Aug. 6, 2007 Aug. 13, 2007 Aug. 20, 2007 Aug. 27, 2007

Vol. 5, No. 16
Aug. 6, 2007


I often wish I could have been with Peter, James and John on the Mount of the Transfiguration. What an amazing experience that must have been! It would have been good to be there. Even more, I wish that in my life I could focus more on Christ, and, like the three,  "see only Christ alone." I can become so distracted, taken in by so many non-essentials in life. The feast of the Transfiguration, which we celebrate today, calls us to look to Christ, who alone satisfies our hunger and quenches our thirst.
 
1. "Requiescat in Pace" -- It was with sadness that we learned last Monday of Father Richard Rego's sudden death while undergoing surgery at St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson for a ruptured aortic aneurysm. While the doctors made a great effort during the surgery, it was apparent that nothing further could be done. Father David Reinders gave Father Richard the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick just before the surgery and Father Jim Modeen, chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital, gave him Viaticum. Father David was able to be at Father Richard's side in the final moments.

Over the past five years, I had many conversations with Father Richard. I came to know his deep love for the Tridentine Mass, his fidelity to the Church and his willing obedience to me as his bishop. His death certainly affects all of us, especially the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community at St. Ambrose Parish where he had served as chaplain these last two years. I have asked Father David to take up the responsibility, for the time being, of attending to the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community.

Father Richard was very appreciative that I had celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation for the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community according to the 1962 Ritual. He had been planning with me for some time a Solemn High Mass according to that Ritual to be celebrated at St. Augustine Cathedral on Jan. 13, 2008. He was so excited about that and had already begun plans for the celebration, which will still take place on that Sunday.

Also regarding the Latin Mass, some have asked whether the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, issued by Pope Benedict XVI in early July, would make a big difference in our Diocese. As with some other dioceses, our Diocese for some time has provided for those wishing to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Ritual. With the formation two years ago of the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community, the opportunity for those who wish to experience the 1962 Ritual continues. St. Gianna is a non-territorial church, and the liturgies are available to all Catholics. Despite Father Rego's death, this opportunity will remain.

I will be meeting with the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community in the near future to discuss plans for future pastoral leadership.

2. Inauguration of Ned Norris Jr., New Chairman of the Tohono o'Odahm Nation -- I was very honored to preside at the Mass that preceded last Friday's inauguration of Ned Norris Jr. as the 23rd leader of the Tohono o'Odahm Nation, the inauguration of Isidro Lopez as vice chairman and the taking of their oaths of office by Tribal Council members.

I appreciated the presence of our Franciscan Friars, Fathers Tom Frost, Max Hottle and Ignatius DeGroot, who serve on the Reservation. They received applause from the Tohono o'Odahm Community for their generous and loving pastoral care of the people. Deacon Alfred Gonzalez, from the Nation, served as deacon. People feel pride in one of their own being on the altar.
 
The theme of the Inauguration Festivities, attended by many of the Nation and a number of distinguished guests, including Attorney General Terry Goddard, was "All of Us Together" (in o'Odahm, "WE:Sij T-wE:im"). How critical it is for all of us together to work for the well being of our communities. Our prayer is that Chairman Norris and Vice Chairman Lopez will serve well.
 
I am grateful to Vivian Juan Saunders, who served these past four years as Chairwoman.

3. San Felipe de Jesus Parish 15th Anniversary -- The community of San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Nogales observed the 15th anniversary of the parish's establishment yesterday with Mass and a fiesta. I was very happy to preside at the anniversary Mass and to be with Father Vili Valderrama, administrator, and Father Abram Guerrero, parochial vicar, as they celebrated this special occasion with the people of San Felipe.

When you drive up the steep hill to San Felipe de Jesus Church, you notice that the street's name is Jose Gallego Drive. I think San Felipe de Jesus Parish may be the only parish in the Diocese that is located on a street named after its founding pastor. Father Jose Gallego, who died in 1992, is remembered so fondly by the people of San Felipe.

It was good to see the enthusiasm and joy among the people as their parish celebrated its quincinera. At the end of Mass, Berthita, one of the founders of the parish, gave a marvelous reflection on the pride that she and the community feel in their parish. The Jovenes from the parish concluded the liturgy with a song filled with spirit. A combined choir added praise throughout the Mass. The Guadalupanas prepared a delightful meal for all. It was a grand celebration.
 
4. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- Resuming its meetings after the summer break, the Council met last Saturday at the Pastoral Center. This was Joanne Myers first meeting as the Council's newly elected chairperson.

Each time the Council gathers one of the members reflects on her or his faith journey. These sharings are powerful expressions of how the Lord is working in each of our lives.
 
This month, John Wahlmeier offered his comments about growing up in Kansas in a huge farm family, living in simple but loving surroundings. It was like listening to Garrison Keeler. He shared how he offered prayers for St. Ann's intercession that he would find a good wife, how his prayers were answered when he met his wife at school and how he learned from her that she, too, had prayed for St. Ann's intercession that she would find a good husband. That is the power of intercession! John's witness stirred our own faith. People from the Council listened with rapt attention. Faith sharing on pastoral councils can provide powerful witness of faith and remind us what we are all about as a people of faith.
 
We also listened in our meeting to two parishioners from Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley about why they had left the Church and what encouraged them to return. Both said it was the personal invitation of a neighbor that encouraged them to come back home. The Council wondered what the impact would be if each of our parishes had a program like those at Our Lady of the Valley, Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and St. Cyril Parish inviting Catholics to come home 

The Council received the comments of the many people who responded to my article on developing a pastoral response to people of same sex orientation. The Council will reflect on the wide range of comments and will offer their observations at next month's meeting.
 
The Council listened to comments about the Motu Proprio and the statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.

I briefed the Council on plans for the renovation of Cathedral Square. I appreciate greatly the input the Council provides.

5. Annual Seminarians' Convocation -- The Convocation is underway at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

This gathering allows our diocesan seminarians to build camaraderie and community and to spend some quality time with me, with Vocations Director Father Miguel Mariano and each other.

In keeping with the tradition that our most recently ordained priest offers a Mass for the seminarians, Father Mark Long, parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, is celebrating Mass for them today.  Tomorrow, the seminarians, their parents and members of the Serra Club, Knights of Columbus and Catholic Daughters of the Americas will gather for a Mass at which I will preside. We then will have our annual appreciation dinner at which we thank the Serrans and Knights for their support of our diocesan vocation efforts.

The seminarians will be treated to a trip to the Kartchner Caverns on Wednesday, followed by a luncheon at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish hosted by Father Mike Bucciarelli, pastor.

We begin this academic year with eight seminarians, four of whom we anticipate ordaining to the priesthood next year.

I encourage our parishes and schools to continue their prayers for vocations. We need more priests to serve the needs of our Diocese. We believe in prayer and that the Lord hears us when we cry out. Let's keep crying out and asking for more vocations.
           
6. Back to School! -- The principals, teachers and staff of our 28 Catholic Schools in the Diocese are ready to greet nearly 8,000 students who are going back to school this week and next for the new academic year.

New teachers will be receiving their welcome and orientation at meetings this week.

I am happy to welcome our new principals, and I thank the principals who are leaving their positions for their dedicated service.

Sister Adrianna Schouten, O.S.F., who has done such a wonderful job as principal at Yuma Catholic High School, is leaving to serve on the provincial team of her community. Also in Yuma, Lydia Mendoza succeeds Sister Joellen Kohlman, O.S.F., as principal.
 
In Tucson, Lupita Ornelas is the new principal at St. John the Evangelist School, succeeding Leonardo Basurto, and Kathy Woods is the new principal at St. Odilia School, succeeding Rachel Rulmyr.
 
Many of our Catholic School communities are beginning the new school year with retreats, and I am very happy to participate in the retreat being held this Friday jointly by the faculties and staff of Santa Cruz, St. John and San Xavier in Tucson and Holy Angels School in Globe.

At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Tucson, the seventh and eighth graders will enjoy their new classrooms, computer lab and media center in the new "junior high" building. I will join principal Suzanne Shadonix, principal, Father Joe Lombardo, pastor, and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School Community this Saturday to dedicate the new building.

7. New Resource for Safe Environment Program -- As school resumes and as our parishes return to a full schedule of activities after the summer break, there is a new resource for the orientation of new employees and volunteers.

The resource is a video for the Safe Environment Program that focuses on Arizona's mandatory child abuse reporting law and the commitment of our Diocese to careful selection                                                   and screening of personnel, ongoing education and good supervision. Parishes and schools will be receiving the video, in DVD format, this week. In his letter that accompanies the DVD, Dr. Paul Duckro, director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, notes that parishes and schools may use the video during this program and school year both for the orientation of new employees and volunteers and to meet the annual education requirement for current employees and volunteers.

Produced in Spanish and English, the video allows me to emphasize to employees and volunteers that the Diocese considers the protection of children to be a sacred commitment that we share in common as we serve children and families in our parishes and schools. The video draws upon the expertise of the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center to explain the mandatory reporting law. In discussions facilitated by Paul, Caroline Tompkins, Community Outreach Coordinator, and Enrique Aviles, Prevention Specialist, detail the requirements of the law and answer the most frequently asked questions that persons have about the law.

According to its Website, the Center, in addition to providing an array of investigative and advocacy services to child victims of abuse and their non-offending family members, works with communities to prevent child victimization and to stop the cycle of abuse. Each year, Center educators teach thousands of school age children, including many in our Catholic Schools and parish religious education programs how to keep themselves safe and how to report abuse if they believe it has happened.

Providing training to adult professionals throughout southern Arizona on the laws and processes of mandated reporting is another emphasis of the Center, as demonstrated by the participation of Caroline and Enrique in the new video.

The Center has been an invaluable partner to our Diocese in our efforts to provide education on child abuse prevention and awareness, and I am grateful to Caroline and Enrique for helping us with this essential education.

Oversight of our Safe Environment Program and of our commitment to the safety of children is provided by our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board. The Board meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center.

8. Diocese of Columbus "Opening Leadership Meeting" -- I will be giving the keynote address this Thursday at this annual gathering for the school administrators, directors of religious education and youth ministry leaders in the Diocese of Columbus. I will be talking about one of my favorite topics: "Co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord," the foundational document on lay ecclesial ministry.

In the letter inviting me to give the address, Kitty Quinn of the Diocese of Columbus Department of Education wrote, "In our diocesan offices, this document has generated a great deal of discussion among those working in education, adult faith formation and leadership -- for we are about the work of the Church. We hope to extend this conversation beyond our Catholic Center and into the vineyard of the schools, the religious education programs and parish youth programs."

As a member of the Subcommittee on Lay Ministry that produced the document, I am very pleased that discussions such as those referenced by Kitty are taking place.

9. Common Formation Program Class of 2008 Retreat -- The Common Formation Program Class of 2008 enters its fourth and final year of study and preparation with this weekend's retreat at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.  Twenty-four permanent diaconate candidates and their wives and 22 lay ecclesial ministry candidates will gather for prayer and reflection as they enter this year of study and continued formation.  

Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista, will offer reflections from Scripture on the theme of the "Discipleship: Vigilance in Prayer and Readiness for Ministry." I will preside at the afternoon Eucharistic Liturgy on Saturday and extend a special blessing to all of the candidates as they express their commitment to this process of preparation for ministry. On Sunday morning, Father Joe Rodrigues of the Jordan Ministry Team will invite them to reflect on mature discipleship and developing a personal "mission statement." 
 
10. Common Formation Program Class of 2012 -- The first of seven information sessions for persons who may want to be considered as candidates for the 2012 Common Formation Program is tonight at St. Odila Parish in Tucson. The sessions will continue through this month and September at locations around the Diocese.

Pastors are invited to encourage possible candidates for these the permanent diaconate and lay ecclesial ministry ministries to attend a sessions.  You can download the schedule and registration form at www.diocesetucson.org/formation.html.  For additional information, you can contact Pegi Dodd in the Office of Formation at pegid@diocesetucson.org or 520-792-3410.
 
11. New Pastoral Center Staff -- I am very happy to welcome and introduce these new staff members here at the Pastoral Center: Julieta Gonzalez and Misty Nerison, Human Resources; Anna Maria Mammen, Chancellor's Office and the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection; Joe Medina, part-time custodian for the Pastoral Center; Sister Rina Cappelazzo, O.P., Vicar for Religious; and Lori Callas, Charity and Ministry Fund.

In the Memo over the next few weeks, each of them will share a little about themselves.

12. 100th Anniversary of Scouting -- Pope Benedict XVI has given special attention this summer to the 100th anniversary of the Scouting movement.

In a July letter, the Holy Father wrote, "Inspired by the Gospels, scouting is not only a place for authentic human growth, but also a place of strong Christian values and true moral and spiritual growth, as with any authentic way of holiness."

Greeting an international group of Scouts on the anniversary day of Aug. 1, he prayed that the movement would continue to promote "human, spiritual and civil formation in every country of the world."

I take the occasion of this anniversary to thank all who are involved with Scouting through our parishes and Catholic Schools. I appreciate the work of the volunteer leaders who help our Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H and Campfire youth. I am grateful for the work of our diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, under the leadership of Jeff Hill. I always look forward to our annual Catholic Scouting Mass that is organized by the Committee. More information about the Committee is available at www.diocesetucson.org/scoutindex.html.

13. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Maria Davalos and Katherine Preble of the Pastoral Center and Bishop Donald Pelotte, S.S.S., of the Diocese of Gallup, that they may be restored to full health soon.

Vol. 5, No. 17
Aug. 13, 2007

Last week, I began phoning our Catholic School principals to wish them, their faculties and staffs God's blessings for this new school year. They sounded excited and enthused, ready to begin. Teachers have chalk dust in their veins. Each August, they look forward to getting back into the classroom.
 
I sensed that same spirit at a joint retreat I conducted last week at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks for the principals, faculties and staffs of Holy Angels School in Globe and Santa Cruz, St. John, and San Xavier Schools in Tucson. It was a group of more than 100!

They listened to one another express their hopes for the year and they learned about the history of these marvelous schools. I could tell that they appreciated the mission that Christ has entrusted to them in handing on the faith to children. I was encouraged to see the schools collaborating, sharing resources and learning from one another.

Credit for this productive gathering goes to Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., principal of Santa Cruz, Deborah Leverance, principal of Holy Angels, Lupita Ornelas, new principal of St. John, and Shirley Kalinowski, principal of San Xavier.
 
I also was delighted at the retreat to meet some of the Notre Dame ACE students who will be working in our schools. Some are now in their second year and some are newly arrived. We appreciate all they bring to our community.
 
As we begin another new ministry and program year, there is much to look forward to. As I did last year in an August memo, I present a review of the "Six Rs" -- the goals we have for our Diocese.
 
Restoring Trust: Our commitments to our diocesan Safe Environment Program, to the protection of children and vulnerable adults and to openness and transparency are lived out in this goal. Recently mounted on a wall in the foyer of the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center is a beautiful sculpture by Sister Esther Sawal, O.C.S.O., titled "Christ and the Children." In the fall, I will bless and dedicate this sculpture as a reminder to all of us to put children first. The sculpture, which you see as you enter the Pastoral Center, symbolizes the promise I made to victims of child abuse that we will not forget.
 
We honor the memory of Veronica Porter for her special concern for children. It was the gift she left to the Diocese in her will that provided the stipend for this beautiful artwork.
 
This year, we again will have an on-site audit of our Safe Environment Program by the Gavin Group. Our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions have been working very hard to do the screening, education and oversight necessary to live out our commitment to put children first. It is encouraging to see how this has become part of the warp and woof of our parishes. Priests, deacons, seminarians and paid and volunteer staff in our parishes and schools have come to accept the importance of what is being done and are cooperating well. I am grateful to our pastors, principals and the compliance representatives at our parishes and schools for their commitment to the Safe Environment Program.
 
Clearly, the work of Dr. Paul Duckro, director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, difficult and demanding as it is, is bearing much fruit.
 
Reenergizing Our Priests: The on-going formation programs being offered each year have been well accepted and attended. This year's program includes a presentation on Nov. 5 by John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter who has covered the Church in Rome for many years and another presentation, on Feb. 18, 2008, from Rev. Ted Ross, S.J., a well-known Church historian. Each also will give a presentation to the diocesan community. Letters were sent to the priests last week announcing these exciting programs.
 
I have been impressed by the spirit shown by our priests at their recent convocations. It is encouraging to hear priests say that there is a growing sense of fraternity. This past week, several of our priests took part in an international meeting of the Fraternity of Diocesan Priests in Pittsburgh. Fathers Jim Hobert, Liam Leahy, Dom Pinti and Ray Ratzenberger attended. We need to continue exploring ways to build a sense of presbyterate. These are not days for "lone rangers." We need to collaborate well as priests and to work with deacons, religious and laity to build up our local Church.
 
We have welcomed a number of new priests recently into our Diocese. This past week, I met with Father Ivan Marsh, O.Carm., a retired priest who will be helping at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish, and with Father Ian Bustonera, A.M., who is assigned as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson. The Carmelites are sending several new priests to assist at Salpointe and at St. Cyril.
 
We are expecting a new member of the Via Cristi Community in Nigeria, which has already sent us four young priests: Fathers James Aboyi in Kearney, Sebastine Bula in San Manuel, Richard Kusugh in Mammoth (who will be transferred in September to Yuma) and Samuel Odeh in Yuma, who will be transferred to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Mammoth as administrator in September. We have also heard from Bishop Usuh of the Diocese of Makurdi that he can send us two additional priests to help us. We have begun the paperwork necessary for their visas. Father Matthew Asemagema, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Morenci, Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton and St. Mary's Mission in Duncan, and Father Francis Iber, pastor of St. Francis Parish in Superior, are from that diocese.
 
Welcoming these missionary priests among us encourages all of us in our ministry.
 
Renew Our Parishes: Plans are moving along for the Southwest Liturgical Conference to be held in Tucson Jan. 16-19, 2008. Sister Lois Paha, O.P., and Father Miguel Mariano have done a lot of work in preparation. This conference will bring participants from our Diocese and from dioceses all across the nation. Registration is going well. I encourage all of our parishes to send participants to this important assembly to help us enhance our liturgical lives in our parishes.
 
Our parish corporations continue to hum along with the support and guidance of Father Al Schifano, Moderator of the Curia, and Kathy Rhinehart, executive assistant for Corporate Matters. The Boards of Directors of the parish corporations have met several times, and the input of the lay members has been immensely helpful. Continued work is happening in parishes to strengthen finance and pastoral councils, whose advice and counsel can be so helpful to our pastors. We are planning a second assembly for board members in the fall.
 
We have begun to recruit new candidates for our Common Formation Program, which includes deacon candidates and their wives and lay ecclesial ministry candidates. The present class is completing its final year. These new ministers will bring new talent and energy to the work of the Church. Selection of candidates remains the most critical task. I am grateful to Sister Lois, Father Miguel and the staff of the Vocations and Formation offices for all they do in this effort.
 
Recruit More Vocations: While the number of seminarians is fewer than last year, we look forward this spring, God willing, to the ordinations to the priesthood for service in our Diocese of Emilio Chapa, Ed Lucero, Ricky Ordonez and Robert Rodriquez.
 
Last week at the seminarian convocation, we held an evening of gratitude for benefactors to our vocation efforts. I am constantly amazed at the prayers, financial support and concern shown by the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Sacred Heart Prayer Group, the Knights of Columbus, the Serrans and individual laity from many parishes, including Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley and Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson. It is a clear statement that recruiting more vocations is a shared responsibility.
 
Remember, my goal and hope is that we can welcome 10 new seminarians a year for our Diocese. While we fell far short of that goal this past year, we remain determined. Let's keep working together. I hope our associate vocation directors in the vicariates will become even more active in inviting candidates.
 
Re-garner Our Resources: While our operating budget has stabilized, the Diocese still faces significant debt. Nevertheless, there are hopeful signs that we are becoming healthier financially. This year's Annual Catholic Appeal, thanks to Tom Smith and his staff of the Charity and Ministry Fund and the pastors and staffs in our parishes, was the most successful ever. We received more than $4 million in pledges.
 
I have been discussing other ways that we might find the needed resources to address the burgeoning growth in the Diocese of Tucson. People's counsel and advice has been immensely helpful.
 
We received several significant gifts from wills this past year. I hope more of our priests and people will remember the Diocese and their parishes in their wills in some way. It is immensely helpful in strengthening the mission of Christ in our Diocese.
 
Reaching Out to the Littlest and Weakest among Us: I am saddened that Congress was unable to pass comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system. While border enforcement is necessary and important, especially to curtail the flow of drugs, we need to find a way to bring the 12 million undocumented persons who live in the shadows without proper documentation to legal status. They contribute much to our society and communities. Likewise, we need to develop a way of welcoming needed workers. This issue will not go away. It needs a comprehensive solution.
 
I am grateful to Father Dom Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction and Vicar of the Pinal West Vicariate, for serving as my liaison for life issues. I recently sent a letter to our parishes encouraging them to consider participating in several life initiatives that will be happening in the fall. I look forward again next January to participating in the March for Life. I hope many will join me.
 
I will be conducting listening sessions for parents this fall to better understand their struggles. I comment on this in my September column in The New Vision. Family life presents many needs and demands. I hope the Church can be more helpful in providing pastoral and spiritual help to parents and their families. Included in these listening sessions will be an effort to reach out to parents who are struggling with the revelation of a son or daughter about their sexual orientation, about their struggle with drugs or about their feeling distanced from the Church and the practice of the Faith.

1. Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- I will preside at the noon Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral this Wednesday. And, for the second year in a row on the Solemnity, I will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Florence.

2. Pastoral Center Staff and Directors Meetings
-- The monthly meetings of Pastoral Center staff and the directors of offices and departments will be this Thursday morning.

3. Corpus Christi Parish Retreat -- I am very pleased once again to participate in the retreat that Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson offers to its staff and parishioners for the beginning of the new program and activity year. This Saturday's retreat will include presentations from Father Joe Rodrigues, S.D.S., of the Jordan Ministry Team, Father Richard Kingsley, pastor, and myself. My presentation will be "The Call of the Lay Faithful to Action through Ministry."

4. Third Annual Gathering of Diocesan Lay Ecclesial Ministers -- The Third Annual Gathering of the Lay Ecclesial Ministers of the Diocese of Tucson will be this Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish Hall in Tucson.

We are very honored to have Richard C. Brown, Ph.D., as our guest presenter for the gathering's workshop. He will share reflections on ministry in the context of his recent book, "When Ministry is Messy: Practical Solutions to Difficult Problems" (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006). 

I will share some observations on how "Coworkers in the Vineyard of the Lord," the foundational document on lay ecclesial ministry is being received. I also will offer some direction for diocesan implementation of lay ecclesial ministry.  

I encourage all who are involved in ministry leadership in our Diocese to attend. Please feel free to invite any of your co-workers in ministry leadership from your parish or vicariate who may not have received word of this gathering. You can contact Pegi Dodd in the Office of Formation at 520-838-2545 or pegid@diocesetucson.org for more information and to register. There is no charge for the workshop.

5. Mass at St. Thomas More Newman Center -- I will celebrate the 5 p.m. Mass next Sunday at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona.

The new semester begins a week from today, and Father Bart Hutcherson, O.P., pastor at St. Thomas More, has asked me to bless this year's Campus Ministry Leadership Team. The 14 students and Father Bart are attending the Dominican Institute for Student Ministers at St. Albert's Priory in Oakland, undergoing four intense days of training in the basic principles of Catholic Campus Ministry with Student Ministry Teams from other universities served by friars of the Western Dominican Province.  During the Mass, I also will offer a blessing for  UA students and faculty of as they embark on the fall semester.

Father Bart has asked me to help spread the word about a special Mass and concert on Sunday, Aug. 26.  The Newman Community will celebrate a Mass of the Holy Spirit for the entire University Community at Centennial Hall on the UA Campus at 5 p.m. that Sunday. The Mass will be followed by a "Concert of Praise" to bless the new academic year. The concert will feature two of Catholic music's shining stars: OCP recording artist Matt Maher and Tom Booth. Tom is an alumnus of the UA and the Newman Center. Father Bart says everyone is welcome for the Eucharistic Celebration and the concert. He says, "Please extend a special invitation to youth and young adults from around the Diocese to join us for the free concert, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall."

6. Recognition from Catholic Relief Services -- I am very pleased to share this recognition that our Diocese received last month from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services:

"The Catholic Relief Services Collection recognizes the Diocese of Tucson for outstanding efforts to promote the Church's international solidarity and relief efforts through the Catholic Relief Services collection. Your leadership and commitment to increasing awareness and action by Catholics in your diocese on behalf of the worldwide human family is deeply appreciation by those who directly benefit from your generosity."

The recognition was signed by Bishop William Skylstad, president of the USCCB. In a letter from Bishop Skylstad that accompanied the certificate, he wrote, "The Diocese of Tucson achieved a significant increase in its 2006 CRS Collection receipts over 2005. This accomplishment deserves recognition and the appreciation of those who benefit from this collection. We would be grateful if you would convey our heartfelt gratitude to your priests for their efforts to promote the CRS Collection in their parishes. Their commitment and generosity demonstrate genuine love and compassion for all who are helped by the collection -- those who are truly Jesus in disguise."

7. Ordination of Father Philip Sullivan, O.C.D. -- Father Philip was ordained on Saturday, Aug. 4, at St. Therese Church in Alhambra, CA, by Bishop Gabino Zavala, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Father Philip has informed me that Father Gerald Werner, O.C.D., his provincial, has assigned him to Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson. Father Philip celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving yesterday at Sacred Heart Parish in Parker. We welcome Father Philip to the Diocese.

8. Meet a New Staff Member -- For the next weeks, each Memo will include a brief introduction of our new staff members here at the Pastoral Center. This week, Misty Nerison, secretary in our Human Resources Department, introduces herself. Misty provides a warm welcome over the phone and in person at the reception desk at the Pastoral Center.

I was born and raised in Tucson. I am a graduate of Flowing Wells High School and Pima Community College. I am very happy to be a part of the Diocese of Tucson and hope to meet many of you. I am blessed with a wonderful family and try to spend as much spare time with them as possible. My father is the manager at Brings Funeral Home and my mother operates daycare services out of their home. I have two wonderful brothers, one of whom is serving in Iraq. I stay very active keeping up with my better half, Chris, and my 12-year-old son Kyle. I enjoy the outdoors and am an avid collector of Wizard of Oz memorabilia.

9. A Reminder -- The appreciation dinner for June Kellen, our former Chancellor, to which all priests are invited, is Friday, Sept. 7, at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson. We will celebrate Mass at 4:30, and the dinner will follow. There will be a meeting of all priests at 1 p.m. at the St. Frances Cabrini Parish Hall.

10. Cathedral Placita and Hall Project -- Construction is in hiatus now, awaiting permits from the City of Tucson. While we had hoped the first phase of the project would be completed in time for the Harmonia Fiesta Concert that is now not possible. The concert on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Tucson Convention Center is the major fundraising event for the project, which will result in a beautiful placita in front of Cathedral Hall and the renovation of the Hall. When the project is completed, the placita and Hall will be named in honor of Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo, our much beloved former rector of the Cathedral. I hope each of our parishes will be represented at the concert.

I have invited each of our parishes to participate in purchasing some pavers for the surface of the Placita. Many have already responded. We hope to have a section of the Placita with the names of all of our parishes included.
 
I also have written to the provincials of the communities of the women and men religious serving in our Diocese or who have served here so that a section of the Placita might also bear their names.

11. Managing Editor for The New Vision/La Nueva Visión -- The position of managing editor remains open. Our emphases for this position include: knowledge of Church and the Diocese; commitment to Church teaching; digital publishing skills and experience; reporting and editing skills and experience; and Internet and Website experience and skills. Our preference is for English and Spanish bi-lingual skills. A position description is available under "Employment" on the home page of our diocesan Website, www.diocesetucson.org.
 
12. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Timothy J. Howard, S.J., who died June 24. Father Tim practiced as a psychologist in Tucson from 1972 to 1991 and from 1993 to 2004, when due to failing health he returned to the Marquette University Jesuit Community.

Also, please pray for June Kellen, our former Chancellor, and for Bishop Donald Pelotte, S.S.S., Bishop of Gallup, that they will be restored to full health soon.

Vol. 5, No. 18
Aug. 20, 2007

It was 100 years ago this month that Bishop Henry Granjon spent what might be the most important $1.00 that any Bishop of Tucson has ever spent.

He paid $1.00 for 40 acres adjacent to Oracle Road on the northwestern outskirts of Tucson.

What a deal!

And what a spiritually significant purchase that was, for it was those 40 acres that brought to a total of 200 acres the land purchased by the Diocese for its new cemetery. Bishop Granjon would dedicate that cemetery later in 1907 as Holy Hope Cemetery.

This Friday and Saturday, Holy Hope Cemetery is marking its 100 years of service with special events.

I invite you to be present at 9 a.m. this Friday at Holy Hope as I bless and dedicate the newly-remodeled Family Service Center. Also on Friday and continuing on Saturday, the staff of Holy Hope is pleased to host an "open house" event to introduce the Family Service Center.

I am grateful to the Board of Directors of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries, with Dr. Ben Tuchi as chairman, and to executive director Jim DeCastro and the staff of the Cemeteries for their commitment to the mission of our Catholic Cemeteries: "To minister to our families in their time of need through a dedicated staff, providing tender and attentive care with quality products at a reasonable price in a beautifully kept cemetery."

We very proudly celebrate this past century of service by Holy Hope to our Catholic families.
 
1. Mass at St. Thomas More Newman Center -- I was delighted to celebrate Mass yesterday evening at the St. Thomas More Newman Center near the University of Arizona Campus. It was impressive to see so many young people and a good number of freshmen attend. More than 300 young people came to the welcome gathering at the Center. It was my honor to bless the new ministry leadership team made up of collegians who are generously sharing their gifts for others. There is also a group at the Center for graduate students in their 20s and 30s who gather regularly.
 
I am grateful to the Dominicans who staff St. Thomas More Newman Parish: Father Bart Hutcherson, pastor; Father Jerome Cudden, parochial vicar; Sister Diane Bridenbecker, chaplain; and Sister Renilde Cade, volunteer coordinator.

Father Bart has asked me to extend an invitation to the entire Diocese to take part in this coming Sunday's Mass of the Holy Spirit and Praise Concert. The Mass, at 5 p.m. at Centennial Hall on the UA campus, will invoke the Spirit's consecration on the ministry of the Newman Center for this coming year. After Mass, a hot dog supper will be offered at the Centennial Hall Plaza. The Praise Concert will feature Catholic recording artists Tom Booth and Matt Maher. A free will offering will be taken up to help off set the expenses of the weekend's festivities.

2. Diocesan Finance Council -- The Finance Council meets tomorrow morning here at the Pastoral Center. The Council will welcome Father Michael Shay, S.D.S., pastor of San Martin de Porres Parish in Sahuarita, as a new member.

3. Mass at Villa Maria Care Center -- I will visit and celebrate Mass tomorrow morning with the residents and staff of Villa Maria Care Center in Tucson. I am grateful to Sister Dorothy Ann Lesher, C.S.J., who provides Catholic chaplaincy services at Villa Maria, for facilitating this opportunity.

4. Visit by Father Angus Fraser, C.Ss.P. -- I am very pleased to welcome Father Angus, who is the Master General of the Via Christi Society in Nigeria, to the Diocese this week.

Father Angus will be visiting the Via Christi priests who serve in our Diocese: Fathers James Aboyi in Kearney, Sebastine Bula in San Manuel, Richard Kusugh in Mammoth (who will be transferred in September to Yuma) and Samuel Odeh in Yuma (who will be transferred to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Mammoth as administrator in September). And, as I wrote last week, we look forward to welcoming yet another Via Christi priest to our Diocese in the near future.

5. Confirmation at St. Monica Parish, Tucson -- I will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation to adult candidates at St. Monica Parish this Thursday evening.

6. Convocation of Deacons -- The annual Convocation of Deacons in our Diocese is this Friday and Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson. I look forward to being with the deacons and their wives and to welcoming Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany, who is the special guest presenter for the Convocation. Bishop Hubbard has served as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for the Diaconate. The theme of this year's gathering is "Called to Diaconia."

Dr. Paul Duckro, director of our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, will present the annual Safe Environment Program education update for the deacons, focusing on keeping boundaries in ministry. (We here at the Pastoral Center received our annual education at our monthly staff meeting last Thursday. We watched the new video that focuses on Arizona mandatory child abuse reporting law.)

7. St. Rose of Lima Parish 70th Anniversary -- Father Ariel Lustan, pastor, and the people of St. Rose of Lima Parish are going all out to celebrate the parish's 70th anniversary with a whole week of special events that began yesterday. Today through Friday, there will be Mass at 6 p.m., followed by gatherings that each night will include a special food (hot dogs, tacos, burritos, nachos, hamburgers), and special entertainment (karaoke, country music and an ice cream social). There will be a day-long fiesta this Saturday. I am happy that I can join the parish in observing this anniversary by celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving this Saturday at 6 p.m. After the Mass, we will enjoy a parish potluck dinner that will feature Father Dom Pinti's "Signature Spaghetti." Father Dom is a former pastor at St. Rose.

8. Responding to a Gentle and Constant Call -- As Catholics, our commitment to life-long learning is a gentle and constant call. I encourage you to respond to that call by participating in the excellent faith formation programs that abound in our Diocese.

The Common Formation Program for 24 permanent deacon candidates and their wives and 23 lay ecclesial ministry candidates enters its fourth and final year with their monthly meetings beginning in September.  

On Saturday, 40 persons participated in the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany Liturgy Preparation Workshop on Saturday at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson. Also on Saturday, Dr. Richard Brown, Ph.D., facilitated a workshop on "When Ministry is Messy" for 50 lay ecclesial ministers from Tucson area parishes.

On Wednesday, 130 people will gather at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate Beginnings Plus Institute. The participants are from 20 Diocese of Tucson parishes and eight neighboring dioceses. RCIA leaders will experience this intensive and very informative seminar as they prepare their parish catechumenate process for adults and children for this year.

Working with the Office of Catechesis, the Jordan Ministry Team has sent its Certification II session schedule for fall to all of the parishes.  
 
The Office of Formation is offering an opportunity for a parish Bible study. Little Rock Scripture Study will present informational workshops in English and Spanish on Sept. 22 at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Tucson. Sister Susan McCarthy and Cackie Upchurch will demonstrate the method of parish-based Bible study designed to be used and coordinated by lay persons.  Little Rock Scripture Study offers more than 30 Old and New Testament studies, some of which are also available in Spanish.

The workshops are open to all laity, clergy and religious and are designed to acquaint participants with the format and materials of Little Rock Scripture Study. Participants also will learn about Leadership Training, a must for parishes about to get started. Please contact Pegi Dodd at the Office of Formation at 520-838-2545 or pegid@diocesetucson.org if your parish is interested in sending representatives to be trained.  

9. A Transforming Experience -- To further encourage your participation in faith formation programs, I share this "testimony" from Jean Gill, who with her husband Art attended a North American Forum on the Catechumenate Beginnings Plus Institute in Iowa this summer. Jean and Art are parishioners at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson, and Jean wrote of her experience in this past weekend's parish bulletin.

Art and I just returned from an RCIA Forum (in Iowa), three and a half days of very intense listening, dialoging, sharing, learning and spiritual uplifting. At the end of each day, I would go back to my room, totally exhausted, but happy. I would think, "tomorrow just can't be as good as it was today," but each day was just as good, or better.

I thought, "God, if I died tonight, I would die a happy person." But then I would quickly ask God to spare me if He would, because I really wanted to go back to St. Francis and share all these wonderful ideas and feelings.
 
I never felt I was being preached to, but instead I was taught that we are on a mission, and when people wishing to come into our Faith or wanting to come into full communion with the Church contact us, it will be a journey, sometimes long and sometimes short.
 
All those who shared in the Forum were reminded that each one of us is a vital part of a community and we are all the Church. That the Catholic Church is not a resort for saints but a hospital for sinners. That our lectors don't just stand up there and read to us; they tell us a story. That music is a vital part of our Mass and prayer. (I even got to participate in the choir, something I have always wanted to do, but just never did.) That the entrance hymn is not timed just for the priest to reach the altar, but is itself a prayer. That each member of our community has an important role in this journey we take with our catechumens and candidates, and parishioners too should pray and share this journey with each of them. That the RCIA (OCIA) should not be a program, but a process. That pulling out the frills and extra things for certain times and celebrations of the year is a wonderful thing to do, and of course we know Father Tamminga and Father Shuppert, ably supported by Father Carney, really know how to do this well, and for that we are thankful.
 
One of the most beautiful things is that I came away from the Forum not wishing
to remodel and change a lot, but I came away wanting to clean-up and perfect the old.

Thank you, Jean, for sharing your transforming experience.

10. Meet a New Staff Member -- We continue the introductions of new staff members here at the Pastoral Center. This week, Julieta Gonzalez, secretary in our Human Resources Office, tells you a little about herself.

I'm a Tucson native and have worked as a writer and media relations professional for more than 20 years. Within the last two years, I've worked as an administrative assistant for Pio Decimo Center, where I attended kindergarten in the 1950s and came to know and love the "White Sisters," and as a document translator for the Arizona's Children Association.
I was born at St. Mary's Hospital and grew up in Tucson's Armory Park Neighborhood. As a child, I attended All Saints Parish, now closed. In later years, many of my original stage plays were performed in the old All Saints church building when it served as the Tucson Performing Arts Center.  Presently, I'm the flautist with the St. Augustine Cathedral Choir. I also serve as a lector. Recently, I completed Cathedral's Just Faith program. I'm a member of the San Martin de Porres Chapter (Newman Center) of the Dominican Laity and with God's blessings, will make my life profession as an OPL in November of this year. I feel blessed to be at the Diocese at this time.
 
11. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Last week, while on his annual vacation in Ireland, Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe experienced some dizziness and, as a precaution, he checked into hospital. He is expected to undergo an angiogram later this week. When I talked to Msgr. Richard on Friday, he was feeling better and was his ever optimistic self.

Also, please pray for Sister Jeanette Mariani, O.S.F., who is recovering from surgery at Northwest Hospital in Tucson.

12. Happy Birthday, Tucson! -- As today is the City of Tucson's 232nd birthday and as the See City of our Diocese is Tucson: Happy birthday, Tucson!

From www.tucsonbirthday.org, here is the translation (by Father Kieran McCarty, O.F.M.) of Hugo O'Conor's order that established the Royal Spanish Presidio of San Agustin del Tucson:

I, Hugo Oconor, knight of the order of Calatrava, colonel of infantry in His Majesty's armies and commandant inspector of the frontier posts of New Spain Certify that having conducted the exploration prescribed in Article three of the New Royal Regulation of Presidios issued by His Majesty on the tenth of September of 1772 for the moving of the company of San Ignacio de Tubac in the Province of Sonora, I selected and marked out in the presence of Father Francisco Garces and Lieutenant Juan de Carmona a place known as San Agustin del Tucson as the new site of the Presidio. It is situated at a distance of eighteen leagues from Tubac, fulfills the requirements of water, pasture, and wood and effectively closes the Apache frontier. The designation of the New Presidio becomes official with the signatures of myself, Father Francisco Garces, and Lieutenant Juan de Carmona, at this mission of San Xavier del Bac, on this twentieth day of August of the year 1775.

Vol. 5, No. 19                                                                                                            
Aug. 27, 2007


It was a delight for me to join the community of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford as they celebrated with great festivity, fireworks and all, their 70th anniversary this past weekend. Founded on December 22, 1937, the parish community has grown and flourished. It was great to meet some who have been a part of the community from the beginning.

St. Rose of Lima has provided several vocations to service in the Church, including Father Mike Martinez, Sister Guadalupe Jurado, O.P., pastoral administrator at Most Holy Nativity Parish in Rio Rico, and Sister Esther Calderon, O.P., who works in prison ministry.

John Rios, a long time parishioner who helped build the community center, is now in his 80s and has 110 grandchildren and great grandchildren. John was among many seniors who were sharing memories and pictures of the "good ol' days" at the parish.

At the anniversary Mass on Saturday, I was so pleased to see the community give a standing ovation to Father Domenico Pinti, pastor of St. George in Apache Junction, who served as pastor of St. Rose of Lima for 12 years. Another standing ovation was given to present pastor, Father Ariel Lustan. It is obvious the community loves and appreciates their pastors. Father Matthew Asemegama, Vicar Forane of Graham-Greenlee, joined us for the dinner after Mass.

Before Mass, I had the opportunity to bless the parish's newly paved parking lot, which has enhanced the look of the campus. The paving and landscaping were the result of many hands joining together to get the job done. Dean Craig was very influential in bringing this project forward. Father Ariel and I rode around in a golf cart blessing the expanded parking area. (I got a glimpse of what the Pope must feel in his Popemobile.)

It is amazing to see what good can happen when a parish works together.

Yesterday afternoon, I accompanied Father Ariel and several women from his parish who serve as Eucharistic ministers to anoint and to give Communion to some of the homebound. The faith of the elderly and sick is moving. Their witness strengthens my own faith. Some of those we visited suffer from blindness, diabetes, cancer or the limitations of aging. But despite their infirmity, they put their trust in God. 

Last night, I was invited to celebrate Mass for the inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Safford.

As I entered the prison's beautiful chapel, stained glass windows and all, I was surprised to see a poster on the wall welcoming me and to hear the applause of the inmates. As I greeted each of the men, they expressed gratitude for my visit. Two Mormon elders who volunteer at the prison attended the Mass and expressed their appreciation for my coming. A number of Protestant inmates also came for the Mass as a sign of respect for my visit. It was very humbling. Chaplain John Hollock was most gracious and could not say enough about how much they appreciate what Father Ariel and Vicki Quintero, who coordinates the St. Rose detention ministry volunteers, are doing to help them.

The inmate choir for the Mass was fantastic, and Alabare at the end was a true expression of praise.

As the men left the chapel, many asked for a blessing for them or their families. One man said he was close to be released, and he asked for prayers that he might make it this time. Let's pray these men will find strength in their faith to turn their lives more fully toward the Lord.

1. Convocation of Deacons -- Deacons and their wives contribute substantially to ministry in our Diocese. That becomes very obvious each time our diaconate community gathers in convocation when their commitment to the Church, their desire to do for others and their interest to grow are obvious.
 
This year's convocation took place Friday and Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson. Bishop Howard Hubbard from the Diocese of Albany made three challenging and helpful presentations. He spoke out of the experience of 18 years as a member of the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on the Diaconate. I enjoyed engaging in open conversation with our deacons and their wives. These open forums are a chance to hear what is on their minds, both the blessings and the concerns.
 
I am grateful to our Vicar for Deacons, Deacon Jim Burns, and to Deacons Don Ferris, Ken Moreland and George Scherf for their assistance in organizing this year's convocation.

2. Holy Hope Centennial -- I love looking at old pictures. Recently, I was paging through some photos of Holy Hope Cemetery that dated back to 1907, the year the cemetery began serving the Catholic community. In one picture, you see the old cars, the now outdated dress of the people, the open fields marked by a few crosses identifying the graves of loved ones. How much has changed in the 100 years that have passed.
 
Today, Holy Hope Cemetery is sacred, holy ground to many families in the Diocese of Tucson because loved ones are buried there. It was moving experience for me last Friday to pray with those who came to the open house and the blessing of the renovated Family Service Center as Holy Hope marked 100 years of service to Catholic families.
 
Jim DeCastro, director of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries, the staff of the Cemeteries, Dr. Ben Tucchi, chair of the Board of Directors of the Cemeteries, and all the members of the Board have enhanced greatly the legacy that has been given to us in the Diocese of Tucson.
 
We want our Catholic Cemeteries -- Holy Hope and Our Lady of the Desert -- to be places of hospitality and welcome, centers of care and compassion for grieving families. This consecrated ground reminds us of the dignity of life and the deep regard we have for those who have gone before us.

3. Feast of Our Patron Saint -- Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Augustine, our diocesan patron saint. Of course, he also is the patron saint of St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson, where I will be to celebrate 8 a.m. Mass on the feast day for the students, faculty and staff.

St. Augustine Cathedral Parish celebrated the feast of their patron saint this past weekend. Today, St. Monica Parish in Tucson celebrates is the feast day of its patroness, St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine.

4. Mentoring Program for the Recently Ordained -- Priests ordained in the last five years will gather for the quarterly Mentoring Program tomorrow and Wednesday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. Dr. Earl Cooper of Spiritual Care and Patient Advocacy at the Yuma Regional Medical Center will engage the priests on "Pastoral Care of the Dying and of Grieving Families." Chaplain Cheryl Wilson-Weiss of the Spiritual Care Center at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tucson will address "Pastoral Care in Moments of Trauma."

5. 2007 Italian Catholic Federation Convention -- The Italian Catholic Federation is holding its 77th Annual Convention this Friday through next Monday in Scottsdale. I will be attending this Saturday evening's convention banquet.

Luigi Providenza and Father Albert Bandini co-founded the Federation in 1924 in San Francisco as a lay apostolate with the goal of uniting Italian Catholics in faith, community and pride in shared heritage. The Federation has approximately 14,000 members in 172 parishes in California, Nevada, Illinois and Arizona. Federation Branch 425 at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley is very active, and I enjoy the opportunity each year to celebrate Mass with its members and to hear of their good work in support of the parish. Joseph Vivaldi, president of Branch 425, will give the welcome at Friday evening's opening of the convention.

6. Pastor Installation, St. Philip the Apostle Parish, Payson -- I will install Father Bill Gyure as the 10th pastor of St. Philip this Sunday. The installation of the pastor is always a joyful event in the life of a parish. The people of St. Philip's were very pleased when Father Bill was appointed as their pastor on June 1. He had served as administrator for the preceding year.

St. Philip's people always feed me well, so I anticipate I may gain a few pounds this Labor Day weekend. I will stay on in Payson for a few days to have a chance to meet and visit with people in the parish as well as have my first opportunity to travel to the nearby community of Young, where Father Bill has been saying Mass with the growing community there.

7. Vocation Discernment Programs for 2007-08 -- Father Miguel Mariano, director of the Vocations Office, and Marty Hammond, executive assistant in the Vocations Office, have provided this information about this year's discernment programs:

Andrew and Miryam Dinners give men and women who might be considering vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate or religious life an opportunity to meet with Bishop Kicanas and Father Miguel for dinner and an evening of reflection on "vocations." The dinners are scheduled throughout the year and are held in the various vicariates and parishes throughout the Diocese. If you are interested in attending one of these dinners, please contact your pastor and/or the Associate Vocation Director in your vicariate or contact the Vocations Office at 520-838-2531 or vocations@diocesetucson.org.

The InSearch Discernment Program is for men who are in the process of discovering their "call" or "vocation." They meet as a group one Saturday a month to discuss and experience different aspects of discernment. If you are interested in finding out more information about the 2007-08 InSearch schedule or in joining this group, please click on "Vocations" on the diocesan Website, www.diocesetucson.org.

8. Pastoral Goal of Supporting Married Couples -- As supporting married couples in their vocation is one of our pastoral goals, I want to point out an excellent resource and a helpful and happy opportunity that will assist us in working toward this goal.

The September issue of The New Vision will highlight the excellent resource of "For Your Marriage," the Website launched by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in July. Our diocesan Website's home page has a link to "For Your Marriage." I encourage our priests to bring this resource to the attention of parishioners by holding up a copy of The New Vision at the end of Mass this weekend and next and encouraging them to take a copy home. Also in this issue of The New Vision, I use my column to share some thoughts about the need for our Church and our Diocese to do more to provide pastoral care and support to families. I announce in the column my plans for three listening sessions about the needs of families.

I once again ask the help of our parishes in promoting the "Celebration of Marriage Mass" at St. Augustine Cathedral at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23. Please invite and encourage couples who are celebrating their 25th, 50th and 60-plus anniversaries to renew their vows at this Mass. So that I can recognize each couple, please have them contact the parish no later than Sept. 14. The parish should communicate the names to Sonya Gutierrez in my office.

9. Recognition for Our Diocese -- I share with you this letter from Father Sylvester Cronin of the Board of the International Catholic Stewardship Council.

"Congratulations! The Diocese of Tucson will receive the International Catholic Stewardship Council's Award for Excellence for materials in the category of Annual Appeal Video. This award will be presented on Sunday, Sept. 23, during the opening session of the ICSC Conference in Miami Beach. Determining the winners was extremely challenging since all of the materials submitted are exciting and inspirational."

Credit for this recognition goes to Tom Smith, director of our Annual Catholic Appeal, Fred Allison, director of the Office of Communications, and Frank Velasco, videographer, all of whom were instrumental in the production of this year's ACA video. As the on-screen "talent" for the video, I can attest to their hard work.

10. Alliance for Catholic Education -- Catholic Schools in our Diocese have been blessed these past seven years by the enthusiasm, skills and talents of young teachers in the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teacher Formation Program.

According to the ACE Website (http://ace.nd.edu), the program is a two-year service program that offers college graduates the opportunity to serve as full-time teachers in under-resourced Catholic Schools. ACE prepares its teachers in an innovative Master of Education program at Notre Dame. ACE teachers spend two summers studying in the Master of Education program at Notre Dame and two school years teaching. While they are teaching, participants live in small communities and share with each other their experiences as beginning teachers. ACE participants "are encouraged to develop their own personal spirituality in the context of community, and to share with one another the journey of becoming committed Catholic School teachers."

I enjoyed a wonderful evening recently with our present ACE teachers and two former ACE teachers, Peter Corrigan and Ted Wallach, who have remained in our Diocese to continue to provide their enthusiasm, skills and talents. Peter, who hosted the evening, is assistant principal at St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson. Ted is assistant principal at Santa Cruz School in Tucson. Peter and Ted were participants in the ACE Leadership Program, a 26-month Master of Arts in Educational Administration program that prepares teachers to serve as Catholic School administrators. Also present with us that evening was Dr. Rachel Moreno, a professor at the University of Arizona, who is the director of our diocesan ACE Program.

The second year ACE teachers in our Diocese this school year are: Kat Depietro (Santa Cruz); Doug Mogol (Santa Cruz); and Dan Lavrisa (San Xavier).

The first year ACE teachers in our Diocese this school year are: Leigh Jacobson (St. Augustine); Mike Wallach (San Xavier); and Jeremy Moreno (Santa Cruz).

These young people give me great hope. They come to us in our community with a deep desire to serve and a great love for people. That was obvious listening to them talk about the children they are teaching. They want very much to make a difference in their lives and to help them succeed. These young people are living their faith in an impressive way. We are blessed to have them among us.
 
11. Official Appointments -- We are very happy to welcome these priests to our Diocese:

Father Brendan C. Cudden, O.P., is parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Newman Center in Tucson. Father Brendan was ordained in June.           

Father Michael McAndrew, C.Ss.R., is in residence at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

Father Jeffery Smialek, O.Carm., is in residence at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Priory in Tucson, with an internship at Salpointe.

Father Ivan Marsh, O.Carm., is in residence at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson.

Father Cristian Bustonerna, A.M., is parochial vicar, St. Joseph Parish, Tucson. He is from the Prelature of Infanta, the Philippines.

Father Clement Agamba is parochial vicar at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson. He is from the Diocese of Navrongo-Boltanga Diocese, Ghana, West Africa.

Father Dennis Dolter, S.O.L.T., will arrive in late September or early October to be in residence at Our Lady of the Sierras, St. Joseph House.

Father Paul Mandziuk, M.S., will reside with Father Henry Dauphinais, M.S., and will continue his association with the National Retrouvaille Movement.

I have noted in previous memos the appointments of Father Edward Sarrazin, O.F.M., to Mission San Xavier del Bac and Father Philip Sullivan, O.C.D., to Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson.

I also take note of some departures.

Father John Williamson, O.C.D., is returning to England. I thank Father John for his service these past few years at Santa Cruz Parish.

And, we say farewell to Father Jose Luis Ferroni, O.C.D., who will soon be leaving Santa Cruz Parish to study in Rome. Father Jose Luis has written extensively about the Carmelites from Spain who ministered in our Diocese in the early decades of the 1900s and who were martyred in the Spanish Civil War. Father Jose Luis' appointment will have him in place for the beatifications of Father Lucas Tristany, O.C.D., and Father Eduardo Farré, O.C.D., who are among 498 martyrs who will be beatified Oct. 28.

12. Meet a New Staff Member
-- We continue the introductions of new staff members here at the Pastoral Center. This week, AnnaMaria Mammen, executive assistant in the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, tells you a little about herself.

Tucson has been my home for the last 18-plus years. I come from a military family and have lived in many places, including New Mexico, Minnesota, California, Utah, Texas and Arizona and overseas in Germany, Panama, the Philippines and the Netherlands. I have held many jobs, including at a law firm and an international software company. I have been married to Werner for 31 years. We have three fantastic children, two sons, two daughters in law, a daughter and 3, soon to be 4, grandchildren. I stay busy and love reading, stitchery and sewing (especially quilting). My husband and I were involved in Marriage Encounter at different levels for many years, and currently I am the wedding coordinator at Our Mother of Sorrows. I also work with my husband as we prepare couples for marriage through Our Mother of Sorrows. I know God has led me to the Diocese, and I feel truly blessed to be here.

13. Farewell to a Staff Member -- We say farewell to Maria Davalos, who retired earlier this month. I thank Maria for her service as secretary for the Office of Evangelization.

14. A Principal's Legacy -- Sister Adrianna Schouten, O.S.F., reflected on her service as                         principal of Yuma Catholic High School in a story in yesterday's Yuma Sun. The story by reporter Sarah Reynolds profiled Sister Adrianna and Mary Lynn Coleman of San Luis High School, both of whom are leaving their positions as principal as this school year begins. Sister Adrianna is leaving Yuma Catholic after serving as principal for three years to take a leadership position with the Manitowoc Franciscans.

Here is an excerpt from Sister Adrianna's reflection:

"My legacy is a quality, Catholic, Christian education -- that that stay the focus of the school and also that they continue to look at the whole student who is here. The whole student being the academic part but also their need to belong, to the band or to the choir or to a club or to a sport ... If they maintain a real community spirit in this school, that's important."

You can read the story at: www.yumasun.com/news/school_36125___article_news.html/yuma_high.html

15. Open Enrollment Meetings -- Open enrollment meetings for employees who participate in the Diocese of Tucson benefits program begin this week. The schedule for meetings is available at www.diocesetucson.org/humanresources.html.

This year's meetings are especially important, as employees will receive information about the participation of the Diocese in the RETA Trust, which provides health care and other coverage for more than 30,000 Church employees, priests and religious in four Western states.

16. 2007 Harmonia Fiesta Concert -- We are hoping that every seat will be filled for this year's concert, which is a benefit for the St. Augustine Cathedral Placita and Hall Project. The concert, featuring Vikki Carr, Aida Cuevas and Mariachi Cobre, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Tucson Convention Center. When the project is completed, the placita and Hall will be named in honor of Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo, our much beloved former rector of the Cathedral. I hope each of our parishes will be represented at the concert to demonstrate our unity as a Diocese and our appreciation for Msgr. Carrillo's years of service to us.

17. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the speedy recover Father Ed Carscallen, who is recuperating after hip surgery.

I talked with Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe last week after he underwent an angiogram. He was released from the hospital and is ready to complete his vacation, traveling from Ireland to Rome. We look forward to his return. He says, "I am fine. Thanks for the prayers."

Please continue to pray for Sister Jeanette Mariani, O.S.F., who is recovering from surgery.