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  • April 18, 2018

    A message from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, following the death of Mrs. Barbara Bush:

    "Along with all of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, I would like to offer my prayers and heartfelt condolences to the Bush family following the death of Mrs. Barbara Bush. In life, Mrs. Bush was a model public servant and set a standard for her unwavering and loving devotion to both family and community. Even her family’s generous and compassionate decision to invite the public to her viewing to say their farewell touchingly demonstrates how much she has been part of the Houston community. Her tireless goodwill efforts and charity throughout Houston in recent years made a tremendous impact on countless families and individuals in need. She was bold and steadfast in her convictions and an inspiration to anyone in faithful service of helping others. May the glory of the Risen Lord transform our sorrow into serenity.”


     Archbishop Christopher Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, transmitted the following message from the Secretariat of State of the Holy See to Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston:

    "Saddened to learn of the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush, His Holiness Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his prayers to President Bush and to all her family. Commending Mrs. Bush's soul to the merciful love of Almighty God, His Holiness invokes upon all who mourn her passing the divine blessings of strength and peace.”

    Cardinal Pietro Parolin
    Secretary of State

  • April 9, 2018

    Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is welcoming the release of Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation, "Gaudete et Exsultate" (Rejoice and Be Glad), subtitled "On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World." In his statement, Cardinal DiNardo expresses his deep gratitude to the Holy Father for the exhortation and the call for each Christian to "acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be."   

    In the introduction to the exhortation, the Pope emphasizes that the goal of his exhortation is to "repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities." 

    An apostolic exhortation is considered the second-highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter. Since his election, Pope Francis has issued two other exhortations: "Evangelii Gaudium" (Joy of the Gospel) in 2013 and "Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love) in 2016. 

    Cardinal DiNardo's full statement on "Gaudete et Exsultate" follows:   

    "I want to personally express my deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his powerful, straightforward words in Gaudete et Exsultate. In this exhortation, Pope Francis is very clear – he is doing his duty as the Vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications, acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be – that is 'to be holy, as He is holy' (1 Pet 1:15). The mission entrusted to each of us in the waters of baptism was simple – by God's grace and power, we are called to become saints.     

    'Do not be afraid of holiness (no. 32).' These words of the Holy Father jumped out at me when I first read them. In a way, each one of us has a fear of striving for holiness – a fear that we would be mocked, ignored, or even hated by others because we would stand out. Yet that is what the Lord has called each and every person to! Pope Francis calls us out: A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for 'this is the will of God, your sanctification (I Thess 4:3) (no. 19).'  

    The Holy Father describes how holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, 'We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root' (no. 114). Yet, he says, this 'battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives' (no. 158).    

    One paragraph, in particular, points out the continuing need we have for civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. 'Christians too,' the Holy Father writes, 'can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.' This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).'  

    In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other." 

    The USCCB has made the exhortation available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/rejoice-and-be-glad-p/7-599.htm

    The Vatican has also posted the exhortation online at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html. . . 

  • April 4, 2018

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Administrative Committee serves as the Board of Trustees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

    The committee’s full statement follows:

    “‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15:13). April 4th marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. On this day, as we reflect on his life and work, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing all we can to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us.  What are we being asked to do for the sake of our brother or sister who still suffers under the weight of racism? Where could God use our efforts to help change the hearts of those who harbor racist thoughts or engage in racist actions? 

    This anniversary gives us an important moment to draw inspiration from the way in which Dr. King remained undeterred in his principle of non-violent resistance, even in the face of years of ridicule, threats and violence for the cause of justice. Dr. King came to Memphis to support underpaid and exploited African-American sanitation workers, and arrived on a plane that was under a bomb threat. He felt God had called him to solidarity with his brothers and sisters in need. In his final speech on the night before he died, Dr. King openly referenced the many threats against him, and made clear that he would love a long life. But more important to him, he said, was his desire to simply do the will of God.

    Our faith urges us to be courageous, to risk something of ourselves, in defending the dignity of our neighbor who is made in the image of God. Pope Francis reminds us often that we must never sit on the sidelines in the face of great evil or extreme need, even when danger surrounds us. St. Paul proclaims that: ‘We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body’ (2 Cor. 47-10). We can best honor Dr. Martin Luther King and preserve his legacy by boldly asking God—today and always—to deepen our own commitment to follow His will wherever it leads in the cause of promoting justice.”  

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Texas Catholic Herald

  • April 24, 2018

    In his message of hope and faith for the opening and dedication of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Downtown, Pope Benedict XVI said he prayed the new Co-Cathedral would be “a sanctuary where almighty God is glorified in his majesty, a center of ecclesial life where the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith proclaimed with power, and a place where the faithful and spiritually nourished, to fulfill their mission as joyful witnesses to the Gospel.”

    HOUSTON — In his message of hope and faith for the opening and dedication of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, located at 1111 St. Joseph Parkway in Downtown, Pope Benedict XVI said he prayed the new Co-Cathedral would be “a sanctuary where almighty God is glorified in his majesty, a center of ecclesial life where the beauty and richness of the Catholic faith proclaimed with power, and a place where the faithful and spiritually nourished, to fulfill their mission as joyful witnesses to the Gospel.”

    Following the April 2, 2008 opening and dedication of the Co-Cathedral, its 27,800-square-feet area with available seating for 2,000-plus, the ten-year-old building continues to echo St. John Paul II’s message and offer God’s people in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the city’s wider communities a sacred space to gather in communal and private prayer in Downtown Houston's south end.

    'You are welcome in this church'

    In his homily during the dedication Mass, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said “I beg the Lord Jesus in his Sacred Heart to look down upon us all—on every language, nation, tongue and culture in this archdiocese. We are many cultures; we are many nations, many languages here. Sisters and brothers, what makes us one people is this altar table.”

    Cardinal DiNardo encouraged all to see the Co-Cathedral, its golden cross spire reaching 114 feet, as a place open to all: “Friends of any culture, race and nation, you are welcome here, you are welcome in this church – a house on earth receptive to all.”

    In a Dedication Mass full of rites, traditions and ceremony, thousands flocked to the new construction to witness the historic moment. In the long procession, following priests from the Archdiocese were more than 20 bishops of the United States, in addition to Bishop Robert Patrick Camilleri of the Diocese of Comayagua, Honduras and Coadjutor Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., of Vancouver, Canada.

    Cardinal DiNardo was the main celebrant. Cardinals concelebrating the Dedication Mass included William Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore; Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles; Adam Cardinal Maida of Detroit and Theodore Cardinal McCarrick of Washington. Also concelebrating were local bishops, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza, then-Galveston-Houston Auxiliary Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Vincent M. Rizzotto.

    Also in his homily, Cardinal DiNardo thanked those responsible for making the new Co-Cathedral a reality, beginning with Archbishop Fiorenza, who led the Archdiocese until his retirement in 2006.


    PHOTOS: A Co-Cathedral's history


    “If we could, in our imagination, combine Ezra and Nehemiah, we would find a person of spiritual insight, a shepherd and master of practical matters. We have that in Archbishop Fiorenza,” Cardinal DiNardo said. ‘’ I want to express my deepest gratitude for the long labor of love that Archbishop Fiorenza has performed in bringing this cathedral to completion.’’ The project was led by Ziegler Cooper Architects, with Linbeck overseeing the construction.

    Due to the size of the building, Archbishop Fiorenza also sought the advice and input of Giorgio Borlenghi, president and owner of The Interfin Companies, LP. “I was very grateful to Giorgio for his consultation on this large project,” Archbishop Fiorenza said in a recent interview.

    13 different relics lay beneath the altar

    As a part of the Rite Dedication relics from 12 different saints were placed in reliquary underneath the altar of the new Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

    Relics placed in the reliquary include: St. Therese of Lisieux; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton the first ever American saint; St. Leo the Great who served as pope and once encountered Attila the Hun at the very gates of Rome persuading him to turn back and St. Teresa of Avila foundress of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns.

    Other saints include St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the French mystic nun who promoted the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; St. Desideratus, St. Faustus and St. Fortunatus, second century martyrs who were among the earliest witnesses who died for Christ;  St. Rose Phillipine Duchesne, a French missionary nun who worked among Indian tribes in Missouri; St. John Neumann, a native of Czechoslovakia and the third Bishop of Philadelphia; St. Maria Goretti, a young Italian girl who chose death over consent to the impure demands of her murderer, and St. Faustina, a Polish nun recently canonized by Pope John Paul II, and the foundress of the devotion to Divine Mercy. 

    There is also a sizable fragment of the True Cross which St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, brought back to Rome from Jerusalem. 

    The call to worship

    Months before the Dedication Mass, Archbishop Fiorenza blessed the 23 bells that were installed in the campenile, or bell tower, of the Co-Cathedral in a Rite of Blessing of the Bells on Dec. 12.

    Archbishop Fiorenza said “(The bells would) play a very important role in the mission of the Church… to call the people to worship services, to commemorate important events—sometimes joyful events, sometimes tragic events.”

    He said it is a customary tradition to bless the bells and anoint them because of their roles as “the voice of God, or Vox Dei—calling us to worship. Church bells are a constant reminder of God’s call to us to be aware of Him, to be conscious of God’s presence in our lives when we hear the church bells ringing.”

    The four ‘’Great Bells” in the carillon are named after foundresses of the original religious communities who serve in the archdiocese: St, Angela Merici, founder of the Ursuline Nuns who came to the archdiocese in 1847; Mother Jeanne de Matel, founder of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word (and spiritual foundress of the Sisters of the Charity of the Incarnate Word); Mother Pauline Gannon, O.P, of the Sacred Heart (Houston) Dominican Sisters and Mother Henriette Delille of the Sisters of the Holy Family.

    In the years since the bell’s blessings ten years ago, the campanile rings many times each day, and have done so for numerous events. The bells ring to start the annual Steps for Students 5K Run and Walk for Catholic Schools, to honor law enforcement at the Blue Mass and last year’s funeral for Sgt. Steve Perez, who died during Hurricane Harvey, as well as dozens of other liturgical celebrations.

    Elements build a harmony of art

    The Co-Cathedral’s organ, which was dedicated in 2009, continues to elevate worship during liturgies and offer outreach. The Opus XIX Pipe Organ, features the sound of 5,499 organ pipes and 111 stop knobs and is constructed of seven types of wood. A depiction of the Holy Spirit as a dove sits beneath a 80,000-pound dome atop the building.

    Each year at Easter Vigil, catchumens are baptized in the Co-Cathedral’s baptismal font, which features eight gilded bronze images beneath the font, each drawn directly from the first eight images of the Prayer for the Blessing of Baptismal Water in the Roman Missal, some of which include Creation, Baptism of Christ, the Burial of Christ, His Resurrection and the Great Commission.

    Many of the Co-Cathedrals distinctive features, including the votive chapels of saints, massive statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, many ornate stained glass windows with a massive 40-foot-high Resurrected Christ, paintings and artistry, were constructed through the support of the people of the Archdiocese and special generosity of many donors.

    Inspired by all

    As rector of the Co-Cathedral for those ten years, Father Lawrence W. Jozwiak said he is inspired “to see all people who come in to pray. People of all diversity, all faiths, all backgrounds who need a moment of prayer, quiet reflection since the church is open every day.”

    He continued: “We are so proud of such a noble simplicity of the church that attracts people from all walks of life. People marvel at the beauty of the church, including people of other faith backgrounds.”

    This April, the Co-Cathedral parish marked the milestone anniversary with a series of musical concerts and celebration of Solemnity Mass of the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Metropolitan Cathedral and Co-Cathedral on April 13. As pastor of the thriving parish, Father Jozwiak said the Co-Cathedral remains committed to serving a divergent population, including resurging Midtown/Downtown neighborhoods, the needs of an Archdiocese of nearly 2 million and the marginalized poor to come seeking help.

    These efforts echo Pope Benedict’s hope that those who enter the Co-Cathedral’s doors “draw inspiration from the rich Catholic heritage of the American Southwest and find renewed strength to serve the spreading of Christ’s Kingdom and the growth of His Church in holiness, unity and peace.”

    For more information including Mass times, visit sacredhearthouston.org.

  • April 24, 2018

    Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, celebrating Mass April 5, rededicated the Shrine of the True Cross Catholic Church in Dickinson. The church building was filled with parishioners joyful over the renovated sanctuary after it was flooded by Hurricane Harvey last August.

    DICKINSON — Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, celebrating Mass April 5, rededicated the Shrine of the True Cross Catholic Church in Dickinson. The church building was filled with parishioners joyful over the renovated sanctuary after it was flooded by Hurricane Harvey last August. 

    While the church reopened for Masses by the Easter season, its Catholic school and hall remain under major repairs until the fall.

    In his homily, Cardinal DiNardo said, “Brothers and Sisters, it’s been a very difficult time. So many homes flooded, this church flooded, schools flooded. So many lives displaced, so many relationships that became vulnerable, so much anxiety ... And yet, at the same time, (the region’s) resilience and helping of one another became a kind of imagery model for the rest of the United States.”

    Father Larry Wilson, Shrine pastor, said “Having our church home to come and worship in this time brings a special Resurrection message.”


    PHOTOS: Cardinal DiNardo rededicates Dickinson church


    Meanwhile, Catholic Charities updated its board members and the public April 6 on its ongoing Disaster Recovery efforts, including a recent $5 million grant from Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA).

    Catholic Charities President Cynthia Colbert said, “While the media and cameras have gone away from hurricane recovery, we still have pockets in surrounding areas in dire need.”

    She recently visited an unincorporated area in north Houston where families remain living in trailers. Over the next three years, the $5 million grant from CCUSA will provide long-term Disaster Case Management and Recovery services to individuals impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

    Services will focus on helping survivors achieve self-sufficiency through case management, counseling, shelter, home repair, rebuild costs and services, and financial assistance with other unmet needs related to Hurricane Harvey’s impact.

    The grant will also have a special focus on serving smaller, outlying communities where recovery services have not been available by other providers. In particular, the small communities near where Harvey originally made landfall saw great need.

    Karla Cisneros, Houston City Council member who attended the Disaster Recovery breakfast meeting for updates, said, “The work that Catholic Charities is doing is critically important. While we are still waiting for FEMA dollars to get here, you are helping those most in need.”

    Matt Johns, Catholic Charities’ director of Disaster Recovery Services, said the agency has allocated $3 million so far to about 19,658 clients in 6,158 households impacted by the storm, mostly for emergency housing as well as relocation efforts, utility assistance, furniture and gift cards to help rebuild their lives.

    In addition, the organization is still hiring case managers since their staff members currently have an average caseload of 35 families each with a waiting list for new clients.

    “This has been an unprecedented disaster with Hurricane Harvey. And remember that we’ve had five disasters and floods over the past two years,” Johns said.

    Collaborative preparation before the storms are needed, Johns agreed. First responders were overwhelmed with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, prompting the county judge and mayor to give the go-ahead for volunteers with boats and other efforts to rescue people from rising waters.

    But long-term recovery is estimated to take three to five years, including counseling and spiritual care when needed, he said.

    “After meeting the survivors’ basic needs of food, water, clothes and immediate shelter, people then had to deal with the process of mold remediation, muck, gutting homes, repair and rebuilding,” Johns said.

    Then many lost their jobs as well as losing about a million vehicles in the flooding.

    “It’s not until you go inside the homes of those flooded that you truly see the remaining damages. Some organizations say they are only helping for this first year. But we at Catholic Charities are in it for the long haul,” he said.

    Johns served as 2017 chairman of the Texas Gulf Coast Regional VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) where he led the nonprofit response to Hurricane Harvey.

    He said, “Many of those impacted by the hurricane have not found their ‘new normal’ yet.”

    Despite hoping against a repeat of such storms, the Global Weather Oscillations, which correctly predicted the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, is again predicting another possible record-breaker in 2018, albeit in different locations.

    With hurricane season just two months away, GWO is estimating 16 named storms, eight hurricanes with potential for four hurricane landfalls in the United States.

  • April 24, 2018

    Houston is a city of people pursuing their dreams and a future for their family from all over the world. For ninety-six years, San José Clinic has provided a health home for those working hard to build the community with nowhere else to turn.

    San José Clinic’s Art with Heart is set to honor Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, seen here at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houston with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo on May 5. File photo by James Ramos/Herald.

    HOUSTON — Houston is a city of people pursuing their dreams and a future for their family from all over the world. For ninety-six years, San José Clinic has provided a health home for those working hard to build the community with nowhere else to turn. 

    As the local and national landscape have changed in recent years, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has echoed the goals and mission of the clinic through his commitment to the safety and fair treatment of immigrants and vulnerable workers in the city. 

    In recognition of this shared service to and support of those in need, the clinic will honor Mayor Turner at the 11th Art with Heart auction event at 6 p.m. on May 5 at the Houston Studio, located at 3118 Harrisburg Blvd. in Houston’s East End. Art with Heart 2018 is being co-chaired by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and the San José Clinic Board of Directors.

    “Mayor Turner was chosen to be honored with the Portrait of Compassion award this year because of his dedication to the patients and families San José Clinic serves,” said Paule Anne Lewis, clinic president and CEO. “The clinic is grateful for the Mayor’s dedication to underprivileged populations within our community and thankful for his recognition of the healthcare safety net’s importance and impact. We hope the public will join us in celebrating his service while supporting the uninsured and uninsurable.”

    Mayor Turner said “I am honored to receive the Portrait of Compassion Award for my commitment to the under-served by Houston’s original safety net clinic. The clinic provides a health care home for so many vulnerable individuals and families, those who my administration has sought to shelter and support through programs and policy. I hope that we can work hand-in-hand to improve the quality of life for all Houstonians in the coming years.”

    In addition to recognizing Mayor Turner, the evening will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen, silent auctions of art and jewelry and a big board auction. The evening’s emcee will be Michael Garfield.

    Proceeds from Art with Heart help support San José Clinic’s mission to provide quality healthcare and education to those with limited access to such services in an environment which respects the dignity of each person. 

    For more information about sponsorship opportunities for Art with Heart 2018, contact Cristina Herrera at cristinaherrera@sanjoseclinic.org. To learn more about San José Clinic, visit www.sanjoseclinic.org.

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