Imagine how stunned I was when I opened my invitation to the Providence Legacy Gala to be held in April. My former high school, now Providence Catholic School is hosting a gala honoring several women who ‘make a difference in the world’ and the Keynote Speaker is going to be Leticia Van de Putte. Yes, the very same woman who stood with defeated Democratic gubernatorial Wendy Davis in her quest to abort as many Texans in the womb by filibustering against restrictions on abortions. Van de Putte has spent her life committed to the very partisan progressive agenda.
The Texas Weekly quoted Van de Putte as saying, “I am Catholic, but I am also a pharmacist. I tell you, nothing is more heartbreaking than a women coming to the pharmacy … usually in her 30s, usually with three or four children, with that look of desperation in her eyes, and to look at me and [ask], ‘Is there anything I can take to bring down my period?'” Again she is speaking about abortion. Emily’s List the largest organization to assist pro-choice Democratic women who run for political office endorsed Van de Putte because of her “values”.
A Catholic school gala shouldn’t be a political rally for the progressives or Planned Parenthood. It should be a rally for the very virtues the girls are being taught in the classroom that abortion and same-sex marriage is certainly not part of Catholic doctrine. So why is it so important for the school to invite and honor politically aggressive progressives for the April gala?
Since this is a Catholic school, it’s inconceivable that the women chosen to speak and some who are to be honored mirror Van de Putte in her pro-choice and same-sex marriage stance. Providence administrative staff may define their choices in a different manner but the facts are obvious to anyone that can google the honorees’ names.
The women in question who are to be honored are Maria Antonietta Rodriguez Berriozabal, a social justice advocate who supports and works with the Esperanza Justice Center and their extreme liberal agenda and Mary Alice Cisneros. Cisneros served as council woman during the time Corpus Christi the play at the San Pedro was being presented to the residents of San Antonio. [The play portrayed Jesus and His apostles as homosexual men.] She did nothing to stop it. But why should she? She too is a liberal engrossed in pro-choice and social justice. She and her husband, Henry Cisneros, played a role in bringing Hillary Clinton to the student body at St. Mary’s University. Archbishop Jose Gomez took out a huge ad denouncing this action. Here is his statement that came out in the Catholic News Agency bulletin dated February 13, 2008: “Catholic institutions are obliged to teach and promote Catholic values in all instances. This is especially important when people look to our Catholic universities and colleges to provide leadership and clarity to the often complicated and conflicting political discourse.”
Graduating from Providence High School many years ago gives me the right to expose the blatant hypocrisy and the lack of diversity that is currently plaguing my former HS. My parents, traditional in their faith, thought that by attending this Catholic school, my sisters and I would be receiving excellent schooling in the three R’s. They also expected that we would be thoroughly instructed in our Catholic faith by the ‘holy’ Catholic sisters. And, yes, we received an excellent education both spiritually and academically but that was then.
What is going on today is a far cry from the high school of my youth. It seems that my former all girls’ CATHOLIC school, with a matriculation of approximately 350 students ranging from 6th grade to 12th grade, is hosting a gala that will “honor women who make a difference in the world”. Rather, the women that are honored should be the light of the world.
We can all make a “difference”, be it positive or negative. The key here is making a difference in bringing light into a world that is riddled with darkness. I’m sure the administration knows that their proper role is to help shape the minds and character of these girls. Since their website has this statement:
Nourish FAITH in God We believe
Faith provides a moral and spiritual foundation for achievement and academic success.
Nurturing the faith of students through prayer, theological studies, retreats and service fosters a sense of community.
All students should become self-aware and responsible young women who have pride in their womanhood and choose to be of service to others.
All teachers should model and support Catholic values and morals.
There are many conservative women that have attended Providence and these are the women that should be used as role models. IF the administration had done their due diligence and searched their files surely they could have come up with successful women who have achieved much. There are women that came to mind that could be “honored” at the gala all representing high achievement and still actively living their Catholic faith. This gala reeks of discrimination towards the students who have adhered to their faith.
The following women have attended Providence and are just a few of the perhaps hundreds that have achieved and still promote their Catholic faith without deceiving. This is my very short list that the administration could have “honored”.
Cecilia Abbott made history when her husband Greg Abbott became the Governor of Texas making her the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas. She attended Providence HS in ’76. First Lady of Texas earned three degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Bachelor’s in Psychology, Masters in Education and Theology. She has served as teacher, vice-principal and principal of many Catholic schools and her most recent was principal of the Cathedral School of Saint Mary in Austin until 2001. She moved on as a managing director of community relations for a health care company that specialized in geriatric services until 2013. She continues to serve the people of Texas as First Lady. She and the governor helped deliver meals for the Meals on Wheels Central Texas in San Antonio not too long ago.
Judith G. Loredo, Ph.D. class of ’64 has over 40 years’ experience in education. She served as Assistant Commissioner of P-16 Initiatives with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She received the very prestigious VIP of the Year for Excellence in Educational Administration. She is Professor Emeritus for Huston-Tillotson University.
Corky Crisci class of ’64 was the owner of a successful insurance agency, Comprehensive Benefit Services, Inc. She was licensed in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Delaware, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Kentucky and California. Among her many accomplishments include: appointed to the President’s Council on the Status of Women for San Antonio City Council District 8. First Place award from the National Insurance Advertising Conference Showcase for Sales Promotion to the Consumer with highest industry results and was selected to write and implement the marketing plan for the Army Distaff Retirement Center, a $40 million healthcare and retirement residence located in Universal City.
Progressive politics have consumed our colleges and universities and have now infiltrated San Antonio at the high and middle school level. What about the parents that will be attending this gala? Are they satisfied that these particular women who do not represent Catholic values have been given a place of honor? Will their daughters be inclined to march in Washington DC at the ‘Women’s March’ or the ‘National March for Life’?
The purpose of sending a girl to a Catholic school is not only that she receive an excellent education in reading, writing and arithmetic thereby preparing her for college but that she be able to learn and understand Catholic doctrine. Thus, upon graduation, she would have the tools necessary to stand for her beliefs and to live her faith. Providence Catholic School is under the auspices of the Archbishop of San Antonio. Where is the outcry? Ambulare cum Deo semper!
[Mrs. Sonja Harris is a well-known, conservative writer for her popular blog, Conservatives in Action. She is also a talented photographer whose pictures have appeared in local art shows.]