Welcome to The New Messenger, your weekly archdiocesan newsletter featuring messages from Archbishop Gustavo, news briefs, event previews, and updated information. Look for this newsletter in your inbox every Friday.


Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS

Though the Kingdom of God seems at times like an unattainable dream, we can find its "treasure" of peace, and realize its great "pearl" of justice if we look for them together, with the confidence of faith and trust. The search begins by recognizing the treasure that exists within every one of us. Your generous response to my Appeal for our Archdiocesan Ministries makes this a reality.

In referring to this parable of the treasure, Pope Francis says that “it can be understood that the building of the Kingdom requires not only God’s grace, but also the active willingness of humanity” (Angelus Address – July 26, 2020). 

Thank you for your generous cooperation with God’s grace in responding to the needs of others in our Annual Ministries Appeal. God will not be out-done by your generosity. To be sure, in this you will find your great treasure, your pearl of great price.

St. John Berchmans School teacher named 2023 TCCB Elementary Teacher of the Year

Julie Ortiz, who teaches at St. John Berchmans Catholic School in San Antonio, has been named the 2023 Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Ortiz is in her 11th year of teaching at St. John Berchmans School. Currently she teaches fifth grade and Religion to third and eighth graders. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, she coaches cross country and track and field and sponsors the garden club, CHEF Culinary Health School, serves as the school’s religion coordinator and coordinates the Catholic Arts and Academic Competition (CAAC).

Ortiz is not only dedicated to the spiritual development of each child in her care; she exhibits an extraordinary ability to promote exceptional academic growth in each child. She has an innate ability to recognize the exact instructional needs of a student and creates a natural path for them to excel.

When colleagues speak of Ortiz, some common descriptions include helpful, creative, collaborative, dedicated, enthusiastic, caring, supportive, Christian role model, and servant leader. One colleague remarked, “She does all that she does with a smile on her face and the love of Christ in her heart.”

Ortiz was born and raised in a small country town in Central Texas located in the heart of Brown County. She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where she received her bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies in Education with an emphasis on reading.

Geralyn Klimitchek of Sacred Heart Catholic School in Hallettsville, in the Diocese of Victoria, was named the TCCB High School Teacher of the Year.

Life Awareness Discernment Retreat

Archdiocese of San Antonio Vocation Office Life Awareness Discernment Retreat for those 18 to 40 taking place February 3-5 at the Cordi-Marian Retreat Center.

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Formation for the Laity in Rural Areas 

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Formation Courses

The Archdiocesan Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry and Service will be hosting Parish Ministry Formation courses for all adults and ministry leaders in the rural deaneries of Floresville and Uvalde beginning in February. Learn more on our website or contact Liz Ortiz at 210-731-3125 or eortiz@maccsa.org.

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Mass for People with Special Needs

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Join Bishop Gary Janak for a special Mass for People with Special Needs on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 10 a.m. at St. Luke Church, 4603 Manitou Drive. Invite family, friends, and loved ones to this beautiful celebration of life.

For more information, contact the church at 210-433-2777. Sponsored by the parish Knights of Columbus Council 10240.

Photo of the Week

Vietnamese Martyrs Mass & Festival

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, presided over a special Mass on January 22 at Vietnamese Martyrs Parish - Giáo Xứ Các Thánh Tử Đạo Việt Nam - in San Antonio in celebration of the Lunar New Year. 

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To find more archdiocesan events and activities visit our website, www.archsa.org.

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