Monday, September 11, 2006

Religious Education Meeting


Religious Education Meeting
Attended the Religious Education Meeting held at the parish Monday night. What a Goat-Rodeo! A great lesson in how "NOT To Hold a Meeting!"

One good thing,.. there was a lot of parents in attendance. Most left confused and with the feeling that something was being pushed down their throats.

Fr Louie said this program was the recommendation of the Parish Council, but a Parish Council member said that it had been brought before them... Who knows, since our Parish Council meetings are now held in secret and no parishioners are ever invited?

One thing for sure, Fr. Louie talked for so long that most of the attendees just left... Most left saying, "Why didn't anybody ask US what WE wanted? I thought we were going to VOTE on what we wanted!

There were people passing out information sheets so people could know the facts and could ask informed questions. The Louie forces did not provide this information. Of course, Fr. Louie never allowed anyone to ask questions anyway!

Since all of you were not allowed to voice your opinions at the meeting, you are most welcome to do so here...
~Kanickers


Update:
Please remember that there is another Parish Religious Education Meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday - 09/13/06) at 7:00 PM in the parish hall.

For those of you that missed the Monday night meeting, here is your chance to find out what your parish is doing about the religious education program for your children. It may also be your only chance to voice your opinion.


For your information, attached is a scan of the Religious Education Information Sheet that was given out at the last meeting. Click on the image to enlarge and on your "back button" to return.
Note: Reference to this Blog was included only to provide a forum for comments.





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35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Parishoners like me do not choose to blindly obey, we simply do not rebel at the church, as we were taught by our elders, and as far as the amounts of people that had to stand in mass in the past, I pray that they soon return or perhaps they have seen that one must not rebel in the church, and if one must rebel, one would have to go and join a congragation that governs itself by "vote" perhaps, or a church that is envolved in politics, or maybe it is the sponsors of this website the ones who should leave the parish and stop dividing the masses, and protesting, and if you all want to call following the church and christ's teachings "blindly obeying", that is just your opinion, I know that this particular editorial will never be seen in your website, simply because it does not agree with your point of view. I pray that you soon see the ways of god and end all of this nonsense. As far as the publication that was distributed during the parent meeting tonight regarding the religious education program, I am appolled of the blasfemy, why did your organization use the emblem that belongs to our parish? as if the parish is sponsoring or agrees in any way with what that flier says!!! I know that I am waisting my time because this website is onesided, and wrong, otherwise it would not have to be "approved" by the blog author, and whoever this may be, I would like you to know that my husband and I feel that it is a tremendous sadness that people with such anger, are posting comments in their website, that by the way is so enourmously, and rediculosly slanted and one sided.

Anonymous said...

When can I vote? nothing was even said? I'm tired of my children getting lost in the "Fr. Louie shuffle". They should not become the victims in this power struggle. What next?

Anonymous said...

What has happened to my Holy Spirit Parish? Do the parishioners not have a voice anymore? Why is our priest being so stern and so one sided about this?
I have three children. From what I understand, I will now have to have my kids at church throughout the day on Sunday, every Sunday. My husband and I both work during the week. Sunday is the only day that we can spend time as a family.
Why does our Religious Education Program have to be changed anyway? It was perfect before.

Anonymous said...

Father Louie, I heard you say several times tonight that the Catholic Church did not approve of our old religious education program? Have we been teaching our children using this wrong program all this time? If so, you are correct, it should be changed immediately! However, I still question why we must change to having classes every Sunday, instead of once a month?

Anonymous said...

My sons do not adjust well to change. I've baptized them, comfirmed and gone through 1st communion here with two of them. I'd like to see my yougest follow his brothers steps, but now...how? they do not want to go to another church...they want to stay here, but not with all these changes, and all frs loud sermons, "why is he yelling?" my 5 yr old asks. Why indeed!

Anonymous said...

You were right, Kanickers, the meeting was a goat-rodeo. I too thought we were going to vote on what would be best for everyone. Boy were we wrong! God help us!

Anonymous said...

A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!
Why couldn't the religious education program just have been published in the bulletin? Then, if we didn't like the time or the program, we could have registered our children at another parish! Now it's too late to do that!

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous #4
Our old Religious Education Program is now and always has been TOTALLY APPROVED by the Catholic Church and by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
I'm afraid Father Louie is just telling us a little fib to convince us that we should go along with his changes to the program.

Mark Peña said...

Last night's meeting is just another example of the total disregard and disrespect for the laity by some in our Church. Another example of those who espouse the view that we should not question the actions of a priest, and we should simply blindly obey. Being faithful to God and to our Church does not mean accepting the poor administration of a parish nor the disregard of its parishioners.
If any respect had been show, this meeting would have been a real and wonderful opportunity for the pastor to listen to the ideas and concerns of parents and respectfully incorporate them into an ultimate religious education plan for our parish.
We are all children of God and as such we are each created with the God given ability to think for ourselves. Blindly obeying has been the cause of horrendous events in our world history, and we must each ultimately account for our own actions based on free will. This is the true teaching of our Church.
Therefore, let us pray that someday our Church will fully respect the laity and accept the truth that we are all called to be leaders and disciples in our Church.

From Mark S. Peña, a parent of our parish.

Ben Salinas said...

Re: Anonymous 1
Rebelling immediately when an announcement has been made is probably not the correct response. This is, however, not what happened. Many of these "people with such anger" have attempted, many times, to go through the proper channels. Letters have been written to Fr. Louis and Bishop Pena. We have attempted to schedule meetings with Fr. Louis, many times, however, he has refused to meet with us. Letters are generally not replied to. I personally, on my own, wrote a letter to Fr. Louis asking to meet with him to discuss my faith (not overthrowing the church or being a rebel). I heard no response after he promised me (in person) that he would read it and reply.
Fr. Louis has systematically removed parishioners from volunteer positions (some volunteering >20 hours each week) with invalid reasons. He has rejected qualified (perhaps overqualified) members of the community from being involved (examples include the Saavedras in Religious Education, Ed Arguelles in the choir, the Arfeles, and many more). He has systematically removed members of "our parish community" from our parish community.
I am not protesting Fr. Louis or Bishop Pena, but the lack of reconciliation and upheaval of the church. Even looking from a financial standpoint, we are now paying individuals who were previously volunteers; this isn't what you do if you want to balance a budget. The word Catholic literally means "universal." The Catholic faith is supposed to be a universal faith for all members of the community, not just those who are able to pay $50 per head, or donate large amounts of money.
And now, to misquote Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Please don't judge us on the color of our skin, but on the content of our character." Look at what we stand for before you condemn us and look at what our cause is before you dismiss it.
-Ben Salinas
A youth (and former employee) of Holy Spirit

Felipe Salinas said...

That's my son, and I am so proud of him! If anyone wants to question what our previous "inadequate" religious education program provided our youth there is your answer: an articulate, informed, young Catholic who is already living his faith at an adult (not blindly obedient) level. And he is not the only one; I know of many other young adults who learned how to live their faith - not merely repeat memorized prayers - thanks to the living witness offered by a truly diverse and mature parish. I can only hope and pray that our younger children can someday (soon - time doesn't wait!) experience a similarly vibrant witnessing community.

Anonymous said...

Well, Crawford Higgins was telling us last night that people went to the parish council wanting a weekly program. Msgr. Brum told us at the catechist appreciation dinner that we should talk to him or Fr. Genaro about what kind of program we wanted. We did talk to Fr. Genaro, because Msgr. Brum was gone from the parish about two months! But back to Mr. Higgins comment when someone asked him if the parish council meetings were open, he said "Yes!" I'd like to offer $1000 to anyone who can find anywhere in the bulletins for the last two years WHERE the parish council is meeting, and when. Those meetings are not open. And who are they anyway? That was in the bulletin maybe one Sunday. And if parishioners went to the parish council, why didn't the parish council call in staff and ask for input from the staff? Why was our staff ignored and kept in the blind? That makes no sense whatever! This stinks.And why lie about it, just tell the truth and say that the new pastor wants a weekly program. And, why is he doing it now? This planning needed to be done last year and he could have had a meeting and asked for all parents input. This is a mess!

Anonymous said...

The biggest insult of all, to our whole parish community, has been that Martha Snachez has been as "in the dark" about all of this as the rest of us! She doesn't deserve that kind of treatment! The wonderful religious education program that she so tirelessly developed over the past 15 years has gained national praise from as far away as California. Teaching our kids religious education has never been just a job to her; it's been her life dedication! This kind of treatment towards her speaks volumes about the character of Father Louie and his self-appointed parish counsel members.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1:
God gave us free will. With that comes the God given privilege to question any injustice. Yes, we were taught by our elders to "not question" the church. Look at the Bible and look at the rules and regulations handed down by the Diocese of Brownsville. That book is large/thicker than the good book. These rules and regulations are man made. Do you honestly believe that God wanted children to "obey" the priest that molested them???? Do you honestly believe that God wanted people to treat his followers as the Holy Spirit staff has been treated???? I doubt that if you have a clear conscience that you can answer to the affirmative to those questions. Of course we should question.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1:
I was one of those who you say "rebelled" against the church. Please understand that we were not rebelling against the Church. We were simply not going to stand by and allow people who had served this parish faithfully for over 20 years to be thrown to the wasteside because one egotistical priest felt threatened by the positive influence these people had.
God gave us free will. This God given gift allows us to question when we see that His will is not being done. You speak of obedience as your elders taught you. I believe that history has proven that this obedience has proven disasterous. Parents of those children who have been abused by priests and other clergy were also told to obey priests. Is this what you honestly want of your fellow Catholics? Do you honestly believe that this is God's will?
God gave us minds and the responsibility to say that something is wrong when it is wrong. What has happened to Holy Spirit since Msgr. Louis came is wrong!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous #1
The flyer given out at the parents meeting Monday night was simply an attempt to get out information about the Holy Spirit Religious Education program and make a comparison between what has been in place for 23 years and what is being proposed for a traditional CCD program. Blasphemy according to the dictionary is “The act of expressing irreverence for God.” There was nothing in the document that qualifies as blasphemy under this definition. Since no announcement or explanation was given for the change in the religious education program in the bulletin or in the announcements at the end of mass, a group of parishioners who care about families and their children put together the information sheet. The flyer simply invited to parents to voice their opinions. If there are any errors of fact in the flyer, I invite you to point them out.
As for using the emblem, I feel that we are all members of the parish, and so the emblem belongs to all of us. The flyer was about Holy Spirit’s religious education program and the emblem simply identified it as such. Each of us is valued in God’s eyes and there is room for differences in what we feel is most important. There is room for you and for me. I do not ask for you to change your faith and I expect you to not ask me to change my faith. Jesus calls us to love one another.
The people I know are not angry but deeply saddened by what we have lost. The transformation of the Vatican II parish to a pre-Vatican II parish has now been completed. Those of us who morn the loss have not divided the Parish, it was divided by those in charge of the transformation.
I continue to pray for an end to the "conflict" but it will not come by asking everyone to be silent.

Guy Hallman said...

Dear Anon. #1:
You wrote, "Parishoners like me do not choose to blindly obey, we simply do not rebel at the church, as we were taught by our elders."

Really, what is the difference between blind obedience and not rebelling? Is Jesus not your elder? Read how He addressed the leaders of the religion of His day, our spiritual ancestors, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Then contact me and we will have a spirit-filled discussion on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I look forward to it. Bring your husband.

Anonymous said...

