Monday Memo, April 25, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 15

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Priest convocation
For several days this week, all of the active and some retired priests of our diocese will be participating in the annual Priest Convocation held in Chandler, Arizona. We also will hold our monthly Presbyteral Council meeting at the hotel before the start of the Convocation.


This three-day event, in which we gather our priests together for learning, praying and enjoying one another’s company away from the hectic schedules of their parishes or other ministries, is held out of the Diocese, so that the priests can better focus on the convocation and not be lured away by parish operations.


This year, much of the training and learning opportunities are focused on “Money Tools for Presbyters.” Our priests will be attending three sessions focused on money matters ranging from parish fiscal management and other financial topics needed in our parishes today. Most priests do not receive much preparation in seminary for administering a parish and these presentations will add much to their knowledge of one important part of their ministry.


In addition, the priests will attend the annual meeting of the Priests’ Assurance Corporation and will also elect a board member for the PAC to replace Father John Allt, current chair of the Board of the Priest Assurance Corporation. Father Allt is currently the pastor of St. Rita Parish in Vail and has served on the PAC for many years. His leadership has helped the PAC to better meet the needs of our retired priests. Among the issues that will be discussed is the intention of the PAC Board to secure the assistance of a qualified nurse or other person to assess the physical, emotional and financial needs of our retired priests.


Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston, director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, will present a panel discussion for priests on protection information; Alicia Corti, assistant director for Human Resources will present vital information on Human Resource topics; and I will be making a presentation on Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ post-Synodal Exhortation on Marriage and Family. The Holy Father has much to say to priests working with marriages and families in these challenging times and I look forward to hearing their thoughts and recommendations.


We also will celebrate priest jubilees on Wednesday evening. Please join me in congratulating:

25th Anniversary of Ordination:
Father Martin Atanga Baabuge, V.F., pastor at Holy Cross Parish in Morenci
Father Gregory Adolf, pastor, St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista
Father Robert Carney, Jr., in residence at St. Frances de Sales Parish in Tucson
Father William Gyure, administrator, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Tombstone

40th Anniversary of Ordination:
Father Christopher Corbally, S.J.
Father Stephen Barnufsky, O.F.M., pastor at Mission San Xavier in Tucson
Father Donald Bramble, O.P., serving at St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona.
Father George Kunnel, M.S.F.S., parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa

50th Anniversary of Ordination
   Father Robert Brazaskas, retired
Father Richard Fliss, retired
Father Ambrose Nwohu, pastor at St. Helen Parish in Oracle

60th Anniversary of Ordination
Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo, retired long-time pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish in Tucson
Father Ronald Gagnon, retired
Msgr. Robert Fuller, pastor, St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Tucson


Please pray for our priests as they participate in the Convocation. They will be arriving at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos tomorrow afternoon and staying through about mid-day Thursday, April 28.


It is important for our priests to come together and spend time in this type of experience.


My thanks to Sister Lois Paha and Ofelia James of our Pastoral Services Department, who handle the bulk of the planning and organization for this Convocation each year, and to all of our presenters and staff – Chancellor Kathy Rhinehart, Angelica Lozier, Dr. Rosemary, Alicia Corti, Rachel Guzman, Richard Serrano, Omar Rodriguez and Victor Calderon for their work to make the Convocation a success.


I conferred the sacrament of Confirmation on the young people at St. Joseph Parish in Hayden and Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Kearny in Hayden yesterday as well as four young people at Santa Catalina Parish in Tucson. On Friday I will fly to Chicago to confirm my great nephew, Quinn Gerald, with his friends at St. Mary Parish in Riverside, Illinois.


Catholic Foundation News
The Annual Cornerstone Gala
Don’t forget to reserve a spot for the Cornerstone Gala, which will be held at the JW Marriott Starr Pass on May 6.   The proceeds from this annual event help fund the grants that the Catholic Foundation offers to our Diocese. For information on the Gala, contact Clara Moreno at (520) 838-2507 or email at



Payson Visit
I always enjoy visiting St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Payson which is among the furthest out of Tucson among the parishes in our Diocese. St. Philip’s is closer to Phoenix and only receives Phoenix news broadcasts and newspapers. Father Ed Lucero is the pastor. During my visit I had a chance to visit a thrift shop and food bank run by the St. Vincent de Paul Society. What an impressive operation. Bill and Brenda Day are the coordinators of the thrift shop and it is so well-organized with many very attractive items for sale to assist the poor. The Food Pantry distributes large quantities of food to those individuals and families who are in need of food assistance.


While in Payson I visited the Catholic radio studio of KPIH, 98.9 FM that broadcasts Catholic programs. Deacon Tom Fox and the station Board of Directors have worked hard to make this programming possible with the help of many. Another Catholic radio station is being discussed in the Yuma area.


Father Ed Lucero had me accompany him on his home visits to the homebound. It is always a moving experience to see the faith of our elderly even amid their struggles. They were so appreciative for Father Ed’s visits and the care shown to them by the parish.


Twelve young people were confirmed during my visit.


San Miguel High School
I will celebrate a Founders’ Mass at San Miguel High School today on the feast day of St. Mark. San Miguel is one of the Cristo Rey Schools which is a unique program of Catholic Education. At the high school, young people ,as part of their academic program, work at a company learning job skills. This school is sponsored by the De La Salle Brothers who help staff the school and provide it with the vision of St. John De La Salle who was a marvelous educator of the young.


Soccer Match
Priests vs. Seminarians
Friday, May 27
Golf Links Sports Complex Field A
2400 S. Craycroft Road
6 p.m.

Everyone is getting excited about the Soccer Match between Priests and Seminarians –the rematch of the year.


The “Fr. Kino’s Cup” event is a rematch from last year’s soccer game, and the priests have been training for victory to make up for their loss to the seminarians This is going to be a great way to begin the summer! Both priests and seminarians need fans to cheer them on.   Come join the fun. There will be surprises, hotdogs, a raffle and lots more.