|One year ago, today, Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger was named the seventh Bishop of Tucson, succeeding retiring Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas. Bishop Weisenburger was installed at St. Augustine Cathedral on Nov. 29, 2017..|
U.S. dioceses urged to have emergency collection for disaster relief
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WASHINGTON -- The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops requested Oct. 2 that U.S. dioceses take up an emergency collection to help those devastated by Hurricane Florence and any other natural disasters that might occur the rest of the year.
"We offer our prayers to families who have lost loved ones or are among those injured. As is often the case, the poor are the hardest hit by these conditions, but many will have immense unmet needs," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in a recent letter to the nation's bishops.
Excerpts from his letter were included in a USCCB news release about the need for this collection.
The cardinal said the staff at the USCCB Office for National Collections in Washington "has been in touch with several bishops to learn about their situations and to offer our prayers and our desire to be of assistance in this time of need."
Funds will be used for "the humanitarian, long-term recovery and church needs arising from these storms," Cardinal DiNardo said.
"The traditional storm season has only just begun and already we have witnessed the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas," the cardinal said.
Torrential rainfall and catastrophic flooding due to Florence have severely damaged or destroyed "thousands of homes, businesses, and churches," he said. "Given the patterns of recent years, it is reasonable to expect much more unpredictable weather and an increasing number of natural disasters."
Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
Photos by Steff Koeneman
“Snickers” receives his blessing from Bishop Weisenburger safely clinging to its owner at St. Anthony School in Casa Grande. Above left, a close-up of this beloved pet.
This morning I celebrated Mass with the students, faculty and parish community members of St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande. We also blessed pets of some of the families. This annual blessing reminds us of Saint Francis of Assisi's love for all creatures.
I was reading about this blessing of pets on the Franciscan media site and it reiterated many reasons our pets become so beloved to us.
"For single householders, a pet can be a true companion. Many people arrive home from work to find a furry friend overjoyed at their return. Many a senior has a lap filled with a purring fellow creature.
The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love . . .
The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:
"Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired Saint Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen."
At St. Anthony School, I was pleased to offer the blessing to several turtles, a couple of hamsters or gerbils, a lizard, a large lizard named "Snickers", a rooster named "Reynaldo", lots of dogs, including "Baxter", "Lobo" and I think another "Snickers" or two, several cats that were surprisingly calm despite the presence of so many dogs, two baby chicks and a goldfish.
Many of our Pastoral Center employees also adore their pets. I have met a couple of these furry companions. Our receptionist, Monalisa, loving compiled a list of many parishes offering pet blessings this week. Birds, lizards, horses . . . usually are welcome. Please check with your parish for location and other safety rules they may have:
Here is the list of blessings:
Corpus Christi, Tucson – Saturday at 10a.m.
Most Holy Nativity, Tucson – Saturday at 10 a.m.
Our Lady of Grace, Maricopa – Thursday at 5 p.m.
Our Lady of the Mountains, Sierra Vista – Thursday at 8 a.m.
Our Lady of the Valley, Green Valley – Thursday at 11 a.m.
Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson – Thursday at 6 p.m.
Sacred Heart, Nogales – Thursday at 5:15 p.m.
Sacred Heart, Tombstone – Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Rose Arbor
Sacred Heart, Tucson – Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot
San Xavier Mission, Tucson – Thursday at 8 a.m.
Santa Cruz, Tucson – Thursday at 8 a.m.
St Ann's, Tubac - Saturday at 10 a.m. in the parish office
St Anthony of Padua, Casa Grande – Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
SEAS, Tucson – Thursday at 6 p.m. in the RE courtyard
St Francis de Sales, Tucson – Thursday at 6 p.m.
St Francis of Assisi, Superior – Thursday at 5 p.m.
St Francis of Assisi, Yuma – Saturday at 10 a.m.
St George, Apache Junction – Saturday at 10 a.m.
St Margaret Mary, Tucson – Saturday at 10 a.m.
St Mark, Tucson – Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the RE class
St Odilia, Tucson – Saturday at 10 a.m.
St Rita, Vail – Sunday at 2 p.m.
St Rose of Lima, Safford – Thursday at 7 a.m.
Let's talk about . . .
This Saturday, I will be gathering with our women religious at Sts. Peter and Paul for an hour-long discussion on subjects they would like to discuss. I enjoy these types of forums; in this case, religious working at parishes, in social service ministries, education or other community organizations can bring their perspectives and questions forward.
We will follow the discussions with Mass at the parish and a reception.
Congratulations St. Gianna!
Also this weekend, I will have the opportunity to preach at St. Gianna near downtown Tucson. St. Gianna, operated by canons of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, offers Mass according to the traditional Latin liturgy of 1962.
This liturgy is part of this faith community's celebration of its 10-year anniversary within our diocese.
Diocesan Priests Retreat
Please pray for the many priests of our diocese who will be attending the first of three retreat opportunities open to them this year. This first session begins Sunday and continues through Friday, Oct. 5.
Our Pastoral Services Department reports that just more than 50 priests are registered for this retreat, which will be led by Father Christopher Cartwright, S.J.
Father Cartwright is associate Director of the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The retreats provide time for reflection and rest - both are much needed and appreciated by our priests.
Annual Province Meeting
I will be in Albuquerque, N.M., next week for an annual Province Meeting. Bishops from each of the dioceses in our province, the Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Santa Fe, will be coming together to discuss various topics. This gathering is hosted by a different diocese each year. Other province members include: the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and the dioceses of Gallup, Las Cruces, Phoenix and Tucson.