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Vol. 1, No. 27. Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday Update

Summer camp with a mission

 Prayer and Action in Yuma
 Prayer and Action in Yuma

I was in Yuma yesterday and part of today to experience our diocese’s first-ever Prayer and Action session.

About 15 young people registered for this first program, which emphasizes service to others during a week-long session of fun and games, hard work and prayer. It is a program that I saw yield great results in the Diocese of Salina, teaching teens that came away with a better understanding of the needs of others, what they could do to help, and how awesome it can feel to be of service. For many, it forms the foundation of an awareness for others and can, I think, lead to ministries and careers dedicated to others.

This is an overnight camp experience open to both girls and guys in the ninth through 12th grades. 

Participants in Pray and Action are involved in a mission service retreat where they will help people. This may include yard work, painting or cleaning homes for the elderly or people with disabilities.

Attendance requires a non-refundable registration fee of $70.For more information, please contact Father Jorge at 520.838-2531 or email

The next Prayer and Action Session will take place at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson from July 15 to July 20.  Perhaps there is a teen you know that would benefit from this experience.

Read on for information about another event for teen Catholics:

Steubenville Conference

We are fortunate in this diocese to have access to one of 25 Steubenville Youth Conferences each year. These conferences, “help teens encounter the love of Christ every summer,” with a mission of building the Church by evangelizing, equipping and empowering God’s children to become joyful disciples.

While registration for the 2018 Steubenville Conference now is closed, many of our parish youth ministry programs take part in this activity every year. They will gather at the University of Arizona July 11 to July 13, listening to speakers with messages geared to teens from incoming high school freshmen to recent graduated seniors.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Revealed”. The conferences employ dynamic presentations, music and prayer for an expansive experience of faith.


Sister Donna Markham, president of Catholic Charities USA, who is visiting our diocese today and tomorrow. This afternoon, Sister, who heads the 105-year-old organization that serves 10 million people each year, is visiting the Nogales International Border, hosted by Peg Harmon, executive director of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, and Father Sean Carroll, S.J., founder and executive director of the Kino Border Initiative.

Sister is interested in learning more about how border dioceses handle immigration and related refugee services around the nation, and can provide a national perspective in the overall depth of services offered by the Catholic Church nationwide.

US Conference of Catholic Bishops Border visit update

In a letter dated July 10, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB,  gave bishops an update on a visit to the US-Mexico border near Brownsville, Tex. The visit had been requested by Cardinal Joseph Tobin during the Spring Meeting of the Conference to better understand the Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents while crossing the border that was taking place at that time. While lengthy, I encourage you to read this information as it is a detailed description of what was observed.

The USCCB presidential delegation on the visit included Archbishop Jose Gomez, from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,  Bishop Joseph Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, Penn.,  Bishop Mark Brennan, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, MD, and myself joined Bishop Daniel Flores, of Brownsville, Tex., and Bishop Mario Avilés Campo, C.O., auxiliary bishop of Brownsville for a pastoral visit to the Diocese of Brownsville.

The visit took place July 1 and July 2, beginning with Mass for several thousand people  at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle National Shrine. The delegation then volunteered at the  Humanitarian Respite Center run by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley where members met with families recently released from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) processing center.

“We listened to their stories, shared their pain, and their hopes; we prayed with them for God’s strength and mercy,” DiNardo wrote. “The Cross was heavy in the room, but so many generous volunteers who are present everyday serve as sign of the Resurrection. The immigrants themselves, though anxious, were also positive.”

The following day the delegation went to the  Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS/ORR) child shelter, Southwest Key Casa Padre in Brownsville.

“Celebrating the Eucharist for nearly 300 children on a former loading dock was a humbling reminder of the power of Christ’s humility. Afterward, they eagerly came forward for a rosary.. Many of the children that we ministered to are considered “unaccompanied children” by the government, in the sense that they arrived at the U.S./Mexico border without their parent or legal guardian,” DiNardo wrote. “However, some of the children in this facility were indeed separated from their parents due to the implementation of the “zero tolerance” policy by the Administration. Separated from their family, these children looked expectantly toward our Holy Mother for protection. A tour of the facility followed. Though the children are cared for decently, there is no overlooking their instance anxiety.”

The group then went on to the  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “Ursula Processing Center.” This is the point where the Border Patrol agents work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to process and screen the unaccompanied children and families that come through the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector, where DiNardo reporting seeing “men, women and children housed in necessarily stark surroundings, including the fenced-in holding areas that have been seen on the national news.

Here is the remainder of DiNardo’s report:

“We also met with Border Patrol agents doing the best they can to adhere to orders in the provision of service to their country and the migrants in the facility.

“At each stop, I was left with a lingering impression. The children’s physical needs may be taken care of, but no institution of this sort can replace the spiritual nourishment of faith and family. As I said at the press conference that night, the question of family reunification is urgent.

It is equally urgent we find an alternative to family detention altogether. In the short term, I suggested a return to family case management. We have long advocated for reforms to the immigrant detention system and proposed alternatives to detention, particularly for vulnerable individuals who should not normally be detained, such as children. Alternatives to detention have historically had high compliance rates, and cost savings to the American taxpayer. The family case management program was specifically designed for arriving families. In the long term, the USCCB continues to insist on comprehensive immigration reform.

“Our brothers and sisters in Christ are making a dangerous journey north in search of safety for their family. As a Church – as the Body of Christ – we must always be ready to do more. Please continue looking for ways to help in your diocese as I will in mine. This might mean everything from meeting with your Member of Congress to visiting shelters in your diocese more frequently.

“Let us keep inviting the whole Church to share the journey with migrants and refugees. As Bishop Bambera said, “when you meet with the families, labels melt away.” And of course, we will keep each family close in prayer.”

Fraternally yours in our Lord,

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Please remember

Estrella Corvera, mother of Father Jose Maria Corvera, pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Florence. Ms. Corvera  died Monday in the Philippines. Father Corvera has traveled to the Philippines to join his family there.  Join me in remembering Mrs. Corvera and her family in our prayers.


Back to School: Catholic schools begin their fall semesters on various dates:

July 30    San Miguel High School, Tucson
Aug. 1   All Saints, Sierra Vista; San Xavier, St. Augustine High School
Aug. 2   Yuma Catholic High School, Yuma
Aug. 6   Our Mother of Sorrows, Immaculate Heart, Immaculate Heart High School and Loretto School, Douglas, Sacred Heart School, Nogales; St. Anthony, Casa Grande, St. Charles, San Carlos
Aug. 7   Salpointe High School; St. Ambrose, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; Sts. Peter and Paul
Aug. 8   Lourdes Elementary and Lourdes High School, Nogales; Santa Cruz, St.Cyril, St. John and St. Joseph, all in Tucson.
Aug. 9   Immaculate Conception, Yuma
Aug. 13   St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma; and St. Thomas the Apostle Preschool, Tucson


Aug. 15:  Holy Day of Obligation. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Vol. 1, No. 26. Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Wednesday Update


Please note: The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed tomorrow in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. 


Happy Fourth of July

This is the 242nd year of our country.  I wonder if the founding fathers ever imagined how long the country they outlined in the Declaration of Independence would last. Clearly, they had studied some world history to derive the basic beliefs of independence, values and liberties proclaimed in that document.

There was a great deal of common sense put into the document.  The protections of life, liberty and the pursuit of justice. The founders believed in these entitlements. Of course, it took our country many years to apply those entitlements to allAmericans, and even longer still to allow women the right to vote, provide dignity and respect  to African Americans, to immigrant groups and to expand the availability of the American dream to all of us.

On this national holiday, I urge us to contemplate some worrisome trends occurring in our country. Racism is an ugly manifestation of hatred against other human beings that needs to stop.  Whatever our cultural or racial background, we all come from the same life force and share the God-given right to be treated with dignity, respect and compassion.

No one can presume to end another’s life.  Life and death and everything in between need to be charted by our own actions in accordance with God, not by others whose anger or mental instability enables them take another’s  life. Why has the country paralyzed about changing laws that may prevent gun violence? This can be done, and still provide for Second Amendment rights.

Mercy and compassion are shared by God for people every day. Yet it seems politics  is being presented (online, broadcast and in print) to manipulate who should receive mercy and compassion.  Mercy is a God-given trait, not a political tool. And those in need of mercy are pretty much everywhere these days.  They include people you know; your neighbor next door who may need to rely on food stamps or government assistance to make ends meet; the highly educated men and women who cannot find jobs in this economy; and yes, those living in squalor and filth in countries where poverty is rampant, or those who seek to find places free of war and violence to live in peace.

The world is complicated, but we all can show respect, kindness and compassion with those around us. Remember a time when you were in need, and someone assisted you.  God calls us to respond accordingly to those around us in need. 

We all are entitled a life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Congratulations Sister! 

