Update: Pastoral Center move
The Diocesan Pastoral Center will be moving into its new location at Cathedral Square, at 192 S. Stone Ave., Building #2, the week of March 25. As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25, the switchboard at the existing Pastoral Center and diocese offices will close to the public. The offices will reopen at the new location just north of St. Augustine Cathedral on Monday, April 1 at 8 a.m.
Please note that email will be out of service for one or more days, and that Pastoral Center staff may not be able to view or respond to email for one or more days during the week-long closure.
When the offices reopen, all phone numbers and emails will be the same as before the move.
Pastors and offices managers at parishes will receive information on how to contact diocesan personnel during the closure.
Prayer & Action
Registration now open to teens enrolled in high school
This is the second year that our diocese is sponsoring its Prayer & Action program for young Catholics.
Prayer & Action is a program that brings high school aged youths together to work at a mission service retreat where they help elderly or other homeowners with yard work, painting or cleaning.
Prayer & Action is a six day (and five night) summer camp. Kids are dropped off at a host location at noon on Sunday and picked the following Friday at noon. The experience emphasizes service to others. There is work, but also fun and games and prayer. It is a program that was successful in my last diocese and very much taught teens by giving them a better understanding of the needs of others, what they could do to help, and how wonderful it is to be of service.
It is our hope that the experiences gained in Prayer & Action programs can become the starting ground for these teens to consider future ministries and careers dedicated to others.
Prayer & Action provides a great opportunity to take a week or two in the summer to help others, to make new friends and to develop new perspectives about the world around us.
I encourage teens and their parents and guardians to take a look at Prayer and Action and consider whether it might be a good way to spend time this summer.
See the graphic for more details. There is a registration fee of $50.
How is your Lent going?
Check out Bishop Weisenburger's Lenten Minutes on our diocesan homepage at www.diocesetucson.org. Each week, Bishop suggests ideas for meditation or different ideas to ponder. Click on the icon above to locate the video, or listen to the audio in Spanish. ( Audio en Español ) The next video will be posted on Saturday.
Rite of Election - Tucson area
Photos by Iliana Gonzales
A program from the Rite of Election at Cathedral. Below, participants raise the parish Books of the Elect during the Rite.
I reported briefly on this celebration at the beginning of Lent where those seeking to fully join the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil participate in Rite of Election. Those joining the Church are either Catechumens (those who have never been baptized in any church) to be the Elect as they prepare for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. The second group is known as Candidates -- those who have been baptized in another Christian community and who will continue their journey to receive Confirmation and Eucharist at that time. Our diocese held a Rite of Election in Yuma on Feb. 26, and then, here in Tucson on Sunday , for people who live closer to this area.
In Yuma, we recognized 45 Catechumens and 68 Candidates, all coming from five parishes in the Yuma/La Paz Vicariate.
Sunday, we recognized in Tucson 91 Catechumens and 111 Candidates from 35 parishes.
Congratulations to all!
Kino Heritage Society
Take a look at the Society's 2011 video about its Padre Kino exhibit at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9zFXdECbfE
I will celebrate Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday, St. Patrick's Day, for the members of the Kino Heritage Society in commemoration of the anniversary of the death of Padre Eusebio Kino, an early Church leader around these parts. For the record, the good Padre passed away in March 1711. The Heritage Society works "to promote the legacy of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino and support his cause of canonization." Kino was a man of many talents and worked in his life as a missionary, a map maker and an astronomer.
According to Wikipedia, for the "the last 24 years of his life he worked in the region then known as the Pimería Alta, modern-day Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona in the United States. He explored the region and worked with the indigenous Native American population, including primarily the Tohono O'Odham, Sobaipuri and other Upper Piman groups. He proved that the Baja California Peninsula is not an island by leading an overland expedition there. By the time of his death he had established more than 20 missions and visitas (country chapels or visiting stations)."
Other online sources credit Padre Kino with establishing 21 missions in and around the Pimeria Alta during the late 1600s and early 1700s including San Xavier, Tumacácori and Guevavi.
As mentioned earlier, the Kino Heritage Society follows the cause of Padre Kino's canonization. His status currently is listed as "Servant of God," meaning the Roman Catholic Church has begun investigating the possibility of sainthood. The next step in the process, if it proceeds, would be for him to be declared "venerable." This has not yet occurred.
Catholic Rural Life
I will be in St. Paul, Minnesota, for the first part of next week for the National Planning Meeting of Catholic Rural Life, an organization that I serve as president.
This organization, now about 90 years old, is better known in regions with more rural populations. CRL leaders work to understand shared common concerns about Catholic rural life.