Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Christ Amongst Us


Many years ago, during the formative years of Holy Spirit Parish, when we were still having mass at Rayburn Elementary School Cafeteria, our then resident priest, Fr Gus Pacheco, spoke to all of us about the great opportunity that each of us had in establishing a new Catholic parish in North McAllen.

He spoke of a place where parishioners would actually “live out” the teachings of Christ. He told us, numerous times, that if we just concentrated on being “that kind of a parish”, that we would have people of all nationalities, from all walks of life, from throughout the Untied States and Mexico, come to McAllen, Texas, just to visit our church community… to see and experience what that special wonder of Christ, LIVING AMONGST US, could accomplish.

That vision of a true Vatican II parish, as envisioned by Fr. Gus Pacheco, soon became a reality. People of all faiths, from far and near, came to visit Holy Spirit Parish… to experience the GREATNESS of HIS teachings… to be a part of that GREATNESS!

You could truly feel Jesus Christ ALIVE at Holy Spirit Parish… in the attitude of our parishioners… in the reverence of our youth… and in the dedication of our staff.

It was the most incredible place that any of us had ever experienced. It was about being part of a gigantic Christian Family... one that loved, cared for and was concerned about one-another… rich or poor. It was a place where our kids learned right from wrong… and we all learned about Peace and Justice issues… all in the spirit of Christ’s teachings. It was home for us all.

You ask why we fight so hard for our “old” Holy Spirit Parish… why we criticize our bishop for destroying what we had … why we ask, “Why? For what reason… a show of power?”

Hundreds of our former parishioners (family) have now left our parish… some have gone to other Catholic Churches… some to other denominations… others have simply quit going to mass at all. We remember… we cry… and we pray that one day all Catholic Churches will have what Holy Spirit once had. CHRIST AMONGST US!

~A Parishioner.

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Kanickers said...

Leaving our Parish
I just had to comment about how sad it is that so many are leaving our parish.

My family and I find it difficult to be inspired to attend mass regularly anymore. It is due to the lack of respect from all involved towards each other and in the lack of love being experienced. There is always a fight-- apparently, literally so.

My family and I are relieved that at the times the "scenes" occurred, we have not been in attendance. It is very disheartening to see everyone bringing out the worst in each other, instead of the best--as it once was.

Everyone seems to be stuck in the "fight" of who is right and who is wrong, and who is following specific rules or not. How about the "Golden Rule"-- Do unto others as you would have them do to you"?

I know that even as I write this, others will read it and say “Yes... but”. Therein lies the real reason so many of us are leaving. There will always be a yes, but... We are still in limbo, but I am not sure for how much longer-- we will need to decide to stick it out-- if it is worth it for us or our children seeing all of this or moving on.

The difficult part is, where do we go? It is very hard to leave home. We don't want to pick sides anymore-- we want there to be one side with everyone compromising and giving and loving one another, as it once was, instead of keeping score as to who is and who is not giving enough.
Delia Mendoza

Kanickers said...

An observation:
In many disagreements, both sides share roughly equal blame. In other disagreements, the side holding the power abuses the side without the power, which is very unchristian behavior.

In the case of Holy Spirit Parish, the side with the power, Msgr. Brum, has removed many parishioners who have done no wrong from ministries. Msgr. Brum simply does not like them.

These people have a right to cry out for justice, nay, they would not be good Christians if they DID NOT cry out for justice!

We must not shy away from a righteous, nonviolent struggle simply because we want what we think are “love” and “peace”, but what really are poor substitutions for true love and true peace rooted in justice.

If Msgr. Brum were not keeping good Catholics from their ministries, there would be no problem. The failure of the Pastor to be a pastor is the root of the problems at Holy Spirit Parish. The behavior of everyone else amounts to minor antics compared to this.
An observant parishioner

Kanickers said...

Peace at Holy Spirit
I agree with Mrs. Mendoza's statement about the lack of love and respect prevalent now at Holy Spirit. I don't agree that "there is always a fight", at least not in a physical sense. Except when Fr. Louis yelled to Adam Moya to get out of "his" church, in the middle of Mass, and the sad events that followed, I haven't ever experienced that kind of fight.

What I have seen and experienced is a tremendous abuse of power from a man whose job (not to say his ministry, his calling) is to be a good pastor, to tend and love his sheep. It is because of his failure as pastor and as our church leader, that Holy Spirit Parish is now divided and broken. Mrs. Mendoza says there are two sides "stuck in a fight of who is right and who is wrong". What I see is the side with the power, abusing it in a way that is not Christian (just read the gospels).

When there is an injustice, a wrongdoing, what are we suppose to do? Jesus would have wanted us to speak truth to power, to stand for justice, to be brave and to confront the abusers. Those are not popular or easy things to do, Jesus was crucified for it, but that is what being Christians is all about, following Jesus. Do we want apparent peace, or do we want what is right?

An apparent peace is no peace at all. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said "Real peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice"

And Jesus said:
"You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved” Mathew 10, 22

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against his mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household” Mathew 10, 34 -36

~Parishioner with hope for real peace at Holy Spirit

Kanickers said...

Bad Scene at Holy Spirit Church
We have been going to Holy Spirit Church since its inception. We started donating money to the building fund for over 24 years. Since we had religious services at Rayburn Elementary. We had always had a good feeling when we gave to the church. We knew the moneys would be well spent.

Well, that has all changed; I no longer donate money to Holy Spirit Church. Why, because I feel that all the hard work that we and other parishioners have done over the years have been jeopardized by the "Rev. Louie Blum ". We had such a nice community church and now look what he has done.

I no longer go to Holy Spirit or any other Catholic Church and will not [return or] donate any more funds until "Rev. Louie Blum " is taken away from Holy Spirit.
A Previous Parishioner.