Bishop Flores speaks about common good, religious freedom

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Bishop Flores speaks about common good, religious freedom
Volume 4, Issue 5
Serving over 900,000 Catholics In The Diocese of Brownsville
»Veterans Day
Sacrifices made
Bishop begins visits to each
deanery to meet laity
Courtesy of the Guzman family
Above, Army Spc. Jose Guzman of Edinburg says goodbye to his daughter, Clarissa, before deploying to Afghanistan in January.
Below, the Guzman family in a portrait taken in October during Spc. Guzman’s Rest & Recuperation visit.
Sunday Mass
Remember the basics
military miss out
on family time
The Valley Catholic
Those Who Serve
Father Franciscus Asisi Eka
En Español
Artículos sobre afrontando
una pena y el Año de la Fe
EDINBURG — With three
days left of his 14-day Rest and
Recuperation (R&R) visit, Army
Spc. Jose Guzman tore out the
carpet and was installing new
flooring in the living room of his
Edinburg home.
Many husbands dread the
“honey-do list” but Spc. Guzman
looks forward to doing chores
(“The WORD is sent
breathing love.”)
around the house surrounded by
his family.
“Every time I come home
from a deployment, I do something to the house,” he said.
“We’ve had it for five years but
have only lived in it for about a
year-and-a-half so I’m behind on
my projects.”
“The last time that he was
here for his R&R, we painted
the kitchen,” said Rebecca Guzman, Spc. Guzman’s wife, who
is holding down the fort in Edinburg with their three children,
Clarissa, 5, Tony, 3 and Julian, 1,
while her husband is deployed in
R&R is a short leave during
» Please see Veterans, p.18
Bishop Flores speaks about
common good, religious freedom
Grace of the Gospel
best hope to promote,
defend values
The Valley Catholic
Church’s joy
more humble
today than
50 years ago:
Pope reflects
Catholic News Agency
Retreat to Starr County
November 2012
Disagreements over the last
year and a half between the
Catholic Church and the United
States government can be viewed,
said Bishop Daniel E. Flores, as
“indicative of a significant cultural
and social shift affecting the
context within which the Church
operates in the United States.”
He shared his thoughts on
“The Church and the State and
the shifting dynamics of public
secularity,” during a Steele Lecture
on Oct. 18 at Mary’s Seminary in
He spoke specifically about
the Health and Human Services
rule for implementation of
universal health care coverage,
and immigration laws passed in
particular states.
“Two vital concerns,” he said,
that emerge from the two issues,
“is the issue of the common good,
and the second is the issue of
religious freedom itself.”
Bishop Flores said, “The
» Please see Lecture, p.13
The Valley Catholic
Bishop Daniel E. Flores lectured about
controversies involving the Church
and the government surrounding the
HHS mandate and immigration policy
at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston on
Oct. 18. He shared some of his lecture
points during a talk on Oct. 21 at a
Pro-Life Dinner at St. Anthony Parish in
Harlingen. Lecture and audio available
online at cdob.org.
Benedict believes that the Catholic
Church of 2012 possesses “a more
sober and humble joy” compared
to the optimism that marked the
Second Vatican Council’s opening
50 years ago.
“Over these fifty years we
have learned and experienced
how original sin exists and is
translated, ever and anew, into
individual sins which can also
become structures of sin,” the
Pope said during a candlelit vigil
gathered in St. Peter’s Square to
mark the opening of the Year of
Faith Oct.
“We have
also always
present in
the field of
how » Please see
Peter’s net Year of Faith
also brings resources
in bad fish.”
“We have seen how human
fragility is also present in the
Church, how the ship of the
Church is also sailing against a
counter wind and is threatened
by storms; and at times we have
thought that the Lord is sleeping
and has forgotten us.”
Pope Benedict spoke from
the window of his study in scenes
deliberately reminiscent of the
opening day of Second Vatican
Council on Oct. 11 1962.
“On this day fifty years ago
I was in the square looking
up at this window where the
Good Pope, Blessed John XXIII,
appeared and addressed us with
unforgettable words, words full of
poetry and goodness, words from
the heart,” he recalled.
As a young priest, the Pope
had participated in the Second
Vatican Council as an academic
adviser to Cardinal Joseph Frings
of Cologne.
He also remembered how the
happy and enthusiastic crowds
of 1962 were certain that “a new
springtime for the Church was in
the offing.”
“Today too we are happy. We
have joy in our hearts but, I would
say, it is perhaps a more sober and
humble joy,” Pope Benedict said.
Nos reunimos
en la Misa
l mes pasado ofrecí algunas reflexiones acerca
del Año de la Fe convocado por nuestro Santo
Padre el Papa Benedicto XVI y
enfaticé que los puntos básicos
de nuestra Fe en Cristo deben de
tener un enfoque especial en la
meditación y en la apreciación.
Estos tres puntos a meditar: Dios
mismo bajo del cielo; Jesucristo,
la Palabra hecha carne, sufrió la
cruz para mostrarnos su amor;
y resucitó de la muerte para
mostrarnos el triunfo del amor y
de la bondad sobre el pecado y la
muerte. Ahora me gustaría añadir
algunas reflexiones acerca de
cómo celebramos esta fe de una
manera viva.
Exhorto a sacerdotes, diáconos, religiosos, religiosas y a todo
el cuerpo de fieles laicos a dedicar
de nuevo nuestros esfuerzos para
animar a aquellos que se hayan
alejado de la fe para que regresen
a la Eucaristía Dominical. El regalo de Dios Padre para nosotros
es Cristo Jesús, y del Padre y del
Hijo recibimos el Espíritu Santo.
En la Misa, es el mismo Espíritu
Santo quien nos hace presente a
Cristo. Él viene en el anuncio del
Evangelio y en la ofrenda del banquete sacrificial de su Cuerpo y su
Sangre. La Eucaristía Dominical
es la manera principal en la que
permanecemos en contacto con
la realidad de Cristo en el cual
creemos. ¡Qué gran regalo! Ser
capaces de escuchar el Evangelio
y de estar presentes en el sacrificio
de amor ofrecido por la pasión,
muerte y resurrección del Señor.
En la Misa estamos realmente
en la presencia del mimo Señor
Celebramos nuestra fe juntos.
Es así como lo quiso el Señor. Él
quiere que seamos una familia de
creyentes, agradecidos y ansiosos
por estar en su presencia para
escuchar su palabra y ser alimentados por su amor. Sin embargo,
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
We come together at the Sunday Mass
ast month I offered a few thoughts
about the Year of Faith called for
by Our Hoy Father Pope Benedict
XVI, and I emphasized that the
basic points of our Faith in Christ should
be a special focus of meditation and appreciation. Those three points – God Himself
came down from heaven; Jesus Christ,
the Word made flesh, suffered the Cross
to show us his love; and he rose from the
dead to show us the triumph of love and
goodness over sin and death. Now I would
like to add a few thoughts about how we
celebrate this faith in a living way.
I urge pastors and deacons and religious, and the whole body of the lay faithful to rededicate our efforts to encouraging
those who may have drifted from the faith
to return to the Sunday Eucharist. The gift
of God the Father to us is Christ Jesus, and
together from the Father and the Son we
receive the Holy Spirit. At the Mass, this
same Holy Spirit makes Christ present to
us. He comes in the announcement of the
Gospel, and he comes in the offering of
the sacrificial banquet of the Lord’s Body
and Blood. The Sunday Eucharist is the
principal way we remain in contact with
the reality of Christ, the One in whom we
believe. What a gift! To be able to hear the
Gospel, and to be present to the sacrifice
of love offered by the passion, death and
resurrection of The Lord. At the Mass
we truly are in the presence of The Lord
And we celebrate our faith together.
This is as the Lord intended. He wants us
to be a family of believers, grateful and
eager to be in his presence, to hear his
word, and to be fed by his love. We live
in a world, though, that does not truly
appreciate the gift of being together before
the Lord. We are all recipients of the same
todos nosotros vivimos en un
mundo individualista; y eso nos
puede hacer menospreciar el regalo de estar juntos frente al Señor.
Lo que nos hace ser realmente
hermanos y hermanas es que
todos nosotros somos receptores
de un mismo regalo unidos por el
amor de Dios en Cristo.
En nuestra reciente convocación de catequesis alenté a
todos los catequistas para que
animaran a todos los padres,
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan, TX 78589-3042
Telephone: 956/781-5323 • Fax: 956/784-5082
Bishop Daniel E. Flores
Brenda Nettles Riojas
Rose Ybarra
Assistant Editor
The Valley Catholic email:
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gift. And this makes us truly brothers and
sisters united in the love of God in Christ.
At our recent catechetical convocation, I urged all catechists to encourage all
the parents and the godparents, and the
children, and the adults to come to Sunday
Mass and to be a part of the community.
I encourage all the people of the Valley
as well to come together as a sign of our
love for the Lord and for each other in the
Sunday Mass. There are lots of activities in
the Church. There are lots of movement
and retreats which are important as they
give spiritual nourishment to our people,
but the place where we all come together
is Sunday Mass at the local church. We all
worship at the one altar where Christ offers himself to the Father, for us.
I especially hope that we will express
our faith in The Lord truly present by
receiving him frequently at Mass and
with great reverence. First, to receive Holy
Communion frequently, we should examine our consciences, and make sure that no
grave or mortal sins keep us from receiving The Lord worthily. This means that we
all need to be reminded during the Year of
Faith of the importance of the Sacrament
of Reconciliation, or Confession.
This Sacrament is an important part of
our growth in relationship to Christ and to
the Church. In this sacrament it is Christ
himself who forgives; it is Christ himself
abuelos, niños y adultos a asistir
a la Misa Dominical y formar
parte de la comunidad. Yo mismo
exhorto a todo el pueblo del Valle
a reunirse en la Misa Dominical como un símbolo de nuestro
amor por el Señor y de unos para
con otros. Hay muchas actividades en la Iglesia. Hay muchos
movimientos y retiros que son
importantes porque nutren espiritualmente a nuestra gente, pero el
lugar donde todos nos reunimos
es en la Misa Dominical de nuestra respectiva parroquia. Todos
ofrecemos nuestra adoración en
el altar donde Cristo se ofrece al
Padre por nosotros.
Yo particularmente espero
que todos nosotros expresemos
nuestra fe en el Señor, verdaderamente presente en la sagrada
comunión, al recibirlo frecuentemente y con gran reverencia
en la Misa. Primero, al recibir la
sagrada comunión, debemos de
examinar nuestra consciencia
y asegurarnos de que ningún
pecado grave o mortal nos impide
recibir dignamente al Señor. Esto
significa que todos debemos recordar, durante el Año de la Fe, la
importancia del sacramento de la
Reconciliación o Confesión.
who strengthens; it is Christ himself who
keeps us moving on our way. Perhaps we
do not always appreciate what a gift it is to
have access to Christ and his forgiveness
through this sacrament of Reconciliation.
By faith we know that with the grace of
true contrition in our hearts, the words
of absolution never fail to bring us the
merciful forgiveness of the Lord. Let us
never forget that the first disciples of The
Lord were drawn to him by the offer of his
merciful forgiveness. He continues to draw
us to this gift through the sacrament of
This is an important gift for us to
continue to emphasize, because the sign
of a good conscience is a conscience that
knows that we must frequently ask the
Lord for his forgiveness. We must be
humble enough to seek this from the Lord.
Finally, a good conscience leads us to
approach the Eucharist with great reverence. Let us take this year of Faith as a
time to remind ourselves of the greatness
of the gift we receive when we go to Hoy
Communion. Sometimes we can approach
the Sacrament in a routine way, without
sufficient appreciation for who it is we are
receiving. Maybe we get a little careless in
the way we receive The Lord. Whether we
receive him in the hand or on the tongue,
let us do so with deliberate and conscientious reverence. This is a great sign of our
faith in the One receive. During this year
of faith we can renew our love for the
Blessed Sacrament, and look for ways to
do him honor.
I invite each of you to renew and
strengthen your faith not just in this Year
of Faith, but every year. God bless you all.
Este sacramento nutre nuestra
vida espiritual, y promueve el
crecimiento en nuestra relación
con Cristo y con la Iglesia. En
este sacramento es el mismo
Cristo quien perdona; es Cristo
quien fortalece; es Cristo quien
nos mantiene moviéndonos
en nuestro camino. Quizás no
siempre apreciamos la grandeza
de tener el acceso a Cristo y a su
perdón a través del sacramento
de la Reconciliación. Por la fe
sabemos que con la gracia del
verdadero arrepentimiento en
nuestro corazón, junto con las
palabras de absolución ofrecidas
por el sacerdote actuando en la
persona de Cristo, nunca se falla
en recibir el perdón misericordioso del Señor. No debemos de
olvidar que los primeros discípulos del Señor fueron atraídos
hacia él por el ofrecimiento de
su perdón misericordioso. Él
continúa atrayéndonos hacia este
regalo a través del sacramento de
la Reconciliación.
Es preciso para nosotros
seguir enfatizando la gracia de
la reconciliación porque la señal
de una buena conciencia es el
darse cuenta uno de que debe
pedir frecuentemente el perdón
Bishop Flores’ Schedule
Nov. 2
6 p.m.
San Juan Nursing Home
Memorial Mass
Nov. 3
6:30 p.m. Juan Diego Academy
Juan Diego Academy Gala
Nov. 8
10 a.m. Juan Diego Academy
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Juan Diego Academy
Nov. 8
6 p.m.
Our Lady of Sorrows, McAllen
McAllen-Edinburg Deanery–Parish Listening Sessions
al Señor. Debemos de ser lo
suficientemente humildes para
buscar el perdón del Señor. Y la
humildad es seña viva de la gracia
en el alma.
Finalmente, una buena
conciencia nos lleva a acercarnos
a la Eucaristía con gran reverencia. Tomemos este Año de la Fe
como un tiempo para recordar la
grandeza del regalo que recibimos cuando nos acercamos a la
sagrada comunión. Algunas veces
podemos acercarnos a recibir la
sagrada comunión de manera
rutinaria y sin suficiente apreciación de lo que recibimos. A lo
mejor nos volvemos algo descuidados en la manera de recibir al
Señor. Ya sea que lo recibamos en
la mano o en la boca, hagámoslo
de manera consiente y con gran
reverencia. Esto es un gran signo
de nuestra fe en aquel a quien
estamos recibiendo. Durante este
Año de la Fe podemos renovar
nuestro amor por el Santísimo
Sacramento y buscar maneras
para brindarle honor.
Invito a cada uno de ustedes a
renovar y fortalecer su fe no únicamente en este Año de la Fe sino
cada año. Que Dios los bendiga.
Nov. 20
9 a.m.
St. Joseph Academy, Brownsville
Mass for November Diocesan Teacher In Service
Nov. 19
6 p.m.
Queen of Peace, Harlingen
Harlingen Deanery–Deanery/Parish Listening Sessions
Nov. 24
7:30 p.m.
State Farm Arena
Viper’s Game-Talk at Half Time
Nov. 25
St. Theresa, San Benito
Mass - Fr. Sam Arizpe’s 25th Priestly Anniversary
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
Listening to the faithful
“Animo” says Bishop
Flores, encourages
participation in
the Church
Council elects
new chairman
The Valley Catholic
The Valley Catholic
PHARR – Some 500 people
participated in a listening session on Oct. 11 with Bishop Daniel E. Flores at St. Anne Parish in
Pharr. This is the first in a series of
eight sessions scheduled in each
deanery throughout the Diocese
of Brownsville this fall and next
spring. Questions varied from topics of catechesis, liturgy, vocations,
construction and finances.
Bishop Flores is inviting the
faithful to ask questions and share
their hopes and dreams for the
future of the Church in the Rio
Terry De Leon/ The Valley Catholic
Grande Valley. The November sesBishop
their questions
sions are scheduled for the McAllen-Edinburg Deanery from 6 to in an open forum at St. Anne’s Church in Pharr. Feedback from the sessions will be used to help develop a pastoral plan or
8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 at Our plan of action for the diocese.
Lady of Sorrows Church in McAlLISTENING SESSIONS
len and for the Harlingen Deanery
from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov.
19 at Queen of Peace Church in
McAllen-Edinburg Deanery
TIME: 6 to 8 p.m.
The Diocese of Brownsville is
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 8
divided into eight geographical
WHERE: Our Lady of Sorrows
areas called deaneries (a group of
Church in McAllen
During the Oct. 11 session,
Bishop Flores emphasized, “EvHarlingen Deanery
erybody has a gift to offer the
TIME: 6 to 8 p.m.
Church, and to offer that gift with
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 19
generosity because it does make a
WHERE: Queen of Peace
difference.” He encouraged people
Church in Harlingen.
to continue to participate, and encouraged more participation in the
To hear audio excerpts from
work of the Church, “especially as
the listening session visit www.
his preoccupations. He noted two
He said the diocese has the
we plan for the future,” he said.
Bishop Flores called the lay
people the “backbone of the parishes.” “We all have something to hood so that more churches may are archdioceses.
who is coordinating the sessions,
be opened.
The second priority is develop- said the information shared by
“We have to have priests for the ing a strategic plan for allocating parishioners will be used to help
Prior to taking questions from
to serve what is now about resources in each deanery.
the audience, Bishop Flores pointdevelop a pastoral plan or plan of
Catholics in the DioDeacon Luis Zuniga, director action for the diocese.
ed to the growth of the Catholic
of the Office for Pastoral Planning
Church in the diocese as one of cese of Brownsville.”
Msgr. Juan Nicolau was elected chairman of the Diocese of
Brownsville Presbyteral Council
and Father Felix Cazares as vice
chair. Father Richard Lifrak was
elected secretary treasurer.
The Presbyteral Council is a
diverse body of priests who assist the bishop in an consultative
capacity in governing the diocese.
Through prayer and reflection,
the council collaborates with the
bishop to give voice to the concerns and aspirations of the community
Council members are representative of all priests in the diocese and include priests elected by
fellow priests, priests included by
virtue of the offices they hold (ex
officio) and priests appointed by
the bishop.
Presbyteral Council Members:
Very Rev. Ariel Oliver Angel, JCL
Rev. Miguel Angel Ortega
Rev. Mario Castro
Rev. Richard Lifrak, SS.CC.
Rev. Msgr. Juan Nicolau, Ph.D., STL
Rev. William T. Penderghest, SS.CC.
Rev. Marco A. Reynoso
Rev. Oscar O. Siordia
Rev. Felix A Cazares
Rev. Aglayde R. Vega
Ex-Officio Members:
Rev. Msgr. Heberto M. Diaz, Jr., V.G.
Rev. Alfonso M. Guevara, V.G.
Rev. Jorge A. Gomez
The 1983 Code of Canon Law
mandates that presbyteral councils exist in each diocese “to aid
the bishop in the governance of
the diocese according to the norm
of the law, in order that the pastoral welfare of the portion of the
people of God entrusted to him
may be promoted as effectively as
Coping with grief during the holidays
Experts offer advice,
support groups for
the bereaved
The Valley Catholic
The holidays, particularly the
first ones after the death of a loved
one, are especially difficult for a
person who is grieving. Facing that
first Thanksgiving and Christmas
with an empty place at the table
evokes excruciating sadness and
many other emotions, said Fina
Suarez, whose son, Eddie, died in
2001 at the age of 20.
“I remember the first Thanksgiving without our son,” said Suarez, who serves as director of
pastoral care at San Juan Nursing
Home, which operates under the
guidance of the diocese. “We were
sad because we don’t have what we
had before – our son is missing.
That day, my husband said, ‘how
can I tell God, thank you for taking
my son? How can I say, thank you,
Lord, when my son is not with us
Suarez continued, “But at the
same time, we were truly grateful.
That day, we also said thank you
to the Lord for those wonderful 20
years that He gave us with our son.
I’m still very grateful that He gave
me this gift, a very precious gift that
I enjoyed to the fullest for those 20
years. Instead of focusing on our
son’s death, we’d rather focus on the
memories, and the joy, and happiness that he brought into our lives.”
Talking about her son at
Thanksgiving, as it turned out, was
good for everyone, Suarez said,
adding that it is vital to give people
permission to talk about the deceased friend or family member.
“And that really helped, not just
me, but my other family members,
to open the conversation and talk
about him,” she said. “Many times,
when the grieving people are not
talking about it, your friends and
other family members don’t want
to mention anything, because they
think they are hurting you by saying something.”
Talking about your loved one is
an important part of grieving, especially at holiday gatherings, said
Joseph F. Perez, vice president of
pastoral service with Valley Baptist
Health System in Harlingen.
Perez said some grieving fami-
Photo Illustration by
The Valley Catholic
“This loss (of
a loved one)
will affect your
holidays and
it is normal
for it to affect
your holidays.
It’s ok,” said
Joseph F. Perez,
vice president
of pastoral
service with
Valley Baptist
Health System in
lies even choose to share stories
about their loved one.
“Of course it’s going to be sad,”
he said. “Some of the stories about
that loved one will be sad and make
people cry. Other stories will be
happy and make people laugh,
but at least everyone
will be honest about it and that’s
when healing can take place.”
And being honest about the
situation is healthy for those who
are grieving, Perez said.
» Please see Grief, p.18
1.Normalize your feelings. Know that
the sadness, the anger, the helplessness, or whatever you are feeling is
normal. Give yourself permission to
grieve. When people ask you, “How
are you doing?” you have the right to
answer them honestly if you choose to
do so.
2.Ask yourself, “What do I want to do
this year?” You may find it helpful to
try to keep things as “normal” as possible for the sake of continuity. What
are your traditions around the special
seasons? Or, if it this is too great a
burden this year, give yourself permission to do something different or start
a new tradition.
3.If at all possible, surround yourself
with family and people who care.
Probably, the hardest thing to do is to
be alone.
4.Get plenty of rest and eat appropriately. Grief can be tiring work, especially during the holidays. Exercising
can also help.
5.Seek out the professional support
from a pastor / priest or other counselor if necessary.
Source: Valley Baptist Health System
»Family Life
Lydia Pesina
Director, Family
Life Office
Teach, Pray
ife is a journey and each
person has his or her own
path to follow. For parents,
that path stretches to
many roads and byways because
it includes our path as it intersects
with our children’s. It is a wonder
to recall that our role as a parent is
to learn what God is calling us to
in this life, to teach those lessons
to our children (because it is in
our “job description”) and to pray
that they too be open to the Spirit
of God leading them to be the best
person He has uniquely created
them to be.
Every day we learn from the
Word of God, from those around
us and from the challenges that
life brings. One of our major roles
as a parent is to work on our own
self, our own faults and shortcomings; to keep growing in wisdom,
knowledge and grace.
When I was a “young” mother,
I thought that my job was to be
“the teacher,” the one who “imparts
knowledge,” and I soon learned
that I was as much a student as
I was a teacher; and that I had
much to learn from my daughter.
She and I are two very different
individuals and we expand each
others’ worlds.
We teach our children our
beliefs and our values by what we
say and more importantly by what
we do. Proverbs 3: 1-6 states: My
son, forget not my teaching, keep
in mind my commands; for many
days, and years of life, and peace,
will they bring you. Let not kindness and fidelity leave you; bind
them around your neck; then will
you win favor and good esteem
before God and man. Trust in the
Lord with all your heart, on your
own intelligence rely not; in all
your ways be mindful of Him, and
He will make straight your paths.
Every day we pray that our
children will make the best decisions for their life and their wellbeing. Sometimes they make choices
that make life difficult for them
and in those times we are called
to stay close to them, to love them
and support them through their
trials just as St. Monica did with
her wayward son who later became
St. Augustine.
A philosopher once stated that
“a prophet is not called to success
but to fidelity,” and I believe this is
true for parenting. As parents, we
are called to be faithful to teaching
and loving our children, whether
or not we believe we are successful.
As my daughter is prone to say; I
always listen to what you say; I just
don’t always do what you tell me.
As we experience the cycle of
the paschal mystery in our lives
(the suffering, the dying to self or
ego, and the rising to newness)
we learn that the most difficult
moments have the potential to be
the most transformative. These
situations can prompt us to grow
to new understandings and to
resurrect to new ways of living if
we are willing to be guided by the
» Please see Learn, p.5
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
Feeding the needy
Annual Sharing
Basket project
provides meals
for 5,000 families
Priest of the
Diocese of Fall
The Valley Catholic
Catholic Charities of the
Rio Grande Valley is making
final preparations for its annual
Sharing Basket event, which
provides food for families in need
just in time for Thanksgiving.
Channel 5 News and Peter
Piper Pizza are teaming up with
Catholic Charities for the project,
which feeds more than 5,000
families across the Valley.
The project begins with food
drives at schools throughout the
Valley. Students are asked to bring
in canned goods and other nonperishable food items. The class
at each school that collects the
most food items is rewarded with
a pizza party courtesy of Peter
Piper Pizza.
Peter Piper Pizza, Buster Lind
Produce and other corporate
partners collect the food from the
schools and bring them to San
Juan where the items are sorted
and assembled by dozens of
volunteers on the Tuesday before
Volunteers are invited to come
to the Basilica Auditorium on
Between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on
Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Auditorium of the Basilica of Our
Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine, 400 N. Virgen de
San Juan Blvd. (auditorium is
next door to Catholic Charities
of the Rio Grande Valley)
Non-perishable food items to
local schools
(956) 702-4088
Tuesday, Nov. 20 from 8 a.m. to
4 p.m. Although the project will
be going on all day, volunteers can
spend as little or as much time as
they wish at the site. Volunteers
of all ages and abilities are needed
to help make the project a success.
School, civic and church
groups and groups from RV parks
are encouraged to volunteer.
Students needing service hours
are also welcomed to volunteer.
Lunch will be provided by Peter
Piper Pizza.
On-air personalities and
other staff from Channel 5 News
join the volunteers to prepare the
baskets. The television station
also helps spread the word about
the event throughout the month
of November.
The food baskets are
distributed at the parish level
from Nov. 20-22. Check with
individual parishes for schedules
and more details.
‘El Salvador de la Virgen’
Father Domínguez
dead at 76
The Valley Catholic
Father Patricio DominguezGutierrez, the Oblate priest who
risked his life to save the image of Our Lady of San Juan del
Valle after a small plane crashed
into her shrine in 1970, died
cancer on
Sept. 27 at
a Barcelona, Spain
He was 76.
Born in
La Puerta,
Spain on
Jan. 7, 1936,
Father Dominguez, together
with sacristan Pedro Rodriguez,
rescued the image from the
burning sanctuary on Oct. 23,
“From that day on, I called
him, ‘el Salvador de la Virgen,’”
said Father Vicente Azcoiti, a
retired priest of the Diocese of
Brownsville and a close friend
of Father Dominguez. “He
battled the flames, put his life
on the line, to save our Blessed
Mother that day.”
A memorial service for Father Dominguez is scheduled
for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the
Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan
del Valle-National Shrine. The
public is invited to come and
pay their respects.
»Making Sense
Out of Bioethics
WHAT: Memorial service for
Father Dominguez
WHEN: Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Basilica of Our
Lady of San Juan del ValleNational Shrine.
Father Azcoiti and another
good friend, Father Saturnino
Lajo, Director at Oblate Missions in San Antonio, last saw
Father Dominguez two days before he died. They spent most of
the day on Sept. 25 with him in
the hospital, along with Father
Dominguez’s family and a few
other close friends.
“His last words to us that day
were, ‘los quiero,’” Father Lajo
said. “He had difficulties talking
to us but he asked us to pray for
him to the Virgen of San Juan
del Valle. The basilica was a special place to him.”
Father Dominguez is survived by two brothers, two sisters and numerous nieces and
nephews, all of whom live in
On the day the sanctuary
was attacked, Father Dominguez
and sacristan Rodriguez ran
back into the burning church
to save the image of the Virgen
of San Juan del Valle from her
niche in the back of the altar.
Ron Anderson, a former Oblate
priest, also ran back into the
flames to save the Blessed Sacrament.
“The roof of the church was
already coming down,” said Father Amador Garza, rector of
the Basilica of Our Lady of San
Juan del Valle-National Shrine.
“It was an act of valor on the
part of those three men to go
back in there.”
Father Dominguez, however, rarely talked about that day,
even with his closest friends.
“He didn’t like to be called
a hero,” Father Lajo said. “He
didn’t feel as if he had done anything extraordinary.”
Father Dominguez was ordained for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on
April 2, 1960 in Madrid, Spain.
He arrived in the Rio Grande
Valley in 1966 where he was in
residence at the San Juan Shrine.
He was assigned to preach missions throughout the diocese
until 1973, when he was assigned to Immaculate Conception Church in Rio Grande City.
Father Dominguez served
churches in the Diocese of
Brownsville for more than 20
years, including Sacred Heart
Church in McAllen, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in
Brownsville and the Basilica of
Our Lady of San Juan del Valle.
Although he was in parish
ministry for many years, Father
Dominguez was best known for
his ministry as a preacher.
His friends said he was happiest among the people, traveling to parishes and missions,
spreading the Good News of
Christ Jesus.
After leaving the Valley in
1995, Father Dominguez served
in Laredo, Eagle Pass and Arleta, Calif. before returning to
Spain in 2008.
down from
the assistedsuicide ledge
everal states are
considering legislative
measures to let physicians
prescribe (but not
administer) a lethal dose of
a toxic drug to their patients,
thereby assisting their patients to
commit suicide. This is known
as physician-assisted suicide.
Advocates of this practice assure
us that this can be a good choice
for someone who is dying, or who
wants to die.
If physician-assisted suicide
really represents a “good choice,”
we need to ask: why should only
physicians be able to participate?
Why should only physicians be
allowed to undermine public trust
of their profession through these
kinds of death-dealing activities?
Why not include police, for
example? If a sick person expresses
a wish to die, the police could
be notified, and an officer would
arrive bearing a suitable firearm.
He would load it with bullets,
cock the gun, and place it on the
bedside stand of the sick patient.
After giving instruction on the best
way to angle the barrel, the officer
would depart, and the patient
could then pick the device up and
shoot himself — “police-assisted
Besides physician-assisted
suicide and police-assisted suicide,
“military-assisted suicide” could
be offered as well. Members of
the armed forces would bring in
a standard-issue hand grenade
upon request, explaining to the
sick patient how to remove the
pin properly and how to place the
device so as to achieve the most
rapid, painless and destructive
The assisted-suicide paradigm
would readily admit of other
creative approaches as well —
society could sanction “assisted
drownings” where lifeguards could
be asked to assist those wishing to
die by providing them millstones
to take them to the bottom of lakes
and oceans.
But if a life-guard helped
people drown, would you want
him watching your family at the
It is troubling how many
individuals fail to grasp the radical
absurdity of allowing physicianassisted suicide. Suicide is no
joking matter. Regardless of how
it transpires, it is a catastrophe for
» Please see Assisted-suicide, p.17
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
The Word of God in the Life
and Mission of the Church
( Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary
Reading I DT 6:2-6
Responsorial Psalm
PS 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
Reading II HEB 7:23-28
Gospel MK 12:28B-34
(Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary
Reading I 1 KGS 17:10-16
Responsorial Psalm
PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-107
Reading II HEB 9:24-28
Gospel MK 12:38-44
( Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary
Reading I DN 12:1-3
Responsorial Psalm
PS 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
Reading II HEB 10:11-14, 18
Gospel MK 13:24-32
(The Solemnity of Christ the King)
Reading I
DN 7:13-14
Responsorial Psalm PS 93:1, 1-2, 5
Reading II RV 1:5-8
JN 18:33B-37
The word of the lord abides for ever.
This word is the Gospel which was
preached to you” (1 Pet 1:25; cf. Is
With this assertion from the First
Letter of Saint Peter, which takes up
the words of the Prophet Isaiah, we
find ourselves before the mystery of
God, who has made himself known
through the gift of his word.
This word, which abides for ever,
entered into time. God spoke his
eternal Word humanly; his Word
“became flesh” (Jn 1:14).
This is the good news. This is the
proclamation which has come down
the centuries to us today.
Disciples in Mission: Six Weeks
with the Bible
continued from pg. 4
Holy Spirit and learn from them.
The Lord is “always” and in
all ways kind and merciful to us.
May we as parents be the face of
God to our children at whatever
age and stage they are and may we
continue to strive to offer kindness
and mercy to them regardless of
what trials they may bear.
An invitation to let go
typical day in the life of
Jesus — He was setting
out on a journey and
a man had a question.
“What must I do to inherit eternal
life?” “What’s the secret?” Obviously the man did not like the
answer that Jesus gave him because
he went away sad.
The question was great. “What
must I do to inherit eternal life?”
A good question. We all want to
get to heaven. Often folks will
ask, “How often do I have to go to
confession? Is it a sin to miss Mass
on Sunday? Are people who are
not married in the Church going
to go to hell?”
All of us want to know the
rules so that we don’t get in trouble
with God. Fact is that many people fear God. They think that God
is out to get us—watching our every move—just waiting to catch us
in a mistake. Usually when people
ask, “what is required?” they are
usually asking, “what is the bare
minimum?” That’s probably all
that the man in the Gospel wanted
to know—the bare minimum. But
then Jesus challenged him to take
the plunge—to go all the way—to
trust completely. “Go, sell what
you have and give to the poor and
you will have treasure in heaven;
then come, follow me.”
Keeping the commandments
is not always easy—some are more
difficult than others. However,
giving everything away is almost
next to impossible. We build nest
eggs, buy insurance, put money in
the bank for emergencies. How
can we just give everything away?
Does God want us to live on the
street? Saints in the past have
literally given away everything
Msgr. Gustavo
Pastor of Our
Lady of Sorrows,
they owned—like St. Francis of
Assisi, St. Clare, St. Paul. Their
lives changed drastically once they
became unattached to possessions.
Members of Religious Orders—Brothers, Sisters, and Priests
take a vow of poverty. Some have
had to evolve with the times and
live within their circumstances.
But to this day, those who take a
vow of poverty cannot be owners
of anything. All things are shared
in common. Money is only a tool.
The goal is to get to heaven. Sometimes possessions can become a
distraction. We forget that our
love has to focus on the Creator,
not so much the Creature.
We know, from our own
experience, how new stuff tends
to dominate our thoughts—like
having a new car. We wash it,
polish it, take care to park far
away from everybody—until the
first scratch—until we get the first
ding—then the car looses importance. Same is true for any new
gadget; but ultimately we get tired
of things. All possessions lose their
importance. Our challenge is to
be free.
We are often possessed by that
which we possess. As we begin the
“Year of Faith”—we take the opportunity to be renewed—to focus
on what is really important in our
life. The Holy Father’s words, “I
have decided to announce a Year
of Faith. It will begin on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of
the opening of the Second Vatican
Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
Universal King, on 24 November
2013.” Let us entrust this time
of grace to the Mother of God,
proclaimed “blessed because she
believed” (Lk 1:45). The Blessed
Mother is our model of holiness
because she surrendered herself
completely to Divine Providence.
The month of October is
dedicated to her and to the praying
of the Holy Rosary. Families can
try to set time to kneel together to
pray the Rosary. The only risk we
run is that we will become more
united—be more patient—grow
in love for one another. Faith is a
gift from God. Therefore we can
ask God to increase our Faith. The
more Faith we have the sooner we
can let go of the stuff that enslaves
us. Remember the mountain
climber who slipped off a cliff and
was hanging on to a branch. He
prayed, “Dear Lord if you’ve ever
heard me, hear me now. Help me.
Save my life!” and a voice from
heaven said, “Do you believe? Do
you have faith? Do you believe
that I can save you?” And the man
said, Yes. Then the voice said, “Let
go of the branch.”
What are the branches in our
life from which we are hanging?
The invitation is to let go—to be
free in order to give ourselves
completely to God.
The following homily was given by
Msgr. Gustavo Barrera in October 2012 at Our Lady of Sorrows
Church in McAllen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church: 20 years later
uring the Year of Faith,
Catholics are asked to
study and reflect on
the documents of the
Second Vatican Council and the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
so that they may deepen their
knowledge of the faith.
With his apostolic letter, Porta
fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared
the Year of Faith from Oct. 11,
2012 through Nov. 24, 2013.
The first day of the Year of Faith
marked the 50th anniversary of
the opening of the Second Vatican
Council (Vatican II) and the 20th
anniversary of the Catechism of
the Catholic Church.
Pope John Paul II officially promulgated (formally declared law)
the new Catechism of the Catholic
Church (of all Catholic doctrine on
faith and morals) in 1992 on the
30th anniversary of the opening of
the Second Vatican Council, making it the first “universal” Catholic
Catechism in over 400 years. The
previous universal catechism – The
Roman Catechism was published
under the authority of the Council
of Trent in 1566.
The late Holy Father John Paul
II ordered the publication of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
with the Apostolic Constitution
Fidei Depositum, of October 1992,
and declared: “A catechism must
present faithfully and organically
the teaching of Sacred Scripture,
the living Tradition of the Church,
and the authentic Magisterium, as
well as the spiritual heritage of the
Fathers and saints of the Church,
in order to allow the Christian
mystery to be known and to revive
Luis Zuniga
Director, Office for
Pastoral Planning
& San Juan Diego
Ministry Institute.
the faith of God’s people. It must
take into account the presentations
of doctrine which the Holy Spirit
has entrusted to the Church over
the centuries. It must also help
to illumine with the light of faith
the new situations and problems
which have not been posed in the
past. The Catechism, therefore,
contains both the new and the old,
for the Faith is always the same
and the source of ever new lights”
(Apostolic Constitution, Fidei
Depositum, no. 2).
Eleven years later, in 2003,
Pope John Paul II established a
Commission under the guidance
of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
(Prefect of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith). The
commission was given the task of
drafting the Compendium of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church,
as a more concise formulation of
its contents of faith. The Compendium offers 598 questions
and answers and like the universal Catechism has a four part
structure corresponding to the
fundamental laws of life in Christ;
enabling everyone to know what
the Church professes, celebrates,
lives and prays.
The first part, “The Profession
of Faith”, contains a synthesis of the
lex credendi, the faith professed by
the Catholic Church, as expressed
in the Apostles’ Creed which is
further elaborated by the NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed. In the
liturgical profession of the Creed,
the Christian assembly keeps the
principal truths of the faith alive in
The second part, “The Celebration of the Christian Mystery”,
presents the essential elements of
the lex celebrandi. The proclamation of the Gospel finds its authentic response in the sacramental life,
through which Christians experience and witness, in every moment
of their existence, the saving power
of the paschal mystery by which
Christ has accomplished our
The third part,“Life in Christ”,
recalls the lex vivendi, through
which the baptized manifest their
commitment to the faith they have
professed and celebrated, through
their actions and ethical choices.
The Christian faithful are called
by the Lord Jesus to act in a way
which befits their dignity as children of the Father in the charity of
the Holy Spirit.
The fourth part, “Christian
Prayer”, summarizes the lex orandi,
the life of prayer. Following the
example of Jesus, the perfect model
of one who prays, the Christian too
is called to the dialogue with God
in prayer. A privileged expression
of prayer is the (Lord’s Prayer)
Our Father, the prayer that Jesus
has taught us. (Adapted from the
Introduction of Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger to the Compendium
» Please see Catechism, p.19
Catholic News Service
St. Cecilia is depicted in a stainedglass window at the Cathedral of the
Immaculate Conception in Denver. Her
feast day is celebrated Nov. 22.
»Feast Day
- November 22
St. Cecilia
Catholic News Agency/EWTN
St. Cecilia’s family was one of
the principle families of Rome.
According to the cultural custom of the time, Cecilia’s family
betrothed her to a young man
named Valerius.
On their wedding night, Cecilia told Valerius that she had
sworn to remain a virgin before
God and that an angel guarded
her body, protecting her virginity from violation. She told
Valerius that he would be able to
see this angel if he went to a certain milestone along the road.
Valerius went to the milestone
as Cecilia had instructed, and
there encountered Pope Urbanus, who instructed the young
man and baptized him.
During that era, it was forbidden for anyone to bury the
bodies of Christians, so Valerius
and his brother dedicated themselves to burying the bodies of
all the Christians they found.
For this, they were arrested and
brought before a judge who ordered them to worship the Roman god Jupiter, and were martyred when they refused to deny
their Christian faith.
The police then came for
Cecilia and strongly advised her
to renounce her faith. In reply,
she told them that she would
prefer to die than to denounce
the true faith.
Upon hearing her response,
they brought her to a large oven
with the intention of suffocating
her with the hot and toxic gasses
it emitted.
However, instead of choking, Cecilia began to sing, which
is perhaps why she is considered
the patron of musicians. Infuriated, her persecutors attempted
to behead her, but after three
strokes of the sword, Cecilia was
still alive and her head was not
severed. The soldiers then left
her covered in blood in her own
home, where she remained for
three days before she died.
It is believed that the police
officers who tried to make her
renounce her faith later converted to Christianity.
When her tomb was opened
about 1,500 years later in 1599 in
Rome, her body was still found
perfect and incorrupt.
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
Construction begins
St. Anthony’s School Band
receives Notre Dame donation
The Valley Catholic
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new gymnasium and classrooms was held Oct. 5 at St. Joseph School in Edinburg.
Pictured, from left, Aaron Vela, an alumnus of the school; Father Gregory T. Labus, an alumnus and pastor of St. Joseph
Parish and School; Sister Kathleen Murray, D.C., principal; Nydia Villarreal, longtime benefactor; Elias Longoria, Edinburg
city councilman and Tommy Canul, general contractor.
St. Joseph School
gets new classrooms,
The Valley Catholic
257-member student body, parents, alumni and members of the
community gathered at St. Joseph
School on Oct. 5 for a ground-
breaking and blessing for a new
gymnasium, two new classrooms
and office space.
The 11,653-square foot building will provide an indoor space
for the students to gather for
physical education classes, team
practices, basketball and volleyball games and school assemblies.
The monies for the project
were raised through the annual
Turkeyfest event. This year’s festival is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
on Saturday, Nov. 10 and will
include food, games, rides, entertainment, a live and silent auction and more.
The architectural design of
the new structure was completed
by Eddie Vela of EVG Architects, Inc. of Hidalgo and the
general contractor is Highmark
Construction Company, LLC of
Construction on the $685,000
project is expected to be completed by Spring 2013.
One of the first, if not the first, school bands in the Harlingen- San Benito area that
includes elementary school students has been established at St. Anthony Catholic
School in Harlingen.
The new St. Anthony School Band has launched its first notes with 31 students,
with the band program now available as an afterschool activity for elementary-age
students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades – as well as an elective class during the school day
for middle school students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
To help fund instruments for the new band, St. Anthony’s recently was awarded
a $2,000 grant from the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education
(ACE) program. Notre Dame’s “Chris Lary Memorial Award” is provided to one Catholic
school in the United States which demonstrates “the rigorous development of a new
program that will provide opportunity for student achievement.”
Presenting the check above to St. Anthony Principal Chester Arizimendi is Adam
Barajas, an ACE teacher and instructional leader for math and science at St. Anthony.
For more information on St. Anthony’s band or other programs, please call (956) 4232486, or visit www.SaintAnthonyEagles.com.
First season
The Pharr Oratory Athenaeum for University Preparation completed its first-ever
football season on Oct. 19 against Marine Military Academy. The Ocelots played
a tough seven-game schedule against some very well established programs, said
athletic director Xavier R. Pruneda. “It’s always a challenge with a new program but
I’ve been pleased with the attitude of the students,” he said. “They worked hard and
stayed focused.” The Ocelots finished the season with a 1-5 record.
Planning for the future
On Sept. 22-23, a group of stakeholders, numbering 57 members of faculty, staff,
administration, directory, alumni and students, gathered for a strategic planning
workshop to define the critical needs of St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville and
establish the future goals and objectives for the school. Each person brought their
unique perspective and past experiences to provide their own individual contribution
and perspective to the workshop directed by Shea Consulting Services of Dallas. A
final report will be published later this fall.
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
»Pilgrimages close to home Go west to Starr County
Sister Nancy Boushey, a Benedictine Sister of the Good Shepherd,
often greets guests who visit the monastery.
Sanctuary found
among the mesquites
in rattlesnake country
The Valley Catholic
RIO GRANDE CITY – Sometimes, we need a break from routine, so I went west. I made my
way to an oasis of quiet, hidden
among the mesquites, brush and
cacti in Starr County where the
Sisters of the Benedictine Monastery of the Good Shepherd welcome visitors year round.
Some guests come to visit for
a few hours, some to stay at one
of the casitas on the property for
a personal retreat, and some for a
discernment weekend or a group
retreat. I came for a combination
of field reporting and a mini private retreat.
The rock and gravel road leading to the monastery slowed my
pace from the start. There is no
speeding, no rush, on Monastery
All visitors
It’s a
who call
good idea
to call in
are to be
and make
as if they
ar r ange ments.
were Christ.”
S o m e
-St. Benedict
retreat center and casitas fill with
retreatants. Plus, the sisters like
to be on hand to welcome every
They personalized a note outlining some essentials (the gate
code and the code to the Fountain
of Life Chapel for Adoration of
the Blessed Sacrament). Included
as well, some advice in case snakes
are around: “Just let them pass
and continue.”
“The Good Shepherd Handmaidens pray for you before you
arrive, during your stay and in
your absence,” reads the note.
The monastery exists because
of the dreams, prayers and work
of these “handmaidens” – three
sisters from Crookston, Minn.,
Benedictine Sisters Nancy Boushey, Luella Walsh and Fran Solum,
who moved to the Rio Grande
Valley in the early 70s and mid80s.
“We had $900 and an old car
and a lot of people praying for us,
and some of them thinking we
were crazy of course, and sometimes we thought we were crazy
too,” Sister Nancy shared about
their decision in 1989 to give up
their salaried positions and start
their monastery in the remote
reaches of Starr County.
Monasteries have a long history dating back to the fourth and
fifth century. Sisters Nancy, Luella
The Fountain of Life Adoration Chapel is available for visitors who wish
to come and spend some time with the Lord.
On the grounds of the monastery in the Resurrection Cemetery, white
crosses made from wood “stand as stark reminders that 160 babies
are aborted every hour in the United States.
Rio Grande City
Some milestones as
told by the Benedictine
Sisters of the Good Sheperd
1988 We discerned that the monastery of our dream was to be in
Starr County, the western part of the
diocese and an area more isolated.
After praying for guidance from the
Holy Spirit we moved to Starr County in
1989 to the little ranchito of El Sauz,
TX. We knew no one in Starr County
but Fr. Eddie Villa, who employed Sisters Luella and Nancy in his parish and
missions. We had a number of ministries there over the years: ministry to
the elderly, elementary education in
Roma, JTPA (helping adults get their
GED), youth ministry and retreats in
Escobares/Rosita and El Sauz. In El
Sauz we leased an old house which
had been empty for four years.
1993 We were gifted with 115 acres
from Texaco Oil Co. Ten CEO’s from
Louisiana flew in on their corporate jet
to formally hand the title over to us at
a celebration.
2000 We were granted an easement to our “Promised Land.” On the
feast of St. Joseph, we moved onto
our property and the fence line was
cleared. Dario Salinas and Balde
Escobar began work on the making of
a dugout for a pond.
2003 The monastic residence was
started and the Monte Cassino foundation was poured.
Photos by The Valley Catholic
Sister Nancy Boushey prays before the Blessed Sacrament in the Fountain of Life Adoration Chapel. Mario Serrano, an artist from
the Philippines, and Jose Calderon from Rio Grande City, designed the tabernacle.
3167 Monastery Lane
Rio Grande City, TX 78582
On Highway 83, two miles west
of Rio Grande City, take a right
on Farm Road 3167 and drive
north for six miles. A large
white cross on the left marks the
Call in advance:
(956) 486-2680
and Fran live in a monastic community and “live the Gospel in the
spirit of Saint Benedict.” St. Benedict is known as the founder of
western monasticism.
Twenty-three years since the
nuns moved west to Starr County,
their monastery serves as an ideal
place to visit and find some quiet
time for prayer in the remote dry
brush land. One of the highlights,
however, comes from spending
time with the Sisters. Their welcoming spirit and love exemplify
Christ’s teachings. Without words,
2004 We moved the mobile home
(Casita Tepeyac) from El Sauz to the
“Promised Land.” The chaplain’s
house was completed. We moved
into our new monastic residence. Our
Sisters in Crookston, Minnesota voted
that we could have our own canonical
novitiate for our new members. Fr.
Jerry Felion moved to his chaplain’s
2005 The Fountain of Life Adoration
Chapel was completed, to be used
especially for the laity of the area.
Benedictine Sisters Nancy Boushey, Luella Walsh and Fran Solum founded the Benedictine Monastery of the Good Shepherd in Starr County.
their kindness and hospitality inspire me.
They inspire others as well.
Shortly after moving into a rat infested home in El Sauz, the three
sisters mobilized hundreds of volunteers and started raising funds
for their monastery.
Just eight miles from the Rio
Grande River, the monastery sits
on 115 acres of land donated by
Texaco Oil Company in 1993. But
it took seven years to get an easement to what the sisters call their
“Promised Land.” Meanwhile, they
lived in a mobile home until 2004.
The nuns added the Monte
Cassino Renewal and Conference
Center in 2008 to accommodate retreats for lay and religious groups.
They are now raising funds to add
additional rooms.
Visitors staying in one of the
casitas provide for their own meals,
but during my visit, the sisters invited me to join them for a grilled
cheese sandwich and soup dinner.
