Today and in the coming days, you will hear about the decommissioning of San Jose Parish.
Understandably, some members of the San Jose community are upset. Bishop Mark Seitz is as well. We want to share with you his statement regarding this issue:
"It has come as sad news to me as it has to the entire parish of San Jose that the much-beloved adobe church of this parish was beyond repair and needed to be dismantled so that it would not be a hazard. A church building, especially one that has been in the midst of a community for a long time, feels like a member of the family. So many memories are tied to that particular place; encounters with God in the course of baptisms, weddings, First Communions and funerals and so many other celebrations. It feels like home. But the truth is that church buildings, just like each of us, have a life-span and eventually every church will have completed its service to the community. At a certain point it is time to say goodbye.
For many years the parish has raised funds realizing that this day would come and due to much hard work they have raised a significant amount of money for the building of a new church. I have met on a number of occasions with the pastor, Fr. José Alcocer and leaders in the community, regarding plans for the future. I explained to them that in my role as the Chief Pastor of this parish and of the entire Diocese that I had a responsibility to give careful study to this matter before building. A parish community depends not only upon a willing group of people and funding but the service of priests and other pastoral ministers. With the limited number of priests presently serving the growing Church of the Diocese of El Paso I have the responsibility along with those who give me counsel to be sure that I am apportioning them in such a way that the people are best served and so that the priests themselves are not overburdened.
I want to assure the dedicated and faithful community of San Jose that I will continue to be in dialogue with them as we study this issue and seek the best next step in the service of their community and the Diocese. Their input and participation will be essential to this process. I would ask all involved to join me in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we might do what is the will of God at this moment in our history."
Bp. Mark J. Seitz
To recognize the important contributions our youth make in our community throughout the year. Please come and join us.
El Paso Global Youth Service Day toy collection to benefit Dia de los Ninos and Desarrollo Juvenil del Norte in Cd. Juarez.
The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has awarded Sister Elizabeth Anne Swartz, Superintendent of the El Paso Catholic Schools, with its “2016 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Award,” which highlights the outstanding work of Catholic school educators in communities across the country. Sr. Elizabeth is one of three superintendents to receive the national award this year. Catholic school leaders, teachers, principals and presidents, pastors, diocesan superintendents, school boards and home school associations are among the cast of exceptional awardees entrusted with the faith formation in our communities of Catholic school education.
The other two superintendents awarded represented the Diocese of Orange County and the Diocese of Grand Rapids.
“NCEA commends the outstanding efforts, contributions and achievements of these exceptional leaders in Catholic education,” said Dr. Thomas W. Burnford, NCEA interim president. “These leaders are recognized as ambassadors of faith formation and academic excellence and serve as inspiration for all of us working in Catholic education.”
NCEA recognized 32 honorees of the “2016 Lead. Learn. Proclaim. Awards” at the NCEA 2016 Convention and Expo at an awards dinner on Tuesday, March 29, at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego, California.
NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world, representing 150,000 Catholic educators serving 6 million students in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, in religious education programs, in seminaries, and in colleges and universities. The NCEA Convention and Expo is the largest private-education association gathering in the nation. The annual convention draws more than 4,500 members and participants from Catholic school communities including elementary and secondary school teachers and principals, religious education programs as well as diocesan offices, church pastors, superintendents, school boards. The convention is a forum to exchange ideas, hear about current research and data related to Catholic education and learn about new technology and resources.
This year, the NCEA 2016 Convention and Expo was hosted by the Diocese of San Diego, March 29 – 31 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Sr. Luz Doñez will leave her West Texas ministry for a huge job - she's been named Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
During Holy Week, parishioners she served had a chance to say goodbye.
Video here: http://bit.ly/1ULrl5O
The BBC was recently in El Paso to interview Gaby Federico, the diocese's Reverence for Life Coordinator.
The story, scheduled to air at a later date, focuses on Texas abortion law.
"In their opinion, they think that the Texas law is taking women back in time and I shared with them that we should work to support women and support common sense legislature that is designed to protect women," said Gaby. "They were able to see with their own eyes and cameras that people that show up to pray at the clinics are normal, peaceful and prayerful people."
Gaby said the BBC journalist joined her at the Hillside Reproductive Clinic as a group of faithful prayed outside.
"They were searching for answers and assuming that because there are people outside abortion clinics praying or protesting that it drives women to perform abortions on themselves," she said. "Blaming people that are pro-life for this behavior is absurd, and because we are people of faith, we know that our prayers and presence outside the abortion clinics saves lives and provides other options other than abortion to women. "
To view photos, click here: http://bit.ly/1o4TF6e
In a standing room only Mass, El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz celebrated the Chrism Mass on March 21, 2016 at St. Patrick Cathedral.
The Mass is one of several significant Masses the diocese will celebrate during Holy Week.
Click here to view photos: http://bit.ly/1RiZkhc
The El Paso Times put together an AMAZING photo book to commemorate Pope Francis' visit. The book was given to their subscribers BUT we have copies for sale!
If you are interested, please contact the Pastoral Center at 915-872-8400. The books are $5 a piece and available for pickup Mon-Friday, 9am-5pm.