June 4, 2007 June 11, 2007 June 18, 2007 June 25, 2007

Vol. 5, No. 12
June 4, 2007


Father Mark Long, our new priest.

Father Mark Long's ordination on Saturday morning at St. Augustine Cathedral was an occasion of pride and joy for Father Mark's family, for Msgr. Thomas Cahalane and the community of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson and for our entire Diocese. As I watched the priests of the Diocese file past Father Mark and impose hands, I prayed that they would inspire him, strengthen him and support him through his years of ministry. 
 
While one is ordained individually to serve, priests are ordained into a presbyterate whose members share a common mission with their bishop and with the religious, deacons and laity of the Diocese. These are not days for "lone rangers" who might seek to do their own thing, but a time to collaborate with all in ministry to bring the Gospel to life in these difficult, challenging, yet hopeful times.
 
I was very pleased that Father John Murphy and Father Joseph Nietlong (formerly of our Diocese) could be present at the ordination to represent Mundelein Seminary where Father Mark completed his formation. His formators at Mundelein and the Josephenum did a great job preparing Father Mark for his ministry, and our Diocese is grateful to them.
 
Father Mark is enthusiastic and eager to begin his ministry. He has been assigned to serve at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson. A priest's first assignment and first pastor have a major influence on his ministry. I am confident that Father Joe Lombardo and the people of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton will receive him warmly, challenge him gently and draw out the best of his gifts. He will begin his first assignment on July 1.
 
1. Pope John Paul II Youth Awards -- We established our diocesan Pope John Paul II Youth Awards two years ago as a way to recognize the importance of young persons in the life of the Church and to acknowledge the ways in which our Catholic youth serve our parishes, schools and communities.

At the third annual Awards ceremony held last Saturday evening at the Hotel Arizona in Tucson, it was my joy to present medallions bearing the likeness of Pope John Paul II to 84 young persons from 32 parishes and three of our Catholic high schools for their distinguished service in the ministry categories of "Catechesis and Evangelization," "Community Service and Social Justice" and "Prayer and Worship."

Receiving the awards were:

Catechesis and Evangelization: Tiffany Acciani, Christ the King, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base; Bianca Bejarano, Sacred Heart, Parker; Jyllissa Rheann Cecena, St. Monica, Tucson; Kevin Comisso, St. Rita in the Desert, Vail; Brian Enriquez, St. Joseph, Tucson; Gabby Gabriela, St. Cyril of Alexandria, Tucson; Alexis Gomez, St. Joseph, Hayden; Melissa Granados, St. Pius X, Tucson; Lisa Gutierrez, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Ricky Guzman, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tucson; Greg Hays, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Jillian Holdcroft, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Diego "Beto" Hoyos, St. Patrick, Bisbee; Ethan Manuel, St. Joseph, Tucson; Kevin McKenzie, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Karlee Moxley, Our Lady of the Mountains, Sierra Vista; Chris Peña, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Teresa A. Reyes, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Tucson; Adrian Rice, St. John the Evangelist, Tucson; Maria Silva, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Christopher Slade, St. Anthony of Padua, Casa Grande; Antonia Tang, Our Lady of La Vang, Tucson; Paul Turnbloom, Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma; Yesenia Vega, Our Lady Queen of All Saints, Tucson; Alex Zimmerman, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Daniel Zuniga-Romero, St. Rose of Lima, Safford.

Community Service and Social Justice: Carly Bradford, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; Alicia Cabajal, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Anthony Ciapusci, Corpus Christi, Tucson; Sandy Crusa, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; Vicki Graves, Our Lady of the Mountains, Sierra Vista; Natalie Hoppstetter, Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma; Diego "Beto" Hoyos, St. Patrick, Bisbee; Jennifer Hubbard, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Graciela Juvera, Infant Jesus of Prague, Kearny; Christopher Martinez, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Andres Martinez, St. Pius X, Tucson; Raquel Ortega, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Monique Otero, St. Helen, Oracle; Maria Rivera, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Tucson; Jesus Sanchez, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Phi Tran, Our Lady of La Vang, Tucson; Brandon Wample, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tucson; Amy Watts, Sacred Heart, Parker; Carlos Zuniga, Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth; Daniel Zuniga-Romero, St. Rose of Lima, Safford.

Prayer and Worship: Amy Alvillar, Immaculate Conception, Ajo; Beth Anderson, Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma; Matthew Avelar, Infant Jesus of Prague, Kearny; Alexander Ayala, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Brianna Barcelo, Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth; Michelle Bequette, St. Thomas the Apostle, Tucson; Ryan Bradley, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Eric Bribiescas, Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth; Sandy Crusa, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Oscar Escarcega, Infant Jesus of Prague, Kearny; Luis Alberto Estrella, Our Lady Queen of All Saints, Tucson; Jose Vinicio Estrella, Our Lady Queen of All Saints, Tucson; Maggie Fioccoprile, St. Mark the Evangelist, Tucson; Brandon Garcia, St. Helen, Oracle; John Gender, St. Francis de Sales, Tucson; Roxanne Gradillas, Immaculate Conception, Ajo; Lisa Gutierrez, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Jason Hill, St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista; Jillian Holdcroft, Sacred Heart, Tucson; Diego "Beto" Hoyos, St. Patrick, Bisbee; Chantel Koestel, St. Monica, Tucson; Lisa Kondrat, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Diego Kosonoy, Lourdes Catholic High School, Nogales; Adrian Laborin, St. Cyril of Alexandria, Tucson; Zachary Madarang, Our Lady of the Mountains, Sierra Vista; Maeve Majali, St. Pius X, Tucson; Bianca Martinez, St. John the Evangelist, Tucson; Joshua Meehan, Santa Catalina, Tucson; Katie Moris, St. Batholomew, San Manuel; Anthony Muñoz, St. Joseph, Tucson; Alyssa M. Nava, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Tucson; Trang Nguyen, Our Lady of La Vang, Tucson; Elizabeth Nicholson, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson; Joseph Penn, St. Jude Thaddeus, Pearce; Aaron Sepulveda, Immaculate Conception, Ajo; Jaqueline Serrano, St. Joseph, Hayden; Hope Tapia, St. Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson; Courtney Thompson, Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson; Ana Ureña, Most Holy Trinity, Tucson; Noelle Wells, St. Anthony of Padua, Casa Grande; David Winkel, St. Rita in the Desert, Vail; Francisco Zazueta, St. Bartholomew, San Manuel; Samuel Zelinski, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson.

I am grateful to our youth ministers and to Mr. Mike Berger who coordinates their work for all they do on behalf of our young people. Parish youth groups, our Catholic Schools, and our Religious Education Programs do so much to introduce young people to Christ. I know they must feel proud of these recipients of the John Paul II Award and rightly so. Congratulations, too, to their parents and families.

