Please note: The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.
On Saturday, June 2, I will ordain our transitional deacons John Gonzales and Thomas Quirk to the priesthood. I am, of course, very happy for this ordination. At the same time, I am reminded about the great need we have for more priests.
We often think of newly ordained priests as younger men, fresh out of college and theology school. In the case of both Deacon Gonzales and Deacon Quirk, their ordinations mark their beginning a second vocation in life. Both men lived secular lives: Deacon Gonzales, 50, was trained in construction and went on to become an engineer working in the natural gas industry.
Deacon Quirk, 41, holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration, and wanted to go into theater. He also wanted to be able to work in fundraising and administration for theater. He was engaged, but never married. He entered Sacred Heart Seminary in 1998, but wasn’t quite ready to proceed and left after two years. All of this occurred in Michigan and Indianapolis. Deacon Quirk came to Tucson in 2007 to work at CODAC Behavior Healthcare, and as he applied to graduate school at Arizona State University to earn a master’s degree in Social Work, the call to priesthood reached him again.
Obviously, both men made the decision to follow God’s call. More detailed stories about their paths to priesthood can be found in the May Edition of our diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Outlook. You also can read the story posted on our Vocations Department webpage at https://diocesetucson.org/vocations/
My point here is that God’s call does not have to occur when we are younger than 30 years old. I am sure many of you have known people, perhaps at your parish, that took up some form of ministry later in their adult lives. Priesthood can happen that way too.
I encourage all of us to be aware of God’s call. That invitation may come as a whisper at one point of your life and then, perhaps when you are readier, becomes louder.
Just this morning, both deacons took part in “The Call”, a rite that takes place shortly before ordination. Many of our Pastoral Center employees and family and friends were present at the Cathedral for this. We also included our transitional deacons: Justin Agbir, Jesus Haros-Mendez and John Pedro Pedrasa, who will be ordained transitional deacons June 9.
Prayer and Action
I believe that reminding our younger people how sharing their skills and energy in God’s work can be another way of encouraging them to stay alert to God’s call. A program that helps to do this is “Prayer and Action.”
We used this program at my last diocese in Salina, Kansas with great success. I am happy to announce that we now are introducing to this diocese.
Father Jorge Farias Saucedo, our Director of Vocations Recruitment is leading this effort for our diocese.
Prayer and Action is 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.
Posters with more information soon will be up at your parishes ;
One session takes place at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson from Sunday, July 8 to Friday, July 13.
Another session will take place at Immaculate Conception parish in Yuma from Sunday, July 15 to Friday, July 20.
For more information, please contact Father Jorge at 520.838-2531 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I continue my travels to parishes to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation. Between now and next Wednesday, I will be at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Sells; and at Immaculate Conception in Ajo.
Memorial Day Mass
It is the custom for our Catholic Cemeteries to celebrate national holidays, particularly those in observance of loss of life through the armed services, with Mass at the cemeteries.
I will celebrate the Mass at Holy Hope Cemetery, 3555 N. Oracle Road, at 8:30 a.m.
Father Ricky Ordonez will celebrate Mass at Our Lady of the Desert, 2151 S. Avenida Los Reyes, also at 8:30 a.m.
Catholic Rural Life Conference
I was appointed president of the Catholic Rural Life Board of Directors in early November prior to being named Bishop for the Diocese of Tucson. I will be in St. Paul, Minn. from May 29 to May 31 for one of the two annual Board meetings.
The organization was established in the United States in 1923 and since then has advocated for how Catholicism is lived in rural communities. Its origins are all in farming and it continues to look at how our faith is lived in rural settings. We also look at all issues related to food production and sustainable agriculture, and we are a primary consultant for the U.S.C.C.B. on rural life matters such as the Farm Bill.
Kino Cup Soccer Tournament
The Fourth Annual Kino Cup Soccer Tournament takes place the Memorial Day weekend.
A highlight of the event is the annual priests versus seminarians game, this year on Friday, May 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m. A bonafide rivalry, our men of God put their all into the game. Our priests were victorious last year.
There is food for sale and lots of excitement. Come cheer for your favorite priest or seminarian.
For more information, visit https://diocesetucson.org/vocations/