Weekly Update Archive

February 7, 2017

“VERBUM MITTITUR SPIRANS AMOREM”

Training Sessions Scheduled in Preparation of V Encuentro
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, 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/

John Michael Talbot Performing 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, is in the middle of a three-night mission from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 6- 8 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Port Isabel.

Tonight and Wednesday’s events are free, 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/

Catholic Relief Service’s Rice Bowl: Stories of Hope
Isabel Aguilar, regional director of Catholic Relief Service for Latin American and the Caribbean, will visit our diocese to share the stories of our brothers and sisters from around the world whose lives have been touched by Catholic Relief Service’s Lenten Rice Bowl initiative. Her schedule is as follows:

• Thursday, Feb. 9 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Holy Family Parish in Brownsville
• Friday, Feb. 10 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Cameron Park
• Saturday, Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (breakfast) at the Bishop Marx Conference Center of the San Juan Pastoral Center

The Rice Bowl is a Lenten program for families and faith communities in the United States who want to put their faith into action. Through Rice Bowl, participants are invited to dedicate their Lenten prayers, fasting and alms to change the lives of those who suffer in poverty.

For more information, contact Miguel Santos via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone (956) 878-9561.

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.

Opening Mass Set for New Lay Ministry Formation Program
Bishop Daniel E. Flores will celebrate the opening Mass for the participants of the new Lay Ministry Formation Program at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11 at St. Pius X Church in Weslaco. Bring your alb and white stole (Our Lady of Lourdes). A short reception will follow in the parish hall.

The Lay Ministry Formation Program provides spiritual and professional development for men and women interested in service to the Church. For more information, call (956) 784-5059.

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.

MetLife Representative Available for Consultation Feb. 22-23
Mike Gonzalez, representative for MetLife/Mass Mutual, will be in the Rio Grande Valley for his quarterly visit. He will be at San Martin de Porres School in Weslaco from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and at St. Anthony School in Harlingen from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. If you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss, please stop by to visit with him.

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.

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 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.
• Campus & Young Adult Ministry Assistant – Diocese of Brownsville. Interested qualified candidates may email résumés to Raul Cabrera, director of the Office of Campus & Young Adult Ministry, 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
Feb. 7-8 – John Michael Talbot in concert, Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Port Isabel
Feb. 7 – Encuentro V Training in Harlingen
Feb. 9-11 – CRS Rice Bowl: Stories of Hope
Feb. 11 – Opening Mass for Lay Ministry Formation Program
Feb. 11 – World Marriage Day Mass
Feb. 11 &14 – Train the Trainers Course, Protecting God’s Children
Feb. 13 – Encuentro V Training in Brownsville
Feb. 14 – Mass celebrated by Vatican ambassador to the U.S.

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