Texas Gulf Coast Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 32, Ed. 1 Friday, December 15, 1972 Page: 3 of 8
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Friday, December 15,1972
TEXAS GULF COAST CATHOLIC
Msc r. John Jones, Diocesan
Consulter, Dies in Laredo
texas gulf coast
VoL VIII /Vo. 32
Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Corpus Christi
Friday, December 15, 1972
Christmas In Mexican-American
Parish Theme of a Television ’Special'
Saint Augwftine Church, center of the Oblate Fathers in Laredo.
Oblates Celebrate 50
Years in Laredo
Laredo — Bishop Thomas J. Dury, Father
Clifford Blackburn, , Provincial of the
Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and former
Oblate Pastors in Laredo concelebrated Mass
on December 12 to mark the 50th Anniversary
of the arrival of the Oblates in this city. A
public reception followed inthe Laredo Civic
The first Oblate Fathers who came to
Laredo were Fathers Jose Rose, Andres de
dftq, Jesus Ijfriptp,,^Carlos Seiraes, .David
Rodriguez and Ladislao Lopez They arrived
here in 1922 to work in the parishes of St.
Augustine, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Holy
Under the direction of the Oblate Fathers
these parishes grew and from them new
parishes were established. The Oblate
Congregation was directly involved in the
establishment of four other parishes in
Laredo: Christ the King, Mother Cabrini, San
Luis Rey, and St. Joseph's.
Today St. Augustine Parish and Our Lady
of Guadalupe Parish are still staffed by the
Missionary OMates of Mary Immaculate. The
Chaplainery at Mercy Hospital is also under
Priests at St. Augustine’s are Fathers
„ William,Grant, T. Cuevas, and Richard
Sheeham; at Guadalupe, they are Fathers
Henry Van de Casteele, Antonio Martinez,
and Philip Kennedy. Other Oblates in Laredo
are Father Vladimiro Manente, diocesan
director of the Cursillo, and Father A1 Lavais
at Mercy Hospital.
Laredo — Rev Msgr. John Clement Jones,
pastor of Christ the King Church and a
longtime resident of Laredo, died Wednesday
morning in Mercy Hospital after suffering a
heart attack. Msgr. Jones had planned to
retire from the active priesthood at the end of
January. He was 51 years of age.
Early Tuesday evening Msgr. Jones was
taken to Mercy Hospital after he complained
of being ill. After an examination he was
released only to be readmitted at 2 a.m.
Wednesday morning, after which he suffered
the heart attack and died around 5 a.m. Msgr.
Jones was the victim of a severe stroke in
June of 1971, but had been steadily improving
until the time of his death.
John Clement Jones was bom on August 7,
1921 in Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, England, He
was the son of the late John H. Jones and
Norah Mary Jones who lives in Birkenhead.
Besides Mrs. Jones, he is survived by two
sisters, Mrs. Dennis Brien of Cheshire,
England and Mrs. Joe Walsh of Whitby,
Canada; and four brothers, Vincent, Haryy,
Anthony and Peter Jones, all of Cheshire.
Msgr. Jones received his elemeritary
schooling at St. Anne’s parish school in Rock
Ferry and his secondary and college
education at St. Edward’s, Liverpool,
England. His philosophical studies were
taken ac Belmont College, Dublin, Ireland,
and his theological studies at Our Lady’s
Scholasticate in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Msgr. Jones began his priestly studies with
the missionary order of the Oblates of Mary
Immaculate in England. But shortly after
making his final vows, decided to leave the
Scholasticate after it seemed that he would
not be ordained to the priesthood for that
order. But Msgr. Jones never lost his desire to
become a priest and to dedicate his life to the
service of the Church.
It was in December of 1949 that the Rev.
Father O’Ryan, O.M.I., Jones’ parish priest
and the provincial at the time Jones was
studying in the seminary, put John Clement
Jones back on the road to the priesthood.
Father O’Ryan contacted the provincial of the
Oblates of Mary Immaculate in South Texas,
Father T. J. Kennedy, about the possibility of
Jones being ordained for the province of
South Texas. It was through Father Kennedy
that the matter was brought to the attention of
the late Bishop M.S. Garriga who accepted
Jones for the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Bishop Garriga ordained Father Jones on
During his early years in Laredo he served
as the Deanery Moderator, Deanery Council
of Catholic Women and of the Catholic Youth
This priest, who at one time thought that he
may never be ordained proved himself
worthy of the confidence place in him by the
Late Bishop Garriga. He was a board
member of the Catholic cemetary in Laredo,
a member of the board of directors of Catholic
Charities, Inc., and was a director of the
Bishop Thomas J. Drury recognized Msgr.
Jones’ integrity and loyalty by naming him a
Diocesan Consultor in January of 1966. It was
also through the etforts of Bishop Drury that
Pope Paul VI raised Jones to the rank of
Domestic Prelate in 1967.