2. Diocese of Bismarck Priests Retreat -- I am in Bismarck, North Dakota, today, where I am very honored to be leading the annual retreat for Bishop Paul Zipfel and the priests of the Diocese of Bismarck. The theme of the retreat is "Renewing Our Priestly Ministry in Jesus Christ."

Whenever I have the opportunity to see Bishop Zipfel, I thank him for his past service as chairman of the Committee on the Home Missions (CHM) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. CHM primarily supports mission dioceses, like ours, that are unable to offer basic pastoral ministries without outside help. CHM has been of immense assistance to our Diocese.

3. National Pastoral Life Center Board Meeting -- I will be attending the quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Pastoral Life Center this Thursday and Friday in New York City.

Founded in 1983 by the late Msgr. Philip J. Murnion with the encouragement of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Center assembles the best of thinking and practice in pastoral ministry and provides excellent resources for those in pastoral ministry leadership in dioceses and parishes.  More information on the Center is available at www.nplc.org.

4. "Leadership in the U.S. Catholic Church" Public Conference -- I will be participating in this conference on Saturday at Fordham University's Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx.

This is the first in a series of public conferences that are a result of the "Passing on the Faith, Passing on the Church: U.S. Catholicism in a New Century" multiyear study sponsored by Fordham University. In the study's first phase, I was among the nearly 100 scholars, academics, journalists, bishops, diocesan officials and youth ministers who convened at Fordham in April of 2005 to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Catholic community in the U.S. in this new century.

The topics that will be discussed at the conference are wide-ranging: Priests and Clergy Formation; Models of Women's Leadership in the U.S. Catholic Church; Diversity Leadership in the U.S. Catholic Church; the Perceived and Real Crisis in the U.S. Catholic Church (I am participating in the panel for this topic along with Bishop Blase J. Cupich of the Diocese of Rapid City and Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of the Diocese of Las Cruces.); New Movements; Lay Leadership on the Local, Diocesan, and National Levels; and the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal: How Dioceses Worked and Might Work.

This conference reflects one of the study's three specific areas of concern about the American Catholic future: lay and clerical authority and leadership in the Catholic Church in the U.S. The other areas of concern are "generational issues" as they relate to Catholic identity and practice and the role of American Catholic Studies as an emerging academic discipline and a source of intellectual revival in the Church.

More information about the study is available at www.fordham.edu/cs/study.shtml.

5. Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ -- The Solemnity, which we will celebrate this Sunday, was introduced by Pope Urban IV in the late 13th century to give special honor to the institution of the Eucharist. Eucharistic processions on the Solemnity are a tradition in many parts of the world, including the U.S. The official title of the Solemnity was changed in 1970 from Corpus Christi to the Body and Blood of Christ.

This year's observance of the Solemnity will be very special for Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson.

As parishioners arrive for the 4:30 p.m. Vigil Mass this Saturday and for the 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Masses on Sunday, they will be invited to write their family's name on small pieces of brightly colored paper that will be put into a basket. They will assemble outside the church and will process inside together, accompanying the basket that symbolizes their unity as members of the Body of Christ. For the Vigil Mass, the procession will be to the music of a mariachi group from Our Mother of Sorrows Parish. After that Mass, there will be a fiesta with music and food.

Father Richard Kingsley, pastor, and the parish hope this will be the beginning of a new tradition for their observance of the Solemnity.

6. Official Appointments -- Effective May 9, Father Bill Gyure was appointed pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Payson. Father Bill, who had been serving as administrator, is much appreciated by the people of St. Philip.

Effective May 17, Father Vincent Thanh Nguyen, C.Ss.R., was appointed pastor of Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Tucson. He succeeds Father Francis Dang Phuoc Hoa, C.Ss.R.

When I met with Father Vincent and Father Francis on May 17, I expressed my gratitude to Father Francis for the great care and love he demonstrated in his ministry to the Vietnamese Catholic Community these past several years.

7. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation this Sunday evening at St. Pius X Parish in Tucson.

8. 2007 Annual Catholic Appeal -- As of last Friday, pledges to this year's campaign totaled $3,933,053. By making their pledges, more than 17,000 families and individuals have demonstrated unprecedented generosity to the Appeal, generosity that speaks volumes of their dedication and commitment to the mission of Christ that is carried out by the 26 charities and ministries that depend upon the Appeal for their support.

This generosity also can have great benefits for the 64 parishes that have exceeded their goals, as half of any over-goal collections are returned to the parish. The other half of over-goal collections can be allocated by the Charity and Ministry Fund to help parishes or the charities and ministries respond to special needs.

In these last four weeks of the solicitation phase of this year's campaign, please continue to invite those who have not yet participated to consider making a pledge.

I was moved to receive in the mail recently a number of $1 contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal from 11 second graders at St. James Parish in Coolidge. These children are learning the importance of doing for others. Their gifts are an inspiration and reflect the spirit of generosity present in our Diocese. They are giving us a wonderful witness of caring for others.

9. Teacher of Year Honor -- Sister Mary Aloysius Marquez, O.C.D., of Loretto School in Douglas was honored last month as one of 88 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award recipients in Arizona. With her selection, Loretto received a $1,000 educational grant from the WalMart Foundation.


Sister Mary Aloysius Marquez, O.C.D., and Sister Caridad Sandoval, O.C.D., principal of Loretto School, proudly display the really big check that accompanied the Teacher of the Year Award.

The Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year program is one of the largest teacher recognition programs in the country. Since its inception in 1995, the program has recognized more than 25,000 teachers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and contributed more than $19 million to those schools.

10. Papal Honor Bestowed -- I recently received a communication from Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo of the Diocese of Szeged-Csanad in Hungary informing me that Thomas Tobias Bachmann, who lives in our Diocese, has been honored by the Holy Father with membership in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory as a Knight Commander with Star.

One of the five pontifical orders of knighthood in the Catholic Church, the Order of St. Gregory is bestowed on persons, including non-Catholics, to recognize service to the Church, unusual labors, support of the Holy See and the good example set in their communities and country.

Bishop Kiss-Rigo informed me that the honor, requested by the Church in Hungary, was bestowed in recognition of Mr. Bachman's tireless work in the field of the inculturation of Christianity in the world, in societal structures and, specifically, in Hungary. Congratulations, Mr. Bachmann!

11. Please Remember in Your Prayers -- Sister Charlotte Anne Swift, O.P., will be undergoing knee replacement surgery today. Sister Charlotte serves in my office with much dedication and commitment. We pray for a speedy recovery.

Vol. 5, No. 13
June 11, 2007

Five years ago this week, the bishops of the U.S. met in Dallas to consider their response to the tragic instances of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

The first day of our meeting, Thursday, June 13, was extraordinary.

I remember very well the meeting's opening address by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. On behalf of all bishops, Bishop Gregory asked the victims of abuse for their forgiveness. He asked for anyone who had been abused to come forward and to report the abuse to civil authorities and to the Church. He asked any unknown abusers within the clergy to turn themselves in. He spoke with passion about a "righteous anger" within the Church because of failures of bishops to do what was right.

Our assembly heard from Scott Appleby, a historian of Catholicism in the U.S., that in the midst of the scandals the Church in our country was being called "to purify itself and be its best self -- the image of the compassionate God in the midst of the world."

We heard from four victims what they had experienced as children from abusive priests and how they continued to suffer even as adults. One of the four told us how the Church's handling of the abuse that he had experienced further victimized his parents and siblings.

For the remainder of that day and for most of the next day, we discussed and debated what could be done to respond to this crisis within the Church.

Our response, approved overwhelmingly on June 14, 2002, was the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Charter's four sections framed the policies established in U.S. dioceses on clergy sexual abuse.

The first section called for parishes and dioceses to reach out to victims and to offer support. The second called for all allegations -- past, present and future -- to be reported to local civil authorities and to be investigated by the diocese in accordance with Canon Law. The third section called for the immediate establishment of a national Office for Youth and Child Protection at the USCCB and a national review board to oversee its work. The fourth section detailed preventive measures against future abuse: parish education programs, background checks on all diocesan and parish staff who contact youth regularly, closer monitoring of priests who transfer dioceses, cooperation with religious orders, ecumenical and community prevention efforts. Significantly, the charter included a commitment to remove from ministry any abusive cleric.

Beginning immediately after the Dallas meeting, our Diocese began to implement the Charter. Since 2002, our Diocese has put into place a number of policies, procedures and programs, including: the notification to the public of credible accusations; the creation of the Victim Assistance Program; a protocol with the Pima County Attorney's Office for the reporting of allegations; promulgation of the Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct and the Code of Conduct; creation of the diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board; establishment of the diocesan Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection; criminal history checks and fingerprinting for all employees and volunteers, including priests and religious; education of employees, volunteers, parents and children on child abuse awareness and prevention; strict adherence to the mandatory reporting law; annual training on the mandatory reporting law for employees and volunteers; a diocesan Safe Environment Program; a system of compliance representatives at each parish and school who assist in the implementation of and adherence to parish and school safe environment programs; and participation in and successful completion of audits of the diocesan Safe Environment Program as called for by the Charter.

This has been a tremendous enterprise. It has involved tens of thousands of persons and countless hours.

Yet, while we believe all these efforts have significantly reduced the risk that a child might be abused with in the household of the Church, none of this assures that no child will be harmed in the household of the Church or in his or her own household.

In fact, we have become even more aware of the painful reality of child abuse in our communities. The great majority of the reports made to law enforcement and Child Protective Services are about suspected abuse in the home.

For that reason, we have also made a commitment to support and enhance the work of the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center. This Center serves law enforcement and Child Protective Services by providing forensic quality interviews of children who may have been abused. It carries out this service in a way that minimizes the further harm to children that often occurs when they are caught in the middle of difficult court proceedings. The Center also provides education and training on child abuse awareness and prevention and the mandatory reporting law.

Our commitment to the mission of the Center is reflected through Dr. Paul Duckro, Director of our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection. Since 2003, Paul has served on the Advocacy Center's Board with representatives from law enforcement, prosecution and the community at large. This Board continues to work hard in conversation with local government to insure that this work in support of essential law enforcement activity is appropriately and adequately supported.

I am proud that the Diocese of Tucson has taken a leadership role in making our community safer for children.

We have accomplished a great deal in these five years, but we must remain vigilant.

We must keep learning and making adaptations. We must keep our educational programs fresh and new. We must act decisively whenever there is suspicion of abuse of a minor.

And, we must continue to lovingly but firmly speak to those who believe that all this is too much and not worth the effort.

I pray that we will be known as a Catholic community not for the failures and mistakes of the past, but for our efforts on behalf of the well being of children. Analogous to the way early Christians were described, I pray that others will say of our Catholic community, "See how they care for our children."

I am deeply grateful to our pastors, principals, directors of religious education, youth ministers and all their staff who work with children and youth for working so hard to implement the Charter.

1. Comprehensive Immigration Reform
-- The prospects for reform of our nation's immigration system this year seem very doubtful now with last week's failure of a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Senate to pass compromise legislation that would have enacted some reforms.

Bishop Gerald Barnes, chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, has issued this statement:

On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I call upon the U.S. Senate to return to consideration of comprehensive immigration reform legislation as soon as possible. Our nation cannot afford to wait to resolve this important humanitarian issue.

It is important that the U.S. Senate improve the legislation to preserve family unity and to ensure that the legalization program is workable and fair. The U.S. bishops will work with the Senate to make these changes and for passage of the legislation.

The issue of immigration is too important for our elected officials to abandon. It cannot wait for several more years. Human beings are suffering and dying. Justice demands that our elected officials stop this suffering and mend our broken immigration system. Our nation can create an immigration system which serves our economic needs and upholds the rights and dignity of the human person.

We saw in our Diocese last week the evidence of Bishop Barnes' statement that "Human beings are suffering and dying." The bodies of six persons who died crossing through the desert were discovered over a six-day period.

I am still hopeful that the Senate will return to this important legislation and address the realities of uncontrolled immigration that we experience every day in Arizona.

2. "Dreams Across America Tour" -- This tour is a nationwide journey by train that hopes to dispel myths, give real facts and share personal stories about the need for just and humane immigration reform. One of four trains that will comprise the tour will depart Los Angeles this Wednesday and will arrive in Tucson early Thursday morning (12:35 a.m., departing at 1:20 a.m.).

On board the trains will be 100 persons (called by the tour "Dreamers") from diverse backgrounds from throughout the country who will share the stories of their experiences as immigrants. Some of the participants will be from Arizona. This Wednesday morning, I will join Rev. Robin Hoover of Humane Borders and representatives of other Tucson organizations that support comprehensive immigration reform at a news conference to introduce the "Dreamers" from our community who will be taking part in the tour.

The tour will conclude in Washington on June 19 and 20 with an event organized by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.  The "Dreamers" will visit members of Congress so they may from their constituents about the human impact of our broken immigration system and the need for comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Among the tour's sponsoring groups are the Archdioceses of Los Angeles and Miami.

3. Ethical Stem Cell Research -- Last week, a surprising advance was reported that could resolve the ethical debate around embryonic stem cells. Scientists reported that they have come much closer to a major goal of regenerative medicine, the conversion of a patient's own cells into specialized tissues that might replace those lost to disease. If the technique that seems to work on mice can be adapted to human cells, a person's skin cells could be used to generate new cells to replace the damaged.
 
It is our prayer and hope that scientists will be able to unlock the mystery of cell replacement without the concern of destroying life to help life.
 
I hope that our legislators will understand the serious ethical concerns around the use of embryonic stem cells and will look to other advances that may lead to benefits for people suffering from debilitating diseases.

4. News of Beatifications -- I am very pleased to share with you this letter that I received on Saturday:

Dear Bishop Kicanas:

This letter brings good news of great interest both to our province of the Discalced Carmelite Friars and to the people of the Diocese of Tucson.

Our General House has informed us that on October 28, 2007, at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, 498 martyrs of the 20th century in Spain will be beatified. Two of the martyrs are Discalced Carmelite priests who served in the Diocese of Tucson.

These holy men are Fr. Lucas Tristany, O.C.D. (1872-1936), and Fr. Eduardo Farré, O.C.D. (1897-1936).  Fr. Lucas was the first pastor of Holy Family Church in Tucson. He also served at Holy Cross in Morenci, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Florence, and Santa Cruz in Tucson. Fr. Eduardo ministered at Holy Family and also at Santa Cruz.

After their return to Spain from the United States, they were martyred during the Spanish Civil War, Fr. Lucas in Barcelona and Fr. Eduardo in Montcada.

May their lives and their deaths be an inspiration to us all!

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Gerald Werner, O.C.D.
Provincial
California-Arizona Province

Sister Evelyn Soto, I.H.M, of Immaculate Heart High School, has informed me that three members of her order, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also will be beatified at that liturgy. Sisters Magdalen, Carmen and Rose Fradera (siblings) were martyred in Spain in 1936.

The Spanish Civil War exacted terrible tolls on innocent people on both sides of that conflict. The beatifications represent an opportunity for intercessory prayer that the violence we experience in our world today because of political, economic or religious differences will cease.

Deacon George and Mary Rodriguez, who have organized many pilgrimages to Mexico and to Europe, are arranging a pilgrimage for the beatifications. For more information, please contact Deacon George or Maria at 520-906-2037 or 520-906-8480. Space is limited.
 
5. 2007 Annual Catholic Appeal -- As of last Friday, pledges to this year's campaign totaled $4,000,105. This remarkable record-breaking response from more than 17,000 families and individuals to the invitation to "Light the Way" represents a sharing of their blessings that will ensure and enhance the work of 26 charity and ministry programs in our Diocese. In addition, parishes that exceeded goal will receive half of over goal receipts, with the other half to be allocated by the Charity and Ministry Fund to meet special needs within our Diocese.
 
For the first time in the Appeal's history, all parishes have either exceeded goal or are within reach of goal. 

I once again express my great appreciation to our pastors and parish staff for their support of this year's Appeal. The Appeal concludes at the end of June.

Parish pledge reports are available at www.annualcatholicappealcmf.org.
 
6. Southwest Medical Aid Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon -- I will present recognition awards today to volunteers and supporters of Southwest Medical Aid (SMA), a Tucson-based humanitarian organization directed by Jan Izlar, a lay Salvatorian.

Jan and her husband Jim began SMA some six years ago and modeled it after the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse. SMA serves the poor in Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti and on Native American reservations throughout Arizona.
You can read an interview with Jan about the mission and work of SMA under "Hope Newsletter Archives, May" at this address: www.salvatoriancenter.org/salvatorian/salvatorian+stories/hope+newsletter/default.asp.

7. Arizona Catholic Conference -- Bishop Donald Pelotte, S.S.S., of the Diocese of Gallup, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix and I will meet tomorrow here at the Pastoral Center for our quarterly meeting of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC). Our agenda, guided by ACC executive director Ron Johnson, will include a comprehensive update on the many legislative matters ongoing at the State Capitol as well as discussion of federal immigration reform, an update from the Catholic Charities organizations in our dioceses on current developments and the challenges they face and a presentation on the successful drug court programs in Arizona.


8. Welcome to Bishop Lucas Abadamloora! -- I am happy to welcome Bishop Lucas Abadamloora of the Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga in Ghana to our Diocese this week.

Bishop Lucas is visiting priests of his Diocese who serve in the U.S., one of whom is Father Martin Atanga, who serves as pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Pearce-Sunsites. I will host a dinner for Bishop Lucas and some of the priests from Africa serving in our Diocese this Wednesday at the Bishop's Residence.

The Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga has 14 parishes, each of which has many outstations, which I believe are comparable to our missions. One parish has 32 outstations. There are 200,000 Catholics in the Diocese's population of one million.

Bishop Lucas has been recognized in Ghana for his efforts to develop understanding between Muslims and Christians and for his efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

9. Holy Hope Cemetery Centennial -- Holy Hope Cemetery will be observing its 100th anniversary in August. Plans for the centennial include a two-day "open house" during which families and friends can visit Holy Hope to see the improvements that are in progress and to learn about future plans for enhancing this sacred space.

10. Pastoral Center Staff and Directors Meetings -- The monthly meetings of staff and the directors of diocesan offices and departments will be this Thursday morning.

11. Pass The Keys/Pasa Las Llaves Initiative -- This initiative, begun a year ago by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, is aimed at reducing deaths and injuries in the Hispanic Community due to impaired driving. I expressed my support for the initiative at an inaugural news conference last year in Tucson. This Thursday morning, I will be pleased to join Richard Fimbres, Director of the Office of Highway Safety, and community leaders to receive an update on the progress of the 30-month program and to one again express my support.

12. Happy 61st to Bishop Quinn! -- Bishop Francis Quinn, Bishop Emeritus of Sacramento, will celebrate the 61st anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood this Friday. This happy occasion is an opportunity for me to thank him for the gifts of his energy, dedication, warmth, good humor and wisdom that he has shared with us these last 13 years. His assistance to me in being available to help out with the busy schedule of Confirmations has been invaluable.

13. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- The Council meets this Saturday at the Pastoral Center. The agenda includes election of new officers, my report on the Diocese and discussion of the pastoral priority of "Marriage and Family."

14. Ordination at Mission San Xavier del Bac -- It will be my joy this Saturday to ordain Brother Ed Serazin, O.F.M., to the priesthood for service to the Order of Friars Minor. This will be a great celebration for the Franciscans of the Province of St. Barbara and for the parish community of San Xavier. I believe Brother Ed's ordination will be the third in the modern history of the White Dove of the Desert.

15. On the Confirmation Trail -- I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation this evening at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Elfrida, on Wednesday evening at Holy Family Parish in Tucson, on Thursday evening at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Superior, on Saturday evening at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Tucson and on Sunday morning at Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Tucson.

16. Catholic Apologetics Conference -- Participants in this unique conference to be presented in Spanish at the Leo Rich Theater in Tucson this weekend will have the opportunity to learn more about their Catholic faith from the perspective of "apologetics," the proclamation and defense of the Catholic faith through reason and facts.

Featured speakers at the conference will include lay evangelist Jesse Romero and apologetics scholar and lecturer Martín Zavala Galván of Juarez, Mexico. I will preside at the conference's concluding Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday afternoon.

17. "Ver, Juzgar y Acturar" -- "See, Judge and Act," a methodology that analyzes a reading from Scripture and applies that analysis to our daily life, is the foundation of the effort to formulate the needs and hopes of Catholic Hispanics in our Diocese.

On Saturday, June 2, at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, more than 220 enthusiastic members of six out of the seven parishes in the Yuma/La Paz Vicariate gathered for a "See, Judge and Act" reflection that was guided by Father Eduardo López Romo, parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception, and his team.

The input from this gathering and others will be included in a document that I hope will be presented to me on the Feast of St. Juan Diego in December.

18. Latino Catholic and Jewish Relations Seminar -- Latino Catholics enrolled in a seminary and graduate programs in ministry and Latino Catholics engaged in religious education and other teaching and faith formation ministries are meeting with Jewish and Catholic scholars at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago this week. The goal of the seminar is to advance Christian-Jewish understanding.

Our Diocese is being represented at the seminar by Jorge Gramajo and Luis Gonzalez, who are members of St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish in Tucson and participants in the Diocesan Common Formation Program, and Rubén Dávalos, director of our diocesan Office of Evangelization and Hispanic Ministry.

19. Parish Patron Feast Days -- St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande will celebrate the feast of its patron this Wednesday. This Friday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is very special for the Sacred Heart Parish communities in Clifton, Nogales, Parker, Tombstone, Tucson and Willcox.

20. Father's Day -- Approaching this Sunday's observance of Father's Day, I share this "Prayer for Fathers" from Pope John XXIII. 

Saint Joseph, guardian of Jesus
and chaste husband of Mary,
you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty.
You supported the Holy Family of Nazareth
with the work of your hands.
Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you.
You know their aspirations,
their hardships, their hopes.
They look to you because they know
you will understand and protect them.
You too knew trial,
labor and weariness.
But amid the worries of material life,
your soul was full of deep peace
and sang out in true joy
through intimacy with God's Son entrusted to you
and with Mary, his tender Mother.
Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone.
Teach them to find Jesus near them
and to watch over Him faithfully as you have done.
Amen.

Vol. 5, No. 14
June 18, 2007

On Saturday morning at Mission San Xavier del Bac, the White Dove of the Desert, our Diocese's most historic church, it was my joy to ordain Edward Sarrazin, a Franciscan Friar, to the priesthood in service to the Order of Friars Minor.

There was a wonderful turnout of Friars for the occasion, including Father Mel Jurisich, O.F.M., Provincial of the Franciscans of the Province of St. Barbara, and Father Thomas West, O.F.M., Vicar of the Province.

The marvelous choir of St. Mary's Basilica in Phoenix, which is staffed by the Franciscan Friars, provided the music for the celebration, along with members of the Tohono O'odham Nation in which San Xavier is located.
 
Father Edward will remain in our Diocese as parochial vicar at Mission San Xavier del Bac with Father Steve Barnufsky, O.F.M., pastor. Father Edgar Magana, O.F.M., is to be transferred to California. We hope he will return soon.
 
What a blessing the Franciscan Friars are in our community, serving as they have for hundreds of years on the vast reservation of the Tohono o O'dham People in our Diocese. The Reservation includes dozens of missions served by the Friars.
 
1. Annual June Meeting of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- I am en route to Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, today for meetings in advance of the annual June assembly. Every three years, the bishops take the opportunity of our summer meeting to have a retreat. We are very honored to have Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec as the preacher for our retreat.

Before the retreat begins, I will be attending meetings of the Migration and Refugee Committee, the Administrative Committee and the Task Force on the Revision of the By-Laws of the Conference, which is bringing the by-laws into conformity with the restructured Conference.

2. Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- There was encouraging news last Thursday that the U.S. Senate may resume debate this week on the bi-partisan legislation that would enact some reforms in our nation's immigration system.

Writing last week in an "op-ed" column in the San Antonio Express-News, Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio articulated very what is at stake.

"Reform can't wait another political cycle and we cannot surrender. The lives of millions of undocumented workers and their families hang in the balance. So does our national security and economic well-being. We all know our system is past broken and past fixing. It's time to summon the courage, compassion and the spirit of compromise we need. We must overcome our differences and forge a new approach worthy of a great nation."

You can read the complete column at www.archdiosa.org.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guttierez, who is the President's point person for immigration policy change, and New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who has worked hard to incorporate more family friendly policy into the immigration discussions, will be participating at the meeting of the Migration and Refugee Committee that I referenced above.
 
It will be a good opportunity to present the concerns of the Conference as the Senate returns to discussion of an immigration policy change. These concerns involve the need to make the proposed legislation more open to family unification, which has always been the foundation of U.S. immigration policy, and to provide confidentiality to those who will seek legal status. Such confidentiality helps address the fear that immigrant families feel in considering coming out of the shadows to seek legal status.

3. Vocations Retreat Weekend -- Today is the last day to register for this weekend's retreat weekend for single Catholic men and women ages 18-35 at Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David. The registration form is available at www.diocesetucson.org/vocationsoffice.html.

I look forward to being with the participants as they explore the theme of the retreat, "Fear Not! Be a Witness to the Light!" The goals of this retreat are to allow participants to learn about the joys and challenges that sisters, brothers and priests experience in their vocations.

The retreat is sponsored by the Diocesan Vocation Ministers Committee. I am grateful to the Knights of Columbus and the Serra Club of Tucson for their financial assistance that helps to make the retreat possible.

4. Ninth Annual El Día de San Juan -- This year's event, to be held on Sunday at West Congress Street and the Santa Cruz River in Tucson, celebrates the start of the monsoon season. I will give the blessing that begins the traditional procession that reflects the origin of the festival in Tucson more than 100 years ago when the community gathered to celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist.

The festival, which includes music, food, horse-riding demonstrations and entertainment, begins at 5 p.m. The procession, ceremony and blessing honoring John the Baptist will begin at 6:30 p.m.

5. 2007 Annual Catholic Appeal -- We will be saying a joyful "Amen!" on the last two weekends of June to signal the end of this year's campaign on June 30. I encourage parishes that have not yet reached their goal to make a final effort over these weekends by making an announcement at the beginning of Mass that a second collection will be taken for the benefit of the Annual Appeal.  This last "Amen!" appeal will put some of our parishes over the top!

As of last Friday, pledges to this year's ACA totaled $4,003,375.
 
Parish pledge reports are available at www.annualcatholicappealcmf.org.

6. Diocesan Pastoral Council -- At Saturday's meeting, Joanne Myers of Green Valley was elected chairperson of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and Marty Slattery of Tucson was elected vice chairperson. I am grateful to Bob Scala, who has completed two terms as chair of the Council. Under his leadership, much good has been accomplished. Bob's talents and leadership are blessings and gifts to our Diocese.
 
The Diocesan Pastoral Council, like our parish councils, contributes much wisdom to our efforts to address the pastoral and administrative issues we face in our Diocese. Lay involvement in the Church has brought many blessings. It is amazing when you consider how many laity now contribute their talents and gifts to build up the Church. How blessed we are!

7. Msgr. Carrillo Placita and Hall Project -- Father Pat Crino, rector of St. Augustine Cathedral, and I donned hard hats and I sat at the controls of a miniature bulldozer as part of last Monday's ceremonial groundbreaking for what will become the Msgr. Carrillo Placita.

Fortunately, I wasn't allowed to actually drive the bulldozer. Had that happened, some ground really would have been broken! In the photo below, Tony Carrillo, Msgr. Carrillo's brother and head of the project's fundraising effort, is making sure I don't drive away.





The first stage of preparing the site involved tearing up the patio. Bricks upon which the names of the early priests of the Diocese were painted are being saved and will be reinstalled.

When the Placita and historic Cathedral Hall are renovated, they will be named in honor of Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo, our much beloved former rector of the Cathedral.

Funds for the completion of project are being raised by the Msgr. Carrillo Placita and Hall Committee. The Committee is sponsoring the 2007 Harmonia Fiesta Concert, featuring Vikki Carr, Aida Cuevas and Mariachi Cobre, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Tucson Convention Center. I hope each of our parishes will send a delegation to the concert to demonstrate our unity as a Diocese and our appreciation for Msgr. Carrillo's years of service to us.

Another fundraising effort by the Committee invites individuals, families, organizations and parishes to make donations for the purchase of Mexican pavers for the new patio. A special plaque will list the names of the donors.

I have sent a letter to all of our parishes encouraging each to make a donation for a minimum of 25 pavers.

8. Farewell and Welcome -- At last Thursday's meeting of the Pastoral Center Staff, we said our farewells to Sister Jean Olmstead, S.B.S., Vicar for Religious, and to Suzanne Longoria, Human Resources Benefits Assistant, who are leaving us this month, Sister Jean to take care of her mother back East and Suzanne to join the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries. I thanked them for their service to the Diocese.

We also formally welcomed our new Chancellor, Eduardo Huerta, who joined us last Monday for two weeks of intensive orientation before returning to Milwaukee where he and his wife will soon welcome the birth of their second child


Our new Chancellor has a smile as sunny as a summer day in Tucson!

9. Recognition for St. Elizabeth's Health Center -- St. Elizabeth Health Center in Tucson, one of the six member agencies of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona (CCS), was a partner with the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association in Tucson in bringing home the honor of "All-America City" award title in this year's competition sponsored by the National Civic League. The Neighborhood Association was one of 10 winners in this oldest and most prestigious civic recognition competition in the U.S. and is the first neighborhood association to win the title of "All-America City."

The 2007 winners tackled tough community issues such as healthcare, environmental protection, demographic change, economic development, promotion of the arts, innovations in parks and recreation programs, cultural diversity, education, neighborhood revitalization, youth involvement in local decision-making and public safety.

Peg Harmon represented CCS and St. E's on the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association team, whose other members included Ellie Towne, Terri Hutts, Dr. Nic Clement, Joy Mehulka and Lauren Harmon.

The National Civic League communicated this citation for the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association:

"The Flowing Wells Health Center was opened in December 2005, the result of a strong partnership of two diverse faith-based groups, the school district and the community. The elementary schools in the immediate area serve a population in which 95-98% qualify for free or reduced lunch. The FW School District wanted to assist these children but was unable to find a location that was available at any of their existing campuses. The Victory Assembly of God Church had temporary space. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is a local health clinic operated by Catholic Community Services. All came together for the benefit of the community to meet the health needs of the uninsured such as immunization of children and treating the effects of lead poisoning from the contaminated soil."

10. News from Carondelet Health Network -- Congratulations to Sally Jeffcoat, Carondelet Health Network president and chief executive officer, on her promotion to executive vice president and chief operating officer for healthcare operations for Ascension Health. Carondelet Health Network is a member of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic non-profit health care system.

11. Don't Forget These Events and Dates -- As we begin these weeks of summer vacation, I emphasize these important events:

Beginnings Plus Institute -- The North American Forum on the Catechumenate will present this institute Aug. 23 through 26 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. The institute will assist parishes with the implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation for adults and children. I encourage our parish catechumenate directors and team members, pastors, parochial vicars, deacons and catechists to participate in this formation opportunity. To register or for more information, please contact Pegi Dodd at the Office of Formation at 520-838-2545 or pegid@diocesetucson.org. Additional information is available at the Forum's Website, www.naforum.org.

Cantor Express -- The National Pastoral Musician Association will host Cantor Express on Aug. 17 through 19 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks. This three-day intensive music seminar will provide excellent support for those who serve as cantors or song leaders in liturgical music for Mass in English and Spanish and for prayer events. The registration, schedule and program details are found on the NPM website at http://www.npm.org/EducationEvents/institutes/index.html#cantor. 

Information Sessions for Potential Permanent Deacon Candidates and Lay Ecclesial Ministry Leaders -- The next four-year Common Formation Program will begin in November of 2008 for potential permanent deacon candidates and Lay Ecclesial Leaders. Seven information sessions will be held during August and September around the Diocese. Pastors have been asked to invite those persons they think would be possible candidates for the diaconate or lay ministry to attend one of the sessions. The registration form for these sessions is available from the Office of Formation and also may be downloaded at www.diocesetucson.org/formation.html.

Appreciation Party for June Kellen
-- We will gather to express our deepest appreciation to June Kellen, our recently retired Chancellor, on the evening of Friday, Sept. 7, at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson. More details will follow, but mark your calendar to join us for an evening liturgy and the party. This evening will be an opportunity to express our thanks to June for her outstanding service to our Diocese.  I am asking priests to join me for a special afternoon meeting at St. Frances Cabrini Parish on the day of the party for June.

Vol. 5, No. 15
June 25, 2007

The June meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, held last week at Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, was different than we ordinarily experience. We did not pass any statements or documents. We did not take any votes. Rather, we spent our time reflecting on the major priorities that will direct the work of the Bishops' Conference in the next few years. They are Marriage and Family Life, Handing on the Faith, Human Life, Vocations and Pastoral Response to the multicultural faith community in the Catholic Church.
 
A bishop along with two responder bishops spoke to each of these priorities. The bishops then met in small groups that ended with a large group discussion on each priority.
 
It was clear from the conversation that we face many challenges in the Church. As Bishop George Murray of Youngstown mentioned in his talk on Marriage and Family Life, "We need to stop lamenting and take positive and bold steps to address these priority issues."
 
The presentation on Handing on the Faith encouraged the bishops to take seriously their responsibility to be the primary catechist of the faith. The bishop must put a priority on catechesis and commit resources to the training of those who teach the faith.
 
The presentation on Marriage and Family Life emphasized the need to complete the substantive statement on marriage that is being prepared by the Bishops' Committee on Marriage. (See item number 6.) The Church, it was said, is not proposing something new or frivolous, but is simply expressing and affirming what has been understood as central to humankind, the lifelong commitment of one man and one woman to each other in marriage. This has been the foundation of human society from the beginning.
 
The presentation on Human Life reminded us of our commitment to defend life, which is being threatened in so many ways within our culture. Efforts of the Church in speaking out on abortion and stem cell research, speaking up for migrants and raising questions about the need for capital punishment have been criticized by some. Why is the Church getting involved? Why don't the bishops just stay in the Church and out of the marketplace. But, there are moral values involved in all of these areas that the Church needs to hold up, popular or not.
 
In our commitment to defend the sanctity of life, we are confronted by the number of abortions that take place daily in our communities. Many people of different faiths have spoken up, stood and prayed peaceably outside abortion clinics, trying to help women to find alternatives to a decision to abort the child. These efforts are heroic and needed, even though they are not always applauded. (A new documentary, "beingHUMAN: 40 Days for Life" is being aired on EWTN Global Cable Network tonight at 9:30 p.m. our time. While I have not seen it, the documentary is described as "giving witness to everyday people who are working to give a voice to the unborn.")
 
We also are confronted by the number of deaths of migrants in our Arizona desert, tragedies that were highlighted again in our local newspapers this past week. Desperate people seeking a better way of life, striving to help their families, risk the dangers of the desert in crossing the border to find a better life. The solution is clear. We need comprehensive immigration policy change. Our legislators must show courage and leadership in finding a solution to this broken system that results in the deaths of too many. We cannot let negative voices drown out the larger majority of people who know something needs to be done.
 
Not just any bill is acceptable. We need a bill that will protect our borders and provide an earned pathway to legalization. We need a bill that will establish a program that will allow workers seeking work and employers needing workers to meet. We need a bill that respects the fundamental value of family unification. The debate is likely to continue this week, and my prayer is that what results will benefit our country and bring people out of the shadows.
 
The discussion on Vocations at our meeting reminded bishops of the importance of prayer, personal invitation and assistance to families, teachers, catechists and, especially, priests to encourage and foster vocations.
 
While we did not discuss the multicultural dimensions of the Church in the U.S., that theme permeated all the other discussions.
 
1. 2007 Annual Catholic Appeal -- The solicitation phase of this year's Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) concludes this Sunday. As of last Friday, pledges totaled $4,012,935.

The Catholic people of our Diocese truly have demonstrated remarkable generosity in their support of the 26 charities and ministries that depend on the ACA.

For the first time in the 45-year history of the Appeal in our Diocese, pledges have exceeded $4 million. For the first time, the number of donors will exceed 17,500. And, for the first time, it is possible that all 74 parishes will have reached their goals. Those parishes not yet at goal (only 15) were encouraged to conduct an "Amen Sunday" collection yesterday or this coming weekend. 
 
Beyond the full funding for the 26 charities and ministries, the extraordinary success of this year's ACA also will make possible funding for other diocesan needs, for many parish needs and for grants from our Charity and Ministry Fund to help parishes and the charities and ministries to meet special needs.

2. End of Fiscal Year
-- The end of this month brings with it the conclusion of the Diocese's fiscal year.

Tomorrow, the Diocesan Finance Council will meet here at the Pastoral Center to approve the new fiscal year's budget for the Administrative Offices of the Diocese. 

We have seen improvement in our diocesan finances in this current fiscal year. Through the end of May, our Administrative Offices have operated within the budget. We reduced by nearly a half million dollars our debt to the Catholic Foresters and our debt to parishes that is related to the 2002 settlement of sexual abuse claims. 

Openness and transparency in our Diocese's fiscal management remain priorities. In August, an independent audit of financial statements will begin, with an audit report to be presented by the end of this calendar year. The complete audit report will be available on our diocesan Website (www.diocesetucson.org) early next year. The past fiscal year's audit report is available on our diocesan Website under "Reports, Statements, Letters."

3. 2007 Marianist Province Assembly
-- It is my honor this evening to welcome the priests and brothers of the Marianist Province of the U.S. as they begin their 2007 Province Assembly here in Tucson at the Marriott Starr Pass Resort.

The theme of the assembly is, "Come to the Desert: Becoming Brothers, Finding Life." In addition to extending a welcome on behalf of our Diocese, I also will share a reflection on the spiritual and moral dimensions of the phenomenal migration into our nation and how this migration has impacted our Diocese and my ministry as bishop.

The Society of Mary (Marianists) is an international religious order of brothers and priests, 600 of whom serve in the Province of the United States.  The Province also includes Eastern Africa, India, Ireland, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade founded the Society of Mary in 1817, and the Marianist have had a presence in the U.S. since they first arrived in Cincinnati in 1849. In the U.S., Marianists sponsor the University of Dayton in Ohio, St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 18 high schools, 12 parishes and five retreat centers.

4. Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Presbyteral Assembly -- I am looking forward this week to being with Archbishop Harry Flynn, newly appointed Coadjutor Archbishop John Nienstedt, Auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates and the priests of the Archdiocese for their annual Presbyteral Assembly in Rochester, Minnesota. I will give a presentation this Wednesday to the priests on the Assembly's theme, "The Paschal Mystery and Priestly Communion."

