A Good Catholic Story

Back before I retired from Bell Helicopter I worked around a bunch of Protestants. They were always picking on me because of my being a Catholic. It was all fun pokes about my beliefs. They joked about the priest wearing robes, the bishop and his hat, statues of our Saints and Christian martyrs.  I always had a good comeback that ended in a mutual understanding.  As a good Catholic, I always had an explanation for why we believe what we believe.  In fact, they are backed up by the Bible and two thousand years of the same interpretation of Jesus’s teachings which the Apostles came to clearly understand after the Holy Spirt was sent to them by God to lead them.  So, you can say we get the words about Jesus’s Church right from Jesus himself.

There have been many Theologians and Religious Scholars who have set out to disprove the Catholic Church.  After studying all the facts, they wind up converting to Catholicism.  Some of you Christian thinkers who are straddling the fence and have questions about your Church’s teachings should join a Bible study group at your nearby Catholic Church. You can also get on the internet and check some of the sites that explain Catholic teaching. Better yet buy some of Scott Hahn’s books. He was one of those Theologians that set out to disprove the Catholic Church and wound up converting. He is now one of the greatest teachers and speakers on Scripture and how it relates to the Catholic faith.  The information he shares in his lectures have been greatly effective in helping thousands of Protestants and fallen away Catholics to (re)embrace the Catholic faith. Yes, he is a Very Good Catholic.

Did you know if it wasn’t for the Catholic Church Europe never would have made it through the Dark Ages? Yet many people believe that the Catholic Church caused the Dark Ages, that my friends, is further from the truth. During the dark ages Europe kept getting invaded and conquered by the Visigoths, the Barbarians, Vandals and others who weren’t too keen on book learning.  Well the Catholic Monks were the scholars of that period. The invaders left them alone because they lived out away from everyone. This allowed the Monks a continuous existence of their Christian life in the Catholic faith.

These Catholic Monks were hard working self-sufficient farmers, inventors and theologians. They maintained many written documents, which of course included the Bible. As educators of the world back then they also converted many of those conquerors and invaders.  They were very good Catholics.

 Did you know the practice of offering bread and wine to God as thanks was first done by God’s High Priest Melchizedec? That story is found in the Old Testament. The Catholic Priest does the same during Mass. It is the same ritual Jesus did during the Last Supper which is found in the New Testament. The Catholic Priest does this because that is what Jesus said for us to do. Good Catholics know this. 

So, one morning at work the guys started up on me again about being Catholic. At that moment, I had a great thought.  Here is what I told them.  “You know guys way back in early Europe everyone was Catholic. One day the King of England Henry the Eighth decided that because the Church could not let him have a marriage annulment or divorce from his present wife he would just start his own Church and give himself one. And so, with that the protestant movement had begun.  Many of the Europeans started leaving the Catholic Church and joining the King’s Church and other Christian denominations were started”

As I continued to talk I looked them right in the eyes and said, “Well you know what I believe, I believe if those people who left the Catholic Church back then would have been “good” Catholics they would never have left the faith.  So, you see you guys you Protestants, you all are just bad Catholics. You can all come back any time.”

And with that statement they laughed and left me alone about my faith.


Your Friend in Christ,

Joe M. Govea, a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize

Come be with Jesus Christ during the Holy Mass

Why if I told you there is a place you can go to and I will guarantee you that God the Holy Spirit would be there.  Why if told you that you could be in God’s presence every day and be able to honor him, thank him for what he has given you or to ask him for assistance with something.  Come to our Catholic Holy Mass. You can experience his presence there each time you attend. Allow me to explain.

During our Catholic Holy Mass, we follow a custom used for over 2000 years.  We follow formal procedures set up by Jesus’s Apostles. He showed them what to do. Then during the early Christian years, they were led by the Holy Spirit which revealed many things to them and which allowed them to understand how Jesus wanted his Church, the new Covent, to be setup.

 Before Jesus was taken into heaven he said to the Apostles, I will be with you until the end of time. So you ask, “How can he be with us if he was taken up to Heaven and is now up there and not down here on earth”?  Good question.  I’m glad you asked. Well you see my friends during our Holy Catholic Mass after many prayers and Hymns a great thing happens on the Altar in front of the congregation. The bread and wine we offer to God become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. So of course, where his body is his Soul is there as well.  Yes, Jesus is there just like he said he would be. He is with us until the end of time. He does this through the Holy Mass.

What a wonderful feeling it is when you come to Church knowing God is going to manifest his presence there.  Even better to know he is going to become a part of you during communion.  I think that we experience Heaven here on earth during that moment when Jesus our Lord and Savior is with us in the consecrated bread and wine which has become the Eucharist. We should all be giving a standing ovation at that moment.  But no we kneel during that part of the Mass. Hey its God up there. We must do homage to him.  It is only natural and proper to honor him that way.  Bread and wine made by human hands seems like a pretty humble appearance huh.  Well not if you recognize the symbolism that bread gives us life and Jesus gives us everlasting life.

Sunday service to me is not about having to be entertained with fancy music and loud singing.  It is also not about hearing someone with a gifted tongue offering advice on how to live or act to be happy. For me it is about knowing that Jesus is going to be there at Church. He is doing what he said he was going to do and that is to be with us until the end of time.  Sure enough during Mass in the Eucharist there he is again every time. He comes to us looking like Bread and Wine but at the last supper with the Apostles he did say the bread is his body and the wine his blood, so that is how he appears to us. He will be with us in the Eucharist until the end of time.  It is all written in the Bible so that we may believe and be saved. Try reading it.   I recommend “The Catholic Living Bible” it is easier to read.

God wants to be in your life. Come to Mass.  Allow him to communicate with you.  Just by making the effort of coming to Church you open the door of your heart to let God in.  

Peace and Love to you all,

Joe M. Govea, a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize 

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Why talk about a Funeral?

By Alfredo Sanchez

Things to know prior to the death of a family member or a friend.  Many times, we assume a lot and hope for the best when we talk about death. We all understand that death is inevitable yet we are very reluctant to talk about death.  As if by not talking about death, we can avoid the heartache associated with death. 

Knowing who the legal next of kin before the time of death is very important.  It is ultimately the person who is the next of kin who is ultimately responsible for making the funeral arrangements.  This person is legally referred to as the ‘right to control disposition”.   This includes the financial responsibility.  The first on the list and surprising to most people is a person specified in a written document.  A person designated in a written document will even supersede the spouse as the first of kin.   After this the Texas official order of next of kin follows, 1) surviving spouse, 2) one of the decedent’s surviving adult children, 3) either one of the decedent’s surviving parents, 4) any one of the decedent’s surviving adult siblings, 5) qualified executors or administrators of the decedent’s estate, 6) any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.

Currently there are two general accepted ways to dispose of a body.  The traditional funeral, where the body is buried, is widely accepted as the most formal disposition of a body.  This alternative is also considered the most expensive.  Depending on the burial package selected, a traditional funeral can easily exceed $10,000.  Talking with the Funeral Director about the different packages they offer will help minimize the cost.  One option is to purchase the casket whole sale from a different vendor.  If you do this a package may no longer be available and all services will have to be purchased separately from the Funeral Home.   Purchasing each service separately at the Funeral Home can be very expensive depending on what services are purchased.  Many Funeral Homes are corporately owned and many of their prices cannot be negotiated.   Working with an independent Funeral Homes, prices are a little more negotiable.   Cremation is gaining in popularity for many reason one of which is cost.  A cremation can easily start at less than $1500 based on the least expensive package.  Those families that decide cremation are less traditional and will either dispose of the ashes themselves or keep the ashes.  Not purchasing a burial plot will save several thousand dollars. 

One other option is to donate your body to science.  One myth about this is that it will cost my family more.  This is absolutely false, there are no cost to the donor family. The receiving institution pays any and all costs related to the donation.  Those institutions that utilized the body for science will at the end more than likely cremate the body and hold a service in respect for the body. If the family request, the institution will return the cremated body to the family.   It is important to discuss with the institution that accepts the body how they dispose of the body and are they willing to return the remains to the family.

It is important to realize that making decisions while a family is most vulnerable can result in expenses that the family may later regret.  It is important to discuss funerals and burial plans well in advance for peace of mind of the whole family especially the next of kin. 

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Are you amongst “The Ones That Don’t Count”?

So my friends the Presidential elections are over and some of you are mad, some of you are happy, some are silent. There is another group.  That group is the majority of Hispanic registered voters who stayed home and decided to let someone else decide the future of their family and the direction of our Country.   

 I have worked in many political campaigns and I have seen so many elections lost because the will of my people was to just not get involved.  I call this group the real “silent majority”.  The politicos call them “los que no Cuentan”, “the group of no value”.    And that is all I am going to say about that.

 I see almost the same kind of group when it comes time to getting involved in the Church community. Most of the people that come to Church each week do so for about an hour. Then you don’t see them again until the following week.  I must believe that these people do not know what goes on at Church during the week and from one Sunday to the next. God’s Kingdom here on earth is represented by the Church. The Church’s task of saving souls begins with the Pastor. The Pastor not only has to deal with the most important task of helping people, he also has to deal with running the church life during the week. This includes:  Bible study, adult RCI classes, children’s catechism, classes for baptism, class for matrimony, hearing confession and offering Mass every day. On top of all that, he has to run the business side of the church with its employees, and church maintenance, etc.  As you might expect he needs help getting all this accomplished. Thus, here come the special people known as the “Volunteers”!

Volunteers, everyone qualifies for this special group. All that is required is giving up some time and doing something that helps your Church community with its activities. Even if you can help for at least one hour per year that hour is still appreciated.  I do believe everyone can donate at least one hour per week.

Remember this, “you are not saved by faith alone but also by good works”.  If you are a good Christian you will find that wanting to do good works is easy, it comes automatically. Your spirit is made like that. It is part of the Love factor.  You have a satisfying feeling when you have done something that is good for people and helping them come closer to God.  You have given Love and that feels good!

What you are doing when you volunteer in a church group? You are helping to create and maintain a Church community. These groups bring people together who may not know each other.  They become familiar faces.  When we see these familiar faces we start to greet each other.  This eventually leads to you becoming friends. This friendship leads to a bond between people of similar faith and ideas which strengthen the church. A strong church community leads to lifelong friendships amongst God’s people and strengthen our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s Kingdom here on earth.  

“Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
So get involved, join God’s Kingdom don’t be amongst the ones that “Que No Cuentan”.

Peace and Love to you all,
Joe M. Govea
, a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize 


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Alberto Govea