SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
W W W . S O U T H T E X A S C A T H O L I C . C O M â€¢ M A Y 2 0 17
2â€‚ South Texas Catholic | May 2017
VOL. 52 NO. 5
Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD
Students at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School competed in the Destination Imagination state meet with a project funded by a mini grant their teacher won at the recent Celebration of Catholic Schools gala. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic
Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas ACardenas@diocesecc.org Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. BNguyen@diocesecc.org Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org Adel Rivera ARivera@diocesecc.org Madelyn Calvert MCalvert@diocesecc.org Correspondents Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Jessica Morrison, Luisa Scolari, Beth Wilson, Dayna Mazzei Worchel
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10 The Transitional
Housing for Men, part of the Mother Teresa Shelter, offers more than a shelter. It provides the tools and resources that bring about independence and improved self-esteem. From there, it leads to self-sufficiency and a permanent place to call home. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
NATIONAL NEWS 4 VIEWPOINTS 21 Pro-life, religious freedom leaders Thanks to all mothers for the small things you do with great love
VOCATIONS 6 Do not say, ‘He is too young’
cheer confirmation of Justice Gorsuch
VATICAN 27 Pope Francis: Stop using the word
‘illegal’ as a synonym for ‘immigrant’
CATÓLICA 13 VIDA Esfuerzo de V Encuentro se lleva
FAITH 29 OUR Healing the loss of a loved one
19 Sacred Heart CDA council
31CALENDAR Events in the diocese of Corpus Christi
a las parroquias
celebrates silver jubilee
May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 3
Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Thanks to all mothers for the small things you do with great love Bishop Michael Mulvey
South Texas Catholic
he month of May directs our attention to our mothers, our natural mothers and to Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church. This article gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own mother and the gift that mothers are to their children. On a wall at home, I have a gallery of photos of my family—my great-grandparents, both sets of grandparents, my mother and father, my siblings and others. The most striking photographs in that gallery are the ones of my mother as a one-year-old child and another as a teenager. There is also a wonderful photo of my parents sitting on the lawn before they married, obviously filled with love for one another and no doubt with great hopes for the future. One of my favorites is my mom and dad in front of my dad’s house with his mother in the background with one hand on her hip watching them. I have always speculated what my grandmother was thinking. I can guess what she thought of my father…but my mother as her son’s future wife? But the photo of my one-year-old mother is the one that catches my attention. She is dressed in a white gown and an Easter bonnet that appears to be bigger than her head. Her left hand is raised up grabbing the bonnet
which makes me wonder if she is following the prompting of my grandmother in the background or if she is trying to pull it off as an annoying hindrance to her play time. Who knows? What makes the photo so enthralling, however, is the beautiful smile of the one-year-old future wife and mother of six children. The family treasure of that photo seems to awaken in me a reflection on the journey of her life. As an innocent (and I must say “cute” baby girl) she had no idea of what was ahead of her over the next 90 years. Many cherished memories surrounding her life and the life of our family come to mind as I contemplate her baby picture. The efforts she put forth for family gatherings at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving; the vacations and fun times we shared together on the weekends at the ranch; my parents efforts in raising six children; her personal trials in the course of life; her 30 years as a widow; and of course the struggles of growing old. Each day I cannot help but pass that picture of my mother as a baby and stop for a moment of grateful prayer for her as my mother. On a recent “viewing” the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta came to mind: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ St. Teresa of Calcutta 4 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
care of her in her advanced years. Every Mother’s Day, all of us have the opportunity to express the most meaningful words to our beloved mothers—THANK YOU! Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. You are the treasure for your family. You are a true gift to the Church. During this month in which we give special attention to Mary, the mother of Jesus, we cannot help but be grateful to each of you
as well. As I see Mary at the heart of the Family of Nazareth and recall the events of her life written in the Gospels, I cannot help but understand the indispensable heroine she was in her family. Her heroic virtues are yours, our mothers; your vocation as our mothers is irreplaceable. Thank you, over and again. Thank you above all for the small things you do with great love.
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• Kingsville man welds ramp for 96-year-old • Live Stations-of-the-Cross • Robstown parish, mission reach out to inmates at detention center with Easter messages • Religious sisters, youth celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week in Alice parish • St. Michael the Archangel youth perform community service during Spring Break
• Chrism Mass opens Holy Week celebrations
• IWA Mission Team committed to serving others
• Representatives of the Easter Sunrise Passion Play attend Proclamation Reading
• Health Careers Club visits Driscoll Children’s Hospital
• Corpus Christi joins other dioceses in Texas to promote Advocacy Day: Faith in Action • Bishop names director of Family, Life Office
• Golf tournament raises funds for school • Winners of the 2016-2017 Diocesan Science Fair • Classes participate in Reader’s Theater
May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 5
Yes, that is what my mother revealed in her life—small things, but done with love. And that smile! That smile is the hallmark of her personality and it was present until the end. The one-year-old “cute” baby girl was the same person who gave us the gift of life, who fed us, played with us, educated us, watched over us, corrected us, encouraged us, stood by us as we matured and found our way in life and let us take
Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Do not say, ‘He is too young’ Father Joseph Lopez
t has been estimated that anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of inbound college freshmen have yet to declare their majors. Regardless of the number, far too many teenaged men and women are indecisive when thinking about the future. This is true in discernment, too. Indecisiveness and fear lead far too many young people into perpetual discernment, with the idea that the biggest questions in life will be answered “later.” This advice has frequently been given to young people discerning the priesthood or religious life: “You should get a few years in college or a job under your belt before making such a decision.” Unfortunately, this advice can actually be harmful. It is true that many priests and religious took a path through secular college on the way to their vocations, and there are definitely circumstances when a person may want to go to college or work for a few years while discerning a vocation. However, this advice should not be given lightly. There are some reasons to be cautious. Secular college is often a poor environment for discernment. It would be unfair to say that there are not lots of good students on secular campuses who love Jesus and want to do his will, but it would also be incorrect to say that the campus culture at most secular institutions does not provide a multitude of occasions for sin. “The culture that we live in is not really supportive of vocations,” Bishop Paul S. Loverde said. “If you want a seed to grow, you give it all the ingredients it needs. If you want the flame of a candle to keep burning, you don’t put it in the midst of a hurricane.” In other words, do not allow the flicker of a call to be extinguished by today’s culture. There is no such thing as “getting it out of 6 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
your system.” So many discerners have been told by well-intentioned people that they “need to experience real life” before they consider seminary or religious life. Not so fast! What this really means is, “go sin a bit before you aren’t allowed to.” But sin only leads to sin. It is impossible to reach virtue through vice. Besides, one does not encourage a person he cares for to imperil his soul. Another reason for caution is that one cannot discern without the Church. Of course it is possible to discern one’s vocation in any number of circumstances. But taking a decisive step and entering formation will give a discerner the best structure of support available in the Church— the Sacraments, prayer and spiritual direction along with great social encouragement. Someone who is not called to a priestly or religious vocation can easily discern out with certainty and move on with his education, career and dating life with peace, knowledge and a better understanding of his faith. Formal discernment is difficult. If a young person attends seminary or religious formation and has success there, even if he discerns out, he is the better for it. He will learn discipline and accountability. He will have a strong work ethic, a better prayer life and receive many of the tools needed to succeed in college, enter the workforce and become a successful spouse and parent. Life on a college campus can so easily encourage bad habits and distract a young person from hearing God’s call. If a discerner is serious about seminary or religious life, do not dissuade him from taking the next step. Even if he is called to a different vocation, with a year or two in seminary or religious formation under his belt, the odds are good that he will be successful in his vocation, regardless of what it is.
Like in mathematics, there is only one right answer in religious life…
Say, ‘yes’ to God
Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic
n her teens Sister Claudia Ongpin, OP vowed she would never become a religious and, most definitely never a Dominican sister. As her life unfolded, however, she realized God had other plans. She was a liberation baby born just after World War II, she was the eldest of four and she was the only girl. Born in Manila, Philippines on June 9, 1945 to Gilberto and Claudia Ongpin, she attended Catholic schools from first grade through high school and her parents saw to it that she attended Mass daily. At the age of 15 she attended Colegio de Jesús-María, now called the Dominican College. Her father, a gentle caring man, wanted Sister Claudia Ongpin, OP all his children to be educated. He often said, “I don’t have millions to leave you, but that certificate will get you what you taught math and religion and began taking need in life.” As a result, Claudia and her classes to get her master’s degree. She, however, ended up defending her thesis and brothers all graduated from college. When she was attending college, Clau- completing her master’s in the convent. As she looks back now, the idea of dia discovered her first love—mathematics. becoming a religious had first occurred Her professors tried to steer her toward to her during the third year of high school, a career teaching English, but her heart but changed when a teacher had touched and mind was made up, and she received a nerve, dissuading her from wanting to a bachelor’s degree in mathematics educabecome a sister. tion. “I love math, because there is only “The teacher was speaking about the difone correct answer—and that’s it,” she ferent stages of life, married life, religious said. life and single blessedness,” Sister Claudia She graduated college at the age of 19 recalls. “The teacher said, ‘I know most and was invited to teach as a layperson of you will be getting married, but I’m at the high school she had attended. She
sure the Lord will be calling one of you. I wonder which one of you will be called by the Lord?’ In unison, all the students said, ‘Claudia,’ but my teacher said, ‘oh Claudia no, she can’t be’.” It was enough to make her feel unworthy and rebellious at the same time. “I thought to myself, ‘who says I even want to be’,” Sister Claudia said. During her third year of teaching, the superior of the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic often sent one of the teaching sisters to ask her when she was going to join them and she would say, “look sister, I don’t want to be a religious and if ever I mistake becoming one… I think I don’t want to become a Dominican.” One day, two of her friends announced that they were joining the convent. “I was very upset with them. They were close and I wouldn’t talk to them for a short while,” she said. “They were good friends.” Her heart softened at a faculty retreat organized by the sisters in the school. “I must have been touched by the Lord, because I decided to talk to a priest at the retreat. I was feeling the desire to become a sister, but I didn’t know if I could be one.” For a reason she cannot herself pinpoint today, she decided to join the Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic. Her friends did not. A mathematician at heart, Sister Claudia knew she had made the right decision, May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 7
because her life began to fall into place. Like math, her decision had only one correct answer, and that answer was “yes”. She entered in 1969 and made her first profession on Jan. 1, 1972. This year, Sister Claudia is celebrating 45 years as a Religious Missionary of St. Dominic-Spanish Province. Sister Claudia was 40-years-old when she was assigned to the United States in June 1985. Being well educated, she had no problem getting a visa and her first assignment was at St. John Newman Parish in Laredo, then in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. She was Director of Religious Education and taught classes to adults for the Pastoral Institute. In July 1987, she was assigned as northern area coordinator in charge of the Directors of Religious Education for all the parishes in the northern region of the diocese. They met regularly in Beeville, Tivoli and Sinton. She went to Oxnard, California in 1988 in the Diocese of Los Angeles and was DRE and Youth Minister. “I loved it! I have always been blessed with a great staff and never had any problems adjusting. When I get to a place–I’d think, I am home. That’s a gift God has given me,” Sister Claudia said. “I’m a team worker. I would assign coordinators and I trusted them. I was successful, because they were good.” In 1991, she became principal at St. Joseph in Beeville, which closed down some years later. She served as principal four years and was blessed with a good group of parents from the Parent, Teacher Organization and the school board. “I always was well supported by the diocese,” she said. In 1995, she was sent to Rome to serve as Council Superior for her congregation, to plan ongoing formation and to make sure the life of the congregation was as it should be. She stayed until 2001. They were difficult years for her. She had more time to pray and exercise, but she missed working with people in parishes and schools. Upon her return to the United States in 2001, she spent three months in California and then came back to the Diocese of Corpus Christi to live in the convent at St. Joseph in Alice and teach at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice. She was again Director of Religious Education and taught religion for 10 years. She was reassigned back to teach in Oxnard and Santa Paula, California in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but returned to the Diocese of Corpus Christi in 2016 to become a Delegation Superior for Texas and California.
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May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 9
✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
Fall in garden brought new beginning Beth Wilson Correspondent
An early morning accident in the garden knocked Gary Meiser off the ladder last spring. “I watered early, and that was a mistake,” he said, recalling his tragedy of Feb. 23, 2016. “The floor got real slick. The ladder slipped. I went down and that was it.” With a broken hip and a shattered femur, the 70-year-old had a long road to recovery. He could not keep working growing exotic plants, peppers and vegetables at a farm between Gregory and Taft. He had no family to take him in. While recovering at the hospital, he heard about Transitional Housing for Men, a part of Mother Teresa Shelter. He checked it out, liked it and applied. He said he was “graciously accepted,” and has been working his way back to health and into a home for the last year. Meiser came in using a walker, then a cane and now he walks unassisted, which he credits to the long walks he took with his new friends at the housing center. “When he came to us he was very frail, very pale,” Senior Case Manager Kenia Dimas said. “It was painful for him to walk; we could tell.” As his health improved, he began a job search, a tough feat at any age, and even harder at 70. The Vietnam veteran now works in the laundry at the nearby
10 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
Gary Meiser Mother Teresa Shelter. “The sisters there, they are like family,” he said. “I couldn’t praise them enough.” Meiser moved to Texas in 1996 to be near his wife’s family. His wife died of cancer last year at 56. Before coming to Texas, Meiser had a career in advertising photography in Oregon. He still takes beautiful pictures, many of them of his plants. He had been involved in the International Palm Society and began working with some folks in South Texas growing exotic palms, bamboo, peppers and a large organic vegetable garden. “I’ve got a whole new beginning,” Meiser said. “My accident brought me a whole new life. It may be at the end of my life, but it brought me here.” Meiser is passing on the positive direction he has received from the housing center and shelter, talking with some of the younger people he sees at the shelter. “I try and give them motivation, tell them to never give up.” He has formed a close friendship with another housing center resident, Michael Anthony Dewar, a gentle giant of a man, who spent his life driving trucks. Originally from Jamaica, he has been studying for his naturalization test. The two will soon drive to San Antonio together for test day.
he Transitional Housing for Men, part of the Mother Teresa Shelter, offers more than a shelter. It provides the tools and resources that bring about independence and improved self-esteem. From there, it leads to self-sufficiency and a permanent place to call home. Located at 1605 Mestina, near Corpus Christi City Hall and the Crosstown Expressway, the housing center—which opened in 2012—has a capacity for 24 men. It currently has 16 residents, said Senior Case Manager Kenia Dimas. Dimas says the screening process is designed to make sure the men are ready for the program that is central to the housing center. “We are looking for people to be willing and have that commitment to do something different, to have that outcome, to be open to guidance and to our rules,” she said. A typical day at the center is fairly quiet, with most of the men out working or receiving care or services offsite. But the kitchen and break room take on a family vibe during the evening meal. One of the men has a glass of sun tea he had setting on the back steps most of the day. Residents pay $400 monthly, which includes all their meals and laundry and hygiene supplies. They have their own bedrooms, simply furnished; a colorful comforter covering the twin-sized bed with a cross at the headboard; and a small dresser, with a welcome basket of supplies, such as shower shoes, deodorant and laundry detergent.
†† NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
nal Housing more than shelter There are six pods of four bedrooms. Each pod has a common area with tables, mostly used for dominoes, and a television. The TVs become fan territory during football season, Dimas said, with the most popular games featured throughout the facility. Each resident comes in with their own barriers, Dimas explained. What they receive at the housing center is based on those hurdles. The program operates along the “continuum of care” followed by many organizations that assist the homeless. It falls between the stages of linking services and providing housing, Dimas said. It is set up to move the homeless to a home in two years, taking them through several stages, including admission; an adjustment phase, where barriers are identified; a period where barriers are prioritized and overcome; a period of savings and budgeting; a stability phase; and finally, a transition phase in which housing to meet their needs is located. Change can be scary, Dimas said, and some of the men are not ready to take the chances that come with it. But each person seen at the center receives links to resources and a bit of hope, she said. Many of them will return to independent living when they are ready. “We are a judge-free zone,” she said. “We aren’t here to force anyone to do anything. We are here to help them and when they are ready, we are here.” Helping can easily seem overwhelming, but Dimas takes to heart the words of Mother Teresa, to simply help one person
Senior Case Manager Kenia Dimas introduces Michael Anthony Dewar at the Transitional Housing for Men. Dewar, originally from Jamaica has lived in the United States for over 20 years. He will be taking the test to become a naturalized citizen. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 11
✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
at a time. She said that it is the men themselves who are doing the hardest work, the work of improving themselves. “I feel very blessed that God has entrusted their lives to me,” Dimas said. “I’m going to make the best of each one as I can. I always want to give the opportunity. What you do with it is your responsibility. It’s my responsibility to offer it. I get very blessed, like a proud mother, when they do see their ability to do better and experience success.” The center offers volunteer opportunities, and anyone interested can call (361) 904-0377 to see if they have any immediate needs. The housing center also welcomes donations of linens, groceries, hygiene and laundry supplies and kitchen items such as pots and pans. To learn more about the center, visit motherteresashelter.org/transitional-housing-for-men.
William LeClair, at right, with the house staff at the Transitional Housing for Men, offers support to Gary Meiser. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
Michael Anthony Dewar washes his dishes after eating supper. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
The Mother Teresa Transitional Housing for Men has been graciously Adopted By the
PAZERA FAMILY FOUNDATION
Gary Meiser on his iPad shows photos he took of exotic plants, peppers and vegetables he grew at a farm between Gregory and Taft. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
12 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
l desarrollo de el V (Quinto) Encuentro continua en la diócesis de Corpus Christi. Durante las ultimas semanas, el Padre Julián Cabrera tuvo juntas en varias partes de la diócesis con la intención de organizar equipos en el nivel de parroquias. El V Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Hispana es un proceso de reflexión y acción eclesial de cuatro años que invita a todos los Católicos en los Estados Unidos a una inmensa
actividad misionera, consulta, desarrollo de liderazgo y identificación de buenas practicas ministeriales en el espíritu de la nueva evangelización. El proceso ha sido propuesto como una actividad prioritaria del plan estratégico del 2017 al 2020, que inicia al nivel de la base y promueve el desarrollo de recursos y iniciativas que mejor sirvan a la creciente población hispana en las diócesis, parroquias, movimientos eclesiales y otras organizaciones y instituciones católicas a la luz de su tema, “Discípulos Misioneros:
El Padre Julián Cabrera se dirige a los participantes en una junta en Beeville donde se discutió la organización de equipos parroquiales para el V Encuentro. Las tres parroquias de Beeville tienen equipos organizados. Foto contribuido May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 13
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
Esfuerzo de V Encuentro se lleva a las parroquias
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
Testigos del amor de Dios.” Con el motivo de continuar con el proceso de evangelización y consulta, el Padre Cabrera, junto con el equipo diocesano, visitaron en las parroquias de Our Lady of Victory en Beeville el 27 de Marzo, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Alice el 3 de Abril y Holy Family en Corpus Christi el 4 de Abril. En la primera junta se reunieron parroquias en los decanatos de Beeville y Refugio; en Alice las parroquias de Alice y Kingsville; y en Holy Family las parroquias de el decanato en el oeste de Corpus Christi. El Padre Cabreara dijo que hubo una gran participación en Beeville donde 35 fieles participaron. Las tres parroquias de Beeville, St. James, Our Lady of Victory y St. Joseph igual como una parroquia de Refugio, han organizado equipos. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Alice y Our Lady of the Sea en Corpus Christi también tienen equipos para desarrollar el V Encuentro. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe tiene equipos en español y en ingles. “Si su parroquia todavía no a organizado un equipo, por favor de pedirle a sus pastor que llame una junta para discutir este propósito,” el Padre Cabrera dijo. El primer principio de los cinco objetivos de el V Encuentro, incluye llamar a todos los católicos en los Estados Unidos a ser misioneros auténticos y alegres, testigos del amor de Dios con una voz profética en una iglesia culturalmente diversa. El segundo es
14 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
proporcionar una visión eclesial renovada que desarrolle vías eficaces para invitar, acompañar y formar jóvenes hispanos católicos y a sus familias a vivir su vocación bautismal. El tercero es invitar a todos los lideres católicos a encontrar y acompañar a hispanos católicos que se encuentran en las periferias de la Iglesia y de la sociedad, en especial a los que viven en situaciones de riesgo y que no están involucrados activamente en su comunidad de fe. El cuarto principio es identificar y promover oportunidades para los lideres pastorales católicos hispanos para servir en todos los niveles ministeriales de la Iglesia y la sociedad en general y aumentar el numero de protagonistas de la Nueva Evangelización. Por fin, el quinto principio es estimular una nueva ola de formación en la fe y de las iniciativas de desarrollo de liderazgo que preparan a los católicos hispanos para compartir y celebrar la Buena Nueva de Jesucristo y llegar a ser fermento del Reino de Dios en la sociedad.
Participantes de el V Encuentro en Beeville discutan temas para seguir con la tarea en las parroquias. Foto contribuido
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
La comunidad hispana, y por supuesto todo los católicos sin referencia a raza, están invitados a participar en este encuentro. Los equipos son organizado en forma bilingüe y el proceso trabaja con cualquier grupo, el Padre Cabrera dijo. Se tiene como meta discernir como la Iglesia Católica de los Estados Unidos puede responder de la mejor manera a los hispanos para que puedan responder como discípulos misioneros al llamado de la Nueva Evangelización. Durante enero a junio de este ano el proceso de evangelización y consulta continuara. Durante julio a diciembre se desollaran encuentros parroquiales. En el próximo ano de se celebrara encuentros regionales episcopales con el fin de una reunión nacional el 20-23 de septiembre 2018 en Grapevine Texas. En tal celebración del evento del V Encuentro se espera que 3,000 delegados de varios diócesis y de otras organizaciones católicas participaran. Creación de la Oficina Nacional para asuntos Hispanos en 1972 fue el resultado de el primer Encuentro. Resultados de el segundo Encuentro en 1975 fue la creación de ocho oficinas regionales para asuntos Hispanos. Después de el tercero Encuentro se organizo el Comité de Asuntos Hispanos como parte de la Conferencia de los Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos. También se promulgo el Plan Pastoral Nacional para el ministerio Hispano, dando luz verde y una visión clara a las diócesis y parroquias para responder a la creciente presencia hispana en los Estados Unidos. Por final, el resultado de el cuarto Encuentro fue el ayudo a la Iglesia en los Estados Unidos a reconocer y apreciar su diversidad
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cultural a través de una experiencia de hospitalidad transformadora y un “nuevo Pentecostés” El primer Encuentro Nacional de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana en 2005-06 abrió nuevos caminos pastorales en el ministerio hacia y con la juventud hispana. Continuando con el proceso de evangelización y consulta, el Padre Cabrera siguera ofreciendo sesiones informativas para conformar el equipo parroquial que ha de representar a su parroquia en el encuentro diocesano. Si algunas personas están interesadas en participar o recibir mas información, no duden en llamar a la Oficina del Ministerio Hispano con la señora Elda Olvera en el (361) 660-6225.
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
con el P. Julian Cabrera y Gloria Romero
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 condencialmente 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 May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 15
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Students’ creativity gets them to Destination Imagination competition Rebecca Esparza
ustin Frazier started making random things from everyday household items when he was in first grade. The 13-year-old seventh grader at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School now focuses his creativity toward higher endeavors, like representing his school and the Diocese of Corpus Christi at a state competition. Three students from Bishop Garriga: Austin Frazier, Sophia Talbott and Nicolas Urbina advanced to state competition in Lubbock with Destination Imagination. Destination Imagination, is an educational non-profit specializing in affordable, project-based learning opportunities that teach students 21st century skills. The local team advanced to the state meet after placing first in the regional tournament held in Corpus Christi in March. Although the Bishop Garriga team did not advance to the global competition, the team already has its sights on next year. “It was awesome,” Austin said. “I was definitely nervous and as soon as it was over, it was a huge relief. I never expected us to get as far as we did in the competition.” His mother, Nieves Frazier, who is also 16 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
Austin Frazier and Nicolas Urbina work on an element of their Destination Imagination project, a mock television camera made from recycled materials. All students in the competition must build their projects using less than $150 in materials. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic
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the Destination Imagination team manager for both Bishop Garriga and St. John Paul II High School, said the diocese’s focus on STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) is an excellent way to encourage students to expand their creative thinking skills. “The children do everything for themselves,” she said. “They have a budget of $150 to build their project. They write their own scripts, build their projects. They even wrote a song with lyrics…Parents are even required to sign a ‘Declaration of Independence’ that states all research, ideas and solutions are the children’s own.” Since 1999, the non-profit Destination Imagination has impacted more than 1.5 million participants. Today, more than 150,000 students participate in the program each year, with the support of more than 38,000 volunteers worldwide. Christina Shaffer, the communications coordinator for New Jersey-based Destination Imagination,
said although it is not common for a first-time team to advance to state, it does happen. “Some have even advanced to Global Finals, which is extremely difficult for teams in states such as Texas, where there are more than 3,500 Destination Imagination teams,” Shaffer said. Each challenge has several components: engineering, fine arts, a service project, theatrical and technical aspect. They also have to solve an international problem between two countries. The presentation is limited to just eight minutes. The team had to build a structure that weighed less than 50 grams, was up to 9.5 inches and could hold weight. Finally, they had to incorporate this structure into the solving of an international issue. The team chose to create a bridge between Mexico and the United States, which each country would pay half, Nieves Frazier explained. “Our students represented both President Donald Trump in the White House and President Enrique
Bishop Garriga students Austin Frazier, Sophia Talbott and Nicolas Urbina reconstruct part of their Destination Imagination project, a replica of the Statue of Liberty. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic
May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 17
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Several teams from St. John Paul II High School also competed in the Destination Imagination regionals in March, including (sitting) Hannah Chapa, Sarah LeeSang and Javier Castillo and (standing) Jonathan Ruiz, Jaz Garza, Jill Moore and Jackie Munoz.
Peña Nieto in Los Pinos. After a musical number, the two presidents came to a compromise,” she said “My goal is to have the students perform their projects for their peers at school, as well as other teachers. I hope to let other teachers throughout the diocese learn about Destination Imagination for their kids, so we have a bigger representation for the Diocese of Corpus Christi next year. That would be amazing,” the teacher said. Global firms, such as 3M, IBM and Ford Motor Company, among others, all support Destination Imagination with donations for the competitions. “They all see it as an investment for the future,” Nieves Frazier said. “They want to hire people willing Rebecca Esparza for to take risks and with high-level critical thinking skills. South Texas Catholic Destination Imagination encourages interdisciplinary skills. The jobs of tomorrow will require skilled workforce with more than one area of expertise.” Nicholas, 12, a sixth grader at Bishop Garriga and part of the team that advanced to state competition, noted it was a bit nerve-racking performing in front of complete strangers. But it was well worth the effort and hard work.
18 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
“Just making it past regionals made me happy. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to next year,” he said. Sophia, also a 12-year-old seventh grader at Bishop Garriga, added it was fun, from start to finish. “I don’t think any of us thought we would actually make it all the way up to state, but considering this is our first time, I think we did pretty well,” she said. Sophia’s mother, Celina Garcia, said “It never occurred to me that Sophie would be interested in Destination Imagination. However, once I realized how DI incorporates creativity with logic and hands-on application to solve problems I understood its appeal to her. It’s been great to see her get so enthused about creating solutions to the issues they focused on.” “When you are young, the possibilities are endless,” Nieves Frazier said. “These children don’t conform to the age old question of ‘What do you want to be when you grow up.’ We are raising children of today to be more well-rounded than ever before. We also want to raise them to think about doing things for their community, for others and for the Church. And of course, we want them to also follow their passion.”
Wednesday, March 22, marked the 25th anniversary of Our Lady of the Rivers Court 2376 of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas organization at Sacred Heart Parish in Three Rivers. The ladies were recognized at a Mass that evening, with a special blessing by their pastor, Father Ryszard “Richard” Zielinski. The Court was formed on March 22, 1992. Father Brenden Ashe led 30 charter members at that time.
A meeting followed the Mass in the fellowship hall, and was led by Regent Carmelita Moreno, who has been serving since 2015. Afterward, Sheryl Henry, who was instrumental in the formulation of the local chapter, led the group in prayer prior to celebrating their silver jubilee with a cake and ice cream social. (Photo and story contributed by Delia Soto, The Progress.)
Garriga Middle School unveils baseball, softball programs The Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School is now fielding baseball and softball teams. The teams play at the St. John Paul II Baseball Field. Bishop Michael Mulvey gave the invocation and threw out the first pitch at the inauguration of the baseball program. “This is our inaugural year and we’re
hoping for great success and great improvement in the years to come,” Delia Rosenbaum, Vice Principal of Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School said. “All the students take sports very seriously, keeping in mind the schools motto, the ‘3 G’s’ God, Grades and Game.”
Knights of Columbus host Fourth Degree ceremony Sixty-eight men, including three priests, were received into the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree at an exemplification ceremony held at St. Patrick’s Church in Corpus Christi on March 25. The men, who came from as far as Eagle
Pass and Brownsville, are part of the Fourth District of Texas, which encompasses the dioceses of Corpus Christi, Laredo and Brownsville. The exemplification was held in honor of the opening of a new assembly in the
Diocese of Corpus Christi, which will be known as the Father James Flanagan Assembly 3699. It will be based at St Patrick’s. Father Flanagan was the founder of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.
