Oct. 2, 2006 Oct. 9, 2006 Oct. 16, 2006 Oct. 23, 2006 Oct. 30, 2006

Vol. 4, No. 22
Oct. 2, 2006


That's my description of our Diocesan Liturgy Conference, "Enhancing the Sunday Eucharist," held Saturday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson.

I thank and give accolades of "Fantastic!" and "Great job!" to: the conference committee, led by Sister Lois Paha, O.P., and Father Miguel Mariano; the host parish and pastor Father Joe Lombardo; Father Jan Michael Joncas, the keynote speaker; all the workshop presenters; the music for the opening prayer; the 100-plus member choir for the closing Mass; and the staff of our Pastoral Center and the many other volunteers -- Knights of Columbus, Catholic Daughters, friends from the Filipino community -- who did everything from registration to handing out bottles of water. You all did yourselves proud!

Seeing the more than 800 laity, religious, deacons and priests from almost every parish in our Diocese laughing, praying and celebrating together was fantastic.

The day could not have been better!
I am sure the upcoming workshops on liturgy will help continue the spirit that developed on Saturday as we seek to enhance our Sunday worship.

Participants gather for the entrance procession for the opening prayer.

More than 800 laity, religious, deacons and priests participated in the conference.

1. Respect Life Month -- Yesterday was "Respect Life Sunday," the observance in the U.S. Catholic Church that begins the annual program of activities and catechesis sponsored by the USCCB Office of Pro-Life Activities.

Between October and Christmas, the Church commemorates the heroic lives of many saints
who are powerful intercessors for the Gospel of Life. I encourage you to access an excellent resource from this year's Respect Life Program that includes reflections and prayers about these saints. It can be downloaded at www.usccb.org/prolife/liturgy/intercessorsforlife.pdf.

This week, the resource invites us to seek the intercession of the Guardian Angels, whose feast we celebrate today, and St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast we celebrate on Wednesday.

Here are the reflections and prayers for today and Wednesday:

Feast of the Guardian Angels -- Recall the prayer you prayed as a child: "Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love entrusts me here: Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide."

Heavenly Father, who does love us with such care that you send angels to keep us safe, send strong angels to protect those most in danger, those whose lives would be taken, in the womb or in their sickness, in retribution or in fear. Send gentle angels to give comfort to all who suffer from injustice and all who are afraid of the forces of darkness which surround them. Send angels to be with us and give us the grace to sing with them to the glory of your Holy Name, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi -- Recall the famous prayer of St. Francis: "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy."

Gentle Jesus, our Savior and brother, cleanse us with the pure love you first gave to St. Francis. Help us to cherish your creation and to love every creature. May we use all to the glory of your Name, for you are God, forever and ever. Amen.

As we pray during Respect Life Month, let us continue to ask the Lord to guide our nation to end abortions, to respect life even when aged or disabled and to work for the dignity of every human being. We all share responsibility to speak up in the public arena for life, for peace and justice.
2. Annual Priests' Retreat -- The first of two week-long retreats is underway at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

Father Charlie Wehrley, C.Ss.R., retreat director at the Center, is the retreat master for this first session. His theme is "Soul Journey: Discovering Our Hidden Wholeness."

Archbishop John Quinn, Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, will be the retreat master for next week's session. His theme will be "The Modern Priest in the Gospel of John."

Please pray for our priests as they enter this most important time of prayer and spiritual renewal.

3. Diocese of El Paso Priests' Retreat -- I am beginning this week in Texas, giving the priest retreat for the Diocese of El Paso, which is in our Region of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The theme of the retreat is "Renewing Our Priestly Ministry Through Encounter with Christ, the Great Priest." I will share these days of retreat with a number of priests I worked with in their seminary studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. I will invite the El Paso priests to join me in prayer for our priests on retreat in Tucson.

4. Catechesis on Catholic Social Teaching -- I am sending a special mailing this week to each parish to invite, encourage and support participation this November in a diocesan-wide focus on Catholic Social Teaching.

Last November, several of our parishes undertook a pilot project that involved information and inspiration about the essentials of Catholic Social Teaching. This pilot project was an effort to provide a Catholic context for the moral, legal and political dimensions of the phenomenal migration into our nation. 

Based on the experience of the parishes in the pilot project, we have designed support materials for pastors, principals and directors of religious education to use during November.

I am asking our parishes to provide some very basic catechesis on Catholic Social Teaching in their bulletins and in homilies on the last three weekends of November. On the last weekend of November, I ask that information be provided about Catholic Social Teaching on migration and about the call of the U.S. Bishops for comprehensive immigration reform. A curriculum on Catholic Social Teaching will be taught during November in our Catholic Schools, religious education programs and in our parish youth ministry groups.

5. Passage of "Secure Fence Act" -- I was disappointed that the U.S. Senate passed legislation to erect a 700-mile fence along our nation's border with Mexico. This legislation, if signed by President Bush, would require construction of a border fence along virtually the entire length of Arizona. If constructed, it would disrupt local border communities and harm the local environment. It could lead to more border deaths as migrants seek alternative routes or methods to enter the U.S. It also sends the wrong signal to our neighbor, Mexico, that we cannot work cooperatively to humanly solve the problem of illegal immigration.
This is a sad day for Arizona and the U.S. Instead of confronting a complex issue with a comprehensive solution, we are instead failing to act wisely. While we need to protect borders especially from drug traffickers and those who seek to harm others, the best way to secure our border is to enact a comprehensive immigration reform measure.

Regarding the immigration, a "Viewpoint" article in the Sept. 22 edition of National Catholic Reporter by Erica Dahl-Bredine of the Catholic Relief Services Mexico Project (with headquarters in the Pastoral Center), analyzes the migration from the perspectives of history and economics. It is a very insightful analysis.

6. Annual Catholic Scouting Mass
-- Yesterday afternoon's turnout of Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub and Boy Scouts for our annual Catholic Scouting Mass was the biggest ever since I have been in our Diocese. I am very grateful to Jeff Hill who chairs our Catholic Committee on Scouting. It was impressive to see the Catholic Scout leaders who give so generously of their time giving witness to the young Scouts about their faith. As always, Father Pat Crino and the Cathedral were gracious hosts.

7. Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre -- I will be attending the annual meeting of the Western Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in San Diego. I am very pleased that among the nine persons from our Diocese who will be invested into the Order are Father Al Schifano, our Moderator of the Curia, and Father Raul Trevizo, our Vicar General. Also to be invested from our Diocese are Ernie and Kathy Nedder, Richard Kolasa, Ludwig and Rosemarie Deppisch and Henry and Marie Sarnoff.  The investiture will take place at the Immaculata this Sunday. Forty-nine Knights and Ladies from our Diocese will be attending the Meeting. Jim and Chris Ronstadt represent our Diocese as councilors in the Western Lieutenancy. Next year, our Diocese will be very proud to host the annual meeting.

In addition to strengthening its members in the practice of their Catholic faith, the Order also works to sustain and aid the charitable, cultural, social works and Christian communities of the Holy Land, particularly those of and in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem with which the Order maintains traditional ties. More information on the Order and the Western Lieutenancy is available at www.khswesternusa.org.

8. Ministry Opportunity -- Life Directions, an organization that works with youth in disadvantaged situations, is looking for a full time director for its program in Tucson. The organization's central headquarters is in Detroit, and it has had a program here in Tucson for some years. The ministry works with youth in public high schools and with young adults. If you are interested in applying or know of someone who might be interested in the position, please contact Sister Rosalie A. Esquerra, O.P., at raesquerra@juno.com.

9. Presentation by Father Laurence Freeman, O.S.B. -- Father Laurence will be making a presentation on "Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Contemplative Prayer and the Path to Peace" this evening at 7 p.m. at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona campus. The presentation is sponsored by the World Community for Christian Meditation. Freewill donations will be gratefully accepted.

Father Laurence was born in London, was educated by the Benedictines and then took a Masters Degree in English Literature at New College, Oxford. His spiritual guide was Father John Main, O.S.B., whom Father Laurence had known for many years even before entering the monastic life. He studied with Father John in his novitiate and then assisted him with the establishment of the first Christian Meditation Centre in London in 1975. After Father John's death in 1982, Father Laurence succeeded him and since has been traveling the world to continue the work Father John began initiated. In 1991 The World Community for Christian Meditation was established, and Father Laurence became its spiritual teacher.

The World Community for Christian Meditation is an international organization of meditators whose practice of this universal tradition is rooted in the teachings of the Gospels and the early Christian monastic methods of prayer and contemplation. The organization's National Information Center for the U.S. is located in Tucson at its local meditation center.
10. Reminder on "Voter Guides" -- A number of groups that represent themselves as "Catholic" but which are not affiliated with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are promoting various "voter guides" in these last few weeks before the elections. Please remember that parishes should not allow the distribution of "guides" or other information and materials that are not from the Diocese, the Arizona Catholic Conference or the USCCB.

11. Origins Now On-line -- Origins, the widely respected documentation service on the Church, can now be researched on-line . An activity of Catholic News Service, the 36-year-old publication includes papal encyclicals, key bishops' documents and speeches of clergy and laity recounting major Church events worldwide since 1971. It is a vital source for everyone from university researchers and opinion writers to education leaders and parish catechists.

Aided by a 2006 grant from the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) to digitize past issues, Origins now has more than half of its volumes on-line. That represents an estimated 5,000 complete texts. The entire digitization project is expected to be complete early next year.

Information about registration and cost is available at www.originsonline.com.

Vol. 4, No. 23
Oct. 9, 2006

I am on my way to Phoenix this morning to participate in the "Summit on Human Dignity: Crossing Borders," which is hosted and sponsored by Brophy College Preparatory School.

The Catholic high school presents a summit each year. For this year's Summit, which includes events and presentations this week and next, speakers and presenters have been invited to address the issue of human dignity as it relates to immigration in the U.S. I will be the presider and homilist for this morning's Mass that is opening the Summit.

The purposes and goals of the Summit are very well articulated on the Brophy Website's pages for the Summit (www.brophyprep.org/summit/index.html):

"Rather than host a debate in which one side will win out over the other, our goal is to examine, to explore and to discuss immigration through the lens of human dignity. 

"In an effort to focus on people not problems, stories not statistics, we've structured the Summit according to four questions: Why is it that migrants travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to cross into the United States? What is their journey like? What are their experiences like when they arrive in the United States? 

"These questions will be addressed throughout the Summit weeks via presentations and discussions, and it is Brophy's hope that through this educational experience we can all cross the borders of our own minds to view immigration not merely as a political or economic issue, but as one of human dignity. 

"Good teaching often means facilitating discomfort in ourselves and in those whom we teach. Our ultimate goal in organizing this Summit is to initiate this feeling of discomfort amongst the members of our community when we honestly ask ourselves the fourth question: What now?"

Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, has expressed his support and appreciation for my visit to Brophy and for my participation in the Summit. I am pleased that there is a wonderful working relationship between the Diocese of Phoenix and our Diocese. Bishop Olmsted has been of great support to our Diocese in times of challenge, and, as I wrote in a recent memo, Diocese of Phoenix priests have visited our Diocese to learn about border issues. Our two dioceses have worked together with the Archdiocese of Hermosillo on border issues.

1. Visit to Salpointe Catholic High School -- A great joy for me is to be in the classroom and to talk with our youth Catholics, so I am looking forward to my visit tomorrow with the Salpointe seniors in their required Senior Theology Course. (Half of this year's seniors are taking the course this semester, and the other half will take it in the spring semester.)

Father Rick Zamorano, head of the Theology Department, tells me the purpose of this course is to integrate and summarize the students' four years of religious education at Salpointe. The first three quarters of the course deals with church history: foundations; establishment of doctrine; hierarchy; heresies; the papacy; reform and counter-reformation. Sprinkled all through this are areas of local statistics of the Church, encyclicals, self-evaluations and reflections. The last quarter of the class will deal with their Christian Catholic commitment to their lives.

The students have prepared questions for me, and I anticipate a lively discussion with this group of seniors. I will have a return engagement with the seniors in the spring semester course.

Our hopes are that as our students leave their Catholic surroundings and 
move onto college they will take with them the knowledge that they need to help 
them make good and wise decisions and a good solid knowledge of their 
faith tradition.

2. Orientation and Luncheon for New Employees
-- Our annual event here at the Pastoral Center to welcome the new employees of our parishes will be this Thursday.

This is an opportunity for me and the staff of the Pastoral Center to "show and tell" about the work of the offices and departments in diocesan administration and to communicate to them our mission to be of service to our parishes.

3. Annual Priests' Retreat -- The second and final session of the annual priests' retreat is underway at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. Archbishop John Quinn, Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, is the retreat master for this week's session. His theme is, "The Modern Priest in the Gospel of John." I will be joining the priests for dinner and conversation this evening, and I will be celebrating Mass with them on tomorrow. I look forward to this time with our priests during their retreat.

