View - Catholic Diocese of Brownsville


View - Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
Volume 5, Issue 7
Jubilee Year
Serving More Than A Million Catholics in the Diocese of Brownsville
in 2015
The Valley Catholic
A rich and deep tradition of the
Catholic faith has endured in the
Rio Grande Valley for almost 500
years. The first seeds of the Catholic faith were planted in 1519 in the
time of the Spanish Conquistadores. An expedition under the command of a Spanish captain named
Alonso Alvarez de Pineda brought
the first Catholics to the Gulf Coast
The teachings, rituals and customs of the Catholic Church have
been handed down continuously
from generation to generation,
fulfilling the mission that Christ
entrusted to the apostles and to us.
Today, the Diocese of Brownsville includes more than a million
Catholics, who worship in 71 parishes and 44 missions.
The Catholic faith may be
deeply rooted in the Valley’s history and culture, but its diocese is
young. While the area was part of
the Vicariate Apostolic of Brownsville from 1874 to 1912, the Diocese of Brownsville was established
on July 10, 1965 by Pope Paul VI.
The ninth diocese in Texas was
formed by detaching four counties
– Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo and
Starr – from the Diocese of Corpus
The Golden Anniversary of the
diocese will be celebrated with several events throughout 2015.
The Family Life Office and
Young Adult Ministry Office of the
» Please see 50 Years p.15
CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec
Jan. 1 marks the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. It falls one week after Christmas, the end of the octave of Christmas. Jan. 1 is
a day that we commemorate the divine motherhood of Mary. We are honoring Mary, who was chosen among all women to be the
mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We honor the role she plays in the mystery of salvation.
Christ’s birth was made possible by Mary’s fiat, or sanctioning of God’s plan with her words, “Be it done to me according to thy
word.” Calling Mary “Mother of God” is the highest honor we can give to her.
Jan. 1, which falls on a Thursday in 2015, is a holy day of obligation, meaning all Catholics must attend Mass on that day.
January 2015
March Jan. 24
The Valley Catholic
The Annual Pro-Life March
& Rally is set for Saturday, Jan. 24
in McAllen. The event will begin
with opening prayers led by Bishop
Daniel E. Flores at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 900 S. 23rd
After the prayer service, the
procession will depart the church
and continue into downtown
where it will pass by the local abortion clinic and end at Sacred Heart
Parish, 306 S. 15th St. with closing
The event, which is sponsored
by the Respect Life Apostolate of
the Diocese of Brownsville, is held
in reparation for the more than
57 million babies who have been
killed in the United States since the
Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling on Jan. 22, 1973 that legalized
abortion. Pro-life activists across
the nation are observing the 42nd
anniversary with events of prayer
and action.
Jennifer Carr Allmon, associate
director of the Texas Catholic Conference in Austin, is scheduled to
speak about the actions pro-life advocates can take at the local level to
effect change on state and national
This is the third consecutive
year that the procession will be held
on a Saturday in downtown McAllen, the busiest day of the week for
retailers. The public witness for life
captures the attention of shoppers
and merchants along the route.
“It is good to be visible in terms
of our support for life,” said Father
Alejandro Flores, who was named
director of the Respect Life Apostolate in July 2014. “It helps individuals realize the reality of the abortion
that is present here in the Valley.”
The mission of the Respect Life
Apostolate is to promote the dignity of every human being and to
promote chaste living.
“Being pro-life not only includes defending our unborn children, but also upholding the dignity of all human life, including
those who are crossing our border
from other countries, the homeless,
those who are victimized by human trafficking … We give a voice
to those who don’t have one,” Father Flores said. “We are concerned
about the culture of life, from conception until natural death.
For more information about
the March & Rally, contact Becky
Gonzalez at (956) 975-1721.
Artículos sobre la Jornada
Mundial de la Paz, la
Solemnidad de la Virgen
María y una cantautora de La
(“The WORD is sent
breathing love.”)
Sister Pimentel to be honored
by Catholic Charities USA
Page 3
Conference to be held in
Page 4
Father Eugene Cañas, OMI,
celebrates Golden Jubilee
Page 9
Paginas 11-13
The Valley Catholic - January 2015
Mark your calendar:
2015 Catholic
Faith in Action
Advocacy Day
Saludo a la Virgen: Inmaculada y Guadalupe
Luz inmaculada
por el Padre fuiste intencionada
como sonrisa de niñita
en el Verbo imaginada,
y fuego tierno de anuncio
desde el principio anticipada.
Si la lucidez angélica fue
la primera por Dios creada
(como Augustín en sus libros
con frecuencia comentaba),
esa belleza tan alta
ni Adán recién plasmado
hubiera con sus ojos claros
alcanzado mirar.
Porque en luces sin espacios
él no se podía fijar,
(como Tomás el angélico
más tarde dirá.)
Sin embargo el Padre
ya guardaba en su seno
hermosura más alta
para sus hijos ajenos.
Creación singular
Texas Catholic Conference
Catholics from across the Lone
Star State will unite on Tuesday,
March 24 for the Texas Catholic
Conference’s 2015 Texas Catholic
Faith in Action Advocacy Day.
This bi-annual rally is hosted
by the Texas Bishops to promote
the Church’s values of Life, Justice,
Charity, and Religious Freedom to
members of the 84th Texas Legislature.
The Bishops and event participants will address a broad range of
diverse issues including advance
directives reform, school choice
tax credit scholarships, payday
lending, Medicaid expansion, and
abortion facilities regulation.
The day will begin with the
Texas Bishops and participants
joining together in a massive rally
at 11:30 a.m. on the south steps of
the historic Texas State Capitol. In
addition, a delicious BBQ lunch
will be served on the great lawn of
the Capitol grounds.
Throughout the day, participants will make visits to their state
senators and representatives. Media from across Texas will also be
on hand to chronicle this historic
All Texas Catholics are urged
to get involved and support the
Bishop’s legislative agenda by participating in the following activities:
• Pray that our Texas legislators will hear the voice of Catholics throughout the state.
• Learn more about the Texas
Catholic Conference Legislative
• Sign up for action alerts
through the Texas Catholic Network.
• Join us for the Catholic Faith
in Action Advocacy Day on March
24, 2015. Don’t have an advocacy
day t-shirt? Wear royal blue!
• Promote in your parishes
and schools.
• Call and let your representatives know that you support the
• Learn about current legislation that the Texas Catholic Conference and why we are supporting or opposing certain bills.
For more details on how you
can be a part of the 2015 Texas
Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day, please call (956) 702-4088.
esperando su día,
la rayita mas pura,
lo que tu vida será.
Nuestra eres,
carne y hueso,
llena de gracia
y mas clara por eso,
humilde morena,
sencilla nobleza,
honor singular de nuestra raza
de mezclada naturaleza.
El Verbo saltó
al poderte encontrar,
en tal belleza inventada
para nuestros ojos contemplar.
Al oír tu reflexión
en su ser pronunciada
regocijó de antemano
que de ti a su creación
Él podría llegar.
El Espíritu ardía
por querer verte aparecer.
como aurora amanecida,
lo que ni ángeles podrán comprender.
En la llegada de tu día,
anuncio de la más excelente instauración,
te saludamos, hermanita,
de quien Dios quiso nacer.
Eres la Llama inocente
dando luz a los pueblos
llamados en ti
a recibir la mañana,
y a tu Hijo conocer.
Bishop celebrates Mass at Bayview Detention Center
Photos courtesy of Jail Ministry of the Diocese of Brownsville
Bishop Daniel E. Flores heard confessions and celebrated Mass in honor of Our Lady of
Guadalupe on Dec. 12, 2014 at the Port Isabel Processing Center in Bayview. There were
200 male and female immigrants accompanied by 10 guards. Father George Gonzalez,
prison chaplain for the Diocese of Brownsville, concelebrated and presented the inmates
with New American Bibles and Prayer Pamphlets of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Following the
Mass, Bishop Flores visited privately with immigrants who asked for a blessing.
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan, TX 78589-3042
Telephone: 956/781-5323 • Fax: 956/784-5082
Bishop Daniel E. Flores
Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
Brenda Nettles Riojas
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Rose Ybarra
Assistant Editor
The Valley Catholic, a publication of the
Diocese of Brownsville, is published monthly
Terry De Leon
& South Texas Circulation
The Valley Catholic email:
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(956) 784-5038
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Gustavo Morales
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Gilbert Saenz
(956) 451-5416
Bishop Flores’ Schedule - January
Jan 4
5 p.m.
Misa de la Sagrada Familia (Movimiento Familiar Cristiano)
Jan 10
11 a.m.
San Juan
St. John the Baptist Talk at Youth Ministry Training Workshop
Jan. 18
3 p.m.
Mass for Feast of Santo Niño at St. Anne Church
Jan. 23
6 p.m.
Spirit Awards Banquet
Jan 24
9 a.m.
Pro-Life Rally & Procession
St. Joseph the Worker
Jan. 24
1:30 p.m.
Talk at 5th Annual Divine Mercy Conference
Jan. 27
10 a.m.
Mass for Elderly
January 2015- The Valley Catholic
Editor’s note: Join us each month as we take a glimpse back in time and
review the history of the Diocese of Brownsville.
The Valley Catholic
Bishop Adolf Marx was the
first bishop of the Diocese of
Brownsville. He is buried at
the Immaculate Conception
Cathedral in Brownsville.
The conference center at the
Pastoral Center in San Juan is
named in his honor.
»First Bishop of Brownsville
Bishop Adolf Marx
His motto: “Love is the fulfilling of the law.”
His sudden death at
age 50 shocked the
faithful of the Valley
The Valley Catholic
Adolf Marx, who had formerly served as auxiliary bishop
to Bishop Mariano S. Garriga of
the Diocese of Corpus Christi, was
the first bishop of the Diocese of
Brownsville. He was the bishop of
our diocese for only two months
when he died unexpectedly at the
age of 50.
Shortly after his installation at
the Immaculate Conception Ca-
thedral in Brownsville on Sept. 2,
1965, Bishop Marx left for Rome
to attend the meetings of the Second Vatican Council. During a
break, he traveled to Germany to
visit relatives. He died of a heart attack on Nov. 1, 1965 in his parents’
home in Cologne, Germany.
“His death was a great shock,”
said Msgr. Patrick Doherty, a
retired priest of the Diocese of
Brownsville who served as a pallbearer at Bishop Marx’s funeral.
“He seemed to be in good shape.”
Msgr. Doherty first met Bishop
Marx in 1955 when he moved to
Texas from his native Ireland. At
that time, the Rio Grande Valley
was part of the Diocese of Corpus
“Bishop Marx was serving as
auxiliary bishop of Corpus Christi
and had an office at the cathedral,”
Msgr. Doherty said. “We would see
him around the diocese. He would
do some of the confirmations.”
Msgr. Doherty continued,
“Bishop Marx was strict, but kind,
friendly and fair. He lived by the
rules. Whenever an issue came up
that had to be solved, he went by
the book.”
Bishop Marx was born on
Feb. 2, 1915 in Cologne, Germany. Bishop Emmanuel Boleslaus
Ledvina, who was the bishop of
Corpus Christi from 1921 to 1949,
» Please see Bishop Marx p.15
Sister Pimentel to receive national award
The Valley Catholic
Social justice advocate
honored for ministry
with refugees
SIster Norma Pimentel of
the Missionaries of Jesus
will be honored with a“Keep
the Dream Alive” Award
by Catholic Charities USA.
The award recognizes
individuals who have
dedicated their lives to
pursuing justice.
On Dec. 1 she was
presented with the
Transborder Initiative
Community Award from
the College of Social and
Behavioral Sciences at the
University of Texas-Pan
The Valley Catholic
Sister Norma Pimentel of the
Missionaries of Jesus, executive director of Catholic Charities of the
Rio Grande Valley, is among three
religious leaders who will receive
a national award from Catholic
Charities USA on Jan. 9 in Washington, D.C. for excellence in the
ministry in social justice.
