May 2, 2005 May 9, 2005 May 16, 2005 May 23, 2005
Vol. 3, No. 7
May 2, 2005
May is Mary's month, a time to reflect on her great discipleship. She certainly is the exemplar and model of life in Christ. Her willingness to say "Yes," even though she had doubts, and her reliance on God and God's grace to see her through are encouragements to all of us to trust more fully in God and God's grace.
Why is May Mary's month?
There is an excellent Internet resource at the University of Dayton's "Mary Page" (www.udayton.edu/mary/meditations/crownmed.html) that traces the history of May as the month for popular devotion to the Blessed Mother.
Throughout the Diocese this month, in parishes and schools, the beautiful traditions of May as Mary's month will be passed on to yet another generation. What wonderful memories many of us have of these special devotions.
Next Sunday, of course, we recognize all in our Diocese who are mothers, and in doing so we acknowledge the gift of life that motherhood represents. Let's include in our Mother's Day prayers and thoughts all Women Religious, who are "mothers" in their care and their love to so many.
Bothered by the commercialization of Mother's Day? You may enjoy reading "Mother's Day: What does it really mean?" at the American Catholic Internet site at www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/May2005/Family.asp. You'll learn about the history of the day and its original intent.
I will be visiting my Mom this weekend for Mother's Day. She is 93 this year, and still very much an active mother in the lives of her children.
1. Priests' Convocation -- The attendance at the Convocation was excellent, and I am grateful to each of the priests for taking time away from their busy schedules to be in prayer and fraternity together.
Thanks to Chancellor June Kellen, Judy Richins and Father Jim Hobert for their hard work and planning for this Convocation.
We thank Father John Canary, rector of the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, for his fine presentations at the Priests' Convocation last week. I think all those who were present for his final talk on the way of St. John of the Cross benefited greatly by learning how this 15th century mystic can speak to us today: St. John of the Cross is a reminder to us to find Christ present in our lives, to realize that holiness happens through God's work, not ours.
(Any of our priests who would like to communicate their thanks to Father Canary can do so by e-mail (email@example.com) or by mail to University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, 1000 E. Maple St., Mundelein, Il. 60060.)
2. Detention Ministry -- I will be meeting with the members of our Detention Ministry program this week, and I hope we can lay some groundwork for the new Kolbe Society, which I hope will be established in many of our parishes, especially those that have prisons or detention facilities within their boundaries.
During my recent visit to the State Prison in Douglas, I was struck by the simplicity and sincerity of the faith of those incarcerated. I was humbled by the number who wanted to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and by the depth of their sorrow and repentance. This experience emphasized for me the importance of our Detention Ministry program.
3. Serra Club Golf Tournament -- This annual fun and fundraising tournament to support Vocations will be this Wednesday at the Arizona National Golf Club, and it's not too late to be part of a "five-some" (each foursome will have an additional player, a priest or a religious). Just call 886-5691 to join in on the fun, which this year includes lunch, dinner and raffle prizes. We thank Francis and Angela Horkey for their work as tournament chairpersons.
Once again I will have the opportunity to demonstrate my talents in the areas of hooks, slices, sand traps, water hazards and five-putting. I will not publicize my golf score, but it would be a safe bet to start at 100 and go upwards.
4. Annual Catholic Appeal -- This year's Appeal, "Seeds of Hope," concludes this month in our parishes with the traditional (now in its third year) "Amen! Sunday."
Each parish will select a weekend to say a fervent "Amen!" in thanks for the generosity of so many to the Appeal and to invite one last time those who have not yet made a gift to do so.
Tracking the progress of the Appeal this year, the generosity of Catholic people at this time when the Diocese is in Chapter 11 reorganization represents a wonderful demonstration of solidarity within our Diocesan Family and the commitment of the Catholic people to the mission of the Church.
By the end of April, the Appeal had reached 93 percent of the $3 million goal, boosted by 28 parishes -- the most ever in the 40-plus years of the Appeal -- that have reached or exceeded 100 percent of their goals. Also boosting this year's campaign was the $190 average gift, the highest in the Appeal's history.
5. Catholic Schools -- I will be meeting with supporters of St. Augustine Catholic High School and San Miguel Catholic High School this week to review the progress of our two newest Catholic high schools. Initiating a new Catholic high school is a daunting financial challenge, possible only through the generosity and cooperation of people who believe wholeheartedly in the importance of Catholic education and its importance in transmitting the faith.
I am deeply grateful to Buck O'Rielly (St. Augustine) and Jim Click (San Miguel) for their leadership in developing the campaigns to support our new Catholic high schools. We certainly invite and welcome the support of all in our community to assist these schools to meet the challenges of their formative years.
I was encouraged to read Jim Kiser's recent editorial in the Arizona Daily Star that acknowledged the excellence of our Catholic schools in providing a good education and the efficiency of our diocesan Office of Catholic Schools.
I think Jim's point was that a critical component of the success of our Catholic schools is the preeminence of the community in developing policies, procedures, curriculum and educational philosophy. It is a decentralized approach that obviates the need for a large bureaucracy.
As small as the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools is, it renders great service to our Catholic school principals, faculty and staff and the students and parents whom they serve. I am very pleased for this recognition of the work of the Office and its staff: superintendent Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., assistant superintendent Jean McKenzie, grant coordinator Mary Ann Hendrickson and executive assistant Mary Gioco.
I am very happy to see our Tucson and Nogales Catholic high schools represented in the Arizona Daily Star's annual feature for "Senior Class Achievers" (www.azstarnet.com/sca). When St. Augustine and San Miguel have their first senior classes, we will see them on the list too!
My congratulations to all who were nominated. As the Star very correctly stated: "Keep in mind that the students spread across these pages are only some of the amazing young people out there. Schools could nominate only a percentage of the graduating class, and no school was allowed more than 25 kids. As you well know, there are many, many more worthy students out there."
6. Foundation Cornerstone Gala -- More than 500 people will gather at the Westin La Paloma this Friday evening for the Catholic Foundation's 2005 Cornerstone Gala. I look forward to this annual event, and especially this year when it is our joy to honor Dr. Peter and Pat Likins of the University of Arizona.
I am struck again and again by the number of Catholics in leadership positions in our communities throughout the Diocese who model how people are living out their faith in the workplace. Certainly, this year's honorees at the Gala, Peter and Pat, are marvelous examples of such faith-based service.
It is not too late to be a part of this wonderful evening. For more information contact Martin Camacho at 520- 838-2507.
7. Chapter 11 Update -- Last Monday, the Diocese filed the second amended and restated disclosure statement and the second amended and restated plan of reorganization. This was a signal event in the process of the reorganization case and in our efforts to work with all parties in the case to bring about fair and equitable compensation for those who experienced abuse from priests and other workers for the Church.
The documents were voluminous, and local news media were challenged to synthesize accurately a vast quantity of information.
It has been and remains the position of the Diocese that substantive discussion of matters pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in respect to the Diocese's reorganization case most appropriately should take place before the Court.
Parties in the Diocese's reorganization case have until May 13 to file objections to the second amended and restated disclosure statement and the second amended and restated plan of reorganization. A hearing on any objections is scheduled for May 19.
8. Important Reminder -- It is the policy of the Diocese of Tucson that all clergy (priests and deacons), seminarians, religious and laity from outside the Diocese who come to the Diocese to minister in any way must go through mandatory clearance. I am sending a letter detailing the policy and its procedures to all pastors, administrators, pastor administrators, deacons and parish staff. I emphasize in this letter that we must all work together to ensure a safe environment for our children, adolescents, vulnerable adults and all of God's faithful.
9. "Jesus and Muhammed" -- The Arizona Ecumenical Council presents its 2005 Donohoe Forum, "Jesus and Muhammed: Talking Points in Christian-Muslim Dialogue" on May 11 and 12 at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Tucson.
The presenters are Dr. Charles Kimball, author of "Striving Together" and "When Religion Becomes Evil," Father Christopher Salamy of St. George's Orthodox Church, Imam Mohammed El Farooqui of the Islamic Center of Tucson and Muhammad As'ad of the Islamic Center of Tucson.
Registration deadline is this Friday. For more information and registration, visit www.aecunity.net or call 602-468-3818.
10. Happy Cinco de Mayo! -- This holiday (Thursday) commemorates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Despite its commercialization, for many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of cultural pride and the rights of people to enjoy the benefits of self-determination.
Vol. 3, No. 8
May 9, 2005
If you have called the Pastoral Center over the past few weeks and all you got was ring after ring after ring, we hope we are getting closer to solving the problem.
While we are continuing to have a problem with our phones, we have isolated the problem to incoming calls from phone numbers that begin with 62. Calls from numbers in the 62-X exchange are not being forwarded to the Diocese, and we have our phone company, Xspedius, working with Qwest to solve this problem.
In the interim, any parishes, schools or other parties in this exchange can reach the main Diocese switchboard by dialing 838-2500. Thanks for your patience!
1. Election of Vicars Forane -- I am pleased to announce the results of the elections for Vicars Forane for the Graham-Greenlee, Yuma-La Paz and Pima West Vicariates.
Reelected and reappointed were Father Rudy Rosales, Graham Greenlee, and Father Marcos Velasquez, Yuma-La Paz. Elected and appointed as Vicar Forane for Pima West was Father Steve Barnufsky, O.F.M., pastor of Mission San Xavier del Bac. I thank Father Max Hottle, O.F.M., for his eight years of service as Pima West's Vicar Forane.
I am very grateful for the work of our vicars as they assist in supporting our pastors and addressing issues of concern in their vicariates. Their council and advice is always helpful and appreciated.
2. Summer Pastoral Internships for our Seminarians -- Here are the seminarians and the parishes to which they have been assigned for the Summer Pastoral Internships:
Jesus Acuna, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Somerton; Emilio Chapa, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Benson; Geovany Espinoza, St. Joseph's Parish, Tucson; Milton David Goya, St. John's Parish, Tucson; Mark Long, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Tucson; Edward Lucero, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Safford; Mario "Ricky" Ordonez, St. Monica's Parish, Tucson; Robert "Bobby" Rodriguez, Sacred Heart Parish, Nogales; Virgilio "Jojo" Tabo, Jr., St. Christopher's Parish, Marana; Freddy Alberto Tumbaco, St. Anthony Parish, Casa Grande; Jeffrey Zimmerman, St. Augustine Cathedral and Vocations Office, Tucson.
I am grateful to all the pastors and staffs who will welcome our seminarians to their parishes this summer. Please keep all our seminarians in your prayers during this time of final exams.
3. Serra Club of Tucson Annual Essay Contest Luncheon -- I am looking forward to today's luncheon at which the Serra Club of Tucson will recognize the winners of this year's essay contest, the title of which, "What the Eucharist means to me," was especially fitting during this Year of the Eucharist.
Serran Dick Castellanos reports that this year the Club received the most ever entries ever in the 30-plus years of the contest -- 603! Dick recruited nine readers to select four winners in each of the three grade categories.
The first place winners are: 4th - 6th grade, Kartna Trahin, Loretto School, Douglas; 7th - 8th grade, Ashley Elrod, St. Francis of Assisi School, Yuma; 9th - 12th grade, Marla Marquez, Lourdes High School, Nogales.
The first through fourth place winners and their parents will join us at the luncheon. I hope we can share excerpts from the first place entries in next month's Catholic Vision.
4. More Accolades and Achievements -- In this month's Catholic Vision and on-line at Vision's Web site (www.catholic-vision.org) are this year's accolades and achievements for our Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Tucson. Reviewing the report, it's so encouraging and inspiring to see all the wonderful things that are happening in our Catholic Schools in academics, community service and spiritual formation.
The Tucson Citizen has begun publishing the nominees for the 2005 Tucson Citizen Student Achievement Award, presented annually to a high school senior in the Tucson area who excels in scholarship, leadership and school and extracurricular activities. I am very pleased to see that seniors from Salpointe and Immaculate Heart High Schools are among the nominees. The names and schools of the nominees are available at www.tucsoncitizen.com/projects/student_achieve05.php.
5. Ongoing Priestly Formation -- Tomorrow and Wednesday, the dozen priests who have been participants this past year in the pilot project for On-Going Priestly Formation will be holding their final meeting at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. I will be joining them for part of the meeting, and I look forward to their feedback from this experience how we can better support our priests. I am very grateful to Father Tom Santa, CSsR, for facilitating the project and to all who have assisted in its development.
Also regarding on-going formation, I have initiated a requirement for all priests to participate not only in the October annual retreat and the Spring convocation, but also in an additional seminar of their choice from several that will be offered next year in our Diocese.
6. Welcome to Ron Cruz! -- We are looking forward this week to welcoming Ron Cruz back to the Diocese of Tucson. Ron is executive director of the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and we are very happy that he can spend some quality time with us in his "home town" of Tucson.
As you may know, Ron was a teacher a Salpointe Catholic High School and director of the former diocesan Office of Hispanic Affairs before leaving the Diocese to work first for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and then for the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs. His roots are deep in our community and our Diocese.
Ron has a full schedule of meetings with various constituencies of the Diocese, including a meeting with our diocesan staff, a meeting with our quarterly gathering of recently ordained priests and a joint meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and Hispanic Commission this Saturday. Also, Ron will be presenting a retreat this Friday on "A Changing World and New Challenges for the Church and Society" at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.
7. Arizona Ecumenical Council -- I will be attending the meeting of the Arizona Ecumenical Council tomorrow morning here in Tucson at Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The Council coordinates the ecumenical work of churches, organizations and individuals in Arizona who are committed to Christian unity through prayer, study and action.
The 2005 Donohoe Forum, presented by the Council, will follow the meeting. The Donohoe Forum is named after Msgr. Robert Donohoe (1912-1999, Dioceses of Tucson and Phoenix), who began a fund that would support conferences to promote ecumenism. The Forum was first held in 1987, and it has been conducted annually in the month of May in different parts of the state. This year's forum will address "Jesus and Muhammed: Talking points in Christian-Muslim Dialogue."
8. Confirmations -- This is the peak period for confirmations in our Diocese. This week, I will be conferring the sacrament in Tucson at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, St. Augustine Cathedral, Most Holy Trinity Parish and St. Cyril Parish in Tucson and at St. Helen Mission in Oracle. Bishop Moreno will be conferring the sacrament at St. Mary in the Desert at Three Points and at St. Pius X Parish in Tucson. I am very grateful to Bishop Moreno and Bishop Francis Quinn for their annual assistance in providing this sacramental service to our parishes.
9. Mass at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base -- I will be celebrating the 5 p.m. Mass this Saturday at D-M in the Christ the King Chapel. I recently received word that because of lack of priests the Archdiocese for the Military Services will not be replacing the current Catholic Chaplain when he is reassigned. I know this is a concern for Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, whose ministry in the Archdiocese for the Military Services is to U.S. military personnel and their families, and I will be talking with him soon to see whether we can find a priest to be present at D-M in this important ministry to our Air Force personnel and their families.
10. Chapter 11 Update -- I want to reemphasize what I wrote last week, that the filing of the second disclosure statement and second plan in the Diocese's reorganization case was a signal event in the process of the case and in our efforts to work with all parties in the case to bring about an equitable resolution for those who experienced abuse from priests and other workers for the Church. The purpose of the disclosure statement is to provide creditors with adequate information to allow them to make an informed decision whether to vote for or against the plan of reorganization. The hearing to confirm the plan is scheduled for June 30.
The documents were voluminous, and local news media were challenged to synthesize accurately a vast quantity of information.
We are in dialogue with the Tucson Citizen about its editorial of last Monday that we believe mischaracterized the compensation proposed by the Diocese. We believe that this mischaracterization was due both to inaccurate information and to misunderstandings of what the Diocese is trying to accomplish with the cooperation of the Tort Claimants Committee.
11. Annual Catholic Appeal -- We are just two percentage points away from our 2005 Annual Catholic Appeal Goal of $3 million! More parishes than ever -- 30 in all -- have reached or exceeded their goals. The average gift to this year's Appeal is $188, the highest ever.
12. St. Maximilian Kolbe Society -- At our recent meeting of the Detention Ministry Program, we took a significant step toward the establishment of the St. Maximilian Kolbe Society. This new society would derive its inspiration from the life and death of St. Maximilian, the Polish priest imprisoned at Auschwitz who ministered under brutal treatment to other prisoners and who offered his life in place of a prisoner chosen to die as retribution for an escape.
The Society would provide a structure for helping to recruit and train volunteers for detention ministry and also would support the spiritual formation and fraternity of those involved in detention ministry.
The initial efforts of the Society would take place in the Fall at Our Mother of Sorrows and St. Monica Parishes in Tucson with educational presentations at weekend Masses. Look for a complete report on the St. Maximilian Kolbe Society in the June issue of Catholic Vision.
13. Immigration Law Reform -- Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, Bishop Michael Neils of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rabbi Mark Bisman of the Har Zion Congregation in Scottsdale, Michelle Steinberg of the Phoenix Jewish Community Relations Council and I met last week with Sen. John McCain at his Phoenix office to talk about his upcoming legislation, cosponsored with Sen. Edward Kennedy, on immigration law reform.
We expressed to him three elements of immigration law reform that matter to religious leaders in Arizona: that there be a path to permanent residency for immigrants already in the U.S. that is an "earned" legalization and not so onerous as to frustrate the process; that a worker program not tie a person to a particular job or employer (that has in the past has led to exploitation), but provide an opportunity for a person to work and if necessary to change jobs; that there be family-based immigration reform that would shorten the time for reunification of families as well as that would lift some of the immigration quotas for families. Sen. McCain was very attentive to our input, and we felt the dialogue was productive.
14. Catholic Foundation Cornerstone Gala -- The Cornerstone Gala at the Westin La Paloma Friday evening was a great success. Congratulations to the committee who worked very hard to increase participation and to make the evening special. Peter and Pat Likins of the University of Arizona were the honorees for this year's Gala. They are exemplars in our community, and it was a delight to recognize their many contributions to our community since Peter arrived as President of the University of Arizona just eight years ago.
The Foundation gave out a number of gifts to various agencies and parishes to help in their work. The Foundation works hard to provide assistance to causes that are making a difference in our community. There will be a report on the Gala and the gifts in the June issue of Catholic Vision.
15. Congratulations! -- Congratulations to Tom Smith of the Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund and his wife Michelle as they celebrate the wedding of their daughter Teresa to Jorge Alzadon this weekend at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson.
16. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Father Walter Holly, O.F.M., is at Northwest Hospital recovering from a heart procedure. Also, we are grateful that Sister Jose Hobday, O.S.F., is back home from the hospital and doing very well and ready to return to her ministry.
Vol. 3, No. 9
May 16, 2005
We are aglow from Pentecost!
We celebrated yesterday the great feast that marks the birthday of the Church and the entrusting of Christ's mission to the Church.
Knowing first hand the denial and failings of his own disciples, who again and again fell short of the call he gave them, Christ promised that he and the Father would send the Spirit to guide the Church and keep the Church faithful.
At a time when they were fearful and doubtful, the Spirit descended upon the disciples gathered in that upper room and they became emboldened by the Spirit to confidently take up the work of Christ.
In our day, we know that our own Church community of disciples is made up of human beings with limitations and failings. We have experienced the consequences of those limitations and failings.
Yet, we take courage in knowing the Spirit is with us and that we too are invited to take God's message to every community in our Diocese.
I hope we might experience the excitement and enthusiasm of the early disciples who burst out of the upper room to proclaim Christ's Good News to every nation.
1. Lay Ecclesial Ministry -- I am in Denver today for an important meeting of the Subcommittee on Lay Ecclesial Ministry.
Our task today is to complete revisions to the latest draft of the foundational document on Lay Ecclesial Ministry. The draft has been sent to all U.S. bishops for their input. The feedback to date has been encouraging, and while substantive observations have been made the overall rating of the document by the bishops who responded was very positive.
Present at today's meeting will the bishops of the Subcommittee as well as the bishops of the Committee on the Laity and our consultants.
At the June meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Chicago, I will invite the bishops to a full discussion of the document in preparation for presenting it for approval at the November general meeting.
As you may remember from previous Memo items, the work of our Subcommittee has been focused on a particular subset of lay ministers, addressing the theology of lay ecclesial ministry, the preparation and formation of lay ecclesial ministers and their identity and relationships within the Church.
2. Diocesan Finance Council -- At its meeting tomorrow, the Diocesan Finance Council will conduct a final review of the proposed annual operating budget of the Diocese for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Considering that we are in the Chapter 11 reorganization process and under the oversight of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, this has been a unique budget preparation experience for the department directors.
We are looking at a "status quo" budget that will maintain the current level of programs and support services. I think this is very much in the spirit of our goals for the Chapter 11 reorganization in respect to continuing the mission of the Church in our Diocese as we seek to provide just and equitable compensation for victims of abuse.
That we can consider maintaining the current level of programs and services certainly is due to the overwhelming generosity of parishioners to this year's Annual Catholic Appeal.
3. Annual Catholic Appeal -- As I have said over the course of the campaign these past four months, the generosity of parishioners demonstrates their commitment to continuing the mission of the Church through the 23 ministries and charities that are supported by the Appeal.
As the campaign nears its conclusion, the most important outcome for me has been the great spirit of teamwork and solidarity that our pastors, parish staffs and generous parishioners demonstrated.
I thank the members of the Board of Directors of the Diocese of Tucson Charities and Ministry Fund Inc. for their leadership and guidance and the staff of the Charities and Ministries Fund Office of Tom Smith, Nancy Gastellum and Irene Holquin for all their hard work on behalf of the Appeal.
4. Appointments -- I am pleased to announce two appointments of pastors: Father Martin Atanga-Baabuge to St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Sunsites-Pearce; and Father Robert Brazaskas to Our Lady of the Mountains in Sierra Vista. Their appointments are effective May 16.
Also, I am pleased to announce that Father Chris Orndorff, after a time away from ministry responsibilities, has informed me that he is interested in returning to ministry in the Diocese. Father Chris is looking forward to beginning an assignment on June 15.
5. Immigration Reform -- There were two significant developments last week regarding reform of our nation's immigration system.
First, the U.S. Catholic Bishops announced the official launch the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform -- Justice for Immigrants: A Journey of Hope. Comprehensive immigration reform -- including a broad legalization program -- is the goal of the national campaign. Catholic organizations that have come together to launch the campaign intend to mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions and individuals in support of its goals. The campaign also marks a new effort to educate and galvanize Catholics on the need for "justice for immigrants."
Among the resources of the campaign are Web sites in English and Spanish (www.justiceforimmigrants.org and www.justiciaparalosinmigrantes.org).
The second major development was the introduction of the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 in the U.S. Congress.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, Bishop Donald Pelotte of the Diocese of Gallup and I released a statement in which we commended U.S. Sen. John McCain and U.S. Reps. Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake of Arizona for introducing the legislation in their respective houses.
In our statement, we said we can no longer accept a status quo that leads to the exploitation and death of migrants, and we called upon Congress to begin the process of reforming our immigration system.
6. On-Going Priestly Formation -- I met last week with the nine priests who have been participating in the year long pilot project for On-Going Priestly Formation for a full day of evaluation of their experience.
Father Richard Kingsley, Father Jim Hobert, Father Kevin Clinch, Father Joeseph Neitlong, Father Mike Bucciarelli, Father Dale Branson, Father Van Wagner, Father Henri Capdeville, O.S.B., and Father Harry Ledwith told me they were very pleased to have the opportunity to gather in a learning community and to receive presentations on theology. They said they had found that a real bond and connectedness had developed among them and that they hope other priests will have a similar opportunity in the future. They also had some suggestions on how to enhance fraternity among priests in the Diocese.
The Catholic Home Missions provided a grant that made this project possible.
7. A Retirement Celebration -- Colleagues and friends of Mary Lebron will gather this Wednesday to honor and celebrate her 30 years of dedicated service to Catholic Social Service of Tucson and its clients. The invitation to Mary's retirement celebration spoke volumes in just 26 words:
"There are some people who come into our lives and touch us in a very special way. For many, Mary Lebron is that kind of person."
Mary has been immensely helpful to our Diocese through her consultation regarding counseling of persons who have experienced sexual abuse by priests and other workers for the Church.
8. Chapter 11 Update -- There will be a hearing this Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on the second amended and restated disclosure statement and second amended and restated plan of reorganization. We remain very encouraged and hopeful that a consensual plan will be developed to bring about just and equitable compensation for those who experienced abuse from priests and other workers for the Church.
I had a very positive dialogue on Friday with Mark Kimble and Diane Luber of the Tucson Citizen. We reviewed the news story and editorial of two weeks ago that concerned the compensation for victims of abuse that the Diocese has proposed in the second amended and restated disclosure statement. There was a commitment by the Citizen to address our concerns about the accuracy of information in the news story and in the editorial.
9. World Youth Day -- I am excited that I will be able to attend World Youth Day in August in Cologne, Germany, and I am very pleased that I will be in the company of some of our young people from the Diocese.
I understand that youth from Sts. Peter and Paul and Blessed Kateri Parishes in Tucson will be attending. Mike Berger of our diocesan Office of Catechesis is helping to coordinate participation by youth from our Diocese, and he can be contacted at 520-792-3410 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
World Youth Day (www.wjt2005.de) is a very powerful opportunity for young persons to experience the Church in a new and different way, to see and experience the diversity of the Church and the pride and enthusiasm of their peers for spiritual values.
As the world stood in awe of the leadership of Pope John Paul II, we see in a striking way the importance of religious leadership in our world today, something we may not have considered until these momentous days of last April.
I hope that in witnessing this our young people will hear God's call in their lives to serve as priests or religious in carrying out the work of the Church. I encourage our pastors and parish staffs to invite young people to consider a vocation, especially in the wake of the recognition given to Pope John Paul II.
We will be inviting the young adults who participated in the Lenten gatherings to consider whether God may be calling them to service in the Church.
10. Pope John Paul II Endowment for Youth -- In response to the immense outpouring of love and respect for Pope John Paul II, the Board of Directors for Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson has renamed the Youth Ministry Endowment the Pope John Paul II Endowment for Youth.
The renaming of the Youth Ministry Endowment in honor of his Holiness is a fitting tribute to a man who did so much to bring the Gospel message to young people.
Donations can be made by check payable to the Catholic Foundation and mailed to the Catholic Foundation, P.O. Box 31, Tucson, AZ 85702.
11. The Legacy of John Paul II -- Deacon Frank Collura of St. Francis de Sales Parish will give a presentation this coming Saturday in the O'Leary Room of the parish center from 9 to 11 a.m. on the legacy of John Paul II.
Deacon Frank has identified four primary legacies the Holy Father has left us: his 105 pastoral visits around the world; the body of his writings (books, encyclicals, letters and exhortations); establishing the wonderful precedent of World Youth Day; his Theology of the Body; and the New Catechism. And there are many more legacies, Deacon Frank adds.
Deacon Frank would be very happy to go to any parish to give his presentation on Pope John Paul II's legacies and to share reflections on the transition to Pope Benedict XVI. You can contact Deacon Frank through St. Francis de Sales Parish, 520-885-5908.
12. More on Vocations -- I asked Father Miguel Mariano, our director of Vocations, to share with Monday Memo an update on the activities of his office. Here is his report:
"Lately, we have been noticing an increased interest in vocations. Vocations are nurtured and 'coming forward,' as we have undertaken as a faith community to put priority on encouraging and inviting people to pray for vocations.
"Andrew-Miryam Dinners have been scheduled for 2005-2006. Some of our present seminarians and applicants have attended a dinner with the Bishop and the vocations director.
"There is a Vocations Retreat (men and women) scheduled for June 24-26.
"Five members of the In Search Discernment Program have decided to undergo the application process for the school year 2005-2006. The following year looks very promising already, with six persons signing up for the program.
"During this year of the Eucharist, special emphasis is being placed to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send more workers to his vineyard. This Nov. 9, the 'Vocations Monstrance' that Pope John Paul II blessed will be coming to Tucson for a day. It will be an opportunity to entrust our Diocese to the Eucharistic Lord as we ask for more young people to respond to the 'call' to serve the Church."
I thank Father Miguel for this report.
Father Ray Webb, vice president and academic dean of University St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary, this week will be visiting Mark Long, our seminarian at St. Mary, at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish where Mark will have his summer pastoral internship under the supervision of Father John Lyons.
Part of all formation in seminaries now includes the opportunity for seminarians to do supervised pastoral work in their diocese for an extended period of time. St. Mary requires a full quarter of service that includes an on-site assessment of the seminarian's experience, and that is what Father Ray will be doing this week.
13. Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate -- I will be visiting the community of Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David this Sunday afternoon for a joyful occasion. I will be ordaining Brother Benedict Lemeki, O.S.B., to the transitional diaconate, the final step toward his ordination to the priesthood next year.
14. Graduations -- I will be celebrating Graduation Masses this Saturday for Salpointe Catholic High School and Immaculate Heart High School. I am grateful to the parents of our seniors and the administration and faculty who have worked with these young people to prepare them for the future and to inculcate Catholic values. I will be celebrating the Graduation Mass next weekend for the second graduating class of Yuma Catholic High School. Unfortunately, a conflict with my schedule does not allow me to celebrate the Graduation Mass this year with the seniors of Lourdes Catholic High School, but I will be there in spirit.
15. Accolades and Achievements -- Congratulations to Annalyn Rose Censky of Salpointe Catholic High School who was announced last Thursday as one of this year's two winners of the Tucson Citizen Student Achievement Award.
The Citizen wrote that Annalyn is "editor of The Crusader newsmagazine and the winner of numerous state and national journalism awards, has spent three years working for that publication and also has found time to do speech and debate, run the school's Quill and Scroll Society, be a Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership ambassador and be on the organizing committee for the Salpointe Community Education Workshop. She has a 4.15 GPA. She will attend Arizona State University in Tempe, with a double-major in journalism and justice studies."
Congratulations as well to the other winner, Kevin Joseph Lopez of Sells, who attends the Ha:Sañ Preparatory and Leadership School.
16. CRS Tsunami Relief Report -- More than $150 million has been given to Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international relief agency, to address the tsunami crisis that struck Southeast Asia in the India Ocean region less than five months ago. The donations are believed to mark the most money ever collected by the Church in the U.S. in a single appeal.
CRS, which made the figures public May 6, reported that 13 dioceses have given more than $1 million each to the CRS tsunami relief effort. In our Diocese, parishioners and others gave $485,939.26 to the CRS relief effort -- by far the most generous response ever from our Diocese to any special appeal.
17. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- The family of Ray Brossart, father-in-law of Mike Berger, who died last week. Our condolences to Sue, Mike's wife, and her mother, Lois.
Vol. 3, No. 10
May 23, 2005
Law enforcement and news media outlets in Arizona were reporting last night and this morning the deaths of five or possibly six persons whose bodies were discovered in the desert over the weekend. It appeared they had died from the effects of the blistering heat of the last few days.
Several dozen other persons escaped the possibility of the same terrible death in the desert only because they were rescued by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Those who died and those who were rescued were identified as migrants.
According to news media reports, from Jan. 1 through today, 71 persons have died in the desert after crossing into Arizona from Mexico, and the projection is that the total number of migrants who may die this year after crossing into Arizona from Mexico may reach more than 200.
With other Arizona religious leaders, I have witnessed the efforts of the Church in Altar, Sonora, to provide education on the dangers of the desert and to discourage people who have gathered there from trying to attempt the journey.
For many, the desperation that drives this migration is stronger than the risk of dying a terrible death in the heat.
It is a very frustrating and tragic situation.
The entirety of Arizona's border with Mexico is within our Diocese. So, that is why the continuing deaths in the desert call us to respond with prayer, with support of legal humanitarian aid and with renewed efforts to encourage comprehensive immigration reform.
1. Presbyterial Council -- This morning's meeting here at the Pastoral Center will be the last for the Presyterial Council before the summer break, and agenda items include an update on the Chapter 11 case (see item below), reports from the vicariates, scheduling of meetings through next year and appointment of a committee to establish a uniform policy on stipends and stole fees.
2. Council for Youth and Young Adult Concerns -- I will be meeting with the council this evening here at the Pastoral Center to reflect with its members on the youth and young adult initiatives of this past year and to look toward the coming year's priorities and calendar events.
Maureen Kingery of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Michelle Benzenhofer of St. Cyril Parish, Mike Berger and I met last week to evaluate the First Annual Pope John Paul II Youth Awards Evening. Feedback was very positive, and there was unanimous support to continue this new tradition that recognizes the accomplishments of our youth. The date for next year's event was tentatively set for May 6, pending availability of the location. Some good suggestions came forward on how to make the evening even more special for those who attend. Our hope is that next year even more parishes will participate.
3. Task Force on Methamphetamines -- This Tucson-area community initiative will meet on Wednesday to discuss a strategy to be implemented in one or more specific geographic areas of the city to consider the pervasiveness of the drug and the devastating problems its manufacture and use cause for individuals, families and the entire community.
This initiative includes representatives from many different facets of the community. We need to act now to say "No, not in Tucson!" to this drug that is so highly addictive and so terribly destructive.
4. Pastoral Visit to St. Theresa, Patagonia -- I will be visiting this week with the Parish and Finance Councils of St. Therese in Patagonia to discuss the needs of the parish, directions of pastoral leadership, the growth that the area is experiencing and the need for a new church in Sonoita, which is a mission of St. Theresa.
5. Pastoral Center Staff Meeting -- This Thursday morning we will gather for our monthly staff meeting. Our directors alternate in the responsibility for chairing these meetings and arranging agendas. We recently have been focusing on security and personal safety for the Pastoral Center.
6. Yuma Area Visit -- I will be in the Yuma area this weekend to celebrate confirmations at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton, St. John Neumann Parish in the Yuma foothills, St. Joseph the Worker Mission in Welton and St. Jude Thaddeus in San Luis.
I also will be celebrating graduation Mass for the 72 members of the second graduating class of Yuma Catholic High School and their families and friends.
Sister Alexandria Bettinardi, O.S.F., who serves as business secretary for Yuma Catholic, shared this information about the class of '05: $774,810 has been awarded in scholarships to members of the senior class, with more still coming. About two-thirds of the class will be attending a four-year college, with the remaining third planning to attend a two-year college. Outstanding!
7. Photos of Pope Benedict XVI -- Catholic News Service is offering photographs of Pope Benedict XVI that are suitable for display at parishes and schools. Examples of the photos and information about sizes, prices and how to order are available at www.catholicnews.com. Photos of Pope John Paul II also are available. (Some have asked about obtaining my photograph for their parish, school or institution. Contact Sister Charlotte Ann Swift, O.P., at my office for information.)
8. Chapter 11 Update -- Significant progress in the Diocese's Chapter 11 case was reported to Judge James Marlar in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing last Thursday. Attorneys representing the Diocese and other major parties in the case have reached agreement "in principle" to resolve objections to the Diocese's amended and restated disclosure statement and amended and restated plan of reorganization. A third amended and restated disclosure statement and plan of reorganization will be submitted to the Court within the next few weeks, with final hearings scheduled during the second full week of July. We remain very encouraged by the efforts of all parties in the case to reach a consensual plan that will provide for the just and equitable compensation of those who have suffered abuse from priests and other workers for the Church.
On Saturday, an auction for the sale of diocesan properties was held in order to garner resources to compensate those harmed within the household of the faith. While it is difficult to relinquish these properties that were being held for new parishes to respond to the great growth we are experiencing in the Diocese, the sale was necessary and was a demonstration of our commitment for the healing and for the just and equitable compensation of those who have experienced harm. I am grateful to John Shaheen, our diocesan property manager, Father Al Schifano, our Moderator of the Curia, Hank Amos and his associates at Tucson Realty & Trust and the Accelerated Marketing Group for all the hard work that went into arranging and conducting the auction. The results of the auction will be reported by late June.
9. Welcome Back to Father Mike Martinez -- Father Mike Martinez has returned to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson from his duty in Iraq as chaplain for the Arizona Air National Guard. We congratulate Father Mike on his recent promotion to Major.
10. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- John Holbery, brother of Jo Ann Sayre, who died last week. Also, Robert Carney Sr., Father George Coyne, S.J., and Father Walter Holley, O.F. M., who are hospitalized. And, the mother of Dr. Jose Santiago, who died recently in Spain.
11. Memorial Day Mass -- The Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries will have Mass at both Holy Hope Cemetery and All Faiths Memorial Cemeteries a week from today, Memorial Day, at 8 a.m. Bishop Quinn will preside at Holy Hope, and Bishop Moreno will preside at All Faiths.
We will gather to remember our beloved faithful departed, especially those men and women who have died while serving our nation in the armed forces. We will commemorate the gift of their lives that has made it possible for us to live in the freedom that we enjoy today. The Cemetery Staff cordially invites all to attend the Memorial Day Service.
12. Ordination Celebration -- Despite yesterday afternoon's heat, the outdoor diaconate ordination liturgy at Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David went well. Brother Benedict Maria Lemeki, O.S.B., was ordained to the transitory diaconate to the delight of the Tongan Community in Arizona. They decorated the space with traditional festive mats and sang Tongan hymns. The celebration afterward included serving roasted pig, yams and other Tongan foods. Even Father Henri Capdeville, O.S.B., the prior, participated in the dancing as the Tongan Community rejoiced in the ordination of one of their own.
13. "Day of Small Miracles" -- I am always inspired when you share the joyful times of your ministry and work for the Church. This reflection from Teresita Scully of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson was passed on to me last week, and I am happy to share it with you.
Yesterday was a day of small miracles for me -- three of them actually. First, one of my teen leaders, Rachel Ocampo, told us that she had been awarded a full scholarship, covering even travel, to the Bread for the World Convention in Washington. Joanne Welter sent me the application. I gave it to Rachel knowing her interest in service and charitable works. She looked at it and said that she has never belonged to any of the organizations listed -- surely they would not consider her. I said tell them that you belong to St. Vincent de Paul and you have raised $500 for CRS tsunami relief and tell them about the trips to Mexico and working in Nogales. If you get to go it will be a good Ecumenical Experience for you, it will give you a global perspective of these thing, and it will be good for them to see a young Catholic woman so deeply involved. She is elated and so am I.
Second, a young man came in to see me. He is a junior at the UA and lives in our area. He told me that since Christmas he has been feeling a need for God in his life and that going to Mass is just not enough -- he wants to join our young adult group and to get involved in ministry, including the trips to Mexico. Well, folks, it just doesn't get any better than this. It is such a privilege to witness someone responding to the call of grace.
Third, when I returned from Nogales and taking the tamale profits to Sister Anna for the poor people in the colonia, my new assistant, Amanda, who is also college student, told me that next time she will go with me. "Oh," I said, "you are getting over your fear?" "Yes," she said, "the Spirit is giving me courage. I want to see for myself what the people are like."
Teresita, thank you for your reflection. I couldn't have put into better words your summary of the joy of ministry: "It is such a privilege to witness someone responding to the call of grace."
I invite all of you to share with me the "Small Miracles" you experience so that I can in turn share them here in Monday Memo.
It is good to experience the powerful ways that Christ is working through his Church in the good work of its members. That happens everyday, all around our Diocese. As the song goes, "Open my eyes Lord, help me to see your face."
See Christ's face daily in the "Small Miracles" made possible by our coworkers in the vineyard.