 4. "Faithful Citizenship" Conversation -- I will be participating in a "Conversation about the 2006 General Election" this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson. Joining me in the conversation will be Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, Frank Pierson, representing the Pima County Interfaith Coalition, and, we hope, all who come to participate. After brief introductions, the floor will be opened for discussion and questions.

This event is being held under the title of "Faithful Citizenship, A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility," which is the foundational document of the U.S. Bishops regarding the right and responsibility of Catholics to participate in the political process. (You can visit www.usccb.org/faithfulcitizenship for more information on "Faithful Citizenship.")

Events such as this allow us, as a community of faith, to discuss the moral dimensions of the issues that are involved in the election. It will be an opportunity to look at the issues in light of Catholic Social Teaching.

I thank Father Bill Remmel, S.D.S., pastor of Most Holy Trinity, and the parish for sponsoring this event, the second in a series of presentations and discussions in the area of Catholic Social Teaching. The first was held last month at St. Cyril Parish in Tucson on the subject of human trafficking. Next month, there will be a presentation and discussion on the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform, the U.S. Bishop's program that is advocating for comprehensive reform of our nation's immigration system.

5. Rotary Club of Tucson -- I am very honored this week to be receiving the Club's  "Four-Way Test Award." The "Four-Way Test" is one of the hallmarks of Rotary International. Rotarians endeavor to speak the truth, to be fair to all concerned, to build goodwill and better friendships and to always try to do the best they can for everyone they encounter. The award recognizes persons in our community who, even though they are not Rotary members, endeavor to do the same.

The Rotary Club of Tucson was established in 1921 as a part of Rotary International, the organization that "promotes world peace and understanding through local and global service projects."  The Club's 270 men and women members are from the business and professional community, and their wide range of service projects includes "Building the Future," with other local Rotary Clubs, which has involved mentoring of students in the junior class at Sunnyside High School since they were in the third grade in Rose Elementary and joint projects with Rotary Clubs in Mexico to provide needy children with gifts at Christmas.

6. Pastor Installations -- The installation of a pastor is an extremely important occasion in the life of a parish because it is through the rite of installation that takes place during Mass that a bishop entrusts the care of the people to their pastor.

This week it will be my joy to install the new pastors of two parishes. On Friday evening, I will install Father Juan Carlos Aguirre as the eighth pastor of St. Helen Parish in Eloy. On Sunday evening, I will install Father Alex Mills, O.S.B., as the sixth pastor of St. Ann Parish in Tubac.

7. Breakfast with the Bishop -- I am hosting another in the series of these breakfast meetings this Friday at the Bishop's Residence. These informal gatherings allow me to invite the opinions and suggestions of laity who are active in their parishes and who support the mission of the Church and the Diocese through their time, talents and resources.

8. InSearch Breakfast
-- I will be hosting another breakfast at the Bishop's Residence this week. This breakfast is on Saturday for the members of InSearch, our diocesan program that allows men who believe they might have a call to the priesthood to participate in guided discernment. (Three of our current seminarians participated in the InSearch program.)

InSearch meets once a month for discussions and service activities. The current participants range in age from 18 to 62, some of whom are continuing their education and some who are in business and in the military.

The topics for the discernment discussions, which are usually led by one of our diocesan priests, include: "Discernment;" "The Theology of the Call;" "Priesthood: A Gift from God;" "Diocesan Priesthood in the Diocese of Tucson;" and "God is Calling Me: Why Me?"  

The breakfast is an opportunity for me to get acquainted with the members and to share my perspectives on the discernment of a vocation to the priesthood.

9. Ministry Opportunity -- Life Directions, an organization that works with youth in disadvantaged situations, is looking for a full time director for its program in Tucson. (Last's week's Memo mistakenly communicated a different position as being open.) The organization's headquarters is in Detroit, and it has had a program here in Tucson for some years. The ministry works with youth in public high schools and with young adults. If you are interested in applying or know of someone who might be interested in the position, please contact Sister Rosalie A. Esquerra, O.P., at raesquerra@juno.com.

10. Recognition for a Knight -- Enrique de la Vega, Faithful Navigator of Padre Kino Assembly 1918 and Deputy Grand Knight of Council #6842, Knights of Columbus, at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley, has been recognized for his role as an artist in the field of sacred imagery by the St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art as a laureate of the Institute's 2006 Mother Teresa Awards. He received the prestigious award last month during Mass at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. The Mother Teresa Awards recognize the achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, philanthropy, social action and the arts. You can learn more about Enrique and view some of his art at www.catholic-sacredart.com.

11. Mini-Retreat a Click Away
-- When it's time to take a break from all the keyboarding and gazing at spreadsheet columns on your computer screen, you are just a click away from a mini-retreat. The Catholic Communication Campaign has expanded its CCC-TV streaming video site at www.ccc-tv.org to include daily reflections, interviews and stories of faith.

Daily reflections offer brief commentaries on the Mass readings of the day. The Archdioceses of Galveston-Houston, New Orleans, Miami, San Antonio and Washington and the Dioceses of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Raleigh are currently participating. Several other dioceses are scheduled to tape reflections for the coming year.
In addition to spiritual reflections and insights, CCC-TV now offers a "One-on-One" section were you can learn more about the work of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a "Faith Works" section that shares the many ways the faithful are living the Gospel. The "Teaching Corner," which will start in December, will inform people about faith, sacraments, worship and prayer life. Later this year, daily readings found at www.usccb.org/nab will also feature audio from bishops, priests and USCCB staff.
12. Remember in Your Prayers -- Father Bob Carney, who is in residence at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson, has informed us that his dad, Robert, has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Carney family.

Vol. 4, No. 24
Oct. 16, 2006

I am at Salpointe Catholic High School this morning with our Catholic School teachers, administrators, pastors and support staff for their annual Catholic Educator's Day. Our Catholic Schools Office is expecting a crowd of more than 600.

Before the final blessing of the Mass that we are celebrating to open the day, I will recognize the teachers selected by their principals and peers as "Teacher of the Year." Here are this year's honorees:

Holy Angels School, Gail McKusick; Immaculate Conception School, Sister Charles Ann Champeau, O.S.F.; Immaculate Heart Elementary School, Marilee Jones; Immaculate Heart High School, Karen Ahrens; Lestonnac, Gema Sanchez Beltran; Loretto School, Sister Mary Aloysius, O.C.D.; Lourdes Catholic, Lily Hugues; Our Lady of the Mountains, Barbara Waggoner; Our Mother of Sorrows, Gail Vielledent; Sacred Heart, Cristina Alanis; Salpointe Catholic High School, Gail Urbanski; San Xavier Mission, Diana Shearburn-Trudell; Santa Cruz School, Shannon Byrne; Sts. Peter and Paul School, Elva Watson; St. Ambrose School, Ben Ronquillo; St. Anthony of Padua, Michelle Bazan; St. Augustine, Cal Montgomery; St. Cyril School, Deborah George; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Kathy Van Loan; St. Francis of Assisi School, Mary Slater; St. John School, Callie Ward; St. Joseph School, Tina Turcotte; St. Thomas Pre-school, Dusty Murphy; Yuma Catholic High School, Debi Plum and Cortni Sinz.

I also will be recognizing teachers and principals with certificates of appreciation for their years of service in our Catholic Schools. Among those will be Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., our Superintendent of Catholic Schools, who is celebrating 45 years of service and Sister Luisa Maria Valdez, C.F.M.M., who is celebrating 49 years of service.

We are honored to have John Carr as the keynote speaker for this year's gathering. John has served the past 10 years as the director of the Department of Social Development and World Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. His wise, balanced and faithful insights have guided the work of that critical Conference committee which speaks to the complex public policy issues facing the Church and our society. He is highly respected at the Conference and deservedly so.

1. Sexual Misconduct Review Board Meeting -- The Board tomorrow will review the results of the annual audit of parishes for compliance with the policies and procedures associated with our Safe Environment Program. The audit helps to highlight what each parish is doing well in its child abuse prevention and education plan and those areas that are identified as needing more attention.

As all of you in our parishes and schools play a critically important role in the ongoing enhancement of our child abuse awareness and prevention efforts, you might give yourself an "audit." If you do not know who your parish or school compliance representative is, ask your pastor or principal. Ask about the results of this year's audit of your parish and school. Learn about your parish or school plan to prevent and respond to misconduct by any of its personnel. Learn about the education programs that help us be sensitive to any sign that a child or vulnerable adult is in trouble, whatever the source. Support the continuing education of priests, deacons, employees, volunteers, children and parents. Your participation in the child abuse awareness and prevention efforts of your parish or school makes a great difference. Together, we are changing our communities.

2. Catholic Foundation Board Retreat -- I will be joining the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson at their annual Board Retreat tomorrow morning. The members  of the board volunteer their time and talent to enhance and support the parishes, schools and programs throughout the Diocese. At this retreat, we will be welcoming new board members, giving them an overview of the history and mission of the Foundation and provide educational material on various planned giving vehicles.  I also look forward to sharing and discussing with the members my hopes for the Diocese and the present needs that we have.

3. Priest Visits -- I will be visiting San Felipe de Jesus Parish and Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales tomorrow as part of my annual visits with priests. The border communities in our Diocese, like Nogales, call for sensitive pastoral leadership from our priests serving there.

4. Mentoring Program for the Recently Ordained -- Our diocesan program for priests ordained within the last five years continues this week when we meet on Wednesday and Thursday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. The topic will be the priestly commitment to celibacy. Our discussions will include the importance of maintaining proper boundaries in professional and personal relationships and how life-giving and supportive relationships are essential in all our lives.

5. Pastor Installation -- I will be with the community of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson this Thursday evening to celebrate Mass and to install Father Joseph Lombardo as pastor.

6. Archdiocese of Milwaukee Parish Leadership Conference -- I am very honored to be the featured speaker for "Tending the Lord's Vineyard," the Archdiocese's Parish Leadership Conference taking place on Saturday at the Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center in St. Francis, Wisconsin. I look forward to seeing Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was our special guest for last May's Catholic Foundation Cornerstone Dinner.

I will reflect with the conference participants on "Co-Workers in the Vineyard," the foundational document that guides the formation and ministry of lay ecclesial ministers in the U.S.

After the talk, I will travel to Oak Park, Illinois, and Ascension Parish where I will have the joy of confirming my great nephew (That's right, great nephew -- I am that old!). Eric, along with 77 other eighth graders and freshmen in high school, will receive the Gifts of the Spirit. Eric enjoyed a trip to Tucson this past spring training to see the White Sox play. He, like me, is in despair over the failure of the Sox to repeat as World Series champs, but then there is always next year

7. Bishops' Fact-finding Visit -- I will welcome a delegation of Bishops to our Diocese this Sunday evening as they begin a fact-finding visit to U.S - Mexico border regions in Arizona and Texas. The members of the delegation are Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of El Paso, Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange, California, representing the Board of Directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, a member of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Relief Services.

The Bishops will be studying the situations of unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody due to the lack of proper immigration status and the prevalence human trafficking along the border. They hope to be able to bring attention to the plight of these vulnerable populations and to the Church's social and pastoral concern for their welfare. 

The visit is under the auspices of the Committee on Migration. I will write more about their visit next week.

8. Vocations -- I enjoyed having breakfast on Saturday with 11 men who are participating in our diocesan InSearch Program this year. They come from different communities in the Diocese and they are of varied ages and backgrounds.
The InSearch Program is meant to help those who might be considering a vocation to the priesthood. They pray, study and serve together over the course of a year in order to better discern God's call in their life. These men would bring many gifts and talents to our Diocese. Please join me in praying for them.
If you know anyone who might be interested in learning more about priesthood, please contact Father Miguel Mariano, our diocesan Vocations director, at 520-838-2530 or at frmiguel@diocesetucson.org or the associate vocation director for your vicariate. (See the Vocations Office Web page at www.diocesetucson.org for contact information.)

All of us need to do our part to promote vocations. The first step is to identify possible candidates and then to invite them to consider God's call.

9. Youth Fest '06 -- "Faith: Do It!" is the theme for our diocesan Youth Fest at the Tucson Convention Center on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I encourage parish youth ministers and schools to register their junior high and high school youth soon if they haven't already. The planning committee has extended the registration deadline until Oct. 27. Registration forms are available at the diocesan web site.

The day includes dynamic presentations on the theme by keynoter, Sal Solo, and workshops on living our faith through service, peace and justice. I am looking forward to meeting with our teens in the workshops that I will lead, and celebrating Mass with them at the close of the day. I am grateful to the Knights of Columbus councils for their donations of time, talent and resources to serve lunch to more than 700 young people!
A special note: This year, in conjunction with Youth Fest, the  "Jammin' for Jesus" gathering for young altar servers of our diocese will take place simultaneously at St. Augustine Cathedral and the Convention Center. This event is sponsored by our Vocations Office. I am grateful for the planning involved in coordination of these events.

10. Official Appointment -- I am pleased to announce that Father Tom Millane, pastor emeritus of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson, has accepted my invitation to serve as Vicar for Retired Priests. He will work alongside Chancellor June Kellen to enhance communication, support and concern for the many priests who are no longer in active ministry.

In many ways, "retired" is not the best way to describe our senior priests since so many of them still render generous and much needed help in our parishes. I am grateful for their continued ministry and I hope we can tend to them in their needs more effectively.

11. Catholic Tuition Support Organization -- Gracie Quiroz, director of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO), tells me that corporations in Arizona have donated $1.5 million to CTSO as part of the State's new corporate tax credit program for tuition support organizations. This will benefit our Catholic Schools and assist them in providing quality education for young people. Education remains an important concern and priority in our State and should be an interest for all of us. Whatever we can do to augment the education of our young people is money well spent.
It is my hope that all of us will do whatever we can to strengthen public school, private school and Catholic school education so that our young people are well prepared to take their place as leaders and contributors in our communities.

12. Charitable Opportunity -- Martin Camacho, executive director of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson, advises that a provision in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 temporarily allows tax-free distributions of up to $100,000 from Individual Retirement Accounts for charitable purposes if an individual is age 70 and a half years or older. These distributions must be made by Dec. 31, 2007. If parishioners indicate interest in the possibility of such a donation to the Diocese, you are welcome to refer them to Martin at 520-838-2508 for more information. As always, decisions about the tax ramifications of charitable donations are best guided by a qualified tax consultant.

13. Annual "Red Mass" -- A reminder that this year's celebration of the annual "Red Mass," the Mass of the Holy Spirit, will be on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 5:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral. This Mass is celebrated to invoke God's blessings upon the members of the judiciary, the legal professions, the legislature and local governing bodies, law enforcement, governmental agencies and all who pursue justice in their daily lives. A reception will follow in Cathedral Hall. 

The "Red Mass" is co-sponsored by the St. Thomas More Society of Southern Arizona and the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson. During the Mass, there will be a presentation of the St. Thomas More Society Award to the family of the late Gerard M. Guerin, who exemplified the ideals of service and sacrifice in the pursuit of justice.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this special liturgy.

14. Father Bill's "Billdozer" -- Father Bill Kohler, chaplain at Tucson Medical Center, is the subject of this week's "Sunday Morning" feature on azstarnet.com by Arizona Daily Star photographer Dean Knuth. The feature, which is subtitled "A Photographer's Look at Worship in Tucson," shows Father Bill riding his "Billdozer, which is a Segway motorized platform, cruising the halls at TMC.

You can see the photo at http://regulus2.azstarnet.com/blogs/photo/2459.

15. "Economic Blueprint Community Survey" -- Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) is seeking citizen input on the development of an "Economic Blueprint," which it describes as an economic development vision and strategy for the future.  

TREO is seeking input from local citizens about this effort. Because economic development is so closely connected with the well being of families, I encourage your participation in the survey. Visit www.treoaz.org and click on "Economic Blueprint Community Survey" to participate.

16. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Robert Carney Sr., the father of Father Bob Carney, died last Tuesday. The funeral Mass was celebrated Friday at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson.

Father Paul Larocque, who is celebrating the 61st anniversary of his ordination today, has shared with Chancellor June Kellen that he is experiencing a recurrence of cancer. He asks us to remember him our prayers. Father Paul truly is one of our "Living Legends," and his faith and trust in God's will inspire us.

Vol. 4, No. 25
Oct. 23, 2006

A delegation of Bishops and lay persons today begins a week long fact-finding mission to the border regions in Arizona and Texas to study the situation of the littlest and most vulnerable of the migrants -- children who cross the border into our country, especially the children who are unaccompanied by parents or other family members. They also will study the plight of those migrants who are victims of human trafficking.

The purpose of this fact-finding mission is to inform the advocacy efforts and services of our Church on behalf of these migrants. The Bishops and staff members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Catholic Relief Services will be in our Diocese today and tomorrow and then will travel to the Diocese of El Paso.

The visit is under the auspices of the Committee on Migration of the USCCB. The members of the delegation are Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, chairman of the Migration Committee, Bishop Armando Ochoa of El Paso, and Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange, representing the Board of Directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. Bishop John McCormack of Manchester, a member of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Relief Services is participating in the Tucson portion of the trip.

The Bishops plan to explore the potential for developing and strengthening the Church's cross-border collaboration on behalf of unaccompanied minors and human trafficking victims. They seek to bring attention to the plight of these vulnerable populations and to the Church's social and pastoral concern for their welfare.

The delegation will meet with a broad cross-section of agencies and individuals involved with or knowledgeable of these populations to gain insights and to understand their needs. The delegation also will meet with priests and staff of our Diocese and of Catholic Community Services, government officials and representatives of community-based organizations. Particular attention will be paid to potential areas of collaboration between Church programs and others in Mexico and the United States.

1. Presbyteral Council -- The Council meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center. Among the agenda items: a discussion on the incardination of priests in our Diocese who seek to become members of the presbyterate; a discussion about the development of a "job description" for the vicar forane; a discussion about new boundaries for parishes in the Pinal West Vicariate that is necessary because of the expected growth in the region; and a discussion about the upcoming catechesis on Catholic Social Teaching that will take place in all parishes, schools and religious education programs this November.

2. Diocesan Finance Council -- The Council meets tomorrow here at the Pastoral Center. We will receive the audit report for fiscal year 2005 - 2006. It is our plan to issue a comprehensive report on diocesan finances at the end of this year that will include the complete audit.

3. Confirmation at Sacred Heart Parish, Parker -- Of all the car trips that I make to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation none is longer that the trip to Parker – five hours! But there is always one thing certain about making that long drive -- the welcome I receive is always warm and heartfelt. I look forward to being with Father Ted Lobo and the community of Sacred Heart Parish tomorrow evening for Confirmation.

4. Mass of the Holy Spirit, "Red Mass" -- The St. Thomas More Society of Southern Arizona and the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson invite all to this year's "Red Mass," the Mass of the Holy Spirit, to be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. this Wednesday at St. Augustine Cathedral. I am honored to be the presider and homilist for this annual liturgy that continues the centuries old tradition in the Church of providing particular support to those who serve the common good through the administration of justice. This Mass is offered to inspire, guide and strengthen – with the power of the Holy Spirit – judges, lawyers, public officials and all who are involved in the legal and law enforcement communities and their families. This year, the St. Thomas More Society will present its award posthumously to Gerard M. Guerin, who, in the words of the Society, "exemplified the ideals of service in the pursuit of justice so conspicuously reflected in the life and death of St. Thomas More."

5. Consultation on Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership -- The Emerging Models for Pastoral Excellence Project is designed to identify and promote models of pastoral leadership that nurture and sustain vibrant and empowered Catholic parish communities. 

One of the services of the project is to offer consultation to dioceses in the areas of human resources and lay ministry. Consultants from the National Association for Lay Ministry and the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators will be meeting with some of our staff for two days this week to assess our progress in the area of human resources and the formation of lay ministers. Sister Lois Paha, O.P., Director of Formation, and Richard Serrano, Director of Human Resources, are directing the meetings, and I will be a participant as well.

The main goal of the project is to "review and evaluate human resources and lay ministry in the Diocese in light of the diocesan mission and in order to support pastoral excellence in parish leadership."

6. Pastoral Center Staff and Directors Meetings -- Our monthly meetings will be held this Thursday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m.

7. University of Arizona President's Inauguration
-- I am very honored to be giving the invocation at this Thursday's inauguration ceremony for Robert Shelton as the 19th president of the University of Arizona. The University community is invited to attend the ceremony at Centennial Hall at 3 p.m. I am sure Dr. Shelton is coming quickly come to feel at home in our community just as I did when I arrived five years ago. We look forward to his contributions to the community. As President of the University, he impacts on many dimensions critical for the development and enhancement of Arizona.
8. Pastoral Center Staff Service Day -- Each year, all of us at the Pastoral Center gather to spend a day in service to one of our parish communities. This year, we are reprising our fun day last year at St. Augustine Cathedral by taking on the task of shoveling, raking, hoeing, weed-pulling, trash-hauling and sweeping the Cathedral's parking lot area. The area gets heavy use day in a day out, and we of the Pastoral Center (because we park there) are responsible for a good bit of that use. So, in thanks to the Cathedral for our "free parking," we're going to go to work this Friday to make the parking lot look like Mr. Clean was there.

9. Convocation of Boards of Directors -- When I met last January with the members of the boards of directors of each of our parish corporations, I was very impressed by the gifts and talents that the lay members of the boards were bringing to their new responsibilities. At the end of each of those boards of directors meetings (74 of them!), I thanked the lay members for their service and I said I hoped that we could gather at some time in future so that I could benefit from their collective knowledge and wisdom. Well, the future is here, and we will gather this Saturday at St. Joseph Parish for our first annual Convocation of Boards of Directors under the title of "Communion of Communities."

We are very honored that the keynote presentation will be given by Michael Brough, director of Planning and Member Services of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. The Roundtable is an organization of laity, religious and clergy working together to promote excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resources development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. by greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity. (More information about the Roundtable is available at www.nlrcm.org.) I am grateful to the Roundtable for their interest in participating in our first convocation for the boards of directors of our parish corporations.

We look forward to Michael's keynote presentation. His experience and knowledge, including his tenure as national director of RENEW, will help us to see the importance of good business and management practices in supporting the pastoral mission of the Church. Our day will include the opportunity for the lay board members to dialogue with each other and with me about the needs of our Diocese.

10. Pastor Installation -- I look forward to being with the community of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley this Sunday for the 11 a.m. Mass during which I will install Father Francisco Maldonado as their new pastor.

11. "Una Noche de Alegria" -- The second annual gala benefit dinner for Catholic Community Services and its member agencies will take place this Sunday evening at the Hotel Arizona in Tucson. The honoree for this year's benefit is Pio Decimo Center. We will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pio Decimo's unique ministry and service to families.

The Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic from New Orleans founded Pio Decimo Center in 1946 in the Barrio Santa Rosa. The Center provided a wide variety of services that addressed the critical needs of families. In 1966, the Sisters determined that Pio Decimo Center would be best served under the auspices of the Diocese of Tucson, and the Center then became the third agency under the sponsorship of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona.

The Center's have continued to expand to meet the priority needs of children and families. The services now include daycare, early childhood education, year round out of school care, youth development, gang prevention, health care, case management, emergency support services, transitional housing for homeless families, housing and support services for low income seniors and a community garden.

Truly, it will be "A Joyful Evening" as we gather to celebrate the six decades of Pio Decimo's history and its many gifts to our community.

12. Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson -- I am pleased to announce the appointment of four new members of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson. They are: Vanessa M. Dekkers of Immaculate Conception Parish, Yuma; Maryann Hockstad of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Sierra Vista; Father Rudy Rosales, pastor of Holy Angels Parish, Globe; and Steven Thu of St. Frances Cabrini Parish, Tucson. Each appointment is for a three year term. Members of the Board may serve no more than two consecutive terms. I thank the new members for graciously sharing their time and talent in service to the Foundation and to the Diocese.

13. Official Appointments -- Father Larry Kasper informed me last week of his need to resign, for reasons of health, as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Bisbee, and I have accepted his resignation with the understanding that this is in his best interests. Father Larry has given faithful priestly ministry to St. Patrick and St. Michael's Mission in Naco. I especially have appreciated his efforts that have led to a thriving youth ministry for the parish and mission. Please remember Father Larry in your prayers as he faces this health challenge.

The parish will bid farewell to Father Larry on Saturday evening, Nov. 4. On Sunday, Nov. 5, I will visit the parish so that I can hear from the community their hopes for a new pastor.

Effective Sunday, Nov. 5, Father Bob Brazaskas, pastor of Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista and Vicar Forane for the Cochise Vicariate, is appointed canonical pastor of St. Patrick Parish and Deacon Anthony Underwood is appointed pastoral administrator of St. Patrick Parish.

Vol. 4, No. 26
Oct. 30, 2006

More than 125 people attended Saturday's first annual Convocation of Boards of Directors of Parish Corporations at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson. I was very pleased that 25 pastors (who each serve as president of their parish's board of directors) were able to be present for much of the convocation. Considering all the demands that day makes on priests, the turnout was exceptional. I also was very pleased that members of our Diocesan Pastoral Council were able to participate.

Michael Brough, Director of Planning and Member Services of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, gave a most informative presentation on the need for dioceses and parishes to incorporate the best practices in the areas of finance, human relations and administration. The Roundtable is an organization of laity, religious and clergy working together to promote excellence and best practices by greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity. More information about the Roundtable is available at www.nlrcm.org.

Michael Brough of the National Leadership Roundtable.

Michael's presentation was very well received, and he provided each parish with a DVD and workbook to be used by the boards of directors and parish pastoral and finance councils to assess management needs.
We also engaged in dialogue about three pressing pastoral issues facing our Diocese: the need for more priests and promotion of vocations; how to reach out to Catholics who no longer come to church and how to pass on the faith to children; and how to respond in a more helpful way to married couples and families. I was very pleased with the quality of the advice and recommendations that came out of the dialogue. It makes me very proud and confident that there is the expertise present in our Diocese to do whatever we need to do to address these issues.

The day also included the opportunity for the board members to discuss how the boards are functioning and what they have learned that could be helpful to others.

I welcomed the interest of the participants in holding an annual convocation. A suggestion was made that next year we also would invite the presidents of parish pastoral and finance councils.

I am especially grateful to Father Al Schifano (who, by the way, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his Salpointe Catholic High School graduating class), Kathy Rhinehart, executive assistant for Corporation Matters, and Fred Allison, director of Communications, for planning and facilitating the Convocation. The hospitality, support and setting for the Convocation provided by Sister Noelle O'Shea, C.S.J., and the staff of St. Joseph Parish greatly enhanced our day.
1. Meeting of Directors of Hispanic Ministry Region XIII -- We are very pleased to be hosting the annual meeting of the Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry of Region XIII of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The region includes the 10 dioceses in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. The directors began their meeting yesterday, and I look forward to meeting with them this morning here at the Pastoral Center. A special participant in the meeting is Ron Cruz, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs for the USCCB. We are always happy to welcome Ron back home to Tucson. (Ron served as director of the former diocesan Office of Hispanic Affairs in the 1980s.)

Ron and the diocesan directors will have the opportunity to meet with members of our diocesan Hispanic Pastoral Commission and Young Adult Ministry (Pastoral Juvenil Hispana) and compare notes on what is happening at the local, regional and national levels.

Issues for discussion during their meeting include: the identity and mission of the Pastoral Juvenil (Youth Ministry); the transitory and sometimes permanent situation of undocumented persons and how our dioceses are affected in similar, and at times unique ways; looking for ways to establish the right balance in the integration of Hispanic and other minority groups in the Church; and preparations for the national conference of the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry next June in Minneapolis.

I thank Ruben Davalos, director of our diocesan Office of Evangelization and Hispanic Ministry, for his work in organizing and hosting this meeting.

2. "Ministry in the 21st Century" -- I have shared with you in previous memos about my participation in the Church in the 21st Century Project. An activity of the Church in the 21st Century Center at Boston College, the project is engaging the critical issues and challenges facing the Catholic Church in the U.S. at the beginning of this century: handing on and sharing the Catholic faith, especially with younger Catholics; fostering relationships built on mutual trust and support among lay men and women, vowed religious, deacons, priests, and bishops; developing an approach to sexuality mindful of human experience and reflective of Catholic tradition; and advancing contemporary reflection on the Catholic intellectual tradition.

An on-going activity of the Center is a lecture series that allows students at Boston College to hear from those in the Church who are involved with those issues. I am honored to be giving a lecture tomorrow at Boston College on the topic of "Ministry in the 21st Century."

More information about the Church in the 21st Century Project is available at www.bc.edu/church21.

3. Catholic Common Ground Initiative and Immigration -- My trip back East for the lecture also will allow me to participate in the planning process of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative to address the issues within the Church in the U.S. that surround immigration.

Bishop Richard Ramirez, in his lecture last August on the 10th anniversary of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, addressed the urgen need to dialogue within the Church about immigration:

"The immigration issue has created intense debate, especially as the U.S. Congress tackles immigration reform. There is much debate but unfortunately not much dialogue on proposed laws. There are those who are for punitive measures and exclusionary statutes, and those who favor a more humanitarian and welcoming approach. Sadly some of the fear, suspicion, anger, and emotions found in our society today have crept into the church. Those whose families have been in our parishes for generations are not always welcoming of the stranger or the new immigrant. We forget that we have all been welcomed by Jesus Christ Himself. In parishes heated discussion can arise regarding language, or languages used, the music, Mass scheduling, and membership on consultative bodies. Not everyone is happy when a new culture arrives at the parish with its own customs and traditions. All these issues beg for a common ground approach."

The Catholic Common Ground Initiative originated in 1996 in response to the concern that unnecessarily polarizing differences among Church leaders and members hinder efforts to build the Church community and to carry out its mission. The Initiative fosters and promotes dialogue within the Church with the conviction that dialogue can transform those who engage in it as well as strengthen the Church for its mission in the new millennium.

4. Immigration Fact-finding Mission -- You can read reports on last week's immigration fact-finding mission by a delegation of Bishops to our Diocese and to the Archdiocese of Houston and the Diocese of El Paso at www.justiceforimmigrants.org/borderblog.html. This on-line feature includes photographs of the delegation's visit to our Diocese and to Nogales and Altar in Sonora.

Bishop Jaime Soto reflects in an audio report on one powerful memory from the delegation's trip to Altar where the Bishops celebrated Mass at the Centro Comunitario de Atención al Migrante y Necesitado which ministers to migrants preparing to attempt the crossing into the U.S.

"Many of them (the migrants) came to the Mass and it was very moving at the end of the Mass when we offered them a blessing and you could see in their eyes how they really look to God for His blessing for protection and guidance for the decisions that lay ahead of them. It was a very poignant moment of realizing not only their vulnerability but all our of vulnerability in terms of how fragile our own destinies are and how much they depend on God's mercy and grace."

I thank Joanne Welter of our diocesan Catholic Social Mission Office and Erica Dahl-Bredine of the Catholic Relief Services Mexico Project for their work in facilitating the visit to our Diocese.

5. Solemnity of All Saints and All Souls Day -- We celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints this Wednesday.  We honor all the saints -- those named by the Church and those in our own knowledge and experience -- who are exemplars of holiness and who inspire us to persevere, in the face of life's many challenges, in our response to the call to holiness. On All Souls Day, Thursday, we commemorate all the Faithful Departed, especially our deceased family and friends, who reside in the Communion of Saints.

As is traditional for our Catholic Cemeteries in Tucson, Mass will be celebrated on All Souls Day at 8 a.m. at Holy Hope Cemetery with Father Raul Trevizo, Vicar General, presiding and at Our Lady of the Desert at 8 a.m. with Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, presiding. Of course, all across the Diocese there will be commemorations at parishes and at cemeteries.

I take the opportunity each All Souls Day to express my great appreciation for the ministry by the staff at the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries and the special efforts they make this week on behalf of the families who come to visit.

6. Presentation on "God Is Love" -- I look forward to being with the Marian Club at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson this Thursday evening to share with members and guests some thoughts about Pope Benedict's first encyclical, "God Is Love" (Deus Caritas Est). 

7. Pastoral Center Staff Retreat -- The Pastoral Center Staff will gather this Friday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks for our annual retreat. We are honored to have Msgr. Tom Cahalane and Sister Jose Hobday, O.S.F., as our leaders for our retreat.

8. "Jammin' for Jesus" and Youth Fest -- Hundreds of our Catholic young persons will be converging this Saturday in downtown Tucson for two events: our diocesan Youth Fest at the Tucson Convention Center and for the annual "Jammin' for Jesus" gathering for young altar servers. Youth Fest will feature musician and evangelist Sal Solo, and workshops on the day's theme of "Faith: Do It!" on living our faith through service, peace and justice. I will celebrate Mass with our teens and our younger altar serves at the close of the day.

9. Women Religious Jubilee Mass -- The annual celebration of the jubilee anniversaries of Women Religious serving in our Diocese will be this Sunday at 1 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson. I thank Father Joe Lombardo, pastor, and the Parish for hosting the Mass and the appreciation dinner that will follow in the parish hall.

10. Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership -- Last week, Anne Grycz of the Diocese of San Jose and Lydia Mendoza of the Diocese of San Bernardino visited our Diocese to look at our efforts in Human Resources and Formation. They spoke with a number of people at the Pastoral Center and at parishes.
This consultation site visit was made possible by a grant from the Lilly Foundation to several national Catholic ministerial organizations as part of the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project. The organizations are collaborating on sustaining the pastoral excellence of the emerging models of pastoral leadership in the Catholic Church with the goal of creating a climate in which research, theological reflection and transformation can take place. Our Diocese is one of 15 in the U.S. participating in the consultation phase of the project.
The visit included an opportunity for parish ministers to offer their comments and observations about the quality of the Diocese's human resources policies and programs. In connection with the consultation, there will be the opportunity for employees and volunteers for the Diocese and parish and schools to participate in a human resources survey. Information about the survey will be forthcoming.

I look forward to the report that will be sent to us on how we can enhance and strengthen our human resource and formation efforts throughout the Diocese. The assessment of the formation programs included our Common Formation Program for deacon candidates and lay ministry candidates and the adult formation opportunities available in our parishes.

11. Enhancing and Supporting Educational Opportunities -- The University of Arizona, established in 1885 as the first institution of higher learning in the Arizona Territory, was beaming with pride last week when it held the inauguration of its 19th president, Dr. Robert Shelton. Flanked by his wife Adrian and their three children, Christian, Cameron, and Stephanie, you could see the excitement he felt and his determination to lead this highly respected research university in a way that will enhance the educational opportunities for our young people.
We join him in his concern for the advancement of education in our State. We need to do better and to do more to provide the finest preparation possible for the future of our children. That, of course, is our goal as we continue to support the mission of our Catholic Schools. They are making a significant contribution to the quality of education in our State.

Approaching the end of this year, I urge all to consider the opportunity to support Catholic education through a donation to the Catholic Tuition Support Organization of the Diocese of Tucson. Through the Arizona Private School Tuition Tax Credit, taxpayers filing jointly can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their state income taxes of up to $1,000 for their donation to the CTSO. More information is available at www.ctso-tucson.org.

12. Care for Our Cathedral Church -- The staff of the Pastoral Center spent last Friday morning on the grounds of St. Augustine Cathedral cleaning, trimming and sprucing up the areas surrounding the parking lot. Despite a few blisters, a number of close encounters with jumping cactus and a few scratches, we did the job!

Who is this Masked Man?

Judy Richins looks for a way out of the cactus jungle.

Cactus Cowboys Chris Ober and Tom Smith.

Also last week, a crew from the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries began their efforts to help the Diocese better care for the grounds around the Cathedral. I am grateful to Jim DeCastro, executive director of the Cemeteries, and his staff for taking on this challenging and very needed project.
With this as a beginning, Father Pat Crino, our Cathedral Rector, and I have written a letter to Cathedral parishioners asking for their help with the upkeep of the Cathedral's interior and grounds. We need help to properly maintain the Cathedral Church, the mother church of our Diocese.
The way we care for our spiritual home reflects the pride we have as Catholics. I hope many will come forward to offer their time and talents to help keep our Cathedral looking its best. I welcome all who may want to help, especially youth groups and individuals from other parishes and members of our Catholic fraternal organizations. Just contact the Cathedral Office at 623-6351 if you can help.

13. A Proud Moment for U.S. Catholicism's Mother Church -- Baltimore's restored Basilica of the Assumption will be re-opened this coming Saturday after a three-year, $34 million effort to return U.S. Catholicism's mother church to its original splendor. Built from 1806-1821, the Basilica was the first great metropolitan cathedral constructed in the U.S. after the adoption of the Constitution.

Saturday's grand re-opening will begin a week of festivities that will culminate with a procession of the Bishops of the U.S. into the Basilica for a special celebratory Mass on Sunday, Nov. 12. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is holding its fall meeting in Baltimore to commemorate the re-opening of the Basilica. (More information about the Basilica and the restoration is available at www.baltimorebasilica.org.)

14. Una Noche de Alegria -- Last night's Catholic Community Services' Una Noche de Alegria was a great success. The evening recognized and affirmed the outstanding service of Pio Decimo Center for six decades of service to children and families. This Center has earned the respect of all in the Tucson community. The Center's ministry has touched the lives of many. That was obvious in the tributes that were presented. Peg Harmon, chief executive officer of CCS, rightly expressed the pride we all feel for this outstanding institution. Congratulations to Pio Decimo director Joyce Walter and all her staff for making such a difference in our community!

15. A Fifth Anniversary -- Today marks the fifth anniversary of the announcement of my appointment to the Diocese of Tucson. I still remember vividly receiving a call from the Apostolic Nuncio on Friday, Oct. 13, 2001, indicating that the Holy Father had appointed me to serve as the coadjutor Bishop of Tucson to assist Bishop Manuel Moreno, to which I responded, "Pardon me?" I never dreamt I would be called to serve in Arizona, so far away from my home.
On Oct. 30, 2001, when I first arrived, I met with a number of people in St. Augustine Cathedral. I was nervous, anxious and worried about what might be ahead. But from that first day, Bishop Moreno and all the staff and friends of the Diocese made me feel very much at home.
These five years have been a delight -- an opportunity to meet some fantastic priests, deacons, religious and laity who love the Church and who generously use their gifts and talents to carry on Christ's mission. We have struggled through some tough days, but sticking together and with God's grace we have seen a New Dawn.
I have come to love and treasure the Diocese of Tucson. I am grateful to God that in His providence He has called me to serve here.