By Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Msgr. Joseph E. Strickland, the 53-year-old vicar general of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, to serve as its bishop.
The appointment was announced in Washington Sept. 29 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-designate Strickland succeeds Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio, who was named bishop of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in 2011 after heading the Tyler Diocese for more than a decade.
WASHINGTON—To honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
, Pope Benedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith, starting October 11 and ending 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:
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 community.
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. It impacted how Mass is celebrated, the role of the laity, how the Church understands 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 Church
covers the beliefs, moral teachings, prayer and 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
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 face-to-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.
More information on the Year of Faith is available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/index.cfm
By Jeffery Patterson
Texas Catholic Conference
It is your turn.
Over the past year, the Church and our bishops have been tirelessly occupied in defending our rights to religious liberty and freedom of speech. Now is the chance for YOU to make good on what that fight has been about; it is time for you to step up and lend your voice to the public debate. What you do — or do NOT do — this November 6 can have important consequences for the future.
If you -- or your friends and family -- are not already registered to vote for the Election on November 6, please do so now.
The last day to register to vote is October 9, 2012.
Registering to vote is simple. The Texas Secretary of State's Office has provided an easy-to-access website that you can use to register online at http://www.votetexas.gov/.
You can also pick up a self-addressed postage paid voter registration application at your library, any government office, or even just download one from the Texas Secretary of State's website at: webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp. Mail the completed form to your county's voter registrar (you can find yours at www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/ votregduties.shtml).
Upon acceptance, your voter registration will be effective 30 days from registration.
You’ll be mailed a voter registration certificate or card with your name, address, and the number of the precinct in which you’ll vote. Check your local newspaper, or call the county voter registrar's office before the election for the address of the polling place for your precinct and, on election day, arrive there between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to cast your ballot. Show your voter registration card or a valid I.D. to the election official, get your ballot, and vote. Depending on the voting options available to you, you’ll be able to vote by paper ballot or, for an electronic voting machine, a number or ballot activator card that enables you to vote on the machine.
The Secretary of State also has iPhone and Android apps which provide information on registration status, dates, statewide races, where to vote, and more. Register to vote, confirm that you are registered, and download the iPhone and Android apps online at the Secretary of State web site: http://votexas.org/.
I cringe every time I hear someone say that one person's vote does not count. Obviously they cannot do math. In the 2000 presidential race, the election was so close that it came down to the results of one state, Florida--and even then it was decided by the difference of 537 votes of the 6 million that had been cast nationwide. In most of the contested races for down-ballot races, the margins can be remarkably narrow, and are most often decided by as few as a quarter of all eligible voters.
We take such great pride in our nation serving as a beacon of democracy and freedom, and in the sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces make to defend and protect those principles at home and abroad. It is a great tragedy then, that the majority of Americans are ambivalent to this foundation of our democracy – the right to vote – and fail to make the short trip to exercise this right at their polling places.
Once you have registered, take the time to reflect upon the issues facing our country and pray for God's guidance when evaluating the policy positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises. The Gospels and the moral and social teaching of the Church make a wonderful prism through which you may measure the options and opportunities for building a better world.
In the coming weeks we will be using the Lone Star Blog at TXcatholic.org as a means to address some of the essential issues of faithful citizenship formation and introspective questions that help Catholics in shaping their political and policy decisions in an increasingly complicated world. Informed Catholics are the best voters, as their political engagement is shaped by the moral convictions of well-formed consciences that focus on human dignity, the common good, and the protection of the weak and the vulnerable.
In the meantime, join the Texas Bishops' Texas Catholic Network at TXcatholic.org. As a member of the Texas Catholic Network, you will receive a monthly e-newsletter, the Texas Catholic Voice, to stay informed and active on public affairs relevant to our faith; receive News Updates on policy issues affecting the Church, and get Action Alerts to add your voice to communicate your ideas and concerns our political leaders.
It is your turn to take a stand and speak out for your faith. Don't let the opportunity slip away.
Read more: Your Vote is Your Voice. Make it Count.
LATEST ETHICS WORKSHOP SCHEDULE FOR DIOCESE:
San Angelo Deanery
Thursday, September 20th, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Diocesan Pastoral Center
Tuesday, October 2nd, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Diocesan Pastoral Center
Monday, September 17, 7-10 pm, St. Elizabeth’s,Odessa – The Parlor
Monday, September 24, 7-10 pm, St. Stephen’s, Midland – Room # 11
Tuesday, October 2, 7 p.m., Saint Francis, Abilene
Thursday, October 4, 6 p.m., Holy Family, Room 108.
Catechetical Sunday is September 16
By Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI
This year the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 16, 2012, and will focus on the theme – “Catechists and Teachers as Agents of the New Evangelization.” Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists need to be recognized on this special Sunday, and thanked for their participation in this basic ministry of our Catholic Church.
Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the roles that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith, and especially for those who have been called and prepared by the Church to share in this basic ministry for every parish community. All share in the great mission of the Church which is to bring the Gospel of Christ to people wherever people are found.
The theme for this year’s Catechetical Sunday fits in well with the call Pope Benedict XVI has announced for a special synod of Bishops of the world this Fall which will focus on the theme—“The New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian Faith.” Although this important meeting will be held at an international level, it will soon begin to have an impact at the national, diocesan, and parish levels as the Pope prepares and publishes an Apostolic exhortation, a papal message, after the synod has taken place. The New Evangelization synod is expected to focus on the family’s role as recipients of the New Evangelization, and how this evangelization is to be shared in our teaching and in our liturgical life.
As the people of the Diocese of San Angelo realize, when we marked the 50th anniversary of our Diocese, a few months ago we chose Family Life and Marriage as the number one ministry of our Diocese, and the number one priority is to focus on the sacredness of all human life, especially that of the unborn, and respecting the dignity of that life until God calls it home.
Catechetical Sunday reminds us that catechesis, teaching, and promoting our religious beliefs, is a distinct and special ministry in the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, “Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church’s life…her inner growth and correspondence with God’s plan depend essentially on catechesis.” [no.7]
Parents are truly the primary catechists of their children. They prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only highlight the work of catechists in parishes and schools, but we also commend parents and guardians and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed on to the next generation.
As we mark this special Sunday in the life of the Church, I take this opportunity to thank our Office of Religious Education and Catechesis, headed by Sister Hilda Marotta and Sister Adelina Garcia and staff, for all that they are constantly doing to build up our religious education program, catechesis in our Diocese. And I am very grateful to all the catechists of our parishes, especially our volunteers, for all their generous time and service that you give to this important ministry. I appreciate you very much, and I am very grateful to you.
By Jimmy Patterson
Editor / The Angelus
BALLINGER — Like a shot in the night — literally — Father Hugh Wade awoke at 11 o’clock Sunday, August 12. And for good reason. His cats were in the air, the hair on his arms was at attention and the cross on top of his church, St. Mary’s, Star of the Sea, was lying in rubble at the foot of the church’s entrance.
Father Wade saw the thunderstorm headed his way at 10 o’clock that night, but decided to go to bed anyway. Less than an hour later, he would wake with a start to a thunder clap and lightning strike recently reminiscent of the one that struck the Ballpark in Arlington during a game in July that forced both teams to scurry off the field in fear of for lives.
The storm not only shattered the top portion of the cross, supported by an iron rod around which the stone structure is mounted, above the transept, but it also silenced the Church bells, and left a crack in the facade of the century-old church building from the roof to the foundation.
Repairs to the carillon have been placed at $8,500 according to insurance adjustors — Fr. Wade is not yet sure if the Church will host a fundraiser to cover the cost — and engineers say that while the crack in the structure is cosmetic, any negligence in repairing the damage might one day lead to a structural issue.
“The one good thing was that we got 1.6 inches of rain,” Father Wade said. Ballinger sits in the middle of some of the most drought-stricken territory in the diocese, where muddy bogs once served as water supplies for many towns in West Texas.
“We were all happy (about the rain until we looked up and saw the cross. There was debris all over the ground. I knew it had hit close. It lit up the entire upstairs, and I live under a metal roof so I am blessed it didn’t get me instead.”
Debris from the fallen cross was propelled as far as 100 feet away; pieces came in varying sizes and filled half a trash can by the time cleanup efforts were completed.
“The power of lightning is just astounding,” Father Wade said.
Fortunately for the 425 families at St. Mary’s, it was the believed to be the first time the 102-year-old structure had taken a direct hit from a storm.
“One of my parishioners said, ‘Father what did you say in your sermon to upset God like that?’ ” Father Wade said. “God called me and I said, ’Yes?” and He said, “That was a lousy collection!”
Father Wade also said the lightning strike was the first time he had prayed for rain since another parishioner had advised him to take out the word ‘favorable’ when he asks for rain.”
“The parishioner said, ‘You keep praying for favorable weather,” Wade said. “Maybe if you just cut out the word ‘favorable’ we’ll get rain.”
Father Wade did, and got a lot more than he prayed for.
“When we pray for rain we take what comes with it,” Father Wade said.
Pictured: The lightning-induced crack is clearly visible next to the left of the doorway of St. Mary, Star of the Sea in Ballinger. This crack runs from the roof of the church to its foundation.
ST. LAWRENCE FALL FESTIVAL
Sunday, October 7, 2012
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy…..God Provides!”
Barbeque brisket / Homemade German Sausage and all the trimmings will be served for lunch from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. $9.00 for adults/$6.00 for children. Uncooked sausage sold by the pound. Bingo noon-4, various children’s booths open at 10:30, Vendor arts, crafts, clothing, jewelry, etc.. booths, Silent Auction, Religious Booth, Kountry Kitchen, Live Auction, Cookbooks and much more! Please join us in the country setting of St. Lawrence for this annual family event! For more info: 432 397 2268.
OBISPOS ESTADOUNIDENSES LANZAN PAGINA DE FACEBOOK EN ESPAÑOL
Cincuenta porciento de Católicos estadounidenses menores de 25 años son hispanos
Incluirá articulo sobre trabajo misionero de Madre Teresa en Latino América
Obispo Soto invita a hispanos a dialogar con los obispos
WASHINGTON—La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), en un esfuerzo continuo para alcanzar de manera más efectiva a los Católicos Hispanos y aquellos que hablan español, ha lanzado una página en español en el sitio de redes sociales Facebook. La página, que puede encontrarse en www.facebook.com/USCCBEspanol, destacará una variedad de información actualizada de USCCB sobre noticias, temas concernientes a la Iglesia Católica y recursos para el desarrollo de la fe.
“Los hispanos representan un 16 porciento del total de la población estadounidense, casi un 40 porciento de los católicos y un 50 porciento de los católicos menores de 25 años,” indicó el Obispo John Wester de Salt Lake City, presidente del Comité de Comunicaciones de USCCB. “Es de esencial importancia involucrar a este sector demográfico, especialmente a través de la expansión de las redes sociales y proveerles información precisa y de calidad que los anime a crecer en su fe” señaló.
En un mensaje por video en español incluido en la nueva página el Obispo Jaime Soto de Sacramento, California, presidente del Comité de Diversidad Cultural de USCCB, dijo que los obispos “están agradecidos por la riqueza de las contribuciones de
cultura y de fe que los hispanos traen a este país y a nuestra Iglesia Católica”, y los invitó a que “en un espíritu de fe y caridad” utilicen la nueva página “para dialogar y comunicarse con nosotros”.
El contenido publicado en la página incluirá el articulo “Cosas Ordinarias, amor extraordinario: La Madre Teresa y Latino América” del escritor de la revista TIME David Van Biema, quien describe el trabajo misionero de Madre Teresa desde Tijuana, México hasta Chile.
El autor describe su trabajo con los pobres y como los Misioneros de la Caridad se han establecido en 65 ciudades en América Latina. Además, una colección de fotos mostrará a Madre Teresa en sus primeros años ayudando al pobre y al enfermo, su conexión con la Virgen de Guadalupe y una capilla en Tijuana construida en su nombre.
USCCB ha moderado una página de Facebook en ingles en: www.facebook.com/usccb desde el 2009. Sus seguidores actualmente sobrepasan las 40,000 personas. USCCB también provee información actualizada en ingles y español en Twitter en http://twitter.com/usccb y http://twitter.com/USCCBEspanol.
El lanzamiento de la página coincide con el Mes de la Herencia Hispana. Al mismo tiempo, el Secretariado de Diversidad Cultural de USCCB anunció nuevos datos estadísticos que reflejan el crecimiento acelerado de la presencia hispana en diócesis y arquidiócesis en todo el país. Estados incluyendo North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi y Tennessee han experimentado crecimiento de más del 100 porciento en la última década, según datos del Censo. La información esta disponible en: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/hispanic-latino/demographics/
Etiquetas: Facebook, español, USCCB, Obispos de Estados Unidos, Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos, Mes de la Herencia Hispana, Censo, Obispo John Wester, Obispo Jaime Soto, redes sociales, Twitter, Comunicaciones, Diversidad Cultural, hispano, Latino, Madre Teresa de Calcuta
# # # # #
HispAllMedia, Hisp DD
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in an ongoing effort to more effectively reach Hispanic and Spanish-speaking Catholics, has launched a Spanish-language page on the social-networking site Facebook. The page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/USCCBEspanol, will feature a variety of updates from USCCB on news, issues of concern to the Catholic Church and faith-building resources.
“Hispanics make up 16 percent of the total U.S. population, almost 40 percent of U.S. Catholics, and 50 percent of U.S. Catholics under age 25,” said Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Communications. “It is critically important to engage this demographic, especially through the expanding field of social media, and provide them with accurate, quality information that encourages them to grow in their faith.”
