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About Us 2018-10-11T16:42:39+00:00

ST. Mary’s is Part of Wilson County’s History

Wilson County was established in 1860.  Seventeen years later, on March 13, 1877, William Sven Palm and wife Annie E. Batte Palm deeded ten (10) acres of land at Stockdale, Texas to San Antonio’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the sum of one dollar.  The property would become the focal point of a parish encompassing eleven square miles in rural northeastern Wilson County. A rich diversity of cultures resides here but Polish and Hispanic surnames are predominantly listed in parish records.  The Quonset style sanctuary, dedicated December 9, 1951, is the third house of worship constructed for local Catholics and visitors.

Under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Mother of the Redeemer and the Redeemed – parishioners draw inspiration and solace to know, love, and serve God. St. Mary’s doors are open daily from sunrise to sunset for people to come with adoration, thanksgiving, repentance, or requests before the Lord. Opportunities for faith formation are abundant and encouraged. With afaith that is conscious, living and active, parishioners

are guided by Christian values in their civic and educational leadership, the business community and area labor force..  Parishioners and clergy network with other denominations

in Stockdale’s Ministerial Alliance as well as the other four Catholic parishes in Wilson County. In June 2001, the parishioners of St. Mary’s dedicated the Multi-purpose building that stands as an asset to Wilson County; rental arrangements can be made for private and not-for-profit functions.· The banquet hall itself seats 602 people.  May our time, talent and treasure give glory to God as well as inspire fellowship!

Roman Catholics  Evangelize

Evangelization – sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ – is frequently referenced in

a context of “believer” and “non believer;” a dynamic sharing “what God has done for me, He can do for you.”  For some people, evangelization sparks a new perspective on Life while for others it remains a steady but intense nurturing for the soul. Among the ranks of Christians, there are some who are on fire for Christ while others are ice-cold.  Worse are significant numbers who are only “lukewarm.”  For the record, Jesus’ would vomit them out of his

mouth!  The responsibility for evangelization belongs to every baptized person of the Church. Authentic Christians help one another to deepen their conviction for Jesus Christ.

Recall the proverb; “actions speak louder than words?”  For us Catholics, our efforts to evangelize can be quickly referenced as the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  The Corporal Works of Mercy are seven acts of charity directed toward relief of physical needs in fellow human beings (the hungry, thirsty, homeless, poor, ill, incarcerated, grieving).  The Spiritual Works of Mercy also number seven though these are more of a heart-to-heart

encounters with another person. (1) Convert sinners, (2) instruct the ignorant, (3) counsel the wayward, (4) comfort the sorrowing, (5) bear adversities patiently, (6) forgive offenses, and (7) pray for the living and the dead.  “Why bother with these folks?”  The answer is: because in Jesus Christ, they are my brothers and sisters and they need His Good News but sometimes attention to the practical considerations come first.  There’s nothing wrong in letting people know that God cares for them – how many of us understand that God’s abundant blessings unto me are frequently intended for His goodness to benefit others?  Now that’s good news to share!

Roman Catholics Catechize

The derivative of this odd word means “to echo” and what Catholics “echo” are the tenets for Faith in Jesus Christ which inspired and shaped the lifestyle of the earliest of Christians.  Catechesis is an essential “follow-up” that complements evangelization.  Every generation needs to faithfully impart / learn and integrate what has been revealed; it’s a universal expectation that God’s gift of Faith be conscious, living, and active.

***      For adults, baptized and reared as Catholics yet lacking a sealed commitment to

Christ and his Church via the Holy Spirit, the parish annually offers a relatively short series of sessions to critically reflect on the core-kernels of faith. Look for these sessions to be offered shortly after the New Year begins in ample time before the Archbishop (or his representative) comes to administer the sacrament of Confirmation.

***      For adults, baptized and reared in another Christian denomination OR who perhaps have never been baptized, there are inquiry and catechetical sessions which ordinarily commence 2.1weeks before Ash Wednesday.

Check the parish b ulletin or contact the office for information and registration in either series.


For adult Catholics, seasonal learning series (4-8 wks.) with topics of interest are offered.

***      For parents, god-parents, and sponsors involved with the faith-journey of their child, neighbor, or loved one, “refresher” catechesis is available.  The lifestyle for such a person is expected to exemplify virtues, morals, ethics, and Judeo-Christian values.

***      For school-age Youth, grades K-12, the parish assists parental responsibility to “share faith in Jesus Christ” by providing certified catechists, safe facilities, texts, and multi-media approved by the San Antonio Archdiocese.  Each level of development has its own curriculum and standards of what ought to be comprehended during the series of 32 Wednesday evenings.

***      For children I teenagers requesting sacraments of: Eucharist, Penance, and Confirmation, the National Catholic Conference of Bishops recommended in 2008 that these catechetical efforts ought to be distinct and in addition to ordinarv, annual catechesis.  Children at an age of reason can approach Eucharist after they can articulate that Christ is really and truly present in the bread consecrated at Mass.  Moreover, a genuine friendship needs hearts to be contrite and humble when offenses occur.  Such reconciliation Jesus provides through His gift; the Sacrament of Penance.  Confirming one’s life as a Catholic requires a sincere and earnest integration for respecting and practicing the Catholic religion in one’s life.

***      For children, pre-K through 61h grade, there is Vacation Bible School; five weekday evenings of fun activities (usually in June) for learning and re-enforcing Christian attributes.

***        For Youth and Young Adults, catechesis is presented through multiple efforts – many that network with neighboring parishes as well as through the Archdiocesan Youth-Young Adult Office and even regional events – such as the Steubenville Conference South.  Costs are kept to a minimum through year-round fundraisers and solicitations for sponsorship.

Roman Catholics Worship

Ordinarily, our church doors are daily opened from sunrise to sunset for individuals, couples, families, and groups to come and pray with Christ truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Since apostolic times, “the Lord’s Day” was Sunday; commemorating Jesus Christ’s resurrection after redeeming us by his passion and death on the cross.  By church law, Catholics are to attend Mass every Sunday and all holy days of obligation.* At St. Mary’s, parishioners assemble for Mass on Saturday at 5 PM and on Sundays at 8 AM and 10 AM. Any Christian is certainly welcomed to attend the celebration of Mass because the first part celebrates God’s Revealed and Living Word from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The second part celebrates the holy Eucharist instituted by Jesus Christ.  Herein, the Roman Catholic Church-like many Christians churches-has “a closed communion” (one has to

be a practicing member of the church to receive communion).  This second part is steeped with Christian understanding: the Lord’s Supper, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, the four Eucharistic actions, and Christ’s own, self revelation in the breaking bread. For those who yearn to have daily communion with God’s Word and Sacrament, they gather daily beginning at 6:30 AM.

*Holy Days observed in the USA are: Jan 1=Solemnity of Mary, Aug 15= Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, Nov 1=All Saints, Dec 8 = Mary’s Immaculate Conception, and Dec 25=Christmas.

Roman Catholics Serve

Pastoral Council members serve a 3-year term which begins each September.  Terms are paired and staggered so that two parishioners initiate their service every year and can quickly learn from the experience and wisdom for protocol and procedures.  Criteria for them is:

  • a registered parishioner of Mary’s – 19 years old or older and of proven faith, good morals and virtue.
  • Involved enough with the life of Mary’s so as to give credible counsel to the pastor.
  • Mature enough to disagree with peers for what you believe in yet, willing to work for consensus with a team for the common good of the
  • Able to maintain respect and confidentiality ..
  • Able to commit over the three years, personal time for five evening meetings per year (each ordinarily 90 minutes long).

Finance Council members serve a 6-year term which begins in October.  Terms

are paired and staggered so that new members can immediately team with others having experience and wisdom for protocol and procedures. Criteria for them is:

  • A person with: proven faith … good morals and ethics… reputable
  • Knowledgeable in business management, planning, and
  • Available in April I May for preparing the parish budget (fiscal year: July 1•1- June 301).
  • Able and willing to commitment over six-years, personal time for four annual meetings per year plus Archdiocesan training workshops as they are scheduled &

Homebound and Nursing Home residents are grouped and visited on alternate weeks by the pastor, deacon, or individual parishioners.  Nursing Home residents enjoy games of bingo hosted monthly by parishioners who call the numbers as well as assist residents to keep focus upon participation.

Community concerns I projects are discussed monthly by pastors and lay leaders of varied Church denominations comprising Stockdale’s Ministerial Alliance.

Parishioners with challenging circumstances or relationships can receive limited pastoral counseling from the pastor or his referral to Archdiocesan offices I organizations.

Households (within parish boundaries) needing assistance with emergency groceries can request a food voucher to the local market.  Interviews are usually initiated during office hours; a photo ID with current address is expected.  Preferably, an on-site assessment visit is conducted as well.  Parishioners annually contribute to Stockdale’s Ministerial Alliance Fund.

At least annually, teens involve themselves for serving breakfast to the Homeless at Knight of Columbus downtown diner.

Personsadmitted into area hospitals, clinics, or incarcerated at the county jail can request pastoral visits of either the pastor or deacon.  Rules safeguarding confidentiality and personal rights are often enforced so it is important that the patient, detainee, or immediate family make the request following proper channels.  On a related note, countless hand­ made rosaries have been crafted by concerned and devoted parishioners since 1984 to supply chaplains at hospitals, jails, colleges, military installations, and even parish missions. Whether used for traditional prayers, mantras, or just a tangible reminder that someone of Faith cares, the rosaries are made available with no charge although a love offering/donation is appreciated.

Local household cooks are given a break during the Friday evenings of Lent as some of the men organize themselves to prepare and serve fish fillets and/or shrimp with fries,

coleslaw, and a drink for a very reasonable price.  Families/individuals can dine in or take out.

Whether an illness is physical, mental, emotion or spiritual in nature, those with infirmity

– and especially those anticipating any type of surgery – are welcomed after each Mass on the 2nd Sunday of the month to receive the Anointing of the Sick. One does not have to be Catholic to benefit from the anointing and prayer of the Church. Still another tangible comfort during illness is presented in the form of a prayer shawl – knitted and gifted by ladies of the parish.

As individuals and households are so motivated, they reach out with sponsorship to secular causes and missionary societies ministering near and far.  Whether the financial and prayerful support is on a one-time basis or becomes a rhythmic cycle, parishioners frequently share God’s blessings with others.

For communication to all registered parishioners regarding projects, events, progress reports, etc., our parish provides subscriptions to a bi-monthly Archdiocesan newspaper as well as distributes a weekly parish bulletin and periodic parish directory.

E-mail is received at stmary’s@gvec.net while facsimiles are received at (830) 996-3751.

As a way of supporting our high school community, parishioners enthusiastically volunteer one night per football season to serve at the Brahma’s Football concession stand.

The Dead, whether a parishioner or not, can be provided with Christian burial at St.

Mary’s cemetery. St. Mary’s has even designated an “angel garden” for the remains of aborted children needing a final resting place. Following interment at our cemetery, family and friends continue fellowship in the Hall with sandwiches, chips, sweets, and refreshments provided.

Cemetery Committee members review and oversee guidelines and transactions for the right of sepulcher.         As individuals and families make inquiries or express concerns, committee members not only represent the parish but demonstrate Christian virtue, use effective communication (English and Spanish), and keep accurate records. Acquaintance

with established guidelines and Archdiocesan directives is expected.  The committee meets at least annually to review the language and rules of the guidelines.

Many times a parish is looked upon to be self-sufficient and can share from the resources with which it is blessed.  However, there are times when enormous good can be accomplished not by an individual parish but by a network of area parishes. Within the Catholic Church, such a grouping is named “a Deanery.”                                                                      While each and every parish

pastor is directly accountable to the Archdiocese, there are 139 parishes comprising fourteen

Deaneries.  St. Mary’s parish is included with the Floresville Deanery.  The Floresville Deanery is comprised of the parishes in; Nixon, Stockdale, Kosciusko, Czestochowa, Panna Maria, Karnes City, Kenedy, Runge, Hobson, Falls City, Poth, and Elmendorf.

Roman Catholics Celebrate

  1. Epiphany celebrates Christ as Light for the world on or before Sunday, January Many parishioners attend; their children and teens presenting the Nativity Story and thereafter, the assembly enjoys a pot-luck meal and holiday sweets.
  2. World-wide Marriage day celebrates couples who live their exclusive and life-long vows of This is on the Sunday of – or before – February 14th.
  3. Seder Meal – observing the Passover and Jesus’ Supper with the apostles – is ordinarily scheduled for the Wednesday evening of Holy It is a lengthy ritual of common prayer and biblical readings not necessarily conducive for children of age ten or under.
  4. “Easter Triduum” – the three holiest days commemorating the Lord’s Supper, His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, occur at or after the first full moon of The practice of fasting and devotional prayer are expected by most – if not all – parishioners.
  5. Saint Anthony of Pauda is patron for San Antonio’s Archdiocese; his feast day is June Eventually becoming a Franciscan friar, he was a well-noted evangelist, miracle worker and contemplative, officially declared a saint in 1232.  The European – Texas tie occurred in 1691 when Spanish explorers encountered an irrigation ditch, a herd of buffalo and Coahuiltecan natives.  Buffalo spooked the expedition’s horses but the friendly natives helped retrieve them.  It was June 13th so the ditch & area were named.
  6. Stockdale’s Watermelon Jubilee on the third weekend of Although the railroad is gone and use for the land has changed across much of the horizon, it is still good to celebrate a part of our community’s heritage with a slice of cold, tasty watermelon.
  7. Catechetical Sunday is annually observed in the Catholic parishes throughout the USA on the third Sunday of Herein, the Faith Formation director, catechists, assistants, and volunteers are commissioned and blessed for the Wednesday evening series of sessions with children and youth.  {32 sessions x 75 min. = 40 hrs. annually}
  8. St. Mary’s Turkey Dinner is hosted annually on the last Sunday of September commemorating past church socials when people would actually gather with their shotguns to shoot at paper targets. Each lucky winner would be awarded a frozen turkey for their Thanksgiving Day table.  Portions are large and tasty; come early!
  9. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated December 8th.This title for Mary of Nazareth, mother of Jesus, is the official title bestowed upon our sanctuary the day our faith-community was made a parish.
  10. Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated December 12th. Regardless the day of the week for celebrating her miraculous image and holy presence, it’s going to be packed with activities.  In the early morning hours, parishioners venerate Our Blessed Mother with song and prayers.  Usually in the early evening, a dramatization of her appearances – followed by a rosary procession, floral tributes, bi-lingual mass, and pot-luck meal complete the day.
  11. Christmas – the solemn commemoration of God’s only Son becoming flesh in the blessed virgin Mary’s womb and thereafter, being born at an obscure manger in Bethlehem; Emmanuel; God with The Christ child who saves us from our sins. Glory to God in the Highest and peace to all!

And Now A Concluding Reflection

In case it was overlooked, many of the good things that happen in this Faith Community come from the devotion and generosity of people.  The pastor might be in the lime-light but it is the parish staff, councils, committees and volunteers who inspire and empower events to happen.  The modus operandi for administration of parishes has definitely evolved under the leadership of recent archbishops; pro-active supervision and stream-lined management of finances and budget to complement our digital age of Emails.  Networking and collaboration among a variety of gifted people and departments is identifying more fully the Mystical Body

of Christ. One unique aspect about St. Mary’s is that the majority of ministry and tasks is realized through volunteers; ordinary people seeking to serve the Lord and His Church. You are the beauty and inspiration of St. Mary’s – Stockdale!

Yes, we enthusiastically embrace the future with parish goals, master plans, job descriptions and development.  Then again, isn’t our Community transitioning at multiple levels with strategies to provide one another the best of opportunity?  Traditionally, many parishioners mustered their thoughts and efforts through the Altar Society and Men’s Society of St. Joseph.  While much good was accomplished, a significant number of others were excluded.  Divisions of labor may be in transition but it is God’s Holy Spirit who gives blessing and guidance to our all our endeavors at all times.  May we continue to face the future as a People of Faith, encountered by Christ, united as Church and led by the Spirit.

Sincerely yours in the priestly ministry of Christ, I am the reverend Dennis A. Jarzombek