As we ate, an array of cardinals,
» Please see Monastery, p.17
2006 In June, construction began
of the Monte Cassino Renewal and
Conference Center, a future site for
use by lay and religious groups. The
center takes its name from the original
monastery founded by St. Benedict in
Cassino, Italy.
2008 This year marked the opening
of the Montecassino Renewal Center.
Montecassino is the name of the
monastery near Rome, Italy, where St.
Benedict lived his life and wrote the
famous Rule of St. Benedict. Cassino
is a town near the monastery. In the
old Italian Sabine dialect, Cassino
means “gathering place.” Its opening
is another highpoint of our dreams
being fulfilled. Thank you, St. Benedict
and our Good Shepherd!
(from their website – http://starrcb.
The Valley Catholic -November 2012
Some basics to remember at Sunday Mass
The Valley Catholic
s we celebrate the Year of Faith, we are called in a special way
to remember the basics of our faith. Bishop Daniel E. Flores is
asking that we look at what we are doing and look to see what we
can do better. This includes going to Mass every Sunday with our
When we go to Mass, we use our bodies to pray. During Mass, we stand
and then we sit. We stand and then kneel. All these things we do to use
our whole body to pray to God. We also use our hands. We bring them
together to pray and we sometimes use our hands. We use them as well to
shake hands and to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.
Then we are called to go before the altar to receive Jesus in
the Eucharist. We believe as Catholics that it is no longer
just bread, but Jesus who gives himself to us: his body, blood,
soul and divinity. As we begin to form the processional line
to receive him, we sometimes see others talk and shake
hands but instead should begin to pray because we are about
to receive God. Just in case we have forgotten, we need to
prepare our bodies, especially our hands to receive Jesus.
During Mass our hands help us
concentrate on what we should be
doing. We need to focus on Jesus
who reminds us to pray always.
When we come to the altar, our hands should be ready like an
altar with one hand under the other waiting to receive Jesus in
the Eucharist, ready to receive the gift of Jesus himself.
Note to Catechists:
The information may be used as a
lesson in the classroom. For additional
resources contact the Diocese of
Brownsville Office of Catechesis.
Recommended Reading:
“Signs of Life” by Scott Hahn
We can also receive Jesus on our tongue. You
can do this by opening your mouth wide and
sticking your tongue out just enough so that
we don’t see your bottom lip. This was the
only way to receive Jesus in the past.
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
New handbook available
for young adult ministry
The Valley Catholic
As interest and awareness
of young adult ministry in the
Diocese of Brownsville continues to grow, so too has the need
to provide guidance, support and
resources to this important age
group in the life of the Church.
Bishop Flores said, “Young Adults
bring life and vibrancy to our diocese where the median age is 26...
we must acknowledge their gifts
and be intentional about our ministry to them.”
To help address the needs of
young adults, the office of Campus & Young Adult Ministry
(CYAM) has published a diocesan
Handbook for Young Adult Ministry. The handbook is a compilation of best practices in the field
of young adult ministry, sourced
from different dioceses and actual
young adult groups from across
the country.
The 32-page handbook is filled
with insights, ideas and resources
on how to start and strengthen a
young adult ministry. Most importantly, the handbook addresses
the need to fully integrate young
adults into the fabric of parish life,
and provides two brief questionnaires/surveys to determine how
young-adult-friendly is your particular parish.
For anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the Diocesan
Handbook for Young Adult Ministry, simply email your request to:
[email protected] Additionally, a
PDF version of the handbook is
available to download through the
CYAM website: www.cyam.net.
The Office of Campus & Young
Adult Ministry is grateful to have
this new resource to help further
its mission — “To support single
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and married young adults to live
the Gospel message through
prayer, community, and service.”
Miguel Santos is director of The
Office of Campus & Young Adult
»Book review:
The Screwtape Letters
Letters from hell
The Valley Catholic
Ever wondered how the devil
thinks or what sort of tricks he
may use in order to get people to
turn away from God? C.S. Lewis
gives us an inside view of how a
demon’s mind works in his book
The Screwtape Letters. The setting
of The Screwtape Letters is confined
to hell. A senior devil, Screwtape,
writes letters to a younger devil
named Wormwood advising him
on of how to turn a soul away from
God. In the book they refer to God
as The Enemy.
Lewis begins his collection of
31 letters with a preface, where he
warns us that “There are two equal
and opposite errors into which our
race can fall about the devils. One
is to disbelieve in their existence.
The other is to believe, and to fell an
excessive and unhealthy interest in
them. They themselves are equally
pleased by both errors...” He also
mentions in his preface not to take
everything that Screwtape says at
face value, because after all, “the
devil is a liar”.
The back story behind the letters is that of a normal young Englishman, who is referred to only
as the “patient” in the 1930’s and
1940’s who becomes a Christian
and is struggling to maintain and
sustain his faith. He falls in love,
serves in the service during World
War II, and is eventually able to
fight off the devil’s influence. This
ends up being a failure for the
young demon, Wormwood.
Screwtape’s letters to his “nephew,” Wormwood are filled with
advice on how to turn the young
man’s attributes to the best or the
worst advantage. He also advises
Wormwood to make use of the allure of worldliness, materialism,
and human’s selfishness.
Each chapter is a new letter
beginning with “My Dear Wormwood....” and is followed with Uncle
Screwtape’s advice on how to tempt,
manipulate and coerce the Patient,
out of the Enemy’s (God’s) will.
Each chapter assumes a return letter from Wormwood has been written back to Screwtape with status
updates on situations the Patient
encounters and how Wormwood
used the situation to try to turn him
to the Father’s (Satan’s) will.
Screwtape schemes great plans
to help Wormwood instill thoughts
of pride, depression, arrogance,
or temptation in
the mind of path
of the Patient.
Each letter is
signed, “Your affectionate uncle,
some lines from several letters that
I found to be thought provoking:
In Letter 2, Screwtape learns
that the Patient has become a
Christian but he tells Wormwood,
“There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have
been reclaimed after a brief sojourn
in the Enemy’s camp and are now
with us.” “Work hard then, on
the disappointment or anticlimax
which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a
churchman. He leaves them to ‘do
it on their own.’ And there lies our
opportunity. But also, remember,
there lies our danger.”
In Letter 4, Screwtape explains about the “painful subject
of prayer.” “The best thing, where
it is possible, is to keep the patient
from the serious intention of praying altogether.” “It is funny how
mortals always picture us putting
things in their minds: in reality our
best work is done by keeping things
out.” “But of course the Enemy will
not meantime be idle. Whenever
there is prayer, there is danger of
His own immediate action.”
In Letter 7, Screwtape addresses
the issue of allowing the patient to
be aware of Wormwood’s existence.
“Our policy, for the moment, is to
conceal ourselves........When the
humans disbelieve in our existence
we lose all the pleasing results of
direct terrorism.....On the other
hand, when they believe in us, we
cannot make them materialists
and skeptics.”
After I would read a few letters, I would find myself thinking
about how the simplest of things,
even things that we might think are
good and helpful acts can be turned
around to be used by the devil. C.S.
Lewis really put a twist on the way
we look at many “little” sins that we
allow in our lives, and challenges
one to think about how important
those “little” sins are to Satan’s goal,
and how those sins can lead to destruction.
For complete review: www.cdob.org.
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The Valley Catholic -November 2012
priests to
Catholic News Agency/
»10 Ways Catholics Can Live The Year of Faith
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
WASHINGTON. D.C. —To honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI announced a Year of Faith,
which began on October 11 and ends November 24, 2013. The goal is to strengthen the faith of Catholics and
draw the world to faith by their example.
Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, offers “10 Ways Catholics Can Live the Year of Faith.”
Rooted in guidelines from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, some of these suggestions
are already requirements for Catholics; others can be embraced by Catholics at all times and especially during
the Year of Faith:
IMA, Peru — Cardinal
Juan Luis Cipriani of
Lima, Peru said the Year
of Faith decreed by Pope
Benedict XVI should be a time
of conversion for priests, so that
others “may see the presence of
God in us.”
“We priests and religious
work with greater enthusiasm.
Jesus awaits us, and the first
guideline that I give you is that
you live with more faith,” Cardinal Cipriani said.
The cardinal added that during the Year of Faith – which began on Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II
– priests should express this interior conversion in the way they
“celebrate the Mass, preach and
prepare their homilies.”
“I encourage you to spend
more time in the confessional.
Always have time, never say I
Cardinal Cipriani also asked
priests to be united with their
bishops, so they can be their
main collaborators in motivating the faithful and encouraging
them to take part in the Church’s
Priests should express their
faith with works, especially in the
celebration of the Mass. “If you
don’t have works, you are dry,” he
told them.
“When a priest does what
he is supposed to, people notice.
And people notice in the Mass, in
the confessional, in the schools
he is in charge of, and they notice
because Christ lives in him, and
his thoughts are those of Christ,”
the cardinal said.
“May Christ enlighten our
senses, and for this reason let us
pray the Rosary. Thus the joy of
the Eucharist will convert our
hearts,” he said.
Cardinal Cipriani noted that
Pope Benedict XVI has decreed
the Year of Faith so that “the faith
may more clearly illuminate our
encounter with Christ” in a world
that has become “relativistic” and
“has forgotten about God.”
“Nobody should give in to
the temptation to say this is ‘just
another year,’” the cardinal said.
He called on priests to “encourage collaboration from good
volunteers. May there be a greater commitment to the formation
of the laity in parishes, schools,
campus ministries and ecclesial
1. Participate in Mass. The
Year of Faith is meant to promote
the personal encounter with Jesus.
This occurs most immediately in the
Eucharist. Regular Mass attendance
strengthens one’s faith through the
Scriptures, the Creed, other prayers,
sacred music, the homily, receiving
Communion and being part of a faith
2. Go to Confession. Like going to Mass, Catholics find strength
and grow deeper in their faith through
participation in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Confession
urges people to turn back to God,
express sorrow for falling short and
open their lives to the power of God’s
healing grace. It forgives the injuries
of the past and provides strength for
the future.
3. Learn about the lives of the
saints. The saints are timeless examples of how to live a Christian life, and
they provide endless hope. Not only
were they sinners who kept trying
to grow closer to God, but they also
exemplify ways a person can serve
God: through teaching, missionary
work, charity, prayer and simply striving to please God in the ordinary actions and decisions of daily life.
4. Read the Bible daily. Scripture
offers first-hand access to the Word of
God and tells the story of human salvation. Catholics can pray the Scriptures (through lectio divina or other
methods) to become more attuned
to the Word of God. Either way, the
Bible is a must for growth in the Year
of Faith.
5. Read the documents of Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65)
ushered in a
great renewal
of the Church.
how Mass is
celebrated, the
role of the laity,
how the Church
itself and its relationship with
other Christians and non-Christians.
To continue this renewal, Catholics
must understand what the Council
taught and how it enriches the lives
of believers.
6. Study the Catechism. Published exactly 30 years after the start
of the Council,
the Catechism
of the Catholic
beliefs, moral
sacraments of
the Catholic
Church in one
volume. It’s a
resource for
growing in understanding of the faith.
Another helpful resource is the U.S.
Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA).
7. Volunteer in the parish. The
Year of Faith can’t only be about study
and reflection. The solid grounding of
the Scriptures, the Council and the
Catechism must translate into action.
The parish is a great place to start,
and each person’s gifts help build up
the community. People are welcome
as ministers of hospitality, liturgical
musicians, lectors, catechists and in
other roles in parish life.
8. Help those in need. The
Vatican urges Catholics to donate to
charity and volunteer to help the poor
during the Year of Faith. This means
to personally encounter Christ in the
poor, marginalized and vulnerable.
Helping others brings Catholics faceto-face with Christ and creates an example for the rest of the world.
9. Invite a friend to Mass. The
Year of Faith may be global in its
scope, focusing on a renewal of faith
and evangelization for the whole
Church, but real change occurs at the
local level. A personal invitation can
make all the difference to someone
who has drifted from the faith or feels
alienated from the Church. Everyone
knows people like this, so everyone
can extend a loving welcome.
10. Incorporate the Beatitudes
into daily life. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) provide a rich blueprint
for Christian living. Their wisdom can
help all to be more humble, patient,
just, transparent, loving, forgiving and
free. It’s precisely the example of lived
faith needed to draw people to the
Church in the year ahead.
U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops
1. What is the Year of Faith?
At certain times in the history
of the Church, popes have called
upon the faithful to dedicate themselves to deepening their understanding of a particular aspect of
the faith. In 1967, Pope Paul VI announced a Year of Faith commemorating the 19th centenary of the
martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul.
The 1967 Year of Faith called upon
the Church to recall the supreme
act of witness by these two saints
so that their martyrdom might
inspire the present day Church to
collectively and individually make
a sincere profession of faith.
The Year of Faith declared by
Pope Benedict XVI is a “summons
to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta fidei 6). In
other words, the Year of Faith is an
opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back
to Jesus and enter into a deeper
relationship with him. The pope
has described this conversion as
opening the “door of faith” (see
Acts 14:27). The “door of faith” is
opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called
to open it again, walk through it
and rediscover and renew their
relationship with Christ and his
2. Why is the Year of Faith this
With his Apostolic Letter of
Oct. 11, 2011, Porta fidei, Pope
Benedict XVI declared that the
Year of Faith will begin on Oct.
11, 2012 and conclude on Nov. 24,
2013. October 11, the first day of
the Year of Faith, is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II)
and also the twentieth anniversary
of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church. During the Year of Faith,
Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican
II and the catechism so that they
may deepen their knowledge of the
3. The Year of Faith begins in
October 2012 with a Synod on New
Evangelization. What is a synod?
A synod of bishops is a gathering of bishops, selected from different areas of the world, who meet
with the pope to discuss questions
pertaining to the activity of the
Church in the world. This meeting
of bishops helps to foster a closer
unity between the bishops and the
pope, and provides counsel to the
pope. Pope Benedict XVI has situated the Synod on the New Evangelization (October 7-28) at the
beginning of the Year of Faith (October 11).
4. How are Year of Faith and New
Evangelization linked?
The New Evangelization is a
call to each Catholic to deepen his
or her own faith, have confidence
in the Gospel, and possess a willingness to share the Gospel. The
» Please see Faith, p. 17
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
Those Who Serve:
Priest, his family
find Christianity
in Muslim nation
Terry De Leon/The Valley Catholic
Father Franciscus Asisi
Eka Yuantoro of the
Missionaries of the Holy
Family concelebrated the
Mass at the Catechetical
Convocation on Sept. 15
at the McAllen Convention
The Valley Catholic
DONNA — “I learned about
the Muslim religion in my public
school,” said Father Franciscus Asisi Eka Yuantoro of the Missionaries
of the Holy Family, who was raised
Indonesia. “I learned the Quran
and Arabic language, too. I still remember the prayers.”
Father Yuantoro, known to his
flock at St. Joseph Church in Donna as “Father Eka,”
was the only
Catholic in
school. In
diocese, the
rang, only
2.64 percent
of the population is Catholic.
Indonesia is the country with
the world’s largest Muslim population (205 million), according to the
Pew Research Center. More than
88 percent of Indonesia’s population is Muslim.
Franciscus Asisi Eka Yuantoro, MSF
Going against the grain
Roman Catholicism is one of
the six government-approved religions in Indonesia so Catholics
can worship freely; however, nonMuslims face social discrimination
at times, Father Yuantoro said.
“Being the only Catholic student in the school was hard, but I
didn’t let it bother me,” said Father
Yuantoro, who was born in Semarang, Indonesia. “Most people were
kind and respectful of my beliefs.”
When Father Yuantoro’s parents married, they too were Muslim.
His father, Yuliur, converted
to Catholicism after befriending
some Catholic missionaries in the
1960s. After some time and contemplation, his mother, named Ro-
salia, converted as well.
A coup attempt in Indonesia
on Sept. 30, 1965, triggered a series
of events that unleashed a wave of
violence in the country that left up
to a million people dead, according
to National Public Radio (NPR).
Many missionaries descended on
Indonesia to help the nation recover.
Father Yuantoro’s altruistic father assisted in the recovery effort
and later, began working for a nongovernmental organization (NGO)
that was founded by Catholics. The
organization primarily assisted
fishermen, working to improve
wages and living and working conditions.
When Father Yuantoro was a
year old, he was baptized into the
faith. By that point, his parents
were firmly Catholic and had even
married in the Church.
The oldest of eight children,
Father Yuantoro and his siblings
were raised Catholic; however they
shared a large home with many extended family members, which is
common in Indonesia.
Father Yuantoro’s grandparents, his aunts, uncles and cousins
were all – and still are – Muslim.
“We were a house divided, so
the family agreed to keep the home
as religiously neutral as possible,”
Father Yuantoro said. “We went
to Mass at our church, they went
to their mosque. It was a struggle
for my family because our neighborhood was Muslim, most of our
family is Muslim and they don’t
know much about the Catholic
faith. I have tried to communicate with them about Jesus Christ
but they remain Muslim. They are
good people, they are nice people.
It’s not like we have conflict with
them because they are Muslim. We
are still family.”
Two of Father Yuantoro’s siblings, a sister and a brother, also
converted to Islam as adults.
When Father Yuantoro entered
high school, he felt called to become more active in the Church.
He was an altar server and in the
Legion of Mary, which he says
strengthened his faith. Father Yuantoro went on to graduate from
high school and college, where he
studied electronics. He had a great
job, owned his own home and even
had a few girlfriends along the way.
“I thought I would get married
and have a family,” Father Yuantoro
said. “It seems the Lord had other
plans for me.”
When he was about 22, he
began hearing God’s call to the
priesthood, especially during moments of deep prayer. He entered
the seminary in 1992.
Father Yuantoro, 42, was ordained on July 16, 2002 at the
Pontifical Faculty of Theology
Wedabhakti in Indonesia. He was
a parish priest in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2002-2004 and served as a
missionary in Papau, New Guinea
from 2004-2008.
Father Yuantoro was a parish
priest in his hometown from 20092010 before he was assigned to the
United States. Through his travels, he has learned to speak many
languages. By his estimation, he
speaks nine languages.
“I’m learning Spanish here in
the Valley,” he said. “Un poquito (a
little bit),” he said with a laugh.
Father Yuantoro has served
as parochial vicar of St. Joseph
Church in Donna for a year, where
he has re-energized the youth in
the parish, said Martha Rocha,
who serves as the church secretary.
“We’re seeing more youth involvement, more youth attending
Mass, more youth participating in
ministry,” Rocha said. “He has really helped in that aspect.”
Mary Lou Torres, the weekend
parish secretary and secretary to
the director of religious education
at St. Joseph Church, said that Father Yuantoro truly enjoys spending time in the community.
“Whenever there is a call for
a blessing for a home, a car or a
birthday or if someone needs a
priest for any reason, he is there
and he is there serving joyfully,”
she said.
The list of birthdays and
ordination anniversaries is
provided so that parishioners
may remember the priests,
deacons and religious in their
prayers and send them a note or
a card.
» Birthdays
5 Rev. Mario Castro
9 Rev. Eduardo Gomez
16 Rev. Ruben Delgado
17 Rev. Jose J. Ortiz
20 Rev. Lawerence Klein
22 Rev. Luis Fernando Sanchez
23 Rev. Msgr. Agostinho Pacheco
28 Rev. Esteban Hernandez
7 Deacon Genaro Ibarra
10 Deacon Catarino Villanueva
11 Deacon Israel Sagredo
12 Deacon Juan F. Gonzalez
14 Deacon Inocencio Diaz
15 Deacon Alberto X. Chapa
20 Deacon Jesus Reyes
20 Deacon Benito Saenz
24 Deacon Juan Barbosa
29 Deacon Francisco Garza
13 Sister Luella Walsh, OSB
27 Rev. Jose Rene Angel
28 Rev. Samuel Arispe
4 Deacon George M. Terrazas
11 Deacon Jose Luis Mendoza
30 Deacon Reynaldo Q. Merino
» Birthdays
1 Rev. Ariel Oliver Angel
1 Rev. Andres Gutierrez
2 Rev.Honecimo Figueroa
11 Rev. Msgr. Gustavo Barrera
25 Rev. Ignacio Luna
30 Rev. Gregory Labus
9 Deacon Jose G. Gonzalez
17 Deacon Gilberto Lopez
22 Deacon Roberto Cano
30 Deacon Larry Hildebrand
31 Deacon Crawford Higgins
» Anniversaries
3 Rev. Gustavo Obando
8 Rev. Alberto Trevino
13 Rev. Genaro Hernriquez
13 Rev. Rodolfo Franco
17 Rev. Msgr. Juan Nicolau
19 Rev. Francisco Acosta
19 Rev. Thomas Pincelli
9 Deacon John F. Schwarz
18 Deacon Gerardo Aguilar
18 Deacon Antonio M. Arteaga
18 Deacon R. Mitch Chavez
18 Deacon Ramiro Davila Jr
18 Deacon Paulo Escobar
18 Deacon David Espinoza
18 Deacon Francisco R. Flores
18 Deacon Reynaldo I. Flores
18 Deacon Javier A. Garcia
18 Deacon Oscar Garcia
18 Deacon Silvestre J. Garcia
18 Deacon Jose G. Gonzalez
18 Deacon Gilbert Guardiola Jr.
18 Deacon Crawford Higgins
18 Deacon Amando Peña Jr.
18 Deacon Graciano Rodriguez
» Please see Anniversaries, p. 12
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
approved for
Blessed John
Paul II
A new American saint
believes in miracles
after recovery
Catholic News Service
new liturgical memorial — Oct. 22
— has been approved for Blessed
John Paul II by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and
the Sacraments.
The U.S.
for Catholic Bishops
Oct. 19 that
the congreJOHN PAUL II
gation had
the “optional memorial” for the
late pope in the calendar for U.S.
dioceses. The U.S. bishops last November approved the date for the
memorial, which is the anniversary of his inauguration as pope in
The Vatican congregation’s approval was the final step to inclusion of the celebration in the liturgical calendar in the United States.
Blessed John Paul II died April
2, 2005. He was beatified only six
years later, after the Vatican recognized his intercession in the healing of a French nun who suffered
from Parkinson’s disease.
she had always believed in miracles, Sharon Smith never dreamed
she would be the recipient of one.
Her unexplained recovery
from a near fatal infection in 2005
was the second miracle that cleared
the way for the Oct. 21 canonization of Blessed Marianne Cope.
Smith presented Pope Benedict XVI a relic of Blessed Marianne — a bone fragment housed
in a wooden tau cross, or T-shaped
cross that is the symbol of St. Francis, the inspiration of Mother Marianne’s congregation.
A native of Syracuse, N.Y.,
Smith fainted in her home one day
in 2005 and woke up two months
later in St. Joseph’s Hospital, her
body perforated by tubes as doctors fought to keep her hydrated
and alive. She had been diagnosed
with pancreatitis, but the inflammation soon caused an infection
so severe, it ate away part of her
gastrointestinal tract.
Her doctor told her that July,
“Sharon, you’re not going to make
it,” she told Catholic News Service
in Rome Oct.19. She and about 90
others from the Diocese of Syracuse, including Bishop Robert J.
Cunningham, came to Rome for
the canonization.
Smith recalled that a friend vis-
iting her at the hospital was given
a prayer card of Mother Marianne
and told to pray for her intercession. Mother Marianne had been
beatified by Pope Benedict in May
“My friends told me they
prayed for me the night before
they were going to just disconnect
me” from the respirator, “and they
prayed to Mother Marianne for
me,” said Smith, who is not Catholic.
The next day, “I woke up in the
morning and started talking,” she
Though she could breathe on
her own, the infection was still severe. St. Francis Sister Michaeleen
Cabral and other members of the
community soon started praying
for Blessed Marianne’s intercession.
During one visit, Sister Michaeleen gave Smith, to pin to her
hospital gown, a bag of soil that
came from Blessed Marianne’s
grave in Hawaii. Smith said she
still has the packet of dirt, which
she now keeps in her Bible.
continued from pg. 11
18 Deacon Gerardo J. Rosa
18 Deacon Rudy Sepulveda Jr
18 Deacon Ray Thomas Jr.
18 Deacon Nicolas E. Trujillo
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Photos by Paul Harring/Catholic News Service
Left, a banner showing St. Marianne Cope hangs from St. Peter’s Basilica at the
Vatican Oct. 21. Above, Sharon Smith, center, presents a relic of St. Marianne Cope.
Smith’s cure from a near fatal infection in 2005 was the miracle needed for the
canonization of Blessed Marianne.
After nearly a year in the hospital and rehabilitation, Smith was
given a clean bill of health and released. She said her doctor couldn’t
believe she had recovered. Doctors
said that places where tissue had
died had actually healed and regenerated.
Smith said she was so grateful
for the prayers the sisters had offered her that she decided to “pay
them back” by volunteering at a
home for the terminally ill, which
is run by the Sisters of St. Francis.
“I figured I was alive for a reason,” she said.
But Smith didn’t link her recovery to the prayers right away.
It was only during her volunteer
work at the hospice home that she
unexpectedly ran into Sister Michaeleen and another woman who
had visited her in the hospital.
“They said, ‘Oh my God are
you that woman that we saw dying?’ And I said, ‘Yes,’ I took it kind
of lightly,” she recalled.
But they urged her to go visit
Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, who
championed Mother Marianne’s
cause for sainthood for nearly 40
years. The nun died in December
“You’ve got to tell Sister Mary
Laurence your story. You’re our
second miracle,” the women told
Smith. “And I said, ‘I’m your
“Like, I said, I believe in miracles, I just never thought I’d be
one,” she said with a laugh.
“I feel that’s a welcoming
thought for people to believe that a
miracle can truly happen.”
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
Afrontar una pena durante días festivos
Consejos, recursos
para sobrellevar
el duelo
The Valley Catholic
Los días festivos, particularmente los primeros después de la
muerte de un ser querido, son especialmente difíciles para una persona en duelo. Enfrentar la primer
navidad o acción de gracias con
un lugar vacío en la mesa evoca
una tristeza insoportable y muchas
otras emociones, dijo Fina Suarez,
cuyo hijo, Eddie, murió en el 2001
a la edad de 20.
“Recuerdo el primer día de Acción de Gracias sin nuestro hijo,”
dijo Suarez, quien ayuda como
directora de cuidado pastoral en
el Asilo de Ancianos en San Juan,
el cual funciona bajo la dirección
de la diócesis. “Estábamos tristes
porque no teníamos algo que
habíamos tenido antes – nuestro
hijo nos faltaba. Ese día, mi esposo
dijo, ‘¿cómo le puedo dar gracias a
Dios por haberme quitado nuestro
hijo? ¿Cómo le puedo decir gracias,
Señor, cuando mi hijo ya no está
con nosotros?
Suarez continuó, “Pero a la
misma vez, sí estábamos verdaderamente agradecidos. Ese día,
también le dimos gracias al Señor
por esos maravillosos 20 años que
Él nos dio con nuestro hijo. Aún
me siento muy agradecida de que
Él nos haya dado este regalo, un
regalo precioso que disfrutamos al
máximo por 20 años. En lugar de
enfocarnos en la muerte de nuestro
hijo, preferimos enfocarnos en las
memorias, las dichas y alegrías que
él trajo a nuestras vidas.”
Hablar sobre su hijo durante
el día de Acción de gracias, como
resultó, fue bueno para todos, dijo
Suarez, añadiendo que es vital darle
a las personas permiso de hablar
sobre un amigo fallecido o miembro de la familia.
“Y realmente ayudó, no sólo a
mi, pero para los otros miembros
de mi familia, el iniciar la conversación para hablar sobre él,” dijo.
“Muchas veces, cuando las personas en duelo no hablan al respecto,
los amigos y miembros de la fa-
milia no quieren mencionar nada,
porque piensan que te lastiman al
decir algo,”
Hablar sobre tu ser querido es
parte importante del duelo, especialmente durante las reuniones
festivas, dijo Joseph F. Pérez, vicepresidente de servicios pastorales
con el Valley Baptist Health System
en Harlingen.
Pérez dijo que algunas familias
incluso eligen compartir historias
sobre sus seres queridos.
“Claro que va a ser triste,” dijo.
“algunas de las historias sobre sus
seres queridos van a hacer llorar a
los demás. Otras historias serán felices y los van a hacer reír, pero por
lo menos todos van a ser honestos
al respecto y es entonces cuando la
sanación toma lugar.”
Ser honesto sobre la situación
es saludable para los que están en
duelo, dijo Pérez.
“Cuando pierdes a un ser amado, nada puede volver a ser como
había sido, porque esa persona ya
no esta en tu vida físicamente,” dijo.
“El proceso de duelo es el aprender
a cargar la memoria en nuestros
corazones, pero durante los días
festivos, uno se tiene que preparar.
Servicios de Inmigración
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Acción diferida para jóvenes
Solicitudes de asilo político
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The Valley Catholic
La pérdida de un ser querido deja una huella profunda y casi siempre imborrable en el
corazón de cualquier persona .“Esta pérdida va a afectar sus días festivos y es normal
que los afecte. Está bien,” dijo Joseph F. Pérez, vicepresidente de servicios pastorales
con el Valley Baptist Health System en Harlingen.
Esta pérdida va a afectar sus días
festivos y es normal que los afecte.
Está bien.”
Suárez, quien ayuda a individuos y familias con el duelo de forma
regular a través de su ministerio en
el asilo de ancianos, dijo que ella y
su familia ofrecen misas en memoria de su hijo. La familia también
lo honra al reunir juguetes para los
niños necesitados en Navidad, una
causa que le gustaba a su hijo.
“Haber perdido a mi hijo siempre será triste,” dijo Suarez, quien
ha servido en el asilo de ancianos
por más de 20 años. “No hay manera de no recordar, pero podemos
llegar a un lugar de esperanza.”
El proceso de duelo esta lleno
de subidas y bajadas, altos y bajos,
dijo Pérez. En un momento, la persona de luto puedo estar en paz, el
siguiente momento, pueden estar
inquietos, especialmente durante el
primer año.
“El duelo viene y va como las
olas,” dijo el. “Lo veo como si estuvieras en la playa con la espalda
hacia las olas. Sientes el empuje
constante, pero a veces, viene una
ola bien grande y te puede tumbar.
No sabes en realidad cuando van a
llegar estas fuertes emociones. Puede ser en el supermercado cuando
ves cierto tipo de comida, puede
ser en el carro cuando escuchas
una canción en el radio, o simplemente algo que empuja y toca ese
sitio vulnerable en tu corazón.”
Cuando se refiere al duelo, muchas personas dicen, “Esto también
pasará,” o “sanará con el tiempo,”
pero Pérez dice que la noción de
que el tiempo sana todas las heridas
es un mito.
“El tiempo no es un agente sanador,” dijo. “El agente sanador es
atender la herida, que con el tiempo, sana. La atención a la herida,
con el tiempo, trae la recuperación.”
La mejor forma de atender el
duelo es el enfrentarlo en lugar
de ignorarlo, dijo Pérez. Tener el
apoyo de la familia, amigos o un
grupo de apoyo para pérdidas, son
la llave.
Ambos, el Asilo de Ancianos de
San Juan y el Valley Baptist Health
Systems ofrecen grupos de apoyo
gratuitos para aquellos que están
en duelo por la perdida de un ser
Para mas información sobre
grupos de apoyo en el Asilo de Ancianos de San Juan, llame al (956)
787-1771. Para grupos de apoyo
en el Valley Baptist Health System,
llame al (956) 389-1194.
1. Normaliza tus sentimientos. Sabe que la tristeza, coraje, desesperanza o lo
que sea que estés sintiendo es normal. Date permiso de afligirte. Cuando las
personas te pregunten cómo estas, tienes el derecho de responderles con honestidad si decides hacerlo.
2. Pregúntate, “¿Qué quiero hacer este año?” Puede ayudarte el tratar de mantener las cosas lo más “normal” posible por el bien de la continuidad. ¿Cuáles son
tus tradiciones en estas temporadas especiales? O, si esto es una carga pesada,
date permiso de hacer algo diferente y comenzar una nueva tradición.
3. De ser posible, rodéate de familia y personas queridas. Probablemente, lo más
difícil es el estar solo.
4. Obtén descanso suficiente y come bien. El duelo puede ser algo pesado,
especialmente durante las festividades. El ejercicio también ayuda.
5. Busca apoyo profesional de un pastor/padre o de otros consejeros si es necesario.
Fuente: Valley Baptist Health System
continued from pg. 1
best hope, the only hope, we
have to promote and defend the
common good and to sustain the
prerogatives of reason and justice
is the grace of the Gospel itself.”
During the question and
answer segment following the
lecture, Bishop Flores talked
as well about each individual’s
responsibility when it comes to
political participation.
His lecture is available online on
the bishop’s blog En Pocas Palabras;
to listen to the audio visit www.
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
»Peregrinaje cerca de casa
Ve al oeste al Monasterio
Encuentra un santuario
de tranquilidad
entre los mezquites
The Valley Catholic
necesitamos una pausa de la rutina,
así que fui al oeste. Me abrí paso
entre un oasis de silencio escondido entre los mezquites, arbustos
y cactus en el condado Starr donde
las Hermanas del Monasterio Benedictino del Buen Pastor dan la bienvenida a los visitantes durante todo
el año.
Algunos huéspedes vienen a
visitar por algunas horas, algunos
para quedarse en las casitas de la
propiedad para retiro personal,
pasar un fin de semana para despejarse o un retiro de grupo. Vine por
una combinación de investigación
periodística y un mini retiro.
Desde el comienzo, el camino
de piedras y graba que llevan al
monasterio desaceleró mi paso. No
tienes que acelerar o apurarte en la
calle Monastery.
Es buena idea llamar por adelantado para hacer preparativos.
Algunos fines de semana el centro
de retiros y casitas están llenos.
Además a las
hermanas les
gusta estar a
la mano para
recibir a los
Ellas pers onalizaron
subr ay and o
los aspectos
(el código de
entrada y el
código para
la Capilla de
la Fuente de
Vida para la
del Santísimo
Ta m b i é n
algunos consejos en caso
de ver algunas víboras –
“Sólo déjalas
pasar y sigue.”
“Las siervas del Buen
Pastor rezan
por ti antes de
que llegues,
estadía y cuando no estas
aquí,” dice la
El monasterio
iste gracias a los
sueños, oraciones y trabajo de
– tres hermanas
Minnesota, las
hermanas Benedictinas Nancy
Boushey, Luella
Walsh y Fran Solum, quienes se
mudaron al Valle
del Río Grande a
principios de los
70s y mediados
de los 80s.
“ Te n í a m o s
$900 y un carro
viejo y muchas Fotos por The Valley Catholic
personas rezando
por nosotros, y
claro que algunos La hermana Nancy
de ellos pensaban Boushey sale a
que estábamos saludar a los huéspedes que visitan el
también,” comA la derecha:
partió la herUna estatua de San
mana Boushey Benedicto se encuensobre la decisión tra debajo de un árbol
en 1989 de dejar de mezquite cerca de
sus puestos asala- la Casita Santísimo
riados y empezar Marmion.
el monasterio en
los confines del
condado Starr.
Los monasterios tienen una
larga historia que
data desde el siglo cuatro y cinco.
Ahora están recaudando fondos
Boushey, Solum y Walsh viven en para añadir cuartos adicionales.
una comunidad monástica y “viven
Los visitantes que se quedan en
el Evangelio en el espíritu de San las casitas traen su propia comida,
Benedicto.” San Benedicto es cono- pero durante mi visita las hermacido como el fundador de la vida nas me invitaron a acompañarlas a
monástica del oeste.
cenar un sándwich de queso y sopa.
Veintitrés años desde que las Mientras comíamos, una variedad
monjas se mudaron al condado de cardenales, jays verdes, rayuelos
Starr, su monasterio sirvió como el y golondrinas de árbol picoteaban
lugar ideal para visitar y encontrar su comida afuera de la ventana.
tiempo tranquilo para rezar en la re- Algunos días, los correcaminos y
mota tierra seca de los arbustos. Lo jabalíes también se aparecen.
más destacado viene del tiempo con
“Nuestros ángeles guardianes
las hermanas. Su espíritu acogedor son los paisanos (correcaminos).
y amor ejemplifican las enseñanzas Matan las víboras de cascabel.” Dijo
de Cristo. Sin palabras, su bondad y la hermana Boushey.
hospitalidad me inspiran.
Durante mi estadía tuve la
Ellas inspiran a otros también. oportunidad de pasar tiempo con
Justo después de llegar a la casa in- las mujeres que participan en su fin
festada de ratas en El Sauz, las tres de semana mensual Ora et Labora,
hermanas movilizaron cientos de que significa rezar y trabajar en
voluntarios y empezaron a recaudar latín.
fondos para su proyecto.
Irma Wolcott de Laguna Vista
Solamente a ocho millas del Río estaba ayudando este fin de semana
Grande, el monasterio ahora está como lo hace mensualmente con
en 115 acres de tierra donados por los retiros de discernimiento vola compañía de aceite Texaco en cacional. Ella visitó el monasterio
1993. Pero tomó siete años para fa- hace seis años. “Ellas (las monjas)
cilitar lo que las hermanas llaman la son absolutamente maravillosas. Su
“Tierra Prometida.” Mientras tanto hospitalidad es enorme,” dijo. “Sivivieron en un remolque hasta el entes que estas caminando en tierra
santa,” añadió acerca del monasteLas monjas añadieron el Cen- rio.
tro de Conferencias y Renovación
Después de nuestra visita, terMonte Cassino en el 2008 para los minamos con la Lectio Divina y
retiros de grupos laicos y religiosos. regrese a la Casita Beato Marmion
Catholic News Service
La estatua iluminada del Cristo
Redentor en Río de Janeiro, Brasil.
La JMJ Río se realizará del 23 al 28
de julio de 2013.
del Vaticano
pasa revista a
escenarios de
JMJ Río 2013
s o l a m e nt e
a unos pasos de la residencia
monástica. Cuando la hermana
Boushey me asignó la casita yo no
había escuchado sobre el Beato
Marmión, un monje irlandés Benedictino que fue beatificado por
el Papa Juan Pablo II en el 2000.
Después de investigar, aprendí que
sus escritos espirituales son muy respetados.
Me quedé escribiendo hasta la
1 a.m. disfrutando de la soledad. A
la mañana siguiente no quería dejar la serenidad del campo. Retrasé
mi partida con una caminata por la
mañana y pasé un tiempo sentada
en el patio trasero de la casita. Mi
visita no fue lo suficientemente larga, pero sé que regresaré – si Dios
3167 Monastery Lane
Rio Grande City, TX 78582
(dirección postal)
En Highway 83, dos millas al oeste
de Rio Grande City, de vuelta a la
derecha en la calle Farm Road 3167
y siga seis millas hacia el norte. Una
cruz blanca a la izquierda marca la
Llame con anticipación:
(956) 486-2680
Una delegación del Vaticano llegó a Río de Janeiro
(Brasil) el 24 de octubre
para visitar y aprobar los
distintos lugares en donde
se desarrollarán los eventos de la próxima Jornada
Mundial de la Juventud
(JMJ) que se realizará en julio de 2013 y a la que asistirá
el Papa Benedicto XVI.
Según indicó la Arquidiócesis de Río de Janeiro, el responsable de los
viajes del Santo Padre, Alberto Gasbarri, será quien
evalúe las propuestas para
el lugar de la Misa final de
la JMJ, que originalmente se
programó en la Base Aérea
de Santa Cruz y que podría
cambiarse “por el bien de
la Jornada y de los peregrinos”.
La delegación tuvo una
reunión en la Arquidiócesis. El Nuncio Apostólico
en Brasil, Mons. Giovanni
d’Aniello acompaño al grupo, según indicaron fuentes
de la arquidiócesis a ACI
La JMJ Río se realizará
del 23 al 28 de julio de 2013.
Asistirán jóvenes de todo el
planeta y se espera la asistencia de al menos dos millones de personas.
El primero en inscribirse al evento fue el Papa
Benedicto XVI a través
del sitio web http://www.
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
»10 maneras en que los católicos pueden vivir el Año de la Fe
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Año de la Fe busca promover un
encuentro personal con Jesús. Esto
ocurre inmediatamente en la Eucaristía. Asistir regularmente a la Misa
fortalece la fe del individuo a través
de las Escrituras, el Credo, otras
oraciones, música sacra, la homilía,
recibir la Comunión y ser parte de
una comunidad de fe.
2. CONFESARSE. Como asistir
a la Misa, los católicos encuentran fortaleza y profundizan en el
crecimiento de su fe a través de la
participación en el Sacramento de
la Penitencia y la Reconciliación.
La confesión urge a los fieles a
buscar a Dios, expresar su pena por
las faltas y abrir sus vidas al poder
sanador de la gracia de Dios. Perdona las faltas del pasado y provee
fortaleza para el futuro.
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Para honrar el cincuentenario del Concilio Vaticano Segundo y el vigésimo
aniversario del Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, el Papa Benedicto XVI ha anunciado el Año de la Fe, que
comenzará el 11 de Octubre y finalizará el 24 de Noviembre del 2013.La meta es fortalecer la fe de los
católicos y atraer el mundo hacia la fe con su ejemplo.
El Obispo David Ricken de Green Bay, Wisconsin, presidente del Comité sobre Evangelización y Catequesis de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos ofreció “10 maneras en que los católicos pueden vivir el Año de la Fe”. Basado en las pautas de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe del
Vaticano, algunas de estas sugerencias ya son requisitos para los católicos; otras pueden ser adoptadas por
los católicos en todo momento y especialmente durante el Año de la Fe:
DE LOS SANTOS. Los santos son
ejemplos eternos de cómo vivir una
vida cristiana, y proveen esperanza
infinita.Ellos no sólo fueron pecadores que intentaron acercarse mas
a Dios, pero ellos también ejemplifican distintas maneras en que
una persona puede servir a Dios: a
través de enseñanzas, trabajo misionero, obras caritativas, oraciones
y simplemente buscando agradar a
Dios en las acciones ordinarias y las
decisiones de la vida cotidiana.
4. LEER LA BIBLIA DIARIAMENTE. Las Escrituras nos ofrecen
acceso de primeramano a la Palabra
de Dios y nos dicen la historia de
la salvación humana.Los católicos
pueden orar con las Escrituras
(a través de lectio divina y otros
métodos) para acostumbrarse más
a la Palabra de Dios.De ambos
modos, la Biblia es necesaria para el
crecimiento espiritual durante el Año
de la Fe.
VATICANO II. El Concilio Vaticano Segundo
(1962-65) dio
lugar a una
gran renovación de la
Iglesia. Esta
impactó como
la Misa es
celebrada, el
papel de los
laicos, como
la Iglesia se
entiende entre
si y su relación con otros cristianos
y no-cristianos. Para continuar esta
renovación, los católicos deben
entender lo que enseñó el Concilio
y cómo esto enriquece las vidas de
los creyentes.
Publicado exactamente 30 años
después del
inicio del
Concilio, el
de la Iglesia
cubre las
oraciones y
de la Iglesia
Católica en
un volumen. Es un recurso para el
crecimiento y entendimiento de la
fe. Otro recurso útil es el Catecismo
Católico para Adultos de los Estados
Unidos (USCCA por sus siglas en
7. SER VOLUNTARIO EN LA PARROQUIA. El Año de la Fe no puede
ser solamente sobre estudio y reflexión. La base sólida de las Escrituras,
del Concilio y del Catecismo se debe
traducir en acción. La parroquia es
un buen lugar para comenzar, y los
dones de cada persona ayudan a
construir el sentido de comunidad.La
gente es bienvenida como ministros
de bienvenida, músicos litúrgicos,
lectores, catequistas, y en otros
roles relacionados a la parroquia.
El Vaticano urge a los católicos a
donar a obras de caridad y hacer
voluntariado para ayudar al pobre
durante el Año de la Fe. Esto significa encontrar personalmente a
Cristo en el pobre, marginalizado y
vulnerable. Ayudar a otros trae a los
católicos frente a Cristo y crea un
ejemplo para el resto del mundo.
El Año de la Fe puede ser global en
su alcance, enfocando en la renovación de la fe y la evangelización
para toda la Iglesia, pero el cambio
verdadero ocurre a nivel local. Una
invitación personal puede hacer la
diferencia para alguien quien se ha
alejado de la fe o se siente aislado
de la Iglesia. Cada uno conoce a
personas en esas circunstancias
así que todos pueden extender una
amorosa bienvenida.
5:3-12) provee un plan de acción
abundante para la vida cristiana. Su
sabiduría puede ayudar al individuo
a ser mas humilde, paciente, justo,
transparente, amoroso, compasivo,
y libre. Es precisamente el ejemplo
de la fe vivida que se necesita para
atraer a la gente a la Iglesia en el
año venidero.
Más información sobre el Año de la
Fe esta disponible en la Internet en:
Preguntas y respuestas sobre el Año de la Fe
Conferencia de Obispos Católicos
en USA
1. ¿Qué es el Año de Fe?
En ciertos momentos de la historia de la Iglesia, los papas han llamado a los feligreses para dedicarse
a profundizar su entendimiento en
un aspecto particular de la fe. En
1967, el Papa Pablo VI anuncio
un Año de fe conmemorando el
centenario numero 19 del martirio de San Pedro y Pablo. El Año
de Fe de 1967 convocó a la iglesia
a recordar el sobresaliente acto de
testimonio de estos dos santos para
que su martirio pudiera inspirar a
la Iglesia en el presente y profesar
una fe sincera colectiva e individualmente.
El próximo Año de Fe anunciado por el Papa Benedicto XV es
un “una llamada a una conversión
autentica y renovada hacia el Señor, el Salvador del mundo” (Porta
fidei 6). En otras palabras, el Año
de Fe es una oportunidad para que
los Católicos vivan una conversión
– regresar a Jesús y entrar en una
relación más profunda con el. El
papa explicó esta conversión como
el abrir “la puerta de la fe” (ver
Hechos 14: 27). La “puerta de la
fe” se abre en nuestro bautizo, pero
durante este año los católicos son
llamados a abrirla de nuevo, caminar a través de ella y redescubrir y
renovar su relación con Cristo en
su Iglesia.
2. ¿Por qué el Año de Fe es este
Es su Carta Apostólica del 11 de
octubre, 2011, Porta Fidei, el Papa
Benedicto XVI declaró que el Año
de Fe empezaría el 11 de octubre,
2012 y concluirá el 24 de noviembre, 2013; el primer día del Año de
Fe es el quinceavo aniversario de la
inauguración del Segundo Consejo
Vaticano (Vaticano II) y también el
vigésimo aniversario del Catecismo
de la Iglesia Católica. Durante el
Año de Fe, se les pide a los católicos
que estudien y reflexionen sobre
los documentos del Vaticano II y el
catecismo para que profundicen su
conocimiento de la fe.
3. El Año de Fe empieza en
octubre del 2012 con un Concilio
sobre la Nueva Evangelización.
¿Qué es un concilio?
Un concilio de obispos es una
reunión de obispos, seleccionados de diferentes áreas del mundo,
quienes se
reúnen con
el papa para
hablar sobre
pertinentes a
la actividad
de la Iglesia
en el mundo.
Esta junta de obispos ayuda a fomentar una unidad más cercana
entre los obispos y el papa, y le da
consejos al papa. El Papa Benedicto
XVI ha situado el Concilio sobre
la Nueva Evangelización (octubre
7-28) al principio del Año de Fe
(octubre 11).
4. ¿Cómo se relacionan el Año
de Fe y la Nueva Evangelización?
La Nueva Evangelización es
un llamado a cada católico para
profundizar su propia fe, tener
confianza en el Evangelio y tener
una disposición para compartir
el Evangelio. La Nueva Evangelización es primero y principalmente
un encuentro personal con Jesucristo; es una invitación a profundizar nuestra relación con Cristo.
Es también un llamado a cada persona para compartir su fe con los
demás. El Año de Fe, así como la
Nueva Evangelización, convocar a
los católicos a transformarse para
poder ahondar en su relación con
Cristo y compartirla con los demás.
5. ¿Cómo afecta el Año de Fe
al católico ordinario?
Cada católico bautizado es llamado a través del bautizo a ser un
discípulo de cristo y proclamar
el Evangelio. El Año de Fe es una
oportunidad para cada católico de
renovar su llamado bautismal al vivir los momentos cotidianos de sus
vidas con fe, esperanza y amor. Este
testimonio diario es necesario para
proclamar el Evangelio a la familia,
amigos, vecinos y sociedad. Para
poder ser testigos del Evangelio, los
católicos deben de ser fortalecidos
a través de la celebración de la Misa
Dominical y el Sacramento de Reconciliación.
Se anima a los pastores para
que den oportunidades a sus feligreses de ahondar su fe durante el
Año de Fe a través de retiros, liturgias especiales, estudios bíblicos,
oportunidades de servicio y sesiones de formación en el catecismo y
los sacramentos.
6. ¿Cuáles son algunos recursos claves para el Año de Fe?
Los católicos que deseen profundizar su fe durante el Año de
Fe deben empezar por explorar la
sección de Evangelización y Catequesis de la pagina de internet de
USCCB. Muchos recursos catecúmenos, oraciones y otros recursos
han sido preparados para el Año de
Fe y la Nueva Evangelización, los
cuales pueden ser vistos y descargados gratuitamente. Los católicos
también deben de considerar estudiar los documentos del Vaticano
II y el catecismo. Otro recurso es
el Catecismo Católico para Adultos de Estados Unidos, el cual tiene
las enseñanzas del catecismo y las
comparte de una manera única
en un contexto americano, destacando a los Santos americanos y
los ejemplos ha seguir. Los católicos también pueden hablar con
los pastores y otros líderes en las
parroquias para aprender sobre
las actividades y las oportunidades
que estarán disponibles dentro de
sus comunidades. Lo más importante es que los católicos que deseen fortalecer su fe deben de rezar
diariamente, estudiar las Escrituras
y celebrar la Misa Dominical semanalmente.
The Valley Catholic - Noviembre 2012
»La alegría de vivir
Deportaciones crean pérdida
económica para todos
o dice en Levítico
19:33-34 “Al forastero
que viva con ustedes
lo miraran como a
uno de ustedes, y lo amaras
como a ti mismo”. Y aunque
lo tenemos presente si somos
creyentes pocos somos los que
actuamos acorde a nuestras
Ahora con las convenciones de los Republicanos y
Demócratas hemos escuchado
lo importante que es el tema de
inmigración, el tema está muy
polarizado y desgraciadamente
los que vociferan sus puntos
de vista son ultraconservadores radicales que desearían
localizar, aprender y deportar a
todos los que se encuentran sin
documentos legales, pero ¿en
realidad que será conveniente
hacer eso?
Las pérdidas de ingresos
que registraría el estado de
Texas se calculan en billones,
según el Centro de Progreso
Americano de la Universidad
de California en los Ángeles (UCLA) en un estudio
elaborado por el profesor Raúl
El número de residentes en
nuestro estado es 24.3 millones
de tejanos y aproximadamente
6.8% de ellos viven aquí sin
documentos, según lo reporta-
y generalmente no reclaman
sus reembolsos debido a su
condición migratoria.
Pastor, Our Lady
El tema de la inmigración
of Perpetual Help es muy complejo, pero es
Church in McAllen importante que reflexionemos
que haríamos nosotros en su
lugar, que seriamos capaces
de hacer para conseguir el
sustento de nuestros hijos, tendo en el Censo de población
dríamos el suficiente aplomo
del 2010, y si se removieran
para arriesgar nuestra vida y
vía deportación a todos los
poner nuestra dignidad en la
inmigrantes indocumentados,
línea de fuego diariamente con
se dejarían de ingresar 14.5
tal de conseguir un trabajo que
billones de dólares anuales
nos permitiera poner un peden recolección de impuestos,
azo de pan en nuestra mesa,
además la pérdida del producpues es curioso que las persoto interno bruto estatalmente
nas que alzan su voz y hacen
seria de 77 billones de dólares.
declaraciones incitando a las
La verdad es que aun
deportaciones masivas, son
se menosprecia a aquel que
aquellos que jamás se humilmuchas veces nos sirve mas
larían para servir a otros, que
lealmente, siendo parte del
serian incapaces de resistir una
servicio de nuestras casas, crijornada de trabajo bajo el sol,
ando a los pequeños del hogar
y no tiene ni tienen el menor
mientras los padres trabajan,
interés en enterarse como se
cocinando y pizcando en los
afectaría la economía de todos
campos lo que nos llevamos a
la boca, manteniendo limpios
y bellos nuestros jardines, etc.,
etc., pero su trabajo es un factor silencioso que contribuye
Mons. Juan Nicolau, Ph.D. STL
a nuestra economía, porque
Pastor de la iglesia de Nuestra
pagan impuestos en todo lo
Señora del Perpetuo Socorro.
que consumen, trabajan en
Es psicoterapeuta familiar y
uno o dos lugares, pagan sus
consejero profesional.
impuestos estatales y federales
Msgr. Juan
»Vida Familiar
Aprende, enseña, reza
a vida es una jornada y cada
persona tiene que seguir
su propio camino. Para los
padres, ese camino se extiende hacia muchas sendas y veredas
porque incluye nuestro camino al
unirse con el de nuestros hijos. Es
una maravilla recordar que nuestro
papel como padres es aprender lo que
Dios nos esta llamando a hacer en
esta vida, para enseñar esas lecciones
a nuestros hijos (porque está en nuestra “descripción de trabajo”) y rezar
para que ellos también sean receptivos al Espíritu de Dios guiándolos a
convertirse en la mejor persona que
Él, de manera única, los ha creado
para ser.
Cada día aprendemos de la Palabra de Dios, de aquellos alrededor
de nosotros y de los desafíos que la
vida nos trae. Uno de nuestros mayores papeles como padres es el trabajar en nosotros mismos, nuestras
faltas y defectos; el seguir creciendo
en sabiduría, conocimiento y gracia.
Cuando yo era una madre
“joven”, pensaba que mi trabajo era
el ser la “maestra”, la que “imparte el
conocimiento,” y pronto aprendí que
era tanto aprendiz como maestra; y
que tenia mucho que aprender de mi
hija. Ella y yo somos dos individuos
muy diferentes y nos expandemos en
nuestros propios mundos.
Nosotros le enseñamos a nuestros
hijos nuestras creencias y nuestros
valores por medio de lo que decimos, y más importante, por lo que
hacemos. Proverbios 3:1-6 dice: Hijo
mío, no te olvides de mi enseñanza,
guarda en tu corazón mis manda-
Lydia Pesina
Directora, Oficina
de Vida Familiar
mientos .Porque ellos se colmarán
de largos días, de años de vida y de
buena salud. No se aparten de ti la
bondad y la fidelidad; ponlas como
collar en tu cuello, y escríbelas en el
libro de tu corazón. Así te ganarás el
aprecio de todos, y te mirarán con
buenos ojos tanto Dios como los
hombres. Confía en Yavé sin reserva
alguna; no te apoyes en tu inteligencia. En todas tus empresas tenle
presente, y el dirigirá todos tus pasos.
Rezamos cada día para que
nuestros hijos puedan hacer las
mejores decisiones para sus vidas y
su bienestar. Algunas veces toman
decisiones que hacen la vida difícil
para ellos y esas veces tenemos que
estar cerca de ellos, para amarlos y
apoyarlos a través de sus pruebas, así
como Santa Mónica hizo con hijo caprichoso, quien después se convirtió
en San. Agustín.
Un filosofo dijo que “un profeta no es llamado al éxito si no a la
fidelidad,” y creo que esto también
aplica a la crianza de los hijos. Como
padres, somos llamados a ser fieles
a enseñarles y amar a nuestros hijos,
creamos o no que estamos teniendo
éxito. Como mi hija tiende a decir;
» Por favor lea Aprende, p.18
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November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
Assisted suicide,
continued from pg. 4
those who end their own lives, for
their loved ones left behind, and
for society more broadly.
Some people may decide that
their lives are no longer worth
living, but our society has always
recognized that decision to be
a tragedy and a mistake; that’s
why high bridges have signs
encouraging suicidal individuals
to seek help rather than jump.
Suicide hotlines are open 24 hours
a day because we seek to prevent
as many deaths as we can. We treat
as heroes those who walk along
bridges or climb tall buildings and
try to talk people down.
continued from pg. 10
New Evangelization is first and
foremost a personal encounter
with Jesus Christ; it is an invitation to deepen one’s relationship
with Christ. It is also a call to each
person to share his or her faith
with others. The Year of Faith, just
like the New Evangelization, calls
Catholics to conversion in order
to deepen their relationship with
Christ and to share it with others.
5. How does the Year of Faith affect the average Catholic?
Every baptized Catholic is
called through baptism to be a
disciple of Christ and proclaim
the Gospel. The Year of Faith is
an opportunity for each and every
Catholic to renew their baptismal
call by living out the everyday
Commentator Greg Pfundstein
stresses how this sound and
consistent cultural message is
flatly contradicted when we
allow physicians to prescribe
lethal drugs so people can kill
themselves — it is like replacing
the suicide intervention signs on
bridges with signs that state, “Ask
your physician if jumping is right
for you.” Simply put, such jumping
is never a “good thing,” and it is
only our own foolhardiness that
lets us feign it could be, whether
physician-assisted or otherwise.
I remember reading a Letter
to the Editor in the local paper
of a small town many years ago.
The woman wrote about the
death of her grandparents —
well-educated, intelligent and
moments of their lives with faith,
hope and love. This everyday witness is necessary for proclaiming the Gospel to family, friends,
neighbors and society. In order to
witness to the Gospel, Catholics
must be strengthened through celebrating weekly Sunday Mass and
the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Pastors are encouraged to provide their parishioners with opportunities to deepen their faith
during the Year of Faith through
retreats, special liturgies, Bible
studies, service opportunities and
formation sessions on the catechism and sacraments.
6. What are some key resources
for the Year of Faith?
Catholics wishing to deepen
their faith during the Year of
Faith should start by exploring
the Evangelization and Catechesis section of the USCCB website.
seemingly in control of their
faculties — who had tragically
committed suicide together by
drinking a deadly substance. They
were elderly and struggling with
various ailments.
Her first-hand perspective was
unflinching: “It took me years to
forgive my grandparents after they
committed suicide. I was so angry
at what they had done to me and
my family. I felt betrayed. I felt
nauseated. At some fundamental
level I just couldn’t believe it had
really happened, and I couldn’t
believe that they didn’t reach out
to us for help. I thought the pain
would never go away. The idea
that suicide could ever be a good
thing is a total crock and a lie.
It leaves behind deep scars and
Numerous catechetical resources,
prayers and other resources have
been prepared for the Year of
Faith and the New Evangelization
that can be viewed and downloaded for free. Catholics should
also consider studying the documents of Vatican II and the catechism. Another resource is the
United States Catholic Catechism
for Adults, which takes the teachings of the catechism and shares
them within a uniquely American
context and highlights American
Catholic saints and role models.
Catholics can also talk to their
pastors and other parish leaders
to learn about what activities and
opportunities will be taking place
within their communities. Most
importantly, Catholics seeking to
deepen their faith should pray daily, study Scripture and celebrate
weekly Sunday Mass.
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(956) 630 2330
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806 S. Cage Blvd
(956) 283 0995
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“ La original y auténtica de las carnes marinadas”
immeasurable pain on the part of
family and friends. We don’t have
the right to take our own lives
because we didn’t give ourselves
I’m reminded of the words
of the Mayor of one of our great
cities, who declared: “The crime
rate isn’t so bad if you just don’t
count the murders.” Assisted
suicide, similarly, isn’t so bad if
you just don’t count the victims:
the many broken individuals,
broken families, and broken
A friend of mine in Canada
has struggled with multiple
sclerosis for many years. He often
speaks out against assisted suicide.
Recently, he sent me a picture of
himself taken with his smiling
grandchildren, one sitting on each
arm of his wheelchair. Below the
picture he wrote, “If I had opted
for assisted suicide back in the
mid-1980s when I first developed
MS, and it seemed life as I knew it
was over, look what I would have
missed. I had no idea that one day
I would be head over heels in love
with grandchildren! Never give up
on life.”
Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk,
Ph.D. earned his doctorate in
neuroscience from Yale and did
post-doctoral work at Harvard.
He is a priest of the diocese of
Fall River, MA, and serves as
the Director of Education at The
National Catholic Bioethics Center
in Philadelphia.
dous,” she said. “You feel like you
are walking on holy ground,” she
added about the monastery.
After our visit, we ended with
the Lectio Divina and I returned
to the Blessed Marmion Casita just
a few feet from the monastic residence. When Sister Nancy assigned
me to the casita I had not heard of
Blessed Marmion, a Benedictine
Irish monk who was beatified by
Blessed John Paul II in 2000. After some research I learned that
Blessed Marmion’s spiritual writings are highly regarded.
I stayed up past 1 a.m. writing, enjoying the solitude. The next
morning, I did not want to leave
the serenity of the brush country.
I delayed my departure with an
early morning walk and some time
sitting in the back patio of the casita. My visit not long enough, but
I know I will return – si Dios quiere.
continued from pg. 7
green jays, house wrens and tree
swallows pecked at their own dinner at feeders outside the window.
Some days, road runners and javelinas make an appearance as well.
“Our guardian angels are the
paisanos (roadrunners). They kill
rattlesnakes,” said Sister Boushey.
During my stay I had a chance
to spend some time with the women participating in their monthly
Ora et Labora Discernment Weekend. Ora et Labora is Latin for pray
and work.
Irma Wolcott from Laguna
Vista was assisting that weekend as
she does monthly with the discernment vocation retreats. She first
visited the monastery six years ago.
“They (nuns) are absolutely wonderful. Their hospitality is tremen-
continued from pg. 1
an overseas deployment during
which service members can spend
time with their loved ones.
“During this R&R, we focused
more on the kids,” said Mrs. Guzman, 29. “It lets them know that
even though we can’t always be together, we’re a family.”
The family packed the 14 days
with fun activities. Their adventures included trips to the Gladys
Porter Zoo in Brownsville, South
Padre Island and even Sea World
in San Antonio. The park offers free
admission for active duty military,
their spouses and children.
“We went to the pumpkin patch
today with Daddy,” said five-yearold Clarissa Guzman. “My Daddy
works in Afghanistan but he is
in Texas for a visit. He gets to say
goodnight to me now.”
Spc. Guzman, 31, said that he
really enjoys the outings with his
family but he even finds joy in moments that many would consider
mundane, like bathing and feeding his children and doing work
around the house.
“I miss being a part of their daily lives,” he said.
More than three million serve
in the U.S. Armed Services — active duty and the reserves — and
millions of families and children
are impacted by their service.
The families of the deployed, in
particular, quietly make sacrifices
every day.
“I don’t think people fully understand what goes on in our little
lives,” Spc. Guzman said. “The children of deployed military are missing their Mom or Dad. They are
growing up without a parent.”
“Most people understand the
sacrifices made by the service person,” Mrs. Guzman said. “They understand that they are away from
home, they understand the dangers
of it but many don’t realize what
military families go through. It
takes a strong family to be a military family. We go through a lot of
tough times and you just have to
take it in stride, day by day.”
The Guzman home is full of
patriotic décor and photos of Spc.
Guzman. Mrs. Guzman wants to
make sure her children constantly
see their daddy’s face.
When her husband is in Afghanistan, Mrs. Guzman said she
continued from pg. 16
Siempre escucho lo que dices; pero
no siempre hago lo que me dices.
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
and their children communicate
with him about once a week, sometimes more often, depending on his
“I make sure my phone is always nearby and fully charged,” she
said. “The computer is always on in
case he Skypes in. Technology helps
out so much.”
Most of the phone calls last just
a few minutes.
“His phone calls make our day,
even if he is calling quickly just to
say, ‘hi,’” Mrs. Guzman said. “Just to
hear his voice is great. Anyone who
has gone through a deployment
knows how that feels.”
She also tries to keep the conversations light while still keeping
him updated on what’s happening
at home.
“You have to be balanced about
it,” Mrs. Guzman said. “You have
to decide what information you
should give him and what information you should keep to yourself.
You don’t want him to worry too
much. You want him to focus on
his job.”
While on deployment, the
service member often feels torn
between family and country, Spc.
Guzman said.
“I love doing my job, I love my
country but I miss my family,” he
Spc. Guzman said he has missed
many milestones in the lives of
his children, such as holidays, first
steps and first words. And the time
away is getting harder to bear as his
children get older and understand
more, he said.
“I’ve only been home for two
birthdays from all three of my children,” Spc. Guzman said. “In the
last five years, I’ve only been with
my family for about a year-and-ahalf. We are apart a lot more than
we are together.”
One of the most heartbreaking
experiences was missing the birth
of his youngest son, Spc. Guzman
“I found out that he was born
from a friend on Facebook,” he said.
“They sent me a Red Cross message
but I didn’t get it until three hours
after he was born.”
But even though the Guzmans
acknowledge the challenges, they,
like most other military families,
don’t want any pity or sympathy.
“We don’t want people to feel
sorry for us,” Mrs. Guzman said.
“It’s his job and he does it with pride.
We support him 100 percent.”
Mientras vivimos el ciclo del
misterio pascual en nuestras vidas
(el sufrimiento, la muerte del yo y
el ego, y el nacimiento de lo nuevo)
aprendemos que los momentos
más difíciles tienen el potencial de
Oratorians celebrate
Each Congregation of the Oratory is a Pontifical autonomous
House with its own superior, called
the Father Provost, and its own
members who by entering a particular House are there for life. The
members of the Congregation of the
Oratory can be priests or brothers
who, following the spirituality of our
founder St. Philip Neri (1515-1595),
seek a life of holiness through prayer
and community life and by working
in common apostolates.
The common and main works of
the Pharr Oratory are education and
lay leadership. The Secular Oratory
is formed by the laity that, following
the spirituality of St. Philip Neri, are
close collaborators and are spiritu-
ally guided by the members of
the Congregation in the meetings known as the little Oratory.
The Casa Maria of the
Oratory, center of spiritual direction for women, was established in 1979 and is run by a
group of consecrated lay women. The Oratory Academy
(PK-8) was established in 1983
and in 1998, the Oratory Athenaeum for University preparation (9-12) and the Newman
Institute in Reynosa, México,
(PK-6) were begun.
The Pharr Oratory also
collaborates with the local bishop
in the pastoral care of the faithful through parochial ministry, at
present St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in
Pharr and Sacred Heart Parish in
The Pharr Oratory of St. Philip
Neri is grateful to the Lord and Our
Lady for the many blessings bestowed upon them and the opportunity to serve the faithful in the Rio
Grande Valley.
Father Mario Avilés is procurator
general of the worldwide Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri
and serves as pastor of Sacred Heart
Parish in Hidalgo.
sad,” said Suarez, who has served at
San Juan Nursing Home for more
than 20 years. “There is no way to
not remember but you can arrive at
a place of hope.”
The grieving process is full of
ups and downs, highs and lows,
Perez said. One moment, the grieving person may be at peace, the next
moment, they may be distraught,
especially during the first year.
“Grief comes and goes like
waves,” he said. “I think of it like
you’re on the beach and you have
your back to the waves. You feel the
constant push, but every once in a
while, you get a real big one and it
can knock you down. You just don’t
know when those strong emotions
might come. It could be at the grocery store when you see a certain
food, it could be in the car when
you hear a song on the radio, just
something that hits and touches
that tender spot in your heart.”
When it comes to grief, many
people say, “this too shall pass,” or
“it will heal with time,” but Perez
said the notion that time heals all
wounds is a myth.
“Time is not the healing agent,”
he said. “The healing agent is attention to the wound, over time, heals.
Attention to the wound, over time,
brings about healing.”
The best way to tend to grief is
to face it rather than ignore it, Perez
said. Having support, from family,
friends or a bereavement support
group, is key.
Both San Juan Nursing Home
and Valley Baptist Health Systems
offer free support groups for those
who are grieving the loss of a loved
For more information on support groups at San Juan Nursing
Home, call (956) 787-1771. For
support groups at Valley Baptist
Health System, call (956) 389-1194.
aprender de estos momentos.
El Señor es “siempre” y de
todas las formas bondadoso y
benevolente con nosotros. Que
nosotros como padres seamos la
cara de Dios para nuestros hijos
a cualquier edad y en cualquier
etapa en la que se encuentren y
que continuemos esforzándonos
para ofrecerles bondad y misericordia sin importar qué pruebas
estén cargando.
Oratory marks 45
years of service to the
Diocese of Brownsville
The Valley Catholic
The Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Pharr is celebrating its 45th anniversary in the
Diocese of Brownsville in November. The Congregation was canonically established by His Holiness
Pope Paul VI on Nov. 26, 1967.
By the invitation of Humberto
Cardinal Medeiros, who was then
Bishop of Brownsville, three priests
from the Oratory of Rock Hill, S.C.
moved to McAllen where they were
charged with establishing St. Joseph
the Worker Parish.
The Pharr Oratory is the third
Congregation founded in the United
States (the Oratory of Rock Hill, S.C.
was the first). At present, there are
eight Congregations in this country.
The Pharr Oratory forms part of the
85 houses that together form the
Confederation of the Oratory. Five
priests and one seminarian are at
present members of the Pharr community.
continued from pg. 3
“When you lose a loved one,
nothing can ever be like it used to
be, because that person is no longer in your life, physically,” he said.
“The process of grief is to learn to
carry their memory in your heart,
but during the holidays, one has to
prepare. This loss will affect your
holidays and it is normal for it to
affect your holidays. It’s ok.”
Suarez, who assists individuals
and families with grief on a regular
basis through her ministry at the
nursing home, said that she and
her family have Masses celebrated
in her son’s memory. The family
also honors him by collecting toys
for needy children at Christmas, a
cause that was dear to her son.
“Losing my son will always be
ser los más transformativos. Estas
situaciones nos pueden llevar a
crecer hacia nuevos entendimientos y a renacer a nuevas maneras
de vivir si estamos dispuestos a
ser guiados por el Espíritu Santo y
November 2012 - The Valley Catholic
»Media Resource Center
» Calendar of Events
Coordinator of the Media Resource Center - Diocese of Brownsville
»From the Bookshelf
»Worth Watching
Santa Claus
and the
Legend of St.
St. Kateri:
Lily of the
Glory Stories
Vol. VII:
St. Martin de
Clare of Assisi
All Saints Day
(DiocesanOffices Closed)
All Souls Day
2-4 Catholic Engaged Encounter
(Family Life Office)
2-4 Divine Will Retreat (RGC)
Production: Browns Publishing/Roa
Media (1992)
Length:16 minutes
The facts: It’s a good way for children
to learn that Santa Claus was real. He
dedicated his life to serving God and
was made Bishop of Myra while still a
young man. Bishop Nicholas became
known for his generosity to those in
need, his love for children, and his
concern for sailors and ships.
Format: VHS
Production: Hispanic Television
Network (2001)
Length:23 minutes
The facts: A Spanish resource that
talks about Advent, which is a season
of anticipation, waiting for Christ to
come again into our lives. For children,
though, the focus of the weeks before
Christmas is often the wrapped
presents under the tree, but there are
some simple things families can do to
keep Jesus at the center of attention..
continued from pg. 5
of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church, March 2005, Vatican).
Since the publication of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
in 1992 there have been two other
catechisms published intended
for the teaching of the Catholic
faith. The YouCat (short for “Youth
Catechism”) was first released during World Youth Day in Madrid in
August 2011.
The other publication is the
United States Catholic Catechism
for Adults published by the United
States Conference of Catholic
Bishops (usccbpublishing.org).
Bishop Emeritus Raymundo J. Peña’s
November 3
Juan Diego Academy Gala
November 8
Diocesan Staff Thanksgiving
San Juan
November 10
6 p.m.
Holy Rosary Mass/Banquet
November 11-16
All Day
USCCB Conference
November 17
KC 75th Anniversary Dinner
November 18
11:30 a.m. Mass-Resurrection
November 25
8 a.m.
Mass-Christ the King mission
Monte Alto
On going:
Mass at St. Joseph Chapel of Perpet1st: Vocations to the Consecrated
Life (active and contemplative) and
ual Adoration, 727 Bowie St., Alamo
for the Sisters and Brothers in our
8 a.m. & 4 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph
diocese and the success of their
Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, 727
Bowie St., Alamo
2nd: Vocations to the Permanent
Diaconate the deacons (permanent
and transitional) of the diocese and
their families
Holy Hour will be held Weekly every
3rd : Vocation to Married Life: for
Thursday at 7 p.m., 727 Bowie St.,
the welfare and sanctification of all
the families in the diocese and for
building up the Kingdom in our
Every Sunday: 6 p.m. & 9 p.m.
domestic churches
Confessions/Mass at UTPA-Edinburg
4th: Vocations to the priesthood
and the priests of the diocese for the
success of their ministry
5th: Vocations to the Pro-Life
Length: 234 pages, paperback
Author: Matthew and Margaret
Publication: Our Sunday Visitor
The facts: St. Kateri was canonized
on Oct. 21, becoming the first Native
American woman elevated to sainthood
by the Roman Catholic Church. Her
story is impressive. She lived in such a
pagan atmosphere yet she was strong
enough to overcome it. This is one
of the first titles deeming her, “Saint”
This is an adaptation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for
Catholics of the United States and
contains a summary of the beliefs
of the Catholic faith that includes
stories of the lives of the saints,
doctrine, reflections, quotations,
and discussion questions. This is an
excellent resource for the preparation of catechumens in the Rite
of Christian Initiation of Adults
and for the ongoing catechesis for
Adult Faith Formation. The last
catechism published in the United
States was the Baltimore Catechism
Length:Audiobook CD
Author: Jim Morlino
Publication: Holy Heroes/EWTN
The facts: Story of Saint Martin de
Porres: Known as the Apostle of Charity,
patron of social justice, father of the sick
and poor, and helper in hopeless cases,
Martin also spoke to the animals and
worked many unusual miracles. Story
of Saint Clare: Inspired by St. Francis
and his ideal of holy poverty, Clare left
everything to follow Christ. She founded
the religious order, the Poor Clares.
in 1884 which contained 421 questions and answers and gave unity to
the teaching and understanding of
the faith for millions of American
This Year of Faith we have a
number of resources available
to live our faith more fully and
authentically in order to know
it and appreciate it. I encourage
everyone to utilize the different catechisms available, particularly the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
(available online at: usccb.org).
Fall Festivals
Whether it’s called a kermes or a
jamaica, annual festivals are a longstanding tradition at many parishes,
missions and Catholic schools across
the Rio Grande Valley.
For most parishes, however, the
festivals are more than just fun and
games, they are also a main source of
income for the entire year.
Nov. 2
SAN PEDRO — San Pedro Mission,
7602 Old Military Rd. Casino Nights
from 7:30 to midnight featuring Blackjack, Crafts, Roulette, Texas Hold’em
and Silent Auction. Tickets single $25
couple $40 include playing chips,
raffle ticket, food, drinks, music, dancing. Crowning of King and Queen.
(956) 542-2596
Nov. 3
SAN PEDRO — San Pedro Mission, 7602 Old Military Rd. All Saints
Festival from 5 to 10 p.m. featuring a
variety of foods, games, talent show
and music. $5 raffle tickets for a
chance to win a 2013 Harley Davidson
72 and other great prizes drawing will
be at 10 p.m. (956) 542-2596
Nov. 3
MISSION — Juan Diego Academy,
5208 S. FM 494 in Mission. Activities
scheduled include silent and live auction, dinner and live music. Individual
seats are $50, Sponsorship levels are
available For more information call
(956) 583-2752.
Nov. 3
OLMITO — Our Heavenly Father Mission, 9178 Tomas Cortez St. Annual
Fall Kermes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Live music by Acido. Come join us
for an evening of fun and entertainment. Raffle tickets are $2 and prizes
include a weekend at South Padre
Island with $100 VISA gift card. Info
(956) 350-5190.
Nov. 3-4
HARLINGEN — St. Anthony Church,
209 S. 10th Street. Fall festival Sat.
from 6-11 p.m. and Sun. from 3-9 p.m.
featuring a variety food, cake walk,
music and games (956) 428-6111.
Nov. 3-4
DONNA — St. Joseph Church, 306 S.
D. Salinas Blvd. Sat. 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sun. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. featuring lots of
food, games, chalupa bingo, sale of
plants and live music by variety of
bands. Raffle tickets $10 for a chance
to win a 2012 Nissan Versa 1.6s
(956) 464-3331
Nov. 9 - 10
HARLINGEN — Our Lady of Assumption Church, 1313 W. Buchanan St.
Fiesta de Colores from 6 to 10 p.m. 6
- 10 p.m. featuring a variety of foods,
games, talent show and music. (956)
Nov. 9 - 10
McALLEN — Our Lady of Perpetual
Help Church, 2209 Kendlewood Festival from 4 to 10 p.m. both nights to
benefit new Education Center Raffle
tickets available $50 1st prize 2013
Mercedes Benz C-250(winners pay
TT&L) (956) 682-4238
Nov. 10
EDINBURG — St. Joseph School, 119
W. Fay. Turkeyfest from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m. Delicious food, fun, games, street
vendors, raffle, live and silent auctions
and much more. Info (956) 383-3957
Nov. 17
Theresa Mission Pan de Campo/Fill
the Grill Cook-off from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cook teams are invited to participate.
Featuring food, games, chalupa bingo,
raffle and auction. (956) 318-5135
Juan Diego Academy Gala
Vital 3.0 – Catholic Youth
Daylight Saving Time
Professional Day
(Office of Catechesis)
Election Day
(Rio Grande City)
10-11 Retrio Pre-Matrimonial
11 Veteran’s Day
12-22 Holy Land Pilgrimage
(Resurrection - Alamo)
15-18 SMdP Acts Retreat
16-18 Region 10
(Youth Ministry)
17 CMD #8 (Youth Ministry)
17 Convalidation Conference
(Family Life Office)
20 Youth 2000
(Youth Ministry)
22-23 Thanksgiving
23-25 CFA (RGC)
29- Dec 1 NCCYM 2012:
Living in the Light
1-2 For Better and Forever
(Family Life)
First Sunday of Advent
Feast of St Nicholas
Advent Retreat
(Office of Catechesis)
Feast of the
Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Second Sunday of Advent
12 Feast of Our Lady of
14-16 Ambassadors for Christ
16 Third Sunday of Advent
21 First day of winter
24 Christmas Eve (DiocesanOfficesClosed)
25 Christmas – Birth of
our Lord Jesus Christ
26-30 Benedictine Life
Experience (RGC)
31 New Year’s Eve 2013
Please submit your schedule to be
published in The Valley Catholic by the
first Friday of each month by email at
[email protected] or fax: (956) 784-5082.
The Valley Catholic - November 2012
Our Catholic Family
‘It takes a lot of prayer’
Judge honored
for commitment
to Red Mass
The Valley Catholic
Judge Aida Salinas Flores
took final exams as a student at the University of
Texas School of Law in Austin, her
mother was on her knees in her Sullivan City home, praying for her
daughter’s success.
“She would stay on her knees,
praying and praying for me until the exam was over,” said Flores,
who has served the Hidalgo County
398th District Court for 12 years.
She was elected to a fourth term in
Judge Flores said her mother’s
great faith and profound devotion
continue to inspire her, especially
when she’s on the bench.
“Every decision that we make affects the lives of individuals, whether it is custody matters, whether it is
divorce, whether it is property division, whether it is sentencing people to the penitentiary,” Flores said.
Photos by Cesar Riojas/The Valley Catholic
Deacon Mitch Chavez, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, Bishop Daniel
E. Flores, Bishop Emeritus Raymundo J. Peña during the entrance procession of the Red
Mass Sept. 27 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville. Right, Judge
Aida Salinas Flores of the Hidalgo County 398th District Court was honored for her
longtime commitment to the Red Mass.
“I have always believed that when I
sentence someone to the penitentiary, I don’t just sentence that individual, I sentence the whole family
and I pray long and hard every time
I have to make a decision.
“So it means being guided by
something more than my intelligence, something higher and better
than me. It takes a lot of prayer and
the help of the Holy Spirit.”
For that reason, Flores is a
strong supporter of the annual Red
Mass in the Diocese of Brownsville.
The intentions of the Red Mass
are for judges, attorneys, government officials and all other protectors and administrators of the
law and their support staffs. In our
diocese, the celebration alternates
between Cameron and Hidalgo
This year’s Red Mass was held
on Sept. 27 at the Immaculate
Conception Cathedral and was
celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo
Garcia-Siller of San Antonio. The
archbishop also delivered the key-
note address at the reception, which
was held at Mary, Mother of the
Church Parish. The theme of the
Red Mass and reception was, “Love
Thy Neighbor.”
Flores was recognized for her
longtime commitment to the event
during this year’s celebration.
Judge Elia Cornejo Lopez,
Cameron County 404th District
Court Judge, said Flores was honored because she always answers,
“yes,” when called upon by God.
“When I hear the hymn, ‘Here
I am, Lord,’ I think of Aida,” Lopez
To subscribe
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said. “The song asks, ‘is it I, Lord?’
and for Aida, the answer to the cry
is always yes — yes to the Red Mass,
yes to God, yes to his Church.”
Flores is a member of the ACTS
(Adoration, Community, Theology,
Service) community and has served
on retreat teams. She is a registered
parishioner at Holy Spirit Church in
McAllen but enjoys visiting different Catholic churches in the Valley.
“I’m sort of like a nomad kind
of parishioner,” said Flores, who
named Our Lady of Guadalupe
Church in Mission, Our Lady of
Sorrows Church and Sacred Heart
Church in McAllen and her hometown church of St. William Mission
in Sullivan City as the churches she
attends regularly, in addition to
Holy Spirit Church. “I’m not a stickler for one parish.”
Judge Flores has also been a
trailblazer for women throughout
her career. She was one of only
two Mexican-American women in
her class at the University of Texas
School of Law in 1975 and was the
first female assistant district attorney in Hidalgo County, among
many other “firsts” in her career.
Flores is married to her childhood sweetheart, Rene, whom she
met at age 13 and married at age 20.
They have three adult children and
two grandsons.
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