Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend

“Marriage is a journey!” A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend can help you enrich your marriage and add some excitement to your journey. Whether you’ve been married 1 year or 50 years, a Marriage Encounter Weekend may be just the thing you need to put a breath of fresh air into your relationship. Our next weekend is October 9-11, 2015 in El Paso. For more information please call Armando and Linda Juarez at 915-637-8797.
For weekend dates and more information, visit our website at

Happy Birthday!!

Fr. Wallace Blake Fry  9/8
Fr. Maximino J. Rangel, OFM  9/9
Fr. John “Jack” Vessels, SJ 9/16
Fr. Donald J. Adamski, OFM Conv. 9/17
Fr. Jose Vera-Perez, OFM 9/18
Fr. John Rini 9/22
Fr. David    LaBuda, MM 9/24
Fr. John Lucido  9/23
Fr. Richard Sotelo, SJ 9/30


Ordination Anniversaries

Fr. Joe Molina 9/2/95
Fr. Robert Edward Mosher, SSC 9/18/82
Fr. Jose Alcocer 9/24/60


September Kermes:


Immaculate Heart of Mary, Westway  Sept. 4-6
Holy Spirit Parish Sept. 11-13
San Juan Diego Sept. 11-13
El Buen Pastor Sept. 18-20
San Elceario Sept. 18-20
Fr. Yermo School Sept. 19-20
St. Pius Sept. 25-26

Sisters open homes to the public, encourage visitors

If I asked you to think of a Catholic nun, what do you picture? A black habit? A grim-faced woman with a ruler in her hand? If so, you should check out this month’s Open House celebrating the Year of Consecrated

Sister Carol Jean Ory, SSSF offers Communion in the colonias

Sister Carol Jean Ory, SSSF offers Communion in the colonias

Life to get a better idea of how these women are affecting positive change in our community.

“Yes we’re still in education and healthcare but not in traditional ways,” said Sister Janet Gildea, SC. “We work in colonias educating families about childcare for their children. We work with migrants on their arrival to the country, helping them with social services. We’re not what people traditionally think.”

You can thank Vatican II for the expanded services, said Sister Isabel Fierro, DC, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and the diocese’s liaison for women religious.

“Before, we were working in children’s homes and hospitals and as teachers. But we realized there were needs outside of these areas,” she said. “Vatican II allowed us to reassess these needs and our charisms. We asked ourselves, ‘What are we called to do?’ We went back to our roots and back to our founders where we were free to serve in the spirit of our community.”

Even the terminology has changed over the decades. Rarely is a woman now referred to as a “nun.” That designation is typically used for women who live a cloistered or contemplative life.

“Their life is consecrated to God and a life of prayer,” said Sr. Isabel. “The contemplative and what we call the ‘active’ sisters have three things in common: prayer, service and community life. But the contemplative sisters are usually found in monasteries and wear the full habit.”

Since many are no longer found in traditional habits, the 103 sisters who work with the Diocese of El Paso may not be as noticeable as they once were. But their impact cannot be ignored.

“In my community, we have a sister who is working as a legal representatives to migrants,” said Sr. Isabel. “We have one who works at Reynolds Home which shelters homeless women and children. In the diocese, other sisters serve in parishes, Pastoral care in hospitals and senior centers. We have expanded our charisms to many works.”

Sr. Isabel said her exposure to sisters while working, as a nursing student at Hotel Dieu Hospital in the 1950s is what first introduced her to think about a life in a religious vocation.

“It was the summer of my junior year at Las Cruces High School and I was thinking, you know, ‘What am I going to do?’ I had been thinking, ‘Am I going to be a nun or a nurse? Well the conclusion was simple: I was going to be a nurse. But when I saw these sisters, it was a revelation. I can be both!”

Sr. Isabel, who became a nurse-midwife, said she had little exposure to sisters prior to working alongside them.

“I saw how they skilled they were, how they related to people and at the same time, how compassionate they were and how they prayed,” she said. “ And they used to live on the 6th floor and I would ask this one

Sister Janet Gildea at Proyecto Santo Niño in Anapra, Mexico

Sister Janet Gildea at Proyecto Santo Niño in Anapra, Mexico

sister, ‘What do you do up there?’”

Sr. Isabel hopes the open house will allow the public, particularly young adults, a chance to speak to the religious in an informal way and learn more about what they do in their community. Sr. Janet also hopes the exposure could spark someone’s interest in the religious life.

“We don’t want to sit around and look at old black and white photos and say, ‘Oh, look at what we did,” said Sr. Janet. “We want to show off what we’re doing today. So often people think our only role is to pray the Rosary. We do but we do a lot of work in our community too.”

The Open House, scheduled for Sept. 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. will allow the public to see the contemporary lives of the women and men religious who serve the diocese. The locations for the open house include the following: Adoratrices del Santisimo Sacramento, 145 Cotton Street; Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, 9213 Moye Dr.; Sisters of Loretto, 4601 Trowbridge; School Sisters of St. Francis, 465 Gallagher; Hermanas Dominicas de la Doctrina Cristiana, 634 Hampton; Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor, 3119 Pera; Sisters of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, 415 N. Glenwood; Brothers of Christina Schools, 1204 N. Mesa and the Society of Jesus, Sacred Heart Parish, 602 S. Oregon.

For more information, contact Sr. Isabel Fierro, DC at (915) 872-8407.

Estrellitas de Dios performs on world stage

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Photo courtesy: Fede Castillo

Estrellitas de Dios, a special-needs folklorico group from St. Pius performed at the 2015 Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles.  More than 500 thousand spectators attended the July event.

Pope Francis makes U.S debut later this month

-Eizabeth O’Hara, RGC Editor

Approximately 80 people will join the more than 1.5 million people expected for the Mass with Pope Francis in Philadelphia later this month said organizers of the next World Meeting of Families.RGC Sept _Page_5_Image_0001

“I’m thrilled that we have such a strong showing from the Diocese of El Paso,” said Deacon Frank Segura, director of the diocese’s Marriage and Family Life ministry.

By June, about 12,000 people were registered for the Sept. 22-25 congress, which will feature speakers on an array of issues affecting family life. The meeting is held every three years. This year’s theme is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”

“The world meeting is always well attended but we believe that the popularity of the Pope, as well as this being his inaugural visit to the United States, it really sparked a lot of interest in our diocese,” said Segura.

Pope Francis’ visit will take place from Sept. 26-27 after stops in Washington D.C. where he will address a joint session of Congress and New York City, where he is expected to made an address to the United Nations.

Besides the papal Mass Sept. 27, which will close the World Meeting of Families, the pope is also expected to be at the Festival of Families Sept. 26. Organizers are expecting about 750,000 people for the festival, held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway; it will include performances by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Colombian pop star Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Themes for the family congress will include talks that address new technologies, ecology, fertility and dealing with marriage breakups. Some of the speakers listed include Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Father Robert Barron and Scott Hahn, as well as Rev. Rick Warren and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, are slated among the speakers.

Approximately 30 percent of the speakers are non-Catholic and the congress is open to all.

A trinity of a different kind on the pope’s U.S. agenda

-Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Expect to hear the pope take on immigration, hunger and the environment when he visits in September, said three policy advisers helping reporters in Washington prepare for the pontiff’sRGC Sept _Page_5_Image_0004 upcoming visit.

“This is a pope that doesn’t hesitate to enter difficult areas and waters,” said Demetrios Papademetriou, president emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, and one of three panelists at a briefing on “Covering the Pope: Policy and Politics.”

These “happen to be three of the most contentious, most debated, stickiest issues that Capitol Hill and the country have dealt with in the last … several decades,” said Jason Dick, an editor at CQ Roll Call, who moderated the Aug. 3 panel at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Pope Francis will speak “in a very clear way” about issues “that lots of people will want to hear” him address, said Papademetriou, a former senior policy adviser on immigration and refugee issues to the U.S. Catholic bishops. Particularly, he will talk about what some call “illegal” immigration but “he’ll call it undocumented, unauthorized, unregulated” mass migration, Papademetriou said.

“It’s not about all immigration, it’s about immigration of the poor, immigration of the persecuted, immigration of the people who seemingly have no other choice but to go elsewhere in order to create a life for themselves,” Papademetriou said.

Yet when it comes to this topic, Papademetriou said, “I’m not quite sure whether the U.S. Congress, or at least those people in the U.S. Congress, who have been unable or unwilling to reach any agreement … that it will influence them in one way or another.”

Panelist Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation, said the papal visit will help shine a light on a key issue for the pope, namely hunger, which affects the poor in the United States

“He speaks on many occasions about dignity for all people,” she said. And when the pope brings up the topic of hunger, it will help ask and answer questions such as: “Why, in a land of such abundance, where we are producing food, do we have such a persistent disconnect between the food supply chain and those who are hungry?”

Kalee Kreider, policy adviser for climate science at the United Nations Foundation, said the three issues — hunger, the environment and immigration — are connected and encouraged reporters for secular news organizations to read “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home” to get a taste of the case the pope will make and how he touches on the three topics.

“The pope makes clear that poverty, climate change are not two different things,” said Kreider, a former environmental adviser and communications director for Vice President Al Gore.

These issues, she said, have been addressed by the Catholic Church and by previous popes for decades. But Pope Francis’ encyclical hits a particular time, a “tipping point,” that history will recall, she said.

She described it as part of an “arc” that began Aug. 3, when U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the “Clean Power Plan,” a pledge by his administration to reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions and combat climate change. It continues with the pope’s message on the environment during his visit to the United States in September and whose influence may result, as environmentalists hope, in some form of global action during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris in late 2015.

“What will be intriguing, to me,” she said, “is whether we do see a softening on some of these flashpoint issues. … It won’t be until general election that we’ll actually start to see (the) impact of a visit like this.”

Papal parenting guide: Francis delivers his own how-to for families

-Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis knows the family is made up of real people living in the real world, which is why he often gives down-to-earth advice.RGC Sept _Page_5_Image_0003
The pope, a former teacher, has, in a way, been handing today’s families detailed lesson plans, offering guidance in what actually needs to be done. The world Synod of Bishops on the family, which the pope has convoked for October, also is expected to deliver concrete guidelines for the pastoral care of the family and its members.
With examples from his own life and the real lives of others, he points to what is happening “on the ground” and then builds a pastoral plan — what would God’s response be to this reality.
For example, the Christian response to the all too typical problem of anger or misunderstanding is to choose the path of dialogue, which requires eating lots of tart “humble pie,” he said in a homily in January 2014.
“Sometimes the plates will fly,” the pope said. But “after the storm has passed,” things have to be worked out as soon as possible, “with a word, a gesture,” so no one ends up “isolated in this bitter broth of our resentment.”
Other similarly practical advice he has given couples: play with your kids more, stop the swearing, be more affectionate and always say, “Please,” “May I” and “Thank you.” Moms and dads must lead the way, he says; they are the most influential role models for their kids.
Kissing in front of the children is a “beautiful witness,” he told parents in June 2015. Children watch their parents carefully and “when they see that dad and mom love each other, the children grow in that climate of love, happiness and security.”
He has told youngsters to go out, discover the world and “build everything together, do everything with love, everything is possible and faith is an event always to be proclaimed.”
Talk to your best friend, Jesus, every day, he told children in December 2014, and be “apostles of peace and serenity” at home and at school.
“Imagine how much our world would change if each one of us began right here and now and seriously took care of ourselves and generously took care of our relationship with God and our neighbor,” he told Vatican employees and their families before Christmas last year.

El Papa Francisco hace su Debut en los Estados Unidos a Finales de este Mes

-Elizabeth O’Hara, Editora del RGC

Aproximadamente 80 personas se sumarán a los más de 1.5 millones de personas que se esperan para la Misa del Papa Francisco en Filadelfia a finales de este mes, dijeron los organizadores del próximo EncuentroRGC Sept _Page_5_Image_0002 Mundial de las Familias, en El Paso.

“Estoy encantado de que tengamos una fuerte presencia como Diócesis de El Paso”, dijo el Diácono Frank Segura, director del ministerio de Matrimonio y Vida Familiar de la diócesis.

Para junio, unas 12,000 personas estaban ya registradas para el congreso del 22 al 25 de septiembre, el cual contará con ponentes en una serie de cuestiones que afectan a la vida familiar. La reunión se celebra cada tres años y el tema de este año es “El amor es Nuestra Misión: La Familia Totalmente Viva”

“A la reunión mundial siempre asisten muchos, pero creemos que la popularidad del Papa, así como siendo esta su visita inaugural a los Estados Unidos, realmente ha provocado un gran interés en nuestra diócesis”, dijo Segura.

La visita del Papa Francisco tendrá lugar del 26 al 27 de septiembre, después de hacer paradas en Washington DC, donde abordará una sesión conjunta con el Congreso y a Nueva York, donde se espera que haga un discurso ante las Naciones Unidas.

Además de la Misa Papal del 27 de septiembre, la cual clausurará el Encuentro Mundial de las Familias, también se espera que el Papa asista al Festival de la Familia el 26 de septiembre. Los organizadores esperan cerca de 750,000 personas para el festival, el cual se llevara a cabo en la Avenida Benjamín Franklin y que incluirá las actuaciones del tenor italiano Andrea Bocelli, la estrella de pop colombiano Juanes y la Orquesta de Filadelfia.

Los temas para el congreso de la familia incluirán conversaciones que abordan las nuevas tecnologías, la ecología, la fertilidad y como tratar con las rupturas matrimoniales. Algunos de los oradores mencionados incluyen al Cardenal Luis Antonio Tagle de Manila, el Cardenal Sean P. O’Malley de Boston y al cardenal Robert Sarah, prefecto de la Congregación para el Culto Divino y los Sacramentos. El Padre Robert Barrón y Scott Hahn, así como el Reverendo Rick Warren y el Rabino Abraham Skorka, están programados entre los oradores.

Aproximadamente el 30 por ciento de los oradores no son católicos y el congreso está abierto para todos.