Vocations outlook is good, more work to be done


Vocations outlook is good, more work to be done
V O L U M E 3 1, N U M B E R 10
Vocations outlook is good, more work to be done
Father Brian McMaster, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin, knows that he
is blessed to serve in Central
Texas, where the Catholic faith
is growing and vibrant. However, with this blessing comes
the responsibility shared by all
Catholics –– helping men and
women hear and respond to
God’s call to the priesthood and
religious life.
The diocese has 50 men
and women in formation for
religious orders, and 40 men
who are preparing to become
diocesan priests. The formation of these diocesan seminarians usually takes seven to
nine years. The good news,
explained Father McMaster, is
that ordinations to the priesthood are just about keeping pace with the number of
priests who retire. However,
the Catholic population is
growing, which means that
the same number of priests
serve more of the faithful.
Most of the seminarians
are attending one of Àve seminaries, while several are as-
Austin Diocese
6225 Hwy. 290 East
Austin, Texas 78723
Postage Paid
at Austin, Texas
THERE ARE CURRENTLY 40 SEMINARIANS studying to be priests of the Diocese of
Austin. Posters featuring the seminarians have been distributed to the parishes. (Poster
by Cathy King)
signed to parishes for a pastoral year of service.
“We’ve noticed that each
guy has a different set of gifts
and a different set of needs.
We believe we can maximize
their gifts by sending them to
different seminaries,” Father
McMaster said.
He also said that the men
are of a high “quality.” They
are mature, know their faith,
and have an active prayer life.
In addition, they also have a
keen sense of discernment,
that is, the ability to hear the
voice of God through prayer
and within the circumstances
of their lives. For the future,
Father McMaster Ànds it encouraging that more young
men are beginning to consider
and discern a religious vocation during their high school
years. Likewise, many in their
college years, post-college and
even in their 30s and 40s are
open to God’s calling.
The universal church also
beneÀts from the religious vocations that come from within
our diocese. Most of the men
and women from our parishes who are in formation
for religious orders to become
priests, brothers and sisters
will serve God and his people
in other parts of the state,
country, and even the world.
In addition, with so many
colleges and universities with-
in the boundaries of the diocese, the campus ministry
programs are having a positive effect on promoting vocations. These programs serve
the spiritual needs of college
students from all over the
country at a time when they
make decisions that affect the
rest of their lives.
For example, St. Mary
Catholic Center at Texas
A&M University has a national reputation for providing
an environment where students can hear God’s call and
respond with an enthusiastic
“yes.” This fall, 14 former
students entered seminaries or
began formation in religious
orders, most outside of the
diocese. The diocese is also
seeing an increase of interest
in vocations from students at
the University of Texas, Texas
State University, Baylor and
St. Edward’s University.
While the Austin Diocese
is not currently suffering from
an acute shortage of priests,
as other parts of the country
are, the culture of vocations
must continue to be fostered.
As the Catholic population
grows, even more priests
are needed. In addition, the
number of women entering
religious life is far less than
the total number of men in
See VOCATION on Page 3
Msgr. John McCaffrey
has served Brazos
Valley parishioners
for many years.
Page 5
John Paul II will be
canonized on Divine
Mercy Sunday.
Page 11
Thanking God for our
many blessings, the
good and the bad.
Page 16
Ministerio ayuda a
personas a superar su
Página 25
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Pope Francis on prayer, surprises
Pope Francis continues to give us great
pieces of wisdom. Two of my favorite quotes
from October had to do with prayer and being
surprised by God.
On Oct. 20 he discussed prayer in terms
of the parable of the widow who did not cease
bothering the dishonest judge. “The protagonist
is a widow who, by pleading with a dishonest
judge, manages to obtain justice from him. And
Jesus concludes: if the widow manages to convince that judge, do you think that God does
not listen to us, if we pray to him insistently?
The expression Jesus uses is very powerful: ‘And
will not God bring about justice for his chosen
ones, who cry out to him day and night?’”
“And so we learn from the widow of the
Gospel to pray always and tirelessly. The widow
was good! … Always pray! But not to convince
the Lord with words! He knows what we need
better than us! Rather, perseverance in prayer
is an expression of faith in a God who calls us
to Àght with him, every day, every moment, to
overcome evil with good.”
I think this goes back to prayer as the foundation of our relationship with God. It is very difÀcult
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to have a relationship with someone who we don’t
speak to or listen to on a regular basis. I really need
to remember this especially as the busy-ness of the
holidays sets in. It’s no coincidence that when I take
the time to pray and be with God for even just a
few minutes, the days go better and my attitude is
more joyful.
On Oct. 13, the pope discussed Mary and
our hesitance to be surprised by God. “At the
message of the angel, (Mary) does not hide her
surprise. It is the astonishment of realizing that
God, to become man, had chosen her, a simple
maid of Nazareth: not someone who lived in
a palace amid power and riches, or who had
done extraordinary things, but simply someone
who was open to God and put her trust in him,
even without understanding everything: … God
always surprises us, he overturns our categories,
he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells
us: Trust me, do not be afraid, let yourself be
surprised, leave yourself behind and follow me!”
Honestly, I am not a fan of surprises. I am
a planner and a control freak at times. But what
is that old saying, “If you want to make God
laugh, then tell him your plans?” I have learned
more and more lately that sometimes it’s perfectly Àne to go with the Áow. Planning is great,
but it can also be stressful. I deÀnitely need to
let God surprise me more often and leave my
plans behind, so I can follow his lead.
From his simple car to
his simple pieces of wisdom, Pope Francis continues to amaze me. During
this month of Thanksgiving, I am particularly thankful for his leadership and
her family are parishioners of St. Margaret Mary
Parish in Cedar Park.
She has been editor of
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Publisher: Most Rev. Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin
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Correspondents: Burnie Cook, Peggy Moraczewski,
Enedelia Obregón, Michele Chan Santos and
Mary P. Walker
Holy Cross priest served at the
Cathedral and in Copperas Cove
Holy Cross Father William H. Donahue died
Sept. 30 at the age of 91 at Holy Cross House in
Notre Dame, Ind. He was raised in Philadelphia
and was the oldest of seven children. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in
1945 and was ordained a priest on June 7, 1949.
He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate
in biology from Catholic University of America,
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and then he spent 20 years in the Biology De(CNS) and is a member of the Catholic Press Association.
partment at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 2013 by the Austin Diocese. All rights reFrom 1974 to 1989, Father Donahue served
served. Reproduction of any editorial content, photograph,
art or design is prohibited without written permission of the as rector of St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. He
publisher CATHOLIC SPIRIT (ISSN 0896-2715) is published 11 also served on the Marriage Tribunal for the
Diocese of Austin and was also a diocesan contimes annually (monthly except one issue in July/August)
sultor. He served on the Board of Trustees for
by the Austin Diocese. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, publisher,
6225 Hwy. 290 E., Austin, TX 78723. Periodicals Postage
St. Edward’s University in Austin from 1977 to
Paid at Austin, Texas.
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In 1989, Father Donahue was named pastor
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of Holy Family Parish in Copperas Cove, where
he celebrated his 80th birthday before leaving in
2002. He then moved to Florida and assisted at
William H.
two local parishes before Ànally retiring to Holy
Cross House in 2007.
Memorial contributions in support of the
mission and ministries of the Congregation of
Holy Cross can be made to United States Province of Priests and Brothers, OfÀce of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 465560765 or online at donate.holycrossusa.org.
November 2013
Catholic Services Appeal kicks off in parishes
The Catholic Services Appeal for the Austin Diocese
kicked off in parishes Nov.
2-3. This year’s theme is “Let
Your Light Shine.”
Danielle Madrid, Associate
Director of Stewardship and
Annual Appeal, said the Catholic Services Appeal supports
the diocese in its mission of
spreading the light of Christ,
and assisting the clergy, religious and lay people who
carry out this mission across
Central Texas.
Through donations to the
CSA, parishioners support
men in their education and
formation for the priesthood
or the diaconate and care for
retired priests; they provide
leadership and liturgical train-
ing for youth ministers and
those serving our multicultural
communities; through Catholic Charities, they extend a
helping hand to the
poor and to families
in need; they help
support thousands of
students and teachers
in Catholic schools
and catechists who
teach religious education to thousands of
children and adults;
and they enhance the
spirituality and worship of our parishioners.
Through gifts to
the Catholic Services
Appeal, donors enable parishes to carry
out programs and
ministries that they
otherwise would not
There are currently 40
be able to fund themselves,
said Scott Whitaker, diocesan seminarians in the diocese.
director of Stewardship and One third of the money raised
through CSA goes to supDevelopment.
port the seminarians as
they prepare
for their day
of ordination.
Whitaker said
donors who
give to the
CSA help to
eliminate that
financial burden on our
future priests,
thus freeing
the seminarians “so they
really can focus on their
work, their
studies, and
their forma-
tion to become better priests.”
Madrid also stressed that
every gift to the Catholic Services Appeal is important and
appreciated because every dollar goes toward helping the
local church. Even if a family
is unable to financially support the appeal this year, a
gift of prayers is even more
“Every gift in support of
the CSA counts. Through
your gifts, you are spreading
the light of Christ throughout our diocese. Everything
helps,” Madrid said.
Pledge cards for the Catholic Services Appeal have been
mailed and were distributed
at all the Masses during the
Àrst week of November. To
donate, Àll out the pledge card
and mail it in or donate online
at www.austindiocese.org.
Prayer is the foundation for vocations, Vocation Director says
Continued from Page 1
formation for the diocesan
priesthood or entering religious
Regarding female religious
vocations, Father McMaster
sees some bright spots. The
Dominican Sisters of Mary,
Mother of the Eucharist is a
growing order that includes
many young sisters. They just
completed building a convent
in Georgetown. He hopes that
their visible witness to the joys
of religious life will encourage
50 men and
women in
formation for
religious orders
from the Austin
Diocese. Posters of those
in religious
formation have
been distributed to parishes.
(Poster by
Cathy King)
other young women to consider
whether God is calling them.
Also, at St. Mary Catholic Center, the Apostles of the Interior
Life Sisters provide spiritual direction to the students. Through
their ministry, young women are
actively discerning whether God
is calling them to religious life.
Many other religious communities in the Austin Diocese are
also sharing their faith witness
with our daughters and sons,
Father McMaster said.
During the upcoming liturgical year, there will be a
diocesan-wide focus on inviting men and women to con-
sider the priesthood or religious life. Father McMaster
explained that relationships
are the key to fostering vocations. Pastors, youth ministers, teachers, parish leaders,
parents and fellow parishioners amplify God’s voice to
young men and women louder
than any vocations poster.
Priests, of course, have a
vital role. Father McMaster said
each pastor is the “vocations
director” for his parish. As a
resource for priests, the diocese
has published a booklet to give
them practical tips and reminders about the ways that they
can promote vocations. For
example, priests can pray, share
their own vocation story, and
promote diocesan discernment
dinners and retreats. Along with
the laity, they can also personally
invite young men and women
to consider the priesthood or
religious life.
“Don’t be afraid to join your
voice with Christ. The majority
of young people will be hesitant
at Àrst –– so were the people
in the Bible and many saints.
Through their relationship with
the Lord, the seeds that were
planted grew,” Father McMaster
Other resources for parishes
include a “how-to” guide for
lay Catholics on forming a parish vocation committee. The
guide also has lists of vocations
activities and projects and offers
practical guidance for parents.
The foundation for all vocations is prayer, Father McMaster
said. We can all pray for our
priests and religious, and ask
God to keep calling workers
for the harvest. St. Therese of
Lisieux is the patron saint of
vocations and missionaries because she fervently prayed for
them. Through the St. Therese
Vocation Society, the faithful
are invited to join her prayers.
The society was piloted in the
Diocese of Arlington, Va.,
and is now established in our
diocese. The membership
commitments are simple, and
center on prayer and offering sufferings for vocations,
priests and religious.
For elementary school children, there is the Junior Society,
which is a great resource for
preparing children for their Àrst
Holy Communion. Many priests
and religious have reported that
they Àrst heard God’s call during that time in their lives. After receiving communion, the
children commit to praying for
priests and religious, and ask
Jesus to help them and their
classmates discover God’s will
for their lives.
Information about the society and parish vocation resources are available through
parish ofÀces and the diocesan
Vocation OfÀce.
For more information, visit
www.austinvocations.com or
call (512) 949-2430.
Building faith in a multicultural diocese
“We need to be aware of our
differences, embrace them and
celebrate our faith together!”
said Geri Telepak, director of
Religious Education and Formation for the Diocese of Austin.
In the Austin Diocese, the
Religious Education and Formation staff seeks to help all
Catholics grow in faith. Their
goal is to educate the educators:
parish and school directors of
religious education (DREs) for
adults and children, catechists,
Rite of Christian Initiation for
Adults (RCIA) directors and lay
Catholics thirsting for knowledge of church teachings.
Telepak said Bishop Joe
Vásquez sees religious education
at the heart of supporting the role
of family in catechesis, so with
that in mind, the OfÀce of Religious Education and Formation
focuses on adult education, as
well as the education of children.
Phi Le, associate director
for Multicultural Catechesis,
compared a catechist to a person
building a house, saying, “They
must have the right tools to do
a good job and we need to give
catechists the appropriate tools
to build their house.” To ac- diverse population spread across and catechists are seeking the doctrine and teachings,” he said.
complish this goal, three levels Central Texas in more than 125 necessary tools to build “God’s
In addition to courses, the
of certiÀcation course work are parishes, textbook selection is house” with a newfound conÀ- office provides a variety of
available to parish and school vital, Telepak said.
dence and knowledge acquired resources for dedicated parish
DREs and catechists.
“It is not just translating in courses offered through the leaders, such as grade-approAlongside Telepak and Le church works, but capturing the Austin Diocese. Course topics priate curriculum, goals, textare Gustavo Rodriguez, associ- spirit of our Catholic faith that is include the Liturgy and Sacra- book selections, catechetical
ate director for Hispanic Cat- important,” she said.
ments, Multiculturalism and bulletins, sacramental guideechesis, and Carolyn Martinez,
While this may strike some Catechesis, Prayer and Spiritu- lines, and much more. They
administrative assistant. In a as a daunting task, the ofÀce of ality.
hope to expand the departdiocese serving more than half Religious Education and FormaRodriguez said people are mental resources, and Le and
a million Catholics who speak tion has embraced their mission, hungry to learn more about the Rodriguez will attend a special
English, Spanish, Vietnam- speaking excitedly about Ànding Catholic faith and the courses needs conference in Housese, Korean, Chinese, French theologically sound materials offered have attracted crowds ton and a ministry conference
and other languages, the ofÀce to fit each unique situation. much larger than anticipated.
in Los Angeles where they
works to help meet the religious Telepak enjoys teaching and
“Catechesis is a lifelong hope to Ànd religious educaeducation needs of all.
said, “I am not doing my job if I journey. We need to experi- tion materials in Vietnamese,
Adding to their responsibility sit in my ofÀce every day.”
ence our faith and increase our Korean and Braille.
is the issue of providing educaWith their pastors’ encour- spirituality, but these need to be
See RE on Page 5
tional materials for households agement and blessings, DREs accompanied by sound church
where the
may be
while parents and
grandparents are
in the language of
their native
THE CHARISMATIC PRAYER GROUPS gathered Oct. 19 for Catholic Adult Formation classes at Our Lady
p r o - p e r l y of Guadalupe Parish in Austin. The diocesan Religious Education Of¿ce teaches these classes at parishes
serve this throughout the diocese. (Photo by Gustavo Rodriguez)
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November 2013
Bryan pastor enjoys bringing people to Christ
Msgr. John McCaffrey has
been the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Bryan for 28 years, and it is
hard to imagine him as anything
other than a priest. However,
it took the love and advocacy
of his mother to get him to the
Growing up in a military family as the third of four children,
Msgr. McCaffrey learned the
value of sacrificial service. He
credits his father, Robert, with
leading a strong, religious family, and his older brother who
was a seminarian in Rome. With
his father’s career came the opportunity to live in Europe and
Asia, and he attended 13 schools
before high school graduation.
He too wanted to become a
priest, but with one son already
on that path, his father would
not give him permission to enter
the seminary. Msgr. McCaffrey
explained that he had such great
love and respect for his parents
that he could not go against his
father’s wishes.
With his natural desire to help
people, he attended Florida State
University and earned a degree
in social work. He wanted to join
the Peace Corps, but again, his
father did not support this. Instead, Msgr. McCaffrey became
a social worker for the American
Red Cross and went to Vietnam
for 13 months, Ànding fulÀllment
in helping the soldiers and their
While he was in Vietnam,
Msgr. McCaffrey’s brother in the
seminary died suddenly. When
he returned home for the funeral,
his mother, Yvette, having just
buried one son, was fearful of
another returning to Vietnam.
Msgr. McCaffrey did not want to
cause her distress, and through
the Red Cross, transferred to
Fort Hood.
However, he did not find
the work there as fulÀlling. He
decided to go to graduate school
–– and the school he wanted to
go to was the seminary. During
that time, if a young man wanted
to enter the seminary, his father
was asked to write a letter of support. Msgr. McCaffrey explained
that just as Catholics ask Mary,
our spiritual mother, to ask Jesus
for what we want, he asked his
mother to ask his father to write
the letter.
His mother, knowing that
becoming a priest was her son’s
deepest desire, prevailed upon
her husband. Msgr. McCaffrey
attended St. Meinrad Seminary in
Indiana and St. Mary’s Seminary
in Houston. On June 5, 1976,
he was ordained a priest for the
Austin Diocese, and his father
was extremely proud.
His Àrst assignments were at
St. Julia and Cristo Rey parishes
in Austin. He then served at St.
Anthony Parish in Bryan for Àve
years and became pastor of St.
Joseph Parish 28 years ago. Along
with his responsibilities as a priest
and pastor, he also served as Vocations Director for the diocese
for 11 years, and was instrumental in founding St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Franklin, serving as
the Àrst canonical pastor.
Msgr. McCaffrey’s pastoral
care and tireless work ethic are
almost legendary in the large and
busy parish. His love and concern
for others have touched countless lives. To keep himself Àt, he
strives to live a healthy lifestyle
and gets up early Àve days a week
to run 8 to 10 miles.
“Being able to help people
and bring them to Our Lord,” is
what Msgr. McCaffrey Ànds most
rewarding about being a priest.
His greatest challenge is Ànding the time the do what needs
to be done.
“You just do what you have
to do. God gives you the strength
and blessings to accomplish it,”
Msgr. McCaffrey said.
For much of his time at St.
Joseph, he was the only priest.
Now he enjoys serving with
and mentoring associate pastor,
Father Ryan Higdon, who was
ordained in 2012.
“Msgr. John has taught me
that translating a love for the
people of God into concrete
actions isn’t impossible, nor
does it mean being lost in a
mountain of paperwork. Basically, he’s taught me to always
place the people Àrst,” Father
Higdon said.
During his time at St. Joseph,
Msgr. McCaffrey presided over
a large expansion of the parish
school. The school now includes
three campuses with extended
nursery care, and pre-Kindergarten through 12th grades. He
praised his parishioners, families
of students and the area parishes
for supporting the school. He
is also proud that his parish is
the only one in the diocese to
sponsor a high school. With the
school administration, he works
to keep the tuition affordable
for many, and the demographics
of the students reÁect the community.
His love for children compels
him to get them involved in the
faith. When the school children
can read, they learn to be lectors
at Mass. After the children make
their first Holy Communion,
they are encouraged to become
altar servers. Young adults participate in music ministry and are
extraordinary ministers of holy
Another love of Msgr. McCaffrey’s is scouting. The parish
sponsors Boy and Girl Scout
troops, and last year, the community celebrated his 50th anniversary as an Eagle Scout.
Msgr. McCaffrey’s stamina
and work ethic have also helped
him Àght inÀrmity. In 2004, he
had a herniated disk, numbing
his leg and making it almost
impossible to walk. Re-learning
how to walk led to running. Less
than a year later, he completed
his Àrst marathon at age 58.
He has also suffered three
bouts of skin cancer, requiring
facial reconstruction and forcing him to take off two months
last summer. His face lit up
with joy when he celebrated his
Àrst Mass back, and the parish
responded in kind.
Father Higdon reÁects the
esteem that Catholics and the
community have for Msgr. McCaffrey, stating, “Msgr. John is
a man who cares deeply for his
people, and we all have beneÀted from his pastoral care. He’s a
great blessing to the Brazos Valley, the church, but most of all
to the people of God he’s been
called to shepherd.”
Today, Msgr. McCaffrey
hopes to serve God and his
people for many more years.
“I used to hope God was on
my side. Now I hope that I’m on
God’s side,” he said.
community and knowledge, Le
will offer the “Basic Teachings of
the Catholic Faith,” which covers
the Creed, Scripture, sacraments,
morality, prayer and spirituality,
at Holy Vietnamese Martyrs beginning in January. He will teach
courses in both Vietnamese and
English. Any Catholic adult may
attend these classes.
Le hopes to one day host
a multicultural diocesan-wide
event that includes the sharing
of traditional fashions, foods and
faith traditions.
Telepak shared a recent personal experience that occurred
while she was praying the rosary
at an event.
“I was sitting next to someone
praying the rosary in a language
I did not understand, yet knowing what they were saying and
that we were all praying together
was beautiful to me. We need to
embrace ethnicity and how we
celebrate our faith,” she said.
Telepak also said that St.
Albert the Great Parish in Austin
has many nationalities represented and “where you will see
many in the congregation attired
in their native garb.”
As the Religious Education
and Formation staff strives to
provide quality tools, they are
grateful to the countless parish
volunteers who tirelessly ensure
the Catholic faith is shared and
brought to life.
For the Àrst time, the National Catholic Educational Associa-
tion (NCEA) will celebrate Parish
Religious Education Week Nov.
3-9. In a letter to pastors, Bishop
Vásquez thanked them and all
those who serve in religious education throughout the diocese.
“Thank you for all your efforts in providing sound catechesis to your parishioners …
From year to year, the number
of parishioners involved in religious education in the Diocese
of Austin continues to grow in
a variety of programs ranging
from infant baptism preparation
to adult religious education. This
is a blessing to our diocese and
to the church,” the bishop wrote
in his letter.
Telepak also encouraged
Catholics to thank the priests,
deacons, DREs, catechists, religious sisters and brothers and all
those in the parishes who help
Catholics learn more about their
“Dialogue is important in our
faith journey. We need to talk
about our faith with each other,”
she said.
Resources regarding the
Parish Religious Education
Week can be found in English and Spanish at the NCEA
web site at www.ncea.org. For
more information about religious education in the Austin
Diocese, call (512) 949-2461 or
e-mail carolyn-martinez@
austindiocese.org. To read this
story in Vietnamese, e-mail
[email protected].
blesses the
new playground
equipment at St.
Joseph Catholic
School in Bryan.
He has been the
pastor of St. Joseph Parish for
28 years. (Photo
courtesy Patty
Continued from Page 4
New to the city of Austin and
to the diocese, Le arrived a few
months ago from Baton Rouge,
La. Fluent in English and Vietnamese, he is also working on his
Spanish and has been absorbing
all he can about the diocese, its
parishes and the people.
One of his Àrst stops was to
visit Holy Vietnamese Martyrs
Parish in Austin where he observed in parishioners a longing
for community, and with a note
of respect in his voice, shared one
way parishioners have fulÀlled
this longing. The parish built a
new church in 2006 and has already paid off its mortgage. “The
parishioners feel this is a part of
being community,” Le said.
To help quench this thirst for
Agencies help people navigate Affordable Care Act
Before open enrollment began for the Affordable Care Act,
Andrea García of Buda went
online to check her options.
Based on a preliminary estimate she made in the health
insurance marketplace, getting
health insurance will be a lot
more affordable under the ACA.
“I have my hopes up that
Obamacare will be better for
low-income people,” García
said. “Even if we pay $300 or
$400 a month, we would still
qualify because of our income. If
we can get a subsidy or refund,
that would be really good.”
Because of problems with
the federal exchange –– the
only option for Texans –– people have not yet been signed
up for insurance coverage.
The open enrollment period,
which opened Oct. 1, continues
through March 31, 2014. Those
who enroll by Dec. 15 can begin coverage Jan. 1, the day the
ACA goes into effect. Americans who do not have insurance
and do not sign up by Jan. 1 face
a federal Àne. Undocumented
immigrants are not eligible for
the ACA.
García is the type of person
that nonproÀt groups such as
Enroll America are trying to
reach and help. Enroll America
asked the Diocese of Austin to
help spread the word on the
enrollment period, said Barbara
Budde, the diocesan director of
Social Concerns.
“While the bishops vigorously oppose the mandate that
forces all insurance companies
to offer birth control, they do
want people to have health insurance,” she said. “There is an
option at every level of coverage
that does not offer abortion, so
Catholics can make choices in
good conscience.” The ACA
offers three levels of coverage.
“It’s important for people
to get covered for health insurance,” she said. “We don’t want
people to be left out of this
opportunity. We certainly want
low-income Catholics to know
they are eligible for tax credits.
We don’t want them to ignore
this law or the opportunities
that the law affords them to get
insurance for their families.”
García is 61 and too young
for Medicare. Her husband is
turning 65 in April and will be
eligible for Medicare. He now
has insurance through work.
She has high cholesterol
and high blood pressure and
has been in the Texas Health
Insurance Pool for two years.
The Pool is for people with preexisting medical conditions who
could not get health insurance
anywhere else. The Pool will end
with the implementation of the
Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1.
Prior to that, García was
on COBRA for 18 months after she stopped working. The
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
requires group health plans to
offer added health care continuation. Those premiums are paid
out of pocket by the insured.
“I was paying $698 a month
on COBRA,” García said.
“When that was over, no one
else would take me. My only option was the Texas Pool.”
Under the Texas Pool, she
is paying $538 a month, but her
deductible is $7,200.
When she went online for
ACA, one insurance company
gave her an estimate of $400
in monthly premiums with a
deductible of $2,000.
“It doesn’t cover heart disease or cancer, so I’ll need a
supplement of about $110 extra,” she said. “It’s still $200 a
month cheaper than now.”
In northwest Austin, the
Lone Star Circle of Care is one
of the nonproÀts spreading the
word and helping people to see
if they qualify.
They also help people sign
up for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, said Monica Crowley, senior director of Strategic Communication and Policy for the
Lone Star Circle of Care, which
has clinics in Austin, Cedar Park,
Harker Heights, Georgetown,
Hutto, Killeen, Round Rock
and Taylor.
Raquel Luna, a certiÀed application counselor with the
Lone Star Circle of Care Central
Texas, said a big part of their job
is to explain the process and the
terms. She and other LCCTX
employees got federal and state
training in preparation.
“We don’t direct them to
any plan,” she said. “We just
give them information tools and
help them sign up.”
According to statistics, about
23 percent of Texans –– 4.88
million –– are uninsured and
are eligible. Of those uninsured,
50 percent are Hispanic/Latino
and 13 percent are AfricanAmerican. Those ages 19-34
make up 39 percent of the uninsured and 53 percent are male.
Mimi García, state director
for Texas Enroll America, said
they have 28 staff members in
Texas training groups and organizations on how to navigate
the website so they can enroll
“We’re working with a variety of groups across the area
–– local churches, food banks,
... Central Health and other
groups to get information out,”
she said.
Because everyone has different needs –– the elderly don’t
need maternity care but care
about prescription coverage,
for example –– volunteers need
to be trained on navigating the
“There are different plans
that can Àt their budget,” she
said. “If they are sick now
they cannot be charged more.
We need to train volunteers to
be able to talk about all those
things, so they can answer any
questions that come up.”
To get help signing up from Lone Star Circle of Care Central Texas
call 1-877-800-5722 or visit
www.lscctx.org. Help is also
available through the national
hotline at 1-800-318-2596 or at
www.healthcare.gov. In Austin,
residents can call 211, where
callers will be directed to the
nearest clinic for sign-up.
For more information about the
Catholic approach to the Affordable
Care Act, see Barbara Budde’s column on Page 18.
Bunny Joubert, MSW
Familiar with curriculum at
St. Michael’s Catholic Academy
Experienced with learning
[email protected]
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be here!
To advertise,
(512) 949-2443.
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With Us
For more information about how to include the Catholic church in your will or estate plan,
contact Scott Whitaker at (512) 949-2441 or [email protected]
Homosexuality and Hope
Call Fr. Becker: (512) 863-3041
(must dial area code from Austin)
[email protected]
[email protected]
November 2013
A humble servant set on building a dream
When Joe Noonan walks
visitors around the Eagle’s Wings
Retreat Center near Burnet, pride
and enthusiasm show in every
step. He shares stories about the
generosity of others: the architects and engineers who donated
their time, the neighbor that gave
them a refrigerator, the commercial kitchen equipment handed
down by a restaurant owner.
What Noonan is reluctant to
say without prodding is that the
retreat center, which celebrates
its 10th anniversary this year,
exists because of his dedication,
passion and commitment. And
after many years as the construction superintendent, Noonan is
“Joe is a very, very humble
individual,” said Deacon Curt
Haffner, the executive director
of the retreat center. “He does
give all the credit to God, which
speaks a lot to his character. He
is a man of deep integrity. The
retreat center, as it exists today, came from Joe’s passion to
help create a place where young
people could come to experience
Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center is located on 120 acres of
Texas Hill Country, with scenic
hills, pastures, groves of trees
and relaxing views. The nine
buildings include four modern
dormitories, with limestone walls,
spacious bathrooms and many
bunk beds; a new chapel and day
chapel; a sports facility with a
covered court and game rooms;
and a large main building with a
commercial kitchen and a dining
room for as many as 200. An
outdoor Stations of the Cross,
Marian Grotto, ropes courses
and stage are among the other
Noonan, and Curt and Katie
Haffner, are the founders of
Eagle’s Wings.
After retiring, Noonan will
still be a familiar face at the
center, where he plans to take a
more active role in leading youth
retreats. He’s looking forward to
spending more time in a ministry
role and less time focused on
construction and operations.
“Working with youth is giving me a new focus,” said Noonan, 63. “I’m extremely proud of
this place,” but at the same time,
he acknowledges that his work
there took 60 hours a week for
several years. Now that he is
retired, he and his wife, Melinda,
can travel more, and they will also
have more time to spend with
their grown daughters –– Jennifer
Arcaya, Kelly Pallarino and Sarah
Hutchings –– as well as with their
six grandchildren. They are also
active in their parish, Our Mother
of Sorrows in Burnet.
It’s worth noting that Noonan’s work at Eagle’s Wings took
place after his original retirement
from IBM, where he spent 33
years as a manufacturing engineer and then a systems analyst.
He took the position at Eagle’s
Wings at a pay far below what
someone in that position would
normally make.
Nearly every weekend of the
year the center hosts a retreat.
Youth groups from all over
Texas book the facilities. Most of
the groups are Catholic (although
groups of any denomination are
welcome). ConÀrmation groups,
ACTS groups, high school youth
groups and college students have
all utilized the center at a minimal
cost. Some adult retreats are held
there as well. (For more information, visit www.eagleswingsretreatcenter.org ).
Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center
began as a prayer. It sprang from
an inspiration of Noonan’s, a
calling he heard from God in the
early 1990s to build a Catholic
youth retreat center.
“On a religious education
teacher’s retreat, we were doing reÁection time,” he recalled.
“Well, being quiet and reÁective
doesn’t really Àt my personality.
But this time I actually was quiet
and reÁective and was listening
corporate world,
Joe Noonan has
embraced the
task of building a
retreat center for
youth from the
ground up. (Photo
courtesy Deacon
Dave Cardon)
to God instead of doing all the
talking. God asked me to build
a youth retreat center. The idea
actually appealed to me, so I really felt at peace with what he was
asking me to do. The signiÀcance
of this undertaking didn’t sink in
until later.”
For the next 10 years, Noonan periodically would draw up
plans and show them to people,
but nothing concrete really happened. “After writing proposals
and experiencing many rejections
I was feeling pretty low,” he
said. “I put the idea on the back
burner. But Christ didn’t give up
on me and kept prodding me to
do something, but I got real good
at ignoring the calling. Finally,
after a Christ Renews His Parish
retreat at St. Thomas More, I
felt the calling again very strong
and clear. Right then and there I
made the commitment in front
of Christ and my CHRP brothers
to get this youth retreat center
Married couples invited to retreat
Married couples who are looking for a getaway and time to reconnect with one
another are invited to a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Nov. 15-17 at Cedarbrake
Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. The weekend begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. and ends
Sunday around 4 p.m. This is an opportunity for husbands and wives to escape the
daily distractions of life and focus on each other. For more information or to apply
to attend, contact Anh and Greg Thomas at (512) 677-WWME (9963) or [email protected].
Dinner beneÀts JP II Life Center in Austin
Voices of truth, joy, faith and reason will be presented at The John Paul II Life
Center’s Third Annual BeneÀt Dinner on Dec. 5 at the AT&T Conference Center
in Austin. The evening will feature: Patrick Madrid, EWTN radio host and proliÀc
Catholic author; Catholic convert Collin Raye, a multi-platinum Country music
recording artist; and Sheila Liaugminas, host of Relevant Radio’s “A Closer Look.”
Sponsorships and tickets are on sale now at www.jpiilifecenter.org or call the ofÀce
at (512) 407-2900.
Shortly after, Noonan met
the Haffners. In 2003, the Haffners purchased a 157-acre ranch
and donated 120 acres for Eagle’s
Wings Retreat Center.
The first building, now
called the Eagle’s Nest, was built
by volunteers from plans Noonan found online. The plans were
for a barn –– “it looked easy to
build” –– and Noonan adapted
the design to create a retreat
building that would sleep 40
The Mabee Foundation gave
$250,000 in challenge grant funds
in 2008. Other grants and donations followed.
Through the many roadblocks that came their way,
Noonan and the Haffners persevered.
“Joe has been very giving of his gifts, talent and
treasure,” said Katie Haffner,
coordinator of operations at
the center. “He’s truly been a
Msgr. Elmer Holtman, the
chaplain-in-residence at Eagle’s
Wings, said “Joe is the person
who put the physical plan of
Eagle’s Wings into action, because of the way in which he
came forth to be the construction
superintendent. The attitude that
Joe has is that he can keep moving forward without having to
have all the answers. He Àgures
it out and he’s not afraid to take
a risk and move on with it. Joe
is someone who has passion for
what he is doing.”
Noonan feels God has had a
hand in every step of the retreat
center’s development. “How
God makes these things happen is a mystery, but he did it,”
Noonan said. “Since that fateful
day many years ago, look at the
progress we have made. The
instrumental force in this whole
thing is God.”
Cedarbrake prepares for Advent
“The Devil You Don’t Know,” a day of reÁection, will be held Nov. 14
from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton.
Father Angelo Bertini will lead participants in reÁecting on how, whether
consciously or not, we face the devil on a daily basis. The cost is $35, which
includes lunch.
A Silent Weekend Retreat will be held Dec. 6-8 at Cedarbrake Catholic
Retreat Center in Belton. Participants are invited to step away from the hustle
and bustle of the holiday season enter in to silence to prepare for the birth of
Christ. The cost is $150 per person (all rooms are private).
The annual Advent Dinner will be held Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. This year’s guest is Missionary of
the Sacred Heart of Christ Father Richard O’Rourke, pastor of St. Paul Chong
Hasang Parish in Harker Heights. The cost is $25 for the dinner and reÁection.
For more information or to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or
[email protected].
Ministry helps people overcome ‘inky’ pasts
It was painful to watch Amber get a tattoo removed from
her neck.
First, Nurse Jennie Kunkel
sprayed a topical anesthetic,
which made it easier for what
came next: Kunkel injected
another anesthetic just below
the skin all along the remaining lines of the fading tattoo.
Amber winced in pain and
dug her nails into the palm of
her left hand. With her right,
she clutched her husband’s
left hand as he pushed their
young daughter in her stroller
with his right hand.
The injection would make
the next step bearable –– Certified Nursing Assistant Jan
Arensman used a handheld infrared machine to zap the ink
in the tattoo and causes the
tattoo to fade in a few weeks.
A popping noise startled her.
“It’s only a hair,” Arensman reassured Amber as she
continued the process.
Amber hopes this will be
the last treatment she needs.
Tattoo removal takes several treatments because only
an area the size of a deck of
cards is done at a time. The
treatments have been worth it
to help Amber separate herself from her previous life and
the “stupid choices” she once
made, she said.
After getting a pressure
dressing and after-care instructions, Amber is out the door
–– hoping it’s her last visit.
Kunkel and Jan Arensman,
along with Julie Arensman and
founder Jeanne Arensman, are
part the St. Dismas Tattoo Removal Ministry in Mart. Kunkel
is a parishioner at St. Louis Parish in Waco, Julie Arensman is a
parishioner at St. Joseph Parish
in Elk, and Jan Arensman and
Jeanne Arensman –– mother to
Jan and Julie –– are parishioners
at St. Mary Parish in Waco.
The ministry, named after
the thief cruciÀed alongside Jesus who asked for forgiveness,
offers the service for free. Dermatologists charge as much as
$100 per square inch per session
to remove a tattoo. The ministry
members have received training
and pay only for the medical
supplies and medicines used.
They take their ministry into
the nearby Texas Juvenile Justice
Department in Gatesville on the
second Saturday of the month
to give youth an option of getting rid of their gang tattoos before being released. If they keep
their tattoos, they are at risk of
being “reclaimed” by gangs in
their neighborhoods.
On the first Saturday of
each month, they offer tattoo
removal service at St. Peter
Catholic Center at Baylor University, for adults who have
acquired tattoos in prison and
want a fresh start. Each tattoo
requires several treatments
and leaves a discolored area
that is sun-sensitive. It takes
longer to get rid of inks such
as red and yellow.
Rob, 39, is one of those
adults who decided to get rid
of some ink after he got out
of federal prison. The Waco
native has been out of prison for five years after serving more than six years of an
eight-year sentence.
It was a tattoo on his chest
with two side-by-side hearts
with his name and that of his
Àrst wife that brought him to
St. Peter Catholic Center at
the urging of his current wife,
whom he married after leaving
prison. It took Àve treatments
to get rid of the names on the
hearts, which remained.
“I got the tattoo because it
was a way of keeping her with
me and keeping my marriage
going,” he said. “I’m not glorify-
CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT Jan Arensman uses a handheld infrared machine to
zap the ink in a tattoo on the neck of a young woman. Arensman is one of the members
of the St. Dismas Tattoo Removal Ministry, which removes tattoos for free for those who
have been in prison. (Photo by Enedelia J. Obregón)
“I’m going in the right direction from what I did before,” he
said. “I started as a waiter and
now I’m manager.”
The youngest son of the
restaurant owner was his best
tragedy of a young man they
knew as volunteers with the
Prison Ministry at the Texas
Juvenile Justice Department.
There, they saw him regularly
at Mass and praying the rosary.
On the ¿rst Saturday of each month, they offer tattoo removal
service at St. Peter Catholic Center at Baylor University, for
adults who have acquired tattoos in prison and want a fresh
start. Each tattoo requires several treatments and leaves a
discolored area that is sun-sensitive. It takes longer to get
rid of inks such as red and yellow.
ing what I did or recommending
what I did.”
He easily could have contracted hepatitis or AIDS, a reality from getting prison tattoos,
which are against prison rules but
get done between guard rounds.
The tattoo artists use crude tools
such as staples or safety pins and
ink from pens or ink cartridges
from printers that they steal. The
tattoo artists get paid with items
from the commissary.
Rob has a second tattoo on
his left bicep that chronicles
prison life. There’s a tower and
a guard signifying the constant
vigilance; a clock with a chain, a
symbol of the time they are incarcerated; a calendar, a symbol
of time spent behind bars; a sad
mask and a happy mask; and
barbed wire, which surrounds
all prisons.
This tattoo will stay. It would
take a long time to remove and
can be covered with his shirt
sleeve so it’s not visible at work,
which puts him ahead of where
most former inmates are.
friend and they gave him a second chance. So did his mother
and his current wife, whom he
married a year ago. He is trying
to do right by his son, 15.
“He was in pre-K when I
went in,” Rob said. “He was
in sixth grade when I got out. I
missed all those years.”
Neither his family nor his
friends knew what he was doing,
and were shocked when he was
arrested at age 24.
“They supported me with
letters and phone calls,” he said.
His friend’s parents told him
he’d have a job when he got out.
“I don’t know what I’d do
without a job,” said Rob, who
learned landscaping and how to
lay concrete in prison. “If I had
to, I’d work two or three jobs.”
He attends church and has
stayed clean and is no longer
on parole.
It is success stories such as
Rob’s that encourage the St.
Dismas ministry members. The
ministry, founded six years ago
this month, was initiated by the
“He was from the Valley
and that’s where he returned,”
Jeanne Arensman said. “He
was doing everything right: He
had a part-time job, was going
to church and taking classes at
His mother told them that
members of the gang her son
had belonged to came looking for him, asking him to do
something he didn’t want to do
and he was told “you belong to
us.” When he still refused, he
was run over by a car and killed
as he walked home from his job.
“Young people don’t realize that gang tattoos mean you
belong to them,” Jeanne Arensman said. “There is only one
way to get out of a gang.”
Jeanne Arensman learned
about the free tattoo removal
program started by Dr. Tobert
S. Wilkinson, a dermatologist in
Bandera credited with inventing the tattoo removal process.
They were trained by him on
how to use the RedÀeld Infrared
“When we remove the gang
tattoos, we offer them a chance
to start over,” Kunkel said.
The women remove tattoos
from visible areas so the tattoos
won’t prevent them from getting jobs or entering the military.
There are some exceptions to
that rule, such as abused women
who are often branded as if they
were cattle.
“Abusers often force them
to get tattoos with their name or
other tattoos,” she said. “That’s
to show those women belong
to them. We often have social
workers calling us about that.
Getting rid of that tattoo frees
her from her abuser.”
Getting Ànancing for the
ministry has also been a struggle, but Jeanne Arensman
is persistent. When she had
trouble raising the last $1,500
for the infrared system, which
cost $8,200 six years ago, she
wrote a letter to Archbishop
Gregory M. Aymond, then
bishop of the Diocese of Austin. He sent her a personal
check for the amount.
Those wanting a tattoo removed may write to the ministry and request an application or
call (254) 876-2277. Paperwork
will be mailed and must be completed in order to be considered.
Appointments are required and
will be scheduled after approval.
To make a donation to the St.
Dismas Tattoo Removal Ministry, send checks to P.O. Box 68,
Mart, TX 76664.
Help is also available from
the Central Texas Tattoo Removal Project. Appointments
are required. Call (512) 4120788 or visit www.cttrp.org for
November 2013
‘Top 10’ ways to understand Pope Francis
No matter how some media
may want to spin it, Pope Francis won’t Àt into the political
categories of left or right, and
he will challenge everyone with
the truth of the Gospel, said the
Vatican’s media adviser.
“Pope Francis is not a politically correct pope,” rather, he is
“a loyal son of the church” who
presents the hard truths with a
heavy dose of mercy, said Greg
Burke, senior communications
adviser to the Vatican Secretariat
of State.
The former U.S. journalist,
who has been based in Rome
the past 25 years, gave a behindthe-scenes talk at the apostolic
palace Oct. 18 to hundreds of
benefactors celebrating the 30th
anniversary of the founding of
the Patrons of the Arts in the
Vatican Museums.
In trying to describe his
papally appointed role as the
Vatican media strategist, Burke,
who is an avid soccer fan, said,
“We kick the ball to Francis and
Francis scores the goals.”
“We let the pope do his
thing,” he said.
Pope Francis clearly knows
how to communicate, Burke
said, and his effectiveness comes
from his authenticity. “It’s not
charm. It’s Christian charity,
which is a whole lot more attractive than charm.”
Burke said he believes “the
pope wants to get beyond left
and right” by getting people to
focus on the Gospels, on God
and his truth and mercy.
“He’s a loyal son of the
church,” who sees its task as
being like “a Àeld hospital” that
runs to and helps people who
are hurting, he said.
The pope is not advocating
a “feel-good” religion of “I’m
OK-you’re OK-Catholicism,”
Burke said, but talks about the
truth of the Gospel that includes
mercy and forgiveness.
“The Gospel is not there to
make us feel good. The Gospel
is there and makes very practical demands on us,” and one of
those demands is to “tell people
the truth and walk with them to
the Lord,” Burke said.
“The pope’s picture should
have one of those warning labels” much like a pack of cigarettes, he said, but with the
words, “Danger: This man
could change your life.”
In his talk, Burke offered
his take on decoding the pontiff
with his own rundown of “Pope
Francis in 10 Words:”
1. Mercy –– The story of
the Prodigal Son is a recurring
theme, and the pope repeatedly says that God never tires
of forgiving and welcoming his
lost children back home. “The
church is waiting here for you
with open arms,” is the message,
Burke said.
2. Moxie or courage ––
“We’re all going to get challenged by Pope Francis. Get
ready!” People who live comfortably or live in developed
nations will be especially challenged, Burke said, adding “This
is good. This is the Gospel.”
3. Margins and missions
–– Francis is continuing with
his predecessors’ criticism of a
world divided into the haves and
have-nots. The pope “is not a
fan of cheap grace and feel-good
religion. He wants to see Christians who are not afraid to get
their hands dirty,” Burke said.
4. Prayer –– Non-believers
often don’t notice how important prayer is for religious life.
For example, Blessed Mother
Teresa was often looked upon
by the secular press as “a social
worker wearing a habit.” But,
he said, the pope has constantly
been stressing the importance
of prayer and urging people to
5. Encounter –– The pope
is asking people to embrace a
“culture of encounter” where
they experience God and meet
with others, including non-believers. This attitude of encounter and communion also starts at
home, with your family, Burke
6. Joy –– The pope “gets a
thumb’s up on that,” he said,
because he’s able to show his joy
so plainly. According to Pope
Francis, he said, the biggest dangers and temptations in life are
“discouragement, discord, the
doldrums and the devil.”
7. Service –– By paying his
hotel bill in person (even though
he had just been elected pope),
phoning people who write to
him and doing other tasks that
POPE FRANCIS leaves his general audience in St.
Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 23. (CNS photo by
Paul Haring)
aides could do, the pope is leading by example, Burke said.
The message is: “It’s not about
power or privilege; if we’re here,
we’re here to serve.”
8. Simplicity and humility –– Living in a Vatican guest
house instead of the apostolic
palace, carrying his own briefcase on a trip are just part of
how the pope is and people will
have to “get used to it because
we’ll see more of it,” Burke said.
9. Compassion –– “Compassion and suffering with others is something Pope Francis
has a knack for,” Burke said, and
it’s especially evident when he
embraces people and is totally
present one-on-one with an individual, even in large crowds.
10. Energy –– Burke said
for a 76-year-old, the pope “has
a lot of energy and we’re going
to be in for an interesting ride!”
Burke, who’s a numerary
member of Opus Dei and went
to Jesuit-run St. Louis University
High School in St. Louis, said
he used to joke with people
“that everyone should have a Jesuit education. Now with Pope
Francis, everyone is getting the
beneÀts of a Jesuit education.”
Pope Francis preÀgured: Discovering John Paul I
“May God forgive you for
what you have done,” the newly
elected pope told the cardinals
who elevated him to the highest
ofÀce in the Catholic Church.
Later, he recounted the critical moments of voting in the
Sistine Chapel: “As soon as the
danger for me had begun, the
two colleagues who were beside
me whispered words of encouragement.”
With such expressions and
other disarming shows of informality, the new pope almost
instantly earned a global reputation for humility.
Although Pope Francis
made very similar remarks after
his election in March, it was
actually his predecessor, Pope
John Paul I, who spoke these
phrases in September 1978, thus
introducing a new, down-toearth style into the papacy.
Interest in Pope John Paul
I, remembered for his winsome
grin and death after only 33
days in ofÀce, has been rising
since Pope Francis’ election.
That makes “A Passionate Adventure” (Tau Cross), a newly
published compilation of essays
and speeches by the “smiling
pope,” of both contemporary
and historical relevance.
Since most of John Paul
I’s writings have still not been
translated into English, misconceptions are widespread about
the man Time magazine called
the “September Pope.”
According to Lori Pieper,
the new book’s editor and translator, John Paul I “adhered to
the teachings of Vatican II,” and
was neither a conservative nor a
Some have argued that thenCardinal Albino Luciani implicitly criticized Pope Paul VI’s
encyclical “Humanae Vitae,”
which condemned artiÀcial birth
control, by failing to speak in
support of it.
Pieper says this is not true.
“He adhered to the moral
teaching of the church and he
would not have changed the
church’s teaching on birth control,” she said. “He recognized
how contentious it was,” yet
“always defended the pope on
Pieper said that John Paul I
also “got a lot of Áak” for saying that God was more like a
mother than a father.
“During one of his Àrst audiences, he said that ‘before
God we should feel like a child
before his mother,’” and on another occasion, he said that God
“was like a father but even more
like a mother,” Pieper said. “He
went on to say that if we are sick
with wickedness, if we become
sick, our mother will love us all
the more, and God is like that.”
“Everybody was talking
about it as if he were like a
feminist, like we are getting rid
of a male God, but that was not
his point,” Pieper said. “He did
say that just as a way of saying
this is the way God is more like
a mother, in tenderness and
Among the pope’s most
significant actions during his
short reign was his rejection of
some of the “royal trappings”
of ofÀce, Pieper said. “He was
the first pope in something
like 1,000 years who was not
crowned and never wore the
“He did his best to get away
from the sedia gestatoria,” a ceremonial throne used to carry the
pope in processions, she said,
“and just about demolished the
papal ‘We,’” a royal self-referent
used in papal writings.
“His secretary in Venice
had said that he thought about
those things a lot and he didn’t
do it on the spur of the moment,” Pieper said. “He said
many, many times to his priests
that people don’t want to see
a priest who is rich, they don’t
want to see a priest who Áaunts
his lifestyle.”
Pieper argues that, in these
matters, the short-lived pope
paved the way for his successors. Had the Àrst non-Italian
pope in 500 years, Blessed John
Paul II from Poland, been the
Àrst to depart from such traditions, “it wouldn’t have gone
over so well,” she said.
Pope Francis clearly shares
much with John Paul I, including a strong devotion to
Mary, especially Our Lady of
Fatima; an emphasis on the
mercy and tenderness of God;
and a marked concern for the
poor and marginalized. Not least
among their similarities, Pieper
argues, is their common method
of evangelization.
“I think he would agree with
Pope Francis” that the world
should not just hear the church
saying a “no,” Pieper said. “He
had a sense that what the church
really needs to present of herself
is the very best.”
Pope receives Hackett, new U.S. envoy to Vatican
Presenting his credentials
to Pope Francis, Kenneth F.
Hackett ofÀcially took over as
U.S. ambassador to the Holy See
Oct. 21, Àlling a role that had
been vacant for nearly a year.
“The United States and the
Holy See have converging interests that span a broad range
of issues” including “human
rights and social justice,” Hackett wrote the same day, in the
Àrst post on his ofÀcial ambassador’s blog.
“We both work to make
a difference on a range of
important global issues such
as trafÀcking in persons, interreligious dialogue, conÁict
resolution, food access and
security, HIV/AIDS and care
for the environment,” wrote
Hackett, a former president of
Catholic Relief Services, the
U.S. bishops’ overseas relief
and development agency.
The U.S. has not had an
ambassador at the Vatican since
November 2012, when Miguel
H. Diaz resigned and left Rome
to become a professor of faith
and culture at the University of
Dayton in Ohio.
During Diaz’s tenure, relations between Washington and
the Vatican were marked by
tension, particularly over the
Obama administration’s plan to
require that all heath insurance
plans, including those offered
by most Catholic institutions,
cover sterilizations and contraceptives, which are forbidden
by Catholic moral teaching. The
plan prompted Pope Benedict
XVI and the papal nuncio to the
U.S. to issue public warnings of
a threat to Americans’ religious
“There will be times where
the position of the (Obama) administration differs, obviously,
from the Holy See,” Hackett
told the Catholic Review, Baltimore’s archdiocesan newspaper,
last August. “But I am going
to look for –– as many of my
predecessors did –– those opportunities where we can come
together and find strength in
collaboration, coincidence of
Hackett is a former president of CRS, the U.S. bishops’
overseas relief and development
agency, which he Àrst joined in
1972 after a post-college stint
with the Peace Corps in Ghana.
He retired as president of CRS
in December 2011.
The new ambassador is also
a former North American president of Caritas Internationalis,
the confederation of humanitarian agencies of the Catholic
Church, and a former member
of the board of the PontiÀcal
Council Cor Unum.
He told the Catholic Review
in August that he was looking forward to reconnecting in
Rome with the sort of people he
had befriended during his years
in relief work: “holy people who
are trying their best.”
“I missed that in the last year
I’ve been retired. You don’t see
those kind of people anymore,
that bishop from Congo who
has so many stories to tell at
supper, of so much hardship,”
he said. “I want to re-establish
those relationships and use them
to, basically, improve U.S. policies.”
KENNETH F. HACKETT, new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, presents his letters of
credential to Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican Oct. 21. Hackett, the retired
president of Catholic Relief Services, began his role Oct. 21, ¿lling a position that had been
vacant for nearly a year. (CNS photo by L’Osservatore Romano)
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November 2013
John XXIII, John Paul II will be canonized April 27
Recognizing that Blessed
John XXIII and John Paul II
have widespread reputations
for holiness and that years of
studying their lives and actions have proven their exceptional virtue, Pope Francis
announced he would declare
his two predecessors saints at
a single ceremony April 27.
The pope made the announcement Sept. 30 at the
end of an “ordinary public
consistory,” a gathering of
cardinals and promoters of
the sainthood causes of the
two late popes. The consistory
took place in the context of
a prayer service in Latin and
included the reading of brief
biographies of the two sainthood candidates.
Cardinal Angelo Amato,
prefect of the Congregation
for Saints’ Causes, read the
biographies and highlighted
the “service to peace” and the
impact both popes had “inside and outside the Christian
community” at times of great
cultural, political and religious
The testimonies of their
lives, “completely dedicated to
proclaiming the Gospel, shine
in the church and reverberate
in the history of the world as
examples of hope and light,”
the cardinal said.
Blessed John Paul, known
as a globetrotter who made
104 trips outside Italy, served
as pope from 1978 to 2005
and was beatified by Pope
Benedict XVI on Divine
Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011.
Blessed John XXIII, known
particularly for convoking
the Second Vatican Council,
was pope from 1958 to 1963;
Blessed John Paul beatified
him in 2000.
Asked by reporters if retired Pope Benedict would
participate in the canonization ceremony, Jesuit Father
Federico Lombardi, Vatican
spokesman, told reporters it
was possible, but given the
retired pope’s preference for
staying out of the public eye,
he could not say for sure.
The choice of April 27,
which will be Divine Mercy
Sunday in 2014, was not a
complete surprise. Speaking
to reporters traveling with him
from Brazil to Rome July 28,
Pope Francis said he had been
considering Dec. 8, but the
possibility of icy roads could
make it difficult for Polish
pilgrims who would travel by
bus to Rome for the ceremony.
The other option, he said,
was Divine Mercy Sunday, a
celebration instituted worldwide by Pope John Paul. Since
the beginning of his pontiÀcate in March, Pope Francis
has emphasized God’s mercy
and readiness to forgive those
who recognize their need
for pardon. He told reporters on the Áight from Brazil
that Pope John Paul’s promotion of Divine Mercy Sunday showed his intuition that
a new “age of mercy” was
needed in the church and the
Asked on the plane to
describe the two late popes,
Pope Francis said Blessed
John was “a bit of the ‘country priest,’ a priest who loves
each of the faithful and knows
how to care for them; he did
this as a bishop and as a nuncio.”
He was holy, patient, had
a good sense of humor and,
especially by calling the Second Vatican Council, was a
man of courage, Pope Francis
said. “He was a man who
POPE FRANCIS has set April 27 as the date for the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul
II. John XXIII is depicted in a painting from a museum in
his Italian birthplace. John Paul II is shown in a composite
featuring a image of him by Polish photographer Grzegorz
Galazka. (CNS)
let himself be guided by the
As for Blessed John Paul,
Pope Francis told the reporters on the plane, “I think of
him as ‘the great missionary of
the church,” because he was
“a man who proclaimed the
Gospel everywhere.”
Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing the miracle
needed for Blessed John Paul’s
canonization July 5; the same
day, the Vatican announced
that the pope had agreed with
members of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes that
the canonization of Blessed
John should go forward even
without a second miracle attributed to his intercession.
Except in the case of martyrdom, Vatican rules require
one miracle for a candidate’s
beatification and a second
for his or her canonization as
conÀrmations that the candidate really is in heaven with
God. However, the pope may
set aside the rule.
Upcoming Events
Jan. 27: Fr. Angelo
On a daily basis, whether we are conscious of it or not, we face a formidable adversary who rarely
claims a dramatic role in our lives but who; nevertheless, intrudes regularly in ways that are harmful or even destructive. It is helpful to know how to avoid becoming a friend of the devil. Fr. Angelo Bertini, will present this day. Cost: $35 (incl. lunch)
Cedarbrake is offering a silent retreat during Advent in hopes that you might “step” out of the
hustle and bustle of your Christmas preparations and enter into silence to prepare for the birth of
Our Lord. Mass, spiritual direction, and group centering prayer will be available on this weekend.
Cost: $150/person (all rooms are private)
Join us for dinner and the opportunity to reflect on Advent. Our guest speaker will be Fr. Richard
O’Rourke, Missionary of the Sacred Heart of Christ priest and pastor of St. Paul Chong Hasang in
Harker Heights. The social begins at 6:30pm, dinner at 7pm, followed by the Advent presentation.
Cost: $25
“Seek first his
g p over yyou.”
atthew 66:33
5602 N. HWY. 317, BELTON, TX 76513
P.O. BOX 58, BELTON, TX 76513 (mailing address)
This day will set you on the path to wholeness and healing centered on the ONE relationship that
promises to free you. This day will open the doorway for anyone who struggles with food. Beverly
Collin will be the presenter. Cost: $25
TO REGISTER FOR AN EVENT: (254) 780-2436, [email protected] or
www.austindiocese.org/cedarbrake, click on “upcoming retreats”
Visit us online!
WEBSITE: austindiocese.org/cedarbrake
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/cedarbrake
Biotechnology must consider ethics, compassion
He came to engage in conversations about hunger.
Ghanaian Cardinal Peter
Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and
Peace, came to Des Moines for
the World Food Prize. He talked
with scientists, researchers, policymakers and students. He also
made time to talk with those who
have concerns about genetically
modiÀed food and family farms.
To both groups, he brought
the same message: They must
engage in conversation and dialogue.
Cardinal Turkson delivered
the keynote address at the World
Food Prize’s Borlaug Dialogue
luncheon Oct. 16, which drew
more than 900 people from more
than 60 countries to Des Moines.
Research must be done with ethics and a clear long-term vision
that respects human dignity and
strives for the common good,
he said.
Praising Norman Borlaug,
who founded the World Food
Prize, Cardinal Turkson said the
scientist left a rich legacy. The
dialogue launched a yearlong centennial observance of Borlaug’s
birth. An American agronomist,
humanitarian and Nobel laureate,
he has been called “agriculture’s
greatest spokesperson.”
Recently, there have been
vocal concerns about a number
of issues related to agriculture
research and production to feed
the world’s hungry.
Cardinal Turkson visited
a group with such concerns,
Occupy World Food Prize, and
encouraged them to have conversation and dialogue with the
people with whom they have
He was warmly received at
both presentations, receiving
standing ovations from both
“The church promotes listening, dialogue, patience, respect
for the other, sincerity and even
willingness to review one’s own
opinion,” Cardinal Turkson said
at the Borlaug Dialogue. “The
church encourages, orients and
enriches discussion and debate.”
This is particularly important
when there are differing opinions,
he said.
During his keynote address,
Cardinal Turkson said he had
never before received so much
mail regarding one event as he
had for the World Food Prize’s
Borlaug Dialogue, which inÁuenced his decision to attend.
Cardinal Turkson expressed
support for biotechnology when
it is married to ethics, compassion, morality and prudence.
“In Catholic thought, ‘nature’ is neither sacred nor divine,
neither to be feared or to be
revered and left untouched,” he
said. “Rather, it is a gift offered
by the Creator to the human
community to be entrusted to
the intelligence and moral responsibility of men and women.
Therefore it is legitimate for
humans with the correct attitude
to intervene in nature and make
Agricultural practices that
respect human dignity and the
common good would include
environmental monitoring, regulations, universal access and
transparency to consumers, he
said, citing the Second Vatican
Council document “Gaudium et
Spes,” the Pastoral Constitution
on the Church in the Modern
“It is hazardous –– and ultimately absurd, indeed sinful –– to
catholic Schools
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6 p.m. Khaki and Plaid Reception
7 p.m. Dinner and Awards Presentation
9 p.m. After School Party
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employ biotechnology without
the guidance of deeply responsible ethics,” he said.
He also warned of the consequences of denying the most
impoverished segments of the
population access to the technology.
“Fair ways must be found to
share the fruits of research and
ensure that developing countries have access to both natural
resources and to innovations,”
Cardinal Turkson said. “Otherwise, whole populations can be
discriminated against, exploited
and deprived of what they rightly should have a share in.”
He concluded the Borlaug
Dialogue with a call for conversation.
Cardinal Turkson said: “All
sides of the controversy are using
many of the same key phrases
such as ‘overcoming hunger’ and
‘sustainable agriculture,’ thus it
will only be by mutual and respectful listening, by a genuine
desire to learn from the other,
indeed from all the stakeholders,
that the better and truly enduring sustainable solutions will be
The purpose of the Borlaug
Dialogue is to have open dis-
cussions about feeding hungry
people now and feeding the 9 billion people expected to populate
this world by 2050. The soaring
growth in population presents
challenges –– a need to double
the world’s current food supply
with little increase in farmable
land. Increasingly volatile weather
patterns further add to the uncertainties.
“We are facing the single
greatest challenge in all human
history,” said Ambassador Ken
Quinn, executive director of the
World Food Prize Foundation.
While in Des Moines, Cardinal Turkson also attended
the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony and dinner Oct. 17 at the Iowa State
This year’s laureates are
three distinguished scientists
–– Marc Van Montagu of Belgium and Mary-Dell Chilton and
Robert T. Fraley of the United
States –– recognized for their
contributions to agricultural
biotechnology. Their research
has made it possible for farmers
to grow crops with improved
yields, resistance to insects and
disease, and the ability to tolerate extreme variations in climate.
November 2013
Outgoing Bertone stresses continuity between popes
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,
who as Vatican secretary of state
drew rising criticism for failures
of the Vatican bureaucracy he
oversaw, stepped down Oct. 15
with a speech praising the pontiÀcate of retired Pope Benedict
XVI and stressing its continuity
with that of Pope Francis.
The cardinal made his remarks at a ceremony in the Apostolic Palace marking the end
of his seven years as the chief
aide to two popes. Before his
speech, Pope Francis thanked
the cardinal for the “courage
and patience with which you
have lived the adversities you
have had to face. They are so
The ceremony had also
been planned as a welcome to
the incoming secretary of state,
Archbishop Pietro Parolin, but
to the surprise of most in the
room, Pope Francis announced
the archbishop had been unable to attend on account of a
“small surgical intervention”
that would keep him away from
work for a “few weeks.”
The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi,
said the archbishop had traveled
to his native Veneto region of
northeastern Italy for the surgery, whose nature the spokesman declined to specify. The
new secretary of state, who until
the end of September served
as papal nuncio to Venezuela,
could be in Rome by the end of
October, Father Lombardi said.
In his remarks, Cardinal Bertone paid tribute to Pope Benedict, whom he served for more
than six years as secretary of
state, and for more than seven
years at the Vatican’s doctrinal
ofÀce under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
“What stirred our passion
with Pope Benedict XVI was
to see the church understand
itself deeply as a communion,
and at the same time speak to
the world, to the heart and to
the intelligence of all with clarity
of doctrine and a high level of
thought,” the cardinal said.
The retired pope “suffered
greatly on account of the ills
that plagued the church, and
for this reason he gave her new
legislation in order to strike out
decisively the shameful phenomenon of pedophilia among
the clergy, without forgetting
the initiation of new rules in
economic and administrative
matters,” he said.
“I see today in Pope Francis
not so much a revolution but a
continuity with Pope Benedict
XVI even with their differences
in style and personal life,” the
cardinal said, noting in particular the strong devotion to Mary
–– and particularly Our Lady of
Fatima –– that he said united the
two pontiffs.
Cardinal Bertone, who once
wrote a book on the so-called
Third Secret of Fatima, also
emphasized his own devotion to
the manifestation of Mary, who
appeared to three Portuguese
shepherd children in 1917.
Pope Francis’ speech recalled a dream of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesian order
to which the cardinal belongs, in
which the saint walked through
rose bushes full of thorns with
the guidance of Mary.
“Dear Cardinal Bertone,”
the pope said, “in this moment
I like to think that even if there
have been thorns, Our Lady
Help of Christians has not withheld her aid, and will not withhold it in the future.”
In September, the cardinal
defended his controversial record as secretary of state, telling
journalists that he saw “these
seven years as positive on bal-
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ance,” but also acknowledging
“many problems, especially in
the last two years.”
In an apparent reference to
the 2012 “VatiLeaks” of conÀdential documents that pointed
to corruption and mismanagement inside the Holy See, Cardinal Bertone blamed a “tangle of
crows and vipers” for “throwing
accusations at me.”
Under the current constitution of the Roman Curia, the
church’s central administration
at the Vatican, the Secretariat
of State oversees both the Holy
See’s international relations and
internal affairs and coordinates
the work of other curial ofÀces.
Following Pope Francis’
Oct. 1-3 meeting with the new
Council of Cardinals advising
him on church governance, the
Vatican announced that plans
are underway for an overhaul of
the curia, possibly including the
creation of a “moderator” who
could assume some of the responsibilities currently exercised
by the secretary of state.
POPE FRANCIS talks with the outgoing Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. (CNS photo by
L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
The John Paul II Life Center’s Benefit Dinner
We proudly announce the
addition of Mr. Bob Vallilee
as one of our Associates.
Bob began his ministry at the Diocese of
Austin in June, 2004. At that time, Bob was
aasked to assist in launching the Diocesan
Capital Campaign. This entailed identifying
t case support, hiring a consultant company
a educating and training the 125 parishes
and pastors as well as the 23 Catholic Schools
in the diocese.
Bob was recently named the recipient of the Lumen Gentium Award
by Bishop Joe S. Vásquez. This annual award honors and recognizes
individuals throughout the Diocese of Austin for giving unselfishly and
tirelessly to the church.
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Our three fold mission:
Young, old join pope to celebrate joy of family life
A Catholic wedding is not
simply a beautiful ceremony;
through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from
God the grace they will need to
fulÀll their mission in the world,
Pope Francis said.
Addressing an estimated
100,000 people who came St.
Peter’s Square Oct. 26 for a
Year of Faith celebration of
family life, Pope Francis said
Catholic spouses are not naive;
they know difficult moments
will come.
But vowing to love one another in sickness and health, joy
and sorrow all the days of their
lives, Catholic couples put their
lives in the hands of God and
rely on him for strength.
“They do not run away; they
do not hide; they do not shirk
the mission of forming a family
and bringing children into the
world,” the pope said.
For hours before the pope
arrived, singers and storytellers took the stage in St. Peter’s
Square, recounting the greatness
of love and family life and the
importance of forgiveness.
Volunteers went through the
crowd handing out red, green,
orange, yellow, blue and violet
balloons. Despite the master of
ceremonies’ plea to hang on to
the helium-Àlled balloons until
everyone was told to release
them, throughout the evening
balloons dotted the skies over
St. Peter’s Square.
Pope Francis, who was given a balloon in the atrium of St.
Peter’s Basilica, entertained the
little ones who were to escort
him to the stage by letting his
go, too.
The evening’s formal program began with a little girl identiÀed only as Federica showing
the pope a drawing she made of
her mother teaching her to cook
cutlets. She said it is her favorite
food and “I could eat them for
breakfast, lunch, dinner and
snack time.”
Federica said her mom also
taught her to make the sign of
the cross, and Pope Francis
asked all the children, if they
knew how, to join him in beginning their encounter “in the
name of the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit.”
Dozens of people –– from
children to grandparents ––
were invited to speak to the
pope and the crowd, sharing the
story of their family lives.
Wassim and Karol Maqdissi,
a couple from Syria, talked about
Áeeing their home and Ànding
refuge in Jordan. The people
gathered in the square offered
special prayers for peace in Syria
and offered money to help Caritas care for the victims of the war.
Other stories came from
residents of Lampedusa, the
island off Italy’s southern coast,
and from two African migrants
who made dangerous sea crossings to get to the island.
In his talk at the gathering,
reacts to
children as
he addresses pilgrims
in St. Peter’s
Square at
the Vatican
Oct. 26. He
an estimated
people taking part in a
Year of Faith
of family life.
(CNS photo/
they can without a home and
good job.
“The Lord knows our struggles and the burdens we have in
our lives,” he said. “But he also
knows our great desire to Ànd
joy and rest.”
Family life is filled with
beautiful moments like shared
meals, walks in the park and
visits to the grandparents, Pope
Francis said. “But if love is missing, joy is missing; nothing is
“Praying the Our Father together around the table is not
something extraordinary; it’s easy...”
–– Pope Francis
Pope Francis said that at the
heart of everyone’s vocation is
the call to love and be loved.
“Life is often wearisome.
Work is tiring. Looking for work
is exhausting,” he said. “But
what is most burdensome in life
is a lack of love.”
Pope Francis said he knows
many families are struggling Ànancially and emotionally, others
are threatened by war or split
apart by migration, and many
young people would like to
marry but they don’t see how
Through the sacrament of
marriage, a couple receives the
grace they need, he said: “The
sacraments are not decorations in
life; the sacrament of marriage is
not just a pretty ceremony. Christians celebrate the sacrament of
marriage because they know they
need it.”
Pope Francis urged Catholic
couples to go against the cultural
trend of seeing everything, including relationships, as Áeeting. Marriage is a life-long journey, he said,
“a long journey, not little pieces.”
For families, as for all Christians, he said, Jesus is the source
of endless love. Couples, he said,
must pray together “because
they need to for the long journey they are making together.”
Pope Francis also told the
crowd that three phrases are
essential for a peaceful family
life: “’May I?’ to make sure you
aren’t being intrusive, ‘Thank
you’ and ‘I’m sorry.’”
The next morning, Pope
Francis was back in St. Peter’s
Square celebrating Mass with
the families. And, again, he
spoke of the importance of
praying as a family.
He said he knew many
of them were thinking that it
sounds like a nice thing to do,
but they can’t imagine Ànding
the time.
“We need simplicity to pray
as a family,” he said. “Praying
the Our Father together around
the table is not something extraordinary; it’s easy. Praying
the rosary together, as a family,
is very beautiful and a source of
great strength.”
Through family prayer, going to church together and even
the simple task of teaching children to make the sign of the
cross, he said, the family is the
place where the Christian faith is
kept alive and passed on.
The faith, he said, is not “a
personal treasure like a bank
account” or something to be
kept “in a strong box,” he said.
A faith that is not shared with
others might as well be “embalmed,” he added.
Marriage isn’t easy, but it’s beautiful, pope says
The Catholic Church must
help young people understand
that marriage isn’t always easy,
“but it is so beautiful,” Pope
Francis said.
“There are problems in
marriage: different points of
view, jealousies, arguments,
but tell young couples to
never let the day end without
making peace. The sacrament
of matrimony is renewed in
this act of peace,” the pope
said Oct. 25 during a meeting
with members of the PontiÀcal Council for the Family.
“This path is not easy, but
it is so beautiful,” the pope
said. “It’s beautiful. Tell them
For the Catholic Church,
he said, a family isn’t simply
a group of individuals, but it
is a community where people learn to love one another,
share with and make sacriÀces
for each other and “defend
life, especially of those who
are more fragile and weak.”
The family as a special
community must “be recognized as such, especially today
when so much emphasis is
placed on the safeguarding
of individual rights,” he said.
“We must defend the rights
of this community that is the
Defending the family also
means defending the basic
fact that it is a community
founded on the marriage of a
man and a woman, he said.
“Spousal and familial love
clearly reveal that the vocation of the human person is to
love one other person forever
and that the trials, sacriÀces
and crises in the life of the
couple or the family are stages
for growth in goodness, truth
and beauty,” he said.
As he has done on several
occasions, Pope Francis also
spoke about the special place
in the family reserved for
children and for the elderly,
family members who are “the
most vulnerable and often the
most forgotten.”
“Any time a child is abandoned or an older person
marginalized, it is not only
an act of injustice, but marks
the failure of that society,”
he said. “Taking care of little
ones and of the elderly is a
mark of civility.”
Pope Francis, departing from his prepared text,
told members of the council, “When I hear the confession of a young married
man or woman, and they refer
to their son or daughter, I
ask, ‘How many children do
you have?’ and they tell me.
Maybe they’re expecting another question after that, but
I always ask, ‘And tell me, do
you play with your children?
Do you waste time with your
“The free gift of a parent’s time is so important,”
he said.
November 2013
Vet says time as POW deepened his Catholic faith
U.S. Army Air Corps Cpl.
Leo Wojciechowski had just
unloaded bombs targeting the
Blechhammer synthetic oil refinery on the Nazi-occupied
Czech-Polish border when he
felt his B-24 shudder.
Anti-aircraft Àre had struck
the nose gunner’s plane during
the Aug. 7, 1944, mission, causing it to lose speed and altitude
as gasoline Áooded the rear of
the compromised aircraft.
Wojciechowski and the
nine other crew members had
only one option: jump. It was
a fateful step that would ultimately lead to more than a
year of harrowing experiences
inside prisoner of war camps
for Wojciechowski –– and, ultimately, a deepening of his
Catholic faith.
In an interview with The
Catholic Review, Baltimore’s
archdiocesan newspaper at his
home in Dundalk, he reÁected
on his memories of war and
When he launched himself out of his plane so many
decades ago, Wojciechowski
hit his head –– briefly get-
ting knocked out. The thenparishioner of Holy Rosary in
Fells Point awakened to discover himself Áoating beneath
a parachute toward a large clover patch in Czechoslovakia,
400 miles inside enemy lines.
“I was terrified,” said
Wojciechowski, now a whitehaired parishioner of Sacred
Heart of Mary in Graceland
Park. “I had a 45 (.45-caliber
revolver) with me, and I thought
that if anyone saw me with a
gun, they’re going to shoot me.
You are at their mercy.”
The airman tossed his weapon in a ditch before an angry
farmer approached him with a
pitchfork and spoke in German.
“He looked at my dog tags
and saw that I was Catholic,”
Wojciechowski told the Review a few weeks before he
was honored with other POWs
at the Pentagon in September.
“He took my holster off and
smacked me across the face
with it. He said he couldn’t
understand Catholics bombing
Wojciechowski’s bombardier landed nearby and was
soon standing alongside the
nose gunner when two Gestapo
agents appeared to interrogate
them. Although Wojciechowski
spoke Polish, he pretended not
to understand when questioned
in the language.
One of the agents tied the
Americans’ hands behind their
backs and laid them side-by-side
in a Àeld.
“He got in the Volkswagen
and started driving real fast like
they were going to ride over us,”
Wojciechowski remembered. “I
started screaming and hollering
and kicking my feet, and they
stopped within a foot of us.”
After being jailed and sent to
a Frankfurt interrogation center,
Wojciechowski was transported
to a prisoner of war camp in
Luxembourg called Stalag Luft
“They were so unorganized
that it was pretty rough trying
to get food,” he remembered.
“It was a horrible experience for
about three weeks.”
Wojciechowski was transferred to Stalag Luft IV in
northern Poland, where he was
placed on kitchen duty peeling
potatoes. It was there he met
a Scottish priest who had been
captured after his plane was shot
down while he was accompanying British airmen on a mission.
The priest celebrated Mass every
week for the prisoners of war
and offered them support.
Wojciechowski promised
God he would never miss Sunday Mass if the Lord would
deliver him from the enemy. He
prayed the rosary and wrote to
his Baltimore girlfriend, Thelma
(who would later become his
wife of 66 years and counting),
asking her to pray for him.
“I was happy that Boze
spared me,” said Wojciechowski, using the Polish word for
God. “I guess I must have been
blessed because Boze was looking out for me.”
Wojciechowski spent time
in Stalag Luft I in Germany,
ultimately being liberated in the
spring of 1945.
While his memories of his
war-time experiences are clear,
he recalls nothing of what may
be his most signiÀcant act.
According to Morton Gollin,
navigator on Wojciechowski’s
downed B24, Wojciechowski
pulled him back into the plane
after Gollin’s parachute got
snagged on a lip of the nosewheel door when he tried to
“There’s no question in my
mind that he saved my life,”
said Gollin, 91, in a telephone
interview from his home in
That fateful mission, which
took off from an air base in
Italy, was the Àrst Gollin had
served with Wojciechowski’s
crew. As an officer, protocol
demanded that he should have
let Wojciechowski jump Àrst.
“Happily, I wasn’t very
cognizant of protocol,” Gollin
said with a laugh. “Had I allowed Leo to go Àrst, I would
have gone down with the
Gollin said he is eternally
grateful to Wojciechowski and
has written him notes of appreciation.
Wojciechowski acknowledged it’s possible he forgot
about the incident when he
was knocked unconscious. Or,
he said, there may be a divine
“Maybe Boze is telling me to
forget about it,” he said, noting
that the kind act was not meant
to be remembered.
Gently cradling a Purple
Heart and other medals he
earned in the war, Wojciechowski, who left the Army with the
rank of sergeant, balked at the
suggestion that he is a hero.
“We tried to do as much as
we could to stop the Nazis,”
he said in a soft voice. “We felt
duty-bound to do the best we
could for our country.”
Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery serves Catholics from around
our Diocese. Read what Fr. Brian McMaster, Director of Vocations
for the Diocese of Austin, has to say about his experience.
I was blessed in my first years as a priest to be assigned to St. Helen
parish in Georgetown at the time that Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery
opened. I had the privilege of presiding at some of the first burials there. As
my own heart grew and my
understanding of priestly
identity and compassion
grew, I was blessed to reflect
upon this holy “space” that
brought comfort to others
and strength to me. Our Lady
of the Rosary is genuinely
such a holy space that allows
for families grieving to
receive the comfort of faith
and to know the truth of
the beatitude, “Blessed are
you that mourn.
Our sincere gratitude goes out to Fr. Brian McMaster for his service
to our Diocese and Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery, as Celebrant
for our recent All Souls’ Mass. Thank you for the loving comfort
you provide to our families in their time of need.
To advertise, call (512) 949-2443.
330 Berry Lane, Georgetown, Texas 78626
Thanksgiving is a way of life, not just a holiday
VÁSQUEZ is the ¿fth
bishop of the Austin
Diocese. He shepherds more than
530,000 Catholics in 25 Central
Texas counties.
Editor: Bishop, we celebrate
Thanksgiving in a few weeks. How
can we make it more of a holy day
rather than just a holiday?
Bishop Vásquez: Thanksgiving
is a wonderful national holiday. And
of course, on this day, we remember
that Àrst Thanksgiving of the pilgrims
who came to this country seeking a
new beginning and a new life because
they wanted freedom to worship God
their way. That Àrst Thanksgiving was
an expression of gratitude to God for
the blessings of the fruits of the land,
which the pilgrims harvested with the
help of the Native Americans. Families
traditionally come together, and, as
the old saying goes, many travel back
to grandma’s house. We see family
and relatives that we haven’t seen in a
On Thanksgiving we come together to remember our history and
our roots and we give thanks to God.
Gathering as families and friends is a
good thing for us to do! These gatherings also become sacred moments
when we include God, prayer and worship. I hope that many people will take
the opportunity to give thanks to God
for their blessings. We can make this
holiday more of a holy day by realizing
that we are blessed and responding
with gratefulness.
Editor: We are called to pray in
thanksgiving, but many times life
gets in the way. Jobs get cut, cars
break down, children get sick. How
do we give thanks even when life is
Bishop Vásquez: We must Àrst
realize that life itself is a gift. We
did not create ourselves, rather God
created us through the love of our parents. We are created in the image and
likeness of God, but we are created
so that we might continue to obtain
perfection through the person of Jesus
Christ. Therefore, we realize in life
there is good and bad and that all of us
sometimes struggle.
As St. Paul says in his letters to the
Thessalonians, “Rejoice always. Pray
without ceasing. In all circumstances
give thanks, for this is the will of God
for you in Christ Jesus.”
St. Paul reminds us that the Christian’s attitude should be one of thanksgiving throughout our entire life –– not
just in the good times but in all circumstances. The Christian is one who is
able to be grateful in all moments of life.
The pain and the suffering, the joys and
happiness that we experience can all be
brought to God. We offer our lives to
God so he can transform them. This is
what we call “grace.” Grace is the ability
to let God touch our lives and transform
them far more than we ever anticipated
or expected.
We all know people who have
struggled with painful situations, such
as illness or the loss of a loved one,
and yet they are able to continue to
see the hand of God in their lives. We
are called to allow the hand of God to
praying with all of us around him
–– brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces
and friends, and to know that we are
all part of this one family and that we
have this tradition of our faith, which
is so central and essential to us.
Editor: Explain how the Eucharist is thanksgiving at its best.
Bishop Vásquez: The word
“thanksgiving” comes from this word
“Thanksgiving is a way of life not just one day in
the year or a certain event, but rather a continuous
act of giving thanks.”
–– Bishop Joe Vásquez
touch all of the areas of our lives, the
good and the bad, so that his grace can
transform us and make us more like
his son, Jesus Christ.
Editor: Tell us how you personally pray in thanksgiving.
Bishop Vásquez: For me, the Eucharist is the primary way I give thanks.
For the last several years, I have
traveled home to be with my family
–– my father brothers and sisters. We
all get together and share a meal. We,
of course, eat a lot and we laugh, talk,
and sit around watching football games
and enjoying the leftovers. But the Àrst
thing I do before I get on the road to
go see my family is celebrate the Eucharist in my chapel and take the opportunity to pray so that the day begins
with thanksgiving to God. I thank God
for the day, especially for the greatest
gift of all, Jesus Christ.
By the time I travel to be with
my family, they have already gone to
Mass and they are busy preparing the
meal. In my family, we pray together
for the blessing of the food. My father
offers the prayer because he is the
one who has been there to guide us in
life and to teach us right from wrong.
Therefore, he is the one who lifts all
of our prayers to God as one. This is
a wonderful moment to see my father
“eucharistia,” which is a Greek word
for giving thanks. Thanksgiving is a
way of life not just one day in the year
or a certain event, but rather a continuous act of giving thanks. If there is any
group of people who understand what
it is to give thanks, it is Catholics. The
very center of who we are as Catholics
is the celebration of the Eucharist.
Blessed John Paul II said very clearly
the church draws her life from the
Eucharist and the Eucharist gives life
to the church.
In his encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” Blessed John Paul II wrote, “The
Mass makes present the sacriÀce of the
cross; it does not add to that sacriÀce
nor does it multiply it. What is repeated
is its memorial celebration, its “commemorative representation,” which
makes Christ’s one, deÀnitive redemptive sacriÀce always present in time.”
In the celebration of the Eucharist,
we give thanks for the great salviÀc act
of Jesus Christ. Before his own death,
Christ took bread, blessed it and broke
it and said, “This is my body.” And he
took a cup of wine and said, “This is
my blood.” Jesus poured himself out
for all of humanity to save us from
our sins. Mass is the celebration of the
perpetual love of God in the gift of his
son to us.
Editor: Also, at the end of November we will wrap up the Year of
Faith. How has this year been for
us as Catholics?
Bishop Vásquez: The Year of
Faith has been a blessing to the whole
church. Our Pope Emeritus Benedict
XVI began the Year of Faith by asking
us to reinvigorate our Catholic faith.
He invited us to immerse ourselves
in the faith and to come to a greater
appreciation of who we are as Catholics and of our love for Christ and for
his church. This revitalization helps us
become faithful witnesses and helps us
speak of Christ to others and share the
acts of love and mercy that we have
received from our Savior. This deeper
appreciation of our faith reÁects itself
in how we live, how we treat our family and our coworkers, how we treat the
poor and how we love one another.
We can’t keep our faith contained or
locked up or separated from the other
parts of our lives.
Throughout the diocese, I have
seen people living out their faith in
vibrant ways. I have been impressed,
especially with our young people where
there is a hunger for the faith and a
desire to make a difference. Pope Francis has also enlivened people to start
examining their faith. He has called us
back to the basics of Christianity. He
is calling us to live a simpler life, to be
aware of the poor and to see Christ in
As the Year of Faith draws to a
close on the feast of Christ the King,
I believe the fruits of this year will
continue to be experienced.
Editor: What is your prayer of
thanksgiving for this month and the
rest of the year?
Bishop Vásquez: I pray we may
see ourselves as truly blessed by God.
May we express with grateful hearts
the blessings that God has given us.
Mindful of all of our many blessings,
may we share with those around us our
food, clothing, time, treasure, presence
and love.
HELP make
pies just before
Thanksgiving last
year. The pies
were donated to
a local shelter
and soup kitchen.
(CNS photo
by Mike Crupi,
Catholic Courier)
November 2013
The darkened eye of pornography
The world was shocked when the
tragic and twisted case of Ariel Castro
burst recently into the limelight.
Before he took his own life in prison
earlier this month, he had kidnapped
and repeatedly raped, humiliated,
and beaten three young women held
captive inside his Cleveland house for
more than 10 years. At his sentencing
in August, he blamed his longstanding habit of watching two to three
hours a day of pornography for his
crimes: “I believe I am addicted to
pornography to a point that it really
makes me impulsive and I don’t realize what I’m doing is wrong.”
To what extent pornography is
directly related to violence remains up
for debate (explaining any complex
human behavior in simple cause and
effect terms can be exceedingly difÀcult). What is beyond dispute is that
pornography sets the stage for viewing women in an exploitative way, as
sexual fodder for the gratiÀcation of
men. In fact, the widespread availability and consumption of pornography has arguably become the most
pervasive objectifying force in society
In a recent newspaper discussion
about pornography, one male participant remarked that most men do
not end up marrying supermodels,
so he thought pornography wasn’t
a bad thing, since it enabled “the
goods” that a few women possessed
to be spread around and shared. He
seemed to have no compunction
about using women as pawns in the
endgame of satisfying male lust.
The gaze we direct towards each
other can easily go astray, demeaning not only ourselves, but others
around us as well. When one’s gaze
is directed askance, as Bishop Paul
Loverde of Arlington, Va., noted in
a 2006 letter on pornography, “one
becomes the kind of person who is
willing to use others as mere objects
of pleasure.” The impure gaze of pornography, focused on “body parts,”
or “performances,” takes on its own
momentum and quickly draws us
away from the relational commitments and responsibilities implied in
our human sexual nature.
One of the key objections to pornography is that it sets up a fantasy
world without the risks and challenges that exist in real relationships.
It warps and distorts the beautiful gift
of human sexuality, so it no longer
serves as an interpersonal force for
bonding and building families, but
instead devolves into an exploitative
and isolating force in the lives of
those who fall prey to it, changing its
clients, in the words of one commentator, into “basement dwellers” and
“bottom feeders.”
On the other hand, the glance of
authentic sexual love, Áowing from a
pure gaze, avoids denigrating others
as a means for self-gratiÀcation, and
draws man and woman into an abid-
ing, life-giving union.
The need for that pure inner
gaze has never been more succinctly
expressed than in that timeless pronouncement uttered two millennia
ago: “Your eye is the lamp of your
body; when your eye is sound, your
whole body is full of light; but when
it is not sound, your body is full of
darkness. Therefore be careful lest
the light in you be darkness” (Luke
We see just how dark the darkness was in the life of Ariel Castro.
Through pornography addiction, a
skyrocketing phenomenon today,
our eye easily becomes darkened and
This darkness affects not just the
men who view it, but also women
who may not themselves be regular
consumers of pornography. Women
may be drawn into the subtle and demeaning trap of objectiÀcation when
they are pressured to serve as compliant proxies for the acting out of
their spouse’s hard core pornographic
fantasies. Instead of relating to the
actual person they are with, they may
instead feel obligated to play a role in
satisfying various desires and fetishes.
In this way, pornography may impact
the way consensual relationships
develop between men and women,
weaving a warped and exploitative
element into the early stages of the
The average woman may also
struggle with a sense of inadequacy
when it comes to competing with or
measuring up to the naked women
of the Internet, particularly in the
face of pervasive airbrushing, silicone
implants and photoshopping of porn
models. These concerns about undue
pressure on women apply not just to
the pornography industry but even to
the modern fashion industry with its
frequently provocative designs, and
to the numerous soft porn initiatives
such as the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. It should come as no
surprise when ordinary women and
girls manifest loathing and abusive
tendencies toward their own bodies,
when they feel threatened by impossible comparisons and expectations.
The enduring glance, sparked by
the sexual attractiveness of the other,
is never meant to be directed askance
by the vicious snare of pornography,
but instead to point toward a personal and committed marital love,
puriÀed of exploitative and objectifying tendencies.
earned his doctorate in neuroscience
from Yale and did post-doctoral work
at Harvard. He is
a priest of the Diocese of Fall River,
Mass., and serves
as the Director of
Education at The
National Catholic
Bioethics Center
in Philadelphia.
For more information, visit www.
Ashes to Easter collection totals
The Ashes to Easter collection was taken up during Lent. This year more than 51,000 little boxes were distributed to parishes throughout the Austin Diocese so
that families could take part in the Ashes to Easter campaign, which beneÀts missionary activities. For more information about this collection, call (512) 949-2407.
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, University Catholic Center
Austin Central Deanery 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 Deanery Totals
Austin South Deanery
Austin, St. Catherine of Siena
Austin, St. John Neumann
Austin, St. Paul
Austin, St. Peter the Apostle
Lakeway, Emmaus
Austin South Deanery Totals
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery
Bastrop, Ascension
Elgin, Sacred Heart
Lockhart, St. Mary of the Visitation
Luling, St. John
Rockne, Sacred Heart
Smithville, St. Paul
Uhland, St.Michael
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery Totals
Brenham/La Grange Deanery
Brenham, St. Mary
Chappell Hill, St. Stanislaus
Dime Box, St. Joseph
Ellinger/Hostyn Hill, St. Mary
Fayetteville, St. John
Lexington, Holy Family
Old Washington on the Brazos, St. Mary $140.22
Rockdale, St. Joseph
Somerville, St. Ann
Brenham/La Grange Deanery Totals $5,396.78
Bryan/College Station Deanery
Bremond, St. Mary
Bryan, St. Anthony
Bryan, Santa Teresa
Caldwell, St. Mary
College Station, St. Mary
College Station, St. Thomas Aquinas $2,580.78
Frenstat, Holy Rosary
Hearne, St. Mary
Bryan/College Station Deanery Totals $6,630.34
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
PÀugerville, St. Elizabeth
Round Rock, St. John Vianney
Round Rock, St. William
Taylor, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Taylor, St. Mary of the Assumption
Georgetown/Round Rock Totals
Killeen/Temple Deanery
Belton, Christ the King
Burlington, St. Michael
Copperas Cove, Holy Family
Cyclone, St. Joseph
Harker Heights, St. Paul Ch. Hasang $2,004.25
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 Deanery Totals
Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery
Bertram, Holy Cross
Burnet, Our Mother of Sorrows
Goldthwaite, St. Peter
Horseshoe Bay, St. Paul the Apostle
Kingsland, St. Charles Borromeo
Lampasas, St. Mary
Llano, Holy Trinity
Marble Falls, St. John
Mason, St. Joseph
San Saba, St. Mary
Sunrise Beach, Our Lady of the Lake
Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery Totals $5,352.59
San Marcos Deanery
Blanco, St. Ferdinand
Buda, Santa Cruz
Dripping Springs, St. Martin de Porres $538.91
Johnson City, Good Shepherd
Kyle, St. Anthony Marie de Claret
San Marcos, Our Lady of Wisdom
San Marcos, St. John
Wimberley, St. Mary
San Marcos Deanery Totals
Waco Deanery
Elk, St. Joseph
Gatesville, Our Lady of Lourdes
Hamilton, St. Thomas
Lott, Sacred Heart
McGregor, St. Eugene
Marlin, St. Joseph
Mexia, St. Mary
Tours, St. Martin
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
Waco Deanery Totals
Grand Totals
Health care is important, so are life and religious liberty
The bishops of the U.S. have serious
moral concerns about provisions of the
Affordable Care Act. After being among
the most vocal proponents of health care
reform for decades, the bishops were
forced to oppose the law passed in 2010
because pro-abortion advocates were
able to insert provisions in the bill that
made it impossible for the bishops to
support. Following that, the Health and
Human Services Department mandate
is a serious infringement on our religious
liberty. So what are we to do?
First, if any individual or family is
in need of insurance, it is absolutely
acceptable to sign up to receive it.
At every level of coverage, there is at
least one plan that does not include
abortion and Catholics are encouraged to ask for that plan. Opposition
to provisions of the Affordable Care
Act should not prevent anyone from
signing up for the insurance they need.
In fact, as Father Tad Pacholczyk’s
column in last month’s Catholic Spirit
indicated, we have a moral responsibility to take care of our health and even
with our objections to the law, signing
up to be covered is acceptable as long
as we work to undo this mandate. Let
me repeat, if you need insurance, use
the exchanges and get covered!
Another thing we can do is to
let people know about the insurance
exchanges. Our ministries to the poor
can make information available to others about the insurance exchanges. We
can point people to get information
and assistance on ways they can receive
health care coverage for themselves
and their families.
However, there are limitations to the
ways we can help. While it is possible for
Catholics in need of insurance to sign
up for coverage and to pass out information about the Affordable Care Act;
it is problematic for Catholics to act as
navigators or ofÀcial assistants. While we
normally want to help people to get the
help they need, these positions would
require Catholics to help others sign
up for insurance products that include
abortion services. It is true that we can
ask for the plan that does not include
abortions, however, serving as assistants
to others would not allow us to make
that choice for them. It is also inappropriate for Catholic parishes or properties
to be used as venues to enroll people to
receive coverage.
Our Catholic leaders have worked
for decades on health care reform
because we know that health care is a
right that belongs to every person, not
every person who can afford it. While
it pains us that the present legislation
has so many Áaws, we do want people
to get health insurance and to have
greater access to health care. So I ask
that we continue to encourage people
to sign up, pass out information on
where people can get information and
continue advocating for just laws that
provide for others while respecting human life and religious liberty.
is the diocesan
director of social
concerns. She
can be reached at
(512) 949-2471 or
Ideal Weight Loss
Medical Clinics
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Anthony Hicks, MD, MPH
4100 Duval Rd., Bldg IV, Ste 202, Austin
(512) 577-6181
12912 Hill Country Blvd, Bldg F, Ste 238, Austin
(512) 470-9470
To advertise in the Catholic Spirit Medical Services Directory, call (512) 949-2443,
or e-mail [email protected].
The Vitae Clinic
Oak Hill
Eye Care
Braces for Children and Adults
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.
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.
William Stavinoha, M.D.
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
Dominion Family
Family Practice –– Board CertiÀed
11671 Jollyville Road #102
Austin, TX
(512) 338-5088
Board certiÀed in Family
Medicine & Internal Medicine
(512) 834-9999
6301 Parmer Ln. W. Suite 102
Austin,TX 78729-6802
November 2013
Fourth century saint was model of virtue
The “Catherine Wheel” was a hideous instrument of torture designed to
tear a person’s body to pieces. Unfortunately, it is the art emblem most associated with St. Catherine of Alexandria.
This fourth century maiden was one of
the most popular saints in Europe during the Middle Ages even though her life
was more legend than fact.
The story of St. Catherine of
Alexandria is a romantic tale of heroism and faith. She was a beautiful and
intelligent girl who lived in Alexandria,
Egypt. Biographer Rodney Castleden
writes in “The Book of Saints” that
ST. CATHERINE of Alexandria
by Francesco da Cotignola.
she attracted the attention of Emperor
Maxentius when she protested his
order demanding sacriÀce and worship of idols. He brought in 50 of his
most learned philosophers to refute
her arguments and convince her of the
errors of Christianity.
Not only did she defeat their arguments, but she won them over so that all
50 embraced Christianity. The enraged
emperor ordered all 50 to be burned
alive. Catherine was thrown into a
dungeon without food or water, but not
to worry, legend says that doves came to
feed her.
The emperor’s wife, Faustina, and
her attendant visited Catherine in prison.
According to Sarah Gallick in “The Big
Book of Women Saints,” Catherine
converted them both and another 200
soldiers as well. Maxentius ordered all
of them killed and then offered to make
Catherine the new empress. She spurned
his offer and that’s when he ordered her
to be broken on a wheel with spikes.
Catherine was bound to the wheel
and as it was about to be rotated, the
wheel split and fell apart and a Àre fell
from Heaven and destroyed it. This
Àrework has come to be known as the
Catherine wheel. Maxentius then ordered her beheaded. Tessa Paul reports
in the “Completed Illustrated Encyclopedia of Saints” that angels or perhaps
monks are said to have lifted her body
and carried it to Mount Sinai. There it
remains in a monastery built in 527 by
the Emperor Justinian.
It is one of the most important
monasteries in Christendom and for
many years became a place of refuge for
monks. The Holy Monastery of St. Catherine is the oldest inhabited monastery in
the world.
Author Christine Walsh writes that
Catherine’s cult probably originated in
oral traditions from the fourth century
persecutions of Christians in Alexandria.
She may have been a composite drawn
from the many stories of women persecuted for their faith.
Her cult gained momentum in the
ninth century at Mount Sinai as her
story and reputation were carried from
the eastern Mediterranean to England
by returning crusaders. More than 80
churches in England were dedicated to
her and 170 medieval bells still bear her
name. Castledon writes that she was the
symbol of intelligent and resolute chastity. In the Middle Ages, she was held
up to daughters and wives as a model of
sexual virtue.
Malcolm Day writes in “A Treasury
of Saints” that devotion to St. Catherine
reached its highest level in France during
the 15th century. It was said that she appeared to Joan of Arc and together with
St. Michael had been divinely appointed
as Joan’s advisers.
David Farmer reports in the “Oxford Dictionary of Saints” that Catherine’s cult strongly appealed to artists.
People prayed to her because her intercession was valued as she was considered to be a bride of Christ, a successful
advocate who triumphed over philosophers and a protector of the dying.
She is depicted in murals, panel
paintings, manuscripts and embroidery
designs usually with the spiked wheel.
Farmer lists her earliest mural in a Winchester cathedral in 1225. She is regarded
as one of the “Fourteen Holy Helpers,”
that group of saints notable for answering prayers especially for cures from
disease and at the hour of death.
Her feast on Nov. 25 falls immediately before the beginning of Advent
during which no weddings could take
place during the Middle Ages and for
years afterward. So it was a custom for
unmarried women of that time to pray
to St. Catherine saying,
“A husband, Saint Catherine,
A good one, Saint Catherine,
A handsome one, Saint Catherine,
A rich one, Saint Catherine –
And soon, Saint Catherine!”
In spite of all this attention and
devotion, St. Catherine was among the
demoted saints in 1969 when Pope
Paul VI reorganized the liturgical year
and revised the calendar of saints. Fortunately, her feast day was restored for
local use in 2001.
She is the patron of craftsmen
whose work was based on the wheel.
She is also the patron of preachers,
philosophers and librarians.
a member of St. Austin Parish in Austin.
She is a retired state
Collection for Peter’s Pence
The special collection Peter’s Pence was taken up June 29-30. If your parish Ànds an error, call the diocesan Finance OfÀce at (512) 949-2400. For more information about this collection, visit www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/peters-pence/.
Austin Central Deanery
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, University Catholic Center
Austin Central Deanery 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 Deanery Totals
Austin South Deanery
Austin, Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolores)
Austin, St. Andrew Kim
Austin, St. Catherine of Siena
Austin, St. John Neumann
Austin, St. Paul
Austin, St. Peter the Apostle
Lakeway, Emmaus
Austin South Deanery Totals
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery
Bastrop, Ascension
Elgin, Sacred Heart
Luling, St. John
Martindale, Immaculate Heart
Rockne, Sacred Heart
Smithville, St. Paul
String Prairie, Assumption
Uhland, St. Michael
Bastrop/Lockhart Deanery 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
Old Washington on the Brazos, St. Mary $55.00
Pin Oak, St. Mary
Rockdale, St. Joseph
Somerville, St. Ann
Brenham/La Grange Deanery Totals $9,095.09
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 Aquinas
Frenstat, Holy Rosary
Bryan/College Station Deanery Totals $8,611.45
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
PÀugerville, St. Elizabeth
Round Rock, St. John Vianney
Round Rock, St. William
Taylor, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Taylor, St. Mary of the Assumption
Georgetown/Round Rock Deanery $28,058.18
Killeen/Temple Deanery
Belton, Christ the King
Burlington, St. Michael
Cameron, St. Monica
Copperas Cove, Holy Family
Cyclone, St. Joseph
Harker Heights, St. Paul Ch. Hasang $4,875.00
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 Deanery Totals
Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery
Bertram, Holy Cross
Burnet, Our Mother of Sorrows
Goldthwaite, St. Peter
Horseshoe Bay, St. Paul the Apostle $1,679.00
Kingsland, St. Charles Borromeo
Lampasas, St. Mary
Llano, Holy Trinity
Lometa, Good Shepherd
Mason, St. Joseph
San Saba, St. Mary
Sunrise Beach, Our Lady of the Lake
Lampasas/Marble Falls Deanery Totals $5,141.21
San Marcos Deanery
Blanco, St. Ferdinand
Buda, Santa Cruz
Dripping Springs, St. Martin de Porres $2,217.11
Johnson City, Good Shepherd
Kyle, St. Anthony Marie de Claret
San Marcos, Our Lady of Wisdom
San Marcos, St. John
Wimberley, St. Mary
San Marcos Deanery Totals
Waco Deanery
China Spring, St. Phillip
Elk, St. Joseph
Gatesville, Our Lady of Lourdes
Hamilton, St. Thomas
Lott, Sacred Heart
McGregor, St. Eugene
Marlin, St. Joseph
Mexia, St. Mary
Tours, St. Martin
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 Deanery Totals
Grand Totals
ReÁection & retreat........
For Your
The Catholic Business Network
will hold its next meeting Nov. 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. The meeting begins at
7:30 a.m. and will end by 9. To register,
go to http://catholicbiznetwork.org/.
Catholic Scripture Study of Austin meets on Wednesdays from 9:30 to
11:30 a.m. at St. Louis Parish in Austin.
The weekly two-hour Bible study consists of prayer, small group discussion
and guest lecturers. This year the course
is studying Joshua and James. The class
follows the Austin Independent School
District calendar for holidays, including Christmas break. Register online at
www.cssaustin.org. For more information, contact Rosemary Howard at (512)
Catholic Scripture Study of Cedar
Park meets on Wednesdays from 6:30
to 8 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11
a.m. at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar
Park. The weekly Bible study consists for
prayer, small group discussion and guest
lecturers. This year the course is studying
Joshua and James. The schedule follows
the Leander Independent School District calendar for holidays. For more information, contact Bob Gorski at (512)
636-2927 or [email protected].
An introductory session on the
Creighton Model of natural family
planning will be held Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at
St. John Neumann Parish PC Room 105
in Austin. For more information, contact
Yvonne Saldana at (512) 949-2489 or
[email protected].
A men’s discernment dinner for
single, Catholic men ages 18 and older
will be held Nov. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
at the Borromeo House in Austin. Men
with an openness to a priestly vocation
and discernment are invited to dinner,
evening prayer, and a presentation on
Pro-Active Discernment, Part I: Principles of Discernment. For more information, contact Father Brian McMaster,
diocesan Vocation Director, at (512)
949-2430 or (512) 450-4073.
An introductory session on the
models of natural family planning
will be held Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Austin
Fertility Care Center at St. Austin Parish.
This seminar is structured to satisfy the
Austin Diocese requirement for marriage preparation for all parishes. The
cost is $20 per couple. To register contact the Austin Fertility Care Center at
(512) 474-2757 or [email protected].
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Austin (CCRA) will host its
monthly Mass Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at San
José Parish in Austin. Father Robert
Becker will celebrate the Mass. For more
information, contact Sabrina Perez at
(512) 466-7669 or visit www.ccraustin.
Gabriel Project Angels are trained
volunteers who work with those in need
of emotional and spiritual support due
to a crisis pregnancy. The support of an
angel can make a wonderful difference
by providing a spirit of hope as an expectant mom works through each day.
Support for someone as they await the
birth of their child is a ministry from the
heart. There is a need for angels across
the diocese. The next scheduled training is Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at
St. William Parish in Round Rock. To
register or for more information, call
(512) 949-2488 or e-mail briana-feiler@
Pax Christi Austin meets the third
Sunday of every month at 7 p.m. at the
Father John Payne House at St. Ignatius
Martyr Parish in Austin. Everyone is
welcome. 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 reÁects the peace
of Christ. For more information, contact
Bob Rankin at [email protected].
Diocesan offices will be closed
Nov. 28-29 in observance of Thanksgiving.
Priests will gather for an Advent
Day of Prayer Dec. 3 from 8 a.m. to
5 p.m. at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat
Center in Belton. For more information,
call (512) 949-2430.
A Discernment Dinner for high
school age Catholic men will be held
Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at St. William Parish
Rectory in Round Rock. Young 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 Alex Caudillo at (512) 600-8154
or [email protected].
The Diocesan Council of Catholic
Women has completed a burse for the
Clerical Endowment Fund (CEF) in
honor of Father George C. George.
The totals for the burse as of Sept.
30, 2013, 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.
An English Cursillo for women
will be held Nov. 7-10. For more information, contact Robin Spencer at (254)
220-3883 or [email protected].
“Come and See,” a discernment weekend for single Catholic
women ages 18 to 50, will be held
Nov. 9-10 at Incarnate Word Convent in Victoria. For more information, contact the Incarnate Word Sisters at (361) 575-7111 or iwbsvoc@
yahoo.com. Visit www.iwbsvictoria.
org for more information.
The Austin Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians presents the annual St. Cecilia Sing “Singing God’s Song Book:
Praying the Psalms Can Transform
Us” on Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin. Registration is $10, which includes
lunch and a complimentary music
packet. To register contact the Austin NPM Chapter at NPMAustin@
gmail.com. For more information visit the NPM Austin Website at www.
“The Devil You Don’t Know,” a
day of reÁection, will be held Nov. 14
from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Cedarbrake
Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. Father
Angelo Bertini will lead participants in
reÁecting on how, whether consciously
or not, we face the devil on a daily basis.
The cost is $35, which includes lunch.
For more information or to register,
contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or
[email protected].
Married couples who are looking to
get away and time to reconnect with one
another are invited to a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Nov. 15-17 at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton.
The weekend begins Friday at 7:30 p.m.
and ends Sunday around 4 p.m. This is
an opportunity for husbands and wives
to escape the daily distractions of life and
focus on each other. For more information or to apply to attend, contact Anh
and Greg Thomas at (512) 677-WWME
(9963) or [email protected].
St. Albert the Great Parish in
Austin will host “A Day Of ReÁection:
Looking forward to Advent and Christmas” with Father Roger Keeler Nov. 16
from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parish hall.
Father Keeler is a lecturer in the Oblate
School of Theology in San Antonio. He
is also the Chief Judge of the Appellate Court for the Catholic Dioceses of
Texas. Tickets are $15 each, and a light
lunch is included. For more information,
contact Carolyn Hunt at (512) 834-0528
or Pat Guthneck at pguthneck@gmail.
Franciscan Father Albert Haase
will lead a Saturday Spirituality workshop Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and
preaching on Nov. 24 at Shepherd of
the Hills Lutheran Church (3525 Bee
Cave Road, Austin, Texas 78746). Father
Albert is the author of numerous books
and DVD’s, a regular on Relevant Radio,
a workshop leader all around the world,
and a passionate spokesperson for the
living God. The cost is $20 per person,
$30 per couple. For more information,
contact Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran
Church at (512) 327-3370 for more information or to sign up. The deadline to
register is Nov. 20.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish
in Granger will present an Advent Mission entitled “Advent Blessing: The Crib,
Cross and Gift” Dec. 2-4 at 7 p.m. Third
Order Franciscan Father Dave Pivonka
will lead the mission. Monday’s presentation will begin with a light supper and
end with the sacrament of confession.
Tuesday’s presentation begins with a
light supper and ends with adoration.
Wednesday’s presentation will include
Mass and refreshments afterwards. For
more information, call the parish ofÀce
at (512) 859-2223.
A Silent Weekend Retreat will be
held Dec. 6-8 at Cedarbrake Catholic
Retreat Center in Belton. Participants are
invited to step away from the hustle and
bustle of the holiday season enter in to
silence to prepare for the birth of Christ.
The cost is $150 per person (all rooms
are private). For more information and
to register, contact Cedarbrake at (254)
780-2436 or cedarbrake@austindiocese.
The annual Advent Dinner will
be held Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at
Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in
Belton. This year’s guest is Missionary of
the Sacred Heart of Christ Father Richard O’Rourke, pastor of St. Paul Chong
Hasang Parish in Harker Heights. The
cost is $25 for the dinner and reÁection.
For more information or to register,
contact Cedarbrake at (254) 780-2436 or
[email protected].
The diocesan Vocation OfÀce will
host Heart of Jesus, a discernment retreat for men, Dec. 13-15 at Cedarbrake
Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. For
more information, contact the Vocation
OfÀce at (512) 949-2430 or vocations@
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
łrst week of the following month. Material may
be e-mailed to catholic-spirit@austindiocese.
org or faxed to (512) 949-2523.
Parish and community events................................
November 2013
Msgr. Michael J. Sis will discuss
“Catholic Curiosities” at the next
Theology on Tap Nov. 6 at Casa Chapala in Austin. Have you ever wondered
about stigmata? What about Eucharistic
miracles or indulgences? Music begins
at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at
7 p.m. For more information, contact
Jennifer Kodysz at jennifer-kodysz@
austindiocese.org or (512) 949-2467.
St. Martin de Porres Parish in
Dripping Springs will have its annual
Fun Run Nov. 9 from 8 to 10 a.m. Leo
Manzano, silver medalist at the 2012
Olympics, will be the guest of honor.
Following the fun run, he will share
how important his faith is in his life. The
registration cost is $25 per person, which
includes a T-shirt, water and granola
bar. For more information, call (512)
858-5667 or visit www.stmartindp.org.
St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin will host their Àfth annual Dinner,
Dance and Auction Nov. 9 from 6 to
midnight at the Austin Marriott South.
The theme is “Vintage Hollywood.”
There will be a silent and live auction
with entertainment from Nash Hernandez Orchestra, Austin’s longest running
big band. Tickets are $50, which includes
a cocktail hour, three-course meal, and
free parking at the hotel. For more information, call (512) 442-3602 or e-mail
[email protected].
St. Martin de Porres Parish in
Dripping Springs will host its Fall
Festival Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
on the parish grounds. Activities include
games for all ages, a silent auction, bingo,
music food and beverages.
St. Theresa Catholic School in
Austin will host its annual Golf Tournament Nov. 15 beginning at 8:30
a.m. at Avery Ranch Country Club in
northwest Austin. Funds raised support the school with tuition assistance,
technology advances, and more. Contact
Wendy Daniel at (404) 805-0187 or at
[email protected] to learn
more about signing up to play, or about
sponsorships and support.
Open Hearts special needs ministry meets every third Sunday of the
month at 1:15 p.m. in the St. Catherine of
Siena parish hall in Austin. Open Hearts is
a community made up of persons with intellectual disabilities and their families and
friends. We meet together in a Christian
spirit, to share friendship, pray together
and celebrate life. For more information,
contact Misty Carreiro at misty.carreiro@
The Cathedral School of St. Mary
will host its Fall Open House Nov. 17
from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Bishop’s Hall at
St. Mary Cathedral. For more information, contact Esmeralda Lozano Hoang
at (512) 476-1480 or ehoang@cssmaustin.
St. John the Evangelist Parish in
San Marcos will host their Àrst Christmas
Bazaar Nov. 23 at Claretian Hall from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be arts and crafts,
a silent auction, music, home-baked goods
and more. Bring the whole family for a
day of fun, and enjoy shopping for unique
gifts in a friendly atmosphere. Vendors
can get an application at the website:
sanmarcoscatholic.org, by e-mail at
[email protected] or at
the parish ofÀce. For more information,
call Juanita Rodriguez at (512) 353-8969
or Miguel Rodriguez at (512) 213-7114.
World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. The diocesan OfÀce of Black Catholics will pray
the rosary and hold a meditation dance
prior to the 10 a.m. Mass and a speaker
will discuss HIV/AIDS after the Mass
on Dec. 1 at Holy Cross Parish in Austin.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
in Austin will host its Àrst Mother and
Daughter Tea Nov. 30 from 3 to 6 p.m.
in the parish hall. Mothers and daughters
(5 years old and up) are invited for food,
fellowship, music, entertainment, a fashion show and more. The cost is $15 for
one; $25 per mother and daughter, $10
for each additional person. For more information about the event or about sponsorship opportunities, contact Micaela
Perez-Piedtra at (512) 221-3516 or e-mail
[email protected].
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
in Austin will host Christmas GuadalupeFest Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on
the parish grounds. The Men’s Ministry
Group is sponsoring an Arts and Crafts
fest that will feature a variety of items,
many hand-made. Breakfast tacos and
menudo will be served from 9 to 11 a.m.
Barbecue chicken and sausage plates will
be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $6
each. For more information, contact Leo
DelaGarza at (512) 924-0195.
Father Nathan Cromley and Father Michael Therese Scheerger from
the Brothers of Saint John will present
a series of monthly lectures entitled
“Evangelization in the Modern World.”
The workshops will be held Dec. 1, Dec.
15, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 23, April 27
and May 11 at St. Mary Cathedral in
Austin. Mass will be at 5:30 p.m. and the
lecture will follow in the Bishop’s Hall.
Participants are encouraged to bring
their Bibles. For more information, contact Celia Martinez at (512) 441-9914 or
[email protected].
Voices of truth, joy, faith and reason will be presented at The John Paul II
Life Center’s Third Annual BeneÀt Dinner on Dec. 5 at the AT&T Conference
Center in Austin. The evening will feature:
Patrick Madrid, EWTN radio host and
proliÀc Catholic author; Catholic convert
Collin Raye, a multi-platinum Country
music recording artist; and Sheila Liaugminas, host of Relevant Radio’s “A Closer
Look.” Sponsorships and tickets are on
sale now at www.jpiilifecenter.org or call
the ofÀce at (512) 407-2900.
The diocesan Office of Black
Catholics will host the Stations of the
Cross from an HIV/AIDS perspective
Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish
in Austin.
The fourth annual Christmas
Market Days will be held Dec. 6 from
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dec. 7 from 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. at St. John Neumann Parish in
Austin. This event is hosted by the St.
John Neumann Preschool. The market
will include more than 50 vendors and
on-site childcare will be available from
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more info, visit
St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station will host its 16th annual
Work of Human Hands Sale Dec. 7-8
from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Highquality, fairly traded crafts and food
produced by small-scale artisans and
growers from around the world will be
featured. Purchasing items at the Work
of Human Hands Sale adds meaning
to Christmas shopping providing for a
better future to the producers and their
“The Gift of Light 2013” Christmas show will be presented Dec. 7 at
7:30 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish in Austin.
The story of the birth of Jesus will come
alive with an engaging compilation of
traditional and contemporary choral
works from Europe and Africa, narratives from the Gospel of Luke and interpretive dances. For more information,
visit www.sttaustin.org.
St. Elizabeth Parish in PÁugerville will host its annual “Breakfast with
Santa” Dec. 14 in the parish hall. Breakfast prepared by the Ladies Club will be
served from 8:30 a.m. to noon. There
will also be a craft and gift corner for
last minute shopping, games for the kids
and pictures with Santa. Pictures will be
made available online for downloading.
A Living Well Aware Conference
will be held Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 3
p.m. at St. William Parish in Round
Rock. Dr. Patricia Sulak, a parishioner
of St. Luke Parish in Temple, will present information on lifestyle habits that
increase physical, emotional and spiritual health. For information, visit www.
livingwellaware.com. All proceeds from
the conference will go to Annunciation
Maternity Home in Georgetown. To
register visit www.thematernityhome.org
or call (512) 864-7755 by Dec 2.
The Assembly of Catholic Professionals provides a unique formational
opportunity for Catholic lay professionals to grow in faith. The next quarterly
luncheon is Dec. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at
the Hyatt Regency in Austin. Marcel
LeJeune from St. Mary Catholic Center in College Station will be the guest
speaker. The cost is $40 per person. For
more information or to register, contact
Margaret Kappel at (512) 949-2444 or
[email protected].
Pastoral support for victims of sexual abuse
The Diocese of Austin is committed to providing con¿dential 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 con¿dencial 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 www.dfps.state.tx.us. 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 Of¿ce at (512) 949-2400. The Notice of Concern can be found at www.austindiocese.org (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: www.dfps.state.tx.us 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 O¿cina 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: www.austindiocese.org ( Haga click en la liga COMO REPORTAR UN
CASO DE ABUSO). Estos reportes pueden ser hechos de manera anónima.
El Día de Acción de Gracias es una forma de
vida, no solo un día de Àesta
San Pablo nos recuerda que la actitud de los Cristianos debe ser de acción
de gracias durante toda nuestra vida
obispo de la Diócesis
entera –no solo en los buenos momende Austin. Es pastor
tos, sino en todas las circunstancias.
para casi 500,000
El Cristiano es quien es capaz de ser
católicos en 25
agradecido en todos los momentos de
condados en el
la vida. El dolor y el sufrimiento, los
Centro de Texas.
gozos y la felicidad que experimentaEditora: Señor Obispo, celebramos, todo puede ser llevado a Dios.
mos el Día de Acción de Gracias
Ofrecemos nuestras vidas a Dios para
en unas cuantas semanas. ¿Cómo
que Él pueda transformarlas. Esto es
podemos convertirlo más en un día
lo que llamamos “gracia”. Gracia es la
santo que en un día de Àesta?
habilidad de dejar a Dios tocar nuestras
Obispo Vásquez: El Día de
vidas y transformarlas mucho más de lo
Acción de Gracias es un día de Àesta
que hemos anticipado o esperado.
nacional maravilloso. Y claro, en este
Todos hemos conocido gente que
día, recordamos aquel primer Día de
sufre con situaciones dolorosas, tales
Acción de Gracias de los peregrinos
como enfermedades o la pérdida de
que vinieron a este país buscando un
un ser amado, y aún así son capaces de
nuevo comienzo y una nueva vida por
continuar viendo la mano de Dios en
que querían la libertad de dar culto a
sus vidas. Estamos llamados a permitir
Dios a su manera. Ese primer Día de
que la mano de Dios toque todas las
Acción de Gracias fue una expresión
áreas de nuestras vidas, las buenas y las
de gratitud a Dios por las bendiciones
malas, de manera que su gracia nos
de los frutos de la tierra, los cuales los
pueda transformar y hacernos más
peregrinos cosecharon con la ayuda
como su hijo, Jesucristo.
de los nativos americanos. Las familias
Editora: Díganos cómo usted, en
tradicionalmente se reúnen, y como
lo personal, ora en el Día de Acción
dice el viejo dicho, muchas viajan de
de Gracias.
regreso a la casa de la abuela. Vemos
Obispo Vásquez: Para mí, la
a familiares que no hemos visto en
Eucaristía es la principal manera de dar
mucho tiempo. El Día de Acción de
gracias. Por los últimos años, he viajado
Gracias nos juntamos para recordar
a casa para estar con mi familia –mi
nuestras historia y nuestras raíces y dapadre, hermanos y hermanas. Todos nos
mos gracias a Dios. ¡Juntarnos como fa- juntamos y compartimos un alimento.
milia y con amigos es algo bueno! Estos Nosotros, claro, comemos mucho y nos
encuentros también se convierten en
reímos, hablamos y nos sentamos a ver
momentos sagrados cuando incluimos
los partidos de futbol – americano - y a
a Dios, la oración y el culto. Espero que disfrutar del recalentado. Pero lo primuchas personas tomen la oportunidad mero que hago antes de tomar camino e
de dar gracias a Dios por sus bendicio- ir a ver a mi familia es celebrar la Eucarines. Podemos hacer de este día de Àesta stía en mi capilla y tomo la oportunidad
más un día santo al darnos cuenta de
de orar de manera de que el día comienque somos bendecidos y responder con za dando gracias a Dios. Doy gracias
a Dios por el día, especialmente por el
Editora: Estamos llamados a
mayor regalo de todos, Jesucristo.
la oración en el Día de Acción de
Para el momento en que viajo para
Gracias pero a veces las ocupacioestar con mi familia, ellos ya han ido a
nes de la vida se nos atraviesan. Nos Misa y están ocupados preparando la
despiden del trabajo, el automóvil
comida. En mi familia, rezamos juntos
se descompone, los niños se enferpara la bendición de los alimentos. Mi
man. ¿Cómo damos gracias incluso padre ofrece la oración por que él es
cuando la vida es difícil?
Obispo Vásquez: Debemos, primero, darnos cuenta de que la vida en
sí misma es un don. No nos creamos
a nosotros mismos, Dios nos creó a
través del amor de nuestros padres. Somos creados a imagen y semejanza de
Dios, pero somos creados de manera
que podamos continuar obteniendo
la perfección a través de la persona de
Jesucristo. Por lo tanto, nos damos
cuenta de que en la vida hay bueno y
malo y que todos nosotros, alguna vez,
pasamos diÀcultades.
Como San Pablo dice en su carta
a los Tesalonicenses, “Regocíjense
siempre. Oren sin cesar. En todas las
circunstancias den las gracias, por que
es ésta la voluntad de Dios para ustedes
en Cristo Jesús”.
VÁSQUEZ es el quinto
quien ha estado ahí para guiarnos en
la vida y enseñarnos la diferencia entre
lo bueno y lo malo. Por lo tanto, él es
quien eleva nuestra oraciones a Dios
como una. Este es un momento maravilloso; ver a mi padre orando con todos nosotros a su alrededor –hermanos,
hermanas, sobrinos, sobrinas y amigos,
y saber que todos somos parte de una
familia y que tenemos esta tradición
de nuestra fe, la cual es tan central y
esencial para nosotros.
Editora: Explíquenos cómo la
Eucaristía es la mejor acción de
Obispo Vásquez: La palabra
“Thanksgiving” (acción de gracias, en
inglés) viene de esta palabra “eucaristía”, la cual es una palabra griega para
dar gracias. La acción de gracias es una
manera de vivir, no solo un día del año
o un cierto evento, sino un continuo
acto de dar las gracias. Si hay algún
grupo de gente que entiende lo que es
dar las gracias, son los Católicos. El
centro de quienes somos como Católicos es la celebración de la Eucaristía. El
Beato Juan Pablo II dijo muy claramente que la iglesia vive de la Eucaristía
y la Eucaristía da vida a la iglesia.
En su encíclica “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”, el Beato Juan Pablo II escribió,
“La Misa hace presente el sacriÀcio de la
cruz; no agrega al sacriÀcio ni lo multiplica. Lo que se repite es su celebración
memorial, su “conmemoración representativa,” la cual hace al sacriÀcio de Cristo
uno, el sacriÀcio redentor deÀnitivo,
siempre presente en el tiempo”.
En la celebración de la Eucaristía,
damos gracias por el gran acto salvador de Jesucristo. Antes de su propia
muerte, Cristo tomó pan, lo bendijo,
lo partió y dijo “Éste es mi cuerpo”. Y
tomó una copa de vino y dijo, “ Ésta es
mi sangre”. Jesús se vació a sí mismo
por toda la humanidad y para salvarnos de nuestros pecados. La Misa es la
celebración del perpetuo amor de Dios
en el regalo de su hijo a nosotros.
Editora: También, al Ànal de
Noviembre cerramos el Año de la
Fe. ¿Cómo ha sido este año para
nosotros como Católicos?
Obispo Vásquez: El Año de la
Fe ha sido una bendición para toda la
iglesia. Nuestro Papa Emérito, Benedicto XVI comenzó el Año de la Fe
pidiéndonos que reaviváramos nuestra
fe Católica. Él nos invitó a sumergirnos
en la fe y a apreciar más quiénes somos
como Católicos y a nuestro amor por
Cristo y por su iglesia.
Esta revitalización nos ayuda a convertirnos en Àeles testigos y nos ayuda
a hablar de Cristo a otros y a compartir
los actos de amor y misericordia que
hemos recibido de nuestro Salvador.
Esta apreciación más profunda de nuestra fe se reÁeja en cómo vivimos, cómo
tratamos a nuestra familia y a nuestros
compañeros de trabajo, cómo tratamos
a los pobres y cómo nos amamos unos
a otros. No podemos mantener nuestra
fe contenida y bajo llave o separada de
otras partes de nuestras vidas.
A lo largo de la diócesis, he visto
gente vivir su fe de maneras vibrantes.
He estado impresionado, especialmente
con nuestra gente joven en la cual hay
un hambre de fe y un deseo de hacer
una diferencia. El Papa Francisco ha
también animado a la gente a comenzar
a examinar su fe. Él nos ha llamado de
vuelta a los básicos de la Cristiandad. Él
nos llama a una vida más simple, a ser
más consciente de los pobres y a ver a
Cristo en ellos.
Mientras que el Año de la Fe se
acerca a su conclusión durante la
festividad de Cristo Rey, creo que los
frutos de este año continuarán siendo
Editora: ¿Cuál es su oración de
acción de gracias para este mes y el
resto del año?
Obispo Vásquez: Oro por que
podamos vernos a nosotros mismos
como verdaderamente bendecidos por
Dios. Que expresemos con corazones
agradecidos las bendiciones que Dios
nos ha dado. Que mantengamos en
mente nuestras muchas bendiciones, que compartamos con aquellos
a nuestro alrededor nuestra comida,
tiempo, valores, presencia y amor.
AYUDAN a hacer pies
(pays) justo antes del Día
de Acción de Gracias del
Año pasado. Los pies fueron donados a un albergue
local y a un comedor. (CNS
foto por Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)
November 2013
La perspectiva de las vocaciones es buena;
más trabajo necesita ser realizado
El Padre Brian McMaster,
Director de la OÀcina de Vocaciones de la Diócesis de Austin,
sabe que es bendecido de servir
en el Centro de Texas, donde la
fe Católica es creciente y vibrante. De cualquier manera, con su
bendición viene la responsabilidad compartida por todos los
Católicos –ayudar a hombres y
mujeres a escuchar y responder
al llamado de Dios al sacerdocio
y la vida religiosa.
Actualmente, la diócesis
tiene 50 hombres y mujeres en
formación para órdenes religiosas, y 40 hombres quienes están
preparándose para convertirse
en sacerdotes diocesanos. La
formación de estos seminaristas
diocesanos usualmente toma
entre siete y nueve años. Las
buenas noticias, explicadas por
el Padre McMaster, es que las
ordenaciones al sacerdocio están
alrededor del mismo número
de sacerdotes que se retiran. De
cualquier manera, la población
Católica crece, lo que signiÀca
que el mismo número de sacerdotes sirve a un mayor número
de Àeles.
La mayoría de los seminaristas se encuentran atendiendo
uno de cinco seminarios, mientras que muchos son asignados
a parroquias para un año de
servicio pastoral.
“Hemos notado que cada
joven tiene un set de dones
distintos y un grupo de necesidades diferentes. Creemos que
podemos maximizar sus dones
enviándolos a distintos seminarios,” dijo el Padre McMaster.
También dijo que los hombres
eran de alta “calidad”. Son maduros, conocen su fe y tienen una
vida activa de oración. Además,
tienen un perspicaz sentido de
discernimiento, lo que es, la
habilidad de escuchar la voz de
Dios a través de la oración y
dentro de las circunstancias de
sus vidas. Para el futuro, el Padre
McMaster encuentra alentador
que más hombres jóvenes están
comenzando a considerar y a
discernir una vocación durante
sus años de preparatoria. De la
misma manera, muchos en sus
años de universidad, después
de los mismos e inclusive en sus
treintas y cuarentas están abiertos al llamado de Dios.
La iglesia universal también
se beneÀcia de las vocaciones
religiosas que vienen de nuestra
diócesis. La mayoría de hombres
y mujeres de nuestras parroquias
40 SEMINARISTAS estudiando
para ser sacerdotes
de la Diócesis de
Austin. Pósters
con las fotos de los
mismos han sido
distribuidos a
parroquias. (Póster
por Cathy King)
están en formación para órdenes
religiosas para convertirse en
sacerdotes, hermanos y hermanas que servirán a Dios y a su
pueblo en otras partes del estado, país e inclusive del mundo.
Además, con tantos colegios y universidades dentro de
los límites de la diócesis, los
programas del ministerio universitario están teniendo un
efecto positivo al promover las
vocaciones. Estos programas
sirven las necesidades especiales
de estudiantes universitarios de
todo el país durante un tiempo
en el que toman decisiones que
afectan el resto de sus vidas. Por
ejemplo, St. Mary Catholic Center en la Universidad de Texas
A&M tiene una reputación
nacional de proveer un ambiente
en el que los estudiantes pueden
escuchar el llamado de Dios y
responder con un entusiasta
“sí”. Este otoño, 14 antiguos estudiantes entraron al seminario
o comenzaron su formación
en distintas órdenes religiosas,
la mayoría fuera de la diócesis.
La diócesis también está viendo
un incremento del interés en las
vocaciones en estudiantes de la
Universidad de Texas, Texas
State University, Baylor y St.
Edward’s University.
Mientras que la Diócesis de
Austin no sufre en la actualidad
de un gran déÀcit de sacerdotes
como algunas partes del país, la
cultura de las vocaciones debe
continuar siendo fomentada.
Mientras la población Católica
crece, aún más sacerdotes son
necesitados. Además, el número
de mujeres entrando a la vida
religiosa es mucho menor que el
total de hombres en formación
para el sacerdocio diocesano o
entrando a órdenes religiosas.
En lo que respecta a vocaciones religiosas femeninas,
el Padre McMaster ve algunos
puntos de luz. Las Dominican
Sisters of Mary Mother of the
Eucharist es una creciente orden
que incluye muchas hermanas
Ellas acaban de terminar un
convento en Georgetown. Él
espera que su visible testimonio
en el gozo de la vida religiosa,
anime a otras mujeres jóvenes
a considerar si Dios las está llamando. También en el St. Mary
Catholic Center, las Apostles of
the Interior Life Sisters proveen
dirección espiritual a estudiantes. A través de su ministerio,
mujeres jóvenes se encuentran
activamente discerniendo si
Dios las está llamando a la vida
religiosa. Muchas otras comunidades religiosas en la Diócesis
de Austin están también compartiendo su testimonio de fe
con nuestras hijas e hijos, dijo
el Padre McMaster.
Durante el siguiente año
litúrgico, a lo largo de la diócesis, el enfoque se concentrará
en invitar a hombres y mujeres
a considerar el sacerdocio o la
vida religiosa. El Padre McMaster explicó que las relaciones
son clave para fomentar las
vocaciones. Pastores, ministros
juveniles, maestros, líderes pa-
rroquiales, padres y compañeros
parroquianos ampliÀcan la voz
de Dios a hombres y mujeres
jóvenes más aún que cualquier
póster sobre vocaciones.
Los sacerdotes, por supuesto, tienen un rol vital. El Padre
McMaster dijo que cada pastor
es el “director vocacional” de su
parroquia. Como recurso para
sacerdotes, el diócesis ha publicado un folleto que les da consejos prácticos y recordatorios sobre las maneras en que pueden
promover las vocaciones. Por
ejemplo, los sacerdotes pueden
orar, compartir su propia experiencia vocacional, y promover
las cenas de discernimiento diocesanas y los retiros. Junto con
los laicos, ellos pueden invitar
personalmente a hombres y
mujeres jóvenes a considerar
el sacerdocio y la vida religiosa.
“No tengan miedo de unir
su voz a la de Cristo. La mayoría de la gente joven tendrá
dudas al principio – así dudaron
personajes de la Biblia y muchos
santos. A través de su relación
con el Señor, las semillas que
fueron plantadas, crecieron,“
dijo el Padre McMaster.
Otros recursos para parroquias incluyen una guía de
“cómo hacerlo” para laicos
Católicos sobre cómo formar
un comité de vocaciones parroquial. La guía también tiene
una lista de actividades para las
vocaciones y proyectos y ofrece
una guía práctica para padres.
La base de todas las vocaciones es la oración, dijo el Pa-
dre McMaster. Podemos todos
orar por nuestros sacerdotes
y religiosas y pedir a Dios que
siga llamando trabajadores a la
cosecha. Santa Teresa de Lisieux es la santa patrona de las
vocaciones y los misioneros por
que ella oró por ellos fervientemente. A través de la Sociedad
Vocacional Santa Teresa, los
Àeles están invitados a unirse a
sus plegarias. La sociedad fue
probada primeramente en la
Diócesis de Arlington, Va., y
está ahora establecida en nuestra
diócesis. El compromiso de la
membresía es simple, y se centra
en orar y ofrecer el sufrimiento
por las vocaciones, sacerdotes y
Para niños de primaria,
existe la Sociedad Junior, la cual
es un gran recurso para preparar
a niños para su Primera Sagrada Comunión. Muchos sacerdotes y religiosas han reportado
que ellos oyen sobre Dios por
primera vez durante ese tiempo
en sus vidas. Después de recibir
la comunión, los niños se comprometen a rezar por sacerdotes
y religiosos y a pedir a Jesús que
los ayude a ellos y a sus compañeros a descubrir la voluntad de
Dios para sus vidas.
Información sobre la sociedad y los recursos parroquiales para las vocaciones están disponibles a través de las
oficinas parroquiales y de la
Oficina de Vocaciones. Para
mayor información, visite
www.austinvocations.com o
llame al (512) 949-2430.
Agencias ayudan a personas a navegar la Ley
de Asistencia Asequible
Antes de que se abriera el
registro el 1 de octubre bajo la
Ley de Asistencia Asequible,
Andrea García, de Buda, entró
en línea para investigar sus
Basado en un estudio preliminar que hizo en el mercado de los seguros de salud,
obtener un seguro de salud
será mucho más asequible
bajo la Ley de Asistencia Asequible (ACA, por sus siglas en
“Tengo esperanza de que
Obamacare será mejor para
personas de bajos ingresos,”
dijo García. “Aún si pagamos
$300 o $400 al mes, todavía
caliÀcaríamos por nuestro ingreso. Si podemos obtener
un subsidio o reembolso, eso
sería realmente bueno”.
Por problemas con el intercambio federal – la única
opción para los texanos- la
gente no se ha registrado para
recibir cobertura de seguro
todavía. El período abierto
para el registro continúa hasta
Marzo 31 de 2014. Aquellos
registrados para el 15 de
diciembre pueden comenzar a
tener cobertura el 1 de enero,
el día que la ACA entra en
efecto. Aquellos americanos
que en la actualidad no tienen
seguro y no se registren con la
ACA para el 1 de enero se enfrentarán a una multa federal.
Inmigrantes indocumentados
no caliÀcan para la ACA.
García es del tipo de persona que grupos sin Ànes de
lucro tales como Enroll America están tratando de alcanzar y ayudar. Enroll America
pidió a la Diócesis de Austin
ayudar a difundir el tiempo de
registro, dijo Barbara Budde,
directora diocesana de Asuntos Sociales.
“Aunque que los obispos
se oponen vigorosamente al
mandato que forza a las compañías de seguros a ofrecer
control de la natalidad, ellos
quieren que la gente tenga seguro de salud,” dijo. “Hay una
opción a cada nivel de cobertura que no ofrece el aborto,
así que, los Católicos pueden
tomar decisiones en buena
consciencia”. La ACA ofrece
tres niveles de cobertura.
“Es importante que la
gente disponga de cobertura
de seguros de salud,” dijo.
“No queremos que la gente
se quede sin esta oportunidad.
Ciertamente queremos que
Católicos de bajos ingresos
sepan que son elegibles para
créditos fiscales. No queremos que ignoren esta ley o las
oportunidades que la ley les da
de obtener un seguro para sus
García tiene 61 años y es
muy joven para Medicare. Su
esposo cumple 65 en abril y
será elegible para Medicare. Él
cuenta ahora con cobertura a
través de su trabajo.
Ella tiene el colesterol alto
y la presión arterial alta y ha
estado en Texas Health Insurance Pool por dos años. Este
consorcio es para gente con
condiciones médicas previas
que no pueden obtener seguros de salud en ninguna otra
parte. El consorcio terminará
con la implementación de la
Ley de la Asistencia Asequible
el día primero de enero.
Previamente, García estuvo en COBRA por 18 meses
después de que dejó de trabajar. La Ley Ómnibus Consolidada de Reconciliación Presupuestaria de 1985 requiere a
planes grupales de la salud a
ofrecer continuación agregada
del cuidado de la salud. Esas
primas son pagadas directamente del bolsillo del asegurado.
“Estaba pagando $698
dólares al mes en COBRA,”
dijo García. “Cuando eso se
acabó, nadie más quería encargarse de mí. Mi única opción
fue Texas Pool”.
Bajo Texas Pool, ella
se encuentra pagando $538
dólares al mes, pero su deducible es $7,200 dólares.
Cuando entró en línea para
investigar sobre la ACA, una
compañía de seguros le dió
un estimado de $400 dólares
en primas mensuales con un
deducible de $2,000.
“No cubre enfermedades
del corazón o cáncer, así que
necesitaré un suplemento de
cerca de $110 dólares extra,“
dijo “Aún así es $200 dólares
más barato que ahora”.
El Lone Star Circle of Care
es una de las organizaciones
sin Ànes de lucro esparciendo
la voz y ayudando a la gente a
ver si caliÀca.
También ayudan a la gente
a apuntarse para Medicaid o
el Children’s Health Insurance Program (el Programa de
Seguros para la Salud de los
Niños), dijo Mónica Crowley,
Directora de Política y Comunicación Estratégica para
el Lone Star Circle of Care, el
cual tiene clínicas en Austin,
Cedar Park, Harker Heights,
Georgetown, Hutto, Killeen,
Round Rock y Taylor.
Raquel Luna, una consejera certiÀcada de aplicación
con el Lone Star Circle of
Care Central Texas, dijo que
gran parte de su trabajo es
explicar el proceso y los términos. Ella y otros empleados
del LCCTX (siglas en inglés
de Lone Star Circle of Care
Central Texas) tuvieron entrenamiento federal y estatal para
“No los guiaremos hacia ningún plan,” dijo. “Sólo
les damos información y las
herramientas y les ayudamos a
De acuerdo a las estadísticas, cerca del 23 por ciento
de los texanos - 4.88 millones - no tienen seguro y son
elegibles. De esos sin seguro,
50 por ciento son hispanos/
latinos y 13 por ciento son
afro-americanos. Edades de
entre 19-34 suman el 39 por
ciento de los no asegurados
y 53 por ciento son hombres.
Mimi García, director estatal de Texas Enroll America,
dijo que tienen 28 miembros
de personal en Texas entrenando a grupos y organizaciones sobre cómo navegar el
sitio web para que pueden
registrar clientes.
“Estamos trabajando con
una variedad de grupos a lo
largo del área – iglesias locales,
bancos de alimentos ... Central
Health y otros grupos para dar
a conocer la información,“ dijo.
Ya que cada quien tiene diversas
necesidades – los ancianos no
necesitan cuidado de maternidad pero necesitan cobertura
de prescripciones, por ejemplo
– los voluntarios necesitan estar
entrenado sobre cómo navegar
el sistema.
“Hay diferentes planes que
pueden ajustarse a su presupuesto,“ dijo. “Si están enfermos ahora y no pueden pagar
más. Necesitamos entrenar a
nuestros voluntarios para que
sean capaces de hablar sobre
éstas cosas, para que puedan
contestar preguntas que puedan presentarse”.
Para obtener ayuda para
registrarse, llame a Lone Star
Circle of Care Central Texas al
1-877-800-5722 o visite www.
lscctx.org. La ayuda está también disponible a través de
la línea de ayuda nacional en
el 1-800-318-2596 o en www.
healthcare.gov. En Austin, los
residentes del área pueden llamar al 211, donde las llamadas
serán re-dirigidas a la clínica
más cercana para registrarse.
Más de 500 mártires de la Guerra Civil en España se
acercan más a la santidad
Un funcionario del
Vaticano movió más de
500 mártires de la Guerra
Civil Española más cerca
a la santidad durante una
Misa especial de beatificación en Tarragona, la arquidiócesis que más sufrió
bajo “el Terror Rojo”.
Un estimado de 20,000
personas de toda España,
así como pequeños contingentes de Portugal y Francia,
asistieron el 13 de octubre
a una Misa especial al aire
libre celebrando la beatificación de 522 miembros de
órdenes religiosas católicas
y laicos.
El cardenal Ángelo Amato,
prefecto de la Congregación
Para las Causas de los Santos,
celebró la Misa. El arzobispo
Jaume Pujol Balcells de Tarragona y el cardenal Antonio
Rouco Varela de Madrid concelebraron.
La ceremonia se celebró
en Tarragona porque casi
150 personas, incluyendo el
obispo auxiliar Manuel Borrás Ferré y 66 sacerdotes
diocesanos, fueron asesinados
allí durante la guerra. Muchos
de los que asistieron a la Misa
no tienen conexión directa
con los que estaban siendo
“Esta es una ocasión muy
especial en la historia de la
iglesia de España”, dijo Josep María Ibáñez, de 49 años,
residente de Sitges. “Si uno es
católico, es importante estar
aquí para mostrar su apoyo a
la iglesia y a los que murieron
por su credo”.
El altar fue montado en un
masivo escenario en el complejo educativo de Tarragona,
no lejos de las instalaciones
portuarias de la ciudad. En
un mensaje televisado, el papa
Francisco instó a los presentes a unirse “de corazón” a
la celebración de proclamar a
los mártires beatificados. El
papa dijo que esos mártires
fueron “cristianos ganados
por Cristo, discípulos que han
comprendido plenamente el
camino hacia ese ‘amar hasta
el límite extremo’ que llevó a
Jesús a la cruz”.
Él señaló que los papas
siempre le dicen a la gente:
“Imiten a los mártires”.
“Siempre es necesario
morir un poco para poder
salir de nosotros mismos, para
dejar atrás nuestro egoísmo,
nuestra comodidad, nuestra
pereza, nuestra tristeza y para
abrirnos a Dios y a los demás,
especialmente a aquellos que
están en mayor necesidad”,
él dijo.
España se encontraba en
un estado de caos durante la
mayor parte de la década de
1930, comenzando con el exilio del rey Alfonso XIII en
1931. Los izquierdistas anticatólicos, comunistas y anarquistas eran prominentes en
el gobierno y comenzaron una
ola de terror quemando iglesias en Madrid y Andalucía. A
esto le siguieron los asesinatos
de 37 sacerdotes, hermanos
y seminaristas en el pequeño
pueblo minero en Asturias
en 1934. Cuando las fuerzas
nacionalistas intentaron tomar control del país, la guerra
civil continuó hasta 1939, resultando en las muertes de
cientos de miles de personas
en ambos bandos, incluyendo
miles de miembros del clero
November 2013
Ministerio ayuda a personas a superar su pasado
Fue doloroso ver a Amber
removerse un tatuaje del cuello.
Primero, la enfermera Jennie Kunkel aplicó un anestésico
tópico en spray, el cual facilitó
lo que vino después: Kunkel
inyectó otro anestésico justo
abajo de la piel alrededor de las
líneas restantes de un tatuaje
que se desvanecía. Amber hizo
una mueca de dolor y clavó sus
uñas en la palma de su mano
izquierda. Con su mano derecha
se agarró de la mano izquierda
de su esposo mientras empujaba
a su hijita en su carreola con la
mano derecha.
La inyección hizo que el
siguiente paso fuera soportable – la asistente de enfermería
certiÀcada Jan Arensman usó
una máquina de mano de rayos
infrarrojos para borrar la tinta en
los tatuajes y que causa que los
tatuajes se desvanezcan en unas
cuantas semanas. Un sonido la
“Es sólo un cabello,” Arensman aseguró a Amber mientras
continuaba el proceso.
Amber espera que este sea el
ultimo tratamiento que necesita. Remover un tatuaje lleva
muchos tratamientos por que
sólo un área del tamaño de un
juego de cargas puede ser hecho
a la vez. Los tratamientos han
valido la pena para Amber para
separarse de su vida previa y
las “estúpidas decisiones” que
alguna vez tomó, dijo.
Después de que le dieran un
vendaje compresivo e instrucciones para su cuidado, Amber
sale por la puerta, esperando
ésta sea su última visita.
Kunke y Jan Arensman,
Junto con Julie Arensman y
la fundadora Jeanne Arensman, son parte de St. Dismas
Tattoo Removal Minsitry en
Mart. Kunkel es una parroquiana de la Parroquia de St. Louis
en Waco, Julie Arensman es una
parroquiana de la Parroquia de
St. Joseph en Elk, y Jan Arensman y Jeanne Arensman –madre
de Jan y Julie- son parroquianas
de la Parroquia de St. Mary en
El ministerio, nombrado así
por el ladrón cruciÀcado junto a
Jesús que pidió perdón, ofrece
el servicio gratuitamente. Dermatólogos cobran hasta $100
dólares por pulgada cuadrada
por sesión para remover un tatuaje. Los miembros del ministerio han recibido entrenamiento
y pagan solo por los suministros
médicos y las medicinas usadas.
Ellos llevan su ministerio
al cercano Departamento de
Justicia Juvenil de Texas en
Gatesville el Segundo sábado
del mes para dar a jóvenes la
opción de deshacerse de tatuajes
de banda antes de ser puestos
en libertad. Si conservan sus
tatuajes, están en riesgo de ser
“reclamados” por las bandas en
sus vecindarios.
El primer sábado de cada
mes, ofrecen el servicio de
remover tatuajes en St. Peter
Catholic Center en la Universidad de Baylor, para adultos
que han adquirido tatuajes en
prisión y quieren un nuevo comienzo. Cada tatuaje requiere
muchos tratamientos y deja un
área descolorida que es sensible
a la luz del sol. Lleva más tiempo
remover de la piel tintas tales
como la roja y la amarilla.
Rob, 39, es uno de esos
adultos que decidieron deshacerse de algo de tinta después
de salir de la prisión federal.
Originario de Waco, ha estado
fuera de prisión por cinco años
después de servir más de seis
años de una sentencia de ocho
Fue un tatuaje en su pecho
con dos corazones juntos con
su nombre y el de su primera
esposa lo que lo trajo a St. Peter
Catholic Center bajo la insistencia de su actual esposa con
quien se casó al dejar la prisión.
Le tomó cinco tratamientos
deshacerse de los nombres en
los corazones, los cuales permanecen.
“Me tatué por que era una
manera de mantenerla conmigo
y mantener mi matrimonio andando,” dijo “no estoy gloriÀcando lo que hice, ni recomendando lo que hice”.
Él fácilmente pudo haber
contraído hepatitis o SIDA,
una realidad de los tatuajes
de prisión, los cuales van
en contra de las reglas de la
prisión pero se hacen entre
rondas de guardias. Los
artistas tatuadores usan herramientas crudas tales como
engrapadoras o seguros y tinta
de plumas o cartuchos de impresoras que ellos roban. Los
artistas tatuadores son pagados con objetos de la comisaría.
Rob tiene un segundo tatuaje en su biceps izquierdo
que cuenta la vida en prisión.
Hay una torre y una guardia
signiÀcando la constante vigilancia; un reloj con una cadena, un símbolo del tiempo que
están encarcelados; un calendario, un símbolo del tiempo
transcurrido tras las rejas; una
mascara triste y una máscara
feliz; un alambre de púas, que
rodea a todas las prisiones.
Este tatuaje se quedará. To-
LA ASISTENTE CERTIFICADA DE ENFERMERÍA Jan Arensman, usa una máquina infrarroja de mano para borrar la tinta en un tatuaje en el cuello de una mujer joven. Arensman
es uno de los miembros del Ministerio de St. Dismas Tattoo Removal, el cual remueve tatuajes gratuitamente de aquellos que han estado en prisión. (Foto por Enedelia J. Obregón)
maría más tiempo y puede ser
cubierto con la manga de la
camisa, de manera que no sea
visible en el trabajo, lo cual lo
pone en ventaja con la mayoría
de los que una vez estuvieron
“Voy en una mejor dirección
de en la que iba anteriormente”
dijo. “Empecé como mesero y
ahora soy gerente”.
El hijo menor del dueño del
restaurante era su mejor amigo
y le dieron una segunda oportunidad. También lo hicieron
su madre y su actual esposa, con
quien se casó hace un año.
Está tratando de hacer las
cosas bien por su hijo de 15
“Él Estaba en el pre-kinder
cuando entré –a la cárcel-,” Rob
dijo. “Estaba en sexto grado
cuando salí. Me perdí todos
esos años”.
Ni su familia ni sus amigos
sabían lo que estaba haciendo
y estaban sorprendidos cuando
fue arrestado a los 24 años.
“Me apoyaron con cartas y
llamadas telefónicas,”dijo. Los
amigos de sus padres le dijeron
que tendría un trabajo cuando
“No sé lo que haría sin un
trabajo,”dijo Rob, quien aprendió jardinería y cómo poner
concreto en prisión. “Si tuviera
que, trabajaría en dos o tres
Él atiende la iglesia y ha
permanecido limpio y no está
más en libertad condicional.
Son las historias de éxito
como la de Rob las que animan
a los miembros del ministerio
de St. Dismas. El ministerio
fundado hace seis años este
mes, fue iniciado por la tragedia
de un hombre joven que conocieron cuando eran voluntarios
en el Ministerio de Prisión del
Departamento de Justicia Juvenil de Texas. Ahí lo vieron
regularmente en Misa y rezando
el Rosario.
“Era del Valle y ahí regresó,”
Jeanne Arensman dijo. “Estaba
haciendo todo bien: Tenía un
trabajo de tiempo parcial, estaba
yendo a la iglesia y tomando
clases nocturnas“.
Su madre les dijo que miembros de la banda a la que su hijo
había pertenecido habían venido a buscarlo, pidiéndole que
hiciera algo que él no deseaba
hacer y que le dijeron “tu nos
perteneces”. Cuando él se negó,
fue atropellado por un auto y
asesinado mientras caminaba a
casa desde su trabajo.
“La gente joven no se
da cuenta de que los tatuajes
de banda significan que les
perteneces,” dijo Jeanne Arensman. “Sólo hay una manera de
salirse de una banda”.
Jeanne Arensman aprendió
sobre el programa para remover tatuajes gratuitamente, comenzado por el Dr. Tobert S.
Wilkinson, un dermatólogo en
Bandera, a quien se da crédito de
haber inventado el proceso para
remover tatuajes. Ellos fueron
entrenados por él sobre cómo
usar el Coagulador Infrarrojo
“Cuando removemos tatuajes de banda, les ofrecemos
la oportunidad de empezar de
nuevo,” Kunkel dijo. La mujeres
se remueven tatuajes de áreas
visibles de manera que los tatuajes no les impidan conseguir un
trabajo o entrar a la milicia. Hay
algunas excepciones a la regla,
tales como mujeres abusadas
que son con frecuencia marcadas como si fueran ganado.
“Sus abusadores las obligan con frecuencia a tatuarse
sus nombres o hacerse otros
tatuajes,” dijo. “Eso es para
mostrar que esas mujeres les
pertenecen. Con frecuencia
tenemos trabajadores sociales
llamándonos sobre éstas cosas.
Quitarse un tatuaje las libera de
su abusador”.
Obtener Ànanciamiento para
el ministerio también ha sido
una lucha, pero Jeanne Arensman es persistente. Cuando tuvo
problemas juntando los últimos
$1,500 dólares para el sistema
infrarrojo, el cual costaba $8,200
dólares hace seis años, escribió
una carta al Arzobispo Gregory
M. Aymond, entonces obispo
de la Diócesis de Austin. Él le
envió un cheque personal por
la suma.
Aquellos que desean remover un tatuaje, pueden
escribir al ministerio y pedir
una aplicación o llamar al (254)
876-2277. Las formas le serán
enviadas por corro y deben ser
llenadas para poder ser considerados. Se requiere hacer cita y
se agendarán después de haber
recibido la aprobación. Para
hacer una donación a St. Dismas
Tattoo Removal Ministry, envíe
cheques al P.O. Box 68, Mart,
TX 76664.
Ayuda también se encuentra
disponible en el Central Texas
Tattoo Removal Project. Se requiere hacer cita. Llame al (512)
412-0788 o visite www.cttrp.org
para mayor información.
Construyendo la fe en una diócesis multicultural
“¡Necesitamos estar conscientes de nuestras diferencias, acogerlas y celebrar
nuestra fe juntos!” dijo Geri
Telepak, directora de la OÀcina de Educación y Formación
Religiosa de la Diócesis de
En la Diócesis de Austin, el equipo de Educación
y Formación Religiosa busca
ayudar a Católicos a crecer
en su fe. Su meta es educar a
los educadores: directores de
educación religiosa de parroquias y escuelas (DREs) para
adultos y niños, catequistas,
directores de RCIA y Católicos laicos sedientos de conocimiento sobre las enseñanzas
de la iglesia.
Telepak dijo que el Obispo José Vásquez ve a la educación religiosa en el corazón
del apoyo del rol de la familia
en la catequesis, así que con
ello en mente, la OÀcina de
Educación y Formación Religiosa se enfoca en la educación para adultos, tanto
como en la educación para
Phi Le, director asociado
de la Catequesis Multicultural,
comparó a un catequista con
una persona que construye
una casa, diciendo, “Deben
tener las herramientas correctas para hacer un buen trabajo
y necesitamos dar a los catequistas las herramientas apropiadas para construir su casa”.
Para lograr esto, tres niveles
de estudio para la certiÀcación
están disponibles para DREs
parroquiales y escolares y para
Junto a Telepak y a Le se
encuentran Gustavo Rodríguez, director asociado para la
Catequesis Hispana, y Carolyn
Martínez, asistente administrativa. En una diócesis sirviendo
a más de medio millón de
Católicos que hablan inglés,
español, vietnamita, coreano,
chino, francés y otras lenguas,
la oÀcina trabaja para ayudar
a satisfacer las necesidades de
educación religiosa de todos.
Se agrega a su responsabilidad la cuestión de proveer
materiales educativos para
hogares donde los niños puede que hablen inglés, mientras que los padres y abuelos
conversan en el lenguaje de su
país natal.
Para servir correctamente
a esta población diversa, esparcida a lo largo del Centro
de Texas en más de 125 parroquias, la selección de los
LOS GRUPOS CARISMÁTICOS DE ORACIÓN se juntaron el 19 de octubre para recibir clases de Formación Católica
para Adultos en la Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Austin. La o¿cina diocesana de Educación Religiosa
enseña éstas clases a parroquias a lo largo de la diócesis. (Foto por Gustavo Rodríguez)
libros de textos es vital, dijo
“No se trata sólo de traducir libros de la iglesia, sino
de capturar el espíritu de
nuestra fe Católica que es lo
importante,“ dijo.
Mientras que para algunos
ésta puede parecer una tarea
intimidante, la oÀcina de Educación y Formación Religiosa
ha acogido su misión, hablando emocionadamente sobre
encontrar materiales teológicos sólidos que sean apropia-
y enseñanzas de la iglesia sólidas,” dijo.
Además de los cursos, la
oÀcina provee de una variedad de recursos para líderes
parroquiales dedicados, tales
como el apropiado currículum
de grado, metas, selección de
libros de texto, boletines catequéticos, guías sacramentales,
y mucho más. Ellos esperan
expandir los recursos departamentales y Le y Rodríguez
van a atender una conferencia
sobre necesidades especiales
sienten que ésta es una parte
de ser comunidad,“ dijo Le.
Para ayudar a saciar esta sed
de comunidad y conocimiento,
Le ofrecerá las “Enseñanzas
Básicas de la Fe Católica,” las
cuales cubren el Credo, la Escritura, los sacramentos, moralidad, oración y espiritualidad, en
la Parroquia de Holy Vietnamese Martyrs a partir de enero.
Èl enseñará clases en ambas
lenguas, vietnamita e inglés.
Cualquier adulto Católico puede
atender estas clases.
“La Catequesis es un viaje de toda la vida. Necesitamos
experimentar nuestra fe e incrementar nuestra espiritualidad,
pero estas necesitan ser acompañadas por doctrina y
enseñanzas de la iglesia sólidas”.
–– Gustavo Rodríguez, director asociado para la Catequesis Hispana
dos para cada situación única.
Telepak disfruta enseñando y
dijo, “No estoy haciendo mi
trabajo si –solo- me siento en
mi oÀcina todos los días”.
Con las bendiciones y
el estímulo de sus pastores,
DREs y catequistas buscan las
herramientas necesarias para
construir la “casa de Dios”
con una confianza renovada
y el conocimiento adquirido
en cursos ofrecidos a lo largo
de la Diócesis de Austin. Los
tópicos enseñados incluyen la
Liturgia y Sacramentos, Multiculturalismo y Catequesis,
Oración y Espiritualidad.
Rodríguez dijo que la
gente tiene hambre de aprender más sobre la fe Católica y
los cursos ofrecidos han atraído grupos de personas más
grandes de lo anticipado.
“La Catequesis es un viaje
de toda la vida. Necesitamos
experimentar nuestra fe e
incrementar nuestra espiritualidad, pero estas necesitan
ser acompañadas por doctrina
en Houston y una conferencia ministerial en Los Ángeles
donde esperan encontrar materiales de educación religiosa
en vietnamita, coreano e inclusive en Braille.
Nuevo en la ciudad de
Austin y en la diócesis, Le
llegó hace algunos meses desde Baton Rouge, La. Él Habla
Áuidamente el inglés y el vietnamita; también se encuentra
trabajando en mejorar su español y ha estado absorbiendo
todo lo que puede sobre la
diócesis, sus parroquias y la
Una de sus primeras paradas fue visitar la Parroquia de
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs en
Austin donde observó en los
parroquianos un anhelo de
comunidad, y con una nota
de respeto en su voz, compartió una manera en que los
parroquianos han satisfecho
este anhelo. La parroquia
construyó una nueva iglesia
en 2006 y ya ha pagado su
hipoteca. “Los parroquianos
Le espera un día ofrecer
un evento multicultural que
abarque a la diócesis completa
y que incluya el compartir vestimentas tradicionales, comida
y tradiciones de fe.
Telepak compartió una experiencia personal reciente que
ocurrió mientras se encontraba
rezando el rosario en un evento.
“Estaba sentada rezando el
rosario junto a alguien que lo
rezaba en una lengua que yo no
entendía, pero aún así, el saber
lo que decían y que estábamos
rezando juntos fue algo bello
para mí. Necesitamos acoger la
etnicidad y cómo celebramos
nuestra fe,” dijo.
Telepak también dijo que
la Parroquia de St. Albert the
Great en Austin tiene muchas
nacionalidades representadas
y “ahí es donde se ven muchas personas en su atuendo de
congregación y en sus vestidos
Mientras que el equipo de
Educación y Formación Religiosa se esfuerza por proveer herra-
mientas de cualidad, ellos están
agradecidos con los incontables
voluntarios parroquiales quienes
incansablemente se aseguran de
que la fe Católica sea compartida
y vivida.
Por primera vez, la Asociación Nacional de Educación Católica (NCEA, por
sus siglas en inglés) celebrará
la Semana de la Educación
Religiosa Parroquial del 3 al
9 de noviembre. En una carta
dirigida a pastores, el Obispo
José Vásquez les agradeció a
ellos y a todos los que sirven
en educación religiosa a lo
largo de la diócesis.
“Gracias por todos sus esfuerzos para proveer una catequesis sólida a sus parroquianos…Año con año, el número
de parroquianos involucrados
en educación religiosa en la
Diócesis de Austin continúa
creciendo con una variedad
de programas que van desde
la preparación para el bautizo
de infantes, hasta la educación
religiosa de adultos. Esto es
una bendición para nuestra
diócesis y la iglesia,” escribió
el obispo en su carta.
Telepak también animó a
los Católicos a agradecer a los
sacerdotes, diáconos, DREs,
catequistas, hermanas religiosas
y hermanos y a todos aquellos
en las parroquias que ayudan
a los Católicos a aprender más
sobre su fe.
“El diálogo es importante en
nuestro viaje de fe. Necesitamos
hablar sobre nuestra fe entre
nosotros,” dijo.
Recursos sobre la Semana
de la Educación Religiosa
Parroquial pueden encontrarse
en inglés y en español en el sitio
web de la NCEA, www.ncea.
org. Para mayor información
sobre educación religiosa en
la Diócesis de Austin, llame
al (512) 949-2461 o envíe un
correo electrónico a [email protected].
November 2013
farewell to Mary
Alaniz, who has
served as the parish’s Director of
Religious Education for the last 15
years. The parish
celebrated her
dedication to the
youth and thanked
her for her hard
work and loving
attitude. (Photo
courtesy Becky
up with the
youth group of
St. John Parish
in Fayetteville
for a Matching
Grant fundraiser at the City
Wide Garage
Sale. The KJT
$400 to the youth group. (Photo courtesy Mendee Sodolak)
the diocesan Scout Mass Sept. 28 at
St. John Vianney Parish in Round Rock.
Many scouts received their religious
emblems and awards. (Photos courtesy
Mariella De Bracamonte)
SQUAD from St.
Theresa’s Catholic
School in Austin won
the middle school
championship at
Texas Quiz Bowl
Alliance’s (TQBA)
¿rst middle school
event in San Antonio. (Photo courtesy
Suzanne Leggett)
in Bryan recently gathered for a potluck
supper and speaker on religious freedom. The event was sponsored by the
Women’s Guild, Knights of Columbus
and the Ushers Club. (Photo courtesy
Larry Ermis)
THE SIXTH GRADERS from Sacred Heart School in La Grange
visited with Msgr. Harry Mazurkiewicz for his 87th birthday.
They sang songs, ate cookies
and thanked him for donating a
Smartboard to their classroom.
(Photo courtesy Wendy Becka)
Knights of Columbus had fall out for
the dedication of a
monument in memory of Deacon Ron
Woods, who died
last year. (Photo
courtesy Jeanette
RUIZ of San Francisco Javier Parish in
Austin professed his
¿rst vows on Aug. 11.
He is studying for his
master’s degree in
counseling and works
in campus ministry
at St. Rita of Cascia
High School in Chicago. (Photo courtesy
Patrick Murphy)
the Lake Parish in Lago Vista donated three wheelchairs to the Lago Vista Volunteers on Oct. 3. (Photo
courtesy Ron Smith)
Send photos by the 10th of the month to [email protected].
Austin held a Homecoming Festival and
Ministry Fair Sept.
22. The day celebrated the diverse
ministries of the parish. (Photo courtesy
Paul Juarez)
GIRLS from St. Ignatius Martyr School in
Austin hung a “Chain
Reaction.” Each link
represented an act
of kindness that a
student has performed
since Aug. 28. The
chain had 2,032 links.
(Photo courtesy Jennifer Leasure)
St. Jerome Parish
in Waco donated
$2,500 to the West
EMS. They raised
the money with
a ¿sh fry. (Photo
courtesy Dave
Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin visited the Schoensttat Shrine of Mary
for a living rosary. (Photos courtesy
Sherie Zebrowski)
IN UHLAND celebrated
Catechetical Sunday on
Sept. 15. Three catechists
received their Level II
and Level III Diocesan
Catechist Certi¿cations
and became fully certi¿ed.
(Photo courtesy Carolyn
Christopher Dolce
with the Alumni of
the Year Award at
the annual Alumni
Mass on Sept. 22.
He graduated from
St. Michael’s in 1988
and now serves on
the Board of Trustees
and Facilities Committee. (Photo courtesy Megan Gray)
THE KINDERGARTENERS and their eighth grade
buddies at St. Louis Catholic School in Austin enjoyed
Watermelon Day. (Photo courtesy Rosalie Dowling)
one of the religious leaders who
gathered Oct. 6
at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in
Austin to discuss
Reform. The
bishop said we
need to recognize
that immigrants
are “made in the image of God” and have inherent dignity and rights.
(Photo courtesy Enedelia J. Obregón)
Send photos by the 10th of the month to [email protected].
St. Gabriel’s
Catholic School
celebrated the
feast of the
Archangels Sept.
27 at St. John
Neumann Parish
in Austin. (Photo
courtesy Corinne

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