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Voice of the Southwest The Official Publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup | | Vol.52 No.2

50 Years of History at St. Rita’s Also inside...

Serving the Elderly Poor

LifeGuard’s Pro-Life Cause

Witnessing the Conclave

Columns 4

Bishop James S. Wall

From the Bishop

The charity and noble example of the Knights of Columbus.


Dr. Jean Lee

Saints for Today St. Catherine of Siena, Mystic and Doctor of the Church


Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Making Sense of Bioethics Facing the effects of same-sex parenting


Fr. Matthew A. Keller

Indulgences, Part II How can we obtain indulgences in this Year of Faith?


News 6

Witnessing the Conclave

A priest of Gallup recounts his experience in Rome during the first few days of the Papal election


Introducing our new websites

The Diocese of Gallup finds a new online home


Navajo Mass

For the first time, a full-length Mass in Navajo has been recorded and made available on DVD


Diocesan Financial Audit Results

Our results for the 2012 financial year fell within budget


St. Rita’s 50th Anniversary

Read about the history of the Church in Show Low, from before the 1940s to modern times


Rev. Mr. James P. Hoy, CFO

The Diocese announces the loss of our Chief Financial Officer, begins search for replacement


Voice of the Southwest |




Calendar of Events


Religious Groups in the Diocese:

Little Sisters of the Poor

This order of nuns, spread worldwide, have a home in the Diocese of Gallup, where they serve the elderly poor.

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19 LifeGuard’s Pro-Life Ministry 25 Years of Priestly Service

Fr. Patrick Wedeking looks back on 25 years of serving as a priest and Air Force chaplain


Player of Faith

Farmington parishioner draws upon his Catholic faith while playing pro baseball

Voice 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.

Write To Us!

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.

Email comments to:

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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 This is only our third edition of the Voice in magazine format, but many good things – and big changes – have already come about. A small part of this is the decision to begin writing a brief letter at the beginning of each new issue, the first of which you are reading now. I realize that it is one thing to publish this magazine, but I don’t want to simply remain the silent force behind a lot of our media efforts in the Diocese. I want to be accessible to you, the reader, and to all the people – priests, sisters, deacons, and parishioners – who work and live in this beautiful Diocese. So, this is my late introduction to you. The New Evangelization calls us to participate in a renewal of our faith, and in these modern times, media formats from magazines to the internet to social media represent a new frontier of communication. “The communications media – and we exclude none of them from our celebration – are the admission ticket of every man and woman to the modern marketplace where thoughts are given public utterance, where ideas are exchanged, news is passed around, and information of all kinds is transmitted and received.”   - John Paul II

That quote is one I think of often, because I’m happy for all the things that have happened in my first year of service to the Diocese – the switch from newspaper to magazine, our new websites (more about those on pg. 7), greater expansions into social media sites, and groundwork for several big future projects. But mostly I’m grateful for you, the people of this Diocese, and the amazing expressions of our Catholic faith that are being lived each day. So it’s not enough to simply sit back and publish this magazine, or any other project. I also want to hear from you. What’s your story? How is Catholicism relevant to your life? In what way is the message of Christ being spread in your parish, town, or school? Having been born and raised here, I know that our Diocese is beautiful, and full of wonderful people. It is my hope that together, we can participate in the efforts of the New Evangelization to spread the message of Christ to all. 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 Monday, 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!


From Knights of Columbus provide the Bishop

an outstanding model of faith and charity

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Christ is Risen! As the Church has recently ended the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord during the Easter season, we are reminded that our participation in the life of the Church helps to spread the message that He is truly risen. This is especially vital during the Year of Faith, as we share our faith with others so that they might develop a deep and intimate friendship with Jesus Christ. The readings of Sacred Scripture at Mass provide an excellent example of the evangelical spirit of the early Church, as the disciples went out and proclaimed Christ risen from the dead. They did not preach the Good News in a spirit of cowardice, but with a spirit of great courage, because the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them at Pentecost. Twenty years ago I made an act of faith when I entered the seminary. Through prayerful discernment I sensed God was calling me to be one of His priests. Shortly after entering the seminary I was invited to join the Knights of Columbus. My initial reaction to the invitation was “I’m too young to join the Knights”. I thought joining the knights was something you were supposed to do after you were married, had a family and were on the back end of a career. Thankfully my parish priests strongly encouraged me to become a Knight. I am forever grateful to them, as well as the members of the Father Patterson Council 3121 in Chandler, Arizona for accepting me into the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. Not only did I experience acceptance and support in the practice of my Catholic faith, but also the constant prayer of my brother knights was a source of encouragement as I moved toward priestly ordination. The Knights of Columbus are guided by four key principles: charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. A Knight is called to practice the virtue of charity, which Saint Paul reminds us in his Letter to the Corinthians is the greatest of all the commandments. A knight is to be a man who truly desires the

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good of his neighbor and then acts upon it. This is what it means to be charitable. Members of the Knights of Columbus believe that together we can accomplish much more in the name of the Lord than as individuals. We find strength in numbers. It is through this principle of unity that we support and encourage our brother Knights to make a difference for the good in our communities. The Letter of Saint James states that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction” (1:27). The care for those who might feel abandoned or lost due to the death of a husband/father is powerfully expressed through the principle of fraternity. Caring for the members of a deceased brother Knight was one of the primary reasons for the founding of the Knights of Columbus by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. The Knights continue to commit themselves to this founding principle, most especially through its top-rated insurance program. Finally, a Knight practices patriotism by being an upstanding member of society. He

is a leaven in his community through his own example of life. He strives to be a “light to the nations” and “salt of the earth”, by making Christ known in his words and deeds. I strongly encourage every eligible Catholic man in the Diocese of Gallup to become an active member of the Knights of Columbus. By becoming a Knight one makes a conscious decision to stand up for sanctity of life, the institution of marriage as God has established and religious freedom. To be a Knight means to be a Catholic man of great courage who is always willing to give witness to his faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. What better time to become a Knight than during the Year of Faith? Join a great brotherhood of Catholic men who strive to make a difference for the good by making Christ’s presence known in the world. Be a man of great Catholic faith! For more information on becoming a Knight go to: (Arizona) or (New Mexico) Blessings and God’s peace. Vivat Jesus! In Christ, Bishop Wall

Knights accompany the three New Mexico bishops during an annual pro-life rally in Santa Fe on January 16, 2013.


St. Joseph’s School of San Fidel, NM would like to thank you, the faith community of the Gallup Diocese who contributed to the 2012 Bishop Appeal. Your generosity has become the blessing that is helping us to know Jesus and his Church. May God’s blessings be with each of you and know that you are in our prayers.

St. Joseph Mission School P.O. Box 370/San Fidel, NM/87049 . 505-552-0082 .

An Unexpected Witness to the Conclave A diocesan priest finds himself in Rome as Cardinals gather for theConclave By Fr. James Walker

“In the right place at the right time” seems to fit a recent experience in Rome. Last Christmas season, I decided not to go anywhere, mainly because of the weather and the traveling crowds at that time of year. Instead, I dreamed of going to Rome, just to wander and explore.

The Eternal City beckons all Catholics. I have been privileged to lead pilgrim groups there before. Most trips are very predictable: you would visit St. Peter’s Basilica and the other major basilicas. The Vatican Museums are usually part of the tour, as are the Roman Forum, Colosseum and catacombs. If the Holy Father is Below, Cardinals gather at the pre-Conclave Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


in Rome, an audience is a must for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The time of March 6 to 13 seemed as good as any. I chose to go then just to spend time visiting many places I have heard and read about. Never did I realize that a Papal Conclave would be in process during my stay. As I look back, the most inspiring part of what I could observe was the Solemn Mass to open the Conclave. The Cardinals processed in, those voting and those over the age of 80. Many were readily recognizable as our American Cardinals. Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston was especially somber as he processed in and out of St. Peter’s for the Mass presided over by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Sodano. The music for the Mass was a singular blessing. Pope Benedict XVI worked for a long time to be sure that the dignity of the celebration and of the place to be observed, most notably in the chant that was used for such occasions. That same evening of Tuesday, March 12, I saw the Cardinals pledging themselves to honor the rules and traditions of the Conclave on a huge screen in St. Peter’s Square. It was a very rainy evening that set in while the crowd continued to grow. In the course of almost three hours, I was glad that I had brought a book of meditations on Faith from the writings of Catherine deHueck Doherty, the foundress of Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario, Canada. Our own diocese is blessed to have a community of the Madonna House Apostolate in Winslow, Arizona. I kept thinking of the state of the

Church at this time, of the solemn-faced Cardinals locked in the Sistine Chapel which was gradually encompassed by the shades of nightfall. As I continued to wait and watch, I prayed three rosaries for the selection of a worthy successor of St. Peter. The cold night air started to affect me to the point of realizing I had not eaten the evening meal yet. I wondered if I should leave or not. I could always get something to eat and still be close to the Square, just in case. As I started to walk away slowly, a roar went up as the camera focused on the chimney through the roof of the Sistine Chapel. It was a great billowing of black smoke. As I started to walk away, two young women who had evidently been watching me for my reaction, approached to speak about my thoughts. “Were you surprised?” one asked. I said I was not. I said I expected no selection that evening. One of the women then identified herself as a reporter for the BBC and asked if I would mind being interviewed. She wasted no time in getting to the question of my own preference for the new Holy Father. I said I did not have a preference. I explained that my comment was based on the collective wisdom of the Cardinal-electors in past Conclaves. I told the interviewer that a few more ballots would show us a good choice to lead the Church at this time. It was not until my plane landed in Atlanta the next afternoon that I learned that a new Holy Father was chosen. The television news revealed that the Pope took the name of the popular saint of Assisi and that he hailed from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I recognized Pope Francis, oddly enough, from the procession the day earlier. It was strange that what caught my attention was the style of his eyeglasses. I was surprised and pleased at his election. Readers of The Voice know the rest of the story as it unfolded in the beginning of this Papacy. My visit to Rome did not follow my initial plans at all. I just kept thinking how blessed I was to be the right place at the right time.

Fr. James Walker is the pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Gallup, NM.

New Websites!

Check out our new online homes! Our main website now features a completely new look and consistently updated information, including: • Individual parish pages complete with photos, maps and mass/confession times • Resources for Diocesan services and offices • Upcoming events and monthly calendars Introducing a completely new site, serving as the news and media center for our Diocese. Here, you can find: • News and feature stories about our Diocese posted every week - no more waiting for each hard copy of the Voice! • Photo galleries, videos, and links to social media • A newly-introduced store, which will be expanded in the coming months

Visit us online anytime!


Capturing the Navajo Mass By Martin Link

For the first time, a full Mass in Navajo is available on DVD. Fr. Cormac Antram, founder of the weekly “Padre’s Hour” and author of books such as “Halos & Heroes”, was the presiding prelate. Ever since Fr. Cormac Antram, OFM, came to Navajo Country in 1954, shortly after he was ordained, he has exhibited a passion to learn as much about the Navajo people, their culture, language and history as he could. And now, almost 60 years later, he’s still working at it. In 1958, while stationed in Chinle, AZ, Fr. Cormac inaugurated The Padre’s Hour, a half-hour, bilingual radio program. He continued to broadcast the Sunday morning program on KTNN until May, 2012. Bro. Maynard Shurley, OFM, a Navajo, has continued the program. In 1987 Fr. Cormac began writing a column for the Voice of the Southwest, the then-weekly publication for the Diocese of Gallup. The column was entitled Saint Watch and was devoted to recounting the lives of saints — especially those saints whose exploits and travels would be of interest to the multi-racial constituency of the Gallup Diocese. That column ended with an 8-part series on the life of Blessed (now Saint) Katharine


Voice of the Southwest |

Drexel, foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Cormac’s new column, Laborers of the Harvest, appeared in the December 11, 1988 issue of the Voice of the Southwest. It turned out to be a very popular column, and in the decade that followed, nearly 200 articles were published. All of them manifested some aspect of the history and culture of the Navajo, Pueblo, Hispanic or Anglo peoples of the Four Corners Country. It was felt that a good cross-section of these articles should be reprinted in a more permanent form. So, in 1998, through the efforts of The Indian Trader, Inc. 55 articles were compiled into a publication entitled Laborers of the Harvest. The same concerns were felt regarding Fr. Cormac’s articles for his first series, Saint Watch. In 2002, his second book entitled Halos & Heroes was published. Thirteen biographies appeared under Halos, and seven additional people were included under Heroes.

All during this time he served as the pastor at parishes in Chinle, Kayenta, Houck and St. Michaels. Besides his parish responsibilities, he was also involved in translating the liturgy of the Roman Mass into the Navajo language. Actual work on the translation began around 1966, but picked up impetus in 1982 when Bishop Jerome Hastrich established a committee to make it a reality. A group of five priests and five Navajo elders fluent in their language worked on the project, which was chaired by Fr. Cormac. When the task was completed, the translations were submitted to the American Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy for approval. When that was accomplished, the Navajo Mass was sent to the Vatican where is was reviewed, and approved by both the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation of Divine Worship. Papal approval and recognition of the Navajo Mass came in midDecember, 1986. Subsequently, several Franciscan priests made the effort to become proficient enough in the Navajo language to recite the entire Mass in that language.

However, over the years most of them have either been transferred out of the diocese, or have died. By 2010, it became apparent that the only priest left who had the capability of saying the entire Mass in Navajo was the man who originated it — Fr. Cormac Antram, OFM, and he was 80 years old. As a personal long-time friend of Fr. Cormac, I was aware of the tremendous amount of time and effort he had put into this project over the course of four decades. And, as a historian I realized that this effort should be permanently recorded for the spiritual edification of future generations of Navajo Catholics. After receiving permission to pursue this project from Bishop James Wall, I enlisted the help and expertise of Kjell Boersma, a young Canadian film-maker who had just moved to Gallup. The next step was to raise the necessary funds to match Kjell’s proposed budget. With the help of Gurley Motors and several local contributors, that was accomplished by the spring of 2012. With the full cooperation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Navajo Mass was filmed at the chapel of Villa Guadalupe on Ascension Thursday, May 17, 2012. Along

with Fr. Cormac, Fr. Lawrence Bernard, OFM served as the concelebrant. Troy Etsitty, Gage Etsitty and Brandon Ramone were the Mass Servers. Arlene Hickson and Cecilia Held directed the 11-member choir, with Leonard Yazzie accompanying them on the drum. Once Kjell Boersma provided us with the finished DVD, which contained all the captions and credits, the project was turned over to 7 Cities Studio in Grants. Under the supervision of Barbara Wesley, the Studio designed the cover and plastic container for copies that are now available to the public. The retail price is $12.50, and if purchased in lots of ten or more, the wholesale price is $7.00 each. The Navajo Mass video would make a good fund-raising item for churches and schools throughout the Navajo Reservation. To purchase a copy, send a check for the desired number of DVDs to: Diocese of Gallup, PO Box 1338, Gallup, NM, 87301, or for information about obtaining a copy, contact Ella Roanhorse at the Diocesan office in Gallup, at (505) 863-4406. You may also purchase a copy online and have it shipped to you by visiting our store and purchasing through Paypal.

The recorded Mass runs approximately 105 minutes. To purchase, visit or call 505-863-4406.

Upper page opposite: Fr. Cormac begins the Mass in Navajo. (Image from DVD) Bottom left: a full choir, including nearly all the nuns of Villa Guadalupe, participate in the Mass. (Image from DVD) Bottom right: The chapel at Villa Guadalupe is filled with people who participated in the Mass. (Image from DVD)

Voice of the Southwest |


2012 Diocesan Finances Fall Within Budget April 15, 2013 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: In celebrating the Year of Faith, we should take the opportunity to renew our commitment to live as followers of Christ. It is often easy to lose sight of this spiritual dimension when we are so bombarded with temporal anxieties. While our national financial outlook seems to be improving, we have all been affected by the economic events of the past several years. Unstable housing markets and unemployment have had a significant impact on our communities. The Church is no exception since we also struggle with the cost of normal operations such as providing health care for our priests, education for our seminarians, and maintenance of our infrastructure. It is within this context that I am pleased to present to you a summary of the financial condition of the Diocese of Gallup for our fiscal year 2012. As you can see from the accompanying charts and figures, which are derived from the audited financial statements by Griesmeyer and Associates, the diocesan resources have been managed in a prudent and conscientious manner. I pledge to all the people of the Diocese of Gallup that this responsible management will remain a priority for finances at both the diocesan and parish levels. I thank all of you for your generous support for our local church and I extend my blessing to you during this Year of Faith. Yours in Christ, The Most Rev. James S. Wall Bishop of Gallup

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup

For the Twelve Months Ending June 30, 2012

Based on the Audited Financial Statements by Griesmeyer & Associates, Inc.




Allocations: $708,799 27% Occupancy: $233,201 9% Operations: $123,225 5% Professional Fees: $124,025 5% Seminary: $ 84,590 3% Personnel: $1,085,306 41% Other: $263,548 10% Total Expenses:






Assessment: $370,303 14% Donations/Grants $2,321,524 85% Other: $ 41,482 2% Total Revenues:


Total Net Surplus: $116,615

100% 4%

50 Years in Show Low: A History of St. Rita’s Parish


ur northern mountains of Arizona are the significant difference that identifies this portion of the state from the “valley” and lowlands of the southern regions, and it is interesting to reflect on the people and times of the 1950s, the era when the roots of our St. Rita history were being planted and nurtured. The White Mountains region is exceptional for its natural beauty, its terrain, and climate. This was the time when large expanses of land were used for farming and grazing livestock, and there was a beautiful wooded hill that overlooked the White Mountain community of Show Low. At that time most of the people and industries were in the McNary community, while the areas of Pinetop & Lakeside were developing and, more than Show Low, were home to a growing number of people and businesses. A newspaper account of those early Show Low days referred to the “beautiful hill that overlooked the community,” a prominent site that a local religious group had greatly desired but, as was noted in the account, the Catholic Church had obtained it. This refers to the property on which St. Rita’s came to be built. It is comforting to reflect and realize that God was working His will to create a Catholic community in Show Low, amidst a sometimes hostile and chaotic setting. Eric Marks and his wife Mary, residents of Show Low, owned and operated the Paint Pony Lodge, still in existence today. They were moved to open the lodge on Sundays

The old Paint Pony Lodge, used for Masses in Show Low before a parish was built.

Francis H. Boyer & Bill Sexton to give the churchless Catholic community a place to gather for Mass. This was in 1949, and was the inspiration of Fr. John Baptist Schurnk, OFM, was the pastor of St. Anthony Church in McNary. Fr. Schurnk contacted and worked with the Gallup, NM diocese to begin the establishment of the new church. It was Eric Marks who negotiated the purchase of the “beautiful hill” in 1961. Also at this time, Sunday Mass at the Paint Pony stopped and was continued at the elementary school auditorium, providing more needed space. Preliminary planning for the church continued under the direction of the various pastors at McNary, and Catholics of the area happily anticipated the day when they would have their own house for worship and community life, but this would come only after much sacrifice and prayer, as events later proved. At this time the children of the parish received CCD lessons from Fr. Schurnk, who came on Saturdays to teach them. Pastoral guidance for the people was now present in the person of Fr. Linus Hohendorf, OFM, pastor of St. Anthony Church in McNary, who had succeeded Fr. Schurnk. The use of the Paint Pony and school auditorium was to continue for a long period of time. It was not until September 24 in 1961 that there was a groundbreaking ceremony on the hill site, the physical beginning for the establishment of St. Rita Church. The Catholic community members were ready and eager workers in the project. Under the direction and supervision of a very special benefactor, Anthony A. Van Wagenen, Jr.,

the dream would begin. Van Wagenen was a practicing attorney who lived primarily in Phoenix, and his avocation was architecture, and so he designed and oversaw construction of the church and its furnishings, giving generously of his time, talents and finances as well as the use of his crew and equipment. At the time, Van Wagenen lived in Phoenix but had his second home and a farm/ workshop in Lakeside. He zealously applied his talents and finances to his dream of creating, in the years to follow, a beautiful and unique house of worship for the Lord. Using expert workmanship and solid walnut wood, he and his crew quickly completed the entire interior of the church, with handmade pews, paneling, and the various structures, I E. The confessional, choir loft, etc. necessary for the needs of the church, Especially noteworthy was the elegant parquet floor and coloredglass windows ref c.1966 colored photo). Searching for a special artwork to adorn the sanctuary, Van Wagenen and his wife traveled to Europe where, in an antique shop in Spain, they discovered the large crucifix we now see displayed on the upper back wall in the Church’s sanctuary. It had been rescued from a church in Spain that was razed, as were many churches, during the Spanish Civil War (in the 1930s). The age of the crucifix, as stated by Bill Sexton, who was assisting with the interior work of the Church at the time the Van Wagenens returned with it to St. Rita, and as told to this writer, is about seven hundred years old (told c. 1990). In its long history the crucifix had sometimes suffered abuse and was in a state of disrepair, with evidence of a number of attempts (paint patches with broken surface plaster, overall varnishing, etc) to correct the general problems of time and deterioration that had occurred over the centuries. The crucifix underwent a restoration, done by this writer, about 1994. Art history defines an icon as a religious subject in which the viewer enters into the mystery and implications of the subject it presents. With this particular icon crucifix we see, in the top panel, the sorrowful Mother of God, garbed in black, while the bottom panel, illuminated with light, gives us the Apostle John holding a ciborium. The main body of the work presents Jesus, in a crucified position, but garbed as the eternal high priest and Voice of the Southwest |


Early photo of the town of Show Low.

crowned with a gold crown, King of Kings. Like most icons, it is painted on a panel of wood but this icon has a frontal coating of plaster that is sculpted in low bas relief to give us a more prominent figure of the Lord. Other noteworthy appointments in the church are the statues of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, handmade, and of Spanish origin. Fr. Cyril Levy, then pastor of St. Rita, purchased the statues in 1968. They are, for us, beautiful reminders of the presence of the Holy Virgin and St. Joseph, guiding the fledgling Church in the White Mountains. Let us now return to the now-functioning St. Rita Church where the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was first celebrated on June 24th, 1962 by Fr. Linus Hohendorf. St. Rita was actually a mission of St. Anthony Church until June 20th, 1963 when Bishop Bernard T. Espelage of the Diocese of Gallup, NM made it a separate parish. This new parish’s area consisted not only of Show Low, but also Snowflake and Heber. The first pastor for St. Rita was Fr. William Bressler. There is a brass plaque mounted on the outside wall of the entry to the church. On it refers to the dedication of St. Rita Church, and the date shown under it is May 22, 1968 – the feast day of St. Rita. In answer to the question “why was the church named for St. Rita of Cascia?” St. Rita was the patron saint of the wife of Anthony Van Wagenen and permission was given to name the church after her patron. At the time of the first Mass, the interior of the church was unpainted, the floor was bare, and there was no pews, nor was there any walnut paneling. Those who came to Mass usually brought their own chairs. Even though there was now a church and people attending, St. Rita was not an independent parish. In its early years it was a


Voice of the Southwest |

St. Rita’s Church, circa 1960s - 1970s.

mission of St. Anthony in McNary until Bishop Bernard Espelage, the first bishop of the Gallup Diocese, declared it a separate parish. The first official pastor of St. Rita was Fr. William Bressler who arrived here on June 10,1963. For reasons to be discussed later, the efforts to complete the church had come to a standstill from about 1964 to April 1966, the time Fr. Cyril Levy was appointed pastor of St. Rita, a position he was to hold for three and a half years. With his usual dedication and enthusiasm, Sr. Levy pastored the church in a difficult period, encouraging the work to progress toward the completion of the basic building. This was about 1967. During this time the Van Wagenens were thoroughly involved in the continuing work. It is known, as indicated above, that they journeyed to Europe searching for a suitable crucifix for the church’s sanctuary. We can assume that their travels took place in the period of “work slowdown” during the mid-60s. An early colored photo of the church’s interior, c. 1967, shows the large icon crucifix in the sanctuary but no statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. With the Van Wagenen’s return to St. Rita, the work continued to proceed, creating the beautiful church that we enjoy today. In late 1969 Fr. Levy was replaced as pastor by Fr. Justin Klumbis; just a couple years later, on February 1971, Bp. Espelage died. The new Bishop for the Diocese of Gallup was to be Jerome J. Hastrich. In this foundation period the pastors for St. Rita included Fathers William Bressler, Isidoro Llano, Stanley Conrad, Samuel Wilson, Cyril Levy, Justin Klumbis, Isidoro Llano (again) and Rafael Perez. In 1979 Fr. Jose Rodriques was assigned as pastor to St. Rita by Bishop Hastrich, a position he was to hold for nine years.

Under Frs. Llano and Perez, planning and initial construction work had begun for a parish hall but because of the problems that existed within the parish, progress was difficult and slow as was the development of a spiritual environment for the parish members. The actual building of the parish center was begun under Fr. Rodriquez in 1979. The building was completed in 1980 with much of the work being done by the people of the parish. The parish hall having been completed, work was begun on the rectory, and, as before, the parishioners contributed greatly to this project. The basic shell was contracted for but the remainder of the work was done by members of the parish who completed the rectory in 1982. In 1985 work was begun on the garage and an apartment addition to the rectory, this too done by parish volunteers. By 1970 Anthony Van Wagenen had retired from the St. Rita project having finally completed our beautiful house of worship for the Lord. After that little is known of him except that his wife Rita died about 1977. Anthony himself passed from this life in Phoenix in 1982 at the age of 89. A church being more than just a construction and physical appointments, we can look at the functioning community within the Church where the Eucharistic Christ resided and called His people to Himself. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and devotional life was a continuing presence as more people came iinto the area and the parish grew. The needs of the parishioners were met with catechesis and spiritual injection given by the pastors and people. Social activities, I.E. potlucks, breakfasts by the mens’ club, various functions by the womens’ club, were all notable and important in creating a parish life. The need for classrooms soon became

St. Rita’s currently, as parishioners leave after Mass. evident and it was under Fr. Alberto Avella, who came to St. Rita in 1988, that this need was met. Six classrooms were created within the parish hall by using accordioned dividers. The dividers, when pushed back, gave space for social get-togethers, everything from potlucks to dances. On the completion of the hall’s renovations Bishop Donald E. Pelotte, the new Episcopal for the Gallup Diocese, came to Show Low and blessed this valuable work. Sadly, Bishop Hastrich, a man beloved by the priests and people of the Diocese, had died on May 12, 1995.

The Period of Development

“For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Isaiah 56, vs. 7) As mentioned above, Fr. Alberto Avella come to Show Low from St. Johns in 1988. He had a fruitful thirteen year tenure here. Even while devoting himself to the spiritual needs of the parish, he still found time to achieve an impressive number of projects. When he arrived at St. Rita, noting the unpaved parking lot, he made this his first assignment. It, like other works here, was accomplished by parish members, and wonderfully, that unidentified “troublesome element” donated to the work and the cost of cement. Father also inaugurated, on a permanent basis, the Sunday Mass in Spanish. Concern and work with the immigrants from Mexico needed attention. On the parish grounds he was moved to have a ramada built, again constructed by members of the parish. This ramada is often used for family celebrations as well as parish activities, I.E. the annual Fiesta. At this time, one of the parish members constructed the shrine for our Blessed Mother, using local malipali stones. The statue was

donated by another friend of the parish. The vast list continues with the installation of the air conditioning system that we now enjoy, the gift shop for the women’s club enterprise, and Father also initiated a regular monthly Mass for the residents of the local nursing home. The Knights of Columbus organization was also encouraged and begun, replacing the men’s club. Father Avella also created a permanent position and office for a secretary in our now every busy parish. Last, but not least, Father made the final payment to the Diocese for the loan we had obtained in our earlier years. Deacon John Heal was assigned to St. Rita by our Bishop in 1992. A deacon assists the pastor as well as being engaged in various liturgical and charitable works within the community. So with all of this he must be available and involved. Also notable, among many other things, was the creation of the RCIA, a structured program that is meant to iinstruct non-Catholics in the tenets of the faith and prepare them for Baptism. In August of 2002 Fr. Gil Mangampo was assigned as pastor to our parish. With his quiet and personable manner he worked to strengthen the unity and Catholic identity of St. Rita in a White Mountain Community that was experiencing rapid growth. Many new year-round residents from the southern portion of Arizona and from adjoining states were moving, at an accelerated rate, into the many home subdivisions within and near Show Low. One of the most significant is called Show Low Bluffs which could include about 3000 new homes as well as community centers and services. Discerning needful projects, Fr. Gil ordered a beautiful and efficient entry structure for the main entrance of the Church. Several more classrooms were added to the southern portion of the church hall and what was previously an unfinished chapel and meeting room were reworked and remodeled to become a comfortable oratory, used for Mass during the winter period, and for special meetings.

The Period of Flowering

“It is we who are that house if we hold fast to our confidence and the hope of which we boast.” (Hebrews 3, vs. 6) October 14, 2008, a new phase began for St. Rita with the assignment of Fr. Joachim (Joe) Blonski as our pastor. The parish had been experiencing difficult times and the spirit and enthusiasm of Fr. Blonski was re-

ally a godsend for St. Rita. The spiritual void that was pervading the parish dissipated with this new pastor. Devout, caring and organizational, his enthusiasm moved the parish members to a like response of joy and appreciation. Each Thursday, regular devotion to our Eucharistic Lord with day long adoration and honor was the mainstay that generated much spiritual fruit. In all of this, or perhaps because of it our parish membership grew, as did activities I.E. the Legion of Mary and lay evangelization activities. Having resigned his office on September 23, 2009 due to a lingering illness, Bishop Donald E. Pelotte died on January 7, 2010. During the interim, and in our need, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix filled the void until James S. Wall was ordained Bishop for the Diocese of Gallup on April 23, 2010. St. Anthony, a parochial school, had been in existence in the Show Low area for a few years, moving from one place to another until it was given a happy and permanent home at St. Rita Parish. With its growing enrollment it is a wonderful gift for our parish and the Catholic community. Bishop Wall has visited us several times to bless and encourage this endeavor. Fr. Bill Day, another gift to us, has been with us since Fr. Joe came to St. Rita. He was previously assigned to the church in Overgaard/Heber but, some years ago, suffered a horrific automobile accident and has been undergoing long term healing and therapy. While not assigned to St. Rita, he has been a blessed and continual presence here, regularly assisting with the pastoral work of the parish. We are grateful for his presence. At this writing, we are a happy parish and always being blessed in the Lord. Our summer residents and parishioners have left us for a few months, and God willing, they will be with us again. The trials that will face the Church, and thus our parish in the days and years ahead will strengthen us in our faith and trust in Our Lord and Our Lady. History is always ongoing and who can say what wonders the future will present to us.

Francis H. Boyer is a parishioner of St. Rita’s Parish in Show Low. He expanded upon an original history of the church and town written by a former parishioner, Bill Sexton. Voice of the Southwest |


Calendar of Events May 18



St. Rita’s 50th Anniversary Celebration St. Rita’s Church in Show Low, AZ will be celebrated 50 years as a parish of the Diocese of Gallup. A special Mass will be held to commemorate this anniversary. Place: St. Rita’s Parish 1400 E. Owens Show Low, AZ 85901 Time: Saturday, May 18 5:00 pm


Monsignor Leo Gomez’s 50th Anniversary Mass You are invited to celebrate with Monsignor Leo Gomez his 50th Anniversary of Ordination. A reception will follow. Place: Sacred Heart Cathedral 415 E. Green Gallup, NM 87301 Time: 11am Corpus Christi Feast honoring the Most Holy Eucharist. Not a Holy Day of Obligation.

June 01

(cont’d) trained in giving retreats in the tradition of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Place: Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert, Gobernador, NM 87412 Time: 9:30 am - 3:30 pm Contact: 505-419-2938

Day of Prayer with Fr. John Smith A day of spiritual direction with Fr. John Smith, a priest

14 Voice of the Southwest |


Rachel’s Vineyard: A PostAbortion Healing Retreat Abortion has wounded so many men and women. Come and experience spiritual healing through God’s love and forgiveness. Space is limited - registrations must be received by June 1, 2013. All faiths welcome. Place: Sacred Heart Parish 414 N. Allen Ave. Farmington, NM Contact: Martha at 575-6409076 | More info: Sacred Heart Parish Fiesta Join us for food and fun! Barbecue, cake walk, and raffle, finishing with a Vigil Mass at 4:00pm. Place: Sacred Heart Parish 3 Parish Lane Quemado, NM 87829 Time: 12 - 5pm


Engaged Encounter Retreat A retreat to prepare engaged couples for marriage. Personal reflection and discussion as a couple are the principal activities of the weekend. Place:Sacred Heart Retreat Center, Mile Marker 27, Hwy 602, Gallup, NM Contact: Deacon Randy Copeland at (800) 474-5853 More info:

July 2021

“The 4th Day” SEARCH reunion A retreat for those who have attended SEARCH events in the past. Place: Sacred Heart Parish Farmington, NM Contact: Mari Arreguin 505-409-1310

August Annual Catechetical 17 17th Conference

Conference for DREs and religious educators in the Diocese. The event will focus on the Year of Faith and feature Fr. Derek Anderson from the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Place: Sacred Heart Family Center, Gallup Contact: religiouseducation@

A statue of St. Joseph overlooking Villa Guadalupe

Religious Communities in the Diocese of Gallup:

Little Sisters of the Poor

This is the first in a series on religious communities throughout the Diocese of Gallup. With each issue of the Voice of the Southwest, we’ll visit and profile one of the religious groups following the call to do God’s work for the people of our Diocese. In 1839, a woman by the name of Jeanne Jugan noticed the many elderly poor in her area of France, and one night accepted an old blind woman into her home, giving up her own bed so that the old woman would be comfortable. This act blossomed into the eventual founding of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the old blind woman was the first in a long line of elderly residents, who today make their homes with the Little Sisters in over 30 countries worldwide. Their foundress, now St. Jeanne Jugan, was canonized in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI, who said that her “compassionate gaze on the aged, drawn from a profound communion with God, was carried by Jeanne Jugan throughout her joyous and disinterested service, practiced with gentleness and humility of heart, wishing to be herself a poor person among the poor.” The Diocese of Gallup is fortunate to have one of the homes of the Little Sisters, “Villa Guadalupe”, within the city of Gallup. At the invitation of Bishop Hastrich, a piece of land was officially designated for the

nuns in 1983, with completion of the main home and convent finishing in 1989. The main home functions as a nursing home for about forty elderly people of various ethnic and religious backgrounds, and is staffed by nearly 20 employees, while countless others volunteer time each week. In 2000, twelve apartments were added for elderly people who can still maintain a standard of independent living, making Villa Guadalupe into the final complex it is today. Alongside the living facilities, the home has a recreation and performing arts room, coffee shop, arts and crafts room, and large chapel in the shape of a hogan, the traditional Navajo dwelling. Many of the residents are Navajo elders, and the stained-glass windows of the chapel feature Native American saint Kateri Tekakwitha, along with St. Jeanne Jugan and Christ the Good Shepherd. At any given time, between 6-10 Little Sisters live and work at Villa Guadalupe. Each sister stays at a given home for no more than five years before moving to another home elsewhere in the world, but while here, each one has a specific task to fulfill. Sr. Francis John has been here for two years, and besides being the development director for the home, she is also the “beggar”, or “collector”.

Suzanne Hammons

“I usually go out before breakfast every day to beg at the different [grocery] stores around town,” said Sr. Francis. “And then once a week, I’ll go to Albuquerque to beg at the larger stores there.” Grocery stores must remove damaged or expired products every week, and in many cases, they are only too happy to donate many of these wares to the Little Sisters. “They’re very generous to us, and since we’ve been here almost 30 years, people know us so well that it makes it personal for them,” said Sr. Francis. She explained that the food, commodities, and operating expenses needed by the homes worldwide are all provided completely by charity. When St. Jeanne Jugan was first starting to take in elderly persons, she would go to the people of her community to beg them to give what they could for the needs of the poor. The Little Sisters of today, including those in Gallup, carry on that tradition, and take a fourth vow of hospitality on top of the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. “Everyone, even non-Catholic people, respect what we do,” said Sr. Francis. “We take care not just of Catholics but of all elderly poor – we see Jesus in those we serve. People are open to that. When they’ve never heard of us before, they’ll come up and ask how they can help.” Voice of the Southwest |


Sr. Gemma is a recent comer to the home, arriving in September of 2012, but as the unit supervisor, she has already established a strong connection to the elderly residents in her care. My job is to take care of all the residents,” she said. “The most rewarding part of that is what the residents give to us – the joy and the happiness created in our family.” As she explained her favorite aspects of each day, she made introductions to various residents. One Navajo resident, Emma Tsosie, spoke through an interpreter about her experience at the home. Born in 1928 and about to have her 85th birthday, Emma is preparing to be received in to the Catholic Church in the Spring. She described her excitement, and explained that she chose the

Confirmation name of Francis, in part because of the new Pope. Another resident, a woman by the name of Arizona Fortney, speaks with a noted Southern accent as she reflects on her five years with the Little Sisters. “I’m originally from Kentucky, and then I lived in Gallup for a long time,” she says. “When I first came here, they didn’t think I was going to make it very long, but I’m a determined person! I’ve been here for years now. All the Sisters are wonderful, and so are the workers. I’m lucky to be here.” One of Arizona’s favorite parts of life at Villa Guadalupe, as with many of the other residents, is the home’s cat, a gray feline affectionately named Sophie. “She lays on my bed. When I come back from supper or breakfast, Sophie is here,”

she says with a smile. Smiles can be seen everywhere at Villa Guadalupe – on the faces of the Sisters, the workers, volunteers, and the residents, especially when interacting with each other. “It’s important for people to realize how important the elderly are, how much wisdom they have,” says Sr. Gemma, in between hugs and greetings for individual residents. “Maybe for some they’re looked at as a burden, but here...they are family.” At Villa Guadalupe, like all homes run by the Little Sisters throughout the world, the family started by Jeanne Jugan so many years ago continues to grow. To find out more about the Little Sisters of the Poor, or how you can help with their mission, visit their website,, or give them a call at 505 863-6894. Top left: Arizona Fortney in her room. Top: Mother Andrea, who was recently transferred to another home after her five years of service were finished, speaks with Emma Tsosie, a resident who will be received into the Church this Spring. Far left: Bernadette Swift volunteers every week at the home’s salon, where residents can receive haircuts and makeovers. Left: Emerson Begay enjoys some relaxation time in Villa Guadalupe’s open living room.

Protecting the “least of these” LifeGuard’s Pro-Life Ministry

Across the street from a Planned Parenthood facility in Durango, CO, sits a small building, home to a ministry called LifeGuard. Founded in 2006, LifeGuard seeks to promote a culture of life and pro-life awareness in the Four Corners area. The ministry and its director, a man by the name of Daniel Anguis, are also the driving force behind the Southwest Catholic Youth Conference, which will have its second annual event in September of this year and which was also profiled in an earlier story by the Voice. We interviewed Dan about his mission and ministry, and are pleased to bring you the full set of questions and answers below. Many people may be unfamiliar with LifeGuard. Could you explain where you’re located, when you were founded, and what your mission is? Dan: LifeGuard was founded in 2006. We are located in Durango Co. and our mission is to create a “culture of life” in the Four Corners region. We pray the rosary in front of Planned Parenthood, help women facing crisis pregnancies, impact and educate the culture on the sanctity of human life through radio, television, and print ads, participate in petitioning the Government on the State level to recognize the personhood of the preborn child, offer free ultrasounds, promote natural family planning, and most recently we have organized a massive youth outreach initiative teaching teens the value, and virtue of chastity through the Southwest Catholic Youth Conference (SWCYC). Do you have long-term goals for, say, the next 5-10 years? Dan: Our goal is to continue to impact the Four Corners region with the pro-life message and to change the culture. Ultimately we would love to see Planned Parenthood closed down. In the early 90s there were over 2,000 abortion clinics in the U.S.; today there are just 660. We know for a fact that prayer and hard work can close clinics. Over the years we have seen the number of abortions go down steadily here in Durango. When LifeGuard first started there were on average 12 – 16 abortions a week, today we only see about 4 - 7 a week, many times even less than that.

Planned Parenthood and was going to have an abortion. They parked close enough to the fence (there is a large fence around Planned Parenthood to discourage us from talking to the girls) for us to talk to them. We offered them a free ultrasound and they decided to come over to our office (our office is located directly across from Planned Parenthood). When they decided to come over, one of Planned Parenthood’s employees was literally trying to pull them away from us (by the arm) and into the clinic (contrary to popular belief – Planned Parenthood is not a big believer in letting people have a “choice”). Eventually they were able to get away and come over for an ultrasound. When the baby appeared on the screen we could hear the mom, and the daughter say in Spanish “that baby is so big! We can’t abort now.” Through talking to them, we discovered that they were under the impression (most likely by Planned Parenthood) that at 3 months the baby was still just “blood” or “tissue” so they were literally in shock when they saw a small BABY on the screen during the ultrasound. They got to hear the heartbeat, and see the baby move, and they chose life that day. The baby’s name is Fernando, and he is now 3 years old.

Do you have any inspirational stories that have come about as the fruit of your work?

What makes LifeGuard different is that we don’t wait for girls to come through our door. We go to the clinic the day they are scheduled to abort. We offer help while praying the Rosary outside the facility. Sometimes we save lives, Many times we don’t. But we are there. These babies won’t get funerals. They won’t be remembered by society at all. But on this day – we want them to know that they were at least loved by us.

Dan: A young girl arrived with her Mom at

What particular challenges do you face,

and how do you hope to overcome them? Dan: With so many churches, and so many “Christians” in the world today you’d think that abortion would have been eradicated years ago right? But when you really look at this issue, and get down to the root of it, sadly, our biggest enemy is contraception. A hero of mine is a guy named Michael Voris, and I believe he said it best, “There is a serpent coiled under the table of the pro-life movement, and that serpent’s name is contraception… you cannot fight lies with half truths.” In essence he is saying that the reason we keep losing this war is because its very root is still alive, well, and accepted in our culture. When we say abortion is wrong, the majority of Christians would agree. When we say that the use of artificial contraception is wrong, suddenly it’s not so black and white – even among Catholics sadly. Virtually all the reasons one would give to justify aborting a baby are the same reasons people give as to why they feel the need to disrupt God’s natural gift of fertility. Contraception has created a culture that no longer respects the gift of life. The consequences of this have been devastating to our country, as well as the world. To combat this lie, LifeGuard proudly promotes chastity (prior to marriage), and Natural Family Planning (during marriage). We do all we can to help couples learn the Creighton Model FertilityCare Natural Family Planning system. It teaches people how to work WITH God’s gift of fertility – not against it. We feel this is a huge aspect of our ministry, and really lays the necessary groundwork of the hope of one day living in a “culture of life”. Thanks so much to Dan for taking the time to answer our questions, and to the whole team at LifeGuard for promoting and furthering the pro-life cause in our area of the southwest. If you can, take the time to visit their website, follow them on Facebook, or (if you’re in the area) attend one of their gatherings.  For more information about Natural Family Planning go to For more information about the SWCYC (LifeGuard’s chastity outreach event) go to Voice of the Southwest |


September 30 - October 12, 2013


Diocesan priest and former Air Force chaplain celebrates 25 years since ordination Service to others is something that people often think to do in passing, or perhaps in their free time. For Father Patrick Wedeking, it’s a way of life. In his 25 years as a priest of the Diocese of Gallup, he’s lived and worked in many places – up north in Farmington with the Knight of Columbus, in Gallup, and far down at the south end of the Diocese, in the vast and beautiful area which includes town such as Reserve, Datil, and Glenwood. Along with his standard duties, he also gave 34 years of service to the United States Air Force, fulfilling the duties of a chaplain for the reserves until his recent retirement. In fact, his time in the military began long before he entered seminary at Holy Apostles in Connecticut, and it was while he enlisted that he began to consider a call to the priesthood. “It really goes back to the Air Force,” Fr. Wedeking says. “I began to help the chaplains there, and saw their work.” Originally from Kansas, Fr. Wedeking had a friend who was a priest in the Diocese of Gallup. He decided that this was where he wanted to be, and after being ordained, he balanced service to the people of the United States with service to the people of the southwest. Each assignment enhanced the other. “Along with Masses and Confessions [in the Air Force], there’s a lot of counseling and visitation,” said Fr. Wedeking. “You never know who you’ll counsel. Here, [in the Diocese] my experience counseling soldiers helps because I’ve learned how to ‘plant the seed’. Many times, people aren’t going to come to you. You have to go to them. Maybe they have excess baggage of some kind that keeps them from going to church. You have to have patience and be hopeful.” He recalls one encounter with a man in Reserve while serving as the pastor.

Fr. Wedeking during his time in the Air Force “I did a lot of maintenance around the church. One time, while I was outside working, I met a nearby neighbor. We got to talking, and he turned out to be an inactive Catholic.” Fr. Wedeking said that this was an example to him of people who might be in need of someone to listen to them, and a reminder to always be helpful and patient in his encounters with people inside and outside church life. Currently, Fr. Wedeking is stationed in Catron county, New Mexico, in the southern part of the Diocese. While beautiful – it is home to the Gila National Forest – it is also remote, and Fr. Wedeking says that his goals for the future include learning about the people who make their home there. “I really want to reach out to people in the area,” he says. “Families are very sparse, so I’d like to update a census – find out where people are and what they need.” Although his military years are behind him, Fr. Wedeking still has much he hopes to do for the people encounters everyday as a priest. And as he’s always done, he will continue to “plant the seed”.

A Grateful Goodbye to Rev. Mr. James Hoy, C.F.O. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, We are sad to announce that Deacon Jim Hoy will be leaving the Diocese of Gallup on June 30. Deacon Hoy has served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese of Gallup for 14 years. He is leaving the diocese to take a financial position in the non-profit sector and to be with his wife who has been on a temporary assignment with Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico. We are grateful to Deacon Hoy for his dedication and service to the Church and to those that he has helped over the years. Please join us in wishing him well in his future endeavors. The Diocese will begin its search for a new Chief Financial Officer immediately and hopes to have the position filled by

July 1, either on a permanent or pro tem basis. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the overall financial management of the Diocese of Gallup and the stewardship of fiscal resources in support of the mission and goals of the Diocese. A detailed job description is available on the diocesan website at: www. Let us continue to rely upon Divine providence as we generously give of ourselves in service of Jesus, who is Lord. Sincerely yours in Christ, Bishop James S. Wall The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the overall financial

management of the Diocese of and the stewardship of fiscal resources in support of the mission and goals of the Diocese. Among other things, candidates must fulfill the following requirements: • Active practicing Roman Catholic in full communion with the Church. • Bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting (CPA or Master’s Degree a plus). • Ten years of professional experience with multiple responsibilities in leadership positions in accounting or finance. If you or someone you know is interested in the position, please send letter of interest, resume, salary requirements and three business references to our address, listed on page 3 of this magazine.


Player of Faith: Farmington parishioner drafted to AZL Giants Fr. Timothy Farrell

I remember meeting Shilo McCall as a seventh grader in our CCD program at Sacred Heart Parish. He was a polite young man and well liked by his classmates. What I didn’t know at that time was that this young man would go on to do some amazing things as an athlete locally. He was a part of the powerhouse Piedra Vista Panthers’ Baseball Team, leading his team three straight years to the Class 4A state championships. He batted .561 with seven home runs, 52 RBIs and 46 runs scored, posting a .667 on-base percentage. I remember him telling me proudly that he had received a full ride scholarship to play baseball at the University of Arkansas at the end of his senior year. I was really proud of him. Then this past summer, upon returning from my vacation, I heard that Shilo had been drafted in the ninth round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft for the world champion San Francisco Giants. It was stunning news. The next Sunday at Mass when I congratulated him, Shilo shook my hand and humbly walked on. The seventh grader I had first met at CCD was now a graduate from high school about to head into a life many young men can only dream of. In Shilo’s freshman year of high school, he came to me to discuss his wishing to become a Roman Catholic. I was surprised because I always thought he was a Catholic. He attended Mass with his mother each Sunday and was in our religious education program, so my presumption was not unusual. He told me his grandfather was a Presbyterian minister and that he had told him that he wanted to become a Roman Catholic. His grandfather blessed his decision and simply told him to be a good follower of Christ. I remember saying to Shilo that perhaps his decision to become a Catholic was due to his being good friends with several Catholics in the parish. “No sir,” he said definitely. “I want to be a Catholic all on my own. I promise I’ll live out the Faith all the rest of my life. This is my decision.” He looked me right in the eye and


Voice of the Southwest |

didn’t flinch. He was already baptized in the Presbyterian Church so I agreed to let him make his Profession of Faith, his First Confession and his First Holy Communion. Shilo attributes his love of the Roman Catholic Faith to his years of CCD and attending Mass at Sacred Heart Parish. “My eyes were opened in those years. Once I came to CCD my Faith grew and grew. I remember the deep discussions in my CCD classes. I learned so much about the Faith. I knew it was the right thing for me.” Shilo went off after barely turning 18 to play for the San Francisco Giants for the AZL Giants in the Rookie Arizona League. He told me it was a very tough transition. “Man, those first two weeks were the worst. I was so homesick. I was calling my parents and all my friends. Here I was, 18, the only guy straight out of high school and I was playing with guys 21, 22 years old. My roommate was 22 and I thought, ‘Man, I’m going to be all alone.’” But he said God was really looking out for him because his roommate, while older, put him at ease, telling Shilo that “I’m 22 going on 17. Just be yourself, Shilo.” “He and I have had a lot of deep, spiritual talks actually. He’s not Catholic, but he has a strong faith himself. I was very, very lucky.” Shilo said that he knew he had to make good choices in his new path in life. “In pro ball you see some really raunchy, bad things,” he said. “For someone my age, it’s pretty shocking. But my Catholic Faith has kept me who I am. I mean, I have to decide if I’m going to party all the time or do I draw closer to God and my Faith. I chose God and will always try to continue that.” He said one of the pitfalls of being a professional player is people can really hold you up and idolize you. “Some young guys tell everyone they are pro baseball players to get attention. I look at it this way though: Baseball is basically a game of failure. Think about it: If you are batting .300, that means that seven out of 10 times at bat you are strik-

ing out. When you look at it that way, baseball is one of the most humbling of sports and that is a good thing.” As Shilo’s pastor of many years, I asked him if he was able to get to Mass on Sundays. His answer was swift and to the point. He smiled and said, “Father, I found a church right away near Scottsdale called Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I go there every Sunday I’m down playing. And, you know, God is really good to me. The pitcher on our team, Tyson Blach, is also a Catholic, a strong one, and he and I go together every Sunday.” Shilo said that sitting in his hotel room waiting for the ball game, he has hours and hours to think. “At first it was really tough on me, all this time to myself. I mean, I didn’t have all my high school friends. I felt all alone. But once baseball started, after all the playing on the field, it is good to have time to just think and pray. I remember talking with one of my teammates and we were both sitting on the bench in the dugout that day and we started talking about our lives as baseball players and how we shouldn’t let it go to our heads. He quoted from St. James, something to the effect that ‘What are our lives except a vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes and passes away?’ That puts things into perspective.”

(continued on next page)

Playing for the AZL Giants

To young people he said he would say to remember those words and to live life today in God. “I would say to kids my age and younger, whatever problems you may be going through, sit down and talk to God. Just sit down and speak with Him and He’ll talk to you. Just listen. He’s always there for you, through the good or bad. Be thankful when things are going great and when you need His help, call on Him.”

As humble as Shilo is, I had to ask one final question of this talented athlete: “Shilo, are you good enough?” He knew what I meant: Did he think he was good enough to make it big in baseball, good enough to perhaps play one day in the majors, perhaps in a World Series? He paused for a moment and then said, “Yeah, Father, I think so. One day . . .” In the meantime, Shilo McCall is just

Saints for Today: Cath-

erine of Siena (1347 - 1380) by Jean Lee, M.A., D.Min. Born Catherine Benincasa in Siena, Italy, and the youngest of 25 children, Catherine was drawn to a life of prayer from her earliest years. She had her first vision of Christ at the age of 6. As a teenager she strongly resisted her mother’s insistence that she prepare for marriage. Instead, at the age of 15 she joined the Dominican Tertiaries, known as the Mantellate, and donned the Dominican habit: a white tunic and veil and a black mantle. As a lay Dominican she continued to live at home and to perform various works of charity, but soon she was drawn into political and religious activities. Her predominant concerns were the reform of the Church, including the clergy, and the return of the pope from France to Rome. Catherine fought for her faith early in life—first against her parents, and then against skeptics who doubted the heavenly visions she received. Some thought she was a saint, others a religious fanatic, and still others a hypocrite. She was interviewed and questioned by theologians and religious leaders, all of whom found her to be authentic. When plague swept Siena, Catherine devoted her life to nursing, caring for the most seriously ill: those with cancer and leprosy. She was often able to convert sinners who would initially taunt her and gossip about her; later, she visited death-row prisoners to work for their conversion so that they could receive the Last Sacrament. Catherine’s life was filled with extraordinary mystical phenomena such as visions and revelations, infused knowledge, raptures, the mystical espousal and mystical marriage, and the stigmata, which appeared on her body only after her death. Her writings consisted of 382 let-

enjoying life. As he said before we parted, “We’re grown men playing a little boy’s game. I mean, how much better can it get than that?” Amen. Fr. Timothy Farrell is the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Farmington, NM, as well as the media liaison for the Diocese of Gallup.

ters, various prayers, and the Dialogue of Divine Providence, which she dictated to secretaries, often in a state of ecstasy. Her devotion to the Church was revealed in her writings. She wrote numerous letters of admonition and pleading to the pope at Avignon, begging him to return to Rome for his own good and the good of the Church. She warned: “Self-love has poisoned the whole world and the mystic body of the Church.” For more than 70 years, the popes had been in voluntary exile in Avignon, France, because of the wretched conditions in Rome and most of central Italy at the time. It had become so dangerous that, in 1305, Pope Clement V, a Frenchman, moved the Papal Curia to Avignon, to property that popes had owned for centuries. Catherine’s reputation as a respected mystic proved valuable, as her request was granted and the papal court was brought back to Rome. Catherine of Siena is one of those saints who have a universal appeal, and both her spirituality and her mission in the Church are of perennial relevance. In her last years she lived in Rome with some of her followers, near the Dominican church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, where her body was placed under the main altar after her death in 1380. She was canonized a saint in 1461. The Genius of Catherine of Siena: Catherine said: “There is no perfect virtue—none that bears fruit—unless it is exercised by means of our neighbor.” She exercised this virtue throughout her life, whether in nursing lepers, negotiating peace between feuding cities, or bringing the papacy back to Rome. Bibliography: Gallick, Sarah. “The Big Book of Women Saints.” New York, NY: HarperOne, 2007. 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. Voice of the Southwest |


Making Sense Out of Bioethics:

With Fr. Tad Pacholczyk

Facing the effects of same-sex parenting In March, 2013, the British paper The Independent ran an article entitled, “Children in gay adoptions at no disadvantage: Research confirms same-sex couples are just as good at parenting as heterosexuals.” The article, based on a study at Cambridge University, concluded there was “no evidence” to support the claim that children’s masculine or feminine tendencies were affected by having gay or lesbian parents, nor were the quality of their family relationships significantly different.

As children come of age The studied outcomes were limited to children four to eight years of age, so that any later effects, as they passed through puberty, for example, and “came of age,” were not included. Common sense, however, begs the question: how capable would two men be at helping their adopted daughter with very female matters pertaining to growing up and maturing physically? For daughters this is often an issue requiring ongoing support, communication, and sharing. It’s not something men can just read up on in a book; it can be a delicate, personal matter, closely connected to a young woman’s sense of self-identity, and it’s reasonable to conclude that there are real advantages to the empathy shared between a mother and her daughter. Although The Independent claims this was the first study to look at how children in non-traditional families fared when compared with heterosexual households, at least two other major studies addressing the question were published during 2012, one by Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, and the other by Loren Marks, a researcher at Louisiana State University. Both studies presented compelling

22 Voice of the Southwest |

evidence countering the claim that a child’s psychosocial growth is equally supported in lesbian and gay environments as it would be in heterosexual parenting environments.

Using common sense Common sense, instead of common clichés, ought to serve as our starting point in discussions about adopting children. One of the clichés we hear is that adopting children is really just a matter of the “rights of parents.” As Phoebe Wilson noted in an article in the New Woman: “If adoption is going to be debated as a ‘right,’ then the rights of the child (innocent and defenseless) are the rights that must prevail. Adoption exists for the benefit of the child, not for the couple who adopts him.” Same-sex couples that seek to adopt a child can doubtless be motivated by the best of intentions and by genuine compassion for the plight of an orphan. Yet Wilson goes on to explain the deeper reasons that need to motivate adoption: “A child in need of adoption is a child who is in extraordinary and abnormal circumstances: he is a child without parents. Adoption seeks to ‘create,’ from a social and legal point of view, a relationship similar to what would be natural for the child, meaning a family relationship: mother, father, child. This relationship would not be, for example, two fathers and a mother, or three women, or a single man because this does not exist in the natural biological filiation. The love and affection of one, two, or five people isn’t enough. In order for a child to develop into a well balanced and fully mature person, he needs the presence of a father and a mother.”

Recounting experiences

In recent years, adults who were raised by same-sex couples have started to recount and write about some of their childhood experiences. Robert Oscar Lopez, who has described himself as a “bisexual Latino intellectual, raised by a lesbian, who experienced poverty in the Bronx as a young adult,” now works as a professor at California State University. He described the notable challenges he faced growing up: “Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult. . . . When your home life is so drastically different from everyone around you, in a fundamental way striking at basic physical relations, you grow up weird . . . My peers learned all the unwritten rules of decorum and body language in their homes; they understood what was appropriate to say in certain settings and what wasn’t; they learned both traditionally masculine and traditionally feminine social mechanisms. . . “I had no male figure at all to follow, and my mother and her partner were both unlike traditional fathers or traditional mothers… [B]eing strange is hard; it takes a mental toll, makes it harder to find friends, interferes with professional growth, and sometimes leads one down a sodden path to selfmedication in the form of alcoholism, drugs, gambling, antisocial behavior, and irresponsible sex. The children of same-sex couples have a tough road ahead of them — I know, because I have been there.” A compassionate society seeks to help and assist orphaned children, but no reasonable society intentionally deprives those children of a mother or a father. That is, however, what placing them into a same-sex home invariably does. Rev. 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, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See


Sermon of St. Stephen (Carpaccio)

At Prayer (Edwin Long)

Mass of St. John of Matha(De Mirando)

The Baptism (Longhi)





Fr. Matthew A. Keller

How are they obtained?

In the first part of this article from the last issue we dealt with the question “what is an indulgence?” The summary answer to that question was this: an indulgence is when the Church, using the authority given her by the Lord, applies the merit of Christ and the saints to make restitution for the temporal punishment owed by the faithful Christian for sins already forgiven. Now we can go on to answer the question: “how does one obtain an indulgence?” We will also see what the special indulgences are being granted for the Year of Faith. To comply with the norms established, in order to obtain an indulgence, one must: be baptized; not be excommunicated’ be in the state of grace (having no un-repented and unabsolved mortal sins) at least at the completion of the prescribed works; and have at least the general intention of gaining an indulgence. Further, in order to obtain a plenary indulgence in addition to excluding all attachment from sin, even venial sin, it is necessary to perform the indulgenced work and fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff. An objection that may come to mind when reading the norms is, “how can I be free from all attachment to even venial sin?” This norm means that we must be struggling against all sin. We cannot be comfortable with, or attached to the sin, so that it becomes an accepted part of our moral life. It does not mean we will never fail – it means we won’t accept and sin an ordinary, unchallenged part of our life. After all, we make this pledge whenever we make an act of contrition in confession, “I firmly intend with the help of Thy Grace to confess my sins, do penance and to avoid the near occasion of sin.” The 4 special grants of “Year of Faith” indulgences offered by the Holy See (A,B,C, and D below) are described in this way: “Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on the earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms (as are described above), undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them.” “During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location. B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary In the Diocese of Gallup the following places have been designated for pilgrimage destinations: Sacred Heart Cathedral, Gallup, NM; Chapel of Adoration at St. Theresa Church, Grants, NM; Casa Reina Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, Gallup, NM; Chapel of Adoration at St. Mary Church in Farmington, NM; and The Monastery of Our Lady in the Desert, Bloomfield, NM. (Please call the listed parishes and ministries for any questions) C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form. D) Finally, on any day they choose during the Year of Faith, is they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form. Fr. Matthew Keller is the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Gallup.


Voice of the


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Voice of the Southwest, Vol. 52 No. 2  
Voice of the Southwest, Vol. 52 No. 2  

In this issue, we celebrate 50 years of history at St. Rita's Parish, the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor, how to obtain indulgences,...