Memo Archives


Vol. 10, No. 6
Sept. 24, 2012


Mass for Victims
Over the weekend, the parishes of our Diocese said Masses for the child victims of violent crimes.

The Masses were our way of reaching out to our communities for two reasons: 1. We want to support, embrace and reassure victims of child crimes past or more recent –those that occurred within our household of faith, and those that occurred elsewhere – that we know their pain and that we stand ready to be available for them. 2. We want to broaden awareness of the need to be vigilant about preventing violent crimes against children.  We must all stand ready to protect children by staying observant and by listening. We must be aware of any signs or symptoms that a child is being harmed and be ready to report or make authorities aware to help that child. Always.

Deacon Paul Duckro, director of our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, and our Office of Pastoral Services, headed by Sr. Lois Paha, O.P., created a beautiful liturgy, with blessings and a Litany of Healing.  These parts of the Mass combined with the soothing and prayerful music made for a truly healing experience.

Several community leaders joined us for Mass, including City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild; Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and his wife, Susie; Susan Luker from Casa de Los Ninos; Ann Charles, representing the office of Councilman Steve Kozachik,Ward 6; Kathy Rau, executive director of the Children’s’ Advocacy Center, and Fred Tapia and his wife, Rita, of Homicide Survivors, Inc.

I am grateful to all that attended, and I hope that the Masses for victims celebrated at all of our parishes across our Diocese brought healing and hope, as well as renewed commitment to protect all young ones from harm.

A duty and privilege
I am honored to stand in place of my friend and colleague, Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, during the upcoming General Synod of the Assembly of Bishops taking place at the Vatican during most of the month of October.

As you may know, Cardinal George has suffered a relapse of cancer and is undergoing treatment, and so cannot attend the Synod.  I am the first alternate that was elected by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and now will attend.

These synods were begun by Pope Paul VI, in his Apostolic Letter "Motu proprio" Apostolica Sollicitudo, in September 1965.  He later explained the Synod as “an ecclesial institute, which we, questioning the signs of the times, and even more so in trying to interpret in depth Divine plans and the constitution of the Catholic Church, have established after Vatican Council II, to promote unity and collaboration between the Bishops of the whole world in this Apostolic See.

This is a group of bishops and cardinals, charged with advising the Pope on the governing of the Universal Church regarding her safe-keeping, to increase faith and traditions, to maintain and confirm ecclesial disciplines and to study the problems concerning the Church's activities in the world.
The Synod I am attending is the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops since 1965.  The focus of this Synod is evangelization.

I will be leaving for Rome during the first week of October.  There are several important events taking place in our own Diocese that I now will be unable to attend, but I will be with you in spirit, praying for the success of our plans for the Arizona Rosary Celebration, two events planned by members of our Native American Community in celebration of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, several parish and other anniversaries, the annual Red Mass, and our Youth Fest.

I will be able to help launch our Year of Faith through a video to be shown at all parishes.

Let us continue to remember Cardinal George in our prayers for a full and speedy recovery.


More on SB-1070
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton lifted a preliminary injunction on SB-1070 – a controversial immigration law enacted in Arizona two years ago that has several highly contested stipulations, including one section requiring law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of people.

Now, with SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers are “empowered to inquire about an individual’s immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion.”
Judge Bolton permanently barred Arizona from enforcing three other provisions of the Arizona law on illegal immigration; provisions that the Supreme Court found were preempted by federal law.

The bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference oppose SB-1070.  Please read the statement released by our Conference below:


Arizona Catholic Bishops' statement on Federal Court Lifting SB-1070 Injunction on SB-1070

September 19, 2012
Yesterday, in accordance with the earlier U.S. Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070, the injunction was lifted against the provision essentially requiring state and local officers to inquire about the immigration status of any person stopped, detained, or arrested, if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is not lawfully present in the United States.

With SB 1070 now in effect, it is imperative that racial profiling does not occur in its
implementation. In particular, the Arizona Catholic Bishops are sympathetic to the difficult situation facing police officers throughout Arizona who will face intense scrutiny while trying to properly implement this new law without unjust discrimination.

As we noted in our earlier statements, this provision of law does not fix the broken federal immigration policy in our country, but has the possibility of heightening fear in the immigrant community, sowing seeds of distrust, and separating families.

Accordingly, the Arizona Bishops will continue to work with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in advocating for comprehensive immigration policy reform that will address needed border security, provide legal avenues for workers to assist employers in our country, and to resolve the legal status of nearly 12 million hard working people who now live in the shadows.

Convocation for Religious
Next Saturday, Sept. 29, our Vicar for Religious is hosting the Annual Convocation for all Vowed Religious of the Diocese at the Benedictine Monastery. The theme of the gathering is “Election – Promise – Providence …The story of Abraham and Sarah as a paradigm for the story of the Church which is a mirror for our own identity as the Elect.”
I know that the Religious will benefit from the presentation by Fr. Thomas Picton, C.S.s.R, director of the Desert House of Prayer.  I look forward to celebrating Mass with all our religious at the end of the day.
Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P., will introduce Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., who will be taking over for Sister Rina when she retires at the end of December.

Year of Faith: Awaken, Discover, Inspire
The beginning of the Year of Faith, established by Pope Benedict XVI is fast approaching. In our Diocese, we are embracing this year as an opportunity to provide many activities to our Catholic communities with information and inspiration. The Year of Faith begins Oct. 14, and continues through November 2013.

We want to remind everyone about our Catholic roots here.  All around our Diocese there are the missions, chapels and other historical reminders of the missionaries that brought our faith to this area.  There is the faith history of our Diocese – the work of Padre Kino and the Jesuits, then the Franciscans, the Sisters, then our bishops and all along the way the many Catholics who contributed to the early life of our Church.

Each parish has its own faith history about early members that built their church on a bedrock of faith.  During this Year of Faith, we encourage all parishes to explore and spread their own faith stories.  In October, the New Vision newspaper will publish the first feature story about a Vicariate – the first write up is about the history of the Cochise Vicariate – to be followed by a different Vicariate each month. The October newspaper also will publish the first in a series we’re calling “Faith Journeys”. These are stories written by lay people in our Diocese. We asked the Faith Journey writers to reflect on those who inspired them to embrace Christ, as well as to include some information about what has challenged their faith.
Hopefully, your own parishes will be publishing similar faith journey stories in your parish bulletins or by some other means. We hope these stories will inspire our own faith.

The first Monday Memo of October will list the diocesan events planned for the Year of Faith. One event to plan for now is Jan. 26, 2013 for our all-day seminar on Rediscovering Vatican II.  Dr. Massimo Faggioli, an expert in this area, is the seminar keynote speaker.  One other aspect of our Year of Faith includes inviting those who have left our Church to return. We hope the planned activities will both inspire our already devoted Catholics, and serve as opportunities for others to return to the faith.

There are many activities and events coming up during the Year of Faith.  Our Diocese will publish these online, in the New Vision and in the Monday Memo.  


Youth Fest
It’s time to register for YOUTHfest 2012, our annual diocesan youth day. This event is set for Oct. 27 at the Tucson Convention Center. Beginning Oct. 12, you can download the registration packet from the YOUTHfest 2012 webpage:

The theme for our YOUTHfest follows the Year of Faith theme of  “Awaken, Discover and Inspire.” Participating teens will start with a great keynote presentation, “AWAKENING the roots of our Catholic faith” with a special emphasis on Padre Eusebio Kino, one of the founders of the faith in Arizona.

Joe Perdreauville, director of our Office of Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry, tells me the festival workshops will help teens DISCOVER ways to increase their faith and love of God as St. Augustine did. Then, teens will be INSPIRED by keynote speaker Chris Padgett to share their faith with others through their actions, decisions, and lives as called for by Pope Benedict XVI.

This year’s YOUTHfest will include a special collection for the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), an organization working for humane and workable migration between the United States and Mexico a reality.  My thanks to Father Sean Carroll, S.J., director of KBI, for joining us this year at YOUTHfest 2012.

Oh, by the way, the three superheroes of YOUTHfest 2012 are: Padre Kino, St. Augustine, and Pope Benedict XVI.


Our new Coordinator of  Hispanic Ministry
Welcome to Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., who begins work as our new Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry this week.
Sister Gladys has been the Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish since 2009 and served in a similar position at Holy Cross Parish in Mesa, Arizona. Sister also has worked with our Vicar for Vowed Religious in planning vocation discernment retreats for women.

Sister Gladys began her work in the Misiones Province in northeast Argentina, and has more than a decade of experience in Hispanic and multi-cultural parish ministry. Before working in Arizona, she ministered and studied in California and Argentina. She holds a Master of Arts degree in in Multicultural Ministry from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Studies from the Catholic University of Montoya in Misiones, Argentina.

The position of Coordinator for Hispanic Ministry had been vacant since 2008, but thanks to funding from Catholic Extension, we have restored this much needed position for our Diocese.

My thanks to Margie Puerta Edson, director of the Catholic Foundation for securing the grant to fund the position;  and to Sr. Lois Paha, O.P., director of Pastoral Services, and Richard Serrano, director of Human Resources, for their work to fill this position as soon as possible.

Movimiento De Renovacion Catolica Carismatica
I was delighted to celebrate Mass in Spanish with the Charismatic Movement this past weekend. I am grateful to Father Marco Basulto, parochial vicar at St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista, who serves as the Spiritual Director for the movement. I was pleased that Deacon Raul Rodriquez from the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon and who is Spiritual Director of the movement for Region 8, which includes 27 dioceses, was able to be with us.

Participants in the Movement sing and pray with fervor and their faith is inspiring and moving. I was able to install the new leadership for the movement and to bless them as they take on their new leadership roles. I was also able to thank those who have finished their service. They have worked hard.

Election guidelines
With the general elections coming in November, I ask that all of our parishes and diocesan employees remember to follow the guidelines prepared by our Office of Corporate Matters, and by the United States Conference of Catholics Bishops. These guidelines will prevent any confusion on handling complicated election topics.

We have sent the information below to all parishes:

“As the general election begins to unfold – it bears reminding that campaigning for individual candidates and some political activities can jeopardize your 501(c)(3) tax exemption status.

Activities such as arranging for a candidate to speak at the parish, collecting voter signatures for a candidate to be added to the ballot, endorsements or support for particular candidates, use of any parish equipment/offices and fundraising for candidates, are some of the areas that could put a parish at risk.

Usually, the most noticeable violations during this time are political signs or pamphlets placed on church property.”

I encourage all parishes to follow the USCCB’s Do’s and Don’ts available at their website:  Here are a few of the guides:

-Address the moral and human dimensions of public issues.
- Share church teaching on human life, human rights, and justice and peace.
-Apply Catholic values to legislation and public issues.
- Conduct a non-partisan voter registration drive on church property.
- Distribute unbiased candidate questionnaires covering issues of human life, justice, and peace that have been reviewed and approved by your diocesan attorney.
- Check with your diocesan attorney if you have any questions about what is appropriate.

-Endorse or oppose candidates for political office.
- Distribute partisan campaign literature under church auspices.
-Arrange for groups to work for a candidate for public office.
- Invite only selected candidates to address your church-sponsored group.
- Conduct voter registration slanted toward one party.
- Distribute a biased candidate survey.

The USCCB website at  also has many wonderful resources to assist Catholics in understanding and relating to the confusing political arena in alignment with our faith.

Please pray for . . .
The soul of Ruth Borchardt, mother of Sheri Dahl, the assistant superintendent of the Diocese of Tucson Catholic Schools, who passed away early Friday morning.

The soul of Claire Tureman who passed away Sept. 15.  She is mother of Father Thomas Tureman, S.D.S., who recently arrived in our Diocese and who is helping at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson.