The following is the text of an email sent by the Texas Catholic Conference.
Texas Bishops Issue Statement of Principles
On Caring for Women and Child Refugees
The Texas Catholic Bishops have written to members of the Texas Congressional delegation to urge them to reach a policy consensus that compassionately and effectively addresses the humanitarian crisis along the southern border.
The letter was signed by Bishops from each of the 15 dioceses across the state, and appealed for prompt actions in securing emergency funding as well as upholding the due process rights of refugees seeking asylum from the suffering, abuse, and death in their home countries.
“[A] just and reasonable society works to protect and defend the vulnerable and defenseless from harm,” the Bishops asserted. “As Catholics, we feel keenly this responsibility, since our faith calls us to serve the least of these our brothers and sisters. Hence, we lend a vigorous voice to all men and women of good will who recognize that all people should be treated with dignity, compassion, and justice.”
Accompanying the letter the Bishops included a Statement of Principles to guide policymakers in this crisis. These principles include:
CLICK HERE for the Bishops' Letter and Statement of Principles (English and Spanish)
CLICK HERE to forward this email to your friends and family.
The Texas Catholic Conference tries to be judicious in issuing alerts and does so when contact from constituents will make a difference at a critical moment in a bill's movement through the legislature. You may direct questions to Jeffery Patterson, Texas Catholic Conference Executive Director, email@example.com
(Photo by LA Times)
"We must not lose sight of the fact that these are young, scared, and desperate mothers and children. They need and deserve our protection and support. . .We call on our fellow Texans to pray for the safety and wellbeing of these young refugees and for the continued efforts of both public and private aid officials in resolving this potential humanitarian crisis along the border.”
- Texas Bishops June 24, 2014
Vatican City, 15 July 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday Pope Francis sent a message to the organisers, speakers and participants in the “Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development”, which was read during the inaugural session of the event by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. In the text, the Pontiff urges the international community to promote the adoption of new forms of legal and safe migration and called for protection and a suitable reception for the many children who migrate cross the border with the United States unaccompanied. He also highlights the need for policies to inform potential migrants of the dangers of such a journey and above all, for initiatives to promote development in their countries of origin.
“Globalization is a phenomenon that challenges us, especially in one of its principal manifestations which is emigration. It is one of the 'signs' of this time that we live in and that brings us back to the words of Jesus, 'Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?'. Despite the large influx of migrants present in all continents and in almost all countries, migration is still seen as an emergency, or as a circumstantial and sporadic fact, while instead it has now become a hallmark of our society and a challenge.
“It is a phenomenon that carries with it great promise and many challenges. Many people forced to emigrate suffer, and often, die tragically; many of their rights are violated, they are obliged to separate from their families and, unfortunately, continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic attitudes.
“Faced with this situation, I repeat what I have affirmed in this year’s Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees: 'A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world'.
“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain. They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin. Finally, this challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted."
Via Vatican Information Service
A Message from Bishop Michael Sis to the Diocese of San Angelo Regarding the Current Humanitarian Crisis of Central American Immigrants
The current humanitarian crisis along the Texas-Mexico border has been receiving extensive coverage in the national media.
These human beings are poor and in need. Whatsoever we do to these our least brothers and sisters, that we do to Christ himself. Many of our people in the San Angelo Diocese have expressed interest in reaching out to help. I have spoken with Catholic Charities officials in the Rio Grande Valley, and they have informed me that the best ways we can help are the following:
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley welcomes monetary contributions to assist in their relief efforts. You can send the funds in either of two ways:
(a) Checks can be made payable to "Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley" with a notation that the funds are for "Immigration Crisis" and mailed to them at P.O. Box 1306, San Juan, TX 78589
(b) Donations may be made electronically through PayPal to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley by way of this link: http://www.cdob.org/catholic-charities135/donate-now
DONATIONS OF SUPPLIES:
Items that are always needed include:
* New shoes in children's sizes and small women's sizes (6-7)
* Tennis shoes work well
* Blankets (the bus is cold)
* Women's clothing in small sizes (3-7)
* Pedialyte (much in demand)
* Baby bottles and sippy cups
The address to which such items can be delivered is:
Food Bank of the RGV
724 N Cage Blvd, Pharr, TX 78577
The Sacred Heart Respite Center operated by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley has a listing of volunteer opportunities in the following document. This center is located at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown McAllen, Texas. For more information about volunteer opportunities, you may call Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in their San Juan office at 956-702-4088 or in their Brownsville office at 956-541-0220.