May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 19
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ro-life and religious freedom advocates cheered the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, filling an almost 14-month-long
vacancy. “As Catholics, we welcome the confirmation of a judge whose record adheres to the Constitutional right to free exercise of religion without government bullying and whose scholarship affirms the inherent dignity in all people,” Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said. President Donald Trump nominated Justice Gorsuch of the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to fill a vacancy left on the bench by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. Trump had promised on the campaign trail to nominate a pro-life judge. While refusing to directly answer if he supported the repeal of Roe v. Wade, he said in the final presidential debate in October “if that [repeal] would happen, because I am pro-life and I will be appointing pro-life justices, it [the legality of abortion] will go back to the individual states.” Pro-life leaders praised the confirmation. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said, “the swift fulfillment of President Trump’s commitment to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices is a tremendous win for the pro-life movement.” “November exit polls showed that one in five Americans prioritized the Supreme Court nomination when casting their vote, and with a majority of 57 percent of those voters casting a vote for Donald Trump, it is clear that the majority of American voters
Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Angerer, Getty Images
wanted a strict constructionist,” Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said. The Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Judge Gorsuch on April 7 after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ditched the parliamentary rules of requiring a 60-vote majority to bring confirmations of Supreme Court justices to the floor for a vote. Sen. McConnell’s predecessor, former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, had broken precedent and used the so-called “nuclear option” to confirm judges to the lower federal courts and executive branch nominees. Advocates of religious liberty said Gorsuch offers much-needed support to
freedom of religion, which is suffering from “erosion.” “A Supreme Court justice, like Judge Gorsuch, who understands and values our founding documents, and hews closely to their meaning will help ensure that all Americans can continue to prosper and that we, as Catholics, remain free in exercising our religious principles,” said Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, policy advisor with The Catholic Association. On the Supreme Court, the first religious liberty case Gorsuch heard was oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley. That case involves a church’s eligibility for a state reimbursement program as it looks to make safety upgrades to its playground, which is used by members and nonmembers of the church. Opponents say that according to the Missouri state constitutuin, churches cannot benefit from taxpayer funds in cases like this because doing so would be an unconstitutional establishment of religion. However, Trinity Lutheran Church and its lawyers are arguing that the U. S. Constitution does not require religious entities to be penalized simply because they are religious. The playground in question is for the entire community, not just members of the church, they say. Another case that the Supreme Court has not taken up yet is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, where the state’s civil rights commission ruled that a Lakewood, Colorado cake artist could not decline to serve a same-sex wedding on the grounds of his religious beliefs. The court could take up that case now that Gorsuch is confirmed. May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 21
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Pro-life, religious freedom leaders cheer confirmation of Justice Gorsuch
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Why married priests will n Mary Rezac
Catholic News Agency
n 1970, there was one priest for every 800 Catholics in the United States. Today, that number has more than doubled, with one priest for every 1,800 Catholics. Globally, the situation is worse. The number of Catholics per priest increased from 1,895 in 1980 to 3,126 in 2012, according to a report from CARA at Georgetown University. According to the P.J. Kenedy and Sons Official Catholic Directory, in 2016 the Diocese of Corpus Christi had 146 priests to minister
to 409,705 Catholics or one priest for every 2,806 Catholics. The Catholic Church in many parts of the world is experiencing what is being called a “priest shortage” or a “priest crisis.” Pope Francis answered a question about the priest shortage in a March 8 interview published in the German weekly Die Zeit. The part that made headlines, of course, was that about married priests. “Pope Francis open to allowing married priests in Catholic Church” read a USA Today headline. “Pope signals he’s open to
Credit: wideonet via Shutterstock. 22 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
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ot really fix the shortage married Catholic men becoming priests,” CNN said. But things are not as they might seem. Read a little deeper, and Pope Francis did not say that Father John Smith at the parish down the street can now ditch celibacy and go looking for a wife. What the Holy Father did say is that he is open to exploring the possibility of proven men (‘viri probati,’ in Latin) who are married being ordained to the priesthood. Currently, such men, who are typically older than 35, are eligible for ordination to the permanent diaconate, but not the priesthood. However, marriage was not the first solution to the priest shortage Pope Francis proposed. In fact, it was the last. Initially, he did not even mention marriage. Pressed specifically about the married priesthood, the pope said, “Optional celibacy is discussed, above all where priests are needed. But optional celibacy is not the solution.” While Pope Francis perhaps signals an iota more of openness to the possibility of married priests in particular situations, his hesitance to open wide the doors to a widespread married priesthood is in line with his recent predecessors, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as well as the longstanding tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. So why is the Church in the West, even when facing a significant priest shortage, so reticent to get rid of a tradition of celibacy, if it is potentially keeping away additional candidates to the priesthood?
Why is celibacy the norm in the Western Church? Father Gary Selin is a Roman Catholic priest and professor at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver. His work “Priestly Celibacy: Theological Foundations” was published last year by CUA press. While the debate about celibacy is often reduced to pragmatics— the difficulty of paying married priests more, the question of their full availability—this ignores the rich theological foundations of the celibate tradition, Father Selin said. One of the main reasons for this 2,000-year tradition is Christological, because it is based on the first celibate priest—Jesus. “Jesus Christ himself never married, and there’s something about imitating the life of our Lord in full that is very attractive,” Father Selin said. “Interestingly, Jesus is never mentioned as a reason for celibacy. The next time you read about celibacy, try to see if they mention our Lord; oftentimes he is left out of the picture.” Christ’s life of celibacy, while compatible with his mission of evangelization, would not have been compatible with marriage, because “he left his home and family in Nazareth in order to live as an itinerant preacher, consciously renouncing a permanent
dwelling: ‘The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,’” Father Selin said, referring Matthew 8:20. Several times throughout the New Testament Christ praises the celibate state. In Matthew 19:11-12, he answers a question from his disciples about marriage, saying that those who are able by grace to renounce marriage and sexual relations for the kingdom of heaven ought to do so. “Of the three manners in which one is incapable of sexual activity, the third alone is voluntary: ‘eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs.’ These people do so ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven,’ that is, for the kingdom that Jesus was proclaiming and initiating,” Father Selin said. Nevertheless, it took a while for the “culture of celibacy” to catch on in the early Church, Father Selin said. Christ came to earth amid a Jewish people and culture who were instructed since their first parents of Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply (Gn 1:28, 9:7)” and were promised that their descendants would be “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore (Gn 22:17) .” Being unmarried or barren was to be avoided for both practical and religious reasons, and was seen as a curse, or at least a lack of favor from God. The apostles, too, were Jewish men who would have been a part of this culture. It is known that among them, at least St. Peter had been married at some time, because Scripture mentions his mother-in-law (Mt 8:14-15). St. John is thought by the Church fathers to be only of the 12 apostles who was celibate. Some of the other apostles likely were married, in keeping with Jewish customs, but it is thought that they practiced perpetual continence (chosen abstinence from sexual relations) once they became apostles for the rest of their lives. St. Paul extols the celibate state, which he also kept, in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8. Because marriage was such an integral part of Jewish culture, even for the apostles, early Church clergy were often, but not always, married. However, evidence suggests that these priests were asked to practice perfect continence once they had been ordained. Priests whose wives became pregnant after ordination could be punished by suspension, Father Selin explained. Early on in the Church, bishops were selected from the celibate priests, a tradition that stood before the mandatory celibate priesthood. Even today, Eastern Rite Catholic Churches, most of which allow for married priests, select their bishops from among celibate priests. As the “culture of celibacy” became more established, it increasingly became the norm in the Church, until married men who May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 23
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applied for ordinations had to appeal to the pope for special permission. In the 11th century, St. Gregory VII issued a decree requiring all priests to be celibate and asked his bishops to enforce it. Celibacy has been the norm ever since in the Latin Rite, with special exceptions made for some Anglican and other Protestant pastors who convert to Catholicism.
A sign of the kingdom Another reason the celibate priesthood is valued in the Church is because it bears witness to something greater than this world, Father Selin explained. Pope Benedict XVI once told priests that celibacy agitates the world so much because it is a sign of the kingdom to come. “It is true that for the agnostic world, the world in which God does not enter, celibacy is a great scandal, because it shows exactly that God is considered and experienced as reality. With the eschatological dimension of celibacy, the future world of God enters into the reality of our time. And should this disappear?” Pope Benedict XVI said in 2010. Christ himself said that no one would be married or given in marriage in heaven, and therefore celibacy is a sign of the beatific vision (cf. Mt 22:30-32†). “Married life will pass away when we behold God face-to-face and all of us become part of the bridal Church,” Father Selin said. “The celibate is more of a direct symbol of that.” Another value of celibacy is that it allows priests a greater intimacy with Christ in more fully imitating him, Father Selin noted. “The priest is ordained to be Jesus for others, so he’s able to dedicate his whole body and soul first of all to God himself, and from that unity with Jesus he is able to serve the Church. We can’t get that backwards,” he said. Often, celibacy is presented for practical reasons of money and time, which are not sufficient reasons to maintain the tradition. “That’s not sufficient and that doesn’t fill the heart of a celibate, because he first wants intimacy with God. Celibacy first is a great, profound intimacy with Christ.”
A married priest’s perspective: Do not change celibate priesthood Father Douglas Grandon is one of those rare exceptions—a married Roman Catholic priest. He was a married Episcopalian priest when he and his family decided to enter the Catholic Church 14 years ago, and received permission from Pope Benedict XVI to become a Catholic priest. Even though Father Grandon recognizes the priest shortage, he said opening the doors to the married priesthood would not solve the root issue of that shortage. “In my opinion, the key to solving the priest shortage is more commitment to what George Weigel calls evangelical Catholicism,” Father Grandon said. “Whether you’re Protestant or Catholic, vocations come from a very strong commitment to the basic commands of Jesus to preach the Gospel and make disciples. Wherever 24 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
there’s this strong evangelical commitment, wherever priests are committed to deepening people’s faith and making them serious disciples, you have vocations. That is really the key.” He also said that while he is “ever so grateful” that St. John Paul II allowed for exceptions to the celibate priesthood in 1980—allowing Protestant pastor converts like himself to become priests—he also sees the value of the celibate priesthood and does not advocate getting rid of it. He said “...we really do believe the celibate vocation is a wonderful thing to be treasured, and we don’t want anything to undermine that special place of celibate priesthood.” Father Joshua J. Whitfield is another married priest, who resides in Dallas and is a columnist for The Dallas Morning News. He recently wrote about his experience as a married priest, but also said that he would not want the Church to change its celibacy norm. “What we need is another Pentecost. That’s how the first ‘shortage’ was handled. The Twelve waited for the Holy Spirit, and he delivered,” Father Whitfield said. “Seeing this crisis spiritually is what is practical…I’m simply not convinced that the economics of (married priesthood) would result in either the growth of clergy or the Church.”
A glance at what the priest shortage looks like in the United States The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest diocese in the United States, clocking in at a Catholic population of 4,029,336, according to the Official Catholic Directory. With 1,051 diocesan and religious priests combined, the archdiocese has one priest for every 3,833 Catholics—more than double the national rate. Despite the large Catholic population, which presents both “a great blessing and a great challenge”, Father Samuel Ward, the archdiocese’s associate director of vocations, said he does not hope for or anticipate any major changes to the practice of priestly celibacy. He also sees great reason for hope. Recent upticks in the number of seminarians and young men considering the priesthood seems to be building positive momentum for vocations in future generations. The trend is a national one as well—CARA reports that about 100 more men were ordained to the priesthood in 2016 than in 2010. Between 2005 and 2010, there was a difference of only four. In the Archdiocese of New York, the second largest diocese in the United States, there is a Catholic population of 2,642,740 and 1,198 diocesan and religious priests, meaning there is one priest for every 2,205 Catholics. “I think we’re probably like most every other diocese in the country, in that over the past 40 to 50 years, the number of ordinations have not in any way kept pace with the number of priests who are retiring or dying,” said Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the archdiocese. It is part of the reason why they recently underwent an extensive reorganization process, which included the closing and re-consolidation of numerous parishes, many of which had found themselves without a pastor in recent years. “Rather than wait for it to hit crisis mode we wanted to be
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prudent and plan for what the future would look like here in the Archdiocese of New York,” Zwilling said. Msgr. Peter Finn has been a priest in New York for 52 years, and as rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary for six years in the early 2000s, he has had several years’ experience forming priests. While he admits there is a shortage, he is not convinced that doing away with celibacy would solve anything. That is because the crisis is not unique to the vocation of the priesthood, he said. The broader issue is a lack of commitment— not just to the priesthood, but also to marriage and other vocations of consecrated life. Father Selin echoed those sentiments. “It goes deeper, it goes to a deep crisis of faith, a rampant materialism, and also at times a difficulty with making choices,” he said. So if marriage will not solve the problem, what will?
Schools, seminaries and a culture of vocations The Archdiocese of St. Louis, on the other hand, has not experienced such a drastic shortage. When compared with other larger dioceses in the country (those with 300,000 or more Catholics), the St. Louis Archdiocese has the most priests per capita: only 959 Catholics per priests, in 2014. John Schwob, director of pastoral planning for the archdiocese, said this could be attributed to a number of things—large and active Catholic schools, a local diocesan seminary and archbishops who have made vocations a pastoral priority. He said from the beginning of the diocese bishops have made repeated trips to Europe to bring back religious and secular priests and religious men and women who built up strong Catholic parishes and schools. “That has created momentum that has continued for nearly 200 years, Schwob said. These three things also ring true for the Diocese of Lincoln, which has a smaller population and a high priest-to-Catholic ratio: one priest for every 577 Catholics, which is less than one third of the national ratio. As in St. Louis, Lincoln’s vocations director Father Robert Matya credits many of the diocese’s vocations to Catholic schools with priests and religious sisters. “The unique thing about Lincoln is that the religion classes in all of our Catholic high schools are taught by priests or sisters, and that is not usually the case. Our students just have greater exposure to priests and sisters than a kid who goes to high school somewhere else who doesn’t have a priest teach them or doesn’t have that interaction with a priest or a religious sister.” Msgr. Timothy Thorburn, vicar general of the Lincoln diocese, said that in the late 1990s, two local seminaries sprang up “almost overnight”; a diocesan minor seminary and a seminary for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. In the midst of the establishment of these two seminaries, the Carmelite sisters built a monastery in the diocese. A commitment to authentic and orthodox Catholic teaching is also important for vocations, Msgr. Thorburn said. “I grew up in the 60s and 70s and 80s, and many in the Church thought if we just became more hip, young people would be
attracted to the priesthood and religious life and the opposite occurred. Young people were repelled by that,” he said. “They wanted to make a commitment, they wanted authentic Catholic teaching, the authentic Catholic faith, they didn’t want some halfbaked, watered down version of the faith; that wasn’t attractive to them at all. And I’d say the same is true now. The priesthood will not become more attractive if somehow the Church says married men can be ordained.”
Pope Francis’ solutions: Prayer, fostering vocations and the birth rate Pope Francis, too, does not believe that the married priesthood is the solution to the priest shortage. Before he even mentioned the married priesthood to Die Zeit, the pope talked about prayer. “The first [response]—because I speak as a believer—the Lord told us to pray. Prayer, prayer is missing,” he told the newspaper. Rose Sullivan, director of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, and the mother of a seminarian who is about to be ordained, agrees with the pope. “We would not refer to it as a ‘priest shortage’ or a ‘vocation crisis.’ We would refer to it as a prayer crisis. God has not stopped calling people to their vocation, we’ve stopped listening; the noise of culture has gotten in the way,” she said. “Scripture says ‘Speak Lord for your servant is listening.’ So the question would be, are we listening? And I would say we could do a much better job at listening.” Another solution proposed by Pope Francis: increasing the birth rate, which has plummeted in many parts of the Church, particularly in the west. In some European countries, once the most Catholic region of the world, the birth rate has dipped so low that governments are coming up with unique ways to incentivize childbearing. “If there are no young men there can be no priests,” the pope said. The vocations of marriage and priesthood are therefore inter-related, Father Ward said. “They compliment each other, and are dependent upon one another. If we don’t have families, we don’t have anything to do as priests, and families need priests for preaching and the sacraments.” The third solution proposed by Pope Francis was working with young people and talking to them directly about vocations. Many priests are able to trace their vocation back to a personal invitation, often made by one priest, as well as the witness of good and holy priests that were a significant part of their lives. “A former vocation director took an informal poll, and he asked men, ‘What really got you thinking about the priesthood?’ And almost all of them said ‘because my pastor approached me’,” Father Selin said. “It was the same thing with me. When a priest lives his priesthood with great joy and fidelity, he’s the most effective promoter of vocations, because a young man can see himself in him.” “There is no shortage of vocations. God is calling a sufficient number of men in the Western Church, who by our tradition he gives the gift of celibacy with the vocation. We just have to make a place for those seeds to fall on fertile ground,” Msgr. Thorburn said. May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 25
Pope Francis: Stop using the word ‘illegal’ as a synonym for ‘immigrant’ Hannah Brockhaus Catholic News Agency
hen it comes to solving the immigration crisis, Pope Francis said, the media needs to stop perpetuating negative stereotypes and start explaining the big picture, shedding light on the causes behind migration. “The mass media should be driven by the need to explain the different aspects of migration, also making the public aware of the causes of this phenomenon,” he said. “The violation of human rights, the violent conflict in the social unrest, lack of basic necessities, natural disasters and those caused by man—all this must be told clearly to allow the right knowledge of the migration phenomenon and, therefore, the right approach.” The Pope’s comments were made in a new interview with the Italian magazine, Libertà Civili, published every two months by the Italian Ministry for Internal Affairs. In the interview, Pope Francis slammed those in the media who perpetuate negative stereotypes about migrants and refugees, especially when based on misinformation. “How many times do you hear them 26 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
speak of ‘illegal’ as a synonym for migrant. This is incorrect; it is information that starts from an incorrect basis and that pushes the public to develop a negative opinion,” he said. This points to the media’s obsession with sensationalism and negative stories that grab the public’s attention, he said. The pope added that the media always reports any bad thing that an immigrant or refugee does, but it is a “rare piece of news” that focuses on the good stories about them. Good information is the kind that can “break down the walls of fear and indifference,” he said. Only when the media, through images and stories, presents the human aspect, can we move beyond the stereotypes and the fear, and really encounter and welcome other people. For Christians, “the peaceful integration of people of different cultures” is a reflection of the Church’s catholicity, or universality, since “ethnic and cultural diversity is a dimension of the Church’s life, which in the Spirit of Pentecost is open to everyone,” the pope said. If handled humanely, migration offers an opportunity for encounter and growth for everyone, Pope Francis continued.
“We must not lose the sense of fraternal responsibility. The defense of human beings knows no barriers; we are all united in wanting to ensure a dignified life for every man, woman, child forced to abandon their land. There is no difference of belief that can stand against this will, indeed.” Europe and other parts of the world are at a critical juncture when it comes to migration and the management of migration policies, the Pope said. Leaders need “foresight and cohesion” as well as a “vigilant respect for fundamental human rights” to create policies that end the causes of forced migration. Repeating what he often says about these policies, the pope emphasized that there must be international cooperation on the issue that respects both the country welcoming and those being welcomed, and that those coming to the new country respect the laws, customs and traditions of the nation they now reside in. Likewise, European and other countries should remember how they have also experienced both immigration and emigration “the hard way.” “How difficult was it after the war for millions of Europeans who left often with
the whole family and crossed the ocean to land in South America or the United States!” he said. “It was not an easy experience even for them. They suffered the burden of being regarded as strangers, they came from far away and without any knowledge of the local language. It was not an easy integration process.” On Jan. 1, Pope Francis formed a new Migrants and Refugees Section under the new Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. He did this, he said, because “the millions of migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking need special care.” Reflecting the strong emphasis he has placed on this issue of migration throughout his pontificate,
Pope Francis has put himself in charge of this section, “at least for a time,” he said. “The main mission of the Section is to support the Church and pastors—locally, regionally and internationally—in accompanying people at every stage of the migration process,” he said. The pope said that he thinks especially of people fleeing conflict, persecution, natural or man-made disasters, as well as trafficked-persons and those in exploitative situations, particularly migrant workers, women, adolescents and children. As in the past, migrants are an “enrichment for our society,” he said. “We have much to learn from the past; it is important to act with awareness, without stirring up fear of foreigners.”
Earlier this year, people stand in solidarity with immigrants and refugees in Minneapolis. Fibonacci Blue, Creative Commons Attribution License
May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 27
Bishops seek input from youth ahead of 2018 synod Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency
n international conference in Rome is seeking feedback from young people on the upcoming 2018 Synod of Bishops, as preparations are also underway for the 2019 World Youth Day in Panama. The purpose of the conference, “From Krakow to Panama: The synod on the way with the young,” primarily seeks to de-brief on WYD in Krakow and to help with the planning and implementation of WYD Panama in January 2019. A new aspect this year, however, the conference also dedicated two-days to a presentation of the preparatory document for the 2018 Synod of Bishops, which will discuss “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” According to an April 6 statement, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, said it is important to note that the upcoming synod is not being put on by young people or about them as subjects of study, but that it is for them, and that is why it is important they are included. He also explained that the preparatory document is just the beginning of the process. Bishop Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod, also explained the document and the dynamics of how they are consulting with local churches, learning about the situation of young people around the world, and involving youth throughout the process. 28 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
“We also want to talk to those who are distant and indifferent,” he said, “showing them a Church that is caring for their present and their future.” The conference included 300 delegates from bishops’ conferences from 104 countries and from 44 different movements, associations, and communities, as well as a large number of youth. Put on by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and the Gen-
eral Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the meeting is leading up to the diocesan-level World Youth Day. Presentations throughout the week included testimony from youth on WYD Krakow and from Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama on the preparations for WYD Panama. Delegates from various countries gave feedback on the preparatory document and the topic for the upcoming Synod, including
the United States, which asked that the document be presented to young people in a creative manner, including social media. Some countries, like Burundi and Colombia, face many challenges to the faith, but said they have high expectations for the outcome of the Synod. Alessandro Rosina, Professor of Demography and Statistics at the Catholic University of Milan and a Synod consultant, presented an analysis on the situation of young people from the first part of the synod document. Rosina said that “people are not young in the same way in all periods of history: the experience of being young today is unique and must be recognized as such. Furthermore, while the young share common traits throughout the world, there are also local features, and regions have their characteristics.” The Church “must grow more attentive to the young and become a positive experience in their lives so that they may choose her,” he said. Quoting Pope Francis, he said, “We need audacious young people, who are aware that they are a value for the world.” In addition to the working days, the conference included a Friday evening concert for youth put on by two musical groups of the Focolare Movement: Gen Rosso and Gen Verde, of which the latter is a musical group made up entirely of women of various nationalities.
†† OUR FAITH
Sister Constance Veit, LSP is the director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Healing the loss of a loved one Sister Constance Veit, LSP
lost my mother unexpectedly last November, after having lost my father after a long illness eight years earlier. My siblings and I suddenly found ourselves “orphans” as we marked our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without either of our parents. Now we are anticipating our first Mother’s Day without mom. We have spent the past few months dismantling and selling our parents’ home of 50 years. It was the only house we knew growing up, and it has continued to be our emotional hub as our adult lives have taken us across the country. As we bring closure to this phase of our grieving just in time for Mother’s Day, I feel drawn to share a few reflections on how my faith has supported me during this time of mourning. The loss of a loved one can engender intense and contradictory feelings; this is especially true with our parents, since our bond with them is so profound. We may experience an overwhelming sense of loss at a parent’s passing, especially if they were involved in our daily lives, or we in theirs. In all likelihood, we also mourn a combination of unexpressed sentiments, unresolved issues,
unfulfilled hopes and plans and family milestones that will never be celebrated together. In the case of my mother, I have also been deeply grieved by the suffering she experienced in her final days. So what do we do with all of these intense emotions? I have found that the Church’s 50-day celebration of Easter has offered me unexpected graces and consolations as my siblings and I mourn the loss of our mother. Two Easter symbols have helped me to believe that in Christ crucified and risen all of our grief and pain—all our woundedness— can be healed. The first is the Paschal candle and the second is the Divine Mercy image. Despite participating in the Easter Vigil every year, I never really paid attention to the five grains of incense with which the Paschal candle is inscribed before being lit. These symbolize the wounds of Christ. As he presses the grains into the candle, the priest says, “By his holy and glorious wounds, may Christ the Lord guard and protect us.” In her book on the healing of memories, “Remembering God’s Mercy”, Dawn Eden observes “that it is only after these wounds are called to memory that the light of the risen
‘The image of the risen Christ still bearing the wounds of his passion is thus not morbid. It is consoling…to realize that in his unfathomable mercy Christ embraces [us] with all our human imperfections, hiding us in his merciful wounds.’ ~Sister Constance Veit, LSP May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 29
†† OUR FAITH
Christ, symbolized by the ignited candle, shines forth and spreads its glow…The light of faith—the lumen fidei that shines upon us and gives us our identity as Christians—is the light of Christ precisely as wounded.” I found Eden’s words especially helpful in accepting my mother’s death. “When I unite my own wounded heart with the wounded and glorified heart of Jesus,” she wrote, “his wounds heal mine.” In the Divine Mercy image revealed to St. Faustina, Jesus, though risen, reveals the wounds of his crucifixion and his pierced heart. In her diary, St. Faustina relates numerous occasions when Christ invited her to take refuge in his sacred wounds as in a safe hiding place. Christ also refers to his wounds as a fountain of life and mercy, and Faustina sees in them a sign of God’s great love. The image of the risen Christ still bearing the wounds of his passion is thus not morbid. It is consoling for me to realize that in his unfathomable mercy Christ embraces both my mother and myself, with all our human imperfections, hiding us in his merciful wounds. The Divine Mercy image and the Paschal candle remind me that it is in the Liturgy, especially at Mass, that we are bathed in the waters of new life, fed with
his Living Bread and healed of our wounds. It is also in the Eucharist that we are united with the communion of believers, including those who have passed on ahead of us. It is there that I can still experience communion with my parents—though in a manner quite different from our regular visits and phone calls. As our Catholic faith teaches in the catechism, the union of those who sleep in the Lord with those who are left behind “is in no way interrupted…[but] reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.” The Catechism informs us that those who have gone before us to their heavenly reward do not cease to intercede for us. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness.” By their concern, “our weakness is greatly helped.” In faith, I know that my bond with my parents is not broken by their passage from this life. I am sure that my mother, who never gave up trying to direct her children, even after they had reached adulthood, rejoiced to find out that she could continue doing so from heaven. We, her children, are consoled to know that now she has the perfect vantage point! We are not really orphans after all. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
Liturgical Calendar 1 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Joseph the Worker] Acts 6:8-15/Jn 6:22-29 (273) or, for the Memorial, Gn 1:26—2:3 or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24/; Mt 13:54-58 (559) 2 | Tue | Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Acts 7:51— 8:1a/Jn 6:30-35 (274) 3 | Wed | Saints Philip and James, Apostles | red | Feast | 1 Cor 15:1-8/Jn 14:6-14 (561) Pss Prop 4 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 8:26-40/Jn 6:44-51 (276)
8 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 11:1-18/Jn 10:11-18 (second option) (279) 9 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 11:19-26/Jn 10:22-30 (280) 10 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white/white [USA: Saint Damien de Veuster, Priest] Acts 12:24— 13:5a/Jn 12:44-50 (281) 11 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:13-25/Jn 13:16-20 (282) 12 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ red/red [Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs; Saint Pancras, Martyr] Acts 13:26-33/Jn 14:1-6 (283)
5 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 9:1-20/Jn 6:52-59 (277)
13 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/white [Our Lady of Fatima] Acts 13:44-52/Jn 14:7-14 (284)
6 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 9:31-42/Jn 6:60-69 (278)
14 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 6:1-7/1 Pt 2:4-9/Jn 14:1-12 (52) Pss I
7 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 2:14a, 3641/1 Pt 2:20b-25/Jn 10:1-10 (49) Pss IV
15 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/white [USA: Saint Isidore] Acts 14:5-18/Jn 14:21-26 (285)
30 South Texas Catholic | May 2017
16 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 14:19-28/Jn 14:27-31a (286) 17 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 15:1-6/Jn 15:1-8 (287) 18 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white/red [Saint John I, Pope and Martyr] Acts 15:7-21/Jn 15:9-11 (288) 19 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 15:22-31/Jn 15:12-17 (289) 20 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Bernardine of Siena, Priest] Acts 16:1-10/Jn 15:18-21 (290) 21 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 8:5-8, 14-17/1 Pt 3:15-18/Jn 14:15-21 (55) Pss II 22 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/white [Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious] Acts 16:11-15/Jn 15:26—16:4a (291) 23 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 16:22-34/Jn 16:5-11 (292)
24 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 17:15, 22—18:1/Jn 16:12-15 (293)
25 | Thu | THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Acts 1:1-11/ Eph 1:17-23/Mt 28:16-20 (58) Pss Prop 26 | Fri | Saint Philip Neri, Priest | white | Memorial | Acts 18:9-18/ Jn 16:20-23 (295) 27 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/white [Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Bishop] Acts 18:23-28/ Jn 16:23b-28 (296) 28 | SUN | SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 1:12-14/1 Pt 4:13-16/Jn 17:1-11a (59) Pss III 29 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 19:1-8/Jn 16:29-33 (297) 30 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 20:17-27/Jn 17:1-11a (298) 31 | Wed | The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary | white | Feast | Zep 3:14-18a or Rom 12:916/Lk 1:39-56 (572) Pss Prop
†† MAY CALENDAR
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.
Holy Hour followed by a healing Mass
May 4 from 5-6:30 p.m. and every first Thursday of the month at Sacred Heart Chapel Jesus Nazareno (422 North Alameda St.) in Corpus Christi.
May 6, from 2-5 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Parish (120 East Escobedo) in Taft. Students from 7th-12th grade are invited to an afternoon of prayer and fun with sisters in the diocese.
Schoenstatt Holy Rosary & May Crowning
May 6 at 2 p.m. at the Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines St.) in Corpus Christi. We will begin the celebration by reciting Mary’s favorite prayer, the Holy Rosary, followed by a beautiful and solemn coronation of our Dear Mother Thrice Admirable Queen & Victress of Schoenstatt. For more information call (361) 992-9841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Francis Xavier Annual Spring Festival
May 7 begins at 12 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier (323 Frio Street) in Tynan. Fun for the entire family all day. There will be live music, dancing, Folklorico dancers, games, food, fun and fellowship.
Women’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat
May 11-14, beginning Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. A weekend to go into a deeper relationship the Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register at deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.
The Healing Power of the Covenant of Love
May 12 at 6:30 p.m. Talk by Schoenstatt Father Gerold Langsch
at Schoenstatt Movement Center located on 4343 Gaines St., behind Seaside Cemetary. Refreshments and confession. Call (361) 991-7653 for childcare. For more information call (361) 992-9841 or email email@example.com.
Power of the 12 Healing Covenant of Love
May 12 at 6:30 p.m. Talk by Schoenstatt Father Gerold Langsch at 4343 Gaines St., behind Seaside Cemetary. Refreshments and Confession. Love Offering accepted for Schoenstatt religious traveling from Austin and Rockport. Call (361) 991-7653 for childcare.
Living Rosary 13 Global and Our Lady of Fatima Procession
May 13 at 2 p.m. from St. Theresa’s Church (1302 Lantana) to Our Lady of Corpus Christi Adoration Chapel. There will be a Global Living Rosary, prayers and talk in the Adoration Chapel in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Reception following in Cafe Veritas. For more information call (361) 289-9095.
Family 13 Natural Planning (NFP)
May 13 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.at 1426 Baldwin Blvd. in Corpus Christi. Learn to recognize the natural cycles of fertility and infertility that occur naturally in every woman. NFP 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 diocesecc.org/nfp.
Conference at 16 MSA Shoenstatt Center Lamar
May 16-19 the Mariological Society of America (MSA) will be holding their annual conference at the Schoenstatt Center Lamar in Rockport. The theme of the 2017 and 2018 MSA Conferences will be the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Sacraments.
Marriage 20 Diocesan Preparation
May 20–21 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 diocesecc.org/marriageprep.
20 Grounded in Truth at OLCC
May 20 from 7-9:30 p.m. Begin with 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/Bookstore from 8-9:30 p.m. For more information call (361) 289-0807.
s Education 20 Alzheimer’ and Support Program
Nestor H. Praderio, MD hosts an interactive learning experience for caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. Sessions are held every fourth Wednesday of the month (January to October) at the Conference Center located behind the Doctor’s Regional Hospital Emergency Room, 3315 S. Alameda. Sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. and complimentary refreshments are sponsored by community partners. For more information go to TexasFacetoFace.com or call (361) 238-7777, Facebook. com/TexasFacetoFace or email TexasFacetoFace@gmail.com.
20 Healing Retreat at OLCC
May 26-28, beginning on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and ending Sunday at 2 p.m. Discover the ways people block God’s grace in their life and remove obstacles that prevent them from growing in their prayer life. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of silent reflection asking God to reveal where healing is needed, and concludes with a Healing Service. Register deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.
To see more calendar events go to:
SouthTexasCatholic.com South Texas
SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
May 2017 | South Texas Catholic 31
†† MAY CALENDAR
Bible Study at St. Patrick Church
May 2017 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191
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Published on May 1, 2017
In our May issue, we learn about the exciting assignments being undertaken at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School with the Destination...