Ben Fisher

Ben can be reached by e-mail at

CET: Fathers and Sons – An Interview with Terry and Fr. Justin Braun

Terry Braun, father of Tyler priest Father Justin Braun, converted to Catholicism on Christmas Day, 2016. We interviewed them at their home parish, St. Mary’s in Longview, a few days before Terry was to be received into the Church. We asked about conversion, what it’s like to have a priest as a son, and to have a dad about to …

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CET: I Will Follow – An interview with seminarian John Simmons

John Simmons is a seminarian for the Diocese of Tyler in his second year of formation at Notre Dame Seminary in Louisiana. He is also a convert to the Catholicism. We caught up with him and asked him to tell us the story of his conversion. (This story appeared in the January 2017 edition of the Catholic East Texas magazine). …

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Cracking the Code: Local musician Hardy Brunette explains how he came to understand the issue of authority and the Catholic Church

This story appears in the May 2016 issue of the Catholic East Texas magazine. I was raised as a pretty strict Calvinist Presbyterian, so I grew up in organized religion. I was really surrounded by Luther and Calvin as a youth, even if I didn’t really understand every point of Protestant theology. We went to church and Sunday school every …

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Elliott, Muñoz, Neu to be Ordained for Diocese June 27

FLINT, TX and ROME, ITALY – Three men are preparing to be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph E. Strickland for the Diocese of Tyler later this month.  Deacons George Elliot, Nelson Muñoz, and Joshua Neu are making canonical retreats and readying themselves for the Mass of Ordination at 10 a.m. on June 27 at the Cathedral of the …

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Year of Consecrated Life: Monastery of the Infant Jesus

As the nuns of the Monastery of the Infant Jesus say, more than one kind of seed can grow in the piney woods.  In 1945 a special seed was sown in Lufkin:  Dominican cloistered contemplative life. 15 sisters, ranging in age between 18 and 72, came from the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Detroit to found the cloister.  For …

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CET Profile: Texarkana’s Bill Cork Serving the Mass

I am a pew-sitting Catholic.  Supporting the Mass is something that other people do, for me.  I have done a variety of jobs in the Church and volunteered for different things, but none of them have been liturgical.  I sometimes wonder what it takes to do these very public ministries in the Church, and what sort of spiritual preparation it …

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CET: Prisoner 22689 -The Story of Fr. John Przydacz and the Dachau Rosary Ring

The following story appears in the April 2015 print edition of the Catholic East Texas.  On April 29, 1945, American troops of the 7th Army’s 45th Infantry Division liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau.  They found murder and torture on an incredible scale.  Thousands of prisoners lay dead in the camp, thousands more were dying of starvation and infection.  The scene …

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CET: Longview landmark Johnny Cace’s to close March 28

There was a man who entered the United States illegally. Fleeing violence in his home country, he sought out a community of other immigrants who shared his culture and traditions. He worked at hard manual labor and built a life for a growing family in tough times. Sometimes facing discrimination and personal tragedy, the growing family relied on their Catholic …

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