Page 1

South Texas



W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C A T H O L I C . C O M • F E B R U A R Y 2 019

2019 Cursillo Dates/Fechas Men’s


Feb. 21-24 Sept. 26-29


Women’s May 2-5 Oct. 17-20

Emma Botello (361) 853-2754


Hombres April 25-28 Oct. 10-13


Frank Mata

(361) 437-2292


Marzo 21-24 Sept. 19-21

Mary Mendoza (361) 701-0034

Make a friend, Be a friend, Bring your friend to Christ

Hacer un amigo, Ser un amigo, Traer su amigo a Cristo

Talk to God about your friend before talking to your friend about God

Hable con Dios antes de hablar con su amigo de Dios

We Invite You to Come Live and Enjoy a Cursillo.

Los Invitamos a Vivir y Gozar De Un Cursillo.

What is a Cursillo? Cursillo is a short course (Cursillo) in Christianity. To many, it is the beginning of a walk with Christ. The only purpose of Cursillo is evangelization of our environment and to bring others closer to Christ. It starts on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday evening. All attendees attend Mass daily. It is a joyful time where all share and pray together and listen to talks (rollos) that are given by clergy and laypersons. It is a personal encounter with Christ and with oneself. Cursillo started in Spain in the early 1940’s. It has rapidly spread and is now all over the world.

2  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

¿Qué es un Cursillo? Cursillo es un corto curso en Cristiandad. Muchos empiezan andar con Cristo. El propósito de cursillo es evangelizar nuestros ambientes, y traer a otros a Cristo. Comienza el Jueves en la tarde, y termina el Domingo en la tarde. Durante estos días, los asistentes viven y trabajan juntos. Escuchan unas charlas (rollos) sencillas presentados por sacerdotes y seglares. Asisten Misa diaria. Es un tiempo gozoso donde compartimos, y oramos. Es un encuentro personal con Cristo y uno mismo. Cursillo empiezo en principio de 1940’s en España. Se desparramo por todo el mundo.


VOL. 54 NO. 2 Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL DD Director of Communications Margie Rivera Communications Board Father Jose A. Salazar, Sister Rosa Maria Ortiz, IWBS, David Campa, Madelyn Calvert, Zach Everett and Shannette Hoelscher, Elizabeth Nguyen and Benjamin Nye Managing Editor Mary Cottingham Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, JD/JCL. Office manager Adel Rivera Correspondents Jennifer Branson, Luisa Buttler, Rebecca Esparza, Dayna Mazzei Worchel and Corinna Longoria Translator Gloria Romero

Manage Subscriptions If you or someone you know would like to receive the South Texas Catholic Contact us at (361) 882-6191 555 N Carancahua St, Ste 750 Corpus Christi TX 78401-0824 or 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, 555 N Carancahua St, Ste 750, Corpus Christi, TX 78401-0824. Keep up with the faith at


The oil painting on the cover was completed by Corpus Christi artist Mercedes “Merci” McCoy. This sacred art is hung in the chapel at CHRISTUS Spohn Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center. It features a beautiful depiction of the Holy Family, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Tyler. McCoy said she donated the inspiring paintings to be hung in the clinic’s chapel to share the healing spirit of Jesus with fellow patients and visitors.


Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic


FROM THE BISHOP 4 MESSAGE Everyday holiness in the family

NEWS BRIEFS 7 Official Assignments

9 13

VOCATIONS 25th Anniversary of Father Rogel “Ogie” Rosalinas

NEWS FROM THE DIOCESE Blessed, prisoners get baptized and confirmed by Bishop Mulvey at Garza West Unit in Beeville

PARISH LIFE 23 The Heart of The Holy Family CATHOLIC SCHOOLS 25 Students help provide the gift of mobility NATIONAL NEWS 26 March for Life works to maintain unity in a time of division

VATICAN NEWS 29 Bishops know ‘what they need to do’ OUR FAITH 31 What streams do we drink from? February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  3


Everyday holiness in the family


ow that the excitement of the Christmas season and the glow of the New Year’s celebration has subsided a bit, we find ourselves feeling that life has picked up a rhythm that might be described best by looking at the liturgical calendar: “Ordinary Time.” This might not seem glamorous on its face, but the routine of daily life is a perfect place to find a closer union with Christ. During the Christmas season, we contemplated the mystery of God made man, the Incarnation, and looked with gratitude to God for creating that vessel through which His will could be accomplished, the Blessed Virgin Mary. But in the excitement of the deep and glorious mysteries of God taking on human flesh, perhaps not enough time is spent considering the life of the Holy Family. Certainly, we have the Sunday after Christmas devoted to the Holy Family, and in that gospel, we read about Mary and Joseph losing Jesus for three days while traveling back from Jerusalem where they had gone for Passover and then finding him in the temple. Apart from this story, we don’t read much about the life of Jesus as a boy. We read that he was obedient to his parents, “and Jesus advanced in wisdom and favor before God and man” (Luke 2:52). This mystery of the home life of Jesus as a boy contains within it a very satisfactory opportunity to find God in the ordinary and routine. He had a human childhood just as we have. His mother and father bandaged scraped knees, cooked meals, and completed all of the little customs that family life calls for. What a blessing to know that even the smallest and most seemingly insignificant parts of our lives are part of God’s plan to draw us closer to him! With this knowledge, we no longer can consider any part of our lives to be wasted. An opportunity to know and love Jesus more closely comes with every meal we prepare, every task we complete, and every conversation with our parents or children. These aren’t parts of life that we are meant to just endure or let pass by until the next season or feast day rolls around. This is the time that makes the celebration of the feasts so sweet and the penitential seasons so meaningful. This is the time that God conditions our hearts to receive him more fully. There are many ways to pray and meditate on the Holy Family, including the very simple prayer: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you, save souls!” Pope Francis, in his Angelus address on the Feast of the Holy Family last year, recommends that we meditate on the anxiety of Mary and Joseph when they could not find Jesus. “This is why the family of Nazareth is holy: because it was centered on Jesus; all of Mary and Joseph’s attention and concerns were directed toward Him,” he said. He went on to explain that we should have the same anxiety when we forget Jesus. But just as his parents found him in the temple, so too can we find Jesus back at our local parish, waiting for us in the Blessed Sacrament and in every person we meet. Like Mary and Joseph, we have the opportunity to draw near to him at every moment. May God bless you and your families, especially in those ordinary moments of each “ordinary” day.

4  South Texas Catholic | February 2019


La Santidad en el Diario Vivir de la Familia


hora que el entusiasmo de la temporada navideña y el resplandor de la celebración del Año Nuevo han entrado en calma, volvemos poco a poco al ritmo de la vida cotidiana, que podría describirse mejor a través del Calendario Litúrgico como,” Tiempo Ordinario,” puede que al principio no parezca tan atractivo, pero la rutina de la vida diaria es el lugar perfecto para encontrarnos en una relación más cercana con Cristo. Durante la temporada navideña, contemplamos el misterio de Dios hecho hombre, la Encarnación, y miramos hacia Dios con gratitud por haber creado ese canal de vida a través del cual se podría cumplir Su voluntad; la Santísima Virgen María. Pero en la emoción de los misterios profundos y gloriosos de Dios tomando un cuerpo humano, tal vez no se dedica suficiente tiempo a considerar la vida de la Sagrada Familia. Ciertamente, tenemos que el Domingo después de la Navidad se lo dedicamos a la Sagrada Familia y en el Evangelio leemos, acerca de María y José que perdieron al Niño Jesús por tres días mientras viajaban de regreso a Jerusalén, a donde habían ido a pasar la Pascua y finalmente lo encontraron en el templo. Además de esta historia, no sabemos mucho de la vida de Jesús cuando era niño. Leemos que fue obediente a sus padres, “y Jesús crecía en sabiduría, como en estatura, y en favor ante Dios y ante los hombres” (Lucas 2:52) Este misterio de la vida de Jesús como niño en su hogar, nos ofrece una muy buena oportunidad de encontrar a Dios en la rutina ordinaria de la vida. El tuvo una niñez humana, como nosotros la tuvimos, su madre y su padre curaron y vendaron sus rodillas raspadas, cocinaron sus alimentos e hicieron todas esas pequeñas cosas que una familia es llamada a hacer. ¡Que bendición es saber que aun la más pequeña acción y el detalle, aparentemente más insignificante que forma parte de nuestra vida, es también parte del plan de Dios para acercarnos más a El! Con este entendimiento, no podemos considerar que ninguna parte de nuestra vida esta desperdiciada. La oportunidad de conocer y amar a Jesús más cercanamente viene en cada comida que preparamos, en cada tarea que completamos, y en cada conversación con nuestros padres o hijos. Estas no son parte de nuestra vida que pasan de largo hasta que la siguiente temporada o fiesta se aproxima. Por el contrario, es el tiempo que hace que la celebración de las fiestas sea más dulce y la temporada penitencial más significativa. Este es el tiempo en que Dios acondiciona nuestros corazones para recibirlo más plenamente. Hay muchas maneras de orar y meditar sobre la Sagrada Familia, incluyendo la oración más simple:”! Jesús María y José, yo les amo, salven almas!” El Papa Francisco durante su predicación del Angelus, el año pasado, nos recomendó meditar sobre la ansiedad de María y José cuando no podían encontrar a Jesús. “Esta es la razón por la cual la familia de Nazaret es santa: porque estaba centrada en Jesús; toda la atención de María y José, toda su preocupación estaba dirigidas hacia El”. Dijo él. Después explicó, que nosotros debíamos sufrir esa misma ansiedad cuando se nos olvida Jesús. Pero, así como sus padres lo encontraron en el templo, así nosotros también lo podemos encontrar en nuestra parroquia local, esperando por nosotros en el Santísimo Sacramento y en cada persona que nos encontramos. Como María y José, tenemos la oportunidad de acercarnos a El, en cada momento. Que Dios les bendiga a ustedes y a sus familias, especialmente en estos momentos ordinarios y en cada día “ordinario.”

