March 3, 2008 March 10, 2008 March 17, 2008 March 31, 2008

Vol. 5, No. 43                                                                                                           
March 3, 2008

Yesterday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, we read about the blind man who came to see. That account reminds us of ourselves. There is much darkness, blindness in our lives. We can get lost, run into dead ends in our search for joy and happiness. We walk blindly, sometimes thinking that this or that will bring us unending joy, only to find our hopes dashed.
 
Christ alone, our light and our salvation, brings us out of darkness into His wonderful light. That is why in Lent we seek to get our lives realigned, to put first things first.
 
This past weekend, I confirmed 450 young people and adults in the Yuma area. In their letters to me about why they were seeking the sacrament, some of the young people wrote: "Religion is the most important thing in my life." "I want to follow Jesus, He is my Shepherd, the one who leads me." "I want to grow closer to God, to make God a priority in my life."
 
These hopes of our young people reflect the meaning of Lent. We all seek to move from darkness into light. We strive to make Christ the first priority of our lives.
 
There is still time to make Lent a meaningful moment in our lives when we experience the joy of the man who was blind when he came to see. He saw that Christ was to be first in his life, that Christ was the one he sought, that Christ alone opens our eyes to see the real meaning of life.

I was very pleased that more than 100 people were able to attend last Tuesday evening's Lenten presentation on Pope Benedict XVI's second encyclical, "Spe Salvi" (Saved by Hope), at St. Frances Cabrini Parish Hall in Tucson. The turnout surpassed my hope and indicated to me that our people are eager to learn more about their faith. A great vehicle for this is reflection on key Church documents, like this encyclical, that have so much to teach us.
 
After the talk, I invited questions, and we had some lively dialogue. It strikes me that more of these opportunities in our parishes could be very helpful in leading our people to a deeper understanding of their faith.
 
I am grateful to Fred Allison, diocesan Communications Director, for developing the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied my talk on the encyclical's key points. 

My second presentation on "Spe Salvi" will be this Friday evening at St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish at the University of Arizona campus. This presentation is for young Catholic adults. We will begin with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:30 p.m., followed by a light dinner. The presentation will begin at about 7:30.

1. Yuma-La Paz Vicariate Visit – I am in Yuma today, concluding a three-day visit in the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate.

I was impressed on Saturday to see more than 50 people gather at Sacred Heart Parish in Parker (our furthest parish from Tucson – over four hours) to talk with me about their parish and about the qualities they hope for in their new pastor as Father Ted Lobo, their present pastor, prepares to retire. The turnout was amazing considering that I had forgotten to send a letter announcing the meeting. Those who came had seen the notice in the Monday Memo. It was encouraging to know so many are reading the Monday Memo regularly.

As the people reflected on the positives of their parish, what the concerns were, and what qualities they are looking for in their next pastor, I learned a lot about this wonderful community that includes the parish's community in Parker and missions in Wenden, Quartzsite and Poston as well.

People expressed appreciation for Father Ted 14 years as their pastor. They valued his sermons, which he copies and distributes for people to take home. They appreciated the condition of their facilities and expressed pride that they had received an award from the city for beautification of their buildings.

They also talked with pride about the St. Vincent de Paul program they have and its outreach to the poor and of Lois' Kitchen where they care for people in need.

The community has three major groups: Hispanics, Anglos and Native Americans. They are trying to respect and value one another and to come to a sense of unity as a community. While there are challenges, I was delighted to see representatives from each of these communities.

One of the major goals of our diocesan renewal campaign, Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, is raising funds for future parishes and schools. St. John Neumann Parish in Yuma is currently building a new church. I saw that the building is progressing well, and I could sense the anticipation of Father John Friel, pastor, and the people as they see the progress that is being made. I look forward to consecrating the church in the near future. Obviously, many at St. John Neumann Parish have sacrificed significantly to make this building possible.

Today, I will meet with priests of parishes in Yuma County. Tonight, I will attend the annual Clergy and Religious Appreciation Dinner that is hosted by the Yuma area Councils of the Knights of Columbus.

2. Safe Environment Program – The Sexual Misconduct Review Board meets this Wednesday here at the Pastoral Center.

Now meeting quarterly, the Board remains an invaluable resource to me. Under the able leadership of Charlotte Harris and David McEvoy, the Board offers consultation with great sensitivity and wisdom to me regarding all aspects of our diocesan Safe Environment Program and our ongoing efforts to impress upon staff and volunteers their responsibility to follow Arizona's mandatory reporting law on child abuse and to respond immediately to any allegation of sexual misconduct by any person representing the Church at our parishes and schools.

As we have continued to develop the Safe Environment Program, I notice two very positive trends. First, a much greater percentage of the work of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection is being given to programs of prevention. Second, the work of prevention is much more integrated in the ongoing ministry of the many and varied offices of the Pastoral Center and at each parish and school. I think these are very encouraging signs that our Diocese is continuing to grow in the intensity and effectiveness of its efforts to protect our children.

3. Catholic Community Services Lenten Mass – I will celebrate Mass with the staff and board members of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona and the staff of its agencies and programs in Tucson this Wednesday at noon at CCS headquarters. I appreciate very much the invitation from Peg Harmon, CCS chief executive officer, to celebrate this Lenten Mass with them. This is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the purpose of the ministries and services of CCS and its six member agencies is beyond the typical social or health service organization and that we are inspired by the Gospel and nurtured by prayer to work with people in need.    

4. Vocations
– Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson is the host for this Wednesday's Andrew and Myriam Dinner. These dinners – which we hope to have in all of our vicariates – allow me to meet persons who are considering the possibility of vocations to the priesthood or to religious life. These dinners are very relaxed, with the companionship of breaking bread together, getting to know one another and hearing from myself and priests and sisters the stories of our vocations.

I thank Father JoJo Tabo, parochial vicar at Our Mother of Sorrows, for helping to organize this dinner.

5. School Masses – I will celebrate Mass this week with two of our Tucson area Catholic School communities, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on Thursday and Sts. Peter and Paul on Friday.

Suzanne Shadonix, principal at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, tells me the theme for the Mass will be "Jesus Brings Together All People." This theme is one that is woven into many of the school's events during the course of the year. At the beginning of the year, each class is made a "Junior Ambassador" to a country, and the students study about the country all year long. Reflecting the theme, the entrance song for the Mass will be sung in English and Swahili and the recessional song in 15 languages. Over the past five years, students have studied 26 countries.

During the Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul, I will consecrate the new altar that was designed for the church by Old El Dorado Stone of Tucson. The altar is of white Italian marble that compliments the marble sanctuary. Father John Lyons, pastor, has done a marvelous job renovating the church, which is the mother parish in central Tucson for many neighboring parishes. Care of our churches and their renovation gives a sense of pride to the people of the parish. The community of Sts. Peter and Paul can be very proud indeed.

6. "Leadership for a Multicultural Church and Society" – Registration is still open for this workshop to be presented this Friday and Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson by the Mexican American Cultural Center of San Antonio. This workshop will be an opportunity for parish leaders to learn how to develop and implement processes for multicultural understanding, racism awareness and systemic change within their communities. The registration fee is $10 per person. For more information and to register, please contact Pegi Dodd in the Office of Formation at 520-838-2545 or pegid@diocesetucson.org.


7. "Living, Loving and Caring for Families Touched by Alzheimer's" – This special workshop at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday will be an excellent opportunity for families who are experiencing Alzheimer's disease to learn more about diagnosis and care, coping with the disease and dealing with the associated legal issues. The Carondelet Neurological Institute and our Diocese are sponsoring this workshop. I will offer the invocation that will begin the workshop, which is being held at the Tucson Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $10. Space is limited. Call 800-278-3245 to reserve your place.

8. Retrouvaille Leadership Retreat – The leadership of the Retrouvaille Marriage Ministry in our Diocese will gather for a retreat this Saturday. I will join them for part of their day, and I will express my great appreciation for their efforts as part of the worldwide Retrouvaille Ministry to help couples who are experiencing difficulties in their marriages.

Retrouvaille, Engaged Encounter and Marriage Encounter are among the special ministries in our Church that seek to support Catholic couples before and during their marriages. Through the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage, a multi-year project of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we are communicating the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society.

9. Pastor Installation – It will be my joy this Saturday evening to install Father Ron Oakham, O.Carm., as the 14th pastor of St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson. The installation will take place during the 5 p.m. Mass.

I am very grateful to Father Fred Tillostson, O.Carm., who took on the role of administrator of St. Cyril's for a year while retaining his responsibilities as Head of School of Salpointe. His generous service made the transition from the Paulists to the Carmelites very smooth.

10. On the Confirmation Trail – The Confirmation Trail takes me all the way to Illinois this Sunday, to St. Cyprian Parish in River Grove. St. Cyprian is the parish in Chicago where I stay when I visit my mom, who is 95 now and living at St. Joseph Home that is run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. Conferring Confirmation at the parish is one way of saying thanks to my classmate and friend, Father Gene Gratkowski, who is pastor at St. Cyprian.

11. Please Remember in Your Prayers – Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Norman Whalen, a retired priest of the Diocese of Tucson, who died last Wednesday in Tucson at age 87. The vigil and Rosary will take place at 6:30 p.m. today at St. Augustine Cathedral. The Funeral Mass will be tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Cathedral.

Please keep Father Tom Millane and Father Ed Carscallen in your prayers. Father Tom suffered a broken wrist after a fall last week. Father Ed is recovering from a bout with the flu.

Also, please pray for Mary Margaret Adolf, mother of Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista, who is very ill.
 
12. In This Month's New Vision – There is a beautiful story of faith on the front page of the March issue of The New Vision. It is the story of a man who said he had "contemplated suicide" before finding hope in Christ. That hope led him to become Catholic and to bring his wife, his mother and his niece with him into the faith.

There also is the story of the Tucson orthopedist who volunteers his skills at a Nogales, Ariz., children's clinic where he served as an interpreter when he was teenager.

And, you'll get a glimpse of some of the panels of an extraordinary mural that is being installed on the northwest corner of the Pastoral Center. More about the mural in next week's memo!

13. Painting St. Augustine Cathedral – Last Thursday, John Alan of John Alan Design joined George Carranza of Golden Brush in the cage of the articulated lift to reach the highest points of the Cathedral – the crosses on the towers – 12 stories up!

John and George were painting the primer coat on the crosses, which were plain black and that will be a glowing gold when painting is completed.

Last Friday, John began applying the pattern on the front of the base of the south tower.

Vol. 6, No. 1                                                                                                           
March 10, 2008

"Live as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8) has been my encouragement to all of us for this Lent. I have seen that encouragement realized this past week in the people I have met who are doing so much to further Christ's mission in our Diocese.
 
On Saturday, I saw a group of volunteers surrounding St. Augustine Cathedral – digging, trimming, sweeping and hanging from a lift to trim the palm trees. They were doing what they could to beautify the grounds of the Cathedral – living as children of light
 
At Friday evening's gathering at St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona, I joined Father Bart Hutcherson, O.P., pastor, and more than 100 young people in the chapel for a Holy Hour in singing and Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. We were blessed to hear Ruthie Culver, a student at UA, who plays the harp for their services, sing a marvelous song she wrote for Lent. During Adoration, one of the college students, David, gave a reflection that was moving, honest and challenging.

Following Adoration, we shared a light supper of soup and bread (They even had a vegan soup for yours truly!). 

After supper we gathered in the chapel again for my presentation on Pope Benedict XVI's second encyclical, Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope). UA students Alex Holzienienkemper, a graduate student in German Studies who had read the encyclical in German, and Krista Bolin, a freshman in physiology and pre med, offered their reflections after my presentation. Their thoughts were powerful. We also saw a presentation, produced by Fred Allison, diocesan Director of Communications, with photos depicting many images of hope. 
 
To see these young adults in prayer and to hear their reflections gave this ol' bishop a lot of hope. These children of light inspired me.
 
On Saturday morning, I gave the invocation at the Tucson Convention Center for "Living, Loving and Caring," the first joint program sponsored by Carondelet Health System and the Diocese of Tucson. The program was offered to help individuals and families experiencing the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease. The 300 people who attended learned much, thanks to the committee, led by Greg Engle of Carondelet and Dr. Paul Duckro of our Diocese, who developed a marvelous program. Many persons helped out to make the day special for those who attended. They brought light and hope to people dealing with terrible suffering.
 
This Lent, we have been trying to live as children of light. That means doing for others. That means being with those suffering. That means caring and sacrificing. Look around, and you too might see these children of light who bring us hope.

Plan on attending the liturgies of the Paschal Triduum at your parish. These are among the most beautiful celebrations that take place. These liturgies will help you to appreciate more fully the events that mark Holy Week. You will watch as the priest washes the feet of people, reminiscent of Christ's washing the feet of His disciples and giving us an example of humble service. You will hear the Passion of Christ from the Scriptures. You will participate in the symbols of the Easter Vigil – the lighting of the Paschal Candle, the baptism of catechumens who have been preparing for weeks to be washed in the waters of Baptism.
 
Make the time to immerse yourself in Holy Week. You will not be disappointed.

1. Palm Sunday – I will preside at the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral this Sunday, Palm Sunday, as we begin the holiest week of the year.

2. Chrism Mass
– We will celebrate our traditional Chrism Mass next Monday at St. Augustine Cathedral at 6:30 p.m. "A Pilgrim People: Anointed and Strengthened for the Mission of Christ" is the theme for this year's Mass.

The entrance procession will include the lay members of the boards of directors of our parish corporations, the Women and Men Religious serving in our Diocese and our deacons and priests. Our deacons preparing for priestly ordination will assist at the liturgy as Deacon of the Word and of the Altar and also will carry the vessels of the Oil of Sacred Chrism and perfumed balsam that will be used at their ordinations in June. Instituted acolytes and lectors preparing for ordination to the diaconate will assist at the liturgy.

Before our priests renew their commitment to priestly ministry, four members of the laity will give their personal witness on why it matters to them to have priest in their midst.  

Deacon Fran Sherlock of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson and members of the Diocesan Catechumenate Committee will walk with the Oil of the Catechumens, Deacon Mike Milanzzo of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista and hospital chaplains will walk with the Oil of the Sick. Representatives from the Our Faith, Our Hope Our Future pilot parishes (St. Francis Cabrini and St. Ambrose in Tucson, St. Rose of Lima in Safford and Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley) will bring up the gifts of bread and wine.

I invite you to join us for this beautiful celebration. It is my fervent hope that all our parishes, schools, Catholic agencies and institutions and our many spiritual and fraternal organizations will be represented.

3. "High Fives" for a 5th Anniversary – I thank you for your expressions of prayer and best wishes last Friday on my fifth anniversary as Bishop of Tucson. I remember so well how lovingly Bishop Moreno handed the crozier to me and led me to the cathedra in the beautiful ceremony at St. Augustine Cathedral.

At Friday evening's gathering at St. Thomas More Newman Parish, Father Bart and the young Catholics surprised me with a cake. Father Bart presented a beautiful plaque to me that has the words of St. Ambrose likening the responsibilities of a bishop to the captain at the helm of a ship. Father Bart gave me a "high five" (for five years) to congratulate me, and I made the rounds of the tables to receive the "high fives" of the young people.

And, I give all of you – the faithful readers of Monday Memo – a "high five" today. This is the fifth anniversary of the memo. Thanks for reading!

4. "Sociology and the Pastoral Mission of the Church" – I am in Washington today for a gathering of Church leaders, social scientists and theologians to discuss an initiative that would explore the critical role that the social sciences play in supporting the pastoral mission of the Church. This consultation is sponsored by the Seminary Department of the National Catholic Educational Association and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

5. Administrative Committee Meeting – I will be attending a meeting of the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tomorrow and Wednesday in Washington. The Administrative Committee oversees the programs and operations of the various offices and departments of the Conference and prepares the agendas for the annual meetings of the bishops.

6. On the Confirmation Trail ­– I will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 23 young persons and adults at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa this Friday evening. Our Lady of Grace is our Diocese's youngest parish (established in 2007). This will be the parish's first celebration of Confirmation – a very happy and proud occasion for the community of Our Lady of Grace and Father Marcos Velasquez, pastor.

7. Diocese Pastoral Council – The Council meets this Saturday at the Pastoral Center. We will reflect on the recent listening sessions the Council members conducted. We will consider ways to respond to the concerns that surfaced about catechesis, youth, better cooperation from parishes and reaching out to alienated Catholics. Those and many other concerns were raised in the listening sessions: the hard task now is to find ways to address them.

8. Annual Detention Ministry Mass – We will celebrate this annual Mass at 1:15 p.m. this Saturday at St. Augustine Cathedral. We will honor four very special persons for their contributions over the years to this important ministry. They are Jack Cotter, Juan Lomeli, Bill Rowe and Vidal Haro. 
This celebration is our annual opportunity to pray for people in the detention facilities in our Diocese and their families and to pray for, thank and honor the many volunteers in our Detention Ministry Program.

9. Italian Catholic Federation – The annual Mass with the Italian Catholic Federation Branch 425 at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley will be this Saturday at 4 p.m. Branch 425 of this spiritual and fraternal organization was established in 1999 at Our Lady of the Valley. The Federation promotes fellowship and provides support to the parishes of its members and to needy causes. Membership is open to all Catholics.

10. National Audit Report – Last week, the National Review Board and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the 2007 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Of the 195 dioceses and eparchies in the U.S., 190 participated in the audit of the multi-faceted safe environment program promised by the Charter. While perfection is yet to be achieved, there is much good news to report.

In every category of education and screening, more than 96 percent of all persons covered by the charter had participated. Even more importantly, systems are in place to make it clear if someone is seeking to circumvent the education or screening requirement.

In the Diocese of Tucson, more than 2,000 volunteers not in direct service to minors or vulnerable adults, 12,000 parents and 18,000 students received education in how to respond to indications of harm to children and youth in our parishes and schools.

Adults in every category of ministry involving service to minors and vulnerable adults – clergy and religious, employees and volunteers, 8,470 strong – maintained current criminal history clearances and went through required annual re-education in issues pertinent to maintaining a safe environment.

Every person in our Diocese has a hand in making the Safe Environment Program effective. I thank all those who by their leadership in our parishes and schools set the pace. I thank all those who by their willing participation set the example. I thank all those who, although not directly involved in ministry, by their attention and support encourage all of us to continue improving the policies and procedures that maintain safe and loving environments for all.

11. Fourth Annual Pope John Paul II Youth Awards – Nominations for this year's awards need to be submitted by this Friday to the Office of Catechesis for Children, Youth and Families. Please fax (520-838-2584) or e-mail the nominations to janett@diocesetucson.org. Nomination and registration forms and information are available at the Office of Catechesis web page.

This year's dinner and awards ceremony will be Saturday, April 5, at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson. Youth can be nominated in three categories: catechesis and evangelization; prayer and worship; and justice and service. Nearly 80 teens received the award last year. The award is a beautiful medallion with the likeness of Pope John Paul II.

12. Visit by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga – We will be honored in early May to welcome Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, to our Diocese.

Cardinal Maridiaga is among the most respected bishops in our Church. He has won praise for his advocacy for human rights and for the poor. Fluent in English and Spanish, he is a charismatic speaker.

He will be making two presentations on Saturday, May 3: "Ministering in a Multi-Cultural Church" and "Challenge of Youth and the Response of the Church." Admission to his presentations will be by ticket, and more information about how people can attend will be forthcoming in a letter that I will send soon to our parishes.

13. Catholic Relief Services Aid to Latin America Flood Victims ­– Heavy rains and flooding have affected Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, causing evacuations and suffering for hundreds of thousands. Catholic Relief Services is providing aid and assistance. Contributions to the efforts of CRS can be mate to Catholic Relief Services, LACRO Severe Weather Response, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. More information and on-line donations are available at www.crs.org.

14. Faithful Citizenship ­–The Faithful Citizenship program of the USCCB has added an excellent resource for young Catholics at its Website (www.faithfulcitizenship.org) under "Young Catholics." The resources includes e-postcards with "cool" images and messages, a "Are You a Faithful Citizen?" quiz, a "Top 10 Ways You Can Be a Faithful Citizen" poster and ideas for youth groups on how to discuss responsibilities of Catholics to participate in the political process.
 
15. A Mural for Our Pastoral Center – Work began last week to install a striking mural of 25 panels on the northwest corner of the Pastoral Center. The mural is based on a painting by Tohono O'odham artist Michael Chiago, titled "A City and A Church Arise Together," that pays tribute to Padre Kino and Bishop Salpointe and to the People who were the first to receive the faith in what is now our Diocese. The painting also depicts the pilgrimage of faith in our Diocese from the missionary era to today. The painting was turned into tiles by Steve Farley through a remarkable process. The tiles then were assembled in the panels.

Bob Vint and Mike and Dan Wilhelm are installing the panels, a challenging task as the panels on average weigh 100 pounds each.

After Easter, when the installation is completed, we will invite the community to a blessing and dedication of the mural.

The painting of the exterior of St. Augustine Cathedral and the installation of the new mural are two efforts of our Diocese to enhance our downtown environment. The city of Tucson is situated in a striking setting, and by improving the downtown area – of which our Church has been a part since the founding of Tucson – I hope we can stir interest in beautifying downtown and making it an area in which we can be even more proud. Art has always been at home in the Church. The Church fostered art through the centuries and encouraged artists in music and art to give expression to the sacred.
 
Gifts received from individual donors and the Knights of Columbus are making it possible to provide the mural, which I hope will stir our desire to continue to restore and invigorate Tucson's downtown area.

16. Painting St. Augustine Cathedral – John Alan has completed the application of the stencil pattern to the front of the south tower and to the side of north tower. John also began to paint the decorations (tromp l'oiel style) around the arches of the north tower.

I am so encouraged by the comments of the many people who have expressed their delight on how the Cathedral now looks. While there is more to be done, even those who were adamant that the Cathedral should stay white now say how inspired they feel to see the Cathedral from afar with its striking towers and to experience the "glow" when the Cathedral is bathed in sunlight. Those who came before us sacrificed mightily to construct the Cathedral. It is our turn now to restore its beauty.

17. Please Remember in Your Prayers – Please pray for the repose of the soul of Dora Maldonado, mother of Father Francisco Maldonado, pastor of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley, who died last Wednesday. The Funeral Mass was celebrated this past Saturday at San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Nogales.

Vol. 6, No. 2                                                                                                           
March 17, 2008

Our Lenten preparations come to a climax as we enter the holiest of weeks. In this week, we walk with Christ through His Passion, Death and Resurrection – events that ground our hope.
 
Yesterday, palms in hand, we remembered Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where He was greeted by crowds placing palms in His path as they welcomed Him. We know this same crowd, just a few days later, would be raising their fists calling for His death. Like that crowd, we, too, can be so fickle. This Lent, we sought to turn more fully into the light Who is Christ. We sought to fix our eyes on the Lord, to become less distracted in our discipleship.
 
Walking with Christ this week, we see His unconditional love, His willingness to sacrifice for us, His example of service, His fidelity to His Father. His example can strengthen our faith.
 
Do not make this week just another week going about doing what you always do. Take advantage of the marvelous liturgies that will be celebrated in each of our parishes for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and the festivity of Easter Sunday. That participation will form and fashion your faith. You cannot walk away from this Holy Week journey left unchanged. The Christ on whom we focus our attention this week challenges us to live our lives differently.
 
Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, is our annual Chrism Mass. I love celebrating this Mass, when priests, deacons, religious and people from all around our Diocese fill the Cathedral. Something wonderful happens when we are together. The powerful singing that echoes around the Cathedral, the renewal of the promises made by our priests, the lines of people streaming forward to be fed by the Bread of Life are always moving. This year, we will hear people from our Diocese rise to give testimony to the good work done by our priests in caring for their people. Sometimes, we priests are not aware of the importance of what we do.
 
My thanks to Sister Lois Paha, O.P., Father Miguel Mariano, Father Alex Mills, O.S.B., Grace Lohr and our Cathedral Choir and to Father Pat Crino and the Cathedral staff for their help in making this celebration such a marvelous liturgy.

1. Holy Week and Triduum Schedule
– This Wednesday evening, I will preside at the traditional Tenebrae Prayer and Penance Service at St. Augustine Cathedral at 7 p.m.



On Holy Thursday, I will preside at the 7 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral. At this Liturgy, I will wash the feet of Cathedral parishioners, symbolizing Christ washing the feet of His disciples to model for them the importance of doing for others.

On Good Friday, I will preside at the noon Veneration of the Cross liturgy at the Cathedral. At the beginning of this solemn liturgy, we will kneel in awe of Christ's love as demonstrated in His embrace of the Cross. We will process forward as a community to reverence that Cross from which our salvation was won. At 3 p.m. Friday, all are invited to attend a live Stations of the Cross presented by the Hispanic Community of the Cathedral. The procession will begin at San Cosme Chapel several blocks from the Cathedral. This powerful rendition of the Lord's Passion and Death is a traditional prayer opportunity on Good Friday that you might attend.

I will lead the annual Stations of the Cross procession on A Mountain (the 39th year under the sponsorship of Los Dorados) at 5 p.m. on Friday

.

On Saturday, I will preside at the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral at 7 p.m. A number of new catechumens will be baptized and others fully initiated into the Church during the liturgy. The Vigil Mass is the most marvelous liturgy of the liturgical year, with all of its powerful symbols: the lighting of the new fire from which the Paschal Candle is lit; and the singing of the Exultet.
 
On Easter, I will preside at the 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral.

2. Annual Detention Ministry Mass
– The annual Detention Ministry Mass celebrated at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday was filled with joy and handclapping that was led by the Gatekeepers and Coro Divina Misericordia, choral groups that brought great praise to the celebration.
 
We were honored by the presence of Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup and his wife Beth, State Senator Jorge Luis Garcia and State Representative Phil Lopes, all of whom helped honor and recognize the many volunteers and chaplains who provide Catholic ministry in county, state, federal and private detention facilities in the nine counties of our Diocese.
 
A number of priests, including Fathers Pat Crino of St. Augustine Cathedral, Sebastine Bula of St. Bartholomew in San Manuel, Charles Knapp, Ambrose Nwohu of St. Helen in Oracle, Phil Floersh, C.M., James Mallon and Greg Adolf of St. Andrew in Sierra Vista, and many deacons, religious and laity participated in the Mass.
 
At the end of Mass, we honored Barbara Mattus, who has served as director of the Detention Ministry Program for 15 years and who has been with the Diocese 25 years. We also recognized Jack Cotter, former chief executive officer of Catholic Community Services, Juan Lomeli of Yuma, William Rowe from Catalina Mountain School and Vidal Haro, who has volunteered at Pima County Adult Detention Center, for doing so much over the years to facilitate the ministry of our volunteers and chaplains in detention facilities. Their ministry is a blessing in our Diocese.

3. Italian Catholic Federation – I am grateful to the members of the Italian Catholic Federation (ICF) for their continued support of vocations in our Diocese. Michael Rossi, Grand President of the ICF, whose headquarters are in Oakland, California, joined our local chapters of ICF at Saturday's ICF annual Mass held at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley. The headquarters gave $1,000, added to which was a gift of $2,000 presented by Jim Acitelli of ICF Council 425 and another $200 presented by Henry Fleischmann of ICF Council 433. This gift of $3,200 for seminarian education and formation is much appreciated and needed. The ICF members were delighted to know that four seminarians will be ordained this year for service in the Diocese.
 
4. Presbyteral Council Meeting
– The Council meets at noon today here at the Pastoral Center. The vicars forane and I will continue our discussion about the concerns that surfaced in my listening sessions last year with parents and grandparents and in the listening sessions held recently by members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council with parishioners in their vicariates. The four major areas of concern that surfaced were catechesis, youth, the "disconnect" between parishes and the Diocese and reaching out to non-practicing Catholics. After our meeting, we will be treated to a dinner prepared by Father Dom Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction.

5. Pastoral Center Staff Retreat – The staff at the Pastoral Center will be on retreat this Wednesday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

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

7. Principal Announcements
– Jean McKenzie, who has served as Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools in our Department of Catholic Schools the past four years, will be leaving that position in the near future to become principal at Sts. Peter and Paul School here in Tucson. We will miss her presence and her joyful spirit, and we wish her the best as she prepares to succeed Sister Lucilla Wertz, S.C., as principal. Information on the position opening for Assistant Superintendent is forthcoming.

Kevin Kiefer, who was a Notre Dame ACE student and most recently an assistant principal at a Catholic School, is the new principal of St. Augustine High School in Tucson. The Board of St. Augustine and I are grateful to Velma Casteneda Titone for her leadership as principal.

8. Another Championship!
– The Science Olympiad Team of Our Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson has brought home another championship. Principal Dave Keller tells me this is the sixth year in a row that the team has captured the Arizona State Championship.

The team, in its eighth year of competition, won in the Division B group, comprised of sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade students from middle and elementary schools from around Arizona. The victory came against a field of 22 teams at the state tournament held at Southwestern College in Phoenix on March 8.

The National Science Olympiad tournament is being held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on May 30 and 31.

9. Please Remember in Your Prayers – Father Roger Bartlett, parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma, is experiencing some health challenges.

10. Painting St. Augustine Cathedral – John Alan had the "golden touch" last week as he applied the gold leaf to the cross atop the Cathedral's south tower. John also continued to paint the tromp l'oiel style decorations around the arches of the north tower.

11. Cathedral Placita Project
­– Work is resuming this week on the Msgr. Carrillo Placita Project on the north side of St. Augustine Cathedral. This phase of the project will include preparing for installation of electrical, water, sewer and irrigation. The site also will be compacted and graded in preparation for laying the pavers. The next phase of the project will be construction of the much-needed restrooms that will serve both the Placita and Cathedral Hall.

12. "The Sisters Who Came to Stay"
– The cover story in the current issue of The Tucson Weekly is a warm profile by Margaret Regan of Sister Consilio O'Keeffe, P.B.V.M., and Sister Agnes Walsh, P.B.V.M., who teach at Holy Angels School in Globe. You get a wonderful sense in the story of the Sisters' roots in Ireland and of the ministry of their order, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. P.B.V.M. Sisters have ministered at Holy Angels for 52 years. Good reading for St. Patrick's Day! Margaret wrote engaging profiles of the Irish priests in the Diocese of Tucson for the Weekly's St. Patrick's Day issue in 2006. You can read the story about the Sisters (Sister Anne McCormack, P.B.V.M., Irish-American, also is included) at www.tucsonweekly.com. 

13. Looking Ahead – Monday Memo will be on "spring break" next Monday, so here is a look ahead at next week.

I will be with my brother bishops of Region XIII in San Diego for our annual after-Easter Jesu Caritas retreat from Monday through Wednesday.

I will be present on Thursday, March 27, at St. Helen Church in Glendale for the ordination and enthronement (installation) of Bishop-elect Gerald Dino as the new Bishop of the Eparchy of Van Nuys. The Eparchy of Van Nuys includes parishes, missions and communities in Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii and Alaska. St. Melanie's Parish in Tucson is a parish of the Eparchy, which is in the Byzantine Eastern Rite, Ruthenian tradition.

I will hold listening sessions with the staff (5 p.m.) and with the parish community (7 p.m.) of St. Rita in the Desert Parish in Vail on Friday, March 28, as the parish prepares for the retirement this summer of Father Bob Wicht, S.D.S., pastor.

The Confirmation Trail will take me to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on Saturday, March 29, and, on Sunday, March 30, to St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Tucson, to St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista and to the Catholic Community at Fort Huachuca.

14. An Easter Prayer – God's choicest blessings to all in our Diocese as we celebrate Easter. May each of you and all your loved ones be confirmed in hope as we rejoice in Christ's Resurrection.

Vol. 6, No. 3                                                                                                           
March 31, 2008

During the Holy Week retreat at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks for the staff of the Pastoral Center, we taped our Diocese's greeting to Pope Benedict XVI when he arrives in just 16 days for his historic visit to the U.S. All dioceses in the U.S. were invited to send in video greetings that will be shown to the crowd at the new Nationals Stadium in Washington before Mass with the Holy Father on Thursday, April 17. You can see our video greeting at www.idiocese.org on April 15 when the Holy Father arrives in the U.S.

There is a link on our diocesan Website's home page to the special Internet features provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Holy Father's visit.

1. Pastoral Statement on Farmworkers
– Bishop José Isidro Guerrero Macías of the Diocese of Mexicali and I have issued a pastoral statement that expresses our concern for the men and women who labor in the produce fields of southwestern Arizona and northern Mexico.

This statement was inspired by our experiences in September of last year when we visited a farmworker project sponsored by Catholic Relief Services and our two dioceses in Yuma, Arizona, and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora. We visited the workers in the fields. We saw the communities in Mexico in which they live. We listened to farmworkers and employers share their needs and their dreams.

It is our hope that the statement will raise awareness about the conditions under which they work and will help to bring about positive changes in the agricultural industry in our dioceses.

I encourage you to read the statement, which is available at www.diocesetucson.org under "Reports, Statements, Letters."

2. Child Abuse Prevention Month
– This year's observance of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month will be marked in parishes and dioceses around the U.S.

An initiative by the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is providing resources for parishes and dioceses to use during the month. The resources include posters, liturgical guides, articles and bulletin announcements on Church efforts to reach out to abuse victims and to protect children.

As part of our diocesan participation in this initiative, I have sent to all parishes a series of bulletin announcements for the weekends of April. These announcements highlight the efforts of our Diocese to prevent child abuse within the household of the Church. A recent national study found that when Catholics understand what their diocese and parish are doing to prevent abuse, their confidence in the commitment of the Church to prevent abuse increases. We want you to be confident in the commitment of the Diocese of Tucson.

I also sent ideas for a homily related to child abuse that I hope will be preached on the last weekend of April.

I hope you will take heart from this initiative and consider also how you can support, directly or indirectly, the many elements of our diocesan Safe Environment Program in your parish and school. Together, we have made a great difference in these last six years, not only in our Diocese, but in our civic communities as well. We are, as a Church, part of the solution to violence against our children and in our families.

3. Blessing of Domestic Crisis Facility – I am in Sierra Vista this morning to bless a new domestic crisis facility that is a program of Catholic Community Services of Southeastern Arizona.

This beautiful new 40-bed facility replaces an existing building and enhances the efforts of CCS in Southeastern Arizona to serve women and children faced with violence in their homes who need a safe place to heal. Services at the facility include shelter, food, clothing, case management, advocacy, children's programs and transportation to appointments. We will pray for the recovery of those who have been traumatized by violence and for the change of heart of those who commit domestic violence.

Our Church cares deeply about the societal problem of domestic violence. In addition to many safe houses and crisis facilities provided by diocesan Catholic Charities around the nation, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and dioceses provide guidance on how to best respond to those who are experiencing domestic violence. Our diocese provides  "Responding to Domestic Violence" (www.diocesetucson.org/domesticviolence.html) as a resource for priests, deacons and parish ministers who may encounter families experiencing domestic violence. In addition to pastoral guidance, this resource includes a listing of safe houses, crisis facilities and judicial services.

4. Diocesan Finance Council – The Council meets tomorrow morning here at the Pastoral Center. Our agenda includes a report on the progress (see next item) of our diocesan renewal campaign.

5. Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future – We continue to see the fruits of the Spirit in our diocesan renewal campaign. Twenty-five Block I Parishes have been participating in the campaign over the last two months, and to date three of the parishes have already exceeded their campaign goal!  Congratulations to Father Chuck Cloud and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Florence (135 percent of goal), Father Mike Buciarelli and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson (126 percent of goal) and Father Michael Shay, S.D.S., and San Martin De Porres Parish in Sahuarita.
Beginning in July, the second phase of the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future will begin in 46 parishes. The pastors and parishioners of these parishes should feel confident that their faith communities will respond. To date, more than 2,600 pledged gifts have been made to the campaign for a total of $18.8 million in pledged support toward our goal of $28 million.

6. On the Confirmation Trail – I will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation this evening at St. James Parish in Coolidge, tomorrow evening at St. Monica Parish in Tucson, this Wednesday evening at San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Nogales and this Sunday afternoon for Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton and Holy Cross Parish in Morenci.

I was pleased to confer Confirmation at Fort Huachucha yesterday. It was my first visit to the Fort. Usually, bishops of the Archdiocese of the Military U.S.A. confer the sacrament at military installations, but I filled in this year. I appreciated the chance to celebrate with Father Frank O'Grady, who has served as chaplain there for the last three years. He will be leaving in April for a new assignment in Germany. I am pleased that we will be receiving another chaplain in the spring. There is a great shortage of Catholic chaplains in the military, so we are blessed to have another Catholic chaplain joining us.

7. Listening Sessions at St. Joseph Parish, Tucson – I will hold listening sessions with the staff (4 p.m.) and with the parish community (7 p.m.) of St. Joseph this Thursday as the parish prepares for the appointment of a new pastor who will succeed Father John Allt, whose appointment to a parish is pending.

8. 2008 Community Summit – I will participate this Friday's session of the 2008 Community Summit that is sponsored by the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC). Under the title of "Pathways to the Middle Class," the goal of this summit is to develop and strengthen partnerships between and among religious, business, education and non-profit organizations to address workforce needs of metropolitan Tucson.

9. Catholic Foundation 22nd Annual Cornerstone Gala – I look forward to being with friends of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson this Friday evening for this year's Cornerstone Gala.

The Cornerstone Gala has grown to be one of the premier annual gatherings in our Diocese Not only is it an enjoyable evening, it also is an opportunity to honor persons who have made significant contributions to the work of the Church in our Diocese. This year, we will honor Ginny Clements of Tucson and Msgr. Robert Fuller, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson. Both have given generously of their time and talent. Their contributions to our community and our Diocese are an inspiration. It is always a great evening when we can honor the exemplars among us.

10. Pope John Paul II Youth Awards – The fourth annual Pope John Paul II Youth Awards dinner and celebration will take place this Saturday evening at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson. I present these awards each year to high school teens who have been selected by their parish or school for their outstanding leadership in the areas of Catechesis and Evangelization, Prayer and Worship and Justice and Service. The awards were named after Pope John Paul II because of his special love for young people and his energetic promotion of youth as a vital part of the Church.

This year, we will recognize nearly 90 teens from 35 parishes and schools. All reservation forms and fees for the dinner must be sent by the end of today to the Office of Catechesis (fax 520-838-2584 or to janett@diocesetucson.org).

11. Legislation on Partial-Birth Abortion – The Arizona State Legislature this week is expected to send a bill to Governor Janet Napolitano that would enact legislation banning partial-birth abortion. This bill is similar to Federal law that is already in place. Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix and I, through our Arizona Catholic Conference, have sent a letter to the Governor encouraging her to sign this bill. We hope she will see the wisdom of a state ban on this ugly and violent form of the taking of human life.

12. New Department of Pastoral Services – I have said many times that the offices and department of our Pastoral Center have this primary purpose: to serve the needs and interests of our parishes. In May of last year, we started a process to explore how the offices and departments could be more efficient and effective in providing pastoral services and responding to pastoral needs, especially in the areas of religious education and formation.

As result of this process, a new Department of Pastoral Services is being formed. Starting in July, the Department of Pastoral Services will include: the Office of Catechesis, Mike Berger, director; Hispanic Ministry and Evangelization, Ruben Davalos, director; Catholic Social Mission, Joanne Welter, director; the Office of Formation, Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director; the Office of Liturgy, Father Miguel Mariano, coordinator; Vocations, Father Miguel, director; and the Office Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry, to be led by a coordinator. Sister Lois will guide and oversee the work of these offices and will have the additional title of Director of Pastoral Services. 

The goal of this restructuring is to continue to provide the services of each office as needed to the parishes with a focus on specific areas of service to the entire Diocese at a given time.  The directors and coordinators will meet regularly to plan and coordinate their areas of ministry, but above all they will work together to support all of our efforts for formation and education. We are seeking a talented, enthusiastic and energetic person to lead the Office of Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry. The position announcement and position description are available at www.diocesetucson.org under "Employment."

13. "Encounter with Christ in a Multi-cultural Church" – All parishes soon will receive posters, flyers, bulletin inserts and tickets for our first diocesan pastoral "Encuentro" (gathering) with special guest speaker Cardinal Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga on Saturday, May 3, at the Tucson Expo Center.

Cardinal Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, is known for his passionate advocacy for the poor and for human rights. He will be making two presentations during the gathering: "Ministering in a Multi-cultural Church" and "Challenge of Youth and the Response of the Church."

Admission to the gathering will be by ticket. So that we can defray expenses and make sure there will room for those who commit to attend, each person who gives a $25 donation will receive one ticket.

14. A Wish Come True – When I presided at the 10 a.m. Mass of Easter at St. Augustine Cathedral, I had the joy of being with a very special altar server, 8-year-old Miguel Lopez of Sacred Heart Parish in Tucson.

Miguel had made a special wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. That wish was to meet Pope Benedict XVI. Because of the limitations caused by his debilitating muscle disease and the many other challenges that would be associated with that wish, Miguel changed his wish to this: to be able to serve at the altar with me.

I was very honored to be a part of fulfilling Miguel's wish. He is an extraordinary young man. His mom and dad, Monica and Oscar, told me that Miguel loves the Mass and that he often "presides" at pretend Mass at home.

Monica and Oscar were joined at the Mass by many other family members, some who came from out-of-state for this special occasion.

15. Painting St. Augustine Cathedral – The painting of our Cathedral may be completed this week, depending on the availability of the articulated lift. The lift had a mechanical problem last Thursday, and we are hoping it will be repaired today.

Last Tuesday, George Carranza of Golden Brush gave Fred Allison, diocesan Communications Director, a 12-story high ride in the cage of the lift to get a view of downtown Tucson with the Cathedral's north tower and dome in the foreground.

16. The Cathedra Is Back – The cathedra from which the Bishop of Tucson presides was back in its accustomed place in St. Augustine Cathedral in time for the liturgies of Holy Week. Wood and Iron of San Diego did a beautiful job of restoring the cathedra and repairing the cracks in the legs and back.
 
17. Forum on Predatory Lending
– Several weeks ago, with the support of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, I hosted a forum for about 45 faith leaders. "People of Faith Responding to God's Call to Care for the Poor: A Forum on the Role of Predatory Lending in Our Communities" helped us to become more aware of the impact of high interest loan businesses on low income people.

The forum began with prayer and reflection presented by Randy Reynolds from the Christian tradition and Donna Beyer from the Jewish tradition. We heard presentations by Vincent Rabago from the Attorney General's Office, Chairman Richard Elias of the Pima County Board of Supervisors and Kelly Griffith from the Southwest Center for Economic Integrity.

These presentations helped us to understand the issues involved due to the state law that allows interest rates of 400 percent or more and the need to develop alternatives for individuals who need short-term low value loans.  We learned about the harm done to the financial stability of individuals and families as a result of these practices and how the faith communities in other states were instrumental in creating change. Representatives of the denominations and faith traditions at the forum agreed to encourage in their communities understanding of the issues and the need to create change.

18. The New Vision for April – The New Vision issue for April, available at our parishes this coming weekend, will introduce a new "Letters to the Editor" feature. You'll also find a special story related to the observance of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and stories and photos about the academic achievements of two of our Tucson-area Catholic schools, Immaculate Heart High and Our Mother of Sorrows, where student teams captured titles in statewide academic competition. The issue also includes, in English and Spanish, the pastoral statement on farmworkers.

19. Please Remember in Your Prayers – Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mary Adolf, mother of Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista, who died last week. The Funeral Mass was held Friday at Sts. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix.

Deacon Tom Wagner of St. Pius X Parish in Tucson died Saturday. Please pray for the repose of his soul. We extend our condolences and prayers of comfort to his wife, Lorraine.  

Please pray for Antonia Trevizo, mother of Father Raul Trevizo, who is ill.

Please pray for Father Gus Kattady, one of our retired priests, who is experiencing health challenges.