June 1, 2010 June 7, 2010 June 21, 2010 June 28, 2010

Vol. 8, No. 12
June 1, 2010

We are nearing the conclusion of the Year for Priests.

Our diocesan observance of this special year will culminate this Saturday when it will be my joy to ordain Deacon Oscar Magallañes to the priesthood. The Eucharistic Liturgy with the Rite of Ordination will be at 9 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral. All are invited!

In Rome and Vatican City, the Year for Priests will conclude next week as priests from around the world converge for three days of special activities and liturgies.

On Wednesday, June 9, the priests will gather at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls for prayer, a conference with the theme of "Conversion and Mission" and for Mass.

On Thursday, June 10, the priests will gather again at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls for a conference on "The Upper Room: Invoking the Holy Spirit With Mary, in Fraternal Communion." They will go to St. Peter's Basilica after the conference to celebrate a vigil service during which Pope Benedict XVI will give a discourse.

On Friday, June 11, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the theme will be "With Peter, in Ecclesial Communion." The Holy Father will close the Year for Priests and mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, with Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.

We are very happy that Father Pat Crino will be able to represent our Diocese at the closing. Father Pat is Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Councils in our Diocese. State Councils across the U.S. are sponsoring the participation of their chaplains in the closing of the Year for Priests.

The conclusion of the Year for Priests also will mark the beginning of life transitions for two of our senior priests, Msgr. Todd O'Leary and Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe. Both are retiring from active ministry this month, Msgr. Todd after 52 years of service and Msgr. Richard after 51.

The Yuma Sun recognized Msgr. Richard's 37 years as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in a story in Sunday's edition.

1. Visit to Yuma - La Paz Vicariate -- My visit last Friday through Sunday for graduation at Yuma Catholic High School and for Confirmation at four parishes covered the whole of the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. I was accompanied by John Morris, one of our new seminarians who will be entering Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, in the fall.
 
This was John's first experience of the immense geography of our Diocese. As we drove that long stretch on Interstate 8 between Gila Bend and Dateland, he wondered if we would ever see civilization again. He was curious about the jojoba fields that line the interstate just east of Yuma, and I could give him a few insider details about the jojoba because Fred Allison had given me an introductory lesson on my first trip to Yuma some seven years ago.
 
John marveled at the fields of various crops and the beautiful Colorado River that marks the western boundary of our Diocese. You don't often see cars pulling boats in Tucson, but that is not an uncommon sight in Parker this time of year.

As the miles rolled by in our visits to the parishes, John became acquainted with San Luis, Somerton, Yuma, Parker, Quartzsite, Wenden, Poston, Wellton, Texas Hill, Tacna, Roll and Dateland. He experienced the hospitality and friendliness of these communities. It was an opportunity for him to meet the priests, deacons, religious and laity who serve these communities with such dedication.
 
John shared with me what a wonderful experience it was for him to see this part of the Diocese that he had not yet encountered. He reflected on how enthusiastic the people are about their parishes and the obvious pride they felt when their young people were confirmed and when they received their diplomas at Yuma Catholic High School's graduation.

We logged a lot of miles, and I returned home inspired by the good work being done throughout our Diocese.

2. 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal -- As of last Friday, we were at 89% of our goal of $3.7 million, and there are several encouraging numbers to report as this year's campaign draws to a close.

First, the 15,279 donors to this year's Appeal is an increase of more than 1,500 over last year. More than half (39) of our parishes have increased the number of their donors from last year. 

At present, 25 parishes have made goal and another 10 are quickly closing in on their goals.

I encourage our pastors to reach out to parishioners who pledged to the Appeal in 2009 but who have not yet made a gift this year. The Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund Inc. has sent information to parishes that have not yet made goal to help them connect with past donors.

The weekly report on parish pledge totals is available here.

3. Joyful Occasions at Immaculate Conception Parish, Ajo
-- I will celebrate three joyful occasions tomorrow evening with the community of Immaculate Conception Parish.

Our celebration of the Eucharist that begins at 6:30 p.m. will include Confirmation, the installation of Father Peter Nwachukwu as the parish's 22nd pastor and the blessing of the recently renovated church.

Father Peter, who earned his doctorate degree here in the U.S., has served faithfully as administrator of parish. He has won the hearts of his people who will now receive him joyfully as their pastor. Father Peter has a missionary spirit and has worked hard to adapt to our culture. He brings to his ministry a joyful spirit that has created a wonderful spirit of collaboration within the parish.
 
4. Meeting of Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board
-- We will welcome Mary Louise Montaña of Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma as a new member of the Board at tomorrow morning's meeting. Mary Louise brings a long history of public service to her role on the board. She replaces Maureen Keegan, a long-service board member who made the long trek from Yuma for each meeting.

I appreciate very much Mary Louise's generosity in sharing the important responsibility of providing oversight to our diocesan Safe Environment Program.

5. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this Thursday evening at St. Bartholomew Parish in San Manuel for the confirmandi of St. Bartholomew and St. Helen Parish in Oracle, this Friday evening at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson and this Sunday evening at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Elfrida.

6. Thanks and Farewell -- We will express our thanks and bid farewell this week to three of our co-workers here at the Pastoral Center.

Sister Ruthmary Powers, H.M., is leaving her position as our assistant superintendent of Catholic Schools. Sister Ruthmary has given dedicated service to our Catholic Schools Department over the last two decades, having served as our Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the 1990s.

Erica Dahl-Bredine is leaving her position as director of the Catholic Relief Services Mexico Project. Erica will continue her ministry with CRS in El Salvador. The Mexico Project, which has been headquartered in Tucson the past nine years, will continue with headquarters in Mexico City after the Tucson office is closed in October. With the closing of the office, Lourdes Aguilar, secretary to the CRS Mexico Project, will leave that position.

7. Meeting of Board, Councils at Holy Family Parish, Tucson -- I will meet this Saturday afternoon with Father Alonzo Garcia, pastor, and the members of the Holy Family Parish board of directors, pastoral council and finance council.

I greatly appreciate the wisdom and counsel of our laity who serve our parishes with much generosity. Their input on critical issues facing our parishes brings a wealth of wisdom to our discussions. I am sure that will be true of our Saturday gathering as well.

8. Carondelet Health Network Mission Awards -- I am honored to have been invited to give the invocation this Saturday evening at La Paloma in Tucson for the annual Carondelet Health Network Mission Awards and Recognition of Associates Gala. Sister Barbara Anne Stowasser, C.S.J., will receive special recognition at this year's event for her dedicated ministry and service.

9 Sacramental Guidelines -- Our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services has a few copies of our recently revised Diocese of Tucson Sacramental Guidelines available for parishes. Please contact Ofelia James in the office of Pastoral Services at ofeliaj@diocesetucson.org or 520-838-2545. Parishes can make additional copies of the Guidelines by downloading them here.

10. June Issue of The New Vision -- The June issue of The New Vision, our diocesan newspaper, will be distributed at our parishes this weekend.

You will enjoy the story about how a pastor and a parochial vicar at one of our parishes minister together and support one another even with their very different styles of ministry. You will find stories and photos of the commencement exercises for 457 graduates from our Catholic High Schools, a story about the corporate donors to the Catholic Tuition Support Organization and a story about the winners of this year's Serra Club of Tucson annual essay contest. Also, there is coverage about the new Arizona law aimed at illegal immigration that includes the opinions of some of our readers.

11. Memorial Day -- The Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries observed Memorial Day with Mass at Holy Hope Cemetery and Our Lady of the Desert Cemetery. More than 800 persons gathered to pray for their family members who had served in our nation's military services and to remember the service of all veterans buried in the two cemeteries.
 
Father Miguel Mariano, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson, presided at the Mass at Holy Hope. Father JoJo Tabo, parochial vicar at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, presided at the Mass at Our Lady of the Desert. American Legion Post #59 performed the flag ceremony at Holy Hope honoring Santos Pena, a veteran of WWII and a survivor of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. The Davis Monthan Air Force Base Elite Honor Guard performed the flag ceremony at Our Lady of the Desert.

I am grateful to the staff of our Catholic Cemeteries for the care and attention they give day in and day out to Holy Hope, Our Lady of the Desert and All Faiths. Their dedicated commitment is especially evident on important days like yesterday when so many of our families make special visits to our cemeteries.

12. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Chick DeChaine, the stepfather of Father John Lyons, who died over the weekend.

Vol. 8, No. 13
June 7, 2010

One of the greatest joys of a bishop is to ordain a priest, and that was my experience Saturday at St. Augustine Cathedral when I ordained Oscar Mario Magallañes Villa to the priesthood.

What a glorious celebration it was!

The applause was frequent and sustained as people showed their delight for Father Oscar and their joy that we have a new priest to serve our Diocese. His first assignment is to Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma.

Father Oscar was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and from three months of age grew up in Nogales, Sonora. He entered the seminary at the age 13 for the Archdiocese of Heromosillo, but his discernment about his vocation in life took him on a different path when he was in his twenties. He left the seminary, and in 1975 he married Olga. They started their family and raised two sons.

In his vocation as husband and father, Oscar began a career as a psychologist and worked at La Frontera in Tucson, counseling married couples and families.

Still feeling the strong pull to serve the Church, Oscar became a candidate for the permanent diaconate and was ordained a deacon for our Diocese, serving at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Parish in Tucson.

After Olga died and with their sons grown up, Oscar again felt called to the priesthood. He applied to be a seminarian for our Diocese, was accepted and went off for two years of study at Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.

Our special guests at the Cathedral on Saturday included Father Luis Enrique, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Heromosillo, who came to represent Archbishop Ulyses Macias, Father Mario Lorta and Father Alfredo Sepulveda, friends of Father Oscar from his early seminary years, and Father Raul Gomez of the seminary community.
  
Father Jose Funes, S.J., director of the Vatican Observatory (here at the University Arizona and at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father's summer residence) surprised everyone by sharing a congratulatory letter to Father Oscar from the Holy Father.

Father Oscar's ordination is the inspiration for my column in this month's issue of The New Vision, our diocesan newspaper.

I wrote that when I was ordained a priest in 1967, Father Oscar would have been referred to as a "special."

Back then, most of my classmates and I were referred to as "lifers." We had begun our studies for the priesthood in high school. A "special" was an older man who heard God's call to the priesthood later in life.

Today, we call men who become priests later in life "second career" priests, but they still are very "special," and we are blessed in our Diocese by their service.

We have a number of second career priests who have brought many diverse skills, gifts and talents to our Diocese. Some have taught school, practiced law and dentistry, served in the military, operated businesses and held high positions in the corporate world. Whatever their experience, they now enrich our presbyterate.

Recently, I appointed one of our second career priests, Father Ricky Ordoñez, as our new vocation director.

Like his immediate predecessors (Father Miguel Mariano, Father Vili Valderrama and Father Mike Bucciarelli), he will bring boundless energy to his work.

And, I think his skills in the career he had before becoming a priest will come in handy. Father Ricky was an expert in promoting tourism. Now, he will be inviting men to consider going on a life-long journey of service to our Church.

Even with his skills, though, on his own Father Ricky would be like a voice in the wilderness. But, if all of us -- priests, religious, deacons, laity and especially parents -- are involved, Father Ricky's outreach will be pervasive.

So, what can we do to support Father Ricky?

We need to encourage younger men in high school and college to consider priesthood.

And, we ought to look for potential candidates among older men, like Father Oscar, who might seek to be priests only later in life.

The young bring idealism, energy, creative ideas and excitement. Older candidates bring with them experience, proven worth and acquired wisdom.

God calls in unexpected ways, and a word of invitation to the young and not so young to consider priesthood can go a long way.

We need to encourage parents to be promoters of vocations.

Both young and more experienced candidates often speak of their parents as primary promoters of their vocation.

That was true for me. My parents did not push me, but I knew they supported my interest. My dad was raised by a priest after his mother died and his father could not take care of him. That priest was revered by my dad.

My mom, although not a Roman Catholic when I went to the high school seminary, grew very close to a priest who ultimately brought her into the faith. She, too, had a great respect for priesthood because of our young dynamic associate pastor.

Although I suspect that they both would have wanted their only son to get married, have children and pass on our family name, I knew I had their support in my decision to become a priest. Their support meant the world to me.

As our Diocese continues to pray and seek vocations to the priesthood, I encourage each one of us to identify those whom God is calling, be they second career candidates or younger men.
Both have a place in ministry today. Both can contribute to the work of the Church. Both need to be invited.

1. "What Makes a Really Great Priest?"
-- At the beginning of the Year for Priests, we invited readers of The New Vision, our diocesan newspaper, to share their answers to that question.

Among the responses, this one communicates so well that priesthood matters and that our priests touch people's lives in truly amazing ways:

To celebrate the Year for Priests, I was motivated to remember many of the wonderful, talented pastors and assistant pastors -- some in heaven and some still toiling in Christ's vineyard -- who have blessed my life:

Gentle Father John Golias, who made sure to be in the hall when a worried little girl (who could not understand how to tell time) was sent by the teacher to the hall clock for a time check. He always managed to help her count by 5s to get the right answer.

Father Joe Fleming, financial genius and no-nonsense missionary for Christ, who advocated an annulment for two dear friends estranged from the Church by saying, "Just get off your duffs and DO THE PAPERWORK!" They did!

Father Barry Baroni, former mechanical engineer, who related Scripture to family life to teach us and who, despite his marvelous wit and sense of humor, nearly died trying to make ends meet keeping a Catholic School and parish solvent in a rust-belt community.

Father Jim Travis, himself ill with breathing problems, who courageously drove four-plus hours one-way many scorching hot weekends to officiate at Mass when our pastor was in hospital.

Father Tom Dekaa, who traveled thousands of miles from Nigeria, to tend to the cares and concerns of Arizonans while having to worry about his own dear mother in delicate health half a world away.

Father Bill Gyure, opera aficionado just one of his strengths, who, when we vigil Mass musicians play a hymn that may not appeal to his musically astute ear, gently smiles and says, "I may be wrong but I think the melody for your Offertory hymn used to be the drinking song for a fraternity at Princeton." (Kindly chastened, we defer to his well-tempered tympanum.)

As I think about them all, these good, decent, talented men who serve Christ's people and His Church in so many ways, I found it hard to keep the memories brief. The only gift I can return to them is my prayers of thanksgiving for them all.

You can read more responses here.

I have written a personal note to each of our priests expressing my thanks to them for their service and ministry.

I am grateful to all our parish communities for coming up with creative ways to honor and thank our priests during this Year for Priests. They held dinners, organized writing of letters communicating appreciation, and asked parishioners to pray for priests. Those expressions of thanks mean a lot.

I saw an example of this yesterday when I went to visit Father Martin Atanga and his communities of St. Jude Parish in Pearce/Sunsites and St. Francis of Assisi in Elfrida for First Communion and Confirmation when it was announced that the parish was having a fiesta next week to honor Father Martin for his service to conclude the Year for Priests.

The people of St. Monica Parish in Tucson communicated their thanks Saturday to Father Jim Hobert, their pastor. The parish's celebration of Father Jim's 25th anniversary of ordination included folkolorico dancing and mariachi music and was filled with many cheers, sustained applause and great appreciation for one who has served with distinction. I was delighted that Father Jim's mom and dad, his sisters Mary and Camille, his brother John, his Aunt Honey and many cousins could be present for the celebration. The Movimiento Familiar Cristiana prepared and served food to all who attended the reception at San Miguel High School's Gym.
 
Clearly, Father Jim is loved by his people at St. Monica and by those he served at St. Ambrose Parish in Tucson and in the Douglas and Pirtleville communities. Father Jim has worked for many years in detention ministry and has served as our Priest Delegate for Continuing Education of Priests.

At Father Jim's anniversary celebration, at the ordination of Father Oscar and at last Wednesday evening's installation of Father Peter Nwachukwu as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Ajo, I was encouraged to see so many of our priests participate, reflecting the sense of fraternity that is growing stronger in our Diocese. It is important that priests see themselves as part of a presbyterate that works together, along with our laity, women and men religious and deacons, to carry on the mission of Christ. I have seen this spirit of fraternity especially among our priests from Africa. They travel long distances to show their support for a brother priest. They teach us a lot about how to be a fraternity of priests supporting and encouraging one another.
 
2. Conclusion of the Year for Priests -- The Year for Priests concludes this week with a special international gathering of priests in Rome.

Father Pat Crino, rector of St. Augustine Cathedral, is representing the priests of our Diocese. Father Pat is able to participate through the generosity of the Arizona State Council of the Knights of Columbus.

The gathering of priests begins Wednesday at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls with prayer, a conference on the theme of "Conversion and Mission" and Mass.

On Thursday, the priests will gather again at the St. Paul Outside the Walls for a conference on "The Upper Room: Invoking the Holy Spirit With Mary, in Fraternal Communion." Following the conference, they will go to St. Peter's Basilica for a vigil service during which Pope Benedict XVI will give a discourse.

On Friday, at Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father will close the Year for Priests and mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests.

3. Priests' Convocation, Diocese of Lake Charles
-- I am on my way to the Diocese of Lake Charles in Louisiana this morning. I am very honored to have been invited by Bishop Glen John Provost and the priests of his Diocese to be with them for their annual Priests' Convocation. I will share reflections with them this evening and tomorrow on the theme of their gathering, "Priest: Minister of Love in Truth."

Visiting the Diocese of Lake Charles Website gives me a perspective on how geography is a great influence on the mission of the local Church. For instance, while we here in our Diocese are deeply concerned about immigration and the dangers posed by of our desert's summer heat to migrants, in the Diocese of Lake Charles they are praying that efforts to contain the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will be successful. Bishop Provost also is asking his people to pray for the safety of all as their region enters the hurricane season.

4. Pastoral Center Staff Meetings -- I will meet this Thursday morning with the directors of our diocesan offices and departments for our monthly meeting. Following that meeting, we will meet with the entire staff of the Pastoral Center for our quarterly meeting. We will share the results of a survey of the Pastoral Center staff that asked each staff member what is going well and what they would change if they were the bishop. The comments were very helpful in getting a sense of where we are at the Pastoral Center in our service of the parishes and schools of our Diocese.

5. Visit to Jewish History Museum ­-- I was privileged last week to visit an important landmark of our region's faith history.

The Jewish History Museum is just a few blocks from St. Augustine Cathedral on South Stone Avenue. I was welcomed to the Museum by its executive director, Eileen Warshaw, and by Fran Katz, chair of the board of the Jewish Community Center, Jeff Katz, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Dr. Barry Friedman, president of the board of the Jewish History Museum, Howard Schneider, treasurer of the board of the Jewish History Museum, and Stuart Mellan, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

The Museum is a tribute to the care and concern of the Tucson Jewish Community for their history. The building that is home to the Museum served the Jewish Community as Temple Emanu-El from 1910 to 1949. In 1994, when the building was in danger of being demolished, some caring people from the Jewish Community acted to save it. As the Stone Avenue Temple Project, they worked to find ways to restore the building. In 2006, the Stone Avenue Temple Project and the Jewish Historical Society of Southern Arizona merged to form the Jewish History Museum.

This October, our entire community will join with the Jewish Community in celebrating the centennial of the building of the first Jewish house of worship in Arizona Territory.

Chancellor Ernie Nedder and John Shaheen, our diocesan Property and Insurance Manager, accompanied me on my visit. We learned about the history of the building that houses the Museum from Eileen and Dr. Friedman.

I toured the exhibit "Rebirth After The Holocaust." The exhibit, which concluded last week, shows the history of the Bergen Belsen Displaced Persons Camp and explains the important role of the camp in the history of the formation of the State of Israel.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. What the Jewish Community has done -- and continues to do -- to preserve the history of the Jewish Faith in our community inspires me. Their efforts support the priority that we have placed on our Archives and Museum, the renovation of our Cathedral and the preservation of the Pamplona Crucifix. 

6. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Olga Ruiz, mother of Father Tony Ruiz, who died last week at age 99. The vigil service is at 7 p.m. today at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson. The Funeral Mass will be tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Anne Krekorian, mother of Ginny Clements of Tucson, who died last week. Ginny has served on many diocesan boards and been a great supporter of our Diocese. We pray her mother will enjoy eternal rest and that her family will find consolation in the Lord.
 
Please remember Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe and Father Liam Leahy in your prayers. They recently have had some health challenges.
 
7. Looking Ahead -- I will be leaving for St. Petersburg, Florida, this Sunday for next week's Spring Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Monday Memo will take a break and will be back June 21.

I will be returning to the Diocese from the Spring Assembly on Saturday, June 19.

On Sunday, June 20, I will be joining the participants in the Priesthood Vocation Discernment Retreat at La Purisima Retreat Center in Hereford.

Vol. 8, No. 14
June 21, 2010

You are most cordially invited to the dedication this Saturday morning at All Faiths Cemetery in Tucson of the Garden of the Ancestors, a special section for the remains of approximately 1,300 persons whose bodies first were buried in what was known as the National Cemetery in downtown Tucson between the early 1860s and early 1880s.

The section includes a striking memorial to those whose remains are now in their final resting place.

These remains were excavated from the long abandoned cemetery during the Joint Courts Complex Archaeological Project that was necessitated after plans were announced for the construction of the City of Tucson and Pima County Joint Courts Complex in downtown Tucson. From historical records and discoveries of human remains in the 1950s, this area was known to have been the site of the National Cemetery.
 
The decision of our local governments to treat these remains with dignity and respect and to rebury them in a special place is an inspiring example of a community honoring its ancestors.
 
The Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries and Pima County partnered for the reburial of the remains and for the creation of the memorial.

I am honored to join leaders of faith communities, civic leaders and members of descendant groups for the dedication as we offer prayers and blessing for those who lived and died in Tucson more than 140 years ago.

1. Spring Assembly of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- Last week, I was in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the Spring Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Every third year, this spring meeting becomes a retreat and an opportunity for ongoing education. The 2010 Special Assembly had as its theme, "Bishops as Agents of Hope for Their Priests."
 
The days consisted of spiritual reflections, talks, discussions and prayer. Each of us had our own priests on our minds and in our hearts for the week. The committee that planned the Assembly chose this topic because the last few years have strained, at times, the relationship bishops hold with their priests.
 
The topics addressed at the Assembly included: "The Bishop as Father, Brother, and Friend of His Priests;" "The Renewal of the Spiritual Lives of Bishops and Priests;" "Challenges for Bishops in Fostering Unity among Priests;" and "Communio Related to Bishops and Priests as Ministers of Word and Sacrament."
 
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the newly appointed head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, served as our spiritual director. I had met Cardinal Turkson at the Synod in Rome on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. We were in the same language group. Cardinal Turkson, who is from Ghana, is a scripture scholar, and his reflections in his homilies at morning prayer and at Mass guided us in our reflections throughout the Assembly.

Some of our own brothers gave the major addresses. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York City, a Church historian, got us off to a great start with his wit, insights and historical perspective on the relationship of bishops and priests in the history of the Church. He reminded us that while we might think of our times as the worst of times, looked at from a historical perspective our times are not much different than the times of struggle experienced by our predecessors. Crises have moved the Church to purification and renewal.
 
Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland spoke of our need to support, love, challenge and stand with our priests. As father to our priests, we must retain an unshakeable love for them. While at times they fail, they fall short, a bishop must be there for his priests, being both loving and challenging. I know this is difficult, but I pray that our priests would know my love for them and that when I challenge or confront them it is done in love and respect for them. I know I cannot say often enough the regard I have for our priests and my admiration for all they do to carry on the mission of the Church.
 
Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto came to the Assembly to speak about the renewal of our spiritual lives as bishops and priests. He encouraged us to live out the devotional practices that can strengthen our spiritual lives. He emphasized that growth in the spiritual life is not as complex as we sometimes make it. He encouraged us to do the obvious: to spend time before the Eucharistic Lord; to have devotion to Mary, the Mother of God; to celebrate the Eucharist daily; to faithfully recite the Liturgy of the Hours; and to go to Confession often. While there is nothing profound or new about these suggestions, he said following them is the way that will lead to growth in the spiritual life. (Archbishop Collins gave our bishops' region retreat in Tucson several years ago on the Psalms. His reflections then and at the Assembly were most powerful.) 
 
Archbishop Robert Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis spoke about fostering unity among priests. He reflected on some of his efforts to create unity within the four presbyterates in which he has served as priest and bishop (St. Paul/Minneapolis, Sioux City, Saginaw and now St. Louis) He encouraged us to find ways to gather our priests, to invite prayer among our people and priests for unity, to find ways to learn together and to work together. He encouraged bishops to find time to be with their priests, especially in informal settings, so he can get to know his priests and they can get to know him.
 
Father Ronald Knott, who works at St. Meinrad Seminary, offered some helpful hints for building unity within presbyterates. He suggested that priests get little theological understanding of presbyterate and so fall into a priesthood of private practice rather than living the communal nature of priesthood. While we are ordained individually, we are ordained into a presbyterate.
 
He suggested that in some presbyterates a tribe mentality comes into play wherein priests divide themselves from on another based on ideological grounds. He noted how divisive this can be and how destructive to the unity of the Church and the presbyterate. He commented on how important it is that priests have formal education on their promise of obedience that should lead a priest to non-attachment to his own preferences.
 
Archbishop George Niederhauer of Salt Lake City closed the Assembly with a talk that had the same measures of wit and wisdom with which the Assembly began. His reflection was a great encouragement to us bishops to see their priests as coworkers charged with the mission to bring spiritual nourishment of the people through the Word and Sacraments.
 
It was a refreshing and renewing week for which I was most grateful.

2. Vocations
-- Seventeen men who are discerning a possible call to the priesthood attended this past weekend's Diocesan Priesthood Vocation Retreat at La Pursima Retreat Center near Hereford. Participants were from Yuma, Somerton, San Luis, Casa Grande, Nogales and Tucson. The men from Yuma, Somerton and San Luis traveled together in a van -- six and a half hours of driving each way.

Three of our associate vocation directors, Father Alonzo Garcia, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Tucson, Father Bart Hutcherson, O.P., pastor of St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson, and Father Bartholome Vasquez Johnston of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista also took part in the retreat. Their presence added a lot.
 
Most of our current seminarians participated and were the primary presenters for the retreat. These men inspire and impress me by their enthusiasm and their desire to encourage others to consider service as a priest. I know their commitment and witness is a powerful encouragement for others to consider priesthood.
 
Parishioners from Sierra Vista prepared all the food and provided hospitality for the group. They kept these young men well fed and cared for during these two days.

These retreat experiences have a powerful impact on those discerning God's call in their lives. Please join me in praying for these men as they listen attentively to the Lord's call in their lives.
 
