Texas Catholic Herald - Feb. 8, 2022

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The organization continues to support the eight CROSS Academies of the Archdiocese.

How does your family keep Jesus Christ the center of your home? ▪ SEE PAGE 10


Proclaiming the Good News to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston since 1964

FEBRUARY 8, 2022



VOL. 58, NO. 17


A century of caring San José Clinic’s centennial anniversary: 100 years old and forever healing BY JO ANN ZUÑIGA Texas Catholic Herald


Knights of Peter Claver Reginald Auzenne, center, now Supreme Navigator over the Meritorious Fourth Degree Division of the Order, processes at the 2018 National Convention in California. At the time, Auzenne was Supreme Captain, the 2nd highest rank nationally in the 4th degree division. He is flanked by (left) Knights Captains Robert Johnson, of Los Angeles, and Myron Creecy, of New Orleans.

Knights of Peter Claver claim two top national officers here in Galveston-Houston BY JO ANN ZUÑIGA Texas Catholic Herald HOUSTON — Knights of Peter Claver, the largest African American Catholic lay organization in the United States, stand as a true family affair that includes the Ladies Auxiliary, Junior Knights and Junior Daughters, said a national officer based in Houston. James K. Ellis of Houston became the 17th Supreme Knight and CEO in its national history, which is the top officer of the order. Reginald C. Auzenne, also of Houston, is the 18th Supreme Navigator over the

Meritorious Fourth Degree Division of the Order, the top national officer of that division. This is the first time that both top positions are being held at the same time by members of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. “We have always wanted to serve our Church but didn’t have a platform to work together nationally with our brothers and sisters,” Auzenne said of the formation of the Knights. Founded in 1909 by four priests of the Catholic order of Josephites, including a native from Poland and





Mass, prayer vigil and rallies stand for life in the public square BY JAMES RAMOS Texas Catholic Herald


See PETER CLAVER, page 7

HOUSTON — When Monsignor George T. Walsh, then pastor of Annunciation Catholic Church in downtown Houston, learned of the high infant mortality of Mexican children in Houston in 1922, he knew where to turn. A group of his parishioners had just started a new local chapter of the National Council of Catholic Women so Monsignor Walsh, with the approval of Bishop Christopher Byrne, asked the ladies to help. Now known as the Charity Guild of Catholic Women, the local council president, Theodora Kendall, and clinic co-founder, Katherine Carroll, each pitched in one dollar and rallied 57 other


Bishop John L. Morkovsky, who led the Galveston-Houston diocese from 1963 through 1985, is saluted by the Knights of Peter Claver at a parish event.

COLUMNISTS † 10 - 12


ESPAÑOL † 17 |

HOUSTON — What starts in prayer can change the world. A chilly Saturday morning of prayer kicked off a series of events calling for greater respect for human life when the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart hosted a prayer vigil with Eucharistic Adoration on Jan. 22, the National Day of Prayer for Legal Protection for the Unborn. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo also celebrated the annual Respect Life Mass at 11 a.m. that same day. During the prayer vigil before the Mass, dozens braved the frigid temperatures to come before the Lord


See LIFE, page 5



Injustice at work, in Church should be addressed, pope says VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis addressed job safety, injustice, and encouraged religious sisters and consecrated women to continue to show courage amid difficulties. The pandemic should not be used as an excuse for doing nothing about improving job safety and repairing injustice, Pope Francis said. The pandemic has worsened the situation of many workers and families, he said, “but the pandemic cannot and must not become an alibi to justify omissions in justice or safety.” “On the contrary, the crisis can be faced as an opportunity to grow together in solidarity and in the quality of work,” he said on Jan. 29 in an audience with members of the Italian Leather Chemists Association. Members work in the tanning sector, chemical and dye manufacturing and related fields for the leather industry. The pope, who earned a specialized high school diploma as a chemical technician and worked briefly in a food science lab, recognized their role in applying modern technical and scientific knowledge to “an artisan activity that has an ancient tradition.” He encouraged them to address a critical issue in their industry, which is the environmental impact of the manufacture and use of chemicals to tan, dye and treat leather that then “becomes bags, shoes and so on — so many things we use every day, and we don’t think about the work there is behind it!” They, too, are called to help in the



Religious women hold candles as Pope Francis celebrates Mass marking the feast of the Presentation of the Lord at the Vatican in this Feb. 2, 2017, file photo. In a video message released by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network Feb. 1, Pope Francis offered his prayer intention for the month of February, which he dedicated to religious and consecrated women.

care of creation, including in the way they work, he said. Coming together as an association is valuable because they can share needed knowledge, experience, as well as the latest in legal requirements and technical advancements, he said. “Thus, we help each other to grow together in a style of social and ecological responsibility. And this is very important! Today we are more aware of our ecological responsibility,” which is a good thing, he said. Pope Francis told the leatherworkers he hoped St. Joseph would serve as an example to “help you not to give in to discouragement, to creatively enhance your talents and your great experience to move forward and forge new ways.” In a video message released by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network on Feb. 1, the pope offered his prayer

intention for the month of February, which he dedicated to religious and consecrated women. He encouraged religious sisters and consecrated women to fight against injustice, even if it means pushing back against the church they serve faithfully. “I invite them to fight when, in some cases, they are treated unfairly, even within the Church; when they serve so much that they are reduced to servitude, at times, by men of the Church,” the pope said. At the start of each month, the network posts a short video of Pope Francis offering his specific prayer intention. “Let us pray for religious sisters and consecrated women, thanking them for their mission and their courage; may they continue to find new responses to the challenges of our times,” he said. †


This month, we will pray in a special way for religious sisters and consecrated women. What would the Church be without religious sisters and consecrated laywomen? The Church cannot be understood without them. I encourage all consecrated women to discern and choose what is best for their mission in the face of the world’s challenges that we’re experiencing. I exhort them to keep working and to have an impact with the poor, with the marginalized, with all those who are enslaved by traffickers; I especially ask them to make an impact on this. And let us pray that they may show the beauty of God’s love and compassion as catechists, theologians, and spiritual guides.



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Effective Dec. 1, 2021 Father Blaise Czaja, CP In residence — Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center Effective Jan. 8 Father Vincent Chacko Parochial Vicar — Epiphany of Our Lord Effective Jan. 15 Father John Schorck, CP In residence — Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center

IN BRIEF Last chance to register Steps for Students

HOUSTON — More than 7,000 participants are expected to gather downtown on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the CoCathedral of the Sacred Heart for the 17th Annual Steps for Students 5K Run/Walk. The event raises funds and awareness for the network of 56 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. The day starts with Mass at 6:30 a.m. followed by the presentation of the David Guite Spirit Award. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will bless everyone present just before the 5K race begins at 8 a.m.; a post-race party will follow the event. The timed-event registration fee is $30. The untimedevent registration fee is $18. To register, or for more information, visit www. steps4students.org. †

Catholic Charities’ food distributions continues in three locations


Two Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston priests, Father Miguel Solorzano of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and Father Richard “Luke” Millette, Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal, were selected as members of the new Faith Leader Council working for safe places of worship. Created by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the council held a media conference Jan. 24 after the hostage situation at a North Texas synagogue. Father Solorzano, at the podium in the photo, said Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other denominational ministers discussed with law enforcement officials the recommendation to form security committees in each religious place of worship for training on how to react to emergencies. The council also prayed in a moment of silence to remember two local officers who lost their lives recently while serving the community.


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HOUSTON — Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston offers food assistance at three food pantries that are open for drive-thru food distribution: Guadalupe Center in Houston; the Mamie George Community Center in Richmond; and the Beacon of Hope Center in Galveston. In Houston, drive-thru distributions at the Guadalupe Center, at 326 S. Jensen St. in Houston, are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. No appointment needed. The Beacon of Hope Center, located at 4700 Broadway, Suite F-103 in Galveston, is a Galveston County super distribution site. Distributions are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, starting at 9 a.m. No appointment is required. The next distributions are on Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and Feb. 23. Call 409-762-2064 for more information. In Fort Bend, The Mamie George Community Center, at 1111 Collins Rd. in Richmond, is a Houston Food Bank super distribution site. Register by texting HFBPS to 855-788-3663, then select Catholic Charities — Richmond. In 2022, drive-thru distributions will be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m., and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The next food fairs are Feb. 26 and March 26. For help, call 281-202-6200. For hours and addresses, visit www.catholiccharities.org/ food or call the Catholic Charities COVID Assistance Line at 713-874-6521. †

Bishop Rizzotto Golf Classic set for March 7 at Wildcat Golf Club

HOUSTON — The 18th Annual Bishop Rizzotto Memorial Golf Tournament, which supports the retired priests, religious and elders of St. Dominic Village, is set for Thursday, March 3. Registration is at 11 a.m. with shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The tournament is at the Wildcat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Rd., in Houston. All proceeds directly benefit the residents of St. Dominic Village. Price per player is $250. To register to play or sponsor-a-priest visit www. stdominicvillage.org. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Kimberly Elliott at 713-741-8722 or email kelliott@ stdominicvillage.org. †




POETRY CONTEST OPENS FOR SUBMISSIONS The Catholic Literary Arts is accepting poems through April 8 and will choose nine winners. ▪ SEE PAGE 8

‘We need to be here for another 100 years’ SAN JOSÉ CLINIC, from page 1 council members to do the same. With that seed money of $59, which in 2022 would have the purchasing power of $979, San José Clinic was born after going through several transformations. First starting as Clinica Gratuita in a wood-frame house at 1900 Franklin Street, it was later renamed the Mexican Clinic when moved to Canal Street in Second Ward, then San José Clinic downtown on Hamilton and now San José Clinic is located in a modern office building in midtown at 2615 Fannin with an extension clinic in Rosenberg. This year, both the clinic and the Charity Guild of Catholic Women are celebrating their 100 years serving the community, especially those below the poverty line or the working poor. Starting back at Annunciation Church where Monsignor Walsh’s brainchild was born, San José Clinic held its Centennial Anniversary Mass there on Jan. 22. “We come here to celebrate the centennial anniversary of San José Clinic and its rich history of providing healthcare and hope to the marginalized within Houston since 1922,” Father Millette said in his homily. “It is fitting that we celebrate this event here in the place where it started 100 years ago when Monsignor George Walsh, at that time the pastor of Annunciation Church, enlisted the help of the Charity Guild of Catholic Women to create a clinic for the care of disadvantaged children.” He added, “We see that we cannot honor San José Clinic without equally honoring all of those other people and institutions, known and unknown, who have made its work possible here in Houston for these past hundred years.” “Within the pages of San José’s history, we read about the generous support from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, religious sisters from congregations such as the Sisters of Immaculate Conception and Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, the Charity Guild of Catholic Women, United Way, the Scanlan Foundation, Christus Health as well as many other health care and medical academic institutions throughout Houston, not to mention the innumerable volunteer doctors, nurses and dentists as well as everyone who has contributed or donated in any way,” Father Millette said.


At left, San José Clinic pediatric department receives a $50,000 grant from the Charity Guild of Catholic Women in 1982. Guild chair Mrs. James Piper presents the funds to Sister Teresa Quinn, CCVI, clinic administrator, along with Auxiliary Bishop John McCarthy of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston and Sister Clare Deegan, CCVI, clinic supervisor. At right, a centennial anniversary Mass for San José Clinic was celebrated at Annunciation Catholic Church on Jan. 22, circling back where the brainstorm idea to create the healthcare institution began in 1922. Left to right, San José Clinic board vice chair Cathy Mitchell, board chair Michelle Herrera, and clinic president and CEO Maureen Sanders.

“Jesus healed the sick as a sign of the deeper healing, which He was bringing to the world, as an invitation to place faith in God and enter into the true joy of Heaven.” FATHER LUKE MILLETTE He concluded, “We must not forget, however, that this mission is meant to bring about more than just physical healing. Recall that Jesus healed the sick as a sign of the deeper healing which He was bringing to the world, as an invitation to place faith in God and enter into the true joy of Heaven.” While that spiritual component is an important part of the mission, the clinic serves all faiths and those with none. San José Clinic President and CEO Maureen Sanders told a group of supporters attending the Mass and reception afterward, “These efforts,

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along with your prayers and continued support, serve the fourth largest city in America as the healthcare home for all of the underserved and uninsured in our community.” In addition to the official kick-off with the Anniversary Mass, San José Clinic will celebrate special events each month of this year. “In the coming weeks and months, you will hear more about our parish outreach initiative within the Archdiocese,” she said. Sanders said the outreach effort to parishes will partner with other ministries such as Catholic Charities and St. Dominic Village residences for the elderly. They plan to visit parishes to inform church-goers of the health care provided and other social services available to those eligible. The clinic has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as many others have. In “normal” times, as many as 400 uninsured patients a day would come into the clinic to receive low-cost check-ups, dental care and medications to manage their illnesses. Since recently reopening the doors at the clinic’s Fannin Street location, the patients are slowly returning in person, but telemedicine is also here to stay, said San José Clinic board chair Michelle Herrera. “This situation has shown how incredibly nimble San José is even after 100 years. We knew this was an important moment in time to keep talking and

seeing patients,” Herrera said. “Everyone kept working in concert whether at home and embraced what was needed with the blessings of Daniel Cardinal DiNardo.” “Most of the populations we serve have two or three jobs to make it economically. So going forward, we need to be here for another 100 years to help those in need,” she said. More than 50% of the clinic’s patients live at or below 100% of the federal poverty line, meaning less than $27,750 annually for a family of four. About 65% of their patients are women, and 75% of their clientele identify as Hispanic. Cardiologist Dr. Carter Grinstead III won the clinic’s Volunteer of the Year award this year after serving patients there throughout the pandemic over the past two years. “Many of the older medical staff had to take a hiatus when the virus hit. I was able to continue part-time seeing three to five patients in the afternoon, twice a week at the midtown clinic, and monthly at the Rosenberg clinic,” Dr. Grinstead said. “Our patients deserve this kind of excellent care. They are good community residents who are mostly working but have no insurance,” he said. “They don’t feel entitled but are very appreciative.” “I’m not Catholic. I’m with St. Luke’s Methodist Church. But it doesn’t matter which denomination you are at the clinic. We just want to help the community,” the doctor said. †



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Cardinal: Everyone carries ‘an image of His very life’ LIFE, from page 1 in the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration to pray for the legal protection of the unborn. For roughly three hours, various people from around the Archdiocese, including the Knights of Columbus, Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province, Dominican Friars from Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Houston, Legion of Mary and other parish and prayer groups, rotated in praying with readings and Psalms from Sacred Scripture, songs and chant, petitions and other prayers before the Blessed Sacrament. The events were coordinated and hosted by the Office of Pro-Life Activities, headed by Director Julie Fritsch. At the beginning of the Mass, Cardinal DiNardo welcomed the several hundred faithful and said, “we are gathered here in Houston to celebrate the Liturgy, to pray, to ask for the intercession of the Lord, and in light of our prayers, to also promise our help to make sure that those in need, receive the [help], particularly women in unplanned pregnancies.” Cardinal DiNardo encouraged everyone to unite in prayer for the “return of protection, legal protection, to all preborn human life, to all children to be born on this day, that recalls the tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade.” In his homily, Cardinal DiNardo recalled St. John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life), which marks its 27th anniversary this year. Referencing the pontiff’s encyclical, Cardinal DiNardo said, “every human person is willed into existence by the Lord. And therefore every human person though, this is just the first stage of our total union with God, even he says this terrestrial life is extremely important and is indeed unassailable that it be protected.” He stressed the importance of remembering “the inestimable worth of each human being because each is a person made in the image and likeness of God, even when they don’t look that way.” While not specifically addressing the court cases related to abortion being considered currently by the Supreme Court, Cardinal DiNardo said that a decision, any change, does not affect the goal to “care about people before they’re born and after they’re born, to help them along.” he said.“That’s what our faith tells us; that’s what our life tells us. And that’s

why there’s such an inestimable worth to each and every person.” A case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court involving a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks is reported to be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1971 decision that legalized abortion. Cardinal DiNardo recalled an encounter he had with St. John Paul II. At the conclusion of their meeting, the pope earnestly reminded a young Cardinal DiNardo to remember that “it’s always about the human person. Always.” Doing so will not always be a “brilliant” experience, Cardinal DiNardo said, but it will mean that “we’ll do well because we will never leave aside the beauty, whether it’s an unborn child in the womb, or a suffering, aging person who may be dying... we never forget that beauty that God has implanted in each of us. We carry an image of His very life.” At the end of the Mass, Cardinal DiNardo encouraged the attendees to remain steadfast in their faith. “Thank you for your presence here today, for the prayer vigils beforehand, whether here or elsewhere, and for coming to this celebration of Mass today,” he said. “Your witness to the Gospel of Life in the world is very important.” A WITNESS FOR LIFE IN AUSTIN, DC While some Catholics turned out to pray at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, others also made the trek to the Texas State Capitol in Austin for the Texas Rally for Life and to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. Groups boarded buses bound for the Texas capital from a number of different departure points, including the St. Dominic Center Chancery near the Texas Medical Center, St. Anthony of Padua and Sts. Simon and Jude in The Woodlands, St. Justin Martyr in west Houston, St. Laurence in Sugar Land and St. Clare of Assisi in the Bay Area. They joined other religious, school and parish communities for a nearlytwo-mile march to the steps of the Texas State Capitol, where they rallied for an end to abortion and for the protection of all human life and heard from several speakers, including Bishop Joe Vásquez of Diocese of Austin and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The rally also hosted a large diaper drive to benefit clinics across Texas. St. Mary’s Seminary officials said


Carol Herrera, who works for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of GalvestonHouston, joined hundreds at the 2022 Texas Rally for Life in Austin on Jan. 22.

that seven seminarians and one priest also made the journey to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, joining tens of thousands in the nation’s capital amid subfreezing temperatures. They attended the annual National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate

Conception on Jan. 20. The vigil, presided over by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, was held prior to the Jan. 21 March for Life in Washington. In his homily, he took note of recent developments in which pro-life Americans may be able to take heart. “We are deeply conscious that the Supreme Court is weighing Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This case gives the high court an opportunity to undo the grave injustice it did in 1973 when in Roe v. Wade it decided that a whole class of human beings, the unborn, are outside the protection of the law, and thus ‘non-persons,’” Archbishop Lori said. †

Forever Healing:

Centennial Celebration

Coming October 2022 Event Chairs: Katherine & Brian Parsley, MD Honorary Chairs:


Joan & Philip Morabito

Sisters of the Charity

Louise & Bob Parsley

of the Incarnate Word

The Most Reverend George A. Sheltz (In Memoriam)

The Most Reverend

Annette & George W. Strake

Joseph Fiorenza

For sponsorship information or questions, please contact San José Clinic at events@sanjoseclinic.org PHOTO COURTESY OF ST. MARY’S SEMINARY

Seven seminarians and one priest also made the journey to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, joining tens of thousands in the nation’s capital amid subfreezing temperatures.



The Cardinal’s Circle tour CROSS Academies, see fruits of Catholic education in Archdiocese BY LESLIE BARRERA Special to the Herald HOUSTON — The conference room at Holy Ghost Catholic School was filled with colorful paper hearts created by the students to share the things in their lives for which they are most grateful. “With Grateful Hearts” was the theme for The Catholic Schools Week School Tour for the members of The Cardinal’s Circle. Each year during National Catholic Schools Week, which begins the last week of January, members of The Cardinal’s Circle and prospective members are invited to tour the campuses of the eight CROSS Academies and see the great impact the funds given to the schools from The Cardinal’s Circle have had on the communities. The Cardinal’s Circle’s mission is to help the CROSS Academies to maintain a standard of academic excellence in curriculum and staff. The organization provides the tuition assistance required by a large portion of the student population that attends these eight schools. Through an annual contribution of $5,000 or more, members invest in

The 8 CROSS Academies Assumption Catholic School Holy Ghost Catholic School Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Galena Park Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School Resurrection Catholic School St. Augustine Catholic School St. Christopher Catholic School St. Mary of the Purification Catholic School


Principal Deborah Crowe introduces a Holy Ghost Students to the members of The Cardinal’s Circle during a tour of the school for National Catholic Schools Week.

students’ academic lives. Founded in 2010 as a commitment to society and students in the Archdiocese’s urban areas, The Cardinal’s Circle

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celebrates a decade of providing this financial support to more than 16,000 students since its inception. While visiting Holy Ghost Catholic School, the group was able to see the school’s reconstructed courtyard, which was just recently completed, being gratefully used for basketball and recess activities and were serenaded by the elementary and middle school choir. Joining in communicating their gratitude to The Cardinal’s Circle on behalf of the principals and pastors of the seven other

campuses, Father Bill Bueche, CSsr, and Principal Deborah Crowe shared the many accomplishments their school community has had this academic year and offered their thanks to the group of school supporters. In between sharing stories of the importance of parish and school collaboration and lightheartedly suggesting the next meeting feature karaoke, Father Bueche brought it all back to the true meaning of helping others. “Because of your support and the contributions from The Cardinal’s Circle, our students are able to get an excellent education,” he said. “And for that, I offer my sincere, sincere thanks. For more information on joining the Cardinal’s Circle, visit ChooseCatholicSchools.org/CC. †

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Peter Claver groups are ‘true witnesses’ to Galveston-Houston Catholic communities, leader says PETER CLAVER, from page 1 three black Catholic laymen in Mobile, Alabama, the Knights were named after St. Peter Claver, according to the Knights’ history. The Jesuit missionary, born in Spain in the 1500s, was known to minister to blacks on slave ships in South America, taking them food and medical supplies as well as prayers and Baptism. The first Knights of Peter Claver in Houston was organized at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in 1916 by parishioner Albert E. Woodley, who moved to Houston from New Orleans and became the first Grand Knight in Texas. The organization’s model was based on other Catholic fraternal orders, such as the Knights of Columbus, which at the time did not allow black members in all of their councils. Their main purposes remain promoting civic and social justice, contributing to charity, awarding scholarships and nurturing relationships with the community, youth and family, Auzenne said. A knight since 1994 at his original parish of Queen of Peace in LaMarque, Auzenne recently presented a resolution from the Knights of Peter Claver to the family of retired Auxiliary Bishop George A. Sheltz at his December funeral vigil services “out of respect for our fallen brother.” “Bishop Sheltz was an esteemed member of the Knights of Peter Claver. We have numerous deacons, priests, bishops, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza and Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, who are all members of our organization here in Houston,” he said. “We’ve tried to be a calming influence in these tense times of COVID-19. We’re


Members of the Knights of Peter Claver participate in a Mass at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houston.

not able to gather as we once did or to be present as much lately at parishes or at Archdiocesan Mass events. In my position, I made sure to put safety protocols in place for our Fourth Degree members when we are able to gather to ensure facilities are cleaned and social distancing is kept,” Auzenne said. He added, “Our Supreme Knight has also put safety guidelines in place to ensure safe gatherings, as well as


health and wellness initiatives for all members. Up to this point, we’ve been meeting primarily via Zoom and

conference calling until further notice,” Auzenne said. The Knights of Peter Claver State Deputy of Texas Adrian Adams, also of Houston and a member of St. Monica Catholic Church, said he works in conjunction with the national officers. “One of my main charges is to recruit new members, so I also work with our national office in New Orleans,” Adams said. “Now we’re coordinating conferences for 2022 and trying to check if we can go back to in-person or need to continue virtually.” If in-person state conferences return, he said that the Junior Knights would be in March in Corpus Christi and the Senior Knights in late April or May in Austin. In those gatherings, they organize what projects may be needed for the community, Adams said. Father Reginald Samuels, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s Vicar for Catholics of African Descent, said the Knights of Peter Claver do an excellent job promoting and advancing the causes of the African and African American Catholic faithful throughout the Archdiocese. “The Knights of Peter Claver are true witnesses to the Catholic community of the Archdiocese,” he said. “They are witnesses by assisting the Catholic priests at the local Church level, and they live the life of faithful Catholic men.” †

Nazareth Academy Seeks DYNAMIC Leader!

Established in 1867, in Victoria, Texas, Nazareth Academy Catholic School, with a current enrollment of 320 students, in grades PK-8, is actively seeking a dynamic principal leader for the 2022-2023 school term. Nazareth Academy is fully accredited. For more details and requirements, visit: www.victoriadiocese.org/employment-opportunities

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LENT AND EASTER 2022 Ash Wednesday is March 2 Palm Sunday is April 10 Holy Thursday is April 14 Good Friday is April 15 Easter Sunday is April 17


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Poetry contest helps middle school students find their voice in word and life BY JO ANN ZUÑIGA Texas Catholic Herald HOUSTON — Catholic school teacher Maria Illich, who founded the Archdiocesan Poetry Contest for sixth to eighth grades in 2016, was so hands-on that she wove crowns of laurels, an ancient Greek and Roman symbol of victory and success, for the winning poets. “They also won medals and trophies, but for me, the true reward was hearing the students share their words in the context of the ultimate Word, Jesus Christ,” said the teacher of more than 30 years. She also saw how the students delighted in finding their own voices. Illich is busy writing her own works, including a published award-winning children’s book “The Legend of the Ladybug” about a young girl in medieval France calling upon her courage and the Blessed Virgin Mary to stop a famine. “But after five years of organizing this contest, I wanted help because I teach full-time classes at St. Francis de Sales School while also overseeing a dyslexia class and teaching after-school writing classes,” said the University of St. Thomas graduate. Enter the Catholic Literary Arts (CLA), which will now be helping to inspire students to write about religious topics, better their writing skills and increase their academic confidence. Sarah Cortez, a published author and member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is the founder and president of CLA. A Rice University graduate in psychology and religion, Cortez said,“We want to increase the visibility of the contest as well as the number of students participating.” She added, “That’s why we’ll have two contests this year - one for archdiocesan


2019 Poet Laureate Maegan McCarthy, in center, wears her winning medal and holds her award. Behind her from left to right, teacher Maria Illich, CLA president Sara Cortez, teacher Danielle Santowski, Scanlan Foundation president Larry W. Massey Jr. and St. Helen Catholic School Principal Dr. Phyliss Coleman.

schools and a separate one for homeschooling scholars. These are the only poetry contests of their kind open to students to develop skills in writing for the glory of God.” This year’s poetry contests revolve around the theme of Spiritual Works of Mercy. That topic includes feeding the hungry; counseling the doubtful; bearing wrongs patiently; forgiving offenses willingly and comforting the afflicted. There have been hundreds of submissions annually in the past years. This year, a total of nine winners from each contest will be chosen — three from each of the grades to win first, second and third prizes. All nine will have their

poetry published by CLA in an anthology. Those 18 will also receive medals as well as paid tuition to participate in Fearless Catholic Writing Camp held each June at the University of St. Thomas. From the first-prize winners in each grade, a poet laureate of each contest will be selected by Cortez. “A committee chooses the first, second and third prize winners in each grade by blind-judging the poetry submitted. No identifying information of names or schools is visible to the judges, and the sole criterion is quality.” Cortez said. The archdiocesan contest opened for submissions Feb. 1 and will be accepting poems through April 8. The

homeschooling contest opened Feb. 8 and will accept poems through April 13. She said that the Scanlan Foundation is partly underwriting the program, but additional donations and sponsors are still needed. The tax-deductible donations will help provide a cash prize of tuition assistance to the poet laureate and top winners in each grade level. Larry W. Massey Jr., president of the Scanlan Foundation, said, “Our mission is to help Catholic Literary Arts lift up our youth to experience the beauty of poetry.” He added, “By building and supporting this effort, we will enable our children to better develop their minds towards the beauty in our world.” Maegan McCarthy, at the time a seventh-grade student attending St. Helen Catholic School, won as poet laureate in 2019 with her poem “Watch the River Flow.” The ending lines are: “All creation sings God’s holy name; Prophet and beast bow before the lamb; The overflowing cup, the great I Am.” Maegan’s proud parents Tim and Annie McCarthy noticed she was more self-confident after the poetry festival. Now Maegan is one of a select group of teens being mentored by CLA faculty in a newly launched teen writers mentorship program. Maegan McCarthy said, “Through the contest, I gained a joy and boldness in God that I did not have before. Today my writing has developed beyond my expectations. My confidence has now brought me to become a worship leader who actively leads others to Jesus.” For more information, visit the website at www.catholicliteraryarts.org or email cathla.org@gmail.com. †

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Sophie Khoury, 10, a fifth-grade student at St. Martha Catholic School in Kingwood, won the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Spelling Bee Competition held at St. Anne Catholic School on Friday, Jan. 21. Khoury competed against students from other Catholic schools around the Archdiocese. Sophie Khoury’s winning word was “allergenic,” and her championship word was “comportment.” “The words on the Spelling Bee list made me very curious to find out about how to pronounce and spell them,” Khoury said. “I decided to make a study schedule to learn each new word which was such a fun experience. I pray to the Lord every time I begin to study.”



The St. Pius X Winter Guard received a Superior rating and placed second in the color guard ensemble at the MA Houston Regional. Junior Robin Griffin and senior Madeline Vasquez also won their age groups in the auxiliary solo category. Winter Guard is an indoor sport usually performed during the winter or spring, where the guard performs unaccompanied by the band to a piece of pre-recorded music.

St. Martha students head to Beta National Convention

GRAPEVINE — The St. Martha Catholic School Junior Beta Club traveled to Grapevine, Texas, to participate in the annual Junior Beta State Convention. The students who will be advancing to compete at the national level are: Joy Elias, Leah Hopke, Sergio Michel, Joey Najjar, Maggie Spara, Julia Tristan, and Marie Wakefield, who took first place for living literature (honorable mention went to Matthew Julian and Julie Norman); Hopke, who took first place in solo performing arts; Andrew Evans, for second place for elementary black and white photography; Hopke, Norman and Wakefield for second place for book battle; and Hailey Munscher, Kate Damratoski, Tristan, and Wakefield for second place in group performing arts. For more than 80 years, the Beta Club, which is open to students in grades fifth through eighth, is the largest independent, non-profit, educational youth organization in America. †

Archdiocesan Middle School

Poetry Contest Teen & Parent Lenten Silent Retreat


March 25 - March 27

Imagine giving your teen (age 13-19) the gift of learning how to have a personal relationship with God through Meditative Prayer. This retreat is designed for parents to introduce their teen to meditative prayer through a silent retreat that both teen and parent embark on together. Retreat Master, Kim Brown, M.Th., M.Ed Early Registration Ends February 25

Lenten Silent Retreat April 1 - April 3 Enter into a weekend Silent Retreat with God! Spiritual Director, Kim Brown will guide attendees using two methods of meditative prayer focusing on the passion and death of our Lord. Early Registration Ends March 1

Safety protocols are in place

Information and registration at https://retreatcentercrc.org

Spiritual Works of Mercy February 1 to April 8, 2022 For contest details visit www.catholicliteraryarts.org



YOUTH Holy whole: Embracing a family prayer life To live a holy life within our families presupposes living a family life wholly. There is no better place to learn to be whole than in the home. Why the emphasis on wholesome living? I submit that this is fundamental and foundational to teaching the faith, growing it and nurturing it. The first encounter of communicating with God is experienced at home. A toddler first hears that the Triune God is the object of praise as one says: “In the name of the Father… and of the Son… and of the Holy Spirit.” Sadly, not every home can foster this environment. Often, it is difficult for children and adults to grow their faith without the safe confines of a place where family life is lived wholly. Human life is already a tough roller coaster of daily challenges, emotions, conflicts and struggles, even in the most normal of family settings. Our world is filled with distractions.

The obvious question is: How does one achieve wholeness in the family? For this to happen, family life must be given pre-eminence, the necessary priority for all its members and the support systems around it, especially the Church community. There will always be the argument that brokenness exists and persists in every family. Let us not be discouraged. This is why Jesus entered the human family, that it may be healed of its brokenness. Remember that the human family that Jesus entered had gaping holes. In St. Matthew’s Gospel story on the genealogy of Jesus, we know that Christ’s lineage is not spotless. In those three sets of 14 generations, tucked within are names of people who do not have wholeness in their persons. The sub-plots of Tamar, Ruth and David, who succumbed to Bathsheba, are just a few to recall. Despite these imperfections, the Davidic lineage


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“The vocation to love within sacramental grace is made possible within human imperfection. We simply have to fully entrust ourselves to God, who alone is holy.” produced a family that was wholly human and wholly virtuous. God worked even through those who were deemed unholy or spiritually unfit to produce the Messiah. So how can we make it happen in our families, smudged with problems, anxieties and seemingly unending disputes? One of the keys to keeping God present in my own family life was made possible by our involvement with a lay family evangelization ministry — Missionary Families of Christ and its predecessor ministry entities. It provided us with spiritual support as a couple, as


parents, and the opportunity to serve in its Family Ministries with our three children, past their college years. Our basic support, a “household unit,” provided a forum for praying, faith sharing and Christian fellowship. Retreats, youth camps and conferences augmented this. Our initial involvement was timely as our oldest son was only 13, our daughter was 8 and our youngest son was barely a year old. By learning to live family life as a domestic Church, separations and conflicts innate within family life that inflicted wounds managed to find healing. The assault on family life was launched far back in human history. The break-up of the wholeness of marriage in the Genesis story of the fall of humankind is proof. Despite inherent defects in our world, God finds ways to keep us whole. The vocation to love within sacramental grace is made possible within human imperfection. We simply have to fully entrust ourselves to God, who alone is holy. † Deacon Michael Quiray is the pastoral assistant and director of liturgy at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.

Teens in the Archdiocesan Youth Council share their own faith life experiences.

How does your family keep Jesus Christ the center of your home? “Our family prays together at least once a day. We pray the Rosary together as often as possible and go to daily Mass at least twice a week. Recently, we have been listening to Father Mike Schmitz’s Bible in a Year podcast together every night along with praying part of the Liturgy of the Hours.”

– Marian S.

“My family is always striving to keep our faith close in everything we do. Every day we try to look for a way we’re Christ-like. Anytime we can help, we will. My family has made it a tradition to go feed the hungry every Christmas.”

– John S.

“Much like every Catholic Asian household, our house is littered with crosses, pictures and statues of Jesus or Mary, seemingly staring at everyone who enters our abode. So quite literally, Jesus Christ is the center of my house. I’ve been blessed to have grown up in such a setting because I’ve always had someone to talk to in times of need when I felt alone… COVID-19 was especially a hard time for everyone when it came to faith, and I was no exception, but I had my supportive family that would continue to pray the Rosary together every night…”

– Jasmine N.

“My family keeps Jesus the center of our home in many ways. To start, we attend Mass weekly. We also pray before every meal and have crosses/ Bible verses throughout our house. During the Christmas season, we have a manger scene in our living room and many other Christmas decorations. My family aims to keep Jesus as the center of our lives, and I think they’ve done a pretty good job!”

– Willis E.


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COLUMNISTS Where do you see Jesus? I always saw myself being a catechist when I grew older. It wasn’t until after Mass one day, during announcements, that they said there was a need for volunteers. I responded to the need, not knowing I would become a catechist early on. In my first year, I assisted the catechist in their class. We then had a student throwing backpacks across the room and running off into the hallway. The good thing was that I was able to sprint in heels because I never lost sight of that one student who needed my help that day. There are people in need of extra help everywhere around us. And I am not talking about the volunteers because we are all in need of volunteers but rather the pupils who often need an advocate to understand their needs better. From that day, I realized that I saw Jesus in those diverse learners: who needed more attention, who challenged

the catechist’s lesson plan, who needed patience and time, and who sought out understanding and flexibility. God’s timing is always perfect. A couple of months ago, the Dicastery by for Laity Family and Life MELISSA ALVAREZ instituted by Pope Francis’s Apostolic Authority and regulated by special statutes launched a campaign, #IamChurch in which persons with disabilities from around the world show their contribution to our Church. All videos and articles are available in different languages on the Vatican News and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life websites: www.vaticannews.va; www.laityfamilylife.va

What better time for the compilations of sharing something good than now? During our struggles, during our reopening phases, during our challenge in faith is when good news like these people come to light. Yes, there is perfect timing; not our time but the Lord’s time. In 1287, back when ultrasounds and ob-gyn appointments did not exist, Margaret of Castello was born near Perugia, Italy. She was born blind, with a curvature of the spine and a condition we now call dwarfism. Her parents, ashamed of the multiple disabilities, told everyone she had died at childbirth. At 6 years old, Margaret was confined to a small room adjacent to a nearby chapel. Father Cappellano was allowed to visit her with daily meals. Her cell had a window that opened to the chapel so she could hear daily Mass. Despite the injustice, Margaret developed a remarkably strong faith. Her parents ended up abandoning her when she was

15 and homeless, at which time she moved into a local convent. Margaret became a third-order Dominican and resolved to spend her life serving the Lord. She expressed that in her neighbors’ suffering, she saw the image of the suffering Christ. Margaret regarded her disabilities to unite her pain with the pain of Christ endured on the cross. She died when she was 33 years old and was declared a saint on April 24, 2021, by Pope Francis. Her feast day is April 13. Margaret is a great example of persevering through challenges with the logic of divine love found in Jesus. So let’s resolve and ask ourselves, where do we see Jesus in our world today? † Melissa Alvarez is the assistant director for the Ministry With Persons with Disabilities with the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

Charity in crisis “A king is not saved by his army, nor a warrior preserved by his strength. A vain hope for safety is the horse; despite its power, it cannot save. The Lord looks on those who revere Him, on those who hope in His love, to rescue their souls from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33) Millions of people are sick with COVID-19 all over the world. The politics of how to manage this illness could hardly be more polarized, and the socio-economic impacts are felt by virtually everyone, everywhere. It’s probably safe to say that everyone would like this crisis to end, but what could end it is a good question. I’m placing my bets on charity and not on technology. We live in a culture where technology is kind of like a god. It makes poor (those who lack it) and makes rich (those who have it). It can help you live slightly longer, and everyone seems to look at it with eager expectation that it will save the world one day.

In the current crisis, vaccines were going to put the world back right; we could stop worrying about getting sick, and our life was going to return to normal. This hasn’t happened. The by problem that I see isn’t FR. RICHARD the vaccine (albeit there MCNEILLIE may be problems with the vaccine, but I leave that discussion to scientists and moral theologians). The problem is that technology is a tool, not an agent. Technology can’t fix the world by itself; as a tool, it requires someone to use it. Charity is the supernatural virtue of love. It’s repeatedly willing the good of the other at the expense of one’s self. Charity, for instance, is a reason why you would stay in your room with COVID-19 when everyone else is

enjoying life because you don’t want to run the risk of others getting sick. Some people blame the current crisis on the people who refuse to get vaccinated, regardless of whether they’re right or wrong. They make my point — vaccines (as technology) require people to use them. In the current crisis, charity could motivate people to do things like get the vaccine, stop hoarding toilet paper and other groceries, or collaborate together to find even better solutions forward. In other words, charity is a way out of this crisis, a way out of any crisis. While it may not be the only apparent way out (for example, coercion/violence/ force could be used to accomplish similar things), charity is the best way

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out. Charity is divine. God is charity. So saying that charity will save us in a crisis is another way of saying that God will save us in a crisis. But because charity is also a gift of God (a grace) given to our will to help us act charitably, hoping in charity is more active than just waiting on God to do something without us. Let’s hope that God will do something within us. Please don’t get me wrong: I’m not a vaccine skeptic. I would just like to see Christians trust more in God than technology and employ His gift of charity. It’s the best way forward. † Father Richard McNeillie is the director of the Office of Vocations.

Enjoy the Good News? Pass it on! Finished reading your Texas Catholic Herald? Recycle it or pass it on to someone else! “We received this world as an inheritance from past generations, but also as a loan from future generations, to whom we will have to return it!” – Pope Francis

SUNDAY MASS READINGS FEBRUARY 13 First Reading: Jer 17:5-8 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 1:1-4, 6 Second Reading: 1 Cor 15:12, 16-20 Gospel: Lk 6:17, 20-26

FEBRUARY 20 First Reading: 1 Sam 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13 Second Reading: 1 Cor 15:45-49 Gospel: Lk 6:27-38

“One of the greatest gifts of our time is the rediscovery of Sacred Scripture in the life of the Church and the faithful.” - Pope Francis



A gift that keeps on giving long after Epiphany On Jan. 2, the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, we received a wonderful Epiphany Sunday gift! Daniel Cardinal DiNardo called all Catholics in our Archdiocese back to full participation in the Mass to “fulfill their Sunday and Holy Day obligations joyfully and conscientiously.” In his pastoral letter, he reminds us that the dispensation for the obligation to attend Mass remained in place to “instill peace of mind among all the faithful, especially those who would sincerely desire to fulfill their Mass obligations while also harboring serious concerns for contracting the coronavirus.” In this letter, he simply and beautifully describes how, with devotion and attention to safety, we will return to active participation in the Mass, the central act of our Catholic faith. For nearly two years, the pandemic stretched our hearts, minds and spirits to their limits. Are we ready for all to return to Mass? With the help of God’s grace, let us say “Yes!”The pastoral letter includes the wisdom of the Church’s teaching that the obligation is “not morally binding for those who find it impossible to attend

Mass, e.g., due to illness, advanced age, caring for a sick person, or being at high-risk for contracting COVID-19 (cf. Canon, 1248).” Our pastoral leaders are heroically leading us through this long by pandemic with care and DAN GIRARDOT concern for all, especially the least among us. How can we help? First, take the blessings of the Mass and serve others with renewed attention to love and care. God loves us more than we can imagine and gives us the Eucharist as the greatest gift of all eternity. Why is Mass so important? The Mass is our spiritual life support, the center and source of our whole life and defines the essence of who we are. Like eating, sleeping or breathing, the Eucharist is not an option; it sustains our spirits and empowers our lives. Our full, conscious, active participation in the Mass defines who we are and whose we are — the Lord’s most beloved and cherished son or daughter

“Filled with the grace of the Eucharist, our return gift to God is to serve the world in charity and love.” of God. We celebrate the Eucharist to love God back, to offer back to God our thanks and praise for the gift of Jesus, our life and our salvation. Filled with the grace of the Eucharist, our return gift to God is to serve the world in charity and love. Love more! Second, it means that we listen. Ask God for guidance and open the “ear of your heart” to the hearts and needs of others. Praise God for the opportunity to come together again as a family of faith. This pastoral letter calls us to new life during this Winter Ordinary Time season. Let us reach out to love our neighbor, love our enemy and turn away from the world’s attention on anger, selfgratification and overzealous selfrighteousness. Embrace the graces of the Eucharist to accept others, care for those in need, and share a true kind and

listening heart to all. Listen more! Finally, be courageous and build up the Church to be more vibrant than ever before. We discovered how technology and new initiatives help us reach new people on the margins of life. This “new springtime of our faith” gives us opportunities to fling open the door to renew our faith, renew our parishes, and re-think the way we gather and care for one another. It can be a giant “reset” button for our outreach and communal love for our parish community, our civic community and even our neighborhood. This gift from Cardinal DiNardo keeps on giving — the gift of the Eucharist that calls us to love God in return. As we joyfully and conscientiously celebrate and embrace the gift of Jesus in the Mass, let us offer a gift to God in return. Do simply what the Lord asks of you, “to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8) in all parts of your life and in the life of the world. † Dr. Dan Girardot is an associate director for Liturgical Formation in the Office of Worship.


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Pride is an obstacle to Christian unity, pope says ROME (CNS) — Divided Christians will never find unity unless they are willing to humble themselves, bowing down to worship Jesus and Him alone, Pope Francis said. “How many times has pride proved the real obstacle to communion,” the pope said as he closed the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Jan. 25 during an ecumenical evening prayer service at Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. As the service began, Orthodox Metropolitan Polykarpos of Italy and Anglican Archbishop Ian Ernest, the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative in Rome, joined Pope Francis in descending the stairs under the main altar to pray before the relics of St. Paul. At the conclusion of vespers, they joined the pope in blessing the congregation. At the beginning of his homily, Pope Francis extended a special welcome to students from the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in Switzerland, Anglican students from Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin and Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox students studying in Rome with scholarships from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The theme for the 2022 celebration of the week was the affirmation of the Magi or Three Kings, “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship Him.” The theme was chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches, working with the pontifical council and the World Council of Churches. Pope Francis pointed out how many challenges, including war and violence, those Christians face, “yet by their testimony, they give us hope. They remind us that the star of Christ shines in the darkness and never sets; from on high, the Lord accompanies and encourages our steps.” The Magi, the pope said, saw the star, yet they were searching for a “greater light,” which led them to Jesus. “Dear brothers and sisters, may we too


Pope Francis speaks with Anglican Archbishop Ian Ernest, the archbishop of Canterbury’s representative in Rome, at the conclusion of an evening prayer service at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome Jan. 25. Also pictured is Orthodox Metropolitan Polykarpos of Italy, left. The service marked the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

follow the star of Jesus! May we not let ourselves be distracted by the glittering lights of this world, brilliant yet falling stars,” he said. “May we not follow the fashions of the moment, shooting stars that burn out. May we not follow the temptation of shining with our own light, concerned only with our own group and our self-preservation.” Christians are called to follow Jesus, to live His Gospel and to strive for the unity He prayed His disciples would have, the pope said. Christians must follow that call “without worrying about how long and tiring may be the road to its full attainment.” When the Magi reached Jerusalem, he said, they encountered the resistance of Herod and the fear of the people, yet they continued to Bethlehem. “Along our journey toward unity, we too can halt for the same reason that paralyzed those people: confusion and fear,” he said, including “the fear of a newness that upsets our usual habits and our sense of security; the fear that others may destabilize my traditions and long-


Pope: The world must never forget or repeat horrors of Holocaust

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The cruelty of the Holocaust must never be repeated, Pope Francis said on the eve of the international day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The day, celebrated Jan. 27, falls on the anniversary of the liberation of the AuschwitzBirkenau extermination camp complex in 1945. At the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican Jan. 26, Pope Francis said, “It is necessary to remember the extermination of millions of Jews and people of different nationalities and religious faiths.” “This unspeakable cruelty must never be repeated,” he said. “I appeal to everyone, especially educators and families, to foster in the new generations an awareness of the horror of this black page of history. It must not be forgotten, so that we can build a future where human dignity is no longer trampled underfoot.” At the end of his audience, the pope met with Belarus-born Lidia Maksymowicz, 81, who had spent 13 months at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where she and other children were subjected to Josef Mengele’s medical experiments. It was her second meeting with Pope Francis, who — at an outdoor general audience May 26, 2021 — had spoken with her, kissed the prisoner number — 70072, tattooed on her left arm and embraced her. That meeting sparked an idea for her to write an autobiography, with help from the Italian journalist Paolo Rodari. The book, “The child who did not know how to hate. My testimony”, was recently released in Italian. At the Jan. 26 audience, she gave the pope a copy of the book, which also contains a preface Pope Francis wrote. †

established patterns.” Christians must trust in the Lord who told them not to be afraid, and they must trust their Christian brothers and sisters, moving forward together “despite our failings and our sins, despite the errors of the past and our mutual wounds,” Pope

Francis said. The Gospel of Matthew says that when the Magi arrived in Bethlehem and found Jesus, “they prostrated themselves and did him homage.” Their example, the pope said, reminds Christians that to worship the Lord worthily, “we must fall to our knees.” “That is the way: bending low, setting aside our own pretenses in order to make the Lord alone the center of everything,” he said. “To humble ourselves, to leave certain things behind, to simplify our lives: this evening, let us ask God for that courage, the courage of humility, the one way to come to worship God in the same house, around the same altar,” Pope Francis said. And like the Magi, he said, Christians must be aware that the Holy Spirit has given each of them gifts “destined for the common good, for the upbuilding and unity of his people.” Pope Francis prayed that just as the Magi returned home “by another way,” divided Christians would change “the route of our habits and our ways in order to find the path that the Lord points out to us: the path of humility, fraternity and adoration.” †

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Pope to meet university students as part of synodal process ROME (CNS) — Highlighting the importance of a Church that truly listens, Pope Francis will participate in a virtual meeting hosted by Loyola University in Chicago with students from North, Central and South America. The Feb. 24 virtual meeting, titled “Building Bridges: A Synodal Encounter between Pope Francis and University Students,” will be an opportunity to “address the salient challenges of our times,” the university’s website said. “The pope will dialogue with these university students who will share concrete educational projects that seek to justly transform environmental and economic realities,” as well as discuss the challenges of migration, it said. Speaking with Catholic News Service (CNS) Jan. 28, Michael Murphy, director of Loyola’s Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, said he and several colleagues, including Emilce Cuda, an official at the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, discussed the idea of an event for university students in preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on synodality. In November, he said, while discussing possible speakers for the event, “we kind of joked, ‘Hey, let’s see if Pope Francis is free.’”

Unbeknownst to them, Cuda presented the idea to Pope Francis, who agreed to participate. It was “not a whim on his part,” because it fits his vision and priorities, Murphy said. “We knew that so many universities have been asking him, ‘What is our role and how can we support’” the synodal process. In preparation for the virtual meeting, students were divided into seven regional groups from North, Central and South America to talk about the thoughts, questions and dreams they would like to discuss with the pope, he said. “I think it accomplishes what Pope Francis is trying to do: to be a listening church,” Murphy told CNS. “We want to make sure other students feel invited, too, and not be so exclusive in this.” While the discussions will focus on issues ranging from migration to climate change, he said, bringing the young adults from different regions is important in itself, especially at a time of increased division, including because of the digital revolution. He also hoped it would help build a bridge between the two continents where, often, colonial and indigenous “past and present collide.” “What the pope wants to do is look at boundaries and see what we know and

to remove as much as we can; to say, ‘Let us walk together,’ conscious of the brokenness of the past, but hopeful in the present,” he said. Murphy told CNS he hopes the meeting will address the increasing polarization and “the sense of exceptionalism” that prevents one from listening to the needs and wants of others. “I’m not trying to dismantle

everything,” Murphy said. “I’m just saying let’s get real. The Church is the living body of Christ. And it’s not some 16thcentury enterprise, even though that is an important part of its tradition.” “My dad always said, ‘You have two ears and one mouth for a reason,’” he said. “So, if we can unclog our two ears and listen better, I think that would be a good result.” †

IN BRIEF Pope: Church courts must never manipulate facts for a desired end

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The promotion of justice, including in marriage tribunals, requires a “synodal spirit” of pastoral accompaniment, heartfelt listening and using “the right reasoning” in discernment, Pope Francis said. This attitude of synodality, he said, “allows for bringing out the essential characteristics” of the judicial process, which is to be at the service of a justice that is inextricably linked to truth and the salvation of souls. In fact, “any deliberate alteration or manipulation of the facts, aimed at obtaining a pragmatically desired result, is not permissible,” he said. This is a huge danger, he added. The pope made his remarks during his annual meeting with members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, a Vatican court that deals mainly with appeals in marriage annulment cases. The search for the truth must mark every stage of the judicial process, he told tribunal members on Jan. 27. †

God offers courage, guidance to those in difficulty, pope says VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God always offers people the help and courage they need to face life’s fears and difficulties, Pope Francis said. The pope said his thoughts were with all those who “are crushed by the weight of life and can no longer hope or pray.” Parents, in particular, often must grapple with situations or problems that are out of their control, such as when their child is sick or has a chronic illness. “How much pain is there!” the pope said on Jan. 26 during his weekly general audience. Parents also may be aware their children have “different sexual orientations,” so they must figure out “how to deal with this and accompany their children and not hide in an attitude of condemnation,” he said. Parents may see their children die of an illness or in a car accident, or they see them struggle in school, he said. There is so much pain or fear, he said, but “never condemn a child.” Continuing his series of audience talks about St. Joseph, Pope Francis focused on how the saint would discern the voice of God through prayer and dreams. †


texas catholic herald



When South Texas feeds the world: Bishop Cahill blesses samples of farm seeds, soil for crops BY JANET JONES The Catholic Lighthouse GANADO, Texas (CNS) — On a windy, cold January morning, Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria blessed samples of seed and soil for the rural Texas diocese. The blessing took place during a special Mass on the residential property of Bart and Karen Hajovsky, owners of BH Genetics, a homegrown seed corn and grain sorghum business that now distributes from coast to coast. “Oh, it’s a privilege to have him (Bishop Cahill) come and do this for the rural area because everybody seems to forget about the rural area,” Mrs. Hajovsky said. “It’s very special.” During his homily, the bishop referred to the first reading at the Jan. 15 Mass from the First Book of Samuel, which recounts the anointing of Saul, who was simply on a mission to track down his father’s lost donkeys. “Y’all know what it’s like to track down a lost animal,” he said. “And then, what we hear in the story, is that God was working through all that. That he (Saul) was chosen and anointed to be the king of Israel. On one level, it reminds us that God works in mysterious ways.” What is shown, Bishop Cahill said, is that “God will sustain us each day and guide our lives. What a beautiful thought as we bless seed because it is a hopeful


Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, Texas, blesses samples of seed and soil in Ganado, Texas, Jan. 15.

sign. The seed is planted and the soil prepared. Ultimately, we know that God is in control and provides the bounty.” Bishop Cahill, president of the national Catholic Rural Life board of directors, also said that, because nature teaches us about God in many ways, it is “fitting and appropriate” to celebrate the rural life Masses. The Diocese of Victoria, which includes a local Catholic Rural Life chapter, also celebrates a Harvest Mass in the fall and

IN BRIEF Archdiocese of Baltimore reaches out to firefighters’ families after deaths

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Baltimore reached out Jan. 25 to the families of three firefighters killed a day earlier fighting a fire in a vacant home in the city. Lt. Paul Butrim and firefighters Kelsey Sadler and Kenny Lacayo died after being trapped following the partial collapse of a three-story rowhouse in which they were fighting a fire in the southwest area of the city. A fourth firefighter, John McMaster, remained in the hospital in fair condition. The archdiocese extended an invitation to the families to use the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for funerals but has not yet heard if any family has chosen to do so. Arrangements for the funerals have yet to be determined. “These heroic individuals made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our city for which we will always honor them,” Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori said in a Jan. 25 statement. He said he joined with citizens across the city in paying tribute to the fallen firefighters. “I cannot imagine the loss that is being felt by the families, friends and colleagues of these brave first responders. I offer to them my most sincere condolences and prayers,” he said. “The path they followed as firefighters was much more than a career; it is a calling they felt to serve their community.” †

PASTORAL SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE In a continuing effort to provide pastoral care to victims of sexual abuse by clergy or Church personnel, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo would like to remind the faithful of the Archdiocese of the availability of the Victims Assistance Coordinator. Anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse by clergy or Church personnel is encouraged to call Diane Vines at 713-654-5799. Please keep in daily prayers the healing of victims of abuse and all who suffer in any way.

the feast of St. Isidore, patron of farmers. Father Stephen Vacek, director of the local chapter, Father Greg Korenek, pastor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Ganado, and Father

Michael Rother, pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in El Campo, Texas, concelebrated the Mass and blessing. Deacons Kevin Petrash and Anthony Hensley of the Ganado parish also served at the Mass. Sherry Kainer, a member of Catholic Rural Life from the Victoria Diocese, helps coordinate the Masses and celebrations and always gives those who attend a rundown of all the agricultural vocations that exist in the diocese. Covering 9,600 square miles, the diocese in southern Texas is bounded on one side by coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. The specific geographic area where it is located is sometimes called the Golden Crescent or the Crescent Valley. According to Kainer, within the diocese’s borders are row crops, hay fields, pecans, olives, producers of wine and cheese, cattle ranchers, shrimpers, fish farms and more. “How blessed we can be to take care and provide for the world in which we live. And from us, and from our farms, there are people being fed literally everywhere,” Bishop Cahill said. †



Christian unity is a ‘worthy goal’ everyone can work toward, says Franciscan priest MASSEY, Md. (CNS) — Franciscan Father Jim Gardiner told those gathered Jan. 23 at an Episcopal church in Massey that they should have “no doubt” that “the unity of Christians is an attainable and worthy goal.” One reason to have no doubt is where they gathered for a prayer service during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: St. Clement’s Episcopal Church. It is the home parish church of Father Paul Wattson, who helped develop the week of unity, traditionally observed from Jan. 18 to 25. Born Jan. 16, 1863, in Millington, Maryland, he was baptized at the church and, later as an Episcopal priest, he was its pastor, as was his father before him. He was later received into the Catholic Church and is a candidate for sainthood. Bishop Santosh Marray of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton on Maryland’s Eastern Shore was the presider at the service. Father Gardiner proclaimed the Gospel and delivered the

sermon. “Did not Christ Himself pray for unity at the Last Supper when, as St. John remembers, He prayed ‘that all may be one ... that the world may believe,’” said the priest, a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement, who has long been involved in ecumenical and interfaith efforts. “And was not Father Paul Wattson convinced that that ‘prayer of Jesus Christ has got to be answered,’” he said. “Just how it will be answered, however, might in large measure, it seems to me, to be up to us.” Father Gardiner, director of special projects at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, expressed concern over an “ecumenical inertia” today, saying it is “an issue that’s got to be faced.” “It’s a Gospel issue,” he added, referencing again the verse “that all may be one.” (John 17:21) He praised St. Clement’s lay pastor, Mark Hansen, and “this congregation for

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continuing to recognize the importance of this issue and for not allowing history — especially history that was nurtured here — to simply be relegated to the past.” Father Gardiner gave a quick overview of the many Church documents on ecumenism and interfaith relations, including the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (“Unitatis Redintegratio”), which said that ecumenism should be everyone’s concern and that genuine ecumenism involves a continual personal and institutional renewal. Next came, in 1965, the Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to NonChristian Religions (“Nostra Aetate”). After these documents were promulgated, “there was great ecumenical ferment as we trooped and snooped through one another’s sacristies and sanctuaries; and there was a kind of ecumenical euphoria that set in” in the United States and around the globe, Father Gardiner said. “This bore much fruit, seen in local, national and international dialogues, he said, listing other major documents, including the Catholic Church’s “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” with the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, providing a common basis for understanding how people are justified and saved. “Why don’t we hear more about these statements? It’s a good question,” he said, adding that he thinks this question prompted Pope Francis to endorse an April 2020 document from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity titled “The Bishop and Christian Unity,” an ecumenical vademecum. It’s “a ‘companion’ of sorts that was offered as an aid to diocesan bishops to help them better understand and fulfill their ecumenical responsibility,” Father Gardiner said. He said he was not blaming bishops — “not ours, yours or anyone else’s for that matter” — for this “ecumenical inertia.” “It’s everybody’s problem.” Father Gardiner noted “it was not the first time — thanks to Dr. Mark Hansen — that I’ve had the privilege of standing at this ambo” in St. Clement’s “and proclaiming God’s word from the Wattson family Bible. A couple of years ago — obviously pre-COVID — I was

FATHER JIM GARDINER, SA afforded the same honor.” “I knew I’d be among friends, so I wasn’t intimidated so much as I was awed,” he said, because “both Father Paul Wattson, whom your forebears knew as (the) Rev. Lewis Thomas Wattson, and his father before him had both been your pastors.” The Week of Prayer began as an octave of prayer, sermons and conferences encouraged by Pope Leo XIII and Anglican leaders. Father Wattson and Mother Lurana White, Episcopal co-founders of the Society of the Atonement, celebrated the event for the first time in January 1908 at Graymoor, the headquarters of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement in Garrison, New York. In 1909, the friars and the sisters and 13 of their lay associates were received into the Catholic Church. The Atonement priests, sisters and brothers work for reconciliation and healing through the unity of men and women with God and one another, in fulfillment of the mandate from the Gospel of St. John: “that they all may be one.” †

IN BRIEF Catholic Church, society must do more to overcome racism, says bishop



PHOENIX (CNS) — Imagining what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. might say if he were alive today, retired Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, delivered a homily in the voice of the slain civil rights leader to address how racism continues to impact the church and society as a whole. The bishop was the guest homilist for the Diocese of Phoenix’s annual memorial Mass for Rev. King celebrated Jan. 17 at Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral. Noting that Rev. King would have turned 93 Jan. 15, the bishop said the Baptist minister knew what it meant to follow Jesus’s command to “Go and do likewise,” from the parable of the good Samaritan that was the day’s Gospel passage. “Despite the undeniable and remarkable strides that have been made to bridge the racial divide in this country, the bloodstained headlines of almost every morning’s newspaper make it clear how much we still need the voice and the deeds of this drum major for justice, this trumpeter for peace,” said Bishop Braxton, one of 12 African American Catholic bishops. “Yet, for many Americans — and yes, for many American Catholics — the murder of Dr. King means little more than a day off in January. He would surely say America is still learning who their neighbors are and what it means to go and do likewise.”


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Oradores del rally por la vida confían en cambios en la ley del aborto WASHINGTON (CNS) — El 21 de enero, misma idea y le indicó a la multitud que su oradores de la Marcha anual por la Vida en sola presencia en este evento “te cambia”. el Mall Nacional de Washington hablaron El sacerdote de la Diócesis de Duluth, de un posible punto de inflexión en la Minnesota, que es un popular orador protesta actual contra la legalización del católico, autor y presentador del podcast aborto en Estados Unidos, pero también “Bible in a Year” de Ascension Press, fue instaron a la multitud permanecer alerta un gran éxito entre la multitud, que coreó en su defensa y apoyo al movimiento pro “¡Padre Mike!” después de que abandonó vida. el escenario. Los oradores en el mitin de 90 minutos, La multitud también vitoreó “¡Katie! que se llevó a cabo bajo un cielo nublado ¡Katie!” para Katie Shaw, una defensora con temperaturas en los 20 grados, pro-vida con síndrome de Down que fueron líderes religiosos, miembros agradeció a sus padres por elegir la vida del Congreso, defensores de la vida — y dijo que estaba triste por todos los incluyendo mujeres que abortaron o que amigos que pudo haber tenido que fueron casi abortaron — y actores. abortados. Muchos de los oradores reconocieron El mitin, que siempre abre la marcha, que aquellos en la multitud, envueltos en comenzó y terminó con una oración. La abrigos y gorros de invierno y parados oración de apertura estuvo a cargo del muy juntos, tenían que tener frío, pero arzobispo Elpidophoros de América, un también elogiaron su continua dedicación líder ortodoxo griego al que se unió en al asistir al evento cada año para protestar el escenario el arzobispo de Baltimore la decisión del caso Roe v. Wade de la William E. Lori, presidente del Comité de Corte Suprema en 1973, que legalizó el Actividades Pro-Vida de los obispos de CNS PHOTO aborto. Estados Unidos. Jeanne Mancini, presidenta del Fondo Defensores de la vida asisten a la Marcha anual por la Vida en Washington el 21 de enero. La oración final fue pronunciada por de Educación y Defensa de la Marcha por Cissie Graham Lynch, nieta del conocido la Vida y maestra de ceremonias del mitin, Otros líderes del Congreso también sobre sus luchas personales después de ministro bautista del sur, el reverendo expresó que esta era su décima Marcha por se dirigieron a la multitud a través de tener un aborto hace varios años, pero Billy Graham. la Vida en el podio del evento y dijo: “Estoy mensajes grabados que se mostraron también enfatizó que se dio cuenta ahora Al final del mitin, antes de que los bastante segura de que nunca había visto en pantallas Jumbotron, pidiéndoles que podía hablar sobre eso porque sabía participantes se dirigieran a la Avenida una multitud tan emocionada como la de mantener el impulso. que había sido perdonada. Ella también Constitución para marchar hacia la Corte ustedes; y estoy muy agradecida”. Mancini le dijo a la multitud, en su animó a la multitud a que estuviera a Suprema, Mancini instó a los participantes La emoción podría deberse, en parte, mayoría jóvenes, que estaba feliz de favor de la adopción. reconocer el trabajo por delante del a que el evento volvió a darse de forma darles la bienvenida y, alejándose de sus Kirk Cameron, mejor conocido por su movimiento pro-vida y a contribuir, ya sea presencial, después de que el año pasado comentarios preparados, les aconsejó que papel en la comedia de la década de 1980 en línea o en canastas repartidas a lo largo fue transcurrió principalmente en formato fueran a las tiendas de primeros auxilios o “Growing Pains”, enfatizó de manera de la ruta de la marcha por miembros de virtual debido a la pandemia y a los a los autobuses si necesitaban calentarse. similar la bendición de la adopción, y los Caballeros de Colón. disturbios del 6 de enero en el Capitolio de “Esperamos y rezamos para que este señaló que su esposa y cuatro de sus seis Señaló que Tom Hogan, uno de los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, para muchos, año, 2022, traiga un cambio histórico para hijos fueron adoptados. miembros de la junta de la Marcha por el entusiasmo se hizo eco en el mensaje de la vida”, expresó. Cameron dijo que estaba orgulloso la Vida, quien había estado dirigiendo a casi todos los oradores: la posibilidad de Al igual que otros oradores durante el de marchar con este grupo a la Corte los manifestantes en este evento anual que la Corte Suprema revoque su decisión mitin, indicó que mientras el movimiento Suprema y los instó continuar con el durante años, murió en noviembre. sobre el aborto este año. pro-vida espera la decisión en el caso espíritu de la marcha cuando regresaran Expresó que estaba segura de que él El representante Chris Smith, R-N.J., Dobbs, “necesitamos su dedicación más a sus hogares. “nos estaba mirando para mantenernos quien se ha dirigido con frecuencia a la que nunca”. El padre Mike Schmitz hizo eco de esa firmes”. † multitud de la marcha, les expuso que este “Si Roe cae, las líneas de batalla año tenían “nuevas esperanzas y mayores cambiarán, pero la lucha por la vida expectativas” en espera de la decisión de deberá continuar”, agregó. la Corte Suprema sobre el caso Dobbs v. El tema del mitin de este año fue “La Jackson Women’s Health Organization. igualdad comienza en el útero”, y Mancini “Hoy, después de décadas de noble y otros oradores destacaron que quienes lucha y sacrificio, tenemos la esperanza abogan por la igualdad deben reconocer de que la violencia contra los niños que esa igualdad comienza con los no sancionada por el gobierno y la nacidos. explotación de las mujeres por medio del Lisa Robertson, miembro del elenco aborto están llegando a su fin — aunque de “Duck Dynasty”, le contó a la multitud de una manera muy real, la lucha por defender la vida humana inocente ahora entra en una nueva fase críticamente importante”, explicó. El representante, copresidente del Caucus Pro-Vida del Congreso y quien estuvo rodeado en el escenario por alrededor de una docena de miembros del Congreso, también señaló que el movimiento pro-vida estaba “en un punto En un continuo esfuerzo por facilitar atención pastoral a las victimas de de inflexión” e instó a quienes han estado abuso sexual del clero o del personal de la Iglesia, el Cardenal DiNardo luchando por ello durante tanto tiempo a gustaría recordar a los fieles de la Arquidiócesis la disponibilidad del “aprovechar esta oportunidad con toda la Coordinador de Ayuda a Víctimas. Si alguien ha sido victim de abuso sexual fe y seriedad que podamos reunir”. del clero o del personal de la Iglesia, se les anima llamar a la Diane Vines al Dan Lipinski, exrepresentante Archdiocesan Office 713-654-5799. Por favor rece por la sanación de las víctimas del abuso y por demócrata de la Cámara de Representantes de Illinois, enfatizó de manera similar que 713-741-8732 todos los que sufren de alguna manera. “no importa lo que suceda en la Corte archgh.org/correctionalministries Suprema, seguiremos marchando”.

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WITHIN THE ARTS Artist deepens faith by painting portraits for those suffering sudden loss INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — D. Anne Jones knew she wanted to use her gift of painting portraits to help others in some way. “I was talking to a friend who worked for (the nonprofit) Flashes of Hope taking pictures of kids with cancer, and a lot of the time those were the last photos a family would have of their child,” she recalled. “I decided if I did a nonprofit, I could paint portraits at no charge and raise money to fund them.” But it took tragedy to solidify the idea. “Within eight weeks in 2012, I lost my closest sister, my mom and my husband,” said Jones, 61. “I was in shock,” said Jones, a member of St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish in Zionsville, just north of Indianapolis in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. From her loss, Jones identified who she wanted to paint portraits of and for whom she would create them. “I paint portraits at no charge for families or individuals who lost a loved one to a sudden, unexpected or tragic death,” Jones said of her nonprofit organization, Face to Face Fine Art. “My goal is to help aid in their grieving process and commemorate and honor the deceased by creating a lasting memory of their life.” She told The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, that her effort is “an outlet that became a calling,” of which God is very much a part. Losing her daughter in 2019, becoming guardian of her granddaughter and moving to a new part of Indiana in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic proved only to strengthen Jones’ faith and her calling. Her journey actually began decades earlier, at age 12, when she realized she had a gift for creating art at a young age and began doing portraits. It was in art class where she met her husband, Christopher. “I was 15 when we started dating,”


In this undated photo, the daughter of Judy Dietrich poses with a portrait of her deceased mother painted by D. Anne Jones through Face to Face Fine Art. Dietrich was killed in a car accident when her daughter was a baby.

she said. “We were together 36 years and married for 32.” Together they had five children. Christopher was Catholic. Jones, who was baptized and raised in a fundamentalist Christian church, was with him at Mass in Mishawaka, Indiana, in the early 1990s when she heard the priest ask from the pulpit, “Are you looking for a new church home?” She felt a nudge and contacted Gus Zuelke, the parish’s religious education director. “The one thing he talked about was the Eucharist becoming God,” she said. “I never understood the point of communion in the fundamentalist church. When I

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Around the Archdiocese

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learned the whole truth about the bread and wine actually becoming the body and blood of Christ, something clicked, and it made sense!” The couple lived most of their married life in northern Indiana, where Jones was a stay-at-home mom. She took portraiture classes her mother-in-law paid for “just so I could get out of the house.” In 2002, she started traveling to art and craft shows 46 weekends a year, completing up to 1,000 portraits annually. By 2011, however, Jones was burning out and began considering how she could use her gift in a nonprofit capacity. That November, her closest sister, Lisa, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She died four months later, on March 17, 2012. Lisa’s death was too great a loss for their mother to handle. “Mom was a miracle. She had pancreatic cancer for 22 years. Originally, they told her she’d live five years,” Jones said. “When my sister Lisa died, she was done and just wanted to go. Seven weeks later, my mom died. We buried her the day before Mother’s Day.” But Jones still found cause for joy. One of her and Christopher’s children would be married just seven days later. “That morning of the wedding, my husband did not wake up,” Jones said.“He was totally fine the night before. We went to bed, told each other we loved each other, and I found him dead at 7 in the morning.”

She leaned heavily on her faith after the loss of three loved ones within eight weeks. “I don’t know how anyone gets through the loss of anyone major in life without the Lord. It’s like all the people I was closest to were taken. I had no one else to turn to but the Lord,” Jones said. Through her loss and through prayer, Jones found the cause she was looking for to create a nonprofit. In the process, her own heart healed. “I really believe that if you are hurt and in pain, if you can do something for somebody else, it helps take your mind off your own pain,” she said. With her nonprofit Face to Face Fine Art, those who lose a loved one suddenly, unexpectedly or tragically can apply for a free painting of the person. Applications are reviewed and voted upon by the board of directors. “If there’s funding, they OK as many as they can,” Jones explained, noting that it costs $400 to make a portrait or $450 if a frame is requested. “If there’s not enough money, then they might approve an application, but it will be a while before the portrait is made.” Since 2013, Jones has created more than 200 portraits, including some for people overseas. In addition to seeking healing through her portrait projects, she also published a book that year. Titled “Balm for the Heart: My Journey Through Loss and Bereavement,” it is described on Amazon. com as telling the story of “how God used (Jones’s) losses to draw her closer to Himself and to enter into a more intimate relationship with Him.” In 2019, tragedy again struck. Jones’s daughter, Leah, died unexpectedly, leaving behind an 11-year-old daughter, Emma. Jones became her legal guardian and moved to Zionsville in February 2020 so Emma could remain in her school. Then the pandemic struck. “I was in a new town, isolated, not knowing anyone,” Jones said. Once again, her faith and her devotion to her nonprofit cause got her through. “God let me experience all this (suffering) so I can have empathy for other people,” Jones said. “And I want to help.” †

MOVIE RATINGS By Catholic News Service A-I – GENERAL PATRONAGE • Ron’s Gone Wrong (PG)


American Underdog (PG) Home Team (PG) Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (PG) Sing 2 (PG)

A-III – ADULTS • Being the Ricardos (R) • Death on the Nile (PG-13)

• • • • • •

Munich: The Edge of War (PG-13) National Champions (R) Spider-Man: No Way Home (PG-13) The 355 (PG1-13) The King’s Man (R) The Matrix Resurrections (R)

L – LIMITED ADULT AUDIENCE • Nightmare Alley (R)



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Father Oya celebrates a decade of service

HOUSTON — On Jan. 15, a historical and international group of concelebrants, guests, family members and parishioners gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Father Martial Oya’s priestly ordination, Father Oya is the former national advisor of the Cameroonian Apostolate in the U.S. and is pastor at St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic Church. Father Oya came to Houston from New York and was accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese in 2008. He was ordained a priest on Jan. 14, 2012. He served at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church in Spring and later at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart before becoming the administrator and then pastor of St. Matthew the Evangelist. The principal celebrant for the multilingual, multicultural Mass was Bishop Jerome Feudijo of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, the first African bishop in the U.S., a native of Cameroon. The homilist was Father Norbert Maduzia, pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church and episcopal vicar of the Northern Vicariate. Father Maduzia said Father Oya’s love of God is “as contagious as his laugh.” A reception followed the celebration with more than 400 people in attendance. †

AROUND THE ARCHDIOCESE Editor’s Note: Contact event organizers for the latest updates and information. For deadline/submission details and other listings, visit WWW.ARCHGH.ORG/ATA.

FEB. 9 - 10

WRITER READING AND INFO SESSION, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. Doherty Library at University of St. Thomas (3800 Montrose Blvd., Houston). The Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program at UST hosts writer reading meet and greet with Professors James Matthew Wilson and Joshua Hren, Catholic literary writers. A reception follows. On Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m., the program also hosts an info session. Free, open to the public. More info: www.stthom.edu/mfa.

FEB. 12

HEART OF WORSHIP, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., St. Laurence (3100 Sweetwater Blvd., Sugar Land). Full day conference of spiritual renewal and restoration with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers with talks, music, Mass, Adoration and dinner. $30/person, open to everyone sixth grade and older. Register: www.stlaurence.org/HOW GALA, 6 to 9 p.m., Our Lady of Lourdes (10114 Hwy 6, Hitchcock). School hosts Viva El Amor! Gala with a dinner and complimentary drink, entertainment by Ballet Folklorico performers, dancing, dessert and silent auction. Benefits school. Free parking. 409-925-3224, ololcs.org. YOUNG ADULT EVENT, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Catholic Newman Center at Texas Southern University (3535 Wheeler Ave., Houston). Young adults are invited to an event with Dr. Ansel Augustine, director of Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. More info and RSVP: tsunewman@gmail.com.

FEB. 16

LENTEN REFLECTIONS, 8:30 a.m., St. Paul the Apostle (188223 Point Lookout, Nassau Bay). The Bay Area Deanery Council of Catholic Women hosts “Lenten Reflections” with Jason Honeycutt, director of faith formation at St. Bernadette Catholic Church. 8:30 am Mass, 9:30 social with refreshments, 10 a.m. reflections. Eucharistic Adoration will be available in the Adoration Chapel. More info: Terry Kelley, 281827-4232.


Father Martial Oya, pastor of St. Matthew the Evangelist Catholic Church, with Bishop Jerome Feudijo of the Diocese of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

FEB. 19

RENEWAL CONFERENCE, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., St. Luke the Evangelist (11011 Hall Rd., Houston). Emmaus Missionaries of Love invites all married couples to the renewal conference, “Holding Hands, Holding Hearts” hosted by Father Kingsley Nwoko, STL. $50 per couple, includes breakfast and lunch. Childcare is available. Pre-registration is required. Register: www.stlukescatholic.com.


FISH FRY, 4 to 7 p.m., St. Luke the Evangelist (11011 Hall Rd., Houston). St. Luke KofC Council 9201 hosts a fish fry in church’s rear parking lot. $12 plates includes breaded USA catfish fried fillet, hush puppies, corn on the cob, french fries, tartar sauce and drink. Baked fish fillets available in limited quantities. Drive thru only.


TURKEY & DRESSING DINNER, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sealy Columbus Club Hall (1310 Hwy 90 W, Sealy 77474). Sealy Immaculate Conception CDA Court #1616 annual fundraiser features $12 plates of turkey and dressing with gravy, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, hot roll and tea. Dine in or to go. Big drawing at 1 p.m. More info: 281-220-9064.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Full job descriptions for each position are available online: www.archgh.org/employment

We’re hiring!

Downtown Chancery | 1700 San Jacinto | Houston, TX 77002

Parish Accounting Services: Staff Accountant Vocations Office: Vocations Volunteer Program Manager St. Dominic Chancery | 2403 Holcombe Blvd. | Houston, TX 77021

Chancery Facilities Lead Maintenance Technician Secretariat for Pastoral and Educational Ministries Executive Assistant Office of Evangelization and Catechesis: Director Correctional Ministries: Administrative Assistant Hospital Catholic Chaplain Corps: Administrative Assistant Plantersville

Instructor/Summer Programming Team Member Camp Kappe School of Environmental Education (S.E.E.)


Interested candidates may send a cover letter, with salary requirement, and resume to resume@archgh.org with the job title on the subject line. *Submissions that do not include the salary requirement will not be moved forward for consideration.

2022 DSF_ 9.75x14full pg final.pdf



1:37 PM



San José Clinic


Young Adult Campus Ministry








Family Life Ministry Wedding Jubilee Mass

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Diocesan Services Fund Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Support over 60 ministries today with a gift to DSF at www.archgh.org/dsf

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