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Advent 2016 Calendar

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* * * December 8: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary * * * December 11: Third Sunday of Advent * * * December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe * * * December 18: Fourth Sunday of Advent * * * December 25: The Nativity of The Lord (Christmas Day) * * * December 28: The Holy Innocents * * * The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph * * *

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 4, 2016: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * How Christmas celebrations returned to Cuba

















Letter to the Editor, 

How Christmas celebrations returned to Cuba

Recalling Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in January 1998, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, who was Pope John Paul II’s spokesman and Director of the Holy See Press Office, shared this in an interview with the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa

Navarro-Valls revealed that John Paul II had been sending delegates to Cuba for a decade. The Pope was eager to visit the island but he still hadn’t received an invitation. Finally, in November 1996, Castro came to Rome for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) meeting; he was received in the Vatican and formally invited the Pope.

Navarro-Valls explained how they prepared for the visit: “We worked for the whole of 1997 to organize it. Three months prior to the visit, in October that year, Navarro-Valls went to Havana and met Castro. It was a long six hour meeting that ended at around three in the morning”.

Navarro-Valls explained to Castro that now that the date of the visit was set, for January, 21, 1998, it would be important for it to be a great success. “Cuba needs to surprise the world,” Navarro-Valls told Castro. Castro emphatically agreed. So Navarro-Valls divulged about some of the surprises the Pope was expecting. He asked Castro for Christmas, which was just around the corner, to be celebrated as an official holiday for the first time since being banned by Castro’s communist regime in 1969.

Castro said it would be very difficult as Christmas fell right in the middle of the sugar cane harvesting season. To which Navarro-Valls responded: “But the Holy Father would like to be able to publicly thank you for this gesture once he lands in Havana”. After a long discussion, Castro finally said yes, although he did add; "But it could be for this year only". All Navarro-Valls said was: "Great, the Pope will be grateful to you for this. And as for next year, we’ll see". 

And to this day, Christmas is still celebrated as a public holiday in Cuba.

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.

Del Rio


Friday, December 2, 2016

November 29, 2016: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Bye-bye celebrity culture

















Letter to the Editor,

Bye-bye celebrity culture

The majority of Americans are slightly aware of the vast conglomerate of celebrities, and not in tune with the media exposure and exploitation of the celebrity culture.

Americans are just too busy living their own day-to-day life that they do not care what celebrities have to say about anything.

These same celebrities accuse President-elect Donald Trump of being arrogant, egotistical, narcissistic and self-absorbed, but that is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

These celebrities stated that they would leave the country if Trump was elected President, well good riddance.

Did they actually believe that by threatening to leave the United States, the American electorate would think to themselves, “Oh, let’s not vote for Trump so that these celebrities can stay in the United States and not move elsewhere”?

Good bye, Amy Schumer, actress and comedian, who said she would be moving to Spain.

Good bye, Jon Stewart, political satirist, who said he would be getting in a rocket and going to another plant.

Good bye, Neve Campbell, actress in House of Cards which is an American political drama web television series, who said she would be moving to Canada.

Good bye, Samuel L. Jackson, actor, who said he would move to South Africa.

Good bye, Barbra Streisand, singer, who said she would move to Australia or Canada.

Good bye, Keegan-Michael, star of Key & Peele, an American sketch comedy television series on Comedy Central, who said he would move to Canada.

Good bye, Raven-Symoné, actress and host of The View, a talk show on ABC television, who said she would move to Canada.

Good bye, Omari Hardwick, actor in STARZ Power,
an American premium cable and satellite television network show, who said he would move to Italy.

Good bye, Lena Dunham, creator, writer and star of HBO series Girls, who said she would move to Vancouver.

Good bye, Eddie Griffin, comedian, who said he would be moving to Africa.

Good bye, Cher, singer, who said she would move to Jupiter.

Was it just bombastic and boisterous bluffing?

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.

Del Rio



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 25, 2016: Today's Catholic Serving the Archdiocese of San Antonio * Rural Parishes Section * Del Rio

























Del Rio 2016 Life Chain

On October 30, Amistad Pregnancy Care Center sponsored the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain which was held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in front of the Del Rio Civic Center situated along the major business thoroughfare of the city - Veteran’s Blvd.

At 2:30 p.m. before the start of the 2016 Life Chain event, The Legion of Mary of the Del Rio Catholic Faith Community sponsored the Bilingual Pro-Life Rosary; alternating decades prayed in English led by Araceli Faz from Sacred Heart Catholic Church and in Spanish led by Maria Rosales from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

Approximately 100 attended the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain which is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life Americans standing for one hour of prayer for our nation and for an end to abortion. It is a powerful visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

















Photo: Left to Right – Eduardo Pena of Del Rio for Life holding sign and Father Henry Clay Hunt, III, Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church spoke to the participants before the start of the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain


Submitted by Marian Casillas, Ed.D.





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Vatican: Next Three World Youth Days Will Have Marian Themes


The 2017 and 2018 diocesan-level events as well as the international gathering in 2019 will all be taken from Chapter 1 of the Gospel of Luke.

The Vatican announced the themes for the next three World Youth Days, which are focused on Mary and form the basis of a spiritual journey culminating in the next global encounter in Panama in 2019.

A Vatican communiqué revealed that the themes for 2017 and 2018 diocesan-level events as well as the international gathering in 2019 will all be taken from Chapter 1 of the Gospel of Luke, centering on Mary in the scene of the Annunciation and her Magnificat, spoken after her cousin Elizabeth’s declaration, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

The theme for the 2017 gathering will be: “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name,” taken from Luke 1:49, while the theme for the 2018 encounter is: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God,” which Gabriel the Archangel spoke to Mary in Luke 1:30.

The three-year journey will culminate with the global encounter to be held in Panama in 2019, which will reflect on the theme “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” spoken by Mary after the Annunciation in Luke 1:30.

World Youth Day (WYD) is a gathering of youths from all over the world to meet with the Pope in order to build and strengthen the bonds of faith, friendship and hope, symbolizing the union between people of different cultures and countries.

The three themes for the next three years, then, are meant “to give a clear Marian tone to the spiritual journey” of the next three WYD gatherings, while at the same time providing a picture of youth “on a journey between the past (2017), present (2018) and future (2019), inspired by the three theological virtues of faith, charity and hope.”





November 22, 2016: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Now's the time to have an attitude of gratitude
















Letter to the Editor,

Attitude of Gratitude

Mrs. Brown and Sra. Blanco greet each other.

Mrs. Brown: Happy Thanksgiving!

Sra. Blanco: ¡Feliz día de acción de gracias!

They sit in their usual park bench in picturesque Greenwood Park across from where they reside in The Roswell Apartments.

Mrs. Brown turns to Sra. Blanco and asks, “Did you know that gratitude is called the rarest flower in the garden of virtues?” 

Sra. Blanco replies: Yes, gratitude is the response of those who humbly and readily acknowledge the good that others have done for them.

Mrs. Brown: And gratitude protects us from thinking that the world always owes us something.   Because not having to struggle for daily survival can pave the path to presumption. 

Sra. Blanco: That’s right because if we have everything we need and want today; why not also tomorrow, and the day after and throughout our life?
          
Mrs. Brown: A cocoon of living in our comfort zone makes us forget that all good things come from God’s providence.  All our talents, time and treasures come from the hand of a loving Father.

Sra. Blanco: To lose sight of this can lead us to think that we are the creators of our life and the authors of our own life story. Whenever we feel overlooked or forgotten we have but to look around us and see all the good God has done for us, and to offer up a prayer to God of gratitude.

Mrs. Brown: It is also healing for body, heart, mind and soul to say thanks to those around us.
          
Sra. Blanco: It is so easy to overlook the things others routinely do for us that we take for granted. Gratitude lets others know they aren’t taken for granted, and it helps keep our own souls humble. Gratitude nourishes the souls of others and it also nourishes our souls as well.

Mrs. Brown: I hope we will always remember to practice the attitude of gratitude, by saying “Thank you” to God and to someone every day.  

Thank you for reading this letter.

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.

Del Rio





Monday, November 21, 2016

Advent 2016 Calendar


November 20, 2016: Del Rio News-Herald * Religion * Del Rio Catholics hold 2016 Life Chain














Del Rio 2016 Life Chain

On October 30, Amistad Pregnancy Care Center sponsored the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain which was held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in front of the Del Rio Civic Center situated along the major business thoroughfare of the city - Veteran’s Blvd.

At 2:30 p.m. before the start of the 2016 Life Chain event, The Legion of Mary of the Del Rio Catholic Faith Community sponsored the Bilingual Pro-Life Rosary; alternating decades prayed in English led by Araceli Faz from Sacred Heart Catholic Church and in Spanish led by Maria Rosales from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

Approximately 100 attended the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain which is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life Americans standing for one hour of prayer for our nation and for an end to abortion. 

It is a powerful visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

Photo: Left to Right - Father Pius Ezeigbo, Pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Rev. John Adam Fluth of the United Methodist Church participated in the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain

Photo: Left to Right – Eduardo Pena of Del Rio for Life holding sign and Father Henry Clay Hunt, III, Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church spoke to the participants before the start of the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain


Submitted by Marian Casillas, Ed.D.

Left to Right - Father Pius Ezeigbo, Pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church
and Rev. John Adam Fluth of the United Methodist Church
participated in the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain

 

Left to Right – Eduardo Pena of Del Rio for Life holding sign and
 Father Henry Clay Hunt, III, Pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church
spoke to the participants before the start of the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain

























Friday, November 18, 2016

November 18, 2016: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Editorial * Abortion issue remains alive





















Here in Val Verde County and in Del Rio the issue remains alive. 

Catholic groups recently held a drive at the Del Rio Civic Center, praying for the lives of the unborn. 

On October 30, Amistad Pregnancy Care Center sponsored the 2016 Del Rio Life Chain.



Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 16, 2016: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Masquerade memory





















































Letter to the Editor,

Masquerade Memory

The annual Riverville Masquerade Ball at the Centro Civico was held on the Saturday before Halloween so the parents could enjoy their treat before their kids enjoyed their treats.


It was a formal attire event, costumes were optional, but masks were mandatory. If the guest’s costume did not include a mask, then a small mask covering was gratuitously provided.


It was a most elegant affair with the Big Band Orchestra coming all the way from Saint Anthony, playing a wide variety of dance tunes from Ballroom and Boleros to Country and Cumbias and everything in-between to please everyone’s particular dance tastes.


Francisco and Fatima had both won free tickets to the Masquerade Ball and were sitting at the VIP table that was providing complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres throughout the night.


Francisco quickly identified Fatima as Victoria from the musical “Cats” and she was amazed he was familiar with the cast from “Cats”.
And of course Fatima knew that he was undeniably Erik from “The Phantom of the Opera”.


Throughout the night they referred to each other by their costumed character’s name.
“Victoria, would you like to dance,” Francisco offered and Fatima responded, “Yes, Erik, I would love to dance.”


Their love of musical theater was obvious, which they discussed at length.
The Masquerade Ball came to an end and Erik and Victoria parted and went their separate ways.


It was a wonderful memory for both of them; “now all alone in the moonlight, another night is over, another day is dawningendless masquerading, all alone with the memory.”


Every night before Halloween they played their favorite songs. Francisco would play and sing “Memory” from “Cats” and Fatima would play and sing “Masquerade” from “The Phantom of the Opera”.
Forever remembering, “Masquerade! Take your fill, let the spectacle astound you!”


Fifty years had passed, now these songs drifted along the hallway of Memory Lane Assisted Living.
Francisco and Fatima both walked out of their rooms and what did they see but Erik and Victoria come to life and meet once again.


Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio