Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, former Bishop of Tyler, blessed a new parish hall named for him at Christ the King Church in Kilgore Feb. 19.

The Bishop Alvaro Corrada Family and Parish Center is an 8,625-square foot structure that incorporates the existing and renovated hall with new construction. It includes a fully equipped professional kitchen and pantry, expanded restrooms including a family bathroom, a bookstore/gift shop, conference room, large sacristy, an outdoor patio, expanded storage, and new parking.

The project cost about $900,000. Father Dan Dower, Christ the King pastor, acted as general contractor. Architects for the project were Newman Marchive Carlisle, Inc., of Shreveport, La.

Construction of the hall completes phase one of the parish’s building plans. Bishop Joseph E. Strickland recently gave his permission for the parish to proceed to phase two, which is construction of a new church. That project is expected to be completed next year.

Father Dower said the new hall was necessitated by the parish’s growth.

“We have approximately 800 families in the parish,” he said. “Our old hall, which was built in 1982, could only comfortably accommodate 100 people. The new hall can easily seat 450.”

Father Dower said the hall was named for Bishop Corrada because “it was Bishop Corrada who gave permission to Father Matias Rodriguez several years ago to begin making plans to build a new church. In 2011 he sent me here to get it built. We also wanted to honor the diocese’s first Hispanic bishop in a special way.”

At the weekend Masses in English and Spanish preceding the blessing, Bishop Corrada “spoke about a parish community being more than a building, but also the need for the place where we worship to be a reflection of our faith and expression of our hope for the future,” Father Dower said. “He, of course, also expressed his thanks for the honor of having the building named after him.”

Bishop Corrada was in East Texas to take part in the Feb. 17 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Diocese of Tyler. He was the third Bishop of Tyler, 2001-2011, before being named to the Diocese of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. During his episcopate, he promulgated the Call to Holiness, the Christian Initiation process, the Renewal of the Liturgy, and, with Linda Khirallah Porter, diocesan Director of Faith Formation, the 16 goals of catechesis to standardize faith formation in the diocese. He also brought the diocese to national prominence for its success in recruiting and educating seminarians to be ordained priests for the diocese.

Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, former Bishop of Tyler, dedicated a new parish hall named for him at Christ the King Church in Kilgore Feb. 19.

Bishop Corrada was in East Texas to take part in the Feb. 17 Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Diocese of Tyler. He was the third Bishop of Tyler, 2001-2011, before being named to the Diocese of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. During his episcopate, he promulgated the Call to Holiness, the Christian Initiation process, the Renewal of the Liturgy, and, with Linda Khirallah Porter, diocesan Director of Faith Formation, the 16 goals of catechesis to standardize faith formation in the diocese.

Assisting Bishop Corrada at the Feb. 19 dedication was Father Dan Dower, pastor of Christ the King and Vicar for Education for the Diocese of Tyler.

An era has come to a close in the Diocese of Tyler.

Linda Khirallah Porter, diocesan Director of Faith Formation since 1994, retired Feb. 28 after more than two decades of shaping how the Catholic faith is taught in East Texas. Under Porter’s leadership, thousands of catechists have been trained and endorsed to teach in parishes, and those catechists have formed thousands more, children and adults, throughout the diocese.

More than 10,000 people have been initiated into the Catholic Church through programs and by catechists under her direction. Diocesan surveys show that more than 80 percent of those “new Catholics” remain in and get involved in the Church, better than the national average. About 90 percent of parishes in the diocese – many of them small, rural, and with chronically tight budgets – offer adult faith formation programs of some kind.

“Linda has truly done the foundational work of catechesis for the diocese,” said Bishop Joseph E. Strickland. “She has provided formation for a virtual army of catechists who are dedicated to teaching. She has laid the foundation on which we will build, and, because of her efforts, we will be able to use tools that weren’t available when the diocese began. It would be impossible for us to move forward without this foundation.”

Beyond catechesis, her office has influenced how liturgy is taught and practiced in the diocese, has assisted in the formation of permanent deacons, and has helped shape how the diocese protects children and vulnerable adults from abuse.

When she wasn’t creating a catechetical system out of thin air, she, with husband Dr. Roger “Bo” Porter, a rheumatologist now retired, raised three children – Josie Huffman, Sarah Robinson, and the late Seth Henry Porter – and earned a Master of Theological Studies from the University of Dallas Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies.

Hired in 1994 by Bishop Edmond Carmody, second Bishop of Tyler, after having been a catechist at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and religion teacher at St. Gregory Cathedral School, she stepped into a world of virtual chaos. Catechists were largely untrained volunteers all doing their own thing, using old textbooks, bad textbooks, borrowed textbooks, or no textbooks at all. In some parishes, priests were still personally directing what was taught and were giving private instruction to potential converts in the absence of RCIA programs.

“It really was the Wild West in terms of catechesis,” said Peggy Hammett, who was director of religious education at St. Jude Church in Henderson when Porter was hired and is now director of faith formation at the Cathedral. “There was no training, no endorsement, no structure, no cohesiveness. Every parish was literally doing its own thing. I know of parishes that had non-Catholics as catechists. They were attending Mass with their spouses and they were willing, so they volunteered, grabbed a Bible, and just taught from that. A couple of parishes were still using pre-Vatican II books.

“But we didn’t know any better,” Hammett said. “The diocese was still relatively new. And most of our parishes had been on the fringes of whichever diocese they’d come from. As a small parish on the outskirts of the Dallas Diocese, (St. Jude) had never had any support. (The diocese) couldn’t have cared less about what we taught and how. And that just carried on after Tyler became a diocese, because we were still trying to figure out how to be a diocese. We were all just making it up as we went along.

“Then Linda got hired, and our whole world changed.”

She made a difference in the lives of individuals. But she also made a big difference in the life of the Church here in East Texas by putting us on a solid catechetical foundation and helping us to develop and grow in that. – Peggy Hammett

Porter made a point of visiting every parish in the diocese, sitting in on classes, asking catechists what they needed, and listening. She became a catechist’s biggest advocate.

“It amazes me how much people will offer up and give, the time and effort they give, without getting anything back,” Porter said of the people she’s come to know over two decades of service. “It’s unconditional service. Watching them struggle and grow and mature in their faith has been one of my greatest blessings.”

She has spearheaded that growth and maturity.

Working with Bishop Carmody and an advisory committee, Porter created the LIFE program, or Lifelong Individual Faith Enrichment, a comprehensive catechetical program aimed at teaching the teachers, and anyone else who cared to deepen their understanding of the faith.

