View - Catholic Diocese of Brownsville



View - Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
Volume 5, Issue 12
the call
Priest ordination
set for June 14
Serving More Than A Million Catholics in the Diocese of Brownsville
Is Present
June 2014
Caring for Our Elders
The Valley Catholic
very young age, Jose Garza was enthralled by the priests who served
at the altar of Divino Pastor Parish,
his home church in Matamoros,
“I liked how the priests celebrated Mass and I wanted to do the
same,” Garza said. “I used to tell my
family that I wanted to be a priest
and they thought I was joking because I was so, so young.”
The call to the priesthood only
intensif ie d
with the passage of time.
After graduating from
high school
in Matamoros, Garza
for the Diocese
of Brownsville in August 2001.
Bishop Daniel E. Flores will ordain Garza to the priesthood at 10
a.m. on Saturday, June 14 at Holy
Family Church in Brownsville.
Garza, 31, considered joining a religious community in San
Luis Potosí, Mexico but ultimately
decided to serve the faithful of the
Rio Grande Valley, even though it
meant having to learn a new language.
“I like the uniqueness of the
Valley, the blending of the two cultures,” he said. “Even though we are
in the United States, many families
have kept their family traditions
from Mexico alive.”
Garza earned a bachelor’s degree from Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio and
completed his theological studies at
Oblate School of Theology in San
As a priest, he hopes to minister to the youth, teaching them the
faith and bringing them closer to
God and his Church.
“As Bishop Flores says, if we
can form good families, we can
form good vocations,” said Garza,
a fourth-degree member of the
Knights of Columbus.
Garza said his great-grand-
The Valley Catholic
Cecilia Batungbacal of Donna has been
active in parish ministry for 20 years.
Stages of aging,
what comes next?
The Valley Catholic
The Valley Catholic
The Feast of the Most Holy Body
and Blood of Christ, which will
be celebrated on June 19, is
considered one of the most beautiful
solemnities on the Church’s
calendar. Each year Bishop Daniel
E. Flores leads a procession starting
from the Immaculate Conception
Cathedral through the streets of
downtown Brownsville in route to St.
Thomas Church and Sacred Heart
Church. Visit for times.
» Please see Ordination p.15
DONNA — Cecilia Batungbacal, who has lived in the Rio
Grande Valley for 20 years, will
have to say goodbye to Donna, her
home, her friends, her volunteer
work, her students and everything
she has come to cherish.
She will have to give up her car,
which means her freedom to come
and go, and has even been asked
to give up her king-size bed. It is
something she is not ready to do
just yet, even when her priest son
reminds her that Pope Francis recommends giving possessions away.
Batungbacal, 70, and her husband, Efren, 77, who is in poor
health, are moving in June into a
senior care facility in Houston to
be closer to their youngest son,
Eugene. A Redemptorist priest
serving at a Houston parish, he is
assuming responsibility for his parents’ care.
Batungbacal and her husband
are among a growing number of
elderly who are confronting the
reality that they can no longer live
in their homes without some type
of assistance. Their adult children
are having to step in and help their
parents make decisions they are
not ready to make.
The population 65 and over
has increased from 35.5 million in
» Please see Aging p.13
Artículos sobre la celebración
de Pentecostes, el cuidado
de adultos mayores y la visita
ad limina de los obispos
(“The WORD is sent
breathing love.”)
Pentecost, the Birthday of the
Catholic Church
Page 3
A glimpse of what is happening in the Church
Page 8
Dominican Sister Tulia Giraldo
from St. Joseph Church
Page 9
Paginas 11-13
U.S. bishops
to meet
U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops
Conference of Catholic Bishops
(USCCB) will meet June 11-13,
in New Orleans, for their annual
Spring General Assembly. The
opening Mass of the June general
session will be celebrated by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville,
Kentucky, USCCB president, at the
Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis.
The second day of the general
session will include presentations
and discussion on two special topics: “Marriage and the Economy”
and “the New Evangelization and
Poverty.” Other agenda items include:
• A presentation on the upcoming Extraordinary Synod of
Bishops on the Family.
• A presentation on the World
Meeting of Families by Archbishop
Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of
Philadelphia and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
• A presentation from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) regarding
the relief efforts in the Philippines
in the wake of last November’s Typhoon Haiyan.
• Debate and vote on the request for renewal of the recognitio
granted to the National Directory
for the Formation, Ministry and
Life of Permanent Deacons.
• Consultation on the cause for
canonization of Father Paul Wattson, Servant of God.
• Update and vote on proposal
by working group on Faithful Citizenship.
• A presentation on the Annual Progress Report of the bishops’ efforts to protect children and
young people from sexual abuse,
presented by Francesco Cesareo,
Ph.D., chair of the National Review
• Debate and vote on the renewal of the bishops’ Ad Hoc
Committee for Religious Liberty
for an additional three year term..
• An update from Archbishop
Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, chairman of the USCCB
Subcommittee on the Catechism,
The Valley Catholic -
June 2014
A letter to the Secretary of State
wrote a letter to the United States Secretary of State, the Honorable John Kerry,
who traveled to Mexico City on May 21
to meet with Mexican government officials.
My purpose was to give the Secretary of State
an idea of what conditions are like for many,
especially the immigrant poor in South
Texas, as a result of the violence afflicting
Northern Mexico. The content rather speaks
for itself, and concerns matters I have spoken
about before, though perhaps never quite so
succinctly. +df
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I am the Roman Catholic Bishop of the
Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, and I write
to you out of great concern for deteriorating conditions along the Texas-Mexican
border. My duties as principal shepherd of
the Church in the Rio Grande Valley involve
travel, almost on a daily basis, up and down
the southernmost border of the United States
with Mexico, visiting the many churches and
parish communities that grace this predominately Catholic area. We are a proud and
culturally rich people, formed by a heritage
of deep familial ties binding both sides of the
In my travels across the four counties of
the diocese, I constantly hear first-hand accounts of men, women and children affected
by the climate of violence currently afflicting
northern Mexico. Stories of families who
are here in my diocese because they have no
surviving relatives in the towns right across
the River from us are common. I hear from
women with children who are here while
their husbands continue to work in Mexico;
their husbands want them to be safe from
kidnappings and random shootings. I hear
from kidnapping survivors, often missing
fingers as a sign of their ordeal. I hear from
aged grandmothers who ask for my prayers
for grandsons in northern Mexico who have
not been heard from in months. They are
kidnapped and presumed dead, but grandmothers are the last to lose hope.
The poor from northern Mexico come
now by whatever means they can, more
for the sake of security than for economic
reasons. The families with sufficient income
procure the appropriate business visas and
establish their businesses on the American
side of the River. If the poor have no legal
way to escape the violence, how can we fault
them for risking life and limb to come to the
United States? If the employers in Mexico
are leaving for security reasons, what does
that portend for the future of the Mexican
economy in the North? And do we not
want a strong Mexican economy in order to
alleviate the economic pressures that have
traditionally caused Mexican families to seek
employment in the United States?
The violence is not confined to the
Mexican side of the border. People here
do not speak of it much, except maybe to
their priest or bishop, but the fact is that the
criminal elements that operate in Tamaulipas
and elsewhere are not without resources and
reach in my diocese, and in other border
areas. I worry most about the young, who
are easy prey to the offer of money and quick
success if they join a gang, which itself is
linked to larger and more powerful organizations. The tradition of trust and hospitality which has been a part of border life for
generations, is now corroded severely. People
begin silently to wonder who is involved in
the violence and who is not; everyday folks
often do not know who can be trusted and
who cannot. There is a breakdown of trust
in law enforcement in the Rio Grande Valley for the same reason. Four things move
back and forth across the River with ease:
people, drugs, guns and ill-gotten money.
And of these four, the money moves with the
greatest ease to the American side, and it has
extraordinarily corrosive effects. Newspaper
accounts of public servants indicted for bribery are all too frequent in South Texas.
I and other American bishops along
the Texas border meet regularly with our
counterparts in northern Mexico. We speak
together about what our people are suffering.
The dimensions of the human tragedy taking
place right now in Mexico, and indeed in
the Latin American nations to the south of
Mexico, are beyond heart-rending. The criminal elements operating in Mexico routinely
kidnap innocent Central Americans trying
to find their way to the United States. They
are shot, raped, or ransomed. They are forced
to carry drugs or face the execution of a kidnapped family member. Human trafficking,
so forcefully denounced by Pope Francis, is
commonplace as a result of the conditions I
am describing. The tragedy is hemispheric.
I need not tell you that the current debates
about immigration reform hardly take note
of the hemispheric pressures caused by the
cartel violence and the human destruction
it carries in its wake, not to mention the
economic devastation it engenders.
I urge you to take to heart the need to
reevaluate how our government, in cooperation with the government of Mexico, is
addressing this unfolding disaster, and to
take particular note of what is happening
on both sides of the Rio Grande River. And
I join with Congressman Filemon Vela in
urging a reconsideration of our deportation
policy so as to take into account the reality
that the cartels are coopting the very people
fleeing their influence, often forcing them
to cooperate with their plans, or face death
for themselves or their families. I further
encourage you to discuss these matters with
officials in the Mexican government during
your upcoming trip to Mexico City.
+Daniel E. Flores, STD
Bishop of Brownsville
Courtesy photo
on the work of the Subcommittee.
• An update from Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San
Francisco, chairman of the USCCB
Subcommittee on the Promotion
and Defense of Marriage, on the
Subcommittee’s efforts.
Bishop Daniel E. Flores celebrated a Night Vigil on May 2 at Holy
Spirit Catholic Church in McAllen.
Shalom World, a new 24/7 Catholic family channel, broadcast the
vigil live to the millions of viewers
worldwide. The night vigils hosted
monthly focus on Eucharistic
You can view Shalom World on
Roku, Google TV, Amazon Fire HD
TV or online at www.ShalomWorld.
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan, TX 78589-3042
Telephone: 956/781-5323 • Fax: 956/784-5082
Bishop Daniel E. Flores
Brenda Nettles Riojas
Rose Ybarra
Assistant Editor
The Valley Catholic email:
[email protected]
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Bishop Flores’ Schedule June 2014
June 1
11 a.m.
Confirmations at Our Lady of Guadalupe
June 1
4 p.m.
Confirmations at St. Pius X
June 7
10 a.m.
Confirmations at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
June 8
9:30 a.m.
Confirmations at Christ the King
June 14
10 a.m.
Priesthood Ordination at Holy Family
June 15
2 p.m.
Confirmations at Our Lady of Guadalupe
June 16
7 p.m.
El Ranchito
Confirmations at St. Ignatius
June 17
7 p.m.
Confirmations at Good Shepherd
June 19
7 p.m.
Confirmations at St. Joan of Arc
June 21
11 a.m.
Confirmations at Sacred Heart
June 21
3:30 p.m.
Address & Mass St. Joan of Arc 2014 Catechetical Conference
June 22
12:15 p.m.
Confirmations at Our Lady of Refuge
June 26
7 p.m.
Rio Grande City.
Confirmations at St. Paul the Apostle
June 2014
- The Valley Catholic
& Development Office
Veni Creator Spiritus
Q &A on the
Holy Spirit
The Valley Catholic
Catholic News Service /EWTN
The Stewardship and Development Office serves as a
resource for parishes, schools
and ministries in the diocese
in planning and implementing stewardship and development programs. This includes
providing training and sharing how God has given each
of us special gifts to cultivate
and share with the Church.
Among the priorities of
the Office of Stewardship and
Development is to be transparent in everything they do.
Director Rosie Rodriguez
said, “If you walked in here
and gave us a dollar, we can
basically tell you where your
dollar went to. We can account for it as it came in and
account for it as it left.”
Rodriguez said the Stewardship and Development Office works to help all parishes
in need.
The office coordinates an
annual appeal along with the
bishop’s benefit dinner, the
Children’s Appeal and the
Oblate Trial Ride.
Funds raised from the
annual appeal are targeted
for four areas of the diocese
which need assistance – support of parish ministries
aimed at building up family
life and youth formation;
emergency aid for Catholic
Charities; spiritual formation;
and continuing education for
seminarians and clergy.
The Stewardship and
Development Office also
coordinates a Children’s
Appeal. To help children understand what it means to be
good stewards in the church,
they created a character
called Steward. Steward and
staff members visit parishes
throughout the diocese to
educate children on good
stewardship habits.
The Oblate Trial Ride,
scheduled each spring,
provides cyclists from across
the Rio Grande Valley an
opportunity to ride along the
route which the Missionary
Oblates of Mary Immaculate traveled on horseback
more than 100 years ago to
evangelize the communities
along the Rio Grande River.
All proceeds are used to fund
local projects supported by
the Catholic Campaign for
Human Development.
