Bishop Joseph E. Strickland’s statement on open carry in churches is available on the diocesan website. The bishop asks that weapons not be openly carried during Mass “or other times of public worship,” with the exception of “peace officers commissioned by local, state or federal agencies.”
Bishop Strickland and the other U.S. bishops have announced a special collection for the weekend of Jan. 16-17. Severe weather, in the form of violent storms, tornados and floods, has impacted states in the South and Midwest regions of our country, including Northeast Texas and the DFW Metroplex. Additional major flooding is expected over the next several weeks as rivers and tributaries continue to rise. The funds collected in this one-time special appeal for the 2015-2016 storms and other natural disasters will be used to support the efforts of Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church.
National Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 31-Feb. 6. The theme for this year is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. The Diocese of Tyler is blessed with six Catholic schools: St. Mary in Longview (pre-K3-12), St. Patrick in Lufkin (pre-K3-8), St. Joseph in Marshall (pre-K3-4), St. Gregory Cathedral School in Tyler (pre-K3-5) and Bishop T.K. Gorman in Tyler (6-12). All combine a strong academic curriculum with education in the faith. Contact your local Catholic school for enrollment and tuition information, or for a schedule of Catholic Schools Week activities.
The Diocese of Tyler Office of Youth Evangelization is hosting a Friendship, Faith & Fun retreat for students in grades 6-8 Feb. 20-21 at The Pines Catholic Camp in Big Sandy. The retreat also is open to youth ministers. Cost is $110 per student. Financial aid may be available from the youth office. For more information, see the youth office website or contact Mark Knox at email@example.com.
The youth office invites teens ages 15-18 on an Adventure Trip to Arkansas March 5-20. The trip will include hiking, camping, canoeing and daily Mass in the woods. Cost is $450 per student. To register, see your parish youth minister. For information, contact Mark Knox at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the Office of Youth Evangelization website.
Bishop Strickland will celebrate the annual Scouting Mass for Scouts and their families Feb. 13 at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel of Sts. Peter & Paul. Bishop Strickland will recognize all who have earned Eagle Scout, Summit, Ranger, Quartermaster, Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII awards. This Mass is open to all who are involved scouting. Proper scout uniform is requested. If you have earned one of the above awards and would like to be recognized please send your information to email@example.com. Refreshments will be served in the foyer following the Mass.
The Diocese of Tyler Office of Faith Formation is sponsoring a catechist formation day for working with children with special needs March 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the chancery, featuring John Barone. Cost is $15 by March 3 or $20 at the door. See information here.
Bishop Strickland will celebrate a Mass for children and adults with special needs and their families on March 12, 2016, at the Chapel of Sts. Peter & Paul in Tyler. 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 March 10 so we can provide for the reception, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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. For more information, see the flyer on the website.
Formation days for parish Christian Initiation teams will be Jan. 30, April 2 and June 25. All sessions will be held in St. Paul’s Meeting Room in the chancery in Tyler, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. To register or for more information, contact the diocesan Office for Faith Formation, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 903-266-2146.
Presentation of candidates and the elect to Bishop Joseph E. Strickland will be Feb. 14 and Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. A reception will follow in the Cathedral Center.
The Fullness of Truth Conference is Feb. 19-20 on the Bishop T.K. Gorman Catholic Schools campus in Tyler. Produced by Catholic Evangelization Ministries, the two-day conference will focus on mercy with the theme His Pain, Our Gain – The High Price of Divine Mercy. Speakers will include Father Brian Eilers, Karlo Broussard and Kitty Cleveland. Tickets are $35 for adults or $75 for a family. For information, see fullnessoftruth.org or call 877-21-TRUTH.
A training day for those interested in becoming Gabriel Project Angels will be Feb. 20, 11 a.m.-4:15 p.m. at St. Edward Church in Athens. The Gabriel Project of East Texas is a pro-life network of volunteers from parishes in the Diocese of Tyler committed to offering hope and support to mothers and fathers so that they will choose life even when in crisis. Trained volunteers from a nearby parish mentor mothers in a loving and supportive way. All information is confidential. There are no strings attached, and all services are free. The Gabriel Project operates solely by the generous financial support of individuals and organizations in the diocese. For information, call the St. Edward Church office, 903-675-2509, or email Father Nolan Lowry, email@example.com.
The diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life has scheduled a Marriage Preparation Day for Jan. 23, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the chancery (English) and at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Tyler (Spanish). Marriage preparation weekends are scheduled for April 8-10, April 9-10 (Spanish), Sept. 23-25, and Nov. 5-6 (Spanish). For information or to register, contact the office at 903-534-1077, ext. 165, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The office invites couples celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years of marriage in increments of five, and all celebrating more than 50, in 2016 to a World Marriage Day Anniversary Mass and celebration Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler. Bishop Strickland will celebrate the Mass. Couples married 50 years or more will receive special recognition and a certificate. To register or for more information, contact the office at 903-534-1077, ext. 165, or email email@example.com. The registration form may be downloaded here. An anniversary card will be sent to confirm your registration.
The Daughters of Divine Hope will offer an 11:30 a.m. Mass Feb. 8 for clergy celebrating birthdays and ordination anniversaries in those months, and for deceased clergy. The Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and lunch will follow in the Cathedral Center. Other Masses will be celebrated March 14, April 11, May 9 and June 13.
Families Anonymous, a support group for those affected by a loved one’s addiction, alcoholism or other destructive behaviors, meets the second Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Frankston. The group is the only FA chapter in East Texas, and is open to anyone who has known the despair of a loved one’s addiction. Meetings follow the 12-step model, and the anonymity of members is paramount. For information, contact Rick at 817-994-8248 or Kathy at 817-319-9843.
Right to Life of East Texas is offering four $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 30. Pick up an application in parish offices or see online at righttolifeofeasttexas.org.
Young adults in the Diocese of Tyler are invited to Diocese of Tyler Young Adults Glorify, a day of fellowship, praise & worship, adoration, and Mass, Jan. 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Find us on social media @dotyams, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 214.773.1203.
The Maria Goretti Network, a peer ministry group for survivors of abuse and their families, meets the third Sunday of every month in the Cathedral office Meeting Room (not the Cathedral Center) at 7 p.m. For information, call Peggy Hammett, 903-592-1617, ext. 19, or email email@example.com.
Catholic counseling services are now available in the Diocese of Tyler. Simone Key, MA, LPC-I, is on staff at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to provide faith-based family, marriage, individual and group counseling. Initial phone consultations are free, and services are provided on a sliding fee scale. For information, call 214-640-0651.
To speak with a priest about a possible vocation, call Father Justin Braun at the chancery, 903-534-1077, ext. 171, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To speak with a nun, contact Sister Angelica Orozco, EFMS, at the chancery, 903-534-1077, ext. 145, or email email@example.com.
If you are not sending your parish bulletin to Catholic East Texas, please do so. Bulletins are our best source for information about your parish events. Email electronic versions (PDF or Word documents) to firstname.lastname@example.org and mail paper versions to Susan De Matteo, Catholic East Texas, 1015 ESE Loop 323, Tyler, TX 75701.
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. A training day for those interested in becoming Gabriel Project Angels will be Feb. 20, 11 a.m.-4:15 p.m. at St. Edward Church in Athens. The Gabriel Project of East Texas is a pro-life network of volunteers from parishes in the Diocese of Tyler committed to offering hope and support to mothers and fathers so that they will choose life even when in crisis. Trained volunteers from a nearby parish mentor mothers in a loving and supportive way. All information is confidential. There are no strings attached, and all services are free. The Gabriel Project operates solely by the generous financial support of individuals and organizations in the diocese.
Love to sing? Come join the 10:30 a.m. English choir! Open to all ages, male and female. Practice is at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings before Mass. If you are interested just come by and practice.
Bible study is every Thursday at 2 p.m. in the parish hall. Richard Lynd directs, and all are invited.
Faith formation will be having a tamale sale Jan. 29. Tamales are $10 per dozen of chicken, pork, or both. Sign-up sheets are at both entrances of the church. Tamales will be available for pickup after 5 p.m. Jan. 29.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church. Father Bowlin will lead a pilgrimage to the Eternal Word Television Network and Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Irondale and Hanceville, Ala., during spring break, March 7-11. If interested, let Father Bowlin know. We also need two volunteers to drive and are looking for 2 high-capacity vehicles for the trip.
St. John the Evangelist Church. All young people ages 6-18 are encouraged to enter the Make a Joyful Noise Songfest competition against St. Celestine Church in Grand Saline. Prepare two Christian vocal pieces. Grand prize is $500, and age-appropriate prizes also will be awarded. For information, see Father Victor or Miranda, or contact the parish office.
St. Charles Borromeo Church. The SCB Helping Hands Food Pantry will be open Jan. 14, 9-11:30 a.m.
Join David Etheridge Jan. 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the Frankston Nursing Home for singing and fellowship with residents. Everyone is invited to help bring a smile and cheer to folks who are often forgotten.
Interested in discussing topics on the Year of Mercy? Come join us in the parish hall Jan. 22, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Discussions will be based on the Gospels and from Pope Francis using the book, The Holy Year of Mercy.
A parishioner is in need of employment. She is an excellent housekeeper. If interested, please contact Father Ruggles.
Gun Barrel City
St. Jude Church. St. Jude is hosting a chili cook-off Saturday, Jan. 30, after the 5 p.m. Mass. All parish ministries are encouraged to participate.
Children’s guitar classes are every Tuesday evening, 6-7 p.m.
A Holy Hour is held the third Friday of each month at 7 p.m. in Spanish.
Holy Family Church. Adult game night is Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. Bring a covered dish and join the fun!
The Friendship, Faith & Fun Middle School Retreat will be Feb. 20-21, 2016. All 6-8th-graders & youth workers are invited. The retreat will be at The Pines Catholic Camp near Big Sandy, TX.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga youth group meets every Friday from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Parish Hall. Anyone age 12-21 years old is welcome to attend.
RCIA is every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Adult Bible study is every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Holy Family Kitchen is in need of clean, empty egg cartons. Drop them by the back door on the silver counter that holds the banana boxes.
The Knights of Columbus Lenten fish fries will be Feb. 12, Feb. 19, March 4 and March 18. Adult dinners are $10 each, children 12 and under, $5.
Our Lady’s Guild of Longview will hold its 46th annual Enchilada Roll Feb. 13, from 11 a.m. until they’re all gone. A tray of 6 enchiladas is $7, with a maximum of 20 trays per person. This is not a sit-down meal, but a pick up and go. The sale will be at St. Mary Catholic School cafeteria, 405 Hollybrook in Longview.
St. Mary Church. John Michael Talbot will lead a retreat Feb. 8-9, beginning at 7 p.m. each evening, in the church. Talbot is a Catholic singer-songwriter, guitarist, author, television presenter and founder of a monastic community known as the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. There is no cost for admission, though offerings to support his ministry are welcome. The church is at 2108 Ridgewood in Longview. For information, contact the church at 903-757-5855.
St. Matthew Church. A marriage preparation class (English) will be held Jan. 30, beginning at 8 a.m., in the library, room 21, of the faith formation center. Please call Deacon Joe Bianco, 903-757-3348, to confirm attendance. This is an all-day class.
The Father and Daughter Dance is Jan. 23, 6-8 p.m., in the St. John Paul Family Center. Cost is $25 per couple, and dads and daughters of all ages are welcome.
Jan. 31 is the Feast of St. John Bosco, the patron saint of young people. Join us in the St. John Paul Family Center for an evening of food, fun and fellowship after the 6 p.m. Mass that evening.
The parish dinner and dance fund-raiser will be Feb. 6, 6:30-11 p.m., at the St. John Paul Family Center. The evening includes a social hour, dinner catered by Tyler Street Bistro, live music by the Tuxedo Cats, dancing, prizes, and silent auction. Tickets are $65 per person. Reservations are recommended, and the evening is adults-only. Contact the church office or Emily Myers, 903-237-9741, for reservations. All proceeds will go toward the building fund. Sponsorships and silent auction donations are welcome.
The Dominican Laity of Lufkin invites parishioners from both parishes to join them in praying the Liturgy of the Hours (Vespers) each Wednesday and Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. in Saint Andrew’s Chapel. In so doing we honor God’s command to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:1).
St. Andrew Church. Bruce Green will lead adult education classes on A Study on Genesis 1-11: In the Beginning on Sunday mornings beginning Jan. 17, 8:30-9:45 a.m., in the parish hall. Coffee and donuts will be served.
St. Patrick Catholic School. The annual Green & Gold Gala benefitting the school will be Feb. 5. Tickets are available in the school office.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. The Altar Society will hold its first meeting of the new year Jan. 17 in the Seton Center following the 9:30 a.m. Mass. All women of the parish are invited to be an active part of this group.
Ash Wednesday is Feb. 10. Please bring last year’s palms to the church before then so they may be burned Feb. 7 after the 1 p.m. Mass for ashes. Deposit them in the box in the narthex.
Monthly meetings of the Men’s Club are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Seton Center. You never know what the men will come up with, but you can be sure that it will be fun. All men of the parish are cordially invited to join this rowdy group.
Bible study is held on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (Spanish).
Mary Queen of Heaven Church. The church will hold an Irish Eyes of Texas Gala fundraiser Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at Athens Country Club. The evening will feature music by The Young Wolfe Tones, an Irish band, and a traditional Irish short rib dinner with dessert. Live and silent auctions will feature two round-trip American Airlines tickets to Rome, a four-night stay at a Hill Country Resort and a dinner for eight cooked by “Chef” Father Morgan White. Sponsorships and group tables are available. For information, contact Steve Fowler at 214-704-5233, or see the website at www.MQHMalakoff.com. All proceeds will benefit the church rebuilding fund.
St. Joseph Church. Mardi Gras 2016 will be Jan. 30 at the Marshall Convention Center, 2501 East End Blvd South. The evening will feature dancing, a silent auction, and a raffle. The Steve Wells Band will provide live music, and the Blue Frog Grill will cater. Mardi Gras costumes are welcome. Tickets are on now sale at both the parish and school office. Admission tickets are $40 per person. Reserved tables for 6, 8 or 12 are also available. You can help make this event successful by donating new items and gift certificates for the silent auction. In-kind donations of $100 or more will receive an advertisement in the event program. Sponsorships are also available. For more information contact the parish office at 903-935-2536 or email@example.com. All proceeds will benefit St. Joseph Catholic School.
The soup kitchen serves hot meals each Tuesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., in the parish hall.
The food bank needs peanut butter, corn, carrots, and cereal. Help us feed the hungry in our community.
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas are offering a scholarship. Applications are due by Jan. 30, and are available in the parish office. Children and grandchildren of CDA members are eligible.
St. Mary Chapel, Stephen F. Austin State University. St. Mary’s students will be partnering with Family Missions Company to take a mission trip to General Cepeda, Mexico, during spring break. See the website, sfacatholic.net, or one of the campus ministers for information.
For many years, there have been plans for a new Catholic student center and chapel. We are now moving forward with Phase I, the student center. A building committee is raising funds and planning to commence construction in June 2016! For more information, and to help, please visit the New Student Center website page.
Sacred Heart Church. LifeTeen for youth in grades 9-12 is held Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
Catholic Campus Community of Tyler. Catholic college students in East Texas are invited to the Patriot Awakening IV retreat, Feb. 5-7, at Bethany House in Tyler. Cost is $50 for meals, a bed and activities. The weekend will offer a chance to pray, celebrate the faith and get to know other Catholic college students. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Do you desire to perform all the Corporal Works of Mercy, but find yourself unable to “visit prisoners”? Perhaps you would consider becoming one of the Prison Correspondence Ministry Team, now forming at the Cathedral. Through exchange of letters with incarcerated individuals in the Texas Prisons, you can truly “visit prisoners” through your words of hope and joy and trust in the Mercy of God. This Correspondence Ministry is beginning with the assistance of Father Tom Edelen, TDCJ Prison Chaplain in Rusk, who will provide training information and opportunities to minister to prisoners in this way. There are strict guidelines for letter writing – a number of do’s and don’ts. All letters are sent to and from the church address, not your personal address. Please consider ministering in this way to those who no longer have freedom of body, but whose spirit can be freed from fear and filled with joy by your kindness, faith-sharing, and listening ear. To learn more about this ministry, please contact Father Tom or Adriana Gonzalez, the Parish Secretary at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Office (903) 592-1617.
St. Vincent de Paul is in the process of strengthening our Home Visit Program. We will be setting up teams of 2-4 people to visit with those in need and pray with them in their homes. These teams will be “on call” 1 week each month to answer phone calls concerning the type of assistance our SVdP provides and to assess whether a home visit is appropriate. (Pay-as-you-go phones will be provided.) The teams will probably meet once a week for 30 minutes to exchange information and pass on the phones. If you are interested in this important ministry, please contact Kelly at email@example.com or 903- 570-1800. We are also seeking a volunteer coordinator for this program. We will meet in mid-February (tentatively February 15th at 2 p.m.) at the Cathedral Center for orientation and information sharing. Please attend if you are interested.
The SVdP Thrift Store is open for sales & drop-off of donations on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Proceeds benefit those in need that are served by the SVdP Center at 410 South College. Volunteers are needed, especially on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Thursdays from 2-5:30 p.m. Please prayerfully consider helping with this important ministry. Contact Kui at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-630-0143 if interested. We are always in need of usable items to sell, especially furniture. Contact 903-707-1407 or email@example.com to schedule pick-up of large items.
Throughout the year the people of our parish are most generous in donating items large and small to be given to the poor or to be sold in the Thrift Shop with proceeds benefitting the poor. Help is greatly needed in the area of pick-ups. If you could drive the truck (no special license needed) or help load and unload donations, your assistance would be vital in helping the Saint Vincent de Paul Society assist the needy. For information on this ministry, please call Dan Jager at 903-360-0332.
The SVdP Center is greatly in need of coats for children. Girls and boys coats in all sizes would be appreciated.
A Rosary Holy Hour is held weekly on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. in the Adoration Chapel in the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul. The hour is open to all. For more information, contact Susan Mills 903-780-2935, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.