Sister Charlotte Anne Swift, O.P., celebrated her 60thjubilee last week at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse in Adrian, Michigan.  Bishop emeritus Gerald Kicanas, with whom Sister worked alongside for the last 16 years and still, celebrated the beautiful liturgy for Sister and her community. Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy, our Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General, also attended.  

Before her work for Bishop Kicanas, Sister Charlotte Anne had a long, and storied career working in Catholic schools in California and here in our diocese, including schools in Douglas and Tucson. She also taught at St. Daniel the Prophet Catholic School in Scottsdale before the Diocese of Phoenix was created.  She was principal at Santa Cruz for many years, and she founded Project YES to assist underserved children in the south Tucson area.

Sister is well-loved and well-known and we are very proud of her.  Thank you for all your service, and may God’s blessings be with you.


Please remember

Deacon Donald Nagy

Deacon Donald Joseph Francis Nagy, OP, MSW, LICSW, 63, of Tucson, Arizona passed away on June 26, 2018 at Tucson Medical Center. Donald was born on February 2, 1955, in Cleveland. He  graduated from St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary in Vienna, West Virginia where his classmates nicknamed him “The Pope”. He went on to college at St. John Vianney Seminary in Bloomingdale, Ohio and was the first student at the Franciscan University to declare a triple major for his 1977 graduation; English (Ezra Pound), Philosophy (Thomas Aquinas), and Humanities (Medieval Studies 

Donald made his move to the Sonoran Desert in 1982. He began his human services career as a protégé of the late Fred Acosta at Tucson Job Corps and earned a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from Arizona State University- Tucson Component. Don then went on to a 31-year career in psychiatric social work/therapy at the Tucson VA Medical Center, first at the V.A.’s main campus and then to the Northwest VA Clinic when it opened. He received numerous “Apple Awards” from the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, which recognized Don’s mentoring of novice social workers and therapists. As a lifelong learner, Don combined various counseling credentials to better serve his clients: Cognitive Therapies (Beck and Ellis), Psychoanalysis (Freud) and Psychodrama (Moreno).

Donald was gifted with one of the most beautiful singing voices, during the longer than 30 years he sang at numerous VA events, particularly at the Purple Heart Ceremony, the Purple Heart Park, and the National Anthem for the Tucson Padres. He traveled with the St. Thomas the Apostle parish’s choir to Italy and Hungary and they performed at major basilicas throughout. He also soloed at a mass at the Sistine Chapel. 

He is survived by five siblings all of Tucson; Marybeth Nagy, J. Luke Nagy, Stephen Nagy, Bridgette Terribile, and R. Gabriel (Kate) Nagy as well as many others.

A Rosary Vigil will be held at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church on Friday, July 6 at 7 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, July 7 at 11 a.m. with the Bishop Edward Weisenburger presiding. A life celebration reception will follow in Gramer Hall.  


Please also remember

Sister Ann Seraphim Schenk, OP 

ADRIAN, Mich. - Sister Ann Seraphim Schenk, formerly known as Doris Schenk, died June 24, at the Dominican Life Center. She was 100 years of age and had been a Sister for 81 years.

She spent more than 51 years in elementary and music education in Michigan, Illinois and St. Anthony CatholicSchool, Casa Grande. She became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2004.

The Mass of Christian Burial was offered in St. Catherine Chapel on June 28, followed by committal in the congregation cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Mich., 49221.


Prayer and Action
Father Jorge Farias-Saucedo, our director for Vocations, recruitment, spent some time in the Diocese of Salina, Kansas, observing the Prayer and Action Program in place there.  I find this be the perfect jumping board  to remind parents of teens that the Prayer and Action events are great, week-long opportunities for young people to have fun while sharing their faith and helping others. Prayer and Actionis a weeklong overnight retreat for high school students to gather to prayer serve in the community.  This experience is intended to help youth deepen their faith through service to others around our diocese.

Our first Prayer and Action session will take place next week from July 8 to July 13 at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma. This is an overnight camp experience open to both girls and guys in the ninth through 12thgrades. Participants in Pray and Action will be involved in a mission service retreat where they will help people. This may include yard work, painting or cleaning homes for the elder or people with disabilities.

Attendance requires a non-refundable registration fee of $70.For more information, please contact Father Jorge at 520.838-2531 or email
The next Prayer and Action Session will take place at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson from July 15 to July 20.


My diocese travels took me to Miami last Saturday to celebrate the   Confirmation Mass at Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Parish along with young people from Holy Angels Parish in Globe.  The day also include the official closing of the " 100th anniversary year" for Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.