The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 21 in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
Briefly, let me update you on a few things that already have taken place in 2019. Most active bishops in the United States attended a six-day retreat at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill. The retreat was held at the request of the Holy Father and was a call to us for prayer and examination. One of the highlights of the retreat was that the Retreat Master was Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who serves as a preacher to the papal household.
He was ordained as a priest in the Franciscan Capuchin order in 1958. He holds doctoral degrees in theology and classical literature. He formerly served as a professor of ancient Christian history and the director of the Department of Religious Sciences at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. Father Cantalamessa also served as a member of the International Theological Commission from 1975 until 1981.
He is an impressive preacher. If you would like to read some of his presentations, I encourage you to visit http://www.cantalamessa.org/?lang=en. He is thought provoking with very clear insights.
The retreat presented a wonderful opportunity to refresh our thinking and restore ourselves for the upcoming year.
Vatican Observatory Foundation workshop
For more information, visit: https://www.vofoundation.org/
Yesterday I celebrated Mass for attendees of this Foundation's workshop. We are delighted that the Vatican Observatory is located within our diocese, atop Mount Graham in the mountains around Safford. The Vatican Observatory Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Vatican Observatory and it supports the scientific and educational endeavors of the Vatican Observatory, including the maintenance and modernization of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT).
2019 March for Life
This annual March takes place rain or shine on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. The event begins with Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral at 9 a.m. at 192 South Stone Ave.
The 4.4 mile March begins immediately after Mass when marchers will leave St. Augustine Cathedral and walk to Holy Hope Cemetery, 3535 North Oracle Road, where a memorial service and Rose Ceremony will be held.
The Tucson March For Life has been an annual testimony to life since 1993 and the memorial of the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision, legalizing abortion.
Typically, several hundred people participate in the march, including parish and youth groups.
Participants are encouraged to bring wear comfortable shoes, appropriate outer wear for the weather and to have plenty of water with them.
Italian Catholic Federation Mass and Dinner
This venerable event is one of thousands that have occurred since the ICF was officially organized in the San Francisco area in 1924. Since then, the organization has spread nationwide. According to its website, the organization works through families and fellowship "to promote and support the Catholic faith and its values, encourages apostolic and charitable works, and celebrates our Italian American heritage and all the heritages of our communities."
This year's Mass and dinner will take place Jan. 19 at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley.
2019 Knights of Columbus Mass and Dinner with the Bishop
Sunday, Jan. 20
Reservations required; please visit http://kofcknights.org/Assembly.asp?A=2392
Cost is $150 per person
Another of our big events is this annual gathering. The Msgr. Donald H. Hughes Assembly has been hosting this event for longer than a decade. In more recent years, the Knights have worked to raise money for both seminarian education and our Priest Retirement Fund. The Assembly has raised more than $670,000 over the past 14 years.
Our 2019 honorees are Bishop Emeritus Gerald F. Kicanas and Father Robert Carney. These spiritual leaders have very different backgrounds, but both focused a great part of their ministry on serving immigrants and others struggling to find better lives for their families. I hope you will find their insights, given during a video presentation, to be inspiring.
The evening begins with Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Church followed by dinner and a video about the honorees at the Skyline Country Club.