TYLER – Catholic schools in the Diocese of Tyler and around the nation will again celebrate and proclaim their unique gift to education in the U.S. with events scheduled during Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 4.

The theme for this year’s celebration is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. Catholic schools in the Diocese of Tyler will observe the week with a number of events including Masses, open houses, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and the community at large.

The four Catholic schools in the Diocese of Tyler are:

• Bishop T.K. Gorman Schools, Tyler – a middle- and high-school program, opened in 1958, with an enrollment of 365 students in grades 6-12;

• St. Gregory Cathedral School, Tyler – a PreK-3-5 elementary program with an enrollment of 244 students, opened in 1946 and Tyler’s oldest continuously-operated private school;

• St. Mary Catholic School, Longview – a PreK-3-12 program, opened in 1968, with an enrollment of 196; the program began adding high school levels in the 2011-2012 academic year and graduated its first senior class in 2015;

• St. Patrick Catholic School, Lufkin – a PreK-3-8 program with an enrollment of 90 students, opened in 1955.

“As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, we give thanks for the blessing of excellent Catholic education that our schools offer,” said Bishop Joseph E. Strickland. “Our schools strive to teach the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – and to form young people to reflect more profoundly the image of God our maker.”

As part of Catholic Schools Week and to support the work of the schools in the diocese, Bishop Strickland has authorized a second collection to be taken up in all parishes and missions the weekend of Feb. 4-5.

“The work of our Catholic schools is more essential today than ever before, and the diocese is working diligently to strengthen our schools,” the bishop said. “As bishop, I ask every Catholic to join us in making our schools a real option for as many families as possible and to assist me in ensuring that our schools are Catholic, excellent, and available for years to come.  We give thanks for the parents, faculty, and staff of our Catholic schools who sacrifice so much so that our children can grow in the ways of God in our beautiful Catholic faith.”

St. Gregory and Bishop Gorman have been recognized as U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, with St. Gregory having won that recognition three times. St. Patrick has long been lauded for its Kumon Math and language arts programs and has been named a PreK Center of Excellence. St. Mary boasts an Accelerated Reader Program and offers dual college credit to its high school students.

St. Gregory offers a full-time dyslexia specialist on staff, as well as support for students with special needs.

Graduating classes of Bishop Gorman and St. Mary high schools consistently are offered substantial amounts in scholarship monies, and individual graduates are routinely accepted into multiple colleges and universities across the country.

Graduates from St. Patrick who move into public high school consistently rank as honor students.

“Over the past year as Episcopal Vicar of Education (for the Diocese of Tyler), I have had the unique opportunity to witness and share in the faith, spirit and academic excellence of all our Catholic schools,” said Father Dan Dower, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Kilgore. “As a product of 12 years of elementary and high school Catholic education myself, I know first-hand the tremendous value and importance there is in providing Catholic school education to as many of our children as possible. I strongly encourage all our parishes and missions to support this important mission of the Church here in the Diocese of Tyler. I also wish to thank the pastors, principals, teachers, staff, and parents of our Catholic schools for their dedicated service to our current and future generations of students.”

Academic excellence has long been a hallmark of Catholic schools, whose students routinely score higher on national achievement tests than their public school equivalents.

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) reported recently that results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card, show that Catholic schools consistently outperform public schools in science.

“Academic excellence in Catholic schools is proven time and again through tests such as the SAT and AP exams, as well as through assessments such as NAEP,” said NCEA President/CEO Dr. Thomas W. Burnford. “Catholic schools are sacred places of faith formation, and where 1.9 million Catholic school students receive an outstanding education.”

The NCEA also reported that College Board SAT Subject Tests scores show that religiously affiliated schools, which include Catholic schools, scored significantly higher than the national mean for public schools on the new version of the SAT. The SAT Program uses a 200–800-point scale in three categories: math, reading, and writing.

Religiously affiliated students had a mean score of 532 in math, 537 in reading, and 525 in writing compared to the public school mean score of 487 in math, 494 in reading, and 472 in writing. The national mean score is 494 for math, 508 for reading, and 482 for writing.

Catholic schools comprise 22.3 percent of private schools, yet enroll 42.9 percent of the private school population.  More than 46 percent of private schools are other religious schools enrolling 37.3 percent of the students in nonpublic schools.

“Catholic schools work,” said Burnford. “These scores show that students in Catholic schools demonstrate higher academic achievement than similar students in district-run schools.”

But academics are only part of Catholic education. Catholic schools exist as part of the Church’s teaching mission and have as their primary goal the ongoing formation of the Christian person according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Schools in the Tyler Diocese devote themselves to the helping students establish an understanding of and deep rooting in the Catholic faith through an intensive theology curriculum, weekly school-wide Masses, and a variety of liturgical and devotional practices, many of which are student-led. A sense of discipleship is fostered through service projects, both communal and individual. Canned-food and clothing drives, visits to nursing homes, and collections of money and goods for disaster victims, both local and throughout the world, are regular aspects of student life at Catholic schools in East Texas.

St. Mary students raised funds to build a house in Haiti. The Bishop Gorman student body has become a powerhouse in raising funds for research into and treatment of cystic fibrosis after learning of a fellow classmate’s struggles with the disease.

Catholic schools, both in the Tyler Diocese and nationwide, also promote deep parental involvement. Parents are active at every stage of their children’s education, engaging with teachers, attending parent-teacher conferences, and serving as volunteers for the schools in almost every capacity, from bus drivers to landscapers. Catholic education is a collaborative effort, a partnership between the school, the student, and the family, with all working toward the same goal.

As Amy Blalock, principal of St. Mary in Longview has often said, “Our schools aren’t laundries. You can’t drop your child off dirty and pick him up clean. Faith formation is a journey we all have to take together, or we’ll never get there.”

The collaboration has proven so strong and so successful that all four Catholic schools in the diocese have parents who continue to volunteer after their children have graduated.

The commitment of faculty is another hallmark of the Catholic schools in East Texas.

Martha López Coleman, principal of St. Patrick in Lufkin, is a graduate of the school she leads. PreK-3 teacher Judy McKinney has taught at the school for 16 years.

At St. Gregory, Linda Harvey, a fifth-grade teacher, has taught at the school for 31 years, and Bridget Chapman, a second-grade teacher, has taught there for 18 years. She also is a graduate of St. Gregory and Bishop Gorman.

Bishop Gorman has a number of graduates on staff. Judy Carney, a theology teacher, graduated from Bishop Gorman in 1981, and has taught there since 1990. Lisa Breedlove, a middle school math teacher and the school’s PSIA coordinator, graduated from Bishop Gorman in 1986 and has taught there since 1994. Deacon Bill Necessary, eighth-grade theology teacher and assistant chaplain, graduated from the school in 1982 and has taught there since 2009. Other graduates now teaching at their alma mater include Elizabeth Alexander, Amanda Blalock, Felipe Natera, and Justin Ruelle.

Longtime teachers at the school include Kaye Fackrell, seventh-grade science teacher, on the faculty since 1993; Lonnie Glosson, social studies department chair and history teacher, since 1995; and Mary Schick, middle school coordinator and sixth-grade science teacher, since 1998.

At St. Mary, Laurie Kubicek, director of instructional services, has taught there since 1991. Her daughter Gabrielle was a member of the school’s inaugural high school graduating class in 2015, and Laurie and husband Jason were instrumental in helping the school add its high school component.

Registration at all four schools in the diocese for the 2017-2018 academic year is open. For information, contact the schools or see their websites:

Bishop T.K. Gorman, Tyler (6-12): 903-561-2424, www.bishopgorman.net

St. Gregory Cathedral School, Tyler (PreK3-5): 903-595-4109, www.stgregory.info

St. Mary Catholic School, Longview (PreK3-12): 903-753-1657, www.stmaryslgv.com

St. Patrick Catholic School, Lufkin (PreK3-8): 936-634-6719, stpatricklufkin.com

Laura Williams has received a canonical appointment to the position of Finance Officer for the Diocese of Tyler, Bishop Joseph E. Strickland has announced.

The Finance Officer, a position mandated for each diocese by the Church’s Code of Canon Law, directs the administration of the goods of the diocese under the authority of the bishop and prepares the financial reports for the diocese. The Finance Officer oversees all financial and related functions including budgeting, accounting and investments.

Williams joined the diocesan staff in January of 2016 as Director of Finance.

“I am pleased to appoint Laura as our Finance Officer,” Bishop Strickland said. “In the year she has been with us directing our finance and accounting efforts, Laura has demonstrated her expertise in financial affairs as well as her personal integrity and work ethic.”

The five-year appointment was made by Bishop Strickland after consulting the members of the diocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors.

“Our diocese is committed to observing good business practices as we carry out the Church’s mission to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to all,” said Bishop Strickland. “I am confident in Laura’s continued ability to provide sound financial management for the people of the Diocese of Tyler.”

Williams, a native of Houston, has nearly 20 years of administrative and financial management.  Prior to joining the Diocese of Tyler staff, she was the Finance Officer for the Diocese of Beaumont.

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.

The Diocesan Office of Faith Formation will hold a formation day for special needs catechesis Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the chancery in Tyler. Esther Garcia, a certified master catechists and director of faith formation at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rowlett, will be the main presenter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and has over 27 years of experience as a catechist, community, and ecclesial volunteer programs. She has worked as a teacher at the Autism Treatment Center of Dallas and specializes in leading catechetical programs for children, youth, adults, and families. In addition, she leads programs in special education – autism and other disabilities – and early childhood in multicultural communities. She is a member of the Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, and the Federación para la Catequesis con Hispanos (FCH). For information, see the flier. To register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 903-266-2146 by Thursday, Jan. 27. Cost is $15 by January 27, and $20 after.

The Office of Faith Formation is sponsoring You Have Put on Christ, an interactive presentation for catechists and all others interesting living as a disciple of Christ, Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Milam Joseph Community Center Building on the campus of Bishop TK Gorman Catholic Schools in Tyler. Presenter for the day will be Dr. Jerry Galipeau, Vice President and Chief Publishing Officer at J. S. Paluch Company and its music and liturgy division, World Library Publications. Cost is $15 by Feb. 9, and $20 after. For information or to register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 903-266-2146.

The diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life has scheduled several marriage preparation days and weekends in the coming year. Preparation weekends in English are scheduled for Jan. 27-29, May 5-7, Sept. 22-24, and Dec. 8-10, all at Wellspring Spirituality Center, 16828 FM 2964, Whitehouse, TX. Cost is $225 per couple, and includes room for the two nights and meals. Weekends in Spanish are scheduled for April 22-23 and Oct. 28-29 at Casa Betania, 10645 CR 35, Tyler, TX, 75706. Cost is $175 per couple and includes room and meals. Preparation days in Spanish have been scheduled for Feb. 4 and July 15 at the chancery in Tyler, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $75 per couple. For other dates, registration, and other information, see the website , contact the office at 903-534-1077, ext. 165, or emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.g.

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.

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. 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.

Holly Lake

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.

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.


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.

Baptism Preparation class in English will be held on Monday, Jan. 18, and March 14 and 21 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Cathedral Center. Parents and Godparents are required to attend. If you have questions please call 903-592-1617 ext. 130, or email us at 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.

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.

A Bereavement Mass is scheduled for Jan. 21, at the 5:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral. There will be a reception in the Cathedral Center immediately following the Mass. If you have a loved one that has recently passed away and would like to attend the Mass and reception, please contact the church office at 903-592-1617 or contact Kathy McCabe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 903-561-2849.

All current and new lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must attend one of two training dates in January. Training sessions at the Chapel of Sts. Peter & Paul will be Saturday, Jan. 21, 9:30-10:30 a.m. for lectors and 11 a.m.-noon for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Training sessions at the Cathedral will be Saturday, Jan. 28, 9:30-10:30 a.m. for lectors, and 11 a.m.-noon for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Those who minister primarily at the Cathedral should attend the session at the Cathedral, and those who minister primarily at the Chapel should attend the session at the Chapel. Those who minister at both the Cathedral and Chapel may attend either day, and those with schedule conflicts may choose whichever date works best. Call Brian Braquet at 903-592-1617, ext. 114 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The third annual Boots, Beer and Barbeque will be Saturday Jan. 28, 5-11 p.m., at Cedars of Lebanon Clubhouse. The evening will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Cedars of Lebanon. For information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Dottie Frank at 832- 858-2800.

The Cathedral will send a mission team to the Dominican Republic February 19-25. This will be our fifth missionary trip there. We seek to serve our brothers and sisters in conjunction with Young Mission, a well-established voluntary organization that promotes the Catholic faith through works of charity. Last April, 21 participants from six parishes of our diocese traveled to the Dominican Republic and built seven homes, provided medical care to nearly 1,000 people, and worked in three schools teaching Bible stories. There are still places available on this mission trip. Participants with medical training are especially needed (doctors, nurses, people with a background in family practice, internal medicine, or pediatrics). Other participants are also welcome. Bilingual ability is welcome, but not required. For more information, contact Kelly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 903-570-1800.


TYLER – The diocesan Office of Faith Formation issued 123 catechist endorsements in 2016, the highest number of endorsements issued since the process began in 2002, said Linda Khirallah Porter, diocesan faith formation director.

Endorsements are offered at four levels: beginning, basic, intermediate, and advanced. Endorsements as professional religious educators also are offered, as are endorsements in prison ministry and Christian Initiation.

Catechists receive endorsements by attending training sessions at the parish and diocesan level, attending retreats, making pilgrimages, and participating in other spiritual and educational formation events.

“Our catechists are people who work to hand on our Catholic faith,” Porter said. “And you can’t teach what you don’t know. So certainly a good, strong grounding in the teachings of the Church are required for every catechist, whether they’re teaching children or adults.

“But we’re called to do more than just pass on facts,” she said. “We’re called to be witnesses, disciples, to evangelize not just through handing out information, but through the way we live our lives. We are called to inspire others to seek Christ by the daily example of our own lives. And that requires constant, ongoing formation. We have to deepen our own faith, our own relationship with Christ and his Church if we’re going to draw others into that experience with us. So we’re always encouraging our catechists to do more personal formation, whether through spiritual reading, attending retreats, deepening their prayer lives, or even watching spiritual videos. Whatever encourages you to dig deeper into your relationship with Christ will enrich your teaching experience.”

Porter’s office also offers catechists training in teaching methodology.

“How we teach is as important as what we teach,” she said. “Good, effective catechists understand that teaching children is different than teaching adults, that every student has different learning needs and styles, and they can adapt themselves. And then there are catechists who teach special needs students, which requires a very particular kind of training. A good catechist isn’t just someone who stands in front of a class and lectures. Catechists have to engage, they have to encourage, they have to know how to pass on not just the truths of the faith, but that desire to know Christ and to live as his disciple.”

The Diocese of Tyler has about 800 catechists, Porter said, all endorsed at one level or another, even if they are not currently active.

“We’ve discovered that even in our catechists who aren’t teaching, there is still this hunger for formation, for deepening their faith,” she said. “We have people who haven’t taught a class in several years, but who still come to our training sessions, to sessions in the parish, or who just ask us for some kind of spiritual resources. And that’s a great sign. It means they’re doing this for themselves, and not just for their students.

“When we first started the endorsement process, some of our catechists looked at it as just one more requirement they had to fulfill,” Porter said. “But in the years since, they’ve stopped looking at endorsement requirements as a burden and recognized the process as a gift. This is helping them in their spirituality, in their prayer life, in the way they experience Mass.”

Ongoing formation also helps those involved see how they are truly called to participate in ministry.

“So many people start out as catechists in parish faith formation programs,” Porter said. “We all know people, or have been people, who started teaching CCD because their children were in CCD. But not everyone is meant to be a classroom teacher. Through formation, we’ve had people who’ve discovered that their real calling is to liturgical ministry, whether as a cantor, a choir member, or lector. We’ve had people who’ve discovered a desire to take the Eucharist to the sick and those in nursing homes, to lead Scripture studies, to work in youth ministry or prison ministry, or ministry to the poor. That desire to live more closely with Christ leads people in all sorts of directions, not all of them in the classroom. And that brings a richness and diversity of gifts to the parish, to the diocese, and to the whole Church.

