In 2015, 6,869 people registered with FEMA in 45 Oklahoma counties after treacherous rain and flooding. The U.S. government declared the disaster a FEMA emergency, allowing for the use of government money in recovery efforts.
Robertta Lee, a widow who was recovering from the recent deaths of her husband and adult daughter, was one of the many storm survivors who contacted Catholic Charities seeking help. Shortly after the storms swept through Oklahoma in Spring 2015, Lee suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. She contacted Catholic Charities hoping to find help to repair her home from the flood damage.
How a Catholic transitional housing program is helping families succeed
Every client comes to Catholic Charities from a unique situation. Case managers work with each client to develop an individualized plan to help them to self-sufficiency.
Catholic Charities case manager Annie Rischard said, “After many years of incarceration, serving time for drug-related charges, Theresa was released from prison and moved into a sober living house. She had a stable job, but needed guidance and support to find and secure independent housing.”
Monday mornings are busy for the Catholic Charities regional office in Ardmore. A sign on the door reads “Call at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning for financial assistance.” Catholic Charities’ emergency assistance program provides up to $200 in rent or utility assistance to people who qualify.
“The phones begin ringing off the hook at 8:30,” Ardmore Office Coordinator Gerald Johnson said. “I am a one-person office for the community. Occasionally, I have some temporary help, but on a regular basis it’s just me. I help as many people as my budget allows, but typically I only have resources to help five or six people a week.”
The launch of the World Apostolate of Fatima's U.S. Tour for Peace is underway and coming to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
The historic tour, marking the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal, will feature the world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue, traveling worldwide for nearly 70 years.
Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School will have an open house event on Saturday, Oct. 7, from Noon to 3 p.m. for potential students and parents interested in learning more about the school and visiting the facility. Spanish language tours will be available.
The Cristo Rey OKC facility is located at 900 N. Portland Ave. on the OSU-OKC campus. Applications are being accepted from students who will be in ninth grade in the fall of 2018.
By J.E. Helm
The Sooner Catholic
In Ch. 26 of his latest book, “Resisting Happiness,” Matthew Kelly writes that one of the things he loves about the Catholic Church is that it “truly does bridge heaven and earth – not just in a theological way, but in a real and practical way.” His book does exactly the same things: he connects Catholic teaching with a very down-to-earth way to live a good life and achieve happiness.
He starts by explaining this notion of “resistance.” He says that it is “that sluggish feeling of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you; it’s the inclination to do something that you unabashedly know is not good for you, and it’s everything in between.”
Rick and Bev Feller, parishioners at Saint John Nepomuk in Yukon, were selected as the Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s Leadership Team for Oklahoma and for the Amarillo Diocese in Texas.
They have been active in Marriage Encounter in Oklahoma and Amarillo since 2007.
The intense faith of a teenage Philippine catechist
By Pedro A. Moreno, O.P.
Director, Office of Hispanic Ministry
In the western Pacific Ocean, just south of the eastern Asian coastline, a group of more than 7,000 islands unite to form the sovereign island country of the Philippines.
These islands are divided into three sections or regions. In the north, you have Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the Philippines region. In the south, you have the second largest island in the Philippines, Mindanao. This island, and the smaller islands surrounding it, makeup the island group of the same name. The central section of the Philippines, the Visayan Islands, consists of several islands that are primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea.
By Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick
A 23-year-old seminarian failed out of seminary. He did not pass Latin. Ten years later, as a 33-year-old priest, he volunteered for the Guatemalan mission. He, of seemingly limited linguistic talent, followed the call to minister in Spanish and Tz’utujil, the native Mayan language.
What courage it must have taken! After failing out of seminary, he bravely reiterated his desire to be a priest and enrolled in another seminary. Then, five years after his ordination, he willingly goes to shepherd a flock whose language he doesn’t speak, when his experience with foreign tongues is that they are difficult to learn.
By Fr. Tad Pacholczyk
Couples who struggle to get pregnant are turning with greater frequency to the in vitro fertilization (IVF) industry for assistance. In some cases, they can end up feeling they are “too pregnant” when twins, triplets or quads arise. This occurs from the practice of implanting more than one embryo at a time to improve pregnancy success rates. A multiplet pregnancy can involve significant risk, both for the children in utero and for the mother.