In 2017, the Diocese of Tyler will honor our past and look forward to the future as we celebrate our 30th year of carrying out the saving mission of Jesus Christ and his Church in East Texas. The Diocese of Tyler was canonically erected on Dec. 12, 1986, by an Apostolic Bull of Pope St. John Paul II, which created the new diocese out of territory from the Dioceses of Dallas, Beaumont, and Galveston-Houston. On Feb. 24, 1987, the new diocese was officially established as Charles E. Herzig received his episcopal consecration and became the first shepherd of the portion of the people of God in Northeast Texas.
Since that time, the diocese has grown from just under 29,000 Christian faithful served by 35 priests and 30 deacons in 41 parishes and missions to over 120,000 faithful in the care of 111 priests and 120 deacons in 69 parishes and missions.
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving Friday, Feb. 17, at 1:30 p.m., in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception with the priests, deacons, and religious of the diocese. Lay representatives from every parish will also join in the Eucharistic celebration. A public reception will follow at 3 p.m.
At the Mass, Bishop Strickland will consecrate a 30th Anniversary Chalice for the Diocese of Tyler. This chalice will travel to all parishes in the diocese during the anniversary year, and special prayers will be offered for the diocese.
The February 2017 issue of the Catholic East Texas magazine will be dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the diocese. The diocesan Facebook and Twitter accounts will also feature historical information throughout the year.
During the anniversary year, parishes and missions are asked to set aside a time to honor their history. Parishes may celebrate their own anniversary dates and their patronal feast days, compile parish histories, and recall the clergy, religious, and lay faithful who have served their communities in the past. The diocesan archives can assist in providing historical information. Works of mercy and charity, undertaken as a community, would also be an ideal way to commemorate the year.
Bishop Strickland will celebrate Mass for the World Marriage Day Anniversary Celebration Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m., in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler. All couples celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55+years of marriage in the year 2017, are invited to attend the Mass. A reception will follow in the Cathedral Center. To receive an invitation, fill out and send in the form found here.
The diocesan Youth Evangelization Office is hosting several events for youth and youth leaders in the diocese in the coming months. They include:
Middle-School Youth Retreat Feb 18-19 at The Pines Catholic Camp near Big Sandy (300 White Pine Rd, Big Sandy TX). The weekend will include a zip line, ropes course, sports, Mass, and adoration. Cost is $110 per student and $55 per adult. Only 60 student spots are available. For information, see the Youth Evangelization website.
RUKUS Catholic Music Fest, 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.
Right to Life of East Texas is offering four $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors who plan to attend college, trade school, the military, or other endeavors. Applications are available in parish offices or on the RtL website and are due by Jan. 28, 2017.
The Daughters of Divine Hope will offer Mass for bishops and priests who have ordination anniversaries and birthdays, for deacons who have ordination anniversaries, and for deceased clergy Feb. 13 at 11:30 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Lunch will follow in the Cathedral Center. The next Mass and luncheon will be March 13.
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, 2017. 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.
Support Catholic Charities East Texas through Amazon.com. When ordering from Amazon, go to smile.amazon.com and choose Catholic Charities, Diocese of Tyler, as the recipient of the donation from the purchase.
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. St. Edward parishioners will feed the hungry at the Athens Soup Kitchen Tuesday, Jan. 31, and Thursday, Feb. 2. To volunteer, call 903-675-0076 and leave your name and phone number.
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.
Interested in helping with the Mass linens? Please call Judy Eschenburg at 903-677-2968. Leave a message if there is no answer.
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.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church. We will have nocturnal adoration Feb. 11-12.
The parish pilgrimage to EWTN in Alabama will be March 13-17. Watch the bulletin for further details.
St. Francis of the Tejas Church. Holy Mass from the sanctuary of St. Francis of the Tejas is broadcast Sundays at 5 p.m. on KIVY Channel 16.
RCIA will meet again on Tuesday, Jan. 17. We will be watching The Seven Sacraments series from EWTN. All are welcome to join us.
We will have catechist training Saturday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. We will show The Scriptures video from “Echoes of Faith” and have curriculum training in the afternoon. This is the final phase of training for our new catechists to be endorsed by the Diocese of Tyler.
Ron Foster will once again present The Little Rock Catholic Scripture Study. The Gospel of Luke will begin this month. Sign up in the parish hall and receive more information.
Family Faith Formation will meet January 15 and 22, with Sacramental Preparation only on Jan. 29.
We need more lectors and altar servers for the English Masses. If you have ever considered helping in the sanctuary please call the church office. You do not have to be a young adult to be an altar server and this service to the parish.
St. John the Evangelist Church. A class for those participating in the 1st Year Sacrament Preparation will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, 9-11 a.m.
All young people, grades 8-12, are encouraged to participate in the St. John the Evangelist Youth Group. The group will meet on Friday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. We will vote for officers at this meeting. Future meeting dates will also be set, so bring your calendars. Bring your ideas for fun and outreach and bring a friend!
Family Bingo Returns to St. John’s Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.
The parish Valentine Dance will be Feb. 11.
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. Mary Magdalene Church. A basic training session in Ethics and Integrity will be held Thursday, Jan. 26, 6-9 p.m. Call the church office for information and to register. The Diocese of Tyler requires all church employees and volunteers involved in ministry to young people and vulnerable adults to have Ethics and Integrity certification on file at the chancery.
St. Charles Borromeo Church. The SCB Food Pantry will be open on Thursday, Jan. 12, 9-11:30 a.m., for anyone needing help.
Sunday Socials begin again Sunday, Jan. 15.
Faith formation for middle and high school youth will be Sunday, Jan. 15.
Members of the Bethlehem Nativity Group will be here Jan. 14-15 to sell crafted olive wood products. They are artisans from the Holy Land, and their artistic work helps support Christians in the Holy Land. Please stop by and look at their items.
There will be a Basic Course in Ethics and Integrity Training here Saturday, Jan. 28, 9 a.m.-noon. The Diocese of Tyler requires all church employees and volunteers involved in ministry to young people and vulnerable adults to have Ethics and Integrity certification on file at the chancery. For more information, contact Ramona Chance or Deacon Jim.
Gun Barrel City
St. Jude Church. 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.
Holy Spirit Church. Parents of children receiving a sacrament this spring are to meet with Father Mike and Wanda Stephens Sunday, Jan. 15, while the children are in class.
We will have a Community Weekend Jan. 21-22. During this time you will have the opportunity to become involved in the many liturgical ministries. A sign-up sheet will be in the narthex. Please pray about this opportunity to take an active role in our community. Training will be scheduled for all ministers.
Holy Spirit is forming a new group to keep the community aware of our parish and welcome new parishioners who join us. If you would like to be a part of this committee, please notify Bridget in the church office.
Exposition is every Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. We pray for peace in our nation.
The Knights of Columbus breakfast will be after 9:30 a.m. Mass Feb. 5.
The KC fish fry will be Friday, Feb. 10.
Immaculate Conception Church. The parish Finance Council will meet Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m., and the Parish Council will meet Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.
Our Lady’s Guild of Longview 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.
St. Matthew Church. We will celebrate the New Year with a potluck dinner Thursday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Please bring your favorite dish to share and join us for dinner and games. All of those 55 and older are invited to attend.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul will have their monthly free food distribution Saturday, Jan. 14, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the St. John Paul Center. Food is distributed on a first come-first served basis until all is gone.
Our next sacramental preparation class, for parents and children, is Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8:30 a.m. in the St. John Paul Center.
Jan. 31 is the last day to bring the baptism certificate and all the forms for the Sacrament of Confirmation. If your child was baptized at St. Matthew’s, contact the Faith Formation Office before Jan. 31 to finalize.
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 Church. Baptism class will be Thursday, Jan. 26, at 6 p.m. in the Faith Formation building. The Spanish-language session is every second and third Thursday of the month, 7-9 p.m.
Join the Ladies of the Rosary Group Tuesdays at 10 a.m. in the parish office and help make rosaries for missions.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. A series of special sessions for children preparing for first reconciliation will begin Sunday, Feb. 19 at 3:30 p.m. The entire family is expected to participate with their child. All meetings will take place in the Seton Center with new bi-lingual materials.
Classes for students preparing for first Eucharist and confirmation will resume Feb. 5.
Every coffee drinker loves the size of our parish mugs. Extra large and extra special with our parish logo and welcoming sign, they are just $10 each.
Come join us for Father Barone’s annual Surprise Birthday Party Sunday, Feb. 12, following the 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Masses.
Mary Queen of Heaven Church. Bishop Joseph E. Strickland will dedicate our new church Sunday, Jan. 29, at the 10 a.m. Mass.
Deepest thanks to all those who have pledged to our Church Building Fund. Pledge worksheets are available on the table at the back of the church for those who have not had an opportunity to make a pledge yet. Please note that our pledge campaign is spread over five years.
St. Joseph Church. The Mardi Gras planning committee will meet Thursday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m.
A sacramental preparation session will be Saturday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m. at St. Joseph School. The session is required for those preparing for first Eucharist and confirmation. Parents and sponsors also are required to attend.
Mardi Gras tickets are available to sell. Pick them up (maximum is 40 at a time) at the church office. A parent or guardian must sign for minors. Prizes will be awarded for the most tickets sold. All money must be returned to the parish office by 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb, 24.
We will begin showing Bishop Robert Barron’s video series “Catholicism: Pivotal Players” Tuesday, Jan. 31, 7-8:30 p.m., in the parish hall. The series will shown every Tuesday for six weeks.
Mardi Gras 2017 will be 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.
Sacred Heart Church. Our food pantry will be open on the second Tuesday of every month from 9 a.m.-noon. All monetary support is appreciated, and special envelopes are now available in the vestibule for your support.
Sacred Heart Church. Adult confirmation classes for those over the age of 18 who have received the Sacraments of Baptism and First Eucharist but have not been confirmed are Jan. 18, and Jan. 25, 6-8 p.m., in the Activity Building, RCIA Room (#118).
LifeTeen, for young people in grades 9-12, is held on Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church. St. Vincent de Paul is asking for donations of gently used and clean sweaters, jackets, and coats. The collection box is in the narthex. Thank you for your generous support.
The second All Parish Meeting and Potluck Supper will be Sunday Feb. 19, at 4 p.m. Questions from our first meeting will be answered and new questions/comments will be taken. All Sacred Heart members are invited.
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. 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% of your purchase to Bishop Gorman. To participate, go to smile.amazon.com and login 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 smile.amazon.com instead of the usual Amazon website.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Due to some new construction beginning the end of this month around the Angel House, we will not be able to offer babysitting after Jan. 15. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but hopefully it will only be for a short time. Watch the bulletin for further updates.
The Senior Lunch Bunch will meet Wednesday, Jan. 18, for 12:05 p.m. Mass at the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel and then have lunch at Currents, located at 6011 S. Broadway Ave. We invite all seniors to join us. Please call 903-258-0995 for further information.