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South Texas


Laity give feedback on Pastoral Plan W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C .CO M • A PR I L 2018





Say to fostering healthy marriages.! The Diocese of Corpus Christi serves the spiritual and physical needs of our parishes and community through more than 30 ministries. We appreciate your generosity in sharing your blessings, so we are committed to you to be a good steward of the gifts you entrust to us.


By participating in the Bishop’s Stewardship Appeal you are saying – to fostering healthy marriages for couples preparing for marriage in our diocese.

Diocese of Corpus Christi

Office of Parish Stewardship & Development P.O. Box 2620, Corpus Christi, TX 78403 • (361) 882-6191 or email

2  South Texas Catholic | April 2018


VOL. 53 NO. 4 PUBLISHER Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD


Arthur Haas, parishioner at St. Patrick's Church in Corpus Christi, places a sticker next to an idea proposed at a recent town hall event hosted by the Diocese of Corpus Christi to elicit feedback for a pastoral plan. Other participants look on while trying to decide which ideas to support from the choices offered by other participants.


Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

EDITOR Alfredo E. Cárdenas THEOLOGICAL CONSULTANT Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. EDITORIAL STAFF Mary E. Cottingham Adel Rivera CORRESPONDENTS Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Jessica Morrison, 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: To subscribe, unsubscribe or submit a change of address go online at:

Calendar Items Submit your announcements by using our Online form, e-mail, 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.

Keep up with the faith at


Juniors from Bishop Gorman High School, Hwiho Kim and Hannah Huffman pull weeds at a business called The Shack in Port Aransas.


Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

NEWS BRIEFS FROM THE BISHOP 20 4 MESSAGE Linda McKamie retires Focolare brings unity, communion to the diocese

from Catholic Charities

CATHOLIC EDUCATION LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 6 Family 22 beckons us to retirement Ministry formation online NATIONAL VOCATIONS 24 9 Holiness: we must seek it and live it Bishops support First Amendment Defense Act

NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE OUR FAITH 12 Sisters 27 mark 70 years Marvelous gift of God, his mercy of profession of vows

April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Focolare brings unity, communion to the diocese


hroughout the life of the Church, for more than 2,000 years, the Holy Spirit has given extraordinary graces to be shared with the entire Church. Usually, these graces come through a founder or groups of people who initiate a spiritual life centered around a charism. For example, St. Francis understood the gospel as poverty. His charism was to live with and care for the poor. Thus the entire Franciscan movement began. Around St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, the Carmelite charism of prayer was given as a richness for the entire Church. In our day, several charisms have emerged before, during and after the Second Vatican Council. The Focolare or, “The Work of Mary,” began in 1943 in Trent Italy and is entrusted by the Holy Spirit with the charism of unity. Numerous people throughout the last 70 years have gathered around the charism of unity and its spirituality to bring a new force and a new understanding of communion in the Church and beyond. The importance of unity at this time in our world and the Church is of utmost importance. I first came in contact with the Focolare as a young priest, after being ordained only nine months. I was in a personal search for a spirituality that I could live as a diocesan priest. When I encountered the charism of unity, I understood this spirituality could have a strong influence on my life as a priest because as pastors, we are called to gather the parish community as a family. Thus Jesus prayed; “Father may they all be one (Jn 17:21).” Over the last 40 plus years, the spirituality of unity has formed me with that mentality. There are always challenges. There have been mistakes. However, we are all called to unity and communion. My hope for the six members of the Focolare who will relocate to the diocese during the summer is that they become part of us; to become a part of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, and to remain a vital part of the universal Church. I will ask them to live with us, live for us and offer their incredible gift of unity to all they meet. I also hope they will continue to live as a family within the large family of the Church with Jesus living in their midst (Mt 18:20). Everyone benefits from unity and everyone suffers when there is no unity. May we all join together to build up a deep sense of unity and communion in our diocese and all of its expressions. +Most Rev. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi

4  South Texas Catholic | March April 2018 2018

Get latest news from Diocese of Corpus Christi • Participants petition for Traditional Marriage, life at Rosary Crusade • KJT presents checks to Bishop Mulvey • Mission Team serve Vidor, Rockport communities • Boy Scout donates flag pole, flags to Holy Family • KC Council 1653 supports life with Koins for Kids • Christians offer help to Port Aransas residents • KCs launch online recruiting site for Texas • Students use skills to tackle real life situations • McKamie retires from Catholic Charities • KLUX will carry Holy Week liturgies • Pope Francis approval high in the U.S. • The movie ‘Wonder Woman’ and the end of Lent

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

April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  5


Family beckons us to retirement Alfredo E. Cardenas is editor of the South Texas Catholic.

Alfredo E. Cardenas


South Texas Catholic

s many of our readers know first hand, grandchildren can easily tug at your heartstrings. That has indeed been the case with my wife Genie and I. Our daughter Christina and her husband Bobby, blessed us with our first grandchild, Joseph Isaac, in August. My son Matthew and his wife Jes are scheduled to bring our granddaughter Aurora Jeane into our lives on July 4. Our heart is made full of joy by the fact that our daughter Monica and her fiance Ryan will enter into the holy sacrament of matrimony in September. Genie and I want to be an active part of our children and grandchildren’s lives so by the time you read this column we will be comfortably living in retirement learning to spoil grandkids. We leave, however, with saddened hearts as our more than seven-year stay in Corpus Christi was truly blessed. My work as editor of the South Texas Catholic was the capstone to a long and rewarding career. I will be forever grateful to Bishop Michael Mulvey for the opportunity to come to Corpus Christi and take the helm of an already excellent newspaper. With the help of a superb staff, Mary Cottingham and Adel Rivera, some outstanding correspondents and a supportive diocesan family we were able to make a very successful transition from a newspaper to a magazine. We accomplished this by always keeping our stewardship responsibilities in front of us; we achieved this fantastic upgrade at a considerable reduction in cost. I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredible support I received from the presbyterate, the religious sisters and brothers and the deacons of the diocese. They were, in a word, fabulous. At the risk of leaving people out, I am also very grateful to the many personnel in the parishes and Catholic schools, as well as so many members of the faithful who dedicate their lives

6  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

to the Church at their parishes, schools and lay apostolates. The magazine, of course, was not our only task. We also created a dynamic website for the magazine,, that provides valuable information to the faithful between the publication of the magazine. Another accomplishment for which I am very proud is the electronic archiving of the South Texas Catholic since its inception in 1966 and making it available to the public online. We also took on the publication of the “Catholic Directory for the Diocese of Corpus Christi,” not only improving the format but also making it available online. Behind the scenes, not known by the public, we initiated two electronic newsletters to keep the presbyterate and the diocese and parish staffs informed of the bishop’s initiatives. Additionally, we oversaw the transition of the diocese website to a new user-friendly format and helped with the entry into the new social media of Facebook and Twitter. It was, indeed, an exciting seven years. But as the old saying goes, all good things have to come to an end. And so this good thing does for me but thankfully not for the readers of the South Texas Catholic. We leave the magazine in excellent hands, and it will continue just as it did before I arrived on the scene. This publication was an institution in Corpus Christi long before my arrival, and it will be for many years after my departure. I am reminded of a story I wrote for the Catholic Spirit in Austin some years ago. It was about a retiring priest. He told me that when he was a boy growing up, his family went on annual vacations and his father always stopped at the same places. He asked his father why he always stopped at the same places and his father responded: “because it is a good stop.” And so I can say without reservation that the Diocese of Corpus Christi was “a good stop.”

SECOND COLLECTION REPORTING Amounts recieved through February 28, 2018

CHURCH IN LATIN AMERICA Taken up January 28, 2018



0.00 268.36 0.00 247.00 129.00 329.00 915.00 0.00 405.58 187.93 0.00 2,481.87

92.60 106.00 5.97 5.00 0.00 300.00 1.00 0.00 0.00 31.00 0.00 541.57


0.00 71.00 18.00 202.00 294.21 280.00 138.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 449.30 146.05 487.00 0.00 48.00 96.75 2,230.31

0.00 66.00 162.00 0.00 0.00 798.00 404.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 458.94 223.55 62.00 0.00 43.00 0.00 2,218.24


20.44 81.00 231.00 0.00 500.00 161.71 0.00 0.00 2,014.00 135.00 757.49 50.51 3,951.15

0.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 2,373.00 0.00 0.00 142.00 0.00 353.09 448.00 0.00 3,346.09


1,000.00 76.90 130.00 2,204.06 371.00 110.00 1,749.11 0.00 5,641.07

0.00 0.00 500.00 2,286.78 445.00 182.00 17.00 857.00 4,287.78

April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  7

SECOND COLLECTION REPORTING Amounts recieved through February 28, 2018




500.00 125.00 762.26 0.00 0.00 505.26 225.00 0.00 599.00 2,716.52

1,000.00 0.00 2,566.89 0.00 0.00 310.50 1,898.78 3,864.22 748.00 10,388.39


467.00 536.00 873.47 960.34 298.50 1,116.39 458.91 4,710.61

229.00 0.00 464.00 73.00 446.00 0.00 214.00 1,426.00


10.00 676.00 0.00 142.00 0.00 1,604.31 1,096.22 0.00 514.00 0.00 0.00 730.00 0.00 102.00 0.00 4,874.53

0.00 0.00 0.00 476.00 0.00 350.00 389.34 0.00 1,690.62 0.00 165.00 0.00 188.00 187.00 0.00 3,445.96


0.00 725.10 589.70 935.06 0.00 300.00 750.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 280.50 73.00 780.10 0.00 0.00 200.00 0.00 4,633.46

0.00 0.00 489.15 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 526.65 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 150.00 0.00 1,165.80

0.00 0.00

0.00 0.00




8  South Texas Catholic | April 2018



Father Romeo Salinas is Vocations Director for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Holiness: we must seek it and live it Father Romeo Salinas

W Contributor

e have come through another Lenten season, and in the process have striven to become closer to our Lord. We have been blessed once more to celebrate Easter Sunday in all its splendor and hope for God’s people. We continue now to practice habits newly formed or renewed and strengthened during Lent. We should begin and end each day with prayer. We should pray without ceasing. We must strive to draw closer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and allow her to bring us closer still to Jesus and to renew daily our decision for holiness—to seek it and live it. We must try to go to confession monthly and receive the Holy Eucharist often. We have walked with Jesus and Mary through his passion, death and resurrection. We are among the “Blessed…who have not seen and have believed (Jn 20:29).” We must remember that without Jesus there is no salvation and that because he is love and mercy itself, he continues to grant us peace, love and spiritual nourishment for our souls “with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:8).” In 1931, the Lord appeared to Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun from the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. God presented himself to her in a vision and called on her to deliver the message of his unfathomable love and mercy to

the world. She saw Jesus clothed in a white garment with his right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching his clothing in the area of the heart, from which two large rays came forth, one red and the other pale. The Lord explained to Sister Faustina that the two rays denoted blood and water. Water makes souls righteous, and blood is the life of souls. The Lord told St. Faustina to have an image painted according to the model in her vision with the signature, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Through prayer and concentration in her years at the convent, Sister Faustina developed childlike trust in God, mercy toward her neighbors and in-depth knowledge of the mystery of Divine Mercy. In his book on St. Faustina, “The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion,” Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC writes that God charged her to: • remind the world and the Church of the truth of God’s mercy for every human being, as revealed in the Scriptures; • plead for Divine Mercy for the whole world, especially for poor sinners, through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy; and • begin the apostolic movement of Divine Mercy, so that followers will proclaim and entreat Divine Mercy for the world and practice the works of mercy, emulating the example of Sister Faustina.

➤ As nature proclaims the coming of spring with an awakening and

nurturing of new life on earth, so we must look to the continued renewal and cultivation of our strength and resolution in prayer, faith and knowledge of God’s unfathomable love and mercy for all of us. April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  9


God is love and mercy itself. He loves us no matter how bad our sins. We must repent of our sins; approach the Lord in prayer and ask him to pour his mercy out upon us and upon the whole world; we must extend that same love and forgiveness to others as he does to us. We must trust completely in his love and mercy for us as we ask for these graces, for without asking to receive these graces they will not be ours. God cannot and will not force these graces upon us; we must pray for them of our own free will with repentant and trusting hearts. We must come to our Lord with total and complete trust, for trust is the essence of his Divine Mercy. Through St. Faustina, the Lord gave us means for receiving the graces of Divine Mercy: the image of the Divine Mercy; the feast of Divine Mercy; the chaplet of Divine Mercy; the novena to Divine Mercy; and the Hour of Great Mercy. All these means of devotion draw us back to the Holy Eucharist. As nature proclaims the coming of spring with an awakening and nurturing of new life on earth, so we must look to the continued renewal and cultivation of our strength and resolution in prayer, faith and knowledge of God’s unfathomable love and mercy for all of us. Easter Sunday and Divine Mercy Sunday are

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4730 Everhart Rd


10  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

opportune times to awaken our hearts to God, who is love and mercy incarnate and our creator. Waking to God’s love is choosing holiness by going to confession; receiving the Holy Eucharist; praying; and having the strength to be merciful to others, beginning with our own families. We must model for them, as the saints did for us, the willingness to trust in God’s will; this is seeking true holiness; this is reaching for eternity; this is finding our true vocation.

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Sisters’ Corner

Pink Sisters dedicated to a prayer life in permanent enclosure


South Texas Catholic

he charism of the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration is glorifying God by living a life totally dedicated to the contemplative life in a permanent enclosure. They keep adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, sing the praises of God seven times a day in their divine office and offer prayers and sacrifices, especially for priests and missionaries. They lift up to God the whole world and the intentions entrusted to them. They maintain a special devotion to the third person of the Blessed Trinity, opening themselves to his action and collaborating with him. Bishop Mariano S. Garriga initiated the conversation of having the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, also known as the Pink Sisters for the color of their garb. Subsequently, Bishop Thomas J. Drury continued talks with Mother Superior M. Aurora, superior general of the order, and they executed—under the aegis of the U.S. superiors—an agreement to establish the Blessed Sacrament Convent in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The convent was inaugurated on March 8, 1970. The life of the order is prayer. For a sister with the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, prayer is living and breathing in the Holy Spirit. For a servant of the Holy Spirit, every day should be a new Pentecost, every breath they should beckon to the Holy Spirit. “Our schedule takes deeper breaths of the Holy Spirit through the times set aside for devoting attention to the mystery of the presence on a deeper level, for example, in the celebration of the Eucharist, in our adoration day and night, in the Divine Office, communal prayer and in the other spiritual exercises,” Sister Mary Leticia Acayan, SSpSAP said. The Eucharist is the center and heart of a sister’s life and prayer. Perpetual adoration

is an unrelinquishable task of the congregation. Their entire day’s work, not just the time spent before the Blessed Sacrament, is a continuous interior adoration. Praising, thanking and petitioning God, they endeavor to intercede in the divine office for all those in active pastoral and missionary work. “The riches of community is a gift of the Holy Spirit,” Sister Leticia said. “We are called to glorify the holy triune God and to serve the Church’s missionary activity not as individual sisters, but as Sisters of a community and in community. Our goal is perfect community with the triune God.” The Holy Eucharist is the sign and source of unity and union in their sisterly love. The differences in abilities, talents and gifts among the individual sisters constitute the wealth of the community and equip it for its service in the Church. “The more our sisterly love is expressed in willingness to share in every area of our communal life, in readiness to serve selflessly and to extend unconditional reconciliation, the more we are following Jesus’ teaching and example and his glory shines more clearly in our community,” Sister Leticia said. “Thus our community becomes a missionary community by the witness of its life according to the Gospel.” The order includes 318 members constituted in 22 communities in five continents with 15 nationalities. Wherever they serve, they try to sustain with prayer the missionary activity of the Church in the world. They try to be in as many territories as possible, especially where the Church is not yet fully present. By their witness, example and dedication they seek to effectively assist in building up and extending the Church. April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  11


Sisters mark 70 years of profession of vows Sister Michelle Marie Kuntscher, IWBS Contributor


hree sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament celebrated 70 years in consecrated life on March 29. Observing this landmark of service to the Lord and his Church are Sister Mary Stella Barrientes, Sister Mary Christina Bradley and Sister Mary Lucy Garcia. Sister Mary Stella was baptized Maria Valdomera and was born in Port Isabel, Texas, on Feb. 27, 1914, to Pedro Barrientes and Romana Valent Barrientes. The family of 14 children included three sets of twins. After graduation from high school, she kept books for the family business then worked as a secretary at Brownsville City Hall for five years. After entering the convent, she continued her education at Del Mar College, Incarnate Word College in San Antonio and Texas Southmost College in Brownsville. She professed first vows in 1948 and began a lengthy teaching career in south Texas. Sister Mary Stella taught at Sacred Heart and Cathedral Schools in Corpus Christi, at Our Lady of Victory School in Beeville and Immaculate Conception School in Goliad. In the Brownsville Diocese, she taught at Incarnate Word Academy, Villa Maria High School, Immaculate Conception School and at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Port Isabel. She also served in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Villa Maria. During her years of teaching, Sister Mary Stella shared her talents in art and dance, especially in the annual Villa Maria/Incarnate Word Academy production of A Little Bit of Mexico, a cultural program that introduced Charro Days in Brownsville each year. Sister Mary Stella’s class of dancers always delighted the audience and stole the show with their agile dance steps, costumes and expressions. In addition to her teaching ministry in Catholic schools, Sister Mary Stella taught in the diocesan Pastoral Institute, conducted reading and art workshops and gave first aid classes for the American Red Cross. Her volunteer work with the Red Cross also included entertaining handicapped children. She sponsored the Sodality and the Legion of Mary, and coordinated 12  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

CCD and the Catholic Youth Organization. In 1995, Sister Mary Stella was honored for teaching religion in Brownsville for 25 years. “My desire has always been to teach children about God and to bring the good news of salvation in all areas of my ministry. While I was teaching in the ESL Program in Brownsville, children from different parts of Mexico came to learn better communication in the English language, and they showed a great love of music and art in their final presentations.” Sister found great joy in sharing her arts and crafts and love of culture with her students and with the other sisters. She continued dancing at community functions well into her later years. This year, on Feb. 28, Sister Mary Stella marked her 104th birthday, and still celebrated the joy of the dance in her smiling eyes. She has often exclaimed in wonder, “It doesn’t feel that I have lived this long!” Sister Christina was baptized Ann Marie after her birth in Manhattan, New York. She grew up in the Bronx, one of eight children born to Patrick Bradley and Margaret O’Callaghan Bradley. At age 14 she followed her great aunt and an older cousin in their vocations as Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. She entered the Corpus Christi community and went through formation with her older sister, Sister Margaret Patrice, and professed their first vows in 1948. “It was during my formation years that God’s plan for me began to unfold,” Sister Christina said. “I began to appreciate the importance of a deep prayer life, of what it meant to live in community and how a commitment to ongoing conversion sometimes involves growing pains.” Eventually, the two Bradley sisters were joined by another sibling, Sister Marian Bradley, in the Incarnate Word community. Sister Christina earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, and the Montessori International Diploma from the Montessori Institute in Washington, D.C. She began teaching in parish schools in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, served as principal of Cathedral School, and

Sister Mary Stella Barrientes, IWBS

Sister Mary Christina Bradley, IWBS

Sister Mary Lucy Garcia, IWBS

good humor. In her retirement, she is still active, whether it be with art projects, prayer or helping out with community projects and activities. Sister Mary Lucy was born on June 15, 1927, in Brownsville to Juvencio J. Garcia and Anita Gavito Garcia. She was one of six children. She was taught by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, graduating at age 15 from Villa Maria High School in Brownsville. She worked for three years before entering the Incarnate Word congregation in 1946. Sister Mary Lucy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, as well as masters degrees from St. Louis University and the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico. Sister taught at Incarnate Word High School in Corpus Christi and Villa Maria High School and in Catholic schools in the dioceses of Brownsville and Corpus Christi. She also taught at Mary Immaculate College and Christopher College in Corpus Christi. From 1991-1997, she volunteered to help the Incarnate Word Sisters of Mexico at St. Xavier High School in Nakuru, Kenya, where she served as headmistress of the school. During her tenure as headmistress, St. Xavier achieved high honors among the Kenyan schools, scoring in the top 100 high schools in the country. In her years of ministry outside of teaching, Sister Mary Lucy spent one year in McKinney, Texas, where she helped initiate the first Job Corps program for women. She worked in campus ministry at Del Mar College and at the University of Corpus Christi and served in pastoral ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Alice. During her retirement, she devoted her time to prayer and giving adult Bible Study Classes at the motherhouse and in various

parishes. Within the congregation, Sister Mary Lucy participated in all the activities of the community, including as choir director at the motherhouse; as sister-in-charge; as a volunteer on various commissions and committees; and actively participated as a delegate to the general chapters, held every four years to elect leadership and set direction for the future. She translated in both English and Spanish at the international reunions and translated documents and letters for the leadership in the process of reconfiguration of the Incarnate Word Congregations throughout the world. Sister Mary Lucy has loved and proclaimed Jesus and the Incarnate Word in her prayer and worship, her community living, her teaching, pastoral work, mission work and catechesis. In her retirement at the motherhouse, she continues to serve the Incarnate Word and her sisters in her sharing in community and her dedicated prayer for the needs of the community and the Church. “I am extremely grateful for a life intimate with God and for the many lives I have touched and in whom I have encountered Jesus,” Sister Mary Lucy said. “I thank God for the grace of perseverance. A vocation to religious life is a call from God. If we persevere, it is God’s gift to us, because our human nature can get in the way, but with God all things are possible.” These three sisters, along with five others, will be honored at the congregation’s Jubilee Celebration set for Saturday, April 14, with Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick Church in Corpus Christi. Bishop Michael Mulvey will preside, and a reception for the eight IWBS jubilarians will follow at the IWA Dougherty Center, 450 Chamberlain.

April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  13


for many years was Director of the Incarnate Word Montessori School. In the early 1960s, several parents asked the Incarnate Word Sisters to begin a Montessori school, so Sister Christina traveled to Washington, D.C. for the specialized training in the Montessori method of education. In 1965, she was one of the founders of the first Montessori school at Incarnate Word in Corpus Christi. She and Sister Stanislaus Peña, both trained and certified by the Association Montessori International, began the school by opening two classrooms in the basement of Incarnate Word Convent on Alameda Street for three to five-year-olds. In addition to directing and teaching the IWA Montessori classes, she also trained many Montessori teachers in the South Texas area and welcomed other Montessori schools to observe classes at IWA. In 2015 Sister Christina was honored at the 50th anniversary of the Montessori school for her 37 years of dedicated service. Today the Montessori School is thriving, with classes extending from three-year-olds to fifth-grade students. A new building for Montessori classes will open this year on the IWA campus. Sister Christina has said that one of her greatest pleasures was working with the youngest Montessori students, who “were a source of joy and kept me young at heart. No wonder Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.’” In her ministry within the congregation, sister has served on various committees, has been the Director of Formation and has served as Sister-in-Charge of the Motherhouse. Throughout the years, she has served as an elected delegate to General Chapters of the Congregation. In every assignment, she is gentle and encouraging and full of


Christians offer help to Port Aransas residents Mary Cottingham


South Texas Catholic

group of students and teachers from Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School in Tyler, Texas were among several Christian groups who helped businesses and residents in Port Aransas get back to some normalcy after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey several months ago. The group arrived one week before their Spring Break, March 4-8, as part of their school’s Junior Christian Service Immersion program. The aim of Junior Christian Service, according to the school’s website, is to encourage students to identify an issue of social concern and formulate an action plan in response, with the outcome that students will have an intense, meaningful, significant, unpaid service experience addressing that need. Then they will analyze and present a report about the experience—from a Gospel perspective—to their theology and English classes. The students who made the trip to Port Aransas bunked overnight in the House of Discernment at St. John Paul II High School Campus in Corpus Christi. They picked up trash buried far beneath the ground, leveled and painted structures and cut weeds. They were just one of several groups directed to help by signing up with Elsie Preciado at the Volunteer Center in Port Aransas. Preciado, herself a volunteer, is tasked with scheduling the work of groups with the houses or businesses that have asked for help. “We don’t care if it’s a business or rental we are not selective. If a person asks for help, we feel like our job is to help,” she said. Her husband, Oscar, meets with area residents, renters or business owners and ensures the jobs get done according to their wishes. The Preciados are of retirement age but are far from retiring. Their home is in San Diego, California and they belong to East Lake Community Church. They are also members of the Recreational Vehicle Disaster Corps (RVDC). “It’s RVers responding to communities affected by disasters,” Elsie Preciado said. Due to the hurricane she and her husband have been volunteering 14  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

Juniors from Bishop Gorman High School, William Knight and Joseph Martins level the ground at The Shack in Port Aransas. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

since October, taking a month off for Christmas. They spent two months at the Donation Warehouse in San Antonio and arrived in Port Aransas in January. “We believe we have been so blessed in our lives, that now we feel that we’re in a place where we can turn around and share with others, do for others and serve others. That’s our motivation. I am not ready to sit back and read a book or knit, although I do those things–I do them when I’m done here,” Preciado said. Elsie Preciado spoke highly of students from Regents High School, a private Christian school in Austin, who worked tirelessly on a property where much of the debris was from another house, which had been lifted up and dropped, sending debris into a neighbor’s yard unscathed by the storm. The group from Austin removed shingles, pulled out dead plants and cut trees. She said the Regents group left residents feeling hopeful and amazed. Another group working on a resident’s house were Lutheran. These college-aged students were from various places in Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois and stayed in the preschool at Trinity Lutheran Church in Corpus Christi. Among volunteers from Trinity Lutheran are Billy and Alexis Seeger who committed their Spring Break to help out in Port Aransas. Usually, they would go to El Paso or build houses for people in Juarez, Mexico, but they saw a greater need in Port Aransas. They prepped and insulated a house for drywall. “It’s a spring break thing, but it keeps you out of trouble,” Billy Seeger said.


Tony Valverde, Richard Reyes and Rolando Sifuentes, all parishioners at Christ the King Church, discuss the future of the Diocese of Corpus Christi with Father Emilio Jimenez pastor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles during a recent Town Hall meeting of nearly 100 participants. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

Pastoral Planning

Town Hall events draw crowds Rebecca Esparza

T Correspondent

ony Valverde had a heavy weight on his heart. As a parishioner at Christ the King, he had recently experienced the closing of their school. Seeking to share his opinion on the matter, he attended the Town Hall meeting hosted by the Diocese of Corpus Christi at Ss. Cyril and Methodius

in late February. “I wanted to provide some input on the direction our Catholic

schools are taking,” said Valverde, who also serves as the president of the parish pastoral council at Christ the King. “The closing of our school had a big effect on our church. In reality, we realize there was not enough funding to keep the school open, but we are very disappointed it had to close. It has been a struggle to maintain the now empty buildings.” The Town Hall meetings were designed to gain input from parishioners about the future of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  15


based on the vision laid out by Bishop Michael Mulvey. About 100 people from parishes across the diocese participated in the event at Ss. Cyril and Methodius. The diocese held similar listening sessions at various parishes. A facilitator assisted the crowd with working in small groups to identify elements of the bishop’s vision that most related to each group. After sharing their ideas as a group, participants were asked to use multi-colored stickers to notate which ideas were most important to each. Participants were asked to reflect on their understanding of Church as communion, a vibrant parish life, priests as leaders of communion, strengthening the role of laity and catechesis evangelization, which includes religious education programs and Catholic schools. “Collaboration, working together and unity is really what the Church is all about,” said Father James Stembler, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “We need to communicate and hear from our community in order to move forward as a whole.” Father Stembler said the diocese would compile data collected at the six different open house events into one master plan. No preliminary data is available yet, however, Father Stembler said he has heard that people were thrilled to have a chance to share their opinions. “People have been edified by that. It’s important to keep the avenues for open dialogue,” he said. Valverde said he felt blessed to be a part of the community event. “I’m trying to assist the bishop in his vision. During the open house, it seemed like many different parishes are seeking the same things: formal training for catechesis, a formal program for evangelization and saving our elementary schools,” he said. Valverde added he believes Bishop Mulvey is on track on trying to strengthen faith through knowledge. “I believe we should center the plans for the future around the youth and non-Catholics. Also, I would like to see better relationships between congregations and the priests. All priests should be approachable,” he said. Laura Hebert, an active volunteer at St. Paul the Apostle in Flour Bluff, was pleased there were a lot of great ideas shared. She said she prays the bishop takes these recommendations to heart. “One issue I heard receive resounding applause throughout the night was ensuring laity are properly trained in all aspects of the Church,” Hebert said. “If you participate in RCIA at one church, it would look and feel completely different at another church. It needs to be more uniform.” Father Stembler said the next step in the process is to gather feedback from local civic leaders via one-on-one interviews. There is also an online survey ( parishioners can take via the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s website until April 6. Additionally, through the weekend of April 14-15, selected parishes will participate in a survey during Mass. “As church leaders, one of the worst things we can do is say ‘That’s not the way we’ve always done it’. Instead we need to ask ourselves: ‘Maybe that’s the way we should be doing it,’” he said. “We need to keep spreading the Gospel’s message, but relative to the time we are in. Maybe we’re not typing it out on paper like 20 years ago, but tweeting it out in digital format instead.” Father Stembler noted the time was right to evaluate how active the diocese is in outreaching into the community, bringing the new faithful into the church and evangelizing to current parishioners. A multi-faceted Pastoral Plan is the best way to gather the data needed, he said. “My prayer is that from this process, all of this pastoral planning, it will bring us closer together as a diocese. Not that we are not close now, but there is always room for improvement. We need to emulate our namesake: The Body of Christ,” Father Stembler said. 16  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

Luisa Scolari

M Corresponsal

ovido por la intención de atender las preocupaciones de la feligresía de la diócesis de Corpus Christi y por iniciativa del obispo Michael Mulvey, se inició recientemente preparación para un plan pastoral. Se inició con una serie de encuestas realizadas por un equipo de facilitadores profesionales que pertenecen a una empresa de consultoría muy bien conocida a nivel nacional. Dominic Perri, ex profesor de la ciudad de Chicago, vino a la diócesis para ayudar a organizar y apoyar en este proceso. Perri y su equipo tienen bastante experiencia en elaboración de planes pastorales en otras diócesises del país. Al ser un equipo externo es más fácil que puedan observar y detectar las necesidades reales que se están presentando en la diócesis para poder elaborar un plan de atención. Este equipo encabezado por Marco Antonio López organizó una sesión de consulta en las instalaciones de la parroquia de la Sagrada Familia el lunes 19 de febrero, a la que asistieron feligreses de diferentes parroquias de la diócesis. López comentó que “El plan pastoral no es otra cosa que un diálogo del pueblo con el obispo”. El proceso de planificación de plan pastoral se compone de cinco etapas o puntos claves, siendo la primera la consulta de escucha, necesaria para recopilar el material de donde partir para elaborar el plan. Para llevar a cabo el desarrollo de esta etapa, en parroquias de las localidades de Beeville, Kingsville, Alice y Corpus Christi, se realizaron sesiones de consulta tanto en inglés como español, para poder cubrir y atender a todos los diocesanos sin importar el idioma que hablen. Para explicar cuál es la intención del obispo de crear este plan pastoral, se repartió material de trabajo y se proyectó un video en donde el obispo explicó su deseos y intenciones. Se procedió a observar y analizar el video, dando

El padre Patrick Donohoe, el pastor de la parroquia de la Sagrada Familia, habla sobre el proceso de planificación pastoral con Marco Antonio López. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  17


Fieles laicos proporcionar información para el plan pastoral


Los fieles laicos en la parroquia de la Sagrada Familia ponen sus ideas en la pared, que fueron recopiladas y se tabularán con otras ideas reunidas en toda la diócesis. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

así comienzo el trabajo grupal integrado por varios lo que se fueron identificando cuáles eran las ideas más equipos repartidos en mesas de trabajo. comunes y se iban anotando. López explicó que “Crear un plan pastoral sólido En la sesión en la parroquia de la Sagrada Familia implica un proceso, como cuando construyes algo, algunas de las peticiones que surgieron fueron: siempre empiezas con el plan. El valor de la pla- • Dar seguimiento después de los retiros de encuennificación pastoral es construir algo sólido y bien tro con Dios. fortalecido”. • Clases de formación en la fe para niños y para El llamado que el Papa Francisco hace a todos los adultos. Católicos del mundo es de ser discípulos y misione- • Catequesis para papas y mamas. ros y salir a que la fe impacte al mundo para que sea • Más educación para ministros y sacerdotes. conforme al plan de Dios. Del mismo modo el obispo • Más atención de salir a evangelizar a familias, jóveMulvey quiere oír y escuchar al pueblo a través de nes y gente marginada. estas sesiones, de dónde saldrán ideas y propuestas • Atención a los grupos juveniles ya que en las iglesias para ser atendidas. se observa la asistencia de la mayoría de personas La sesión en español dio inicio con una oración mayores. de todos los participantes y que como anfitrión del • Que el sacerdote, como líder de evangelización, evento fue dirigida por el padre Patrick Donohoe. Se disponga más comunicación, acercamiento y conexplicaron las reglas de participación necesarias para vivencia con los feligreses. que la sesión fluyera con la mayor rapidez y eficacia • Más comunicación, apoyo y convivencia entre posible, ya que era sumamente importante escuchar la sacerdotes y ministerios de las diferentes parroquias. petición de todos los asistentes. Los equipos estaban conformados de seis personas, de las cuales una desPara vermore másphotos fotos of dethis esteevent evento To see go to: empeñaba el cargo de facilitador, otra de secretario y South Texas un portavoz. Se les invito a reflexionar sobre que les gustaria ver mas sobre el rol de los laicos y sacerdotes como líderes, no solo enfocándose en quejarse, sino más bien enfocarse en las propuestas y soluciones conSERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI cretas para el problema. Al terminar, cada equipo tuvo Ayuntamiento la oportunidad de exponer su análisis y propuestas, con


18  South Texas Catholic | April 2018


Un participante en la audiencia pública en la Sagrada Familia proporciona comentarios sobre el proceso de planificación pastoral. Luisa Scolari para el South Texas Catholic

• Sesiones de entrenamiento para ser misioneros laicos. • Convivencia e interacción después de la misa. • Fortalecer la iglesia doméstica. • Presencia de sacerdotes y diáconos en juntas y actividades de los ministerios. • Sacerdotes visiten, convivan y hagan retiros con los niños y jóvenes de las escuelas. • Sacerdotes que hablen español para atender y confesar feligresía de habla hispana. • Más participación de los laicos atendiendo al llamado de obediencia y servicio. • Mostrar más hospitalidad por parte de los sacerdotes. Después de enumerar las propuestas anteriores, cada uno de los participantes emitió su voto por las cuatro que consideraban más importante. Cuando se recaude y concentre toda la información generada en todas las sesiones, se podrá observar cuales son los puntos que se consideran de mayor prioridad para empezar a dar pasos para la creación de un plan pastoral específico para la diócesis de Corpus Christi. El siguiente paso en el proceso es recabar comentarios de los líderes cívicos locales a través de entrevistas individuales. También hay una encuesta en línea en inlgés ( que los feligreses pueden realizar a través del sitio web de la diócesis de Corpus Christi hasta el 6 de abril. Además, durante el fin de semana del 14 al 15 de abril, parroquias seleccionadas participarán en una encuesta durante la Misa.

Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero La Diócesis de Corpus Christi por medio de la recomendación del Concilio Diocesano de Finanzas y el Concilio Presbiteral han llevado su dedicación mas allá para la buena administración y responsabilidad nanciera en nombre de donantes generosos al instituir un “hotline” para reportar el abuso nanciero. La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y 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.

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Obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia se comprometen a ayudar en el proceso de curación de las víctimas y sobrevivientes de abuso. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce está en necesidad de estos servicios, llame a Stephanie Bonilla, Director de la Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia: (361) 693-6686 (oficina) ó (361) 658-8652 (celular) para asistencia inmediata.

Oficina de un Ambiente Seguro y de Servicios para Niños y Familia April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  19


Linda McKamie retires from Catholic Charities Linda McKamie, longtime executive director for Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi and the Mother Teresa Shelter, has announced her retirement for health reasons. The Catholic Charities board is searching for a new director, while Mike McLellan is serving as interim CEO. Bishop Michael Mulvey said that in McKamie’s 13 years of service she had done a “marvelous” job, holding the agency together and expanding it into other areas of need. She collaborated with other

agencies in the city and in surrounding counties to ensure they served the poor and homeless, the bishop said. “She’s done so much. She set the bar very high for the work we want to do for the needy,” Bishop Mulvey said. “She is just a unique person. She has a spiritual life that is so evident.” The bishop said McKamie was not out of the picture and would be available to share her wisdom and experience; “we’re just letting her retire.”

Boy Scout donates pole, flags to Holy Family

Jacob Ramos, a Boy Scout at Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi installed a new flagpole next to the church’s current one on March 8. Jacob also bought a new American flag and a flag of the Vatican City State. This is part of Jacob’s Boy Scout service to the parish and community. He is also active in the life of the parish. “We appreciate his service to the parish,” Michael Hernandez, with Holy Family, said.

KC Council 1653 supports life with Koins for Kids

Knights of Columbus Council 1653 of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Beeville started a new program called Koins for Kids. The Knights took baby bottles and asked the parish community to take change they find around the house, in the car, in the couch and put it in the bottle and bring it back to church. The contributed change was given to Corpus Christi Pregnancy Center in Portland to assist them in obtaining a mobile Sonogram unit.

Knights presented a check for $2,500 to Jana Pinson, director of the Corpus Christi Pregnancy Center in Portland. Pictured, from left, are Doc O’Connor, Pinson, Michael Willow, Lorenzo Garcia, Father Richard Gonzales, Victor Salazar, John Salinas and Johnny Padilla.

KJT present checks to bishop for seminarians, retired priests

The Catholic Union of Texas, KJT, presented Bishop Michael Mulvey with two checks on March 20: one check for the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s Seminary Education Fund and a second check for the Priests and Religious Retirement Fund. Rosalie Bohuslav, president of KJT and Ellen Zdansky, state director of KJT presented the checks. 20  South Texas Catholic | April 2018


St. John the Baptist parishioners took part in a Traditional Marriage Rosary Rally on March 17.

Participants petition for Traditional Marriage, life at Rosary Crusade Thirteen adults and seven children attended the Traditional Marriage Rosary Rally held on March 17 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. The purpose of the prayer rally was to petition God for multiple intentions, especially for the United States, for those who suffer, for sinners, for the dying, for the Catholic Church, for the triumph of

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the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in reparation for sins against marriage and life. Participants prayed the Angelus, the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Prayers to St. Joseph, Litany to St. Joseph and the Divine Praises. The rally opened and closed with song.


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Ministry formation online Dayna Mazzei Worchel



sk a religious educator how much they love the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s new online formation program, and they will give an enthusiastic answer. “I’d call it Catechism 101. It’s all good, useful information and it’s very easy to use,” said Lori Katzfey, a director of religious education at St. George Church in George West. She is referring to the newly formed Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation in the diocese, which began offering online certification classes in catechesis in both English and Spanish in November 2017. Live classes will start in Fall 2018, so parishioners will have a choice in how they want to learn. The classes are available not only for religious educators but for those who just want to learn more about their faith. Katzfey, who has been a religious educator for more than 20 years, lives in George West with her husband Deacon Shane Katzfey, director of religious education at St. George. Like many volunteer catechists, she works full time, has a family and keeps a busy schedule. Both have traveled long distances in the past to take

Diocese of Corpus Christi Director of Catechesis Therese Recinella demonstrates the online certification classes available through the new Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation. Dayna Mazzei Worchel for South Texas Catholic 22  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

the necessary training courses in person so they could teach formation classes. “In the past, I would take time off during the summer, and it was not convenient. I had to travel to Ingleside. This is much more convenient,” Katzfey, who works as a school librarian, said. The institute now offers three different online certifications for parish catechists and Catholic school teachers. The diocese plans to provide the same certification classes live beginning this fall. Therese Recinella, Director of Catechesis for the diocese, said she is excited about the blended learning program of live and online classes for parish catechists who both teach religious education and individuals who are involved in youth ministry. The program is powered online through a partnership between the diocese and a company called “My Catholic Faith Delivered.” Recinella said the Diocese subsidizes the cost of the courses, so they are only

$30 each. The entire cost of Level One certification, which includes 22 lessons and a retreat is $115. The online courses take one hour each. “And you’ll notice that the program is intentionally balanced. It’s in three areas of ministry formation, which are spirituality, Biblical/theological and ministerial,” she said. Recinella said people could take the Level One or Level Two certifications online or they will be able to make the courses live. Whether they choose the classes live or online, there will be an integrated retreat connected to the formation. The parish and the youth ministry catechist certifications are bilingual, for all of the other courses people taking them online can change the language from English to Spanish. The diocese calls Level One a “Call to Teach” because it gives individuals an opportunity to discern their calling to that ministry. Being a catechist is an identified

letter from Bishop Michael Mulvey and a prayer. The information is presented in an easy to read text with a quiz at the end. And there are videos, group discussions and an online journal for students, which they can keep private. The diocese also has a partnership with Catholic Distance University, in which they created a program just for its Catholic school teachers that need certification to meet the new Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops education requirements. The requirements were updated in 2014 to either what is an equivalent of a minor in religious education in theology or 150 hours from an accredited Catholic university or college. These classes are only offered online for the teachers. Also in the works is a partnership with Franciscan University to offer training to RCIA coordinators, teams and catechists through online workshops provided by the university. The institute replaces the St. Paul School of Catechesis, a religious education program previously used by the diocese. All of the people from the St. Paul School have been “grandfathered,” so no one will have to repeat courses, and everyone receives credit for anything they took in the St. Paul School. Throughout the last year, the office has been working with its religious education

coordinators to identify catechists who had course credit so that they can receive credit and place them in the new program where they need to be, she said. The diocese Office of Evangelization and Catechesis is the lead agent for this initiative because as the catechetical office all the formation is under its purview. But, Recinella said, development of the program was a team effort among the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis and other diocesan departments. One of the most significant needs for the diocese was finding a convenient and uniform way for catechists in outlying parishes to take the necessary courses. In the past, these religious educators, like the Katzfeys, had to travel long distances for live classes over long periods of time. Laly Arteaga, a director of religious education at Our Lady of Victory Church in Beeville, said she used to travel to Corpus Christi every weekend for three years. She spent time in class on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. She also works full time for a doctor Monday through Thursday. “It’s awesome,” Arteaga said about the online courses. “Sometimes things happen, and it’s hard for people to get to class. Online is easier, and you do it when you can.” Arteaga, who participated in the pilot program the diocese offered, has already completed the Level One certificate and is working on Level Two. For more information about the online formation program, go to or call (361) 882-6191, ext. 634.

Laly Arteaga, Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Victory Church in Beeville, demonstrates how easy it is to take an online class through the new Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation. Armando Musquez for South Texas Catholic April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  23


vocation in the Church, Recinella said. The second level is “Called to Serve,” which focuses on the catechist as one who serves within the parish community. Recinella said the hope is that Level Three, a “Call to Witness,” will attract those who complete Level One and Level Two to become witnesses for ongoing formation in their communities. “It doesn’t stop at first communion; it doesn’t stop at confirmation. A deepening and understanding of our faith is lifelong. What we want from Level Three is ongoing formation and growth in the parish,” Recinella said. These classes are not limited to those who teach. The diocese has three partnerships to facilitate the certification classes. Through “My Catholic Faith Delivered” the diocese gets the essential catechist formation and the level one and level two catechist formation program. “We also have a way to track certification digitally. So, it’s a full learning management system that includes the doctrinal lessons that we configured to a level one and level two and it’s also a tracking system so that all of our offerings, as we build different formation tracks, will be tracked through this same system. If our offices here sponsor a conference, the registration is done through this system,” Recinella said. The online lessons begin with a welcome


Bishops support First Amendment Defense Act Courtney Grogan


Catholic News Agency

.S. bishops have voiced support for a bill protecting individuals and institutions from discrimination by the Federal government based on their beliefs about marriage, regardless of what those beliefs are. “We welcome and applaud the recent reintroduction of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA),” wrote Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville and Bishop James Conley of Lincoln in a March 14 statement. Archbishop Kurtz chairs the US Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, while Bishop Conley is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Archbishop Marriage. Joseph Kurtz “In a pluralistic society, faith-based charitable agencies and schools should not be excluded from participation in public life by loss of licenses, accreditation or tax-exempt status because they hold reasonable views on marriage that differ from the Federal government’s view,” the bishops said. “FADA is a modest and important measure that protects the rights of faithbased organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who believe that marriage

24  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

is the union of one man and one woman.” The bill, introduced March 8 by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), provides legal protections for individuals or institutions facing federal discrimination based on their definition of marriage or beliefs about premarital sex. “What an individual or organization believes about the traditional definition of marriage is not–and should never be–a part of the government’s decision-making process when distributing licenses, accreditations or grants,” Senator Lee said. “And the First Amendment Defense Act simply ensures that this will always be true in America– that federal bureaucrats will never have the authority to require those who believe in the traditional definition of Bishop James Conley marriage to choose between their living in accordance with those beliefs and maintaining their occupation or their tax status.” FADA equally protects those with differing views of marriage. For example, “All Federal definitions of marriage are protected…FADA would protect a liberal institution that promoted gay marriage, just as it would protect a conservative institution that wanted to promote traditional marriage,” according to Sen. Lee’s website.

The bill was previously introduced in the Senate in 2015 but did not make it out of committee. However, the current proposal no longer includes protections for federal employees and publicly traded for-profit companies. The 2015 version of the bill would have protected only those who believe marriage to be the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are only proper in such a marriage. Archbishop Kurtz and Bishop Conley wrote a letter to Lee March 12 expressing their gratitude and support for the bill. “In a climate of increasing intolerance, these protections are urgently n e e d e d ,” wrote the bishops. “ Pe r s o n s who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) are increasingly having their religious freedoms jeopardized and even forfeited. “The teaching of the Catholic Church about marriage is based on both faith and reason. Using right reason, one can know that given the nature of the human person, created as male and female, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The leadership of our Church will continue to promote and protect the natural truth of marriage as foundational to the common good.”

Our Father


Catholic News Agency

n commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy, Penguin Random House has published a collection of the Pope’s reflections on the Our Father. Released March 13, “Our Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer” focuses on issues of social justice and charity around the world, urging Christians to reflect on solidarity and forgiveness. “I hope that in praying the Our Father, every one of us will feel ever more loved, forgiven, bathed in the dew of the Holy Spirit,” writes Pope Francis in the book’s introduction. “And I will thus be able in turn to love and forgive every other brother, every other sister. This will give us an idea of what Heaven is like.” A majority of the book contains the text from the nine question-and-answer sessions that composed the Italian television series “Our Father,” aired by Italian television network TV2000. In the series, Pope Francis collaborated with Father Marco Pazzo, a theologian and prison chaplain in Northern Italy, to reflect on the Lord’s Prayer. Additionally, the book contains excerpts from homilies of his general audiences and Angelus addresses, with an afterword by Father Pazzo. Each chapter breaks down one section

Vatican Media, Catholic News Agency

of the Our Father. They also include reflections on topics such as hope, Mary’s fiat, the elderly and the poor. At the beginning of the book, Pope Francis focuses on the importance of the title of God as “Our Father.” The word “father” is power, he writes and shows us an intimate image of God as the creator of sons and daughters and as a provider for his children. “What I say is this: we must humble ourselves into saying ‘daddy’ and to truly believing that God is the father who accompanies us, forgives us, gives us bread, is attentive to all that we ask, clothes us even better than the flowers of the field.” The book emphasizes the need for prayer and compassion for those who suffer from

hunger around the world. Quoting the book of James, the pope writes that one does not live the Gospel appropriately without attending to the bodily needs of those who are hungry and sick. “Always someone is hungry and thirsty and needs me…This poor person needs me, my help, my words, my efforts, we are all in this together.” Pope Francis also expresses the importance of the elderly, stating that their prayers are a gift to the Church. He says their prayers sustain the workers of the Church. “The lives of the elderly and the grandparents are prayers. They are a gift for the Church. They are a treasure!” April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  25


Book captures pope’s reflections on the

26  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

Sister Celia Campoy, MDPVM

O Contributor

ne of the greatest and most beautiful gifts of our God is his mercy. Our Holy Father Francis tells us that mercy is another name for “love.” The love of God for all human beings, his creatures. The Heavenly Father is compassionate of the human being that was created by him in his image and likeness and in harmony with all of creation, with himself and with his Creator. The Father’s creatures were happy, immensely happy, but their belief in the Tempter and their disobedience of their owner and master lost the friendship they had with him and brought for them and all of their descendants the heredity of sin. Those poor human beings, Adam and Eve, expelled from paradise and left in a sad and sorrowful state of unhappiness. But the mercy of God came forward before they left Eden. The God of love promised them that there was going to be a coming of a mysterious being: the Messiah–a savior–who would free them from the slavery of sin and would return them to the friendship of their God. In the long history of humanity, there has been an ever ending chain of sins, of crimes, of incredibly evil, crazy actions. And what has our God done in front of that sad and terrible spectacle? His answer has been

patience, patience, patience; forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness; mercy, mercy, mercy. A constant disposition to forgive. When there is sincere repentance of our faults and the recognition that only in him do we have peace, joy and salvation, then he gives us the light of his Spirit to make us worthy of his forgiveness. In the time determined by the Father, he sent his Son–equal to him– through the Holy Spirit, the third person of God, to a young and beautiful girl he had chosen to be the mother of his son. God made her free of all original sin and all sins, by the merits of the Messiah-Redeemer. Also in awareness of the merits of Jesus Christ, even several centuries before his coming, our merciful God inspired some human beings with his grace, and with faith and generosity corresponded to his love. Thus we mention Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, minor and major prophets who fulfilled the mission that the Lord gave them. Even when announcing God’s message, many of them lost their lives. It is proper also to mention some brave women that loved their Creator and were faithful to his friendship: Esther, Ruth, Judith, Anna, the Prophet Samuel’s mother, Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist’s mother. In the New Testament, the coming of Christ to this world marked a time

of grace and a time of mercy for all. Jesus performed several miracles with great love and compassion for many human beings who needed his mercy. The healing of the Centurion’s servant (Lk 7, 1-10); the Resurrection of the widow of Nain’s son (Lk 7, 11-17); the resurrection of Jairus’s daughter (Lk 8, 40-50). Also the healing of the daughter of a Syrophoenician lady (Mk 7, 24-30); the healing of a man blind from birth (Jn 9, 1-41); the pardon of the sinful woman (Lk 7, 36-50). And the Good Samaritan (Lk 10, 29-37) and the prodigal son (Lk 15, 11-32). All of these passages from the Bible, the evangelists tell us of the merciful heart of Jesus who–in the same way as his heavenly Father– feels compassion from looking into the misery of human beings. All of us in one form or another have felt in our lives, the goodness and compassion of our God, who listens to us, and who answers our prayers and needs, and who wipes away our tears and who also comforts us, and tells us that he is at our side. Let us pray to him, for him to help us grow in faith and love for him every day. Sister Celia Campoy is a sister with the Missionary Daughters of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, MDPVM at St. Martin’s Convent in Kingsville.

All of us in one form or another have felt in our lives, the goodness and compassion of our God, who listens to us, and who answers our prayers... April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Marvelous gift of God, his mercy

April Liturgical Calendar 1 | SUN | EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Acts 10:34a, 37-43/Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8/Jn 20:1-9 (42) or Mk 16:1-7 (41) or, at an afternoon or evening Mass, Lk 24:1335 (46) Pss Prop

7 | Sat | Saturday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 4:13-21/Mk 16:9-15 (266) Pss Prop

15 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 3:13-15, 17-19/1 Jn 2:1-5a/Lk 24:35-48 (47) Pss III

8 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER | white (OR SUNDAY OF DIVINE MERCY) Acts 4:32-35/1 Jn 5:1-6/Jn 20:19-31 (44) Pss Prop

16 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 6:8-15/Jn 6:22-29 (273)

2 | Mon | Monday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 2:14, 22-33/Mt 28:8-15 (261) Pss Prop

9 | Mon | THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Is 7:10-14; 8:10/Heb 10:4-10/Lk 1:26-38 (545) Pss Prop

18 | Wed | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 8:1b-8/Jn 6:35-40 (275)

3 | Tue | Tuesday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 2:36-41/Jn 20:1118 (262) Pss Prop 4 | Wed | Wednesday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 3:1-10/ Lk 24:13-35 (263) Pss Prop 5 | Thu | Thursday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 3:11-26/Lk 24:35-48 (264) Pss Prop 6 | Fri | Friday within the Octave of Easter | white Acts 4:1-12/Jn 21:1-14 (265) Pss Prop

10 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 4:32-37/Jn 3:7b-15 (268) Pss II 11 | Wed | Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Acts 5:17-26/Jn 3:16-21 (269) 12 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 5:27-33/Jn 3:31-36 (270) 13 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white/ red [Saint Martin I, Pope and Martyr] Acts 5:34-42/Jn 6:1-15 (271) 14 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 6:1-7/Jn 6:16-21 (272)

11:1-18/Jn 10:1-10 (279) 24 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white/ red [Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Priest and Martyr] Acts 11:19-26/Jn 10:22-30 (280)

17 | Tue | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 7:51—8:1a/Jn 6:30-35 (274)

25 | Wed | Saint Mark, Evangelist | red | Feast | 1 Pt 5:5b-14/Mk 16:15-20 (555) Pss Prop 26 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:13-25/Jn 13:16-20 (282)

19 | Thu | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 8:26-40/Jn 6:44-51 (276)

27 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 13:26-33/Jn 14:1-6 (283)

20 | Fri | Easter Weekday | white | Acts 9:1-20/Jn 6:52-59 (277)

28 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/ red/white [Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr; Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest] Acts 13:44-52/Jn 14:7-14 (284)

21 | Sat | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Acts 9:31-42/ Jn 6:60-69 (278)

29 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 9:26-31/1 Jn 3:18-24/Jn 15:1-8 (53) Pss I

22 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER | white Acts 4:8-12/1 Jn 3:12/Jn 10:11-18 (50) Pss IV

30 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/ white [Saint Pius V, Pope] Acts 14:518/Jn 14:21-26 (285)

23 | Mon | Easter Weekday | white/ red/red [Saint George, Martyr; Saint Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr] Acts

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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28  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

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

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April 3 and every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Our Lady of Knock Hall located at the corner of S. Alameda and Rossiter Street. For more information call the parish office at (361) 855-7391.


