Monday Memo, Sept. 18, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 29

 

 

 

 

Share the Journey
Pope Francis has called for global awareness of the plight of refugees and migrants.  As you know, this has been a major concern of his pontificate since he was first chosen as Pope.

 

You may also know that working on behalf of refugees and migrants also has been a focus for me. I too have encountered many people both here and overseas in need of advocates and of the caring compassion of their fellow human beings to address poverty, the ravages of war, lawlessness and the lack of dignity forced upon them.

 

Francis’ campaign has been titled by him “Share the Journey,” reflecting his hope that we become more aware of the danger and struggle faced by refugees and migrants in their effort to escape violence, war, oppression and economic disaster.  The initiative is to be launched on Wednesday, Sept. 27, and there will be other significant events planned during the campaign through its completion in January 2019.

 

Pope Francis desires that every diocese host an event highlighting the plight of refugees and migrants on Sept. 27.  In our diocese, I am inviting interfaith leaders to join me in a prayer service highlighting the journeys of migrants and refugees.

 

This interfaith event will take place at St. Cyril Parish on Wednesday, Sept. 27, beginning at 7 p.m.

 

During the course of the next few months I have asked Michael Brown, editor of the Catholic Outlook, to have the newspaper include reflections from refugees describing their journeys in the November, December and January editions.  Catholic Community Services, which helps resettle refugees in our area, will be working to invite refugees to the prayer service and to identify writers for the Outlook.

 

Presbyteral Council
Will take place this morning at the Pastoral Center. Topics on the agenda include taking the oath of office for newest members: Father Jay Luczak. Representing the Santa Cruz Vicariate and Father Martin Atanga, representing international priests.  Other topics will include payroll compliance matters, international speakers (and  the required permissions needed for them to speak in our diocese); Tucson Catholic Radio Station Initiative; diocesan finances, financial statement review; training for bookkeepers and the upcoming second collection for seminarian education; discussion on the proposal for priests’ salaries; discussion of a new Safe Environment curriculum for children and youth; discussion of DACA  and the Dream Act 2017; immigrant communities and their rights with Mexican Consul Ricardo Pineda; discussion with the Communications Office and  Catholic Outlook about newspaper distribution solutions, newspaper changes and  re-activation of a Communications Advisory Board; update on the Annual Catholic Appeal; Share the Journey initiative; and  contractor discussion on Cathedral Square.

 

I am grateful to the priests who serve on the Presbyteral Council. Their advice and counsel is immensely helpful in dealing with issues facing the Diocese. I appreciate the help of Kathy Rhinehart, our chancellor, who serves as staff to the council.

 

New Orleans
I will be in “the Big Easy” Wednesday and Thursday to deliver a keynote speech to the all priests from across Louisiana during their priests’ convocation. The topic of my presentation will be “Priest as Shepherd.”  Every several years priests of the dioceses in Louisiana get together for several days of study and prayer.

 

I will travel to Chicago following the convocation to witness a wedding of a daughter of one of my former students.

 

Directors’ Meeting
Will take place on Friday morning at the Pastoral Center.  Items that may be discussed include Sharing the Journey activities, the upcoming Mass for couples celebrating wedding anniversaries, the upcoming Arizona Rosary Celebration and the outcome of the second collection for Hurricane Harvey victims.

 

Annual Catholic Appeal
The Foundation reports that through the generosity of 13,393 donors honoring their pledge commitments or those who have made a onetime gift, $3.67 million has been received toward the Annual Catholic Appeal, as of Thursday, Sept. 14. The Appeal now is at 95 percent of reaching this year’s goal of $3.85 million.

 

There are 37 parishes that have met or exceeded their pledge goal for 2017;  four more are within a percent or two. This represents approximately 1,500 new donors across the Diocese; however, we still need to focus on increasing participation. It would be wonderful if at least $240,000 could be raised over the next three and a half months to exceed last year’s total giving.

 

If you have not already done so, please make a pledge or one-time gift to our Annual Catholic Appeal today. Your contributions and generosity are deeply appreciated, much needed and make a real difference in the lives of many. Even small donations help, and they add up to big results.

 

Cathedral Square
There has been some progress on the Conference and Educational Center at Cathedral Square. On Friday, very large concrete structures appeared in the construction area. These will be used for the installation of plumbing utility lines and a retaining wall. We will try to monitor progress on the construction of the new building. We are looking to installing a camera that will allow internet access to view the progress while it is happening.

 

You might have also have noticed that a lot of progress is being low-income senior housing project which is being done through federal tax credits awarded to the Foundation for Senior Living.

 

The oldest building on Cathedral Square, the Cathedral rectory, now is painted and looks sharp, structure work on the rectory included roof repair, new windows and other necessary work expected in an older building.

 

If you have been in downtown Tucson recently you probably have noticed that in addition to Cathedral Square, there is a great deal of revitalization, and beautification construction taking place. More people are living downtown now and retail development is increasing.

 

Please pray for
Richard Serrano,
diocesan director of Human Resources, who is recovering from surgery.  We pray for his rapid recovery.