Aug. 1, 2005 Aug. 8, 2005 Aug. 15, 2005 Aug. 22, 2005 Aug. 29, 2005
Vol. 3, No. 16
August 1, 2005
A summer of eventful blessings in our Diocese!
I think that is a most fitting headline for this first Monday Memo after a month-long break.
Even with the exclamation point, I feel that headline is almost an understatement, considering the many blessings, both big and small, that we have experienced.
Certainly, the confirmation of the Diocese's Chapter 11 reorganization plan on July 11 would be high on the list of eventful blessings. Much has been written and said about the process that led to the consensual plan confirmed by Judge James Marlar, but I keep thinking about the comment that one of the attorney's in the reorganization case made as he stated his support of the plan during the confirmation hearing. He said, "a spirit had moved this along and helped get this resolved."
With so many prayers that the process would be resolved in such a way that healing could genuinely take place for those who had experienced harm, I have no doubt that indeed the "Spirit" was at work.
We know the grace that comes from the Spirit in and through the sacrament of Confirmation. Now, we experience "confirmation" in a different sense: the confirmation that justice is being served through a plan that was arrived at consensually. The grace of this confirmation is allowing victims to feel they can move on with their lives and allowing our Diocese to continue its mission -- purified and humbled, yet more resolved to carry on its work.
We continue to pray that healing will genuinely take place as we recite a special prayer at the end of Mass for the next several weeks.
The prayer and the various letters and statements I have written regarding the confirmation are included in this month's Catholic Vision, available in parishes next weekend.
1. International Convention of Knights of Columbus -- I am traveling to Chicago today to participate in the 123rd international convention of the Knights of Columbus. I look forward to being with the Knights and their families from our Diocese.
This convention will be followed immediately by a two day Eucharistic Congress that will conclude with a Mass presided over by Cardinal Francis George and a public procession of the Blessed Sacrament from the Chicago Hilton to Grant Park. More than a thousand Fourth Degree Knights in full regalia will provide an honor guard for the procession.
In our Diocese and throughout Arizona, the Knights' role in fostering and supporting vocations has been extraordinary. I value their fidelity to the Church.
I congratulate Mike Kingman of Phoenix, the new Arizona State Deputy. I met recently with Mike, and I am sure that he will continue and build on the fine work of Pedro Najera, who has completed his term of service as State Deputy.
2. 66th Annual Tekakwitha Conference -- From what I experienced and witnessed and from the many comments I have heard, by any way it could be measured the Conference was a great success!
I thank and congratulate the Kateri Circles throughout Arizona, especially the circles of the Pascua Yaqui, Tohono O'odham, and San Carlos Apache in our Diocese, for the planning and staging of the Conference, which drew some 1,000 Catholic Native Americans to the Tucson Convention Center July 20-24.
Native American Tribes from almost all states were represented, and there were also participants from Canada and, for the first time, Mexico. Eight indigenous people from the interior of Mexico -- men, women and children -- took part in the Conference. Bishop Donald Pelotte, episcopal moderator of the Conference, had received a grant that made their participation possible. Their journey was difficult, and we were delighted they were able to attend.
It was inspiring to see the Grand Entry of all participants as they processed state by state around the main exhibit hall, passing in front of the beautifully decorated altar, with the host state of Arizona last. Many of the participants were dressed in their native garb and carried signs and symbols associated with their tribes. Bishop Francis Quinn and I were proud to march in with the groups from our Diocese.
I received many complements from visitors about how graciously they were received and how much they enjoyed the gathering and benefited from the many workshops.
3. Memorial Mass for Migrants -- I invite all to participate this Thursday in a special Memorial Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. for migrants who have died in the desert. This has been an especially deadly summer for those crossing the desert into Arizona from Mexico, and we will remember in the prayers of this Mass those who have lost their lives.
Father Rene Castañeda, a priest of the Archdiocese of Hermosillo who has done so much to minister to migrants who gather in Altar, Sonora, before attempting the crossing, will be the homilist for the Mass.
Father Rene's leadership of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Altar in ministering to migrants has been an inspiration. He is leaving the parish to go to Rome to study. We extend our prayerful best wishes to him.
4. Mass with Catholic Seniors -- I was pleased to celebrate Mass recently at the Manor at Midvale in Tucson with some of our Catholic seniors. Their faith and joy in celebrating the Eucharist is inspiring. Father John Fahey concelebrated the Mass with me.
Deacon Nick De La Torre and his wife Lupe conduct Communion Service there each week.
5. Addressing Methamphetamines -- The initiative by religious and community leaders to address methamphetamine use in the Tucson area continues. At a meeting last week, the initiative formally identified itself as the "Meth Free Alliance" under the slogan of "Meth Stops with Us."
The Alliance has organized nine task forces and is seeking additional community participation. I encourage participation from our parishes in this effort. For more information, contact Javier Herrera at 792-3293. The Alliance is creating a Web site with the address of www.methfreealliance.com.
Other communities in Southern Arizona and our Diocese are noting the pervasiveness of this terribly dangerous and addictive drug. The Yuma Sun last Friday quoted law enforcement officials in that community as saying meth use there has reached "epidemic proportions." The response to the epidemic will include a focus on education on the dangers of meth use.
6. Adult Confirmation -- On Friday, I administered the sacrament of Confirmation to 75 adults at St. Monica Parish in Tucson. Adult Confirmation is always a very special and joyous experience, seeing the intensity and fervor that the men and women bring to the reception of the sacrament. For some who may have been away from the Church, preparing for and then receiving the sacrament of Confirmation is a most powerful moment in their faith journey.
I am grateful to Father Jim Hobert and his staff for preparing the candidates in both Spanish and English.
7. Congratulations! -- I am happy to acknowledge these achievements and to pass on our congratulations:
Father Peter Nwachukwu, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception in Yuma, received his doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix at a ceremony in the America West Arena on Saturday. We are proud of his accomplishment.
Pio Decimo Center was one of three Catholic programs in the U.S. to be named a winner of Catholic Charities USA's very first 2005 Family Strengthening Award. This award aims to recognize exceptional Catholic Charities programs that take a holistic approach to providing services by supporting healthy family relationships while working to improve a family's overall financial situation and enhance the community where they live. As a winner, Pio Decimo Center will receive a $25,000 award.
Sister Marie Veronica Gogolin, S.C., is observing 50 years in religious life this year. Sister has more than 40 years experience in education. She has taught third grade at Sts. Peter and Paul School since 1995.
Father Don Huntimer was featured last week in an Arizona Daily Star column by Bonnie Henry. She wrote of Father Don's talent as an artist. We know of his great love for the priesthood, and we appreciate his ministry in his retirement years.
8. New DFC Chairperson -- Nancy Stephan is the new chairperson of the Diocesan Finance Council, replacing Tom Clancy who has moved out of state. We are grateful to Tom for his leadership as DFC chairperson throughout the course of the Chapter 11 reorganization.
9. Grateful Thanks to JoAnn Sayre -- At our July meeting of the Pastoral Center Staff, I was happy to present JoAnn with a papal blessing in recognition of her many years of faithful and loving service to the Diocese and to Catholic schools. JoAnn is retiring as director of the Catholic Tuition Support Organization. Gracie Quiroz is serving as interim director of CTSO.
10. Preparing for World Youth Day -- It was a joy to celebrate Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish on Saturday evening with many of the 100 young people and their chaperones from our Diocese who will be going to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, which begins in 15 days.
These young people will experience the universality of our faith when they join youth from all over the U.S. and nations throughout the world. Nearly a million people will gather to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to his first World Youth Day. Very soon after his installation, our new Pope emphasized the important place young people have in the Church. He promised to join these young people at World Youth Day, an event close to the heart of Pope John Paul II.
The young people from several parishes in our Diocese will be our representatives. We are proud of them, and I look forward to sharing the experience with them in Cologne. If we get a chance, we will remind the Holy Father that our invitation still holds for him to visit our desert, to get a taste of authentic Mexican food and to meet some of the best people in the world.
More information about World Youth Day is available at www.wjt2005.de.
11. Dinner with the Jesuit Community -- I joined the members of the Jesuit Community in Tucson yesterday for dinner to celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus. We are blessed to have our Jesuit astronomers in the Diocese. Their work for the Holy Father here and in Castel Gandolfo is a real blessing. Through their telescopes they get to look out on God's vast creation, a true marvel.
We talked about some of their work and about the recent report of a new planet larger than Pluto. Since I was a little boy, I have been fascinated by space and the fantasy of one day finding life on another planet. Who knows, one of our Jesuit astronomers may be the discoverer!
It was good to see Father George Coyne now fully recovered from his recent surgery. I am sure Father George has already oriented Pope Benedict XVI to their work at the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo. In fact, the Holy Father had already seen the Vatican Observatory as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and Father George had shown him around. If not for some good Mexican food, maybe the Pope will come out to Tucson to see Kitt Peak or the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope atop Mt. Graham.
12. Breakfast with the Bishop -- I am looking forward this week to resuming the "Breakfast with the Bishop" meetings around the Diocese. Co-sponsored by the Charity and Ministry Fund and the Catholic Foundation, these breakfast gatherings with parishioners in communities across the Diocese have been very informative, with the conversations engaging and enlightening.
13. Threshold of the New School Year -- How fast the summer has gone! Our Catholic schools are preparing to open their doors for the new school year in just two weeks. I am very pleased that our two new high schools in Tucson continue to grow. St. Augustine Catholic High School will have its first junior class. I will celebrate Mass with the faculty and staff of St. Augustine this Thursday. San Miguel Catholic High School opens its doors this fall with a new school building. It is a beautiful facility that I will be honored to bless later in the month.
And, congratulations to St. Odilia and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Schools in Tucson as they continue to grow, with each adding a new class this year.
I am proud of the Catholic Schools in our Diocese. Many go back decades in the quality education they provide. They have made a significant contribution to the well being of our communities, providing them with many leaders and contributors to our society.
14. "Points of Light Institute" -- This coming Sunday, I will celebrate Mass at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Tucson with the 12 teens from Tucson, Willcox and Casa Grande who participated in the July "Points of Light Institute." Focusing on the organizing, planning and successful implementation of community service projects, the Institute included a range of activities and talks intended to help the teens improve their leadership skills in their home communities.
15. Remember in Your Prayers -- Due to health concerns, Father Michael Stallings has resigned as pastor of Holy Angels in Globe. I am grateful to Father Mike for all that he has done under difficult circumstances. (I will be visiting the parish this Friday with Father Dale Branson, vicar for Gila - Pinal East Vicariate, to hear from parishioners the needs of the parish and the qualities they would like to see in their next pastor.)
Please continue to remember Father Mike and Father Clarke Moore in your prayers that the Lord might heal and strengthen them as they each face health challenges.
We pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Mary Estell Shaffer, O.S.B., who died June 29 at age 89. Sister became known as "the Egg Lady" for her ministry to the homeless in Tucson during the 1960s and 1970s. Sister was the cook for the Benedictine Monastery on North Country Club Road, and she would make 300 egg sandwiches a day and hand them out the hungry persons who found their way to the kitchen door.
16. Another "Small Miracle" -- I am happy to share this experience from last week as another example of the "Small Miracles" that come our way through the various ministries we participate in.
I had been invited by six of our deacons who have been widowed since their ordinations to join them at a meeting of a support and prayer group they have recently started. Being with them as they shared their stories with one another, I could see how present their wives are to them still. The special bond with their wives that had made them no longer two but one strengthened their ministry and still does. The deacons prayed together, shared together and found comfort in each other.
Vol. 3, No. 17
August 8, 2005
Seven days and counting!
I will be taking off for World Youth Day in Cologne a week from today. About 24,000 young people and 72 bishops from the U.S. plan to attend the event, which begins a week from tomorrow.
Many of the 100 or so teens and young adults from our Diocese who will be attending World Youth Day are already in route, and we pray their journey will be safe.
Father Miguel Mariano, our Vocations director, also will be attending. We are planning to celebrate Mass with our Tucson Diocese group sometime Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19 and 20. Pope Benedict XVI's Mass for WYD will be on Aug. 21. The Holy Father is expected to arrive in Cologne on Aug. 18, and he will be brought by boat along the Rhine into Cologne. It is expected that some young people will ride with him in the boat as he enters the city.
I am grateful to Pedro Najera, Mike Kingman and the Knights of Columbus for helping to make it possible for Father Miguel and me to attend.
Among the many wonderful and amazing things that are in store for all the young pilgrims who will be participating in this World Youth Day is the giant mosaic portrait of Pope John Paul II that will be produced by using thousands of single photographs from young people all over the world.
To express gratitude to Pope John Paul II for initiating and supporting World Youth Day and to honor him, a German-based group is producing the giant mosaic, which will be displayed during World Youth Day 2005 in front of the Cologne Cathedral. I look forward to seeing it!
You can tell all the young people you know that they can participate in this unique project by visiting www.thank-you-jpii.net (just click on British flag for the English version).
1. New Diocesan Directory -- Be on the look out for a special delivery this week: the new Diocese of Tucson Directory is on its way to all our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions.
In the past, the diocesan directory has been published at the beginning of the calendar year, but for this year we decided to change publication to coincide with the beginning of the fiscal year, thus allowing the many appointments that are usually made in spring and summer to be included.
The directory is an important communication tool that enhances our efforts to be open and transparent. You will find the names of all members of diocesan boards and committees, as well as the names of the members of the boards of the various corporations that assist in carrying out the mission of the Church in our Diocese.
The cover for the directory, illustrating the "Seeds of Hope" theme for this year's Annual Catholic Appeal, is by Miguel Herrera of Lourdes Catholic School in Nogales. The cover and the section illustrations show the talent of the young people in our Catholic Schools.
In addition to the printed version there will be an updated on-line version of the directory soon on our diocesan Web site.
Getting more than 500 directories into envelopes and preparing them for bulk mailing was a major team effort last week.
Chancellor June Kellen, Judy Richins, Priscilla Villafana and Edna Arroyo.
The team included volunteers Leonard and Leova Carrascom, their granddaughter Priscilla Villafana, and Edna Arroyo. Also on the team were Chancellor June Kellen (who oversaw the production of the directory), Judy Richins and Marty Hammond from the Pastoral Center staff and Clara Moreno of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson.
I am grateful to the Catholic Foundation for underwriting the cost of printing the directory.
The directory is available for purchase ($10 a copy) by calling the Chancellor's Office at 792-3410.
2. "The Catholic Church beyond the Diocese of Tucson" -- I look forward to discussing that somewhat daunting topic with parishioners, religious education teachers and staff of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson tonight.
I really enjoy these opportunities to share information and reflect upon the structure of the Universal Church. We will be discussing, among other things, the role of the bishop, role of bishops' conferences and the authorities and responsibilities of the various members of the hierarchy.
I won't have far to drive to get to tonight's meeting and maybe I will even walk, since I live just around the corner!
3. Diocese of Tucson Cemeteries Board Meeting -- The Cemeteries Board will meet tomorrow. Fernando Castro will complete his term as chair of the Board. Fernando has done a marvelous job overseeing the work of several directors and helping to keep our Catholic Cemeteries focused on their mission amid many changes.
I will be appointing a new chairperson and vice chair for one year, as well as a secretary and treasurer.
One of the goals of the Executive Committee of the Board will be to surface new names for Board membership. We will add persons with legal, marketing, accounting and public relations abilities. Several new committees will be formed, including a finance committee, an outreach committee and a planning committee. Chairs for these committees also will be appointed.
The present Board members are listed on page 19 of the new Diocesan Directory.
4. "Pilgrims Together" -- I will be meeting tomorrow evening with the members of the "Pilgrims Together" Committee of Our Mother of Sorrow Parish in Tucson. This committee is the parish's response to the legal, social and moral issues raised by the continuing migration into our country from Mexico. Many of the committee's members have made trips to Altar, Sonora, where so many of the migrants gather before attempting to cross the border, to witness that dimension of the migration.
5. Mass for Migrants and a Farewell to Father Rene -- Last Thursday evening at St. Augustine Cathedral, the Diocese of Phoenix and the Diocese of Tucson paid tribute to Father Rene Castaneda, a priest of the Archdiocese of Hermosillo who has served as the pastor in Altar, Sonora, as well as the Director of Migrant Affairs for Archbishop Ulyses Macias, Archbishop of Hermosillo.
For several years we have worked closely together in building bonds between our three dioceses. This initiative came out of Pope John Paul II's post synodal document Ecclesia in America in which the Holy Father calls us to recognize our communion across borders. Father Rene has been asked by his Archbishop to go to Rome to study theology. We prayed in thanksgiving for his service to migrants, for his close collaboration with our dioceses and that the Lord would strengthen him in his studies to work with even greater determination for the littlest and weakest.
The Mass was celebrated as a memorial for the thousands of migrants who have died while crossing from Mexico into Arizona. At the foot of the altar were hundreds of crosses bearing the names of some who died in the desert. Some of those who have died are unknown, unnamed. We prayed for them and for their families. The loss of human life in the desert, or on a metro and bus in London, or on the battlefields in Iraq, or through abortion of an unborn child, or the loss of life anywhere in the world is a tragedy that calls us to respond.
There was surprising coverage given to this celebration from the news media, reflecting the importance of the issue of immigration in our State. I said at the Mass that sometimes Arizonans are imaged as anti-migrant. I don't believe that. Arizonans know well the contribution that migrants have made and are making to our State in significant and in little known ways. I wish we could hold a tribute to migrants as an expression of how much this State has benefited from those who have come into America. The contributions have been innumerable.
Likewise, if Arizonans who fear migrants as terrorists or criminals could encounter the human face of the migrant, look into the eyes of a man anxious to care for his family or look into the eyes of a woman worried for the well being of her child, they, like the Arizonans whom I have come to know as loving and caring people, would respond. The challenge is to help Arizonans to meet the migrant as a human being like us, with the same fears, the same dreams, the same hopes, the same faith.
6. "Justice for Immigrants" Web Site -- The recently launched Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform now has an excellent Internet resource at www.justiceforimmigrants.org.
Quoting from the site's home page: "This website is designed to help achieve the goals of the Justice for Immigrants Campaign. It provides tools and information for diocesan and community-based organizing, education, and advocacy efforts. You will find information about Catholic teachings that underpin this Campaign, as well as proposals from the Catholic Bishops to achieve reforms in our nation's immigration laws and policies that better reflect our values as a nation of immigrants. We encourage you to visit this site often, as we will be updating it frequently, with resource materials, action alerts, and other information we hope you find useful."
I echo that encouragement. There is a link to the site from our diocesan Web site's home page.
We will be implementing the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform in our Diocese beginning in the fall. I have invited representatives of our Presbyteral Council, Diocesan Pastoral Council, Deacons Council, Sisters Councils, Catholic Community Services, Diocesan School Board and the Diocesan Council on Youth and Young Adult Concerns to a planning meeting on Monday, Sept. 26, from 2 p.m. through dinner, at Catholic Community Services headquarters in Tucson. At this meeting we will identify ways that we will implement the three goals of this campaign: education of Catholics in our parishes and schools; advocacy for immigration policy change; and preparation of people for that change. (The Presbyteral Council will meet that same day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pastoral Center.)
7. Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board -- The Board will hold its monthly meeting this Wednesday at the Pastoral Center.
8. Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools Leadership Meeting -- I am very honored to have been invited to give the keynote address to this week's Leadership Meeting of the Archdiocese's Catholic school principals, presidents and pastors.
In response to challenges that have led to closings of schools, the Archdiocese has developed "Genesis: A New Beginning for Catholic Schools." This strategic plan for the future direction of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese will be introduced and launched at the Leadership Meeting.
9. Profession of Vows -- It was a joy for me Saturday to witness the perpetual profession of Sister Veronica Yevette Loya as a member of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The liturgy celebrated at St. Odilia Church in Tucson was a blessing for her family, for her community and for our Diocese, especially for Our Lady of Fatima Parish where Sister Veronica grew up.
(Our Lady of Fatima Parish this year has had a vocation to the priesthood -- Father Alonzo Garcia -- and, with the profession of Sister Veronica, a vocation to religious life. Congratulations to the community, to Father Peter McGloin, pastor emeritus, and Father Ray Ratzenberger, pastor.)
I was grateful that Sister Aurelia Rocco, I.H.M. Superior General, could join us from the motherhouse in Rome. I could see the joy in her face when she presented Sister Veronica the ring that symbolizes her marriage to Christ and when she witnessed Sister Veronica's profession, which also was witnessed by Sister Alice Marie Martinez, IHM, present provincial, and Sister Miriam Clare, I.H.M., former provincial.
There were a number of children in the choir for the liturgy, some of whom Sister Veronica has taught at Immaculate Heart Academy and some she will teach this year. I hope some of these young people will consider service in the Church. We pray for more vocations.
10. Oblates of St. Martha -- The household of the Bishop of Tucson has been a special ministry for the Oblates of St. Martha, truly wonderful Sisters from Mexico, who began their service in our Diocese during the episcopacy of Bishop Green and who so lovingly served Bishop Moreno. Now, I am the third Bishop of Tucson to experience the Sisters' ministry of service to clergy.
Presently serving in our Diocese and keeping the Bishop's residence and household matters with great diligence are Sister Francisca Lira, O.S.M., Sister Maria del Carmen Jimenez, OSM, and, new to our Diocese, Sister Gabriella Zermeño, O.S.M. We said a very fond farewell recently to Sister Delfina Franco, O.S.M., when she moved to Carmelite Retreat House, in Redlands, California.
The ministry of the Oblates of St. Martha is inspired by the example of St. Martha who saw to the hospitality and comfort of Our Lord.
11. Annual Seminarian Convocation -- Our 17 seminarians will convene this week for their annual convocation with a focus on acculturation. Priests from other nations and other cultures who are serving in our Diocese will address the challenges they have encountered in their own acculturation as they have ministered to the different peoples and cultures present in our Diocese.
We welcome to the ranks of our seminarians Albert Hernandez of Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, Richard Souza of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista and Luke Stalinski of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson. They will all be attending Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon.
The convocation is an annual opportunity for our new seminarians to meet those already in formation and for us to tell them how important they are to our Diocese. I will encourage all our seminarians as they begin or continue their preparation in the four levels of seminary study: human formation, which helps the seminarian to become mature and balanced in efforts to serve others; intellectual, which is growing in their understanding of philosophy as background for their theological studies, learning what the Church teaches and how to communicate those teachings effectively; spirituality, which emphasizes that unless a priest himself is a man of God what he communicates will be banal and ineffective; and pastoral, which is acquiring the pastoral skills necessary to serve others well.
I look forward to the annual dinner that allows our seminarians to meet with our laity who are active in the support of vocations in our Diocese.
This year's convocation will culminate with the ordination of Virgilio (Jojo) Tabo to the transitory diaconate on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 5 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Parish.
JoJo is 28-years-old and is a native of the Philippines. He is a good basketball player and likes to play guitar. He graduated cum laude from Mundelein Seminary. St. Francis de Sales Parish is delighted that JoJo chose it as his "home" parish. His priesthood ordination is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral.
A final item concerning vocations to the priesthood: Congratulations to Father Ray Ratzenberger, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson, for his recent recognition by the Fraternity of Priests for his efforts to support his brother priests in their vocations. Father Ray is among several of our priests in the Diocese who participate in the prayer and support activities of the national Fraternity of Priests.
12. Diaconate and Lay Ministry Joint Formation Program -- The program's second year begins this weekend with a retreat. We look forward to being with Sister Lois Paha, O.P., new director of the Office of Formation, as she formally begins her ministry in the Diocese at this retreat.
13. Maronite Mission of Tucson -- Catholic Arab Americans of the Maronite and Melkite traditions will celebrate their second English/Arabic Maronite Mass this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson. Immediately following the Mass, there will be dinner in the cafeteria during which they will discuss holding future Masses in Tucson and the prospects for building a church in Tucson.
The Maronite Mission of Tucson operates under the auspices of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in St. Louis. More information, including contacts, is available at www.maronitemissionoftucson.org.
14. Knights of Columbus International Convention -- Just a brief reflection on last week's convention, in which I was pleased to participate in along with 70 other bishops, seven cardinals, hundreds of priests (among them was Father Pat Crino, rector of St. Augustine Cathedral and State K of C Chaplain) and thousands of Knights and their families from around the country, including a great contingent from our Diocese.
We were treated to the presentation of a new play about Father Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights. In eight scenes, "He Was Our Father" touched upon the life of the Order's founder, the effect he had on his parishioners and the legacy he left to the Church through the Knights. The production was received by a standing ovation. (There is more about the play at www.fathermcgivney.org/mcg/index.cfm.)
Cardinal Edmund Szoka of Detroit, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, gave a stirring reflection of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
15. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Father John Friel, O.S.F.S., pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Yuma, who is being treated for gastro-esophageal cancer. We pray for his full recovery.
We continue to pray for Father Clarke Moore who underwent surgery on July 25 and for Father Mike Stallings, who is now out of the hospital and continuing to improve.
Sister Catherine Haertlein. S.S.S.F., died last Thursday from a brain tumor. She had worked at St. Joseph Hospital here in Tucson for 25 years. She spent the last week in Hospice Care at the retirement home of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Campbellsport, Wisconsin. The funeral is today at the motherhouse in Milwaukee. We thank God for this Woman Religious who gave so many years of loving and compassionate care for others in our Diocese.
16. “Points of Light” -- It was my honor at last evening's Mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson to recognize the contribution of 12 high school students who participated in the "Points of Light" Leadership Seminar in July.
Part of the learning experience was organizing and conducting a service project. The students helped at two nursing homes, playing cards with the residents and cheering their days. They also helped at Casa Maria, bringing sandwiches and toys for distribution. They cooked a meal for the residents at the Ronald McDonald house. They helped to paint the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop. They learned that helping others can be a great joy and that they can make a difference. Five parishes participated, including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Cyril, St. Thomas the Apostle, and Corpus Christi in Tucson and St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande. Tere Scully, Michelle Benzenhoefer, and Pam Grover, who went for training to conduct this seminar, were the directors for the program. I hope next year even more teens might participate.
Vol. 3, No. 18
August 15, 2005
I am on my way to Germany today, happily anticipating the excitement and joy of World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne. This is my first World Youth Day!
Father Miguel Mariano, our Vocations director, also is going, and I am counting on Father Miguel's help in connecting with the 100 or so young persons from our Diocese.
After a stop in Munich, I will be heading for Cologne. I hope to be e-mailing reports back so that I can share my experiences with you on our diocesan Web site. (Just click on "Bishop K's WYD2005 Blog.)
We already have received reports from the World Youth Day pilgrims from Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson. Father John Lyons, pastor, has been staying in touch by phone here in Tucson with Ann Morales, the parish's youth minister who is accompanying the youth, and communicating the highlights by e-mail to parents and friends back here.
Some of the highlights as relayed by Father John:
Mass with the Cardinal (Friedrich Wetter, Archbishop of Munich and Freising) at the Cathedral in Munich. Some of the youth had their photo taken with the Cardinal. They love where they are staying. Some are with farmers (cow and deer), the village printer and baker. The whole market center of Munich has been turned into a fair for the World Youth Day pilgrims. Ann said the kids are really moved by how friendly everyone is towards them.
Just heard from Ann: the kids were doing a chain dance with the locals and another 600 kids from throughout the world through the streets of Erding. Last night they went to a Bavarian barbecue and had a great time. Since they have arrived in Germany the hosts have not let them pay for any food. Today they went to Mass with their host families. Those who went to Isen went to a church that was founded in 747 AD. All of them are fine and doing well. The kids have invited them (the kids from Isen) to come to see us. I told Ann that was a great idea! They should come in the winter!
Starting tomorrow and through Friday, World Youth Day events will take place in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Bonn. This Saturday and Sunday, all attention will be on Marienfeld on the outskirts of Cologne, where the vigil and the closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI will be celebrated.
You can get a look at Marienfeld by visiting www.wjt2005.de and clicking on "Webcam." Three cameras are providing an opportunity to follow the event preparations.
If your cable system or satellite provider carries the Eternal World Television Network, you can view the major events of World Youth Day. For schedule information, visit www.ewtn.com/wyd2005/coverage2005.asp.
A reminder: because I am in Germany this week, this month's Priests Day of Prayer at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks has been cancelled.
1. New Beginnings, Continuations, Welcomes -- The middle of August marks the beginning and continuation of so many of our important programs and ministries in the Diocese and the opportunity to say "Welcome" to those who are joining us in ministry for the first time.
Teachers who will be new to our Catholic Schools are receiving their orientation this week from our Department of Catholic Schools, and because I will be in Germany, I recorded my welcome to them on videotape last week. The setting for my welcome was a classroom at Santa Cruz School, and I told them that being back in a classroom got the chalk dust stirring in my veins. I encouraged them by saying they aren't in this ministry alone: that they have a wonderful support system through the teachers, staff and administrators in their school and through the staff of our Department of Catholic Schools. I also reminded them that their most important responsibilities as a teacher in a Catholic School are to strengthen the relationship their students have with Christ and to strengthen their own relationship with Christ.
Candidates for the Permanent Diaconate and their wives and candidates for lay ministry held a retreat over the weekend to begin the second year of their joint formation program. It was an opportunity for all of us to welcome the new director of the diocesan Office of Formation, Sister Lois Paha, O.P., and Father Scott Jones, S.D.S., a new member of the Jordan Ministry Team.
There was a great deal of enthusiasm and energy as the candidates assembled. I spoke to them of the importance of this time of formation: to grow in the human qualities critical for ministry; to develop their understanding of theology and what the Church teaches; to learn the pastoral skills that will be important in their ministry; and to grow in their encounter with Christ, which is the most fundamental component of formation.
I really enjoyed being with our seminarians at their annual convocation last week. Their Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the Serrans who support our vocations program with such generosity and dedication joined us for an evening at Our Lady of La Vang Parish and the nearby Knights of Columbus Hall.
It was a fun evening, with the seminarians taking over: Ricky Ordonez was a great auctioneer, generating funds to support the vocations program; we viewed a computer presentation on promotion of vocations that was produced by Geovany Espinoza and Jorge Farias, with the help of Father Alonzo Garcia; Emilio Chapa and his sister performed a Folklorico dance; Richard Souza and Luke Stalinski wowed the audience with magic; Jeff Zimmerman has us groaning with puns intended. All in all, a talented group!
We soon will be updating our diocesan Web site's Vocations page that features photographs of all our seminarians and their seminary addresses. I encourage you to pray for them and to correspond with them as they begin or return to their studies.
2. Corrections -- In last week's Memo, I wrote that copies of the 2005-2006 Diocese of Tucson Directory are available through the Chancellor's Office. This year, the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson is handling that chore. You can call Clara Moreno at 520-838-2507 to place your order for additional directories at $10 a copy.
Also regarding the Directory, our best efforts to insure accurate information are always challenged by changes that take place between the time that we receive information from parishes and the day the directory is printed. And, despite our best proofreading efforts, typographical errors still mange to slip through the scrutiny of our magnifying glasses. Please send in corrections and changes to the Chancellor's Office so that we can make them on our master documents and post them on the continually updated directory on the diocesan Web site.
The First Friday Mass announced in this month's Catholic Vision "Roundup" has been changed to 6 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, at St Cyril's Church, 4725 E. Pima St. I will preside and lead the Rosary immediately following Mass. Participants will be invited to carpool to Beverly Street and to line up along legal positions outside the Old Pueblo Family Planning Clinic near to the Planned Parenthood building. The Rosary will be completed and a silent vigil will conclude the observance.
3. Collapse at the Marist College -- Efforts to prevent further deterioration of the Marist College building were undone the past few weeks by torrential monsoon rains that pelted downtown Tucson.
Last Wednesday, a portion of the second story northwest corner of the building collapsed due to seepage of water, exposing the adobe that was used in the construction of this historic building. Saddened as we were by the collapse, we were glad that no one was injured. Work was underway on Friday afternoon to shore up the walls. Architects have told John Shaheen, our Property and Insurance Manager and an architect himself, that the prospects for saving the building are good -- if steps are taken now.
Marist College, the largest adobe structure in downtown Tucson if not in all of Arizona, is something I hope we can not only save and preserve, but also put to good use once again as a museum and archives for the community. The situation is challenging, because just as the Friends of Historic Tucson and the Diocese were successful in attracting grant monies from the state for preservation, the rains came. The Friends are anxious to get their fundraising efforts underway, but the collapse of part of the building is a setback. I hope someone with the necessary resources who is interested in preserving this part of Tucson's history will step forward. I emphasize that all fundraising for the preservation of the Marist College is by a community organization that is separate from the Diocese.
You can provide your support and encourage the support of others by making a donation to Friends of Historic Tucson, 3557 N. Tin Star Place, Tucson, AZ 85745, in care of Rosie Garcia, to whom I am grateful for her continued interest and that of the Friends in preserving this historic building.
At San Xavier Mission, we see what can be accomplished when the community sees the value of preservation. The Patranato have done a magnificent job in faithfully renovating the White Dove of the Desert, and I hope that we can find members of the community to support the efforts of the Friends of Historic Tucson to restore the Marist College.
4. Feast of the Assumption of Mary -- While not observed as Holy Day of Obligation this year, today's feast is still observed in our prayers and in our love for Mary. There is an excellent resource on the history and spirituality of the Assumption at www.marypage.org, the newly redesigned Web site of the Marian Library and Marian Research Institute.
Also on this feast day, let's pray for the gracious intercession of Mary as we seek support for the preservation of the Marist College, which was built in Her honor.
5. "The King's Good Servants, but God's First" -- Abbot Christopher Zielinski, O.S.B., of the Pecos Benedictine Monastery, has asked me to spread the word about this special retreat for Catholic attorneys, their families and friends that will take place this Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-5. For more information and to register, contact the Monastery's Reservations Office at 505/757-2292, ext. 254, or at email@example.com.
6. "The Man Who Became Pope" -- This new motion picture about the life of Pope John Paul II will be presented by the Hallmark Channel this evening, at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m., depending on your cable system or satellite provider. You can visit www.hallmarkchannel.com for more information.
7. Last Week's Tragedy -- The tragic accident that occurred last week as Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Graham was attempting to subdue a mentally ill person has touched many in the Tucson community. Certainly, there is the tragedy that the deputy, the man he was attempting to subdue and the person referred to as a "Good Samaritan" all lost their lives. We join in the general community's and law enforcement community's sorrow over the loss of the young deputy. We have deep sympathy for the families of all three men. And, we are struck by the love and faith of the family of Dawud Isa Abusida, the "Good Samaritan." I agree with the Muslim leadership of our community that his story should be told nationally.
The funeral for Deputy Graham will be tomorrow at St. Joseph Church in Tucson. Father John Allt, pastor, will preside. Father also is chaplain for the Pima County Sheriff's Department. Many members of the civic and law enforcement communities are expected to be present, including Gov. Janet Napolitano, to show their respects.
I commend the sensitive reporting in our local newspapers about this tragedy.
Vol. 3, No. 19
August 22, 2005
As I write this late Sunday night for the memo and for the "blog" on the diocesan Web site, all is quieting down here in Cologne. The multitude of World Youth Day pilgrims is heading home. As I left Marienfeld, the site of the gathering for the vigil and the Mass with Pope Benedict, there was a long line of young people, back backs and luggage in hand, walking down the roads to begin their journeys home.
I am sure they will share their experiences with their families and will never forget this World Youth Day. I pray that their experiences will also deepen their involvement in the Church. We need them!
Witnessing the joy and energy of the young people during this World Youth Day, I realize even more their potential for their Church, their communities and for the world. I reflected on how critically important it is to protect them from harm, especially the harm of child abuse from within the Church and other institutions that serve them. It is important for their faith life that they be protected from harm. The protection of children remains a first priority for us as a Diocese as we continue to work with parents, teachers, parish staffs and directors of religious education to develop safe environment programs at each parish and school.
I am grateful to our pastors and principals and their compliance representatives for the fine work they are doing to implement the important safe environment education that is critical to our efforts to protect children and to restore trust.
All of our parishes and schools are currently developing curriculum for child safety and abuse prevention and are assisting parents in their responsibility to care for their children. I know this takes a great deal of work and commitment, but it is so important.
1. World Youth Day Closing Mass -- Our large group of bishops arrived at the Marienfeld several hours early Sunday morning to vest for Mass, and we proceeded to climb the hill where the "cloud" canopy over the high altar was erected. Again, the number of cardinals and bishops was impressive. The young people, many who had been up all night, were still singing, praying and socializing. As the Pope entered the field you could identify his presence by the screams, shouts and flag waving. As he left the Popemobile and walked in front of the one million young people it was like they were picking him up by their shouts. His smile and waving hands raised the volume of their shouts.
The Mass was that of the Epiphany, since the relics of the Three Kings are kept in the Cathedral of Cologne and the theme of this XXth World Youth Day was "We have come to worship Him." The insignia for World Youth Day is a star reminiscent of the Star of Bethlehem. The Pope used this image in both his reflections. He emphasized the meaning of adoration and how we find our fulfillment and freedom not in what the world preaches but in meeting Christ. His homily was interrupted a number of times by the massive assembly. His comments both on Saturday at the vigil and at the Mass were strong and very thoughtful, and I look forward to reading them.
One of the thrills of the celebration, after the Gospel had been proclaimed in French by a deacon, was seeing Maria Francisco, youth minister of Blessed Kateri Parish in South Tucson, read a phrase from the Gospel in English before the throng. She did great!
This was my first experience of World Youth Day. While some of the logistics for an event held in the country for one million people were a nightmare, the experience enlivens one's own faith. Young people are a great gift to the church. I hope in our Diocese we can find even more ways to engage youth and young adults with the message of Christ. They are eager to meet Christ and Christ has so much to offer them.
2. Back to School! -- As this new school year begins, my hopes are that this year will be blessed for all of our principals, teachers, staff, students and parents at all of our Catholic Schools. I also pray that this will be a year of blessings for the public school districts in the Diocese. There are many Catholics serving in our public schools, and we pray in thanksgiving for their generous service.
3. Chapter 11 Update -- There will be a hearing tomorrow in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on settlements between the Diocese and certain insurers, between the Diocese and the parishes, and between the Diocese and the Catholic Foundation. These settlements are the primary mechanism through which the Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization will be funded. These settlements will also mean that the parishes, the Foundation and the Settling Insurers will be protected from claims addressed through the Plan.
Vol. 3, No. 20
August 29, 2005
Travel weary, jet lagged but still glowing from the experiences of World Youth Day 2005, the pilgrims -- young and old -- from the Diocese of Tucson returned from Germany last week.
Trying to process my experiences is like looking through a kaleidoscope and seeing thousands of diamond shaped images.
What a blessing it was for me to be able to attend this World Youth Day and what a joy it was to be able to spend some time with the young pilgrims from our Diocese. Again, my thanks to the Knights of Columbus for making it possible for me and Father Miguel Mariano, our Vocations Director, to attend World Youth Day.
1. Blessing and Dedication at San Miguel High School -- It will be my joy tomorrow morning to bless and dedicate the school's first new building. What an accomplishment!
I congratulate the entire San Miguel High School Community. We all appreciate so much Jim Click's tremendous leadership in moving the project forward.
Now in its second year, San Miguel continues its mission of reaching out to families and students whose resources limit their access to Catholic education.
We are grateful for the presence of the Brothers of the Christian Schools who are carrying on the tradition of Catholic education in the model of their founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. We welcome Brother Dan Fenton, F.S.C., to the faculty.
2. Future of Marist College -- The Diocesan Building Committee meets tomorrow, and first on the agenda will be the Marist College.
The building, constructed in 1915, is the largest remaining adobe structure in Tucson and, probably, in all of Arizona.
Water from the heavy rains over the last two weeks seeped into the second story walls, causing collapses on the southeast and northwest corners. Huge steel and wood braces are now supporting the walls.
At this time there appears to be two options: tear it down, perhaps leaving some remnant as a tribute to the past or pursuing funding from private and governmental sources to save it.
The Diocese, at this time, sees no use for this building for Church purposes. However, it is a historic building for the Diocese, for Tucson and the state. We will initiate discussions about the future of the building with our local governments, and I look to the community for willingness to assist us in saving the building.
We know the history of the Convento, the large adobe building on the west side of the Santa Cruz River that served the community as a mission church and as a school back in the 1800s. It fell into disrepair and was allowed to disintegrate in the early 1900s, and now, as part of the Rio Nuevo Project, a replica will be built. What if the community could have saved the original? Right now, we - the Diocese and the community need to talk about the Marist College.
3. Breakfast with the Bishop -- With the beginning of September, these monthly gatherings resume this week. The breakfasts have been a marvelous opportunity to meet with our laity and to learn about the many ways they are involved in the life of the Diocese and the communities in which they live. They inspire me as I listen to their commitment to their faith.
4. Sexual Misconduct Review Board -- This Board, so critical to our efforts to create and maintain safe environments for children, meets this week at the Pastoral Center. Their wise counsel on so many matters has been most appreciated. The Board, made up primarily of laity, some parents themselves, has guided the implementation of our safe environment program. I look to their continued advice on restoring trust.
5. Immigration Issues -- The pace of activities and responses to the continuing phenomenal migration from Mexico has increased dramatically the past few weeks. Whatever their motivations, the declarations of "state of emergency" by both Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson emphasize the level of concern. The level of rhetoric also has risen to new heights or new lows as migrants are being imaged in and by the news media as harmful to society and to the economy.
The religious communities within Arizona remain highly concerned. Just today, an interfaith visit to the border is talking place under the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. The middle of next month, the judicatory heads of religious denominations will meet in Phoenix to continue our discussions on the moral dimensions of the migration and the clear need for participation by religious groups in responding with education, legal humanitarian aid and with participation in public policy formation.
For our Diocese, the meeting of the major councils and agencies on Sept. 26, from 2 p.m. to dinner at Catholic Community Services in Tucson, will be critical as we look to our participation in the national effort by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Justice For Immigrants."
6. First Friday Life Mass -- I will preside at this Friday's 6 a.m. Life Mass at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish here in Tucson. Following the Mass, there will be a Rosary procession and prayerful witness in support of the sanctity of life and an end to abortion.
I believe great progress has been made in raising the level of consciousness about the evil of abortion. Our young people, especially, seem more sensitive to the reality that abortion is the taking of human life. I am grateful to those whose voices speak out in defense of life.
7. Annual Convocation of Deacons -- Deacons and their wives will gather for their annual convocation this Friday and Saturday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson. I look forward to being with them and to affirming them in their service to our parishes. Msgr. Anthony Sherman, associate director Secretariat for the Liturgy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be guest presenter. I thank Deacon Tony Underwood and Deacon Jim Burns, Vicar for Deacons, for the hard work of planning this year's convocation.
It was my joy to join in the celebration at the Cathedral for Deacon Henry Borquez's thirtieth anniversary as a deacon in our Diocese. He was in the first class of deacons for our Diocese, and he was the second to be ordained a deacon for our Diocese. He and his wife, Alicia, have served faithfully at the Cathedral for these many years. Our deacons and their wives have brought many gifts to the service of the church for which I am very grateful.
8. The New Vision -- In a letter I sent last Friday to all pastors, administrators and pastoral administrators I announced a new name and a new mission for our diocesan newspaper.
The New Vision/La Nueva Visión will be going to the printer tomorrow and will be distributed at the parishes this coming weekend.
With the confirmation of the reorganization plan, this really is a new moment in the life and history of our Diocese, a kind of a new beginning, and I think our diocesan newspaper and its associated Web site should reflect this moment. This is evidenced in the September issue with the report on parish incorporation and the informational meetings that are scheduled to begin in October.
The New Vision/La Nueva Visión will feature a four-page center section in Spanish. I am grateful to Father Gil Martinez, C.S.P., pastor St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish, Father Raul Trevizo, Vicar General, and Ruben Davalos, director of the Office of Evangelization, for their efforts to initiate this new section.
Also, I acknowledge Omar Rodriguez, our graphic designer and layout specialist, and Communications Director Fred Allison, who is serving as interim managing editor, for the hard work that has gone into this first issue.
"The New Vision" is a title as well for work of the immediate future in our Diocese. I look forward over the next few months, in collaboration with our councils and all the clergy, religious and laity, to shaping a "vision statement" for the Diocese that will reflect our hopes, goals and directions as a diocesan church.
Upon becoming Bishop of Tucson, I identified several priorities, including the need to restore trust, to reenergize our priests and all in Church service, to renew our parishes, to reach out to the littlest and weakest among us, to re-garner our resources and to recruit more vocations to ministry, especially to the priesthood and religious life. These priorities have come to be known as the "Six Rs." Now, with confirmation of the reorganization plan, we can add a seventh "R" reorganization.
As we continue to address all these priorities, I want to formulate and articulate a specific focus for each that we can begin to apply at each of our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions.
9. Lay Ministry -- This past week, I met with a large group of our youth ministers as well as a group of laity who are involved in our parishes as lay ecclesial ministers. It is clear to me that more and more laity are being entrusted with responsibility to work with our priests and deacons in the task of pastoring our people. I am grateful for their generous service. Without their help we would not be able to respond as well to the spiritual needs of our people.
I encouraged them to work hard at their own continuing formation. This includes the four areas of formation: human formation (growth as a human being); intellectual formation (growth in our understanding of the teaching of the church); spiritual formation (growth in our own journey of faith); and pastoral formation (growth in the pastoral skills necessary for the service of others). Unless our lay ecclesial ministers are well formed, their service will be less than helpful.
Through the efforts of Joanne Welter, DeeDee Gradillas, Mike Berger and Loretta Tracy, our lay eccelesial ministers are considering the possibility of forming the Tucson Association of Lay Ministers to assist the laity who are serving in leadership positions in our parishes on a paid or volunteer basis. This would include pastoral associates, directors of religious education, youth ministers, principals and directors of liturgy or music.
I encouraged the lay ecclesial ministers who attended Saturday's meeting to work collaboratively with their pastors. We discussed "Coworkers in the Vineyard," the new document from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and how the document can be helpful to them in their ministry.
10. 75th Anniversary of Santa Rosa Mission -- Tucked away in Barrio Belen and Barrio Pascua in Tucson is Santa Rosa Mission, which last week celebrated its 75th anniversary.
Begun in 1930, the mission is still very alive and active and now is served by Father Abram Dono, S.T., and Father Joe Keenan, S.T., from Blessed Kateri Parish. The church was built by the people through the generosity of the Extension Society and the Catholic Daughters. Prior to the building of the church, Mass was celebrated by Father Carmelo in the open under a branched roof.
The 75th anniversary of the mission was observed over the weekend by festivities, including a fiesta on Saturday and a concluding Mass yesterday. The Mass included a procession with dancers, and was followed by a magnificent lunch. I was impressed to see the enthusiasm of the people. Lorraine Lee headed up the fiesta, and music for the celebration was provided by a group from St. John the Evangelist Parish who play there once a month.
After Mass, people from the community gave testimony about the importance of this mission church in their own lives and in the lives of their families. Here, their children have been baptized. Here, many were married. Here, they have buried loved ones. The church is special and sacred to the community.