Sept. 8, 2009 Sept. 14, 2009 Sept. 21, 2009 Sept. 28, 2009

Vol. 7, No. 22
Sept. 8, 2009

It was an honor for me to celebrate Mass on Sunday in Nogales, Sonora, with Archbishop Ulyses Macias, Archbishop of Hermosillo. Joining us for this special observance by the Mexican Bishops Conference of the Day of the Migrant were priests from the Diocese of Tucson and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo and laity from our dioceses.

Plans had been made for an outdoor Mass by the port of entry on the Mexico side. As preparation for Mass was concluding, you could see lightning and hear thunder and feel a few drops of rain. Archbishop Macias made the wise decision to have us go to a nearby church for the Mass. Just as Mass began, the downpour came.
 
The singing at the Mass was lively, the prayer fervent.

In his homily, Archbishop Macias spoke with passion of God's love for migrants, and he called all of us to work together to build bridges and not walls. He reminded us of our responsibility as disciples of Christ to imitate Christ's love for the poor and those in need.

At the offertory, migrants brought forward, along with the bread and wine, water, food and medicine -- basic elements of life -- as a reminder of the precious gift of life.

Sadly, too often, human life continues to be lost in our desert. The number of deaths in the desert of migrants this summer is shocking, and we need to find a way to end this tragic loss of life of people who are desperate to find a decent way of life for themselves and their families.

Archbishop Macias this year is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a bishop. He served 12 and a half years as Bishop of Mexicali and now 12 and a half years as Archbishop of Hermosillo. He is well loved and respected in his Archdiocese. In recognition of his anniversary, I gave him a statue of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, S.J., on horseback. The first missionary in the Pimeria Alta (Sonora and Arizona), Padre Kino is buried in Magdalena, Sonora, which is in the Archdiocese of Hermosillo. Archbishop Macias seemed most pleased by the gift.

I was delighted to see a number of people from our Diocese present for the celebration, including Joanne Welter, director of our diocesan Catholic Social Mission Office, and Bern Zovistoski, managing editor of The New Vision, as well as a number of women and men religious and laity involved in migrant ministry.
 
For some time now, our Diocese, the Diocese of Phoenix and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo, under the banner of "Dioceses without Borders," have been praying together, eating together, laughing together and working together on a number of projects for ministry to migrants.  This reminds us that we are one family who share faith in Christ.
 
Perhaps, in the next year, our Congress will again begin discussion about a comprehensive immigration policy to replace the broken system now in place. While there surely will be heated discussions, I pray we will reach consensus on a policy that upholds the law, that finds a way to curtail drug and human trafficking along the border, that provides needed workers even amid the economic downturn and that allows some 12-million people in our country without documents to come out of the shadows. They are working hard every day, trying to provide for their families and to take their place as contributing members of our community. We need to distinguish between these hard working people and drug traffickers who prey on others.
 
Opportunities like Sunday's Mass -- celebrated together across borders -- helps us to meet one another and to learn about one another, breaking down fears and prejudices that divide.

1. Health Care Reform -- Leaders and representatives of many of Tucson's faith communities met with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords a week ago Monday to discuss health care reform. She had asked for this meeting so that she could hear the ideas and thoughts of those who in their ministry often visit hospitals and are with people who are sick and suffering.
 
Many ideas were shared. Most of the leaders talked about issues in their own families and difficulties they have encountered with the present health system. There were many sad stories. Health care reform is a very personal and emotional topic. One could see that even in the reflections of these leaders.
 
Among the strongest voiced concerns was the hope that some of the rhetoric and contentious speech would give way to civil dialogue and discussion of this very complex issue.
 
I voiced the concerns of our Church that health care reform should involve coverage for all, especially the poor and marginalized. Health care should be affordable, and its cost should be distributed equitably. As Catholics, we advocate that the reform be abortion-neutral, neither taking away any of the protections now in place or expanding the availability of abortion. I emphasized the need for this legislation to uphold the right of conscience so that hospitals and medical personnel will not be forced to violate their belief in the sanctity of all life.

Congresswoman Giffords was attentive to our reflections, oftentimes taking notes. She indicated that she had not yet given support to any piece of legislation and found the conversation helpful and informative. Also last week, she conducted several open forums in the community. It is important for legislators to listen to their constituents and to hear their concerns.
 
Like our present immigration policy, health care is in need of reform. Respectful dialogue and shared ideas and perspectives will help us get through the mire of issues that affect each of these reforms. We can do better than we are presently doing, and we need to have the courage and wisdom to act.

You are invited to participate in a special forum on health care reform on Monday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m., at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson. Peg Harmon, chief executive officer of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, and I will dialogue with participants on the forum's theme, "Health Care Reform: A Moral Imperative."

The phrase "A Moral Imperative" comes from the 1993 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's resolution on health care. Although issued nearly 17 years ago, "A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform" articulates, from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel, values and principles that remain valid today and that provide an excellent framework for us regarding the issues involved in this current effort to reform our nation's health care system.

2. Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson -- At today's meeting of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson, we will welcome new members to the Board: Annette Jones of St. Pius X Parish in Tucson; Richard Miranda and Jose Rincon of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish; and Dan Torrington of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson.

We also will welcome Linda Tansik as president of the Board. Linda succeeds John Woods, who will continue to serve on the Board as past president. 

The agenda for the meeting includes a review of investment management proposals, an update on progress made in the implementation of the strategic plan and committee assignments for the upcoming year.
 
3. "Discipleship According to…" -- I look forward to being with Father Bart Hutcherson, O.P., pastor, and the community of St. Thomas Moore Newman Center Parish in Tucson tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. to celebrate Mass and to be their guest for their series of presentations on what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Guests for "Discipleship According to…" share reflections on how someone has modeled discipleship for them. My model of discipleship will be St. Peter.

