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MACC anniversary gala celebrates the past and envisions the future

The Mexican American Catholic College (MACC) commemorated its 50th anniversary at a celebration at the St. Luke Parish Hall June 3 while look forward to continue MACC’s mission to empower leaders in a bilingual, biliterate environment for effective service in the multicultural societies of San Antonio, the United States, and abroad.

MACC began as a Cultural Center in 1972, a time of great social change throughout the Americas. Within this struggle for civil and human rights, and in response to the Second Vatican Council’s call for renewal, MACC was established to foster pastoral leadership and promote understanding and appreciation of the Hispanic culture in Church and society. Archbishop Patricio Flores, the first Mexican American bishop in the United States, was appointed chairman, and Father Virgilio Elizondo became MACC’s first president.

Under the leadership of Father Rosendo Urrabazo, CMF, MACC’s second president, the institution continued to develop and became a mode for other Hispanic Ministry training centers around the country. MACC’s publications and programs fostered intercultural understanding, vibrant liturgical renewal, and solidarity with communities suffering oppression and violence in Latin America.

Propelled by the visionary leadership of MACC’s third president, Sister María Elena González, RSM, MACC launched a major capital campaign and opened its beautiful new campus and facilities in 2000. MACC’s programs grew beyond Hispanic Ministry to embrace the Church’s call to foster unity in the growing cultural diversity of today’s society. The Heart of Multiculturalism programs reached thousands of participants throughout the United States and in India, Belgium, Canada, Guam, Mexico, and Central and South America.

Guided by Dr. Arturo Chávez, MACC’s fourth president, along with a highly committed staff and faculty, MACC is the premier institute for Hispanic and multicultural ministry. MACC is a Catholic college offering courses in English and Spanish that can leader to a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry. In partnership with the University of the Incarnate Word, Oblate School of Theology, and Assumption Seminary, MACC is innovatively meeting the urgent needs of today’s bilingual and culturally diverse church.

MACC has a long history of responding in faith to the “signs of the times.” In partnership with the Archdiocese of San Antonio, MACC offers a five-year academic formation program for men preparing for ordination to the permanent diaconate and a Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation program for the Archdiocese of San Antonio and a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry for Mission Dioceses, both in English and Spanish. Under the direction of current MACC President Father Juan J. Molina, MACC continues to respond to the needs of the church.

Father Molina served as the emcee for the June 3 program, in which he expressed gratitude for the assembled patrons, donors, and benefactors.

“We gather in a spirit of joy and celebration as a community of faith, to rejoice in the fruits you have given us — your people — through MACC over the years. Send us your Holy Spirit, that we may be guided to continue on our journey to build bridges of unity across diverse cultures, to be bold peacemakers,” prayed Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, in his opening invocation. “Eternal goodness, may the Holy Spirit renew us on our mission to evangelize and never be separated from You. As an academic community, grant us his gifts of wisdom and understanding, counsel and knowledge. And as disciples, grant us his gifts of fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord, which we so much need to be faithful missionaries of your Son Jesus.”

The event featured the presentation of awards to the evening’s honorees, the bishops of Texas. On hand to receive silver images of Our Lady of Guadalupe were Archbishop Gustavo; Auxiliary Bishop Michael Boulette; Auxiliary Bishop Gary Janak; Bishop James Tamayo of the Diocese of Laredo; and Bishop Emeritus Michael Pfeifer, OMI, of the Diocese of San Antonio, who served on MACC’s board for 17 years.

Proclamations honoring MACC for its five decades of ministry were also presented by the State of Texas through the efforts of State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer and from the City of San Antonio by City Councilwoman Teri Castillo.