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Wednesday Update

Please note: The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed Wednesday in observance of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Welcome Creighton University teachers
Many of you may be familiar with our diocese's 17-year partnership with Notre Dame ACE teaching fellows.  The program, among other features, provides Catholic Schools with educational support and Notre Dame educated teachers trained in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).  We are fortunate to be able to add a similar partnership, this one with the Magis Teacher's Corps Program to our teaching resources.

Sunday, we formally welcomed teachers from the Magis Teacher's Corps Program based at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Magis is a two-year post-graduate service teaching program that specializes in providing a holistic approach based on three pillars: community, professionalism and spirituality.  Based on the teachings of St. Ignatius, the program encourages teachers through "a lifestyle of simple living and spiritual growth that nourish the personal life of a teacher far beyond Magis. Magis teachers become models of faith for their students."

Our newly arrived Magis teachers are:

Creighton Cottage Greg Buergler, Jr.,  M.Ed. Secondary Teaching
Undergrad: Benedictine College
Placement: St. Ambrose Catholic School
Ashley Narke, M.S. School Counseling
Undergrad: Rockhurst University
Placement: Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School
Franz Schuck, M.Ed. Secondary Teaching
Undergrad: Loyola University Chicago
Placement: San Miguel High School
Brian Thurow, M.Ed. Secondary Teaching
Undergrad: Boston College
Placement: San Miguel High School

Last Sunday we celebrated Mass with our Magis teachers and the seven teachers from the ACE program.  All are living on the campus of St. Augustine High School.  The ACE teachers reside in the former convent on the grounds, and the Magis teachers live in the newly renovated cottage nearby.

Mass was held at the chapel in the former convent, followed by a festive dinner.

Creighton Cottage Mass

Bishop Edward Weisenburger blesses the teachers that will occupy Creighton Cottage and the former convent   at St. Augustine High School
Photo by Steff Koeneman

"The benefit is that we have these very well-trained teachers coming to our schools and that we retain these teachers," said Shari Dahl, superintendent of Catholic Schools. "We have, for example, a very healthy former ACE teachers community and we'd like to do that with the Magis teachers as well."

Together our ACE teachers and our Magis teachers serve seven schools, or half the Catholic Schools in the Tucson Metro area.


Try the Catholic Bible Institute of Southern Arizona
CBISA LogoEnrollment still possible!

If you always have wanted to learn more about scripture, the Catholic Bible Institute of Southern Arizona may be the opportunity you've sought.

The next program now is open for registration. This is a three-year program that involves comprehensive study focusing on sharing, praying with scripture, and application of skills in Bible-study leadership. 

Participants can enroll to receive certification, or without certification, referred to as "enrollment for enrichment". Certification requires "satisfactory completion of all requirements for all six semesters: Year I, Year II and Year III." 

Enrichment requires participation in Year I and/or Year II.

Sessions: One Saturday each month from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, 1800 S. Kolb Rd, Tucson.

Tuition is $300 per year.  For registration and information   Please contact Isabel Madrid at imadrid@diocesetucson.orgor 520 838-2544.

School visit
I will spend tomorrow morning celebrating Mass for the Holy Day and visiting with the students at St. John the Evangelist Catholic School.  This is my first visit to the school, and it will be nice to meet Principal Minh Solorzano, her staff and some parents.

Open House
Later tomorrow (Wednesday) I will stop by the Open House at St. Elizabeth Health Center where Mauricette Montredon recently became Chief Operating Officer for the organization, that so devotedly serves uninsured and underserved persons in Southern Arizona.  According to information published by the Fox Group, Montredon has more than 20 years' healthcare experience, "with special expertise in executive leadership in independent clinical practice settings, medical specialty and rehabilitation organizations, and hospital operations."

She also has held positions as Executive Administrator at a children's hospital, and as Business Coordinator and Director for Renal Services for an acute care hospital outpatient clinic. She is fluent in both English and French.

Annual gathering for Directors of Youth Ministers and Directors of Religious Education
"Going, Going, Gone! - The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics" is the topic for the keynote presentation by John Vitek at this convocation taking place at Most Holy Trinity Parish on Saturday.

Vitek is the president and chief executive officer of Saint Mary's Press, and co-authored "Going, Going, Gone! The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics" (Saint Mary's Press 2018). He has served in church leadership for 36 years, including as a parish minister and director of religious education, a diocesan director, and as diocesan chancellor. 

Directors of Religious Education and Youth Ministry at our parishes also will have the opportunity to attend focus sessions.

Installation Mass

Bishop Weisenburger with Bishop Vincke

Bishop-elect Gerald Vincke with Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger at the Catholic University of America.

I will be in Salinas, Kansas early next week for the Ordination and Installation Mass of the diocese's new bishop, Msgr. Gerald Vincke. It will be wonderful for my former diocese to have its new leader, and I look forward to the Mass.  I met Bishop-elect Vincke during my recent training at the Catholic University of America, where he also was strengthening some of the skills all we bishops need.

Sept. 16:  Catechetical Sunday.  Celebrated worldwide, this designation was created back in 1935 when the Vatican published a document called "On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education". The document asked that all countries acknowledge the importance of the Church's teaching ministry and to honor those who serve the Christian community as catechists.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "For the first few years after Catechetical Sunday was established, national catechetical congresses were held in conjunction with the celebration. Beginning in 1971, the USCCB's Department of Education began producing materials to help parishes celebrate the event at the local level. When the Committee on Catechesis, now named the Committee of Evangelization and Catechesis, was named by the Conference as a standing Committee, it continued to publish Catechetical Sunday materials each year. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated the third Sunday in September as Catechetical Sunday."

Catechists are those involved in teaching in the name of the Church. They, along with parents, convey the teaching of our faith, celebration of sacraments and the following of many Catholic practices, such as living according to Catholic Social Teaching.

This year, the theme for Catechetical Sunday is "Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ." On this day, catechists will be formally commissioned for ministry at each parish.