In Mark’s Gospel very few outsiders are given names and, of the multitudes who were healed, the second occurrence of two blind people who encountered Jesus is the only one that has that privilege: Bartimaeus. This miraculous account also stands out because it is the last public healing Mark spends time on; it’s the end of a journey, and we now head toward Jerusalem.
The National V Encuentro unfolded with God’s perfect timing Sept. 20 to 23, lifting up more than 3,200 mostly Hispanic lay ministers and 150 bishops from across the country who consoled the crowd and in turn were comforted themselves with thunderous chants of “We love you!”
Parishes from across the Archdiocese are dealing with the crisis in various ways, at the discretion of their pastors, while others are having Masses, panel discussions and special times for prayers and adorations.
When Edrina Villagomez’s parents came to the U.S. illegally, they achieved the dream of her grandfather: to come to ‘El Norte,’ the North, and live and work in the U.S. A senior international studies major, Villagomez understands and lives the sacrifices her family had to make in order to bring that dream to reality.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice estimates that each year approximately 25 percent of the 11,000 women released from its prisons, and state and country jail systems, return to the Houston area. Traditionally, a limited number of resources has been available to help these women successfully transition back into society after incarceration.
Around this time of the year every parish, big and small, is starting a new season by planting a spiritual field of seeds which, with great care, will yield a rich harvest of faith in the hearts of the faithful, especially the young. This is the season of blessings. What a prospect to witness many laborers in God’s vineyard tirelessly tilling the ground, preparing the seeds and faithfully nurturing the parishioners’ spiritual growth throughout the year!
One would affirm the belief with the power and grace of the Blessed Trinity guiding Holy Mother the Church that we would be safe from all harm, division and scandal in spite of our human deformities. However, once again we are finding ourselves submerged in a turbulent sea of embarrassment, calamity and tribulation.
Make no mistake about it, not only is this a moral failure on the part of those priests and bishops involved, it is a criminal act. I weep. I weep for the children, adolescents and for their families and loved ones. I weep knowing of the lifelong physical and psychological scars frequently caused by abuse. As a survivor myself I bear those scars.
View an online calendar of upcoming events held by parishes, ministries and organizations Around the Archdiocese and find out how to submit event information for upcoming issues of the Texas Catholic Herald.