most advantage to us and our own personal prosperity. A well-formed Catholic conscience understands that true political leaders worthy of our support are those that protect and foster the common good. Common good does not mean economic prosperity for the most number of people nor does it mean a collectivism that puts the community over the dignity of the individual human person. Rather, our Catholic tradition teaches that the “common good” is the sum total of social conditions which allow people—all of us—either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and easily (CCC, No.1906). The common good is not served if any one person's good is violated so that others may prosper. On the contrary, the common good can be fostered only if “human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible, and a right to access those things required for human decency…the right to exercise religious freedom publicly and privately by individuals and institutions along with freedom of conscience need to be constantly defended (FCFC 49).” Related to this, a well-formed Catholic conscience understands that there are some acts that are always morally wrong and thus cannot morally be enshrined in law. These are commonly referred to as “intrinsic evils” and are objectively morally wrong regardless of situation, emotions or political correctness. These always violate the dignity of the human person and thus seriously strike against the common good of a society. Whether privately as individuals or socially through laws or public policies, participating in these or supporting those who would proliferate such objectively immoral acts is contrary to fundamental moral principles and is contrary to a well-formed Catholic conscience. As my brother bishops and I have taught: “There are some things that we must never do, as individuals


a way that would limit as much as possible violations of objective moral norms, even if this means voting for a candidate that is of the so-called “lesser evil.” It must also be noted that though one may be allowed to vote for a so-called “lesser evil” candidate to limit the spread of intrinsically morally problematic legislation, if it is soberly discerned in conscience that no candidate is suitable in this regard, a faithful well-formed Catholic conscience may choose not to vote for any of the candidates presented and work towards fostering conditions in the society whereby candidates who are more in conformity with objective moral norms can be put forward. It is important to keep in mind that though voting is a vital part of our civic and political participation in social life, it does not exhaust it. I underscore what my brother bishops and I have said regarding faithful citizenship, namely that “the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience, and that participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election (FCFC 7).” Of course this does not mean that we take our duty to vote lightly. Rather, it means that even after voting for our civic leaders and representatives, we must work to hold them accountable to the bedrock and unchangeable principles of morality made known to us by God, to service of the common good and to create a more just society. It also means working or demanding that

political parties present suitable candidates that will uphold the objective moral law. Though an important part of it, voting is a right and a privilege that does not abdicate our responsibility to continue to build a society under God that advances the common good and safeguards the dignity of every human person. Civic responsibility, as part of our Christian responsibility, also means personally doing our part to serve the common good in our communities and in our society and not just sit back to praise or complain about the leaders who are in office as if the common good is only served by those who hold political office. On the contrary, we as members of the Body of Christ, as a requirement of our faith, have an obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society (cf. FCFC 9). Finally, being citizens but also being people of faith, as we continue to discern the most prudential courses of action in our voting and social participation, it is important for us to remember that we are never alone. As Jesus promised us, he will be with us until the end of the age as we fulfill our call to bring his Gospel to all nations (cf. Mt 28:19-20), including our own. As such, we should always go to him in prayer and worship, asking for his grace upon our nation, our leaders and ourselves, that we may always be faithful citizens and faithful witnesses to his love and mercy for all.

Headlines from

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

• Large turnout fills Sacred Heart for 15th Annual Blue Mass • St. Joseph Walks in remembrance of 9-11 • Santa Rosa de Lima remembers school with fondness • St. Pius X men complete The Way retreat on Sunday • Diacono Manuel "Manny" Maldonado se jubilo después de 40 años de servicio 6  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

• Former Planned Parenthood clinic director speaks at Celebration for Life dinner • Bishop Mulvey calls on Holy Spirit to invoke wisdom and light on judges, lawyers • Workshops for faith educators being held at three parishes • Remembering David L. Gaza, his generosity and love of Church

• New Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion installed • Alyssa Ayarzagoitia receives the Marc Cisneros Scholarship • Students meet with college representatives • Principals meet to discuss new strategies for robust schools • St. Gertrude School students recognize first responders


Goals for political life: challenges for citizens, candidates and public officials Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

s Catholics, we are led to raise questions for political life other than those that concentrate on individual, material well-being. Our focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economics or even competence and capacity to perform duties, as important as such issues are. Rather, we focus on what protects or threatens the dignity of every human life. Catholic teaching challenges voters and candidates, citizens and elected officials, to consider the moral and ethical dimensions of public policy issues. In light of ethical principles, United States bishops offer the following policy goals that they hope will guide Catholics as they form their consciences and reflect on the moral dimensions of their public choices. Not all issues are equal. Listed here are 10 goals that address matters of different moral weight and urgency. Some involve intrinsically evil acts, which can never be approved. Others involve affirmative obligations to seek the common good. First, how will they address the preeminent requirement to protect the weakest in our midst—innocent unborn children—by restricting and bringing to an end the destruction of unborn children through abortion and providing women in crisis pregnancies the support they need to make a decision for life? How will they keep the nation from turning to violence to address fundamental problems—a million abortions each year to deal with unwanted pregnancies, euthanasia and assisted suicide to deal with the burdens of illness and disability, the destruction of human embryos in the name of research, the use of the death penalty to combat crime and imprudent resort to war to address international disputes? Will they protect the fundamental understanding of marriage as the life-long and faithful union of one man and one woman and as the central institution of society; promote the complementarity of the sexes and reject false “gender” ideologies; and provide better support for family life morally, socially and economically, so that the nation helps parents raise their children with respect for life, sound moral values and an ethic of stewardship and responsibility? How will the candidate achieve comprehensive

immigration reform that offers a path to citizenship, treats immigrant workers fairly, prevents the separation of families, maintains the integrity of national borders, respects the rule of law and addresses the factors that compel people to leave their own countries? Will the candidate help families and children overcome poverty: ensuring access to and choice in education, as well as decent work at fair, living wages and adequate assistance for the vulnerable in our nation, while also helping to overcome widespread hunger and poverty around the world, especially in the areas of development assistance, debt relief, and international trade? How will he or she provide health care while respecting human life, human dignity and religious freedom in our health care system? Will the candidate continue to oppose policies that reflect prejudice, hostility toward immigrants, religious bigotry and other forms of unjust discrimination? Will he or she encourage families, community groups, economic structures and government to work together to overcome poverty, pursue the common good and care for creation, with full respect for individuals and groups and their right to address social needs in accord with their basic moral and religious convictions? What are the candidate’s plans to establish and comply with moral limits on the use of military force—examining for what purposes it may be used, under what authority and at what human cost—with a special view to seeking a responsible and effective response for ending the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and other parts of the world? Will the candidate join with others around the world to pursue peace, protect human rights and religious liberty and advance economic justice and care for creation? These and similar goals can help voters and candidates act on ethical principles rather than particular interests and partisan allegiances. Catholics should ask candidates how they intend to help the nation pursue these important goals. (Editor’s note: Readers can access the complete bishops’ document on “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship at catholicvoter.) October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  7

OCTOBER 2016 : “THE TWO CHAPELS” John Patrick Cobb

Chapel on the Dunes: Port Aransas, Texas

8  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

Chapel Installation: Travelling Exhibition

Felder Gallery Event 1726 Hwy 361 • Suite F Port Aransas, Texas 78373 Chapel Two Installation and Small Studies (1977-1981) for Chapel on the Dunes Opening Reception: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 6-8 pm Closing Reception: Saturday, Oct. 29, 3-5 pm Meet the artist John Cobb at opening and closing receptions.

Port Aransas Museum Events Port Aransas Museum Lecture: Oct. 10, 6:30 pm Chapel on the Dunes Tours: Reservations available by contacting Port Aransas Museum (361) 749-3800 or Felder Gallery (361) 749-2388

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

C Contributor

elibacy is not just about “not having sex”. There’s an aspect of celibacy that is more important for a man to consider when discerning the priesthood: the inclination to natural fatherhood. Healthy men usually have a natural inclination to want children. They are, after all, one of God’s greatest gifts, and a family can bring great joy to a man’s life. From the miracle of participating in the creation of life to the education and formation of his children, watching them grow and mature, fulfill their own vocations and even potentially start their own families, natural fatherhood can be a source of great happiness for the man whom God calls to that vocation. It is no wonder, then, that the sacrifice of natural fatherhood might put many men off from considering the priesthood. But, it would be a mistake for any man to avoid considering the priesthood simply based on the fact that he has an inclination to be a father. It may well be that his inclination to fatherhood can only really be fulfilled by supernatural fatherhood. Consider what St. John Chrysostom said, “The priest is the common father of the whole world.” You have probably heard this many times before: a priest’s fatherhood is not limited to several natural children. Rather, his fatherhood encompasses every human soul. He is, in a very real way, the father of every soul he baptizes, every soul he cleanses in confession, who receives communion from his hands, whose marriage he witnesses, whom he confirms, whose broken or dying body he anoints

and (if a bishop) who receives holy orders from him. In effecting the rebirth of these people into the heavenly life, he is truly a father in a much more real way than he could ever be to some as a natural father. Even apart from the sacraments, there are many whom he consoles, comforts, teaches and aids in countless ways for whom he is a spiritual father—whether they are Catholic or not. To the superficial ear, it may sound like a platitude, but if we truly believe with the Church, we know that the priesthood is a very real fatherhood. While this may offer some intellectual consolation, what can it do for the heart, which longs for the love of a natural family? Father John F. O’Neil offers this: “Giving up the consolation of human love won for me a thousand loves more enduring than anything human. Giving up a home of my own has not made of me a selfish bachelor, but has expanded my powers of loving so that now, as a priest, I have a place in the hundreds of homes that are grouped around the altar where I say Mass.” Do not be put off by your inclination to be a good father to your own children. If God is calling you to the priesthood, you will most certainly have the reward of many children, and the great consolations, which come with the love, which is shared, between fathers and their children. Thank you for taking the time to discern your vocation. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life. Feel free to contact me any time you want to discuss what he has in store for you.

…A priest’s fatherhood is not limited to several natural children…his fatherhood encompasses every …soul he baptizes, every soul he cleanses in confession, who receives communion from his hands, whose marriage he witnesses, whom he confirms, whose broken or dying body he anoints… October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  9


Celibacy and fatherhood


Coros de la escuela de St. Elizabeth (en la cima) y San José proporcionan entretenimiento en el festival de J.A.M. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic 10  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

Luisa Scolari Corresponsal


l jueves 19 de agosto, residentes de la ciudad de Alice y circunvecinas dieron su apoyo a un programa de música llamado J.A.M., cual propósito era recaudar fondos para un proyecto en la comunidad de Alice designado para colectar alimentos para gente necesitada. J.A.M. es un acrónimo de las palabras en ingles para “jubilee, adoration and music” o en español “ jubileo, adoración y música,” y que también se refiere a una sesión improvisada de música. En este año de la misericordia, el Papa Francisco invita a los

fieles a practicar obras de misericordia como prueba de sus amor a Cristo y al prójimo. En respuesta a este llamado dos oficinas de la diócesis de Corpus Christi—la oficina del Ministerio Hispano a cargo del Padre Julián Cabrera en colaboración con el Ministerio de los Jóvenes a cargo de Jaime Reyna—organizaron el evento J.A.M. para recaudar fondos en apoyo de los esfuerzos de la parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Alice para ayudar familias que han quedado sin trabajo por el cierre de compañías petroleras. Las parroquias de St. Joseph y St. Elizabeth of Hungary de

El comité organizador de la J.A.M. incluye, de izquierda, Elda Olvera, Omar Pena, Norma Salas, Christina Villegas, Alex Villegas, padre Julian Cabrera, Roland Almaguer y Jaime Reyna. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  11


Parroquias en Alice se unen para ayudar a familias


Alice brindaron su apoyo a el esfuerzo enviando a coros de sus escuelas. Los coros interpretaron sus canciones en ingles y español. Después siguió le desempeño un coro de jóvenes de la escuela secundaria que atienden el CCD de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Los grupos de música Católica “United in Faith” y “Heath García Band” finalizaron el concierto. Los vendedores participantes ofrecieron donar gran parte de las ganancias para contribuir con esta obra de caridad, ya que la intención de la organización de este evento es el recaudar fondos para esta causa. Personas o organizaciones que desean ayudar con este ministerio pueden contactar a la Oficina del Ministerio Hispano de la diócesis de Corpus Christi. Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero La Diócesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendación del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicación mas allá para la buena administración y responsabilidad nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso nanciero. La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y condencialmente el abuso nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de påca ética nanciera dentro de la Diócese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones serán tradas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anónimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

La idea es que este evento siga presentándose cada año y creciendo cada vez mas con el apoyo de la sociedad para poder seguir ayudando a las personas mas necesitadas.

To see go to:vaya a: Para vermore másphotos fotos ofdethis esteevent evento South Texas



Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Director de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia: (361) 693-6686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata.

Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia

Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en Domingos a las 7:00 a.m. con el P. Juan Fernando Gámez P. José Naúl Ordóñez

12  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

Help Us Prevent Financial Abuse The Diocese of Corpus Christi at the recommendation of the Diocesan Financial Council and Presbyteral Council have furthered their commitment to good stewardship and nancial accountability on behalf of generous donors by instituting a nancial abuse hotline. The Diocese of Corpus Christi has selected an independent third party, The Network, to provide you with a new way to anonymously and condently report nancial abuse and fraud. Employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors and other interested parties will be encouraged to report concerns they have regarding nancial misconduct within the Diocese of Corpus Christi. All inquiries will be treated promptly and discreetly. Callers will have the right to remain anonymous. Call 1-877-571-9748

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All New Merchandise • A.C.T.S. • Silver Jewelry 3210 S.P.I.D. 10 - 5 P.M. MON. - FRI. & 8:30 - 2 P.M. SUN.


Office: 361-882-8284 Cell: 361-739-1098 Fax: 361-881-1031

2727 Morgan Ave., 3rd Floor Corpus Christi, Texas 78405

Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources at: (361) 693-6686 (office) or (361) 658-8652 (cell) for immediate assistance.

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources

St. Patrick School 54TH Annual

Halloween Carnival Fo o d

te d H H aun


Friday, October 21ST 5:30-10:30 p.m. on At 3340 South Alameda Aucti t n e l i S Ra ff l C e arniva Music by lG a rn Se sa and R ames Claris ides

Hay R


For more information, call St. Patrick School at (361) 852-1211 October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  13

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2915 S. Padre Island Dr. • Corpus Christi, TX 78415

Msgr. Tom McGettrick’s, pocket-sized books are must reads. 1 each


English Only Books 1 & 2

“I Love You, A Chat with Jesus” & “Do You Love Me, Another Chat with Jesus” Discounts on 100 books or more. (shipping and handling included.)

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All the care she needs, all at no cost. Welcome to Medicaid con cariño. Driscoll Health Plan offers full medical, vision and prescription drug benefits for your child. Plus many other free services.

Free Value-added Services* $100 for eyeglasses every 2 years (age 2 and up). Free membership to Boys and Girls Club.

Bilingual Books 1 & 2

Pick up your copies at the Chancery Office: 620 Lipan, Corpus Christi or call Adel Rivera at (361) 693-6605 and reserve your copies now!

$20 gift card after completing required checkup. Free help with asthma. Rides to medical visits and health classes.

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

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

Juan Olivares (361) 739-5364

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14  South Texas Catholic | October 2016


The choir at St. Peter in Fulton provides an important component to celebration of the Liturgy. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

St. Peter undergoing change Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


t. Peter Parish in Fulton got its start as a mission of Sacred Heart of Rockport to meet the needs of the faithful of Indochinese ancestry that had moved to the area after the fall of Saigon. Today, it is its own parish with a congregation of mostly Vietnamese immigrants and their offspring but membership is declining as the original members retire and their children move away to pursue their own careers. This declining membership and a change in the demographic makeup within the parish boundaries are challenges its new pastor, Father John Tran Nguyen, OFM, is facing. The Church belongs to everyone and God is God to all, Father Nguyen said. That is why he is gradually introducing a more bilingual approach to the parish. He has begun by celebrating Mass in both Vietnamese and English, including

his sermon. He is also planning to use English in the religious education program he is initiating, since the young people feel more at ease in English. Father Nguyen acknowledges the beauty of maintaining the Vietnamese culture and passing it on to the next generation, but the reality is that the children are influenced by the culture around them. Many of them choose English as their primary language and dress in accordance to local American customs. Using English will help the young “understand their faith.” “Helping them understand the Liturgy will help them grow in their faith,” Father Nguyen said. The pastor is also introducing an English language Mass to serve the English-speaking Catholics in the neighborhood who have begun to attend St. Peter.

Father John Tran Nguyen, OFM is pastor of St. Peter Parish Mission in Fulton.

Bishop Rene Gracida issued a Decree of Erection of St. Peter Indochinese Catholic Pastoral Mission on Dec. 23, 1983. A year later, Bishop Gracida designated St. Peter as an independent or quasi-parish. In February 1989 the present sanctuary was dedicated. Father Nguyen does not know why it was referred to as an Indochinese parish when all its members are Vietnamese. Indochina is a peninsula located in Southeast Asia between India and China consisting of the countries of Cambodia, October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Msgr. Leonard Pivonka

Ben Nguyen Father Nguyen has been providing training to altar servers and other ministries at St. Peter to provide them a deeper understanding of the faith. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic

Laos and Vietnam. When it was first founded, the parish served nearly 500 members. Today it numbers around 100 families, Father Nguyen said. Many of the founding families were employed in the shrimping industry, today only a few work on fishing boats. Some work in technology jobs but most, Father Nguyen said, own nail salons in Corpus Christi. When Vietnam was split into North and South, with the communists in control of North Vietnam, most Catholics fled to South Vietnam for fear of communist persecution. When North Vietnam captured control of South Vietnam many Catholic Vietnamese fled in boats and ships, coming to be known as the “Vietnamese boat people.” Father Nguyen was among these boat people and came to the United States in 1989, settling in California. He comes from a family of 13, of which three are priests and two are religious sisters. He has an uncle who was a priest who influenced his call to the priesthood. 16  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

He was attracted to the Franciscan order because he was aware of their work with lepers in the part of Vietnam from where he came. Father Nguyen was ordained into the priesthood 10 years ago in July 2006. He has been at St. Peter only a few months but has begun to revitalize the parish. One of his first initiatives was to recruit readers for the Sunday Mass. Before his arrival only one person did all the readings all the time. He is trying to impress on the congregation that the Church belongs to all and all should take part. Among other ministries at St. Peter are a choir, altar servers, greeters and he is working on introducing Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Father Nguyen is actively providing training to all ministries. He sees the future of St. Peter in the young people and in welcoming English-speaking Catholics to the parish. “It (St. Peter) has to be a community. The Church belongs to God and he is God of everyone,” Father Nguyen said.

David Campa

Deacon Mark Arnold

Leslie Brown

Father Don Downey

For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has made the following appointments: Msgr. Leonard Pivonka, Diocesan Judge and Promoter of Justice ad causam; Ben Nguyen, Chancellor and Promoter of Justice; David Campa, Chief of Staff; Deacon Mark Arnold, Director of Parish Stewardship and Development, effective Aug. 1; Leslie Brown, Director of Office of Family Life; and Father Don Downey, three-month sabbatical at the Institute for Continuing Theological Education in Rome. All appointments, except as noted above, took effect Sept. 9. Msgr. Louis Kihneman will remain as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, but he will focus more time on his duties as pastor of St. Philip the Apostle. He will be in the Chancery one day a week as needed. Bishop Mulvey expressed his gratitude to Father Patrick Donohoe for his dedication and assistance during his appointment as Chancellor during the past two years. Father Donohoe returns to being full time pastor of Holy Family.

Msgr. Louis Kihneman

Father Patrick Donohoe

Father Michael Burke, 92, entered into eternal life on Sunday, Aug. 21. He served at Most Precious Blood Parish in Corpus Christi for 11 years and afterwards he helped out at other parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Father Burke came to Corpus Christi after numerous assignments, including in the Dominican Republic, as a monk and as a chaplain to a hermitage in Mexico.

After his time at Most Precious Blood, Father Burke began to help out at other parishes in the diocese. "In every parish, the main needs of the people were met primarily by the providential hand of God; the word of God; and the Sacraments, especially the Blessed Eucharist," Father Burke once told a friend. A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 23 in the St. Father Michael Jude Chapel at Most Precious Blood Church. Burke

Mission of Mercy extends medical care to Sandia Dr. John Pettigrove received 14 patients at the new Mission of Mercy site in Sandia, Texas on Sept. 7. The Sandia site, located at the Knolle Jersey Farm at 2377 FM 70, is the sixth Mission of Mercy mobile clinic location in south Texas. The Sandia location is planning to open every other Wednesday after the holidays. The next scheduled clinic date is Oct. 5, but patients must call ahead to schedule an appointment at (361) 883-5500. Mission of Mercy provides free medical care and prescription medication to those in the Coastal Bend who are uninsured or underinsured. Each mobile clinic is equipped with supplies.

Visits to the mobile clinic are free. Mission of Mercy's community partners include First United Methodist Church and Corpus Christi Police Officers’ Association in Corpus Christi, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Parish in Flour Bluff, St. John of the Cross Catholic Parish in Orange Grove, the Wesley Community Center in Robstown and the Knolle Jersey Farm in Sandia. They have approximately 92 clinic operating days a year usually on Monday and Wednesday of every week. To learn more about Mission of Mercy go to

Interact Club builds ramp at Habitat home On Sept. 13, 15 students from St. John Paul II High School's Interact Club volunteered to build a ramp at a construction site for a house being built by Habitat for Humanity in Corpus Christi. The students used power tools, screwdrivers and measuring

tape to build the ramp. "Service over Self" is the Motto of the Interact Club, which is sponsored by the high school's Southside Rotary Interact Club in Corpus Christi.

Volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity worksite are from left, Athena Tilley, Cristina Okoniewski, Karley Hellums, Alyssa Saenz, Lourdes Cortez, Gabrielle Doucet, Ileana Villarreal, Christopher Sanchez, Cristina Hinojosa, Jose D. Garcia, Maya Trevino, Bridgette Lee Sang, Caitlin Enright, Ryan Lopez, Eden Salinas and Ted Garcia, Interact Club faculty sponsor and academic advisor. October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Father Michael Burke passes from this life


Leonard Montes leads Frances Lozano's second grade class in daily prayers, "Morning Offering" and "Act of Contrition." Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Leonard's love of God

helps his family grow in faith Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


his story begins with a little boy's insatiable thirst for God, a thirst that led his parents to a true conversion of faith and spiritual unity as a family. The little boy’s name is Leonard and he is a student at Central Catholic

18  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

Elementary School in Corpus Christi. Last year Michael and Lydia Montes were having financial difficulties. Michael was stressed out all the time and worried about how they were going to make ends meet. He realized they would have to take their two children, Leonard and Alexis, out of

The experience of the Montes family illustrates Manschot’s observation. Leonard has been at the school since he was three-years-old. He is now seven. By the time he finished Pre-K3 he insisted on saying grace at the table. When his sister Alexis started Pre-K2 he taught her how to say grace. He bombarded his teacher and parents with questions and he wanted to know why his parents were not married. "He even asks our pastor questions at our local church–Our Lady of Guadalupe," his mother said. "I see the passion in his eyes. He has told me he's not done learning. Last year he was upset, because Ms. Frances could only teach him so far–this is the year he will learn about making his first confession and his first Communion." "You never know who you're affecting," said Central Catholic Elementary teacher Frances Lozano. She has been teaching in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi for more than 50 years. She had no idea what kind of an impact she would have on the first grader. "He took me by surprise. It made me feel


Central Catholic. Leonard, a first grader at the time, loved learning about God. When his parents told him that he would probably have to go to public school the following school year they were stunned by his reaction. "Nooo, I have to go on to the next grade with Ms. Frances (referring to his religion, teacher Frances Lozano). She answers all of my questions about God!" His mother said she could see the sadness in his eyes. "He knows in public schools they don't pray," she said. She was already at CCISD looking into enrolling her children in school when she emailed Central Catholic principal Larry Manschot about their decision. He gave her another choice; he told her about scholarship opportunities and that her children could stay at Central Catholic. Manschot has noticed the culture of families is changing. "It used to be that parents brought children to Church, but now it is the children who are leading the families," he said.

The Montes family from left Lydia, Alexis, Leonard and Michael have had a true conversion of faith due to their son Leonard's love of God. Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic

October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  19


wonderful," Lozano said. Last year during one of her religion classes, Lozano and the children watched Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia. After he gave his talk on the family, Leonard started asking her all sorts of questions. "I didn't know his parents weren't married," she said. "It's just not something I ask." Leonard has had a profound impact on his dad. Michael Montes explained that his own father is an atheist and had wanted him to grow up without religion. His mother had him baptized, but he never went to confession, received first Communion or confirmation. In fact his father removed him from Cathedral Catholic School when he was very young. "I think the first spark for me was watching Leonard teach Alexis how to pray. I realized I needed to step-up and support my son. I needed to do what's right," Leonard's father said. "Last year everything was going wrong," Michael Montes said. He came to the realization that he needed God in his life. He and his wife began attending RCIA classes at his parish and he was invited to attend a four-day Cursillo in Harlingen. "I didn't know what I was getting into. I met a lot of new friends and by following-up and studying about Jesus and all the things that Catholics do, I can actually answer some of Leonard's questions and help him as he progresses. All that bad negativity is gone. I'm confident and it's not [the old] me. I'm not worried anymore," Michael Montes said. Lydia Montes grew up Catholic. She made her first

Communion and was confirmed, but her mother worked a lot and her father was disabled. When she was 18-years old her mother died. "I had anger towards God. It wasn’t until I met my husband and had my children that I started leaning towards God again," she said. Leonard was baptized when he was a year and a half. She wanted her children to be raised Catholic and searched for Godparents that were going to support them in their decisions towards religion and sending their kids to Catholic school. “A friend told me about this school. Now it has given me a stronger faith and my love for my Christ and my Lord is number one and then my family. Just seeing the doors open now–it's an amazing thing. I wake up in the mornings blessed to have another day with my family and see what my day brings. I feel him watching over us, guiding us and we're not done learning," she said. The Montes' were married at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in July. Two days after they married, doors started opening up for them. In August Lydia Montes was offered a job at the Nueces County Sheriff's Office. She is looking into attending the University of Incarnate Word. Michael Montes was offered a new position with more over-time hours working for the city. As far as Leonard is concerned Central Catholic, "is amazing, because I learn about God," he said. "He has a beard," Alexis chimed in. "He protects us."



"A Fabulous Delightful Affair"

T H U R S DAY, N OV E M B E R 0 3 , 2 0 1 6 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


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October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  20

Dayna Mazzei Worchel Correspondent


arriage can be an unpredictable journey and sometimes a couple may find themselves in a situation they never would have thought possible in their relationship, said Leslie Brown, the director of the Office of Family Life of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. To help married couples communicate better and to give them the tools they need to help heal or to enrich their marriage, the diocese offers two different lay ministries known as Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille. “Marriage Encounter offers enrichment and an opportunity to make a good

marriage even better. Retrouvaille ministers to hurting couples, even couples whose marriages may be severely broken,” she said, adding that the two ministries have a different emphasis and should not be confused with each other. Retrouvaille, which means “Rediscover” in French, was founded in 1977 in Canada as a way for couples in pain to learn to communicate in their marriages in a respectful manner, according to the their website. The special global ministry helps married couples who are hurting and who need to spend some time healing their marriage. “We help couples communicate in a different way than they are accustomed,” said Rene Bocanegra, who with his wife

Sandra Bocanegra serve as area coordinators for Retrouvaille. “We don’t do problem solving or open sharing,” he said, adding that the group of couples does not engage in therapy sessions at Retrouvaille and it is not a retreat, but a marriage ministry. Instead, couples are supposed to spend the time focusing on their own issues, he said. There are three presenting married couples at the weekend session, and a priest who facilitate the meetings. The first part of the program takes place over a weekend, which involves staying over a Friday and Saturday night. This is followed by six post-sessions over the next six Saturdays for four hours at a time.

Rene and Sandra Bocanegra are coordinators for Retrouvaille program in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The next Retrouvaille session is scheduled for Oct. 7-9. Contributed photo October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  21


Marriage Encounter, Retrouvaille offer couples communication skills


Retrouvaille helped Shane and Suzi Beckwith by giving them some tools and ideas to make their marriage better and stronger. Contributed photo

A Retrouvaille session is scheduled in the diocese on the weekend of Oct. 7-9. The presenting couples share some of what is happening in their own marriages and the priest talks about his own partnership with the people of God and Jesus Christ, Rene Bocanegra said. Sandra Bocanegra wants to stress that the Retrouvaille ministry is not just for people about to get a divorce and the presenting married couples are not counselors. “We are trying to keep families together and heal these couples. All marriages need help,” she said. The couple has been married for almost 20 years. Rene Bocanegra, 49, works as an LVN and Sandra Bocanegra, 46, works as an RN. They also want people to know that the Retrouvaille ministry can help a couple who is already divorced, but may be thinking about reviving their marriage. “When we presented in the Diocese of Victoria, there was a couple there who had 22  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

been divorced for 10 years,” Rene Bocanegra said, adding that every time he and his wife are presentors at a Retrouvaille program, it serves as continued healing for their own marriage. Another couple who came through the Retrouvaille program in 2010 in the Diocese of Corpus Christi said their marriage was saved as a result. Shane and Suzi Beckwith, married for 18 years, said Retrouvaille gave them some tools and ideas to make their marriage better and stronger. Shane Beckwith, 46, works as a salesman and Suzi Beckwith, 43, works as an X-Ray technician. “It put God in the middle of our marriage and helps you to understand God’s plan for marriage and how it can be cherished and nourished,” Shane Beckwith said. He said the couple relates better and are able to express their feelings to each other, adding that it helps to hear the presenting couples share their past struggles so that no one feels alone.

“It helps you get your priorities in order,” Suzi Beckwith said. Both said they are pleased that Retrouvaille, which had been inactive in Corpus Christi since 2012, is getting started up again. “We are actively praying for that weekend and those involved,” Shane Beckwith said. Both Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille are ministries for married couples, Brown said, but pointed out that Marriage Encounter offers enrichment and an opportunity to make a good marriage even better and Retrouvaille ministers to hurting couples, even couples whose marriages may be severely broken. “Both programs afford couples the opportunity to make deliberate choices to grow as a couple,” she said.

▼ Registration for the upcoming Retrouvaille event closes on Oct. 4. For registration or for more information call 1-800470-2230 or visit their website For more information on Marriage Encounter, go to


Las Nuevas Tamaleras is written and directed by San Antonio playwright Alicia Mena. The bilingual play captures three contemporary Latinas in an uproariously comical attempt at making tamales for the first time. Things become even more entertaining when the spirits of two seasoned tamaleras, Doña Juanita and Doña Mercedes, -two veteran tamaleras appear on the scene to invisibly guide the younger generation of women make the perfect tamale! The spirits’ “guidance” takes an unexpected turn when the old tamaleras disagree on the proper way to make the perfect tamale. The new tamaleras blunder through the daunting task, frustrating their spiritual guides and delighting the audience.

The Pax Christi Sisters and the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center will be hosting

Las Nuevas Tamaleras Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. & Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. TULOSO-MIDWAY JIM COOPER AUDITORIUM

9768 La Branch in Corpus Christi, TX 78410 Tickets are available Oct. 3 at (361) 445-7834 or (361) 241-2833 with Stella Hatch at Pax Christi Tickets run from $18-$25 (All seats are reserved) Church and civic groups are encouraged to purchase tickets by the dozen

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Bishop Mulvey celebrates Mass at St. Patrick. Other priests in attendance were Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody; Msgr. Roger Smith, pastor at St. Patrick’s; Msgr. Richard Shirley; Msgr. Seamus McGowan; Father Hanh Van Pham, rector at Cathedral Parish; and Father Roy Kalayil, administrator at Holy Cross. Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic

Bishops, faithful pray for peace in communities Alfredo E. Cárdenas South Texas Catholic


n light of racially related shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas during the summer months, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops determined that a need existed for the Catholic Church to help these communities. They called for a “Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities” to be observed throughout the United States on Sept. 9. “I have stressed the need to look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity

24  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the USCCB. To mark the observance in Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated Mass, followed by a prayer service and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, at St. Patrick Parish. More than a 100 faithful attended the service in the early evening. The Day of Prayer for Peace was celebrated on the feast of St. Peter Claver, who was canonized for devoting his life to caring for African slaves, baptizing more than 300,000. He called himself

peaceful life. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Mt 5:3-12).” These lessons “teach us to have a relationship with God and then with one another,” the bishop said. “They call us to have clean hearts and clean intentions. A violent person is missing something from the Beatitudes. To have peace we must live the Beatitudes so we can have a true relationship with God and each other.” The bishop said that some people believe that violence is the only way out, but “we must leave our comfort zone and reach out to others.” “We should work for a more just society. That will happen in heaven not here, but we must start here,” Bishop Mulvey said. Violence, he said, is a lack of personal responsibility. The Beatitudes, on the other hand, fill our lives with the love of God. “It’s not simplistic, it’s simple,” Bishop Mulvey said.   The USCCB has organized a task force to help bishops engage the challenging problems directly, by various means, including gathering and disseminating supportive resources and best practices; actively listening to the concerns of members in troubled communities and law enforcement; and building strong relationships to help prevent and resolve conflicts. The task force will report on its activities and recommendations for future work once it completes its work.

Faithful in attendance at Mass for the “Peace in Our Communities” exchanged signs of peace with each other. Alfredo E. Cárdenas, South Texas Catholic October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  25


“the slave of the slaves forever.” “Let us pay tribute to his memory by dedicating ourselves to being ‘slaves’ of people in need of God’s mercy,” Bishop Mulvey said. St. Peter Claver watched slave ships pull into docks and he went on board to meet the people there, Bishop Mulvey said. He did not wait for them to disembark. He had a passion for the Gospel, as did St. Teresa of Calcutta, and that was enough recompense for them. “Jesus says certain evil spirits can only be driven out by prayer,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Evil spirits dominate our society; it is an evil spirit that continues to penetrate our society, our families, our small communities and our cities. Sometimes our silent loving presence of prayer drives evil out. Our prayers are stronger than any kind of evil.” Bishop Mulvey said that did not mean, “that we do nothing,” but that “everything must come through prayer.” “If our lives are motivated by the need to be recognized than we miss the point,” he said. “Who we are and where we are from is important but it should never be in contention between us.”  He said the faithful are called to live the Gospel of Jesus; “God created all of us as brothers and sisters.”  Jesus approached people and asked, “Who are you? Let me know you.” He sat down with people and got to know them as a person, the bishop said. “That’s the foundation of all human relations. Who are you? Let me tell you who I am. We need to get to know one another,” the bishop said.  The roots of violence can be traced to a lack of something, the absence of relationship, the lack of love, a lack of reconciliation and the absence of peace. “Violence is a reaction to something that is not there in someone’s life,” Bishop Mulvey said. He said the answer to the problem of violence is found in the Beatitudes, in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus addressed the crowds by explaining the fundamental relationships man needs to live a


Nun holds prayer card at the canonization Mass for St. Teresa of Calcutta, celebrated by Pope Francis on Sept. 4 in St. Peter's Square. Daniel Ibanez/Catholic News Agency 26  South Texas Catholic | October 2016


Spirit of St. Teresa of Calcutta is alive and well in the Body of Christ Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic


other Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta, once mercy, of whom Mother Teresa is widely considered one of the said, "We ourselves feel that what we are greatest. Such "workers and volunteers of mercy" were on hand in Cordoing is just a drop in the ocean. But the pus Christi—at the Shelter named in Mother Teresa's honor—for ocean would be less because of that missing an event, likened to a job fair, organized by the Homeless Issues drop." The spirit of Mother Teresa is alive Partnership. The occasion provided a forum for homeless people and well in Corpus Christi, where scores of to get help they need and give volunteers came together on Sept. leaders insight into the lives of 14 to add their drops to the ocean those living on the streets of of caring for the homeless. Corpus Christi. Civic and religious leaders, Matt Lohmeier, a member of Bishop Michael Mulvey among the board of Catholic Charities, them, came to the Mother Teresa explained that the event is a step Shelter to lend a helping hand to towards trying to resolve the some 250 homeless persons. They homeless problem. "The board escorted them to service agency is hoping to do more conscience booths set-up to assist them in raising events that would have a a one-day event called Project collective impact in the future," Homeless Connect. he said. Ten days earlier, on Sept. 4, Pope Mattie Darnley was visitFrancis had declared Mother Teresa ing with area agencies and the of Calcutta a saint of the Cathohomeless people she remembers lic Church in front of thousands from when she was homeless in of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. 2011-12. Now she does partThrongs of pilgrims flooded the time temp work and has had her Vatican to celebrate the highly own apartment for three years. anticipated canonization, an event Darnley said she lost her job, that Catholics and non-Catholics lived in her car, used a friend's alike have looked forward to since shower, got a job, lost it and her death in 1997. Sister Rose Paul Maddassery, SABS, left, who runs the Mother was homeless again. "The only The canonization fell during a Teresa Shelter hugs Mattie Darnley who was homeless for a year. way I do so well is I don't drink, special Sept. 2-4 Jubilee celebraMary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic I don't smoke and I don't do tion for workers and volunteers of October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Matt Lohmeier interviews with KRIS-TV Channel 6 at Project Homeless Connect held at Mother Teresa Day Shelter Sept. 14. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

drugs," she said. When she was homeless, people with so many different attitudes and illnesses were always around. "You have to keep yourself focused, stay positive and make sure you want to do better for yourself. Only you can help yourself. People can throw all kinds of free things at you, but you got to want to do it yourself," she said. Bishop Mulvey helped a man who had seen him at one of the prisons the bishop visits. He said the man was searching for a place to live. Having been incarcerated for a period of time, he was having a hard time. He had been turned away by several places. "My impression is that these are people who go through a period in their life which is difficult," Bishop Mulvey said. He added that the individual he was escorting admitted that he had been involved in wrongdoing, but wanted to set his life straight. "I think he was very sincere about that," the bishop said. "You know when you meet a person one-on-one instead of in a group it's more personal, different, so I was very grateful for the experience and I hoped it helped him as well." Police Officer Sam Mitchell, who is on the city's bike patrol, interacts with area homeless everyday. Mitchell said he could name 30 people at the event by their first names and about 10 by their birthdates. While at the event Mitchell received a message from his supervisor, Officer Joe Hickman: "tell Officer Mitchell, thank you. Tell 28  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

him Perkins got a full time job." Mitchell said he remembers the man named Perkins; Mitchell had to arrest him on several occasions. "He was from Georgia and he was a plumber, but he got addicted to synthetic marijuana," he said. "I'm very stern, but I'm also fair and I'm very human. I understand that not everybody is at the best time in their life. From a brother to a brother, a human being to a human being, we want to pick them up by saying, 'Hey you got here, but you didn't start off this way, you Police Officer Sam were somewhere better and you did that Mitchell is on the thing–you can still do it now'." city's bike patrol. "At some point it hit home to him (PerHe interacts with kins) and he was able to pull himself up homeless people and do good," Mitchell said. everyday. Mitchell said the key to getting people to want to help themselves is repetition; by Mary Cottingham, always making contact with them. "When South Texas Catholic they are at their low point, you can get them to hear you," Mitchell said. Bishop Mulvey said a person of faith in the Catholic and Christian tradition is called to see people the way God sees them. To see them as children of God made in his image. "That's what St. Teresa of Calcutta did. She saw the face of God in every person no matter who they were, no matter what the situation was, so it's a change of lenses—the lenses of our hearts," Bishop Mulvey said. "There's a beautiful psalm, 95, that says, 'Harden not your hearts, as at Meribah….' and I would say to people today, harden not your hearts toward any brother or sister no matter who they are, what they've done. See them as God


Bishop Mulvey listens to homeless man and escorts him to booths that could provide him with the help he needs. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

sees them. He sees them as his children and as Pope Francis says so often, we have to have the same 'tenderness' toward everyone." Bishop Mulvey said that sometimes, "tough love, direct love, straight-forward talk is what people want and need." Mercy does not mean that there are no boundaries that cannot be crossed. Among the many agencies offering assistance at Project Homeless Connect were Corpus Christi Hope House, Catholic Charities Representative Payee Program and the Mother Teresa Shelter. In addition to Bishop Mulvey, a number of priests from the diocese took part in Project Homeless Connect, including Msgr. Louis Kihneman and Father Frank Martinez. "We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty," St. Teresa of Calcutta once said. "We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of

poverty." Social workers and volunteers at the Project Homeless Connect took a step in that direction. (Alfredo E. Cárdenas and the Catholic News Agency contributed to this article.)

To see more photos of this event go to:

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9840 B Leopard Street, Corpus Christi (between Rand Morgan & McKenzie)

(361) 241-8153 October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  29

Oktoberfest St. Anthony’s Church “Violet”

3918 County Rd. 61 (off Highway 44)

65th Annual


Dine-In & Plates to Go Bar-B-Que Dinner & Trimmings Serving 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Donation $9.00 per plate For information call the parish office @

(361) 387-4434

All proceeds will be used for Church Repairs: Country Store, Children’s Games, White Elephant Booth Live Auction at 1 p.m., Drawing for Gift Certificate Vintage Farm Machinery and Visit our Historic Church/Museum Built in 1910

Your Invited

St. Paul’s Barbecue & Crafts Fall Fest

2233 Waldron Road (Flour Bluff) in Corpus Christi Sunday, October 9, 2016 Kiddo’s dressed in a from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Br Halloween costume will receive a FREE goodie bag

f Bee , d e s pp he Cho dwhicgs San otdo es H Gam dies! d and for the ki ble

ila ava

For only $10 you can purchase a barbecue plate, includes drink and dessert from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in St. Paul the Apostle Church Hall Start your Christmas shopping early at

St. Paul’s Craft Fall Fest INDOOR CRAFT VENDORS

30  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

i whole ng the fam enjoy a fun- ily and fill with a great ed day meal. Enter Game tainment / s for a ll age s


Father J. Patrick Serna is pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton.

Comfort from a friend or stranger is always appreciated Father J. Patrick Serna

O Contributor

ne of the works of mercy for all Christians to focus on is the call to comfort the afflicted. In all of our lives, there have been times that we felt lonely or sad or afraid or abandoned or depressed, and nothing would have been better than to receive, in a word, comfort. The comfort we have received from a friend or stranger when in total emotional or physical or spiritual crisis, is always appreciated more than words can say. The day after I celebrated my first Mass as a newly ordained priest, I went with my younger sister to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a procedure she needed to remove a life threatening cancer. When she was an infant, it was my job to warm up her baby milk bottles. In Houston, I was faced with the real fear that my first funeral as a priest might be for my little sister. My sister was admitted into the “pre op” area. The kind nurses let me go in with her, mainly because of my status as a Catholic priest. My first time to administer the sacrament of the sick was for my little sister, there in the pre op area. As I was finishing the sacraments with my sister, I heard the voice of a feeble older lady, not too far away. She beckoned to me: “Father. Father. Please come here. I am afraid. I am a Catholic nun and I need prayer and sacraments. Please father.” My sister looked up and said to me, “Go. She needs you.”

I went to the anxious nun. We prayed and celebrated sacraments together. The nun, who was once petrified and filled with anxious fear, was now more calm and peaceful, she had a gentle smile on her face. As I left the nun, another person called me over— half-crying and half-begging me—to go pray with him before surgery. It was a long time before I left the pre op area. There were so many people afraid, in need of comfort. Eight-months later, I was driving to Corpus Christi from the western parts of the diocese. I was supposed to give a talk for the Cursillo group and making a good impression was high on my list of goals. As I was about three miles west of Robstown, my pick-up began to sputter and I ran out of gas. After locking up the truck in the dark, I used a pen light to signal a car coming my way. The car circled back around to pick me up. I saw that the driver was a young lady, and said to her, “Don’t be afraid. I’m a Catholic priest.” She told me to get in. As we drove along, she was quiet but finally broke the silence to ask me, “Have you ever saved someone’s life before?” And then added, “Well, you just saved my life.” She went on to explain that she was about to kill herself. “I was driving to Robstown, where I was about to end my life in a few more minutes,” she said. “I said my last prayer to God and told him that I wouldn’t do this horrible thing if an angel, or a man of God, showed up. I finished the prayer, and then I saw a October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  31


➤The young lady did not need a priest to show her comfort; she...needed a friend or family member to show and comfort before it was too late. light waving at me from the side of the road. It was you. I pulled up to you and you said ‘don’t be afraid, I’m a Catholic priest.’ You are the man of God, you are the answer to my prayer.” In that moment I knew that this was all God; in no way was this something that had come from me, his weak instrument. I talked with her for a long time, and as it turns out, this young lady was feeling rejected by her family and friends. She had been begging and reaching out for comfort, but she was either ignored or rejected by every person she went to. The lack of charity from countless Catholic and Protestant friends and family, the denied requests for comfort from ongoing personal anguish, contributed to her choice of a bad decision. The young lady did not need a priest to show her comfort; she just needed a friend or family member to show her that love and comfort before it was too late. What if you were one of the people she reached out to, but you were too busy or too aloof to even know? What if you, being a good Catholic who goes to church

every Sunday and Holy Day, were asked for a little time for friendly conversation or assistance, and what if your choice not to bring comfort is what resulted in that person’s lack of interest in Church? The invitation to Christian discipleship demands something more than “following” Jesus on Facebook or Twitter, we need to follow him for real! During the sacrament of the sick, one of the Gospel readings to choose is from the Gospel of Matthew: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves (Mt 11:28-29).” Why would Jesus tell people who are already burdened to put an added yoke on their shoulders? In the time of Jesus a single yoke and the double yoke were used. The beast of burden pulled all alone with the single yoke, but two beasts of burden shared the load with the double yoke. Jesus wants us to use the double yoke, he wants to walk with us, to comfort us and he invites all of us to represent him to give that loving shoulder.

October Liturgical Calendar 1 | Sat | Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white| | Memorial | Jb 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17/Lk 10:17-24 (460) 2 | SUN | TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Hb 1:2-3; 2:2-4/2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14/Lk 17:5-10 (141) Pss III 3 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gal 1:612/Lk 10:25-37 (461) 4 | Tue | Saint Francis of Assisi | white | Memorial | Gal 1:13-24/Lk 10:3842 (462) 5 | Wed | Weekday | green/white [USA: Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest] Gal 2:1-2, 7-14/Lk 11:1-4 (463) 6 | Thu | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Bruno, Priest; USA: Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin] Gal 3:1-5/Lk 11:5-13 (464) 7 | Fri | Our Lady of the Rosary | white | Memorial | Gal 3:7-14/Lk 11:1526 (465) Pss Prop

8 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Gal 3:22-29/Lk 11:27-28 (466) 9 | SUN | TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 2 Kgs 5:14-17/2 Tm 2:8-13/Lk 17:11-19 (144) Pss IV 10 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gal 4:2224, 26-27, 31—5:1/Lk 11:29-32 (467) 11 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [Saint John XXIII, Pope] Gal 5:1-6/Lk 11:37-41 (468) 12 | Wed | Weekday | green | Gal 5:1825/Lk 11:42-46 (469) 13 | Thu | Weekday | green | Eph 1:110/Lk 11:47-54 (470) 14 | Fri | Weekday | green/red [Saint Callistus I, Pope and Martyr] Eph 1:1114/Lk 12:1-7 (471) 15 | Sat | Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Eph 1:15-23/Lk 12:8-12 (472) 16 | SUN | TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Ex

32  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

17:8-13/2 Tm 3:14—4:2/Lk 18:1-8 (147) Pss I

16-18/2 Tm 4:6-8, 16-18/Lk 18:9-14 (150) Pss II

17 | Mon | Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Eph 2:1-10/Lk 12:13-21 (473)

24 | Mon | Weekday | green/white [Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop] Eph 4:32—5:8/Lk 13:10-17 (479)

18 | Tue | Saint Luke, Evangelist | red | Feast | 2 Tm 4:10-17b/Lk 10:1-9 (661) Pss Prop

25 | Tue | Weekday | green | Eph 5:21-33 (480) or 5:2a, 25-32 (122)/Lk 13:18-21 (480)

19 | Wed | USA: Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, | red | and Companions, Martyrs | Memorial | Eph 3:2-12/Lk 12:39-48 (475)

26 | Wed | Weekday | green | Eph 6:1-9/Lk 13:22-30 (481)

20 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [USA: Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest] Eph 3:14-21/Lk 12:49-53 (476) 21 | Fri | Weekday | green | Eph 4:1-6/ Lk 12:54-59 (477) 22 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint John Paul II, Pope; BVM] Eph 4:7-16/Lk 13:1-9 (478) 23 | SUN | THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Sir 35:12-14,

27 | Thu | Weekday | green | Eph 6:1020/Lk 13:31-35 (482) 28 | Fri | Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles | red | Feast | Eph 2:19-22/Lk 6:12-16 (666) Pss Prop 29 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Phil 1:18b-26/Lk 14:1, 7-11 (484) 30 | SUN | THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Wis 11:22—12:2/2 Thes 1:11—2:2/Lk 19:1-10 (153) Pss III 31 | Mon | Weekday | green | Phil 2:14/Lk 14:12-14 (485)

Oct. 4-6 will be the three-day Preparation Program followed by the 2016 Rosary Fest on Oct. 7 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church (1123 Main Drive) in Corpus Christi. Three-day Preparation Program consists of a Rosary, Mass, Novena and talk. Msgr. Mark Chamberlin on Oct. 4 & 5 and Father Fernando Gámez on Oct. 6 in Spanish. There will be a Rosary Procession at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7 with 6 p.m. Mass followed by fellowship dinner.

'The Two Chapels' Exhibit

Beginning Oct. 4 with opening reception from 6-8 p.m. and ending on Oct. 29 with closing reception from 3-5 p.m. at Felder Gallery (1726 Hwy 361, Suite F) in Port Aransas. Meet the artist John Patrick Cobb at opening and closing receptions. Visit the Chapel on the Dunes by making reservations and contacting the Port Aransas Museum at (361) 749-3800 or Felder Gallery at (361) 749-2388.

Bible Study at St. Patrick Church

Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25 (every Tuesday) from 7-9 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Our Lady of Knock Hall (the corner of S. Alameda and Rossiter Street.) For more information call the parish office at (361) 855-7391.

Pro-Life Rosary

Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. The Knights of Columbus #5919 invites all Knights of Columbus Councils, Catholic Daughter Courts, Our Lady of Guadalupe Societies and all the community of the Diocese of Corpus Christi to attend a Pro-Life Rosary in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Monument of the Unborn located at the corner of Kostoryz and Saratoga. For more information call Manuel Garcia at (361) 548-5682.

Men's Spiritual Exercises Retreat at OLCC

Oct. 6-9 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and ends on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. A weekend to go into a deeper relationship with the Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

St. Anthony's Holy Hour for Vocations

Oct. 6 and every first Thursday of the month at St. Anthony of Padua Church (204 Dunne St.) in Robstown.

Come and See

Oct. 7 at 3:30 p.m. at the Blessed Sacrament Convent (4105 Ocean Drive) in Corpus Christi. Single women between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to meet the Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration. Call ahead at (361) 852-6212.

Diocesan Marriage Preparation

Oct. 8–9 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. The Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is a two-day overnight event for the engaged. It is designed to inform couples of the spiritual and practical aspects of Catholic marriage and facilitate couple dialogue on these important issues. For more information go to

Sabado del mes tendremos Nocturnal Adoration

Every second Saturday/segundo Sabado del mes tendremos Nocturnal Adoration empezando con la misa a las 8 de la noche y terminando a las 5 de la manana. Beginning with Mass at 8 p.m. and ending with Benediction at 5 a.m. For more information go to

Natural Family Planning Class

Oct. 15 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at 1426 Baldwin in Corpus Christi. Natural Family Planning allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the Church and respecting the gift of their married love. For more information go to

Grounded in Truth at Cafe Veritas-OLCC

Oct. 15, and every third Saturday of the month. An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel 7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus Christi's Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.

Annual Jazz Mass

Oct. 16 at 12:15 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Church (3502 Saratoga Boulevard) in Corpus Christi. Father Bob Dunn will be the main celebrant.

Tuesday Tea with the Saints

Oct. 13 and every third Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center's St. Joseph Hall. Includes introduction to a saint, a complimentary pamphlet with quotes and suggested reading. Cost is free, but donations welcome. RSVP at (361) 241-2833. If you have not RSVP'd, don't worry, you are still welcome.

A Covenant of Love with Mary Information Classes

Oct. 20 and every third Thursday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information call the office at (361) 992-9841 or email

Cathedral Rummage Sale

Oct. 21-23, open at 8 a.m. close on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. Corpus Christi Cathedral, 505 N. Upper Broadway.

High School Youth Spectacular

Oct. 22 at the American Bank Center. Call (361) 882-6191 for more information. To register go to

Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Oct. 22 at 8:30 a.m. in the Library at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). There will be Mass, a series of talks and time to pray with Our Lady. A light breakfast and lunch will also be provided. The day will finish by 4 p.m. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

"Forming Intentional Disciples"

Oct. 26 from 7–9 p.m. at St. Patrick Church. Father Michael Sweeney, OP, co-director of the St. Catherine of Siena Institute, will be in the diocese to give a presentation on "Forming Intentional Disciples."

Divine Mercy Weekend Retreat

Oct. 27-30 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Gain a deeper understanding of the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus and live reflecting his mercy to others. Begins Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Register at or call (361)289-9095, ext. 321.

▼ To see more calendar events go to: Click on Calendar

October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  33


2016 Rosary Fest and three-day preparation program




All fundraising events will include a variety of food, games, entertainment and fun. For complete details visit

67th Annual Jamaica Festival | Oct. 1 from 6-9 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church located at 107 Church Street in Gregory. There will be a raffle of 1966 Ford Mustang. Sacred Heart-Three Rivers Annual BBQ Fundraiser | Oct. 2. at 10 a.m. in the parish hall located at 307 E. Alexander Street in Three Rivers. St. Joseph Church 16th Annual Parish Festival | Oct. 8 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. located at 801 South Reynolds St. in Alice. This year the raffle consists of six grand prizes. St. Paul's Barbecue and Crafts Fall Fest | Oct. 9 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. located at 2233 Waldron Road in Corpus Christi. Christmas shop at the Craft Fest with indoor craft vendors. Skidmore Fall Festival | Oct. 9 at noon at Immaculate Conception Church located at 600 N. 1st Street in Skidmore. Our Lady of Pilar Annual Jamaica | Oct. 9 from 12-8 p.m. at the parish grounds located at 1101 Bloomington St., Corpus Christi. Fall Festival at St. Mary Star of the Sea | Oct. 15 from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. located at 342 S. Rife Street Aransas Pass (on the way to Port Aransas.) Christ the King Church Annual Fall Festival | Oct. 15 from 4-9 p.m. located at 1625 Arlington Dr., Corpus Christi. Music by Cross of War, Believe, Chicas Rock and Clarissa Serna, season six contestant on the hit show "The Voice". 65th Annual Oktoberfest at St. Anthony | Oct. 16 begins at 11 a.m. located at 3918 County Rd. 61(off Hwy. 44) in Violet. St. Joseph 2016 Fall Festival | Oct. 16 from 1-8 p.m. at St. Joseph, 710 S. 19th St., Corpus Christi. St. Patrick School Halloween Carnival | Oct. 21 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. located at 3350 S. Alameda. There will be a haunted house and music by Clarissa Serna. St. Pius X School Halloween Carnival | Oct. 28 from 5:30-10 p.m. located at 737 St. Pius Drive. Sacred Heart Annual Fall Family Festival | Oct. 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Central Catholic School Courtyard. Children may dress as saints, princesses, friendly costumes (non scary) and family oriented. Our Lady of the Rosary Annual Jamaica | Oct. 30 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. located at 1123 Main Dr., Corpus Christi. Our Lady of Guadalupe Annual Family Festival 2016 | Oct. 30 from 11 a.m.-8 pm. located at 540 Hiawatha Street in Corpus Christi. St. Theresa Church presents "de la Fiesta" Spookfest 2016 | Oct. 30 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. located at 1212 Lantana Street in Corpus Christi. Featuring local spiritual painting artist Jason Rodriguez at 12:30 p.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe Fall Fest | Oct. 31 from 5:30-10:30 p.m. located at 1010 Beam Station Road in Alice. Come dressed as your favorite saint or biblical character as there will be a costume contest. 34  South Texas Catholic | October 2016

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October 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  35

October 2016 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC P.O. Box 2620 Corpus Christi, TX 78403 (361) 882-6191

South Texas Catholic - October 2016  

In the Gospels Jesus said "Let the children come to me". In our October issue we learn about a second grader at Central Catholic School who...

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