April 3, 2006 April 10, 2006

Vol. 4, No. 4
April 3, 2006

In this last full week of Lent, perhaps you may feel caught between a rock and a hard place.

The rock is all the demands of ministry and all the busy things that are on the calendar for this week, including meetings, last minute liturgy planning, funerals and all the other things that simply must be done to provide service to people.

The hard place is Calvary. We know that we are about to enter the time of the Lord's Passion. We know that to truly be with Him will take all our focus and energy. We want to be able to stay awake with him in the garden. We want to be able to be joined with Him in His suffering.

There is no "comfort zone" when you are between a rock and a hard place, and perhaps it is just this lack of comfort that makes this last full week of Lent a special threshold for Holy Week.

When we enter into the path of Christ during these next two weeks, remember the journey does not end on Good Friday, but with the exhilaration of Easter Sunday, the foundation of our faith and hope. Prepare and carry on your responsibilities, but wait and walk with Christ in your prayer and reflection. You will not be disappointed.

1. Chrism Mass -- In our Diocese, the evening of Monday of Holy Week is highlighted by the traditional celebration of the Chrism Mass and the Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service.

During Mass, I will bless the oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination to the Priesthood and the Anointing of the Sick. Priests of the Diocese will renew the promises they made at their priestly ordination.

This year, in recognition of the individual incorporation of parishes, the Mass will begin with a special "Litany of the Saints" during which we will hear the names of all our parishes chanted, a prayer in song that will emphasize our unity. I hope that the lay members of each parish's corporate board of directors will join their pastor for the celebration. The Mass begins at 6:30 p.m. next Monday. All are invited!

In the spirit of the Lenten Season, I will celebrate Mass this Wednesday at the headquarters of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona.

On Palm Sunday, I will preside at the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral.
 
2. "Together in Prayer and Action" -- People of all faiths will gather at the State Capitol in Phoenix tomorrow to join in a prayer service with the theme "Together in Prayer and Action."

In this time of national and state debate over migration, this prayer service is intended to be a witness by religious communities in our State to their common belief that we are called "to welcome the stranger." We also hope through this prayer service to communicate the contributions that migrants are making to our communities in Arizona and to call for an end to divisive rhetoric.

I am very pleased that students from some of our Catholic High Schools will make the trip to Phoenix to participate in the prayer service. It is obvious from the last few days that young people want a say in our community -- and that they should have a say. I support those education and community leaders who have asked young people to express their opinions, but to do so at school and without interrupting their education, which is so important for their future. The young people from Catholic Schools will be participating in this prayer service along with some of their teachers and with approval from their parents. Their interest and voice in this issue means a lot.

You are invited to join us at the State Capital from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow. If you are in need of transportation, contact Joanne Welter at the diocesan Social Mission Office at 520-792-3410 or socialmission@diocesetucson.org.

3. Pastoral Statement on Education -- The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference last week issued a pastoral statement on education entitled, "Arizona's Future Depends on the Education of Our Children."

In our statement, we take note of the critical importance of education, both as a primary responsibility of parents whose role should be respected and supported by government and as a primary societal responsibility that should be respected and supported by government through the allocation of resources sufficient to address the significant problems of high illiteracy and drop-out rates in our State.

Also in the statement, we state our support for the "First Things First" early childhood development initiative that will appear on the ballot this November. This initiative will ensure that quality health care and educational programs are implemented to provide vulnerable children with the proper foundation and skills they will need before entering school. The initiative also recognizes the importance that faith based organizations can have in this regard, along with various government programs, in offering parents different options for their children. (Signatures in support of the initiative can be taken up on parish grounds only with the permission of the pastor.)

The statement makes clear that it is not helpful to see public, private and Catholic education as in competition or at odds from each other. We need to strengthen all education in our State so that we can be proud of the opportunities available for our young people. The Bishops commit ourselves to encourage and promote efforts to enhance public education. While 20,000 children are in Catholic Schools around the State, over 200,000 Catholic children are in public schools. Their well-being and access to educational opportunities are most important as well.

I encourage you to read the statement, which is available at www.diocesetucson.org.
 
4. Corporate Tuition Tax Credit Law -- In our pastoral statement on education, the Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference state our gratitude to Gov. Janet Napolitano for allowing a bill establishing a new corporate tuition tax credit to become law.

Under this law, a total of $5 million in tax credits will be available to Arizona corporations that contribute to tuition support organizations, such as the Catholic Tuition Support Organization in the Diocese of Tucson, for the specific tuition support of children from disadvantaged families. We also stated our gratitude to Senate President Ken Bennett, House Speaker Jim Weiers and bill sponsors Sen. Dean Martin, Rep. Steve Yarbrough and Rep. Mark Anderson for their advocacy.

This new law is very encouraging news for disadvantaged families in that it enhances the potential for additional resources available to tuition support organizations that have as their mission expanding educational choices for parents.

5. Annual Catholic Appeal Progress Report -- The weekly progress report shows the campaign has reached 88% of the $3.15 million goal with more than $2.75 million in pledges from more than 22,000 donors After five weeks of our Annual Appeal effort, . I remain hopeful that every parish will reach its goal. Accomplishing this will insure that the 23 charities and ministries funded by the ACA will be able to continue to provide their vital services.  I encourage parish leaders to complete the follow-up plan outlined in ACA leadership manual.  

The weekly report on each parish's progress is available on the diocesan Web site at www.diocesetucson.org/acaparishrpts2K6.html.

6. "Msgr. Carrillo Placita" -- I will be meeting today with the organizers for this May's big celebration of Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo's 50th anniversary of priesthood. The goal of the celebration is to raise funds to renovate historic Cathedral Hall and the Placita in front of the Hall at St. Augustine Cathedral. The Placita will be graced by the name of Msgr. Carrillo, who very graciously has consented to accept the honor from the Cathedral Parish community he loves so much.

Entertainment for the celebration on May 26 and 27 will include some of the world famous Mariachi Cobre and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Organizers have provided celebration pledge cards to parishes in the Tucson area, and I hope all parishes will be represented at the celebration.

7. Celebrations -- Yesterday, I had a chance to share in the 50th anniversary of priesthood celebration for Father Jerry Cote. The community of Our Lady of the Valley gave him a standing ovation. It is always encouraging to see how priests impact on the lives of others. This year's jubilarians have served faithfully and generously. I heard so often from the people at Our Lady of the Valley how much they appreciate the work of Father Joseph Lombardo and Fr. Francisco Maldonado.
 
I was grateful to the Italian Catholic Federation (ICF) for their generosity to our vocation program. We received a $2,500 check from our local chapter at Our Lady of the Valley and an additional $1,000 check from Michael Rossi, President of the ICF, in San Jose, California. As Father Lombardo said, it takes a lot of meatballs and cookies to raise that much money. Clearly, the members of the ICF have worked hard to foster vocations.
 
Later yesterday evening, I joined the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community in Tucson. They are very happy about their new home at St. Ambrose Church. At a delightful meal afterwards hosted by Fr. Richard Rego, their chaplain, we had an opportunity to recognize the hard work of the altar servers who have learned the Latin responses and who serve so faithfully at the altar.

8. Annual Equestrian Order Dinner Meeting -- I will preside at Mass tomorrow evening at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson as the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchure in our Diocese gather for their annual dinner meeting.

Members of the worldwide Equestrian Order provide assistance to the Christian communities in the Holy Land and support the charitable, cultural and social works of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Bishop Michael Sabbah.

I thank Jim and Chris Ronstadt for their dedication to the Order as Area Councillors for our Diocese. More information about the Order and the Western Lieutenancy, to which members of the Order in our Diocese belong, is available at www.khswesternusa.org.

9. Management Workshop II -- Parish business and offices managers, pastors, directors of religious education and others who hold management positions at parishes will be participating in this workshop tomorrow and Wednesday at Cathedral Hall next to St. Augustine Cathedral.

After last year's Management Workshop I for parish administration was so well received, diocesan Human Resources director Richard Serrano was encouraged to organize the sequel. He has brought together a "stellar cast" of presenters from the Pastoral Center who will share their knowledge on fiscal management, property and insurance, benefits, the working of the Chancellor's Office and communication.

10. The Dome Goes Up -- Father Greg Adolf and the community of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista are watching a really big crane lift the dome of their new church building into place this morning.

According to the parish's Web site, the belfry and dome were prefabricated in Texas and shipped in sections for final assembly at the construction site. Photos of the new church's construction are available at www.standrewapostlechurch.org/newbldg.htm.

11. Pastoral Center and Department Directors Meeting -- Pastoral Center staff and the department directors will hold their monthly meeting this Thursday beginning at 8 a.m., so the switchboard will be closed until 9 a.m.

12. People on the Move -- We are very proud of Sister Kathleen Kluthe, S.S.S.F., and Father Scott Jones, S.D.S., who have been honored with positions of responsibility with their orders.

Sister Kathleen has been elected as the president of the International Leadership Team of the School Sisters of St. Francis. In this new ministry, she will be serving all five provinces of the School Sisters in the U.S., Latin America, North India, South India and Europe. Sister Kathleen was one of the first members of the Jordan Ministry Team and is a member of the Common Formation Team.  She has served in the Diocese of Tucson in many areas of ministry for more than 30 years. Her service has included membership on the Sexual Misconduct Review Board.  Sister will be moving to Milwaukee to begin her ministry in July.

Father Scott Jones, S.D.S., of the Jordan Ministry Team has been appointed vocation director for the Society of the Divine Savior. We have greatly appreciated and benefited from Father Scott's teaching expertise in the year he has spent in the Diocese. He will be moving to Milwaukee this summer.  

We are grateful to Sister Kathleen and to Father Scott for their presence and ministry in the Diocese.

13. Confirmations -- Bishop Moreno and I will be conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation this Friday and Saturday in Yuma, Somerton and San Luis. We look forward to being with the communities of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton, St. Francis of Assisi and St. John Neumann Parishes in Yuma and St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in San Luis.

14. Memorial Mass for Father Thomas O'Flannigan -- A memorial Mass for Father O'Flannigan, former pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson who died on Feb. 19, will be celebrated at St. Joseph Parish at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. I will preside, and priests in the Diocese are invited to concelebrate.

15. Special Vatican Web Feature on Pope John Paul II -- In memory of Pope John Paul II on the first anniversary of his death, the Vatican Web site has provided an extraordinary resource that includes a history of his pontificacy, a photograph and video archive, information on his travels, the documents he wrote, his travels and his participation in World Youth Day. The resource also presents documents, photographs and video from his funeral. There is a link to the feature from our diocesan Web site.

Vol. 4, No. 5
April 10 , 2006

We are in the holiest of weeks, walking once again with Christ through the days of his passion, death and resurrection.
 
The most striking liturgies of the year take place this week: Mass of Holy Thursday, devoted to the remembrance of the Last Supper, when we celebrate of the institution of the Eucharist and the institution of the priesthood and which concludes with the solemn procession of the Eucharist to a place of repose and the singing of Tantum Ergo Sacramentum; the stark liturgy of Good Friday, the only day of the year without the celebration of Mass, with the prostration of the ministers, the prayers of petition for the needs of the Church and the world, the veneration of the Cross; and the Easter Vigil, with the lighting of the Easter fire, the sole flame breaking the darkness of the Church as we hear the message of the Light of Christ, the singing of the Exultet, the most joy-filled of songs to be sung during the year, the readings describing the Fidelity of God to His people throughout history, the baptism of the new catechumens who have been preparing for many months to be washed in the waters of New Faith and the full welcome of candidates into the light of the Church (In our Diocese, 151 catechumens will come into the Church and 317 candidates will be fully initiated this year at the Easter Vigil.); and the liturgies of Easter as we celebrate the hope upon which our Faith is founded -- the Lord's Resurrection.

This evening, of course, we celebrate the Chrism Mass. We will come together from 74 individual communities of faith into to St. Augustine Cathedral as one Family of Faith while the choir sings the Litany of Saints, acknowledging each of our parishes' patrons. Please join us tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral!

1. Holy Week, Triduum and Easter Schedule -- I will preside at the Tenebrae Prayer and Penance Service at St. Augustine Cathedral this Wednesday at 7 p.m. I will preside at Holy Thursday Mass at 7:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral. On Good Friday, I will preside at the noon Veneration of the Cross liturgy at the Cathedral, and I will lead the annual Stations of the Cross procession up A Mountain (the 37th year under the sponsorship of Los Dorados) at 5 p.m. On Saturday, I will preside at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral at 7:30 p.m., and on Easter, I will preside at the 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral.

2. Immigration -- The inability last week of the U.S. Senate to reach consensus on immigration reform was disappointing. It is critical that our Arizona delegation and the entire U.S. Congress work during this two week congressional recess to iron out differences and exercise leadership in agreeing on a bill that will help ameliorate the tense and emotionally charged issue of immigration. Waiting another year is not an acceptable option. The nation needs to protect borders, pass a guest worker program with worker rights provisions, develop an earned pathway to citizenship for the people here so that they can come out of the shadows and take their proper place in the society and expedite the process of reuniting families.

I ask our parishes to unite in prayer that the Congress will act with foresight and courage and bring about comprehensive reform of our nation's immigration policies and that migrants who are only seeking a way to provide for their families will be treated with respect and dignity.
 
Two prayers that our parishes might use -- in parish bulletins and at the end of Mass -- are on the diocesan Web site and also will be sent to parishes this week.

It was a blessing for me last Tuesday to gather with people of other faiths at the State Capitol for the Interfaith Prayer Service for the Dignity and Recognition of Immigrants. I was encouraged by the presence of parishioners from our Diocese and by the participation, with their parents' consent, of students from Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales and Salpointe Catholic High School, St. Augustine Catholic School and San Miguel Catholic High School in Tucson.

Our goals for the prayer service were to express our hope for moderation and civility in the dialogue about immigration, for leadership at the state and federal levels that will address the complex issues with a positive approach and for our communities to see the contributions that immigrants have made to our society.

Following the service's opening prayer, we heard briefly the stories of five immigrants -- one from Syria, one from New Zealand and three from Mexico. It was obvious that these migrants want to contribute to our society and that they see themselves as being dedicated to the ideals and values that we espouse as a nation.

We then were led in prayer by Rabbi Peter Levi of Phoenix, Father Timothy Conlon of the Diocese of Phoenix, who represented Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, and Imam Didmar Faja of Phoenix, each of whom offered prayers in the traditions of their faith regarding welcoming the stranger.

After the prayers, Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and I each gave brief reflections; Bishop Carcaño on solidarity, myself on a call to action and Bishop Smith with a common prayer.

The more than 500 people present then signed letters, also signed by the religious leaders, to the members of the Arizona Legislature and to Gov. Janet Napolitano. The letters expressed our concern over the tone and intensity of the debate over immigration as well as the tone and intensity of proposed legislation. We then hand delivered the letters to the offices of the Speaker of the House, the President of Senate and the Governor.

Demonstrations and rallies are expected today throughout the country, including in Phoenix and here in Tucson. I will join several other religious leaders in offering a prayer at the beginning of the rally at Armory Park here in Tucson.

3. Presbyteral Council
-- The agenda for today's meeting at the Pastoral Center includes discussion of the need for clergy support during the summer months and during priest vacations, reports on the progress of the Annual Catholic Appeal and on Adult Formation, a review of parish openings  and appointments and the upcoming elections for vicars forane in the Gila-Pinal East, Pima Central and Pima East vicariates.

Following our meeting, we will proceed to Cathedral Hall, where we will join priests from throughout the Diocese for an early supper that will be prepared by Father Dom Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction and chef extraordinaire.

4. Visit to Santa Cruz School -- I look forward to my visit Wednesday to teacher Peter Corrigan's class at Santa Cruz Catholic School in Tucson. The class invited me to come talk with them about immigration.

Peter is one of five teachers in our Catholic schools who are participating in the Notre Dame University Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Program. Shannon Byrne, Sally Dover teach with Peter at Santa Cruz, and Stacy Cesaro and Aaron Wall teach at San Xavier Mission School. (Ted Wallach, who taught in the ACE program at Santa Cruz School, is now a teacher and assistant principal at Santa Cruz.)

ACE teachers spend two summers studying in the Master of Education program at Notre Dame and two school years teaching in under-resourced Catholic schools across the country. While teaching, participants live in small communities of four to seven members and together share the many challenges and rewards of beginning teaching. We are grateful and privileged to have ACE teachers here!

5. Child Abuse Prevention Month -- April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

A march and rally to bring community attention to child abuse will take place tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Tucson Electric Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way, in Tucson under the sponsorship of the Pima County Court Appointed Special Advocate program and Child Abuse Prevention Council.

The Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center is one of the agencies in Southern Arizona that is working to prevent and respond effectively to abuse and is one of the groups to our Diocese has made a particular commitment, reflecting our desire to be part of the solution to child abuse in our communities.

The primary mission of the Children's Advocacy Center is to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and to do so in such a way as to prevent further trauma to the children involved. Specially trained investigators collect information and conduct examinations with great sensitivity. The Center also provides education to prevent abuse and support to families going through the trauma of abuse. In child abuse prevention education, the Center has been a good partner with the Diocese in helping to provide education to many of our personnel in the mandated reporting law and to many of our children in how to play a role in their own safety.

To mark Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Children's Advocacy Center is conducting its first annual charity bowling tournament on Sunday, April 23, in Tucson. A group of volunteers from Santa Cruz School will field a team. They don't yet have a name, but you can cheer them on at the Golden Pin Lanes, 1010 W. Miracle Mile, from 1 to 4 p.m. The Center also will be selling raffle tickets for some great prizes at the event.

6. Murals for the Pastoral Center-- We are moving ahead to study the idea of two murals for the Pastoral Center building, one to reflect the many cultures present in Tucson and the other to communicate the deep roots of the Faith in our community. Art plays a critical role in uplifting our spirits and reminding us of the transcendent, and as the Pastoral Center is very visible in downtown Tucson, I hope the murals contribute to the efforts to enhance the downtown area. We are presently discussing ideas for the murals with some artists, and I welcome your ideas for the murals and, of course, your interest in being a patron.

7. Welcome back, Father Al! -- If you see a new glow of holiness hovering over the Pastoral Center, it is due to the return of Father Al Schifano, who this week is resuming his ministry as Moderator of the Curia after a month-long retreat. Father's responsibilities throughout the Chapter 11 process and the incorporation of parishes meant missing retreat and prayer opportunities these last two years, and I was very supportive of his desire to take some time away to recharge his "priest battery."

8. ACA Progress Report -- Today's progress report shows the Appeal is at 94% of the $3.15 million goal. You can access the report at www.diocesetucson.org/acaparishrpts2K6.html.

9. Management Workshop II -- I welcomed the opportunity last week to talk briefly with participants in the second special workshop on parish management and management resources organized by Richard Serrano, diocesan Human Resources director. The two-day workshop included topics such as fiscal management, the Safe Environment Program, building construction, insurance, communication, the Chancellor's Office and benefits. Quite a schedule!

I appreciated the presence of parish office managers, bookkeepers and secretaries, and the participation of pastors Father Joe Lombardo, Father Gonzalo Villegas, Father Martin Martinez, Father Alex Mills, Father Fernando Pinto, Father Francis Iber and Father Matthew Asemagema, and of Father Francisco Maldonado of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley and Sister Guadalupe Jurado, O.P., pastoral administrator of Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Rio Rico.

The interest of our pastors in participating and in providing learning opportunities for their staffs is very encouraging.

10. Catholic Foundation Cornerstone Dinner -- On Friday evening of April 21, people throughout the Diocese will gather to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson at the 2006 Cornerstone Gala and 20th Annual Dinner at the J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort.

The theme for the evening is "Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Building the Future." Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is the keynote speaker for the evening. A noted Church historian, Archbishop Dolan will reflect on our roots as Catholics in our country. He is a dynamic speaker!

I am grateful for the support our parishes are demonstrating to the Foundation through their participation in this dinner. To make a reservation, please contact the Foundation office at 520-838-2507.

11. Pope Benedict XVI's 79th Birthday -- The first birthday the Holy Father will celebrate during his papacy will be a very special day. It's this Sunday, Easter!

If you would like to send the Holy Father a birthday and Easter greeting, you can visit www.webelieveweb.com, the Web site of William H. Sadlier Inc. You can choose from four electronic cards. Each card may be personalized and sent in English or Spanish.

12. TV Worth Watching -- I had the opportunity last month to preview the series "God or the Girl" that begins this Sunday night on the Arts and Entertainment Cable Network.

Can you tell from the title what the series is about?

Despite the somewhat sensationalistic title, the series is a very forthright examination of what four young men experience as they discern if they have a calling to the priesthood. I found the series to be very engaging, and I can't give away the ending because I only got to see the first four episodes of the five part series.

You can read a review of the series by Harry Forbes of Catholic News Service at www.diocesetucson.org/tvreview.html.

13. St. Rose of Lima Parish Web Site -- St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford now has its Web site (www.saintroselima-safford.com) added to the list of links on our diocesan site. It's a very nice looking site, and I appreciate the link to Monday Memo.

14. Health Updates on Two Very Special People -- For the last several months, Bishop Moreno’s health has presented some challenges. Some tests had been indicating that his prostate cancer was at the point at which chemotherapy was recommended, and he had been scheduled to begin that today. However, the most recent tests indicate that the chemotherapy could be postponed indefinitely.

Bishop Moreno also has been dealing with complications from the medications he takes for Parkinson Disease and for the prostate cancer.

Bishop has told me of his trust and confidence in God and that he is at peace with the challenges he faces. I know that he is deeply grateful for the payers and support that so many of you have demonstrated. Last Saturday, I anointed him in the Sacrament of the Sick at Our Mother of Sorrows Church. Bishop lives just across the street from the Church, and he frequently celebrates Mass there. The community of Our Mother of Sorrows has been most supportive and gracious to Bishop, as has Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor.

We remember Bishop in our prayers, especially during this week, and we hope that he will feel well enough to join us this evening for the Chrism Mass and at the other liturgies for Holy Week.

Also, please keep Sister Jackie Koenig, O.S.F., in your prayers as she faces the progression of her cancer. In a recent e-mail to friends, Sister shared that she has decided to forego further chemotherapy. "My time in this world will be up to God. I have no pain and I'm eating well," she wrote. Sister Jackie is the former principal of San Xavier Mission School.

15. Spring Break for Monday Memo -- The Memo is taking some time off for a spring break and will return Monday, May 1.

I will be with the Bishops of Region XIII next week for our traditional Easter Week Jesu Caritas retreat, returning on Friday of next week for the monthly meeting of the Sexual Misconduct Review Board and for the Cornerstone Dinner. I will be in Germany the following week to present the last of the three conferences on spiritual renewal for U.S. Army chaplains in the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA.

Once again, it is my prayer that our experience of this Holy Week and Easter will bring us closer to Christ, and through Him, closer to each other in our desire to serve others in His name.