March 1, 2010 March 8, 2010 March 15, 2010 March 22, 2010 March 29, 2010

Vol. 7, No. 42
March 1, 2010


Already, we have passed the Second Sunday of Lent. How quickly this holy and special penitential season moves along. Don't let it pass without some time to look within.
 
Like Peter, James, and John of Sunday's Gospel, we hope during Lent to have a deeper encounter with Christ. The Father in the Gospel tells us to listen to His Son. That is exactly what we are striving to do this Lent, to open our eyes and ears and hearts to see, hear and love Christ more fully. The Apostles' experience of the transfigured Christ made them long to stay with Him. He alone can satisfy our longings and fulfill our desires.
 
That longing to meet Christ was apparent in the Catechumens and Candidates who gathered at St. Joseph Church yesterday afternoon for the second of our three celebrations of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. They came from many parishes, were of different ages and have varied histories. But all who came have a desire to make the Lord more central in their lives. They can encourage us to make a journey within this Lent to find the Lord waiting for us. 
 
Poet Francis Thompson wrote of God as the "Hound of Heaven," always in pursuit of us, never giving up on us. Lent is the time for us to turn around and run to meet Him.

1. People of Lent
During my visit to Douglas last week (see items 7 and 8), I had a chance to greet children from Loretto School who were gathered in St. Luke Church to pray the Way of the Cross. I encouraged them in their Lenten journey, and some of the children shared what they are doing this Lent to grow closer to the Lord.
 
Sister Aloysius Marques, O.C.D., the principal and one of our wonderful Carmelite Sisters who teach at Loretto, presented me with a check for $2,000 collected by the children over the last several weeks. She asked that $1,500 be given for Haiti earthquake relief and $500 be given to the Annual Catholic Appeal. The young people wanted to do their part to help those harmed by the devastating earthquake and to do their part to help support the 26 charities and ministries in our Diocese that depend upon the Appeal. Such sacrificial giving by these young people is what almsgiving during Lent is really all about.

2. A Woman of Faith – The many "sons" of June Fay Kellen, our former Chancellor, gathered Saturday morning at St. Augustine Cathedral to concelebrate her Funeral Mass. 

June was a second mom to many of our priests, who held the highest regard for her. Her Chancellor's Office door was always open for them to come in and visit. She gave them love and attention. She listened. She was especially available to our retired priests and those who had come from other countries with no family here.
 
Father Joseph Nietlong who has returned to Nigeria, called to say that his "mom" had finally left and gone home to heaven. Father Samuel Odeh, also returned now to Nigeria, wrote, "She was a wonderful person. She endured her cross and suffering gallantly." How true!
 
June taught us how to love, how to hope amid suffering, how to live in faith.
 
Her beloved husband of 49-plus years, Vince, who stood by her throughout her 35 months of intense suffering, her two sons, Scott and Joel, and her mom and dad, Ken and Norma, her sister, Judy, her brother, Glen, and her daughter-in-laws, Jenni and Terri, were all present. I pray they were consoled by the tender expressions of love voiced by so many at the wake and vigil service Friday evening at Our Lady of Fatima, her home parish, and at the Funeral Mass.
 
Father John Allt, who hired June in 1986 to assist him as Chancellor, shared some beautiful reflections about June. June also worked with Father John Lyons in his years as Chancellor and with Father Joseph Lombardo in his term as Vice Chancellor. June became Chancellor in 1999 by appointment of her beloved Bishop Manuel Moreno. She retired in 2007 because of health concerns.
 
At the end of the Funeral Mass, we watched a touching video tribute to June that moved all of us to tears. June's son Joel then read a letter his mom had written to be read at her funeral. She referred to her son's Joel comment when she was hired at the Diocese when he whether she would now be "Father Mother June" or "Mother Father June." She thanked all she worked with, all she considered her co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord.
 
Father Alonzo Garcia, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Tucson, one of her "boys," then sang the Ave Maria to June, who like Mary, suffered the loss of her son. June's son Terry died suddenly and unexpectedly just several weeks before her own death.
 
June was a woman of deep faith who inspired us all.

3. On-Going Formation for Priests – Priests of our Diocese are gathering today at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks for this year's first On-Going Formation session.

We provide two opportunities each year for our priests to hear from experts about various aspects of their ministry. The focus of today's session is marriage, and our presenter is Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, who currently holds the Margaret and Thomas Murray and James J. Bacik Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio.

His topic is, "The Priest and Christian Marriage: Supporting Marriage and Family Life in the Church and the World Today."

Strengthening marriage is one of the five priority goals selected by the bishops of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. We presently have a pilot initiative underway in several of our parishes to form "lay marriage ministers" who will work with couples to strengthen their marriage relationships.

Dr. Gaillardetz also presented a session last evening for deacons and parish lay ministers at Picture Rocks on "Supporting Marriage and Family Life in the Church and World Today."

4. Pastoral Visit to Yuma - La Paz Vicariate – I will be heading west this afternoon for my annual early March visit to the Yuma – La Paz Vicariate. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be with the pastors and people of the Vicariate's six parishes and three schools.

My schedule in the Vicariate this week includes:

• The Knights of Columbus Annual Appreciation Dinner for Clergy and Religious. I am grateful to the Knights throughout our Diocese for the support and encouragement they give to our clergy and religious through events like this dinner. I look forward to being with the Knights Yuma area and the priests, sisters and deacons of the Vicariate this evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

• Celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation tomorrow evening and Saturday evening at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, on Wednesday evening at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma and on Thursday evening at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton.

• School Masses at Yuma Catholic High School tomorrow morning and at St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Wednesday morning.

• Commissioning of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist at the Yuma Regional Medical Center on Thursday morning.

• Celebration of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this Friday evening at Immaculate Conception Parish. This will be the first time this beautiful liturgy will be celebrated outside the see city.

• Mass with Arco Iris Youth Groups. Arco Iris (rainbow) is a fast growing youth ministry program in our Diocese, especially so in Yuma, Somerton and San Luis. I will celebrate Mass with the teens and their leaders this Saturday morning at their gathering at Yuma Catholic High School.

• Meeting of Yuma – La Paz Vicariate Compliance Representatives. This Saturday afternoon, I will be at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma to participate in the first of the annual audit training sessions for compliance representatives. Each year, all the compliance representatives and other staff who support the safe environment program in our parishes and schools gather to prepare for the audit process and to learn new methods. It is always a pleasure to meet with the compliance teams to hear their suggestions and to support their work. One of my highest priorities has been the restoration of trust. All those who support our pastors and principals in their efforts to carry out the ministry of our parishes and schools in a safe and loving manner help us to do that. They deserve our deepest gratitude; they certainly have mine.

• Installation of Father Manuel Fragoso as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Parker. This Sunday, I will install Father Manuel as the 21st pastor in the 60 year history of Sacred Heart Parish. Father Manuel is doing fabulous ministry in Parker and surrounding communities. This time of year, the mission in Quartzite becomes one of the largest Catholic communities in our Diocese because of the numerous encampments of winter visitors in their recreational vehicles. Father Manuel travels hundreds of miles each week to his various missions. In the footsteps of Father Ted Lobo, Father Manuel is building a wonderful spirit in the communities. (I had the opportunity to see Father Ted when I was in Douglas last week. He has retired there, and he continues to remember fondly his ministry in Parker.) Father Manuel has been administrator for more than a year, and I know the community is excited now to welcome him as their pastor. He will be a loving father, a wise teacher and a gentle shepherd of his people as he leads them to Christ.

I always enjoy my visits to the parishes and communities of the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. The faith of the people is impressive, and their involvement in their parishes very inspiring. While their parishes and mission are more than a three and a half hour drive from our see in Tucson, I hope my presence communicates to them how important they are to our Diocese.
 
5.  2010 Annual Catholic Appeal – As of last Friday evening, pledges to this year's Appeal totaled $1,564,983. That is just over 42% of our goal of $3.7 million. The generosity of our Catholic people is a beautiful example of sacrificial giving in this Lenten Season. Weekly reports on parish pledge totals are available here.

6. Installation of Pews at St. Augustine Cathedral – Father Pat Crino, rector of St. Augustine, and I were present last Tuesday morning as the first new pews for the Cathedral in more than 40 years were being assembled and installed.

I hope you will be as pleased as Father Pat and I are with the appearance of the pews, which are made of ash and are beautifully finished. The warm color is a perfect match with the new colors of the Cathedral's interior.

The design for the pews was inspired by the pews in the "old" St. Augustine Cathedral that was reconstructed by Bishop Daniel Gercke, the third Bishop of Tucson. We had sent the manufacturer photos of the pews, not knowing that two of the pews were hidden in plain sight in Cathedral Hall. What a discovery that was by John Shaheen, our diocesan Property and Insurance Manager.

When the installation is completed (hopefully, in June) there will be 94 new pews. The 41 pews on the north side of the Cathedral's nave were installed last week.

The pew has a very interesting history in church architecture.  You might enjoy reading "Church Pews, Their Origin and Legal Incidents, with Some Observations on the Propriety of Abolishing Them, in Three Chapters," by John Coke Fowler, Esq., published in London in 1844. (You never know what you are going to find when you Google!)

7. "One Day At A Time" – I was humbled, moved and inspired during my visit to the Arizona State Prison Complex in Douglas last week to witness the Lenten Spirit of Repentance being embraced by an extraordinary group of People of Lent.

Almost a year ago, I confirmed a group of 14 inmates there. They wanted to receive the Spirit, and as I anointed them with the Chrism I could see the sincerity of their desire.
 
After their Confirmation, they asked to work with Father Arnie Noriega and Deacons Luciano Gonzalez and Rocky Yanez to practice a number of hymns that touched them. They wanted to record the hymns as a gift to me.
 
After receiving permission to set up a recording studio at the prison, the 14 put up sound deadening liners for the walls. For the recording session that took place during my visit last week, Rogelio, a recording technician, brought his sound equipment from Tucson. He set up four microphones around which the men gathered with volunteer Gilbert Guttierez of St. Bernard's Parish in Pirtleville as their guitarist.
 
They sang "Amazing Grace," reflecting on how God loved even them and showered them with his grace. They sang "Be Not Afraid," reflecting on how life in prison is tough and hard, but Christ is there at their side. They sang "Here I Am Lord," suggesting that they were giving themselves to God just as they are with all their shortcomings, the wrongs they have done, the ways they have hurt their wives, children, parents. They sang "How Great Thou Art," marveling at how powerful and strong is God's love for them. They sang a hymn I had not heard before, "New Hope, New Life, A New Heart," which said to them that God would form in them a new heart. They sang "One Day At A Time," which gave them hope that one day at a time they might turn their lives around. They ended with "Why Me Lord," questioning why God has seized them and called them back home.
 
Dressed in orange jump suits stenciled with the large letters "ADC," the men gave their all in singing the hymns with just right with reverence and faith. Before each hymn they were asked to be totally quiet. They were serious and intent on making the recording perfect.

After the recording session, we celebrated Mass together. We prayed for their families and loved ones. They prayed for each other. After Communion, the men committed themselves to be "prayer warriors." Being a "prayer warrior" means that they will offer prayers every day for their wives and children they had hurt, for their parents, for people with addictions, for those with cancer and for all of us. Each man came forward and knelt before me to receive God's blessing and a "prayer warrior" card. I pray they will persevere in their commitment.
 
I am grateful to the Warden Richard Bock and his staff for their welcome and for their support in allowing this event to take place.
 
8. Douglas Hospitality – Before I left Douglas, Father Gilbert Malu, pastor of St. Luke and Immaculate Conception Parishes in Douglas and St. Bernard Parish in Pirtleville, invited me to lunch with Fathers James Baka and Luis Armando Espinoz, his parochial vicars. Father Martin Atanga from nearby St. Jude Parish in Pearce Sunsites also joined us. Father Gilber prepared a marvelous dish of talapia and Marcia John and her mother Maria made a Lebanese dish for me.

Douglas has three priest chefs, all who can cook up a real treat from their own country (Father Gilbert, the Congo; Father Luis from Argentina; and Father James from Nigeria). I told them we ought to start a restaurant.

9. Italian Catholic Federation – I am grateful to the Italian Catholic Federation for their support of vocations in our Diocese.

We have three Councils in the Diocese: Council 425 at Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley; Council 433 at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson; and Council 434 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson.

At our Mass on Saturday evening at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, these Councils, together with the Central Council located in Oakland, California, presented our Diocese with $3,000 for the support of our seminarians. A marvelous gift and expression of support!
 
10. St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Listening Session ­– As is my custom when a pastor is retiring or receiving an appointment to another parish, I meet with staff and have a listening session with parishioners to seek their input on what is going well in the parish, what challenges lie ahead and what qualities they are looking for in their next pastor.

With the impending retirement of Msgr. Todd O'Leary at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson, I will gather with staff on Friday, March 12, at 5 p.m. and at 7 p.m. with parishioners in the Church. All parishioners are encouraged to attend.
 
I am deeply grateful for all that Msgr. Todd has done as the founding pastor at St. Thomas. He also was the founding pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson and Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley. He has accomplished so much in his 51 years of ministry in our Diocese. He has been a blessing and a gift in caring for his own parish and by assisting and helping so many others.

Vol. 8, No. 1
March 8, 2010

I met hundreds of People of Lent last week, people who are looking within.

Among them were the nearly 500 young people and adults in Yuma and Somerton who stepped forward to become fully initiated into the Church through the Sacrament of Confirmation. As I signed them with the Sacred Chrism, I was impressed to see the seriousness of their expressions and the eagerness they felt to receive the Holy Spirit. Let's hope they stay close to the Lord and committed to His mission.
 
I met more People of Lent in the celebration Friday evening of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion that took place for the first time in our Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. As I greeted the catechumens and candidates from Immaculate Conception, St. John Neumann and St. Francis of Assisi Parishes in Yuma, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton, San Judas Tadeo Parish in San Luis and Sacred Heart Parish in Parker, I could sense their excitement about making progress toward their becoming a part of the Church in a fuller way. Their search for greater meaning in their lives has brought them to look within.
 
I met the young People of Lent on Saturday when I joined our Arco Iris youth groups from St. Monica Parish in Tucson, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, Sacred Heart and San Felipe de Jesus Parishes in Nogales, Immaculate Conception, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Neumann Parishes in Yuma, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton and San Judas Tadeo Parish in San Luis. More than 400 strong, they met at Yuma Catholic High School. They sang. They prayed. They shouted. They laughed. They celebrated. The enthusiasm for their faith was inspiring.
 
I was delighted to celebrate the Mass at their rally with Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe, Father Eduardo Lopez-Romo, Father Ed Lucero, Father Emilio Chapa, Father Xavier Perez, Father Adolfo Martinez, Father Martin Martinez and Father Vili Villderama. I felt much hope for our Diocese in seeing the commitment of these young people to the mission of Christ. The theme of this Third Congresso was "Quiero seguirte. Pues tu me has llamado. Aqui estoy!" Each of the Arco Iris groups came forward to say "Aqui Estoy!" They are ready to serve. I pray many will consider service as a priest or religious in our Diocese.
 
In addition to the priests and deacons who attended, I was pleased to see Sisters from our Diocese and from the Dioceses of Mexicali and Tijuana. I am grateful to all the lay leaders, especially Eric and Carina Casares, who accompanied these young people.
 
We are all encouraged during Lent by those around us who are seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. When we see others serious about growing in faith, it energizes us to throw our lot more fully with the Lord. That was certainly my experience this past week.
 
Look within.

That is exactly what so many are doing throughout our Diocese this Lent. They are seeking to let the Lord more fully into their lives. Open your heart to welcome Him. Look around: you are not alone in your search to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ.
 
1. Pastoral Visit to Yuma - La Paz Vicariate -- Yuma, Parker, Somerton, San Luis, Wellton, Dateland, Tacna and Roll are communities far on the western edge of our Diocese. They may be far away from many of us, but I always feel at home when I visit.

I have enjoyed my pastoral visit to the communities of the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate these last eight days, and I am grateful for and humbled by the hospitality I received. I met so many wonderful people and I experienced a vibrant Church led by very dedicated priests, served by hard working deacons, religious and parish staff. The parishes of the vicariate are thriving through the involvement of so many lay women and men giving of their time, talent and resources to carry on the Church's mission.

I was delighted yesterday afternoon in San Luis to bless the land given by Nieves Riedel to San Judas Tadeo Parish. The land eventually will be the site of a new church when resources are available. Mrs. Reidel gave the land as an honor to Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe, Episcopal Vicar of Yuma - La Paz, who she highly respects. Father Raul Valencia, pastor of San Judas Tadeo, and I had planned to concelebrate an outdoor Mass at the site along with Msgr. Richard, but the Lord had other plans because we were blessed with a deluge of near Biblical proportions just as I was ready to bless the land. I had never experienced rain in the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate, but yesterday it poured and poured and poured. USA Today reported that the Yuma area has not seen rain as they have this year since 1900. Even though we could not have Mass at the site, I could sense the excitement people felt as their community looks to the future. Their present church is entirely inadequate to accommodate the large number of Catholic families in the area. I pray their new church will become a reality in the near future.

So many of our parishes began with a gift of land from a Catholic family deeply committed to the Church. This gift is just another example. My thanks to the Riedel Family and Tony Reyes for their generosity.

Sacred Heart Parish in Parker is, perhaps, the farthest parish from the central see of Tucson. This community, that includes missions in Quartzsite, Wenden and Poston, covers a lot of territory. It was my joy last night to install their new pastor, Father Manuel Fragoso, who has been serving as administrator for the last year. I saw the happiness of the people as Father Manuel accepted the appointment to be the loving father, gentle shepherd and wise teacher of their community.
 
Father Manuel's mom, Maria del Socorro, and his brother, Fausto, from Caborca, Sonora, were proudly present, along with many other family and friends.

I almost felt last week that we had a "mobile" Pastoral Center. Joining me in the vicariate from the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center were Bern Zovistoski, managing editor of The New Vision; Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our Department of Pastoral Services, Joe Perdreauville, associate director, and Ophelia James, the department's administrative assistant; Sr. Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., our diocesan Vicar for Religious; and Dr. Paul Duckro, director of our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection.
 
I thank them for taking time to join me this past week in reaching out to help resource the pastors and staffs of our parishes and schools in the Yuma- La Paz Vicariate. I know their presence and support are much appreciated by all.

And speaking of presence and support, I am grateful for yours. Yesterday marked my seventh anniversary as Bishop of Tucson. You have blessed these seven years for me in ways that I know I will never be able to count.
 
2. Safe Environment Program -- I will participate tomorrow morning in the quarterly meeting of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board. We will hear a report from Dr. Paul Duckro, director of our diocesan Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, on the preparations for this year's audit of our Safe Environment Program.

I value very much the thoughtful feedback the members of the Board give me on our efforts to maintain safe environments for children and vulnerable adults in our parishes and schools.

On Saturday at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, I attended a meeting of compliance representatives in the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. Compliance representatives assist our pastors and principals with the important work of monitoring all aspects of the Safe Environment Program. Dr. Duckro and Rogene Small, both candidates in our Diaconate Formation Program, gave presentations on the importance of the ministry of the compliance representative.

In our "question and answer" session, the compliance representatives shared with me how important it was for them to come together and to get to know one another so that they can consult with one another and learn from one another. They mentioned how their work is less burdensome now that the Diocese has been at this for a while. They also said we have to keep our eye fixed on the goal of protecting children from abuse.

3. Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson -- I will attend the bi-monthly meeting tomorrow of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation. On the agenda will be a review of grant distributions and an update on plans for the Foundation's Cornerstone Gala that will take place on Friday, May 7. This year's Gala is celebrating the Year for Priests by recognizing the decades of service provided by Msgr. Tom Cahalane, Msgr. Van Wagner, Msgr. Todd O'Leary, Msgr. Tom Millane and Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe.

4. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation this Tuesday evening at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa and this Sunday evening at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson.

5. "The Catholic Position on Capital Punishment" ­-- I will share our Church's teachings on capital punishment in a talk at 7 p.m. this Wednesday at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson. The talk will be in the church immediately after the parish's Peace and Justice Mass.

The Catholic bishops in the U.S. have been calling for an end to the use of the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed the resumption of capital punishment. In 2005, we invited Catholics to join us in an ongoing "Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty." The Campaign is an excellent resource on Church teaching about the use of capital punishment.

My talk is sponsored by the parish's Consistent Ethic of Life Committee that has as its mission
"to invite and promote a charitable dialogue regarding a consistent ethic of life within Our Mother of Sorrows Community and beyond; to address all life issues by articulating the authentic teaching of the Church and advocating for the sacredness and dignity of life in all its forms; and to do so with a reconciling spirit of humility, openness and prayer."

5. Meeting of 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 this Thursday morning for our regular monthly meeting.

6. 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal -- I am pleased to report that our parishioners have pledged more than 50% of this year's Appeal goal of $3.7 million. I have said many times in these last few years that the generosity of our parishioners is amazing, and I am so happy to be able to say it again: Amazing!
 
Congratulations to Father Chuck Cloud and the people of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Florence, Father Juan Carlos Aguirre and the people of St. Helen Parish in Eloy, Father Vili Valderrama and the people of San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Nogales and Msgr. Todd O'Leary and the people of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson for being the first of our 76 parishes to meet their goals.

The response of parishioners thus far is extremely encouraging, and I am all the more grateful for each pledge because I know that so many families are struggling in the current economy.

Getting to the halfway point in pledges is certainly a cause for optimism, but to ensure the full funding of the 26 charities and ministries that depend upon the Appeal we must invite each of our parish families to participate, especially those who have never made a pledge.
 
I look forward to sharing these "half-way-there" results with members of the Board of Directors of our Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund this Friday when we gather for Mass and lunch at the Pastoral Center.

You can see the weekly report on parish pledge totals here.

7. St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Listening Sessions -- I will hold two listening sessions this Friday at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson as I anticipate the appointment of a new pastor by hearing from the staff at 5 p.m. and from parishioners at 7 p.m. about the qualities they seek in a pastor. Msgr. Todd O'Leary, founding pastor, has announced his retirement after giving 51 years of dedicated service to our Diocese.

8. Special Workshop for Caregivers -- I ask your assistance in the promotion of special workshop for caregivers being offered by Carondelet Health Network and our Diocese this Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center.

This workshop will provide information and guidance on how caregivers can take care of themselves as they meet their important responsibilities. Registration is required for this workshop, and there is a $10 fee that covers parking and includes a light breakfast. To register, call Mary Louise Luna at 873-5006.

If you know of anyone who is a caregiver for an elderly or disabled person or anyone who may be taking on or helping with the responsibility of giving care, please let them know about this special workshop and encourage them to attend.

9. Annual Detention Ministry Mass
-- Our Diocese's annual Mass to give thanks to and to recognize our laity, religious and clergy who minister to inmates in the detention facilities of our communities is this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson.

Receiving certificates of recognition this year for their outstanding support of Detention
Ministry are: Father Don Huntimer, C.V.S.; Stanley Lasota, Aurora Yañez and Carlos Muñoz.
More about this year's recipients in next week's memo.

I am grateful to Barb Mattus, director of our diocesan Detention Ministry Program, for facilitating this annual liturgy. Her ministry and the ministry of the dozens of dedicated lay, religious and clergy who bring the comfort of Christ to inmates and their families are blessings for our Diocese.

10. Padre Kino Memorial Mass
-- The legacy of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino will be celebrated this Saturday at noon at St. Augustine Cathedral in a special memorial Mass for the 299th death anniversary of the legendary missionary.

The Mass, sponsored by the Kino Heritage Society, will include a procession of community and diocesan groups and the presentation of the "Kino Gifts," symbols of the Jesuit explorer's extraordinary ministry in the Pimeria Alta. Father Christ Corbally, S.J., of the Vatican Observatory, will reflect on "Kino's Gifts to the Pimeria Alta" in his homily.

Preceding the Mass, Father Sean Carroll, S.J., director of the Kino Border Initiative, will give a presentation in Cathedral Hall at 10:30 a.m. on "Protecting Dignity and Life on the Border."

The Kino Heritage Society is a group of Tucson laity and clergy who support the cause for the beatification of Padre Kino.



These depictions of Padre Kino are in a mural at the site of his burial in Magdalena, Sonora. A beautiful mausoleum was built at the spot after his grave was discovered there in 1966.

11. John Paul II Youth Awards -- Our sixth annual Pope John Paul II Youth Awards dinner and celebration will be this Saturday evening at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson.

I will join family members, youth ministry leaders and pastors to honor our young people from around the Diocese who have been selected by their parishes to receive the award in recognition of their leadership in one or more of three categories: Catechesis and Evangelization; Community Service and Social Justice; and Prayer and Worship. So far, 72 teens from 27 parishes and schools from across our Diocese have been nominated for the award.

Also, we will honor one of our priests who has been dedicated to and involved in working with youth in our Diocese with the Pope John Paul II Distinguished Service Award.

The names of the award recipients will be in next Monday's memo.

I am grateful to the many parish youth ministers, pastors, leaders and parents who guide and minister to our youth, and I look forward to meeting them this Saturday.

Because there are no walk-in registrations at this event, parishes that have not yet sent in names and reservations must do so by this Wednesday in order to participate this year. For more information and to register, please contact Janet Towner at 520-838-2544 or janett@diocesetucson.org.

12. Blessing of Land for Our Lady of Grace Parish -- I look forward to being with Father Marcos Velasquez and the people of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa this Sunday for Mass and for the blessing of the land that eventually will be the site of their church and, God willing, their Catholic school.

The purchase of the 34 acres was made possible through Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, our diocesan renewal campaign. The parish will pay back the cost of the property when it is able, thus providing a continuing source for the purchase of land for future parish sites.

13. Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- While reform of our nation's health care system and the struggles of our national economy occupy so much of the attention of the U.S. Congress and the President, we can't help but feel that efforts to reform our nation's broken system of immigration are falling to the bottom of the list of things in our country that must be fixed.

We here in our Diocese know the realities of the continuing phenomenal migration into our country from Mexico. Hardly a day goes by that we don't read or see a report in our local news media about one aspect or another of the migration. In each of these reports, we see the complexities of this migration in its political, economic, social and moral dimensions. In some of the stories, we see the suffering of people who feel they have no other choice but to leave their country to seek a better life in ours.

For instance, just this past week there were these stories:

The Border Patrol apprehended 53 illegal immigrants Wednesday morning just west of the San Pedro River, near the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials said the 36 men, nine women and eight children were not in distress when they were found.

The deaths attributed to hypothermia or exposure so far this winter in the Tucson Sector of 13 illegal border crossers are more than in any of the previous five winters. Also, there have been more bodies found this winter (in the Tucson Sector) than in the past. The 60 bodies found from Nov. 1 through Feb. 12 is a 58 percent increase from the same period last year and are more than in any of the previous five years. Despite an estimated decrease in illegal crossings, the number of bodies found continues at the same or higher levels.

And, in our State Legislature, our Arizona Catholic Conference has been monitoring the process of two "immigration" bills that have raised the concerns of Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup and myself.

This morning, as bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference, we have released a statement in which we express our belief that the bills -- if enacted into law -- would be detrimental to public safety and could lead to unfairly punitive enforcement.

I encourage you to read our statement here.

We must continue to keep comprehensive immigration reform on our diocesan and parish agendas. We must continue to educate ourselves about the moral dimensions of the migration and about the guidance that Church teaching gives us as we confront the realities of the migration and consider how we should respond as Christians.

The Justice for Immigrants Campaign of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is an excellent resource for parishes and schools about Church teaching on migration. It is also a platform for advocacy by parishes and individuals on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform.

I encourage you to promote and to participate in two educational opportunities about comprehensive immigration reform.

You are invited to a "Conversation on Comprehensive Immigration Reform" at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Nicholson Hall at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson. Sponsored by the parish and the Pima County Interfaith Council, this conversation will explore various facets of the migration.

You also are invited to a special presentation by Kevin Appleby, "Prospects for Immigration Reform: How the Church Can Make a Difference," at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish Hall. Kevin is director of the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He will speak to the issues and challenges surrounding comprehensive immigration reform from the Catholic perspective.

14. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fernando "Fernie" Velasquez, brother of Father Marcos Velasquez, who died last week. The Funeral Mass is being celebrated this morning at St. Mary's Center in Superior.

Please pray for Sister Joachim Kaufmann, S.F.C.C., who is facing hospice care. Sister Joachim ministered at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley as director of religious education and served on the Sisters Council Leadership team.

15. Monday Memo -- Today marks the beginning of the eighth year of the memo. As Fred Allison, our diocesan Communications Director remarked to me, "A lot of words under that bridge." I hope you have found many of those words to be helpful and informative.

Vol. 8, No. 2
March 15, 2010


Yesterday's Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday of Lent was the Prodigal Son, my favorite and perhaps yours as well. This parable gives all of us confidence that when we stray we can find our way back home and when we come home we will find our God waiting for us, eager to welcome us back.
 
That journey home is happening throughout the Diocese these days as many of our parishes hold penance services. It is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation that we encounter the Lord, through the ministry of the priest, waiting for us. This encounter with Christ is among the most powerful moments of God's mercy that one can experience.
 
If you have not been to confession lately, take time in these remaining weeks of Lent to look within, and bring any sinful areas of your life to Christ. Many people have frightening memories of confession from childhood or from a painful encounter with a priest. The Prodigal Son, too, feared going home, but as he approached he did not encounter an angry, vengeful God, but a father who had been waiting, longing for him to return. I pray this Lent that you feel the embrace of the Father and experience the joy and delight that He feels at your return.

1. Sixth Annual Pope John Paul II Awards -- Saturday evening at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson, I presented our diocesan Pope John Paul II Award to 74 of our young people from 24 of our parishes and three of our Catholic high schools.

The teens were nominated for the award by their pastors and youth ministers in recognition of their participation in the life of their parishes in three categories: Catechesis and Evangelization; Community Service and Social Justice; and Prayer and Worship.

I always enjoy seeing the pride that parents, grandparents, youth ministers and pastors feel when one of theirs receives this recognition. We can all be most proud of these young people among us who are already using their time and talent to be of service to others. Pope John Paul II had a special affection for young people. He inspired them, and in turn they inspired him. It amazed me to see Pope John Paul II encounter young people. They held such affection for him and he obviously delighted in them. He saw in them great hope for the Church.
 
Imagine all that these young people have accomplished through their ministries. These are a very special group of young people. Yes, like all other teens they play sports, listen to hip hop or alternative music, master video games on their Xbox, PlayStation or Wii. They shop. They skateboard. They relish their driver's licenses. But, these teens also publicly proclaim God's Word, teach others about Christ, work for the poor, spend time with the elderly, sing in choir. They accomplish much good, for which we can all feel grateful. Saturday evening, our Diocese said to each one of these young people, "Well done! We are proud of you! Stay great!"

Also Saturday evening, it was my joy to present the our second annual Pope John Paul II Distinguished Service Award to Father Bart Hutcherson, O.P., pastor of St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish at the University of Arizona. This award recognizes an adult who demonstrates outstanding commitment in ministry to youth and young adults.

I have worked with Father Bart on a number of events. He is tireless in his outreach to the young. He inspires the young adults at the University of Arizona to do something of importance for others. He challenges them to live their lives doing for others. He has spoken at our annual diocesan Youth Fest, helped young people to look within during Lent and chatted with them on Facebook. This recognition, (Father Bob Tamminga, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, was the first recipient) of Father Bart encourages all of us to do even more to engage young people and challenge them to be great.

I am grateful to our pastors and our parish youth ministers for their support of this annual event.

Here are this year's recipients of the award:

Catechesis and Evangelization: Alex Bachik, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; Bedelia Castro Bejarano, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel; Ayana Cordova, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Isaac Ruiz De La Torre, St. Cyril of Alexandria, Tucson; Paige Dowler, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tucson; Anthony Enriquez, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Jose Escalante, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Alexis Gomez, St. Joseph, Hayden; Monica Gutierrez, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; Roman Heredia, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Nicole Justiniano, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Paris Le, Our Lady of La Vang, Tucson; Dustin Longacre, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Maria Lopez, St. Joseph, Hayden; Gabrielle Martinez, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Philip Pallanes, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Paula Real, Infant Jesus of Prague, Kearny; Gabrielle Reid, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Marissa Rhoades, St. Odilia, Tucson; Christen Sheffer, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Nichole Tanberg, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Ashley Tapia, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Lisa Timpani, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Bianca Valadez, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; Brandi Viche, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Tommy Zacharias, Sts. Peter and Paul, Tucson. 

Community Service and Social Justice: Manuel Alejandro Borboa, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel; Sloane Burns, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Crystal Cordova, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Hector Corella, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Molly Eisele, St. Joseph, Tucson; Matthew Gautreau, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Marcos Gonzales, St. Monica, Tucson; Quinten Gunn, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Luis Herrera, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Tim Hubbard, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Samantha Juvera, Infant Jesus of Prague, Kearny; Dominique Lefaive, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tucson; Stephanie Plaster, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Charlie Ronan, St. Odilia, Tucson; Ayko Santiago, San Miguel Catholic High School, Tucson; Brittany Thompson, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; Matthew Wisely, Sts. Peter and Paul, Tucson. 

Prayer and Worship: Julia Anderson, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Kathryn Black, St. Cyril of Alexandria, Tucson; Sean Crockette, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; Charmayne Enis, San Xavier Mission, Tucson; Gerald Enis, San Xavier Mission, Tucson; Katie Frazier, St. Odilia, Tucson; Jillian Gabrhel, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Christopher Garcia, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Natalie Harnick, San Miguel Catholic High School, Tucson; Maureen Hayden, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Thomas Helms, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tucson; Journey Hickman, Immaculate Conception, Ajo; George Holmes, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; Aleya Islas, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Melina Islas, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Isele Jaramillo, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Maria Koestel, St. Monica, Tucson; Aaron Kram, St. Helen Mission, Oracle; Cristian Lopez, St. Joseph, Tucson; Lauren Luick, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Gabrielle Martinez, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Stephania Martinez, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; Francisco Mesina, Infant Jesus of Prague, Kearny; Rey Navarro, St. Helen Mission, Oracle; Don Nguyen, Our Lady of La Vang, Tucson; Jesus Fernando Parra, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel; Jennie Piccaretta, Sts. Peter and Paul, Tucson; Karina Sanchez, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Samantha Sanchez, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Sara Schlor, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Jordan Valenzuela, San Xavier Mission, Tucson; Darien Villegas, San Miguel Catholic High School, Tucson.  

2. Annual Detention Ministry Mass -- We celebrated our annual diocesan Detention Ministry Mass on Saturday at Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson.

This Mass is an opportunity for us to pray for the youth and adults who are incarcerated in the many detention facilities within our Diocese and to thank our lay, religious and clergy volunteers who minister with great dedication to bring the comfort of Christ to them.

Each year for the Mass, the Detention Ministry Program honors volunteers for distinguished service.

This year, it was my joy to present certificates of recognition to four volunteers: Stan Lasota, a parishioner at Santa Catalina Parish, for his 13 years of ministry at the Catalina Mountain School north of Tucson for the past 13 years; Aurora Yañez, a parishioner of Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson, for her weekly ministry the past 12 years at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex; Carlos Muñoz, a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Tucson, for his weekly ministry the past 11 years at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex; and Father Don Huntimer, C.V.S., who retired from detention ministry in 2008 due to health reasons, for his more than 15 years of ministry at the Arizona State Prison Complex and the Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center in Tucson.

I am impressed by the number of priests, deacons and religious who minister at the detention facilities within our Diocese, and I am grateful for their service. I was pleased to see a number of them at the Mass, including Father Bernard Perkins, O.C.D., Father Thomas Reeves, O.C.D., Fatgher Cyprian Killackey, O.C.D., Father Jim Hobert, Father Greg Adolf, Father Charlie Knapp, Father Sean Carroll, S.J., Father Jim Mallon, Father Gil Padilla, Father Gonzalo Villegas and Fther Phong Bui. So many of our deacons serve in detention ministry. They were represented at the Mass by Deacons Ernie Trujillo (also warden at the Eyman State Complex), Ed Sheffer, Frank Ramirez and Richard Ornelas. Our women religious are very involved as well, and representing them Saturday were Sister Carolyn Nicolai, F.S.P., Sister Jane Eschweiler, S.D.S., and Sister Esther Calderon, O.P., who helped with the liturgy. Of course, the largest number of volunteers helping to serve those in detention are our lay women and lay men who serve with such distinction.
 
I was impressed this year that a number of families of those in prison and former inmates came to join in the celebration this year. The Mass is, of course, especially for them.
 
Among the distinguished guests who participated were Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, Tucson City Councilmember Richard Fimbres, former Tucson City Councilmember Steve Leal, Charles Ryan, Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Charles Flanagan, Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Carson McWilliams, Warden of the Florence Complex, Richard Bock, Warden of Douglas Complex, and Craig Apker of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
 
The music provided for the Mass again this year by the Gatekeepers and Divina Misericordia was very moving, uplifting and inspiring. 

I appreciate greatly the dedicated ministry of Barb Mattus, director of the Detention Ministry Program, and Annie Lopez, the program's associate, and the program's dozens of volunteers who serve with great dedication.

The Detention Ministry Program, a ministry of Catholic Community Services, is one of the 26 uniquely Catholic and uniquely local ministries that depend upon the Annual Catholic Appeal. I am grateful for the support the program receives from Peg Harmon, chief executive officer of CCS. 

3. Blessing of Land for Our Lady of Grace Parish -- More than 800 people gathered yesterday morning at the large tract of land near Maricopa that some day soon (We hope!) will be the site of Our Lady of Grace Parish. Under a perfectly blue sky and a strong wind (Clearly, the Spirit was giving evidence of His presence!) we joined in the celebration of the first Mass where the parish's new church will be built.

The purchase of the 34-acre site was made possible through Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, our diocesan renewal campaign. The parish will pay back the cost of the property when it is able, thus providing a continuing source for the purchase of land for future parish sites.)

Father Marcos Velasquez, pastor, and Father Melchisedek Akpan, parochial vicar, celebrated with me. It was a very moving moment for them as they looked out on their people gathered in prayer, excited about what the future holds.
 
I invited the children to gather in front as I blessed the land. I explained to them that they will remember this day and tell their children about when they stood in the open space that was their place of worship. The people accompanied me, singing with joy, while I sprinkled the ground with holy water.
 
As we proclaimed the Creed for the first time, I could only think of how our faith continues to spread to new places. The Gospel is still alive and well.
 
We pray that the dreams of Our Lady of Grace will be realized soon.

4. Presbyteral Council Meeting
-- The Presbyteral Council meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center.

Margie Puerta Edson, executive director of our Charity and Ministry Fund, will give us an update on the progress of this year's Annual Catholic Appeal  (see item 14). Sister Lois Paja, O.P., director of our diocesan department of Pastoral Services, will tell us about the preparations for this year's Chrism Mass, which will be held the evening of Monday of Holy Week at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson.
 
I will make a report on the diocesan priorities and goals that I have asked the directors of our diocesan offices and departments to focus on in the next fiscal year. Father Al Schifano, our Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General, and I will meet with the directors in May for our annual planning meeting. 

Among the goals that I will invite our diocesan staff and vicars to work on together are:
 
-- Recruit vocations (Identification, invitation, and encouragement of candidates to serve as priests or religious. Intensification of prayer and personal outreach and invitation.)
 
-- Return Catholics home (Identify and develop ways to bring people back home to the Church.)
 
-- Re-message the truth of what our Church teaches. (Explore ways to make the Church's moral teaching and spiritual guidance more influential and that speaks to the concerns of the culture.)
 
-- Reach out to better pastor underserved communities (youth, young adults, prisoners, the divorced and separate, etc.)
 
-- Responsiveness to our people and communities (Enhance the Pastoral Center's responsiveness toward parish communities. Find ways within parishes and the Diocese to become more inviting as Church.)
 
-- Re-energize diocesan and parish personnel for the Church's mission.
 
-- Re-garner resources (Raise up resources through stewardship initiatives and good fiscal management, transparency and best practices).
 
-- Resource staff (Enhance training in human resources, business skills and spiritual formation).
 
-- Resolve connectivity and database challenges within and throughout the Diocese.

5. Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre
-- Members of the Order in our Diocese will gather tomorrow evening for Mass and dinner. I will share with the members my experiences in last January's visit of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences for the Holy Land.

6. St. Patrick's Day -- The Lenten Calendar on the Website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops takes note of this Wednesday's observance of St. Patrick's Day and encourages us to "remember the Irish and all immigrants who leave their homelands in search of justice and freedom by praying the beautiful and poetic prayer known as St. Patrick's Breastplate."

Here in our Diocese, we have special reason to remember these Irish immigrants: Don Hugo O'Conor, an Irish soldier in the Spanish Army, who is credited with founding the Tucson presidio in 1775; the miners and their families who built St. Patrick Church in Bisbee; and the many sisters and priests who have ministered with such dedication and sacrifice in all parts of our Diocese.

7. Catholic Community Services Lenten Mass -- I will celebrate Mass this Wednesday at noon with the staff of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona.

8. Pastor Leadership Development Program -- I look forward to being with the 24 priests in our diocesan Pastor Leadership Development Program as they gather this week at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

This is the next to the last session for this first "class" of priests to participate in the two year program that we developed to provide training and formation in the competencies and skills that are needed by priests in the complex pastoral and administrative world of today's parish.

Wednesday evening, I will meet with the program's participants who are the recently ordained (five years or less) to hear from them how these important first years as priests are going.

9. Priests' Day of Prayer -- Our monthly Priests' Day of Prayer will be this Thursday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. I hope priests will make an effort to step away this Thursday for a day of reflection during the final weeks of Lent. Christ invited His disciples to be apart from the busyness of the world from time to time. It is important.
 
10. Solemnity of St. Joseph -- We celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph this Friday. The observance of March 19 as a feast day for St. Joseph goes back to the 10th century. The day was included in the General Roman Calendar in 1621. Pope Pius IX named Saint Joseph Patron of the Universal Church in 1847.

I will be celebrating St. Joseph's Day with the students, staff and families of St. Joseph's School in Tucson with Mass at 9 a.m.

As the Solemnity is on a Friday, there is no requirement to observe the Lenten abstinence from meat.

11. Common Formation Program Interviews -- This Saturday, I will be completing the individual interviews I hold with the aspirants for the permanent diaconate and the candidates for lay ecclesial ministry. These interviews allow me to hear how things are going as they complete the final quarter of the second year of the Common Formation Program.

