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SERVING THE CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF CORPUS CHRISTI

South Texas

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LOVE INCARNATE: The DNA of COMMUNION W W W. S O U T H T E X A S C AT H O L I C .C OM


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MOTOKI TONN | UNSPLASH

INSIDE 5 | BISHOPS MESSAGE, Love Incarnate and the DNA of Communion: South Texas Catholic has a conversation with Bishop Michael Mulvey on the essence of divine love.

8 | VOCATIONS, Seminarian Corner: Seminarians Carlos De La Rosa and Charles Silvas share how they try to live out the characteristics of God’s love.

9 | JESUS SAYS, Explaining the Gospel Message: Father Brady

Williams, SOLT, reveals what is required to love as Christians.

13 | WOMAN OF STRENGTH, St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Father Gregory

Ross, OCD writes about a saint who embraced her “littleness.”

15 | CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, Letter from the superintendent: Dr.

Rosemary Henry promotes the gifts of a Catholic education.

18 | DNA OF COMMUNION, Working with the homeless: Sisters

Rency Moonjely and Sibi Varghese, SABS and Jaime Reyna, Director of Social Ministry reveal insights into working with the poor in the community.

22 | SPREADING THE LIGHT, Holy Friendships: Youth leaders from

Holy Family CONNECT group Bea Romo and Bob Cummings apply the characteristics of God’s love as a youth group lifestyle.

25 | MARRIAGE, Witnessing God’s love to one another: Deacon

Santos Jones explores the DNA of Communion if embraced by married couples..

27 | COMMUNAL PRAYER, The Eucharist: Father Emilio Jimenez writes about the highest form of prayer.

31 | NATIONAL NEWS, Congratulations to Sister Norma Pimentel,

Missionary Sister of Jesus, who was named by Time Magazine as one of its “100 Most Influential People for 2020.”

32 | WORLD NEWS: 19-year-old Spanish martyr. who gave his life

while protecting the Eucharist, was beatified Nov. 7 at a Mass in the Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona.

The Sanctuary of Christ the King is a Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon situated in Almada, in Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, after the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited that monument.

Bishop Michael Mulvey and the staff of the Office for Safe Environment and Child and Family Resources are committed to assisting those who have faced abuse of any kind. For immediate assistance, support and referral information, please call Victim Assistance Coordinator Stephanie Bonilla at (361) 693-6686.

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Liturgical Calendar December 2020

VOL. 55 NO. 9

| Morning: 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Lk 1:67-79 (200)

1 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 11:1-10/Lk 10:21-24 (176)

25 | Fri | THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (Christmas) | white | Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Vigil: Is 62:1-5/Acts 13:16-17, 22-25/Mt 1:1-25 or 1:1825 (13) Night: Is 9:1-6/Ti 2:11-14/ Lk 2:1-14 (14) Dawn: Is 62:11-12/ Ti 3:4-7/Lk 2:15-20 (15) Day: Is 52:7-10/Heb 1:1-6/Jn 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14 (16) Pss Prop

2 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 25:6-10a/Mt 15:29-37 (177)

Publisher Bishop Michael Mulvey, STL, DD

3 | Thu | Saint Francis Xavier, Priest | white | Memorial | Is 26:16/Mt 7:21, 24-27 (178)

Director of Communications Julie Stark jstark@diocesecc.org

4 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church] | Is 29:17-24/Mt 9:27-31 (179)

Managing Editor Mary Cottingham MCottingham@diocesecc.org

26 | Sat | Saint Stephen, The First Martyr | red | Feast | Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59/Mt 10:17-22 (696) Pss Prop

5 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 30:19-21, 23-26/Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8 (180)

Theological Consultant Ben Nguyen, MTS, JCL/JD, D.Min (ABD) BNguyen@diocesecc.org

27 | SUN | THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH | white | Feast | Sir 3:2-6, 12-14/ Col 3:12-21 or 3:12-17/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40 or, in Year B, Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3/Heb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40 (17) Pss Prop

6 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet Is 40:1-5, 9-11/2 Pt 3:8-14/Mk 1:1-8 (5) Pss II 7 | Mon | Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Is 35:1-10/Lk 5:17-26 (181)

Communications Specialist Elizabeth Morales Correspondents Jesse De Leon and Rebecca Esparza Translator/Correspondent 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 stc@diocesecc.org

8 | Tue | THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE | white | BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Patronal Feastday of the United States of America) Solemnity | [Holyday of Obligation] Gn 3:915, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38 (689) Pss Prop

28 | Mon | The Holy Innocents, Martyrs | red | Feast | 1 Jn 1:5—2:2/ Mt 2:13-18 (698) Pss Prop

9 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet/white [Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin] Is 40:25-31/Mt 11:28-30 (183)

30 | Wed | Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white 1 Jn 2:12-17/Lk 2:36-40 (203) Pss Prop

10 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet/white [Our Lady of Loreto] Is 41:13-20/Mt 11:11-15 (184)

31 | Thu | Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Sylvester I, Pope] 1 Jn 2:18-21/Jn 1:1-18 (204) Pss Prop

29 | Tue | Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord | white [Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr] 1 Jn 2:3-11/Lk 2:22-35 (202) Pss Prop

11 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet/ white [Saint Damasus I, Pope] Is 48:17-19/Mt 11:16-19 (185)

or to subscribe, unsubscribe or submit a change of address go online at: southtexascatholic.com/subscribe

12 | Sat | USA: Our Lady of Guadalupe | white | Feast | Zec 2:14-17 or Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab/Lk 1:26-38 or Lk 1:39-47 (690A), or any readings from the Lectionary for Mass (vol. IV), the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nos. 707-712 Pss Prop

Calendar Items

13 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet or rose Is 61:12a, 10-11/1 Thes 5:16-24/Jn 1:6-8, 19-28 (8) Pss III

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 diocesan websites. 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.

January 2021 1 | Fri | SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD | white The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord | Solemnity [Holyday of Obligation] Nm 6:22-27/Gal 4:4-7/Lk 2:16-21 (18) Pss Prop 2 | Sat | Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, | white | Bishops and Doctors of the Church | Memorial | 1 Jn 2:22-28/ Jn 1:19-28 (205) Pss I

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16 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Heb 4:12-16/Mk 2:13-17 (310) 17 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19/1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20/Jn 1:35-42 (65) Pss II 18 | Mon | Weekday | green | Heb 5:1-10/Mk 2:18-22 (311) 19 | Tue | Weekday | green | Heb 6:10-20/Mk 2:23-28 (312) 20 | Wed | Weekday | green/red/ red [Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr; Saint Sebastian, Martyr] Heb 7:1-3, 15-17/Mk 3:1-6 (313) 21 | Thu | Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 7:25—8:6/Mk 3:7-12 (314) Pss Prop 22 | Fri | USA: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection | white or violet | of Unborn Children | Heb 8:6-13/Mk 3:13-19 (315) or, for the Day of Prayer, any readings from the Lectionary for Mass Supplement, the Mass “For Giving Thanks to God for the Gifts of Human Life,” nos. 947A-947E, or the Lectionary for Mass (vol. IV), the Mass “For Peace and Justice,” nos. 887-891 23 | Sat Weekday | green/red/ white/white [USA: Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr; USA: Saint Marianne Cope, Virgin; BVM] Heb 9:2-3, 11-14/Mk 3:20-21 (316) 24 | SUN | THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Jon 3:15, 10/1 Cor 7:29-31/Mk 1:14-20 (68) Pss III

4 | Mon | USA: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious | white | Memorial | 1 Jn 3:22—4:6/Mt 4:1217, 23-25 (212) Pss II

26 | Tue | Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops | white | Memorial | 2 Tm 1:1-8 or Ti 1:1-5 (520)/Mk 3:31-35 (318)

5 | Tue | USA: Saint John Neumann, Bishop | white | Memorial | 1 Jn 4:7-10/Mk 6:3444 (213)

27 | Wed | Weekday | green/white [Saint Angela Merici, Virgin] Heb 10:11-18/Mk 4:1-20 (319)

19 | Sat | Advent Weekday | violet | Jgs 13:2-7, 24-25a/Lk 1:5-25 (195)

6 | Wed | Christmas Weekday | white/white[USA: Saint André Bessette, Religious]1 Jn 4:11-18/Mk 6:45-52 (214)

20 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT | violet 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16/Rom 16:25-27/Lk 1:26-38 (11) Pss IV

7 | Thu | Christmas Weekday | white/white [Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest] 1 Jn 4:19—5:4/ Lk 4:14-22a (215)

21 | Mon | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor of the Church] Sg 2:8-14 or Zep 3:14-18a/Lk 1:39-45 (197)

8 | Fri | Christmas Weekday | white | 1 Jn 5:5-13/Lk 5:12-16 (216) 9 | Sat | Christmas Weekday | white | 1 Jn 5:14-21/Jn 3:22-30 (217) 10 | SUN | THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD | white | Feast | Is 42:1-4, 6-7/Acts 10:34-38/Mk 1:7-11 or, in Year B, Is 55:1-11/1 Jn 5:1-9/ Mk 1:7-11 (21) Pss Prop | 11 | Mon |

23 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet [Saint John of Kanty, Priest] Mal 3:1-4, 23-24/Lk 1:57-66 (199) 24 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet

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15 | Fri | Weekday | green | Heb 4:1-5, 11/Mk 2:1-12 (309)

15 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | Zep 3:1-2, 9-13/Mt 21:28-32 (188)

22 | Tue | Advent Weekday | violet | 1 Sm 1:24-28/Lk 1:46-56 (198)

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14 | Thu | Weekday | green | Heb 3:7-14/Mk 1:40-45 (308)

3 | SUN | THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD | white | Solemnity | Is 60:1-6/Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6/Mt 2:1-12 (20) Pss Prop

18 | Fri | Advent Weekday | violet | Jer 23:5-8/Mt 1:18-25 (194)

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13 | Wed | Weekday | green/white [Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church] Heb 2:14-18/Mk 1:29-39 (307)

14 | Mon | Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial | Nm 24:2-7, 15-17a/Mt 21:23-27 (187)

17 | Thu | Advent Weekday | violet | Gn 49:2, 8-10/Mt 1:1-17 (193)

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12 | Tue | Weekday | green | Heb 2:5-12/Mk 1:21-28 (306)

25 | Mon | The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle | white | Feast | Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:122/Mk 16:15-18 (519) Pss Prop

16 | Wed | Advent Weekday | violet | Is 45:6b-8, 18, 21c-25/Lk 7:18b-23 (189)

Published quarterly, beginning August 2020, 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.

Weekday (First Week in Ordinary Time) | green Heb 1:1-6/Mk 1:1420 (305) Pss I

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28 | Thu | Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church | white | Memorial Heb 10:19-25/ Mk 4:21-25 (320) 29 | Fri | Weekday | green | Heb 10:32-39/Mk 4:26-34 (321) 30 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Heb 11:1-2, 8-19/Mk 4:3541 (322) 31 | SUN | FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Dt 18:15-20/1 Cor 7:32-35/Mk 1:2128 (71) Pss IV

February 2021 1 | Mon | Weekday | green | Heb 11:32-40/Mk 5:1-20 (323) 2 | Tue | The Presentation of the Lord | white | Feast | Mal 3:1-4/

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Heb 2:14-18/Lk 2:22-40 or 2:2232 (524) Pss Prop 3 | Wed | Weekday | green/red/ white [Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr; Saint Ansgar, Bishop] Heb 12:4-7, 11-15/Mk 6:1-6 (325) 4 | Thu | Weekday | green | Heb 12:18-19, 21-24/Mk 6:7-13 (326) 5 | Fri | Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr | red | Memorial | Heb 13:1-8/Mk 6:14-29 (327) 6 | Sat | Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs | red | Memorial | Heb 13:15-17, 20-21/ Mk 6:30-34 (328) 7 | SUN | FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Jb 7:14, 6-7/1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23/Mk 1:29-39 (74) Pss I 8 | Mon | Weekday | green/white/ white [Saint Jerome Emiliani; Saint Josephine Bakhita, Virgin] Gn 1:1-19/Mk 6:53-56 (329) 9 | Tue | Weekday | green | Gn 1:20—2:4a/Mk 7:1-13 (330) 10 | Wed | Saint Scholastica, Virgin | white | Memorial | Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17/Mk 7:14-23 (331) 11 | Thu | Weekday | green/white [Our Lady of Lourdes] Gn 2:1825/Mk 7:24-30 (332) 12 | Fri | Weekday | green | Gn 3:1-8/Mk 7:31-37 (333) 13 | Sat | Weekday | green/white [BVM] Gn 3:9-24/Mk 8:1-10 (334) 14 | SUN | SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME | green Lv 13:1-2, 44-46/1 Cor 10:31—11:1/ Mk 1:40-45 (77) Pss II 15 | Mon | Weekday | green | Gn 4:1-15, 25/Mk 8:11-13 (335) 16 | Tue | Weekday | green | Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10/Mk 8:14-21 (336) 17 | Wed | Ash Wednesday | violet | Jl 2:12-18/2 Cor 5:20—6:2/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 (219) Pss IV 18 | Thu | Thursday after Ash Wednesday | violet Dt 30:15-20/ Lk 9:22-25 (220) 19 | Fri | Friday after Ash Wednesday | violet Is 58:1-9a/Mt 9:14-15 (221) 20 | Sat | Saturday after Ash Wednesday | violet Is 58:9b-14/Lk 5:27-32 (222) 21 | SUN | FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT | violet Gn 9:8-15/1 Pt 3:1822/Mk 1:12-15 (23) Pss I 22 | Mon | The Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle | white | Feast | 1 Pt 5:1-4/Mt 16:13-19 (535) Pss Prop 23 | Tue | Lenten Weekday | violet [Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr] Is 55:10-11/Mt 6:7-15 (225) 24 | Wed | Lenten Weekday | violet | Jon 3:1-10/Lk 11:29-32 (226) 25 | Thu | Lenten Weekday | violet | Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25/Mt 7:7-12 (227) 26 | Fri | Lenten Weekday | violet | Ez 18:21-28/Mt 5:20-26 (228) 27 | Sat | Lenten Weekday | violet | Dt 26:16-19/Mt 5:43-48 (229) 28 | SUN | SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT | violet Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18/Rom 8:31b-34/Mk 9:2-10 (26) Pss II


BISHOP’S MESSAGE

Love Incarnate: DNA of Communion

A conversation with Bishop Mulvey STC: In your pastoral letter, “I Am With You Always to the End of the Age,” you call our attention to the life of the Trinity through traits of divine love in the section, “The DNA of Communion.” As we approach Christmas, can you expand on these characteristics of God’s love? Bishop Mulvey: The common definition of DNA is the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something. I like the term DNA of Communion because it helps to focus on what is most essential in us as Church. Communion is what makes us Church. We are not just a gathering of individuals. We are the people of God. Therefore, to understand us as Church, we look at God, who is three persons, united as one. The Church, too should be one and yet distinct. This is the mystery of true love that becomes communion. We understand the DNA of Communion from Jesus. The full expression of His life and message is love, love without distinction. Jesus loved everyone. He did not exclude anyone. This is the first trait of divine love. As simple as it appears, we all know how difficult it is to love everyone without judgment, prejudice, or discrimination. If love creates community (unity), then we as the Body of Christ must strive to love everyone, as God does. The second distinctive mark of divine love is taking the first step. God took the first step toward us. Saint Paul writes that while we were still sinners, God sent His Son to us. Regardless of where we are in life, God encounters us with His love. If we are going to love as God loves, we too need to be the first to love, even though that first step might be difficult. It could happen that this year as we gather for the Christmas meal, we might remember that someone at the table

may have offended us. The hurt may still be “burning inside.” Maybe it has become a longstanding resentment. What should we do to share in God’s love? Do not hold onto those feelings. Take the first step, reconcile by being first to show kindness. Doing something extra-special for that person first brings God’s love into the family gathering. That is a true mark of the DNA of Communion in a Christian’s life, to take the initiative in loving. The third distinctive mark for us to live out is to see one another as God sees us. God loves us with our faults, as we are. Our faults do not obstruct God’s love for us. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus said: “Whatever you do to the least, you have done to me. When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was in prison, you came to see me” (Matthew 25: 35-40). Living the DNA of Communion means to love every person as God loves us, in other words, to “see” Jesus in the other. STC: The kind of love you are talking about is very demanding. How can we attain that level of love? Bishop Mulvey: We get there with God’s grace and practice. We can turn to God for help and ask for His grace to be able to love as He loves. When we recognize Jesus in a person, we see someone to love beyond their faults, beyond their mistakes, beyond the hurts that they may have caused others. This Christmas, we are called to refocus the eyes of our soul to recognize Jesus in the people we encounter. Here is a common experience – you are shopping at the grocery store, and maybe the cashier is short and a bit rude to you because of something that happened with the person ahead of you. If you recognize Jesus in him or her, you will try to forgive and love the cashier. All our actions can become love: giving a gift, accompanying a person in their grief, sharing a moment of

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BISHOP’S MESSAGE

Love Incarnate: DNA of Communion

Una conversación con e

happiness, listening to an opposing point of view without judgment, praying for someone whom you find challenging to love. When this way of life takes root in us, then love expands. Love never diminishes in this way, and it expands toward unity (communion). It builds bridges among people who before were strangers and even enemies. Finally, let us look at the fourth distinctive mark of divine love. It is accompaniment. Love accompanies people calling us to share in their situation. It may not be easy to walk alongside someone who is suffering; nevertheless, love accompanies. God might be calling us to accompany someone who has lost a loved one, perhaps to COVID-19. Especially at this time of the year, we might know someone who is alone because their family is far away. Let’s accompany them in love and be a witness of Jesus’ love for them. STC: In your pastoral letter, you say that the four characteristics of divine love can revolutionize our Christian life. Can you reflect on what that means? Bishop Mulvey: When I speak of revolution, I look to the Latin root of the word, which means to turn around. These four characteristics of divine love, when practiced, can turn our lives around. Saint Pope Paul VI spoke of a “civilization of love,” as did Saint Pope John Paul II. Pope Francis has also called for a civilization of love. Society is passing through a Dark Night. We can help change that. Let’s not find a way to separate or divide one another. Rather let’s look at ourselves as family, sisters and brothers together. We belong to each other because we have one Father, and through his Son, the Child of Bethlehem, he calls us to love one another to build communion. Would this not appear to be a peaceful “revolution” today? STC: What would you like the Church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi to strive for this Christmas and throughout the year? Bishop Mulvey: During this Christmas time, I invite all of us to live according to what Jesus brought on that first Christmas - the love that unites people. Let us apply the four distinctive marks of divine love this Christmas: love everyone, take the first step, to see Jesus in others and accompany others. That is my prayer for all of us this Christmas. 6 

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STC: En su carta pastoral ‘Estoy contigo siempre hasta el fin de los tiempos’, nos hace un llamado de atención a la vida de la Trinidad, a través de los rasgos del amor Divino, en su sección sobre el ADN de la comunión. A medida que nos acercamos a la Navidad, ¿nos quisiera ampliar esas características del amor de Dios? Obispo Mulvey: La definición común de ADN incluye las características o cualidades fundamentales y distintivas de alguien o algo. Me gusta el término ADN de la Comunión porque ayuda a enfocarnos en lo más esencial de nosotros como Iglesia. La comunión es lo que nos hace Iglesia. No somos solo una reunión de individuos. Somos el pueblo de Dios. Por lo tanto, para entendernos como Iglesia, miramos a Dios, quien es, tres personas unidas en una sola. La Iglesia también debería ser una y sin embargo distinta. Este es el misterio del amor verdadero que se convierte en comunión. Entendemos el ADN de la Comunión a través de Jesús. La plena expresión de Su vida y Su mensaje que es amor, amor sin distinción. Jesús amaba a todos. No excluyó a nadie. Esta es la primera expresión de amor. Por simple que parezca, todos sabemos lo difícil que es amar a todos sin juzgar, sin prejuicios o discriminación. Si el amor crea comunidad (unidad), entonces nosotros, como Cuerpo de Cristo, debemos esforzarnos por amar a todos, como Dios lo hace. La segunda marca distintiva del amor divino es dar el primer paso. Dios dio el primer paso hacia nosotros. San Pablo escribe que cuando todavía éramos pecadores, Dios nos envió a su Hijo. Independientemente de dónde estemos en la vida, Dios nos encuentra con Su amor. Si vamos a amar como Dios ama, también debemos ser los primeros en amar, aunque ese primer paso pueda ser difícil. Podría suceder que este año, mientras nos reunimos para la comida de Navidad, recordemos que alguien sentado a la mesa nos ofendió. La herida todavía puede estar “ardiendo por dentro”. Quizás se haya convertido en un resentimiento de larga duración. ¿Qué debemos hacer para compartir el amor de Dios? No te aferres a esos sentimientos. Da el primer paso, reconcíliate, sé amable, siendo el primero en mostrar bondad. Haz algo muy especial por esa persona, sé el primero en traer el amor de Dios a la reunión familiar. Esa es una verdadera marca del ADN de la Comunión en la vida de un cristiano, tomar la iniciativa en amar. La tercera marca distintiva para que vivamos es vernos unos a otros como Dios nos ve. Dios nos ama con

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MENSAJE DEL OBISPO Amor Encarnado y ADN de Comunión

el obispo Mulvey nuestras faltas, como somos. Nuestras faltas no obstruyen el amor de Dios por nosotros. En el Evangelio de San Mateo, Jesús dijo: “Todo lo que hagas por los más pequeños, a mí me lo has hecho. Cuando tenía hambre, me alimentaste. Cuando estuve en la cárcel, me visitaste ”(Mateo 25: 35-40). Vivir el ADN de la Comunión significa amar a cada persona como Dios nos ama, es decir, “ver” a Jesús en el otro. STC: El tipo de amor del que usted habla es muy exigente. ¿Cómo podemos alcanzar ese nivel de amor? Obispo Mulvey: Llegamos allí con la gracia de Dios y con la práctica. Podemos voltear hacia Dios en busca de ayuda y pedirle su gracia para poder amar como Él ama. Cuando reconocemos a Jesús en una persona, vemos a alguien a quien amar más allá de sus faltas, más allá de sus errores, más allá de las heridas que puedan haber causado a otros. Esta Navidad, estamos llamados a reenfocar los ojos de nuestra alma para reconocer a Jesús en las personas que encontramos. Aquí tienes una experiencia común: estás comprando en la tienda de comestibles y tal vez el cajero sea corto y un poco rudo contigo debido a algo que sucedió con la persona anterior. Si reconoces a Jesús en él o ella, intentarás perdonar y amar al cajero. Todas nuestras acciones pueden convertirse en amor: dar un regalo, acompañar a una persona en su dolor, compartir un momento de felicidad, escuchar un punto de vista opuesto sin juzgar, orar por alguien a quien encuentras desafiante amar. Cuando esta forma de vida se arraiga en nosotros, el amor se expande. De esta manera el amor nunca disminuye y se expande hacia la unidad (comunión). Construye puentes entre personas que antes eran extrañas e incluso enemigas. Finalmente, veamos la cuarta marca distintiva del amor divino. Es acompañamiento. El amor acompaña a las personas que nos llaman a compartir su situación. Puede que

no sea fácil caminar junto a alguien que sufre; sin embargo, el amor acompaña. Dios podría estar llamándonos para acompañar a alguien que ha perdido a un ser querido, tal vez por COVID-19. Especialmente en esta época del año, es posible que conozcamos a alguien que esté solo porque su familia está lejos. Acompañémoslos con amor y seamos testigos del amor de Jesús por ellos. STC: En su carta pastoral, dice que las cuatro características del amor Divino pueden revolucionar nuestra vida cristiana. ¿Quisiera reflexionar sobre lo que significa eso? Obispo Mulvey: Cuando hablo de revolución, busco la raíz latina de la palabra, que significa dar la vuelta. Cuando se practican estas cuatro características del amor Divino, nuestras vidas pueden cambiar. El Papa San Pablo VI habló de una “civilización del amor”, al igual que el Papa San Juan Pablo II. El Papa Francisco también ha pedido una civilización del amor. La sociedad esta pasando a través de una noche oscura. Podemos ayudar a cambiar eso. No busquemos la manera de separarnos o dividirnos. Más bien, miremos a nosotros mismos como familia, hermanas y hermanos juntos. Nos pertenecemos porque tenemos un solo Padre, y a través de su Hijo, el Niño de Belén, nos llama a amarnos unos a otros para construir la comunión. ¿No parecería esto hoy una “revolución” pacífica? STC: ¿Qué le gustaría que la Iglesia en la Diócesis de Corpus Christi se esforzara por hacer esta Navidad y durante todo el año? Obispo Mulvey: Durante esta época navideña, los invito a todos a vivir de acuerdo a lo que Jesús trajo desde esa primera Navidad: el amor que unifica a las personas. Apliquemos los cuatro signos distintivos del amor Divino esta Navidad: amar a todos, dar el primer paso, ver a Jesús en los demás y acompañar a otros. Esa es mi oración por todos nosotros esta Navidad.

El obispo Michael Mulvey y el personal de la Oficina del Medio Ambiente Seguridad y Recursos para Niños y Familias están comprometidos a ayudar a aquellos que han sufrido abusos de cualquier tipo. Para asistencia inmediata, apoyo e información de referencia, llame al Coordinador de Asistencia a Víctimas Stephanie Bonilla al (361) 693-6686. QUE TODOS SE AN UNO

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VOCATIONS Seminarian corner

God’s love inspires and guides seminarians By Jesse DeLeon

S

Contributor

eminarians Carlos De La Rosa and Charles Silvas have a deep appreciation for the four characteristics of God’s love or “The DNA of Communion,” as outlined in Bishop Michael Mulvey’s pastoral letter, “I am with you always to the end of the age.” In his letter, Bishop Mulvey outlines four characteristics of communion: God loves everyone, God takes the first step, God sees Jesus in every person, and love accompanies everyone and shares in their situation. “The characteristic that immediately spoke to me is how love takes the first step,” says De La Rosa. “Though necessary, communion with others can sometimes be difficult to achieve, especially in the age of COVID-19.” He was most inspired to take the first step during his recent pastoral year at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish. “Meeting parishioners where they are and being present to them, and their respective situations guides everything, and the rest of these aspects stem from this one very vital step,” he says. Medical books generally define DNA as deoxyribonucleic acid that contains genetic code. However, someone can see it as a fundamental nature or a set of qualities from a basic viewpoint. In even more understandable terms, most people associate DNA with attributes shared between parents, children and even extended family members. While traits such as eye color, height or other physical characteristics are easily seen and acknowledged, the idea of DNA becomes worthy of a markedly deeper reflection when its definition denotes the spiritual significance of communion. “I find the idea of ‘DNA’ to be especially significant because it creates a sense of unity. And deepens it with a real understanding of how stronger genes help weaker ones, and this resembles how the Eucharist is a source of strength and unites us all as one family,” De La Rosa said. De La Rosa was born and raised in Corpus Christi, and his home parish is Our Lady of Perpetual Help. At OLPH, he became involved in various parish activities, which played an essential role in his spiritual formation. Fellow seminarian, Charles Silvas, shares De La Rosa’s enthusiasm for the DNA of Communion. Silvas also grew up in Corpus Christi. He attended St. Joseph, Holy Family and Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parishes, during his youth. When he began his studies in Washington, D.C., Silvas

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Carlos De La Rosa

Charles Silvas

quickly found the connection of the four aspects of the DNA of Communion as he was building a sense of unity with his fellow seminarians. “The DNA of Communion allows us to see with the eyes of Christ and listen with the ears of Christ,” he says. “All four aspects are one simultaneous action because we must begin by seeing Jesus in everyone, and in doing so, we are called to love them as God loves them.” Silvas acknowledges that living out the four characteristics of the DNA of Communion has become significantly more important and challenging during the pandemic, “especially during the shutdown when people didn’t have their basic needs met, but continue sharing what they have,” he said. “This is a sign of a Eucharistic community. We are called to be Eucharist for others – even in the midst of division, we are still called to be there for one another. We are always called to strive for unity.” “Everything that we do is a response to God’s love,” Silvas said. “We must remember we cannot be in communion with one another unless we are in communion with God.” As both seminarians continue their studies at the Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC., they are both more deeply aware of how the DNA of Communion has both inspired and guided them. They can also see how these four characteristics give them a more precise focus when building communion with fellow seminarians, parishioners and everyone they encounter.

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JESUS SAYS

SHUTTERSTOCK

Explaining the Gospel message

Printed image of The good Samaritan in Grace Church Chiangmai, Thailand by unknown artist.

‘Love one another as I have loved you’ By Father Brady Williams, SOLT

A Contributor

wise spiritual guide once pondered that when we get to heaven, the Lord will not ask us, “What did you do for me,” but rather “how well did you receive my love?” Christ gives us a new commandment: “Love one another as I have

loved you.” When St. John says in his First Letter (4:10): “Love

consists in this, not that we have loved God but that he has loved us,” he emphasizes something that is absolutely essential to us as Christians. Loving as Christ loves, first of all, means that we have come to experience the love that God has for us. If we have not truly accepted this love and interiorized it, then it is impossible to love another person as Christ has loved us. I think this is one of the most crucial aspects of our faith that has to be accepted

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JESUS SAYS

Explaining the Gospel message as the foundation of our lives. We first have to recognize that God has loved us first, and He loves us personally. The love of God has to first be received in the depths of our hearts. Then, the love of Christ “impels us” to love one another (c.f. 2 Cor. 5:14). In contemporary parlance, the word “love” seems to have faded from splendor. We sometimes distinguish between “love” and “luv”, the first being something weighty and important, the latter primarily a feeling and relatively superficial. But love (caritas/charity) is essentially willing the good of the other. When I was living in Italy, I was struck by the fact that a husband and wife would more commonly say to each other “Ti voglio bene” (literally: ‘I want/will the good for you’), as opposed to the more literal: “Ti amo” (‘I love you!’). The Italian expression captures the essence of what love is: willing the good of the other. This is how God loves us: He wills the good for each of us. “That’s amore!” Now, if that is how God loves us and then commands us to love one another in the same way, what does that entail? In his Gospel, St. John opens the Last Supper discourses with an important phrase: “He loved his own who were in the world and he loved them to the end” (13:1). This love is demonstrated so powerfully in the washing of the feet and in the culmination of Christ’s love for us on the cross. Jesus not only shows us how to love but also gives the power to accomplish it through his grace. Loving to the end is indeed loving as Christ loves us. I remember reading a moving story about a Catholic college student who befriended a Muslim classmate. They become really good friends and shared with each other their beliefs and way of life.

At one point his Muslim friend, convinced of the truth of Jesus Christ, expressed his desire to convert to Christianity but was afraid that his family would disown him. His Catholic friend didn’t know what to say. On the one hand, he was excited that his Muslim friend had come to believe in Christ and on the other hand, he understood the complexity of his dilemma. He couldn’t just tell his Muslim friend: “well, Jesus said we may have to give up everything in order to follow him.” Easy for him to say; he wasn’t going to lose anything. He realized that he would have to accompany his Muslim friend into the Christian faith (more than just being a sponsor), and that would mean he would have to be willing to be this man’s new family, that he would have to journey with him ‘to the end.’ He was being called to love as Christ loves. In today’s world we are often tempted to cut off communication with those with whom we disagree or who see things differently than we do. We are willing to offer advice or counsel – even to have the last word – but are we ready to love to the end? Like the Good Samaritan, are we open to being “inconvenienced” by another to help them on the journey and to “pay” for whatever expenses this may incur? God places people in our lives to give us an opportunity to offer the love of Christ Jesus. Jesus gives us a new commandment: “love one another as I have loved you.” Christ loved us “to the end,” giving his life so that we may live, and He journeys with us on the pilgrimage of life. He never gives up on us or leaves us behind. May we, in turn, love as He loved us, by loving one another to the end, despite our neighbor’s weaknesses and failures. For by this shall we be known: if we have loved with the love of Christ.

Among the many opportunities for priestly ministry, Fr. Williams was assistant chaplain at the University of Dallas Rome Campus (2006 – 2011) and ministered to the sick and dying as a hospital chaplain at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI (2012). He was assigned as Pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish and School in Phoenix, AZ in 2012 – 2013. Currently, Fr. Williams serves as the SOLT General Secretary and as the Novice Servant. 10 

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Fr. Brady Williams is a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). He completed his theological studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome in 2003 and was ordained to the priesthood in Corpus Christi in 2004. In 2008 he completed his Licentiate degree in liturgical theology at the Pontifical Atheneum Sant’Anselmo in Rome and was appointed as the Rector of the SOLT House of Studies (2008 – 2012).


JESUS ​​DICE

DEPOSIT PHOTO

Explicando el mensaje del evangelio

‘Amaos los unos a los otros como yo os he amado’ Por el padre Brady Williams, SOLT

U Contribuyente

n guía espiritual muy sabio, reflexionó una vez que cuando lleguemos al cielo, el Señor no nos preguntará: “¿Qué hiciste por mí?”, Sino más bien “¿Qué tan bien recibiste mi amor?” Cristo nos da un mandamiento nuevo: “Amaos los unos a los otros como yo os he amado”. Cuando San Juan dice en su Primera Carta (4,10): “El amor consiste en esto, no en que hayamos amado a

Dios, sino en que él nos ha amado”, enfatiza algo que es absolutamente esencial para nosotros como cristianos. Amar como ama Cristo, en primer lugar, significa que hemos llegado a experimentar el amor que Dios tiene por nosotros. Si no hemos aceptado e interiorizado realmente este amor, entonces es imposible amar a otra persona como Cristo nos amó a nosotros. Creo que este es uno de los aspectos más cruciales de nuestra fe que debe aceptarse como la base de nuestras vidas.

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JESUS ​​DICE

Explicando el mensaje del evangelio

Antes tenemos que reconocer que Dios nos ha amado primero y que nos ama personalmente. El amor de Dios debe recibirse primero en lo más profundo de nuestro corazón. Entonces, el amor de Cristo “nos impulsa” a amarnos los unos a los otros (cf. 2 Cor. 5, 14). En el lenguaje contemporáneo, la palabra “amor” parece haber perdido su esplendor. A veces distinguimos entre “amor” y “querer”, siendo el primero algo de peso e importante, y el segundo se refiere principalmente a un sentimiento relativamente superficial. Pero el amor (caritas / caridad) es esencialmente querer el bien del otro. Cuando vivía en Italia, me sorprendió el hecho de que un marido y una mujer se decían más comúnmente “Ti voglio bene” (literalmente: ‘ Te quiero / te haré el bien’), en lugar del más literal: “Ti amo” (‘¡Te amo!’). La expresión italiana captura la esencia de lo que es el amor: desear el bien del otro. Dios nos ama así: quiere el bien para cada uno de nosotros. “¡Eso es amore!” Ahora bien, si así es como Dios nos ama y luego nos manda amarnos los unos a los otros de la misma manera, ¿qué es lo que implica esto? En su Evangelio, San Juan inicia los discursos de la Última Cena con una frase importante: “El amó a los suyos quienes estaban en el mundo y los amó hasta el final” (13: 1). Este amor se demuestra de manera tan poderosa en el lavatorio de los pies y en la culminación del amor de Cristo muriendo por nosotros en la cruz. Jesús no solo nos muestra cómo (medimos) el amar, sino que también nos da el poder para lograrlo a través de su gracia. Amar hasta el final es en verdad amar como Cristo nos ama. Recuerdo haber leído una historia conmovedora sobre un estudiante universitario católico que se hizo amigo de un compañero musulmán. Se hicieron verdaderamente muy buenos amigos y compartieron entre ellos, sus creencias y su forma de vida. En un momento, su amigo musulmán, convencido

de la verdad de Jesucristo, expresó su deseo de convertirse al cristianismo, pero temía que su familia lo repudiara. Su amigo católico no sabía qué decir. Por un lado, estaba emocionado de que su amigo musulmán hubiera llegado a creer en Cristo y, por otro lado, entendía la complejidad de su dilema. No podía simplemente decirle a su amigo musulmán: “bueno, Jesús dijo que quizás tengamos que renunciar a todo para seguirlo”. Fácil para él decirlo; él no iba a perder nada. Se dio cuenta de que tendría que acompañar a su amigo musulmán en la fe cristiana (no tan solo ser un padrino), y eso significaría que tendría que estar d ispuesto a ser la nueva familia de este hombre, que tendría un viaje de vida con él”. hasta el final. Estaba siendo llamado a amar como Cristo ama. En el mundo actual, a menudo nos sentimos tentados a cortar la comunicación con aquellos con quienes no estamos de acuerdo o que ven las cosas de manera diferente a nosotros. Estamos dispuestos a argumentar nuestro punto de vista, a ofrecer consejo e incluso a tener la última palabra, pero ¿estamos dispuestos a amar hasta el final? Como el Buen Samaritano, ¿estamos dispuestos a la “inconveniencia” y ayudarlos en el viaje? ¿a “pagar” el precio de lo que esto pudiera ocasionar? Dios coloca a las personas en nuestras vidas para darnos la oportunidad de ofrecerles el amor de Cristo Jesús. Jesús nos da un mandamiento nuevo: “amaos los unos a los otros como yo os he amado”. Cristo nos amó “hasta el final”, entregando su vida para que nosotros vivamos, El camina con nosotros en el peregrinar de la vida. Él nunca se rinde ni nos deja atrás. Ojalá que a cambio, nosotros amemos como Él nos amó: amándonos unos a otros hasta el final, a pesar de las debilidades y fallas de nuestros vecinos. Porque es en esto en lo que seremos conocidos: en si hemos amado con el amor de Cristo.

➤ Él nunca se rinde ni nos deja atrás. Ojalá que a cambio, nosotros amemos como Él nos amó: amándonos unos a otros hasta el final, a pesar de las debilidades y fallas de nuestros vecinos. Porque es en esto en lo que seremos conocidos: en si hemos amado con el amor de Cristo. 12  

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WOMAN OF STRENGTH St. Thérèse of Lisieux

FINDING STRENGTH

through confidence in God Father Gregory Ross, OCD

S Contributor

in the strength she received from the King of Heaven. This confidence in God’s unconditional love set St. Thérèse on fire with love: Stating she desired to love God more than He had ever been loved before. She realized she was being called to serve God by fulfilling the ordinary duties of her daily life with heroic fidelity, generosity, and charity and by accepting others as they were and loving them generously, just as Jesus had accepted her and loved her as she was. The young saint was drawn to heroic souls such as St. Joan of Arc and the French missionary martyr, St. Theophane Venard. She describes herself with the desires of an eagle, but in reality, finding herself a little bird unable to fly. “I look upon myself as a weak little bird, with only a light down as covering. I am not an eagle, but I have only an eagle’s EYES AND HEART. In spite of my extreme littleness, I still dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun, the Sun of Love, and my heart feels within it all the aspirations of an Eagle.” In this parable one can see the relationship between the saint’s acceptance of her own personal weakness and her confidence in God’s faithful love. Heroism, however, was not absent from her actions. During the 1891-1892 flu epidemic, all but three sisters in St. Thérèse’s monastery became bedridden with the illness. St. Thérèse cared for them, arranged for the funerals of those who succumbed to the illness, and showed extraordinary maturity for her 19 years. Finally, the Carmelite saint of Lisieux showed her strength through the heroic suffering she endured during her death from tuberculosis at the age of 24.

M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E

CREATIVE COMMONS

t. Thérèse of Lisieux would be the last person to call herself a woman of strength. Yet, that is exactly what she was. Paradoxically, it was through accepting her own personal weakness and placing all her confidence in God’s merciful love that St. Thérèse became a vessel of and a witness to the strength of the God who is Love. Though gifted with great natural intelligence and capacity for love, as a child, Thérèse suffered from tremendous emotional fragility after the loss of her mother to cancer when Thérèse was only four years old. She describes herself as crying over the littlest things and then crying over the fact that she had cried. In her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, she wrote: “I was really unbearable because of my extreme touchiness.” She was unable to conquer this weakness, try as she might. This state lasted until Christmas Eve 1886 when the hypersensitive 14-year-old received the grace of her Christmas conversion. In an instant, she experienced an inflow of grace: Thérèse had discovered the strength of soul which she had lost at the age of four and a half, and she was to persevere in it forever. In her book, she writes, “The work I had been unable to do in ten years was done by Jesus in one instant, contenting himself with my good will, which was never lacking.” The young saint experienced this strength as pure grace, a gift she did not achieve by her own hard work, but which she simply received when Jesus was pleased to give it. Continuing her spiritual maturation, the Carmelite received the strength and the grace to embrace her own weakness, to accept herself as she was, with all her limitations of nature, all her faults, and the ordinariness of her day to day life. She realized her weakness, which she came to call her “littleness,” was not an obstacle to God’s love, but a magnet for it. God’s mercy was made manifest by His condescending to her “little soul” and filling it with His love. St. Thérèse’s experience mirrors the first of the beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor of spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” St. Thérèse realized the poverty of her littleness was the open door through which the kingdom of God’s merciful love would inundate her soul and life, helping her persevere

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WOMAN OF STRENGTH St. Thérèse of Lisieux

To her great physical suffering was added the spiritual suffering of a tremendous trial of faith to which she was submitted. But again, St. Thérèse would be the last person to describe herself as heroic in this situation. She credited any strength which she displayed to the grace of God. She said to one of her sisters: “God gives me courage in proportion to my sufferings. I feel

at this moment I couldn’t suffer any more, but I’m not afraid, since if they increase, He will increase my courage at the same time.” We see in these words the secret of St. Thérèse’s “Little Way”: acceptance of personal weakness, coupled with a peaceful trust in God’s faithful love, resulting in a courage of soul that truly reveals St. Thérèse as a woman of strength.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Fr. Gregory Ross, OCD, made his first profession as a Discalced Carmelite Friar in 1990 and was ordained a priest in 1995. During his years with the Province of St. Thérèse, he has served as student director, associate professor of dogmatic theology at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, and provincial superior. Since 2011, he has served as vocations director. He is currently serving as pastor and rector at the Basilica of the Little Flower in San Antonio.

SS. CYRIL & METHODIUS CATHOLIC CHRUCH 3210 SOUTH PADRE ISLAND DR. CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS 78415

AGAPE RELIGIOUS ARTICLE STORE

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(361)854-1853 RELIGIOUS ARTICLE STORE OPEN ALL WEEK (361) 854-1853 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. OPEN ALL WEEK 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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

H-E-B and its partners desire that everyone remembers the true meaning of Christmas. KDF-TV (Check cable guide for ch. #) Audio: KLUX-HD 89.5 & klux.org Live video stream: goccn.org |

M AY T H E Y A L L B E O N E


CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Letter from the superintendent

Seeds of hope, an oasis of opportunities By Dr. Rosemary J. Henry

T Contributor

heir world has been rocked. Their lives have been turned upside down. Their connections and encounters, with others, have been robbed by debilitating isolation. Their feelings of community have been shattered. Their sense of time distorted. Their minds and hearts are fraught with the unknown and frequent despair. This is the immediate world our youth struggle and attempt to navigate through during the ever-looming pandemic crisis. Still, they yearn for a different reality. Though the anxiety and loneliness rages on, they embrace that tiny but ever-critical glimmer of hope. Perhaps it is the hope that Pope Francis speaks of: “Let us never set conditions for God; let us instead allow hope to conquer our fears.”

Social and Emotional Learning Spurred by the love for our students and our mission to nurture the whole child, our Catholic schools have adopted the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Program entitled “Friendzy.” This comprehensive program, predicated on educational research and a biblical base, rich in scripture, helps us form each child. Students in Pre-K-3 to grade 8 will develop core competencies, including: • Developing social awareness • Forming healthy and rewarding relationships • Respecting all humanity and perceiving others as gifts from God • Making critical and responsible decisions • Managing personal emotions and behaviors • Demonstrating empathy for others This program offers a guide to achieving supportive classrooms and improving outcomes for youth. While the program offers strategies, it is our loving teachers who face the daunting challenge to make a difference in the lives of each child. School staff, working in partnership with parents, help our youth to cope, overcome and thrive in an uncertain world. Students with reduced stress levels and improved academic performance emerge. Thus, we see resilient and supported students, eager to take their place in our vast and global society.

Safe Schools Alert

Our Catholic schools are valued for their safe and secure Christ-centered environments and robust academic programs. As part of this ongoing commitment to safety, we strive to maintain clear and frequent lines of communication and to respond, in a timely manner, to any presenting issue. The SafeSchools Alert platform enables safety tip reporting by students, staff and parents. School communities may report tips on bullying, drugs, harassment, vandalism, threat of violence or any safety issue to school administrators to prevent escalating issues. Our goal is to provide timely assistance, help and support to all those in need.

Emergency Management Plan Based on a strategic framework, each school developed an Emergency Management Plan for the school community. Hazard-specific information prescribed in the plan is intended to reduce the effects of natural, accidental or malicious incidents affecting infrastructure, safety, security and health. Such a plan provides direction during emergencies such as a bomb threat, fire explosion, suicide danger, serious injury, threats of violence, hurricane watch, emergency drills, hostage situations, etc. Planning of this nature requires a focus on mitigating hazards and vulnerabilities matched by a love for students.

Standard Response Protocol Safe and secure communities require a well-planned and regularly practiced school response to a potential incident. A well-communicated procedure and common vocabulary provide a uniform classroom response regarding weather events, fires, accidents, intruders, and other threats to student safety. This system helps to fortify our

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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Letter from the superintendent

readiness to navigate through crises with knowledge and confidence. All this, and more, are essential to maintain a caring school culture for those entrusted to our safe-keeping.

and hopelessness to peaceful contentment and emotional comfort. Students’ mental health and wellness are key factors in achievement and success in school and in life.

Charting our Future Through COVID-19

An Education for a Lifetime

Although the global pandemic explodes with a toll of epic proportions, health and safety issues must be met with rigorous, comprehensive planning and the implementation of safety best practices. Thus, the Office of Catholic Schools crafted a comprehensive guide for all COVID-19 related topics to safeguard the safety, health and well-being for our students. The framework provides guidance in Catholic identity, student health/safety, educational models, school operations, communication and technology. This resource is supported by our myriad of partnerships with national, state and regional medical, health, educational and governmental agencies. Creating a landscape of safety for our students and staff is our highest priority.

The schools that succeed post-pandemic and beyond are likely the ones that pledge a high priority to safety practices, mental and psychological health and well-being, while ensuring accountability with policy and practice. Effective and life-changing educational programs will provide an environment illumined with the light of faith and foster a deep love for wisdom and truth. Our students deserve nothing less. While planning and engagement are vital, we must never lose sight that our greatest successes come from relying on our faith to find firm and sure footing. Let us recall Romans 8:28, where we are reminded that “In all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” In our world, menaced with erratic and shifting terrain, we must be ever aware that God is in control. Ultimately, these important health and safety programs support a caring, loving safe school culture where every child is nurtured and celebrated for his/her unique gifts. Our students are formed in mind, body and spirit. Their minds and hearts are ready to explore the great oasis of opportunities. A Catholic school experience impacts the trajectory of one’s life in a positive, powerful way. Catholic education inspires our students to believe that hope opens new horizons, making each of them capable of dreaming what is not even imaginable. These seeds of hope light their fire to learn, lead, love, pray, serve, and succeed.

Mental Health Counseling Our youth wrestle with anxiety, confusion, depression and fear during uncertain times. Individual and group counseling sessions help our youth cope with stress related issues and build a bridge of self-awareness, confidence and new ways of expression. The Office of Catholic Schools has coordinated a mental health and wellness program. The services are provided by licensed and experienced counselors and therapists. Services are available to students in need and to parents choosing this optional program for their children. Working together with parents, teachers and administrators, we help our students transition from feelings of overwhelmingness

See story and photos at SouthTexasCatholic.com/BGFriendzy

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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Reflections from a teacher

Reflections on the DNA of Communion By John McCarthy

W Contributor

ith love being the Church’s DNA, there are many different ways to love, and everyone can live this out in their own way. The bishop discussed four characteristics of God’s love. Of these four ways, I have found myself loving my students where they are at in their academics and personal lives. Many of my students struggle academically, and I am constantly reminded of the image of Jesus, leaving the 99 sheep to look for the last one. He leaves no one behind. In the same way, I have tried to reach each of my students where they are to help them grow into their role as children of God. Just as Jesus calls us by name, I also try to call my students by name and show them that I want to get to know them on a personal level. Dale Carnegie, a famous author, writes in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. He notes that a person’s name is to that person the most beautiful sound in any language. With this in mind, I call my students by name when they enter and leave my class, ask questions, or have just had fun. I can show them I care about their lives in and outside of the classroom. I want the best for them. I want my students to get to heaven. During my time as a student at Notre Dame, I spent a lot of my free time participating in and leading programs that helped others grow in their faith. I have always loved working with young people to help them grow closer to God. In a Catholic school, opportunities to talk about the faith readily present themselves. For instance, the other day in my seventh-grade science class, we discussed famous Catholic scientists like Father Gregor Mendel, the founder of modern genetics and Father George Lemaitre, who fathered the big bang theory. I can share my love for the Church and hopefully instill in my students a sense of wonder for the Church’s beauty and the sacraments. The best way to foster the love of the Gospel, especially teaching in a Catholic school, is by making sure that I do my best to model a virtuous life. My students naturally pick up on my involvement with the Church and my relationship with God. I know that I need to make sure that I foster my own prayer life and relationship with God to

share this joy with my students and those around me. After I teach for two years with the Alliance for Catholic Education, I plan to go to medical school. I wanted to spend two years teaching in a Catholic school to mature into a better physician for my future patients. Even after only three months of teaching, I know that my students challenge me to become the best version of myself every day. They are helping me become someone who can better love like Christ. Editor’s Note: After reflecting on Bishop Michael Mulvey’s pastoral letter, “I Am With You Always to the End of the Age,” John McCarthy, a first-year ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) teacher, shares his views on the section entitled, “The DNA of Communion.” McCarthy is from Spokane, WA. He graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in pre-professional science and theology and is presently teaching science for St. Anthony Catholic School in Robstown.

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DNA OF COMMUNION Working with the homeless

Our mission, a vocation of love By Mary Cottingham

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South Texas Catholic

isters Rency Moonjely and Sibi Varghese, Sisters of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, have been called to care for our homeless brothers and sisters who frequent the Mother Teresa Shelter. Sisters in their congregation endeavor to spread Eucharistic love through their apostolic activities – for Sisters Rency and Sibi, it’s through their work with the homeless. This mission of love is what Bishop Michael Mulvey encourages all Catholics to recommit to in his 2020 Pastoral Letter, “I am with you always to the end of the age.” In a section of his letter, “The DNA of Communion,” Bishop Mulvey calls members of the Church to a vocation of love. He gives examples of God’s love: God loves everyone; God takes the first step; God sees us through the eyes of His Son; He shares in our troubles; and He accompanies us. Sisters, Rency and Sibi, have devoted many hours every weekday to feeding, clothing and offering shelter to clients who enter the Catholic Charities’ day shelter. They, along with volunteers and staff, often provide kind words of reassurance to the hundreds of clients they serve. Their actions should speak volumes of their love, but even they will tell you how hard it is to see the face of Jesus in every person they encounter. “Giving them a basic need is our first priority,” Sister Rency said. But sometimes people want things right away, and she doesn’t have it to give. She says that writing down their names next to what they want makes them happy because they know she heard them. “Sometimes we cry together,” Sister Rency said. “Some have lost everything, and that’s why they are homeless. Some are not cared for by their family or society. They need someone to listen to them. Just by stopping and asking them, ‘how they are’ makes them so happy.” Helping them can simply be a matter of directing them toward the shelter’s counselor or caseworker. “Sometimes they give us a hard time, and they are not pleasing,” Sister Sibi said. “We have to walk away and come back when they are calmer. Then as friends, we can talk to them.” Sister Sibi is referring to showing tough love and having healthy boundaries to avoid future escalations from developing. “Some days are very hard. We try, but sometimes we fail,” Sister Rency said. “Then I pray, ‘I can do everything through him who strengthens me.’

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Jaime Reyna, Director of Social Ministry for the Diocese of Corpus Christi, has been visiting with some of our homeless brothers and sisters by frequenting the old Central Catholic School campus grounds since May of this year. He said he quickly learned that they just want to be treated with some dignity. According to Reyna, they felt no one cared or wanted to listen to them. He began having lunch with them (donning a mask and social distancing), and they just talked. At first, when he was trying to interact with some of the people, he felt it was a “me” versus “them” relationship. He said it seemed to him that some people told him whatever they thought he wanted to hear. Reyna said that knowing someone’s name goes very far with building a friendship relationship. “Many homeless/displaced/unsheltered brothers and sisters have a profound loss of family or connection, and they so much desire one. Getting to know them by name and learning a little of their story builds a bridge that shows you care, and you are interested in them,” Reyna said. “Also, I feel that sharing my struggles with them shows them I am not that different. Not all homeless people have the same struggles, either or the same advantages. I also share my limitations with what I can do to help. Sometimes people think you have to have all the answers or all the resources, but that is not the case,” Reyna said. “I accompany them by sharing my weaknesses, and sometimes I can only say, ‘I don’t know how to help with that, but I can definitely pray for you.’ “Just like family, my words and support are more receptive if the person knows that I care about them. Sometimes they may make choices that are not what I would make, or had what I would call ‘missed opportunities,’ but as my family, I must ‘accompany’ them without judgment,” he said, adding, “I just don’t know the whole story and it’s important that I see them as a person I care about and not as ‘a project.’ It helps me put things in perspective. “Now that we have shared and gotten to know each other, we have created a family community, and they trust me, and I try to share my faith and love by listening to them and treating them as an equal family member,” Reyna said. “It’s hard to help someone, knowing that they did not follow through with an appointment or a plan of action, but I have to remember that we all have free will,” he said, adding, “And some of us have more

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DNA OF COMMUNION

MARY COTTINGHAM | STC

Working with the homeless

On Sept. 16, homeless representatives John Bailey, Roseanne “Rosie” Garcia, Larry Thompson, and diocesan Director Jaime Reyna of Social Ministry, meet with Bishop Michael Mulvey and Father Pete Elizardo, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, also responsible for the old Central Catholic School campus. The three representatives thanked the bishop for seeing them, and each spoke of their past circumstances that led to their current state of homelessness.

challenges than others. Their challenges and struggles are not like mine, and in time, they will get where they need to be when possible.” For many months Reyna and Father Pete Elizardo talked of getting port-a-potties set up for them on location. Father Elizardo is pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and is charged with the grounds and people residing on the old Central Catholic campus. He has also been like a pastor to the homeless, and they know him for his tough love and compassion. “When we finally got two of port-a-potties on the property for their use, some cried, and everyone clapped with joy. Rose [Garcia] came to me and said, ‘I don’t care how long it took to get this and don’t care if it is here

temporarily. I just want you to know that by having this here means that you were listening to our needs, which is more important than anything else.’ “In any relationship, we are called to enter and get to know one another. Not always, but many times our homeless brothers and sisters may have had a bad day or moment, and just like us, they may take it out on someone else. Sometimes their challenge is overcoming embarrassment, so the conversation may be awkward at first. But if they feel you are genuine and sincere about wanting to get to know them, then it’s the first step toward a friendship relationship. The relationship gets easier when you see the other as a friend, a brother, a sister – Christ,” Reyna said.

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ADN DE COMUNIÓN

Trabajando con las personas sin hogar

Nuestra misión: una vocación de amor Por Mary Cottingham

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South Texas Catholic

as Hermanas Rency Moonjely y Sibi Varghese, Hermanas de la Adoración del Santísimo Sacramento, han sido llamadas a cuidar de nuestros hermanos y hermanas sin hogar que frecuentan el Refugio Madre Teresa. Las hermanas de su congregación se esfuerzan por difundir el amor eucarístico a través de sus actividades apostólicas; para las hermanas Rency y Sibi, es trabajando con las personas sin hogar. A esta misión de amor es a lo que el obispo Michael Mulvey anima a todos los católicos a comprometerse de nuevo, en su Carta Pastoral del 2020: “Estoy con ustedes siempre hasta el fin de los tiempos”. En una sección de su carta sobre “El ADN de Comunión”, el obispo Mulvey llama a los miembros de la Iglesia a generar una vocación de amor. Da ejemplos del amor de Dios: Dios ama a todos; Dios da el primer paso; Dios nos ve a través de los ojos de Su Hijo; Él comparte nuestros problemas y nos acompaña. Las hermanas Rency y Sibi dedican muchas horas todos los dias de la semana para alimentar, vestir y ofrecer refugio a los clientes que ingresan al refugio diurno de Caridades Católicas. Ellas, junto con los voluntarios y el personal, brindan a menudo palabras amables de tranquilidad a los cientos de personas a las que sirven. Tan solo el volumen de sus acciones deberían hablar por si solas de su amor, pero incluso ellas mismas te dirán lo difícil que es ver el rostro de Jesús en cada persona que encuentran. “Satisfacer una necesidad básica es nuestra prioridad”, dijo la hermana Rency. Pero a veces la gente quiere cosas de inmediato y ella no las tiene para dar. Ella dice que escribir sus nombres junto a lo que necesitan o quieren les hace felices, porque saben que ella los escuchó. “A veces lloramos Hermana Rency juntos”, dijo la hermana Moonjely, S.A.B.S. Rency. “Algunos, lo han 20 

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perdido todo y por eso no tienen hogar. Otros no son cuidados por su familia ni por la sociedad. Necesitan que alguien los escuche. Tan solo con detenerse y preguntarles, ‘cómo están’ les hace tan felices”. Ayudarlos puede ser simplemente una cuestión de dirigirlos hacia el consejero o trabajador de caso del refugio. “A veces nos hacen pasar un mal rato y no son agradables”, dijo la hermana Sibi. “Tenemos que alejarnos y regresar cuando estén más tranquilos. Entonces, tratandoles como amigos, intentamos de nuevo hablar con ellos “. La hermana Sibi se refiere a mostrar un amor enérgico y poner límites saludables para evitar que se desarrollen conflictos mayores en el futuro. “Algunos días son muy difíciles. Lo intentamos, pero a veces fallamos”, dijo la hermana Rency. “Entonces yo rezo: ‘Puedo hacer todo a través de Aquel que me fortalece’. Jaime Reyna, Director del Ministerio Social de la Diócesis de Corpus Christi, ha estado visitando a algunos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas sin hogar al frecuentar los terrenos del antiguo campus de la Escuela Central Católica desde mayo de este año. Dijo que aprendió rápidamente, que solo quieren ser tratados con cierta dignidad. Según Reyna, sentían que no le importaban a nadie, ni nadie quería escucharlos. Comenzó a almorzar con ellos (manteniendo una mascarilla y distanciamiento social), y solo empezaron a hablar. Al principio, cuando él estaba tratando de interactuar con algunas de las personas, sintió que se establecía una relación de “mi” contra “ellos”. Dijo que le parecía que algunas personas le decían lo que creían que él quería escuchar. Creyó que esperaban que les iba a “arreglar” o a “darles” Hermana Sibi algo, según él sentía que Varghese, S.A.B.S. necesitaban, pero esta fue QUE TODOS SE AN UNO


ADN DE COMUNIÓN

Trabajando con las personas sin hogar

su primera aproximación equivocada. Reyna dijo que conocer el nombre de alguien ayuda mucho a construir una relación de amistad. “Muchos hermanos y hermanas sin hogar / desplazados / desamparados sienten profundamente la pérdida de su familia o de su conexión, que es algo que lamentan y en el fondo, lo desean tanto. Conocerlos por su nombre y aprender un poco de su historia construye un puente que demuestra que te preocupas y estás interesado en ellos”, dijo Reyna. “Además, siento que compartir mis luchas con ellos les demuestra que no soy tan diferente. No todas las personas sin hogar tienen las mismas luchas, ni las mismas ventajas. También comparto mis limitaciones con lo que puedo hacer para ayudar. A veces la gente piensa que tienes que tener todas las respuestas o todos los recursos para ayudarles, pero ese no es el caso ”, dijo Reyna. “Los acompaño compartiendo mis debilidades y, a veces, solo puedo decir: ‘No sé cómo ayudarte con eso, pero definitivamente puedo orar por ti’.

“Con Permiso” Programa de Radio en Español

en KLUX 89.5 HD-1 y “Listen Live” en KLUX.org Domingos a las 7:30 a.m.

con el P. José Salazar, Jaime Reyna y Gloria Romero

“Como a miembros de mi familia, mis palabras y apoyo los hace más receptivos, se dan cuenta de que me preocupo por ellos. Algunas veces pueden tomar decisiones que no son las que yo tomaría, o tuvieron lo que llamaría ‘oportunidades perdidas’, pero como parte de mi familia, debo ‘acompañarlos’ sin juzgarlos”, dijo, y agregó: “Simplemente no conozco la historia completa y es importante que los vea individualmente, como a una persona que me importa y no como un “proyecto”. Esto me ayuda a poner las cosas en perspectiva. “Ahora que hemos compartido y nos hemos conocido, hemos creado una comunidad familiar, y ellos confían en mí, y trato de compartir mi fe y amor al escucharlos y tratarlos como a un miembro de mi familia en igualdad de condiciones”, dijo Reyna. “Es difícil ayudar a alguien, sabiendo que no cumplió con una cita o un plan de acción, sin embargo, debo recordar que todos tenemos libre albedrío”, dijo, y agregó: “Y algunos de nosotros tenemos más desafíos que otros. Sus desafíos y luchas no son como los míos, pero con el tiempo, llegarán a donde necesiten llegar hasta donde sea posible”. Durante muchos meses, Reyna y el padre Pete Elizardo hablaron sobre la instalación de baños portátiles para ellos en esa locación. El padre Elizardo es párroco de la parroquia del Sagrado Corazón y está a cargo de los terrenos y las personas que residen en el antiguo campus de la escuela central católica. También, ha sido como un pastor para los desamparados, y lo conocen por la fuerza de su amor y compasión. “Cuando finalmente conseguimos dos orinales portátiles en la propiedad para su uso, algunos lloraron y todos aplaudieron de alegría. Rose [García] se me acercó y me dijo: “No me importa cuánto tiempo haya tardado en conseguir esto y no me importa si está aquí temporalmente. Solo quiero que sepa que tener esto aquí significa que estaba escuchando nuestras necesidades, lo cual es más importante que cualquier otra cosa”. “En cualquier relación, estamos llamados a entrar y conocernos. No siempre, pero muchas veces nuestros hermanos y hermanas sin hogar pueden haber tenido un mal día o un mal momento, pero al igual que nosotros, pueden desquitarse con otra persona. A veces, su desafío es superar la vergüenza, por lo que la conversación puede resultar incómoda al principio. Pero si sienten que eres genuino y sincero acerca de querer conocerlos, ese es el primer paso hacia una relación de amistad. La relación se vuelve más fácil cuando ves al otro como a un amigo, un hermano, una hermana, o a Cristo”, dijo Reyna.

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SPREADING THE LIGHT Holy friendships

DNA of Communion as a youth group lifestyle By Bea Romo and Bob Cummings

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Contributors

un”, “family”, “love” were words used by teens to describe CONNECT, a youth group at Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi. Along with their religious education classes, CONNECT is an integral part of preparing teens before they receive the sacrament of confirmation. CONNECT is an experience where we aim to build up the “Three Connections.” They are all interwoven and essential to one another other: The first is the connection with God, which is strengthened and complemented by our connection with our neighbors and finally brings us to a greater connection with ourselves – our truest identity. The core group is made of young adults, a young mom and the two of us. We meet every Wednesday with the intention to grow in our personal connection with God and with each other. We pray, reflect, share, challenge each other and plan activities for the teens. We hold each other accountable to live out the Gospel and the principles of the “DNA of Communion” which in a beautiful way, supports our desire to grow in the three connections. The methodology that we use for CONNECT is based on the “Head, Hearts and Hands” approach. We believe that this supports the teens in integrating every area of their lives as followers of Jesus. We give presentations, share, reflect and pray as part of nourishing the heart. We bring speakers with certain expertise on the Social Doctrine of the Church or other matters to cultivate

Both Bea Romo and Bob Cummings accompany youth at Holy Family Parish in Corpus Christi. They are core group members of CONNECT, and help facilitate the spiritual growth of teens.

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the minds, and we love to serve through “hands-on” experiences to strengthen our hands. Christina Zuniga, one of the core group members shares a story: “About six months ago we had a new teen, who started coming to the youth group after one of the service projects. She is predominantly Spanish-speaking and understands little English. I am the opposite, but we worked well together at the service project because it didn’t involve much talking. This also challenged me because I wanted to do more and create a connection beyond “¿Cómo estás?” So, later when I went to our Spanish Mass, I would practice two sentences in case I saw her, and when I did, I would speak them to her, and she’d be surprised and smile. “She was one teen who amazed me because she would faithfully come to our weekly meetings even though we didn’t always have someone to translate the entire meeting. When we had to move our meetings online because of social distancing, she still came. With the help of Google translate, these new activities provided another opportunity to try to integrate a bit more Spanish when we shared. In one of the online sessions, she shared that she was grateful to us,” Zuniga said. She always felt welcomed and never felt like an outsider because of the language barrier. She saw and felt the love from everything that we did for her. And that’s when it clicked – love was the reason she kept coming back.” She has now become one of CONNECT’s teen leaders and a faithful and enthusiastic promoter of CONNECT’s

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SPREADING THE LIGHT Holy friendships

Holy Family Parish CONNECT core group meets with youth during their first virtual session for the new school year.

lifestyle of mutual love. Reaching the boys can at times be more challenging. Nick Valadez, like many teenage boys began attending CONNECT, begrudgingly. It was obviously a struggle for him, and he would have certainly preferred to be at home on his Xbox. In the beginning, he would often test boundaries, refusing to participate in activities or worse, take refuge in his cellphone. Our response as a core team was clear: “The DNA of communion.” To be the first to love, always welcoming him with a smile and being interested in what he was living, putting ourselves in his shoes. Many of us, in fact, had been in the same situation as teens and remember well how difficult and awkward those years were. The breakthrough moment for Nick (and for many of the teens) came when we visited the Mother Teresa Shelter where they encountered Jesus in the men and women they fed and visited. The transformation in Nick was evident, he was much more engaged and joyful in our weekly meetings and was the first one to sign up for extra-curricular events, such as a Diocesan Holy Hour for youth - the first one he had ever attended. Nick was confirmed last May. At the end of the summer, I called him to see if he would consider coming back to CONNECT as a teen leader. He told me he would think about it and then before hanging up, as an aside he said: “Oh yeah, Bob, the other day I was driving, and I saw this man who had broken down on the side of the road. I was going to keep going but then I thought about CONNECT and loving others as I would like to be loved, and so I stopped and helped him.” He shared this small-great act of kindness with great simplicity, but the joy was palpable. Reflecting on Nick’s simple decision to love brings to mind Bishop’s words:

“Loving daily in this way can revolutionize the Church and bring her to witness love before the world, yearning for a witness. We must not imagine love as something superficial or romantic. Love is a commitment to step beyond our personal comfort and convenience. Love puts “others” first in contrast to a society that proclaims “me” first. Since the pandemic, we have tried to look for new ways of accompanying all “CONNECTORS” and their families. One way that has helped us keep connected to the teens and motivate one another to live the Gospel in our daily lives has been the “Daily Connection.” It originally started in April as a noon appointment that usually lasted for 20 minutes. Since school started up again, we moved it to 6 p.m. Normally, it is a small group of teens and leaders that gather online. We usually have quick check-ins, share news and stories about the ‘CONNECT challenge of the week’ and pray for the end of the pandemic and those who could not make it to the Connection. Most of our Sunday sessions are online, although we are now offering in-person sessions once a month as an alternative for those who are ready to meet in this way again. It has been a joy for all of us to be able to offer these two possibilities once a month. Another amazing moment that we had recently was a parish Mass fostered by the teens in October. Many of them volunteered with great generosity and diligence. They served as lectures, singers, host team members and helped with a project to beautify the church. It was a powerful testimony of the beauty of faith lived out in a young person. Last year, we studied all the characteristics of The DNA of Communion with the teens: love everyone, be the first to love, love your enemy, love Jesus in your neighbor,

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SPREADING THE LIGHT

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Holy friendships

Some teens and youth leaders from the core group meet during and in-person CONNECT session in the ‘Prayer Garden’ of Holy Family Parish, while other group members join virtually to the CONNECT online session.

and love one another. We did it through presentations, reflections and, most importantly, through the sharing of personal experiences. As a core group, we commit to living out these principles before we pass it on to the teens. In this way, what we propose is based on life and not only in theory. A special focus on service days is to discover Jesus’ presence in those who suffer, as we are reminded in Bishop Mulvey’s pastoral Letter, “The grace to see Jesus in every person is the key to finding the presence of Jesus each day in those we meet.” Some of the most beautiful moments of growth as individuals and as a group were those serving at the Mother Teresa Shelter. During this pandemic, we have witnessed a slight decrease in the number of teens that are regularly attending the sessions. At the same time, we have experienced growth in the quality of the relationships and mutual 24 

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love. We also see the edifying personal commitment of some of the confirmed teens that choose to continue with CONNECT in the role of a teen leader. Our journey with CONNECT began more than two years ago, and it has been a God-centered adventure since day one. His presence and guidance have been very tangible and concrete every step of the way, from forming the core team and suggesting the name to coming up with new ways to engage teens during the pandemic. It is a source of deep joy to be part of this experience of building the Church. Undoubtedly, we often fail to live this out perfectly. Nevertheless, we have seen that authentic effort and a desire to practice these traits of divine love generate an atmosphere that fosters growth spiritually, physically and mentally. We wish for CONNECT not to be a program but a lifestyle that all of us, teens and leaders, can live by.

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MARRIAGE

Witnessing God’s love to one another

The DNA of marriage By Deacon Santos Jones

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Contributor

Like all friendships, there will be disagreements, and for many people, that can be a challenge. There is the notion that marriage is like a romantic movie or should have a fairytale-like ending in which “they lived happily ever after.” The reality is that there will be unexpected challenges, miscommunication, disappointments, and there will inevitably be conflict. But how do couples move beyond these sources of division? We cannot continue to look through rose-colored glasses. We must accept that there are difficulties and challenges in the Christian life. Jesus, before His Ascension, reminded his disciples, “In the world you will have trouble” (Jn 16:33). The sacrament of marriage itself is not outside of this, nor is any other vocation. When conflicts arise in marriage, spouses should not disparage, but realize that it is a natural and healthy part of marriage.

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n my few years of ministry, I have found it humbling and inspiring to share in the joys and sorrows of the families to whom I minister. Whether it be witnessing a couple’s love and outlook on life as I prepare them for marriage, or see their love made manifest in their child brought forth to the waters of baptism or to be with spouses as they say their farewell at death. What is evident is their love for one another. You yourself have probably participated in these many sacred moments, you too have witnessed how marriage is the closest and most intimate of all human friendships that reflects the love of God. Indeed, marriage is an intimate communion of love and life, which God has made love-giving and life-giving. The person shares their whole self, their whole life with their spouse, including the good, the bad and the ugly.

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MARRIAGE

Witnessing God’s love to one another

“The love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together.”

– St. John Chrysostom

And if you think it’s not, just refer to the wedding vows: “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” Marriage takes work. It is beautiful yet challenging. Love can be messy. Many couples have the outlook that their marriage will be perfect. While they can control the ritual of marriage to some extent, to make it perfect, they cannot control what hurdles the marriage will face. It is easy to love a person when they are better, richer, and in good health, but how do you approach a person when they are at their worst, when they are poorer, or suffering from sickness? In the toughest of times, when it might seem like a lot of work, and it would seem easy to just walk away, spouses are called to love one another in an even more intimate way. It is more than just staying together for the sake of marriage but growing in love from the first time they say, “I do.” Bishop Mulvey, in his pastoral letter entitled, “I Am With You Always Until the End of the Age,” reminds us that a “distinctive mark of divine love shows that God takes the first step. […] Love always acts first.” This is true for a couple facing conflict. In the face of challenges, they should act first in love. For an example of this, we do not have to look far. Look to the cross. There we see love in its purest form, and it is messy. It is even hard to look at, but it is beautiful because we know the depth of God’s love for each of us. In showing us His love for us, God provides us the ultimate example of how spouses should love one another. St. Paul beautifully expresses this in his letter to the Ephesians, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her” (Ephesians 5:25-26). Husbands and wives are called to love one another sacrificially. It is through the sacramental bond of marriage that a man and woman receive the grace to love each other with the love of Christ for His Church to help sanctify one another and lead each other to the heavenly banquet. When the “two become one,” they no longer live for themselves but for each other. The poet John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself.” Often, we think we are made for ourselves, and we remain focused on ourselves and our own wellbeing, but our faith teaches us that we are created for something far greater 26 

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than ourselves; we are created for communion. In communion, it is no longer “I” and “you,” but “we” and “us.” In this sense, the relationship builds on a teamwork mentality in which both the husband and wife work together for the common good. In the sacrament of marriage, a husband and wife enter a communion of love that desires the good of one another and their children. Working towards the mutual sanctification of spouses is not an easy thing. No one likes to admit they are imperfect. Sometimes an individual’s insecurities, struggles and past traumas also come up. Each of these creates conflict and divisions within the marriage. The key is not to ignore these challenges but to use these moments as opportunities for love and grace. In the face of challenges, a man and woman are called to accompany one another. A characteristic of God’s love is “the fact that love accompanies people and shares in their situation.” Rather than walking away from a spouse when they are angry, sad or suffering, we are called to walk with them. They are called to cry together, laugh together, suffer together, pray together, respect, and love one another in Christ. “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:4-8). True love never fails, and if we live with God in our lives, our marriages will not fail. St. John Chrysostom famously said, “the love of husband and wife is the force that welds society together.” You see, when a man and a woman are able to step outside of themselves and embrace the beauty of marriage and enter into deep communion of life and love, they reflect a love that transcends their own, God’s love for all of us. More than ever, in a time when there is so much conflict and division in the world, we need strong Catholic marriages to remind that love can conquer and endure all things and unite all things. Deacon Santos Jones is Director of Catechesis, Adult Formation and College Campus Ministry for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

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COMMUNAL PRAYER

DAVID EUCARISTÍA | PEXELS

The Eucharist

The Eucharist: the highest form of Communal Prayer By Father Emilio Jimenez

T Contributor

ouching is a deeply intimate act. Physically touching someone implies a certain objective: “I want to get closer to you.” Touching transmits a kind of warmth from one person to another. The touch of one person to another suggests a certain level of trust and confidence in the other. It also implies a vulnerability in those who are touching. What does a person achieve with a tight hug? Why such exaggeration? It seems to be a primordial act of trying to become one person with the other. Would it

not be sufficient to say to a person while standing at a distance, “I love you?” That is not enough. It is as if persons who are embracing each other are trying to take the person physically into themselves but the fact that they are corporeal makes this union impossible. Is not every expression of intimacy and love between a husband and wife an attempt to achieve the most perfect communion possible? Otherwise, all those “strange” behaviors would be nonsensical. The love between spouses utilizes many and varied expressions of communion. Communion is the

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COMMUNAL PRAYER The Eucharist

Father Emilio Jimenez is pastor of St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in Aransas Pass. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

expression of an attitude, a mindset, “I want to be one with you because I love you.” Is it any wonder that in the realm of the mystical, marital language is often employed? We humans attempt every possible means to achieve communion, being one in mind, spirit and body, but this is impossible because we are limited by our physical nature. Now comes Christ. Christ wishes to restore us to full communion with the Father, the one from whom we came. When the human race was created, it was created in the image and likeness of God. Already from the beginning, we had communion with the Creator despite the fact that we had a physical nature. Our physical nature did not hinder God’s ability to live in communion with us. What is Christ’s ultimate objective? To reunite us to the Father. We had breached that communion, that being in each other. Our communion in and with Christ is the “way” that we achieve reconciliation and communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. This is the essence and the power of Baptism. We are incorporated into Christ, literally. We are made a part of his body, his mystical body so as to achieve communion with the Father. Communion also implies something very particular. It implies communication. That means that those who are in communion are also exchanging life and love. It is a constant loving and giving and sharing and living in and with the other. This is prayer. Prayer is loving discourse, loving intercourse, with God. Prayer and Communion are synonymous. But why the Eucharist. Because we are physical beings and not spiritual only. In heaven, we don’t only achieve spiritual union with God; the body is also taken up into this communion. When the Lord Jesus, gives us the Eucharist he is making an eternal reality, a future reality, present now. All of us can be spiritually united to the Godhead. The body, as well, is intended to participate in this

communion. Christ himself is the means of that communion and without him that communion is impossible. We are made one not just with God, but with all the members of the mystical body of Christ. When we receive the Eucharist, we are in spousal union with God. The Eucharist becomes the highest form of Communal Prayer because being one with God is the most intimate, most powerful, most complete communication of love between us and the Triune God. Communion as a oneness of persons and Communion as a Sacrament differ in only one way; when it is achieved sacramentally, it is in fact and not in attitude or mind alone. The fundamental binding power of this communion is love and love always seeks the other. Charity by definition is never self-seeking but looks to the good of the other. Thus, perfect Communion, living the Eucharistic mystery perfectly bears a natural fruit that is not coerced but born freely and that is love of the other. The other is always seen as beloved of God and; therefore, the one who achieves perfect love of God cannot but adopt the love that God possesses and that is a love of all his creatures without qualification. Greater charity than this we cannot achieve than to love as God loves.

In the spirit of proper stewardship, the Diocese of Corpus Christi encourages the reporting of any financial abuse concerns or related issues. Report confidentially to: financialconcerns@diocesecc.org En el espíritu de una administración adecuada, la Diócesis de Corpus Christi alienta a informar cualquier inquietud de abuso financiero o problemas relacionados. Informe confidencialmente a: financialconcerns@diocesecc.org

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ORACIÓN COMUNITARIA La Eucaristía

La Eucaristía: la forma más elevada de oración comunitaria Por el Padre Emilio Jiménez

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Contribuyente

ocar, es un acto profundamente íntimo. Tocar físicamente a alguien implica una intención: “Quiero acercarme a ti”. Tocar transmite una especie de calidez de una persona a otra. El contacto de una persona con otra sugiere un cierto nivel de confianza y seguridad en la otra. También implica una vulnerabilidad en quienes se están tocando. ¿Qué logra una persona con un abrazo fuerte? ¿Por qué tanta exageración? Parece ser un acto que intenta primordialmente convertirse en una sola persona con la otra. Acaso ¿No sería suficiente decirle “te amo” a la otra persona manteniendo la distancia? No, eso no es suficiente. Es como si las personas que se abrazan intentaran acoger físicamente a la otra persona en sí mismas, pero el hecho de que sean corporales imposibilita esta unión. ¿No es toda expresión de intimidad y amor entre marido y mujer un intento de lograr la comunión más perfecta posible? De otra forma, todos esos comportamientos “extraños” no tendrían sentido. El amor entre los esposos utiliza muchas y variadas expresiones de comunión. La comunión es la expresión de una actitud, que conlleva un estado mental: “Quiero ser uno contigo porque te amo”. Me pregunto, ¿si no es eso en el ámbito de lo místico, lo mismo que a menudo se emplea, en el lenguaje marital? Los seres humanos intentamos por todos los medios posibles lograr la comunión, siendo uno en mente, espíritu y cuerpo, pero esto es imposible porque estamos limitados por nuestra propia naturaleza física. Pero ahora viene Cristo. Cristo desea restaurar nuestra plena comunión con el Padre, aquel de quien venimos. Cuando la raza humana fue creada; fue creada a imagen y semejanza de Dios. Ya desde el principio, tuvimos comunión con el Creador a pesar de que teníamos una naturaleza física. Sin embargo, nuestra naturaleza física no obstaculizó la capacidad de Dios para vivir en comunión con nosotros. ¿Cuál es el objetivo último de Cristo?: reunirnos con el Padre. Habíamos roto esa comunión, ese ser del uno en el otro. Por lo tanto nuestra comunión en y con Cristo es el “camino” por el que logramos la reconciliación y la comunión con el Padre en el Espíritu

Santo. Ésta es la esencia y el poder del Bautismo. Estamos incorporados en Cristo, literalmente. Somos parte de su cuerpo, su cuerpo místico para lograr la comunión con el Padre. La comunión también implica algo muy particular. Implica comunicación. Eso significa que los que están en comunión también están intercambiando vida y amor. Es un amor constante, dar, compartir y vivir en y con el otro. Esta es la oración. La oración es un discurso amoroso, una relación amorosa con Dios. La oración y la comunión son sinónimos. Pero por qué la Eucaristía. Porque somos seres físicos y no solo espirituales. En el cielo, no solo logramos la unión espiritual con Dios; el cuerpo también se incorpora a esta comunión. Cuando Nuestro Señor Jesús, nos da la Eucaristía, está haciendo una realidad eterna, una realidad futura, que se hace presente en el ahora. Todos podemos unirnos espiritualmente a la Deidad. El cuerpo también está destinado a participar en esta comunión. Cristo mismo es el medio de esa comunión y sin él esa comunión es imposible. Somos uno, no solo con Dios, sino con todos los miembros del cuerpo místico de Cristo. Cuando recibimos la Eucaristía, estamos en unión conyugal con Dios. La Eucaristía se convierte en la forma más elevada de oración comunitaria porque ser uno con Dios es la comunicación de amor más íntima, más poderosa y completa entre nosotros y el Dios Trino. La Comunión como unidad de personas y la Comunión como Sacramento difieren sólo en una forma; cuando se logra sacramentalmente, es de hecho y no solo de actitud o mente. El poder fundamental que nos vincula en la comunión, es el amor y el amor siempre busca al otro. La caridad, por definición, nunca busca lo propio, sino que busca el bien del otro. Así, la comunión perfecta, viviendo perfectamente el misterio eucarístico, da un fruto natural que no es coaccionado sino que nace libremente y que es el amor al otro. El otro siempre es visto como amado por Dios y; por tanto, quien alcanza el amor perfecto de Dios no puede sino adoptar el amor que Dios posee y que es un amor sin reservas a todas sus criaturas. Más caridad que esta, no podemos lograr, porque es amar como Dios ama.

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Winter 2020-2021

Collections

We are humbled and grateful for those who continue to give during this time of uncertainty. Thank you! We are the many parts of the Body of Christ. Because of you, we are better able to serve the needs of our brothers and sisters. We understand that some may not be able to give. However, if you are able and can continue to give to your parish, please also consider giving to these worthy causes. Support the Collection for the Church in

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS

CHURCH IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

For many years Sister Mary Catherine Brehony, a sister from the congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, taught Math in Catholic schools. Please give to those who have given a lifetime. More than 93 percent of donations aid senior religious. For more information visit retiredreligious.org.

Years after the fall of communism, though some countries are now a part of the European Union and serve as examples of positive changes, a majority of the countries are lagging behind and still struggling to overcome the legacy and destruction left by the communist system; and the Catholics of these RESTORE THE regions continue toCHURCH need our help.

BUILD THE FUTURE

For more information visit usccb.org/committees/ church-central-eastern-europe. Copyright © 2016, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Photo credit: © iStock.

DECEMBER 12-13, 2020

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FEBRUARY 16-17, 2021

CHURCH IN LATIN AMERICA For over 50 years, Catholics in the United States have expressed solidarity with the Church from Mexico to the Caribbean, to the southern tip of South America through the Collection. Por más de 50 años, a través de la Colecta, los católicos en Estados Unidos han expresado su solidaridad con la Iglesia desde México hasta el Caribe y hasta el extremo sur de Sudamérica.

BLACK AND INDIAN MISSIONS

For more information go to usccb.org/committees/church-latin-america.

For more information visit blackandindianmission.org.

The Black and Indian Mission Collection exists to help local African American and Native American Diocesan Communities throughout the United States spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and respond to real and pressing needs on the ground.

FEBRUARY 20-21, 2021 JANUARY 23-24, 2021

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he Diocese of CorCathedral Sunday Mass: LIVE BROADCAST at 9:30 a.m. pus Christi conKLUX-HD 89.5, KLUX.ORG AND KDF-TV gratulates Sister (cable subscribers should consult their cable guide) Norma Pimentel, Missionary Sister MASS VIDEO REPLAYS of Jesus, who was named by channels on local public access Time Magazine as one of its Cathedral Sunday Mass: Tuesday-7 p.m.; “100 Most Influential People and Thursday-10 a.m. for 2020.” LaSister Misa en Español: Norma isTuesday-10 executivea.m.; Thursday-7 p.m. director of Catholic Charities INTERNET & VIDEO AT GOCCN.ORG Rio GrandePODCASTS Valley and has for Cathedral Sunday Mass, Our Shepherd’s View, the past several years been a Semillas de Esperanza and Con Permiso visible and highly active advoLa Misa en Español:in WEBCAST cate for migrants need ofLIVE Sunday 11 a.m. humanitarian aid at the US-Mexico border. “It’s amazing how we see human suffering in such magnitude, right across from the United States,” Sister Pimentel told CNA in an October 2019 interview. “It’s something that we could have handled so [differently]— these are refugees, people who are fleeing violence, asking for protection, and we deny that opportunity to have them come in and wait here.” Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley opened their first respite center at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen in 2014 to provide migrants with basic necessities, including a shower and a bowl of soup. In need of more space, they later moved to a former nursing home, and eventually in 2019 to a new, larger center in downtown McAllen. The center has helped hundreds of thousands of migrants over its years of operation, Pimentel says, with donations coming in from around the country and, before the pandemic, many volunteer groups coming to help. Pimentel said most of the people they help are women and children who have been released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement with a court date to consider their request for asylum. In earlier years, border agents would typically drop asylum seekers at the McAllen center shortly after being released from the custody of federal authorities. See the full story on catholicnewsagency.com/news/sisternorma-pimentel-named-one-of-2020s-most-influential-people-34949

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WORLD NEWS

Highlights, upcoming events and briefs

Teen martyred while protecting the Eucharist beatified in Spain By Courtney Mares

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Catholic News Agency

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His family moved to Masnou and the young man joined the Federation of Young Christians of Catalonia (FJCC), created in 1932 by Albert Bonet and which had 8,000 members before the Spanish Civil War. He wrote about social issues in the FJCC newsletter and was appointed to lead the catechesis of children between 10 and 14 years old. “When he came to MasBeatification Mass for nou no one knew him, but Joan Roig Diggle in the his piety and ardent love for Sagrada Família Basilica in the Eucharist soon became Barcelona. evident. He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament without realizing it. His example converted more than his words,” the president of the FJCC youth branch wrote in 1936. Fr. José Gili Doria, the vicar of Masnou, wrote in 1936: “One day Joan said to me: ‘I normally dedicate at least two hours a day to spiritual life: Mass, communion, meditation and visit to the Blessed Sacrament; it is little, but my work and the apostolate do not give me more.” In July 1936, Joan told some of his fellow members of the FJCC they should all be preparing to receive martyrdom with grace and courage, as did the first Christians. In the intense persecution that followed, it is estimated that some 300 young people from this organization were killed in Catalonia, including some 40 priests. The headquarters of the FJCC was burned. Joan’s mother said that in those days her son “was relieving sorrows, encouraging the timid, visiting the wounded, searching hospitals daily among the dead to find out which of his own had been killed.” “Every night, at the foot of the bed, with the crucifix clasped in his hands, he implored for some clemency, for others forgiveness, and for all mercy and strength,” she said. Cardinal Omella said: “Joan teaches us that all Christians are called to live our faith in community. No one builds his own faith alone, the Christian faith is essentially communal.”

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SCREENSHOT

19-year-old Spanish martyr who gave his life while protecting the Eucharist was beatified Nov. 7 at a Mass in the Sagrada Família Basilica in Barcelona. “Yesterday in Barcelona Joan Roig Diggle, a lay man and martyr killed at the age of 19 during the Spanish Civil War, was proclaimed Blessed,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Nov. 8. “May his example arouse in everyone, especially the young, the desire to live the Christian vocation to the full,” the pope said. Blessed Joan Roig Diggle was killed “in hatred of the faith” in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. The young man was known for his devotion to the Eucharist at a time when churches in Barcelona were being closed, burned, or destroyed, so a priest entrusted Joan Roig with a ciborium containing the Blessed Sacrament to distribute Holy Communion to those most in need in their homes as it was not possible to attend Mass. During one of these visits, Joan Roig told a family that he knew that red militiamen were trying to kill him. “I fear nothing, I take the Master with me,” he said. When those seeking his life knocked on his door, the young man consumed the hosts he had been guarding to protect them from potential desecration. The Libertarian Youth patrol then took him to the Santa Coloma cemetery where he was killed on Sept. 11, 1936 with five shots to the heart and one to the head. Blessed Joan Roig’s last words were: “May God forgive you as I forgive you.” At Joan Roig’s beatification on Nov. 7, Cardinal Juan José Omella, archbishop of Barcelona, said in his homily that the young man was an “ardent defender of the Social Doctrine of the Church” and provides youth today with a “testimony of love for Christ and for his brothers.” Joan was born in Barcelona on May 12, 1917. His father was Ramón Roig Fuente and his mother, Maud Diggle Puckering, was from England. He studied in schools run by De La Salle Brothers and the Piarist Fathers. His family experienced economic difficulties, so Joan worked to help cover expenses while he was pursuing his studies. Among his teachers were Fr. Ignacio Casanovas and Blessed Francisco Carceller, who would also go on to become martyrs.


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ANALYSIS: AFTER MCCARRICK REPORT:

Embracing the cross By JD Flynn

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Catholic News Agency

rdinarily, a news analysis attempts to bring some context or expertise to a situation, in order to assess why something has happened, what might happen next, and whether any of it will prove to be

important. A news analysis often speculates about what newsmakers will do: At CNA, analysis considers often what the pope might do, or USCCB leaders, or bishops of prominent dioceses. But this analysis will speculate about what ordinary Catholics - people who practice the faith and love the Lord and try to follow Jesus - will do after the publication of the Vatican’s McCarrick Report. To do that, some context in this analysis will be personal. There is a reason I offer this personal narrative. Please bear with me. I began working for the Catholic Church in 2005, while I was in canon law school. After finishing my canon law degree, in 2007 I began working regularly on cases involving clergy misconduct. I have sat with priests guilty of sexual assault and coercion, of grooming young men, of acting with serial disregard for the promises of their priesthood and the spiritual health of their victims. I have also sat with priests falsely accused of those things. I have seen problems ignored, and I have seen problems treated with the attention they deserve. I have seen priests get justice, and I have sometimes seen them face terrible injustice. I have seen victims mistreated, and victims treated with compassion and respect. I have seen cases in which every rule and protocol is followed, and cases in which most of them are ignored. Before the initial McCarrick allegations were made public in June 2018, I had already seen some things. As friends dealt with grief and shock, I told some cynically “Now you know why I’m ticked off all the time.” I had not known about McCarrick, but I knew about clerical abuse, and about the sins of omission and commission that allow it to happen. The 449 pages of the McCarrick Report detail a story decades long, in which institutional and personal failures allowed a man who abused his power to act with serial and serious immorality — to, put simply, hurt people.

It includes accounts of both cowardice and courage, of institutional blindspots exploited by a manipulator, of naïveté, misplaced kindness, and ill-placed trust, of dysfunction, bureaucratic ineptitude, and malice. The report demonstrates that sin begets sin - it recounts stories of abusers who were themselves abused. It depicts the exploitation of crises for personal gain. The report documents the damage wrought by a crippling bias towards institutional self-preservation, ironic for a Church that follows a crucified Lord. There are few heroes: A mother who tried her best to speak out. A priest who blew the whistle to protect seminarians. A cardinal who came to realize, only over time, that he needed to make clear a serious problem. The McCarrick Report also traces a growing awareness of the importance of addressing abuse allegations, and addressing them properly. An increased understanding that presuming on good will is not helpful in the presence of manipulators. Efforts, often faltering, and sometimes failing, to learn from previous mistakes. But even amid that trend, there are appalling personal failures at every stage of McCarrick’s career. The report does not document, or seem even to consider seriously, how McCarrick’s ambiguous and unmonitored financial situation enabled his decades of abuse. It mentions briefly his ability as a fundraiser, but offers no forensic analysis of his discretionary accounts. U.S. dioceses maintain records of those accounts, and to date have given no indication they plan to release them. The report addresses bishops who lied for McCarrick and about him to the Holy See, but it does not ask why those bishops were willing to lie. It does not give serious attention to McCarrick’s social networks and their influence on the life of the Church - mention is made of a friend leaking high-level documents to McCarrick in the Vatican, but no attention is given to what influence networks that friend has. Many analysts have said it does not address whether there remain in ministry bishops who were gravely negligent, or even who compounded or facilitated cover-ups. See the full story on catholicnewsagency.com/ news/analysis-after-mccarrick-report-embracing-the-cross-95084

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A WORD

From our Holy Father

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Catholic News Agency

ope Francis presented his vision for overcoming the world’s growing divisions, laid bare by the coronavirus crisis, in his new encyclical Fratelli tutti, published Sunday. In the letter, released, the pope urged people of good will to promote fraternity through dialogue, renewing society by putting love for others ahead of personal interests. Throughout the encyclical, the pope emphasized the primacy of love, in both social and political contexts. “Fratelli tutti,” the text’s opening phrase, means “All brothers” in Italian. The words are taken from the writings of St. Francis of Assisi, to whom the pope paid tribute at the beginning of the encyclical, describing him as the “saint of fraternal love.” The pope said he was struck that, when St. Francis met with the Egyptian Sultan Al-Kamil in 1219, he “urged that all forms of hostility or conflict be avoided and that a humble and fraternal ‘subjection’ be shown to those who did not share his faith.” “Francis did not wage a war of words aimed at imposing doctrines; he simply spread the love of God … In this way, he became a father to all and inspired the vision of a fraternal society,” the pope wrote. Pope Francis explained that his new encyclical brought together many of his previous reflections on human fraternity and social friendship, and also expanded on themes contained in the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” which he signed with Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, in Abu Dhabi in 2019. “The following pages do not claim to offer a complete teaching on fraternal love, but rather to consider its universal scope, its openness to every man and woman,” he wrote. “I offer this social encyclical as a modest contribution to continued reflection, in the hope that in the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity and social friendship that will not remain at the level of words.” The pope signed the encyclical in Assisi Oct. 3. He is thought to be the first pope to sign an encyclical outside of Rome for more than 200 years, since Pius VII issued the text Il trionfo in the Italian city of Cesena in 1814.

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VATICAN MEDIA.

‘Fratelli tutti’: Pope Francis calls for unity in new encyclical

Pope Francis prays at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi.

Pope Francis noted that, while he was writing the letter, “the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly erupted, exposing our false securities.” “Aside from the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident,” he said. “For all our hyper-connectivity, we witnessed a fragmentation that made it more difficult to resolve problems that affect us all.” The pope divided his third encyclical, after the 2013 Lumen fidei and 2015 Laudato si’, into eight chapters. In the opening chapter, he laid out the challenges facing humanity amid the coronavirus crisis, which has killed more than a million people worldwide. He cited wars, the “throwaway culture” that includes abortion and euthanasia, neglect of the elderly, discrimination against women, and slavery, among other threats. He also offered a critique of contemporary political debate, as well online communication, which he said was often marred by “verbal violence.” “In today’s world, the sense of belonging to a single human family is fading, and the dream of working together for justice and peace seems an outdated utopia,” he wrote. “What reigns instead is a cool, comfortable and globalized indifference, born of deep disillusionment concealed behind a deceptive illusion: thinking that we are all-powerful, while failing to realize that we are all in the same boat.” See the full story on catholicnewsagency.com/news/fratellitutti-pope-francis-calls-for-unity-in-new-encyclical-19783

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help

------------------------------ PRESENTS ------------------------------

THE ANNUAL FISH FRY

FISH

FRY Drive-thru

------ ---- Front of the Parish Hall ----------

5830 Williams Dr.

--------------- Corpus Christi, TX ----------- ----

ASH WEDNESDAY

FEBRURARY 17th 11:00AM TO 7:00PM

And every Friday till April 2nd 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm -------- ----------- MENU -------- ---------

Fish Plate $9*

2 Fish Fillets, French Fries, Hush Puppies, Coleslaw & Tea

Shrimp Plate $9*

5 Shrimp, French Fries, Hush Puppies, Coleslaw & Tea *fish may contain bones*

--------- ADDITIONAL Add On -------3 shrimp $2.00 • 2 crab cakes $3.00 • gallon of tea $3.00

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WINTER 2020-2021 ISSUE South Texas Catholic 555 N Carancahua St, Ste 750 Corpus Christi, TX 78401-0824 (361) 882-6191

Profile for South Texas Catholic

Winter 2020-2021 - Vol. 55. No. 9