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Wednesday Update

Lent begins one week from today on Ash Wednesday, March 6.

Conclusion of the Four-Day Vatican Summit

spacer Cardinal DiNardo
spacer Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Catholic News Service photo

The four-day Vatican summit on the topic of sexual abuse of minors has concluded.  In his media release marking the event, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and a summit participant, noted that the witness of sexual abuse survivors has once again revealed the deep wound in the Body of Christ.  As always, our focus must first include attention to their healing and wellbeing.  Cardinal DiNardo also referenced the Dallas Charter, which addressed sexual abuse of minors in the U.S. and resulted in implementing strong protocols to address and prevent the sexual abuse of minors. My belief is that the radical drop in allegations of misconduct with minors since 2002 bears out the effectiveness of our protocols and response.  However, our attention must now turn to expanding the Dallas Charter.  The task ahead is to create better structures of reporting allegations of sexual misconduct and mismanagement on the part of bishops and how that will be addressed.

It is notable that Pope Francis has aggressively called for the removal of clergy found guilty of sexual abuse.  An interview with Archbishop Charles Scicluna, long-time Vatican prosecutor for cases of sexual abuse of minors and a key participant in the Vatican summit, was aired today (2/24/2019) on P.B.S.  In that interview Archbishop Scicluna noted that the removal of clergy found guilty of sexual abuse is already the Church's law in the United States.  It is my belief that the policy of the Catholic Church in the U.S. will be an example for Catholic and other Churches around the world.

The sexual abuse of minors is a universal crisis, found in all cultures, religions, societies, and organizations.  I laud Pope Francis for having called this historic summit, which may be among the first of its kind among world religions or international organizations, and I pray that other churches and organizations will consider similar measures.  I am grateful to Cardinal DiNardo for his leadership, which I believe will help our Nation's bishops put into place concrete, strong and effective measures to ensure the safety of all in our Churches.  Lastly, I am grateful to the clergy and people of the Diocese of Tucson, whose efforts in recent years have helped to create a diocesan Church which I consider an example for others to follow.

News Line

Jordan Ministry award

Sunday, March 3

Congratulations to Sister Esther Calderon and Sister Gladys Echenique, two Dominicans serving in our diocese who have been named the 2019 recipients of the Alive in the Savior Award by the Jordan Ministry team.

The award recognizes leaders who have made a significant impact on the faith life of generations of southern Arizonans.

Sister Calderon, a native of Wilcox, was trained as a nurse, served in catechist formation and currently is volunteering in prison ministry and at Casa Alitas, an immigrant shelter.

Sister Echenique is a native of Argentina. For the last six years she has been the diocesan coordinator of Hispanic Ministry. Under her direction, many have pursued formation as catechists and leaders serving the Spanish-speaking members of the diocesan community.

The awards will be presented Sunday, March 3, at an event in the Viscount Suite Hotel, 4855 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. For information and reservations, call Jordan Ministry team at (520) 623-2563, or email

Congratulations to both of you!

At the Tucson Rodeo Parade

Tucson Rodeo

This year was our fourth appearrance in this annual tradition. Father Jorge Farias Saucedo tells me that our Vocations entry won first place in the Historical category. This is the second trophy that we received.

Father added that he believes people attending the parade are happy to see our diocese participate and that they are very respectful and supportive. It is amazing to see people expressing their faith by making the sign of the Cross as our "float" went by during the parade.




In Yuma . . .

This is one of the times of year when I spend several days in our Yuma/La Paz Vicariate for confirmations, meetings with clergy and other events.

-On Monday, I joined with the priests of this Vicariate in enjoying the annual Priest Appreciation Dinner put on by the Knights of Columbus. This year's event was at St. John Neumann Parish. My thanks to the Knights for their interest in supporting and acknowledging our hard-working clergy.

-Yesterday, I conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on students at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School.  I will return to the parish on March 1 for a second confirmation, this one bilingual, for other members of the parish community. Last evening, I attended the Rite of Election, an important occasion for people who are choosing to become Catholic.  This is a big step in their journey toward full membership in our faith community.  That full membership takes place at Easter.

-Today (Wednesday) I will congratulate the teen winners of this region's St. John Paul II Awards.  As you may recall from last week's Update, 28 young people living in the Yuma/La Paz Vicariate were chosen to receive the awards that recognize those high school juniors and seniors who have made significant contributions to parish/school life by demonstrating leadership qualities and extraordinary commitment over time.

-On Friday I will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation at Immaculate Conception Catholic School, and I will do the same at St. John Neumann Parish on Saturday.

Please remember

Douglas Lozier, business manager at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley, who passed away suddenly on Sunday, Feb. 24. He was 64 years old and had worked at the parish for seven years. Douglas was husband of Angelica Lozier, who works in our Pastoral Center as the executive assistant in the Vocations Department.  Please join me in praying for Angelica and sons, Derek and Diego, during this very difficult time. 

A Rosary will be said on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Our Lady of the Valley, 505 N. La Canada Drive, in Green Valley beginning at noon.  The funeral Mass will follow at the church at 1 p.m.  Father Francisco Maldonado will be the celebrant.


Ash Wednesday:  March 6.  I will celebrate noon Mass at St. Augustine along with distribution of ashes.

I invite all Update readers to check out my Lenten Minute series that will be posted online at our diocesan website at beginning Ash Wednesday and following for each week of Lent.