South Texas Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, May 4, 1984 Page: 3 of 16
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May 4,1984 -3
Bishop tells Beeville group ‘read signs of the times’
Bishop Rene H. Gracida (second from left) pauses with religious leaders
from the Beeville area and Bee County College prior to speaking to a
large group at the school. Shown with the bishop are (left to right) Mis-
sionary Catechists of Divine Providence Sister Marian Rubio, director of
the college's Newman Center; Nick Cardenas, representing the Catholic
Newman Association; Holy Family Father Pochard Oberstar, pastor of
Our Lady of Victory Church, Beeville and Father John P. Killeen, pastor
of St. Joseph's Church, Beeville.
By William G. Hilton
STC executive editor
BEEVILLE—* ‘These are exciting
times to be a Catholic, exciting times to
be a Christian,” Bishop Rene H.
Gracida told a Bee County College au-
dience during a recent visit to the cam-
He urged his audience to “read the
signs of the times” and decide what is
important and wha! is not. “I would
suggest there is not a more important
time to do this than now,” the bishop
said, “because there are so many con-
Referring to Pope John XXIlI’s en-
cyclical On the Progress of Peoples,
Bishop Gracida discussed the process of
socialization. “The pope was not referr-
ing to socialism or any political theory,”
he explained “Socialization is the
phenomenon whereby society grows in-
In previous ages, such as the Middle
Ages feudal society, social structures
were rather simple. It was simple to
understand one’s relationship with a
temporal lord or family or neighbors,
the bishop observed.
But socialization “brings to us a
society which continues to expand and
grow more complex between individuals
and organizations,” he said.
“This complexity,” he continued,
“places increasing demands upon the
time, energy and resources of in-
dividuals as they seek to cope with the
In the midst of such complexity, the
bishop said, it is important for Chris-
tians “to be a leaven in the world, con-
stantly making Christ present, pro-
claiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ in
anv what that will cause the world to
abandon its cours of alienation from
Discussing the signs of the times and
the many contradictory signs, the bishop
highlighted abortion and nucleai arms.
He observed that the legalization of
abortion in the U.S. has given rise to
clinics providing abortion on demand
and at the same time there are neo-natal
clinics which seek to provide services to
save human life.
“One segment of our society is so
concerned about life they will spare no
expense to try to save a baby and on the
other hand another segment is so con-
cerned with snuffing out life they will
spend time and money to obtain an
abortion and end life,” he said.
A World War II veteran who flew 32
combat missions over Germany, Bishop
Gracida pointed out that the Polaris
missiles on just one nuclear submarine
have more fire power “than all of the
bombs dropped by all the Allied
bombers in the entire second world
“Add to that our land-based
weapons; we can destroy the world a
thousand times over. It just staggers my
imagination,” he said.
“We must think out the validity of the
currently popular phrase ‘life is a
seamless garment,”’ he pointed out. He
compared life to a tapestry, which
begins to unravel if any one part is pull-
“Many believe—and I believe—that
it is impossible to be pro-life for some
people and pro-death for others. People
must acknowledge the sacredness of all
life,” he said.
In his dosing comments, the bishop
again urged his audience to study the
signs of the times, “The signs are truly
complex. We are only a short time away
from the end of this century, from the
year 2000,” he said.
“We have come so far,” the bishop
observed, but then asked, “yet have we
come so far as to be at the brink of
New STC columns begin
Beginning in this issue, two new columnists will appear regular-
ly in the South Texas Catholic: Father William Maestri, writing
Bible Journeys for Christians and Msgr. George C. Higgins.
Bible Journeys for Christians is a down-to-earth column written
by a young priest with extensive pastoral, teaching and writing ex-
Father William Maestri, ordained in 1977, is a diocesan priest
of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He teaches at the archdiocesan
college seminary and is associate editor of Pastoral Life.
Msgr. George C. Higgins has written Yardstick, distributed by
the National Catholic News Service, for several years. The column
highlights current events with a special eye toward labor.
Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1940, his
masters degree and doctrate are specialized in labor issues.
He was appointed to the staff of the Social Action Department of
the National Catholic Welfare Conference in 1944; in 1972, he
was named Secretary for Research of the United States Catholic
Conference and was appointed Secretary for Special Concerns in
He also serves an an adjunt lecturer in the School of Theology,
Catholic University of America.
Drury Retreat House
Father Donald Criichlow, director of the Bishop Thomas J. Drury Retreat
House, has released the following list of retreats currently scheduled for the
retreat facility located on the grounds of the Diocesan Pastoral Center.
June 29-July 1
Day of Recollection for KC’s-9:30a.m.-4;(K)p.m.
Reservations required by May 8
C.C. Deanery, D.C.C W.
Reservations required by May 15 and fee is f 10,00
" Beginning Experience
* General Retreat
Registration required by June 6 and fee is f 10.00
For information and reservations, contact the retreat house office by calling
the newly-formed diocesan Augustinian Father Federico In April, 1970. the. Vatican
Davtt,, Laredo North side Senate. This body functioned
bishop of Match 16, wtoM MM|HHMI
suppressed the four then- Sinton Beanery” ^ ® ll thatPriroe Prabvteral
existing deaneries. ; Othe^emher. include Council wasted for with I
Religious Education Employment
At least six parishes in the Diocese of Corpus Christi are seeking persons of
faith to serve as Religious Education Coordinators, beginning August 1, 1984.
Interested persons are invited to apply by writing or callingcOilke of Religious
Education, Diocesan Pastoral Center, 1200 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, TX
78407 (512) 289-6501. . ^..y
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Bilton, William G. South Texas Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, May 4, 1984, newspaper, May 4, 1984; Corpus Christi, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth840372/m1/3/: accessed January 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .