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Ride for Hope this Sunday Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and Sisters on Wheels, with the support of the Diocese of Brownsville, invite everyone to participate in a 20-mile bicycle ride to benefit the construction of the Humanitarian Respite Center in downtown McAllen. Read the Full Story
Made for Love Many sources report that almost one third of all current internet use in the United States involves pornography. Read the Full Story
Month of Mary SAN JUAN – Once a year each May, young Catholic students across the United States honor Mary the Mother of Jesus with reverence, prayer and joyful celebration. Read the Full Story
Four-year 'encuentro' process begins in U.S. WASHINGTON — In Spanish, the word "encuentro" means encounter and in the modern church in the U.S., it refers to a series of meetings that will take place over the next four years aimed at getting to know Latinos and producing more involvement in the church of its second largest and fastest growing community. Read the Full Story

Weekly Update

April 25, 2017


2017 – 2018 Holy Days and Holidays
The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville’s approved list of holy days and holidays for fiscal year 2017-2018 is as follows:

• July 4, 2017 – Tuesday, July 4 Independence Day
• Aug. 15, 2017 – Tuesday, Assumption of the Blessed Mother
• Sept. 4, 2017 – Monday, Labor Day
• Nov. 1, 2017 – Wednesday, All Saints Day
• Nov. 23, 2017 – Thursday, Thanksgiving
• Nov. 24, 2017 – Friday, the day after Thanksgiving
• Dec. 8, 2017 – Friday, Immaculate Conception
• Dec. 25, 2017 – Monday, Christmas Day
• Dec. 26, 2017 – Tuesday, the day after Christmas
• Jan. 1, 2018 – Monday, New Year’s Day
• March 30, 2018 – Good Friday
• April 2, 2018 – Easter Monday
• May 28, 2018 – Monday, Memorial Day

The diocesan offices and many parishes will be closed on these days.

Our Condolences
Father John Gerard "Gerry" Shanley,, 82, of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts - United States Province, died April 21, 2017, in Harlingen, after a courageous battle with cancer.Father Shanley was retired and residing at Queen of Peace Parish in Harlingen, where he celebrated his 82nd birthday on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Born in Roscommon, Ireland, to Bernard and Kate (Regan) Shanley, he was ordained on June 25, 1961. Father Shanley’s first assignments were in California, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Massachusetts. In 1970, he came to Texas, serving at at Our Lady Queen of Angels in La Joya; Sacred Heart in Edinburg; Queen of Peace in Harlingen; and St. Anne's in Pharr. In 2001, he began working in Reynosa, Mexico. As pastor of San Felipe de Jesus Parish there, he helped the parishioners build three new churches and schools, and provided food, clothing and sometimes shelter from donations gathered in the U.S.

Visitation for Reverend Gerry will be from 5-9 p.m. today, Tuesday, April 25 with a Holy Rosary at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 501 East Kuhn Street in Edinburg. A celebration of his life and death will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 26 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Brownsville, will preside, joined by Brothers of Gerry's U.S. Province, including his sibling, Reverend Matthias Shanley, and Reverend M. Kumar Nayak,

Father Shanley is also survived by his other siblings; Sister Monica Shanley, P.J. Shanley, Ethna Shanley, Pauline Shanley, and Fidelma Shanley. Following the funeral, his remains be returned to Fairhaven, Mass., where he will be buried in the Sacred Hearts Cemetery at a later date.

Juan Diego Academy Hosts Entrance Exam for Prospective Freshmen
Juan Diego Academy Catholic Regional High School (JDA) will hold an entrance exam for prospective freshmen on Saturday, April 29, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at its campus located in Mission. The timed examination takes about four hours. The entrance exam is the first step in the admissions process for freshmen wishing to enroll at JDA for the 2017-2018 school year. Cost for the exam is $25 and includes the application fee.

As the Upper Valley’s Catholic regional high school, JDA provides a Christ-centered, rigorous academic program with Pre-AP® and AP® courses, an award-winning athletics and robotics program, and opportunities for service and leadership in both school and community. This current school year, five JDA seniors have received AP Scholar recognition, one student has been named a National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student, the robotics program has advanced to a national competition, and the volleyball, boys soccer, and girls basketball teams have advanced into the TAPPS state playoffs.

For more information on Juan Diego Academy’s upcoming entrance exam, please contact the school at (956) 583-2752.

CRS Easter Retreat
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) invites you to reflect and celebrate the fruits of this past Lenten season with an Easter Recollection/Retreat on April 29. We look forward to sharing in your experiences, building community, and hearing stories of hope from our local ministries and the countries we help.
• When: Saturday, April 29, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (free retreat with meals included)
• Where: San Juan Pastoral Center, Bishop Adolph Marx conference room
• RSVP: Please reserve your place via email by April 27:

Ride for Hope Bike Ride to Raise Funds for New Respite Center
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and Sisters on Wheels, with the support of the Diocese of Brownsville, invite everyone to participate in a 20-mile bicycle ride to benefit the construction of the Humanitarian Respite Center in downtown McAllen.

The Ride for Hope, scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 30, starts at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, located adjacent to the border wall, 902 S. 2nd. St., Hidalgo and will end at the future site of the new humanitarian respite center on the corner of Chicago Street and 16th Street in McAllen. A post-ride celebration will include music, drink and food plus other surprises for all participants

For more information, contact Clara Dina Hinojosa at (956) 884-7801 or via email at

There is also a Ride for Hope event page on Facebook,

Diocese Hosts ‘Made for Love’ Conference
Join us for an event highlighting the dangers of internet pornography, internet stalking, sexting, abuse — and what we can do about it.

The Diocese of Brownsville is sponsoring the “Made for Love” Conference from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 at St. Pius X Parish in Weslaco. The event, which will include workshops for high school youth and adults, will feature talks from experts from across the country.

For more information on the high school youth workshop, contact the Youth Ministry Office at (956) 784-5007. For the workshop for adults, call the Family Life Office at (956) 784-5012.

Registration Begins for Nun-Stop Running for Jesus 5k Run/Walk
The inaugural Nun-Stop Running for Jesus 5k Run/Walk in honor of Sister Helen Rottier, CSJ is set for May 6. The race starts and finishes at San Martin de Porres church and school grounds at 901 N. Texas Blvd. in Weslaco. Gates open at 7 a.m. May 6 and the race begins at 8 a.m.; the first 100 entrants get a free T-shirt, and medals go to the first 50 runners to cross the finish line. Pre-registration April 25 through the day of the race is $25. Race fee for groups of 10 or more is $15 per runner. Children 12 years and under must be accompanied by an adult; children’s race fee is $5. Registration can be made online on the San Martin de Porres Facebook page, or at the school.

Turn in Your Rice Bowl Donations
As you finalize your Lenten alms and collection, please make sure to route all CRS Rice Bowl offerings through Diocesan Accounting with Joel Ruiz at 1910 W. University Blvd., Brownsville, TX 78520. Please send one check per parish payable to Catholic Diocese of Brownsville. Remember that 75 percent of CRS Rice Bowl collections is sent to CRS and 25 percent stays here to help the poor and vulnerable locally through Catholic Charities.

High Schools Announce Graduation Ceremony Schedules and Honors

Oratory Athenaeum
The commencement ceremony for the Oratory Athenæum for University Preparation in Pharr is set for 7 p.m. May 25, 2017 at the UTRGV Student Union Auditorium. The valedictorian is Max Gabriel Garza, and the salutatorian is Andres Zuñiga. There are 41 members of the Class of 2017.

Juan Diego Academy
The commencement ceremony for Juan Diego Academy in Mission is set for 7 p.m. May 26, 2017 in the school gym. Baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Flores at 9:30. Co-valedictorians are Nathaniel R. Dyer and Daniela I. Salinas, and the salutatorian is Mary B. Graham. There are 34 graduates in the Class of 2017.

St. Joseph’s Academy
The commencement ceremony for St. Joseph’s Academy in Brownsville is set for 7 p.m. May 31, 2017 at the Brother Francis Garza Student Center on the school’s campus. The valedictorian is Andres Alejandro Trevino, and the salutatorian is Maria Alejandra Rocha.

Queen of Peace Parish Offers CD of Local Religious Music
The Music Ministry at Queen of Peace Parish in Harlingen would like to invite you to enjoy a CD of original and traditional liturgical music, in English and Spanish, recorded and produced here in the Valley. Many of the selections were composed and written by our music coordinator, Nez Marcelo. Some of the songs can be previewed on YouTube by searching for “Come & Rejoice” and “A Pesar de Todo.” The CD is available by contacting Nez Marcelo at (956) 423-6341.

Join Us for TVC Live Every Tuesday at Noon
The communications team for the Diocese of Brownsville is bringing you the latest news from around the diocese during TVC Live, a 15-minute program featured on the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville Facebook page, @CatholicRGV, every Tuesday at noon. The show features stories, interviews and highlights. We also invite you to send us your photos for use in a Photos of the Week segment. They may be sent to

Protecting God’s Children Announcement
The diocesan plan is for all people who work with children to have viewed the safety awareness DVD: “Protecting God’s Children,” to submit to a DPS background check, and sign the code of ethics. This now needs to be refreshed/redone every five years. Second, religious education leaders are to plan and present a “Touching Safety” lesson during both the fall and spring to all children from kindergarten to 12th grade. Finally, parishes will present safety awareness material to all parents who have their children in either the First Communion or Confirmation classes. If you have questions or need material, please contact Walter Lukaszek at (956) 457-0010 or at

