Weekly Update Archive

January 10, 2017


Monthly Mass Planned for Late Priest
Father Eduardo Ortega, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Mercedes, will be offering a Mass for the repose of the soul of Father Tomás Matéos every month. Father Matéos, who died on Dec. 12, 2016 at the age of 96, served as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish from Dec. 1, 1987 until his retirement on Sept. 1, 1995. The Mass this month will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12 at Sacred Heart Church, 920 Anaquitas St. in Mercedes. All are welcome to come and pray for Father Matéos. For more information, call the parish at (956) 565-0271.

St. Joseph the Worker Parish Offers Nine-Week Adult Formation Course
St. Joseph the Worker Parish in McAllen is offering a nine-week Life in Spirit adult formation course from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. beginning on Thursday, Jan. 12 in Classrooms 6 and 7 of the ARC building. All adults are welcome to come and learn more about their Catholic faith. For more information, contact the parish at (956) 682-1351.

Filipino Community Plans Mass for Feast of Santo Niño
Bishop Daniel E. Flores will celebrate Mass for the Filipino community on the feast of Santo Niño at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15 at St. Anne Parish in Peñitas.

A Sinulog procession with the image of the Santo Niño around the outside perimeter of the church will kick off the festivities, followed by the Mass and an outdoor celebration with food and entertainment.

The feast of Santo Niño marks the arrival of the Christian faith into the Philippines in 1521, when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan offered the gift of a statue of the Child Jesus to Lady Humamay after her conversion to the Christian faith. Lady Humamay was the principal wife of Rajah Humabon, the chieftain of Cebu, Philippines.

Appeal Update and Refresher Course Scheduled for Jan. 18
The Office of Stewardship & Development is hosting an Annual Diocesan Appeal Update and Refresher Course. The sessions will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the Bishop Marx Auditorium of the San Juan Pastoral Center and Saturday, Jan. 21 at Christ the King Parish Hall in Brownsville. Refreshment will be provided. Please RSVP for planning purposes.

The Annual Diocesan Appeal runs through Dec. 31, 2017. For more information, call (956) 784-5095.

Hospital Pastoral Care Volunteer Training Set for Jan. 21
The Office of Health Ministry will be holding a training for anyone interested in becoming a Volunteer Chaplain at one of our local hospitals. It will be offered in English and Spanish. This training will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in the Madonna Room of the Catholic Pastoral Center in San Juan. The English session will be from 8 a.m. to noon and the Spanish session from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This training is free but you must RSVP by calling (956) 784-5007.

Entrenamiento para Capellán Voluntario de Hospital Programada
La Oficina del Ministerio de la Salud ofrecerá un entrenamiento para todo aquel que tenga interés en ayudar como Capellán Voluntario en alguno de nuestros hospitales locales. Se ofrecerá en inglés y español. El entrenamiento se llevará a cabo el sábado, 21 de enero, 2017 en el Salón Madonna dentro del Centro Pastoral Católico en San Juan. La sesión en ingles será de 8:00 am – 12: 00 mediodía y la sesión en español será de 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. El entrenamiento es gratis pero se requiere que avise de antemano su participación llamando al 784-5007.

How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk/Jerkette – Workshop Begins Jan. 24
The PICK (Premarital Interpersonal Knowledge and Skills) a Partner Program, a five-session workshop, runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the Newman Catholic Student Center, located at 1615 W. Kuhn St. in Edinburg. Also known as How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk/Jerkette, the program is open to singles and singles again who are 18 and older and out of high school.

The Family Life Office is offering this program as a proximate marriage preparation program. Unlike our immediate marriage preparation programs which we offer to engaged couples, this program is designed to provide singles with a plan for pacing a relationship and exploring the key areas that foreshadow what a partner will be like in marriage. It teaches a way to build a healthy relationship that keeps the heart and the head working together.

Based on significant research and theory, Dr. Van Epp’s proven methods in How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk /Jerkette maximize the potential of finding “the one” by giving singles the tools to focus on the crucial characteristics of a loving, lasting, relationship. Included in the five sessions will be Catholic Church teachings on the sanctity and sacredness of a Sacramental Marriage.

The program is $12 for the cost of the workbook. For more information or to register, call (956) 784-5012 or email Elizabeth Garza at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Seventh Annual Divine Mercy Conference Scheduled for Jan. 28
Fountain of Mercy Ministries invites the faithful to its annual conference on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Weslaco Performing Arts Center. Doors open at 6:45 a.m. for the all-day event. Speakers include Bishop Daniel E. Flores; Father Michael Gaitley of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, director of evangelization at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.; and Dr. Gregory Popcak, author of numerous books and programs that integrate Catholic theology and counseling psychology. Early registration is $25. For more information or to register, visit www.fomm.us

Mother/Daughter Program Set for Jan. 28
Registration is underway for the Mother/Daughter Program scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28. The purpose of the Mother/Daughter Program is to provide an atmosphere of love and learning to discuss the important topic of growing up. This program is provided to help Mothers and their daughters (ages 10-12) establish a foundation for continued communication between each other, while emphasizing the values of respect, understanding, and appreciation for God’s gifts. The program is presented by the Diocese of Brownsville Family Life Office in two sessions: a morning session in English and an afternoon session in Spanish.

The Mother/Daughter Program explores God’s special gift of human fertility and the beauty and wonder of God’s plan for growing up and becoming a woman. Some of the topics presented during this session discuss the changes in a girl’s body as it prepares for motherhood; the onset of ovulation and subsequent menstrual periods; the functions of the female reproductive system; the sacredness of human life; the virtue of chastity; reverence for our sexuality, and a confidential question and answer segment.

Location: Bishop Adolph Marx Conference Center
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd, San Juan, TX 78589 (on Raul Longoria across from Stripes)
Time: 9 a.m. to noon (English); 2 to 5 p.m. (Español)

Call the Family Life Office at (956) 784-5012 for more information.

Sacred Heart Priests Present Play on Life of St. Damien of Molokai
“Damien: A One-Man Play” is a re-enactment of the life of Father Damien De Veuster of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary (ss.cc.), the leper priest who served in Molokai, Hawaii from 1873 until his death in 1889.

Two performances of the play will be presented in conjunction with the celebration of 50 years of ministry by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary in the Rio Grande Valley and the Silver Jubilee of Queen of Peace Parish in Harlingen:
• Saturday, January 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Queen of Peace Church in Harlingen, 1509 New Combes Hwy.
• Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Edinburg, 215 N. 16th Ave.
The events are free to the public, but a free-will collection will be taken up. The production will be presented by actor Casey Groves, whose television credits include “Law and Order”, “One Life to Live” and “As the World Turns”. He has appeared in several productions at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. He has also had two off-Broadway productions of “Damien: A One-Many Play,” which he toured throughout the Hawaiian islands in 2006 and 2009.

Juan Diego Academy Hosts Open House
Juan Diego Academy, a Catholic Regional High School in Mission, will host an open house for prospective students and all those interested in learning more about the school from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29 at the campus, located at 5208 South FM 494. Guided tours of the campus will be offered, along with the opportunity to meet and talk with current students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Registration materials for the 2017-2018 school year will also be available.

For more information, contact the school office at (956) 583-2752.

McAllen Knights of Columbus Organize Annual Youth Retreat and Rally
The Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of Sorrows Council #12040, in cooperation with the Diocese of Brownsville is hosting its annual Catholic retreat and rally for high school students from across the Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in McAllen. The retreat is an opportunity for young people to experience a significant faith event in their lives, make new friends and learn more about God, themselves, and others. Registration is $40. For more information, visit http://www.kofc12040.org

La Posada Providencia to Host Annual Brunch and Auction
La Posada Providencia, an emergency shelter in San Benito for immigrants, asylum seekers and asylees recently processed by U.S. immigration authorities, is hosting its annual Hands & Hearts brunch and auction at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 at La Sierra Event Center, 3742 N Expressway 77, in Harlingen. Tickets are $40 per person in advance and $45 per person at the door. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Alma Rock at (956) 399-3826 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Tickets may also be purchased online at http://www.lppshelter.org/2017-hands-hearts/

Juan Diego Academy Schedules Entrance Exam for Prospective Students
Juan Diego Academy in Mission will hold an entrance exam for students in 8th grade at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4 at the campus, located at 5208 South FM 494. The cost for the exam is $25. The exam takes approximately four hours and is required for all entering freshmen. No materials are needed. For more information/to register to take the exam, please contact the school office at (956) 583-2752.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Youth Ministry to Host Three-Night Mission
John Michael Talbot, a Catholic singer-songwriter, guitarist, television personality, author and founder of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, a monastic community, will present a three-night mission from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 6- 8 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Port Isabel.

The event is free to attend, but love offerings are appreciated. All denominations and ages are welcome. For more information, call (956) 943-6392 or visit John Michael Talbot’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/johnmichaeltalbot/

Registration Open for World Marriage Day Celebration on Feb. 11
World Marriage Day will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 in honor of the couples who are celebrating a wedding anniversary of 10, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 or more than 60 years during 2017. All couples are cordially invited to attend a special bilingual Mass on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine. Bishop Daniel E. Flores is scheduled to celebrate the Mass of Thanksgiving for couples who bear witness to God’s love through their love and commitment to each other through the Sacrament of Matrimony.

To register for this event, the couples who are interested in attending need to call the Family Life Office at (956) 784-5012 or 542-2501 ext. 412 as soon as possible.

Protecting God’s Children
Train the Trainers Course to be Offered
Walter Lukaszek will offer a “Train the Trainers for Protecting God’s Children,” for those interested in becoming facilitators in your parish from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 11 or Feb. 14 at the Bishop Fitzpatrick building, Madonna Room in San Juan. There is no charge. Reservations are required so that appropriate handouts are available. Please register by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Walter Lukaszek (956) 457-0010 (cell).

Weslaco Parishes Sponsor Marian Event
St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Pius X Parish and San Martin de Porres Parish have joined forces for a Marian Event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 at the St. Joan of Arc Parish Hall, located on the corner of E. 2nd St. and S. Illinois Ave. in Weslaco. The featured speaker will be theologian and author Dr. Edward Sri, who will speak on the topic, “Mary & the Bible: What Catholics Really Believe.” The event is open to the public. The cost is $5. Register online at www.rgvcmf.org

A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding what we say and do in the liturgy
Conference Aims to Provide Deeper Understanding of the Holy Mass
Do you ever wish you could get more out of Mass? Discover how all the prayers, symbols, and rituals in the liturgy can come alive for us today once we understand their Biblical roots. From the sign of the cross and the Gloria to the Eucharistic prayers and Holy Communion, join us for a one-day Catholic conference for a Biblical tour of the Mass and learn the profound meaning of what we are really saying and doing each week as we participate in these sacred mysteries.

The conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by Mass at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, 1108 W. Hackberry Ave., in McAllen. Featured speakers include Bishop Daniel E. Flores; Father Carlos Zuniga, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Weslaco; Deacon Luis Zuniga, director of the Office for Pastoral Planning & San Juan Diego Ministry Institute for the diocese and Dr. Edward Sri, a theologian, author and Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN. The conference, which is open to men, women and teenagers, will also feature an exhibit of Eucharistic miracles from around the world.

The cost to attend is $10 and includes lunch. Online registration is required www.rgvcmf.org. Visit the event Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1137753486339765/ for additional information.

Family Life Office Offers Marriage Building Program
Initiated in Dallas by doctors Harville Hendrix and Helen Hunt, the “Safe Conversations Workshop” helps couples connect with each other and in doing so creates better relationships and better lives for them. They teach people how to have an effective – and safe – conversation in which understanding the nature of difference in our relationships is a key element. The workshop will be presented by Dana Nygaard, a couples therapist and counselor from Plano.

The workshop, which is open to all married couples, will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Bishop Adolph Marx Conference Center in San Juan and is sponsored by the Family Life Office of the Diocese of Brownsville.

The fee for this program is $30 per couple to cover the cost of materials and meals. For information and registration, please contact the Family Life Office from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (956) 784-5012 or (956) 542-2501 ext. 412.

Save the date
Fifth Annual Diocesan Stewardship Conference Slated for March
The Office of Stewardship & Development has announced the Fifth Annual Stewardship Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 and Friday, March 3 at the Bishop Marx Auditorium of the San Juan Pastoral Center. For more information, call (956) 784-5095.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 $15.00. If you need the teaching notes, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 $15.00. If you need complete copies of the lesson plans from K-12, email Walter ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

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.

Edinburg Parish Organizes Spring Break Pilgrimage to Mexico City
Holy Family Church in Edinburg is leading a five-day pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and other spiritual and historical sites on March 13-17, 2017. Pilgrims from other parishes are invited to participate. The pilgrimage is being planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Holy Family Church. The cost is $615 per person (double occupancy) and $775 (single) and includes round-trip chartered coach transportation to Reynosa airport; round trip air from Reynosa to Mexico City; bilingual, licensed tour guide; five meals; guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees; charter coach transportation for all land touring and more. For more information, contact Al Flores at (956) 383-5472.

8-Day Lenten Mexico Pilgrimage Set for March 18-25
Sacred Heart Parish in Elsa is organizing an eight-day pilgrimage to Mexico, March 18-25, 2017. The cost per person is $882.00 and includes round-trip airfare (double occupancy). The tour will include stops in Mexico City, Patzcuaro, Tzintzuntzan, Sahuayo, Ocotlan, Tonola, San Juan de los Lagos and Guanajuato. For more information, contact Sacred Heart Church (956) 262-1406.

Holy Land Pilgrimage, “Walk with Jesus” Scheduled for May 29-Jun 7
Join the Holy Land Pilgrimage, “Walk with Jesus”, May 29-Jun 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Church Furniture for Sale in Lyford
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Sebastian, a mission of Prince of Peace Parish in Lyford is selling 30 solid oak pews. Inquire with Gloria C. Cortez (956) 347-3580.

School Bus for Sale
Juan Diego Academy, a Catholic regional high school in Mission, is selling a used, 20-passenger, 2003 Chevy Bluebird yellow school bus. The bus has a 6.5 liter engine, automatic transmission (recently rebuilt), and no accidents. Odometer reading: 61,614. All licensing and inspections current. Tires, brakes, and shocks in good working order. Interested parties should contact Bob Schmidt at 583-2752.

Job Openings
• Full-time maintenance person (housing project) - La Merced Homes, Mercedes. Interested qualified candidates may be referred to Irma Arriaga at (956) 565-2622 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• 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 booking practices and procedures
• Accuracy and attention to detail is absolutely required, as well as a track record of conscientious work habits
• 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
• Jan. 10 – PICK a Partner Program, Newman Catholic Student Center, Edinburg
• Jan. 12 – Mass in memory of Father Tomás Matéos, Sacred Heart Parish, Mercedes
• Jan. 12 – Life in the Spirit course begins, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, McAllen
• Jan. 15 – Feast of Santo Niño Mass, St. Anne Parish, Peñitas
• Jan. 18 – Appeal Update & Refresher Course, San Juan Pastoral Center

Submit information to be included in the Weekly Update to Brenda Nettles Riojas, Director of Diocesan Relations by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by fax to (956) 784-5082.


Diocesan Relations
Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
700 N. Virgen de San Juan
San Juan, TX 78589

Phone:(956) 784-5008
Director: Brenda Nettles Riojas