Shepherd’s Cup drives the mission home

May 10, 2016

HOUSTON — For eight years, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s annual Shepherd’s Cup Charity Golf Classic has continued to assist the Archdiocese with the fulfillment of its mission.

When the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston partnered with St. John Paul II Foundation for the first time last year to host the marriage enrichment “Together in Holiness” conference for married and engaged couples, there was an expectation it would be well attended.

But even Deacon Arturo Monterrubio, director of the Family and Ministry Office, was surprised by the widespread thirst for this kind of program, as evidenced by the jump in the number of attendees this year. More than 700 people attended the conference in April, compared to last year’s 450, with a waiting list of almost 100.

“Together in Holiness is a very clear example of what we can do for married couples to nourish their relationship,” Monterrubio said. “We need to acknowledge when people get married we need to provide much more support — it’s not a graduation. Marriage is just the beginning, and we need to continue to work with couples.”

The conference could not have happened on such a large scale had it not been for an injection of funds from the proceeds of Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s charity golf classic.

“We didn’t have enough resources to provide what is needed for this program on marriage enrichment,” Monterrubio said. 

The conference is one of several beneficiaries across the Archdiocese of the proceeds from the annual tournament, which supports Catholic education, faith formation, clergy formation and St. Mary’s Seminary.

Organizers are seeking sponsors to come on board with title sponsors Sean and Kari Tracey and are hoping to enlist 400 players with representation from all parishes. 

“It’s gratifying to me to see where the money goes, and hearing about the faith formation and couples conference,” said Sean Tracey. “There’s a broader assault on marriage here and worldwide, and to see something like this thriving in our parish — it’s very gratifying.”

A grant enabled Sister Gina Iadanza, associate director of clergy formation, to help ease the transition merging two parishes, St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. Stephen Catholic Church. The funds went towards a joint confirmation retreat for the youth of both parishes and an Archdiocesan-wide youth rally, as well as a meet and greet for all members of the two parishes.

“Because we are trying to lay the foundation for both faith communities to come together, these initiatives are a wonderful opportunity for the youth to come together as well,” Sister Iadanza said.

The community will be known as St. Joseph-St. Stephen Catholic parish at the St. Joseph location. 

The moneys St. Mary’s Seminary received from last October’s Shepherd’s Cup helped boost the health and wellness of the seminarians, through the hiring of a fitness director and expanding the menu with healthy options. The funds were also used to hire a Spanish instructor, install Wi-Fi throughout the dorms and buy 1,200 volumes for the library. 

Every school in the Archdiocese was impacted by the proceeds from the golf classic, according to Catholic Schools Superintendent Dr. Julie Vogel.

Vogel said they were able to provide leadership training for principals and monthly staff development sessions, benefitting every student. Funds were made available for special projects, to pay for a system to analyze student test scores and to update the Web sites of the needier schools.

“All of these things enhance Catholic education,” Vogel said. “Number one, we want to have great teachers and leaders, so providing leadership training is very beneficial to the school system. It helps us as a system of schools work better together, and when we work together we become a much stronger group.” 

Galveston-Houston Knights of Columbus Charities will present the Sean and Kari Tracy Shepherd’s Cup, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo’s 9th annual golf event, benefiting Catholic education, faith formation, clergy formation and St. Mary’s Seminary. The golf classic will be held on Oct. 3 at The Clubs of Kingwood, 1700 Lake Kingwood Trail. Tee off is at noon, with registration starting at 10 a.m. An awards dinner will follow. For information, visit