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Wednesday Update 

Pope Francis issues Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate: Rejoice and Be Glad.

This is a news story summarizing the intent of the Exhortation. To see the full text, please visit

Holiness means being loving, not boring, pope says
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

Rejoice ImageVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God calls all Christians to be saints -- not plastic statues of saints, but real people who make time for prayer and who show loving care for others in the simplest gestures, Pope Francis said in his new document on holiness.

"Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy," the pope wrote in "Gaudete et Exsultate" ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), his apostolic exhortation on "the call to holiness in today's world."

Pope Francis signed the exhortation March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, and the Vatican released it April 9.

Much of the document was written in the second person, speaking directly to the individual reading it. "With this exhortation I would like to insist primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you," he wrote near the beginning.

Saying he was not writing a theological treatise on holiness, Pope Francis focused mainly on how the call to holiness is a personal call, something God asks of each Christian and which requires a personal response given one's state in life, talents and circumstances.

"We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer," he wrote. But "that is not the case."

"We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves," he said.

He wrote about "the saints next door" and said he likes "to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God's people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile."

The message of the wonderful exhortation cannot be emphasized enough. We all are called to holiness, to be the best Christians we can showing God's love all through our lives. I encourage you to read the full document -- it is not very long. You may find it to be easy reading; and may seem much like a conversation. Visit The Vatican web page has the exhortation in several languages.

Please join me in welcoming Joan Puente to our Catholic Schools Department. She began her work as an administrative assistant today.
Joan reported to the Update, "I was born and raised in Michigan, married and raised two children. My husband was transferred to Illinois about eight years ago and when he retired, we moved to Green Valley, Arizona. My hobbies are yoga, walking and baking."

Also, Father Miguel Mariano, pastor of St. Odilia Catholic Parish is the newly-appointed Catholic Diocese of Tucson Ecumenical and Interfaith Liaison representative. As you may know, Loretta Tracy wonderfully served in this position for many years and recently retired.

There several confirmations on my schedule this week and into next week. I will be conferring the sacrament on young people at the following parishes: Sacred Heart in Tucson, Santa Cruz (youth group members), Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley with St. Therese of Lisieux (in Patagonia), and young people from Lourdes Catholic School. Confirmations for the combined groups of St. Andrew and Our Lady of the Mountains in Sierra Vista plus confirmanti from Sacred Heart in Tombstone at St. Andrew Parish. Then at Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson and at St. Ambrose.

To the founders and stakeholders of San Miguel Cristo Rey Catholic High School who are celebrating their work next week.

Please remember
Bishop Arthur N. Tafoya, former Bishop of Pueblo, who passed away March 24, and who was laid to rest on Tuesday. He was 85.

He had been leader of Pueblo and its surrounding counties in the Diocese of Pueblo for 29 years. He was hospice care at his home in Albuquerque, N.M., when he passed away.

Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas and I attended the funeral Mass in Pueblo.