Monday, April 23, 2007

Very Disturbing News

Very, Very Disturbing News

I have heard from two parishioners that stated that they had spoken to our parish council president about their recent decision to deny a religious sister of our parish from being reinstated as a Eucharistic Minister.

Things are sketchy and I am still investigating, but this sounds like it could be one of the saddest moments in the history of our parish!

Our parish council president stated that Monsignor Brum informed them that the Bishop had sent him instructions to reinstate this religious nun as a Eucharistic Minister.

It is my understanding that Monsignor Brum and his parish council then voted to over-ride the instructions of our Bishop and declare that she remained unworthy of being allowed to be reinstated as a Eucharistic Minister at Holy Spirit parish.

Based on what I have heard so far, I think it is time that we ALL ask our pastor and his parish council members a few questions about the basis of their actions.

None of us were allowed to vote on our parish council members, so many of us have no idea who they are. For your information, here is a listing:

Ruben Solis, President
Joseph Connors
Benjamin Bujanda
Ruben Fonseca
Gabby Martinez
Frances Schreiber
Richard Longoria
Crawford Higgins
Alma Kalifa

Some questions I plan to ask:

(1). Who gave you the right to sit in judgment of a fellow parishioner… especially a religious nun that has spent her life serving her Church?

(2). Who granted you the authority to over-ride the direct instructions of our Bishop?

(3). How many of you, including our pastor, could pass scrutiny of YOUR WORTHINESS to sit in judgement of others?

I am totally flabbergasted by this, but somehow am not at all surprised. I will continue to investigate. If any of you have more information, I would welcome your input.

STORY UPDATE (04/24/07):
This story continues to develop. Please be informed that in order to protect the integrity of the nun involved, I am withholding all comments that include her name.


An Old Timer said...

I have known many of our parish council members for a long time. I could tell stories about most of them! Most do not have much room to sit in judgement! Neither does our pastor, for that manner.

Anonymous said...

How many others of us have also been discussed at parish council meetings? This really is wrong.

Anonymous said...

With leadership like this, is it any wonder our parish has become the joke of the diocses? No wonder we have lost so many parishioners. Why does our Bishop continue to look the other way?

Anonymous said...

If it is true that the pastor spoke to the Parish Council about the situation described, that is cause for automatic dismissal.

He isn't being pastoral; he isn't being professional; he isn't being smart; he isn't even being ethical.

He should be sued for slander and defamation of character and so should the whole Parish Council. They're as guilty as he is for participating in this.

Anonymous said...

This is just horrable news indeed.

And isn't it a shame that we must all voice our openions anonymously so that our parish council and pastor will not remove us as well!

This is sick.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is worse than a revengeful pastor and his band of nine faithful followers?
What a model of the Catholic faith Holy Spirit has turned out to be.

Chayo said...

I always carry a small rock in my purse to remind me of my sinfulness. Maybe the parish council and Fr. Louie should do the same. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Is that not what Jesus said?

Gerard Vaello said...

Open Letter to Holy Spirit Parish Council.

I guess the most disappointing question that I must ask is why any of you did not stand up for this nun. Most of you, especially your President, knows this nun very well and knows exactly what kind of a person she is and how devoted she is to her Church.

Besides, why didn’t any of you even question why this matter was being brought before the parish council in the first place? Heaven help us, I sure hope that it has not gotten to the point that it is the duty of our parish council to judge the worthiness of Holy Spirit parishioners. Who are you to judge?

This just goes to show how quickly being given a little artificial power can so quickly corrupt. Are you all so fearful of being removed from your pious positions by your pastor that you are now afraid to speak up for what is right? Has your personal integrity been so badly compromised?

I also seriously question how you could so easily be convinced to go against a directive from our Bishop? You have all commented many times that the Catholic Church is not a Democracy. Do you now think that you have the right and power to over-ride your Bishop’s judgment and directives by majority rule?

I am very sorry to admit that I am totally disappointed in all of you and that I fully agree with the previous commenter. You have all over-stepped your bounds and should all immediately resign your positions. You should also have the decency to go to your Bishop to beg for his forgiveness and to insist that he immediately remove our pastor, who as we all know, is the real root of this problem.

You also owe that religious nun that you have all so publicly slandered, a very sincere apology.

Enough damage has been done… It is time to rebuild our parish!
Gerard Vaello

Janet Miller said...

When I heard that Fr. Louis, in concert with the parish council, had chosen to willfully disregard the Bishop's written directive to reinstate the religious nun in question as a Special Minister of the Eucharist, I thought that there must have been some misunderstanding. That being the case, I chose to go to the source rather than the grapevine.

I spoke with my friend Ruben Solis, the parish council president, and asked if it were true that the council had cooperated in this action. Ruben dissembled with the excuse that he had yet discussed it with her. Apparently a simple "No" was not sufficient to address my questions. I noted that I, too, am a parishioner and wanted some straight information, but that failed to elicit any further response. I was indeed miffed but we parted with a sign of peace. And thus the silk curtain closes...

I am hoping that the pastor and the council members are feeling some degree of discomfort at having deliberately disdained the Office of Bishop Peña. Coupled with the burden of having to be considerably less than forthright with their community has surely left them in an odious situation. Even more odious is that the Bishop would bow to such an obviously intended insult!

It is unimaginable that a religious sister who has dedicated her life to God through His Church would be denied the privilege of serving as a Special Minister of the Eucharist because at one time she stood up "before the congregation did", while our parishioners are scandalized weekly by those Special Ministers who are publicly living outside the norms of the Church.

Disturbing? You bet it is! Let us all continue to pray faithfully as we await justice for our beloved sister and our community at Holy Spirit.

A fellow parishioner,
Janet Miller

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Monitor would be very interested in this story. Headlines will read:


The story will explain how the Reverend Louie Brum has wrongfully used his position as parish Pastor to retaliate against a parish Nun for speaking out against the many injustices that have plagued the parish, beginning with the wrongful termination and retaliation of parish workers, the unjust exclusion of parishioners from parish ministries and parish life and how he duped his hand-picked parish council into supporting him in his vindictive crusade.

Anonymous said...

With a heavy heart, I believe that it is now time to take legal action against Louis Brum and the parish council. All attempts at rational dialogue have been in vain. It appears that Brum is beyond help, and the parish council needs to be shaken up so that they can come to their senses. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???? Judge not lest ye be judged.

Anonymous said...

Re: Religious Nun
I guess this would all be a totally different situation if the religious nun in question was an evil person and there was just cause to publicly crucify her like this. There’s none and she certainly doesn’t deserve any of this!

In spite of her name not being mentioned, we all know who she is, a nun that has always been very devoted to her Lord, her Church and the peace & justice causes of the Catholic Church. She has spent her life serving her Church and the disadvantaged.

This situation stems from a vendetta that our current pastor started against her back in December of 2004, when he so rudely removed her from her long standing position as head of the Holy Spirit Peace and Justice Commission.

There is record of his actions in the Dec. 2004 archives of this Blog, where you can surmise the reason(s) she was removed from her position. It was not because she was not doing a superb job (well documented), but because she spoke out in opposition to some of the many injustices of a new pastor that was ordered by his Bishop to "clean house at Holy Spirit".

This action is just another step in that process! Based on this, do any of you actually think there is any hope of your Bishop stepping in to intervene and correct this continuing injustice at Holy Spirit? How stupid of you... he ordered it! Don’t forget to include the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville and Bishop Raymundo Pena in your lawsuit!