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W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C . C O M • J A N U A R Y 2 018

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VOL. 53 NO. 1 Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD

Terrance Dandy, right, chooses a winter hat from an assortment of winter hats loomed by middle school students from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy. Students pictured behind him are, from left, Brenden Hamo, Logan Washington, Luke De Los Angeles, Ryan Secrest, Angel Gutierrez and Natalie Wolnik.



Editor Alfredo E. Cárdenas

Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Editorial Staff Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera Madelyn Calvert Correspondents Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Jessica Morrison, Emily Priolo, Luisa Scolari, Beth Wilson, Dayna Mazzei Worchel

Manage Subscriptions If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic call us at (361) 882-6191 Office Address: 620 Lipan Corpus Christi TX 78401-2434 E-MAIL: FAX: (361) 693-6701 To subscribe, unsubscribe or submit a change of address go online at

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

(USPSN 540-860) Published monthly, excluding September, by the Diocese of Corpus Christi for $25 per year. Periodical postage paid in Corpus Christi, Texas, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to South Texas Catholic, 620 Lipan St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434.

Reeves, Chairman of the Board of Corpus Christi Hope House, displays 8 Ray architectural renderings of the agency's newest facility, the St. Giana Molla Home. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic


VIDA CATÓLICA 4 VIEWPOINTS 21 Papa Francisco nombra a mexicano Guided by the Holy Spirit, diocese will work on Pastoral Plan in 2018

VOCATIONS 6 Pray without ceasing

for Jesus loves you and me

LIFE 11 St.PARISH John of the Cross gets new Religious Education Center

NEWS BRIEFS 14 Chancery offices moving

como nuevo obispo en la diócesis de Brownsville

NATIONAL NEWS 23 Rio Grande Valley Catholics

plan a community of encounter

VATICAN 29 THE God is calling you,

do not make excuses

FAITH 30 OUR It all comes down to charity

Keep up with the faith at

January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  3


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

Guided by the Holy Spirit, diocese will work on Pastoral Plan in 2018 Bishop Michael Mulvey


South Texas Catholic

appy New Year! May this New Year of 2018 be filled with many graces and peace. As has been announced to the entire diocese on the Feast of the Epiphany, we are beginning a Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The Pastoral Plan will bring us together as a community of Catholic faithful to listen to one another but above all to listen to the Holy Spirit as the grace of God moves among us when we are united in the name of Jesus. The Pastoral Plan, as it develops and unfolds over the next few months, will give us not only things to do but also ways to do them. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has continued to stress and bring home to both pastors and faithful that we must listen to one another, to our needs, to our desires, our anxieties and our joys. This we want to do as we find new ways to evangelize and serve. In particular, I hope this plan will help us as priests and bishop to serve you better in the spirit of Jesus, himself. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we want to reach out to families and to strengthen family life. Our youth and young adults want and need to

have the faith communicated to them in ways that “makes sense” to them. And those who are estranged from the Church or have never had the grace to know the beauty of God’s love and mercy, we want to welcome and serve them as well. The Pastoral Plan will give us the tools and the spirituality to reach out to these and many others. I invite you to stay updated regarding the Pastoral Plan throughout the coming months, and above all to participate in whatever way you can either through the listening sessions, in-pew surveys that will be available in your parishes, or by filling out the survey that will be online. I ask you to pray with me and for me and for the whole diocese as we move forward with this great endeavor. A prayer for the Pastoral Plan is also available to you online or in your parishes. Thank you and may the prayer of Jesus, “Father may they all be one so that the world will believe,” become the ultimate goal and reality of our working together to build a Diocesan wide Pastoral Plan that expresses the Church as Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ. God bless you and your families throughout the year 2018.

➤Guided by the Holy Spirit, we want to reach out to families…

youth and young adults…those who are estranged from the Church or have never had the grace to know the beauty of God’s love and mercy, we want to welcome and serve them as well. 4  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

• Catholic Daughters, Knights join bishop at prison Christmas Mass • ‘A Cathedral Christmas’ canceled • Churches honor Our Lady of Guadalupe • Students working with robotics and coding • Possible snow delays school openings • 'Sisters Rock' is coming to a parish near you • Students learn to navigate robots using Ozobot • Pope names Father Avilés Auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville • Young Adult Catholics hosting Advent reflection • Diocese staff reflects on ‘listening with a servant's heart' • Principals gather for spiritual retreat • Administrative assistants gather for day of prayer

✝ Bookmark our Web site to keep up to date on all the happenings in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. All Services FREE: • Pregnancy Test • Limited Ultrasound • Baby Supplies • Parenting Classes • Adoption Information • Abortion Recovery Classes

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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.

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.

South Texas

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources




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Pray without ceasing for Jesus loves you and me Father Romeo Salinas is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Father Romeo Salinas

T Contributor

he beginning of a new year brings opportunities to strengthen and renew spiritual ties to the Holy Family, to our own family and to those whose paths cross ours. Jesus has been given to us by Mary; the shepherds have found and venerated him; and the Holy Family has become the model for all families to follow. These beautiful events serve to inspire us to seek holiness, to “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:16-17),” for Jesus loves you and me. Like the Magi, we should follow the light of Christ, and give that light to others through our love for our family and for each other. And, like the Magi, we must return home, after our encounter with Jesus at Christmas, through a different route. We take a new route spiritually by loving God with all our heart, mind and soul. We want to grow in the virtues of patience, charity and love. We want to strive always to be closer to God. We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and we must be Christ to others in need. “Sweet Jesus, make us your eyes, ears, hands and voice in a world which hungers for love and mercy (Prayer to the Sacred Heart).” We should also pray for our enemies. We seek holiness by forgiving hurts and harm done to us. We do not accept or condone the inappropriate behavior, but we pray for the conversion of our enemies, even those attacking our families. This ability to forgive others brings us special graces from God. We must also pray for forgiveness within our families, because forgiveness brings family unity. Let us also imitate the great love of St. Joseph for Jesus and Mary. His readiness and willingness to follow God’s will; his purity of heart; and his obedience as a faithful servant of God set a wonderful example for husbands and fathers to follow. Let us prepare our homes for the new year as sanctuaries of peace, love and family life. Home blessings; the presence of blessed objects and medals; and the display of a blessed picture of

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the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our homes bring blessings and establish an atmosphere that encourages prayer and gratitude to God and to our Blessed Mother. Let us turn to the saints for examples of holiness and lives well lived. Many experienced sorrows, great conflicts, hardships and illness. They were human, just as we are, but their love for God and their burning desire to be close to him and emulate him gave them the strength to overcome difficulties and to accept God’s will for them. We must learn to do the same. Not only must we surrender ourselves totally to God, we must also surrender ourselves totally to his Blessed Mother. Jesus gave us Mary as our mother, as he said to John at the foot of the cross, and Mary leads us to Jesus. “Do what he says,” she said to the servants at the wedding at Cana; she says the same to us today. Our gift to the Virgin Mary when we get to heaven is our holiness. We must remember this new year to pray our rosaries, for this daily act of love results in miracles that will happen in our families and in the world. Mary loves us with an immeasurable love. We need to pray to understand her love for us. She is the perfect model of prayer, the perfect disciple of Jesus and the perfect example of motherhood. Mary, walk with us, guide us, protect us, intercede for us and bring us ever closer to Jesus. Pray now for this new year and for the rest of our lives. Life is fleeting; the spring wildflowers are wilted by the summer sun and die by the winter’s cold rains. Our lives, too, are fleeting. Let us begin preparing now to grow in holiness and spirituality. All the peace and joy we seek lies in Jesus. We must strive daily to help our children grow in Godliness; to honor and respect every family member, young or old; to receive the great graces that come from confession, communion and attendance at Mass; to pray that our lives and prayers are pleasing to God; and to pray for God to enter our hearts and fill us with a desire for heaven and eternity. This is a vocation we all share.


Sisters’ Corner

Sister Mary Elizabeth Albers, SOLT is Vocations Servant for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

Serving together as ecclesial teams Sister Mary Elizabeth Albers, SOLT

T Contributor

he Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) is an international missionary community composed of priests, consecrated sisters and brothers and lay members serving together on ecclesial family teams in areas of deepest apostolic need. SOLT was founded in 1958 by Father James Flanagan (1924-2016), then a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. The principal seat of SOLT is the Diocese of Corpus Christi, under the authority of Bishop Michael Mulvey. As a Navy “frogman” (the precursor of the Navy Seals) during World War II and a member of three national championship football teams at Notre Dame, Father Flanagan learned the importance of teamwork and of its immense potential in achieving victories. While in seminary, he received a call-within-a-call, to found a missionary community of priests and brothers, sisters and lay faithful serving together in areas of great need. His prophetic vision to include the laity in the evangelizing mission of the Church was confirmed by the groundbreaking teachings on the lay vocation of the Second Vatican Council. SOLT sisters strive to imitate our Blessed Mother Mary in her relationships with the persons of the Trinity; as the beloved daughter of the Father, the mother and perfect disciple of Jesus the Son and the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit. Like her, they live a contemplative-active life, dedicated to prayer, worship and serving their brothers and sisters. The community participates daily in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, Eucharistic holy hour, the Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary and meditation on the word of God. They also have monthly days of recollection and an annual retreat. One of the unique spiritual practices of the SOLT sisters is the Paschal Mystery Retreat where every Thursday through Sunday a sister is assigned to spiritually accompany Jesus in his

passion, death and resurrection. It is a reminder that they are called to live in oneness with Christ and to offer themselves in union with his sacrifice. SOLT community life is multifaceted. The primary community of SOLT sisters is within their convent and from there extends to ecclesial teams. They strive to live in graced friendship with each other, balancing their community prayer life and apostolate with times of recreation and rest. The sisters gather each year for a SOLT Assembly and retreat, which are occasions of renewal and encouragement. In their missions they share times of common prayer, meals and recreation with the other vocations of SOLT, and strive always to be witnesses of communion. As a missionary community, the SOLT sisters strive to assist the Church in her mandate of reaching out to those on the peripheries of society. Following the example of Mary’s “yes” to bring Jesus to the world, they desire to make Christ known and present to all those they encounter. They joyfully serve where they have been called, always in communion and obedience to the local bishop. As a result, SOLT missions and ministries are varied and include service in catechesis, the new evangelization, parish ministry, retreats, education, caring for abandoned and neglected children and elderly, drug rehabilitation and migrant ministry. Almost 60 years after its founding, SOLT is established in the Church as a Society of Apostolic Life, with hundreds of priests, sisters and lay members serving in more than 25 dioceses throughout the world. Although present in diverse areas such as the United states, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, England, the Philippines, Thailand, China, Papua New Guinea and Australia. The ecclesial teams of SOLT are united by a common spirituality and goal: all people in union with the Most Holy Trinity by way of discipleship of Jesus through Mary. January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  7


Father James Farfaglia blesses site of the new St. Gianna Molla Home to be operated by Hope House in Corpus Christi. Board members and supporters of Hope House joined in the groundbreaking ceremony. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic

St. Gianna Molla home will contribute ‘hope’ Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

im and Cindy Legamaro, parishioners at St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Corpus Christi, are admirers of St. Gianna Molla who willingly gave up her life for her unborn child. The Legamaros, who have six children of their own, are the sole benefactors of the St. Gianna Molla House being built to help mothers in crisis pregnancies care for their children. St. Gianna Molla is “a modern day saint,” Tim Legamaro said. She is the patron saint 8  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

of mothers, physicians and unborn children. Expecting her fourth child in 1961, doctors told Molla—a doctor, wife and mother—that she was growing a tumor alongside her unborn child. The doctors gave her three choices: to abort her child; to have a hysterectomy, which would result in the child’s death and her not being able to have children in the future; or to remove the tumor which offered the opportunity to save the baby but also had other potential life threatening complications. Molla chose the third option.

"If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate: choose the child. I insist on it. Save the baby," Molla told her family. The baby survived, but Molla died a week after giving birth. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 2004, after a second miracle was attributed to her intercession. The St. Gianna Molla House, which will be located at 630 Robinson St. in Corpus Christi, will serve pregnant single mothers who are homeless due to abandonment, abuse or domestic violence, said Debra Arsuaga, Director of Client Services for

Our Lady of Guadalupe in Corpus Christi, performed the blessing. Father Farfaglia said the house would “help women and children and those most in need. It is a great effort on the part of the Christian community.” According to its website, Corpus Christi Hope House helps pregnant women “who are seeking escape from domestic violence, poverty, addiction, abandonment, homelessness and especially when faced with crisis pregnancy situation.” It also provides shelter services for single fathers with children 17 or younger, as well as, to households with two or more adults with children 17-years and younger. Through its Life Skills Training Program, Hope House aims to improve their clients everyday lives by teaching them skills from prenatal care to time management. Through its Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program, Hope House provides rental and utility assistance to residents transitioning out of the shelter into permanent housing.

Hope House also uses the Gabriel Project Community Outreach Program as an extension of its Community Outreach Program to provide direct assistance and referrals to women and children in need in local communities. The project involves churches and faith-based groups of various denominations across the Coastal Bend area. Founded in 1986, Hope House has expanded through the years to meet the needs of young pregnant mothers in need of help. It currently has two shelters, Faith Home and Birth Haven, both located on Robinson Street in Corpus Christi. St. Gianna Molla Home will be located behind Faith Home and will increase the agency’s shelter capacity for women, children and babies by 30 percent. Hope House helps some 4,000 clients annually through its various programs. More than half of its previous clients were homeless and nearly half were in a domestic abuse situation. The average length of stay for shelter residents is 74 days.

Tim and Cindy Legamaro, primary benefactors of St. Gianna Molla Home, had the honor of digging the first shovel of dirt at the site of the new facility that will help mothers in crisis pregnancies. Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  9


Hope House. “It’s a great feeling knowing that as a community we come together to try to help homeless people,” Arsuaga said. Ray Reeves, Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hope House, under whose umbrella the St. Gianna Molla House will operate, said that despite the years of maneuvering the city’s requirements the house will open in three months, weather permitting. The $180,000 project was made possible by a generous donation of $200,000 from the Legamaros. The remaining $20,000 will be used for any immediate needs of the new shelter. Turner and Ramirez, Architects and Planners designed the 1,500 square-foot house, which includes five rooms to accommodate five mothers and five newborn babies, Reeves said. Stella Maris Construction is the General Contractor. Work on the project is already underway. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with the Legamaros doing the honors of turning the first shovel full of dirt. Father James Farfaglia, pastor of


Harvey victims still need help from volunteers Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

he numbers of people and organizations volunteering to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery have dwindled considerably, according the Deacon Richard Longoria, Harvey Volunteer Coordinator for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. Even though the hurricane struck in late August, Deacon Longoria said, “still much is left to do everywhere in the zone.” Every area, from Port Aransas, to Rockport, Aransas Pass, Bayside, Ingleside, Woodsboro, Refugio, Gregory, Tivoli and others are still suffering from Hurricane Harvey. “Quite a few parishioners in Woodsboro and Austwell still need help cleaning up debris,” Deacon Longoria said. Parishes and municipalities in the Harvey impact zone in the Diocese of Corpus Christi have lists of families who need help clearing debris such as trees, limbs, stumps and roots from their properties. Others need help removing damaged walls, floors and appliances and furniture. Chain saws, rakes and other tools may be needed and sometimes even backhoes or small tractors. Deacon Longoria urges Knights of Columbus councils, Catholic Daughters courts, parish and school organizations to continue to help by organizing a “Harvey work day.” Also Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Refugio County and Rockport have set up volunteer service centers for volunteers to register. They will be assigned to various tasks based on age and abilities. These centers include: • Port Aransas Volunteer Center: 408 N Alister, (361-) 749-5919, ext. 806, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-noon 10  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

Deacon Richard Longoria and Saturdays 9 a.m.-4p.m.; • Aransas Pass Volunteer Center: Contact group “All Hands and Hearts,” J.J. Jahr, (361) 717-1273 or email: Call ahead to register for volunteer assignment; • Rockport Volunteer Center, 1515 N Live Oak, First Baptist Church, (361) 727-9011, Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-4p.m.; • Refugio County Volunteer Center: 301 N. Alamo, Refugio, Dorey Williams, (361) 792-7030. Normal hours, Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call ahead to register for volunteer assignment, or if a group can work on other days besides Thursday-Saturday. The City of Corpus Christi is also

in touch with various municipalities and organizations that need help. Call (361) 826-2489 to reach these areas in need. Catholic Charities, located at 615 Oliver Court, also needs help at its warehouse to sort out donations for victims. Help is needed from Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.5p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.-noon. To volunteer contact Deacon Julio Dimas at (361) 884-0651. The feeding ministry of the Humble Café, organized by Cindy and Bob Dillard of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also needs help to set up a noon lunch station for victims each Monday and Wednesday in Rockport. The lunch station is located at the parking lot of Cinema 4 on business Hwy 35. Groups can “sponsor” a feeding day by preparing precooked casseroles and taking the items to the OLPH parking lot on Sunday afternoon between 3-4 p.m. Volunteers are asked to use throwaway tin foil casserole pans. The food is stored at OLPH refrigerators and then the Dillards take it to Rockport. Volunteers are also needed to help serve in Rockport on Mondays and Wednesdays. Donations may be sent to Cindy Dillard, Bishop Michael Mulvey appointed Deacon Longoria to coordinate volunteers for Harvey victims. He has Harvey parish lists, phone numbers, contacts and more in depth information. Call him about what your council, parish or high school can do. His cell is (361) 446-2291 and his e-mail is “The grace from works of mercy is rich in the favor of the Lord. There is still much to be done,” Deacon Longoria said.


Building committee members, from left, Joe Ortiz, Don Rokohl, Diana Trevino, Bud Jewett, Ernest Henderson and Rick Svetlik spent months of dedicated hours planning and implementing the Religious Education Center at St. John of the Cross in Orange Grove. Photo by Kathleen Garza

St. John of the Cross gets new Religious Education Center

O South Texas Catholic

n the recent Feast of All Saints Day, Bishop Michael Mulvey blessed and dedicated a new Religious Education Center at St. John of the Cross in Orange Grove. The event was seen by parishioners as another “great step” in the continuing growth of their parish community.

Father Prince Kuruvila, pastor at St. John of the Cross, concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Mulvey and Deacon Armando Cavada assisted. Diana De Anda, Kathleen Verburgt Garza and Ester Hill served as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Craig Gordon, Layton Rodriguez and Antonio Silva served as altar servers. In his homily, Bishop Mulvey reached

out to the children of the parish. He drew them into the homily by asking questions about their faith and telling them about an ordinary American boy, Stanley Rother, who grew up in a community like Orange Grove, but because of his faith and love of Jesus Christ gave up his life and may soon become a saint. The Bishop reminded the children of the sacrifices their parents made to be sure they January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  11

Bishop Mulvey blesses the classrooms at the new Religious Education Center at St. John of the Cross in Orange Grove. Participating in the blessing are, from left, Celeste Ontiveros, Layton Rodrigues, Craig Gordon, Tony Silva, Diana DeAnda, Ester Hill, Father Prince Kuruvila and Deacon Armando Cavada. Photo by Kathleen Garza, St. John of the Cross

12  South Texas Catholic | January 2018


New Religious Center at St. John of the Cross in Orange Grove. Photo by Kathleen Garza

get the same chance at sainthood as Father Rother. He also pointed out to the young people the importance of religious education. After Mass, the bishop went from classroom to classroom blessing each room while parents, children and the Angels choir sang “Immaculate Mary”. Bishop Mulvey also gave a special Blessing to the building committee, which included Chairman Rick Svetlik, Joe Ortiz, Don Rokohl, Bud Jewett, Diana Trevino and Ernest Henderson. He also blessed Terrie Silva, Director of Religious Education. This group spent months planning the new facility. Father Kuruvila showered accolades to the parish community who pledged money and raised funds to make the building possible. “What a great feeling to see such a place for our children to learn the wondrous words of Jesus, a place to grow strong in their faith” Father Kuruvila said. The Religious Education Center replaces old Navy barracks purchased from the Naval Air Station. Father Kuruvila has provided pastoral leadership to St. John of the Cross parish community since 2004 and during that time the parish has achieved significant growth. During his tenure the church received new pews, carpet, painting and new central heat and air; a new rectory and office replaced the old rectory that had been last remodeled in 1956; and now a new Religious Education Center. All these achievements are due to the hard work and generosity of many of parishioners, Father Kuruvila said. (Kathleen Garza contributed to this article.)


The Office of Family Life would like to invite all couples who are celebrating their Silver (25 yrs.) or Golden (50 yrs.) Wedding Anniversary to an Anniversary Mass with Bishop Michael Mulvey at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Anniversary Mass celebration will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Due to limited space, regretfully the couple is limited to two guests to join them for the reception. Registration deadline is Jan. 31, 2018 You may register online at January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  13


Chancery offices moving Father Raju D. Thottankara

Father Alfredo Villarreal

For the good of the people of God in the Diocese of Corpus Christi Bishop Michael Mulvey has made the following appointments: Father Raju D. Thottankara as Episcopal Vicar for (East) Indian Affairs, effective Oct. 4. A number of priests and religious from India assist in the pastoral ministry and pastoral care of many of the faithful in the diocese.

Father Romeo Salinas

Father Alfredo Villarreal as pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Corpus Christi, effective Dec. 17, for a term of six years. Father Romeo Salinas as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Port Aransas, effective Dec. 23, for a term of six years. Father Salinas retains his earlier appointment as Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

The Chancery offices of the Diocese of Corpus Christi will move to a new location during the last week of January and will be in their new location by Feb. 1. The move is necessitated in order to renovate the existing Chancery building. Although the Chancery building, built in 1948, is structurally sound, it is functionally obsolete because it was actually designed for residential use. The Chancery has dealt with continual patching of certain components or in some cases going without them. These components include air conditioners, elevators and plumbing. The architect for the diocese pointed out that the Chancery building has “lost its patience” with the components and they are continually breaking down. The Chancery office will move across the street (Carancahua) to the ERF Tower II, more commonly known simply as Tower II. Public parking will continue to be available at the current parking lot, across the street from the Chancery on Lipan Street, and in the large parking lot catty corner from the Chancey. Renovations to the Chancery are expected to take a couple of years.

Classes delayed due to snow According to the National Weather Service, Corpus Christi got one inch of snow on Dec. 8. It was enough to cover streets, lawns, homes and schools. The schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi delayed

opening classrooms for two hours on that day. The last time the area saw snow was on 2004 when 4.4 inches fell during the 24-hours of Christmas Eve to Christmas Day.

St. John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi was blanketed with snow on Dec. 8. Ted Garcia, St. John Paul II High School

Open 7 Days A Week Prizes now up to $750 Sponsored by:

Lost Pet Hotline, Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary, Inc., & Dobie Haven, Inc. Big Brothers, Big Sisters

9840 B Leopard Street, Corpus Christi (between Rand Morgan & McKenzie)

(361) 241-8153 14  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

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


Churches honor Our Lady of Guadalupe Ninety parishioners from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Edroy and Sacred Heart in Odem participated in the 7th annual sixmile walk on Dec. 10 in honor of the feast day celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The pilgrimage began at Sacred Heart Church in Odem and ended at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Edroy with los matachines dancing along the way. More than 200 Catholics then gathered in the Edroy mission church as the group serenaded Our Lady of Guadalupe and placed roses near her image. Father Isaias Estepa, pastor for the two churches, celebrated Mass. Parishioners join procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Servando Gomez , Contributed photo

St. Pius scouts help Rockport, Aransas Pass troops On Dec. 11, St. Pius Troop 157 presented a check in the amount of $1,000 to Rockport Troop 49 to help them recover troop supplies that were damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Another check was previously presented to the Aransas Pass Boy Scout Troop. The donations were made possible by the St. Pius Troop giving all their annual popcorn sales profits. The check was presented to the Rockport Troop at the St. Pius Troop 157 Court of Honor. Pictured in the donation of popcorn profits to the Rockport Boys Scout troop are, from left, Dana Simpson, Josh Smith, Chase Simpson, Donald Isom, Daniel Chavez and Ayden Smith. Contributed photo

Ss. Cyril & Methodius


Religious Gift Shop at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church

All New Merchandise • A.C.T.S. • Silver Jewelry 3210 S.P.I.D. Opened Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends after Mass


✞ Serving The Coastal Bend Since 1908 ✞ Dignified Personal Service ✞ Complete Pre-Need Funeral Service Plans Ron & Margo Alonzo

1222 Morgan at 10th Corpus Christi, TX 78404

(361) 884-2411

January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  15


BobCast News builds up students’ confidence Rebecca Esparza

E Correspondent

ight-year-old Lily Vavrusa dreams of becoming a television journalist, and thanks to a new educational program at St. Elizabeth School in Alice, Lily is already living her dream. “My goal is to be on Good Morning America,” she said with a broad smile. The third-grader said she already sees herself working in “New York City reporting on breaking news.” Each of the school’s 57 students in pre-k4 to sixth grade has the opportunity to work on the school’s television program, BobCast News. The episodes are available on YouTube, as well as the school’s website and Facebook page. Each student has their own assignment, from news 16  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

anchor or roving reporter, to technical crew members working on sound and camera operations. The idea is the brainchild of parent volunteer and St. Elizabeth’s Enrichment Coordinator Carolina Nisimblat and her husband, Dr. Erik Nisimblat. The Nisimblats donated the electronic equipment used to film the show, including a camera, studio lights, a chroma key wall, microphones and teleprompter. All the equipment is like the equipment used by actual news crews. Carolina Nisimblat, a former anchor and entertainment reporter at KORO-TV, the Univision television station in Corpus Christi, serves as the broadcast director for BobCast News, which has been produced at the school for the last year.

Carolina Nisimblat, surrounded by students at St. Elizabeth in Alice, reviews scripts for the student-produced television show "BobCast News." The student crew members for this episode include, from left, Angel Rios, Jessie Medina, Carolina Nisimblat, Ella Lara, Cadie Pacheco and Lily Vavrusa. Nisimblat, a volunteer at the school, is the show's Broadcast Director. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

working on the show, including public speaking, writing, working as a team and improving communications skills, Carolina Nisimblat said. Parent volunteer Kristy Green, who assists with the show, says it’s amazing to see a transformation in the children, who sometimes start out extremely shy and grow more comfortable as their involvement grows. Green’s son, Noah Gonzalez, is a third grader at the school. “I enjoy volunteering and helping with the show, but I also like to volunteer on behalf of all the parents who can’t take off from work. I have a flexible schedule, so I’m happy to help,” Green said. Cesar Flores has been thrilled to see his daughter Suzanne Jiminian, a fifth-grader, grow out of her shyness, thanks in large part to the television show. “To see the difference between her first television show and now, it’s truly phenomenal. Even her teachers have commented to me what a change they’ve seen…she asks questions in class, she is talking and has really come out of her shell,” he said. Eight-year-old Angel Rios said working on BobCast News makes him happy.

“This last show I was the inspirational reporter and co-anchor. I’ve also been an investigative reporter. I love to see what it takes to put a real newscast together. It’s not just what we see on television. It takes a whole team behind the scenes, too,” he said. Norma Montemayor, K5 teacher at St. Elizabeth, said broadcasting has been a positive learning experience for the children, especially in the areas of art and communication. “In a short time, the students have learned not only how to speak and present, but also manage the production and communicate to their audience,” she said. Eleven-year-old Ella Lara, a sixth grader, enjoys being a role model for the younger children and helps train them in using the camera equipment, which she has become proficient in using. “I enjoy being the cinematographer for the show, making sure the shots are perfect,” she said. “We work with so much love for these kids. They see me coming and immediately ask when their next turn to work on the show will be. They’re eager. They’re excited. They’re engaged!” Carolina Nisimblat said.

Cadie Pacheco connects a microphone on Lily Vavrusa and Angel Rios' shirt to prepare them for their on-camera scene. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Her passion for television journalism is something she wants to share with all the students at St. Elizabeth. “The show has given these children the ability to experience journalism. It’s a skill they can take to college and beyond. Some of these kids have a…fear of public speaking, which even many adults have. This will be a non-issue when these children reach college, thanks to this program,” she said. One of the biggest goals of every educator at St. Elizabeth is to build up the confidence of children by finding their God-given talents and recognizing their special gift. “I’m a firm believer every child has a gift. As a parent and as an educator, we need to find what that gift is for every child. Once they feel that confidence they are good at something, that will open the doors to many other things,” Nisimblat said. Bobcast News allows each child to be on camera at least once. They also have a chance to work behind the scenes. There are eight different segments on the show, including: inspirational, health, holy and a jolly segment, which ends the show on a comical note. The children learn valuable lessons while


Project gets students to invest in service Emily Priolo

F Contributor

or a middle school classroom on a Friday, Janida De La Rosa’s class is incredibly peaceful and focused. The room is full of students sitting, quietly chatting and working with colorful hoops and yarn in their hands. They are all looming. Not for a home-economics class, but for a religion class. “We’ve been talking about the corporal works of mercy in class, but I wanted to get the students really involved in the works of mercy, not just talking about them,” said Janida De La Rosa, who teaches middle school religion and English classes at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy in Corpus Christi. But rather than simply collecting money or making a single volunteer visit, De La Rosa’s students are hand-making warm, winter hats for the homeless in town. She wanted to find a project that “got the students more invested in serving others, not just buying toothpaste and diapers.”

Now that investment is playing out in weekly, after-school meetings where the middle school students of OLPH Academy can volunteer to loom hats for a couple of hours. Using looms and yarn donated by parents, over half of the middle school student body works to create these cozy gifts. “I was particularly surprised by all the boys who wanted to loom!” De La Rosa said with a smile. “But they are great at it and seem to really like it.” De La Rosa admits that she, and the majority of her students, did not know how to loom before beginning the project. She laughs when she explains that she learned how to make the hats by watching YouTube videos and then taught her students based on what she learned in the videos. Looking around the room at how beautifully and efficiently the students loomed the hats, it seems like they certainly got the hang of it. In the first four weeks of their looming project, the students have created nearly 70 hats—surpassing their initial goal of 50. The students became Teacher Janida De La Rosa displays winter hats made by her middle school students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Academy. Students in De La Rosa's class are, in the top photo in next page, making hats for the homeless. In the front row, from left, are Samantha Salazar and Christabel Martin. In the middle row are Veronica Cortinas and Natalie Wolnik and Angel Gutierrez looks on from the back row. In the bottom photo, students Logan Washington and Joshua Benavides are focused on the art of looming. Emily Priolo for South Texas Catholic

18  South Texas Catholic | January 2018


January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  19


so invested in the project that many even continued to work on making hats over the Thanksgiving break. “I had kids asking if they could take the looms home over the break so that they could keep working on making hats for the homeless,” De La Rosa said. De La Rosa and her students distributed the hats in early December. They chose to give adult hats to the Mother Teresa Shelter and baby-sized hats to Corpus Christi Hope House. De La Rosa is clearly proud of all of the work the students have done in giving back to the community. “What is important to me in this project is to instill a little of the value of service to others. I want the students to know that they can always enact these corporal works of mercy, and they can just do a little thing like this. It doesn’t have to be big,” De La Rosa said. Big or small, these hats are made with a great deal of joy by many young people at OLPH Academy. De La Rosa hopes that the hats can “provide a little warmth and hope” to those in Corpus Christi this winter season.

Dave Clements, right, chooses a winter hat loomed by middle school students who made them available to clients who visit the Mother Teresa Shelter. The students pictured are, from left, Ryan Secrest, Brenden Hamo, Alijah Miranda, Angel Gutierrez, Mia Elizondo and Christabel Martin. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic 20  South Texas Catholic | January 2018


El Obispo Emérito Raymundo Peña (en medio) y el Obispo Daniel Flores (a la derecha) dan la bienvenida al nuevo Obispo Auxiliar de Brownsville, Mario Alberto Avilés. Rose Ybarra, The Valley Catholic

Papa Francisco nombra Avilés obispo auxiliar en la diócesis de Brownsville ACI Prensa


l Papa Francisco nombró como Obispo Auxiliar de Brownsville, en Estados Unidos, al Padre Mario Alberto Avilés, hasta ahora Procurador General de la Congregación del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri y párroco de “Sacred Heart”, en Hidalgo, Texas. El Padre Avilés acompañará en la diócesis a Mons. Daniel E. Flores, Obispo de Brownsville desde febrero de 2010. El obispo Flores, como el obispo auxiliar Raymundo Peña es originario de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, donde obtuvieron su experiencia en el ministerio sacerdotal. El Oratorio de San Felipe Neri es una

Sociedad de Vida Apostólica compuesta por sacerdotes católicos y hermanos laicos. Hay 86 comunidades autónomas en todo el mundo que constituyen la Confederación del Oratorio, incluidas varias en los Estados Unidos. El procurador general actúa como representante de las comunidades ante la Santa Sede, que por lo general reside en Roma. El Padre Avilés, de 48 años, nació en la Ciudad de México el 16 de septiembre de 1969. En 1986 ingresó en el Oratorio de San Felipe Neri en la capital mexicana y dos años después se trasladó al Oratorio de Pharr en la Diócesis de Brownsville. Estudió en la Universidad Panamericana de Ciudad de México, pero luego se

trasladó a Roma para estudiar filosofía y teología en el Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum. Obtuvo una maestría en divinidades en el Seminario de los Santos Apóstoles en Cromwell, Connecticut, y otra en maestría de Liderazgo Educativo de la Universidad de Phoenix. El 21 de julio de 1998 fue ordenado sacerdote de la Confederación del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri. Desde su ordenación fue vicario parroquial de la parroquia de San Judas Tadeo en Pharr, Texas hasta 2002, luego se desempeñó como párroco de la parroquia del Sagrado Corazón en Hidalgo. Es Procurador General de la Confederación del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri desde 2012 y habla español, inglés e italiano. January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  21


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

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.

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22  South Texas Catholic | January 2018


Texas A&M University Kingsville engineering students, from left, Dahlia Monique Reyes, Sally Romero, Joshua Farias, Kyle Mahoney, Nicholas Payne and Jim Glusing (professor) are helping design commercial and medical architectural portions of the plaza. Contributed photo

Rio Grande Valley Catholics plan a community of encounter

A Kevin Jones

Catholic News Agency

partnership among the Diocese of Brownsville, businesses and other community organizations aims to create a self-sustaining space where area residents can learn, play, find services and meet others from different backgrounds. “My intention is that this be a place where you can encounter and enjoy knowing other people,” Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville said at a dedication ceremony at the project site. “My hope, especially for the families that are here, is that this land will continue to be a land that bears fruit —fruit of hope, of joy, of laughter and learning, especially for our young people.”

The project, called Plaza Amistad, will include a health care clinic and education center, retail stores, a farming field school, a farmers market, a community garden and a café. The Rio Grande Guardian reported that there will also be venues for soccer, volleyball and other sports, as well as a perimeter trail. It takes its name from the Spanish word for friendship. The project’s first phase, developed over a six-month period, will use 14 acres outside Donna, Texas, which is located 50 miles northwest of Brownsville, and just eight miles from the US-Mexico border. The land was donated by the Bonham family, non-Catholics who are prominent citrus growers in the Rio Grande Valley.

It is modeled on public-private partnerships to gather support and expertise from various community partners. Fifteen sophomores from the Institute for Architectural Engineering Heritage at Texas A&M University Kingsville—situated n the Diocese of Corpus Christi—are helping design commercial and medical architectural portions of the plaza, according to Jim Glusing, a civil and architectural engineering professor. Parts of their proposals could be considered for inclusion in the final design. “It made me proud to see students from my design studio show their initiative and dedication to the project…it was completely unexpected,” Glusing said. Bishop Flores said “We have to take January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  23


a few risks because we haven’t done this before. This is all kind of new; the church, businesses, local community organizations, the more the merrier, working together as a community of communities.” “We want a community that helps the community,” the bishop said. “To me that is part of the Catholic vision of life. We were not put on this earth to only help Catholics, we were put on this earth to help everyone because we are Catholics, and that means, for example through Catholic Charities, we don’t ask people what religion they are, we don’t ask them if they have papers; we ask them, 'are you hungry, are you thirsty, do you need a place to stay?'.” For Patti Sunday, a consultant who has worked on the project, Plaza Amistad is “one of the first steps at solving our own problems.” The project aims to host enough profitable services that it can fund vital services like health care at an “extremely affordable rate” for people who otherwise cannot afford them. The effort aims to combine making a profit and good stewardship, taking a new path in a field that often involves the same

people competing for limited grants and government funding. The Brownsville region has developed a border culture of its own where U.S. and Mexico meet. Beneficiaries of the project might or might not be undocumented. The Plaza Amistad model focuses on the “working poor,” people who take in about $40,000 per year for a family of four. It is believed they have enough income to support such a community, while also benefiting from affordable community services. The Plaza is located next to entry-level housing, while the project’s farmers market will also bring people together across class lines. Population growth projections suggest the area near Plaza Amistad will grow. “It’s a different vision, and I think it is something God will bless,” the bishop said. “With the hard work of a lot of people, I think it could be a model for the whole country.” Miguel Santos, director of strategic planning for the Brownsville diocese, said Plaza Amistad is based on “the premise of human dignity, of both solidarity and subsidiarity, of not just giving them a handout but a

hand up.” Plans for a second phase of the project may include a Catholic church. “We will have a chapel,” Bishop Flores said. “It will be a place to let the Church do what I think the Church does best, which is gather people in the knowledge of the love of God, and in the love of neighbor.” For the bishop, it is natural that the Church gathers her people and then “opens up the doors, as the Holy Father Pope Francis says, so that we can welcome. For the beauty of what it is to be human is that we were meant to live in community and not isolated.” The diocese is the leading agent in the public-private partnership. Santos said that while the diocese has provided an initial outlay of funding, “the idea is to partner with different entities that can bring to the table their particular expertise.” Kyndel Bennett, a member of the traditionally Methodist Bonham family, said he thought the project was “a win-win for all involved.” “It is a project we are all excited about,” Bennett said.

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Father Solanus Casey, American priest beatified Catholic News Agency, South Texas Catholic


enerable Solanus Casey, an American-born Capuchin priest who died in 1957, was beatified at a Nov. 18 Mass in Detroit, Michigan. He was known for his great faith, attention to the sick and ability as a spiritual counselor. He was the second American-born male to be beatified. Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma priest martyred in Guatemala, was beatified in September. Therese Recinella, a native of Detroit and currently the Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, was among the more than 65,000 that attended the beatification. She was “blessed” to be among the pilgrims that day, making

the journey from South Texas to Detroit. “My parents emigrated from Italy prior to World War II. Their families settled on the eastside of Detroit. Like many immigrants of that time, they knew the ‘holy priest,’ as Italians would say. I was raised in a household influenced by Franciscan spirituality. Stories of miracles through Father Solanus Casey were part of my upbringing,” Recinella said. Born Bernard Casey on Nov. 25, 1870, Father Casey was the sixth child of 16 born to Irish immigrants in Wisconsin. At age 17 he left home to work at various jobs, including as a lumberjack, a hospital orderly and a prison guard. Re-evaluating his life, after witnessing a drunken sailor brutally stab a woman to death, he decided to act on a call he felt to enter the priesthood. Because of his lack of formal education, however, he struggled in the minor seminary. At that time, all the seminaries in Wisconsin conducted classes in German, a language that he struggled to learn. Eventually he was encouraged to become a priest through a religious order rather than through the diocese. At prayer, Father Casey experienced a locution from the Blessed Virgin Mary “Go to Detroit.” He obeyed what he received in prayer and in 1898 went to St. Bonaventure

Venerable Solanus Casey Capuchin Franciscan Order of St Joseph in Detroit, Photo converted to illustration by Mary Cottingham January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  25


Therese Recinella, a native of Detroit and currently the Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, was among the more than 65,000 that attended the beatification. Contributed photo

Monastery in Detroit where he was accepted into the Capuchin Franciscan order. After struggling with his studies, in 1904 he was ordained a “sacerdos simplex;” priest who can say Mass, but not publicly preach or hear confessions. Wherever Father Casey was sent, he was assigned as the monastery porter, whose role was to answer the door, the phone and record Mass intentions. Father Casey greeted dozens and sometimes hundreds of visitors a day. He patiently listened to each person’s struggles and concerns. He recorded each person’s prayer intention in a small book along with enrollment in the Seraphic Mass Association. He also recorded answers to the prayers. People of all walks of life, religions and ethnicities came to see the “holy priest.” It did not matter what the concern was, he listened to each person. At St. Bonaventure, so many people came daily that the monastery had to expand the waiting room, add chairs and reposition Father Casey’s desk. “There was no one, after visiting Solanus Casey at the door of the monastery, who returned with nothing. Everyone received something, spiritual or material,” said Franciscan-Capuchin Father Carlo Calloni, the postulator of Father Casey’s cause for 26  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

sainthood. He added that the life of Father Casey is the story of his “humility, his simplicity, as well as his acceptance of whatever life gave him.” For 21 years he was porter at St. Bonaventure Monastery. Rather than show resentment to being placed in the lowest position in the monastery, he was obedient. “This allowed God to work through him and transform the places where he was,” Recinella said. He was very close to the sick and was highly sought-after throughout his life, in part because of the many physical healings attributed to his blessings and intercession. He was also a co-founder of Detroit's Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929. He was also known for his fondness for playing the violin and singing, although he had a bad singing voice because of a childhood illness, which damaged his vocal chords. Even in his 70s, Father Casey remained very active, and joined the younger religious men in a game of tennis or volleyball. “Thank God ahead of time,” Father Casey often said. Other of his well-remembered sayings included: “Shake off anxiety. Last year it was something that you now

smile about. Tomorrow it’s about something that will not be serious if you raise your heart to God and thank him for whatever comes” and “One of humanity’s greatest weaknesses is setting a limit to God’s power and goodness.” When Father Casey died in Detroit in 1957 from erysipelas, a skin disease, on July 31, 1957, at the age of 87, 20,000 people attended his funeral at St. Bonaventure. “He demonstrated the gifts of prophecy, healing and wisdom. As extraordinary as this is, the gift of listening to each person with love is a lesson in charity that our modern world desperately needs,” Recinella said. “In our world today listening to others seems to be lost. We can learn from Blessed Solanus the importance of presence and of listening prayerfully with love to others. By bringing God’s presence into our everyday lives we can allow God to transform these situations as places of encounter with God’s love.” Eventually, because of his humility and good counsel, people began to seek out Father Casey for spiritual guidance. Over the course of his life “he also wrote many letters in reply to the people who asked him for advice,” Father Calloni said. Pope Francis recognized a miracle attributed to Father Casey’s intercession at a May 4 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Father Calloni said because the miracle is a “delicate” matter, he could only speak of it in general terms, but said it occurred to a Panamanian woman who was invited to visit Detroit by Capuchin Franciscan missionaries. During her visit, the woman, who had a grave and incurable genetic skin disease, visited and prayed at the tomb of Father Casey. Like many devotees, she wrote a note to place at the tomb, asking for a special grace or favor. She prayed for a long list of family and friends, but then was moved to ask for something for herself. “And she asked only to have a greater faith. This is all,” Father Calloni said. She was completely healed. “The beatification of Father Solanus is a tremendous blessing for the whole community of southeast Michigan, an opportunity for all of us to experience the love of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit said. The beatification Mass was celebrated at Ford Field.

SECOND COLLECTION REPORTING Amounts recieved through November 30, 2017



86.00 249.25 0.00 560.25 174.00 0.00 568.00 0.00 693.45 258.65 0.00 2,589.60


0.00 69.00 60.00 184.30 427.30 795.00 105.00 121.00 87.00 0.00 413.00 159.54 370.00 0.00 38.48 119.00 2,948.62


0.00 0.00 149.00 0.00 632.00 133.55 558.20 0.00 2,357.25 20.00 1,990.88 0.00 5,840.88


750.00 0.00 299.00 1,901.73 300.00 131.00 2,963.22 813.00 7,157.95



500.00 0.00 934.42 0.00 0.00

January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  27

SECOND COLLECTION REPORTING Amounts recieved through November 30, 2017



0.00 941.29 0.00 1,187.00 3,562.71


0.00 838.75 576.00 213.00 1,320.65 0.00 462.33 3,410.73





0.00 568.77 829.10 356.50 0.00 143.00 806.00 738.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 188.00 0.00 694.40 164.00 0.00 76.98 199.00 4,764.50


0.00 0.00



28  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

0.00 612.00 0.00 163.00 0.00 1,134.00 141.00 0.00 974.69 0.00 0.00 298.00 185.00 227.00 0.00 3,734.69



God is calling you, do not make excuses Hannah Brockhaus


Catholic News Agency

o not wait to begin living out your vocation, Pope Francis said to encourage people to stop making excuses for not answering God’s call to share in his mission in a particular way. “The joy of the Gospel, which makes us open to encountering God and our brothers and sisters, does not abide our slowness and our sloth,” the pope said in a message released Dec. 4. “It will not fill our hearts if we keep standing by the window with the excuse of waiting for the right time, without accepting this very day the risk of making a decision,” the pope said. “Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now!” Pope Francis’ message was sent ahead of the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will take place on April 22, 2018, the fourth Sunday of Easter, with the theme of: “Listening, discerning, and living the call of the Lord.” “Each one of us is called–whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in

the ordained ministry or to a life of special consecration–in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now,” Pope Francis said. The Lord continues to call us to follow him, and we should not wait to be perfect in order to answer with our “generous ‘yes,’” he said. We do not have to be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead, should open our hearts to the voice of the Lord. We are each called “to listen to that voice, to discern our personal mission in the Church and the world, and at last to live it in the today that God gives us.” Quoting from a pre-Synod meeting of bishops, the pope explained that spiritual discernment is the process “by which a person makes fundamental choices, in dialogue with the Lord and listening to the voice of the Spirit, starting with the choice of one’s state in life.” But today it is becoming more and more difficult to listen to the voice of the Spirit in our lives, he noted, especially as “immersed as we are in a society full of noise, overstimulated and bombarded by information.”

Often, this outer noise is accompanied by an interior confusion as well. “This prevents us from pausing and enjoying the taste of contemplation, reflecting serenely on the events of our lives, going about our work with confidence in God’s loving plan, and making a fruitful discernment,” he said. The pope also warned about being closed off, or too concerned with ourselves to be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. “We will never discover the special, personal calling that God has in mind for us if we remain enclosed in ourselves, in our usual way of doing things, in the apathy of those who fritter away their lives in their own little world,” he said. “We would lose the chance to dream big and to play our part in the unique and original story that God wants to write with us.” Every Christian should grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, he stressed, in order to understand how and in what way they are being called to share in the Lord’s mission. January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  29


It all comes down to charity Father Glen Mullan Father Glen Mullan is pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sinton.



n the sacrament of penance (reconciliation) we prepare for Judgment Day by examining our conscience and confessing our sins while there is opportunity for forgiveness. The examination of conscience begins with the Ten Commandments, which articulate the moral law (Mt 19:16-17). In addition, we need to look within, to the seven capital sins, which are the root cause or “sin behind the sins.” Finally, our examination of conscience is not complete without the corporal works of mercy, as Jesus indicates in the parable of the sheep and goats (Mt 25:31-46). The corporal works of mercy articulate the Great Commandment, what it means to love God above all things, and our neighbor as ourself. Jesus explicitly identifies the love of God with care of one’s fellow man: “what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me (Mt 25:45).” And whereas the Ten Commandments and capital sins tend to be thoughts, words or deeds, sins involving the corporal works of mercy are sins of omission. Jesus makes clear we can go to hell as much for “what I have done,” as for “what I have failed to do” (Penitential Rite, Confiteor). Charity is not merely having good intentions, or the desire to help others. Charity is actual good deeds. Jesus lists the corporal works of mercy as: 1) feed the hungry, 2) give drink to the thirsty, 3) welcome the stranger, 4) clothe the naked, 5) care for the sick and 6) visit the imprisoned. The Church’s catechetical tradition combines visiting the sick and imprisoned; welcoming the stranger and sheltering the homeless; and adds two more: ransom the captive and bury the dead. They are called “corporal works of mercy” because they provide for man’s basic bodily needs. And yet, each of them has a spiritual focus, in that they uplift man’s dignity, since they recognize the image of Christ in human nature. The goal of the corporal works of mercy is never simply to provide man’s

30  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

material well-being, but to uplift the spirit through the love of Christ. This is why some welfare programs cannot be considered works of mercy; welfare without evangelization is an abnegation of the Gospel, not a fulfillment of the divine mandate. Feed the hungry. There are places in the world where famine and starvation are daily realities, but in our nation we are blessed with a superabundance of food. And yet, we suffer terrible “eating disorders,” such as obesity and diabetes. The main American dietary staple is literally called “junk food.” When speaking of God’s goodness, Jesus once said, “What father among you would hand his son…a scorpion when he asks for an egg (Lk 11:12)?” And yet, we regularly do this: we give our children that which is not nutritious, we feast on that which is bad for us. Food must be connected with love. Feeding the hungry begins at home, and the task of preparing the family meals is a work of mercy. That is to say, it is an act of true charity requiring time and attention, which builds up the individual in his dignity, and nourishes the family in its spiritual bonds. It is a service to Christ, like that of Martha providing hospitality to Jesus from her kitchen (Lk 10:38). Give drink to the thirsty. Alcoholism is not merely a “chemical-dependency” problem rooted in the bio-chemical needs of the body, but a spiritual problem rooted in the injury of the soul. It is a profound thirst that seeks to be satisfied with drink that only exacerbates the problem. In his conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus said she should ask him for a drink, and he will provide her living water (Jn 4:10). “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (Jn 4:13-14).” To give drink to the thirsty means leading one’s brother to the grace of Christ, which alone satisfies the thirst in the soul. The “twelve-step” program is one such program


that accomplishes this. It is a spiritual method, calling for faith and repentance, which are the doorway of the Gospel. It is a successful program for this very reason. Welcome the stranger. This work, too, begins at home with the very people around us whom God has put in our lives. People can live under the same roof and yet remain strangers to each other, being isolated by so many distractions, and even raising their own barriers to communion. The “smartphone,” while helping to connect people in many ways, also becomes a distraction that takes us away from the people before us. Likewise, television demands that its audience focus on it, drawing people away from interaction with each other. Young children clamoring for attention are often placed before the television instead, which becomes their new friend and companion. Work and chores can also become preoccupations to the point of harming relationships. To welcome the stranger means giving the time and attention to the person before us, to the people around us. It means

allowing ourselves to be interrupted and inconvenienced by the priority of the person. And in this way we lift the dignity of our fellow man, serving Christ. Clothe the naked. Pornography is a scourge of our times, and a sign that God has been abandoned by society. To engage in pornography requires becoming “shameless,” which means suppressing one’s personal dignity as expressed through the body. The reverence expressed in the veil is taken away, in order that the sacred might be profaned. In baptism we are literally “clothed… with Christ (Gal 3:27),” receiving the dignity of the children of God. It is a work of mercy to avoid pornography, and when it is encountered, to make the conscious act of “clothing the naked,” beginning within our own thoughts and intentions, and the modesty of our dress. The other person’s dignity is best affirmed and maintained, when our own dignity is not compromised by participation or indulgence in indecency. Visit the sick/imprisoned. It is particularly the homebound elderly

and the sick in nursing homes who experience the cruel prison of isolation and abandonment. Unable to fully take care of the usual tasks, and increasingly isolated by the deaths and similar handicaps of their peers, the spiritual well-being of these “least of the brethren” depends upon regular visitation by their fellow man. God so designed our human nature that in its beginning and ending we are fully dependent upon others. Charity is a requirement of human nature. The Church’s practice since the beginning, of bringing Eucharist to the homebound who cannot attend Mass, is the model of this work of mercy. It is Christ who visits, and Christ who is visited. With this last parable in Matthew 25, we complete the teachings of Jesus prior to his Passion, and we bring to conclusion our Church year. It is the final word on the Christian life. When all is said and done, and we stand before the judgment seat of the glorious King, it all comes down to charity: what we did, or failed to do, for the brother of ours in reduced circumstances.

➤ Jesus explicitly identifies the love of God

with care of one’s fellow man: “what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me (Mt 25:45).” January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  31

January Liturgical Calendar 1 | Mon | SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD | white The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord | Solemnity [not a Holyday of Obligation] Nm 6:22-27/Gal 4:47/Lk 2:16-21 (18) Pss Prop 2 | Tue | Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, | white | Bishops and Doctors of the Church | Memorial | 1 Jn 2:2228/Jn 1:19-28 (205) Pss I 3 | Wed | Christmas Weekday | white/white [The Most Holy Name of Jesus] 1 Jn 2:29—3:6/ Jn 1:29-34 (206) 4 | Thu | USA: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious | white | Memorial | 1 Jn 3:7-10/Jn 1:35-42 (207) 5 | Fri | USA: Saint John Neumann, Bishop | white | Memorial | 1 Jn 3:11-21/Jn 1:4351 (208) 6 | Sat | Christmas Weekday | white/white [USA: Saint André Bessette, Religious] 1 Jn 5:5-13/ Mk 1:7-11 or Lk 3:23-38 or 3:23, 31-34, 36, 38 (209) 7 | SUN | THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Is 60:1-6/Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6/Mt 2:1-12 (20) Pss Prop

8 | Mon | The Baptism of the Lord | white | Feast | Is 42:1-4, 6-7 or Is 55:1-11 or Acts 10:34-38 or 1 Jn 5:1-9/Mk 1:7-11 (21) Pss Prop

Abbot | white | Memorial | 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51/Mk 3:1-6 (313)

9 | Tue | Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) | green 1 Sm 1:9-20/Mk 1:21-28 (306) or 1 Sm 1:1-8 (305) and 1:9-20 (306)/Mk 1:14-20 (305) and 1:21-28 (306)5 Pss I

19 | Fri | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 24:3-21/Mk 3:13-19 (315)

10 | Wed | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 3:1-10, 19-20/Mk 1:29-39 (307) 11 | Thu | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 4:1-11/Mk 1:40-45 (308) 12 | Fri | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 8:4-7, 10-22a/Mk 2:1-12 (309) 13 | Sat | Weekday | green/ white/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; BVM] 1 Sm 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1a/Mk 2:13-17 (310) 14 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19/1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20/Jn 1:35-42 (65) Pss II 15 | Mon | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 15:16-23/Mk 2:18-22 (311) 16 | Tue | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 16:1-13/Mk 2:23-28 (312) 17 | Wed | Saint Anthony,

32  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

18 | Thu | Weekday | green | 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7/Mk 3:7-12 (314)

20 | Sat | Weekday | green/red/ red/white [Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr; Saint Sebastian, Martyr; BVM] 2 Sm 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27/Mk 3:20-21 (316) 21 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Jon 3:1-5, 10/1 Cor 7:29-31/Mk 1:1420 (68) Pss III 22 | Mon | USA: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children | green/Mass: white or violet | 2 Sm 5:1-7, 10/ Mk 3:22-30 (317) or, for the Day of Prayer, any readings from the Lectionary for Mass Supplement, the Mass “For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life,” nos. 947A-947E, or the Lectionary for Mass (vol. IV), the Mass “For Peace and Justice,” nos. 887-891 23 | Tue | Weekday | green/ red/white [USA: Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr; USA: Saint Marianne Cope, Virgin] 2 Sm

6:12b-15, 17-19/Mk 3:31-35 (318) 24 | Wed | Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white Lectionary for Mass Supplement | Memorial | 2 Sm 7:4-17/Mk 4:1-20 (319) 25 | Thu | The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle | white | Feast | Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:122/Mk 16:15-18 (519) Pss Prop 26 | Fri | Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops | white | Memorial | 2 Tm 1:1-8 or Ti 1:1-5 (520)/Mk 4:26-34 (321) 27 | Sat | Weekday | green/ white/white [Saint Angela Merici, Virgin; BVM] 2 Sm 12:1-7a, 10-17/ Mk 4:35-41 (322) 28 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Dt 18:15-20/1 Cor 7:32-35/Mk 1:2128 (71) Pss IV 29 | Mon | Weekday | green | 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13/Mk 5:1-20 (323) 30 | Tue | Weekday | green | 2 Sm 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30—19:3/Mk 5:21-43 (324) 31 | Wed | Saint John Bosco, Priest | white | Memorial | 2 Sm 24:2, 9-17/Mk 6:1-6 (325)

Drive in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 883-3935.

• Jan. 9 and every second Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Woodridge Nursing & Rehab Center, located at 600 So. Hillside Dr. in Beeville. For more information call (361) 358-8880. • Jan. 10 and every second Wednesday of the month at 12 p.m. at Lindale Center/ Caregiver SOS, located on 3133 Swantner St. in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 826-2343. • Jan. 11 and every second Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. at Mirador Plaza (back side of facility), located at 5857 Timbergate Drive in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 883-3935. • Jan. 16 and every third Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at Brookdale (formerly Homewood Residence), located at 6410 Meadow Vista in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 980-0208. Facilitator is Anita Valle. • Jan. 16 and every third Tuesday of the month at 3 p.m. at River Ridge Nursing Rehab Center, located at 3922 West River Dr. (off FM 624) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 767-2000. • Jan. 25 and every fourth Thursday of the month at

4:30 p.m. at Kleberg County Nursing & Rehab, located on 316 General Cavazos Blvd. in Kingsville. For more information call (361) 883-3935.

Study at St. 2 Bible Church Jan. 2 and every Tuesday - Patrick 7-9 p.m. at St. Patrick 30 from Church, Our Lady of Knock

Hall (the corner of S. Alameda and Rossiter Street.) For more information call the parish office at (361) 855-7391.

Hour followed 4 Holy by a healing Mass

Jan. 4 and every first Thursday of the month from 5-6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Chapel Jesus Nazareno in Corpus Christi.

Franciscan 6 Secular Gathering

Jan. 6 from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral Room 4. Come and see if you are being called to a vocation as a Secular Franciscan. If you are already professed, are you looking for a local fraternity? For more information (936) 344-1353 or email:

Celebration 6 Epiphany Jan. 6 at 5 p.m. Christmas

program followed by 5:30 p.m. Mass. Reception afterwards includes: fellowship, covered dish and games for the children. For children's Christmas program practice time call (361) 991-7653.

Spiritual 11 Women’s Exercises Retreat

Begins Thursday, Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday, Jan. 14, at 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat

Center (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. Register at or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

to Couple 12 Couple League Training

Jan. 12-18 at 5 p.m. at Pax Christi Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Dr. 74810). Through the Couple to Couple League training, gain professional Sympto-Thermal Method certification to conduct classes in your local area and provide mentoring and consultation to local self-paced students. Pricing varies on lodging options. For more information and to register visit

an 16 Chanticleer, Orchestra of Voices

Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Texas A&M Performing Arts Center. The Cathedral Concert Series in partnership with Texas A&M University Corpus ChristiSchool of Arts, Media and Communication presents "an orchestra of voices". The seamless blend of 12 male voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature from Renaissance to jazz and from Gospel to venturesome new music. General admission is $20. For VIP seating join the St. Cecilia Guild by calling (361) 888-7444.

Annual Spirit Center 18 6th Celebrity Dinner

Jan. 18 from 5-9:30 p.m. at the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi. The Spirit Center will be “serving up the fun” as high profile community celebrities serve as waiters

January 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  33


& General 2 Alzheimer's Group - Support • Jan. 2 and every first Tuesday the month at 6 p.m. at 25 ofYWCA, located on Corona


and entertainers for our upcoming signature fundraiser. The evening will include entertainment, dinner, music, auctions, photo opportunities, a table decoration contest, awards and cash bar.

Healing Retreat 19 Weekend Begins Friday, Jan. 19, at  5:30 p.m. ends Sunday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center (1200 Lantana) in Corpus Christi. Weekend consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of quiet reflection asking God to reveal where we need healing, and concludes with a Healing Service. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


Holy Cross Annual BBQ Fundraiser

Jan. 19 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Holy Cross Church (1109 N. Staples) in Corpus Christi. Plates are an $8 donation and will include brisket, sausage, rice, beans, bread, dessert and condiments.

in Truth 20 Grounded at Adoration Chapel/ Cafe Veritas

Jan. 20 and every third Saturday of the month. An hour of Adoration with praise and worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel from 7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus Christi's Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information. 


8th Annual Black & Gold Gala and Casino Night Jan. 20 beginning at 6 p.m. at the American Bank Center (1901 N. Shoreline Blvd.) in

34  South Texas Catholic | January 2018

Corpus Christi. Note change of date. Proceeds go to benefit St. John Paul II High School.

Family 20 Natural Planning (NFP)

Jan. 20 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Natural Family Planning at 1426 Baldwin Blvd in Corpus Christi. Learn to recognize the natural cycles of fertility and infertility that occur naturally in every woman. NFP allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the Church and respecting the gift of their married love. For more information visit

and 23 Grandparents Other Relatives Raising

Children Support Group

Jan. 23 and every last Tuesday of each month from 10-11 a.m. at Greenwood Senior Center (4040 Greenwood Drive). For more information call (361) 826-1368.

Rally for Life Jan. 27 join thousands of 27 Texas Texans at the Capitol in Austin

for the annual Texas Rally for Life, which stands in solidarity with the lives lost in the legal practice of abortion. The Diocese of Corpus Christi has reserved six buses that will depart Saturday morning, from various locations. For more information call the Office of Laity, Family, and Life at (361) 882-6191 or register at

RCIA Retreat 27 Diocesan Jan. 27 from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Pax Christi Retreat Center (4601 Calallen Dr.) in Corpus Christi. The Diocesan RCIA Retreat is provided for those parishes who are not able to offer a parish retreat for their RCIA

catechumens and candidates who will be entering the Church at the Easter Vigil. Presenter for event is Father Julian Cabrera. Event begins at 9 a.m., check in time is from 8-8:45 a.m. Cost is $5. For more information call the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at (361) 882-6191.

Word 101 30 IWA Elementary Level & Level Open House & Middle • Jan. 30 from 6-8 p.m. at Word Academy31 Incarnate Elementary Level. • Jan. 31 from 6-8 p.m. at Angel Avenue Student Center for Middle Level. Word 101 provides families the knowledge of the place, the people and the philosophy that makes the IWA scholastic opportunity. Families will get to tour classrooms, meet faculty and staff, receive information about academics, athletics and tuition assistance, as well as enter for a chance to win one of three $1,000 tuition vouchers. For more information, visit

To see more calendar events go to South Texas







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January 2018 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 620 Lipan St. Corpus Christi, TX 78401-2434 (361) 882-6191

January 2018 - Vol.53 No.1  

In our January issue we revisit the continued need for volunteers to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. We also look at a project...

January 2018 - Vol.53 No.1  

In our January issue we revisit the continued need for volunteers to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. We also look at a project...