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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.