The participants are completing their studies on the Sacraments with Msgr. Carlos Romero and Sister Lois Paha, O.P, and are beginning the course on the New Testament (Gospels and Acts) with Father William Parker, C.Ss.R, and Father Gilbert Malu.   

The candidates for lay ecclesial ministry are beginning the work on their pastoral projects, which will be an opportunity for them to examine an area of ministry that they want to address in their parish or for our Diocese.  

The aspirants for the permanent diaconate will be doing additional study of the practical application of the Sacraments during the summer months as they work with the deacons in their parishes and vicariates. An evaluation and review from the pastors will be part of this final quarter for all of the participants.

12. Jubilee Celebration for Brother Michael Graf, O.F.M. Cap. -- I will celebrate Mass this Saturday afternoon in joyful observance of the 50th anniversary of Brother Michael's vocation in religious life.

13. Adult Faith Formation Opportunities -- Our diocesan Hispanic Pastoral Commission is sponsoring two adult formation opportunities this Lent.

I am encouraged by the participation in the formation series on the Creed that is being presented in Spanish by Msgr. Carlos Romero, parochial vicar of St. Augustine Cathedral. 

The two remaining sessions are scheduled for this Thursday and next Thursday at San Miguel High School in Tucson, and folks are still welcome to participate. More information on the series is available here.

On Saturday, April 10, I will join Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of the Diocese Las Cruces and Father Juan Sosa of the Archdiocese of Miami to share prayer and reflection on "To Love and Serve one Another: Living the Call of Christ in the World Today." We will reflect on the ways in which we accomplish this call in our homes, with our families, in the workplace, in our parish communities, our neighborhoods and for the world. The $10 fee for the day at San Miguel High School includes lunch. More information and registration is available here.

14. 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal -- I met last Friday with the Board of Directors of our Diocese of Tucson Charity & Ministry Fund to receive an update on the 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal. Board members spoke with enthusiasm about their support for the campaign and about their dedication to ensure that all 26 charities and ministries supported by the ACA receive full funding this year.

Over all, parishioner participation is up over last year at this same time, and this is clearly contributing to the progress of the campaign.  By last Friday, we had reached 60% of our goal. We are grateful for every gift to the campaign. Let's pray that people continue to be generous.

The weekly parish pledge report is available here.

15. Our Mother of Sorrows School Science Olympians -- The Science Olympiad Team of Our Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson has brought home yet another state championship in its division. This is the third championship in a row for the OMOS Olympians! The competition was held this past weekend.

16. Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting -- I am pleased to announce the appointment of Virginia Robillard as the new chairperson of our diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting. Virginia has been involved in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Her experience will bring many benefits to this important responsibility.
 
I am grateful to Jeff Hill for his nearly five years of service in two terms as chair. He gave of himself generously to enhance Catholic Scouting in our Diocese.
 
I have appointed Father Robert Rodriquez, parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson, as Chaplain of Catholic Scouting. He will bring many gifts to this important role. I am grateful to Father Miguel Mariano, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, who is completing his service as Chaplain.
 
Chip Travers will continue as vice chair, working with Virginia and the other committee members. My hope is that more parishes will begin Scouting activities.

17. Remember in Your Prayers
-- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Joachim Kaufmann, S.F.C.C., who died last week. Sister Joachim ministered at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley as director of religious education and served on our diocesan Sisters Council Leadership team.

Vol. 8, No. 3
March 22, 2010

The 40 days of Lent pass quickly, and already we are preparing this Sunday to follow Christ into Jerusalem. Like the crowds who were ready to welcome Him, we, too, can be fickle in our relationship with Christ. We wave the palms in praise and joy, but soon find ourselves doubting or denying Him.
 
When we read the Passion narrative on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday, I can identify with so many of the characters we encounter. I know the cowardice of Peter. I know the betrayal of Judas. I long to walk with Christ as did Simon of Cyrene. I wish I had the loyalty of His mother and the Beloved Disciple.
 
As we draw closer to Holy Week, open up the Word of God and read the four Passion narratives slowly and reflectively. Watch Christ. Hear His words. You will encounter steadfast love and tender mercy. Christ never becomes resentful or bitter. He remains forgiving, patient, trusting until His final words, "It is finished."
 
As we suffer sometimes, He suffered. As we feel betrayed sometimes, He was betrayed. As we feel lonely sometimes, He felt loneliness. He showed us how to remain strong by His reliance on His Father. We strive to live with His fidelity, "Not my will, but Thine be done."

I will preside at the 8 a.m. Mass on Palm Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral.

1. Health Care Reform -- Throughout the process that led to yesterday's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives approving health care reform legislation, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) often and consistently reflected on the moral implications of the legislation that was being developed. 

The Conference especially expressed its concern that the legislation before the House was deficient in three major areas: that the Hyde Amendment in its entirety was not specifically upheld in the language of the legislation; that the legislation did not clearly uphold the right of conscience; and that the legislation did not give immigrants who are here legally access to health coverage without waiting five years and did not allow immigrants without documents to purchase health care insurance with their own funds.

In a March 15 statement, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the USCCB, said that the U.S. bishops would, regretfully, have to oppose a final bill if changes were not made to address and correct these deficiencies.

While President Obama yesterday communicated his intent to issue an executive order stipulating that the Hyde amendment would apply to the health reform legislation, the lack of specific language upholding the Hyde Amendment in the legislation passed by the House remains a concern.

The Conference, through its Administrative Committee that is meeting this week, will consider what response should be made to the passage of the legislation.

2. Pope Benedict XVI's Letter to Church in Ireland -- In reading the Holy Father's letter to the Church in Ireland, one cannot help but feel the sadness and sorrow the Pope feels that so many "defenseless children" have been harmed within the household of faith. His words brought me back to me the times that I sat with victims of child abuse by priests or the parents of those who were abused to hear their hurt, their anger, their rightful demand that this will never happen again.
 
The Holy Father's words, "I am truly sorry," cannot heal the past, but they express "the shame and remorse that we all feel." His commitment is to see to it that the Church learns from this tragedy and makes a determined effort to address what led to this deeply sad chapter in the life of the Church.
 
Recently, I read an article in the Harvard Business Review (April, 2010), titled, "Leadership in the Age of Transparency," by Christopher Meyer and Julia Kirby. They challenge organizations whose actions have resulted in grave harm to take ownership, take action and take interest.
 
I believe this is exactly what the Holy Father is calling us to do and what the Church in our country has been striving to do for some time.
 
Take ownership. Harm has been done to far too many. Were only one child to have been abused it would be far too many, but to consider the numbers of children harmed is devastating. The response of those in authority "failed...grievously," as the Holy Father indicates. While there were many factors at play and while the culture saw things differently years ago, nevertheless, "it must be admitted that grave errors of judgment were made and failures of leadership occurred." We need to take ownership.
 
Take action. In our Dioceses and throughout the U.S., policies and procedures have been put in place to do whatever is reasonably possible to see that this does not happen again. Child abuse awareness and prevention education for children, parents and those working in the Church has taken place and continues on a regular basis. Criminal history checks and checks of references for all working in the Church are mandatory. Seminary screening has been intensified. The bishops of our country have commissioned studies to understand the nature and scope, causes and context of this situation. Such research will give direction for future action.
 
Take interest. The Church is not the only place where child abuse has happened or could happen. In our Diocese, Dr. Paul Duckro, head of our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, has been working with community organizations to address the many issues that relate to the causes of child abuse and how we respond. Child abuse remains a significant societal issue, and the Church needs to be at the forefront of taking what we have painfully learned and applying it in our communities.
 
The Holy Father calls us in Lent to repentance and to do penance for the harm that has occurred. Not only was child abuse a grievous crime, it was also a moral failing in the Church that needs to be repaired. We seek renewal, and we again express our profound sorrow and firm determination to continue to restore trust.
 
3. USCCB Administrative Committee
-- I am in Washington as this week begins for a meeting of the Conference's Administrative Committee.

Since the June meeting of the Conference will be a retreat with no business, this week's Administrative Committee meeting will have a lighter agenda. However, I am sure there will be much discussion of the House's vote on health care reform.
 
The Conference will elect a new General Secretary to replace Msgr. David Malloy in November. The search committee, which I am chairing, will present an overview of the process to the members of the Administrative Committee. The new General Secretary will begin as soon as possible to work with Msgr. Malloy, who will leave his responsibilities in June, 2011.
 
The Administrative Committee will discuss progress being made by the three task forces established by Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., president of the Conference, to develop dialogue between bishops and Catholic universities, bishops and communication media that are Catholic affiliated or that call themselves Catholic and bishops and organizations that call themselves Catholic.

4. Inaugural Dean Hoge Memorial Lecture
-- I am very honored to have been invited by the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America to give the inaugural Dean Hoge Annual Memorial Lecture this Wednesday in Washington.

Acknowledged by his peers as an eminent scholar of the study of religion in American society, Dean died of stomach cancer in September of 2008. A member of the sociology faculty of CUA for 32 years, he retired in 2006 as professor emeritus and as a fellow in CUA's Life Cycle Institute.

Just months before his death, in April of 2008, Dean was the guest presenter at our Convocation of Priests. Even though he was not feeling well at the Convocation, he shared with passion and with humor many observations from his years of research on the priesthood.

His obituary in a publication of the American Sociological Society quoted fellow sociologist Jackson Carroll of Duke University: "Those who study religious life in America owe a great debt to Dean, especially for his work on clergy. His unrelenting quest to provide reliable, accurate, and unbiased data for institutional decision-making is evident in all of his work. Moreover, his status as a Protestant observer in a Catholic institution -- an inside-outsider --gave him a credibility among Catholic leaders that was difficult to ignore."

In my lecture, I will share some reflections on aspects of his research on priests that I think have particular relevance in this Year for Priests.

5. Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- We are very pleased to welcome Kevin Appleby, director of the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to our Diocese this week.

Kevin will give a presentation at 7 p.m. this Thursday at St. Augustine Cathedral Hall on "Prospects for Immigration Reform: How the Church Can Make a Difference."

I encourage Catholics who are struggling with the Church's teaching on immigration to attend this gathering. Because there is so much misinformation about immigration and because it is such an emotional issue, opportunities like this can help us to better understand the complexities of the issues involved and how we might address these concerns as a nation.

Kevin has been deeply involved in the Conference's work on immigration, and he is well qualified to address questions and concerns.

6. Pastoral Center Staff Lenten Retreat Day
-- I will join the staff of our Pastoral Center this Friday for our Lenten Retreat Day. Father William Parker, C.Ss.R., director of the House of Prayer here in Tucson, will lead our day. He recently gave a day of prayer for our women and men religious and was very positively received.

7. Nuclear Weapons Panel Discussion Postponed
-- The panel discussion on the moral questions raised by the existence and use of nuclear weapons that was scheduled for this Friday evening at St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson has been postponed.

8. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will administer the Sacrament of Confirmation this Saturday morning at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson.

9. Safe Environment Program -- Compliance representatives from parishes in our Tucson area vicariates and near-by vicariates will gather this Saturday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson.

This regional gathering is one in a series presented by Dr. Paul Duckro, director of our diocesan Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, to prepare the compliance representatives for this year's audit of our Safe Environment Program that is required by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

I look forward to joining the compliance representatives for lunch and the beginning of their afternoon session. 

10. Legion of Mary Acies
-- "Acies" is a Latin word that was used in the time of the Roman Empire as the name for the front line of soldiers in a battle. It has come to mean the full attention, aim and focus that a person gives to something important. For the members of the Legion of Mary, Acies means their full attention, aim and focus is on Mary, our Blessed Mother. It is the name of the ceremony that members of the Legion hold each March to renew their fealty to Mary.

I will participate in this year's Acies of the Legion of Mary this Saturday afternoon at St. Ambrose Parish in Tucson.   
 
The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church. It has been active in our nation since 1931. The main purpose of the Legion of Mary is to give glory to God through the sanctification of its members by prayer, the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation and devotion to Mary and the Trinity.


My mother was a very active member of the Legion of Mary when I was growing up. I remember her reciting the Legion prayers every day, and she was very involved in encouraging others to join the Legion. I look forward to thanking those involved for their prayers and dedicated service.

11. 40 Days for Life Tucson -- I will join the members of Tucson 40 Days for Life this Sunday afternoon at Reid Park for the conclusion of their spring campaign to give prayerful witness in support of the dignity of life at sites where abortions are performed.

Nationally, this year's spring campaign of prayerful witness by members of 40 Days for Life took place in more than 200 cities in 44 states.

My thanks to Sunny Turner of Tucson 40 Days for Life for her dedicated witness to the sanctity of life.

12. Community Service, with "Relish"
-- Students at St. Francis of Assisi School in Yuma demonstrated their concern for the hungry in their community last week with a special drive to collect food for the Crossroads Mission, an organization that helps the homeless.

After learning that the Mission had received a big donation of hot dog buns but didn't have any hot dogs to put in them, the students brought in 240 packages of hot dogs -- that's about 2,500 hot dogs -- and presented them to the Mission on St. Patrick's Day. The Yuma Sun had a nice story about the drive. I am tempted to say the students "mustered" up their collective energy and performed the drive with "relish," but I won't.

I am very proud of St. Francis and all our Catholic schools for the community service projects they undertake, especially the projects they do in this Season of Lent.  

13. 2010 Annual Catholic Appeal -- As of Friday evening, we were at 66% of our goal for this year's campaign. We also were approaching 11,000 donors. Please continue to emphasize how important it is for all of our Catholic families to make a pledge, especially those that have not pledged in the past. The weekly report on parish pledge totals is available here.

14. Pews on the Move -- Workers last week began removing the pews from the south side of St. Augustine Cathedral so that painters can begin work on the walls of that part of the Cathedral.

There is a quite a contrast between the old pews on the south side and the new pews on the north side.

We are still giving away the old pews, so if you need a pew or two (or more), please contact our diocesan Property and Insurance Office at propins@diocesetucson.org.

Vol. 8, No. 4
March 29, 2010

Beginning yesterday with Palm Sunday, we have entered the holiest of weeks.

This week, we conclude our Lenten journey.

This week, we walk into the Upper Room and see our Lord holding bread and wine in His hands. We hear him say, "Do this in memory of Me."

This week, we walk into the garden and hear Him ask us to watch with Him and pray.

This week, we walk the way of His cross. We hear Him exclaim in His dying breath, "It is finished!"

This week, we walk to His tomb that is sealed by a huge rock and guarded by a soldier.

This week, we light a candle to dispel the darkness of death.

Look within this week. Make this a week of prayer and participation in the most solemn and sacred liturgies of the year.

Tonight, we will gather as a diocesan community of faith in St. Joseph Church (Broadway and Craycroft in Tucson) for our annual Chrism Mass. This special liturgy brings together people from every parish in our Diocese. At the liturgy, I will bless the three oils used in our parishes in the year ahead.
 
The Oil of Catechumens will be used at the Easter Vigil for those coming into the Church through Baptism and at all the Baptisms held this year.
 
The Oil of the Sick will be used by our priests to anoint those who are seriously ill. This Oil brings healing and comfort to those who suffer.
 
The Sacred Chrism is used in three sacraments -- Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders -- will be solemnly blessed at the service. Olive oil mixed with perfume forms the Sacred Chrism through which the Spirit anoints those who will serve the Church.
 
During the beautiful liturgy of the Chrism Mass, we also witness the renewal of the promises made by our priests at their ordination. This is especially powerful during this Year for Priests during which we are acknowledging the dedicated service of our priests day by day in our parishes.
 
This year's Chrism Mass also reflects the Year for Priests and our Annual Catholic Appeal through the theme we selected for the liturgy, "Together with Our Priests, To Love and Serve One Another."
 
Through the generosity of our Arizona Knights of Columbus, our priests will be wearing new vestments. State Deputy Herb Maddock and the Arizona State Council of the Knights were most thoughtful in presenting this gift to our priests to mark the Year for Priests.

The vestments are embossed with the red Missionary Cross that you see on our diocesan ecclesiastical shield. The cross symbolizes the missionary era of our Diocese, especially our founding missionary, Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J. 

This week, the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) brings us into the journey of Christ from the meal shared with His friends at which the Eucharist was instituted to the empty tomb and the "Alleluia's" of Easter.

I hope you will participate in your parish celebrations of the Triduum and make these liturgies your prayer during Holy Week. The liturgies of the Triduum and the Solemnity of Easter are marvelous occasions to understand more fully the love the Lord holds for us in that He gave His very life for us.

Here is my schedule for this week and the Sacred Triduum:

Monday of Holy Week, Diocesan Chrism Mass, 6:30 p.m., St. Joseph Parish, Tucson.

Wednesday of Holy Week, Penance Service, 7 p.m., St. Augustine Cathedral.

Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord's Supper, 7 p.m., St. Augustine Cathedral.

Good Friday, Celebration of the Lord's Passion, noon, St. Augustine Cathedral; Way of the Cross Procession, 3 p.m., from San Cosme Mission to St. Augustine Cathedral.

Holy Saturday: The Great Vigil of Easter, 7 p.m., St. Augustine Cathedral.

1. Restoring Trust -- The recent reports of more cases of sexual abuse of children by priests in Ireland and in countries in Europe saddens, angers and shames us. As Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, wrote, "The child abuse committed within the Catholic Church and its concealment is deeply shocking and totally unacceptable. I am ashamed of what has happened." I share his feelings.
 
While these instances of abuse happened many years ago and are only now being reported, they rightly shock and upset us. Even if one child were abused it would be tragic, but it is hard to fathom and comprehend that so many were harmed. We ask why more was not done, why these priests could continue in ministry, why the bishops did not report these crimes or deal with the situations more decisively.
 
The Holy Father rightly described his feelings of abhorrence at what happened and has called the Church to address this tragic situation directly and forcibly. Victims need to come forward so that the Church can express its deep sorrow for what occurred and provide opportunities for healing. Allegations of abuse must be turned over to civil authorities for proper investigation. Any priest who has harmed a child can never return to ministry.
 
In addressing our struggles in the Diocese of Tucson, I found the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed then by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, attentive and concerned. When I visited the Congregation to emphasize the seriousness of several situations here, they responded. Cardinal Ratzinger and his staff demonstrated they understood the enormity and seriousness of our situation.
 
Our Church has learned a painful lesson. We need to take ownership of what happened. We need to continue to provide safe environments for our children and vulnerable adults. We need to become champions in the effort raise awareness of and to prevent child abuse.
 
Last week, I met with a number of our compliance representatives at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson. I thanked them for the hard work they are doing to monitor the screening of personnel and volunteers, our programs for the personal safety education of children and their parents and our education on the child abuse mandatory reporting law. With our pastors and principals, our compliance representatives have made the safety of children a priority. They are helping to restore trust that has been so badly damaged.
 
In our Diocese, I promised victims of child abuse by priests and workers for the Church that we would do whatever possible to make sure that what happened to them will not happen to others. I only wish the past could be changed, but we cannot. Nevertheless, we must make the present and future different, and much is being done to assure that.

2. Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- More than 120 people attended last week's presentation by Kevin Appleby, director of the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on "Prospects for Immigration Reform: How the Church Can Make a Difference." 

Kevin's presentation gave the context of our Church's advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform.

While it is not clear at this point what priority the Obama Administration may give to immigration policy reform, it remains a critical issue that needs to be addressed sooner than later.

Complicating the search for solutions to problems raised by the immigration is the continuing violence in Mexico that is related to drug and weapons trafficking. We continue to hear discouraging news about the violence in Nogales, Sonora. This is a serious concern that reinforces our determination to address the violence propagated by the drug cartels in Mexico and by those involved in gun smuggling from our country into Mexico

3. Border Immersion Experience -- We welcome students and their advisers from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California, to our Diocese this week as they spend their spring break studying, witnessing and experiencing the phenomenal migration on the border of Arizona and Mexico and the problems the migration causes for our border communities. Being at the border, listening and looking, will teach them much about the realities of life on the border.

I will visit with the students and their advisers tomorrow evening and share with them the perspective of our Diocese on the complex realities of the migration.

4. Health Care Reform ­-- In a statement approved unanimously last week by the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., president of the Conference, urges vigilance by the U.S. Congress and Catholics nationwide to make sure promises are kept that new health care reform legislation will not expand abortion in our country.
The statement notes that the U.S. Catholic bishops applaud the legislation's effort to expand health care for U.S. citizens.
"Nevertheless," the statement says, "for whatever good this law achieves or intends, we as Catholic bishops have opposed its passage because there is compelling evidence that it would expand the role of the federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion.

"Its failure to preserve the legal status quo that has regulated the government's relation to abortion, as did the original bill adopted by the House of Representatives last November, could undermine what has been the law of our land for decades and threatens the consensus of the majority of Americans: that federal funds not be used for abortions or plans that cover abortions."

The statement further notes, "The statute is also profoundly flawed because it has failed to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protections (both within and beyond the abortion context). As well, many immigrant workers and their families could be left worse off since they will not be allowed to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges to be created, even if they use their own money."

I encourage you to read the entire statement. Our Conference will monitor the implementation of the legislation as its provisions become effective over the next few years.

5. Forty Days for Life -- Forty Days For Life Tucson ended its spring campaign yesterday with prayer and a celebration at Tucson's Reid Park. The campaign, one of many across our country, hopes to help women to see alternatives to having an abortion. The campaign holds prayerful witness outside abortion clinics.

Joanne Welter, director of our diocesan Catholic Social Mission Office, joined me at the gathering in Reid Park.  I thanked the members of the group and their leader, Sunny Turner, for their passion on behalf of life and their courage in giving witness to the value of the life of the unborn.
 
Our Church's advocacy for the sanctity of life begins with the protection of the life and extends to those who suffer from poverty, those sentenced to death for crimes, those who must leave their homes as migrants, those who are vulnerable because of disabilities and those who are approaching the end of life.

6. Visit to St. Thomas the Apostle Pre-School -- I look forward to visiting the children of St. Thomas the Apostle Pre-School in Tucson tomorrow. Pre-schoolers have a wonderful way of looking at the world, and I always feel I learn as much from them as they do from me.

7. Annual Catholic Appeal -- Last week, we reached 70% of our $3.7 million goal in pledges.

If we are to make goal and be able to fully fund the 26 charities and ministries that depend upon the Appeal, we must invite those who have not yet made a pledge to join the more than 11,000 families in our parishes who have.

I encourage our pastors this weekend to make a brief report on how the parish is doing in the Appeal. That report can be an effective platform for inviting those who have not yet pledged to do so.

If you sometimes wonder if our message is getting through about supporting the Appeal, perhaps this experience of Father Liam Leahy, pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Tucson, will encourage you.

Father Liam told me that he recently was talking to some of the children of his parish, and he asked the group if anyone knew the last name of the Bishop. Father Liam said one young fellow excitedly raised his hand, and when Father Liam recognized him, he proudly said, "The Bishop's last name is Appeal."

As Father Liam says, "No charge!"

8. April Issue of The New Vision -- This weekend, as we experience packed churches, I ask our pastors to make a special effort to promote readership of the April issue of The New Vision and to distribute the paper with their parish bulletins.

I am going to hold up a copy of The New Vision at the end of the Masses I celebrate this weekend and say, "You know, there is a lot of good news about our Church and the good things we do in the name of our Faith that you would never know about if you only read certain newspapers. Here's a newspaper full of good news! It's your newspaper, and it's full of your good news! Please take a copy home and read it. You will feel proud of your Church! And, you'll get a good laugh when you see the Bishop of Tucson trying to use a Hula Hoop."

9. Bishop Francis Quinn "Busy As Ever" -- The Sacramento Bee recently had a story about Bishop Francis Quinn, a dear friend to so many of us who is living in an assisted living facility. 

Reporter Jennifer Garza began her story with this scene:

Bishop Francis Quinn arrived at the chapel with his liturgical book in his hand and a slight ache in his lower back. He took a seat near the door. His thoughts drifted back, as they often do, to when he preached at churches all over Northern California.

But then an elderly woman tapped her cane against his chair and jolted him back to the present.

"Are you ready, Bishop?" she asked.

Quinn broke into a sly smile. "I'd better be. It's not like I have a lot of time."

As I read that, it was almost like I was hearing his gentle voice. It's clear that his wonderful sense of humor is still going strong.

Now 88 years old and approaching his 65th anniversary of ordination, Bishop Quinn is an exemplar of how much priesthood matters.

My thanks to John Shaheen, manager of our diocesan Property and Insurance Office, for letting us know about the story, which you can read here.

10. Spring Break for Monday Memo -- Monday Memo will take a spring break next Monday.

Looking ahead:

I will join my brother bishops of Region XIII next week at the campus of the University of San Diego for our traditional Easter retreat.

I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation next week on Friday evening at St. Pius X Parish in Tucson, on Saturday afternoon for Holy Cross Parish in Morenci and Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton at Holy Cross Parish and on Sunday evening for St. Andrew the Apostle Parish and Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista, St. Patrick Parish in Bisbee and St. Michael Mission in Naco at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish.

On Saturday, April 10, I will join Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of the Diocese Las Cruces and Father Juan Sosa of the Archdiocese of Miami to share prayer and reflection on "To Love and Serve one Another: Living the Call of Christ in the World Today." We will reflect on the ways in which we accomplish this call in our homes, with our families, in the workplace, in our parish communities, our neighborhoods and for the world. 

This event at San Miguel High School in Tucson is sponsored by our diocesan Hispanic Commission, and the $10 fee includes lunch. More information and registration is available here.

11. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Kirsten Sandstrom, the oldest daughter of Deacon Gary and Barbara Pasquinelli of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma, who died last Thursday. Please keep the Pasquinelli Family in your prayers. Kirsten leaves behind her loving husband and three sons, her parents and many others who loved her deeply.