Monday, June 25, 2007

Holy Spirit Parishioners' Newsletter of 6/24/07


Somos el Cuerpo de Cristo
Thoughts from Some Fellow Parishioners of Holy Spirit
June 24, 2007

Anniversary
“It must be understood, that a prince cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state.” from The Prince by Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. (It is said that Machiavelli wrote The Prince as advice to Cesare Borgia, a Cardinal of the Church and son of Pope Alexander VI.)

The fourth anniversary of the firing of the parish workers has certainly set off an exchange in the local version of the blogosphere—a lot of heat, certainly, and even some light. Anniversaries give us an opportunity to step back, take the long view, and try to understand the significance of what has happened over a period of time.

Some have emphasized the actions of the three priests who have been in charge of the Parish since June 2003, but in the big picture there has been one consistent player who has never wavered in his attitudes and his actions vis-à-vis Holy Spirit and who has controlled the main flow of events over this entire time. Bishop Peña has orchestrated it all in a way that would make Machiavelli proud.

It is hard not to come to the conclusion that the Bishop wanted a dramatic confrontation in June 2003, when he very easily could have taken action in 2002, when the labor contracts were signed, by immediately getting on the phone to the five pastors and informing them that they did not have the authority to execute such contracts—the issue would have been settled on the spot. Instead the Bishop allowed nearly a year to go by, giving, to all intents and purposes, tacit approval to the contracts, and then chose to dramatically violate the contract in a parish he wanted to make an example of anyway.

It has all been manipulation—conservatives and progressives both have been played, contributing, unwittingly, to an exercise of raw power, not authority. The Bishop portrays himself in public as the voice of reason and pastoral care, seeking a way to “heal and reconcile factions in the parish.” This conveniently ignores the fact that he created the divisions in the first place and, by his failures to act, has encouraged the three priests to further exacerbate the situation. The Bishop has engaged in at least four different, long term, behind the scenes efforts at supposed dialogue and negotiation on particular issues, but every time has found a way to see these fail, blaming others on each occasion and leaving the net situation in the Parish worse for the effort.

Some of the most recent entries on Reflections of the Spirit raise the call for some honest dialogue—calm, respectful, and face-to-face—without involvement of the clergy. Sort of a clubhouse meeting, players only, that might have a chance of putting human faces to expressed feelings and ideas and so create an atmosphere where some real progress might take place. This seems like a good way to start the fifth year of this sad saga and begin a turn from tragedy and farce to effective action.

Let’s everybody put their copies of The Prince back on the shelf, set aside its advice, and get to the business of creating a better Parish.

Assessment and Metrics
The great number of parishioners in government, education, or some large business enterprise have certainly become aware, of the large amount of emphasis and energy that goes into assessment these days. Sometimes this emphasis seems extreme, but everyone has to admit to the logic that careful assessment should lead to a more effective enterprise. Good assessment depends upon clear articulation of goals and clear definition of metrics.

When the Bishop in his interview on KRGV, and others in blog contributions, declare Holy Spirit to be thriving, the question becomes how did they arrive at such a conclusion? What was measured? How was the data gathered?

There is an old adage, de gustibus, non est disputandum (concerning taste, there is to be no disputing). Some people think that The English Patient was terrible; others think Fargo is a terrific film. Taste is not the subject of a proper assessment. Neither are anecdotal impressions. When the Bishop says, “the Confirmation candidates were well-prepared,” he should be able to tell us upon what data he based that observation—help all of us understand the religious education effort better.

There are some numbers that point to a Parish that is not thriving: Mass attendance is dramatically less; Sunday collections are significantly lower; hundreds of people have left the Parish; fewer youngsters are participating in religious education; ministries and activities in the Parish are fewer in number and involve a smaller percentage of the Parish. These are “bottom line” numbers that should concern everyone.

The fact that some people like or dislike certain changes is not really fodder for assessment—we need to decide what is important to be doing and how to measure what we are doing. Merely disputing taste won’t get it done and eventually becomes time-wasting and destructive.

Rules of the Road
Chalk it up to a moment of truth is stranger than fiction. In the midst of a week filled with increased death and violence in Iraq, renewed focus on healthcare, immigration issues, efforts to raise awareness about the desperate living conditions of so many of our brothers and sisters at home and around the world—in the midst of all this and more, the Vatican released a document called “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road”. Within its 36 pages it even includes the “10 Commandments of the Road”. Sorry, but my immediate reaction was along the lines of doesn’t the Vatican have something better to be spending its time and energy on?

But if you put the document in perspective, the advice is good. Especially when the document is viewed according to what is at the heart of the matter—how to be in relationships with each other that are just, relationships guided by Jesus’ commandment to love one another. Then the document really comes to life. It stresses prayer, avoiding expression of power and domination, bringing parties together for the experience of forgiveness, protecting the more vulnerable party and feeling responsible toward others. How different this world would be if all of us—world and church leaders included—could follow those guidelines. from fellow parishioner, Michelle Pena

Effective Ministers
“…I have known many wonderful priests who do their best to bring Christ alive today. A friend will soon be ordained to the priesthood, and I am happy for him. I am, however, concerned about what the editorial describes as ‘a new breed’ of priests enamored of the robes, jewels, costumes and attitudes that are as misfit a medieval concept as limbo. Such men cannot be faithful disciples or effective ministers when they place themselves on pedestals above the people they are called to serve. Clergy are not holier or more virtuous than laypeople. They are our brothers who exercise a particular ministry within the community of faith…. It seems that many bishops are more concerned with protecting the institution at all costs than they are with leading us in doing Jesus’ work in the world. Where is their faith in the goodness and fidelity of God?” Sheryl B. Za-bel in a letter to the editor, National Catholic Reporter, 6/22/07

$$$$$ Update
Since 10/15/06:
Total below budget: $47,058.50 (last year same date: $49,559.67)
Total shortfall (including expenditures over budget): $116,979.86
Projected yearly shortfall: $168,970.91
Note: The total shortfall numbers in the last two newsletters were incorrectly reported as $58,267.80 and $64,094.58. They should have been $92,369.94 and $105,920.59, respectively. Sorry for the error.

Inquiry
How and why is it that the Holy Spirit Preschool appears on several websites as a branch of the Catholic Charismatic Services of Dallas (also known as the Christian Community of God's Delight)?


Prepared by RGV Parishioners for Progress and edited by Jerry Brazier. Copy this, and pass it on to fellow parishioners, either by e-mail or paper. If you want an opportunity for prayerful discussion of these and other issues about the parish or have any other comments, please contact us at gbrazier@rgv.rr.com.

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's not lose the thread about the parish meeting with this new post. We have yet to hear from the "insiders"; where are you?

Anonymous said...

YES, this would be a great starting point to finally restore peace in our parish. Lets keep going on this. Where is all the "insider" representation?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they are afraid that their status would change from "insider" to "outsider".

Anonymous said...

Throughout all of the postings from the "insiders" it appears to me that they DO want to bring this conflict to an end. I pray that they have the courage to arrange a meeting and that they come with open minds and hearts as we will.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:
If all the insiders become outsiders that would only leave The People; maybe outside, but united. Not a bad thing. Now, I hope Anon. 4 is correct and they begin to speak up.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anniversary
This whole Holy Spirit mess can be totally attributed to a lack of leadership ability. Isn't it a shame that appointment as a bishop in the Catholic Church doesn't automatically grant one the knowledge and leadership ability to run a Catholic diocese? It's kind of like pulling someone from the stockroom, with no management experience, to make him the company CEO. The company would be destined to fail!
This holds true for our priests, too. If a priest is not a good administrator to begin with, what makes anyone think he is going to magically gain the required management ability when he gets assigned to his own parish?
The problem with the Catholic Church these days is that we no longer have the selection of talent that we once had. We now have no choice but to accept whomever we get, no matter how lacking they might be in leadership ability. Based on this, I guess there would be great merit in hiring a professional Pastoral Administrator for each parish.
Darn! And our long time highly experienced, highly qualified Pastoral Administrator just quit! Oh well, let’s all pray about it!

Kanickers said...

One thing that we can all be thankful for is that most of those priests and bishops that you are speaking of, in spite of lacking management ability, are usually very dedicated to serving Our Lord. I consider that to be MUCH MORE important than any management ability that they may not have. I guess it takes the right combination of both.

Anonymous said...

If they are sincere about serving the Lord and teaching his word, they will do fine as a Bishop or a Priest.

Anonymous said...

Okay, what about the insiders? A few days ago they were contributing to this blog. Has the potential of a face to face meeting scared them?

Anonymous said...

Going back to the parish meeting:
I'd like to suggest that we begin with a small meeting,maybe a couple of leaders from both sides getting together at a restaurant, or any other public place of the "insiders" choice. A big meeting requires good planing and we want to make sure it is well organized and fair to both sides.
To keep the place of this initial meeting private, I also suggest the "insiders" (for lack of a better word )should communicate in private with any of the "outsiders", or with the editor of Somos El Cuerpo de Cristo.
Let's pray for the courage to take the first steps on the way to reconciliation. We can do it! Si se puede!

Anonymous said...

Our church is based on reconciliation. We freely accept it and celebrate when our children participate in this special sacrament. Please, let us come together to ask each other for forgiveness for any pain that we may have caused each other (intentional or not) and work together to beccome one family ready to live God's word.

Kanickers said...

Sounds like an excellent plan. It is time that we have peace at Holy Spirit again. Any takers?
~Kanickers

Anonymous said...

Well, here I am. Had to go out of town on business and could not write. Let us back up a bit....I am the one asking to meet face to face. Where did I ever say or define two groups that you are talking about "outs" and "ins"? Again you are taking the leadership. This group continues to do things there way or no way. If I am the one asking for a certain group then why are you all now calling the shots? Seems controlling again to me! Then we talk about our Bishop and Pastor - read what you people write down because it is there in black and white...At this point I think the only SAFE meeting place is the DA's office. Also, I have been told that the author of kanickers lives in San Antonio and that means if that is true that author is not a member of the parish. Is anyone going to confirm this? Got to run...I need to catch up on the other comments....anono#13

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 6/27 @ 10:21pm.
You are the one who wrote:"You want to talk - I will talk - say the place and time and we can talk! I like Ann would like to sit and look you in the eye! Have a good day!" So what are you talking about that we have taken over, doing things our way or no way? You asked us to pick the time and the place. We are extending that invitation to you to choose. You want us to choose? Let us know and we will. And, another one of your sources said Kanickers is in San Antonio? Just another clue that you operate on false information. what a joke. They live right under your nose, here in McAllen and they have been members of Holy Spirit Parish from the first day of the parish in 1981! How do I know that? Because I've been a member since the first day in 1981! Do you really want to meet face to face or not?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Anon 13 nor anyone one else on the "inside" is not serious. Sorry for the false hope, everyone. I say we confront them as Christ would July 11 after the debut of the "new" evening prayer.

Chayo said...

I remember when I first fall in love with my church. I remember as if it was yesterday. A well-intended mother sent me to Catholic boarding school at the very early age of four. I remember crying as I looked up at this imposing place. Women dressed in brown habits and carrying a large rosary around their waists. Complete strangers. Little did I know that it was to be the beginning of my journey with my Lord Jesus Christ. It has been quite a journey of faith, hope, love and a lot of hurt along the way.

What I remember most was the slowly awaking of feelings sometimes so simple as the sound of our laughter as we wandered around forbidden places in the convent, only as young children do. It was filled with so much mystery. Watching the nuns make the white round things that I came to know as one of the real mysteries of being Catholic. How one day I would receive the very body and blood of this man Jesus, who I was learning more and more about each day. At night the other two boarders and I would talk about the nuns and their funny habits and would wonder what they looked like when they removed them. Did they have hair under there?

But how blessed I was to have such wonder women who shared their love for Jesus with us. It was all about love and forgiveness and how, if we wanted, we could speak to Him every day, simply by praying. I remember closing my eyes and asking Jesus for so many things. Is it not funny how our first prayers are all about praying for “things”? . It reminds me of that scripture passage from I Corinthians 13:11-13: When I was a child, I use to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remains, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

It is because of these words that I can say that I still love my church, in spite of all the things that it has done to me in God’s name. It has failed God’s people time and time again. It will continue to do so in the future, until we get things right. The church is us. All of us! We are all part of this great mystery that Jesus died for so He could rise and give us all hope in Him and in each other.

So people of Holy Spirit do not let that hope die. Let us rise as Christ did and become a better parish then we were before. Let us truly be our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us find Christ in each other. Let us come together to remember when we first fell in love with Christ and let us all try to bring that love to His table by being his children again. So let us “Rise up people of God. Rise UP and bring back the love of God to Holy Spirit Parish. Let it not be about each other, but about “US”. We have extended our hand, now it is your turn to do what our pastor has not wanted us to do. It is time for healing at Holy Spirit. Let this begin with you and me.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 6/28 7:18am
We should avoid using strong language like "confront" if we want to keep hope alive. I think staying a few minutes after Night Prayer on July 11 to try to schedule a more extensive meeting is an excellent idea. I don't want to quit trying.

Anonymous said...

Confront is strong? Know Jesus!

Anonymous said...

There you go again "confront", such strong language for Jesus. I don't think he spoke like that at least not what is printed in the scriptures.
My saying your way - you have turned this into a game now. Using night prayer to confront like Christ....one anonymous said it right...Know Jesus!
This is not Jesus and neither are none of your actions.
I do not consider myself and "insider" as you say...I am a good Catholic, citizen and I try to live my life to the best of my ability with good morals and values and knocking down our church and its leaders is not for me or my family. Why can't you go to night prayer and come out in a peaceful way instead of "confronting" others. What is the prayer all about for you?
Oh well, I think I will re-think about this meeting and get back to you at another time.
Also, I asked for a confirmation on the San Antonio person - you did not have to say it the way your wrote it. I do know who you are and I do know who you are related to but that is not my concern or business at this time.
I will be at night prayer listening and watching to see who you "confront" like Christ did.
I will also pray for your conversion and change of heart.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we know you. You will be "listening and watching" us and not praying, just like you do in mass. Fake Christian!

Church Employee Who Has Seen It All said...

After reading the comments from Anonymous the good Catholic, I was reminded of this parable spoken by Our Lord and recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 18.

9
He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.
10
"Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
11
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector.
12
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
13
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
14
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

If you still don't believe that the Lord Jesus used strong language when the situation warranted it, consider this passage, also from Luke, Chapter 11:

37
After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat.
38
The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
39
The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
40
You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
41
But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.
42
Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
43
Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces.
44
Woe to you! You are like unseen graves 11 over which people unknowingly walk."
45
Then one of the scholars of the law 12 said to him in reply, "Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too."
46
And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.
47
Woe to you! You build the memorials of the prophets whom your ancestors killed.
48
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building.
49
Therefore, the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles; 13 some of them they will kill and persecute'
50
in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world,
51
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah 14 who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
52
Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."
53
When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things,
54
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Now those are just two examples that clearly demonstrate Our Lord calling a spade a spade and challenging the religious authorities of His day. I don't believe His intention was to condemn them, but to call them to repentance. Likewise, I don't believe your fellow parishioners mean to condemn the clergy and their loyal, unquestioning supporters. Rather, they are calling them to repentance. That is the challenge of the Gospel for all of us; the measure of true discipleship is humble acceptance, repentance and reconciliation with God AND neighbor. Please don't think yourself above anyone else, as your input lacks sincerity and, consequently, credibility.

Anonymous said...

As I read the comments written by "good Catholic", I had to really temper a very disturbing, angry reaction to his/her words, as has happened a lot when I read the blog. What angers me the most is the way I read his/her statement, "I am a good Catholic with good morals & values..." So what are you saying Mr/Ms Good? Are you saying that you can stand away from me because, in essence, you're judging me to be a "bad" Catholic, especially because I will not defend the injustice that the Church (the people of God) condones?

Is this the right attitude to take when there is the possibility of healing our church? You say you will watch and listen. Did someone appoint you to police the situation or will you be coming to this meeting to sincerely and humbly seek reconciliation?

The possibility for reconciliation & healing will come in spite of "good" Catholics. It seems like a greater possibility now because the words of reconciliation are coming from the hearts & souls of others... & not the "good" Catholics.

Back in Fr. Louie's beginnings, he asserted that division. A "good" Catholic had to do what HE wanted them to do - try to shame people away from the church by placing labels on them & dividing them away. Once that separation of the community was made, the "good" Catholics watched & listened for the day that the "bad" Catholics would sink themselves right into hell. Well, that hasn't happened. What has happened is that the parish is suffering miserably, in many ways. At whose hands?

I think that the effort to meet should continue. I know that there are many of us who want to get back to work in our parish - work on the religious education program, work to revive the youth ministry, work to include as many as we can into the humble service of Eucharistic Ministry and proclaiming God's Word, work to serve the poor & the sick, work to include all at church & work to further the Kingdom of God. There are many of us who are willing to lay down the swords in an effort to peacefully, thoughtfully & forgive-ingly seek the best possible solution to this crisis.

I agree with my sister in Christ, Chayo (we served on the 1st ACTS team from Holy Spirit & are bound by our mutual love for Christ to be sisters). And I love that she spoke of one of my favorite passages in the Bible from 1 Corinthians 13. My favorite verses & the ones I believe were written so that we could reflect on humility are 1-3, 8. "If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophesy & comprehend all mysteries & all knowledge; if I have all the faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, & if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love never fails.

By the way Chayo, I am grateful for the work you used to do in the church as sacristan. You kept everything organized and ready for each Mass, you made sure there were lectors ready & prepared to proclaim the Word, you knew exactly where everything needed to go before & after Mass & you made every priest that came to Holy Spirit to visit feel welcome. You made me feel reassured & comfortable when I went to church especially because I knew I didn't have to worry about something that you knew more about & how to do well.

Yes, let this begin with you & me. And the 100s of others who are tired of being excluded. I will never be excluded from furthering the Kingdom of God

Anonymous said...

Yes, we know you. You will be "listening and watching" us and not praying, just like you do in mass. Fake Christian!

6/29/2007 8:36 AM

IS THIS NOT WHAT YOU DO! YOU COME TO TORMENT OUR PASTOR AND THE PARISHIONERS! IN WRITING I DESCRIBED MYSELF AS A GOOD CATHOLIC DOING THE BEST I CAN - NOW YOU ARE ALL CALLING ME "A GOOD CATHOLIC" - AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED THERE IS NOT MEETING FOR ME. I THOUGHT THERE WAS SOME HOPE BUT NOW I KNOW THE TRUTH. YOU STILL HAVE NOT ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS. YOU WANT THE BISHOP TO OPEN UP EVERYTHING TO YOU PEOPLE AND YET YOU CAN NOT ANSWER A SIMPLE QUESTION ASKED OF YOU. WHAT A FARCE! I DO NOT JUDGE YOU OR YOUR PRAYER AS YOU DO EVERYBODY ELSES! WHERE DOES ONE HAVE A CHANCE WITH THE BODY OF TIRANTS LIKE YOU. CHECK YOUR PAGES - YOU KEEP CHANGING AND CHANGING YOUR COMMENTS. LIKE SOMEONE SAID - MAYBE YOU ARE THE PHARISEES IN DISGUISE.

Brother in Christ said...

No need to scream and contradict yourself, brother. They are different people like we are. That is why their position seems to change. I will still meet with them July 11, and I hope to see you there.

Anonymous said...

What's this "we" & "them" business? We are all members of Holy Spirit parish period. WE are all brothers & sisters in Christ. There is no we & them...before June 18, 2003 the WE & Them never existed. Why do you keep on insisting on this divisiveness?

Brother in Christ said...

Calm down; you know the division exists. Let's see if we can work together to eliminate it.

Chayo Vaello said...

People of HOLY SPIRIT.

Let us come together at evening prayer to pray. To pray that the spirit of God will be present in each one of us there. Let's leave our anger and hurt at the door. Let this time be of God for each of us.

Let us not allow any other spirit but the spirit of God, which is love, peace, forgiveness and compassion to come into our place of prayer. Let us bind ourselves to this and to pray for the wisdom to allow the spirit to guide each of us.

your sister in Christ

Anonymous said...

to chayo -
People of those who protest -

Why can't we come together at Mass to pray - why does it have to be your evening prayer? When I can see you Chayo and your group coming to Mass to pray and not protest, etc, then I will gladly join you and pray with you. Right now, I am praying for you and for your change of heart. You sound so sweet and serene but look at all the actions you have taken and the people you take them with. Let us meet as you speak of at the Eucharist in peace and harmony instead of knocking down our pastor's homilies, announcements, etc. Show that peace and the spirit of God at Mass. Take the signs off the cars and sit freely instead of as a body of protestors.
Then maybe I can join you and a few others.

Brother in Christ said...

Anon to Chayo:
Stop trying to create division; enough of that! See you July 11.

Chayo said...

To Anonymous,

When I go to Mass I DO go to pray, as do all of my friends. I do not carry a sign and I do not show any disrespect to Fr. Louie or anyone else. I go because of my love of the Eucharist.

As for my standing, I stand because it helps me to remember what a great parish we once had. Please know that, early on, Fr. Louie told us that we could stand after the great Amen, so contrary to anything that anyone tells you, we are not going against any rules of the Church, nor are we being disrespectful.

As for Fr. Louie's homilies, most of the time I must tell you honestly that I just close my eyes and pray in the quite of my heart. It is very difficult to hear Fr. Louie talk about love, forgiveness and being one with Christ when he has done nothing to bring about healing in our parish. He has done his best to separate us.

I have forgiven Fr. Louie for what he has done to the many members of our parish, including myself. But that does not mean that what he has done is right. I do not knock his homilies; I just pray that his heart will be changed.

As for evening prayer, I would encourage you to come and join all those that hopefully will be there. I will come to pray in the chapel that we have had "Night Prayer" in for over 12 years, where we were suddenly locked out of and left with no choice but to pray outside. I will now come to pray and to hope that it is a beginning of our parish finally coming together.

I hope that we can be included in this service and are made to feel like we are welcome to attend. I guess time will only tell if that will happen.

Thank you for your kind words. I know that I am a good and kind person and so are all of my friends. They have given me so much. They have been my strength, my peace and sharing the love of Christ with them has been unbelievable over the last four years. I thank God for them.

Your sister in Christ

chayo said...

Brother in Christ,

Division because I ask people to come and pray?

Your sister in Christ

Brother in Christ said...

Chayo! I was not talking to you but Anon who spoke of your comment! Can we all get a grip here?

chayo said...

Brother in Christ,

So sorry.

See how easy it is to misunderstand each other.

I will get a grip. Thanks for the laught, I needed that also.

Anonymous said...

You said...
...As for Fr. Louie's homilies, most of the time I must tell you honestly that I just close my eyes and pray in the quite of my heart. It is very difficult to hear Fr. Louie talk about love, forgiveness and being one with Christ when he has done nothing to bring about healing in our parish. He has done his best to separate us.

But who caused the division. He did not come to HS to destroy...it was your group who caused all the turmoil. Just look at the disgusting words on the picture of Our Lord! Just look at the message under Our Bishop's picture!
Just look at the group who has protested on the grounds of our Church! Just look at those who come to Mass and turn what Our Pastor said into their own understandings! This is what I talk about. If there is any healing that needs to be done, I believe it needs to begin with all of you who have mocked our Bishop, our Pastor and our Church. I have never heard our Pastor talk ill of anyone of you as you do of him.
Chayo, you know he is not what you and the others make him out to be.
Healing begins at home and you people just don't want to admit your wrong doings. This blog is proof of all the terrible things people have said and surmized about the church. You are degrading your own faith. What a shame and what a waste of time. I choose to come to night prayer to pray to my God, not to meet with those who have done so much wrong in our parish. We are finally at peace and harmony among those who choose to worship at HP. So, sorry for you and the others. Will pray for your change of hearts.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, 10:27 on 7/02~
Give me a break. Fr Louis does slander people and has told you all a bunch of lies about so many people it isn't even funny! He did it in Alamo and he did it in Weslaco. I know. I tried to warn people in McAllen when I heard he was going there. He has been taped telling lies about people~you've read that here on this blog. That is the problem. You all believe every word he says. And, btw, take a good close look at the pictures in the courtyard from four years ago and you will see some of the same people who are now criticizing that action: present deacon candidates, finance committee chairperson, the list goes on. And, the "outsiders" did not start this mess. Ths bishop sent a priest in here to do his dirty work just like he did at Perpetual Help Parish two years before. Fire everybody! Talk to Fr. Esteban, he stood up and told the deanery meeting that he was under obedience to the bishop to fire everyone. And then Fr. Brum came in to finish it off after you had Van Hove. Talk to any pastor who followed Fr. Brum into Weslaco and they will tell you the permanent problems he created there.
-another church worker who has seen it all!!!

One that has lived through it said...

Dear Anonymous @ 10:27,
Did you crawl out from under a rock? Where have you been for the last four years? No one could be THAT BLIND to what has been going on around them. Is this a joke?

"He did not come to HS to destroy - It was YOUR GROUP that has caused all this." Really?

Please do yourself a favor and go back to the very first page of this blog and read the truth about what really happened!

Sign me, "One that has lived through it."

Chayo said...

Dear “You said” Anonymous,

How long have you been at Holy Spirit and do you even know how all this came to be?

Who caused the division? Do you believe that we did? If you do, with all due respect, you are totally wrong.

If you were here when Fr. Jerry was our pastor, then you will remember how our Bishop removed him from our parish after he signed the union contracts that were put in place to protect the employees of this parish and the other parishes that also joined the union. Make no mistake about this, our bishop created this division in our parish in RETALIATION against us for joining the union. In the United States, all workers have a legal right to union representation. The Catholic Church has ALWAYS endorsed this basic human right. All of the workers at the Vatican belong to a union.

