Archive for January, 2010

A is for – Accessible and Available!  We have room for you in our Catholic schools, plan to visit and witness the Awesome Academic Achievement taking place daily.  We welcome you any time that is convenient for a visit.  Phone numbers and locations will be listed at the bottom.

B is for – Be-Attitude!  Be – in relationship with our God.

Daily students are immersed in studying the Catholic faith, preparing and attending Masses, crowning Mary in her special month, praying the Living Rosary, blessing the pets, celebrating the lives of our saints, experiencing retreats, and participating in the Living Stations of the Cross, to name a few. (more…)

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Schools focus on Dividends for Life

Since every Catholic school in America participates in it, Catholic Schools Week isn’t small potatoes. The week includes special events and activities for students at the local schools to celebrate Catholic schools.

The week kicks off Feb. 1 and wraps up on Feb. 5, with a lot of fun in between. A complete schedule of activities for the schools can be found on Page 16. This year’s theme is “Dividends for Life.” The entire week will be dedicated to building toward the future.

Superintendent Nancy Collins said that the theme for this year had many meanings.

“The theme addresses how being a Catholic school student means that knowledge, discipline, faith and morals are what you get every day in a Catholic education,” Collins said. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Under a new U.S. tax law, people who have donated to charities providing relief to Haitians since the Jan. 12 earthquake can take a tax deduction for the contribution on their 2009 tax return instead of their 2010 return.

The measure was passed unanimously by the House Jan. 20 and by the Senate Jan. 21. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law Jan. 22. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow warms up before his team takes on Cincinnati during the NCAA Sugar Bowl football game in New Orleans Jan. 1. Focus on the Family said it has purchased a 30-second spot on CBS during the Super Bowl to air a pro- life ad featuring Tebow and his mother, Pam. (CNS photo/Sean Gardner, Reuters)

NEW YORK (CNS) — An ad scheduled to air on CBS during the network’s broadcast of the Feb. 7 Super Bowl has generated criticism from groups such as the National Organization for Women because of its pro-life message.

The 30-second spot will feature recent University of Florida graduate Tim Tebow, the Gators’ star quarterback who graduated in December. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner led his team to victory in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 1.

Sponsored by Focus on the Family, a Christian advocacy group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., the ad reportedly will highlight Tebow’s mother, Pam, who decided against medical advice not to abort him. Pam suffered from a dangerous infection during a mission trip to the Philippines, and doctors recommended that she terminate her pregnancy, fearing she might die in childbirth or the child might be stillborn.

A spokesman for the organization said the theme of the ad is “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” but he would not comment on the content of the ad.

Several women’s groups have complained to CBS about the ad, urging it not air, but the network released a statement Jan. 26 saying it was standing behind the ad. The network said it has revised its policies on advocacy ads in recent years as have other media outlets.

NOW and other women’s groups, such as the Women’s Media Center, an organization that says it works “to make women visible and powerful in the media,” have called the ad divisive and inappropriate for the setting. They also complained that in previous years networks have banned issue-oriented ads sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, MoveOn.org and the United Church of Christ. (more…)

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By Sarah Dupre, ETC

Planning on going to the Southeast Texas Mardi Gras Feb. 11-14? How about a side of evangelization to go with all those beads!

Encounter Catholic is an evangelization effort to bring the Catholic faith out of the confinements of the church walls and into the public eye.

Encounter Catholic will be returning to the Southeast Texas Mardi Gras for the second year. Last year was a huge success with more than 1,600 individuals stopping by the booth in the float den. Rosaries were given out and blessed by priests and deacons, hundreds of kids and some adults took advantage of the free crafts, and several made serious enquiries about conversion to Catholicism. (more…)

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By Jeff Dixon

Getting paid your regular wages to stay in a hotel for months without working might seem like a dream come true. But if someone is staying in a hotel in Beaumont, hasn’t seen his family in months, has no transportation and doesn’t know when he’ll be allowed to go home, it seems more like a nightmare.

Seven seafarers are doing exactly that at the MCM Eleganté in Beaumont right now. The men have been staying at the hotel since the first week of September.

The seafarers are material witnesses in a pollution investigation regarding their ship, the Niebla.

Helping them adjust to this situation has been Father Sinclair Oubre, diocesan director of the Apostleship of the Sea.

During their first month Father Oubre arranged transportation for them to and from Mass.

“We’re trying to make their stay as enjoyable as possible. We picked them up and drove them to Mass at Cristo Rey, Beaumont, for a few weeks, and now the hotel is taking them every Sunday,” Father Oubre said.

The ship the seafarers were on, the Niebla, was in the Port of Port Arthur and had steering problems – problems which led the Coast Guard to inspect the ship.

The oil and water separator was found not to be in working order. Because of the malfunction it came into question as to how the oil and water separator was being used while the vessel was at sea.

At a grand jury hearing Feb. 3 in Beaumont, indictments may be handed down. It’s unclear when any of the seafarers will be allowed to go home. Until then, the men must remain in the United States.

The company they work for, Ership, has been paying their full wages and hotel bill during their stay and has given them a daily allowance of $50 for meals.

Father Oubre said that the best thing the Apostleship of the Sea can do is offer a shoulder for the seafarers.

“Nothing has happened since the end of September. These guys are just sitting their cooling their heels waiting for something.

“We’re trying to be there for them as much as possible. We’re checking on them every day and visiting them as often as we can,” Father Oubre said.

A trip to NASA is currently being organized for the seafarers by Father Oubre.

“Being on a ship for six to eight months and then being involved in this process for another seven or nine months can be a real challenge. We’re just trying to break up the monotony. Aside from Sunday Mass these guys haven’t really left the hotel,” Father Oubre said.

Father Oubre said he’ll be down at the federal court house during the grand jury hearing offering prayers and moral support for the sailors.

The AOS is supported by the Catholic Faithful in Southeast Texas through the Bishop’s Faith Appeal.

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By Nancy Frazier O’Brien

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Three leading U.S. bishops called on members of Congress Jan. 26 to “set aside partisan divisions and special-interest pressures” to achieve genuine health reform.

“The health care debate, with all its political and ideological conflict, seems to have lost its central moral focus and policy priority, which is to ensure that affordable, quality, life-giving care is available to all,” said a letter signed by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Bishops William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and John C. Wester of Salt Lake City. (more…)

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