Monday Memo, March 3, 2014
Vol. 13, No. 8
You may also be interested in reading my recent column on the challenge to help the poor during Lent. Please visit http://www.newvisiononline.org/bishop/
The mark of ashes signals the beginning of Lent, a time to intensify prayer, to become more generous in sharing our gifts and to reflect on our priorities in putting the Lord in our lives. I have suggested in the March New Vision bishop’s column that, as Pope Francis suggested, Lent prods us to attend to the materially, morally and spiritually destitute among us. I emphasize: this prodding relates to each one of us.
This Lent, we can open our eyes to see the pain and suffering present in so many people’s lives. In a park right in the midst of downtown Tucson one can see a homeless camp. I wandered over there the other day from my office with John Shaheen, our diocesan Manager of Property and Insurance. We met people that are materially destitute, others whose families have been lost to them because of addictions, and still others suffering from mental illness. All seemed aimless and lost.
You can go over to Casa Maria in South Tucson, a place of hospitality, and on any day find men, women and children lining up for a cup of soup or a crust of bread.
In all of our communities there are people materially destitute – living in poverty. While we may not be able to turn their lives around, we can consider helping at a “soup kitchen” or a homeless shelter in our community, or simply become more aware this Lent of the suffering so many experience every day and offer prayers on behalf of those materially destitute, remembering the Apostle James’ admonition that prayer without works is useless.
There are many morally destitute people in our communities whose lives are spiraling out of control. They lack a moral compass, a direction and a purpose. They are unhappy and unfulfilled in their frantic search for gratification.
Regretfully, this is often the reality of young people seeking to understand what matters and what is worth pursuing in life. While lecturing them or judging them doesn’t help, we might consider showing and sharing the joy we have found in the Lord. We also can share His teaching through our witness: that when we lose our life through sharing with others, we find life anew; when we hold on to a life attending only to our own needs, we lose our life. Pope Francis has challenged us not to be “sour pusses” but to show the joy that comes in knowing the Lord and living rightly. We can give example of that this Lent.
Finally, there are the spiritually destitute. They lack belief in God or have drifted from their faith or have grown to resent their faith. In every one of our families there are those who, while they identify with being Catholic, are not committed to the faith. As a church we have to take responsibility for some of that. We have not always been as welcoming and as embracing as our merciful God would want. As church we have seriously faltered in living what we profess by causing scandal or by hurting those in our midst.
Lent can be a time to seek forgiveness from those harmed in the household of faith. Lent also can be a time to invite those among our family and friends who have drifted from the Church to come home.
Please note: This series is presented in Spanish only.
Mondays 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
San Miguel High School gymnasium – The Jim Click Center 6601 S. 6601 S. San Fernando Road
Series sessions include
March 17 Sources of Prayer
March 24 Expressions of Prayer
March 31 Prayer and Devotions
April 7 Prayer and Family
Instructor: Msgr Carlos Romero-Moreno, former parochial vicar, St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson currently serving in the Diocese of Margarita in Venezuela .
Archbishop Romero also present this series March 18, 19 and 20 at Immaculate Conception Parish, 505 South Avenue B, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. For more information, call Bertha Rivera at 928 782-7516.
Lenten Penance Services
Throughout Lent, I will publish the upcoming penance services around our dioceses. Lent is an excellent time to think about our lives, make change and seek reconciliation for those acts and times when we might have done better in the eyes of our Lord. Reconciliation gives us an opportunity to re-connect with God in a powerful and liberating way.
This is a list of services only for today through April 11. Please contact your parish for regular reconciliation times and other opportunities for penance services. An entire listing of penance services also can be found in the March edition of the New Vision newspaper, available at your parish. Take a copy home.
-St. Thomas the Apostle: Monday, April 7, 5:30 p.m.
-Santa Catalina: Wednesday, April 2, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
-St. Christopher, Marana: Monday, March 31, 6 p.m.
-St. Mark, Oro Valley: Wednesday, April 9, 4p.m. and 7 p.m.
-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m.
-St. Odilia: Tuesday, April 8, 4p.m. and 7 p.m.
- St. James, Coolidge: Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m.
- St. Michael, San Tan Valley: Wednesday April 2, 7 p.m.
- St. George, Apache Junction: Thursday, April 3
- Assumption, Florence: Friday, April 4, 8:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Our Lady of Grace, Maricopa: Wednesday, April 9, 7 p.m.
- St. Anthony, Casa Grande: Thursday, April 10
- St. Helen, Eloy: Friday, April 11, 7 a.m.
-St. Helen in Oracle: Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m.
-St. Philip in Payson: Thursday, April 3, 6p.m.
-St. Francis of Assisi in Superior: Tuesday, April 8, 7 p.m.
-Infant Jesus of Prague in Kearny: Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m.
-St. Helen in Oracle: Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m.
-St. Philip in Payson: Thursday, April 3, 6 p.m.
-St. Francis of Assisi in Superior: Tuesday, April 8, 7 p.m.
-Infant Jesus of Prague in Kearny: Thursday, April 10, 7 p.m.
-St. Rose of Lima, Safford: Mission: March 1 -4, a priest will be available for confessions each day
-St. Mary’s, Duncan: Confessions will be April 6 after the 12:30 p.m. Mass.
-Communal Penance Service for both Holy Cross in Morenci and Sacred Heart at Holy Cross in Clifton: April 9, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
-Sacred Heart, Willcox: normal schedule for confessions.
- Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson: March 26, 7 p.m.
-St. Patrick in Bisbee: Tuesday, March 18, 6 p.m.
-St. Bernard in Pirtleville: No penance services; parishioners may go to St. Luke Parish in Douglas.
-St. Andrew the Apostle, Sierra Vista – Thursday, March 20, 7 p.m.
- Our Lady of the Mountains, Sierra Vista: Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.
The furor around SB 1062 will subside with Governor Jan Brewer’s veto. She did what she had to do, since the legislation had become so contentious and divisive in our communities. It is unfortunate that the bill was misunderstood and misperceived locally and nationally. Yet the fact that this was the reaction of so many, it was best the measure not go forward.
The intense reaction reflects people’s deep sensitivity and heartfelt concern that anyone would be discriminated against or treated in a way that robs them of their God given dignity. Such attitudes are part of what makes our nation and our culture one in which we can be proud. We are all created equal and deserving of respect. Our faith insists on this principle.
While SB 1062 may fade from memory, the issues the controversy raised are complex and difficult for our society to address, yet they must be faced. We need to strive to balance what, at times, seem conflicting values. Yes, we must oppose discrimination that robs anyone of their dignity and yes we need to uphold the right to practice one’s faith, to follow one’s properly formed conscience, free of coercion – a right America’s founding fathers saw as the foundation to all human rights and liberties.
As we struggle as a nation and a state with seemingly contradictory priorities and values, it is important that we remain respectful, speak with civility, and avoid harsh judgments about another’s motivations. We need in-depth reflections and true dialogue as we work to uphold the values that our nation strives to live. Perhaps a blessing that might come from this painful controversy could be that such reflection and dialogue will happen.
For more information about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s stance on religious liberty, you may want to visit http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/index.cfm and view the video there.
On Sunday, it was my honor to celebrate Mass with a group of girls and boys and their families involved in Catholic scouting.
After Mass, Father Robert Rodriquez, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Solomon, as well as chaplain for Catholic Scouting in our Diocese, along with Virginia Robillard, Director of our Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, Joseph Perdreauville, Director of youth and young adult ministry, and I were blessed to present a number of awards to some of these young people. They certainly worked hard for their awards!
It amazes me to hear all that our scouts do to be of service to others and to deepen their faith and relationship with The Lord.
My thanks to others who participated in the event: Father Gonzalo Villegas, pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish, Deacon Charles Gallegos and Deacon Jesse Soto, who assisted with Mass, and Deacon Keating Ackerley, who acted as as Master of Ceremonies.
School principals and pastors meeting
This morning I am participating in a meeting of Catholic School principals and with pastors with schools at their parishes. The meeting is taking place at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.
The gathering is another in a series of marketing meetings we have been conducting over the past several months. Kathy Linehan, a consultant and owner of Change Strategies, Inc., has been working pro bono with our Catholic Schools Department and with principals to develop plans and materials to comprehensively market our schools, to increase public awareness of and enrollment in our schools.
Today we will be hearing reports from several schools on their efforts, and learning more about future plans at the diocese level for promoting Catholic schools.
We have been thoughtfully bringing together key information, statistical data and resources so that schools can more efficiently and effectively market themselves to parishioners, parents and grandparents of public school children and to non-Catholics. Our Catholic schools provide strong academic preparation and an education guided by values and faith.
My thanks to all those attending the meeting for their dedication of time and talent for our schools, especially our school office staff including our Superintendent Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M., Assistant Superintendents Sheri Dahl and Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., and Lupita Garay, executive assistant.
At the gathering we will recognize Kathy Linehan for one year of tireless service as our pro bono marketing consultant.
For more information, I encourage all those seeking educational options for their children to visit our schools webpage at www.diocesetucson.org/Catholic Schools
Papal Nuncio visit
A group from the University of Arizona and I will dine this evening with His Excellency Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy see to the United States, who is visiting the Vatican Observatory Research Group at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona.
As you may know, many well-known Jesuit astronomers live here in Arizona part time for their work at the UA and on Mt. Graham, near Safford, Arizona. During the remainder of their time they travel to Rome to work at their telescope at Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. I had the joy of visiting there two years ago and it was a marvelous experience.
The Vatican Research Group here was created in 1980 and in 1993,the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope was dedicated.
Father Jose Funes, S.J. is the director of the Vatican Astronomers. He replaced Father George Coyne, S.J. , who served for many years as Director. Among the astronomers who will be present with the Nuncio and Father Funes are Jesuit Fathers Richard Boyle, Chris Corbally, Jozef Maj, and Brother Guy Consolmagno. Also joining us is the newly-elected President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, Father David Brown, S.J., and Father Albert DiUlio, S.J., who is the current President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.
We are so blessed to have the Jesuit astronomers in our community and we welcome Archbishop Vigano. While here he will celebrate a private morning Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. Today, he will visit the campus of the University of Arizona and be hosted at a dinner at the Arizona Inn. On Tuesday he will visit the observatory at Mt. Graham.
Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)
Tomorrow I will be participating in two conference calls for CARA, which describes itself as “a national, non-profit, Georgetown University affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church . . . with the following mission: to increase the Church’s self-understanding , to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers; to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism.”
If you’re interested in learning more about CARA, you might check out https://twitter.com/caracatholic the twitter site has some interesting statistical snapshots about the Catholic Church.
Father Thomas Gaunt,S.J., is the Executive Director of CARA, and I serve as Chair of the Board which is an honor. CARA does much good for the Church through its research.
School visit and Mass at St. Ambrose
I will celebrate Mass with the students at St. Ambrose School on Thursday at 9 a.m. St. Ambrose is one of our three Notre Dame ACE Academies, and students often wear t-shirts with the school’s motto “Our Goals: Heaven and College.”
I am proud of all of our 25 Catholic Schools, and St. Ambrose is one that has seen an overall increase in student achievement over the last few years.
My thanks to Father Mark Long, pastor at St. Ambrose, to Emma Chavez, the school principal, and to all of the faculty and staff at the school for inviting me to celebrate Mass and to visit the students.
Later on Thursday, I will attend the Catholic Foundation Board meeting. The Catholic Foundation, as you know is the organization responsible for our Annual Catholic Appeal, and for managing the course of the Foundation and its work to secure stewardship, legacy giving and grant funding for our diocese.
This work is critical and our diocese relies on a strong foundation to help us continue to provide much-needed support to ministries across our diocese, and to provide grants to parishes for capital improvements.
My thanks to all of the Board members for their devoted service to this important work.
Also on Thursday I will welcome a visit with Bishop Álvaro Leonel Ramazzini Imeri, of the Diocese of Huehuetenango in Guatemala.
Bishop served as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of San Marcos from 1988-2012 and became Bishop of Huehuetenango in May 2012.
Bishop Ramazzini has been heavily involved in social justice issues, “especially in the area of protecting the rights of indigenous people,” and while in Guatemala worked against large corporations that attempted to exploit the country for its resources. Bishop Ramazzini is well known and regarded for his work for the poor and marginalized and received official letters of support from the Holy See and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He received the Konrad Lorenz Award in 2005 and testified before the International Relations Sub-committee on the Western Hemisphere of the United States House of Representatives. He was elected as the President of the Episcopal Conference of Guatemala in 2006, and in 2011 was awarded the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, in honor of his social justice work.
He will be offering a private Mass in the desert for migrants, some of whom are from his country of Guatemala, who have died. He also will give a public lecture at Armory Park at the invitation of the University of Arizona.
Pastoral Center Staff Retreat
On Friday, our diocesan staff will spend some time in retreat as we welcome the Lenten days and appreciate the faith and life that we share together. We will have some prayer and reflection on the Lenten message of Pope Francis and his writings on the Joy of the Gospel. Our day will conclude with the celebration of the Eucharist on this Friday of Lent.
Diocesan Pastoral Council
The Council will meet on Saturday. We will continue our discussion on the social concerns I have outlined as areas that could be addressed by our Diocese. Those areas include poverty, homelessness, addictions, immigration, refugees and violence. Dan Torrington, of St. Vincent de Paul, and Peg Harmon, chief executive officer of Catholic Community Services will be guest speakers.
2014 Blessed John Paul II Awards
Each year our Diocese recognizes high school students who work very hard in their parishes through involvement in liturgy, catechesis or works of charity. It will be my joy on Saturday, to once again recognize these amazing young people during a dinner and award celebration at St. Francis de Sales Parish.
I’ll be sure to publish a photo and the names of this year’s Tucson honorees in my next Memo. There also will be a similar event March 26 in Yuma for young people living in that part of the Diocese.
Rite of Election
The first of three Rites of Election will take place at St. Augustine Cathedral at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9. It is wonderful to have so many people joining our Catholic family recognized at our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. The Rite of Election is one of the last steps in the initiation process.
We will have a second Rite of Election at Cathedral on Sunday, March 16, and then in Yuma at St. Francis Assisi Parish on Sunday, March 23.
My thanks to Sister Lois Paha, O.P. and Ofelia James and their committee for their dedicated work with this important celebration both in Tucson and again in Yuma. The Rite of Election is a beautiful celebration and Sister, Ofelia and the committee see to it that all steps run smoothly.
This celebration brings much joy for me as bishop. I am grateful to our RCIA teams and the catechumen and candidate sponsors for walking with these people seeking to become baptized or fully initiated in the faith.
For the full recovery of David Miller, our diocesan Real Estate and Risk Management Specialist, who will undergo surgery today.
For the complete recovery of Msgr. Robert Fuller, pastor of St. Francis Cabrini, and for Father Liam Leahy, who assists at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, both of whom have been hospitalized recently.
For the full recovery of Deacon Wayne Preston from St. Joseph Parish in Wellton, who recently underwent surgery at the University of Arizona Medical Center.