“We will always need catechists, but we’ll also always need people in every aspect of ministry. And ongoing formation leads people down a wide variety of paths that enrich us all.”

The Church herself reaps the benefits of that spiritual diversity.

“Every year, just in this diocese, we bring 300-400 people into the Church at Easter,” Porter said. “And those people encounter the Church in a number of different ways, but always through her people. We have lapsed Catholics who come back or who were maybe only baptized and never went any further, people from other denominations, people from no faith background at all. But somehow, they’ve all encountered Christ through an individual or a family, and a spark was lit. They recognize a hunger in themselves, and they see the Church as the way to feed that hunger. But they almost always see it in the face or life or actions of another person, of someone who is living as a disciple of Christ. That’s evangelization, and that’s what we’re all called to do.”

Formation opportunities are offered at both the parish and diocesan level, and range from Scripture studies and formation classes to rosary and other prayer groups to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

“Whoever you are, whatever you want, we’ve got it,” Porter said. “Check your parish bulletin, check the diocesan website, call or email our office. That’s what we’re here for.”

Upcoming diocesan faith formation events include a day for catechists for special needs students on Jan. 28 (information here) and You Have Put on Christ, Feb. 11, an interactive day with Dr. Jerry Gallipeau open to anyone who wishes to deepen their faith. Information on that day is here.

The diocesan faith formation office also offers a resource library with books, videos, and instructional materials.

“True faith formation is a lifelong process, and one that touches every aspect of life,” Porter said. “We will need continuing education until Christ comes again.”

For information about endorsement, classes, or resources, contact the faith formation office at 903-534-1077, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Catechist endorsements issued in 2016 by the Office of Faith Formation include:

  1. Aguilar, Jr. Martin           Beginning                      St. Patrick, Lufkin
  2. Alvares, Alejandrina         Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  3. Alvarez, Gregoria Basic                             St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  4. Alvarez, Gregoria Beginning                      St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  5. Alvaro, Alma                  Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  6. Araujo, Maria Isabel         Beginning                      Cathedral, Tyler
  7. Avila, Maria                   Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  8. Avila, Maria                   Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  9. Bate, Deacon Larry          Advanced Renewal           St. William of Vercelli, Carthage
  10. Bate, Laura                     Advanced Renewal           St. William of Vercelli, Carthage
  11. Blanton, David               Basic                             Sacred Heart, Texarkana
  12. Blanton, Elizabeth Ann Basic                                Sacred Heart, Texarkana
  13. Cano-Diaz, Sr. Rosalie Renewal of PRE                  Christ the King, Kilgore
  14. Cantu, Juanita                 Advanced                       Marshall
  15. Cantu, Juanita                 Intermediate                    Marshall
  16. Carden, Steve                 Advanced                       St. Mary’s, Longview
  17. Carden, Steve                 Christian Initiation          St. Mary’s, Longview
  18. Cardoso, Rosa                Beginning                      St. Celestine, Grand Saline
  19. Casteneda, Alicia             Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  20. Casteneda, Alicia             Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  21. Cedillo, Maria Isabel        Basic                             Christ the King, Kilgore
  22. Clifton, Jennifer               Beginning                      St. Bernard, Fairfield
  23. Cline, Arlene                  Advanced                       Marshall
  24. Cordero, Guadalupe         Christian Initiation          St. Patrick, Lufkin
  25. Cortinas, Frances Advanced Renewal                       Sacred Heart, Palestine
  26. Dauphin, Ted                 Advanced Renewal           Sacred Heart, Palestine
  27. Diaz, Sr. Catherine          PRE Renewal                 Christ the King, Kilgore
  28. Dieter, Eric                     Advanced Renewal           Cathedral, Tyler
  29. Dixon, Loiette                Advanced Renewal           Sacred Heart, Palestine
  30. Dotson, Darlene              Beginning                      Marshall
  31. Everding, Andy               Beginning                      Cathedral, Tyler
  32. Everding, Dianne             Beginning                      Cathedral, Tyler
  33. Flowers, Berta Angoco     Beginning                      Sacred Heart, Texarkana
  34. Foyil, Billy                    Prison                           Tennessee Colony
  35. Franklin, Monica             Beginning                      St. Bernard, Fairfield
  36. Frias, Carmen                 Beginning                      St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  37. Gandarilla, Maria Rosio    Beginning                      Cathedral, Tyler
  38. Giese, Kathy                   Advanced Renewal           Sacred Heart, Nacogdoches
  39. Gilbert, Kathy                 Basic                             Sacred Heart, Nacogdoches
  40. Gilbert, Kathy                 Beginning                      Sacred Heart, Nacogdoches
  41. Gilbert, Kathy                 Intermediate                    Sacred Heart, Nacogdoches
  42. Gokey, Ann                    Intermediate                    St. Bernard, Fairfield
  43. Gonzalez, Gloria J.          Beginning                      St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  44. Grabowski, Gerard           Beginning                      St. Mary’s, Longview
  45. Gundersen, Mary Renee    Basic                             Immaculate Conception, Moral
  46. Gundersen, Mary Renee    Beginning                      Immaculate Conception, Moral
  47. Gundersen, Mary Renee    Intermediate                    Immaculate Conception, Moral
  48. Halbert, Beatriz               Basic                             St. Michael, Mt. Pleasant
  49. Hammett, Peggy             PRE Renewal                 Cathedral, Tyler
  50. Harman, Jackie                Basic                             St. Joseph, Marshall
  51. Hughes, Lori                  Advanced Renewal           St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Waskom
  52. Ibarra, Maria Isabel          Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  53. Johnson, Morris Landin    Prison                           Tennessee Colony
  54. Lara, Sandra                   Renewal PRE                 St. Jude, Henderson
  55. Lashford, David               Christian Initiation          Sacred Heart, Texarkana
  56. Lasseigne, Ryan              Basic                             St. Mary, Longview
  57. Lasseigne,Shallon            Basic                             St. Mary, Longview
  58. Lay, Cathy                     Beginning                      St. Joseph, Marshall
  59. Lopez, Monica                Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  60. Lusk, Erica                     Beginning                      St. Mary’s, Longview
  61. Marquez, Stephen            Prison                           Tennessee Colony
  62. Martinez, Alfredo Basic                             St. Joseph, Marshall
  63. McWilliams, Gary           Beginning                      St. Mary’s, Longview
  64. McWilliams, Gary           Christian Initiation          St. Mary’s, Longview
  65. Miers, Sandy                  Intermediate                    St. Matthew, Longview
  66. Milawski, Christie           Advanced                       St. Mary Magdalene, Flint
  67. Munoz, Maria                 Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  68. Munoz, Maria                 Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  69. Murphy, Betty                Advanced Renewal           St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  70. Najvar, Bonnie                Intermediate                    St. Peter the Apostle, Mineola
  71. Odom, Dana                   Advanced Renewal           Sacred Heart, Rusk
  72. Patton, Karen                  Basic                             St. Patrick, Lufkin
  73. Patton, Karen                  Christian Initiation          St. Patrick, Lufkin
  74. Perea, Balbina                 Beginning                      St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  75. Pereida, Hortencia            Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  76. Phillips, Jodi                  Christian Initiation          St. John Paul the Great, Catholic Campus Ministry UT Tyler\
  77. Pickett, Shawn                Advanced Renewal           Cathedral, Tyler
  78. Pineda, Josefa                 Basic                             St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  79. Quillin, Angela               Christian Initiation          St. Patrick, Lufkin
  80. Ragland, Dcn John          Advanced Renewal           Our Lady of Lourdes, Chireno
  81. Ragland, M3elba             Advanced Renewal           Our Lady of Lourdes, Chireno
  82. Reina, Maria                   Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  83. Reina, Martin                 Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  84. Reina, Martin                 Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  85. Richardson, Maria           Intermediate                    Sacred Heart, Palestine
  86. Richardson. Maria           Basic                             Sacred Heart, Palestine
  87. Robles, Veronica             Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  88. Rodriguez, Cirila             Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  89. Rodriguez, Cirila             Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  90. Romo, Martha                Basic                             St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  91. Russell, Margo               Advanced                       Sacred Heart, Nacogdoches
  92. Scholl, Debbie                Advanced Renewal           St. William of Vercelli, Carthage
  93. Sepulveda, Janie              Advanced Renewal           Sacred Heart, Palestine
  94. Silva, Yadira                  Beginning                      St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  95. Smith, Charlotte             Christian Initiation          St. Joseph, Marshall
  96. Smith, Kimberly             Beginning                      Marshall
  97. Smith, Paul                    Advanced                       Marshall
  98. Snyder, David                 Basic                             Dallas Diocese
  99. Snyder, David                 Beginning                      Dallas Diocese
  100. Stabbs, Yvette               Advanced Renewal           Our Lady of Sorrows, Jacksonville
  101. Stafford, Kathy               PRE                              St. Mary Magdalene, Flint
  102. Steward, Carleen                        Intermediate                    St. Matthew, Longview
  103. Tiscareno, Gregoria         Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  104. Tiscareno, Gregoria         Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  105. Troell, Henry                 Advanced                       St. Theresa, Union Grove
  106. Troell, Henry                 Basic                             St. Theresa, Union Grove
  107. Troell, Henry                 Beginning                      St. Theresa, Union Grove
  108. Troell, Henry                 Intermediate                    St. Theresa, Union Grove
  109. Troell, Janet                  Advanced                       St. Theresa, Union Grove
  110. Troell, Janet                  Basic                             St. Theresa, Union Grove
  111. Troell, Janet                  Beginning                      St. Theresa, Union Grove
  112. Troell, Janet                  Intermediate                    St. Theresa, Union Grove
  113. Valle, Diana                  Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  114. Valle, Elmer                   Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  115. Valle, Gabriela               Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  116. Valle, Maria                  Basic                             OLG, Tyler
  117. Valle, Maria                  Beginning                      OLG, Tyler
  118. Velazco, Froylan                        Prison                           Tennessee Colony
  119. Viramontes, Teresa         Basic                             St. Peter Claver, Tyler
  120. Wells, Dcn Trevor          PRE Renewal                 St. Mary’s, Longview
  121. Wells, Deacon Trevor    PRE Renewal                 St. Mary’s, Longview
  122. Wilson, Beverly             Advanced Renewal           St. Mary, Longview
  123. Zavala, David                Beginning                      OLG, Tyler

Applications are now being accepted for the position of principal of Bishop Gorman Regional School in Tyler, Dr. James Klassen, superintendent of schools has announced.

The position is open following the announcement of the retirement of long-time principal Jim Franz last fall.

Bishop Gorman School is a distinguished Catholic middle and college preparatory school with 354 co-ed students in grades 6-12.

Located in Tyler and within the Diocese of Tyler, Bishop Gorman provides a safe, attractive and welcoming campus that includes academic, spiritual and co-curricular amenities that sets it apart from other schools. Rooted in its Catholic traditions and gospel values, the Bishop Gorman family has built a prestigious reputation as an institution where students of all faiths can achieve excellence in their academic endeavors and all areas of life.

Its welcoming ethos and high academic standards are respected and embraced by East Texas families of all faiths, making the Bishop Gorman campus a unique school community with a spiritual diversity that creates a warm and family spirit filled learning environment.

The next principal will be expected to bring the energy, charisma and executive administration skills necessary for this school community to build on its considerable strengths while delivering its highly respected Catholic college preparatory education. The candidates we seek will be experienced in addressing the challenges facing most Catholic schools, specifically in the areas of enrollment management and advancement initiatives.

Candidates are expected to be available to assume the responsibilities of the position by July 1, 2017. Applications will be accepted until February 12, 2017. A complete position description and search prospectus is available at this link.

More information: http://www.partnersinmission.com/page.cfm?p=417