Monday Memo, Oct. 23, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 34






Please note Bishop Edward Weisenburger will be publishing a document similar to the Monday Memo. This publication will come out on Wednesdays.  We hope you will continue to follow the new chronicle of the Diocese of Tucson.


Monday Memo signing off
It has been my pleasure to write this Memo chronicling my official Episcopal activities as well as diocesan and community events for the last 14 years.  The Memo, like me and like our diocese, has evolved and together we have seen successes, challenges and many moments that have played a key role in the culture and beauty that is our diocese and our home.


I am happy to report that the Memo managed to get published nearly every Monday since March 2003 when I transitioned from my role as Bishop Coadjutor to the sixth Bishop of Tucson.  There were weeks when there was a holiday on a Monday and the Memo published on Tuesday, and sometimes, the Memo took a short break while I was working overseas with Catholic Relief Services.


I hope it will help the Archives remember some of what has happened in our diocese from 2003-2017.


Here’s the intro to that very first Monday Memo:


Vol. 1, No. 1
March 10, 2003
“Each Monday you will be receiving a memo from me. The purpose of the memo is to communicate information about the week ahead, to acknowledge the good things happening around the Diocese, and to address specific issues that may surface.


Good communication is critical for any diocese, especially a diocese of our geographic size.

I welcome any comments, suggestions, or recommendations on how to make this memo as helpful as possible. If you have something you want publicized in the Monday Memo, please send it to my attention c/o Monday Memo at the Pastoral Center, 111 Church Avenue, P.O. Box 31, Tucson, AZ 85702.


This Monday Memo will not replace the information that is sent around on a monthly basis in the diocesan mailing. This memo is from me and contains my reflection on what is happening within the Diocese. The memo will be sent to you by fax, one to each parish, school, and institution listed in our Directory. If you do not have a fax, it will be sent via the mail. I encourage you to post or duplicate the memo for others in your organization.


It also will be available on our diocesan internet site at


The information will be shared in random order and not by order of importance.”


It has been my honor to stay in touch with you, the Catholics of the Diocese of Tucson. It has been my honor to share in your celebrations, Masses, events and sorrows.  It has been my honor to serve you.


If you’d like to see what we were doing way back in March 2003, follow this link:


Communications has gone from “snail mail” to Facebook and twitter and all kinds of social media.  I can’t wait to see what happens in our diocese next under our seventh Bishop, Edward Joseph Weisenburger.


And now, here’s what I can tell you for this last Memo:


Joint Lutheran-Catholic Statement
Last Friday, Bishop Lowell Almen of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and I signed a joint statement committing our faiths to the continued reconciliation and healing of memories resulting from the Protestant Reformation that began 500 years ago.


That Reformation started when Augustinian Friar Martin Luther posted “95 Theses” – or topics – that he wanted discussed by the Catholic Church. The postings ultimately led to what became known as the Protestant Reformation that included the beginnings of the Lutheran and other Protestant faith traditions.


V Encuentro
I hope many of you are planning to attend our Tucson area gathering for V Encuentro on Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center.  As you may remember, our diocese, along with many others across the United States, has been training parishes to embrace and to include people of all backgrounds in parish leadership.  Many parishes conducted the V Encuentro training sessions over five weeks, and the staff at the Pastoral Center spent a day of training several months ago.  We had a Yuma and La Paz V Encuentro gathering in Yuma on Oct. 7 and will finish with the Tucson and larger area Encuentro gathering in Tucson.  We will finish the day with Mass.


I look forward to hearing from the participants of the parish Encuentros as we look forward to the regional Encuentro that will happen in Phoenix next year.


Arizona Rosary Celebration
This ever-popular annual devotional event took place on Saturday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. The guest speaker was retired Bishop Ricardo Ramirez from Las Cruces, New Mexico who delighted and informed those present. Another special guest was our new Bishop, Most Rev. Edward J. Weisenburger, who is here briefly as he begins his transition to this diocese.  Hundreds of people from parishes and groups came to celebrate the Rosary and our Lady under the title of Our Lady of Fatima since we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the apparition to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.  My thanks to Father Joseph Lombardo and his parish for hosting the event and to the Knights of Columbus who sponsor and organize this beautiful prayer experience each year.


Photos by Don Nguyen

It was my joy to confer the sacrament of Confirmation on young people at Our Lady of La Vang Parish on Sunday. This beautiful liturgy is an opportunity for our young adult Catholics to more fully embrace their faith. There were 14 young people who received the gifts of the Spirit. I was impressed by their preparation and eagerness to receive the gifts of the Spirit.



At the gathering the parish had some young people dressed as sisters, brothers, priests and even as a bishop, a cardinal and believe it or not as the pope. The kids really looked the parts.



In Baltimore
I will travel to Baltimore tomorrow to attend the Catholic Relief Services convening of global fellows who are people committed to learn about the work of CRS and who go around telling others of CRS’ good work around the world.  As you may know, CRS works in 116 foreign countries. CRS provides emergency services, education, health and wellness services including the means to provide clean drinking water and programs such as micro business loans.


We have two global fellows in our diocese: Father Juan Carlos Aguirre, pastor of San Martin de Porres in Sahuarita, and Deacon Ken Moreland from Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson.  I know Father Juan Carlos will be with the group gathering this week in Baltimore.


I will join several others in a panel sharing with the global fellows about CRS’ work with refugees and migrants.


Villa Maria
I will celebrate Mass at Villa Maria care facility and visit with some of the residents on Friday.


This center provides assisted living and other care to many people.  Sister Dorothy Ann Lesher, C.S.J., continues to organize my annual visit and Mass and to minister as she can to the elderly at Villa Maria. It is a joy to see so many of our elderly attend Mass at the facility’s chapel and to visit with them afterward.


Happy Retirement!
Also on Friday, we will give our best retirement wishes to Helen Evans, our Tribunal Office Manager.  Helen has been with the Diocese for 42 years – something close to forever – and has served three bishops during her tenure.  It is hard to lose that much experience, but we know Helen has other tasks planned for her retirement and we wish her and her family the very best.  We will have a luncheon in her honor, and we will make sure she knows how much she is loved and appreciated.


Holy Land
I will lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Oct. 29 until Nov. 9. Pray for me and for the 48 companion travelers with me as we tread the paths of Jesus and the very beginnings of Christianity, and we will surely pray for all our friends and family back home. I am grateful to Sister Lois Paha, O.P., who will accompany the group and who is serving as the organizer for the group.


Annual Catholic Appeal
With thanks to the Catholic Foundation, all of the pastors, parish staff and everyone else who works to shepherd the Appeal campaign, we are happy to report that on Friday, Oct. 20 we reached our first milestone of $3.85 million for the Annual Catholic Appeal; through the generosity of 13,509 donors, $3,853,774 has been raised for ministries and services of the Diocese.  It would be wonderful if we could raise at least another $75,000; and exceed last year’s total giving of $3.928 million.


Thanks to all who donated and who helped us get to this point; this includes 1,582 new donors. However, we still need to focus on increasing participation by another 1,550 donors to meet our goal of increasing participation across the Diocese.


If you have not already done so, please make a pledge or one-time gift to our Annual Catholic Appeal today. Visit or try out our new giving option: text “ACA” and your pledge amount to 41444 to make a donation, conveniently, from your cell phone. (Ex.: ACA 100)


Your contributions and generosity are deeply appreciated, much needed, and make a real difference in the lives of many.


A 3-part series on End-of-Life Issues
Will take place on three consecutive Sunday afternoons: Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 from 1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  (90 minutes long)
Location: Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, inside the church
1800 South Kolb Road in Tucson


  •  Oct. 29    Session I: “Catholic Approach to Death & Dying: Ethical and Spiritual Reflections,”presented by Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy, Ph.D., Moderator of the Curia.
  • Nov. 5      Session II: “Preparing Now for the Hour of Death.” A Panel discussion with clergy who minister to the dying in hospitals and question/answer session on end-of-life topics such as living wills, advance directives, last rites, family involvement, and the role of spiritual preparation.
    A Panel presentation including:  Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy, Deacon Andy Corder, Rev. Gretchen Steffenson, Msgr. Tom Cahalane
  • Nov. 12    Session III: “Comfort and Healing for the Dying”, presented by Carolyn Ancell, a certified music practitioner. She will share stories from her hospice ministry on how music and sound can comfort the dying and their loved ones.


Men’s Conference
Saturday, Nov. 4
Hotel Tucson City Center

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration required


Put out into the Deep
Join men of all ages in a day of prayer, fellowship, and presentations calling men to the role we were created for – drawing ourselves, our families and our communities closer to Jesus Christ.  Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Father Don Calloway will engage us in our mission through their presentations and panel discussion.  Great music provided by Dan Francis along with our emcee, Damien Alameda, KOLD-TV 13 Sportscaster, will guide us through an inspiring day together.


New Location – Hotel Tucson City Center just off I-10 north of downtown Tucson at the
St. Mary’s exit.  There is plenty of free parking.

For more information, please visit: