Weekly Update Archive

January 31, 2017

“VERBUM MITTITUR SPIRANS AMOREM”

First Training in Preparation of V Encuentro to be Held Tonight
To prepare for the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, the following dates have been set for training parish teams and lay ecclesial movements. All sessions are from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are bilingual. Please note the same workshop will be offered in all four locations.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the Bishop Marx Conference Center in San Juan
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7 at St. Anthony Parish in Harlingen
  • Monday, Feb. 13 at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish in Brownsville
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in McAllen

For more information about the trainings, please call Deacon Luis Zuniga at (956) 784-5059.

The main goal of the V Encuentro is to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the Hispanic/Latino presence, and to strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call to the New Evangelization as missionary disciples serving the entire Church.

For additional information regarding the V Encuentro process, please follow the link: http://vencuentro.org/

The parish manual (English and Spanish) is available at this link: http://vencuentro.org/v-encuentro-documents/

Latest Priest Appointments
This is to advise you of the latest priests’ appointments:

Effective Dec. 3, 2016

  • Rev. Arturo Cardenas, appointed Parochial Vicar of the Parish of the Lord of Divine Mercy in Brownsville.

 

Effective Dec. 25, 2016

  • Rev. Jose Gualberto Cruz, assigned in residence at St. Benedict in San Benito. Relieved of his responsibilities at Good Shepherd Parish in Brownsville.

Effective Jan. 2, 2017

  • Rev. Jerzy Edward Majka, appointed Parish Administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Escobares and its missions. Relieved of his responsibilities at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in McAllen.
  • Rev. Artemio Jacob, appointed Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in McAllen. Relieved of his responsibilities at Sacred Heart Parish in Escobares.

 

Effective Jan. 22, 2017

  • Rev. Gregory M. Kuczmanski, retired from active ministry.
  • Rev. Isaac E. Erondu, appointed Pastor of St. Paul Parish in Mission. Relieved of his responsibilities at Our Lady, Queen of the Universe Parish in San Benito and its missions and as Dean of San Benito Deanery.
  • Rev. Mario A. Castro, appointed Parish Administrator of Our Lady, Queen of the Universe in San Benito.

 

How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk/Jerkette – Course Continues Tonight
The PICK (Premarital Interpersonal Knowledge and Skills) a Partner Program, a five-session course, runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the Newman Catholic Student Center, located at 1615 W. Kuhn St. in Edinburg. Also known as How to Avoid Falling for 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 Falling for 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. Today is the last chance to register. 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.

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.

John Michael Talbot to Perform at Our Lady Star of Sea Parish
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 at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 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 by their love and commitment to each other through the Sacrament of Matrimony.

To register for this event, couples interested in attending should 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
For those interested in becoming facilitators in their parish, Walter Lukaszek will offer a “Train the Trainers for Protecting God’s Children,” from 9 a.m. to noon on Feb. 11 or Feb. 14 in the Madonna Room of the Bishop Fitzpatrick Building 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).

Vatican’s Ambassador to the U.S. to Visit Our Diocese
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, will be visiting our diocese for the Texas-Mexico Border Bishops conference Feb. 13-15 in San Juan.

Archbishop Pierre will celebrate Mass at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine. The faithful are invited to attend.

Read more about Archbishop Pierre in the February edition of The Valley Catholic.

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 East 2nd Street and South Illinois Avenue 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

Mobile Journalism Workshop, Challenge Feb. 18
The Valley Catholic newspaper is partnering up with local media professionals and hosting a Mobile Journalism Workshop and Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The workshop begins at 9 a.m. in the St. Peter Classroom at the Diocese of Brownsville Pastoral Center in San Juan, 700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd. Participants must have a smart phone or tablet to benefit fully from the workshop.

Workshop sessions include the basics of photography, the art of storytelling, interview skills and an overview of editing apps and mobile journalism tools.

Participants will be challenged to produce a two- to three-minute news report using only their smart phones or tablets. Registration is $25. For more information, call (956) 536-4866 or (956) 784-5055.

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.

Queen of Peace Parish to Host Mass and Healing Service
Father Michael Barry of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary (ss.cc.) will celebrate a Mass and healing service at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Queen of Peace Church in Harlingen. All are invited to attend.

Father Barry was born and raised in Cork, Ireland, and currently resides in San Bernadino, Calif. He is active in retreat work and teaches workshops on healing and charismatic spirituality. Father Barry has a scripture-based radio ministry and is co-founder and president of Mary’s Mercy Center, an outreach feeding program for the poor and homeless, and Veronica’s Home of Mercy, a home for unwed mothers and their children.

For more information, contact Queen of Peace Church at (956) 423-6341.

Valley Catholics Invited to Travel to Austin for Advocacy Day
Catholics from across the Lone Star State will unite for the Texas Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 4 at the State Capitol in Austin.

The biennial rally, hosted by the Texas Catholic Conference, promotes the Church’s values of life, justice, charity and religious freedom to the Texas Legislature.

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is organizing a bus trip to Austin for the rally. The trip is free and open to anyone who is interested in standing up for the Church’s values.

Those interested in attending the rally are strongly encouraged to attend an information session to discuss the issues and review the logistics of the trip.

The first information session is set for 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Bishop Adolph Marx Conference Center at the San Juan Pastoral Center, 700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd. in San Juan.

To travel to Austin with the Diocese of Brownsville delegation, call Simon (956) 702-4088. To learn more about the Texas Catholic Conference, visit www.txcatholic.org

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. 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. 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.

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 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 at (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. .
Multi-Parish Accounting, Parish/School Accounting – Diocese of Brownsville, San Juan Pastoral Center. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Genie Treviño, director of human resources, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Clerk to Chancellor’s Administrative Assistant – Diocese of Brownsville, Chancery. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Genie Treviño, director of human resources, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Grants writer - Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, San Juan Office. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Edna Garcia at 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.

Qualifications:
• 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
Jan. 31 – PICK a Partner Program, Newman Catholic Student Center in Edinburg
Jan. 31 – Encuentro V training, San Juan Pastoral Center
Feb. 2-3 – Staff Retreat, Diocesan Offices closed
Feb. 2-4 – Basilica Feast Day Triduum
Feb. 4 – Knights of Columbus Youth Rally & Retreat, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, McAllen
Feb. 4 – Hands & Hearts Brunch fundraiser for La Posada Providencia, Harlingen
Feb. 4-5 – New Life Remarriage Retreat, San Juan Pastoral Center
Feb. 5 - World Day for Consecrated Life, Basilica
Feb. 6-8 – John Michael Talbot in concert, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Port Isabel

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
briojas@cdob.org