Weekly Update Archive

February 27, 2013


How is a New Pope Chosen?
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a webpage with a full listing of resources outlining the Papal transition. To learn more about how a new pope is chosen and other materials visit  www.usccb.org.

Listening Session for Rio Grande Deanery Scheduled for March 6
The Rio Grande Deanery listening session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Parish, 101 E. Third St, Rio Grande City. 

The purpose of the listening sessions, or town hall-style meetings with Bishop Daniel E. Flores, is to provide the faithful with a direct means of communication with the bishop and to encourage greater participation in the life of the Church.  The feedback will also be used for planning purposes. The diocese is divided into eight geographical areas called deaneries (a group of parishes). A listening session was planned for each deanery.

Mark Your Calendar
What happened at the Second Vatican Council?
Keys to Understanding the Council Workshop scheduled April 6
A workshop with Dr. Richard Gaillardetz, Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College and author of Ecclesiology for a Global Church and co-author of Keys to the Council, is scheduled Saturday, April 6 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. Pius X Parish Conference Center in Weslaco.

Dr. Gaillardetz will explore the enduring significance of the most important event in Roman Catholicism in four centuries and consider its implications for the present and future. Diocesan Offices of Catholic Schools, Family Life, Catechesis, Youth Ministry, Campus & Young Adult Ministry, Liturgy and the San Juan Diego Ministry Institute are sponsoring a workshop. A $10 registration includes refreshments, lunch and handouts. Please call (956) 784-5059 to RSVP. 

Congratulations to Spelling Bee Champions
The Rio Grande Valley 25th Annual Spelling Bee will be Saturday, March 2 at 9 a.m. at the South Texas College located at 2419 Haggar Ave in Weslaco. Good luck to the following Catholic school students who will have the opportunity to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. held in May.
• Aaron Torres from Incarnate Word Academy, Brownsville
• Andrea Orozco from Guadalupe Regional Middle School, Brownsville
• Caroline Loop from St. Joseph Academy, Brownsville
• Hailey Aylin Leal Rosembaun from St. Mary’s Catholic School, Brownsville
• Karen Perez from St. Luke’s Catholic School, Brownsville
• Katelynn Renteria from St. Anthony Catholic School, Harlingen
• Amy Ubias from San Martin de Porres Catholic School, Weslaco
• Viviana Torres from Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School, McAllen

This Week on Diocese Insight
This week on Diocese Insight, a half-hour program on KMBH-TV, host Brenda Nettles Riojas interviews Jesse Salinas about Bishop’s Annual Appeal and the Oblate Trail Ride. The show will broadcast on Sunday, March 3 at 11 a.m. and on Friday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m.

Church of the Week – Sacred Heart Church, McAllen
Sacred Heart in McAllen is this week’s Church of the Week.

There are 69 parishes and 45 mission churches in the diocese and the goal is the highlight each one as a “Church of the Week” on The Valley Catholic page of the Diocese of Brownsville’s website.  For more information or to submit photos of your church call Sue Groves in the Diocese’s Communications Center at (956) 784-5038.

Diocese Hosts Conference for Musicians 
The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville will host the Eighth Hispanic Pastoral Musicians Conference June 20-22, 2013 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in McAllen. The title for the conference is ¡Cantemos al Señor! Alabando sin Fronteras¡ Sing to the Lord! Praising without Borders.

The Secret of Mary Lenten Class
Real Men Pray the Rosary is coordinating a class on The Secret of Mary by St. Louis de Montfort on Fridays beginning Feb. 15 to March 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in McAllen. Classes will follow Father Hugh Gillespie’s video series on The Secret of Mary with music by Michele and Ruben Galvan.

The class is free of charge and the cost for materials is $6. Pre-registration is requested.  Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (956) 664-100 to register.  The class is a way to prepare for Father Gillespie’s upcoming mission at St. Joseph the Worker church in McAllen, March 11-15 (English), March 18-22 (Spanish). 

"The Passion" performed by Doug Barry
Doug Barry, the host of EWTN's Life on the Rock will visit the diocese to share this performance of The Passion from Feb. 28 through March 5. The engaging drama, with music by Eric Genus, highlights the familiar story of Christ's death and resurrection.  In this season of Lent, this is an opportunity to reflect on the Paschal mystery. This event is open to people of all ages. 

Performance schedule is as follows:
• Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. St Pius X Catholic Church, 600 S Oklahoma Ave, Weslaco
• Friday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church 705 S Longoria St, Port Isabel
• Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m. St Joseph the Worker Catholic Church 900 S 23rd St, McAllen
• Sunday, March 3 at 7 p.m. Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church 4 St Eugene De Mazenod, Roma
• Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Holy Spirit Catholic Church 2201 Martin Ave, McAllen
• Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 7 p.m. St Mary, Mother of the Church, • 1914 Barnard Road, Brownsville

Guadalupe Regional Middle School Host Mardi Gras: Midnight in Eden
Guadalupe Regional Middle School in Brownsville is hosting their Third Annual Mardi Gras: Midnight in Eden at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at Rancho Viejo Country Club located at 1 Rancho Viejo Dr., Rancho Viejo.

Proceeds from the event will benefit tuition fees for the school serving students exclusively from economically disadvantaged families.  Guests will enjoy an authentic Cajun dinner by Chef Ron Ange, live music by the Dean Canty Big Band, raffles, and surprises throughout the evening. Tickets are $100 each and sponsorship opportunities are available.  For more information call (956) 504-5568 or visit http://guadalupe.schoolfusion.us and click on the "Events" tab.

Catholic Healthcare Conference for Valley Scheduled March 23
A free conference on “Catholic Healthcare in the Valley” for Valley physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers will be held on Saturday, March 23, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Weslaco at St. Pius X Catholic Church (in the parish hall), 600 S. Oklahoma Avenue (at the corner of W. 6th Street and Oklahoma).

The conference will include a Mass at 11 a.m. celebrated by Bishop Daniel Flores, who will address “Catholic Healthcare from a Spiritual Perspective,” a talk at 8 a.m. on “Catholic Healthcare from an Economic Perspective:  How Should It Shape Our Healthcare in the Valley?” a group discussion forum at 9:15 a.m.; a Lenten lunch and quarterly business meeting of a new Catholic Medical Association chapter for the Valley, the Our Lady of San Juan del Valle Catholic Medical Guild.

All are welcome. For more information and to RSVP for the lunch, please contact Dr. Stephen Robinson at 956-970-9327 or by e-mail at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Protecting God’s Children Update
Lukaszek issued a reminder that all new staff and volunteers must be trained in Protecting God’s children; must have had a background check by the Human Resources Director Genie Trevino; and signed the code of ethics.  This needs to be done before they serve in the Religious Education program.  DVD copies of the “A Time to Protect God’s Children” and “A Plan to Protect God’s Children” are available for $35.  The DVD has both English and Spanish versions.  The newer version, released in 2010, deals with Internet issues that put children at risk of sexual perpetrators. 

Also, Touching Safety lessons need to be presented each fall and spring to the children who attend religious education.  Any of the eight lessons may be used, depending on what each parish thinks children need.  DVD copies (the DVD has both Spanish and English versions) of the introductory ice breaker are available for $15 from Terry.  If a master copy of the handouts are needed contact Lukaszek by e-mail. 

Lukaszek said parishes need to include a parent presentation of either Protecting God’s Children or a Touching Safety mini lesson for all parents in the sacramental programs.  This works well if a 30-minute slot is added to one of the sessions parents must attend.  A sign-in sheet is needed for those parents who do attend. 

For additional information, please contact Lukaszek at (956) 457-0010 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registration Underway for Oblate Trail Ride
Registration is underway for the Eight Annual Oblate Trail Ride, a bicycle tour with 25 and 62.5 routes, scheduled for Saturday, April 6.

T-shirts will be provided for the first 500 registered riders.  The first seven riders from Brownsville to Mission will be asked to honor an Oblate Priest from the historical photo on flyer by bearing his name for the duration of the ride.

The route follows the famous Oblate Trail along Military Highway, an area the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate traveled by horse more than 100 years ago to celebrate Mass in the remote communities along the Rio Grande River.

Pre-registration is $25 through April 1.  Onsite registration the day of the event will be $30.  A $5 discount will be applied for each member of a group of five or more. 

Funds raised from this event will go towards the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to help break the cycle of poverty in the Valley. For additional information about the ride call Rosie Rodriguez or Jesse Salinas at (956) 781-5323.

Catholic Charities Hosts Gala April 6
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is hosting their “Providing Help, Creating Hope Gala Night” Saturday, April 6 at the Cimarron Country Club 1200 S. Shary Rd. in Mission. The reception begins at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

Activities scheduled for the event include live and silent auctions, dinner, and entertainment. Proceeds from the Gala Night will benefit Catholic Charities by providing funds necessary for the continuation of services to those in need.  

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley offers many services to the community including: disaster relief, medication assistance, temporary shelter, homeless prevention, funeral assistance, immigration services, and counseling services.

Sponsorship levels include: table sponsors ($1000), bronze ($2500), silver ($3,500), gold ($5,000), and platinum ($10,000).  

For ticket and sponsorship information contact Catholic Charities office at (956) 702-4088 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      

CYAM News... Campus & Young Adult Ministry
Theology on Tap... the Spring Series!
Theology on Tap is a speaker series for young adults in their 20’s and 30’s who gather to learn and discuss faith topics in the relaxed setting of a local pub. Spiritual growth, live music and fellowship with other young adults is always free.  Food and beverage (21+) is always Dutch.  Like us on Facebook (www.facebook/cyampage) to stay tuned on upcoming Theology on Tap sessions:
March 4 - Relativism:  What's wrong if everybody thinks they're right? - Rev. Andy Gutiérrez - McAllen
April 1 - Walk the Catholic Talk:  Heroic living through faith in action - Rev. Joe Villalón - Weslaco
May 13 - Vatican II for Dummies:  What was it and why it matters now? - Rev. Jorge Gomez - Brownsville
June 10 - The Meaning of Suffering:  Why me if I'm a good person? - Rev. Joaquín Zermeño - Harlingen
Young Adult Matters TV Show... February episodes
The television show produced by KMBH and the Office of Campus and Young Adult Ministry airs weekly on PBS (cable channel 10) on Sundays at noon, as well as on Valley Catholic Network, Channel 38.3 on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m., with a re-air Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m.  Join young adults from across the diocese as they discuss current issues relevant to their faith, education and culture.  Upcoming episodes include:  The Meaning of Lent, Missionary Trips, The role of the Laity in the Church, and a special show on Grandparents.

“Summer Knights” Fishing Tournament
The Knights of Columbus Council 2698 from Mission TX announce the Third Annual “Summer Knights” Fishing Tournament scheduled Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 at Louie’s Backyard at South Padre Island. Friday’s festivities begin at 4 p.m. with registration, music and fun. Fishing begins on Saturday at 6 a.m. with a weigh in from 2 to 4 p.m. that day.  Proceeds will benefit the Columbian Squires Circle 1492 from St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Mission. For further questions or the Tax Id Number call (956) 458-3069 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Be a Disciple! Put Two Feet of Love in Action
CCHD 2013 Multi-Media Youth Contest Announced
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Multi-Media Youth Contest is a tool to engage young people in grades 7-12 in learning about poverty in the U.S., its root causes, and faith-inspired efforts to address it, especially through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Through the contest, young people learn about poverty, its causes, and our faith response and then become educators themselves as they use their art to creatively communicate what they have learned. 

The 2012-13 contest theme is: Be a Disciple! Put Two Feet of Love in Action.  The contest consists of two divisions: 7th-9th grade and 10th-12th grade.  Any form of multi-media work is welcome for the contest. For example, short stories, PowerPoint presentations, videos, songs, painting, drawing, photography, and drama are all eligible for the contest.

The diocesan deadline for artwork submission is Wednesday, March 20  to the San Juan Pastoral Center.  For more information about participating in the contest or scheduling a catechetical youth session about Catholic social teaching, please contact Angel Barrera at (956) 781.5323 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   You can also visit www.CDOBYM.org for information and contest details.

Catholic Schools Host Open House
Juan Diego Academy, located  at 5208 South FM 494, Mission, will have their entrance exam for students interested in attending Juan Diego Academy this coming fall will be administered at the campus on Saturday, March 9, at 9 a.m.  The exam fee is $25. For additional information, please call the school at (956) 583-2752.

Oratory Academy (PK-8th) & Oratory Athenaeum for University Preparation (9th-12th) located in Pharr is registering students for the 2013–2014 academic year. Registration for the 2013–2014 school year will begin on Thursday, Feb. 14. Oratory Schools 1407 West Moore, Road, Pharr, Texas 78577, Tel. (956) 781-3056 or visit our website at www.oratoryschools.org.

Support Group Scheduled
The Rio Grande Valley-Parents of Murdered Children (RGV-POMC), a local chapter of National Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. (POMC), is a self-help support organization of persons whose loved ones have been murdered. The local chapter is organizing a support group for the families and friends of those who have died by violence. The group will meet every second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. (upcoming dates are Feb. 13 and March 13) at the Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone Corporation (RGVEZC) in the City of Alton Industrial Park (Across from Sylvia Vela Park and Police Department; White Warehouse Building) 416 South Alton Blvd. in Alton. For more information, call (956) 424-3276

Sessions are free and available in Spanish and/or English. For more information on the services provided please contact Robert Garcia, chapter leader at (956) 566-2036 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

16th Annual Dallas Benedictine Experience set for June 19-22
Friends of St. Benedict, Washington, D.C. are hosting the 16th annual multi-denominational Dallas Benedictine Experience at the Catholic Conference and Formation Center in Dallas, Texas from Wednesday, June 19 through Saturday, June 22

This monastic experience is open to men and women, laity and clergy of all denominations. Presenters: Sister Mary Donald Corcoran, O.S.B., is the Superior of Transfiguration Monastery (Roman Catholic) in Windsor, New York.; Dr.  Alan Kolp (B.D., Harvard Divinity School, Ph.D., Harvard University); Father Daniel Forsythe, pastor of St. Basil the Great Byzantine Church in Irving, Texas. Participants will live on the campus of the center for four days, forming a temporary monastic community to experience the balanced way of life of The Rule of St. Benedict as it divides each day into private and group prayer, study, work, and leisure.  Four Benedictine Offices (Lauds, Sext, Vespers, and Compline) will be chanted each day in English in Gregorian chant.  For more information, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (214) 339-8483.

Youth Ministry Coordinator
Our Lady of Perpetual Help in McAllen is looking for a full-time Youth Ministry Coordinator who will be responsible for developing a parish based pastoral ministry with youth. Qualifications include, but not limited to: Member of a Roman Catholic parish community; Leadership ability; Satisfactory Youth Ministry experience; Outstanding character, faith, morals, and obedience to church authority; Fundamental knowledge of the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Catholic Church; Good communication skills; Prudence in all matters of speech, judgment, and action; Must speak English and facility in the Spanish language is most desirable. Please call the office at 956-682-4238 for more information.

Development Director Opening
The Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle-National Shrine in San Juan, a non-profit organization, seeks a Development Director.  The candidate must possess a proven track record of developing and coordination, annual giving, grant writing, corporate and foundation support, capital campaigns, as well as securing other forms of non-profit giving.  Candidate must be fully proficient in English and Spanish, and have at least five years of experience in the field.  Candidate will report to the rector of the basilica, and will plan, develop, execute and manage a comprehensive development program. We offer excellent benefits and competitive compensation.  Applicants must submit salary requirements along with resume to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to (956)787-2908 or by mail to Melinda Singleterry, Human Resources, P.O. Box 747, San Juan, TX, 78589.

Job Openings   

• Budget Analyst/Pledge Accountant (full time exempt position) - The Diocese of Brownsville. Interested candidates may be referred to Human Resources (956) 542-2501.

• Degreed Accountant (full-time) - The Oratory Schools of St. Philip Neri, Pharr, TX is accepting employment applications for the 2012-2013 school year with 3-5 years experience preferred. Salary is commensurate upon qualifications. Interested qualified personnel should download and complete an application from our website www.oratoryschools.org or pick up an application at the campus administration office.  Contact Manuel Perez at (956) 781-3056 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

• Director of Religious Education – Good Shepherd in Brownsville, interested applicants please contact Pilar or Father Rafael Vega at (956) 542-5142.

• Full-time CCE Coordinator - Sacred Heart Church, Mercedes.  Please call (956) 565-0271 for more information.

• PK-3 Teacher Assistant – full-time, St. Joseph Catholic School in Edinburg. Interested candidates contact Sr. Kathleen at (956) 383-3957

• RN position - Proyecto Juan Diego has a temporary, part-time position available which may lead to full-time work.  Experience in chronic care nursing, esp. diabetes, etc. with a current license, RN will be doing community nursing and be responsible for several promotoras de salud who also visit the homes.  RN will review cases and develop a professional team who will also help review cases so we can give better care to these clients.  It is working with low income families. Interested candidates contact Sr. Phylis Peters at (956) 455-1977 or fax resume to (956) 542-5055.  Salary negotiable.

Calendar of Events

• March 1 – 3 Family Life Office – Catholic Engaged Encounter

• March 1 – Office of Catechesis – Lenten Retreat

• March 1 – 22  Catholic Schools Office - ACRE Testing

• March 7 - YM101 - San Juan

• March 9 - Family Life Office – Convalidation Conference

• March 10 – Daylight Savings Time

Please submit information to be included in the Weekly Update to Brenda Nettles Riojas, Director of Diocesan Relations by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by fax to (956) 784-5082.

Diocesan Relations
Catholic Diocese of Brownsville
700 N. Virgen de San Juan
San Juan, TX 78589

Phone:(956) 784-5008
Director: Brenda Nettles Riojas