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Wednesday Update 

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jan. 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

We have been blessed in this country to have had the examples of people fighting to ensure justice and equality.

On this day of remembrance, please consider the relevance of Rev. King’s work and what was accomplished in Civil Rights during his time.

Let us ask ourselves: Why has racism raised its head again? Why is injustice anywhere something to ignore?  When did violence become an option in the treatment of others? 

Did you know?
Last week I wrote that we now are involved in Eastertide, the 50 days between Easter Sunday and Pentecost.

The entire time is celebrated as a single joyful feast and each Sunday is referred to as a Sunday of Easter. The first eight days constitute the Octave of Easter and are celebrated as solemnities of the Lord.

The solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the 40th day of Eastertide.

We can continue to reflect on Jesus sacrifice and the resurrection.  Consider this prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas:

The Cross is my sure salvation.
The Cross I ever adore.
The Cross of my Lord is with me.
The Cross is my refuge.

Please join me in welcoming Deacon Clayton Nickel to our diocese as our Multimedia Coordinator.  Deacon replaces Omar Rodriguez who left in December to return to school. Deacon will be working on our diocesan webpages and broadening social media for our Communications Department.

He was born in South Africa, speaks several languages, and in his last position, he oversaw web and other electronic communications for the German embassy in Washington, D.C.  He also was Parish and School Outreach Coordinator for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. for the past year. 

Priest Convocation
April 24 -April 26
The Diocese of Tucson will be holding its annual Priest Convocation from April 24 to April 26 at the San Marcos in Chandler, Arizona, just outside of our diocese.  The guest speaker is Father Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D., and the theme of his presentations is Letting the Scripture Come Alive in the Church: Biblical Preaching for the New Evangelization.

Glancing over Father Just’s six-page Curriculum Vitae, I am certain we all will be in good hands.  A Tucsonan for some of his life, he attended the University of Arizona before launching into an impressive collection of studies at: Jesuit Novitiate, College of the Queen of Peace; Hochschule für Philosophie - Munich, Germany, where he earned a Bakkalaureat in Philosophie; the Jesuit School of Theology - Berkeley, CA S.T.L. - Sacred Theology Licentiate (1994) M.Div. - Master of Divinity (1990) and Yale University, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - New Haven, CT, Ph.D. - Doctorate of Philosophy, in New Testament Studies (1997)Dissertation: "From Tobit to Bartimaeus, From Qumran to Siloam: The Social Role of Blind People and Attitudes Toward the Blind in New Testament Times.”

He has an equally impressive list of employers, the most recent being Director of Biblical Education, Loyola Institute for Spirituality, Orange, CA  from 2007 to present and as Academic Dean, Lay & Deacon Formation, Diocese of Las Vegas, NV  from 2007–2011.

Many of you here in our diocese know Father for his work as instructor for the Southern Arizona Bible Institute that has been taking place for the last three years.

This also is the time when our priests can update important diocesan documents and enjoy the friendship of their brother priests and relax a bit.

The highlight of the Convocation for some is the recognition of priests celebrating significant jubilees. This year we have the following jubilarians:

Father Stanley Naldony, ordained in May 1968, celebrating his 50th jubilee.  His at St. George Parish in Apache Junction

Father Robert Gonzalez, ordained in June 1978, celebrating his 40th jubilee. He is serving at St. John the Evangelist in Tucson.

and the following priests are celebrating 25 years in priesthood:

Father Martin Martinez, serving as pastor at St. Rita Parish in Vail
Father Raul “Rudy” Rosales, serving at St. Bartholomew in San Manuel
Father John Paul Forte, O.P., serving at the St. Thomas More Newman Center, UA
Father Lawrence Sanders, C.Ss.R. , pastor at Santa Catalina Parish in Oro Valley
Father Bartolome Vasquez Johnston, pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary of Mary in Somerton.

Please pray for our priests during this brief respite.

Please remember
Jose Garcia, grandfather of Father Alonzo Garcia, who passed away on Holy Thursday. Jose Garcia was 96.  He passed away on Holy Thursday.  The funeral is on April 10.

Condolences may be sent in care of St. Helen of the Cross, 205 W Eighth St, Eloy, AZ 85131.

Please keep Jose Garcia and his family in your prayers.