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Voice of the Southwest The Official Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup | | Vol.53 No.1

75 Years of Southwest Catholic History 1939 - 2014

Columns 4

Bishop James S. Wall

From the Bishop The call of conversion during the Lenten Season


Dr. Jean Lee

Saints for Today St.. Patrick of Ireland


Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Making Sense of Bioethics Contraceptives are not merely a “personal matter”.

News 5

NM Legalizes Assisted Suicide

The Bishops of New Mexico speak out against the latest ruling


Celebrating Jubilarians

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6 Professed Religious in the Diocese of Gallup mark anniversaries ranging from 25-70 years of religious life


Keams Canyon Martyrs

A memorial to 300 years of Catholic faith on the Hopi Reservation


75 Years

The history of parishes before Gallup was declared a Diocese, pre-1939


Features 14 16 18

Catholic Schools Calendar and Classifieds St. Jude Parish and Filipino Culture

Tuba City Parish celebrates the Feast of the “Holy Child of Cebu”


Lent Begins

So why do we fast and abstain, anyway? Read all about the history of this 6-week Church season

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of the



The Most Rev. Bishop James S. Wall


Suzanne Hammons

Advertising/Office Manager Ella Roanhorse

About Us The Voice of the Southwest is the flagship publication for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup. Published by Bishop James S. Wall four times per year, the Voice covers news, events, and happenings throughout the Gallup diocese--which spans 55,000 square miles in northwest New Mexico and northeast Arizona.

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Tell us what you think! Respond to an article, provide feedback, or simply tell us what’s on your mind. Letters must be signed and should not exceed 300 words. The Voice reserves the right to edit for clarity and length. Opinions expressed and published are solely the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of the editor.

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Voice of the Southwest PO Box 1338, Gallup NM 87305-1338 For advertising, contact: Ella Roanhorse, 505.863.4406

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From the Editor In February of 2014, six professed religious men and women reached major milestones, ranging from 25 to 70 years of total service to God. It’s pretty tough to not be impressed and altogether grateful to them for following their vocations, day after day, for so many years. They should serve as a reminder to us of all the clergy and religious who work in our Diocese. Being a priest, nun or brother is not an easy task at the best of times, and our corner of the world is particularly demanding. It’s rare to find a pastor who does not have more than one church to attend to - some have upwards of three or more, each with their own parishioners and ministry needs: Baptisms, Confessions, ministry to the sick, and the like. Many dedicated sisters and brothers are in the same boat, looking after parishes, counseling the local people, and teaching in schools. Overseeing everything is our Bishop, who must think constantly about how to see to the spiritual needs of the people in his care without stretching his priests

and religious administrators too thin. For each of them, it can be a tough, sometimes lonely, often thankless line of work. So, why do they do it? How do they continue to look after our needs? I won’t pretend to speak for them, but having been privileged to get to know many of the priests and religious of our Diocese, I’ve noticed one thing that most of them seem to have in common is a general state of serenity and happiness. They knew the call to follow Christ and serve others wouldn’t be easy, but they signed up anyway. How fortunate we are to have them, Please, keep our priests and religious in your prayers. Thank them when you get the chance. Remember that we’re all called to bear a cross in one way or another, and it is our priests, nuns and brothers who often help to lighten the burden, Suzanne Hammons is the Media Coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup and a 2011 graduate of Benedictine College. You can email her anytime at designoffice@

Get Our Newsletter! The eVoice Weekly is your resource for the latest stories, events, photos and updates about our Diocese. Delivered to your email inbox each week, the eVoice will keep you informed about Catholic life in the Diocese of Gallup. Just visit and look for the signup option on the right. Happy reading! Voice of the Southwest |


From the Bishop: Lent, An Opportunity for Conversion Blessed John Paul II wrote in Ecclesia in America “In this life, conversion is a goal which is never fully attained: on the path which the disciple is called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, conversion is a lifelong process”. Our process of conversion, though it is a lifelong one, is of special importance during the season of Lent. The Church gives us this beautiful season so that we might open up our hearts to the transformative power of God. When we do this, we are able to more fully pattern our lives after the one who is our Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the model of our Christian life.

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving The three basic tenants of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These staples of Lent allow the disciples of Christ to grow in their relationship with Him and His Church. The practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving is something the Christian should do throughout the entire year; however, there is an extra emphasis during the penitential season of Lent. Each action is a movement beyond the self, directed toward or for the other. When one prays, the Christian raises his or her heart and mind to God. It is a turn away from the self toward the One who has the power to save: our loving God. As Saint John Damascene described prayer, it is simply “speaking with God”. Unfortunately, we live in a world where there is much com-

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follow Christ during this Lenten season, we must also put his commandments into action. By praying, fasting, and almsgiving, we peting for our attention; there is bring our faith into our own lives, lots of noise that drowns out the and the lives of others. voice of God. Jesus tells us “when you pray, go to your inner room, Purification and Enlightenment close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father We keep in our prayers those who sees in secret will repay you” who will enter the Church though (Mt 6:6). The Prophet Elijah encountered God in the still silence the Sacraments of Initiation at the (1 Kg 19:12), not wind, fire or Easter Vigil. Lent is a time of earthquake. The temptation of purification and enlightenment modern man is to fill one's life up for those preparing to enter the with all sorts of external distrac- Church through the Easter Sacrations that easily block the voice ments. Please keep our brothers of God. Blessed John Paul II re- and sisters in your prayers as they minds us that“prayer, both per- look forward to receiving the sacsonal and liturgical, is the duty of rament of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. They too have every Christian”. The penitential act of fasting heard the voice of God and have has the potential to draw us into set out to follow His call in their a deeper relationship with God lives. By entering into this Lenten and neighbor. The voluntary act season before they are fully initiof fasting is in imitation of Christ ated as Catholics, they are learnwho went into the desert to pray ing the practices of prayer, denial and fast for forty nights. Like of self, and charity toward others prayer, it serves as an exercise in – practices that they will be called turning from the self, in willingly to continue for the rest of their denying ourselves, so that we may lives. In fact, these are practices become more aware of the pres- that all Catholics must implement. The Season of Lent is a gift which ence of Christ. Lastly, almsgiving consists of points us in the right direction – offering our treasure to help those toward the glory of God. “As Lent is the time for greater who are in need. Almsgiving allows us to be in solidarity with the love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent poorest of the poor. Much like and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are fasting, this sacrificing and rejec- we to repent? Our indifference, our tion of worldly pleasures turns us hardness of heart. What are we to betoward love of God and neighbor, lieve? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows rather than the love of self. Blessed John Paul II wrote in your weakness. He wants only your Ecclesia in America “In order love, wants only the chance to love to speak of conversion, the gap you.” ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta between faith and life must be The Most Rev. James Wall is the bridged.”It is one thing to say fourth Bishop of Gallup that we are Catholics, but to truly

NM Bishops Criticize Assisted Suicide Ruling

Church in NM Criticizes Assisted Suicide Ruling By Kevin J. Jones Catholic News Agency A New Mexico judge was wrong to rule that there is a “right” to doctorassisted suicide for terminally ill patients, a spokesman for the New Mexico Catholic bishops has said. “What people have a right to is a right to good medicine and to a good doctor who helps them. We would never concede that there’s a right to take somebody’s life,” Allen Sanchez, executive director of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, told CNA Jan. 22. He said a doctor is empowered by the state “to prescribe medicine” and not “to take life.” Following a two-day trial, New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Nan Nash ruled on Jan. 13 that terminally ill have the right to a doctor who will end their lives, CNN reports. Nash lamented that the court “cannot envision a right more fundamental, more private or more integral to the liberty, safety and happiness of a New Mexican” than the right of a mentally competent person to choose “aid in dying.” The American Civil Liberties Union

“What people have a right to is a right to good medicine and to a good doctor who helps them. We would never concede that there’s a right to take somebody’s life.” and Compassion & Choices, the organization once known as the Hemlock Society, had filed a lawsuit on behalf of two doctors and a 50-year-old cancer patient named Aja Riggs. She was seeking to legalize requests for lethal treatment. The woman’s cancer is now in remission, but she said it is likely to return. Sanchez was critical of the judge’s decision. “We are concerned about helping people dealing with pain and being merciful, but we are also concerned about protecting life,” he said. He noted that the state legislature in 2009 abolished the death penalty on the grounds that errors in judgment could mean that an innocent person was wrongly condemned to die. “That same argument applies here,” he said, noting that there can be errors in assessing whether a disease is terminal or whether a patient is mentally

competent. He added that the law permits relatives to serve as witnesses to a patient’s request for assisted suicide. This can create conflicts of interest in cases where relatives have an interest in seeing the terminally ill patient die. Sanchez also said that there are religious reasons for opposing legalizing this form of suicide. “One day that we take from a person’s life might be the day that they reconcile themselves with God, and none of us want to take that from anyone,” he said. The states of Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont allow doctorassisted suicide. In addition, the practice is legal is the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland. Each of these countries has seen a steady increase in assisted suicide cases in the years following its legalization.

Voice of the Southwest |


Pictured l-r: Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, Fr. Gilbert Schneider, Br. Paul O’Brien, Sr. Mary Rosita Shiosee, and Mary Ellen Kocunik. Not pictured: Sr. Thomas de St. Dominique.

By Suzanne Hammons Voice of the Southwest

“At the heart of the life of the one who says ‘yes’ to the Lord…is that they are called to be an expression of the love of Christ.” Ask Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini about why she felt called to consecrated life, and she doesn’t hesitate. “My response to this vocation is an expression of love – not just for God, but for all God’s people.” The soft-spoken Sister, a member of the Maryknoll Society, is celebrating 60 years as a professed religious, and is one of six other religious in the Diocese of Gallup who is celebrating an anniversary in 2014.

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Celebrating Jubilees

Each year, the Diocese holds a special Jubilee Mass to honor men and women of different religious orders who reach milestones in their years of service. Br. Paul O’Brien, parish administrator at All Saints in Ganado, AZ, is now in his 50th year as a member of the Franciscans. He reflected that as he grew more experienced in his vocation, he noticed a growing sense of peace, and an appreciation for the many people he’s encountered. “We’re willing to think in terms of another world – another side of spirituality, you know, the Kingdom [of God]. And we provide a sense of community, especially in this Diocese, where it doesn’t take long to get to know everyone.” Only a day before the Jubilee Mass, the Vatican officially announced that 2015 will be a special Year of Consecrated Life. Starting his homily with a nod to this announcement, celebrant Bishop James Wall noted that it was a confirmation of the importance of religious life to the work of the Church. “We’re able to see [God’s] goodness

reflected in the lives of our Jubilarians,” he said, adding that all who answer a call to a religious vocation are following in the footsteps of the first Apostles called by Jesus to leave their old lives behind them. “It requires self-sacrifice, to leave a life that we have once known, in order to follow Jesus,” the Bishop said. “At the heart of the life of the one who says ‘yes’ to the Lord…is that they are called to be an expression of the love of Christ.” Sr. Cecchini, who spent 25 years in ministry in Japan and other Asian countries including Nepal, currently runs the office of Peace, Justice and Creation for the Diocese. After her many years abroad, she says she was drawn to the Gallup Diocese in large part because of the unique and vibrant local cultures, especially those of the Native Americans. Br. Paul also mentioned the vibrant spirituality of the Native Peoples as one of the biggest influences on his own Faith, and the common ground that Catholicism and Native cultures share.


in Tribal dances and ceremonies. Sister has been a professed religious for 60 years.

Br. Paul O’Brien

Sr. Thomas de St. Dominique

70 Years

Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini

60 Years

A Little Sister of the Poor, Sr. St. Dominique is celebrating 70 years since she made her first vows. In September she will celebrate her 90th birthday. A native of Mt. Clement, Michigan, Sister came to our Diocese fourteen years ago and began ministering at Villa Guadalupe where she takes care of the Sisters’ dining room, laundry room, and does some sewing. One of the things she has enjoyed doing through the years is making robes for the Infant of Prague statue in liturgical colors.

Sr. Cecchini is a Maryknoll Sister of St. Dominic who came to our diocese in 1996 after ministering in the field of education in Japan, the Philippines and Nepal for 33 years. She began her time here on the staff of the Mt. Carmel Residential Treatment Facility for Native American Girls. Presently she coordinates the Office of Life, Peace, Justice and Creation Stewardship. Sister is a native of Stockton, California, and is celebrating 60 years as a religious.

A Franciscan of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province, Albuquerque. He grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston, and has spent more than half of his years of ministry in the Gallup Diocese. Currently Brother Paul is administrator of All Saints Mission, Ganado, Arizona. Prior to this he was at Our Lady of the Rosary Mission, Greasewood, for 22 years. He also spent time at the house of prayer in Houck, and at St. Anne Mission, Klagetoh.

Sr. Mary Rosita Shiosee

50 Years

60 Years

A Sister of the Blessed Sacrament and a native of Mesita, Sr. Shiosee has been ministering in many ways to the people of Laguna Pueblo for the past ten years. Prior to that, she held a variety of assignments in our Diocese: teaching and library work St. Michael Indian School, religious education in Pinon, teaching at Laguna Elementary School. Her present activities include taking Communion to the home bound elderly in the various villages, jail ministry, and participating

Fr. Gilbert Schneider Fr. Schneider is a Franciscan Friar of the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Albuquerque, and pastor of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament with its missions of Navajo and Sawmill, is celebrating 50 years of ordination. He is originally from Hamilton, Ohio, a small town north of Cincinnati. Father began ministry in our Diocese in 1965, serving at Laguna Pueblo. He then went to Pena Blanca in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe before returning to serve at St. Anthony Church, Zuni.

50 Years

Mary Ellen Kocunik

25 Years

A member of the Madonna House Apostolate, Winslow, Arizona, where she has ministered since 2006. She is celebrating 25 years as a member of Madonna House where she is involved with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Winslow and Keams Canyon. A native of Syracuse, New York, Mary Ellen worked as a registered nurse and did volunteer work prior to joining Madonna House. One of those years was spent at St. Bonaventure Mission, Thoreau.


To see more photos of this event, visit

Jubilarians follow Bishop Wall in a renewal of vows.

Voice of the Southwest |


Bishop Wall blesses the memorial to the Hopi martyrs.

The Hopi Reservation comprises approximately 2,500 square miles in Northeastern Arizona and is surrounded entirely by the Navajo Nation, It is one of nine Native American reservations within the Diocese of Gallup. 8

Keams Canyon Monument Honors Hopi Village Martyrs St. Joseph Church in Keams Canyon is a testament to over 300 years of Catholic history. Although the parish itself does not date back quite that long, the people of the Hopi tribe, who make their home in the area around the small Arizona town, first encountered Catholicism when it was brought to the area by Franciscans. The latest testament to the faith in Keams Canyon is a monument to a destroyed village called Awatovi, and the Hopi people who once lived and died there. “The village of Awatovi, unlike other pueblos before the Pueblo Uprising who may have been influenced by the presence of Spanish soldiers to convert, freely chose to accept the Catholic faith after the miraculous healing of a blind boy in the name of Christ,” said Fr. Clayton Kilburn, the pastor of St. Joseph Church. In either 1700 or 1701, the inhabitants of neighboring villages, upon learning of the conversion, killed many of the people in Awatovi and destroyed the village. To this day, only a few small ruins mark the spot where it once stood. “My interest in a monument at Awatovi was sparked after my first visit to Awatovi shortly after my arrival at St. Joseph Mission in 1996,” said Fr. Kilburn. “It did not seem respectful for these possibly 800 Catholic martyrs to not be remembered in

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some way.” He expressed hope that by building a monument, the martyrs will be remembered for their witness to Christ, and that forgiveness and understanding can be fully realized between all peoples in the area – Hopi and non-Hopi, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Before starting the process, Fr. Kilburn wanted to seek permission from all parties before going ahead with the project. “I came up with an initial design for the monument and presented the idea to the parishioners of St. Joseph. They approved both the design and the idea,” said Fr. Kilburn. “I then presented the idea to Bishop James Wall, who gave me permission to pursue the idea, which I said would include informing the Hopi people of the idea.” Next, Fr. Kilburn wished for the permission of the Hopi tribe – both Catholic and non-Catholic. “I did not want to erect a monument without first consulting the Hopi people. To do this I wrote an open letter to the Hopi people which I delivered personally to individual village leaders (Chiefs or Governors). I read it with them to explain that the parish wanted to erect a monument to those Catholics who had died over 300 years ago without being

given a respectful ceremony. I also explained that the monument would not judge what happened but would contain a perpetual prayer for forgiveness, reconciliation, respect for all human life, and for world peace and harmony. A design for the monument was also included for them to see. The individual leaders received me respectfully and no objections were expressed. The leaders most closely related to the land where the Church is located even said they would try to attend the ceremony if there were no other schedule conflicts.” In his homily at the dedication Mass, Bishop James Wall expressed his sorrow over the tragedies of the time, while also calling for the Hopi martyrs to be honored as true models of the Catholic faith. “I know that I have been a part of a Church where people, at time, have done things in the name of the Church that were never right or permissible. It caused a lot of pain, and hardship, and in some cases, bloodshed, and I am truly sorry for that. I want to be about a Church that represents Jesus Christ, who is about peace, forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. “We’ve come together to mark a historic occasion, by blessing a beautiful memorial to the Awatovi martyrs, who were martyred for the sake of their faith. And we do so by also asking for their prayers – we trust that they are forever in Heaven around the throne of God. We ask them to intercede for us, intercede on behalf of their people, the Hopi people – both Catholic and non-Catholic; to intercede on behalf of the Native American peoples, Catholic and non-Catholic; and we ask them to intercede on behalf of all peoples, those Catholic and those non-Catholic; and to pray for peace, healing, and reconciliation.” One parishioner, Garret Silversmith, has been attending Mass at Keams Canyon for about ten years with his wife and family. Since the beginning, they’ve known Fr. Kilburn, and were even married by him. According to Silversmith, Keams Canyon has people from many different backgrounds, whether Hopi, Navajo, or Caucasian, and that the memorial will help to promote harmony between all cultures. “It’s been awhile, – just like Father said at Mass, 300 years – and a lot of remorse and not enough forgiveness,”

Parishioners at St. Joseph Church during the Memorial Mass.

Fr. Clay Kilburn preparing to bless the monument with feathers.

Silversmith said. “But I think the Memorial is a big, positive step toward that reconciliation process that Bishop Wall said so well this morning. And I think more and more as the word is spread, the Hopi people will embrace it.” Roy Youvella, another parishioner, explained that as both a Catholic and a member of the Hopi tribe, the Mass for the installation of the memorial marks an important occasion. “It was good,” Youvella said. “It remembers those who, because of their Catholic faith, lost their lives.” After the Mass and the blessing of the Memorial, the parishioners, their pastor,

and the bishop all gathered in the parish hall for a Thanksgiving meal. About half the parishioners are Navajo, and half are Hopi, but in during the meal it was evident that the people of Keams Canyon are true neighbors. In this part of Arizona, their shared love of Christ and the Catholic Church brings them together in peace, 300 years later.


To see more photos of this event and to listen to Bishop Wall’s homily at the memorial Mass, visit

Voice of the Southwest |


1939 - 2014: Celebrating 75 Years as a Diocese Note: the excerpts taken here come from various histories collected in the Diocesan archives, as well as an excellent book written by Elizabeth Kelley for the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Diocese in 1989,

11. St. Anthony, Zuni

12. San Esteban, Acoma, 1629 This mission, dedicated to St. Stephan, the proto-martyr of the Catholic Church, was established in the year 1629 by Friar Juan Ramirez, one of the early Franciscan missionaries to New Mexico. The church, built in the early Pueblo style of architecture, is unique and the largest of the early NM Missions. It is built of adobe brick and mortar and was ten years in building. All the adobe bricks as well as all materials for the building had to be carried to the top of the rock by the Acoma Indians under the direction of Friar Ramirez. Whether the mission buildings were destroyed in the great Pueblo uprising of 1680 or not is a disputed question. Some claim the present building is the original; others claim the original was destroyed in 1680 and rebuilt in 1699.

13. St. Joseph, Laguna This mission was established in the year 1699 by Friar Antonio de Miranda, OFM, one of the early Franciscan missionaries in New Mexico. It is one of the last established of the

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One of the first records of a mission being established at Zuni dates back to 1629, although tensions between the Spanish and local Zuni people led to on and off-again evangelization until a formal church was built around 1706. Because of waning Spanish influence, missionaries to Zuni were seen less and less, and in the 1800s the mission in Zuni was reported as “abandoned�. In 1906, Archbishop Peter Bourgade of Santa Fe convinced the Franciscans of the province of St. John the Baptist to take over care of the mission at Zuni. A young priest, Fr. Anthony Kroger, was assigned to Zuni in 1920, and had to go about obtaining land and funds for a new Church. The US Government granted the priest a plot of land after receiving signatures from the natives in favor of the task, and after a year of fundraising and with the labor of the locals, the new church was built and dedicated to St. Anthony on August 29, 1923.

early New Mexico missions, and is the best preserved. The Pueblo of Laguna, named after a lake that was a short distance west of the village , is the only Pueblo established after the coming of the Europeans to America. In 1699, the Lagunas sent a delegation to the Spanish Governor at Isleta to ask for the services of a priest. When Friar Miranda was sent to them, the church was completed in a short time and Mass was celebrated before the end of the 17th century.

(see next page for more)

9. St. Anthony, McNary, 1931 McNary is a lumber town situated in the white Mountains of east-central Arizona on the Apache Reservation. The mill operations started in 1918 during World War I, when this district was known as Cooley. In 1924, the town was named McNary after the Southwest Lumber Mills president, James McNary. From the beginning, many of the workers have been Spanish Americans canvassed from communities throughout New Mexico. In 1921, when the Franciscan Province of St. Barbara established a mission for the Apaches at Whiteriver, the missionary there began to make the arduous trip to McNary to administer to the spiritual needs of Spanish Catholics. A rude cabin served for years as a chapel. In a letter dated April 21, 1931 from the agency superintendent at Whiteriver, a parcel of 21 acres on the Springerville highway was assigned for the exclusive use of the Catholic Church. On this land a church was soon built through a generous donation from the Catholic Extension Society. Voice of the Southwest |


(Continued from previous page - see map on pages 10 and 11 for placement of churches and missions throughout the Diocese of Gallup) 1. St. Isabel, Lukachukai Situated close to an old sacred Navajo ceremonial spring in a sea of gray-green sage against a background os masses of tawny, orange-red sandstone cliffs which buttress the soaring pine-clad heights of the Lukachukai Mountains is located the picturesque St. Isabel Navajo Mission. History tells us that thirtythree family heads, including one woman, signed the petition for the mission site...and the mission chapel was dedicated on June 22, 1912.

2. St. Joseph, Keams Canyon The history of the Catholic Church on the Hopi Reservation dates back more than 350 years. During much of this time, the Church and the Hopi have shared a tragic history greatly influenced by the Spanish and US Government conquests in these areas. In 1898 the first group of Franciscans made their way to St. Michaels. On May 4, 1926, a site for a mission at Keams Canyon was approved to minister to Catholics in the area. On May 2, 1927 the project began with the erection of a shack which was used as the living quarters during construction of the church. It received the nickname “Chicken Coop” because the lumber used in it was taken from a chicken coop at St. Michaels School. The building was completed and dedicated in 1928 to St. Joseph.

3. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Ft. Defiance When the first friars in modern times entered the Navajo mission field in October, 1898, they immediately concerned themselves with a study of the difficult native language and made a beginning at reducing it to writing. In their search for the desired information they contacted Natives from outlying areas of the reservation and soon gained the friendship of many whose children were attending the Ft. Defiance government school. With the permission of the proper authorities it was soon arranged that the friars conduct religion classes twice a week...this schedule was observed until the time of the dedication of the church at Ft. Defiance in 1915.


Voice of the Southwest |

4. St. Michaels, St. Michaels In 1895, Monsignor Joseph Stephan, director of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, acting as an agent of Mother Katharine Drexel, purchased two original homesteads at a place called La Cienega Amarilla. In September 1897, the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist agreed to provide priests for the Navajo Reservation. Arrangements were made for Mother Katharine’s first visit to La Cienega and a chance to meet with the Navajo elders...Mother Katharine addressed the group, assuring them of her intentions, and answering many of their questions and objections. Before their departure, the headmen shook hands, and offered their support of the school.

12b. Santa Maria de Acoma, McCartys Fr. Agnellus Lammert, OFM constructed the church at McCartys. This impressive structure, up on the hillside, was dedicated on November 28, 1933 by Archbishop Gerken of Santa Fe.

5. Our Lady of the Rosary, Greasewood In the early 1920s, services were already being held at Greasewood, and on June 5, 1928, a chapel was dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. However, this building was too near the Greasewood Wash and was in frequently flooded during spring run-offs. The local Navajos dismantled the chapel stone by stone and moved it to higher ground. This project, which took four months, was completed March 1, 1938.

6. St. Anne, Klagetoh In the early years of the century, the Klagetoh are was served by priests from St. Michaels and Keams Canyon. The Franciscan mission in Klagetoh was begun in 1924, with a church dedicated to St. Anne on June 5, 1927.

7. St. John the Evangelist, Houck Although this area was not made part of the Navajo Reservation until about 1934, the Navajos have lived here since the 17th century, After the treaty of 1868, the Navajos who had lived here before Ft. Sumner returned. But sine they were living outside the official limits of their reservation, they had no legal title to the lands they occupied...Fr. Anselm Weber undertook to help these Navajos, knowing they would be forced onto the reservation by white settlers unless they gained legal title to the lands they were occupying and using. He had to advise them of the provisions of the land laws, survey their holdings and prepare the required documents for the U.S. Land Office... When Fr. Anselm would have Mass and give religious instructions in their homes, the Indians repeatedly asked him to build a mis-

sion among them. Nakai Chee, whose family had benefitted from Fr. Anselm’s labors, wanted the mission to be built on his land... but it was not until 1927 that a small chapel was built on this site.

8. San Rafael, Concho The first mission church in Concho was built of adobe by the townspeople in the shape of a cross. It was dedicated to San Rafael by Bishop Salpointe of Tucson in 1879. By the 1930s this church was too small. A building, previously a dance hall, was donated by the Sandoval family and remodeled by the parishioners. This is the same church in use today.

10. St. Francis, Whiteriver St. Francis Parish is located at Whiteriver, the center of the White Mountain Apache tribe. The parish has been under the care of the Franciscans since its formation. The church was constructed under the direction of Fr. Justin Deutsch, OFM, and was dedi-

15. San Mateo, San Mateo In 1921, because of the need to reduce the workload of visiting priests from Gallup, San Fidel became a parish, recognizing the location of the church which had been there since 1892. It was chosen because of its location in relation to the Indian and Spanish villages and proximity to the railroad. The church that is there currently was built in 1920, and in 1924, a school was established that is still in use today.

16. San Rafael, San Rafael Because of the original Ft. Wingate and railway towns, a church was needed in San Rafael. After receiving a donation of land and funds, the original church was completed in 1906, but was destroyed by a fire in 1930. The church in use today was built and re-dedicated in 1937.

17. St. Mary, Tohatchi The need for a church at Tohatchi was made apparent after two Franciscans were invited by the Navajo people to the boarding school there in order to give Mass and religious instruction to the children and local people. The construction for the church was begun in 1915 and dedicated in 1920. Another government school was opened in the nearby village of Naschitti, and a mission chapel was built there in 1935.

18. Sacred Heart, Waterflow cated on June 1, 1924 by Bishop Daniel Gercke of Tucson. The church and residence are one building, constructed of cement blocks manufactured at the site by the Apache parishioners.

12a. St. Anne, Acomita This Acoma Indian Village is situated 17 miles west of Laguna. The old St. Lawrence Chapel here had been converted into a chapel from a school that had been established there in 1890 by Mother Katharine Drexel. The new chapel, St. Anne Mission, was begun in July 1939 and dedicated on March 27, 1940.

13a. St. Elizabeth, Paguate This mission, dedicated to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, was constructed in 1919 and dedicated on June 16, 1920.

13b. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Encinal This mission was built between 1920 and 1921, and dedicated on September 8, 1921.

The chapel here was built and dedicated over a period of 6 months in 1936.

The first Mass in what was to become the parish of Waterflow was held in makeshift quarters in 1912. The congregation, composed of families who had migrated from Kentucky, soon set about to construct a church so that their services could be held in more appropriate surroundings. The church was dedicated in 1917,

13e. St. Margaret Mary, Paraje

19.St. Francis of Assisi, Lumberton

This mission was built and dedicated in the same year, 1935.

The parish of Lumberton began as a mission of the parish of Parkview, around 1900. The first church was built at Lumberton and dedicated to St. Francis, and later a school was established in 1920. On Christmas Eve in the late 1920s the interior of the church was destroyed by a fire. The undamaged walls were used in rebuilding the church,

13c. St. Anne, Seama This mission was built in the early 1920s and dedicated in 1924.

13d. Sacred Heart, Mesita

14. St. Joseph, San Fidel In 1921, because of the need to reduce the workload of visiting priests from Gallup, San Fidel became a parish, recognizing the location of the church which had been there since 1892. It was chosen because of its location in relation to the Indian and Spanish villages and proximity to the railroad. The church that is there currently was built in 1920, and in 1924, a school was established that is still in use today.

In the next issue, we’ll take a look at the history of parishes established under the first Bishop for the Diocese of Gallup, the Most Rev. Bernard Espelage. Voice of the Southwest |


Catholic Schools: Preparing Minds and Souls The annual week for Catholic Schools kicked off on January 26, following the theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Each year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Catholic Educational Association set aside one week to celebrate the importance of catholic education on society. In a January 2014 homily for a Mass given to Catholic School teachers and students, Bishop James Wall noted that Catholic schools are in a unique position to shape and inform students and to spread the message of Christ to society. “An encounter with Jesus Christ is key for those of us who are students and members of Catholic schools,” he said. “And when we encounter Christ, we grow in love, we grow in kindness, we grow in respect.” Despite the closing of Gallup Catholic High School in the 2012-13 school year,

Sacred Heart, Gallup SCIENCE FAIR - Yoli Nicholson explains her project to a visitor - “more forest fires are caused by humans than by lightning.” “After a hiatus of some years, this is the 5th annual fair at the school,” said science teacher Sr. Christi Ann Laudolff. “As a teacher, I would like the students to learn the process of doing a major project. The science class in middle school is focused on hands on learning and doing science. Besides the science learning, the students are asked to plan their time, persevere to the end and present their work in the public forum.”


Voice of the Southwest |

the enrollment in Diocesan schools is still strong. According to Jeanette Suter, who recently took over as Superintendent, “The goals of Catholic education are to provide formation of the whole child in such a way that body, mind, heart and soul are united in the pursuit of academic excellence, full participation in the life of the Church, and joyful evangelization of our fellow man. We, the schools and the people of the Diocese of Gallup, need

St. Teresa, Grants SCIENCE FAIR- A group of students will represent St. Teresa School in an upcoming regionals science fair. Project topics included “Can Insulation Be Used Again?”, “Wheat: The good, the bad, and the ugly”, “Punishment or Reward: Which gets better results?” This was just one of many academic activities hosted recently by the school - another example was the school-wide spelling bee (see photo above and at right). For more information about St. Teresa School, please visit:

to continue to celebrate the great blessing we have in our Catholic schools, and work to increase the number of students who are able to attend and benefit from all that our schools have to offer.” On January 16, 2014, Bishop James Wall spoke on the importance of Catholic Schools and the duty of students, parents, and teachers to participate in the New Evangelization. During the homily of a Mass given for students and teachers from three Cath-

St. Joseph, San Fidel FUNDRAISER - “As we know the Diocese of Gallup has recently filed for Chapter 11 in Bankruptcy court. As a result, St. Joseph Mission School is in immediate danger of closing it doors after 91 years of educating Catholic children in rural New Mexico. On January 31, 2014 with the help of Jeanette Suter, our Superintendent, we had to make some drastic changes to keep our doors open without affecting the quality of our education. First we had to restructure the organization of our school by cutting some of our staff and teachers. Second, we

St. Teresa, Grants 48 students took part in a spelling bee -the last six are headed to the District Bee spellers. Jasleen Kaur won first place by spelling “latitudinous”.

olic schools, Bishop Wall noted that the schools, because of their religious nature, are in a unique position to encourage development of Catholic faith. Speaking on the Gospel passage in which Jesus heals a leper, the bishop noted that this represents the inherent dignity of each person, and how lives are transformed after meeting Christ. “The great thing about this encounter is that we see that Jesus heals him, and no longer does he have this burden on

St. Joseph, continued had a meeting with the families of whose children attend St. Joseph’s with other stakeholders and see if there was a commitment to keep the school going. The school community said a resounding yes. Finally, we sent an appeal to all people connected to the school to seek out extra funding. Now we humbly ask you the reader to help us in our campaign to keep St. Joseph School open. In spite of the perpetual challenges St. Joseph’s faces, the school has continued to bring the gospel values to many children in the tradition of the Franciscans. Help us continue this legacy with your support of a financial contribution or through your prayers. Together St. Joseph will come out stronger and better to face another 91 years of Catholic education. For more information you can go to our webpage You can also go to and put St. Joseph Mission School in the search box and look at our video.” - Antonio Trujillo, Principal

his shoulders,” said Bishop Wall. “It all comes down to an encounter with Jesus Christ. That is what makes all of this possible. That is what lifts the burden off his shoulders. That is what heals this man.” The beginning of the year is often set aside in Dioceses for a celebration of Catholic schools, and the Mass on January 16 was the first of several school

Masses which to be celebrated by the Bishop throughout the Gallup Diocese. During the homily, Bishop Wall directly addressed the students. “We who are members of Catholic schools and Catholic education, every day that we come to school, we have an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ, just as the leper did. And hopefully we can share that message with others.” “What this is all about – what our schools should be about, and I think they are, is our participation in what has been known as the New Evangelization. So we need to look for opportunities to announce Jesus Christ – at school, in our families, and with complete strangers.” Noting that those who announce Jesus must be joyful, the Bishop said that Catholics must be excited about their Faith so that others will be drawn to the message of the Church. “Our schools must be schools of the New Evangelization, so that we may announce Christ not just today or tomorrow, but for life.”

Catholic Schools by the Numbers, 2013-2014 NATIONALLY

2,001,740 Number of students enrolled in Catholic Schools in 2013

51% Number of non-Catholic students



of Catholic School students are Native American

Percentage of minority students - 14.3% of these are Hispanic


15.9% of students are non-Catholics


1384 Number of students enrolled in Diocese of Gallup Catholic schools

1256 Number of students enrolled in grades preK through eighth grade

128 Number of students enrolled in secondary grades this year in Diocese of Gallup Catholic schools

of Catholic School students are Hispanic

37% of the per-pupil cost for students is covered by tuition income

$1849/$1714 Average tuition for elementary/secondary students

$5712/$4604 Average cost per student for elementary/ secondary education

$55% / 59% Percentage of families who receive tuition assistance for elementary/secondary Voice of the Southwest |


Lenten Mission Schedule March

Calendar of Events/Classifieds

St. Michaels 09 - Theme: Journey of Faith and Tradi- March SEARCH Retreat Darkness to Enlightenment 12 tion, Director: Fr. Charles Smiech, O.F.M. 14 - This retreat for young people focuses on fellowship, the Place: St. Michael Church, St. Mi16 sacraments, and growing in the chaels AZ Contact: 928-871-4171 for full schedule and details

09 13 16 19

Tohatchi Theme: Walk in Beauty, Harmony, and Christian Maturity Director: Fr. Jerry Mesley Place: St. Mary Church, Tohatchi NM Contact: 505-733-2243 for full schedule and details Chinle Theme: Journey of Faith and Tradition, Darkness to Enlightenment Director: Fr. Charles Smiech, O.F.M. Place: Our Lady of Fatima Church, Chinle AZ Contact: 928-674-5413 for full schedule and details

16 19

Ganado Theme: Living in the embrace of God’s love Director: Fr. Raphael Bonnano, O.F.M. Place: All Saints Church, Ganado AZ Contact: 928-755-3401 for full schedule and details

23 26

Lukachukai Theme: Living in the embrace of God’s love Director: Fr. Raphael Bonnano, O.F.M. Place: St. Isabel Church, Lukachukai AZ Contact: 928-787-2322 for full schedule and details

Catholic Faith. Place: St. Mary Parish 2100 E. 20th St. Farmington, NM 87401 Time: All Weekend Contact: Parish Office at 505325-0287

28 30

April Craft Sale 05 - There will be raffles, gifts bags, and more! Cost for reserving 06 a space is $20 of an 8×10 area with table. All proceeds go to the Atrium and CCD programs. Place: Our Lady of the Snows Parish 1655 Main St. Snowflake, AZ 85937 Time: All Day Contact: Parish Office at 928536-4559.

March - April

30 06

Tuba City Theme:The Beatitudes and Black Elk Director:Sr. Clissene Lewis, l.s.c. Place: St. Jude Church, Tuba City, AZ Contact: 928-283-5391 for full schedule and details


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Daughters of Charity Discernment Retreat Are you called to be a sister? Come and see! Pray with us – walk with us – talk with us! The Daughters of Charity are given to God in Community in a spirit of Humility, Simplicity, and Charity for the service of those who are poor since 1633. We are educators, health care providers, social workers, parish associates, missionaries, and advocates. Place: Los Altos, CA Contact: Sr. Lisa Laguna at 213-210-9903

Stations of the Cross Hosted by the Youth Group at St. Mary’s Parish. Place: St. Mary Parish 2100 E. 20th St. Farmington, NM 87401 Time: 8 pm

Repeat Events Tuesday Bible Study Place: Sacred Heart Parish 3 Parish Lane Quemado, NM 87829 Time: 4 - 5pm Ministry to the Homeless Join the youth of St. Mary Parish as they serve dinner to the homeless every month at Catholic Charities Place: Catholic Charities 119 W. Broadway Farmington, NM 87401 Time: 4th Tuesday of each month Stations of the Cross Place: Sacred Heart Retreat Center Gallup, NM Time: 6pm, every Wednesday during Lent

Job Openings School Nurse St. Bonaventure School in Thoreau, NM is looking for a full time school nurse for the 2014-2015 school year. The position includes a modest salary, free housing, and health benefits. This position is ideal for someone who has retired from full time nursing, but would like to remain active in the profession. A current nursing license from any state and prior experience in either clinical or public health nursing is required (RN preferred). Contact: Trudi Griffin at (505)8626964 or send a resume to tgriffin@ if you are interested. Send us your classifieds! Rates are $3/line - includes online posting at voiceofthesouthwest. org. To submit a classified, contact Suzanne at 505-863-4406 or email Want to see your event here or online? Send announcements and notices about upcoming events to or call 505-863-4406 ext. 4406.

Diocese of Gallup: Promise to Protect If you or someone you know has been abused by a priest, deacon or other employee or minister of the Catholic Church, please report this to:

Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul

Is God calling YOU?

If you are a single Catholic woman ages 18-40…

Come and See!

Diane DiPaolo Victim Assistance Coordinator 505-906-7357

We will help. Your confidentiality will be protected. Si usted o alguien que usted conoce ha sido víctima de abuso por parte de un sacerdote, diácono u otro empleado o ministro de la Iglesia Católica, favor de reportar el incidente a: Diane DiPaolo Coordinador de Asistencia para Víctimas 505-906-7357

Nosotros le ayudaremos. Su confidencialidad será protegida. Do Háida’bił bee hodozįįł daíigi beeádee haho’dzíí’ Catholic Church dóó éé’ neishoodii yił ndaałnishi’ igíí dóó Baa ndaałah’ igíísh doo há’ atééh’ igoo da, nínįi’ yiyiiłaah’ Dóó’ oóshlí ła’ ísh ákóbí’ diiłyąą go nił beehoozin, Akohootįįngo nił beehoozin’go baahwíí’ diłníi’ Diane DiPaolo VIctim Assistance Coordinator 505-906-7357 diane.victimasstcoor.dipaolo@gmail. com

Given to God in Community in a Spirit of Humility, Simplicity and Charity for the Service of those who are Poor since 1633.

Visit us for a Religious Vocation Discernment Retreat

March 28-30, 2014 Los Altos Hills, California for more information, contact:

Sr. Lisa Laguna, D.C.

650-949-8890 213-210-9903

February, March 2014 Ad Space Available! Voice of the Southwest

Gallup, NM Need to raise awareness about your business or event? Advertise with us! We offer a variety of spacing and placement options, both online and in print.

For more information, call 505-863-4406 or visit Voice of the Southwest |


Tuba City Parish Celebrates the “Holy Child of Cebú” St. Jude Church embraces melting-pot of Filipino, Native, and Hispanic cultures Story by Suzanne Hammons Photos Courtesy of Jimmy Panilgao

More than 250 parishioners filled St. Jude Parish in Tuba City, AZ for the annual celebration of Santo Niño de Cebú on January 19th. The “Holy Child of Cebu” is a small statue dated to the 16th century, when explorer Ferdinand Magellan bequeathed it to the ruler of the village of Cebu and his wife after their conversion to the Catholic Faith in 1521. The statue, now one of the most widely-venerated religious objects in the Philippines, is thought to be miraculous, as it was found completely unscathed in the ruins of a burned house in 1565. A church was erected on the site of the find, and throughout the centuries the natives of the Philippines have celebrated the “Holy Child” on the Sunday in January. St. Jude has seen an increase of Filipino parishioners over the past few years, as many families have immigrated into Tuba City to teach at the local public schools and work in the city’s hospital. Honoring the tradition of their homeland, the parish held a celebration of Santo Niño complete with a procession, dancing, and a roast pig feast featuring Filipino

and Navajo foods. Fr. Jay Jung, CM is the pastor at St. Jude. He says that although Tuba City is on the Navajo Reservation, he is happy to encourage the culture of all parishioners, whether Filipino, Navajo, Hispanic, or other. “I see diversity as a blessing, the richness of cultures and learning about each others’ gifts, but I don’t want one to dominate to the exclusion

Spanish, and both sometimes had a raw deal,” Fr. Jung said. “But now, the Filipino people are passionate Roman Catholics, and they fully embrace Catholicism. The Church plays a prime role in their lives – you can’t separate one from the other.” While Native Americans make up a much smaller number percentage-wise of Catholics compared to Filipinos, Fr. Jung says that both cultures still share much common ground, both with each other and with Catholicism. “So many of the Native American beliefs are very consistent with Catholicism, such as the idea of God as Creator.” In Tuba City, the sharing and welcoming of two separate cultures is very much in evidence. Whether drawn together by the aroma of roast pig or their common cultural backgrounds, it seems the celebration of Santo Niño de Cebú is alive and well, nearly five hundred years and several thousand miles from where it was first venerated.

“We’re all one Church, one Faith, but sometimes different according to culture. At the Santo Niño celebration, everyone is welcome.”

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of others,” he said. “We’re all one Church, one Faith, but sometimes different according to culture. At the Santo Niño celebration, everyone is welcome to the celebration – everyone is invited.” Fr. Jung draws the connection between the two cultures. Filipinos were first colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century, just as Spain was also spreading its influence in the Southwest around the same time. “Both were colonized by the


To see more photos from this event, visit

Photo Credit: Flickr/ MTSOfan

Lent: What’s the Significance? By Fr. Raymond Mahlmann It is noon on Holy Saturday. The large Holy Water container which stands in the back of the church by the confessionals is in the sanctuary. Father comes out into the sanctuary and blesses the water. People come forward and stand by the altar rail. One by one they hand Father glasses, jars, any kind of vessel which will carry a little bit of the newly blessed water. Father tells the people that they have now received the Easter Water. Lent is now over; they should go home now and have something to eat. This rite of blessing the Easter Water would have been typical in Roman Catholic churches about fifty-eight years ago. Where did this custom of blessing Easter Water on Holy Saturday come from? A Benedictine scholar was entrusted with the task of researching the ancient rites of the Church surrounding baptism by Pope Pius XII. His work helped in the renewal of the Liturgy of the Church and to the revival of the ancient rites and practices surrounding initiation and baptism in the Church which we now know as R.C.I.A., the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Lent is about baptism. Many Catholics when asked what Lent is all about may say

that it is about giving things up, going to confession, and putting money into mite boxes and Operation Rice Bowl boxes, and not eating meat of Fridays. These things maybe popular Catholic images and collective memories of Lent, however, they are not what Lent is primarily about. They are a part of Lent whose primary focus is baptism. The word “Lent” come from an ancient English word which means Springtime. A quick glance at what the word for this privileged time in the Christian year in other languages can help to flesh out our understanding of Lent. The word for this time of year in German is: “Fastenzeit” or Fast Time. In Spanish the word is: “Cuaresma”. This word is derived from the word “Quarenta” or Forty, referring to the length of this holy season as being forty days. The holy season of Lent used to begin Six Sundays before Easter. This was the day when the entire Christian community would assemble, the Lord’s Day and those who were chosen, the Elect would be presented to the bishop. The bishop would receive these Chosen Ones, those chosen to receive the Easter sacraments that year on this day. As time went on the Church pushed the beginning of the Holy Season of Lent back to the

Wednesday prior to this Sunday so that the duration of this holy season would be forty days, in remembrance of the period of forty days spoken of in the Gospels when Christ was fasting in the desert and was tempted by the devil. In the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we read about the Pentecost event. The Holy Spirit comes down upon St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, the apostles, and other disciples. The apostles are changed and strengthened. They open the doors of the place in which they were staying, go out into the street, and proclaim that Jesus, the crucified and risen One is Israel’s long awaited Messiah. St. Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles puts on the lips of St. Peter the words of the first Christian sermon. Some three thousand are baptized that day. (That’s a lot of baptismal certificates to fill out.) Understand that the community of believer in Jesus are expecting Jesus to return very soon; tomorrow or next week, at the latest. As time goes on and the message about Jesus spreads among Jews some nonJews or Gentiles begin to hear the message and to believe. Some like the Roman centurion Cornelius and his household hear the message from the lips of St. Peter. The Holy Spirit comes down upon them and St. Peter orders that they be baptized. The growing number of Gentile believing in the message about Jesus and being baptized leads to a Voice of the Southwest |


controversy in the growing but still fledgling community of believers in Jesus. The question was this; since the Messiah had come to the Jews would those who were not Jews have to become Jews, be circumcised, and observe the Jewish kosher laws in order to become followers of Jesus or not. Under that to accept circumcision carried with it not only religious significance but also nationalistic significance; one was not only becoming a member of the Jewish faith but was also becoming a Jew in nationality. In the meeting of the apostles and the leaders of the Church in Jerusalem about the year 49 AD the Holy Spirit guided the leaders of the Church to realize that it was not necessary for someone who was not a Jew to have to become a Jew first before he could be initiated into the Community of the Believers in Jesus. The Church took off from this point. It launched out in its evangelical mission into the Greco-Roman pagan world to win that world for Christ. There was a new reality which the Christian missionaries encountered, however. The difference in preaching to pagans the message about Jesus, the Messiah as opposed to preaching this message to Jews is that when a Christian missionary said to a Jew that the longed for Messiah had come; he is Jesus of Nazareth, this statement would be an intelligible statement. When a Christian missionary were to say to a pagan that the longed for Messiah had come; he is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus had been crucified and had risen, the response of the pagan would be, ‘What’s a Messiah?’. ‘He was crucified?!; that’s too bad.’ ‘He rose from the dead? Yeah, right!’. (Acts 17:32). In other words, the Jews had the background of the Old Testament, they were expecting a Messiah. Whether or not they accepted Jesus as that Messiah was another matter. The pagans did not have that background; they had to be ‘caught up’, as it were so as to know what had gone before so that they could see how Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promises. They needed some catechesis. Thus, by the end of the first Christian century a system of instruction was in place in many places throughout the Roman Empire to show how God had dealt with and prepared his people for the Messiah. The Catechumenate was born. The word ‘catechumanate’ comes from two (2) Greek words: cata = according to or by and echo = the teaching, the tradition. A catachumen is one who listens from the doorway, who has one (1) foot over

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the threshold. What did the catechumenate look like in the early centuries of the Church? How did it function? The early Christians could not have instructions in the Faith for those interested in joining the Church on Sunday morning in between Masses in the Parish Family Center. First of all, there were no parish family centers. The Church was persecuted. From time to time the Roman authorities might take the Christians and put them in the arena with the lions and cheer for the lions, or they might stand you up against a wall in the archery yard and use you for target practice. Yet people did find their way to the Church and were baptized. How did they do it? Christianity offered two (2) advantages which paganism did not offer. It offered a morally ordered way of life and it offered hope for eternal life. In paganism who knew what, if anything came after this life. Therefore, eat, drink, and be merry because who knew what if anything came after this life. If you were interested in finding out about this Christian way of life you would find out who was a Christian. The Christian would have to be convinced of your sincerity in really finding out about this new life and that you were not interested in finding out where the local cell of Christians met so that you could bring the local Roman legion there and wipe out that cell of Christians. Once he was convinced of your sincerity he would bring you to a meeting of the local cell of Christians on Sunday. From the earliest days would meet on Sunday, the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, the day on which the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples. They would meet in someone’s house

or in a hall which they had access to. There would usually be a porter, someone who stood at the door and watched to see who was coming in. When he saw an unfamiliar face he would stop you and ask who you were and what did you want. The person who brought you would vouch for you and say, ‘It’s alright. He’s with me.’. Once inside you got to meet the Christian Community and you got to meet the leader of the Christian Community, the episeous,. The word ‘episeous’ comes from two Greek words; epi = over or on and seous = to watch, to see Therefore, episeous, the episcopus, the bishop. The bishop would scrutinize you and ask you, ‘Why do you want to become a Christian?’ and ‘What kind of a life are you leading?’ You would be allowed to stay and observe the Christian Community and to listen to their teachings. The Christian Community could also observe you. They would see if you were making progress in breaking with the ways of the pagan culture which were not compatible with the Gospel. Being a Christian was really living in a way that was counter cultural to the Greco-Roman pagan society in which you lived. Christians did not participate in emperor worship nor in the worship of the pagan gods. Christians worshiped only one (1) God; which seemed so contrary to the ‘wisdom’ of the society in which they lived. Becoming a Christian usually meant making a break with your family. The Christian Community wanted to see that if it came down to it would you lay down your life for your belief in Jesus. During this time a person in this situation was considered an inquirer. Eventually you would be asked if you would like to make a commitment to learn-

ing the Christian Faith and the Christian Way of Life with a view toward baptism. If all was agreeable you would be invited to inscribe your name in the Book of the Catechumenate. You were now recognized a someone who is seriously committed to learning about this new way of life with a view to being baptized. You knew that if this book fell into the wrong hands it could be your death warrant, however, it is truly the Book of Life. As a catechumen, you were recognized as a member of the Church but not a fully-initiated member of the Church. The catechumenate usually lasted for three (3) years, three (3) years and forty (40) days. The last forty days were a period of intense preparation, and prayer, and fasting, and study which developed into our holy season of Lent. While three (3) years was the usual time of preparation in the catechumenate it was not uncommon for a person to take a longer time to prepare for baptism. The person may want more time to see if they could agree totally with the teachings and/or the Christian Community

wanted to be sure that the person seeking baptism would be committed to the Faith even to the point of laying down his life for it if it came to that. During this time of catechumenate the catechumen would come to the Mass of to the Lord’s Supper, however, they would only be allowed to stay for the first part of the Mass, which we know as the Liturgy of the Word, which used to be known as the Mass of the Catechumens. After the homily, the catechumens would be dismissed with prayers and anointings with the Oil of Catechumens. They would not be allowed to stay for the “Mysteries”, the Liturgy of the Eucharist or the Mass of the Faithful, as it used to be known as because they were not fully-initiated into the mysteries. They would be dismissed to go with their catechists, teachers to reflect on the Word which they heard. All during this time the person who first brought you to your first meeting of the Christian Community has not abandoned you. This person would walk the Journey of Faith with you, praying with you, accom-

Photo Credit: Flickr/ Fr. James Bradley

panying you to instructions, sharing their journey into the Christian Faith with you; in short, becoming a spiritual Dutch uncle to you. Usually this person became your sponsor. As the time of your catechumenate was coming to an end and the Christian Community was convinced of your progress in not only learning the Faith but also living it you would be invited to progress onto the Order of the Elect. Elect means chosen. In the Rite of Election, the catechumen would inscribe his name in the Book of the Elect. Again, if this book fell into the wrong hands it could be your death warrant. However, as one signed the Book of the Elect, it was in a real sense signing one’s name in the Book of Life. The Elect would be received by the episcopus, the bishop. The people who were the Elect were chosen by God, and this choice was ratified by the Christian Community to receive the Easter Sacraments, the Sacraments of Initiation this Easter Vigil. The elect now entered into a period of intense preparation, and study, and fasting, and prayer which would culminate with their Baptism, Confirmation, and Reception of Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. However, not only the elect would enter into this time of preparation, their catechists, their sponsors, the leaders of the Church, indeed the whole Church would pray and fast with them. There were two (2) reasons for this; the faithful would pray and fast for those who were to be initiated at the Easter Vigil. Also, they recognized that they might become a little sloppy, a little tempted in their commitment to living their Catholic Christian lives. This time of prayer and fasting was a time to exercise those spiritual muscles and become the leaner, kinder, Catholic Christians they professed to be to welcome these new comers into the Catholic Christian Community. This developed into our holy season of Lent.

Saints for Today: Patrick, Bishop (385-461) The Christianization of Celtic Ireland, an island never colonized by Rome, is generally assumed to have been the work of St. Patrick. Patrick is not merely the patron saint of Ireland alongside Sts. Columba and Brigid, but is perhaps the best known of all such national patron saints, his fame exported around the world by generations of Irish migrants. As with many Dark Age saints, historical truth, where it is known at all, is embroidered with more or less fantastical later legends. In St. Patrick’s case, the two most enduring such legends were his use of a shamrock—subsequently the country’s national symbol—to illustrate the three-in-one nature of the Trinity, and his expulsion of snakes, obvious symbols of evil, from Ireland, though in reality they had never existed there at all. Patrick was born in Britain, possibly in Wales and captured in his early teens by pirates, sold into slavery, then taken to Ireland where he was enslaved for six years. During that time, he grew to like the spirit of the Irish, he learned the Celtic language, and was converted to the Catholic faith. When he escaped and returned to his family, he vowed to one day return to Ireland. Thereafter, Patrick studied at monasteries and was eventually ordained a priest and then a bishop. Pope Celestine I commissioned Patrick to be an apostle to Ireland where he converted some of the indigenous chieftains and was very successful in adapting the gospel to the

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Irish culture. Ireland is the only country in Western Europe in which the Church was established without martyrdom. Patrick traveled from town to town, tearing down pagan idols and temples in establishing the Catholic Church. He baptized, confirmed, and ordained priests, and he erected schools and monasteries. Thousands came into the Church under his direction. He accomplished all these activities in less than 30 years, during which time the whole island nation of Ireland was converted to Christianity. Toward the end of his life, he wrote “The Confession,” in which he gives a record of his life and mission. In his Confession, which was written to defend himself against calumny and false accusations, he wrote: “How did so great and salutary a gift come to me, the gift of knowing and loving God, though at the cost of homeland and family? I came to the Irish peoples to preach the gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom, for the benefit of others.” Patrick died at the age of 76 of natural causes and is buried in Downpatrick in present-day Northern Ireland. He is by far one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church and beyond. The famous prayer, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” is attributed to him. And like St. Patrick, we should be grateful for our Christian heritage and strive to share with others

By Dr. Jean Lee

the joy of our faith. “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left, Christ in my lying down, Christ in my sitting, Christ in my arising. Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.” —St. Patrick’s Breastplate BIBLIOGRAPHY: Heritage, Andrew, ed. “The Book of Saints: A Day-By-Day Illustrated Encyclopedia.” San Francisco: Weldonowen, 2012. Lodi, Enzo. “Saints of the Roman Calendar.” New York: Alba House, 1992. Trigilio, Rev. John, Ph.D, Th.D, and Rev. Kenneth Brighenti, Ph.D. “Saints for Dummies.” Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, 2010.

Dr. Jean Lee is a licensed behavioral health and substance abuse counselor, founding a nonprofit, state-licensed behavior health counseling agency and Christian gift/book store. A Catholic revert after 32 years away from the Church, she is devout in the Catholic faith and loves the saints.

Making Sense Out of Bioethics:

With Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Debating birth control in the public square: use of contraceptives is not just a ‘personal matter’ Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, in his December 13, 2012 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, argues that the cost of birth control could be reduced by eliminating the required doctor’s visit to get a prescription — making contraception available “over the counter.” If it were made available this way, it would no longer be reimbursable by health insurance, and people could simply purchase it on their own. Jindal posits that this approach would result in “the end of birth control politics.” He relies on several simplistic assumptions and inadequate moral judgments, however, as he tries to advance this argument.

Topic for public discourse

First, he misconstrues the objective. The goal should not be to remove birth control from political debate, but rather to arrive at reasonable medical, ethical, and constitutional judgments about birth control and public policy. Contraception is an important topic for public discussion because it touches on basic human and social goods, such as children, family, and sexual fidelity. Indeed, laws about contraception have always been based upon concerns for the public good and public order, as in the case of the State of Connecticut, which in 1879 enacted strong legislation outlawing contraception, specified as the use of “any drug, medicinal article, or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception.” This law, similar to the anti-contraception laws of many other states, was in effect for nearly 90 years before it was reversed in 1965. These laws codified the longstanding public judgment that contraception was harmful to society because it promoted promiscuity, adultery, and other evils. It relied on the nearly universal conviction that children should be seen as a gift and a blessing to society, and that, in the words of one social commentator, “a healthy society, however tolerant at the margins, must be based on the perception that sex is

essentially procreative, with its proper locus in a loving family.”

Contraception not ‘personal matter’

Yet Governor Jindal fails to engage these core concerns, and instead retreats behind a common cultural cliché when he goes on to say: “Contraception is a personal matter — the government shouldn’t be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman’s employer to keep tabs on her use of it.” If it is true that contraception is often harmful to individuals and families, to marriage, and to women’s health, then it clearly has broader public policy implications, and is, objectively speaking, not merely a “personal matter.” Consider just a few of the health issues: contracepting women have increased rates of cardiovascular and thromboembolic events, including increased deep vein thrombosis, strokes, pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lungs), and heart attacks. Newer third and fourth generation combination birth control pills, which were supposed to lower cardiovascular risks, may actually increase those risks, and recently there have been class action lawsuits brought against the manufacturers of Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella, because women have died from such events. In seeking to serve the public interest, the government may determine to become involved in such matters, as it did back in 1879, through specific legislative initiatives or through other forms of regulatory oversight.

Public ramifications of this issue

Indeed, the recent deployment of the Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate, as a component of ObamaCare, reflects an awareness of the public ramifications of this issue, even though the mandate itself is profoundly flawed and ultimately subverts the public interest. It compels Americans, unbelievably, to pay for the sexual proclivities of their neighbors, not only by requiring employers to cover costs for the

Pill in their health plans, but also to pay for other morally objectionable procedures, including direct surgical sterilizations and potential abortioncausing drugs like the “morning-after” pill. Contraception is not pro-life Governor Jindal goes on to argue, “As an unapologetic pro-life Republican, I also believe that every adult (18 years old and over) who wants contraception should be able to purchase it.” Yet Governor Jindal is really quite apologetic (and inconsistent) in his pro-life stance by arguing in this fashion. Contraception can never be prolife. It regularly serves as a gateway to abortion, with abortion functioning as the “backup” to failed contraception for countless women and their partners. Abortion and contraception are two fruits of the same tree, being anti-child and therefore anti-life at the root. Certain “emergency” contraceptives (like Plan B and the new morning-after pill known as EllaOne) also appear able to function directly as abortifacients. IUDs can function similarly, making the uterine lining hostile for an arriving human embryo, and forcing a loss of life to occur through a failure to implant. Governor Jindal, a committed Catholic, should not be minimizing the medical and moral risks associated with promoting contraceptive use, nor lessening social vigilance by promoting “over the counter” availability. Committed Catholics and politicians of conscience can better advance the public discourse surrounding contraception by avoiding such forms of circumlocution and instead directly addressing the medical and ethical evils of contraception and the unacceptability of the coercive HHS mandate itself. Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www. Voice of the Southwest |


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Voice of The Southwest, Spring 2014