Last month saw the Catholic Extension team visiting our friends in the Dioceses of Tyler and Beaumont. The 450-mile trip started at DFW airport and would end about 48 hours later as my weary colleagues boarded their flight bound for Chicago. What we witnessed between airport runs would leave all of us grateful once again for the privilege of serving the Church off the beaten path. Here’s a quick sketch of the places we visited. Later, I’ll post some more in-depth stories to highlight what we encountered.
- Lunch with one of the “two lungs” of the Diocese of Tyler: deacons, kicked off by a surprise visit by Bishop Alvarado Corrada.
- St. William of Vercelli in Carthage for a walk-through of a new parish activity center 17 years in the making conceived as a blessing not only to local Catholics but the entire hurricane-weary region.
- Last stop: Mass and laughs with Catholic Lumberjacks. That is ,the student leaders of the Catholic community at Stephen. F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, a lively and warm bunch that is proud of their burgeoning community.
- After a long drive Tuesday night to Beaumont, we were treated to a delicious breakfast with Bishop Guillory at a local favorite, Carmela’s Mexican Restaurant.
- Some downtime gawking at the interior of the beautiful St. Anthony’s Cathedral convinced me that it was the perfect home of a Catholic community, rich in faith and history, ready to share its gifts with the entire region.
- Meetings with talented diocesan staff, old, new and retired, were informative and tipped me off to the breadth and complexity of pastoral needs the Church must respond to with hope and creativity.
- Last stop, the remarkable young leaders of Cristo Rey Parish – including one 89 years young - who introduced us to the “new Juan Diegos”.
More on , at least, some of these to come.