Catholic

2024 Senate race comes into focus as Gutierrez announces candidacy

In a second special session, Texas House and Senate leaders reach a deal on property tax relief. What does it add up to?

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, making him the second high-profile Democrat – along with Rep. Colin Allred – to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz.

How Texas has become a ground zero for self-driving trucks, with word that driverless semi runs between Dallas and Houston could become a regular thing as soon as next year.

We’ll get the rundown on a legal battle between a group of nuns and a bishop in North Texas.

And a quick cooldown at a Texas ice house.

Texas Standard: November 19, 2020

As a new wave of COVID-19 cases sweeps across the state, a strikingly different response from Governor Abbott compared to the last statewide surge. We’ll hear what health experts are saying. Also, more on an emergency treatment approved by the FDA. And as those cases rise, a test of faith for some Catholics called back to the pews. And a forthcoming vote on a new sex education curriculum Texas LGBTQ advocates say falls far short. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 13, 2019

Democratic Presidential contenders duke it out in Houston. Who fared well and who didn’t? We’ll take a closer look. Other stories we’re tracking: whether recent mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa could mark a turning point for Texas. Also 20 years after a Texas church shooting, a remarkable story of healing. Plus Ken Burns rosins up the bow for a major public TV documentary, this time on country music. And the week in Texas politics and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 31, 2019

A 5% tariff on all Mexican imports. What could President Trump’s latest effort to curb immigration do to the Texas economy? We’ll have the latest. Also, it’s a disturbing fact fairly well-known in East Texas, the area has a higher-than-average suicide rate. But what do we know about why? We’ll take a look. Plus, Texas school children got a boost from the latest legislative session. But did that focus take away from efforts to help kids in foster care? We’ll explore. And a Texas farmer is trying something new that’s actually very old. We’ll look at why. And Friday means the Typewriter Rodeo and wrap of the week in Texas Politics. That and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 16, 2019

Are church officials hiding information related to sex abuse claims? We’ll look at how police are explaining a raid of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. Also, diplomatic families sent home, energy companies battening down the hatches, amid reports of contingency plans for a possible military confrontation with Iran. A long time White House adviser helps us understand what’s happening. Plus, a modern day home on the range? Why Midland has become a magnet for millennials. And top tips for movie searching in the age of multiple streaming services. All of that and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 10, 2019

It’s a new rule designed to answer concerns about sex abuse in the Catholic church, although some victims say it’s nowhere near enough. We’ll have the latest. And do you remember acid rain? Problems in the Permian with a new warning from a national environmental group says recent reports by the energy industry itself indicate dangerous and illegal amounts of sulphur dioxide in west Texas, we’ll take a look. And so so-called good samaritans at the border with Mexico arrested. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

The Lady In Blue

One of the most important figures in Texas’ religious history never set foot in Texas at all. She never in her life traveled beyond her tiny village in Spain, yet she stirred religious fervor from the Concho River to the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Our story begins in 1602 when Maria was born in the pueblito de Ágreda. She was a lovely child born to Catholic parents of noble rank. Barely beyond her toddler years, Maria showed an unusual devotion to a life of prayer and piety.

When she was ten, she already wanted to join a convent. When she was 12, her parents finally blessed her wish to join the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Tarazona. Before that could be arranged, though, Maria’s mother had a vision in which God instructed her to convert their mansion into a convent. She and her daughter would both become nuns. Her father would join a local monastery, following in the footsteps of his sons who were already friars. In four years, this all came to pass.

At 18, Maria took her vows and became Maria de Jesus – Mary of Jesus de Ágreda. The habit of her order was a dark cobalt blue. Now a nun, she spent more time than ever alone in prayer. Maria’s religious devotions intensified. Her sisters worried about her frequent fasting, frail health, and life of extreme deprivation. Yet for her it was a glorious time: she said God had given her a divine gift. It was the gift of bilocation. She could be in two places at once. Through meditation she could appear to God’s children in faraway lands and teach them about Jesus. She said she first appeared to the Jumano tribes of present day Texas in the 1620s. She did this for about ten years, from the time she was 18, to 29. And according to legend, the Jumano Indians of the time confirmed that the Woman in Blue, as they called her, had come among them.

The first proof is offered in the story of 50 Jumano Indians appearing on their own at the San Antonio de la Isleta Mission near present-day Albuquerque, asking the Franciscan priests to teach them about Jesus. When asked how they knew of him, the men said that the Lady in Blue had come to them and taught them the gospel. She had instructed them to go west to find holy men who could teach them more about the faith and baptize them. They, as the legend goes, pointed to a painting of a nun in the mission and said, “She is like her, but younger.”

The priests were stunned because they had no missions or missionaries in that part of what is today West Texas. They certainly knew of no nuns who had attempted missionary work there. How could this be? The head cleric in New Mexico, Esteban de Perea, asked two priests to go home with the Jumanos to verify these claims about the Lady in Blue. They traveled to the region that is today San Angelo and found that many of the Jumano said she had indeed come to them many times over the years. The priests immediately baptized 2,000 Jumanos, they say, because of Maria de Ágredas.

Historians Donald Chipman and Denise Joseph wrote that the Jumanos said Maria came to them “like light at sunset… she was a kind and gentle person who spoke ‘sweet’ words to them that they could understand…”

The respected religious historian Carlos E. Castaneda – not to be confused with the one who wrote about the Teachings of Don Juan – said that Maria preached in Spanish but the Jumanos understood her in their tongue, and when they spoke in their tongue, she understood them in Spanish.

Such claims resulted in the custodian of the Franciscans in New Mexico, Father Alonso de Benavides, traveling all the way to Ágreda in Spain to interview Maria to verify her authenticity. According to him, she told him of things in Texas and about the world of the Jumanos that only one who had been there could have known. Her bilocation claims were considered credible then, and even now, the Vatican seems to agree and is considering her for canonization.

Chapman and Joseph tell us that, according to Jumano legend, “when she last appeared, she blessed [the Jumanos] and slowly went away into the hills. The next morning the area was covered with a blanket of strange flowers that were a deep blue” – blue like her habit. These were, they said, the first bluebonnets. And perhaps the Jumanos found comfort when these flowers returned each year, adorned in their blue habits, assuring them that the Lady in Blue was always with them.

For a more complete history of the Lady in Blue, see “Notable Men and Women of Spanish Texas” by Donald E. Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph, published by UT-Press, 1999.

Texas Standard: April 16, 2019

The images captured the world: Notre Dame on fire. Yellow smoke billowing, the spire falling. We’ll have the view from Texas. Also, could a voting error land you in jail? The Texas Senate just passed a bill to increase the penalties of so-called voter fraud. We’ll explore. And more states are allowing certain teachers and staff to carry guns in schools, but there’s no federal standard to govern the trend. Plus, off the coast of Texas: old oil rigs actually contributing to the environment, and what’s causing ship wreckage that’s been around for more than a century to disappear now. All those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 31, 2019

First the ranches, then the big cities. Come 2020, is the next great political battleground in the Lone Star State the suburbs? We’ll take a closer look. Also, senator John Cornyn now warning fellow Republicans that President Trump could lose Texas in 2020. Is the Lone Star State no longer reliably red? The answer might be found in the suburbs. And although the Permian basin’s booming, we might be on the road to a new foreign energy dependence, we’ll hear why. All that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 30, 2019

People have been flocking to the Lone Star State for its economy, but is a good job the key to the good life in Texas? We’ll take a look at the unreported face of household hardship. One problem with the poverty line: what it fails to factor in. A new report shows more working Texans struggling with economic hardship than you might think. Also, a politifact check on the cost of illegal immigration. And it’s not just what you say but how you say it: an expert linguist decodes the Governor’s Texas twang. All that and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 4, 2017

The state’s had a drought plan for years, now a first for water management in Texas: a statewide flood plan. What Texas is doing to prevent widespread damage from future floods and what’s needed to deal with the next one. Also, the sexual abuse of farm workers: a seemingly intractable problem? How workers came up with a plan and sold it to some of the biggest names in the American marketplace and now could be a model. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard: