Some of you have asked how you can help keep children safe. We can pray. We can pray for children, our Church, faith, and to be a good Christian. We also can pray for open hearts, minds, eyes and ears. But, as we all know from the Bible, we can take action too.
We can keep our eyes and ears open. Be observant so that children are not harmed or placed in a harmful situation. It can be as simple as noticing after mass that a child walking in front of you on a busy sidewalk has let go of his mother's hand and that the mother has her hands full carrying a baby. Are you able and ready to call out a warning if the child gets close to the street or to block the child from getting into the street?
What else can we do? We can take Virtus training. The purpose of the training is to help you identify and spot signs of potential child abuse. The training also can help you avoid putting your child or any child into a bad situation. Additionally, Virtus training helps you understand how you can avoid situations which could be viewed as inappropriate. Most importantly, the training reminds us of how vulnerable children are and what we can do to help.
We can help each other protect children. Saint Anne Catholic Church recommends, and for some ministries requires, that volunteers take Virtus training. With this training, you can help protect children with whom you interact or are in a position to observe interactions with children. Be observant, be alert, take appropriate action including calling the police if needed, and do take Virtus training.
To sign up for Virtus training, which is only one class that lasts under three hours, go to www.virtus.org/virtus. You also can go to our website for more information, including on registering and who is required to take the Virtus class. Click here for more information from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on protecting children and youth, which includes information on Virtus registration, assistance for victims, and other information.
With prayer, knowledge, open hearts and minds, open eyes and ears, and appropriate action such as taking Virtus training, we can all help God’s children.
As your Pastor, I want to share with you my feelings and emotions about the scandal in the Catholic church. There have been times where I have felt very angry, betrayed, and profoundly saddened. Handling these emotions and feelings has not been an easy task. Our prayers go out to those who have experienced the anguish of abuse. We pray for victims of all forms of abuse: emotional and physical.
Reading and listening to Sacred Scripture has helped me process my emotions. A few days ago, we celebrated the Queenship of Mary. I was thinking about that brave young woman watching her Son die on the cross after experiencing days of abuse and torture. It was a horrible death. Yet, she stayed at the side of her Son. She never left Him. Even in her anger and her sadness she remained at the foot of the cross. She had faith in God’s plan, in His Mercy.
We, today, are called to remain faithful to Our Lord. It is not easy. We are experiencing difficult and trying times. We are called not to run away, but rather to stay and serve our God, to serve Our Lord just as Mary did.
In serving the Lord, we are the Church. We form the Body of Christ, all of us in our holiness, our brokenness, our frailty, and the victims of abuse.
We are the Church and the Church must continue. Don’t leave the Church. Be the Church. Lead the Church.
Saint Anne hosts many ministries and organizations that are opportunities for you to lead the Church in service to others. Be the Body of Christ. Be the Church, serving God, serving one another. Imitate Christ, by being merciful, compassionate, and forgiving
So, I ask you to reflect with me and be servants of the Lord and servants to His Church.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Al Sinasac, C.S.B.
August 1, 2018
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement noting the steps the U.S. Bishops Conference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God.
"The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God. Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people's lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders.
These failures raise serious questions. Why weren't these allegations of sins against chastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Church officials? Why wasn't this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice? What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern a priestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power?
Archbishop McCarrick will rightly face the judgement of a canonical process at the Holy See regarding the allegations against him, but there are also steps we should be taking as the Church here in the United States. Having prayed about this, I have convened the USCCB Executive Committee. This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend into our Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly in November. All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the right course of action for the USCCB. This work will take some time but allow me to stress these four points immediately.
First, I encourage my brother bishops as they stand ready in our local dioceses to respond with compassion and justice to anyone who has been sexually abused or harassed by anyone in the Church. We should do whatever we can to accompany them.
Second, I would urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment by anyone in the Church to come forward. Where the incident may rise to the level of a crime, please also contact local law enforcement.
Third, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick's conduct to the full extent of its authority; and where that authority finds its limits, the Conference will advocate with those who do have the authority. One way or the other, we are determined to find the truth in this matter.
Finally, we bishops recognize that a spiritual conversion is needed as we seek to restore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involve learning from past sins.
Let us pray for God's wisdom and strength for renewal as we follow St. Paul's instruction: 'Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect' (Romans 12:2)."
The Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) helps fulfills Christ’s mission on earth by supporting those programs and services that cannot be accomplished by one parish alone.
• More than 60 programs receive all or part of their funding from the DSF.
• All funds are spent within Archdiocesan boundaries.
• The broad areas of ministry that receive DSF support include: Catholic education of children and adults; pastoral ministries for the sick, the poor and the incarcerated; the formation and education of church leadership; social service programs such as San José Clinic, St. Dominic Village and Catholic Charities.
• Last year Saint Anne met its parish goal to the Archdiocese with a $382,676 donation – THANK YOU!
• There are over 4,100 registered members/families at Saint Anne and we had 602 make DSF donations in 2017, down from 647 in 2016. It would be great to have at least 50 percent participate – please give what you can give any amount makes a huge difference
• DSF envelopes are available at Mass – please drop off during collection or at the Parish office mail slot.
Pope Francis has urged all of us to not fall into indifference, but to become active instruments of mercy. Our Holy Father asks us to reflect on the life of Christ who is our model for corporal works of mercy. Through the Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) we are able to be instruments of mercy to thousands in our Archdiocese who are sick, poor, imprisoned, elderly or facing a crisis in their lives, such as the one caused for so many by Hurricane Harvey.
Many of our parishioners' employers have a matching gift program – meaning the company will match your contribution to DSF. Please look into this option at your company.
If you intend to make a donation of stock to Saint Anne Church, the securities must be received by the Archdiocese by December 31. Please use this pdf Letter of Intent (65 KB) to make your gift and designate Saint Anne Church on the form.
The Development Department of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston processes ALL gifts of stock made to its parishes and for gifts made to the Archdiocese. Please mail or fax the completed pdf Stock Donation form (65 KB) to your broker and send a copy to: Michelle Muñoz | Development Department | Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston |PO Box 907 | Houston, TX 77001-0907 or fax to: 713.659.7640. Failure to send a copy to the Development Department may delay the distribution of your donation.
Upon receipt of the shares, the Development Department will send an acknowledgement letter to the donor. Upon receipt of the gift proceeds, a notification letter will be sent the pastor. Proceeds of the donation will be forwarded to the parish as directed by the donor.
The securities (not the letter of intent) must be in the possession of the Archdiocese by the close of business on Monday, December 31, 2018, to qualify as a gift for 2018.
There are many ways to support Saint Anne Parish besides writing a check. With a little planning, you can include a gift to Saint Anne Catholic Community within your overall estate or financial plans that supports the mission of the church and provides you with tax benefits in return. Please refer to this link for more information to include Saint Anne when planning your estate.
Stay informed of Saint Anne Catholic Community events and information by subscribing to Saint Anne Flocknote, a free weekly email service. Every Thursday, a Saint Anne Flocknote email to subscribers, details pertinent information regarding events, crisis-related communications, and other campus happenings.
Also, you can join and become a member of a particular ministry or committee and stay abreast of that group's announcements via Flocknote.