The Rosary was recited on Thursday and
Friday of this past week. Bishop Drury
presided over the Mass of the Resurrection
and officiated at the burial in the Catholic
Cemetery in Laredo. The Rev. Msgr. William
Oberste, Father Jones' first pastor, preached
Msgr. William T. Thompson, Chancellor, in
the absence of Bishop Drury who was out of
the Diocese at press time, commented on the
death of Msgr. Jones:
”We will miss Msgr. Jones, a friend of
everyone, an exemplary priest and truly a
charitable man. The Church in South Texas
and all those with whom he came in contact
have benefitted greatly because he chose our
area in which to exercise his priestly
ministry. We send our condolences to his dear
Mother, his family, parishioners, and many
SAN ANTONIO (RNS) - An ABC-TV
Christmas "special” wil- focus on the
Mexican-American Roman Catholic parish of
Our Lady of Guadalupe in the barrio of San
Antonio, celebrating in a "spontaneous and
unrehearsed” fashion the feast of Christ’s
"Feliz Navidad — A Mexican-American
Christmas,” will be televised Dec. 25 over the
ABC network at 1 p.m., Eastern Standard
time. It is produced by Sid Darion of ABC’s
Public Service Department, in collaboration
with the Mexican American Cultural Center,
Father Emil Wesselsky, communications
director for the San Antonio archdiocese, said
a purpose of the hour-long telecast is to
provide an "insight into the way a typical
Mexican American community of the South-
western U. S. celebrates Christmas.”
The program will begin with the end of a
nine-day preparation called Las posadas,
featuring the pastor, Father Edmundo
Rodriguez, S.J., a group of parishioners and
mariachi musicians. Father Virgilio Elizondo
of the cultural center will explain the
meaning of the event.
The telecast will also include midnight
Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Patrick
Flores of San Antonio, the first U. S. Catholic
bishop of Mexican descent. He will be assisted
by two chicano married lay deacons.
The final portion of the Christmas program
will show the ensuing parish "fiesta,” said
Father Wesselsky, stressing the “very human
quality which runs through the customs of
Mexican-American Catholics.” ■
- t >. r.
Teen of the Week —
December 26, 1950, in the Corpus Christi
Cathedral. He celebrated his First Solemn
Mass at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the
Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in
Corpus Christi on December 27.
Rev. Msgr. John Jones
His first priestly assignment was as an
assistant pastor of Our Lady of Refuge in
Refugio on January 2 , 1951. He worked there
until June, 1951, when he was transferred to
St. Peter’s in Laredo where he labored for
seven years. He became pastor of San Luis
Rey, Laredo, on December 1,1958, and moved
to the pastorate on Christ The King, Laredo,
on July 1, 1967 and was pastor there at the
time of his death.
Prince of Peace Is Born Again
Sermons, songs and pageants; millions of
cards and yards of wrapping paper borrow
Bible phrases quoted by Sqmuel Taylor
Coleridge in concluding his poem, A
"Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of
Peace is born.”
Is it mockery, this annual festival of peace
in a world of no peace? Cultural conditioning
supported by commercialism? Fond
memories of Santa Claus and stockings hung
In the joy of childhood?
Or hope? A hope of peace stretching over
centuries; an annual reminder that the earth
has a hope for peace.
1972: the Prince of Peace is bom again, into
a world aching for peace. When, in nearly
2,000 years, has Christmas come to a peaceful
And the world of people and nations was not
at peace v nen, according to the Gospel of
Luke, the birth of the Christ child was an-
nouru ?d to shepherds in the field and the
heavens reverberated with a chorus:
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men
with whom he is pleased” (RSV).
TTie angelic choir was hardly describing the
condition of Palestine or the Rom n world, It
was heralding a »dft, God’s gift: peace, the
possibility of peace, the hope of peace.
Individuals and nations seem all too in-
clined to leave the gift wrapped, or treat it as
an antique ornament too fragile to be
removed from the box and hung in the living
the Word, the announcement of the
gift vality, is not lost. Lurking in history
and hearts, the hope for peace refuses to be
smothered in tissue, distracted by tinsel or
tossed aside when the tree turns brown.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti has written:
"Christ climbed down
from His bare tree
and ran away.....”
From what? Away from breakable stars,
electric lights, "televised Wise Men,” fake
white beards and "jinglebell heaven,” says
To where? To the night "of everybody’s
anonymous soul” to await the
"unimaginable ... impossibility ... of Second
As theologians and poets, both ancient and
modem, remind a not too attentive world, the
unlikely nature of God’s gift of peace is
precisely what makes It remarkable. Hope
hangs on in the knowledge that the gift is not
withdrawn, as Christopher Smart wrote:
“God all-bounteous, all-creative,
Whom no ills from good dissuade,
Is incarnate, and a native
of the very world He made.”
But some Christmas, as it is celebrated in
the U S. and many other parts of the world,
obscures the message and meaning of the
nativity of God’s Good News. Indeed, voices
ask if the commercial thrusts and social
demands associated with Christmas have not
turned W. B. Yeats into a prophet.
Yeats, the Nobel prize winner for literature
in 1923, was led to wonder by the advent of
Christmas if Western society’s Christian
goals were giving way to violence and
savagery. He asked,
"And what rough beast, its hour come
round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be bom?”
Somelook at plastic creches, Santa Clauses
in sanctuaries and Christmas parades filled
with Walt Disney characters and say, with
poet Charles Olson, "dirty Christmas." These
critics would phase out Christmas as it has
developed, possibly even giving up the
December 25 anniversary in favor of nativity
celebrated throughout the year.
Early Christian history lends a degree of
support to those who despair of modem
Christmas. As is generally conceded, the
exact time of the birth of Jesus is not known.
A strong tradition placed the event on the 25th
of the month. But which month?
For at least three centuries, the church
designated various days of the year as
"Christmas,” yet "in most places there was
no special feast of the Nativity,” according to
Father Francis X. Weiser, S.J., in "The
It was not until the reign of the Roman
Emperor Constantine that the Western
church, centered in Rome, declared Dec. 25
as the feast of the nativity. Father Weiser
notes that the church did not "rule that we
know the precise date of Christ’s birth, but
merely assigned a certain day in order to
unify the celebration of a religious feast of
A part of the reason Dec. 25 was chosen by
the church was a desire to "replace the
popular pagan celebration of the winter
solstice by the festivities of a truly Christian
holiday.” says Father Weiser.
The late December Roman celebration was
the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun," holy
in the cult of Mithras, and marked by great
public festivities and feasts honoring the sun
god. Holidays marking the winter solstice, or
Yule, were common among ancient people in
the Northern Hemisphere, the solstice being
the time the sun was furthest south of the
equator in the earth’s revolutions.
The church tried hard to root out the
vestiges of the Yule festival that remained in
the "Mass of Christ,” which is what Christ-
mas means. That it was not totally successful
is readily apparent. In common practice,
Yule and Christmas came to be combined,
and it is easy for criticis of the modem ob-
servance to contend that Yule conquered
Christmas instead of Christmas transforming
The various "put Christ back in Christmas”
campaigns over the past few decades in the
U.S. have particularly ceiled into question the
enormous attention to gifts.
While the giving of gifts at Christmas
certainly bears relation to God’s gift and to
the presentations made to the Christ child by
the Magi, the exchange of presents near the
time of the solstice also has a “pagan” origin.
Romans gave and received on January 1.
After Christmas was set on Dec. 25, the gift-
giving took on more Christian meanings,
though all predominantly Christian cultures
do not put their gift time on the same day in
the Christmas season.
The Christmas Eve visit of Santa Claus in
the U.S., as Father Weiser explains, is a
combination of two European customs’ small
gifts left in the name of St. Nicholas in
stocking on the night before Dec. 6, the
festival of that saint, and presents children
believed Jesus left under Christmas trees on
(continued on Pg. 8)
Mary Ellen Kolodzlej
St. Theresa’s Mary Ellen Koloziej is TEEN
OF THE WEEK. Mary Ellen is the daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Kolodziej of 11J6
Manchester Drive. Like all the other TEENS
OF THE WEEK, Mary Ellen finds her hap-
piest moments at times when she Is among
other people. Mary Ellen credits her parents
with showing her the enjoyment that comes
from helping others: "They brought me up to
understand the meaning of fife and what 1 can
do to help others.”
Mary Ellen has been involved as a CCD
teacher in the Elementary School Religious
Education Program in St. Theresa Parish and
in the CYO program. Mary Ellen recognizes
the valuable experience in assuming
responsibility that was hers as President of
the CYO. She believes that the present
generation has many more opportunities in
life than past generations. On the other hand,
she finds that living in this turbulent age
brings many difficult adjustment problems.
Mary Ellen echoed other teens in saying that
young people need more discipline and love.
"Self-respect” was another need identified by
The Incarnate Word Academy senior is a
member of the FSA (Future Secretaries of
America) and the Spanish Club. Her present
interest in Spanish appears to be influencing
her future plans. Mary Ellen hopes to con-
tinue her study of Spanish in Mexico after she
finishes high school.
The final deadline for nominations from
parishes to TEEN OF THE WEEK is
December 20, 1972. Applications should in-
clude the name, address, parish of nominee,
brief description of service activities aud the
name of the sponsoring pastor, CCD or Youth
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Pena, Raymond. Texas Gulf Coast Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 32, Ed. 1 Friday, December 15, 1972, newspaper, December 15, 1972; Corpus Christi, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth835322/m1/3/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .