Tuesday, June 12, 2007

We Remember

Monday, June 18, 2007
The Fourth Anniversary of the
attempted FIRING of our Holy Spirit Parish Staff by Bishop Raymundo Peña.
You are invited to post your comments and remembrances of June 18, 2003

(Click on images to enlarge, back button to return)


Link to Washington Post Article of 7/05/03: Washington Post

Link to Papal Nuncio Letter of 7/24/03: Papal Nuncio

Response to Bishop Pena 7/07/03: Response to Bishop Pena

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw Bishop Peña on TV yesterday (Con Me Gente, Ch-5). You can view his interview on line at the Ch-5 Web page.

It was clearly evident that our Bishop is still in denial about taking responsibility for what happened at Holy Spirit, after all, wasn’t it those WORKERS who caused all of that trouble by joining the Union? Remember: "I DID NOTHING"?

He also stated that attendances at Catholic churches in the Valley are "PACKED"! I guess he hasn't attended Mass at Holy Spirit lately. How can he answer for a Catholic church located in the fastest growing area of the fastest growing city in America, with but a handful in attendance every Sunday? Four years ago, it was ‘standing room only’ at every Mass and if you didn't get there early, you couldn't even get in the doors.

Also, consider how many parishioners left the Catholic Church because of his little fiasco. When are we Catholics going to stand up and put the blame for all of this where it belongs?

Anonymous said...

I too remember when the 8:30 Mass was packed and was filled with children. When we had the children's liturgy, before the readings and during the homily, there was at the most 40 to 50 children for that mass alone.

The readings were the same as those for the adults, just they were on the children's age level. Then, I guess, the children returning to their parents during the Offertory became a distraction for the pastor, because we haven't had that wonderful ministry for at least a couple of years.

I used to teach at the 8:30 mass, and the children were wonderful, full of questions, and examples of how they lived like Jesus in their daily lives. Some of them, although they were young, really knew their bible stories and their faces would light up when they had the answers to the questions that were brought up at that time.

I also remember helping at the 12:30 mass and I counted at least 80 children that time. I don't see that many now at all. I wonder where they went. How sad.

Anonymous said...

I love your picture of Christ looking over what our Bishop has done to Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Vacation Bible School? Another ministry killed. How can the Bishop say that Holy Spirit is going well? We had VBS for the last twenty years, the victims are the children.

Anonymous said...

I attend Mass at Holy Spirit occasionally, but it is becoming harder and harder to do it because everything has changed so much. It feels like the spirit has left; there is sadness, empty pews, no choir, music that is not familiar and we can't sing; the familiar faces are gone, the sermons don't speak to me anymore, they are usually just a lot of empty words, ... I frequently have to contain my tears.
What happened?, did we do anything wrong before to deserve such radical change?
My heart wants to go home to Holy Spirit, but home is a strange place now and I find myself looking for comfort in other churches. Witnessing the destruction of Holy Sprit is a pain too difficult to bear.

Kanickers said...

Don't know if any of you saw this in today's Monitor:

Monsignor’s dismissal of religious education wrong.

To the editor:
McAllen Monitor

Monsignor Luis J. Garcia, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Mercedes, has stated at Mass on several Sundays that the religious education of our youth is not important. It seems strange that a priest would want to dismiss religious teachings for the young of our parish as unimportant with all the forces in the world that push our children away from Christianity

There are many in our parish who feel that Monsignor is wrong on this issue. We feel that the religious education of our youth should be of utmost importance to the parish priest and every one of the parishioners. If you feel, like us, that Monsignor should change his opinion on this issue, please send him a letter to P0. Box 805, Mercedes, TX 78570 with a copy to Bishop R. Pena, P0. Box 2279, Brownsville, TX 78520. Many of us will be wearing red shirts to Sunday Masses as a silent demonstration against Monsignor’s position on this issue. You are welcome to join us. Just wear something red: a red shirt, red scarf, red dress, red socks, anything. Our Lady of Mercy Church was once a vibrant religious community with a strong commitment to the religious education of our youth.

We should not let the opinion of one person, a supposed pastor, weaken our commitment on this issue.

Alonzo Gracia,
Mercedes

Sure does sound familiar, doesn't it?
~Kanickers

Anonymous said...

History doesn't lie... The Lorax was RIGHT!

Anonymous said...

How sad that Bishop Pena and Brum have destroyed such a wonderful parish. I too attended Holy Spirit at one time but decided to leave because of Brum's tyranical leadership. I attended church this past Sunday to see what was happening and to mark the 4 year anniversary of the blood letting, and I was happily suprised to listen to a pretty good sermon. Of course, Brum was not presiding so it made the mass quite bearable. What was even more striking was the lack of ethusisam shown by the parishoners. It seemed that they were just there sitting and waiting for the mass to end and get out. What a shame!

Will Holy Spirit ever recover from this fiasco and return to its glory days when all were welcome?

Church Employee Who Has Seen It All said...

Is this what we have to look forward to, more parishes succumbing to the cancer that this bishop unleashed on us? What in the world did Mr. Gracia hear exactly in those sermons that lead him to state such a shocking thing about his pastor from Mercedes? I can find no justification for it if it is true. No middle ground on faith formation for our youth: either you have it or you don't, and there will be consequences down the line for good or bad. A priest actually said that? In what context?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Don't look now, but I have heard that the recently appointed Monsignor in Mercedes has been utilizing many of the same tactics that Monsignor Brum has used at Holy Spirit, i.e. firing of long standing staff, removal from participating in ministries if you disagree, appointing of parish council and finance committee members, no financial reporting, no explanations to parishioners, etc... Sound familiar?

Fortitude said...

You have caught my attention by your non-catholic actions and by what you have collected in this website; words of a few hearts that are clearly not at peace with oneself and with God. I attended the 8:30 mass at Holy Spirit this Sunday and noticed a few persons after mass gathering in front of the altar of which some (adults at mass?) were wearing red t-shirts, to sing some sort of song, but after a couple of minutes, I left. But not before noticing that Ann Cass was “sitting” while “they all stood,” kind of like a Queen and her Subjects. I have seen this kind of action before, but because of the years the memory of the event currently eludes me. Yet one thing that does not is this passage from the Holy Words: Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” Mt. 6:1-6, 16-18. I have also seen your actions when you gather on the “corner” of the holy grounds of Holy Spirit on your lawn chairs to sing and pray with or to Ann Cass. Clearly again, your actions are “against” the teachings of the Holy Words of those, just incase you forgot, are include in the above text. Yet one thing I do not understand why people of great knowledge of the church would teach these types of actions to their “Subjects?” I ask myself “is it a need to feed on the source of power fruited from pride or is it something much greater then that.” Either which way, I do not witness the love of my Lord.
Yours truly, Fortitude

Church Employee Who Has Seen It All said...

Mr. Fortitude:

Do you really mean that people at Holy Spirit parish pray to a woman named Ann Cass? If so, do you really expect anyone who reads your statement to take you seriously? I gather you disagree with the founding parishioners of Holy Spirit parish yet you contribute to their blog and are given an opportunity to be heard. Should they not have the same opportunity?

I do not understand your citing the Gospel passage against hypocrisy when describing a group praying in a church. By your standards, we should not have Mass or any other form of public worship. Isn't that a bit too extreme? Wasn't the Lord Jesus teaching us to worship in spirit and in truth and to back up our worship with action, in other words, loving our neighbor? Where is the love in your contribution to this blog? Mr. Fortitude, the sin of pride is alive and well in all of us and the clergy are no exception. Recall Pope John Paul II begging forgiveness from the Jews for the Church's limited response to their suffering during the holocaust, from Orthodox Christians for our Church's attempt at forced Latinization of their religious traditions, why, he even asked forgiveness of Protestants for burning some of them at the stake! If our blessed Holy Father, by universal acclaim Pope John Paul the Great, the Vicar of Christ on Earth himself was able to publicly ask for forgiveness, why can't our priests and bishop do the same? Won't you be a party to reconciliation rather than contribute to divisiveness in YOUR own faith community? Reach out to your fellow parishioners. Since you read the Gospel, you must be familiar with the parable of the publican and the pharisee. The Pharisee spoke up in prayer only to praise himself and condemn his neighbor. The publican only beat his breast and begged for God's mercy. Please pray for mercy and healing for YOUR parish which includes those people you just condemned as hypocrites for praying in the church. Talk to them and you may learn something about them you didn't know, that they are not idol worshippers for instance.

Anonymous said...

To Fortitude,
I really have a hard time understanding the depth of "hatred" leveled against Ann Cass. I was not there when the Parish was founded, but my understanding was that she was instrumental in its formation and has dedicated a large part of her live in service to the Parish and to the Catholic Church which she loves in spite of all its human frailities. I wish someone would actually list all the evil things that she has done to warrent these accusations. You seem to imply that all those other people are only protesting the current state of affairs at Holy Spirit as blind followers of Ann Cass. Give us credit for being independent intelligent adult Catholics who see all the damage that has been done to our youth, childern, and those who decided to leave the church altogether. I have heard of more than a few young adults who no longer go to church anywhere as a result of the events at Holy Spirit since 2003. And where are all the children and families that used to worship with us? Did they all leave because of Ann Cass?
Some of us stay, in spite of being asked to leave if we did not like the way it is now, because it is our family home and we continue to pray and sing for hope. The song we sang was "Do not fear to hope" and the prayer was to sustain us as we attempt to listen to God's will for us. I invite you to join with us in our prayer and song.
Do you pray for Ann Cass? and have you ever sat down with her and discussed the issues you have with her? There is another scripture that challenges us that if we have a problem with someone, we should resolve that issue with them before coming to the Lord's table.
Can we all sit down and talk to each other about rebuilding the Parish so that can nourish all our souls, not just a chosen few? If our clergy cannot lead that effort then it must be up to the lay Parishioners to lead the way.Can you organize such a meeting and invite all those interested to join us?
Christ's Peace be with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Well said again, Church Employee Who Has Seen It All. "Fortitude" must have been Mr. Gamez as he was the only one else present after mass trying to drown us out with some sound from the sound booth. Everyone else gets the hell out ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Fortitude: It is so evident that you do not know Ann Cass. I know of priests throughout the country who have heard of Ann and one well respected priest stated "Do not ever doubt that Ann Cass has the best interest of the Church in her heart. There are those who disagree with her 'methods' but agree with her message." Have you ever sat down to dialogue with Ann? What she knows about the hierarchy of the church would chill your bones and yet she remains a faithful following of Christ's word. Do not judge until you have had spoken with her and the others who are daily persecuted by Louis Brum and Bishop Pena, and who have had to watch the destruction of a church that they love and have worked for YEARS to build. Perhaps Fortitude you could do the same that Ann and many others have done. Build the city of God from scratch so that ALL would be welcomed to SERVE our Lord.

Anonymous said...

Fortitude,
Do you really know Ann W Cass? It is obvious that you don't because if you did you would have never written such harsh cynical words. You read the Gospels, do you think Jesus approves of your lack of love? Is that what you understand being a good catholic is? You don't even know this woman but you decided to join the few others who by ignorance of facts and /or by deceit chose to vilify her. Be careful who you listen to, and make sure you know the facts before you judge others.
May the God of Mercy have mercy on you and all who do not show mercy to others.

David Rodriguez said...

Quit living in the past. This church is far from being destroyed and IS thriving without the "founders". I believe this is not a issue of what is best for Holy Spirit, but is simply what is best for the "founders". This is a power struggle pure and simple. This parish is far from being in a state of disaster as portrayed throghout these comments. Bishop Pena has taken back Holy Spirit and has given it back to the community it serves.

Proud Member of Holy Spirit Parish said...

This is not about hating anyone, on the contrary Ann Cass and all the others of this group are lifted up in prayer daily. A lot of people strongly disagree with their actions, but they are not hated. This group has been playing the role of the "victim" for too long and it is time for it to come to an end. I'm sorry but you all have done this to yourselves. You complain about having to hold your meetings in non-catholic churches, no Catholic Church will allow you in. Your reputation is well known, we know what Call to Action believes in. We all know the damage you've brought to Holy Spirit.

Again I'm not trying to judge, but from what I've personnaly seen you thrive on causing confusion. It's no secret that you don't like Father Louis, yet there you are in the front row every Sunday, making sure that you are seen. It seems by this website that your sole purpose for being there is to disect his homilies or to try and find anything else to complain about.

You show the utmost disrespect to our Lord by standing before the great Amen is over. I've watched you during Mass, when Father says "The Lord be with you..." several of you in your little group don't even respond "and also with you."

What does that say about you? Do you even pray for Father Louis? You hang on every word, trying to find some fault, waiting to feel offended so you can get on the street corner with your signs, or call the monitor. It's you that have caused all this negativity on Holy Spirit. If you have any other purpose of being there, other then praising and worshipping our Lord, then you should not be there.

You secretly attempt to hold your own religious education program in some other christian church, but you wanted to use the books that Holy Spirit purchased to make that possible. Yet the rest of us are the ones that are being deceitful, right? Because for some unknown reason bringing the children to weekly classes was just way to much to ask. Monthly classes were working just fine, everyone said at the parent meeting. But did anyone wonder why we had almost 300 kids that needed to do their First Communion? We had kids all the way up into high school, that have gone so long without having been given this sacrament. Had the program not been changed, they might have been overlooked once again.

You don't believe in adoration, what do you think we'll be doing in Heaven?

You want women priests, married priests, gay priests. So much of what you believe in goes against the teachings of our faith. You want a church that you can do whatever you want in without seeking the approval of the priest. No church will give you that, you had it in the past, but that's not how it should have been and it will never be that way again.

You claim that Holy Spirit is your home, yet the majority don't even help support it. An empty basket is passed down that first row at the 8:30 Mass every Sunday.

You want Father Louis gone, yet what makes you think anything will change if a new priest came in? If Father ever leaves, the next Pastor will know about this group.

You complain about your Wednesday night prayer being taken away or whatever. Yet soon it will be coming back on Wednesday and Friday, if it means that much to you maybe you'll be there, joining and praying together with those that will be leading it.

Vacation Bible School is coming, the Children's Liturgy is returning and weekly CCD will be starting up again. Our children will be taught the true teachings of the Catholic Church.

For those that read this blog yet don't really know much about Holy Spirit, well other than what you've read in this blog, you're really only hearing the facts as they see it. Or more so as they want you to see it. Holy Spirit is thriving, and there are more of us that love our Pastor, that love our Church, then there are of this CTA group that solely want to see Holy Spirit fall.

I don't want this group gone, it is not my hope that you will leave. But it is my hope and my prayer that our Lord will open your eyes to His truth and His will.

My prayers are with you and with all of us.

Chayo said...

David Rodriguez,
So you agree that the bishop was behind what happened at Holy Spirit Parish and that he has taken Holy Spirit back from the evil ones and has given it back to the community that it serves.

And, just what services does this community provide?

Where is the children's Liturgy?
Where is Vacation Bible School?
Where is Mission Service Project?
Where was the retreat for the youth during their Conformation process?
Where was their community service?

Those are just a few of the services that it does NOT provide anymore.

Life at Holy Spirit has not grown and it is not about living in the past. It is about facing the truth. Can you do that David?

Bishop Pena came to our parish and spoke to everyone about what a great parish we had at Holy Spirit. That it was a true Vatican II parish and that he wanted Fr. Jerry to duplicate his work at his next parish. Was our Bishop lying to us?

David you have missed the whole point of our mission. I love Holy Spirit Parish and I realize that it will never be what is use to be, but I do believe it could be an even better place. We have been tested and have survived.

It is not about the founding members, it is about doing God's work. Holy Spirit was a parish where all were welcome and all were received at the Lord's Table. There was none better and I say this with all humility, because we were there for the people of this parish and I am sure everyone will agree. It was about service and love for our community and, unfortunately, that is not the case anymore. All you need to do is ask anyone who has had to do without some of the services once provided.

All of those parents who did not get books to teach their children religious education because Fr. Louie would not provide them, as he promised. The couple that, after many years of convincing her husband that they should be married in the Catholic Church, then having Fr. Louie miss appointment after appointment, not even bothering to call to let them know that he was not going to make it or to reschedule. They finally had to go to another parish. How sad is that? And believe me, there are many, many more true stories of unreturned phone calls and missed appointments when parishioners needed help and he didn’t even bother to respond. I know this to be true. I was there.

So David it is not about living in the past at all. It is about living out the gospel as Jesus calls us all to do. Why is it that most people like you believe that only the priest or the Bishop know what is right and good for the parish? We are the church and we are the community. A priest should come to serve the community, remembering that we were already a community before he came. That does not mean that we do not need a priest. Of course we do. How could we have mass without a priest? How could we have the sacraments without a priest? What I am saying is that the priest should listen to all of his community, not just those that he favors. Being Catholic is very important to me and I believe in the creed and the documents of the church. I follow them with love and trust. But I do not follow blindly. We all need to ask questions and listen with an open mind and heart. To do any less would not be doing justice to our church or to each other.

Fr. Louie does not want to listen because he knows what he is doing is wrong. The bishop does not want to be reminded that he caused all of this. Will you listen David?

God's peace and grace

Anonymous said...

Dear Proud Member,
Do you condone what your Bishop did at Holy Spirit?
Do you condone what Father Louis has done at Holy Spirit?
I guess that kind of says a lot about what kind of Catholic you are, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

My, it seems like no one is paying attention to the mass; they are all looking at the group front and center at the 8:30 mass. My, this group exerts a lot of power over them.

Anonymous said...

Proud member: Sadly, I am one of the Holy Spirit members that has chosen to not attend mass at Holy Spirit. I have attended numerous masses at other parishes and ALL of them stand before the great Amen. The choirs do not kneel as was requested at Holy Spirit.

Also, I know for a fact that several parishioners were told by Louis Brum, himself, that they could home school their children as it would be just as good as attending CCD. He took their money and then refused to provide the books for which they had paid. That is fraud, isn't it?

I am a Catholic that does not put money in the collection basket. I stopped when I found out that my money was being used to settle sex abuse cases in private. I did, however, help build Holy Spirit. It was MY money that helped create what I believed to be my spiritual home. This business about the Bishop "taking back" the church is ridiculous. The church has never been his. It is ours. We built it to be an all inclusive place of true worship, not a private fraternity of Louis Brum followers.

You talk about our complaints being an issue of power and control. Is that not EXACTLY what you are advocating???
You are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

You speak about services returning. Why were they ever stopped?

I think that you and the others who have hearts filled with hatred for other Catholics should stop and have an honest conversation with those who are unhappy with the changes that have occurred at Holy Spirit. It appears to me that you all are committing the exact same sins, if you will, that you accuse others of committing.

I am getting really tired of reading the deluded comments made by those who believe that Holy Spirit is better off now that certain people are gone. Shame on all of you!!! Holy Spirit was not built to exclude people from their ministries. Pena and Brum have brainwashed the very people who were outraged by the firing of our staff. Look at the archive pictures and see who worshiped with us in the courtyard.

Ann Williams Cass said...

I am truly amazed at some of the reactions here. Here is a few comments:

1. After Mass I stood with my friends and I prayed the prayer to the Holy Spirit and we sang a song. Then I saw someone I had not seen in ages and we sat down to visit. For that I am being criticized? For sitting down and visiting?

And addressing me as "Queen" is really an insult to my friends more than to me because we do not have that kind of relationship. We are all free thinkers and do not blindly listen or blindly obey anyone! If you had any kind of pastoral experience, you would know that the proper posture for listening to someone is to sit down and have eye contact with them. That is, if you want to dialogue. Take note rather than criticize.

2. Proud Member... we do not see ourselves as victims.

3. I do not think you really know what Call to Action believes in. It would be good to have a dialogue with you on that subject. So, be careful when you state you know what Call to Action believes.

4. We did not bring the damage to Holy Spirit. Whoever was behind 6/18/2003 brought the damage. And to date that damage has not been fixed.

5. Like Anonymous stated, "Why are you all fixed on every action made by us?" I do not know when people stand or sit. I am busy praying. I am baffled by your comments of some people not saying the responses and some standing. Be careful when you point a finger, one is coming back in the opposite direction.

6. We did not secretly attempt to hold our own religious education program. We outgrew the space we were using and we were offered space at another church. That is more than we were offered at our own church. The Bishop was fully aware of this situation and never requested us to stop.

People paid for their religious education books, do you not think they deserved to have them? People wanted help to teach their children at home, but they never received help from their parish. We offered to help. We had a certified director of religious education and certified catechists. That is more than the program at the parish had.

We have always had children who for one reason or another have not celebrated their sacraments at the proper time, even through young adulthood. What is your point? They were NOT overlooked. We have always had hundreds of kids to celebrate these sacraments. For you to make that judgment, with no real experience, is just not fair.

And, did you do an evaluation of the program this year? We always did evaluations of the religious education program, from the parents, the catechists, and the students. Our’s were always positive and affirming. Where are your evaluations? Some people this year were very disappointed that their children did nothing but color for class because there were not enough catechists.

And, if you were a certified DRE and had attended workshops throughout the country, you would know that family religious education, once a month, is being encouraged more and more. Even the paper on Evangelization made the challenging point to look at different ways of doing catechesis. Your comments are the result of someone who is not qualified, I will assume very dedicated and well-intentioned, but not at all qualified or certified to be evaluating religious education programs.

7. Who said that we do not believe in Adoration?

8. Who said we want women priests, married priests, gay priests? We already have married priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches, and we have married priests in the Latin Rite who have come over from the Episcopalian tradition. And, we already have gay priests. What's the point?

And, we are not asking to do whatever we want without seeking the approval of the pastor and we did not do that in the past. What are you talking about? After Fr. Gus Pacheco left Holy Spirit Parish, there was no uproar when Fr. Marti came. And when Fr. Marti Zuber left, there was no uproar. Or, when Fr. Bob Maher left there was no uproar when Fr. Jerry came. Why? Because those priests did not come in and fire everyone, then try to make changes just for change sake. They built on what was here.

9. You have no clue how much we have supported the parish monetarily. If you do, then the finance chairman has been at it again in disclosing confidential information.

10. It is good to know that night prayer is coming back. Isn't it a shame that no one ever gave us the courtesy to tell us that it was being taken away and that no one had the courtesy to tell us it was coming back? We read it in the bulletin. And isn't it sad that the manner in which you are saying "if it means that much to you maybe you'll be there, joining and praying together with those that will be leading it", indicating that perhaps we would not be pleased?

Besides, why were we not asked to participate in the planning, especially since we have the music and psalms that have been collected over the years? And, why did you not participate in the past for the prayer? Did the bishop perhaps tell Fr. Brum that he needed to bring it back? Why can we not talk to each other and work together? That is the basis of what we have been asking for.

11. I am glad Vacation Bible School is coming and the Children's Liturgy returning. The real question is, why was the Children’s Liturgy ever removed? I just hope that Fr. Brum understands what the Children's liturgy really is. It is liturgy. Not class. It is listening to the readings from the children's lectionary and having a reflection on them. It's not color time. And, our children were always taught the true teachings of the Catholic Church. To say otherwise is untruthful.

12. Holy Spirit is not thriving. Look at the empty pews. Look at the collection. Compare it to five years ago. Where are all the volunteers, even the liturgical volunteers? It is the same people week after week. We used to worry that when the children returned to their seats during the preparation of the gifts that they would not have a seat. Gosh, I don't even see children at the 8:30 Mass hardly.

When is the Bishop going to send someone to this parish to sit down and facilitate conversation and dialogue? It is hard to be in a relationship with others without dialogue. Lots of finger pointing and rash judging. Sad. Again, Pentecost of 2003 was great. There were so many people at the despedida for Fr. Jerry that they had to sit outside because there were no seats available in the hall. Do you remember that?

Now you all have come in and made it seem like things were horrible then and glorious now. We had life then. We were vibrant then. We were a united community then. There was a place for everyone, whether they wanted Adoration, Evening Prayer, a Rosary committee or a Peace and Justice Committee. This can all happen again and I will not give up hope that it will happen again.

Also, if you ever want to visit with me after Mass, I will sit down with you face to face. Your criticism will not keep me from being pastoral.

Ann Williams Cass

Anonymous said...

After reading everything and seeing the pictures it is very sad that you people say you do not do anything against the church and its members, yet you put that terrible saying on the picture of Jesus. What a mockery it is for the church and for us Catholics! Is this not what they did to Jesus 2000 years ago!

Church Employee Who Has Seen It All said...

Mr. Gamez, Mr. Rodriguez, Fortitude, Proud Member and more than one Anonymous: It seems like the proverbial ball is in your court! Please consider that not everyone who says "Lord, Lord." will be saved, but the ones who do the will of our Heavenly Father. And His will, revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ, is that we LOVE one another. Ann Cass has extended her hand to you in Christ. Do the right thing! Dialogue, unite and reconcile every faction of that fractured community that is Holy Spirit parish. Take the lead in this effort and report to your pastor on your willingness to imitate the Lord, the Good Shepherd, who wants NO ONE left out of His kingdom.

Anonymous said...

What IS a mockery of our Church and the teachings of Jesus is what the spiritual leader of our Church did to Holy Spirit Parish. And for what reason, revenge against four Church workers for joining a Union? Christ tried to teach us not to just close our eyes, but to speak up against injustice. Hundreds of our parishioners have left our once vibrant parish. Have you not had your eyes open?

Anonymous said...

My eyes are open as I see:
-signs degrading individuals posted on cars during Mass;letters to the editor that are one sided;making fun of the first communion celebrations;using the Mass as a protest statement. Yes I have seen and I can not believe! Why do you people still have to bring up the past? Live today for what today brings, forget yesterday and prepare for tomorrow. People are dying out there, there is a war going on and here we are still holding on to what makes the news. Give it over to the Jesus in the name of someone who is need of prayers.
Let go and Let God!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could use my real name, but if I did I know I would be on the "outs" as well. I need to say something, however. What is everyone's problem with Ann? Where does it come from? She has shown extremely good leadership from the beginning. She was held in high esteem by Bishop Fitzpatrick, he appointed her the Pastoral Administrator of the parish for God's sake, when he had to remove Zuber. She led us through a difficult time. She also served on the National Advisory Council to the US Bishops in Washington for four years and was on the executive committee there. She has been a board member of the Southwest Liturgical Conference for years. She has graduate degrees in liturgy and in parish administration. What is the deal? Is it sexism? Is it clericalism? Why would you not want her to help with your liturgy of the hours? Who could be more qualified? Our Pastor? I doubt it. I think he is jealous of Ann because she reads so much and he doesn't, I think he is also afraid of her because of her experience. Get off her back! She was criticized in the beginning of the parish for taking a difficult stance with Bishop Fitzpatrick to support the refugess from Central America. Then she was criticized for supporting migrant farm workers and working with Cesar Chavez. Then she was criticized for coming to bat when the diocesan pension fund was eliminated for the lay workers. I think it is sexism, you guys just can't seem to handle having a woman with any brains. We should be grateful for all that she has given our parish. And after 25 years of service, no mention or thanks from the Pastor when she left? Nothing? You call that right? Many of you have a lot to be ashamed of. She has always been inclusive of people who wanted to serve. She may not have been accepting of some ideas because sometimes people wanted to do things that liturgically were improper. I remember one friend of mine all upset because Ann said they could not have Adoration on Good Friday. Well, go look it up yourselves! It is not appropriate. Anyway, I have had enough. You all who are now in the "in" have a lot to be accountable for later on. How dare you!

Anonymous said...

"...My, it seems like no one is paying attention to the mass; they are all looking at the group front and center at the 8:30 mass. My, this group exerts a lot of power over them."
Is this not a nice way to come to Mass on Sunday and cry out as victims of the Church. I think the victims of the Church are those being prosecuted by the signs and actions done everyweek at Holy Spirit. Victims do not make a public forum by having communion outside while there is a Holy Mass going on inside the church. Everyone involved has to answer to God on that one. Can you not deal with your issues in a more meaningful way instead of always attacking. Is it not this group that even made mention of the newly ordained - about their names. (What have they done?) Is it not this group that had signs outside of the Basilica at the 50th anniversary of the Bishop. These are our victims. You are the protestors. I guess like St. Paul before he was knocked off his horse. Tell me: are you the people!

Anonymous said...

When no one will talk with you from the get go what are you to do? Even Jesus got angry at the Temple. These actions are not violent. If only someone would start a dialogue process and let us sit down with people like you who have pre-concieved notions of who we are... and who ever made fun of the First Communions? And the Bishop is definitely not a victim, and neither is Brum. They have the power to fix things and they are not doing anything. In fact, Brum has stated that he wishes we would just leave. Does that sound like a pastor who is here to serve everyone or does he just serve those that he is comfortable serving? What a move!

Anonymous said...

There are no pre-conceived notions. A spade is a spade. Let's face it! You do not even know what you print. There was mention about the few children who took communion on Sunday morning. Did you not think that those parents of those children were upset? Did you forget what you printed? I would wish you left also. Day after day it does get to a person. I have my doubts that what you people write about the pastor is not his word but your own. Talk about putting words in anothers mouth. And just to remind everone - THIS IS NOT ABOUT ANN! Who cares what degrees she holds - degrees do not make a person - the living of their true faith does (whatever faith they choose). I have heard this group talk out about the Bishop and Pastor and let me tell you -what is said is not christian - it is disgusting - so yes for me stay away and let me worship in peace with my God. 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!

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous:
It will be up to you to name the time and the place. Our requests for using Holy Spirit space have been ignored or refused. Unless you want to join us outside and we can do that?
I am encouraged that a dialog has at least begun via this blog despite the wide range of opinions and strong feelings. Perhaps there is hope.
Continued prayers.

Anonymous said...

“I wish I could use my real name, but if I did I know I would be on the ‘outs’ as well”. I guess that quote by a previous anonymous just about says it all for our church community. How sad is that!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6/22/07 2:49 PM: I am one of the ones who is "out." I never put a sign in the windows of my car when I attended Holy Spirit, but I respect those who felt the need. There are MANY parishioners who would have been totally clueless to the injustice had not these people been called to desperate measures. People ask why all of this discontent was displayed in church. It was not these people to brought this situation into the church. It was Louis Brum when he began denying people communion and the opportunity to serve in the ministry for which they have been called. Those signs degraded no one. THEY SPOKE THE TRUTH for which most were oblivious.
I challenge you to take a good look at the pictures of the people receiving our Lord out on the court yard. Tell them the same that you tell the followers of this blog! I dare you to question them in front of Louis Brum. Ask them why they worshipped with us outside after Ruben Delgado changed the locks on our parish and hired armed guards to patrol the church grounds. You too would be insulted. You show so little respect for the founders of this once vibrant church. There was a 24 year history that did not involve any controversy until the bishop retaliated against the workers for unionizing. That's what this is about.
I was there when Fr. Jerry left and the Bishop did not want to hear about the 100 ministries at Holy Spirit. All he wanted to see was our accounting book !!!!!!!! You wonder why we mistrust these men. Sit down with any of us and we will tell you the truth. Or are you too afraid to hear the truth??

Anonymous said...

The only sadness comes from those who allow it. Our church community is not sad and our parish is certainly not a sad situation. I am happy to come to Mass, I am happy with my children's education classes and I am happy to hear about more important things rather the same old "peace and justice" group is always bringing before our eyes. I want to worship with My God without the additions of those on the outside that are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Wake up! And enjoy the God who is calling us to more not to less.

Anonymous said...

Your opening write for comments, but then again they have to be approved in order for them to appear. Talk about policies and rules - then you condemn the bulletin and what our pastor puts in it. As you point the one finger at him three are pointing back at you. This is a choose who I want on the blog message. Talk about freedom -this is really controlling. Let me see if you put this in, this time around.
This is Sam, I am......

Parishioner said...

Well, we are seeing a dialogue of sorts on this blog. When can we meet face to face?

Kanickers said...

Dear Sam, I am...
Thanks for your comment.
For your information, I post every comment that I receive. The only exceptions are those that contain profanity or advertising.
~Kanickers

Anonymous said...

OK Sam I am: Why don't you give us your name? You have nothing to lose. Afterall, this blog is NOT the weekly bulletin. You would feel shame about some of the vile comments made by the "insiders." I find your comments about the "old peace and justice group" offensive as we are ALL called to work for peace and justice. How about you? Get off of you knees and live God's word.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous @ 5:05:

It doesn't sound like you have attended Holy Spirit long enough to know what a truly wonderful parish it once was. And even if you are not sad, that doesn't mean that there aren't hundreds others who are. There's hundreds of us who are no longer allowed to "belong" to this "new" parish because as you so honestly describe us, we are the ones on the outside. There was a time when no one was "outside". There was time when picnics, dances, dinners, fund-raisers, walks, and ministries existed not only for a chosen few but for all. Too bad you & your children weren't around for well instucted & well attended religious education that included all.
I don't wish to critisize your form of worship, but doesn't that include listening to the gospel? And doesn't the Word speak to us directly about peace & justice? Sad to say, if you're not hearing the message of peace & justice, you're coming away with much less than you know.
I pray that "making a mountain out of a molehill" continues. I hope that the individuals who have the courage to speak up will continue to do so & that they have the strength to continue. I, for one, admire their tenacity because they are speaking out not only for this parish, but for any other parish which has succumbed to the tyranny of a power hungry priest. If the previous entry from a parishoner in Mercedes is any indication, we are not alone in this particular fight anymore. And anonymous, even if this doesn't make you sad, it does sadden the rest of us who are watching this destruction unfold.
God is good, & His goodness will prevail, not for the sake of a chosen few, for the sake & salvation of hundreds.
As for those of us on the "outside" and especially those who show more courage & strength than I ever will in this lifetime, keep up the great work.
You are in my prayers always. And I'm not afraid to sign my name if it means I'm left outside for the right reasons...
Glenda M. Lorenzana

Anonymous said...

I really hope this conversation going on for some time now between "ins" and "outs" is the beginning of a sincere desire for dialogue.

After so many letters and other attempts asking the bishop to provide mediation, it's clear now that it is up to us the laity, the members of the parish, to come together to solve our problems. Like loving families that sometimes dissagree or even fight, we should all come together to talk and reconcile. We can not wait for the leaders anymore, it is time we take the responsibility given us as equal members of the Body of Christ to take matters in our hands and solve our problems.
Let's find a place to meet and lets invite everyone who wants to come. I'm sure this blog will help us announce and extend the invitation to everyone interested.
Let's keep talking! and let's pray for true love and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to move us forward.

Another parishioner said...

Parishioner and last anon are right. It is time to dialogue. Those of you who do not agree with this blog yet are given voice on it, let's set a time and place to meet without the msgr to tell you what to think. Let's hear from you on this. There is only so much that we can accomplish on the blog. It is time for a "face to face".

Anonymous said...

God bless the peace makers!

Kanickers said...

If it would mean progress in bringing the "ins" and "outs" of our parish together, this blog would be at your disposal. By all means, lets do plan a parish-wide meeting where we can discuss our differences and attempt to work them out.

I continue to think what a shame it has been that our Bishop, our Pastor or any members of our pastor-appointed Parish Council have not had the leadership ability to step forward to attempt to solve these problems long ago.

In absence of such leadership, it is now evident that we, the parishioners, must work our healings out among ourselves.

Besides, if we just look back, I think we can all agree that we were once a well-run, harmonious parish when we were represented by a parishioner-selected, open agenda type Parish Council and Finance Committee.

I am all for giving the people of our parish a voice again! Lets plan our meeting!
~Kanickers

Anonymous said...

Thank you Kanickers!

I'm already dreaming of a Holy Spirit empowered by its own people. A place were we all bring our gifts, our talents, our differences and put them together to work to bring about the Reign of God which is what Jesus came to teach us. I know there is room for people to prefer Adoration over protesting the war on a corner, but the world needs us both; people who believe in the the Divine Mercy, others who prefer to fight against the death penalty because it is unmerciful;... and so many other differences, but we all have room at the Lord's Table, and God made us different precisely because he knew we all needed to work together

Let's meet. when? where?
Please submit your suggestions

Anonymous said...

I believe that the parishioners of Holy Spirit should gather together as the family that we are and work to understand each other better. After all, isn't this what a family does? Parents don't kick their children out and deny them food when the children disagree with the parents. This can be worked out as long as we all keep an open mind and the truth is told. Yes! Yes! Yes! Let's meet!

Anonymous said...

It is time for those on the "inside" to speak out about this meeting.

Anonymous said...

This will sound repetitive, but yes, Holy Spirit has been a part of my life as well. I grew up with this church. I was born and raise in it. Baptized, went through communion, and was confirmed. I even worked there. Through the years of going through classes and retreats, I saw some great things out of this church.

With this mindset, I would come to this blog to read about what used to be. The good times. But finding out, that people like the Bishop and the priests came to destroy what I called a safehaven hurt me spritually. And for this, I could no longer atten Holy Spirit.

No offense, but people who first fought for these ladies that were fired 3 years ago and turned their backs on them for a "special seat" in the Parish Counsel should be ashamed. This isn't what God wanted from his family.

God wanted us to come together and fight the oppresion from the Bishop. Then suddenly, as soon as these selected people heard "special seats", and other "grand" things to come, they dropped their picket signs and went back to church.

Then they have THE NERVE to come here and tell people that write on here "should be ashamed" and are "doing devilish things".

Please! Those same people are the ones who criticize everyone here, and yet are sinners in their own ways. If anyone turned their back on God to believe in someone who WOULD RATHER HARM OUR CHILDREN AND KEEP RUINING OUR CHURCHES WITH HIS LIES, then they should think twice about criticizing the rest of us.

This is my personal opinion, of course. So, if anyone who follows the bishop and the priests have anything to say about this opinion, don't bother. I'm done hearing your complaints about how we're such bad people, but the truth is, you haven't looked in the mirror hard enough.


~The Saddened Parishioner

Anonymous said...

to the saddened parishioner....
so sorry!
from a very happy and joyful parishioner who loves their church!

Anonymous said...

To the last anonymous,
" So sorry " that's what you say to someone so hurt? How about, "I'm sorry what can I do to make it better?" How about, "I miss you in our church. It saddens me that another person has left our church." Instead you give a flippant "so sorry". Do you really believe that is the what Jesus would have done? Do you not believe that Jesus would have extended His hand?
More saddened

Anonymous said...

HOW LONG DO YOU WANT OUR HAND TO BE EXTENDED - UNTIL IT FALLS OFF!
I AM SORRY THAT YOU HAVE LEFT BUT I AM NOT SORRY THAT YOU ARE THERE AT HP TO DRIVE ME CRAZY. WE LIKE TO GO TO CHURCH FOR OURSELVES AND ASK GOD TO HELP US GET THROUGH EACH DAY AND THE SITUATIONS WE FACE - WE PRAY FOR THOSE LESS FORTUNATE AND LEAVE IT IN GOD'S HANDS. SO YES, SO SORRY IS WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. I THINK JESUS WOULD HAVE DESTROYED HP AS HE DID THE TEMPLE AT THE STUPIDITIES THAT HAVE GONE ON AND CONTINUE TO GO ON. REMEMBER THE HOLY MASS IS NOT A PLACE TO DEMONSTRATE AND TAKE OUT YOUR ANGER ON.
NOW I SEE WHERE YOU HAVE ADDED MERCEDES TO THE LIST. WHEN WILL YOU PEOPLE STOP.....

Brother in Christ said...

Brother, you know not what you say. And no need to scream it. See you July 11.
Peace,
Your Brother in Christ

Anonymous said...

The Lord looks upon all who struggle to answer His call. His words are spoken to hearts and hearts must seek His Will in each encounter or effort.
God's love extends to all His children. No good results from insults and criticizing. Rather a humble attitude frees the perceived enemy to reach out in reconciliation. Hearts must open to allow His grace to be useful in the process of peace. Participants in peace must freely choose to be peaceful. Each soul is called to the virtue of love. Many decline, preferring control that rather dominates and refuses to offer a choice to others. God's law is infused into each heart. Man instinctively knows right, yet chooses to go a separate way. Sin enters and a soul moves away from its Creator, rejecting the interior call that originates in it's Creator. Sin filled lives cannot hear the call. Pride directs oneself to become supreme in selfish endeavors. Lust so absorbs a soul as to smother it's life. Greed twists the soul and distorts
God's call, which is dismissed in favor of worldly possessions and money. These evils reduce God's children to liars, killers and thieves. Once caught in satan's trap, extraction is difficult.

God's grace is sufficient, supported in love by His Faithful.
All are vulnerable to the trap, especially those who venture close and trust in self. Trust only in God, for He IS the Shepherd of souls and loves His children onto death.
Sign me,
A Messenger

Anonymous said...

To all of you,
Stop calling me Brother in Christ - What is that all about? This is nothing but a farce on your part. If you had any, just any reconcilliation at heart you would STOP this web site and get on with your lives. But you people continue to protest even for the littliest thing. The day you take off your red shirts and stop this web page, then there will be hope for peace. Until then, I am happy and so is my family at HS. I will not allow you people to take control again. So, sorry to all of you.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the Bible which I make it my practice to do so. I also try to understand it the way God wants not the way we want.
I have recently read that we inherit the Kingdom of God - we don't earn it.
If we abide by the law and follow the faith then we can inherit the Kingdom. The Church is the family of God - we are born or adopted into the family of God.
Heaven is the inheritance of the Kingdom of God - if we disobey the rules then we become prodical children who don't receive the inheritance. So everyone, abide by the rule so you can inherit the Kingdom of God.
Don't remain as prodical children, come home. Our actions or anger will not get us home.

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about the rules of man or the rules of God? There us a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

I'll rather become the prodigal son of the church and inherit the kingdom of God, because is God I have to follow and obey. When the human institution called the church, or some of its leaders sin, lie, and walk away from the teachings of Jesus, I'll rather be on the side of the truth as Jesus did and be kicked out of the institution as they did to Jesus. Wasn't He the "prodigal son" of the church of his time? The leaders of his church persecuted him and send him to his death on the cross.
He then went to sit a the right hand of the Father!

Anonymous said...

The words of scripture say...we inherit the Kingdom of God...we do not earn it...there is nothing to be earned....So I guess it is the rules of God...

Anonymous said...

"Stop calling me Brohter in Christ"

Aren't we all brothers and sisters in Christ?, we all have the same Father, so it is not our choice, it is a fact, a given, like it or not.

What a sad statement, and that's only the first sentence of a message that clearly expresses no desire, nor intention to even try reconciliation.

I'm a little concerned now for what a few weeks ago begun as a hopeful possible meeting for dialogue and reconciliation between distanced brothers and sisters.
From the postings on this blog I'm sensing very little heartfelt desire from some people to come with loving hearts to listen and to try to understand. If people come with their own agendas and convictions, and not with an open heart, this meeting will not produce what is hoped for.

Maybe we should first come only to pray together, and let the Holy Spirit move us into dialogue when our hearts are ready.

Anonymous said...

There is a NEED for dialogue. I too am getting the feeling that people might not be coming with the open hearts and desire for reconciliation, but rather to make their point and have things continue as they have for the past 4 years.
I am so sad.

Anonymous said...

Today is July 11. As I've read through the comments on this faithful morning, I see some that anger me, some that depress me, and some that give me hope...

For those about to "make peace", I know God will be watching with respect. I know God does not want this division among his children. It is only obvious to see...

For those who deny anything wrong with Holy Spirit now, I pray that God takes care of you anyways, because even though we don't agree, we're still part of the family in Christ. Call it corny or stupid, or whatever you please, but its the truth...

And in His house, that's all we have...truths...

~The Saddened Parishioner