Protecting God’s Children 3.0 is now available in both DVD and a flash drive. The price for either is $35. It has both the English and Spanish programs. If you need the teaching notes, email

Keeping the Promise Alive has an updated DVD that reinforces PGC 3.0. Using the original DVD still has the important information that we wish to share with parents and is used as an annual refresher for Religious Education teachers and volunteers. It has both the English and Spanish programs. The price is $15. If you need the teaching notes, email

Touching Safety is still in the original DVD format, five-minute “ice breakers” for lessons 1 to 8. It has both the English and Spanish programs. The price is $15. If you need complete copies of the lesson plans from K-12, email Walter (

Religious Education staff may now download the touching safety lessons from the CDOB web site:

Programming Note: Diocese Insight Airs on Sunday Mornings
Diocese Insight, a half-hour interview program hosted by Brenda Nettles Riojas, Diocesan Relations Director and editor of The Valley Catholic, airs at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays on Channel 38.1 or Cable Channel 10. For more information on Diocese Insight, call (956) 784-5008.

Holy Land Pilgrimage, “Walk with Jesus” Scheduled for May 29-June 7
Join the Holy Land Pilgrimage, “Walk with Jesus,” May 29-June 7 (10 days). Price of $3,030 includes taxes and three meals daily, 4-star hotels, guides, A/C bus. Daily Eucharist and hosted by Spiritual Companions, Sisters Therese Ann Ridge (956-342-8881) and Emma Marie Stillman (956-342-1399). Call or email

Trip to Fatima and the Holy Land
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s appearance in Fatima, Portugal. Father Artemio Jacob of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in McAllen will be leading a tour group to Fatima and the Holy Land this June. The tour, which leaves from McAllen, runs from June 5-16 and will cost $4,095.

For more information, call Father Artemio at (956) 437-1703.

Road to Mercy Pilgrimage includes visits to Poland, Czech Republic & Germany
Father Gregory Labus, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Edinburg, is leading a 10-day Road to Mercy pilgrimage from July 10-20 that will include visits to Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. The trip price of $3,795 includes flights from McAllen, four-star hotels, breakfast and dinner included and deluxe motor coach transportation.

For more information, call (956) 383-3728 or email

Job Openings
• Grants writer - Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, San Juan Office. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Edna Garcia at
• Counselor – Catholic Social Services, San Juan Office. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Edna Garcia at or to Genie Treviño at
• Multi Parish Accountant - Parish/School Accounting, San Juan Office. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Genie Treviño at
• Middle School social studies teacher – St. Anthony Catholic School, Harlingen. Must hold valid credentials. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Kathy Stapleton, principal at
• Elementary School self-contained classroom teacher – St. Anthony Catholic School, Harlingen. Must hold valid credentials. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Kathy Stapleton, principal at
• Maintenance Person - El Rosario Homes is accepting employment applications for a full-time maintenance person. Contact Raquel Turrubiates at (956) 585-5051.

School Secretary Needed at Juan Diego Academy
Juan Diego Academy Catholic Regional High School in Mission has an opening for a school secretary beginning July 1 (full-time, FLSA Status: Non-Exempt). Requirements: speak, read, and write in both English and Spanish, have previous experience in a Catholic school or other Catholic pastoral setting, and be familiar with MS Office operations, especially Word and Excel. The school secretary is likely to be the first person current and potential students and their families encounter, so good interpersonal communication skills by telephone and in person are a must.

Those interested should complete the Application for Paraprofessional Employment found on the website under employment opportunities and e-mail/fax with an updated resume to Bob Schmidt at; (956-583-3782).

McAllen Pregnancy Center Seeks Part-Time Bookkeeper
The McAllen Pregnancy Center, a Catholic pro-life facility that serves families experiencing a crisis pregnancy, is currently seeing a part-time bookkeeper. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to

• Two or more years of bookkeeping experience and overall proficiency in technology
• Payroll skills and use of common bookkeeping software is required. Previous experience in accounting and Quick Books
• Strong knowledge of bookkeeping practices and procedures
• Accuracy and attention to detail is absolutely required, as well as a track record of conscientious work habits
Job duties:
• Make all deposits and pay bills
• Prepare and present financial reports for monthly board meetings
• Make ACH transactions via internet
• Order and maintain supplies necessary for the use of the Center
• Acknowledge all donations with a written thank-you
• Keep a current record of all benefactors
• Assist with all fundraising events

Calendar of Events
April 29 – Entrance Exam at Juan Diego Academy
April 29 -- Catholic Relief Services Easter Recollection/Retreat at San Juan Pastoral Center
April 30 – Ride for Hope

Submit information to be included in the Weekly Update to Brenda Nettles Riojas, Director of Diocesan Relations, by e-mail at or by fax to (956) 784-5082.