Life & Liberty

LOM 70

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* * * June 27: Our Lady of Perpetual Help * * * June 29: Saints Peter and Paul - The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus * * * July 1: First Saturday Devotion and Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ * * * July 2: Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Elizabeth * * * July 4: United States Independence Day, Commemoration of All Holy Popes and Our Lady of Refuge * * * July 6: Saint Maria Goretti * * * July 9: Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More * * * July 11: Saint Benedict * * * Saint Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Martin * * * July 14: Saint Kateri Tekakwitha * * * July 16: Our Lady of Mount Carmel * * * July 19: Saint Vincent de Paul * * * July 22: Saint Mary Magdalen * * * July 26: Saints Joachim and Anne * * * July 29: Saint Martha * * *

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Acting awards aren't awesome





Letter to the Editor,

Acting awards aren’t awesome

Hello my name is Vista Doolittle and while reviewing the TV Guide, in hopes of locating something worthwhile to watch, which is extremely rare these days, I noticed that the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards show was being broadcast on six channels, maybe on more, but I only have the 70 basic cable channels. 

I can’t imagine having to pay for all those premium channels, which would only be paying more, for more of the same. 

The 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards show was showing live on VH-1, MTV, BET, Spike, TV land and Comedy Central, talk about overkill.

And it got me wondering, why are there even acting awards? 

It’s adults playing a child’s game of dress-up and pretend, which we all played when we were young, and no one gave us awards for our frolicking-antics, and we certainly didn’t get paid exorbitant salaries for our extraordinary performances.

The movie and TV industry is a self-absorbed industry that overly glorifies itself and thinks itself to be more important than it really is in the scheme of things in life. 

These are outrageously rich and over-the-top famous people who spend their lives pretending to be other people and we are supposed to believe them when they portend to speak on serious topics. 

And those who don’t receive awards, shouldn’t there be participant awards, just for showing up for work because isn’t that elitist and discriminatory to only honor the best and forget about the rest.

Another self-absorbed industry is politics, like when the President gives the State of the Union Address; it is broadcast on all the major television networks and also on all the cable news channels. 

I only watch political events on C-SPAN because I am spared from the barrage of commercials and from the endless prattle of broadcasters spewing forth their endless running commentary. 

I definitely do not appreciate someone telling me how to interpret what I just finished listening to. 

I can make up my own mind, thank you very much.

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 20, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * LOCAL * Letter to the Editor * Pence: National Catholic Prayer Breakfast




Letter to the Editor,

Pence: National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

Vice President Mike Pence recently gave an inspiring address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., saying that the administration is committed to protecting life and religious freedom.

These are some of the highlights of his address:

“Life is winning through the steady advance of science that continues to illuminate more and more when life begins” and thanks to the “generosity of millions of adoptive families” and “through the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations”.

He called the President’s executive order on religious freedom an “action to protect men and women of faith in the public square.”

In reference to the president’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the vice president said the two leaders spoke about ways that the U.S. and the Church can work together, such as to counter the persecution of people of faith around the world.

The administration “stands with those who are persecuted for their faith around the world” and “stands with the most vulnerable, the aged, the infirm, and the unborn,” he said.

“Protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of this administration”. “I believe we’ve come to a pivotal moment in the life of our nation, and indeed, the life of the world. The Catholic community in America has made an enormous difference in the life of this nation,” Pence said.

“And at this moment, I urge you to continue to stand up, to speak out, to continue to be that voice for the voiceless that the Church has been throughout its history, continue to be the hands and feet of our Savior, reaching in with love and compassion, embracing the dignity of all people of every background and every experience.”

He stressed the importance of daily prayer, “in these challenging times I encourage you to take time every day to pray” because there is “so much need for healing”.

Throughout the speech he reiterated the Administrations’ commitment to promoting and protecting life and freedom of religion.

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio




Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 14, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Gloria Steinem: Say what?!





Letter to the Editor,

Gloria Steinem: Say what?!

Gloria Steinem who became famous as a spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was recently interviewed.

She stated, “Population is what causes climate deprivation. If we had not been systematically forcing women to have children they don't want or can't care for over the 500 years of patriarchy, we wouldn't have the climate problems that we have. That's the fundamental cause of climate change”. Say what?!

“Because women are the major agricultural workers in the world, and also the carriers of water and the feeders of families and so on, it's a disproportionate burden. We need to think about what's called ‘comparable worth.’ The classic example is that people who park cars get paid more than people in childcare centers. It isn't that we care for our cars more than our babies. It's that one group is men, and the other group is mostly women”. Say what?!

She admitted she’s “never really had a job”, although she’s made a career of speaking up for women and her life has been very different from those for whom she champions. Say what?!

She stated, “women will never be fully equal to men unless they have a right to abortion”, that’s right, she thinks equal means being the same, men can’t bear children, therefore, women should not bear children. Say what?!

She affirmed “there are many men who are very strong feminists and humanitarians because it's perfectly clear that it's not about biology, it's about consciousness”. Say what?!

She believes “a system of oppression wouldn't work if it weren't internalized and we internalize it when we raise boys and girls differently”. Say what?!

She said, “Women usually become whole people by being active outside the home. Men become whole people by being active inside the home.” Say what?!

According to radical feminist Gloria Steinem, President Trump’s maternity leave policy “happens to be the same policy as every authoritarian regime on Earth including Hitler's Germany. The Nazis were paying women to have children”.  Say what?!

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio


Friday, June 9, 2017

June 8, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Bill bans dismemberment abortions





Letter to the Editor,


Bill Bans Dismemberment Abortions 


Texas lawmakers passed a bill to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.

The bill passed the State Senate in a 22-9 vote; State Senator Carlos "Charlie" Uresti, Democrat - San Antonio voted “For”.

It passed the State House in a 93-45 vote, State Representative Alfonso "Poncho" Nev├írez, Democrat - Eagle Pass, voted “Against”.

This bill prohibits dismemberment abortions, a method typically used in the second trimester to kill nearly fully-formed, living unborn babies.

It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn baby is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces while his or her heart is still beating.

State Senator Charles Schwertner, Republican - Georgetown, who wrote the bill, said the legislation will “ensure the dignity and protection for the unborn child” in Texas.

Texas Right to Life celebrated the vote on social media, describing it as a “pro-life victory.”

The bill bans two procedures: “dismemberment” and “partial-birth” abortions.

Prohibiting “partial-birth” abortions is a priority of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
It refers to a late-term procedure prohibited by federal law.

State Representative Cindy Burkett, Republican - Sunnyvale, said it’s necessary to enact a statewide ban so authorities can enforce it.

And even though "partial-birth" abortions are already illegal, she said her measure helps align state and federal statute.

State Representative Stephanie Klick, Republican - Fort Worth, added an amendment to the measure that would ban “dismemberment” abortions.

She staunchly stated the importance of the "dismemberment abortion" ban so fetuses would not be "ripped and torn apart."

The bill also would ensure that the bodies of unborn babies who are aborted are treated with dignity by requiring that they be cremated or buried.

The dismemberment abortion ban embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life that would prohibit “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces.

Dismemberment abortion bills have been voted into law in Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio


Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 2, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Celebrate Conception Day!






Letter to the Editor,

Celebrate Conception Day!

Let us contemplate the beautiful reality that the pro-life movement has established another reason for us to celebrate the God-given gift of life, and that is to celebrate the day of our conception.

We celebrate birthdays, we celebrate the day we were born; but as true pro-life advocates, we should also and probably more importantly celebrate our conception day.

Of course that day will not be as exact as our birthday, but there is a website: “When Was I Conceived” that when we enter our birthday it calculates our conception date, when we were likely conceived sometime during a week’s length of time. And then we can choose a date within that week to celebrate as our Conception Day or better yet we can celebrate the entire week.

And then for fun it lets us know what was going on the week we were conceived by telling us that it's possible our parents were listening to a certain song, since that song was the weekly #1 Song on the hit list charts.
Or simply subtract 40 weeks from our birthday, but not all of us were born exactly at 40 weeks; there is another website: “Retro Conception Birthday Calculator” which allows us to calculate our possible conception day based on our birthday and the number of weeks gestation that we possibly spent in the womb developing.
We all began our life’s journey not when we exited our mother’s womb but when we were conceived in our mother’s womb.

When our father’s sperm fertilized our mother’s ovum we began our life long journey developing from cells to fetus to embryo, until we burst forth into the world in all our wondrous glory.

Let us grow not only in age in time and space, but most importantly in sage wisdom and everlasting grace. It’s really about celebrating the glorious gift of life that begins at conception and is fully actualized and realized on our birthday.

I’m cheerfully celebrating my Conception Day on June 4, Pentecost Sunday!
Conceived and Born in Del Rio


Marian Casillas, Ed.D.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 30, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * LOCAL * Letter to the Editor * What is the greatest predictor of success?




Letter to the Editor,

Greatest Predictor of Success

What is the greatest predictor of success? 

Success: meaning happiness, financial security and relationships.

Is it wealth, intelligence, hard work, or good looks?

It is none of these. 

The greatest predictor of success is the ability to delay gratification.

In a "Stossel in the Classroom" segment, John Stossel spoke about a research study conducted using marshmallows that demonstrated the value of self-denial.
 
In the study originally done in the 1960s, social scientists took four-year-old children and the moderator would say, “I have a marshmallow for you. You may eat it right now, or, if you can wait until I return in 15 minutes, I will give you a second marshmallow. 

In the original study and in every reproduction, one third of the children were able to avoid eating their marshmallow. 

Researchers followed up on the children and 100% of those that had not eaten the marshmallow were successful. 

The children who did not eat their marshmallow within the 15 minute time period scored an average of 213 points higher on their SATs. 

They were happier and healthier. 

They had more money, they had better relationships and they were less likely to get into trouble than those children who had not been able to resist the treat.

Research showed that children who did eat the marshmallow were more likely to struggle in life.

They had more relationship troubles, didn’t do as well financially and tended to be less happy.

As much as the culture of instant gratification and self-indulgence would like us to believe that it is guiding us to the greener pastures of personal fulfillment, self satisfaction and ultimate pleasure and joy; the reality is that no one is brought to greater happiness.

Selfishness pulls us into a cavern of darkness which leads us deeper and deeper inside until we have lost our way and cannot find the light.

Self-denial is good for us, it reaps great rewards.

Self-denial is about opening doors and widening our options; because actually, self-denial begets long-term happiness and success.

Congratulations Graduates!

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * A pope and a president






Letter to the Editor,

A pope and a president 

When Pope Francis and President Trump meet, the two leaders will find a meeting of the minds in the following areas of consensus: Religious freedom, pro-life and persecuted Christians.

Pope Francis is an ardent advocate of religious freedom, including a right of conscientious objection based on religious conviction, which he described as a “basic human right.” When he came to the United States in September 2015, Pope Francis called religious freedom “one of America’s most precious possessions. All are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it".

President Trump issued recent executive orders on religious freedom, especially his pledge that the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Obama administration as part of health care reform will be lifted.

President Trump so far has been seen in far more favorable terms by most pro-life leaders. Back in January just days after taking office, President Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” prohibiting U.S. funding of non-government organizations that perform or promote abortions through family-planning funds. Recently the administration expanded that policy, extending it to other forms of foreign aid such as global health assistance. Both moves were widely hailed by pro-life leaders. The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court was seen as a win for the pro-life position, in part based on his statement in a 2006 book that “no constitutional basis exists for preferring the mother’s liberty interests over the child’s life.”

Pope Francis is obviously committed to the pro-life cause, having defined abortion as a “horrific” crime, and routinely listing the unborn among the victims of what he calls a “throw-away culture.”

President Trump vowed to make the protection of persecuted Christians in the Middle East a foreign policy priority for the United States, while Pope Francis repeatedly has expressed anxiety over the fate of Christians in the region. 

There are issues of disagreement between Pope Francis and President Trump, but in these areas the two leaders find common ground.

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio






Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Keynote Address at the Legion of Mary 70th Anniversary Celebration St. Joseph – Del Rio, Texas May 6, 2017

Keynote Address at the Legion of Mary 70th Anniversary Celebration
St. Joseph – Del Rio, Texas
May 6, 2017

        Last year, Pope Francis made an apostolic visit to Poland for the celebration of World Youth Day, with millions of young men and women of faith from every corner of the world. It was a beautiful opportunity for him to gather in a country with such a strong devotion to our Blessed Mother – under her title of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Near the Shrine of Divine Mercy, the Holy Father preached about the plan of salvation carried out by our God, and how he carried it out in humility and simplicity.
        The Holy Father said: “It is particularly striking how the coming of God into history came about: he was ‘born of a woman.’ There was no triumphal entrance or striking epiphany of the Almighty. He did not reveal himself as a brilliantly rising sun, but entered the world in the simplest of ways, as a child from his mother, with that ‘style’ that Scripture tells us is like a rainfall upon the land (cf. Is 55:10), like the smallest of seeds which sprouts and grows (cf. Mk 4:31-32). Thus, contrary to our expectations and perhaps even our desires, the kingdom of God, now as then, ‘does not come in a way that attracts attention’ (Lk 17:20), but rather in littleness, in humility.”
        This is the nature of the action of God. He definitely worked miracles and great signs, but this is not where his most glorious work resides. His greatest triumphs are hidden in the hearts of the faithful who turn to him in love and conversion, the joy of a heart on fire with the Holy Spirit, or the comfort given to a heart that grieves. Simplicity and humility are the nature of God’s great work.
        Pope Francis continues: “It is to Mary, then that we, who have gathered here, now look. In her, we find complete conformity to the Lord. Throughout history, interwoven with the divine thread, is also a ‘Marian thread.’ If there is any human glory, any merit of our own in the fullness of time, it is she. Mary is that space, preserved free from sin, where God chose to mirror himself. She is the stairway God took to descend and draw near to us. She is the clearest sign of the fullness of time. In the life of Mary we admire that littleness that God loves, for he ‘looked upon the humility of his servant,’ and ‘lifted up the lowly’ (Lk 1:48, 52). He was so pleased with her that he let his flesh be woven from hers, so that the Virgin became the Mother of God, as [her] ancient hymn, sung for centuries, proclaims.”
        The challenge comes to you today. You are the Legion of Mary, and you have taken on the task of singing that ancient hymn in this part of the world today. Your chapter has been about this work for seventy years! What a beautiful witness to the love our God has lavished upon us in our Blessed Mother.
        I ask you to renew your commitment and fidelity to being witnesses in that “style” the Holy Father has spoken of, “the divine ‘style’ incarnated by Mary.” The style of a faithful missionary disciple is that of humility and simplicity. How many different ways do we see this style in the witness of our beautiful Mother Mary?
        Our Lady of Czestochowa’s image was subjected to violence. She bears the scars on her face of the sinfulness of humanity, but she still steadfastly, simply, and humbly presents her Son to the world with faith. Our Lady of Fatima sent out her very powerful message of conversion and humility through three tiny child shepherds, who touched the hearts of the world in their simple way one century ago. Our Lady of Guadalupe chose not the great leaders of the community to bear her message, but a simple man of the people. She called San Juan Diego to let his simplicity and humility speak louder than any words could ever hope to speak. Her miracle was the simple beauty of flowers and faith.
        This is the witness of our Mother Mary. She walks in simplicity and humility, and through that humble virtue, she carries out her great work of evangelization. She carries out her part of the very work of God. As Pope Francis puts it: “God saves us, by making himself little, near and real.” My brothers and sisters, you who have devoted yourself to following Christ through Mary, “May she help you to weave in your own lives the humble and simple thread of the Gospel… May we do everything in littleness, and accompany others at close hand, with a simple and open heart.”


Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 13, 2017: Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima on this special 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal


May 12, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * OPINION * Letter to the Editor * Manners Matter!


































Letter to the Editor,

Manners Matter!

Nursing Home residents Mrs. Brown and Sra. Blanco are congenially conversing.

Mrs. Brown tells Sra. Blanco, “You know, the world around us would be a kinder, gentler place, if manners mattered.”

Sra. Blanco responds, “Etiquette and social graces have given way to the rough and tumble world of emulating the sensationalism of reality shows that revel in exorbitant exhibitionistic exploitation for the sake of ratings.”

Brown: Some view good manners as unreal, restrictive, and even dishonest.

Blanco: What’s so real, liberating and honest about being bad mouthed, discourteous, impolite, rude and uncivil?

Brown: Unfortunately civility, courtesy and good manners have disappeared.

Blanco: Some think those who exhibit good manners are meek and weak; door mats to be trampled on, taken advantage of, mocked and ridiculed.

Brown: How sad manners have become an ancient relic of days gone by, of yesteryear’s way of being; an antiquated, fanciful way of being that no longer exists in this fast paced, harsh and cruel world. 

Blanco:  Some believe that nice people finish last and mean people finish first.

Brown: Our world has turned topsy-turvy, inside out, where manners are extinct and rudeness is epitomized.

Blanco: What once was relished has been relinquished and has vanished.

Brown: Curse words; swearing, profanity and vulgar language are the accepted mood of communication that glibly fills people’s hearts and minds with gutter garbage.

Blanco: When people are filled with a barrage of bad mouthed, foul and furious expletives, there is no room left for the true treasures of beauty, goodness and truth in their life.

Brown:  When people are filled with verbal trash there is no room left for graciousness, generosity and gratitude.

Blanco: You and I are totally counter-cultural; because when others encounter us and interact with us they are surprised and genuinely grateful, and it truly makes their day.

Brown: My mother always said, “Remember to mind your manners for goodness sake”.

Blanco: My mother always told us, “There is nothing that costs so little or goes as far as good manners”.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio