May 5, 2003 May 12, 2003 May 19, 2003 May 27, 2003
Vol. 1, No. 9
May 5, 2003
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
One of the great things about our Diocese is our diversity, and we celebrate that diversity in so many ways, including the observance of special days like today that help us appreciate the cultures, traditions and history that bind us all together in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.
We thank God for the gifts of diversity in our Diocese!
1. Catechesis will be a major focus for me this week, and I will be in very good company as catechetical leaders from around the country gather in St. Paul for the annual meeting of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) Tuesday and Wednesday.
The NCCL is the organization within the national structure of the Church that is dedicated to advancing the Church's teaching mission, especially by promoting excellence in catechetical leaders. (You can learn more about NCCL at its website: http://www.nccl.org.)
Attendees at the meeting will include parish and diocesan catechetical leaders, bishops, pastors, academics and publishers of catechetical materials. Regina Sasseen of our Department of Parish Life and Ministry will be attending from our Diocese, and I will be giving a presentation on adult faith formation.
In this presentation, I will emphasize the priority of adult faith formation for dioceses and parishes, pointing out that while formation of children and adolescents matters greatly it rests on the effectiveness of adult formation. I will acknowledge the important work of catechetical leaders and make some suggestions on enhancing our efforts.
This NCCL meeting is an opportunity for me to reflect on the catechetical efforts in our Diocese. We are blessed with faith-filled and dedicated parish catechists and Directors of Religious Education. I appreciate and acknowledge the efforts of our Department of Parish Life and Ministry to support them in their ministry.
As we continue to consider restructuring of the Department, the priority for an office of catechesis is emerging so that our efforts in this essential area of ministry will be more focused.
2. Returning from St. Paul, I have a full schedule of pastor visits in the Tucson area on Thursday, capped off by a meeting of the Pima North Vicariate in the evening. These visits affirm for me the talents and sacrifice of our pastors throughout the Diocese, and I particularly am inspired by the pride our pastors take in their parishes and their appreciation for the talents, sacrifice and hard work of their support staffs that include the parochial vicars, deacons, sisters and lay employees.
3. Our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries Board meets on Friday morning. The Board is helping us plan for a second century of service by our Catholic Cemeteries. Did you know that our Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson is 96-years-old? Holy Hope truly is a treasure of faith, history and culture for all of Southern Arizona. I recommend you read the feature on Holy Hope in this month's Catholic Vision to learn more about its storied history.
The ministry of our Catholic cemeteries is the work of corporal mercy that is linked so closely with the grieving process. It is a difficult ministry at times, requiring great patience and compassion. Grieving families often have expectations for perfect service throughout the entire process of the Rite of Christian Burial. I know the staff of our Catholic Cemeteries strives to give every family the best possible service.
4. We will be sharing the great news of San Miguel Catholic High School with the Tucson community on Friday, as leadership of the school, our Diocese and our community gather at St. Monica Parish to introduce our newest Catholic high school, to announce its president and principal, its location and its scheduled opening in fall of 2004.
San Miguel Catholic High School will be a coeducational, college preparatory secondary school established for students from economically disadvantaged families.
As a Catholic school sponsored by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, San Miguel will strive to advance each student's human and religious education while generating a respect and appreciation of the student's Hispanic and Native American heritages.
Through the school's academic curriculum and unique Corporate Internship/Work Study Program, San Miguel intends to maximize the potential of its graduates to take their place as contributing members and leaders in the civic, religious, business and cultural life of our community and nation.
I am grateful to all who have worked so hard to bring San Miguel Catholic High School to reality. We will be recognizing them at our event on Friday, but I want to make special mention of the Cassin Foundation, and its founder, B. J. Cassin. The foundation works with religious orders, dioceses, parishes and other groups seeking to establish faith-based, college preparatory middle and high schools in economically-challenged communities throughout the country. We are honored to be one of those dioceses! Jim Click and Robert Hulseman have made major gifts as a firm foundation on which to begin fund raising for the school.
5. Gov. Janet Napolitano will be welcomed this Saturday at Casa San Juan, the parish center at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Tucson about whose ministry to undocumented citizens I shared with you last week.
6. I will be joining the families and friends of Immaculate Heart Academy and High School on Saturday evening at the Westward Look Resort for SPREE (Sharing Parent Responsibility for Excellence in Education). This is the third annual fun and fundraiser event that is supporting the construction of the Bishop Moreno Center (gym and multipurpose) at Immaculate Heart.
7. Congratulations to our Yuma area parishes and the entire Yuma Community for their support of Yuma Catholic High School. The High School's fourth annual "Field of Dreams" Dinner, held in April, raised $200,000.
8. I am happy to acknowledge the national recognition of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Casa Grande. The school was nominated by the Casa Grande Dispatch for the twelfth annual "Make A Difference Day" awards. There was a nice write-up about how the students of St. Anthony collected school supplies for students at St. Charles Mission School in San Carlos in the April 26-27 USA Weekend publication's feature on "Make A Difference Day."
9. One of the real joys of our Pastoral Center is our own Joy Mitchell, who so efficiently and patiently administers and coordinates the health insurance and pension benefits for more than 1,500 of our lay employees throughout the Diocese. Joy has asked me to remind you that Open Enrollment for your health benefits is fast approaching. This is the time of the year that you can make changes to your health benefits and learn about any changes to the health and dental benefits. Open Enrollment runs from June 1 through June 30. There are 14 separate meetings scheduled throughout the Diocese. The schedule is being distributed to each worksite this week via mail, the Internet and fax.
10. The St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona soon will say good-bye to its director/pastor of the last 10 years, Father Albert Felice-Pace, O.P. Thank you, Father Albert, for the wonderful service to the university community and to our Diocese. You are held in such high regard by our staff here at the Pastoral Center, and we all will miss you. Father Albert is taking a year's sabbatical that will include some significant globetrotting. God speed, Father Albert. We welcome as the new director Father Michael Fones, O.P., who is leaving St. Thomas More Center in Eugene, Oregon, for the desert's own St. Thomas More here in Tucson.
11. A few words about one of the "Si--Rs" we have as goals for our Diocese -- recruiting more vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life.
I encourage our parishes and schools to reflect on the people, young and older, whom they feel have some potential for a vocation in the priesthood or religious life. Think about fostering vocations as a three step process.
Identify those with potential.
Invite them! Be direct and explicit, encouraging and supporting.
Be persistent and follow-up!
It is so important for you in our parishes and schools to be involved in the process.
12. I will be going to Chicago on Sunday, Mother's Day, to be with my Mom. I think of all the Moms we have as employees of the Diocese in our parishes, schools, agencies and Pastoral Center. Thank you, dear Moms, for all you do at home and at work.
Vol. 1, No. 10
May 12, 2003
1. Our Diocese and our parish and school communities are saying "Thank you!" to Catholic educators who are retiring or leaving their positions at the end of this school year.
Jean-Marie Bushell, principal at St. Ambrose School, is retiring after 26 years of service which included teaching at Our Mother of Sorrows School and St. Ambrose.
Peggy Guerrero, a veteran of 19 years in Catholic education, is leaving St. Cyril of Alexandria School as principal to assume responsibilities at St. Augustine High School as social studies teacher and assistant principal.
Sister Luisa Sanchez, IHM, is leaving the principal's position at Immaculate Heart High School. She has served as principal for 14 years.
I know each of the school communities at which these three tireless workers in Catholic education have served will be saying special farewells. On behalf of the Diocese, I want to communicate our gratitude for the gift of their talents.
I also recognize and thank Janet Haas, who has worked as the diocesan school health consultant since 1988 and who is retiring at the end of this school year.
Finally, I thank Tom Hurt, who has served as principal of Yuma Catholic High School the last two years, and Daniel Garcia, who has been principal of St. Francis of Assisi School in Yuma this past school year.
2. I will be conducting a retreat this week for the archdiocese in our Church that is the largest geographically but has no territorial boundaries.
The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (or Military Ordinariate) is commissioned to provide the Church's full range of pastoral and spiritual services for those dedicated to national defense and to federal services overseas. It serves military personnel and families at 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 172 Veterans Administration hospitals and is responsible for federal employees serving in 134 countries.
Numerically, the Military Archdiocese is responsible for ministry to more than 1.5 million Catholics. These people are served by over 1,000 priests. The Archdiocese for the Military Services stands out as an example of remarkable collegial support for a national apostolate by the American Catholic Hierarchy. The priests serving full-time as chaplains are on loan from 142 dioceses, including our Diocese, and 44 religious communities.
Currently serving as priest-chaplains in the Military Archdiocese from our Diocese at military bases are Father Brian Bell and Father Gary Underwood.
Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe is an auxiliary chaplain in the Archdiocese, providing assistance to the chaplains at the Yuma area military bases for the Army and Marines. Father David Reinders is the Catholic chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital here in Tucson.
Father Mike Martinez is the chaplain to the Arizona Air National Guard here in Tucson.
Serving as Catholic chaplains for the military bases in our Diocese are Father James Gay, Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma; Father Albert Sanchez, Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson; and Father Anthony Kazarnowicz, Fort Huachuca.
It is not commonly understood that the Archdiocese is an ecclesiastical entity and not a governmental or military agency. It receives no funds from government sources. Chaplaincy in the Archdiocese is a challenging ministry. Typically, military personnel and their families, as well as chaplains themselves, are transferred or redeployed every two to three years. It is difficult to establish long-term relationships under these conditions.
For more information on the Archdiocese, please visit its web site at www.milarch.org.
3. Diaconate ordination is drawing near. This month is very busy with preparations.
A four year journey for 32 men and their wives is drawing to a close, with a new journey about to begin. They are our candidates for the permanent diaconate, and they will be on retreat this weekend. This will be the occasion for me to meet individually with each candidate and his wife before I issue the "call to orders."
The diaconate ordinations will be June 14 at St. Augustine Cathedral.
The new deacons are from 24 parishes. With their ordinations, our Diocese will have 155 permanent deacons. The growth of the permanent diaconate in our Diocese, since our first deacons were ordained in 1975, is a blessing, and we must do more to tap the potential this vocation has for the support of the mission of our Diocese.
4. Our five seminarians who will be ordained to the priesthood on June 7 and June 12 were on retreat this past week at Picture Rocks. Father Raul Trevizo directed the retreat.
Bishop Moreno will ordain four of the seminarians on June 7 at St. Augustine Cathedral. They are Adolfo Martinez Escobar, Bardo Antunez Olea, Jose Manuel Padilla Elguezabal and Raul Valencia Garcia.
I will ordain Eduardo Lopez Romo to the priesthood on June 12 at Holy Family Church in Nogales, Sonora.
Ordinations are an occasion of special celebration in the life of every diocese, and I especially invite the staff of all our parishes to be present. As their ordinations approach, please keep our candidates for the permanent diaconate and our seminarians in your prayers.
5. I announce the reappointments as vicar forane of Father Raul Trevizo (Pima South Vicariate) and Father Richard Troutman (Pima North Vicariate).
The vicars forane are elected by their brother priests in each of our 11 vicariates. They serve on our Presbyteral Council and as the board that recommends to me assignments for our priests.
As a council, will are discerning and studying ways in which we can best use the vicariate system and how the vicars can best function and serve within the system.
6. This is the "Golden Jubilee" Graduation class for Salpointe Catholic High School. Salpointe opened in 1950, and its first class of seniors graduated in 1953.
I will be presiding at this Saturday's Baccalaureate Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral for the 294 seniors who make up Salpointe's 50th graduating class.
I also will preside at the Baccalaureate Mass for the Class of 2003 at Immaculate Heart High School.
Congratulations to all our Catholic seniors, high school or college!
7. Our Diocese will have the honor of hosting the national meeting of the Tekakwitha Conference in 2005. We last hosted the meeting in 1990. I met recently Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA, the executive director of the Tekakwitha Conference National Center, to hear the initial plans for the meeting, which could be held at the University of Arizona campus.
The Conference was organized in the 1970s with the goal of unifying Native American Catholics while respecting their tribal identities and differences.
The Conference's name honors Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha of the Mohawks, who is loved and venerated for her missionary work among her people in the 17th century. (For more information, please visit the Conference website at www.tekconf.org.)
Our Diocese is home to si--tribes (Tohono O'odham, Pascua Yaqui, San Carlos Apache, Fort Yuma-Quechan, Cocopah and Colorado River). Our Native American Catholics contribute in many unique ways to the cultural and spiritual diversity of our Diocese, and we share with them the honor of hosting the national meeting in two years.
Vol. 1, No. 11
May 19, 2003
1. Last week, the Yuma Community was able to share in the story of a vocation to the religious life, and a beautiful story it was.
Sister Jean Ann Moser, SSF, was the subject of a profile in the Yuma Sun newspaper that recognized her 40 years as a teacher in Catholic schools, the last 19 of which were spent in Arizona. Sister is retiring from teaching, and will be leaving her position at St. Francis of Assisi School to return to the Sisters of St. Francis motherhouse in Wisconsin.
Reporter Darin Fenger's profile of Sister Jean Ann was sensitively written, and Sister Jean Ann really communicated what is at the heart of her vocation.
"I've always known that being a sister and a teacher was going to make me happiest because this is exactly what God wants me to do," Sister was quoted.
(You can read the complete profile at www.diocesetucson.org/sistermoser.html, or, I will send you a copy of the profile at your request.)
Here's how the profile concluded:
Her one point of sadness, though, involved who will or won't be taking her place at St. Francis.
"I feel bad in a way because I'm the last sister who is at the school full time," Sister Moser said. "I feel sorry that we don't have a younger sister to take my place."
Working together, I think we can help write a different ending to the story by communicating, as Sister did, what a vocation to the religious life or to the priesthood really means.
2. A mailing from Father Miguel Mariano, our vocations director, went out last week to all our parishes and to the religious communities in our Diocese asking for help in promoting next month's "Called to Love" Vocation Awareness Retreat for persons 18 through 35 years of age.
The retreat is an excellent opportunity for a person to explore the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life in a relaxed and prayerful atmosphere with a promise of no pressures.
Please help us promote this retreat! As I shared with you earlier this month, you in our parishes and schools do the essential work of identifying persons with the potential for a vocation and inviting and encouraging them. It would be great to see all of those who attended our recent "Andrew and Miriam Dinners" at this retreat, so please extend a special invitation to them.
The retreat will be held at Holy Trinity Monastery June 27-29, with a cost of $75 per person. Please call Father Miguel or Mary Hammond in the Vocations Office at 792-3410 for more information.
3. The Presbyteral Council meets today and will consider the question of enough priests for our parishes. The Council is preparing for July, when pastoral assignments become effective.
Looking at the number of openings at our parishes due to retirements, transfers and other priest personnel activities, it is becoming increasingly apparent that we do not have sufficient numbers of priests for all our parishes.
Obviously, this reality calls us to commit ourselves to the recruiting, fostering and nurturing of priestly vocations, but it also challenges us to look at and appreciate the potential that others have for service to our parishes.
The Presbyteral Council will explore how deacons, religious and properly trained laity might meet some of the administrative and pastoral needs that arise. I welcome your ideas and suggestions.
Other topics to be discussed include the role of the Vicar Forane, a return to an office for Hispanic ministry and the appointment of a Vicar for Hispanic affairs.
4. Two activities this week highlight the importance of supporting our priests as they live out their vocations.
On Wednesday, our recently ordained (within the last five years) priests will gather for another "mentoring" session. These sessions provide the opportunity for the recently ordained to share the joys, sorrows, accomplishments and challenges of the priesthood.
On Thursday, we hold our monthly Priests Day of Prayer. This is a time to be separated briefly from the demands of ministry and a chance to regain the perspective of seeing all that we do in relationship to holiness.
I encourage such prayerful "get-aways" for all in ministry, and I hope our pastors and principals can create such opportunities for their staffs.
Please pray for Father Thomas Moore, O.P., and Father Gerald Miriani, both of whom help out at St. Pius X Parish and who both are recovering from illnesses.
5. Our Diocese's efforts to restore trust received some positive coverage through a profile of Dr. Paul Duckro in the Sunday, May 11, edition of the Arizona Daily Star.
The profile, by Stephanie Innes, who writes often about the Diocese, included comments from some who work in the structure of the Diocese about the progress of Paul's work as director of the Office for Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection.
The conclusion of the profile communicated much about the hope we all have for our efforts to restore trust:
Duckro has just two pictures on the wall in his office. In one, the image of Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemane is a model of courage and trust, he said. The other is a framed sketch of Joseph embracing his son.
"I do believe, in the spirit of our Christian faith, that whatever happens, in the end God will make it good and the witness to that has been Jesus Christ," Duckro said. "We can do better, and we can keep doing better. I wouldn't do this if I didn't have hope."
(You can read the complete profile at www.diocesetucson.org/duckroprofile.html, or, I will send you a copy of the profile at your request.)
6. This week brings another round of pastor visits in the Tucson area (Tuesday) and visits to St. Bartholomew Parish in San Manuel (Monday) and Blessed Kateri Parish in Tucson (Tuesday) for confirmations. I look forward to being with the Lourdes Catholic High School community for the Baccalaureate Mass on Thursday evening.
7. Habitat for Humanity in Tucson will be taking me on a tour Wednesday of completed and in-progress projects. I know several of our Tucson parishes have participated in Habitat projects. This is certainly a most worthwhile extension of a parish's mission into the larger community.
8. I am excited to share with you a project that I think will help us focus on our identity as Catholics in the Diocese of Tucson.
The project is this: an Annual Pastoral Letter, the first of which would be issued around Easter or Pentecost of next year.
In discussion with our diocesan department directors at our May 9 meeting, the theme for this first letter was proposed as "Church with a Mission."
The letter would include reflections on our history (with emphasis on the missionary heritage), our growth, our diversity in geography, cultures and spiritualities and how our local Church influences and contributes to the community of Southern Arizona and the society in which we live.
I envision forming a type of core group to assist in the framing of the letter and in the development of a process that will result in a clear, confident and positive affirmation of who we are as the People of God in the Diocese of Tucson.
I will keep you informed about this project as we proceed, and I welcome your reaction to the idea and any suggestions you might have.
Vol. 1, No. 12
May 27, 2003
I hope you all found some time over the Memorial Day Holiday three-day weekend to rela--and to find a shady and cool spot in the midst of this early spring heat wave.
Of course, parish ministry hardly ever takes a holiday, and many of our priests and deacons were involved in special ceremonies at their community cemeteries across the Diocese yesterday. Here in Tucson there were large crowds at Holy Hope and Our Lady of the Desert for Mass. I thank all from our parishes who helped make yesterday a prayerful time for our families who were remembering those who lost their lives in service to our country.
1. Our staff at the Pastoral Center, including myself, will be doing something completely different today. We're all going to "Take Our Job and Shovel It."
As a group, we are going to St. Monica Parish in Tucson where we will pick up shovels and rakes to help in a general clean up and clear out of the property at the parish where San Miguel Catholic High School will be located. We will begin with prayer and conclude with Mass.
This out-of-office work and service experience originated in our discussion as a staff about finding some projects that we could do together that would benefit our parish communities or the community in general.
The Pastoral Center switchboard will be closed today, but for emergency or other important needs, you may contact Chancellor Kellen at 520-838-2521, or John Shaheen, our Property Manager, at 520-909-1489, or Fred Allison, our Community Relations and Employee Services director, at 520-909-1547.
2. I spent a very enjoyable and inspiring morning last week with Habitat for Humanity Tucson. I am sure you have heard of Habitat and its efforts to partner with the community (government, business, churches and caring individuals) to build decent and affordable housing for low income families.
I toured some of the recently completed Habitat houses, one of which parishioners of St. Pius X and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton helped build. Other Tucson parishes, including St. Francis de Sales and Our Mother of Sorrows, have partnered with Habitat and other congregations to build a Habitat house.
If your parish is interested in exploring such a partnership, call the Habitat office at 326-1217.
3. The important work of implementing our Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct continues at an increasing pace. Dr. Paul Duckro, director of the Office for Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, will be leading a planning session this week for a major in-service event for our Catholic schools to be held Sept. 15.
Also this week, the Sexual Misconduct Review Board meets. The board has been meeting monthly since last October. Dr. José Santiago chairs the board, and Charlotte Harris is vice-chair.
Through Dr. Duckro's work and the work and dedication of the board, I feel our Diocese is making steady progress towards our goal of restoring trust.
4. What do you say to a parishioner who asks, "Where do I go for good information on how to make a gift to the parish that will help me with my taxes?"
The very best answer is the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson.
Among the many resources the Foundation has to assist Catholics in making prudent decisions about special gifts is the presentation, "Ta--Wise Giving a Catholic Approach." This presentation provides important basic information and materials about how gifts to the parish can benefit both the giver and the parish. The Foundation's executive director, Gary Broussard, would be very happy to schedule the presentation for our parishes or schools for the benefit of staff as well as parishioners and school families. I encourage you to contact Gary at 520-792-3410 to schedule a presentation, and, of course, please feel free to refer any parishioners or school families with questions to Gary.
5. Our Diocesan budgetary process continues, and our departments are being very diligent in their efforts to maintain their budgets for the next fiscal year at the levels of this fiscal year.
Our Diocesan Finance Council meets this week, and the Council will receive a clear picture of the resources available and the plans of the Diocese to apply those resources. We all know that charities, non-profits and religious organizations nationally are feeling the impact of a slow economy, and we are experiencing that as well here in Southern Arizona. Obviously, the economic situation affects our parishes as well.
The Finance Council, the Presybyteral Council and I share a concern about how some of our parishes are especially stressed and are experiencing a growing need for subsidies at a time when the Diocese does not have the resources to answer that need.
We are going to try to introduce a level of accountability with regard to meeting assessment obligations, managing budgets and the need for subsidies. We do want finance councils in every parish and annual financial reports and full disclosures of financial statements from all parishes.
We intend to set up a special diocesan board that will assist and work with parishes so that they can keep current with assessments and move towards solid financial management.
6. The number of tragic deaths in our desert of border crossers seeking a better life here continues to occupy our thoughts and prayers. Our Catholic Social Mission Office is working on a plan that will allow us as a Diocese, through all our parishes, to make a humanitarian response that reflects our concerns over the suffering of innocent people.
I am sure this issue and others associated with our border with Mexico will come up at a meeting I have this week with the five Mexican consuls who serve in Arizona. This meeting was requested by the consuls, and I was very pleased by their interest in making this contact with our Church and our Diocese.
7. I wrote last week of how the Presbyteral Council has been assessing the role of the Vicar Forane. A result of that assessment is a statement that contains these important expectations for the Vicar Forane, who represents the Bishop in the area in which he serves:
-- To meet annually and individually with each of the priests of the vicariate for a review of life and a review of the parish and to write a summary of that meeting.
-- To take and bring communication from the Bishop to the priests and staff of the vicariate.
-- To foster programs of spiritual formation within the vicariate.
-- To determine ways for the parishes and missions of the vicariate to work together more closely and to be administered pastorally with greater efficiency.
-- To lead the development of a pastoral plan for each vicariate.
The Vicar Forane is accountable to the Vicar General and to the Bishop. He serves for a period of four years and is appointed by the Bishop upon recommendation of priests in the vicariate.
8. At our Presbyteral Council meeting last week, we welcomed Father Chris Orndorff, pastor of St. James Parish in Coolidge, as the newly appointed Vicar Forane for the Gila-Pinal East Vicariate. I thank Father Martin Martinez for his service in that capacity these past few years.
9. This Saturday, the members of our Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) and I will acknowledge with deep gratitude the service of nine of the DPC's "veteran" members who have completed two three-year terms.
These dedicated members took part in a preparatory year of formation with Bishop Moreno when he reestablished a Pastoral Council in 1996.
They include: Members-at-large Don and Irma Richardson and Margaret Kish; Elizabeth Martell and Amarily Segui of Cochise Vicariate; Clotilde Phillips of Pima Centra; Gil Puente of Pima East; Ken Bichl of Santa Cruz; and Deacon Mark Nixen of Yuma/La Paz.
Also, we will thank Bernice Hobson from Pinal West Vicariate for her service on the Council for the past three years.
The DPC also will be selecting the members of its Executive Committee. We will continue our discussion about ways to foster the renewal of parishes.
I would be pleased to receive from you the names of persons you believe would be good candidates for membership on the DPC. We want to fill the vacancies by our next meeting in August.
10. This Sunday, during a special Eucharistic Celebration at San Augustine Cathedral at 3 p.m., Bishop Moreno and I will commission and send forth 26 women and men as lay ministers to parishes and other ministries of the Diocese. They are the Tucson "cohort" of the Living Stones Program, which represents our commitment to increasing the participation of the laity in the life of the Church.
They have completed a three and a half-year intensive program of nearly 500 hours of formation that has included scripture study, theology, spirituality, retreats, and leadership skills, as well as a supervised practicum for each person. The program was developed by and coordinated by our Department of Parish Life and Ministry.
I joyfully recognize them here:
Gloria and Alex Acosta, St. Bartholomew Parish, San Manuel; Maureen Aikin, Diana Castillo and Mark Licano, St Anthony of Padua, Casa Grande; Leslie Shultz Crist, St, Odilia and St. Cyril; Debra and William Kmak and Gil Puente, St Cyril; Maria Luisa DeLa Rivera, Ana Heredia, Lynne Stockbridge and Helen Underwood, Santa Catalina Mission; Geraldine Del Priore, St Rita, Vail; William Hall, Janet and Don Weindorf, Our Lady of the Valley, Green Valley; Mary Ann Hendrickson, Diocesan Catholic Schools; Sheryl Kardel, St Mark the Evangelist; Marilyn Jane Martin and Gordon Zaft, Ss. Peter and Paul; Roseanne Skapura, St Elizabeth Ann Seton; Loretta Stehle and Christine Stogsdill, Our Mother of Sorrows; and Emily and Manuel Urban, St Odilia.
Please join me and Bishop Moreno in congratulating them and in prayers that God will bless then as they go forth "among the nations."
10. I told you earlier this month about our priests who serve as chaplains in the Archdiocese of the Military. We also have two deacons who have faculties from the Archdiocese. Deacon Al Crockett is assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Deacon Efren Medrano assists at Fort Huachuca. I thank our deacons for their ministry to our servicemen and women and their families.