Sept. 6, 2011
I am very pleased to announce that our Cathedral has received a generous donation that is designated for the creation of a beautiful work of sacred art in the vestibule.
We have commissioned John Alan, the artist who created the decoration and art on the ceiling, walls and sanctuary of our Cathedral, to transform the walls and ceiling of the vestibule with a mural that is entitled, “In Communion with All the Angels and Saints.”
The vestibule, which is also called the narthex, is the first area of the Cathedral that you see when you come in the front doors.
The vestibule can set the scene for what you will see and experience when you enter the main space of the Cathedral. It can communicate why you are coming here. And, it can communicate what you take out into the world with you as you leave.
There are two important inspirations for this mural.
The first inspiration is in the Eucharistic Prayer for All Saints Day in which we pray:
“Around Your throne the saints, our brothers and sisters, sing Your praise for ever. Their glory fills us with joy, and their communion with us in Your Church gives us inspiration and strength as we hasten on our pilgrimage of faith, eager to meet them. With their great company and all the angels we praise Your glory.”
The second inspiration for the mural is Msgr. Edward Ryle, who in his nearly 50 years of service as a priest of our Diocese – from his ordination in 1956 to his death in 2005 – was a passionate advocate for the littlest and weakest among us. The gift of the mural to our Cathedral commemorates Msgr. Ryle’s ministry as a priest, his years of service in Catholic Charities and his service as executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference.
John printed a large illustration of the mural that has been placed on the southeast wall of the vestibule.
When you look at the illustration, you will see saints who inspire us by their example. You will see saints who are connected to our Diocese. And, you will see persons, who while not beatified or canonized, show us that the life of a Christian is a life of service to others in the name of Christ.
I hope to bless and dedicate the new vestibule and mural in February of next year. The mural will be a wonderful enhancement to the sacred art of our Cathedral.
The mural is yet another example of how the people of our Diocese have helped to enhance the sacred space and worship experience of our Cathedral by making special memorial gifts.
Families and individuals have made gifts to our Cathedral’s “Treasures of the Heart” Campaign. They have sponsored the beautiful retablos, the statues in the retablos, the icon of Christ the Teacher in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel retablo, the mural of the Good Shepherd in the sanctuary, the ceiling panels, the furnishings in the choir area, pews, the restoration of the Pamplona Crucifix, the restoration of stained glass windows, the sound system, special lighting and much more. There are still opportunities for sponsorship, and if you would like to be a sponsor, please let me know or contact Margie Puerta Edson at the Diocese at 838-2509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am grateful for the generosity of the donors who are making the transformation of the vestibule possible. We thank them and we thank all in our Cathedral community and all over our Diocese for their generosity to the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future campaign and to the “Treasures of the Heart” Campaign that have helped to make our St. Augustine Cathedral the beautiful and inspiring church in which we praise God today.
1. Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture – I am very honored to have been invited by St. Mary’s University in San Antonio to give the first lecture in its 9th Annual Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series. My topic for tomorrow evening’s lecture will be, “Catholic Higher Education: A Gift and Blessing for the Work of the Church.”
St. Mary’s University was founded in 1852 by the Marianists on the model of Blessed William Chaminade, a priest of Bordeaux in France who found ignorance of the Christian faith, indifference, abandonment of the Christian life and the structural ruin of the Church during the French Revolution. Blessed William began the first Marianist school to regenerate faith in France and to form persons and communities of apostolic faith advancing justice and reconciliation.
St. Mary’s is the oldest institution of higher education in San Antonio and the first Catholic university in Texas and the Southwest.
We can be proud of the 244 Catholic Colleges and Universities in our country for their authentic Catholic identity, their striving for academic excellence and their openness to providing higher education to all.
2. Visit to Mundelein Seminary – I will be visiting Mundelein Seminary this Thursday and Friday.
I look forward to having supper on Thursday with our seminarians: Marco Carrasco of Immaculate Conception Parish, Douglas; Ramonito Celestial and Wilbert Celestino of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson; Jorge Farias-Saucedo of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish in Tucson; Albert Miranda of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson; John Paul Shea of St. George Parish in Apache Junction; and Alan Valencia of Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales.
Friday, I will participate in the seminary’s Board of Advisors meeting. I also will be a concelebrant in the traditional Mass of the Holy Spirit that begins each new academic year.
I served as rector of the University of St. Mary of the Lake for 10 years also was a seminary student there for seven years. I feel honored to serve on the Board of Advisors of my alma mater, and I am grateful for the excellent academic, formation, and pastoral preparation Mundelein provides for our seminarians.
3. Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – This Thursday is our Blessed Mother’s birthday. Father Johann Roten, S.M., of the University of Dayton’s Marian Library and International Marian Research Institute has a meditation about her birthday that you can read here.
4. “Tools for Teaching” Conference – I will be joining our parish catechists and catechetical leaders this Saturday for the special ”Tools for Teaching” Conference at the Hotel Arizona in downtown Tucson.
Kathy Hendricks and Victor Valenzuela of William H. Sadlier Inc. will give the keynote presentations. Kathy, an author and a national consultant for Sadlier, will present “Catechizing with Symbols, Rituals and Stories. Victor, bilingual consultor for Sadlier, will present “Entrenando Discípulos: para que los niĖos sean como Jesus.”
Workshops presented by some of our very talented catechetical ministers will cover a wide range of topics. More information about the day is available here.
While the registration deadline was last week, Mike Berger and Isabel Madrid of our diocesan Office of Catechesis will do their best to squeeze you in if you weren’t able to register and want to attend. Contact Isabel at 520-838-2544 or email@example.com.
This is a great way to begin the catechetical year in our parishes.
5. 2011 Catechetical Sunday – We will observe Catechetical Sunday this year on Sept. 18.
This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 18, 2011, and will focus on the theme “Do This in Memory of Me.” Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith. – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Resources and materials for the celebration of Catechetical Sunday are available here.
I hope our parishes will recognize and thank our directors of religious education and our catechists on this Catechetical Sunday for all they do to introduce and form our young people and adults in the faith. What a blessing they are among us, as are our Catholic School teachers who share in the catechetical ministry of passing on the faith. Let’s pray that more people will join them in this essential ministry.
6. Vine of Grace Retreat Ministry 11th Annual Conference – Vine of Grace Retreat Ministry in Tucson this year is celebrating the 11th anniversary of its retreat and spiritual enrichment ministry for women.
This weekend, Vine of Grace is marking the anniversary with its 11th Annual Conference that has the theme of “Basking in the Son.” I enjoyed reading this description of the conference:
Have fun in the “Son” …a time for praise & worship & laughter. Relax in the “Son”…a lesson on Christian stress management. Use “Son” Protection…a teaching on spiritual warfare. Witness the power of the “Son” through the presence of the Holy Spirit! Be touched by the “Son” as we experience His grace & mercy in sacrament and in His word! Be healed by the “Son”…our miracle working Lord & Savior!
I will be celebrating Mass at the Conference this Saturday afternoon.
7. Conferral of the Ministry of Reader – I will confer the Ministry of Reader on our 37 candidates for the permanent diaconate this Sunday during the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral.
In the Rite of Institution of Reader, each candidate comes forward, kneels in front of me and places his hands on the Book of Holy Scripture that I am holding. I say to each candidate, “Take this Book of Holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the Word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of His people.”
Pope Paul VI reformed the minor orders of the Sacrament of Holy Orders in 1972, maintaining only the Ministry of Reader and the Ministry of Acolyte. As these ministries may also be performed by lay persons, they are no longer considered as “reserved” only to candidates for the Sacrament of Holy Orders. These ministries remain a requirement for candidates preparing for the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
As our candidates for the permanent diaconate and lay ecclesial ministry approach the conclusion of their four year formation program in spring of next year, I am delighted by the growth they demonstrate in their understanding of the faith and of the mission of the Church and in their discernment of God’s call in their lives. They will bring many gifts to the work of the Church and our Diocese.
I know that Sister Lois Paha, O.P., and the formators in our Common Formation Program are excited to see our candidates for ordination to the permanent diaconate and our candidates for certification as lay ecclesial ministers moving closer to their goals.
8. We Remember 9/11 – The mournful tolling of bells will be heard this Sunday morning in downtown Tucson.
St. Augustine Cathedral will sound the tolling of bells to commemorate all those who lost their lives because of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The bells will toll at 5:46 a.m. and 6:02 a.m., the times of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center towers; at 6:37 a.m., the time of the plane crash into the Pentagon; at 6:59 a.m., the time the South Tower of the World Trade Center began to collapse; at 7:03 a.m., the time of the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania; and at 7:28 a.m., the time when the North Tower of the World Trade Center began to collapse.
Across our Diocese this Sunday, during Mass at all our parishes and missions, we will pray special intercessions. Several of our parishes have planned special liturgies for the day.
(The front page story in this month’s New Vision has information about what some of our parishes and schools will be doing on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. In my column for the issue, I share some of my memories of that day, and I ask us to pray that this anniversary will deepen our resolve to live not for ourselves, but to be of help and service to others even when the cost is great.)
On Sunday at 7 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, I will join leaders and representatives of faith communities, civic leaders, and military and public safety representatives for “Together We Remember,” an interfaith 9/11 memorial service of prayer, reflection and music. All are invited to attend.
9. Cursillo Movement’s New Website – The Cursillo Movement in our Diocese has a new Website at www.tucsoncursillo.org.
10. Pastoral Visits – As I have noted often in the memo, pastoral visits to parishes are among the great joys that I experience as your bishop. My visit the week before last to St. Christopher Parish in Marana, my visit last week to St. Philip Parish in Payson and my weekend visits to Santa Catalina Parish north of Tucson and St. Mark Parish in Oro Valley left me feeling inspired and grateful.
My pastoral visit to St. Christopher was a marvelous experience of the importance of faith in a community.
The opportunity to celebrate Mass with the community is always a highlight, and that was certainly my experience for the celebration of morning Mass with Father Abran Tadeo, pastor, and more than 30 parishioners. After Mass, I enjoyed meeting them and hearing them share with such pride the happenings at their parish. They showed me what improvements have been made to the parish’s facilities, including the religious education classrooms that the Knights of Columbus have worked so hard renovate.
I was inspired by the Communion visits that I made to the parish’s homebound. Despite their infirmities, they believe wholeheartedly in the Lord and truly strive to live their faith. We shared some good laughs.
I was impressed by how people pitch in at St. Christopher to help Father Abran in his ministry. I was pleased to share in the parish’s ministry at the Marana Community Correctional Treatment Facility where men struggling with addictions get a chance to begin again. I could see how the men are striving to improve their lives and how important faith is in their struggle to rise beyond their addictions.
Father Abran is trying to reach out to the Red Rock community, where there is a mix of housing developments and cotton fields and cattle ranches. We visited a feed barn in Red Rock, quite an experience for a “city boy” like me.
St. Christopher is at one and the same time a rural and urban parish. Marana has been growing with new homes that are surrounded by cotton fields and ranches.
I was delighted last Thursday to beat the heat in Tucson and head for the high country of the Mogollon Rim for a visit with Father Bill Gyure, pastor, and the people of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Payson and the people of our diocese’s newest mission, Our Lady of the Lake Mission in Punkin Center and Tonto Basin.
John Shaheen, our diocesan Property and Insurance Manager, accompanied me. John was especially happy to drive the Bishop on this trip because Payson was the only community of our Diocese that he had not visited.
This description of the Payson area that I found on the Web says it all:
Payson, located in geographic center of Arizona and encircled by almost three million acres of forest, is known for its beauty and year-round recreational opportunities. Zane Grey (1875-1939), the “Father of the Adult Western,” wrote numerous novels from a Mogollon Rim country cabin near Payson. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, the area enjoys a mild four-season climate. The majestic Mogollon Rim – a 7,000-foot, 200 mile long escarpment – is minutes away from Payson. One of only three pure air ozone belts in the world, the town sits on the edge of the world’s largest stand of ponderosa pine. Rich in its Western heritage, Payson offers the atmosphere of a rural small town, with the amenities of a modern metropolis.
The parish boundaries of St. Philip encompass a huge area that includes St. Benedict Mission in Young and the newest mission in our Diocese.
Thursday evening, we celebrated the weekly 5:30 p.m. Mass in the meeting room of the Chamber of Commerce Building in Tonto Basin for the members of the Catholic Community in Tonto Basin and Punkin Center. It was my joy to announce to the community that they are now Our Lady of the Lake Mission (the lake being nearby Roosevelt Lake).
During Mass, I had the joy of baptizing one of Father Bill’s youngest and newest parishioners, Connor Gabriel.
The members of Our Lady of the Lake Mission are dedicated Catholics. They have come here from many different places and now call this area their home. They are thrilled to now have “official” recognition of their mission.
The Sacrament of Confirmation is always an important event for a parish community. On Friday, I confirmed 13 teen members of St. Philip Parish.
I also confirmed Anna Marie, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was so excited about receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit. When I confirmed her, her sponsor Lois, who cares for her in hospice, touched her shoulder, and Anna Marie had the biggest smile.
On my pastoral visits, I try to visit a community’s homebound to take our Lord in the Eucharist to them. I made several visits in Payson, one of them to Don, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease. His faith and the faith of his wife Lois, who cares for him, is strong and courageous.
On Friday in Payson, I visited with Inge DeVeaux and Ann Leonard, case managers with the Gila Aging Services program of Catholic Social Services. This program, under the umbrella of our Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, serves the elderly in their homes and assists caregivers by providing some respite from their responsibilities. The program serves more than 200 persons in the Payson area.
Inge and Ann expressed their concern over funding cuts for services to the most vulnerable. In these very troubled economic times, these services are essential.
Father Bill outdid himself in the hospitality department. He treated us with a stay at the Falcon Crest Bed and Breakfast that is operated by Al and Linda Pelletiere, parishioners of St. Philip. Falcon Crest has a spectacular view, and Al and Linda spoiled John and me with their marvelous food and hospitality.
My visits to St. Christopher in Marana and St. Philip in Payson emphasized for me the joys and the challenges that our pastors and parishioners in our rural communities experience. I will be sharing with you soon an idea I have for bringing together the pastors of our rural parishes to hear from them what we can do as a Diocese to enhance the ministries they provide.
At Santa Catalina Parish on Saturday, I was welcomed by Father Larry Sanders, C.Ss.R., the new interim pastor, for Mass and the blessing of their new ambo and altar. I could sense the pride the people of Santa Catalina have in their parish and in the beautiful new altar. The Catholic community in this area north of Tucson has thrived and has had the blessing of dedicated leaders. Sister Carole Ruland, M.H.S.H., was pastoral administrator when Santa Catalina was a mission of St. Odilia Parish. Father Peter Connolly C.Ss.R., was the first pastor of Santa Catalina Parish, and now Father Larry. What a beautiful place for a parish! Santa Catalina looks out on the beautiful mountains named after the parish’s patroness.
Sunday, I visited St. Mark Parish in Oro Valley, where Father Liam Leahy, pastor, and the people are very excited about moving forward with their plans for a new church. They have set the groundbreaking for Jan. 15. Father Liam and the parish building committee have worked so hard to make this dream come to reality. It is a big challenge to build a new church. It takes the sacrifice of everyone, with people giving back to the Lord for His many blessings.
Father Liam and the parish are encouraging young people to consider doing something important with their lives by serving God’s people as a priests or religious. I was impressed to see a sign at the back of the church acknowledging two parishioners who are considering a life of service in the Church. One is a young man who is studying for the priesthood at Mt. Angel Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and the other is a young woman who is discerning the possibility of vocation to religious life.
I enjoyed visiting with three young men, also parishioners, who are just beginning to discern whether the Lord might be calling them someday to enter the seminary. They are very talented and are very involved in the parish.
Parishes make a difference in vocations! Let’s continue to pray that more of our young people will consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
11. Remember in Your Prayers – Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Kenan Ryan, S.T., who died Aug. 12 in Maryland at age 79. Father Kenan served in the Educational Ministries Department of our Diocese from 1982 to 1992.
Now, 10 years and one day later, we continue to mourn with the countless families that lost loved ones on that day. The more than 3,000 persons who died could never have imagined what that day would hold for them. They were of different ages, of different faiths, of varied backgrounds, from different countries. Yet, yesterday we heard each of their names read aloud and heard the solitary bell rung after each of their names and we felt again the pain and sadness of that tragic day.
Throughout our country yesterday, community and religious celebrations commemorated the tragic events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country. Strains of moving music joined with powerful words flooded us with painful memories of the attacks and the remarkable acts of heroism and concern for others that happened that day.
Post 9/11, we are not the same nation, nor the same individuals. This anniversary year, we can recommit ourselves to stand up to violence in every form, to confront prejudice that seeks to blame innocent people, to intensify our efforts to realize peace in our day and in our time.
For 10 years, religious leaders of all faiths in the Tucson community have commemorated 9/11. This witness of our common concern for peace and our united desire to join hands in prayer has been a powerful testimony.
Last night’s “Together We Remember” interfaith service at our Cathedral of St. Augustine again reminded us that we must rise above our differences and divisions if we are ever to confront evil and put an end to violence.
As we remembered together, listened together, sang together, prayed together, we could sense the power of people of good will when they stand together. “Together We Remember” was a call to work together in our community to address inequality, prejudice, violence and hatred that tears at the seam of a community, that tears at the fabric of our nation.
I thank Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector of the Cathedral, Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, Loretta Tracy and Father Jay Jensen, pastor of San Martin de Porres Parish in Sahuarita, for participating in the planning of the service.
1. Conferral of the Ministry of Reader – Memories of 9/11 were very much in our minds and hearts yesterday afternoon at the Cathedral as we celebrated a Mass that included my conferral of the ministry of reader on our candidates for the permanent diaconate.
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 may have seemed an inopportune day to have this special liturgy, but the conferral of the ministry was nevertheless very fitting. Those charged with the awesome responsibility of reading God’s Word to the community proclaim a message still so critically needed to be heard: God is not a God of vengeance or violence. God is not a God of division or dissension. Our God is a God of peace, justice and love. Our God is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion. God calls out to us to rise above our fears and hatred to love as He loves.
I pray our deacon candidates will realize the privilege that is theirs to announce the Good News. I pray that they will speak God’s Word reverently, thoughtfully and passionately. I pray they will strive to live that Word they proclaim.
I am grateful to Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector of St. Augustine, Father Greg Okafor, parochial vicar at St. Pius X Parish in Tucson, and Father Martin Martinez, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales, for concelebrating this special Liturgy with me. I also am grateful to Father Miguel Mariano, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson and director of our diocesan Office of Worship, and Father Emilio Chapa, parochial vicar at St. Augustine, for their service as masters of ceremonies.
Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, all the deacon and lay ministry formators, Deacon Ken Moreland, our diocesan Vicar for Deacons, and indeed all of us in our Diocese can look forward with joy to the ordination of the candidates in spring of next year.
2. “Tools for Teaching” Conference – Congratulations to Mike Berger, director of our diocesan Office of Catechesis, and his catechetical team for the successful “Tools for Teaching” Conference for catechists at the Hotel Arizona on Saturday.
What a marvelous turnout of directors of religious education, catechists, and RCIA directors –more than 300!
I heard nothing but rave reviews from those who attended. You can see how hungry our catechists are to find new and helpful ways to hand on the faith to others. Their work is challenging, but their commitment is steady and sure as they strive to help our young people to meet Christ. World Youth Day, held last month in Madrid, shows us the desire young people have to know the Lord. I am grateful to all who share in the ministry of catechizing others in the faith.
I am grateful to all our pastors for their preparations to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our parish catechists this coming Sunday as we celebrate this year’s observance of Catechetical Sunday.
3. Vine of Grace Retreat Ministry 11th Annual Conference – I was very pleased to celebrate Mass on Saturday afternoon with the 300 women who participated this year’s Vine of Grace Retreat held in Tucson.
I am grateful to Erin Blanchette and her team for providing this opportunity for women to grow in their faith and be set on fire with love of God. Retreatants were of all ages. They sang and prayed with fervor. Father Liam Leahy, pastor of St. Mark Parish in Tucson, along with the parish’s wonderful choir, joined the women on this powerful weekend experience.
4. Meetings Back East – I will be participating in tomorrow’s meeting of the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Conference’s headquarters in Washington. On Wednesday and Thursday, I will be participating in the meeting of the Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors at CRS headquarters in Baltimore.
5. Memorial Mass for Archbishop Pietro Sambi – A Memorial Mass for Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to our nation from 2005 until his death last July, will be celebrated this Wednesday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
I will be among the more than 80 bishop concelebrants. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the principal celebrant and homilist.
Archbishop Sambi loved and respected our nation and its Catholic people. Shortly after being named nuncio to the U.S., he told the Catholic News Service, “I travel a lot throughout the world. It is difficult to find a part of the world where the charity of U.S. Catholics did not reach the poor or sick people.”
6. Sonoran Spirit Fine Art Exhibit – I’m not sure that I belong in the company of the artists
whose works will be on display this Saturday at the Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo Placita and Parish Hall at St. Augustine Cathedral, but I am surely honored to be in their company.
The idea for an art exhibit featuring the works of our clergy and religious was sparked last March when Sister Rina Cappellazo, O.P., our diocesan Vicar for Religious, commented during a Pastoral Center staff meeting about the number of talented clergy and religious women and men artists she knows in our Diocese who create beautiful works but who are practically unknown. We brainstormed about how to introduce these “artists of Spirit,” and the result is the Sonoran Spirit Fine Art Exhibit, our first-ever diocesan fine art exhibit.
There will be dozens of works of fine art produced by 15 sisters, three priests, one deacon and one bishop: Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C.; Sister Karen Berry, O.S.F.; Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P.; Sister Laura Coughlin, S.C.; Sister Jane Eschweiller, S.D.S.; Sister Pam Fletcher, O.C.S.O.; Sister Mary Jo Heinlein, O.S.B.; Sister Cathy Lee, O.C.S.O.; Deacon Leo Longoria; Father Don Loskot, S.D.S.; Father Alexander Mills; Sister Elizabeth O’Donnell, O.P.; Sister Consuelo Pacheco, S.C.; Sister Lois Paha, O.P.; Sister Carmela Rall, O.S.B.; Father David Reinders; Sister Clare Renquin, O.C.S.O.; Sister Esther Sawall, O.C.S.O.; Sister Janet Sue Smith, A.S.C.; and the Bishop of Tucson.
My contributions to the exhibit are some photographs that I took on my travels to the Middle East, Far East, Australia and New Zealand. If I am fortunate enough to have anyone who wishes to purchase my “art,” the proceeds will go to the St. Augustine Cathedral “Treasures of the Heart” Campaign for the enhancement and preservation of the Cathedral’s sacred art.
The exhibit is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and you will be able to meet the artists, among whom are silversmiths, authors, weavers, iconographers, painters, calligraphers, sculptors and photographers who are so looking forward to sharing their creativity.
Admission is free. I hope to see you there!
I am grateful to Sister Rina, Laura Rowan, the artists and the exhibit committee for helping us to launch what I hope will be a tradition in our Diocese.
7. 75th Anniversary of Sacred Heart Parish, Willcox – I look forward to being with Father Mark Stein, pastor, and the people of Sacred Heart Parish in Willcox this Saturday afternoon for Mass and the celebration of the parish’s 75th anniversary.
8. 5th Annual Celebration of Marriage Mass – Nearly six years ago, the members of our Diocesan Pastoral Council held listening sessions all across our Diocese to hear from parishioners what they most needed and wanted from their parishes and from our Diocese.
High on the list of needs and wants was support for marriage. Couples wanted to be strengthened in their marriages and wanted to know that their Church values and cares for them in their marriages.
It was that input that inspired our first diocesan Celebration of Marriage Mass on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007, at St. Augustine Cathedral.
Here’s what I wrote about that first celebration in the next day’s Monday Memo:
Gathered yesterday afternoon in St. Augustine Cathedral were nearly 200 couples whose combined years of married life total 9,276 years. They were the couples celebrating their 25th, 50th, 60th and each year afterward anniversaries who joined us for our first annual diocesan Celebration of Marriage Mass to renew their marriage vows.
What a moving experience it was when these couples joined hands and faced each other to say again their marriage vows: “I take you to be my spouse. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and cherish you all the days of my life.”
There were lots of joyful tears during the renewal of vows.
Marriage is an institution that today is under much stress. On Saturday evening, I attended a portion of the Catholic Engaged Encounter retreat in Tucson held for 40 couples preparing for marriage. I heard them share some anxiety and trepidation as they anticipate promising their love to one another for life. I wish they could have been present at the Cathedral yesterday to see that people can stay deeply in love over many years of life together.
The couples in the Cathedral yesterday stand as an inspiration to all married couples striving to grow in respect, trust, forgiveness and love for one another.
This Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in our Cathedral, we will observe our fifth annual Celebration of Marriage Mass. Please join me and the anniversary couples from across our Diocese and their families and friends for this joyful celebration.
Vol. 9, No. 22
Sept. 19, 2011
More than 120 couples whose years of married life total 4,675 years were the guests of honor yesterday our Diocese's fifth annual Celebration of Marriage Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral.
Among the couples:
Ernie and Marge Petitmermat of St. Anne Parish in Tubac, who are celebrating 70 years of marriage this year.
Camiel and Alice Albrecht from Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson, Robert and Genevieve Brechtel of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista and Rogelio and Blanca Rubio from Santa Cruz Parish in Tucson, who are celebrating 65 years of marriage;
Epifanio and Maria Louisa Garcia of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Tucson, who are marking their 63rd anniversary.
And, Joseph and Catherine Gordon, who are celebrating 60 years of marriage this year. What a joy it was for them to have their son, Father John Gordon of the Diocese of Metuchen, at the celebration.
There were 57 couples celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year, 29 couples celebrating their 25th anniversaries and a number of couples celebrating anniversaries in the 20, 30, 40 and 50 year range.
These "veteran" couples were joined this year by "newly weds" who are celebrating their first anniversary this year.
Each year of this joyous celebration, I lead the couples in renewing their vows. As they join right hands, look at each other and pronounce the same words they did many years ago, "I will love you and cherish you all the days of my life," I see how much more meaningful those words are now for them that they have been tested. The kiss they share reflects true love now proven through good times and bad times, in sickness and health.
I am grateful to all who made this celebration so special for the couples and their families: Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector of St. Augustine Cathedral, who so graciously welcomed us; Father Miguel Mariano, the celebration's master of ceremonies; Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services; Sonya (and Mike) Guttierez, Marty Hammond and AnnaMaria Mammen of our Pastoral Center staff; St. Augustine Cathedral's staff and Youth Group; and Grace Lohr and Julieta¬†Gonzalez of our Pastoral Center Staff¬†and our Diocesan Choir.
1. Sonoran Spirit Fine Art Exhibit -- Our first-ever diocesan fine art exhibit featuring works by our very own women religious and clergy was a great success!
Held Saturday at St. Augustine Cathedral in the Msgr. Carrillo Parish Hall, the exhibit attracted more than 300 visitors who roamed from table to table,¬†visiting with the artists and learning about their¬†art on display. They also purchased and commissioned art.
I was so pleased to be present for this inaugural event. Moreover, I was so honored to be among the 21 artists who displayed their works.
Calling me an "artist" may be going too far, but the word surely describes the sisters, priests and deacon whose fine arts included icons, embroidery, jewelry, poetry, paintings, photographs and even "Prayerfully Popped Popcorn" prepared by the Benedictine Sisters. Making delicious popcorn is a fine art!
So many pitched in to make the exhibit such an enjoyable experience for the artists and visitors: Marty Hammond of our Pastoral Center and her crew of¬†Catholic Daughters of the Americas; our permanent deacons treated the artists to brunch; Father David Reinders donated water for the artists;¬†Sister Noelle O'Shea, C.S.J., Sister Joy Anne Wege, O.S.B., Sister Gerry Brady, S.C., Sister Mary Senglaub, O.S.F., and Sister Vivian Gallegos, I.H.M., of the Council of Vowed Religious; a group of boys from Salpointe Catholic High School and Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson under the direction of Cathy Moore of our Pastoral Center; and¬†David Gonzales and Leland Allegria, who set up the hall for the exhibit.
Our pastors, administrators and pastoral administrators did a great job of promoting the exhibit in their parish bulletins.
I am grateful to Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., our diocesan Vicar for Religious, and her co-workers for bringing the idea of a fine art exhibit with works by clergy and religious to such an encouraging result.
Many ideas surfaced during the day on how we might expand and enhance this marvelous idea into an annual event, including having live music in the Placita. Someone even suggested that "Sonoran Spirit" have a booth at the Fourth Avenue Street Fair. Now, that's the spirit!
2. Sacred Heart Parish, Willcox -- I really enjoy celebrating the anniversaries of our parishes, and Saturday's 75th anniversary of Sacred Heart Parish in Willcox was the opportunity for me to learn about the parish's history.
When Willcox was established in 1880 along the Southern Pacific Railroad line in southeastern Arizona, the new town's Catholics there were served by the priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Solomon, who traveled quite a circuit: Globe, Clifton, Lordsburg and Dos Cabezas.
The first Sacred Heart Church in Willcox was built in 1887. In 1934, Father Mariano Uson was the first priest to reside in Willcox, and two years later Father Joseph Heffren became the first resident pastor of the new parish that then included Bowie, San Simon, Dos Cabezas, Fort Grant, Bonita, Sunset, McAllister, Johnson and Cochise. Back then, a young German priest who served at the parish remarked on the 11,000 miles he traveled on very bad roads in his old Ford serving the people in the area.
After their first church burned to the ground in 1947, the people of Sacred Heart immediately banded together to raise $40,000 to build a new church that was ready for them just a year later.
Sacred Heart Church was filled Saturday with parishioners obviously very proud of their parish. Father Mark Stein, pastor, has done a marvelous job renovating the church and hall. New air conditioning has been installed, and they are awaiting new lighting fixtures.
The parish hall was decorated for the celebration with photos showing the history of the community. The parish's St. Anne Guild organized a wonderful dinner to conclude the evening.
3. Presbyteral Council Meeting -- The Presbyteral Council meets this morning here at the Pastoral Center.
Margie Puerta-Edson, executive director of the Catholic Foundation for Stewardship and Charitable Giving, will report on the recent merger of the Charity and Ministry Fund Inc. into the Catholic Foundation and on the progress of Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, our diocesan renewal campaign.
Father Dom Pinti, who is pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction, Vicar Forane of the Pinal West Vicariate and our Respect Life Diocesan Coordinator, will report on this year's observance of Respect Life Sunday (Oct. 1 and 2) and this year's Respect Life Program.
Our agenda also includes a discussion of our process for the assignment of pastors and how we can make the transition of pastors a more enjoyable and effective process for the outgoing and incoming pastor.
4. Diocesan Finance Council Meeting -- The Diocesan Finance Council meets tomorrow morning. The major item on our agenda is the presentation of the independent auditor's report on the Diocese of Tucson's financial statements for the 2010-11 fiscal year.
We will be posting the audit on our diocesan Web site soon. Each January in The New Vision, we present an analysis of the audit in our annual report on diocesan finances. The auditor's report and our analysis for the 2009-10 fiscal year are available here.
Providing the auditor's report on the Web is one of the ways that we seek to be open and transparent about how our diocesan departments and offices at the Pastoral Center use the funds that are so generously contributed and provided by parishioners, benefactors and grantors.
5. Bi-National Border Ministry Gathering -- More than 40 priests, religious and laity who minister in the border communities of Arizona and Mexico are meeting today for "Sharing Life and Dignity in Christ, Our Peace," a gathering to reflect on the blessings and challenges of their ministries and on the issues of peace and justice that are realities in our border communities.
Participants will meet today and Wednesday at San Felipe de Jesus parish in Nogales, Arizona, and tomorrow at Nuesta Se√Īora de Guadalupe Santuario in Nogales, Sonora.
I will be joining Archbishop Ulises Macias of the Archdiocese of Hermosillo tomorrow at the Santuario for his reflection on "Que en Cristo Nuestra Paz, Mexico Tenga Vida Digna" ("So That in Christ, Our Peace, Mexico May Have a Decent Life"), the pastoral exhortation issued last year by the Bishops of Mexico.
I thank Joanne Welter, director of our diocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity, for leading the planning of this gathering that will include representatives from Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the National Catholic Migrant Farmworkers Network, Manos Unidas,¬†the Archdiocese of Hermosillo, the Dioceses of Phoenix and Tucson and the border communities of Agua Prieta, Altar, Douglas, Naco and Nogales.
6. Meeting of Santa Fe Province -- I will join Archbishop Michael Sheehan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and my brother bishops of the Dioceses of Phoenix, Gallup and Las Cruces for our quarterly province meeting that is being held this Wednesday and Thursday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.
Each time our Province meets, we invite members of our staffs to discuss their area of pastoral ministry. For this meeting, we have invited our administrative assistants.
The administrative assistant provides immense help in supporting the work of a diocesan bishop. I know that so well! What would I do without Sonya Guttierez and Sister Charlotte Ann Swift, O.P.!
7. Carondelet Health Network Board Retreat -- I am very pleased to join the members of the Carondelet Health Network Board of Directors this Friday for their retreat.
During the retreat, I hope to share thoughts with the directors about the U.S. Catholic Bishop's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
These are very challenging times, as government continues to reduce its funding for health care and as new and stringent restrictions are being placed on our Catholic Hospitals and health care providers that create untenable situations of requiring certain procedures or drugs that are opposed by our Church on moral grounds. The importance of safeguarding religious liberty as more than just freedom of worship is becoming more and more pressing.
8. Father Ed Lucero's Installation as Pastor -- It will be my joy this Friday evening to celebrate Mass with the community of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford. During Mass, I will install Father Ed Lucero as the parish's fourteenth pastor.
I have seen on my visits to the parish during the past year or so just how much the people of St. Rose appreciate and respect Father Ed. I have seen how he has come to know and love them.
9. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- Our Diocesan Pastoral Council resumes its meetings after the summer break with a meeting this Saturday morning. We will welcome two new members: Marie Tan, who is representing the Filipino Community; and Sister Elizabeth O'Donnell, O.P., of St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish, who is representing our women religious. (A new member from the Santa Cruz Vicariate is to be named soon.)
The Council's members will plan their activities for the year, including their participation in the March "Co-Workers in the Vineyard" Ministry Conference for all in our Diocese.
We will continue our faith sharing at each meeting. This sharing gives each member a chance to share his or her faith journey and how the Lord has worked in their lives. This is a very moving experience, and I encourage our parish pastoral councils to do this at their meetings.
10. Sister Rosa Maria's Golden Jubilee -- Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., our diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools, is observing her 50th anniversary of religious life this year. We will be celebrating this golden jubilee with Sister this Saturday at the 5:30 p.m. Mass at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson. Congratulations, Sister! I am going to write more about you in next week's memo.
11. Mass to Welcome Women, Men Religious -- It will be my joy this Sunday at time to celebrate a Mass of Welcome at parish for women and men religious who are new this year to their ministry in our Diocese.
Please join me in welcoming Sister Martin Marie King, O.C.D., Sister Elizabeth Adams, C.S.J.,
Sister Carol Seidl, O.S.F., Sister Odessa Stanford, S.B.S., Sister Helen Timothy, I.B.V.M., Sister Angelica Velez, O.P., Sister Marie-Jona Yoo, O.S.B., Sister Marilyn Omieczynski, P.B.V.M., Sister Annemary Miller, S.ND.deN., Brother Tom Evangelisti, O.S.B., Brother John Howell, O.Carm., Brother Sean Keating, O.S.B., and Brother Roy Rivas, O.F.M.
12. Movimiento Familiar Cristiano -- I will preside at the annual Mass of the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano in our Diocese this Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson.
An outreach of the International Confederation of Christian Family Movements, Movimiento Familiar Cristiano works through networks of parishes and small groups of families 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 here.
13. Enhancing the Retrouvaille Ministry -- Among the volunteers assisting at yesterday's Celebration of Marriage Mass were representatives of Retrouvaille of Southern Arizona, a unique ministry whose mission is to help couples experiencing challenges in their marriage to rediscover and rebuild their loving relationship.
Retrouvaille (French for "rediscovery") began in 1977 in Quebec, Canada, as a ministry to heal hurting marriages. It since has spread around the world, and in our Diocese has been a great blessing and resource for more than two decades for couples, including the divorced and separated.
Presently, the Retrouvaille Program is offered in English in Tucson. Retrouvaille of Southern Arizona has recognized the need to offer the ministry in Spanish and is searching now for couples who want to give of their time and talent to help mend hurting marriages. Please help spread the word about this search. More information is available here.
I am sure I feel like many of our pastors in valuing and appreciating the wisdom and counsel of the members of our various councils and committees who advise us on important pastoral matters.
I felt that keenly on Saturday when our Diocesan Pastoral Council convened for the first time after the summer break.
We began with the Eucharist, seeking God’s guidance and assistance for the year ahead.
We welcomed two new members: Marie Tan, who is representing the Filipino Catholic Community; and Sister Elizabeth O’Donnell, O.P., of St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson, who is representing our women religious. (A new member from the Santa Cruz Vicariate is to be named soon.)
We had some significant discussions about the challenges we face in our Diocese, beginning with the economic struggles being experienced by so many people. A number of members expressed the need to listen compassionately to the pain of individuals and families who are experiencing serious economic stress and who face dire circumstances, having lost jobs or homes. We talked about how children especially are being impacted, sometimes even blaming themselves for their families’ struggles.
One member suggested that we have forums in which we can listen to and pray with those struggling in these difficult economic times. The Council will consider some alternatives for doing that at our next meeting. Some members felt that we could gather together people in these circumstances to pray. Others felt maybe we might be available just to listen to their hurts and worries. Some suggested we add prayers at next month’s Rosary Conference for those suffering. Some felt a workshop at the next March’s diocesan Ministry Conference could give pastoral leaders a chance to explore alternatives for assisting people in their difficulties.
We also discussed the initiative coming from the Social Justice Committee of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona to educate people in our Diocese on the issue of immigration. The Council suggested that we gather people who have done educational efforts in the past and persons involved in immigration and border ministries such as the Kino Border Initiative together with CCS leadership and staff and business leaders to plan a pilot project to educate parishioners about this complex issue. The Pima Central Vicariate, on the initiative of Father Bill Remmel, S.D.S., and Leo Guardado of Most Holy Trinity Parish, has tried this. Much can be learned from what has been done.
We face many challenges in our Diocese as we work to fulfill the mission of our Church. I am very encouraged – and I know our pastors are, too – to know that there are people willing to help us address the challenges. Their assistance is a blessing and a gift.
1. Preaching, Educating, Advocating on Behalf of the Poor and Jobless – Many of the issues related to the economy that we discussed at Saturday’s Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting also were discussed at the meeting of the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in which I was a participant two week ago in Washington.
At the urging of the Committee, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the Conference, has written to all bishops in our country urging them to initiate education and advocacy efforts – including addressing the issues of the economy in homilies – on behalf of those suffering from the struggling economy. I encourage you to read the Archbishop’s letter. You will see that it references resources that are available here. Additional resources for preaching, educating and advocating on behalf of the poor and jobless will be added soon.
Our discussions Saturday at the Diocesan Pastoral Council are a good start to developing how we will preach, educate and advocate for those who are suffering in our Diocese because unemployment, underemployment and poverty. I will be seeking the input of our Presbyteral Council as well.
The Sept. 10 issue of The Economist magazine described the scale of joblessness in the West. It indicated that 44 million people are unemployed in the mainly rich members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that consists of 34 of the most advanced countries. That number is equivalent to Spain’s entire population. In Spain itself, with a jobless rate of 21 per cent, the number of unemployed is equivalent to the population of Madrid and Barcelona. Many of those unemployed are young people. Youth unemployment leaves many scars.
The Economist indicates that unemployment has a huge cost. “Joblessness increases depression, divorce, substance abuse and pretty much everything that can go wrong in a life.”
As people of faith we are concerned with the economic struggles and concerns of so many in our community. I welcome any thoughts you may have on how we might respond to individuals and families experiencing severe economic hardship.
2. Welcoming Our New Women, Men Religious – Our Diocese is blessed with the ministry and service of women and men religious from many communities.
Yesterday morning, I welcomed women and men religious who are newcomers to our Diocese at a Mass of Welcome at St. Augustine Cathedral. Their presence adds so much to the work of this local Church. New faces and new gifts make possible new pastoral initiatives to respond to the needs of our people. We can all be grateful for the presence of our women and men religious. They serve with great dedication.
New to our Diocese since the beginning of this year are: Sister Martin Marie King, O.C.D.; Sister Elizabeth Adams, C.S.J., executive director of Catholic Community Services in Western Arizona; Sister Carol Seidl, O.S.F., principal of Our Lady of the Mountains School in Sierra Vista; *Sister Odessa Stanford, S.B.S., of San Miguel High School in Tucson; Sister Helen Timothy, I.B.V.M. principal of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson; *Sister Angelica Velez, O.P., of St. Thomas More Newman Center Parish in Tucson; *Sister Marie-Jona Yoo, O.S.B., of the Benedictine Monastery in Tucson; *Sister Marilyn Omieczynski, P.B.V.M., of the Desert House of Prayer in Cortaro; Sister Annemary Miller, S.ND.deN.of the Desert House of Prayer in Cortaro; *Brother Tom Evangelisti, O.S.B., of Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David; *Brother John Howell, O.Carm., of Salpointe Catholic High School; *Brother Sean Keating, O.S.B., of Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David; and *Brother Roy Rivas, O.F.M., of Villa Maria Care Center in Tucson. (*At the Mass.)
3. Movimiento Familiar Cristiano – For some time, we have focused in our Diocese and in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the need to strengthen marriage.
Movimiento Familiar Cristiano is movment that has as its mission the strengthening of married life. The Movimiento is an opportunity for Catholic families to gather, to pray and to observe, judge and act to deepen the family bonds of its members. It has a long and distinguished history in the Church here in the U.S. and is especially strong within our Hispanic community.
Yesterday, at St. Joseph Parish, I celebrated the annual Mass of the Movimiento in our Diocese. It is always a joy to be with these dedicated families. I urge married couples to join. They will reap many benefits.
An outreach of the International Confederation of Christian Family Movements, Movimiento Familiar Cristiano works through networks of parishes and small groups of families 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 here.
I thank Father Miguel Mariano, pastor, and Father Victor Lugo, A.M., parochial vicar, for concelebrating the Mass with me. I thank Father Miguel and St. Joseph Parish for hosting the Mass.
4. A Golden Jubilee Celebration – The celebration of the 5:30 p.m. Saturday Mass for the twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson was very special.
Joining the parish community at the Mass were members of our Diocesan School Board, many of the principals of our Catholic Schools, all of our Alliance for Catholic Education Teachers (seven Notre Dame graduate school students who are teaching in several of our schools), most of our Pastoral Center staff and the staff of our diocesan Department of Catholic Schools, representatives from the Western Catholic Educational Association, and all of the Minim Sisters in our Diocese and the Carmelite Sisters from Douglas. Concelebrants with me were Father Ron Nuzzi and Father Joseph Corpora, C.S.C., from the University of Notre Dame, Msgr. Van Wagner, Father Al Schifano, Father Robert Tamminga, Father Miguel Mariano, and Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor, and our host for the celebration.
They all came to celebrate with Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., the golden jubilee of her 50 years in religious life. Sister’s family was there, too: sister and brother-in-law Irma and Fausto Hopkins and her brother Octavio and sister-in-law Tania and their children.
Sister Rosa Maria received an image of Christ the Teacher, a reminder of her service to children all around our Diocese.
At the dinner and celebration after Mass, we enjoyed seeing a slide show produced by AnnaMaria Mammen of the Chancellor's Office about Sister Rosa Maria that reflected her many years of dedicated service in Catholic education. Sister served as a teacher and as principal at Sacred Heart School in Nogales for 22 years and served her community as vicar general with responsibility for the Minim schools in 22 dioceses, including schools in Ecuador.
Sister Esther Hugues, C.F.M.M., principal of Lourdes Catholic School in Nogales, shared her experienced as a student with Sister Rosa Maria, and Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M., principal of Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales, told us how Sister Rosa encouraged her to consider a life of service to the Church.
Sister Rosa ended the evening by reflecting on her experience of religious life over 50 years. I wish young women in our parishes could have heard the joy she still feels in her vocation and the opportunities her vocation has given her to serve others.
About Sister Rosa Maria: When she was 15, she told her parents that she wanted to be a nun, but her father wanted her to wait until after she graduated from high school. When she shared with her mother that she loved children and wanted to be a nun to help children, her mother suggested that she get married and have her own children to love. Sister’s response was that if she gets married she would care for her husband and her own children, but if she became a nun, she could care for hundreds of children. She entered the convent when she was 18.
In the 14 years that Sister Rosa Maria has served as our diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools, she has brought about many improvements and led many initiatives, including: directing four revisions of our diocesan Catholic Schools’ policies; directing the development of the Crisis Management Plan for our Catholic Schools; reorganizing the Superintendent’s office and the Diocesan School Board; initiating studies of the salary scale and benefits for teachers and developing policies to raise the salary scale; initiating an endowment program for our Catholic Schools to ensure their financial stability; and providing guidelines and training for principals and accrediting teams for the accreditation of our Catholic Schools.
Children are Sister Rosa Maria’s first and foremost ministry in everything she does. She visits every school annually, taking time on each visit to meet with children, to encourage them and to inspire them by telling them that God loves them.
I thank Ann Zeches, Anna Maria Mammen, Dave Keller, Gracie Quiroz, Janet Haas, Janet Towner, Jean McKenzie, Jo Ann Sayre, Mary Ann and Ace Hendrickson, Pegi and Ken Dodd, Sheri Dahl, Shirley and Mike Kalinowski, Suzanne Shadonix, Mary Gioco and Maria Alarcon, the members of the celebration committee, for planning such a delightful evening. I thank John Shaheen, our diocesan Property and Insurance Manager, for serving as MC, and the ACE teachers for being such great servers for the dinner.
5. Father Ed Lucero’s Installation as Pastor – Father Ed Lucero received a standing ovation from his people at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford as I formally introduced him to them as their new pastor Friday evening.
It is such a joy for me to be at a parish that loves its pastor and where the pastor loves his people. That was clear that evening as Father Ed, after a year as administrator, became the pastor.
Father Ed said to the people that he thinks St. Rose is a “sleeper” parish – that the many wonderful things happening in Safford, that how financially stable the parish is, that how involved the people are not known across our Diocese. He said that if priests around our Diocese knew what a great parish St. Rose is that they would be standing in line to become pastor. He applauded the people for all they do in the parish and for all the volunteering that accomplishes so much.
Some of the parishioners at the Mass have been part of the parish for more than 40 years. Father Ed reminded them that pastors come and go, but it is they who continue the work of the Church in their various ministries.
6. J.P. Gallagher Audax Award – I am very honored to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the J.P. Gallagher Audax Award.
I will receive the award tomorrow evening at a banquet that is sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. for the members of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference whose annual meeting is being held this week in Minneapolis.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, is one of the largest insurance brokers in the world.
Audax is Latin for “bold,” and the intent of the award is to recognize persons whose ministry has made a difference in people’s lives and in the life of our Church in the U.S. The award is given annually to honor the memory of J.P. Gallagher, who worked closely with dioceses and archdioceses in our country to develop best practices in insurance and risk management.
7. Visit to University of Notre Dame – I will be a participant this Wednesday in a panel discussion at the University of Notre Dame on educational innovation and reform.
My co-panelists in The Conversation: Developing the Schools Our Children Deserve are Wendy Kopp, founder and chief executive officer of Teach for America, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Juan Rangel, chief executive officer of Chicago’s United Neighborhood Organization.
Professor David Campbell, founding director of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center for American Democracy, and Father Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, will serve as moderators.
Among the topics the panel will consider are: causes and most effective responses to the achievement gap; attracting and retaining talent; lessons learned from charter schools and faith based schools; public school reform efforts; parental choice in K-12 education; teacher and school accountability in K-12 education; and the role of universities (Notre Dame, in particular) in affecting meaningful reform.
I look forward to sharing the experience of St. Ambrose Catholic School, St. John Catholic School and Santa Cruz Catholic School in Tucson as the first Notre Dame Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Academy schools in our nation.
The panel discussion is part of the 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation,” is a yearlong series of events to explore the profound and challenging questions that shape the national debate about primary and secondary education in our nation.
Before the panel discussion, I will be joining Father Scully in his class on “Leading with Core Principles.”
8. New Diocesan Directory – Copies of the new Diocesan Directory are on their way to our parishes and schools. Given the costs of printing, the number of changes in personnel and information that always take place right after printing and the availability of the directory at our diocesan Web site, we have decided that this will be the last directory that the Diocese will print. A downloadable document (that will be constantly updated) with all the directory information will be available soon at our diocesan Web site.
9. Visit to the Vatican – I will be in Rome and the Vatican next week with a delegation from Catholic Relief Services.
We will visit the Congregations that are involved in the Church’s humanitarian outreach. The visit will be an opportunity to introduce Dr. Carolyn Woo as the new president of Catholic Relief Services. We will be meeting with Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Commission on Peace and Justice, Cardinal Robert Sarah of Cor Unum and with representatives from the Vatican Secretariat of State.
I hope to have a chance to visit with Father Ray Ratzenberger, one of our Diocesan priests, who is on sabbatical in Rome, and with Father Silas Bogati, a priest of Nepal studying in Rome who has visited in our Diocese on several occasions and who has a home away from home at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson.
Because of the visit, there won’t be a Monday Memo next week.
10. Annual Priests’ Retreats – Each year, our priests step away from the busyness of their ministry to join their brother priests in retreat for a week.
The first two weeks of October are the days for our priest retreats. The first week, Oct. 2 – 7, will be conducted by our Redemptorist priests at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. They stepped in when Bishop Luis Zarama had to cancel because of the illness of his father. The second week, Oct. 9 - 14, will be led by Bishop Daniel Flores of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.
Please pray for our priests during these two weeks that they might grow closer to the Lord during these days of prayer and reflection.
I am grateful to Father James Hobert, who coordinates these retreats, and to Sister Lois Paha, O.P., director of our diocesan Department of Pastoral Services, and Ofelia James, her administrative assistant, and Dr. Paul Duckro, director of our diocesan Office of Child Adolescent and Adult Protection, who do an outstanding job organizing and preparing these retreats.
11. October Issue of The New Vision – The October issue of The New Vision, our diocesan newspaper, will be distributed at our parishes this weekend.
This issue includes stories about Respect Life Sunday and this year’s Respect Life Program, the new work of sacred art that will be created in the vestibule of St. Augustine Cathedral and the bi-national border ministry gathering that was held last week in Nogales. My column for the October issue is about the challenges that our pastors and parishes in the smaller communities of our Diocese face.