May 3, 2004 May 10, 2004 May 17, 2004 May 24, 2004
Vol. 2, No. 7
May 3, 2004
'Tis the month of our Mother
The blessed and beautiful days,
When our lips and our spirits,
are glowing with love and with praise.
--'Tis The Month Of Our Mother, Marian Hymn
I would imagine that for many of us the month of May brings back some wonderful memories of childhood and our participation in the special traditions dedicated to Mary at our parishes or schools.
These traditions continue today, not just in memory, but in the lives of our children who are learning from their parents or teachers the same beautiful devotions and hymns to Mary that our parents and teachers taught us.
I invite you to take a few minutes right now to reflect on how Mary has been present in your life. I expect that you will be amazed at how deep and loving the impressions of Her presence have been.
The Mary Page (www.udayton.edu/mary), maintained by the Marian Library and International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton in Ohio, offers a wealth of resources about Our Blessed Mother.
For instance, did you know that the association of May with Mary began in the Middle Ages and that the May hawthorn, which bears white blossoms in early spring, became known as Mary's Flower of May?
Our parishes and schools and so many of our families make this month such a special time of devotion to Mary. Truly, generation after generation calls Her "Blessed!"
1. Season of Change -- Some of our wonderful friends and co-workers here at the Pastoral Center have shared with me in the past few weeks that they are making some significant changes in their lives that will involve leaving their work here to begin their retirement or to take other positions.
Because they are wonderful friends and co-workers, such news is both happy and sad. I could write pages about each of them, but because they are who they are that isn't necessary. So, here are the changes in their lives.
Joy Mitchell of our Human Resources Office is moving to Minnesota this summer as her husband begins his retirement. Thank you, Joy, for 23 years of dedicated service.
Maggie Burnett, managing editor of Catholic Vision, also is moving to Minnesota this summer. She will continue her journalistic career in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Thank you, Maggie, for making Catholic Vision a superior diocesan newspaper over your two years with us.
Jo Ann Sayre, Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools, is retiring this summer. Thank you, Jo Ann, for your more than two decades of service to Catholic education in our Diocese, five of which were as Assistant Superintendent.
Gracie Quiroz of the Development Services Office is changing positions here at the Pastoral Center. Gracie is becoming the new administrator of the Catholic Tuition Support Organization. Thank you, Gracie, for your more than two decades of service to the Annual Catholic Appeal.
As these good people leave, some of their positions are open.
We hope to have a decision soon on a new Benefits Administrator
The Catholic Vision managing editor position is open and advertised on our diocesan website, www.diocesetucson.org, under "Employment Opportunities."
Information on the position in the Development Services Office will be sent to parishes and schools and posted on our website soon.
Jean McKenzie is our new Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools and will begin her duties here at the Pastoral Center on Aug.1. Jean was principal at Our Mother of Sorrows School for seven years, assistant principal for seven years and a junior high teacher for six years.
We are hoping to have the position of Director of the Office of Formation filled this summer. We are expecting a decision on a new executive director of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson soon.
2. Changes in School Administration -- Several of our administrative personnel in our schools have been transferred or are following other pursuits.
After serving Immaculate Conception School for seven years as principal, Sister Theresa Feldkamp, OSF, has been transferred. The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity of Manitowoc are sending us Sister Joellen Kohlman, OSF, to serve as IC's new principal. We welcome Sister Joellen back to the diocese, as she served as principal of San Xavier Mission School several years ago.
Donna Gary, principal at Santa Cruz School for eight years, will be leaving at the end of this school year. Sister Leonette Kochan, OSF, will begin her duties as principal of Santa Cruz School during the summer months. Sister Leonette served Immaculate Conception School as principal from 1980-1987, and brings with her 22 years of administrative experience and 14 years of teaching experience. The past two years she has served as the Director of Education for her Community.
Joining us in the ministry of our Catholic schools is Robert Yarnell, the new principal of Our Mother of Sorrows School. Bob comes to us from Ohio with 18 years experience as a Catholic elementary school principal.
We give thanks to all those who are leaving after dedicating their time and expertise in our schools, and we welcome those who are joining us in our effort to continue offering quality education in our schools.
3. G-o-o-o-o-o-a-a-a-a-a-a-l-l-l-l-l! -- If you have ever heard that famous Mexican sports broadcaster announce a soccer goal, you know just how excited he sounds. Well, I am doing the same thing typographically.
We have made goal in this year's Annual Catholic Appeal!
The latest results, from last Friday, show $3,156,953 in pledges. This is so encouraging!
My heartfelt thanks to all in our parishes and to all our generous parishioners who made this achievement possible.
4. More Encouraging News -- "Thank You, Father!" is the annual collection we take up each December in our Diocese for our retired priests' pension fund. I am very happy to acknowledge that last December's collection for 28% higher than that of 2002.
I am very grateful to all who promoted this collection and to all who contributed to it. Their generosity of spirit and of resources is helping us to provide a retirement that reflects our appreciation for the faithfulness of the service of our priests. My special thanks to the parishes and our pastors who gave personal witness to their communities about the need to care adequately for our retired priests.
5. Congratulations -- Sister Rosa Marie Ruiz, CFMM, our Superintendent of Catholic Schools, is being honored with a prestigious award. Next month, Sister Rosa Maria will receive the "Circle of Excellence Award" from the Arizona North Central Association, which provides accreditation for schools. The award, the highest honor from Arizona NCA, is given to "those dedicated individuals who have been unceasing in their quest for continuous school improvement in NCA member schools." We are very proud of you, Sister!
Richard Serrano, our director of Human Resources, is the incoming president of the South Tucson Lions Club, one of the oldest in Tucson. The Club in donates approximately up $20,000 each year in support of sight preservation and diabetes education activities, primarily in the south side Tucson area.
6. Visit to Archdiocese of Portland -- I will be in Portland tomorrow and Wednesday for the Archdiocesan Priest and Deacon Convocation. I will be talking about priests and deacons working collaboratively. I can share that in our Diocese between and among our priests and deacons, there seems to be a good spirit and mutual appreciation and respect for each role.
7. Protecting Our Children -- I direct your attention to a new resource on our diocesan website that provides information about the updates to Arizona's Child Abuse Mandatory Reporting Law. Dr. Paul Duckro, director of our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection (OCAAP), has posted a summary of the changes, which can be accessed by clicking on the "Protecting Our Children" graphic and then on the word "Resources." There also is a link to the State Legislature website that provides the complete text of the updated law.
Our Sexual Misconduct Review Board meets this Thursday here at the Pastoral Center. I am grateful to the members of the Board for their continuing dedication to the safety and well-being of children, dedication that is evidenced in their oversight and guidance of OCAAP.
8. Priests' Day of Prayer -- The monthly mini-retreat for our priests is this Thursday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center at Picture Rocks.
9. Catholic Foundation Cornerstone Gala -- Two wonderful people who have given so much to our Diocese over the years are being honored at this year's Cornerstone Gala Dinner, which benefits the Foundation's Cornerstone Fund.
Esther Don Tang and Joel Valdez are the honorees, and it will be a joy to be with them this Friday evening at the Radisson City Center.
I invite you to join me at the dinner. Please contact Clara Moreno of the Foundation at 838-2507 to make your reservations.
10. Happy Mother's Day -- Sunday, of course, is the day we honor our mothers. They, like Mary, are a powerful presence and blessing in our lives. We thank God for all mothers.
American Catholic has some prayerful e-cards that you can send for free at http://www.catholicgreetings.org/Holiday/Mothersday.asp.
Vol. 2, No. 8
May 10, 2004
We are counting down with great anticipation to this coming Saturday and to the special Mass at which Santa Catalina Mission just north of Tucson becomes Santa Catalina Parish -- the 75th parish of the Diocese of Tucson!
It will be with great joy that I will share with the people of Santa Catalina Parish the decree that establishes their status as a parish. Sister Carole Ruland, M.S.H.S., who was been administrator of the mission, will become pastoral administrator.
Santa Catalina has been a mission of St. Odilia Parish the past two decades. With the fast pace of residential development on Tucson's far northwest side, it became very apparent that the area served by Santa Catalina was deserving of parish status.
The community of Faith that has built Santa Catalina Parish has much to celebrate this coming weekend. Father Richard Troutman and the St. Odilia Parish Community, along with our entire Diocese, have great joy in welcoming Santa Catalina Parish to the family of parishes in our Diocese of Tucson.
Parishes served by pastoral administrators also have a canonical pastor and sacramental ministers. Father Troutman remains canonical pastor for Santa Catalina Parish. I am grateful to the Redemptorists from the Renewal Center at Picture Rocks who help provide sacramental help for Santa Catalina.
The patroness of Santa Catalina Parish is St. Catherine of Siena, the great 14th century Doctor of the Church.
While the parish shares the name of the nearby mountains, history tells us that those mountains more than likely first were named "Santa Catarina" by Padre Kino in honor of Catherine of Alexandria. In popular usage over the years, "Catarina" became "Catalina." Catherine of Alexandria was removed from the Church calendar and suppressed from the cult of saints in 1969.
1. High School Graduation -- Thousands of our young Catholics in the Diocese of Tucson will be taking the big first step into their adult lives over the next few weekends as they mark the rite of passage that is symbolized by high school graduation.
Among them will be 440 seniors from our Catholic high schools in the Diocese.
It is a historic graduation for Yuma Catholic High School: the first graduation! Of the 64 seniors, 62 will be going on to college.
The fifty-first graduating class of Salpointe Catholic High School numbers 330, and 98% of them will be going on to higher education.
Immaculate Heart High School is graduating 25, 24 of whom will be going to college.
Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales is graduating 21, 98% of whom are going to college.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!
I will be presiding at the Baccalaureate Masses for each of the schools, and how I look forward to a few years from now to the graduation of the first senior classes of St. Augustine Catholic High School and San Miguel Catholic High School.
I do want to acknowledge the recognition that some of our Catholic high school graduates in the southeastern corner of the Diocese have received from The Arizona Daily Star. One senior from Lourdes, two from Immaculate Heart and 37 from Salpointe were among the 1,000 public and private high school seniors honored as the newspaper's Senior Class Achievers for 2004. MariaLinda Torres Medina of Salpointe was one of five Senior Class Achievers to receive a scholarship from the newspaper and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.
I am sure that many of the young people in public schools recognized by The Star are members of our parishes. We applaud their efforts and accomplishments as well.
2. More Winners -- I will be with the members of Serra Club International of Tucson today for the club's annual essay contest awards luncheon. This year's essay theme was "Why I am proud to be a Catholic," and I am very proud to say that 535 students from nine of our Catholic schools and parishes wrote essays for this year's contest. That meant a lot of reading for the judges!
The first-place grade division winners were: Kevin Mistler, Our Mother of Sorrows, fourth - sixth grade; Michael Hernandez, Immaculate Heart, seventh - eighth grade; and Alfonso Sicre, Lourdes High School, ninth - twelfth grade.
My thanks to the members of Serra Club for their dedication to this annual contest. I look forward to hearing the first place essays read by their authors at the luncheon.
The Serra Club will be celebrating some other winners on Wednesday as the club hosts its annual golf tournament and awards dinner for the benefit of vocations in our Diocese.
3. In the Classroom -- I am going back to college tonight, to Pima Community College's West Campus, where I will be a guest lecturer for a sociology class. My topic is "Religion in Society."
I very much appreciate the invitation to give the lecture, and I am looking forward to the give and take of ideas in exchange with young and searching minds.
Our community colleges throughout the Diocese have a critical role in providing opportunities for higher education. Our campus ministers also are critical to providing the presence of our Faith to students, and I am grateful for all they do.
4. Meetings -- The Board of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries meets tomorrow morning at Our Lady of the Desert, All Faiths Memorial Park. The Board of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson meets at noon tomorrow here at the Pastoral Center.
5. Acknowledgement and Congratulations -- Isidro Lopez, who serves on our diocesan Cursillo Task Force, has been appointed chairperson of the Legislative Council of the Tohono o'Odham Nation by the Tribal Council.
Isidro is a person of great faith and commitment who will bring his love and care for his people to his new position.
6. Knights of Columbus State Convention -- Knights of Columbus from across Arizona will gather in Tucson this Friday for their annual convention. I am very honored to preside at the convention's opening Mass. I know this will be a very important and happy occasion for our Tucson-area Knights, including State Deputy Pedro Najera. There are 116 Councils in Arizona, with nearly 12,000 members.
7. Employment Opportunities -- Please encourage those you know who have experience in journalism or fundraising to explore the possibility of employment with the Diocese.
The position of Administrative Coordinator in our Stewardship and Development Services Department is now open. A position description is available on our diocesan website under "Employment Opportunities."
The position description for Managing Editor of Catholic Vision also is posted on our website, again under "Employment Opportunities."
8. Restoring Trust -- Charlotte Harris, vice-chair of our diocesan Sexual Misconduct Review Board and Dr. Paul Duckro, director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, attended a focus group on review boards sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last week in Washington.
Review boards are required by the Bishops' 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and have been formed in every arch/diocese and eparchy since that time. In each diocese, the model for the review board has taken its own unique shape.
The purpose of last week's focus group was to bring together representatives from the review boards and diocesan staff serving the board to compare models of operation, discuss what is working well and determine those areas in which the USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection might provide consultative assistance.
I am pleased that our Diocese was asked to participate in this conference. It is an affirmation of all that has been accomplished by the efforts of Dr. Jose Santiago, Charlotte and all the members of the Board.
It was an excellent opportunity to reflect and share on the successes and the possibilities for improvement in the work of this dedicated and hard-working Board, created now almost two years ago. I thank them very much for all they have done to help me in the work of restoring trust in the Diocese of Tucson.
9. New Resource on Child Sexual Abuse -- The USCCB website (www.usccb.org) features a new resource on child sexual abuse.
The resource is authored by the John Jay College Research Team that produced last February's study of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the U.S. over a 50 year period.
Entitled "Child Sexual Abuse: A Review of the Literature," this resource is a comprehensive compilation and review of the literature and information pertaining to the theories, typologies and treatments associated with child sexual abuse.
The introduction notes that while one aim of the review is to put into perspective the problem of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as compared to its occurrence in other institutions and organizations, there is little or no empirical data pertaining to the true prevalence of sexual abuse within most other organizations.
This new resource may be of more use to professionals, but I believe its Internet publication by the USCCB indicates the on-going commitment by the U.S. Bishops sharing information and encouraging dialogue about the societal problem of child abuse.
10. Dialogue on Restoring Trust -- The dialogue with membership of the Tucson-area Voice of the Faithful and Laity Involved in Catholic Affairs continues this week. The discussion will be about the importance of transparency in financial matters. I believe our Diocese is doing as much as possible to be transparent, including publishing in Catholic Vision an annual financial report and the publishing on our diocesan website of our annual audited financial statements. We need to remain open to feedback on what we can do to be even more effective in the transparent communication of financial matters.
11. Reachout Pregnancy Counseling Agency -- I had a very informative meeting last week with representatives of this Tucson-based agency whose mission is to provide loving support and education for women in a crisis pregnancy or following the experience of an abortion.
Reachout provides a variety of services, including adoption information and referrals, pre-natal counseling and guidance and counseling with parents, boyfriend or husband.
I first became acquainted with Reachout last year when I participated in the ecumenical prayer and blessing ceremony for the agency's second Tucson office.
Reachout and its dedicated staff and volunteers provide critically important options for women in our community. For more information about Reachout and how you can become involved, please contact executive director Shirley Marquis at 321-4300 or visit the Reachout webiste at www.reachoutforlife.org.
12. "Come Home!" Revisited -- I am very grateful to Father Roland Bedard, M.S., who is taking the initiative to hold a monthly day of prayer for Catholics who are not practicing their faith because of anger or alienation. This day of prayer is being held at Our Lady of La Salette Mission near Double Adobe-McNeal in Cochise County. Father Andrews Kollannoor, M.S., is sharing in this ministry with Father Roland.
Father Roland tells me the idea for this monthly day of prayer was inspired by our diocesan "Come Home!" Lenten theme. One of my hopes for us as a Diocese is that we will be a welcoming and hospitable church, especially to those who are no longer practicing their faith. This prayer day is a reminder for all of us to continue to reach out to those who feel distanced from the Church.
Vol. 2, No. 9
May 17, 2004
Over the weekend, I had the joy of participating in high school graduation ceremonies at Immaculate Heart, Lourdes and Salpointe. This Saturday, I will celebrate a Liturgy for the first graduates of Yuma Catholic High School. (Congratulations to Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe and the Board of Yuma Catholic High School in realizing their dream.)
The graduates of our Catholic Schools are part of a long and distinguished group of alumni who are involved in so many leadership roles in our community. As I travel around our Diocese I meet many alumni of our Catholic High Schools who are using their gifts and talents in the service of others. They are an impressive group. They give me great hope for the future of our Diocese and our community.
Also over the weekend, as I instituted our newest parish, Santa Catalina, I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the community there. They have a great love of the Church and a zeal to get involved in the mission of Christ. I heard so many compliments for what Sister Carole Ruland, MHSH, is doing to serve this community. People are grateful to the priests who assist there and who help with sacramental responsibilities.
Weekends like this past one strengthen my spirit and make me so proud to be the bishop here.
1. Ad Limina Visit -- I will be at the Vatican two weeks from today with the bishops of Region 13 for our Ad Limina visit.
The Ad Limina is a centuries old tradition that takes its name from the Latin phrase "ad limina apostolorum" which denotes the ancient Christian practice of making a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul in Rome.
