Barbara Kralis
Happy Birthday, dear Bishop
By Barbara Kralis
June 9, 2009

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of the diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, celebrates his 86th birthday today, June 9, 2009. On May 23, 2009, Bishop Gracida celebrated his 50th Anniversary of Ordination as a priest. Here is his reply to Mitch & Barbara Kralis' best wishes.

Bishop Gracida may be reached at:

Dear Mitch and Barbara,

Thank you for your thoughts, best wishes, congratulations and prayers for my birthday. Only God knows why he wants me to be alive and still active as I enter the 87th year of life on my 86th birthday, and only he knows how much longer I will have before I will have the longed-for opportunity to see him face to face.

A lot happened in 1923, the year of my birth. For one thing gasoline was only 6 cents a gallon. For another, the Disney brothers started their studio and we entered Fantasy Land where we lived for the next 85 years until we entered Obama Land, time will reveal the difference. I never thought that I would live to see this current transformation of America from a democratic Republic to an authoritarian socialist state.

I have lived during the reign of seven popes: Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and have had the great privilege of meeting four of them. My visit as a house guest of John Paul II in his Cardinal's Palace in Krakow three weeks before he was elected Pope was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I thank God that in 1959 I was privileged to be ordained a priest, that Pope Paul VI made me a Bishop and appointed me to be the First Bishop of the new Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, and that Pope John Paul II appointed me the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

My physical infirmities prevent me from engaging in public ministry, but, the love of Christ urges me on (II Cor. 5, 14); I am under compulsion and have no choice, I am ruined if I do not preach the Gospel (I Cor. 9,16). So, I have availed myself of the pulpit the internet affords me and I maintain two blogs. The first is devoted to matters religious and is written under my own name. The second is devoted to matters political and is written under my pen name: Leo Rugiens.

I thank you for your love, support and friendship. But most of all I thank you for sharing with me your love of our Lord, Jesus Christ and his Blessed Mother. I pray that he and she will keep you firmly in the embrace of their love.


Rene Henry Gracida
Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi

09 June 09

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© Barbara Kralis


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Barbara Kralis

Barbara Kralis, the article's author, writes for various Christian and conservative publications. Her columns have been featured at, Catholic World Report, Catholic World News, Alliance Defense Fund, Intellectual Conservative,,, Catholic, The Wanderer newspaper, New Oxford Review, Phil Brennan's WOW, MichNews, ChronWatch, North Carolina Conservative, Catholic Citizens, Illinois Family Institute, and others. She and her husband, Mitch, live in the great State of Texas. She can be reached at:


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