Archive for: January 2014

Good deeds

There are a thousand ways we can help others. Most of the time it only takes a few minutes, an insignificant sacrifice or a simple compliment. It is a very efficient means to initiate the restoration of world peace. In daily life, we all have to do favors and also receive them. Favors generate favors. Gratitude generates gratitude. If people would be more grateful, what a difference this would make in the whole world, many of us also would attendfrwilson and follow John Wesley’s advice: “Do all the good deeds that you can, in all ways you can, where ever and as many times that you can, to all that you can, for as long as you can”. We all have a lot of good things to enjoy and to thank God for. We have more than what we lack. Yearning, to wish for what we do not have keeps us from enjoying and from being thankful for what we do have. This besides the ungratefulness is a disastrous business. Let us analyze this: “A crippled man was pushing his wheelchair with strength in his arms amongst a crowd, the only useful limbs he had. And that man was singing in the street! A pedestrian, surprised, turns to him and said: “To see a young man, in a wheelchair and singing, it is something that moves the soul”. The crippled man replied: “When I stopped thinking on what I have lost and started focusing on what I have left, I was able to sing again”. This lesson can cure many worries and frustrations. We want to have things and comfort, fame and money, but without stopping to think and act like we always do. We cling to our own ideas, our habits, opinions, and customs; and we refuse to modify them and keep going carrying our miseries as if they were a treasure. Our mental ego is the cause for our suffering. But we defend it and keep living the same way…

            One of my favorite themes for meditation, especially in this time of the year, is to contemplate the fleetingness of all the things we live, starting with our own bodies and most personal possessions, emotions, etc. Each day, not only at Christmas or the end of the year, we should meditate this which is so clear through time and that people sometimes suffer because they want to stop the course of life on those pleasant moments and experiences, they relate to the song “Clock, do not mark the hours… clock, stop your path” is something impossible. All beginning has an end. Only what IT IS and WAS and never was born, IS WHAT DOES NOT LEAVE. It does not have time. In our soul, there is always something that stays, THAT is not affected by time or years in a lifetime. We should not live a trivial life, our stay in this world is an opportunity to leave tracks of love and good in all we do. Every man loves. But we have to ask, what does he love? When we love animals and mistreat people, it becomes a strange kind of love; as well as the love for animals that condemns them to live an improper life for these animals.

            Our world is marked by violence and injustice that are difficult to see in the darkness of hate, amongst all this suffering and inequality. The vision of the Prophet Isaiah seems too beautiful to be true, so that it can become a reality one day, we read it and act reluctant and we give it away to a fantasy kingdom, as food for dreamers. The Messiah has come; but the sword has not turned into a rake neither the spears into shovels. On the contrary, the swords have turned into rifles, machineguns and not into rakes; the spears have turned into missiles not into shovels; the arms race of the nations continues, they keep manufacturing guns, war ships, long range missiles, nuclear bombs, chemical weapons with the sole purpose of killing and dominate over countries. Four days after the first Christmas, Herod played a leading part in the assassination of innocent children, trying to kill the Child King that Wise Men were looking for. Unfortunately, now days many Herods still exist, who keep killing innocent children, children who are begging: “Little Jesus… tell my mom I want to be born! She does not listen to me, and I love her so much!” multitude of people who flee from war, children who suffer the havoc of conflict, without understanding why life is so tough and difficult… seems like we are not used to seeing war and human disgrace as something inevitable, to something we are to live and to suffer. What can we say to this reality? When Jesus was born, the angels sang: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those whom his favor rests” (Lc. 2,14). “PEACE I HAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU” (Jn. 14,27). This is where faith has something to tell us: “This peace is the only one that can favor world peace”. Where do wars and arguments come between us? All kind of wars are born in the hearts of men and frequently from the heart of some determined men. Millions of men without peace in their hearts will never make a peaceful human kind. To accept Jesus Christ is what make us participate with peace. We cannot keep celebrating Christmas and New Years if we do not change our attitude; we cannot reduce Christmas to mere tradition of Nativity sets and lights, Christmas is an encounter with Jesus, Savior of the world. Let your self be illuminated  by His life and teachings, and devote yourself to do good like He did, so that it will be peace, happiness and justice for all. Your good actions give hope that something good is happening. Yes Lord, make us a means of your peace!

Too busy doing nothing

Laziness is something we all have. This is what psychologists call “cognitive economy,” the law of less effort. Saint John Bosco used to say: “He who does less does what he should. He who does a lot but does what he should not. He who does a lot does nothing, because he does not do what he should.” There are people who are always busy not working or attending to people for what they are being paid for, but “playing,” or “sending andfrwilson receiving messages with their friends” and they claim to be super responsible people, they constantly complain about having too much work to do. Like St. Augustine said: “You run too much, but out of the path.” Strange people: they talk about prayer, but they do not pray; they say the Bible is the Word of God but they do not read it; people who make good salaries, but only give their coins to the Church; who say eternity is more important than this life, but they only live for material things; people who criticize others for the things they do; people who do not provide a good service in their jobs; people who follow the devil all of their life and when they die they want to go to heaven.

They spend their lives busy on themselves, on what they like, doing what they feel like doing and still they get paid, very strange people!

St. Francis of Sales said: “The simple action of doing no good, is a great evil,” many people limit themselves to do no evil without trying to do any good. In many companies and institutions there are “time thieves.” Dishonest people who do little or nothing for the pay they are getting. The interest for doing all the best that one can comes from the appreciation for the things we have received from God and everybody else. EVERYTHING THAT WE USE TODAY, WE OWE IT TO HELPFUL PEOPLE OF YESTERDAY, FROM A PIN TO THE MOST MODERN EQUIPMENT.

Let us do good deeds and serve our brothers and sisters with passion and unselfishness. H. Thoreau said: “Kindness is the only investment than never fails”. The best that you can do for your own happiness as well as other people’s happiness is to be a benefactor on a daily basis. WE ARE BENEFACTORS WHEN WE APPROPIATELY DO GOOD THINGS. Kindness is a wonderful result of the love that you have to cherish and THE TRUTH THAT YOU FOLLOW AND THAT YOU PROCLAIM. A WELL-LIVED LIFE IS ONE WHERE THE MIND IDENTIFIES WITH TRUTH AND OUR WILLINGNESS TO BE KIND. We need to be knowledgeable and not to confuse kindness with ingenuity or with being naive. A good person knows when to be demanding or when to compromise, a good person knows when to caress a leaf and when to prune. The best investment: To be kind. Love shows through kindness. Every day is an opportunity to help others, let us not be distracted, let us not miss these valuable opportunities that can make a great difference in our life and the life of others.

Once there was a woman standing on the street, waiting for the light with the WALK sign to cross the street. At the other side there was a young woman about 17 years old. She was also waiting for the light to change. The woman noticed that the young woman was crying. Her sadness and aguish was obvious on her face. For a moment, suddenly their eyes met, but that was enough for the woman to notice the terrible pain in the young woman eyes. The woman noticed she was a beautiful young lady who reflected a terrible pain on her face; the woman passed by her without even a greeting. She did nothing. One block ahead the suffering on the young lady’s face began to obsess the woman. She repeated her self constantly, “why didn’t I even turned to her, I passed by and did not asked her, ‘can I help you?’  I just kept walking. I acted as if I did not care”.

This true story should make us aware that, IT TAKES SO LITTLE TO BE COMPASSIONATE WITH A PERSON WHO WAS HURT. Love can reach-out to every person who is in need. The one who loves always stops to help; he or she gets involved in the other person’s situation. It would have been really easy for the woman to help this young lady. Sometimes all we need is a simple sign to let them know we want to help them.

This story invites us to ask ourselves: HOW DO WE RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS? Do we look the other way, ignore an anguished person or offer any help? Let us stop for a moment, let us risk our life and be heroes for an instant, so that we can control our haste and pride; to be more sensible before other people’s suffering; to ask ourselves: CAN WE HELP? It does not matter if you are rejected; what does matter is that somebody knows that we want to help. Fortunately in this world, there are more angels than demons; there are more kind human beings who sow love and create community. Hopefully you or I would be compassionate to get involved in other people’s needs, especially those of our loved ones. That we are humble, make time and never ignore a person only because we fear to be rejected. Lord, give us the strength to ask ourselves: can I help somebody today?

Church focuses on migrant families

Border bishops say today’s immigration laws offend God

Combined staff and wire service report

The Catholic Church puts a special emphasis on the needs of migrating people during January.jan1-1

Throughout the United States National Migration Week will be observed Jan. 5-11, and in the Diocese of El Paso, Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services will hold their annual dinner Jan. 30.

Meanwhile, bishops of dioceses on the Texas-Mexico border issued a pastoral letter focusing on the challenges faced by migrant families today and calling the current immigration laws “an offense against God.”

National Migration Week 2014 will take place January 5-11 with the theme, “Out of the Darkness,” according to a statement from Migrant and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Migrants and particularly the most vulnerable migrants: children, the undocumented, refugees, and victims of human trafficking, often find themselves existing in a kind of figurative darkness where their options remain limited and their ability to live out their lives in its fullness severely restricted,” the statement said.

“Often at risk of violence or exploitation these vulnerable populations need to be provided the support needed so that they can thrive, “ it went on.

“It is our call as the Church to bring the light of Christ to these populations, banish the darkness, and help to bring them from the margins of society to its center. Doing so will provide vulnerable migrants with a protected space in which they can flourish as human beings. This requires prayer for those who are marginalized, alongside an active presence in the public square to demand that protections are provided to those who need them most.”

In a new pastoral letter “Family Beyond Borders,” the bishops of the border region of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico humanize the immigration debate by placing it in a moral context with specific illustrations of struggling children and families.

It addresses the misconceptions concerning undocumented immigrants and their contribution to society in the United States, while outlining the serious threats facing immigrant families and tragic conditions under which children have been separated from their mothers and fathers.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia- Siller of San Antonio held a news conference Nov. 26 in which he joined with his brother bishops – including El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz – in urging Catholics, national, state and local leaders, and all people of good will to engage in dialogue, advocacy and action to protect the human rights of immigrants and to help keep their families together.

Archbishop Garcia-Siller began his comments by saying the bishops of the border region have published and are distributing “Family Beyond Borders” with a sense of urgency. Dated for Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, “Families without Borders” was being distributed to President Barack Obama, U.S. senators and representatives from Texas, and a number of civic and faith leaders.

“We believe it is imperative that the people of the United States see that the broken immigration system of this land comes with tragic human cost,” the archbishop explained. “Families are torn apart, children are separated from their mothers and fathers, husbands are divided from wives, not just for days or weeks, or even months. Many may never see their families for decades, if ever.” The San Antonio prelate said the border bishops acknowledge the right and responsibility of a nation to secure its borders.

“But at what price?” he questioned. “Immigration reform has evolved from an honest discussion about national security, to a partisan politics issue, thus blinding some Americans from seeing immigrants as suffering people who live among us, on our streets and in our neighborhoods. “The fear that comes from misinformation denies their dignity and the positive contribution the undocumented immigrants make to our lives every day.”

The archbishop spoke emotionally about undocumented immigrant children — some as young as 5 years old — who brave the dangers of the desert and coyotes and hide from authorities as well as human traffickers in an attempt to reach the safety of a new home of hope.

In “Family Beyond Borders,” he said, “we attempt to help our people see these children who cry in the darkness of isolation and often abuse.”

Archbishop Garcia-Siller stated that in fiscal year 2012, the U.S. Border Patrol reported apprehensions of more than 24,000 unaccompanied juveniles along the Southwest border. “These children who are apprehended are often initially placed in shortterm detention centers, where the lights stay on 24 hours a day and there are no showers or recreation spaces. At times, the facilities are so crowded with juveniles that the children have to take turns just to lie down to sleep on the concrete floor,” he said of conditions at some facilities. “Moreover, when unaccompanied minors are apprehended and deported to their countries of origin, this is often done in ways that put them at additional risk.”

The archbishop said that the border bishops believe that if the people of the United Sates understand what immigration policies and laws are doing to punish families and children just because they do not have the right documents, “they will join their voices with ours, their hearts with our brothers and sisters in need, and demand action by our legislators and our president, now.”

Archbishop Garcia-Siller acknowledged that often people will say, “Why don’t they just wait their turn?” but he said, “They truly do not understand how broken the system is.” He explained that the U.S. State Department issues available visas through a complex system that has limits for various categories of familysponsored and employment-based preferences and quotas for individual countries. Currently, he said, there is a 17- to 20-year “wait” for Mexicans to acquire a U.S. visa.

“Family Beyond Borders” quotes Pope Francis:

                     “Life, which is a gift of God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation.”

In this light, Archbishop Garcia- Siller stressed the border bishops believe that “what is happening to the immigrant family in the United States is an offense against God and the human conscience.” “We implore our leaders to stop looking at immigration reform as simply a politically charged item of controversy. It should no longer require an act of courage on the part of a legislator to apply the principles of moral ethics, true family values, decency and justice,” the archbishop emphasized. The bishops who worked on “Families Without Borders” represent: the Mexican dioceses of Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Cuauhtemoc-Madera, Matamoros, Monterrey, Nuevo Casas Grandes, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras and Saltillo; the Diocese of Las Cruces, N.M., and the Texas dioceses of Amarillo, Brownsville, El Paso, Lubbock and San Angelo and the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Jordan McMorrough of Today’s Catholic in San Antonio. and Andy Sparke of the Rio Grande Catholic contributed to this report.

Migrant Refugee Services Dinner set Jan. 30

El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz will be the featured speaker for Diocesan and Migrant Services fifth annual Fundraising Dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 30 in the Alamo Ballroom and Conference Center, 820 N. Raynor, El jan1-2Paso.

Since his installation as bishop of El Paso in July, Bishop Seitz has hosted a meeting of border bishops from Texas, New Mexico and Mexico, which produced a pastoral letter on migration, joined with clergy from both sides of the border in offering the annual Dia de Los Muertos Mass for migrants who have died in attempting to cross into the United States and taken part in a tour of Latin American countries focused on the causes of migration to the United States.

Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services is the largest provider of free and low-cost immigration legal services in West Texas and New Mexico.

The annual dinner helps fund a broad range of services including representation in family-based immigration matters, citizenship and naturalization matters, refugee resettlement and services for adults and unaccompanied minors detained by federal officials.

For information on the dinner call (915) 532-3975.



La Iglesia se enfoca en familias migrantes

Los obispos de la frontera dicen que las leyes de inmigración actuales ofenden a Dios

Reporte de personal y de noticias

Traducción por Anita Marta

La Iglesia Católica pone un énfasis muy especial en las necesidades de la gente migrante durante el mes de enero.

La Semana Nacional de Migración a través de Estados Unidos será celebrada del 5 al 11 de enero, y en la Diócesis de El Paso, Servicios para Migrantes y Refugiados tendrá su banquete anual el 30 de enero.jan1-1

Mientras tanto, los obispos de las diócesis de la frontera de Texas con México emitieron una carta pastoral enfocándose en los retos que enfrentan hoy las familias migrantes y califican a las leyes de inmigración actuales como “una ofensa contra Dios.”

La Semana Nacional de Migración 2014 se llevará a cabo del 5 al 11 de enero con el tema “Fuera de la Oscuridad,” según un comunicado de Servicios para Migrantes y Refugiados de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos.

“Los migrantes y en particular los migrantes más vulnerables: los niños, los indocumentados, refugiados, y víctimas del tráfico humano, con frecuencia tienen una existencia de una oscuridad figurativa donde sus opciones son limitadas y su habilidad de vivir sus vidas plenamente está severamente restringida,” dice el comunicado.

“Con frecuencia en riesgo de violencia o explotación, esta población vulnerable requiere que se le proporcione el apoyo necesario para poder prosperar,” continua.

“Es nuestro llamado como Iglesia llevar la luz de Cristo a esta población, eliminar la oscuridad, y ayudarles a salir de los márgenes de la sociedad hacia el centro de ésta. Al hacerlo, esto proporcionará a los migrantes vulnerables un espacio con protección para que puedan florecer como seres humanos. Esto requiere de plegaria por aquellos quienes son marginados, junto a una presencia en la esfera pública para pedir que esa protección sea otorgada a aquellos quienes más lo necesitan.”

En una nueva Carta Pastoral “Familia Más Allá de las Fronteras,” los obispos de la región fronteriza de Texas, Nuevo México y México humanizan el debate de inmigración ubicándolo desde una perspectiva de contexto moral con ilustraciones específicas de niños y familias que sufren.

Trata sobre la idea errónea acerca de los inmigrantes indocumentados y su contribución a la sociedad en Estados Unidos, y a la vez subrayar las serias amenazas que enfrentan las familias inmigrantes y las condiciones trágicas bajo las cuales los niños han sido separados de sus padres.

El Arzobispo Gustavo García-Siller de San Antonio dio una conferencia de prensa el 26 de noviembre en la cual él acompañó a sus hermanos obispos-incluyendo al Obispo de El Paso, Mark J. Seitz – para pedirles a los líderes Católicos, a nivel nacional, estatal y local, y a toda la gente de buena voluntad a que se comprometan al diálogo, en defensa y acción para proteger los derechos humanos de inmigrantes y para mantener juntas a sus familias.

El Arzobispo García-Siller inició sus comentarios diciendo que los obispos de la región fronteriza han publicado y están distribuyendo “Familia Más Allá de las Fronteras” con un sentido urgente. Fechado para el Día de Acción de Gracias, el 28 de noviembre “Familias sin Fronteras” fue distribuido al Presidente Barak Obama, Senadores de Estados Unidos y Representantes de Texas, y varios líderes cívicos y líderes de fe.

“Creemos que es imperativo que la gente de Estados Unidos vea que el sistema de inmigración quebrantado en este país trae consigo un trágico costo humano,” explicó el arzobispo. “La familias se destrozan, los niños son separados de sus madres y padres, los esposos se alejan de sus esposas, no solo por días, semanas o hasta meses. Muchos quizá nunca vean a sus familias por décadas, si es que esto llega a suceder.”

El prelado de San Antonio dijo que los obispos de la frontera reconocen el derecho y la responsabilidad de la nación de proteger sus fronteras. “Pero ¿a qué precio?” preguntó. “La reforma de inmigración ha pasado de ser una discusión honesta acerca de la seguridad nacional, a un asunto partidista, por consiguiente, cegando a algunos americanos de ver a inmigrantes como gente que sufre que vive entre nosotros, en nuestras calles y en nuestras comunidades habitacionales. “El temor que surge de la mala información niega su dignidad y la contribución positiva que los inmigrantes indocumentados hacen en nuestras vidas diariamente.”

El arzobispo habló con consternación acerca de los niños inmigrantes indocumentados – algunos tan chicos como cinco años – quienes enfrentaron los peligros del desierto y coyotes; y se escondieron tanto de las autoridades como de los traficantes humanos en su intento de llegar a un hogar de esperanza.

En “Familia Sin Fronteras,” dijo, “intentamos ayudar a esos niños quienes lloran en la oscuridad del aislamiento y con frecuencia el abuso.”

El Arzobispo García-Siller afirmó que en el año fiscal 2012, la Patrulla Fronteriza reportó arrestos de más de 24,000 niños sin la compañía de un adulto en la frontera Suroeste. “Estos niños quienes son arrestados con frecuencia son puestos en centros de detención a corto plazo, donde las luces están encendidas las 24 horas del día y no hay duchas o espacios de recreación. Algunas veces, las instalaciones están tan sobre pobladas que los niños tienen que tomar turno para dormir sobre el piso de cemento,” refiriéndose a las condiciones de algunas instalaciones. Además, cuando los menores solos son aprehendidos y deportados a sus países de origen, esto se hace con frecuencia de formas que los ponen en riesgos mayores.”

El arzobispo dijo que los obispos de la frontera creen que si la gente de Estados Unidos entiende lo que las políticas y leyes de inmigración hacen para castigar a las familias y a los niños solo porque no cuentan con los documentos adecuados, “ellos unirían sus voces a la nuestra, sus corazones con nuestros hermanos y hermanas en necesidad, y exigirían acción por parte de nuestros legisladores y de nuestro presidente, de forma inmediata.”

El Arzobispo García-Siller reconoció que con frecuencia la gente dirá, “¿porqué no esperan su turno?” pero él dice, “ellos no saben de verdad qué tan quebrantado está el sistema.” Él explicó que el Departamento de Estado en Estados Unidos emite visas disponibles a través de un complejo sistema que tiene límites por varias categorías de patrocinio familiar y en base a preferencias de empleo, así como de cuotas para países individualmente. Actualmente, dijo, hay una “espera” entre 17 a 20 años para que los mexicanos adquieran una visa de Estados Unidos.

“Familia Más Allá de las Fronteras” cita al Papa Francisco. “La vida, siendo regalo de Dios, un valor a ser protegido y promovido siempre; la familia, es la fundación de la coexistencia y remedio contra la fragmentación social.”

Bajo esta luz, el Arzobispo García- Siller enfatizó que los obispos de la frontera creen que “lo que está sucediendo con la familia inmigrante en Estados Unidos es una ofensa contra Dios y la conciencia humana.” “Imploramos a nuestros líderes que dejen de ver a la reforma de inmigración como un simple caso lleno de controversia. Ya no se debe requerir un acto de valentía por parte de un legislador para aplicar los principios de ética moral, verdaderos valores familiares, decencia y justicia,” enfatizó el arzobispo. Los obispos quienes trabajaron en “Familias Sin Fronteras” representan a: las Diócesis mexicanas de Chihuahua, Ciudad Juárez, Cuauhtemoc-Madera, Matamoros, Monterrey, Nuevo Casas Grandes, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras y Saltillo; la Diócesis de Las Cruces, N.M., y las Diócesis de Texas de Amarillo, Brownsville, El Paso, Lubbock y San Ángelo; y la Arquidiócesis de San Antonio.

Jordan McMorrough de Today’s Catholic de San Antonio, y Andy Sparke de Río Grande Catholic contribuyeron a este reporte.

Happy 100th Birthday, Diocese of El Paso!

Well it’s 2014 and soon our Centennial celebration of the founding of our Diocese will reach its climax. On Saturday, March 1st we will gather as a Diocesan Church at the Ysleta Mission for a concert, a parade of parishes and

InSeitz By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

Mass to celebrate 100 years since St. Pope Pius X announced that this unique border region of far west Texas and at that time, Southern New Mexico, would become a local Church with a Bishop of its own.

Of course, the Church had been here for centuries already. The mission churches had been built and rebuilt numerous times by the time 1914 came around. The Faith already had deep roots in the Rio Grande valley soil. Franciscan Missionaries, then Jesuits, followed by others came to celebrate the Sacraments and make Christ known. The Loretto Sisters, Daughters of Charity and so many others were there as well steadfastly, courageously caring for those in need and passing on the Faith to children and adults alike.

The lay faithful, always the backbone of the Church, have always kept the Faith alive. No one can deny how absolutely essential Sisters and Priests are to the life of the Church, but in times and places where they were not always present the people of the pews have continued praying, working, witnessing and supporting the life of the Church decade after decade. Through the years the life and witness of God’s people has woven the Faith into the very fabric of our community. The culture as well as the history of our border region could not be understood without factoring in the role of this Faith lived within the Church.Coat

Now we have arrived at this auspicious moment in the history of the Catholic Church in this region. If there was ever a time when we of the Church of El Paso should be grateful to God, this is it! If there was ever a time when we ought to celebrate, this is it! As we say in the Preface of the Mass, “It is truly right and just.” It is indeed right and just that we, the Church of the Diocese of El Paso, should thank God for amazing work in our midst. We should thank God for the many believers who have served Him through the years-for those whose names we all have known, from San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado and Mother Praxedes of St. Joseph and Loretto Academies and Father. Carlos Pinto, S.J., to the many whose names we will never know, but who passed on the Faith by their simple daily witness.

It is right that we should thank Our Lady of Guadalupe, the First Evangelist of the Americas, who has been dear to the hearts of so many of us through all the years, and to St. Patrick, our diocesan Patron. Most of all we should give thanks to God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, who has been with us and showing His Spirit’s love for us through good times and hard times.centennial

When they meet me many of the people here ask, “How do you like El Paso?” I answer without hesitation, “I love this place!” I know I still have much to learn and I am also aware that El Paso, like any place on earth has its share of problems. But maybe a person who comes from elsewhere can see things in a clearer light. I can see a vital and committed Catholic community that is built on the shoulders of those who have come before. I can see a place where serious and daily challenges of living on the border are evaluated and responded to through the prism of Faith. I can see a place that is true to the heritage we have received and ready to move boldly into the future with hope and courage and resolve.

Please join me as we celebrate the great gifts we have received and launch out into our next 100 years. Stay tuned for more information

Feliz cumpleaños número 100, Diócesis de El Paso

Bueno ya estamos en el 2014 y pronto nuestra celebración de Centenario de la fundación de nuestra Diócesis llegará a su clímax. El sábado, 1 de marzo nos reuniremos en un concierto como Iglesia Diocesana en la Misión de

InSeitz By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

Ysleta, habrá un desfile de parroquias y Misa para celebrar los 100 años desde que el Papa Pío X anunció que esta peculiar región fronteriza del Oeste de Texas y en ese entonces, el Sur de Nuevo México, sería después la

Iglesia local con su propio obispo.

Desde luego que la Iglesia ha estado aquí durante siglos. Las misiones de las iglesias se han construido y reconstruido en varias ocasiones desde 1914 cuando éstas se iniciaron. La Fe ya tenía raíces profundas en el suelo del Valle del Río Grande. Los Misioneros Franciscanos, luego los Jesuitas, seguidos por otros vinieron a celebrar los Sacramentos y a dar a conocer a Cristo. Las Hermanas de Loretto, las Hijas de la Caridad y muchas otras donde de forma desinteresada y valiente cuidaron de los necesitados y transmitieron la Fe a niños y adultos por igual.

Los fieles laicos, quienes son la piedra angular de la Iglesia, siempre han mantenido viva la Fe. Nadie puede negar qué tan absolutamente esenciales son las Hermanas y Sacerdotes para la vida de la Iglesia, pero en tiempos y lugares donde no estuvieron siempre presentes la gente ha seguido orando, trabajando, y dando testimonio y apoyo a la vida de la Iglesia década tras década. A través de los años la vida y el testimonio del pueblo de Dios ha tejido la Fe en el género de nuestra comunidad. La cultura así como la historia de nuestra región fronteriza no puede entenderse sin considerar los factores de esta Fe que se vive dentro de la Iglesia.Coat

Ahora hemos llegado a este feliz momento en la historia de la Iglesia Católica de esta región. ¡Si ha habido una ocasión en que la Iglesia de El Paso deba estar agradecida a Dios, es ésta! ¡Si hay algo que debemos celebrar, es esto! Tal como decimos en el Prefacio de la Misa, “es justo y necesario.” En efecto es justo y necesario que nosotros, la Iglesia de la Diócesis de El Paso debe agradecer a Dios por una obra asombrosa entre nosotros. Debemos dar gracias a Dios por todos los creyentes quienes lo han servido a Él a través de los años – por aquellos cuyos nombres todos hemos conocido, desde San Pedro de Jesús Maldonado y la Madre Praxedis de San José, las Academias de Loretto, y el Padre Carlos Pinto, S.J., hasta los muchos nombres que nunca conoceremos, pero que transmitieron la Fe por su testimonio sencillo a diario.

Es justo que demos gracias a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, la Primera Evangelizadora de las Américas, quien ha sido tan querida para los corazones de muchos de nosotros a través de los años, y a San Patricio, nuestro Patrono diocesano. Sobre todo, debemos darle gracias a Dios, a través de Su Hijo, Jesucristo, quien ha estado con nosotros y nos ha mostrado el amor de Su Espíritu en los momentos buenos y en los momentos de prueba.centennial

Muchas personas, cuando hablan conmigo me preguntan, “¿Qué le parece El Paso?” y yo les respondo sin dudar, “¡Me encanta este lugar!” sé que aun tengo mucho que aprender y también estoy conciente que El Paso, como cualquier otro lugar en la tierra tiene sus problemas. Pero quizá una persona que viene de otra parte puede ver las cosas bajo una luz más clara. Yo veo a una comunidad Católica vital y comprometida que ha sido construida sobre los hombros de aquellos que llegaron antes que ellos. Puedo ver un lugar donde los diarios y serios retos que se viven en la frontera se evalúan y se responden a través de los prismas de la Fe. Puedo ver un lugar que es leal a la herencia que ha recibido y que está listo para caminar hacia el futuro de forma determinante, con esperanza, valor y determinación.

Por favor acompáñenme para celebrar los grandes dones que hemos recibido y para iniciar nuestros próximos 100 años. Esté pendiente para obtener más información.


‘Dad, I want to be a Priest!’

Encouraging your children to discern their vocations

The following article was written by Father Joseph Lopez from the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

I am reprinting it here because it clearly expresses the topic I wanted to cover on parents and vocation discernment.

                                                                                                                                                                                    – Father Miguel Angel Sanchez

By Father Joseph Lopez Diocese of Corpus Christi

Imagine that you ask your son (or grandson) what he wants to be when he grows up, and he answers, “I want to be a priest!” What would your reaction be? Would you be worried, or elated or somewhere in between?frmiguel

The truth is that God has a plan for every child; he wants them to be happy even more than you do! And their true happiness is found in discovering God’s plan for their lives and following it wholeheartedly.

So if you’re truly concerned about a child’s wellbeing, it makes sense to help him discern God’s call. A person’s occupation-professor, salesman, pilot, writer-can change many times over a lifetime, but a vocation is a deep part of a person’s identity.

Most people, of course, are called to the vocation of marriage. But if your child feels called to a life of service in the Church, don’t be afraid; priests and religious live very happy and fulfilling lives! While they experience sorrow and hardship like every other person, they also experience great joy serving God and others.

So if you are a parent or grandparent, what can you do to help your children discern their calling in life? The primary thing is to foster openness to God’s will; let them know that God has a plan for them. The next time the topic comes up, consider asking the question: “What do you think God wants you to be when you grow up?”

Secondly, because everyone’s first vocation is to be holy, another important thing parents can do is to create a home environment where Christian virtue can flourish. Here are a few specific ideas for helping children discern their particular vocations:

  • Invite priests and religious to dinner at your home.
  • Show your children a good example of holy marriage.
  • Pray daily for more priestly and religious vocations – maybe along with your regular dinner or night prayers.
  • Read and discuss the Bible stories of Mary’s response to God (Luke 1:26-39), and Jesus calling the Apostles (Mt 4:18-22).
  • Speak openly about vocations to marriage, priesthood, and religious life.

If your child does express interest in priesthood or religious life, be supportive. If you’re excited, don’t push too hard. If you’re apprehensive, trust in God’s plan. The best thing you can say is, “Whatever God wants for you, I want for you, too.”

Bishop asks prayers for new leader of San Angelo Diocese

Special to the Rio Grande Catholic


Msgr. Sis

“It is with much joy,” Bishop Mark J. Seitz told Pastoral Center staff Dec. 12, ”that I inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis has named Msgr. Michael J. Sis, 53, vicar general of the Diocese of Austin, as bishop of our diocesan neighbor San Angelo. “Please join me in prayer for Msgr. Sis and the Diocese of San Angelo as they begin their journey together in spreading the Gospel. I also ask for your prayers for Bishop Michael Pfeifer, 76, who is retiring from the pastoral governance of the San Angelo diocese.

“ Bishop Pfeifer, OMI, DD, was appointed Bishop of San Angelo by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

Bishop-elect Sis was born Jan. 9, 1960, in Mt. Holly, N.J. He was ordained for the Austin diocese on July 19, 1986. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Gregorian University, and a licentiate in moral theology from the Academia Alfonsiana, Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.

The San Angelo diocese includes 37,433 square miles across 29 counties in Texas. It has a population of 859,701 people, with 77,230, or nine percent of them, Catholic.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, Dec. 12, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Day of Prayer for victims, survivors of trafficking set Feb. 8

WASHINGTON (USCCB) —The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration designated Feb. 8 as an annual day of prayer for survivors and victims of human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.

“On that day, we will lift our voices loudly in prayer, hope, and love for trafficking victims and survivors,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the Committee. “If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference.”

The USCCB’s Anti-Trafficking program is encouraging Catholics to host or attend prayer services, to reflect on the experiences of those who have suffered through human trafficking and exploitation. Catholics are invited to pray for the emotional, physical, and spiritual healing, and make a personal commitment to work against human trafficking.

Catholics are also encouraged to host awareness-raising events educating their parishes and communities about human trafficking in whichever way they choose, be it a Mass, a film screening, or an information session.