Archive for: July 2015



Marta Provenghi, new principal at St. Pius X School, introduces herself to the staff.  Photo courtesy: Joe Najera

Marta Provenghi, new principal at St. Pius X School, introduces herself to the staff.
Photo courtesy: Joe Najera

A new principal has been hired at St. Pius X School.

Marta Provenghi begins work at the campus on Jul. 1.
“I want our students to think, learn, explore create, and discover. A journey for all of us!” said Provenghi.

Provenghi retired as the assistant principal at Eastlake High School in 2014. She previously worked at two other schools in the Socorro school district: Robert Rojas Elementary and Benito Martinez Elementary where she was principal at both campuses. She also spent 11 years working for the Ysleta ISD as a principal at three campuses: Le Barron Elementary, Cadwallader Elementary and, Ranchland Middle School.

“She was hired to improve their TEA recognition status and she has a lot of experience with school improvement,” said Sr. Elizabeth Swartz, SSND, Superintendent of El Paso Catholic Schools.

Sr. Elizabeth said one of Provenghi’s top tasks will be to increase enrollment at the campus which currently has about 345 students.

“I’m fully confident in her,” said Sr. Elizabeth. “She has a lot of gifts, skills and talents that will help to move St. Pius X forward.”

Provenghi has already started to reach out to her best recruiters – the parents of current students. She was introduced to the St. Pius X community during a Mass held Jun. 14.
“School is very diferent from when we were going to school with what students are learning now, so it’s always good to have the parents involved in their learning journey,” she said.
Parents interested in St. Pius X enrollment are encouraged to stop by the office Mon. – Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. or call (915) 772-6598 for more information.

Congratulations Class of 2015 on your scholarship awards!!

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For more information on Catholic school education and scholarship opportunities, call the Office of Education at (915) 872-8426

Loretto and Cathedral Students Debate in Border City Classic

The El Paso Chapter of the National Hispanic Institute sponsored its inaugural Border City Classic on May 30, with students from Loretto Academy and Cathedral High School taking part in the event. Nearly 80 students from throughout the El Paso area took part in a mock debate in preparation for one of two national debate competitions hosted at Austin College or the University of Texas at Austin. They will compete against freshmen from throughout the United States in the areas of speech and debate.

“The question of transnational and multicultural identities is especially pertinent for the border region, and our future leaders must be equipped with the tools and the knowledge to tackle this issue,” said NHI El Paso project administrator and Loretto alumnus, Paola Hernandez.

In attendance were County Commissioner David Stout, and representatives from the offices of City Council Rep. Courtney Niland and State Senator Jose Rodriguez. They assisted the debate teams in gathering and organizing information, presentation and speaking skills. The dignitaries praised the students and encouraged them to return to El Paso once they finish their studies. “I am very impressed with all of you, and your hard work. Wherever you decide to go to school, please come back to your community and share what you have learned with others here,” said Commissioner Stout.

The National Hispanic Institute seeks to educate young students on the issues that are pertinent to their local, state and national community. Through programs such as Great Debate, Lorenzo DeZavala and Collegiate World Series, students learn lessons and skills that are vital to college, career, and life. All students selected to participate have met rigorous admissions standards including a minimum 3.0 GPA and enrollment in college bound curriculum. For more information or to make a donation, please contact Paola Hernandez at 915-383-3637 or

Fr. Yermo Scholarship Honors Sr. Grace

A scholarship for Fr. Yermo students has been created in honor of beloved Sister Grace Galvan. RGC June pg 4_Page_6_Image_0003

“We just loved her! Everyone knew Sr. Grace!” said Sr. Maria de Jesus Munguia, president of Fr. Yermo Schools.

The $500 scholarship was given this year to Alejandro Almada.

Sr. Grace, who died in 2010, was principal at Father Yermo Elementary from 1969-1982. She also ministered at Father Yermo High School from 1983-2005 as a librarian and Religion Teacher. She retired from active minister in that year, dedicating herself to pray, counsel alumni, and love children until the last minute of her life.

Fmr. Fr. Yermo Grad is UTEP Top 10 Senior

Joselyn Cardenas Anaya, a graduate of Fr. Yermo High School, is one of the Top 10 Seniors for UTEP’s graduating Class of 2015. RGC June pg 4_Page_6_Image_0004

“We are so proud of her, she’s one of ours!” exclaimed Sr. Maria de Jesus Munguia, president of Fr. Yermo Schools.

Cardenas Anaya was the first in her family to attend a U.S. college. She and her family moved to El Paso from Juarez, MX when she was 15 years old. It was the first of several challenges on her road to success.

“At the time, was incapable of understanding that leaving my two older siblings behind, splitting my family apart and suffering from discrimination for not knowing a single word of English when enrolled in high school was for my own benefit,” she said.

Cardenas Anaya graduated as Saluatorian from Fr. Yermo which, she said, allowed her to earn scholarships from prestigious engineering firms across the U.S.

“It afforded me the opportunity to attend college without sacrificing my parents’ possessions to pay for school,” she said.

The Top 10 Seniors for 2015 were chosen based on a combination of academic achievement, involvement, leadership and service both in the community and on campus. Nominees have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or greater. Cardenas Anaya graduated with a 3.97 GPA.

While at the university, Cardenas Anaya served as vice president for The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) at UTEP. When she joined the Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) chapter, she worked with engineering applications. As captain of the safety team for the international Baja SAE competition, she participated in the design, building and coordination process of an off-road vehicle. Her participation in hands-on extracurricular activities at UTEP prepared her for an internship with Boeing in Seattle, where she is now employed.

“My dream has always been designing airplanes, since I was five, so just being near airplanes is the best,” she said.


-Sofia Larkin Appleby, Major Gifts Officer
Founation for the Diocese of El Paso

My memories of Catholic schools are all fond. There were no nuns beating me with rulers or paddles at Teresiano in Managua, Nicaragua, where I attended kindergarten. Nor from the Sisters of Loretto, who taughtRGC June pg 4_Page_6_Image_0006 me from elementary until my high school graduation from Loretto Academy. They were never harsh and did not seem to enforce arbitrary rules. As a matter of fact, they were all incredibly giving, generous, and very, very patient. They were also honest and tough. Sister Lois, who taught economics, told my mother before a symphony concert while looking right at me, “I like the other one,” referring to my brainy sister. And they could be strict. My mother, a dutiful straight-A student at Sacré-Coeur in Chile, did not receive the coveted Daughter of Mary pin for laughing hysterically and uncontrollably during a tour of Easter Island because the nuns had clothed every statue in a diaper. High achieving student or not, that behavior was not tolerated. The nuns were the guardians of moral order and the defenders of academic achievement. They taught us respect for others, respect for ourselves, and respect for our Catholic faith.

But we no longer have these sisters, and their low salaries, arriving by the busload at our Catholic schools. Today we would be fortunate to fill a Fiat in most cases.

Could this visible lack of sisters be one of the reasons enrollment in Catholic schools is down? According to the authors of a study called, “Common Good and Catholic Schools,” Catholic high schools and perhaps secondary and elementary as well, “manage simultaneously to achieve relatively high levels of student learning, distribute this learning more equitably with regard to race and class than in the public sector, and sustain high levels of teacher commitment and student engagement.” If Catholic schools work so well, then why are they declining? Because we’re a secular nation? Parents don’t make sacrifices like they used to? Scandal? Charter Schools? Maybe all of these to some degree but there is also one answer we know is true: The rising cost of providing a Catholic education is making it difficult for many parents to afford it.

A 2014 study by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice suggests charter schools are the way to go. “Catholic schools struggling to stay open with declining enrollments can stay afloat if they ‘convert’ to public charter schools.” But Nashville Dominican Sister John Mary Fleming, OP, the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Catholic Education countered, “A charter school is a public school. It doesn’t have a religious component to it. That’s an important distinction.” Beth Blaufus, president of Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington believes that charter and Catholic schools can coexist. “In a climate where school choice is enabled, our school regularly receives applicants from charter schools. The existence of other educational options can actually help her school’s Catholic identity.” This leads us to the “increasingly urgent” question posed by the Friedman report: How can you convince parents that a Catholic education is still worth the investment?

Blaufus said, “Now, there are alternatives, so what sets us apart? It must be a FAITH that is a joyous, relevant anchor to all we do and an answer to parents’ and kids’ deepest anxieties and hopes.” Sister John Mary, who has several advanced degrees in education and helped coordinate and manage a $46 million renovation campaign for a new school and related projects, said, “ … the rise of charter schools should motivate Catholic school leaders to better articulate their unique identity.” Instilling a Catholic identity and developing children holistically — spiritually, morally, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically — in a Catholic environment, is another answer and it takes a village.

According to New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, “The truth is that the entire parish, the whole diocese and the universal church benefit from Catholic schools in ways that keep communities strong so all Catholics have a duty to support them. Reawakening a sense of common ownership of Catholic schools may be the biggest challenge the church faces in any revitalization effort ahead.”

RGC June pg 4_Page_6_Image_0007Tuition and parish subsidies are no longer enough to keep our schools in the black so Catholic schools and dioceses across the country have turned to creating and building endowment funds to keep their doors open. They are the long-term answer that will give our schools financial security, financial aid, and scholarship money. In El Paso, you already have an established foundation where you can give. In 2015, donations to Catholic schools up to $70,000 (maximum of $20,000 per school on a first-come, first-served basis) will be matched dollar for dollar by the Scanlan Foundation. Our goal is to build the Catholic schools endowment funds to $12 million in order to support and sustain Catholic education in the Diocese of El Paso in perpetuity. The current fund value is $6,572,710.55. We’re halfway there!

The Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso is awarding $179,507 in scholarship aid to 81 students for the 2015-2016 school year including 11 Hunt Scholars. The Bishop’s Scholarship, the Mike and Clara Miles Scholarship and a grant from the Hunt Family Foundation have made it possible for economically disadvantaged and hardworking middle class families to send elementary, middle, and high school students to Catholic school. That’s great news!! But it could be a lot better. In 2015, the Foundation had to turn away 68% of new applicants because of a lack of funding.

Your gifts to Catholic Schools Endowment Funds are extremely important because they will have an immediate and transformative impact not only on the Foundation Scholars, but on their families, this community and the whole diocese, and will definitely have a lasting one. Gifts and pledges of all sizes are welcome. Tax-deductible donations can be made on a one-time basis or over a period of time (1-5 years), and you can pay with check, credit card, or automatic debit. You may also leave the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso a bequest for the Catholic school of your choice.

You can reach Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin Appleby at 915.872.8412 or The Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso is located at 499 St. Matthews Street and office hours are Monday – Friday, 9-12, 1-5, and by appointment.

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Left: A mother stops by a community booth to receive information on Catholic schools. Right: Students at St. Raphael’s Catholic school enjoy a classroom activity outside.


QUESTION: I’m currently going through a separation with my spouse and I’m concerned about my children. How could the separation affect them?

ANSWER: The Church clearly states that those who fear for their mental and/or physical safety (and by extension the safety of their children) may separate from their spouse, but that they should seek to restoreRGC June pg 4_Page_7_Image_0001 their normal marital life quickly if at all possible. Therefore, if any reader or their loved ones have left their spouse for the above reasons, then please understand that this article does not claim that you are somehow at fault for the consequences following seeking safety for you and/or your children. Indeed, life rarely provides us with black and white situations and I am sure that you have good intentions for you and your children when deciding to separate from your spouse and that this has been a very difficult decision for those involved. Nonetheless, the dramatic change that occurs within a child’s life when their parents cease living together can cause real emotional damage to them, research indicates (Weaver & Schofield, 2015). Parents should, therefore, be aware of this damage when weighing their options before separation. This is not to say that the challenges children face are impossible to work through, but brokenness within families can have long-term effects and education can go a long way in helping.

Advice from psychological experts, drawing on Catholic faith and modern psychology

One principle within attachment theory that helps us to understand how children are affected by marital separation is called the internal working model (IWM). What the IWM does is help someone understand how everyday human relationships function, along with helping him or her predict how a relationship will play out. For instance, when a child grows up being told and witnessing that marriage is a loving and lifelong union, he or she naturally comes to believe that marital relationships function a certain predictable way. What happens, then, if one day their parents decided to challenge that internalized belief by announcing a separation? He or she may very well go into what I call an emotional tailspin because their IWM has been attacked. In response to this attack, children tend to react in a manner that is synonymous with a traumatic response.

This traumatic response is characterized as an attachment injury—meaning that the child perceives that their attachment figure(s) (in this case, mom and dad) have abandoned them. The child then reacts in a variety of ways to express their anger, fear, guilt, and shame over the unthinkable action that has occurred. For instance, in an attempt to work through their anger, children may decide to act out their feelings via misbehaving, throwing temper tantrums, breaking the law, acting out in school, and abusing substances. These decisions are not the child intentionally being difficult, but rather the way the child communicates his deep hurt and desire to be protected and loved by another.

— William McKenna, M.S., Clinical Extern at the IPS Center for Psychological Services

In all, divorce not only disrupts the couple’s emotional life, it also damages the emotional lives of the spouses’ children by upending the children’s understanding of interpersonal relationships along with their understanding of themselves. Regardless of your reasons to separate from your spouse, my advice to you is to have you and your children begin therapy and seek out resources and support, even if the children have not begun to act out. A website such as can shed more depth into particular topics. Also discussing with your spouse how to handle the situation proactively is ideal. In this way, you will allow both your children and yourself to talk about your pains, struggles and hopes for the future.


Traducción por Martha Marmolejo

PREGUNTA: Actualmente estoy pasando por una separación matrimonial y estoy preocupada por mis hijos. ¿Cómo podría la separación afectarlos?RGC June pg 4_Page_7_Image_0001

RESPUESTA: La Iglesia afirma claramente que los que temen por su seguridad mental y/o física (y por consecuente, la seguridad de sus hijos) puede separarse de su cónyuge, pero que debe de tratar de restaurar su vida marital a la normalidad lo más rápidamente, si es posible. Por lo tanto, si algún lector o sus seres queridos han dejado a su cónyuge por las razones anteriores, favor de comprender que este artículo no pretende informarle que usted es de alguna manera culpable de las consecuencias siguientes a la búsqueda de la seguridad para usted y/o sus hijos. De hecho, la vida rara vez nos ofrece situaciones en blanco y negro y estoy seguro de que usted tiene muy buenas intenciones para usted y sus hijos al momento de decidir separarse de su cónyuge y que esto ha sido una decisión muy difícil para los involucrados. No obstante, el cambio tan dramático que se produce dentro de la vida de un niño cuando sus padres dejan de vivir juntos, puede causar un daño realmente emocional para ellos, indica la investigación (Weaver y Schofield, 2015). Los padres deben, por lo tanto, ser conscientes de este daño al sopesar sus opciones antes de la separación. Esto no quiere decir que los desafíos que enfrentan los niños son imposibles de reparar, pero el quebrantamiento dentro de las familias pueden tener efectos a largo plazo y la educación sobre el tema puede ayudar enormemente.

Expertos en psicología asesoran sobre la base de la fe católica y la psicología moderna

Un principio dentro de la teoría del apego, que nos ayuda a entender cómo los niños se ven afectados por la separación matrimonial se llama el modelo interno de trabajo (IWM). Lo que el IWM hace es ayudar a alguien a comprender como es que las relaciones diarias funcionan, además de ayudarle a predecir cómo cada relación juega su papel. Por ejemplo, cuando un niño crece habiéndosele dicho y siendo testigo de que el matrimonio es una unión de amor y para toda la vida, él o ella naturalmente llega a la conclusión de que las relaciones matrimoniales funcionan de cierta manera predecible. ¿Qué sucede, entonces, si un día sus padres deciden desafiar esa creencia interiorizada con el anuncio de una separación? Él o ella pueden muy bien entrar en lo que yo llamo una vertiginosa crisis emocional debido a que su IWM ha sido atacado. En respuesta a este ataque, los niños tienden a reaccionar de una manera que es sinónimo de una respuesta traumática.

Esta respuesta traumática se caracteriza como un archivo adjunto de lesiones – lo cual significa que el niño percibe que su figura de apego (s) (en este caso, la mamá y el papá) lo ha abandonado. El niño entonces reacciona en una variedad de maneras para expresar su ira, el miedo, la culpa y la vergüenza por la acción impensable que se ha producido. Por ejemplo, en un intento de trabajar a través de su ira, los niños pueden decidir actuar sus sentimientos a través del mal comportamiento, berrinches, violando la ley, sobre-actuando en la escuela y abusando de sustancias. Estas decisiones no significan que el niño sea intencionalmente difícil, sino más bien la forma en que el niño comunica su profundo dolor y deseo de ser protegido y amado por otros.

-William McKenna, M. S., Clínico No Residente del Centro IPD para Servicios Sicológicos.

En total, el divorcio no sólo altera la vida emocional de la pareja, también daña las vidas emocionales de los niños de los cónyuges, volcando la comprensión de los niños de las relaciones interpersonales, junto con su comprensión de sí mismos. Independientemente de sus razones para separarse de su esposo, mi consejo para usted es que usted y sus hijos inicien terapia y busquen recursos y apoyo, incluso si los niños no han comenzado a sobreactuar. Un sitio de Internet como el de, puede darle más profundidad sobre algunos temas en particular. También el platicar con su cónyuge sobre cómo manejar la situación de forma proactiva, es ideal. De esta manera, se les permitirá a sus hijos y a usted misma hablar sobre el dolor, las luchas internas y esperanzas para el futuro.


Serving Parishes and Families in the Diocese of El Paso

If you have not made your pledge yet for the 2015 campaign, please so do today. We rely on parishioners such as you to meet our goal of $2,170,000. Thanks to the support of more than 10,000 donors, we only need $120,000 to reach the goal this year.

Your contribution – in any amount – is greatly appreciated.

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is the one diocesan-wide campaign that serves the needs of our people beyond the boundaries of any one parish. The Progress Campaign, which represents nearly 40% of all operating funds available to diocesan ministries, supports the pastoral, spiritual, educational and human service programs that benefit thousands of individuals throughout the 10 counties of our Diocese. The Diocese also advances the work of every parish with direct financial assistance such as grants and support services. Without the Progress Appeal, this vital work of the Church would not be possible.

Your Gift Will Help Fund

Tuition for the Diocese’s seminarians
Counseling services for troubled individuals
Training for a new class of deacon candidates
Programs that strengthen Catholic marriages and families
Ongoing formation of parish catechists
Faith based activities for children, youth and young adults
Evangelization Programs in Rural West Texas

Make your donation today to support the wonderful works of God in our community.

• Call 872-8412
• Log on to
• Send your gift to Bishop’s Annual Appeal
Post P.O. Box 17993, El Paso, Texas 79917
• “Like” us on Facebook

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Pilot program places kiosks in parishes for electronic giving

-Janine Young,, CEO, Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso 

This summer, the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso will launch a pilot program to introduce electronic giving in select parishes. Our goal is to give parishioners, especially millennials and young families, the RGC June pg 4_Page_7_Image_0003opportunity to donate to their parish using electronic kiosks.

Our Population and Giving Habits are Changing

El Paso is a young city. According to the 2010 census, 37% of El Pasoans are under the age 18 and more than 60% are between 18 and 64 years old. These statistics have significant implications for church attendance and collections and pose many challenges for parish administrators. How do you attract the young generation that is not in the habit of attending church regularly? How do you get them to give to the church? How do you communicate with the millennial generation?

Even middle-aged parishioners are moving toward electronic communication and bill pay as checks rapidly disappear. In just two years from 2005 to 2007, online bill payment increased by 30% in the United States. And smart phones and tablets are quickly replacing personal computers. Last year, 41% of all millennials used their smartphones to make at least one purchase. Amazingly, by the year 2020, 90% of the entire world’s population over 6 years old will have a smartphone!

Electronic Giving Will Provide Many Benefits to Parish Communities

The greatest benefit that the kiosks will provide to our churches is stability in collections. Electronic giving offers a recurring donation feature that allows families to schedule their church donations weekly, biweekly or monthly. Many churches report a significant decrease in collections, especially during the summer when families go out of town or are simply too busy with other activities. Electronic giving will allow parishioners to give to their home church regardless of where they are during the year.

A second benefit is convenience. Families can schedule their donations after Mass at the church kiosk or during the week from their homes through the kiosk website. They do not have to be concerned about missing out on their commitment to the church if they cannot attend Mass for any reason.

Finally, we believe introducing electronic giving to our parishes will help attract the younger generation. Millennials will be more likely to participate in church’s activities and donate when they can do so using the means and technology that they use in their daily lives. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti demonstrated the power of electronic giving with more than $30 million raised for relief efforts.

But Wait! Is This the Appropriate Way to Do Church?

For parishioners, there are two main concerns with electronic giving using church kiosks. The first is security. Will my information be secure? Yes! Online transactions, whether they are church donations or payments for a function such as dinners or raffle tickets, are safe and secure. Credit card companies have developed comprehensive guidelines for merchants who accept credit cards. They are required to comply with these guidelines in order to be approved for accepting payments with credit cards. The second concern is about the solemnity of the Mass. Won’t electronic giving interfere with the dignity of the Mass? What about the sense of community our parish enjoys by passing the basket and offering our gifts at the altar? Since the kiosks will be inconspicuously located in the church lobby, they will not interfere with Mass or be disrespectful to the sanctuary. Parishioners making donations through the kiosks will be provided a card that indicates they gave to the Sunday offering and which they can place in the collection basket along with fellow parishioners’ cash, checks and church envelopes.

How It Works

The kiosks will be launched in late July in two churches in east El Paso. Foundation and parish staff will be present to help you make your donations. You will have several options including giving by credit card or automatic bank withdrawal, setting up a recurring payment or a one-time donation, giving to your Sunday collection, building fund, school, or Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and either creating a user name for future donations or making a donation as a guest. Receipts will be sent to you through email.

Your parish will receive regular reports showing your donations so that a record of your giving will be available to your parish. In addition, your church can use the kiosks to share upcoming events and parish news with you such as information on your annual bazaar, car raffle, or other fundraiser. Finally, the kiosks are linked to the company’s website so you can make donations at home or through a mobile app on your smart phone. 100% of your donations will go to the collection or project you choose. All fees will be covered by the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso.

For more information, please contact the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso at (915) 872-8412.