March 7, 2011 March 14, 2011 March 21, 2011 March 28, 2011

Vol. 8, No. 41
March 7, 2011

How can I change what is in my life that is selfish?

How can I change what is in my life that is self-centered?

How can I change what is in my life that prevents me from living the love of Christ?

How can I change what is in my life that separates me from the Church's teaching on the dignity and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death?

Selfless love is how we affect the changes that we long to make, struggle to make.

Lent teaches us the way of selfless love.

It is the Way of the Cross.

It is the journey we begin this Wednesday when we accept a cross of ashes on our foreheads to signify that yes, we are selfish; yes, we are self-centered; yes, we want to change; yes, we want love selflessly, to live the love of Christ.

"Our Journey toward Selfless Love" is our diocesan theme for this Lent, and our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, gives us a great send-off for this journey in his message for this Lent by telling us, "Lent teaches us how to live the love of Christ in an ever more radical way."

And, our Holy Father tells us in his message about the companions we must have on our Lenten journey toward selfless love: Fasting, Almsgiving and Prayer.

"Fasting, which can have various motivations, takes on a profoundly religious significance for the Christian: by rendering our table poorer, we learn to overcome selfishness in order to live in the logic of gift and love; by bearing some form of deprivation -- and not just what is in excess -- we learn to look away from our "ego", to discover Someone close to us and to recognize God in the face of so many brothers and sisters. For Christians, fasting, far from being depressing, opens us ever more to God and to the needs of others, thus allowing love of God to become also love of our neighbor (cf. Mk 12: 31).

"In our journey, we are often faced with the temptation of accumulating and love of money that undermine God's primacy in our lives. The greed of possession leads to violence, exploitation and death; for this, the Church, especially during the Lenten period, reminds us to practice Almsgiving -- which is the capacity to share. The idolatry of goods, on the other hand, not only causes us to drift away from others, but divests man, making him unhappy, deceiving him, deluding him without fulfilling its promises, since it puts materialistic goods in the place of God, the only source of life. How can we understand God's paternal goodness, if our heart is full of egoism and our own projects, deceiving us that our future is guaranteed? The temptation is to think, just like the rich man in the parable: "My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come…" We are all aware of the Lord's judgment: "Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul…" (Lk 12: 19-20). The practice of almsgiving is a reminder of God's primacy and turns our attention towards others, so that we may rediscover how good our Father is, and receive his mercy.

"During the entire Lenten period, the Church offers us God's Word with particular abundance. By meditating and internalizing the Word in order to live it every day, we learn a precious and irreplaceable form of Prayer; by attentively listening to God, who continues to speak to our hearts, we nourish the itinerary of faith initiated on the day of our Baptism. Prayer also allows us to gain a new concept of time: without the perspective of eternity and transcendence, in fact, time simply directs our steps towards a horizon without a future. Instead, when we pray, we find time for God, to understand that his "words will not pass away" (cf. Mk 13: 31), to enter into that intimate communion with Him "that no one shall take from you" (Jn 16: 22), opening us to the hope that does not disappoint, eternal life.

"In synthesis, the Lenten journey, in which we are invited to contemplate the Mystery of the Cross, is meant to reproduce within us "the pattern of his death" (Ph 3: 10), so as to effect a deep conversion in our lives; that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly orient our existence according to the will of God; that we may be freed of our egoism, overcoming the instinct to dominate others and opening us to the love of Christ. The Lenten period is a favorable time to recognize our weakness and to accept, through a sincere inventory of our life, the renewing Grace of the Sacrament of Penance, and walk resolutely towards Christ."

I encourage you to read the Holy Father's message. He has a beautiful exegesis of the readings for the Sundays of Lent and he shares a reflection on the "particular connection" of Baptism to Lent. 

As the Holy Father articulated so well, Lent is a teacher. I write in my column in The New Vision for this month that Lent truly is a teachable moment, and it is my hope that this Lent will be a teaching moment for us about what our Church teaches about the dignity and sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death.

Also, I hope this Lent will be an opportunity for our respect life and social justice ministries and movements and our spiritual movements within our Diocese to explore together Church teaching on the dignity and sanctity of human life. I am inviting leaders of these ministries and movements to gather for conversations on how we can more effectively work together to advocate for and raise awareness of the Church's teachings on the dignity and sanctity of human life.

Last week, I offered to our pastors, administrators and pastoral administrators reflections and resources that I encouraged them to share with their people about "Our Journey toward Selfless Love." Each Monday during Lent, I will share these reflections here. Also, the reflections and resources for "Our Journey toward Selfless Love" will be available on our diocesan Web site's special pages for Lent.

I am grateful to Joanne Welter, director of our diocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity, and to Father Domenico Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction and my liaison for Life Issues, for their help with the reflections and resources sent to our parishes for Lent.

1. Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion -- At the beginning of each Lenten season, it is my joy to welcome the men and women, children and families who have answered the call of Christ to follow Him in the fullness of faith of the Catholic Church.

And, what a joy it will be to celebrate two of our three liturgies for the Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion in our newly renovated St. Augustine Cathedral.

This year, we will have 211 catechumens, the Elect, who will be baptized, confirmed and receive Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil in their parishes, and 348 Candidates, the already baptized, who will renew the promises of their Baptism and continue their conversion by receiving the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil in their parishes. (Last year, there were 184 Elect and 300 Candidates.)
With them for this important event in their lives will be their families, their sponsors, their pastors and the directors of the Rite of Christian Initiation and teams from the 40 parishes where the Elect and the Candidates have been in preparation.

We will celebrate this beautiful liturgy at 3:30 p.m. this Sunday in our Cathedral; at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 18, at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma; and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, in our Cathedral. I am grateful to Father Javier Perez, pastor, and the community of Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, for hosting the liturgy on March 18 for the parishes of the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate.

2. Operation Rice Bowl -- Almsgiving in Lent is a way to deepen our journey toward selfless love. Operation Rice Bowl, the annual Lenten program of Catholic Relief Services, helps to connect us to people around the world who are starving and suffering. Most of us cannot go to Haiti or Sudan or troubled areas around the world, but we can take part in our Church's efforts to reach out to those suffering around the world.

Fasting in solidarity with those who hunger, putting the money they would have spent on a big meal into the rice bowls, they follow the Lenten call to sacrifice by learning about our brothers and sisters living in poverty and by making sacrificial contributions that will help them improve their lives.

This year's Operation Rice Bowl theme, "We are Disciples of all Nations," reflects our baptismal call to reach out beyond our needs to respond to the needs of others.

Here at the Pastoral Center, our annual display for Operation Rice Bowl invites our participation, and I am pleased to see the Operation Rice Bowl displays at many of our parishes and schools.

3. Lenten Invitation to "Come Home" -- I appreciate greatly the efforts of our parishes to reach out to Catholics who feel distanced from the practice of their faith to "come home" during Lent.

St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson is extending this invitation:

Confused? Inactive? Alienated? This is your invitation to consider Coming Home Again. (We've MISSED you.)

If you've been away from the Church or are drifting away from it; if you've been hurt by the Church or someone in it, or are confused or angry because of your Catholic experience, please consider our invitation to come and talk with us.

A six-week series begins at St. Cyril's, Pima and Swan, Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. Please come to the Activity Center, which is the building due east of the Church. Phone 795-1633 for information and one of the team members will contact you. No cost. No obligation

I think this is an excellent example of the importance of invitation: simple, to the point and personal.

4. Georgetown University Students Visit -- A group of 12 Georgetown University students and their advisors are visiting our Diocese to learn about immigration and about the needs of Native American Catholics. The students will spend some time with the Yaqui People of the Yoem Pueblo and will see the ministries of BorderLinks and the Kino Border Initiative.

I will celebrate Mass with the students this morning and hear from them about what they have experienced.

5. Knight of Columbus Priests Appreciation Dinner -- The Tucson Councils of the Knights of Columbus will host their annual Priests Appreciation Dinner this evening at St. Pius X Parish in Tucson. It is a great feeling to know you are appreciated, and the Knights do a great job of that throughout our Diocese. I look forward to being with the Knights and our priests this evening.

6. Day of Recollection -- I am honored to have been invited to lead a Lenten Day of Recollection tomorrow for the seminarians of St. John Seminary in Camarillo, California.

7. Honoring the Life and Legacy of "Our Padre on Horseback" -- This March 15 will be the 300th anniversary of the death of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, the extraordinary astronomer, cartographer, rancher, farmer and missionary who evangelized and explored the Pimería Alta region of northern Sonora and southern Arizona.

This month, in collaboration with the Kino Heritage Society and the many admirers of Padre Kino in our Diocese and throughout southern Arizona, we will honor and celebrate the life of this extraordinary and legendary priest whose cause for sainthood is under consideration by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

I am very pleased that our Archives is hosting a special exhibit about Padre Kino. We will formally open the exhibit this Thursday evening. The exhibit will be open to the public through May 30. Last Saturday, historian Jim Turner gave a presentation about Padre Kino as Arizona's first pioneer.

This Saturday, I will join Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona for a 3 p.m. ecumenical service in commemoration of Padre Kino at San José de Tumacácori Mission in the Tumacácori National Historical Park. Padre Kino established the mission in 1691.

Also this Saturday, our Diocese and St. Augustine Cathedral will host a concert at 7 p.m. by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra of works in honor of Padre Kino.

This Sunday, the noon Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral will be a celebration of thanksgiving for the life and legacies of Padre Kino. It will be my joy to concelebrate the Mass with Father Chris Corbally, S.J., Father Eduardo Fernandez, S.J.; Father Sean Carrol, S.J.; Father Ermeregildo Saldana-Taneco, S.T., and other priests of our Diocese.  
The Mass will include a procession representing the "Gifts of Padre Kino" to our region: a saddle, wheat, abalone shells, gourds, fruit, corn, maps and a Bible.  Local Native American and historical groups will participate in the procession, among them Los Descendientes de Tucson, the Irish American Club, the San Ignacio Capilla and the San Xavier Basket Dancers.

Information about the events in honor of Padre Kino is available here.

Our prayer is that Padre Kino will be canonized. He was a great and holy man, and I encourage those who are suffering from illness to seek his intercession in prayer.

(And speaking of Jesuit astronomers, I thank Katie Steinke of the Vatican Observatory Foundation for letting us know that a radio program featuring Father George Coyne, S.J., head of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, and Brother Guy Consolmangno, S.J., of the Vatican Observatory, is available online. "Asteroids, Stars and the Love of God," aired on many public radio stations last year as part of the "On Being" program series.) You can listen to the program here.)

8. Safe Environment Program  -- The effectiveness of our diocesan Safe Environment Program relies upon the committed efforts of all in our parishes and schools and within the Administrative Offices of the Diocese to make the safety of children our foremost responsibility.

The members of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board provide critical support for our efforts to keep children safe. I rely so much on the consultation of the Review Board. In addition to their on-going review of how we respond to any allegations of abuse from any source, they provide oversight and guidance as to how we can better implement our Safe Environment Program to prevent harm to children, adolescents, elders and any adult we serve.

Charlotte Harris, chairperson of our Board, will be absent from out meeting this Thursday as she continues to support her husband, Mike, as he and their family face his serious health situation. David McEvoy, vice-chair, will lead the meeting.
9. 2011 Annual Catholic Appeal -- As we approach the mid-point of this year's campaign, I am very encouraged that we have reached 48% of our $3.7 million goal.

The $1,777,520 pledged so generously by our parishioners is especially inspiring as so many continue to feel the effects of our struggling economy and the recent rise in many consumer prices.

This Friday, the Board of Directors of our Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund will meet. We will receive updates this year's Annual Catholic Appeal campaign, Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future diocesan renewal campaign and the Treasures of the Heart Campaign for St. Augustine Cathedral.

Father Ricky Ordonez, our diocesan director of Vocations, will join us to talk about the ministry of vocations and seminarian education, which is one of the 26 charities and ministries funded by the Appeal.

10. Arco Iris Retreat -- Arco iris is Spanish for "rainbow," and the vibrant colors of the rainbow were reflected Saturday at Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales in the energy of the members of Arco Iris Youth Ministry. As I looked out at more than 400 teens who gathered with their parents and youth leaders, I saw vibrant enthusiasm for the faith.

I felt such great joy knowing their love of the Lord and their desire to actively participate in the Church. These young people come from San Judas Tadeo Parish in San Luis, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Neumann and Immaculate Conception Parishes in Yuma, Sacred Heart and San Felipe de Jesus Parishes in Nogales and from St. Monica Parish in Tucson. They were on fire for Christ!
I joined Father Martin Martinez, the diocesan director of Arco Iris, Father Vili Villderama, Father Gustavo Benitez, Father Eduardo Lopez, Father Emilio Chapa, Father Sean Carroll, S.J., Father Jerry Myers, Father Abram Guerrero, Father Oscar Magallanes, Father Jesus Acuna and Father Ricky Ordonez at the retreat. We all were impressed by the devotion and enthusiasm of these young people, a number of whom are thinking about the possibility of a vocation in the service of the Church as priests or religious.
During the retreat, Father Martin and Father Ricky, our diocesan director of Vocations, talked with young adults, now college students, who had been involved in Arco Iris in high school about the possibility of forming vocation discernment groups. Arco Iris II, a young Catholic adult ministry, resulted from their conversation. This new ministry will provide opportunities for them to pray and reflect on what they want to do with their lives.
I was very encouraged and inspired being with these young people who hold such promise for the future of the Church even as they are involved right now in praying and doing for others.

11. A Night of Tribute for Father Cyprian -- Priesthood matters, and pastoral ministry makes a difference. That was abundantly clear Saturday night at the Tucson Convention Center Saturday when the Grand Ballroom was filled parishioners and priests honored Father Cyprian Killackey, O.C.D., for his 59 years of priesthood and his 41 years of service in our Diocese, most of them at St. Margaret Mary and Santa Cruz Parishes in Tucson.
Cane in hand, the 85-year-old Father Cyprian spoke gently, expressing the joy he has had and continues to have in serving God's people.
Cardinal John O'Connor once said at an ordination that a priest will find joy in his ministry if he attends to three things: first, love your people; second, love your people; third, love your people.
Father Cyprian clearly loves his people. He has served them graciously and generously. Clearly, they have come to love and respect him in return.
Congratulations to Father Philip Sullivan, O.C.D., pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish, who planned this first annual benefit dinner to honor and recognize the work of the Discalced Carmelites at St. Margaret Mary and Santa Cruz Parishes.
12. Eight Years ago Today -- When Bishop Manuel Moreno told me in 2003 that he was ready to retire, he blessed me and promised me his support and encouragement. I enjoyed working with him when I was coadjutor bishop, a responsibility in which you have to make few decisions and can relish serving people without alienating anyone by your decisions. I always felt Bishop Moreno's love and support. I learned a lot from his gentle episcopal leadership.
Today is the eighth anniversary of the beginning of my episcopacy as the sixth Bishop of Tucson. These eight years have been a blessed time for me. We have been through difficult times and joy-filled times. I feel very much that our Diocese is my family, and I am very proud to be a family member of this community of faith.
I am grateful for those whose support has meant so much to me in these past eight years. So many priests, religious, deacons, and laity of our Diocese have joined with me in initiating new programs to further the mission of Christ. I ask forgiveness of those whom I may have hurt by some decision or some comment. I ask your continued prayers for me as together we continue our journey toward selfless love to become true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Vol. 9, No. 1
March 14, 2011

Selfless love -- to love as Christ loves -- calls us to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are suffering.

We are witnessing the terrible suffering of the people of Japan. The awful images of devastation from the earthquakes and the tsunamis prompt our prayers and make us want to do something to help.

Catholic Relief Services, the overseas relief agency of our Church in the U.S., invites us to pray and provides us a way to help.

From Catholic Relief Services:

Catholic Relief Services, standing in solidarity with those left reeling by this disaster, is providing assistance in Japan through our sister agency, Caritas Japan. We are ready to respond to others affected in the Asia Pacific region.

"A tsunami has hit our people. A tidal wave has come to overwhelm our lives. We are still in shock over what has happened," Father Koichi Otaki of the Diocese of Niigata told the Fides News Agency.

 "The tsunami reminds us of the precariousness of life," Father Otaki says. "Solidarity and assistance to the victims will certainly be our Lenten commitment."

May that also be our Lenten commitment.

Catholic Relief Services invites us to pray:

Heavenly Father,

Embrace our brothers and sisters devastated by the powerful quaking of the earth and the resulting tsunamis in Japan.

Welcome the dead into Your Kingdom and comfort the heartbroken.

Guide and speed the efforts of the rescue workers and those working to secure the nuclear power plants. Keep them safe.

Help us to respond with selfless love to this terrible tragedy and to all who suffer in our world.


As chairman of the Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors, I have written to all of the Bishops in the U.S. to ask them to invite their people to generously support the efforts of Catholic Relief Services to aid the people and the Church in Japan at this time of crisis.

I invite our pastors to take up a collection this coming weekend and to send the contributions to the Diocese, indicating that they are for the support of Catholic Relief Services' response to the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and its region.

If you wish, you can visit the Catholic Relief Service Web site to make your contribution online.

From Catholic News Service this morning:

VATICAN CITY -- Saying he, too, was horrified by the images of the death and destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Pope Benedict XVI has asked people to join him in praying for the victims.

"May the bereaved and injured be comforted and may the rescue workers be strengthened in their efforts to assist the courageous Japanese people," the Pope said in English after reciting the Angelus prayer yesterday with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

Speaking in Italian after the Angelus, the pope said, "The images of the tragic earthquake and the consequent tsunami in Japan have left us deeply horrified.

"I want to renew my spiritual closeness to that country's dear people, who with dignity and courage are dealing with the consequences of the calamity. I pray for the victims and their families and for all who are suffering because of these terrible events. I encourage all those who, with laudable speed, are working to bring help. Let us remain united in prayer."

Bishop Marcellino Daiji Tani of Saitama, one of the dioceses hit hardest by the disaster, told the Catholic missionary news agency Fides that the catastrophe is a reminder that "life is in the hands of God and that life is a gift from God," and he described the tragedy as a challenge for Christians during Lent "to practice and witness to the commandment of love and brotherly love."

He also told Fides, "Of particular concern to us is the situation of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. But we must take courage, with the help of the Holy Spirit."

1. Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion -- One of my very favorite responsibilities as Bishop is to celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. I feel as proud as a new parent when I welcome those who are seeking a closer relationship with the Lord, desiring to become part of our household of faith.
Yesterday afternoon, in our newly renovated Cathedral, it was a special delight for me to look out on those eager to deepen their involvement in the Church. They came from 17 parishes. On my left were the 96 Catechumens who are discerning if they want to be baptized and on my right were the 164 Candidates who seek full initiation into the Church.

Next to the Catechumens and Candidates sat their sponsors, who showed such joy in their faces. They are walking the journey with these Catechumens and Candidates, encouraging, supporting and learning with them.
Above them, recessed into the curved ceiling of the Cathedral, they could see the tiles bearing symbols of our faith, of the Evangelists and of the first missionaries who brought the faith to our region, including Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J. When they stood, it was as if they were being enveloped by those who have gone before them in faith, all welcoming them into the faith that is calling them to live in hope and love.
When I asked the families of the Catechumens and Candidates, who helped fill the Cathedral, whether they approved of those who had come forward in this Rite of Initiation and Call to Continuing Conversion, they responded with thunderous applause.
As I shook the hand of each Catechumen and Candidate, I could see their excitement. Their journey to faith inspires all of us to deepen our faith in this Lenten season.

We will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this Friday evening at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma for the parishes of the Yuma -  La Paz Vicariate. This Sunday at 3 p.m., we will celebrate our second liturgy at St. Augustine Cathedral for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.

2. Pastoral Visits, Celebrations, Confirmations in Yuma - La Paz Vicariate -- Each March, I make an extended visit to the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate, and I am on my way to Yuma this morning for this year's visit. (On the way, I always enjoy stopping at the Shell Gas Station outside Gila Bend to browse the curio department.)

I love visiting the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. The faith is vibrant there. Our schools and parishes are large and growing. Our priests work well together and support and encourage one another. I enjoy running along the canals in Yuma and joining with the people in the celebrations that mean so much to them. It is a blessed time.
Tonight, I will join the priests, deacons and sisters of the vicariate at the Knights of Columbus Hall for the Knight's annual Religious Appreciation Dinner.

Tomorrow morning, I will visit Yuma Catholic High School and celebrate Mass with the students, faculty and staff. Tomorrow evening, I will celebrate the first of two Confirmations at Immaculate Conception Parish.

Wednesday, I will meet in the morning with the School Board of Yuma Catholic High School. In the evening, I will celebrate Confirmation at St. Francis of Assisi Parish.

Thursday morning, I will celebrate Mass with the students, faculty and staff of St. Francis of Assisi School. Thursday afternoon, I will visit the Yuma Regional Medical Center. Thursday evening, I will celebrate Confirmation at Immaculate Conception Parish.

Friday morning, I will celebrate Mass with the students, faculty and staff of Immaculate Conception School. In the evening, we will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at Immaculate Conception Parish.

Saturday morning, I will have breakfast with the deacons of the vicariate. Early Saturday afternoon, I will celebrate Confirmation at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton. Late Saturday afternoon, I will celebrate Confirmation at St. John Neumann Parish. After Mass, it will be my joy to dedicate the new parish hall at St. John Neumann Parish.

I will meet with priests of the vicariate between the scheduled visits and events.

3. Honoring the Life and Legacy of "Our Padre on Horseback" -- Led by the Kino Heritage Society, our community's observances for the 300th anniversary of the death of Padre Eusebio Kino, S.J., continue this week.

The observances began last week with the opening Thursday evening of a special exhibit at our Diocese of Tucson Archives. I am grateful to the members of the executive board of the Kino Heritage Society, Ernie Nedder, our Chancellor, Betty Wittenberg of the Archives, Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista, and to Gene and Anne Mundt who helped prepare the exhibit's marvelous panels.

The creativity of the panels showing the missionary achievements and adventures of Padre Kino was much appreciated by the nearly 100 persons who attended the opening. It was a wonderful evening. The exhibit is open to public without charge until May 30. I encourage you to visit the exhibit. You will learn a lot about Padre Kino and become acquainted with our Archives.

Saturday afternoon, I joined Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona for an ecumenical service in commemoration of Padre Kino at San José de Tumacácori Mission in the Tumacácori National Historical Park. Padre Kino established the mission in 1691, and I was delighted that Father Martin McIntosh, S.J., of the Mexican Province of Jesuits, was present.

For me, the service was further evidence of just how ecumenical the "Our" in "Our Padre on Horseback" is. Bishop Smith told me that he holds special regard for Padre Kino. He said Padre Kino's missionary spirit has inspired him in his efforts to evangelize in his diocese. He indicated that he hopes the Episcopal Church will recognize and honor Padre Kino by making him a saint in the Anglican tradition.

For years, the many admirers of Padre Kino's life and legacy have counted in their number many persons who are not Catholic. For instance, I learned last week that Professor Frank C. Lockwood of the University of Arizona, who was a great student of Padre Kino's life and who led the effort in the late 1920s and the 1930s to establish Tucson's first public memorial to Padre Kino, was an ordained Methodist minister.

The unveiling and dedication of the memorial was on Sunday, March 15, 1936, the 225th anniversary of Padre Kino's death. So, tomorrow, the 300th anniversary of Padre Kino's death, is the 75th anniversary of the memorial's unveiling and dedication. The memorial is located next to Tucson City Hall. You can learn more about the memorial's history here.

Saturday evening in St. Augustine Cathedral, the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra presented a concert of symphonic music in honor of Padre Kino. Father Chris Corbally, S.J., of the Vatican Observatory, welcomed everyone to the Cathedral for the concert and shared with the audience the pride the Jesuits feel for their great missionary.

The concert was magnificent. The newly renovated sanctuary of our Cathedral was a perfect setting for the orchestra and chorus, with the sacred art and design elements in harmony with their beautiful music. The audience was delighted.
I could only think how good it would be if we had more occasions to use our Cathedral and the Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo Placita for concerts and community events. Throughout history, churches have often been the venue for performances of great music and have inspired composers. That came through Saturday night in a brilliant way.

Yesterday, the Cathedral's noon Mass was our Catholic Community's celebration of thanksgiving for the life and legacy of Padre Kino, and I was very pleased to have a number of Jesuit concelebrate the Mass with me, including Father Paul Mueller, Superior of the Jesuits in Tucson, Father Chris Corbally of the Vatican Observatory, and Father James Flaherty and Father Eduardo Fernandez, who are visiting. Also concelebrating were Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector of St. Augustine Cathedral, Father Pat Crino, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson, and from Italy Father Domenico Calarco, S.J., vice postulator for Padre Kino's cause, and Father Fortunato Turrini from the Archdiocese of Trent. Father Jay Jensen, parochial vicar at the Cathedral, served as our master of ceremonies.
In my homily, I reflected on how revered and respected Padre Kino is in our community. Bearing the name Kino are a parkway, a sports complex and stadium, an apartment complex, a teen center, a school, an insurance agency, a weed and seed business, a restaurant, a termite and pest control business, a self storage company, a hospital, a golf course, a post office and a real estate company. Padre Kino was an incredible multi-tasker: an astronomer, a cartographer, a rancher, a farmer who brought the mission fig and zinfandel grapes to the New World. Most importantly, he was a holy man who taught Christ, preached Christ and witnessed Christ, bringing so many into the faith. What a beautiful way to celebrate the First Sunday of Lent, recalling the life of this holy man who did much good.
It was a joy to see members of the Tohono O'odham and Yaqui Nations represented at the celebration. Padre Kino led their ancestors to know the Lord, and they rejoice in their heritage and their Catholic faith.

This commemoration of Padre Kino is an especially joyful time for the Jesuits serving in our Diocese. We remember Father Charles Polzer, S.J., who lived in Tucson and taught at the University of Arizona. He was a leading scholar of Padre Kino and was among those who discovered his remains in Magdalena in 1965. He also led the international effort to place three magnificent equestrian statues of the "Padre on Horseback" in Tucson, Magdalena and Segno, Italy. Father Polzer, who died several years ago, surely is delighted in Heaven to see how our community is celebrating the life and legacy of Padre Kino.

We are honored this week to have Archbishop Luigi Bressan of the Archdiocese of Trent, Italy, and a delegation from Italy visiting our Diocese in connection with the observances for Padre Kino. Segno, the birthplace of Padre Kino, is in the Archdiocese of Trent. Welcoming the Archbishop and the delegation (which includes members of the Chini Family into which Padre Kino was born) will be our Knights of Columbus in full regalia. 

The Archbishop will travel to Magdalena, Sonora, tomorrow to visit the burial place of Padre Kino on the 300th anniversary of his death. He will celebrate Mass at the Church of Santa Maria Magdalena with Archbishop Ulises Macias Salcedo of the Archdiocese of Hermosillo, Bishop Isidro Guerrero Macias of the Diocese of Mexicali and Father Father Raul Trevizo, our Vicar General and pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Tucson. Regretfully, my commitments in Yuma that were scheduled before we knew of Archbishop Bressan's visit make it impossible for me to participate, but I am happy that Father Raul is able to represent me at this historic celebration.

Archbishop Bressan will celebrate Mass at 3 p.m. this Thursday at Mission San Xavier del Bac in thanksgiving for Padre Kino's life and legacy.

4. The Wearing of the Green -- The Yuma community celebrated its 13th Annual Lettuce Days this past weekend. As the winter provider of much of our nation's lettuce and salad makings, the Yuma area always goes "green" for St. Patrick's Day. I look forward this Thursday to having a great big St. Patrick's Day salad with Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe, pastor emeritus of Immaculate Conception Parish, who is clearly his community's ambassador to Ireland.

We remember this Thursday the ministry and contributions of the generations of Irish priests, sisters and laity who came to Arizona as immigrants.  

5. Lenten Formation Program
-- Our diocesan Hispanic Pastoral Commission is sponsoring a special Lenten Formation program in Spanish that will be offered on three consecutive Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Tucson beginning March 23.

"Para Vivir la Celebración Litúrgica" ("Living the Liturgical Celebration") will be the focus of the program. Msgr. Carlos Romero, who served for several years as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish and who presently serves in the Diocese of Margarita in Venezuela, will be the instructor.

The program, which is offered without charge, will take place in the Jim Click Center at the San Miguel High School Gymnasium. More information is available here.

6. "Invisible Children"
-- Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson is hosting a screening at 7 p.m. this Wednesday in the Parish Hall of "Invisible Children," a documentary that powerfully communicates the tragedy of Ugandan children who are abducted and forced to join the "Lord's Resistance Army," a paramilitary group that has been fighting the Ugandan government since 1987.

The film's sponsor, Invisible Children Inc., is a non-profit organization that works to bring the world's attention to this tragedy while it rebuilds schools, educates future leaders and provides jobs in northern Uganda. 

Staff from Invisible Children and a young adult from Uganda who has been helped by Invisible Children will be present to talk about the situation in Uganda. For more information and to reserve seating, please call Michelle at 520-305-3615.

7. Mark Your Calendars Now!
-- Please mark your calendars now for a first-of-its-kind diocesan conference that will begin one year from tomorrow at the Tucson Convention Center.

"Co-workers in the Vineyard - Colaboradores en la Vina" will be for all -- clergy, religious, laity, staff and volunteers -- in our parishes, schools and affiliated organizations who participate in pastoral, administrative and support ministries. There will be keynotes, workshops, liturgies, a resource expo and many opportunites to network.

The conference will open at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, and will conclude on Saturday afternoon, March 17. We are doing our best to make attendance, including hotel accommodations, affordable. We are planning a special Web site for the conference, so be on the look out for more information!

8. Meet Our Communities of Women Religious
-- Who are the Women Religious serving in our Diocese? What are their communities and their missions?

Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., our diocesan Vicar for Religious, introduced a slide presentation on her Web page last week that allows you to meet the communities and see photos of the Sisters in their various ministries.

The slide presentation was produced for last December's Women's Discernment Retreat as a way to show who the Sisters are in our Diocese, where their communities and motherhouses are and where they minister in our Diocese. Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., took on the responsibility of contacting each of the 39 communities of Women Religious that are represented in our Diocese. With the help of Julie Espinosa, Sister Gladys arranged the display, added a musical background and presented it to the Vocation Team for approval. 
The presentation was shown at the opening of the retreat, and the young women asked for it to be replayed twice. (Sister Rina tells me that one young woman who had been discerning for some time came to the retreat and finally, with the help of the Holy Spirit, made the decision to take the final steps to enter a religious community. She has been accepted and will enter the Franciscans in June. Her final decision was prompted by the joy, wisdom, prayerful presence and congeniality of the Vocation Team of six Sisters from six different communities.)

Sister Gladys and Sister Rina showed the presentation at the January meeting of the Serra Club of Tucson to introduce the Sisters in our Diocese to the Serrans. Sister Gladys shared with the Club about her own vocation call to the Dominicans of South Africa (by whom she was taught growing up in Argentina) and her call to the Diocese of Tucson to minister here with us.

Well done, Sister Rina and team!

9. Welcome to the Pastoral Center ­-- We are very happy to welcome Carolina Chiquete to the Pastoral Center and to her work as benefits coordinator in the Human Resources Department. She fills a position that was vacant.

Carolina tells us a little about herself:

I am very excited to be working in the Human Resources Department. I come here with many years of experience, having worked in HR at a continuum care retirement community in Green Valley. My family is an active member of our parish, San Martin de Porres, in Sahuarita. My father is a deacon at San Martin and my mother prepares our youngest parishioners for First Holy Communion. And, the rest of the family helps out during our parish's fundraising activities. I am married and enjoy spending time with my husband and family.

Welcome, Carolina!

10. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Vi Pace, beloved aunt of Father Miguel Mariano, who died last week in Tucson.

11. Monday Memo Turns Nine -- Today marks the beginning of the ninth year of Monday Memo.

If a Bishop of Tucson in the 22nd Century were to go to the Archives to find out what the Bishop of Tucson was doing in the year 2011 and were to read the Monday Memo, the reaction might be, "What was he thinking!" Maybe you wonder the same thing at times.

I hope you find the Memo helpful. I thank you for reading it. I always welcome your e-mails to with your observations and suggestions for items.

Vol. 9, No. 2
March 21, 2011

We are blessed on our Lenten journey toward selfless love by the presence of some wonderful companions. They are our co-workers in this vineyard of the Diocese of Tucson who inspire us by their tireless dedication to their ministry, by their quiet confidence that comes from trusting in the Lord, by their joy in doing for others.

One characteristic these exemplars share is their dislike of being in the spotlight, but I am going to shine that spotlight today on two of them as they bring to a close their years of formal ministry for our Diocese.

Yesterday, at a special luncheon at the Tucson headquarters of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, Barb Mattus and Annie Lopez were honored for their years of service -- 18 years for Barb, 16 years for Annie -- to the Detention Ministry Program.

During Barb's service as the director of Detention Ministry, the number of weekly Catholic liturgies and religious services at detention facilities within our Diocese has increased from nine to 50 with the support of a dedicated corps of volunteer priests, sisters, deacons and lay persons.  

During her years of service, Annie has been the presence of the Detention Ministry Program at the Pima County Jail.

Their service to the Detention Ministry Program is but a portion of their years in various ministries.

Annie began her ministry in her early 20s as a volunteer co-worker of the legendary White Sisters (Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic) at Pio Decimo in Tucson. Over the years, before she joined the Detention Ministry Program, Annie served as a missionary in Guatemala and in youth ministry at St. Augustine Cathedral, Santa Cruz and St. Monica Parishes in Tucson. She served as director of diocesan Campus Ministry for Eastern Arizona, starting the junior Newman Centers at Eastern Arizona College, Cochise College and Pima College.

Barb began ministry at a very early age, helping her grandmother make stoles for their parish priests. She has served in parish and diocesan ministries as a sacristan, in religious education, youth ministry, liturgy and coaching softball, volleyball and basketball. With the Diocese, Barb's ministry has included religious education and youth ministry at St. Joseph Parish and St. Odilia Parish in Tucson and St. Christopher Parish in Marana and detention ministry at the Catalina Mountains Boys School north of Tucson. Barb is retiring after 27 years of employment with the Diocese, service that includes 18 years in the Detention Ministry Program.

Years ago, I had the privilege of serving in Chicago as a Catholic Chaplain in a youth detention center, and I saw first hand the challenges of detention ministry. The ministry is so needed and yet so difficult. Since coming to our Diocese, I have marveled at the incredible work being done by our Detention Ministry Program. The Program encompasses so many Federal, state, county and private prisons and jails. The task is immense.

Barb and Annie are two exemplars for those who serve in detention ministry. Their steadfast service amid so many challenges endemic to detention ministry has encouraged others in their willingness to serve. They will be sorely missed, and they have left a legacy of which we can all be proud.

With Barb's retirement, Catholic Community Services is seeking candidates for the position of director of the Detention Ministry Program. The director, in coordination with the Office of the Bishop of Tucson and the Diocese of Tucson Pastoral Center staff, assures that incarcerated individuals who wish to practice their Catholic faith have an opportunity to do so within the limits of state and federal regulation and is responsible for providing spiritual support and assistance to family members of incarcerated individuals as needed. For the position description and information on how to apply, please click here.

1. The Lenten Spirit -- The faith is alive and well and the Lenten spirit strong in the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate.

On my annual late winter visit to the western part of our Diocese last week, I was delighted to see that students at Immaculate Conception School and St. Francis of Assisi School in Yuma were filling their Operation Rice Bowl containers from Catholic Relief Services with change, demonstrating their willingness to sacrifice for others. This spirit of almsgiving is what Lent is about. At St. Francis, there was even a special collection at the School Mass -- a great way to teach children to share.

I am always impressed by the deacons of the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. It seemed to me they were everywhere, helping and serving. Serving others is what Lent is about, and our deacons do that mighty well. I am grateful to Deacon Dave Sampson, one of our co-Associate Vicars for Deacons, who encourages active fraternity among the vicariate's deacons. Deacon Ken Moreland, our Vicar for Deacons, accompanied me to Yuma on this trip, and he was just as impressed as I was by the deacons' generous service.

The people of the Yuma -- La Paz Vicariate love the Church, and it is encouraging to see their household of faith growing. Almost every parish in was represented at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. The enthusiasm of the Catechumens and Candidates is catching, and they inspire us all to make the most of this Lenten season to grow more deeply in love for Christ.

2. Lenten Formation Program
-- Our diocesan Hispanic Pastoral Commission is sponsoring a special Lenten Formation program in Spanish that will be offered on three consecutive Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Tucson starting this Wednesday.

"Para Vivir la Celebración Litúrgica" ("Living the Liturgical Celebration") will be the focus of the program. Msgr. Carlos Romero, who served for several years as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish and who presently serves in the Diocese of Margarita in Venezuela, will be the instructor.

The program, offered without charge, will take place in the Jim Click Center at the San Miguel High School Gymnasium. More information is available here. For reservations and more information, please contact Ofelia James in our diocesan Pastoral Services Department at 520- 838-2545 or More information is available here.

3. In Solidarity with Japan
-- Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote last week to Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga, S.J., of Osaka, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, to express the "prayers and solidarity" of Catholics in our country with the people and Church in Japan.

Dear Archbishop Ikenaga,

I write today conscious of the terrible earthquake that has struck Japan. The first news reports of the preliminary estimates of suffering, loss of life and physical damage challenge our ability to grasp the reality of such a massive event.

My letter is to make a first contact with you to assure you of the prayers and solidarity of the bishops and faithful in the United States at this difficult moment. We commend the Church and the people of Japan to the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, asking her to care for all of those left in conditions of suffering because of the quake and the aftershocks.

I know that our Catholic Relief Services has already been in touch with Caritas in Japan. They are already studying the situation with the goal of being as helpful as possible in responding to the tragedy.

Again, Archbishop Okada, please know of our prayers and solidarity with you at this moment.

Catholic Relief Services is developing strategies to address the long term recovery needs of Japan and the region. Japan is a first world country that has in the past been able to help in natural disasters, the present needs are overwhelming and assistance will be necessary to allow Japan to deal with the devastation from the earthquakes and tsunamis and the still precarious situation of the nuclear power plants.

4. Meetings in Washington, D.C., Baltimore
-- I am on my way to Washington today for meetings of the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The March meeting of Committee is devoted to setting the agenda for the June meeting of the full Conference. This year's June meeting, in Seattle, Washington, will be a business meeting.

This Wednesday, I will be in Baltimore to attend the meeting of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. Our agenda includes a discussion on the progress being made by the search committee that is to recommend two candidates for the new chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services in June. The Board will make the final decision.

In addition, each committee will report on its work. It is always interesting to hear from the International Operations Committee that will report on the continuing efforts in Haiti and the new developments now in Japan with Caritas Japan and in the Middle East.

5. School Mass -- I look forward to celebrating Mass this Friday morning with the students, faculty, staff and families of the St. Joseph Catholic School community in Tucson.

6. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this Friday evening with the community of St. James Parish in Coolidge.

7. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- The Diocesan Pastoral Council meets this Saturday. The focus of this meeting will be our planning for the Saturday, April 16, gathering at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson with members of parish pastoral councils.

Our hope for the day is to explore together what makes for effective parish pastoral councils by learning from the experience of our parish pastoral council members.

It is my hope and expectation that every pastoral council from each one of our parishes will be represented. This very important meeting will give our council representatives best practices that they can take home to their parishes. I ask our pastors to encourage their council members to attend. If they know this matters to their pastors, they will see this gathering as a priority.
8. Legion of Mary Acies -- Each March, members of the Legion of Mary renew their fealty and devotion to our Blessed Mother during a special ceremony known as the Acies. A Latin word that was used in the time of the Roman Empire for the front line of soldiers in a battle, acies now means the full attention, aim and focus that a person gives to something important.

For the members of the Legion of Mary, this special ceremony of Acies means the recommitment of their full attention, aim and focus to our Blessed Mother.

I will participate in this year's Acies this Saturday afternoon at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Tucson.   

The Legion of Mary is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church. Active in our nation since 1931, the Legion of Mary gives glory to God through the sanctification of its members through prayer, reception of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation and through devotion to Mary and the Trinity.

When I participate in the Acies, I always remember my mother's very active involvement in the Legion of Mary when I was growing up.

9. Pope John Paul II Youth Awards -- It will be my joy this Saturday evening at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson to participate in our seventh annual Pope John Paul II Youth Awards Mass, dinner and celebration.

Joining me will be family members, youth ministry leaders and pastors as we 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 this year, 65 teens from 34 parishes and schools from across our Diocese have been selected to receive the award.

We also will be honoring a person who has demonstrated outstanding support and encouragement of youth and youth ministry with the third annual Pope John Paul II Distinguished Service Award. 

Because there are no walk-in registrations for the evening, parishes that have not yet sent in names and reservations must do so by this Tuesday in order to participate. For more information and to register, please contact Isabel Madrid at 520-838-2544 or

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

10. Catholic Scouting Mass -- Our annual diocesan Mass for our youth and their families who are involved in the Scouting movements is at 2 p.m. this Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral. During the Mass, we recognize the Scouts who have earned their special religious emblems and patches and our Scouting leaders who have given distinguished service. 

This will be our first diocesan liturgy in our renovated Cathedral for children and youth, and I am excited about introducing them to everything that is new. It would be great to have a patch that our Scouts could earn by learning about the history of our Cathedral and about its sacred art.

I thank Virgina Robillard, chairperson of our diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, and the members of the Committee for organizing this annual celebration.

11. Dialogue with Mormon Students -- I appreciate very much the invitation from the students of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Tucson Institute of Religion at the University of Arizona to join them this Sunday evening for a dialogue on faith.

Institutes of Religion at colleges and universities provide opportunities for Mormon students to participate in organized religious studies. The first Institute was established in 1935. The Institute of Religion at the University of Arizona was established in 1937.

12. Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Padre Kino -- Congratulations to the Kino Heritage Society for last week's marvelous celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino.

The events the Society organized and in which it partnered helped raise awareness in our community of Padre Kino's extraordinary missions of evangelization and peace-building in the late 17th and early 18th centuries here in the Pimería Alta. I was very pleased and proud that our Diocese could participate with our special Mass at the Cathedral and with the exhibit at our Archives.

Thanks to Tony Arroyo of the Society for documenting some of the events: Unveiling Padre Kino's Postage Stamp; Welcoming Archbishop Luigi Bressan from Trent, Italy; Padre Kino on Horseback - An Exhibit; Kino: Arizona's Preeminent Pioneer; Padre Kino and His Legacy.

13. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Camillus Cavagnaro, O.F.M., who died last Monday in Tucson at the age of 92. The Funeral Mass was celebrated last Wednesday at St. Melany Byzantine Church in Tucson.
Father Camillus came to the Tucson Diocese in 1947, a year after his ordination. His first assignment was at the village of San Miguel on the Tohono O'odahm reservation. During the next four decades, in addition to his ministry to San Solano Mission, he served Native American communities in Ajo and in the White Mountains, in South Dakota, in New Mexico, and in Mexico near Guaymas. 

Please continue to pray for Mike Harris, husband of Charlotte Harris, chairperson of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board, as he and Charlotte and their family continue to face his serious health challenge.

Please pray for Lisa Nanez of the Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund, who is recovering from gallbladder surgery.

14. "Gift of Peace" -- The Chicago Sun Times last week had a story citing Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois as saying that his reading of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin's book, "The Gift of Peace," influenced him to decide to abolish the death penalty in his state.
I remember visiting the Cardinal in his home shortly before he died of pancreatic cancer. He was not able to get out of bed, and the manuscript of "The Gift of Peace" was close by, on a chair next to his bed. He was so pleased and proud to have finished the work, thanks to the help of his dear friend Father Alphonse Spilly. What a joy to know that the book continues to inspire people, as does the witness of Cardinal Bernardin who sought to bring the Church together as a family and giving us the example of forgiving the person who had made a false accusation against him, and of courageously facing his own death to inspire others in their struggles.

Father Alphonse is a professor and chaplain at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana. I was honored last November to speak there about immigration.

Vol. 9, No. 3
March 28, 2011

There are no age restrictions on our Lenten journey toward selfless love.

The Lord invites us -- young and old -- to love as He loves, to give of ourselves selflessly in service to others as His disciples.

On Saturday evening, young disciples who have embraced leadership responsibilities in service to others at our parishes and Catholic high schools gave beautiful witness of their journey toward selfless love.

It was my joy to be with them, their family members, youth ministry leaders and pastors at our seventh annual Pope John Paul II Youth Awards dinner and celebration held at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson.

This year's 89 award recipients are from 30 parishes and five of our Catholic high schools.  

The Pope John Paul II Youth Award recognizes their leadership in one or more of three categories: Catechesis and Evangelization; Community Service and Social Justice; and Prayer and Worship.

We also honored Maureen Ouellette with the third annual Pope John Paul II Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes an adult who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to our youth.
Maureen has served the youth and youth ministers of our Diocese for many years, including as youth minister at St. Odilia Parish in Tucson in the 1970s, as diocesan Director of Youth Ministry in the 1980s. Her commitment to youth continues as she mentors many parish youth ministers and leads youth retreats.

Two of the teens receiving the award, Regino Aquino from St. Francis de Sales Parish and Gabriela Zamora from Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson, offered reflections on their ministry in their parishes.

Their faith journeys have led them to become more selfless and to value doing for others. It was inspiring to hear them speak of the people who encouraged and called them to become more caring. You could see the joy they have come to know in serving others.
Maureen talked about the rich history of youth ministry in the Diocese and some of the individuals whose care of the young we could all emulate.
Our celebration was taking place as the Arizona Wildcats were struggling with the University of Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament. At the parish center, folks were watching the game, and cheering and moaning characterized each Wildcat or UConn basket. We all felt disappointed to see the Wildcats lose by two. Yet, as we entered the gym and saw all the tables filled with young people and their families, we had to feel uplifted. Here were 89 young people who were real stars in their parishes not for scoring baskets but for countless acts of service and kindness that it was a joy to recognize.  

I am grateful to Joe Perdreauville of our diocesan Office of Youth, Young Adults and Families, who coordinated the event with several youth ministers, to Father Bob Tamminga, pastor, Marian Gilbert, youth minister, and the youth volunteers at St. Francis de Sales Parish for hosting, cooking and serving the meal. I thank Father Ricky Ordonez, our director of our Office of Vocations, who served as master of ceremonies. It was a fabulous night.

The teens receiving the award this year are:

Catechesis and Evangelization: Adilene Rubio Abelaiz, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Alvaro W. Alvarez, Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth; Regina Aquino, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Emmanuel Bojorquez, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Jessica Francis Brink, Saint Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; My Linh Bui, Our Lady of LaVang, Tucson; Victoria Calabrese, St. Therese, Patagonia; Sandra Casillas, Our Lady of Fatima, Tucson; Chad Daigle, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Danielle Dimas, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Francesca Garcia, San Martin de Porres, Sahuarita; Lisdye Garcia Gonzalez, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Perla Guereque, St. Phillip, Payson; Stephanie Guzman, St. Mark, Tucson; David Harnick, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Julian Higuera, Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma; Kateri Hitchcock, St. Mark, Tucson; Monica Huerta, St. Monica, Tucson; Samantha Jevas, St. Rose of Lima, Safford; Daniel Lopez, Our Lady of the Valley, Green Valley; Carissa Lueberring, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Mary Mallek, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; V'eanna Oldaker, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Valeria Peña, Our Lady of Fatima, Tucson; Gerardo Ramos, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Rebekah Reyna, St. Rita, Vail; Gabriel Rodriguez, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Samantha Rodriguez, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Samantha Sanchez, Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson; Edidtsa Santa Cruz, Our Lady of the Valley, Green Valley; Ronald Stegner, St. Odilia, Tucson; Jesse Starkey, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Dominic Andres Valdenegro, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Gerardo Verdugo Jr., St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Jacob Zaepfel, St. Pius X, Tucson; Gabriela Zamora, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson.

Community Service and Social Justice: Adilene Rubio Abelaiz, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Casey Adams, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Alvaro W. Alvarez, Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth; Emmanuel Bojorquez, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Kelsea Cordero, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Rebecca Determan, Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma; Irma Figueroa, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Sam Grassel, St. Phillips, Payson; Leah Burke Harris, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; David Jacob Hudson, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel;  Tom Knapp, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Sean Logan, Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson; Anthony Lovio, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; William Mann, St. Therese, Patagonia; Conor Montijo, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Kristine Mora, Immaculate Conception, Douglas; Jade Nuñes, St. Pius X, Tucson;  Viviana Ortiz, San Miguel Catholic High School, Tucson; Neil Patterson, St. Odilia, Tucson; Georgina Quihis, San Miguel Catholic High School, Tucson; Aimee Trujillo, San Felipe de Jesus, Nogales; Dominic Andres Valdenegro, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Olga Vega, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Caeles Wilson, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Christine Wittke, St. Mark, Tucson.

Prayer and Worship: Adilene Rubio Abelaiz, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Alyssa Arellano, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Adam Ascencio, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Selena Baeza, St. Helen, Oracle; Samantha Bersack, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Emmanuel Bojorquez, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Alaiya Stephanie Brown, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Amanda-Jade Cruz, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Lucia Dabdoub, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Diana Englert, St. Rita in the Desert, Vail; Sarah Erchull, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Jason Gonzalez, Immaculate Conception, Ajo; Lisdye Garcia Gonzalez, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Paul Grandi, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; David Harnick, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Evita Jaramillo, Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma; Kyle Kwiedacz, St. Therese, Patagonia; Kaitlin Leonardi, Salpointe Catholic High School, Tucson; Kyle Letarte, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Anthony Machain, St. Rita in the Desert, Vail; Miguel Mendoza, St. Phillip, Payson; Symantha Mallek, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; Joseph Martinez, San Martin de Porres, Sahuarita; Ana Mezquita, St. Odilia, Tucson; Sierra Mindenhall, St. Pius X, Tucson;  William Mitchell, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Ruben Alan Ortega, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel; Luis Carlos Padilla, San Felipe de Jesus, Nogales; Jose Rodriguez, St. Helen, Oracle; Rudi M. Romo, Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth; Edidtsa Santa Cruz, San Miguel Catholic High School, Tucson; Philip Ulmen, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Jonathan Urbieta, St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; Gabriela Urias, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Dominic Andres Valdenegro, St. Margaret Mary, Tucson; Gerardo Verdugo Jr., St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson; Kaitlyn Wilson, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Chelsea Winsor, St. Rose of Lima, Safford;  Carlos Antonio Zazueta, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel.

1. Celebrating Catholic Scouting -- At St. Augustine Cathedral yesterday, we also had the joy of recognizing young Catholics who are witnessing to their faith by participating in the Scouting movements.

This year's turnout was marvelous, and it was a joy to confer medals, emblems and honors on the Scouts who earned them. I could see the pride these young people felt for their achievements that were accomplished by lots of hard work. Scouting does so much good for the young people who participate. We can all be grateful to our Scout leaders and parents who give so much time to make our Scouting programs so successful.
I am grateful to Virginia Robillard and our diocesan Scouting Committee for their leadership, to Father Robert Rodriquez, parochial vicar in Douglas and Pirtleville, for his service as Scout Chaplain, and to Sister Lois Paha, O.P., our diocesan director of the Department of Pastoral Services, who helped coordinate the Mass.

2. Lenten Dialogue on the Dignity and Sanctity of Human Life -- One of my hopes for this Lenten Season was to initiate a dialogue between and among the members of spiritual movements and organizations within the Diocese that advocate for the dignity and sanctity of human life.

Yesterday afternoon, I was pleased to see that dialogue begin with a group of 16 clergy, religious, and laity who met to talk about the Church's teaching on the dignity of all human life from conception until natural death.

Each person shared the experiences that have molded their passion to uphold the dignity and sanctity of life. It was very moving to hear each person describe life experiences that have formed them as Catholics. We explored some ways to help Catholics understand our Church's teaching on life and how to see the life issues as connected and interrelated. The members of the group will be considering what next steps might be helpful. All agreed that we have a treasure in the Church's teaching on life. Sometimes, that treasure gets lost in partisan politics that seem to set life issues in opposition to one another.
As we continue to pray and reflect this Lent on Our Journey toward Selfless Love, I am heartened that yesterday's gathering has helped to clarify how we can move forward in forming our Catholic people on the richness of the Church's teaching on life.

3. Arizona Catholic Conference Statement on Death Penalty -- With two executions of prisoners on Arizona's death row approaching (one is scheduled for tomorrow), the Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference again are stating our opposition to the death penalty through this statement being released this morning:

At the outset of this statement, we express our compassion for those who are victims of brutal crimes and for their families. The effects of murder, in particular, are truly awful for families, and we pray for the healing of all those who grieve and suffer because of murder.

As Arizona approaches two scheduled executions, we are compelled to express again our opposition to the use of the death penalty in our state.

We firmly hold that capital punishment is state-sanctioned vengeance that is not in keeping with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We hold that capital punishment -- when other means are available to keep society safe from dangerous criminals -- denies the intrinsic dignity and sanctity of human life.

The commission of a heinous crime, especially one in which a life has been taken, should result in punishment.

But, the use of the death penalty -- when other means are available to keep society safe -- is actually a contribution to a "culture of death." It is an act of eye-for-an-eye vengeance that contradicts the values of our nation and that denies the dignity and sanctity of human life.

Pope John Paul II, an ardent defender of human life on the world stage, articulated that the use of capital punishment should be limited only to extremely rare situations where it is necessary to defend society (Evangelium Vitae, #56). 

Executions in our state do not defend anyone, and are therefore wrong.

We, the Catholic Bishops of Arizona, call for an end to the unnecessary violence of the death penalty.
We pray that the dignity and sanctity of human life at every stage be respected and protected.

The Catholic bishops in our country have been advocating for an end to the use of the death penalty for more than 25 years. In 2005, we initiated the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty. I encourage you to explore the resources at the Campaign's Web site.

For information on efforts in our state to end the use of the death penalty, I encourage you to visit the Web site of the Coalition of Arizonan to Abolish the Death Penalty.

4. Evening with Mormon Students at the University of Arizona -- I was very honored last night to be the guest speaker for the Young Adult Fireside program at the Institute of Religion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the University of Arizona.

Several hundred Mormon students at the UA were present. They, along with local leadership of the LDS Church, made me feel so welcome. I very much enjoyed the fellowship and, especially, the singing!

We gathered in the chapel of the Institute (which is similar in mission to our St. Thomas More Newman Center just a few blocks away). I was delighted to see Sister Elizabeth O'Donnell, O.P., who was representing the Newman Center. President Norman Gardner, director of the Institute, serves with Sister and Father Bart Hutcherson, O.P., pastor of St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish, on the University's Religious Council.

The music was beautiful. Shinji Inagi was the organist. He was an assistant organist at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City while he was a student at Brigham Young University. Kathryn Christensen and Kelsey Thomas, accompanied by Michelle Newbold, sang "I Feel My Savior's Love." Students led us in prayer: Koriel Lambson, the invocation; Sasha Piton, the benediction.

The theme for my talk was, "Our Shared History, Our Shared Values, Our Shared Challenges."

I told some stories to illustrate how Catholics and Mormons have been relating positively to each other in our Southern Arizona communities for some 165 years. Our faiths have deep roots in our communities. I spoke of our developing partnerships to address issues of mutual concern such as the protection of unborn life.

And, I reflected on Cardinal Francis George's visit to Brigham Young University last year and his talk there to more than 12,000 students, faculty and community members in which he emphasized the need for both religions to stand together to protect religious freedom -- the freedom not only to practice our beliefs within our faith communities, but also the freedom of individuals and groups to practice their religion in the public square.

I am grateful to President Gary Rasmussen of the Tucson Arizona Stake and to President Gardner for the invitation to talk to the Mormon students at their Institute. I believe I am the first Bishop of Tucson to have had such an opportunity, and I joined President Rasmussen and President Gardner in expressing our commitment to continue our dialogue and to work together on issues that are important to our communities.

I am grateful as well to Spencer Boerup for documenting the evening with his photography and for permission to use his photos here
5. Presbyteral Council Meeting -- The Presbyteral Council meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center. Our agenda includes reports on the progress of the 2011 Annual Catholic Appeal (see item #14) and the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future diocesan renewal campaign.

We also will discuss the possibility of the Council meeting jointly in May with the directors of our diocesan departments and offices. It has been our practice at the Pastoral Center the past seven years for the directors to meet with Father Al Schifano, our Vicar General and Moderator of the Curial, and myself in May for a special planning day in which identify priorities for the coming fiscal year. The presence and direct input of our vicars forane would be most helpful to us.

6. Diocesan Finance Council
-- The Finance Council meets tomorrow at the Msgr. Donald Hughes Pastoral Center at St. Ambrose Parish in Tucson. Our agenda includes a report on our efforts to support our parish bookkeepers by developing standards of knowledge and performance and through the incorporation of best practices in their work and ministry.

7. Welcoming New Parish Employees -- Tomorrow, we will welcome to the Pastoral Center employees who have become members of parish staffs this last year.

This annual event is an opportunity for our Pastoral Center staff to introduce themselves to new parish staff members. We talk about the functions and responsibilities of our departments and offices, celebrate Mass together and have lunch. This year, we are going to add a tour of the Cathedral to our agenda

8. Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries -- I will participate this Wednesday in a Lenten Retreat for members of the Board of Directors of our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries.

The ministry of our Cemeteries is highlighted in this month's issue of Catholic Cemetery, the official publication of the Catholic Cemetery Conference. Jim de Castro, executive director of our Cemeteries, writes a beautiful reflection on how the staff of Holy Hope responded to the family of Judge John Roll as the family made funeral and burial arrangements following his death in January's tragic shootings.

9. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this Wednesday evening at St. Helen Parish in Eloy, this Friday evening at St. Monica Parish in Tucson, this Saturday morning at St. Luke Parish in Douglas (for St. Luke, Loretto Catholic School and St. Bernard in Pirtleville) and this Saturday evening at Immaculate Conception Parish in Douglas.

10. Meeting of Pastoral Center Staff -- Our quarterly meeting of all staff at the Pastoral Center will be this Thursday morning.

11. Meeting of the Recently Ordained -- I will join our recently ordained priests (five years or less of priesthood) this Thursday and Friday for our monthly mentoring gathering at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

This gathering will focus on their spiritual lives as recently ordained priests. We will have a chance to reflect on our faith lives -- what we find nourishing in deepening our relationship with the Lord and how that relationship helps us face challenges in our lives. We will pray devotions together and reflect on the importance of spirituality in our ministry.
12. Presentation on "Sacramentum Caritatis" -- I am honored to have been invited to give a presentation this Sunday afternoon at St. Paul Parish in Phoenix on "Sacramentum Caritatis," the exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI that followed the Eleventh Synod of Bishops in 2005 on "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church."

The Holy Father's first post-synodal apostolic exhortation, the document is divided in three parts revolving around the Eucharist as a mystery to be believed, to be celebrated and to be lived.

13. Pima County Interfaith Council 20th Anniversary -- The faith communities, schools and community organizations who are partners in the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their advocacy for participation in the democratic process.

This Sunday, the members of PCIC will gather at the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral, after which there will be a fiesta to celebrate the anniversary.

14. 2011 Annual Catholic Appeal -- We are approaching three-quarters of this year's goal of $3.7 million. That generosity in these still-difficult times is further testimony of the commitment of the Catholic people in our Diocese to support and further the mission that Christ has given us.

The community of Our Lady of the Desert at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson, Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa and St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wellton have met and exceeded their goals.

I am so happy for Father Bartolome Vazquez-Johnston at St. Joseph the Worker. The parish did not quite make goal last year, and I know Father Bartolome has worked very hard with his parish to achieve these results.
A follow-up mailing is being planned to those donors who gave last year but have not yet given to this year's campaign to remind them that there is still time to participate. We hope that people who might be waiting to see how the year is going for them will feel that they are now able to participate.

Daily parish pledge reports are available here.

15. "Sonoran Spirit" Fine Art Exhibit -- Sister Rina Cappellazo, O.P., our diocesan Vicar for Religious, commented at one of our recent Pastoral Center staff meetings about the number of talented Catholic artists she knows in our Diocese who create beautiful works but who are practically unknown -- "undercover," as she put it. Sister's comment sparked our imagination, and thus we are going to have our first-ever fine art exhibit, under the wonderful title of "Sonoran Spirit," featuring the works of our clergy and religious.

The exhibit is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Msgr. Carrillo Parish Hall and Placita at St. Augustine Cathedral from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The artwork will be available for sale and commission.

Sister Rina sent an e-mail last week to our clergy and religious inviting them to submit entries for the exhibit, and she is pleased to report she already is receiving commitments.

You can download the artist's information and registration packet here. The exhibit is seeking a variety of art: ceramics, iconography, sculpture, fiber, painting, jewelry, calligraphy, drawing and photography.

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

This issue includes stories about the observances of the 300th anniversary of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino's death; a story about how our recently ordained priests did "team ministry" in Nogales, Sonora, and in Tucson; and profiles of the women and men religious who are celebrating jubilee anniversaries in consecrated life this year.

Noting that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I write in my column for the April issue about the virtue that binds and bonds the efforts of our Diocese and our parishes and schools to keep children safe from abuse.

17. Statement of Recommitment, Renewal for the Safety of Children -- The Catholic bishops in the U.S. have communicated again their commitment to the spirit and letter of the requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth.

On behalf of the bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote last week to reiterate the bishops' resolve to deal firmly with clerics who abuse children.

The statement was developed during last week's meeting in Washington of the Conference's Administrative Committee, of which I am a member. I encourage you to read Archbishop Dolan's statement here. 

 18. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Roy Conry, O.Carm., who died last week in Tucson at age 84. The Funeral Mass for Father Roy was celebrated on Saturday at Sacred Heart Parish in Tucson.

Father Roy served in the U.S. Navy for two years and earned a degree in philosophy at Creighton University before entering Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He professed simple vows to the Carmelites in the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary in 1953, taking the name Roy. He made his solemn profession and was ordained a priest on May 26, 1956. He served as vice principal of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson from 1957 to 1964 and as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Tucson from 1974 to 1983. After serving in various capacities elsewhere, he returned to Tucson in 1985 as a teacher and counselor at Salpointe. He retired in January of 1999.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mike Harris, who died last week in Tucson. Mike was the husband of Charlotte Harris, chairperson of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. this Thursday at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson.