Thursday, September 29, 2005

Letter To The Editor

Just in case you missed it...

The Monitor Newspaper
September 28, 2005

To the Editor:

Church Official Can Only Do So Much.

Both Messrs. Rodriguez (9/7/05) and Vasquez (9/21/05) are right in claiming that the administration of Holy Spirit Parish in McAllen is responsible for the sorry state of affairs into which that parish has fallen.

But the pastor can only do so much, good or bad, on his own without the acquiescence of the bishop. In the Catholic Church, bishops have all the power. Simply because they are bishops does not grant them divine wisdom and behavior, or the great Church Doctor St. Athanasius would never have proclaimed, "The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops."

Distant Rome prefers not to know what is going on in the dioceses as long as it can safely ignore it, and the bishop can appoint and move pastors at will. So, if the once vibrant Holy Spirit Parish is going downhill, it must be the bishop’s will.

Not surprising for a bishop who apparently has done only the bare minimum (if that) required by Rome and U.S. law in shedding light on the problem with sexual predation by clergy in the diocese.

Not only Catholics, but all people in the Valley should be demanding full disclosure from the bishop on this issue, so that we can defend our children from sexual predation. According to law, we have the right to know who convicted sex offenders are and where they live.

You would think that the church would adhere to a higher standard. Demand that they do.
Guy Hallman, McAllen

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Who Can Receive the Eucharist?

Dear Padre
Our Lady of Sorrows Sunday Bulletin

Who Can Receive the Eucharist?
There was a notation in our last Parish Newsletter about Fr. Louis telling the attendees of a funeral mass that “unless they had recently been to confession, THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO RECEIVE THE EUCHARIST.” He also informed them that in lieu of receiving the Eucharist, they had the option of participating in a “spiritual communion.”

Why Fr. Louis would make such a statement is a mystery, but because of his proclamation, NOT ONE PARTICIPANT ATTENDING THE FUNERAL MASS WENT UP TO RECEIVE THE EUCHARIST. What a tragedy! So much for encouraging us to keep the Eucharist at the center of our life... especially during the more trying times in our life.

As if by fate, during that same week, the front page of the Sunday Bulletin at Our Lady of Sorrows parish covered the question: "Who Can Receive the Eucharist?

According to Our Lady of Sorrows’ Bulletin, in order to receive Holy Communion, you must be free from mortal sin. If there is no mortal sin, IT IS NOT NECESSARY to go to confession and NO TIME LIMITS are placed on how recent it has been since your last reconciliation.

Only you and God know your personal sins and no one, INCLUDING ANY PRIEST, BISHOP OR EVEN THE POPE can judge if you are worthy of receiving the Eucharist!

I consider this to be a totally unforgivable act by our pastor and it is extremely hard to convince myself that had this been one of the more “affluent” families in our parish, nothing would even have been mentioned about requirements for receiving the Eucharist.

This man is a priest for Christ's sake, it's not like he doesn't know Church rules! He should be on his knees begging for forgiveness from this family! Christ himself must also be extremely saddened by the fact that one of his own is out there judging if some among us are not worthy to receive Him,... especially if they are among the less affluent!

This really gets my goat!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Letter to the Editor 09/21/05

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Just in case some of you missed the "Letters to the Editor" section in today's Monitor.

September 21,2005
The Monitor

Parish just needs new leadership.

To the editor:
In response to Mr. Edwin R. Rodriguez 9/7/05 letter, "Church leaders not upholding values":

You can tell that Mr. Rodriguez has not been a member of Holy Spirit for very long to suggest that this parish should be closed down. Holy Spirit has done great things in this community since it’s beginning in 1981. Little did we know what a great parish it would become as we were having our services at Rayburn Elementary. More than 100 ministries at one time served the community, until our present leadership started the destructive dismantling of this once vibrant parish.

Yes, Mr. Rodriguez, "close the parish." That’s your solution. But what we need is a leader who unites our parish and works on reconciliation, so we will all be welcome at the table.

As for his statements about harassment, intimidation, punctured tires, etc. Where is the proof? Last time I checked with church personnel, nothing had been reported. Where are the police reports?

Holy Spirit has never been a conservative parish. We have always been a Vatican II parish. And yes, he is right, "we do not appreciate any misguided attempts to change our most sacred doctrine." We are "doers and shakers." We don’t follow blindly, much less to dysfunctional leadership. We follow Jesus Christ’s examples. To hear him talk about all the bad things these "anti-Christian radicals" do at our parish … Have you looked in your own back yard lately, sir?

As for his comment on "wolves in sheep’s clothing," I haven’t seen any wolves lately at Holy Spirit, just some sheep grazing with their heads down, never asking, "Where are you taking me, shepherd?" But then, forget it. This shepherd will not give you an answer of substance, if he answers at all. There is no free will here, just the waving of the shepherd’s staff.
Jose Vasquez, McAllen

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Monday, September 19, 2005

Newsletter of 09/18/05

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Somos el Cuerpo de Cristo
Thoughts from Some Fellow Parishioners of Holy Spirit—September 18, 2005

Peace and Justice—a Gospel Mandate
At the last Peace and Justice Commission meeting (now DBA as Outreach Ministries), it was disheartening to realize that of the thirty-five Life Issues identified by parishioners at Parish Alive only a handful have the potential of being addressed at Holy Spirit, given the poisoned atmosphere that the Pastor has not only allowed to develop, but seems to be actually encouraging.

Members of this parish are being forbidden to practice their Christian faith within their Eucharistic community. “The Eucharist is the center of our lives” is not a pious phrase for Sunday.

All the games people play now; Every night and every day now; Never meaning what they say now; Never saying what they mean. Joe South

The Pastor has said he doesn’t have time to “play games” with people who are seeking to inform him of their concerns. Games are entertainments and diversions that are deliberately given an artificial importance by observers and participants.

Parishioners meeting in vigil each Sunday, the over 270 parishioners who have signed a letter to the Pastor and the hundreds of parishioners who silently wonder how all this stuff could have happened to our parish are not seeking entertainment and diversion, but simply seek to exercise their “right and freedom to cooperate in building up the Body of Christ” (Canon #208, Code of Canon Law).

It is both amusing and troubling to hear the Pastor say that he is upset over “secret meetings” being held, when he himself has dismantled each and every avenue for formal, open discussion in the parish. He has given his ear to some of the most distorted and mean spirited notions (expressed in camera, of course) but has shut that ear to the voices of those pleading for rational discussion—he has even admitted that he no longer opens letters from “certain people.” So much for being the pastor of us all.

Where Two or Three Are Gathered
“When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary, when troubles come and my heart burdened be; then, I am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit a while with me.

“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains, you raise me up, to walk on stormy seas. “I am strong, when I am on your shoulders; you raise me up to more than I can be.”(recorded by Josh Groban, 2002 Universal Music Publishing)

The words are even more inspiring when accompanied by orchestration, but that is not really my point. I think the “you” in this song can be identified in many different ways. Certainly “you” can be God as in “Footprints in the Sand.”

But I think the “you” can also be the people around us—our community, our extended church family. We all have our own relationship with God, but we are drawn to celebrate together at mass not only to receive the body and blood of Christ but to also share in the living presence of God when two or more are gathered.

When we can come and sit awhile with each other, we can raise each other up. Regardless of the form our liturgy takes, together we can walk on stormy seas and be more. From fellow parishioner, Michelle Peña.

Two, Four, Six, Eight—Who Do We Appreciate?
In his book, A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America, Peter Steinfels (at one time senior religion correspondent for the New York Times and editor of Commonweal) has the following to say about the priests of the future:

“There will always be vastly different ways of being a priest. A man whose manner is unprepossessing may galvanize loyalty and change lives; a charismatic personality may turn our, over time, to be a façade. But the priests of the future, beyond the holiness that all Christians strive for, will need three things.

“First, they will need a theological capacity to render the sacraments, the Word of God, and the joys and sufferings of everyday life meaningful. They will have to do this in their preaching, in their public prayer and responsibility for the liturgy, in their concern with catechesis and sacramental preparation and they will have to do this across ethnic lines and increasingly to a well-educated socially assimilated Catholic populations.

“Second, priests will need a capacity to animate and guide others in leadership roles. They may well deputize others to take care of the strictly administrative worries … but they will have to be able to organize and inspire people, to identify and reinforce the gifts of staff and parishioners, and to sustain them spiritually.