In a video message posted in Spanish on the new page, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Cultural Diversity, said the bishops “are grateful for the rich contributions of culture and faith that Hispanics bring to this country and to our Catholic Church,” and invited them “in a spirit of faith and kindness” to use the new page to “communicate and dialogue with us.”
Content posted to the page will include the essay “Cosas Ordinarias, amor extraordinario: Mother Teresa and Latin America” by TIME Magazine writer David Van Biema, which depicts Mother Teresa’s missionary work from Tijuana, Mexico to Chile. The author describes her work with the poor and how the Missionaries of Charity are established in 65 cities in Latin America. Additionally, photos will show Mother Teresa in her early years helping the poor and sick, her connection to Our Lady of Guadalupe and Shrine in Tijuana built in her name.
USCCB has moderated an English-language page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usccb since 2009. It is currently “Liked” by over 40,000 people. USCCB also provides English and Spanish feeds on Twitter at http://twitter.com/usccb and http://twitter.com/USCCBEspanol.
The launch of the page coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month. Concurrently, USCCB’s Secretariat for Cultural Diversity announced new statistics that reflect the accelerated growth of Hispanic presence in dioceses and archdioceses nationwide. States including North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee have experienced over 100 percent growth over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census. The information is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/hispanic-latino/demographics/
Jesus gave each believer and the community of believers a great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II (our 21st ecumenical council), we recall that it declared unambiguously the reality that you and I are the Church. We have come to understand that the family is “the basic Church” and community of believers. Therefore, in order for our Church to grow into God’s marvelous Light, our basic Church must be nourished and supported in this great commission.
Throughout these two millennia, our Church has sought to fulfill this commission and it has learned that the best and most effective way to evangelize is by welcoming people. And, we need to do better at welcoming people…especially within our families.
Ten years after Vatican Council II, Pope Paul VI issued his apostolic exhortation entitled Evangelii Nuntiandi. The Pope wrote that our words of proclaiming the good news of salvation matter in the world. In paragraph 28, Pope Paul VI writes that each of us is to preach “…and this is always urgent — of the search for God Himself through prayer which is principally that of adoration and thanksgiving, but also through communion with the visible sign of the encounter with God which is the Church of Jesus Christ….”
In 1990, Blessed John Paul II continued this holy mission when he wrote an encyclical entitled Redemptoris Missio. It begins, “The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion.” Blessed John Paul II proclaimed that now is the time for a new evangelization and he identified three specific groups of people whom we need to welcome: (1) those who have never heard the Gospel, (2) those who are present in Christian communities, and (3) those members of Christian communities who “have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church.”
In his recent Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI has taken up this same great commission by declaring October 11 as the beginning of the Year of Faith throughout our Church. Pope Benedict XVI calls you and me to return to our central duty. He states clearly that we are to evangelize within our modern culture by confronting the cultural crisis brought on by secularization.
To this same end, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued recently a resource entitled Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization. It reminds each of us of our great commission within the context of welcoming others. It states, “How often do we fail to realize that we are called to be Christ’s witnesses to the world? Do we realize that our Baptism, Confirmation, and reception of the Eucharist bestow on us the grace we need to be disciples? Are we like the disciples staring at the sky rather than inviting those around us to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Church? How often do we reach out to our missing brothers and sisters by inviting them to join us at Mass or by asking why they no longer feel welcomed at the Lord’s Table? The answers to these questions underlie the evangelizing mission of the Church, especially in the call of the New Evangelization.”
Bishop Pfeifer has stressed that Family Life and Marriage is the number one priority of our Diocese. There is no better place to begin evangelizing and welcoming people (back) into the faith than within our own family. By welcoming those nearest to us, we become evangelizers.
In an effort to promote and assist us as we live out this great commission, plans are being made for several events. For example, the Year of Faith is going to begin with a special Mass that will be celebrated in each of the deaneries within our Diocese (San Angelo, Abilene, and Midland/Odessa). These Mass celebrations will occur on the same date, October 11, and be of the same format (with the same scripture readings and the same prayers). Furthermore, there will be entries in parish bulletins throughout the upcoming Church year. These are intended to offer you and your family an opportunity to reflect upon and discuss the wisdom of our Church. In addition, discussion questions will be presented at each Pastoral Council meeting. These are intended to help the leadership by giving them opportunities to reflect upon and discuss how our parish community is reaching out to families in an effort to better enable them to welcome people (back) into the faith and/or Church. In upcoming months, expect to read articles about these and other opportunities in the West Texas Angelus.
It begins with you and it begins with me. So, let us begin by welcoming people, inviting them to come and worship our God through the Sacraments.
(Editor’s Note: Each of these documents noted above can easily be found through your favorite search engine. They are worthwhile reading.)