4. Call to Holiness Evangelization Conference -- I am honored to be the keynote speaker this Friday morning for the Call to Holiness Evangelization Conference of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

"Responding to the Call to Holiness in Today's World" is the theme of the conference, and "Renewing Our Lives in Christ Jesus" will be the theme for my talk.

5. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- The Council meets this Saturday morning at the Pastoral Center. In this Year for Priests, we are inviting a priest in our Diocese to each of our meetings through June to share with us the story of his vocation and his experience of priesthood. Our first guest priest will be Father Dom Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction and a member of the Council.

During our meeting, we will consider ways that the Council can support in our Diocese the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI in the Year for Priests: inviting and encouraging priests to seek of life of perfection in holiness; praying for priests that they might be occasions for people to meet God; and praying for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.

6. Movimiento Familiar Cristiano -- I will preside at the annual Mass for members of the Movimiento in our Diocese at 4 p.m. this Sunday at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Parish in Tucson.

An outreach of the International Confederation of Christian Family Movements, the Movimiento works through networks of parishes and small groups of families to encourage its members to be involved in ministries such as foster-parenting, religious education and couple counseling.



There is more information, in Spanish and English, about the Movimiento and the Christian Family Movement at www.cfm.org.

7. Visit to St. Philip the Apostle Parish, Payson -- I always enjoy trips to Payson. The people of St. Philip and Father Bill Gyure, pastor, are always so welcoming and hospitable. Some people find it hard to believe that our Diocese extends north of Phoenix on both the east and west, with Payson on the east and Parker on the west.
 
While in Payson I had the opportunity to confirm six of the parish's young people. It was interesting hearing their experience of their community and some of their aspirations. The only girl in the group hopes some day to be president of the U.S. The boys interests include aerospace engineering, acting, the Marines, football and music. They sincerely want to know the Lord in a deeper way. Judy Carroll, the parish's director of Religious Education, like so many of our DREs, works very hard to see to it that our young people are introduced to the Lord.
 
I also had the opportunity to visit the St. Vincent de Paul Center in Payson. They do an amazing job, and they recently were honored by the mayor of Payson for the care they extend to the needy.
 
Father Bill shared with me many of the good things happening at St. Philip's, including their outreach to Tonto Basin and Young, two missions that are served by the parish. I am sure the people in those outlying areas are grateful to have an opportunity to share in the Eucharist weekly.
  
8. 75th Anniversary for the Minim Sisters -- With great festivity last Friday and Saturday, Lourdes Catholic Schools in Nogales celebrated 75 years of the work of the Minim Sisters. The Sisters, whose community began in Leon, Guanajuato, came to Arizona during the persecution that took place in Mexico during the presidency of Plutarco Elias Calles. In 1932, Msgr. Luis Duval of Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales invited them to staff Sacred Heart School, which had been closed since 1917. The Sisters re-opened the school in 1934.

The community gave a standing ovation during Mass on Friday to Sister Luisa Maria Valdez, C.F.M.M., who graduated from Lourdes in 1948 and who returned in 1957 as a teacher. Her innovative programs helped many students to be prepared to begin their careers. Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., our diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools and an alumnae of Lourdes, also received a standing ovation. She served as principal of Sacred Heart School from 1968 to 1990.

I was delighted that the Mother General of the community, Sister Patricia Perez, C.F.M.M., was present for the celebration, traveling from Leon.
 
Many alumni took part in the celebration, including a woman from the first class and a woman from a family of five girls who were cared for by the Minim Sisters when their mother died. The Sisters received the girls into the novitiate and raised them.
 
What a wonderful history the Minims and so many of our religious communities of women have had in our Diocese. We wish them many more years of service among us.

9. Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks -- Since 2004, the Knights of Columbus have invited participation in their "World Day of Prayer for Peace" on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Knights' message to our nation on the anniversary states, "As we pray for peace on Sept. 11, we not only honor the memory of those who were killed that day ago, but also in a special way all the brave men and women of the military who have sacrificed so much, even their very lives, to bring about true peace rooted in justice."

The Knights of Columbus was one of the first organizations to provide financial assistance to the families of the fallen emergency personnel. Within two days of the attacks in 2001, the Knights began providing checks of $3,000 -- for immediate needs -- to family members of emergency workers who lost their lives in the attacks, regardless of their religious affiliation. Ultimately more than $1.49 million was disbursed -- with a minimum of red tape -- to wives and children of police, fire and other emergency workers. Recipients would later receive a second check for more than $500.

10. "Caritas in Veritate" Reflections -- Father Alejandro Crosthwaite, O.P., Ph.D., a member of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, will give reflections on Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" (Love in Truth), at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and Thursday, Sept. 17, at St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson. All are invited.

11. Parish Stewardship Blog -- A new Internet resource to support parish stewardship efforts in our Diocese is now available -- "Stewardship: Sharing Our Gifts."

Margie Puerta Edson, executive director of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund Inc. and our diocesan director of Stewardship and Development, has created this blog that will provide ongoing information and inspiration about stewardship of time, talent and treasure to our diocesan community.

The blog's goal is to aid pastors, parish staff and volunteers as they work together to develop a community of stewardship in our Diocese. The blog will be divided into four main parts: "Monthly Bulletin Announcements" tied to the scripture readings for each week; "Reflections on Stewardship" by various advocates of stewardship; "Resources for Parish Leaders" to support parish stewardship committees; and  "Scripture and Quotes" to help put stewardship in the appropriate spiritual context.  

While the blog is not completely bi-lingual at this time, there will be materials in Spanish. Each monthly bulletin will be posted in both English and Spanish.

You are invited to comment on the materials and share what your parish is doing to promote stewardship. Please contact Margie at margiee@diocesetucson.orgor 520-838-2509 if you would like additional information.

12. Remember in Your Prayers -- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Thomas Anne Haugh, C.S.C., who died last week. Sister Thomas Anne was co-principal at Santa Cruz School in Tucson in 1970-71.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mbazendan Nyishima, sister of Father Thomas Dekaa, who died last week.

Please pray for the recovery of Deacon Raul Cantua of Douglas, who suffered a heart attack last week.

13. A Happy 88th -- All of us at the Pastoral Center signed a birthday card that is on its way to Bishop Francis Quinn in Sacramento. This Friday is his 88th birthday!

Bishop Quinn is doing well in his "real" retirement (after giving dedicated ministry in our Diocese following his first retirement). We miss him!

You are welcome to send your birthday greetings to Bishop Quinn at 3865 J St., Apt. 120, Sacramento, CA 95816.

14. Cathedral Renovation -- The back of the interior of St. Augustine Cathedral was lit with a soft golden glow last Thursday afternoon as designer John Alan demonstrated the enhancing effects of lighting.

John Shaheen, our diocesan Property and Insurance Manager, and I were surprised to see how some minimal lighting could change the atmosphere of the Cathedral, turning the washed-out grayness into a space with a feeling of warmth and serenity. And all this even without any new paint!

John also showed me how the use of colored designs on the acoustic tiles in the ceiling could further enhance the appearance and feel of the Cathedral's interior.

Additional and different lighting and the use of colored designs are among the suggestions that John has for the transformation of the interior. Final decisions on the changes to the interior will be made with the input of Father Pat Crino, rector of the Cathedral, and the parish community.

The renovation of the Cathedral's interior, made possible by the generosity of parishioners across our Diocese to our diocesan renewal campaign, Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, also includes the refurbishing of the 14 stained glass windows that depict the life of St. Augustine.

Gregory Bayless of Associated Crafts, a company that specializes in the preservation of stained glass windows, last week began the process of repairing, re-leading and strengthening these beautiful windows that are so much a part of our Cathedral's history.

Vol. 7, No. 23
Sept. 14, 2009

Our third annual Diocesan Celebration of Marriage is this Sunday, and we are expecting more 170 couples from more than 40 of our parishes who are observing their silver, golden and even more than silver and golden anniversaries this year to gather at 2 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral for Mass, during which they will renew their vows.

Among them will be a couple whose 70 years of marriage are a beautiful witness to their love for each other and to the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Joining the anniversary couples will be their families and friends. This is truly one of the most joyful celebrations we have at the Cathedral!

This annual celebration is one of the ways in which we are supporting the priorities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to strengthen Catholic couples in their marriages and, through the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage, to call attention to the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society.

The Initiative's main outreach is the very popular "For Your Marriage" Web site that offers some excellent resources for married and engaged couples and those who minister to them.

Another way that we are supporting marriage in our Diocese is the "Marriage Ministers" pilot project. This was an initiative that developed out of our discussions in the Diocesan Pastoral Council and from the listening sessions the DPC members held with married couples. The DPC members were told the Church needs to be doing more to assist couples over the span of their relationship -- from preparing for marriage, to the first years, to parenting, to an empty nest and to growing older together. Joe Perdreauville of our diocesan Pastoral Services Department is working with several parishes to pilot some marriage enrichment programs that might in turn be beneficial across the Diocese.
 
1. Movemiento Familiar Cristiano -- I celebrated Mass yesterday evening at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Parish in Tucson with the members of one of the most effective marriage programs in the Church, Movemiento Familiar Cristiano (Christian Family Movement).  
 
Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church was packed with families participating in this wonderful movement that brings families together for support and a deepening of faith. Ignacio and Lupita Arvizo are the coordinators for the Movement in our the Diocese, and Freddy and Lisa Valenzuela coordinate the Movement in the Tucson area. They are doing a marvelous job as the Movement continues to grow.
 
The families at the Mass prayed with fervor. The church came alive as all ages -- infants through seniors -- sang out. The infants were not always on key, but they lent their cries to our sung praise.
 
The Movement served a wonderful meal to the overflow crowd. They had to set up tables outside to accommodate all the families who participated. This is a wonderful example of what Church can mean. Josue, who is in eighth grade, came up to me during the supper to say he is thinking of being a priest. Vocations come from families involved in the Church. This movement is a wonderful way for families to pray together and find community with one another.

Right after I was ordained in 1967, I had the opportunity to work with members of the Movement at St. Joseph Parish in Libertyville, Illinois. It was a powerful experience for me to see these married couples reflecting on their responsibility as Christian parents and reaching out into the community to serve. We need to strengthen such movements and to develop new and creative ways to reach out as parishes to assist married couples.

2. 50th Anniversary of Our Mother of Sorrows School -- Our Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson celebrated its 50th anniversary yesterday.

I was pleased to join Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor, and Fathers JoJo Tabo and Madhu George, parochial vicars, and Fathers Pat Crino and Martin Martinez, alumni of the school, to celebrate the Mass for the anniversary celebration with the parish and school communities.
 
We paid tribute to the Sisters and laity who have served in the school these 50 years, and I had the joy to bless a beautiful mosaic of Mary that was crafted by art teacher Sandy Baker, a graduate of the school. Sandy also crafted the mosaic of Jesus with the Children that graces the entrance to the school.

Msgr. Tom wrote with great pride about the school in this weekend's parish bulletin:

At this half-century mark, our school has a strong and vibrant Catholic identity and is distinguishing itself with high reputation in academic excellence. It is well-positioned as it embraces its current motto: Engaged learners walking with Christ in its journey into the next half-century. The school has been and will continue to be an integral and significant part of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and its mission of proclaiming the MESSAGE, leading the hearers of the message into a unique COMMUNITY and calling them to loving SERVICE. A feature of this Jubilee weekend was the unveiling and blessing of a new mosaic to Our Lady on the outside wall of the school office on the east end of the school courtyard. The mosaic was crafted by a past student from the school who is now the art teacher at the school, Sandy Baker. Sandy also crafted the mosaic of Jesus with children, which is a highlight feature on the wall adjacent to the entry of the school office. Special thanks to you, Sandy, for sharing your creative and artistic gifts with the parish and the school.

3. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
-- The Administrative Board of the Bishops' Conference meets annually in September and March to plan the fall and spring meetings of the full Conference. I will be in Washington this week participating in Administrative Board's meeting.

There will be a further update on the third edition of the Roman Missal texts that are being translated into English. This has been a challenging and demanding task, but it is hoped the translations are reaching completion so that the new text can be approved in Rome and begin to be used in our parishes. We will be undertaking a catechesis throughout our Diocese of the changes that will come into effect, including catechesis for our priests, deacons, lay ministers and our parish communities.
 
I expect that we also will discuss health care reform and the Church's advocacy for reforms that make health care affordable and that expand coverage without any changes in current restrictions on abortion or protections of conscience rights. Catholic hospitals play a significant role in providing health care in our nation and in our Diocese. We are blessed to have three Catholic hospitals and a number of health centers and clinics of the Carondelet Health Network, a member of Ascension Health, in southern Arizona.
 
Further discussion will take place on the Pastoral Letter on Marriage that is in its final stages of revision. This document will articulate the Church's teaching on marriage and how the Church can support married couples.
 
We will reflect together on how bishops can work more closely with Catholic universities, news media affiliated with the Church and organizations that call themselves Catholic. The Church is the Body of Christ bound together by relationships. Division is not of God. So, we hope to strengthen the relationship between bishops responsible for the governance of the Church with those who play an important part in carrying out the mission of the Church through higher education, communication and ministries.

4. National Pastoral Life Center -- I will be in New York this Thursday and Friday for a meeting between the Board of Directors of the National Pastoral Life Center with Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, to consider how the Center, which is dedicated to resourcing parishes and dioceses around the U.S., can be strengthened in its mission. The Center, founded by the late Msgr. Phil Murnion (a New York priest), recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Like many organizations today, the Center faces challenging economic realities, and the Board is exploring ways to continue its mission in a new way.
 
The Center involves four components: the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, Church Magazine, the Roundtable, and Pastoral Services to Parishes. Catholic Theological Union in Chicago is considering taking responsibility for the Common Ground Initiative. Church Magazine will continue as part of Today's Parish. The Center will retain the Roundtable and Pastoral Services. We will be discussing ways by which the Center's work might be strengthened by a closer bond with the Archdiocese of New York.

5. Pastoral Visit to the Yuma
-- Father Al Schifano, our Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia and interim Chancellor (Thank you, Father Al, for wearing these many hats!) and I will travel to Yuma this Saturday to participate in a meeting of the Immaculate Conception Parish Board of Directors. We will welcome back Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe, pastor, from Ireland. We also will meet with the Yuma Catholic High School Board of Directors.

Saturday evening, I will celebrate 5:30 p.m. Mass at Immaculate Conception Parish, where youth from all around the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate will gather for a day-long Catholic Youth Retreat.

On Sunday, before we head back to Tucson for the Celebration of Marriage, I will have the joy of taking part in a fiesta at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Yuma. The people of the Mission are delighted to have Father Eduardo Lopez, parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, back with them.

6. "Caritas in Veritate" Reflections
-- Father Alejandro Crosthwaite, O.P., Ph.D., a member of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, will give reflections on Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" (Love in Truth), at 7 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday at St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson. All are invited.

7. "Knowing Jesus, Growing as Disciples" -- More than 150 adults and young adults who minister to teens in our Diocese will gather this Saturday at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson for a workshop on adolescent catechesis -- "Knowing Jesus, Growing as Disciples."

Sponsored by our diocesan Office of Catechesis, this-day long workshop will bring together youth ministry core teams, Catholic high school leaders, Confirmation teams, directors of religious education, catechists, Catholic scout leaders and other parish leaders who guide the faith formation of our teens.

This workshop will address ways to promote discipleship and faithful living with our teens, include exciting information about learning styles and effective ways of engaging youth in faith learning, and the latest research and thinking about adolescent catechesis.

We are fortunate to have Ann Marie Eckert of the Center for Ministry Development as presenter and facilitator for the day. Ann Marie is coordinator of Youth Ministry Services for the Center for Ministry Development and a member of the National Association of Catholic Youth Ministry Leaders.

8. Forum on Health Care Reform -- You are invited to participate in a special forum on health care reform next Monday at 7 p.m. at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson.

Peg Harmon, chief executive officer of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, and I will dialogue with participants on the forum's theme, "Health Care Reform: A Moral Imperative."

The phrase "A Moral Imperative" comes from the 1993 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's resolution on health care. Although issued nearly 17 years ago, "A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform" articulates, from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel, values and principles that remain valid today and that provide an excellent framework for us when consider the issues involved in this current effort to reform our nation's health care system.

President Obama's statements regarding abortion and rights of conscience in his address to Congress last week on health care reform drew this response from Richard Doerflinger, associate director of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

"We especially welcome the President's commitment to exclude federal funding of abortion, and to maintain existing federal laws protecting conscience rights in health care. We believe that incorporating essential and longstanding federal laws on these issues into any new proposal will strengthen support for health care reform. We will work with Congress and the Administration to ensure that these protections are clearly reflected in new legislation, so no one is required to pay for or take part in abortion as a result of health care reform."

9. Welcome to Our New Franciscans ­­-- It was my joy last week to meet the Franciscans who are new to ministry in our Diocese.

Father Ponchie Vasquez, O.F.M., and Brothers Chris Best, Hajime Okuirhara, David Paz and Martin Sanabria of the Santa Barbara Province were accompanied on their visit to the Pastoral Center on Wednesday by their Provincial, Father John Hardin, O.F.M., and their Vicar Provincial, Father Ken Lavarone, O.F.M.

Father Ponchie is the new pastor of San Solano Missions Parish on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Brothers Chris, Hajime, David and Martin will minister with Father Ponchie and Father Ignatius DeGroote, O.F.M.

We are delighted to have this new team of Franciscans who are eager and enthusiastic to begin their ministry with the people of San Solano Missions Parish. I look forward to working with them. We are planning Father Ponchie's installation as pastor in the near future.

10. Video Podcasts Profile Our Franciscan Sisters -- Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity who serve in our Diocese are featured in four video podcasts that you can access here.  

Produced by the Franciscan Sisters for their Web site and for YouTube, the videos show Sister Carla Riach, O.S.F., Sister Delores Vogt, O.S.F., Sister Ellen Pachmayer, O.S.F., Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., Sister Maria Goretti Scandaliato, O.S.F., and Sister Mary Gabriel Van Dreel, O.S.F., as they minister at Santa Cruz School in Tucson and at Mission San Xavier del Bac.

The videos show how the Sisters collaborate in their ministry with our Diocese, the Franciscan Friars of the Santa Barbara Province, the Christian Brothers serving at San Miguel High School in Tucson, the faculty and staff members of Santa Cruz School School, San Xavier Mission School and the young teachers in Notre Dame University's Alliance for Catholic Education Program.

11. Workshops for Liturgical Ministers -- Liturgical ministers throughout our Diocese are invited to participate in a special day of workshops on Saturday, Oct. 3, at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson.

J. C. Cantrell, director of Music and Liturgy at St. Dominic Parish in Washington, D.C., will be the presenter for the general session on "Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship," the guidelines approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007, and for the session on "The Role of the Cantor: Guiding the Assembly in the Sung Prayer of the Church."

Father Alex Mills, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Tubac, will be the presenter for "Adorning the Sacred Space for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany."

Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, will be the presenter for "Communion Ministers at Mass and to the Homebound, in Hospitals and Prisons."

Mark Cesnik, an aspirant for the permanent diaconate in the Common Formation Program Class of 2012, will be the presenter for "The Ministry of Reader at Mass."

The workshops will be preceded by evening prayer and a concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, at St. Joseph Church.

Information and registration is available here.

I hope all our parishes participate in these workshops. Liturgy is the source and summit of our life in Christ. Whatever we can do to enhance the liturgical life of our parish communities will benefit those we serve. Music and art play important roles in our worship. They are aspects of liturgy that deserve and require attention. Much that will benefit our parishes can be learned in these workshops.

I am grateful for the work of our Pastoral Services Department to find ways to resource our lay ministers, deacons and priests in their important responsibilities in the worship and prayer life of our parishes.

12. Remember in Your Prayers -- I share this message received today from Jack and Jocelyn Cotter:

Dear Family and Friends:



We have completed another milestone in our journey to heaven through sharing 
in the cross of our Risen Lord.



For a number of months now we have been supported by health professionals in our community who have enabled us to know that Jack has had some major health problems that have now been determined to be non treatable.

We are grateful for our experience at St. Joseph Hospital as we prepare for discharge today into a hospice program that will care for Jack at home. The compassionate care of the administration and staff at St. Joseph's has helped to make a difficult time less painful.

We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and prayers from extended family and friends; we are blessed in all of you! The gathering of our five loving children has been an inspiration to each one of us individually and a source of strength and grace, increasing our family bondedness.

At this time what we would appreciate more than anything else are your continued prayers… they have sustained us more than we will ever know.

Our love,


Jack and Jocelyn

Jack, the retired chief executive officer of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, has given of himself so generously in so many wonderful ways for more than four decades to our Diocese, to the communities within our Diocese and to his parish, Most Holy Trinity. Jocelyn, too, has served our Diocese and, especially, Salpointe Catholic High School, where she is the much-loved administrative assistant.

Please pray for Dr. Jose Santiago, former chairman of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board, who is recovering from surgery that was necessary after cycling accident.

Please pray for AnnaMaria Mammen, executive assistant in the Chancellor's Office, who is recovering from knee surgery.

Vol. 7, No. 24
Sept. 21, 2009
 
Our third annual diocesan Celebration of Marriage Mass yesterday afternoon at St. Augustine Cathedral was really like a second Valentine's Day in 2009!

Loving hearts were in abundance as 180 couples from all around our Diocese gathered to celebrate their 25th, 40th, 50th and 60th (and more) wedding anniversaries by renewing their vows. All together, these couples represent 7, 577 years of marriage. The couple celebrating the most years of married life was Robert and Elena McCormick from St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista -- married 70 years!
 
I was moved to lead the couples in the renewal of their marriage vows. It was touching to see these couples -- married so many years -- express their promises to be true to their spouse in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. Their love has been proven over many years as they again said, "I will love you and cherish you all the days of my life." They gave each other a kiss as they concluded the renewal.
 
Joe Perdreauville of our Pastoral Services Department suggests that we ought also to invite the newly weds to this celebration so that they can see how couples have lived their promises over many years. A good idea that we might introduce next year.
 
You can hear my homily and the Renewal of Vows at www.idiocese.org.

1. Visit to Yuma -- Weekends lately have filled me with joy as I have witnessed all the marvelous things happening around our Diocese. We can be deeply grateful to and can feel rightly proud of the priests, religious, deacons, and laity of our Diocese.
 
I was delighted to celebrate Mass on Saturday evening for 80 young people from Yuma's parishes -- Immaculate Conception, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Neumann -- and from the Yuma Proving Grounds. They were participating in a one-day retreat titled, "Don't take the Fifth." They reflected on the Fifth Commandment, "Thou Shall Not Kill," and how important it is to value human life from conception to natural death. They spoke together about abortion as a great evil and about the ways that we cheapen or disrespect life, including even putting people down and bullying. These young people and the values they express give me such hope. They exude energy and their love of the Lord and desire to grow closer to him gives us all reason to hope.
 
Also in Yuma on Saturday, I had a chance to meet with the Yuma Catholic High School Board. The members are priests, deacons and laity deeply committed to the faith and the mission of Catholic Schools. Each year, they make sacrifices of time and resources to support and assist the school. This is true in all of our schools, as so many lend their talents to assist the Church in one of its primary missions of evangelization and catechesis of the young.
 
Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish and Episcopal Vicar for Yuma -- La Paz, fresh back from Ireland where he continued his celebration of his fiftieth anniversary as a priest, hosted a dinner Saturday for the priests of the Yuma - La Paz Vicariate. I am always impressed to see how well they are working together and how they collaborate in serving the people of the area. Father Javier Perez, Vicar Forane, has worked hard to encourage each of the priests in the area to get involved and oversee a particular area of pastoral work. They really do enjoy one another's company.
 
Yesterday, I celebrated Mass with Father Eduardo Lopez and the community of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Yuma. The Mass marked the beginning of their fourth Annual Fiesta Mexicana. The Capilla, which was rebuilt after a fire nearly destroyed it several years ago, is a beautiful place of worship, and it was packed for the Mass. The people sang with great spirit, giving praise to God.

After Mass I was hosted for a delightful breakfast amid the Fiesta's many booths that were serving food to raise money for the Mission and its various organizations.
 
I was surprised to receive the special gift of a beautiful sombrero, and I wore it proudly as I posed with Claudia Alvarez and Evita Jamarillo, who were happily contesting for the title of Fiesta Queen. (I hope the contest was a draw!)

The fiesta had food galore (I even chopped some steak!), and Father Eduardo made sure everybody was blessed as we sat down for breakfast. There was obvious joy in the community in welcoming back Father Eduardo, who had been away for almost two years because of visa issues that have now been resolved. He was proud that his sister was able to join us for the Fiesta.

I joined in some spirited singing with representatives of the Arco Iris Youth Movement before we had to return to Tucson.

Our parishes and missions really are families, each with its own distinct personality, each with its own unique gifts. We are blessed in our diversity!

2. Safe Environment Program Audit -- Each year, the dioceses in the U.S. participate in the audit process established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 to insure that their programs for child abuse awareness and prevention are doing what they are supposed to do.

This week, Zack Shelton, a representative of the Gavin Group, will be conducting the audit of our Safe Environment Program. He will be visiting with many persons at the Pastoral Center and our in parishes and schools as part of the audit. I am proud of the work that all of you in our parishes and schools are doing to support our Safe Environment through your Compliance Plans, and I am glad to have the opportunity to talk about you are doing in the meeting I will have with Mr. Shelton.

A group that has been crucial in helping us address the safety of children, youth and vulnerable adults is our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board. The Board meets this Thursday, and we will welcome two new members: Msgr. Van Wagner and Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F. I am grateful to the members of the Board for their important service.

3. Presbyteral Council -- The Council meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center. Our agenda includes a report from Tom Arnold, our Chief Financial Officer, on the investment strategies of the Parish Pooled Investment Trust, a report from Deacon Ken Moreland, our Vicar for Deacons, a report on the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future diocesan renewal campaign from Margie Puerta-Edson, executive director of the Diocese of Tucson Charity and Ministry Fund, and a report from David Miller, our diocesan Property Specialist, on our new risk management and safety inspection program for parishes.

4. Diocesan Finance Council -- The Council meets tomorrow morning here at the Pastoral Center. Our agenda includes a review of the recently completed audit of the Administrative Offices of our Diocese for this past fiscal year.

5. Pastor Leadership Development Program -- The second and final year for the first class of priests in our Pastor Leadership Development Program (PLDP) begins this week as the 26 participants gather at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.

The PLDP is introducing new pastors and our recently ordained priests to the competencies and skills that are needed by priests in the complex pastoral and administrative world of today's parish.

While the PLDP is underway this week, on Wednesday at the Renewal Center we will have our monthly Priests Day of Prayer. Wednesday evening, I will celebrate Mass with the recently ordained priests in the PLDP and meet with them to hear how things are going in their ministry.

6. The New Vision Editorial Board -- The Board meets this Thursday at the Pastoral Center. This meeting is an opportunity for the Editor and Publisher (me) to hear from the lay and priest members of the Board their thoughts on how our diocesan newspaper is progressing. In light of the recent recognition of The New Vision by the Catholic Press Association, I would say our newspaper, with a staff of just two (Bern Zovistoski and Omar Rodriguez) is progressing well.  

7. St. Thomas More Society Reception -- The members of our diocesan St. Thomas More Society are Catholic attorneys who believe deeply that their faith is intertwined with their professional lives. In the example of St. Thomas More, they value integrity and ethics in their work. This Thursday evening, I will host a reception at the Bishop's Residence for the leadership of the Society and prospective members. I am grateful to the Society for organizing and promoting our annual diocesan "Red Mass" (Mass of the Holy Spirit), which this year will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, at St. Augustine Cathedral.

8. Pastoral Center Staff Meetings -- The directors of the departments and offices in the Pastoral Center will meet this Friday morning for their joint quarterly meeting, followed by a meeting of all staff.

9. St. Augustine Catholic High School Appreciation Evening -- I will be attending this important event for St. Augustine Catholic High School that will take place at Anthony's Restaurant on the north side of Tucson this Friday evening. Teresa Baker, director of development for the high school, has been working hard with Kevin Kiefer, principal, to inform the community about the wonderful educational and formational opportunities at St. Augustine, our east side Catholic High School.
 
Through their efforts, the work of the St. Augustine Board and the support of many donors (especially two major donors whose generosity is astounding) construction is apace for the completion of the school's long awaited gym. The students, especially, are looking forward to this new facility that will enhance the opportunities available to them.

10. Pastor Installation -- It will be my joy this Saturday to install Father Peter Connolly, C.Ss.P., as the first pastor of Santa Catalina Parish north of Tucson.

During Santa Catalina's formative years as a mission of St. Odilia Parish, Father Richard Troutman, pastor of St. Odilia, served as canonical pastor while Sister Carole Ruland, M.S.H.S., provided dedicated and caring service as pastoral administrator.

Father Peter is building upon all the good work that led up to the establishment of Santa Catalina as a parish.

11. "Moving Immigration Reform Forward" -- Leaders of faith communities in Arizona will gather in Casa Grande tomorrow for this one-day conference sponsored by the Pima County Interfaith Council. The conference will provide participants an update on efforts to promote comprehensive immigration reform at the national level and information about they can educate the members of their congregations and faith communities on the need for reform of our nation's immigration system. For more information, call 520-836-1101.

12. Volunteers Sought for Special Migrant Survey -- The Kino Border Initiative has partnered with No More Deaths in a survey of migrants who use the services of the Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, after they are deported from the U.S. The results of the survey will be used to determine future programs and advocacy efforts of the Jesuit Migration Network.

The survey project is seeking Spanish-speaking volunteers willing to go to Nogales between now and the end of October to conduct the survey. The Initiative says participation in the project would be a great way to learn more about immigration, the border and the humanitarian projects in Nogales that assist migrants. Contact kino@calprov.org for more information.

Vol. 7, No. 25
Sept. 28, 2009


Off with the old, on with the new!

For the first time since St. Augustine Cathedral's reconstruction in 1968, new roofing materials have been applied. Aided by a giant crane that could reach the five-story height of the Cathedral's roof with ease, dozens of workers last week scraped off the old materials and nearly completed laying down new materials to cover the 22,000 square foot surface.

While the roof was getting its makeover, the crew from Associated Crafts continued the restoration of the stained glass windows that depict the life of St. Augustine.

After cleaning, re-glazing the leading and adding new reinforcement, workers have been installing plexiglass sheets over the exterior of the windows to provide additional protection from the elements and from vandalism. This protection does not affect the beautiful colors of the windows as seen from inside the Cathedral.

The new roof, painting the walls and ceiling, new sanctuary carpeting, stained glass window repair, new pews and flooring under the pews all are being made possible by the generosity of parishioners all across our Diocese to our diocesan renewal campaign, Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future.

1. Realizing "Our Hope" – The renovation of our Cathedral is just one of our "hopes" that is being realized because of the generosity to Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future. Many of our parishes have started projects that they selected for funding, and, just recently, the campaign began to distribute the first funds that have been designated for our Catholic Schools.
 
Last Friday, Sister Aloysius Marques, O.C.D., and Sister Antonia Teresa, O.C.D., came to the Pastoral Center to give me a huge card and a bunch of individual cards from students at Loretto School in Douglas that express thanks to the campaign for helping their school.
 
Some of the eighth graders' notes were especially touching, including one from Diana Maria that said, "I am really appreciative for all your kindness and for helping us in so many ways. I will have a better future thanks to you. We can never say enough thanks to you for everything." Luis Alberto wrote on his card, "I want to thank you for the $7,500 you sent from the Capital Campaign. Sister is going to buy us a new laptop so it will be easier and more fun in our classes. We are also getting some new computers in our computer lab which we REALLY need." And, Rogelio wrote, "Thank you for giving us money because we really need it. We are going to now have a projector and a laptop to do research."
 
These young people express well the thanks to all who are continuing to fulfill their pledges to Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future. Their generosity, even in these difficult economic times, is making a difference in our Diocese, in our parishes and in our schools, as you can see from the cards from the children of Loretto. Thank you!

2. Meeting of U.S., Canadian Bishops' Conferences – I am in Huntington, New York, today for a meeting of the executive committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our executive committees meet annually, alternating the location between our two nations.

This year's meeting will provide us with an opportunity to discuss matters like the new Roman Missal, challenges that we experience in our governance of the Church and how we can cooperate even more in furthering the mission of the Church. These are always helpful gatherings with a chance to share from our different perspectives.

3. Meeting of Santa Fe Province – The bishops of the dioceses in the Santa Fe Province (Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Dioceses of Las Cruces, Tucson, Phoenix and Gallup), under the leadership of Archbishop Michael Sheehan, will meet this Wednesday and Thursday in Albuquerque for our quarterly meeting.

Accompanying us bishops to this meeting will be our communication directors. We will hear from the directors about their work, and the directors will have the opportunity to meet to discuss the work they do on behalf of their dioceses. I am pleased that Fred Allison, our diocesan director of Communications, will be present.

4. Year for Priests Retreat – After our province meeting concludes, I will join my brother bishops and priests from our dioceses for a special one-day retreat in Albuquerque to explore the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for this Year for Priests.

Regretfully, not many of our priests are able to participate. Distance and cost were somewhat prohibitive. Those who signed up will get a chance to share with priests from around our region. It will be a rare opportunity for fraternity and an occasion to pray together, which was one of the Holy Father's hopes in establishing the Year for Priests. Auxiliary Bishop Felipe Estevez of the Archdiocese of Miami will be conducting the retreat. He was a seminary rector for many years and is a very fine preacher.

5. Audit of Safe Environment Program – I was pleased last week to share with Zack Shelton, the auditor from the Gavin Group, the various elements of our policies and procedures to maintain safe environments in our parishes and schools for children, youth and vulnerable adults. This annual audit is required by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The audit included a comprehensive review of our records related to all of the requirements of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth, interviews of pastors and compliance representatives of five parishes, interviews of parish and school volunteers and interviews of parents.

It will be several weeks before we learn the results of the audit. I am confident that our unified commitment to our Safe Environment Plan and the dedication of our pastors, principals and compliance representatives to keeping children, teens and vulnerable adults safe from harm will result in the conclusion that we are in full compliance with the Charter.

6. Workshops for Liturgical Ministers
– Liturgical ministers throughout our Diocese will gather for a special day of workshops this Saturday at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson. I hope all our parishes will be represented!

J. C. Cantrell, director of Music and Liturgy at St. Dominic Parish in Washington, D.C., will be the presenter for the general session on "Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship," the guidelines approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007, and for the session on "The Role of the Cantor: Guiding the Assembly in the Sung Prayer of the Church."

Father Alex Mills, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Tubac, will be the presenter for "Adorning the Sacred Space for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany."

Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, will be the presenter for "Communion Ministers at Mass and to the Homebound, in Hospitals and Prisons."

Mark Cesnik, an aspirant for the permanent diaconate in the Common Formation Program Class of 2012, will be the presenter for "The Ministry of Reader at Mass."

The workshops will be preceded by evening prayer and a concert at 7 p.m. this Friday at St. Joseph Church.

Information and registration are available here.

7. Installation of Father Peter Connolly, C.Ss.R. – The community of Santa Catalina Parish north of Tucson applauded their new pastor as I installed Father Peter during the Saturday evening Mass.

Father Peter has quickly won the hearts of his people. His pastoral zeal and deep concern for them is apparent. There is always much enthusiasm shown in a parish community when they welcome a new pastor. Although Father Peter has been there for some time, the installation was a chance for the people to receive him in the Rite of Installation. He pledged to them to be a wise teacher, a gentle father and a loving shepherd. Clearly he has shown that already.
 
The enthusiasm of the people of the parish was impressive. Santa Catalina has grown immensely over the last few years and is now a full-fledged parish that has continued to build in order to respond to the needs of its growing community. They are now finishing their work on new office facilities.
 
It was a joy to be with them.

8. St. Augustine Catholic High School – Friday evening's first annual Red and Silver Dinner for St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson was a great success. Principal Kevin Kiefer and development director Teresa Baker welcomed everyone and explained some of the major improvements that have happened over the last several years.
 
Teresa shared with the gathering the happy challenge of the school's most generous and anonymous benefactor who asked that those at the dinner try to match his new gift to the school. While this donor, who has given some $5-million to St. Augustine, is not a Catholic, his generosity inspires our Catholic community.

Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup and his wife Beth attended. Mayor Walkup shared his experience earlier that day visiting the fifth and sixth graders at St. Cyril of Alexandria School. He talked with them about math and science and told them he had studied engineering. Mayor Walkup said he had asked the students how to finance the new hotel that Tucson wants to build. His recounting of their ideas had us all laughing.
 
Our hope is that the Red and Silver Dinner will grow each year and that St. Augustine, along with Lourdes in Nogales, Yuma Catholic in Yuma and Immaculate Heart, San Miguel and Salpointe in Tucson, will continue to contribute substantially to our community by educating and forming young people in our faith.

9. Back from Sabbatical – Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson is happy to have its pastor, Father Richard Kingsley, back with them after his sabbatical. Father Richard tells me that it was a blessed experience and that he is returning with new fervor for the work of the parish.

10. Search for Chancellor – Our search for a new Chancellor continues. We prefer that applicants be bilingual and have a degree in Canon Law. We have written to the Canon Law Society and various dioceses to encourage applicants.
 
11. The Rest of the Story – You will see a beautiful photo of Ed and Lorene Frankove on the front page of the October issue of The New Vision that will be distributed this weekend at our parishes.

Photographer Cisco Medina took this photo just as Ed was responding to my invitation, after the renewal of their vows, for all the husbands at the third annual Celebration of Marriage Mass to kiss their wives. The caption for the photo in The New Vision identifies Ed and Lorene and gives their ages, but there is much more to their love story, as I learned in this e-mail last week from Brenda Malarchik, parish secretary of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson:

I thought I would write to you about Ed and Lorene Frankove of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. 

Lorene is 92 years young! Ed is 95 years young! They married (for the first time) when Lorene was 52 and Ed was 55. Lorene and Ed each had responsibilities with their parents that kept them from marriage when they were younger. They met at a parish social event, and it was love ever after!  

Ed and Lorene are humble, devout Catholics and are still active in the Church. Both are very sharp minded. They volunteer as money counters and are exceptionally accurate. Ed has been a Knight of Columbus since 1955.  He also was an usher for 17 years.
 
Ed still legally drives! You should see him parallel park their big Buick sedan in front of church when coming to Mass! Perfect every time!
 
Lorene always has a smile on her face and is a wonderful conversationalist. Ed, with his dry humor, always makes people chuckle. Oh, the stories they both tell about their lives! It's a joy to be around them, and neither ever complains about aches or pains or anything at all. Other than their white hair, problems hearing well, laugh lines and their walking pace is slower, it is difficult to believe they are in their nineties.
 
I thought you would like to know their story. 

Brenda, thanks so much for sharing their story!

12. October Issue of The New Vision – In addition to the story and a full page of photos for the Celebration of Marriage Mass, this next issue of The New Vision will include a story and photos about St. George Parish in Apache Junction, a story and photos about how the Nogales community celebrated the Minim Sisters' 75th anniversary of educating and forming children in the faith and a story about how our Catholic Schools are preparing for the H1N1 flu.

13. To Rome – I will be leaving for Rome this Saturday with Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I, on our annual trip, as president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to visit the various dicasteries of the Curia at the Vatican.

The purpose of this trip is to speak with each of the Curial Cardinals and their staffs about any areas of concern and to hear their priorities in their particular pastoral area. A report of the visits is made to the bishops of our country at our November General Meeting.
 
We will be in Rome at the time of the Synod for Africa, so we will not have an opportunity to meet with the Holy Father as is the custom on these visits. Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, former president of our Conference, has been invited by the Holy Father to represent the U.S. Bishops at the Synod.
 
I will be staying at the North American College in Rome, the theologate seminary for students from the U.S. It is always interesting to meet the seminarians and to share in their community life.
 
I will stay in Rome one day extra to participate in the canonization ceremonies for Blessed Damian of Molokai and Blessed Jeanne Jugan, founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor. My mother stays with the Little Sisters in their home in Chicago. A number of the sisters, including Mother Maureen from that house, will be making the trip to Rome for the canonization. Their community is very excited!
 
I am pleased that people from our Diocese, including Father Abran Tadeo, pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Marana, and members of the Knights of Columbus will be traveling to Rome for the canonization ceremonies. I hope I will be able to see them.

Monday Memo will return on Oct. 12.