5. The New Vision/La Nueva Visión Managing Editor Position -- Karl Bierach, our diocesan publication's managing editor, and his family will be relocating to St. Louis, Missouri, next month. Karl shared with us last week the good news that his wife, Julie, a news and public affairs reporter at KUAZ in Tucson, has accepted a news anchor/reporter position at KWMU, the National Public Radio affiliate in St. Louis.

I greatly appreciate all that Karl has accomplished for The New Vision, its associated Website and the new iDiocese Website. Karl has brought many new and creative ideas to his work and has been a delight to work with. We will miss him.

We have begun a search for a new managing editor. The position description is available at www.diocesetucson.org/ManagingEditor.htm.

6. "What Have You Done for Your Marriage Today?"
-- That is the question being asked in a campaign being launched this week by the Committees on Marriage and Family Life and Communications of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The answers, which come from people interviewed on the street for a series of TV and radio spots, range from getting up early with the baby to carrying a spouse's purse.           

The couples featured were filmed in parks and other public sites in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas and Providence, Rhode Island. They include young and old and a rich variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Together the couples offer insights into marriage. 

The spots can be viewed on www.foryourmarriage.org, the marriage campaign Web site. The campaign is part of a multi-year National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage of the U.S. Catholic bishops to convey the meaning and value of married life for the Church and for society. The initiative will develop guidance and resources, including a pastoral letter, to promote, strengthen, sustain, and restore marriages.

The bishops approved the effort at the November 2004 meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Phase one (2005-2007) included research and consultation. Phase two (2007-2008) includes the TV and radio campaign and the writing of a pastoral letter. Phase three (2008-2011) includes implementation, development of pastoral resources and evaluation.

Support for Catholic couples in their marriages remains a pastoral priority for our Diocese. One effort to support couples is our inaugural "Celebration of Marriage Mass" for couples who are celebrating their 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries this years. The Mass will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, at St. Augustine Cathedral.
           
7. Catholic Digest Seeks Heroes
 -- I pass on this request from Catholic Digest and encourage you to send in nominations from your parish or school.

Does someone you know deserve recognition? The deadline to nominate Catholic heroes is July 1! Please take a few minutes to send us a quick note about the person in your organization or parish (or even someone you've never met and only heard about) who deserves to be recognized.



Catholic heroes come in many forms. They may be medical researchers, overseas volunteers, lay missionaries, or environmental activists. They may be corporate leaders who demonstrate their faith in the values-oriented way they lead their companies. They may be reporters bringing to light issues of social justice in their communities, or artists, athletes, and entertainers who use their fame to send out important messages and support the less fortunate. They may be educational professionals whose unique visions have forever changed the lives of their students, schools, and communities. They may be scientists looking for ways to better care for the Earth and its people. They may be founders or leaders of local, regional, and national organizations that benefit the poor, sick, elderly, persecuted, or disabled. These are just a few examples.

We're counting on you to show us the breadth and depth of Catholic heroism alive among laypeople in America today! We will be gathering these stories over the next several weeks, so please send a quick note with your nominee's name, contact information, and why you think he or she should be honored (include press clippings or Web links, if possible). We will get back in touch with you once we finalize our list. If we choose your nominee, your organization and its connection to this hero will be mentioned. Please send an e-mail (tneal@bayard-inc.com) or give me a call if you prefer at 800-321-0411, ext. 181. Traci Neal , Catholic Digest, 1 Montauk Ave., Suite 200, New London, CT 06320 860.

8. "Official" Groundbreaking for Placita Project
-- We held the "official" groundbreaking last Friday for the Msgr. Carrillo Placita and Hall Project at St. Augustine Cathedral. It was "official" because this time, unlike the "unofficial" groundbreaking two weeks ago before demolition began, we had our official commemorative groundbreaking shovels.

Joining me for the groundbreaking, (below, left to right) were Dr. Tony Carrillo, chair of the project's committee, architect Jesus Castro, diocesan Property and Insurance Manager John Shaheen, Cathedral Rector Father Pat Crino and project committee member Albert Elias.





Planned in three phases, the renovation of the placita on the north side of the Cathedral will result in a beautiful plaza that will include a performance stage, ample room for booths for the Cathedral's annual fiesta, new restrooms and a covered patio. Tony told me that he hopes the first phase of the project will be completed in time for the Saturday, Sept. 8, Harmonia Fiesta Concert at the Tucson Convention Center. I am hoping for a great turnout from our parishes at the concert as we demonstrate our support for this project that will honor our beloved Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo, rector of the Cathedral for many years.

One other note from the groundbreaking: You never know what you might find when dig a hole in downtown Tucson. At the groundbreaking, Albert Elias (below) showed me a small bottle that was unearthed just this past week at the placita project construction site. Barely legible on the bottle are the words "Cahill's Bronze, Patented 1868." I don't know what the product was, but 1868 was the year the Vicariate Apostolic of Arizona was established. The bottle will be going into our Archives.



9. El Día de San Juan -- It is encouraging to see the development that is happening just west of the Santa Cruz River in Tucson. Yesterday, I was honored to bless the new plaza dedicated to John Paul Amparano, who died on May 22, 2005, at 23 years of age. The plaza is located in the historic Menlo Park area near downtown. There are some interesting plans for housing, a mercado and other new developments that respect the culture and ambience of our community.
 
Yesterday afternoon, I was delighted to participate in the El Día de San Juan festivities along the Santa Cruz River near downtown. The gathering included a procession, food booths and entertainment.

John Jacob had me ride in a red Mustang convertible along with five-year-old Alexa, who was the princess for the day. We followed a 1966 yellow truck that transported the statue of St. John that was placed at the site of the festival. After I blessed the water, people filed by the statue, flowers in hand, to bless themselves with the water.
 
The rest of the evening brought enjoyment listening to the Mariachi Brillante Juvenil and watching the Charros and Escaramuzas riders do some amazing maneuvers on horseback. I was pleased to see that St. Augustine Cathedral had a food booth for the fiesta. 

I am told that on the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist the community prays for rain. Regretfully, none came from my prayers yesterday, but don't lose heart, the monsoon rains will come. I was also told about the St. John's Day traditions of taking a bath, a reminder of the gift of water so needed for life, and getting a hair cut.
 
It is always fun when our community gathers. It is especially fun to see the little ones learning about some of our traditions and joining in. They will carry these customs on to their children.

10. A Summer Break -- I am going to take some time off over the next two weeks to do some traveling. I hope all of you will find time for rest and relaxation before the pace of activities picks up again in early August. Monday Memo will return on Aug. 8.

11. Please Remember in Your Prayers
-- Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Maria Cristina Lopez de Lara, C.F.M.M., who died last week. Sister's service in our Diocese began in Nogales in 1948 at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy.