Archive for: October 2014

Laura Bush Visits Area Missions

-Elizabeth O’Hara, RGC Editor


She could visit anywhere in Texas but Laura Bush spent a day touring the Ysleta Mission Trail.

Laura Bush is, of course, the wife of former U.S. president, George W. Bush and was previously the First Lady of the State of Texas during her husband’s governorship from 1995-2000.

She, along with friends Adair Margo, Nancy Dedman and Caren Prothro, visited the dioceses’ three historic missions on Oct. 23 starting in San Elizario.

“I like churches,” Bush said.  “I like how we pray.”

Bush said she toured the missions in San Antonio last spring when she requested to visit those in the El Paso diocese.  Renowned artist Gaspar Enriquez, who lives in San Elizario, hosted the group to a private luncheon prior to the start of the mission tour.

“It’s just such a great history,” said Bush.  “I love it here. El Paso’s an area that’s been one of my lifelong favorite places to visit.”

Bush’s parents lived in El Paso and as a young girl, she spent her summers in Canutillo with her grandparents.

Marti Gutierrez, a member of the Socorro Mission Historical Society, runs the gift shop at the mission.  She said she never envisioned a day as a lifelong Socorro resident where she’d be asked to share her parish history with a former first lady.

“I feel very proud of this,” she said, waving her arms around her shop.  “And she was very pleased being here, in awe of everything.”

Gutierrez said Bush purchased the book, “The Pueblo de Socorro Grant” by author Kathleen H. White.

“Look, I made $78 today!” Gutierrez said.  The money goes back into the mission.

The diocese’s missions are among the oldest in the state.  The San Elizario Mission was named for San Elceario, the Roman Catholic patron saint of soldiers.  Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate celebrated the first Thanksgiving near the mission in 1598.  A Spanish presidio was established in 1789.

The Socorro Mission comes with a much longer name. Officially, the Nuestra de Señora de la Limpia Concepción del Socorro was established by the Franciscans in 1683 after a pueblo revolt in New Mexico drove American Indians south to what is now El Paso County, making Socorro the 2nd oldest community in Texas.  The church was washed away in 1829 and rebuilt in 1843.  It is noted for its use of wooden “vigas” which were recovered after the flood and reused in the present structure.

The Ysleta Mission was the third mission on Bush’s trip but is the first and oldest mission in Texas. It’s noted as the 2nd oldest continually active parish in the U.S., founded in 1680. Through the centuries it has endured floods and fires. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bush and her friends were guided through the missions by Ramon Holguin, a San Elizario historian.

“This is the history of our state, our country,” said Bush.  “This is how we begin. I just loved seeing it.”

Susie Ordaz, who was visiting the Socorro Mission with daughters Daisy, 8, and Isabella, 5, didn’t know the former first lady would visit. Their first clue was when a Secret Service agent explained why the trio couldn’t leave the building.  They watched as the group toured and were approached by Mrs. Bush to take a photo.

“I think she’s pretty cool,” said Daisy Ordaz.

“What a surprise!” said her mom, Susie.

Bush and her friends planned to spend time in El Paso later touring area museums and taking in a tour of El Paso’s Chihuahuas baseball stadium.

“I plan to take a lot of pictures of the stadium after seeing the art that Gaspar did for it,” Bush said.  “I can’t wait to show George. You know how he loves baseball.”



Mrs. Bush and Friends

Mrs. Bush and Friends





Group Photo

Group Photo



El Paso Diocesan Priests Gather for Spiritual Retreat


-Elizabeth O’Hara, RGC Editor

All diocesan priests in the El Paso and West Texas area gathered in Mesilla, New Mexico for the annual spiritual retreat.

The week-long retreat was held Oct. 20-24 at the Holy Cross Retreat center.

The gathering allows the area’s diocesan priests an opportunity to pause from the daily demands of the parish to pray together and, to reflect and discern the movements of the Spirit of God in their ministry and life. It also gives priests a chance to just to be with their brother priests and bishop in a more relax way.

Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, bishop emeritus of Las Cruces, NM. presided over the retreat.

Below, you will find some of the candid photos taken during the retreat.


1 5
Fr. Miguel Angel Sanchez, Fr. Tony Celino, Fr. Ed Carpenter, Fr. Saul Pacheco, Fr. Mariano Lopez, Fr. Joe Molina First Row:Fr. Leo Rivero, Fr. Mark Salas, Msgr. Francis J. Smith

Second Row:Fr. John Telles, Fr. Emmanuel Alcazar, Fr. Ben Mones, Msgr. David Fierro

2 6
Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas, Fr. Antonio Mena Fr. Ben Flores, Fr. Frank Lopez
3 7
Fr. Trini Fuentez, Fr. Beto Lopez Fr. Allan Alalka
4 8



Option for the Poor

Bishop Seitz Addresses “Option for the Poor”


When it comes to fighting for the poor, which poor most deserve attention?  Bishop Mark Seitz addressed that in his keynote speech at the “Option for the Poor” dinner held on Oct. 17.  The Center for Justice and Peace sponsored the dinner. It is held annually to honor those who often pick up the torch of social justice in the case of the greater good.  Here’s our bishop in his own words:


Option for the Poor Keynote by Bishop Mark J. Seitz

Diocese of El Paso

October 17, 2014


The Consistent Life Ethic: Principles of Social Justice that Transcend Ideologies


No one likes to be criticized, least of all me.  But there was one occasion when, because of the criticism, I knew I must have been doing something right.  During the run up to one of the Iraq wars I preached one Sunday mentioning Pope John Paul’s call for further dialogue and for peace. After Mass a man who was clearly angry came up to me and accused me of belonging to the Democratic National Committee.


Some weeks following this encounter I believe it was during October, Respect Life Month. I spoke in the homily about the terrible toll of abortion. Following Mass a person came up to me with something other than a smile on his face and accused me of belonging to the Republican National Committee. I didn’t say what I said because I belong to either Party, but because I am Catholic.


In our polarized country ideologies have replaced principles and too often the opportunity to make a political point has trumped the even the most basic demands of human compassion.


The response in Congress to the arrival of high numbers of refugees at our southern border made that abundantly clear to me. As many of you know in June this past summer I had the opportunity to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.  The Hearing was on the influx of unaccompanied children and of families that we were witnessing.  Now, one would imagine that the purpose of a hearing in Congress would be to learn about the issues that are being studied and to consider possible responses. The title of the Hearing put those presumptions into question. The hearing was entitled, “An Administration Made Disaster: The South Texas Border Surge of Unaccompanied Alien Minors”.


Another example came a little later in the summer.  We all heard the drumbeat in regard to those arriving at our border that they ought to follow the law. That was the case until it became apparent that the reason people fleeing to our border could not be immediately sent back was a law that had been passed in 2000.  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was passed unanimously, signed by President Bush, and then reauthorized in March of 2013 under President Clinton.  It was seen at the time as a tremendous step forward for the sake of children and women that are so terribly abused. How quickly sentiment changed on the part of members from both sides of the aisle when protecting these victims of human trafficking became politically inconvenient.


But it is not as though this is a high stakes game played by only one political party.  What took place in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act I believe presents another clear example.  The Catholic Church in the United States has for decades supported national health insurance. We were very pleased when the Affordable Care Act passed.  Although it was far from perfect we felt it was an important step forward.


When regulations began to be published by the Department of Health and Human Services we were very disappointed to see that the Catholic Church was directly targeted through rules that seek to force Church institutions and Catholic individuals to pay for so-called services that are contrary to our teachings. Worse than this the regulations seek to employ a more narrow definition of what constitutes a church and is therefore protected under the First Amendment. It has been commented that under this definition Jesus and the Apostles might not qualify as a church. It means that our schools, our hospitals our charitable outreach would not be considered the work of the Church.  This definition will have repercussions far beyond the unpopular beliefs they target. All churches are being told that only as long as we keep our Faith within the Church walls we will have the liberty to practice it. That is not my understanding of what it is to be a church. What about you?


In the 1980’s when US political life was already heading in an ever more polarized direction and that polarization was also being seen in the Church, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the Archbishop of Chicago, of happy memory, sought to call us to a deeper and more coherent ethic, one that would not be driven by the changing winds of political exigency.  He referred to it as “the seamless garment”.


The Church’s Social Justice teaching is based upon our conviction about the value of all life, and the unique and immeasurable dignity of human life.  As Jesus told us in today’s Gospel, “Are not 5 sparrows sold for two small coins?  Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.  Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.  Do not be afraid.  You are worth more than many sparrows.” ( Lk. 12: 4-7)  For once we can accuse Jesus of understatement!


A close corollary to this fundamental truth is that human beings cannot be owned, they do not even own themselves.  Life is a gift that is on loan.  It is not a possession.  The father of Bill Cosby may have told him when he was acting up as a child, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out again!”  But I think we all know that this most certainly is not true.  Parents have a role in bringing a child into the world, but they themselves stand in awe at what emerges from their cooperation.


We today are coming to see more clearly than ever that the baby and the young child have rights that society must protect.  Parents have a responsibility to care for a child, but they do not have the autonomous authority to beat the child, abuse or mistreat the child, sell the child.  We even have restrictions on child labor.


The inalienable rights upon which our nation has been built are not of our making.  They are not ceded to us by a government or anyone else.  Was this not the point of the Declaration of Independence it says that “we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights and among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?


And if I have rights then so does the other.  We are not autonomous.  We did not bring ourselves into the world and we do not have the right to take ourselves out of the world.  The act of suicide is not only destructive to the individual and to those who love him or her, but also to society itself because it denies the inalienable right to life.  We belong to one another and we are called to care for one another.  We are called to care for every human person without distinction from the moment they come to be until they are called home by God.


Without this foundation it is hard to see how a nation can long endure.  Without this basis for the common good we are just a chaotic mass of individuals striving for their own self-interest.  And God help you if you are weak or in the minority.


Yes, we are pluralistic society, but we must find common ground around these fundamental principles.  Most people of faith and even some who do not have faith will be able to find agreement around these basic foundations. It is our special responsibility in the world to enlighten others with these basic truths of the dignity of the human person, not only for the sake of their eternal salvation, but for the sake of our nation and the world.


One of the points that give this ethic of life a great persuasive power is its consistency.  We do not pick and choose from the continuum of life’s moments.  We are not left to weigh relative values of life at a given stage.  We do not place a price tag upon this life as opposed to another’s life. The value of a person at life’s most remote beginning is the same immeasurable value of the child, the youth, the adult, the aged.  If we were to in some way place a higher value on one it would only be insofar as we make a special option for the poorest and the weakest because this will be the measure of a truly just society.


We certainly can speak of a right to self-defense against an unjust aggressor but that is based upon our own special responsibility to protect the life God has placed directly in our care and, in fact, we may only respond with sufficient force to protect ourselves and our neighbors.


Over time Cardinal Bernardin spoke less of the ‘seamless garment’ and more of a ‘consistent ethic of life’ because people were misapplying his point.

One misunderstanding was that he was not trying to say that every issue of injustice has the same moral weight.  The failure to pay a just wage (although it can have terrible consequences) is not the same as the direct taking of an innocent human life by abortion or euthanasia or by targeting civilians in war.

A second common misunderstanding was that this required that everyone be involved in every issue.  On this matter Cardinal Bernardin had this to say: “Does this mean that everyone must do everything?  No!  There are limits, time, energy and competency.  There is a shape to every individual vocation.  People must specialize, groups must focus their energies.” (Address, Seattle U., 3/2/86)


Looking at the ways his challenge to consistency was being misused he had this to say, “The concept itself is a complex and challenging one.  It requires us to broaden, substantively and creatively, our ways of thinking, our attitudes, our pastoral response.  Many are not accustomed to thinking about all the life-threatening and life-diminishing issues with such a consistency.  The result is that they remain somewhat selective in their response.  Although some of those who oppose the concept seem not to have understood it, I sometimes suspect that many who oppose it recognize its challenge. Quite frankly, I sometimes wonder whether those who embrace it quickly and whole-heartedly truly understand all its implications.” (ibid.)


In our work on behalf of the poor and to build a world that is truly just let us then put aside anything that would smack of narrow partisan ideology which defines itself simply in terms of opposition to the position of the other.  Particularly we in the Church have received a rich heritage calling us to build a true culture of life.  We recognize the rich dignity of every person and we therefore treat every person, even our enemies, with love and respect.  Anyone working for the cause of social justice should find solidarity with us, especially when they are our brothers and sisters in the Church.


This consistent ethic of life is not reserved though to those of us who share Catholic Faith.  It is a gift to the world to which our Faith gives even greater clarity and power.  May God make us bold in this proclamation because our nation and the nations of the world will be lost and without a true foundation until they rediscover the true dignity of the human person and a coherent, consistent ethic of life.


Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz, DD

Obituary: Sister Merida Ramirez, D.C.


Sister Merida Ramirez, D.C. 4/27/37-10/16/14   

A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Merida Ramirez was celebrated on Tuesday, October 21 at 5:30 PM at Marian Chapel at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo.  Sister Merida died on October 16, 2014 at the Sarah Community.  She was 77 years of age. She served twice in the El Paso area.

Born on April 27, 1937 in Lajas, Puerto Rico, Sister Merida was one of three children born to Victor A. and Merida Velez Ramirez.  She was baptized Erika Ramirez.  Sister Merida was a 1956 graduate of Immaculate Conception Academy in Mayaguez, P.R.  She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, P.R., in 1962.

Sister Merida entered the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis, Mo., on January 25, 1963.  She celebrated 51 years of vocation as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in January of 2014.

After initial formation, Sister Merida completed a two-year pharmacy internship at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis (1964 – 1966).  She then served as the Chief Pharmacist at DePaul Hospital (1966 – 1972).  Sister was then missioned to the National Hansen’s Disease Center in Carville, La., where she served a Chief Pharmacist (1972 – 1987).  In Carville, Sister Merida also served as Sister Servant (Local Superior) from 1980 – 1987.  Sister Merida was then missioned to Austin, Tex., where she served as a Pharmacist at Seton Medical Center (1987 – 1989).  Sister served two different times in El Paso–first as Director of Pharmacy at San Vicente:  Daughters of Charity Community Services of El Paso (1989-1993) and then as a Pharmacy Technician at Centro San Vicente (2004 – 2009).  She also ministered in Dallas as a Pharmacy Technician at St. Paul Medical Center (1993 – 2001) and at St. Paul University Hospital (2001 – 2004).  In October of 2009, Sister Merida joined the Ministry of Prayer at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo., where she served until the time of her death.

Sister is preceded in death by her parents.  She is survived by her brother, Norman J. Ramirez, and her sister, Aixa Rivera, both of Mayaguez, P.R., by many nieces and nephews, and by her Sisters in Community. Donations in Sister Merida’s memory may be made to the Daughters of Charity, 4330 Olive Street, St. Louis, Mo., 63108.



Sister Merida Ramirez, D.C.

Pilgrimage to Mt. Cristo Rey Marks Monument’s 75th year / La Peregrinación Anual al Monte de Cristo Rey

Pilgrimage to Mt. Cristo Rey Marks Monument’s 75th year

Mark your calendars!!

Oct. 24 is the annual pilgrimage to Mt.Cristo Rey in Sunland Park, New Mexico. This will mark the monument’s 75th anniversary. All are welcome to walk up and down the mountain from sunrise to sunset. Nearby parking will be available for $5.00; a variety of food and drink and religious items will be for sale at the bottom of the mountain.

The Stations of the Cross Procession leading up the mountain will begin around 10:00 a.m. (Look for the signs and Bishops Cantú, Seitz and Wester.) Mass will begin about noon on the top of the mountain.

To get to Mount Cristo Rey:

  • exit I-10 at Sunland Park Drive;
  • head west. Stay on Sunland Park Drive past Sunland Park Casino/Racetrack and Western Playland Amusement Park.
  • At McNutt Road turn left;
  • continue east on McNutt Road to off and on-site parking.

Be advised to bring water and snacks, and to wear sun screen, sturdy walking shoes, layers of clothes, and a hat.

For restoration info:


La Peregrinación Anual al Monte de Cristo Rey

El peregrinaje al Monte Cristo Rey se llevará a cabo el domingo, octubre 26, 2014 en Sunland Park, NM. Todos están invitados a subir y bajar la montaña desde la mañana hasta la tarde. Habrá estacionamiento disponible por $5.00; En la parte de abajo de la montaña habrá una variedad de comidas y bebidas a la venta incluyendo artículos religiosos. La procesión del Viacrucis subiendo la montaña, empezará alrededor de las 10:00 am. (Busque los letreros y a los tres obispos Cantú, Seitz y Wester.) La misa comenzará al medio día (12:00 pm) en la parte de arriba de la montaña.

Para llegar al Monte de Cristo Rey:

  • I-10
  • Utilice la salida Sunland Park Drive y siga hacia el oeste
  • Continúe en Sunlad Park Drive hasta que pase el casino/hipódromo de Sunland Park, y el parque Western Playland.-
  • En la calle McNutt Road de vuelta hacia la izquierda-
  • Continúe en McNutt Road hasta el estacionamiento del Monte Cristo Rey

Se aconseja que lleven agua y aperitivos. Usar protector solar, zapatos cómodos para caminar, ropa apropiada y sombrero o cachucha.



Free clothes to those in need

Area churches, including those in the El Paso Diocese, are joining together to provide free clothes to those in need.


ShareFest, the brain-child of local minister Barney Field, will provide 200 tables of free clothes, blankets, and other necessities at the El Paso County Coliseum.  It will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 25.


Field said his group, El Pasoans for Jesus, wants to help out those who find themselves with great need but not much money.


“Go clean out your closet, it’s kinda fun,” Field said.  “Take all your old stuff and don’t just dump it.  Give it to those who need it.”


Field said his group reached out to various churches in El Paso to help provide the items but also to find those who need them.


For more information, call Barney Field at (915) 313-5618.

October is Respect Life Month!

By Deacon Frank Segura

Respect for Life Ministry Director

Take a moment and consider this year’s Reverence for Life theme, “Each of us is a masterpiece of God’s creation”. Each of us is.. “S” Special,… “A” Awesome, …“B” Beautiful… “E” Esteemed, and “S”, Sent! (SABES, “Do you know?”)1-1

Consider what that truth says about you. Consider God’s truth against what the world would have you believe. Know that he has a plan and purpose for each one of us, plans for redemption and enlightenment of the world. Through our baptism, the Holy Spirit within us enables us to hear God’s truth and proclaim that truth, to be a light to the world. “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation will reach to the ends of the earth… because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” Isaiah 49: 6-7.

Each one of us has been charged with a special purpose, each one of us with a mission. The pre-born, the elderly, all dealing with challenges, physical and mental, the sick, the poor, the marginalized. Jesus in all of us, Christ in all of us, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”… Colossians 1:27, is at the heart of every encounter. And in every possible encounter, there is a truth that finds an echo and resonates in our hearts (GS).

“We are loved”. In his day for life greeting, Pope Francis shared that “even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving the utmost reverence and respect”. To be a part of a community that affirms and protects human rights is a primary goal of our mission.

Praise the Lord. Each one of us is a masterpiece of God’s creation! Unique and wonderful, every ounce of our being deserving of respect and reverence. We can dare to pray for the grace to look at ourselves and at others in the light of God’s truth. Respect for human dignity and reverence for all life is the grace and blessings we have when Christ is the center at the heart of our faith. “Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. ..John 4:3-6.

Society at large and the world would (and does) marginalize, judge, oppress, minimize, diagnose and discards. As people of God, made in his image with a purpose and mission, we must recognize and acknowledge God’s speaking to us. His words will clarify, instruct and guide us in our decision-making. We must come to prayer so to appreciate him at all times and in all things. Brothers and sisters…”cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, to be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil. Rather, always seek what is good for (both) each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus”… 1 Thessalonians 5:14-19. “Each of us is a masterpiece of God’s creation”.

The Respect Life Program restarts every year on “Respect Life Sunday”, the first Sunday in October. Brothers and sisters, every parish in the El Paso diocese has received a program packet that highlights many human life issues. These packets contain several wonderful materials and resources helpful for your ministries and pro-life outreaches. Check out www.usccb. org/aboutprolifeactivities.

Of note, we invite you to participate in the “National 54 Day Rosary Novena” for peace and the family with a special focus on human life, marriage and religious freedom. For further information on this effort, you may want to check out

Bishop Mark Seitz has asked for the faithful of the El Paso Diocese to partner and participate with him in prayer in response to the spiritual crisis in our culture and in the U.S.A. We cordially invite you to help ensure that every day of the 54 Day Novena is covered by prayer. The Novena will begin September 29, 2014, and conclude on November 21st, at a large venue. Location to be announced.

Keep your eyes and ears open for your assigned parish dates. Otherwise, consider organizing a public rosary with your ministries and/or communities.

Of special note, the St. Peter and Paul English Evangelization ministry will conduct a large public rosary October 11, 2014, at 10:00 am at the Mission Valley Shopping Center parking lot, corner of North Loop and Horizon Blvd.

This effort on your part will complement and supplement the national, “Help America Pray the Rosary” free bumper sticker campaign. Check with your parish office for availability of the bumper stickers, or contact Marriage and Family Life and the Peace and Justice Ministry Offices at the El Paso Diocese. Bumper stickers will also be available at your local Catholic gift shop.

¡Octubre es el mes de Respeto por la Vida!

Por el Diácono Frank Segura

Director del Ministerio de Respeto por la Vida

Tome un momento para considerar el tema de este año de Respeto por la Vida, “Cada uno de nosotros somos una obra de arte de la creación de Dios.”1-1

Considere qué le dice esta verdad acerca de usted. Considere la verdad de Dios contra lo que el mundo pudiera creer. Sepa que él tiene un plan y un propósito para cada uno de nosotros, un plan de redención y de luz para el mundo. Por medio de nuestro bautismo, el Espíritu Santo que está en nosotros nos permite escuchar la verdad de Dios y proclamar esa verdad, ser la luz para el mundo. “Te voy a poner además, como una luz para el mundo, para que mi salvación llegue hasta el último extremo de la tierra… porque el Santo de Israel, fue quien te eligió.” Isaías 49,6-7).

Cada uno de nosotros tiene un propósito especial, cada uno de nosotros con una misión. El que está por nacer, el anciano, todos los que sufren retos, físicos y mentales, los enfermos y los marginados. Jesús en todos nosotros, Cristo en todos nosotros, “Cristo en ti, la esperanza de la gloria…” Colosenses 1,27, está en el corazón de todo encuentro. Y en todo encuentro posible, hay una verdad que hace eco y resuena en nuestros corazones (GS). “Somos Amados.” En su día de saludo por la vida, el Papa Francisco comentó que aun el más débil y más vulnerable, el enfermo, el anciano, el no nacido y el pobre son obras de arte de la creación de Dios, hechos a su imagen y semejanza, destinados a vivir para siempre, y mereciendo el máximo respeto.” Para ser parte de la comunidad que afirma y protege los derechos humanos es el objetivo primordial de nuestra misión.

¡Gracias a Dios. Cada uno de nosotros es una obra de arte de la creación de Dios! Peculiar y maravillosa, cada onza de nuestro ser merece respeto. Podemos atrevernos a orar por la gracia de vernos a nosotros mismos y a otros a la luz de la verdad de Dios. El respeto para la dignidad humana y el respeto para toda clase de vida es la gracia y las bendiciones que tenemos cuando Cristo está en el centro del corazón de nuestra fe. “Jesús le dijo a él, yo soy el camino, la verdad y la vida. Nadie viene al Padre si no es a través de mi”… Juan 4,3-6.

La sociedad en su gran mayoría y el mundo margina, juzga, oprime, minimiza, diagnostica y deshecha. Como gente de Dios, hechos a su imagen con un propósito y misión, debemos reconocer que Dios nos está hablando. Sus palabras aclararán, instruirán y nos guiarán a nosotros para tomar nuestras decisiones. Debemos See October, orar para que lo valoremos en todo momento y en todas las cosas.

Hermanos y hermanas “… animen a los que estén desanimados, sostengan a los débiles, tengan paciencia con todos. Cuiden que nadie devuelva a otro mal por mal, sino que procuren el bien, y sea entre ustedes, ya sea con los demás. Estén siempre alegres, oren sin cesar y en toda ocasión den gracias a Dios, esta es la voluntad de Dios, vuestra vocación de Cristianos…” I Tesalonicenses 5,14-19(. “Cada uno de nosotros es una obra maestra de la creación de Dios”.

El Programa de Respeto por la Vida re inicia cada año el “Domingo de Respeto por la Vida,” que es el primer domingo de octubre. Hermanos y hermanas, cada parroquia de la Diócesis de El Paso ha recibido un paquete con el programa que enfatiza muchos temas sobre la vida. Estos paquetes contienen excelentes materiales y recursos útiles para sus ministerios y enlaces Pro-Vida. Para más información visite: www.

Le invitamos a participar en la “Novena Nacional del Rosario por 54 Días,” para pedir por la paz y la familia con un enfoque especial en la vida humana, el matrimonio y la libertad religiosa. Para mayor información sobre este esfuerzo, visite la página:

El Obispo Mark Seitz les ha pedido a los fieles de la Diócesis de El Paso a unirse y a participar con él en oración como respuesta a la crisis espiritual en nuestra cultura y en Estados Unidos. Le invitamos muy cordialmente para asegurarnos de que se ore cada uno de los 54 Días de la Novena. La Novena dará inicio el 29 de septiembre del 2014, y concluirá el 21 de noviembre. Se anunciará el lugar.

Esté pendiente con las fechas asignadas en sus parroquias. O en su lugar, considere organizar un rosario público con sus ministerios y/o comunidades.

Como nota especial, el Ministerio de Evangelización en ingles de la Parroquia de San Pedro y San Pablo llevará a cabo un rosario público el 11 de octubre del presente, a las 10:00 a.m. en el Centro Comercial Mission Valley, esquina de North Loop y Horizon Blvd.

The Final Solution to the Problem of ISIL and Every Kind of Violence

“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy”: these were the words of President Obama in his recent televised address regarding our nation’s response

InSeitz By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

to this new terrorist menace in the Middle East. About this same time his Vice President, Joseph Biden, was using even stronger words: “They should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice.”

There is no question that a group such as this merits a firm and even a forceful response from our nation’s leaders. As even Pope Francis has said actions to protect the innocent, even those that make use of arms may be called for. The world cannot sit idly by while the innocent are brutally tortured, raped and slain in the thousands.

While most of us could agree there are times when the use of force is called for, at this juncture in our history we would do well to ask some difficult questions about the resort to weapons to resolve the seemingly endless cycles of violence in our world. Violence, even when it is used in a just defense of the innocent, never provides an ultimate solution to violence. Most will agree that World War I had its seeds in a previous war. World War II had its seeds in World War I. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be traced back to Biblical times and shows no sign of ending. Many such sad examples could be given.

War and other kinds of violence against our fellow human beings can for a moment bring the seething acquiescence of defeat but few students of history would call that true peace. That is why Pope Francis recently issued this heartfelt cry: “…violence is not answered with violence; death is not answered with the language of death. In the silence of the Cross, the uproar of weapons ceases and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue, and peace is spoken. This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions, and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: violence and war are never the way to peace! (Pope Francis, Sunday, September 7, 2014, Angelus appeal for peace)Coat

I would like to suggest to you what I believe is the one thing that can end the seemingly endless cycle of violence in our world, the one path to lasting peace: a profound and sincere reconciliation. At our Foundation Banquet on September 18th we heard a strong voice reassuring us that this is possible. Immaculée Ilabagiza is a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide that took place in 1994. She endured 91 days hidden in a 3 x 4 foot bathroom with 7 other women. As a 22 year old witness to the horror of a systematic bloodthirsty massacre of 1 million men, women and children including her parents, grandparents and all but one of her siblings, Immaculée felt the common human desire for vengeance. But praying the Rosary, and particularly the Our Father over time taught her that there had to be another way. She knew that she could not pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” sincerely without forgiving the very ones who had slain her family.

Yes! There has to be another way, but the truth is that the way of peace is beyond our frail human abilities. Only Jesus, the Prince of Peace, can break these seemingly endless cycles of violence. Only he can show us the way to forgiveness and reconciliation. Only the one who gave his life for love of us even as we were doing violence to him can show us the way to true and lasting peace!




La Solución Final al Problema de ISIL y todo tipo de violencia

“Nuestro objetivo es claro: derrocaremos, y finalmente destruiremos a ISIL a través de una estrategia completa y sostenida contra el terrorismo”; estas

InSeitz By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

By Bishop Mark J. Seitz

fueron las palabras del Presidente Obama en su reciente discurso televisivo con respecto a la respuesta de nuestra nación a esta nueva amenaza terrorista del Medio Oriente. Casi al mismo tiempo su Vicepresidente, Joseph Biden, utilizaba las mismas fuertes palabras: “Ellos deben saber que les seguiremos hasta las puertas del infierno para hacerles justicia.”

No hay duda de que un grupo tal como éste amerite una firme y enérgica respuesta por parte de los líderes de nuestra nación. Aun como lo ha dicho el Papa Francisco que las acciones para proteger al inocente, incluyen aun a aquellos quienes hacen uso de las armas. El mundo no puede permanecer indiferente mientras los inocentes son torturados brutalmente, violados y mutilados por miles.

Ya que muchos de nosotros podemos estar de acuerdo en que hay tiempos cuando es necesario el uso de la fuerza, en esta coyuntura de nuestra historia hacemos bien en cuestionar situaciones difíciles acerca de nuestro recurso a las armas para resolver los que parecen ser círculos interminables de violencia en nuestro mundo. La violencia, aun cuando se utiliza en defensa propia de un inocente, nunca será la decisión fundamental para la violencia. Casi todos estarán de acuerdo que la Primera Guerra Mundial tuvo sus inicios en una guerra previa. La Segunda Guerra Mundial tuvo sus inicios con la Primera Guerra Mundial. El conflicto Israelí-Palestino tiene su origen desde tiempos Bíblicos y no da muestras de terminar. Se pueden dar muchos ejemplos lamentables. Coat

La guerra y otro tipo de violencia contra nuestros hermanos los seres humanos, puede por un momento traer un sentimiento de frustración por la derrota pero pocos eruditos de la historia calificarían a esto de una paz verdadera. Es por eso que el Papa Francisco recientemente emitió este sentido lamento: “…la violencia no se responde con violencia; la muerte no se responde con el lenguaje de la muerte. En el silencio de la Cruz, el retumbar de las armas cesa y se habla el lenguaje de reconciliación, perdón, diálogo y paz. Esta tarde, le pregunté al Señor que nosotros los Cristianos, y nuestros hermanos y hermanas de otras religiones, y todo hombre y mujer de buena voluntad, lamentan fuertemente: ¡la violencia y la guerra nunca son el camino hacia la paz! (Papa Francisco, domingo, 7 de septiembre del 2014, Ángelus petición por la paz).

Quisiera sugerirles que lo que yo creo es algo que puede terminar con el aparentemente interminable ciclo de violencia en nuestro mundo, el camino hacia una paz verdadera: una profunda y sincera reconciliación. En nuestro Banquete de la Fundación el día 18 de septiembre, tuvimos una resonante voz asegurándonos que esto es posible. Immaculée Ilabagiza es una sobreviviente del Genocidio de Ruanda que sucedió en 1994. Ella soportó estar escondida en un baño de 3×4 pies junto con otras siete mujeres. Como testigo de 22 años del horror de una sistemática y sangrienta masacre de un millón de hombres, mujeres y niños incluyendo a sus padres y abuelos, excepto a una de sus hermanas, Immaculée sintió el deseo humano común de venganza. Pero rezando el Rosario, y en particular el Padre Nuestro con el tiempo le enseñó que debía haber otro camino. Ella sabía que no podía rezar, “Perdona nuestras ofensas así como perdonamos a quienes nos ofenden” sinceramente sin perdonar a los mismos que masacraron a su familia.

¡Sí! Tiene que haber otro camino, pero la verdad es que el camino de la paz va más allá de nuestras frágiles habilidades humanas. Solo Jesús, el Príncipe de la Paz puede romper estos aparentes ciclos de violencia. Solo él puede mostrarnos el camino hacia el perdón y hacia la reconciliación. ¡Solo el que dio su vida por amor hacia nosotros aun cuando nosotros lo violentábamos nos puede mostrar el camino a la verdad y a una paz verdadera!