Aug. 4, 2008 Aug. 11, 2008 Aug. 18, 2008 Aug. 25, 2008

Vol. 6, No. 15
Aug. 4, 2008

In my travels around our sprawling Diocese, I sometimes reflect on St. Paul and his travels around the Areopagus -- from Antioch in Pisidia to Iconium at Lystra, to Derbe and countless other places -- bringing the Word of God to all in the Gentile world. I was pondering on Paul (see my column in this month's The New Vision) again yesterday as I had the joy of visiting Sil Nakia Village (which I am told means "Hanging Saddle") on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. The small church there is one of the dozens of small missions within the San Solano Missions Parish that is served by our Franciscan friars. Father Ed Sarrazin, O.F.M., who serves this and other communities on the Reservation, escorted me on the trip.
 
I marvel at the faith of the Tohono O'odham. First evangelized centuries ago by Padre Eusebio Kino, S.J., they have kept the faith alive despite many challenges and setbacks. The Second Reading from Paul's Letter to the Romans at Mass this past weekend reminds us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. That has been true in the history of our native peoples.
 
Faith is clearly an important part of the lives of the people who live in dozens of villages within in the San Solano Missions Parish. The village churches are filled with statues of saints dear to the community and to whom the people turn in their trials and difficulties.
 
It was humbling to experience their gracious welcome on Sunday. A group of villagers, who were accompanied by a friendly pack of dogs, greeted me when we arrived. They led the car to the chapel while reciting the Rosary.

The people of Sil Nakia and guests from other villages used the occasion of my visit both to gather in prayer at the Eucharist and to enjoy the company of the community in a feast. We shared bread -- enough for all, just as was described in this week's Gospel when the five loaves and two fishes were enough for all.
 
I am grateful to the Franciscans and the Trinitarians who serve our Native American Catholics.

This past week, we celebrated the 233rd birthday of the founding of the city of Tucson, but clearly there have people been living here far longer than that. The great faith of Native American Catholics in our Diocese is a blessing and a gift.

1. Vocations
-- Friends and co-workers of Father Miguel Mariano gathered last Wednesday evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Tucson to show their appreciation for his eight years of dedicated ministry as Director of Vocations for our Diocese. I was very happy to be among that group of friends and co-workers who included the Knights, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, members of the Serra Club and members of the Sacred Heart Prayer Group.

Father Miguel, who has assumed his responsibilities as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson, is handing on the torch and passing the baton in the ministry of vocations to Father Mike Bucciarelli and Father Vili Valderrama, our new Vocations Co-directors. (Father Mike will be responsible for the application and admission process for college seminarians. Father Vili will be responsible for the application and admission process for theologate and pre-theologate seminarians.)

Father Mike and Father Vili are already hard at work in their new roles as they are directing our annual Seminarian Convocation that is underway at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

This year, we have four returning seminarians and six new seminarians. The agenda for this convocation includes talks by our four new priests (Fathers Ricky Ordoñez, Robert Rodriguez, Ed Lucero and Emilio Chapa), a presentation by Father Max Hottle, O.F.M., pastor of San Solano Missions Parish, on Native American Ministry, a session with the Bishop of Tucson and a tour of the Cochise Vicariate.

I look forward to being with the seminarians, Father Mike and Father Vili and with Marty Hammond and Grace Lohr of the Vocations Office at tomorrow evening's Mass and dinner as we thank the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, the Knights of Columbus, the Serra Club of Tucson, the Sacred Heart Prayer Groups and several very dedicated individuals for their support of our Vocations Office.

We thank God for the gift of our seminarians. Let's continue to pray our diocesan Vocations Prayer for them and for more vocations to the priesthood, religious life and the permanent diaconate.

2. Gathering of Women Religious -- I wish that women in our Diocese who are considering a vocation to religious life could have been at my home Saturday evening when I met with 13 sisters from several communities serving our Diocese. The evening was another in the series of gatherings at my home with women religious.

Each one of the sisters shared their vocation journey and the experiences they have had in the service of the Church. They have served as teachers, principals, nurses, community organizers, missionaries, directors of religious education and in many other capacities in their lives of service. One sister shared her experience of nearly being killed by a knife-wielding rebel; another of being in the Watts riots; another of struggling to protect refugees; another who wanted to turn her life over to the Lord in the contemplative life.  

They have served all around our country and in South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Liberia and Rwanda. Some went into religious life as young as 15. One has served more than 60 years. These women have given great service to our Church, for which we can be deeply grateful. What is even more impressive is to see the joy they feel in living out the call to religious life that God has given them
 
Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P. our Vicar for Religious, who facilitates these gatherings with the help of the Serra Club, is planning several more of these evenings.

3. Preparing for the New School Year -- The 27 Catholic Schools in our Diocese are just about to begin the new school year.

I am very pleased that I can participate in some of the preparations.

Tomorrow, I will greet many of the teachers who will be new to our Catholic Schools as they gather at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson for the Department of Catholic Schools' New Teacher Orientation Day.

Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., our Superintendent of Catholic Schools, and Jo Ann Sayre, former Assistant Superintendent, have a very full day planned for the nearly 60 teachers who will be present. Sister Rosa Maria and Jo Ann will be giving presentations that include the history of our Catholic Schools in the Diocese and the Catholic identity of our Catholic Schools.

This Friday, I will participate in the retreat for the staff of Sts. Peter and Paul School in Tucson.

We look forward in two weeks to welcoming Sister Ruthmary Powers, H.M., when she arrives to begin her responsibilities as Assistant Superintendent.

4. Welcome to Bishop Boniface Choi Ki-san -- I look forward tomorrow to meeting with Bishop Choi Ki-san, Bishop of the Diocese of Incheon, Korea. He is here to visit Father Jinu Andrew Tae and the members of the Korean Catholic Community in our Diocese. Father Andrew, a priest of the Diocese of Incheon, provides pastoral care to the Community, and I am grateful to Bishop Choi Ki-san for assigning him to our Diocese.

The second Bishop of Incheon, Bishop Choi Ki-san has been very committed to the efforts of the Catholic Church and Christian denominations in South Korea to work together for reconciliation between the South and the North. The Bishop last visited us in 2004.
 
5. Fraternity of Priests -- The Fraternity is gathering this week at the Redemptorist Renewal Center their 2008 Annual Fraternity Conference.

This international organization of 400 priests has 34 Fraternities in the U.S. and 22 Fraternities in other countries. The members meet regularly to pray together, to receive ongoing formation, to encourage one another and to socialize. The Fraternity also invites the laity to assist in this special ministry to priests by becoming "Intercessors for Priests" through prayer.

I look forward to celebrating Mass with the Fraternity's members this Thursday at Picture Rocks, including the Fraternity's members in our Diocese -- Father Jim Hobert, Ray Ratzenberger, Dom Pinti, Liam Leahy, Dale Branson, Issac Fynn and Henry Dauphinais, M.S.

More information about the Fraternity is available at www.fraternityofpriests.org.

6. Vine of Grace Retreat -- I look forward to being with members of the Vine of Grace Ministry as they gather for their 8th Anniversary Conference and Retreat this weekend in Phoenix.

Vine of Grace is a Catholic "women to women" ministry that offers adult women of all ages with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus. Founded here in Arizona in 2000 by Erin Blanchette and Gloria Roberts, the ministry has a team of more than 25 women who give five retreats annually in southern Arizona and the annual Conference and Retreat.

More information about the ministry is available at www.vineofgrace.org.

7. Welcome to the Diocese -- We are blessed to have four priests new to our Diocese.

Father Peter Connelly, C.Ss.R., is the new pastor of Santa Catalina Parish north of Tucson. I am grateful to the Redemptorists for serving the parish's sacramental needs and for accepting my invitation to take on the responsibility of the parish's pastoral leadership.

Father Thomas Dekaa and Father Peter Agema have come to us from the Diocese of Makurdi in Nigeria. Father Thomas is assigned as parochial vicar at St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Payson and Father Peter is assigned as parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Tucson. I am grateful to Bishop Athanasius Atule Usuh of the Diocese of Makurdi for sending us Father Thomas and Father Peter, who are the latest to come to us from his Diocese. Other priests from the Diocese of Makurdi serving in our Diocese are Fathers Matthew Asemagema, Francis Iber, and Joseph Nietlong. We also have four priests from the Via Christi Community, founded by Father Angus Fraser, in the Diocese of Makurdi serving with us in the Diocese. We are expecting a fifth Via Christi priest, Father Melchisedek (what a great name for a priest), within the month.

Father Dominic Trung Nguyen, C.Ss.R., is assigned as pastor at Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Tucson.

8. New Diocesan Directory -- AnnaMaria Mammen of the Chancellor's Office and Janet Towner of the Department of Pastoral Services were busy last week preparing the mailing of our new Diocesan Directory to parishes, schools and our Catholic institutions. Some parishes and schools have already received their copies, thanks to hand delivery by Pastoral Center staff. Priests and deacons will be receiving their copies by mail soon.

The Directory has been redesigned to make finding information easier. The cover of the directory features our Diocesan Renewal Campaign. Copies of the Directory are being allocated to parishes based on the size of staff. Please contact Clara Moreno at the Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson at 520-838-2570 if you want additional copies ($12.50 each).

I thank the Foundation for its sponsorship of the Directory, and I thank all the advertisers for their support. To Martin Camacho, executive director of the Foundation, and to Omar Rodriguez, our graphic designer, I say, "Good job!"

9. Diocesan Archivist Position -- Diocesan Archivist Nancy Siner has informed us of her plans to leave that position at the end of September. I am grateful to Nancy for her work to organize and oversee the relocation of the Archives to the campus of St. Ambrose Parish in Tucson and for her participation in the planning of the dedication of the Archives on Saturday, Sept. 6. (More about the dedication next week.)

The opening of the position of Archivist was announced last Thursday. The announcement and accompanying position description are available at our diocesan Web site, www.diocesetucson.org, under "Employment." If you know of someone with the qualifications that are detailed in the position description, please refer them to the Web site.
 
10. "Feeling the Economic Crunch?" -- To assist families who might be experiencing stresses in the present economy, the Arizona Department of Economic Security has launched a new Internet resource, Arizona 2-1-1 Online, at www.az211.gov.

The Web site features a section that is headlined, "Feeling the Economic Crunch?" The section offers information and resources for assistance in the areas of mortgage payments and foreclosures, jobs and job losses, family stress and paying bills. To help promote the information and resources, we have added a link to "Feeling the Economic Crunch?" on our diocesan Web site's home page, and I have asked our parishes to include bulletin announcements about the information and resources.

I thank Ron Russell of Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson for bringing the resources of "Feeling the Economic Crunch?" to our attention.

11. Community Concerns -- This past week, I was approached by several people in the Tucson community concerned about the growing need for affordable housing. This has become an even more critical issue in the light of the foreclosures and the economic downturn. I am exploring the advisability of an area-wide summit on affordable housing that will bring together city, county, religious, and private agencies to consider what more we can do to provide for the working poor. Much is being done, and it may be beneficial to bring those concerned together to share our perspectives and insights. I welcome your thoughts.
 
Another growing concern in our communities across the Diocese is violence. We have had some tragic examples recently, including a number of tragic deaths that have been gang related. I am encouraged to see that efforts are underway in our communities to address this growing violence. It will take the involvement of all dimensions of our communities to address this pressing concern.

12. Update on Cathedral Square Projects -- Much progress was made around St. Augustine Cathedral this past month.

I am happy to report major progress on the renovation of the placita and Cathedral Hall. Rossetti Contractors completed the rough-in framing of the restrooms and the arched covered porch entrance. They will be roofing and installing rough-in electrical this week, with dry walling to follow. The Hall will be repainted in the colors of the Cathedral.

The Msgr. Carrillo Placita and Hall Committee continues to raise funds for the renovation, now seeking an additional $250,000 to ensure a timely completion of the renovation. If you can help, please contact my office!

And, long overdue, the Cathedral's parking lot was resurfaced. We were able to gain 28 "new" spaces by re-striping and by modifying landscape areas. Best Paving accomplished this task in just five days, with minimal interruption of parish activities.

13. Touring the Pastoral Center -- I enjoyed welcoming 30 young parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma and their chaperones who dropped by the Pastoral Center the Friday before last.

The teens were in Tucson for the Steubenville West Rally held at the University of Arizona. The rally was one of 15 youth gatherings offered nationally by Franciscan University of Steubenville in conjunction with Life Teen. The rallies invite teens to explore their relationship with Jesus.

I greeted the teens and shared some of the history of our Diocese with them. I am confident they all can name the first Bishop of Arizona and all six of the Bishops of Tucson. After I met with them, the teens and their chaperones visited the offices in the Pastoral Center and met the staff.

14. Welcome to Angelica Meza -- We are very pleased to welcome Angelica Meza to the Pastoral Center as receptionist and secretary in the Human Resources Department. Angelica came to the Pastoral Center several months ago as a temporary employee, and we are glad that she is with us now as a full-time employee.

15. New Web Site of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church -- I encourage you to visit the Secretariat's new Web site at www.usccb.org/scdc. The site will give you an excellent introduction to structure and mission of the Secretariat, which incorporates ministries to African American, Asian and Pacific Island, Hispanic and Native American Catholics as well as Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers. 

The Web site features links to the five offices of the Secretariat. Features of the site include resources such as articles, PowerPoint presentations, demographics and videos.

Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., the Secretariat's first executive director, articulates the importance of the work of the Secretariat in his message on the Web site. He explains that the Secretariat "serves as the pastoral interface of the bishops with the vast range of cultural, racial and language groups that make up the Catholic Church in the U.S.

He writes, "The encounter with cultures and the everyday experience of cultural diversity are key and integral aspects of the past and present of the Catholic Church not only in the United States but worldwide. Effective pastoral ministry depends on the ability to respond to the needs of people in a way that respects their identity and deepest values which are expressed in terms of language and culture."

16. An Inspiring Read -- For nearly 30 years now, Deacon George and Mary Rodriguez of our Diocese have led pilgrimages to Mexico and to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. But of all those journeys of faith, perhaps it will be the pilgrimage they led last month from New Mexico that illustrates how very deep and profound is the devotion we have to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The New Mexican, the daily newspaper of Santa Fe, accompanied the pilgrimage, and you can read the inspiring story at www.guadalupejourney.blogspot.com. Even though Deacon George and Maria aren't mentioned in the story and accompanying blog entries, you can see them in several of the group photos of the pilgrims.

17. "I've a Feeling We're Not in Tucson Anymore!" -- That might have been what a group of World Youth Day pilgrims from Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson was thinking when their photos were taken in Sidney, Australia, early in the morning of July 19.

While we were sweltering in the monsoon, the teens and their leaders were all bundled up in the Australian winter. They look like they were in cocoons as they camped out the night before the closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.

Three priests from our Diocese accompanied the teens from several parishes who went to World Youth Day: Father Alonzo Garcia of Holy Family Parish in Tucson, Father Frank Cady of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish and Father Jeff Smialek, O.Carm., of Salpointe Catholic High School. I am grateful for their willingness to accompany the young people on this journey. We'll see more photos and be able to read about the experiences of the teens in next month's The New Vision.

18. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the souls of: Father Alfred Greenwald, who died June 23; Father Michael Kendall, S.D.S., who died July 5; Larry Brazaskas, brother of Father Bob Brazaskas, who died July 6; Guadalupe Gonzales, father of Father Robert Gonzales, who died July 20; and Lois Wilcek, sister of Father Bill Gyure, who died Aug. 2.

And, please pray for the healing and return to good health of Father Pete McGloin, Father Bill Gyure, Father Jim Travis, Father Joe Lombardo, Father Mark Long, Helen Evans of the Tribunal and Tom Arnold, our Diocese's Chief Financial Officer.

Vol. 6, No. 16
Aug. 11, 2008

I hope you had a chance to view the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing. It was a stunning extravaganza. Ten-thousand-seven-hundred-eight athletes from all around the world, from more than 200 nations, will compete in 302 events over these next two weeks for gold, silver or bronze medals. They will compete in such events as swimming, diving, fencing, cycling, gymnastics, canoeing, track and field, decathlon, BMX racing and table tennis.
 
These athletes have been training for years -- practicing, practicing, practicing -- to prepare for their pursuit of the prize. St. Paul used the grueling demands of sports to remind us that we are striving for a prize far more important than a garland or medal or a crown that does not last. We are running in life's race for a crown that will last forever. We run with our eyes fixed on the finish line that is "life on high in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3, 12-15).
 
Paul exhorts us to stay the course: "Run in such a way as to get the prize" (1 Corinthians 9, 24-27); "I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what is ahead..." (Philippians 3, 12-15).
 
As we watch Bernard Lagat of the U.S. or Daniel Kipchirchir Komen of Kenya or Yelena Soboleva of Russia in the 1,500 meter race, we see that they model the endurance, focus and discipline that Paul exhorts us to have in life.
 
Two years ago, as part of our Youth Fest in the Diocese, I had the teens run with me around the Tucson Convention Center. We paused from time to time during the run to read from Paul's writings in which he compared our faith journey to a race. I noticed that some of the kids really needed those breaks. The running had left them panting and tired. That can be true of us as well in our run through life.
 
In this Pauline Year, even as we stayed glued to the TV watching the Olympics, maybe we can use the commercial breaks to reflect on how we are all called to be winners of the prize Christ holds out for us. Keep running!

1. 2008 Elections
-- Of course, beyond the track events at the Olympics, there are other "races" that we are watching closely -- all the campaigns for office that range from justice of the peace to President of the U.S.

I emphasize again to our parishes the importance of following the "Political Activity Guidelines for Catholic Organizations" from the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (www.usccb.org/ogc/guidelines.shtml).

It has been our experience that some well-meaning parishioners will approach their parishes with requests to "educate" their fellow parishioners about the stands that candidates take on various issues and about the various ballot initiatives.

When such requests are made, you need to know how to respond, and the Guidelines offer excellent direction on exactly what types of political activity are allowed and prohibited.

In addition, if you need assistance in responding to requests by parishioners, you are always welcome to call Kathy Rhinehart in the Corporate Matters Office here at the Pastoral Center at 520 838-2528.

Also, in regard to the various "Catholic" voting guides that appear during election campaigns, in our Diocese the only approved voter information materials that can be provided to parishioners at our parishes are "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" from the USCCB, resources of the Faithful Citizenship Program (www.faithfulcitizenship.org) and information from the Arizona Catholic Conference, including the Voter's Guide that is now available at www.diocesephoenix.org/acc/2008candidatesurvey.html. The guide provides information on the responses of candidates to a survey on a variety of issues. Included in the guide are races for U.S. Congress, the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State Senate and the State House.

One of the greatest rights we have is the right to vote -- to choose our political leaders. Faithful and responsible citizenship requires that we be informed and cast our votes after careful consideration.

2. "Dangers and Directions for the Catholic Voter" --John Carr, Secretary of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the USCCB, will give this special and timely talk at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson.

John will outline the mission of the Catholic Church in political life and the message of the U.S. Bishops' statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." He will examine the political and ecclesial context for Faithful Citizenship as well as the assets the Catholic community brings to public life. He will suggest some dangers and directions for Catholics who take seriously the challenges of Faithful Citizenship in this election year. John's talk is sponsored by our Diocese and is open without charge to the public. John will be addressing the annual Convocation of Deacons earlier that day. More information about John and the talk is available at www.diocesetucson.org/Carr.html.

3. Southwest Medical Aid Recognition Awards Luncheon -- For the last seven years, Southwest Medical Aid (SMA), a Tucson-based humanitarian organization directed by Jan Izlar, a lay Salvatorian, has been doing wonderful ministry to provide donated medical supplies, educational materials and personal care products to the poor in Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti and on Native American reservations in our state.

I am honored to be an advisory member of SMA, along with Mayor Bob and Beth Walkup of Tucson, Joanne Welter of our Catholic Social Mission Office, Father Todd O'Leary, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson, and Marty Ronstadt of Tucson.

Today, we will gather at St. Thomas Parish to recognize the volunteers who assist SMA in its ministry.

You can learn more about SMA at www.salvatorians.com/sma/default.htm.

4. Visit to Santa Rita Abbey
-- I am really looking forward to visiting Santa Rita Abbey this Wednesday to celebrate Mass and to enjoy supper with the Sisters, who this year are marking 37 years in our Diocese. They are people of such great joy, and spending time with them is such a joy for me! Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., Vicar for Religious, will be joining me on this visit.

The Abbey is in a beautiful location in the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains, just a few miles from Sonoita. The Sisters live in the monastic tradition of the Rule of St. Benedict. They make altar breads for more than 300 parishes.

You can learn more about their life of "liturgy, lectio, labor" at www.santaritabbey.org. Make sure to click on "Abbey Journal."  

5. Feast of the Assumption -- I will preside at the noon Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral this Friday, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Friday evening, it will be my joy to be with Father Chuck Cloud, pastor, and the community of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Parish in Florence. Father Chuck tries to schedule Confirmation on the Solemnity, and having Confirmation that evening has become a beautiful tradition for the parish.

6. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- At this Saturday's meeting of the Council, we will welcome our news members: Sister Bernard Mary Herlihy, M.S.B.T., At Large, Santa Rosa Mission; Alma Barajas, Santa Cruz Vicariate, Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish, Rio Rico; Andy Anderson Jr., Pima North Vicariate, St. Mark the Evangelist Parish, Tucson; and
Jim Seagraves, Pinal West Vicariate, St. George Parish, Apache Junction.

7. Welcome to Father Angus Fraser, C.S.Sp. -- I am very happy to welcome Father Angus, Master General of the Via Christi Society in Nigeria, back to our Diocese this week. Father Angus tries to make annual visits to see his priests who serving in our country, and I think this is the third such visit he has had with us.

We have been blessed for four years by the ministry of the priests of the Via Christi Society. As newly ordained priests of the Society, Fathers James Aboyi, Sabastine Bula and Richard Kusugh came to us in August of 2004. Father Samuel Odeh came to us two years ago. We will be welcoming an additional Via Christi priest, Father Melchizedek Akpan, very soon.

8. Back to School -- Most of our Catholic Schools are back in session this week.

I pray that this will be a marvelous year for each of our principals, teachers and staff and for the nearly 8,000 students in our 27 Catholic grade and high schools throughout the Diocese. I look forward to visiting with them in this new school year.

I am proud of our Catholic Schools and the dedication of the staffs and faculties who serve with such dedication. I am proud of our Catholic parents who are willing to sacrifice to send their children to Catholic Schools so they can achieve academically and be formed in the faith.

Last week, I had the privilege of conducting the retreat for the faculty of Sts. Peter and Paul School in Tucson. Father John Lyons, the pastor, was present for most of the day, reflecting his deep commitment to the school and his great support of the faculty. It is so important to a Catholic School that the pastor be an enthusiastic supporter.
 
Jean McKenzie, the new principal, has already created a sense of camaraderie and cooperation among the faculty, which was great to experience. One of the teachers has been teaching for more than 30 years and even attended Sts. Peter and Paul, as did Father John.
 
9. Diocesan Renewal Campaign -- Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future is underway for the parishes in Phase Two of our renewal campaign. I thank the pastors and their teams for their fabulous efforts and firm commitment to this campaign that is so critical for our future. 
 
10. Our New Archives Facility -- I met last week with the renewal campaign's priest committee at our new Archives facility in the former convent at St. Ambrose Parish in Tucson. Nancy Siner, our archivist, and a number of generous volunteers are getting the Archives ready for the grand opening and blessing on Saturday, Sept. 6. The displays that reflect our diocesan history are taking shape. You will find them very interesting and informative. Plan to join us.

11. Recognitions -- Joanne Welter, director of our diocesan Catholic Social Mission Office, was the recipient of the Public and Administrative Advocacy Award given at the 2008 National Migration Conference held in late July in Washington, D.C.

This award, presented by Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, recognizes Joanne for "effective advocacy on behalf of immigrants and refugees with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, affected communities, the print and broadcast media, and the general public."

Father James Hobert, pastor of St. Monica Parish in Tucson, received the annual award from the Fraternity of Priests, the international priests' organization that met last week at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. Father Jim was recognized for being a brother to so many priests, especially to elderly and infirm priests.

Father Jim helps me so much in planning programs for our priests. He is a most deserving recipient of this recognition from his brothers in the Fraternity of Priests.

Congratulations to Father Jim and Joanne on these well-deserved recognitions.

12. Welcome to the Diocese
-- I am pleased to welcome three priests who are new to our Diocese.

Father James Moore, O.P., is assigned as parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson.

Father Jens- Peter "Jay" Jensen is assigned as parochial vicar at St. Odilia Parish in Tucson.

Father Jesus Alejandro Perez-Barrera, O.F.M., is assigned as parochial vicar at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in San Luis.

13. Special Collections -- Our 10 annual Special Collections are indeed special, for they enable us to participate as individuals and as parishes in the national and international ministries of our Church and a meaningful retirement benefit for our priests.

I thank our pastors and parish staffs for their attention to these Special Collections throughout the year and for their efforts to educate parishioners about the special needs that these collections address.

I encourage you to learn more about the Special Collections and the ministries they support by visiting www.diocesetucson.org/socialmission.htmlwhere you will find a calendar for the Special Collections and links to the ministries the collections support.

14. In the News  -- Yesterday's Arizona Daily Star included two stories with connections to our Diocese.

Stephanie Innes wrote about the downtown Tucson barrio that was bulldozed during the urban renewal of the late 1960s for the building of the Tucson Convention Center. I remember when I first came to Tucson people commenting about the pain they still felt about this. The story San Cosme Chapel, a mission of St. Augustine Cathedral, where Mass is still celebrated monthly. The attachment and emotion tied to that chapel reflects the importance of our roots.
 
Ernesto Portillo wrote in his weekly column about Kenny Larson, grounds supervisor at Holy Hope Cemetery. Kenny spoke of his nana who is buried there and how his efforts to care for the grounds reflect his love for her. Kenny's thoughts about his work at Holy Hope reflect the commitment of the staff of Holy Hope, Our Lady of the Desert and All Faiths Memorial Park to the ministry of our Catholic Cemeteries. I am grateful to the staff, to Jim DeCastro, director of our Catholic Cemeteries, and to the Board of Directors, chaired by Ben Tucchi, for their dedication to this ministry.

15. The Holy Father's Ponderings on St. Paul -- Just in time for the Pauline Year, "Saint Paul," a new book featuring quotes and reflections of Pope Benedict XVI about the Apostle Paul will be published on Aug. 29. It can be ordered at www.usccbpublishing.org. The books contains excerpts from speeches and homilies of the Holy Father.

16. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- We remember in our prayers all those killed and injured last week in the tragic accident on Highway 79 in Pinal County. We pray as well for their families.

Also, please pray for the healing of Father Bill Kohler, chaplain at Tucson Medical Center, who suffered a broken leg last week.

Vol. 6, No. 17                                                                                                           
Aug. 18, 2008

St. Paul joined with the members of the early Christian communities to spread God's Word. In this Pauline Year, Father Miguel Mariano, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson and director of our diocesan Office of Divine Worship, is drawing upon Paul's example to form a committee of priests, religious, deacons and laity to plan for this coming Lent's Reconciliation Program.
 
Father Miguel began the planning on Saturday when he met with the Diocesan Pastoral Council to elicit their suggestions on what we can do during Lent to deepen the faith for those who are active Catholics, what we can do to invite those who have left the Church to come home and what we can do to reach out to those who have yet to come to know the faith.
 
Some helpful ideas were shared: the plan should include diocesan, vicariate and parish components; the Lenten program should be announced and publicized at this year's Christmas Masses when so many are present; parishes should replicate the fine "Come Home" programs at Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Cyril and Most Holy Trinity Parishes in Tucson; and homilies should be used as opportunities for adult formation, with other adult formation opportunities offered at parishes as well.
 
Much more planning is necessary, but this session with the Diocesan Pastoral Council was a good beginning.
 
The Year of St. Paul prods us to imitate his zeal to help others to meet Christ. His conversion and encounter with Christ turned his life around and set him on a tireless mission to spread the Word of God. I hope we can imitate in our Diocese his outreach among the Gentiles. It will take many hands working together.
 
1. Rector Assigned for St. Gianna Latin Mass Community -- I am very pleased to announce that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has accepted my invitation to provide ministry to the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community in Tucson.

Yesterday, Msgr. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General of the Institute and its Provincial Superior for the U.S., joined me at Holy Family Church in Tucson for Mass and for the announcement that Father Richard von Menshengen has been assigned to serve the Community as its rector. Father von Menshengen, who will begin his ministry at St. Gianna next month, recently has served as the Institute's Provincial Superior for German Speaking Countries. He will establish an office for the Community at Holy Family Parish. With Father von Menshengen's assignment, the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community becomes the Institute's thirteenth apostolate in the U.S.

As the Institute takes responsibility for the pastoral care of the Community, Msgr. Schmitz and Eduardo Huerta, our Chancellor, will formulate statutes for the Community as an oratory (a place of prayer other than a parish that is set aside by ecclesiastical authority for prayer and celebration of the Mass) located at Holy Family Parish.

I established St. Gianna as an informal association in 2006 and named Father Richard Rego its first chaplain. Father Richard provided dedicated service to the Community until his untimely death in July of last year.

I thank Father David Reinders, Catholic Chaplain at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Tucson, for his dedicated ministry this past year as the Community's chaplain. Father David will continue to be involved with the Community. I am grateful, too, to Father Robert Rankin, who has helped recently to serve the Community. He will resume his fulltime responsibilities as pastor of St. Melany Parish.

I am grateful to Father Alonzo Garcia, pastor, and the community of Holy Family Parish for their hospitality to the St. Gianna Latin Mass Community.

More about the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest: Msgr. Gilles Wach and Father Philippe Mora founded the Institute in 1990 in Gabon, Africa. The motherhouse and international seminary of the Institute are located in Gricigliano, in the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy.

The mission of the Institute, according to its Web site, "is to spread the reign of Christ in all spheres of human life by drawing from the millennial treasury of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly her liturgical tradition, the unbroken line of spiritual thought and practice of her saints and her cultural patrimony in music, art and architecture."

The Institute's headquarters in the U.S. are in Chicago at the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

2. New Director of Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund -- I am very pleased to announce that Margie Puerta Edson is the new director of the Charity and Ministry Fund. As director, Margie will oversee the Annual Catholic Appeal and the stewardship and development programs that serve the Diocese and our parishes and schools. She will begin her service on Sept. 2.

Margie comes to the Diocese from United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, where she served as vice president for Major Gifts and Donor Relations. In addition to her service to United Way, Margie's 12 years of professional fundraising experience in Tucson includes service to Jewish Family and Children's Services of Southern Arizona, Tohono Chul Park, the University of Arizona College of Nursing and the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Southern Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored Margie as its 2007 Fundraising Executive of the Year.

Margie is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Leave A Legacy and the Planned Giving Roundtable. She serves on the Marketing Committee for the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona.

Margie succeeds Tom Smith, who will be retiring soon, as he had been planning for some time. I am delighted that Tom will be working with Margie to assure a smooth transition in the leadership of our development and stewardship efforts.

I am grateful to Tom for his exceptional and dedicated service to our Diocese these past six years, during which he earned the confidence of our priests and people. He has been a real blessing and gift. I am delighted that Tom will remain in the Diocese. We will have to get him on one of our diocesan boards to continue drawing upon his expertise.

3. On the Confirmation Trail
-- I will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation this evening at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish in Tucson.

4. Meeting of Cemeteries Board
-- The Board of Directors of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries meets tomorrow.

5. Tucson Multi-Faith Alliance -- The Alliance will hold its monthly luncheon tomorrow here at the Pastoral Center. I look forward to welcoming the members, who represent a variety of Christian denominations and faiths. I am grateful to Loretta Tracy, Diocese of Tucson Ecumenical and Interfaith Liaison, for facilitating the luncheon.

The Alliance was formed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to provide the Tucson community with a vehicle for developing understanding and respect across boundaries of religion, race and culture. The goal of the Alliance is to bring religious and spiritual dimensions to the public arena.

6. Visit to Corpus Christi Parish, Tucson
-- I look forward to visiting Corpus Christi Parish on Tucson's far eastside tomorrow evening and taking part in the parish's annual kickoff for its religious education program for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The evening includes a bar-b-q prepared by the Knights of Columbus and a presentation on the parish's Safe Environment Program. The parish has invited "Happy Bear" from the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center to give a presentation to the children and their parents on personal safety. The parish has had "Happy Bear" make the personal safety education presentation the past three years. 

I also hope that Father Richard Kingsley, pastor, will be able to give me a tour of the new church that is under construction.

7. Priests' Day of Prayer
-- The Day of Prayer for our priests is this Wednesday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. I encourage and invite our priests to join me and their brother priests for this day. It is very hard to break away, but in the example of Christ, who took His apostles aside, I hope this invitation will encourage our hard working priests to step aside for time with the Lord.

8. St. Augustine Catholic High School Back to School Night
-- I am lucky to have a high school in my back yard! Wednesday night, I will join the faculty, staff, students and parents of St. Augustine for their annual "Back to School" evening.

There is a wonderful new spirit forming at St. Augustine. Kevin Kiefer, the new principal, is full of energy, and his excitement is catching. He can count on the full support of the St. Augustine Board that is led by Sister Barbara Anne Stowasser, C.S.J. Her commitment to the school and its growth has been inspirational.

9. Meetings of Pastoral Center Staff and Directors -- The staff of the Pastoral Center will gather this Thursday morning for its quarterly meeting, after which the directors of the diocesan departments and offices will meet for their monthly meeting.

10. Annual Diaconate Convocation -- I will be joining the deacons of our Diocese at St Joseph Parish in Tucson this Friday and Saturday for their annual convocation. Deacons are expected to attend the Convocation, and their wives are encouraged to join them. I know everyone is busy and that participating in on-going formation experiences like this can sometimes be challenging, but it is important that our deacons gather as brothers to learn together and to grow in their understanding of their important role in the Church and their important ministry in our Diocese.

John Carr, Secretary of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the keynote speaker. John will outline the mission of the Catholic Church in political life and the message of the U.S. Bishops' statement, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. "

Dr. 
Paul Duckro, director of the Office Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, will present the annual education for the Safe Environment Program. The convocation will conclude with Mass Saturday afternoon.
Please pray for all our deacons as they gather for their convocation.

11. "Dangers and Directions for the Catholic Voter" -- John Carr will give this free public presentation on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship " at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson.

John will frame the issues in the national elections in this "Faithful Citizenship" context: "In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation." I have written to all of our priests, religious, deacons and laity of our parish staffs encouraging them to join us for this timely and important presentation. I hope they will bring with them teachers, catechists, youth and young adults from our parishes and schools.

12. "Faithful Citizenship" Resources -- I continue to encourage our parishes to promote the resources of "Faithful Citizenship." A recent addition to www.faithfulcitizenship.org is a series of articles by Catholic experts on important issues in the elections. The series includes reflections on abortion, comprehensive immigration reform, "conscience" voting, the environment, poverty, the war in Iraq, stem cell research, health care, marriage and the economy. Parishes have permission to reprint the articles (available in English and Spanish) in their bulletins, and I urge them to do so.

13. World Youth Day Reunion -- The young Catholics from our Diocese who attended World Youth Day in Australia are invited to a reunion this Sunday at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson. We will celebrate Mass at 6 p.m. and then gather in Gramer Hall for food, fun and photos. I look forward to hearing all about their experiences "Down Under." My thanks to Father John Lyons, pastor, and Anne Morales, parish youth minister, for organizing this reunion.

14. "Therese: Story of a Soul" -- The Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks is proud to announce the presentation of "Therese: Story of a Soul" on Saturday, Sept. 27, at 1:30 and 7 p.m. in the Petroglyph Assembly Hall. This live drama, produced by Saint Luke Productions, features Dorothy Pawlowski, a young actress who has won praise for her portrayal of St. Therese of Lisieux. The production is based on St. Therese's classic autobiography. You can click here for a flyer that includes ticket information.

Vol. 6, No. 18
Aug. 25, 2008

Novenas (nine days of prayer) are part of our prayer tradition as Catholics. These devotions invite our prayers for pressing needs and concerns. These novenas (for example, Las Posadas, Sinbangabi, Divine Mercy) are common in our parishes throughout the Diocese. When we pray together, our prayers are strengthened.
 
In my June visit to the Philippines, I presided at the Santo Niño Novena in which thousands of people gathered to pray to the Infant Jesus for various needs. They come every week, seeking God's guidance and help.
 
We are approaching a very special moment in our life as a Nation -- the choice of a president and key political leaders for the Nation and our State. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops suggests that we begin a "Novena for Faithful Citizenship" in which we join together as Catholics to pray for our nation and for our world that God's kingdom of justice and peace will be more realized.
 
Your parish might consider praying this Novena beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 2, for nine consecutive Tuesdays or beginning on Oct. 26 for the nine days before the election.
 
The Novena consists of the opening prayer of entreaty to the Holy Spirit, readings from the Old and New Testaments, reflections that invite us to think about issues of life, justice and peace, a prayer of petition and the closing "Novena Prayer" in which we ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother as the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Novena is available in printed form and as podcasts that you can download and listen to individually or as a group.

You can access the Novena at http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/resources/podcasts.

1. Learning about "Faithful Citizenship" -- The Democratic National Convention begins today. A week from today, the Republican Party gathers for its convention. Our nation, state, and local communities are moving closer to Election Day.
How appropriate then that our deacon community spent a full day on Saturday with John Carr, executive director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, reflecting on the U.S. Bishop's document, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." This document, approved by a nearly unanimous vote of our Conference, lays out Church teaching on Catholics' participation in political life and on their responsibility to be faithful citizens. John described what the document means for deacons and their wives and how it can be applied to the people in the parishes where they serve.
 
Saturday evening, 230 priests, religious and laity gathered at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson for another informative presentation and discussion by John on "Faithful Citizenship."
 
Several generations of participants were present, including some young people from St. Augustine Catholic High School and from St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona. Parishioners from as far away as Yuma came for the presentation. The largest contingent was from Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson.
 
Everyone who attended was given copies of the "Faithful Citizenship" pamphlet and a two-page summary of the document.

One of our encouragements to Catholics in "Faithful Citizenship" is that they seek resources about faithfully exercising their citizenship that are authorized by their own bishops, their state Catholic conferences and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
 
So, I have encouraged our pastors and pastoral administrators to distribute the summary (available in English or Spanish) in their parishes. The summary contains helpful information on why Catholics should be active in the public arena, what a well-formed conscience means, how to make moral choices in our voting and key points about Catholic Social Teaching.
 
Here are some of the key points that John made in his presentation at St. Frances Cabrini:

-- The Church does not participate in partisan politics or tell people how to vote, but the Church teaches that Catholics should have a deep interest in the political process. Catholics should consider running for office and getting engaged in political parties, bringing their faith and values with them. He described how many Catholics are not totally comfortable in either political party, but even so need to work within those parties to encourage values and moral principles that Catholics hold dear. 
 
-- Catholics are not single-issue voters. The document quotes from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church's social doctrine does not exhaust one's responsibility toward the common good." (Doctrinal Note on Some questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, n.4) 
 
-- Catholics should avoid two temptations. The first temptation is to hold that there are no ethical distinctions and that all issues of importance are morally equivalent. The Church teaches that all human life from the moment of conception until natural death is sacred. Violating the sanctity of life, the Church teaches, is intrinsically wrong. Protecting life is not just one issue among many.
 
The second temptation is to see issues other than those we feel strongly about as unimportant. For example, some say that they are greatly concerned about the number of abortions, but seem not to care so much about children dying of starvation. Others are focused on the number of children dying of starvation, but seem to be not interested in the prevalence of abortion.

After John's presentation, participants were invited to submit questions on note cards. Time did not permit a response to every question, but here is a sample of what was on people's minds: (I have included my own brief responses.)
 
When will U.S. Bishops stand up to criticize, condemn and ostracize pro-death politicians who call themselves "Catholic?"
 
We do and have challenged politicians, Catholic and non-Catholic. Politicians who support abortion on demand are challenged. The bishops have challenged politicians who oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion. The Holy Father and U.S. bishops cautioned the President and Congress against the invasion of Iraq. Bishops have and need to continue to engage politicians of both parties and not be hesitant to challenge them.
 
Bishops speak in their own dioceses, through their state Catholic Conferences and through their U.S. Conference in Washington. Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix and I, through the Arizona Catholic Conference, have written on a number of moral issues and continue to meet with leaders in our State to discuss Catholic Social Teaching on the life and dignity of the human person.
 
While it is important to keep open, respectful dialogue with politicians, bishops have agreed not to honor politicians or others who promote positions contrary to Church teaching. However, the ability to influence and persuade means lines of communication need to remain open. Bishops need to continue to engage public officials and to not shun them.
 
How can we say we don't discriminate against anyone yet we oppose civil unions between gay couples?
 
The Church upholds the dignity of every human person. Each person, whether the unborn child, the prisoner on death row, the immigrant or a person of homosexual orientation, is a child of God deserving of respect and dignity.

We also believe that marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman. To speak against same-sex marriage is not discriminatory, but simply articulates what our Church understands is the nature of the marriage relationship.

The teaching of the Church is that sexual relationships outside marriage are not moral. This is true for homosexual or heterosexual behavior.
 
Does Catholic Social Teaching agree with "just war" doctrine?
 
Within the Church there is a wide range of teaching on war -- from total non-violence to principles that lay out guidelines for a "just war." The U.S. bishops, prior to the invasion of Iraq, did not believe that the principles of just war were present. Today, when nations consider war, the questions society asks are the very questions that have come forward from Catholic "just war" theory: has every alternative been considered, is the response proportionate and are civilians protected.
 
What more can the Church do to educate the faithful about moral social principles?
 
There is a need to preach on Catholic moral teachings more clearly from the pulpit. There is a need to provide more adult catechesis so that people understand better what the Church teaches and what is not being said. I am pleased that more and more teaching on our social doctrine is happening in our Catholic Schools and Religious Education programs. We are trying to provide more materials for teachers and catechists so that they are comfortable and knowledgeable about what the Church is teaching.
 
Do you have to confess voting against Catholic teachings, such as voting for a "pro-choice" candidate or for gay marriage?
 
The Church needs to do a better job helping Catholics form their consciences, and we are trying to do that through the resources of "Faithful Citizenship." For instance, there is a wealth of resources available at www.faithfulcitizenship.org, including the entire document "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," special activities for youth groups, a beautifully produced video for young persons, position papers on the most important issues involved in the elections and background on Catholic Social Teaching.

At the same time, Catholics themselves have to do a better job of forming their consciences by seeking opportunities to be more fully informed about what the Church teaches and why. As "Faithful Citizenship" states, "We Catholics have a lifelong obligation to form our consciences in accord with human reason, enlightened by the teaching of Church as it comes to us through the Church."

The popular culture speaks of women's right to make a choice. This culture suggests that sexual relationships outside of marriage are permissible. This culture more and more suggests that it is discriminatory to not permit same sex couples to marry. Our Church teaches that we should speak up for life and not support positions, even culturally acceptable, that go contrary to Catholic morals and teaching. Many Catholics and others in our community do not know what the Church teaches about issues that are related to the elections. That is why the U.S. Bishops issue our document on "Faithful Citizenship" each presidential election year.

Following your conscience is not just doing what you want. It is acting responsibly based on moral principles and values. Catholics who hold "pro-choice" positions or who feel inclined to support same sex marriage need first to learn what and why the Church teaches what She does. A Catholic who is deliberately voting on issues and candidates in scorn of Church teachings should seek to be reconciled. 

What is going too far with respect to talking about voting and about politics from the parish pulpit?
 
Stating support or urging support for a candidate or for a political party from the pulpit is going too far. Insinuating support for a particular candidate or party is going to far. We do need to speak from the pulpit about the importance of forming our consciences and about our responsibility to be faithful citizens. We should never tell people how to vote.
 
We as Catholics must be more concerned about social justice and inequality. Can I as a Catholic be pro-choice?
 
All of us need to be more concerned about social justice and inequality in society. The most vulnerable in society are the unborn. The Church teaches that the most important concern involving the dignity of human life is the concern for the protection of human life. Social justice and the dignity of life are not opposed, but are intimately connected. There are certain intrinsically evil acts, such as abortion, euthanasia, torture and racism. These are never justified. In good faith and in good conscience, Catholics cannot be "pro-choice," just as Catholics cannot treat the elderly as expendable or another human being as less than one's equal.
 
Is it appropriate to consider the fact that most Americans are not voting as the Church teaches on social issues, e.g. gay marriage, abortion. In other words, many people don't think certain things are wrong, so is it right to impose my views on them?
 
Our job is not to impose, but to teach -- to help people understand what the Church believes and values and why. In his presentations, John Carr said that as Catholics we have to "Change the Wind," meaning that we have to stand up and speak out against a culture of death.  Likewise, as Pope Benedict XVI has said, the Church has to not only say what we are against, but also what we are for, what we believe. As the Church speaks against a culture of death, the Church needs to articulate what makes for a culture of life.
 
The Church's core teachings on the sanctity of life and marriage are based on an understanding of natural law that comes from the nature of a human being created by God. So, Catholic teachings on the sanctity of human life from conception through natural death and on marriage as a fundamental unit of society being between one man and one woman exist because they are at the heart of what it means to be human.
 
The questions that surfaced during the evening at St. Frances Cabrini reflect some of the struggles faced by our Catholic people seeking to live their faith. The resources of "Faithful Citizenship" can help us in our struggles.
 
I am grateful to all who helped plan this evening, including: Joanne Welter of our Social Mission Office: members of Jordan Ministry, Pax Christi and the Pima and Yuma Interfaith Councils; Father Domenico Pinti, Episcopal Liaison for Respect Life; Fred Allison; and Msgr. Robert Fuller and the community of St. Frances Cabrini, for hosting the evening.

2. World Youth Day 2008 Reunion -- I appreciated the opportunity last evening to celebrate Mass with the community of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson. Present at the Mass were the young people from Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Cyril, St. John, Santa Cruz and St. Augustine who experienced World Youth Day in Australia. At the end of Mass, two of the teens -- Mike and Adam -- shared their feelings about what they had experienced.
 
Mike mentioned that he felt overwhelmed being in the presence of nearly 500,000 Catholics. It was a powerful religious experience of what it means to be Catholic. Adam commented that it was amazing. As one individual you feel so humble, so small, but you found yourself surrounding by Catholics from everywhere. You felt good, proud to be Catholic.
 
It was inspiring to hear the impact that Pope Benedict XVI had on the young people. In our gathering after Mass, as we watched the video produced from the pictures they took, it was obvious they had a lot of fun, left with many powerful memories and had their faith awakened.
 
Ann and Mike Morales of Sts. Peter and Paul coordinated the reunion. I am grateful to them and to all the chaperones, including Father Jeff Smialek, O.Carm, Frank Cady, and Alonzo Garcia.
 
3. Diocesan Finance Council -- The Council meets tomorrow here at the Pastoral Center. The agenda includes a report on investments and an update on our efforts to resolve the future of the Marist College.

And, we will be happy that Tom Arnold, our diocesan Chief Financial Officer, will be present to facilitate our meeting. Tom returned to work last Thursday following his recuperation from back surgery.

4. Alliance for Catholic Education
-- I am looking forward to tomorrow evening's gathering with the young teachers in our Diocese who are in the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teacher Formation Program.

This is the eighth year of the program in our Diocese. I will tell you about our gathering and about this year's ACE teachers in next week's memo.

5. Installation of Bishop David Ricken -- I am pleased that I can be present for this Thursday's installation of Bishop Ricken as the 12th Bishop of Green Bay. Before his appointment last July, Bishop Ricken had served as Bishop of Cheyenne, which is in our Region XIII. Bishop Ricken and I have been part of a bishops' prayer group in our region which also includes Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Bishop William Skurla of the Eparchy of Pasaic and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City. The Diocese of Green Bay will be blessed with their new shepherd.

6. Feast of St. Augustine
-- This Thursday is the Feast of St. Augustine, our Diocese's patron.

The long association between St. Augustine and our Diocese dates to Arizona's missionary era in the late 1700s when there were two villages with the name of San Agustín del Tucson. The first was situated at the foot of A Mountain, and the second grew up around the Spanish Presidio of Tucson. Churches under the patronage of St. Augustine were built at both sites, but only the church at the Presidio lasted into the American territorial period.
In the mid-1800s, a third church of St. Augustine was built. Some of the foundation stones of that church remain in the small park at Church and Broadway, and the church's arched portal and "rose window" are the formal entrance to the Arizona Historical Society Museum near the University of Arizona. This church, used by Bishop Jean Baptiste Salpointe in 1868, was abandoned after a new church on Stone Avenue was built in 1897 and dedicated by Bishop Peter Bourgade as our Diocese's first cathedral.

So, on this Thursday, we say "¡Felicitaciones!" to the community of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish, to the community of St. Augustine Church in Chuichu and to the community of St. Augustine High School in Tucson.

Our Cathedral's annual celebration of our patron's feast day will be this Saturday. I look forward to being with Father Pat Crino, rector of the Cathedral, Father Frank Cady and Msgr. Carlos Romero, parochial vicars, and the Cathedral's deacons and staff for Mass with the community at 5:30 p.m. After Mass, we will process to nearby Armory Park for "La Fiesta de San Agustín."

7. Annual Florecitas Quinceañera Mass -- This weekend will be the 37th annual observance in Tucson of the Fiesta en Xochimilco. Held on the last weekend of August and sponsored by the League of Mexican American Women, the events of the Fiesta honor and preserve Mexican traditions. Ear year, a group of young ladies who are turning 15 are presented as Florecitas (little flowers) in a modified version of the traditional Mexican quinceañera. This year's Quinceañera Mass, at which the Bishop of Tucson traditionally presides, will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral.

8.  Well-Deserved Recognition -- Church Women United (CWU) of Tucson has honored Loretta Tracy, our Diocese's Ecumenical and Interfaith Liaison, as the recipient of the 2008 Valiant Woman Award.

The organization's newsletter states, "Quietly dedicated, Loretta is known across Tucson for her effective representation of the Catholic Diocese in ecumenical and interfaith affairs, happily one of which is CWU. Her touch is felt in planning celebrations and forums. At her home church, St. Cyril, she has facilitated small group communities and brought together Protestant and Catholic Youth from Tucson and Ireland through the Ulster Project. 
 
CWU is an ecumenical Christian women's movement that works in the cause of world peace on local, state and national levels. The national movement of CWU began in 1941. CWU in Tucson began in the late 1940s.

9. An Inspiring Visit -- Yesterday afternoon, I visited Lupe Miranda at St. Joseph Hospital in Tucson where she is recuperating from a broken hip suffered in a fall. Lupe is the widow of Deacon Ramon. She is from St. Luke Parish in Douglas and is 87-years-old. What a beautiful lady of faith! She is still teaching catechism in her home to children from St. Luke, Immaculate Conception and St. Bernard Parishes. She brings Holy Communion to the home bound and to nursing home residents. Her one wish is to get out of the hospital so she can go back to her ministry. Lupe is one of those people who inspire us to do more. It certainly was an inspirational visit for me.

10. Bishops' Labor Day Statement -- Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is the author of this year's statement, which has been a tradition of the U.S. bishops for nearly seven decades.

For this year's statement, Bishop Murphy drew inspiration from the late Msgr. George Higgins, the "labor priest" who worked for more than half a century for workers' rights as a bridge between the Catholic Church in the U.S. and the labor movement.

Bishop Murphy describes how Msgr. Higgins might address current economic stresses such as the mortgage foreclosure crisis and high gas prices, writing, "Above all, Msgr. Higgins would be concerned about the worker, the person, and the family whose lives are affected by a host of factors.

Bishop Murphy reminds Catholics to use Catholic social and moral teaching to assess issues of economic justice, human life and dignity as they prepare to vote in November, and he cites the emphasis in "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" on the need to form a correct conscience in decision-making that is based on the truth of the human person and human society. Bishop Murphy says this is determined by examining "candidates and issues from the perspective of human life and dignity, the true good of society, the common good of us all in our nation and in this world." 

I encourage you to read the statement at www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/labor_day_2008.pdf.

I hope you enjoy the Labor Day holiday weekend. The next Monday Memo will be issued on Sept. 2.