+Most Rev. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD Bishop of Corpus Christi February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  5


St. Mary’s in Freer gets a facelift

On Jan. 13 St. Mary Church in Freer held a dedication and blessing ceremony for the newest addition to their church building. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of parishioners, an extension was added to the front of the church, giving it a much needed facelift. The Parish held Fish Fries and Bingo to raise some of the money. The porch/awning was dedicated to the memory of Deacon Eluterio Bitoni and his wife Elizabeth Bitoni and children. Also many other people were mentioned with gratitude including: past pastors of St. Mary’s; Cristela Maldonado, Ida Perez; benefactors Thelma Garza and Rose Marie Treviño; Ramiro Garcia, Sarita Garcia, Olivia Cude and Tive Vera. Father Francis Sebastian, MST administrator of St. Mary’s thanks the Kenedy

Memorial Foundation for a new roof on the rectory and the exterior painting on

three of their buildings. See more photos at

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

✞ Complete Pre-Need Funeral Service Plans Ron & Margo Alonzo

1222 Morgan at 10th

Corpus Christi, TX 78404

5921 Yorktown Blvd.

Corpus Christi, TX 78414

(361) 884-2411 (361) 994-6551 Help Us Prevent Financial Abuse

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) 882-6191 for immediate assistance.

✞ Serving The Coastal Bend Since 1908 ✞ Dignified Personal Service

Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources

6  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

The Diocese of Corpus Christi at the recommendation of the Diocesan Financial Council and Presbyteral Council have furthered their commitment to good stewardship and nancial accountability on behalf of generous donors by instituting a nancial 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 condently report nancial abuse and fraud. Employees, parishioners, volunteers, vendors and other interested parties will be encouraged to report concerns they have regarding nancial 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


2019 Stewardship Appeal

The Annual Stewardship Appeal is upon us once again. The 2019 Appeal will take place on the weekend of February 9-10. The Diocese of Corpus Christi asks for your support and cooperation in making this another successful year.

Made For More

Feb. 7 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Church located at 3502 Saratoga Blvd. in Corpus Christi. This event is for people of all ages and anyone who wants to rediscover the deepest meaning of what it means to be human, of our longings, and of our destiny. Made for More is hosted by Most Precious Blood Parish and cosponsored by St. Patrick Parish and St. Pius X Parish. Tickets for Made for More can be purchased online through or at sponsoring parishes.

Middle School Youth Spectacular

March 3 doors open at 8 a.m. begins at 8:45 a.m. at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. For students in sixth through eighth grade. Cost is $20.

Texas Catholic Advocacy Day

March 26, 2019, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Join the Texas bishops and thousands of Catholics visiting legislators and promoting faithful citizenship. This bi-annual rally is hosted by the Texas bishops to promote the Church’s values of Life, Justice, Charity and Religious Freedom to members of the Texas Legislature.

Father Peter Stanley will be assigned as Parochial Administrator of Holy Family Parish in Taft, while continuing his duties as Parochial Administrator at Immaculate Conception in Taft.

Father Peter Stanley


CORRECTION: In the January issue of the South Texas Catholic, under Official Assignments: Deacon Michael Seymore was incorrectly named Parochial Administrator of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Kingsville. See corrected announcement below: Bishop Michael Mulvey has made the following assignments: Deacon Ramiro Dávila as Permanent Deacon at St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus Parish in Premont, effective Nov. 21. Deacon Michael Seymore as Permanent Deacon of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Kingsville, effective Nov. 21.

Deacon Michael Seymore

Deacon Ramiro Dávila

In the January issue of the South Texas Catholic under News from the Diocese, the story entitled, "Tuesday Tea with Saints" the article incorrectly stated that the Pax Christi Sisters are a part of Pax Christi USA. Clarification: The Pax Christi Sisters are a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The Pax Christi Institute comprised of the Pax Christi Sisters and the Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center are not affiliated with any other national groups or organizations. Please see the Pax Christi Sisters website for more information

Credibly accused Clergy

The Diocese of Corpus Christi in a communication to its parishes and members of the Diocese of Corpus Christi has released the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The list appears on the diocesan website at February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  7


The Angels Chapel receives blessing from bishop

Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated Mass and blessed the new Ark Angels Chapel and multi-purpose building at the Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for Youth on Jan. 13. Many donors, sponsors and friends of The Ark were in attendance and a reception was held in the dining room. See story and more photos of the event at

Listen Live

AND download your

FREE KLUX SmartphoneApp at

KLUX 89.5 HD-1


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

Sacred Music Jesus En Mi Vida Diaria Spanish Rosary Semillas De Esperanza Con Permiso The Catholic Cafe Personally Speaking Our Shepherd’s View Cathedral Sun Mass Live Christopher Close-Up Catholic Answers Live

Good Company For 33 years! Call us at 361-289-2487 8  South Texas Catholic | February 2019


Catholic talk, news and information 24/7.

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

KLUX-HD 89.5, KLUX.ORG AND KDF-TV (cable subscribers should consult their cable guide)

Mass video replays on local public access channels

Cathedral Sunday Mass: Sunday-noon; Tuesday-10 a.m.; and Thursday-7 p.m. La Santa Misa: Tuesday-8 p.m., Wednesday-10 a.m. and Saturday-1 p.m.

Internet Podcasts & video at

Cathedral Sunday Mass, La Santa Misa, Our Shepherd’s View, Simmillas De Experanza and Con Permiso

For H-D Radio Information:


Pastor, Father Ogie Rosalinas’ smile is contagious as he speaks with members of the SOLT community at his 25th anniversary reception at St. Joseph Church where he ministers to his flock. See more photos at SouthTexasCatholic. com/news/Ogie25. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

25th Anniversary of Father Rogel Rosalinas By Rebecca Esparza

G Correspondent

rowing up in Tabaco, Albay in the Philippines, Father Rogel “Ogie” Rosalinas, SOLT, always knew he wanted to dedicate his life to the church. By the time he felt ready to answer the call, he was not spiritually prepared, so he faithfully waited for God’s timing. On Jan. 11 a Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph Church in Corpus Christi to mark the 25th Anniversary of Father Rosalina’s priestly ordination. The Mass was followed by a buffet dinner. “I actually wanted to join the seminary in high school, at the age of 12, but I was too young,” Father Rosalinas said. “Once I graduated college, I knew the time was right. With the grace of God, I made it and I followed through with my commitment to my vocation.”

By 1994, at the age of 34, Father Rosalinas was ordained with the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) and has served in many roles throughout the last 25 years, including administration, formation and various ministries throughout the community. “I can say that in the midst of so many challenges and whatever joys and successes in my priestly ministry, were all done in the grace of God. I just did the best I could do and God did the rest,” he said. Bishop Michael Mulvey attended the Mass and expressed his thanks to Father Rosalinas for his service to the Diocese of Corpus Christi and the SOLT community. “Thank you for these 25 years of service to the church, that you have so joyfully and faithfully fulfilled,” said Bishop Mulvey. “When you get to 25 years, you realize what a chunk of holy time it is. These 25

years have been years of grace. The Lord has accomplished much through you.” Father Gerry Sheehan, SOLT, of St. Anthony of Padua in Robstown, gave a heartfelt homily, which paid respectful homage to the lifetime of work Father Rosalinas has managed to fit into just 25 years of service to the Church. “We all say to you, with our hearts filled with gratitude to God, for you, beloved priest, we say congratulations and thank you for your fiat to God,” Father Sheehan said at the beginning of his homily. Father Sheehan went on to describe his first meeting with Father Rosalinas back in 1984. “There was something very special about him. He always carried himself with great dignity. You felt honored in his presence. He was always gracious and kind. There are few people you meet that give you the February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  9


Father Rosalinas raises the Eucharist as he concelebrates Mass with Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody and many priests throughout the diocese on the 25th Anniversary of his priestly ordination. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

feeling you are in the presence of a superior human being. Father Ogie, you are one of those people,” he said. Father Rosalinas has continually had a focus on supporting and encouraging vocations, at one time being assigned to form and train SOLT seminarians. “Working with various vocations, priests, permanent deacons, religious sisters and brothers and the laity helped me understand

more the call of serving the whole Church. As we work together in teams, I have become more aware of my servant hood and leadership,” Father Rosalinas said. After the Mass, a celebratory dinner was held, where over two dozen priests, deacons and other religious, along with parishioners of St. Joseph and the Filipino community gathered. Emma Velasco, a parishioner at St. Paul

Ss. Cyril & Methodius

AGAPE Religious Gift Shop at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church

All New Merchandise • A.C.T.S. • Silver Jewelry NEW HOURS: Sunday: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 3-7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday: 8-11 a.m. & 3-8 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday: 8-11 a.m. & 3-7 p.m.

3210 S.P.I.D.

(361) 854-1853

10  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

the Apostle in Flour Bluff, came to the Mass to celebrate with Father Rosalinas, who has become an important figure for the local Filipino community. “Father Ogie is like family to us,” she said. “During Christmas he holds special activities for us to celebrate the birth of Christ, including a traditional Filipino 9-day novena. We appreciate everything he has done to keep our culture alive.”

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

4730 Everhart Rd


Corpus Christi


Resource Center


Deacon R. Allen Cicora, D.O. is a deacon at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish.

