El Paso, Texas - ACI Press, The Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, Bishop Mark Seitz, delivered several of the 50 rosaries blessed by Pope Francis to the various survivors and relatives of the victims of the shooting in a Walmart store in August 2019, in which they died 22 people and another 26 were injured.
The Bishop delivered the rosaries during a prayer vigil at the pastoral center of the diocese at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, which commemorated those affected by the shooting six months ago.
With a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe presiding over the prayer, Bishop Seitz expressed his joy for those who attended the moment of remembrance and prayer. “It is very important that we meet from time to time to let you know, we will not forget you, we walk with you,” Bishop Seitz said.
After mentioning one by one those who was injured in the tragedy, the Bishop entrusted all the dead to God’s mercy. “We continue to pray for all the injured, particularly for Memo García who remains in the hospital in intensive care,” Bishop Seitz said.
“God so full of mercy, is righteous. It is a Christian thing to pray for those who hurt us. We entrust justice and mercy to him,” he continued.
During the prayer in English and Spanish, the Bishop of El Paso stressed that “the Lord Jesus invites us all, including the deceased, come to me. Do not be afraid, I am here with my mercy. And he says to the wounded, come to me, I’m ready to help you, to carry your yoke, to help you get out of the suffering you experience.”
“Let us put our trust in Jesus and find in Him the comfort that only He can give,” he added.
The Bishop related to the congregation how the Pope gave him the rosaries at the Vatican during his ad limina visit January with the bishops of Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma in January.
“I want to make sure that each of the families of the deceased and each of the families of the injured have one of these rosaries,” Bishop Seitz said.
Bishop Seitz then delivered several of the rosaries personally and shared an emotional moment with those that received the rosaries.
Fernando Ceniceros, from the communications office of the Diocese of El Paso, told ACI Prensa that so far the Bishop has delivered several rosaries and that coordination is being made to deliver the remaining rosaries to the other families.
“The Bishop will endeavor to hand deliver the rosaries to those families personally,” Ceniceros said.
On Saturday, August 3, 2019, a suspect identified as Patrick Crusius entered a Walmart store in El Paso and shot at those who were there, leaving 22 people dead and 24 others injured, among whom there were several Mexicans.
According to BBC Mundo they reported that the 21-year-old surrendered to authorities. He then said to authorities that his aim was “to kill as many Mexicans” as he could, something that emerges from the manifesto that appeared in the controversial 8chan platform.
“We now have a manifesto of this individual that indicates to some extent a connection with a possible hate crime,” El Paso police chief Greg Allen said during a press conference back in August.
The manifesto begins with a statement of sympathy towards the perpetrator of the shootings in the New Zealand mosques, where 51 people died in March of 2019.
The suspect in the El Paso Shooting of August 3rd also said the attack was a response to what he calls a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
By Sofia Larkin
Major Gifts Officer
Erika Delgado, 5th grade teacher at St. Joseph’s School, was named the 2020 Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops Elementary Teacher of the Year. She was selected for her dedication to the spiritual and intellectual formation of her students. The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB) Selection Committee was deeply impressed with her bringing the principles of Catholic social teaching into the classroom, encouraging her students to put their faith into action by serving the poor and vulnerable, and her dedication to her diverse student population from both sides of the border.
Erika Delgado was born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She went to kindergarten and elementary school in Juárez. Erika attended Instituto Mexico, founded by St. Marcellin Champagnat, and was taught by members of the Marist Brothers. During her elementary school years, she received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion as well as a rigorous catechism curriculum. In order to master the English language, Erika transferred to Immanuel Christian School in El Paso where she completed her middle and high school education, all the while commuting between the two countries. She complemented her Christian instruction with catechism classes in Juárez and was confirmed at Señor de la Misericordia Parish.
Erika is the definition of what it is to be from this dynamic bicultural, bilingual community. She makes the daily commute from Juárez to teach at St. Joseph’s School, a place she and her son call home. She accompanies her students, brings God into their conversations, and assures them that He is always with them. She believes it’s her responsibility to plant the seed of social justice and continue the work of Jesus. Erika has created a God-centered, student-led classroom, coordinated countless community projects for the poor and the elderly on both sides of the border, and recognizes her responsibility as a role model. She is preparing students for the future through the use of technology and innovation and empowering them with the tools they need to be successful, critical thinkers. In and out of the classroom, she is always teaching and sharing her gifts willingly with students and colleagues, and inspired a student-driven multimedia project that received national recognition. Erika refers to herself not as a teacher, but as a Catholic teacher. In 2019, Ms. Delgado was named Diocesan Teacher of the Year after competing against 10 other teachers from across the Diocese of El Paso.
Erika graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Education in May, 2010. She took my exams and earned her EC-4 certification that same Summer, becoming a certified teacher for grades K-4. She immediately began working on her Master’s Degree and completed studies as an Instructional Specialist for Bilingual Education in the Fall of 2012. Erika taught sixth grade for two years in Juárez at a private Catholic school and two years in Denver, Colorado. She credits her years teaching at a public school, including teaching Spanish to students ages 2-12, as a period of enormous growth. Erika moved back to El Paso because this is her home and she wanted to be close to her family and friends.
Ms. Delgado and her class attended the January 21 City of El Paso Council meeting to accept a proclamation recognizing all Catholic Schools during Catholic Schools Week (January 26 - February 1). Students met Mayor Dee Margo and shook hands with council members. On Monday, January 27 they came together with El Paso’s Catholic schools for the Catholic Schools Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral.
Congratulations to Erika Delgado and St. Joseph’s School for this tremendous honor. We have highly qualified, extraordinary teachers in all of our Catholic schools and this community is so fortunate they are part of the diocesan team. Support Catholic schools!
You can reach Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 915.872.8412. The Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso is located at 499 St. Matthews Street, Building G, and office hours are Monday – Friday, 9-12, 1-5, and by appointment.
By Fernie Ceniceros
Editor, Rio Grande Catholic
Bishop Mark Seitz celebrated with the women religious of the diocese at a mass on Feb 2nd at St. Patrick Cathedral for World Day for Consecrated Life.
In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.
“This then is the consecrated life: praise which gives joy to God’s people, prophetic vision that reveals what counts. Consecrated life is not about survival, it is not about preparing ourselves for ars bene moriendi: this is the temptation of our days, in the face of declining vocations. No, it is not about survival, but new life. “But… there are only a few of us…” – it’s about new life. It is a living encounter with the Lord in his people. It is a call to the faithful obedience of daily life and to the unexpected surprises from the Spirit. It is a vision of what we need to embrace in order to experience joy: Jesus” Pope Francis, said during his WDCL Homily on February 2, 2019.
“We are just thrilled to be able to come together in our diocese as Sisters and as a community along with Bishop Seitz,” Sr. Margie Silguero said. “The Sisters in this Diocese play a critical role in bring the Gospels of Jesus to life for the people of this diocese. And we are more than happy to answer our Lord’s call to live this life in service to Him and His community,” She ended.
By Fernie Ceniceros
Editor, Rio Grande Catholic
The Diocese of El Paso and the Diocesan School Board of education announced new superintendent, Dr. Lanny K. Hollis for the position of Superintendent of Catholic Schools that will be effective July 1, 2020 at a Press Conference held at St. Patrick School.
Originally from Tennessee, Dr. Hollis joins El Paso’s Diocesan staff after spending the majority of his 30-plus-year career serving students and their families in the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio as a teacher and administrator. For the past two years, Dr. Hollis has served as Headmaster and President of St. John Paul II Catholic High School in Huntsville, Alabama.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Hollis is joining our diocesan family here in El Paso,” Bishop Mark Seitz said. “He comes to us with a wealth of experience and we are eager to continue the work of educating our students in the Diocese of El Paso with news insights and new energy,” he said.
An alumnus of Catholic elementary and secondary schools as well as Catholic colleges, Dr. Hollis holds a Ph.D. in Learning and Development from Cleveland State University, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics (Spanish Language Instruction & Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, TESOL) from the University of Southern Mississippi, an M.A. in Educational Administration from Ursuline College, an M.A. in Religious Studies from Indiana University, a Master of Theological Studies from St. Meinrad School of Theology, and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Meinrad College, along with Certification in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy.
“The Diocesan Education Board is excited that Dr. Hollis is joining the El Paso Diocese. We look forward to working with him on our transformation efforts to strengthen and expand Catholic education in our region. I want to thank the Board’s Search Committee for its diligent work that has resulted in Dr. Hollis’ appointment,” Joyce Wilson, the Office of Education Board President said.
“I am excited and honored to join in service to the faith and academic communities of El Paso,” Dr. Holis said. “I believe that the diocesan schools are at a dynamic juncture and poised for great growth. I am eager to be part of the work of the diocese under the leadership of Bishop Seitz, who has impressed me for some time by his commitment to the Social Gospel.”
Dr. Holis expressed his gratitude to the School Board of Education and looks forward to working with the Catholic School’s staff in El Paso.
“As superintendent, I will be honored to serve with El Paso’s educators in the formation of young people in academic excellence, faith formation, and character development, which has been the passion of my life,” Dr. Holis said. “I am eager to share my life’s journey with the local church of El Paso,” he ended.
By Miguel Ramos
Executive Director, Capital Campaign
The campaign is going strong, with over 15 parishes completing their phases, and the remaining 14 parishes of the current group working in the final weeks of active campaigning. While we continue to work with these parishes, we are also preparing the next group of parish pastors and administrators for the third and final phase of the campaign. The next phase includes parishes representing all vicariates, specifically; Christ the Savior, Corpus Christi, Guardian Angel, Holy Spirit (Horizon City), Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Peace, Sacred Heart, St. John Paul II, San Antonio de Padua, San Felipe de Jesús, San Juan Bautista, San Juan Diego, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, St. Francis of Assisi Mission, St. Francis Xavier, St. Joseph, St. Matthew, St. Patrick (Canutillo), St. Thomas Aquinas, Sts. Peter and Paul, and West Texas Parishes and missions including, Santa Rosa De Lima (Pecos), Our Lady of Refuge Mission (Bairstow), Christ the King (Balmorhea), Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine (Saragosa), Santa Teresa De Jesús (Presidio), Santa Teresa (Ft. Hancock), St. John the Apostle (Monahans), St. Catherine (Pecos), St. Joseph Mission (Ft. Davis), St. Mary (Marfa), and St. Thomas - St Joseph (Kermit). This next phase of the campaign will officially begin with regional kick-off meetings (in April, locations and dates not yet determined).
As discussed in prior updates, this campaign is an extremely important step in the effective planning of and for our great communities and parishes and missions across the diocese. The campaign is intended to assist and supplement existing efforts across our ministries, particularly seminarian and deacon education and formation, religious formation and education, and assistance to our parishes and missions, especially our smaller/rural West Texas parishes.
We must remember that Progress (Annual Appeal) is a very significant and critical part of this planning. The many generous donations from parishioners across the diocese helps with the day to day annual needs of our ministries. The primary goal of the We Are the Body of Christ campaign is to provide additional funds to ensure we have the resources and necessary funds available to support the three main areas mentioned above. While it may seem as just another request or collection, it is in fact much more than that.
In 1 Corinthians 12:14, we find “…for the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts.” As the catholic community of the Diocese of El Paso – WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST. it is through the generosity and selfless giving of all the faithful that we support our parishes, pastors, and communities. We ask that you prayerfully consider a gift to this necessary endeavor and trust that the Lord our God will provide for us in our time of need. We also find in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, “…whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
We ask you to reflect upon the many blessings and gifts you have received from God the Father’s infinite mercy and generosity. We are called to be stewards of all we have been given, to use our gifts well, and to share what we have been given with others. By ensuring we can support our continuing and emerging needs, not only will we benefit from our partnership with one another, but also from the rich heritage of our ancestors; the faith-filled people who built our churches, parishes, and social programs that have enriched our lives.
Together, with Christ, there is no limit to the good we can and will achieve. I hope you will be inspired to join us as we ensure a bright future for the Catholic Diocese of El Paso.