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Wednesday Update

Advent, Week 2


On Dec. 8 we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I am going to refer back to the Advent article from that I discussed in last week’s Update. You may recall that the Father James Wallace, C.Ss.R. wrote about three partners to guide us in our Advent Journey – St. John the Baptist, Isaiah and the Blessed Mother

Though our attention is centered on Joseph, Mary is equally central – the silent, pregnant Mary. She is present as one waiting in hope for God to act. For there is no other means to go on with life, drawing on the inner strength, the presence of the living God. It alerts us to the possibility of facing total darkness in a spirit of hope. Angels come in God’s good time.

“The pregnant Mary reminds us that new life comes at its own rate of growth, according to laws that do not yield to a desire for quick results. She speaks to all of us caught up in a fast-paced world. In a culture that disposes quickly of what isn’t working, that has little patience with either fragility or weakness, Mary reminds us that we have to wait for some things.

“Like her, we may be called to witness to a God who works in the fullness of time, which can be excruciatingly slow for those who live by a schedule. But God proves to be a God of new life, a God who is Emmanuel, God-with-us.

“Advent presents us with three companions. Each speaks to us of waiting – in desperation, in excitement, in silent hope. During a season when we can become easily frazzled and anxious about many things, when loneliness and loss can threaten to overwhelm us, we can know that we are not alone. We have with us, among others, a faith-filled trio who point toward an abiding Presence who continues to breathe the divine Spirit into us, bringing to new birth sons and daughters of the living God.”

To view the entire text, please visit

Published with permission

I celebrated Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe with the students at Salpointe Catholic High School this morning.

Welcome Father Alves

I will be joining the members of the Jesuit community here in Tucson Thursday for dinner as they meet with one of their major superiors, Father Guerrero Alves.

Father was appointed  Delegate for the Interprovincial Roman Houses and Works.

He was born in Spain in 1959 and entered the Society in 1979, was ordained in 1992 and became provincial of the Castilla Province, serving from 2008 – 2014.

In 2014, Father Alves moved to the then Mozambique Region (now Zimbabwe-Mozambique Province) where until his new appointment, he has been working, first as Assistant Administrator of the Region and recently as Director of Jesuit Projects in Mozambique and Director of Saint Ignatius Loyola School.

As you may know, many of our local Jesuit fathers pursue astronomy studies at the Vatican Observatory atop Mt. Graham in Safford, Ariz. I hope Father enjoys his time here with the community and his visit to our diocese and the hospitality of the southwest.

Catholic Foundation Board of Directors

I will be joining members of the Board for their annual Christmas celebration on Friday.

A fond farewell

Three key Pastoral Center employees are taking leave of the Diocese at the end of December: Chancellor Kathy Rhinehart, our champion fundraiser Ernie Nedder and our Human Resources Director Richard Serrano.

There is no way to briefly explain the amazing contributions these three people have made to our diocese, but I will summarize some of their accomplishments here. Michael Brown, the editor of the Catholic Outlook newspaper, wrote three wonderful stories about our colleagues. Here is just a bit about each from those stories:

Nedder: Long time Catholics in our diocese may know Ernie for his exceptional work as a leader of our stewardship efforts.

Nedder and his wife Kathleen arrived in Tucson in 1994 after having worked 24 years for the catechetical publishing giant William C. Brown Publishing. As a young man, he had entered the seminary to study be become an Eastern rite priest, earning a bachelor’s in theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington in 1965.

He served in the Archdiocese of Boston in the late 1960s, teaching in area Catholic schools. He moved to Iowa, raised a family, worked in publishing, and honed his skills as an expert fundraiser. Upon moving to Tucson, he was asked by then Bishop Manuel D. Moreno, along with Catholic Foundation Executive Director Bob Heslinga and then-Communications Director Fred Allison to re-establish the diocesan newspaper. He served on the newspaper’s board of directors, followed by stints on the boards of CTSO, the Catholic Foundation and just about any other group seeking his counsel. 

The last time, when Bishop Kicanas asked him to lead the fundraising for Cathedral Square, it was largely a two-man show: Nedder and the bishop. That project presented the expert funder with several unique challenges.

Serrano joined the Diocese of Tucson in August 2003 after spending 25 years working for IBM as Corporate Internal Audit Area Manager for Latin American Operations.

“I saw the ad that the Diocese needed a director of human resources. I discussed it with my family, and things happened so quickly and fell into place that I took it as a sign that this was the right thing to do and the right time to do it,” Serrano said in an interview in the Catholic Vision, the diocesan newspaper at that time.

During his tenure, Richard created and put into action best practices for Human Resources. He also introduced a digital Human Resource Information System (HRIS).

He has said he is proud of building the employee benefits program, which includes enhanced wellness plans and a 403B retirement program.

As a young woman, Rhinehart was among the first women to attend West Point, the US Army military academy in NY. Although she left after two years, the experience there, along with being raised in a large family that included five brothers, helped her develop the mental toughness and understanding of what it meant to be around men in leadership roles. It also helped to develop her own leadership skills. 

Following her 1978 marriage, Rhinehart, a native of tiny Hawthorne, Nev., moved to Germany, returned to the US and climbed the corporate ladder at telecommunications giant MCI. While she had strong technology skills, Rhinehart’s people skills is what led her to success. She was poised for a position in upper management when her husband was offered a marketing job back in Germany. 

Fast forward several years and her family is living in southern Arizona. When the organist at Sacred Heart Parish in Tucson recommended her for the parish’s business manager’s job, Rhinehart said she was happy to be able to work in a parish.  Then in 2005 the Diocese was entering reorganization, when Rhinehart heard that the diocesan Corporate Matters office needed an executive assistant. “I put in for the job. It just seemed it was the right fit for me.”

Then-Father Albert Schifano interviewed the candidates for the job, intent upon hiring a paralegal who could assist the parishes in setting up the individual corporations and distribute parish assets as laid out by the bankruptcy court.

For all her experience, Rhinehart said, she wasn’t a paralegal. What she brought instead was a strong work ethic and a determination to get the job done. She said that during her interview, she jumped out of her chair, and said “‘I understand I am not a paralegal, but I really want this job and I am a great learner.’ I was just that determined.”

The rest, as they say is history. Rhinehart has maintained the diocesan database, handled immigration matters for international priests, continued to train assistants for and help maintain the Office of Corporate Matters. In addition, she oversees the diocesan Archive and handles a variety of other responsibilities required as Chancellor, including requests from the bishop.

The Pastoral Center wishes these amazing people a happy retirement.


Please remember

Edward Steinhoff, 84, a former member and chairman of the Catholic Foundation Board of Directors, 
who died Dec. 7.

Born April 1, 1934, in Cincinnati to Friedrich Ernst Clarence and Helen Marie (Hedrick) Steinhoff, he earned a bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1956 from Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind. In 1970, he earned a master’s in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. 

He worked for many years at Dow Corning Corp., before retiring in 1994 to Tucson with his wife Petricia. He volunteered with the Annual Catholic Appeal, the United Way of Tucson and the Theatre Program Advisory Board at the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television.

He served on the Catholic Foundation board from 2010-16, and as chairman from 2012-13.

He is survived by his wife, a brother Frederick, a daughter Margaret Kostant of Cumberland, RI; a son Edward of Ann Arbor, Mich.; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a sister, Janet, and a daughter, Karen Price.

A memorial Mass is scheduled for 1 p.m., Jan. 19 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 5150 N. Valley View Road, Tucson. Bishop-emeritus Gerald F. Kicanas is the main celebrant.

Coming soon: Annual 5K walk for Vocations Awareness

Register at and scroll down to the image shown below.

We need priests in our parishes and you need a priest in your life! By participating in the 4th Annual 5K Walk for Vocations you help raise awareness as well as show support for discerners, seminarians, priests, and religious brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Tucson.

This family friendly event is open to all ages and fitness levels.

After the color walk/run there will be music, food, games, face painting, Mass, and prayer.

Youth groups and high school teams are encouraged to join at a discounted group rate.

Please note: Remember to have your ticket handy on the day of the event by either printing it beforehand or by downloading it to your mobile device.

Upcoming: Mass and Dinner with the Bishop Weisenburger

Support seminarian education and retired priests

Jan. 20, 2019

Registration required

Information: Call 520-820-4206

Registration forms online at:

Each year, the Donald H. Hughes Assembly of the Knights of Columbus to continues support of Tucson Diocese seminarian education and retired priests. Bishop Weisenburger and the Msgr. Donald H. Hughes Assembly 2392 would like to invite you to attend the 15th annual "Mass & Dinner with the Bishop" Jan 20, 2019. NEW VENUE: Mass will be held at St Thomas the Apostle at 3:30 p.m. No-host social hour and dinner will be at the Skyline Country Club beginning at 5:00 PM. The cost will remain at $150.00 per person. This year's honorees are Bishop Emeritus Gerald F. Kicanas and Father Robert Carney.

The Knights of Columbus Assembly 2392 has raised more than $670,000 over the past 14 years supporting the Retired Priest Fund and Tucson Diocese seminarian education.