“The Stewardship and
Development office is held
to that high love that all
the Catholics have for the
Church,” Rodriguez said.
“Our parishes come first and
our clergy comes first.”
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is God and
the third Person of the Blessed
The Holy Spirit is also called
the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete,
the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth,
the Spirit of God, and the Spirit
of Love.
From whom does the Holy
Spirit proceed?
The Holy Spirit proceeds
from the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit does not
proceed from the Father and
the Son by spiritual generation.
Only the Son proceeds from the
Father by generation. This is one
of the mysterious truths that we
know only from revelation.
Is the Holy Spirit equal to the
Father and the Son?
The Holy Spirit is equal to
the Father and the Son, because
He is God.
Because of the oneness of
nature in the Blessed Trinity,
the Father is entirely in the Son
and in the Holy Spirit; the Son is
entirely in the Father and in the
Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit
is entirely in the Father and in
the Son. No one of the three divine Persons is outside the other,
for none precedes the other in
eternity, nor surpasses the other
in power, nor exceeds the other
in any way. This indwelling of
one divine Person in the others
is called circumincession.
What does the Holy Spirit do
for the salvation of mankind?
The Holy Spirit dwells in the
Church as the source of its life
and sanctifies souls through the
gift of grace.
Although the sanctification of mankind, like all other
outward works of God, is performed by all three Persons
of the Blessed Trinity, it is attributed to the Holy Spirit, the
third Person. The sanctification
of mankind is attributed to the
Holy Spirit because He is the
love of the Father and the Son
and because the sanctification of
man by grace shows forth God’s
boundless love.
Office: Stewardship and
Development Office
Director: Rosie Rodriguez
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (956) 784-5062
“... You will be
baptized with
the Holy Spirit”
(Acts 1:5)
The Valley Catholic
An image of the Holy Spirit in stained glass at St. Patrick Mission Church in Lasara. Pentecost Sunday, celebrated June 8 this year, commemorates the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.
is June 8
The Valley Catholic
The Church concludes the
Easter season on June 8 with the
celebration of the Pentecost. The
celebration takes us back to the
first time the Holy Spirit descended
upon Mary, the apostles and other
believers. Pentecost Sunday also
calls us to reflection: What did the
coming of the Holy Spirit mean,
both then and now? How do we
live out the Pentecost in our lives
Before Jesus ascended into
heaven, he told his disciples that
the Holy Spirit would come upon
them and give them the fortitude
they needed to proclaim the Good
News “to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8)
The first reading on Pentecost
Sunday recalls the coming of the
Holy Spirit.
“When the time for Pentecost
was fulfilled, they were all in one
place together. And suddenly there
came from the sky a noise like a
strong driving wind, and it filled
the entire house in which they
were. Then there appeared to them
tongues as of fire, which parted
and came to rest on each one of
them. And they were all filled with
the Holy Spirit and began to speak
in different tongues, as the Spirit
enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts
“There were more than 100
people there all together and most
of them did not understand what
was happening,” said Msgr. Patrick
Doherty, a retired priest of the
Diocese of Brownsville. “Some
even approached Peter, asking
him, ‘what’s going on? They are
acting like drunken people.’
“Peter said to them, ‘they are
not drunk, it’s the power of the
Holy Spirit that has been promised,
CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz
A scene from Pentecost is depicted in artwork at Our Lady of Divine Providence Church in
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. Pentecost marks the end of the Easter season.
that we have been waiting for.’”
The Holy Spirit is the lifeblood,
the soul of the Church, Msgr.
Doherty said.
“Even the apostles, they were
sitting around, hiding in a locked
room,” he said. “They were afraid
to hurt people’s feelings, they were
afraid to say anything. The Holy
Spirit transformed them into
bold witnesses and gave them the
courage to go out and spread the
More than 2,000 years later,
how do we keep the Holy Spirit
thriving within us and in our
“We have to understand that
living in the Holy Spirit is not
an emotional experience, but a
way of life,” Msgr. Doherty said.
“Some people have that emotional
experience. For example, they are
‘slain in the Spirit’ and that is fine. I
do believe that happens to people,
but if it is only an emotional
experience, it is not the Holy Spirit.
It has to be permanent.”
Msgr. Doherty said consistency
and speaking the language of the
Church are the keys to living a
Spirit-filled life.
“Lay people have to make sure
they get to church on Sundays,
every Sunday, punto,” he said.
“They need to have a parish
church and take ownership of that
parish. They have decide on what
Mass they are going to go to every
Sunday and then go to the same
church at the same time every
Sunday. Otherwise, we are just
visiting. Lots of people jump from
one Catholic church to the other.
They don’t put down any roots
Msgr. Doherty said parents
need to teach their children
“the language of the Church,”
just as they teach their children
English or Spanish. Catholic
families are called to preach the
Gospel through their words and
their actions by attending Mass
every Sunday, partaking of the
sacraments and more.
Msgr. Doherty, who hears
confessions and celebrates Masses
at the Basilica of Our Lady of
San Juan del Valle-National
Shrine, recently met a 25-year» Please see Pentecost p.15
to serve
U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops
The Fortnight for Freedom:
Freedom to Serve will take
place from June 21 to July 4, a
time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great
martyrs who remained faithful
in the face of persecution by
political power—St. Thomas
More and St. John Fisher, St.
John the Baptist, SS. Peter and
Paul, and the First Martyrs
of the Church of Rome. The
theme of this year’s Fortnight
will focus on the freedom to
serve the poor and vulnerable
in accord with human dignity
and the Church’s teaching.
For more information, visit
»Family Life
Lydia Pesina
Director, Family
Life Office
Retreat and
think it would be an understatement to say that we
hear ourselves or others say
that we are “so busy” at least
ten times daily. We do live in a
time where “time” seems rushed;
full; too fast; or too short. Perhaps it is helpful for us to remind
one another to take some time to
“retreat”. In the Gospel of Mark
1:35, we hear that “Rising very
early before dawn, he (Jesus) left
and went off to a deserted place,
where he prayed.”
We too would be wise to
follow Jesus’ example to take
some time to “retreat from” one
place and “retreat to” another.
There are many types of retreats
and their goal or purpose may
be distinct, but they all have the
capacity to “take us away” from
the typical to a space where
perhaps we can be more open to
the Holy Spirit guiding our hearts
to change and/or transformation.
One of our main goals in life is to
be transformed into the person
God has uniquely created us to
In our Family Life Office, one
of our responsibilities is to coordinate 22 Marriage Preparation
Retreats a year to assist the parish
pastors in preparing engaged
couples for marriage. These
engaged couples “make” this
retreat primarily because they are
required to as part of their Marriage Preparation Process.
Our hope and prayer is that
they be open to the Holy Spirit
during these retreats to receive
whatever message or messages
God has for them personally
and/ or as a couple. These couples
live full and busy lives with work,
family, and other responsibilities
and it is often a sacrifice to set
aside a full weekend and yet these
retreats have the potential to be
The Valley Catholic not only life giving but sometimes life changing if they are
open to the Holy Spirit.
Many apostolic movements
such as ACTS, Movimiento
Familiar Cristiano, Couples for
Christ, Apostolado de la cruz,
Cursillo, Encuentro Matrimonial,
and others provide retreats with
distinct goals, but all offering
possibilities for personal and
spiritual renewal.
Recently, I made a personal
Lenten Retreat at the Basilica Hotel. The Basilica Hotel has rental
accommodations for the many
pilgrims who visit Our Lady of
San Juan del Valle. It was built
in the late 1940s but was totally
renovated in 2010. The rooms are
lovely and the setting is great for
a personal retreat.
I checked out some audio
books from the Diocesan Ministry Resource Center and also had
some writing and reading materials. It was a wonderful day spent
in quiet time, reading, writing,
and listening to the audio books.
It was also the perfect setting to
just walk to the Basilica to pray
before the Blessed Sacrament, go
to confession and attend noon
Sometimes we don’t have
the opportunity to take a whole
day or whole weekend off for
a retreat, so even short 15 to20
minutes outdoors or in a church
can allow us to shift gears and
“retreat” to some quiet space for
reflection and renewal.
I have the blessing of having
my office for Family Ministry
at the Upper Valley Catholic
Pastoral Center on the grounds
of the Basilica, so often I take my
afternoon break walking to the
Basilica. The grounds are green
and lush and there are pilgrims
visiting every single day, rain or
shine, cold or hot weather and
seeing young families with their
children is very inspiring, and it
is a wonderful place to pray.
There are websites such as
Loyola Press that have 3-minute
retreats. For persons that perhaps
have only a few minutes to devote
to reflection and renewal, this
is a good resource. Psalm 46:10
tells us “Be still and know that I
am God”. Perhaps we can assist
one another learn how to “Be
Still” and be reminded that “God
is God” who loves us unconditionally and is present within us
always and in all ways.
Shalom World televises
daily Masses from RGV
The Valley Catholic
A new 24/7 Catholic Channel
started broadcasting from the Rio
Grande Valley on April 27.
Shalom Media USA, based in
Edinburg, broadcasts live daily
Mass from the area on their new
channel, Shalom World.
Masses are recorded at the following churches: Mondays at St.
Pius X Catholic Church, Weslaco
(English), 8 a.m.
Tuesday through Thursday,
Saint Joseph Catholic Church,
Edinburg (English), 7 a.m.
Fridays, St. Jude Thaddeus
Catholic Church, Pharr (English), 8 a.m.
Saturdays, Basilica of Our
Lady of San Juan del Valle, San
Juan, 9:30 a.m. (Bilingual)
The Mass will be broadcasted
at 10 a.m. CST on the day of the
recording, with an encore at 10
p.m. CST.
You can view Shalom World
on Roku, Google TV, Amazon
Fire HD TV or online at www.
June 2014
»Women speak for themselves en la Frontera
Learning to listen, speak with grace
Let your speech always be
gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you know how you
should respond to each one”
Col. 4:6.
We live in an age when
modern communication technologies facilitate the sharing of our
ideas. However, I have witnessed
instances, as I am sure we all have,
when some would prefer to ration
freedom of speech for those whose
beliefs are not in line with popular
They would prefer, for example, we not talk about protecting the unborn, about countering a
growing culture of death.
What is even more disconcerting are the words we hear sometimes from both sides of opposing
views, words not designed to facilitate a civil discourse, but rather
words laced with invectives.
Pope Francis wrote in his
message this year for World Communications Day that while we are
becoming more connected in the
world, “divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist
within our human family.”
“We need,” the Holy Father
wrote, “to recover a certain sense
of deliberateness and calm. This
calls for time and the ability to be
silent and to listen. We need also
to be patient if we want to understand those who are different from
He said, “If we are genuinely
attentive in listening to others, we
will learn to look at the world with
different eyes and come to appreciate the richness of human experience as manifested in different
cultures and traditions.”
I have friends and family of
different faiths and beliefs. There
are a number of issues in which we
find ourselves on opposite sides.
Sometimes we avoid the subjects
that may fuel an unhealthy debate
and remain silent.
My hope is that we will explore
ways to listen and speak with grace
when responding to one another.
Nettles Riojas
Editor, The Valley
“Good communication helps
us to grow closer, to know one
another better, and ultimately, to
grow in unity,” Pope Francis said in
his World Communications Day
message. “The walls which divide
us,” he said, “can be broken down
only if we are prepared to listen
and learn from one another. We
need to resolve our differences
through forms of dialogue which
help us grow in understanding and
mutual respect.”
In an address to students and
teachers from Japan who visited
the Vatican in August, 2013, the
Holy Father said, “Dialogue is
what creates peace. It is impossible for peace to exist without
“All the wars, all the strife, all
the unsolved problems over which
we clash are due to a lack of dialogue,” he said.
While we must continue,
without apology, to speak up for
our beliefs, we need to consider
the words we use and make sure
they are not fueled by reaction.
The tongue holds power. While
we may speak the same language,
sometimes our understanding of
the words differ. Sometimes words
divide us.
Bishop Flores in his homily at
a Mass for the McAllen Pregnancy
Center in 2013 said, “A Christian
falls into error if we start dividing the world into friends and
“In this fight (to protect the
unborn) we don’t have enemies, we
just have those who the Lord wants
to touch.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan,
archbishop of New York, speaking
at a communications conference in
Rome this past April, said, “How
we say something is just as important as what we say.”
As I consider my own work in
the diocese as a communicator, I
can attest to Cardinal Dolan’s comments that Church communicators
are trying to bring a message to a
world that “doesn’t always seem
interested in what we have to say,
misunderstands it or is downright
hostile to it.”
“We must respond in charity
and love,” he said.
Pope Francis, in his apostolic
exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”
(The Joy of the Gospel), said, “We
need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply
hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which
makes possible that closeness
without which genuine spiritual
encounter cannot occur.
“Listening helps us to find
the right gesture and word which
shows that we are more than
simply bystanders. Only through
such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the
paths of true growth and awaken
a yearning for the Christian ideal:
the desire to respond fully to God’s
love and to bring to fruition what
he has sown in our lives.”
We live in a country where
we should be able to share our
differences of opinion without
fear of crucifixion. Given the
diversity in our communities we
will not always agree with one
another. Even in our own homes,
differences will emerge. But we
must talk to one another, build
relationships through dialogue. As
we do, we must not apologize for
being Catholic and for our beliefs.
We must practice our faith and
take care of the words we use in
“Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to
hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
James 1:19.
What the Church says about Ouija boards
The Valley Catholic
Q: Are Ouija Boards Acceptable for Recreational Use?
The First Commandment
states, “I am the Lord your God,
you shall have no other gods
before me.” This commandment
covers any recourse people might
have to any supernatural entity
other than God. In the case of
Ouija boards, the concept we are
dealing with is divination.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 reads,
“Let there not be found among
you anyone who causes their son
or daughter to pass through the
fire, or practices divination, or is a
soothsayer, augur, or sorcerer, or
who casts spells, consults ghosts
and spirits, or seeks oracles from
the dead. Anyone who does such
things is an abomination to the
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #2116 states,
“All forms of divination are to
be rejected: recourse to Satan or
demons, conjuring up the dead or
other practices falsely supposed
to “unveil” the future. Consulting
horoscopes, astrology, palm read-
Courtesy photo
The First Commandment, “I am the Lord
thy God: Thou shalt
not have strange gods
before me,” forbids the
use of Ouija boards.
ing, interpretation of omens and
lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums
all conceal a desire for power over
time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as
a wish to conciliate hidden powers.
They contradict the honor, respect,
and loving fear that we owe to God
Scriptures directly informs us
of how divination is an abomination to the LORD and this alone
should be enough for most people
to avoid using instruments of divination. The Catechism lists many
other known forms of divination
and the absence of Ouija boards
may lead some to claim that these
boards are harmless due to their
absence from the list. That and
many people claiming that they do
not believe “in” the Ouija board
and do not feel that there is any
harm in the use of the device may
lead to use.
A lack of belief “in” something
does not make that thing any less
real or harmless to non-believers.
Our immortal souls are at risk. We
have to ask if we really want to go
against God’s expressed wishes and
instructions. Are we willing to risk
being wrong when the cost is our
Father Joaquin Zermeño is pastor of
St. Isidore Parish in San Isidro and
Immaculate Conception Parish in
June 2014
The Word of God in the Life
and Mission of the Church
(Seventh Sunday of Easter)
Reading I ACTS 1:12-14
Responsorial Psalm PS 27:1, 4, 7-8
Reading II 1 PT 4:13-16
Gospel JN 17:1-11A
(The Ascension of the Lord)
Reading I ACTS 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm
PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Reading II EPH 1:17-23
MT 28:16-20
(Pentecost Sunday Vigil Mass)
Reading I GN 11:1-9 or EX
19:3-8A, 16-20B or EZ
37:1-14 or JL 3:1-5
Responsorial Psalm
PS 104:1-2, 24, 35, 27-28, 29, 30
Reading II
ROM 8:22-27
JN 7:37-39
(Pentecost Sunday Mass)
Reading I ACTS 2:1-11
Responsorial Psalm
PS 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
Reading II 1 COR 12:3B-7, 12-13
JN 20:19-23
(Solemnity of the Most Host Trinity)
Reading I EX 34:4B-6, 8-9
Responsorial Psalm
DN 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
Reading II 2 COR 13:11-13
JN 3:16-18
(Solemnity of the Most Host Holy
Body and Blood of Christ)
Reading I DT 8:2-3, 14B-16A
Responsorial Psalm
PS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Reading II 1 COR 10:16-17
JN 6:51-58
(Solemnity of Saitnts Peter and Paul,
Apostles Vigil Mass)
Reading I DT 8:2-3, 14B-16A
Responsorial Psalm
PS 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Reading II 1 COR 10:16-17
JN 6:51-58
(Solemnity of Saitnts Peter and Paul,
Apostles Mass during the day)
Reading I ACTS 12:1-11
Responsorial Psalm
PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Reading II 2 TM 4:6-8, 17-18
- The Valley Catholic
MT 16:13-19
The word of the Lord abides for ever.
This word is the Gospel which was
preached to you” (1 Pet 1:25; cf. Is
With this assertion from the First
Letter of Saint Peter, which takes up
the words of the Prophet Isaiah, we
find ourselves before the mystery of
God, who has made himself known
through the gift of his word.
This word, which abides for ever,
entered into time. God spoke his
eternal Word humanly; his Word
“became flesh” (Jn 1:14).
This is the good news. This is the
proclamation which has come down
the centuries to us today.
»Making Sense of Bioethics
Editing our own genes?
number of serious
diseases are known to
occur because of defects
or mutations in our
DNA. Curing such diseases could
in principle be carried out by rewriting the DNA to fix the mutated
base pairs. Yet until recently scientists have remained largely stymied
in their attempts to directly modify
genes in a living animal.
Findings described in the
March 30, 2014 issue of Nature
Biotechnology, however, reveal
that a novel gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short
Palindromic Repeats), can be used
successfully in mice to reverse
disease symptoms for a liver defect
known as type I tyrosinemia. In
humans, this potentially fatal ailment affects about one in 100,000
people. CRISPR, which enables
researchers to snip out the mutated
piece of DNA and replace it with
the correct sequence, holds the
potential for treating other genetic disorders as well. As the MIT
Technology Review explains, the
recently-developed CRISPR technique is proving to be remarkably
versatile in the hands of biomedical researchers:
“This technology could allow
researchers to perform microsurgery on genes, precisely and
easily changing a DNA sequence
at exact locations on a chromosome. ...CRISPR could make gene
therapies more broadly applicable,
providing remedies for simple
genetic disorders like sickle-cell
anemia and eventually even leading to cures for more complex
diseases involving multiple genes.
Priest of the
Diocese of Fall
Most conventional gene therapies
crudely place new genetic material at a random location in the
cell and can only add a gene. In
contrast, CRISPR and the other
new tools also give scientists a precise way to delete and edit specific
bits of DNA—even by changing a
single base pair. This means they
can rewrite the human genome at
Correcting mutations in the
DNA to remedy a serious medical
defect would certainly be desirable and permissible. In 2008,
in a document called Dignitas
Personae, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
(CDF) agreed that trying to restore
“the normal genetic configuration
of the patient or to counter damage caused by genetic anomalies”
would be morally acceptable as
long as the person being treated
will not “be exposed to risks to his
health or physical integrity which
are excessive...”
Our ability to rewrite the
human genome at will through
precise DNA editing techniques,
however, does raise substantial
concerns about misusing the
technology. In fact, researchers
are already discussing the possibility of going beyond therapies
and treatments, and instead, using
CRISPR and other gene-alteration
technologies to enhance human
characteristics. For example, one
possible direction would be to engineer changes in the genes of human muscles so that they could be
worked harder and longer, thereby
enhancing the performance of
athletes and soldiers.
This kind of human re-engineering would cross an important
line: instead of helping human
beings who are struggling against
serious diseases, scientists would
now begin manipulating human
beings for ulterior motives. As
Dignitas Personae puts it, “such
manipulation would promote a eugenic mentality and would lead to
indirect social stigma with regard
to people who lack certain qualities, while privileging [others].”
The document also notes how
attempting to create a new type of
human being could unmask a dark
and troubling ideology “in which
man tries to take the place of his
Creator,” resulting in an “unjust
domination of man over man.”
Yet the line separating a
therapy from an enhancement is
not always an obvious one. Some
researchers have claimed that the
most common versions of genes
that many people carry are not
necessarily the ideal versions from
the standpoint of health. Thus
researchers might be able subtly
to improve matters, for example,
by rewriting normal genes so that
people could better fight off infectious diseases. Would such a step
be enhancement or therapy?
Even as scientists move for» Please see Bioethics, p.15
The joy of the Gospel is the New Evangelization
uring his pontificate
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI renewed the
Church’s call to the
New Evangelization and established the Pontifical Council for
the Promotion of the New Evangelization. He proposed that the 2012
Synod of Bishops general assembly
focus its energies on the “New
Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”
His goal was to aid the Church
in “re-proposing” the faith to
modern society especially to those
regions “still awaiting a first evangelization” and where the roots of
Christianity are deep but have experienced “a serious crisis” of faith
due to secularization. (Homily on
the Solemnity of Saints Peter and
Paul, Vatican 2010).
He also noted that the Church
is being challenged by “an abandonment of the faith, a phenomenon progressively more manifest
in societies and cultures which for
centuries seemed to be permeated
by the Gospel.”
Pope Francis in his apostolic
exhortation Evangelii Gaudium
(The Joy of Gospel) incorporated
some of the same themes on the
New Evangelization mentioned by
his three previous predecessors:
Popes Paul VI, Benedict XVI and
Saint John Paul II. The apostolic
exhortation references many of the
final propositions presented by the
October 2012 Synod of Bishops on
the New Evangelization.
Evangelii Gaudium serves as
the Holy Father’s response to the
many opportunities the Church
has in reaching out those who have
left the Church and welcoming
Luis Zuniga
Director, Office for
Pastoral Planning
& San Juan Diego
Ministry Institute.
them back. As a call for ongoing
growth and renewed conversion,
it also addresses ways the Church
can focus its efforts to reach
Catholics who are not involved in
the life of the Church.
In Evangelii Gaudium, the
Holy Father invites all Catholics
to make it their mission to share
our faith with all those we meet
at home and at work and to make
the new evangelization more
approachable, personable and
He writes, “Today, as the
Church seeks to experience a profound missionary renewal, there
is a kind of preaching which falls
to each of us as a daily responsibility. It has to do with bringing the
Gospel to the people we meet,
whether they be our neighbors
or complete strangers. This is the
informal preaching which takes
place in the middle of a conversation, something along the lines of
what a missionary does when visiting a home. Being a disciple means
being constantly ready to bring
the love of Jesus to others, and this
can happen unexpectedly and in
any place: on the street, in a city
square, during work, on a journey.”
(EG, 127).
In the United States, the bishops outlined their plan for the New
Evangelization as a priority of their
proposed national framework.
“The New Evangelization calls
each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go
forth to proclaim the Gospel. The
focus of the New Evangelization
calls all Catholics to be evangelized
and then go forth to evangelize...
and an invitation for each Catholic
to renew their relationship with
Jesus Christ and his Church.”
There are two documents
published by the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops that I highly
recommend as a must read for
anyone involved in the work of
the New Evangelization at both
the parish and diocesan level. The
first document, “Go and Make
Disciples: A National Plan and
Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States,” is a
bilingual resource which provides
an overview for the mission of
evangelization which maintains
three primary goals for evangelization and offers strategies to help
accomplish the objectives.
Evangelization has been
explained as “one beggar showing
another beggar where to find the
bread.” As described in Go and
Make Disciples, “Evangelization
has both an inward and outward
direction. Inwardly it calls for our
continued receiving of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ, our ongoing conversion both individually and as
Church. It nurtures us, makes us
grow, and renews us in holiness as
God’s people.
“Outwardly evangelization addresses those who have not heard
» Please see Joy p.15
»Feast Day
- June 22
Spotlight on
St. Thomas
Catholic News Agency
On June 22, the Catholic
Church honors the life and martyrdom of St. Thomas More, the
lawyer, author and statesman
who lost his life opposing King
Henry VIII’s plan to subordinate
the Church to the English monarchy.
Thomas More was born in
1478, son of the lawyer and Judge
John More and his wife Agnes.
He received a well-rounded college education at Oxford, becoming a “renaissance man.” His
father, however, determined that
Thomas should become a lawyer.
Despite his legal and political
orientation, More was confused
in regard to his vocation as a
young man. He seriously considered joining either the Carthusian monastic order or the Franciscans, and followed a number
of ascetic and spiritual practices
throughout his life – such as
fasting, corporal mortification,
and a regular rule of prayer – as
means of growing in holiness.
In 1504, however, More was
elected to Parliament. He gave
up his monastic ambitions,
though not his disciplined spiritual life, and married Jane Colt
of Essex. They were happily married for several years and had
four children together, though
Jane tragically died in childbirth
in 1511. Shortly after her death,
More married a widow named
Alice Middleton.
Two years earlier, in 1509,
King Henry VIII had acceded to
the throne. More became a part
of the king’s inner circle, eventually overseeing the English court
system as Lord Chancellor.
More’s eventual martyrdom
would come as a consequence
of Henry VIII’s own tragic
downfall. The king wanted an
annulment of his marriage to
Catherine of Aragon, a marriage
that Pope Clement VII declared
to be valid and indissoluble. By
1532, More had resigned as Lord
Chancellor, refusing to support
the king’s efforts to defy the Pope
and control the Church.
In 1534, Henry VIII declared
that every subject of the British
crown would have to swear an
oath affirming the validity of his
new marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Refusal of these demands would
be regarded as treason against
the state.
When More refused to sign
the oath he was taken from his
wife and children, and imprisoned in the Tower of London. In
June of 1535, he was finally indicted and formally tried for the
crime of treason in Westminster
The Valley Catholic -
June 2014
Our Catholic School Graduates
Oratory Athenaeum motto: “Ex Umbris Et Imaginibus Ad Lucem”
Oratory Valedictorian
Victoria Eugenia María Prado
Oratory Salutatorian
Ana Sofia Rodríguez
The Valley Catholic congratulates the graduating seniors of the two Catholic high schools in
the Diocese of Brownsville with senior classes.
The Oratory Athenaeum for University Preparation of Pharr will graduate 51 students at
its commencement ceremonies on Friday, June 6 at the Student Union Auditorium at the
University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg.
St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville graduated 130 students in its Class of 2014.
Commencement exercises were held on May 21 at Jacob Brown Auditorium in Brownsville.
St. Joseph Academy Valedictorian
David Rubio
St. Joseph Academy motto: “Ad Astra, Per Astra”
St. Joseph Academy Salutatorian
Anamaria Gutierrez
June 2014
- The Valley Catholic
»Hope in Action: A Spotlight on Youth
Food for the needy
Faith shines through service
Special to The Valley Catholic
Ariana Silva has been a part
of Our Lady of Sorrows School
and parish for seven years. She
has excelled both academically
and spiritually, helping younger
students prepare for service at
Mass, serving on several parish
and school committees and
activities, writing extensively for
her Journalism class, and honing
her musical and acting skills
while serving the wider parish
Campus Minister Hugo De
La Rosa said, “She is friendly,
outgoing, hardworking, and her
love for her faith shines through
in the care and attention she gives
to her family, her classmates and
her work.”
Name: Ariana Silva
School/Grade: 8th grader at
Our Lady of Sorrows School in
Committee coordinator, Altar
Server since 4th grade, member
of the Junior Catholic Daughters
of America, member of both
the school and parish choir,
participant in the Private Schools
competition at both the regional
and state level for many years,
Blogger/journalist for the school
sponsored Roar blog, volunteers
extensively with both the parish
and the school in special events
and for weekend Masses
Talents/Gifts: singing/music,
theater/acting, tutoring others,
(Dungeons & Dragons)
Courtesy photo
Ariana Silva, a student
at Our Lady of Sorrows
School, finds joy in volunteering at her parish and
school serving in various
Courtesy photo
The youth of San Martin de Porres Church in Weslaco demonstrated their participation in the Church’s teaching on the corporal works of mercy during the Lenten season.
Students from the RCIA, CCE and youth group participated in gathering bags of food for
those in need. The bag included items such as canned meats, vegetables and fruits. The
students had an opportunity to put into action the words of the Lord as he spoke them to
St. Faustina.
Most Listened to Song on
My iPod?: Varies, but I tends to
listen to alternative music through
TV Show I Never Miss:
Psyche, Once Upon A Time
Book I’d Read Again (and
Again): Harry Potter series &
Tuesdays with Morrie
Future Plans: Ariana is
looking forward to performing
with the theater group at Sharyland
High School while maintaining a
4.0 grade average. She would like
to become a fiction/fantasy author
as well.
Meaningful Quote: The road
to success is not straight. There
is a curb called Failure, a loop
called Confusion; speed bumps
called Friends; red lights called
Enemies; caution lights called
Family. You will have flats called
jobs. But, if you have a spare called
Determination; an engine called
Perseverance; insurance called
Faith, and a driver called Jesus,
you will make it to a place called
Success!! – Unknown
Who has made a difference
in her life: She credits Mrs. Luisa
De Leon (our current school
principal) with helping her
become who she is now, because
Mrs. De Leon was instrumental
in bringing her to Our Lady
of Sorrows. She looks to Mrs.
Leticia Gomez (our former music
teacher) for instilling a love of
music and singing in her. And
she credits Mr. Hugo De La Rosa
(Campus Minister) with helping
spark her interest in science fiction
and fantasy.
If you would like to nominate a
student to be featured in “Hope
in Action: A Spotlight on Youth,”
please email Angel Barrera, director
of Youth Ministry, at [email protected]
Students turned in more than 150 bags. Each student had an opportunity to decorate the
bag with a spiritual message of their choosing. Several parishioners and their families
came out to help deliver the groceries. Along with the grocery items, the students wrote
a letter to the family letting them know that God loves them and that they loved them
also. From left : Mr. and Mrs. De Leon, Bertha Gonzalez, Clarissa Olivo, Janet Figeroa and
Noemi Cruz.
Academy altar consecrated
Terry De Leon/The Valley Catholic
Catholic Charities partners with
USDA to provide nutritious meals Contemplative prayer
On April 28, the newly renovated chapel at Juan Diego Academy in Mission was consecrated by Bishop Daniel E. Flores, in the presence of the students, faculty and parents.
Volunteers needed to
help feed children
during summer break
Prayer ministry
forming at Sacred
Heart Church
The Valley Catholic
Catholic Charities of the Rio
Grande Valley is attentive to Pope
Francis’ call to serve, “may we never get used to the poverty and decay around us. A Christian must
act,” the pope said via Twitter on
April 3.
Catholic Charities of the Rio
Grande Valley, in partnership
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is providing free,
healthy meals and snacks to children, ages 3-18, in low-income areas via the Summer Food Service
Program (SFSP). The program
provides meals during the summer months when children don’t
have access to school breakfast
and/or lunch.
In the summer of 2013, there
were 74 feeding sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley, which
served a total of 82,571 meals. The
program offers breakfast, lunch,
snack and supper. A site can serve
up to two of the mentioned meals.
Parents won’t have to worry about
Special to The Valley Catholic
The Valley Catholic
Last summer, more than 80,000 meals were distrubuted throughout the Rio Grande
Valley via the Summer Food Service Program.
providing their children with
three nutritious meals a day.
A church, community center,
public agency or any other nonprofit organization can host a site.
To qualify for free meals, a site
must be located in an area where
50 percent or more children already receive free or reduced
priced meals during the school
year. The office has a database in
which they can access this information to help families locate a
site in their area.
Laura Ortiz, Food Program
Coordinator of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley said,
“This year we hope to increase
sites and meals served. You can
help by serving as a volunteer or
simply getting the word out to
those in need.”
Catholic Charities of the Rio
Grande Valley and the USDA
kicked off the program with an
event on May 28 in San Juan. For
more information about Summer
Food Service Program, contact
the Catholic Charities of the Rio
Grande Valley at (956) 702-4088.
McALLEN – A contemplative
prayer group has been meeting
weekly at Sacred Heart Church in
McAllen. The focus of the group is
silent prayer, which is also referred
to as “centering prayer.”
Jim Deuser, one of the prayer
group members, said centering
prayer has been defined as “an inward gaze into the depths of the
soul and the very reason to go beyond the soul to God.”
According to the Catechism of
the Catholic Church (2713), “Contemplative prayer is the simplest
expression of the mystery of prayer.
It is a gift, a grace; it can be accepted only in humility and poverty.
Contemplative prayer is a covenant
relationship established by God
within our hearts. Contemplative
prayer is a communion in which
the Holy Trinity conforms man,
the image of God, to his likeness.”
“Contemplation is a gaze of
faith, fixed on Jesus. ‘I look at him
and he looks at me’: this is what a
certain peasant of Ars in the time
of his holy curé used to say while
praying before the tabernacle”
(CCC 2715); or as Psalm 46:11
says, “Be still and know that I am
Deuser said this type of prayer
brings us closer, not only to God,
but to our brothers and sisters
united in him. “A great peace
comes over me when I pray in this
fashion and I feel closer to him
than ever before,” said one member
of the group. A certain occasional
experience of God, filling us with
peace, is quite common among
most people, Deuser said.
However, the ability to experience this regularly takes a bit
of practice and instruction, both
of which are provided each week
on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. The
prayer group meets in the Convent
Building adjacent to the church on
the corner of 15th Street and Chicago Street. Members are considering the addition of an earlier meeting time to accommodate new
members before they go to work.
For more information about
joining this group, contact Sister
Anita Jennissen of the Franciscan
Sisters of Little Falls, Minn. at (956)
686-0474 or Jim Deuser at (956)
682-2871 or [email protected]
The Valley Catholic -
June 2014
With Pope Francis
Photo by Fotografia Felici
Deacon Jesus
Garza, a seminarian
for the Diocese of
Brownsville, met
Pope Francis while
on pilgrimage in
Rome. He was one
of 16 seminarians
from the Pontifical
College Josephinum
in Columbus, Ohio
to serve at the Mass
for the Solemnity
of Mary, Mother of
Steward visits parishes
Courtesy photos
Basilica commissions 10-foot statue
of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle
The Valley Catholic
Courtesy photo
Steward the Caterpillar visited parishes in the Diocese of Brownsville in May. One
of his stops included a presentation to approximately 250 kids from San Martin
de Porres Parish in Alton on May 3. The gathering was held at the Alton Boys and
Girls Club. After watching the video of the 2013 Children’s Annual Appeal, Steward invited the boys and girls to be good stewards by adopting the 7 Faith Habits
for the Year of Faith. To schedule a similar presentation contact the Development
Office at 784-4092.
SAN JUAN – In the next few
months, pilgrims will see noticeable changes on the property of the
Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del
Valle-National Shrine. In December of 2012, the Basilica acquired a
three-acre plot of land adjacent to
the property. It lies directly behind
the Renewal Center and retired
priests’ home. This set off a whole
number of projects that are about
to become readily visible.
Since the construction and
dedication of the new Shrine in
1980, the maintenance shop and
air conditioning chillers have been
located along the Expressway 83
Frontage Road. With the bishop’s
and Board of Directors blessing
it was decided to build a more
modern and efficient maintenance
shop/storage facility on the newly
acquired property. Architectural
and engineering plans have been
drawn up and construction should
begin shortly.
The new facility should provide
much needed storage for several
departments at the Basilica.
Once the maintenance crew
moves into their new quarters in
the late summer/early fall, we will
demolish the site along the frontage
road with the exception of the chillers which need to remain close to
the Basilica.
The pictures that accompany
this story are of the wooden model for the new 10-foot tall bronze
statue of Our Lady of San Juan del
Valle. The work of art was commissioned last year in Italy. Edmund
Rabanser, the artist who sculpted
the statues of the life-size Way of
the Cross on the Basilica’s grounds,
is also the master carver of the 10foot statue.
He made three different models
out of linden wood in the past year.
The first model was 70 centimeters
and revisions were made to it last
October. He then made a 16-inch
model for the foundry to cast two
preliminary bronze models with
different patinas. Three months
ago, he finished the 10-foot tall
carving, and in May, the model was
transported to Vicenza where it was
cast in bronze at Fonderia Guastini.
The new statue will be the centerpiece of a Welcome Plaza with reconfigured entrance and exit lanes
onto the Basilica’s property.
New parking will be added
in and around the reconfigured
northeast quadrant of the property.
There will also be boulevard style
access and exits onto North Virgen de San Juan Blvd. All of these
projects should be in place by early
2015. If you would like to make a
donation to the Basilica’s Renovation Campaign, please contact me
or the Administrator, Pablo H. Villescas at (956) 787-0033.
June 2014
- The Valley Catholic
Those Who Serve:
Sister Tulia Giraldo, OP
Living a life of peace
Dominican Sister
ministers to the
poor, marginalized
The Valley Catholic
BROWNSVILLE — “I remember the first time I went to the
hospital with Sister Tulia to visit
the sick,” said Father Oscar Siordia, pastor of St. Joseph Church in
Brownsville. “We stayed there a lot
longer than we planned because
everyone wanted to greet Sister Tulia and kiss her hand – the doctors,
the nurses, the patients – everyone.
“They admire and respect her
as a woman of God who lovingly
cares for and prays for Catholics
and non-Catholics alike.”
Dominican Sister Tulia Giraldo has served St. Joseph Church
and West Brownsville for almost
30 years, comforting the sick who
are homebound, in hospitals and
nursing homes. She also delivers
the Body of Christ to those who
request it.
A sister of social service, Sister
Giraldo also ministers to the poor
and marginalized. She even makes
house calls.
“I have been all over West
Brownsville on foot,” said Sister
Giraldo, who arrived in Brownsville in September 1985. “I have
been rained on, had the sun beat
down on me and have been chased
by cats and dogs.
“I still go out from time to time,
but not so much anymore because
I’m older and I get tired. I have
been walking on these streets for
so long, I can’t go anywhere without running into someone that I
Sister Giraldo was born on
April 4, 1925 in Medellín, Colombia. She was raised in a religious
family “with many beautiful traditions,” which included the praying
of the Angelus every morning and
the Rosary every evening with her
brothers, sisters and cousins at her
grandparents’ house.
She was 20-years-old when she
joined the Dominican Sisters, becoming a part of one of the oldest
and largest religious communities
in the world.
The Dominican Order was
founded by Spanish priest Santo
Domingo de Guzman in France
and approved by Pope Honorius
III in 1216. The Dominican Sisters
»Birthday & Anniversary Wishes
Eric Sánchez/The
Valley Catholic
A native of
Sister Tulia
Giraldo has
been serving
in Brownsville
since 1985.
began ministering in the United
States in the 1500s, arriving with
Spanish colonists, according to
information from the Dominican
Sisters USA website.
There are about 30,000 Dominican Sisters serving in 116
countries around the world, living according to the Dominican
charisms of prayer, study, community and service.
Sister Giraldo observed the
Dominican Sisters in prayer and
action at the schools she attended
as a child and was inspired to join
“There was one sister in particular who was pious, respectful and
dignified and I thought, ‘I would
love to be like her,’” she said.
Sister Giraldo served in her
native Colombia, Puerto Rico and
Massachusetts before arriving in
Brownsville. She currently lives in
community with two other sisters
in Brownsville.
Concerned about the dwindling number of vocations, Sister
Giraldo does her part to promote
religious life. Although it is not
required, she continues to wear
a habit as an outward sign of her
faith and vocation.
“I feel very comfortable in my
habit,” she said. “I will never take
it off, not even when I die. I think
there is a lot of respect for religious.
So when people see us in the habit,
it changes their whole demeanor.
They are happy, they think of God.”
Sister Giraldo also speaks to
young women in the community
about religious life but the idea is
quickly dismissed in most cases.
“There are too many attractions and distractions,” she said.
“The world is too loud for them to
hear the call from God.
“It goes in one ear and out the
other, but we will continue to pray
and give the example. We will continue to be a living testimony of religious life.”
Sister Giraldo credits living a
life of “peace in my soul” and serving the Lord for her long life.
“When I said that, ‘yes,’ it was
forever,” she said. “I have never regretted it and have enjoyed myself
“People have said to me, ‘I
wouldn’t do your work for a million dollars, but the money doesn’t
matter to me. It is about the families we help, the people we have
consoled, the souls we have saved.”
The list of birthdays and ordination anniversaries is provided so that
parishioners may remember the priests, deacons and religious in their prayers
and send them a note or a card.
» Anniversaries
3 Rev. Jose Villalon
4 Rev. Joaquin Zermeño
4 Rev. Manuel Alfredo Razo
5 Rev. Leo Francis Daniels, CO
5 Msgr. Patrick Doherty - retired
6 Rev. Armando Escobedo - retired
7 Rev. Eusebio Martinez
7 Rev. Felix Casarez
7 Rev. Will Penderghest, SS.CC
8 Rev. Edouard Atangana
8 Rev. Jean Olivier M. Sambu
16 Rev. Lawrence J. Klein
16 Rev. Richard L. Lifrak, SS.CC
21 Rev. Eduardo Villa
26 Rev. Patrick R. Wells – retired
28 Rev. Msgr. Pedro Briseno
29 Rev. Fernando Gonzalez
29 Rev. Joseph Ateba
30 Rev. Rigobert Poulang Mot
6 Deacon Guillermo Castañeda Jr.
18 Deacon Gilberto Perez
27 Deacon Jesus Reyes
Offering PhD, Master’s and Bachelor’s
2 Deacon Jose Luis Mendoza
3 Deacon Armandin Villarreal
6 Deacon Nicolas E. Trujillo
10 Deacon Augusto Chapa Jr.
10 Deacon Rodolfo C. Salinas
15 Deacon Enrique Saldaña
17 Deacon Gilberto Guardiola Jr.
18 Deacon Francisco D. Pon
19 Deacon Peter Requeñez
23 Deacon Rene Villalon
30 Deacon Felipe F. Treviño
1 Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ
1 Sister Maureen Crosby, SSD
21 Sister Maria Santana, MEF
26 Sister Luz Cardenas, OP
27 Sister Julia B. Onukjaro, DMMM
31 Sister Ninfa Garza, MJ
» Anniversaries
5 Rev. Daniel H. Oyama
5 Rev. Julian Becerril
9 Rev. Horacio Chavarria
16 Rev. Franciscus Yuantoro, MSF
16 Rev. Hector J. Cruz, SM
16 Rev.Michael Montoya, MJ
17 Rev. Isaac Erondu
21 Rev. Mario Aviles, CO
23 Rev. Gabriel Ezeh
27 Rev. Emmanuel Kowfie
3 Deacon Juan Barbosa
PhD in Leadership Studies
MBA in Healthcare Management
MBA in Management
MS in Organizational Leadership
BAS in Computer Information
Systems and Security
Classes offered every other weekend to
accommodate working adults
V Ê!
Deacon Ruben Lopez
Deacon Antonio M. Arteaga
Deacon Arturo Rodriguez
Deacon Ismael Garcia
CALL 956-277-0146
OR EMAIL [email protected]
2 Rev. Genaro Henriquez
4 Rev. Gabriel Ezeh
8 Rev. Juan Pablo Picazo Davalos
12 Rev. Jose Cruz
17 Rev. Luis Roberto Tinajero
18 Rev. Ernesto Magallon
18 Rev. Jesus Paredes
19 Rev. Joaquin Zermeño
20 Rev. Amador Garza
21 Rev. Francisco Castillo
22 Rev. Terrence Gorski, OFM
27 Rev. Jose R. Torres, III, OMI
29 Rev. Richard Philion, OMI
V Ê!
10 Sister Colleen Materese, SSD
25 Sister Fatima Santiago, ICM
25 Sister Carolyn Kosub, ICM
28 Sister Gloria Morales, MJ
» Birthdays
2 Rev. Daniel H. Oyama
2 Rev. Michael Gnanaraj
3 Rev. Issac Erondu
7 Rev. Thomas Sepulveda, CSB
8 Rev. Armando Escobedo – retired
13 Rev. Felix Casarez
18 Rev. Paul Wilhelm, OMI
27 Rev. Fernando Gonzalez
28 Rev. Msgr. Pedro Briseno
29 Rev. Lee Dacosta - retired
» Birthdays
w w w. o l l u s a . e d u
Catholic higher education and service,
sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence, since 1895
Graduates choose
service work over
lucrative careers
Time to grow
Catholic News Service
many students graduating from
college this spring, Ivy Seraphin,
always assumed she would go
straight to graduate school.
Seraphin, who was to graduate
May 18 from Manhattan College
in Riverdale, New York, switched
gears sometime during her senior
year when she decided to do volunteer work after graduating.
“I didn’t really want to spend
a year off just to make money. I
like the idea of giving myself time
to grow and figure out things and
help people that need help,” said
the Baltimore native, who plans
to spend the next year, or even
two years, tutoring students with
Lasallian Volunteers in Racine,
Seraphin, whose major is
psychology and minor is women
and gender studies, said she did
not have a hard time telling her
family and friends her plans after
graduation because her path is
not all that unusual. Her brother
volunteered with City Year — an
Catholic News Service
Graduates cheer during the commencement ceremony at The Catholic University of
America in Washington on May 17. Many college graduates are opting for service work
after completing their studies.
AmeriCorps program that works
with high school students — and
many of the students at Manhattan College, a Lasallian school,
have volunteered with Lasallian
Students she knows who did
this work last year all seemed to
have the same reaction about the
experience: “it was a challenge,
but worth it.”
Seraphin looks forward to tutoring, saying she is “honored to
be able to help students do better.”
At the May 9 graduation cere-
mony at Loyola University Chicago, graduating senior Chidinma
Uchendu, who sang the national
anthem, was going to interviews
the next day for an elementary
school teaching position with
Teach for America, a program
where college graduates commit
to teach for two years in urban
and rural public schools.
Uchendu, who was born in
Nigeria, said she has “seen what
happens when people are denied
an education,” and has “always
had a passion for providing peo-
The Valley Catholic -
ple with equal opportunities.”
“When I came to this country,
I realized that some things aren’t
as different as you would think,”
she said. “No matter how wealthy
a country is, there are still people
who suffer and who lack certain
basic amenities. And I believe
education is a basic amenity that
everyone should have access to.”
The service work these graduates do will not only help those
they are volunteering to help but
can impact their future involvement in civic and church work,
according to a study conducted
last fall by the Center for Applied
Research in the Apostolate at
Georgetown University.
The study was commissioned
by Catholic Volunteer Network
and based on online surveys filled
out by more than 5,000 former
Catholic Volunteer Network volunteers.
Jesuit Father Tom Gaunt,
CARA’s executive director, told
CNS the study highlights “the
profound effect one year of service has on young adults,” which
he said “truly transformed” them.
He also said the responses reveal how that volunteer program
played — and continues to play
— an important role in forming a “cadre of leadership” for the
Bishops ask pope to beatify Archbishop Romero
Catholic News Service
— Pope Francis assured the bishops of El Salvador that the sainthood cause of slain Archbishop
Oscar Romero was proceeding
well, and the bishops asked him
to come to El Salvador to preside
personally over the archbishop’s
hoped-for beatification.
Archbishop Jose Escobar Alas
told reporters May 18 that he and
three other Salvadoran bishops
met the pope at the Vatican May 9
to discuss the cause of Archbishop
Romero, who was shot and killed
March 24, 1980, as he celebrated
Mass in a hospital in San Salvador.
“We ask the Lord for the
speedy beatification of Archbishop
Romero and that the pope come
here” to celebrate the ceremony,
Archbishop Escobar said.
The pope told the Salvadoran
bishops that he was pleased the
process was moving ahead, but
he gave no indication of when it
would be completed, the archbishop told reporters.
Archbishop Romero’s sainthood cause was opened at the Vatican in 1993, but was delayed for
years as the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith studied his
writings, amid wider debate over
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whether he
killed for his
faith or for
political reasons.
Archb i s h o p
Romero was
Archbishop Romero quoted telling
reporters of El Salvador, “You can tell
the people that if they succeed in
killing me, that I forgive and bless
those who do it. Hopefully, they
will realize they are wasting their
time. A bishop will die, but the
church of God, which is the peo-
ple, will never perish.”
Romero was killed several days
later, one day after calling Christian Salvadorans to obey the law
of God, even if it’s contradictory to
government orders.
In 2013, Archbishop Vincenzo
Paglia, president of the Pontifical
Council for the Family and official
promoter of Archbishop Romero’s
sainthood cause, said the process
had been “unblocked,” but gave no
further details.
Before the archbishop can be
beatified, Pope Francis must either
sign a decree recognizing him as
a martyr or recognizing a miracle
received through his intercession.
June 2014
Pope: The
Lord gives
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — God is always by our side, never giving us
more than we can handle, Pope
Francis said.
The countless women and men
who stand tall through enormous
difficulties, pain and especially persecution, are armed with the divine
gift of fortitude that gives them the
strength and hope to go on, he said.
“It will do us good to think
about these people: If they can do
it, why can’t I? Let’s ask the Lord for
the gift of fortitude,” he said during
his weekly general audience in St.
Peter’s Square May 14.
In his main audience talk, the
pope continued a series on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom,
understanding, counsel, fortitude,
knowledge, piety and fear of the
Looking at the gift of fortitude,
Pope Francis said, “sometimes we
can be tempted to let ourselves be
taken over by laziness or worse, discouragement, especially when facing the strain and trials of life.”
God, like a sower of seeds, is
always spreading his word in the
world, the pope said, showing the
way toward peace and salvation.
However, the Gospel message
doesn’t always bear fruit, he said.
But when it does, it’s because the
Holy Spirit has prepared “the soil”
and cleared the way “in our hearts,
freeing us from the lethargy, the
uncertainty and the many fears”
that prevent his word from taking
It is easy for life’s many difficulties and hardships to block the way
— like the everyday struggles of
supporting one’s family and trying
to raise children, but also the more
severe tragedies of persecution and
However, the pope said, “there
is no lack of Christians in many
parts of the world who continue to
celebrate and give witness to their
faith, with deep conviction and serenity, and they hold strong even
when they know that it may carry
with it a high price.”
Everyone knows someone who
is a “hidden saint,” he said, a person
who brings honor to all Catholics,
who “honors our church because
they are strong, strong in carrying
on in life, in their families, their
work, their faith.”
“They do it because the Spirit is
helping them,” he said. “They have
the gift of fortitude to carry out
their responsibilities as individuals,
as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, citizens. We have many, many”
of these “every-day saints, saints
hidden among us.”
People should always remember what St. Paul the Apostle said:
“I have the strength for everything
through him who empowers me,”
the pope said.
It shows that “the Lord gives
strength, always. He’s never missing. The Lord doesn’t try us beyond
what we can bear. He is always with
“Pray to the Holy Spirit so that
the gift of fortitude may lift up our
hearts and bring new strength and
enthusiasm to our life and our
journey following Jesus,” the pope
urged people at his audience.
June 2014
- The Valley Catholic
REPORTAJE ESPECIAL: El Envejecimiento y cuidado de adultos mayores
¿Y ahora, que sigue?
Las etapas del envejecimiento
The Valley Catholic
Batungbacal, quien ha vivido en el
Valle del Río Grande por 20 años,
tendrá que decir adiós a Donna,
a su casa, sus amigos, su trabajo
voluntario, sus estudiantes y todo
lo que ha llegado a apreciar.
Tendrá que renunciar a
su coche, lo cual significa su
libertad de ir y venir, e incluso se
le ha pedido renunciar a su cama
tamaño king. Es algo que no está
dispuesta a hacer por el momento,
aún cuando su hijo sacerdote le
recuerda que el Papa Francisco
recomienda regalar bienes.
Batungbacal, de 70, y su
esposo, Efrén, de 77 años, que se
encuentra en mal estado de salud,
entrarán en un centro de cuidado
para ancianos de Houston a finales
de junio para estar más cerca de
su hijo menor, Eugene. Es un
sacerdote redentorista que sirve en
una parroquia de Houston, y está
asumiendo la responsabilidad del
cuidado de sus padres.
Batungbacal y su esposo están
entre un número creciente de
personas de edad avanzada que
están enfrentando la realidad
The Valley Catholic
Cecilia Batungbacal de Donna ha estado activa en el ministro parroquial por 20
de que ya no pueden vivir en
sus hogares sin algún tipo de
asistencia. Sus hijos adultos tienen
que intervenir y ayudar a sus
padres a tomar decisiones que no
están dispuestos a hacer.
La población de 65 y más
aumentó de 35,5 millones en
2002 a 43,1 millones en 2012 (un
incremento del 21 por ciento)
y se calcula que alcanzará los
79,7 millones en 2040, según
Congratulations to Guadalupe and Elvira Escobar who celebrated their Golden
Anniversary with a Mass on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Sacred Heart Church in Elsa.
They are grateful to have had Father Ruben Delgado, Father Manuel Salazar and
Deacon Jerry Rosa preside.
Mr. and Mrs. Escobar celebrated with their son, Frank Escobar and his fiancée, Rachel
Macias; daughter, Mary June Castañeda and her husband, Richard Castañeda. They have
three grandchildren: Ariana June; Richard Bryan and his wife, Terry; and Robbie Jay and
his wife, Amy. The Escobars are also proud great-grandparents to Haylie Jade, Ryan
Skyler and Eli Avery.
Mr. and Mrs. Escobar have been active in the community since 1965. They have been
in ministry with Cursillistas, baptism preparation, Movimiento Familiar Cristiano, as
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, delivering communion to the sick, as
sponsor couples for marriage, bereavement ministry, 24 hour Adoration of the Blessed
Sacrament, and home visitations. They have also taken pilgrimages to Mexico, Jerusalem
and the Vatican.
Guadalupe Escobar worked for 38 years as an insurance salesman. Elvira Escobar
worked 17 years as a manager for an adult day care center at Amigos Del Valle, the
first senior citizen program in Elsa.
la Administración sobre el
Envejecimiento (AOA).
Un perfil de AOA en
estadounidenses mayores muestra,
“algún tipo de discapacidad
(por ejemplo, dificultad para la
audición, la visión, la cognición,
la deambulación, el autocuidado
o vida independiente) se informó
en un 36 por ciento de las personas
de 65 años o más en 2012. Los
porcentajes para las discapacidades
individuales variaron de casi
una cuarta parte (23 por ciento)
que tiene una discapacidad
ambulatoria a siete por ciento que
tiene una dificultad visual. Algunas
de estas discapacidades pueden ser
relativamente menores, pero otras
hacen que las personas necesitan
ayuda para satisfacer necesidades
personales importantes.”
Batungbacal sabe que esa
medida es lo que se debe hacer.
Ellos no tienen familia en Donna
y sus hijos, excepto por su hijo
menor, están en las Filipinas.
Cuando habla de su marido,
con quien se casó en 1965, su voz
se suaviza y las lágrimas ruedan
por sus mejillas.
“Él fue mi amor de la infancia;
mi primer, último y único amor,”
» Por favor lea Lo que sigue, p.15
Preguntas y
sobre el
Espíritu Santo
ACI Prensa/EWTN Noticias
¿Quién es el Espíritu Santo?
El Espíritu Santo es Dios, y
la tercer Persona de la Sagrada
(a) El Espíritu Santo también
es llamado el Espíritu de Dios, el
Paráclito, el Consolador, el Espíritu
de la Verdad, el Espíritu de Dios, y
el Espíritu de Amor.
¿De quién proviene el Espíritu
El Espíritu Santo proviene del
Padre y del Hijo.
(a) El Espíritu Santo no
proviene del Padre y del Hijo por
generación espiritual. Solamente
el Hijo proviene del Padre por
generación. Ésta es una de
las verdades misteriosas que
conocemos sólo por revelación.
¿El Espíritu Santo es igual al
Padre y al Hijo?
El Espíritu Santo es igual que el
Padre y el Hijo, porque Él es Dios.
(a) Debido a la naturaleza de
unidad de la Sagrada Trinidad, el
Padre está totalmente en el Hijo
y en el Espíritu Santo; el Hijo
está totalmente en el Padre y en
el Espíritu Santo; y el Espíritu
Santo está totalmente en el Padre
y en el Hijo. Ninguna de estas tres
personas divinas esta fuera de la
» Por favor lea El Espíritu Santo, p.12
The Valley Catholic -
June 2014
» La Alegría de Vivir
La educación es la verdadera base del liderazgo
s en estas fechas que los
auditorios se llenan de
familias felices y orgullosas que aplauden las ceremonias
de graduación de sus hijos, sin
importar se están terminando
su educación básica o si es una
ceremonia de estudiantes graduados terminando sus maestrías
y doctorados, el sentimiento de
satisfacción es el mismo.
Estos jóvenes han completado sus estudios, se sienten
satisfechos pues su tenacidad y
esfuerzo se ve reflejado en ese
título, al igual que su capacidad
para enfocarse y dedicarse a
lograr una meta.
Estas son exactamente las
mismas cualidades que caracterizan a los líderes, aquellos que
son capaces de guiar a los demás
con los que se relacionan para
lograr un objetivo.
No hace mucho que en este
país no se necesitaba más que un
diploma de secundaria o bachillerato para garantizar un trabajo
con buen sueldo, beneficios de
la unión de trabajadores, segúro
médico, etc., que permitiera a
los jóvenes empezar una carrera, comprar una casa y poder
proveer para su familia.
Sin embargo las cosas han
cambiado, la crisis económica
El Espíritu Santo,
continua de la pág. 11
otra, ya que ninguna precede a
otra en eternidad, ni sobrepasa
a otra en poder, ni excede a
otra en cualquier forma. Este
morar interno de una Persona
divina en las otras es llamado
mundial, la caída de la bolsa, las
guerras en las que está envuelto
el país, han llenado a los jóvenes
graduados de incertidumbre,
se preguntan si deben seguir
estudiando para conseguir un
diploma en una universidad y tal
vez enfocarse en una maestría o
doctorado, que les permita tener
un espectro más amplio de oportunidad al momento de buscar
un trabajo; o si deben enfocarse
en una carrera corta de dos años
para tener un diploma de asociado, o alguna carrera de especialidad técnica, que les permita
formar parte de la fuerza laboral
de este país en un corto plazo y
así poder comenzar a contribuir
con los gastos de su casa, tal vez
comenzar su propia familia.
Cualquiera que sea la decisión que tomen, no se deben
dejar llevar por las noticias
negativas de desempleo, falta de
seguridad social, inestabilidad
económica, y desanimarse. Lo
peor para cualquier jóven es
dejarse invadir por la apatía.
Si analizamos la historia reciente de los Estados Unidos nos
damos cuenta que después de la
gran depresión, de la Segunda
Guerra Mundial, de la crisis del
petróleo de los ochentas, etc.,
han sido las generaciones de
jóvenes quienes se han encargado de enfrentar las crisis, pues
cada generación anterior ha
sabido adaptarse y sortear las
dificultades que sean para lograr
el éxito.
Esta nación ha salido
adelante gracias a la energía,
ingenuidad y optimismo de los
jóvenes como los que se gradúan
ahora. Y para todos aquellos que
por una u otra razón dejaron sus
estudios incompletos, les digo
que nunca es tarde para volver
a la escuela, incluso hay quienes
se han graduado de la universidad de la vida y han aplicado
sus talentos en negocios propios
que logran prosperar a niveles
Así que no desanimes, sigue
firme en tu propósito de alcanzar
tus metas, concéntrate en ser un
líder para tu familia, para tu comunidad y tu país. ¡Felicidades
a todos los graduados, nuestros
futuros líderes!
¿Qué hace el Espíritu
Santo por la salvación de la
El Espíritu Santo habita en la
Iglesia como la fuente de su vida y
santifica las almas a través del don
de la gracia.
(a) Aunque la santificación
de la humanidad, como todas las
obras exteriores de dios, es llevada
a cabo por las tres Personas de la
Sagrada Trinidad, es atribuida al
Espíritu Santo, la tercer persona.
La santificación de la humanidad
es atribuida al Espíritu Santo
porque Él es el amor del Padre y el
Hijo y porque la santificación del
hombre por la gracia manifiesta el
amor ilimitado de Dios.
Msgr. Juan
Pastor, Parroquia
de Nuestra Señora
del Perpetuo
Socorro en McAllen
Catholic News Service
El papa recibió los obispos mexicanos el 19 de mayo en el Vaticano.
El papa envia saludos a la
Virgen de Guadalupe
ACI Prensa/EWTN Noticias
Francisco recibió el 19 de mayo a
los obispos de la Conferencia del
Episcopado Mexicano (CEM) en
visita ad limina y les pidió llevar
su “saludo de hijo” a la Virgen de
Guadalupe, así como cuidar de
la formación de los sacerdotes,
alentar la vocación de los laicos
e intensificar la pastoral familiar
para que promueva la vida “frente
a la cultura deshumanizadora de
la muerte”.
realizado en la Sala Clementina,
el Papa Francisco recordó las
raíces cristianas de México, sin
los cuales no puede entenderse
su historia. En ese sentido,
destacó la devoción a la Virgen
de Guadalupe, quien “pidió a San
Juan Diego que le construyera
‘una Casita’ en la que pudiera
acoger maternalmente tanto a los
que ‘están cerca’ como a los que
‘están lejos’”.
“Las múltiples violencias que
afligen a la sociedad mexicana,
particularmente a los jóvenes,
llamamiento a promover este
espíritu de concordia a través
de la cultura del encuentro, del
diálogo y de la paz”, expresó el
Pontífice, que recordó que si bien
a los pastores no les compete
“aportar soluciones técnicas o
adoptar medidas políticas”, no
pueden dejar de “anunciar a todos
la Buena Noticia”.
El Santo Padre también animó
a “intensificar la pastoral de la
“En la hora presente, en la que
las mediaciones de la fe son cada
vez más escasas, la pastoral de la
iniciación cristiana adquiere un
relieve especial para facilitar la
experiencia de Dios.”
June 2014
- The Valley Catholic
»Vida Familiar
Veni Creator Spiritus
Retiro y renovación
o pienso que sería una
subestimación decir que
nos escuchamos o escuchamos a otros decir que estamos
“tan ocupados” por lo menos
diez veces diarias. Vivimos en un
tiempo donde el “tiempo” parece
acelerado; lleno; muy rápido; o
muy corto. Quizá es útil que nos
recordemos de tomar el tiempo
para “retirarnos. En el evangelio
de Marcos 1:35, escuchamos que
“De madrugada, cuando todavía
estaba muy oscuro, Jesús se levantó y se fue a un lugar solitario.
Allí se puso a orar.”
También seria sabio que
siguiéramos el ejemplo de
Jesús de tomar un tiempo
para “retirarnos de” un lugar
y “retirarnos hacia” otro. Hay
muchos tipos de retiros y su meta
o propósito puede ser distinto,
pero todos tienen la capacidad
de “llevarnos” del espacio típico
a un espacio en el que quizá
podamos estar más abiertos al
Espíritu Santo guiando nuestros
corazones al cambio y/o transformación. Una de nuestras metas
en la vida es ser transformados
en la persona única que Dios nos
ha creado para ser.
En nuestra oficina de Family
Life, una de nuestras responsabilidades es coordinar 22 Retiros de
Preparación Matrimonial anualmente para ayudar a los pastores
parroquiales a preparar a las
parejas comprometidas al matrimonio. Estas parejas “harán” este
retiro primordialmente porque
se les requiere como parte de su
Proceso de Preparación Matrimonial.
Nuestra esperanza y oración
es que ellos estén abiertos al
Espíritu Santo durante estos
retiros para recibir el mensaje
o mensajes que Dios tiene para
ellos personalmente y/o como
pareja. Estas parejas tienen vidas
llenas y ocupadas con el trabajo,
familia y otras responsabilidades,
y a menudo es un sacrificio
hacerlas de lado por todo un
fin de semana y aún así estos
retiros tienen el potencial de no
solamente dar vida pero también
cambiar la vida si ellos están
abiertos al Espíritu Santo.
Muchos movimientos
apostólicos como el ACTS,
Movimiento Familiar Cristiano,
Couples for Christ, Apostolado
de la Cruz, Cursillo, Encuentro
Matrimonial, y otros, proveen
retiros con distintas metas, pero
todos ofrecen posibilidades
para la renovación personal y
Lydia Pesina
Directora, Oficina
de Vida Familiar
Recientemente, hice un
retiro personal de Cuaresma en
el Hotel de la Basílica. El hotel
de la Basílica tiene alojamientos de alquiler para los muchos
peregrinos que visitan a Nuestra
Señora de San Juan del Valle. Fue
construido a finales de 1940 pero
fue totalmente renovado en el
2010. Los cuartos son adorables
y el ambiente es genial para un
retiro personal.
Alquilé algunos audio libros
del Centro de Recursos de Ministros Diocesanos, y también tenia
algunos materiales de lectura y
escritura. Fue un día maravilloso pasado en silencio, lectura,
escritura y escuchando los audio
libros. También fue un ambiente
ideal para caminar a la Basílica y
orar frente al Sagrado Sacramento, ir a confesión y asistir a Misa.
Algunas veces no tenemos
la oportunidad de tomar un
día entero o un fin de semana
completo para un retiro, así que
incluso unos 15 a 20 minutos
afuera o en la Iglesia nos permite
cambiar la marcha y “retirarnos”
a un lugar callado para reflexión
y renovación.
Tengo la bendición de tener
mi oficina de Family Ministry
en el Centro Pastoral Católico
Upper Valley, en el terreno de la
Basílica, así que a menudo tomo
mi descanso vespertino caminando en la Basílica. Los terrenos
son verdes y exuberantes y hay
peregrinos visitándolos cada
día, llueva o no, con el clima frio
o caluroso, y ver a las jóvenes
familias con sus hijos es muy
inspirador, y es un lugar maravilloso para orar.
Hay sitios de internet como la
Editorial Loyola que tiene retiros
de 3-minutos. Para las personas
que quizá solamente tengan
unos minutos para consagrar a la
reflexión y renovación, este es un
buen recurso. Salmo 46:11 nos
dice, “Ríndanse y reconozcan que
yo soy Dios”. Quizá nos podamos
ayudar mutuamente a aprender
como “Rendirnos” y ser recordados de que “Dios es Dios” quien
nos ama incondicionalmente y
está presente siempre y de todas
las formas.
Protegiendo al pueblo de Dios,
reporte malas conductas
Como el pueblo de Dios, cada
uno de nosotros está llamado a
celebrar, promover, y, si es necesario, defender la vida y la dignidad
de todas personas. Tenemos que
tratar a cada persona con respecto, y hacer lo posible para asegurar que nunca se dañe a los demás.
Una sospecha de mala conducta con los menores de edad,
cometida por el personal laico de
la iglesia, deberá reportarse al párroco de la iglesia, al director de la
escuela, o al encargado de la institución católica en cuestión. Una
sospecha de mala conducta con
los menores de edad cometida por
un sacerdote, diácono, o religioso
deberá reportarse directamente al
Señor Obispo o al Vicario General al (P.O. Box 2279, Brownsville,
TX 78522-2279; 956-542-2501).
Una forma para un Aviso Confi-
dencial de Inquietud (Confidential Notice of Concern) puede
obtenerse a través del párroco
local, del director de la escuela,
del encargado de la institución,
de la Diócesis, o puede bajarse de
la página oficial de Internet de la
Diócesis de Brownsville (www.
Por favor recuerde que hay
una ley estatal que cualquier persona que sospeche el abuso o la
negligencia hacia un menor de
edad debe reportarlo a las autoridades oficiales locales o al Departamento de Servicios Familiares y
Protectores de Texas (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services) al 1-800-252-5400.
Nuestra fe nos asegura que el
mal no nos vencerá, pero que venceremos al mal con el bien (cf. Rm
cumpleaños de
la Iglesia católica
The Valley Catholic
La Iglesia concluye su
temporada de Pascua en Junio 8
con la celebración de Pentecostés.
La celebración nos lleva a la
primera vez que el Espíritu Santo
descendió en María, los apóstoles
y otros creyentes. El Domingo de
Pentecostés también nos invita
a reflexionar: ¿Qué significó la
venida del Espíritu Santo, tanto
antes como ahora? ¿Cómo vivimos
el Pentecostés en nuestras vidas
“Debemos de entender que
vivir en el Espíritu Santo no es una
experiencia emocional, sino una
forma de vida,” dijo Msgr. Patrick
Doherty, un sacerdote retirado de la
Diócesis de Brownsville. “Algunas
personas tienen esa experiencia
emocional. Por ejemplo, ellos
“caen en el Espíritu’ y eso está
bien. Yo creo que eso le pasa a las
personas, pero si solamente es
una experiencia emocional, no
es el Espíritu Santo. Tiene que ser
Msgr. Doherty dijo que la
constancia y hablar el lenguaje de la
Iglesia son las llaves para vivir una
vida llena de Espíritu.
“Los laicos deben de asegurarse
que ellos vayan a la Iglesia los
domingos, cada domingo, punto,”
dijo él. “Ellos necesitan tener una
iglesia parroquial y apropiarse de
esa parroquia. Deben decidir a
qué Misa van a ir cada domingo y
entonces ir a esa misma iglesia al
continued from pg. 1
2002 to 43.1 million in 2012 (a 21
percent increase) and is projected
to increase to 79.7 million in 2040,
according to the Administration on
Aging (AOA).
An AOA profile on older
Americans shows, “Some type of
disability (i.e., difficulty in hearing,
vision, cognition, ambulation, selfcare, or independent living) was
reported by 36 percent of people
age 65 and over in 2012. The percentages for individual disabilities
ranged from almost one quarter
(23 percent) having an ambulatory
disability to seven percent having
a vision difficulty. Some of these
disabilities may be relatively minor
but others cause people to require
assistance to meet important personal needs.”
Batungbacal knows the move is
the right thing to do. They have no
family in Donna and all their children, except for their youngest son,
are in the Philippines.
When she talks about her husband, whom she married in 1965,
her voice softens and tears roll
down her cheeks.
“He was my childhood sweetheart; my first, last, and only love,”
Batungbacal said reflecting on the
possibility of celebrating their 50th
anniversary next year. The couple
raised four children and lost two
When her husband was
50-years-old, he suffered a severe
The Valley Catholic
Un imagen en la Iglesia del Espíritu Santo en McAllen.
mismo tiempo cada domingo. De
otra forma, solamente visitamos.
Muchas personas van de una Iglesia
Católica a otra. Ellos no echan raíz
en ningún lado.”
Msgr. Doherty dijo que los
padres necesitan enseñar a sus
niños “el lenguaje de la Iglesia,” así
como le enseñan a sus hijos inglés o
español. Las familias Católicas son
llamadas a predicar el Evangelio a
través de sus palabras y sus acciones
al asistir a Misa cada domingo,
tomando los sacramentos y más.
Msgr. Doherty, quien escucha
las confesiones y celebra la Misa
en la Basílica de Nuestra Señora
de San Juan del Valle- Santuario
Nacional, recientemente conoció a
un hombre de 25 años que hablaba
inglés y español elocuentemente,
pero no sabía las oraciones “Padre
Nuestro,” “Ave María,” o “Gloria,”
“Él nunca aprendió el lenguaje
de la Iglesia porque nunca se le
hablo en él,” Msgr. Doherty dijo.
“Yo le di literatura para que pudiera
aprender sus oraciones como los
niños chiquitos. Es muy triste.”
Reflexionando sobre su propia
experiencia, Msgr. Doherty dijo
que fueron sus padres y su ambiente
familiar los que fomentaron su
vocación al sacerdocio.
“No obtuve mi vocación de
la Iglesia,” dijo Msgr. Doherty,
un nativo de Irlanda. “Solamente
íbamos a Misa los domingos y
era todo porque vivíamos dos
millas alejados de nuestra Iglesia
y no teníamos transporte; pero
se hablaba en nuestro hogar, ese
lenguaje de la Iglesia. Rezábamos el
rosario cada noche. Sabía el “Padre
Nuestro” y el “Ave María” a los tres
“El poder del Espíritu Santo
se experimenta en la manera que
stroke that left him paralyzed on
his left side. Lately, he has been
dealing with depression. He misses
his children and the Philippines,
his homeland, but his health does
not allow him to travel. He asks his
wife to let him die because he does
not want to burden her anymore.
At times, he refuses to take his
medication, get out of bed and even
“My husband can be stern and
uses a strong tone,” Batungbacal
said. “I back off because I don’t
want him to get angry, but I worry
about the providers and our friends
who lend a hand when we are in
need of help.”
During a recent visit to their
Donna home, her son’s religious
superior pointed out that their
friends of the same age likely have
their own health issues and that
their younger friends are still working and probably caring for their
own families.
“My son’s superior said, ‘give us
a chance to help you,’” Batungbacal recalled. “I was hoping I would
always be in control of everything,
that I would have a say on where
I wanted to live. There was a time
when I was advised to send Efren
back to the Philippines and be content with just sending money for
his care. But I made a vow to be
with him in sickness and in health,
and I was not going to leave him.”
Batungbacal said the move to
Houston will be a positive change
for her husband because he will
be close to their son, but for her
it seems like a grounding, even
though the facility is, “beautiful.”
She believes she will feel confined
in a facility with a gate and a guard.
Batungbacal is currently an
active member of the Couples for
Christ Foundation for Family and
Life, a Catholic charismatic lay
community that originated in the
Philippines, and is also responsible
for starting a chastity rally, which is
now in its second year.
She hopes the Filipino community in Houston will help her adapt
to her new life in a new city.
What surprised Batungbacal
the most during this process was
when she was asked to disclose her
“It is part of our independence,”
she said. “I know there comes a
time, but I’m not ready for that just
yet,” said Batungbacal, adding that
she would find a way to keep her
car and venture out into the web of
Houston’s bustling highways. “Just
give me a few days, and I know I
will figure it out.”
Though it is a difficult situation,
Batungbacal is putting the move in
God’s hands.
“I am a Divine Mercy devote; I
trust in the Lord, and things will be
good,” she concluded with a gentle
The Valley Catholic is initiating an extended series on aging and
how it affects the lives of so many seniors in our community. Stories will
be published throughout the year. If
you would like to share your story or
have a particular issue you would
like us to research please send your
email to [email protected] or call our
offices at (956) 784-5055.
The Valley Catholic -
June 2014
Promoting a culture of life
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, D.D. of Kansas City, Kan., a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Marriage and Family Life for the U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) served as the keynote speaker at the McAllen
Pregnancy Center Gala on April 25 at Valencia Events Center in McAllen.
More than 3,000 babies have been saved and more than 6,000 women have received
free services at the McAllen Pregnancy Center since it opened in May 2008.
The fifth anniversary gala, themed, “Starry, Starry Night” opened with a Mass at St.
Margaret Mary Church in Pharr followed by the gala. Bishop Daniel E. Flores celebrated
the Mass.
During the dinner, Yolanda Chapa was awarded the 2014 Mrs. Adelina Guerra Award
for her her work in the pro-life ministry and as founder of the McAllen Pregnancy Center. Liz Gonzalez received the Dr. Lauro Guerra Award on behalf of her brother Father
James Erving, an Oblate priest who served as director of the Respect Life Apostolate for
the Diocese up until his death on March 18.
Cesar Riojas/The Valley Catholic Photos
June 2014
- The Valley Catholic
»Media Resource Center
» Calendar of Events
Coordinator of the Media Resource Center - Diocese of Brownsville
»Worth Watching
The Mission
The Secret
»From the Bookshelf
Book of
Saints Part 7
God’s Word
1 Ascension
8 Pentecost
3-5 Summer Study Days
(Office of Catechesis)
6-7 New Life Retreat
(Family Life Office)
Format:DVD & VHS – Eng. and Sp.
Year of production: 1986
Publisher: Jove; Mti edition
Length:125 minutes
Year of production: August 13, 1993
The facts:A powerful epic about a man
of the sword and a man of the cloth
who tries to shield a South American
Indian tribe from brutal subjugation
by 18th-cenury colonial empires.
The mission triumphs on two levels:
intellectually as a clash between faith
and greed, and emotionally as an
action-filled clash of wills and cultures.
The facts: The timeless tale of a
special place where magic, hope and
love grow. It’s a special place where
special things happen. Friendships
blossom. Illness fade away. Sorrows
flee. And a troubled orphan named
Mary, her spoiled bedridden cousin
Colin and a kindly country boy called
Dickon discovers that a world of caring
can make a world of difference.
Lo que sigue,
continua de la pág. 11
dijo Batungbacal reflexionando
sobre la posibilidad de celebrar su
50 aniversario el próximo año. La
pareja crió a cuatro hijos y perdió
dos bebés.
Cuando su esposo tenía 50 años
de edad, sufrió un grave ataque de
apoplejía que lo dejó paralizado del
lado izquierdo. Recientemente, ha
estado lidiando con la depresión.
Echa de menos a sus hijos y las
Filipinas, su tierra natal, pero su
Director: Agneiszka Holland
Length:102 minutes
salud no le permite viajar. Le pide
a su esposa dejarlo morir porque ya
no quiere ser una carga para ella.
A veces, se niega a tomar su
medicación, levantarse de la cama
e incluso bañarse.
“Mi marido puede ser severo
y utilizar un tono fuerte”, dijo
Batungbacal. “Retrocedo porque
no quiero que se enfade, pero me
preocupo por los proveedores y
nuestros amigos que nos echan una
mano cuando tenemos necesidad
de ayuda.”
Durante una reciente visita a la
casa de Donna, el superior religioso
Bishop Emeritus Raymundo J. Peña’s Calendar
June 1
11 a.m.
Mass ay Sacred Heart
June 2
6 p.m.
Confirmations at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
June 4
10:15 a.m. End of School Year Mass Juan Diego Academy Mission
June 5
7 p.m.
Confirmations at St. Joseph
June 7
10 a.m.
1st Confirmations at San Martin de Porres
June 8
11 a.m.
Mass at Sacred Heart
June 8
6 p.m.
2nd Confirmations at San Martin de Porres
June 11 – 13 All day USCCB
New Orleans
June 15
11 a.m.
Mass at Sacred Heart
June 19
7 p.m.
Mass at St. Therese of the Infant Jesus
June 21
5:30 p.m. Mass at Holy Family
June 22
11 a.m.
Mass at Sacred Heart
June 29
11 a.m.
Mass at Sacred Heart
On going:
8 a.m. Mass Monday - Saturday at St.
Joseph Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, 727 Bowie St., Alamo
2nd: Vocations to the Permanent
Diaconate the deacons (permanent
and transitional) of the diocese and
their families
3 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Chapel of
Perpetual Adoration, 727 Bowie St.,
3rd : Vocation to Married Life: for
the welfare and sanctification of all
the families in the diocese and for
building up the Kingdom in our
domestic churches
7 p.m. Holy Hour Weekly every
Thursday at 727 Bowie St., Alamo
1st: Vocations to the Consecrated
Life (active and contemplative) and
for the Sisters and Brothers in our
diocese and the success of their
4th: Vocations to the priesthood
and the priests of the diocese for the
success of their ministry
5th: Vocations to the Pro-Life
Format: paperback
Age- Grade: 4 Preschool and up
Length: 22 pages
Publisher: Catholic Book Publishing
Corp June 1, 1987
The facts: St. Blaise, St. Valentine,
St. Margaret of Cortona, St. George,
St. Zita, St. Peregrine, St. Lawrence of
Brindisi, St. Bridget, St Jane Frances
de Chantal, St. John Chrysotom, Sts.
Cosmas and Damian, St. Michael
the Archangel, St. Martin de Porres,
St. Gertrude and St. Catherine of
Format: Paperback
Length: 191 pages
Author: George Martin
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor 1998
TODAY: A Practical and Faith-filled
Approach to Scripture. Encountering
God Through Scripture. What can I do
to understand Scripture more clearly?
How can I hear what God is saying to me
through Scripture? How should I apply
the message of the Bible to my life?
How can I go deeper in prayer through
de su hijo señaló que amigos de la
misma edad probablemente tienen
sus propios problemas de salud y
que sus amigos más jóvenes todavía
están trabajando y, probablemente
cuidando de sus propias familias.
“El superior de mi hijo
dijo, “Danos la oportunidad de
ayudarte’,” recordó Batungbacal.
“Tenía la esperanza de que siempre
estaría en control de todo, de que
podría expresar mi opinión acerca
de dónde quería vivir.
Hubo un tiempo en que me
aconsejaron mandar Efrén de
vuelta a las Filipinas y contentarnos
con sólo enviar dinero para su
cuidado. Pero hice un voto de estar
con él en la enfermedad y en la
salud y no lo iba a abandonar.”
Batungbacal dijo que la decisión
de Houston será un cambio positivo
para su marido porque estará cerca
de su hijo, pero para ella parece
como estar castigada, a pesar de
que el centro es, “hermoso.” Ella
cree que se sentirá confinada en
instalaciones con una puerta y un
Batungbacal es actualmente
miembro activo de Parejas para
Cristo Fundación de la Familia y la
Vida, una comunidad laical católica
carismática que se originó en las
Filipinas, y también es responsable
de iniciar una marcha castidad, que
ahora está en su segundo año.
Espera que la comunidad
filipina en Houston le ayudará a
adaptarse a su nueva vida en una
nueva ciudad.
“Sé que llega el momento, pero
todavía no estoy preparada para
eso,” dijo Batungbacal, agregando
que ella encontraría la manera de
mantener su coche y aventurarse
en la red de bulliciosas autopistas
de Houston. “Sólo dame un par de
días, y sé que voy a averiguarlo.”
Aunque se trata de una
situación difícil, Batungbacal puso
el movimiento en las manos de
Dios. “Soy devota de la Divina
Misericordia; Confío en el Señor, y
sé que las cosas irán bien,” concluyó
con una dulce sonrisa.
it was his parents and his home
environment that fostered his
vocation to the priesthood.
“I didn’t get my own vocation
from the Church,” said Msgr
Doherty, a native of Ireland. “We
just went to Mass on Sunday and
that was it because we were two
miles away from our church and
had no transportation; but it was
talked about at home, that language
of the Church. We prayed the
rosary every night. I knew the “Our
Father” and the “Hail Mary” when
I was three-years-old.
“The power of Holy Spirit is
experienced by the way we live.”
continued from pg. 3
old man who spoke both English
and Spanish fluently, but he did
not know the “Our Father,” “Hail
Mary,” or “Glory Be,” prayers.
“He never learned the language
of the Church because it was never
spoken to him,” Msgr. Doherty
said. “I gave him literature so he
could learn his prayers like the little
children. It is very sad.”
Looking back at his own
experience, Msgr. Doherty said
continued from pg. 5
ward with the project of rewriting our own genes to cure grave
diseases, some will be tempted
to go further and use techniques
like CRISPR to engineer designer
human embryos during in vitro
fertilization; genetically modified
monkeys have already been produced using this method in China.
A prior CDF document called Donum Vitae unequivocally describes
the grave problems with subjugating embryonic human beings for
research purposes: “To use human
embryos or fetuses as the object
or instrument of experimentation
constitutes a crime against their
dignity as human beings having
a right to the same respect that is
due to the child already born and
to every human person.”
The remarkable tools becoming available not only for
genetic therapies but also for
human enhancement projects and
embryonic manipulation raise
daunting ethical concerns about
the subjugation of man to his own
technology, and call for thoughtful
measures and vigilance to ensure
the proper use of these techniques
now and in the future.
15 Trinty Sunday
16-20- Youth Leader
(Youth Ministry)
21-27- CYRP
(Youth Ministry)
22 Corpus Christi Sunday
4 Independence Day
Diocesan Offices Closed
8-12 Youth Serve
(Youth Ministry)
Please submit your schedule to be
published in The Valley Catholic by the
first Friday of each month by email at
[email protected] or fax: (956) 784-5082.
continued from pg. 1
mother, Brigida Martinez,
played a role in his vocation to
the priesthood.
“She is the one who talked
to me about the saints and
about the Rosary,” he said. “She
also talked to me about the (religious) persecution she faced
in Mexico when she was growing up.”
Garza is the son of Maria
Elena Hernandez and the late
Jose Garza. He has two older
sisters, Ana Rosa and Maribel.
continued from pg. 5
the Gospel or who, having
heard it, have stopped practicing their faith, and those who
seek the fullness of faith. It calls
us to work for full communion
among all who confess Jesus but
do not yet realize the unity for
which Christ prayed.”
The second document,
Disciples Called to Witness, is
available as a free download
from the USCCB website. The
resource is meant to help diocesan and parish leaders seeking
to develop faith formation programs for the New Evangelization. In this document the U.S.
bishops address the need for a
“re-evangelization” and serves
as an action plan or a “call to
action” to reform the culture in
our time.
“The task before the Church
is to form Catholics who are
willing to communicate and
witness the faith to those who
are no longer actively practicing.” (Disciples Called to Witness, page 2).
As Pope Francis reminds us
when he quotes 1 Peter 3:5, “As
Christians, we are called to give
reason for the hope we have, to
be ‘joyous heralds’ of the hope
and mercy offered to us by the
Our Catholic Family
The Valley Catholic -
Decades of service
Volunteers ‘help
keep everything
running smoothly’
The Valley Catholic
LAS RUSIAS — “God gives
everyone a gift that can be used
to build up his Church. What is
It was a question Father Ignacio
Luna posed to his flock many years
ago when he was the pastor of
Sacred Heart Mission Church in
Las Rusias.
Nena Canales, 82, discerned
the question very carefully.
“I wanted to serve the Church
in my final years, but the only gifts I
had, or so I thought, were related to
taking care of my family,” she said.
discovered several ways she could
serve God and his Church. For more
than 20 years, she has been leading
prayer groups, praying novenas for
the dead, visiting the sick and the
lonely in the community and much
She is also the pastor’s go-to
person for fundraising projects and
organizing large community events
such as posadas and Via Crucis.
“Whether it is raffle tickets or
a chalupa, I know she is going to
get the tickets sold and the event is
going to be a success,” said Miguel
Angel Ortega, pastor of St. Ignatius
Parish in El Ranchito and its two
missions, Sacred Heart Church
in Las Rusias and Our Lady of
Lourdes in La Paloma.
Father Ortega said he is inspired
by Canales and Aurora Urbina,
another volunteer from Sacred
Heart Church, who have served in
numerous ministries for decades.
“When you’re the pastor of
three churches, you need dedicated
volunteers like them by your side,”
he said. “They help keep everything
running smoothly.”
Aurora Urbina, 84, was a young
widow with six children when one
day at Mass, she noticed that the
chalice used in the celebration was
old and tarnished.
Eric Sánchez/The Valley
“I had very little money, but I
felt compelled to buy a new chalice
or at least ask the priest if I could
clean that one,” she said. “I feel as if
God picked me to take care of that
Since then, Urbina has washed
and pressed the altar linens,
changed the colors in the church
according to the liturgical season
or the memorial of the day and
attended to many other details
pertaining to the care of the altar
and the church.
A month after she lost her
husband, Urbina’s mother also
died, leaving behind three small
Raising nine children on her
own and grieving the loss of her
husband and her mother, it was
a difficult time in Urbina’s life.
Serving the Church, “was a blessing
and it was my solace,” she said.
“I consider myself one of
God’s workers,” said Urbina, who
also visits the sick among other
ministries. “It is a satisfaction
that I wish other people could
Nena Canales, left,
and Aurora Urbina,
have donated their
time, talent and
treasure to Sacred
Heart Mission
Church in Las
Rusias for many
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