Weekly Update Archive

February 21, 2017


Training Sessions Scheduled in Preparation of V Encuentro
To prepare for the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, one date remains this month for training parish teams and lay ecclesial movements: Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in McAllen. The session is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is bilingual.

For more information about the training, 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/

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.

Leadership Training – ‘Back to Basics – Regain Joy in Serving – Start Re-building’
The Diocese of Brownsville’s Office of Youth Ministry is presenting Leadership Formation Training with national speaker Frank Mercadante of Cultivation Ministries this Saturday at Our Lady of The Assumption Church in Harlingen. All parishes and their catechetical leaders, youth ministers/coordinators, young adults and teen leaders are invited.

The training is set for 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Parish Hall of Our Lady of The Assumption,1313 W. Buchanan St., in Harlingen. A fee of $5 covers some of the breakfast and lunch meal costs.

Please send or email your registration no later than Wednesday, Feb. 22 to Dora Rodriguez-Rosa at the Diocese of Brownsville, 700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd., San Juan, TX 78589. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 956-784-5007. The $5 donation should be in cash only, or parish check made out to Diocese of Brownsville. Memo: Youth Ministry, and can be made at the event.

40 Days for Life Campaign Kicks off Feb. 26
The 40 Days for Life campaign is an international effort to end abortion through prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach. Pro-life warriors in the Rio Grande Valley will be uniting with many others from coast to coast – and internationally – for a major simultaneous pro-life mobilization throughout the season of Lent. The campaign runs from Wednesday, March 1 through Sunday, April 9. Vigils will be held daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. outside of the McAllen abortion facility.

A kickoff event is set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, in front of the McAllen City Hall.
For the first time, the 40 Days for Life national tour bus will be stopping in the Rio Grande Valley “to motivate, encourage and strengthen us,” said Edwin Rodriguez, one of the coordinators of the local 40 Days for Life campaign.

For more information, please contact Edwin and Rosita Rodriguez at (956) 279-1349 or (956) 250-1740 or visit https://40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/mcallen/

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.

Brownsville’s Mary, Mother of the Church parish marks half a century
Mary, Mother of the Church Parish celebrates 50 years of being a community of faith in Brownsville. Two major events will mark the occasion. The first, a dinner fundraiser, is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased at the church office. Then on Saturday, March 25, parishioners will gather for Mass at 5:30 p.m. A reception will follow immediately afterwards. We would be honored by your presence at these events and, more importantly, humbled by your prayers on our behalf.

‘Restless’ One-Day High School Conference Set for April 8
All high school students from the diocese are invited to attend the YouthBLAST conference “Restless.” St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, until it rests in you.” The conference will be from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at Weslaco East High School, 810 S. Pleasantview Dr. in Weslaco.

Please contact your parish youth coordinator or your parish DRE / CRE to register. The cost to attend is $20. For more information or download forms, visit http://www.cdobym.org/youthblast.htm or call the Office of Youth Ministry at (956) 784-5007.

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. .
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.
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.

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 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. 21 – V Encuentro Training at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, McAllen
• Feb. 24 – Advocacy Day information session, San Juan Pastoral Center
• Feb. 25 – Marriage Building Program, San Juan Pastoral Center
• Feb. 25 – Youth Ministry Leadership Training, Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, Harlingen
• Feb. 26 – 40 Days for Life Kickoff Event, McAllen

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