SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
Catholic W W W . S O U T H T E X A S C A T H O L I C . C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 17
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 1
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VOL. 52 NO. 11 Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD
This year’s Cathedral Concert Series presented by the Diocese of Corpus Christi will be chock-full of heavenly music. The season will begin on Dec. 22-23 with “Lessons & Carols,” in which the audience will be encouraged to join their voices to those of the 250 voices of the Corpus Christi Cathedral choirs.
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, Emily Priolo, Luisa Scolari, Beth Wilson, Dayna Mazzei Worchel
Ram Hernandez for South Texas Catholic
Mendoza, at right, an 25 Erik ACE teacher at St. Anthony School in Robstown, helps sixth grade student, Elisabeth Martinez with a Math equation.
Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
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VIDA CATÓLICA 4 VIEWPOINTS 23 ‘Semillas de Esperanza’ ‘Blessed be the Lord...for he has come to his people and set them free’
VOCATIONS 9 ‘It’s not about you,
it’s about the Gospel’
observa 10 años en la radio
NATIONAL NEWS 28 Father Stanley Rother,
martyr and missionary, beatified
19 Hurricane relief available
32 Father Stanley Rother,
NEWS BRIEFS 21 Gutierrez, Regalado accepted
FAITH 35 OUR God’s greatest commandment
NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
from Catholic Charities
into Rite of Candidacy
martyr and missionary, beatified
Keep up with the faith at www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 3
Most Reverend Michael Mulvey is bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
‘Blessed be the Lord... for he has come to his people and set them free’ Bishop Michael Mulvey
South Texas Catholic
want to take the opportunity to wish each one of you, our readers, a very blessed and holy Christmas season. During this Advent, in a particular way, the Canticle of Zechariah found in St. Luke’s Gospel has been speaking loudly to me. The Canticle begins, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel. For He has come to his people and set them free.” Each Christmas we celebrate with family, friends and with the Church the fact that God has come to his people and that he has set us free. What can that mean for us this Christmas? This year has been a very difficult year for so many. There has been violence in streets across America. There has been violence in a church not far from where we are. There have been earthquakes and of course hurricanes. So many of us have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. There are two things that I reflect upon when I think of the words, “He has come to set us free.” During Hurricane Harvey, we recognized throughout the Coastal Bend, across Texas and across the country how people have been set free from their own concerns and in some cases self-absorption. People have responded to the needs of their brothers and sisters in a heroic way and for that we are grateful. The presence of the Lord, the
presence of our faith is always there to set us free from selfishness to selflessness. Let us continue that freedom that we find in loving others and serving others, not only during this time of Christmas but in the coming year. The second expression of the fulfillment of those words “he has come to set us free” is that the presence of the Lord gives us hope. The Christian should never, ever live without hope. If we are free from fear, if we are free from discouragement, if we are free from anxieties as the Gospel of Matthew shows us, then we have hope. As we enter into this coming year let it be a year of hope for us, let us not be discouraged or deterred in our efforts to build up our families and our communities with love and with service. The reality of God’s Kingdom can come about only with our participation and our help. It is a task that has been entrusted to us by the one who was sent to us from the Father, Jesus Christ. I wish each one of you the best during this Christmas season. May families be reconciled. May people who are lonely find the presence of God through others. And may the coming year of 2018 be filled with joy and with hope. I assure each one of you of my prayers during this very special and holy season. God bless each one of you and your families.
➤As we enter into this coming year let it be a year of hope for us,
let us not be discouraged or deterred in our efforts to build up our families and our communities with love and with service. 4 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
Encuentro engages 250,000 missionary disciples Alice Christians serve meal to 1,000 in community Catholic Charities honors Sister Rose Bishop Mulvey asks faithful to pray for Sutherland Springs IWA dedicates Mass to Veterans and those on active-duty Students learn about business etiquette Bowling with Voices That Care Ingleside parish celebrates with Father Doherty Catholic Bishops acquire Catholic.Bible website Diocese unveils new institute for formation Collection helps retired religious in orders Hindus, Catholics meet for third time Bishops pray for Sutherland Springs victims
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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 specic 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
YES! I would like to support the Mother Teresa
YES! like to support the Mother Teresa Shelter at Christmas. Shelter Iatwould Christmas. ❏ Please accept my donation of $ ___________________________
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Bishop Michael Mulvey
invites YOU to join him on an 11-Day pilgrimage to Ireland!
❏oInIMemory of ❏ In Honor of for _____ cards as follows: am enclosing $ _____
_______________________________________________________ o Insend Memory of o InofHonor Please an acknowledgement this giftof to:
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_______________________________________________________ Address City/State/Zip Your Name
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Enclosed: ❏Phone/email Check (payable to Mother Teresa Shelter) ❏___________________________________________ VISA/MC/DSCV ❏Address AMEX City/State/Zip _______________________________________________________ accepted only at: Card Holder’sCredit Name card payments Card Holder’son-line Signature
6 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
www.catholiccharities-cc.org / Donations / Donate to Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc.
_______________________________________________________ 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: Email:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
SECOND COLLECTION REPORTING Amounts recieved through October 31, 2017
CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA
ALICE DEANERY 204 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH (ALICE) 206 SANTA ROSA DE LIMA PARISH (BENAVIDES) 200 SANTO NIÑO DE ATOCHA MISSION (ALICE) 201 ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY PARISH (ALICE) 424 ST. FRANCES OF ROME PARISH ( AGUA DULCE) 228 ST. FRANCIS DE PAULA PARISH (SAN DIEGO) 202 ST. JOSEPH PARISH (ALICE) 230 ST JOSEPH MISSION (PALITO BLANCO) 211 ST. MARY PARISH (FREER) 425 ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL PARISH (BANQUETE) 205 ST. PETER MISSION (BEN BOLT) TOTAL ALICE DEANERY:
0.00 137.00 0.00 772.00 66.00 435.56 950.00 93.00 0.00 179.03 0.00 2,632.59
0.00 367.68 0.00 493.00 236.00 765.94 1,759.00 64.00 2,975.07 0.00 0.00 6,660.69
176.00 0.00 0.00 599.00 100.00 559.45 0.00 100.45 424.76 205.47 0.00 2,165.13
BEEVILLE DEANERY 322 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH (SKIDMORE) 314 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE MISSION (EDROY) 233 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE MISSION (PAWNEE) 302 OUR LADY OF VICTORY PARISH (BEEVILLE) 220 SACRED HEART PARISH (MATHIS) 313 SACRED HEART OF JESUS PARISH (ODEM) 232 SACRED HEART PARISH (THREE RIVERS) 305 SACRED HEART MISSION (PETTUS) 237 ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI MISSION (LAGARTO) 323 ST. FRANCIS XAVIER MISSION (TYNAN) 212 ST. GEORGE PARISH (GEORGE WEST) 303 ST. JAMES PARISH (BEEVILLE) 222 ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS PARISH (ORANGE GROVE) 304 ST. JOSEPH PARISH (BEEVILLE) 221 ST. PATRICK MISSION (SAN PATRICIO) 223 ST. PIUS X MISSION (SANDIA) TOTAL BEEVILLE DEANERY:
0.00 87.00 48.00 88.00 0.00 322.00 157.00 5.00 0.00 0.00 234.50 170.41 642.60 0.00 23.00 56.00 1,833.51
415.00 88.00 169.80 224.00 0.00 395.00 299.96 30.00 0.00 0.00 1,500.89 0.00 957.70 0.00 0.00 0.00 4,080.35
0.00 68.00 53.00 468.08 217.60 467.00 145.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 761.00 0.00 340.00 0.00 56.00 96.00 2,672.35
CORPUS CHRISTI 5 POINTS 423 OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL MISSION (CLARKWOOD) 422 OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY PARISH (CC) 432 SANTA MARIA MISSION (ROBSTOWN) 449 ST. ANSELM OF CANTERBURY ANGLICAN COMMUNITY 431 ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA PARISH (ROBSTOWN) 433 ST. ANTHONY PARISH (VIOLET) 430 ST. JOHN NEPOMUCENE PARISH (ROBSTOWN) 419 ST. MARY MISSION (CALALLEN) 418 ST. PETER, PRINCE OF THE APOSTLES PARISH (CC) 421 ST. THERESA PARISH (CC) 437 ST. THOMAS APOSTLE PARISH (ROBSTOWN) 434 ST. VIVIAN MISSION (PETRONILA) TOTAL CORPUS CHRISTI 5 POINTS:
20.00 151.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 127.92 602.00 0.00 0.00 5.00 587.22 64.55 1,558.17
269.00 88.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,106.00 0.00 2,399.75 217.85 0.00 19.00 5,099.60
0.00 0.00 315.00 0.00 1,446.00 0.00 450.50 0.00 0.00 15.00 647.03 0.00 2,873.53
CORPUS CHRISTI CENTRAL 401 CORPUS CHRISTI CATHEDRAL (CC) 404 HOLY CROSS PARISH (CC) 428 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH (GREGORY) 429 OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL PARISH (PORTLAND) 402 OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA PARISH (CC) 413 SACRED HEART PARISH (CC) 416 ST. PATRICK PARISH (CC) 440 ST. THOMAS MORE PARISH (CC) TOTAL CORPUS CHRISTI CENTRAL:
750.00 0.00 0.00 1,024.00 0.00 313.00 4,833.60 0.00 6,920.60
0.00 100.00 0.00 3,243.19 376.00 176.30 82.00 1,065.00 5,042.49
1,500.00 20.00 161.00 3,818.22 276.00 234.70 1,831.62 0.00 7,841.54
December 2017 December 2017| | South SouthTexas TexasCatholic Catholic 77
SECOND COLLECTION REPORTING Amounts recieved through October 31, 2017
CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA
1,000.00 367.00 651.00 0.00 0.00 200.00 225.00 1,980.87 1,383.00 5,806.87
0.00 0.00 909.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 225.00 1,898.62 19,137.81 22,170.43
500.00 0.00 681.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 225.00 0.00 1,072.00 2,478.48
CORPUS CHRISTI WESTSIDE 403 CHRIST THE KING PARISH (CC) 405 HOLY FAMILY PARISH (CC) 406 NUESTRA SENORA DE SAN JUAN DE LOS LAGOS, MADRE DE LA IGLESIA 410 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH (CC) 412 OUR LADY OF PILAR PARISH (CC) 414 SS. CYRIL & METHODIUS PARISH (CC) 415 ST. JOSEPH PARISH (CORPUS CHRISTI) TOTAL CORPUS CHRISTI WESTSIDE:
417.00 870.62 862.70 160.00 385.00 0.00 489.98 3,185.30
726.00 1,629.01 507.26 0.00 659.00 2,119.94 0.00 5,641.21
419.00 822.00 993.60 142.00 446.50 667.47 410.26 3,900.83
KINGSVILLE - DEANERY 225 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION MISSION (CONCEPTION) 234 OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH (VATTMAN) 219 OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL PARISH (KINGSVILLE) 231 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH (SARITA) 227 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE MISSION (RAMIREZ) 208 SACRED HEART PARISH (FALFURRIAS) 209 ST. ANNE MISSION (ENCINO) 226 ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI MISSION (RIOS) 214 ST. GERTRUDE PARISH (KINGSVILLE) 427 ST. JAMES MISSION (DRISCOLL) 426 ST. JAMES PARISH (BISHOP) 218 ST JOSEPH PARISH (KINGSVILLE) 217 ST. MARTIN PARISH (KINGSVILLE) 224 ST. THERESA OF THE INFANT JESUS PARISH (PREMONT) 236 ST. TOMAS AQUINAS-UNIVERSITY CATHOLIC CENTER TOTAL KINGSVILLE DEANERY:
10.00 317.00 365.53 213.00 0.00 776.55 509.28 0.00 2,647.54 0.00 0.00 267.00 277.55 143.00 0.00 5,526.45
28.00 705.00 1,108.70 588.00 0.00 818.72 872.95 0.00 1,747.00 0.00 0.00 325.00 527.00 284.00 0.00 7,004.37
13.00 0.00 752.49 208.00 0.00 503.26 465.26 0.00 1,863.92 0.00 0.00 277.00 205.00 248.56 0.00 4,536.49
REFUGIO DEANERY 325 HOLY FAMILY PARISH (TAFT) 324 IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH (TAFT) 311 OUR LADY OF ASSUMPTION PARISH (INGLESIDE) 319 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH (SINTON) 326 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PARISH (TIVOLI) 315 OUR LADY OF REFUGE PARISH (REFUGIO) 318 SACRED HEART PARISH (ROCKPORT) 321 SACRED HEART PARISH (SINTON) 328 ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA MISSION (AUSTWELL) 316 ST. CATHERINE MISSION (BLANCONIA) 327 ST. DENNIS MISSION (O'CONNOR RANCH) 317 ST. JAMES THE APOSTLE PARISH (REFUGIO) 330 ST. MARY MISSION (BAYSIDE) 301 ST. MARY STAR OF THE SEA PARISH (ARANSAS PASS) 320 ST. PAUL MISSION (ST. PAUL) 331 ST. PETER PARISH (FULTON) 329 ST. THERESE, THE LITTLE FLOWER PARISH (WOODSBORO) 310 STELLA MARIS CHAPEL (LAMAR) TOTAL REFUGIO DEANERY:
0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 66.00 0.00 533.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 193.50 0.00 0.00 252.00 0.00 0.00 200.00 1,244.50
0.00 639.27 762.60 806.82 0.00 0.00 0.00 711.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 452.83 402.00 0.00 0.00 150.00 3,924.52
530.90 656.72 569.10 483.85 0.00 602.00 0.00 600.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,100.41 132.00 0.00 65.00 150.00 4,889.98
CORPUS CHRISTI SOUTHSIDE 407 MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD PARISH (CC) 411 OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP PARISH (CC) 435 ST. ANDREW BY THE SEA PARISH (CC) 443 ST. HELENA OF THE TRUE CROSS OF JESUS PARISH (CC) 442 ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH (CC) 312 ST JOSEPH PARISH (PORT ARANSAS) 417 ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE PARISH (CC) 438 ST. PHILIP THE APOSTLE PARISH (CC) 420 ST. PIUS X PARISH (CC) TOTAL CORPUS CHRISTI SOUTHSIDE:
TOTAL FOR DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
8â€‚ South Texas Catholic | December 2017
Father James Vasquez Ervey Martinez, South Texas Catholic
‘It’s not about you, it’s about the Gospel’ South Texas Catholic
ather James Vasquez told a banquet crowd at the annual Religious and Clergy Appreciation Dinner held at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown on Nov. 2, that his vocation story was boring. “God called me to be a priest so I am one,” Father Vasquez said. The annual event is hosted by the Knights of Columbus also featured the vocation stories of Sister Delphine Alpinjoh, SSA and Deacon Amando Leal. The Knights also presented a check to the
Diocese of Corpus Christi, accepted by Bishop Michael Mulvey, in the amount of $34,505.06. Bishop Mulvey in turn gifted the check to Sister Milagros Tormo, MJMJ for use in serving children at The Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youth. Father Vasquez’s vocation has been anything but boring. The pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Aransas Pass went on to say that “whenever God asks, he gives.” He started thinking of becoming a priest at the age of 13 but “constantly went back and forth.” He could see himself married
with 10 or 12 kids living on a ranch. He made lists of why he should be a priest and why he should not. The list always came out in a draw. He thought he would not be able to speak in front of people, was not a very social person and felt he was not especially gifted in academics. Still, the desire to serve the Church and the poor, kept drawing him to the priesthood. He finally came to the realization that discernment is not a decision-making process; it is to distinguish, to separate out. He recalled asking his spiritual director about his conundrum, and the December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 9
Deacon Amando Leal
Sister Delphine Alpinjoh, SSA Ervey Martinez, South Texas Catholic
response was “Get over yourself James, it’s not about you, it’s about the Gospel.” “All the things that I cannot do well, God does them,” Father Vasquez said. “Whenever he asks something he will provide. He will give us the grace to fulfill the vocation he is calling us to.” Father Vasquez added “we need renewal on a regular basis. We need to apply the Gospel to the situation of our communities, to our time, to our society. We do not have to make the Gospel relevant, but we do need to show its relevance to the world we live in. It is all there. God has given us all the pieces. When he asks for something...he has already given us everything we need to do what he asks us to do.” Father Vasquez pointed out that he 10 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
could not forgive sin and he cannot baptize, but he can be God’s instrument. “It is God who forgives, it is God who baptizes,” Father James said. “I do not have wisdom, I cannot take away the pain in someone’s life, but I will be Christ for that person at that time, so God does. God has chosen me to be his instrument.” The boy who thought he was not particularly smart enough to be a priest, was ordained in 2006 and went on to teach seminarians at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving. Before that he served as Director of Family Life for the Diocese of Corpus Christi and after returning from his teaching assignment he went on to be a parish priest, doing all those things he thought he could not do. Sister Delphine, who hails from
Ervey Martinez, South Texas Catholic
Cameroon in Central Africa, said she comes from a family of seven whose parents were dedicated to their faith. Still, when she first decided to enter religious life her father and mother were not supportive. They later came around when they realized she was serious. She was educated in Catholic schools, but eventually found herself surrounded by a bad group of friends, with whom she did not want to be identified and began to seriously think about religious life. Still, her interest in religious life was not compelling. She went to three vocations camps and finally found an order that appealed to her—the Sisters of St. Ann. They displayed the spirit of joy that she was searching for and wanted in her life. “My vocation is the providence of
God,” Sister Delphine said. Sister Delphine ministers at Most Precious Blood Parish in Corpus Christi. Like Sister Delphine, Deacon Leal came from a very supportive Catholic family and attended Catholic schools through the eighth grade. He worked for the City of Corpus Christi for 23 years and while he had opportunities at his job to help those in need, the city precluded prayer, which he yearned for. With the support of his wife Criselda, he retired from the city and went back to school to prepare for a profession that would give him the opportunity to serve and allow him to pursue his needs to be faithful to his Church. He soon got two job offers, but accepted one from CHRISTUS Spohn “because they had a chapel.” Eventually, he was called to be an Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Communion and was accepted into the diaconate program. He was ordained in November 2016 and was
assigned to Corpus Christi Cathedral. Bishop Mulvey thanked the three keynote speakers, as well as those in attendance for “coming together as a diocese” to help build up the people of God. “Working together, we build up the diocese. We cannot be Christians alone, it is God and us,” Bishop Mulvey said. The bishop relayed the story of Blessed Stanley Rother who is the first recognized martyr in the United States, and the first priest born in the United States to be beatified. He famously wrote to his bishop, while serving in the hostile environs of Guatemala, “a shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” “If my destiny is that I give my life here, then so be it,” Father Rother said in his letter. “I don’t want to desert this people. There is still a lot of work to be done.” And, indeed, it did cost him his life as he was murdered in Gautemala in 1981 at the age of 46. In another letter to a priest friend, Father Rother wrote “take
care of your priesthood. Service has to be our motto. Certain group of priests are expecting to be served, I don’t want that to be said of me.”
seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to South Texas
SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
The Knights of Columbus presented Bishop Michael Mulvey a check for $34,505.06, which he then turned over to the Ark Assessment Center. Pictured, from left, are Texas State Council Charity Director Ron Alonso, Corpus Christi Chapter President Joseph Hernandez, Bishop Mulvey, Sister Milagros Tormo, MJMJ and Corpus Christi Chapter Diocesan Deputy Ruben Rodriguez. Ervey Martinez, South Texas Catholic
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 11
For many years Sister Mary Catherine Brehony, a sister from the congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, taught Math in Catholic schools. For 12 years she served as Coordinator of Initial Formation and Director of Postulants. She was Vocation Director for six years and for many years she spent nights and weekends teaching CCD at Our Lady of Refuge Parish in Refugio, St. Paul the Apostle and Holy Cross Parishes in Corpus Christi. Sister Catherine still continues to contribute to her community by answering phones for the main office at her convent.
Retirement Fund for Religious on Dec. 9-10
More than 93 percent of donations aid senior religious. Donate to: 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.
Please give to those who have given a lifetime. www.retiredreligious.org 12â€‚ South Texas Catholic | December 2017
Father Romeo Salinas is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Preparing yourself for the coming of Jesus Father Rome Salinas
oseph and Mary’s journey mirrors the daily journey of our own lives, often filled with struggles, worries, stress and even despair; but, we continue to move toward finding Jesus, toward finding peace and joy in him. Little Jesus is always with us, as he was with Joseph and Mary. He waits on our coming to him, as did the angels, the shepherds and the Magi on the night of his birth. So, we await his coming. Before we can greet him, however, we must ready the manger in our hearts. As Mary prepared the manger in the stable, we must prepare for Little Jesus with open and loving hearts filled with the deep devotion of Mary for her tiny baby about to be born; filled with a spirit of acceptance and obedience, as was Mary’s heart; and filled with humility, simplicity, love and great sacrifice, as was Mary’s heart. We prepare for the coming of Jesus during Advent, which is a miniature Lent. As we spend weeks preparing for the passion and death of our Lord during Lent, we also have the privilege of preparing for weeks for the coming of our Lord at his birth, Christmas. In both instances, we take time to prepare our hearts in gratitude for Christ’s love for us and for the graces both events in his life bestow on us. We must “‘prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths’ (Mk 1:3).” We must have a conversion of heart: a deep repentance for sin, a confession of sin and a promise to God to amend our lives for the better with the help of his grace. Penance services (confessions) are held in parishes as we progress through Advent. Humility and obedience go hand in hand with penance. We must willingly reform our ways. We must take a stand for God and live our lives with humility and goodness, which are necessary for true repentance of sin and for bringing us closer to Jesus, our savior. We must “reject godless ways and worldly desires (Ti 2:12).” This is the way we prepare ourselves for Little Jesus, the King of Peace. Our entire lives must constitute
a preparation for our meeting with Christ. We must, “Be watchful! Be alert (Mk 13: 33).” “We desire to be able to welcome Little Jesus at Christmas time with a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another,” St. Teresa of Calcutta once said. And St. Padre Pio tells us “one thing only is necessary to be close to Jesus—that we find a way to be with Jesus.” We get close to Jesus through prayer, and this closeness gives us the desire for eternity. We receive greater grace, because Little Jesus, newly arrived from heaven, blesses us with graces. He blesses us from the manger and from his mother’s arms as she holds him close and kisses his tiny face and hands. We must comprehend that without the child Jesus, there is no life, no future, no heaven. Mary leads us to Jesus. Her “yes” to God is the way we should live our daily lives, saying yes to God and to Mary our mother. We need her as our teacher in all we do. She is the perfect disciple, the light of God; and, the holy family is a model for our own families. God asks all of us to consecrate our daily lives and work to him. Through Scripture, through prayer, through confession and repentance for sin, through humility and charity we prepare our hearts to receive the love, graces and peace our Little Jesus brings. As we discern, seek and live out our Christian vocation to the priesthood, religious life, single life and married life, every one of us has to have a heart open to Jesus. We need to seek him. Pray to get closer to God and to receive a desire for eternity. We want to “believe through him (John 1:7).” We want to be a light to others; carry peace to others; witness Christ to others. We journey with Christ through his life in Scripture. We journey throughout our own lives to reach heaven. Heavenly Father, grant us the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine (Invocations to the Sacred Heart). December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 13
Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ is Director of Consecrated Life and Women’s Vocation for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Serving according to the need Sister Gloria Rodriguez, MJMJ
n a spirit of simplicity, joy, availability and generous self-giving, the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph follow Christ, who abandoned himself to the will of the Father. We strive to reflect his image spreading the good news of salvation to the poor and most in need with merciful love and compassion. The Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph have served the Diocese of Corpus Christi for 61 years. In 1956, Bishop Mariano S. Garriga of the Diocese of Corpus Christi heard of the congregation of Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and decided to visit the motherhouse in Madrid, Spain. He and Bishop Sidney Metzger of the Diocese of El Paso went to visit with Mother Dolores Domingo, foundress and superior general. They asked that she send a community of sisters to Texas. Bishop Garriga offered a convent in San Juan, Texas, where they could reach out to the Rio Grande Valley community. Mother Dolores was reluctant. She found it difficult to accept this offer from a rich nation. This invitation did not seem to fit into the congregation’s mission to serve the poor and most needy. After much prayer and reflection, she consulted with her council, and together they agreed to send a community of six sisters to Texas. On Jan. 15, 1956 the first six missionary sisters accompanied by Mother Dolores began the long trek to Texas. Bishop Garriga and Chancellor Adolph Marx were waiting for them in New York City. Together they crossed the United States by train, arriving in Corpus Christi on Jan. 29, 1957. There they were graciously shown hospitality by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. On Jan. 30, 1957 Bishop Garriga and Father William Thompson accompanied the sisters to their new home in San Juan, Texas. The sisters immediately began their work in the Rio Grande Valley. Two years later, on July 4,
14 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
1958, Bishop Garriga gave the congregation a ranch-style home on a hill overlooking a small valley in Calallen. He celebrated Mass with the sisters in their new convent. The congregation now had its first house of formation in Texas. Mother Dolores named it Mount Thabor because; “it would be a place of transformation for young women desiring to be Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.” Our spirituality is only possible by a life in relation with God. The Eucharist is center in our personal and community life. We celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours: morning, evening and night prayers. Together with liturgical prayer, personal prayer is part of our consecrated lives. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, we unite ourselves to Jesus’ prayer in confidence and abandonment to the Father. We take time monthly for a retreat day and annually for a week-long retreat. The sacrament of reconciliation is celebrated regularly. The Church’s liturgical cycle is lived and celebrated as well as congregational feast days. Our community life is a visible sign of the presence of Jesus among us, and a living testimony of the love that unites us. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit we can participate in the profound communion and interdependency that exists between Jesus and the Father. Our daily lives are nurtured by the loving mercy of God and look to the virtues of the Holy Family’s simple life as a model. The Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are an international community, 113 sisters serving in five countries: United States, Mexico, Chile, Rwanda and Spain. Six sisters minister in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, including at St. Patrick Parish, San Juan de los Lagos Parish, The Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youth and the Diocesan Office of Consecrated Life and Women’s Vocation. We serve the Church according to the need of the place and time.
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 15
Help Us Prevent Financial Abuse
Ss. Cyril & Methodius
Religious Gift Shop at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church
All New Merchandise • A.C.T.S. • Silver Jewelry 3210 S.P.I.D. Opened Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends after Mass
All Services FREE: • Pregnancy Test • Limited Ultrasound • Baby Supplies • Parenting Classes • Adoption Information • Abortion Recovery Classes
The Diocese of Corpus Christi at the recommendation of the Diocesan Finance Council and Presbyteral Council has furthered their commitment to good stewardship and financial accountability on behalf of generous donors by instituting a financial 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 confidentially report financial abuse and fraud. Employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors and other interested parties are encouraged to report concerns they have regarding financial 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
Open 7 Days A Week Prizes now up to $750
Lost Pet Hotline, Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary, Inc., & Dobie Haven, Inc. Big Brothers, Big Sisters
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9840 B Leopard Street, Corpus Christi
(between Rand Morgan & McKenzie)
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.
✞ Serving The Coastal Bend Since 1908 ✞ Dignified Personal Service
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16 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
✞ Complete Pre-Need Funeral Service Plans Ron & Margo Alonzo
1222 Morgan at 10th Corpus Christi, TX 78404
†† NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
Lee Gwozdz leads the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and cathedral choirs in last year’s Lessons & Carols. Nan Borden leads the Cherub Choir. According to Gwozdz there will be a record number of choir members, 170 youth and 80 adult who will sing in this year’s concert on Dec. 22-23. Ram Hernandez for South Texas Catholic
Concert season will feature ‘heavenly music’ Mary Cottingham
South Texas Catholic
his year’s Citgo Season 34 Cathedral Concert Series presented by the Diocese of Corpus Christi will be chock-full of heavenly music. The season will begin on Dec. 22 with “Lessons & Carols,” in which the
audience will be encouraged to join their voices to those of the 250 voices of the Corpus Christi Cathedral choirs. The Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra will accompany the choirs. “The series is focusing now on choirs that celebrate the sacred” said Lee Gwozdz, Director of Sacred December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 17
✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
Attendees from last year’s Lessons & Carols. The audience is encouraged to join their voices to those of the 250 voices of the Corpus Christi Cathedral choirs. Ram Hernandez for South Texas Catholic
Music for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. With the exception of “Chanticleer, An Orchestra of Voices,” all of the season’s concerts are free. The Chanticleer, well known throughout the world for its all male chorus, is co-sponsored by Texas A&M University Corpus Christi’s School of Arts and Humanities and will be held at Texas A&M Performing Arts Center on Jan. 16, 2018. On the same day, Chanticleer will also do a master class for all college choirs in the area. “Pomp and Pipe Mardi Gras” on Feb. 13, 2018 celebrates the space of the Cathedral. “During the renaissance period, people flocked to Mass at San Marco Church in Venice because it was such an amazing experience,” Gwozdz said. In this concert, students from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University Kingsville and Del Mar College will try to reproduce that time in history. There will be multiple brass and percussion ensembles and choirs and they will perform from different locations throughout the Cathedral. “It’s called surround sound renaissance time,” Gwozdz said. “We think it will become a tradition every year and it celebrates the great talents of students at all those
18 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
universities. It also allows them to experience historically what it was like to make music in great cathedrals. Last year students said, ‘oh wow, that was such a great aesthetic experience.’ They will never forget it.” Gwozdz said one of the top Lutheran college choirs; Concordia Choir of Minnesota will perform at the Cathedral on March 4, 2018. Rene Clausin, one of the top composers of music for choirs, will conduct. Another choir will be the Notre Dame Folk Choir performing on Saturday June 3, 2018 celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi, in the city that bares its name. The series will end with the Cathedral Festival Concert 2018 on June 15, 2018 featuring all the Cathedral Choirs and members from the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra and directed by Gwozdz. “Other than the music we present at Mass, the purpose of these concerts is to celebrate the space for everybody, so you don’t have to be Catholic. It’s like an outreach, it’s a way to expose great music and we say we like to provide concerts that may be a foretaste of what heaven may be like,” Gwozdz said. “Hearing music in our space can come close to that, because the acoustics are so amazing.”
†† NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
Hurricane relief available from Catholic Charities Rebecca Esparza
hen the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey began to hit the Coastal Bend on the morning of Friday, Aug. 25, Robert Garza (not his actual name) had a sinking, dreadful feeling as he fled Port Aransas for the Rio Grande Valley. He stopped to take one last look at his house and remembers thinking it might be the last time he would see it standing. Almost 50 years of his family’s memories could possibly be gone when he came back. Not only did his family’s home suffer major damage, evacuation expenses took a personal toll on his finances, as well.
“My family spent over $1,000 on hurricane expenses, including hotel rooms, meals while we were away and food that had spoiled in our refrigerator during the power outage,” he said. “In some ways, we still have not recovered financially from the storm.” That is where Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi has been able to step in with financial assistance. “Catholic Charities helped me catch up by paying one month of my rent,” Garza said. “I can’t begin to explain how much this assistance means to me.” Catholic Charities USA has given a major gift to Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi to be used for those financially
Celia Mendez with Catholic Charities (center) and Deacon Jesse Hinojosa (right) prepare donations for distribution to those in need after Hurricane Harvey as Ofelia Castaneda from Nuestra Senora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia Church volunteers to help. Contributed photo December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 19
✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The funds must be used by Dec. 31, so there is limited time to apply and receive aid. Since the hurricane, Catholic Charities has assisted 2,850 households and 11,400 individuals. The tons of supplies they have distributed to hurricane survivors is staggering: 60 tons of food, cleaning supplies and hygiene items; 18 tons of water and two tons of clothes. Relief assistance to those in the Diocese of Corpus Christi affected by Hurricane Harvey is not over. “In order to assist as many people in need as possible, we require applicants to provide proof of storm related damage or storm related economic hardship. Things that qualify as proof include photos of property damage, a letter of denial from FEMA or denial of coverage from an insurance company,” said Linda McKamie, executive director at Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. For Mayra Flores, assistance from FEMA was non-existent. “They offered me a few hundred dollars for thousands of dollars worth of damage,” she said. “I live [in Corpus Christi]
six blocks from the bay. I lost my entire roof and everything throughout the house had water damage. I was beyond heartbroken. That’s when a friend at St. Thomas More Church recommended I call Catholic Charities.” Catholic Charities provided Flores with all the building materials needed to fix her home. Now, she is working to find the funds for the labor, which is not covered by assistance from Catholic Charities. “I couldn’t believe it when I was told Catholic Charities would help me. Nobody has ever helped me like this before in my life. I was in shock,” Flores said, overcome with emotion. Other types of assistance includes help for individuals who lost their job due to a business that has not reopened since the storm; they can seek assistance with rent, groceries, a utility bill or other common expenses. “In that situation, we would accept a letter from an employer stating the business has suffered hardship because of the storm,” McKamie said.
Although direct cash assistance is not available through this grant opportunity, McKamie said Catholic Charities would make a rent payment, pay for childcare or purchase building materials, if necessary requirements were met. McKamie added Catholic Charities is here to assist those affected by the Hurricane Harvey because of their mission, which is “rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to provide service to people in need.” Help is available to the general community, not just Catholics. “We have been blessed with an abundance of gifts to be used to provide people with disaster assistance, and it is our goal to distribute a large portion of these gifts to qualified individuals and families prior to the holidays, hoping to restore joy and stability,” she said. Individuals and families financially devastated by Hurricane Harvey can apply for assistance by contacting Catholic Charities at (361) 884-0651 or www.catholiccharities-cc.org. Applications must be submitted by Dec. 31 in order to recevie assistance.
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 & klux.org Live video stream: goccn.org 20 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
With the permission of Father Saji Sebastian, HGN, Provincial Superior of the Heralds of the Good News, Father Sanish Mathew, HGN, is appointed as Parochial Vicar at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Parish in Corpus Christi, effective Oct. 20 and Father Jaison Mathew, HGN, is appointed as Parochial Vicar at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish, in Corpus Christi, effective Oct. 20.
Gutierrez, Regalado accepted into Rite of Candidacy Diocese of Corpus Christi seminarians Richard R. Gutierrez and Ramiro “RJ” Regalado publically declared their intention to pursue Holy Orders and were officially accepted as a candidates for ordination during the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders. Gutierrez is attending Assumption Seminary in San Antonio and Regalado attends Theological College, The National Diocesan Seminary of the Catholic University of America, in Washington DC. Canon 1036 of Church law states: “In order to be promoted to the order of
diaconate or of presbyterate, the candidate is to present to his bishop or competent major superior a declaration written in his own hand and signed in which he attests that he will receive the sacred order of his own accord and freely and will devote himself perpetually to the ecclesiastical ministry and at the same time asks to be admitted to the order to be received.” Candidacy takes place during seminary formation, by which the Church recognizes the seminarian as worthy of being ordained hence, they become a “candidate” for ordination to the priesthood.
Richard R. Gutierrez
Ramiro “RJ” Regalado
Catholic Charities honors Sister Rose Madassery More than 250 people, attended Catholic Charities’ Second Annual Celebration of
Charity benefit fundraiser on Nov. 9, which recognized Sister Rose Paul Madassery,
SABS, Operations Manager of the Mother Teresa Shelter, with the 2017 Humanitarian Award for her 15 years of support, dedication and commitment to the homeless of Corpus Christi. “Her heart is so big. She treats every person that comes to her facility as a human being and as someone that deserves honor and respect. She treats them in the condition that they’re in and does everything she can to make their lives better–make them a better person,” Board President Mike McLellan said. Sister Rose said she was a reluctant soldier when she came to Corpus Christi. She tried to find an excuse for not taking the job. She opened a Bible and read "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13)." seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to South Texas
Bishop Michael Mulvey presents Sister Rose Paul Madassery, SABS, Operations Manager of the Mother Teresa Shelter, with the 2017 Humanitarian Award. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 21
†† NEWS BRIEFS
For the good of the People of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has made the following assignments: Father Krzysztof Bauta is released from
his assignment as Parochial Administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Port Aransas, effective Oct. 13. Msgr. Mark Chamberlain is appointed as Parochial Administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Port Aransas, effective Oct. 13. Deacon Mark Arnold is released from his assignment at St. Piux X Parish, Corpus Christi, and is appointed as Deacon at St. Joseph Parish, Port Aransas, effective Oct. 13.
†† NEWS BRIEFS
Sacred Heart Church presents ‘Reversing Diabetes’ IWA dedicates Mass to Veterans and those on active-duty In observance of Veterans’ Day, Incarnate Word Academy invited veterans of the armed forces as well as active-duty military members to celebrate an honorary Mass on Nov. 9 in the school’s James R. Dougherty Jr. Center.
A special blessing was offered to all veterans and active-duty military members during Eucharistic celebration. All veterans in attendance were given a rose by their student relatives at the conclusion of Mass.
Dr. John Sullivan will present a program on ‘Reversing Diabetes’ at Sacred Heart Church in Corpus Christi on Dec. 7 and 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The program will be a bilingual presentation and is to the public at no cost. Classes hopes to relieve those afflicted by diabetes of costly diabetic medications and painful complications that stem from “maintaining” this debilitating disease instead of getting to the root cause and reversing it. For more information call Mary Rangel at (361) 883-6082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alice Christian community sponsors annual meal On Monday, Nov. 13, at the Alice KC Hall, nearly 1,000 community members came out for the Sixth Annual Alice Community Meal sponsored the city’s three Catholic churches and a Christian community church. “It was a beautiful display of Christian unity,” Father Julian Cabrera, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe said. The three Catholic parishes, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Elizabeth with Msgr. Leonard Pivonka as pastor, and St. Joseph, with Father Pete Elizardo as pastor, and the Christian Community of Living Word Fellowship pastored by Rev. Kathleen Kaspar, came together for the event.
“Christian stewardship entails going beyond one's parish boundaries to minister with our brothers and sisters in need,” Father Cabrera said. “It has been a beautiful example of Christian missionary discipleship among our community for the last six years.” The event was first begun by the Stewardship Committee at Our Lady of Guadalupe, which then invited St. Joseph, St. Elizabeth Parish and Pastor Kaspar and churches from other faith traditions to join them. Military veterans are also recognized at the meal. Veteran Hector Villarreal was the guest speaker. The Veterans, spouses and
children had a place reserved for them at the front and each was recognized. Turkey and dressing with all the trimmings, tea and dessert were served. Fernando Cisneros provided musical entertainment. Amaris Vasquez led the National Anthem. “It is my hope that Unity among parishes and the Christian community may continue to grow, that Christ’s prayer may indeed come to pass, ‘that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me’,” Father Cabrera said.
Diocese unveils new institute for ministry formation The Diocese of Corpus Christi has established an “Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation” to form laity for parish ministry as authentic witnesses to the Gospel for the New Evangelization. The Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation provides a new blended learning formation opportunity for all who serve in 22 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
parish ministry in the Diocese of Corpus Christi and has been available on the Internet since Nov. 7. Anyone in ministry in the diocese is able to register online at faithformationcc.com to take advantage of online live webinar training sessions, parish catechist certification tracking, online courses that allow for flexibility,
live courses and more. The Institute provides formation and certification opportunities for all ministries, including Catholic school teachers of religion, parish religious education catechists, youth ministry catechists, youth ministers, parish catechetical leaders, coordinators for laity family and life, RCIA, and adult formation.
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
Los padres José Naul Ordóñez y Juan Fernando Gámez (en el centro sosteniendo las placas) están celebrando el décimo aniversario del programa Semillas de Esparanza en la radio KLUX. También en la foto, desde la izquierda, están personal de radio, incluido el gerente general Marty Wind, la gerente de la oficina Margie Rivera, el gerente de producción Richard Luna y el director de operaciones de transmisión Russ Martin. Pilar Torres para el South Texas Catholic
‘Semillas de Esperanza’ observa 10 años en la radio Luisa Scolari
l programa de radio “Semillas de Esperanza” esta cumpliendo 10 años al aire ya que el mes de octubre de 2007 se dio inicio a sus transmisiones. El programa se transmite todos los domingos a las 7 de la mañana a través de la estación de radio de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, KLUX del 89.5 HD-1 y en “Listen Live” en KLUX.org. Surgió por iniciativa de los padres José Naul Ordóñez, Henry Artunduaga y Juan Fernando Gámez, en la Parroquia de San José en Alice, Texas. El Padre Ordoñez estaba asignado a esa parroquia y los tres sacerdotes se reunían allí para estudiar, analizar y planear la creación de un programa que pudiera atender a las necesidades de la comunidad hispana. Aprovechando que los medios de comunicación ofrecen una oportunidad de llevar la palabra
y el mensaje de Dios a tantas personas que por diferentes circunstancias se veían incapaz de asistir a la parroquia. “En el 2007 inicie en este proyecto como una inquietud pastoral para poder evangelizar mas allá de lo convencional y pensamos que la radio nos ofrecía una gran oportunidad para poder hacer llegar los mensajes del Evangelio a mas personas”, El padre Gámez dijo. “En ese entonces estábamos recién llegados de Colombia y quisimos llegar a través de la radio a la comunidad hispana porque había muy pocas cosas en español”. El Padre Ordoñez dijo que “Otra razón que nos motivo mucho a la creación del programa ‘Semillas de Esperanza’ fue mirar que la mayoría de los hispanos que vienen a los estados unidos vienen a trabajar y no tienen mucho tiempo para ir a la iglesia y asistir a Misa. Entonces la idea era que el mensaje del Evangelio del domingo llegara
a todas las personas que van escuchando el radio en su carros en camino a su trabajo, o en sus trabajos limpiando casas o cuidando niños podían tener la oportunidad de escuchar el programa”. Durante el transcurso de los primeros siete años, los titulares del programa fueron el Padre Artunduaga, el Padre Ordoñez y Padre Gámez, pero con el regreso del Padre Artunduaga a Colombia, los tres últimos años quedan solamente como titulares el Padre Ordoñez y el Padre Gámez quienes durante estos diez anos de transmisiones ininterrumpidas, han contado con la presencia de importantes invitados al programa como son el Obispo Rigoberto Corredor, Monseñor Ivan Cadavit, Obispo Librado Ramírez Gómez y otros sacerdotes que vinieron de Colombia. “El impacto que este programa ha tenido dentro de la comunidad hispana December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 23
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
de la diócesis lo podemos percibir cuando los radioescuchas de nuestras parroquias y comunidades nos felicitan y nos mandan mensajes de texto a nuestros teléfonos”, dijo el Padre Ordoñez. Inclusivo en esas mensajes son las de un sacerdote de Honduras que escucha el programa, y quien manda mensajes y comenta que se apoya en los comentarios para hacer sus homilías y reflexiones del Evangelio del domingo. Unas familias de Brasil que no hablan muy bien español pero que les gusta el programa también mandan mensajes de texto diciendo que escuchan el programa. El Padre Gámez dice que un aspecto muy importante es poder ofrecer un servicio muy grande a los enfermos y ancianos hispanos que viven en sus casas o en los Nursing Homes y que no tienen la posibilidad de ir a la iglesia. “Eso nos da la oportunidad de ser iglesia en el lecho del enfermo y nos dicen que sintonizan el programa porque les gusta mucho escucharlo”, el Padre Gámez dijo. “Creemos que con la ayuda de Dios y el apoyo de la gente seguiremos al aire por
lo menos durante otros 10 anos mas! Se ha visto que es un programa que llega a la gente y la gente lo quiere”. El Padre Ordoñez informa que durante la programación del mes de diciembre, se abordaran los temas de la Navidad y el tiempo de Adviento, ya que todos los domingos el tema y la reflexión están basados en el Evangelio de ese día. El Padre Gámez dijo que en la parroquia de San Martin en Kingsville se celebrara un retiro de Adviento y todos esos contenidos los pasaran al púbico en general por el programa. El Padre Gámez explica que el programa tiene una estructura que da inicio con una introducción, seguida de un encuentro con la palabra que es la lectura del Evangelio. Después continúan con una reflexión en torno al Evangelio y después el tema del día, que es un tema estructural que se va desarrollando y a veces, pero no siempre coincide con el Evangelio. Posteriormente viene el acontecer eclesial que son las noticias, comentarios y todo lo que la Iglesia va produciendo en ese momento. Los Padres Gámez y Ordoñez, invitan a la comunidad de habla hispana a sintonizar
Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en KLUX.org Domingos a las 7:30 a.m. con el P. Julian Cabrera y Gloria Romero
el programa “Semillas de Esperanza” y escucharlos este domingo a partir de las 7 por la mañana en el 89.5 de su radio. Si por alguna razón no lo pueden escuchar en ese horario, pueden ingresar a la pagina de la “SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC” en donde escogerá la opción “NEWS” y ahí selecciona “VIDA CATOLICA” que al final de la hoja se ofrece varios enlaces, entre los cuales aparece el de “SEMILLAS DE ESPERANZA.” Lo pueden seleccionar y pueden escoger el programa de la fecha que desean escuchar. Ya estando ahí se puede observar que también están los enlaces para el programa de radio “CON PERMISO”, la transmisión de la misa en español de la Catedral, las lecturas de la misa, los horarios de misas en español de la diócesis, Ministerio Hispano y V Encuentro. También pueden ver que es muy fácil tener a la mano toda la información de la diócesis que necesitan en español y pueden escuchar todos los programas en su idioma. Para cualquier duda que tengan pueden comunicarte a las oficinas del South Texas Catholic al teléfono (361) 882-6191.
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
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 24 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
†† CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Notre Dame interns, from left, Erik Mendoza, Anna Busse, Mitchell Coughlin, Clare Wojda, John Kunst and Katherine Lumetta are currently working at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Rosemary Henry for South Texas Catholic
Notre Dame students teach and learn in diocesan schools Dayna Mazzei Worchel
ost Alliance for Catholic Education teaching fellows will happily tell you why they love teaching in a Catholic school. “The beauty of Catholic schools is that it is a smaller community.
You grow up feeling love where you don’t normally,” said Clare Wojda (pronounced “Voida”), one of six University of Notre Dame ACE teaching fellows who are currently working at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Wojda, who hails from St. Paul, Minnesota, teaches December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 25
†† CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Bishop Garriga Middle School student gives ACE teacher, Anna Busse the sign of peace during a Mass for Veterans at Immaculate Conception Chapel at St. John Paul II on Nov. 16.
fourth graders in all subjects at Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic School. She said that the family atmosphere at Catholic schools might be a good choice for a student with special needs. “Even though public schools have more resources for special needs students, sometimes these students can do better in a smaller community like a Catholic school,” she said. Johnny Kunst, another ACE teaching fellow, works with Wojda at Ss. Cyril and Methodius. The other Mary Cottingham, four fellows are Kathryn Lumetta and Anna Busse who South Texas Catholic are at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School and Erik Mendoza and Mitchell Coughlin who teach at St. Anthony School in Robstown. The ACE program, which was founded in 1994 by Father Tim Scully and Father Sean McGraw at the University of Notre Dame, recruits young college graduates from across the country in any undergraduate discipline. While students earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame, they commit to teaching in an under-resourced Catholic school for two years, Wojda said. They are paid a stipend for living expenses and take their academic classes online during the school year. They go back to the university in the summer to attend graduate classes. The ACE students receive their master’s degrees at no cost to them upon completion of the program. Kunst, who teaches all subjects for a fifth grade class at Saints Cyril and Methodius lives in Marin County, just north of San Francisco. ACE sends the students all over the U.S. to teach, especially in areas of the country
26 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
which are very different from the ones in which they were raised, he said. “A big part of it is going outside of your comfort zone. The teaching locations are chosen for you,” he said. Kunst said it was Father McGraw, who lived down the hall from him in his dormitory at the University of Notre Dame during his undergraduate years, who inspired him to join the program. “Father McGraw told me a lot about the program and got me excited about it and it challenged me in a lot of ways. It was the perfect thing for me,” said Kunst, who has a bachelor’s degree in theology. He said he always wanted to teach in a Catholic school. “I had a lot of great role models and a lot of teachers made a great impact on me. I wanted to change lives in the same way my life was changed,” Kunst said. Wojda, who graduated from a Jesuit College in Mobile, Alabama, said she began tutoring middle school students at a children’s home while she was in high school. People told her she must be a saint to want to work with children in that age group. “But I fell in love with the kids,” she said, adding that she had planned to teach in a public school once she received her bachelor’s degree. “I heard about ACE and it’s rare for education majors to do it. I felt like God was calling me to it. I wanted to make an impact on kids who really needed me,” said Wojda, who will graduate in the summer of 2018. Busse teaches sixth and eighth grade social studies at Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School and will graduate in the summer of 2019. She first became drawn to teaching as a middle school student.
†† CATHOLIC EDUCATION
“All of my teachers made me feel so great about myself. I look at teaching as an act of love. While teaching, you have to be there for the students on their good and bad days and on your good and bad days,” said Busse, who comes from Iowa. She also appreciates the ACE community of teachers, both in Corpus Christi and throughout the country. “We are all working together in the Catholic community to be better teachers and to better serve our students,” Busse said. Lumetta, who teaches sixth and seventh grade science at Bishop Garriga agrees. “The ACE communities offer a lot of support. Through ACE, we really learned how to teach. We make connections between what we learn in class and what we observe in the real world and in everyday life,” she said. Lumetta said she enjoys helping her students figure out who they are and helping them grow academically. A native of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Coughlin teaches all subjects for a fifth grade class at St. Anthony in Robstown. Although he is a big home body and misses his family, he said one of the appealing aspects of ACE was the opportunity to go to a part of the country he had never seen. “I was actually keeping my fingers crossed that I would wind up somewhere pretty far from Ohio. I figured I’m young, it’s the beginning of my career if there is a time to go–now would be the time,” he said. Although Coughlin was educated in public school, the calling to teach and impact the lives of students appealed to him, “but to do it through Christ–not through a secular setting, but through a spiritual setting
as well.” Mendoza, who teaches middle school math and science at St. Anthony grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and graduated college from the University of Notre Dame. “In my senior year I was an intern for them and I helped with recruiting and other jobs inside ACE until I actually went in the program,” he said. Initially, Mendoza thought he wanted to apply for medical school, but said he wanted to go out in the field first. Now he loves teaching and changed his career plans to teaching full time. “A lot of these kids just need a good role model in their life. I figure, using my gifts I could do more in teaching than I could in medicine,” Mendoza said. “I love the community [St. Anthony]–from our parents and students and being able to look in any classroom and see the spiritual love between all of our students and teachers. This year will be Mendoza’s last year teaching at St. Anthony School. He is currently engaged to be married and will be moving back to Fort Worth to teach full time. Rosemary Henry, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, said the diocese is blessed to have this important partnership with the ACE program. “These teachers share the mission of Catholic education and contribute to the development of our students spiritually, intellectually, socially and morally. Students are embraced with loving and motivated role models to guide them in their studies and with caring professionals who wish to make a difference,” Henry said.
Teacher Clare Wojda encourages fourth grader John Alex Pantoja to begin his writing assignment. Wojda teaches at Ss. Cyril & Methodius School. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 27
†† NATIONAL NEWS
Father Stanley Rother, martyr and missionary, beatified
Catholic News Agency
ather Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma priest martyred in Guatemala, was recently beatified at a Mass in Oklahoma City attended by more than 20,000 people. Pope Francis named him blessed in a letter that cited his “deeply rooted faith,” his “profound union with God,” and his “arduous duty to spread the word of God in missionary lands, faithfully living his priestly and missionary service until his martyrdom.” His feast day is set for the anniversary of his death, July 28, 1981, which the papal letter described as “the day of his heavenly birth.” Father Rother served indigenous people of his Guatemala parish at a time of civil war. He returned to his home state of Oklahoma after a death threat, then went back to Guatemala knowing the dangers. Before his last Christmas, the priest wrote to a parish in Oklahoma about the dangers in Guatemala. “The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger,” he said. Armed men broke into his rectory, intending to abduct him. He resisted and struggled, but did not call for help, so others at the mission would not be endangered. He was shot twice and killed. At a time of great social and political turbulence, the priest lived as a disciple of Christ, “doing good and spreading peace and reconciliation among the people,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect for the Congregation of Saints, said in his homily. “Unfortunately, this immediate recompense on this earth was persecution and a bloody death, in accord with the Words of Jesus "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit,” said the cardinal, citing the words of the Gospel. Celebrating the Mass with Cardinal Amato were Oklahoma City Archbishop 28 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
Paul Coakley, dozens of bishops, scores of priests and thousands of laity, including some from Guatemala. The Mass took place On Sept. 23 at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center. Family of Father Rother were also in attendance. Sister Marita Rother read the first reading, from the Book of Sirach. Though Father Rother faced difficulties in his seminary studies, he showed great dedication to the manual labor he was familiar with from his youth on his family farm near Okarche, Oklahoma. After volunteering for the Guatemala mission Santiago Atitlan, the priest learned Spanish. He also learned the local language of the Tz’utujil Mayan Indians so well that he could use it in his preaching. He spent 13-years of his life there, diligent in visiting newlyweds and baptizing and catechizing their children. He was vigorous in both religious and social formation, drawing on his experience to work the fields and repair broken trucks while also building a farmer’s co-op, a school, a hospital and the area’s first Catholic radio station. Father Rother also took action after a major earthquake in 1976. “With courage he climbed the ravines in order to help the very poor, pulling the wounded out of the ruins and carrying them to safety on his shoulders,” Cardinal Amato said. Cardinal Amato recounted the civil conflict in Guatemala. From 1971 to 1981, there were numerous killings of journalists, farmers, catechists and priests, all accused falsely of communism. “This was a real and true time of bloody persecution of the Church,” the cardinal said. “Father Rother, aware of the imminent danger to his life, prepared himself for martyrdom, asking the Lord for the strength to face it without fear. He continued, however, to preach the Gospel of love and non-violence.” Both the priest’s mission and the aid he
gave to the victims of violence were seen as subversive, explained the cardinal, who said: “a good shepherd cannot abandon his flock.” “In the face of kidnappings and violence Father Rother felt helpless because he did not succeed in changing the situation of reconciliation and forgiveness,” Cardinal Amato said. “He often cried in silence to a Carmelite nun who asked what to do if he were killed.” “Father Rother responded, ‘Raise the standard of Christ Risen’.” Oklahoma City Archbishop emeritus Eusebius Beltran voiced gratitude to God for the beatification of the first native-born priest and martyr of the United States. “His death was a tragedy for Oklahoma and for Guatemala. However, through his death, his saintly life has become known well beyond the boundaries of Guatemala and Oklahoma and the faith of all those who are now familiar with his life is greatly strengthened, and the Church continues to flourish,” Archbishop Beltran said. Archbishop Coakley said that the priest “chose to remain with his people” and “gave his life in solidarity.” “Pray that Church will experience a new Pentecost and abundant vocations, aided by the intercession of Father Rother,” he said. The Mass was multi-lingual, incorporating Spanish, Comanche and the Mayan language of the indigenous people Father Rother served.
Father Stanley Rother during his missionary work in Guatemala. Father David Monahan, Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Archives
†† NATIONAL NEWS
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 29
†† NATIONAL NEWS
Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk, and second wife Anna Brings White in their home in Manderson, South Dakota, about 1910. Public domain photo
Native American on path to sainthood
Catholic News Agency
akota medicine man turned Catholic catechist Nicholas Black Elk has begun the path to potential canonization with a Mass in South Dakota opening his cause for sainthood. On Nov. 14, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved by voice vote the canonical consultation of canonization sought by Bishop Robert D. Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota. The voice vote is in keeping with the Episcopal consultation process as a step in the Catholic Church’s process toward declaring a person a saint. “From a very young age, there was an 30 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
openness to the Spirit of God in his life,” Bishop Gruss said. “God used a personal invitation from a Jesuit priest to lead this child of God, Black Elk, down a new path to becoming this great disciple in the Catholic faith for the Lakota people.” The Mass, which opened Black Elk’s cause for canonization, was celebrated at Holy Rosary Church near Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Family members of Black Elk were in attendance. “For 50 years, Black Elk lived this mission in leading others to Christ,” the bishop said, crediting his love for God and Sacred Scripture for motivating him to become a catechist. In that role, he
brought hundreds of people to the Catholic faith. The bishop cited Black Elk’s own words from his missionary letter: “I spoke mainly on Jesus—when he was on earth, the teachings and his sufferings. I myself, do a lot of these things. I suffer, and I try to teach my people the things that I wanted them to learn.” Black Elk, like many of his ancestors, served as a medicine man, which combined the roles of medical doctor, spiritual adviser and counselor. Despite the promises of the Great Sioux Treaty of 1868, gold-seeking settlers and prospectors began moving into Dakota
†† NATIONAL NEWS
Territory in 1874. This led to the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. Black Elk was at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. The following year, he joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, which toured Europe, including a performance before Queen Victoria. Black Elk continued to tour the continent with another Wild West show, encountering the cultures of England, France, Germany and Italy. He learned to speak some English and returned to the U.S. in 1889. In 1890, he was injured at the Wounded Knee Massacre, where a bullet grazed his thigh. Two years later, he married Katie War Bonnet. They had three children. After she converted to Catholicism, all three children were baptized. The year after she died, Black Elk converted to Catholicism and was baptized on Dec. 6, 1904, the Feast of St. Nicholas. He took Nicholas as his baptismal name because he admired the saint’s generosity. He married again in 1905. His second wife, Anna Brings White, was a widow with two children. They had three children
together and she passed away in 1941. The practice in the Diocese of Rapid City was for Jesuit priests to select Lakota Catholic men to teach the faith as catechists. They taught the faith, prayed and prepared converts in the Lakota language, traveling by foot or by horseback until automobiles became available. Black Elk became a catechist in 1907, chosen for his enthusiasm and his excellent memory for learning Scripture and Church teaching. His work brought more than 400 people into the Catholic Church. The medicine man became prominent through “Black Elk Speaks,” John G. Neihart’s biographical work. The work covers his Lakota upbringing, though not his adulthood as a Christian. Black Elk passed away Aug. 19, 1950 at Pine Ridge. “He embraced the mission to which he had been called—to help others live in the balance of the Lakota and Catholic culture leading to a deeper life in Jesus,” Bishop Gruss reflected on the possible saint’s life. “He melded whatever he could from his
Lakota culture into his Christian life. This enculturation can always reveal something of the true nature and holiness of God.” “He challenged people to renew themselves, to seek this life that Christ offers them,” the bishop said. “Of course, Christ’s work is never done.” The bishop said that all Christians have been called into the missionary field. “Our baptism leads us there. Like Black Elk, if we are docile to the Lord’s will, devoting our lives to him, we will be out working for his kingdom of mercy, love and peace.” Bishop Gruss stressed the need to continue to gather more information and testimony about the life of Black Elk and to pray that his cause merits advancement. Bill White of Porcupine, S.D., is the diocesan postulator for the cause. He is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Father Joe Daoust, S.J., of Pine Ridge, is assisting White. Deacon Ben Black Bear from St. Francis Mission is translating some of Black Elk’s writings from the Lakota language to English, the diocese said.
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Family gathers for Christmas eve. Lucky Business/Shutterstock.com
Pope Francis: The future of the world depends on the family Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency
he future of the Church and the world is dependent on the good of the family, Pope Francis said in a video message to participants in the Third International Symposium on Amoris Laetitia, organized by the Italian bishops’ conference. “The love between a man and woman is one of the most generative human experiences, it is the ferment of the culture of encounter and brings to the present world an injection of sociality,” the pope said. “The family born of marriage creates fruitful bonds, which reveal themselves to be the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant,” Pope Francis said Quoting his 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, he emphasized that the good 32 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
of the family is decisive for the future of the world and of the Church. Speaking about the role of the properly formed conscience, Pope Francis warned against the temptation to turn to a sort of egoism or “cult of self.” “The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual in relation to the relationships he lives,” he said. This is why, he said, there is a need to form consciences—not substitute them—and to accompany spouses and parents in learning to “apply the Gospel to the concreteness of life.” In the reality of the family and of marital love, there may come situations that require “arduous choices,” he said, and these should be made “with righteousness.”
Therefore, divine grace, “which illuminates and strengthens married love and parental mission,” is absolutely necessary for spouses and the family. Pope Francis’ video message echoed his recent keynote address to a major conference on the future of the European Union, in which he spoke out against abortion and said the Christian understanding of the family can serve as a model on which the European continent can base its identity as it faces a changing and uncertain future. In the family, “diversity is valued and at the same time brought into unity,” Pope Francis said, explaining that the family “is the harmonious union of the differences between man and woman, which becomes stronger and more authentic to the extent that it is fruitful, capable of opening itself to life and to others.”
Mass is for the Eucharist, not pictures, put the phone away Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency
ecently, Francis chastised those who spend Mass talking to others, looking at their phone or even taking pictures during papal liturgies, saying these are distractions that take focus away from the “heart of the Church,” which is the Eucharist. “The Mass is not a show: it is to go to meet the passion and resurrection of the Lord,” the pope said Nov. 8. “The Lord is here with us, present,” the pope said. “Many times we go there [Mass], we look at things and chat among ourselves while the priest celebrates the Eucharist... But it is the Lord!” In particular, Pope Francis condemned the use of cell phones to take photos at papal Masses. At one point during the Mass the priest says, “We lift up our hearts; he does not say, ‘We
lift up our phones to take photographs!’” “It’s a bad thing! And I tell you that it gives me so much sadness when I celebrate here in the Piazza or Basilica and I see so many raised cellphones, not just of the faithful, even of some priests and even bishops. But think: when you go to Mass, the Lord is there! And you're distracted… [but] it is the Lord!” During the general audience, Pope Francis said the Eucharist would be the new focus of his weekly catechesis for the year, because “it is fundamental for us Christians to understand well the value and meaning of the Holy Mass to live more and more
fully our relationship with God.” In the Eucharist we rediscover, through our senses, what is essential, he said. Just as the Apostle Thomas asked to see and touch the wounds of Jesus after his resurrection, we need the same thing; “to see him and touch him to be able to recognize him.” In this way, the Sacraments meet this very "human need" of ours, he said. And in the Eucharist, in particular, we find a privileged way to meet God and his love. The Second Vatican Council was inspired by the desire to help Christians understand the beauty of the encounter in the Eucharist even better, he continued.
Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square on Nov. 8. Daniel Ibáñez Catholioc News Agency December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 33
The Eucharist has been a key theme in the depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art, as in this 16th-century Juan de Juanes painting. Public domain photo
This is why “it was necessary first to implement, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an adequate renewal of the liturgy.” A central theme emphasized at Vatican II was the liturgical formation of the faithful, which Pope Francis said is also the aim of the series of catechesis he has begun: to help people “grow in the knowledge of this great gift God has given us in the Eucharist.”
As a side note, Pope Francis asked if people had noticed the chaotic way children make the sign of cross at Mass, moving their hand all over their chest, and asked people to teach children to make the sign of the cross well. “We need to teach children to do the sign of the cross well,” he said, noting that this is how Mass begins, because just as
Mass begins this way, “so life begins, so the day begins.” Concluding his reflection on the Mass and the Eucharist, Pope Francis said that he hopes that through these brief weekly lessons, everyone will rediscover the beauty "hidden in the Eucharistic celebration, and which, when revealed, gives a full meaning to the life of everyone."
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†† OUR FAITH
God’s greatest commandment Msgr. Leonard Pivonka is pastor at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Alice.
Msgr. Leonard Pivonka
he Scribes and Pharisees who were hostile to Jesus tried to trip him up by asking, “which is the greatest commandment?” And Jesus gives his well-known reply “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And of course Jesus also gives the second commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” A lot of ink has been spent in reflecting on the love of neighbor in recent times. And it is a topic worthy of continued reflection and action. I would like to give due attention to the greatest commandment in the teaching of Jesus: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” This commandment is probably known by heart by everyone who bears the name of Christian. But what does it mean? What does it mean to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind? Looking into the details of the greatest commandment is disturbing to some because it requires a surrender of one’s self and one’s life to the Lord God, to a higher power who sets the standards of true life. How would I describe what the Church teaches about loving God? The first thing we learn pertains to the 10 Commandments. Keeping the 10 Commandments is definitely a way of showing love for God. Loving God above all things, with all our heart means letting nothing become more important than him in our lives. If we are seeking something more than God or placing something above him, then we have broken the First Commandment. We should love God so much that we treat his name and presence with great respect. We should never use God’s name in an angry or malicious way. That would be breaking the Second Commandment. We show our love for God by attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each Sunday at church and keeping his
day holy. We come to offer ourselves, and all we are in thanksgiving, to the Lord each Sunday so that we may deepen our communion with him. If we fail to present ourselves at Sunday Mass each week without a serious reason, we break the Third Commandment. Loving God is intimately a part of keeping Commandments four through ten. Whether it be showing proper respect and obedience to our elders, respecting the lives and dignity of everyone, keeping marital chastity if we are married or celibate chastity if we are not married, respecting the property of others, always telling the truth and not being jealous of others and their goods. All of these are ways of loving God. Loving God above all things is what life is all about. If we do not love God above all things, then we will substitute his plan for our lives with our own plans which will always lead us away from him. We can only have one master in our hearts. The challenge is keeping God number one in our lives and the master of our hearts. We have seen people who give their hearts to drugs, to pleasure, to money and to power. These people do not have the love of God in their hearts. They have been mastered by sin. Recently someone shared with me a copy of “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. This book is based on the age-old catechetical truth that we must live our lives for God if we wish to be united with him forever in heaven. We must live our lives according to his laws for us. Life is really not about finding yourself; it is really about finding God and then finding God’s plan for you in life. God is a loving father and he is a just father. Anyone who decides to place themselves above God by not surrendering to his plan for their lives is really unworthy of God’s presence. Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters. We will love one and hate the other because we cannot please two masters. Our hearts were wired to serve only one master. And for December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 35
†† OUR FAITH
Christians that master is the Lord God. How are we doing in loving God? Do we pray to him everyday? Do we make all decisions in our lives based on his teachings of what is good and evil? Do we reject all that is evil according to the teachings of the Lord? Do we thank God daily and tell others about the goodness of
our God? Do we see ourselves as stewards of God’s creation, and not as lords of creation and lords of our lives? Are we living our lives for God? As we celebrate Mass let us ask God to grant us the grace to love him more and more until our hearts are set aflame with his immeasurable love and goodness.
December Liturgical Calendar 1 | Fri | Weekday | green | Dn 7:2-14/ Lk 21:29-33 (507) 2 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Dn 7:15-27/Lk 21:34-36 (508) YEAR B – WEEKDAYS II 3 | SUN | FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7/1 Cor 1:3-9/Mk 13:33-37 (2) Pss I 4 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Is 2:1-5/Mt 8:5-11 (175) 5 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24 (176) 6 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Nicholas, Bishop] Is 25:610a/Mt 15:29-37 (177) 7 | Thu | Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 26:1-6/Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178) 8 | Fri | THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE | white | BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Patronal Feastday of the United States of America) Solemnity | [Holy day of Obligation] Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38 (689) Pss Prop
9 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet/white [Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin] Is 30:19-21, 23-26/Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8 (180)
17 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet or rose Is 61:1-2a, 10-11/1 Thes 5:16-24/Jn 1:6-8, 19-28 (8) Pss III
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
10 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet Is 40:1-5, 9-11/2 Pt 3:8-14/Mk 1:1-8 (5) Pss II
18 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet | Jer 23:5-8/Mt 1:18-25 (194)
26 | Tue | Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | Feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:5459/Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop
11 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Damasus I, Pope] Is 35:110/Lk 5:17-26 (181) 12 | Tue | 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 Mass (vol. IV), the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712 Pss Prop
19 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195) 20 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 7:10-14/Lk 1:26-38 (196) 21 | Thu | 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 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | 1 Sm 1:24-28/Lk 1:46-56 (198)
13 | Wed | Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Is 40:25-31/ Mt 11:28-30 (183)
23 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint John of Kanty, Priest] Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66 (199)
14 | Thu | Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 41:13-20/Mt 11:11-15 (184)
24 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Rom 16:25-27/Lk 1:26-38 (11) Pss IV
15 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 48:17-19.Mt 11:16-19 (185)
25 | Mon | THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (Christmas) | white | Solemnity | [Holy day of Obligation] Vigil: Is 62:15/Acts 13:16-17, 22-25/Mt 1:1-25 or 1:18-25 (13) Night: Is 9:1-6/Ti 2:11-14/
16 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Mt 17:9a, 10-13 (186)
Sacred Heart in Odem
invites you to a 6 mile procession to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Edroy in celebration of our
Sunday, Dec. 10 The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a 6 mile walk from Sacred Heart (401 W. Willis St.) in Odem to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Edroy (18012 CR 1598) where we will serenade our Blessed Mother before 12 p.m. Mass.
FMI call Servando Gomez at (361) 688-0842
36 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
27 | Wed | Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist | white | Feast | 1 Jn 1:1-4/ Jn 20:1a, 2-8 (697) Pss Prop 28 | Thu | The Holy Innocents, Martyrs | red | Feast | 1 Jn 1:5—2:2/Mt 2:13-18 (698) Pss Prop 29 | Fri | 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 | Sat | Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white 1 Jn 2:12-17/Lk 2:36-40 (203) Pss Prop 31 | SUN | THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH | white | Feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3/Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17 or Heb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40 (17) Pss Prop
of the month at 9:30 a.m. at Brookdale (6410 Meadow Vista) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 980-0208. Facilitator is Anita Valle. • Dec. 19 and every third Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at Brookdale (6410 Meadow Vista) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 980-0208. Facilitator is Anita Valle. • Dec. 19 and every third Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. at River Ridge Nursing Rehab Center (3922 West River Dr., off FM 624) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 767-2000. • Dec. 28 and every fourth Thursday of the month at Kleberg County Nursing & Rehab (316 General Cavazos Blvd.) in Kingsville. For more information call (361) 883-3935.
Dec. 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines) in Corpus Christi. Everyone is invited. Light dinner and childcare will be provided. Call Roseanne Norman (361) 991-7653 for childcare. For more information call (361) 992-9841 or email email@example.com.
Living Every Day with passion and purpose
Dec. 2 from 7-10:45 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Church (3502 Saratoga) in Corpus Christi. The event is presented by internationally acclaimed speaker and author Matthew Kelly and the incredibly talented Eliot Morris. Ticket price is $39 and includes all event materials. For more information or to purchase your ticket, visit DynamicCatholic.com/CorpusChristi or call (859) 980-7900.
Journeying through Advent with Mary
Dec. 3 at 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines St.) in Corpus Christi. Registration 9 a.m. Cost is $5, with lunch is $6. For more information call Ana De La Rosa (361) 688-2829.
Alzheimer’s and general support group for caregivers • Dec. 5 and every first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Y.W.C.A. (4601 Corona Drive) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 883-3935. • Dec. 12 and every second Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Woodridge Nursing & Rehab Center (600 So. Hillside Dr.) in Beeville. For more information call (361) 358-8880. • Dec. 13 and every second Wednesday of the month at 12 p.m. at Lindale Center/Caregiver SOS (3133 Swantner St.) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 826-2343. • Dec. 14 and every second Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. at Mirador Plaza (back side of facility at 5857 Timbergate Drive) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 883-3935. • Dec. 19 and every third Tuesday
Bible Study at St. Patrick Church
Dec. 5 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) in Corpus Christi. For more information call the parish office at (361) 855-7391.
Holy Hour followed by a healing Mass
Women’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat
Dec. 7 and every first Thursday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel Jesus Nazareno in Corpus Christi.
Dec. 7-10 begins Thursday 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. Register deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.
Marriage 9 Diocesan Preparation
Dec. 9-10 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. The Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program is a two-day overnight event for the engaged. For more information go to diocesecc.org/convalidationseminar.
Dec. 9 at 8 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Church in Beeville . The Diocese of Corpus Christi Office of Youth Ministry is hosting this event for youth in grades 8-12th. Cost is $10 per person and will include lunch and a t-shirt (only if registered by early bird deadline). For more information go to diocesecc.org/mys17.
Celebration of 10 Annual Our Lady of Guadalupe
Sunday, Dec. 10 begins at 9 a.m. at Sacred Heart (401 W. Willis St.) in Odem with a six mile procession to Our Lady of Guadalupe (18012 CR 1598) in Edroy. At the end of the procession pilgrims will serenade the Blessed Mother before 12 p.m. Mass. For more information call Servando Gomez at (361) 688-0842.
Lady of Guadalupe 12 Our Feast Day Celebration
Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to join in the procession from Sacred Heart Church at the corner of N. Alameda and Lipan to the Corpus Christi Cathedral where Bishop Michael Mulvey will celebrate Mass at 6 p.m. for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There will be a reception in St. Joseph Hall following the Mass. For more information contact Carolyn Pena at (361) 727-1502 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Care Provider Training 13 Sacred Heart Church presents ‘Reversing Diabetes’
Dec. 7 and 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Central Catholic School Cafeteria. Guest speaker, Dr. John Sullivan will be the guest speaker (bilingual). The event is free. For more information call the parish office at (361) 883-6082 or email email@example.com.
Dec. 13, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Area Agency on Aging (2810 Leopard St.) in Corpus Christi. Free eight-hour training. Learn to provide personal care to seniors and persons with physical disabilities to enhance and promote the “Quality of Care in the Home.” For more information contact Felipa Lopez Wilmot at (361) 883-3935, ext. 5153 or toll free 1-800-252-9240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 37
†† DECEMBER CALENDAR
Preparing for the coming of Jesus with Mary
†† DECEMBER CALENDAR
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.
Dec 15-17 at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center. TOUGH is a weekend retreat for both boys and girls in high school age youth (9-12 grades) in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Due to limited rooms, the deadline to register is Dec. 7 or until filled. For more information go to diocesecc.org/tough.
in Truth 16 Grounded at OLCC Adoration
15 Weekend Healing Retreat
Dec. 15-17. Begins Friday 5:30 p.m. ends Sunday 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christ Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of quiet reflection asking God to reveal where healing is needed, and concludes with a healing service. Register at deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.
Family 16 Natural Planning (NFP)
Dec. 16 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Natural Family Planning at 1426 Baldwin Blvd in Corpus Christi.
Dec. 16 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana). An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel 7-8 p.m., followed by festive Christmas caroling and fellowship in Cafe Veritas/Bookstore from 8-9:30 p.m. Rebecca Wolfgang our featured musician and “Lead Caroler!” Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.
St. Joseph Annual Posada
Dec. 16 at 7:15 p.m. at St. Joseph Church (710 South 19th Street) in Corpus Christi.
Cathedral Christmas 22 ‘AComfort and Joy’ & 23
Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 23 at 12 p.m. in Corpus Christi Cathedral. The Diocese of Corpus Christi presents The Cathedral Concert Series CITGO Season 34, "Lessons and Carols" with Cathedral Choirs and the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. The event is free to the public. For VIP seating join the St. Cecilia Guild by calling (361) 883-7444.
and 26 Grandparents other relatives raising
children support group
Dec. 26 and every last Tuesday of each month from 10-11 a.m. at Greenwood Senior Center (4040 Greenwood Drive) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 826-1368.
To see more calendar events go to:
SouthTexasCatholic.com Click on Calendar
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2018
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. On Tuesday, Dec. 12 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 p.m. Please bring roses to present to our Lady. There will be a reception in St. Joseph’s Hall following the Mass. ?FB\hgmZ\m<ZkhergI^gZZm!,/*"0+0&*.)+hk\i^gZahnlmhg9Zhe'\hf
38 South Texas Catholic | December 2017
Anniversary Mass celebration will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Due to limited space, regretfully the couple is limited to two guests to join them for the reception. Registration deadline is Jan. 31, 2018 You may register online at Diocesecc.org/anniversarymass
December 2017 | South Texas Catholic 39
December 2017 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191
40â€‚ South Texas Catholic | December 2017
In our December issue we review the upcoming Cathedral Concert Series, which will be chock-full of heavenly ...
Published on Nov 30, 2017
In our December issue we review the upcoming Cathedral Concert Series, which will be chock-full of heavenly ...