Advocacy Day in Austin

IMG_6093slOn Tuesday of this week 11 bishops from Texas, along with 1,500 Catholics from throughout the state, participated in the Advocacy Day in Austin organized by the Texas Catholic Conference.

In addition to a rally on the south lawn of the Capitol at noon, the bishops testified before various committees regarding several issues as well as made visits to the Speaker of the House, the Lt. Governor’s staff (he was out of town) and with Gov. Rick Perry. We were able to present the position of the Church on certain key areas. The delegations from the dioceses were able to meet with their representatives.

The delegation from Corpus Christi met with Representatives Todd Hunter, J. M. Lozano and Abel Herrero. The Advocacy Day began the night before with a beautiful Mass with all the bishops present at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Please continue to pray for our legislators and keep in your prayers the several priorities that the Texas Catholic Conference is working on. You can learn more about this issues that their Web site

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Chrism Mass tonight marks end of Centennial celebration

Today, March 26, at 7 p.m. I will celebrate the annual Chrism Mass at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. I want to invite each one of you, your family, your friends and your neighbors to attend this solemn and beautiful Mass.

At the Chrism Mass I will consecrate the three oils used in administering the sacraments at every church in the Diocese of Corpus Christi during the upcoming year. The Oil of Catechumens used in Baptism, in the consecration of churches, in the blessing of Altars and in the ordination of priests. The Holy Chrism is used in Confirmation, Baptism and the consecration of a various articles such as churches, chalices, patens and bells. The Oil of the Sick is used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

As many priests of the diocese as can attend will participate at this solemn observance of Christ’s institution of the priesthood. The Liturgy accents the priesthood, expressing the communion of priests with their bishop.

This year, the Chrism Mass will take on special significance, as it will mark the conclusion of our yearlong Centennial Jubilee. As many of you recall, we opened “A Century of Tradition-Lifetime of Faith” with a symposium and Mass at the American Bank Center a year ago. The event, featuring Timothy Cardinal Dolan as our keynote speaker and Daniel Cardinal DiNardo as the celebrant of the Mass, was a great success which energized everyone who attended.

While the formal observance of the jubilee will come to end, the diocese will continue to recognize the contributions made by the faithful over the last 100 years at our Web site and through the South Texas Catholic. An interesting historical note is that while the diocese was erected on March 1912, the first bishop did not actually arrive in the diocese until June 1913. So, as this fact suggests, we can still continue to observe this momentous time in our diocese.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as can come at the Chrism Mass.

Very Sincerely in Christ,

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey

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Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Francis

Habemus Papam.

These Latin words rang out across the world yesterday: we have a pope.

We are very grateful to God for the gift of Pope Francis. In all likelihood he will represent to us a beautiful spirit for the Catholic Church and the world in the years to come; a spirit of humility, a spirit of charity reaching out to the poor and the lowly.

This spirit of our new pope is one that will certainly ring out in the heart of every bishop, every priest, every layperson and every consecrated person in the church.

It is a beautiful occasion during Lent to have this signal from God, that this is the conversion that all of us must work toward.

Today, Thursday, I will celebrate the 12:05 mass at Corpus Christi Cathedral in Thanksgiving for our newly elected pope. If you are able to join me I welcome you to come; if not please join us in prayer for our new Holy Father.

Let us continue to pray for Pope Emeritus Benedict, for the gift he has been to us over the past years.

May God bless each one of you, may your Lent continue to be a moment of true conversion and may Christ reign in each of our hearts in the church and in the world.

God bless you this day and always.

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Farewell good and faithful friend

Our prayers and good wishes to Pope Benedict

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In Thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI

As all of you know, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI renounced the papacy last week, effective Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. our time. While all of us are no doubt saddened by this announcement we can all take comfort in the manner in which the Holy Father arrived at his decision.

He told an audience at the Vatican that he arrived at his decision after prayer and with a clear conscience before God. He felt that it was for the good of the Church that he should take this extraordinary step. None of us should be surprised by his selfless act, as Pope Benedict has demonstrated throughout his papacy an undying love for the Church and has been an example of humility. Characteristics we should all seek to emulate.

Personally, I have a lot to be thankful for to the Holy Father. It was he who called me to serve the Church as a bishop. I will forever be grateful for his affection and his trust and I pray that I will be able to fulfill his confidence in me. In thinking about the Holy Father I am always taken back to the words that a friend of mine who worked closely with the pope. I asked him how he would describe Benedict XVI, without hesitation he said, “He has the intelligence of five men and the heart of a child.”

On Friday, Feb. 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, I will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI at the Cathedral at 6:30 p.m. I humbly invite all of you to be part of the special Mass for the Holy Father.


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Serving Jesus in One and Other

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Our identity is with St. Paul

Seminarians, from left, Ramiro “RJ” Regalado, Richard Gutierrez and Charles Silvas served Mass with Bishop Mulvey at St. Joseph Seminary. Not pictured are Oscar Chaparro and Margarito Trevino.

This week I had the opportunity and pleasure of visiting our five seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary in Louisiana. I celebrated Mass for the seminarians and shared with them some thoughts about where we as Catholics go from here after the recent elections. I said that we are not people who encamp ourselves causing divisions amongst people, if we believe in Christ. The Gospel readings were appropriate to this topic and I am glad to share them with you below.

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Catholic voices must be heard in the public square

I was recently asked why it is important that Catholics vote and that the Catholic voice be heard in the public square. Let us look at the situation of our world and our country as we attempt to give a brief answer to this question, this very important question.

 We can, of course, describe our society today as secular, as a society that has turned away from an objective or universal moral code and towards a more relativistic attitude to values; meaning that there is no or little objective truth by which people individually and collectively should lead their lives. This, and many more characteristics, brings us to understand that God has been marginalized in peoples’ lives and from society in general.

One principal reason for this, which is important to acknowledge–especially during this Year of Faith, is that we as Catholic Christians have contributed to this phenomenon by our own lack of attention to God’s will in our lives and in our participation in society.

How many of us actually think in terms each day of “doing God’s will?”

If we believe that God is the creator of all that is seen and unseen and the Father of all, then God has a will, a plan for each one of us and for the world in which we live. Are we paying attention to God’s will each day and also when we vote?

During this Year of Faith, it is important that each one of us take time to intensify our love for the will of God in our lives. Being attentive to God’s will allows us to reduce the voice of our own egos and wills, in order to listen to God’s truth. When that happens, we realize that God’s truth is the universal truth for all. It is not a matter of a private code of values only for those who believe, but it is meant for all.

As Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “the truth will set you free.” If that is true for us in our lives, and we discern that, then we realize we have the responsibility to share that with others. Thus the voice of the Catholic in the public square is important, it is our responsibility to bring the truth that God has revealed to us; not to impose it upon others but to be that liberation that each man and woman is seeking. The truth will bring each person in society to his or her full human dignity and potential.

When we discover that truth is a part of God’s will we see life differently and we want to be involved not only in Church life but also in the society around us. It is important that each one of us not only vote, but be a voice such as John the Baptist crying out in the desert; preparing the way of the Lord, preparing the way of goodness, preparing the way of peace, preparing the way of life and respect for life.

That voice is not just a voice of a moral code, it is the voice of truth, and it is the voice of God’s will. In order to reform our society to one of justice and peace it is important that our voices be heard.

There is no easy solution to this complicated problem; however, this can be the beginning of the restoration of our society in which we bring God back into the consciousness and the awareness of those in public life.

As Catholics, the issue of life is always at the forefront and it must continue to be paramount, especially during the coming election. As Catholics we recognize that abortion is intrinsically evil, meaning that it is evil in itself. Because abortion is the taking of an innocent human life–a life that has no ability to protect itself and has no guilt within itself–that act in itself is evil. We have the responsibility for protecting life, beginning in the voting booth.

There are many other issues that each one us must consider in the coming days before the election, namely immigration, the economy, the vulnerable, etc. We must do so with an “informed conscience.”

I encourage all of you during this time not only to vote, but to vote with an informed conscience; to vote with the heart of Christ; and to vote according to God’s will, as best as we can understand His will.

Let us move beyond the emotions of the debates and the partisanship of the campaigns and listen to the voice of the Lord God who speaks within each one of us and within the life of the Church.

I have been and will continue to pray for all of us as we decide on whom our public officials will be that lead us over the next few years.

I ask God’s blessing on our country that we may truly be a society of justice, and a society that promotes life, liberty and happiness for all.

May we truly be a nation “under God.”

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Greatest of All Commandments

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Remembering Blessed John Paul II on his Memorial Day

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