Category: Diocese

Transitional Deaconate Ordination Set for Jun. 29

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Sem. Francisco “Frank” Hernandez

Seminarian Francisco “Frank” Hernandez  has been promoted to Holy Orders.  His transitional deaconate ordination will be at his home parish, Our Lady of the Light, on Mon., Jun. 29, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

“I considered becoming a priest since I was 9 years old, sitting in my First Communion Mass,” Hernandez said.  “I was listening to the priest’s Homily and that’s when I received my calling to be a priest.”

Sem. Frank was born to Francisco R. and Inez L. Hernandez on Nov. 1, 1984, in El Paso.  He attended Thomas Jefferson High School where he graduated in 2003 in the top ten percent of his class. During this time, his vocation grew with the help of Msgr. David Fierro at his home parish of Our Lady of the Light.

“Being an altar server for 12 years and a catechism teacher teaching Bible and First Communion for 7 years in the parish … deepened my faith and I wanted to learn more about how the priest takes the place of Jesus in Mass from scripture,” he said.

Also, during his high school years, Sem. Frank had a deep love for music. He entered the University of Texas at El Paso in the fall of 2003 as a music education major.

“I am a classically trained musician who plays the double bass and I have a minor in music from the University of Texas at El Paso,” he said.

In the fall of 2009, Sem. Frank graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from UTEP.  In the spring of 2010, he began the application process for admission to St. Charles Seminary in the Diocese of El Paso.  He was accepted and stayed in El Paso for the fall semester and did parish ministry at St. Mark’s Parish in East El Paso.  In 2011, he was accepted at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, TX, for theological studies. In the summer of 2011, he did a pastoral assignment at St Matthew’s Parish in West El Paso.  There he helped with Life Teen and spoke about his vocation story to the teens in the parish.  During the summer, he was also asked by the Diocese to apply to St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, TX and was accepted.  He arrived at St. Mary’s in August and received  the Ministry of Reader in February 2012.  Frank attended IPF in Omaha, Nebraska, during the summer of 2012.  He successfully completed a Unit of Level I Clinical Pastoral Education under the supervision of Rev. Robert Z. Powell.  Frank was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Church in El Paso for his Pastoral Year, 2013-2014 under the direction of Fr. Ben Flores.

“I would like to be a parish priest,” said Sem. Frank.  “I would like to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ to the community.  I would like to bring them, the community, closer to God so that I may be able to serve faithfully as His priest and servant.”

Transitional Deaconate Ordination Set for Jun. 29

Traducción por Mirtha Solis
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Sem. Francisco “Frank” Hernandez

Semnarista Francisco “Frank” Hernández ha sido ascendido a las órdenes sagradas. Su ordenación diaconado transitorio será en su parroquia, Nuestra Señora de la Luz, el lunes, 29 de Junio de 2015 a las 7:00 p.m.

Consideré ser sacerdote desde que tenía 9 años de edad, sentado en la misa de mi Primera Comunión”, dijo Hernández. “Estaba escuchando la homilía del sacerdote y fue entonces cuando recibí mi llamado a ser sacerdote”.

Sem. Frank nació de Francisco R. y Inez L. Hernández el 1 de Noviembre de 1984, en El Paso. Asistió la escuela secundaria de Thomas Jefferson, donde se graduó en el 2003 en el diez por ciento de su clase. Durante este tiempo, su vocación fue creciendo con la ayuda de Mons. David Fierro en su parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Luz.

“Al ser un monaguillo por 12 años y un profesor de catecismo en la enseñanza de la Biblia y Primera Comunión durante 7 años en la parroquia … profundizo mi fe y yo quería aprender más sobre cómo el sacerdote toma el lugar de Jesús durante la misa de las Escrituras,” él dijo.

También, durante sus años de escuela secundaria, Sem. Frank tenía un profundo amor por la música. Ingresó en la Universidad de Texas en El Paso en el otoño de 2003 en especialidad de estudios mayores en educación de musica musical.

“Soy un músico de formación clásica que toca el contrabajo y tengo especialidad de estudios menores en música de la Universidad de Texas en El Paso “, dijo .

En el otoño de 2009, Sem. Frank se graduó de UTEP con una licenciatura en Filosofía. En la primavera de 2010, comenzó el proceso de solicitud de admisión al Seminario de San Carlos en la Diócesis de El Paso. Fue aceptado y se quedó en El Paso para el semestre de otoño e hizo el ministerio parroquial en la Parroquia de San Marcos en el este de El Paso. En 2011, fue aceptado al Seminario de la Asunción, en San Antonio, TX, para los estudios teológicos. En el verano de 2011, hizo una asignación pastoral en la Parroquia de San Mateo en el oeste de El Paso. Allí ayudó con Vida Adolescente (Life Teen) y habló de su historia vocacional a los adolescentes de la parroquia.

Durante el verano, la Diócesis de pidió que aplicara al Seminario de Santa María en Houston, Texas y fue aceptado. Llegó a Santa María en Agosto y recibió el Ministerio de Lector en Febrero de 2012. Frank asistió a IPF en Omaha, Nebraska, durante el verano de 2012. Con éxito completó una Unidad de Nivel I Educación Pastoral Clínica bajo la supervisión del Rev. Robert Z. Powell. Frank fue asignado a la Parroquia del Sacramento Sagrado (Blessed Sacrament Church) en El Paso por su Año Pastoral, 2013-2014, bajo la dirección del P. Ben Flores.

“Me gustaría ser un sacerdote de parroquia”, dijo Sem. Frank . “Me gustaría difundir las enseñanzas de Jesucristo a la comunidad. “Me gustaría acercarlos, la comunidad, a Dios para poder servirle fielmente como Su sacerdote y siervo.”

Fr. Rahm Returns to Segundo Barrio

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Fr. Haroldo Rahm, 96, returned to El Paso May 13-17 to accept the first-ever “Segundo Barrio Person of the Year” award. A parade was held in his honor.  The Jesuit priest made a name for himself in the 1950s and ‘60s by riding his bicycle through the community, launching several community organizations which are still in existence today. More photos on the diocese’s Facebook page.

Fr. John Stowe Installed as New Bishop in Lexington, KY

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Photos courtesy: Diocese of Lexington

Fr. John Stowe, who once led the parish of Our Lady of the Valley, was installed and ordained as Bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, KY on May 5.

Bishop Stowe was serving the Diocese of Carey, OH when Pope Francis made the appointment.

“He was just a very smart man that you could learn a lot from, a great leader,” said Pat Fierro, Chancellor for the Diocese of El Paso.  Fierro worked with Bishop Stowe from 2004-2010 in the Chancery while Fierro worked as the Director of Human Resources and Bishop Stowe served as the Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese.

According to news sources in Lexington, about 1,500 attended the ordination at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

Bishop Stowe is the third bishop of the Lexington diocese which covers 50 counties across Central and Eastern Kentucky. Catholics make up about 3% of the population in those counties.  Bishop Stowe addressed parishioners in English as well as Spanish.  He said he plans to reach out to more of the Hispanic population in his diocese.

The Lexington Herald Leader reported Bishop Stowe was moved to tears during his ordination.

The newspaper reported: “During his closing remarks, Stowe choked up as he thanked his family. He also blessed his parents, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary.

‘I was baptized on their first wedding anniversary. Now I get to bless them as bishop on their 50th,’” Stowe said.

Plans are now underway for Bishop Stowe to visit El Paso and hold a Mass here.RGC June pg 4_Page_3_Image_0006

Details on that have not yet been finalized.

New Deacon Director Dives In

-Dr. Jesús Cárdenas, Dir., Permanent Diaconate

After being one month in the office of the Permanent Diaconate, I have had so many beautiful experiences that I feel extremely blessed. People from my assigned parish have approached me to ask if I am going to RGC June pg 4_Page_4_Image_0004leave my ministry there.  I am glad to say that I am not leaving St. Mark at this time, although I am going to be devoting fewer hours per week there.

Some other people have asked me when we are going to begin with the Permanent Diaconate new group, as they are very excited on participating in it. We are working on setting the foundation for a strong academic and pastoral program that will probably begin recruiting aspirants early next year.

Last month I attended the National Conference of Diaconate Directors at Minneapolis, and I was pleasantly surprised to meet directors from most dioceses of the country. I could notice that the average age is above 60 years! I felt young again!

In October, we are going to be celebrating 50 years of the time when Pope Paul VI welcomed, on October 25th, 1965, the more than 250 participants of the Study Conference “The Deacon in the Church and World of Today” which had gone to Rome from 27 countries to reinstate the Diaconate after the Vatican II Council.

To celebrate this joyful occasion, a group of permanent deacons will go to Rome to meet Pope Francis, who will participate in this great jubilee. Also, in the United States, we will celebrate 50 years of the Permanent Diaconate Program in New Orleans in 2018!
I enjoyed all the conferences and liturgies that I attended, but it was very significant for me a presentation of the statistics of deacons in the USA. I want to share with you some of the highlights:

•    The average age of the permanent deacons in the USA is 58 years
•    In 2013, CARA reported more than 18,000 permanent deacons in the US; 3,000 of them retired.
•    95% of the permanent deacons are at least 50 years-old
•    93% of the permanent deacons are married
For more infomration on the Permanent Diaconate, call (915) 872-8420

Lanzamiento de Nuevo Director de Diáconos

-Dr. Jesús Cárdenas, Dir., de Diaconado Permanente

Después de cumplir un mes en la oficina del Diaconado Permanente, he tenido muchas hermosas experiencias por lo que me siento extremadamente bendecido. Se me han acercado personas de la parroquia donde estoy asignado para preguntarme si voy a dejar mi ministerio allí.  Tengo el gusto de decirles que en este momento, no estoy dejando San Marcos, aunque le voy a dedicar menos horas  por semana allá. RGC June pg 4_Page_4_Image_0005

Algunas otras personas me han preguntado cuando vamos a empezar con el nuevo grupo del Diaconado Permanente, ya que están muy interesados en participar en él. Estamos trabajando en poner las cimentaciones para un fuerte programa académico y pastoral que probablemente iniciara el reclutamiento de aspirantes a inicios del próximo año.

El mes pasado fui a la Conferencia Nacional de Directores de Diaconado en Minneapolis y fui agradablemente sorprendido de conocer a los directores de casi todas las diócesis del país. Pude notar que la edad promedio ¡es arriba de 60 años! ¡Me sentí joven de nuevo!

En Octubre, vamos a celebrar 50 años del tiempo cuando el Papa Paulo VI les dio la bienvenida, el 25 de Octubre de 1965, a más de 250 participantes de la Conferencia de Estudio “El Diacono en la Iglesia y el Mundo de Hoy” lo cuales fueron a Roma de 27 países para reinstaurar el Diaconado después del Concilio Vaticano II.

Para celebrar esta feliz ocasión, un grupo de diáconos permanentes irán a Roma a reunirse con el Papa Francisco, quien participara en este gran Jubileo. También, en los Estados Unidos, celebraremos 50 años del Programa del Diaconado Permanente en New Orleans ¡en el año 2018!

Disfrute mucho de todas las conferencias y liturgias a las que asistí, pero fue muy significativa para mí una presentación de las estadísticas sobre los diáconos permanentes en los Estados Unidos. Quiero compartir con ustedes algunas de estas figuras:
•    La edad promedio de diáconos permanentes en Estados Unidos es 58 años
•    En 2013, CARA reporto que hay más de 18,000 diáconos permanentes en EU; 3,000 de ellos están retirados.
•    95% de los diáconos permanentes tienen al menos 50 años de edad
•    93% de los diáconos permanentes están casados
Más infomación en el Diácons Permanente, (915) 872-8420

Tepeyac Summer Institute Starts

“Read, Study, and Know the Bible” is the theme for the 26th annual Tepeyac Summer Institute. Tepeyac offers two weeks of classes in English and in Spanish from June 8 – 11 and June 15 –18. Classes are offered in the morning, evenings and Saturdays. Following the Biblical theme, Margarita Armendariz M.A., presents in English and in Spanish, “Tienes hambre de la palabra de Dios?” Harry Fleddermann, Ph.D. returns to El Paso for Week 2 with a course on “Daniel and Revelation.” Both Dr. Fledderman and Ms. Armendariz are favorites with Summer Institute participants. Also, psychologist and theologian, Hna. Enedina Juarez will lead a class on “Jesus y las mujeres en el evangelio, Interpretación biblica desde la perspective femenina.”

Among some of the other 33 courses offerings are several dealing with family and youth.  Family therapist Louise Rauseo, RN, MS, who presents “Connecting with Your Children,” in English and Spanish. Youth can attend two courses designed especially for them. “We Can Do It! Ways to build trust and make a difference” is led by Beth Riehle, an experienced workshop presenter. For youth in grades 7 and 8, Amanda Murillo-Estrada, M.A. leads the workshop “Who are you called to be? Igniting a Flame.”

Participants can learn more about Pope Francis’ call to evangelize in our visiting professor from Spain, Fr. Jose Moreno de la Helguera’s course “Evangelizar hoy: Siguiendo los pasos del Papa Francisco.” The location of this course is at the Mother Teresa Center at 2400 E. Yandell.  Of special interest to teachers in Catholic Schools is Sr. Elizabeth Anne Swartz’s course, “Catechesis.” It is a course for certification for teachers in Catholic schools. The course explores the fundamental task of catechesis, which is the formation of disciples of Jesus, but is open to all. The course is taught in the mornings, Monday to Friday, for Week I and continues in Week II.

Check the Tepeyac website for a full listing of classes and for any changes to the schedule. Contact Tepeyac at 915-872-8420 with any questions.

Inicia Programa Anual de Verano del Instituto Tepeyac

Traducción por Martha Marmolejo

“Leer, estudiar y conocer la Biblia”, es el tema para el Vigésimo Sexto Programa Anual de Verano del Instituto Tepeyac. El Instituto ofrece dos semanas de clases en inglés y en español, del 8 al 11 de junio y del 15 al 18 de junio. Las clases se ofrecen en la mañana, tardes y también los sábados. Siguiendo el tema bíblico, Margarita Armendáriz,  M.A., presenta en Inglés y en Español;  “¿Tienes hambre de la Palabra de Dios?”  Harry Fleddermann, Ph.D., regresa a El Paso para la segunda semana con un curso sobre “Daniel y Apocalipsis.” Tanto el Dr. Fledderman, como la Sra. Armendáriz, son favoritos entre los participantes del Instituto de Verano, además, la psicóloga y teóloga, Hermana Enedina Juárez, dirigirá una clase llamada: “Jesús y las Mujeres en el evangelio, interpretación bíblica desde la perspectiva femenina.”

De entre los 33 cursos que se ofrecen, se encuentran algunos que tratan sobre la familia y los jóvenes. La terapeuta familiar, Louise Rauseo, R.N., M.S., presentará el tema, “Conexión con sus hijos”, en inglés y español. Los jóvenes pueden atender a dos de los cursos diseñados especialmente para ellos. El curso “¡Podemos hacerlo!, Formas de construir confianza y hacer una diferencia”, es dirigido por Beth Riehle, una experimentada presentadora de talleres de aprendizaje. Para los jóvenes que asisten a los grados escolares 7 y 8, Amanda Murillo-Estrada, M.A., conduce el taller “¿Quién es usted llamado a ser?, encendiendo una flama.”

Los participantes pueden aprender más acerca del llamado del Papa Francisco a evangelizar, asistiendo al tema que dará el profesor visitante de España; el Padre José Moreno de la Helguera, “Evangelizar hoy: SIGUIENDO Los Pasos del Papa Francisco.” Este curso se ofrecerá en el Centro Madre Teresa, en la calle Yandell  #2400 al este de la ciudad. De un especial interés para los docentes de las escuelas católicas, es el curso de la Hermana Elizabeth Anne Swartz, “Catequesis”. Este es un curso para la certificación de maestros de las escuelas católicas. El curso explora la tarea fundamental de la catequesis, que es la formación de los discípulos de Jesús y está abierto a todos. El curso se imparte en las mañanas de lunes a viernes, para las Semanas I y II.

Visite el sitio web del Instituto Tepeyac para obtener una lista completa de las clases y para cualquier cambio en el horario. Para ponerse en contacto con Tepeyac, favor de llamar al 915-872-8420, con cualquier pregunta.

Casitas Raises $35,000

-Elizabeth O’Hara, RGC Editor

The Casitas San Mateo dinner/dance fundraiser for the priest retirement home raised approximately $35,000 said organizers.

Back row: Sem. Felipe Ventura, Sem. Alfonso Coronado, Fr. Jose Morales – Holy Spirit, Fr. Saul Pacheco – Our Lady of Fatima. Second Row: Sem. Aldo Camacho, Fr. Beto Lopez – St. Luke, Fr. David Fierro – St. Matthew. Front Row: Fr. Ben Flores – Blessed Sacrament, Sem. Wilbert Colas, Sem. Cong Vo

Back row: Sem. Felipe Ventura, Sem. Alfonso Coronado, Fr. Jose Morales – Holy Spirit, Fr. Saul Pacheco – Our Lady of Fatima. Second Row: Sem. Aldo Camacho, Fr. Beto Lopez – St. Luke, Fr. David Fierro – St. Matthew. Front Row: Fr. Ben Flores – Blessed Sacrament, Sem. Wilbert Colas, Sem. Cong Vo

The event was hosted by St. Raphael Parish with the help of many parish and school volunteers.

“It was a huge success!” said Msgr. Francis Smith, St. Raphael Parish. “The knowledge and excitement of what Casitas San Mateo has become, has definitely spread within our Catholic community.  I can only hope that the enthusiasm we have seen continues to grow.”

Approximately 600 people attended the fundraiser which is intended to pay for Phase II of the Casitas project. A multi-purpose room and a chapel would be added to Casitas San Mateo which is currently comprised of 8 “casitas” or little houses, each with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a washer/dryer, and a good-sized living room. Two casitas are handicap accessible.

“Our active and retired priests enjoyed an evening of dancing and mingling with our generous donors who made the event possible,” said Msgr. Smith.

Pat Fierro, Chancellor and Human Resources Director for the Diocese of El Paso, said the average age of an El Paso priest is about 55 years old.  Casitas San Mateo, she said, is the diocese’s future.

“The need is there,” she said. “As our priests age and retire, the need will increase.  We need to anticpate that and be prepared.”

This is the second year for the Casitas fundraiser.  Along with fundraising through ticket sales, a car raffle for a 1990 Cadillac STS was also held.

Fr. Beto Flores makes his dance partner crack up on the dance floor.

Fr. Beto Flores makes his dance partner crack up on the dance floor.

Msgr. Smith hopes next year’s fundraiser will garner even more for the Casitas project.

Fr. Beto Lopez has a great time dancing. All photos courtesy. Christ Chavez

Fr. Beto Lopez has a great time dancing.
All photos courtesy. Christ Chavez

“The support we have seen from our Catholic community is overwhelming and shows the appreciation and loyalty there is to our priests and what they have done historically for the Diocese,” he said.

Msgr. Francis Smith is presented a gift of appreciation by Msgr. Victor Kayrouz.

Msgr. Francis Smith is presented a gift of appreciation by Msgr. Victor Kayrouz.


Kermes Season Draws Thousands!

-Elizabeth O’Hara, RGC Editor

Laura Cervantes knows her church bazaars. She makes a point to hit as many as possible every summer.

The bazaar at the Ysleta Mission is the church’s biggest annual fundraiser.

The bazaar at the Ysleta Mission is the church’s biggest annual fundraiser.

“You can always tell the mark of a good kermes by the line for the gorditas!” Cervantes said. “That’s when I say, ‘This one’s gonna be good!’”

This year, Cervantes is in luck!  About 20 parishes will be hosting bazaars known locally as “kermes” starting in June and running until October. For many of the parishes, it’s the year’s largest fundraiser.

“A successful kermes brings the community together,” said Roberto Diaz, the festival coordinator for San Antonio de Padua parish. “The point for the kermes is to raise funds for the parish.  We have to depend on ourselves to do the repairs in the church. If we have special projects for St. Vincent de Paul, for our poor in the parish, for those going through some rough times, the funds from the festival are how we get what we need.”

Diaz said his parish’s bazaar is a one-day festival which will be held on Jun. 13 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“We have several bands, we have DJs, we have folklorico dancers, we have entertainment!” said Diaz.  “We’re a smaller parish and we’re just getting back into kermes so we don’t have all the rides but we have great food and lots to do!”

The offerings of church bazaars vary parish-to-parish, Diaz said.  Some larger parishes provide full-scale rides for young children and large media campaigns to reach the nearby neighborhood.  But most church festivals are more traditional in their offerings with family-friendly games such as bingo, cake walks, and dart games.  Food is a mainstay at any church bazaar with many offering “fair foods” such as tacos, funnel cake, churros, and mango-on-a-stick. Diaz said bazaars held all over the diocese also offer something that’s hard to find these days.

The St. Anthony Seminary is a Labor Day tradition for thousands of people annually.

The St. Anthony Seminary is a Labor Day tradition for thousands of people annually.

“If you go to a kermes at a church, you can expect people will treat you with respect. They will be friendly because it’s a fun time,” said Diaz. “Plus, it’s not very expensive and you can take the kids.”

Cervantes said affordability is one of the reasons she attends as many as 10 bazaars a summer.

“We usually spend about $25 and we stay there for hours,” she said. “Of that $25, we usually get a couple of orders of gorditas, corn-in-a-cup, a snow cone, take a couple of turns at loteria.  We have a great time.”

Cervantes said her favorite bazaar is held annually at San Ignacio in Downtown El Paso.

“The history of the neighborhood has more of a genuine, old school community feel like when you were young,” she said. “It feels like family getting together. It feels like we’re family and we’re not even a part of that parish.”

Diaz, who is in the final weeks of preparing what he hopes will be a new, annual event, said he wants parishioners who visit the kermes at San Antonio de Padua to feel the same as Cervantes.

Loteria at Cristo Rey’s annual kermes.  All photos courtesy: Joe Najera, Diocese of El Paso

Loteria at Cristo Rey’s annual kermes.
All photos courtesy: Joe Najera, Diocese of El Paso

“We want people to have a feeling of community,” he said. “They may feel so comfortable with the people at a kermes and the people around them that they may even join the parish. So it’s a recruitment for the parish as well.”


2015 Bazaars/Kermes Schedule:

June 5 – 7 – Corpus Christi Parish
June 6 -7  – Guardian Angel Parish
June 13 – San Antonio de Padua Parish – Mini Bazaar
June 13-14 – Santa Lucia Parish
June 13-14  – Sacred Heart Parish
June 26-28 – Sts. Peter and Paul Church
July 3-5 – St. Paul the Apostle Parish
July 10-12 – Ysleta Mission Festival @ Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
August 14-16 – St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
August 28-30 – Faria Del Vallé 2015 –  Cristo Rey Parish
Sept. 11-13 – Fiesta Mexicana – San Juan Diego Parish
Sept. 18 -20 – San Elceario Parish, San Elizario, Texas
Sept. 19 -20 Fr. Yermo School
Sept. 18-20 – El Buen Pastor Parish
Sept. 25-27 – La Purisima Parish
October 2-4 – Our Lady of the Valley Parish
October 3-4 – LifeTeen Craft Fair, St. Luke Parish
October 9-11 – St. Patrick’s Canutillo
October 17 – St. John the Apostle, Monahans @ Ward County Coliseum