Oct. 4, 2010 Oct. 11, 2020 Oct. 18, 2010 Oct. 25, 2010

Vol. 8, No. 21
Oct. 4, 2010


Buon giorno a Roma!

Monday Memo is coming to you from Rome today.

I am here for the annual meeting between the president (Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I.) and vice president (that's me) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the various Congregations and Pontifical Councils at the Vatican to share with them areas of interest within their competence on the part of bishops in our country and to hear from them their observations.
 
The Roman Curia, the central governing body that assists the Holy Father in the work of the Vatican, consists of the nine Congregations, the Secretariat of State, and a number of more recently established Pontifical Councils.

The Congregations are directed by a prefect, a cardinal charged with the responsibility of overseeing a particular area of competence in the administration of the Church. The Councils each are headed by a president who oversees some of the important pastoral areas of concern to the Holy See. The Holy Father recently established a new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, headed by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella. The Secretariat of State has two sections, a Section for General Affairs (First Section) and a Section for Relations with States (Second Section).
 
Just as the Holy Father has his offices and staff to assist him, each bishop in his diocese has a curia that includes a number of offices that assist him in his pastoral and administrative work. The structure is not unlike what we see in the Executive Branch of our Federal Government in which the president has a cabinet that helps him to do the work entrusted to him. 

Cardinal George and I hope to have a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, if his time permits.
 
We are scheduled to meet with the Congregation of Bishops, headed by the newly appointed Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S.; with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran; the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with our own Cardinal William Levada; with the Congregation for Catholic Education with Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski; with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity with the newly appointed President Archbishop Kurt Koch; with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace with the newly appointed President Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (who gave reflections at our bishops' retreat in Florida this past summer); with the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti; with the Congregation for the Clergy whose Prefect is Cardinal Claudio Hummes, O.F.M.; with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments with Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera and Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, O.P., an American who worked some years in our Conference; and with the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life with Cardinal Franc Rode and perhaps the newly appointed Archbishop-Elect Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R. 
 
Archbishop Tobin, a Redemptorist from the U.S., will be ordained a bishop while we are in Rome. A contingent of Redemptorists from our Diocese will be here for the occasion, led by Father Tom Santa, C.Ss.R., director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. I hope to see them while they are here.

Also visiting in Rome while I am here will be Father Richard Tomasek, S.J., who is parochial vicar at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Tucson. He has served as a Spiritual Director at the North American College in Rome, the seminary at which many seminarians from the U.S. study. The College is preparing for diaconate ordination, and Father Richard knew many of those being ordained when he was on the faculty.

It is a small world. Sitting next to me on the flight over was a family from Phoenix traveling to Rome for the first time. They were very excited.
 
I am staying at the Pontifical North American College, just a short walk from the Vatican. It was my "home away from home" two years ago during the Synod on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. Hard to believe it's been two years!

This year, the North American College, operated by our Conference, welcomed its largest class of seminarians from the U.S. in many years. It is always enjoyable to meet these men preparing to serve as priests in many dioceses around our country. Their enthusiasm and idealism are inspiring. They attend classes at various colleges in Rome, but as those colleges start later than in our country, this week the seminarians are just beginning classes. Until now, they have been participating in their annual retreat, orientation, continuing to learn Italian and adjusting to being back in the seminary routine.
 
Rome's October weather is usually perfect, and that is holding true for this trip. I enjoy running while in Rome. The streets are full of distractions, with historic remains around every cornerlo, bustling crowds of people gazing at the sights and oblivious to anything else around them -- like me running, the congested traffic and blaring horns. The run passes quickly.
 
Eating in Rome is always a delight, even for a vegan. You cannot find a bad restaurant, and the food at the North American College is very good.
 
1. Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi -- Cardinal Francis George and I begin our meetings at the Vatican today, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. Some 90 miles from Rome today, in Assisi, at the Papal Basilica of St. Francis, there will be huge crowds of people making a pilgrimage to this beautiful church where St. Francis is buried.

In our Sonoran Desert, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi is especially important for the Tohono o'Odahm. Since the mid-1800s, there has been an annual pilgrimage on Oct. 4 to the Church of St. Francis in Magdalena, Sonora. This is very unique spiritual and cultural tradition in that it takes place on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi and is focused on the veneration of the supine statue of St. Francis Xavier in the church.

Let's remember in our prayers today the ministry and service of the Franciscans who first came here as missionaries more than two centuries ago and the Franciscans who serve among us today. We are grateful for the Franciscan priests, sisters and brothers and their lay associates who minister to our Native American Catholics and who serve in our Catholic Schools.

And, we say "Happy Feast Day" today to Father Chris Orndorff and the community of St. Francis of Assisi in Yuma and to Father Mark Long and the community of St. Francis of Assisi in Superior.

2. "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign -- Today's observance of the Feast Day of St. Francis is a great lead-in for me to tell you about our new "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign for St. Augustine Cathedral. (I announce the campaign in this month's issue of The New Vision, but I have some additional thoughts to share with you here.)

The beautiful stained glass window of St. Francis in the vestibule of the Cathedral is one our Cathedral's "treasures" for which we are seeking sponsorship in this first-of-its kind campaign in our Diocese.

The inspiration for the campaign came when I was admiring the Cathedral's historic stained glass windows that have been so beautifully restored. I noticed that the windows on the lower level that depict scenes from the life of St. Augustine each had been sponsored by a family or a person honoring her or his family back in 1928 when the Cathedral was being totally reconstructed. Nothing else in our Cathedral bears the name of a sponsor, and I thought what a special honor it was for those families and individuals to know that their generosity would be acknowledged with gratitude for generations to come.

It occurred to me that the many new additions and enhancements that are part of our Cathedral's interior renovation present the opportunity to us today to leave a faith-filled legacy just as the sponsors of the windows had some 90 years ago. Our participation in the "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign will provide resources for the maintenance and preservation of Cathedral and the "treasures" of faith it holds long after we are gone.

To see how people might respond to the idea, we did a "silent phase" of the campaign this past month. The response and the generosity have been amazing!

Already, families, individuals and parishes have given their commitments for sponsorship for: the statues of St. Katherine Drexel and Blessed Mother Teresa in the retablo for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel; the statues of St. Juan Diego and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha for the retablo for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe; the mural of "Christ the Teacher" in the retablo for the Blessed Sacrament Chapel; a special platform and pews for the choir; the mural of "The Good Shepherd" in the dome over the Pamplona Crucifix; special pews in the back of the Cathedral; the St. Thomas the Apostle stained glass window; the St. Monica stained glass window in the sanctuary; the murals of "The Two Great Commandments" that will be painted on the east wall in the vestibule; and the setting for the historic bell from La Catedral de San Agustín (1868-1897).

I want to emphasize here what I wrote for The New Vision: I think it is so important that we all have a way to participate in the Campaign. I hope that perhaps our Catholic Schools and our spiritual and fraternal organizations each might sponsor one of "treasures," perhaps one of the ceiling panels painted with symbols of our Faith or one of the panels showing symbols of our Diocese's history.


You can see all of the opportunities for sponsorship here (link to Web page).

I had an experience Saturday in Rome that emphasized for me the good that is accomplished by generous people. Msgr. Roger Roensch, who for many years hosted visitors from our country seeking an audience with the Pope, took me to see Casa O'Toole, the recently renovated villa that is home to priests from our country who are on sabbatical participating in the Institute for Continuing Theological Education.

Seeing the sign over the entrance, I asked Msgr. Roger about the origin of Casa O'Toole's name. He said it was named in honor of a benefactor who gave much of his resources to make the Casa possible.

All around Rome are reminders of people whose generosity made it possible to build and renovate the many churches and Catholic institutions in the Eternal City. Their generosity is memorialized in honor of their family or a loved one, reminding me of our hopes for the "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign.

It was my joy over the weekend to introduce the "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign to the parish community of St. Augustine Cathedral. In a video that I taped last week, I thanked the parishioners of the Cathedral for their patience and perseverance these last two years as our Cathedral has undergone significant renovation on the outside and (this last year) on the inside.

I also shared with them the "official" news that the beautifully restored Pamplona Crucifix would be the focal point of sanctuary.

And, I invited them to be among the first to make their commitments to sponsor the "treasures" of the Cathedral in our new campaign to enhance the Cathedral's sacred space and the experience of worship within it.

3. Annual Priests' Retreats -- I am thinking about and praying for our priests who this week and next are at the Redemptorist Renewal Center for their annual retreat. Please remember them in your prayers. This opportunity for spiritual renewal is so important for those who spiritually care for others. I pray the Lord will be close to our priests in these days of quiet and reflection.

4. Diocesan Liturgy Recognizing Catechist Certification -- On Saturday, more than 300 of our parish catechists and Catholic School teachers who have completed their Level 1, Level II or the Advanced certification process during the last five years were recognized for their accomplishments.

They were asked to come forward during a special Mass at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson to receive a special catechist pin and blessing to affirm their dedication and commitment to formation and ongoing spiritual growth.

A special presentation and donation was presented to the Jordan Ministry Team for their outstanding work in training parish leaders the past 10 years.

I am grateful to Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, who presided at the Mass in my absence, and to Msgr. Robert Fuller, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini, for hosting this event.

5. Remember in Your Prayers
-- Please pray for the repose of the souls of Florence Kusugh, sister of Father Richard Kusugh, V.C., and Angela Frias, mother of AnnaMaria Mammen of the Pastoral Center, who died last week.

Vol. 8, No. 22
Oct. 11, 2010


Buon giorno a Roma!

The Swiss Guard and members of the Papal Household were out in force Saturday morning and the red carpet had been put out when Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Msgr. David Malloy, Msgr. Ronnie Jenkins, Father Daniel Flens and I arrived at the Papal Palace for our audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

All this attention was not for us, but for President Ivo Josipovic of the Republic of Croatia, who visited the Holy Father just before we arrived.

Our meeting with the Holy Father came at the end of the annual visit of the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with the prefects and staff of the Congregations in the Curia of the Vatican. Cardinal George, president of the Conference, Msgr. Malloy, general secretary, Msgr. Jenkins, associate secretary, and myself as Conference vice president had made the rounds of the Congregations from Monday through Friday of last week to dialogue with them and to share information on pastoral issues and concerns related to the Church in our country. Joining us for Saturday's visit with the Holy Father was Father Flens, who is Cardinal George's assistant.
 
Each time I am able to visit the Papal Palace, viewing the tapestries, frescoes and decorated ceilings I am reminded of our Church's patronage and support of art and artisans over the centuries. Great artists and artisans have used their talents to communicate in the buildings of the Vatican how beauty is a compelling way to find one's way to God. I have this hope for the renovation of our Cathedral -- that the restored stained glass windows, the new retablos, the Pamplona Crucifix in its setting on the back wall of the sanctuary and the ceiling tiles that will contain symbols of our faith and of our Diocese all will help us to lift our minds and hearts to God.
 
Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household who is originally from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, welcomed us to the antechamber to the Holy Father's office. When we were admitted, the Holy Father, dressed all in white as he always is, greeted us with a wonderful smile. Despite having had a number of previous appointments, he looked fresh and he made us feel right at home. His stamina at 83 is amazing.
 
We each had a photo taken with the Holy Father, and then we sat around his desk. We spoke in English. As pastor of the Universal Church, he is fluent in English and several other languages. I thought to myself how important it is for our young people to have a greater opportunity to learn languages so that they can communicate effectively in this time of globalization.

The Holy Father was most interested to hear from us how Catholics in the U.S. are living their faith. He focused on each of us as we shared with him some of our challenges and blessings.
 
The Pope was so pleased with the result of his trip to England and Scotland. Before he arrived, there were concerns about how the trip would go, but his gentle manner and loving presence dispelled the misgivings of most as it we witnessed during his visit to our country. He met in London with some victims of child abuse. I suspect they, too, were inspired by his humility and kind manner. He clearly cares for those who have been harmed and whose trust has been shattered. Hopefully, that encounter was healing for them and helped them to see his care for them. He longs for the healing of those harmed and he knows the importance of purifying the priesthood.
 
The Holy Father impresses me as a deeply spiritual man who has a keen interest in what you have to say. His responses to our observations and his questions demonstrated to me that he wants our Church to be alive and vibrant in bringing the faith to the biting questions of our time. Our half hour with him passed all too quickly.

Saturday evening, I joined my brother bishops from around the world to concelebrate the ordination Mass for Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R., who has been appointed the Secretary of the Congregation for the Religious. 
 
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, was the celebrant of the Mass and ordaining bishop. Ordained with Archbishop Tobin were Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, newly appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan, Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo, S.D.B., Rector of the Pontifical University of the Lateran.
 
Archbishop Tobin will bring many gifts to his important work for religious. Being a religious, he appreciates the importance of religious life and he will be very helpful in bringing the study of religious life in the U.S. to a positive and helpful conclusion.

At the ordination, I met Father Thomas Pincton, C.Ss.R., former provincial of the Redemptorists, who mentioned to me that Father Tom Santa and Father Peter Tran from the Redemptorist community in Tucson were present for the celebration. Father Tom and Father Peter are classmates of the new Archbishop. Regretfully, I did not get to see them that evening.

I will be participating today and tomorrow in the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in support of the Holy Land, which is meeting as the Synod on the Middle East begins.
 
Each year, the Episicopal Conferences in the U.S., Canada, Germany, England, Spain and several other European countries gather in the Holy Land to support the work of the Latin Patriarchate, His Beatitude Fouad Twal. The Coordination also strives to help people in the West to understand that there is a Christian presence in the Middle East that needs to be supported, affirmed and preserved, especially as their numbers diminish. Many Christians have fled the Holy Land because of conflict, violence and economic turmoil. We pray that Christians will stay in this Holy Land so sacred to our faith.
 
Our meeting these two days is to prepare for the gathering in January in Jerusalem of the Coordination and to welcome the Synod Fathers participating in the Syond on the Middle East. Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles and Archbishop Allan Vigneron of Detroit, along with Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour and Maronite Bishop Robert Shaheen, are participating from the U.S.
 
(In our Diocese, the Western Lieutenancy of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre provide much assistance to the Latin Patriarch. I am proud of their support of Christians in the Holy Land and the good work done by James and Chris Ronstadt who are leaders of our local group.)

I will be returning to the Diocese on Wednesday. I hear that it has been cooler, so I am excited about getting back to enjoy it before an October heat wave starts.

1. The Tomb of St. Peter -- The Scavi Tour ("scavi" is Italian for "excavations") of the Vatican Necropolis is one of the most sought-after tours in the Eternal City.  The tour includes the burial site of St. Peter under St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. This past week, I was able to take the tour for the second time, and the experience once again was inspiring.

Jim Wallace, a seminarian from Chicago studying at the North American College, was our guide.

The tour of the Necropolis (City of the Dead) takes you through several excavated streets at the side of which both pagan and Christian people were buried in tombs in the time before Constantine.

It is like time traveling, walking down a street along which the tombs were built. Several tombs have been amazingly restored, their symbols and inscriptions preserved. We learned that people came to their family tombs to be with their dead and would even dine as a family amid their deceased, sometimes seeking to feed their loved ones through tubes into the tomb.

This whole area was covered when Constantine was building the first Basilica. Although there were records in the Vatican Archives that indicated the area was a burial site, for a number of centuries no one seemed to know that a necropolis had been there.

(This reminds me of our Pamplona Crucifix that for years was in the vestibule of our Cathedral. There were records in our Archives describing it as a 12th century crucifix given to Bishop Daniel Gercke back in the 1920s, but its provenance was unknown. No one realized the "treasure of the heart" we had until scientific tests determined its age. Similarly, no one knew this area beneath St. Peter's Basilica held such a treasure.)

It was only in 1939, with the approval of Pope Pius XII, that archeologists began to dig beneath St. Peter's Basilica. The excavation was clandestine since there was fear that Hitler might want to acquire what might be discovered. (The movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" comes to mind!)

The archeologists soon excavated a tomb that was thought to be that of St. Peter, but research showed that the remains found within it were of two young men between 35-40 years of age and of a woman between 65-70 years of age.

The excavation was discontinued after the death Pope Pius XII, but after resuming in the papacy of Pope Paul VI, the excavation uncovered a tomb that contained the bones of a man between 65-70. There was enough evidence to give the archeologist some certainty that the remains were those of St. Peter. This tomb is just slightly off center underneath the main altar of the Basilica.

As I stood before the place where the great Apostle is buried, I reflected that nearly 2000 years ago he had denied knowing Christ. Yet, in the same city in which he is buried, he gave up his life, crucified upside down in Nero's Circus, professing Christ.

St. Peter's remains were revered in the early Church, and now again are visible for today's disciples who can kneel at the hallowed spot and pray for the courage of Peter to live out their faith.


This Catholic News Service photo shows Pope Benedict XVI at the tomb of St. Peter on All Soul's Day in 2006.

You can learn more about the Scavi Tour and the history of the Necropolis here and here and here.

1. Monthly Meeting with Pastoral Center Directors -- Father Al Schifano, our Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, and I will be meeting this Thursday morning with the directors of our diocesan offices and departments here at the Pastoral Center.

Speaking of the Pastoral Center, we're being re-painted. This is the first paint job the exterior has had since we moved in back in 2002.

2. Pastor Installations -- After the meeting with the directors, I will be heading west to the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate where it will be my joy to install two new pastors.

Thursday evening at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, I will install Father Javier Perez as the parish's thirty-third pastor. Before receiving his assignment to Immaculate Conception Parish, Father Javier had served as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton for 12 years.

On Friday evening, I will install Father Tomas Muñoz as the ninth pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton. Before receiving his assignment to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Father Tomas served as pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wellton for four years. After Mass, we will celebrate Father Tomas' 25th anniversary of ordination.

Father Javier and Father Tomas extend an invitation to their brother priests to be present for their installations.

3. Annual Convocation for Religious -- I look forward to being with the sisters and brothers who serve in our Diocese at their annual Convocation this Saturday at the Benedictine Monastery in Tucson.

Sister Regina Robbins, S.N.D., from the Diocese of Los Angeles, is the special guest presenter. She will share her reflection on the theme of "The Vows: A Trilogy of Love."      
 
Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., our diocesan Vicar for Religious, met Sister Regina last year when she addressed the Vicars of the Western Region. Sister Rina says she immediately realized that Sister Regina would be an excellent resource and inspiring speaker for the Religious of our Diocese.

4. St. Augustine Catholic High School Red and Silver Dinner -- This Saturday night will be a "Night of Celebration" for St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson as the school's board of directors shares an "elegant dinner," a student showcase and presentations from alumni and parents at this second annual benefit affair. Information is available at 520-751-8300.

5. Charismatic Congress -- I will participating this Sunday in the Congresso General of the Movimiento de Renovacíon Catolica Carismatica.

The theme of the weekend Congress is "Yo Soy El Pan Bajado Del Cielo," John 6,51 ("I am the bread from Heaven").

Presenters at the Congresso will be Father Alfredo Gaytan, S.O.L.T., pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Laredo, Texas, and our own Father Marco Basulto, parochial vicar at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista.

The Congresso will be in the north exhibit hall of the Tucson Convention Center. More information is available at 520-312-9153, 520-743-7473 or 520-325-5765.
 
6. Safe Environment Program -- An important goal of our diocesan Safe Environment Program is to make education in child abuse awareness and prevention accessible.

Last year, our diocesan Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection invited our parishes and schools to use Web-based education as a way for employees and volunteers to receive the annual education and other required education required by the Safe Environment Program.

I was very pleased to learn recently that 44 parishes and schools have now subscribed to this service and are making very good use of it.

Dr. Paul Duckro, director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, tells me that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and School in Tucson give us a great example of how to use this valuable resource effectively. You might ask Paul or Julieta González in the Office to share with you how St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is doing this.

It is an easy system to use. (I can even access it from Rome!) I hope many more of our parishes and schools will give it a try. Julieta is ready and able to assist you.

7. "Treasures of the Heart" -- I am very pleased to share that the initial response to "Treasures of the Heart," our campaign for the art and environment of St. Augustine Cathedral, has been enthusiastic.

After hearing a presentation at Mass the weekend before last from Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector, and Father Jay Jensen and Father Eduardo Lopez, parochial vicars, parishioners of the Cathedral have been talking about their long-standing connections to the Cathedral and their great love for its sacred space.

I had hoped that this effort would unite people from all over the Diocese, and it is doing just that. Already, parishioners from St. George in Apache Junction, St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Tucson have joined parishioners of the Cathedral to become sponsors of the Cathedral's "treasures."

Even some non-Catholics have heard about the campaign and are considering sponsorship opportunities.

Margie Puerta-Edson, executive director of the Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund, tells me that one of our print vendors, who is not Catholic, decided to sponsor a ceiling tile after he toured the Cathedral last week. He told Margie that as a native Tucsonan he had often seen the Cathedral but had never been inside. He said was awed by the Cathedral (even in the midst of renovation) and could see how wonderful it will be when it is completed. Margie says he made the decision on the spot to be a sponsor in honor of his parent and grandparents.

Please visit the campaign's Web pages to see the opportunities for sponsorship.

8. Arco Iris Youth Movement Chaplain -- I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Father Martin Martinez, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales, as chaplain to the Arco Iris Youth Movement.

I have been very impressed with the enthusiasm of our young people in Arco Iris youth groups at St. Monica Parish in Tucson, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, Sacred Heart and San Felipe de Jesus Parishes in Nogales, Immaculate Conception, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Neumann Parishes in Yuma, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton and San Judas Tadeo Parish in San Luis.

8. Remember in Your Prayers
-- Please pray that our Lord will comfort Father Richard Kusugh, V.C., and his family at this time of great sorrow. Last week, I asked your prayers for the repose of the soul of Father Richard's sister, Florence. The family gathered for her Funeral Mass in Nigeria, and Father Richard's mother, Cecilia, was one of the readers. The day after the Funeral Mass, Father Richard's mother collapsed and died. Please pray for the repose of her soul.

Vol. 8, No. 23
Oct. 18, 2010

I always enjoy my trips west to the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate, which, if dioceses were established on the basis of square miles, would qualify as a diocese on its own. Each time I visit, I encounter the wonderful spirit, deep faith and love for the Church possessed by the people of the parishes in Yuma, Somerton, San Luis, Wellton and Parker and all their missions. There is a true fraternity among the priests serving there, a spirit that I see as well among the deacons, religious and lay leaders. Their welcome to me is always most gracious, and I always am inspired by their witness to the faith.
 
While still experiencing some jet lag from my return from Rome last Wednesday, I was energized by all that was happening in vicariate during my visit last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
 
Thursday evening, I installed Father Javier Perez as the new pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish and its mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Msgr. Richard O’Keeffe, the pastor emeritus, offered the homily. It was a moving recounting of the history of the Church in Yuma and of this mother parish of the region, the second parish created in our Diocese. Even though it was a weeknight, there was a marvelous turn out of priests, deacons, religious and laity, and the parish hall was filled after Mass for a fiesta to welcome the new pastor.
 
Father Javier has faced many challenges in the short time he has been at Immaculate Conception, but he has risen to the occasion and is working hard with advice from his finance council and board of directors to address the parish’s financial challenges. They are making progress.
 
Friday night, I installed Father Tomas Munoz. His brother, Father Jose Manuel Munoz of the Diocese of Mexicali, came from San Luis Rio Colorado for the celebration. Mass was held outdoors on a beautiful evening. It seemed all of Somerton was there. Father Tomas gave a powerful homily, expressing his desire to build this parish community in such a way that everyone participates. He acknowledged his parochial vicar, Father Luis Armando Espinosa, who comes from Argentina, for his good work. They have created a real sense of teamwork in their outreach to the parish. In addition to his installation, Father Tomas was celebrating his 25th anniversary of ordination that evening, which gave us two reasons to celebrate at the fiesta that followed Mass. The Arco Iris youth group served our food for the dinner.

Also on my visit, I visited with Cindy Chavez, the head of our Cursillo Secretariat. The Cursillo is coming to life in several of our communities, and especially so in Yuma. (A Cursillo is being planned for Casa Grande and for Sierra Vista.)
 
I visited briefly with the board of directors of Yuma Catholic High School. I was encouraged to see their deep commitment to the school and their desire to make it the very best school in the Yuma area. They are working hard to emphasize the school’s Catholic identity and to make it a place where young people can encounter Jesus Christ.
 
Father Javier, Vicar Forane for Yuma-La Paz, announced during my visit that the priests of the vicariate were each taking on a particular portion of the ministry in their locations. Father Oscar Magallanes, parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, will be spiritual advisor to the Spanish Cursillo. Father Emilio Chapa, parochial vicar at St. Francis Assisi Parish, will work with Arco Iris and youth programs. Father Raul Valencia, pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus, will coordinate Encuentros Matrimoniales. Father Abram Guerrero, parochial vicar at St. Jude Thaddeus, will work with the Movimiento Carismatico. Father Bartolome Vazquez, administrator of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Wellton, will work with prison ministry and Retirio Matrimonial. Father Tomas will work with nursing homes. Father Javier will work with the Yuma County Interfaith Sponsoring Committee and will minister at the Yuma Regional Medical Center. Father Luis Armando Espinoza, parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, will work with farm workers. Father Manuel Fragoso, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Parker, will coordinate Comisión Pastoral Hispana.
 
Saturday morning, I had the joy to celebrate Mass, coordinated by Father Emilio, for young people and parents involved in Arco Iris youth ministry in the parishes of the vicariate. We gathered in a local park where they were going to hold a soccer tournament after Mass. Even the priests were planning to play. (I have had no reports that any of these “older” players were injured.)
 
As I hope you can sense from everything that was happening over just three days that the vicariate is very active and alive in celebrating and giving witness to the faith. It was a joy for me to celebrate my home coming from Rome in the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate!

1. Annual Convocation of Religious -- Saturday’s gathering of Women and Men Religious who serve in the Diocese for their annual convocation was the largest I have ever been a part of. The turnout was tremendous. Sister Regina Robbins, S.N.D., the special guest presenter from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, spoke of the importance of the vows taken by religious and how those vows can deepen one’s relationship with Christ.
 
I always enjoy the open forum that is held at the end of the convocation before we celebrate Mass together. The sisters and brothers always have some challenging questions that they ask out of their love for the Church. We discussed the struggle some religious feel about those who are not able to receive the Eucharist and how we can reconcile who feel separated and left out with the Church. There was discussion of how we can bring Catholics who have left the Church or people who have never met the Lord into the life of the Church. We also reflected on how to bring our diverse communities to love and respect one another and on how to find ways to create a sense of unity while respecting our diversity.
 
I and grateful to Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., our Vicar for Religious, for preparing the day and to Sister Ramona Varela, O.S.B., for offering the hospitality of the Benedictine Convent for the convocation.

2. Charismatic Congress -- Renovacion Carismatica held its congress at the Tucson Convention Center over the weekend, and I was privileged to celebrate the closing Mass for the congress yesterday afternoon.

We speak often of the need for full, active and conscious participation in the Liturgy. All of those goals were met yesterday. The celebration filled the Convention Center hall with song and prayer. For members of the Catholic Charismatic community, faith is not just accidental to their lives, but is the center of their life. They sing and pray with great fervor. I pray that all of us would take in some of their enthusiasm for the faith and their seriousness about the importance of prayer in their lives.

Father Marco Basulto, parochial vicar at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista, serves as spiritual director to Renovacion Carismatica.

3. Meeting with Notre Dame Students -- I am meeting this morning with a group of students visiting from the University of Notre Dame. With Kraig Beyerlein, an assistant professor of Sociology, the students will be spending part of this week to learn more about life along the border with Mexico and the struggles faced by those entering our nation illegally and the farmers and ranchers who live in remote areas where the migrants enter and pass through. The students will visit ministries that respond to needs created by the continuing phenomenal migration and dialogue with persons who are involved with border issues.

4. Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate -- I will be back in Washington this week for the meeting of the board of directors of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) for which I am chairperson.

In addition to the board meeting, I will join the staff of CARA and special guests for CARA’s annual recognition of a person for outstanding service to the Church through research and support of research. This year, we will honor Sister Miriam Ukeritis, C.S.J., with the Rev. Louis J. Luzbetak, S.V.D., Award for Exemplary Research in Church Matters and Bishop William Friend, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Shreveport, with the Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research.
 
While in Washington, some members of the board of directors will interview candidates for CARA director, a position that became open with the resignation of Sister Mary Bendyna, R.S.M. Father Stephen Fichter, a priest of the Diocese of Newark, is serving as interim director.

Research is critical to our understanding of what is happening in our Church and of the issues that affect the Church’s mission. CARA’s goal is to serve the Church with high-quality applied research that provides Church leadership policymakers with the factual basis for informed decisions.

5. A Family Event and a Reunion -- On the way back from Washington, I will be making a stop in Chicago to confirm my great niece, Nina Fleischman, at Ascension Parish in Oak Park. One of the joys of being a priest is being able to confer sacraments on family members. I am sure Nina is worried that her great Uncle Jerry will ask her a tough question during the interrogation.

I also will celebrate Mass for members of my Quigley Seminary class of 1960. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary, and I am hoping at least one of my classmates will look more “aged” than I do. Just recently, during a visit to one of our Catholic Schools, I asked the first graders what year they thought I was born in. One girl said 200 AD. Sometimes it feels like 200 AD. How much has changed since we received our high school diplomas at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago! The future Pope Paul VI was present at our graduation. He was visiting Chicago at that time as a cardinal. Little did we know he would be our next pope.

6. Ceiling Panel Installation Underway -- Way up there, more than 50 feet above the floor of St. Augustine Cathedral, tethered safely inside the basket at the top of the big blue articulated lift, is a parishioner of St. Timothy Parish in Philadelphia.

Augustine Foley is his name. That’s right, our patron saint is his patron saint, and Augustine says he sure hopes St. Augustine is looking after him when he is way up there installing the ceiling panels created by artist John Alan.

The ceiling panels are among the enhancements that are part of our Cathedral’s renovation, and they are among the items for which we are seeking sponsorship in our “Treasures of the Heart” Campaign.

Several of our parishes and more than dozen parishioners have generously made commitments to sponsor new and renovated art and other enhancements to the Cathedral’s interior.

I invite you to visit our diocesan Web site and to click on “Treasures of the Heart” in the upper right hand corner to see the many opportunities for sponsorship.

Leaving a legacy for the preservation of our Cathedral’s new and old treasures is a wonderful way to honor a member of your family.

Vol. 8, No. 24
Oct. 25, 2010

Building faith. Inspiring hope. Igniting change.

The Catholic Extension Society truly fulfills the motto of its mission in manifold ways!

We know that so well here in our Diocese. Our relationship with the Catholic Extension Society began in 1905, and during the 105 years since the Society has provided more than $4.5 million to help us build churches, educate our seminarians, pay the salaries of priests and religious and provide religious education.

What has the Catholic Extension Society done for us lately?

I am so pleased to share with you the great news announced last Friday by the Society of its award of $150,000 to our Diocese to subsidize the salaries of four of our pastors.

Father Ermeregildo Sadana-Taneco, S.T., of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Tucson, Father Thomas Reeves, O.C.D., of Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson, Father "Ponchie" Vasquez, O.F.M., of San Solano Missions Parish on the Tohono O‘odham Reservation and Father Gino Piccoli, O.F.M., of San Carlos Parish in San Carlos are thrilled by this award. So am I!
These parishes serve approximately 6,100 primarily Hispanic and Native American families in areas that have experienced long-term socio-economic challenges that have been exacerbated by the current economy. These parishes are closely connected with the cultural identities of the communities they serve. Their pastors, parochial vicars and staffs minister with great dedication.

I am grateful for this special assistance from the Catholic Extension Society.
 
In making the announcement of the award, Joseph Boland, senior director of Grants Management for Catholic Extension, noted, "Funds for these four parishes are a part of Catholic Extension‘s larger effort to enable the ministry of priests to bless parish and mission communities even when those communities cannot afford to have a priest."

Last year alone, the Catholic Extension Society provided $1 million dollars to support the salaries of nearly 100 priests in 25 dioceses across the country.

On a personal note, I feel very connected to the Society through its director. Father Jack Wall and I grew up together, going to the high school seminary, college seminary and all the way through to ordination. Jack has a great love for the Church, especially the mission dioceses in our country. Under his leadership, Catholic Extension continues to reach out to all of us who struggle to find the resources necessary to carry on the Lord‘s work.
 
1. Meetings of Presbyteral Council, Diocesan Finance Council -- The Presbyteral Council meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center.

Our agenda includes an update on our Diocese‘s implementation of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, updates on this year‘s Annual Catholic Appeal, the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future Diocesan Renewal Campaign and our new "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign for St. Augustine Cathedral.
 
The Presbyteral Council, representing each of our vicariates provides needed counsel and advice to address the issues facing our diocese. Each member of the Council makes a monthly report on their vicariate. It is encouraging to hear all the good things happening around the diocese which sometimes remains hidden.

The Diocesan Finance Council meets tomorrow morning at the Msgr. Don Hughes Pastoral Center at St. Ambrose Parish.

The Presbyteral Council, comprised of priests (vicars forane) elected by their brother priests in each of our 11 vicariates, helps to keep me connected to 76 parishes and dozens of mission in our Diocese. Each vicar forane makes a monthly report on his vicariate. It is encouraging for me to hear all the good things happening around the Diocese.

2. The Value of Advice and Consultation -- I try to make a few comments in this Memo each month when the meetings of the Presbyteral Council, Finance Council and our Diocesan Pastoral Council occur, but I can‘t say often enough how important these councils are to me in my ministry as bishop.

The advice of laity, deacons, religious and priests through councils was encouraged by the Second Vatican Council, which mandated presbyteral councils and finance councils for dioceses.

I have insisted that each of our parishes needs to have a pastoral council and finance council to advise the pastor and to provide consultation to the parish board of directors. Over the past five years, since the incorporation of our parishes, I have seen how the participation of the councils adds so much wisdom to the process of decision-making. I certainly know that at the diocesan level. While consultation sometimes can be cumbersome, I have learned well that decisions are better received when people have input and can offer their counsel.

3. "Treasures of the Heart" Campaign -- You readers of Monday Memo learn this good news before our vicars forane will hear it at the Presbyteral Council meeting: parishioners and parishes have pledged nearly $150,000 to sponsor new and restored art and other enhancements to St. Augustine Cathedral.

Just last week, the community of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista sponsored the stained glass window of St. Andrew. Also, parishioners have pledged their sponsorship of the restoration of the historic statues of the Immaculate Conception and the Sacred Heart in front of the Cathedral.

4. Southern Arizona Clergy Network Retreat -- I will be joining leaders of faith communities in the Tucson area on Wednesday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks for our fall retreat.

Our interfaith gatherings allow us to pray together and to discuss concerns and issues that affect us all. At this retreat, we will discuss how our faith communities are responding to the concerns and issues related to immigration.

Our diocesan ecumenical and interfaith efforts have benefited greatly from the ministry of Loretta Tracy. Loretta is passing the torch of this important ministry to Father Jay Jensen, parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish, who is our new diocesan liaison for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs. I am grateful to Loretta for her years of service as diocesan liaison.

5. Santa Catalina Parish Blessing -- I look forward to being with Father Peter Connolly, C.Ss.R., pastor and the people of Santa Catalina Parish tomorrow afternoon for the blessing of the parish‘s new Pastoral Center. The project involved major renovations and additions to the parish offices and included expanded office space, meeting rooms, additional parking, new signage and water harvesting.

6.
Mass of the Holy Spirit (Red Mass) -- Our annual diocesan Red Mass will be this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral.

The tradition of the Red Mass dates back to 13th century England in the reign of King Edward I when it served as the official opening of the Judicial Year. Today, the Red Mass is celebrated in many dioceses throughout the U.S. to promote the unity of the judiciary and the legal profession. 

Judges, lawyers, public officials, law faculty members, law students, staff of justice system offices and all in our community who participate in and support our justice and legal systems are welcome.

During this year‘s Red Mass, I will bestow the St. Thomas More Society Award to the
family of late Congressman James McNulty in honor of his years of service to the Church, our nation and to the legal profession. 

I am grateful to our diocesan St. Thomas More Society and the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson for their sponsorship of the Red Mass.

7. Mission Congress 2010 -- It will be my honor this Thursday to be the celebrant for the opening Mass of Mission Congress 2010, the third five-year gathering for all in our Church in the U.S. who minister in the spirit and tradition of missionaries.

The Congress, sponsored by the Catholic Mission Forum, is being held in Albuquerque.

The Congress will stress the cultural diversity of today‘s Church and how Catholic missionaries can best fulfill their mission of evangelization.

The schedule includes panel discussions, group dialogue and workshops on topics ranging from mission work in the U.S. to global trends, mission in other traditions, ecumenical perspectives on mission and international missionaries serving in the U.S.

Keynote presenters are Father Gary Riebe-Estrella, S.V.D., associate professor of practical theology and Hispanic ministry at the Catholic Theological Union and president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians; Sister Janice McLaughlin, M.M., president of the Maryknoll Sisters; and Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, president of Caritas International and past president of the Council of Latin American Bishops‘ Conferences. (Many of  you will remember Father Gary from his service in our Diocese in education ministries.)

Bishop Michel J. Warfel of the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings and I will lead a workshop on Catholic Home Missions.

8. Youth Fest 2010 -- I have to make sure my running shoes are in good shape for this Saturday's Youth Fest 2010 at the Tucson Convention Center. I know it will take some good shoes and some extra vitamins for me to be able to keep up with the hundreds of teens from parishes across our Diocese who will be there for this annual gathering. 

The special guest presenter is Rey Malavé from the Diocese of Orlando. Rey Malavé has been involved in youth ministry for more than 30 years. Rey has provided youth ministry leadership training to Hispanic and non-Hispanic leaders at various levels in the Diocese of Orlando and throughout the country. He served as the president of the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (La Red) from 1999 to 2005. He was the National Chairman for the First National Encuentro of Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Ministry in 2006. He received the National Youth Ministry Award for Multicultural Gifts given by National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry and other awards for his work in youth ministry.

Youth Fest is open to all junior high and high school teens. The cost is only $20 a teen if the registration. form and fee arrives at the Pastoral Center by this Wednesday. The fee goes up to $25 after Wednesday. The registration forms are available online here.

The day‘s schedule includes Rey‘s keynote presentation, workshops, lunch, a great looking Youth Fest shirt, music by local favorite Emmaus Band and a very special "surprise" activity.

9. Living Rosary in Somerton -- The third annual celebration of the Living Rosary, sponsored by the Hispanic Commission of the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate, took place on Saturday, hosted this year by Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton. 

More than 300 people attended this observance of October as the Month of the Rosary. While I couldn‘t be there in person, I was able to greet the participants by means of a video that I taped two weeks ago when I was in Yuma.

Father Luis Armando Espinoza was the master of ceremonies for the event.  Several of the youth groups from parishes in the vicariate lighted the candles as each prayer was recited. 
The priests of the vicariate wrote the meditations that accompanied each Mystery of the Rosary.  

The theme of this year‘s devotion was the Joyful Mysteries and the Sacraments.  Each Mystery was accompanied by an introduction about the mystery and a related sacrament. Sister Lois Paha, O.P., gave a concluding reflection on the Eucharist.

10. The New Vision November Issue -- The November issue of The New Vision will be distributed at our parishes this weekend. I ask our pastors to encourage parishioners to take a copy home.

In this issue, Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, writes about the implementation of the new English translation of the Roman Missal. There are before-and-after photos of the Pamplona Crucifix that show the amazing results of the artistry of restorers Tim Lewis and Maltide Rubio. And, you will meet a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson who worked closely with Bishop Fulton Sheen on his legendary TV show, "Life Is Worth Living."

11. 50th High School Reunion -- My class from Quigley, a high school seminary in Chicago, celebrated its 50th anniversary of graduation on Saturday.

Our class was one of the largest in the school‘s history. We began with nearly 300 and graduated more than 150 in 1960. Fifty of us went on to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago. The rest began careers after college, and many followed the call to the vocation of married life. I enjoyed meeting their wives and hearing about their families.
 
I had the honor of celebrating the Mass for our celebration. Some of my classmates played the music for hymns we remembered from our high school days. My priest classmates concelebrated, and the three who have become permanent deacons assisted us at the Mass.

Being with these friends from my long, long ago teen years, some who I had not seen in nearly 50 years, brought back so many memories, but as I listened to my classmates and learned how their lives had turned out I thought to myself how we reflect a half century of change in our society and the impact of that change on our Church. Some of our classmates no longer are active in their faith, while others are very active as priests or as parents handing on the faith now to their grandchildren. I prayed that night for my classmates who are now not connected to the practice of their faith that our reunion might be a reconnecting spark.

Despite the different paths that we have taken in the last 50 years, we remain bound by the formative experiences we had in high school and especially by the impact that our mentors, mostly priests, had on us as our teachers, coaches, spiritual advisers and friends.