April 3 at 6:45 p.m. at Christ the King Parish Hall located at 1625 Arlington Drive in Corpus Christi. There will be fellowship–building friendships, praise and worship, Bible study and discussion time to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Alzheimer’s & General Support Group • April 3 and every first Tuesday of the month at Y.W.C.A located at 4601 Corona Drive in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 883-3935. • April 4 and every first Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. at SCC River Ridge Nursing Rehab Center located at 3922 West River Dr. (off FM 624) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 767-2000. • April 10 and every second Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Woodridge Nursing & Rehab Center located at 600 S. Hillside Dr. in Beeville. For more information call (361) 358-8880. • April 11 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 in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 826-2343.


Holy Hour followed by a healing Mass

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


Divine Mercy Weekend Retreat

April 5-8, weekend begins Thursday 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 1:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi Retreat Center located at 1200 Lantana. Gain a deeper understanding of the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus and live lives reflecting his mercy to others. Register or call (361) 289-9095 ext 321.


Secular Franciscan Gathering

April 7 and every first Saturday of each month 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 contact Liz at (936) 344-1353 or email:

• April 12 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. • April 17 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.


• April 24 and every fourth Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m. at Alice Public Library (401 E. Third Street) in Alice. For more information call (361) 883-3935.


• April 26 and every fourth Thursday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at Kleberg County Nursing & Rehab located on 316 General

A Catholic Journey of Faith, Lenten Faith Formation Course

Blue Army Mass

April 7 and every first Saturday of the month in the Jesus Nazareno Chapel at Sacred Heart in Corpus Christi. For more information call the church at (361) 883-6082.

Divine Mercy Sunday

April 8 from 2-5 p.m. at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church located at 3210 S. Padre Island Drive. Divine Mercy Sunday will be celebrated at 3 p.m. with prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet during exposition and adoration of the Blessed

Sacrament. Special blessing by Deacon Albert Galvan of religious articles, photos, and candles. Refreshments will be served in Msgr. Kasper Youth Center following the service. For more information call (361) 5105754 or (361) 558-2337.

Church 8 StBBQJoseph & Silent Auction

April 8 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at St. Joseph Church located at 609 E. Gramman in Beeville. BBQ plates consisting of brisket, beans, coleslaw and desert. Take out and dine in available for $8 a plate. A silent auction will start at 11 a.m. with many items to choose from like jewelry, sports memorabilia, vacations packages and much more. The auction will be conducted by BID 4 A CAUSE. Proceeds go to St. Joseph Evangelist Programs. For more information call (361) 318-0011 or email

s Spiritual 12 Men’ Exercises Retreat

April 12-15 weekend begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Take a quiet vacation with the Lord and have spirit renewed. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Annual St. Pius X 13 15th School Golf Classic

April 13 at the Corpus Christi Country Club. It will be a fourman scramble with registration beginning at 12 p.m. followed by a shotgun start at 1 p.m. If interested in becoming a sponsor and/or player call the school at (361) 992-1343.

Annual Dare to 14 3rd Own the Dream

April 14, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Catholic Charities located at 615 Oliver Ct. in Corpus Christi. This is an opportunity to visit with loan officers, mortgage lenders, realtors, insurance agents, title and appraisal companies, the city of Corpus Christi Housing and Community Development Down Payment & Closing Cost program and many other community providers of homeownership programs. It is free to the public. There will

April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  29


3 24

Cavazos Blvd. in Kingsville. For more information call (361) 883-3935.

Bible Study at St. Patrick Church


be door prizes throughout the day. For more information or to reserve a table contact Catholic Charities Housing Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651 or email at or


Christi’s Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-0807 for more information.

Conception Woman: Heart 28 21 Immaculate Church 6th Annual of the Church Spring Fiesta/Trail Ride

St. John Paul II and Bishop Garriga Middle Preparatory School Family Fun Fest 2018

April 14 from 4-10 p.m. on the school grounds located at 3036 Saratoga Blvd in Corpus Christi. There will be food, a market area, carnival rides, games, music and a silent auction.

April 21 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at 1426 Baldwin Blvd in Corpus Christi. Learn to recognize the natural cycles of fertility and infertility that occur naturally in every woman. NFP allows couples to plan pregnancies while following the teachings of the Church and respecting the gift of their married love. For more information visit

in Truth 21 Grounded at OLCC Adoration

Chapel/Cafe Veritas

April 21 from 4 p.m.-12 a.m. on church grounds in Concepcion. There will be live music, dance, raffle, vendors, games and many great variety of foods and booths. Featuring music by La Fe and Power Jam-DJ. Bring your lawn chairs to La Fiesta. There will also be a train ride and hay ride for children, arts and crafts. Contact trail boss Joe Salinas at (361) 537-4149.

Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising & Children Support Group


Family 21 Natural Planning (NFP)

April 21 and every third Saturday of the month at Our Lady of Corpus Christi located at 1200 Lantana. An hour of adoration with praise and worship in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel from 7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus

su ambiente. Para mas informacion llame a Frank Mata (361) 437-2292 o ah Manuel Rangel (361) 877-5048.


• April 24 and every last Tuesday of each month from 10-11 a.m. at Greenwood Senior Center located at 4040 Greenwood Drive in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 826-1368. • April 26 and the last Thursday of each month from 6-7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church located at 900 South Shoreline Blvd. in Corpus Christi (2nd floor– Rm #216). Parking and entrance located behind church. Facilitated and presented by MCH Family Outreach. Please call if you bring your grandchild(ren). Classes for all ages. For more information call (361) 334-2255.

26 Cursillo de hombres

El 26 al 29 de abril. Es un curso corto de cristiandad para evangelization

April 28 from 8 a.m-12:30 p.m. at St. Theresa Church and Parish Hall located at 1302 Lantana Street in Corpus Christi. Conference sponsored by CDA Court #2433 and is for all women and girls ages 16 and above. Presenters will be: Dr. Ben Nguyen, Chancellor of the Diocese of Corpus Christi; Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS; and Ofelia de los Santos, Texas CDA Spiritual Enhancement Chairperson. Light breakfast, light lunch and break food will be served. Donation of $10 is requested. To RSVP for seating or to request more information call or text Irma Rodriguez (361) 774-6660 or Norma San Miguel, Chairperson for Conference (361) 960-2235.

Gertrude’s Parish/ 29 St. School Festival

April 29 from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at J. K . Northway Expo Hall located at 501 Escondido Road in Kingsville. BBQ lunch will be from 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. Live and silent auctions and kids’ games.

▼ To see more calendar events go to: To submit calendar events go to: send-calendar-items

Saint Francis Xavier Annual Spring Festival Games Food Fun Fellowship 323 Frio Street Tynan, Texas 78391 30  South Texas Catholic | April 2018

Sunday Fun for the entire family day May 6, 2018 All Live Music 12 p.m. until ? Dancing Folklorico Dancers

Catholic Charities - HUD Approved Housing Counseling Department

Celebrates Homeownership Dare to Own the Dream - Beat the Odds... Saturday, April 14, 2018 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 615 Oliver Ct., 78408 AN INVITATION TO THE COMMUNITY

A unique opportunity to visit with loan officers from mortgage lenders, realtors, insurance, title and appraisal companies, the city of Corpus Christi Housing and Community Development Down Payment & Closing Cost program and many other community providers of homeownership programs.

Sponsored by


2 More Sponsorships Available! To be a Sponsor or a Table Vendor, please call (361) 884-0651

For more information or to reserve a table contact: Housing Counseling Department at (361) 884-0651 or email us at or

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April 2018 |  South Texas Catholic  31

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

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April 2018 - Vol.53 No.4  

In our April issue we feature two stories, in English and Spanish, on the ongoing pastoral planning process initiated by Bishop Michael Mulv...

April 2018 - Vol.53 No.4  

In our April issue we feature two stories, in English and Spanish, on the ongoing pastoral planning process initiated by Bishop Michael Mulv...