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Wednesday Update

Photo courtesy of Sister Lois Paha, O.P.
Members of our Diocese of Tucson delegation at the National V Encuentro meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

V Encuentro

We had a wonderful experience at the national V Encuentro meeting in Grapevine, Texas last week.

Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry; Sister Lois Paha, O.P. director of Pastoral Services; Ofelia James, executive assistant of Pastoral Services and others representing many of our parishes, were among the 50 delegates that attended from our diocese.  I attended as well.

We posted an overview of the Encuentro meeting on our homepage that offers more in-depth information than is included here, but astory by Catholic News Service reported that “About 3,200 diocesan delegates attended the event.  (They represented the more than 250,000 people nationwide who participated in the local process over the past four years). Bishops and representatives from ecclesial movements and Catholic organizations also participated in four days of dialogue and consultation to discern the priority issues for Hispanic ministry currently and for years to come.

“The V Encuentro surpassed its goal of identifying and preparing 25,000 new ministry leaders.

“The three most pressing priorities identified focus on developing faith formation opportunities, strengthening families, and developing more paid positions for Hispanic youth and young adult ministries. Another important outcome of the Encuentro is the goal to develop

"The experience of the Encuentro surpassed all my expectations," said Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, the Vatican's secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, who encouraged attendees to continue being committed to their ministries and expand their leadership and outreach.

Father Raul Valencia, pastor of St. Monica Parish in Tucson, is ready to put things into practice at his parish.

"We have had an encounter with ourselves, with Christ, and with many opportunities and hope, to strengthen the pastoral 'Hispana,' " he told Catholic News Service.”

At the Pastoral Center

Effective October 1, Sonya Gutierrez, executive assistant to the bishop, has accepted the position of Executive Assistant to the Moderator of the Curia/Vicar General. 

Clara Heslinga, administrative assistant in the Office of Vocations, is being promoted to the position of Executive Assistant to the Bishop. 

Angelica Lozier, executive assistant to the Chancellor, has accepted the position of Executive Assistant in the Office of Vocations.

The additional change that will be taking place effective October 1, 2018 will be in the Human Resources Department.  Richard Serrano, director of Human Resources , will be retiring effective Jan. 2, 2019.  He has worked in our Diocese for more than 15 and developed the department over the years.  Alicia Corti, assistant director, will take over as Director on Oct.1. Richard will assist with the transition until retirement.

Congratulations Bishop Cantú

I will be in San Jose, Calif., later this week to participate in a Mass of Welcome for Bishop Oscar Cantú, who was appointed Bishop Coadjutor in the Diocese of San Jose in July.  He had been Bishop of Las Cruces since 2013.  He now will be working alongside Bishop Patrick J. McGrath.

The Mass will be held Sept. 28 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.

Most Reverend Oscar Cantú, was born December 5, 1966, in Houston, TX, the son of Ramiro and Maria de Jesus Cantú, natives of small towns near Monterrey in Mexico. He is the fifth of eight children, five boys, and three girls. Bishop Cantú attended Holy Name Catholic School and St. Thomas High School in Houston, and he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, Texas. He received his master’s degree in Divinity and Master’s in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas also in Houston. He attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome Italy where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology, as well as his Doctorate in Sacred Theology in Dogmatic Theology. Bishop Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston in 1994.

Bishop Cantú was ordained a bishop in 2008 and was appointed Titular Bishop of Dardano and Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio. In 2013, Bishop Cantú was appointed as second bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, NM, which is part of the same region as our diocese.

Equestrian Order

Following the Mass of Welcome, I will join members of our local Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre  Western Lieutenancy during a meeting in Orange County, California.

We have a strong group of Knights and Ladies here in our diocese. Including three new members listed below, there are 41 members. Here are the new members that will be invested into the Order on Saturday:

Ms. Willie Mae Jordan-Curtis
Dr. Hector Fernandez-Barillas
Ken Gallagher

The members listed below are being promoted:

Dr. Ana and Dr. Alejandro Sanguineti
Iris Taylor
Dick and Sandy Kolasa
Ernie and Kathy Nedder
Sr. Lois Paha

Two members of the Diocese order  that have passed away -- Josephine Neihart and Col. Georgia Thomas – will be remembered during the Saturday night liturgy.

The order has a long history, but today it is the only lay institution of the Vatican State charged with the task of providing for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and of all the activities and initiatives to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land. The contributions made by its members are therefore the Patriarchal institutions’ main source of funding.

Among the chief goals of the order is the support of the preservation and propagation of the Faith in the Holy Land and promote interest in this work not only among Catholics scattered throughout the world, who are united in charity by the symbol of the Order, but also among all other Christians, and to uphold the rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.


Canon Jonathan Fehrenbacherwho joins the parish community at St. Gianna Oratory at Holy Family Church.

St. Gianna Oratory celebrates Mass according to the traditional Latin liturgy of 1962.

Information from Christ the King Sovereign Priest states “The Institute's charism is the use of the traditional Latin Liturgy of 1962 for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the other sacraments. Great care for a solemn liturgy, complete fidelity to the doctrine of the Church and the Holy Father, and awareness of the central role of Grace, especially Charity — these are essential elements of the Institute's spirituality, which is drawn from its three co-patrons, St. Benedict, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Francis de Sales. Our motto, taken from St. Paul, is "Live the truth in charity." The Institute operates in more than fifty places in twelve countries, where our priests focus on the care of souls in many different ways. To assist our priests in their apostolic work, the Institute also has clerical oblates.”

We also welcome Patricia Stanley, as office manager for our Catholic Tuition Support Organization, or CTSO.  She begins Monday and is taking over for Marty Esparza who left CTSO earlier this month.

School Visit and Mass

I will be visiting with the students and faculty at St Anthony School in Casa Grande on Oct. 3.  We will celebrate Mass and the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Casa Grande is about 50 miles from Tucson, midway between Tucson and Phoenix. 

The city was founded in 1879 as a location for part of the  Southern Pacific Railroad during one of  Arizona’s mining booms.  At that time, according to Wikipedia, the town had only five residents and three buildings. A year later, railroad officials renamed the area Casa Grande after the Hohokom ruins nearby. 

Mining ups and downs, as well as fire, nearly destroyed Casa Grande, but once agriculture took root in the area, the town’s future became more certain.

Casa Grande is home to Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort, former spring training location for the San Francisco Giants ,and has industries such as agriculture and manufacturing.  In 2010, the population living there was more than 48,000 people.