A family physician and navy reservist felt called to serve the Church Deacon R. Allen Cicora, D.O. Contributor

(Editor’s note: Many dioceses have turned to the Permanent Diaconate in response to the Church's ministry needs. The South Texas Catholic will feature a series of Vocation stories from permanent deacons in the Diocese of Corpus Christi. This story is the first in a series of columns.)


love being a deacon and performing all the duties asked of me. It's very demanding, but also very rewarding. I have proclaimed the gospel, given numerous homilies, served at the altar, presided at funeral vigils and graveside services, and baptized babies and children. My calling to the diaconate began in 2003 with a letter from my pastor, Msgr. Morgan Rowsome inviting me to enter the inquiry phase, a year-long program to discern whether one has a vocation as a deacon. My wife was on board, and she encouraged me to apply. The wives are a vital part of this process because the husband and wife must go through the program together and make decisions together. If the wife is not entirely on board, a man cannot enter into the program. At the start of the discernment phase, there were sixty-seven inquirers, and none of us really knew what a deacon was or what he does. During the inquiry phase, we attended five (two and four-hour) sessions on Sundays spread throughout the year. During that time all of us became more familiar with the nature of the diaconate as we discerned whether we had a vocation. I was in the Navy Reserves at the time, which took up one weekend a month. Since I was a working full-time family physician, most of my non-reserve weekends involved catching up on administrative work which had accumulated during the preceding week. Near the end of the inquiry year, we were invited to apply to become an aspirant. The aspirancy year began with college classes, starting with a course in philosophy, followed by courses in Theology. Trying to balance full-time work with college

classes almost every Saturday was a real challenge. I spent many sleepless nights writing papers and studying for exams. The academic aspect continued for a total of four years. I really learned a lot and enjoyed the course contents as taught by professors from St. Thomas University in Houston, but the rigors of the program began to catch up with me about midway into the second year. I decided to change jobs, hoping to switch to something that would allow me more time to dedicate to the diaconate program. I prayed a rosary with the intention of changing positions to something more compatible with the program. Two days later, I received a phone call from a recruiter with a job offer that gave me what I needed to continue to participate in the diaconate program. This new opportunity gave me more time to pursue the academic rigors of the program. During that time, the deacon director for the diocese gave our class a pep talk. He said the more we grew in our spiritual lives and the closer we get to ordination; the more Satan would try to foil our efforts. His message was, “Don't let Satan win.” I took that message to heart and kept it in mind throughout the rest of the program. I fought to stay in the program despite all the other demands on my time and spiritual strength. Shortly after the beginning of my fourth year in the program, I felt as though I was about to succumb to the multiple demands on my time and strength. It looked as if I would have to give up something, and the only logical thing to eliminate was the diaconate program. I reflected and prayed about it. In the morning, I told my wife I thought it was time to bail out of the program. I gave her nine reasons why I should quit, and only about two reasons why I should stay. She was very disappointed but told me that if I felt that way, then maybe I should leave the program. I felt hollow inside because I really didn't want to end my participation in the program, but I saw no other alternative. At the office, I called one of my priest mentors February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  11


who was about to leave for Rome. I wanted to make sure he had all the medical supplies he would need while he was gone. When I called, a different priest answered the phone. He told me that my mentor had already left for Rome but had a message to deliver to me. My mentor had said to him that he had received a message while he was praying and that the message was that I should continue in the program. My mentor knew nothing of my decision to quit. I thought to myself, “Really? What about my nine reasons for leaving?” Despite that, I thanked the other priest for passing on the message. Then I asked myself, “Now what?” The only response could be – was to tough it out. I decided to do just that. It wasn't easy, but it seemed that Someone wanted me to continue, and had cleared the way

for me. At the next periodic interview, I was asked if I wanted to continue in the program. My answer was a resounding, “Yes! The only way I'll leave the program is if you kick me out!” I wasn't kicked out, and I continued on to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders and was ordained by Bishop Edmond Carmody on Nov. 8, 2008, with 21 of my brother candidates. Since then, my brother deacons and I have received the encouragement and prayer support of our parishioners. Just before ordination, I was asked to start a program, entitled, “Catholics Returning Home,” at my parish, St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish in Annaville. The program is an invitation to inactive Catholics to come back to the Church as active participants. Working with these individuals has

been a delight – they all seem so excited about coming home to the Church. My wife had been essential for my success in this program. She would nag me to get things done and when necessary, did a lot of the behind-thescenes work, typical of the wife of a deacon. She died five years ago, but I believe she still helps me, by providing intercessory prayer support. Since she and I started the program in 2008, our parish has received some 250 inactive Catholics back into the Church. Currently, I am the Formation Director for the Diaconate Program in the Diocese of Corpus Christi, and we have a class of thirteen candidates and their wives. We hope to see each of the candidates ordained in 2020. I look forward to continuing to serve in my vocation as a deacon.

Jubilarians will be honored at special Mass


Sister Caroline Fritter, IWBS

Sister Agnes Marie Tengler, IWBS

ight religious’ sisters in the Diocese of Corpus Christi will be recognized at a special Mass on World Day for Consecrated Life at Corpus Christi Cathedral on Feb. 3. Those being honored for their years of service will renew their commitment to serve the Lord and his people. Among them, five are from the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. They are Sister Caroline Fritter, IWBS and Sister Agnes Marie Tengler,

Sister Catherine Brehony, IWBS

Sister Jude Janecek, IWBS

Sister Anne Marie Espinosa, IWBS

12  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

Sister Margaret Mary, Loehr, SOLT

IWBS celebrating 75 years; Sister Catherine Brehony, IWBS celebrating 70 years; Sister Jude Janecek, IWBS celebrating 60 years; and Sister Anne Marie Espinosa, IWBS celebrating 50 years. Sister Margaret Mary Loehr with the sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is celebrating 50 years; Sister Teresa Marie Diaz, with the Sisters of the Pax Christi Institute will be celebrating 25 years and Sister Vimala Joseph, with the Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be celebrating 25 years.

Sister Teresa Marie Diaz, PCI

Sister Vimala Joseph, SABS



Bishop Mulvey confirms Michael Gonzales at the Garza West Unit in Beeville. Father James Stembler, Vicar General, and Deacon Rosenbaum assists. See more photos at Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Mary Cottingham South Texas Catholic

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:1-3).


s Bishop Michael Mulvey looked out across a sea of white uniforms, he told prisoners at the Garza West Unit just what he saw, “good people, who may have made some terrible mistakes.” Bishop Mulvey concelebrated Christmas Mass with Father James Stembler, Vicar General for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, in the prison gymnasium on Dec. 16. Six of the men in Garza West were baptized and confirmed. Newly baptized and confirmed Catholics are Ardy Rodriguez, Emiliano Munoz, Michael Gonzales, Juan Ramon Cervantes, Jose Ponce and Federico Melendez Jr. “When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate the fact that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son. He sent His most precious gift, Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ looks at us and says, ‘you’re good,’” Bishop Mulvey said. “The dynamic of a Christian life is doing God’s will, not my will,” he explained. After Mass, prisoners from Garza West Unit raised their heads as they sang, “I am redeemed,” written by Jessy Dixon. The tears in the

eyes of some prisoners may have touched the hearts and minds of some of the volunteers, ministers, chaplains, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus and Catholic Daughters in attendance. On that same day Bishop Mulvey celebrated Mass at two other units in Beeville and several more prisoners were baptized and confirmed. The same had been done earlier in the week at the McConnell Unit. Assisting him to bring the Word of God to the incarcerated were members of the Diocesan Prison Ministry program. Throughout the year they provide Mass, three-day retreats, and religious education classes inside the four state prisons in Beeville, other federal prisons in San Diego and Three Rivers as well as county jails throughout south Texas. According to Deacon Roger Rosenbaum, Prison Ministry Coordinator for the Diocese, and Jaime Reyna, who heads the Prison Ministry under the Office of Multicultural and Social Ministry for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, there are many ways to volunteer, but the need for volunteers in the prisons and jails is a matter of paramount importance. Reyna explained, “this is a call to action.” February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  13


During Christmas Mass, Emiliano Munoz reads Scripture to the inmates at Garza West. The inmates at Garza West served as lectors on Dec. 16. The two other readers are Francisco Lopez, left, and Jimmy Villalobos, right. Deacon Rosenbaum and Bishop Mulvey is to their right. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic

Reyna, who has been doing prison and jail ministry directly for the past four years and indirectly for 12 years, recently received a letter from an inmate, part of it read, “…I understand, some people are afraid to go to a prison and others simply do not care for a bunch of criminals. But it does no service to the Corpus Christi community to ignore the people who are in prison because eventually most of them are going to go back to society and it is in the community's best interest to try to prepare these men for reintegration. This is not just about Matthew 25:36 or the Church's history of helping those in prison. This deals with the issue of all of us being "co-responsible and co-essential with each other.” Deacon Rosenbaum, who has served 14 years in prison ministry, said, “The blessings for ministers are overwhelming and there are numerous opportunities throughout the diocese. I serve in this ministry because I am a witness to the way offenders are treated and I want to instill hope and dignity in every man I encounter in the system, and I hope to bring a little bit of light to these places of darkness.” According to Deacon Rosenbaum one out of every seven people are negatively impacted by our current justice system, either by someone who is currently incarcerated, on parole, or waiting to be sentenced. “We all make poor decisions in our life and for some, bad decisions result in incarceration. The whole family suffers from 14  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

someone who has been incarcerated. There are trips and visits to make, letters to write, and many prayer petitions for the safety and welfare of our loved one,” he said. Master Fourth Degree Knight Edward Cantu has been ministering to prisoners at Garza West every Thursday for three years now. He says that working in prison ministry was not his first choice, God called him to serve in this way. He thanked God for giving him a grandson and asked God to direct him to do some sort of ministry. “I was thinking hospitals, or something like that, but God had other plans.” Cantu says he enjoys working in prison ministry, “I work in the office for a couple of hours in the morning, visit inmates who have death announcements and mens in segregation; then I teach RCIA from 1-3 p.m.,” he said. Cantu is very involved in his church, Most Precious Blood; loves to see his grandson; and works full time at his family business in Corpus Christi, working on Saturday to make up his time away on Thursday. In November of last year an incarcerated inmate at the McConnell Unit wrote the following letter to the South Texas Catholic. Part of it read, “Five years ago, I was doing all the same things that I was doing to get me incarcerated. A friend of mine invited me to a Kolbe retreat (similar to ACTS retreat). I went to spend time with my friend


and to eat, and during part of the ceremony, God changed my life forever. My family had given up on me and were not very much involved in my life. God set me free that day and has given me a peace I have not had since I was a child. Deacon Roger Rosenbaum was part of that retreat and has witnessed my growth. Thank God for him and the volunteers we have here. This letter is really to reach out to priests and laity to let people know that God moves in prison also. I have been blessed to be a part of the growth of around 30 to 40 people to over 150 people. I know people hear so much of the bad stuff that happens, but I have witnessed God completely flip this unit from a bad, bad place to what prisoner’s call ‘friendly.’ One of the things I have seen is that even the hardest criminals respect God even if they choose not to live for Him. We are praying for volunteers and

also a new priest. Father Paul (Kottackal) has been a great blessing in all our lives here at this prison. We love him, and he will be greatly missed, and I can say that I speak for our whole community… Sincerely, your brother in Christ” The prisons and jails have some basic requirements to enter into their facility. According to Deacon Rosenbaum some of the basic requirements are a picture identification and an orientation class to become a regular volunteer. Then there are basic requirements just working in the diocese: a letter of support from your parish priest; attend Creating and Maintaining a Safe Environment class; signed the code of conduct; and a completed volunteer application form. “Then you can teach a class on a regular basis or as often as is established for your particular interest,” Deacon Rosenbaum said. “And you can become involved indirectly by providing clerical duties, prayer offerings, or raising funds for the ministry, etc.” For more information call Deacon Roger Rosenbaum at (361) 542-9336 or Jaime Reyna at (361) 693-6737 or email or go to the diocese prison ministry web page at

“…If anyone asks you just who I am, tell them I am redeemed.” Bishop Mulvey baptizes Federico Melendez Jr. at the Garza West Unit in Beeville. Deacon Rosenbaum, left, assists and sponsor and fellow inmate Jimmy Villalobos, is pictured to the right. Melendez Jr. was later confirmed as well as five other inmates. Mary Cottingham, South Texas Catholic February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  15


Merci McCoy, above, asked her good friend, Sister Marian Bradley, IWBS to pose for her. Note the one sisters’ profile in the painting above. Steven Alford for South Texas Catholic

New Chapel Paintings Inspire Patients Steven Alford

E Contributor

ven though her first paintings were damaged during Hurricane Harvey, Corpus Christi artist Mercedes “Merci” McCoy did not let that stop her from completing a set of new religious imagery for a chapel at CHRISTUS Spohn Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center. Featuring beautiful depictions of Jesus Christ, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio, Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Tyler and Dr. Hector P. Garcia, McCoy knew the artwork would give inspiration to many who would reflect upon them. CHRISTUS Spohn leaders were honored to host McCoy and her family at the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center during a special blessing ceremony in the clinic chapel. “Thank you for all you do to inspire and ignite

16  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

the faith of so many patients and visitors to this chapel,” said Steve Kazanjian, Vice President of Mission Integration for CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. “We are grateful for your commitment to our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.” McCoy said she donated the inspiring paintings to be hung in the clinic’s chapel to share the healing spirit of Jesus with fellow patients and visitors. She prepared the works of art through months of research in area museums and churches and included the likeness of Dr. Hector P. Garcia in them as a lasting tribute to his legacy of healing and kindness. “I put a lot of prayer into these paintings,” McCoy said, becoming emotional, as the paintings were unveiled for the first time from underneath decorative purple cloths. “Each stroke


is a prayer, and there are a lot of brush strokes.” What made the experience even more special was the fact that her father, Lloyd L.K. Flores, Sr., mentored her through the process of creating the images. He passed away shortly before they were completed. Still, McCoy said their large family could feel his presence that day as the art was unveiled. “The concept for these paintings came from my dad and I’m very grateful that he knew I would be finishing them, and they would one day hang here in the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center to honor the legacy of a great man and a great ministry,” she said. Her father was an architect, engineer and an avid artist when he retired. After they commissioned her to do the paintings for the center, she called her father a couple of days before he passed away and as they were brainstorming, the concept came into focus. Her father honed it in for her that it should be about the Blessed Sacrament. “His last words he said to me were, ‘don’t forget the Eucharist.’ He said that’s the focus of everything anyway,” McCoy said. “And I didn’t. Now I go to daily Mass to receive the Eucharist.” McCoy is a parishioner of St. Andrew by the Sea but attends

daily Mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral. It took McCoy more than a year to complete both oil paintings, which feature realistic interpretations of the crucifixion, along with imagery of Dr. Hector P. Garcia comforting a child patient, and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word welcoming the Holy Family into the health center. Her good friend Sister Marian Bradley with the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament posed for her in one of the paintings. She said she uses scripture as her titles, “so it forces whoever looks at it to look it up in the Bible. The painting of the Holy Family is called ‘Luke 1:38’ – ‘I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.’ The middle of the painting are the words, ‘Fiat Voluntas Tua,’ which is Latin for ‘Thy will be done.’ This is the motto of the Sisters of the Holy Family,” she said. “The painting of the Eucharist with Dr. Hector Garcia in the foreground, helping a child stand up from his wheelchair is entitled, ‘Isiah 53:5,’ which reads, ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, by his wounds we were healed.’ Not only does the painting focus on the Eucharist, but on the healing power of the Eucharist,” she said. Every year, since 2016, she has donated

a painting, “Mother Teresa Praying Hands, Mother Teresa in prayer. The baby Jesus and Pope Francis. If they commission sacred art, I don’t charge them like I would a client or anyone who wants to have their portrait done, because sacred art to me is a gift from God – so I give it back. All I do is ask for donations for my materials and if they want to give me something for my time that’s fine too, but basically, it’s for my canvas, paints and brushes and that’s it. What I usually do when I get the donation is, I turn around and give it to the Church,” she said. “I tithe it.” The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center opened in January 2017 and is a medical home to thousands of patients in Nueces County, offering a range of primary care specialties, including in-house diagnostics and pharmacy. There is also a Memorial Quick Care clinic located on the grounds that is open to the public. The facilities are located in Corpus Christi at 2606 Hospital Blvd. For more information about the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center, please visit www.christushealth. org/spohn/about/our-path-forward/ dr-hector-p-garcia-memorial-family-health-center. (Mary Cottingham contributed to this article.)

Steve Kazanjian, left, and artist Merci McCoy unveil her paintings at the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center. At right, Father Thomas Kizito Nwachukwu PhD, Chaplain at CHRISTUS Spohn South Hospital says a prayer before the unveiling. To commission a painting from McCoy, message her directly on Facebook at February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  17


18  South Texas Catholic | February 2019


Las Pinturas de la Nueva Capilla Inspiran a los Pacientes Steven Alford

A Contribuyente

pesar de que sus primeras pinturas se dañaron con el huracán Harvey Mercedes “Mercy” McCoy, artista de Corpus Christi, no se desanimó, para continuar con el proyecto de un conjunto de pinturas religiosas, para la capilla del Centro de Salud del Hospital Spohn dedicada a la memoria del Dr. Hector P. Garcia. Al representar bellas escenas de Jesucristo, de las Hermanas de la Caridad del Verbo Encarnado, de Houston y San Antonio, de las Hermanas de la Sagrada Familia de Nazareth en Tyler y al Dr. Hector P. Garcia; McCoy Supo que su obra artística inspiraría a quienes meditaran sobre ella. Los líderes del hospital CHRISTUS Spohn se sintieron honrrados al hospedar a McCoy y a su familia en el Centro de Salud en memoria del Dr. Hecor P. Garcia durante una ceremonia especial en la que se bendijo la capilla de la clínica. “Gracias por todo lo que ha hecho para inspirar y encender la fe de tantos pacientes y visitantes que acuden a esta capilla.” Dijo Steven Kazanjian, Vicepresidente de Misíon Integración del Sistema de Salud del Hospital CHRISTUS Spohn. Y añadió ; “estamos agradecidos por comprometerse con nuestra misión de extender el ministerio sanador de Jesucristo. McCoy dijo que donó las inspiradoras pinturas para que se colgaran en la capilla de la clínica con el propósito de compartir el espíritu sanador de Jesús con los La pintura al oleo titulada “Isaias 53:5” Izquierda, fue inspirada por el propio padre de Merci McCoy, quien a su ves también era un artista. Sus ultimas palabras antes de morir fueron: “Recuerda la Eucaristia.” Para encargar una pintura de McCoy, envíele un mensaje directamente en Facebook en

pacientes y visitantes. Ella se preparó durante meses de investigación, antes de iniciar las obras de arte, visitó los museos y las iglesias del area incluyendo otros lugares para lograr el parecido al Dr. Hector P. Garcia, como último tributo a su legado de curaciones y calidad humana. “Hice mucha oración mientras hacia estas pinturas,” dijo McCoy emocionada, cuando develaban por primera vez la obra, al recorrer los lienzos de tela morada tras los cuales estaba su trabajo. “cada toque con el pincel era una oración y ahí hay muchas pinceladas” Lo que hizo la experiencia aún mas especial fue el hecho de que su padre, el Sr. Lloyd L. K. Flores fue su mentor y guía en el proceso creativo de imágenes. El pasó a mejor vida, poco antes de que la obra fuera concluída. McCoy acallando su emoción dijo que toda su familia por extención, podría sentir su presencia ese día, en tanto la obra artística era develada. El concepto de estas pinturas proviene de mi padre y me siento muy agradecida de que él supo que yo las terminaría y que un día serían colgadas aquí, en el Centro de Salud en memoria del Dr. Hector P. Garcia para honrrar su legado y su gran ministerio.” Dijo ella. Su padre, era un arquitecto, ingeniero y artista ávido, desde que se retiró. Desde que McCoy fue comisionada para hacer las pinturas del centro, llamó a su padre, fueron tan solo unos días antes de su muerte, pero entre los dos, trabajaron las ideas que surgían hasta que el concepto de la obra quedó claro en ellos. Fue su padre quien le alimentó la idea del Santísimo Sacramento como tema central. –“Sus últimas palabras antes de morir fueron, ‘no olvides la Eucaristía.’ Me dijo, de cualquier manera, es el centro de todo.” Dijo McCoy. “Y yo no lo sabía. Ahora voy diario a Misa para recibir la Eucaristía.” McCoy es miembro de la parroquia St. Andrew by

the Sea, pero asiste diariamente a la Misa de la Catedral de Corpus Christi. Le tomó más de un año a McCoy terminar ambas pinturas en oleo, presentando una interpretación realista de la Crucifixión, junto con las imágenes del Dr. Hector P. Garcia confortando a un niño que era su paciente, y a las Hermanas de la Caridad del Verbo Encarnado, dando la bienvenida a la Sagrada Familia al centro de salud. Su buena amiga la Hermana Marian Bradley con las Hermanas del Verbo Encarnado y Santísimo Sacramento posaron para ella en una de las pinturas. Ella dijo que había usado las Sagradas Escrituras para titular su obra, “de manera que fuerza a quien la vea a darse cuenta de ello. La pintura de la Sagrada Familia es llamada “Lucas 1:38 –“He aquí la esclava del Señor, hágase en mi según Su palabra.” En medio de la pintura se leen las palabras en latín: ‘Fiat Voluntas Tua’ que significan ‘Hagase Su Voluntad’ Este es el lema de las Hermanas de la Sagrada Familia,” dijo ella. La pintura sobre la Eucaristía con el Dr. Hector P. Garcia en primer plano, ayudando a un niño a pararse de su silla de ruedas, se titula, Isaías 53:5 que se lee, ‘El fué traspasado por nuestros pecados, quebrantado por nuestras culpas; el castigo, causa de nuestra paz, cayó sobre El, y através de sus llagas hemos sido curados.’ La pintura no solo se enfoca en la Eucaristía como tal sino también en su poder sanador,” dijo ella. Cada año desde el 2016, ella ha donado pinturas, como la de “Mother Teresa Praying Hands,” La Madre Teresa en Oración, el Niño Jesús y el Papa Francisco. Si me comisionan arte sagrado, yo no cobro, ya sea un cliente o cualquier persona, espero por alguien que quiera su retrato, porque para mí el arte sagrado es un don de Dios al que yo correspondo donándoselo, de manera que yo se lo regreso. Lo único que hago es pedir una donación para pagar mis materiales y si quieren darme algo por mi February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  19


tiempo, lo acepto también, pero básicamente es para mis lienzos, pinturas y pinceles. Eso es todo. Lo que hago normalmente con las donaciones, es que me doy la vuelta, y se las entrego a la Iglesia.” Dijo ella. “Ese es mi diezmo”. El centro de salud familiar en memoria del Dr. Hector P. Garcia, abrió sus puertas en Enero del 2017 y es un hogar medico para miles de pacientes del Condado Nueces, ya que ofrece una serie de cuidados médicos, que van en un rango, desde atenciones primarias hasta cuidados especiales. Que incluyen diagnostico y

Ayudenos a Prevenir el Abuso Financiero

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) 882-6191 para asistencia inmediata.

farmacia. También cuentan con una clínica de atención rápida; ’Memorial Quick Care’ localizada en los terrenos abiertos al público. Las oficinas de servicio se localizan en; 2606 Hospital Blvd. En Corpus Christi. Para más información, a cerca del Centro Familiar de Salud en Memoria del Dr. Hector P. Garcia por favor visite nuestra página: dr-hector-p-garcia-memorial-family-healthcenter. (Contribuyo a esta historia Mary Cottinham.)

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.

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

La Diócesis de Corpus Christi ha seleccionado un tercer partido independiente, La Red, para proporcionarle a usted con una manera para reportar anónima y condencialmente el abuso nanciero e fraude. Los empleados, los parroquianos, los voluntarios, los vendedores, y otros partidos interesados estan impulsados para reportar las preocupaciones que tengan respeto a la conducta de påca ética nanciera dentro de la Diócese de Corpus Christi. Todas las investigaciones serán tradas inmediatamente y discretamente. Personas que llamen tienen el derecho de mantenerse anónimas.

Llamada 1-877-571-9748

Semillas de Esperanza

Programa de Radio en Español en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en Domingos a las 7 a.m. con los Padres Juan Fernando Gámez y José Naúl Ordóñez 20  South Texas Catholic | February 2019


Married couples will be celebrating Silver and Gold Anniversaries, Feb. 10 Corinna Longoria



ilver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold. How do you measure its worth? Just by the pleasure it gives here on Earth.” This Christmas classic sung by Burl Ives discusses the material joy that these precious metals can bring, but to those who are celebrating their silver and gold anniversary, the meaning is entirely different. On Feb. 10, in conjunction with World Marriage Day, the Office of Laity, Family and Life celebrates all couples with 25 or 50 years of marriage in an Anniversary Mass with Bishop Michael Mulvey at

Corpus Christi Cathedral. “Marriage is the bedrock of our society, the place where our faith is nurtured. It’s vital to support marriages because the family is where the human person is formed and protected,” said Elizabeth Nguyen, Director of the Office of Laity, Family, and Life for the Diocese of Corpus Christi. “When we recognize marriages that have lasted 25 and 50 years, we celebrate the gift of sacramental marriage as the grace and mercy of God working in our lives.” According to the American Psychological Association, about 90 percent of people under the age of 50 in Western

cultures will get married. Statistics from the APA also show that about 40 to 50 percent of these marriages will end in divorce. With numbers like these so commonplace in today’s society, it is crucial to recognize marriages that have stood the test of time, Nguyen said. “In this Mass, we also celebrate the couple’s willingness to avail themselves of God’s graces each and every day of their lives,” she said. “This is a wonderful accomplishment in our modern age when society keeps telling us that married love is based upon feelings alone.” Nguyen acknowledges that longevity in matrimony does not necessarily equate February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  21


an uncomplicated relationship. “Couples who have stayed together for these many years will tell you that marriage has its peaks and valleys and that the grace of the sacrament keeps them fighting for their marriage when times get tough. Their witness to sacrificial love is something that we all need now,” she said. “It’s not about two perfect people coming together and having a perfect marriage. It’s about two imperfect people desiring to have God come into their lives and purify them through this vocation.”

By recognizing couples who have achieved this milestone, the diocese celebrates the example to others they give through the sacrament of marriage. “Through them, we see the virtues or good habits, it takes to build a healthy and holy family, and we see cooperation with God’s will as the foundation in their efforts,” Nguyen said. “Working together in God’s grace, these couples have so much wisdom to share with their families, parishes, and communities. Their celebration is an inspiration to all of us.”

The Bond from a Blessing By Gloria B. O’Connell When life happens, and we make choices We feel compelled to see them through. But then in time, with the difficulty’s life poses We find the disciplines of commitment, more than few. So, when we find life’s partner, we must endure – The good, the hardships; they help us grow. Together as one, life’s easier, that’s for sure. Remembering to keep God first, His graces will flow. Sometimes we tend to put oneself first and above all – Well, that’s not how it was meant to be, you know. For of two, we are now one, not just by ceremony but internal Our hearts were joined as we stood before God and took the vow. Life won’t always be easy, a bit worrisome and hard At times there will be conflict; periods of misunderstanding. But together, with faith and will, we won’t fall apart – To the will of God, we consciously should be surrendering. Marriage is a blessing which can yield much fruit In the ways that we manage and honor this bond. Do we live and obey this sacrament as we said we would? Keeping Jesus in our midst, as we stand our ground. My friends– in a trying time with deep felt disappointment You have allowed our Lord to walk you and see you through. So, keep the faith – for you are a living testament Of two lives forged in fire and blessed with a love that’s true. (Gloria B. O’Connell is a parishioner at St. Patrick Parish in Corpus Christi.)

22  South Texas Catholic | February 2019


Most Precious Blood parishioners, David and Angelina Gaitin, adopted four children, all siblings Agustín, from bottom left, David, Catalina and Sophia (held by mom). Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

The Heart of The Holy Family By Rebecca Esparza



hen Angelina Gaitan learned giving birth to her own children would be difficult due to a medical condition, both she and her husband David Gaitan, Jr. had an idea that adoption was the solution. Newly married in 2013, she and David talked about having children even before they were married. “My doctor told me I would have trouble getting pregnant and suggested in vitro

fertilization, but that was something we did not want to pursue. God put adoption in our minds and hearts, so that is how our journey started,” Angelina said. Although the process was arduous, Angelina and David were determined. The first step was waiting the mandatory two years after marriage before becoming eligible to adopt. Then, came the classes and training provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. “It’s tons of paperwork. You pretty much lay out your whole life to DFPS. They ask

intimate and detailed questions about how you grew up and how you would discipline your children,” Angelina Gaitan added. It was at a Family Matching Picnic that the Gaitan’s met three of their future children, all siblings. “When we met three of the children, their parents’ rights had already been terminated and when we inquired about them, we were told there was possibly a fourth sibling, an infant who had just been born,” David Gaitan said. The Family Matching Picnic was tough February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  23


enough for the Gaitan’s, especially considering there were so many deserving children waiting for loving homes and children of all ages, from newborns to 17-year-olds. “It was difficult for us to see all those children there, especially the teenagers, who realize most people want young children. It was heartbreaking,” Angelina Gaitan said. But leaving the three siblings, they fell in love with immediately proved to be even more gut-wrenching. “In our hearts, we felt like they were our kids already and people kept asking us: ‘How do you know?’ I can’t explain it, but we just knew. We prayed about it, but we knew: those were our children,” she added. By November 2016, the first three siblings were officially adopted. The fourth sibling arrived a week later. Today, the Gaitan household is filled with laughter, love, two busy parents and four small children: David, 6; Catalina, 5; Agustín, 4 and Sophia, 3. The family attends Most Precious Blood Church. Michelle and Rudy Robles, also parishioners at Most Precious Blood, adopted three children 21 years ago. "Our son came to live with us at 10 days old and is now 20. Our twin daughters came to live with us at 15 months and they are now 21," Michelle Robles said. "We went from no kids to three, in less than three months. It was a change for us, but it was for the better." Robles noted making the decision to adopt came easy to her and her husband. She encourages others to view adoption as the opportunity to love and give a home to a child in need. "Sometimes God has other plans for us. God's plans were for us was to love these three children and raise them as our own. I would hope we have done His will and raised our children the way He has asked. The day these kids walked through our door, they belonged to us. They are our babies." For those discerning, if adoption is right for them, the Gaitan’s have some sage words of advice. “Pray about it. Make sure it’s a ‘for sure’ yes, because it will try your patience. It will affect every facet of your life, including your relationship with your spouse. There are times where you might feel like throwing in the towel. But anything worth 24  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

Angelina Gaitin fixes her youngest daughter, Sophia’s hair. All four of her adopted children are siblings. Rebecca Esparza for South Texas Catholic

it usually does,” David Gaitan said. “For a long time, because I couldn’t give David our own biological children, I felt I wouldn’t make my husband happy. At the end of the day, these are our babies. They act like us, they sound like us, and they even look a lot like us too,” Angelina Gaitan said. David suggests those considering adoption should perhaps start out as a volunteer for Respite Care or a foster parent. “Adoption is a small sacrifice to make

sure these children have a safe, loving place to call home. And you don’t have to adopt four at once, like we did,” laughed David. “You can adopt just one!” According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, as of December 2018, there were 3,649 children throughout the State of Texas, including 341 in South Texas, awaiting adoption. For more information on adoption,

By Ted Garcia, Contributor Six students from St. John Paul II High School Rotary Interact Club assisted the Rotary Club of Southside Corpus Christi in building a ramp for an elderly couple on Dec. 15. The “Ramp Champs” are Centurions: Aleyda Sanchez, Bianca Del Toro, Madysun Barrera, Vincent Beanes, Victoria Fuentes, Miroslava Canales and Ted Garcia, faculty sponsor of the club and academic adviser.

Students learn to recycle responsibly By Raul Altamirano, Contributor Incarnate Word Academy Elementary Level students welcomed representatives from Republic Services to discuss the importance of proper recycling on Jan. 11 in the school’s James R. Dougherty, Jr. Center. During the presentation, students were shown the various items that can and cannot be properly disposed of through the recycling process. Republic Services Recycling Manager Jonathan Keene would go on to explain to students why items such as glass and electronics are not to be tossed into students’ recycling bins at home. Angels asked Republic Services representatives questions like why plastic bottles have to be cleaned before being recycled, why recyclables must not be bagged when being disposed of and asked how students at IWA can become better recyclers overall. The latter question was answered during the end of the presentation when it was announced Republic Services would be donating brand new recycling bins for every classroom at the Elementary

Level so that Angels would be able to integrate proper recycling techniques into their daily classroom routine. The bins are to be collected weekly by the Elementary Level Girls in S.T.E.M. Club. Republic Services will also be donating larger bins to the school to be used during lunchtime at a later date.

Sixth-graders participate in a national research project By Bryan Krnavek, Contributor During December, before the Christmas break, sixth-graders from St. Pius X School participated in a national American history contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. They studied and wrote about giving

American women the right to vote and hold political office 100 years ago. For the fifth year in a row, a St. Pius X School sixth-grader Carson Pape has won the award for the Corpus Christi chapter, which has also been forwarded to the state. 

February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  25


Students help provide the gift of mobility


Jeffrey Bruno Aleteia, Catholic News Agency

March for Life works to maintain unity in a time of division By Michelle La Rosa

B Contributor

arring an unexpected resolution, the federal government shutdown will have hit the four-week mark when pro-lifers descend upon the nation’s capital for the March for Life on Friday. The ongoing government shutdown is, for some pro-lifers, a reminder that this year’s march comes amid tense political division in the country. For Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, this division requires a careful balancing act, one that welcomes 26  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

pro-lifers of all political stripes while avoiding debates over other policy questions and personalities and keeping participants focused on the issue at hand. In an interview with CNA last month, Mancini said she tries to navigate Washington’s political tensions “with a great deal of prayer and discernment.” Striking the right balance is not always easy. Last year, organizers drew criticism for welcoming a speech from U.S. President Donald Trump, who became the first sitting president to address the march via live video.

The move led prominent pro-life Democrat Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) to cancel his appearance at the March for Life rally, saying he was uncomfortable being associated with Trump. Mancini respects Lipinski’s decision and called him “one of my heroes,” saying, “He’s just such a great man and truly a statesman in the real sense of the world, and that’s unusual on Capitol Hill these days.” She stressed that the march tries to include speakers from both sides of the political aisle.


Lipinski will return to speak this year, along with Louisiana state representative Katrina Jackson (D) and two Republican lawmakers. But the 2019 slate of speakers is not without controversy, particularly headliner Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of The Daily Wire and host of a popular conservative podcast. In a Washington Post op-ed last month, Fordham University professor and Democrats for Life board member Charles Camosy called the inclusion of Shapiro as keynote speaker “a serious mistake,” saying the 34-year-old’s heavily partisan leanings will further isolate pro-lifers who already do not feel at home within the Republican Party. In a tweet to Camosy, Mancini responded that the march strives to reflect the diversity of the pro-life movement. But the discussion surrounding Shapiro strikes at a deeper question regarding the identity of the pro-life movement as a whole. In recent years, a number of “whole-life” organizations have challenged the idea of what it means to be pro-life, arguing that the label should cover not only abortion, but other human rights issues as well. The rise of nontraditional groups – such as New Wave Feminists, Rehumanize International, and Secular Pro-Life – has raised questions about whether the pro-life movement must also take a definitive stance on immigration, health care, gun control, and other policy issues regarding human dignity in other walks of life. Mancini, who says she comes from a “leftward-leaning Catholic family” and has a background with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, says she sees abortion as a matter of social justice. But she has emphasized the need for unity around the abortion issue, which she says is foundational, because without it, no other rights could exist. Under Mancini’s leadership, the March for Life is not only bipartisan, but open to all peaceful pro-lifers, regardless of their views on other policy questions.

Grounded In Truth at Our Lady of Corpus Christi

While Trump may have shortcomings in his personal life and other issues relating to human dignity, Mancini told CNA, his administration has been solid in its work to protect the unborn, and his efforts should be recognized. In the first two years of his presidency, Trump’s administration has removed federal funding from overseas abortion groups, increased transparency around abortion coverage in insurance plans, proposed a rule to cut Title X taxpayer funding from any facility that performs or refers for abortions, and made strides to protect medical professionals who object to cooperating with abortion. Trump has also upheld his promise to appoint judges with pro-life records, naming Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. With the Roe decision approaching 50 years old, Mancini is hopeful that this generation will see an end to abortion. The pro-life movement, she stressed, is not only political, but also cultural. Trying to change hearts and minds can often seem like an uphill battle, she acknowledged, but there are also signs of good news. For example, she said, “There were maybe 500 pregnancy care centers in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, and there were 2,000 abortion clinics, and now that’s swapped. Now there are about 700 abortion clinics in our country and nearly 3,000 pregnancy care centers around the country.” Other good news: The number of abortions has decreased in the U.S. in recent years, and polls show that Americans want abortion limited more than it currently is, while advances in technology increasingly make it apparent that life begins at conception. “There are all sorts of great signs that we’re building a culture of life,” Mancini said. “But do we have our work cut out for us? You bet.”

Be still and know that I AM GOD and Jesus said, ‘Come away with Me to a lonely place’

Feb. 16th, 7pm - 9pm

Healing Retreat

Adoration, Confession Music, Fellowship & Art Exhibit

Women’s Retreat

Feb 15-17 & 19-20 Feb 7-10

Men’s Retreat Mar 1-3

Marriage Retreat Mar 22-24 February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  27


Pope Francis: ‘God loves you, even if you forget Him’ By Courtney Grogan Catholic News Agency

God the Father will always be there for his beloved children, Pope Francis said Wednesday, with a reminder that the unconditional love of God is not limited by our own sense of guilt or unworthiness. “God is looking for you, even if you do not seek Him. God loves you, even if you forget Him. God sees beauty in you, even if you think you have squandered all your talents in vain,” Pope Francis said in his general audience Jan. 16. The pope reflected on the first two words of the “Our Father,” focusing on the depth of personal love for each person found within God’s fatherhood. “It may be that we too happen to walk on paths far from God, as happened to the prodigal son; or fall into a loneliness that makes us feel abandoned in the world; or, again, do wrong and are paralyzed by a sense of guilt,” Pope Francis explained.

Daniel Ibanez, Catholic News Agency 28  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

In those moments, one’s prayer should simply start by saying the word, “Father,” with the tenderness of a child who calls out “Papa” or “Abbà,” in the original Aramaic, Francis said. “You have a father who loves you!” Pope Francis said enthusiastically. Call out to God as “Father,” and God will answer you, he said. If you respond to God by saying, “But, Father, I have done this ...” God will answer, “I never lost sight of you. I saw everything. But I was always there, close to you, faithful to my love for you,” Pope Francis said. To call God “Father,” the pope explained, is to have “the whole world of Jesus poured into one’s heart.” Pope Francis described the intimacy of the Aramaic expression “Abbà” used twice in the letters of St. Paul. In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul wrote, “As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son

into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” Francis repeated the words that Italian children use, “Papa” and “Babbo” - which are roughly equivalent to saying “Daddy” in English - to exemplify the depth and closeness found in the word “Abba.” “We continue to say ‘Our Father,’ but with the heart we are invited to say ‘Papa,’ to have a relationship with God like that of a child with his father, who says ‘Papa, Babbo,’” he said. “These expressions evoke love, evoke warmth, something that projects us into the context of childhood: the image of a child completely enveloped by the embrace of a father who feels infinite tenderness for him,” he said. Pope Francis continued, “dear brothers and sisters, to pray well, we must get to have a child’s heart … like a child in the arms of his father.”


Pope Francis on Sept. 12, 2018. Marina Testino, Catholic News Agency

Bishops know ‘what they need to do’ By Hannah Brockhaus Catholic News Agency


ust over a month ahead of the much-anticipated February meeting on sex abuse, the Vatican said the summit’s goal is for bishops to leave the meeting knowing clearly what it is they need to do to stop the abuse of minors. According to a statement by papal spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti Jan. 16, the February meeting “has a concrete purpose: the goal is that all of the bishops clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors.” “It is fundamental for the Holy Father,” Gisotti said, that the bishops of the February gathering, when they have returned home, “understand the laws to be applied and that they take the necessary steps to prevent abuse, to care for the victims, and to make sure that no case is covered up or buried.” It was also stated that Pope Francis wants the summit of bishops to be “an

assembly of Pastors, not an academic conference,” and that he knows “a global problem can only be resolved with a global response.” It will be a meeting “characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering,” the statement read. It concluded by drawing attention to the high expectations surrounding the summit, recalling that the Church is “not at the beginning of the fight against abuse,” but that the meeting is just one step along a “painful journey” the Church has “decisively undertaken” for the last 15 years. According to the Vatican, the February meeting will include plenary sessions, working groups, moments of prayer, listening to victim testimonies, a penitential liturgy, and a final Mass. Pope Francis will be present for the entirety of the gathering. Fr. Federico Lombardi, president of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation and former director of the Holy See

Press Office has been asked by Pope Francis to moderate the plenary sessions. The gathering, which will take place Feb. 21-24, is focused on the protection of minors from sexual abuse within the Church. The pope has asked the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences, and the heads of the Eastern Catholic Churches, to attend. The U.S. bishops expected to attend are United States Conference of Bishops President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Vice-President Jose Gomez, and Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, who is on the planning committee of the summit. One part of the preparation for the meeting is a questionnaire which bishops were asked to fill out and submit to the planning committee by January 15. Participating bishops were also urged to meet with victims of clergy sexual abuse in their own countries in advance of the gathering. February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  29

February Liturgical Calendar 1 | Fri | Weekday | green | Heb 10:32-39/Mk 4:26-34 (321) 2 | Sat | The Presentation of the Lord | white | Feast | Mal 3:1-4/Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32 (524) Pss Prop 3 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Jer 1:4-5, 17-19/1 Cor 12:31—13:13 or 13:4-13/Lk 4:21-30 (72) Pss IV 4 | Mon | Weekday | green | Heb 11:32-40/Mk 5:1-20 (323) 5 | Tue | Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 12:1-4/Mk 5:21-43 (324) 6 | Wed | Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial | Heb 12:4-7, 11-15/Mk 6:1-6 (325) 7 | Thu | Weekday | green | Heb 12:18-19, 21-24/Mk 6:7-13 (326)

8 | Fri | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Jerome Emiliani; Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin] | Heb 13:1-8/Mk 6:14-29 (327) 9 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Heb 13:15-17, 20-21/Mk 6:30-34 (328) 10 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Is 6:12a, 3-8/1 Cor 15:1-11 or 15:3-8, 11/Lk 5:1-11 (75) Pss I 11 | Mon | Weekday | green/ white [Our Lady of Lourdes] Gn 1:1-19/Mk 6:53-56 (329) 12 | Tue | Weekday | green | Gn 1:20—2:4a/Mk 7:1-13 (330) 13 | Wed | Weekday | green | Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17/Mk 7:14-23 (331) 14 | Thu | Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop | white | Memorial | Gn 2:18-25/Mk 7:24-

30 (332) 15 | Fri | Weekday | green | Gn 3:1-8/Mk 7:31-37 (333) 16 | Sat | Weekday | green/ white [BVM] Gn 3:9-24/Mk 8:1-10 (334) 17 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Jer 17:5-8/1 Cor 15:12, 16-20/Lk 6:17, 20-26 (78) Pss II 18 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gn 4:1-15, 25/Mk 8:11-13 (335) 19 | Tue | Weekday | green | Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10/Mk 8:14-21 (336) 20 | Wed | Weekday | green | Gn 8:6-13, 20-22/Mk 8:22-26 (337) 21 | Thu | Weekday | green/ white [Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Gn 9:1-13/Mk 8:27-33 (338)

22 | Fri | The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle | white | Feast | 1 Pt 5:1-4/Mt 16:13-19 (535) Pss Prop 23 | Sat | Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 11:1-7/Mk 9:2-13 (340) 24 | SUN | SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 1 Sm 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23/1 Cor 15:45-49/Lk 6:27-38 (81) Pss III 25 | Mon | Weekday | green | Sir 1:1-10/Mk 9:14-29 (341) 26 | Tue | Weekday | green | Sir 2:1-11/Mk 9:30-37 (342) 27 | Wed | Weekday | green | Sir 4:11-19/Mk 9:38-40 (343) 28 | Thu | Weekday | green | Sir 5:1-8/Mk 9:41-50 (344)

Families love Driscoll for our special brand of care. Why do our families love us? We offer compassionate care for children, children with special needs and pregnant moms at no cost to you. Plus, we offer many free added services and gifts.

CHIP, STAR and STAR Kids Free Value-Added Services* $20 gift card after completing required checkup Baby items and gift cards for pregnant moms Extra vision - $150 towards frames and glasses

STAR Kids Free Value-Added Services* Community-based specialty therapies Pest control Respite care *Not a complete list. Restrictions and/or limits apply. Valid through August 2018. Visit our website for an updated list.

DHP MKTG-002-A 3/2017

1 (877) DCHP-KIDS • 1 (800) 735-2989 TTY

30  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

Learn more:


Father Paul Hesse is pastor of St. Pius X Parish.

What streams do we drink from? By Father Paul Hesse

T Contributor

here is something about babbling brooks and running streams that does a soul good. One of the most memorable camping trips that I have ever had was beside such a stream. It was located in a remote part of the Angelina National Forest in East Texas. We had been hiking for a good portion of the day through the thick of the forest, tromping through a lightly trodden trail that had become overrun with brush and vegetation. It appeared that no conservation crews had maintained the trail in a long time, nor had anyone traversed that way for about as long. It was a wonderful feeling of adventure trekking through an area that was far removed from the beaten paths that others had taken. Having worked our way through some of the thicket, a fellow backpacker and I followed trail blazes until we came upon a fabulous little stream running through the lush forest of trees. We found an open and flat area alongside the stream and decided it was the perfect place to set up camp. Not only was it refreshing, it was just the source of water that we needed to cook, clean, and replenish our water supply for the rest of our weekend excursion. It turned out to be a very peaceful place; a place that had a kind of mystique and unparalleled beauty. The next morning, after wiping the sleep from my eyes, I peered out of my little tent and saw a layer of fog hovering over the stream, which disseminated into the trees. The soothing sound of the water trickling around roots and rocks was intermittently punctuated by the sounds of doves cooing and birds chirping. I’m not able to fully describe the peacefulness of that place and the effect that it had on my spirit. The presence of water changes everything in a positive way, just as the absence of water has a contrasting effect.

Because human beings can’t survive without water and because we crave it, water long ago became a symbol of life, of fruitfulness, and of plenty. We see this imagery all throughout scripture. “As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God” (Psalm 42:2). This simple verse, which is one of my favorites, captures so effectively the thirst of the soul for God. Likewise, Jeremiah 17, contrasts the person who trusts in human beings as being like a barren bush in the desert in comparison to the one who trusts in the Lord, who is like a tree planted beside the waters that receives life and vigor from the water. It seems to me that one of the things that we face today is that so many of us are living in a kind of drought. Because we are so focused on the creature comforts and sensual pleasures of this earthly existence, our souls have become like wastelands. It is no wonder people have difficulty staying in lasting relationships, or struggle with depression or emotional and spiritual aridity. Our hearts are all shriveled up because we are drunk on earthly pleasures that have no spiritual nutrition or nurturing qualities. It is like trying to survive on energy drinks rather than on good, healthy, clean water. If we are dehydrated by a lack of supernatural grace, we have no way of sharing a drink with others. To be sure, there are many whose depression and inner turmoil come from factors that are clinical in nature, but by and large, we live in a world where the soul is a barren desert. We drink from the wrong streams. Everywhere we turn, we see the sad effects of this condition. Could the perpetrators of school shootings or many of the other horrific acts of violence be a product of a society where we have forgotten the most fundamental needs of the human heart? We cannot survive without the life-giving springs that flow from faith and a February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  31


If we drink from the streams of faith in the Lord and make that our primary concern, we too will blossom with newness of life and so will the many people around us. genuine relationship with the Lord. A family of faith is where waters flow generously to give life to the soul. A life that dips itself in the springs of love is a life that is nurtured and has a sense of well-being, which shows no signs of distress. A common thread in many violent acts we see is that there was something missing from their lives. Perhaps the souls of the perpetrators weren’t quenched sufficiently by the water of a family’s love or by the gift of supernatural grace that comes with faith. What streams do we drink from?

What waters are we seeking? The story of the Samaritan woman at the well illustrates the wasteland of a heart that looks to earthly pleasure. She had hopped from relationship to empty relationship, not realizing what was missing in her life. Then, she met Jesus, who gave her life-giving water; the life-giving water of divine grace and mercy that welled up within her. His invitation to a supernatural life caused her soul to blossom with new life. It changed absolutely everything for her. It put her into contact with the mystery of God. No longer

We Understand Commitment You can rely on Edward Jones for oneon-one attention, our quality-focused investment philosophy and straight talk about your financial needs. Contact an Edward Jones financial advisor today.

Sara E Janak, AAMS® Financial Advisor .

Fulton Pointe Prof Bldg 621 S Fulton Beach Rd Ste 180 Rockport, TX 78382 361-729-8804

Member SIPC

32  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

was she living in solitary misery and isolation, but she was reconnected with others and it gave vibrancy to her condition. All of a sudden, she sprang forth with a sense of purpose. What will transform our world, which is so riddled with apathy, misery, and aridity? What will resolve the senselessness of violent acts? The answer lies in the depths of the human heart. If we drink from the streams of faith in the Lord and make that our primary concern, we too will blossom with newness of life and so will the many people around us.

Feb. 6 from 7-9 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center, located at 4601 Calallen Dr. in Corpus Christi. For single men and women college age through 30 years of age. Join the Pax Christi Sisters for this first Young Adult meeting as we openly discuss your needs and the needs of others within the Catholic Church. Let's discuss your purpose! Cost: No charge.


Women’s Spiritual Exercises Retreat


Made For More Event

Feb. 7-10 begins Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday at 1:30 p.m. A weekend to go deeper in our relationship with Jesus through the power of prayer and quiet time with the Lord. Take a quiet vacation with Jesus and let your spirit be renewed. Register or call (36) 289-9095, ext. 321.

Feb. 7 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Most Precious Blood Church located at 3502 Saratoga Blvd. in Corpus Christi. This event is for people of all ages and anyone who wants to rediscover the deepest meaning of what it means to be human, of our longings, and of our destiny. Made for More is sponsored by Most Precious Blood Parish and cosponsored by St. Patrick Parish and St. Pius X Parish. Tickets for Made for More can be purchased online through or at sponsoring parishes.

to provide personal care to seniors and persons with physical disabilities to enhance and promote the "quality of care in the home." Seating is limited. Call to reserve your space. For more information call Felipa Lopez Wilmot at (361) 883-3935, ext. 5153 or email


Healing Retreat


Two-day Healing Retreat for priests and those in ministry

Feb. 15-17. Begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. and ends Sunday 2 p.m. Discover the ways we block God’s grace in our life and remove obstacles that prevent us from growing in our relationship with God. The 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.

Feb. 19-20. The retreat begins on Tuesday at 8 a.m. and ends Wednesday at 5 p.m. This Healing Retreat will be focused specifically on the challenges that those in ministry face. Both commuter option and overnight options are available. This retreat consists of a series of talks on healing, periods of quiet reflection, confession, counsel, and concludes with a Healing Service. Register or call (361) 289-9095, ext. 321.


St. Theresa Church Altar Society Annual Valentine Fundraiser


Our Lady Star of the Sea Annual BBQ Fundraiser


Silver and Golden Anniversary Mass


Ultreya Interparochial


KLUX 89.5 Fall Fundraiser


Men's English Cursillo


Feb. 10 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish Hall located on 1302 Lantana in Corpus Christi. The Church Altar Society presents an "All you can eat" delicious hot waffle breakfast. Served with: sausage, beverage, and all the trimmings. Donation: $8 per plate. For more information, call (361) 742-2647 or (361) 739-9884. Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. at Corpus Christi Cathedral. Couples who are celebrating their silver or golden anniversaries in 2019 are invited to attend an Anniversary Mass celebrated by Bishop Mulvey. Couples are invited to attend a reception following Mass at which they will be treated to cake and punch. Certificates will be presented to the couples by Bishop Mulvey, and a photographer will be taking professional pictures to commemorate the event.

Encounter with God Retreat for Sacristans

Feb. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Pax Christi Liturgical Retreat Center, located at 4601 Calallen Dr. in Corpus Christi. For single men and women college age through 30 years of age. Join the Pax Christi Sisters for this first Young Adult meeting as we openly discuss your needs and the needs of others within the Catholic Church. Let's discuss your purpose!


FREE Care Provider Training

Feb. 13 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Area Agency on Aging located at 2910 Leopard St. in Corpus Christi. Learn


Feb 24 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Donations are $10 per plate which includes BBQ beef, beans, potato salad, bread, dessert, coffee or tea. Raffle tickets are $1 per ticket with over $5,000 in prizes. Live Auction. Fundraising efforts needed to maintain this historic church built in 1882. For more information call (361) 883-4507. Domingo, 24 de Febrero estan cordial invitados a la primera Ultreya Interparochial del ano en la paroquia del Sagrado Corazon, 1322 Comanche St. en Corpus Christi de las 2:00 a las 4:30 pm. Vengan a convivir con nosotros. Los/as esperamos. De Colores. Feb. 25-March 1. Each of the five days of the campaign will contain three major segments: 7-9 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.1:30 p.m.; and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Call (361) 289-6437 to make a donation. Feb. 28-March 2 at the Cursillo Center on 1200 Lantana. Christ is Counting on you. Make a friend, Be a friend and bring your friend to Christ. For more information call Emma Botello, Pre-Cursillo Chairperson at (361) 853-2754 or any Cursillo leader for information or applications.

Middle School Youth Spectacular

March 3 doors open at 8 a.m. begins at 8:45 a.m. at Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds. For students in sixth through eighth grade. Cost is $20.

February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  33



Encounter with God Retreat

Ongoing Calendar Events Blue Army Mass

Feb. 2 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 or email

St. Peregrine Healing Mass

Feb. 3 and every first Sunday of each month from 5-6 p.m. at Our Lady of Corpus Christi (1200 Lantana St.) in Corpus Christi.

Tea Time and Book Study

Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25 and Mondays from 12:30-2 p.m. at Schoenstatt Movement Center in Corpus Christi. “Brushstrokes of a Father” Reading: Volume 2 Reading about Father Joseph Kentenich, Founder of the Schoenstatt Movement.

Alzheimer's & General Support Group

• Feb. 5 and every first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at St. Paul United Church of Christ (5525 Lipes) in Corpus Christi. For more information call (361) 883-3935. • Feb. 6 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. • Feb. 12 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. • Feb. 13 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. • Feb. 14 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. • Feb. 19 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 Anita Valle at (361) 980-0208.

34  South Texas Catholic | February 2019

• Feb. 21 and every third Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at Ed & Hazel Richmond Public Library Central Library, located on 110 N. Lamont Street in Aransas Pass. For more information call (361) 883-3935. • Feb. 22 and the last Friday of the month at 2 p.m. at The Viera Senior Living located at 3010 Airline Road in Corpus Christi. We offer a professionally led group for family, caregivers and other supporting people living with Alzheimer’s. • Feb. 26 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. • Feb. 28 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.

OLPH Bereavement & Grief Support Ministry

Feb. 5, 12, 19, 25 and every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the St. John Paul II Conference Room at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Rectory (5830 Williams Drive). These sessions are intended for adults who have experienced the death of a loved one. For more information call Chaplain Ray Claveria at (361) 215-4395.

El Grupo De Oracion/ Prayer Group

6, 13, 19 y 26 de febrero y todos los miércoles de 6:30-8:30 p.m. en la Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón en Corpus Christi. El Grupo de Oracion se juntan cada Miercoles en el salon de la parroquia at 1322 Comanche St. En frente de la escuela George Evans. Todos estan invitados.

Immigration Services

Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Thursdays starting at 7:30 a.m. at Catholic Charities (615 Oliver Court) to discuss client eligibility according to USCIS qualifications.The first 15 people who sign in will be seen in order of arrival; there is a $25 consultation fee. Information on government and legal fees as well as needed documents are given to persons who qualify for an immigration process.

Holy Hour & Healing Mass Feb. 7 and every first Thursday of the

month at 5-6:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Jesus Nazareno Chapel at Sacred Heart Church in Corpus Christi. For more information call Mary Rangel at the parish office (361) 883-6082 or email

Family Rosary

Feb. 9 and every second Saturday of the month in the Emmanuel Chapel (505 N Upper Broadway) after 12:05 Mass. For more information call faith director Awin Bau at (530) 518-7615 or email

Grounded in Truth at OLCC Feb. 16 and every third Saturday of the month. An hour of Adoration with Praise and Worship in the OLCC Perpetual Adoration Chapel 7-8 p.m., followed by music and fellowship in Cafe Veritas (attached to Our Lady of Corpus Christi's Bookstore) from 8-9:30 p.m. All music led by talented local musicians. Call (361) 2890807 for more information.

Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children Support Group

• Feb. 26 on the last Tuesday of each month from 10-11 a.m. at Greenwood Senior Center (4040 Greenwood Drive). For more information call (361) 826-1368. • Feb. 28 and on the last Thursday of each month from 6-7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church (900 South Shoreline Blvd.) in Corpus Christi (2nd floor–Rm #216 / parking and entrance behind church). Please call if you bring your grandchild(ren). Classes for all ages. For more information call (361) 334-2255.

Face to Face: Alzheimer's Education and Support Program

Feb. 27 and every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Conference Center located behind the Doctor's Regional Hospital Emergency Room, 3315 S. Alameda. Nestor H. Praderio, MD hosts an interactive learning experience for Caregivers of loved ones Alzheimer's Disease and other related Dementia. Complimentary refreshments are sponsored by our trusted community partners.

February 2019 |  South Texas Catholic  35

February 2019 Issue SOUTH TEXAS CATHOLIC 555 N Carancahua St, Ste 750 Corpus Christi, TX 78401-0824 (361) 882-6191

JAN. 26-27

Profile for South Texas Catholic

February 2019 - Vol. 54 No. 2  

In our February issue we focus on the month of the Holy Family. We feature the unveiling of two paintings in the chapel at CHRISTUS Spohn Dr...

February 2019 - Vol. 54 No. 2  

In our February issue we focus on the month of the Holy Family. We feature the unveiling of two paintings in the chapel at CHRISTUS Spohn Dr...

Profile for diocesecc