The very first day that Fr. Ruben came to Holy Spirit, there were letters of termination for all of the union employees of Holy Spirit. Some of the employees were on vacation, or on retreat. So, only 4 of us got letters of dismissal that day. All the locks to the offices were changed and security guards and diocesan employees took over Holy Spirit parish. That evening, over 400 parishioners came to our gym to give voice to their disbelief. How could this happen and why?

That is exactly what started this whole division. People were so upset because of the unfairness of it all. How soon people forget what really happed here. Do you remember this? If you really want to know the truth, then go back to our archives on the side of this blog and read about what really happened. There is much more to this story that so many people do not know. One thing for sure, WE did not create this division!

There is so much that most people do no even know. So people like you only believe the priest, our bishop and those who have chosen to forget or cover-up the truth. That is THEIR sin and God will deal with them. I know that I have not said anything about Fr. Louie or the Bishop that is anything but truth. I do not lie. I have also never been disrespectful to Fr. Louie or to the Bishop. I may not agree with them, but I respect their position in our Church. No one is perfect and no one should be believed over another, just because they are a priest or a bishop. They are just as human as we are and are given to sin just as we are. The proof of this is history!

You say that you are finally at peace. But are you? How can you be if you accept this injustice against your fellow parishioners? Where is the love of Christ that you speak of? All we have ever wanted was the admission of the sins that were committed. I have belonged to this parish since the beginning. For you to say to me that I have degraded my faith is to make a judgment of me. You cannot question my love for God, my parish and my church. You do no KNOW me. I would never say that of you.

On thing you can always be sure of, I will always speak the truth. We are supposed to act with kindness, love, and understanding. But we must also speak up when a wrong has been committed, no matter who has done that wrong. Christ taught us that. Neither the Church, the priest, our bishop, nor any of us are above being held responsible for the things that we do to hurt God’s Church or our neighbors. Some choose to just pray about the injustices and let God take care of things. But are we not expected to be God’s voice for those who have no voice? We must strive to be responsible to speak the truth, even when that truth is hard to believe and hurts.

So do we pray together or do we continue with this division? I guess we will see at Night Prayer. Let’s at least try to give each other a chance.

Anonymous said...

If you are a Bible reader you will come to the conclusion that Jesus would be laying into Pena and Brum something fierce for the way they have misled. Come on, read Matthew and Luke before you respond.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chayo,
I have been at HS as long as you have. I have seen you people cause the division. What Fr. Delgado did was not fair and I agree with how that was all done, however, I as a parishioner never agreed with the union bit. Why were we not consulted as a parish family? You people talk about our pastor and how you were not consulted, well the same thing holds for Fr. Jerry. I never liked his politics mixed in with our church affairs and that continued after he left. So Fr. Jerry's legacy stayed on for some time. Now that new administration came in, things changed and changed for the good. We now go to Mass and not get any politics mixed in. We hear about the readings and what is going on at HS. I like to go to Mass there now where as before it was very difficult. Did any of you people every ask why we left and now have returned? I think not. But anyway, my family is back and we will do anything for our parish now. So all you people have caused the division. Took over the office and tried to take over the Masses. Like I said, if you could you would have said the Mass. Is that not what happened on the outside when the Holy Mass was going in on the inside? Distributing communion until false gods is wrong. So, sorry for you, but we still pray for your conversion.

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous writer, so you really believe that we should not mix church and politics. How cliche. Do you also believe the Church, the clergy and the all the Christian faithful should remain silent about abortion, poverty and war? Yes, these are moral issues, but aren't they also political issues. As Christians, each of us has an obligation to speak out on these issues. Jesus calls us to live out the Gospel message of love and forgiveness. This doesn't stop at our church door. Rather, we must carry this message out to the world - this includes politics and everything else.

Your Brother in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anony' responder to Chayo...

I was in church the Sunday that Fr. Jerry talked about the union and he said it was for a pension that had been taken away by the Bishop and for job security. I had friends at Perpetual Help and when the new pastor came in there he fired everyone. It was awful. So, we were consulted and so were the parish council and the finance council consulted and they agreed. I know because I was part of the finance council then. And if you didn't like Fr. Jerry's politics you could easily go to any other parish and find what you liked, Sunday experience that did not challenge you to go out and make a difference in people's lives.

So fine, you are now back. Unfortunately, I don't think you understand what went on and what goes on now. Politics? Hello? Check out the US Bishops' web site and you will see how we are supposed to be involved in politics. What are you afraid of? Would your life style have to change? Would your politics have to change? Why are you upset about a political message to make life better for the families who live in the city who needed transportation, health care, libraries, etc.? I think that is what Jesus would do.

Jesus was political. That's why he was crucified. Have you heard the gospel the last two weeks? "You think you can follow me? Do you know where I am going? Are you willing?" Or do you want to stay in your comfortable home and come to church to pray for all those things for God to do- when God is counting on us to straighten the mess out. After all, we made the mess, God did not!

So I guess essentially you are saying that you like the parish now because on Sunday you do not find a challenging message to do justice. You can leave church happy. Hmmm....

Anonymous said...

I was there on that Sunday as well and remember Fr. Jerry sharing that when Pope John Paul II became pope he had the workers at the Vatican form a union. So what's the big deal about the union? Sounds like some union bashing, which the bishop did. Go read Catholic social teaching and the documents of Vatican II and you will see that the church supports the rights of workers to form a union. It's ok to preach that,I guess, but don't apply it to your own employees. Do you know that people who work for the church do not receive unemployment or cobra? So when they get fired they are on their own. That's not right. And, the bishop left the priests pension fund in tack, even though it was hurting. I wonder what he did with the millions of dollars that he had left over after he paid out the pension fund? There are a lot of things that went on that you anoymous insiders have no idea about. But, sometimes ignorance is bliss..........

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and all the other priests we had were open about business, not closed like Fr. Brum. We knew when and where the parish council met, we got a report in the newsletter too. Remember when Fr.Jerry even had us vote on whether to buy the property to the south of the church building? How can you even compare his style to Fr. Brum who likes to be secretive? Anyone know why we are still having a building collection? Anyone ever answer the newsletter's ending statement: Why do we not even have our preschool anymore, it's some Catholic Charismatic Services of Dallas doing business as? And no one is aware of it? And, out of curiosity, how long are the parish van and pick up truck going to sit in the parking lot? The van has not been driven for almost five years now, and the same for the truck.... great administration we have.

Anonymous said...

...And if you didn't like Fr. Jerry's politics you could easily go to any other parish and find what you liked...
LIKE YOU SAID...AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE FR. BRUM'S WAYS YOU COULD EASILY GO TO ANY OTHER PARISH AND FIND WHAT YOU LIKE...
IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!

Anonymous said...

There is a time and a place to say my peace and I prefer not to do it in the following manner:
- at Mass
- wearing red to protest
- putting signs on cars
- attacking the pastor
- turning our children against our pastor
- writing letters to the editor...
Need I go on.
I choose to do my politics in a different way. The way I choose to do so and not to let any one of you tell me differently.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and all the other priests we had were open about business, not closed like Fr. Brum. We knew when and where the parish council met, we got a report in the newsletter too.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW TO DESTROY OR PROTEST OR CAUSE DIFFICULTIES. WHY SHOULD FATHER BE A FOOL IF YOU PEOPLE ARE OUT TO DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO TURN OTHERS AGAINST HIM AND OUR COUNCIL MEMBERS.
Remember when Fr.Jerry even had us vote on whether to buy the property to the south of the church building? How can you even compare his style to Fr. Brum who likes to be secretive?
REMEMBER YOU PEOPLE HAD IT IN WITH FR. JERRY, HE COULD DO NO WRONG. FR. BRUM IS NOT SECRETIVE...HE IS JUST PRUDENT AND I DO NOT BLAME HIM FOR HIS ACTIONS AGAINST SOME PEOPLE...
Anyone know why we are still having a building collection?
THAT COLLECTION EXISTED FROM THE TIME FR. JERRY WAS HERE....WHAT DID HE DO WITH ALL THE MONEY!
Anyone ever answer the newsletter's ending statement: Why do we not even have our preschool anymore, it's some Catholic Charismatic Services of Dallas doing business as? And no one is aware of it?
THIS JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING. YOU ACCUSED AN ANONO WRITER FOR NOT KNOWING SOMETHING AND HERE YOU ALL ARE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS.
And, out of curiosity, how long are the parish van and pick up truck going to sit in the parking lot? The van has not been driven for almost five years now, and the same for the truck.... great administration we have.

7/06/2007 11:58 PM

IS THIS WHAT YOU SPEND GOOD QUALITY TIME ON. CHECKING WHAT IS BEING USED AND NOT BEING USED. WOW, YOU MUST HAVE SOME GOOD DOCUMENTATION ON THESE PAST 5 YEARS. I THINK IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF YOU TO DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE WITH YOUR TIME. SOMETHING YOU ARE ALWAYS COMPLAINING THAT THE PASTOR AND THE BISHOP ARE NOT DOING. GET YOURSELF A PROJECT THAT IS WORTH ALL THAT TIME YOU ARE WASTING ON CHECKING OUT WHAT IS BEING USED AND NOT BEING USED. AFTER ALL, IT IS PEOPLE LIKE THIS THAT ARE CAUSING THE DIVISIONS AMONG US.
WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY!
SO, SORRY FOR YOU.

Anonymous said...

Why does the little man scream so much?

Anonymous said...

How foolish some people can be. You tell people to do something more constructive with our time. We DID do something constructive with our time. We participated in many ministries UNTIL Brum told us we could no longer do so.
You say that we were on the inside with Fr. Jerry and that was bad. Aren't you on the inside with Brum? Is that bad?
Without dialogue we will never truly understand what each of us wants. What I am hearing is that the "insiders" want what they want. The "outsiders" are open to dialogue.
Who is truly looking for healing???

Anonymous said...

As an observation, it seems that there is a whole lot of venting going on. Reconciliation looks more like a "catch" word than a sincere desire. Anyone who dares to disagree or voice another view is "told off". What will you say when together?? Will it be a verbalization of all the accusations here? I hear justification for the disrespect of the priest and the Bishop.
The distinctions being made between insiders and outsiders, good and bad catholics, is both childish and destructive. You sound like a bunch of little kids, sniping.
For those who sincerely want to "come home", I suspect the door has been open all along. Many parishioners who left were probably followers and have come to realize that they were following a "pied piper". They should visit the priest and return home and just enjoy the parish for awhile.

Some of you have characterized our Bishop in extremely bad ways, and done the same to a very fine priest as well, plus several other priests with public displays and letters, news conferences, etc.

As a fellow Catholic, and a member of the Diocese, I am offended by the slander being continuously heaped upon our Bishop and Fr. Brum. I believe you owe your fellow Catholics not only at Holy Spirit Parish, but throughout the Diocese an apology for what you have done to our family and to our spiritual Fathers.

I will pray for those who truly want to return that you would lay pride aside and ask Jesus for the humility to honestly look within and see your own faults and open your hearts to your parish and your priest.

Peace and reconciliation must begin within.

An Observer
.

Anonymous said...

Well, anonymous who likes to scream....We were not "in" with Fr. Jerry any more than we were "in" with Fr. Bob Maher, Fr. Marty Zuber, and Fr. Gus Pacheco, and Ann. Give me a break. Did it every occur to you that Fr. Jerry was not the only priest we had over 25 years? Why was it now that there is so much trouble? That is the question you need to reflect on. And, the building debt was paid off two years ago. If we are now collecting for the next phase of building, what is it? A new rectory? or the plan that was created four years ago? Don't you think it would have been nice for the Pastor to announce that the building debt was paid off two years ago and that he is now collecting money, maybe, don't know because we haven't had a finance report, for the next phase? Don't you think it would be nice to know if he is keeping the plans for the next phase? Transparency we do not have. And, yes, Fr. Jerry had a collection for the building debt, but we got an annual report of where the money went. This church building and property were paid off two years ago. Go ask!
And you think to also feel that we idolize Fr. Jerry. Give me a break. The difference with Fr. Jerry is that you could disagree with him and he wouldn't kick you out! But, believe me, many of us disagreed with him quite often. Again, you know so little of what went on. And, check out the Dallas Charismatice Services website and you will see. Unless, oh yes, maybe there are two Holy Spirit Preschools at 2201 Martin Avenue in McAllen, TX.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
We participated in many ministries UNTIL Brum...
You say that we were on the inside with Fr. Jerry...

FIRST OF ALL, I AM NOT A LITTLE MAN THAT YOU ARE CALLING ME. ALSO, LOOK AT THE DISRESPECT FOR OUR PASTOR. YOU PEOPLE NEVER SHOW ANY RESPECT FOR HIM. LOOK AT HOW YOU TALK ABOUT FR. JERRY. SEEMS TO ME YOU WANT ONLY HIM AND NO ONE ELSE. MAYBE WE CAN START CALLING HIM JERRY OR THE LIKE. THERE IS NO HOPE FOR YOU PEOPLE UNTIL YOU CAN ACCEPT WHAT IS BEFORE YOU. I STILL THINK THAT YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO GET WHAT YOU WANT. YOU NEED NOT ANSWER TO ME ONLY TO GOD AND ON JUDGEMENT DAY HE WILL TELL YOU WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT THIS WHOLE ORDEAL. IN THE MEANTIME, I GO TO CHURCH TO PRAY FOR OUR LEADERS WHO ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. SO SORRY TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE MISSING THE BOAT, JESUS HAS ALREADY SAILED PAST YOU. SEE YOU IN THE NEXT LIFE.

Anonymous said...

TO ANONYMOURS...7/02/2007 11:14 PM
YOU WROTE:
...Dear Anonymous, 10:27 on 7/02~
Give me a break. Fr Louis does slander people and has told you all a bunch of lies about so many people it isn't even funny! He did it in Alamo and he did it in Weslaco. I know.
WOW! IS THAT YOUR JOB TO FOLLOW A PRIEST AROUND AND SPEAK ILL OF HIM. NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO AGREE WITH ANY PRIEST 100%. LOOK AT ME, I DID NOT AGREE WITH FR. JERRY 100% AND I DID NOT SPEAK ILL OF HIM.
I tried to warn people in McAllen when I heard he was going there. He has been taped telling lies about people~you've read that here on this blog. That is the problem. You all believe every word he says.
WOW! YOU ARE PAUL REVERE RIDING IN THE NIGHT TO WARN THE PEOPLE OF MCALLEN OR ARE YOU ST. PAUL PRESECUTING GOD'S PEOPLE! YOU EVEN HAVE HIM ON TAPE. SOME PEACE AND JUSTICE THIS IS. DOES THAT SECRETIVE TAPING HOLD UP IN A COURT OF LAW? TALK ABOUT SECRETIVE WAYS AND LIES, MY, YOU HAVE A LOT TO ANSWER TO GOD ABOUT.
And, btw, take a good close look at the pictures in the courtyard from four years ago and you will see some of the same people who are now criticizing that action: present deacon candidates, finance committee chairperson, the list goes on.
WOW! DO YOU THINK THAT PEOPLE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND ARE STUPID? WE ALL KNOW THAT THOSE PICTURES WERE PUT IN ON PURPOSE. HOW IRONIC THAT THOSE WHO HAVE HAD A CHANGE OF HEART ARE NOW BEING PROSECUTED. DO I DETECT SOME JEALOUSY HERE? THERE IS A STILL A CHANCE FOR YOUR OWN CONVERSION. DON'T MISS THE BOAT AGAIN. JESUS DOES NOT COME ALL THE TIME. HOP ON AND YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
And, the "outsiders" did not start this mess. Ths bishop sent a priest in here to do his dirty work just like he did at Perpetual Help Parish two years before. Fire everybody! Talk to Fr. Esteban, he stood up and told the deanery meeting that he was under obedience to the bishop to fire everyone.
WOW! SUCH OBEDIENCE FR. ESTEBAN HAS TAKEN. TO TELL OTHERS WHAT TOOK PLACE AT A DEANERY MEETING. ANYONE WHO IS NOT LOYAL TO HIS BISHOP NEEDS TO LOOK AT THAT AND MAKE SOME VERY IMPORTANT DECISIONS. TALK ABOUT ABUSE AND JUSTICE.
And then Fr. Brum came in to finish it off after you had Van Hove.
WOW! YOU HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT. MAYBE YOU PLAY THE GAME CLUE TOO MANY TIMES. YOU ARE NOW TRYING TO BRING IT INTO YOUR OWN REALITY.
Talk to any pastor who followed Fr. Brum into Weslaco and they will tell you the permanent problems he created there.
WOW! I I KNOW MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE PASTOR WHO FOLLOWED FR. BRUM. SO WHAT DOES THAT TELL US. IT ONLY TELLS US THAT PEOPLE GO TO CHURCH FOR THE PRIEST AND NOT THE EUCHARIST. IT IS GOD WE ARE GOING FOR AND NOT A PRIEST.
-another church worker who has seen it all!!!
HONEY, YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT ALL! YOU HAVE SEEN WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE.
SO SORRY FOR YOU. TAKE OFF YOUR BLINDERS.

Anonymous said...

I have checked out the Catholic Charismatic Services of Dallas and Dallas Charismatic Services and find nothing. Can you narrow down the web page for me. Thanks

Anonymous said...

FYI:

www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_hwxjw8

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith! An old order is dying and a new one will take its place and all the SCREAMING in the world will not prevent it. The church will not die, but it will change as it has in the past. Notice how out of step with reality the church is now, and religion cannot survive out of step with reality as defunct religions in the past will testify.

Anonymous said...

It is clear who is wearing the blinders.
The Spanish proverb "No hay peor ciego que el que no quiere ver" (there isn't a worst blind person than the one who doesn't want to see"), comes to mind. How appropriate.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous who thinks the Church is dying unless it gets modern.......You haven't read your Scriptures very carefully. You should be reminded that Jesus said HE would be with it until the end of time and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And satan and his minions have tried, greatly, many times thoughout history. Satan loses this one, be sure of that. The Church WILL survive. It may be smaller, but know that Jesus will not abandon His people, just because some want to reform it into their image. Jesus formed His Church and that is good enough for me. He set it up perfectly, according to His Will and promised He would always be with us.
Problems arise when some begin to think they know better than God what His Church should be. That is unmitigated pride.
Sometimes when we refuse to humble outselves, God sends someone to do it for us. Remember what He taught about taking a seat at the banquet. Take a seat at the last table and the Host will come and move you up. Don't seat yourself up front as the Host may ask you to move for someone more worthy. What's the lesson here?
We all have to shed our pride. It is remarkable how much lighter our load becomes and how much happier we become and how much better everyone else begins to look.
Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Satan will lose this one and the church will change like it always has precisely to survive. The likes of Louey and Rey del Mundo Pena will lose their power.
In all humility,

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:24 pm
You don't sound like a Catholic theologian at all. Are you a cusp evangelist? I bet you're really into Max Lucado. Then you do belong at the present day Holy Spirit.
Coming together to talk is not about wagging your finger and proclaiming your idea of Christ's church. Christ shouldn't be pigeon-holed to fit your limited image. I don't remember a single scripture where Christ instructed us to exclude anyone - the lame, the poor, the prostitutes, or people who are more knowledgeable of Catholic theology.
Get off your high horse & go work in the fields with the poor people, go build a house next to an exploited undocumented worker, go live in a shack in a colonia that floods and is now infested with mosquitos.
Or include people in your church who will do the work while you and Fr. Louie cool your heels and "pray" in a nice, air-conditioned, fully paid for church. That's what this is all about.

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
...Yes, Satan will lose this one and the church will change like it always has precisely to survive. The likes of Louey and Rey del Mundo Pena will lose their power.
In all humility,

7/11/2007 7:39 AM

Just look at your disrespect of the bishop and pastor of Holy Spirit. And you can sit back and call yourself a Christian. I think not. If I were to get 25 cents for everytime you slader their names, I would be a millionaire right now. So, sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

YOU WROTE:
Anon @ 10:24 pm
You don't sound like a Catholic theologian at all. Are you a cusp evangelist? I bet you're really into Max Lucado. Then you do belong at the present day Holy Spirit.
Coming together to talk is not about wagging your finger and proclaiming your idea of Christ's church. Christ shouldn't be pigeon-holed to fit your limited image. I don't remember a single scripture where Christ instructed us to exclude anyone - the lame, the poor, the prostitutes, or people who are more knowledgeable of Catholic theology.
Get off your high horse & go work in the fields with the poor people, go build a house next to an exploited undocumented worker, go live in a shack in a colonia that floods and is now infested with mosquitos.
I HAVE WORKED IN THE FIELDS WITH THE POOR, I GREW UP POOR SO I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO HAVE NOTHING TO EAT AT TIMES, I HAVE BUILD LIVEE AS AN UNDOCUMENTED WORKER AND EVEN DID TIME IN JAIL, I GREW UP IN A SHACK INFESTED WITH ROACHES,ETC. YOU NEED NOT TELL ME WHAT I CAME FROM. I, THROUGH THE HELP OF GOD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BE LEGAL HERE, GOT A GREAT EDUCATION AND NOW HOLD A GOOD JOB. HOW CAN I SIT BACK AND LET YOU PEOPLE DESTROY WHAT HAS GIVEN ME LIFE?
Or include people in your church who will do the work while you and Fr. Louie cool your heels and "pray" in a nice, air-conditioned, fully paid for church. That's what this is all about.

7/11/2007 8:41 AM
I, NOR FR. LOUIE COOL OUR HEELS AND PRAY IN A NICE, AIR-CONDITIONED CHURCH. I WANT TO SEE YOU GO OVER THE BORDER EACH WEEK AND WORSHIP IN A CHURCH FILLED WITH FILTH, NATS AND THE LIKE. I THINK NOT. ALL OF YOU WHO PROTEST HAVE NICE HOMES WITH AIR AND EVEN THE ADDRESSES PROVE THAT YOU LIVE IN THE BEST PART OF THE VALLEY. WELL, ME AND MY FAMILY DON'T. WE STILL LIVE POORLY BUT ARE VERY HAPPY. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!

Anonymous said...

Would-be millionaire wrote:

"Just look at your disrespect of the bishop and pastor of Holy Spirit. And you can sit back and call yourself a Christian. I think not. If I were to get 25 cents for everytime you slader their names, I would be a millionaire right now. So, sorry for you."

No, sorry for you, that you are not a millionaire. Just read Luke and Matthew and see how Jesus ripped into corrupt clergy (like Brum and Pena) of His time. We are lame by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Then you and I have more in common than we think. Let's get together and talk.
We need to agree not to scream at each other. We need to understand that both of us can work together to make sure that other people don't live the way we did or we do right now, in poverty. We need to decide if we will accept the challenge Jesus set before us - to do whatever we can for the least of our brothers. We don't need to keep attacking each other if we want to do the same thing. WE CAN FURTHER THE KINGDOM OF GOD TOGETHER.
Yes, we are blessed in this area. And I can remember the days at Holy Spirit when those blessings were shared with all - thanksgiving dinners where anyone and everyone came together to share delightful meals; where churches with poor communities came to fill their pantries with the food we had at HS; where small prayer groups were encouraged; where money was raised to send to poor parishes in Mexico and central America.
We lost many great contributors and their contributions of time, talent and treasures.
No church can survive with just a few. We learn from scripture that we - all of us - are the Body of Christ. Is this not so? Then why are we not all included now?
Sometimes, you have to make SOME noise to be heard. Didn't Jesus teach, "Knock and it will be answered. Ask and it will be given"? There are many of us who have been asking for healing and reconciliation for years now. Don't hold that against us.

Anonymous said...

YOU WROTE:
No, sorry for you, that you are not a millionaire. Just read Luke and Matthew and see how Jesus ripped into corrupt clergy (like Brum and Pena) of His time. We are lame by comparison.

7/11/2007 2:49 PM
JUST READ HOW JESUS SEPARATED THE SHEEP FROM THE GOATS...WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE ANYWAY WHEN ONE HAS A FAMILY, EDUCATION AND GOD IN THEIR LIVES. NOTHING ELSE IS NEEDED. ON WHICH SIDE HAS JESUS PLACED YOU?

Anonymous said...

ALL CAPS writes:

HOW CAN I SIT BACK AND LET YOU PEOPLE DESTROY WHAT HAS GIVEN ME LIFE?

Are you saying that discrimination, exclusion, and lack of accountability have given you life? Because that is all we want to destroy.

Anonymous said...

to AL CAPone:
Goat or sheep...sheep or goat...hmmm.
I think I'll stay a human. What about you, AL?
You know, this is kind of fun. Wait right there, ol' buddy, while I go pour me another drink.

Anonymous said...

I was trying to spare you the word
"wolves" but you just proved yourself. You are what you are because of your choices in life.
You use the word "destroy" and that says alot.
Like I said before, you have your opinion and I have mine and others have theirs. That is what life is all about.
So sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Wolf...now that is better than a goat or sheep, but me and my buddy AL CAP will still continue to be human.
Keep them one-liners coming! How about some Latin, now that your church is going back to speaking languages no one uses?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7/12/07 10:17

You seem to enjoy feeling sorry for us. Don't waste your feelings, please!, there is no need. We have become a wonderful loving community, we are very happy, and very actively involved in serving the needy, the oppressed, the rejected; and working for peace;etc.
We don't feel EXCLUDED, Holy Spirit WAS, IS, and WILL be our parish regardless of who wants to exclude us. We will continue to stand up and speak truth to power when needed because that is what Jesus did.
I personally feel sorry for you for your lack of understanding of what being a Catholic really is!

Anonymous said...

...a wonderful loving community...
Is that what you all are...loving only to those who have the same thoughts and opinions as you. Where is your love for everyone? You have excluded people from your wonderful loving community...I know I was one...
Because I did not protest our pastor and stand by your sides, I was told by your group to "get lost". So how loving are you.
There is no room for people like me unless I think and act like you do. And I refuse to do that because I do not want to go against the teachings of my church and what my parents brought me up to be. It was not for nothing.
So, Yes, I also like CAPS is sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

We never excluded anyone. You said you could not agree with us, so naturally and understandably you excluded yourself. That's very different. It was your choice not ours, and we can't force anyone to stay against their will.

Somebody told you to"get lost"...? That's what the pastor told us, maybe not with the same words, as I'm sure no one from our group said that to you either. Making up harsh words to make others look bad is not kind, not Christian. Protesting injustice instead is what Jesus did.

Jeb said...

Aw, how sad...the bad Catholics told you to get lost. I am sure that you are right; they are soooo mean! Hey, me and AL CAP will let you join our little group! What is your favorite brand of suds?

Anonymous said...

TO JEB;
OK, I AM ON YOUR SIDE...
FROM ALCAPS...

Anonymous said...

...Somebody told you to"get lost"...? YES, THEY DID!
That's what the pastor told us, maybe not with the same words, as I'm sure no one from our group said that to you either.
ALWAYS TRYING TO BLAME OUR PASTOR. AND YES, ONE OF YOUR GROUP TOLD ME TO GET LOST AND A FEW OTHERS.
Making up harsh words to make others look bad is not kind, not Christian.
I AM NOT MAKING UP WORDS, THIS IS FACT. WHAT ABOUT THE LADY THAT SPOKE UP AND YOU PEOPLE SO NICELY TRIED TO SHUT HER UP AND RUN HER OFF UNTIL ANOTHER PARISHIONER CAME FORWARD AND DEFENDED HER...REMEMBER!
Protesting injustice instead is what Jesus did.
YES, BUT NOT YOUR WAY, HIS WAY.

7/14/2007 3:28 PM

THE TRUTH HURTS, DOESN'T IT....
SO SORRY FOR YOU.

Anonymous said...

Many comments ago, I noted that in spite of the wide range of opinions a dialogue had begun and perhaps there was hope for change to happen at Holy Spirit. There were a number of entries attempting to reach out and find a time to meet and start to talk. I am now losing any hope for that to happen as I observe the tone and content of the most recent comments. In dealing with conflicts with people in other settings in which I participated, I always noted that every story usually had two sides and the truth usually lay somewhere in the middle. To resolve the conflict both sides usually had to move toward that middle. What I see now that most of those participating in the blog and also those in charge are making little progress in moving towards the middle. We seem to have been reduced to calling each other names, pointing fingers, and feeling sorry for each other. Calling each other names is non-productive. I also question whether the feeling sorry for each other is genuine? Jesus asks us to forgive one another. That is different from feeling sorry for each other. It is also not up to us to judge one another.
With God all things are possible. We rarely know how or why He works the way He does. My prayer is that He will lead me in the right path so that I can be part of the solution not part of the problem. There are days when I think that leaving as many others have done might be the best solution.
On another note, I am truly sorry and saddend if my actions made anyone feel excluded.
Finally I asked does anyone believe it possible for us to get back on a path to understand each other, accept our diffences and work together?
Pearl

Anonymous said...

PEARL WROTE...

Many comments ago, I noted that in spite of the wide range of opinions a dialogue had begun and perhaps there was hope for change to happen at Holy Spirit. There were a number of entries attempting to reach out and find a time to meet and start to talk.
PEARL, IT WAS ME (ALCAPS, SCREAMER, WHICH THEY ARE CALLING ME)WHO HAS ASKED FOR A MEETING. I HAVE EXPLAINED THAT I WRITE IN CAPS BECAUSE IT IS MY STYLE. OTHERS HAVE TAKEN OFFENSE TO IT. I WAS WILLING, BUT NOW WITH THE RESPONSES, ETC. I SHALL NOT MEET. SOME OF YOU PEOPLE HAVE DECIDED THAT THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS BY LASHING OUT AT ME AND A FEW OTHERS WHO WANTED TO MEET.

I am now losing any hope for that to happen as I observe the tone and content of the most recent comments. In dealing with conflicts with people in other settings in which I participated, I always noted that every story usually had two sides and the truth usually lay somewhere in the middle.
YES, PEARL, THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SAY. YOU, MUST ADMIT THAT THIS WEB PAGE IS ONE-SIDED AGAINST OUR PASTOR. NOT EVERYTHING IS PUBLIC AND ONLY THOSE INVOLVED AND HIM KNOW THE TRUTH.
To resolve the conflict both sides usually had to move toward that middle. What I see now that most of those participating in the blog and also those in charge are making little progress in moving towards the middle.
I HAVE TRIED BUT NAMES IS WHAT THEY ARE CALLING ME. SO I HAVE SHARED THE TRUTH ABOUT BEING TOLD "GET LOST", etc.
We seem to have been reduced to calling each other names, pointing fingers, and feeling sorry for each other. Calling each other names is non-productive.
PEARL, YOU ARE CORRECT. HOWEVER, IF YOU LOOK BACK AT THE REMARKS, YOU CAN SEE WHO STARTED IT. I CAME ON AS A PEACE BROTHER AND WAS CALLED MANY NAMES. THERE WAS EVEN A PERSON SAYING, THEY WOULD HAVE ANOTHER DRINK...
I also question whether the feeling sorry for each other is genuine?
MY SAYING I AM SORRY IS GENUINE. BECAUSE EACH PERSON WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO GOD AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND THE SO, SORRY IS THAT I AM TRUELY SORRY FOR THAT PERSON MAKING A FOOL OF THEMSELVES.
Jesus asks us to forgive one another. That is different from feeling sorry for each other. It is also not up to us to judge one another.
FORGIVENESS IS DIFFICULT, AND JESUS KNEW THAT WE WOULD STRUGGLE BEING THE HUMANS THAT WE ARE, BUT PEARL, LIKE THOSE WHO CAN NOT FORGIVE FR. BRUM WHERE IS THE FORGIVENESS ON THEIR PART? AREN'T YOU ARE YOUR HUSBAND ONE OF THEM?
With God all things are possible.
YES, THIS IS WHAT MARY PROCLAIMED THROUHOUT HER LIFE AND I BELIEVE IT.
We rarely know how or why He works the way He does. My prayer is that He will lead me in the right path so that I can be part of the solution not part of the problem.
PEARL, FOR YOU TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION AND NOT THE PROBLEM IS TO LET GO OVER ALL THESE PROTESTS AND JOIN US WHO COME TO MASS TO BE WITH JESUS.
There are days when I think that leaving as many others have done might be the best solution.
THAT IS YOUR CHOICE. AND A CHOICE YOU MAY HAVE TO CONSIDER.
On another note, I am truly sorry and saddend if my actions made anyone feel excluded.
YES, PEARL, YOU ARE ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE ME FEEL EXCLUDED AND A FEW OTHERS OF YOUR FRIENDS AND I DON'T WANT TO MENTION NAMES. BUT I WAS TRUELY HURT BY YOUR GROUP.
Finally I asked does anyone believe it possible for us to get back on a path to understand each other, accept our diffences and work together?
Pearl
IT IS VERY HARD TO GET BACK, I TRIED BY ASKING FOR A MEETING AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED. AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, I GO TO MASS, I VOLUNTEER, I TAKE MY KIDS TO CCD, I PARTICIPATE AS A FULL MEMBER OF THE CATHOLIC TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH AND I LIKE OUR PASTOR. SO FOR US TO GET TOGETHER SOME OF YOUR WAYS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE. I AM JOINING THE GROUP WITH JEB AND THE OTHERS WHO HAVE ALREADY CONTACTED US TO BE A GROUP BELONGING TO THE TRUE CATHOLICS ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

7/15/2007 9:06 PM

Anonymous said...

Well, Pearl, nice piece of work but when you can be a member of Holy Spirit Parish and a TRUE follower according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, then we can meet because we will be on the same level. As of now, we are worshipping two different religions and yours is certainly not CATHOLIC!
ALCAPS FRIENDS!

Anonymous said...

To Pearl,
To begin with if you and your husband would stop writing that disgusting newsletter and making Holy Spirit look like a public fool then maybe there is hope. I read those articles and find it very offensive to the church I belong to. Maybe you should think of the Chritian church for your worship or the mosque.
W.W.J.D.

Anonymous said...

Pearl,
Thanks for those beautiful words, however, when I see you putting them into practice then I will meet with you. Until then, we are different and we are into two different religions. I follow the teachings of Jesus and you are doing your own thing according to what you and the others want the scriptures to read for you. The wisdom of the past was that we could not conclude for ourselves what the scriptures were saying and that was wise because now that we are doing that look at what is happening. Turn your ways and follow the true teachings of the Catholic Church if you want salvation.

Anonymous said...

To Pearl,
I don't really know you that well, but I would think that you are somewhat intelligent. When you talk about one-sided, don't you think that this web page is one-sided. I never read anything about what our bishop or our pastor say, unless one of you have put in your own words. Come on Pearl, take it to prayer and listen to what Jesus is telling you. Your heart must ache at times when you read some of this garbage about our bishop and pastor. Did not God create them also? In the eyes of some of you there is pure hatred. It is very evident at the Masses you attend and I am present. I feel it, I sense it, and it bothers me. Take it to prayer and examine your conscious and see what Jesus is trying to tell you. I will pray for your conversion.

Anonymous said...

Maybe all those people who are saying that this web page is one sided should start their own web page to teach others their idea of Catholic. I appreciate the effort made by anyone who has posted a mature, positive response on the blog. But I really think we can do without the lecturing from all caps and others who say they're sorry. I don't think that lives up to the true image of Christ. When did he say, "Well, I see you're in need, but sorry, you're not jewish so there's nothing I can do about it." Example, woman at the well story.
Thanks for feeling sorry for me, too. But, though I grieve for the tragedy at Holy Spirit which started before Fr. L and made worse by him, I have not been short on the blessings - spiritual, work, and family. And it didn't take anything Fr. L could have said or demanded from me for me to be richly blessed. That's all God's doing. But I must be doing something right even if I'm on the wrong side of church. By the way, with all those sour looks on the faces of the Fr. L devotees, you should be asked to be blessed with smiles and love for everyone at church - not just your friends.

Anonymous said...

What a hoot watching you Catholics go after each other. What with your Ex-Nazi Youth Pope, unitelligle Latin mass, huuuuge sex abuse payoffs, and renewed claim of being the only True Church. What a spectacle!

Anonymous said...

Indeed! And they have the audacity to sign themselves as "W.W.J.D."

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
...When did he say, "Well, I see you're in need, but sorry, you're not jewish so there's nothing I can do about it." Example, woman at the well story.

That is true, however, she listened to Jesus at the end, did she not? That is your problem, you are not listening!

Anonymous said...

To ALLCAPS, JEB, ALCAPONE, BROTHER, ETC.

Your posting will win an oscar.
Great, well written...
Hope GB's wife Pearl can comprehend.
I hope they will need DEPENDS.

BROTHER GENERAL

Anonymous said...

You wrote...
Indeed! And they have the audacity to sign themselves as "W.W.J.D."

7/16/2007 1:38 PM

There is no audacity, those are my initials you fool!

Anonymous said...

And I failed to mention the sexism; Catholics are no different from Muslims in the sense that women cannot be priests. What a backward religion; chosen of Jesus indeed!

Felipe said...

I, too, like Pearl, have just about given up hope that reconciliation can ever happen. Just look at the majority of the responses to her post, a message expressing sorrow, a plea for forgiveness if she had offended anyone in the past, a call for dialogue. Instead, what is she (and her husband) met with? Name-calling, sophomoric attempts at humor, and condemnation. No wonder she feels as she does. I certainly hope that the most recent posts full of invective and taunts are not representative of the majority of the current "leaders" at Holy Spirit parish, those closest to Fr. Louis. If these are the types of attitudes being expressed by those in charge now, maybe it is time to dust off our feet and join the hundreds of others who have drifted off to other churches or no home at all.

Anonymous said...

felipe said...
I, too, like Pearl, have just about given up hope that reconciliation can ever happen. Just look at the majority of the responses to her post, a message expressing sorrow, a plea for forgiveness if she had offended anyone in the past, a call for dialogue. Instead, what is she (and her husband) met with? Name-calling, sophomoric attempts at humor, and condemnation. No wonder she feels as she does.
THERE IS NO NAME CALLING...LOOK AT THE NAME-CALLING, CHARACTER SLANDING, CONDEMNATION THAT YOU HAVE DONE TO OUR PASTOR AND OUR BISHOP. HOW DO YOU THINK THEY FEEL? YOU KNOW WHEN THE SHOE IS ON THE OTHER FOOT, YOU PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT. WHERE HAS OUR PASTOR OR OUR BISHOP STAND OUTSIDE YOUR HOME(S)AND PROTEST OR HOLD UP SIGNS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU PEOPLE ARE WRITING.
I certainly hope that the most recent posts full of invective and taunts are not representative of the majority of the current "leaders" at Holy Spirit parish, those closest to Fr. Louis.
MY COMMENTS ARE NOT FULL OF WHAT YOU DESCRIBE. I AM TRYING TO GET MY POINT ACROSS JUST LIKE THEY ARE. AND IT IS A FACT THAT IF MR. G.B. WOULD STOP WRITING THOSE TERRIBLE DISGUSTING NEWSLETTERS THAT HE CAN PUT HIS NAME TO, THEN THINGS WOULD CHANGE ON THE PART OF MANY PEOPLE.
If these are the types of attitudes being expressed by those in charge now, maybe it is time to dust off our feet and join the hundreds of others who have drifted off to other churches or no home at all.
ALWAYS BLAMING THOSE IN CHARGE NOW. AND I THINK THE LIGHT BULB HAS FINALLY LITE...YES DUST YOUR FEET OFF AND LEAVE. WE DON'T WANT YOUR TYPE AROUND OUR PARISH. WE DON'T EVEN WANT YOUR TYPE IN OUR VALLEY. AFTER ALL SOME OF YOU ARE NOT EVEN A NATIVE OF THE LAND.
CALL ME WHAT YOU WANT...

Anonymous said...

it almost seems like this has become a one man fight...and many don't care to know what that one man has to say...anymore.

Anonymous said...

To the ALL CAPS MAN/WOMAN...

I've seen your posts. And I know you speak of everyone criticizing you, but letting you know, I'm not gonna make fun of your writing style...there's really no need.

But I will say this. I can't agree with you about the blog. You say the blog is very "one-sided" and only talks about "belittling our pastor and bishop"...the truth is that this blog was not founded on the fact that we think that the bishop and the priest are just there to make fun of. You must consider the feelings of those who were hurt by these two people just because their "opinions" seemed to be more important than pure moral or talents. Many of the staff and other members of the church were just thrown away, only because they (according to these 2 men) were not "Catholics in good standing" even though these people had the skills and talents within them to make our church vibrant and radiant. If you think about it, our church was packed with parishioners time and time again to hear the music that used to be full of life and spirit and the words of God that could touch your soul. But no more. The darkness (in my opinion) covered our walls and our radiance faded.

People don't just come to this blog to hear "the latest gossip according to (blank) about our bishop". They come to share their stories. Some even pour their hearts our in sorrow for what used to be, but rejoice for the support that is now.

So...before you decide to disassemble my letter and add your opinions to every paragraph, think about what you're really saying.

Yes, some come here out of anger...but some come to comfort themselves as well.

In simple terms...show some respect...and I'll show you the same...

~The Saddened Parishioner

Anonymous said...

To felipe,
Why are the leaders as you refer to them always the ones who are wrong. I am not a leader at HS and I feel you people do not belong. The finger is always pointed at those in authority. Have you ever thought about the average parishioner who has feelings and thoughts also. Get off your hight horse with the leaders and those in charge and come down to the simple people like me. It is people like you that disturb all the dirt and cause the dust to stop us from seeing the truth. Like the person before me, that person is right, leave and find another place of worship and see if you will be happy there.
I do feel sorry for you.
J.J.R.

Chayo said...

To J. J.R.

I guess I do not understand why you call yourself an average parishioner? Do you think the average parishioner at Holy Spirit feels that it is people like me who disturbs the dirt and causes the dust to stop everyone from seeing the truth? If so, then I disagree with you. And what truth is it that you are talking about? Yours? Fr. Louie’s? Bishop Pena’s? Mine? Or the truth as it really is?

Some people have forgotten what caused all of this. Others just want to look the other way. I respect that. But the leaders of this Church have not always been honest and truthful with us and that is what I do not agree with. I do not want that to happen again, here or at any other parish. If we do not call them on it, they will think that they can get away with anything they want. That has already happened too often in this parish and in this Catholic diocese. As a catholic, I have every right to question the leadership of my Church when it does an injustice to anyone, either in this parish, or any other. If you choose not to stand with me, so be it. That is your right.

As far as leaving this parish, that will never happen. I guess the difference is that I would never even think of asking you to leave. I have as much love for this parish as anyone. I helped build it. Because of what our bishop did and subsequently, what our pastor continues to do, hundreds of our parishioners have left. They have moved on to other churches or have simply quite going to Mass. I considered each of those parishioners my friends and it really hurts me to see them run off like that. We worked hard to get them here, to be a part of our Holy Spirit family. Were they not average, too?

Those parishioners left our parish because their bishop and pastor were not truthful and because they did not treat people with love and justice, as Christ taught. This is why I continue to speak out. I am sorry if that bothers you, but rest assured, I would do exactly the same for you if the tables were turned. I don’t think we can preach Christ’s message unless we live it!

Let us pray that one day we will all be able to come to this great parish and once again be a community that cares for each other, one that respects our differences but continues to embrace love for Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Chayo