I join my fellow bishops in adamant opposition to recent efforts around the country to expand abortion laws. The New York State Legislature passed an appalling measure, "The Reproductive Health Act" (RHA ) that permits abortion with very few restrictions at any time during pregnancy up to the moment of birth. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and the New York Catholic Conference spoke forcefully against passage of this now despicable law.
The New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, our neighbor to the east of the Diocese of Tucson, raised its voice in protest of the pending New Mexico House Bill 51, titled the "Decriminalize Abortion Bill." This bill seeks to ensure that abortion on demand will be provided even if the US Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, the current law of the land, which has proven to be an ethical and life-destroying disaster for our country.
The commonwealth of Virginia is considering pending legislation, House Bill 2491, with similar expansions to third trimester abortions. These national trends are truly alarming.
Continue to be vigilant. As St. Teresa of Kolkata reminds us, "We are called not to be successful, but to be faithful." Thank you for your faith-filled and faithful Catholic witness in these troubled times. Please be assured of my prayers and support for the dignity and protection of every precious human life, created in the image and likeness of our Creator.
Happy Centennial, Santa Cruz Parish
Just a few photos from the Centennial Celebration of Santa Cruz Parish. Congratulations to the parish community and the Discalced Carmelite Fathers, who along with their planning committee, created a beautiful sacred liturgy and a very festive celebration after Mass.
At left, Bishop Weisenburger receives the wine that will be consecrated from Sister Leonette Kochan, OSF.
Near left, Bishop blesses those at Mass in Santa Cruz.
Above, Father Steve Watson, OCD, pastor of Santa Cruz, prays during the Mass. At right, Father Jose Luis Ferroni, OCD, gives Holy Communion to a parishioner.
Members of the parish’s Guadalupanos dished up delicious horchata and other beverages during the celebration after Mass.
When the parish at 1220 S. Sixth Ave. was established in 1919, the estimated population in 1910, the closest record I could find to 1919, was 20,292 people. The beautiful church joined Tucson's landscape along with the first airfield and the Hotel Congress.
Santa Cruz was the third parish established in Tucson and was the last church built during the tenure of Bishop Henry Granjon. At that time, its boundaries stretched from 18th Street south all the way to the International Border with Mexico. That border is more than 78 miles from the parish.
Visit to Lourdes School in Nogales, Arizona
Last week I celebrated Mass with the students of Lourdes Catholic School in Nogales, Arizona.
Principal Sandra Contreras, and her staff at the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school are very busy with their students. You may also know another school leader there: Sister Rosa Ruiz, C.F.M.M., our former school superintendent who now "works" as the school's president in her retirement.
It is a lively, spirited place. Thanks for the visit!
I am attending a 3-day presentation in Orlando, Florida, of the Catholic Leadership Institute Conference focusing on the topic of Ministry to Millennials. About 30 bishops from the US and Canada also are participating. "Millennial" is the description for the generation of people born between 1981 and1996 (22-37 years old). This session will help increase understanding of their perspectives and priorities, and hopefully will provide some insight into how ministries may benefit from the information gathered in these sessions.
On Saturday I will celebrate Mass for a group of young men 16 to 20 years old for another in our series of vocations retreats.
The weekend retreat will take place at Immaculate Heart High School, Father Jorge has designed these retreats for people possibly considering a life in priesthood.
This retreat requires registration. For more information, please visit https://diocesetucson.org/vocations/and scroll to the middle of the page for information on this retreat.