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Wednesday Update

 

Regarding the difficult situation of Archbishop McCarrick

The immensely sad and disturbing past sexual misconduct by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick have once again brought sorrow, anger, and dismay to the American Catholic community. As your bishop, I grieve for the victims of the Archbishop’s abuse and fully support the efforts to ensure justice and accountability. Our first and foremost concern always must be for the victims. They deserve not only prayer, compassion and care, but justice and accountability.  As Cardinal Sean O’Malley has stated, “Words are not enough.” Action must accompany our words. 

Pope Francis has taken the important step of accepting McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals and assigning him to a life of prayer and penance. However, it also is important for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to review the current bishops’ charter for the protection of children and youth to address clergy abuse, otherwise known as the Dallas Charter. The Charter needs to ensure that procedures and practices are in place to hold clergy, employees, volunteers, and bishops to the same level of accountability. As one of the bishops with a background in the law that governs the affairs of the Church, I support this initiative. 

We are a Church of mercy; as Pope Francis constantly reminds us, “we all are sinners.” While forgiveness is at the heart of the Gospel, it is exercised always in conjunction with the virtue of justice. Mercy does not diminish the importance of accountability, of repentance and restoration of the scales of justice. We are challenged to follow the difficult path of discipleship to which Jesus calls us.

In response to the horrific clergy abuse scandal that erupted in 2002, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken steps to ensure that our parishes and ministries are places where children, vulnerable adults and others are safe from sexual abuse and predatory behavior. That commitment requires ongoing vigilance and never can be taken for granted. I take the opportunity provided by these sad revelations to remind anyone who may have experienced abuse in the Diocese of Tucson, to take the first step of contacting law enforcement officials and then, the Diocesan Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection at 520-838-2513.  

Through our efforts, prayer, and renewed commitment, may we together build up the Church that we love, the very body of Christ.

Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger
Diocese of Tucson

 

Congratulations, Holy Angels Parish

This weekend, the parish community of Holy Angels Church in Globe celebrates the 100thanniversary of the parish church.  I extend my heartfelt congratulations and thanks to one of our most enduring faith communities.

While Catholics in Globe have existed since at least the1870s; the people were ministered to by priests visiting from Solomonville or Florence. The first church built to serve the Globe community was known as Sacred Heart Church and was built in 1901, and the parish itself is listed as being established in 1905.  Sacred Heart stood in the same location as Holy Angels, the name given to the new church, built in 1918.

The first pastor was Father Joseph O. Barrette, who served the community from 1905 to 1915.  Other early pastors were Father Virgil Genevier, 1915 to 1941; Father, later Msgr., Don H. Hughes, 1941 to 1942; Father Francis J. Bree, 1942 to 1950, Father James E. McFadden, 1950 to 1960; and Father Thomas Doyle, 1960 to 1964.

A news story published in 1976 reported Msgr. Timmermans saying that priests serving the area had run ins with the Native American people of the area on their way to and from Globe, and that he narrowly escaped being ambushed on one trip. The historic record also shows that Father Genevier died while baptizing an infant at the church and Father Hughes stepped in to complete the baptism.

 

Best Wishes
To Katherine Preble, Internal Auditor for our diocese, who is retiring Friday.  She has worked for our Fiscal Department since July of 2006.  Dcn. Greg Henderson, our diocese’s chief financial officer, reported that during Katherine’s tenure, the percentage of parish compliance with the internal audit checklist items has grown from the 70 percent range to over the 90 percent range, “providing a more healthy, accountable and fiscally transparent diocese”.

Thank you, Katherine.  You are leaving us with a wonderful legacy of helping our parishes. Working in compliance areas can be challenging work for both you, the auditor, and for the parish leaders involved in audit process and with the follow-up that may be needed.

Please join me in wishing Katherine good fortune and God’s blessings throughout her retirement.

 

Welcome

Leticia Nelson, who joined the Human Resources Department at our Pastoral Center on Monday, July 23. Leticia will be working with our parishes, schools and affiliated Catholic entities as a Human Resources Administrator, assisting in the areas of Compliance and Retirement. Her first major project is working with parish and school Compliance Officers to add data on all active volunteers within our diocese and in updating the information for transition to complete our electronic processing of background checks.

Leticia comes to us from the City of Deming, NM, and brings a wealth of knowledge and skills about day to day operations management, implementing programs and project management aimed at achieving the mission of the organization and long-term objectives.

Join me in welcoming Leticia.

 

Prayer Opportunity
Late last week I sent a letter to all pastors regarding the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Call to Prayer Novena that begins this Friday.

As I wrote in the letter, I invite all to join me and Catholics nationwide in a weekly moment of prayer from early August to late September 2018 for the legal protection of human life.  Here is the rest of the letter:

As proceedings move forward for the approval of a new U.S. Supreme Court justice, there is heightened conversation about the laws permitting abortion in our country. In the midst of these conversations, we as Catholics have the opportunity to renew our efforts to promote laws that protect life at all stages. We place our emphasis on our moral code, not on political expediency.

Accordingly, at this time, the United States Catholic Bishops are inviting all Catholics to join in a Call to Prayer Novena.  Each Friday, from August 3 to September 28, 2018, we will have the opportunity to join in a nine-week effort of prayer, fasting and education that our nation will move closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.

As part of the USCCB Call to Prayer, participants can receive weekly prayer reminders by text message or email. In addition to the current invitation to fast on Fridays, participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for this intention and will receive important facts about how Roe v. Wade is not health care, is bad law, and fails women.  

 May our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand. Thank you for your continued, prayerful leadership. 

You may visit the webpage by clicking here Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life. I also encourage people to sign up for the Novena as part of the USCCB Call to Prayer at www.usccb.org/pray. Those who sign up will receive weekly email or text message reminders to pray and fast along with a fact about Ro v. Wadeto share with others including their two U.S. senators (through NCHLA/Human Life Action).

 

Deacon Convocation

Our Permanent Deacons will be gathering for their annual Convocation Friday and Saturday at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson.  This year is the 50thAnniversary of the establishment of this ordained ministry. Many spouses of the deacons also will be attending the Convocation.

Here in our diocese, we have 171 active Permanent Deacons, who are ordained after several years of study. While Permanent Deacons may be married at the time of their ordination, they cannot marry or remarry after ordination. Deacons may baptize, witness marriages, perform funeral and burial services outside of Mass, distribute Holy Communion, and preach homilies.  

Deacon Owen Cummings, a well-known presenter, is the keynote speaker at this year’s Convocation. He has 18 published works to his credit and is a Catholic theologian.  He works as anAcademic Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology at Mt. Angel Abbey in Mt. Angel, Oregon.

Upcoming

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

Sept. 16:  Catechetical Sunday.  Celebrated worldwide, this designation was created back in 1935when the Vatican published a document called “On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education”. The document asked that all countries acknowledge the importance of the Church’s teaching ministry and to honor those who serve the Christian community as catechists.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “For the first few years after Catechetical Sunday was established, national catechetical congresses were held in conjunction with the celebration. Beginning in 1971, the USCCB’s Department of Education began producing materials to help parishes celebrate the event at the local level. When the Committee on Catechesis, now named the Committee of Evangelization and Catechesis, was named by the Conference as a standing Committee, it continued to publish Catechetical Sunday materials each year. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated the third Sunday in September as Catechetical Sunday.”

Catechists are those involved in teaching in the name of the Church. They, along with parents, convey the teaching of our faith, celebration of sacraments and the following of many Catholic practices, such as leaving according to Catholic Social Teaching.

This year, the theme for Catechetical Sunday is “Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ.” On this day, catechists will be formally commissioned for ministry at each parish.