Sister Pimentel will receive a
“Keep the Dream Alive” Award,
which is named for civil rights
leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The award is conferred upon those
“who have demonstrated a history
of consistent leadership in advancing racial and social justice,” according to Catholic Charities USA
and, “creating a society in which
every individual is not ‘judged by
the color of their skin, but by the
content of their character.’”
Sister Pimentel, a longtime social justice advocate in the Diocese
of Brownsville, has led community
efforts to respond to the needs of
Central American families seeking refuge in the United States.
She spearheaded the opening
of two respite centers for immigrants.
This summer, tens of thousands of Central American children came to the United States in
search of hope. The Rio Grande
Valley was their main point of
entry, and the need to help these
families was critical.
“Faith is taking the first step,”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once
said, “even when you don’t see
the whole staircase,” Sister Pimentel remarked. “Catholic Charities took that first step. By taking
the lead in the humanitarian response, we helped and continue to
help these refugees every way we
can – welcoming them, providing
food and drink, clothing them,
and ministering to the sick.”
Sister Pimentel added, “Unquestionably, these are the right
things to do, even though many
may disagree. “There comes a
time when we must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor
popular,” Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. preached, “But we must take it
because our conscious tells us it is
Other recipients of the “Keep
the Dream Alive” Award are Msgr.
Ray East, director of the Office
of Black Catholics and Vicar for
Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and
Sister Kateri Mitchell, the first Native American woman to hold the
position of executive director of
the Tekakwitha Conference, a religious non-profit organization for
evangelization among indigenous
“It is an honor to receive this
recognition in the name of the
many men, women and children
who journey to this country, risking their lives,” Sister Pimentel
said. “They truly help us live out
our faith and ‘keep the dream
The Valley Catholic - January 2015
»Women speak for themselves en la Frontera
Making time to climb a mountain
ew Year, new possibilities.
As much as I like the start
of a New Year and the possibilities it brings, I don’t like how
quickly the calendar fills with commitments, sometimes to the point
of leaving no room to be still. I can
only blame myself and my inability
to say no, added to my tendency to
fill any extra hours to capacity.
As I begin to mark my calendar
this New Year, I want to make certain to include time to retreat and
climb a mountain. Jesus taught us
to retreat, to go up to a mountain
top and find time alone to pray.
“But he would withdraw to deserted
places to pray.” Luke 5:16
Finding time to be alone is one
of the reasons I enjoy camping
and hiking. In past years I’ve had
the grace to climb some incredible mountains – Mount Sinai
in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru,
Mount Rose in Nevada. Reaching
the summit was challenging but
the view of God’s creation and the
silence was worth each strained
muscle. Not only did each hike
help me slow my pace, each helped
me set aside distractions from
my day-to-day routine. The hikes
helped me pay attention, to take in
the view. The long climbs also gave
me time to think and to pray.
Granted, we do not have any
mountains in the Rio Grande
Valley, but we can set aside time to
claim our own space, our metaphorical mountains, to sit in prayer
and silence with God.
One of my favorite spaces is in
my backyard porch, either early in
the morning before anyone wakes
up or midmornings on weekends
when I can sit and listen to the
Nettles Riojas
Editor of The
Valley Catholic
wind playing with the leaves.
While advances in technology have helped us become more
efficient, it feels like all the latest
gadgets also serve to keep us on a
leash around the clock. Not only
are we connected 24 hours a day,
information streams in from all
directions, making it a noisy world
to navigate. Sometimes we have
to disconnect, make time to be
still, to go on a retreat, even if for
a few minutes. Silence, solitude,
and space help us become better
listeners. In our noisy world, given
all our distractions, how can we
respond to what God is calling
us to if we are not attentive to his
“When messages and information are plentiful, silence becomes
essential if we are to distinguish
what is important from what is
insignificant or secondary,” said
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his
message for World Communications Day in 2012.
“Deeper reflection helps us to
discover the links between events
that at first sight seem unconnected, to make evaluations, to analyze
messages; this makes it possible to
share thoughtful and relevant opinions, giving rise to an authentic
body of shared knowledge. For this
to happen, it is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a
kind of ‘eco-system’ that maintains
a just equilibrium between silence,
words, images and sounds.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
also said, “Silence is an integral
element of communication; in its
absence, words rich in content cannot exist. In silence, we are better
able to listen to and understand
ourselves; ideas come to birth and
acquire depth; we understand with
greater clarity what it is we want to
say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express
Pope Francis reminds us as
well, “In the history of salvation,
neither in the clamor nor in the
blatant, but the shadows and the
silence are the places in which God
chose to reveal himself to humankind.”
The Annotations to the
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
of Loyola, note “the more our soul
finds itself alone and isolated, the
more apt it makes itself to approach and to reach its Creator and
Lord, and the more it so approaches him, the more it disposes itself
to receive graces and gifts from his
Divine and Sovereign Goodness.”
There are different ways to disconnect, different spaces for prayer
and silence – hiking outdoors,
participating in a contemplative
prayer group, signing up for retreat, Adoration before the Blessed
Sacrament, or taking time to garden. Each of us has to find our own
mountain where we can retreat
to in this New Year. So instead of
making New Year’s resolutions, this
year I am going to focus on scheduling time on my calendar to slow
my pace and climb a mountain.
»Family Life
World Meeting of Families: “Created for Joy”
ecently Pope Francis confirmed his plans to come to
Philadelphia for the World
Meeting of Families which will
take place at the Pennsylvania
Convention Center in Philadelphia
from Tuesday to Friday, Sept. 2225, 2015.
There will be daily Mass,
devotions, keynote addresses and
multiple breakout sessions. Held
every three years and sponsored by
the Holy See’s Pontifical Council
for the Family, the World Meeting
of Families is the world’s largest
Catholic gathering of families.
The theme of the World Meeting
of Families-Philadelphia 2015 is
“Love is Our Mission: The Family
Fully Alive”, emphasizing the impact of the love and life of families
on our society.
The World Meeting of Families event was established by Pope
St. John Paul II in 1994. It is held
every three years in cities across
the world. 2015 is the first time
it will be in the United States. Its
goals are (1) to strengthen family
bonds and (2) to give witness to
the fundamental role of the family
in society. Learn more at
On Sept. 16, 2014, Archbishop
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap. presented the preparatory catechesis,
prayer, and iconic image for WMF
during a press conference at Sala
Stampa in Rome, Italy. The catechesis, prayer, and iconic image
were inspired by the conference
theme, “Love is our mission: the
family fully alive.” Inspired by the
words of the early Church father,
Lydia Pesina
Director, Family
Life Office
St. Irenaeus, “the glory of God is
man fully alive,” the theme reflects
the central role of the family in
teaching people how to receive and
give love.
The preparatory catechesis is
traditionally developed by the host
diocese for the World Meeting
of Families and reflects authentic
Catholic beliefs about human
dignity, human sexuality, marriage
and the family. Like the WMF
conference itself, the preparatory
catechesis is intended for people of
all ages and aims to address the issues and challenges facing families
around the world.
One of the wonderful assets
of this internet age is that all of us
can benefit from learning about
good things that are happening
around the world. I encourage you
to check the websites on the World
Meeting of Families for yourself,
your family, and/or your ministry.
Along with the official Preparatory
Catechesis on WMF published
by Our Sunday Visitor, there is a
lot of information, ideas, lessons
and family activities available for
The preparatory catechesis
contains 10 themes: (1) Created for
Love (2) The Mission of Love (3)
The Meaning of Human Sexuality
(4) Two Become One (5) Creat-
ing the Future (6) All Love Bears
Fruit (7) Light in a Dark World (8)
A Home for the Wounded Heart
(9) Mother, Teacher, Family: The
Nature and Role of the Church
(10) Choosing Life. I hope to address one of these themes monthly
during this year as a way to reflect
together in preparation for this
World Meeting of Families.
The first theme in this preparatory catechesis “Created for Joy”
addresses Jesus as the source of
joy. We have to know him personally. He wants to be in a personal
relationship with each of us. Pope
Francis has emphasized the joy
of the Gospel, and has reminded
us that this joy is rooted in each
person’s personal relationship with
Jesus. In the first section of the
Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of
the Gospel, he writes: “I invite all
Christians, everywhere, at this very
moment, to a renewed personal
encounter with Jesus Christ, or at
least an openness to letting him
encounter them; I ask all of you
to do this unfailingly each day. No
one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her,
since no one is excluded from the
joy brought by the Lord… Here
we find the source and inspiration
of all our efforts at evangelization.
For if we have received the love
which restores meaning to our
lives, how can we fail to share that
love with others?” Perhaps this is
a good time to ask ourselves how
we experience true joy in our lives.
How does having a relationship
with Jesus bring us true joy? How
do we experience joy in our everyday encounters in our family?
Bishop Daniel E.
Dominican Sisters
of Mary, Mother of
the Eucharist
Father Anthony
Denise Bossert
Love and Mercy
Fifth Annual Divine
Mercy Conference
set for Jan. 24
The Valley Catholic
What is it?
The purpose of the conference
is to encourage all attendees to be
powerful witnesses of God’s mercy guided by our Blessed Mother
and to understand that being
united with the Virgin Mary is a
way of exalting and making the
mercy of God known.
Mary is the first to prove the
omnipotence of God’s mercy
due to her Immaculate Conception and her giving birth to Jesus,
mercy incarnate.
Who is it for?
It is for everyone, high school
age and older. Organizers want
everyone to know, love, imitate
and invoke the Blessed Mother.
Keynote speakers
Bishop Daniel E. Flores —
The shepherd of the diocese will
make a presentation entitled,
Mary, Mother of Mercy.”
Father Anthony Gramlich,
MIC — The rector of The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy
will speak about how St. Faustina
learned from Mary to cooperate with the merciful Jesus in the
work of rescuing lost souls by
loving God and his people. Father Anthony will also lead a Eucharistic Holy Hour followed by
Denise Bossert is a convert
to the Catholic Church. She is
the daughter of a Protestant minister. In 2005, she converted to
Catholism after reading books by
Carmelite saints. Her syndicated
column called Catholic by Grace
has been published in 58 diocesan newspapers. She has also
written for Catholic magazines
and appeared on EWTN. She will
speak on encountering Mary as a
spiritual mother and on imitating Mary as a model of the New
The Dominican Sisters of
Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, OP — They are nuns of a
Roman Catholic community of
women religious based in Ann
Arbor, Mich. The community
was founded in the Dominican
tradition to spread the witness
of religious life in accord with
St. John Paul II’s vision for a new
evangelization. Sister Elizabeth
Ann and Sister Maria Jose will
lead a procession with a statue of
Our Lady of Guadalupe and in
praying the Joyful Mysteries of
the Rosary They will also share
practical ways to explain to others why we venerate Mary as a
true masterpiece of God’s mercy
in the world through the gift of
her Immaculate Conception.
How much is it?
Early registration is $25. Coffee, juice, pan dulce and lunch are
included. This cost should not
deter those interested in attending from registering as scholarships are available. Admission is
free for priests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters.
How do I register?
Organizers ask that everyone
complete the registration process,
even those attending at no cost,
for planning purposes. Registration is available on line at www. or contact Gloria (956)
650-4601 or Yolanda (956) 4542103.
January 2015 - The Valley Catholic
The Word of God in the Life
and Mission of the Church
(Solemnity of the Epiphany
of the Lord)
Reading I
IS 60:1-6
Responsorial Psalm
PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Reading II
EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6
MT 2:2
MT 2:1-12
(Feast of the Baptism of the Lord)
Reading I
IS 42:1-4, 6-7 or IS 55:1-11
Responsorial Psalm
PS 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10 or
IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6
Reading II
ACTS 10:34-38 or 1 JN 5:1-9
CF. MK 9:7 or CF. JN 1:29
MT 1:7-11
(Second Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Reading I
1 SM 3:3B-10, 19
Responsorial Psalm
PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Reading II
1 COR 1:1-3 C-15A, 17-20
JN 1:14, 17B
JN 1:35-42
(Third Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Reading I
JON 3:1-5, 10
Responsorial Psalm
PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Reading II
1 COR 7:29-31
MK 1:15
MK 1:14-20
Father Gonzalez
The Valley Catholic
Father George Gonzalez,
chaplain of the jail ministry for
the Diocese of Brownsville, attained the highest level of certification - Certified Clinical Correctional Chaplain – from the
American Correctional Chaplains Association, effective Dec.
1, 2014.
Father Gonzalez, who is in
residence at Our Lady of the Assumption in Harlingen, serves
10 detention centers throughout
the diocese. He also serves as
retreat chaplain for two prison
ACTS retreats per year at the
Segovia Unit and at the Reynoldo V. Lopez State Jail north of
Father Gonzalez also teaches
a year-long formation program
for jail ministry volunteers in
Raymondville, Harlingen and
»Making Sense of Bioethics
Are womb transplants immoral?
recent news report
described the unusual
story of a baby’s birth
from his grandmother’s
womb. A 29-year old woman from
Sweden, born without a uterus,
received a transplanted womb from
her mother, the same womb that
had brought her into the world a
generation earlier. The woman then
became pregnant through in vitro
fertilization (IVF) and delivered a
healthy baby boy.
The research had been dogged
by controversy and questions:
Could a transplanted womb from
a post-menopausal woman be
“triggered” back into action once
it had been introduced into the
body of a younger woman? Could
a transplanted uterus effectively
provide nourishment to a growing baby during all the gestational
stages of a pregnancy? Would such
a costly and risky surgery involving
two people, mother and daughter,
donor and recipient, be justifiable?
Are such transplants ultimately
The specific circumstances
involved are critical to determining
whether this novel type of transplant is ethical.
Various medical anomalies
can cause a woman to be missing a
uterus. A congenital disease called
Rokitansky syndrome can cause
the uterus to develop anomalously,
or not form at all. Uterine cancer
or other serious gynecological issues may necessitate that a woman
undergo a hysterectomy, resulting
in permanent infertility.
The womb is a unique organ
with a highly specific function, and
the transplantation of a healthy
womb into a woman who lacks one
due to a birth defect or disease is
loosely parallel, some would say, to
a situation where a patient’s kidney
fails, and another person donates a
healthy replacement organ.
Yet others would say that the
womb is not a vital organ like a
Priest of the
Diocese of Fall
kidney, and while the transplantation of a womb is directed towards
improving a patient’s quality of
life, it clearly does not constitute
life-saving surgery like a kidney
Therefore, womb transplants
require strong ethical justifications.
As we reflect on the ethics
surrounding new medical treatments and technologies, it can help
us to recall the general principle,
enshrined in the Catechism of the
Catholic Church, that the morality of a human act depends on
three factors: the object, the end,
and the circumstances involved.
An act is morally good only if all
three of these factors are morally
good. If any one of them is bad, we
recognize that the overall act itself
becomes morally bad.
For example, a diva using her
voice to sing a passage from a
famous opera has the morally good
object of performing a beautiful
and artistic musical composition.
The end for which a diva might
sing would be to perfect her singing
skills — also morally good. But if
she decides to do it at 3 a.m. in a
dormitory, so that it disturbs the
sleep of her neighbors, then the
circumstances would not be good,
and we would conclude that the
action of singing in that way by the
diva is, in fact, morally bad.
In the case of carrying out a
womb transplant, the object of
the act would be good, namely, to
restore a woman’s bodily wholeness
by transplanting a healthy womb in
situations where she lacks one. The
end for which the womb transplant
would be carried out would also be
good, namely, to achieve a pregnancy.
But particular circumstances
can easily render the womb transplant immoral. If the transplant
were done for the purposes of
pursuing a pregnancy through IVF,
this circumstance would render the
entire act of the womb transplant
morally bad and disordered, given
that IVF is invariably immoral as
a means to engender new human
life. All reported instances thus far
of womb transplants followed by
successful pregnancies have arisen
because of the use of IVF.
A similar problem with the circumstances of the transplant could
arise if the womb that was used for
transplant had been donated by a
healthy woman still in her reproductive years who harbored a contraceptive intention and no longer
desired to have more children of
her own with her husband. In such
a situation, her uterine donation
would cause her to become sterile,
and would represent a seriously
flawed moral circumstance that
would likewise render the action of
receiving the transplanted womb
unethical on the part of the other
When might a womb transplant be morally acceptable? If
a uterus were transplanted from
either a deceased or a freely-consenting, post-menopausal woman
to another woman whose ovaries,
fallopian tubes and other reproductive tissues were then able to function so she could conceive a child
within the marital embrace, rather
than through IVF (and assuming minimal medical risks to both
donor and recipient), the womb
transplant could represent an ethical means of resolving her uterinefactor infertility. In conclusion, the
specific circumstances of both the
donor and recipient are crucial in
discerning the ethical appropriateness of this unusual procedure.
The wise still seek Him
he Solemnity of the Epiphany which Catholics celebrate
traditionally on Jan. 6 commemorates the visit of the Magi (or
wise men) to the newborn Jesus,
Mary his mother and Joseph as
described in the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12. Epiphany comes from
the Greek epiphanein, meaning “an
appearance or revelation,” a manifestation of the divinity; and can be
seen also as the continuation of the
mystery of Christmas.
In the Greek-speaking church
of the East it was common to use
the word “theophania” to describe
the appearance of the true God in
flesh, signifying a divine apparition as described by St. Gergory
Nazianzen as found in the readings
of the Divine Office.
In the Traditional Catholic
Liturgy adapted from the Liturgical
Year series by Abbot Gueranger,
OSB, explains the importance of
why the 6th of January is designated to commemorate the Feast
of the Epiphany in the Catholic Liturgical year: “The 6th of
January, therefore, restored the
celebration of Our Lord’s Birth
to the 25th of December; but in
return, there were united in the
one same Epiphany three manifestations of Jesus’ glory: the mystery
of the Magi coming from the East,
under the guidance of a star, and
adoring the Infant of Bethlehem
as the Divine King; the mystery
Luis Zuniga
Director, Office for
Pastoral Planning
& San Juan Diego
Ministry Institute.
of the Baptism of Christ, Who,
whilst standing in the waters of
the Jordan, was proclaimed by the
Eternal Father as Son of God; and
thirdly, the mystery of the divine
power of this same Jesus, when He
changed the water into wine at the
marriage-feast of Cana.
The Catechism of the Catholic
Church tells us of the importance
of such a great feast day: “The
Epiphany is the manifestation of
Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of
God and Savior of the world. The
great feast of Epiphany celebrates
the adoration of Jesus by the wise
men (magi) from the East, together
with his baptism in the Jordan and
the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of
the neighboring pagan religions,
the Gospel sees the first-fruits
of the nations, who welcome the
good news of salvation through the
Incarnation. The magi’s coming to
Jerusalem in order to pay homage
to the king of the Jews shows that
they seek in Israel, in the messianic
light of the star of David, the one
who will be king of the nations.
Their coming means that pagans
can discover Jesus and worship
him as Son of God and Savior of
the world only by turning towards
the Jews and receiving from them
the messianic promise as contained
in the Old Testament.” (CCC,
The story of the Magi is meant
to help us Catholics reflect on the
important aspect of the mystery
of the Incarnation. The Messiah
promised in the Old Testament to
save his people has to come to save
us all. The Magi or “wise men” as
they are referred to were believed
to be astrologers who followed the
star which brought them to the
infant Jesus.
The number of Magi was set
at three by Origen (around 254)
because of the three gifts mentioned in the gospel and later they
are referred to as Kings due to the
references in the Old Testament
scriptures. The Kings are often
described as representing the
three major races and were given
the names of Melchior (old white
man), bearing the gift of gold;
Caspar (darker hue color) carrying incense; and Balthasar (a black
man) offering myrrh.
The three gifts mentioned
in the Gospels were traditional
symbols of homage in the East and
symbolize the destiny of Jesus: gold
» Please see Epiphany, p.15
Courtesy photo
A painting of St. Timothy, St. Paul the
Apostle, and his grandmother Lois and
her mother Eunice by artist Mina Anton.
»Feast Day
January 26
St. Timothy
Catholic News Agency
On Jan. 26, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of St. Timothy, a
close companion of the Apostle
Paul and a bishop of the Catholic Church in its earliest days.
St. Timothy is the co-writer
of Thessalonians, 2 Corinthians,
Philippians, Colossians, and
His mother, Eunice, and his
grandmother, Lois, are known
to have joined the Church, and
Timothy himself is described
as a student of Sacred Scripture
from his youth.
After St. Paul’s visit to Timothy’s home region of Lycaonia,
around the year 51, the young
man joined the apostle and accompanied him in his travels.
Paul sent him to Thessalonica
to help the Church during a period of persecution.
The two met up again in
Corinth, and Timothy eventually journeyed to Macedonia
on Paul’s behalf. Problems in
the Corinthian Church brought
Timothy back for a time, after
which he joined Paul and accompanied the apostle in subsequent travels.
Like Paul, Timothy endured a
period of imprisonment in the
course of his missionary work.
His release is mentioned in the
New Testament Epistle to the
Around the year 64, Timothy
became the first bishop of the
Church of Ephesus. During that
same year, he received the first
of two surviving letters from St.
Paul. The second, written the
next year, urges Timothy to visit
St. Paul in Rome, where he was
imprisoned before his martyrdom.
Ancient sources state that St.
Timothy followed his mentor in
dying as a martyr for the faith.
In the year 93, during his leadership of the Church in Ephesus, he took a stand against the
worship of idols and was consequently killed by a mob.
Because of his frail health he
is the patron of those with stomach disorders. St. Paul writes,
“Stop drinking water only; take
a little wine for the good of your
stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (I Timothy 5:23).
The Valley Catholic - January 2015
January 2015 - The Valley Catholic
Father Steve Hernandez
San Martin de Porres School,
diocese Of brownsvillE 2015
Julio Gonzalez
Our Lady of Guadalupe School,
Veronica La Beau
Olga M. Escobar
St. Anthony Catholic School,
Immaculate Conception School,
Rio Grande City
Lisette Allen
Diocese of Brownsville
The Valley Catholic
Eva Cuellar
Incarnate Word Academy,
The 18th Annual Spirit Awards
banquet is set for Friday, Jan. 23 at
Msgr. Ralph Hall at Our Lady of
Sorrows Parish in McAllen.
The event honors excellence
in Catholic education while raising funds for the diocese’s tuition
assistance program. A reception
is at 6 p.m., with dinner and program following at 7 p.m.
An honoree or honorees from
each of the 13 Catholic schools in
the diocese will be recognized at
the event. The diocesan honoree is
Lisette Allen, director of accreditation for the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department
in Austin. A native of Harlingen,
she served as superintendent of
schools for the Diocese of Brownsville for six years before assuming
her current responsibilities.
“The Diocese of Brownsville
will always be home and it is a joy
to return and see the great things
that are happening in Catholic
education across the Rio Grande
Valley,” said Allen, adding that
serving at the state level, “has only
enhanced the love I have for Catholic education.”
“The students we serve have
inspired my commitment to Catholic education,” she said. “I truly
believe that the moment a student
sets foot in a Catholic school, he/
she ought to have the impression
of entering a new environment,
one illumined by the light of faith,
and having its own unique characteristics that inspire them to be
saints, the saints that our world
needs so much and the academic
environment that helps them fulfill their dreams.
“Catholic education gives our
students the opportunity to become who God has intended them
to be and that is truly their best
and most authentic selves.”
Allen and her husband, Daniel, have been married for 20 years
and have two sons, Douglas, 19,
a sophomore at the University of
Texas at Austin and Seth, 14, who
is in the eighth grade.
The Spirit Awards banquet
kicks off the annual observance
of Catholic Schools Week, which
runs from Jan. 25 to Jan. 31. The
2015 theme selected by the National Catholic Educational Association is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and
For more information on
the event or for sponsorship opportunities, contact the Catholic
Schools Office at (956) 784-5051.
Mary Salinas
St. joseph Catholic School,
Susan A. Vano
Esther Aguirre
St. Mary’s Catholic School,
Oratory of St. Philip Neri School,
IBC Bank
Guadalupe Regional Middle
School, Browsnville
Melissa Valadez
St. Joseph Academy, Browsville
Gala Co-Chairs 2011-2014
Mario and Marlene Guerra
Juan Diego Academy, Mission
Our Lady of Sorrows School, McAllen
Darlene D. Ruiz
St. Luke Catholic School,
Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 25-Jan. 31, 2015
“Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
The Valley Catholic -January 2015
Deacon Ignacio R.
Gonzales dies
October 14, 1923 - November 28, 2014
Army veteran
ministered to elderly,
infirmed in hospitals
The Valley Catholic
HARLINGEN — Deacon Ignacio R. Gonzales died on Nov. 28
in Harlingen. He was 91.
A veteran of the U.S. Army,
Deacon Gonzales served in World
War II in the 101st ABRN, Division “Screaming Eagles” from
1942-1946, attaining the rank of
sergeant. He also served during
the Korean Conflict from 19501955.
He was ordained a permanent
deacon for the Diocese of Brownsville on May 5, 1985 and served at
St. Cecilia Church in Los Fresnos,
Our Lady of Assumption Church
in Harlingen and as a hospital
chaplain at Valley Baptist Medical
Center in Harlingen. He retired
from active ministry on April 30,
Deacon Gonzales was preceded in death by his wife, Mary M.
Gonzales, and his daughter, Mary
Lou Garnett, his parents Catarino
and Eulalia Gonzalez, and brother
Raul R. Gonzales.
He is survived by his children,
Margaret De La Cruz (Raul); Mary
Ann Barbosa (Aurelio); Patricia
Villarreal (Gilbert); Diane Crafts
(Henry); Sandy Martinez (Oscar);
Betty Lou Garcia (Uvaldo); Bernadett Caceres (Jorge); George
Gonzales; Delphine Gonzales; Josephine Saldana (Salvador) and
Peggy Ann Gonzales. He also
survived by 27 grandchildren, 38
great-grandchildren and a greatgreat grandson.
Visitation and viewing were
held at Trinity Funeral Home in
Harlingen throughout the day on
Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. A Rosary was
prayed on the evening of Dec. 1.
A Mass of Christian Burial was
celebrated on Dec. 2 at Our Lady
of Assumption Church in Harlingen, followed by interment at
Mont Meta Memorial Park in San
Year of Consecrated Life
Religious communities serving in our diocese
Order of Franciscan Friars, Assumption BVM Province
Founded by: St. Francis of Assisi in Assisi, Italy in 1209
How long has your community served our diocese?
Since 1994: San Ignacio (Brownsville), St. Helen (Rio
Hondo), St. Anthony (Raymondville), San Martin de
Porres (Weslaco), Sacred Heart (Elsa), Holy Family (La
Grulla), Cristo Rey (La Victoria), Our Lady of Peace (La
Casita/Garciasville), Sacred Heart (McAllen) and Holy
Family (Edinburg)
Charism:We are friars who live a simple life in fraternity
and through a spirit of prayer and devotion witness the
Gospel of Jesus Christ among people to whom we have
been sent opting to serve the poor when and where we
are able.
Apostolate: Parochial ministry, education (elementary,
Courtesy photo
high school and universities), home and foreign
missions, hospitals and nursing homes, Religious Sisters’ The Franciscan Friars of Edinburg/McAllen, from left, Father
Communities, social work among the poor (soup kitchens Thomas Luczak, Brother Mario Nagy, Father Terrence Gorski,
Brother Andre LeMay and Father Jose Lobaton.
and alcoholics).
Contact information: Brother Andre LeMay, OFM, 956686-7711 or 956-383-5472, Email: [email protected],
Sisters of St. Dorothy
Founded by: St. Paula Frassinetti in Genoa, Italy in 1834
How long has your community served our diocese?
26 years
Charism(s): Simplicity
Apostolate(s): Superintendent of Catholic Schools,
Teaching & counselor in Catholic Schools, English as a
Second Language, ELI, Media Resource Center, Ministry
in MX (Border), Eucharistic Minister, Sister’s Council.
Contact information: Sister Cynthia Mello, SSD
[email protected]
Courtesy photo
From left, Sister Mary Sardinha, Sister Colleen Materese, Sister Helen
Nunes, Sister Cynthia Mello and Sister Maureen Crosby.
We will feature religious communities serving
in our diocese every month throughout the Year of Consecrated Life.
January 2015 - The Valley Catholic
Those Who Serve:
Father Eugenío Cañas, OMI
Oblate celebrates Golden Jubilee
San Benito native
returns home for
Mass of Thanksgiving
The Valley Catholic
SAN BENITO — Father Eugenio Cañas of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate marked
his Golden Jubilee on Dec. 21.
He celebrated the milestone
with a Mass of Thanksgiving and
reception on Dec. 26 at St. Benedict
Church in San Benito, his childhood parish.
Father Cañas was entrusted to
rebuild the San Juan Shrine after
a plane crashed into the popular
pilgrimage site and destroyed it on
Oct. 23, 1970, continuing the work
of Father José María Azpiazu, who
founded the original shrine in 1949.
He later served as a provincial for
the Oblates, one of the religious order’s highest offices.
Father Cañas was appointed
as director of the San Juan Shrine
on Nov. 15, 1974 and served until
1981. The new shrine, which seats
about 3,500 and cost $5 million to
construct, was dedicated by Bishop
John J. Fitzpatrick on April 19, 1980
before an estimated 50,000 people.
“I always say that’s where I got
my grey hairs, trying to coordinate
meetings with the bishop, the architect, general contractor and so
on and so forth,” said Father Cañas,
who currently serves as the director of the Cursillo Movement in the
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, a position he has held since
2004. “The most exasperating thing
was shortly after we started the construction, we had rain every day for
about three months.”
Father Cañas, 76, recalls that
the shrine was, “an instant attraction, especially for tourists.
“We never used to get too many
Anglos, and all of a sudden, they
started wanting a Mass in English,”
he said. “Everybody wanted to go to
the shrine.”
The shrine, which is now known
as the Basilica of Our Lady of San
Juan del Valle-National Shrine,
draws more than 20,000 visitors a
week and brings in bus tours from
around the country. It was designated a national shrine in 1998 and
the following year, Pope John Paul
II designated it as a minor basilica.
Father Cañas recently heard
about a group from Houston traveling to the basilica.
“That was my dream, that one
day, pilgrims from all over would
visit the San Juan Shrine,” said Father Cañas, who last visited the basilica three years ago at the invitation of Father Amador Garza, the
current rector of the basilica.
“We should all be very, very indebted to Father Eugene because it
fell on him to do a lot of fundraising, to do a lot of planning to build
the new basilica,” Father Garza said.
“He worked tirelessly. We have lots
of pictures of him in our archives.
“He had a lot of apostolic zeal to
get the job done because it was no
easy feat to build this church.”
Photos courtesy of Father Cañas’ family
A Mass of Thanksgiving for the 50 years of priestly ordination for Father Eugenío Cañas of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
was celebrated on Dec. 26 at St. Benedict Church in San Benito.
The oldest of 12 children, Father Cañas was born in San Benito
on Oct. 22, 1938, the son of the late
Eugenio and Estefana Cañas.
“We were strongly influenced
by our brother to practice our Catholic faith,” said Frances Leal, Father
Cañas’ younger sister. “He was the
oldest and we looked up to him.”
Father Cañas attended St. Theresa Catholic School in San Benito
through the eighth grade. It was
there that he first considered becoming a priest.
“One day, the priests came in
and talked about foreign missions
and the priesthood and they asked
how many of us wanted to become
a priest,” Father Cañas recalled.
“Like so many of the other boys,
I raised my hand. The pastor took
note of who was interested and kept
after me.
“They kept asking me when I
was going to the seminary. After
completing one year of public high
school, I enrolled at St. Anthony
Seminary in San Antonio.”
Father Cañas said he was comfortable joining the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate because it
was the only community of priests
he ever knew. In those days, the vast
majority of churches in the Valley
were under the pastoral care of the
Father Cañas was ordained a
priest of the Missionary Oblates of
Mary Immaculate on Dec. 21, 1964
at the former St. Anthony Seminary
in San Antonio.
Father Cañas said he was most
interested in foreign missions, but
he didn’t serve overseas until October 1986 when he was appointed as
assistant general of the Oblate General Council in Rome.
When asked if he enjoyed the
experience, he responded, “yes and
» Please see Father Cañas, p.15
The Valley Catholic -January 2015
World Day of Peace
Message focuses on
human trafficking,
modern day slavery
Lisa Johnston/Catholic News
“A woman’s hands are pictured in this photo illustration depicting the effects of
human trafficking. Women
religious are joining with
members of local communities in efforts to combat
exploitation of young girls
being trafficked and “to
help heal the wounded.”
Catholic News Service
trafficking destroys the lives of
millions of children, women and
men each year, making it a real
threat to peace, the Vatican said as
it announced Pope Francis’ 2015
World Peace Day message would
focus on the phenomenon.
“Slaves no more, but brothers
and sisters” will be the theme for
the Jan. 1, 2015, commemoration
and for the message Pope Francis
will write for the occasion, according to the Pontifical Council for
Justice and Peace.
Pope Francis has called human trafficking “a crime against
humanity” and “an open wound
on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of
In describing why Pope Francis chose trafficking as the theme
for World Peace Day 2015, a statement from the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace said, “Many
people think that slavery is a thing
of the past,” but “this social plague
remains all too real in today’s
world” with child labor, forced
prostitution, trafficking for organs
and a variety of forms of forced
Trafficking, which generates
huge amounts of income for organized crime, threatens peace be-
cause it is based on a lack of recognition of the fundamental human
dignity of its victims, the Vatican
statement said.
“Fraternity requires us to reject
any inequality which would allow
one person to enslave another,”
the statement said. “Our purpose
is to build a civilization based on
the equal dignity of every person
without discrimination.”
The pope’s full message for
World Peace Day traditionally is
released by the Vatican in midDecember and is sent, through
Vatican diplomats, to the leaders
of nations around the world.
As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the pope celebrated an annual
Mass with the victims of trafficking, and soon after his election as
pope in 2013, he asked the pontifical academies of sciences and of
social sciences to study the problem of modern-day slavery and
ways for the church to work with
others to stop it.
In March, the Vatican, the
Anglican Communion and others launched the Global Freedom
Network. The initiative, based at
the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, aims to prevent modern
forms of slavery; to protect, rescue
and rehabilitate victims; and to
promote concrete measures that
condemn or criminalize human
The United Nations estimates
2.4 million people are trafficked at
any given time and their exploitation generates $32 billion in annual profits for criminals. The Global
Slavery Index estimates nearly 30
million people worldwide are living in slave-like conditions.
Oratorians to celebrate
500th anniversary of St.
Philip Neri’s birth
The Valley Catholic
ROME — Father Mario Avilés,
procurator general of the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip
Neri, announced on Nov. 30 the celebration of the quincentenary of the
birth of St. Philip Neri (1515-2015),
founder of the Confederation.
The jubilee year will open
on May 25, 2015 and close
on May 26, 2016 and will be
“characterized by sober and dignified events in keeping with Philipine simplicity,” Father Avilés said.
“It will be a providential opportunity for a profound rediscovery of the singular figure known
as the ‘Apostle of Rome,’” added
Father Avilés, who also serves as
pastor of Sacred Heart Church in
Hidalgo. “St. John Paul II, during
the Congresso Generale of the Holy
Year of 2000, described St. Philip
as the bearer of a great heritage for
the whole Church, and (the pope)
hoped that revisiting the sources
of St Philip’s spirituality and of his
entire work would inspire in each
Congregation a renewed awareness
of the validity and relevance of St
Philip’s ‘missionary method,’ and
that this would make an important
contribution to the task of the New
The Confederation of the Oratory was founded in Rome by St.
Philip Neri in the 16th century. It is
a society of apostolic life of Catholic priests and brothers who live
together in a community known
as an Oratory. There are 85 Orato-
ries and more
than 550 Oratory priests
and brothers
around the
The principal
of the jubilee year is
St. Philip Neri
planned for October 2015 in Rome. It will include
an international study symposium
entitled “A Modern Saint: St .Philip
Neri (1515-1595) Five Hundred
Years After His Birth”, a collaborative effort of the Vallicelliana Library and the Roman Oratory.
The event will also include an
exhibition titled, “The Development of an Image and the Birth of
an Iconography: St Philip Neri in
the printed collections of the Archive of the Roman Oratory”.
This exhibition will take place
in the Borromini Refectory at the
Vallicella, and it will feature the
famous Guido Reni portrait of
St Philip with the Madonna and
Child, which is to undergo restoration.
Besides these initiatives, the Jubilee Year will witness solemn liturgical celebrations both at the Chiesa
Nuova in Rome, where St. Philip
Neri’s body rests, and in Florence,
his place of birth, as well as concerts
of instrumental and vocal music,
the traditional Visit to the Seven
Churches, and days of recollection
for priests and laity, Father Avilés
»Birthday & Anniversary Wishes
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
» Birthdays
1 Rev. Leo Francis Daniels, CO
4 Rev. Rigobert Poulang Mot
6 Rev. Msgr. Louis Brum
9 Rev. Julian Becerril O de M
10 Rev. Eusebio Martinez
13 Rev. Alejandro Flores
22 Rev. Roberto Charlton, SS.CC
22 Rev. Horacio Chavarria
22 Rev. Oscar Siordia
24 Rev. Ignacio Tapia
28 Rev. Robert Davola – retired
28 Rev. Bill Penderghest, SS.CC
2 Deacon John P. Kinch
4 Deacon Al Crixell
14 Deacon Paulo Escobar
18 Deacon Ramon G. Leal
19 Deacon Salvador G. Saldivar
23 Deacon Reynaldo I. Flores
23 DeaconRodolfo Sepulveda Jr.
24 Deacon Juan Valenzuela
28 Deacon Alejandro Flores
3 Brother Hoss A. Alvarez
4 Sister Emily Jocson, ICM
23 Sister Dianne Maresha
» Anniversaries
4 Rev.Thomas Kulleck
4 Rev. Manoj K. Nayak, SS.CC
16 Rev. Robert Charlton
28 Rev. Cesar Partida
30 Bishop Daniel Flores as priest
30 Msgr. A. S. Pacheco – Retired
25 Dcn. Francisco D. Pon
» Birthdays
2 Rev. Mishael Koday
2 Rev. Roche Thiruchiluvai, SS.CC
3 Rev. Thomas Pincelli
3 Rev. Alejandro Fajardo, SS.CC
11 Rev. Gustavo Obando
11 Msgr. Robert Davola - retired
19 Bishop Emeritus Raymundo J.
Pena - retired
26 Rev. Juan Victor Heredia
26 Rev. Thomas G. Kulleck
2 Sister Mary N. Vincelli, CSJ
2 Sister Esther Rodriguez, O.P.
3 Sister Anita Jennissen, OSF
14 Brother David Concannon
20 Sister Rosalia Fink, OSB
20 Sister Frances Salinas, OSB
20 Sister Denise Sausville, RSM
8 Deacon Amando Peña Jr.
11 Deacon Gilberto Perez
13 Deacon Hugo De la Cruz
15 Deacon Jose R. Castro
15 Deacon George M. Terrazas
17 Deacon Hector Perez
18 Deacon Pedro Sanchez
22 Deacon Alvino Olvera
» Anniversaries
2 Rev. Juan Victor Heredia
8 Rev. Gnanaraj Michael
11 Msgr. Robert Davola – Retired
15 Rev. Patrick Seitz
25 Rev. Marco Antonio Reynoso
Enero 2015 - The Valley Catholic
Dando gloria y honra a Dios
The Valley Catholic
Cantautora de La
Feria ofrece su talento
a Dios, su Iglesia
María Isabel Lozano
de La Feria compone
canciones religiosas
desde 40 años.
Nota editorial: María Isabel Lozano falleció repentinamente a la edad
de 74, el 9 de diciembre del 2014.
Curiosamente, nuestra edición de
enero incluye un perfil de la canta
autora. Presentamos el artículo
aquí, sin alteraciones, como una celebración a la vida de Lozano y a su
compromiso de toda la vida a Dios
y su Iglesia.
The Valley Catholic
LA FERIA – María Isabel Lozano guarda una pluma y papel
cerca de la cama. Para esta cantautora, la inspiración para una canción a menudo viene mientras se
está quedando dormida o a mitad
de la noche.
“He aprendido que si no lo escribo, lo olvidó en la mañana,” dijo
“Deberías de ver algunas de
mis notas. La escritura está muy
chueca porque escribí las cosas en
la oscuridad,” añadió riéndose.
Lozano, 74, ama de casa,
madre, abuela y tatarabuela, ha
escrito más de 20 canciones, todas
ellas dando honra y gloria a Dios.
Sus canciones son inspiradas por
las escrituras y vivencias.
Las canciones que ella escribe
son cantadas en español por los
coros en la Iglesia San Francisco
Xavier, un ministerio en el que ella
ha sido parte por más de 40 años.
De adolescente, Lozano amaba
cantar y se enseñó a tocar la guitar-
ra, pero nunca tuvo la oportunidad
de seguir la música más allá.
“La vida llegó,” como ella lo describe.
Ella conoció a su esposo y
dedicó su tiempo a hacer un hogar
para él y sus cinco hijos.
Lozano encontró que nunca es
tarde para redescubrir al músico
de adentro. A los 34, levantó la
guitarra y empezó a tocarla un día
mientras sus hijos estaban en la escuela.
Habían pasado 10 o 12 años
desde que toqué la guitarra,” dijo
Lozano. “Uno de los niños vecinos
pasaba por nuestra casa y me escuchó cantando y tocando la guitarra. El niño le habló de mi a la
maestra de música de la escuela.”
“La maestra de música llegó a
mi puerta y me dijo que necesitaba
ayuda cantando en la iglesia.”
Lozano y su familia asistían a
Misa cada domingo en Harlingen,
pero no estaban involucrados en
ningún ministerio. Ella aceptó la
oportunidad de servir a Dios; los
feligreses reconocieron y apreciaron inmediatamente su don por
la música.
Lozano dijo que dos mujeres
en particular, Bertha Gavito, ya
fallecida, y la Hermana Margarita
Vargas de las Misioneras Eucarísticas Franciscanas, la motivaron a
escribir canciones y desarrollar sus
“Ella es una mujer muy humilde y talentosa,” dijo la Hermana
Vargas, quien sirvió en la Iglesia
San Francisco Xavier de 1978 a
1988 y permanece siendo buena
amiga de la familia. “Nadie habló
con ella lo suficiente para encontrar cuales eran sus talentos, nadie
la motivó a escribir música. Ella
solamente necesitaba algo de áni-
mo para continuar su ministerio y
ofrecérselo a la Iglesia.”
La primer canción que Lozano
escribió, “Confesión Humilde”, es
profundamente personal. Es sobre
las emociones que ella sintió en los
años en los que no podía recibir la
Comunión porque no estaba casada por la Iglesia.
“Después de 40 años, todavía
me asombro cuando canta,” dijo
Heriberto Lozano, su esposo.
“Ella siente lo que canta. Vacía su
corazón y alma en cada canción.”
La hermana Vargas fue tan
conmovida por las habilidades
compositoras de María Isabel Lozano que le pidió que compusiera
una canción para la celebración de
coronación en Mayo en la parroquia, y después canciones para la
María Isabel Lozano también
escribió una canción en honor a
Nuestra Señora de San Juan del
Valle y fue reconocida por el rector de su basílica en San Juan por
esa pieza.
Si bien la Hermana Vargas está
impresionada por los talentos musicales de María Isabel Lozano, ella
se encuentra aún más inspirada
por cómo este ministerio ha afectado de manera positiva a toda
la familia Lozano.
“Ellos se involucraron mucho
en la parroquia después de que ella
se unió al coro,” dijo la Hermana
“Ha acercado a nuestra familia
hacia Dios y Su Iglesia,” dijo Heriberto Lozano, quien inspirado por
su esposa, empezó a escribir poesía
y reflexión religiosa.
La pareja ha estado junta por
más de 53 años y tienen 15 nietos y
11 bisnietos.
María Isabel Lozano nació en
Santa Rosa, Texas, pero creció en
el Ejido El Rosario, un pequeño
ranchito en las afueras de Río Bravo, México.
El ranchito era tan pequeño
que no tenía sacerdote. Un sacerdote de Río Bravo solía visitarnos
una vez al año para dar los sacramentos pero los residentes mantenían su fe viva rezando el Rosario como comunidad una vez por
“Los ancianos eran muy sabios
y nos enseñaron a rezar,” dijo ella.
“Antes de que tuviéramos bailes o
cualquier otra cosa, los ancianos
en nuestra comunidad insistían en
que rezáramos el Rosario primero.”
“Pastores y misioneros de
otras religiones vinieron a nuestro
ranchito y algunos residentes se
convirtieron, pero nosotros nos
mantuvimos firmes a nuestra fe
Solemnidad de Santa María
The Valley Catholic - Enero 2015
»Mujeres en la frontera
The Valley Catholic
El 1 de enero, por ser solemnidad
de Santa María, Madre de Dios,
es fiesta de precepto, y por lo
tanto hay obligación de ir a misa.
Confesamos nuestra fe en la divina
maternidad de María, que, por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo, concibió
en sus virginales entrañas y dio a
luz al Hijo de Dios hecho hombre.
Este hecho inconmensurable eleva
a María mil veces por encima de
todo el género humano y de todos
los ángeles y bienaventurados.
Su maternidad divina es el título
fundamental y más importante de
María, del que se derivan todas sus
demás grandezas y privilegios.
Papa dedica Jornada Mundial de
la Paz a lucha contra esclavitud
ACI Prensa/EWTN Noticias
VATICANO – “Ya nunca
más esclavos, sino hermanos”, es
el tema elegido por el Papa Francisco para la 48° Jornada Mundial
de la Paz a realizarse el 1 de enero de 2015, informó el Pontificio
Consejo para la Justicia y la Paz en
un comunicado donde denunció
que la esclavitud no es un hecho
del pasado, sino una “plaga social”
fuertemente presente en el mundo
de hoy.
Según la ONG australiana
Lisa Johnston/Catholic News Service
Walk Free, unas 30 millones de
Según la ONG australiana Walk Free, unas 30 millones de personas viven como esclapersonas viven como esclavos en
el mundo, víctimas de la explo- vos en el mundo, víctimas de la explotación sexual, laboral y otras formas de esclavitud.
tación sexual, laboral y otras formas de esclavitud.
amovible la referencia a la fraterni- Rubén Puente en su libro “La vida
En 2014 la jornada tuvo por dad, que requiere la superación de oculta de Bergoglio”, donde relata
tema “La Fraternidad, funda- la desigualdad, en base a la cual un cómo siendo Arzobispo de Buemento y camino para la paz”. Sin ser humano puede hacer esclavo nos Aires, el entonces Cardenal
embargo, denunció el dicasterio, a otro, y el consiguiente compro- Jorge Mario Bergoglio protegió y
“la esclavitud hiere mortalmente miso de proximidad y gratuidad a salvó de la esclavitud sexual a 80
dicha fraternidad universal y, por favor de un camino de liberación e mujeres.
tanto, la paz. La paz, en efecto, inclusión para todos”.
“Logró hacer visible el probtiene lugar cuando el ser humano
“El objetivo es la construcción lema de la prostitución, los proxreconoce, en el otro, un hermano de una civilización fundada sobre enetas y la trata de blancas. (...)
que posee la misma dignidad”.
la igual dignidad de todos los seres La ayuda de Bergoglio fue deciEn ese sentido, señaló que en humanos, sin discriminación al- siva, porque escondió durante un
el mundo contemporáneo “son guna. Para ello, es necesario tam- tiempo en conventos o en pisos de
múltiples los abominables rostros bién el compromiso de parte de personas de su absoluta confianza
de la esclavitud: el tráfico de seres los ámbitos de la información, de a mujeres en peligro”, relató en el
humanos, la trata de los migrantes la educación, y de la cultura en libro el titular de la ONG La Aly de la prostitución, el trabajo es- favor de una sociedad renovada y ameda, Gustavo Vera.
clavo, la explotación del hombre configurada para la libertad, para
Ya como Pontífice, abordó en
por el hombre, así como la men- la justicia y, por tanto, para la paz”. un discurso a un grupo de embatalidad esclavista respecto de las
El Pontificio Consejo para la jadores la tragedia de la trata de
mujeres y los niños”.
Justicia y la Paz recordó que la personas. “Exhorto a la comuni“Y sobre esta herida especu- Jornada mundial de la Paz fue una dad internacional para que llegue
lan vergonzosamente individuos y iniciativa de Pablo VI y es celebra- a un mayor acuerdo y eficacia en
grupos aprovechando la situación da cada año el primero de enero. la estrategia contra la trata de percausada por tantos conflictos en “El Mensaje del Santo Padre es sonas, para que en todas las partes
curso en el mundo, así como por enviado a las Cancillerías de todo del mundo, los hombres y las muel contexto de la crisis económica el mundo e indica además la línea jeres nunca sean utilizados como
y de la corrupción”.
diplomática de la Santa Sede para un medio, sino que sean siempre
“¡La esclavitud es una terrible el año que comienza”, indicó.
respetados en su dignidad inviolaceración abierta en el cuerpo
lable”, expresó en diciembre de
de la sociedad contemporánea, es Francisco contra la esclavitud
una gravísima herida en la carne
Posteriormente, en abril de
La preocupación del Papa
de Cristo!”, denunció.
Francisco por combatir todo tipo este año, el Santo Padre denunció
El dicasterio explicó que para de esclavitud viene desde su labor que “la trata de personas es una
combatir la esclavitud “es nece- como sacerdote en su natal Argen- herida abierta en el cuerpo de la
sario ante todo reconocer la in- tina.
sociedad contemporánea, una
violable dignidad de toda persona
Así lo reveló en marzo pasado llaga en el cuerpo de Cristo. Es un
humana, además de mantener in- el periodista argentino Armando crimen contra la humanidad.”
Hacer tiempo para
subir una montaña
uevo año, nuevas posibilidades. Así como me gusta
el comienzo de un Nuevo
año y las posibilidades que trae, no
me gusta lo rápido que se llenan
de compromisos los calendarios,
algunas veces hasta el punto de
no dejar espacio para la contemplación. Sólo puedo culparme a
mí y mi incapacidad de decir no,
añadido a mi tendencia de llenar
mis horas extras hasta el tope.
Mientras empiezo a llenar el
calendario este nuevo año, quiero
asegurarme de incluir tiempo para
un retiro y escalar una montaña.
Jesús nos enseñó a retirarnos, a
subir al pico de una montaña y
encontrar tiempo a solas para orar.
“Pero él se retiraba a lugares desiertos para orar.” Lucas 5:16
Encontrar tiempo para estar
solo es una de las razones por que
disfruto acampar y escalar. En
años pasados he tenido la gracia de
subir algunas montañas increíbles
– Monte Sinaí en Egipto, Machu
Picchu en Perú, Mount Rose en
Nevada. Alcanzar la sima fue un
reto pero la vista de la creación de
Dios y el silencio valió cada esguince muscular. Cada escalada no
solamente me ayudó a desacelerar
mi ritmo, cada uno me ayudó a
dejar a un lado las distracciones de
mi rutina cotidiana. Las escaladas
me ayudaron a poner atención,
a absorber el paisaje. Las largas
caminatas también me dieron
tiempo para pensar y orar.
Es cierto, no tenemos ninguna montaña en el Valle del Río
Grande, pero podemos hacer
tiempo para encontrar nuestro
propio espacio, nuestras montañas
metafóricas, para sentarnos en
oración y en silencio con Dios.
Uno de mis lugares favoritos es
mi patio trasero, ya sea temprano
en la mañana antes de que nadie
se levante o a media mañana los
fines de semana, cuando me puedo
sentar a escuchar al viento jugando
con las hojas.
Mientras que los avances
tecnológicos nos han ayudado a
volvernos más eficaces, se siente
como si todos los recientes aparatos también sirven para mantenernos atados al reloj. No solamente
estamos conectados las 24-horas,
los flujos de información vienen de
todas las direcciones, creando un
mundo ruidoso en el cual navegamos. Algunas veces debemos
desconectarnos, hacer tiempo para
quedarnos quietos, ir a un retiro,
incluso por algunos minutos.
Silencio, soledad, y espacio ayudan
a volvernos mejores oyentes. En
nuestro ruidoso mundo, con todas
nuestras distracciones, ¿cómo
podemos responder a lo que Dios
nos llama a hacer si no estamos
atentos a su guía?
“Cuando los mensajes y la in-
Nettles Riojas
Editora, The Valley
formación son vastos, el silencio se
vuelve esencial si queremos distinguir lo que es importante de lo que
es insignificante o secundario,” dijo
el Papa Emérito Benedicto XVI en
su mensaje para el Día Mundial de
Comunicación en el 2012.
“La reflexión profunda nos
ayuda a descubrir los vínculos
entre los eventos que a primera
vista parecen sin conexión, a hacer
evaluaciones, a analizar mensajes;
esto hace posible compartir opiniones consideradas y relevantes, lo
que da lugar a un cuerpo autentico
de conocimiento compartido.
Para que esto suceda, es necesario
desarrollar un ambiente apropiado, un tipo de ‘eco-sistema’
que mantenga un equilibrio justo
entre silencio, palabras, imágenes
y sonidos.” también comentó el
Papa Emérito Benedicto XVI. “El
silencio es un elemento integral de
la comunicación; en su ausencia,
las palabras ricas en contenido
no existen. En silencio, podemos
escuchar y entendernos; las ideas
nacen y adquieren profundidad;
entendemos con mayor claridad
qué es lo que queremos decir y lo
que esperamos de otros; y escogemos cómo expresarnos.”
El Papa Francisco también
nos recuerda, “En la historia de la
salvación, ni en el clamor ni en lo
estridente, sino en las sombras y el
silencio están los lugares que Dios
escogió para revelarse a la humanidad.”
Las Anotaciones a los Ejercicios Espirituales de San Ignacio
de Loyola, señalan, “entre más se
encuentre sola y aislada nuestra
alma, más apta se vuelve para
acercarse y alcanzar a su Creador
y Señor, y entre más se acerca a Él,
más se despoja en sí para recibir
las gracias y regalos de su Divina y
Soberana Bondad.”
Hay distintas formas de desconectarse, diferentes espacios para
la oración y el silencio – caminatas
afuera, participar en un grupo de
oración contemplativa, registrarse
para un retiro, la adoración frente
al Santísimo Sacramento, o pasar
tiempo en el jardín. Cada uno de
nosotros debe de encontrar su propia montaña a donde podamos retirarnos en este nuevo año. Así que
en lugar de hacer los propósitos de
año nuevo, este año me enfocaré en
planear tiempo en mi calendario
para desacelerar mi paso y subir
una montaña.
CRS Plato de Arroz en la familia
The Valley Catholic
Durante la Cuaresma las familias pueden llevar esperanza a los
que sufren de hambre por todo el
mundo con su participación en el
programa Plato de Arroz de CRS.
Plato de Arroz es un programa
donde las familias pueden orar,
ayunar con recetas de comidas
sencillas sin carne, y dar donativos
como expresiones de solidaridad
con nuestros hermanos y hermanas necesitados. Por 40 años familias han participados en Plato de
Arroz como su práctica cuaresmal.
El 75 por ciento de los donativos apoyan los programas de ayuda
humanitaria de Catholic Relief
Services (CRS) en casi 100 países.
El 25 por ciento de donativos apoyan los esfuerzos para aliviar el hambre y la pobreza en el la Diócesis de
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puede ordenar sus materiales gratuitos llamando 1-800-222-0025.
Enero 2015 - The Valley Catholic
»La Alegría de Vivir
Adios a la depresion
ara quien sufre de depresión, las fiestas y reuniones
familiares que comienzan
con el día de gracias y continúan
con navidad y fin de año, son
ocasiones que les disparan los
episodios depresivos, sobre todo
si no tienen posibilidad de estar
junto a su familia.
Cuando ven como todos los
demás disfrutan de la compañía
de los suyos y ellos no, llegan a
sufrir una crisis depresiva severa.
En lugar de disfrutar del feliz
acontecimiento del último día
del año y dar la bienvenida a un
nuevo año, para quien sufre de
depresión la fecha le es indiferente.
La depresión es un síntoma
que nos alerta que algo anda mal
en nuestro organismo o nuestra
Hay cuatro clases de depresión son: endógena, reactiva,
toxica, y psicótica. Aunque los
sentimientos de tristeza son
naturales cuando se está lejos
de la familia en fechas especiales, cuando una persona tiene
tendencia a deprimirse, la llegada
de las fiestas navideñas y de fin de
año puede afectarle seriamente
y las personas cercanas a ella no
pueden entender que no puedan
sobreponerse, pues no entienden
que la depresión les esta afectando física, mental y espiritualmente.
Msgr. Juan
Sacerdote jubilado
de la Diócesis de
La depresión es una combinación de sentimientos negativos
que nos agobian, la tristeza se
combina con la pena, la melancolía, el desencanto, la desilusión,
el abatimiento y sobre todo con
una falta de ganas y energía para
Para superar la depresión
severa se necesita tener apoyo
profesional, de un psicólogo y a
veces un psiquiatra, seguir sus
indicaciones y tomar los medicamentos adecuados, se necesita
el apoyo de la familia o los seres
que nos estiman, y se necesita un
apoyo espiritual.
Y si nuestra depresión no es
tan grave, pero sigue apareciendo
en esta época de fiestas y reuniones familiares, podemos superarla
si nos enfocamos a hacer algo por
los demás.
Si sabemos que no tendremos
oportunidad de estar reunidos
con nuestra familia podemos
ofrecernos de voluntarios a visitar
alguna casa de reposo, donde seguramente encontraremos algún
anciano olvidado por su familia
que disfrutara muchísimo nuestra
visita. Hacer algo por alguien
necesitado es la manera más
rápida de olvidarnos de nuestras
También ayuda el mantener
unas expectativas razonables,
entender que no todo puede
ser perfecto. Hay que cuidar de
sobremanera el consumo de alcohol, pues aunque parece elevar
nuestro animo por un momento,
hay que saber que en realidad el
alcohol es un agente depresor,
que agudizará la depresión existente y que se contrapone a cualquier medicamento que estemos
tomando, afectando a algunos de
manera fatal, ya sea en sobredosis
o por accidentes relacionados con
conductores ebrios.
Si reconocemos que la depresión comienza a manifestarse has
un esfuerzo recordando los buenos momentos del año y lo bueno
que está por venir en el futuro,
evita estar solo y ocúpate en hacer
algo por los más necesitados, así
podrás darle la bienvenida a un
nuevo año con optimismo y cero
Adíos a la depresión y bienvenido el año nuevo.
Mons. Juan Nicolau, Ph.D. STL
es un sacerdote jubilado de la
Diócesis de Brownsville. Es psicoterapeuta familiar y consejero
profesional con licencias.
Reunión Mundial para Familias:
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ecientemente el Papa
Francisco confirmó sus
planes de venir a Filadelfia para la Reunión
Mundial para Familias que tendrá
lugar en el Centro de Convenciones de Pensilvania en Filadelfia de
martes – jueves, 22 de septiembre 22-25, 2015. Habrá Misas
Diarias, Devociones, Conferencias
Magistrales, y múltiples sesiones.
Celebrada cada tres años y patrocinada por el Consejo Pontificio
de la Santa Cede para la Familia,
la Reunión Mundial para Familias
es la reunión Católica más grande
de familias. El tema de la Reunión
de Familias- Filadelfia 2015 es “El
amor es nuestra Misión: La familia
plenamente viva”, enfatizando el
impacto del amor y la vida familiar
en nuestra sociedad.
La Reunión Mundial para
Familias fue establecida por el
Papa Beato Juan Pablo II en 1994.
Es llevada a cabo cada tres años
en ciudades alrededor del mundo.
2015 es el primer año que tendrá
lugar en USA. Su meta es (1) fortalecer los lazos familiares y (2) dar
testimonio del papel fundamental
de la familia en la sociedad. Aprenda más en WorldMeeting2015.
El 16 de septiembre del 2014,
el Arzobispo Charles J. Chapuyt,
O.F.M.Cap. presentó la catequesis
preparatoria, oración, e imagen
icónica para el WMF(por sus siglas en inglés) durante la rueda de
prensa en la Sala Stampa en Roma,
Italia. La catequesis, oración e
imagen fueron inspiradas por el
tema de la conferencia, “El amor
es nuestra misión: la familia
plenamente viva,” Inspirado por
las palabras del Padre de la Iglesia
Lydia Pesina
Directora, Oficina
de Vida Familiar
temprana, St. Irenaeus, “La gloria
de Dios es el hombre plenamente
vivo,” el tema refleja el papel central de la familia en la enseñanza
sobre cómo recibir y dar amor.
La catequesis preparatoria es
desarrollada tradicionalmente por
la diócesis anfitriona de la Reunión
Mundial para Familias y refleja
las auténticas creencias Católicas
sobre la dignidad humana, la
sexualidad humana, el matrimonio
y la familia. Como en la misma
conferencia WMF, la catequesis
preparatoria es destinada para
las personas de todas las edades
y tiene como objetivo abordar
los temas y retos que enfrentan
familias alrededor del mundo.
Una de las maravillosas ventajas de esta era de internet es que
todos nos podemos beneficiar de
aprender sobre las buenas cosas
que están pasando alrededor del
mundo. Yo los aliento a visitar las
páginas sobre la Reunión Mundial
para familias para usted, su familia
y/o su ministerio. Junto con la
catequesis preparatoria oficial en
WMF publicada por Our Sunday
Visitor, hay mucha información,
ideas, lecciones y actividades
familiares disponibles para descargar.
La catequesis preparatoria
contiene 10 temas: (1) Creado por
el amor (2) La misión del amor (3)
El significado de la sexualidad hu-
mana (4) Dos se vuelven uno (5)
Creando el futuro (6) Todo amor
da frutos (7) Luz en un mundo
oscuro (8) Hogar para un corazón
herido (9) Madre, Maestra, Familia: La naturaleza y el papel de la
Iglesia (10) Escoger la vida. Espero
poder abordar cada uno de estos
temas mensualmente durante este
año como una forma de reflexionar juntos en preparación para esta
Reunión Mundial para Familias.
El primer tema de esta catequesis preparatoria “Creados por
amor” aborda a Jesús como la
fuente de dicha. Lo debemos de
conocer personalmente. Él quiere
tener una relación personal con
todos nosotros. El Papa Francisco
ha enfatizado la dicha del Evangelio, y nos ha recordado que esta
dicha está enraizada en la relación
personal de cada persona con
Jesús. En la primer sección de la
Exhortación Apostólica, La dicha
del Evangelio, él escribe: “Invito a
Cristianos en todas partes, en este
momento, a renovar el encuentro
personal con Jesucristo, o por lo
menos a aceptar que Él los encuentre; les pido hacer esto a todos
infaliblemente cada día. Nadie
debe de pensar que ésta invitación
no es dirigida a ella o él, ya que
nadie está excluido de la dicha
traída por el Señor… Aquí encontramos la fuente y la inspiración
para todos nuestros esfuerzos de
evangelización. Ya que ¿si hemos
recibido el amor que restaura el
significado a nuestras vidas, como
podemos fracasar en compartir ese
amor con otros?” Tal vez este sea
un buen momento para preguntarnos cómo vivimos la verdadera
dicha en los encuentros cotidianos
con nuestra familia.
The Valley Catholic - January 2015
The ‘Catholic Guy’ visits the Valley
The Valley Catholic
Lino Rulli from “The Catholic Guy”
show on Sirius XM radio was in the
Rio Grande Valley Dec. 8-9, 2014 to
broadcast two live shows. His program
airs Monday through Friday from 4 to 6
p.m. CST. During his visit, he talked to
Bishop Daniel E. Flores; Father Amador
Garza, rector of the Basilica of Our Lady
of San Juan del Valle - National Shrine;
Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA; and Sister Norma
Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities
of the Rio Grande Valley.
Humanitarian Outreach
Responding to
the call
Why do you volunteer at the
immigrant respite center?
Aracely Martinez Torres began volunteering at the immigrant respite center in
McAllen on July 4. She volunteers almost daily and is often accompanied by her
husband and her teenage son.
“There is no religion here. We are united in our concern for the dignity of the
human person. We are all here serving as the hands of God. The people who
come here have a great need. This cause really touches my heart and that’s what
keeps us coming back. ... There are nights when I can’t sleep from the horrific
stories that they share. When we invite them here from the bus station, it breaks
my heart to see that they are scared. They beg us, ‘please don’t lock me up
again.’ Many of them are scarred, hurt and sometimes, ill from the journey. You
can see the relief when they realize we are only here to help them.”
- Aracely Martinez Torres, Sembradores del Reino, Mission
Meet some of the volunteers who help refugees from Central America
at the respite center at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen. The center
opened June 10 and hundreds of volunteers have served more than
10,000 people. To volunteer call (956) 292-5852.
40 days, one human family
Special to the Valley Catholic
For 40 years, Catholics in the
United States have enriched their
Lent through CRS Rice Bowl
(formerly called Operation Rice
As Lent 2015 brings the fortieth year of Rice Bowl, CRS
provides an array of prayers and
reflections, family stories and
recipes from around the world,
Catholic Social Teaching, formational and educational lessons
and activities for all ages, opportunities for almsgiving, and
more – in English and Spanish,
online or hard copy, and now via
phone app.
Through CRS Rice Bowl
Catholics throughout the United States “fast that others may
eat”. In doing this, we also join
with Catholics around the world
who are praying, fasting and giving alms in the Church’s antihunger campaign “One Human
Family, Food for All.”
Such love as this saves lives.
For 40 years Rice Bowl has been
acts of love that save lives.
For more information or action on CRS Rice Bowl, please
January 2015 - The Valley Catholic
Youth Retreat and Concert
Recommended by SISTER
Coordinator of the Media Resource
Center - Diocese of Brownsville
»From the
Sharing God’s
Love: The
Jesus Creed
for Children
Courtesy photo
Format: Paperback Length: 28 pgs
Audience: Children, ages 5-9
Author: Scot McKnight & Laura
McKnight Barringer
Illustator: Dave Hill
Publication:Paraclete Press 2014
Children are transformed for Christ
when they learn to love God and
others intentionally. This first of its
kind companion to the bestselling adult
Christian formation book and program.
Life Is Just
Not Fair: Hope
for Kids Through
Grief and Loss
Format: Audio CD Length: 63 pgs
Audience: Children, ages 3 and up
Author: Fr. Joe Kempf
Illustator: Chris Sharp
Publication:Our Sunday Visitor 2012
For everyone, life can be really hard
sometimes. But never fear, Fr. Joe Kempf
and is furry friends, Big Al and Annie are
back with plenty of support. …tough
issues which children can understand.
The Privilege
Of Being
Format: Paperback Length: 208 pgs
Audience: Adults
Author: Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.
Publication:Liguori Press 1993
“To acknowledge that it is a privilege
to be Catholic is simply to recognize
God’s gift in calling us to be this Church.
It should not make us look down on
other churches. We should respect the
sincere beliefs of others and see the
genuine goodness in many holy people
of every creed.
»Worth Watching
A Time For
The True Story
of Elizabeth
Bayley Seton
Format: VHS Length: 97 minutes
Audience: High School/ Adults
Director:: Michael O’Herlihy
Production: 1980 ABC Circle Films
Born in NYC in 1874 of a very
distinguished family, destined for a
tranquil life. At 19, married William Seton
and bore five children. Tragedy struck
and William died, family fortune was lost.
She converted to Catholicism at a time
Catholics were the object of persecution
in the US. Foundress of the Sisters of
Charity and the first American Catholic
parochial school. Canonized in 1975.
50 years,
continued from pg. 1
diocese are co-sponsoring oneday pilgrimages of historical sites
on Feb. 28, June 13, Aug. 1 and
Oct. 24.
Bishop Daniel E. Flores is
scheduled to celebrate an open
Bishop Marx,
continued from pg. 3
was celebrating Mass at a church in
Cologne when he met the young
Bishop Marx.
continued from pg. 5
for his royalty, frankincense for
his divinity, myrrh for his suffering and death on the Cross.
There are several traditions
attached to the celebration of
the Epiphany and the three kings
such as blessing our homes with
holy water and marking the door
with chalk. Another tradition is
the cutting of the Rosca de Reyes
(the king’s cake) with family to
remember Jesus as the true King
of all Nations.
The “rosca” made of bread
is round like a crown for a king;
adorned with candies representing the jewels around the cake.
The baby Jesus is hidden within
the bread and family members
take turns cutting a piece for
Tradition holds that the person “blessed” with having found
Father Cañas,
continued from pg. 9
“It is a different culture, but I
have realized that you have to accept the culture you go into it and
learn from it,” he said.
In his priestly ministry, Father
Cañas has served in many places
and in a variety of roles.
He served in parishes in Kings-
air Mass at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,
Sept. 2 in front of the mosaic at the
Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan
del Valle-National Shrine. The
event is open to the public and will
serve as the principal event of the
Jubilee Year.
Vespers for clergy and religious will be prayed at 6 p.m. on
Friday, Sept. 18 at the Immaculate
Knights of Columbus Council 12040
is sponsoring its 12th Annual Youth
Retreat and Concert, “Vision of Faith” on
Saturday, Jan. 31 at Our Lady of Sorrows
Parish in McAllen. The event is open to
all high schools students in our diocese
and qualifies as a Confirmation retreat.
It is an opportunity for young people to
experience a significant faith event in their
lives, make new friends and learn more
about God, themselves, and others. Steve
Angrisano, a veteran musician, composer,
presenter and youth minister will serve
as the keynote speaker. Bishop Daniel E.
Flores will serve as a guest speaker and
celebrate the closing Mass. For more
information, visit
Conception Cathedral in Brownsville.
Please send us any historical photos from your church
or Sacramental celebrations.
You can email the photos to
[email protected].
“Bishop Marx was working as
an altar server or a sacristan when
he met Bishop Ledvina,” Msgr.
Doherty recalled. “Bishop Ledvina
brought Bishop Marx to the Diocese of Corpus Christi as a seminarian.”
Bishop Marx moved to Texas
from Germany sight unseen and
was ordained a priest for service in
the Diocese of Corpus Christi on
May 2, 1940.
Before he was appointed auxiliary bishop, Bishop Marx was
mostly assigned to parishes in
Laredo, which was also part of the
Diocese of Corpus Christi at the
baby Jesus is to host the family
and friends on Feb. 2 which is the
Presentation of the Lord.
Often the question asked
by children at the gathering for
the Rosca de Reyes is “¿porque
escondemos al niño Dios?” and
the response is “para que no lo
encuentre Herodes.” Why do we
hide baby Jesus? So that Herod
won’t find him.
The cutting of each piece of
bread of the rosca symbolizes the
sword of Herod wanting to kill
baby Jesus. It is a reminder of a
world gone deaf.
God is always looking for us
and I often explain that when
cutting the Rosca de Reyes of how
“blessed” you are when you find
baby Jesus in that piece of bread
because it serves as a reminder
that in a world so cold, dark and
lonely and so very hungry for the
love of God we must remember
that he is ever present in our
lives always blessing us. We are
used to giving gifts at Christmas
and Epiphany in which we recall
the three kings bringing gifts to
baby Jesus. It reminds me of the
theology of gift giving; if we give,
it is because God has given to us
first, his Son for our salvation and
redemption of the world. Born so
humbly on a manger, he ends up
on the Cross for love of us. The
Gospel of John (3:16-17) reminds
us of this so very well, “For God
so loved the world that he gave his
only Son, so that everyone who
believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life. For
God did not send his Son into
the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved
through him.”
May this Epiphany be a reminder that Jesus is our Savior, the
Prince of Peace, and that we must
keep looking for him as we follow
the star called “faith.” If we have
already found him then I pray we
may be faithful in imitating him
ville and San Antonio before returning to the Valley to work as the
assistant of the San Juan Retreat
House from Feb. 1, 1966 to Dec.
16, 1969.
Father Cañas then joined the
staff of St. Anthony Minor Seminary in San Antonio for about a
year-and-a-half and once again returned to the Valley to serve as rector of the Immaculate Conception
Cathedral in Brownsville for three
years before being assigned to the
San Juan Shrine.
Father Cañas served as vicar
for Hispanics in the Archdiocese
of Denver for five years before
his stint in Rome. He returned
stateside when he was named as
the Oblate Provincial of the U.S.
Southern Province for six years.
The province encompassed several
states and included hundreds of
Oblate priests and brothers.
“When reflecting on my 50
years as a priest, I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to God,” he
Bishop Emeritus Raymundo J. Peña’s Calendar
January 5-9
January 28
January 31
All Day
6:30 p.m.
10:30 a.m.
Region X Bishops’ Retreat
Evins Ministry
Knights of Columbus Youth Retreat
On going:
8 a.m. Mass Monday - Saturday at St. Joseph Chapel of
Perpetual Adoration, 727 Bowie St., Alamo
3 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Chapel of Perpetual Adoration,
727 Bowie St., Alamo
7 p.m. Holy Hour Weekly every Thursday at 727 Bowie
St., Alamo
1st: Intention to the Consecrated Life (active and
contemplative) and for the Sisters and Brothers in our
diocese and the success of their mission
San Antonio
2nd: Intention to the Permanent Diaconate the deacons
(permanent and transitional) of the diocese and their
3rd : Intention 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
4th: Intention to the priesthood and the priests of the
diocese for the success of their ministry
5th: Intention to Vocations
» Calendar of Events
New Year’s Day
Mary, Mother of God
(Holy Day of Obligation)
Mass for children with special
needs and their families
(Holy Family, Brownville)
Advisory Team
(Office of Catechesis)
Diocesan Offices Closed
9-11Catholic Engaged
Encounter (FLO)
11 Feast of Santo Nino
(St. Pius, Weslaco)
13 Professional Day
(Office of Catechesis)
17 Convalidation Conference
(Family Life Office)
21-24 53rd Annual Southwest
Liturgical Conference Study Week
22 CMD National Workshop
(Office of YM)
23 Spirit Awards
(Catholic Schools Office)
24 Pro-Life March & Rally
24 Divine Mercy Conference
25 Mother/Daughter Program
(Family Life Office)
26 Theology Class
(Office of Catechesis)
27 Clases de Teologia
(Office of Catechesis)
29-30 Diocesan Retreat
Diocesan Offices Closed
31 Our Lady of Sorrows Knights
of Columbus Youth Conference
Mass for children with special
needs and their families
(Holy Family, Brownville)
World Marriage Day
(Family Life Office)
12 Professional Day
(Office of Catechesis)
14 Valentine’s Day
14-15 ReMarriage Retreat
(Family Life Office)
12 CCOS Dinner
(Youth Ministry)
18 Ash Wednesday
21-22 Retiro PreMatrimonial
(Family Life Office)
21 Rite of Elections
(Office of Catechesis)
22 Rite of Elections
(Office of Catechesis)
23 Theology Class
(Office of Catechesis)
24 Clase de Teologia
(Office of Catechesis)
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.
Job Opening
Director Youth Ministry Office Diocese of Brownsville. Interested
qualified candidates may be referred to Human Resources (956)
Our Catholic Family
The Valley Catholic - January 2015
Giving glory and honor to God
La Feria singer,
songwriter offers her
talent to the Church
The Valley Catholic
Maria Isabel Lozano
grew up in Ejido El
Rosario, a small
ranchito outside of
Rio Bravo, Mexico.
“Pastors and
missionaries from other
religions came to our
ranchito and some
residents did convert,
but we stayed firm in
our Catholic faith,” said
Lozano, a resident of La
Feria. She has written
more than 20 religious
Editor’s note: Maria Isabel Lozano
died unexpectedly at age 74 on Dec.
9, 2014. As it turns out, our January issue includes a profile of the
singer/songwriter. We present the
article here, without alteration, as a
celebration of Lozano’s life and her
longtime commitment to God and
his Church.
The Valley Catholic
LA FERIA — Maria Isabel Lozano keeps a pen and paper by the
bed. For this singer/songwriter,
inspiration for new songs often
comes as she is drifting off to sleep
or in the middle of the night.
“I’ve learned that if I don’t write
it down, I will forget by morning,”
Lozano said.
“You should see some of my
notes. The writing is all crooked because I jot things down in the dark,”
she added with a laugh.
Lozano, 74, a housewife, mother,
grandmother and great-grandmother, has penned more than 20
songs, all of them giving honor
and glory to God. Her songs are
inspired by the scriptures and life
The songs that she writes are
»News Briefs
National workshop
set for Jan. 22
“Engaging Parents - Forming
Family Faith,” a national workshop by the Center for Ministry
Development, is scheduled for
Thursday, Jan. 22 from 9 a.m. to
3 p.m. at the San Juan Pastoral
Center. This workshop will share
effective ways in which parish
communities are engaging parents and helping families grow in
faith together.
This workshop will give youth
ministry and catechetical leaders:
• A better understanding of
today’s parents;
• Strategies for reaching out to
this new breed of parents;
• Ways to support parents in
deepening their own faith;
• Strategies to strengthen family
faith at home and in the parish;
• Ways to involve parents in
faith formation, sacramental
preparation, and youth ministry;
• Strategies for engaging families through technology; and
• Strategies for motivating families to do service and outreach
The day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and is followed
by the workshop from 9 a.m. to 3
p.m. Cost to attend is $54, which
includes lunch and a handout
packet rich in practical ideas and
resources. For more information,
please visit
or call (956) 784-5042.
Bishop to celebrate
feast of Santo Niño
On Jan. 18, the Feast of Santo
Niño, Bishop Daniel E. Flores will
celebrate the Holy Mass for the
sung by the Spanish choir at St.
Francis Xavier Church, a ministry
she has been a part of for more than
40 years.
As a teenager, Lozano loved to
sing and taught herself to play the
guitar, but never had the opportunity to pursue music further.
“Life took over,” as she describes
She met her husband and dedicated her time to making a home
for him and their five children.
Lozano found that it is never too
late to rediscover the musician inside. At age 34, she picked up a guitar and started playing it one day
while her children were at school.
Filipino community of the Diocese
of Brownsville at St. Anne Parish,
17109 Coconut Palm Drive in
The celebration will begin
with a Sinulog/Dinagyang/Atiatihan procession of the image of
Santo Niño at 2 p.m., followed by
a Holy Mass with Bishop Flores,
and a Barrio Fiesta Celebration
following the Mass. Please come
in traditional Filipino attire and
bring your own Santo Niño for the
Save the date:
scheduled May 2
The Diocese of Brownsville,
the Catholic Daughters of the
Americas and other women’s
groups in the diocese are excited
to announce a Catholic Women’s
Conference, “Living the Joy of the
Gospel & Celebrating the Feminine Genius,” scheduled during
the Month of Mary on Saturday,
May 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. Bishop Daniel E. Flores will
be one of the keynote speakers for
the event.
Sessions will reflect the theme:
“Living the Joy of the Gospel &
Celebrating the Feminine Genius.” The first part of the theme
is inspired by Pope Francis’ first
Apostolic Exhortation, “Evengelii
Gaudium.” The second comes
from St. John Paul II’s writings
on women, including his apostolic letter “Mulieris Dignitatem:
On the Dignity and Vocation of
Women are invited to share
their talents and join the planning
team. For additional information
call Brenda Nettles Riojas (956)
“It had been 10 or 12 years since
I played,” Lozano said. “One of the
neighborhood boys was walking by
our house and heard me singing
and playing the guitar. The boy told
the music teacher at school about
“The music teacher showed up at
my doorstep and said she needed
help singing at church.”
Lozano and her family attended
Mass every Sunday in Harlingen,
but were not involved in any ministries. She welcomed the opportunity to serve God; parishioners
immediately recognized and appreciated her gift for music.
Lozano said two women in par-
ticular, Bertha Gavito, now deceased, and Sister Margarita Vargas of the Misioneras Eucarísticas
Franciscanas, encouraged her to
write songs and develop her talents.
“She is a very humble and talented woman,” said Sister Vargas,
who served at St. Francis Xavier
Church from 1978 to 1988 and remains good friends with the family.
“Nobody talked to her long enough
to find out what her gifts were, nobody motivated her to write music.
She just needed some encouragement to continue her ministry and
offer it to the Church.” The first
song Lozano wrote, “Confesión
Humilde” (humble confession),
was deeply personal. It was about
the emotions she felt in the years
that she could not go to Communion because she wasn’t married by
the Church.
“After 40 years, I am still in awe
when she sings,” said Heriberto Lozano, her husband. “She feels what
she sings. She pours her heart and
soul into every song.”
Sister Vargas was so moved by
Maria Isabel Lozano’s songwriting
abilities that she asked her to compose a song for the parish’s May
crowning celebration and later,
songs for the offertory.
Maria Isabel Lozano also wrote a
song in honor of Our Lady of San
Juan del Valle and was recognized
by the rector of the basilica in San
Juan for the piece.
While Sister Vargas is impressed
by Maria Isabel Lozano’s musical
talent, she is even more inspired by
how this ministry has positively affected the entire Lozano family.
“They were all very much involved in the parish after she joined
the choir,” Sister Vargas said.
“It has brought our family closer
to God and his Church,” said Heriberto Lozano, who, inspired by his
wife, took up writing religious poetry and reflection.
The couple has been together for
53 years and have 15 grandchildren
and 11 great-grandchildren.
Maria Isabel Lozano was born in
Santa Rosa, Texas, but grew up in
Ejido El Rosario, a small ranchito
outside of Rio Bravo, Mexico.

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