In modern times, the Ad Limina for diocesan bishops is required every five years. It includes visiting the tombs of the apostles and meeting privately with the Holy Father.
In addition to reporting directly to the Holy Father on the condition of his diocese, a bishop provides in-depth information to the various offices of the Vatican on a wide range of spiritual, cultural, economic and sociological matters.
This will be my first Ad Limina as Bishop of Tucson. As an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Chicago, I participated in the Ad Limina five years ago with Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago.
Region 13 consists of the Archdioceses of Santa Fe and Denver and the Dioceses of Tucson, Phoenix, Gallup, Las Cruces, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Salt Lake City and Cheyenne.
I will have more in next week's memo about the Ad Limina.
2. New Vicars Forane -- Our Diocese is divided into 11 geographical pastoral areas called vicariates. Each of the vicariates is named after the county of its location.
In the model suggested by canon law, each of these vicariates has a Vicar Forane. The priests of a vicariate nominate one of their brothers for the position, and the bishop appoints the priest for a five year term. In our Diocese, each of the Vicars Forane is a member of the Presbyteral Council and the Priests Personnel Board.
The principal roles of the Vicar Forane are to serve as the "eyes and ears" of the bishop in the vicariate and to facilitate consensus and collaboration among the clergy, pastoral ministers and parishes of the vicariate.
I am pleased to announce that Father Bob Brazaskas, pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in Pearce, is the new Vicar Forane for the Cochise Vicariate. Father Bob replaces Father Ray Ratzenberger, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson. I thank Father Ray for his ten years of dedicated service.
Also, I am pleased to announce that Father Joe Lombardo, pastor of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley, is the new Vicar Forane for the Santa Cruz Vicariate, replacing Father Marcos Valesquez. I thank Father Marcos for his five years of dedicated service in that capacity.
3. Priests Assurance Association -- The Priests Assurance Association (PAA) is the organization that represents all of our diocesan priests in the important matters of retirement and health benefits. The PAA board is responsible for direction and oversight of the organization and its services. The directors of the PAA are nominated by their brother priests and appointed by the bishop.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Msgr. Bob Fuller, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson, to another three-year term on the PAA board. Msgr. Bob has been a passionate and effective supporter of improved retirement benefits for our diocesan priests.
4. New Pastor at St. Cyril of Alexandria -- I am very pleased to announce that Father Gil Martinez, CSP, is the new pastor of St. Cyril Parish. I thank Father Jim McCauley, CSP, for his dedicated service to the St. Cyril Parish Community these past three years. Our Diocese is grateful to the Paulists for their continuing commitment to St. Cyril Parish.
5. Restoring Trust Dialogue -- I am grateful to representatives of the Voice of the Faithful and Laity Involved in Church Affairs for the meeting they initiated last week to discuss questions and ideas about the finances of the Diocese.
They came not only with their faithful dedication to our Church, but they also came with a rich depth of experience and understanding of financial matters.
The members of VOTF and LICA presented a number of insightful and helpful questions, concerns and suggestions. The discussion was constructive and resulted in areas of proposed actions or activities by the Diocese, the purposes of which are to promote clarity, openness and transparency.
Among the ideas to be explored is the establishment of an annual meeting of the Pastoral Council and Finance Council that would include representatives of pastoral and finance councils from the parishes. The purpose of this annual meeting would be to report on the "State of the Diocese." Such a meeting could be an effective platform for enhancing communication between the people of our Diocese. and their bishop.
In addition, it was agreed that the next annual financial report published in Catholic Vision will include a two year comparative. An increased effort will be made to clarify for parishioners the nature and amount of the parish assessment that is paid by the parishes to the Diocese for the services they receive and how those funds are used by the Diocese.
Finally, the two groups appreciated clarification of two financial relationships that sometimes have been a cause of confusion. They learned that the parish monies on deposit with the Diocese belong to the parishes and are not part of the assets of the Diocese. Likewise, they learned that the funds on deposit with the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson for parishes and schools, as well as diocesan endowments with the Foundation, are not part of the assets of the Diocese.
6. Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries -- I am very grateful to Arnold Elias for his service this past year and a half as director of our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries. Arnold announced his resignation earlier this month. Arnold has helped to advance and enhance the ministry of our cemeteries, and I have been very encouraged by the positive feedback from our families on the appearance of Holy Hope and Our Lady of the Desert/All Faiths Memorial Park. The board of our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries has begun the process of looking for a new director.
7. New Principal for St. Augustine -- Tyler Bangert is the new principal of St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson. I am honored to be introducing Tyler to parents of the high school this Thursday evening.
Tyler's selection as principal came after an extensive interview processes. A principal at a Catholic high school for eight years, he brings a rich experience in collaborative leadership.
The St. Augustine High School community and I are very grateful to Dr. Pat DiPasquale for serving as interim principal these last few months following the resignation of Sister Lauren Moss, O.S.F., for reasons of health. Please continue to pray for Sister Lauren as she very faithfully faces this challenge in her life of service to God.
8. Image and Likeness of Our Catholic Schools -- I want to share with you a portion of a letter from Bob Yarnell, the new principal at Our Mother of Sorrows School in Tucson, that was printed in a recent parish bulletin.
Bob was writing to the parish and school communities about his experience in visiting the school, and I think one paragraph in his letter sums up the image and likeness of all our Catholic schools throughout the Diocese.
Bob wrote, "The genuine respect students showed one another, their concentration and focus in the classrooms and their friendly courtesy extended to adults revealed a true Catholic school atmosphere. The staff and faculty, busy with their daily responsibilities, revealed learning was the purpose of the day. They were committed, caring and professional."
Thank you, Bob, for your observations.
9. Diaconate and Lay Ministry Formation Program -- The second of three orientation sessions for the more than 90 participants from 28 parishes in our Diaconate and Lay Ministry Formation Program was held Saturday at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Tucson.
The theme for the day was "People Who Value and Respect Diversity in Culture." Sister Carol Thresher, SDS, was lead presenter. Sister Kathleen Kluthe, S.S.S.F., Sister Jane Eschweiler, S.D.S., Margaret Lordon of the Office of Formation, and Deacon Bob Sadorf provided additional input for the day as members of the program's planning and curriculum team.
The orientation sessions have the goal of acquainting the deacon candidates and their wives and the lay ministry candidates with the four-year formation program and its expectations. The program formally beings in the fall.
10. Ministers of Care Mass -- I will be celebrating Mass on Wednesday with the volunteers who work with Father Angelo Mastria, O.Carm., and Sister Carolyn Nicolai, F.S.P., in the extensive nursing home ministry they do throughout the Tucson area. These volunteers bring our love and care to those who oftentimes have no one to visit or spend time with them. We are all grateful for their service.
11. This Week's Meetings -- Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, tomorrow at St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish. I look forward to meeting with the members of this commission. They have held a number of events that have given witness to the religious voice in our community.
Catholic Vision Editorial Board, tomorrow here at the Pastoral Center. One important agenda item will be the search process for a new managing editor.
Diocesan School Board, Thursday, here at the Pastoral Center.
Reception and lunch for members of the Arizona Ecumenical Commission, Thursday, here at the Pastoral Center. This commission, under the direction of Rev. Jan Flaaten, brings different denominations together to address important issues in our State so that we can respond as people of faith to the challenges of our society.
Arizona Catholic Conference, Friday, at the Diocese of Phoenix Pastoral Center. The ACC is the public policy agency for the Diocese of Gallup, the Diocese of Phoenix and the Diocese of Tucson. It brings the church's voice to legislation and social policy. Its members includes the bishops of the three dioceses and appointees of the bishops.
ACC executive director Ron Johnson works at the State Capitol, representing the voice of the bishops on the important deliberations of the legislature and the Governor's Office. As you can imagine, there are a number of issues each year that the Church needs to speak about.
Since Bishop Olmsted and I are relative newcomers to the ACC, we will spend time at this meeting considering new membership and in discussing when and how the bishops represented by the ACC will speak together on important legislative issues.
Our Diocesan Pastoral Council meets Saturday here at the Pastoral Center.
Vol. 2, No. 10
May 24, 2004
School is out, the Saturday schedules of our parishes are full of weddings and some parts of our Diocese already have had their first 100 degree day -- we must be on the verge of summer!
It seems just as the pace of some activities shows the first signs of slowing for the summer break, the pace of other activities in the life of our Diocese starts to accelerate, such as completing the budget process for the next fiscal year and completing the planning process on setting and meeting goals and objectives.
We experience that here at the Pastoral Center too. For example, the budget process of the Administrative Offices is at full speed. Our budget committee at has completed its round of meetings with department heads and has prepared its preliminary report for tomorrow's meeting of the Finance Council.
Considering the pressures that our Diocese faces from the number of pending civil suits and the uncertainty as to the possibilities of other suits, budgeting for the Administrative Offices for this next fiscal year is going to be daunting.
The department heads of the administrative and ministry activities were asked to prepare their budgets with two realities in mind: the reality of the precarious and uncertain financial future because of the suits and the reality of the growing demands and needs for services to our parishes and schools.
There is a third reality that comes into play in the midst of all the concern and uncertainty. That reality is that our mission as a Church will not stop and will not be stopped here in the Diocese of Tucson.
The enthusiastic response of the Catholic people to the Annual Catholic Appeal makes clear that we have made progress in restoring trust and that the Catholic people want the Diocese to continue the mission of the Church.
1. Political Activity at Churches -- Today's meeting of the Presbyteral Council is the last before the summer break, and we have a busy agenda that includes the subject of political activity at churches: what is appropriate and legal and what isn't. This obviously is a very important subject during this election year.
The U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops has an excellent resource that I urge all in the administration of our parishes and schools to read.
"Political Activity Guidelines for Catholic Organizations" is available at the USCCB website at www.nccbuscc.org/ogl/guidelines.htm#16. If your parish or school cannot access this resource on the Internet, please inform the Chancellor's Office and we will try to provide a copy.
The guidelines are comprehensive and clearly written. They cover a wide range of topics, from bumper stickers to voter guides.
Even with this helpful resource, I ask that our parishes seek clarification of the appropriateness and legality of any type of political activity at the parish or by the parish before the activity takes place. Please contact the Chancellor's Office with your specific situation or question and we will seek clarification and guidance for you.
I have been approached by some in the Diocese and elsewhere in the last few weeks about whether I support withholding Communion for Catholic politicians who vote for pro-abortion legislation or hold views contrary to the teachings of the Church. Some have even said that Communion should be withheld from Catholics who vote for pro-abortion candidates.
I am participating in a committee of the USCCB chaired by Cardinal McCarrick that is seeking to discuss the complex issues with regard to the participation of Catholics in political life, including reception of the sacraments, in the cases of those whose political advocacy is in direct contradiction to Church teaching.
These issues were raised in connection with and in the context of the recent instruction from the Vatican on the Eucharist and liturgy entitled Redemptionis Sacramentum. It is important to note that the instruction itself took no stand on the use of the Eucharist as a sanction.
At this point, I do not believe that such a sanction is the best strategy. The Church's teaching on right to life is unambiguous and clear. It does need to be preached and proclaimed.
However, the challenge for us is how to influence others about this sound teaching. I want to do whatever possible to engage our Catholic politicians and others in ways that positively and effectively influence their approach on these critical issues.
2. Pastoral Appointments and Changes -- Also at today's Presbyteral Council meeting, the vicars forane and I will complete work on the upcoming pastoral appointments and changes.
Please look for announcement of the appointments and changes in the June issue of Catholic Vision, which will be distributed to parishes for the first weekend of June.
3. Yuma Catholic High School -- I was very happy to celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass on Saturday with the first graduating class of Yuma Catholic High School. The families, friends and teachers of the 64 members of the YCHS class of 2003 filled Immaculate Conception Church.
It was a very joyful liturgy for the grads and their parents, as it was for myself, Bishop Moreno, Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, CFMM, and the Board of Yuma Catholic High School.
4. "Amen Sunday" -- I greatly appreciate the extraordinary cooperation of our parishes in the promotion of "Amen Sunday!" for the grand finale of our Annual Catholic Appeal. As you know, this is the second year we are concluding the Appeal with the special encouragement of "Amen Sunday."
Tom Smith of our Development Services Office tells me the parishes that have held their "Amen Sunday" the past few weekends have had overwhelming support from parishioners. Several more parishes will be holding their "Amen Sunday!" on coming weekends.
5. Changes at UA Newman Center -- Father Michael Fones, O.P., pastor-director of the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona, has informed me that the Dominicans have asked him to become co-director of the Catherine of Siena Institute (www.siena.org), a program of the Western Dominican Province dedicated to helping parishes be transformed into centers of formation for laity.
I asked Father Michael to share through Monday Memo some of the particulars of this change in his ministry:
"My job will include giving workshops on the Vatican II teaching on the laity, training laity, religious and other clergy to help Catholics discern their charisms, writing and developing new resources for the Institute.
"I will remain in residence at the Newman Center, because as my co-director at the Institute put it, 'the only requirement regarding your residence is that you live close to an airport.' My work will take me to many different parishes around the U.S. and Canada. This fall I will be spending several weeks in Australia, helping to establish a branch of the Institute on that continent.
"My replacement is Fr. Bartholomew Hutcherson, O.P., a delightful young priest with campus ministry experience at the University of Washington, University of Nevada - Las Vegas and the University of Utah. He is currently the socius to our Provincial and has been involved in administration for our Province for the last 18 months. He's excited about moving to Tucson and reentering a ministry that he loves.
"I've enjoyed my year at the UA Newman Center. I am grateful for the wonderful support of Bishop Kicanas, as well as the support of our Sustaining Board and Newman Foundation. I have been particularly blessed to work with a fine staff, and I'll especially miss the close collaboration with Fr. Daniel Rolland, O.P. and Sr. Diane Bridenbecker, O.P.
Thank you, Father Michael, for your service to the Newman Center this past year. I'm glad that your headquarters for your new position is right here in Tucson. We look forward to welcoming Father Bartholomew.
6. "Just Coffee" -- Several of our Tucson-area parishes are participating in a unique new marketing effort that provides coffee lovers the chance to get their caffeine with a shot of "conscience."
The effort is called "Just Coffee," which is a coffee grower cooperative based in, Chiapas, Mexico, with facilities Agua Prieta, Sonora, and in Douglas. The idea behind "Just Coffee," according to its developers, is to address one of the root causes of labor migration from Mexico into the U.S.
Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Pius X and St. Francis de Sales parishes are sponsoring the sales of coffee beans provided by "Just Coffee." They said it really is tasty coffee. St. Francis de Sales Parish uses the 75 cents it gets from each bag sold to buy juice for its services to the homeless.
You can learn more about "Just Coffee" and how to be a part of their effort by visiting www.justcoffee.org.
7. Welcome -- We welcome a new member to our Pastoral Center team this week. She is Alicia Corti, who will become Benefits Administrator in the Human Resources Department. Alicia will understudy with Joy Mitchell for a few weeks as Joy continues her countdown to departure for Minnesota. Alicia brings great experience in corporate and non-profit organization human resources to her new position with the Administrative Offices of the Diocese.
8. Employment Opportunities -- Our diocesan website features a posting of open positions within the administrative and program offices of the Diocese, parishes, schools and affiliated corporations. Just click on the homepage graphic for "Employment Opportunities."
There are three positions posted at this time: Managing Editor of Catholic Vision; Administrative Coordinator in Stewardship and Development; and Director of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries.
Please encourage anyone you know who may have the skills and qualifications for those positions to check out the website postings.
9. Your Prayers -- Please remember in your prayers and ask the comfort and consolation of Our Lord for:
Brother Nick Gonzales, F.S.C., of San Miguel High School and his family following the death last week of Brother Nick's father, Ignacio.
Deacon Miguel Lopez and his family following the death last week of Deacon Miguel's mother, Oralia.
10. To Washington and to Rome -- I will be leaving for Washington, D.C., tomorrow for a meeting of the Communications Committee of the USCCB. I am pleased that Fred Allison, our Community Relations director, will be able to join me at this meeting as one of the committee's consultants from diocesan and Church communication agencies.
I am chairman of the committee, and the agenda for this meeting reflects the wide range of Church communication activities, concerns and issues, including rating systems for commercial television, radio and television projects of the USCCB and Church relations with the secular news media.
We are very honored to have Archbishop John P. Foley, president of Pontifical Council of Social Communication, as a special guest and presenter at this meeting.
I will depart from Washington later this week for Rome, where I will be joining the bishops of Region 13 for the ad limina visit, which includes a meeting with the Holy Father and discussions with the various congregations.
I especially am looking forward to telling the Holy Father of the special place that he has in the hearts of all the people of the Diocese of Tucson. I also will express to the Holy Father my gratitude to him for appointing me Bishop of Tucson.
While on the ad limina visit, I am anticipating being with the members of the diocesan pilgrimage to the holy places in Italy, Spain and France. Father Frank Cady is the spiritual director of the pilgrimage, which has been arranged by Deacon George and Maria Rodriguez.
If time allows and e-mail is available (and I am assured it will be), I am going to try to send a daily summary of the visit back to you for posting on a special page on our diocesan website. Just click on the graphic of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica on the homepage to access this special page. (Already on that page are links to information about the history and tradition of the ad limina.)
If you live in the viewing area of KVOA, Channel 4, you can look for reports on the ad limina visit and the diocesan pilgrimage on Eyewitness News beginning June 2. Reporter Peter Busch, who is a graduate of Salpointe, and photojournalist Keith Benbenek will be reporting from Rome.
Monday Memo of next Monday will consist of my ad limina visit's journal entry. I am looking forward to being your Vatican correspondent!