“Third, priests will have to become accountable. Revelations about priests’ sexual misdeeds and bishops’ failures to act decisively against offenders stimulated a great deal of talk about ‘accountability’ and ‘checks and balances’ in the church—formal mechanisms giving representatives of the laity and clergy a significant role in making or reviewing decisions now reserved to the bishop and his appointees….a wider sense of accountability is needed to ensure a priestly leadership striving to achieve and maintain excellence….” (p. 338)

We all can appreciate how difficult it is for anyone to be perfect, or even close to perfect. And we are always appreciative of the efforts people make to strive towards an ideal. As we read in the quote, there are vastly different ways of being a priest, but it is very difficult to be appreciative when the priest we must deal with does not seem to be even striving towards any of the ideal behavior Steinfels speaks of.

At the “Priest Appreciation Dinner” in our parish this Sunday, Bishop Peña said, “if you want a better priest, pray for the one you have.” That is good advice, and we should take it, but it does not mean that we are appreciative of the current state of pastoral leadership at Holy Spirit.

En La Mesa de Dios
I went to Mass at another parish this weekend and while the respite from the sometimes disheartening atmosphere in our parish was welcome, it was still sad to be at a different “table of the Lord” than the one of the community within which I try to live out the Gospel each week.

As the song with the phrase “en la mesa de Dios” was being sung, I thought of an incident in our own parish this past week.

At a funeral for one of our poorest parishioners, the Pastor, just before Communion, told the congregation that “if you have not received the Sacrament of Reconciliation recently, you should not receive Communion.”

God only knows what the Pastor’s motivation for saying such a thing was, but what he said, aside from being insensitive and inappropriate to the occasion, is completely contrary to Church teaching.

So much for a “theological capacity” to render the sacraments meaningfully. From a parishioner.

Prepared by RGV Parishioners for Progress and edited by Jerry Brazier. You are welcome to copy this and pass it on to fellow parishioners. 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

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Suport Casa Amparo

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Dear Holy Spirit Parishioners,
Tomorrow from 11:00 AM to 3 PM is the chicken BBQ benefit for the girls of Casa Amparo Orphanage. It is at Palmer Pavilion, located at Hackberry x McColl in McAllen. Donation is $5.

Remember them? They used to visit Holy Spirit Parish from Reynosa before 9-11-01, but because of Homeland Security, they are now not allowed to come over anymore.

Holy Spirit used to help them out a lot, but our help has waned because not being able to see the girls after 9-11 does not help their cause (although the good nuns may still visit), and it seems that this effort, like so much else of the good we did at Holy Spirit, has fallen by the wayside.

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Collection Amounts?

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Dear Kanickers,
Our church bulletin is not the most engaging read, but one section always provokes thought.

We now report only a "total collection" amount. As the blog has pointed out before, we used to print what was our regular collection, and separate totals for special collections. Now the total collection reported gives the deceptive impression that all the money collected goes toward meeting our budget. This perception is further reinforced by the sentence directly under the reported totals: "We thank you for your continued support of our Parish."

Any of us who attend regularly know that there are many times that our total collection reported includes the amounts collected for St. Vincent DePaul, building fund, and any other special collection. You might be able to stretch the argument that these special collections are for works of our parish and still count as supporting our parish.

But last week's went beyond even that stretch. As our pastor expressed on the weekend of Sept. 4th, there would be a second collection on September 11th for aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina, but if you wished to donate on Sept. 4th, towards that effort, the donation would be honored. I have no question it was honored; my question is why were those funds lumped into the reported collection for support of our parish.

And my bigger question, when will the parish receive the annual financial report on the state of our finances that has customarily been given in the middle of the summer? As they say in the movies - "Show me the money!” or at least show me how it is being collected and spent.
A concerned parishioner

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sister Moira - A Convicted Felon?

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A point of clarification:
I am not a convicted felon (although for the right reason, it would be an honor.)

My offense of entering a military base during a peaceful demonstration against the School of the Americas was a misdemeanor. For this I served a 6 month sentence in a federal prison camp - a co-defendant and I were the only ones there for misdemeanors!

As I said in my trial statement: "It is ironic that the atrocities and murders committed by graduates of the School of the Americas are allowed to continue, while those who protest them are sent to prison."
~Sister Moira

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hostilities Deepen at Holy Spirit

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Why anonymous letters?
I received another hateful anonymous letter last week. I wish that parishioners who have something to tell me would just look for the opportunity to do it in a more Christian way, just like the Gospel of last Sunday told us. Please talk to me in person, or at least sign your letters so that we may began a civilized dialog. There is nothing constructive about anonymous attacks; it is not what Jesus wants us to do.

What we need to do is find ways to come together to talk. That is what so many of us requested of Fr. Louis and the bishop, to help us trough some form of mediation, to come together to talk and reconcile. But, if they are not willing to do so, why can't we parishioners do it alone? Holy Spirit is our parish. Priests will come and go, but we will remain.

I would like to invite all of us to make an effort to meet and talk as children of the same God. We have differences as members of any family do, but we are acting like enemies, not even knowing what the others are doing. We need to bring out the truth so that we stop the misunderstandings, the mistrust and he hate.

This last letter is again full of unfounded accusations, resentment and slander. I really wonder what kind of ideas Fr. Louis has put in some people's minds to create this kind of unchristian behavior. That in itself shows what a poor pastor he is, instead of trying to keep the flock together, he does nothing to stop the division, on the contrary, he seems to enjoy it with hopes that those he doesn't like will go away.

A follower of Jesus, not of a priest
Ana L Hallman

PS: A fact that a man is ordained a priest or a bishop doesn't make him automatically a good priest or a true follower of Jesus. "By their fruits you will know them." Appearances deceive. "The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops" St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church and persecuted by the Church.

Also received this "wonderful" letter in reference to Mr. Edwin Rodriquez’s "Letter to the Editor" in The Monitor.
Peace be with all of you…

Hats off to you Mr. Rodriguez
BRAVO and Hats off to you Mr. Edwin Rodriquez for your letter on September 7, 2005! Not only does your opinion concur with the values and beliefs of ourselves and majority of Catholics at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, but probably most Catholics valleywide.

It is about time that we the majority stand up against these demagogues who decide to violate Catholic indoctrination and ideals to simply make statements for their own egos. When was it ever appropriate to enter a Catholic Church and not genuflect before the Tabernacle housing the Body and Blood of our Lord? How about staging protest against Fr. Louis Brum for placing a rose symbolizing the "Gift of Life" on the altar yet creating disturbances by placing grave markers in the front of the Church, like thieves in the night.

Every organization must adhere to regulations in order to achieve unity. The Sister Kenny group emulates the typical protest to Catholic Dogma that has occurred since our beginning with Jesus Christ. He Himself foresaw these tribulations stating "wolves in sheep clothing." The only difference regarding others church breakoffs were that their leaders ranged from ex-priests to accomplished business men . It is our understanding that Sister Kenny is a convicted felon.

But by far the most taunting image which has indelibly been stamped in our minds was arriving for Mass one Sunday to witness a protest service being held on the Church grounds led by the Ann Cass Gang which in my opinion, was a total act of ignominity. Utilizing your logic Ms. Cass, what next? A group of Pagans worshipping a golden calf as they did in Moses's day? Take heed folks, we saw the end result of their blasphemy.

In ending, just a little advice to the so called "5". We have witnessed your
personal crucifixion and castigation of our Bishop Reymundo Pena, Father Ruben Delgado, Fr. Brian VanHove and recently our beloved Fr. Louis Brum. Is this not a direct violation of the teachings of Christ, when he said, "Never castigate a Priest".

Only we, the parishioners can overcome the trials and tribulations at Holy Spirit by practicing what we preach, our Catholic faith and teachings not political agenda personal interpretation or the constant slandering of parish priests and diocesan leaders. We almost believe that if Christ Himself were to appear and was appointed pastor for an interim at Holy Spirit, even He may ask for reassignment.

Lois Geneser
Toshie Rodriquez

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Labor Day Pilgrimage for Justice

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United Farm Workers


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Monday, September 05, 2005

Newsletter of 09/04/05

Somos el Cuerpo de Cristo
Thoughts from Some Fellow Parishioners of Holy Spirit—September 4, 2005

Monday, Monday
When we were in school, many of us read Joseph Conrad’s short novel, The Heart of Darkness, in which the narrator, Marlow, traveled up an African river and suddenly found himself in a dark, violent, and hostile place, completely foreign to the civilized world he had left at the river’s mouth.

Last Monday’s gathering in the chapel, a so-called Eucharist Ministers’ meeting, provided a look into a very disturbing place where simple courtesy and respect for other people’s feelings and ideas can be cast aside without missing a beat. It was disheartening to see a group of fellow parishioners turn into an almost frenzied mob, shouting down people they gather with each Sunday around the Eucharistic table. The parish has become a dark place.

As shocking as the behavior of some of those gathered, many of them not Eucharistic ministers at all, but people recruited by the Pastor to fill the room, it is the Pastor’s behavior that was truly stunning. He did nothing to restore civility; he did nothing to indicate that shouting at people was inappropriate and unChristian.

On the contrary, he stepped back and allowed the mob to rule — he seemed to enjoy it all as he played to his hand-picked crowd. What a sick display of his truly odd and destructive notions of the parish and of pastoral leadership!

Opinions and Facts
There is an old saying that “everyone is entitled to their own set of opinions, but no one is entitled to their own set of facts.” Apropos of that are the odd statements the Pastor made at last Monday’s gathering concerning the group Call to Action (CTA).

When questioned as to how he could say that the CTA is opposed to Church teaching, the Pastor said that “CTA started out as a good thing but has become a bad organization.”

As anyone who wants to know can find out, the original recommendations of the first Call to Action Conference in 1976 have formed the mission of the group from that date to the present. Ninety-three percent (93%) of that first conference’s delegates were either bishops or were appointed by bishops. So, if the organization is bad and non-Catholic now, then it was bad and non-Catholic then, too.

CTA hasn’t changed, what has changed is the collection of bishops leading the Church in the United States. In 1976, the American Church was led by people committed to understanding and implementing the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on the nature and role of the Church (Lumen Gentium and Gadium et Spes). That no longer appears, in the main, to be the case (see the article below).

There are certainly people who belong to CTA who espouse positions that are contrary to current Church teaching, but no organization can be held accountable for each and every position taken by each and every one of the people that belong to it. Even the Republican Party has some seriously wacky folks in it, but no one is screaming “heresy” at the Party itself and condemning all its members as sinners.

Dynamic and Creative Leadership in the Church
"It is astounding that the same group of religious leaders who, the record in Boston and elsewhere would show, can find the language to nuance sex abuse by fellow priests, take elaborate measures over the years to hide priests, manipulate facts and betray the community at large, can find the easy answer to [other] issues..."

"One of the hallmarks of bishops appointed during the 25-year reign of John Paul II was loyalty. He wanted no questions about ordination—no questions about women or married men. He wanted functioning administrators. He wanted no questions about sexual issues."

"What he got over two decades was a cadre of bishops who understood the terms of their appointments—no questions, keep the ship steady, unshakable loyalty."

"…That is hardly the kind of profile one would write if the expectation were developing dynamic and creative leadership in an institution."

"The Vatican got everything it was seeking."
From Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, August 30, 2005

The Christ Factor
I was watching television the other night and an unusual thing happened. I appreciate everyone’s right to have and voice their own opinion, whether I agree with the opinion or not—and usually, Bill O’Reilly and I are not in total agreement.

However, the other evening I could have said “Amen Bill!” Even more amazing, we were in agreement on a social justice issue. It made me realize again that at the heart of life and even faith, most of us do agree – if we could just sit and communicate, we would find that most of our disagreements are about what is on the surface and not at the heart.

Regarding social justice, I don’t think many of us can watch the coverage on Hurricane Katrina and not see that the least of our brothers desperately need our help. Many of the victims lives were already a hidden disaster because we have let “love one another” be a nice church phrase that won’t make anyone too uncomfortable, instead of the challenging call to be the Body of Christ, to be living bread that it is.

Please God, help us to feed your sheep.
From fellow parishioner, Michelle Peña

Small Stuff and Little Things
A few years ago the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff was very popular; even longer ago (mid 50s) there was a hit song, “Little Things Mean a Lot.” Now, popular culture isn’t the best source for a philosophy of life, but the fact that two diametrically opposed sentiments can both gain acceptance, gives pause to any notion that rejects either sentiment out of hand.

A liturgical case in point. Not too many months ago our Eucharistic table was unadorned during the liturgy of the word (a custom actually recommended by many liturgists). As the celebration moved its emphasis to the Eucharistic meal, a family from the community came forward and “dressed” the table.

This nice touch to our Sunday liturgy has been abandoned by our Pastor. It’s a small thing, don’t sweat it, right? Of course it’s a small thing, but the abandonment of the practice serves as an indication to the community that the practice was wrong and needed to be changed.

Our liturgy is full of small gestures, little things that, when taken together, not only help to create but also express the community’s collective understanding of the celebration. Inexorably, the little things are being chipped away, one by one, and so maybe little things do mean a lot after all.

Sing a New Song?
The attack on the family religious education program has backed off (for a while, at least)—but it seems as if the music is next.

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

Note: If you would like to contribute a posting or a comment to this site, please send it to:, with "Holy Spirit" in your title line. You may also e-mail this article to a friend, simply by clicking on the little envelope below.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Open letter to All Parishioners

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Dear Fellow Holy Spirit Parishioners:

All of us originally welcomed Father Louis Brum to Holy Spirit Parish with hopes that he would help us unite and rebuild our parish. We placed faith in our Bishop to provide us with a pastor that would encourage healing and would unite us.

In all honesty, I feel that Father Brum has failed miserably at uniting us. His attitude and actions since his arrival seem to have been aimed more towards dividing us, then uniting us. Just look at how we are all now bickering among ourselves! What are we doing to ourselves?

Father Louis' attitude towards certain parishioners has been an extremely difficult thing for me to understand. I too am still searching for answers. I ask you to please help me understand!

Why would a new priest, coming into a new parish, be so adamant about isolating a specific person or group? Just because they disagree or voice their opinion? Is that a reason to exclude someone from participation or from serving their church? And why has he been so closed to meeting with parishioners to hear their concerns? How can we be expected to show much reverence to someone that supports this kind of attitude? Do you agree with his methods? I am really having trouble with this. Can someone help me understand?

Also, is Father Louis ever going to address problems concerning our parish out in the open? Why do we need all this secrecy? Is this not OUR parish? Do we NOT have a right to know what financial position our parish is in? Are our collections meeting expenses? Do we operate under a budget? Where is our money going? Who has a copy of our budget? Do we still have a Finance Committee? Who are its members? Do we still have a Parish Counsel? Who are its members? Have they been elected or were they appointed? Are we going to loose some of our parishioners to Father Bob's North 10th church? Where are the new parish boundries going to be? Is a Catholic School being considered for Holy Spirit? Who is in charge of our parish? Is this the kind of management ability we can expect in the future?

And, why has Father Louis not made any effort what so ever to repair the divisions that exist among us? Isn't that what the pastor of any other Catholic parish would do? Are we not all Catholics that love and serve the same Lord? Are we not all one body? Is there not room for all of us at Christ's table? Wouldn't that be the attitude of every other Catholic priest that you have ever met in your entire life? What is wrong with this one?

I get the feeling something is very wrong here. Worried that there is much more to this than can be seen from the surface. What are the real reasons behind all of this? I think we better start asking more questions!

I would welcome your comments in the spirit of Christ's teachings.


United Farm Workers


  • START LOCATION: McAllen Archer Park, 100 North Main, just north of Business 83.
  • START TIME: 8:00 AM, Monday, Sept. 5, 2005
  • ENDING AT: Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan, Arrival Time: 11:00 AM, in time for a religious service that will start shortly after our arrival.

Bring your rosaries and your banners of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Joseph the Worker. This is a pilgrimage to pray for justice for all working people.

Friends and fellow parishioners:
This is not a time for our parish to be divided. We must all strive to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church and to practice the teachings of Christ.

As Catholics (and as Americans) we must support the rights of ALL workers to belong to a union, should they elect to do so, and it is imperative that we unite to show our bishop that we expect him to adhere to current Church teachings. Please join us in our support!

September 3, 2005

Dear Father Louie,
After attending the meeting for Extra-Ordinary ministers of the Eucharist on Monday evening, August 29, I came away asking myself the question, “What would Jesus have done?” He used a meal to initiate the Eucharist, with his disciples gathered around. I don’t imagine that he asked them to kneel or had a list of qualifications for the participants.

They were ordinary men, and possibly women who choose to follow him. There are no accounts in the scriptures of anyone who reached out to Jesus, being turned away. These men were not without sin, some had doubts and misunderstandings of Jesus’ message. Jesus did not ask them to leave, not even the one who Jesus knew would betray him. What would Jesus say about all the rules that were proposed? His meal was so simple.

As the crowd shouted to their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ “Sit down. Sit down,” the shouts echoed in my ears like the crowd shouting “Crucify him, crucify him!” It breaks my heart that as Christians, we can treat one another this way.

Why are our leaders not encouraging us to respect one another’s convictions and work for unity and understanding of our diversity? What would Jesus have done?

In John 13, 34, Jesus gave us a new commandment, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

It was hard to see much love for each other in the meeting Monday night. How many of us would be recognized as his disciples? Jesus said to Peter, if you love me, “Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep. Feed my Sheep.”

I pray daily that we can come together as Christians, with forgiveness and love, so that we can all be disciples as Jesus wants us to be.
~Your sister in Christ

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