Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.






人物專訪 - Garza Family Story

Deborah Garza

Our names are Ruben & Deborah Garza. We were both born and raised in Brownsville, Texas to working class parents who wanted more for us by encouraging us to get educations. I earned a Masters Degree in Library Science. Ruben earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration. Our daughter’s name is Mei Li. We adopted her from China on November 24, 2002.

Ruben and I were married for 12 years before we adopted Mei Li. One day we e-mailed about 20 adoption agencies. Two weeks later we made some decisions! I called everyone in my extended family: “I’M HAVING A BABY!” “Are you pregnant?” “NO!” My smile resounded over the phone line.

It was a long wait. It took us 6 months to put together our dossier and another 13 months of just waiting. In the meantime what to name her? We felt that since her surname is Hispanic, her personal name had to be Chinese. Unfortunately, I do not speak the language and baby naming is an art form that I know nothing about. So I started with what I know best: Books. I listed the names of beautiful, heroic, Chinese protagonists that I found in books in my library and we decided on one: Mei Li, which was written by Thomas Handforth about a little girl who celebrates her first Chinese New Year. It was perfect! Mei Li Garza. The name rolled off our tongues as if God had planned it for her since before we were born.

We traveled to China in November of 2002. We landed in Beijing and saw a country that no textbook could adequately describe. It was beautiful and fascinating. We walked through the Forbidden City and climbed the Great Wall! Three days after our arrival we traveled to Hunan Province, where Mei Li was presented to us. She was tiny with pudgy red cheeks. I couldn’t stop counting her fingers and toes, and I knew that God was smiling over a well-carried-out plan. We met people on the trip who looked at us and then looked at Mei Li and said, “Lucky Baby.” We walked across the threshold at the American Consulate in Guangzhou and made her an American. On the last day of our stay we literally “shopped ‘till we dropped”. The flight home was filled with excitement and expectation. We couldn’t wait to introduce Mei Li to her new extended family.

As we arrived home, her education came into discussion. She was going to Catholic School, that was a given. She had to learn the language of her adopted culture: Spanish, which we could teach her. But what do we do about the Chinese? She had to learn that too. The problem was that our knowledge of Chinese Culture was textbook, and we don’t speak Mandarin.

One day Ruben read “The Texas Catholic” and found that Fr. Paul Pang and his Chinese congregation was building a church on highway 544 and Los Rios in Murphy. Ruben and I looked at each other. How often does God drop a church, a specific church, in your midst? Did He do this just for us? Does Mei Li hold some divine importance that we are not aware of? My definition of God’s Glory changed forever. We started going and we all fit in like a glove. We are so much more alike than unlike. Then Mei Li and I enrolled in Chinese School. It was really hard at first. I knew it would be. My only intention was to do it for her. I am over 40 years old. My time to acquire a new language ended when I was 13. Research proves this. I couldn’t read the language so I could not help Mei Li with her homework. The ladies were really nice. They said, “Don’t worry about it.” We stuck it out, but I was beginning to feel it was a moot point especially since helping Mei Li was next to impossible.

Then one day I learned my sounds. Mei Li was saying words. Ruben bought us a Chinese dictionary. We began to make strides and I was able to help Mei Li with her homework! Is it possible for God to refute years of research? Yes! He does it all the time. Shortly after Chinese School one day I was quietly praying and God said, “Yes! I want Mei Li to learn Chinese, but I want you to learn it too. Forget the research!” So we study every night. Mei Li’s bedtime stories are in English, Spanish and Mandarin. She is perfectly content with that.

Mei Li is now in Kindergarten at St. Paul Catholic School. We still go to Chinese School and can converse in simple sentences. Sacred Heart is now a fixture in our household as is the Moon Festival and Chinese New Year. Even though she may not realize it, I believe Mei Li has a special connection with God who has big plans for this little Chinese, Hispanic, American girl who can only grow up in America.

Tsi Chien Tien Su

My Reflection of Haven


Eric Tseng

I haven’t always had religion, but I did have faith. It’s something that all of us have, something that we all need during those hard times. I see religion as a way to practice that faith: to put it to use and help people while helping yourself. The world can be an intimidating and confusing place. We have been raised to reap what we sow, that every decision no matter how small can have dire consequences. But now that I have embraced religion, it has opened my eyes to things around me that previously have simply passed by. Just waking up in the morning and stepping outside to feel the cool wind against my skin makes me silently but reverently praise God for His magnificence. The wind is the way I would best describe our Lord’s perfection. It is something we take for granted but so necessary for the Earth to function, with the power to weather away the tallest mountains yet caresses us with a gentle breeze; unseen but felt by all.

Society is caught up in a different type of wind, a zephyr which hurls the worldly things of this life just beyond our reach and in turn we chase blindly after things we think we need. Many can justify their quest for material things by throwing words like happiness, comfort, and convenience around. But sit back and think. Does that 50-inch HDTV make you happy or the car that costs more than most middle class houses make life more convenient? Maybe or maybe not, but now think of the happiness that charity brings not only to your own life but to the people that you can help.

This past summer I took a trip to Taiwan to help out at a Catholic music camp in a rural city next to Tainan. I lived in the church for a little over a week and helped take care of a group of 60 kids ranging from the age of 5-12. Many of these kids were from poor families and most weren’t Catholic; it seemed more like a daycare than a camp.

Kids would arrive at church everyday as early as 5 AM and stay until after dark. The church provided them with fun activities and food for the entire day at no charge, and if that weren’t enough, at the end of the camp they gave presents to all the kids. I could tell that many of these kids came from broken families; all they wanted was love and friendship. They could spend all day just hugging you and sitting with you, and although I didn’t speak the best Chinese, they couldn’t get enough conversation.

The other thing that touched me on this trip was the other camp counselors who volunteered their entire week to help out. They showed immense patience and control while dealing with these children all day. Not once did I see them not pay full attention nor not show maximum enthusiasm while working with these kids.

I must admit that I was frustrated and impatient at the beginning. I didn’t know how to handle the hyper-activeness of these kids and the hot tropical sun without air conditioning. But once I learned that all I needed was to show a little love to the children, the entire situation changed for the better. It was the best experience of my life.

Web site - Catholic Music Camp in Tainan, Taiwan

人物專訪 - 歌薩家的故事

楊漪婷 譯





回家後﹐她的教育成為一個議題。她要上天主教學校﹐這是理所當然﹐早已認定的。我們自己也可教她領養家庭的文化—西語。但是中文怎麼辦?她也必需學中文。問題是﹐ 我們只有從教科書上得來對中國文化的粗淺認識﹐我們也不會說中文。







“美麗”(Mei Li)是美國作家湯瑪斯‧漢德福(Thomas Handforth) 1939年獲得Caldecott Medal的得獎兒童讀物。 書中既勇敢又聰明的中國農村小女孩“美麗”﹐在1930年代重男輕女的中國﹐儘管從未被允許離家﹐卻能說服哥哥﹐帶她去鄰近的大城﹐過了一個生平第一次快樂的中國新年。並安全返回家中﹐向父母證明男孩女孩一樣好。此書反映出作者1934年居住於中國的親身見聞。書中主角“美麗”脫胎於作者在中國遇到的一個真實小女孩。真實的“美麗”是一個被遺棄在傳教士門口的棄嬰。後來被一位住在北京的美國女士收養。美國女士回國後﹐“美麗”又被託給一個貧窮的農家。雖然命運艱困﹐“美麗”卻依然勇敢堅強﹐熱愛生命。湯瑪斯深深被她感動﹐並將“美麗”化身成為其書中的主角。



史雅潔 譯








譯者(史雅潔)註:台南教區玉井天主堂音樂靈修生活營「吾樂之緣聖母」朝聖地 :


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