Oct. 6, 2003 Oct. 13, 2003 Oct. 20, 2003 Oct. 27, 2003
Vol. 1, No. 26
October 6, 2003
With the changing of the seasons from summer to fall, the pace of activities at our parishes, schools and at the Diocese picks up considerably.
This month certainly is full with a number of important events.
1. Holy Father's Anniversary of Election -- The Church around the world will celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pope John Paul II's election as Pontiff on Thursday, Oct. 16.
Here in the Diocese of Tucson, we will observe that day with a special Eucharistic Celebration in honor of the Holy Father. This Mass will be at noon at St. Augustine Cathedral.
I am sending out a special announcement to all parishes and schools to invite all to be present.
It would be wonderful to have representation at this Mass from as many parishes and schools as possible.
For an excellent review and analysis of the 25 years of the Holy Father's pontificate, I recommend that you read the front page story about the Holy Father in this month's Catholic Vision.
There has been a flurry of news reports the last week or so about the Holy Father's health, and those close to him have urged our prayers.
2. Conclusion of the Year of the Rosary -- Last October, the Holy Father proclaimed a Year of the Rosary. The year concludes this month with special spiritual opportunities here in the Diocese and around the world.
Many of our parishes will celebrate tomorrow, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, with special prayer opportunities and liturgies.
During these past twelve months, we have seen the growth of a new devotional movement focused on the Rosary, the Journey for Peace.
Forty of our parishes have been taking part in this journey. Parishioners have been praying the Rosary and the prayer for peace each evening in the special prayer corners they established in their homes. A statue of Mary has traveled from family to family within the parishes, offering an occasion for the families to recite the Rosary, including the Mysteries of Light that the Holy Father introduced to being the year.
All across the Diocese, people have been praying. Journey for Peace has reminded us that despite the daunting geographic extent of our Diocese that we are one community in faith, joined together in Christ.
We will gather at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, Oct. 26, at noon to end of the Year of the Rosary with a special Eucharistic Celebration. I encourage all our parishes, schools and the various societies and ecclesial movements to send representatives.
I express my thanks to Carmen and Rafael Portela and Miguel and Patricia Borunda for all the work they have accomplished this past year as the leaders of Journey for Peace.
3. Priests Retreat -- The priests of the Diocese are gathering for their annual retreat over the next two weeks at Picture Rocks near Tucson. The tradition in our Diocese for years has been to hold two one-week retreats, with half of the presbyterate attending each session.
This will be my first retreat with the priests of the Diocese as their bishop. This makes the retreat very special for me. In addition, I will be preaching the retreat; that is, leading it. While I have preached retreats often in the past, I have never preached a retreat to priests I work with and relate to on a daily basis. This presents both some excitement and trepidation.
You can read in my column in this month's Catholic Vision my thoughts about and my hopes for the retreat, and I ask you now, as I ask all readers of the column, to pray this week and next for our priests and for me that this time will bring us into a closer relationship with Christ and with one another.
4. J for J ‘03 -- Our annual gathering to recognize our young people in ministries (altar servers, music, lectors and so on) will be this weekend at St. Ambrose Parish.
J for J '03 is short for "Jammin' for Jesus." The jamming will come from a new rock ‘n roll group whose members are some of our musically talented priests, deacons, religious women and men and laity.
Call Father Miguel Mariano or Marty Hammond in our Vocations Office if you want to send some of your young ministers to a day of fun, good barbecue and music.
I thank the Catholic Daughters of America, the Knights of Columbus, the Sacred Heart Prayer Group and the Serra Club of Tucson for sponsoring this second annual event.
5. Vocations -- The first gathering of our new vocations discernment group, In Search, was very enjoyable. Twelve (now that's a good number) men who want to explore the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood met with myself and Father Miguel for supper, for sharing and discussion and for planning activities, including a community service project for this month.
If you know of someone you think might be interested in joining In Search, please ask them to contact Father Miguel at the Vocations Office.
We had great time at last week's Andrew and Myriam Dinner at St. James Parish in Coolidge with 32 young people from St. James, St. Helen in Eloy, St. Anthony in Casa Grande and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Florence.
What a turn out! The response of the young people shows how much our youth really want to use the gifts the Lord has given them, and to use them as participants, not just onlookers, in the life of the Church. I appreciate the hard work of all in the vicariate to make this evening a success.
6. Respect Life Month -- One of the special events in our Diocese as part of the observance of October as Respect Life Month will be this weekend's Holy Family Conference at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson.
Sponsored by the St. Bernadette Soubirous Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith, the Southern Arizona Life Team (SALT) and Arizona Right to Life, the conference is an inspirational pro-family and pro-life forum featuring guest speakers, roundtable discussions, prayer, celebration of the Mass and fellowship of those who care deeply about the sanctity of life. I am honored to be one of the guest speakers.
More information about the conference is available at http://cuftucson.org.
I do want to acknowledge and thank all who so tirelessly work and minister in our Diocese in the cause of life. In the face of what the Holy Father has called the "culture of death," they call us to prayer and action in defense of the unborn, the terminally ill and those facing state sanctioned death because of capital punishment.
The efforts of our Church and our Diocese across the range of issues that are pro-life would not be possible without the leadership of our laity.
7. In Memoriam -- A life of generosity and dedication to Church and community was celebrated this past weekend by the friends and family of Ora Deconcini-Martin, who died Sept. 27. The Rite of Christian burial was celebrated last Saturday at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Tucson.
A wife and mother in a family distinguished for service, Ora cared deeply for families and children, as evidenced by her support of many community and Church organizations.
I gratefully acknowledge her generosity in giving of her time, her talents and her resources in support of the Diocese. She was a former board member of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson.
8. Parish Beat -- I will be celebrating this coming Sunday with the people of St. Theresa Parish in Patagonia the commissioning of Sister Guadalupe Jurado, O.P., as parish administrator. Sister Guadalupe becomes the third religious woman to administer a parish or mission in our Diocese, joining Sister Carole Ruland, M.H.S.H., of Santa Catalina Mission and Sister Maria Cañez of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Mammoth.
9. Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem -- The Western Lieutenancy of the Order gathered in Las Vegas this last weekend. Members of the "Knights and Ladies" from our Diocese were led by Jim and Chris Ronstadt, who now serve the Order in our Diocese as counselors.
In addition to their devotion to the primary goals of the Order, the preservation of Christian sites in the Holy Land and support for charitable works in the Holy Land, members of the order also give generously of themselves to their local Churches.
There is a wealth of information about the history and traditions of the Order at http://www.holysepulchre.net.
10. Communicating Our Common Commitment -- We are in the process of extending our communication regarding our new policies and procedures for the protection of children.
I hope all of you in administrative and ministry positions have now or will have in the near future, through our various in-service events, a good understanding of what steps we are taking to build safe and loving environments for children.
We feel we need to do more to communicate what we are doing to the persons in the pew, especially those who are our volunteers or prospective volunteers.
Over the next month or so, we will be communicating through special notices for parish bulletins and in Catholic Vision exactly what our efforts are, why we have such requirements as criminal history and reference checks, and who exactly needs to undergo background screening.
We also will be communicating the importance of the compliance representative, that person at every parish and school who will monitor the implementation and continued application of all aspects of our safe environment policies and procedures. The compliance representatives from all our parishes and schools will be meeting this Saturday at the Pastoral Center for training with Richard Serrano, Human Resources Director, and Dr. Paul Duckro of the Office for Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection.
Your cooperation in helping us communicate the "who, what, when, where, why and how" of our new policies and procedures is greatly appreciated.
11. Pastoral Center Welcome -- Our welcoming event a week ago today here at the Pastoral Center was greatly enjoyed by all of us and, I believe, the new staff of parishes and schools who were able to join us.
After liturgy and a tasty lunch from a sandwich and salad buffet, the 26 new staff members gathered with me and some of our department heads in the Chapel.
We each introduced ourselves, and what a pleasure it was to learn of the varied backgrounds of those who are either new to ministry or new to ministry in our Diocese.
I thanked them for joining the mission of the Diocese and for the inspiration their energy and enthusiasm will bring to their workplaces.
My thanks to all here at the Pastoral Center who made this day so enjoyable and worthwhile, especially Chancellor June Kellen, Joy Mitchell and their co-workers on the planning committee.
12. One of Us at 111 S. Church -- This special feature of the weekly memo allows our staff here at the Pastoral Center to share a bit about who they are and what brought them to the Diocese. This week, Berlinda Parra of our Fiscal Services Department is the "One of Us" profile.
"I have been an employee of the Diocese since December of 1998. I applied for my position as Fiscal and Parish Operations Liaison because of a single line in the job notice posting which read, 'Assist with special assignments and projects.' This intrigued me because I like challenge and variety in my job assignments. It sounded like a perfect fit for me.
"Today, I can honestly say that, much to my pleasure, my role within the Fiscal Department and as a Pastoral Center staff member has been filled with many challenges and a wide variety of projects. And, of course, there are those daily and monthly assigned responsibilities, some of which allow me the opportunity to talk to other Diocesan employees and volunteers from various groups and organizations.
"My career of 21 years as a banker does not compare to the past five years as an employee of the Diocese. The staffs of parishes constantly inspire me with their loyalty and dedication to their pastors and parishes. I am also inspired by the spirituality of my co-workers here at the Pastoral Center. This experience has been such a blessing.
"My husband and I have a son, daughter and son-in-law. We married in 1979 at our parish, St. Monica. Our celebrant and pastor at that time was Father Van Wagner, our current Vicar General!"
Vol. 1, No. 27
October 13, 2003
The week ahead includes four significant observances, and for each we will gather in celebration of the Eucharist. All are welcome to join us!
1. Holy Father's Anniversary This Thursday, our Diocese will observe the 25th anniversary of the election of Karol Józef Wojtyla to the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church.
The bells of St. Augustine Cathedral will ring out joyfully in downtown Tucson to invite all to our Mass of Celebration at noon.
This is a celebration of one person's love of God, love that has had its expression in service to millions of people through 57 years of priesthood, 25 of which have been as "Vicar of Christ upon Earth."
"The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity of both the bishops and of the faithful." Lumen Gentium, 23
I recently learned from the Vatican's Website that in the two millennia of the papacy, no other pope has encountered so many persons. To date, more than 16,700,000 pilgrims have participated in the Holy Father's more than 1,000 general audiences held on Wednesdays. You could add to that number all the persons at all other special audiences and religious ceremonies (more than 8 million pilgrims during the Great Jubilee Year of 2000) and the millions the Holy Father has encountered during his 25 years of papal visits.
Again, I invite you to celebrate the 25 years of Pope John Paul II's pontificate at our special noon Mass this Thursday at St. Augustine Cathedral.
2. The Red Mass We celebrate the annual Red Mass in our Diocese tomorrow.
While judges, lawmakers, public officials and lawyers especially are invited to this special Eucharistic Celebration of the Holy Spirit, all are welcome to participate in this liturgy, which is at 4:30 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Tucson
This liturgy is celebrated in dioceses around the world most often at the beginning of the judicial year or at the annual convening of legislative bodies. The liturgy is one of praise to the Holy Spirit. It invokes the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord) upon judges, lawyers, lawmakers and public officials.
The tradition of the Red Mass dates to Europe in the 13th century. From the time of Edward I, the Mass was offered at Westminster Abbey. It received its name from the fact that the celebrant was vested in red and the Lord High justices were robed in brilliant scarlet. They were joined by the university professors with doctors among them displaying red in their academic gowns.
The first Red Mass in our country was celebrated in New York City on Oct. 6, 1928. In the U.S., Catholic, Protestant and Jewish members of the judiciary and legal profession attend the Mass.
Several years ago, with the encouragement of the St. Thomas More Society of Southern Arizona, Bishop Moreno revived the annual Red Mass in our Diocese.
The mission of the St. Thomas More Society of Southern Arizona is to provide a structure for lawyers, judicial officers and law students of Southern Arizona to foster fellowship and continued ethical formation in the spirit of St. Thomas More in support of the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Tucson.
I deeply appreciate the sponsorship of the annual Red Mass by the St. Thomas More Society and the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Tucson.
3. Catholic Community Services 70th Anniversary In 1933, Bishop Daniel J. Gercke called upon Catholics in the Diocese of Tucson to respond to the human needs and suffering created by the Great Depression through a new ministry Catholic Social Services.
Today, of course, we know that ministry as Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona. The initials "CCS" are so well known within the Diocese and its communities, and with good reason. The "community" in Catholic Community Services is truly the community all people in Southern Arizona. CCS guides and supports the caring and effective response of its si--member agencies, and it is our state's oldest faith-based and locally originated provider of health and human services to individuals and families in need.
This weekend, we celebrate seven decades of service to the people of Arizona by CCS with a special liturgy on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral.
On behalf of our Diocese, I express prayerful and deep appreciation to the CCS Board of Directors, to CCS Chief Executive Officer Peg Harmon, to the directors of the six-member agencies and to the hundreds of dedicated employees and devoted volunteers who participate in and share in the mission and ministry of CCS. Congratulations on your 70th anniversary!
4. Annual Liturgy for the Divorced and Separated This special liturgy will be held this Sunday at 4 p.m. at St. Odilia Parish in Tucson.
This became an annual liturgy in 1987, following the establishment a year earlier of the Diocese of Tucson Council for Ministry to Divorced and Separated Catholics.
The Council's goal is to help those who have experienced divorce and separation seek unity, peace and healing for themselves and their families through their faith and with their Church.
The Council assists and supports all of us in the pastoral ministry of the Diocese live out the Holy Father's call in Familiaris Consortio to minister to divorced and separated Catholics "to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can and must share in its life."
The Council is composed of representatives who work in programs and support groups for the divorced and separated in collaboration and cooperation with representatives of the North American Conference of Separated and Divorced Catholics, a representative from Catholic Social Services, representatives from the Beginning Experience, several clergy representatives and a representative from the Department of Parish Life and Ministry, and several resource people.
The Council addresses many concerns and issues involving the separated and divorced Catholics in the Diocese of Tucson. These include the relationship of the divorced and separated with the Church, the spiritual growth of divorced and separated persons and their families, the annulment process and remarriage in the Church and the Christian education and the emotional well-being of children of the divorced and separated.
I am grateful to the members of the Council for their dedication and devotion to this important ministry.
More information on the Council is available at www.xgboy.com/html/council.html.
5. Priests Retreat The second week of our annual priests retreat begins today at Picture Rocks.
Please pray for all our priests, and pray that our retreat will bring the priests of our Diocese and their bishop into a closer relationship with Christ and with one another.
6. Legacy of Contemporary Women Religious -- Women Religious of the Diocese will gather this Saturday at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish for an afternoon of reflection and sharing on their impact on the life of the Church.
This reflection and sharing will include such questions as: Where we have been? What we have accomplished for Christ and His Church? Where we are now? What Legacy are we passing on to future generations of Women Religious and the Church of the 21st Century?
The afternoon will be led by Sister Carol Cimino, a Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester, N.Y. Sister Carol has been teacher and administrator. She is an author and a speaker who leads workshops and gives presentations around the country. Sister Carol has the grand distinction of being the only sister to have been a three-day champion on "Jeopardy!"
Sisters who have not yet indicated they want to be a part of the afternoon should contact Sister Jean Olmstead, SBS, here at the Pastoral Center no later than today.
7. "Getting Smart on Crime" I will be participating in this locally organized public forum this Saturday at the Pima Community College Downtown Campus at 1 p.m. This forum is to explore the possibilities of sentencing reform as a way to alleviate prison overcrowding, reduce crime and allow reallocation of state resources to other critical areas.
The forum also will address the trend of privatization of prisons in our state. The social teaching of the Church says much about our responsibility to assist victims of crime, to seek rehabilitation of the imprisoned and to create a just society.
8. Our Common Commitment The first group of compliance representatives from our parishes and schools met on Saturday at the Pastoral Center for an introduction to their critical role in our efforts to provide safe and loving environments for children.
Each of the persons in this first group was nominated by their pastor or principal.
I had the opportunity to address them briefly, and I thanked them for their presence and their spirit of service to their schools, parishes and our Diocese.
Each of the persons in this first group of compliance representatives was nominated by their pastor or principal. They received their introduction to their responsibilities from Dr. Paul Duckro, Director of the Office for Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, and Richard Serrano, Human Resources Director.
The compliance representatives will review the policies and procedures that are being implemented in our parishes and schools this fall. The responsibilities of a compliance representative include: ensuring the distribution and understanding of the Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct; ensuring that the educational requirements of the guidelines are fulfilled and documented; maintaining local records and reports on such requirements as background screening and reference checks of prospective employees and volunteers; and assisting Dr. Duckro and Richard Serrano with audits, investigations and reports as needed.
9. "Good News" -- I am always happy to acknowledge the "good news" about the Diocese, our Church and our Faith that appears in local news media.
Mary Vandeveire's story last week in The Arizona Daily Star about the observance of the Feast of the Holy Rosary at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson captured beautifully the devotion to the Rosary. The photographs by Chris Richards that accompanied the story were very compelling. You can read the story and see the photographs at: http://www.azstarnet.com/star/Wed/31008ROSARY.html.
(A reminder: Our special Liturgy for the Closing of the Year of the Rosary will be at noon on Sunday, Oct. 26, at St. Augustine Cathedral.)
The Tucson Citizen has had three very fine stories related to the history of our Faith in the Diocese. Carmen Villa Prezelski and Gabrielle Rico both wrote about the history and tradition of the annual pilgrimage to Magdalena, Sonora, on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. You can access those stories at: http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=local&story_id=100403a1_magdalena http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=living&story_id=100303d2_carmen
And Paul Allen's story about the "cactus and lime makeover" of the west tower of San Xavier Mission was fascinating. You can read that story at: http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=local&story_id=100703c1_san_x_repairs.
10. Congratulations I am very pleased to acknowledge a recent award to Father Joe Baker, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Tucson. Father Joe was selected by the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers to receive the Association's "Citizen of the Year Award."
11. One of Us at 111 S. Church This week's self-profile by one of our staff members here at the Pastoral Center is from one of our "veterans," Gracie Quiroz of the Development Services Office.
"I grew up in a small town of Kearny in a family of five sisters, one brother and the most magnificent parents. I was a real country girl. My passion was the rodeo. Horseback riding and barrel racing were part of my daily activities.
I remember so well one of my high school teachers. We called him Mr. Taft. Today, of course, I know that teacher as our dear Father Bill Taft. After attending Mesa College, I moved to the big city -- Tucson.
"I have been working for the Diocese for 23 years, and I still love it. I enjoy immensely working with the staff of the Pastoral Center and with the staff and volunteers at our parishes and schools. I have had the opportunity to make so many special friends and make so many wonderful memories through my work in the Development Office on 18 Bishop's Appeal campaigns and three Annual Catholic Appeal campaigns.
"I have learned so much about the theology of stewardship, and I continually am inspired by the generosity and trust of the Catholic people in our Diocese.
"The Lord has been very good to me. I have been blessed with my wonderful family of four children, Roman, 23, Elizabeth, 14, Estefan, 7, Nicolas, 3; and, of course, my husband Tomas."
Earlier this year, it was our pleasure to acknowledge Gracie's cheerful and devoted service to the Diocese with a special and well-deserved recognition from the Annual Catholic Appeal.
Vol. 1, No. 28
October 20, 2003
Our Diocese joined the worldwide celebration of the Holy Father's twenty-fifth anniversary of election as pontiff last Thursday.
Our Mass of Celebration at St. Augustine Cathedral was well attended, and I was very happy to see young people, principals and parents from our Catholic Schools.
There was representation from Our Mother of Sorrows (the entire eighth grade), Sts. Peter and Paul and Santa Cruz Schools in Tucson, and coming all the way from Yuma were seven students from Yuma Catholic High School, who were accompanied by Deacon Nieves Hernandez.
It was a joy to share with the people my memories of the Holy Father's visit to Quigley Seminary South in Chicago when I was principal there.
During the Mass, we prayed in thanks for his 25 years of service, and we prayed in thanks for his perseverance in service to Lord even as he faces the infirmities of age.
We began our Mass of Celebration by chanting "Pope John Paul II, we love you!"
We concluded the Mass by singing "Ad Multos Anos, For Many More Years."
1. The Holy Father's Agenda for Bishops -- On the occasion of the anniversary of his election, the Holy Father issued an apostolic exhortation that sets out the Holy Father's agenda for all the bishops in the world. (An apostolic exhortation is a papal document that, while not legislative in nature, promotes Church teaching.)
This apostolic exhortation communicates the Holy Father's reflections on the Tenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in September and October of 2001. The theme of the synod was "The Bishop, Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World."
Because the apostolic exhortation has just been issued, I haven't had time to study it. I ask you to read it and study it with me, and to share with me your thoughts about how it applies specifically to my ministry to you in our Diocese.
This is a very important document for all of us. You can access the apostolic exhortation at http://www.usccb.org or you can read it on the Vatican Website at: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_20031016_pastores-gregis_en.html
2. The Pope's E-Mail Address -- For the first time, the Holy Father has an e-mail address.
This address was established last May when he celebrated his eighty-third birthday. It is now prominent on the Vatican Website on the special page for the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of his election as pontiff.
Let him hear from you!
3. Conclusion of Year of the Rosary -- The Year of the Rosary, proclaimed by the Holy Father in October of last year, concludes this month.
Our diocesan observance of the conclusion is this Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral. The noon Mass truly will be a celebration of the fervent devotion to our Blessed Mother that finds its expression in the centuries old tradition of the Rosary.
Please join us for the celebration!
The Holy Father's Apostolic Letter which introduced the Year of the Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, is a beautiful accounting of the history and theology that are deeply embedded in this prayer that he himself has called "simple yet profound…a prayer of great significance…my favorite prayer."
"The Rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty," he writes in the letter. "To it I have entrusted any number of concerns; in it I have always found comfort."
Reading the letter is an excellent way to reflect on the significance of the Rosary and to see and appreciate the Holy Father's devotion to it.
You can read it on the Vatican Website at:
4. Catholic Schools In-service Day -- I will be celebrating Mass this morning with all our Catholic school teachers and administrators (more than 600 people!) at Salpointe Catholic High School as they gather for the annual Staff Development and Catholic Educators' Day.
In addition to our Eucharistic Celebration, the day will feature workshop sessions and a keynote address by Sister Carol Cimino, Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester, N.Y.
We will be honoring 78 of our teachers and administrators with certificates of appreciation for their years of service to Catholic education. Among those to be honored are Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, CFMM, our Superintendent of Catholic Schools (42 years), Sharon Brewer of St. Ambrose School in Tucson (43 years) and Sister Luisa Maria Valdez, CFMM, of Lourdes School in Nogales (46 years).
5. Protecting Rights of Immigrants -- The continuing migration across our border with Mexico raises many issues of justice, including how to protect and respect the legitimate rights of those who are migrating even when their legal status to be in our country may be unclear.
We know that immigrants often are hesitant to report incidents of fraud or discrimination to law enforcement agencies because of fear or because of lack of knowledge about the legal process in our country.
In order to protect the rights of immigrants, the Arizona Attorney General's Office is establishing within its Civil Rights Division an Office of Immigrant Rights and Assistance.
This new office is being established in partnership with interfaith network organizations in Arizona. These organizations will help provide volunteers who will be trained and housed in satellite offices throughout Arizona to assist immigrant victims with the filing of complaints. Volunteers will be trained by the Attorney General's Office and will be required to undergo the Office's standard background and fingerprints clearance.
I am very pleased by this effort of the Arizona Attorney General, and I endorse the goals of the new office, which include educating immigrants about their rights, assisting them in using the legal system and assisting them in directing complaints to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Volunteering for this program would be an excellent way to put the Church's social justice teachings into action, and I urge you promote volunteering by those in your parish and school communities.
In the Tucson Area, the Pima County Interfaith Council is coordinating volunteer recruitment. Those interested in volunteering should call 903-2333 for more information. An orientation for volunteers will be held this Wednesday at Casa San Juan, next to St. John the Evangelist Parish here in Tucson.
The Yuma County Interfaith Council is coordinating volunteer recruitment in that area. An orientation for volunteers will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton.
6. Our Young Catholics -- I will be in Sierra Vista this Saturday for our diocesan Junior High Youth Day, which this year has the theme, "We Are the Body of Christ."
From 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus Hall, our younger Catholic teens from all over the Diocese will enjoy each other's company in a full schedule of events and activities. I look forward to celebrating Mass with them.
There will be keynote presentations by Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista, and Brian Dunn and Debbie Frey, who will be coming all the way from Canada. They will be presenting an "awesome" session with music and drama based on the sacraments.
I thank the planning committee for the hard work it takes to prepare for a large gathering of younger teens. The day certainly is a great opportunity to be immersed in the goodness of their energy and searching.
On Sunday night in Tucson, I'll be joining the teens of the St. Francis de Sales Youth Group. Members of the St. Thomas the Apostle and Corpus Christi Youth Groups also will be there. I hear there will be a round or two of "Bible Jeopardy." I'm ready for the category of Old Testament Prophets.
Our junior high and high school teens are not just the future of our Church, they are the Church now too, and their participation in the life of the Church helps to keep us young at heart and in spirit. We need to keep our teens involved in our parishes and in their faith. Our youth ministers are striving to do just that, and I am grateful for their dedication and service.
I will be meeting with leaders of our youth ministry programs and with teens on Nov. 1 in a diocesan "Youth Summit." More about that in next week's memo.
7. Protecting Our Children -- We're preparing for the November information and training sessions for school and parish staffs in Yuma and Tucson. These sessions are helping to launch the implementation of our child abuse awareness and prevention efforts across the Diocese.
Last week in Yuma, Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe facilitated a meeting for our diocesan team of Dr. Paul Duckro, Richard Serrano and Fred Allison with representatives of local law enforcement and the Yuma County Attorney's Office.
As in our first session in Tucson last month, law enforcement representatives from the Yuma area will give presentations on Arizona's child abuse mandatory reporting law and the way to respond effectively to allegations of child abuse.
The Yuma session will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. at Yuma Catholic High School. I thank the administration of the high school for hosting this event.
The final of the three large-gathering sessions will be on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson.
Over the next three weekends our parishes will be communicating three special letters from the pulpit and in bulletins that I have written to communicate to parishioners the three critical elements in the introduction of our policies and procedures; first, the large gatherings for information and training; second, the background screening requirements for current and future employees and volunteers; and third, the role of the local compliance representative. I think it is very important to communicate directly to parishioners -- who are the resource for all our volunteer ministries -- exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it.
8. Liturgical Changes -- Also coming soon to parish bulletins are some special inserts on the liturgical changes that will be implemented in our Diocese the first Sunday of Advent. Father Miguel Mariano is preparing these inserts, which we hope will help parishioners understand and appreciate the changes.
Information on the changes remains available at our diocesan website at http://www.diocesetucson.org/girm.html.
9. Priests Retreat -- Our annual priests retreat concluded last week. Nearly every diocesan priest and many of our religious order priests participated. I greatly appreciated the weeklong commitment of time (in two one-week sessions) by our priests, and I believe it was time that was well spent with many positive results, including the sense of fraternity that was real and powerful.
Our retreat was about "Holiness, Communion, Mission, Bishop and Priests of the Diocese of Tucson: Preaching, Celebrating and Serving the Gospel of Hope in the Third Millennium." We discussed and shared what we should be doing as priests and bishop, the importance of praying together, supporting one another and prodding and challenging one another.
There is a rich diversity of the priests who serve in our Diocese. They are diverse in age, ethnic and racial background, attitudes and personality, yet they form one presbyterate united in Christ. We are blessed with some great priests in our Diocese.
We felt very strongly your prayers for us while we were on retreat, and we are grateful.
10. Council Meetings -- The three primary councils of our Diocese have meetings this week at the Pastoral Center. The Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Finance Council have meetings tomorrow, and the Diocesan Pastoral Council meets on Saturday.
The Finance Council will welcome Father Al Schifano as its new chairman. Father Al is a parochial vicar at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson. His wealth of experience in business and corporate structures is a great asset for the Finance Council.
The major agenda item for the Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting is "Structures for Lay Participation: How to encourage the creation of parish finance and parish pastoral councils where they do not exist."
11. Vocations -- There is an Andrew and Myriam Dinner for our Asian community tomorrow evening at Our Lady of La Vang Parish in Tucson.
This series of dinners allows me to invite women and men to consider the possibility of a vocation to the religious life or the priesthood.
I will be in Hales Corners, Wisc., later this week at the Sacred Heart School of Theology. I serve on the seminary's Advisory Board. We office advice and recommendations on the academic, spiritual formation and pastoral programs of the seminary.
This seminary is an apostolate of the U.S. Province of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and its primary purpose is the preparation of men of age and experience for both the diocesan and religious order priesthood.
Several of our priests studied for the priesthood at Sacred Heart, and we have one seminarian in formation there now.
You can learn more about this unique seminary at http://www.shst.edu/index.htm.
12. Sowers of God's Peace -- Our Diocesan Office of Catechesis for Children, Youth and Families and the Diocesan Religious Education Task Force are presenting a day of presentations and reflections this Thursday at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson.
Participants will explore the theme of the day, "Sowers of God's Peace," through the facilitation of Sister Darlene Kawulok, CSJ, whom many of you will remember from her 10 years of ministry in the Diocese.
While the deadline for registration has passed, you could contact the Office of Catechesis at 792-3410 to see if is possible to share in the day.
13. One of Us at 111 S. Church -- Whenever our lay employees or priests have a question about or a problem with health insurance that can't be answered at the local level, they know our Diocesan Benefits Administrator has an answer or a solution. I hear from so many that she is a real "Joy" to work with. I know that very well from my own experience.
Joy Mitchell is this week's "One of Us" profile.
"I was introduced to the Diocese of Tucson on April 1, 1981, and that introduction has been an adventure of a lifetime. This introduction began with scheduling retreats and washing dishes at Regina Cleri and coordinating the events at Bishop Moreno's house, followed by secretary to the Vicar General, secretary to the Cash and Investments director, to Personnel Assistant, to Benefits Coordinator, and finally "settling" into my present position as Benefits Administrator for the Diocese in 1997. Talk about a journey! Oh, and during this span of time, my husband, Terry, and I converted to Catholicism in 1992.
"What an honor is has been to work with the clergy, religious and staff of the Diocese. Unknown to them, they played an integral part in our conversion. Every day I observed how their faith, kindness and caring for people was incorporated in their workday responsibilities. I experienced this first-hand when my Father died in 1985. Our family was not Catholic, but that did not matter to them. We were in need, and they were there to help in anyway they could, no questions asked. Their actions have stuck with me and I am able to fulfill my duties as the Benefits Administrator of the Diocese.
"I have been blessed with a good life, and I attribute that to my husband Terry. We have celebrated 38 years of marriage and were blessed with our son, Brian, 33 years ago. Brian is married to Heidi, who is the greatest daughter-in-law, and lives in Minneapolis with our grand-dog, Karma.
"Oh, yes, I have two passions in life: golf every Saturday morning and iced, white mochas!"
In so many ways, Joy really is the personification of her name, with her sense of caring and her "can-do" attitude. Thank you, Joy!
Vol. 1, No. 29
October 27, 2003
Our Diocesan Liturgy for the Closing of the Year of the Rosary yesterday at St. Augustine Cathedral was a beautiful and inspiring event.
The Cathedral was filled to overflowing!
Most all of our parishes were represented, many with colorful banners. Many children and adults were attired in the dress of their native lands or the lands of their ancestry, showing the great diversity of cultures that we are blessed with. The music and singing was outstanding, and I don't think I have ever heard the Cathedral organ played so magnificently.
In my homily, I reviewed how the five new Mysteries of Light introduced by the Holy Father at the beginning of the Year of the Rosary are so significant to us individually and as a diocesan family. I noted how we have been praying and will continue to pray the Rosary for peace -- peace within our own hearts, within our families and in the world.
Our solemn procession after Mass around the Cathedral had more than 500 participants. The winds that brought such a beautiful day filled the parish banners as if they were sails.
I am grateful to all who helped bring about this beautiful event.
Our liturgy truly demonstrated and expressed the great love and devotion for our Blessed Mother that is present in our Diocese.
It was a great way to start this busy week!
1. All Saints Day and All Souls Day -- Because it falls on Saturday, All Saints is not a holyday of obligation this year. All Souls Day, of course, is Sunday this year. These two special days are important opportunities for prayer, recollection and memory.
I am grateful to all in the ministry of our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries and all our priests and deacons who make these days very special for the many families who visit the various cemeteries in our communities.
Of course, there is tremendous cultural and spiritual significance for so many of our families who celebrate All Souls Day in the tradition of the "Day of the Dead," Día de los Muertos.
You can learn more about the tradition at http://www.azcentral.com/ent/dead and at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~rjsalvad/scmfaq/muertos.html.
2. Lay Ecclesial Ministry -- I will be in New York this week to conduct a consultation on lay ecclesial ministry. This is the third such regional consultation. The first was held in Texas, the second in the Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin region. The consultations are part of my commitment as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee on Lay Ministry.
The consultations include an overview of what is happening in lay ministry in the region, a look at the training and formation resources in the area and identification of what is going well and what yet needs to happen to identify, train and support those who serve in lay ministry. The last two consultations have been very helpful as our subcommittee continues its work on the new foundational document that we are preparing on lay ecclesial ministry. There is information about the work of the subcommittee at http://www.usccb.org/laity/laymin.
3. Tilma of Tepeyac Tour -- There will be an outpouring of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego this week as the Tilma of Tepeyac Tour brings a small piece of St. Juan Diego's tilma, the cloth that holds the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to Arizona.
The tour is organized by the Knights of Columbus and Apostolate for Holy Relics. The Arizona portion of the tour includes stops in Tucson, Nogales and Florence.
The history of this piece of the tilma is fascinating. It is said to be the largest piece ever removed from the tilma.
You can read this history at: http://www.apostolateforholyrelics.com/home.php?file=ahr-projects/tilma-tour/index.
Veneration of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego will be facilitated through display of the tilma relic at St. John the Evangelist and Blessed Kateri Tekekawitha Parishes in Tucson this Thursday and at Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Florence on Friday. Bishop Moreno will preside at the first Mass of the Tilma Tour's itinerary in our Diocese at St. John on Thursday at 10 a.m. I will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. in Florence.
A schedule of the Tilma Tour is available at our diocesan Website at
4. Journey of Hope and Life -- All people of goodwill are invited to join in the "Border Pilgrimage -- A Journey of Hope and Life" along the U.S. border with Mexico to raise awareness about the more than 2,300 deaths of migrants since 1994 and the economic policies that contribute to the continuing migration..
Sponsored by the Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico, the pilgrimage began yesterday in San Diego and in Brownsville, Texas, and culminates with a Border Convocation Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in El Paso.
Tomorrow, those who embarked on the pilgrimage from San Diego will arrive in Douglas, where Healing Our Borders of Douglas and Agua Prieta, Mexico, will host a "Breaking of Bread Together Vigil."
Thursday morning, the pilgrims will participate in the ministry of water stations that is conducted by Humane Borders of Tucson, and on Thursday evening they will attend the weekly vigil at the El Tiridito Shrine in downtown Tucson. Following the vigil, there will be a discussion that is sponsored by Derechos Humaos and our diocesan Border Ministry Team.
For more information, please contact Joanne Welter of our Catholic Social Mission Office at 792-3410. Also, more information about the pilgrimage is available at http://www.rtfcam.org/border/pilgrimage.htm.
In the last year, at least 205 migrants have died in the desert, within the boundaries of our Diocese, after crossing the border into the U.S.
We learn of these deaths most often through news media reports, usually in several lines of news print or 30 seconds of video tape. We don't know the person who died. We don't know how hard a death it was.
A recent report in The Arizona Republic attempted to portray those hard and lonely deaths in the desert. I urge you to read the story by Susan Carol. You can access it at:
5. Youth Summit -- This meeting on Saturday at Pastoral Center is an opportunity for me to be in dialogue with selected parish youth ministry leaders. We will explore the needs of our youth, how to strengthen our parish-based youth ministry programs, how to coordinate our efforts for formation and training of youth leaders and how to promote greater unity within the rich diversity of the cultures and languages of our young people.
The national youth ministry vision statement, "Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry," will provide a common foundation and context for the dialogue.
Joining us in this dialogue will be Mike Berger, Director of Office of Catechesis, Ruben Davalos, Director of Office of Evangelization and Hispanic Ministry, representatives from the diocesan Vocations Office and the Jordan Ministry Team and directors of diocesan retreat programs.
6. Campus Ministry -- I will be visiting the St. Thomas More Newman Center this Saturday for Confirmation. Among those to be confirmed are 20 young adult members of the Newman Community who are students at the University of Arizona.
Campus ministry is very important in our Diocese because it offers young adults a special place in a special time of their lives where they can return to the Church if they have been away and where they can grow in their awareness of their Faith as they encounter the challenges of college life. I am grateful for the Dominican Community at St. Thomas More, our Newman Center ministry at Arizona Eastern College in Thatcher and all the parish based campus ministry efforts in our Diocese, including the ministry to Arizona Western College in Yuma that is provided by St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
7. "70 Years, 7 Wonders" -- Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona concludes its 70th anniversary celebration with a special benefit dinner this weekend.
The "7 Wonders" are seven wonderful people who are to be honored by CCS for their extraordinary support of the CCS mission to provide health and human services to individuals and families in need.
The "7 Wonders" are: Bishop Manuel Moreno, the late Ora DeConcini-Martin, David A. Mullon, Allan Norville, Msgr. Richard O'Keeffe, R.B. "Buck" O'Rielly and Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Parkman.
8. Protecting Our Children -- The countdown continues for next week's two large-gathering information and training sessions in Yuma (Tuesday, Nov. 4) and Tucson (Thursday, Nov. 6).
These sessions on child abuse awareness and prevention will conclude the first phase of the implementation of our new policies and procedures to create safe and loving environments for children in all our parishes and schools.
All parish and school employees and all clergy are expected to have attended one of the three mandatory sessions.
Also, training continues next month for the local compliance representatives at each of our parishes and schools who will monitor compliance with our new policies and procedures for the protection of children.
Please note the date, place and time of the training sessions for your vicariate.
Yuma/La Paz Vicariate: Tuesday, Nov. 4, Yuma Catholic High School, 2-4 p.m.
All Pima Vicariates: Saturday, Nov. 8, Pastoral Center, 9 a.m. to noon.
Cochise Vicariate: Monday, Nov. 10, Sacred Heart Parish, Tombstone, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Santa Cruz Vicariate: Wednesday, Nov. 12, Sacred Heart Parish, Nogales, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Graham/Greenlee Vicariate: Monday, Nov. 17, St. Rose of Lima Parish, Safford, 7-9 p.m.
Pinal West Vicariate: Wednesday, Nov. 19, St. Helen Parish, Eloy, 7-9 p.m.
Gila/Pinal East Vicariate: Thursday, Nov. 20, Holy Angels Parish, Globe, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
9. Adult Formation News -- I acknowledge and thank Ann Dickson of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista for saying "Yes!" to a special need of our Diocese. Ann has volunteered to be the coordinator for our Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion liturgies next year at St. Augustine Cathedral. Coordination of these liturgies normally would be the responsibility of the director of our Office of Formation, but the director's position is still vacant. We remain hopeful that we will find the right person for that position at the exact time that right person finds us!
10. Catholic Scouting -- Catholic Scouts from throughout the Diocese will be on a five mile hike this Saturday on the historic Anza trail from Tubac to Tumacacori. That's the trail that brought Catholicism to Arizona. The hike is part of a retreat day organized by the Diocesan Committee on Scouting. The hike will be followed by various programs that include vocations and earning Catholic religious emblems. Father Ale--Mills of St. Ann's Parish in Tubac will celebrate Mass with the Scouts and their leaders at Tumacacori Mission.
11. One of Us at 111 S. Church -- Every car, truck and bus owned by a parish or a school has to have insurance. Every vehicle owned by a priest has to have insurance. Who keeps track of all that insurance? When there is a slip, trip or fall at a parish or school, who guides the filing of reports and follows up with our liability insurance on any claims? When a parish or school employee is injured on the job, who helps file for worker's compensation?
Just one person! She is our very own Liz Aguallo, Property and Insurance Assistant. Liz is this week's "One of Us" profile.
"I have been an employee for the Diocese the last 18 years in the Property and Insurance Office.
"I was born in the mining community of Morenci, and was raised in Clifton, where my wonderful parents, Ernest and Jesusita still reside. Ernest Jr., Linda, and Esperanza are my older siblings. I have lots of nieces and nephews whom I enjoy spending time with when I visit back home.
"I am a parishioner at St. Augustine Cathedral, where I am a Catechist and a Eucharistic Minister. I teach the second grade First Holy Communion Class. Every year it's a new adventure with the children. I love being around them. Each of them has been an inspiration to me and to my faith.
"Although my job is full of the sometime tedious paperwork of property records, insurance claims and so on, I can truly say I enjoy it. It's been a blessing for me to work for the Diocese. I have seen many changes in my years. both good and bad, but our love for the Lord keeps us going."
Thank you, Liz, for your attention to detail, your hard work and your willing-to-help spirit!
12. Tom Murphy -- Tom Murphy has served as our Diocesan Attorney for 29 years. Prior to that, his father also served in this capacity. Bishop Moreno and I are very grateful for Tom's outstanding and untiring service. His wisdom and counsel have aided the Diocese in many ways and through difficult situations.
Tom's increasing responsibilities as legal counsel for Carondelet Health Network have made it increasingly difficult for him to meet the expanding legal needs of the Diocese. For this reason, he has decided to resign as diocesan attorney as of Dec. 31.
Tom is a deeply committed Catholic who loves the Church and the Diocese Tucson very much. I am grateful to him, his wife, Christina, and their family. We will miss him.
The Diocese is exploring options for Tom's replacement. If you have any recommendations or suggestions, please advise. Tom has promised to assist in the transition and has indicated to me that he would be willing to assist the Diocese in the future as needed. I am very grateful for his willingness to continue to serve.
13. "Bible Jeopardy" -- I enjoyed being with three of our parish youth groups last night. The youth groups from St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas the Apostle and Corpus Christi Parishes in Tucson gathered in the St. Francis de Sales Gym for "Bible Jeopardy." It was just like the real quiz show with all the bells, whistles and buzzers. Congratulations to the St. Thomas Apostle teens for winning the competition. I was impressed by the enthusiasm, interest and knowledge displayed by all the teens. I reminded them that the Word of God sustains us throughout life. My thanks to Marian Gilbert of St. Francis, Maureen and Russ Kingery of St. Thomas and Joe Perdreauville of Corpus Christi for helping to make this such a enjoyable evening for me and the teens. I also was very pleased to learn that representatives from these youth groups and others from our Diocese will be going to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Houston next month.