Monday Memo, June 26, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 23
The Monday Memo will take its summer break and will return on Aug. 7. Have a happy summer.
The following pastor appointments all will take effect Sept. 1:
Father James Hobert, from pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Tucson, to pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, St. Luke Parish and St. Bernard Parish in Douglas and Pirtleville.
Father James Hobert is and has been very much loved and appreciated in the Sacred Heart Parish community for the last six years. Under his leadership, much good has been accomplished. While Father Hobert had been renewed for a second six-year term at Sacred Heart, a new pastoral need arose requiring his gifts.
Father Hobert served in Douglas/Pirtleville area for many years and I know he is very much looking forward to returning to serve there.
Father Gilbert Malu Musumbu, from pastor Immaculate Conception Parish, St. Luke Parish and St. Bernard Parish in Douglas and Pirtleville, to pastor/rector of St. Augustine Cathedral Parish, Tucson. For the last 15 years Father Malu has pastored three parishes, St. Luke’s and Immaculate Conception in Douglas and St. Bernard’s in Pirtleville. He served with energy and devotion and I know each of those communities came to treasure him.
Father Malu had served as parochial vicar at St. Augustine’s earlier in his career with our diocese, and now will bring his energy to the job of rector. You may remember that Father Malu is fluent in Spanish and I know his skills balancing three parish communities will come into good service at Cathedral.
Father Gonzalo Villegas, from pastor/rector at St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson, to pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Tucson.
Father Villegas has been the pastor/rector of Cathedral for seven years. During that time, he and his staff have continued to provide ministries and Masses amid the renovation of Cathedral and the renovation of Our Lady’s Chapel. When you look at the beautiful buildings today, it is hard to imagine what those buildings looked like mid-renovation with all the chaos that comes along with construction.
Father’s cheerful disposition was a key asset to his staff and parishioners during that time, and I appreciate how tightly knit the Cathedral Parish community has grown. The parish has one of the largest churches in the Diocese, yet is one of the smaller congregations, so there are some challenges associated with that, but Cathedral parishioners are dedicated and I do believe Father Villegas has had a role in creating that environment.
Msgr. Carlos Romero Moreno will begin serving as a Parochial Vicar at St. Francis Assisi Parish, Yuma, effective July 1.
Friday evening we had the first of our diocesan listening sessions in preparation for the 2018 Synod on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. This first session was held at the Newman Center on the University of Arizona campus. I was delighted that a group of about 30 people participated, and seemed to have both younger and slightly older “young people” there to express their views about how the Church can bring in more youth (ages 15 to 29) to Mass and other ministries. A second session at St Thomas the Apostle Parish on Saturday also had about 30 participants.
Pope Francis determined that the next Synod would focus on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, and as he did with the Synod on Family, he again has asked for a broad gathering of information from within dioceses worldwide. Here in the United States, dioceses are holding listening sessions or inviting youths (in this case, active and non-active Catholics between the ages of 15 and 29 years old) to answer various questions pertaining to their view of the Church and how they are or are not involved with the faith.
A second session took place for Youth Ministry Leaders at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish on Saturday (June 24) at 10 a.m. Thirty youth ministers attended and engaged in lively discussion. They worked hard.
When we have gathered all of the information from these sessions, we will submit a report to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and it will forward a summary of information from all dioceses in the United States to the Vatican.
If you cannot attend any of our local sessions, you may want to answer the Vatican survey at:
Please feel free to invite others to take this survey.
It always is striking when long time employees decide it is time to move on to retirement. Here at the Pastoral Center, we will bid farewell to our Chief Financial Officer, Tom Arnold, and to our Executive Assistant for Vocations, Ms. Marty Hammond.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) the Pastoral Center will celebrate Tom and Marty’s retirement. It is hard to imagine these two colleagues not being here. Each possesses years of expertise in their areas and each has become a “go to” person for others in the Diocese.
Tom Arnold joined the Diocese in March 2005, just as we began preparing for the first-ever diocesan Chapter 11 filing by a Diocese. It was a very long and arduous process and Tom’s skills with finances and his co-working with lawyers finally resulted in a reorganization of the Diocese that has become a model for other dioceses facing the crisis of covering court and victim costs while still trying to run a Diocese and protect parish assets. It was a phenomenal task and Tom was right in the thick of it. He has been the steward of the Diocese’s overall finances and has continually managed to make the budgets work, with straightforward talk and ample management skills. I am certain he is ready for a break after 12 years.
Ms. Marty Hammond, our executive assistant in Vocations, first worked for the Diocese from July 1992 to September 1994, and then beginning in January 1996, worked at St. John the Evangelist Parish and St. Monica before transferring to the Chancery to work in Vocations in October 1999. All totaled, she has been with the Diocese for 23 years.
Since 1999, there has not been a seminarian or a priest ordained that did not come to know and love Marty, who has reminded them of documents needed, made their plane reservations to and from seminary and who has nurtured them through their journey to priesthood. Many times, Marty is asked to participate in ordination Masses, and always she is hugged and thanked for her work. You could call her the Den Mother of Vocations, who has worked devotedly to walk with our seminarians until they enter priesthood.
On Wednesday, nearly all employees of the Pastoral Center will be participating in a daylong session about V Encuentro. This training is mainly about building awareness in our parishes the need to invite more members of Latino backgrounds to be involved in parish leadership and ministry. As you know, Latinos make up a large percentage of Catholics in many areas nationwide, including our own congregations here in our diocese.
Each of our parishes have been asked to offer V Encuentro sessions at their parishes, and at least half of our 78 parishes have embraced this invitation, offering Encuentro training over the course of five weekly sessions. Wednesday’s session at the Redemptorist Renewal Center for the Pastoral Center staff will condense the five sessions into a single day.
My thanks to Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P. our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, and Joe Perdreauville, assistant director of Pastoral Services, who have been working with the Encuentro training committee of Michael Brown, Monalisa Oreschnick, Isabel Madrid, Liz Aguallo and Sonya Gutiérrez. I know they have been working hard to fine-tune their presentations and the components of the Encuentro sessions to resonate strongly with our staff.
Happy 100th Anniversary
To Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Miami, that will begin a year-long celebration of their 100th anniversary of their parish beginning this Friday. It will be my joy to offer Mass with the community, led by Father Madhu George.
The parish actually began in the boom town mining community near Globe in 1915 as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I am not sure why, but the parish name was changed by 1918 to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.
Then and now, the towns of both Globe and Miami center around mining. First, it was silver, then copper. The town of Miami actually was the creation of business entrepreneurs who knew that the families of miners needed another town besides Globe. The new town of course made those businessmen wealthy, but look, Miami with all its population ups and downs still exists.
Health Care Legislation
As our country wrestles with passing health care legislation, the Church has a number of concerns that whatever is passed will not deprive people, especially the poor, from having access to affordable health care. The Church sees this as a basic human right. Let’s pray that our legislators and the President work together to improve, not diminish, the health care available to people especially the elderly, children and those with pre-existing conditions. Pray hard and make your voice heard.
Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, ESAs
Learn more about tuition assistance for Catholic education
All kindergarten students, as well as children entering grades 1, 6, and 9 (and their siblings) who attended a public or charter school in 2016-17 school year may be eligible for an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) that offers tuition assistance to attend a Catholic School in the Diocese of Tucson.
It is not too late to register for the fall at Catholic schools. School begins in the first and second weeks of August. For more information, contact a Catholic school near you or contact Lupita Garay at the Department of Catholic Schools: 520-838-2547
Annual Catholic Appeal
I applaud all those who continue to contribute to our Annual Catholic Appeal.
As of the close of business on June 22, the Foundation reports that it has received $3.75 million in pledges and donations; thanks to the generosity of the 12,893 donors who are parishioners of, and visitors to, our diocese.
We are now 97 percent of the way to this year’s goal of $3.85 million, and a little over $90,000 ahead of giving this same time last year.
Twenty-seven parishes have met or exceeded their pledge goal for 2017 with the addition in the last week of Infant Jesus of Prague in Kearny, and a couple more are within a percentage point or two of joining them.
Another goal this year was to increase parishioner participation by at least 10 percent, and 17 parishes have met that goal; adding 1,468 new donors, surpassing our overall diocesan goal of 1,400.
Breakfast with the Bishop
I will host a breakfast for members of our diocesan family. These are great opportunities to meet Catholics who do so much for our diocese in sharing their time, talents and resources for the good of our diocese.
Please note: The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, July 3-4 in observance of the Fourth of July holiday.
Happy Fourth of July
Ours is a country of so many freedoms. On the Fourth of July, we commemorate our independence and the birth of our nation. Let us always be vigilant to follow the values of our independence: respect of others – their personage, their right as people of dignity, and their right to their own religious belief, their opinions and their freedom of expression. To deny those freedoms, we ultimately open all others to the same possible limitation of freedoms.
Let freedom ring. Let peace reign. Always.