Weekly Update Archive

March 23, 2012


Bishops Promise To Continue ‘Vigorous Efforts’ Against
HHS Violations of Religious Freedom in Health Care Reform Mandate
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops are strongly united in their ongoing and determined efforts to protect religious freedom, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a March 14 statement.

The Administrative Committee, chaired by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB, is the highest authority of the bishops’ conference outside the semi-annual sessions of the full body of bishops. The Committee’s membership consists of the elected chairmen of all the USCCB permanent committees and an elected bishop representative from each of the geographic regions of the USCCB.

The full statement can be found at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Admin-Religious-Freedom.pdf and www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/march-14-statement-on-religious-freedom-and-hhs-mandate.cfm

Mystical Body, Mystical Voice Workshop Set for Saturday
The Diocese of Brownsville with the San Juan Diego Ministry Institute and the Office of Worship will present a workshop on Saturday, March 24 at St Pius X Church in Weslaco from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The $25 fee includes materials, refreshment and lunch. The workshop is open to all clergy, catechists, and lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, musicians and others who have the responsibility of forming parishioners for Mass celebrated with the English language version of the Missale Romanum.

For more information, call (956) 784-5011 or email Rosa Gonzalez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Hike for Life Texas-Brownsville Scheduled March 24
Hike for Life Texas-Brownsville will be held at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 24 at Dean Porter Park, 501 E. Ringgold St. Bishop Daniel E. Flores will serve as a guest speaker for the event.
Hike for Life Texas - Brownsville is an extension of Hike for Life Texas. Since 1973, Hike for Life Texas has been at the forefront of the battle against abortion and the culture of death. 

In Sept. 2010, Brownsville residents Martin and Angie Leal attended a Hike for Life event in Dallas. The Leals found that the closest Hike for Life Texas event was in the Austin area. They approached their pastor, Father Jose Luis Garcia of Christ the King Parish in Brownsville about starting an event in Brownsville.

Father Garcia gave them his blessing and support. The Leals gathered friends and family as well as local Knights of Columbus Councils, and on April 2, 2011 the first Hike for Life was held. More than 200 people from across the Valley participated in the event, raising more than $5,000. The money raised was used as seed money for the Christ the King Crisis Pregnancy Center in Brownsville, which is expected to open soon. A board of directors has been selected, volunteer counselors are being recruited, and a location for the center has been secured. 

The proceeds from this year’s hike for life will be used to further the mission of the pregnancy center. Please register at www.hikeforlifetexas.com or contact Martin Leal at (956) 459-2926 for more information.

This Week on Diocese Insight
Father Alfonso Guevara Invites Us to Reflect on Christ’s Passion
Diocese Insight, a half-hour program on KMBH-TV which highlights news, information and interviews about the Catholic Church in the Rio Grande Valley, will feature an interview this Sunday with Father Alfonso Guevara, one of the new vicars general assigned by Bishop Daniel Flores. The show will broadcast on Sunday at 11 a.m. and on Friday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Registration Underway for Oblate Trail Ride
Registration is underway for the Seventh Annual Oblate Trail Ride, a bicycle tour with 25 and 62.5 routes, scheduled for Saturday, March 31.

T-shirts will be provided for the first 500 registered riders.  The first seven riders from Brownsville to Mission will be asked to honor an Oblate Priest from the historical photo on the flyer by bearing his name for the duration of the ride.

The route follows the famous Oblate Trail along Military Highway, an area the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate traveled by horse more than 100 years ago to celebrate Mass in the remote communities along the Rio Grande.

Pre-registration is $25 through March 26.  Onsite registration the day of the event will be $30.  A $5 discount will be applied for each member of a group of five or more. 

Funds raised from this event will go towards the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to help break the cycle of poverty in the Valley. For additional information about the ride call Rosie Rodriguez or Jesse Salinas at (956) 781-5323 or visit www.cdob.org/about-us/oblate-trail-ride.

Training and Pastoral Planning for Youth Ministry in Parishes Begins March 24
VITAL 3.0, a two-year, strategic process for cultivating an impacting, disciple-making parish and youth ministry, will be offered for parish youth ministry teams. The process will consist of seven skill and application based training sessions for your entire parish youth ministry team. The training sessions will be led by Frank Mercadante from Cultivation Ministries. It is important that each parish identify a youth ministry team to participate in this process.
The first session is intended only for the youth ministry coordinator and will take place on Saturday, March 24. The following six sessions will be intended for entire parish youth ministry teams. The second session will be Saturday, Sept. 8.  The cost is a one-time payment of $50.

If your parish is interested in participating in this process, please ensure the parish youth ministry coordinator is present at the meeting on March 24. You can RSVP by calling (956) 781-5323 or emailing Angel Barrera at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

CYAM News (Campus and Young Adult Ministry):
Awakening Retreats
The Awakening Retreat program is a weekend retreat for college students and young adults in general. Focused on Catholic teachings, the Awakening Retreat is a faith-sharing experience: an opportunity to discover (or rediscover) one's faith and spirituality through the variety of talks, activities, and testimonies given by other young adults and ministry leaders.  Below are some of the upcoming Awakening Retreats in our diocese:
AWAKENING 2012 (March 31 - April 1).  For more information please contact Cristina Aldape:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

VALLEY AWAKENING (June 22 -24). For more information please contact Miguel Santos:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Young Adult Matters... Premiere of Young Adult TV Show
A new television show produced by KMBH and the Office of Campus and Young Adult Ministry (CYAM) will air on Valley Catholic Network, Channel 38.3, weekly on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m., with a re-broadcast on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m.  The show also airs on 38.1 (Cable Channel 10) Sundays at 9:30 a.m.  Join young adults from across the diocese as they discuss current issues relevant to their faith, education and culture.   Please send your comments and suggestions for the show to Miguel Santos:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Announcements from the Development Office
Children’s Appeal
Bishop Daniel E. Flores and the Development Office launched the Children’s Appeal in the Fall of 2011.  This was possible only with the close collaboration of parish and school-based religious education programs because the Bishop’s Children’s Appeal is primarily a catechetical effort to awaken the concept of stewardship in younger generations. 

Parishes may continue to show the video to children, teens, parents and sponsors for sacramental preparation or any other ministry group working in a faith formation setting.  Additional printed materials will be furnished upon request.  We ask that all pledges you have received be return to Development Office for processing.

Grant Reporting & Bishop’s Annual Appeal
The Development Office has sent parishes and diocesan entities a reminder about grant reporting procedures and an update on the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. For additional information contact Rosie Rodriguez, development director for the Diocese of Brownsville.

Lenten Cookbook Available
The Diocese of Brownsville's latest publication, Meatless Recipes for Lent: A Collection of Recipes from the Rio Grande Valley, is available now. The book compiled by The Valley Catholic includes 70 recipes from more than 40 contributors. Call (956) 784-5055 to purchase your $10 copy.

The cookbook features traditional Lenten dishes which have been passed on from our abuelitas, mothers, and tías. You will certainly want to try the different capirotada recipes, as well as the ones for nopalitos and albóndigas.

Marian Conference Scheduled March 25
The Catholic Daughters of America CT #2540 from Holy Spirit Catholic Church 2201 Martin Ave, McAllen, is hosting their 8th Marian Conference on Sunday, March 25 on the Feast of the Annunciation.  The event will begin with the noon Mass and end at 4:30 p.m. with Benediction.  The children will offer flowers to our Blessed Mother and the Junior Catholic Daughters will Crown our Blessed Mother during the Mass.

The cost is $10 and includes lunch. Organizations attending are encouraged to bring banners to display during the conference.  For additional information contact Maria Luisa Guerra at (956) 648-0233.

Juan Diego Academy Spring Festival
Juan Diego Academy’s first Spring Festival will take place on Saturday, March 24 on the campus near La Lomita in Mission.  The Festival will begin with a 5K fun run/walk at 9 a.m. followed by a BBQ chicken plate that will be served in our school cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Festivalgoers can also enjoy various games and booths.  The festival is a fun event that will have something for the entire family.  The Festival will conclude with our annual raffle drawing.  For more information, or to purchase tickets please call the school office at (956) 583-2752.

St. Pius X Church Hosts Passion Play April 1
St. Pius X Church in Weslaco is sponsoring two performances of the Passion Play on Sunday, April 1 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Weslaco ISD Performance Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased at the St. Pius X Parish Office for $3.

Two Performances of "Sound" Set for April 28
St. Pius X Church in Weslaco is sponsoring two performances of the play, "Sound" which deals with the realities of bullying. “Sound,” written by Mount Carmel students and Father Benjamin Aguilar, O. Carm., will be performed by Mount Carmel’s Caravan Alley Players at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 at the WISD Performing Arts Center.

The story of “Sound” centers on the new kid in town, Andrew, who quickly becomes a target for ridicule and humiliation by the popular crowd at his high school and receives abuse from four bullies on a daily basis.

“It is important for people to learn that bullying is an unfortunate reality for too many kids,” said Father Aguilar when asked about the importance of the show. "We have to face the fact that bullying is real and traumatic. Yes, it's always been around, but today, because of the ubiquitous nature of cyber-technology, our kids may have to relive many of their childhood traumas later on in life.  Once a threat or an abuse becomes a digital tattoo, no laser treatment in the world can erase it.”

The play uses adult language and explores themes that are not meant for audiences under the age of 13. Anyone under 13 years of age must have a release signed by their parents. The form can be obtained where tickets are purchased.  Tickets are available at St. Pius X Church and at the Catholic high schools in the Valley – St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, Oratory Athenaeum in Pharr and Juan Diego Academy in Mission.
For more information, call St. Pius X Church at (956) 968-7471.

Divine Mercy Seminar Scheduled March 29
Fountain of Mercy Ministries presents a Divine Mercy Seminar “The Divine Mercy Image and the Mission of St. Faustina” on Thursday, March 29 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at St. Pius X Conference Center (old church) located at 600 S. Oklahoma Ave., Weslaco.

The guest speaker, Father Seraphim Michalenko, is a recognized expert on the message of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina Kowalska. To register, contact Yolanda at (956) 454-2103, Triny (956) 472-0119 or Rosa (956) 244-4863.

Fruits of Mercy Dinner and Auction Scheduled March 29
Fountain of Mercy Ministries cordially invites you to a dinner and auction with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC after his seminar on Thursday, March 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the McAllen Country Club 615 Wichita. For additional information call Tony Fuentes at (956) 975-6125 or Gloria Saenz at (956) 650-4601.
Monastic Experience Offered at Good Shepherd Monastery
Sister Nancy Boushey of the Benedictine Sisters of the Good Shepherd invites young women between the ages of 18 to 50 to come together to “See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life,” during a monastic experience April 5-8 for the Holy Tridumm at the Good Shepherd Monastery in Rio Grande City. Father Don Krebs will be celebrant of the liturgies.

The experience is designed for those who are hearing a call to religious life. For additional information, call (956) 486-2680.

Pilgrimage to Holy Land Scheduled for November
Resurrection Parish in Alamo invites you to an 11-day pilgrimage Nov. 12 through Nov. 22 to the Holy Land. During the pilgrimage, the group will have the opportunity to visit the land where Jesus was born, lived and died. The cost for the 11-day pilgrimage is $3,389 per person and is based on double occupancy.  The price includes roundtrip air transportation from McAllen, 3 meals a day, and hotel accommodations. 

For additional information and to receive a free brochure, call Mari Borrego at (956) 971-8796.

Summer Pilgrimage to Rome
St. Anthony Parish in Harlingen announces their first pilgrimage to Rome, Italy and the Marian shrines in Europe including Our Lady of Lourdes in France, Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal and other shrines and churches in Italy and Spain. 

Father Lawerence Klein will lead the pilgrimage June 11 through June 24. The $3,750 per person fee includes flight, hotel and some meals. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to officially register. For additional information contact the parish at (956) 428-6111 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Festival and Cook-Off Showdown
St. Joseph Catholic Church in Edinburg will be hosting their 4th Annual Festival and Cook-Off Showdown on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21. Friday is Mariachi Night. Bring the family for a night of live entertainment, games, food, children’s carnival, and more on both days.

For festival information, visit www.stjoseph-edinburg.org or call the Parish Office at (956) 383-3728. For Cook-Off information, contact Flo Prater at (956) 279-4451 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Our Lady of Sorrows 14th Annual Golf Classic and Car Raffle
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School in McAllen will host their 14th Annual Golf Classic Tournament and car raffle on Friday, April 27.  Teams are being organized, and car raffle tickets are being sold for $100. Tickets are limited as only 1,000 are being sold.  Tickets are available at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, at the church office and after Saturday and Sunday Masses. 

Individuals interested in organizing a team or purchasing a raffle ticket may call Minna Tamez at (956) 686-3651.

San Isidro Festival / Bash-in-the-Brush Biker Rally
St. Isidore Parish in San Isidro will host their Annual Festival in conjunction with the Bash-in-the-Brush Biker Rally on Saturday, April 28 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Bring the family for a fun-filled day.
Events for the day include: cook off, parade, trail ride, live music, silent and live auction, bike show, car show, vendors, dance and much more.
For festival information, visit www.sanisidrofestival.org or call the Parish Office at (956) 481-3392.  Contact information is found in our website. Admission is free.

Our Lady of Assumption Kermes
Our Lady of Assumption and San Felipe Neri Mission in Harlingen are hosting “Reina de las Flores” Kermes on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Come join the fun and festivities with delicious homemade food and live music games for the whole family.

For additional information please call parish office at (956) 423-4670.

English as a Second Language
The English Language Institute, UTPA, Edinburg, offers courses in English as a Second Language. For information, call (956) 665-2133.

Job Openings   
• Associate Director of the Family Life Office - Interested, qualified candidates contact Human Resources (956) 542-2501.

• Campus Minister - full time - Newman Center in Brownsville Interested, qualified candidates to Human Resources (956) 542-2501 and/or Miguel Santos.

• Director for Religious Education - Interested qualified candidates should submit resumes by mail, fax or email to St. Paul’s Catholic Church 1119 Francisco Ave. Mission, TX 78572 Fax: 956-581-4801 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Jail Ministry Coordinator – Interested qualified candidates contact Human Resources at (956) 542-2501 or Sr. Norma Pimentel at (956) 702-4088.

• Liturgical Musician/Choir Coordinator (Part Time) – Juan Diego Academy Interested persons should contact Bob Schmidt, Principal of Juan Diego Academy in Mission at (956) 583-2752.

• Maintenance Person - El Rosario Homes, Mission – Interested, qualified candidates contact Raquel Turrubiates at (956) 585-5051 or Fax resume to (956) 585-9938.

• Maintenance Foreman – La Merced Homes, Mercedes – Interested, qualified candidates contact Mirtala Sifuentes at (956) 565-2622 or Fax resume to (956) 565-4185.

• Part time Assistance Campus Minister - Newman Center in Brownsville Interested, qualified candidates to Human Resources (956) 542-2501 and/or Miguel Santos.

• Part time Bookkeeper - St. Joseph the Worker – McAllen Qualified interested candidates should be referred to Rev. Alfonso Guevara at 956-682-1351; fax: 956-618-3317.

• Part-time Development Coordinator - Sacred Heart Church, Mercedes, for more information (956) 565-0271.

• Part time Janitor – Basilica Our Lady of San Juan del Valle – National Shrine Contact Melinda Singleterry at 956-787-0033 (weekends and Monday)

• Part time Secretary – San Juan Diego Lay Ministry Institute - Interested, qualified candidates contact Ofelia Martinez (956)784-5010.

• Part time - Receptionist/Secretary - Qualified interested candidates should be referred to Msgr. Luis Javier Garcia at 956-787-8563; fax: 956-702-4509.

Calendar of Events

• March 22-25 – Rachel’s Vineyard, Rio Grande City

• March 24 – Family Life Office -  Continuing Ed Session – English

• March 25 – Family Life Office -  Continuing Ed Session – Spanish

• March 26 – 30 - Mision Cuaresmal, Our Lady of Guadalupe Brownsville

• March 26 - SJDMI YM Level 1 - San Juan

• March 30 – 31 Divine Mercy, Brownsville Men's Retreat, Rio Grande City

• March 31 – Oblate Trail Ride

• March 31 - DYRT - Immaculate Conception RGC

Please 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