Texas Gulf Coast Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 7, Ed. 1 Friday, June 16, 1972 Page: 1 of 6
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FATHER AND SON FATHER’S DAY IS JUNE 18. (RNS Photo)
From the Bishop's Desk...
During these nice sunny days with their
long daylight hours I arrange to get away
from the Bishop’s desk in the afternoons and
head out for two or three parishes to make
what is known as a canonical visitation. This
consists of an inspection of the buildings both
outside and inside. Where repairs or other
items need care this is called to the attention
of the pastor who then arranges to carry out
the Bishop’s recommendation. The visitation
includes a gsosad look at the tabernacle, the
altar, the confessional, the baptistry, and the
sacristy. Sometimes recommendations are
made to replace outworn vestments or linens
or vessels. In the rectory a review is made of
the vital statistics books. These contain
records of Baptisms, Confirmations,
Marriages and Deaths. I usually find this
work ve?y pleasant and it gives me an
opportunity for a few minutes of informal
chat with each pastor.
Last week I called on Father Anthony
Elsing, M.S.F., the pastor of Our Lady of
Victory parish in Beeville. This good priest
has labored in our Diocese these many years.
He is beloved by his Bishop, priests, sisters
and laity. I asked him to tell me the story of
how Sacred Heart Church in Corpus Christi
came into being. Father explained that back
in 1942 he and his people obtained permission
from Bishop Ledvina to work on the
construction by themselves. At first they had
no machine to mix concrete so they made the
cement blocks by hand. Each week the people
came along with their coins and by some
miracle, enough was on hand from Sunday to
Sunday to allow the work to go on. The
Bishop offered to endorse a note to the bank
for a loan, but Father Elsing and his flock
preferred to plod along in their own way.
When the church was completed at about the
same time the Cathedral was also under
construction. Father Elsing said, “We did not
owe one penny of debt on it.”
Sacred Heart Church and its attached
Monastery stand today as a monument to the
efforts of those stalwarts of yesteryear. Few
churches in our Diocese can compare with it
in size, structure and convenience. The people
who come to Mass and who make daily visits
to the church by the dozens are not
millionaires, but they have a devotion to ihe
Sacred Heart of Jesus, in whose honor their
church is dedicated, that is worth more than
anything which money could buy. May God
continue to bless them, their priests, their
school-Sisters and all their friends.
Four men studying toward the priesthood
for the Diocese of Corpus Christi received the
Bachelor of Arts degrees in ceremonies held
on May 19,1972. Robert Patrick Beck, Roger
Reagen Smith, and James Anthony Tamayo
received their degrees from the University of
St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. Jose Maria
Gutierrez graduated from the Pontifical
College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio.
ROBERT PATRICK BECK
Robert Patrick Beck, a member of St.
Patrick’s Parish in Corpus Christi, received
his B.A. with a major in Philosophy. Pat has
completed his eighth year of seminary
training. He has studied six years at Corpus
Christ! Minor Seminary and two years at St.
Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas.
ROGER REAGEN SMITH
Roger Reagen Smith, a member of St. Pius
X Pariah in Corpus Christi, graduated magna
cum laude with a major in the field of
Psychology. Roger is a member of the
National Scholastic Honor Society at the
University of St. Thomas. He, too, has
completed eight years of seminary studies.
JOSE MARIA GUTIERREZ
Jose Maria Gutierrez, member of Sacred
Heart Parish in Mathis, was a Spanish major
at the Josephinum Seminary where he
received his degree. Jose entered Corpus
Christi Minor Seminary in 1968 and has just
completed his fourth year of seminary
JAMES ANTHONY TAMAYO
James Anthony Tamayo, member of Christ
the King Parish in Corpus Christi, received
the departamental award at the University of
St. Thomas as the top ranking senior in the
field of Theology. He graduated magna cum
laude. James studied two years at Corpus
Christi Minor Seminary before going to St.
Mary’s in Houston.
All four graduates plan to return in
September to their respective alma maters
where they will begin their graduate studies
in the field of Theology.
Jose Gutierrez James Tamayo
Two Hundred Youth
Participate in SSCA
Over 200 young people gathered at the
Exposition Hall in Corpus Christi to spend a
week learning about their religion. A
majority of ihe youth came from Corpus
Christi itself; however, other cities such as
Houston, Fredericksburg, Laredo, Bidiop,
Refugio, and Falfurrias were also
The Texas Summer School of Catholic
Apostolate was sponsored under the auspices
of the Department of Youth Activities of the
Diocese of Corpus Christi. The Rev. Mark
Chamberlin, Diocesan Director of this
department, headed the staff of well-qualified
instructors which included the Rev. Jack
Campbell, S.J., of St. Louis, Mothe Rev.
James Patton of Medina, Ohio; and Roger
Smith, a seminarian studying for the Diocese
of Corpus Christi.
The some 200 teenagers heard Mrs. Sandy
Olson speak of P.O.W.’s and M.I.A.’s and
what the youth could do to help the cause.
Mrs. Olson’s brother is missing in action in
Vietnam. Bill Ehrhardt, a local insurance
man, spoke to the group concerning their
relationship with their parents. Roger Smith
gave several talks on the importance of
accepting self and accepting others in love.
Smith also lead several discussions where the
youth tried to bring Ihe topics discussed down
to reality; and, thus, to put into practice the
things they had learned.
“JESUS CHRIST, SUPERSTAR’’
On Thursday evening, a group from the
Newman Club at Texas A&I University in
Kingsville, presented a multi-media
production of “Jesus Christ, Superstar.”
A high point of every SSCA is the “AGAPE”
celebration, a paraliturgical event. LGrape
juice, symbolic of unity (many grapes into
one drink), and loaf bread, another symbol of
unity, were partaken kby all present. The
event illustrates in a symbolic manner that
all Christians are united in Chnst and share in
the love of the one Christ.
Also as part of the “AGAPE” ceremony,
the light from a central candle was passed
throughout the room. This was to make
graphic the fact that what was learned during
the SSCA had to be spread throughout by the
many personal contacts the young people
would make in life.
Father Jim Patton, who has been coming to
the Corpus Christi SSCA for a number of
years, found this year’s class very exciting to
work with. Commenting on the local SSCA,
Father Patton said that “The kids are
fantastic. The cooperation of the youth of
South Texas is terrific and their enthusiasm
Father Patten’s interest in youth work
goes back to 1955. He has been a staff member
of the SSCA for the past seven yeare and has
worked with youth from coast to coast. Patton
spoke of the differences af the youth of today
from the youth of yesterday. “The idealism is
still there. Ihe hope of the future is still in
their hearts. The difference is that today the
youth are more open and ready to
communicate then in the pas':.”
Father Patton added. “This is a
particularly interesting time to work with
youth in the Church. They are more spiritual
than in the past and the Church must reach
out to mold this spirituality and challenge
their idealism in a true Christ-Mce manner.”
“In Catholicism,” Father Pauon continued,
“wehave the greatest thing to offer our youth
inasmuch as Catholic theology takes a man as
he is in real life - imperfect heading toward
“Our young people see the imperfections;
they realize ihat ihe shortcomings of mankind
must be overcome. And so they are willing
more than any other generation in our time to
change themselves, change their community
and change their Church for the greater
honor and glory of God.”
When asked to give his impression of the
city of Corpus Christi, Patton responded, “I
like the city and the spirit of the peofle Many
of the adults of the Catholic community hav
been graciois in theii hospitality-true Texas
Father Patton has this to say about Bishop
Thomas J. Drury. “It’s nice to be in a (dace
Continued on Page 6
Father Jim Patton and some of the SSCA "students” enjoy a leisure moment between sessions of
the (Bocesan sponsored event. <R. Alaniz Photo)
texas gulf coast
Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Corpus Christi
Vol. VIII No. 7. Friday, June 16,1972
The Most Reverend Thomas J. Drury,
Bishop of Corpus Christi, has made the
following clergy appointments:
Reverend Alphonse Fiato, M.S.F„ Pastor,
Sacred Heart Parish, Corpus Christi,
effective June 15, 1972.
Reverend Alphonse Coenders, M.S.F.,
Assistant Pastor, Sacred Heart Church,
Corpus Christi, Effective June 15, 1972.
Reverend Simon Brzozowski, M.S.F.,
Chaplain of Memorial Medical Center, the
Hearth, and Carriage Square, Corpus Christi,
(and Assistant Pastor, St. Joseph's Parish,
Corpus Christi), effective June 15, 1972.
Special Masses in the
U.S. To Mark
WASHINGTON, D.C. (RNS) - The riinth
anniversary of the coronation as Roman
pontiff of Pope Paul VI will be marked in the
U.S. by special Masses and other
observances, according to Cardinal John J.
Krol, president of the National Conference of
In a letter to the Pope, the cardinal
extended “cordial felicitations and prayerful
congratulations” on behalf of this country’s
Catholics. He praised the pontiff’s “far-
sighted and courageous leadership” and
“major achievements” recorded during his
The Catholic people of the United States
have always manifested a special affection
and esteem for the Successor of Peter and do
so today,” Cardinal Krol said, adding that the
bishops, priests, religious an laity of the U.S.
pledge the Pope their prayers.
Pope Paul was elected on Jine 21,1963. His
coronation took place in St Peter’s Square
nine days later.
Catholic Layman Ordained Deacon
HCXJSTON-Manuel Betancourt, married
and the father of seven children, has become
an ordained permanent deacon in the Roman
Catholic ‘"'hi.rch. Betancourt, a former
Robstown v;:ident, was elevated to the
diaconate by the Most Reverend John
Morkovsky, D.D., Apostolic Administrator of
the Diocese of Calves ton-Houston, on Sunday,
June -1, at 7:00 p.m. in ceremonies at
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Houston.
Deacon Betancourt will perform baptismal
and marriage rites, distribute Holy
Communion, preach and counsel, visit the
sick and conduct burial services. (A deacon
does not say Mass, hear confessions nor
administer thfe last rites to the dying.)
He is the first Catholic from this Diocese to
be elevated to the newly-created position of
permanent deacon. He is one of a class of
thirty-eight men trained at St. Mary’s
Seminary, Houston. The office of Deacon is
the final step prior to ordination as a priest.
Mr. Manuel Betancourt
As a permanent Deacon, Betancourt will not
ultimately be able to become a priest unless
current Church policies change. He will be
addressed as “Deacon Betancourt” rather
than “Father” or “Rev.”
The permanent diaconate order orginated
early in Church history, but fell into disuse. It
was restored by the Vatican II Council in 1965.
Generally they work with the priest in part-
time service while holding a regular, secular
job. The diaconate is open to both married
and single men. They attend classes two
evenings each week and one Sunday a month
in such subjects as theology, anthropology,
Scripture, Church history and eschatology
(study of the future).
Betancourt is a records supervisor for
Houston N; ' J Gas Corporation. He is 42
years of resides at 5322 Browncroft
Street with his wife, Minnie, and their seven
chilcken: Benito, 15; Belinda, 14; Bernardo,
12; Beatrice, 8; Baldemar, 6; Bernadette, 4;
and Benjamin 8 months. His mother is Mrs.
Flora Betancourt, 210 San Patricia,
Robstown. His sister, Juanita Trevino, and
brother, Encamacicn Betancourt, also reside
Commenting on the diaconate program,
Betancourt said he entered “to know God and
serve Him better and to be faithful to the
Church.” He is a member of St Peter the
Apostle Parish and had “never thought of
becoming a priest” but he believes the
diaconate is “the best thing that could have
happened.” He hopes to work in a Spanish-
He started work with HNG in December
1952 i n Corpus Christi as construction helper,
transferred in Alice 1963 and to Houston in
1967. He was graduated from Robstown High
and attended Del Mar Jr. College. He served
in the Army during the Korean War. When
four sons, three daughters and charitable
work permit, Manuel enjoys reading.
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Pena, Raymond. Texas Gulf Coast Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 7, Ed. 1 Friday, June 16, 1972, newspaper, June 16, 1972; Corpus Christi, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth835536/m1/1/: accessed January 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .