South Texas Catholic - December 2016

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South Texas

Catholic Embracing gifts of the

Holy Spirit

W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C . C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 016

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VOL. 51 NO. 11 Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD 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 Ervey Martinez, 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


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

(USPSN 540-860) Published monthly, excluding September, 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 St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434. Keep up with the Faith at

Ten newly ordained deacons pose with Bishop Michael Mulvey in front of the altar at Corpus Christi Cathedral following the Mass of Ordination in which they were ordained permanent deacons for service in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic

22 Students at Texas

A&M University -Corpus Christi celebrate the expansion of the Newman Catholic Student Center. The Diocese of Corpus Christi is constructing a $2.1 million expansion of the center to help enrich the spirituality of students and young adults. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

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INSIDE 4 Give Jesus the gift of ourselves

VIDA CATÓLICA 15 Antorcha ilumina el amor de la

VOCATIONS 7 Saint’s message to parents

26 USNATIONAL bishops encourage unity, prayer


anchored to his Gospel

Virgen de Guadalupe para Cristo

after elections

EDUCATION VATICAN 28 8 CATHOLIC Local parish, valley pilgrims celeTuition assistance program makes Catholic education available to everyone

LIFE 12 PARISH Sacred Heart in Sinton celebrates centennial

brate canonization of “Josélito”

FAITH 32 AOUR royal priesthood: laity’s mandate in

common priesthood is no small matter

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Give Jesus the gift of ourselves anchored to his Gospel Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Bishop Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic


want to wish a very blessed Advent and happy and holy Christmas to all of you. Over the past few years, and certainly over the past few months, we have witnessed a political, social phenomenon that has caused an unparalleled division among us as Americans—within families, communities, schools and yes even within the Church. At the end of Election Day last month I asked myself what effect this has had among children and young people in our country; what are they thinking? How will the behavior exhibited by adults affect them in the future as leaders in our communities? And now that December has arrived do we put all that behind us to prepare for Christmas, the birth of the Savior? Does our celebration of Advent and Christmas have any relationship to the rancor and division? So much of our political platforming and discourse is based on opposing ideologies, personal preferences and individual rights. All these promise a better life for all. Can the ends—peace, justice, equality and a better life for all—justify the means of slander, hate speech, anger, violence, et cetera? Yes we have a civic duty to participate in the process of government; nevertheless, we should not and cannot place all our hope in what is temporal and changing. We must enter the public square with the mind and the heart of Jesus Christ whom we profess as our Lord and God. Christmas celebrates the mystery of the eternal God taking on our human condition in order to lift us up to His way of life. St. Irenaeus wrote “He became what we are so we could become what he is.” When I see people crying over the loss of an election, when I see people arguing and fighting or protesters misbehaving I do not look at it from the perspective of those who lost but with the question of “where is our faith in the eternal values of

4  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

love? Have we misplaced our hope?” Christmas is about love. It is the great mystery of God coming into our world in Jesus Christ. He was sent to bring eternal truth, eternal values, eternal relationships that come from his life in the most holy Trinity. If we are to hope for a better life and a better world it is incumbent on us who have faith to deepen that faith in one person, in one truth, in one eternal truth, Jesus Christ who can lead us to that noble and desired goal of not only a “better” life on Earth but also a life in eternity. I want to invite all of us to take this year’s celebration of Christmas seriously. Christmas is about Jesus. Christmas is about God sending His way, His truth, His life. If there is a mission that we have as Christian men and women, as Catholics, it is to put Jesus Christ first, to make him our anchor, to espouse him as our eternal truth, to live everyday with the light of his Gospel. What do we learn from the Gospel? We learn to turn the other cheek, we learn to forgive our enemies and we learn to sit down with those with whom we disagree (Jesus going to the home of Zacchaeus the tax collector and so many others). He taught us to stop in front of those who are in need and assist. And the list goes on and on. My brothers and sisters this Christmas let us give our Savior a gift—a great gift—the gift of ourselves anchored to his Gospel. Give him the gift of anchoring your life in his eternal word. He will never disappoint us. He is sent by God, the Father, to be our way, our light of life. He is our peace. The unchanging principle, the unchanging truth is Jesus. He will give us the light in order to bring joy into the world. God bless each one of you. Have a blessed and holy Advent and Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Let us not lose hope as we heal our families, our country and our world.

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

• Our Lady of Victory parishioners make pilgrimage for the Year of Mercy • Scout held Diaper Drive for Hope House • Father Yrlas blesses animals on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi • Our Lady of Victory in Beeville celebrates feast day on Oct. 9 • Hearts & Hands: Feeding the body, nourishing the soul

• Coastal Bend Day of Giving breaks all time record • Coastal Bend Day of Giving breaks all time record • Knights of Columbus pay tribute to clergy and religious • CHRISTUS Health Plan an option on 2017 Health Insurance Exchange • High School Youth Spectacular participants make pilgrimage to Cathedral Holy Doors

• Students create a living rosary • Robstown Middle School cleans cemetery for All Souls Day • St. Anthony School in Robstown celebrated Red Ribbon Week • School held a Saints Fall Festival • Cross country teams advance to State Championship Action for Apes Challenge • Sacred Heart school recognizes A+ parents for first quarter

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  5


Headlines from

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

H-E-B and its partners desire that everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas. KDF-TV (Check cable guide for ch. #) Audio: KLUX-HD 89.5 & Live video stream:


The Office of Family Life would like to invite all couples who are celebrating their Silver (25 yrs) or Golden (50 yrs) Wedding Anniversary to an Anniversary Mass with Bishop Michael Mulvey at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Anniversary Mass celebration will begin at 9:30am on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Due to limited space, regretfully the couple is limited to 2 guests to join them for the reception. Registration deadline is January 31, 2017. You may register online at

On Monday, December 12, 2016 the Federation of Guadalupanas in the Diocese of Corpus Christi invites all ministries in the Diocese to the Feast Day celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The celebration is open to the public. All are invited to join us in the procession which will make its way at 5:30 p.m. from Sacred Heart Church located at the corner of N. Alameda and Lipan to Corpus Christi Cathedral where Bishop Michael Mulvey will celebrate Mass at 6:00 p.m. Please bring roses to present to our Lady. There will be a reception in St. JosephĘźs Hall following the Mass. FMI contact Carolyn Pena at (361) 727-1502 or

6  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

Father Joseph Lopez

D Contributor

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

uring his 27-year pontificate, St. John Paul II spent a great deal of time talking about vocations. He was not only talking to young, discerning men and women, either. He had messages for

parents too. If, in your ministry, you have ever encountered parents who are skeptical or concerned that their child is considering a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, keep in mind what the Holy Father had to say about it. For man, to generate a child is above all to “receive it from God.” It is a matter of welcoming from God as a gift the child that is generated. For this reason, children belong first to God, and then to their parents: and this is a truth, which is rich in implications for both parents and children. To be instruments of the heavenly Father in the work of forming their own children—here is found the inviolable limit that parents must respect in carrying out their mission. They must never consider themselves “owners” of their children, but rather they must educate them, paying constant attention to the privileged relationship their children have with the Father in heaven. It is his business that they must “be about” more than that of their earthly parents. The family is for this reason also the first and fundamental setting in which the Christian Vocation sprouts, is formed and is manifested. Just as Jesus’ vocation was manifested in the family of Nazareth, so every vocation today is born and manifests itself in the family. And when this general vocation is revealed as a particular calling to “leave everything” then the Christian family is revealed there also, and above all here, as the privileged place where the seed placed by God in the heart of the children can take root and mature; the place where the participation of the parents in the priestly mission

of Christ himself is revealed in its most elevated degree. Vocation touches the very roots of the human soul. It is an interior calling of God directed to the person: to the unique and irreplaceable person. There are great books out there about promotion of vocations that would be a perfect addition to anyone’s toolkit, one of which is “The Meaning of Vocation: In the Words of John Paul II.” It is a collection of the Holy Father’s talks on vocations throughout the years. Thank you for all that you do to help build a culture of vocations in our diocese.

Vocation touches the very roots of the human soul. It is an interior calling of God directed to the person: to the unique and irreplaceable person. December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  7


Saint’s message to parents


Tuition assistance program makes Catholic education available to everyone Luisa Buttler Correspondent


t is a saying Mary Sandoval did not invent, but uses often. “My job is to get them to heaven,” Sandoval said. “If they get into Harvard on the way there, it’s an added bonus.” Sandoval has been the principal of St. Joseph Parochial School in Alice for 11 years. St. Joseph is one of 18 schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, which includes 12 other elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and one early childhood school. A recent downturn in the oilfield economy means many in Alice have lost jobs or taken major pay cuts, Sandoval said. Currently, more than 60 percent of the school’s 189 students are on tuition assistance. Sandoval said the school and the parish do everything they can to make a Catholic education a viable option to everyone who desires it for their children. “Our school has been in operation for 75 years and we are committed to our children and their families,” Sandoval said. “We continue to seek revenue to fill in tuition gaps by locating private funding, hosting festivals and fundraisers and working together with parishioners of St. Joseph to help families in most need of tuition assistance.” Over at Central Catholic Elementary in uptown Corpus Christi , 61 percent of 8  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

their 78 students receive tuition assistance. The school serves students three-years-old to eighth grade. “We are a very poor school, located in a low income area surrounded by homelessness, drugs and the elderly,” Larry Manschot, principal of Central Catholic, said. “Though we are poor in money, we are rich in spirit.” Manschot said his philosophy is that no child should be denied a Catholic education because they can’t afford it. He said many of the children who attend Central Catholic are being raised in single parent households or by grandparents on fixed incomes. Josefa Thomas is the primary caregiver for her two grandsons, Matthew and Jonathan, who both attend Central Catholic. “Without tuition assistance, the boys would have to go to public school, but I really wanted them to go to Catholic school,” Thomas said. “I love that they are exposed to religious classes and will be able to receive their sacraments with the help of the school. I am grateful for the help, and the boys love their school.” There are two types of tuition assistance available for families with the most need. The first type—school based awards— are raised by the school through private donations, grants and other fundraising efforts and are dispersed at the discretion

of each school. The second type of money —diocesan based awards—are funded by diocesan operation funds and are distributed to the schools based on an online application called FACTS that parents or guardians fill out the spring before the school year starts. “FACTS, which is new for the 2016-17 school year, is a streamlined and customized way for the diocese to handle financial aid awards,” said Rosemary Henry, superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “The application is user friendly and the average time spent applying is 22 minutes.” While the FACTS system helps with the collection and analyzation of data like family size and income, it is the Diocesan Tuition Assistance Cabinet that makes the ultimate decision in awarding aid to families for diocesan-based awards. This current school year, the diocese contributed $200,000, but this only met 20 percent of the funding need. “The money the diocese is able to contribute has unfortunately remained static,” Henry said. “Our current economic climate limits tuition assistance and we continue to look for ways to boost funds.” One way the diocese hopes to raise awareness of their ongoing tuition assistance funding needs—and at the same time celebrate the good work of students,


Filling empty desks in classrooms with deserving students is the aim of the Tuition Assistance Program and the Celebration for Catholic Schools. By Malate269 (Own work) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

teachers and staff—is by hosting the first ever Celebration of Catholic Schools. The fundraiser will be held Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, at the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center. Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas, will deliver the keynote address. Proceeds from the event benefit diocesan tuition assistance and the Catholic School Endowment Fund in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. At the recent Clergy and Religious Appreciation Dinner, Bishop Michael Mulvey took the opportunity to make an appeal for Catholic education and the tuition assistance program. The bishop

pointed out that 70 percent of the funds raised at the January dinner will go to tuition assistance. “Our Catholic Schools are on the way up,” Bishop Mulvey said. “We are empowering them to be better and helping them fill up desks. I want us all to get behind our schools.” He asked the Knights of Columbus, sponsors of the appreciation dinner, to be ambassadors for Catholic schools. Anyone interested in making a contribution to tuition assistance should contact the school of their choice or make plans to attend the Celebration of Catholic

Schools in January. Information on how to participate in this event is available on the Diocese of Corpus Christi website at “Catholic schools stress the value of self-disciple, commitment, service and inspire students to understand that each person is unique and valuable,” Henry said. “We hope that all families who desire a Catholic education for their children will consider it, no matter their financial situation.” (Alfredo E. Cardenas contributed to this article.) December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  9

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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10  South Texas Catholic | December 2016



“Saint Thomas More, Pray For Us!”

All Services FREE:

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.

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Corpus Christi


Resource Center

Retirement Fund for Religious Dec. 10-11

Please give to those who have given a lifetime. Throughout her life Sister Celia Hernandez, MJMJ has worked 12-hour days nourishing the bodies and souls of children, youth and adults. She was cook and clean up crew for The Ark and the 150 youth who attended the Corpus Chirsti Minor Seminary and the priests and nuns who staffed the facility. She fondly remembers several of the boys who later became priests, monsignors and bishops.She and some 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious. Your gift helps provide prescription medications, nursing care, and more. Please be generous.

More than 93 percent of donations aid senior religious. To donate: National Religious Retirement Office 3211 Fourth Street NE Washington DC 20017-1194 Make your check payable to Retirement Fund for Religious.

Or give at your local parish.

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  11


Sacred Heart in Sinton c Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


n Sunday, Oct. 23, Bishop Michael Mulvey joined parishioners at Sacred Heart in Sinton to celebrate 100 years as a parish. He told those gathered at the 10:30 a.m. Mass, “We can’t just live the past, we must learn from the past and be grateful, but we must live that same faith today and look forward to an eternal life with God.” The parish celebrated 100 years since being erected as a parish, but a Catholic faith community existed in Sinton as early as 1896. The newspaper The Southern Messenger reported in its March 1896 issue that Father B. J. Donada, pastor at San Patricio, hoped to bring a mission to Sinton in late

Sacred Heart has had three churches during its 100-year history. From left, are the first church, the 1940 church now used as a parochial hall and the current sanctuary built in 1962. Archived photos 12  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

April of that year. In early August 1897, the newspaper reported, “the new church in Sinton… nearing completion.” In its Sept. 30, 1897 issue, The Messenger reported that Father Donada continued overseeing construction of a new church in Sinton. Part of the old convent at San Patricio had been moved to Sinton to be used to build the church. On Nov. 11, 1897 it was reported the church was completed. The carpenters and painters were very pleased with their work and so was Father Donada, who began to look for someone to build a fence around the church lots. The previous Wednesday, the day after All Souls Day, Father Donada had celebrated Mass at the church and preached to the congregation to remember

the poor souls in Purgatory. Bishop Peter Verdaguer of the Vicariate of Brownsville was scheduled to bless the new church on the first Sunday of December, which was Dec. 5, 1897. Bishop Verdaguer was to hold confirmations and the choir from Corpus Christi was expected to sing the Mass. Father L. Wyer, Vicar Forane of Victoria was to be the guest preacher. Four to five priests were expected to be present and both Catholics and non-Catholics were invited to the dedication. The first mention of the name Sacred Heart in the newspaper’s columns was on Oct. 27, 1898 when it reported that Father Donada had celebrated Mass there on Oct. 16, 1898. Sacred Heart continued to be a mission of St. Patrick in San Patricio until

early 1916. On Jan. 31, 1916, Father John Scheid, Chancellor of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, wrote to Father Michael Puig, pastor of St. Patrick, informing him that Bishop Paul Nussbaum was relieving him of his missions, including Sinton. Bishop Nussbaum had been recruiting new priests to the diocese, appealing both to his superiors in the Passionist Order and to Pope Pius X. Several Passionist priests did come, including Father Martin Ford, who became the first pastor of Sacred Heart. The priests at Sacred Heart were also charged with taking care of missions in George West, Odem and Taft. The community in George West grew to the

point that Father David Buckley, who had succeeded Father Ford in 1920, was visiting it once a week and recommended that a resident priest be assigned there. Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina agreed and, in 1923, assigned Father Buckley to George West and named Father Daniel Lanigan as pastor at Sacred Heart. In the spring of 1924, the parish plant was moved to four acres donated by the Odem family. By the fall of that same year they opened a parochial school with Incarnate Word sisters instructing 10 boys and 12 girls. A new church building was constructed in 1940 under the pastorship of Father A. J. Ordner, and Coadjutor Bishop Mariano Garriga dedicated it on

May 12, 1940. The old church building was moved and became the church building for Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission. Less than a quarter century later, on March 2, 1962, the cornerstone of the current church building was laid. The $200,000 church was built under the direction of Father Frank Gronotte— who had served as pastor since 1953—to meet the demands of a growing parish community. On May 16, 1962, Auxiliary Bishop Adolph Marx blessed and dedicated the new church building. Parishioners placed signatures of the building committee, the name of the pastor, the names of the presidents of the U.S., the name of the governor of

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  13


celebrates centennial


Texas, the name of the mayor of Sinton and various coins from around the world in the cornerstone inside two copper cylinders. This church has served the parish for more than half a century and was nearly filled to capacity for the centennial celebration, as hundreds of parishioners poured out at the end of the Mass to be greeted by Bishop Mulvey. “It is a vibrant community, it is a loving community,” its current pastor Father Paul Rajareegam said. “People are growing in faith. They await the word of God. They participate in the Liturgy. The church is always full.” Father Paul, as the parish community calls him, said the people are very cooperative and came together to organize the centennial celebration insuring its success. Despite its century long existence, Sacred

Heart is a growing community, Father Paul said. It used to have 200 students enrolled in religious education but now has 470. It had 250 registered families but now has 450. The parish has the usual ministries of lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, altar servers, religious education and choirs. Volunteer organizations include the Altar Society, Sacred Heart Youth Group and Quilters. Deacon Solomon Willis assists Father Paul with Mass, baptisms, funerals and other duties. “We do not retire from the practice of our faith, we do not retire from living the Gospel in concrete terms,” Bishop Mulvey said in his homily. “No one can say I’m finished. We’re never done. As we look… at the 100 years in this parish…each one has an obligation of living the faith and

sharing it.” The bishop said that people cannot live the past, but rather they should learn from the past and be grateful. “If the next 100 years of faith is going to make a difference in society,” he said, “it depends on us.” (Patricia Roeser contributed to this article.)

seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to: South Texas



Large turnout of parishioners participated in the centenary Mass at Sacred Heart in Sinton. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

14  South Texas Catholic | December 2016


Antorcha ilumina el amor de la Virgen de Guadalupe para Cristo

Corredores que acompañan a las imágenes de la Virgen de Guadalupe y San Juan Diego se reunieron en la parroquia Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia en Corpus Christi. Unos de los corredores empezaron la carrera en la Basílica de Guadalupe en México y otros los acompañaron desde Alice y Robstown.

Luisa Scolari

Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

C Corresponsal

ada año la Antorcha Guadalupana, una peregrinación/caminata organizada por la Asociación del Tepeyac, pasa por la diócesis de Corpus Christi. La destinación de la Antorcha, que tiene su origen en la Basílica de Guadalupe en México, es la Basílica de St. Patrick en Nueva York. Es interesante que la Virgen de Guadalupe y St. Patrick son co patrocinadores de la diócesis. La Antorcha tiene como fecha de terminar la peregrinación el 12 de diciembre, cual es el día cuando la iglesia Católica celebra la Fiesta de Nuestra Señora

de Guadalupe, patrona de las Américas. La Antorcha llego a la diócesis primero en Falfurrias, Alice, Robstown y Corpus Christi y se despacho así a Beeville con destinación a San Antonio, Houston y puntos al este con su destino final siendo Nueva York. Llego en Corpus Christi el día 31 de Octubre en donde fue recibida por el padre José Ángel Salazar en la parroquia de Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia en compañía de mas de un centenar de feligreses. El recibimiento se hizo con danzas prehispánicas magistralmente ejecutadas por los grupos de danzantes mexicas-aztecas “Atl Papalotl” (Mariposa de December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Ya que las imágenes de la Virgen de Guadalupe y de San Juan Diego llegaron a Corpus Christi el 31 de Octubre, la parroquia Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia aprovechó conmemorar el día de todos los santos que se celebrar el primero de noviembre. Los niños se vistieron del santo de su devoción, así en vez de disfrazarse para celebrar una fiesta pagana los niños se disfrazaron para celebrar una fiesta Católica. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

Agua) y “Ehekatl Papalotl” (Mariposa de Viento). Posteriormente se procedió al rezo del Santo Rosario mientras los corredores recibían una merienda y después a la celebración de la Santa Misa con las imágenes viajeras de La Virgen de Guadalupe y San Juan Diego. Los corredores para este tramo fueron: José Flores, Mauro Covarrubias, Jorge Luis Najar, Sanjuanito Fernández, Norma Villa, José Luis Sifuentes, Raquel Covarrubias, Guera Covarrubias, Juanita Flores (coordinadora), José Luis Flores, Fernando Fernández, Paloma Martínez, Pablo Gómez, Eulalio Guzmán Bravo, Gilberto Flores Alejandro, Norma Patricia Jiménez Carlos, Raymundo Rodríguez, Jesús Eddie Cruz, Juan García (coordinador) e Higinio Vásquez. La caminata tiene como foco apoyar a migrantes. Los corredores manifiestan que cruzando días soleados, fríos o lluviosos todos como hermanos se reúnen en oración y por ser iglesia peregrina se consideran humildes y sencillos mensajeros de Cristo. Es a Cristo a quien “La Morenita del Tepeyac” los dirige que persigan así como ella lo hizo en la boda en Cana cuando le dijo a los sirvientes, “Hagan lo que él les diga (Jn 2:5).” Al ser guadalupano es primero y ante todo ser cristiano. La madre, así mismo, lo hizo cuando se entrego a dios con las palabras “Que se haga conmigo según tu palabra (Lk 1:38).” Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe siente por todo el pueblo de su hijo, sin importar de

16  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

raza o nacionalidad, ya que siendo madre del cielo ama a todos sus hijos por igual. Es por eso que su amor nos une y nos hace hermanos en Cristo. La antorcha salió de la Basílica de Guadalupe con la bendición del obispo después de la celebración de una misa solemne y la bendición a los corredores y al grito de “Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe”!, “Viva San Juan Diego”! y “Que Viva Cristo Rey”! El 18 de septiembre salieron con rumbo hacia la frontera. Cruzaron cuatro estados mexicanos y 13 en estados unidos haciendo un recorrido aproximado de siete mil millas en 82 días al llegar en la ciudad de Nueva York. La Virgen de Guadalupe a través de su imagen y con el apoyo de los miles de corredores que la acompañan en su peregrinar, recorre todos estos territorios inculcando a todos con la llama de su amor para su hijo y salvador, con la intención que el une a las dos naciones y ser un solo pueblo sin barreras ni fronteras, unidos en una sola fe. Llevan el mensaje de Cristo que es la paz y dignidad para todas las personas que por alguna razón han tenido que migrar. Esto les da una oportunidad para todos a quien encuentran de reflexionar, pero sobre todo despertar la conciencia, hacia la realidad del prójimo y vivir las obras de misericordia corporales: alimentar a los hambrientos, dar de beber al sediento, vestir al desnudo, albergar a los desamparados, visitar a los encarcelados, dar limosna a los pobres y enterrar a los muertos.

Join us for the 5th Annual

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.

Spirit Center

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.


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December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Bishop tells new deacons to rely on Holy Spirit, Jesus and Mary Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

he Diocese of Corpus Christi’s 10 new deacons wasted no time in following their bishop’s exhortation to “live the Word”. The day after his ordination, Deacon Shayne Katzfey, assigned to St. George in George West, found himself at the town’s Catholic cemetery blessing graves in a

downpour. “It was a beautiful experience,” Deacon Katzfey said about the opportunity to minister after his pastor fell ill and could not perform the blessings. Across the diocese, the new deacons assisted with their first Mass on Saturday and Sunday with family and friends sharing in their joy. At Corpus Christi’s St. Patrick parish, Deacon Hector Salinas assisted his pastor Msgr. Roger Smith at Mass with members of his family serving along with him as lectors, altar servers and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion.

18  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

Bishop Michael Mulvey received 10 men into the Order of Deacon on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Corpus Christi Cathedral. This brings the number of deacons in the diocese to 98, with 19 others in formation, said Deacon Michael Mantz, director of the Office of Permanent Diaconate. Bishop Mulvey exhorted the 10 new deacons not to forget that the role they are given in the Church always relies in the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives and to root themselves in the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. The new deacons, and the parishes where they will serve, include Deacon Stephen Mark Christoph, Sacred Heart, Mathis; Deacon Emilio Flores, St. Anthony, Robstown; Deacon Ronald Janota, Sacred Heart, Rockport; Deacon Shayne Katzfey, St. George, George West; Deacon Amando Leal, Corpus Christi Cathedral; Deacon Narciso “Bb” Ortiz, St. Philip the Apostle,


Ten deacons lay prostrate as part of their ordination while Bishop Michael Mulvey, priests and brother deacons pray for them. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic

Corpus Christi; Deacon Fernando “Freddie” Perez, Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Corpus Christi; Deacon Robert Rosales, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Portland; Deacon Hector Salinas, St. Patrick, Corpus Christi; Deacon Michael Valenzuela, assigned to Our Lady of Consolation, Vattmann, Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, Rivera; Sacred Heart Mission, Ricardo and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sarita, as needed. Deacons help the bishop and priests to proclaim the word, prepare the altar and distribute the Lord’s Body and Blood to the faithful. The bishop reminded them that they are called to exhort believers and unbelievers alike and to instruct them in doctrine. They will also preside over public prayer, administer baptisms, assist at and bless marriages, take the Eucharist to the dying and conduct funerals. Deacon Katzfey was struck by the beauty of the ordination ceremony, which he saw as “absolute proof ” of the Holy Spirit

working “in our lives.” “He is never going to force himself on us. We have to say yes, the family and parish community must say yes,” Deacon Katzfey said. The new deacon said he, with the help of his wife Lori, have been leading adult formation classes at St. George over the last couple of years and sees this as a ministry where he will continue to be active. He is concerned about the lack of faith formation for adults, noting that after high school most Catholics get into a routine of just going to Mass and returning home Sunday after Sunday. “My wife and I absolutely feel blessed and look forward to serve God’s people,” Deacon Katzfey. “Words simply cannot express how proud I am of Shayne and everything that God has done through him in the program. I know that this is his calling, especially when I see him be the light that God has called him to be when interacting with others,” Lori December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  19


❝ The past five years have been a journey that has blessed us in so many ways; our lives are so much richer in love with one another, our faith and the family we have become with the others who have walked with us.❞

– Lori Katzfey

Katzfey said. “The past five years have been a journey that has blessed us in so many ways; our lives are so much richer in love with one another, our faith and the family we have become with the others who have walked with us.” The new deacons have studied and prepared themselves over the last five years and their wives are an integral part of their preparation. Deacon Salinas noted that the 10 men and their wives had formed a bond over the last five years and pledged to continue to be a family together. The bishop told the deacons that they must live the word of God. “Do not lay upon people burdens you are not willing to support. You cannot exempt yourself. That is antithetical to the word of God,” he said. As far as ministry of sacraments, the bishop reminded the new deacons, that they should never see it as a duty or a job, especially when called at the last minute to go to a funeral home to pray with a family. “This is not a job; it cannot be performed pro forma. You are the representative of God. How well you perform will impact how people receive God’s mercy,” Bishop Mulvey said. He exhorted them to do their ministry with tenderness, as Christ did. Not to be afraid to go to the periphery. Not to stay in the center, but to seek out what is lost “with the heart of Christ, with love for everyone.” Deacon Salinas found the ordination Mass as the highpoint of a very emotional weekend. “It just felt so right that finally the time is here when I can do the things I have been preparing for the last five years. It was filled with a lot of graces. I felt the presence

Deacon Shayne Katzfey, assigned to St. George in George West, and wife Lori “feel blessed and look forward to serve God’s people.” They have already begun an adult faith formation program and will continue to work in this area of ministry as well as other areas as the Holy Spirit calls them. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic 20  South Texas Catholic | December 2016


of the Holy Spirit,” Deacon Salinas said. “It was affirmation of the call I received five years ago.” He is looking forward to serve the diocese and his parish. “There are so many things we can help out with, especially baptisms which are very important to me. Also marriage and funerals are very important. I’m hoping to help with classes for baptism and marriage prep. As a married couple I think we can help; we’ve been married 40 years and can be an example to people.” “I can honestly say that our true journey as a married couple began five years ago as Hector began the diaconate formation process,” his wife Diana said. “Through the years we could feel ourselves growing closer to God and to each other way beyond anything we have ever experienced. To witness the joy in his face and love in his heart to serve our Lord and others is truly a gift from God.” The bishop told the new deacons that theirs was not a passive ministry. Not to wait to be asked, but to lead. They were not being called to just serve the ones that are registered. Their ministry calls them to lead the way, to be the first on the scene not the last. “Meet each person as Christ,” Bishop Mulvey told the deacons. “That can be the hallmark of your ministry; ‘whatever you do for the least you

have done for me.’ You will meet Jesus everyday in those you serve.” The deacons’ promise of obedience is not a promise to be servile, the bishop said. “But it will assure you that you are not doing your own will, your own thing, but God’s will in the Church. Obedience will give you a freedom you have never known before. A freedom to do Christ’s will, who came to do the Father’s will not his,” Bishop Mulvey said. In closing his exhortations to the deacons, Bishop Mulvey asked them to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus and Mary. “Jesus humbled himself. Empty yourself, find yourself in obedience,” he said. “Mary, the mother of God, will assist you with her tenderness and her love. Mary tells us to do what her son asks us to do, as he did at the marriage at Cana.”

seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to South Texas



Deacon Hector Salinas’ first Mass was a family affair with his daughter, grandchildren and nieces serving as lectors, altar servers and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. Pictured, from left, are deacon’s wife Diana Salinas, Deacon Salinas, Kaylin Castaneda (niece), Kennedy Quintanilla (niece), Cailyn Cruz (granddaughter), Thomas Valdez (grandson), Nicholas Salinas (grandson), Caleb Cruz (grandson), Melissa Cruz (daughter), Natalie Quintanilla (niece), and Msgr. Roger Smith (pastor). Contributed photo by Crystal Valdez

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  21


Expanded student center will increase ministry to young adults Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

he student walked into the confessional and took a half step back as if he had walked in when he shouldn’t have. He walked back in and began to confess his sins to the priest. His hesitancy was due to the fact that there was no screen and he was sitting face to face with his confessor. The confessional, as it turned out, was an old broom closet and the room does not allow for much privacy. Students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will soon see improvements to the Newman Catholic Student Center as the Diocese of Corpus Christi broke ground on a $2.1 million expansion project on Oct. 26. The expansion, said nursing graduate student Sara Garza from San Antonio, is a “blessing,” since for the last five years the Center has been her “home away form home” As homes go, the current Center may be likened more to a one-room garage apartment. Center director Amy Barragree said the sanctuary sits 125 students, although with 50 worshipers for the afternoon Mass on Sunday, Nov. 13, it was hard to see where

the other 75 would have fit. The students occupied removable chairs with kneelers attached behind. The altar was set back with a sliding wall that is closed when Mass is not being held, leaving a small space for activities during the week. A small office for Barragree is set off to a side, next to the broom closet/confessional. The office also doubles as a sacristy for the priest to prepare for Mass. As Mass wound down, one could smell the strong roma of coffee. Tables were set up behind the last row of chairs with boxes of pan dulce for students to enjoy while they visited and discussed activities planned for the coming week. In order to be ready for the social after Mass, the coffee has to be started before Mass. When Bishop Michael Mulvey came to the diocese six years ago, he inquired whether there was a student center. Having come from the Diocese of Austin with strong student organizations in Austin, College Station, Waco and San Marcos he assumed such was the case in his new diocese. He was informed about the Newman Center and he drove out to see it and found it “closed

Architect’s rendering of expansion for Newman Catholic Student Center. Ferrel, Brown & Associates 22  South Texas Catholic | December 2016


Students took part in the ceremonial ground breaking for the Newman Catholic Student Center expansion. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

tighter than a drum.” Freshman Kaitlyn Hanks, a mechanical engineering major from Lufkin, noted that students on campus are not aware of the center, referring to it as that building where they can park “when we can’t find parking on campus.” To Hanks, however, it is a lot more. “If I didn’t have it (the Newman Center) I would be struggling in school. It is really a stress relief to know you are surrounded with good Christian people,” Hanks said. “I spend most of my days here doing homework and studying in a relaxed environment.” She participates in the women’s group, the Dead Theologian Society and comes to the one weekly Mass on Wednesday. Barragree, who has been at the center for two years, started these programs and others. Garza, who has been around five years, remembers when she first began to attend Mass at the Center; five students would show up. Today, thanks to the bishop’s commitment to the student and young adult populations, the Center offers two Sunday Masses and a Wednesday Mass. All together, more than 100 students attend these Masses. Garza remembers that in the early days they had one monthly event, but now they have three to four events weekly and they are all well attended. The bishop recently appointed Father David Bayardo as chaplain at the Center, in addition to his duties as parochial vicar at Ss. Cyril & Methodius parish. “Father

David covers all the sacramental needs, including the weekly Masses and confessions.” Barragree said. He is also available to lead discussions and reflections and help with the Center’s RCIA program, which has administered first holy Communion, confirmation, and baptisms and has brought in students into the Church. Bishop Mulvey continues to be committed to this ministry. He pointed out that within a few years, two seminarians have come from the Newman Center at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and two other students are discerning the priesthood. The new expanded Center in Corpus Christi “should enliven our faith and make us grateful,” the bishop said, adding, “May students find a home between the walls we are about to erect.” Bishop Mulvey, together with a host of dignitaries and students, broke ground of the new 6,285 sq. ft. addition to the Newman Center. Catholics from throughout the diocese are making the new construction possible as part of the Legacy of Faith - Future of Hope capital and endowment campaign, together with a $500,000 grant from the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation. The expansion will include a new 275-seat chapel, freeing up the current chapel area to be used as a meeting room. It also includes a sacristy, storage areas, bathrooms and an additional office. The diocese expects that construction—which

got underway in November—will be completed in the fall of 2017. Barragree said the additional space would be a great help in ministering to students. The chapel and center programs are available not only to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students but, also, to Del Mar College students and young adults that are not enrolled in school but who are looking for a place to worship with people their age. “I’m excited about the expansion. The new chapel will attract more students,” Hanks said. While many people on campus are unaware of the Center, she hopes the construction will help spread the word and help more students find their way home. “We are really excited to expand, not only the building, but what we are offering and to be able to reach more people. I am really grateful for everyone that contributes, not only for the building, but for our mission,for what we do,” Barragree said. Oh yes, the new center will include a new confessional.

seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to South Texas



For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has made the following appointments: Deacon Stephen Mark Christoph to Sacred Heart, Mathis; Deacon Emilio Flores to St. Anthony, Robstown; Deacon Ronald Janota to Sacred Heart, Rockport; Deacon Shayne Katzfey to St. George,

George West; Deacon Amando Leal to Corpus Christi Cathedral; Deacon Narciso “Bb” Ortiz to St. Philip the Apostle, Corpus Christi; Deacon Fernando “Freddie” Perez to Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Corpus Christi; Deacon Robert Rosales to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Portland; Deacon Hector Salinas to St. Patrick, Corpus Christi; Deacon Michael Valenzuela to

Chapa will be ordained into priesthood Dec. 3 Deacon Eric Chapa will be ordained into the priesthood on SatDeacon Eric Chapa urday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. Chapa was ordained a transitional deacon in July and has been serving at St. Pius X.

His home parish is St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, where he will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, Dec. 4. Deacon Chapa served at Ss. Cyril & Methodius during his pastoral year. He also served for a summer at St. Joseph in Beeville. The public is invited. After the ordination a reception will follow at St. Joseph Hall.

Collection supports eldercare needs of religious communities The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held Dec. 10-11 in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office, the parish-based appeal benefits nearly 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests whose communities lack adequate retirement savings. The Diocese of Corpus Christi contributed $75,800.36 to the last collection. In 2016, the Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, and the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy 24  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

Trinity received a combined total of $119,369.09 in financial assistance made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious. Women and men religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may also benefit from the annual appeal. Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the collection to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. Proceeds help underwrite retirement and health-care expenses. Nearly 95 percent of donations directly support senior religious and their communities.

Our Lady of Consolation, Vattmann; Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, Rivera; Sacred Heart Mission, Ricardo; and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sarita (as needed); Deacon Jesse Lee Hinojosa to St. John the Baptist, Corpus Christi; Deacon Felix Muniz to Sacred Heart, Corpus Christi; and Deacon Alfredo Castillo to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Corpus Christi.

In Memorium Sister Evelyn Morales, IWBS Oct. 23, 1930 - Nov. 9, 2016

Sister Evelyn dies peacefully at Incarnate Word Convent Sister Mary Evelyn Morales, IWBS (Leonor Ninfa), 86, died peacefully at Incarnate Word Convent on Nov. 9. She was born in Brownsville, on Oct. 23, 1930. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and a master’s from Emporia University in Kansas. Sister Evelyn taught at St. Francis School in Brownsville, at Our Lady of Victory School in Beeville, at Villa Maria High School and Middle School in Brownsville, and at Incarnate Word Academy in Corpus Christi. Donations may be made in Sister Evelyn’s memory to Brownsville Incarnate Word Academy, 244 Resaca Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520.

Father Eduardo “Eddie” H. García passed away at his home at the St. John Vianney Residence for Priests in Corpus Christi on the evening of Nov. 14. Father García was ordained a deacon on May 20, 1989 and on Jan. 20, 1990 Bishop Rene H. Gracida In Memorium ordained him to Father Eduardo the priesthood at “Eddie” Garcia Corpus Christi Oct. 24, 1955 Cathedral. Nov. 14, 2016 Father García served as a paroBishop Mulvey closes Holy Doors at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Nov. 6. chial vicar at Our Lady of Guadalupe Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic in Corpus Christi and later as pastor. In 1997, he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph parish in Alice and dean of the Alice Deanery. In 2004, and for several years after, he served priest-in-residence at St. Joseph in Beeville. In 2011, until the time of his passing, he provided priestly assistance at Mount Carmel Assisted Living in Corpus Christi. Father Garcia was laid to rest at the family ranch cemetery. As he closed the Holy Doors at Corpus Christi Cathedral in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey observed that it had been “an extraordinary time of grace and mercy.” The Extraordinary Year of Mercy closed on Nov. 20, but Pope Francis asked that all the Holy Doors throughout the world close before that day. In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Mulvey closed the doors the week of Oct. 29 – Nov. 6. During the week Bishop Mulvey traveled to Alice (St. Elizabeth), Beeville (St. Joseph), Kingsville (St. Joseph) and Lamar (Schoenstatt Chapel) to close the doors at designated pilgrim churches in the diocese. He closed the doors at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Nov. 6. He thanked the pilgrim churches for being “so wonderful in welcoming pilgrims to their doors, sitting with them and praying with them.” He also thanked priests for offering extended time for the sacrament of reconciliation.

Extraordinary time of grace and ‘mercy’

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  25


In Memoriam Father Eddie Garcia


US bishops encourage unity, prayer after elections Matt Hadro

Catholic News Agency


ishops in the United States called on Catholics to pray for elected officials following the 2016 presidential election, and exhorted them to work for unity and to promote the common good. New York businessman Donald Trump scored an electoral victory over fellow New Yorker Hilary Clinton. “Let us not see each other in the divisive light of Democrat or Republican or any other political party, but rather, let us see the face of Christ in our neighbors, especially the suffering or those with whom we may disagree,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Nov. 9. Trump, the Republican Party candidate, won in states that have historically voted Democrat, states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and swept through swing states like Ohio and Florida. Republicans retained majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Trump won in six counties, while Clinton took five. Trump won a majority of the vote in the 11 counties, 51.6 percent to 44.8 percent for Clinton. Numbers for how Catholics voted in the diocese are not available. According to national exit polls conducted by the New York Times, Catholics overall voted 52 percent for Trump and 45 percent for Clinton. NBC News exit polls showed the results fell sharply along ethnic lines: Trump won white Catholics by 23 percentage points, 60 to 37, while Clinton won Hispanic Catholics 67 percent to 26 percent. “Catholics continue to be the only major religious voting block that can shift from one election to the next,” Dr. Mark Gray of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University said. “Presidential candidates who win the Catholic vote almost always win the presidency.” There was a divide in support among weekly churchgoing Christians and those who do not attend church as frequently. Exit polls showed Trump, a Presbyterian, winning among weekly churchgoers 56 to 40 percent, while among those attending a “few times a year” there was basically an even split. Clinton, a Methodist, enjoyed a large victory (31 points) among those who do not attend religious services. In his victory speech Trump called for unity. “Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American Dream,” he said. Clinton, in her concession speech later Wednesday morning, said Trump is owed “an open mind and a chance to lead,” adding, “We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought.” Other bishops called for prayers for the newly elected and re-elected officials. “We are now called to commend our new president and all other newly elected officials to God, that they may be guided by Our Lord as they prepare to take office and serve the common

President-elect Donald Trump addresses supporters after learning he had prevailed in election. Catholic News Agency 26  South Texas Catholic | December 2016


Election Results in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.






Third County Clinton Trump Parties Aransas 2,458 7,730 298 Bee 3,443 4,743 297 Brooks 1,937 613 46 Duval 2,783 1,316 61 Jim Wells 6,688 5,411 262 Kenedy 99 84 3 Kleberg 4,713 4,364 429 Live Oak 739 3,450 96 Nueces 49,102 50,704 4,174 Refugio 1,034 1,830 84 San Patricio 7,825 13,004 753 Total 80,821 93,249 6,503



Corpus Christi





good of those entrusted to their care,” Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington said. “Congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump. May God grant you good health, wisdom and courage during your presidency,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston tweeted. “Jesus Christ is sovereign King; yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” Bishop James Conley of Lincoln tweeted on Wednesday. Archbishop Kurtz cited Pope Francis’ 2015 address to Congress, in which he urged members to promote the common good and human dignity. “Yesterday, millions of Americans who are struggling to find economic opportunity for their families voted to be heard. Our response should be simple: we hear you,” the archbishop said. “The responsibility to help strengthen families belongs to each of us.” He reaffirmed the bishops’ commitment to upholding the sanctity of all human life, welcoming “migrants and refugees,” and defending religious freedom at home and abroad. Pro-life groups applauded the victory of pro-life Senate candidates and expressed their desire to work with Trump’s administration to pass pro-life legislation. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, called it “an historic moment for the pro-life




Total 10,486 8,483 2,596 4,160 12,361 186 9,506 4,285 103,980 2,948 21,582 180,573 100%

movement” and said that “four critical pro-life goals now within our reach: end painful late-term abortions, codify the Hyde Amendment, defund Planned Parenthood and appoint pro-life Supreme Court Justices.” “Acknowledging the divisiveness in our country we also commit to working for the day when all Americans know that abortion is unthinkable, and to building a lasting culture of life,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said. “We applaud candidates that took a stand on the most critical human rights issue of today, abortion.” In Defense of Christians, an advocacy group for persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East and North Africa, congratulated Trump on his victory and asked that he “make the plight of religious minorities in the Middle East a foreign policy priority for the United States.” “The Christian values of tolerance and coexistence, and the innovations that these communities have contributed to their societies for so many centuries are essential for a stable and secure Middle East, which is in the national security interests of the United States and the world,” the group’s executive director Philippe Nassif said. (Alfredo E. Cardenas contributed to this article.) December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  27




Local parish, valley pilgrims celeb South Texas Catholic and Catholic News Agency


n Oct. 16, 40 Altar servers and parents from Resurrection Catholic Church in Alamo, Texas drove up 169 miles to Immaculate Conception Church in Taft to join local devotees of St. José Sánchez Del Rio, the child martyr whom Pope Francis canonized that day. The Rio Grande Valley pilgrims came bearing generous and beautiful gifts of a Chalice and a Paten for the parish of Immaculate Conception. St. José Sánchez Del Rio—known as Josélito—was born in Sahuayo de Morelos,

28  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

México in 1913. During the 1924-28 religious persecution by Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles, Josélito became a Cristero, fighting against the anti-Catholic legislation. At that time, Mexican laws banned religious orders, deprived the Church of property rights and denied priests civil liberties, including the right to trial by jury and the right to vote. As the restrictions on religious liberty increased, Catholics were fined and imprisoned for teaching Church doctrine, wearing clerical attire, meeting together after their convents were disbanded, promoting religious life or holding religious

services in non-church locations. The Mexican Federal Army executed Josélito on Feb. 10, 1928. He was 14-yearsold. According to witness accounts, soldiers cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk barefoot to his grave. Although he was tortured, he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. Moments before he was killed, the teen shouted, “Viva Cristo Rey!” (“Long live Christ the King!”). When people find themselves weary from the troubles of life, they can find inspiration in the heroism of one of the Church’s new saints, said Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia, México. From its


brate canonization of “Josélito” inception, “the history of the Church is the history of a martyr Church,” the cardinal said. Still, the cardinal continued, “many of us don’t have the grace of a bloody martyrdom.” However, we are called “to be heroic everyday, in ordinary life, and this calls us to not falter, to not be carried away by some trend, but to stand firm in the faith when there are more subtle persecutions.” On Jan. 21, Pope Francis approved the miraculous cure of a baby with brain damage through the intercession Josélito completing the final step for the teen’s

path to sainthood. Doctors said Ximena Guadalupe Magallón Gálvez, who was just a few weeks old in September 2008 when her parents took her to Sahuayo, had “no hope of survival” due to a myriad of health problems including brain damage caused by a stroke. “I put my baby in God’s hands and the intercession of Josélito and at that moment she opened her eyes and smiled,” Ximena’s mother said. The doctors could not explain what had happened. They took Ximena to do a CT scan and an encephalogram and were surprised to see that 80 percent

of her brain had recovered. When they examined her the next day, her brain had become completely healthy again. While not part of the canonization process, Mary Ann González had a total hysterectomy in 2012 and the biopsy results were not what she and her family had been praying for. “I was diagnosed with stage two uterine cancer,” the lifelong parishioner at Immaculate Conception in Taft said. “Before leaving for more surgery with a gynecological oncologist in San Antonio, I saw a movie that encouraged and inspired me. Actually, it ended up changing everything.”

Father Peter Stanley (left of St. José) and Father Rene Angel, join youth of their parishes in paying tribute to the new saint who was martyred at age 14. Jerry Niño for South Texas Catholic December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  29


The movie, “For Greater Glory,” depicted the true story of the Cristero War in México during the 1920s. During the movie, González learned about Josélito. “I knew immediately after seeing the movie Blessed José would watch out for me. I asked him for courage to go through my surgery,” González said. “I also made a promise to him that if I were to come out of the surgery successfully, I would do everything in my power to share his story with more people.” González had the surgery in San Antonio and the news was a complete surprise. Tissue samples taken during surgery revealed chemotherapy was not needed because there was no longer any evidence of cancer. This prompted her to seek a relic of Josélito from México and in March 2013 Immaculate Conception Parish celebrated the arrival of the relic. The canonization of St. José was a special occasion for the parish in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, located in the small town of Taft. Father Peter Stanley, parochial administrator at Immaculate Conception, called for a two-day celebration honoring the canonization of St. José. On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Blessed Pierre Giorgio Youth Group held a dinner and a movie under the stars where “For Greater Glory” was shown. The following day—the day of St. José’s canonization—a Mass was celebrated at which the group from Resurrection Church, led by Father Rene Angel, joined the Immaculate Conception parish community. Cardinal Suarez pointed to the story of the young saint as an example of Christian courage. “José Sanchez del Rio, who in a courageous, generous and determined way, preferred to die for Christ, longed for martyrdom as a grace; and now that Pope Francis

In top photo, Father Peter Stanley holds up relic of St. José Sánchez Del Rio, which is at Immaculate Conception Parish in Taft. In photo at right, altar servers from Resurrection Church in Alamo, Texas present a Chalice and a Paten to the parish of Immaculate Conception in Taft. They were among a group of 40 altar servers and parents that made the pilgrimage from Alamo to Taft. Jerry Niño for South Texas Catholic 30  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

is canonizing him today, we can certainly recognize that we have a great intercessor and a great example for youth,” he said. Seeing heaven, as an opportunity, and refusing to turn back are a witness to all Catholics that “what is truly worth most in life, more than money, is the treasure of our faith,” Cardinal Suarez said. The cardinal encouraged the faithful not to grow weary from routine, or a worldly spirit, or ideological colonization. “We need to react and be truly faithful to Jesus in virtue, in an attitude of trust in God and also in facing all those obstacles presented to the Christian life in today’s world in whatever time or environment,” he said.

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

Christmas shop and help the homeless at the same time! Make a donationtotothe theMother MotherTeresa TeresaShelter Shelterin in honor honor of of loved loved Make a donation ones and will sendthem thema aBeautiful BeautifulChristmas ChristmasCard. Card. ones and wewe will send Yourgift giftofof$10 $10orormore moreper perChristmas Christmascard cardwill willhelp helpprovide provideday day Your shelterfor forthe thehomeless homelessininCorpus CorpusChristi, Christi,Texas. Texas.AAChristmas Christmascard card shelter acknowledging your your gift gift (without (without specic specific amounts amounts listed) listed) will will be be acknowledging mailedtotoeach eachofofyour yourhonorees. honorees.AAbeautiful beautifulChristmas Christmastree treeornament ornament mailed willalso alsobe beincluded includedfor forgifts giftsofof$25 $25orormore moreper percard. card. will

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_______________________________________________________ Card # Exp. Date Mail form and payment to: Mail formTeresa and payment to: Mother Shelter, Inc. 513 Sam Rankinof Corpus Christi, Inc. Catholic Charities Corpus Christi, TX 78401 1322 Comanche Street Corpus Christi, TX 78401 Contact: Sister Rose Phone: Phone:(361) (361)442-2224 883-7372 Fax: Fax:(361) (361)442-2607 881-1373 Email:

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  31


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

Laity’s mandate in common priesthood is no small matter Father J. Patrick Serna

W Contributor

henever we hear about “priests,” we usually think about ordained Catholic priests who celebrate the Mass and administer the sacraments. It is unfortunate that many Catholics are unaware of the fact that lay people who have been baptized, also share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ. What does God mean when he tells us through our first pope, St. Peter, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Pt 2:9).” This passage from the Bible seems to say that all baptized Christians partake in the priesthood of Jesus, yet as Catholics, we only think of the men at the altar as priests. So what gives? The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” states clearly that there are two participations in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ: the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, “each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ.” While being “ordered one to another,” they differ essentially. In what sense do they differ? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace—a life of faith, hope and charity, a life according to the Spirit—the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders (CCC #1547). 32  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

Notice that the ordained priests are described as “at the service of the common priesthood,” just as Jesus and his apostles were at the service of the people who came to them in need. For centuries there has been an unspoken but subconscious “sense” that lay people who belong to the baptismal priesthood (also called “common priesthood”) are “second class citizens,” whereas ordained priests are “first class.” While there is a distinction between the ministerial and baptismal priesthood, it is wrong to think of the common priesthood of the baptized as somehow inferior or “second class.” The important role of the laity, who belongs to the common priesthood, did not become some kind of new priority with Vatican II, as many people believe. The Church, and her leaders, have been promoting the illustrious role of the laity for centuries before Vatican II, some things just take a while to take hold. In 1946, Pope Pius XII said the following about lay people who share in the common priesthood, “The faithful, more precisely the lay faithful, find themselves on the front lines of the Church’s life; for them the Church is the animating principle for human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church…” These words of Pope Pius XII tell us, in modern language, what St. Paul told us in his letter to the Romans: “For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another (Rom 12:4-5).” There is a phrase that is often expressed, even though the meaning of the phrase is not

epoch and in every land. Consequently, may every opportunity be given them so that, according to their abilities and the needs of the times, they may zealously participate in the saving work of the Church (Lumen Gentium #33).” The mandate and exhortation given to lay people who share in the common priesthood is no small matter, and it is a mandate that is unique to the laity. Lay people regularly go places that the ordained priests do not go; lay people interact with non-churchgoers who can never receive instruction or spiritual nourishment from the ordained priests. The role of the layperson is invaluable! Every baptized Christian has a mandate to proclaim and live out the good news message of Jesus Christ. The sanctuary of the ordained priest is there around the sacrificial altar, whereas the sanctuary of the

baptismal priesthood is, so to speak, the secular arena where people work, socialize and recreate. These two participations in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ dovetail together, and work in tandem towards the beautiful goal of salvation. Holiness consists in the carrying out of one’s duties, according to one’s state in life. For a time after Vatican II, it was thought that a person can be “more holy” or “more Catholic” by serving as an extraordinary minister. “Extraordinary,” from the Latin, simply means the “not ordinary” minister. Ordinary ministers of the sacraments are those with holy orders, except for the sacrament of marriage. Holiness, for those living out their common priesthood, consists in carrying out and living out Jesus’ message, in the secular arena, where the ordained priests are less effective.

December Liturgical Calendar 1 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 26:1-6/Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178) 2 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 29:17-24/Mt 9:27-31 (179) 3 | Sat | Saint Francis Xavier, Priest | white | Memorial | Is 30:19-21, 23-26/ Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8 (180) 4 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet Is 11:1-10/Rom 15:49/Mt 3:1-12 (4) Pss II 5 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 35:1-10/Lk 5:17-26 (181) 6 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Nicholas, Bishop] Is 40:111/Mt 18:12-14 (182) 7 | Wed | Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 40:25-31/Mt 11:28-30 (183) 8 | Thu | THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE | white | BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Patronal Feastday of the United States of America) Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38 (689) Pss Prop

9 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet/white [Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin] Is 48:17-19/Mt 11:1619 (185)

16 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 56:1-3a, 6-8/Jn 5:33-36 (191)

10 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Mt 17:9a, 10-13 (186)

18 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet Is 7:10-14/Rom 1:1-7/ Mt 1:18-24 (10) Pss IV

11 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet or rose Is 35:1-6a, 10/Jas 5:7-10/Mt 11:2-11 (7) Pss III 12 | Mon | USA: Our Lady of Guadalupe | white | Feast | Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/ Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47 (690A), or any readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses (vol. IV), the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707712 Pss Prop 13 | Tue | Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Zep 3:1-2, 9-13/Mt 21:28-32 (188) 14 | Wed | Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 45:6b-8, 18, 21b25/Lk 7:18b-23 (189) 15 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 54:1-10/Lk 7:24-30 (190)

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

19 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195) 20 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 7:10-14/Lk 1:26-38 (196) 21 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:14-18a/Lk 1:39-45 (197) 22 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | 1 Sm 1:24-28/Lk 1:46-56 (198) 23 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint John of Kanty, Priest] Mal 3:14, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66 (199) 24 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/ Lk 1:67-79 (200) 25 | SUN | THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (Christmas) | white | Solemnity | Vigil: Is 62:1-5/Acts 13:16-17, 22-25/

Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25 (13) | Night: Is 9:1-6/Ti 2:11-14/Lk 2:1-14 (14) | Dawn: Is 62:11-12/Ti 3:4-7/Lk 2:15-20 (15) | Day: Is 52:7-10/Heb 1:1-6/Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14 (16) Pss Prop 26 | Mon | Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | Feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop 27 | Tue | Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist | white | Feast | 1 Jn 1:1-4/ Jn 20:1a, 2-8 (697) Pss Prop 28 | Wed | The Holy Innocents, Martyrs | red | Feast | 1 Jn 1:5—2:2/ Mt 2:13-18 (698) Pss Prop 29 | Thu | Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr] 1 Jn 2:3-11/Lk 2:22-35 (202) Pss Prop 30 | Fri | The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph | white | Feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17/ Mt 2:13-15, 19-23 (17) Pss Prop 31 | Sat | Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Sylvester I, Pope] 1 Jn 2:18-21/Jn 1:1-18 (204) Pss Prop

December 2016 |  South Texas Catholic  33


fully understood, and it goes something like this: “In the spirit of Vatican II.” The phrase “in the spirit of Vatican II” is used—many times—to promote an egalitarian church model, which blurs the difference between the ordained priesthood (i.e., priests who lead sacramental worship) and the common priesthood (i.e., lay people who participate in the sacraments). “The Spirit of Vatican II” did not promote an egalitarian church model, as some suggest, rather, Vatican II promoted a healthy approach to serving God, in varied, diverse, and HOLY ways. God the Holy Spirit speaks as authoritatively to us in ecumenical church councils, as he does in the divinely inspired words of the Bible. The Holy Spirit tells us in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, “Upon all the laity, therefore, rests the noble duty of working to extend the divine plan of salvation to all men of each



Holy Hour First Thursday of the Month

Dec. 1 from 5-6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church (422 North Alameda Street) in Corpus Christi. For more information visit


St. Anthony’s Holy Hour for Vocations

Dec. 1 from 7-8 p.m. join St. Anthony of Padua Church (204 Dunne St.) in Robstown every first Thursday of the month to pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.



6 9

Advent Day of Reflection “Waiting With Mary”

Dec. 4 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Schoenstatt Center (4343 Gaines Street) in Corpus Christi. The Schoenstatt Mothers of the Diocese of Corpus Christi invite all women to an Advent Day of Recollection, “Waiting With Mary,” Registration Fee is $5 and Lunch is $7. There will be door prizes and entertainment. For more information call Ana De La Rosa at (361) 992-9841.

Tuesday Tea with the Saints

Dec. 6 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, you are still welcome.

Bible Study at St. Patrick Church Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27 and 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.

Spiritual Exercises Retreat for Men at OLCC

Begins Friday, Dec. 9 at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday, Dec. 11, at 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). A weekend to go into a deeper relationship with the Lord through

34  South Texas Catholic | December 2016

the power of prayer and silence. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

16 Tough Retreat

From Friday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. -Sunday, Dec. 18, at 5 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. TOUGH is a weekend retreat for both boys and girls in high school in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. For more information go to

10 A Time for Couples

Dec. 10 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center located on 4343 Gaines St. (behind Seaside Cemetary) in Corpus Christi. Refreshments 9:30 a.m. Talk by Schoenstatt Father Gerold Langsch followed by confession, rosary and discussion. Call Roseanne Norman (361) 991-7653.


del mes tendremos 10 Sábado Nocturnal Adoration

Dec. 10 and every 2nd Saturday/ Sábado del mes tendremos Nocturnal Adoration empezando con la misa a las 8 de la noche y terminando a las 5 de la mañana. Beginning with Mass at 8 p.m. and ending with Benediction at 5 a.m. For more information go to

10 Retirement Fund for Religious On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10-11. Please give generously at your parish.

Begins Friday, Dec. 16. at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday, Dec. 18. at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Discover the ways people block God’s grace in their lives and remove obstacles that prevent them from growing in their prayer life. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

17 Natural Family Planning Class

Dec. 17 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

10 Diocesan Marriage Preparation Dec. 10–11, begins at 7:30 a.m. at the 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

Healing Retreat at OLCC


Grounded In Truth at Cafe Veritas-OLCC

Dec. 17, and every third Saturday of the month beginning with adoration at 7 p.m. in Our Lady of Corpus Christi Perpetual Adoration Chapel (1200 Lantana), 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.

Marriage Encounter 11 Vocation Discernment Group 22 Worldwide Weekend Application Deadline Dec. 11 from 2-4 p.m. at Mount Thabor Convent, 12940 Leopard St. in Corpus Christi. Women (ages 17-35) will meet sisters from different communities in the diocese.

12 Advent Afternoon Reflection

Dec 12. 1-3 p.m. at St. John Paul II High School. The Annual Advent Afternoon Reflection for Catholic school teachers, parish catechists, and parish catechetical leaders. This retreat fulfills the retreat requirement for commissioning.

Deadline to register for the Feb. 24-26, 2017 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is Dec. 22. Go to for more information or call (361) 851-8306.

To see more calendar events go to: Click on Calendar

December 2016 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191

Save the Date Jan. 26, 2017 Bishop Michael Mulvey invites you to

A Celebration of Catholic Schools Solomon P. Ortiz International Center 5:30-8:30PM

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbott is not only the wife of the governor of Texas; she has been a teacher, vice-principal and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas.

Diocese of Corpus Christi

let them shine

Proceeds will go towards Diocesan Tuition Assistance and the Catholic School Endowment in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.