My goal over the last few years has been that we have 10 new seminarians each year. We have not yet reached that goal, but let us continue to pray for that. Persistent prayer is heard by the Lord.
 
With this retreat, Father Mike Buciarrelli and Father Vili Valderrama have completed their service as our co-vocations directors. They have worked hard to support our seminarians and to recruit new vocations. I know you join me in thanking them for their dedicated service.
 
Father Ricky Ordoñez now begins his work as full time vocations director. His energy, creative ideas and enthusiasm will bring much to our efforts to foster vocations. But, remember he needs your prayers and he needs your help. Vocation ministry is not something one undertakes on one's own. It must be a part of the warp and woof of our Diocese. We promise our prayers and support to Father Ricky.

3. "The Path to Priesthood" -- During the Year for Priests, The New Vision, our diocesan newspaper, had a series of stories written by our seminarians in which they shared why and how they embarked on "The Path to Priesthood."

We have posted the stories on a new page at the newspaper's Web site. I encourage you read the stories and to share them. They are inspiring!

4. Installation of Bishop Thomas Paprocki -- It will be my joy to be present tomorrow afternoon in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois, when Bishop Thomas Paprocki is installed as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Springfield.

Bishop Paprocki was a younger brother priest with me in the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is an avid marathon runner and a great hockey fan who surely delights in the Chicago Black Hawks winning of the Stanley Cup this year.

5. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this Wednesday evening at Holy Family Parish in Tucson and this Sunday evening at Santa Catalina Parish north of Tucson.

6. El Día de San Juan -- We observe the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist this Thursday, and once again it will be my honor to give the traditional blessing that begins Tucson's annual celebration of El Día de San Juan.

From the City of Tucson's Web site:

The celebration of St. John's birthday was once one of the most important and colorful events in Tucson and the Southwest. Residents of Tucson's west side neighborhoods resurrected this tradition in 1998 and proudly continue a celebration that helps everyone remember the importance of water in the desert.

Legend says that on June 24, 1540, Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez Coronado stood on the banks of the parched Santa Cruz riverbed and prayed for rain. It rained, and in an ardent declaration of faith, Coronado deemed that from that day forward the summer rains would come on the 24th day of June. According to tradition, this begins the monsoon rain season.

The fiesta begins at 5 p.m. at West Congress Street and the Santa Cruz River.

7. Church Teaching on Immigration -- At the invitation of the Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson, I will join the Knights at their parish this Thursday evening for a discussion of immigration and the Church's teaching on immigration. I look forward to this discussion and our reflection on the Church's teaching on the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.
 
As we continue to dialogue on this important issue for us in Arizona, I encourage all who are struggling with understanding the Church's teaching to visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' special website, www.justiceforimmigrants.org, which contains a wealth of information and documents related to the Church's teaching on immigration.

8. Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund -- I will meet this Friday with the Board of Directors of the Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund Inc. We will review the progress of the 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal. As of last Friday, we had reached 90% of this year's goal of $3.7 million. The weekly report of parish pledge totals is available here.

9. Feast Day of St. Cyril of Alexandria -- I look forward to joining Father Ron Oakham, pastor, and the community of St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson this Saturday evening for Mass and a celebration of their patron's feast day.

10. Joyful Occasions at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Superior ­-- I will celebrate three joyful occasions this Sunday morning with the community of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Superior. Our celebration of the Eucharist that begins at 11 a.m. will include Confirmation, the installation of Father Mark Long as the parish's 16th pastor and the blessing of the new altar.

In a short period of time, Father Mark has brought new life and enthusiasm to the parish of St. Francis. As people see the church building being renovated, they recover a sense of the importance of their faith and of their participation in their parish community. Father Mark has inspired the people by the message that he cannot do this alone. He needs their help and support. They are responding. He is bringing some very needed and welcome changes to the parish. I know people will be pleased now to welcome him as their new pastor.

11. ArizonaSERVES Task Force -- Peg Harmon, chief operating officer of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona Inc., has been appointed to the recently established ArizonaSERVES Task Force (www.arizonaserves.gov). The Task Force will work to help connect faith-based and non-profit organizations with opportunities to assist persons who are experiencing economic hardship. 

The Task Force includes representatives from faith-based and community organizations, the representatives from the Arizona Departments of Economic Security, Health Services and Transportation, a representative from the Arizona Coalition for Military Families and representatives from an urban and a rural regional planning organization. 

12. Wanted: A Loving Home for "The Risen Christ"
-- It was 29 years ago last week that the wood sculpture of "The Risen Christ" was placed on the back wall of the sanctuary of St. Augustine Cathedral.

The sculpture was commissioned by Bishop Francis J. Green. We can conjecture that Bishop Green wanted a work of sacred art that was proportionate to the dimensions of the sanctuary and the large area of the sanctuary's back wall.

Last year, after we began the renovation of our Cathedral's interior, I recognized that the sculpture, which was appropriate to the austere effect created by the Cathedral's reconstruction in 1968, was not in harmony with the design elements that were being applied by artist John Alan. I am sure there are some technical terms that artists and architects would use to describe what I recognized, but, very simply, the sculpture just did not feel right when I saw how our Cathedral's interior was being transformed.

With the support of Father Pat Crino, rector of the Cathedral, and John Alan, I have decided that the sculpture will be removed.

What will be going in its place and what will the back wall of the sanctuary look like? We are going to keep that "under wraps" for a few months.

What will happen to the sculpture?

Because I hope it will find a loving home at one of our parishes, we are willing to give the sculpture to a parish that has a good space for it and that will reimburse us for the cost of taking it down.

I invite pastors who think their parish has a good space for the sculpture to contact John Shaheen, director of our diocesan Property and Insurance Office, for more information.

Renovation of the Cathedral's interior "ramped up" two weeks ago when an articulated lift was driven up a specially constructed ramp into the sanctuary so that painting could begin. The lift is parked as unobtrusively as possible (It's hard to hide it!) for the Cathedral's weekend liturgies.

13. Welcome Back, Father Pat! -- Father Pat Crino, Rector of St. Augustine Cathedral (and new pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson effective July 1), returned to the Cathedral last week after attending the closing celebrations of the Year for Priests in Rome. Father Pat, representing the priest chaplains of the Knights of Columbus in Arizona, joined 70 other State Chaplains whose attendance at the conclusion of the special year was sponsored by the Knights.
 
Father Pat was among the more than 10,000 priests from around the world who concelebrated the closing Mass on Friday, June 11, with Pope Benedict XVI. Father Pat told me how inspiring it was to experience the universality of the Church, mingling with priests from Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe, Australia -- nearly every country of the world.
 
Yesterday, the community of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish said farewell to Father Pat, who has been rector for six years. Parishioners gave thunderous applause to express their appreciation for his generous and loving service.

14. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please remember my mom, Eva, in your prayers. She will turn 98 this Sunday. She lives now at St. Joseph Home in Palatine, Illinois, which is run by the wonderful Little Sisters of the Poor whose whole ministry is dedicated to care of the elderly. Their foundress, Sister Jeanne Jugan, was canonized this year by Pope Benedict XVI
.

Vol. 8, No. 15
June 28, 2010

They lived nearly 150 years ago, and when they died their families buried them in the cemetery close to the cluster of simple adobe buildings that was the town of Tucson.

When they were buried, their families must have thought that the cemetery was the final resting place for their remains.

It was not the final place.

For reasons unknown, their families did not have their remains removed from the cemetery when the growing City of Tucson ordered it closed in 1875.

Their tombstones and grave markers were scraped away, and over the years houses and businesses were built on the surface of what had been the cemetery.

Their earthly presence was obliterated by the growth of the city -- the burial places of 1,300 people gone from sight.

Ironic, then, that the growth of the city would give us -- the present community of Tucson -- the opportunity to give them a final resting place.

It was an opportunity that our community took to heart, and on Friday and Saturday at All Faiths Cemetery on Tucson's far east side, our community dedicated and blessed their final resting place.

What our community -- our city and county, the state, Native American tribal governments, descendant groups, scientists, historians and people of faith -- did to show respect to those whose remains were abandoned in the "National Cemetery" in downtown Tucson is truly inspiring.

In partnership with Pima County, our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries created at All Faiths Cemetery the special "Garden of the Ancestors" section, and it is in this section that the remains exhumed from the "National Cemetery" in the four year Joint Courts Archaeological Project are now in final rest.

On Saturday morning, we held the dedication and blessing ceremony. (On behalf of the Jewish Community, Rabbi Tom Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash in Tucson blessed the section on Friday.)

The ceremony included the introduction to our community of the special memorial to those whose remains are buried in the section.

The memorial, designed by John Shaheen, our diocesan Property and Insurance Manager, is striking.

Walls that appear to be made of adobe brick stand at the east end of the section. The walls symbolize Tucson in the years 1862 to 1875, the period when the National Cemetery was in use.

The walls feature impressionistic tile murals by Stephen Farley rendered from photos of the era, glistening black granite slabs onto which are engraved the names of those who died in Tucson during the years of the National Cemetery and representations of religious artifacts found with the remains when they were exhumed. (Most of the names are from the burial records of St. Augustine Cathedral.)

I am grateful to all who participated in the dedication and blessing ceremony: Joseph Joaquin of the Tohono O'odham Nation; Peter Yucupicio, chairman of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Pima County Supervisors Richard Elias and Ray Carroll; Hector Sosa of Los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson; musician Ted Ramirez; Professor Tom Sheridan of the University of Arizona; and Ashley Reynolds and Jacob Soza Hurley, who represented the children of our community.

I am honored to share with you the insightful reflection that Professor Sheridan shared with us:

Established as the northernmost community of Spanish and Mexican Sonora, Tucson has always been multi-ethnic community.

As a frontier community on the edge of empire, Tucson's survival depended upon cooperation among its Hispanic, O'odham and, later, Apache inhabitants.

Until the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad (1880), Tucson overwhelmingly was a Hispanic and Native American community. The Anglo-American immigrants learned Spanish, married into Mexican families and formed business partnerships with Mexican entrepreneurs.

Mexicans remained majority of Tucson's inhabitants until early 1900s.

From 1880 until World War II, patterns of residential segregation and occupational discrimination developed, but Tucson still had a vital and vigorous Mexican middle-class and an active cultural, political and economic life.

After World War II, patterns of segregation and discrimination began to break down, and intermarriage between Anglos and Hispanics increased.

Today, the percentage of the Hispanic population in Tucson is increasing.    

Tucson remains a vibrant, multi-ethnic community where Hispanics, O'odham, Yoemem and Anglos rub shoulders, form business partnerships and marry one another.

In many respects, Tucson is still a frontier community on the cultural, political, economic border between United States and Mexico.

People in Tucson view that border as an opportunity, not a threat -- and as a source of our continuing creativity and vitality.    

Somos todos Tucsonenses.

I thank Rev. John Lille, pastor of Foothills Lutheran Church, and Rabbi Tom Louchheim for representing their faith communities. (They were with me in February to pray as the reburials began in the section.)

And, I am grateful to John Shaheen and to Jim DeCastro, director of our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries, and the staff of the Cemeteries for their participation in the creation of the Garden of the Ancestors.

You can learn the fascinating history of the National Cemetery and about the Joint Courts Complex Archeological Project here
 
2. Appointment
-- Effective July 1, Deacon Armando Valenzuela is appointed temporary administrator of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Parish in Tucson. He will serve in that capacity until a pastor is appointed in the near future.

3. Looking Ahead
-- Monday Memo is taking a summer vacation and will return Monday, Aug. 30.

Here's a look at the weeks ahead:

Pastor Installations -- It will be my joy this Thursday during the 5:30 p.m. Mass to install Father Bardo Atuñez as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton, Holy Cross Parish in Morenci and St. Mary's Mission in Duncan.

Father Bardo has told me that he enjoys serving the people in our parishes in remote communities of our Diocese. This past year, as administrator of the two parishes and the mission, Father Bardo has won the hearts of the people, and I am sure they are delighted that he will now be their pastor.

While there is only one pastor for these three communities and each community is distinct in its own way, and Father Bardo respects the unique qualities of each community.

During the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, July 18, it will be my joy to install Msgr. Ambrose Nwohu as the first pastor of St. Helen Parish in Oracle.

In his home diocese in Nigeria, Msgr. Ambrose was highly respected as a wise pastor and loving priest. He has brought those same qualities to our Diocese as a missionary priest. As the founding pastor of St. Helen Parish, he will lead the community as they anticipate building a new church.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- I will participate in a meeting next Tuesday in Case Grande with the leaders of faith communities throughout our state to discuss our faith-based advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform.  The meeting is sponsored by Arizonans for Immigration Reform.

Monthly Meeting with Pastoral Center Directors -- Father Al Schifano, our Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General, and I will meet with the directors of our diocesan offices and departments at the Pastoral Center on Thursday, July 15. 

Blessing of Ave Maria Shrine -- I will celebrate Mass at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 17, and will bless the newly renovated Ave Maria Shrine at the Benedictine Monastery in Tucson. The Benedictine Sisters are grateful to the Knights of Columbus for sponsoring the renovation, which includes the restoration of the shrine's pergola.

National Association of African Catholics in the United States -- Our Diocese will welcome the annual gathering July 16-18 in Tucson of the National Association of African Catholics in the United States (NAACUS).

NAACUS is as an umbrella association of African Catholics, affiliated with the Committees on Cultural Diversity in the Church and Pastoral Care of Migrants Refugees and Travelers of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Dedicated to primarily serve African Catholics in the our country, NAACUS seeks to "engage, support, nurture, build communities of African Catholics, give direction and promote their spiritual wellbeing while liaising, coordinating and involving all African Catholics to maximize their charisms as a faith and worship community in the United States." 

The theme of this year's gathering is "African Catholics in the United States: Missioners in the Spirit of Spe Salve -- Together with Christ in Hope."

I will celebrate Mass with the gathering at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson.

Registration and more information about the gathering are available here.

Installation of Bishop Eduardo Nevares -- I will be present at Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix on Monday, July 19, at 2 p.m. for the installation of Bishop Eduardo Nevares as the first auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Phoenix.

I will bring our prayerful best wishes to Bishop Nevares and to Bishop Thomas Olmsted as we celebrate this historic and joyous event.

Annual Seminarian Convocation -- I will be joining our seminarians, Father Ricky Ordoñez, director of Vocations, and the staff of our Vocations Office on Tuesday, July 20, for our annual Seminarian Convocation. Our dinner that evening is an opportunity for us to thank the fraternal and spiritual organizations that support our diocesan vocations program.

Diocesan Youth Mass in the Park -- Our Diocese of Tucson Youth Ministry Network invites all youth groups to gather for Mass and fun fellowship at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, at Udall Park in Tucson. After I celebrate Mass with our teens and their leaders, I will be taking in the "jam" as the Tucson band XLT and youth group bands play.

Mass, Blessing of Rectory at Our Lady of LaVang Parish -- I look forward to being with Father Dominic Nguyen, C.Ss.R., pastor, and the people of Our Lady of LaVang Parish in Tucson on the evening of Saturday, July 24, for Mass and the blessing of the parish's new rectory.

Life Teen Mass -- I will celebrate Mass on Sunday, July 25, with the teens who will be participating in the Life Teen Steubenville West gathering at the University of Arizona.

Newman College Dom Helder Camara Lecture Series -- I am very honored to have been invited to give this year's Newman College Dom Helder Camara Lecture. The topic of my lecture is "A Conversation on Communicating the Good News."

Newman College, in Parkville, Victoria, Australia, is conducted by the Jesuits and is affiliated with the University of Melbourne.

The lecture series, observing its 20th anniversary this year, honors the memory of Dom Helder Camara, the Archbishop of Recife in Brazil, and is facilitated by the Marist Brothers with the goal "to help inspire young people and adults with hope for the future of the Church and its role in social justice."

While in Melbourne in August, I also will have the opportunity to speak to a gathering of priests, a gathering of lay ministers and a gathering of Catholic educators and youth ministry leaders.