For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. For more information click here.
January 9, 2017
In the death of Archbishop Patricio Flores we have witnessed the passing of one of the giants of the Church, not only in Texas, but in the United States. As the first Mexican American named a bishop in 1970 he broke a very important ‘glass ceiling’ among the leadership of the Church. And, then Bishop Flores assumed that role with an unassuming boldness and contagious joy. He embraced the people he served no matter their cultural background and they loved him. But for the long overlooked Latino community he was more than an admired Church leader, he was their father and brother and a sign of a heritage of which they could be very proud.
For me as a priest of the Diocese of Dallas he was one who helped reveal to me the beauty and richness of Hispanic culture. He also showed me that to be a leader in the Church did not require one to be above the people he served. To be a leader in the Church is to be one with the people one serves, especially with those who are considered the least among us.
Archbishop Flores will be remembered as the Archbishop of San Antonio but the members of the Church of El Paso will always remember that prior to his service there he was our bishop. For 15 months, from May of 1978 until August of 1979, he was the Ordinary of this diocese and many still remember him fondly.
God clearly worked in the life of Archbishop Flores. As he takes his rightful place in Texas history we will pray that the Lord, whom he so loved, will now take him safely home.
Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz, DD
Bishop of El Paso
It's posada season! Our Lady of Assumption will host its posada on Friday, Dec. 16 at 6pm. Please make plans to attend. And if your parish is hosting a posada as well, please message us so we can help you promote it!
Position: Director/Editor FLSA STATUS: Exempt
Ministry: The Rio Grande Catholic
Job Summary: The Communications Director develops, implements, and maintains a wide range of public relation activities to provide an effective public information program for the Diocese of El Paso. Serves as Editor and Manager of the Rio Grande Catholic Newspaper and other media outreach.
Immediate Supervisor: Bishop, Moderator of the Curia and/or Chancellor
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
Mange daily operations and staffing for the Rio Grande Catholic Newspaper and Communications Office. Use effective and appropriate supervision and management techniques to maximize employee morale and effectiveness.
Prepare media campaigns for newspapers, radio, and television.
Write news releases, speeches, and reports as necessary.
Develop and maintain communication plans for various diocesan campaigns, both internal and external.
Provide diocesan leadership with information and support in issues in interest to the media and public.
Coordinate official diocesan functions for the Bishop and write scripts for video projects and/or press conference as necessary.
Work with other departments on announcements, media protocol and advice.
Act as the official spokesperson with the media to provide a response to issues.
Responsible for budget development, implementation and monitoring.
Oversee recordings for the diocese including audio and visual.
Assist diocesan offices and parishes with crisis management and media management.
Maintain a work schedule that maximizes availability to parishes, diocesan staff and other customers.
Attends Staff Retreats
Other duties as assigned by Supervisor(s)
Ÿ Responsible for ensuring that the content is managed and updated at all times.
Ÿ Coordinate with ministries and content users with regard to the Web site look and feel, functionality and make improvement recommendations to Diocesan site.
Ÿ Prepare a long term plan for Web site development and presence, including standards and guidelines for content, based on Diocesan needs.
Knowledge of planning, public relations and legislative advocacy.
Knowledge of not-for-profit tax exempt organizational operations.
Knowledge of the teachings and structure of the Roman Catholic Church.
Knowledge of theology and liturgical terms, language and usage.
Knowledge of organizational leadership and team building skills.
Knowledge of project management techniques.
Knowledge of video, audio recording and editing software and equipment.
Ability to establish and maintain effective, positive relations with all segments of the community.
Ability to communicate orally and in writing, clearly and accurately, complex and/or technical information to a wide variety of audiences.
Ability to operate various word-processing software, spreadsheets, and database programs.
Ability to work effectively with other (staff, clergy, religious and laity).
Ability to provide excellent customer service to internal and external customers.
Ability to organize, prioritize and utilize effective time management techniques.
Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times.
Ability to carry out multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
Ability to follow instructions furnished in verbal or written format.
Ability to read, write, and speak both English and Spanish.
Bachelor’s degree in media or journalism from an accredited university.
Five year’s work experience in communications or related public relations role.
A memorial Mass for longtime teacher Loretto Sister Anne Michelle LaMarre will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the chapel at the St. Louis Loretto Center, 590 E. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, Mo. Sister Anne Michelle taught Catholic primary grade school students, kindergartners and preschoolers for 60 years in Illinois, Missouri and Texas, including 10 years in El Paso. She died Nov. 28 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary in Nerinx, Ky. She was 88 and in her 70th year as a Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. A memorial Mass was celebrated Dec. 5 for her at the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx. Sister Anne Michelle donated her body to the University of Louisville (Ky.) medical school.
The daughter of Mary Louise (Legris) and Eugene Jerome LaMarre, Sister Anne Michelle was born Nov. 24, 1928, in Kankakee, Ill., and baptized Monica Margaret LaMarre. She entered the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross in 1946 after graduating from high school. On April 25, 1947, she was received into the Sisters of Loretto, taking the name Sister Anne Michelle. She made her first vows April 25, 1949, and her final vows Aug. 15, 1952. Sister Anne Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in education, with a minor in social studies, from Loretto Heights College in Denver in 1963 and a master’s degree in education from Webster College (now University) in Webster Groves in 1978.
While teaching, Sister Anne Michelle became known to many of her students as Mother Goose, dressing the part when she read to her young charges. The most important thing in teaching little ones, she would say, was to love each child, to let each child know that he or she was lovable and was loved. She taught children how to open their own hearts and minds, to trust themselves and others, to share and to give. Sister Anne Michelle once wrote that she sought “to create an awareness in the children of the special gifts and talents that each one of them possesses. Once they recognize the goodness within themselves and that they truly are a reflection of God’s love, I challenge each of them to share those gifts and talents with those less fortunate.”
In El Paso, from 1949 to 1959 she taught at Loretto Academy Grade School. Elsewhere, she taught for more than 25 years in the Chicago Archdiocese and also served in the Kansas City, Mo., area. She retired from teaching in 2010, residing at the St. Louis Loretto Center until moving earlier this year to the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary, where she carried out a ministry of prayer and presence until her death. Sister Michelle Anne is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and John Donnelly, of St. Charles, Ill. Memorials in Sister Anne Michelle’s name may be sent to the Loretto Community, care of the Loretto Development Office, 4000 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, CO 80123-1308.
December 6, 2016
Respect for the Bodies of the Living and the Dead
The El Paso Times recently published two articles which railed against a new Texas law. The law, which goes into effect Dec. 19, requires the interment of the unborn who are lost through abortion or miscarriage.
This is not a new requirement. Texas Administrative Code §1.136 already included interment as one of three possible ways to dispose of the bodies of children lost through abortion or miscarriage. The revision only removes the other two options: “deposition in a sanitary landfill;” and “grinding and discharging to a sanitary sewer system.”
That is, the revision repeals the two deposition options that do not recognize the dignity of an unborn child, while keeping one that does. With our present knowledge of biology no one could reasonably argue today that the human being in utero is simply an appendage of the mother.
The developing child is a distinct human being that is dependent upon the mother for nourishment and oxygen but is internally directing its own growth. We human beings have always treated the body of a deceased person with respect. Our treatment of the deceased is a logical extension of the respect we are called to show to every living human person. I might add that this is not simply a religious conviction. It is an integral aspect of the mutual respect that is necessary within any healthy society.
The Times claims this will drag women through an experience they didn’t have to go through before. This is not true. The law did not, and will not, require that patients participate in the interment. What the law will offer women is the consolation of knowing that the body of their unborn child will be given a proper burial. In addition, the law specifically applies only to healthcare facilities, and excludes women who lose a child outside of a healthcare facility, such as at their own home.
Others have contended that the state has no legitimate ability to make this revision. This is not true, either. The state already has at least eight laws which recognize the dignity of the unborn, such as one which includes them in penalties for wrongful death.
In addition, the US Supreme Court’s 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey ruling and its 2007 Gonzales v Carhart ruling noted a central premise of its abortion jurisprudence is that “the government has a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life.” The Court continued in its 2016 Whole Women’s Health ruling, however, that a woman’s reproductive rights can supersede this interest.
More clearly defining how the body of an unborn child should be treated in no way interferes with the ability of a woman to receive an abortion. An industry which makes millions of dollars annually performing abortions should not find the cost of proper interment prohibitive.
The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity. I am confident that Texans of good will want our state to be defined by compassion and by our care for the bodies of those who have been lost at any stage of life.
Bishop Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of El Paso
6 de Diciembre del 2016
Respeto por los Cuerpos de los Vivos y los Muertos
El periódico “El Paso Times”, publicó recientemente dos artículos que critican a una nueva ley de Texas. La ley, la cual entra en vigor el 19 de diciembre, requiere que se entierren los no nacidos quienes se pierden a causa de un aborto o un embarazo malogrado. Este no es un requisito nuevo. El Código Administrativo de Texas §1.136, incluía ya el entierro como una de las tres maneras posibles de disponer de los cuerpos de niños perdidos a causa del aborto o de un embarazo malogrado. La revisión sólo elimina las otras dos opciones: "deposición en un relleno sanitario" y el de "moler y descargar a un sistema de alcantarillado sanitario".
Es decir, la revisión deroga las dos opciones de deposición que no reconocen la dignidad de un niño por nacer, mientras que mantiene una que si lo hace. Con nuestro conocimiento actual de la biología, nadie podría razonablemente argumentar hoy en día, que el ser humano en el útero es simplemente un apéndice de la madre.
El niño en desarrollo es un ser humano único, que depende de la madre para nutrirse y oxigenar, pero que está internamente dirigiendo su propio crecimiento. Nosotros, los seres humanos, siempre hemos tratado con respeto el cuerpo de una persona fallecida. Nuestro tratamiento para con el fallecido, es una extensión lógica del respeto que estamos llamados a mostrar a cada persona humana, viva. Puedo añadir que esto no es simplemente una convicción religiosa. Es un aspecto integral del respeto mutuo que es necesario dentro de cualquier sociedad sana.
El “Times” afirma que esto arrastrará a las mujeres a través de una experiencia que no tuvieron que pasar antes. Esto no es verdad. La ley no requería y no requerirá, que los pacientes participen en el entierro. Lo que la ley ofrecerá a las mujeres, es el consuelo de saber que el cuerpo de su hijo aún no nacido recibirá un entierro apropiado. Además, la ley se aplica específicamente sólo a los centros de salud y excluye a las mujeres que pierden a un niño fuera de un centro de salud, como en su propia casa.
Otros han sostenido que el Estado no tiene capacidad legítima para hacer esta revisión. Esto tampoco es cierto. El Estado tiene ya al menos ocho leyes que reconocen la dignidad de los no nacidos, como la que los incluye en penalización por muerte injusta.
Además, el fallo de la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos en 1992, en cuanto a “Planned Parenthood v Casey”, ( Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), la Corte Suprema afirmó la decisión básica de Roe v. Wade de que se prohíbe al estado prohibir la mayoría de los abortos. Casey también falló, sin embargo, que los estados pueden regular los abortos para proteger la salud de la madre y la vida del feto y puede proscribir abortos de fetos "viables") y el fallo “Gonzales v Carhart” del 2007, (Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos sostuvo en una decisión de cinco a cuatro que la Ley de Prohibición del Aborto por Nacimiento Parcial de 2003 aprobada por el Congreso de los Estados Unidos era constitucional. Aunque la Corte dictaminó previamente en Stenberg v. Carhart (2000) que una ley de Nebraska que prohibía abortos de nacimiento parcial era inconstitucional, Gonzales revirtió esta decisión. Gonzales creó el precedente de que cualquiera que entregue y mata a un feto vivo podría estar sujeto a consecuencias legales, a menos que él o ella realizara el procedimiento para salvar la vida de la madre), señaló que una premisa central de su jurisprudencia sobre el aborto es que, "el gobierno tiene un interés legítimo y sustancial en preservar y promover la vida fetal". La Corte continuó con su fallo decisivo del “2016 Whole Women’s Health”, (El 27 de junio, la Corte Suprema votó 5-3 a favor de “Whole Woman's Health”, poniendo fin a la regulación de Texas sobre las clínicas de aborto como médicamente innecesarias e inconstitucionales, limitando el derecho de una mujer a un aborto), sin embargo, señalo que los derechos reproductivos de una mujer pueden sustituir este interés.
Más claramente definiendo cómo debe tratarse el cuerpo de un niño por nacer, no interfiere en absoluto con la capacidad de una mujer para recibir un aborto. Una industria que hace millones de dólares anuales realizando abortos, no debe encontrar el costo de un enterramiento adecuado, prohibitivo
Los cuerpos de los muertos deben ser tratados con respeto y caridad. Estoy seguro de que los Tejanos de buena voluntad quieren que nuestro estado se defina por la compasión y por nuestro cuidado para con los cuerpos de los que se han perdido en cualquier etapa de la vida.
Obispo de El Paso, Mark J. Seitz
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day is Dec. 12 (Tuesday). Though not a day of Holy Obligation, La Morena is certainly a mainstay in the faith of those here in El Paso and Juarez. Please check with your parish for special Mass times.