Bishop Vásquez will ordain four priests June 9


Bishop Vásquez will ordain four priests June 9
JUNE 2012
V O L U M E 3 0, N U M B E R 6
Bishop Vásquez will ordain four priests June 9
Deacon “Uche” Andeh
Deacon Ryan Higdon
Deacon David Trahan
Deacon Kurtis Wiedenfeld
“She basically took me by
the hand and helped get me up
to speed. Without her, I would
not be here today,” said Deacon
He initially considered the
priesthood while a student in
her class, and he said, “It just
sort of stayed with me all my
In high school, he was invited to a weeklong visit at the
seminary for the Legionaries of
Christ in Connecticut. Though
he felt strongly that this was his
vocation in life, he did not have
the nancial means to make the
trip from the family’s home in
Copperas Cove. In the midst of
this disheartening realization,
an airline ticket to Connecticut
emerged from a donor he barely
knew, opening the door for a
week of discernment.
Deacon Wiedenfeld spent
eight years in formation with
the Legionaries of Christ before
returning to Texas to study for
the Diocese of Austin. His experience in religious life included
two years of novitiate, followed
by four years of undergraduate
studies in Thorndale, N.Y. and
two years of pastoral ministry
working with youth. Since then
he has completed two years of
theology studies at St. Mary’s
Seminary in Houston, a pastoral
year in College Station, a year of
hospital ministry at Seton Medical Center in Austin, and nally,
two additional years of theology studies in Houston. After
14 years of formation, Deacon
Wiedenfeld anxiously awaits his
ordination to the priesthood,
a gift he said he owes to the
generosity of many, not the least
being a donor whose name he
does not even know.
A spirit of service was instilled in the Wiedenfeld children through the example
of both parents. Their father
Mark’s career in the U.S. Army,
as well as their mother Christa’s
devotion to raising, and at times,
home schooling nine children
were shining examples of selflessness. Two of the younger
Wiedenfeld brothers pursued
the call to priesthood and attended minor seminary in New
Hampshire before discerning
that was not their call in life.
In addition, two brothers
followed in their father’s footsteps by joining the military,
one is currently serving in the
Coast Guard in Virginia and the
other recently completed four
years of service in the Marines,
including a tour of duty in Iraq.
Despite their many moves, most
of the Wiedenfeld family now
calls Central Texas home and
will be present to witness the
ordination of their son and oldest brother on June 9.
Coincidentally, Deacon David Trahan also comes from a
military family. Though born in
El Paso, he spent his childhood
all over the world, from New
York to Japan. Nonetheless, he
said, “Texas has always been
Both maternal and paternal
grandparents retired in Texas
after careers in the Army and
Air Force, so the family grew
accustomed to traveling back
to the Lone Star State from
wherever they were stationed.
Austin Diocese
6225 Hwy. 290 East
Austin, Texas 78723
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at Austin, Texas
Bishop Joe Vásquez will
ordain Deacons Kurtis Wiedenfeld, David Trahan, Ryan
Higdon and Uchechukwu Andeh to the priesthood June 9 at
10:30 a.m. at St. William Parish
in Round Rock.
After years of formation,
theological studies and ministry, the seminarians are eager
to assume their new roles as
priests. Although coming from
somewhat diverse backgrounds,
these young men share a passion for serving God through
service to others, a desire placed
in their hearts long ago by the
Holy Spirit.
Kurtis Wiedenfeld, the rst
of nine children, was born into
a military family while they were
stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. Less than a year later,
they returned to the U.S. and
embarked on a series of moves,
one of particular importance
being to Washington state. During his early years of schooling, Kurtis attended one public
school after another, always being labeled because of a speech
impediment, he said. However,
he found a new beginning in the
classroom of Wendy Sleisher at
Holy Family Catholic School in
Lacy, Wash.
The Vatican translates
guidelines for
Marian apparitions.
Page 14
Chappell Hill pastor
publishes book about
Tanzania experience.
Page 4
Las uniones civiles
se hacen matrimonios
por medio de
Página 30
Bishop discusses the
holiness of the sacrament of matrimony.
Page 20
See NEW on Page 3
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examining, with courage, topics that challenge and encourage
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the renewal of the church in Central Texas.
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I am not worthy, but I am ready
As a “cradle Catholic,” there are many things I take
for granted about our faith. Until recently, one of those
things was the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
As I helped my son prepare for his rst holy Communion
this year, my love and appreciation for the Eucharist grew
tremendously, thanks be to God!
Therefore, this photo of young Patrick Weisbruch,
a parishioner of St. Luke Parish in Temple, touched my
heart. After Weisbruch received the Body of Christ for
the rst time, he spent several minutes with his eyes
closed “talking to Jesus,” said Keith Thompson, who
took the photo.
I pray that we may all spend more time “talking to
Jesus,” especially as we prepare for the Feast of Corpus
Christi on June 10. As Catholics, we are fed by Christ when we receive the Eucharist. It is a miraculous
gift that I pray I will never take for granted again!
We have been using the new Roman Missal for more than six months now. One of my favorite
new parts is “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and
my soul shall be healed.”
My own personal translation of this prayer we say just before Communion is “Lord, I am not worthy
of this precious gift, but I am ready for the healing it always brings. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Ofcial notices
Please note
The diocesan Ofce of Canonical and Tribunal
Services has issued the following:
• Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Derek
Leigh Garland is hereby requested to contact the
diocesan Ofce of Canonical and Tribunal Services
at (512) 949-2400.
• Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Gary
Don Horton is hereby requested to notify the diocesan Ofce of Canonical and Tribunal Services
at (512) 949-2400.
The next Catholic Spirit will be a combined
issue for July and August and it will be mailed to
homes during the last week of July. The deadline
to submit information for the July/August issue is June 25. The September issue will be mailed
to homes during the rst week of September. The
deadline to submit information for the September issue is Aug. 10. For more information, e-mail
[email protected] or call (512)
949-2443. Thank you and have a blessed summer!
Ofcial appointments
• Father Joy J. Adimakkeel as administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Waco, effective July 2.
• Missionary of St. Paul Father Michael Ajewole as pastor of St. Martin Parish in Tours and St. Joseph
Mission in Elk, effective Aug. 1.
• Holy Cross Father Barry Cabell as Minister to Priests, effective July 2.
• Father Ernesto Elizondo as pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Brenham,
effective July 2.
• Father Pedro Garcia Ramirez as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Hutto, effective July 2, along with
his duties as pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Pugerville.
• Father Christopher Ferrer to full-time service as Judicial Vicar, effective July 2.
• Father Mark Hamlet as administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Austin, effective July 2.
• Father Matthew Iwuji as pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in Austin, effective July 2.
• Father Daniel Liu as director of St. Peter Catholic Student Center in Waco, effective July 2.
• Father Gregory McLaughlin as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Manor, effective July 2.
• Father Isidore Ndagizimana as pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Austin, effective July 2.
• Missionary of St. Paul Father Aloysius Nzekwe as administrator of St. Stephen Parish in Salado,
effective July 2.
• Father Larry Stehling as pastor of Santa Rosa Parish in Andice, effective July 2.
• Father Uche Andeh as associate pastor of St. William Parish in Round Rock, effective July 2.
• Father Luís Alberto Cáceres as associate pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar Park, effective
July 2.
• Paulist Father René Constanza as associate pastor of St. Austin Parish in Austin, effective July 2.
• Father Ryan Higdon as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Bryan, effective July 2.
• Father John Paul Hudson as associate pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Pugerville, effective July 2.
• Father Jungtack John Kim as associate pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in San Marcos,
effective July 2.
• Father Uche Obikwelu as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Austin, effective July 2.
• Father Javier Toscano as associate pastor of Church of the Resurrection, Emmaus Parish in Lakeway, effective July 2.
• Father David Trahan II as associate pastor of St. Mary Cathedral in Austin, effective July 2.
• Father Kurtis Wiedenfeld as associate pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in College Station,
effective July 2.
• Father Melesio Peter as associate pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Temple, effective
July 28.
Young men looking forward to the priestly life
June 2012
Continued from Page 1
Deacon Trahan’s parents, Kennedy and Deborah, eventually
relocated to Round Rock, where
they and his younger sister still
Upon high school graduation, he and fellow ordinate,
Deacon Ryan Higdon, entered
the seminary with their youthful
enthusiasm. It had been nearly
20 years since the Diocese of
Austin accepted anyone immediately following high school,
but these two young men inspired a leap of faith. They rst
earned their undergraduate
degrees in philosophy from
the University of Dallas before
continuing graduate work at St.
Mary’s Seminary in Houston.
Deacon Trahan was attracted to the priesthood from a
young age and rst voiced this
idea around age 6 or 7. “That
colored a lot of the way I went
through school,” he said.
His initial contact with the
diocesan Vocation Ofce came
in the seventh grade for a math
project. Students were asked to
research what they envisioned
as their future professions, including average salary gures.
Deacon Trahan joked that the
rst time he ever contacted the
Vocations Ofce was to nd
out how much a priest earns.
Despite this early calling,
Deacon Trahan said he was not
necessarily part of a religious
group of friends in high school.
“That helped me form in
my mind how you can talk to
people about the faith who
don’t feel the same way on an
emotional level,” he said. Additionally, this experience taught
him how to defend the faith
without condemning others for
not believing, a powerful skill he
hopes will serve him well in his
At 27 years of age, he has
spent a third of his life in formation preparing for this day. The
experiences of his pastoral year
at St. Mary of the Assumption
Parish in West and serving as a
deacon at St. Margaret Parish in
Giddings reafrmed his passion
for serving Central Texas, and
he said ordination is a “neat feeling of coming home.”
Deacon Higdon shares his
peers’ enthusiasm about returning home to Austin to celebrate
their ordination to the priesthood. While he spent time in
Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama as a child, Deacon Higdon
has called Round Rock home
since fourth grade. John and
Kathleen Higdon raised their
three sons in the town just north
of Austin and are parishioners
of St. Thomas More Parish.
As the middle child, Deacon
Higdon spent much of his childhood outdoors and participated
in many sports, but he developed a passion for the water as
a young boy in Alabama during
the family’s frequent trips to the
beach. He continued swimming
competitively year round through
his years at McNeil High School.
However, since entering the
seminary at 18, Deacon Higdon’s
focus has been on preparation for
Deacon Higdon considered
a variety of careers, including
law and social work, before
making the decision to enter
the seminary. However, toward
the end of high school, aspects
of the Catholic faith began to
make more sense to him, and
he found a path to overcoming
his doubts about religious life.
“I’ve had a lot of doubts
over the years. I used to think
I couldn’t be a priest because
I wasn’t worthy. I don’t have
enough of this or I don’t have
enough of that. In those moments of doubt, it can be tempting to focus too much on your
faults and not on the grace given
to you to face those tasks,” Deacon Higdon said.
In the end, the faith of
his family and friends helped
validate his decision through
their constant afrmation and
If not for priesthood, Deacon Higdon said he could see
himself working as a counselor.
Fortunately, this will be a key
element of his new role as a
priest and what he described as
one of his favorite parts of the
vocation. He is also excited to
share the sacraments with the
people of the Diocese of Austin.
Unlike his counterparts who
share common Texas roots,
Uchechukwu (“Uche”) Andeh
rst came to the Diocese of Austin ve years ago on a Diversity
Visa. The native Nigerian left behind his family, his country, and
his diocese to follow God’s call.
“I never saw myself doing
this,” Deacon Andeh said admitted. However, he has embraced it. In the past ve years,
he has not only learned a new
culture but also a new language,
adding Spanish to his vocabulary, along with English, Igbo,
and Pidgin English.
Since leaving his hometown,
Deacon Andeh has made the
7,000-mile journey home one
time. And while his parents and
two brothers remain in Nigeria,
his only sister now lives in Austin. They most likely found the
courage to leave the comfort
of home with the help of their
father, George.
“My father, he gave me the
audacity to dream big; he made
me to aspire to big things,” Deacon Andeh said.
Like the other seminarians,
Deacon Andeh did not initially
see why God would choose him.
His discernment began with
thoughts of inadequacy.
“I’m sure there are better
people out there. But I came
to trust more and more in the
voices of the church and the
people of God,” he said. Deacon Andeh was also encouraged
by the words in Hebrews 5 that
every high priest is chosen from
the people and is weak himself.
This realization was a turning
point which helped him realize
that pride was standing in the
way of accepting his vocation.
Deacon Andeh traveled to
the U.S. after completing his
bachelor’s degree and three
years of post-graduate work
in Nigeria. While he does feel
homesick at times, Deacon Andeh manages to bring pieces of
his native culture to Texas. He
thanks his mother, Roseline, for
teaching him to cook so he can
now prepare a few of his favorite dishes, including pounded
yam fufu with bitter leaf soup.
He has also brought his experience with African percussion
instruments to the seminary
where he currently plays the
djembe for the Spanish choir.
As ordination day approaches, Deacon Andeh is thankful
to the people of the Diocese of
Austin for their encouragement
along the journey.
“I continue to see God’s
providence in them. I thank
them for their generosity, support and prayers,” Deacon Andeh said.
See the new priests’ parish
appointments on Page 2.
Masses of Thanksgiving
• Father Uche Andeh will celebrate Mass June 10 at 11:45
a.m. at St. Albert the Great Parish in Austin.
• Father Ryan Higdon will celebrate Mass June 10 at 5
p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin.
• Father David Trahan will celebrate Mass June 9 at 5 p.m.
at St. William Parish in Round Rock.
• Father Kurtis Wiedenfeld will celebrate Mass June 10 at
10:15 a.m. at Holy Family Parish in Copperas Cove.
Four men ordained transitional deacons on May 19
BISHOP JOE VÁSQUEZ ordained (from left) Jason Bonifazi, Barry Cuba, Alejandro (Alex) Caudillo and Timothy Nolt as
transitional deacons on May 19 at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar Park. With the help of God, these men will be ordained
priests of the Austin Diocese next year. (Photo by Shelley Metcalf)
Book details local priest’s service in Tanzania
Published this spring, the
English version of “In the
Heart of Tanzania: A memoir
of a missionary” is the compelling story of a young Polish
missionary working in Africa
in the 1970s and 1980s.
The book was written by
Salvatorian Father Jozef Musiol, JCD, the pastor of St.
Stanislaus Parish in Chappell
Hill, which is located on the
far eastern edge of the Austin
Diocese about halfway between Austin and Houston.
“In the Heart of Tanzania”
is an autobiographical, nonfiction work relating Father
Musiol’s experiences in Tanzania, East Africa, where he
lived from 1973 to 1982 and
again from 1989 to 1993.
Living in Tanzania was
challenging and thrilling, Father Musiol said. “Sometimes
I miss it. I consider that part
of my priestly life to be the
most exciting and meaningful.”
“I felt the urge for missionary work in Africa,” he
writes in the preface to his
book. “There I spent the most
beautiful and worthwhile part
of my life, that I will never regret. I consider it a great grace
from God and the most important adventure in my life.”
Father Musiol initially
wrote the book in Polish; it
was published in 1998 under
the title “Misyjna Przygoda.”
Stanley F. Conrad translated
it into English, and Patricia
Hanks and Harvey Bollich edited the text.
In one section, Father Musiol describes curing a 19-yearold girl suffering from a poisonous snakebite.
“It was not known what
kind of snake had bitten her
and no one seemed to know
what to do for her. If not
death, certainly long suffering
awaited her. There was a possibility of gangrene setting in
and even amputation of the
leg … When I mentioned that
I had a medicine for snakebite
the ladies immediately asked
for it. Time was running out
and I had to decide whether
to take her to the hospital or
try my medicine. I decided to
try. I had to make two slits
with a scalpel on the spot of
the snake’s bite.”(p. 66) Father
Musiol applied a Black Stone,
a medicine similar to charcoal,
which neutralized the snake
venom. After a few hours
the girl was much better, and
four days later she was able
to walk.
Other times, he was called
to help people whose medical
conditions had worsened after
seeing a witch doctor.
“The African witch doctors and medicine men know
many kinds of herbs which
can cure some sicknesses.
However, the tragedy of this
is sometimes they do more
harm than good … In one
of the outstations, a young
boy was brought to me; he
had a large wound below the
knee from a tropical ulcer.
Evidently, the boy had been
treated by a tribal medicine
doctor, who had plastered it
with some leaves and tied it
with a dirty rag. In time, the
wound started festering and
putrefying.” (p. 152)
Father Musiol removed the
dirty bandage from the boy’s
leg and cleaned out the wound,
a three-inch hole. He gave the
child clean bandages and antiSee MUSIOL on Page 5
“IN THE HEART OF TANZANIA: A memoir of a missionary” by Salvatorian Father Jozef Musiol is available
at (Catholic Spirit photo)
2nd Annual
Corpus Christi Procession to
Texas State Capitol
Sunday, June 10 at 10:45 a.m.
All parishes are invited.
Bring your parish, organization,
association, or group banners!
June 2012
Campus ministry vital when tragedy strikes
“Everyone here is painfully
aware of the insidious nature of
evil, even in loving places,” said
Professor and Deacon Mike
Ellerbrock. The place he refers to is his beloved Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State
University (Virginia Tech). Evil
manifested itself there on April
16, 2007, when a student shot
and killed 27 other students, ve
faculty members and wounded
many others. He then killed
Five years later, on April
16, Deacon Ellerbrock visited
Austin, where he spoke to members of the administration of the
University of Texas at Austin
about the response of Virginia
Tech’s administration, faculty,
staff, students and faith-based
organizations. The next day, he
shared his insights at a meeting
of Catholic campus ministers
who work in the Austin Diocese at the University Catholic
Center (UCC).
Deacon Ellerbrock reported
that Virginia Tech’s experience
teaches us that a listening presence, interfaith cooperation and
collaboration, and being open to
learning from what went wrong
have aided the ongoing healing
process. The tragedy is also
teaching universities and society
to pay better attention to those
who appear to be isolated and
disengaged, as was the killer.
Deacon John De La Garza
of the UCC, who arranged Deacon Ellerbrock’s visit, explained
that university administration
and campus ministries must be
prepared to help students deal
with crisis situations. Even if all
deliberate acts of evil could be
prevented, accidents, physical
and mental illness, and the death
of family or friends can touch
the lives of students during their
college years.
Within the boundaries of
the Diocese of Austin, there
are more than a dozen universities and colleges, several of
which are very large institutions. Tragedies have touched
these campuses too, including
the 1966 shootings at the University of Texas; and the death
of 12 young adults constructing Texas A&M’s bonre in
Alison Tate, diocesan director of Youth, Young Adult
and Campus Ministry said,
“When crisis situations occur
on campus, campus ministry
can respond in a different, but
complementary way, with the
Deacon Ellerbrock said that
at Virginia Tech, “Campus ministry became key in that whole
university response.” On the day
of the shootings, he taught a 9
a.m. class across from the dorm
that was the location of the rst
killings. From the student center
television, he rst learned that
two students were confirmed
dead. By then, the killer had
moved to a different building
on campus. At about 10:30 a.m.,
the news reported that at least
20 were dead. The death toll
rose to 32, with 17 wounded.
“None of us will ever forget
the long line of ambulances,”
Deacon Ellerbrock said. The
entire campus community experienced the raw evil of the
killing spree. “Ministry became
immediately crucial.”
At Virginia Tech, the administration recognized the need for
a response that accommodated
the beliefs of the victims and
their families, and could help the
students and employees cope
with the “why” questions that
can never be answered.
Those involved in campus
ministry were asked to help and
accompanied the police ofcers
who notified the parents and
spouses of the victims. The next
day at a nationally televised memorial service, representatives
of different faith traditions were
asked to participate.
Classes were canceled for a
week. There was great concern
about the future of the university, and whether the students
would even return for the remainder of the semester. Approximately 60 percent did.
The first day that classes
resumed, Deacon Ellerbrock
prayerfully decided to use the
riches of Catholic traditions to
help his students. To a class
of more than 300 with diverse
religious beliefs, he explained
that Catholics often bless those
things that we hold sacred. He
told the students that they were
sacred to him and asked their
permission to bless them with
holy water.
Tears owed as the students
accepted the blessing, he said.
Later the mother of one of
his students told him that this
simple act was a life-changing
moment for her daughter.
Not only did the university
have to deal with tragedy of so
many deaths, it was also inundated with media attention and
embroiled in legal questions
about the sequence of actions
taken in informing and protecting the campus community.
Deacon Ellerbrock saw God’s
love and grace in the response
of the students, who did not get
embroiled in the sensationalism.
He believes that one reason the
enrollment at Virginia Tech is
up today is because the university community conducted
themselves with dignity while in
the national spotlight.
In universities, the relationship between the administration
and faith-based organizations
can be complicated, and Deacon
Ellerbrock saw God’s grace at
work as the groups deepened
their respect and trust of each
other. In addition, agnostic and
atheistic faculty better understood the positive role of campus ministry.
“Prior to the tragedy, we
ministered to the students, staff
and faculty off campus in a
friendly and respectful alliance.
After the tragedy, no one questions the value and role of ministry on and off campus.” In
addition, Deacon Ellerbrock
characterized the relationship
among the various faith-based
organizations as moving from
“collegial and sporadic” before
the tragedy to “unied and collaborative” after the tragedy.
“The love and grace with
which our Virginia Tech family immediately and enduringly
responded to each other was
genuine and personal. Consciously or not, it bespeaks to
me of God. Goodness triumphs
hatred,” Deacon Ellerbrock
Local priest shares his experiences in East Africa
Continued from Page 4
biotics and the boy was soon
healed. In another passage, he
described taking a young woman to the hospital while she was
in labor. The woman delivered
right after arriving at the hospital
and later that week walked the
16 miles back to her village, carrying her baby.
Father Musiol learned to
speak Swahili early on while living in Tanzania. He was moved
by the strong spirituality of the
people he met in Africa.
“A simple hut used as a bush
church with people sitting on a
bare oor or on wooden logs,
mothers breast-feeding infants
during Mass; everything was so
natural. The language and many
other details were different from
what I was used to, but I found
comfort in the fact that the
essential elements of the faith
were the same in Tanzania as
they are in Europe or America.
We prayed to the same God,
participate in the same Eucharistic Sacrice and received the
same Communion.” (p. 15)
Today, in addition to be-
ing the pastor of St. Stanislaus,
Father Musiol serves as the
adjutant judicial vicar and tribunal judge for the Ofce of
Canonical and Tribunal Services
for the Diocese of Austin. He
is a member of the American
Canon Law Society and PolishAmerican Priests Association.
Father Musiol was able to
write “In the Heart of Tanzania”
with such detail and vividness
because he could refer to letters
he wrote to his mother and siblings while he was living in Tanzania. Father Musiol’s mother is
88 and lives in Poland. During
his time in Africa, he wrote to
her and to his four sisters and
one brother regularly. He kept
copies of the letters and they
inspired his book.
One of the highlights of his
time in Tanzania was the visit by
Pope John Paul II in September
1990. “Finally, the Pope entered
the cathedral ... the Holy Father
came near and I spoke up in
Polish, “Szczesc Boze! Witamy
Ojca Sw. w Tanzanii” (which
means “God Bless you, Holy
Father. Welcome to Tanzania.”)
Hearing the words, the pope
approached Father Musiol and
spoke to him, asking “Are you
MUSIOL served in
Tanzania in East
Africa from 1973
to 1982 and again
from 1989 to 1993.
(Photos courtesy
Father Musiol)
a Salvatorian?” Father Musiol
replied afrmatively and told the
pope he taught at a seminary.
(p. 294)
Soon Father Musiol will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his
ordination. He was ordained in
Krakow on June 17, 1972. There
will be a celebration at St. Stanislaus in Chappell Hill on June 3.
“In the Heart of Tanzania” may be purchased at for $15. For
more information about the
book, contact Father Musiol at
[email protected].
Catholic women gather for 63rd convention
From vocations to the
priesthood, to leadership, to
eating disorders, the 63rd annual
convention of the Austin Diocesan Council of Catholic Women
(ADCCW) covered a variety of
topics. The ADCCW seeks to
help women grow in spirituality, leadership and service. This
year’s convention was held April
23 and 24 in Round Rock.
This year’s keynote speaker
was Amber Pilkington, a psychologist-intern, who discussed
her long battle with anorexia
and the spiritual connection that
continues to give her strength.
“You have to admit your
weakness to Christ in order to
heal,” Pilkington said. “Food is
a gift that he gives you.” But it’s
how we view food and the feelings that arise from eating that
can turn the gift into something
bad and eventually an illness.
Pilkington, a graduate of
St. Thomas University and the
University of Dallas, operates
the Dignity Women’s Center in
San Antonio with her husband,
Dr. Steven G. Pilkington, an
obstetrician and gynecologist
who uses only natural family
planning (NFP) in his practice
to help couples postpone or
achieve conception.
She noted that in treatment
for eating disorders there is a
spiritual component that should
not be overlooked. Food, she
said, is central to our faith. Just
look at the Bible and take note
at how many times food is mentioned, she said.
“In the Bible, the words
food or meal appears 403
times,” she said. “The rst one
occurs in Genesis 1. It ends in
Revelation with the wedding
banquet of the Lamb. In the
middle is the Last Supper.”
In comparison, the word
“peace” appears 240 times and
“sacrice” appears 357 times,
she said.
Food and nourishment are
central to Catholicism.
“Food and God are present in the Eucharist,” she said.
“God through Christ could have
chosen any means to be with us
until the end of age. He chose
food. Why?”
It was food from the tree
of knowledge with which the
serpent tempted Adam and Eve
and brought us original sin.
That unhealthy relationship with
food continues today when we
cease to see it as a sacred gift
for nourishment and we abuse
it, Pilkington said. The result is
obesity as well as a myriad of
eating disorders such as anorexia
and bulimia.
Pilkington’s eating disorder
began when she was 11, when
on a school trip to London she
lost a lot of weight because she
didn’t like the food. In high
school she did competitive
dancing and modeling, where
(left), a long-time
member of the
Austin Diocesan
Council of Catholic
Women, and her
husband Alfred
meet Augustine
Ariwaodo, a
seminarian of the
Austin Diocese.
This year the
DCCW gave more
than $122,000
to the diocese
for the education
of seminarians.
(Photo by Enedelia
J. Obregón)
there is “an incredulous emphasis on body size. Your worth
depends on it.”
She got kicked off the team
for being unable to t into size 4
jeans. In college, she became so
ill due to anorexia she couldn’t
attend classes. She broke off an
“I didn’t deserve his love
because I was too fat at size 6,”
she said.
She began her recovery at
Remuda Ranch, a hospital for
eating disorders in Arizona.
Since then, Gal. 5:1 has given
her spiritual strength to ght the
yoke of anorexia: “For freedom
Christ set us free; so stand rm
and do not submit again to the
yoke of slavery.”
She also began reading
Bishop blesses CCCTX facilities
BISHOP JOE VÁSQUEZ blessed the new location
of Catholic Charities of Central Texas on May 4. The
main ofces of CCCTX and Marywood are now at
1625 Rutherford Lane in Austin.
“When the opportunity came for us to move into a
space nearly twice the size of our Sixth Street location, we jumped at it.” said Melinda Rodriguez, executive director of CCCTX. “This space will allow us to
grow our services to the people of Central Texas.”
For more information about CCCTX, call (512)
651-6100 or visit (Photos by Shelley
Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. She wrote the
late pope a letter “begging for
his prayers” as she struggled to
put her life back together. She
received a letter from the Vatican four days before he died on
April 2, 2005.
Pilkington, who did her college thesis on the “Theology of
the Body,” said she has learned
much about the reasons behind
her anorexia, and also the love/
hate relationship that people
–– especially women –– have
with food.
She has learned that all God
created is good and that while
an act of disobedience through
actual eating of food brought
sin into the world, it was an act
of total obedience that brought
salvation and is present at the
Eucharistic meal.
“The devil cannot create,”
she noted. “He can only twist and
distort what God has created.”
The hunger that people feel
goes beyond needing to eat for
nourishment; “we hunger for
God,” she noted. Our battle
with food simply echoes the
pain and emptiness people feel
Another conference speaker
was Cheryl Maxwell, director
of the diocesan Ofce of Worship, who addressed the issue of
“Leadership by Design.”
Maxwell said there have
been leaders throughout history,
some high prole and some not.
What made them leaders was
“What are you passionate
about?” Maxwell asked the audience. “Within that passion lies
many of the gifts God gives us
so we can be Christ-like to the
Holding an apple, Maxwell
said the design of the fruit is
similar to that of leaders: It
begins with the seed of faith
planted within us by God so it
can bear fruit. Faith is at the core
of who we are. The teachings
of Christ help us identify our
purpose in life. The outer skin
is Christ, who protects us and
guides us so we can grow. The
stem is our arms, which we use
to reach out to others.
Father Brian McMaster as
well as seminarians studying
for the Austin Diocese also
discussed the call to the priesthood and creating a “culture of
This year’s convention Mass
was celebrated by Bishop Joe
Vásquez as well as several other
Texas bishops: Cardinal Daniel
DiNardo of Houston, Bishop
Wm. Michael Mulvey of Corpus
Christi, Bishop Plácido Rodríguez of Lubbock and Bishop
Michael Pfeifer of San Angelo.
During the banquet, which
was held after the Mass, the
ADCCW presented Bishop
Vásquez with a check for
$122,487.07 to assist in the
education of seminarians. The
money comes from the interest earned through the Clerical
Endowment Fund, which was
established in 1948 and is a major project of the DCCW. Yearly
enrollment drives at parishes,
Mass and prayer card stipends,
donations and estate bequests
have made this fund a vital
source of revenue for seminary
education and low-cost loans
to parishes. To date the fund
has generated more than $3.5
Last year burses were completed for the following people:
Father Timoth Vaverek, Father Anselm Anukam, Gerry
Braden, Father Isidore Ndagiziman, Msgr. Charles Elmer,
Fther Bernard Mahoney, Msgr.
Benedict Zientek, Father Oliver
Weerakkody, Martha Sweed
Walker, Rudolph and Mary Till,
Father Joseph Nisari and Holy
Cross Father Joseph F. Houser.
For more information
about the ADCCW, visit www. or call Kathy Court
at (979) 822-4804.
June 2012
Bastrop couples celebrate sacrament of marriage
On a recent spring evening hundreds gathered at Ascension Parish in Bastrop to
celebrate a wedding. Twenty
four brides stood anxious and
excited next to their happy
grooms. They assembled in
a line preparing to process
into the church where Father
Rafael Padilla would celebrate
the nuptial Mass. The couples
were previously married outside the Catholic Church and
were looking forward to receiving the sacrament of matrimony through convalidation.
According to Canon Law,
Catholic couples must be married by a priest or deacon and
in a church (unless granted a
dispensation) in order for the
marriage to be recognized by
the Catholic Church. When a
marriage takes place outside
the church, it is not recognized as a sacramental union
and the spouses are not in a
state of grace; therefore, they
may not receive Communion.
Convalidation is the process by which a couple who
was married outside of the
Catholic Church can receive
the church’s blessing on their
marriage and as a result, can
participate fully in the sacramental life of the church.
Lupe Garcia, Director of
the Ofce of Catholic Counseling and Family Life for the
Austin Diocese, said convalidation helps couples realize
the sanctity of marriage. God
is the author of marriage and
when a couple realizes that
then they “understand what
it entails as opposed to what
society tells them, as opposed
24 couples
received the
blessing of
the church
through convalidation.
(Photo by
Cristina M.
GROOMS line up
to enter Ascension Parish in
Bastrop where
they received the
blessing of the
church during a
nuptial Mass on
April 14. (Photo
by Cristina M.
to what the media tells them.
Their marriage then has a rm
foundation,” Garcia said.
Prior to the convalidation,
Father Padilla invited couples in
the parish to learn more about
the process.
“We saw that we had a
lot of couples that hadn’t had
their marriage blessed by the
church so it was one of our
goals here in the parish to try
and help them as much as we
could to be in full communion with us,” Father Padilla
said. The response was better
than he and the parish staff
Father Padilla with each
couple to make sure they were
eligible for convalidation. To
be eligible for convalidation,
couples should have their sacramental paperwork in order,
including baptismal and conrmation certicates. Also, if
either spouse was previously
married, an annulment must
be sought (according to Canon Law couples with a previ-
ous marriage recognized by
the Catholic Church must rst
seek an annulment before being able to marry again in the
Church). Couples must also
receive marriage preparation.
“A lot of what we do in
the marriage preparation process is make sure couples are
aware that marriage is a sacrament that entails a lifetime
commitment. Marriage is a
vocation until death do them
part,” Garcia said. She trains
parish ministers in “Together
in God’s Love,” the marriage
preparation program used in
the Austin Diocese.
Since it was a large group,
the Bastrop couples attended
a marriage preparation retreat
After attending the retreat,
which included talks about
marriage in the context of the
Catholic faith, communication, sexuality and stewardship, Father Padilla said the
couples were “more excited
and they are thinking more
about the sacrament than the
reception.” Nevertheless, Ascension Parish sponsored a reception complete with music,
food and a very large wedding
cake for the 24 couples and
their families.
Rosa Alba Garcia and Jose
Luis Garcia were married in
a civil ceremony a year ago.
They said their Catholic faith
compelled them to pursue
convalidation. Rosa said that
being married in the church
will help them “be right with
God” and receive his grace
for a stronger marriage.
Angelica and Cecilio Garza
agreed. They were appreciative
that Father Padilla provided
this opportunity to the couples
of the parish. After 26 years of
a civil marriage, they said they
needed to set an example for
their ve children that marriage
is best celebrated as a sacrament within the church because
“many young people today don’t
value marriage,” they said.
During the homily at the
Spanish Nuptial Mass, Father
Padilla applauded the couples
for their decision to validate
their marriage.
“Today in our community
we are celebrating the extraordinary sacrament of marriage
— a sacrament that our society tramples on day after
day and wants to destroy,” he
said. “But today in our parish,
you are sending a very strong
and profound message that it
is possible to defend the idea
and the sanctity of marriage
with this sacrament.”
Father Padilla called on
the parish to commit to support and encourage these couples “who have now invited
the Lord to be at the center of
their lives, of their families.”
After the ceremony, Juan
and Inez Cepeda were ecstatic
at having received holy Communion for the rst time in
more than two decades.
“We feel glory, oh, when
I took the body of Christ, it
was like a renewal, it was awesome because I haven’t (received) the body of Christ in
22 years,” Juan Cepeda said.
“I’ve been waiting for this
moment for years, and now,
nally!” added his wife.
Garcia said many couples
who marry outside the church
miss the sacraments and eventually will feel God nudging
them to “come home” to him.
“There’s a lacking and
there’s often a yearning to
be closer to God. The sacraments pull us toward God.
So when a person or a couple
listens to that call and accepts
it, it’s a fantastic experience,”
Garcia said.
After seeing so many couples come forward, Father
Padilla said he hopes to make
this an annual event.
“Our duty as pastors is to
help the people to be closer
to God and to try to be in full
communion with God and the
Catholic Church,” he said.
Garcia said that couples
who want to pursue convalidation should contact their
parish priest or deacon. She
hopes more couples consider
the church’s invitation to the
sacrament of matrimony because of the many graces that
it brings.
“A marriage doesn’t stand
alone. The church wants couples
to be connected to their parish
and to the sacraments, which
bring us closer to God.” Garcia
Bishop Joe Vásquez discusses the sacrament of marriage in the Bishop’s Interview
on Page 20. For more information about convalidation,
contact your parish priest or
the diocesan Ofce of Catholic
Counseling and Family Life at
(512) 949-2400.
Focolare offers retreat for families in Austin
tial women in the Roman Catho- the world may believe that you diocesan Ofce of Canonical
lic Church in modern times. Lu- sent me” (17:21).
and Tribunal Services, joined
bich died in 2008 at the age of 88.
According to the Focolare the Focolare movement about
Living in Trent, Italy, during website ( “The ve years ago. Deacon SandThe Focolare Movement be- World War II, Lubich and her last words and Testament of ers said people from many
gan in 1943, in Trent, Northern friends endured the loss of their Jesus particularly struck (Lubich different professions and
Italy, during World War II. It is
an ecclesial movement born in
the heart of the Catholic Church, “Our job is to live the Gospel, to live it today, so as to
which seeks to encourage the
living of the Gospel in answer to gradually become other Christs, in our age, in whatever
God’s great love for humanity.
place God puts us.”
Today, the movement is
–– Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement
made up of more than 2 million people, of all ages, races
and vocations, in more than 150
countries. The word “Focolare” dreams and witnessed much and her companions’) attention backgrounds come together
means “hearth” in Italian.
destruction. Lubich famously and became the program of their during a Mariapolis retreat.
The Focolare Movement wrote, “Is there an Ideal that lives. Chiara and her friends un“There’s nothing quite like
will sponsor a Mariapolis retreat does not die, that no bombs can derstood that Jesus had died on Focolare,” he said. “At our
June 29 to July 3 at Concordia destroy, an ideal we can give our the cross to bring this unity. The rst Mariapolis we felt like we
University. The program includes whole selves to? Yes, there is. It spirituality that developed was to belonged. Hearing about real
presentations and experiences on is God.”
be a collective spirituality, a way people having spiritual experiliving Gospel-based spirituality
Lubich and her companions to go to God together.”
ences in their everyday lives is
in everyday life; prayer; recollec- “chose to live for God, to put
The millions of Focolare fol- astounding. Hearing the stories
tion; sharing; games and outdoor him rst, to make him the ideal,” lowers around the world strive of how God worked in their
activities. Families are welcome; said Judy Henschen, one of the to live the Gospel moment by lives is wonderful.”
there are simultaneous programs facilitators of the Austin Focolare moment, Henschen said.
Henschen said Mariapolis
for children and teens as well as a group.
During the Mariapolis retreat helps participants maintain their
nursery for infants and toddlers.
The Scripture they based in Austin, people will share their focus.
For more information, email much of their work on was firsthand experiences of how
“It can be hard to keep your
[email protected].
from the Gospel of John: “… God is working in their lives.
energy, enthusiasm and freshChiara Lubich founded the that they may all be one, as you,
D e a c o n R a y S a n d e r s ness in trying to live the Gospel
Focolare Movement; she is con- Father, are in me and I in you, and his wife Joanne, both of day by day. At Mariapolis you
sidered one of the most inuen- that they also may be in us, that whom currently work in the experience the joy in trying to
do that. We give each other
a hand in living the Gospel.
There is strength in doing it with
others because Jesus said ‘For
where two or three are gathered
together in my name, there am
I in the midst of them’” (Mt
The central tenet of Focolare is unity, and Lubich reached
out to people of other faiths in
her work.
In 1997, Lubich met with
800 Buddhist monks in Thailand. She also preached at a
mosque in Harlem. She was
awarded the UNESCO Prize
for Peace Education in 1996.
Pope Benedict XVI
praised her “constant commitment for communion in
the church, for ecumenical
dialogue and for brotherhood
among people.”
The Austin Focolare
Movement meets each month
to share experiences of having
put the Gospel into practice.
For more information about
the group or about attending
the Mariapolis retreat, contact
Judy Henschen at henschen88@ To learn more
about the Focolare Movement,
Catechesis on Human Love certication
High school freshmen invited to retreat
The diocesan Ofce of Pro-Life Activities and Chaste Living will offer a new Catechesis on Human Love Certication beginning this summer. This certication offers
the wisdom of the church to catechists for education in human love and sexuality;
in particular, it incorporates Blessed John Paul II’s catechesis on human love (often
referred to as “Theology of the Body”). The certication consists of six three-hour
classes, which will be offered in Austin, Temple, College Station and Marble Falls
via distance learning equipment. For more information on the application process,
visit or contact
Yvonne Saldaña at (512) 949-2486 or [email protected].
Incoming high school freshmen are invited to a Cross Training retreat July 19-22
at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center in Burnet. This is a Catholic boot camp designed to
prepare incoming freshmen for the hardships of high school by arming them with
Scripture and Catholic fundementals. For more information, contact Adrian Sanchez
at [email protected] or (512) 949-2464.
Bishop Vásquez will celebrate Men’s Mass
Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate the fourth annual Men’s Mass July 21 at 10
a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. All men are invited to celebrate the Eucharist
with other men from across the Austin Diocese. The Mass is sponsored by the
Central Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men. A reception in the Bishop’s Hall will
Servus Dei, a program for middle school youth, will be held June 21-23 at St. follow the Mass. For more information, contact Ken Ciani at (512) 469-0100 or
Austin Parish in Austin. The program is designed to call middle schoolers to a con- [email protected].
version of heart through activities that show the dignity of each person. Activities
include service projects, fellowship, catechesis and prayer. For more information,
Living Your Strengths, a weekend retreat, will be held June 15-17 at Cedarbrake
contact Adrian Sanchez at [email protected] or (512) 949-2464.
Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Beverly Collin will lead the retreat based on the
book of the same name.
Desert Solitude, a silent retreat with daily Mass and centering prayer as the foQuo Vadis (Latin for “Where are you going?) is a two-day retreat, June 23-24 at
St. Thomas More Parish in Austin, designed to help young men in high school grow cus of each day, will be held beginning July 19 at Cedarbrake. Pat Stankus will lead
spiritually and allow them to think and pray about what God might be asking them the retreat. Three nights: July 19-22 is $300; four nights: July 19-23 is $350; and six
to become. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the themes of prayer, nights: July 19-25 is $480.
Finding the Sacred in Depression, a weekend retreat, will be held Aug. 17-19 at
virtue, leadership and discernment. The retreat includes Mass, adoration, time for
fun and recreation, and the opportunity to get to know other young men pursuing Cedarbrake. This retreat is designed to help those struggling with depression. Cerholiness from around the diocese. The retreat is staffed by seminarians preparing tain spiritual practices can guide the pathway to God’s peace and comfort. Sharon
for the priesthood and is co-sponsored by the diocesan Vocation Ofce and the Highberger, MPM, will be the presenter. The cost is $155 for a double room, $185
St. Thomas More Parish Vocation Committee. For more information, contact the for a private room and $75 for commuter.
For more information about any of these retreats, contact Cedarbrake at (254)
Vocation Ofce at [email protected] and (512) 949-2430.
780-2436 or [email protected].
Middle schoolers invited to service program
Summer retreats offered at Cedarbrake
Discernment opportunity for young men
Prayer Vigils for Life in Austin, Killeen
A Prayer Vigil for Life is scheduled for June 16 at St. Julia Parish in Austin. Mass will
begin at 7 a.m. Following the Mass, adoration will be in the church and a caravan will
travel to Austin Women’s Health to pray the rosary from 8:20 to 9:50 a.m. Benediction
will follow at St. Julia at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served at 10:40 a.m. All are
invited to attend. For more information contact Bob Christiansen at (512) 255-8551.
A Prayer Vigil for Life will be held June 23 and will begin with Mass at 8:30 a.m.
at St. Joseph Parish in Killeen. After Mass, a caravan and procession to pray the
rosary at Killeen Women’s Health Center will be held at 9:45 a.m. All will return to
St. Joseph for closing and fellowship at 11:15 a.m. For more information, contact
Karen Hinze at (254) 986-1134.
‘Awaken Your Spirit’ for the Year of Faith
An Awaken Your Spirit retreat will be held June 23-24 at Cedarbrake Catholic
Retreat Center in Belton. In response to Pope Benedict’s announcement of the “Year
of Faith,” this year’s retreat is designed to open hearts to experience the richness of
the Catholic faith in a new and deeper way. The weekend will include quiet prayer
and reection time, Mass, the sacrament of reconciliation, adoration and speakers
including Father James Misko of Belton, Father Steve Sauser of Pugerville and
Father John Kim of Austin. The cost is $75 for a double room and $95 for a single
room. For more information, contact Lynda Villasana at [email protected] or call (512) 269-0023.
June 2012
Federal lawsuits seek to stop HHS mandate
Forty-three Catholic dioceses, schools, hospitals, social service agencies and other
institutions led suit in federal
court May 21 to stop three
government agencies from
implementing a mandate that
would require them to cover
contraceptives and sterilization in their health plans.
“Through this lawsuit,
plaintiffs do not seek to impose their religious beliefs on
others,” said one of the suits,
led in U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Indiana by the Diocese of Fort
Wayne-South Bend, diocesan
Catholic Charities, St. Anne
Home and Retirement Community, Franciscan Alliance,
University of St. Francis and
Our Sunday Visitor.
“They simply ask that the
government not impose its
values and policies on plaintiffs, in direct violation of their
religious beliefs,” it added.
Cardinal Timothy M.
Dolan of New York, whose
archdiocese is among the
plaintiffs, said the lawsuits
were “a compelling display of
the unity of the church in defense of religious liberty” and
“a great show of the diversity
of the church’s ministries that
serve the common good and
that are jeopardized by the
“We have tried negotiations
with the administration and
legislation with the Congress
–– and we’ll keep at it –– but
there’s still no x,” the cardinal said. “Time is running out
and our valuable ministries and
fundamental rights hang in the
balance, so we have to resort to
the courts now.”
Cardinal Dolan also is president of the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops, which is not a
party to the lawsuits.
Catholic organizations
have objected to the contraceptive mandate since it was
announced last Aug. 1 by
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary
of the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.
Unless they are subject to a
narrow religious exemption or
have a grandfathered health
plan, employers will be required to pay for sterilizations
and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing
drugs, as part of their health
coverage beginning as soon as
Aug. 1, 2012.
In all, 12 lawsuits were
filed simultaneously May 21
in various U.S. district courts
around the country. The defendants in each case were Sebelius; Labor Secretary Hilda
Solis; and Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner, along with
their departments.
Erin Shields, HHS director
of communications for health
care, told Catholic News Service May 21 that the department cannot comment on
pending litigation.
In addition to the Archdiocese of New York and Diocese
of Fort Wayne-South Bend,
the dioceses involved are the
archdioceses of Washington
and St. Louis and the dioceses
of Rockville Centre, N.Y.; Erie,
Pa.; Pittsburgh; Dallas; Fort
Worth; Jackson, Miss.; Biloxi,
Miss.; Springeld, Ill.; and Joliet, Ill. The Michigan Catholic
Conference, which provides
medical benets to more than
1,100 Catholic institutions and
approximately 10,000 employees
in the state, also is a plaintiff.
“We need to go to the
court and say we are a church
institution, we are a provider
of health care and, according
to the U.S. Constitution, the
laws must protect our religious freedom,” said Detroit
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron. “We have a very particular
case to make.”
Catholic universities joining in the lawsuits included the
University of Notre Dame, The
Catholic University of America
and Franciscan University of
Steubenville, Ohio, as well as
the University of St. Francis in
Holy Cross Father John
I. Jenkins, president of Notre
Dame, said the decision to le
the lawsuit “came after much
deliberation, discussion and efforts to nd a solution acceptable to the various parties.”
“This ling is about the freedom of a religious organization
to live its mission, and its signicance goes well beyond any
debate about contraceptives,”
he said. “For if we concede
that the government can decide
which religious organizations
are sufciently religious to be
awarded the freedom to follow
the principles that dene their
mission, then we have begun to
walk down a path that ultimately
leads to the undermining of
those institutions.”
Others ling suit include
a Catholic cemeteries association, an agency that serves the
deaf, health care and socialservices organizations, and
Catholic elementary and secondary schools.
Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic newspaper
based in Huntington, Ind.,
said in an editorial that it
“stands proudly with our fellow Catholic apostolates and
with our bishops in resisting
this challenge.”
The newspaper asked
readers “to stand with us ––
in charity, praying first and
foremost for conversions of
heart; in civility, arguing the
facts of this case without recourse to bitter partisanship
or political rhetoric; and in
solidarity, knowing that whatever sacrifices we bear and
whatever challenges we endure, we are only doing what
is our responsibility as American citizens practicing our
faith in the public square.”
Each of the lawsuits uses
similar wording to make its
case and each asks for a jury
Noting that the Founding Fathers agreed “that the
mixture of government and
religion is destructive to both
institutions and divisive to the
social fabric upon which the
country depends,” the lawsuits contend that the U.S.
Constitution and federal law
“stand as bulwarks against oppressive government actions
even if supported by a majority of citizens.”
“Despite repeated requests
from church leaders, the government has insisted that it
will not change the core principle of the U.S. government
mandate –– that plaintiffs
must subsidize and/or facilitate providing their employees free access to drugs and
services that are contrary to
plaintiffs’ religious beliefs,”
the suits state. “If the government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs
in such a manner, there is no
apparent limit to the government’s power.”
The suits were filed by
Jones Day, an international
law rm with more than 2,400
attorneys on ve continents.
Jones Day said in a statement that the rm “looks forward to presenting its clients’
cases in court.”
The contraceptive mandate
“unconstitutionally authorizes
the federal government to determine which organizations are
sufciently ‘religious’ to warrant
an exemption from the requirement,” the statement says. “This
regulation is in violation of the
religious liberties guaranteed by
the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
and other federal laws.”
Poll nds most value protection of religious freedom
Nearly three-quarters of
Americans in a Knights of
Columbus-Marist poll said
freedom of religion should be
protected in this country, even
if it conicts with other laws.
The survey of 1,606 U.S.
adults was conducted by telephone May 10-14, shortly before 43 dioceses and Catholic organizations filed suit
in 12 federal courts against
the Obama administration’s
mandate that contraceptives,
some abortion-inducing drugs
and sterilizations must be provided free of charge in most
health plans, even by employers that have religious objections.
Results of the survey were
released May 22, a day after
the lawsuits were led.
In the poll, respondents
were asked to choose which
of two statements “comes
closer to your view”: “Freedom of religion should be
protected even if it goes
against government laws” or
“Government laws should be
observed without exception
even if it restricts freedom of
Overall, 74 percent of
the respondents agreed with
the rst statement and only
26 percent agreed with the
second. Support for the rst
statement was highest among
Republicans (86 percent) and
those who described themselves as conservative or very
conservative (84 percent), but
even 60 percent of those who
said they were liberal or very
liberal said freedom of religion should be protected.
Strong majorities also said
health professionals and organizations should be permitted
to opt out of participating in
procedures they oppose for
religious reasons. By a margin
of 58 percent to 38 percent,
poll respondents said these
individuals and groups should
be able to opt out of providing abortions; a smaller majority (51 percent to 46 percent)
said they should be allowed
to opt out of prescribing or
dispensing birth control.
But 88 percent of the survey respondents –– and 77
percent of the self-described
practicing Catholics who took
part in the survey –– said it
was morally acceptable to
use contraceptives to prevent
More than half of the
respondents also said individual health care providers
and organizations should be
able to opt out of providing:
abortion-inducing drugs (51
percent), in vitro fertilization
treatments that could result
in the death of an embryo
(52 percent) and medication
to speed the death of a terminally ill patient (55 percent).
“This survey reveals that
the American people are fundamentally dedicated to protecting the First Amendment
conscience rights of everyone,” said Carl A. Anderson,
supreme knight of the New
Haven-based Knights of Columbus.
“Allowing people to opt
out of these procedures or
services –– which violate their
faith –– is the right thing to
do,” he added. “It is also
key to protecting the First
Amendment rights of all
Americans and enjoys strong
public support as well.”
The survey also asked
whether respondents think
U.S. laws in the past few years
have “made it easier or harder
for people to live according to
their religious beliefs.” More
than half (52 percent) said it
had become harder, 31 per-
cent said it was easier and 17
percent were unsure.
A large majority (72
percent) said it was morally wrong to require medical
professionals to perform legal
abortions against their religious beliefs. Only 27 percent
said it was morally acceptable,
and 1 percent said it was not a
moral issue.
Asked about the abortion
issue in general, 58 percent
said it was morally wrong, 40
percent said it was morally acceptable and 2 percent said it
was not a moral issue.
Opinion was more closely
split on the issue of same-sex
marriage, which 52 percent
said was morally wrong, 45
percent said was morally acceptable and 2 percent said
was not a moral issue.
The margin of error for
the survey was plus or minus
2.5 percentage points, but it
was larger for subgroups.
Religious liberty, charter report on tap for US bishops
With a long-standing campaign to press its concerns
about infringements on religious liberty by governments
and the courts, the U.S. bishops will devote a significant
portion of their spring meeting June 13-15 in Atlanta to
the issue.
The bishops also will receive a 10-year progress report by the National Review
Board on the “Charter for
the Protection of Children
and Young People” and hear
recommendations from the
review board stemming from
the study “The Causes and
Context of Sexual Abuse of
Minors by Catholic Priests in
the United States, 1950-2010.”
Two hours will be devoted
to the religious liberty discussion, which will encompass domestic and international concerns as the bishops
continue to rally support for
and raise awareness about infringements on religious rights
in the U.S. and abroad.
At the forefront of the
bishops’ religious liberty efforts is the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services’ mandate that would force
Catholic institutions to provide health insurance coverage
to employees for procedures
the Catholic Church opposes,
including abortion-inducing
drugs, articial contraceptives
and sterilizations. The mandate was announced Aug. 1,
2011, as part of the rules HHS
is issuing to implement the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in
Other concerns have surfaced that worry the bishops, including court rulings and policy
decisions that have forced Catholic institutions out of adoption
and foster care.
Archbishop William E.
Lori of Baltimore, chairman
of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty,
told Catholic News Service he
will update the status of the
series of lawsuits led May 21
across the country by Catholic
institutions and organizations
challenging the HHS mandate.
He also planned to discuss
the major activities around
the country for the “fortnight
for freedom” campaign in
support of religious freedom
called by the ad hoc committee for June 21 to July 4.
He said he also will review
“ongoing efforts to educate
Catholics and the general pub-
lic on the church’s teaching
on religious liberty and religious heritage as Americans.”
Bishop Richard E. Pates of
Des Moines, Iowa, chairman
of the bishops’ Committee on
International Justice and Peace,
will address religious liberty concerns internationally during the
two-hour discussion. Two other
speakers will join Bishop Pates
during the session to offer ways
Americans can be in solidarity
with the church abroad.
Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop
Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad, who serves as president of
Caritas Iraq, will describe the
situation facing Christians in the
Middle Eastern country.
Thomas F. Farr, director of
the Religious Freedom Project
at the Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affairs
at Georgetown University, will
provide an overview of challenges to religious freedom
around the world.
“Our view is that the two
(sides of religious liberty) are
very much interrelated,” Archbishop Lori said. “It’s important for us to keep the torch of
religious liberty burning brightly
at home so we can be a beacon
of hope for people everywhere,
particularly for people who are
suffering real persecution.”
Representatives of the Na-
tional Review Board will look at
the progress made on preventing incidents of clergy sexual
abuse since the adoption of the
charter in Dallas in 2002 and
offer recommendations on how
to strengthen its implementation
for the future, said Mary Jane
Doerr, associate director of the
bishops’ Secretariat of Child and
Youth Protection.
The report will examine
accomplishments under the
four sections of the charter:
healing, effective response,
accountability and protecting
the faith.
The National Review Board
also will offer a series of recommendations to the bishops
stemming from the “causes and
context” study conducted by
the John Jay College of Criminal
Justice of the City University of
New York released in 2011. The
study found “no single identiable ‘cause’ of sexually abusive
behavior toward minors” by
clergy and encouraged steps to
deny abusers “the opportunity
to abuse.”
The recommendations will
encompass the main factors
identied in the study: education, situational prevention, and
oversight and accountability,
Doerr told CNS.
“They want the recommendations to broaden the audi-
ence, not just to members of the
church, but to the community
at large. We’re all responsible
for protecting children,” Doerr
Carolyn Woo, the new president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, will address the
bishops for the rst time. She
stepped into her position as
head of the bishops’ international aid and development agency
in January.
The bishops will hear
from Bishop David L. Ricken
of Green Bay, Wis., chairman
of the bishops’ Committee on
Evangelization and Catechesis, on activities planned for
the Year of Faith declared by
Pope Benedict XVI, which
will run from October 2012
to November 2013. His report
will include an overview of
the resources the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is
developing for use in dioceses
and parishes.
A discussion on a proposal
for a special message on “Catholic Reections on Work, Poverty
and a Broken Economy” also is
Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., chairman
of the bishops’ Subcommittee
on the Promotion and Defense
of Marriage, will deliver a report
on the subcommittee’s work.
Secular society needs Catholicism, pope says
In ve speeches over a period of six months, Pope Benedict XVI warned visiting U.S.
bishops of the threats that an
increasingly secularized society
poses to the Catholic Church
in America, especially in the
areas of religious liberty, sexual
morality and the denition of
Yet the pope did not advise
that American Catholics withdraw from a largely hostile environment in order to preserve
their values and faith. Instead, as
part of his call for a new evangelization within the church and
beyond, he urged believers to
engage even more closely with
wider society for the benet of
all Americans.
Pope Benedict addressed
ve of the 15 regional groups
of U.S. bishops making their
periodic “ad limina” visits to
the Vatican, which began in
late November and ended May
19. The speeches touched on
themes applicable to dioceses
across the country.
One constant was the pope’s
warning against the demoralizing effects of secular culture,
which he said had led to a “quiet
attrition” among the church’s
members, who must therefore
be the rst targets of “re-evangelization.”
Yet the pope argued that
moral decay is also threatening
the stability of secular society
itself. He noted what he called
an “increased sense of concern
on the part of many men and
women, whatever their religious or political views” that a
“troubling breakdown in the
intellectual, cultural and moral
foundations of social life” has
imperiled the “future of our
democratic societies.”
Therefore, he said, “despite
attempts to still the church’s
voice in the public square,”
Catholics should insist on providing “wisdom, insight and
sound guidance” to “people
of good will.” Using the nonreligious “language” of natural
law, he explained, the church
should promote social justice by
“proposing rational arguments
in the public square.”
This duty is incumbent not
only on bishops, the pope
said, but also on Catholic poli-
ticians, who have a “personal
responsibility to offer public
witness to their faith, especially with regard to the great
moral issues of our time.” He
identified the issues as “respect for God’s gift of life, the
protection of human dignity
and the promotion of authentic human rights.”
In particular, Pope Benedict
called Catholics to the front lines
in defense of “that most cherished of American freedoms, the
freedom of religion,” which he
said was especially threatened by
“concerted efforts” against the
“right of conscientious objection ... to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”
The pope’s presumed reference there was to an Obama
administration plan, vociferously protested by U.S. bishops,
which would require that the
private health insurance plans of
most Catholic institutions cover
surgical sterilization procedures
and birth control.
American society also is
served by the church’s promotion of sexual morality, Pope
Benedict said, since a “weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage
covenant, and the widespread
rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in
the practice of chastity, have
led to grave societal problems
bearing an immense human and
economic cost.”
The pope characterized the
bishops’ defense of traditional
marriage against proponents
of same-sex unions as a matter of “justice, since it entails
safeguarding the good of the
entire human community and
the rights of parents and children alike.”
Even in connection with the
church’s most terrible scandal
in living memory –– the widespread sexual abuse of minors
by priests –– Pope Benedict noted benets that the church can
offer the non-Catholic world.
“It is my hope that the
church’s conscientious efforts
to confront this reality will help
the broader community to recognize the causes, true extent
and devastating consequences
of sexual abuse, and to respond
effectively to this scourge which
affects every level of society,”
he said.
Although designed to serve
Catholics, the church’s educa-
tional institutions also enrich
society at large, the pope said.
Catholic schools’ “significant contribution ... to American
society as a whole ought to be
better appreciated and more
generously supported,” he said.
And Catholic universities, following in a tradition that professes the “essential unity of all
knowledge,” can be a bulwark
against a current trend toward
academic overspecialization.
Unity among Catholics can
also promote harmony across
American society, the pope
Noting the “difcult and
complex” legal, political,
social and economic issues
surrounding immigration in
the U.S. today, the pope suggested that a closer “communion of cultures” among the
ethnic groups that make up
the church in America could
reduce ethnic tensions outside
the church.
“The immense promise and
the vibrant energies of a new
generation of Catholics are waiting to be tapped,” the pope said,
“for the renewal of the church’s
life and the rebuilding of the
fabric of American society.”
June 2012
Brownsville teen granted wish to meet the pope
When children and teens
are granted a special wish
through the Make-A-Wish
Foundation, many request to
meet professional athletes or
movie stars.
Armando Sanchez, 17,
asked to meet Pope Benedict
XVI at the Vatican.
“When they told me that
I had this opportunity to go
wherever I wanted and meet
whomever I wanted, I did
think about celebrities, but I
said no,” said Armando Sanchez, a junior at Hanna High
School in Brownsville. “I
want to meet the pope and be
where the church was founded by Peter. I want to see the
great important masterpieces
and architecture.”
Armando and his mother,
Maria de la Luz Sanchez met
the Holy Father at his general
audience on May 2 at St. Peter’s Basilica.
“Many young people
would rather go to Disney
–– he chose Rome,” said Father Michael Amesse of the
Missionary Oblates of Mary
Immaculate and rector of the
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, where Armando is
an altar server. “That speaks
volumes. He loves God so
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children and teens with lifethreatening medical conditions. The organization has
granted more than 220,200
wishes since it was founded in
1980, according to its website.
Mrs. Sanchez said the
Brownsville Fire Department
was instrumental in making the
trip possible. The re department held a 5K Run and sold
barbecue chicken plates, donating the proceeds to the Make-AWish Foundation in Armando’s
honor. Armando is an explorer
with the Brownsville Fire Department. He is also a cadet
major with the Civil Air Patrol,
in junior ROTC at school and
serves as an altar server at his
parish, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
In addition to spending time
with his mother and his friends,
Armando also enjoys spending
time with his older sister, Vianney, brother-in-law and a baby
He also enjoys reading and
watching movies. Dakota Fanning and Robert Downey Jr. are
his favorite actors.
Armando has been a patient at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for 16
years. He has multiple tumors
in his heart, brain and optic
tracts among other ailments,
but his mother says he has
never wanted special treatment or accommodations.
“As parents, I think many
of us wish we could put our
children in a bubble so nothing
can harm them, but I believe
overprotecting them does more
harm than good,” Mrs. Sanchez
said. “Armando is an example
for the whole world. He doesn’t
need or want anyone’s help. He
takes care of himself. He is very
After high school, Armando
plans to pursue a career in pathology. He is also discerning
the priesthood.
“I like shows like CSI,
Bones, House and Criminal
Minds, but I also like movies
about the saints,” he said.
Armando said he has always
felt a special closeness with
When he was about 4-years-
A shield for your loved ones
If anything should happen to you, what
would happen to them? We’re here to
help you make sure that their futures are
secure. Don’t leave it to chance.
Let us be your family’s shield for life.
old, he used to inhale and exhale
deeply every time his mother
drove by a Catholic Church.
“One day, I finally asked
him why he did that,” Mrs.
Sanchez said. “He answered, ‘I
am giving my energy to God, so
he can give it to those who are
Armando Sanchez, 17, from
Brownsville during his general audience on May 2. (CNS
photo by Paul Haring)
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tired.” Armando said he went
through a brief period in fth
grade when he was angry about
his condition but other than
that, he has accepted it.
“Some people have stressful
jobs or pressures at home, this is
my cross to carry,” he said.
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Catholic bishops reiterate sanctity of marriage
Catholic leaders rejected
President Barack Obama’s May
9 declaration in a television
interview that “personally it is
important for me to go ahead
and afrm that I think same-sex
couples should be able to get
“President Obama’s words
today are not surprising since
they follow upon various actions
already taken by his administration that erode or ignore the
unique meaning of marriage,”
said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
of New York, president of the
U.S. bishops’ conference, in a
May 9 statement.
“We cannot be silent in the
face of words or actions that
would undermine the institution
of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society,” Cardinal
Dolan added. “The people of
this country, especially our children, deserve better.”
In December 2010, Obama
said his views on same-sex marriage were “evolving” and that
he “struggles with this,” adding
he would continue thinking
about the issue. An Associated Press story May 10 quoted
Obama as saying he wanted to
announce his support for such
unions “in my own way, on my
own terms” but acknowledged
earlier remarks by Vice President Joe Biden prompted his
On May 6, Biden, a Catholic,
said he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex couples
marrying, adding they should get
“the same exact rights” heterosexual married couples receive.
The Catholic Church upholds the sanctity of traditional
marriage as being only between
one man and one woman, and
also teaches that any sexual
activity outside of marriage is
“I pray for the president
every day, and will continue to
pray that he and his administration act justly to uphold and
protect marriage as the union
of one man and one woman,”
Cardinal Dolan said. “May we
all work to promote and protect
marriage and by so doing serve
the true good of all persons.”
In a May 9 statement, the
Archdiocese of Washington
said it “opposes the redenition
of marriage based on the clear
understanding that the complementarity of man and woman
is intrinsic to the meaning of
marriage. The word ‘marriage’
describes the exclusive and lifelong union of one man and
one woman open to generating
and nurturing children. Other vember. Otherwise the law takes basic right to be welcomed and of marriage disregard the true
unions exist, but they are not effect June 7.
raised by his or her mother and nature and purpose of marmarriage.”
On May 8, North Carolina father together.”
In its statement, the arch- voters approved a constitutional
Yet, across the country the
In other reaction to
diocese said it would “con- amendment dening marriage as Obama’s support for same- views of many Catholics appear
tinue to strongly advocate for a union between one man and sex marriage, Bishop W. Fran- to be trending toward support
the federal government’s ex- one woman by a 3-2 margin. cis Malooly of Wilmington, of same-sex marriage.
A March poll conducted
isting denition of marriage as According to an initial tally by Del., wrote a letter to Cathothe union of one man and one the North Carolina State Board lics in the diocese reiterating jointly by the Public Religion
woman,” adding it supports of Elections, 1,3 million people the church’s teaching against Research Institute and Reefforts undertaken by those –– 61.05 percent –– voted for same-sex marriage, noting that ligion News Service found
who uphold the traditional the amendment while 831,788 is shared by many other Chris- overall Catholic support for
meaning of marriage.”
people –– 38.95 percent –– tian denominations and “mil- same-sex marriage to be 59
One such effort is a petition voted against it.
lions of people” who are not percent, with 36 percent of
drive in the state of Maryland to
The amendment read, Christian or have no religious Catholics opposed. Support
by Americans overall is at 52
overturn a law passed earlier this “Marriage between one man faith.
year to allow same-sex marriage and one woman is the only
“The discussion of mar- percent, with 44 percent opin the state. The archdiocese domestic legal union that shall riage and, in particular, same- posed. Among white Cathocovers ve Maryland counties be valid or recognized in this sex marriage in the United lics, 57 percent support samein addition to the District of state.” It enshrines the deni- States is being framed in terms sex marriage and 37 percent
tion of traditional marriage of human civil rights. There is oppose it.
The demographic groups
The Maryland Marriage in the state constitution, el- no question that all of us are
Alliance said May 2 that a evating it from what has been endowed by our creator with that showed majority oppopetition to put the law to a state law since 1996.
human rights and dignity. But sition to same-sex marriage
vote had collected more than
The outcome in North marriage cannot be defined were respondents age 65 and
30,000 voter signatures. Near- Carolina “afrms the authen- only in terms of civil rights. up, white evangelicals, Rely 56,000 valid signatures are tic and timeless meaning of It is much more,” the bishop publicans, African-Americans,
and those with a high school
needed by June 30 to add the marriage,” said Bishop Salva- said.
referendum to the November tore J. Cordileone of Oakland,
“Marriage has two purposes: education or less. In addition,
ballot, with half due May 31 Calif., chairman of the U.S. the good of the spouses and pluralities of men and “minorto the Maryland State Board bishops’ Subcommittee on the procreation of children. The ity Christian” afliations said
of Elections.
Promotion and Defense of church teaches that marriage they were opposed.
According to polls con“For us in Maryland, the Marriage.
is both unitive and procreative
vote on marriage this November
“(It) demonstrates people’s and that it is inseparably both,” ducted over the past ve years
has nothing to do with politics,” awareness of the essential role Bishop Malooly said. “The pro- by Gallup, ABC-The Washsaid Mary Ellen Russell, ex- that marriage, as the union of a creative purpose of marriage ington Post, NBC-The Wall
ecutive director of the Maryland man and a woman, plays for the recognizes that married love Street Journal, CNN-Opinion
Catholic Conference, in a May 9 common good,” Bishop Cordil- is, by its nature, life-giving and Research Center and the Pew
statement. “It will be a vote on eone said in a May 10 statement. children are the supreme gift Research Center, public supthe issue of marriage itself.” She Marriage is “not a partisan is- of marriage. Male and female port for same-sex marriage
added, “The denition of mar- sue,” he said, “but a matter of complementarity is essential to has risen from 40 percent in
riage is not a matter of politics. justice, fairness and equality for marriage. ... Attempts to make 2006 to majority support toIt is a matter of values and the the law to uphold every child’s same-sex unions the equivalent day.
of society
and family.”
statutory or judicial
statutory provisions
no statutory or
permits sameI
recognition of samedefining marriage
sex marriage
sex marriage that
as between a man
Washingmarriage as
has not yet taken
and a woman
on same-sex
ton state,
between a man
and a woman
were being
for a refMT
ing a new
ton state
law that
of the law
have unNM
til June 6
On ballot
to gather
in 2012
to suspend
the law unAK
til the pubNorth Carolina
lic makes
a decision
about it on
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
Day in No©2012 CNS
State of Marriage
Missionary spirit fostered during World Mission Dinner
June 2012
times, it instilled a radical sense –– they need your help today as traordinary love of the world and
of urgency in children that we much as they needed it 30 and 40 of the people with whom they
are responsible for one another.” years ago.”
live,” the cardinal added.
Those who would like to
The missionary spirit was eviArchbishop Carlo Maria ViThey were called “pagan ba- know what became of their “pa- dent as Pontical Mission Societ- gano, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.
bies,” an appellation that would
never be used today.
When Oblate Father Andrew “There is in the heart of every priest, and I hope in the heart
Small asked who remembered
of every Christian, the longing to be a missionary, to be a
them at the inaugural World Mission Dinner in New York, a few proclaimer of the good news to the ends of the earth.”
hands went up, mostly belonging
–– Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington
to people with gray hair.
But Father Small, national
director of the Pontical Mis- gan babies” will get a chance to ies honored three people at the who greeted guests on behalf of
sion Societies in the U.S., wasn’t nd out when Pontical Mission May 2 gala. Cardinal Theodore E. Pope Benedict XVI, called the
apologizing for the old “adop- Societies formally launches its McCarrick, retired archbishop of Pontical Mission Societies “intion” program in which children Great Works Campaign in the Washington; best-selling author struments for cooperation in the
in Catholic schools would save coming months.
Mary Higgins Clark; and televi- universal mission of the church
their pennies. When they reached
The campaign will celebrate sion commentator Larry Kudlow across the world.”
$5, they then “ransomed” a child the legacy of love and support were named 2012 pontifical
“Through their action the
overseas, got a certificate and the program offered, and recall ambassadors for mission. Each proclamation of the Gospel
the right to name the child being the babies with whom American was presented with a medallion also becomes an intervention on
looked after by missionary sisters, children once connected through featuring a representation of the behalf of one’s neighbor, justice
brothers and priests abroad. The the Holy Childhood Association. papal keys.
for the poorest, possibility of
money collected in the U.S. went An interactive website will feature
In accepting his medallion, education in the most remote
to help feed, clothe and educate video interviews with some of Cardinal McCarrick summed villages, medical aid in isolated
the former “pagan babies,” now up the missionary spirit. “There places, emancipation from pov“We can smile at it now at nuns, priests and catechists in is in the heart of every priest, erty and rehabilitation for the
perhaps how silly it was,” Father their homelands.
and I hope in the heart of every marginalized, overcoming ethnic
Small said. “But, in fact, the
“Some became doctors and Christian, the longing to be a divisions and respect for life
entire program was rooted in a lawyers and schoolteachers and missionary, to be a proclaimer of in all its stages,” Archbishop
sense of solidarity and charity in others became lay catechists, sis- the good news to the ends of the Vigano said.
the broadest understanding of ters and priests, operating clinics earth,” he said.
Other notable guests includthe word. No one was, in fact, and schools, colleges and semi“I’ve been fortunate to travel ed Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley
adopted or bought. Despite its naries,” Father Small explained, to various parts of the world and of Boston; Bishop Bejoy N.
apparent condescending tone at “and let me tell you something to admire (our missionaries’) ex- D’Cruze of Sylhet, Bangladesh;
actor Andy Garcia, who stars in
the upcoming lm “For Greater
Glory”; and Noel Campbell,
who rode Amtrak for three days
from the Coeur D’Alene Indian
Reservation in northwest Idaho
to attend the event.
Campbell, now retired
from the film industry where
he worked as a technician, told
Catholic New York, the archdiocesan newspaper, that he’d been
enrolled in the Holy Childhood
Association since seventh grade
and that he remembered adopting babies to get them baptized
into the faith. “It seemed like an
honorable thing,” he said.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen,
who once said, “My greatest love
has always been the missions of
the church,” was very much a
spiritual presence at the dinner,
where his name was invoked
several times.
“Remember what he said?
‘The church doesn’t have a mission. The mission has a church,’”
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of
New York reminded his guests
in opening remarks. “There’s the
priority. And the fact that you
great people, so distinguished, so
esteemed, would be here this evening to rally around this sacred
responsibility of missions, what
a source of inspiration and joy.”
Vatican publishes rules for verifying Marian apparitions
To help bishops determine
the credibility of alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican has
translated and published procedural rules from 1978 that had
previously been available only
in Latin.
The “Norms regarding the
manner of proceedings in the
discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations” were approved by Pope Paul VI in 1978
and distributed to the world’s
bishops, but never officially
published or translated into
modern languages.
However, over the past
three decades, unauthorized
translations have appeared
around the world, according to
U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada,
prefect of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith.
The doctrinal office “believes it is now opportune to
publish these ‘Norms,’ providing translations in the principle
languages” so as to “aid the pastors of the Catholic Church in
their difcult task of discerning
presumed apparitions, revelations, messages or, more generally, extraordinary phenomena
of presumed supernatural origin,” the cardinal wrote in a note
dated December 2011.
His note and the newly
translated norms were published
recently on the congregation’s
Cardinal Levada wrote that
he hoped the norms “might
be useful to theologians and
experts in this eld of the lived
experience of the church, whose
delicacy requires an ever-more
thorough consideration.”
More than 1,500 visions
of Mary have been reported
around the world, but in the
past century only nine cases
have received church approval
as worthy of belief.
Determining the veracity of
an apparition falls to the local
bishop, and the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation established
the norms to guide the process.
Granting approval is never
brief, with some cases taking
hundreds of years. Visionaries
and witnesses must be questioned and the fruits of the apparitions, such as conversions,
miracles and healings, must be
According to the norms,
the local bishop should set up a
commission of experts, including
theologians, canonists, psychologists and doctors, to help him
determine the facts, the mental,
moral and spiritual wholesomeness and seriousness of the visionary, and whether the message
and testimony are free from theological and doctrinal error.
A bishop can come to one
of three conclusions: He can
determine the apparition to be
true and worthy of belief; he can
say it is not true, which leaves
open the possibility for an appeal; or he can say that at the
moment he doesn’t know and
needs more help.
In the last scenario, the investigation is brought to the
country’s bishops’ conference.
If that body cannot come to a
conclusion, the matter is turned
over to the pope, who delegates
the doctrinal congregation to
step in and give advice or ap-
point others to investigate.
The alleged apparitions at
Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina are an example of a situation in which the country’s bishops requested the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith to
In that case, the congregation
established an international commission in 2010 to investigate the
claims of six young people who
said Mary had appeared to them
daily beginning in 1981.
The apparitions purportedly
continue and thousands travel
to the small town each month
to meet the alleged seers and
to pray.
Pope Benedict XVI has reafrmed that the church never
requires the faithful to believe
in apparitions, not even those
recognized by the church.
In his note, Cardinal Levada
quoted the pope saying “The
criterion for judging the truth of
a private revelation is its orientation to Christ himself,” in that it
doesn’t lead people away from
Jesus, but urges them toward
closer communion with Christ
and the Gospel.
The cardinal also quoted
from the writings of St. John of
the Cross, who emphasized that
God said everything he had to
say in Jesus Christ –– in his one
and only son and Word.
“Any person questioning
God or desiring some vision or
revelation would be guilty not
only of foolish behavior but also
of offending him, by not xing
his eyes entirely on Christ and by
living with the desire for some
other novelty,” the saint wrote.
Church approval of a private
revelation, in essence, is just the
A STATUE OF MARY and a crucix are seen on Apparition Hill in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in this Feb.
28, 2011, le photo. The site is where six village children
rst claimed to see Mary in June 1981. The Vatican has
released translations in ve languages of a 1978 document on rules for dealing with alleged Marian apparitions.
The document had previously only been available in Latin.
(CNS photo by Paul Haring)
church’s way of saying the message is not contrary to the faith
or morality, it is licit to make
the message public “and the
faithful are authorized to give
to it their prudent adhesion,”
the pope said in his 2010 PostSynodal Apostolic Exhortation,
“Verbum Domini” (“The Word
of the Lord”).
The text of the Vatican
norms in English is available at
Papal Foundation impressed with Vatican bank
Trustees of the U.S.-based
Papal Foundation, which donates millions of dollars to papal charities each year, spent
two hours at the Vatican bank
and came away convinced
that the institution’s bad press
was undeserved, said Cardinal
Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.
“I found it very reassuring,” the cardinal told Catholic News Service in Rome.
“The effort of the Holy See
to be transparent is demonstrable.”
The bank, which is formally called the Institute for
the Works of Religion (known
by its Italian initials, IOR), “is
just that –– a work of religion,” said the cardinal, who is
chairman of the Papal Foundation’s board of trustees.
Having a bank allows Vatican offices, international religious orders and Catholic
institutions to handle money
in a variety of currencies and
move resources to where they
are needed, he said.
Cardinal Wuerl said the
trustees were given an overview of the bank’s operations
and a tour of its offices in
a medieval tower inside the
A series of leaks of letters exchanged among Vatican
ofcials and between the officials and the pope himself
beginning in January raised
concerns about the bank and
about financial transparency
within the Vatican. Concerns
increased in March when the
U.S. government put the Vatican on a list of countries that
are vulnerable to money launderers, although the list says
the Vatican is not as vulnerable as the U.S. itself.
In December 2010, Pope
Benedict XVI instituted a new
agency to monitor all Vatican
nancial operations and make
sure they reflect the latest
European Union regulations
and other international norms
against money-laundering and
the nancing of terrorism. At
the same time, the Vatican
promulgated a new law that
defined financial crimes and
established penalties –– including possible jail time ––
for their violation.
Cardinal Wuerl said the
meeting at IOR and the opportunity to ask questions reassured the trustees of the
bank’s “ability to demonstrate
not only how they are in conformity with all the laws, but
that that has been veried by
outside auditors, and that’s a
very important element.”
The Papal Foundation
uses the Vatican bank to distribute the grants it makes in
the pope’s name; in 2011, it
distributed more than $8.5
million in grants and scholarships to recipients in more
than three dozen countries.
Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of
Dallas, a Papal Foundation trustee, said, “Many times the only
way we have of getting money
directly to these works of charity
is through the IOR. I consider it
essential to our work.”
For the Papal Foundation
trustees, who include laypeople with backgrounds in
banking or nance, he said,
it was important to know the
money is being handled professionally and according to
“the moral, social and ethical guidelines of the Catholic
In the popular imagination, sometimes just the combination of money and the
Vatican is enough to generate
wild stories. “We all love a
great mystery,” he said.
The results of the outside
auditors’ annual studies of the
bank and its compliance with
U.S. and European regulations
were reassuring, he said.
“I was highly impressed,”
Bishop Farrell said, “and I’m
not easily impressed.”
June 2012
Woman recounts Mexico’s Cristeros War
As she shut off the garden
hose and set it next to her recently planted flowers, Maria
Meza greeted a visitor.
“Yes, come in, everything’s
all wet, clean,” she said with a
The 92-year-old said she
likes to exchange good-natured
banter, but all smiles vanish
when Meza begins narrating her
family’s ordeal back when she
was 7 years old and living in her
native Michoacan, Mexico.
“Las balas tronaban (The
bullets whistled),” said the survivor of the Cristero War of the
1920s, in which Catholics took
up arms to contest the Mexican
government’s systematic repression of religion. It is depicted in
the movie “For Greater Glory,”
which opened in theaters June 1.
In an interview with The
Tidings, newspaper of the Los
Angeles Archdiocese, Meza said
welcomes the idea about the
movie and would like to see it
if it was shown in Spanish. She
taught herself to read and write
but found it very difficult to
learn English, although she attended several classes after arriving in the U.S. in the 1970s with
her husband and 10 children.
Her father, Jose Meza
Galvez, was a strong Cristero
who hid many priests in his
house to help them avoid getting
killed by the government that
persecuted all Catholics during
the three-year civil war. More
than 90,000 people died, mostly
men and numerous priests, including her uncle, St. Rafael
Guizar Valencia. A bishop, he
was beatified by Pope John
Paul II in 1995 and canonized
by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
For three days, Maria Meza,
her four sisters and their mother, Maria Ayala, hid in a cave
while all the men in town fought
against the government’s army.
With sadness, she recalled
when the war ended. A few days
after the war was over a group
of military burst into her home
and killed her father.
“One shot was enough,” she
said. He was about 40 years old.
The rest of the family survived because the army went
after the men, Meza said.
“But he died bravely, shouting, ‘Viva Cristo Rey!’ ‘Vivan
los Cristeros!’” she said proudly.
After that sad day, her mother made sure that the family’s
Catholic heritage stayed alive
among her children. Two of the
girls entered the religious community Sagrada Familia (Sacred
Family); the other three married
and passed their strong faith on
to their children, along with the
Cristero War story.
“I’ve heard this story many
times in my life since I was a
small boy,” said her son Manuel,
62, the fourth of her 14 children.
Four died at a young age.
Although the story has been
passed through generations of
survivors, it did not make it in the
annals of Mexican history. Many
analysts presume it is because the
Mexican president at that time,
Plutarco Elias Calles, who led the
war, was one of the founders of
the Institutional Revolutionary
Party, which ruled the country for
the next seven decades.
Even for Manuel, it is hard
to believe that the dead were
hanged from poles on the roads
under the fearful watch of survivors. Others were buried in
mass graves.
“Thank God that war nally
ended,” Meza said. “They were
three long years. They (the soldiers) put houses on re, raped
many women and tried to de-
. ;/.
B( =/
$ %&
stroy all religious images.”
That is why she tries to preserve her Catholic beliefs, she
“I don’t want my family to
change to another religion,”
Meza said. “I respect other
people’s beliefs, but we went
through so much and I think it
was worth it.”
Purposefully, 12 years ago
she and her husband bought
a house across the street from
Resurrection Church in East
Los Angeles.
Unless she is sick, which
rarely happens, she gets up at
5 o’clock every morning and
by 6:45 she is sitting at one of
the pews.
“Every single day,” Meza
said, except on Sundays, when
she attends the 10:30 a.m. Mass
together with other family members. She has 60 grandchildren
and 40 great-grandchildren.
“I am preparing myself to
receive my glory,” she said. She
receives Communion every day
and prays the rosary every night
before going to bed at 9 p.m.
“When I stand in front of
the Judge, I think I will be prepared,” she said proudly. “I
think I have a solid faith. Although I don’t know him, I do
believe in him. And I don’t lack
anything; even in hard times he
has provided.
“That shot to my father’s
head was not in vain. The seed
that my parents planted in me
doesn’t wither that easily.”
92-year-old survivor
of Mexico’s Cristeros
War, prays in front of a
crucix May 9 at Resurrection Parish in Los
Angeles. Meza, whose
father was killed in
the Cristeros War, hid
many priests in his
house to help them
avoid getting killed
during the three-year
civil war. (CNS photo
by Doris Benavides,
The Tidings)
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Women migrants face ever-increasing dangers
Increasing numbers of
women are migrating alone, a
situation that makes them vulnerable to violence and exploitation, but one that often shows
their courage and commitment
to making a better life for their
families, said speakers at a conference in Rome.
About 214 million people
live outside their country of
origin, and half of all migrants
are women, said Miguel Diaz,
U.S. ambassador to the Holy
See, which sponsored a panel
discussion about migration and
women May 24.
The global economic crisis
has increased the danger that
migrant women and children
will fall prey to traffickers as
they ee violence and poverty,
seeking a better life for themselves and their families, the
ambassador said.
Cardinal Antonio Maria
Veglio, president of the Pon-
tifical Council for Migrants
and Travelers, said in the
experience of the Catholic
Church, its ministers and aid
agencies, women who have
been forced to migrate, “despite everything that has happened to them in their lives,
respond to their situation with
remarkable courage, resourcefulness and creativity.”
“They believe wholeheartedly that the future offers
change and possibilities,” he
At the same time, the cardinal said, women migrants
need special protection. They
may be the targets of ethnically motivated rape during times
of civil strife; their safety often isn’t ensured even in refugee camps; and many become
the head of their household
in a land where they do not
speak the language or understand the culture.
Martina Liebsch, policy
director for Caritas Internationalis, told conference participants that strong myths are
believed by both migrants and
people in the countries they
hope to enter.
Migrants, she said, “often
believe in the myth of a better
life somewhere else, in developed countries, whereas in fact
they often end up undocumented, doing precarious work, with
little or no access to rights.”
The people who make the
most money out of migration
–– traffickers and smugglers
–– “exploit this myth and the
dreams.” She said a police ofcer told a recent Vatican conference that “it is easier nowadays
to trafc a person than to trafc
drugs or weapons.”
People in the world’s richer
countries “have their own myth
–– that they are being invaded
by migrants,” she said. But, in
fact, research has demonstrated
there is more migration in the
developing world because most
migrants want to stay as close
as possible to their homelands.
In addition, she said, the
rich countries rely heavily on
migrants for semi-skilled and
unskilled labor in construction
and in domestic work, including caring for the elderly and
for children.
In fact, Liebsch said, while
poor countries have long lamented a “brain drain” with
the emigration of their highly
skilled, highly educated citizens,
today many are experiencing a
“care drain” with the departure
of nurses and those who traditionally have cared for children
and the elderly.
National laws, international
policies and nongovernmental
agency efforts to assist migrants
must become more sensitive to
the fact that women and men
migrants often face very different threats and challenges,
she said. In particular, the fact
that so many women migrants
end up doing domestic work
means they are employed in the
least regulated sector of most
countries’ economies and face
the most potential exploitation.
Farah Anwar Pandith, the
U.S. State Department special
representative to Muslim com-
munities, said whether they
are rst-generation or fourthgeneration immigrants, Muslim
women in Europe often are
raising their children surrounded
by “shrill voices” debating immigration and cultural diversity.
New Muslim immigrants
face isolation because of language barriers, but they also
face the physical barrier of being forced to live in the poorer
neighborhoods. Outreach to
promote literacy is important,
she said, but emotional support
is even more crucial.
“We do not want mothers
raising children to tell them that
they will never belong to the
country, society, communities
in which they live. We want
mothers to be able to promote
opportunities for their children,
to give them the opportunity
to live up to their God-given
potential,” she said.
“The bottom line is to listen
to what the women are saying
about what’s happening to their
families, to their children and
in their environment,” she said.
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June 2012
Long-time priest ordained bishop in Houston
Promising to be a humble
servant to God and his people
and dedicating his ministry to
the Blessed Mother, George
Arthur Sheltz was ordained
the new auxiliary bishop for
the Archdiocese of GalvestonHouston May 2 in a packed
cathedral of jubilant supporters
of the native Houstonian.
Bishop Sheltz is only the
seventh auxiliary bishop to be
ordained in the oldest and largest diocese in Texas. He will
assist Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo in shepherding more
than 1.2 million Catholics across
10 counties, 146 parishes and
59 schools. His appointment
lls the vacancy left by thenAuxiliary Bishop Joe Vásquez
who was appointed bishop of
Austin in 2010.
“I will be true in faith and in
teaching,” the newly ordained
bishop said in comments near
the close of the ordination Mass.
“I hope that I will govern with
great care and compassion and
love. I know that it takes a lot
of prayer and hard work to do
Cardinal DiNardo, principal consecrator and celebrant,
joined 18 bishops from around
the country and more than 200
clergy present for the ordination,
during which Bishop Sheltz was
anointed with the sacred chrism,
signifying his full share in the
priesthood of Christ through the
sacrament of holy orders.
Bishop Sheltz, who learned
of his appointment on Feb. 21,
said he was deeply moved and
humbled that Pope Benedict
XVI had chosen him to help lead
the beloved archdiocese where he
was born, raised, educated and
ordained to the priesthood.
“I ask you to pray for me and
keep me in your prayers so that I
can be that humble servant I have
been called to be, but also so to
help me keep a sense of humor
and to be there when people
need me, to be able to listen to
them and to be able to help them
in anything I can do,” Bishop
Sheltz said. In doing so, he said
he sought to model his life after
the Blessed Mother.
“My mother always said that
(Mary) was a simple person, but
she was always there, was always
supporting, always loving. She
never did anything for herself,
but for other people,” he said.
During his homily, Cardinal
DiNardo spoke about the role
of a bishop within in the church,
which is to teach, sanctify and
govern, and how special it was
to have a shepherd who had
spent his whole life among his
ock in one diocese.
“What a gracious act of the
Holy Father to grant us a local
priest to be our new auxiliary.
How much it says about the
priests of the Archdiocese of
Galveston-Houston that one of
their number is considered, as
the pope says, ‘apt with ecclesial experience’ to serve as a
bishop,” Cardinal DiNardo said.
A priest for more than 40
years, Bishop Sheltz’s story in
faith began in a family of men
and women deeply committed
to the church.
His father, Deacon George
Sheltz Sr., was in the rst class
of permanent deacons ordained
for the diocese in 1972. The
bishop’s late brother, Anton
Sheltz, was ordained a priest in
Houston 1976. His uncle, Msgr.
Anton Frank, was the rst native Houstonian to be ordained
for the diocese in 1933.
His maternal grandmother
and Margaret Sheltz, his mother,
both now deceased, and his sister
Mary Margaret Keen were also
profoundly devoted to the faith.
“They taught me by their
example what it means to be a
Catholic, what it means to be
a Christian and even what it
means to be a priest. They taught
me you’re not in it for yourself.
You’re in it to share your blessings and your gifts,” Bishop
Sheltz said during a vespers service on the eve of his ordination.
During his priesthood, Bishop Sheltz served at Assumption,
Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral and
St. Vincent de Paul churches.
He was the founding pastor of
Christ the Redeemer and served
as pastor at both Prince of Peace
and St. Anthony of Padua parishes, all within the archdiocese.
In 2007, Bishop Sheltz became archdiocesan director
of clergy formation and chaplaincy services. Since 2010, he
has served as vicar general and
chancellor of the archdiocese,
overseeing the administrative
operations for the 12th largest
archdiocese in the nation.
A. SHELTZ makes
his nal remarks
at the end of his
ordination Mass at
the Co-Cathedral
of the Sacred
Heart in GalvestonHouston May 2.
Bishop Sheltz is
only the seventh
auxiliary bishop to
be ordained in the
oldest and largest
diocese in Texas.
(CNS photo by
Louise Kelly, Texas
Catholic Herald)
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Looking Ahead
in 2012
Sept. 13
Growing in Holiness
Fr. Albert Haase at
St Albert’s Parish
Sept. 14-16
The Lord’s Prayer
Fr. Albert Haase &
Sean Herroitt
Nov. 2-4
Sleeping with Bread
Fr. Matt Linn
Living Your Strengths; Discovering Your God Given Talents — June 15-17
What are my strengths? What should I do next? Why do I love some things and avoid others? These
are questions we ask ourselves all the time. You will identify your strengths and talents and learn ways
to develop them. Cost is $155 for a double room and $185 for a private room. Commuter fee is $75.
Reflections on Psalm 23 — July 11
Psalm 23 - “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”
We will examine this very popular Psalm based on several authors’ reflections as an invitation to trust,
hope and believe that the Good Shepherd is with us and will indeed lead us to eternal life. The cost is
$30 and includes lunch. Brian Egan will lead this day of reflection.
Desert Solitude — July 19-25
This is a silent retreat with daily Mass and centering prayer as the focus of each day. The retreat will
begin on Thursday afternoon; you have the option of staying three, four or six nights. Treat yourself
to some sacred time with God. Pat Stankus is a gifted retreat leader and spiritual director.
3 nights, July 19-22 — $300; 4 nights, July 19– 23 — $350; 6 nights, July 19-25 — $480 private.
Finding the Sacred in Depression — Aug 17-19
This retreat is designed to help those struggling with depression. Feeling alone and isolated adds to
the suffering. Certain spiritual practices can guide the pathway to God’s peace and comfort. Sharon
Highberger, MPM, will be the presenter. The cost is $155 for a double room, $185 for a private room
and $75 for commuter.
Pope to give Catholic families hope in troubled times
Pope Benedict XVI will
meet with the world’s families
at a time when the institution
of the family is under threat and
many are still struggling with a
worldwide economic crisis and
a lack of cultural and societal
As a sign of his deep concern for bolstering the family based on the lifelong union
between a man and a woman,
the pope will travel to Milan to
meet with those attending the
May 30-June 3 World Meeting
of Families.
The pope will arrive June
1 and will close the event with
an outdoor Mass. His three-day
visit is an extraordinary sign of
how much the pope wants to
reafrm the importance of families built on Christian values,
Bishop Jean Laftte, secretary
of the Pontifical Council for
the Family, told Catholic News
The Milan gathering will be
the second world family meeting
that Pope Benedict has attended
in his ponticate. The meetings,
held every three years, are hosted by different dioceses around
the world and are sponsored
by the Vatican’s council for the
family as a way for families to
meet, discuss critical issues and
grow in the faith.
Almost all of the pope’s
speeches to visiting diplomats,
heads of state and the world’s
bishops address the need for
governments and the church
to support this fundamental
building block of society. It’s the
family where future generations
are formed to be members of a
constructive, generous, hopeful
and peaceful world, the pope
has said.
The pope’s message “will
certainly be a message of hope,
that, yes, it is worthwhile to live
the fullness of the meaning of
the family” as God designed
and intended, as an indissoluble
union between a man and a
woman, Bishop Laftte said.
The pope will meet with
young people at San Siro Stadium, attend an evening celebration where he will hear
people’s testimonies of faith,
lead a Sunday morning outdoor
Mass and have lunch with event
organizers and families. He will
pray with priests and religious
at Milan’s Duomo cathedral
and venerate the relics of St.
Charles Borromeo, patron saint
of catechists, seminarians, learning and the arts, and co-patron
saint of Milan.
The pope will also attend a
concert held in his honor at the
La Scala opera house, featuring
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
The pope will have a chance
to get his message out to the
wider world when he meets with
the people of Milan and civilian
authorities. It may be an opportunity for him to weigh in on a
major issue facing states in different parts of the world: the ongoing push to legalize or recognize
same-sex unions and marriage.
The pope has repeatedly
called on governments to respect and defend the traditional
denition of marriage and urged
the church to promote the natural order in the institution of the
Marriage between a man
and a woman “is not a simple
social convention,” the pope
told the world’s ambassadors to
the Vatican this year. The family
is the basic unit of society and
“policies which undermine the
family threaten human dignity
and the future of humanity itself,” he said.
The pope’s approach has
been to win over people’s hearts
and minds, in part by having
Catholics themselves serve as
credible witnesses to the joy
and love that come from living
in accordance with natural law.
The church needs to help
people discover that its teaching
not only makes sense, but also
protects human dignity and creates a stable society, he has said.
In fact, on his way to his rst
World Meeting of Families in
Valencia, Spain, the pope told
reporters he was more interested
in highlighting what works and
makes families thrive than in
lambasting opponents.
He said that stressing what
is positive about Christian living
can help people see “why the
church cannot accept certain
things, but at the same time
wants to respect people and
help them.”
This year’s theme for the
gathering, “Work and Celebration,” comes at a critical time
for many families struggling
with the challenges of unemployment, low wages, long work
hours for one or both parents,
building a nest egg for a home
or the children’s education and
many other problems connected
with working to support a family.
Pope Benedict is expected
to address these real problems,
as he did recently when he said
work should not hurt the family,
“but rather should support and
unite it, help it to open itself to
life” and take part more fully in
the church and community.
Marking the U.N.’s International Day of Families May 15,
the pope said employers should
also respect Sundays as a day
of rest and a time families can
strengthen their relationships
with each other and with God.
This year’s World Meeting
of Families’ lecture series will
feature Catholic economists,
entrepreneurs, church leaders
and other experts sharing best
practices for families seeking to
sustain themselves both nancially and spiritually.
US family hopes God’s plan includes trip to meeting
The Tuncaps have a lot of
faith in God and his plans for
their family, and they’re hoping
those plans include a trip to the
World Meeting of Families in
Milan, Italy.
At a cost of $11,000 just for
the ight, the May 30-June 3
event would normally be impossible for the young family, but
so far, God has provided a way
around every obstacle.
Allen Tuncap, a Petty Ofcer 2nd Class in the U.S. Coast
Guard, said he and his wife,
Janell, live simply with their
five children –– Ethan, 10;
Aveah, 6; Tobey, 3; Elyjah, 2;
and Madden, 6 months. They
attend Mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church on the
Charleston Air Force Base and
have formed close friendships
there and through the South
Carolina Guam Association.
Allen said he was online one
night, reminiscing about his two
amazing trips to World Youth
Day, when he came across an ad
for the family meeting. He said it
was like Blessed John Paul II had
sent him a message from heaven.
He immediately felt called to
attend and told Janell about it.
Then they found out the cost.
But discouragement gave way
to a rebirth of excitement when
they found out they could y
free on a U.S. Air Force cargo
plane through a “space available” program.
The catch is the family won’t
know whether they have a seat
onboard until the last minute.
“It’s precarious. We won’t
know until it happens,” Allen
told The Catholic Miscellany,
newspaper of the Charleston
Diocese. “It’s all prayer. If it’s
God’s will, it’s God’s will.”
Prayers have been winging
heavenward from the beginning, starting with registration.
According to Allen, he found it
would cost $2,000 to register his
entire family for the gathering.
The nonrefundable fee was a
huge gamble, since the Tuncaps
wouldn’t have a guaranteed ight
to Italy.
They decided to take the risk,
but the transaction wouldn’t go
through. Allen started praying to
St. Rita, patron saint of impossible causes, and suddenly up
popped an option to register the
family for $116, he said.
The Tuncaps paid for themselves and another family as
Their rst chance at “space
available” seating was scheduled
for May 19. If they made it, the
Tuncaps planned to stay with
families in Milan and maybe
Ethan and Aveah said
they’ve been on ights before
and weren’t nervous at all, even
though cargo flights are loud
and bumpy affairs. With childlike enthusiasm, they looked
forward to the excitement of
their journey, especially meeting
the pope.
The Archdiocese of Milan
is hosting the world meeting,
and it is co-sponsored by the
Pontical Council for the Family. Events include family activities as well as workshops and
speeches for theologians and
people involved in the pastoral
care of families.
Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Milan the afternoon of
June 1 and will celebrate the
event’s closing Mass.
Allen said attending the family meeting was the next step in
their faith journey.
Growing up in Guam, he
started attending church reluctantly at age 16 at his parents’
insistence. On a whim, he went
to a World Youth Day. There,
as he listened to others’ stories,
he realized the true love of God,
he said.
He then went through discernment for the priesthood,
but decided he really wanted
to be a husband and raise good
children. Shortly after that he
met Janell.
Because World Youth Day
made such an impact in him,
Allen said he was especially eager to hear from other families
in Milan.
The Tuncaps noted that they
are not the type to shake hands
and call out “Praise God!” They
live their lives simply and let
their faith speak for itself.
“We don’t wake up saying
we’re going to be holy,” he said.
“It’s like brushing your teeth, it’s
just routine.”
The family tries to honor
the three altars: church, the
dinner table, and time between
husband and wife so they are in
communion with each other,
Allen said.
Every night at dinner, each
child says an individual prayer,
even Elyjah, who thanks “Jesus
Rice, the cross. Amen.”
Janell said they are just like
any other family. They have
their ups and downs and strive
to balance family, work and
celebration, which is the world
meeting theme.
“We’re just normal people
who are lled with the love of
God,” she said.
ALLEN AND JANELL TUNCAP and their ve children.
(CNS photo by Mic Smith)
June 2012
Masses to open, close fortnight for freedom
Masses at well-known basilicas in Baltimore and Washington
will open and close the “fortnight
for freedom,” a special period
of prayer, study, catechesis and
public action proclaimed by the
U.S. bishops for June 21 to July 4.
Archbishop William E. Lori
of Baltimore will celebrate the
opening Mass at Baltimore’s
historic Basilica of the National
Shrine of the Assumption of the
Blessed Virgin Mary at 7 p.m.
June 21 to kick off the Catholic
Church’s national education campaign on religious liberty.
The closing liturgy will be
at 12:10 p.m. July 4 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of
the Immaculate Conception in
Washington. Cardinal Donald
W. Wuerl of Washington will celebrate the Mass, and Archbishop
Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia
will be the homilist.
The Eternal Word Television
Network will carry the shrine
Mass live.
Both national and local efforts will comprise the campaign
that has been launched by the
bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on
Religious Liberty.
In addition to the Baltimore
and Washington liturgies, national efforts include establishment
of a website at The site features
resources such as frequently
asked questions about religious
liberty, including quotes from the
Founding Fathers, the Second
Vatican Council and Popes John
Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Also available is a study guide
on “Dignitatis Humanae,” the
Second Vatican Council’s document on religious liberty. In addition, the site provides several
one-page sheets outlining current
threats to religious freedom both
in the United States and abroad.
The website also lists a sample of activities already planned
in particular dioceses, as well as
resources and recommendations
for other local efforts. Bell ringing is planned for noon on July 4
to remind citizens of the primary
place of religious freedom in U.S.
history, law and culture.
The Austin Diocese will not
have diocesan Masses to open
or close the “fortnight for freedom.” Pastors are encouraged
to plan local celebrations. For
more information, visit www.
©2012 CNS
The sacrament of marriage is sacred
VÁSQUEZ is the fth
bishop of the Austin
Diocese. He shepherds more than
500,000 Catholics in 25 Central
Texas counties.
Editor: Bishop, June is often the
month of weddings so the sacrament of marriage is a hot topic.
What does the church teach about
Bishop Vásquez: The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is
a sacrament, which means it comes
from God and that Christ blesses it.
A sacrament is given to us by Christ
as a sign that communicates grace to
those who receive it. The sacrament of
matrimony or marriage, as we hear in
Scripture, was intended by God from
the very beginning. God intended that
Adam and Eve be husband and wife,
have children and raise a family. Therefore, the intention of marriage and the
purpose of marriage have to be found
in God.
The church teaches very clearly
that marriage is specically between
a man and a woman. In the opening
chapters of Genesis, God reveals his
plan of love for all of humanity, which
includes marriage. “That is why a
man leaves his father and mother and
clings to his wife, and the two of them
become one body” (Gen 2:24).
The church teaches that consent
between the man and woman to be
married is vital. “The Church holds
the exchange of consent between the
spouses to be the indispensable element that makes the marriage. If consent is lacking there is no marriage,”
says the Catechism of the Catholic
Church (1626).
Marriage is complementary –– man
and woman are very different but
the beauty is found in how man and
woman complement each other as they
unite their lives and pledge their lives
to one another in complete love and
Marriage is also about delity for
life to one person. What makes marriage so beautiful is that the love that
a husband and a wife have for each
other as it begins in marriage will only
hopefully continue to grow and expand
and deepen because that is what happens with a sacrament.
Marriage is intended by its very
nature to be procreative. Granted not
every married couple has a family,
and many couples are unable to have
children. However, the church teaches
that married couples should be open to
having children.
It should be noted that married
couples reect the presence of God
through their love for one another
and in living out their marriage they
discover their sense of purpose. They
also discover that God is blessing them
with the grace to live out their commitment to one another. In reality, the
married man and woman help each
other discover their way to God; marriage leads spouses to holiness as they
live out their vocation.
Editor: In this day and age
though committing to someone
for better for worse for life is often
taken very lightly. However, as
Catholics we consider this commitment sacred. How do we prepare
couples for the challenges that
every marriage undergoes at one
point or another?
Bishop Vásquez: You are very
right in that in our society far too
many marriages end in divorce or
separation. This can lead individuals
to think it’s acceptable to divorce and
to be married multiple times. Thus the
permanence of marriage is often lost.
However, the Catholic Church teaches
that in the sacrament of marriage a
man and a woman make an intentional
commitment to the other person,
promising to love the person completely, for better, for worse and for
the rest of their life.
The diocese takes certain steps to
help engaged couples prepare for marriage because it is a life-long vocation
that requires careful discernment and
preparation. Couples planning to marry
should begin by contacting their priest
or deacon at least six months prior to
their wedding; the couple should take
a pre-marriage assessment; they should
attend a pre-marriage retreat or series
of classes; and they should attend an
introductory session on natural family
planning (NFP). As much as possible,
we want to assist couples in building
happy, life-long relationships.
Our society has in many ways
devalued the permanence of marriage.
Many couples are choosing to live
together (cohabitation) rather than
enter married life because they are not
ready for the commitment of marriage. However, I strongly discourage
living together because if a couple is
not ready for marriage then neither
are they ready to live together. If you
nd a person whom you think God
may be calling you to marry, take the
time to get to know deeply that person.
Talk about your similarities and your
differences, discuss your belief systems,
share your values with one another,
and most importantly, pray that God
will guide you in making this very
important decision.
We know statistically that those
who live together before married life
have a higher percentage of ending
in divorce. Those who wait to live
together until marriage seem to have a
fuller and a more mature understanding of the sacrament of marriage.
Because of cohabitation and multiple partnerships, the state and federal
government have stepped in to dene
marriage. Instead of accepting marriage as a gift from God, other entities
or organizations or governments seek
to determine what makes marriage.
The biblical and the Judeo-Christian
understanding of marriage is part of
who we are, and we want to maintain
and preserve marriage as sacred. It is
a gift from God; therefore, we as a
church must advocate for the protection of marriage and for preserving it
for a man and a woman committed to
one another for life.
Editor: The diocese devotes
much time to chastity awareness,
which is often a focus pre-marriage,
but doesn’t get a lot of discussion
during marriage. What does chastity look like for a married couple?
Bishop Vásquez: All believers, all
baptized are to live chaste lives. Chastity means that I respect myself, body,
spirit and soul, because I see myself
as a gift from God. Thus, I respect all
other individuals too –– men, women,
children, young people and elderly ––
and I cannot use or take advantage of
another person for my own pleasure.
Chastity calls us to see all human beings are created in the beautiful image
and likeness of God.
In a speech in March, Pope Benedict XVI described chastity and the
Christian understanding of sexuality
to be “a source of genuine freedom,
happiness and the fulllment of our
fundamental and innate human vocation to love.” Chastity in marriage
means loving our spouse as God loves
us, without reservation. In marriage,
the couple is called to love in a way
that is free, total, faithful and fruitful.
As one of the prefaces for the Celebration of Marriage in the Roman Missal
states, “In the union of husband and
wife you give a sign of Christ’s loving
gift of grace, so that the Sacrament we
celebrate might draw us back more
deeply into the wondrous design of
your love.”
Editor: What is your prayer for
those preparing for marriage and
for those who have been married
six months, six years, 60 years?
Bishop Vásquez: My prayer for
all couples who are preparing to marry
is that you appreciate marriage as a gift
from God. Marriage is God’s gift to
you; therefore, when you are ready to
enter into this lifelong relationship I
pray that you truly see it as God leading you to holiness and you helping
your spouse to grow in holiness. I pray
that by entering into this love partnership, God will bless you with the gift
of children and you will create a family
of love and witness to the love of God
in the world.
For those who are already married,
particularly those who have been married for decades, I thank you for your
wonderful witness to the sacrament of
marriage. By your witness, society sees
that marriage is not only possible, but
it is good and holy. It is benecial to
the whole society.
Resources for engaged, married couples
Marriage Preparation
Together in God’s Love –– The diocese will offer this program in retreat
format July 13-15 and Oct. 26-28 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center
in Belton. Engaged couples must provide proof they have taken either the
FOCCUS or PREPARE assessment before attending the “Together in God’s
Love” retreat. Couples must register by contacting the diocesan Ofce of
Catholic Family Counseling and Family Life at (512) 949-2495. For registration forms, visit and click on “Marriage Preparation”
under “Quick Links.”
Parishes also offer this program. Contact your parish for more information.
Marriage Enrichment
Marriage Encounter –– Married couples are invited to spend the weekend
focusing on themselves and God. Retreats will be offered Aug. 3-5, Sept.
28-30 and Nov. 16-18 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. For
more information, visit, call (512) 677-WWME (9963) or
e-mail [email protected].
For Your Marriage ( –– A website lled with
information about dating and marriage.
Marriage Help
Retrouvaille –– Struggling couples who feel bored, frustrated or disillusioned are invited to this program that offers tools needed to rediscover a
loving marriage relationship. The next program begins with a weekend on
Oct. 5-7. For more information, visit, call 800470-2230 or e-mail [email protected].
Individual and Marriage Counseling –– The diocesan Ofce of Family
Counseling and Family Life Ofce offers marriage and family counseling and
counseling in English and Spanish for children, adolescents and adults. Call
(512) 949-2495 for more information.
Natural Family Planning (NFP)
This is an umbrella term for methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancy. Classes that help couples understand their fertility and learn more
about the different methods of NFP are offered on a regular basis. For more
information, visit or
call (512) 949-2489.
June 2012
Why Catholic weddings are to be celebrated in church
I suppose we all have either been
invited to or even had thoughts of a
lovely wedding in some beautiful spot,
on the beach, in a park, in a backyard,
in a resort, on a cruise ship, etc. When
Catholics inquire about such locations for their weddings, they are often
conicted by the answer that Catholic
weddings are to be done in a Catholic
Church unless we are granted specic
permission from the bishop to hold
it elsewhere. Most bishops are very
reticent to give such permission.
Canon law is very straight forward.
Canon 1115 says that the marriages
of Catholics are to take place in the
parish of either of the spouses. Canon
1118 allows the marriage between a
Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic,
with the permission of the bishop, to
be celebrated in another church or
oratory. This is often the case when
the wedding takes place in the church
of the non-Catholic. Further Canon
1118 allows, again with the permission of the bishop, for marriage to be
celebrated in some other suitable place
and that marriages between Catholics and non-baptized persons can be
celebrated in a church or in some other
suitable place. This is often the case
when a Catholic marries a Jewish person and the wedding might take place
in a hotel or other place acceptable to
the non-Catholic party.
While canon law doesn’t give a
theological reason for such teaching,
it ows out of a proper understanding
of marriage as an “ecclesial” sacrament. All sacraments are by denition
celebrations of the whole church; there
are no such things as private sacraments. A baptism done for one child
is actually the celebration of the whole
church of the entrance of that newest
member into the body of Christ, the
church. Confessing one’s sins in the
darkest confessional is still a celebration of the whole church in joy over
the return of one repentant sinner.
And while often a bride will proudly
talk of “her wedding,” in actuality, it
is a celebration of the whole church
at the coming together of a man and
woman in love.
Most people, and many Catholics
included, do not understand that a
valid sacramental marriage between
two baptized persons is constitutive
not only of the whole church but of
society as well. The Second Vatican
Council, in the Constitution on the
Church in the Modern World, makes
this profound statement. “The wellbeing of the individual person and of
both human and Christian society is
closely bound up with the healthy state
of conjugal and family life.” That is,
marriage is the foundational block for
both the church and society. When a
marriage falters, likewise society and
the church falter. The essential role
of the family is further described in
the Constitution on the Church (11)
where the family is called the “domestic church” because the parents are
the rst heralds of the faith for their
children. Thus, marriage is far more
important for the future of the church
than most brides or grooms imagine.
A second theological reason which
is not easily understood is that marriage, as sacrament, is precisely the
participation of a husband and wife in
the covenantal relationship of God and
his people and Christ and the church.
This concept is found in Ephesians 5,
a passage which most people avoid because it begins with “Wives should be
subordinate to their husbands as to the
Lord.” However, the previous verse is
much more mutual, “Be subordinate
to one another out of reverence to
Christ.” In any case, this passage closes
with calling marriage a “great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and
the church.” Theologically marriage
is holy because it shares in the very
covenant which expresses Christ’s love
for the church.
This great understanding is often limited by statements such as,
“Marriage consists of three persons:
husband, wife and Christ.” While true
enough, what is unknowingly left out
is the nuptial object of Christ’s love,
namely the church. There are four
elements in this paradigm; husbands
and wives are the horizontal dimension
of the vertical dimension of Christ’s
love for the church. To leave out the
church is to leave out not only the
ecclesial understanding of marriage as
a sacrament but also the sacramental
understanding of marriage as sharing
in the nuptial covenant upon which
Christ has founded his church.
Thus, every marriage is an ecclesial
celebration which nds its meaning in
its celebration in the local church, not
in some beautiful location.
priest of the Austin Diocese for 36
years. He has taught in the seminary
for 22 years. He earned his doctorate
in liturgy from San Anselmo University in Rome.
‘Surprise papacy’ led to big changes for the church
Cardinal Angelo Roncalli never got
to use his return train ticket from Rome
to Venice in November 1958. Instead
he was making plans for his rst Mass
as the new pope. He was in Rome with
the other cardinals who had convened
to elect a new pope after Pope Pius XII
died after a long papacy (1939-1958). To
his surprise, the cardinals chose Cardinal
Roncalli to be the next pope. Biographer
Paul Burns writes in “Butler’s Lives of
the Saints” that the cardinals regarded
Roncalli as a “transitional” or “short
term” pope because of his age at 77. He
chose the name John because he wanted
to imitate the St. John the Baptist, who
made straight the path of the Lord.
Pope John XXIII came from
humble beginnings. Angelo Giuseppe
Roncalli was the fourth of 14 children
born to sharecroppers in Sotto il Monte,
a village in the foothills of Piedmont
on Nov. 25, 1881. His early education
was at the village school, followed by
the diocesan seminary and nally at San
Apollinare Institute in Rome where he
earned a doctorate in theology. After
his ordination in 1904, he served as a
hospital orderly in World War I and then
as a military chaplain.
When World War I ended, he
worked at the library of the Ambrosiaum
in Rome where he met Cardinal Ratti,
who later became Pope Pius XI in 1922
and appointed Roncalli archbishop. The
new archbishop took on many different
diplomatic assignments in the next several years. He was appointed Apostolic
Visitor to Bulgaria in 1925 and to Turkey
and Greece in 1935. He lived in Istanbul
during World War II.
Pope Pius XII sent Archbishop
Roncalli to France as Papal Nuncio in
1944. One of the most difcult problems he faced as the pope’s representative there was to negotiate the retirement
of bishops who had collaborated with
the German occupying power. Roncalli was also involved in various efforts
during the Holocaust to save refugees,
mostly Jewish people, from the Nazis.
These included Slovakian children,
Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian
Jews as well as the orphaned children
of Transnistria on board a refugee ship.
Then in 1953, Archbishop Roncalli was
made Cardinal Patriarch of Venice.
Pope John XXIII began his papacy by being very visible in Rome. He
walked about freely and visited the sick
and prisoners. These actions earned him
the nickname of “Good Pope John.”
Unlike many previous popes, Pope John
had many years of experience of the
world outside the Vatican and continued
his custom of traveling outside Rome.
The pope was receiving reports
on problems of the church around
the world and he began planning for
“a council.” His intention, according
to Burns, was to address the historic
splits in Christianity between East and
West, between Catholic and Reformed
traditions. To start this process, Pope
John approved the establishment of
a Vatican Secretariat for Promoting
Christian Unity in 1960. He followed
this by calling for the immediate consecration of 13 indigenous bishops in
the church in Africa in 1960. He also
removed the age-old charge of “deicide
people” against the Jews in the Good
Friday prayers.
Pope John went ahead with plans
for the Second Vatican Council knowing
there was opposition to the idea from his
own advisers in the Roman Curia. Up
to this time, there had been 21 general
“ecumenical” councils in the history of
the Catholic Church, according to author George Weigel. Pope John wanted
his Council to be pastoral and evangelical rather than juridical and dogmatic,
Weigel wrote in “Witness to Hope.” In
the pope’s mind, the Second Vatican
Council would renew Christian faith as a
vibrant way of life.
When the Council convened in
September 1962, Pope John thought it
would last a few months, but instead it
continued for more than four years. He
lived only to see the rst of the council’s
four sessions completed. Many important reforms came from the Second
Vatican Council such as the Mass said in
the vernacular rather than in Latin. The
Council brought a stronger emphasis
on ecumenism and a new approach to
the world. Burns wrote that Pope John
saw the church as inward rather than
outward-looking when he began his
papacy. He wanted to make the message
of the church acceptable to the whole
world. His intention was “Let us come
together. Let us make an end of our
In his encyclicals, “Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher)” and “Pacem
in Terris (Peace on Earth),” Pope John
sought to break down barriers to show
the relevance of Christ to the world.
The pope’s health declined in the rst
half of 1963 and he died on June 3,
1963. He was beatied by Pope John
Paul II in 2000, the rst pope since
Pius X to receive this honor. According to reports, there have been more
than 20 unexplained healings credited
to Pope John XXIII’s intercession.
a member of St. Austin Parish in Austin.
She is a retired state
Powerlessness, or the hidden power in our suffering?
In a 1999 study published in the
“Journal of the American Medical Association,” patients with serious illness
were asked to identify what was most
important to them during the dying
process. Many indicated they wanted
to achieve a “sense of control.” This
is understandable. Most of us fear our
powerlessness in the face of illness
and death. We would like to retain an
element of control, even though we
realize that dying often involves the
very opposite: a total loss of control,
over our muscles, our emotions, our
minds, our bowels and our very lives,
as our human framework succumbs to
powerful disintegrative forces.
Even when those disintegrative
forces become extreme and our suffering may seem overwhelming, however,
a singularly important spiritual journey
always remains open for us. This path
is a “road less traveled,” a path that,
unexpectedly, enables us to achieve
genuine control in the face of death.
The hallmark of this path is the personal decision to accept our sufferings,
actively laying down our life on behalf
of others by embracing the particular
kind of death God has ordained for
us, patterning our choice on the choice
consciously made by Jesus Christ.
When asked about the “why” of
human suffering, Pope John Paul II
once stated, with piercing simplicity, that the answer has “been given
by God to man in the cross of Jesus
Christ.” He stressed that Jesus went
toward his own suffering, “aware
of its saving power.” The Pope also
observed that in some way, each of
us is called to “share in that suffering
through which the Redemption was
accomplished.” He concluded that
through his only-begotten Son, God
“has conrmed His desire to act especially through suffering, which is man’s
weakness and emptying of self, and
He wishes to make His power known
precisely in this weakness and emptying of self.” The Holy Father echoes
St. Paul’s famous passage: “My grace
is sufcient for you, for my power is
made perfect in weakness.”
The greatest possibility we have for
achieving control, then, is to align ourselves in our suffering and weakness
with God and his redemptive designs.
This oblation of radically embracing
our particular path to death, actively
offered on behalf of others and in
union with Christ, manifests our concern for the spiritual welfare of others,
especially our friends and those closest
to us. We are inwardly marked by a
profound need to sacrice and give of
ourselves, a need that manifests our
inner capacity to love and be loved.
As no one had ever done before,
Jesus charted the path of love-driven
sacrice, choosing to lay down his life
for his friends. He was no mere victim in
the sense of being a passive and unwilling participant in his own suffering and
death. He was in control. He emphasized, with otherworldly authority, that,
“nobody takes my life from me: I lay it
down, and I take it up again.”
Yet we see that his life was, in
fact, taken from him by those various
individuals and groups who plotted his
death and sought his execution. His life
was taken from him by evil men, even
though, paradoxically, nobody took
his life from him, because nobody had
power over his being, unless granted
from above.
We experience a similar paradox in
our own deaths: while it may seem that
our life is being taken from us through
the evil of a particular ailment or the
ravages of a particular disease, we can
reply that nothing takes away our life,
because nothing has power over our being, except what is ordained from above.
In his providence and omniscience,
years before the fact, God already knows
and foresees that unique conuence of
events that will constitute our death,
whether it be by stroke or cardiac arrest,
liver failure or Alzheimers, or any other
means. By spiritually embracing in God
that specic path to death, our freedom
is elevated to new heights; indeed, we
“achieve control” in the most important
way possible, through willed surrender
and radical gift in our innermost depths.
Jesus foresaw that his greatest work
lay ahead as he ascended Calvary to
embrace his own powerlessness and
self-emptying. Although we may feel
condemned to our powerlessness as we
receive help from others in our sickness,
and although we may feel supremely
useless as we are “nailed” to our hospital
bed, our active, inward embrace of the
cross unleashes important graces for
ourselves and others, and reveals a refulgent light beyond the obscurity of every
suffering. Jesus’ radical embracing of his
Passion –– and our radical embracing of
our own –– marks the supreme moment
of a person who achieves control over
his or her destiny through immersion
into the hope-lled and redemptive
designs of God.
PH.D. earned his
doctorate in neuroscience from Yale.
He is a priest of
the Diocese of Fall
River, Mass., and
serves as the Director of Education
at The National
Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. For more information, visit
Collection for Feast of the Holy Family
The special collection for the Feast of the Holy Family was taken up Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, 2012. If your parish nds an error, call the diocesan Finance Ofce at (512)
949-2400. The collection benets Family Life and Pro-Life activities and maternity homes in the Austin Diocese.
Austin Central Deanery
Austin, Cristo Rey
Austin, Holy Cross
Austin, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Austin, St. Austin
Austin, St. Ignatius
Austin, St. Julia
Austin, St. Mary Cathedral
Austin, San Jose
Austin Central Totals
Austin North Deanery
Austin, Holy Vietnamese Martyrs
Austin, Sacred Heart
Austin, St. Albert the Great
Austin, St. Louis
Austin, St. Theresa
Austin, St. Thomas More
Austin, St. Vincent de Paul
Cedar Park, St. Margaret Mary
Lago Vista, Our Lady of the Lake
Austin North Totals
Austin South Deanery
Austin, Dolores
Austin, St. Andrew Kim
Austin, St. Catherine of Siena
Austin, St. John Neumann
Austin, St. Paul
Austin, St. Peter the Apostle
Austin, San Francisco Javier
Austin, Santa Barbara
Lakeway, Emmaus
Austin South Totals
Brenham/La Grange Deanery
Brenham, St. Mary
Chappell Hill, St. Stanislaus
Dime Box, St. Joseph
Ellinger/Hostyn Hill, St. Mary
Fayetteville, St. John
Giddings, St. Margaret
La Grange, Sacred Heart
Lexington, Holy Family
Pin Oak, St. Mary
Rockdale, St. Joseph
Somerville, St. Ann
Brenham/La Grange Totals
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery
Bastrop, Ascension
Elgin, Sacred Heart
Lockhart, St. Mary
Luling, St. John
Martindale, Immaculate Heart
Rockne, Sacred Heart
Smithville, St. Paul
String Prairie, Assumption
Uhland, St. Michael
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery Totals
Bryan/College Station Deanery
Bremond, St. Mary
Bryan, St. Anthony
Bryan, St. Joseph
Bryan, Santa Teresa
Caldwell, St. Mary
College Station, St. Mary
College Station, St. Thomas Aq.
Franklin, St. Francis of Assisi
Frenstat, Holy Rosary
Hearne, St. Mary
Bryan/College Station Totals
Georgetown/Round Rock Deanery
Andice, Santa Rosa
Corn Hill, Holy Trinity
Georgetown, St. Helen
Granger, Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Hutto, St. Patrick
Manor, St. Joseph
Pugerville, St. Elizabeth
Round Rock, St. John Vianney
Round Rock, St. William
Taylor, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Taylor, St. Mary
Georgetown/Round Rock Totals
Killeen/Temple Deanery
Belton, Christ the King
Cameron, St. Monica
Copperas Cove, Holy Family
Cyclone, St. Joseph
Harker Heights, St. Paul
Killeen, St. Joseph
Marak, Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Rogers, St. Matthew
Rosebud, St. Ann
Salado, St. Stephen
Temple, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Temple, St. Luke
Temple, St. Mary
Westphalia, Visitation
Killeen/Temple Totals
Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery
Bertram, Holy Cross
Burnet, Our Mother of Sorrows
Goldthwaite, St. Peter
Horseshoe Bay, St. Paul
Kingsland, St. Charles Borromeo
Lampasas, St. Mary
Llano, Holy Trinity
Lometa, Good Shepherd
Marble Falls, St. John
Mason, St. Joseph
San Saba, St. Mary
Sunrise Beach, Our Lady
Lampasas/Marble Falls Totals
San Marcos Deanery
Blanco, St. Ferdinand
Buda, Santa Cruz
Dripping Springs, St. Martin
Johnson City, Good Shepherd
Kyle, St. Anthony Marie de Claret
San Marcos, St. John
Wimberley, St. Mary
San Marcos Totals
Waco Deanery
China Spring, St. Phillip
Gatesville, Our Lady of Lourdes
Hamilton, St. Thomas
McGregor, St. Eugene
Marlin, St. Joseph
Mexia, St. Mary
Waco, Sacred Heart
Waco, St. Francis on the Brazos
Waco (Hewitt), St. Jerome
Waco, St. John the Baptist
Waco (Bellmead), St. Joseph
Waco, St. Louis
Waco, St. Mary of the Assumption
Waco, St. Peter Catholic Center
West, Church of the Assumption
Waco Deanery Totals
Grand Total
June 2012
By loving one another we build bridges, not walls
During the Easter season, we heard
a lot about love in the readings from
John’s letters and his Gospel. From
“As the Father loves me, so I also love
you. Remain in my love …” to “This
I command you: love one another” to
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the
children of God.” I am glad we heard
so much about love during Easter because as we move into Ordinary Time,
our love for one another is going to be
As the political season heightens,
the name calling and vitriol are in full
force. Since we live in a 24-hour news
environment, we are often exposed to
heavy doses of derogatory language
that denigrates people. As Catholics we are called to model ways to
disagree without attacking another’s
Our rst and foundational principle of Catholic social teaching is to
uphold the life and dignity of every
human person. While we abhor every
attack on human life, like abortion,
euthanasia and capital punishment,
our faith calls us to recognize that
those who attack human life are
still loved by God and their human
dignity must be respected. While we
vigorously dene marriage as the sacramental union of a man and woman,
we cannot treat those who think
otherwise as dehumanized monsters.
While we stand with and for the poor
recognizing God’s preferential option
for the marginalized and voiceless, we
must not be insulting or disrespectful
to persons with a different set of priorities. We have been called to love
–– and to love even our enemies.
Blessed John Paul II gave us
a great example of how we are to
respond to the evil in our world and
to those who perpetrate evil. In 1981,
Pope John Paul II was nearly assassinated by Mehmet Ali Aca, a Turkish
mercenary. Two years later the pope
visited his would be assassin in prison
to personally forgive him. And the
pope asked the Italian government
to pardon Aca, which they eventually did. John Paul II treated the man
who nearly killed him with dignity,
respect and Christ-like charity. We are
called to do the same.
As Catholic Christians we have
deeply held values and convictions that
touch on many issues in the partisan
realm and that cross all partisan lines.
The depth of our values cause us to
have strong reactions toward those
with different opinions and even more
so toward those with completely different values. It is not easy to listen to
leaders promote policies and plans that
are antithetical to the Gospel. However, as we move through this political
season, we must nd ways to build
bridges as Jesus did. We must remember that Jesus ate with religious leaders
and notorious sinners. He came to call
all to conversion.
When we recognize that there are
profound disagreements even within
our own parish communities, we are
called to practice respectful dialogue and
to love everyone, even those who have
no love for us. Jesus’ call to conversion
includes us. We may have something to
learn from others and in loving them
and giving them respectful attention we
might learn and grow ourselves.
More than 15 years ago, Cardinal
Joseph Bernardin and others launched
the Catholic Common Ground Initiative to help Catholics have fruitful
discussions about difcult issues. In
its founding statement “Called to
be Catholic,” Msgr. Philip Murnion
wrote: “American Catholics must
reconstitute the conditions for addressing our differences constructively - a
common ground centered on faith in
Jesus, marked by accountability to the
living Catholic tradition, and ruled by a
renewed spirit of civility, dialogue, generosity, and broad and serious consultation.” This statement is as true today
as it was in 1996. This process can
help us to be bridge builders within
our church and our society. For more
information on the Catholic Common
Ground dialogue process, visit www.
is the diocesan
director of social
concerns. She
can be reached at
(512) 949-2471 or
Beck Funeral Home
Family Owned and Operated Since 1983
Catholic Parishioner
Funeral Services On-Site Crematory
1700 East Whitestone
Cedar Park / Leander
Is there an abortion in your past?
We can help you nd healing and peace.
Pre-Arrangements Markers
15709 Ranch Rd 620
Austin / Round Rock
Call Project Rachel
4765 Priem Ln
Pugerville / Hutto
Toll free
1-877-We Care 2
[email protected]
Ofce of Pro-Life Activities~Catholic Diocese of Austin
Please call for a free Pre-Arrangement Guide.
Additional State information can be found at
Project Rachel Retreats are for anyone seeking reconciliation and peace after abortion. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 1-877-We Care 2. All calls are condential.
Pastoral support for victims of sexual abuse
The Diocese of Austin is committed to providing condential and compassionate care to victims of sexual abuse, particularly if the abuse was committed by
clergy or a church representative. If you have experienced abuse by someone representing the Catholic Church, please contact the diocesan coordinator
of pastoral care at (512) 949-2400.
Apoyo pastoral a las víctimas de abuso sexual
La Diócesis de Austin se compromete a proporcionar ayuda condencial y compasiva a las víctimas de abuso sexual, especialmente si el abuso fue cometido por el clero o un representante de la iglesia. Si usted ha sufrido abusos por parte de alguien que representa la Iglesia Católica, por favor comuníquese
con el coordinador diocesano del cuidado pastoral al (512) 949-2400.
How to report an incident of concern
The Diocese of Austin is committed to preventing harm from happening to any of our children or vulnerable adults. If you are aware of sexual or physical
abuse and/or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult, state law requires you to report that information to local law enforcement or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at (800) 252-5400 or Additionally, if the suspected abuse is by clergy or an employee or volunteer of any
diocesan parish, school or agency, a Notice of Concern should be submitted to the diocesan Ethics and Integrity in Ministry Ofce at (512) 949-2400. The l
Notice of Concern can be found at (click on the link HOW TO REPORT ABUSE). Reports may be made anonymously.
Cómo reportar un caso de abuso
La Diócesis de Austin está comprometida a la prevención del daño que se cause a cualquier niño o adulto vulnerable. Si usted está enterado del abuso
sexual o físico y/o abandono de un niño o adulto vulnerable, la ley estatal requiere que se reporte esa información a la policía local o el Departamento de
Servicios Familiares y de Protección del Estado de Texas al (800) 252-5400 o al sitio: y además, si la sospecha de abuso es por parte
del clero, empleado o voluntario de cualquier parroquia, escuela u organización de la diócesis, se debe enviar un Reporte de Abuso y debe ser presentado a
la Ocina de Ética e Integridad en el Ministerio de la diócesis al (512) 949-2400. El Reporte de Abuso se encuentra en nuestra página de Internet diocesana: ( Haga click en la liga COMO REPORTAR UN CASO DE ABUSO). Estos reportes pueden ser hechos de manera anónima.
NFP classes....................
For Your
The Catholic Business Network
will hold its next meeting on June 6
at St. William Parish in Round Rock.
All Catholic business professionals are
invited to attend and network in an effort to form trusted relationships based
on Catholic values. Spiritual development is an integral part of all meetings.
The meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. and
will end by 9 a.m. To register, visit
Sarah’s Hope is a free spiritual
support program for couples struggling
with fertility problems or pregnancy
loss. The next women’s support group
meetings are June 6 and July 11; the
rosary will be prayed at 6:45 p.m. and
discussion begins at 7 p.m. at the Vitae
Clinic in Austin, 1600 W. 38th St., suite
115. For more information, contact
[email protected] or (512)
736-7334. Sarah’s Hope is not a ministry
of the Austin Diocese.
A discernment dinner for single,
Catholic men (high school age) will be
held June 6 at 7 p.m. at St. William Parish Rectory in Round Rock. Men with
an openness to encountering Christ,
discovering their identity, and their mission are invited to join others for dinner,
evening prayer, a presentation and discussion. For more information, contact
Father Jonathan Raia at (512) 255-4473
or [email protected].
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Austin (CCRA) will host its
monthly Mass June 8 at 7 p.m. at St.
Catherine of Siena Parish in Austin.
These joyful Spirit-lled Masses offer
the opportunity to experience and rediscover the power Jesus promised us
through the Holy Spirit. For more information, contact Sabrina Perez at (512)
466-7669 or visit
The Byzantine Catholic Community of Austin celebrates the Divine
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom every
second and fourth Sunday at 5 p.m. at
Our Lady’s Maronite Catholic Church
in Austin. For more information, e-mail
Father Daniel Forsythe at fr.daniel@
Discernment dinners for single,
Catholic men (ages 18 and older)
with an openness to a priestly vocation and discernment will be held June
13 and July 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at
the Borromeo House in Austin. The
evening includes dinner, prayer, and a
presentation with discussion on topics such as the priesthood, seminary,
prayer, discernment, and spiritual life.
For more information, contact Father
Brian McMaster at (512) 949-2405 or
[email protected].
The English Cursillo Movement
of the Austin Diocese hosts School of
Leaders meetings on the second and
fourth Tuesdays of the month at the
Cursillo Center at 250 W. FM 487 in
Jarrell. The meets are from 7:30 to 9
p.m. on the second Tuesday and from 7
to 9 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday. Cursillistas are invited to learn more about the
movement and how it is moving forward
in the diocese. For more information,
contact Robin Spencer at (254) 518-3609
or [email protected].
Pax Christi Austin will meet June
17 and July 15 at 7 p.m. at the Father
John Payne House at St. Ignatius,
Martyr Parish in Austin. Pax Christi
Austin is a member of Pax Christi International and Pax Christi USA, the
Catholic peace and justice movement
that works and prays to create a world
that reects the peace of Christ. For
information, contact Bob Rankin at
[email protected].
An Austin Prayer Vigil for Life is
scheduled for June 16 at St. Julia Parish in Austin. Mass will begin at 7 a.m.
Following the Mass, adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament will be in the church
and a caravan will travel to Austin
Women’s Health on S. IH-35 where the
rosary will be prayed at the site from 8:20
to 9:50 a.m. Benediction will follow at
St. Julia at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will
be served at 10:40 a.m. For information, contact Bob Christiansen at (512)
Quo Vadis (Latin for “Where
are you going?”) is a two-day retreat
to be held June 23-24 at St. Thomas
More Parish in Austin. It is designed
to help young men in high school grow
spiritually and allow them to think and
pray about what God might be asking
them to become. For more information
about this and other discernment opportunities, contact the Vocation Ofce at
[email protected] and (512)
Prayer Vigils for Life will be held
June 23 and July 28 beginning with
Mass at 8:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Parish
in Killeen. After Mass, a caravan and
procession to pray the rosary at Killeen
Women’s Health Center will be held at
9:45 a.m. All will return to St. Joseph for
closing and fellowship at 11:15 a.m. For
more information, contact Karen Hinze
at (254) 986-1134.
Diocesan ofces will be closed July
4 in observance of Independence Day.
Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton will host a retreat for all
leaders of Spanish Charismatic Prayer
groups in the Diocese of Austin, July
7-8. The retreat will be in Spanish. For
more information, call Edgar Ramirez at
(512) 949-2468.
Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is July 22-28. For more
information about NFP visit www. or contact Gina Dominguez at (512) 949-2489.
Diocesan ofces will be closed in
observance of the Feast of Assumption
of Mary on Aug. 15.
An introductory seminar on the
Billings Ovulation Method of natural
family planning will be held June 6 at
7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish in
Austin. To learn more about this method, visit To attend
the seminar, contact Amanda and Ryan
Ransom at [email protected].
The Creighton Model of natural
family planning cooperates with the
couple’s own natural fertility process.
Come and learn more about it June 7 at
7 p.m. at Seton Medical Center in Austin. To register, email name and the date
of the class to [email protected].
An introductory session to the
Creighton Model of natural family planning will be held June 11 at 7 p.m. at St.
Mary Catholic Center in College Station.
Learn how women can understand and
monitor their reproductive health. Learn
how couples can naturally plan their
family. Registration fee is $20. To register online visit
fccsm or e-mail [email protected].
A series of classes on the Billings
Ovulation Method of natural family
planning will begin June 13 at 7:30 p.m.
at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin.
Reservations are required. The complete
course is $100 and is comprised of three
classes held over a three to six week period. To make reservations or for more
information, contact Amanda and Ryan
Ransom at [email protected].
A series of classes on the
Sympto-Thermal Method of natural
family planning will begin June 14 at
7 p.m. in the St. Timothy Room of St.
John Neumann Parish in Austin. The
course fee for the series of three classes
is $135 for materials and services, and
there are no ongoing costs to couples.
For information, visit
The Austin Couple to Couple
League will offer an Introductory Seminar on natural family planning June 17 at 7
p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish in Austin.
The class will satisfy the Austin Diocese
requirement for marriage. To register,
call Nick and Monica Warren at (512)
257-0857 or email [email protected].
A class on the Creighton Model
will be held June 23 at 10 a.m. at Seton
Williamson Hospital in Round Rock. To
register, e-mail name and the date of the
class to [email protected].
A series of classes on the SymptoThermal Method of natural family planning will be held beginning July 11 at 7
p.m. at Seton Northwest Hospital in
Austin. The classes are spaced about one
month apart and will help couples learn
how to identify the three common signs
of fertility and infertility. To register
or for more information, visit http://
An Introductory Session on natural
family planning will be held July 22 at 3
p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in
Austin. The class will satisfy the Austin
Diocese requirement for marriage. To
register, call Sam and Katrina Hartsock
at (512) 899-8294.
Youth events..................
St. Paul’s Mornings With Jesus
Early Education program at St. Paul
Parish in South Austin is offering Summer School for children ages 2 to 5 June
4-22 and July 9-27. The hours are 9 a.m.
to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit for
program information or call (512) 2804460 to schedule a tour.
A Culture Camp for children ages
4 to 10 will be held June 18-22 in the
Annex Building at St. Ignatius, Martyr
Catholic School in Austin. The camp
will be offered every day from 9 a.m. to
1 p.m. and extended care hours from 1
to 4 p.m. will be available. Students will
learn about Jazz, opera, hula dancing and
arts and crafts. For more information,
contact Vivian Kay at island.rhythms@ or Monique Dacheff at
[email protected].
Servus Dei, a program for middle
school youth, will be held June 21-23 at
St. Austin Parish in Austin. The program
is designed to call middle schoolers to
a conversion of heart through activities
that show the dignity of each person.
Activities include service projects, fellowship, catechesis and prayer. For more
information, contact Adrian Sanchez at
[email protected] or
(512) 949-2464.
Incoming high school freshmen
are invited to a Cross Training retreat July
19-22 at Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center in
Burnet. This is a Catholic boot camp designed to prepare incoming freshmen for
the hardships of high school by arming
them with Scripture and Catholic fundamentals. For more information, contact
Adrian Sanchez at adrian-sanchez@ or (512) 949-2464.
Send in your items!
CATHOLIC SPIRIT offers this page, “For Your
Information,” as a “community bulletin board.”
Items of general interest of upcoming parish and
diocesan events, including parish social events,
will be printed at no charge at the discretion of
the editor. The deadline for material is the 10th
of the month, with publication occurring the
rst week of the following month. Material may
be e-mailed to catholic-spirit@austindiocese.
org or faxed to (512) 949-2523.
Retreat and reect...................................................
June 2012
Worldwide Marriage Encounter of
Austin is hosting a free marriage enrichment, “Men Are Like Wafes – Women
Are Like Spaghetti,” June 10 at 2:30 p.m.
at St. John Neumann Parish in Austin.
Couples are invited to learn how to appreciate and have fun despite the differences
between the sexes. A potluck dinner will
follow at 4:30 p.m. For more information or to register for this event, call (512)
677-9963. Babysitting is available with
Young adults between the ages of
18 and 30 are invited to a retreat entitled
“Spe Salvi, Saved in Hope” June 15-17
at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in
Belton. Sarah Hayes, Campus Minister at
St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station, will lead participants as they reect
on the virtue of hope and the salvation
gained from it. For information, contact
Adrian Sanchez at adrian-sanchez@ or (512) 949-2464.
Living Your Strengths, a weekend
retreat, will be held June 15-17 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton.
Beverly Collin will lead the retreat based
on the book of the same name. For information, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 7802436 or [email protected].
An Awaken Your Spirit retreat will
be held June 23-24 at Cedarbrake Catholic
Retreat Center in Belton. The weekend
will include quiet prayer and reection
time, Mass, the sacrament of reconciliation, adoration and speakers including
Father James Misko of Belton, Father
Steve Sauser of Pugerville and Father
John Kim of Austin. The cost is $75 for
a double room and $95 for a single room.
For more information, contact Lynda Villasana at secretary@legionofmaryaustin.
org or call (512) 269-0023.
An ACTS Retreat for teens will be
held June 28-July 1 at St. Mary, Church
of the Assumption Parish in West. For
a registration form or for more information, contact Karen at (254) 495-5682 or
[email protected].
“Together in God’s Love,” a marriage preparation retreat, will be held July
13-15 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat
Center in Belton. Couples preparing
for marriage are encouraged to register
as soon as possible, as these retreats
ll quickly. The weekend includes talks
on faith, communication, sexuality and
stewardship in the context of Catholic
marriage. For registration information,
contact your parish or the Catholic Family Life and Family Counseling Ofce at
(512) 949-2495 or [email protected].
Desert Solitude, a silent retreat with
daily Mass and centering prayer as the
focus of each day, will be held beginning
July 19 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat
Center in Belton. Pat Stankus will lead the
retreat. Three nights: July 19-22 is $300;
four nights: July 19– 23 is $350; and six
nights: July 19-25 is $480. For more information, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 7802436 or [email protected].
Married couples who are looking
for a getaway and time to reconnect with
one another are invited to a Worldwide
Marriage Encounter Aug. 3-5 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton.
The Vitae Clinic
Jeremy Kalamarides, D.O.
The Jefferson Building
1600 W. 38th St, Ste 115
Austin, TX 78731
The Vitae Clinic, Inc., provides wellness, prenatal, delivery and
postnatal care for women, expectant mothers and babies in accord
with the teachings of the Catholic Church in conformity with the
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare services.
To advertise in the Catholic Spirit Medical Services Directory,
call (512) 949-2443, or e-mail [email protected].
family dentistry
tim tischler, d.d.s.
3821 Juniper Trace, Suite 201
Austin, TX 78738
phone (512) 402-1955
William Stavinoha, M.D.
Family Practice –– Board Certied
11671 Jollyville Road #102
Austin, TX
(512) 338-5088
The weekend allows couples to escape
the daily distractions of life and focus on
each other. The retreat begins Friday at
7:30 p.m. and ends Sunday afternoon. For
more information or to register, contact
Kenny and Anne Roberts at (512) 5228409 or [email protected].
A day of reection for Scouts will
be held Aug. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30
p.m. at St. Anthony Parish in Kyle. For
more information, visit www.scouting.
Finding the Sacred in Depression, a weekend retreat, will be held
Aug. 17-19 at Cedarbrake Catholic
Retreat Center in Belton. This retreat is
designed to help those struggling with
depression. Certain spiritual practices
can guide the pathway to God’s peace
and comfort. Sharon Highberger, MPM,
will be the presenter. The cost is $155
for a double room, $185 for a private
room and $75 for commuter. For more
information, contact Cedarbrake at (254)
780-2436 or cedarbrake@austindiocese.
Oak Hill
Eye Care
Braces for Children and Adults
Examination & Treatment
of Eye Disease
Lasik Surgery
Contact Lenses & Optical
David W. Tybor, O.D.
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
(512) 288-0444
6000 W. William Cannon
Bldg A, Suite 100, Austin
Michael Dillingham, D.D.S.
2 convenient locations in Austin
Call (512) 836-7924 or (512) 447-5194 to
schedule a complimentary consultation
Joseph M. C. Leary, M.D.
Dominion Family
Diplomate, American Board of Otolaryngology
Pediatric and Adult
Including Ear Diseases Sinus Surgery
Thyroid and Neck Surgery
6811 Austin Center Blvd., Ste. 300
Austin, Texas 78731
(512) 346-8888
Board certied in Family
Medicine & Internal Medicine
(512) 834-9999
6301 Parmer Ln. W. Suite 102
Austin,TX 78729-6802
Parish and community..............................................
A “Quick Journey Through the
Bible” will be offered at St. Margaret
Mary Parish in Cedar Park on Monday’s
beginning June 4 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
and it will repeat on Tuesdays beginning
June 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. To learn more,
call Gina Simmons at (512) 260-2309
or (512) 740-7853 or e-mail [email protected].
Young wives and mothers are invited to a bi-weekly Bible study on Mondays
(June 4 and 18, July 2, 16 and 30) from 10
to 11:30 a.m. at St. John Neumann Parish
in Austin. The study is based on “Reasons
for Our Hope,” which goes through the
Gospel of Luke. Child care will be offered
for a fee. For information, contact Jen
Crowley at (512) 328-3220 or jcrowley@
St. Mary Cathedral in Austin will
host the second annual Corpus Christi
Procession to the Texas State Capitol
June 10 at 10:45 a.m. Everyone is invited
to bring their parish and group banners
for the procession.
The Sts. Cyril and Methodius
Catholic School Advisory Board will
hold an Inaugural Gala June 15 at the
San Gabriel Community Center in
Georgetown. A five-course dinner,
dancing and a silent auction will be
included in the evening. Ticket price is
$60. Tickets are available at the school
ofce, Repa Plumbing in Granger, and
Cobblestone Antiques in Georgetown.
The Diocesan Council of Catholic
Women has completed a burse for the
Clerical Endowment Fund (CEF) in
honor of Father James Olnhausen, pastor of St. Margaret Parish in Giddings.
The totals for the burse as of April
30, 2012, are listed below by council.
Austin Council
Brazos Valley Council
Central Council
Eastern Council
Northern Council
Southern Council
Temple Council
Previous Balance
The Clerical Endowment Fund provides low-cost loans to parishes. Interest
from the loans is used to educate diocesan
seminarians. For information, contact either Father Ed Karasek at (254) 826-3705
or Mary Ann Till at (512) 353-4943.
Contact Daryl Stefek at (512) 940-9937
or Lisa Repa at (512) 365-0436 for more
information. All proceeds benet Sts.
Cyril and Methodius Catholic School.
St. John Neumann Parish in Austin will offer Vacation Bible School June
18-22. For more information, visit www.
Young adults are invited to join
St. John Neumann Parish in Austin for
happy hour June 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.
at the Roaring Fork in Austin. Young
adults are invited to enjoy fellowship
and conversation with others in a relaxed
atmosphere. For more information, contact Jen Crowley at (512) 328-3220, ext.
121 or [email protected].
Sacred Heart Parish in Lott will
host its seventh annual Picnic and Barbecue Cook-Off June 23-24 on the parish
grounds. Barbecue judging will be held
from 9 a.m. to noon on June 24. Barbecue
dinner will be served June 24 from 11 a.m.
to 2 p.m. Plates are $8 for dine-in or carryout. Other activities include games for all
ages, a country store and a live auction at
1 p.m. For more information, call Richard
Greger at (254) 721-2952.
The St. William Chamber Music
Ensemble will perform June 23 at 7:30
p.m. at St. William Parish in Round
Rock. The recital features sacred music
by instrumentalists from the various St.
William Choirs. The public is invited; a
donation of $10 per person will be appreciated but is not required for admission. For more information, visit www. or contact Dr. Gerardo
Ramos, director of Music Ministries at
St. William, at (512) 600-8175.
St. Joseph Parish in Elk will host
its annual Picnic June 24 from 11 a.m.
to 3 p.m. on the parish grounds. An auction will begin at 1 p.m. and there will be
activities for all ages.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish
in Granger will host its picnic June 24
on the parish grounds. Fried chicken
and sausage with all the trimming will
be served. There will be live music
and games and food will be on hand
throughout the afternoon. A dance will
be held from 3 to 7 p.m.
Young adults in their 20s and
30s, married or single, with children or
without, are invited to join St. John Neumann Parish in Austin for worship, food
and fellowship. Young adults meet on
the fourth Sunday of each month (June
24) for 11:30 a.m. Mass and brunch.
Gathering begins prior to Mass in front
of the archway in the middle of the
church Narthex; after Mass, participants
will go to a local restaurant for brunch.
Hispanic young adults are invited
to Mass in Spanish June 29 at 9 p.m.
at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in
Austin. Participants will pray the rosary
beginning at 8:30 p.m. For more information contact Juan Torres at (512) 4155908 or Lily Morales at (512) 363-3609
or [email protected].
The Altar Society of Santa Cruz
Parish in Buda will present “The Deepest Longings of Our Heart,” a retreat for
women, June 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
in Deane Hall at Santa Cruz in Buda.
Dominican Sister Helen Raycraft will
be the presenter. The cost is $20, which
includes lunch, coffee and materials. For
more information, contact Oralia Garza
at (512) 295-6973, e-mail oragarza@
Young adults (20s and 30s) are
invited to “The Well” on the rst Friday
of each month at 7:30 p.m. at St. John
Neumann Parish in Austin. The night
includes adoration, praise and worship
and a presentation. For more information, visit
Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate the fourth annual Men’s Mass
July 21 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. All men are invited
to celebrate the Eucharist with other
men from across the Austin Diocese.
The Mass is sponsored by the Central
Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men. A
reception in the Bishop’s Hall will follow the Mass. For more information,
contact Ken Ciani at (512) 469-0100
or [email protected].
Austin’s Society of St. Vincent de
Paul welcomes new director
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul –
Diocesan Council of Austin welcomed
Charles Mercer as its new executive
director in May. Christy Schneider, who
has led the Austin Council for the last
ve years, stepped down as she prepares
to welcome her rst child.
Andy Vasquez, president of the
Austin Council, said Schneider led the
council through a time of tremendous
growth in the scope of those served
within the diocese.
“Christy is going to be greatly
missed,” he said, “and we are very
excited to welcome our new executive
director Charles Mercer.”
Most recently, Mercer was the associate director for annual giving at
Wyoming Catholic College, a ve-year
old Liberal Arts school in Lander, Wy.
Prior to that, he and his family were missionaries with the Fellowship of Catholic
University Students in Colorado. Mercer
is a graduate of St. Edward’s University
in Austin.
“I am honored to be coming home
for this wonderful opportunity to serve
the poor and needy in our own backyard,” Mercer said.
Last year the Society of St. Vincent
de Paul distributed nearly $2.58 million
in direct
to those
in need,
and the
more than
hours of
their time
Charles Mercer
in service to
the Central Texas community. The society was on the frontlines in the wake of
the Bastrop res last summer –– serving
more than 2,000 families who lost their
homes to wildres in September 2011.
In 2011, the society in Central Texas
celebrated its 50th anniversary of service
to the local community, and it looks
forward to serving the community’s
growing needs into the future.
“I am so grateful that the Society
has been present since the early years
of the Austin Diocese,” said Bishop
Joe Vásquez. “The dedicated Vincentians bring the love and compassion
of Christ into the homes of those
who are in need of spiritual and material assistance.”
For more information on the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Austin, visit or call (512) 251-6995.
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June 2012
El sacramento del matrimonio es sagrado
VÁSQUEZ es el quinto
obispo de la Diócesis
de Austin. Es pastor
para casi 500,000
católicos en 25
condados en el
Centro de Texas.
Editora: Señor Obispo, junio
suele ser el mes de las bodas por lo
que el sacramento del matrimonio
es un tema candente. ¿Qué enseña
la Iglesia sobre el matrimonio?
Obispo Vásquez: La Iglesia
Católica enseña que el matrimonio es
un sacramento, lo que signica que
viene de Dios y que Cristo lo bendice.
Un sacramento nos es dado por Cristo
como una señal que comunica la gracia
a aquellos que lo reciben. El sacramento
del matrimonio o el matrimonio, como
escuchamos en las Escrituras, estaba
destinado por Dios desde el principio.
Dios quiso que Adán y Eva fueran marido y mujer, tuvieran hijos y formaran
una familia. Por lo tanto, la intención del
matrimonio y el propósito del matrimonio tienen que encontrarse en Dios.
La iglesia enseña muy claramente
que el matrimonio es especícamente
entre un hombre y una mujer. En los
primeros capítulos de Génesis, Dios
revela su designio de amor para toda la
humanidad, que incluye el matrimonio.
“Por eso el hombre deja a su padre y a
su madre y se une a su mujer, y los dos
llegan a ser una sola carne” (Gn 2.24).
La Iglesia enseña que el consentimiento entre el hombre y la mujer
para casarse es de vital importancia. “La
Iglesia considera el intercambio de consentimiento entre los esposos como el
elemento indispensable para efectuar el
matrimonio. Si el consentimiento falta,
no hay matrimonio”, dice el Catecismo
de la Iglesia Católica (1626).
El matrimonio es complementario
– el hombre y la mujer son muy diferentes, pero la belleza se encuentra en
cómo el hombre y la mujer se complementan entre sí, ya que unen sus vidas
y comprometen sus vidas el uno al otro
en amor y dedicación completa.
El matrimonio es también acerca de
la delidad de por vida a una persona.
Lo que hace que el matrimonio sea tan
hermoso es que el amor que un esposo
y una esposa tienen el uno al otro,
al comienzo del matrimonio, seguirá
creciendo, amplia y profundamente,
porque eso es lo que ocurre con un
El matrimonio está destinado por
su propia naturaleza a ser procreador.
Por supuesto no todas las parejas casadas tienen una familia, y muchas parejas
no pueden tener hijos. Sin embargo,
la Iglesia enseña que los matrimonios
deben estar abiertos a tener hijos.
Cabe señalar que los matrimonios
reejan la presencia de Dios a través de
su amor por los demás y en la vivencia
de su matrimonio descubren su sentido
de propósito. También descubren que
Dios les está bendiciendo con la gracia
de vivir su compromiso con el otro. En
realidad, el hombre casado y su mujer
se ayudan mutuamente a descubrir su
camino hacia Dios, el matrimonio lleva
a los esposos a la santidad, ya que viven
su vocación.
Editora: Hoy en día, comprometerse a alguien, para bien o para
mal, para toda la vida a menudo se
toma a la ligera. Sin embargo, como
católicos tenemos en cuenta que
este compromiso es sagrado. ¿Cómo
podemos preparar a las parejas para
los desafíos que todo matrimonio
sufre en un momento u otro?
Obispo Vásquez: Usted está en lo
cierto que en nuestra sociedad muchos
matrimonios terminan en divorcio o
separación. Esto puede llevar a las personas a pensar que es aceptable divorciarse
y casarse varias veces. Por lo tanto, la
permanencia del matrimonio se pierde a
menudo. Sin embargo, la Iglesia Católica
enseña que en el sacramento del matrimonio un hombre y una mujer hacen
un compromiso intencional a la otra
persona, con la promesa de amar a la
persona por completo, para bien o para
mal y para el resto de su vida.
La diócesis toma ciertas medidas
para ayudar a las parejas comprometidas a prepararse para el matrimonio, ya
que es una vocación de por vida que
requiere un cuidadoso discernimiento
y preparación. Las parejas que planean
casarse deben empezar por ponerse en
contacto con su sacerdote o diácono
al menos seis meses antes de su boda,
la pareja debe tomar una evaluación
pre-matrimonial, debe asistir a un retiro
pre-matrimonial o una serie de clases,
y deben asistir a una serie de sesiones
como introducción sobre la planicación familiar (NFP por sus siglas en
inglés). A medida de lo posible, queremos ayudar a las parejas a edicar
relaciones felices, para toda la vida.
Nuestra sociedad ha devaluado en
muchos sentidos la permanencia del
matrimonio. Muchas parejas optan por
vivir juntos (convivencia) en lugar de
entrar en la vida matrimonial, ya que
no están listos para el compromiso del
matrimonio. Sin embargo, quiero disuadir completamente a las parejas de vivir
juntos, porque si una pareja no está
preparada para el matrimonio tampoco
están preparados para vivir juntos. Si
encuentra una persona con la que que
cree que Dios puede llamarle a que se
case, tómese el tiempo para llegar a
conocer profundamente a esa persona.
Hablen acerca de sus similitudes y sus
diferencias, hablen de sus creencias,
compartan sus valores con otros y lo
más importante, oren para que Dios
les guie en la toma de esta decisión tan
Sabemos estadísticamente que
aquellos que viven juntos antes de
la vida de casados tienen un mayor
porcentaje de terminar en divorcio.
Los que esperan a vivir juntos hasta el
matrimonio parecen tener una com-
prensión más madura y más completa
del sacramento del matrimonio.
Debido a la convivencia y múltiples
asociaciones, el gobierno federal y
estatal ha intervenido para denir el
matrimonio. En lugar de aceptar el matrimonio como un regalo de Dios, otras
entidades u organizaciones o gobiernos
tratan de determinar lo que hace el
matrimonio. La Biblia y la comprensión
judeo-cristiana del matrimonio es parte
de lo que somos, y queremos mantener
y preservar el matrimonio como algo
sagrado. Es un don de Dios, por lo
tanto, nosotros como iglesia debemos
abogar por la protección del matrimonio y por su preservación para un
hombre y una mujer comprometidos el
uno al otro para toda la vida.
Editora: La diócesis dedica
mucho tiempo a la concientización
de la castidad, que es a menudo un
enfoque pre-matrimonial, pero no
hay un gran enfoque durante el matrimonio. ¿Qué signica la castidad
para una pareja casada?
Obispo Vásquez: Todos los creyentes, todos los bautizados, deben vivir una vida casta. La castidad signica
respetarse a sí mismo, cuerpo, espíritu y
alma, porque me veo como un don de
Dios. Por lo tanto, yo respeto a todas
las demás personas también, hombres,
mujeres, niños, jóvenes y ancianos - y
no puedo usar o aprovecharme de otra
persona para mi propio placer. La castidad nos llama a ver a todos los seres
humanos creados a la bella imagen y
semejanza de Dios.
En un discurso pronunciado en
marzo, el Papa Benedicto XVI describió la castidad y la comprensión cristiana de la sexualidad como “una fuente
de la verdadera libertad, la felicidad y
el cumplimiento de nuestra vocación
humana fundamental e innata de amar”.
La castidad en el matrimonio signica
amar a nuestro cónyuge como Dios nos
ama, sin reservas. En el matrimonio,
la pareja está llamada a amar de una
manera que es libre, total, el y fecunda. Como dice uno de los prefacios
de la celebración del matrimonio en el
Misal Romano, “En la unión de marido
y mujer se dará una señal del don amoroso de la gracia de Cristo, de modo
que el sacramento que celebramos nos
puede llevar más profundamente al
maravilloso diseño de su amor”.
Editora: ¿Cuál es su oración por
los que se preparan para el matrimonio y para aquellos que han
estado casados 6 meses, 6 años o 60
Obispo Vásquez: Mi oración para
todas las parejas que se preparan para
casarse es que valoren el matrimonio
como un don de Dios. El matrimonio es
un don de Dios para usted, por lo tanto,
cuando usted esté listo para entrar en esa
relación de por vida, rezo para que usted
realmente vea que Dios le conduce a la
santidad y ayude a su cónyuge a crecer
en santidad. Rezo para que al entrar en
esta alianza de amor, Dios les bendiga
con el don de los hijos y vean crecer a
una familia amorosa que de testimonio
del amor de Dios en el mundo.
Para aquellos que ya están casados, en
particular aquellos que han estado casados
por décadas, les doy las gracias por su
testimonio maravilloso del sacramento
del matrimonio. En su testimonio, la
sociedad ve que el matrimonio no es sólo
posible, sino que es bueno y santo. Eso es
benecioso para toda la sociedad.
Recursos para las parejas comprometidos o casadas
Preparación para el Matrimonio
Unidos en el Amor de Dios - La diócesis ofrece este programa en forma de retiro
del 13 al 15 julio y del 26 al 28 octubre en el Centro Católico de Retiros Cedarbrake en
Belton. Las parejas comprometidas deben proporcionar comprobante de que han tomado
la evaluación del FOCCUS o PREPARE antes de asistir al retiro “Unidos en el Amor de
Dios”. Las parejas deben inscribirse poniéndose en contacto con la Ocina Diocesana
de Consejería Familiar y Vida Familiar al (512) 949-2495.
Las parroquias también ofrecen este programa. Póngase en contacto con su parroquia para más información.
Enriquecimiento del matrimonio
Encuentro Matrimonial - Las parejas casadas están invitadas a pasar el n de semana
centrados en ellos mismos y en Dios. Los retiros se ofrecen en inglés desde el 3 hasta
el 5 agosto, de 28 al 30 de septiembre y del 16 al 18 de noviembre en el Centro Católico
de Retiros Cedarbrake en Belton. Para obtener más información, visite www.austinme.
org, llame al (512) 918-1931 o por correo electrónico [email protected].
Por Tu Matrimonio ( - Una página web llena de información
sobre el noviazgo y el matrimonio.
Apoyo para el matrimonio
Retrouvaille – Los cónyuges aigidos porque se sienten aburridos, frustrados o
desilusionados están invitados a este programa que ofrece herramientas necesarias
para redescubrir una relación de matrimonio de amor. El próximo programa comienza
con un n de semana del 5 al 7 de octubre. Para obtener más información, visite www., llame al (512) 394-6465 o por correo electrónico alonsotexas@
Asesoramiento individual y matrimonial - La Ocina Diocesana de Consejería Familiar y Vida Familiar ofrece asesoramiento matrimonial y familiar y la orientación es en
inglés y español para niños, adolescentes y adultos. Llame al (512) 949-2495 para más
Planicación Familiar Natural (NFP por sus siglas en inglés)
Este es un término genérico para los métodos utilizados para lograr o evitar un
embarazo. Las clases que ayudan a las parejas a entender su fertilidad y aprender más
acerca de los diferentes métodos de NFP se ofrecen regularmente. Para obtener más
información, visite / departamento / prolife / ministries_nfp.php
o llame al (512) 949-2489.
Ponderando la pena de muerte
La Iglesia ha hecho un llamado
para descontinuar la pena de muerte
en Estados Unidos por más de 25
años, reporta La Conferencia Estadounidense de Obispos Católicos.
Por desgracia, las sentencias de muerte
siguen siendo un problema cotidiano
tan común que a menudo no prestamos más atención a ellas.
Este pasado Viernes Santo, el
día en que recordamos la ejecución
de nuestro Salvador, fue una buena
oportunidad para reexionar sobre el
asunto. Hay más de un factor a considerar cuando hablamos de la pena de
Entre ellos, está la realidad de
que nuestro sistema judicial es falible,
capaz de condenar a personas inocentes a la muerte. También está el hecho
de que la pena de muerte nos reduce
a todos a continuar con el ciclo de la
violencia, sometiendo a los criminales
a las condiciones inhumanas de reclusión en el corredor de la muerte y, en
última instancia, tomar la vida humana
con la ejecución.
En una carta dirigida a amigos
y colegas, la familia de Luis Castro
Pérez, un hombre en la actualidad en
el corredor de la muerte en Texas,
habla a las condiciones de los inter-
nos, diciendo que “muchos hombres
se han suicidado ... y muchos se están
volviendo locos. Se trata de la tortura;
el espacio es una tortura, y le corresponde a usted y a nuestros funcionarios restaurar sus derechos humanos”.
La carta continúa, “Estamos pidiendo
que las cosas simples, tales como el
derecho a la educación, la adoración,
el ejercicio y su derechos a la alimentación segura y buenas condiciones de
Además de esto, de acuerdo con
la encuesta Gallup 2011 sobre la pena
de muerte, más del 90 por ciento de
las personas condenadas a muerte no
pueden pagar su propio abogado, que
es también el caso de la familia Pérez,
que aún hoy siguen estando seguros de
la inocencia de Luis.
Como sociedad, estamos llamados a no olvidarnos de la dignidad de
una persona, por lo que no se debe
ejecutar a ninguna persona, independientemente de su inocencia o culpabilidad.
Como dijo el Papa Juan Pablo II
en St. Louis en 1999, “la dignidad de la
vida humana nunca debe ser quitada,
incluso en el caso de alguien que ha
hecho un gran mal”. Una vez que una
persona ha sido puesta en el corredor
de la muerte, ya se le ha despojado de
su dignidad; las condiciones que esta
persona tiene que soportar durante
su a menudo muy largo camino a la
muerte lo deshumanizan aún más.
El Papa Benedicto XVI condenó
el maltrato a los prisioneros cuando en
Benin, África, diciendo, “Los presos
son seres humanos que, a pesar de
su crimen, merecen ser tratados con
respeto y dignidad”.
Como podemos ver en la carta de
la familia Pérez, con toda convicción,
el duelo no viene sólo por la muerte
de la persona condenada, sino para
toda la sociedad y especícamente
para la familia y seres queridos de los
La pena de muerte causa una lesión
a distintos niveles y, como católicos,
estamos llamados a evitar lesiones, no
a crearlas. Oremos por todos los condenados a muerte, todas las víctimas
de delitos violentos y las familias de
todos los involucrados.
Gina Dominguez es la coordinadora de educación de la Ocina de
Actividades Pro-Vida y Castidad.
Serie de clases sobre la planicación familiar
Se ofrecerá una serie de clases sobre la planicación familiar a partir del 17 de
junio, de 2 a 4:30 PM en los Centros de Aprendizaje 1 y 2 de Seton Hays de Kyle.
Las sesiones subsiguientes se llevarán a cabo el 22 de julio y el 19 de agosto. El
costo de materiales es de $55. Para inscribirse a clase, las parejas deberán ponerse
en contacto con Mónica Warren por correo electrónico a [email protected] o
llamando al (715) 257-0857.
Los jóvenes adultos hispanos
Los jóvenes adultos hispanos están invitados a las Misas en español que serán
celebradas el 29 de junio y el 27 de julio a las 9 p.m. en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora
de Guadalupe en la ciudad de Austin. Los participantes rezarán el rosario a partir de
las 8:30 p.m. Para más información comuníquese con Juan Torres al (512) 415-5908
o Lily Morales al (512) 363-3609 o [email protected].
Los jóvenes adultos hispanos están invitados a la reunión Interparroquial que
será el día 7 de Julio en la Parroquia de Cristo Rey comenzando a las 5:30 p.m. Para
más información comuníquese con Juan Torres al (512) 415-5908 o Lily Morales al
(512) 363-3609 o [email protected].
Líderes de grupos de oración carismáticos
El Centro de Retiros Cedarbrake en Belton ofrecerá un retiro para todos los líderes de grupos de oración carismáticos de la Diócesis de Austin, julio 7 y 8. El retiro
se efectuará en español. Para más información, por favor llame a Edgar Ramirez al
(512) 949-2468.
Masses in Spanish/Misas en Español
St. Mary Cathedral – domingo: 1:45 p.m.
Cristo Rey – domingo: 6 a.m., 7 a.m.,
10 a.m., 1 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m.;
jueves: 7 p.m.
Dolores – domingo: 8 a.m., mediodia;
martes-viernes: 8:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe – sábado: 6
p.m.; domingo: 7:45 a.m. y 6 p.m.
Sacred Heart – sábado: 7 p.m.; domingo:
9:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 5:30 p.m.;
martes, miércoles, jueves: 7 p.m.
St. Ignatius – domingo: 1 p.m.
St. Julia – domingo: 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m.
St. Louis – domingo: 6 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 5
p.m.; martes, jueves: 6 p.m.
St. Paul – domingo: 12:30 p.m.
St. Peter -- domingo: 1 p.m.
San Francisco Javier – domingo: 8 a.m.,
mediodia; miércoles, viernes: 6 p.m.
San José – domingo: 7:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m.;
jueves: 7 p.m.
Ascension – domingo: mediodia
Christ the King – domingo: 8 a.m.
St. Ferdinand – domingo: 11 a.m.;
segundo y cuarto domingos: 1 p.m.
St. Mary – domingo: 12:30 p.m.
St. Mary – sábado: 7:30 p.m.
St. Monica – domingo: 7 a.m.
Cedar Park
St. Margaret Mary – domingo: mediodia
College Station
St. Mary – sábado: 7 p.m.
Sacred Heart – domingo: 7:30, 11:30 a.m.
Our Lady of Lourdes – domingo: mediodia
St. Mary – domingo: 7:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m.;
martes: 6:30 p.m.
St. John – domingo: 8 a.m.
St. Joseph – domingo: 7 a.m., 11 a.m.
Marble Falls
St. John – domingo: 12:30 p.m.
St. Joseph – domingo: 11:30 a.m.
St. Margaret – domingo: 11 a.m.
St. Thomas – sábado: 7 p.m.
St. Mary – domingo: 11 a.m.
Hornsby Bend
Santa Barbara – domingo: 8 a.m.
St. Joseph – domingo: 9 a.m.
St. Anthony – domingo: mediodia,
martes & jueves: 6:30 p.m.
La Grange
Santa Teresa – sábado: 7 p.m.; domingo: Sacred Heart – Primer y tercer domingos:
8 a.m., mediodia, 2 p.m.
Emmaus – domingo: 12:15 p.m.
San Marcos
Guadalupe Chapel - sábado: 5:30 p.m.
y miércoles; 7 p.m.
St. John - domingo: 9:30 a.m., 1:30
p.m.; sábado: 8 a.m.
San Saba
St. Mary – domingo: mediodia
St. Paul – domingo: mediodia (excepto
por el último domingo del mes)
Stoney Point
San Juan Diego – sábado: 6 p.m.;
jueves: 6 p.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe – domingo: 8
a.m. y 1 p.m.; martes-viernes: 8 a.m.
St. Helen – domingo: 7:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.;
Immaculate Heart of Mary – domingo: 8
miércoles: 6:30 p.m.
a.m.; sábado: 6 p.m.; jueves: 7 p.m.
Santa Cruz – domingo: 8:30 a.m.
St. Mary – domingo: 12:15 p.m.; jueves: 6 p.m. St. Stephen – Domingo: 11:30 a.m.
St. Eugene – domingo: 8 a.m.
St. Mary – domingo: mediodia; jueves: 6 p.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe – domingo: 8 a.m.,
11:45 a.m., 6 p.m.; martes-viernes: 6 p.m.
Our Lady of San Juan – sábado: 7 p.m.
St. Elizabeth – domingo: 1:30 p.m.
St. Joseph – domingo: mediodia
St. Matthew – domingo: 9 a.m.
St. Ann – domingo: 11:15 a.m.
Round Rock
St. William – domingo: 7:30 a.m., 1:30
p.m.; martes: 6 p.m.; jueves: 6 p.m.
St. Michael – domingo: 5 p.m.
Sacred Heart – domingo 8: a.m.; mediodia
St. Francis on the Brazos – sábado:
7 p.m.; domingo: 8 a.m.; mediodia
St. Peter Catholic Center – viernes: 7:30 p.m.
Assumption – primer y tercer domingo:
St. Mary – domingo: mediodia
Send corrections to
[email protected].
June 2012
El Obispo ordenará a cuatro sacerdotes el 9 de junio
El Sr Obispo Mons. José
Vásquez ordenará a los diáconos Kurtis Wiedenfeld, David
Trahan, Higdon Ryan y Andeh
Uchechukwu al sacerdocio el
9 de junio a las 10:30 AM en
la Parroquia de St. Williams en
Round Rock.
Después de años de formación, estudios de teología y
ministerio, los seminaristas están
dispuestos a asumir sus nuevos
roles como sacerdotes. A pesar
de que provienen de orígenes
un tanto diversos, estos jóvenes
comparten la pasión por servir
a Dios a través del servicio a los
demás, un deseo plantado en sus
corazones por el Espíritu Santo
hace mucho tiempo.
Kurtis Wiedenfeld, es el
primero de nueve hijos, nació
en una familia de militares mientras estaban estacionados en
Frankfurt, Alemania. Menos de
un año más tarde, regresaron a
los EE.UU. y se embarcaron
en una serie de cambios de
domicilio, uno de particular
importancia fue al estado de
Washington. Durante sus primeros años de educación, Kurtis
asistió a una escuela pública tras
otra, siempre marcado por un
impedimento del habla, dijo.
Sin embargo, se encontró con
un nuevo comienzo en el salón
de Wendy Sleisher en la Escuela
Católica Holy Family en Lacy,
“Ella básicamente me tomó
de la mano y me ayudó a acelerar. Sin ella, yo no estaría aquí
hoy”, dijo Deacon Wiedenfeld.
Inicialmente el consideró el
sacerdocio cuando era estudiante en su clase, y agregó: “creo
que se quedó conmigo toda la
En la escuela secundaria,
fue invitado a una visita de una
semana al seminario de los Legionarios de Cristo en Connecticut. A pesar de que estaba
convencido de que ésta era su
vocación en la vida, no tenía los
medios nancieros para hacer el
viaje desde la casa de la familia
en Copperas Cove. En medio de
esta realidad desalentadora, un
boleto de avión a Connecticut
surgió de un donante que apenas
conocía, abriendo la puerta para
una semana de discernimiento.
Diácono Wiedenfeld pasó
ocho años en formación con
los Legionarios de Cristo antes
de regresar a Texas para estudiar
en la Diócesis de Austin. Su
experiencia en la vida religiosa
incluye dos años de noviciado,
seguido de cuatro años de estudios universitarios en Thorndale, Nueva York y dos años de
Deacon “Uche” Andeh
Deacon Ryan Higdon
Deacon David Trahan
Deacon Kurtis Wiedenfeld
ministerio pastoral trabajando
con jóvenes.
Desde entonces ha completado dos años de estudios
de teología en el Seminario St.
Mary, en Houston, un año de
pastoral en College Station, un
año de ministerio en el hospital
Seton Medical Center en Austin,
y nalmente, dos años adicionales de estudios de teología
en Houston. Después de 14
años de formación, Diácono
Wiedenfeld espera con ansia
su ordenación sacerdotal, un
regalo que él dijo le debe a la
generosidad de muchos, no
menos importante es el donante
cuyo nombre ni siquiera conoce.
Un espíritu de servicio fue
inculcado en los niños Wiedenfeld a través del ejemplo de
ambos padres. La carrera en
el Ejército de los EE.UU. de
su padre, Marcos, así como la
devoción de su madre Christa
con su crianza, y, en ocasiones,
educación en el hogar de nueve
niños fueron modelos brillantes de generosidad. Dos de los
hermanos menores Wiedenfeld
siguieron el llamado al sacerdocio y asistieron a seminarios
menores en New Hampshire
antes de discernir que no era su
vocación en la vida. Además,
los dos hermanos siguieron los
pasos de su padre al unirse a los
militares, uno se encuentra sirviendo en la Guardia Costera
en Virginia y el otro recientemente ha terminado cuatro años
de servicio en la infantería de
marina, incluyendo un período
de servicio en Irak. A pesar de
sus muchos cambios, la mayor
parte de la familia Wiedenfeld
ahora llama su hogar al centro
de Texas, y estará presente para
la ordenación de su hijo y su
hermano mayor el 9 de junio.
Coincidentalmente, el diácono David Trahan también viene de una familia de militares.
Aunque nació en El Paso, pasó
su infancia en todo el mundo,
desde Nueva York a Japón. Sin
embargo, dijo, “Texas ha sido
siempre mi casa.” Ambos abuelos maternos y paternos se jubilaron en Texas, después de una
carrera en el Ejército y la Fuerza
Aérea, por lo que la familia se
acostumbró a viajar de nuevo
al estado de Texas en donde
residían. Los padres del Diácono
Trahan, Kennedy y Deborah,
con el tiempo se trasladaron a
Round Rock, donde ellos y su
hermana menor todavía residen.
Después de graduarse de la
escuela secundaria, él y su compañero de ordenación, Deacon
Ryan Higdon, entraron en el
seminario con su entusiasmo
juvenil. Habían pasado casi 20
años desde que la Diócesis de
Austin aceptara a alguien inmediatamente después de la
escuela secundaria, pero estos
dos jóvenes inspiraron un salto
de fe. En primer lugar obtuvieron sus grados de licenciatura
en losofía por la Universidad
de Dallas antes de continuar estudios de postgrado en el Seminario de St. Mary, en Houston.
Diácono Trahan se sintió
atraído por el sacerdocio desde
muy joven y expresó esta idea al
rededor de los 6 ó 7 años. “Eso
matizó mucho la forma en que
pasé por la escuela”, dijo.
Su primer contacto con la
Oficina de Vocaciones de la
diócesis llegó en el séptimo
grado para un proyecto de
matemáticas. A los estudiantes
se les pidió que investigaran lo
que concebían como sus futuras
profesiones, incluidas las cifras
de promedio de salario. Diácono
Trahan dijo en broma que la
primera vez que se puso en
contacto con la Ocina de Vocaciones fue para saber cuánto
gana un sacerdote.
A pesar de esta vocación
temprana, el Diácono Trahan
dijo que no era necesariamente
parte de un grupo religioso de
amigos en la escuela secundaria.
“Eso me ayudó a formar en
mi mente cómo se puede hablar
acerca de la fe con quienes no sienten de la misma manera en un
nivel emocional”, dijo. Además,
esta experiencia le enseñó a defender la fe, sin condenar a los
demás por no creer, una poderosa habilidad que espera que le
servirá bien en su vocación.
A los 27 años de edad, ha
pasado un tercio de su vida en
la formación de la preparación
para este día. Las experiencias de
su año pastoral en la Parroquia
St. Mary of the Assumption
en Occidente y servir como
diácono en la parroquia de St.
Margaret en Giddings rearmó
su pasión por el servicio al Centro de Texas, y me dijo que la
ordenación es una “sensación
clara de llegar a casa”.
Diácono Higdon comparte
el entusiasmo de sus compañeros acerca de regresar a casa
a Austin para celebrar su ordenación sacerdotal. Si bien
pasó un tiempo en Tennessee,
Georgia y Alabama de niño,
Round Rock ha sido el hogar
de Deacon Higdon desde cuarto
grado. John y Kathleen Higdon
criaron a sus tres hijos en la
ciudad justo al norte de Austin,
y son feligreses de la Parroquia
St. Thomas More.
Como el hijo del medio,
el Diácono Higdon pasó gran
parte de su infancia al aire libre,
y ha participado en muchos
deportes, pero él desarrolló
una pasión por el agua como
un niño en Alabama durante
los frecuentes viajes de la familia a la playa. Siguió nadando
competitivamente todo el año
a través de sus años en McNeil
High School. Sin embargo,
desde que entró en el seminario
a los 18 años, el enfoque de
Diácono Higdon ha estado en
su preparación para el sacerdocio.
Diácono Higdon consideró
una variedad de carreras, incluido la de derecho y trabajo
social, antes de tomar la decisión de entrar en el seminario.
Sin embargo, hacia el nal de la
escuela secundaria, los aspectos
de la fe católica empezaron a
tener más sentido para él, y
él encontró un camino para
superar sus dudas acerca de la
vida religiosa.
“He tenido un montón de
dudas en los últimos años. Yo
solía pensar que no podía ser
sacerdote porque no era digno.
No tengo suciente de esto o no
tengo suciente de eso. En esos
momentos de duda, puede ser
tentador centrarse demasiado
en sus faltas y no en la gracia
con que se le ha de hacer frente
a esas tareas”, dijo el Diácono
Al nal, la fe de su familia
y amigos ayudaron a validar su
decisión a través de su constante
armación y oraciones.
Si no fuera por el sacerdocio,
diácono Higdon dijo que podía
verse a sí mismo trabajando
como consejero. Afortunadamente, este será un elemento
clave de su nuevo papel como
sacerdote y lo que describió
como una de sus partes favoritas
de la vocación. Él también está
emocionado de compartir los
sacramentos con las personas de
la Diócesis de Austin.
A diferencia de sus contrapartes que comparten raíces comunes en Texas, Uchechukwu
(“Uche”) Andeh vino por primera vez a la Diócesis de Austin
hace cinco años con una Visa de
Diversidad. El nativo de Nigeria,
dejó atrás a su familia, su país, y
su diócesis para seguir la llamada
de Dios.
“Nunca me ví a mí mismo
haciendo esto”, dijo el diácono Andeh. Sin embargo, lo he
abrazado. En los últimos cinco
años, no sólo ha aprendido una
nueva cultura, sino también un
nuevo lenguaje, añadiendo español a su vocabulario, junto con
el inglés, igbo, e inglés pidgin.
Desde que dejó su ciudad
natal, el Diácono Andeh ha
hecho el viaje de 7,000 millas
a casa una vez. Y mientras sus
padres y dos hermanos permanecen en Nigeria, su única hermana ahora vive en Austin. Lo más
probable es que encontraron el
valor de dejar la comodidad del
hogar con la ayuda de su padre,
“Mi padre, él me dio la audacia de soñar en grande, me hizo
aspirar a grandes cosas”, dijo el
Diácono Andeh.
Al igual que los otros seminaristas, Diácono Andeh inicialmente no vio por qué Dios
lo eligió. Su discernimiento comenzó con pensamientos de
Pagína 30
Las uniones civiles se hacen matrimonios por
medio de convalidación
En una reciente tarde de
primavera cientos de personas
se reunieron en la parroquia de
La Ascensión en Bastrop para
celebrar una boda. Veinticuatro
novias ansiosas y emocionadas
estaban de pie junto a sus felices novios. Se reunieron en la
preparación de una línea para
entrar a la iglesia donde el Padre
Rafael Padilla celebró la misa
nupcial. Las parejas se casaron
previamente fuera de la Iglesia
Católica y esperaban recibir el
sacramento del matrimonio por
medio de convalidación.
Según el Derecho Canónico,
las parejas católicas deben estar
casados por un sacerdote o
diácono y en una iglesia (salvo
que obtengan una dispensa) para
que el matrimonio sea reconocido por la Iglesia Católica.
Cuando un matrimonio se lleva
a cabo fuera de la iglesia, no
se reconoce como una unión
sacramental y los cónyuges no
están en un estado de gracia,
por lo tanto, no pueden recibir
la Comunión. Convalidación es
el proceso mediante el cual una
pareja que se casó fuera de la
Iglesia Católica puede recibir la
bendición de la Iglesia sobre el
matrimonio y, en consecuencia,
puede participar plenamente en
la vida sacramental de la iglesia.
Lupe García, Directora de la
Ocina de Orientación Católica
y Vida Familiar de la Diócesis de
Austin, dijo que la convalidación
ayuda a las parejas a darse cuenta
de la santidad del matrimonio.
Dios es el autor del matrimonio,
cuando una pareja se da cuenta
de eso, entonces “entiende lo
que supone, contrariamente a
lo que la sociedad les dice y a
diferencia de lo que los medios
les dice. Su matrimonio tiene
entonces una base sólida”, dijo
Antes de la convalidación, el
padre Padilla invitó a las parejas
de la parroquia para aprender
más sobre el proceso.
“Vimos que teníamos un
montón de parejas que no
habían tenido su matrimonio
bendecido por la iglesia por lo
que fue uno de nuestros objetivos aquí en la parroquia para
tratar de ayudar lo más que pudimos a estar en plena comunión
con nosotros”, El Padre Padilla,
dijo. La respuesta fue mejor de
lo que él y el personal de la parroquia esperaban.
Padre Padilla se reunió con
cada pareja para asegurarse de
que eran elegibles para la convalidación. Para ser elegible para la
se preparan
para entrar en
la parroquia
de la Ascensión, donde
recibieron la
bendición de la
Iglesia durante
la Misa nupcial,
por medio de la
el 14 de abril.
(Foto por Cristina M. López)
convalidación, las parejas deben
tener su documentación sacramental en orden, incluyendo los
certicados de bautismo y conrmación. Además, si cualquiera
de los cónyuges se casó anteriormente, se debe obtener la anulación (de acuerdo al Derecho
Canónico, las parejas con un
matrimonio anterior, reconocido por la Iglesia católica deben
primero buscar la anulación antes de poder volver a casarse en
la Iglesia). Las parejas también
deben recibir la preparación al
“Mucho de lo que hacemos
en el proceso de preparación
para el matrimonio es asegurarnos de que las parejas están
conscientes de que el matrimonio es un sacramento que
implica un compromiso de por
vida. El matrimonio es una vocación hasta que la muerte los
separe”, dijo García. Ella entrena a ministros de la parroquia
en “Juntos en el Amor de Dios”,
el programa de preparación matrimonial utilizado en la Diócesis
de Austin.
Dado que se trataba de un
gran grupo, las parejas de Bastrop asistieron juntos a un retiro
de preparación matrimonial.
Después de asistir al retiro,
que incluyó conversaciones sobre el matrimonio en el contexto de la fe católica, la comunicación, la sexualidad y la
administración, el padre Padilla
dijo que las parejas estaban “más
emocionadas y que estaban pensando más en el sacramento que
en la recepción”. Sin embargo, la
parroquia de la Ascensión patrocinó una recepción con música,
comida y un pastel de boda muy
grande para las 24 parejas y sus
Rosa Alba García y José
Luis García se casaron en una
ceremonia civil hace un año.
Dijeron que su fe católica
les obligó a seguir la convalidación. Rosa dijo que el estar casada por la iglesia les
ayudará a “estar bien con
Dios” y recibir su gracia para
un matrimonio más fuerte.
Angélica y Cecilio Garza
estuvieron de acuerdo. Estaban agradecidos de que el
padre Padilla haya proporcionado esta oportunidad a
las parejas de la parroquia.
Después de 26 años de un
matrimonio civil, decían era
necesario establecer un ejemplo para sus cinco hijos de
que el matrimonio es mejor
cuando es celebrado como
un sacramento en la iglesia
porque “hoy muchos jóvenes
no valoran el matrimonio”,
Durante la homilía de la
misa nupcial en español, el padre
Padilla, aplaudió a las parejas
por su decisión de convalidar su
“Hoy en día en nuestra comunidad estamos celebrando el
extraordinario sacramento del
matrimonio –– un sacramento
que la sociedad pisotea día a día
y quiere destruir”, dijo. “Pero
hoy en nuestra parroquia, ustedes están enviando un mensaje
muy fuerte y profundo de que
es posible defender la idea y la
santidad del matrimonio con
este sacramento”.
Padre Padilla pidió a la parroquia que se comprometan a
apoyar y alentar a estas parejas
“que ya han invitado al Señor
para estar en el centro de sus
vidas, de sus familias”.
Después de la ceremonia,
Juan Cepeda e Inés se quedaron
sorprendidos de haber recibido
la Santa Comunión por primera
vez en más de dos décadas.
“Sentimos la gloria, oh,
cuando recibí el cuerpo de Cristo,
fue como una renovación increíble porque no he recibido el
cuerpo de Cristo en 22 años”,
dijo Juan Cepeda. “He estado
esperando este momento durante años, y ahora, ¡por n!”,
Agregó su esposa.
García dijo que muchas
parejas que se casan fuera de
la iglesia se pierden los sacramentos y, nalmente, sienten
que Dios los empuja a “volver
a casa” a él.
“Hay una falta y hay a menudo un anhelo de estar más cerca
de Dios. Los sacramentos nos
empujan hacia Dios. Así que cuando una persona o una pareja
escucha ese llamado y lo acepta,
es una experiencia fantástica”,
dijo García.
Después de ver tantas parejas presentes, el padre Padilla,
dijo que espera hacer de este un
evento anual.
“Nuestro deber como pas-
tores es ayudar a la gente a estar más cerca de Dios y tratar
de estar en plena comunión
con Dios y la Iglesia Católica”,
García dijo que las parejas
que quieren seguir la convalidación deben comunicarse con
su párroco o diácono. Se espera que más parejas tomen en
cuenta la invitación de la iglesia
para el sacramento del matrimonio, debido a las muchas gracias
que trae.
“Un matrimonio no está
solo. La Iglesia quiere que las
parejas estén conectadas a su
parroquia y a los sacramentos,
que nos acercan a Dios”, dijo
Para obtener más información acerca de la convalidación, contacte a su párroco
o a la Oficina de Consejería
Familiar y Vida Familiar al
(512) 949-2400.
Continúa de la Pag. 29
“Estoy seguro de que hay
mejores personas. Pero he llegado a conar más y más en las
voces de la iglesia y en el pueblo
de Dios”, dijo. Diácono Andeh
también fue motivado por las
palabras de Hebreos 5, que arman todo sumo sacerdote es
escogido de la gente y es débil
él mismo. Esta revelación fue un
punto de inexión que le ayudó
a darse cuenta de que el orgullo
se interponía en el camino de
aceptar su vocación.
Diácono Andeh viajó a los
EE.UU. después de completar
su licenciatura y tres años de estudios de postgrado en Nigeria.
Mientras que siente nostalgia a
veces, el Diácono Andeh se las
arregla para traer piezas de su
cultura nativa a Texas. Agradece
a su madre, Roseline, el haberle
enseñado a cocinar por lo que
ahora se puede preparar algunos
de sus platillos favoritos, entre
ellos un fufu de camote con
una sopa de hoja amarga. Él
también ha traído al seminario
su experiencia con instrumentos
de percusión africanos, y actualmente toca el djembe para el
coro en español.
Mientras se acerca el día de
su ordenación, el diácono Andeh está agradecido con la gente
de la Diócesis de Austin por su
aliento a lo largo de la jornada.
“Sigo viendo la providencia
de Dios en ellos. Les doy las gracias por su generosidad, apoyo
y oraciones”, dijo el Diácono
June 2012
was formed at Emmaus Parish in Lakeway.
(Photo courtesy Jose R. Gonzalez)
Austin held its
annual gala April
14 at the Austin
Country Club.
(Photo courtesy
Corinne Callahan)
FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS, the youth of
St. Jerome Parish in Waco have traveled to
various area facilities to perform the Mimes
Stations of the Cross. (Photo courtesy Angie
Mexia held its annual
Jamaica on May 6. The
day was lled with
music and food and the
crowning of the Jamaica queens. (Photo courtesy St. Mary/Mexia)
Catholic School in Austin led
the community in a tribute to
Mary on May 3. (Photo courtesy Suzanne Leggett)
St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Austin held their 12th
annual Lenten Sew-A-Thon.
They made chemo caps for
cancer patients, crib pads and
gel pack covers for premature
babies and various items for
area nursing homes. (Photo
courtesy Jo Ann Campbell)
St. Austin School in Austin
visited Sweet Berry Farms
in Marble Falls for a day
lled with berry picking and
ladybug lessons. (Photo
courtesy Leah Esparza)
THE HEART OF MARY Women’s Discernment Retreat was
held at Cedarbrake during April. The retreat was presented
by the diocesan Vocation Ofce. (Photo courtesy Julie Gray)
MCCAFFREY celebrated
the 50th anniversary of
earning his Eagle Scout
rank with the St. Joseph’s Scout Troop 383
in Bryan. (Photo courtesy
Patty Blaszak)
SCHOOLS in the Austin Diocese
received a $3,000 check from the
proceeds of the 2012 Catholic
Schools Event that was held in
January. (Photos courtesy Jean
Send photos by the 10th of the month to [email protected].
of St. Jerome
Parish in Waco
held a Clergy Appreciation Dinner
April 20. (Photo
courtesy Dave
MORE THAN 150 PEOPLE participated in
the 5K Stampede held at St. Mary Parish in
College Station. The run beneted the local
Society of St. Vincent de Paul. (Photo by
George Caudle)
Bay presented a gold
chalice to Mary Moore
widow of Dean Halbraken.
She then presented it to
Father Melvin Dornak,
pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Llano, in memory of
her late husband. (Photo
courtesy Darwin Brokmeyer)
Frenstat prayed
the rosary on
the National
Day of Prayer.
(Photo courtesy Bernadette
DEACON FRED JONES, Jim DiSimoni and Deacon
Tim Hayden attended an Ultreya meeting for the Austin
English Cursillo Movement at Fort Hood. (Photo courtesy
Robin Spencer)
THIRD GRADERS from St. Helen
School in Georgetown toured the
diocesan Pastoral Center in Austin with
Father Robert Becker, pastor of St.
Helen. (Photos courtesy Jean Bondy)
Americas of Sacred
Heart Parish in La
Grange hosted its
family dinner and gave
out 13 scholarships for
high school seniors.
(Photo courtesy Elizabeth Kallus)
Smithville held a procession and crowning of Mary
during a youth Mass on
May 2. (Photo courtesy
Brenda L. Karisch)
of Bryan recently presented scholarships to
three students who have
overcome challenges,
graduated from high
school and now desire to
continue their education.
(Photo courtesy Anthony
TROOP of St. William Parish in Round
Rock presented a
donation for the parish to Father Jonathan Raia, associate
pastor. (Photo courtesy Becky Valdez)
Send photos by the 10th of the month to [email protected].

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