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Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. BNguyen@diocesecc. org Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert Correspondents Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Ervey Martinez, Jessica Morrison, Luisa Scolari, Beth Wilson, Dayna Mazzei Worchel

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Worshipers have been coming from all over the state—and even all over the country—to the historic Stella Maris Chapel in Lamar for a healing service led by Father Ralph Jones after each Mass. Luisa Buttler for South Texas Catholic


The dream of homeownership is better when built on a strong foundation of financial literacy. That is one of the lessons Toni Alaniz learned through classes and counseling offered by the housing department of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. Her goal is to get a home for her sons, 7-year-old Alonso and 14-year-old Tony. Beth Wilson for South Texas Catholic


NEWS BRIEFS 4 VIEWPOINTS 30 Bishop names Father Stembler new Immigration and refugees: Principles from Catholic Social Doctrine

VOCATIONS 12 People need to be patient, see Jesus in others

CATÓLICA 16 VIDA Capirotada: Reina de la comida cuaresmal

EDUCATION 22 CATHOLIC First Lady of Texas praises Catholic education

Vicar General for diocese

NATIONAL 32 Supreme Court nominee’s book on assisted suicide reaches strong pro-life conclusions

VATICAN 35 Vatican official: The bishops ‘are speaking clearly’ on refugees

FAITH 36 OUR The Church’s contribution of the New Testament

Keep up with the faith at

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  3


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

Immigration and refugees: Principles from Catholic Social Doctrine Bishop Michael Mulvey South Texas Catholic


uring the past few weeks, it is clear that our country is grappling with many complex moral and political issues that unfortunately at times reveal bitter disagreements among a wide range of viewpoints and opinions. Among these has been the difficult issue of immigration and refugees, particularly in light of the recent Executive Orders of President Donald Trump. As in many other areas of our lives, Catholic social teaching provides us with important foundational principles by which to approach this issue. Below, I would like to highlight a few of these fundamental principles that come from the perspective of our Catholic tradition on the matter. It is my hope that these can be carefully considered as we, both as a nation and as a community of faith, enter into dialogue addressing the difficult questions that surround this topic, both in principle and in practice. First, I strongly urge that when this issue is addressed, whether in public or in individual conversations, that it be done with the utmost civility and respect for all persons and perspectives, mindful that those who are listening come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. As Catholic Christians, and especially as those who represent Jesus Christ and his Church, we are called always to witness to the Gospel and the hope that is within us, but always with gentleness, reverence, and joy (cf. 1 Pt 3:15). The Church remains non-partisan and our first priority cannot be partisan politics, regardless of how strongly we may feel about our political leaders or policies. Rather, our focus continues always to be the salvation of souls and fullness of 4  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

redemption in Jesus Christ. As such, we will continue to treat each and every person in front of us with the dignity of a beloved child of God for whom Christ died, no matter what the person’s political leanings, legal status or condition. Substantively, the richness of our Catholic social doctrine lays out for us two foundational principles that must be kept clearly in mind when addressing the complex issues concerning immigration and refugees—namely, concern for the common good and respect for the dignity of every human person. Far from being opposing principles, the common good of a society and the respect for the dignity of each and every human person are two lenses that help us see more clearly what must be respected as we move forward as a nation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially in #2241 and #2237, clearly summarizes how these two essential principles are applied to the question of immigration and refugees. These well-balanced sections of the Catechism should be closely studied when formulating any response to the current situation. Regarding the dignity of the human person, in #2241, the Catechism teaches that the seeking of security and means of livelihood is a right for all persons, even when one is unable to find this in one’s own country. This right, however, is not unlimited in its application. As such, the Catechism further teaches that those who seek to migrate “are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” On the part of the nations, “the more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent that they

facts and to understand. Whether through fear of an unknown future or dissatisfaction with the recent political past, our concern for the common good and respect for the dignity of every human person cannot be eclipsed by emotional responses fueled by bias media reports, perhaps even of our own choosing. Rather, the strong desire that we all share to build a more just and secure society should cause us to understand each other more clearly, to dialogue more sincerely and to love more deeply. Understanding also that many of us are on social media, personally and in other capacities, I strongly urge that we all exercise caution, restraint and prudence when discussing these matters especially on social media so as not to add further to the current unfortunate, polarizing social climate. Finally, we should also always be aware that various political groups seek to use the appearance of Church support or partnership in an attempt to further their own credibility or agendas. Caution and discernment should always be exercised when participating in or partnering with such groups. For more information, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops have made available resources on their respective websites. Also of interest is #297-298 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Please join me in continuing to pray for our nation, our leaders, and all those affected by these difficult issues. May all of our thoughts, words, and actions be like those of Jesus Christ the Lord. Sententia in Christo Vobis.

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

• St. Mary Mission gets new Catechetical Center, Parish Hall

• Pregnancy Center banquet slated for Feb. 23, 24

• Students host a ‘Diaper and Wipes Drive’

• Bishop names Father Stembler new Vicar General for diocese

• Regalado installed as Acolyte in Washington DC

• Students get clipped for Cancer

• St. Pius X Boys Scout Troop 157 celebrating 50 years on Sunday

• Jubilarians recognized during the 2017 World Day for Consecrated Life

• New Schola choir adds to Mass in the Extraordinary Form

• STC correspondent, cancer survivor to appear on New York fashion catwalk

• Local pro-life marchers join rally at state Capitol • Author speaks to students about her new book • Students receive top honors in Block Kids competition March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  5


are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of security and means of livelihood.” Public authorities must see to it that “the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him (CCC #2241).” Regarding the common good, political authorities have the serious duty to provide for the common good of peace, safety and security of the nation for which they are responsible. Thus, political authorities, for the sake of these common goods “may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption (CCC #2241).” In other words, nations have the right to protect their borders and to regulate integration of immigrants into its society. However, in doing so, of the Catechism teaches that political authorities are “obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged (CCC #2237).” Rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted “according to the requirements of the common good” and should not be suspended without legitimate, proportionate reasons.” All political rights, whether that of persons seeking security and livelihood or that of the host nation receiving them, are “meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.” Once again, it is urgent that all seek to exercise restraint and prudence, especially in our language and attitudes, when discussing this matter, seeking first to check our


Cynthia M. Allen is and editorial writer and columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The critics are wrong: Being pro-life is more than being pro-birth Cynthia M. Allen

T Contributor

hanks to the Women’s March on Washington, which predictably devolved into a pro-abortion rally, and in the wake of the subsequent week’s annual March for Life, the debate between those who support and those who oppose keeping abortion legal in the U.S. is beginning anew. So it is worth debunking one of the most persistent (and lazy) myths about pro-lifers that impede an honest and open discussion: the notion that the pro-life community is not really pro-life. In the words of one reader, “If you have done nothing to make sure unwanted children lead happy productive lives then you are not prolife, only pro-birth.” The false claim continues that men and women who oppose abortion but do not favor large government programs that provide support for children and mothers after birth are hypocrites. It is true that the pro-life community is affiliated with the political right, which generally supports reducing the size and cost of bloated government programs, inefficient welfare programs included. But rejecting government administration of welfare is not the same thing as rejecting its program goals or not supporting alternative methods of achieving them. And to the extent that people of pro-life convictions are overwhelmingly religious, there is no community in the U.S. as committed to the cause of women, mothers and families. According to The Philanthropy Roundtable, 6  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

“religious practice is the behavioral variable most consistently associated with generous giving,” and such giving has had a dramatic impact on the fight against domestic and global poverty. As Rob Schwarzwalder and Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council explained in The Washington Post last year, the amount of money overtly religious organizations spend on health care, education and anti-poverty programs dwarfs what they spend on “social” causes (like fighting keeping abortion legal) and exceeds or rivals what non-religious foundations and the federal government spend on such programs. They cited a Roundtable report showing that in 2009, American churches donated more than $13 billion to overseas relief and development efforts, compared with $5 billion sent abroad by foundations in the same year, $6 billion from private and voluntary relief organizations apart from church support and $9 billion donated internationally by corporations. The $13 billion in religious overseas philanthropy also compares impressively to the $29 billion of official development aid handed out by the

Pro-life groups gather for the March for Life at the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. Addie Mena, Catholic News Agency


federal government in 2009. Compared with the government, many charitable religious organizations are far more efficient with their use of funds. To wit, the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. spends the overwhelming majority of its income on health care and education. A 2012 analysis by The Economist found that with an estimated annual budget of $170 billion, the Church spends only 6 percent on parish and diocesan operations. In Fort Worth, Texas, a legion of mostly volunteers runs The Gabriel Project, a ministry of the Catholic Church that helps women in crisis pregnancies long after children are born. Rachel Ministries serves women and men, including

those in prison, who are suffering from guilt and anxiety after abortion. Catholic Charities Fort Worth, through a combination of paid staff and volunteers, administers a variety of programs that serve the poor, the immigrant community and other marginalized populations—and with notable success. Add to that the robust services of Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, which provide adoption assistance, financial planning, food aid and disaster relief among their many efforts to assist vulnerable people the world over, regardless of faith. The debate about abortion will rage on, particularly now under a new president who seems to be making good on his promises to the pro-life community, but the contention that pro-lifers are merely pro-birth should not.

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  7

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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(361) 241-8153 Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting in the healing process for victims and survivors of abuse. If you or someone you know is in need of such services, call Stephanie Bonilla, Director of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources at: (361) 693-6686 (office) or (361) 658-8652 (cell) for immediate assistance.

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources


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



n a previous article, we talked about what prayer is (and is not). This article focuses more specifically on how to pray. To begin, here are some important points to consider: Rely on God. We cannot develop a relationship with God by ourselves. We must rely on his grace and take his lead. Find a quiet time and place. Whether this is at your home or a church, morning or evening, depends on what makes sense for your life. However, the important thing is to be determined to find a time and place which are suitable and make it happen. Know the goal. The point of prayer is communion with God, his gift of contemplative union with us. All other things—such as methods of prayer—are secondary to that goal. We should be careful not to let them get in the way. Find a spiritual director. If you can, find a good spiritual director who is competent to assist you to pray better. The masters of prayer have all said this is highly important.

The Method and the Goal

Remember that the goal of prayer is developing a profound relationship with God. The great mystics call this the contemplative union, which is described as a sense of the nearness of God within the soul. It is crucial to recognize that the contemplative union is a gift from God. As such, it is not something we acquire by our efforts. When we pray, we are creating a starting point, an opening in our hearts where God may enter and live. Our efforts in prayer, then, can be seen as a beginning, and as such should be understood as the means, not the end, to contemplative union with God. But our effort is essential! Without it, there will be no opening for God to come in and unite himself to one’s soul. The mystics teach us that the “method” of prayer is meditation—filling one’s mind and heart by pondering on God’s revelation of himself, starting a conversation with him. Be careful to keep in mind that the method

(meditation) should not get in the way of the goal (contemplation). When you sense that your conversation is giving way to a more wordless contemplation, or sensing the nearness of God, the priority should be given to this gift of contemplation. A simple way of putting it is this: meditation is our work to open ourselves up to God; contemplation is God’s response when we work to open up to him. Prayer begins with our work, then: meditation. There are myriad ways of meditation; we will distill two broad styles of meditative prayer here.

Vocal Prayer

The first and most obvious meditative prayer is vocal prayer. Because we are human, we converse and express ourselves with words. Vocal prayer, therefore, is an appropriate and natural way to begin conversing with God. Meditative vocal prayer can be done with traditional formulaic prayer, such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, the Way of the Cross—whatever you prefer—or even more spontaneous prayer. As the prayer is recited, the idea is to really focus on the meaning of the prayer while being open to starting a conversation with God as you are moved to do so. It is important to remember that our Lord taught us to not “babble as the pagans”. The importance of meditative vocal prayer lies not in quantity, but rather quality of prayer. Father Thomas Dubay tells us, “It is better to offer a few prayers with depth of attention and fervor than many repeated with little care or in a rushing way.” In his “Introduction to the Devout Life”, St. Francis de Sales advises that, while offering vocal prayers, when you are drawn toward wordless meditation or contemplation, it is good to rest and let your mind draw closer to God. This is because God desires communion with him rather than a quota of prayers.


Meditative reading is another common means of meditation recommended by the mystics. There is a wealth of holy writing, which can help begin a conversation with God. Unlike March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  9


other spiritual reading, however, the goal of meditative reading is not to assimilate content. Rather, it is to foster meditation—filling the mind with God, and starting a conversation with him. The type of books used as a starting point for meditation should be conducive to beginning this conversation. Whatever you choose will be particular to you, but here are some recommendations. Of course, Sacred Scripture is perfectly ideal. Meditating on the life of Christ, the psalms, etc., is the perfect starting point for conversing with God. Other examples may be lives of the saints, or works written by the saints. Again, just as with vocal prayer, keep in mind that the goal is not the reading; that is the means to the end. As God moves you to converse with Him, put the reading aside until you need more material for further meditation.

Success and Failure

It can be easy to become discouraged if you are not seeing what you expect to be the fruits of your prayer. But the fruits may not be readily apparent, and you may not see them. Just because you have not reached a perpetual state of contemplative union with God after a week of fervent prayer does not mean you have failed. What it means is that we need to do a lot of work—in our spiritual and moral lives—to become free from sin, acquire virtue and attune ourselves to recognizing and listening to God! Like learning to read, at the beginning there will be little hints of the goal. A child first learns a few simple words, though he is eager to read a whole book. Just so, one who begins to pray meditatively may receive bits of the gift of contemplation. God wants us to be aware of what is to come, to encourage us. But we have to continue working diligently if we want to become more closely united to God. These instructions are only the tip of the iceberg: anyone serious about deepening his prayer life should read more. A great beginner’s book is Father Dubay’s “Prayer Primer”. Try to find a competent spiritual director. And you may always talk with me if you would like any assistance finding a spiritual director or sound advice. 10  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

People need to be patient, see Jesus in others Rebecca Esparza,



ather Ángel Montana was 14-years-old when he heard his bishop back home in Guadalajara, México talk about the need for more priests in his diocese. He knew almost instantly that God was preparing him for a religious life. Two years later, with the full support of his parents, he entered seminary at the Universidad Pontificia de México where he received a degree in theology. The following year he earned a degree in Canon Law. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Guadalajara on Jan. 18, 1992. “I enjoyed being an altar server very much. Growing up, I attended daily Mass with my mother and nine brothers and sisters. We said the rosary every evening. I was happy and eager to answer the Lord’s call,” he said. “Celebrating my 25th anniversary this year is special and I’m thankful to share the gifts I’ve received from our Lord with my parishioners over the years.” Father Montana noted that every single person is important to the Lord, whether he is ministering to one, two or 1,000 people. He recalled his first assignment as a priest started out with more empty seats in church than he preferred. “I learned early in my priesthood that everyone counts. I’ve always

focused on showing Jesus Christ and his blessings to others, through the sacraments and the Word of God,” he said. “Everything I do is through Jesus Christ.” Father Montana began his priestly vocation in his home of Guadalajara where he served as a priest for three years before being loaned out to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in 1994. Five years later, he asked Bishop Roberto Gonzales if he could come to Corpus Christi and with the bishop’s permission in March 1999 he was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Joseph in Alice. After a couple of years, he was made pastor of St. Mary in Freer, where he believes his work as a priest blossomed. “This was my first parish and here I gave some of my best years as a priest,” he said. “I worked with all pastoral groups, parish organizations and ministries. We celebrated beautiful posadas and Holy Week activities. It was a wonderful experience.” He was assigned to St. Joseph in Corpus Christi in 2010 and was then sent to Sacred Heart in 2013, where he seemore more photos go to: ToTosee photosofofthis thisevent event go to South Texas




currently not only oversees the parish, but Central Catholic Elementary, as well. The school has 78 students, from grades 1-5. During his 25 years of serving various parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, he has noticed society as a whole has changed dramatically; in particular, the

way people treat each other. “We are all human. I think we need to be more patient with each other. People need to see Jesus Christ in others. I know it’s not easy, but if we ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and pray, we can overcome any challenge in our lives,” he said.

Father Montana greets parishioner at Sacred Heart and shares a moment with altar servers. Contributed photos

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  11

Father Hahn with his mother and Bishop Rene Gracida at his ordination at the Corpus Christi Cathedral in 1992. Contributed photo.

The priesthood requires prayer and dedication Rebecca Esparza Correspondent


hen South Vietnam fell to North Vietnam in 1975, Father Hanh Van Pham fled from Ben Da in southwest Vietnam with his mother, father and six siblings. They made their way to the United States for safety. They spent time in Arkansas, Louisiana and California meeting up with other members of their extended family, but finally settled in Rockport, Texas because his father wanted to continue his work as a fisherman. It was expected that Father Hanh would also become a fisherman, like many others in his family. But God had other plans. “Growing up, all children want to be like their parents, so I naturally wanted to be a fisherman. But we soon found out I suffered from severe motion sickness. Since I couldn’t catch fish, 12  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

instead I was called to be a fisher of men,” he said, with a chuckle. He had hopes of joining a minor seminary when he was in fifth grade, while still in Vietnam. The Communist takeover and his fleeing to the United States interrupted those plans. “It didn’t occur to me to apply for the seminary in the United States until my father passed away suddenly, when I was only 16-years-old. But the priest told me I was too young,” he said. After his father’s death, Father Hanh helped his mother with household expenses by working on a shrimp boat, despite the physical challenges of being at sea. “I had lost a lot of weight and then it occurred to me; I don’t think God created me to pick up shrimp. I felt God was calling me to something different. Being a fisherman is an honorable profession; just think of the Apostles. It just wasn’t my calling,”


he said. On Jan. 25, 1992, Father Hanh was ordained into the priesthood by Bishop Rene Gracida at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. In the years that followed, he served parishes at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ss. Cyril and Methodius, St. Thomas More and St. Phillip the Apostle, before returning to Corpus Christi Cathedral, where he ministers today as rector. The priesthood is a calling that requires prayer and dedication, he noted. “It takes a mixture of service with love, trust and faith in God and his people. Over the years, people have taught me how to love, how to organize, how to help me manage finances and many other things,” he said. “I’m grateful to recognize parishioners’ talents and ask them to help the Church where they are needed.” Father Hanh has had many memorable moments in his 25 years as a priest, but one humbling incident is a reminder of God’s ability to grant miracles, despite the worst of circumstances. “It was a busy Sunday and after three Masses back-to-back, I had not eaten breakfast or lunch. At 2 p.m. someone called asking for anointing of the sick for a friend. I went, but not with prayerful intentions. I learned the cancer patient had just been told her cancer had spread all over.” Father Hanh anointed her, left and did not think much about it until later when the cancer patient came back to visit him with some remarkable news. “She told me the doctors told her that the cancer was gone. All I know is that it wasn’t me. She was so grateful I had stopped by and anointed her, but I reminded her it wasn’t me,” he said adamantly. “God was teaching me a lesson because I came to her with less than a cheerful attitude. This is a story I share at retreats all of the time, because God wanted to show me he could work miracles in spite of me.”

Father Hahn at the Corpus Christi Cathedral where he was ordained 25-years ago and now serves as rector. Contributed photo. March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  13


Upbringing, Sister Lucia Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

Sister Lucia D’Cunha celebrated her 40th anniversary at the 2017 World Day of Consecrated Mass celebrated in Corpus Christi Cathedral on Jan. 29. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic 14  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

ister Lucia D’Cunha has always felt God’s presence in her life. Her upbringing prepared her for a life of poverty and her charism in education allowed her to serve God as a religious with the Sisters of St. Ann. Sister Lucia was the fourth of five children born to Assumption and Bevinda D’Cunha in Gujarat, India on Nov. 18, 1951. Her parents were very religious and devoted to God. Her mother was an orphan and her dad had only his mother, whose constant presence in their home was a blessing. When she received first Communion at the age of six until the present day, Sister Lucia’s spirit has been full. She awakes early everyday to go to Mass. “When I don’t receive communion, I feel that emptiness,” she said. The children went to school, wore hand me downs and ate what was put on their table. It was a very simple time and the family prayed the rosary together every night, kneeling at the foot of their home altar. Sister Lucia enjoyed peace and joy in her family’s company. Her parents’ faith in God gave her the example to be joyful and thankful even during tough times. Her father had been a foreman for the railroad and he traveled to different places with his wife always at his side. When her parents were away, their grandmother took over the care of the children. After taking a voluntary retirement, her father moved the family to Goa, India and extended a tworoom family house with his pension. He could not afford to have extra rooms built with stone, so when three monsoons came within a three-month span the house collapsed. Nothing was saved. As the walls were coming down Sister Lucia remembers her mom saying, “let’s pray.” As it happened, the contractors rebuilt the rooms again at no cost to the family. “It was providential. We gave credit to God and my faith grew stronger,” Sister Lucia said. Another event that deepened her faith was when thieves broke into their new convenience store. They took everything, but were unable to separate them from their faith; they hoped and they prayed. Neighbors brought food and water and Sister Lucia’s mother said,


g, education prepared for a life serving God “see, God will provide.” “We were happy, because we had God with us,” Sister Lucia said. She felt that if her mom and dad could live this way she could too, and it strengthened her faith even more. After her schooling Sister Lucia taught at an elementary school. She walked 12 miles every day to teach poor children, getting a stipend of $2 a month, half of which she gave to her mom. Her parents helped her tutor after school and they bartered lessons for pigs, chicken, coconut liquor, homegrown vegetables and fruits. Her brothers went to work in Bombay, sending money home when they could. When she turned 22, Sister Lucia traveled alone to north central India to Madhya Pradesh to discern at an eight-day religious retreat for young women, but she was lonely and left after only three days. She spent a year with her brothers, who missed her and pleaded with her to stay with them. After one of her brothers married she went back to live with her parents in Goa. She was given a book on charisms and she picked Sisters of St. Ann–mostly because it was the first congregation listed in alphabetical order and their charism was education. She then wrote to the superior of St. Ann’s convent in Tivim, Goa requesting to join their congregation, which she did on June 22, 1973. Four years later, on Jan. 1, 1977, she made her first profession in Secunderabad, India. On Jan. 1, Sister Lucia celebrated her 40th anniversary of being a religious. After her first profession she was sent to Bombay to finish her schooling, teach and work in the convent. One day while she was sweeping, she noticed a pain in

her stomach. Her doctor found that she had an ovarian cyst and it was growing upward close to her heart. They told her if it touched her heart she would die. She was sent back to Secunderabad. Her doctor, who happened to be Hindu, told her that she needed to pray to her God, because she would not operate due to the intense heat. There was no air conditioning at the time. Sister Lucia went inside the chapel, praying only, “I need your help, Lord if you want me to do your work, but if you want to take me that’s fine, too.” She went back outside to pouring rain. She had the surgery in the morning and the Hindu doctor told her she must be very close to God. “The surgery was so successful that I went to teach within a month. I taught four year-olds and I needed no rest,” she said. Sister Lucia received her bachelor’s degree at St. Theresa College in Eluru in three years. Then went on to receive a bachelor’s of education in Balarum. She can speak and write Konkani, Hindi and English fluently. When she was taking her final tests for her bachelor’s of education, her superior told her to get a passport–she was sending her to the United States to teach. But first she had to go to Rome and see the Mother General who would decide if she was fit to do mission work. Excited and nervous at the same time, she took the remaining tests and passed with distinction. She was allowed to visit her parents before leaving India and her parents gave her their blessing saying, “We have offered you to the lord. God bless you.” She arrived in Rome on Jan. 25, 1987 and received the needed permission from

the Mother General to go to America, but when she went to the consulate they did not give her permission to leave. She was told to ask her superior why she had to travel all the way from India to Rome in order to go to America. Every time she answered the consulate’s questions, she was given another question to take back to her superior. After the seventh time her superior gave her a letter from a cardinal in the Vatican to give to the consulate. The consulate had no respect for the letter and told her that if she did not want to be sent back to India she would have to get permission from the Italian government to stay there. Sister Lucia prayed, “Lord I want to see a police officer who can help me get a sojourner’s permit.” The consulate officer stamped her permit so many times that she could have stayed in Italy forever. Then her superior told her to buy a ticket for America. “I remember, because it was the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Sienna April 29, 1987. I got the earliest ticket. It was for May 1, 1987,” Sister Lucia said. She went back to the consulate and showed her the ticket and she told me to bring the ticket back in three months. Sister Lucia recalls saying to herself, “Oh lady I’m not coming back.” She arrived at St. Francis convent in Pennsylvania on May 1, 1987 and began student teaching and taking college courses. She taught in Pennsylvania for 12 years and in 1998 she arrived in Corpus Christi. Sister Lucia has taught at Christ the King, St. Patrick, Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School and now Holy Family. “I love this country. This is my mission and I like to be joyful. I love my teaching and I love my students,” she said. March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Capirotada: Reina de la comida cuaresmal Luisa Scolari Corresponsal


medida que la Cuaresma ya esta aquí, muchos hogares hispanos disfrutarán platos especiales asociados con la abstinencia o la renuncia a comer carne los viernes de cuaresma. Un plato popular es la capirotada; un postre de pan preparado de diferentes maneras en diferentes partes del mundo, pero como plato cuaresmal no debe contener carne. La capirotada es un platillo antiquísimo que aunque en su orígenes no era dulce ni estaba vinculado a eventos de tipo religioso, fue evolucionando hasta llegar a ser lo que es hoy. La referencia más antigua que se tiene aparece en el libro “De re coquinaria de Apicius” de finales del siglo IV, que recopilaba los guisos favoritos de los romanos de esa época. Una receta de la Sala Cattabia, antecedente de la capirotada, utilizaba pedazos de pan remojados en agua con vinagre, capas de queso de vaca, pepino, alcaparras, hígado de pollo 16  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

cocido y cubierto con un aderezo. Esta antigua receta observa el pan como constante de la capirotada e ingrediente principal, así como el modelo de poner capas sucesivas alternando los ingredientes y el aderezo. Posteriormente, se fueron agregando más ingredientes como lo vemos en el “Libro de Cocina de Roberto

de Ñola” escrito en 1477, donde se le nombra Almodrote, el pan es remojado en caldo de carnero y se le agrega carne de perdiz asada. El aderezo es preparado majando queso, ajo, manteca, yemas de huevo y caldo de carnero frío en un

mortero, y por último se echa manteca derretida encima. Otro recetario en el que encontramos la capirotada es el libro: Arte de cocina, pastelería, vis cochería y conservería de Francisco Martínez Montiño, (1611) cocinero de Felipe II, donde la presenta con el nombre de Sopa de Capirotada, preparada con mucha carne pues le agrega lonjas de lomo de puerco (cerdo) y salchichas, además de la carne de perdiz asada. El pan tostado lo sustituye por torrejas hechas con miel e introduce queso rallado entre las capas y el aderezo lo prepara a base de queso, ajo, caldo y huevos. La sopa la pone a espesar en el fuego cubriéndola con queso y azafrán y cuando está a medio cocer le agrega manteca de puerco (cerdo) dejando que se termine de cocer. Hasta esas fechas, la capirotada aun no era considerada un platillo de vigilia pues contenía mucha carne. Se piensa que tomó el nombre de capirotada del gorro que


solían llevar los monjes participantes en las procesiones de Semana Santa: Capirote, que se describe como un cucurucho enorme con varias superposiciones. Con la llegada de los españoles a América, también llegan sus platillos. Una temprana mención de este platillo en la historia es cuando se menciona que Hernán Cortez envenenó a su amigo y compadre Francisco de Garay dándole de comer capirotada. En los recetarios de la Nueva España aparece, más tarde, ya sin incluir la carne como ingrediente para su preparación. La capirotada es mencionada como platillo de vigila por primera vez en 1780 por Fray Gerónimo de San Pelayo en su libro de cocina lo llama caldo y le agrega tomate en la preparación del aderezo, aunque toda la demás preparación continúa bajo el mismo patrón de capas de pan, queso y aderezo. Se cree que la popularidad de esta capirotada sin carne fue el resultado de una crisis. Se vuelve a mencionar la capirotada en el siglo XIX en el libro “El nuevo Cocinero Mexicano” impreso por la Editorial Porrúa en México en 1992 donde se relata la evolución de lo que llaman la Capirotada Francesa elaborada con carne y la actual sin carne y considerado platillo de vigilia. Ya en el siglo XX, se populariza como un platillo dulce de vigilia y aparece junto con lentejas, habas, croquetas, tortas y empanadas de camarón en el recetario de Dona Josefina Velázquez de León en los años cuarentas. En 1965, Virginia Rodríguez Rivera registra una receta proveniente del estado de Zacatecas en una versión que incluye más ingredientes. Desde sus orígenes de la Roma antigua a la actualidad, la capirotada ha ido sufriendo algunos cambios al eliminar e incorporar ingredientes, pero conservando su técnica de forma. Esto es formar capas de pan remojado con aderezo alternando con los ingredientes hasta terminar con la última capa por lo que no debe ser considerado un platillo mestizo, barroco o mexicano. La capirotada es un platillo que se encuentra registrado como plato de vigilia tanto en México, Tejas, Nuevo México, Puerto Rico como en Guatemala, incluyendo algunos platillos derivados como los golfeados en Venezuela y el Bread and Butter Pudding en Inglaterra. Según los productos de cada región los ingredientes más comunes que se han ido agregando actualmente son: coco, guayaba, plátano, ciruela pasa, pasas, nueces, almendras, cacahuate, clavo, canela y piloncillo, aunque cada familia la prepara según sus preferencias. Por eso cabe decir que cada quien puede decir que İ“La más buena es la que prepara mi mamá”! La costumbre popular es preparar este platillo el miércoles de ceniza y los viernes de cuaresma donde se manda la abstinencia. Por lo pronto, pueden disfrutar y practicar esta fácil receta:

CAPIROTADA 01 En una olla grande (mínimo para 4 litros o un galón) 5 cucharas de vanilla pones a hervir el pi4 piloncillos. loncillo en 2 litros de agua con el clavo y las rajas de canela. 25 clavos de olor.

2 paquetes de pan tostado (la marca de tu preferencia).

02 Dejas hervir por 5 minutos (a que el clavo suelte el sabor) y 1 bolsita de coco dulce rayado retiras los 25 clavos (revisando (la marca de tu preferencia). bien que no falte ni uno, pues es 2 bolsitas de cacahuate desagradable morder uno). 2 tronquitos de canela.

salado o 1 lata (la marca de tu preferencia).

03 Agregas los cacahuates, nueces y almen1 plátano macho en rebanadas. dras y dejas hervir 1 queso fresco cortado en cuadripor otros 5 minutos a tos (la marca de tu preferencia). hasta que suavicen. 1 paquete de almendras (cantidad al gusto).

04 Agregas las pasas, el plátano, el coco y la ciruela y empiezas 1 paquete de nueces a agregar el pan en (cantidad al gusto). pedazos mezclándolo bien con 1 bolsa de pasas (cantidad y la miel y todos los ingredientes. marca de su preferencia).

1 bolsa de ciruela pasa sin semilla y cortada en mitades (cantidad y marca de tu preferencia).

05 Por último, agregas el queso cortado en cuadritos y apagas el fuego, pero deja la olla cubierta para que con el mismo calor el queso se suavice. March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Se come fría o caliente y se puede acompañar con un vaso de leche bien fría o un buen café. ¡Buen provecho! NOTA: En algunas regiones se prepara en ollas de barro que forran con tortilla. También se puede preparar en un refractario poniendo las capas de pan remojado en la miel y agregando la capa

de los ingredientes hasta terminar con una capa de ingredientes cubierta por el queso rallado, luego, se cubre con papel aluminio y se hornea a 250 grados ℉, durante media hora. Se puede reemplazar, eliminar o agregar ingredientes al gusto y preferencia de cada cocinera.

Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero

“Con Permiso”

Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en Domingos a las 7:30 a.m. con el P. Julian Cabrera y Gloria Romero

La Diócesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendación del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicación mas allá para la buena administración y responsabilidad nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso nanciero. La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y condencialmente el abuso nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de påca ética nanciera dentro de la Diócese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones serán tradas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anónimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

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.

18  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

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

Th e Bla c k a nd I n dian M issio n Co llec t io n E x i s t s to H e lp Lo cal Af r ican Amer ican and N at i ve Am e r i c an Dio cesan Co mmun ities t h ro u ghou t the U n ited St ates sp read the g o o d ne ws of Jesus Ch r ist an d respo n d to re al a nd pre s s in g n eeds o n t h e gro un d.

The B l ac k and I ndian M is s io n Co l l e c t i o n E xis ts to Hel p Lo c al Af r ic an Am er i c a n a n d N ative Am er ic an Dio ces an Co m m un i t i e s thro u g ho u t the United States s pre a d t h e g o o d news o f J es u s C hr is t and res p o n d to real and pres s ing needs o n the gro un d.


In keeping with the theme "Help Jesus in Disguise," the funds collected S UPPORT BLsupport ACK A ND INDIA N MISSION through the CRSTHE Collection vital Catholic programs that share in the Catholic mission of C promoting O L L Ethe C Tsacredness I O N of human life and the dignity of the human person. Visit for more information.

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SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMMING 5:00 - 6:00 6:00 - 6:30 6:30 - 7:00 7:00 - 7:30 7:30 - 8:00 8:00 - 8:30 8:30 - 9:00 9:00 - 9:30 9:30 - 10:30 10:30 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:30

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CATHOLIC Programming on RADIO, TV and INTERNET Cathedral Sunday Mass - LIVE BROADCAST at 9:30 a.m.

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20  South Texas Catholic | March 2017 Envelope #

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  21




a Celebration of

Catholic Schools Diocese of Corpus Christi

Bishop Michael Mulvey and the Office of Catholic Schools thank you for making our first Celebration of Catholic Schools a success!


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Advanced Plan for Health Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc. Catholic Mutual Group Del Mar College Foundation Dr. Bill and Minerva Dennis Dept. of the Navy Office of the Chaplains FACTS Management Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Holy Family School International Bank of Commerce Incarnate Word Academy & St. John Paul II High School St. Joseph Church, Beeville Most Precious Blood School Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Portland Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy Sacred Heart School, Rockport St. Andrew by the Sea Church St. Gertrude Church St. Joseph Church and School, Alice St. Patrick Church, Corpus Christi St. Patrick School, Corpus Christi St. Philip the Apostle Church St. Pius X Church St. Pius X School


Blanch Fernandez/ Angel Bright Home Health Armando and Mary Ann Avalos Martha and Jim Avery Jackie and Jim Brannigan Friends of the Chancery Margie and Joe Chavez Coastal Bend Community Foundation Thomas and Kathleen Cullinan Tim and Amy Erhman Dr. Carlos Everett Ferrell/Brown & Associates, Inc. Dr. Mary Jane Garza Legamaro Financial Services Teresa Flores, Joseph Wise/Merrill Lynch Michael and Marie Heaney Msgr. Seamus McGowan Dr. Rosemary Henry Office of Catholic Schools Parker Uniforms Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament St. Gertrude School St. Elizabeth School Father Joseph Nguyen/ St. Paul the Apostle Church Dr. William and Suzelle Tinnell Elvira Trejo



Texas Roadhouse MDR Advertising Honey and Bee CC event design + planning + production

Thank You for making them Shine!


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CHRISTUS Spohn R. Cazalas, Hayes, Pesek, McCutchon, Boynton Goldia Hubert and Jean Claire Turcotte Kim Seger


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KLUX 89.5 Office of Stewardship and Development South Texas Catholic Nancy Aleman Corpus Christi Caller-Times Rhonda Ganz La De Da Events Elizabeth Martinez Norma Martinez Mari Palmatier Razzle Dazzle Event Decorating, Inc. Roland Perez, Jr./ESC Print Shop Manager Terria Schmidt Steve Schneider/Texas Roadhouse



Cazalas, Gough, Laudadio, Little


Bishop Michael Mulvey Fulton*Coastcon General Contractors Meyer Service Company– Greg and Jeff Meyer Port of Corpus Christi and Spectra Schmidt, Ganz, Boudloche Valero Energy


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For more information on Catholic Schools please go to

22  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

exas First Lady Cecilia Abbott reminded more than 500 Catholic school educators, supporters and benefactors the importance of providing students with a Catholic education. She was the keynote speaker at the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s inaugural fundraising and recognition ceremony, “A Celebration of Catholic Schools.” “An education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values is needed now more than ever,” Abbott said. “Catholic Education forms students not merely for work, but for meaningful work within the context of a meaningful life–a life serving God and neighbor.” Abbott has a long history of support for Catholic education, having served as teacher, principal and board member of various Catholic schools. “We are thrilled to have you here, welcome to Corpus Christi,” Bishop Michael Mulvey said to Abbot, who has been married to Gov. Greg Abbott for 35 years. Cecilia Abbott currently serves on the board of several educational organizations, including the University of St. Thomas, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and the Cathedral School of St. Mary. On Jan. 28, she received the “Spirit of Francis Award” from the Catholic Extension Society for her devotion to service and philanthropy in the Catholic Church. “It is wonderful to be here. It is such an honor to be among so many friends and join in the celebration of teachers receiving teacher excellence awards. You are truly a shining light and a beacon of hope,” the First Lady said. “A Catholic education inspires not only the minds of our students but also their hearts and spirit. You are preparing them for a life of belonging, a life of purpose in this world and beyond.”

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott addressed the first ever “Celebration of Catholic Schools. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Abbott outlined five reasons that Catholic schools matter in today’s world. First, learning matters. Every child can achieve when committed parents and teachers set a high bar. Second, safety matters; Catholic schools provide a safe haven not only for Catholic children, for all children who attend Catholic school. Parents believe that Catholic schools are safe. Service also matters. “Service teaches children to live a life serving God and neighbor. Fourth, faith matters; education cannot be only a thing of the mind. It must inspire student’s hearts and spirits. “We believe that achievement without faith, purpose and character will be short lived and hollow,” she said. Finally, enlarging the circle of our family matters. “Catholic schools teach our children not to withdraw from the culture at large but to go out into the world to act as leaven in our society–like yeast to help make it rise. “Catholic education is about helping students rediscover the joy they felt as very young children, studying the world because

they love it and find it full of wonder. As Catholic educators you are guiding students through one of the most important journeys, so they can be that leaven in society–to make it rise. What you do is of eternal importance,” she said. Teachers from all of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi were invited to submit innovative and creative projects that challenge and inspire students. A committee reviewed more than 60 applications and one teacher from each school received a $1,500 Teacher Excellence Grant, funded by the Kenedy Memorial Foundation. “The Celebration for Catholic Schools was an important event–to bring the community together to celebrate our 18 Catholic schools of excellence and to recognize all those who serve our schools, where minds and hearts are formed. This celebration is also an important fundraiser to raise funds for Diocesan Tuition Assistance for families most in need,” Rosemary Henry, Superintendent of Catholic Schools said. March 2017 | South Texas Catholic  23


First Lady of Texas praises Catholic education at diocesan event


Signs, miracles and worship at historic Stella Maris Chapel Luisa Buttler Correspondent


herever you have a group of people believing the word of God, and quoting and standing on the Word of God, you are going to see more signs, more wonders and more miracles,” Father Ralph Jones, priest-in-charge of the Stella Maris Chapel in Lamar, said about “what is happening” at the historic mission under his charge. “There is an anointing on this building,” Father Jones said. “It is a work of God and it has survived many crises. God sovereignly birthed this chapel to serve the people’s need.” Through the years, Stella Maris has been many things for many people. At more than 160-years-old, the chapel, located in the quiet Aransas County town of Lamar, is the oldest building owned by the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Historical records show an Irish immigrant named James Byrne, one of the original founders of Lamar, commissioned the building in the mid 1850s. Twice during the Civil War Stella Maris was bombed, but received little damage. Later, in 1919, Stella Maris was nearly destroyed by a hurricane. In 1931, the building was rebuilt and repurposed as the personal chapel of Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina, Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi from 1921-49. Midcentury, the Lamar Women’s Club used the chapel as a non-denominational worship space, and then, for much of the second half of the century, the Schoenstatt Sisters took care of the property. In 1986, the Aransas County Historical Society raised funds to move the building from the Schoenstatt property overlooking Aransas Bay to its present site across from the Lamar Cemetery. Later that decade, the building was deeded to the Knights of Columbus of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rockport. In 2005, the chapel became property of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and on Nov. 20, 2005, Stella Maris celebrated its first Mass in its new location. The chapel regularly serves about 50 families, and experiences exponential growth in attendance during the colder months due to an increase in Winter Texans. There is also another reason new faces have arrived to worship 24  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

at the picturesque white chapel tucked beneath the trees. That reason, Father Jones explains, is a spiritual pilgrimage for healing. Worshipers have been coming from all over the state—and even all over the country—for the healing service led by Father Jones after each Mass, if requested by someone in the pews. Father Jones himself has experienced the healing power of prayer. “When I first arrived here as priest, I was almost immediately diagnosed with cancer. Since then, I’ve had cancer four times,” Father Jones said. “In talking to the Lord, I said to him that I would like to pray for people, especially the sick, but to do that, I needed him to bring people here to Stella Maris.” Just as Father Jones had prayed for, people of all faiths and walks of life have been coming to pray at Stella Maris, often stopping at the chapel on their way from the Rio Grande Valley to hospital treatments in Houston. During many of the after-Mass healing services, Father Jones tells stories of those who prayed at Stella Maris and were healed through their faith. He also reminds those present of the power of prayer—which he stresses—has been laid out for all to see in Holy Scripture. “Every Mass is a healing opportunity,” Father Jones said. “But like so many other things, people don’t know the official teaching of the Church or of their faith, or even when the healing part happens.” Father Jones, with his deep warm voice, has a unique way of sharing the message so people understand. “Father Jones breaks down what’s in the Bible so that we can relate to it,” parishioner Joe Shaw said. “When he speaks the Gospel, you can hear a pin drop.” At the healing service, each person receives prayer cards, holy water, holy oil, healing salts and a handkerchief. The faithful are also invited to pray to any of the six first class relics, a physical remain of a saint, in the small chapel. “When I first arrived here, there were two empty shelves on each side of the chapel, and no one knew what they were for,” Father Jones said. “So, I put some plants there, but it didn’t really fit. Flowers didn’t work either because they distracted from the altar. Meanwhile, at my house, I had first class relics of the Blessed (Francis Xavier) Seelos, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Peregrine.


Father Ralph Jones prepares altar for Mass at Stella Maris Chapel (below). Luisa Buttler for South Texas Catholic

I can’t say I heard a voice, but somehow, something came over me, and said ‘Ralphy, you have all these first class relics in your house, wouldn’t they be better off in the chapel?’ I said ‘Yes, God,’ and moved them over here.” The church has since added first class relics of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Padre Pio, St. John Vianney and St. Rita. “People love to see them and take pictures of them,” Father Jones said. “I encourage them to pray to the saints here and the ones they hold dear in their personal lives.” Father Jones took a non-traditional path to the priesthood, entering the seminary at age 65. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 at the age of 69. “I was called to be a priest when I was a teenager, but had academic difficulties and had to go to many different schools as a child,” Father Jones said. “God’s call never left me. I gave myself to God as a teenager, and years later, it was him that made it possible for me to go to seminary.” It is easy to see why Father Jones is much-loved by his parish family and those who visit his parish, as his quick wit, straight talk and love of God’s word are on full display during Mass. He is quick to deflect the growing popularity of the church away from himself and back on the power of group prayer. “None of this is about me,” he said. “It’s about the Church and Jesus, the Divine Physician.” Stella Maris, with its squeaky wood plank floors and pews just long enough to sit three across, only holds about 50 people comfortably, with room for a few extra on folding seats in the side aisles. Parishioners occasionally take up a seat on the altar when there is no room anywhere else. Because of the growth, a high-tech high-mounted camera was installed in the back of the church in January 2017, which

captures and simulcasts the Mass to the chapel’s hall, which has double the capacity of the chapel. The hall, like the camera, is fairly new, along with a new space for Father Jones to live, a small business building, storage space, a restroom for parishioners and a proper confessional. “We used to do confessions on the back porch, or behind the altar, or by the tree out front,” Father Jones said. “Also, before proper bathrooms were built, all we had was a porta-potty.” An anonymous donor paid for the building additions. The camera was also donated. “I was given one goal when I first came to Stella Maris, and that was to grow this church, and that’s what I have done,” Father Jones said. “I have never deviated.” All are welcome to attend Mass at Stella Maris, located at 222 Hagy St., in Lamar. Mass times are 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday, with weekday Mass held at 8 a.m.

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  25


Dreams for homeownership improved with financial literacy Beth Wilson

T Correspondent

he dream of homeownership is better when built on a strong foundation of financial literacy. That is one of the lessons learned through classes and counseling offered by the housing department of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. And the lessons are paying off with 327 families successfully achieving homeownership since the inception of the program. In January of this year alone, 18 families participating in the program have purchased a home. “To narrow it down, our mission (Catholic Charities’) is providing services to people in need to address the social ills that undermine the dignity of the person,” said Doreya “Yiyi” Dean, Director of Housing Counseling for Catholic Charities. That extends into her department, as well, in the form of helping low-to-moderate-income families understand and prepare for homeownership. “We make sure they’re ready,” she said. That means everything from classes for home buyer assistance certificates; financial awareness covering basics of budgeting and understanding credit; and foreclosure prevention and credit repair. About half of the department’s 1,200 clients each year come in with dreams of buying a home, Dean said. She noted that in the past three years the program has experienced a significant uptick in the number of families who purchased homes. In 2014, awareness about the

Toni Alaniz reviews calendar where she schedules out her bills and paychecks. Staying on track and up-to-date this way is a method she learned from the housing counseling department at Catholic Charities. Beth Wilson for South Texas Catholic

26  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

program’s education components, resulted in 34 new families purchasing homes. In 2015 the program experienced a “dramatic increase” in the number of families purchasing a home with 91 new homeowners. And in 2016, the confidence of new homeowners began to increase, and credit scores began to rise, resulting in 143 families purchasing a home. Some clients, about one-third, come seeking help with foreclosure prevention, a situation in which banks may require homeowners to take classes. The remaining segment of clients are seeking credit repair assistance. Prospective homeowners are not always prepared for the upfront expense of a down payment or the continued expense

October 2016, is learning the tricky parts of budgeting, all with a goal of going into the homebuying process with her eyes open. “I don’t want to put my kids into a home and then turn around and me not even be prepared for it,” she said. The 29-year old resides with her two children, ages 14 and seven, in LULAC Village Apartments on Horne Road near Greenwood Drive and works at a nearby Whataburger. She does not have a timetable for buying a home, but is instead listening to and taking the advice her counselor at Catholic Charities offers. “They are teaching me how to get ready to buy a home,” she said. “How to budget myself to not get things I can’t afford.” In budgeting, Dean advises clients to be realistic. “You need to be honest with yourself about what you have and don’t have,” she said. “It’s easy to say, and difficult to put into practice.” One of her recommendations is the envelope system of budgeting, setting aside the cash needed for essentials in envelopes, one each for food, utilities, school and entertainment. Also, have a grocery list when shopping to keep from getting caught up in overbuying. Dean said that lately she has seen an increase in attention on financial literacy, people gaining an understanding of how damaging credit can be and the realities of a home mortgage. She is pleased to have others join her in what she sees as her mission to help others learn these things. “That’s what we Catholics do,” she said. “We feed and clothe and we try to do all these wonderful things that we are mandated to do under Catholic social principles.” The housing department also offers classes in the “Family Self-Sufficiency Program”, which is for those who wish to improve their financial situation and reduce their dependence upon entitlement benefits, nutrition assistance programs and temporary assistance programs for the needy. The focus here is on overcoming obstacles that may include lack of education or low-paying jobs. Dean said donations for the housing counseling programs of Catholic Charities are always welcome to help offset expenses and offer waivers for class fees. An online donation system, as well as more information of the housing program, may be found at the Catholic Charities website

Toni Alaniz watches television with her sons, 7-year-old Alonso and 14-year-old Tony, in their apartment. She is taking classes and counseling with Catholic Charities so she can someday move them to their own home. Beth Wilson for South Texas Catholic March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  27


of mortgages and maintenance. These clients begin with budgeting or financial literacy classes. They also seek out the one-on-one counseling available in several of these areas. “Then eventually they reach their goal of homeownership,” Dean said. “We meet the people where they are.” Catholic Charities began its housing program in 2002 during a period of high foreclosures—in the city and nationwide—that was threatening the stability of neighborhoods. Adjustable mortgages went from two percent to 10 percent in three years, which meant monthly payments jumped from $1,200 to $3,000 and easily outpaced homeowners’ income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dean said, began to place more attention on education for counselors, who in turn offered classes to homebuyers. More responsibility was also put on the homebuyer to prove they had sufficient incomes and credit scores to cover mortgages. Today, about 70 people attend the two monthly counseling classes offered by Catholic Charities. Key messages in the financial awareness classes are: knowing your income and expenses and sticking to a budget. “The client has to make changes and be willing to stick to a budget to create savings,” said Amanda Marie Lazo, a housing specialist with Catholic Charities. That may mean eating out less and not buying on credit non-necessities or those “treats” they may think they deserve. That is one lesson that Toni Alaniz is learning. “Don’t use (credit) cards unless it’s in an emergency,” Alaniz said she learned at the classes. “I had thought it (credit card) would help, but it’s supposed to be only for an emergency–not to just go shopping.” Alaniz, a Catholic Charities housing education client since


Fullness of Truth conference will fe Alfredo E. Cardenas South Texas Catholic


ullness of Truth Ministries is returning to the Diocese of Corpus Christi on March 4-5 with their annual Lenten conference, “Our Family Reunion: Healing the Domestic Church”. Bishop Michael Mulvey will give the keynote address at the American Bank Center on Sunday, March 5, at 11 a.m. “The Fullness of Truth Conference will bring together a number of fine speakers who are active in various works and apostolates that promote marriage and family life. I am honored also to be among the speakers,” Bishop Mulvey said. Other nationally recognized Catholic speakers at the conference include, Arland K. Nichols, founding president of the St. John Paul II Foundation; Mary Ann Kuharski, a wife and mother of 13 children, six of whom are adopted and of mixed races with “special

needs; Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, known around the world as the “Dynamic Deacon;” Steve Bollman, experienced a personal call during the Great Jubilee to found a ministry dedicated to finding God within the context of marriage and family life; and Christopher J. Stravitsch the founding vice-president of the St. John Paul II Foundation. Diocesan pastoral offices, including Family Life, Youth Ministry, Catechesis and Evangelization, Young Adult & Campus Ministry, along with the Office of Catholic Schools, Catholic Charities and many other programs will be present to share resources and opportunities with conference attendees. Bishop Mulvey suggested that parishes encourage its members, as well as parish teams to attend. “The presentation can assist you and others in your parish to address the plight of the family in the modern world context,”

Arland K. Nichols

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

Mary Ann Kuharski

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Bishop Michael Mulvey


eature the family

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Bishop Mulvey said to priests Parish groups of five or more can receive discounts to attend the conference. Groups of five to nine receive $5 off per ticket; groups of 10 to 19 receive $10 off per ticket; groups of 20 or more can receive $15 off per ticket; and youth groups of 10 or more receive $5 off per ticket. Bishop Mulvey hopes that those who are involved in ministry, teaching or volunteer work will be encouraged to attend the Fullness of Truth Conference in order to network with the many ministries and apostolic initiatives active in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “I encourage all who are able to come and join us for this Lenten conference as we together explore some of the various opportunities and challenges that face the family in our times. I hope to see you there,” the bishop said. Fullness of Truth is a Houston-based evangelization initiative that strives to serve the Church in the work of the New Evangelization. Its mission is to lead people to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary by deepening and enriching the faith of Catholics and non-Catholics each year, through Catholic conferences, parish events, webinars and Bible study. For more information about the conference visit

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Steve Bollman

Christopher J. Stravitsch DHP MKTG-002-A 10/2015

March 2017 |   South Texas Catholic  29


For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop Michael Mulvey has appointed Father James Stembler as Vicar General of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, effective Feb. 1. He assumed the post previously held by Msgr. Louis Kihneman who will be installed as the fourth bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi.

The vicar general assists the bishop in the governance of the entire diocese. Father Stembler will remain pastor of St. Gertrude’s in Kingsville until July 1 at which time he will be full time in the Chancery. The bishop also named Father Alfredo Villarreal as temporary administrator of St. Philip the Apostle parish in Corpus

Father James Stembler

Father Alfredo Villarreal

Christi, where Bishop-designate Kihneman served as pastor. Father Villarreal’s appointment is effective Feb. 1.

St. Mary Mission gets new Catechetical Center Bishop Michael Mulvey dedicated a new catechetical center and parish hall at St. Mary Mission in Robstown on Feb. 11. The new building was made possible by a $450,000 grant made by The John G. and Marie Stella Kennedy Memorial Foundation. On average the mission’s religious education program serves 120 children and youth. The new catechetical center and parish hall will provide staff and the faithful much needed facilities to carry out their evangelization efforts. “We the catechist of St. Mary credit the generous amount awarded to the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Good

Remedy, whose novena we prayed, as we were in dire need of new building,” Cecilia

Gamboa, Religious Education Coordinator for St. Mary’s, said.

St. JP II High School students get clipped for Cancer Twenty girls and five boys had inches of their hair lopped off by Supercuts and ProCuts hair stylists at the annual, “A Cut Above” held in Sherry Davis’ Theatre Arts classroom at St. John Paul II High School. The event not only raises cancer awareness, but it provides hair for patients suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy. Students raised about $500, which will be donated to “Wigs for Kids” and the students also gave 200 inches of their locks to “Beautiful Lengths by Pantene.” At the beginning of the event Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody showed his support by getting his already short hair trimmed by one of the stylist. 30  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

St. John Paul II students give up her hair for Cancer patients. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Boy Scout Troop 157, chartered to St. Pius X Parish, celebrated 50 years of scouting on Sunday Feb. 5, beginning with Mass, followed by fellowship and a luncheon at the Parish Hall. Past Troop leaders were recognized at the luncheon.    Troop 157 was chartered October 1965 with eight scouts. Over the years, more than 2,000 scouts have been a part of the troop. In 1972, Edward “Eddie” Kollaja was the first scout from Troop 157 to become an Eagle Scout. Since then, 125 have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Over the years, the scouts from Troop 157 have consistently earned the Religious Emblems Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) and the Pope Pius XII awards. On several occasions they have completed the requirements as a troop to earn the Pope Paul VI award, an award that very few Scouting units earn. “The teachings embodied in the Scout oath and Scout law help boys grow into

Contributed photo (See more photos at

a good person if they follow them. That is the challenge Scout leaders have as they encourage the boys in the aspects of Scouting ascending in rank, earning merit badges that prepare them for life,

learning leadership and at the same time keeping Scouting fun and rewarding,” said Arthur “Art” Kaler, Chartered Organization Representative of Boy Scout Troop 157.

Diocese celebrates marriages at Cathedral Eighty-eight couples were recognized at the annual Wedding Anniversary Mass held at the Corpus Christi Cathedral on Sunday, Feb. 12. Twenty couples were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, while 38 were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Another 30 couples were celebrating more than 50 years of marriage, including two couples that were married for 70 years. Each year the Diocese of Corpus Christi observes World Marriage Day on the second Sunday of February.

Eusebio and Florinda Munoz were among the 88 whose marriage was recognized on World Marriage Day. The couple celebrated 50 years of marriage. (See more photos at Ervey Martinez for South Texas Catholic March 2017 | South Texas Catholic  31


St. Pius Boy Scout Troop celebrates 50 years


Supreme Court nominee’s suicide reaches strong proMatt Hadro


Catholic News Agency

resident Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court wrote a book on “the future of assisted suicide” in 2006—and he came to some strong pro-life conclusions. Judge Neil Gorsuch, in his 2006 book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” argues that “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and that the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” President Trump tapped Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. The almost yearlong vacancy on the Court is the longest in decades. Religious liberty advocates hailed his selection, citing his previous opinions upholding the freedom of businesses and non-profits to operate according to their sincerely held religious beliefs. Pro-life leaders also applauded his selection, admitting that he had not specifically ruled on the Roe v. Wade decision but pointing to his defense of human life in his 2006 book on assisted suicide. In that book, Gorsuch makes strong statements in defense of protecting all human life, from disabled persons to depressed, terminally ill patients. Rather than relying on religious reasoning, he takes a secular approach in his arguments. He states that his book has two purposes: to examine the views of assisted suicide advocates—from utilitarian arguments to defenses of autonomy—and to provide his own views on why current prohibitions on assisted suicide and euthanasia should stand. 32  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

In his book, he lays out a defense of prohibitions of assisted suicide. His argument is “based on secular moral theory,” he says, and “is consistent with the common law and long-standing medical ethics.” Life is a “basic good,” he argues, “inherently worthwhile” and which can be enjoyed by many and has been seen as a good throughout “human history.”

Aristotle defined goods this way, and “argued from life’s experiences and observations of human nature” rather than from “hypothetical construct.” People see life as good simply from their observation of fellow human beings, Gorsuch explains, noting that “people every

day and in countless ways do something to protect human life.” Laws prohibiting murder, traffic laws and government health departments are all based in protections of human life, he argues. “We have all witnessed, as well, family, friends or medical workers who have chosen to provide years of loving care to persons who may suffer from Alzheimer’s or other debilitating illnesses precisely because they are human persons, not because doing so instrumentally advances some other hidden objective,” he continues. “This is not to say that all persons would always make a similar choice, but the fact that some people have made such a choice is some evidence that life itself is a basic good,” he wrote. The founding documents of the United States—the Constitution—and foreign political documents express that life is a basic good and argue from pragmatic experience and history, he said. “The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection of the laws to all persons; this guarantee is replicated in Article 14 of the European Convention and in the constitutions and declarations of rights of many other countries,” Judge Gorsuch wrote. “This profound social and political commitment to human equality is grounded on, and an expression of, the belief that all persons innately have dignity and are worthy of respect without regard to their perceived value based on some instrumental scale of usefulness or merit. “We treat people as worthy of equal respect because of their status as human


book on assisted o-life conclusions President Donald Trump presents his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and his wife Mary Louise at the White House. Official White House photo

beings and without regard to their looks, gender, race, creed or any other incidental trait—because, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, we hold it as ‘self-evident’ that ‘all men [and women] are created equal’ and enjoy ‘certain unalienable Rights,’ and ‘that among these are life’.” To say that some persons do not have a right to life is a clear violation of “equal protection,” and undermines it at its core, he adds. Furthermore, Gorsuch says, to create distinctions on a person’s right to life based on their “currently exercisable abilities for self-creation and self-expression” leads to “arbitrary” and “subjective” judgments of whose life should be protected—like determining the rights of “those with low IQs,” “the autistic” and “infants with Down syndrome.”

Yet those who argue that some persons do not have the same rights as others “ask us to accept, judge and decree that certain persons with certain (rather arbitrarily chosen) instrumental capacities are worth our total respect—inviolable under law— while other persons who lack those capacities do not merit such esteem, respect, and protection,” he writes. “In the name of progressive policy, they would create a second class of citizens,” he said. Thus, Gorsuch concludes, “if, as I have argued, human life qualifies as a basic good it follows that we can and should refrain from actions intended to do it harm.” And this will “rule out cases where the doctor intends to kill his or her patient.” And so, he determines, “current laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia largely should be retained.” March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  33

Go to our Online Store to order a back issue of the STC, the Catholic Directory, an official portrait of Pope Francis, Bishop Michael Mulvey and other resources.

South Texas


SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI Msgr. Tom McGettrick’s, pocket-sized books are must reads. $

“I Love You, A Chat with Jesus” & “Do You Love Me, Another Chat with Jesus”

English Only Books 1 & 2

Discounts on 100 books or more.

1 each

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1.50 each


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

All Services FREE: • Pregnancy Test • Limited Ultrasound • Baby Supplies • Parenting Classes • Adoption Information • Abortion Recovery Classes

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4730 Everhart Rd


St.Rev. Joseph 2017 Lenten Fish Fry Rogel B. “Fr. Ogie” Rosalinas, SOLT–Pastor // 710 19th St. Corpus Christi TX, 78405 Your choice of 2 Catfish Fillets; 6 Shrimp; or 1 Catfish Fillet and 3 Shrimp. All plates include hot delicious golden french fries, cole slaw, hot buttered corn niblets, special house recipe tartar sauce, & a bread slice.

Ash Wednesday 10am-7:30pm & Every Friday During Lent 11am-2pm and AGAIN 4pm-7:30pm

34  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

FREE DELIVERY on orders of 5 plates or more Phone in orders to (361) 882-7912,by fax to (361) 882-6853 or by email at ONLY $8


Hannah Brockhaus Catholic News Agency


n the wake of President Donald Trump’s recent policy on refugees, U.S. Catholics should stay close to their bishops, who are providing a clear, correct and unified response to the issue, said Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, secretary of the new Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, which includes an office for refugees and migrants, currently headed by Pope Francis himself. Earlier this week, Cardinal Joseph Tobin said that according to Father Czerny, Pope Francis has confidence that the U.S. bishops are giving the issue “a Gospel response.” “I think the key is for Catholics to stay close to their bishops. Dialogue and unity are the two keys to a moment like this,” Father Czerny said. “And the bishops are speaking clearly, they’re speaking loudly, they’re speaking with a great deal of unity. Those who are concerned should listen to them, and also should reach out to help them. “The bishops in the United States are responding as their vocation calls them to, as their mission calls them to. They are acting as real shepherds of the people…not just of the people in their own flock, but they are really shepherds to all people.” Asked what the Holy See’s plan is for engaging with the U.S. government on immigration policies, he said that they plan to use the U.S. bishops as their first line of communication and engagement, watching them and supporting them in whatever way they need. “They’re responding very well,” he said. “And for the moment, they’re the people to listen to on this issue.” For the average Catholic, if they have something to offer, suggest or contribute to their bishops, they should do so, he said. “I think a Church united around its bishops will respond really well.” United with the bishops, U.S. Catholics can help influence political leaders to enact policies that support and uphold the dignity of all human persons, he said. “As citizens and as Christians, we need to help our leaders to

reflect and enact our real values,” Father Czerny said. If, for whatever reason, the Trump Administration starts to push policies that “are violating our basic principles and our own fundamental history, then it’s up to us to set them straight.” “There’s no justification for whipping up fear and hysteria when a calm approach can certainly find good solutions and can promote the common good.” In response to the argument that accepting refugees into a country will endanger its citizens by increasing the likelihood of acts of terrorism, he said that this is something it is easy to be “tricked into” believing through imagery or misleading reporting. But, he pointed out, if governments are honest, and they look at how they may have actually contributed, or are contributing, to the current situation, they will “find more useful things to do with their energy than scapegoat refugees.” “There are other ways in which governments in their foreign policy, in their trade policy, in their security policies, have done a lot to promote and provoke the very terrorism that they are now regretting,” he said. The solution is not victimizing refugees, the solution is solving problems at their roots, he said. “That’s the job of governments, that’s why they are instituted and that’s what they should be spending their time and energy doing.” In the end, immigration is an issue that is affecting the entire world right now, not just one or two countries. And the challenges and difficulties are real, he acknowledged. “But I can’t imagine a situation where one would say afterwards that it was too bad that we let them in, we wish we hadn’t.” “So I think we need to have some faith and hope, and use our considerable resources and our ingenuity to find solutions. And the solutions are waiting to be found, and everyone of good will is ready to give a hand, and that will make us all a better people,” Father Czerny said. March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  35


Vatican official: The bishops ‘are speaking clearly’ on refugees


Father John H. McKensie is pastor at St. James the Apostle in Refugio.

The Church’s contribution of the New Testament Father John H. McKenzie

M Contributor

any of our non-Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ ask why Catholics teach and practice certain things that are not in the Bible. They wonder why Catholics place so much emphasis on Tradition. It is important that they consider what the early Church—the Catholic Church—practiced before it organized the works of the apostles into the New Testament and the Bible. It was the Catholic Church that decided which books the Holy Spirit inspired. It is helpful to know that nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Bible is the sole source of revelation. As for Tradition, consider 2 Thes 2:15 “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” Tradition with a capital “T” is the “handing on” of the faith to the next generation. That is what the Church did before the New Testament was compiled. Sacraments were administered; the Eucharist was celebrated; and whole families were baptized, including children and infants. It was through tradition that early Christians evangelized before the Church published the first Bible. As time passed and as the apostles died, there was a realization that the Second Coming might not be as soon as people expected. The teachings of the apostles were put into writing. But there were many writings in circulation. The Catholic Church, the only Christians around at the time,

36  South Texas Catholic | March 2017

had the duty to discern which books the Holy Spirit inspired and which it did not. The Church employed three criteria to determine which books the Holy Spirit inspired. First, could it be traced to an apostle or have a connection to an apostle. For example, St. Paul’s writings—though he was not one the original 12 apostles, met this criteria. Second, did the dispersed Christian communities receive a book? Was what was read in Antioch also read in Rome or Jerusalem? Third, did the book affirm or contradict what the Church taught? Around the year 200, the theologian Tertullian used the term “New Testament.” By 397, the Council of Carthage, chaired by St. Augustine established the first “canon,” which means measurement. St. Augustine based his faith on the Church, deciding which books belonged to the new canon that we know today as the New Testament. It was affirmed again at the Council of Carthage in 419, the Council of Florence in 1442 and at the Council of Trent in 1546. A further contribution can be seen in the work of St. Jerome, a contemporary of St. Augustine. St. Jerome translated the Old Testament from Hebrew and Greek into Latin between the years 382-406. This was a great undertaking, which made the Bible available in the common language of the West at that time. St. Jerome also wrote some important commentaries on the certain books of the Bible. He is famous for saying “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” He used his knowledge for the glory of God in making the Bible available in the language common at the time. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that there are no more than a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be. By knowing the facts, we can correct the misperceptions that so many people have about the Catholic Church.


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St. Joseph 2017 Fish Fry

Ash Wednesday, March 1 from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Fridays from March 3-April 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and again from 4-7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph (710 19th St.) in Corpus Christi. Your choice of: two catfish fillets; six shrimp; or one catfish fillet and three shrimp. All plates include French fries, Cole slaw, corn, special house recipe tartar sauce and bread. Free delivery on orders of five plates or more. Donation of $8 a plate. Phone in orders to (361) 882-7912, by fax to (361) 882-6853 or by email at

OLPH Annual Fish Fry

March 1 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Fridays from March 3-April 7 from 3-7 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (5830 Williams Drive). Plates include two fish fillets, French fries, hush puppies, Cole slaw and tea. Dine in or carry out. Donation is $8 per plate. Proceeds benefit the OLPH Academy “Fill Every Desk Campaign” (allowing all children an opportunity to a quality Catholic education). Call in orders to (361) 991-7891 (delivery for Ash Wednesday only with a minimum of five plates per order.)


Lenten Evening of Reflection (In English)

March 2 from 6-8 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish (1010 Beam Station Road) in Alice. A Lenten Evening of Reflection. The first reflection will be: Lord I Thirst- Samaritan Woman at the Well. The second reflection will be: Missionary Disciples- The Road to Emmaus.

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A Catholic Journey of Faith

March 2 and every Thursday for nine weeks, from 6:45-9 p.m. at Christ the King Parish Hall (3423 Rojo St). A Catholic faith course with fellowship, praise and worship, Bible study and discussions to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There will be a different topic and speaker each night. Speakers will include SOLT priests Father Sam Medley, Father Jim Kelleher and Father Tony Blount. Light refreshments will be provided and child care for ages 3-12 years old. No cost to attend. For more information contact Dale Pittman (361) 949-8332 or the parish office at (361) 883-2821.

2 The Edge of Dawn Tour

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March 2 from 7-9 p.m. at Most Precious Blood (3502 Saratoga Blvd.). Featuring musicians Andrew Peterson and Audrey Assad. General Admission is $15 presale and $20 at the door. Priority seating is $50 and family admission is $60.

Ss. Cyril & Methodius Lenten Fish Fry

Every Friday between March 3-April 7 from 5-7 p.m. (excluding Good Friday) at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church (SPID and Kostoryz). The fish and fries dinner will be hosted by the Knights of Columbus for a $7 donation. Dine in or to go.

Mission of Mercy Mash Bash 2017

March 3, at 6 p.m. on the USS Lexington. Fun casual themed medical military fund raiser event will include dinner, dancing, silent auction, bid board, photo op, raffle, table decoration contest, costume contest, special games, awards, cash bar, fun decorations and much more. Entertainment provided by Cruise Control and the Sweet Adelines.

Liturgical Calendar 1 | Wed | Ash Wednesday | violet | Jl 2:12-18/2 Cor 5:20—6:2/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (219) Pss IV 2 | Thu | Thursday after Ash Wednesday | violet Dt 30:15-20/Lk 9:22-25 (220) 3 | Fri | Friday after Ash Wednesday | violet [USA: Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin] Is 58:1-9a/Mt 9:14-15 (221) 4 | Sat | Saturday after Ash Wednesday | violet [Saint Casimir] Is 58:9b-14/Lk 5:27-32 (222) 5 | SUN | FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT | violet Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7/Rom 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19/Mt 4:1-11 (22) Pss I 6 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet | Lv 19:1-2, 11-18/Mt 25:31-46 (224) 7 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs] Is 55:10-11/Mt 6:7-15 (225) 8 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet

[Saint John of God, Religious] Jon 3:110/Lk 11:29-32 (226) 9 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Frances of Rome, Religious] Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25/Mt 7:7-12 (227) 10 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 18:21-28/Mt 5:20-26 (228) 11 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dt 26:16-19/Mt 5:43-48 (229) 12 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT | violet Gn 12:1-4a/2 Tm 1:8b-10/Mt 17:1-9 (25) Pss II 13 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 9:4b-10/Lk 6:36-38 (230) 14 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 1:10, 16-20/Mt 23:1-12 (231) 15 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 18:18-20/Mt 20:17-28 (232) 16 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jer 17:5-10/Lk 16:19-31 (233) 17 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet

[Saint Patrick, Bishop] Gn 37:3-4, 1213a, 17b-28a/Mt 21:33-43, 45-46 (234) 18 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Mi 7:14-15, 1820/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 (235) 19 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT | violet Ex 17:3-7/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 (28) Pss III 20 | Mon | SAINT JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY | white | Solemnity | 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16/Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22/Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Lk 2:41-51a (543) Pss Prop 21 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dn 3:25, 34-43/Mt 18:21-35 (238) 22 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dt 4:1, 5-9/Mt 5:17-19 (239) 23 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop]

Jer 7:23-28/Lk 11:14-23 (240) 24 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Hos 14:2-10/Mk 12:28-34 (241) 25 | Sat | THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Is 7:1014; 8:10/Heb 10:4-10/Lk 1:26-38 (545) Pss Prop 26 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT | violet or rose 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a/Eph 5:8-14/Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 (31) Pss IV 27 | Mon | Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 65:17-21/Jn 4:43-54 (244) 28 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 47:1-9, 12/Jn 5:1-16 (245) 29 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Is 49:8-15/Jn 5:17-30 (246) 30 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ex 32:7-14/Jn 5:31-47 (247) 31 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Wis 2:1a, 12-22/Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 (248)

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  37



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event is a family friendly day with a costume contest, Irish dancing, bagpipes, face painting, food vendors, door prizes and much more. Proceeds benefit St. Patrick School. For more information call Leigh Walsh at (361) 852-1212 or email

IWA Paradise Island Gala

March 4 from 6-11 p.m. at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center (402 Harbor Dr.) in Corpus Christi. The event features a seated dinner, five specialty auctions, including a silent auction, an IWA spirit bid board auction, a children’s art bid board auction, an elite bid board auction, and a live auction. Also at the event is the annual car raffle. Individuals need not be present to win. For more information, visit the Incarnate Word Academy Gala website at or contact Amy Snell Canterbury, Annual Giving Officer, at (361) 883-8229, ext. 104 or General admission reservations are $100 per person. Sponsorships include a table of 10, and begin at $1,500.

Women’s Retreat

March 9-12 begins on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. Register or call (61) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Sisters Rock!

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Parish Lenten Retreat: The Face of God is Mercy


Schoenstatt Lenten Mission ‘The Way of the Cross with Mary’

March 10 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines Street) in Corpus Christi. Talk by Schoenstatt Father Gerold Langsch on little virtues in the marriage. Childcare provided. Refreshments, confession and adoration. For more information call Roseanne Norman at (361) 991-7653.


Convalidation Seminar

March 11 from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center (check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.) The Convalidation Seminar is offered several times a year to prepare couples who are seeking to validate a civil or otherwise irregular marriage. Pre-registration required. For more information visit

3rd Annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K Run/Walk and 1K Leprechaun Chase

March 11 at 10 a.m. join St. Patrick School for their 3rd Annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K Run/Walk and 1K Leprechaun Chase at the Corpus Christi Bayfront Park (across from the American Bank Center). This

38  South Texas Catholic | March 2017


March 25 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall (1302 Lantana Street) in Corpus Christi. This is a women’s conference sponsored by CDA Court #2433 for all women ages 16 and above. Presenters will be Father Don Downey, Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, and Deacon Stephen Nolte. Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m. at the church. Light breakfast, light lunch and break food will be served. Requested donation of $10 will include one door prize ticket and one raffle ticket. . To RSVP for seating or to request more information call or text Irma Rodriguez at (361) 774-6660 or Maria Evans at (361) 249-2004.

March 13-15 at 7 p.m. at Holy Family Church (2509 Nogales St.) in Corpus Christi. Guest speaker is Father Frank J. Quezada. For more information call Michael Hernandez at (361) 882-3245.

Grounded in Truth

March 18, and every 3rd Saturday of the month. An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel 7-8 p.m, followed by Music and Fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus Christi’s Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. For more information call (361) 289-0807.

St. Patrick Mission Annual Festival

March 19 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at St. Patrick Mission (on FM 666) in San Patricio. BBQ plates served with all the trimmings. There will also be a Country Store and auction.

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Annunciation: 25 The Woman Fully Revealed

March 12 from 3-5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Alice. Students from 7th-12th grades are invited to attend an afternoon of prayer and fun with sisters in the diocese.

March 18 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines St.) in Corpus Christi. There will be a lenten talk at 5:30 p.m. followed by confessions at 6:30 p.m. then Holy Mass followed by pot luck. For more information call Olivia Botello at (361) 992-9841 or email

A Time for Couples: ‘Little Virtues’ or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Healing Retreat

March 24-26. 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

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Lenten Missions at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

March 27-28 in English and March 29-30 in Spanish at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish (5830 Williams Drive). Father Dan Estes, SOLT will be the mission priest. For more information call (361) 9917891 or go to

Spring 31 Schoenstatt Rummage Sale

March 31-April 1 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center (4343 Gaines St.) in Corpus Christi. Please call the office at (361) 9929841 to schedule a pickup for large items only: indoor and outdoor furniture Accepting donations starting Monday, March 20.

X Catholic School 31 St.14thPiusAnnual Golf Classic

March 31 at 12 p.m. at Corpus Christi Country Club. Shotgun start at 1 p.m. Take advantage of the early bird registration Special until March 10. Sponsorship and donation opportunities are available. For additional information please contact Bryan Krnavek at (361) 992-1343 or

To see more calendar events go to: Click on Calendar

March 2017 |  South Texas Catholic  39

March 2017 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191

Profile for South Texas Catholic

March 2017 - Vol.52 No.3  

In our March issue, we report on worshipers from all over the state—indeed from all over the country—coming to the historic Stella Maris Cha...

March 2017 - Vol.52 No.3  

In our March issue, we report on worshipers from all over the state—indeed from all over the country—coming to the historic Stella Maris Cha...

Profile for diocesecc