W W W . S O U T H T E X A S C A T H O L I C . C O M â€˘ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 17
VOL. 52 NO. 2
La pareja Pietro y Luly Siracusa celebraron 56 años de matrimonio in 2016. El sacramento de matrimonio para ellos, y muchos otras parejas, es para siempre, hasta que la muerte los separe. Luisa Scolari, para el South Texas Catholic
Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD 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, Ervey Martinez, Jessica Morrison, Luisa Scolari, Dayna Mazzei Worchel
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NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE 4 VIEWPOINTS 19 Being a pastor is bishop’s first love World Day of the Sick is opportunity to honor those who care for others
VOCATIONS 7 Climbing the mountain
NATIONAL 22 Archbishop Flores was a trailblazer for Hispanics
BRIEFS 13 NEWS Portland Knights raise funds for
VATICAN 25 Christian unity sets
EDUCATION 14 CATHOLIC Students learning to think
FAITH 28 OUR Virtue, holiness and faithfulness
outside the box
tone for Pope Francis
in our vocations
Keep up with the faith at www.SouthTexasCatholic.com
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 3
Sister Constance Veit, LSP is Director of Communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor.
World Day of the Sick is opportunity to honor those who care for others Sister Constance Veit, LSP Contributor
ver Christmas, two of my family members were talking about a mutual friend who, though chronically ill, routinely does acts of kindness for others. Though they get exasperated with her when she overextends herself, they realize that caring for others is what makes life meaningful. I thanked God that these women are kind enough to support their friend through both good times and bad, helping her to live a full life. This incident came to mind as I read Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of the Sick—this year observed on Feb. 11—in which he reflects on St. Bernadette’s relationship to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady spoke to Bernadette “as one person to another,” he says, treating her with great respect, even though she was poor and sickly. “This reminds us that every person is, and always remains, a human being, and is to be treated as such. The sick and those who are disabled, even severely, have their own inalienable dignity and mission in life.” In light of the expanding legalization of assisted suicide, Pope Francis’ insights are invaluable. Studies have shown that the majority of people who support assisted suicide do so because they fear the loss of personal autonomy and dignity in their final days. Suffering, they say, is meaningless and should have no place in the human experience. It seems that the thought of having to go on living when faced with serious disability or illness is becoming unacceptable in our post-Christian society. What I find most tragic in this exaltation of independence and personal choice is that this attitude denies the beautiful reality that we are social beings. Created in the image and likeness of God, who is a Trinity of Persons, we are inherently 4 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
relational, not autonomous. Mutual dependence, rather than independence, is the true Gospel value, and so we should not be ashamed when we need the assistance of others. Our weakness or infirmity can be a graced opportunity for those who help us, as well as for ourselves, for as St. John Paul II so often repeated, we can only find fulfillment through the sincere gift of self to others. This is why Pope Francis is asking us to honor the sick by helping them to share their gifts and abilities. “Let us ask Mary Immaculate for the grace always to relate to the sick as persons who certainly need assistance,” he writes, “but who have a gift of their own to share with others.” St. Bernadette turned her frailty into strength by serving the sick and offering her life for the salvation of humanity. The fact that Mary asked her to pray for sinners, the pope writes, “reminds us that the infirm and the suffering desire not only to be healed, but also to live a truly Christian life.” Social media has allowed me to become acquainted with numerous people who go on giving in the midst of tremendous suffering. If you are looking for inspiration just google Zach Sobiech or Lauren Hill, young adults who made a difference in the world while dying of cancer; J.J. Hanson, president of the Patients Rights Action League, who triumphed over a brain tumor; or O.J. Brigance, a former professional football player who inspires thousands though he is completely paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease. I am sure that you have amazing people in your midst in the person of sick, disabled or elderly persons who enrich your life despite their own trials. This year as we celebrate the World Day of the Sick, let us honor them by letting them know that we admire them and are there for them in their moments of need, and by asking them to pray for us.
Headlines from southtexascatholic.com ✝ Bookmark our Web site to keep up to date on all the happenings in the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
• Local musicians release music video touting ‘we are one’ in Body of Christ
• Pro-life rally slated for Jan. 28 at state Capitol
• More than 4,000 expected to rally at Capitol for school choice
• Kingsville parishes celebrate Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
• CDU classes offered • New Year’s Gala with the Texas A&M Singing Cadets
• Celebration of Catholic Schools to spotlight teacher excellence
• Taft youth group promotes meaning of Christmas • Altar Servers recognized at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Edroy
• Christmas tradition of giving still strong after 50 years • Pope names Msgr. Kihneman bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi • Bottled water needed for homeless
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Help Us Prevent Financial Abuse 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
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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.
6 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
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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.
4730 Everhart Rd
Father Joseph Lopez
Father Joseph Lopez, JCL, is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
ecoming a mountain-climber is not a one-time event. You do not just “go climb a mountain” without ever having done it before. It takes knowledge, hours of practice, patience and perseverance. It is hard work! But what compels a man to climb a mountain? If he has never been to the top, how does he know what it feels like? What knowledge does he have of the spectacular sight that awaits him at the peak? Where does he gain practical knowledge— how to place a chock, the correct knots to tie? He listens to an experienced climber, an advocate. He cannot just say, “I’m going to make the effort, persevere and then I’ll be a great mountain-climber.” He has to open himself up to being formed as a climber, to receive the gift of knowledge from someone who wants to help him. You have heard the analogy that prayer is like climbing a mountain. It is even in Sacred Scripture in a literal sense: “…he went up a mountain to pray (Mk 6:46).” It makes sense—after all prayer also takes knowledge, practice, patience and perseverance. It is hard work! But it is worthwhile. This is how we become saints, the whole point of the Christian life. Union with God is the spectacular view at the mountaintop. Fortunately, we have an advocate in holiness, someone who wants to help us to understand the spectacular beauty of climbing to the heights, and who will help us to reach them—none other than the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? We receive the Holy Spirit’s presence in the sacraments. At baptism and confirmation, he comes to anoint us, as God’s own, separate from the world. His presence is renewed and strengthened each time we receive the Eucharist or absolution. Our relationship with God does not end at the sacramental moments—it begins there. The Holy Spirit, present in us from the sacraments, works as our Advocate—which literally means “He who is called to one’s side” —drawing us to a life of deeper communion with our Creator. He is at our side: • informing us: revealing the truth to us in our prayer, study and work; • hearing our prayers and helping us to pray
better; and • strengthening and consoling so that we can be strong against temptation. How do I better listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? How do you become a better climber? By continuing to be informed, by practicing, by experience. Similarly, to “climb the mountain” of holiness— to become a saint—you need to continue being informed by the Holy Spirit, practice praying and living virtuously, and gain experience in being who God wants you to be. As you become more attuned to his promptings, he will inform your prayer and influence your actions. To begin becoming a closer friend of God, you need to open yourself to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Here are some practical ways: • Sacraments: frequent reception of Holy Communion and penance transforms the soul to be more docile to the Holy Spirit. As you live more in Christ, he will be able to work more in you to be influenced by his Spirit. • Prayer: spending time with God can only help a man to know him better. Sit quietly every day in his presence and you will February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 7
Climbing the mountain
become great friends. • Study: read the Scriptures, the saints, the Catechism; God works best on the material you give him. • Work: whatever work you have—as a student, your job, keeping up your home, volunteering at your parish— offer it to God as a means of transforming the world through you. • Sacrifice: allow God to be more in control by surrendering to him your own will and allowing Him to conform you to his image. The more you are like Christ, the more you will be able to be influenced and motivated by the Holy Spirit. What does this have to do with my vocation?
Everything! There are different paths when climbing mountains. And there are different paths when climbing God’s mountain. Fortunately, he knows the best way for you, and will help you know what it is and how to climb it effectively. Ask yourself the question: “Do I really want to see the spectacular view at the peak? Do I want to become holy? To give myself to God in whatever vocation he has planned for me?” Open yourself up to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and climb the mountain. Thank you for taking the time to discern your vocation. Remember, the best way to discern is to pray and be open to God’s will in your life.
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Bishop Louis Kihneman, III from Christ the King church, clergy and parishioners + Rev. Williams Bakyil, SOLT + Rev.Michael Slovak. SOLT Deacon Manuel Marroquin 8 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
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†† VIDA CATÓLICA
Oscar y Becky Pérez de la parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar celebran 50 años de matrimonio como pareja ejemplar. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic
Parejas celebran 50 años de matrimonio Luisa Scolari
ada año se celebra el Día Mundial del Matrimonio el segundo domingo de febrero. En la diócesis de Corpus Christi la oficina de Vida Familiar invita a todas las parejas que están celebrando su aniversario de bodas de plata (25 años) o de oro (50 años) a una misa de aniversario con el obispo Michael Mulvey
en la Catedral el domingo, 12 de febrero a las 9:30 por la mañana. Para muchas personas, el matrimonio es una institución considerada “pasada de moda o retrograda.” El matrimonio también a pasado ser desechable; si ya no sirve, toma uno nuevo. Es mas fácil. Pero no dan cuenta en las consecuencias que esta manera de pensar tiene en los hijos. February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 9
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
Luly y Pietro Siracusa notan 56 años de matrimonio que a sido “un milagro de amor”. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic
Al contrario, para Pietro y Luly Siracusa y Oscar y Becky Pérez el matrimonio es sagrado y las dos parejas celebran 50 años de casados con sus familias a sus lado. “Cuando nos casamos teníamos el concepto de que el matrimonio era para siempre”, dijo la señora Siracusa. “Entonces si teníamos problemas los resolvíamos para no irnos a acostar sin habernos pacificado”. Ella recuerda que su matrimonio “fue una locura” y su marido la corrige: “querrás decir, un milagro de amor”. La señora Siracusa fue criada en un colegio de monjas en Perú, y siempre rezaba por un marido bueno y creo que Dios la escucho. El señor Siracusa es italiano y llego a los Estados Unidos en 1949 a la edad de 17 años. “En ese entonces yo vivía en el Perú y por cuestiones de trabajo viaje a Ciudad de México, a los Ángeles, a San Francisco, Dallas y Nueva Orleans,” dijo la señora Siracusa. Fue en Nueva Orleans que conoció a un amigo de un amigo—Pietro Siracusa quien estaba haciendo su doctorada en lenguas romances. Fue el empiezo de un amor de vida. “Al despedirnos me pregunto que si sabia cocinar y me dijo ‘pues ve aprendiendo a cocinar’”, dijo la señora Siracusa. Ella se regreso a Perú, y después de un romance de larga distancia Pietro voló a Lima para conocer
10 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
la familia y comprometerse. Sus padres mandaron una carta pidiendo formalmente la mano de Luly y se casaron por el civil el 7 de Junio 1960 y el 16 de Julio se casaron por la Iglesia. En cuatro años tuvieron cuatro hijos, la primera falleció porque nació enferma, luego siguieron Pietro, Cristina y Juliana. También tienen siete nietos “La religión nos ha ayudado a estar muy unidos. Crecimos con la misma formación y valores y nunca hemos dejado de asistir a misa”, Luly Siracusa dijo. Oscar y Becky Pérez están de acuerdo que los matrimonios hoy en día son muy diferentes a los de antes, cuando se hacia lo que el padre o la madre decían. Ahora, padres dejan a sus hijos solos porque trabajan. No les ponen atención y solo les dan dinero. “Nosotros tratamos de darle buena crianza a nuestros hijos con el ejemplo,” dijo Oscar Pérez. “Tuvimos tres hijos: Becky, Silvia y Oscar, que aunque estén casados, todavía los corregimos y a los nietos.” La pareja tienen seis nietos. Cuando viene un problema y la pareja se enojan, cada una se va a diferentes cuartos hasta que se les baje el coraje. Después hablan para resolver el disgusto. Nunca se han quedado mucho tiempo enojados. Es importante también que a la pareja les guste las mismas cosas. A los Pérez les gusta mucho ir al cine juntos, oír música y bailar. También les
†† VIDA CATÓLICA
gusta mucho pasear. “Nuestra historia empezó un poco peculiar”, dijo Becky Pérez. “Mi papa y mi suegro eran muy amigos desde jóvenes… Oscar era amigo de mis hermanos pero me caía muy mal y un día que estaba afuera de la escuela con mis amigas, paso en el carro y me tiro una piedra a los pies con la letra de una canción escrita, pero estaba en español y no le entendía. Se la lleve a mi maestra de español y me dijo que era una carta de amor y ya empecé a verlo diferente.” Cuando ella termino la secundaria en Alice la pareja se huyeron para la cerca ciudad de San Diego a casarse a las escondidas pero ocurrió que el señor en la casa de corte era amigo de el papa de la señora Pérez. “Mi papa era muy celoso. A pesar de que Oscar era hijo de su amigo, no lo quería para mi y cuando me case dejo de hablarme. Nos fuimos a vivir a Florida pero al salir embarazada me regrese a Alice a casa de mi suegra a que naciera mi primer hija y el día que mi hija nació, mi papa fue al hospital y volvió a hablarme.” Cuando Oscar Pérez regreso del servicio militar después de cinco años, la pareja tuvo una boda por la iglesia en Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Alice. Cuando cumplieron 25 años de casados celebraron una misa en la parroquia de la Sagrada Familia y a los 50 años de matrimonio van a tener una misa en la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar con el padre Marcos
Martínez. “La quiero mas que cuando me case y ya nos hemos casado cuatro veces”, dice el señor Pérez en broma Los dos son sobrevivientes de cáncer, el tenia cáncer de el riñón y ella de el colon. “Cuando Oscar se retiro después de trabajar 30 años en el laboratorio de una refinería, fue muy difícil para mi porque no estaba acostumbrada a tenerlo todo el día en casa, pero empezamos a hacer los desayunos el domingo para los niños del catecismo en la parroquia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, y eso nos mantiene ocupados y trabajando juntos,” dijo la señora Pérez. “También pertenecemos al consejo de la parroquia y cuando el padre necesita lo ayudamos.” Todas las parejas que celebran su 25º y 50º aniversario recibirán un certificado que conmemora su aniversario de plata o de oro y tambien tendrán una oportunidad de tomar una foto con el obispo Mulvey. Las parejas que celebran más de 50 años de matrimonio también están invitadas a asistir. Certificado, fotos, recepción y refrescos serán celebrado en el salón de San José localizado en el sótano de la Catedral. Debido al espacio limitado, la pareja se limita a dos invitados a unirse en la recepción. Para mas información comuníquense con Heath García en el (361) 693-6787.
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.
Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en KLUX.org Domingos a las 7:00 a.m. con el P. Juan Fernando Gámez P. José Naúl Ordóñez
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.
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
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 11
†† NEWS BRIEFS
For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has appointed Father Glen Mullan Parochial Administrator
for Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton, effective Jan. 4 and Father William J. Marquis as Dean of the Five Points Deanery.
Father Glen Mullan
Father William J. Marquis
Sixth Annual Black and Gold Gala slated for Feb. 4 The Sixth Annual Black and Gold Gala fundraiser for St. John Paul II High School will be held on Feb. 4, at the American Bank Center. The event will include dinner, live and silent auctions and a performance by the 80’s tribute band, “The Spazmatics.” Honorary Chairman is Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody. The public can help accomplish the
school’s mission of forming servant leaders who will make a difference in their communities for generations to come by purchasing a ticket for the event. Proceeds from the Gala provide tuition assistance for students who aspire to pursue personal excellence through faith, reason and virtue. For more information visit www.jpiihighschool.org.
Congratulations Bishop Louis Kihneman, III Father Alfredo Villarreal, Sister Rosa Ortiz, Deacons Daniel Shaunessy, Robert Allen, Narciso Ortiz and Paul Moore, the parish staff and parishioners of your last parish in the diocese of corpus christi
St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Parish 12 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Texas 4th Degree Assembly #2781 in Portland, recently presented the Portland Pregnancy Center a check for $16,100 for the purchase of a new sonogram machine. The state Knights of Columbus will match the money raised by the Portland fourth degree Knights. The fourth degree assembly set out in 2016 to raise $15,000 for the new sonogram machine needed by the Portland Pregnancy Center. With the help of many area churches and women’s groups, not only did they raise their goal but surpassed it by $8,000. Donations are still pouring in. Faithful Navigator Larry Luehring spearheaded the project. “Many thanks to all who made this possible by your donations,” Grand Knight Ervey Martinez said.
†† NEWS BRIEFS
Portland Knights raise funds for sonogram machine
Pictured accepting the check from the Knights are Portland Pregnancy Center staff Executive Director Jana Pinson, Financial Administrator Kathy Weirich, Peer Counselors Melinda Bottino and Janet Carwin and volunteers Beverly Moore and JoAnn Luehring-Volunteer. Knights include Grand Knight Ervey Martinez, Faithful Navigator Larry Luehring, Treasurer Brad Warner and Knights from Ingleside Brian Thibodeaux, Scott Robinson and Tony Bernal Warden.
National Catholic Schools Week is underway Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week has been observed as the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2017 is Jan. 29 – Feb. 4. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and the nation. Schools in the Diocese of Corpus
Christi will celebrate the following daily themes: Sunday - In Our Parish; Monday - In Our Community; Tuesday: Celebrating Your Students; Wednesday: Celebrating the Nation; Thursday: Celebrating Vocations; Friday: Celebrating Faculty, Staff and Volunteers; and Saturday: Celebrating Families. Call your Catholic school for the programs they will celebrate.
Ash Wednesday marks opening of Lent on March 1 Easter is a moveable feast, so the date of Ash Wednesday changes every year too. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, occurs 46 days before Easter, which this year falls on April 16 so Ash Wednesday will be on March 1. Ash Wednesday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence. According to Canon Law people who are 18-59 are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting consists of only eating one full meal. Two small
meals (which together do not equal a full meal) are also allowed, with no snacking in between. Catholics who are 14 and older should participate in abstinence from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays throughout Lent. For information on Ash Wednesday services call your parish or a parish near your work for information. Numbers for parishes are available at diocesecc. org/parishfinder.
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 13
†† CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Students learning to think outside the box
ore than 60 Pre-K4 through K5 teachers representing all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi participated in the second STREAM seminar on Jan. 3. The seminar was designed to teach early childhood teachers the STREAM discipline and integrate it into their classrooms. STREAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. It is an
14 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
interdisciplinary approach to learning and connects academic concepts with “real-world” lessons, said Rosemary Henry, Ph.D., Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the diocese. “It’s so different then to say, ‘open up your workbook and do question eight.’ It’s project based, it’s problem solving, it’s creating a prototype to solve a particular issue and across the disciplines and to help students make a connection with their life in the real world,” Henry said. Presenter Rebecca Palacios, Ph.D. introduced the
Teachers from Catholic schools in the diocese receive training on how to do hands on projects, as part of training to teach their students the STREAM method. Contributed photos
†† CATHOLIC EDUCATION
educators to “hands on training” designed for problem solving, discovery and exploration. Under the STREAM method, teachers are asked to problem solve by using real world problems. Given only a handful of materials, for example, teachers may be asked to design a project by following an engineering design process, which calls for stating the problem; generating ideas; selecting a solution; building the item; evaluating it; and presenting the results. “It was my honor and pleasure to work with the outstanding teachers of the Diocese of Corpus Christi schools. They are amazing, engaged, introspective and creative. What a fabulous team of educators,” Palacios said. During the eight-hour training, Henry said the teachers were “engaged and excited” as they modeled the STREAM discipline. “We are assuring students are learning the concepts at every level of the curriculum. We all know the job market today—and tomorrow—is really wanting problem solvers, creative out of the box thinkers, people that are tech savvy, people that can work collaboratively and be excellent communicators. And that’s what this is all about,” Henry said. “It was a remarkable day filled with many lessons and much enthusiasm to create creative thinkers,” the superintendent said.
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 15
†† PARISH LIFE
Members of the Men’s Schola at St. John the Baptist practice at the church recently. From left, Charlie Flores, Adam Álvarez, Jorge García, Rodolfo Bayardo, David Andrus and Robert Marraro. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic
New Schola choir adds to Mass in the Extraordinary Form Rebecca Esparza
obert Marraro, 49, last sang in a schola choir at Corpus Christi Cathedral more than 10 years ago, but thanks to a new Mass being offered every Sunday at St. John the Baptist in Corpus Christi, he once again has the chance to sing ancient hymns of praise that magnify the greatness of God.
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The “Mass in the Extraordinary Form,” commonly known as the Latin Mass, is now offered every Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist, for those who wish to celebrate the Mass in this form of the Roman Rite. Marraro first experienced Mass in the Extraordinary Form in San Antonio in the early 1990s. “Then I moved to Corpus Christi in 1993 and
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learned about the Latin Mass at Holy Cross Church. I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said. “When I sing Gregorian chant, I can’t help but feel a connection with every monk, priest, brother, bishop, cardinal, pope and laity that have been a part of Gregorian chant since its start. When I think of the quintessential Catholic way of worshipping and praying, in my mind, I first go to hearing the echo of chant.” St. John the Baptist is the only parish in the Diocese of Corpus Christi that offers the Mass in the Extraordinary Form every Sunday and Holy Days. “We are meeting the legitimate requests and needs of local Catholics who appreciate the kind of reverence, beauty, and spirituality they benefit from attending the Mass in the Extraordinary Form,” said Father Rodolfo Vásquez, pastor at St. John the Baptist. “Personally, it has helped me discover a greater appreciation for both forms, especially the Ordinary Form which I am most familiar with, but it has also enhanced my belief in and love for the Eucharist.” Since music has a critical role to play in Catholic worship, it made sense to start a Latin schola, as well. The word schola in modern English literally means “a group of musicians.” “The schola gives expression to the Word of God
in Scripture, as well as expresses the deepest longings and aspirations of the human soul,” Father Vasquez said. “The Latin schola beautifully provides the music complementary to and in the context of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.” Katrina Keat, director of sacred music at St. John the Baptist, said there are currently two schola choirs: a treble schola featuring female singers and a men’s schola. “Once a month, the treble schola relieves the men’s schola (usually the first Sunday of the month) in order to give the men a break,” Keat said. “Most of the men in the men’s schola sing in other choirs at other locations, so I think it is important to give them a Sunday off. Once a month, the scholas sing together to provide the congregation with a different texture—men’s and women’s voices, instead of all treble, or all tenor and bass.” Keat said she loves the simplicity of Gregorian chant, which happens to be some of the oldest music in existence. “It is so incredible to think that some of the great saints and musicians of the past for several centuries have sung some of the very chants that we sing here at St. John’s every week,” she said. “The music we
Katrina Keat, director of sacred music at St. John the Baptist, leads two members of the Treble Schola, from left, Alejandra Griss and Marianne Medina, during a recent rehearsal. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 17
❝ The schola gives expression to the Word of God in Scripture, as well as expresses the deepest longings and aspirations of the human soul.❞
– Father Rodolfo Vasquez
sing in the Scholas of St. Gregory enables us to leave behind our worldly cares and desires, reflecting more deeply on God. There is a purity in the harmony that no other music can provide or imitate. The clean lines and open harmonies are free from trill and worldly stain.” Marraro explained the depth of his spirituality with the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, including the music, which plays an integral role. “Most of our customs, traditions, responses during Mass and our spirituality comes from this Extraordinary Form. Some people say the priest ‘says the Mass to himself,’ and the congregation just watches what happens on the altar. I say you get from any liturgy what you bring to it. The Latin Mass, to me, is much more…spiritual and allows me an opportunity to connect with
God much as I do when spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. For me, it’s not what Mass gives back to me but rather what I bring to the liturgy,” he said. Father Vasquez added attendance at Mass in the Extraordinary Form is a valid option for any Catholic to attend. “It is neither better or lesser than Mass in the Ordinary Form, which most Catholics experience in their parishes and schools. A Catholic ought to feel free to attend or not to attend. Anyone who is curious, ought to consider whether maybe God is tugging him or her in this direction, as a way of reaching them personally or helping them experience the Lord in this way,” he said. St. John the Baptist is still looking for individuals interested in joining either schola choir. For more information call Keat at (361) 991-4400.
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Bishop-designate Kihneman joins in a selfie with Elsa Ortiz and her children during Mass of Thanksgiving reception. The reception was held in St. Joseph Hall in Corpus Christi Cathedral on Jan. 13. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic
Being a pastor is future bishop’s first love Mary Cottingham
South Texas Catholic
ouis Kihneman, III has been called a son, a brother, a friend, a fisherman, a fisher of men, a pastor, a mentor, a teacher and a holy man. He has answered to deacon, father, monsignor and now he will be bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi. Sophie Perkins from Sacred Heart parish in Rockport first remembers Bishop-designate Kihneman as an altar boy at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish where she and her husband were married and later as an “excellent pastor at Sacred Heart,” where she said “he ran a really good ship and was a good listener.”
Perkins said Msgr. Kihneman believed in short homilies. He said his homilies were between seven to eight minutes, because that “was as long as he could keep people’s attention, after that you were just talking to the walls.” He was also a great teacher. When he taught Bible classes, he made it easily relatable to everyday life. According to Perkins, Sacred Heart School is in pretty good shape thanks to Bishop-designate Kihneman. “One of the biggies he did is he started an endowment fund for our Catholic school. I think it’s one of the few schools to have an endowment. He wanted the kids to have the best
education they could and he wanted to make it happen,” she said. Many parishioners from Sacred Heart remember Msgr. Kihneman as a great fisherman. Mary Berkenkotter said that the fact that he was a great fisherman in the Gulf waters made the men parishioners “true believers.” Speaking of her 11-year friendship with Bishop-designate Kihneman, Berkenkotter said the relationship could be summarized with the phrase “be careful of the quiet ones.” “When he is getting to know you, he does not talk a lot; he lets you talk. He doesn’t give advice quickly; he lets you self–reflect February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 19
✝ NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE
After serving the Diocese of Corpus Christi for 40 years, Bishop-designate Kihneman will become the next Bishop in the Diocese of Biloxi Mississippi on Feb. 17 at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop Kihneman visits with sisters of Missionaries of Christ’s Charity after his Mass of Thanksgiving at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Jan. 13. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic
because he knows answers often come from silence when no words are spoken. And that is how friendships evolve,” she said. “On rocky hills that are difficult to climb, we saw him walking down backwards listening to people he was shepherding. At personal crisis, in illness, his spiritual message was truly healing.” Msgr. Kihneman did not have to ask when his parishioners welcomed the opportunity to assist with his aging father. He knew the caregivers would get more out of the experience than his dad even needed. “He truly changed the quality of our spiritual life and we will miss him,” Berkenkotter said. Her husband, Tom Berkenkotter, remembers seeking advice from Msgr. Kihneman before getting involved in jail ministry. Msgr. Kihneman recommended that he visit the jail with a seasoned jail minister to help determine if that ministry was right for him. After about six months with the ministry, Tom Berkenkotter felt something was missing. “Although we brought ‘The Word’ to the incarcerated, we did not offer them the opportunity to participate in Holy Communion,” he said. Msgr. Kihneman informed him that communion would only be possible if the incarcerated had the opportunity to confess their sins, which required a priest. A month went by when Msgr. Kihneman called and told him to let the inmates know he would 20 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
be visiting those seeking the sacrament of reconciliation. “The willingness and dedication exhibited by Msgr. Kihneman in responding to my request was most memorable. But that was just the beginning,” Tom Berkenkotter said. Tom Berkenkotter visited the jail on Saturday mornings and collected the names of those seeking confession. He delivered the list to Msgr. Kihneman who in turn visited them in jail. This procedure took hours, and sometimes days, to accomplish. All so the inmates could receive Holy Communion the following Saturday. “His willingness to partner with a layman like myself left a long lasting impression that I was ministering with a totally dedicated and holy man. Later experiences with Msgr. Kihneman further proved that my first impressions were spot on. Somehow, Pope Francis must have known of these same attributes when he appointed Msgr. Louis Kihneman III, bishop of Biloxi.” Norma Lozano has known Bishop-designate Kihneman since 1998 and considers him to be part of her family. “He’s a wonderful man. He’s funny, witty, compassionate, warm, giving, loving and he’s fun to be around. He has great respect for everyone– doesn’t matter how big or small,” she said. A few times she remembered Msgr. Kihneman’s Father, “Mr. K,” raising his hand during Mass, signaling to his son that his homily was running over time.
“He’s got a great heart. Biloxi is going to be blessed to have him. He was a wonderful son and friend. Whatever he does he puts God first in his life. He loved his mom and his dad and he loves his Church. First of all he’s a priest and a spiritual leader, but he’s a best friend. He’ll make a fine bishop,” Lozano said. Father Julian Cabrera, now pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice, asked Msgr. Kihneman for advice on a number of occasions. “He is very level headed and peaceful,” said Father Cabrera, who was parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Rockport and Msgr. Kihneman was his pastor. The patience of his mentor helped the young priest grow into his ministry. Father Cabrera recalled a day when he had been so frustrated on a case he had been working on that Msgr. Kihneman called him to his office and told him to bring the case and his Bible. “I thought he was going to be mad at me, because I had kind of gotten upset. We prayed and he asked me to read a Scripture–I can’t remember which one it was–and he started to explain how we set the tone to bring healing and we don’t know how many people in this case are going to be affected by the healing process. He taught me that I have to be very patient. He wasn’t upset. He was above my frustration and he was seeing clearly,” Father Cabrera said. Rachel Muñoz has been a parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish for 36 years.
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Father Kihneman was the first priest she knew when she became a parishioner there. “He was always so kind and very welcoming–that’s what made us come to this church,” Muñoz said. “It’s so nice and homey and that’s how he made us feel. That’s why we have stayed here.” Our Lady of Guadalupe parish loved Father Kihneman so much they dedicated a building to him–the Father Kihneman Hall used for religious education classes. Another parishioner from Our Lady of Guadalupe parish, Dorothy Villarreal, has known Bishop-designate Kihneman since 1980. She recalled when Father Kihneman gave her family spiritual guidance through some very difficult years and molded them to become more involved in the life of the parish. During tough times, “he always encouraged us to look ahead,” she said. His guidance cemented their faith formation and they all became more involved in the Church, starting with her three sons who first joined the youth ministry, and later served on several retreats. “He took my boys under his wings,” she said. “He always kept us on firm ground. Doing good for others–you forget your own misery and feel that you have some value or worth,” Villarreal said. “We were not very churchgoing people, but his personal interest and care molded us into the people we are. He is an angel to me.” Dave Wyrwich from St. Philip the Apostle has known Msgr. Kihneman for 10 years.
When Wyrwich was managing the diocese’s Legacy of Faith, Future of Hope campaign, he answered to Msgr. Kihneman in his position as Vicar General and continues to do so as business manager at St. Philip’s. “He is a very pastoral priest. When he was the Vicar General many people saw the business side of him. I have always heard that his heart is in the parish and since I’ve been at St. Philip’s–I can tell you his heart is in the parish. Being with people is where he’s the most joyous and I think the most comfortable and, I think, that in his mind– it’s where he does the most good. “He’s very comfortable in his own skin when it comes to the decision-making process, which will greatly help him as a bishop…,” Wyrwich said. Betty Berry, who works at Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi and the Mother Teresa Shelter, also taught at Ss. Cyril and Methodius School in 1975 where she first met the seminarian and later Deacon Kihneman. She witnessed his ordination to the priesthood in 1977. “My first thought was–he was glowing with the Holy Spirit. It was beautiful and amazing,” she said. When he was Vicar General in 2012-15 and before he became pastor at St. Philip the Apostle, Msgr. Kihneman, helped serve breakfast at the Mother Teresa Shelter every Friday. He took time out to talk and minister to the homeless. “He knew nearly every one of them on a first name basis. He always held Catholic Charities close to his heart. If we needed anything or I needed anything
he was always the first to do it or to make sure it got done or to guide us to help us get something done,” Berry said. When Donald Harris, office manager at the Corpus Christi Cathedral parish, first met Bishop Kihneman as a seminarian 42 years ago he was left with a good impression, but it was not until 2010 when Msgr. Kihneman became Vicar General and was living at the Cathedral rectory that he realized what a great priest and administrator he was. “I enjoyed his homilies while he was in residence here at the Cathedral and his gifts didn’t end when he left the altar,” Harris said. “He is a very capable administrator. By that I mean, he always listens and allows people to vote, before he makes a decision. He is a man of his word and keeps his promises and he doesn’t make promises he can’t keep. He has a very good sense of the broader impact that decisions can have. I was not surprised when Msgr. Kihneman was named a bishop. I am very excited for our Church there. I think Pope Francis made a wonderful choice,” Harris said.
seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to South Texas
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Cathedral parishioners Debbie Shae, left, and Ellen Flood congratulate Bishop-designate Kihneman on his new appointment as Bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi. Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 21
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Archbishop Flores was a trailblazer for Hispanics Jordan McMorrough
Archdiocese of San Antonio
rchbishop Patricio Fernández Flores, the fourth archbishop of San Antonio and the first Mexican-American elevated to the hierarchy in the Catholic Church in the United States, died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure on Jan. 9 at Padua Place, a residence for retired priests in San Antonio. He was 87. The sixth of nine children of Patricio Flores and Trinidad Fernández de Flores, he was born July 26, 1929 in Ganado, Texas. From the hot, humid cotton fields of the Coastal Bend region of Texas to the campus of the archdiocesan Pastoral Center in San Antonio was a tremendous distance, especially for a Mexican-American child and a son of illiterate migrant workers. Such was the route of Bishop Flores’ life journey. The young “Ticho,” as his family called the bishop, always knew he was going to be a priest. The archbishop’s younger sister, Mary Moreno, remembered “Ticho” going up and down the road in front of the family home in Pearland praying the rosary. “He was always very close to God,” she said. She also recalled his ardent pleas to his mother to let him become a priest, the mother was initially against the idea, as she feared that if he entered the seminary they would never get to see him again due to the distance and cost of travel. When Mary was given parental permission to marry at a young age, it gave Ticho new fuel for his pleas: “If you let Mary get married, why can’t you let me be a priest,” he asked his parents? There was no Catholic parish in the rural community of Pearland, the nearest being 17 miles away in Houston or in Alvin. Roads were poor and the family lacked reliable transportation, so in place of Sunday Mass, the family regularly gathered to pray the rosary. At that time, there was a missionary priest, Father Frank Urbanovsky, who traveled about celebrating Mass for migrant farmworkers from an altar set up from a trailer, and the Flores family attended these liturgies. This priest also gave religious instruction during his stays, and Ticho eventually took it upon 22 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
himself to teach Catechism to the area children. The future bishop also had a light side as well. He loved to sing and dance, and also dabbled in music. He played the piano and had an accordion. His sister Mary remembered the teenage Ticho helping stage numerous entertainment events to raise funds to fight education discrimination in their area. At that time, the area school for Mexican-Americans, which only included grades one through eight, had one teacher for all grades and a wood burning stove for heat. The Flores family traveled throughout the state—from Corpus Christi to Lubbock—picking crops such as mustard, carrots and turnips, and then returned home in October, in time for the children to resume school. In his 1987 biography, The Mariachi Bishop, by Brother Martin McMurtrey, SM, Archbishop Flores conceded that he would not have persevered in his pilgrimage to the priesthood without the determined guidance of Sister Benitia Vermeersch, CDP, foundress of the Missionary Catechists of Divine Providence, who recognized both his talent and his vocation and took him, in 1947, to be interviewed by Bishop Christopher Byrne of the Galveston-Houston Diocese. With the encouragement of Sister Benitia and Bishop Byrne, Ticho completed three years of high school in two calendar years—earning academic honors—while studying Latin on the side, which at that time was required for the seminary. While he was successful in his studies, controversy found him. He was arrested for arson and held incognito by Pearland police trying to force a confession until his sister Mary located him in jail and notified Bishop Byrne. The future archbishop
Archbishop Patrick Flores was first Mexican American bishop in the United States and earned many accolades for his pastoral leadership. Contributed photo
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February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 23
†† NATIONAL NEWS
was exonerated, but because of his own ordeal, Bishop Flores cared deeply for the incarcerated and often celebrated Masses in jails and prisons. After Ticho’s ordination to the priesthood by Bishop Wendelin Nold on May 26, 1956 in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, he served as assistant pastor of Holy Name Parish in Houston, and pastor of Guardian Angel Parish and also of St. Joseph-St. Stephen’s Parish, both in Houston. In addition, he served as director of the Christian Family Movement, and as director of the Bishop’s Committee for the Spanish-Speaking, a ministry that encouraged bilingual congregations. He was also prominent in the Cursillo and co-founded PADRES (Padres Asociados para Derechos Religiosos, Educativos, y Sociales), an organization of priests organized to work for religious, education and social rights and to draw attention to the problems of Hispanics in the Church and society. Both were then controversial Hispanic movements. When the Vatican’s U.S. Apostolic Delegate Luigi Raimondi called him to Washington in 1970, Father Flores expected a reprimand. Instead, on May 5, in San Antonio, he was consecrated at the age of 40 as the first Mexican-American bishop of the United States. The event produced a tremendous display of Hispanic devotion and admiration. His episcopal motto was Laborabo non mihi sed omnibus, “I will work not for myself but for others.” In 1972, Bishop Flores was instrumental in establishing the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, a national center for pastoral education and language studies for Hispanic ministry, particularly ministry to Mexican Americans. He also founded the National Foundation for Mexican-American Vocations. He then founded the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund in 1976, which has helped thousands of students earn their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. On May 29, 1978, Bishop Flores was installed as prelate of the Diocese of El Paso. He served in that capacity for only 15 months until October 1979, when the pontiff named him archbishop of San Antonio, at that time the largest ecclesiastical province in the United States. He was installed on Oct. 13, 1979. Pope John Paul II conferred the pallium on Archbishop Flores on May 25, 1982. During his tenure, Archbishop Flores served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Department of the United States Catholic Conference, chairman of the Church in Latin America Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and chairman of the Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The preeminent event of Archbishop Flores’ years as prelate of San Antonio was the visit of Pope John Paul II to the archdiocese on Sept. 13, 1987, as part of his nine-city tour across the United States. The Holy Father celebrated a two-and-a-half hour Mass for a crowd of 330,000 people in a field in west San Antonio that is now the site of John Paul Stephens High School. Issues of social concerns were of particular importance to Archbishop Flores. In 1996, he co-founded Teletón Navideño. The proceeds from this telethon went to abandoned women with children, the elderly, the unemployed and the infirmed 24 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
to help pay emergency rent, utilities and medication. In 1985, he began sponsoring an annual benefit breakfast for the Bexar County Battered Women’s Shelter. In 1993, the archbishop initiated a fund-raiser to send handicapped children to World Youth Day in Denver to see Pope John Paul II, and that same year he established a support group for parents with sons on Death Row. It provided transportation for parents to see their sons in Huntsville State Penitentiary at least twice a month. On June 27, 2000, Archbishop Flores was held hostage for over nine hours in his office in the Chancery by Nelson Antonio Escolero, a native of El Salvador and a legal U.S. resident. Escolero had been arrested for driving with a suspended license and feared that he would be deported. Armed with a fake hand grenade, he also held the archbishop’s secretary Myrtle Sanchez for the first two hours of the stand-off. Police hostage negotiators had been in contact with Escolero throughout the day, but were taken by surprise when he released Archbishop Flores and surrendered in the evening. After more than 25 years of service as archbishop, he retired on Dec. 29, 2004. He stepped down on Feb. 15, 2005 upon the installation of his successor, Archbishop José H. Gomez. After his retirement, Archbishop Flores told the archdiocesan newspaper, Today’s Catholic, “I have literally found great satisfaction in simply being a priest.”
Pope Francis appears to be racing “toward our… communion” with determination. Catholic News Agency
Christian unity sets tone for Pope Francis Elise Harris
Catholic News Agency
ope Francis has decided to begin 2017 in much the same way as he did last year: praying for Christian unity. And it is this drive for unity—not only among Christians but with other religions as well—that appears to have emerged as his personal manifesto from practically the moment he took office. In his newest and first prayer video for the year, Pope Francis prayed for Christian unity, specifically “that all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.” The video shows images of different churches and people working together in service projects as the pope, in his native Spanish, notes how “many Christians from various churches work together to serve humanity in need, to defend human life and its dignity, to defend creation and to combat injustice.”
As the screen changes to show different hands grabbing the same rope one at a time, Pope Francis said the desire to walk together and collaborate “in service and in solidarity with the weakest and with those who suffer, is a source of joy for all of us.” He closes his video asking viewers to “join your voice to mine in praying for all who contribute through prayer and fraternal charity to restoring full ecclesial communion in service of the challenges facing humanity.” At the beginning of each year the pope’s prayer intentions for the next 12 months are released, showing topics he wants to draw attention to throughout the year. This year, Christian unity is setting the tone. Similarly, last January Pope Francis kicked off 2016 with a monthly intention for interfaith dialogue, praying that “sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice.” February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 25
In his first-ever video on the monthly papal prayer intentions, Pope Francis noted that “many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways.” “In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God,” he said, adding that this “should lead to a dialogue among religions. We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently.” Both ecumenical and interfaith dialogue have been major priorities for Pope Francis in general. But 2016, which happened to coincide with the Jubilee of Mercy, was especially packed with ecumenical and interfaith meetings and encounters, some marking historic new steps. Almost monthly, the pope made some sort of new gesture or held a landmark meeting. From the very beginning this emphasis on dialogue was in many ways a papal priority for the year. In addition to praying for interfaith dialogue in January, Pope Francis made his first visit to Rome’s synagogue that month, where he embraced Rome’s Chief Rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, and urged Jews and Christians to unite against war and violence. A month later Pope Francis met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill Feb. 12 while on his way to Mexico, marking the first-ever meeting between a pope and a Patriarch of Moscow. The two signed a joint-declaration that focused at length on anti-Christian persecution, the threat of secularism to religious freedom and the Christian roots of Europe. While many, Greek Catholics in particular, were not happy with how the document handled the Ukraine crisis, for others it was a decent start to a nuanced yet positive process. In March, Pope Francis put this desire for interfaith unity into action by washing the feet of 12 migrants during his Holy Thursday Mass at a refugee welcome center on the outskirts of Rome. The migrants belonged to different faiths, and included Muslims, Christians and one Hindu. April marked not only the pope’s daytrip to the Greek island of Lesbos where he met with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Orthodox Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece to draw attention to the migration crisis, but it was also the month the pope met with the head of the Society of Saint Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay. After what has been a lengthy and at many times tumultuous process of dialogue between the SSPX and the Vatican to restore ties, recent steps have suggested a warming in relations. Among these steps was Pope Francis’ decision in September 2015 to allow SSPX priests to validly hear confessions during the Jubilee—a mandate he has indefinitely extended—as well as his decision that year to send a cardinal and three bishops to visit the seminaries of the SSPX in order to become better acquainted with the society, and to discuss doctrinal and theological topics in a less formal context. These moves culminated in the pope’s meeting with Fellay in April 2016, during which “it was decided that the current exchanges would continue,” a statement from the Vatican describing the meeting read. While the canonical status of the society was not directly addressed, the pope and Fellay determined “that these exchanges ought to continue without haste.” 26 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
In May, Pope Francis made what many viewed as a quantum leap in terms of Catholic-Muslim relations when he welcomed the rector of Egypt’s prestigious al-Azhar University, Imam Ahmen al-Tayyeb, to the Vatican for a private audience. Relations were strained under Pope Benedict in 2011 with claims he had “interfered” in Egypt’s affairs by condemning a bomb attack on a church, but they made a dramatic shift after Pope Francis and Al-Tayyeb’s meeting. Following their May 2016 encounter, it was announced in October that the university and the Vatican will officially resume dialogue toward the end of April 2017. In June Pope Francis traveled Armenia for a trip largely made to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian Genocide and support the country’s Christian majority. During his visit the pope met with Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, speaking to him of their brotherhood and placing a strong emphasis on unity. At an ecumenical meeting with Armenian Orthodox leaders the day before his audience with the Patriarch, Pope Francis prayed that they would “race toward our full communion” with determination. As if the events of the first half of the year were not enough, after popping over to Poland for WYD in July, the pope made a quick visit to Assisi at the beginning of August to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the dedication of the Portiuncula chapel, the site where the Franciscan order began. During the visit he had a surprise meeting with Mohamed Abdel Qader, the Imam of Perugia and Umbria, who was present with the pope at the 30th World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi a month later. Convoked by St. John Paul II in 1986, the gathering brings together representatives of various other religions, both Christian and non-Christian. During the September encounter, Pope Francis was joined by Patriarch Bartholomew, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, as well as Imam Ahmen al-Tayyeb. At the end of September Pope Francis made his visit to the Caucasus nations of Georgia and Azerbaijan. While in Georgia, which is a majority Orthodox nation where relations with Catholics have traditionally been tense, the pope met with Catholicos and Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, saying unity is necessary and love for God and the Gospel must overcome “the misunderstandings of the past” and the problems of the present and future. Despite obvious tensions felt during the visit, demonstrated by the visible presence of members of the Orthodox Church protesting the pope’s visit as well as the failure of the Orthodox delegation to show up at the only public Mass the pope celebrated, Pope Francis has on several occasions spoken highly of Ilia, calling him “a man of prayer.” In Azerbaijan, which marked the first time Pope Francis has traveled to a majority Shi’ite Muslim nation, he praised the peaceful coexistence of Catholics, Muslims, Orthodox and Jews the country enjoys. Only 600-700 Catholics live in the country. Then in October Pope Francis made his historic visit to Sweden for a joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The event also marks 50 years of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation.
During a large ecumenical encounter Pope Francis and Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint statement. In a separate event later that day, Pope Francis stressed that “we remember this anniversary with a renewed spirit and in the recognition that Christian unity is a priority, because we realize that much more unites us than separates us.” Pope Francis gave an interview in November ahead of the close of the Jubilee of Mercy that focused heavily on the rapid progress ecumenical and interfaith relations seem to be making during his pontificate. In the interview, Pope Francis credited this pace to his predecessors, saying the “small and large steps” that have been taken during his tenure are not of his own doing, but are rather indicative of the path of dialogue outlined during the Second Vatican Council “which moves forward, intensifies.” “I have met the primates and those responsible, it’s true,” he said in the interview, “but my predecessors have also had their encounters.” While Pope John Paul II was the first pope to make many of the signs Pope Francis is known for now, such as visiting synagogues and mosques, Pope Francis noted that “the measure in which we go forward the path seems to go faster.” So while it has always been fairly obvious that ecumenical and interfaith dialogue have had a front row seat in Pope Francis’ pontificate, taking a look back puts into perspective just how much of a priority it has been. In addition to highlighting this priority, the pope’s prayer video this month is also a clear reflection of his preference to focus on shared areas of interest and collaboration in ecumenical and interfaith discussions, rather than points of theological division, as a means of providing both sides the common ground on which to move forward. For Pope Francis, while questions of theology and doctrine are important, working together to serve the poor and vulnerable is the privileged place where ecclesial unity is expressed, even if the theological wrinkles have yet to be ironed out. And if his prayer intention this month is any indication, as we look ahead to 2017 we can anticipate that the type of events and encounters we saw in 2016 will not slow down, but will likely continue to gain steam.
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CONGRATULATIONS Bishop Louis Kihneman, III a graduate from Ss. Cyril & Methodius School
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February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 27
†† OUR FAITH
Ben Nguyen is Chancellor of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Virtue, holiness and faithfulness in our vocations Ben Nguyen, M.T.S., J.D./J.C.L.
M South Texas Catholic
any years ago when I was a student in college, I was meeting with my spiritual director, who was a wise and learned Benedictine monk. I expressed to him that I was getting so excited about my faith and because of this I had been getting involved in all kinds of study groups, church groups, charity organizations and community activities. I told him how from the time I got home until late into the night, I could not stop reading Scripture, works of theology, the saints and Church history and that these just filled my heart and soul with love for the faith. His response to me forever changed the course of my life. He said that these are indeed good and worthy things, but then added vividly, “But don’t let the devil tempt you into doing something good to keep you away from what you should be doing.” I shamefully admitted to him that in doing all these things, I was neglecting my studies and letting my grades drop, that I was slacking at the menial desk job that I was working to help pay for school, that I was not taking time to be with family and friends and that my prayer life was lacking. Indeed, I was emptying myself into things—good things no doubt—but in doing so, I was ignoring or perhaps covering up to others and myself my neglect of what I should have been doing, that is, the duties of my state in life that God had entrusted to me to fulfill. God, through Jesus Christ and His Body the Church, calls us to holiness and to live out this holiness increasingly through faithfulness to the duties of our vocations. This is more than just “time management,” more than just equal time to equal things. Rather, this is constantly seeking to order our lives so that we can give proper emphasis to proper things in the proper order. The famous Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand crafted his whole study of the
28 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
moral life in this perspective, saying that we are to give the proper “response to value” to everything, meaning that our time, energy and moral choices are to be based on responding appropriately to the reality of the things and the persons whom God has entrusted to us. Of course, God, as our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sanctifier, comes first. Thus, the Sacred Liturgy—especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—the sacraments, and prayer are to be constants in our lives. Our beautiful Catholic tradition teaches that we are all called first and foremost to holiness, that is, to live in an increasing covenantal relationship with God. From this, God calls us to and we discern with him the state in life in which we can best live this out in his body, the Church. With each state in life comes rights and duties—duties so that we can remain faithful to what we should be doing, regardless of what temptations may come to act otherwise; and rights so that we can be allowed to accomplish those duties that God has given us. Our adversary the devil, at times the roaring lion of 1 Peter 5:8 and at other times the cunning whispering serpent of Genesis 3, entices us to neglect these duties so as to derail us from the track to holiness. His temptation is to cause us to fall in spectacular and scandalous ways. However, more often than not, he entices us to do things that are good (or at least morally not bad) in order to take us away from doing our duties and thus produce the same result of neglecting what we should be doing. For all of us, this plays out most vividly in everyday life through our faithfulness to our vocations. To resist this temptation and to live our vocational duties faithfully is to live a life of virtue and growth in holiness. Steadfast love of God is a virtue best seen not only in those moments of heroic sanctity or grand actions but more especially in those everyday moments when we habitually and
firmly dispose ourselves to choose and do the good, to do those things and all those things that are in accord with our vocation, that is, to do what we are supposed to be doing. In this way, we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all these other things shall be added, or shall flow from this relationship with God (cf. Mt 6:33). There may be times when we will be called to do extraordinary, spectacular acts of love and sacrifice for the faith, such as martyrdom, public ridicule, etc., but how we respond to those should be outgrowths of our everyday holiness and habitual will, not just one-time actions where we force our wills to it. St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that a good act done out of habit is more virtuous than one done as a singular forcing of the will. More often, the path of holiness is found in the daily rhythm of life,
in our everyday “yes” to the duties of the vocation that God has entrusted to us. God does not want “one-hit wonders” choosing him only in the times that count. He wants faithful, covenantal sons and daughters who love him every day and in every action, even in the seemingly mundane things of our quotidian duties. This is what true virtue is (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1803). This is what St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was getting at when someone asked her how do we change the world. She allegedly answered with the now famous response, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” The greatest good that we can do is to live and practice the faith and to be faithful to our vocations heroically, firmly, habitually and with great love—every day, in every action and in every thought.
February Liturgical Calendar 1 | Wed | Weekday | green | Heb 12:47, 11-15/Mk 6:1-6 (325) 2 | Thu | The Presentation of the Lord | white | Feast | Mal 3:1-4/Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32 (524) Pss Prop 3 | Fri | Weekday | green/red/white [Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr; Saint Ansgar, Bishop] Heb 13:1-8/Mk 6:14-29 (327) 4 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Heb 13:15-17, 20-21/Mk 6:30-34 (328) 5 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Is 58:7-10/1 Cor 2:1-5/Mt 5:13-16 (73) Pss I 6 | Mon | Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial | Gn 1:1-19/Mk 6:53-56 (329) 7 | Tue | Weekday | green | Gn 1:20—2:4a/Mk 7:1-13 (330)
8 | Wed | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Jerome Emiliani; Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin] Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17/Mk 7:14-23 (331) 9 | Thu | Weekday | green | Gn 2:1825/Mk 7:24-30 (332) 10 | Fri | Saint Scholastica, Virgin | white | Memorial | Gn 3:1-8/Mk 7:3137 (333) 11 | Sat | Weekday | green/white/ white [Our Lady of Lourdes; BVM] Gn 3:9-24/Mk 8:1-10 (334) 12 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Sir 15:1520/1 Cor 2:6-10/Mt 5:17-37 or 5:2022a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37 (76) Pss II 13 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gn 4:115, 25/Mk 8:11-13 (335) 14 | Tue | Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop | white | Memorial | Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10/Mk 8:14-21 (336)
15 | Wed | Weekday | green | Gn 8:613, 20-22/Mk 8:22-26 (337) 16 | Thu | Weekday | green | Gn 9:113/Mk 8:27-33 (338) 17 | Fri | Weekday | green/white [The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order] Gn 11:1-9/Mk 8:34—9:1 (339) 18 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Heb 11:1-7/Mk 9:2-13 (340) 19 | SUN | SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Lv 19:1-2, 17-18/1 Cor 3:16-23/Mt 5:38-48 (79) Pss III
22 | Wed | The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle | white | Feast | 1 Pt 5:14/Mt 16:13-19 (535) Pss Prop 23 | Thu | Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Sir 5:1-8/Mk 9:41-50 (344) 24 | Fri | Weekday | green | Sir 6:5-17/ Mk 10:1-12 (345) 25 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Sir 17:1-15/Mk 10:13-16 (346) 26 | SUN | EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Is 49:14-15/1 Cor 4:1-5/Mt 6:24-34 (82) Pss IV
20 | Mon | Weekday | green | Sir 1:110/Mk 9:14-29 (341)
27 | Mon | Weekday | green | Sir 17:20-24/Mk 10:17-27 (347)
21 | Tue | Weekday | green/white [Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Sir 2:1-11/Mk 9:30-37 (342)
28 | Tue | Weekday | green | Sir 35:112/Mk 10:28-31 (348)
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 29
†† OUR FAITH
➤More often, the path of holiness is found in the daily rhythm of life, in our everyday “yes” to the duties of the vocation that God has entrusted to us.
†† FEBRUARY CALENDAR
1 & 2
St. Pius X School Open House
Feb.1, between 9:30-11 a.m. Join the students and staff for Mass at 8:15 a.m. followed by a tour of the school. Information on the application and enrollment process for the 2017-18 school year will be given. For more information call our school office (361) 992-1343.
IWA Middle & High School Level Word 101 Open House
Middle School Level will be on Feb. 1 and High School Level will be on Feb. 2. Both events are from 6-8 p.m. at IWA (2920 South Alameda). Word 101 is a session in which families can get to know the place, the people, and the philosophy that make IWA a unique scholastic opportunity. Families will get to tour classrooms, meet faculty and staff and get information about academics, athletics and tuition assistance. For more information, go to iwacc.org/word101.
Holy Hour followed by a healing Mass
Feb. 2 and every first Thursday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel Jesus Nazareno (422 North Alameda Street) in Corpus Christi.
6th Annual Black and Gold Gala Feb. 4, at the American Bank Center. The event will include dinner, live and silent auctions and a performance by the 80’s tribute band, “The Spazmatics.” Honorary Chairman is Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody.
New Bible Study: A Journey through Church History
Women’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat at OLCC
Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28 and every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Our Lady of Knock Hall (the corner of S. Alameda and Rossiter Street.) For more information call the parish office at (361) 855-7391.
Feb. 9-12, at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Begins Thursday 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. Register at deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321. 30 South Texas Catholic | February 2017
7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus Christi’s Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.
A Time for Couples: Sacramental Matrimony & Family
Feb. 10, from 6:30 –8 p.m. at 4343 Gaines St. (Behind Seaside Cemetery). Childcare will be provided. There will be refreshments followed by confession and adoration. For more information call Roseanne Norman at (361) 991-7653.
Wide Marriage 24 World Encounter Weekend
Feb. 24-26, at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Contact Nelda or Rolando Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Diocesan Office of Family Life (361) 882-6191 visit wwme.org.
11 Diocesan Marriage Preparation Feb. 11–12, at 7:30 a.m. 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/marriageprep.
12 All You Can Eat Waffle Breakfast
Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 1302 Lantana Street. There will be waffles, mini-sausages, coffee, orange juice, butter and syrup. St. Theresa’s Altar Society of Corpus Christi is hosting the event. Donation is $7.
Cathedral Concert Series Valentine’s Day Pomp & Pipe Spectacular 2017
Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Ceremonial music for brass, percussion and the Cathedral pipe organ featuring the Brass/Percussion Departments of Texas A&M UniversityCorpus Christi and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
17 Healing Retreat at OLCC 19
Feb. 17-19, at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Begins Friday 4:30 p.m. ends Sunday 2 p.m. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of silent reflection asking God to reveal where we need healing and concludes with a Healing Service. Register at deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.
in Truth at 18 Grounded Cafe Veritas–OLCC
Feb. 18, and every third Saturday of the month. An hour of adoration with praise and worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel
25 St. Anthony Fundraiser
Feb. 25 from 6-9 p.m. at the Columbian Civic Center located on 3322 North Highway 77 in Robstown. There will be music for all the family and Hispanic, American, and Cajun food booths. Mardi Gras theme. Free admission.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Annual BBQ Fundraiser
Feb. 26 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea located at 3110 E. Causeway Blvd. (North Beach). Dine in or take out. Donation is $8 per plate. There will be a raffle and live auction. All fundraising efforts to build a new Msgr. Vincent M. Patrizi Parish Hall and CCD Classrooms. For more information call (361) 883-4507.
Spiritual Exercises 28 Eight-Day Silent Retreat at OLCC
Feb. 28–March 7 at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana). Guided through St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, plenty of quiet time with God, Mass each day and a once a day individual conference with retreat master. Grow deeper in relationship with the Lord through the power of prayer and silence. Register deepprayer.org or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321 with questions.
To see more calendar events go to:
SouthTexasCatholic.com Click on Calendar
February 2017 | South Texas Catholic 31
February 2017 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191
Congratulations Bishop Louis Kihneman, iii
on your ordination and installation as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi
+Most Rev. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi & your family in The Diocese of Corpus Christi
In our February issue, as part of World Marriage Day, we have a story in our Vida Católica section about two couples who have been married f...
Published on Feb 1, 2017
In our February issue, as part of World Marriage Day, we have a story in our Vida Católica section about two couples who have been married f...