Bishop Michael Sis has made the following appointments:
Rev. Hugh Wade has been appointed Vicar for Priests.
Deacon Federico "Freddy" Medina Jr. has been appointed Director of the Office of Diaconal Ministry.
July 3 - San Angelo, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
July 4 - San Angelo, Sacred Heart Cathedral - Mass at 10:00 AM
July 17 - San Angelo, St. Mary's Church - Sendoff of Teens to Steubenville Southwest
July 20 - Rowena, St. Joseph - Mass at 11:00 AM and Blessing of New Fellowship Hall
July 20 - Abilene, Holy Family Gym - Youth Gathering at 3:30 PM
July 27 - Eden, St. Charles - Confirmation at 11:00 AM
July 29 - Brownwood - Blessing of Pre-School
July 31 - Abilene - Gathering of Abilene Priests
August 3 - Eola, St. Philip - Mass at 8:00 AM
August 8 - San Angelo, Sacred Heart Cathedral - Diaconal Ordination of Adam Droll at 6:30 PM
August 9 - Odessa, St. Joseph - Diaconal Ordination of Ryan Rojo at 10:30 AM
August 9 - Midland, Our Lady of Guadalupe - 25th Anniversary Mass of Father David Herrera at 5:00 PM
August 10 - Odessa, St. Mary - Installation of Father Hilary Ihedioha as Pastor at 8:00 AM
August 10 - San Angelo, Texas Bank Sports Complex, 1615 Rio Concho - Softball Game Between Clergy, Seminarians, and Youth at 4:00 PM
August 10-11 - San Angelo - Seminarian Summer Gathering
August 14 - San Antonio, Assumption Seminary - Opening of Centennial Year
August 23 - Eden, Detention Center - Mass at 1:30 PM
August 23 - Miles, St. Thomas - Mass at 5:00 PM
August 26 - San Angelo, Diocesan Pastoral Center - Presbyteral Council Meeting at 11:00 AM
August 27 - San Angelo, Angelo State University Newman Center - 12:00 Mass and Lunch
August 28 - Odessa, St. Mary's Catholic School - Mass at 2:00 PM
August 29 - Midland, St. Ann's Catholic School - Mass at 8:30 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today finding in favor of Hobby Lobby, exempting it and
other entities from an Affordable Healthcare Act requirement that would have required the
providing of insurance coverage of morning-after pills and similar birth control methods and
devices, is a victory for the people of the United States and the most fundamental religious
freedom issues this country has held sacred for over 200 years.
The HHS Mandate is simply an unjust law. People of many faiths have stood together against
this government coercion of conscience and its intrusion into religious affairs. The parties that
have sued over this mandate include Evangelicals, Catholics, Mennonites, and members of
other religious groups, and their legal efforts have been supported in briefs submitted by
Orthodox Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and others.
A society dedicated to freedom and diversity must respect the freedom of its citizens to live and
work in accordance with their religious convictions. Hobby Lobby is very generous with its
employees, providing good wages and strong health coverage. But because Hobby Lobby
objected in conscience to covering only four objectionable drugs and devices (Plan B and
Ella, and two types of IUD - hormonal and copper), the government would have fined it $100 a
day ($36,500 a year) per employee.
Catholic teaching has long advocated some form of universal, accessible, and life-affirming
health care. However, this portion of the HHS mandate would have harshly penalized us and
others who cannot, in good conscience, provide drugs and services that violate our religious
This case was not about religious people trying to force their beliefs on others. It was about
government officials trying to force their own beliefs on religious people. People do not give up
their religious freedom when they open a family business. They should not have to check their
values and religious convictions at the door when they enter the marketplace.
STATEMENT BY TEXAS BISHOPS ON HOBBY LOBBY RULING
The Texas Catholic Conference welcomed the U. S. Supreme Court's ruling today that the federal government cannot force owners of closely held for-profit companies to violate their religious beliefs in order to provide certain services to employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
As the largest non-governmental health care provider in the United States, the Catholic Church has long supplied and advocated for universal, accessible, and life-affirming health care. Nevertheless, the Church ardently opposes provisions of the ACA that violate constitutional principles of religious freedom by coercing religious organizations to cover services, even if indirectly, that violate our religious faith and severely hinder the ability to fulfill our fundamental mission of caring for the poor and vulnerable.
The Texas bishops underscored their belief that a society dedicated to freedom and diversity must respect the freedom of its citizens to live and work in accordance with their religious convictions. As articulated by Pope Francis, “Religious freedom is not simply freedom of thought or private worship. It is the freedom to live according to ethical principles, both privately and publicly, consequent to the truth one has found.”
Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
We thank you for our earthly fathers, those to whom you have entrusted the responsibility to provide loving protection of their families and guidance of their children. We thank you, also, for our priests and bishops, whose spiritual fatherhood is so vital to the faith of your people.
May our earthly fathers imitate the manly courage of Abraham, Jesse, and Joseph, and all the holy fathers of the past in providing wise counsel to the children you have given to their care. And may our spiritual fathers be guided by the examples of Saints Peter and Paul, all the Apostles, and their saintly successors. Give them valiant faith in the face of confusion and conflict, hope in time of trouble and sorrow, and steadfast love for you, for their families, and for all your people throughout the world.
Assist all fathers of families, all spiritual fathers, and all Christian men, that through your Grace they may steadily grow in holiness and in knowledge and understanding of your Truth. May they generously impart this knowledge to those who rely on them.
As you, our Heavenly Father, so loved the world, sending your only Son to be our Savior and Redeemer, we ask you to help all men to imitate his fatherly gentleness and mercy toward those who are week; His humility, perfect obedience to your Will, and fearless witness to your Truth. May their lives be examples to all of heroic faithfulness to you.
We ask your blessing on all those to whom you have entrusted fatherhood. May your Holy Spirit constantly inspire them with justice and mercy, wisdom and strength, fidelity and self-giving love. May they receive your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in your presence in the life to come.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son and Our Lord. Amen
[Source: Adoremus, May 2014]
June 1 — Andrews, Our Lady of Lourdes – Confirmation at 10:30 a.m.
June 3 — Winters – Rural Life Mass at 6:30 p.m.
June 5 — Olfen, St. Boniface – Mass at 6:00 p.m.
June 6 — Brownwood, St. Mary – Confirmation at 6:30 p.m.
June 7 — Confirmation at Ly Naugh Unit, Fort Stockton, 1 pm
June 7 — Confirmation at St. James, Sanderson, 5:30 pm
June 8 — Ft. Stockton, – Confirmation at 10:30 a.m and Formal Event of Union for the New Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
June 9-14— New Orleans – USCCB Spring Meeting
June 17— San Angelo, Diocesan Pastoral Center – Presbyteral Council Meeting at 11:00 a.m.
June 19 — Catholic Daughters of the Americas, St. Francis Hall, San Angelo, 6 p.m.
June 20 — San Angelo – Holy Angels – Mass –The Lady in Blue at 8:30 a.m.
June 20 --- Rowena, St. Joseph - Mass and Blessing of New Fellowship Hall, 11:00 a.m.
June 20 — Ivie Reservoir – 7:00 p.m. Lady in Blue Mass
June 21 — Midland, St. Stephen – Opening of Fortnight for Freedom at 5:00 p.m. Mass
June 22 — Colorado City, St. Ann – Confirmation at 10:30 a.m.
June 29 —Eldorado, Our Lady of Guad. Confirmation at 11:30 a.m.
June 29 — San Angelo, Sacred Heart Cathedral – Marriage Jubilee Mass, 3:30 p.m.