“The idea for education in the diocese was to target adults, all adults, whether they wanted to be catechists, whether they were moms and dads helping their kids, whether they wanted to be just the person in the pew who came to Mass every Sunday,” Porter said. “We wanted to help them grow in their own personal faith, by knowledge of the doctrines of the Church, so they could live their lives better and raise their families better.”

Thus was an education system for the Diocese of Tyler born.

LIFE had four tiers – basic, beginning, intermediate, and advanced – with courses tailored to each of the levels. Catechists received credit hours for each course they attended, and, once they earned enough credits, they were endorsed at that level and moved up to the next. The courses taught Catholic doctrine and theology, Scripture, prayer, and Marian theology, but also such practical matters as classroom layout and management, devising lesson plans, and how to deal with behavioral problems. She taught catechists how to identify different kinds of learning in students and, ultimately, how to recognize and teach to learning disabilities.

Porter also established a resource library at the chancery, collecting a wide range of materials and making them available to parishes that were often too cash-strapped to purchase their own. In the days before the internet became every teacher’s best friend, such a library was a boon to rural East Texas catechists.

“That resource library was invaluable,” said Father Gavin Vaverek, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Lufkin and diocesan Promoter of Justice. He has worked with Porter in a number of roles over the past two decades, but, when she was named diocesan DRE, he was pastor of St. Jude Church in Henderson.

“In those long-ago days before the internet, parishes had to put together their own catechetical materials or, if they couldn’t afford that, borrow them from somewhere else. I’ve seen catechists stand over a copier, making copies of pages from books and handing those out to students. But Linda took on a lot of that work through her office. She would make up slides and transparencies for overhead projectors. She’d order books and videos and make them available. When she went to conferences, she’d bring back all the materials she could and share them. She took a lot of that burden off small parishes that always struggled to provide materials.

“And through her own ongoing formation, as she traveled to conferences and then spoke at conferences, she was able to attract speakers and presenters from outside the diocese to come and lead sessions here,” Father Vaverek said. “She formed these networks that gave us access to really high-caliber teachers and presenters that we’d never had before. Maybe most importantly, she formed a relationship with the leaders at the University of Dallas and brought the diocese into that relationship, so that they were able to work with us through the John Paul II Institute to allow our people to do master’s work at a reduced cost. We’ve got 20 people in our diocese, catechists, who now have master’s degrees in theology or pastoral work because of Linda Porter and her efforts. That is a gift to any diocese, and especially to one as small as ours.”

“Linda worked hard to make sure we had what we needed, especially in the small parishes,” said Hammett. “If we were struggling because we didn’t have money for books, she’d talk to the bishop. We couldn’t afford to go to conferences, so she’d go and bring back to us what she’d learned. Or a group of us would pool our money and go with her, and we’d all bunch up in one room. She’d get in her car and drive all over the diocese just to make sure her catechists had what they needed.

“With Linda, we always knew there was someone at the diocese we could go to. If nothing else, she could hold your hand and pray with you. She was always there for us. She knew what was going on in our parishes and in our lives. She shared her family with us, and we shared ours with her. When we were going through hard times, whether it was in our families or our ministry, she was right there with us. She drew us together into a very large, complicated family.”

That professional and personal commitment paid off.

“People who’ve come into this ministry in the last few years and who weren’t here at the beginning don’t understand just how much Linda did for us and gave to us,” Hammett said. “Back then, we had parishes that were still using pre-Vatican II books. Now, when we go to conferences, people talk in awe about the Diocese of Tyler. They call us ‘the little diocese that could.’ Linda put us on the map.

“She made a difference in the lives of individuals,” Hammett said. “But she also made a big difference in the life of the Church here in East Texas by putting us on a solid catechetical foundation and helping us to develop and grow in that.”

Developing that foundation in those early days was a challenge. While parish catechists had the desire to share their faith, many lacked not only the training but the basic formation as well.

“Historically, the faith formation programs or CCD were taught by priests and sisters,” Porter said. “But the Church has changed and so has society. And vocations have changed. The place that has a priest or sister teaching is very rare now. So when the Church says we still need catechists, who are they going to turn to? Well, the obvious answer was the parents of the kids in the programs. And the Church did that for a long time. The thinking was that if you were Catholic and had all your sacraments, you could teach. But experience has shown that doesn’t work because people can’t give what they don’t have. Or they will give what they do have, and it may not be what we want.”

Porter discovered that a large percentage of parish catechists hadn’t gone through any faith formation since confirmation. They were refreshing their knowledge from parish materials as they taught, staying just one step ahead of their students, and, in many cases, tailoring their parish’s formation program to what their pastor wished to emphasize. It was a haphazard system with no consistency from parish to parish.

She had her work cut out for her.

The first challenge, she said, was to convince priests and catechists that “everyone needs to be literate in their faith.” The second was to teach the teachers how to teach.

“So there were two things to create – the adult faith formation program and classes that dealt with doctrine and theology, and the praxis. We got the catechist endorsement off, but the others didn’t really develop after that. But we had a lot of people who came to those classes, thousands of people, and from that group, we began to endorse catechists.”

The next step was to bring consistency to what was being taught, to make certain that children in Carthage were getting the same formation as those at the Cathedral and in Lufkin. She tackled that problem in collaboration with Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, the third Bishop of Tyler.

“The idea was that there are certain doctrines that everyone should know,” Porter said. “Everyone should teach the same information, all four-year-olds would get the same information, all 10-year-olds would get the information, and so on, across the diocese. That’s where the 15 (now 16) goals originated. They were basic tenets of the faith, starting with the Trinity, then the relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then continuing through faith, Scripture, discipleship, all the way through prayer and, finally, the Marian doctrine.

“Those 16 goals became the basis for all faith formation in the diocese, for Christian Initiation, for teams bringing people into the church, for adult catechesis. It gave everyone in faith formation consistency, but it also gave catechists, most of who were not trained teachers, the tools they needed. They needed to be trained, they needed the doctrine, and then they needed the framework to teach from.”

When you look back at where we started and how far we’ve come, it is in no small measure due to Linda’s commitment and dedication to educating a vast number of adults in the Diocese of Tyler in their faith. We have a richness in ministry that would never have been possible without her work. – Father Gavin Vaverek

It wasn’t, of course, always easy. A big obstacle was convincing parish catechists and ministers, almost all of who were volunteers giving the Church time not already taken by families and jobs, to give up still more time by coming to classes.

“In 2002, Bishop Corrada mandated that endorsement was required, which was a challenge because the priests and the parishes had difficulty finding people who wanted to go through training,” Porter said. “The feeling was, ‘I’m already volunteering, why do I have to go through this when I have to do everything else?’”

Still, Bishop Corrada was adamant, and Porter was willing to give it a try.

“My feeling was, let’s try this and see if it works, see if it makes things better. If it doesn’t, then we’ll go to Plan B.”

A funny thing happened on the way to Plan B. The volunteer catechists and ministers who came, grudgingly at first, to those required classes discovered something astonishing – they worked. Because the catechists were getting a better understanding of their faith, they were able to teach it more effectively and were no longer scrabbling on Saturday night to prepare a lesson plan for Sunday. They learned to set up classroom environments that were conducive to learning. They learned how to manage problematic behavior and to recognize learning difficulties that were often mistaken for bad behavior.

Teachers learned to teach. But they also discovered in themselves a hunger to learn.

“As catechists started learning more about their faith, they realized they were growing as individuals,” Porter said. “A lot of my catechists go to faith formation classes, even go to catechist classes, and they’re no longer active catechists. We have about 815 active catechists in our 70 parishes and missions, but we have about 3,000 catechists who continue to attend classes.”

Continuing formation has been a boon to the diocese, too, she said. Catechists able to teach the faith clearly provide an obvious benefit. But a hidden benefit is that, as many catechists have gone through the endorsement process, they have discovered a love for the Scriptures and a desire to teach that, thus leading to an increasing number of Bible studies throughout the diocese. They have discovered a love of liturgical ministry, or of ministry to the sick, the poor, the incarcerated, and have gone into those areas of service. They have become youth ministers, parish musicians, altar servers and acolytes, and deacons. Continuing formation has also led to a thirst for knowledge for its own sake, a desire to deepen personal devotion and holiness, and has created an “army” of disciples throughout the diocese, people witnessing the faith to family, friends, and perfect strangers simply by their behavior.

“Catechesis is the basis for the way we live,” Porter said. “The word itself means to echo the faith in one’s life. There are two sides of the cross. One side is me and God; that’s my prayer life, my spiritual life. But the other side is me and others, the communal. And we can’t do one side without the other. As we grow in our faith, as we learn what the teachings are, then we become disciples. Our baptism calls us to discipleship. It’s not an option, it’s an expectation. And that discipleship means I have to share my faith with everyone because of my baptism.

“If (my faith) doesn’t intersect with how I live my life, the decisions I make with my children, my grandchildren, my husband, with my coworkers, with the lady at McDonald’s, if all of those decisions and choices and actions that I’m making aren’t affected by what I believe and what I’ve learned as a Catholic Christian, then something is missing in terms of my development. Catechesis helps every person understand themselves as a human person first, what their strengths and weaknesses are, the areas they need to work on, but it also helps them become spiritual through studying doctrine and Bible study. It helps us understand what God’s message is not only for me, but also for the world.

“At my age of 68, I understand the liturgy and the Eucharist very differently than I did at 7 when I made my first Communion, or even when I was 14 and was confirmed,” she said. “As we grow, we have to continue to study our faith because it doesn’t stop until we die.”

I have grown so much in holiness and grace because of the people I’ve encountered in this diocese – the average person in the pew, the catechist, the Christian Initiation newbie. Every year, when we do the Presentation of the Elect, I see those people coming down the aisle and it’s hard for me not to cry because I am so moved by the journeys they’ve made. – Linda Porter

Good catechesis can also help the faithful, and the Church herself, deal with painful issues. In 2001, the clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted, rocking the Church in this country to its core. In 2002, the U.S. bishops met in Dallas to craft the Charter for the Protection of Young People. That same year, under the direction of Bishop Corrada, the Diocese of Tyler began honing its own policies for responding to allegations of abuse. Bishop Corrada appointed Father Vaverek as diocesan Promoter of Justice, and Father Vaverek worked with Porter to create the Ethics and Integrity program, the training and certification program required of all Church employees and volunteers who work with children.

The program, now in its 15th year, has been tweaked and fine-tuned over the years and has trained countless Catholics in East Texas in recognizing the signs of potential abuse before it happens and in reporting any allegations of suspected abuse. The program exceeds the requirements of the U.S. bishops’ charter, and is steeped not just in civil legalities, but also in an understanding of the Code of Canon Law, the law that governs the church, and theology.

Father Vaverek said Porter’s expertise has been crucial to the program’s success.

“Her experience as a master catechist and trainer was essential in putting together materials for the program,” he said. “And through her work with the LIFE program, she had cultivated a group of people we could use as presenters and trainers in the parishes. So we didn’t have to start from scratch. We had already available to us people who had studied theology, who knew Church teachings, who were familiar with the Code of Canon Law. We had a body of trained people well formed in their faith who understood what we were doing and why. And we had that because of her work in promoting adult faith formation in the diocese.

“For so long,” he said, “the Church depended on people of good will to carry out her ministries. Now, due largely to Linda’s efforts, we don’t just have people of good will to depend on. We have people of good, solid training in theology, in doctrine, in how to do the work of the Church, in how to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ every day. That’s a gift to this diocese, and to the Church as a whole.”

That body of everyday Catholics formed in their faith is the legacy Porter leaves behind. But even as she settles into retirement, there is one aspect of her work that she hopes to continue, and hopes to see grow – catechesis for those with special needs.

It’s a very personal mission to her, one born of her own family’s experience. Her grandson, Jordan Huffman, almost 22, is severely autistic. The son of Porter’s elder daughter, Josie, Jordan and his family moved back to Texas two years ago, and Porter has come to understand firsthand the struggles faced by families of those with special needs.

“He hasn’t finished his sacraments, but he has a really difficult time when he goes to church, so we don’t take him,” Porter said.

But she began working with him one on one, and, the more she did, “the more I realized that we need to have something in our diocese for special needs.”

Two years ago, with the blessing of Bishop Strickland, she began working on a diocesan effort to address the catechetical needs of this often forgotten segment of the population. The first year was spent mainly on raising awareness, on, once more, teaching the teachers.

“It was just a year of awareness, of education, of training, of helping people understand what the disabilities were. What is Tourette’s syndrome? What is ADHD? What is autism? What is Asperger’s? What is Pervasive Developmental Disorder? It was a year of introducing the language, the terminology, of what we mean by special needs and what that means for catechists. Not every catechist can do it. And that’s okay. But we wanted to identify those who thought they could.”

Again, the training paid off.

“The more that people became aware of this, the more they could recognize it,” Porter said. “I’ve had faith formation leaders say they now recognize children with special needs in their classes. Now, it may not be as obvious as Jordan’s. It may not be autism. It may be a learning disability or a sensory difficulty where they need some kind of object or a color overlay. A lot of times, those kids were labeled behavior problems, but now our catechists recognize that they have some kind of neurological or physical difficulty inhibiting them.”

From there, she has worked to develop specific training sessions for those who feel called to work with special needs students. She has gathered resources for the library, brought in speakers who specialize in the area, and videoed her own work with Jordan for demonstration purposes.

Several parishes, including the Cathedral, now offer special needs catechesis. Last year, Bishop Strickland celebrated the first annual Mass for those with special needs. The Mass, a modified liturgy, will be offered again this year on Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul in Tyler.

“Her work with special needs is a beautiful gift to the diocese,” said Bishop Strickland. “It puts real faces and stories on the meaning of the sanctity of life. Life as sacred from conception to natural death is not just true for certain categories of God’s children but for every human being.  Linda’s work highlights this message which is vital to our society.”

Father Vaverek said the Diocese of Tyler owes an enormous debt to Porter’s years of service.

“When you look back at where we started and how far we’ve come,” he said, “it is in no small measure due to Linda’s commitment and dedication to educating a vast number of adults in the Diocese of Tyler in their faith. We have a richness in ministry that would never have been possible without her work.”

Porter said she has gotten far more from that work than she put into it.

“My favorite thing to do in the diocese is to teach,” she said. “I love teaching, I love sharing the faith, I love being out in the parishes and deaneries much more than being in the office. When you interact with people, you see the changes in their lives. They bless me far more than anything I’ve done for them.”

The people she has met, worked with, and trained have become part of the fabric of her life, and an integral piece of her prayer life.

“I have grown so much in holiness and grace because of the people I’ve encountered in this diocese – the average person in the pew, the catechist, the Christian Initiation newbie,” she said. “Every year, when we do the Presentation of the Elect, I see those people coming down the aisle and it’s hard for me not to cry because I am so moved by the journeys they’ve made. Some of them have been outcast by their families (for choosing to become Catholic). And I envy them a little bit because they have struggled through all this and asked for this, where I was a cradle Catholic and just kind of given it.

“It’s been a blessing to work for three bishops, three very different bishops, but it’s been interesting to watch the different stages the diocese has moved through with each bishop. I look forward to watching to see what’s going to happen in the next 30 years.”

Bishop Strickland said the work of the future rests squarely on the foundation built by Porter.

“This community of catechists enables us to take the next step of providing them with direction that will nurture their lives and the lives of those they touch,” he said. “My vision is to establish a catechetical institute for the diocese. I envision this institute as an entity that will be in direct service to every catechists, priest, and parish. All of this is only possible because of Linda’s hard work and that of all the catechists in the diocese.”

Father Vaverek said the Diocese of Tyler owes an enormous debt to Porter’s years of service.

“When you look back at where we started and how far we’ve come,” he said, “it is in no small measure due to Linda’s commitment and dedication to educating a vast number of adults in the Diocese of Tyler in their faith. We have thousands of people involved in ministry in this diocese, or just being full and active participants in their faith, because of what she has done. We have master catechists who could lead programs in any of the larger dioceses in this country.

“That’s not bad for someone who, as a high school student, walked into a church and volunteered to teach CCD because she just wanted to help.”

The 2017 Bishop’s Annual Appeal is under way. Please see the website and prayerfully consider your gift.

Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
Everyone 14 years of age or over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent and Good Friday.
Everyone 18 years of age and under 60 years of age is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

For questions and answers about Lent and Lenten practices, see the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland will celebrate the annual Mass for families with special needs Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. in the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul on the Bishop Gorman Schools campus. A reception will follow in the chancery. All families with children or adults with special needs are welcome. A modified liturgy will be celebrated to accommodate these needs. All parishes are asked to send a representative so they can see how to model this liturgy in their parish. Special dispensation from your Sunday obligation for this weekend will be granted to those who attend. Please RSVP to Linda Porter by April 27 so we can provide for the reception. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 903-266-2146. January 27 is the feast day of St. Angela Merici. She has been designated patroness of those with special needs for the Diocese of Tyler. Please include intercessory prayers on that day for these families.

The Gabriel Project of East Texas is a pro-life network of volunteers from parishes within the diocese of Tyler, committed to offering hope and support to mothers and fathers so that they may choose life even though in crisis. Both men and women are invited to become a trained volunteer. The Gabriel Project will offer a training session at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Frankston on Saturday, Feb. 25. Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m., followed by training from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Representatives from TDCCW, local pregnancy centers, maternity homes, and government and community resources will be speaking. Lunch, snacks, and beverages will be provided. RSVP to 903-876- 3309 or 888-300- 5112. For more about the Gabriel Project, see the website here.

The Diocese of Tyler Catholic Committee on Scouting invites all Catholic Scouts and Scouting volunteers to a special Mass with Bishop Strickland on Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler. If you have questions, you may contact Gordon George at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The diocesan Youth Evangelization Office is hosting RUKUS Catholic Music Fest Saturday, March 4, at Casa Betania (10645 County Rd 35, Tyler, TX 75706). The day will include music from Kairy Marquez, Kyle Sinkule, and Chad Minchew. Cost is $20 for adults, $10 for ages 11-16; children under 10 who are accompanied by parents get in free. VIP tickets are $30, and include front row parking, covered seating, meet and greets, and a signed poster. For information or to register, see the youth evangelization website.

The Tyler Diocesan Council of Catholic Women has launched a Rosary Crusade for 2017, calling upon Our Lady of Lourdes to intercede on behalf of the sick, the unborn, families, religious liberty, and more. To see the suggested dates of prayer, see the flyer here. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Catholic Charities East Texas is seeking volunteers for the Parish Nurse Ministry. Part-time RN’s wanted to practice within Catholic churches in East Texas. 8 hrs. per week $20/hr. Flexible hours. Please submit resumes via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For information, call Catholic Charities at 903 258-9492 or see the website.

Catholic Charities East Texas will offer free GED classes (High School Equivalency) starting soon. Classes will be held twice a week at Catholic Charities 202 W. Front St. Tyler, TX Call today, 903-258-9492.

Support Catholic Charities East Texas through When ordering from Amazon, go to and choose Catholic Charities, Diocese of Tyler, as the recipient of the donation from the purchase.

The American Federation Pueri Cantores, the official student choral organization of the Catholic Church, will host two choral festivals in Texas this year. Each year, the organization holds choral festivals for Catholic school and church youth choirs across the U.S. The 2017 Texas High School Choral Festival for singers in grades 9-12 will be held at Chapel of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio on March 3. The next day, March 4, will be the Houston Treble Festival & Mass for singers in grades 4-8 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. For information about AFPC or the festivals, see the organization’s website.

The Texas Catholic Conference Advocacy Day at the State Capital is April 4. Advocacy Day is a daylong event with a rally on the steps of the State Capitol with the bishops of Texas to promote the Church’s values of life, justice, charity, and religious freedom to members of the Texas Legislature. After the rally, small teams of Catholics will meet with their state lawmakers and educate them on the Texas bishops’ legislative priorities.

The Maria Goretti Network is a peer ministry group for survivors of abuse and their families. The East Texas Chapter of the Maria Goretti Network meets the third Saturday of every month in the Cathedral Office meeting room (not the Cathedral Center) at 7 p.m. For information, contact Peggy Hammett, 903-592-1617, ext. 19, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Catholic East Texas, the diocesan magazine, is online! Share the link to our full-color publication with family and friends. The magazine is an evangelical publication designed to implement Bishop Strickland’s vision for sharing the beauty of Catholic teaching, history, culture, spirituality, and liturgy in a way that makes our ancient faith attractive to both Catholics and non-Catholics in Northeast Texas. Every article, column, and review in the magazine is written by the clergy, religious, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Tyler. Access the magazine online here.


St. Edward Church. Youth night is the first and third Wednesday of each month, 6-8 p.m. To set up text reminders, text @youth2121 to 81010. We have partnered up with the Malakoff Youth Group. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

St. Vincent de Paul needs you. If you can volunteer 1-5 hours a week, you can give comfort to our friends and neighbors in crisis. Attend a meeting (1st Wednesday of the month after the noon Mass) or call 903-675-0076.

A team from St. John’s Parish in Ennis will lead a retreat for adult men the weekend of Feb. 25-26. Registration form which are available in the back of church. The retreat is in English, but Father Lowry is planning a Spanish version later in the year.

We are ready to start collecting for our annual garage sale fund-raising event. All proceeds go to debt reduction of our note. You may leave your donated items on the porch at the Faith Formation building. The garage sale is scheduled for March 18, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. We also need help pricing items. We will meet at the store rooms on the new property every Tuesday at 9 a.m. If you have any question call Zoila Hunt, 903-677-1922.

Come and join us at a YOUTH 2000 Retreat for a fun, faith-filled Eucharistic centered retreat for youth (ages 13-18), led by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, April 21-23, here at St. Edward’s. The YOUTH 2000 Retreat includes lively music, inspiring talks led by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, a time for fellowship and fun, sharing the faith, personal testimonies, panel discussions, Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation. YOUTH 2000, a Eucharistic centered Retreat, leads young people to seek a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Through talks, music, adoration, prayer, workshops, fellowship, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the celebration of the Mass, the young people deepen their love and understanding of the Catholic faith, and encounter the power and richness of God’s love and mercy. This Retreat brings young people to know the joy of a life lived in the worship of God and in service to God’s people. This weekend Retreat empowers them to go forth with renewed faith, to be witnesses to the Faith, to share the Good News and to be the evangelizers of the New Evangelization. Cost is $25 per person. For more info, please email Jessica Bentley, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are offering confirmation classes for anyone 5th grade and older who has not received the sacrament of confirmation. Classes are Saturday, April 1 and April 8. Both sessions are required. Registration is Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. For information, call Zoila Hunt at 903-677-1922.


St. Catherine of Siena Church. Join us for our traditional Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras flapjack, sausage, and fruit supper after evening Eucharist Feb. 28 at 6:15 p.m. The Knights of Columbus and Ladies Altar Society are joining efforts to sponsor this seasonal celebration.


St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church. The women’s retreat is March 11.

The parish pilgrimage to EWTN in Alabama is March 13-17.

Quinceañera platicas are scheduled for April 1 and May 6, 9 a.m.-noon.

The youth retreat is tentatively scheduled for April 8. Watch the bulletin.

Si usted está interesado en el aprendizaje de Inglés, la parroquia le gustaría ofrecer clases. Las clases comenzarán el 27 de febrero y durarán de 9 a 12 pm. Por favor, póngase en contacto con Claudia, tan pronto como sea posible en el 903-391-1164.


St. Francis of the Tejas Church. The Ladies Guild annual Mardi Gras dinner and social will be held on Friday, February 24. Our resident chef, Sandi Sagrera, will be preparing her world famous crawfish étouffee and chicken/sausage gumbo along with potato salad, beans, bread, and dessert. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased from any Ladies Guild member.

We are gearing up for our Friday Lenten Fish Fries. We will be serving lunch and dinner beginning March 3 and ending April 7. If you have ever aspired to be a fry cook, waitress, or short order cook, come try your hand at it. All help is appreciated.

Little Rock Scripture Study meets Sundays in the hall, 2-3:30 p.m. We are studying the Gospel of Luke.

Holy Mass from the sanctuary of St. Francis of the Tejas is broadcast Sundays at 5 p.m. on KIVY Channel 16.


St. John the Evangelist Church. First Friday each month the sanctuary is open for adoration with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 8:15 a.m.-6 p.m.

El primer viernes de cada mes, el santuario está abierto para la adoración con la exposición del Santísimo Sacramento de 8:15 am a 6:00 pm.

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland will celebrate confirmation May 26.


St. Charles Borromeo Church. Lent begins March 1. We will pray the Stations of the Cross at 6 p.m. each Friday during Lent, beginning Friday, March 3. Following Stations of the Cross, there will be a meatless soup supper in the parish hall. We need volunteers to sign up to bring soup and to help serve and clean up afterward. Please volunteer to help out for one or more of these soup suppers.

Bishop E. Joseph Strickland will be the main celebrant at Mass Wednesday, March 8, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the founding of our parish. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

Our 20th annual fish fry will be held on Sunday, March 19, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed. Please see Ramona Chance or Mike Heine to sign up to help prepare, cook, serve, and clean up. See Esther Cooper to donate money or cakes. See Therese to donate bottled water.

Gun Barrel City

St. Jude Church. The St. Jude Chili Cook-Off is Saturday, Feb. 25, following the 5 p.m. Mass. Participating ministries should drop off their entries for the contest between 3-5 p.m. All parishioners are invited to taste and vote on their favorite chili. The evening also will include music, dessert, and a hot chocolate bar. Bring a dessert to share!

Ash Wednesday services will be Wednesday, March 1, at 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. (bilingual).

The 2017 St. Jude softball team is taking signups now for the upcoming season. A signup sheet is available in the vestibule of the church.

The Knights of Columbus will have a membership drive throughout the month of March for all men interested in becoming a Knight. Men must be over the age of 18 and practicing Catholics. For more information, contact Grand Knight Joe Castillo, 469-254-1947, Jim Bowles, 903-340-7174, or any other Knight.

Adoration is after 8:30 a.m. Mass every Friday.

The Cenacle Prayer Group meets every Tuesday after 8 a.m. Mass in the chapel to pray. All are invited to join us.

Holly Lake

Holy Spirit Church. Knights of Columbus Council #15174 will offer Lenten Friday fish fries Feb. 24, March 10 and 24, and April 17. Dinner includes fried fish, coleslaw, beans, hush puppies, desserts, and beverages. Serving begins at 5:30 p.m. The dinners are open to the entire community, and funds raised will purchase wheelchairs for those in need, fund donations to Hawkins Helping Hands and East Texas Food Bank, purchase food for holiday gift baskets, and fund donations to the Gabriel House Project.

Ash Wednesday is March 1. In order to make it convenient for those wishing ashes, we will have two Masses, at 7:45 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

We will have a Scripture study the Wednesdays of Lent beginning Ash Wednesday, March 1, 6-7 p.m. in the Parish Hall. BYOB (Bible).

Faith formation volunteers are needed for the Confirmation Retreat Saturday, March 18, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. If you can help with the activity station monitoring, table decorations, set-up, and clean-up, call or text Wanda Stephens at 903-360-6927 or 903-769-1180.

We need a large group of volunteers to do some spring cleaning on and in our church grounds, windows, cleaning meditation garden, including weeding, raking pine needles, painting of benches, planting, etc. We will meet Saturday, April 22, at 8:30 a.m. Please bring rakes, cleaning clothes, ladders, etc. Please sign the sheet in the narthex. The more volunteers we have, the less time it will take to complete the different jobs.

We are looking for short book reviews/reports to be printed in our local newspaper, The Journal, in the “Church News” section. These books may be fiction or nonfiction with a storyline tied to “religion” or “beliefs.” The submitter’s name does not need to be listed with the report. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Exposition is every Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. We pray for peace in our nation.


Immaculate Conception Church. Cardboard “rice bowls” will be available at the entrance of the church building. You might think of giving up something for Lent (not eating meat every day, fasting, abstaining, no candy, cake, soft drinks, coffee, no sugar, whatever) and putting the daily money not used in the rice bowl. Return the bowls to the church during Holy Week or Easter.

We are trying to bring food to church every week for those in need who come to our Immaculate Conception Catholic Community for help and assistance. If we do a can/package every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday we actually would have 47 cans/packages. Why not make it a full case of 48? Our canned foods offerings help keep our St. Vincent de Paul food pantry open and active. We are blessed to be able to look for and to find and to feed Christ in our brothers and sisters who are in need. Help us help the hungry in our midst.

Join us for Junk in the Trunk, Saturday, April 1, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. in the church parking lot. It’s like a garage sale, but out of the trunk of your car. Price your items or negotiate a price. Give your profits to our Saint Vincent DePaul Society. Take your leftover items to the charity of your choice.


Our Lady’s Guild of Longview. The Ladies Guild will hold their 47th Enchilada Roll on Friday, Feb. 24, 8 a.m.-noon. Lunch, babysitting, and door prizes will be provided to all volunteers. Enchilada trays will be available for pickup Saturday, Feb. 25, at St. Mary’s Parish Center, 405 Hollybrook, from 11 a.m. until enchiladas are sold out. Trays of six enchiladas are $8 each, with a limit of 20 trays.

We are offering two $1000 scholarships. Anyone who is going to college or technical school in the fall and is a member of St. Mary’s, St. Matthews, St. Anthony’s, or Our Lady of Grace is eligible. Applications are available in all church offices. Deadline for submission of application is Friday, April 7. Please call Katherine Zuniga with any questions or for more information, 903-315-7510.

St. Mary Church. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas will celebrate their anniversary with a potluck for members and their spouses Sunday, Feb. 26. Lunch begins at 12:30 p.m. in the parish hall.

Married couples are invited to a morning retreat focusing on Marriage, Family and Faith Saturday, March 18, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. The retreat is part of our parish’s weekend encounter with the family of Michael and Michelle Mette. On Sunday, March 19, Michael Mette will present a free concert in the Parish Center. The Mettes travel with their six children bringing the word of Christ to parishes around the country. To attend the retreat, couples should make a reservation by call the church office. There is a $20 fee per couple.

Please join us at the Parish Center every Friday during Lent, beginning March 3 following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, for the parish fish fry. The meal includes fried catfish, French fries, hush puppies, mac-n-cheese, coleslaw, tea or lemonade. Adults eat for $8/plate, children ages 5-10 $4, children under 5 eat free. Families of 4 or more eat for $25.

Our Bereavement Committee is looking for some new volunteers to help with meals for families following a funeral. Please call Waynell Kuhlman at 903-757-5904 if you are interested in this ministry of compassion.

The annual Right to Life garage sale will be March 24-25. This would be a great time to start spring-cleaning. Any gently used items may be dropped off at the Saint John Paul II Family Center beginning Monday, March 20.

St. Mary’s Teen Connection meet the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Come join us, 7-9 p.m. in the parish hall, for fellowship, faith, food, and fun.

St. Mary’s Middle School Youth Group will meet on the second Tuesday of every month 6-8 p.m. in the Parish Center. All middle school students are invited. Let’s get together to love God, love others and make disciples!

Adult confirmation classes for those adults who have not yet received the sacrament will be offered on Wednesday evenings, March 8 and 22 and April 12 and 26 at 7 p.m. in the parish hall.

St. Matthew Church. Monthly confessions for students in faith formation are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. Parents also are invited to make use of the sacrament as an example to their children.

Our annual fund-raiser, “God Bless Texas,” will be Saturday, Feb. 25. Please mark your calendar. Formal invitations go out soon. Invite your friends and family. This is an adults-only event.


St. Patrick Catholic School. The annual Green and Gold Gala benefitting the school is Friday, Feb. 24, 6:30-11 p.m. at VFW Post #1836, 1800 Ford Chapel Road. Please consider sponsoring or supporting our Catholic school in some way. Call 936-634-6719 or see the website for more information.

St. Patrick Church. Baptismal class sessions have been scheduled. The English-language call will meet Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Faith Formation building. Spanish-language classes meet the second and third Thursday of each month, 7-9 p.m. Parents and godparents must attend.

Ladies of the parish are invited to “The Gathering” Mardi Gras feast and fun Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. in St. Andrew’s Hall.

Join us for “From Religion to Spirituality,” a workshop to help deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ, Saturday, March 4, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic School. For more information or to register (at no cost), call 936-634-6833.

We are planning a trip to Rome from April 23-30. If you are interested in going, please contact Jan Kupec for more details at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 936-671-3863.

Join us for the workshop From Religion to Spirituality Saturday, March 4, 9:30 a.m.012:30 p.m. For more information or to register, call 936-634-6833. There is no cost to attend.

The Ladies of the Rosary group meets Tuesdays at 10 a.m. in the parish office. Join us and make mission rosaries. For more information, contact Mrs. Wanda Brandon at 936-824-3253 or Mrs. Bea Treviño at 936-829-2209.


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. Ash Wednesday is March 1, with masses at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Altar Society’s annual International Dinner will be March 26. Your creative ideas and culinary expertise that reflects your heritage are deeply appreciated. For more information join the Society today.

The next baptism classes will be Tuesday and Thursday, April 4 and 6, at 7 p.m.


St. Joseph Church. Mardi Gras 2017 is Saturday, Feb. 25, 7-11 p.m. at the Marshall Convention Center with live music by the Steve Wells Band. The evening will include finger food, dancing, a silent auction, and raffle. Tickets are $25 per person, and $5 for raffle tickets. Raffle prizes include 55” 4K curve TV with sound bar, 4-camera wireless security system with remote viewing and motion detection, 10-karat amethyst ring with personalized sizing, and $100 gift card. Need not be present to win. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

The food bank is requesting cans of soup. Please help us feed the hungry in our midst.

Hot meals are served to those in need Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the parish halls.


St. Peter the Apostle Church. If you are interested in joining a pilgrimage to EWTN in Alabama March 13-17, please contact the church office or Father Love.

Mount Pleasant

St. Michael Church. Come and Join our Apologetics/Bible Study Wednesdays in St. Michael Hall from 9-10:15 a.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and participate in learning the word of the Lord.

We are trying to update our parish records. If there are still families who need to register as members of this parish, update personal information, or wish to have offering envelopes for the year 2017, please come by or call the parish office as soon as possible at 903-572-5227.


Sacred Heart Church. The Annual Multicultural Festival will be May 6 -7. Multicultural Festival Meetings will be held March 21, April 4 and 18, and May 2 in the library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. We need volunteers to help in all areas. You can sign up to volunteer or become a chairperson by calling Joy Fuller at 936-462-0005 or emailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sacred Heart now accepts one-time and recurring donations conveniently from our website! You can make your secure donation via electronic check or debit/credit card by simply: 1. Going to the parish website using any device 2.Choose One-time or Recurring donation 3. Select your preferred form of payment (electronic check or debit/credit card) 4. Enter your information 5. Submit your donation.

Sacred Heart Outstanding Catholic Kids (SHOCK) youth group meets Wednesday nights, 6:45-8:30 p.m.

All young people in grades 6-12 are invited to join us in the “Upper Room” for faith, fun, and fellowship. For information, please contact Rebecca at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Our food pantry is open on the second Tuesday of every month, 9 a.m.-noon. All monetary support is appreciated, and special envelopes are now available in the vestibule for your support. Help us feed the hungry in our midst.

St. Mary’s Chapel, Stephen F. Austin State University. We will have a phone-a-thon to raise money for the new chapel Friday, Feb. 24, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Come join us and take a chance at winning an iPad.

In the past two years, we have seen an increase of 70 percent in Sunday attendance, have 25 Bible studies (mostly student led), over 30 students in formal discipleship, and are reaching an estimated 700-800  students per year. Statistics show that the 80% of Christians that leave their faith, do so between the ages of 18 and 23. Our goal is for students to remain in the faith, to become lifelong disciples and leaders in the Church, to live abundant lives, and to bear much fruit as they remain in Christ. We are at a point in this important ministry where we need a new Student Center. Our current “student center”, which is made up of an old house that dates back to early 1900’s, and an attached steel structure, needs to be replaced. Not only is it out of date and unattractive, it is also not large and functional enough for the students. A new student center will allow us to better meet the needs of the current and future students at SFA.

A new student center will attract more students, as they will have adequate space and accommodations to meet their individual and group needs. There will also be adequate room for events, group meetings, study, and various other activities. With the addition of a kitchen, a library, and offices for students and staff, there will be a stronger sense of community, greater interaction, and an increased potential for seeing and meeting the needs of the students.

Check donations can be mailed to St. Mary’s Catholic Campus Ministry, 214 Wettermark, Nacogdoches,TX 75965 (please designate for “New Student Center”). Online donations can be made at the website.


Sacred Heart Church. Eucharistic adoration is every Thursday at noon.

LifeTeen, for young people in grades 9-12, is held on Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.


Sacred Heart Church. A baptism class is scheduled for March 16.

Catholic Charities is seeking to expand the Parish Nursing Program in neighboring areas (Atlanta, New Boston, etc). Part-time nurses are wanted to work in a parish setting eight hours a week at $20/hour. The hours are flexible. Please submit resumes via email to Jennie Pierce MSN, APRN-CNS, Parish Nurse Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For information, see the Catholic Charities website or call 903-372-3229.

Learn the Spanish language. Lessons in basic, intermediate, and advanced are available. Lessons are $10 each. For information, call Betty Rodriguez, 903-691-7931.


Bishop Gorman Catholic Schools. The Milam Joseph Golf Tournament is Friday, March 31, at the Cascades Golf Club in Tyler. Registration opens at 11 a.m., lunch is at 11:30 a.m., and tee off is at 12:15 p.m. Come join us for fun, prizes, and more. Proceeds support tuition assistance at St. Gregory Cathedral School and Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School in the form of merit scholarships. For more information, please contact Kara Camp at 903-520-2117 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Giving to Gorman has never been easier. Let your Amazon purchases help Bishop Gorman. Bishop Gorman is part of the Amazon Smile program. Amazon Smile pays .5 percent of your purchase to Bishop Gorman. To participate, go to and log in using your normal Amazon username and password. Set up an Amazon account first if you do not already have one. Once on Amazon Smile, search for Bishop Gorman Catholic School as your charity of choice and continue shopping. Each subsequent time you shop on Amazon, start at instead of the usual Amazon website.

St. Gregory Cathedral School. The annual school auction and dinner is Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. Tickets are on sale now in the school office for $50 each. All are welcome to share a fabulous and fun night out with all proceeds benefitting St. Gregory Cathedral School. Win a $5,000 shopping spree to Susan Robinson. Raffle tickets are $10 each.

Wellspring Center for Spirituality. We are offering several Lenten retreats for those who wish to deepen their experience of this penitential season:

  • Lenten Retreat, Saturday, March 4, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Take this opportunity to reflect on the meaning and significance of the season of Lent. As we begin the season of Lent, you are invited to join us as we strive to learn what God is calling forth from us as we remember and celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Four Week Lenten Series, March 14-April 4, 7-8:30 p.m. Our hope is rooted in the unconditional love of God. Join us as we strive to become men and women of hope during the season of Lent.
  • Retreat in Preparation for Holy Week, Saturday, March 26, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The journey through Holy Week is a call to walk with Jesus. The journey we began in ashes will take us to the cross. Take this opportunity to reflect on the merciful and spiritual significance of Holy Week.

Father Gus will guide the retreats and classes. All are welcome. No registration is necessary. For more information about the Wellspring programs, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 903-839-1280.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Construction has started on the new covered entrance for the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul. The main entrance to the Chapel will be fenced off for approx. eight weeks. There will be no change to the Mass schedule, but please use the side entrances for access to the Chapel. Because this will be an active construction site, please watch kids closely. We apologize for any inconvenience, but the end result will be beautiful!

Many of us have questions about the Catholic Church or have been asked questions about the Church by family or friends. Come hear Allison Low (in English) and Father Guillermo Gabriel-Maisonet (in Spanish) explain how they journeyed back to the Catholic Church. They will explain the questions they had about the Church and the answers they found. Come join us on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral Center.

All women are invited to the Altar Society coffee and meeting March 6 at 10 a.m. in the Cathedral Center. Allison Low will speak on what the Church teaches and believes about angels.

Come join St. Veronica’s Sewers, Saturday, March 11, from 10 a.m.-noon in Samperi Hall in the Cathedral in the basement for our organizational meeting. We will not be sewing that day, but planning an orderly structure to function properly and grow. Prayer, pen, paper, and day planners are all you need. On Saturday April 22, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Cathedral Center we will cut, sew, and get creative for the Greater Glory of God and our brothers and sisters in need.

Join Knights of Columbus Council 1502 for Lenten fish fries March 24, March 31, and April 7, 6-8 p.m. at the KC hall. Advance tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under; prices at the door are $10 for adults and $6 for children 10 and under.

A Baptism Preparation class in English will be held on Monday, March 13 and 20 and May 8 and 15, 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Cathedral Center. Parents and Godparents are required to attend Baptism Preparation Classes. If you have questions please call 903-592-1617 ext. 130, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate to the class.

C.A.R.E. (Christ-centered Abortion Recovery and Education)  offers once weekly, eight-week healing Bible studies and weekend retreat opportunities. The next healing opportunities are a March 24-26, Journey abortion recovery Bible study weekend for women and a March 24-25 Journey abortion recovery Bible study weekend for men. Please help us help others. Plan to attend our annual fundraising event: February 28 CARE’N Confections annual fundraiser. For information, contact Anthony and Angela Vrba, 903-360-5547 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Deacon Steve Curry at 903-920-3891, or see the website.

The Cathedral once again is able to offer faith formation for children with special needs. We have two certified teachers who have dedicated themselves to this educational ministry. These classes are for any student with a special need or who might benefit from some extra help. For more information, please contact Peggy Hammett at 903-592-1617, ext. 119, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A Rosary Holy Hour Held is weekly on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. in the Adoration Chapel at Saints Peter and Paul. All are invited to join us. For more information, contact Susan Mills 903-780-2935 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

St. Joseph the Worker Church. The Blessing Table will be Sunday, Feb. 26, after the 10 a.m. Mass in the Parish Hall.  Please place items to be blessed there before Mass.

The Little Flowers Girls’ Club, a club for Catholic girls ages 5-10, meets the first Saturday of every month through the month of May, beginning with Mass at 9 a.m. The next meeting is Saturday, March. 4.

The Little Women Hospitality Club for Catholic girls ages 11-18 meets the first Saturday of every month through the month of May, beginning with Mass at 9 a.m. The next meeting is Saturday, March. 4.

St. Joseph the Worker’s Homeschool Group is a parish based support group for all mothers.  We meet once a month to plan activities for our children, prayer, reading to encourage us in our vocation, sharing and fellowship.  If you would like to join or receive email of planned events, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dominican Father Brian Mullady, a popular preacher and EWTN contributor, will be in the Diocese of Tyler in March offering Lenten missions in three parishes.

He will preach in:

  • Mary Queen of Heaven Parish, Malakoff, March 6-9, at 6:30 p.m. each evening;
  • Our Lady of Victory Parish, Paris, March 19-23, 7-8 p.m. each evening;
  • Sacred Heart Parish, Texarkana, March 25-30. Details are pending.

Father Mullady is a frequent contributor to EWTN. His programs have included “Both Servant and Free,” “Grace Filled Living,” and “Priests and Deacons: Ministers of Mercy” (with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers). He also is a frequent homilist on the network. Go to for programs available online and on demand.

He is adjunct professor at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science, and theological consultant to the Institute on Religious Life. He received his doctorate in Sacred Theology from Angelicum University in Rome, and was a professor there for six years. He entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained a priest in Oakland, Calif., in 1972. He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, and retreat master. He has written several books and numerous articles. He also is the author of the Question and Answer column in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.

For more information on Father Mullady, see his website.