Dec. 6, 2010 Dec. 13, 2010 Dec. 20, 2010

Vol. 8, No. 30
Dec. 6, 2010

Mary, the expectant mother, plays a primary role in Advent.

This second week in Advent, we celebrate two major feasts recognizing Mary: in her Immaculate Conception and as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In our Diocese, 14 of our parishes are named after the Virgin Mary, for she holds a special place in our community. All of our parishes throughout the Diocese will celebrate these Marian feasts this week with novenas, processions, devotions, the recitation of the Rosary -- all expressing our affection for Mary and our longing to imitate her fidelity and obedience.
 
Mary represents our longing to grow closer to the Lord. She was the great disciple who models for us how we strive to live our lives. As Advent progresses, we look to Mary to guide us in deepening our relationship with her Son. We experience during Advent the affection Mary holds for us that was expressed to Juan Diego. She will lead us to her Son.
 
I look forward to being with Father Alex Mills, pastor, and the community of St. Ann Parish in Tubac this Saturday morning for the parish's traditional procession and Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

1. El Dia de Campesino Celebration -- Farmworkers and their families from San Luis, Arizona, and San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, gathered in Friendship Park in San Luis, as early as 2 a.m. on Saturday for the communities' celebration of the annual Day of the Farmworkers.

Present for the day were many health organizations, making it possible for the farmworkers to get basic health screening (blood pressure, cholesterol) and information on how to stay safe from pesticides. People were bundled up against the cold of the morning, but the low temperatures did not dampen their enthusiasm. 
 
We gathered at around 10 a.m. to celebrate Mass. While some farmworkers had to leave to go off to work, many stayed with their families to pray together. Their faith is inspiring. They work hard. They have little. They struggle. But they have deep faith and a great love for the Lord. That was obvious during the celebration.
 
I was delighted that so many priests came to concelebrate, including Father Javier Perez, Father Oscar Magallanes, Father Martin Mannion, Father Tomas Munoz, Father Raul Valencia, Father Sean Carroll, S.J., Father Bartolome Vasquez, Father Emilio Chapa, Father Ricky Ordonez and Father Manuel Fragoso (who picked up the planning for the Mass after Father Luis Espinoza was diagnosed with appendicitis.) Many deacons also joined in the celebration.

As we looked on the fruits, breads and vegetables that were brought up during the Offertory procession, we gave thanks for the work of farmworkers who oftentimes have to work under terrible conditions and at risk to their own health to gather the food we eat.
 
I am grateful to Joanne Welter and Sister Karen Bernhardt, H.M., who helped organize the day. Also helping during the day were members of Sister Karen's formation program for ministry to farmworkers. I also am grateful to Father Raul and his community of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in San Luis for hosting all the priests for lunch after the Mass.

I thank Emilio Lopez for sending the photos.

2. Priesthood Vocation Discernment -- Ten young men came to the Vocation Discernment Day on Saturday at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma.

Father Ricky Ordonez, our diocesan director of Vocations, Father Emilio Chapa, parochial vicar of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, and Jorge Farias Saucedo, one of our seminarians who is doing a pastoral year at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson, conducted the day. The young men had lots of questions and ate lots of pizza. They joined the St. Francis of Assisi Parish for the Saturday evening Mass. People applauded these young men for the courage they were showing in considering the possibility of serving as priests in our Diocese. 
 
Father Ricky and Jorge gave a vocation talk at Yuma Catholic High School last week and met with about twelve other students the faculty felt might have a calling to the priesthood. We pray that some will enter the seminary.

3. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity of Manitowoc -- The Yuma Catholic Community showed its appreciation last week for the 80 years of service rendered by the Manitowoc Franciscans.
 
At the celebration, Sister Charleen, Sister Alexandra, Sister Ann Mary, Sister Elizabeth, Sister Jan, Sister Maria Goretti, Sister Patrice, Sister Ellen and Sister Leonette each offered a reflection about coming to the southwest. One could not but be impressed by their zeal and dedication. They had funny and touching stories about the first sisters from the community who came to Yuma. There were some present at the celebration who knew the first four sisters who came by train in 1929 to begin their ministry in Yuma: Sister Justin (the superior), Sister De Lellis, Sister Edgar and Sister Prisca. The sisters opened the first Catholic school in Yuma in 1930.
 
The sisters have had a profound affect in our Diocese, serving in Yuma, on the Tohono o'Odham Reservation and at Mission San Xavier del Bac and Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson.
 
4. St. John Neumann Parish's New Parish Center -- I was pleased to tour the new parish center being built at St. John Neumann Parish in Yuma. It is a mammoth hall that will take on many uses, including housing parish events, Cursillos and sports. The new kitchen would rival that of a big restaurant or banquet hall. Kudos to Father John Friel, pastor, and the community of St. John Neumann Parish for what they have accomplished in the building of their new church and parish center.

5. Catholic Community Services in Western Arizona -- While I was in Yuma, I was happy to join Peg Harmon, chief executive officers of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, in welcoming Sister Betty Adams, C.S.J., the new director of CCS in Western Arizona. Sister Betty has been well received by the community. People are thrilled by her desire to build the reputation of CCS in Yuma and La Paz Counties and to enhance the agency's outreach to those in need. Sister Betty spoke to the priests and deacons of the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate at their recent meeting, and they were delighted to hear her ideas on how CCS can better serve in the region.
 
CCS has honored two Yumans, Deacon Gary Pasquinelli and Howard Gwynn, for their outstanding leadership in furthering the work of CCS in their area with the Jack Cotter Award. Jack Cotter, the long-time chief executive officer of CCS who died last year, had mentioned to Peg that Deacon Gary and Howard should be honored for all the great good that they had done. Surely Jack is pleased that they are now recognized for their service.
 
6. On the Road with Deacon Ken -- I was pleased to have Deacon Ken Moreland, our diocesan Vicar for Deacons, as my traveling companion for the trip to Yuma last week. Deacon Ken was amazed at the vibrancy of the Church in the region and all the good being done. He had a chance to be with the deacons of the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate and to affirm the great work that they are doing in the area parishes, the regional hospital, prisons and nursing homes. Deacon Dave Sampson, one of the Associate Vicars for Deacons, does a marvelous job in the vicariate engaging the deacons and facilitating their assistance to the priests in their ministry. 

7. In the Spirit of the Season -- I will welcome the directors of our diocesan Pastoral Center departments and offices to the Bishop's Residence this evening for our annual Advent Season dinner.

Tomorrow evening, I will welcome the lay and priest volunteers who serve so generously in the Tribunal Office as Defenders of the Bond and as Auditors to the Bishop's Residence for our annual Advent Season dinner.

I will celebrate Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent with members of the Catholic Physicians Guild and their families at the St. Mary's Hospital Chapel.

8. Catholic Community Services Advent Mass, Re-dedication and Blessing -- I will celebrate the Advent Season Mass at noon tomorrow with the staff of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona at CCS headquarters in Tucson.

It will be my joy to re-dedicate the headquarters building, which has undergone remodeling of the offices and meeting rooms for Catholic Social Service and the administrative areas for CCS.  I also will bless the remodeled space at St. Elizabeth Health Center that includes the addition of six dental clinic rooms for services to children and upgraded space for laboratory, counseling, meeting space and records areas.

These enhancements will improve the capacity of CCS to serve more people in need in our community. This work was made possible by the generous gifts made to Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, our diocesan renewal campaign, the Angel Charity for Children, the Delta Dental Foundation of Arizona, the Larry Yasmer Open Wide Open Golf Tournament and the generous donors who supported the Catholic Community Services Capital Fund Effort.

9. National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry -- I will be presenting two breakout sessions this Friday at the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in New Orleans. My topic will be "Coworkers in the Vineyard," the foundational document of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on lay ecclesial ministry. I look forward to sharing with participants some reflections on the implications of the document for their ministry.

Joe Perdreauville, coordinator for our diocesan Office of Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry, will be assisting with my presentations.

The National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry provides professional development, networking and spiritual renewal for adults who work with young people in a variety of settings in parishes and dioceses. The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, a membership organization that works on behalf of youth and diocesan youth ministry leadership, sponsors this annual conference.

10. Annual Catholic Appeal
-- We are in the final weeks of pledge fulfillment for the 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal, and we have reached 96% of our goal in pledges. This is yet another demonstration of the extraordinary generosity of our parishioners, and I am so grateful to our pastors who have worked so hard to make this year's campaign a success.

I am especially grateful to the pastors and pastoral administrators of 24 of our parishes for their outstanding support of the Appeal. Through their leadership, their parishes exceeded their goals in pledges, increased participation in the Appeal and saw an increase in the total amount pledged.

They are: Father Charles Cloud, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Florence; Father Richard Kingsley, Corpus Christi Parish, Tucson; Father Peter Nwachukwu, Immaculate Conception Parish, Ajo; Father Ray Ratzenberger, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Tucson; Father Ed Lucero, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Safford; Father Dominic Trung Nguyen, Our Lady of LaVang Parish, Tucson; Father Francisco Maldonado, Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Green Valley; Father Basrdo Antunez, Sacred Heart Parish, Clifton; Father Sylvester Nwaogu, Sacred Heart Parish, Tombstone; Father Greg Adolf, St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Sierra Vista; Father Sebastine Bula, St. Bartholomew Parish, San Manuel; Father Joe Lombardo, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Tucson; Msgr. Bob Fuller, St. Frances Cabinri Parish, Tucson; Father Bob Tamminga, St. Francis de Sales Parish, Tucson; Father Dom Pinti, St. George Parish, Apache Junction; Father Juan Carlos Aguirre, St. Helen Parish, Eloy; Msgr. Ambrose Nwohu, St. Helen Parish, Oracle; Father Gilbert Malu, St. Luke Parish, Douglas; Father Philip Sullivan, O.C.D., St. Margaret Mary Parish, Tucson; Deacon Tony Underwood, St. Patrick Parish, Bisbee; Father Bill Gyure, St. Philip Parish, Payson; Father Jose Maria Corvera, St. Theresa Parish, Patagonia; and Father John Lyons, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Tucson.

This week, we will begin the first round of leadership training sessions for the 2011 Annual Catholic Appeal. I strongly encourage pastors and their lay leadership to attend one of the sessions in preparation for a truly successful campaign effort.

The first ACA 2011 Leadership Training session will be at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson for the Pima East Vicariate. The Pinal West Vicariate will meet at 6 p.m. next Monday at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Florence. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Cochise Vicariate will be at 6 p.m. at our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista. I am grateful to the pastors of the hosting parishes for their hospitality for these vicariate meetings.

While I don't want to spoil any surprises about the plans which will be announced at the meetings, I can let you know that the theme for this year's appeal is, "Go, be the light of Christ!" I hope these theme will inspire and encourage us as we work together to support the needs of our Diocese.

I thank Father Richard Kingsley, pastor, and the community of Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson for making their beautiful sanctuary available for the shooting of the campaign video last week. My special thanks to Jana Gee, music director of the parish, for helping us.

Before we started the taping, Father Richard presented me with a beautiful poster signed by parishioners. I was very moved by their encouragement and support.

11. St. Augustine Cathedral Update  -- We are making the final push for the completion of the renovation of our Cathedral. We have set the re-dedication of the Cathedral for Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. 

Like any big home improvement project, we have had a few bumps in the road along the way as unexpected challenges were encountered. It has been a challenge for Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector, and his staff at the Cathedral to continue to serve the parish community and the needs of our Diocese during this complex and comprehensive renovation. I am grateful to the Cathedral community for their patience and perseverance this past year.

So that the electricians, painters, sound system installers, light system installers, pew installers, retablo installers and artist John Alan can concentrate on completing their work, starting today the Cathedral will be closed on weekdays. The 7 a.m. and noon weekday Mass will be celebrated in Cathedral Hall. Weekend Masses will be celebrated in the Cathedral through the weekend of Jan. 1 and 2. Beginning the weekend of Jan. 8 and 9, the Cathedral will be closed for weekends. Saturday and Sunday Mass will be celebrated in Cathedral Hall.

12. Sharing the Christmas Spirit -- My thanks to Debbie Gerbo of Immaculate Heart High School in Tucson for sharing this story of the Christmas Spirit:

On Friday, Immaculate Heart High School's chapter of the National Honor Society hosted 37 elementary students from St. John' and Santa Cruz Schools for a festive Christmas Party. The students were selected by their principals from those families hardest hit by the weak economy. Immaculate Heart students, faculty and staff treated our special guests to a variety of activities such as cookie decorating, ornament making, games and Christmas caroling. Lunch was served for everyone, followed by a Drama Department presentation of original Christmas-themed skits.

Then, Santa appeared to give each child a special gift (IHHS students volunteered to select names and purchase these gifts.) Just before the conclusion of the party, each student was allowed to shop for a Christmas gift (from a selection of items generously donated by the Immaculate Heart Schools community) to give to a special family member. All of the gifts were wrapped, tagged and bagged so that the children could have the experience of giving as well as receiving during this Christmas season.

Not only were smiling, happy faces observed on the attendees, the high school students were merry and filled with the joy of sharing their time, labors and Christ's love through this generous endeavor. They look forward to making this charitable event an annual Christmas tradition!

13. Please, Take the Credit!
-- Here's is my annual encouragement for you to support our Catholic Schools and the mission of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (CCS) through two special tax credits for Arizona taxpayers.





Your contribution to the Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO) can qualify you for the Private School Tuition Tax Credit. Information on this tax credit is available at www.ctso-tucson.org, through each of our Catholic Schools and from Gracie Quiroz of the CTSO Office at 520-838-2571.





Your contribution to CCS can qualify you for the "Arizona Charitable Tax Credit." For more information about this tax credit opportunity, you can visit www.ccs-soaz.org (click on Support & Volunteer with CCS).





These tax credits are effective ways to either reduce the amount of state income taxes you need to pay or to increase the amount of the refund you receive.

The deadline for making contributions to CTSO and to CCS that can qualify you for the tax credits is Friday, Dec. 31.



14. Attention Parish Corporation Boards of Directors!  -- The date for next year's Annual Parish Corporation Boards of Director's Convocation has been changed from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5.

15. Implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition -- The workshops on the new translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, held last week in Tucson and in Yuma were well attended by priests, deacons, religious and lay leaders. A wealth of resources was available for parishes to begin to use in preparing their people for the changes that will happen in what we say and what we hear at Mass.
 
Many questions were asked, and those attending received a great deal of helpful information. I was most pleased to see nearly all of our diocesan and religious order priests attend the sessions. As presiders at Liturgy, they will experience the greatest amount of change in what they say at Mass. By means of a video, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of the Diocese of Patterson, gave a comprehensive overview of the process that has led to the new translation that will be introduced into our parishes on the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, 2011.

Last week's workshops were the first of many efforts in our Diocese to introduce the changes and to begin a diocesan-wide catechesis on the Liturgy in preparation for those changes. Over the coming months, bulletin announcements, homilies and articles in The New Vision will provide information about the changes that will be coming.
 
A special Liturgy Day on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson will give everyone -- priests, deacons, music directors, choir directors, choir members, liturgists, Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, lectors, RCIA directors and teams, religious education directors, catechists and Catholic School teachers and all parishioners -- a full overview of how we can introduce the changes and enhance the understanding of Liturgy. Plan to attend.
 
I am grateful to Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, and the other members of our diocesan Ad Hoc Committee on Implementation (Deacon Armando Valenzuela, Deacon Fran Sherlock, Deacon Ken Moreland, Father Greg Adolf, Father Jay Jensen, Father Miguel Mariano, Father Manolo Padilla, Father Pat Crino, Father Alex Mills, Lyn Bulski, Maureen Berger, Sheri Dishong, Mike Berger and Grace Lohr) for organizing our programs to prepare for the implementation.

It was great to be with our priests, whom I love and respect very much, at the Tucson and Yuma sessions last week. (I am grateful to Father Jim Hobert for organizing an afternoon of reflection for our priests after the Tucson session that was conducted by Father Bill Parker, C.Ss.R., from the Desert House of Prayer, and that was followed by a great feast prepared by Father Dom Pinti.)

16. Welcome to the Pastoral Center -- We are very happy to welcome Cathy Moore to the Pastoral Center. Cathy is executive assistant in our Office of Child Adolescent and Adult Protection. Cathy tells us a little bit about herself.

I am excited to have the opportunity to work at the Pastoral Center in the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection. My work background was primarily in the hospitality industry. I spent 20 years with Westin Hotels and Resorts. I retired from that career to raise my sons, Ryan, a senior, and Davis, a sophomore, both at Salpointe Catholic High School. We are members of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, where my sons have the privilege of serving Mass with Father John Lyons and Father Al Schifano. Most of my free time is spent attending Salpointe football and baseball games, cheering on my boys. 

17. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for Fernando Moreno, the brother of Bishop Manuel Moreno, who is in the hospital. Please pray for the speedy recovery of Father Luis Armando Espinoza, who underwent surgery to remove his appendix last week.

Vol. 8, No. 31
Dec. 13, 2010

We have just celebrated Gaudete Sunday. We lit the third of our four Advent candles, its rose color reminding us that we are well into the Advent season and calling us to proclaim our joyful expectation of the Nativity.

The Lord's coming is near.

Very soon, we will begin singing the O Antiphons that speak of the coming of the One who is our Light and our Hope.
 
These final days before Christmas can be anything but reflective. They are too often a time of anxiety, rushing about, of frantic activity. We want to get the Christmas cards done, finish decorating the tree, buy the presents we have been putting off purchasing. We go from party to party. There always seems to be more and more to do as we draw closer to the day.
 
Slow down. Make this a time of reflection and quiet, stillness. Make this a time to contemplate, to stand in awe of God's great love that moved Him to send His Only Begotten Son.

Make this a time to give thanks for the many blessings God has given you. This time should be characterized by joy: joy, not panic; joy, not frantic activity; joy, not busyness.

Take time to breathe in the reality that Christ was born one like us in all things but sin. Christ knows our suffering. He knows our struggles. He knows our joys. Ours is a God who is among us. How could we not be joy-filled?
 
On the weekend of the Third Sunday of Advent, many of our parishes celebrated with great devotion the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I celebrated with the people of St. Ann's Parish in Tubac, who were joined by the people of the parish's missions of Assumption in Amado, St. Ferdinand in Arivaca and by parishioners from San Martin de Porres Parish in Sahuarita and Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley.

Our celebration began with a procession of floats from each of the communities. Children dressed up as Bishop Zumarraga, Juan Diego, the Virgin, an angel and Franciscan friars. Their faces were glowing with the excitement and happiness that only children can have when they play the parts of the great Apparition. The judges had the big challenge of selecting the best float. The winner was the depiction of Juan Diego kneeling at the back of a truck, roses in hand, praying before the Virgencita.
 
Father Alex Mills, pastor of St. Ann's and its missions, played the part of Padre Eusebio Kino, the great Jesuit missionary and explorer who founded one of his missions in nearby Tumacacori. Not only did Father Alex have Padre Kino's wide-brimmed hat -- he rode (for the first time) on horseback around the town. (Hope Father Alex didn't isn't feeling sore from that experience.)
 
After the procession, we went into church for a reenactment of the story of Juan Diego. This was the first time the community did the play in English. Children will be children. At one point, the friar (about seven-years-old) sitting next to Bishop Zumarraga gave a big yawn. Bishop Zumarraga was aghast.  
 
How often we hear this story, but it always is fresh and new because it is our story. Like Juan Diego, we suffer, we struggle. Mary says to us, as she said to Juan Diego, "I am your mother, I am at your side, no reason to fear."
 
After Mass, there was a fiesta. I was delighted to be with the people of St. Ann Parish, its missions and the neighboring parishes for their celebration.

Of course, Saturday was a big day for Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Solomon. Father Ed Lucero, administrator of St. Rose of Lima Parish and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, sent me this report:

On Saturday, we celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe with a fiesta. There were a number of musical groups that volunteered their time to play. We had games for the kids, the Knights of Columbus grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and another group prepared burros and menudo.

We also have celebrated our annual Festival of Trees at St. Rose of Lima Parish. The Festival invites groups from the parish and throughout the Safford and Thatcher area to set up Christmas trees in the parish hall. For one week, everyone is invited to view the Christmas trees, and we had great participation from the community. The Safford School District bused all their grade school kids during the week to view the trees. The Catholic Daughters of America has sponsored the event.

Thanks, Father Ed, for sharing this good news from Solomon and Safford.

Yesterday, I celebrated our traditional Advent Season Mass with our Catholic physicians and their families at St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson. This year's attendance was the best ever. Winnie Fritz, chief executive office of Carondelet Health Network, and Jude Magers, the Network's director of Mission, welcomed us.

Doctors, nurses and medical staff are the hands, voice and heart of Christ in their work for those suffering and in need. I was delighted to hear of the doctors' interest in forming a Catholic Physicians Guild so that they can learn together and share their values as Catholic physicans.

1. Presbyteral Council -- Our last Presbyteral Council meeting of the year is this morning at the Pastoral Center.

Our agenda includes a number of update reports and discussions on pastoral issues and needs, including ministry to Native American Catholics, detention ministry and the priorities of our Diocese. We will get reports on the Annual Catholic Appeal, renovation of St. Augustine Cathedral, plans for the Feb. 12 re-dedication the Cathedral and proposed policies for retired pastors. We also will be looking at priest assignments that will need to be made next year.

Our special guests for the meeting will be representatives from Carondelet Health Network. We will hear from them about a project in Pima County to promote wellness by addressing obesity. Our guests are going to serve us a very healthy lunch as an example of how good food can help you avoid the problems associated with obesity.

2. Annual Catholic Appeal -- Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson hosted the first of our Annual Catholic Appeal Parish Leadership Meetings on Saturday. I was on my way back from New Orleans and the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry and wasn't able to attend. Margie Puerta Edson, director of the Appeal, tells me it was a good meeting:

We had pastors, parish staff and lay leaders from St. Helen of the Cross in Eloy and from St. Cyril, St. Joseph, St. Francis de Sales, Our Lady of LaVang, Blessed Kateri, San Xavier and Our Mother of Sorrows. We are grateful to Msgr. Tom Cahalane and his executive assistant, Corrine Gay, for their hospitality. We had a good discussion about the campaign and received excellent feedback on what is working and what the Office of the Charity and Ministry Fund can do to assist parishes as they work to meet their goals.

We recognized St. Francis de Sales, St. Helen of the Cross and Our Lady of LaVang Parishes for their outstanding results in 2010. The new campaign video was well received.

We are grateful to everyone who took time out of their busy Saturday to be with us. We look forward to our leadership meetings in Florence at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish on Monday and at Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista on Tuesday.


3. Catholic Relief Services -- I will be in Baltimore tomorrow and Wednesday chairing the meeting of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services at CRS headquarters.

Last week, Ken Hackett, president of CRS, visited here to bring me up to date on the multiple projects and initiatives of CRS to respond to needs of people who are suffering from natural disasters and political upheaval around the world. He described the great work they have been doing in earthquake-stricken Haiti, a country that is struggling with so many difficulties, including now violence in the streets.
 
There is much to learn: CRS is in 64 countries with nearly 5,000 field workers and 500 staff at its Baltimore headquarters. CRS international staff serves in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa. They are involved in a wide range of services, including public policy, agriculture, education, emergency response, food security, HIV/AIDS, peace-building, social safety net, and water and sanitation.
 
One of the biggest responsibilities facing the board is the selection of a new president who will replace Ken Hackett, who is retiring. CRS is at the heart of the Church's mission, so it is critical the person be committed to social justice, know the teachings of the Church, have sensitivity to the world's needs and have the ability to harness resources to respond to those needs.
 
4. Pastoral Center Staff Meeting -- Our quarterly meeting of the staff of the Pastoral Center will be this Thursday morning. Our special guest will be Brian Flagg of the Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community in Tucson. We will be presenting Brian with our donations of food, clothing and personal hygiene items to assist the Catholic Worker Community with its ministry to the hungry and the homeless at Our Lady of Guadalupe Soup Kitchen.

 5. In the Spirit of the Season -- Certainly, there is no better way to welcome in the Christmas season than by experiencing the season's beautiful music.

Last week, I attended then the San Xavier Mission Christmas Concert sponsored by the Patronato. The performance by the Tucson Boys Chorus under the direction of Julian Ackerley and the Sons of Orpheus directed by Grayson Hirst was even more than fabulous. The diversity of the selection and the quality of the performance were amazing. All who came left with a feeling of joy as the singers sang their final hymn, praying for peace. Plan to attend next year if you can. I am grateful to Ann Fallon for the tickets to this year's concert.

This Friday evening, I will host the members of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board at the Bishop's Residence for our annual Advent Season dinner.

Sunday evening, I will welcome our seminarians and their parents to the Bishop's Residence for our annual Advent Season Dinner.

6. Lewis University -- The exceptional educational and community services of Lewis University of Romeoville, Illinois, are well known. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lewis in the top tier of master's level universities in the Midwest. The Princeton Review has named Lewis as one of its "Best Midwestern Colleges. The University offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and programs of study, accelerated degree completion options for working adults, various aviation programs and 22 graduate programs in nine fields.

As a "former Midwesterner," I know Lewis University very well. This year, the University is marking the 50th anniversary of its sponsorship by the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

I am very humbled to have been selected by the University's Board of Trustees to receive an Honorary Doctoral Degree of Humanities this Saturday at the Winter Commencement for Graduate Students.

7. Remember in Your Prayers -- We pray for the repose of the soul of Fernando Moreno, brother of Bishop Manuel Moreno, who died last week. The Funeral Mass was celebrated this morning Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson.

Fernando and his wife Nora had moved from California to Tucson several years ago to be with Bishop Moreno in his senior years. Fernando was a most gentle person, and in that gentleness he was very much like his older brother Manuel.

Dominic Santana, Fernando's nephew, shares these thoughts about his "Tio Nani."

Fernando Duran Moreno was born on December 2, 1949, in Placentia, California, to Antonio and Enedina Moreno. 

Growing up with his parents and siblings Manuel, Pilar, Ray and Juanita, he learned the culture, values and traditions that were the foundation of his life. 

After completing his primary education in Placentia, Fernando was guided by the Holy Spirit to Our Lady Queen of Angels and St. John's seminaries. 

He continued his education outside the seminary and maintained his passion for community service by working for the city of La Habra. In the 1970s, a headline in the La Habra Star typifies his mission, "Fernando Moreno Works for the People, Not the City." He would continue his service by leading and supporting programs for farm workers, undocumented laborers, the poor and the sick. 



In 1980, the Holy Spirit called Fernando back to education and the Church through Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he spent 25 years serving the students, the university and the community. As Director of Campus Ministry from 1991-2005, he organized student trips to foreign countries, planned integrated community events and created programs to educate students on the evolving societal issues that were a priority to the Catholic Church. He also sat on several local and national boards, such as the Campaign for Human Development, enabling the under-privileged to take advantage of opportunities to improve their quality of life.



Maintaining the culture, heritage and traditions of his family was equally, if not more, important to Fernando. With the example set by his mother, he made every effort to have his brothers, sisters and extended family stay close by celebrating life's milestones and living by the Catholic traditions.  His nieces and nephews were his children and central to his life. He was a godfather to 23 children, which exemplifies the trust, inspiration and wisdom that others saw in him.

His life partner Nora was his constant support and spiritual companion who he loved so much. He recognized the many blessings in his life both big or small and encouraged others to do the same.


You are welcome to send condolences to Nora in care of the Diocese, P.O. Box 31, Tucson, AZ 85702.