May 2, 2011 May 9, 2011 May 16, 2011 May 23, 2011

Vol. 9, No. 7
May 2, 2011


This is Mary's Month, and how fitting that the first day of May was selected by Pope Benedict XVI for the Mass of Beatification of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

The Holy Father reflected in his homily on Blessed Pope John Paul II's devotion to Mary, saying, "All of us rejoice that the beatification takes place on this first day of the month of Mary, beneath the maternal gaze of the one who by her faith sustained the faith of the Apostles and constantly sustains the faith of their successors, especially those called to occupy the Chair of Peter."

He noted that Blessed Pope John Paul II's apostolic motto Totus Tuus ("totally yours") was inspired by the prayer found in "True Devotion to Mary" by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort. (The complete text of the prayer in Latin is: "Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt" ("I am all Yours, and all that I have belongs to You").

And, Pope Benedict noted that Blessed Pope John Paul II had the letter "M" for Mary (in a Marian Cross) in his coat of arms.

Yesterday's Mass of Beatification at St. Peter's Basilica was a beautiful and profoundly moving liturgy. If you weren't able to stay up late (or get up really early) to watch the Mass, I hope you have seen some of the television coverage. There are several Web sites at which you will be able to see the Mass and today's Mass of Thanksgiving, including the Vatican's special Web page for the beatification here.

I was impressed and inspired to see the enthusiasm of people in our Diocese for the beatification. Clearly, our community feels a deep connection to Blessed Pope John Paul II, who was loved by young and old alike. I remember fondly his presence at World Youth Days (which he began as a way of involving young people in the Church). He held great affection for the young and they for him.

I remember being in the Kiel Center in St. Louis with 20,000 young people when the Holy Father came to the city in 1999. Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals, who in 1999 hit 65 homeruns, was cheered loudly when he came into the stadium. But when Pope John Paul II, beginning to show signs of his failing health, entered the place went crazy. As a loving grandfather, he told the young people to, "take the faith seriously and be the light of the world." When they presented him with a hockey stick and a St. Louis Blues hockey jersey, he rose from his chair where he had been sitting and looking so tired to stand tall and energized. He told the young people, "Now, I am ready to play hockey again!"

Blessed Pope John Paul II endeared himself to so many. Many of you remember when he was in Phoenix in 1987. Some of our priests concelebrated Mass with him and some of you were there in person. He loved people and being with people

I remember when Bishop Manuel Moreno and I met with him privately as part of our ad limina visit in Rome in 2003. Pope John Paul II looked so tired, but he was so interested in knowing about our Diocese. He could barely lift his head because his infirmities had progressed so much. We spoke in Spanish since he seemed more comfortable in that language than in English. His steadfastness, despite his infirmities, moved us.

We can all benefit from his example and learn from his witness of faith. He accomplished so much, but most of us will remember our own personal encounters with him and what those encounters mean to us today. If you have a recollection of Blessed Pope John Paul II that you would like to share, send it to bishop@diocesetucson.org and we will share them here and in The New Vision.

1. Tornadoes, Severe Storms Disaster Relief -- Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Charities agencies are participating in disaster relief efforts for the thousands of persons left homeless by the tornadoes and severe storms of the last few weeks in our country.
Catholic Charities agencies are assisting in Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Agencies are conducting damage assessment and providing outreach in the hundreds of communities affected by the disasters. Catholic Charities USA, the national office for the 170 member agency human services and disaster response organizations, is coordinating with local agencies and providing assistance and support. Grant requests are being processed to provide funding support for immediate relief and case management efforts.
To contribute your help and support to meet needs in these areas and others, please go to the Catholic Charities USA disaster donation Web page.
2. Catholic Foundation Cornerstone Gala -- Friday evening's Catholic Foundation Cornerstone Gala, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Foundation, was a resounding success. The banquet room at Ventana Canyon was packed, and there was a wonderful spirit present.

I was so pleased that Maureen Roll, widow of Judge John Roll, and their three sons (Robert, Patrick, Chris) and their wives could be with us as we honored Judge Roll's life of integrity. I know Maureen was moved to see the great regard those present have for her husband, who was such a model of faith and dedication.

Archbishop José Gomez, new Archbishop of Los Angeles, endeared himself to all by his beautiful reflection on what it means to be a good steward, sharing as a disciple of Christ one's time, talent and treasure. Archbishop Gomez likes to refer to the saints as exemplars for us in our own desire to become more faithful daughters and sons of God. He spoke of the courage and commitment demonstrated by St. Gianna, the doctor and mother who gave her life that her child might live.

During the evening, a number of our parishes, schools, and Catholic agencies received grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 from the Catholic Foundation to assist them in their mission.

I am grateful to Martin Camacho, director of the Catholic Foundation, to Foundation staff members Clara Moreno and Michele Antle, and to the Cornerstone Gala committee for a beautiful and inspiring evening.

3. Celebration at St. Pius X Parish -- I had the joy yesterday morning to celebrate Mass with the community of St. Pius X Parish in Tucson.

The parish has the custom on the Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, of holding a fiesta after Mass. I enjoyed walking with Father Harry Ledwith, pastor, around the food and game booths. We were escorted by a very large and toothy Bunny.

Parishioners pitched in to bring food, and there was a booth sponsored by Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish serving fry bread and other treats. St. Pius X had invited Blessed Kateri Parish to participate in order to help raise money for the Tekakwitha Conference that will be held here in Tucson in July. (This national Conference brings together native peoples from all around the U.S. It is always a marvelous event.)

4. Serra Club of Tucson -- Today's meeting of the Serra Club of Tucson will be the occasion for recognizing the winners of the Club's annual essay contest. I look forward to presenting the winners their certificates and hearing the first place winners read their essays.

This year's essay contest had different topics for the three grade divisions. For the fourth through sixth grade, the topic was, "When I speak with Jesus, what does he say to me?" For the seventh and eighth grades the topic was, "How and when do I know that Jesus is with me?" For the ninth through twelfth grades, the topic was, "Where am I going in my life and how do I know that Jesus is going with me?"

This year's winners are:

Fourth through sixth grade: first place, Lliana Robles, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Tucson; second place, Hannah VanLoan, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Tucson; third place, Isabelle Young Mada, Sts. Peter and Paul School, Tucson; fourth place, Jason Villanueva, St. John the Evangelist School, Tucson.

Seventh and eighth grade: first place, Audrianna Herran, Sts. Peter and Paul School, Tucson; second place, Yasmeen Shrestha, Sts. Peter and Paul School, Tucson; third place, Juliana Grenier, Sts. Peter and Paul School, Tucson; fourth place, Alyssa Benefield, Sts. Peter and Paul School, Tucson.

High school: first place, Mathew Granado, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; second place, Henry Ishimwe, San Miguel Cristo Rey High School, Tucson; third place, Yasmeen Alsaidi, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; fourth place, Briana Bueina, San Miguel Cristo Rey High School, Tucson.

5. On the Confirmation Trail ¬-- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson this evening, at Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson this Saturday afternoon, at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Miami this Sunday afternoon and at Holy Angels Parish in Globe this Sunday afternoon.

6. Annual Diocese of Tucson Priests' Convocation -- Our annual Priest's Convocation is this week, from Tuesday through Thursday at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort in Chandler.

The theme for this year's Convocation is " Liturgical Prayer: Ever Ancient, Ever New," and our special guest presenter will be Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Wednesday evening, we will have our "Celebration of Priesthood" banquet during which we will recognize our priests who this year are celebrating jubilee anniversaries of their ordinations.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination is Father Peter Nwachukwu, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Ajo.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their ordinations are: Msgr. John Cusack, Chaplain at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson; Father Tony Ruiz, a retired priest of our Diocese; Father Bill Shuppert, parochial vicar at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson; and Father Bob Tamminga, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of their ordinations are: Father Bob Burns, O.P., longtime professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Arizona; Father Cyprian Hibner, O. Carm., who is retired; Father Alan Laubenthal, a retired priest of the Diocese of Cleveland; and Msgr. Van Wagner, who served Bishop Moreno and myself as Vicar General and who is retired.

Celebrating the 55th anniversary of their ordinations are Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo, who served Bishop Moreno and myself as Vicar General and who is retired; Father Gerry Cote, a retired priest of our Diocese; Msgr. Bob Fuller, our most senior priest still in active ministry as pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson; Father Ron Gagnon, a retired priest of our Diocese; and Father John Malley, O. Carm., who is retired.

7. Annual American Cardinals Dinner -- I am very pleased this Friday evening to be attending this year's American Cardinals Dinner of the Catholic University of America.

This special annual dinner, begun in 1989, has raised more than $26 million to enable students who are in need of financial support to attend Catholic University.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix is the host for this 22nd annual dinner, which is being held at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa.

This year's honorees are: Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago; Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia; Cardinal Sean O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop Galveston-Houston; and Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.

8. Official Appointments -- Our Priests' Personnel Board has worked very hard these last few months to consider the needs of our parishes and the interests of our priests, resulting in a long list of changes at our parishes. I sent letters last week to our priests who are receiving new assignments and appointments, and they will be informing their parishes this week. Next week's Memo will include a list of the new appointments.

9. New Look for Our Diocesan Web Site -- Please visit our diocesan Web site to see what Omar Rodriguez, our diocesan graphic artist and Web expert, has done to further enhance the home page.

10. Vatican Statement Regarding the Death of Osama bin Laden -- From Catholic News Service:

The Vatican said the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, a man who sowed division and hatred and who caused "innumerable" deaths, should prompt serious reflection about one's responsibility before God, not rejoicing.

The Vatican statement May 2 came the day after President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden in an attack on his hideout in northwest Pakistan. In several U.S. cities, the news prompted street demonstrations and expressions of jubilation.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a brief written statement reacting to the news.

"Osama bin Laden, as we all know, bore the most serious responsibility for spreading divisions and hatred among populations, causing the deaths of innumerable people, and manipulating religions to this end," Father Lombardi said.

"In the face of a man's death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred," the spokesman said.

The Vatican missionary news agency, Fides, reported that Christian schools and other institutes were closed and churches put on guard in Pakistan's main cities out of fear of possible repercussions on the Christian minorities there. Pakistani Christians are often identified in extremist literature with the West and the U.S.

Vol. 9, No. 8
May 9, 2011

The 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations is this Sunday, Good Shepherd Sunday, and Pope Benedict XVI has some powerful words of encouragement for us about our responsibility to foster vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life.

In his message for this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, "Proposing Vocations in the Local Church," our Holy Father encourages the entire local Church -- priests, families, catechists and youth ministers -- to take advantage of "every moment in the life of the Church community" for prayer and pastoral activity to demonstrate to children and to young people a sense of "belonging to the Church and of responsibility for answering the call to priesthood and religious life by a free and informed decision."

Please read and reflect on our Holy Father's message and think about and pray about what you can do in your parish, your Catholic School and your family to invite and encourage vocations.

Our U.S. Bishops' websites, www.ForYourVocation.org and www.PorTuVocacion.org, and their Facebook pages and other social media outlets have excellent resources to help you build a culture of vocations in our parishes, Catholic Schools and in the homes of our parishioners.

It has been my goal that our Diocese would be able to generate 10 new vocations a year to the priesthood. While we have not yet met that goal, I know many of you are praying and working to support vocations to the priesthood.

Father Ricky Ordonez, our diocesan Vocations director, says we should have four or five new seminarians for next year who will join the 12 seminarians currently studying for our Diocese. I mentioned recently in my column in The New Vision that rarely do priests or parents, teachers and youth ministers encourage young people to consider a vocation to a life of service in the Church and yet the life of a priest or religious can be so fulfilling and accomplish so much good. Consider whom you might encourage to think about being a priest or religious. Your words of encouragement matter much.

1. Profound Moments -- I had a powerful experience of encouragement about the vocation of the priesthood last week as we concluded our annual Priests' Convocation.

I had invited our priests to share with our group the one moment of their priestly ministry in this past year that had profoundly affected them.

For one, the profound moment came when he saw more than 600 of his parishioners responding to his invitation to attend a communal penance service, demonstrating their desire to experience the grace and healing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

For another, the profound moment also involved the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He had been giving individual instruction for the RCIA to a young man who had first presented himself as being anti-Catholic. Over the course of several months, he saw how this young man was being transformed by Christ, and when he saw the young man's tears of joy after his first confession he knew he was witnessing the power of Christ's love.

We heard from another priest how he encountered the legacy of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino as he participated in some of last month's events for the 300th anniversary of Padre Kino's death. He shared with us how he realized that centuries after Padre Kino died that this remarkable missionary's legacy continues in the strong faith of the people of the Pimeria Alta.

For two of our priests, their profound moments involved the tragic shootings of Jan. 8 in Tucson. They shared their experiences of seeing the pain and suffering and the great faith of the family of little Christina Taylor Green, one of the six persons who was killed.

For another priest, the profound moment occurred as he anointed a man who had been struck and killed by a vehicle.

We heard one of our brothers tell of dealing with the agony of veterans who feel the trauma of combat.

Another priest told of his joy at seeing people from parishes that had a history of acrimonious relationships join together in prayer at a funeral.

One spoke of his ministry in a prison and receiving a card of thanks from an inmate for what he had done for him. He told us he has saved that card as a reminder that his ministry matters.

I shared my experience of being with one of our elderly priests shortly before he died, praying with him and hearing from him his great sorrow at having caused harm to someone years ago, how he so regretted that sin and how much he wanted to be the priest he had always wanted to be.

Sharing these profound moments helped us to see that our priesthood matters, that our pastoral ministry makes a difference in people's lives.

2. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation this evening at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, this Saturday afternoon at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson and this Saturday evening at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Nogales for St. Ann Parish in Tubac, Most Holy Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Rio Rico, St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, in Patagonia and Our Lady of the Valley Parish. This Sunday, I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in the morning at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Willcox and in the afternoon at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson.

3. Chicago Meetings -- I will be in Chicago tomorrow and Wednesday for meetings of the Catholic Relief Services' committee that is conducting the search for a new president. We are progressing in the process, and this week we will be interviewing candidates so that we can propose two candidates to the full board of directors in June for the final selection.

On Thursday, I will be participating in the board of directors meeting of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary. I recently was appointed to the board by Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., for a three year term. I am pleased to serve, especially because of our seminarians there. I look forward to seeing them during my visit this week.

4. Common Formation Program -- Participants in our Common Formation Program will gather this weekend. I will be meeting with the candidates for the permanent diaconate Friday evening to continue our exploration of "Storytelling and Preaching." Each candidate will tell a "pronouncement story" from his own experience that begins or ends with a pronouncement that is the moral of the story and a Gospel Story as if he were one of the characters in the story.

This will be the final Common Formation Program weekend session until the retreat scheduled in Yuma in August that will begin the fourth and final year of formation for the class of 2012. The 38 deacon candidates will do a summer project focusing on ministries of charity. The 26 lay ecclesial ministry candidates will continue to focus on their pastoral projects and the study of "Coworkers in the Vineyard of the Lord," the foundational document from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on lay ecclesial ministry.

5. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- The Diocesan Pastoral Council meets this Saturday. We will review the input from our joint meeting last month with the members of our parish corporations' boards of directors. We also will hold elections for the Council's officers.

6. Pastoral Center "Thank-A-Thon" -- Each year, our Pastoral Center staff selects a project for our Annual Service Day. In the past, we have done clean-up projects at parishes and schools that have limited resources for grounds keeping.

For this year's project, we stayed a home yesterday and held our first ever "Thank-A-Thon" to communicate my gratitude to those who have been so generous to our diocesan renewal campaign, "Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future," which as of Friday had collected more than $23 million.

We estimate that we made 3,279 calls to donors who represent more than $13.5 million in gifts to Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future. Very few of those with whom we talked mentioned anything about canceling or reducing their pledges, and we even received one new donation for the Annual Catholic Appeal!

Speaking of the Appeal, we have reached more than $3.2 million in pledges towards this year's goal of $3.7 million. The generosity of the people of our Diocese is truly amazing! We are very blessed.

7. Official Appointments -- As promised in last week's Memo, here are the Official Appointments that will be effective this July 1.

Rev. James Aboyi, V.C.
To: Administrator, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Superior
From: Parochial Vicar, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Tucson

Rev. Jesus Acuña - Delgado
To: Parochial Vicar, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, San Luis
From: Parochial Vicar, San Felipe de Jesus Parish, Nogales

Rev. Bardo Antunez - Olea
To: Administrator, San Felipe de Jesus Parish, Nogales
From: Administrator, Holy Cross Parish, Morenci; Sacred Heart Parish, Clifton

Rev. John Arnold
To: Pastor, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Casa Grande
From: Pastor, St. Ambrose Parish, Tucson

Rev. Martin Atanga-Baabuge
To: Pastor: Holy Cross Parish Morenci; Sacred Heart Parish, Clifton
From: Pastor, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Pearce

Rev. Gustavo Benitez-Camacho
To: Parochial Vicar, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Yuma
From: Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Nogales

Rev. Emilio Chapa
To: Parochial Vicar, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson
From: Parochial Vicar, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Yuma

Rev. Charles Cloud
To: Pastor, New Parish To Be Named, SanTan Village
From: Pastor, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Florence

Rev. Jose Maria Corvera
To: Administrator, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Florence
From: Administrator, St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Patagonia

Rev. William Cosgrove
To: Administrator, St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Patagonia
From: Outside the Diocese

Rev. Thomas Dekaa
To: Pastor, Infant Jesus of Prague Parish
From: Administrator, Infant Jesus of Prague Parish, Kearny

Rev. Abraham Guerrero-Quinonez
To: Parochial Vicar, St. Monica Parish, Tucson
From: Parochial Vicar, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, San Luis

Rev. James Hobert
To: Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Tucson
From: Pastor, St. Monica Parish, Tucson

Rev. Richard Kingsley
To: Pastor (one year extension), Corpus Christi Parish, Tucson

Rev. Mark Long
To: Pastor, St. Ambrose Parish, Tucson
From: Administrator, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Superior

Rev. Eduardo Lopez-Romo
To: Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Nogales
From: Parochial Vicar, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson

Rev. Edward Lucero
To: Pastor, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Safford
From: Administrator, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Safford

Rev. Oscar Magallanes
To: Administrator, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, San Luis
From: Parochial Vicar, Immaculate Conception Parish, Yuma

Rev. Adolfo Martinez-Escobar
To: Parochial Vicar, Immaculate Conception Parish, Yuma
From: Parochial Vicar, St. Monica Parish, Tucson

Rev. Jose Manuel Padilla
To: Administrator, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Pearce - Sunsites
From: Parochial Vicar, St. Joseph Parish, Tucson

Rev. Virgilio "Jojo" Tabo
To: Pastor, St. James Parish, Coolidge
From: Administrator, St. James Parish, Coolidge

Rev. Matthew Thayil, M.S.F.S.
To: Parochial Vicar, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Tucson
From: Outside the Diocese

Rev. Viliulfo Valderrama - Islas
To: Pastor, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Tucson
From: Pastor, San Felipe de Jesus Parish, Nogales

Rev. Raul Valencia-Garcia
To: Pastor, St. Monica Parish, Tucson
From: Pastor, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, San Luis

Rev. G. Bartolome Vazquez-Johnston
To: Pastor, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Wellton
From: Administrator, St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Wellton

8. Welcome to Our New Diocesan Priests -- It was my joy at our Priests' Convocation last week to welcome, as our newly incardinated priests, Father Jose Maria Corvera and Father Jen-Peter "Jay" Jensen. Their brother priests gave them resounding applause when this was announced at our Celebration of Priesthood Mass. Both priests have served in our Diocese the past few years. Father Jose Maria came to us from the Archdiocese of Cebu in the Philippines. Father Jay came to us from the Diocese of Colorado Springs.

As you see in the appointments above, Father Jose Maria will be the new administrator at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Florence. Father Jay will continue to serve as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral.

9. New Director of Detention Ministry Program -- I am pleased to announce that Peg Harmon, chief operating officer of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, has appointed Michael Gutierrez as director of the Detention Ministry Program. Michael comes to his new position after serving for a number of years in CCS's Community Outreach Program for the Deaf. He is very enthusiastic about his new position and is eager to enhance our pastoral outreach in Federal, state, county and private detention facilities within our Diocese.

Michael will succeed Barbara Mattus, who is retiring after more than 19 years of service in which she did a marvelous job recruiting priests, deacons and lay volunteers to participate in detention ministry.

10. New Principals -- I am pleased to announce the appointments for the next school year of principals at four of our Catholic Schools.

Sister Carold Seidl, O.S.F., has been named principal of All Saints Catholic School in Sierra Vista, succeeding Jim Gordon.

Donna Betterton has been appointed principal of St. Ambrose School in Tucson, one of the Notre Dame ACE Academies, succeeding Martha Taylor.

Emma Chavez has been appointed principal of St. Joseph School in Tucson, succeeding Ellen Kwader-Murphy.

Lynn Cuffari has been appointed principal at St. Augustine High School in Tucson, succeeding Kevin Kiefer. Lynn, formerly principal at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Tucson, is highly skilled in public relations and educational leadership. She will be a strong advocate of quality education and formation at St. Augustine. I thank Kevin for his efforts to help St. Augustine, our youngest Catholic High School, grow.

St. Augustine is a blessing for Tucson's east side, and the administrative enhancements that are taking place bode well for its future. A new and creative model of administrative leadership has been established by the school's board of directors. Dave Keller, principal of Our Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson, will serve as president of St. Augustine while retaining his position as principal of Our Mother of Sorrows. Dave's business expertise, solid background in educational administration and his strong commitment to Catholic education are blessings for both schools. He and Lynn will work together as a team, sharing the leadership responsibilities of St. Augustine.

11. Congratulations! -- Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M., principal of Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales, will receive a Doctor of Philosophy Degree with a major in Catholic Leadership and Policy Study from Catholic University of America this Saturday.

12. St. Augustine Cathedral Renovation -- I hope you will stop by to see the new landscaping that is enhancing our newly renovated Cathedral.

The "Keep Cathedral's Grounds Beautiful" Committee, led by Cathedral parishioner John Jacome, has created two cactus gardens in the back of the Cathedral.

With resources provided by Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, synthetic turf has been placed on the south side and south front of the Cathedral. It really looks real! To prevent damage to the new turf, we are asking that folks not discard cigarettes or drop gum on it.

Renovation of the Cathedral's vestibule area will begin soon. Artist John Alan's plans for the vestibule include restored doors, murals and statues. We have received a generous gift for this renovation, which will honor the ministry of the late Msgr. Edward Ryle, a priest of our Diocese who was a passionate and effective advocate for Catholic Social Teaching and who accomplished much good in our Diocese and throughout Arizona.

The Cathedral's "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign that allows families and individuals to sponsor sacred art, the beautiful ceiling panels and pews is continuing. You can contact Margie Puerta Edson of the Charity and Ministry Fund at 520-838-2509 or Martin Camacho of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson at 520-838-2508 to find out about the sponsorship opportunities.

Vol. 9, No. 9
May 16, 2011

With the release today of new directives from the Vatican for bishops' conferences worldwide and with the release this Wednesday of new research, our Church further is manifesting its concern about the tragic sexual abuse of children by priests.

The new directives, detailed in a May 3 letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that was released today by the Vatican, call for all bishops' conferences to have "clear and coordinated procedures" for protecting children, for assisting victims of abuse, for dealing with accused priests, for training clergy and for cooperating with civil authorities when there are allegations of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Bishops' conferences that do not already have those procedures in place must do so within a year, the letter says.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB) has had its procedures in place since the adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. The Vatican approved the procedures as binding norms (rules) for the Church in the U.S.

This Wednesday, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice will release the results of the research project, "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950 - 2002."

Commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the "Causes and Context" research is the completion of a two-stage project.

The first stage, "The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950 - 2002," was completed in 2004, providing statistical information that was made public. You can read the "Nature and Scope" report here.

Our Diocese participated in the "Nature and Scope" project, providing data about the experience in our Diocese of the sexual abuse of children by clergy.

My column for this month's issue of The New Vision is about how research can benefit our Church. When I wrote the column, I didn't know that the results of the second stage of the John Jay research project would be made public this week.

I want to share the opening to that column here because I think it connects well with the release of the "Causes and Context" research.

These are challenging times for our Church.

We need to assess where we are in order to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in considering how we can respond to the realities that make for these challenging times.

Factual and objective information gathered by professional researchers is critical to this assessment and can lead us to introduce fresh, creative ideas and strategies that can awaken us from our tiredness and shake us from our lack of confidence.

With research findings as a foundation, we can seek ways to make the Church we love and cherish more vibrant as a source of spiritual nourishment and pastoral effectiveness for God's people.

While we won't know the results of the "Causes and Context" study until Wednesday, its conclusions will be helpful in getting a better understanding of what went wrong and how we can further bolster our efforts to prevent the abuse of children within the household of the Church. I am confident that the bishops will receive this study with that determination.

1. Instruction on the Application of "Summorum Pontificum" -- Issued last Friday by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the instruction clarifies Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 apostolic letter, "Summorum Pontificum," in which the Holy Father said that celebration of the Mass according to 1962 Roman Missal (commonly known as the Tridentine rite) should be made available when groups of the faithful desire it.

In our Diocese, I have been pleased to encourage and welcome those who desire to attend Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal to be a part of the community of St. Gianna Oratory (at Holy Family Parish) in Tucson, where Father Richard von Menshengen is canon. Father Richard also serves as administrator of Holy Family Parish.

2. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- A great deal of discussion about last month's assembly of parish pastoral council members took place at our Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting on Saturday.

We reviewed the feedback from the participants in last month's gathering, and that feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many indicated that they would like there to be an annual such gathering. The DPC members agreed, and we hope to make next year's ministry conference such an occasion.

The participants in last month's gathering indicated that they got a better understanding of their role as parish council members and how they could be of more effective assistance to their pastors. They appreciated our encouragement that they provide opportunities for faith sharing at their pastoral council meetings as a way of getting to know one another better. Many felt they had gotten some practical, helpful advice on how to strengthen their work.

Also on Saturday, the DPC members elected officers for the coming year. Re-elected to serve second terms were chair Frank Pierson of St. Helen Parish in Oracle, vice-chair Rosario Otero of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Tucson as vice chair and Leo Guardado of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson as secretary. I am grateful to Nenita Ashhurst, who completed her second term as an at-large member.

3. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation tonight at Mission San Xavier del Bac Parish in Tucson, tomorrow night at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Tucson and this Sunday afternoon at St. Rita in the Desert Parish in Vail.

4. Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries -- I will participate in the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries this Wednesday morning.

5. Arizona Catholic Conference -- The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) meet this Wednesday at our Pastoral Center. This will be the first meeting for Bishop Gerald Dino
of the Eparchy of Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix. Bishop Dino is joining Bishop Thomas Olmsted and Bishop Eduardo Nevares of the Diocese of Phoenix, Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup and myself as the member bishops of the ACC.

At our meeting, ACC executive director Ron Johnson will give us updates on the recently
concluded Arizona legislative session, litigation that relates to school choice, immigration and pro-life matters. We also will have a discussion with representatives from the Catholic Charities' agencies in our dioceses about their ability to serve vulnerable populations in today's economic situation.

6. Catholic Tuition Support Organization -- I will join the Board of Directors of the Catholic Tuition Support Organization this Thursday for a retreat at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

7. Baccalaureate Masses -- I will celebrate the St. Augustine Catholic High School Baccalaureate Mass this Thursday evening at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson. This Friday evening, I will celebrate the San Miguel Cristo Rey High School Baccalaureate Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral.

On Saturday morning, Father Al Schifano, our Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia (and Salpointe grad), will celebrate the Salpointe Catholic High School Baccalaureate Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral.

8. University of Notre Dame Honorary Degree -- I am very honored to be among the 12 honorary degree recipients at the University of Notre Dame's 166th Commencement Ceremony this Sunday. I will be a concelebrant at the Baccalaureate Mass this Saturday in South Bend.

The citation for the honorary Doctor of Laws degree that is being conferred mentions our partnership in the Diocese of Tucson with Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education. Last year, that partnership established St. Ambrose Catholic School, Santa Cruz Catholic School and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Tucson as the first ACE Academies in the U.S.

9. Padre Kino Special Exhibit at Archives -- To create an additional opportunity for folks to be able to see the "Our Padre on Horseback" special exhibit, our Archives will be open this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mark O'Hare and other members of the Kino Heritage Society have graciously offered to be there to share information and to answer questions about Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, the legendary 16th century missionary and explorer who established missions in the Pimería Alta.

The exhibit is open during the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The response to the exhibit, which was our Diocese's contribution to the observances of the 300th anniversary of Padre Kino's death, has encouraged us to extend the exhibit through the summer. The Archives is located on the south side of the campus of St. Ambrose Parish in Tucson, 300 S. Tucson Blvd.

10. Preserving, Protecting the "Picture Rocks" -- The Redemptorist Society of Arizona (Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks and Desert House of Prayer) has been selected to receive a 2011 Governor's Archaeology Advisory Commission Award in Public Archaeology in the private, non-profit category.

According to Allen Dart, executive director Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, the award is being given to acknowledge the Society's efforts to preserve and protect the Picture Rocks petroglyphs archaeological site and other significant cultural resources on its properties in Pima County and for its efforts to educate the public and add to scientific knowledge about these heritage resources.

Congratulations to Father Tom Santa, C.Ss.R., and the Redemptorists for being recognized with this prestigious award.

Vol. 9, No. 10
May 23, 2011


Last Wednesday's release of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice's study on the "Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests 1950 - 2002" was followed immediately by extensive commentary and many news media reports.

This study, the second commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (following on the 2004 John Jay study on the "Nature and Scope" of sexual abuse of children by priests), involved the most extensive research ever attempted into a U.S. institution's experience of sexual abuse of children.

Scanning the commentary and the news media reports, it was very apparent that the conclusions of the researchers had ignited some strong reactions from many different audiences.

Someone commented to me that the researchers clearly had done their work well because there were so many strong and diverse opinions about the study.

My initial reaction to the study is that it contains a significant number of findings that will be immensely helpful in correcting misunderstandings and unfounded assumptions.

Moreover, I was very encouraged by the recommendations the study makes. Applying those recommendations to our Diocese, we are already doing what the researchers recommend.

The study is not easy reading, and what it relates is painful. However, I do encourage you to read it so that you can make your judgment about the findings by encountering the study yourself and not through the filters of the news media and the commentaries and analysis in the "blogosphere."

You can access the study here.

I will review the study's findings with our Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council for their input and advice.

You may have some observations and questions about the study, and I invite you to share them with me (bishop@diocesetucson.org or P.O. Box 31, Tucson, AZ 85702). I will be inviting the readers of The New Vision to do the same in the June issue.

Reading the study, I remembered what victims of sexual abuse by priests told me time and time again:

"Bishop, we know you can't change the past, but we want you to do everything you can to prevent what happened to me from ever happening to another child."

While this "Causes and Context" study is about the past -- a past that we cannot change -- I believe its information and recommendations will help us in our present and future efforts to provide safe environments for children in every one of our parishes and Catholic schools.

I am sure this report and the attention it has received will surface painful feelings for those who were victims of sexual abuse by priests and for their families. I am willing to meet with anyone so harmed in the household of the Church who would want to talk about what they experienced. They are most welcome to contact me. I will assure them that we are doing all we can to see that this abuse does not happen again.

1. Annual Planning Meeting for Pastoral Center Directors -- The directors of our diocesan departments and offices at the Pastoral Center are meeting this morning with Father Al Schifano, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, and myself for our annual planning meeting in anticipation of the next fiscal year.

For the past five years, we have used this annual gathering to assess the efforts of our departments and offices to respond to the needs of our parishes and schools and to discuss how we can improve our response to those needs.

We will be reflecting on the results of two recently completed surveys about what we do at the Pastoral Center.

The first invited the staff of our Pastoral Center to tell us what should stay the same, what needs to change and what they suggest we should initiate. The staff indicated that what they like most about working at the Pastoral Center is that they feel they are making a difference. They feel positive about having coworkers with whom they can share their faith in the workplace. During our meeting today, we will reflect on how to stop what is not working and what new initiatives will help us better to serve our parishes and schools.

The second survey, which respondents took on the Internet, was of our priests, deacons, religious and laity working in our parishes and schools. They were asked to identify how well the Pastoral Center departments and offices are serving them and meeting their needs. Overall, the various offices and departments of the received positive reviews. Respondents felt those working at the Pastoral Center are professional and are responding well to the needs of our parishes and schools. They felt that members of the Pastoral Center staff are effective and competent.

Suggestions from respondents included a need for more timely responses from some of our offices and departments to phone calls and requests for help. Respondents wanted offices and departments to be more proactive in reaching out to parishes, especially in rural areas.

I was very pleased that so many took the time to fill out this survey. It was most helpful, and I am confident that we will be able to respond to many of the concerns that were raised.

This afternoon, members of our Presbyteral Council will join us to look at the survey results and to participate with us in our planning for the next fiscal year.

2. Baccalaureate Masses and Graduations -- This evening, I will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass and graduation of Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales. This Wednesday evening at St. Odilia Parish in Tucson, I will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass and graduation ceremonies of Immaculate Heart Catholic High School. This Friday evening at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma, I will I will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass and graduation of Yuma Catholic High School.

3. Diocesan Finance Council -- The Finance Council meets tomorrow morning. Our agenda will focus on the conclusion of the budgetary process for the next fiscal year for the departments and offices at the Pastoral Center.

4. Catholic Tuition Support Organization -- It will be my pleasure tomorrow to welcome representatives from local, regional and national corporations to the Catholic Tuition Support Organization's annual corporate donor luncheon at the Arizona Inn.

The CTSO Board hosts this event to recognize corporations for their generous contributions that enable our Catholic schools to provide tuition scholarship support to deserving students.

Students from San Miguel Cristo Rey Catholic High School and St. Joseph School in Tucson will have the opportunity to tell guests how their opportunity to choose the Catholic School of their choice has impacted their lives. Corporate Committee chairperson Ginny Clements will present the corporate representatives with tiles depicting our Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center's mural, "A City and a Church Arise Together."

I participated in a retreat last week with the members CTSO board of directors. We developed goals for inviting more donations to the CTSO so that our Catholic Schools can respond to the increasing number of families who want their children to receive a Catholic education.

5. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation tomorrow evening at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Tucson, this Saturday morning at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wellton, this Saturday afternoon at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in San Luis and this Sunday morning at Sacred Heart Parish in Parker.

6. Common Formation Program Team Meeting -- I will meet with the team members of our Common Formation Program this Wednesday for the annual evaluation of the candidates for the permanent diaconate and lay ecclesial ministry.

Our deacon and lay ministry candidates are finishing the third of their four years of preparation. They and their formators have been working very hard. We look forward to all they will do to further the mission of Christ in our Diocese.

7. Yuma -- La Paz Vicariate -- In addition to the Baccalaureate Mass and graduation ceremonies of Yuma Catholic High School and the celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation in Wellton, San Luis and Parker, my trip to the Yuma -- La Paz Vicariate this Friday, Saturday and Sunday will include a luncheon gathering with priests of the vicariate on Friday and the installation Father German Bartolome Vasquez Johnston as pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wellton during Sunday morning Mass.

8. Appointments -- Effective in August, Father Jen-Peter "Jay" Jensen, parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral, is appointed administrator of San Matin de Porres Parish in Sahuarita. Also effective in August, Father Melchizedek Akpan, parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa, is appointed parochial vicar at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson.

I know the community of San Martin de Porres will miss Father Michael Shay, S.D.S., who has served them as administrator and as their pastor, when he begins retirement in August. He has done an exceptional job as pastor and as a member of our Diocesan Finance Council. I regret that the Salvatorians did not have a replacement for Father Michael. I am confident that Father Jay will carry on the good work began by Father Michael.

9. State Champions Again! -- I visited with the members and coaches of Tucson's Our Mother of Sorrows School Science Olympiad Team last week to congratulate them on their fourth consecutive Arizona state championship. We are proud of our OMOS Olympians for recording their ninth Arizona State Championship in the past 11 years.

The OMOS Science Olympians earned the right to represent Arizona at the National Science Olympiad Tournament held this past weekend at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Competition at the national tournament was fierce, and the OMOS Olympians placed 47th in the 60 team competition.

The Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic competitions that consist of a series of more than two dozen events requiring knowledge in biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, and technical writing.

The OMOS Science Olympiad is a program that draws upon the expertise of parents and community science leaders to help teach and inspire the children. The team's head coach, Reina Gomez, and assistant, Marifi English, are both parents of team members. Principal Dave Keller and Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows, are rightly proud of the OMOS team's record of success.

Science Olympiad is a national nonprofit organization devoted to augmenting current
science education, increasing student interest in science, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments.

10. Thanks for a Great School Year! -- As a former teacher (still with chalk dust on my fingers!), I empathize with our Catholic School principals, teachers and staff and with our parish directors of religious education and their teachers as they enter this last week of the school year.

Whew! You made it through another one! Congratulations!

I want all of you to know how much I appreciate you for the sacrifices that you make. Your role in passing on our faith to future generations is such an important ministry.

You do great work that encourages and inspires me. Thanks for a great school year! Enjoy the summer!

11. Idea for the Next School Year -- Here's a great idea for our Catholic School teachers and religious education teachers for grades seven through 12.

Invite your students to take part in the Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The contest enables students to learn about poverty, its causes, and our Church's response as they create art to share what they are learning.

"Put Faith in Action! Uproot Poverty Together" is the 2011-2012 contest theme. Contest packets for students, teachers and youth ministers are available at www.usccb.org/artcontest.

The national grand prizewinner will be honored at next year's National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry annual conference.

12. Profile of Msgr. Jerry McCarthy -- The National Catholic Education Association is proud to share on its Web site a profile of Msgr. Jerry McCarthy, a priest of our Diocese who is serving as executive director of the NCEA's Seminary Department. And, we are proud of Msgr. Jerry's continuing service and contributions to our Church. You can read the profile here.

13. University of Notre Dame Honorary Degree -- I was very honored to be among the 12 honorary degree recipients at the University of Notre Dame's 166th Commencement Ceremony this past weekend.

The citation for the honorary Doctor of Laws degree that I received mentions our partnership in the Diocese of Tucson with Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education. Last year, that partnership established St. Ambrose Catholic School, Santa Cruz Catholic School and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Tucson as the first ACE Academies in the U.S.

14. Memorial Day -- I will celebrate the traditional Memorial Day Mass at 8 a.m. next Monday at Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson.

Monday Memo will take next week off, returning Monday, June. 6.