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Wednesday Update


Seminarian Convocation


Seminarians at the Kino Border Initiative Comedor. The seminarians assisted with serving food to those within the Comedor, and spoke with many, hearing both stories of struggles and of hope.

Photo by Steff Koeneman

This week our 13 seminarians are involved in their annual Convocation. This is the time of year, just before they all return to their studies, when they can gather for some instruction, paperwork, photographs and reunion time.

Discernment and study are critical times for each seminarian, and it cannot be shortchanged. This time with their brother seminarians, with Msgr. Al Schifano, one of our Directors of Vocations, and with me, hopefully will give our potential future priests the time to discuss matters important to this discernment. The time certainly gives us the chance to get to know them and their needs better.


Seminarians Abundio Colazo- Lopez, and Alan Soto-Hopkins, listen intently as one visitor to the Comedor answers their questions.

Photo by Dcn. Clayton Nickel

In addition, the seminarians this year visited the Nogales Border area, hearing from Father Sean Carroll, S.J., executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, and visited with migrants that our diocese and other faiths are working to assist. The seminarians then visited the KBI’s Comedor (community kitchen) and the Women’s and Children’s shelter.

Understanding the needs of those who have been marginalized, both at the International Border and throughout our diocese may become a very real part of their ministry as priests; the visit to a border shelter was an excellent learning experience for our seminarians. Many seminarians spoke of how their conversations with migrants had great impact on them, and it was obvious from the seminarians’ recounting of their observations and the detail they included in relating their experiences, that they were touched by what they learned. Five of our seminarians visited Tumacacori Mission and learned a great deal about the beginnings of the Church here in Arizona.

Also, we welcome Luis Alberto Palencia as a seminarian. Luis, 18, just graduated from Cibola High School in Yuma and was a long-time member of the Arcoiris Youth group. He will be attending Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore., this semester. Our seminarians attend Mt. Angel, Mundelein in Mundelein, Ill., and St. John’s near Santa Barbara, Calif. Let’s pray for all as they return to studies.

 Photo by Steff Koeneman  Photo by Dcn. Clayton Nickel
Seminarians Luis Palencia, Richard Rivera and Charles Nagore bow their heads in prayers for those at the Comedor; above right, Bishop Edward Weisenburger and seminarian Jesus Gomez focus on the topic.


Deacon Convocation

Photos from last week’s gathering of Deacons. According to Director of Deacons Rick Valencia, 100 deacons along with 68 Deacon’s wives attended the day-long annual conference.
Photos below are by Dcn. Clayton Nickel:



Prayer Opportunity

A reminder about this Novena. To recap, 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.


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

Sept. 16:  Catechetical Sunday.Celebrated worldwide, this designation was created back in 1935 when 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 living 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.