How in God's name can one priest be so destructive? Is Father Louie doing all of this under orders, or is he just too damn dumb to know any better? Slowly but surely, Holy Spirit parish is being destroyed! Can anyone do anything to stop this?

Anonymous said...

Did I make a wrong turn? Loose my way? I thought I was attending a meeting at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. And you had the audacity to invite me to subject my children to your shining examples of the Catholic faith? NO THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Dear Powers That Be:
I left Monday night’s meeting more confused than ever. Why are we changing a religious education program that everybody just loved? Is this just another power play to show that Father Louis and his parish council are in control? Please don’t let YOUR problems spill over into OUR kid’s religious education! How childish!

Arturo R. Cantu said...

I, like many others, am also proud of Benjamin. To speak out on matters of value is not only right but necessary to bring meaning to those values. I do not expect anything less from anyone in the Salinas family. They live their faith. Benjamin's life experiences at our Truffula Tuft played a part in who he is today, but who he is today is mainly a testament to Felipe's and Cathy's guidance.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Arturo...
Just another example of one of Holy Spirit's exemplary parish families that have been run off like so many others, no longer available to help improve our parish, and especially in their case, our religious education program. What a tragic loss!

Anonymous said...

After reading all of the commentary, did anyone really expect anything less from Tsar Louie and his henchmen? Hopefully some of the uninvolved parents can now witness firsthand the systematic destruction of our beautiful parish community by a man who professes to follow in Christ's footsteps. What s shame!

Anonymous said...

I attended BOTH meetings trying to figure out what to do to get my children in Religious Ed. This has been a horrible nightmare! I have never seen anything so disorganized in all my life. Is Martha Sanchez still in charge of our Religious Education Program? When I asked her what was going on, all she would tell me was, “it’s been changed”. “Who” changed it and “why” was it changed? I now understand why there is so much dissention at Holy Spirit. Nobody will stand up and answer any questions!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Martha Sanchez had anything to do with changing the religious education program. Martha Sanchez is one of the "old" staff members that the Bishop tried to fire several years ago. This new priest and his self-appointed Parish Council are doing everything possible to remove anything that remains of the "old" Holy Spirit. As excellent as it was, her old religious education program is a casualty of this process.

Anonymous said...

YOUR EYES HAVE BEEN OPENED!

Anonymous said...

I was at both meetings and was handing out the Blue information flyer. Wednesday evening I was told by a parishioner that I could not hand out the flyer. I asked him what authority he had to tell me I could not pass them out. He informed me that Father Louis sent him to stop anyone attempting to hand out information. Reason given was that any handouts must be approved by Father Louis. Indeed I had not gotten Father Louis permission so stopped handing out the flyers. Father Louis opened the meeting and said there would be no opportunities to ask questions. He indicated that if parents wanted to do a home-school version of religious education they could do so and HS would supply the materials. What he was describing is not the same organization and support as our old religious education program. Even though it appeared he is giving parents a choice, it is not a choice between the old and the new.
In talking to several of you after both meetings, I share the following thoughts:
For those of you who want the one hour a week program, because that is what you know from your own religious education program, I can understand what you are saying and have no criticism of your views. I also understand your feelings that we should show respect to our leaders. I felt we were not in any way disrespectful during the meeting, but respect does not imply that one cannot question our leaders judgment and actions. If Father Louis respected all his parishioners, then he would allow dialogue and questions so that we could come to solutions that were acceptable to all.
For those who thought they would be given a chance to provide input or vote on what kind of program they would be happy with: Some ask what they can do and suggested writing letters. My initial response was that letters have not been effective, but I have had second thoughts and suggest that if enough parents wrote letters and sent copies to the Bishop, at least you would have tried.
Ideally you could request having a meeting with Father Louis, but he has been difficult to schedule meetings one-on-one and has indicated he is not interested in meeting with groups.
What I also heard from both sides of the issue is that we are tired of the conflict. I share that feeling. There is definitely a great difference of opinion on who has caused the conflict. It will only be through respectful open communication that goes both ways that will cause the conflict to end. And we will still have difference of opinion. God made us that way. The scars will remain a long time, but I pray that the open wounds will begin to heal without the need to amputate parts of the body.

Anonymous said...

Anon. #27 wrote:
"There is definitely a great difference of opinion on who has caused the conflict."
That's easy. Bishop Pena started the conflict when he appointed "Sack-'em" Delgado, "Inquistion Was Okay" van Hove, and "Lord" Brum. Who's next? The Bishop sure wants to destroy the last vestige of Holy Spirit Parish.

Anonymous said...

The wounds will never heal until the doctor (Louie) examines the patient (parishioners), sits down and discusses how to treat the infection and then actually performs treatment. We are going to have that open wound for a long time. It appears that it is infected and rapidly spreading since we don't have a qualified board certified phyisican but rather a quack for a doctor.

Anonymous said...

How can such a closed minded priest ask that WE keep an open mind and accept what he and the Bishop are forcing upon the parishners. He is but a human being, albeit one who wears the garments of a priest, and ALL humans make mistakes, Father included. He too must admit that he has made MANY mistakes by refusing to hear the voices of ALL of his flock, and when he prays to the Lord for guidance to lead his flock, he must hear our God and his disapointment in how his leadership has divided ALL those who wish to worship the Lord, our God. I can only think his heart has grown hard with the guilt and sadness as to what he and the Bishop have done to Holy Spirit...

Anonymous said...

For those of you who believe that the only problem is the dismantling of the Family Religious Education program, I'm afraid that you have been in a fog for 3 1/2 years. I pray that the day will soon come that ALL of the atrocities that have occurred at Holy Spirit by the Bishop and Louis Brum will be made known to all. It would make your blood curdle. Just look at the people who have turned on fellow parishioners because they have been fed lies by Louis. These people's hearts are now filled with hatred and contempt for the very people who welcomed them into our parish. Shameful!

Bridget Cook said...

I attended the religious education meetings at church this week, or at least attempted to. It seems that each meeting I attend was the same… the Msgr. Rambles on and on and on and no one gets any of their questions answered. But then, this is like most things at Holy Spirit — decisions are made that change the way something very successful was run for years without any thought to the practicalities of how the program will be managed.
I find it very strange that Martha Sanchez doesn’t appear to have any kind of place in the new religious education program. I really think this is something that bears thinking about. Martha is nationally recognized for the work she has done at Holy Spirit concerning Religious Education, yet she does not seem to be involved in any aspect of the current program. I have seen many parents approach her with questions that they couldn’t get answers to from our pastor; and I have heard her admit that she doesn’t have the information needed to help them understand. Martha has over two decades of experience. It would seem logical that she has something to contribute to educating the youth of our parish. Martha is an amazing and dedicated Director of Religious Education who is very well respected by the religious education community throughout this diocese. Too bad the Monsignor hasn't taken the time to know her and respect her for the wonderful, generous, faith-filled woman we all know her to be.

Bridget Cook
Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

Martha and all the traditional HSP staff have been excellent. I can only assume that Brum is about to fire them now that it seems the union has been declared null. The clowns are totally in charge now.

Anonymous said...

Next time anyone goes to church and you see Fr. Louie, question him why this is happening to our church. You never know what he'll say next.

Ask him. It doesnt hurt...

~A Saddened Parishioner

Anonymous said...

Even if you do ask him, he will probably tell you "If you don't like it, then go to another church". When I was growing up, we had a priest like him, only paying attention to the ones with "Money" and those that would invite him to "dinner", etc. (didn't have Starbucks back then). As I grew up and became a young adult, the priests in the parishes where I lived, were not like that. Everyone was welcome, those with a lot of money, those with some money, and those with not much at all. I was thinking "At last, this is the way the church, any church should be....But sadly, it appears that we have gone back in time at Holy Spirit.