Monday Memo, Aug. 19, 2013
August 19, 2013
Vol. 12, No. 2
El Informe de los lunes es una publicación electrónica semanal donde se difunden noticias e información presentada por el Obispo Gerald Kicanas.
Annual Catholic Appeal
Frequent readers of my Monday Memo know that whenever possible, I try to thank the individuals and organizations that support the work of our diocese.
I do this because without that continued assistance – whether it is financial or volunteer time and support – this diocese would not be able to provide the high
level of ministry, charity and service that it does
Ministry requires support. It’s that simple.
For the last three years, the Catholic Foundation, the organization that manages our Annual Catholic Appeal, has worked to encourage Catholics here our diocese to fully support our Appeal. In light of the difficult economic times we have all faced during the last several years, our annual goal of $3.7 million has not been increased, even though the costs of providing services through the many organizations and charities funded by the Appeal have increased.
I have good news to share today. We are within about $200,000 of reaching our Appeal goal for 2013. This is phenomenal!
Once again, I am grateful to all who have contributed to our Appeal. I thank you sincerely for your sacrifice.
Now, I ask that those who have not yet given to consider contributing to the ACA. Margie Puerta Edson, executive director of the Catholic Foundation, tells me that if each of the parishes that have not yet met their annual parish goal were to raise $4,000 each, we could achieve our goal.
Imagine, if 100 people from each of those parishes were to give $40 each to the Appeal, we could be assured that all of the charities and organizations relying on the funds would be served and we would have funds to assist needy parishes with their concerns through grants from the Catholic Foundation.
I know that for some families and some of our rural parishes that even $4,000 may be a huge goal, but together our 78 parishes can achieve our goal with one last effort.
If all of us consider the great outcome of our donations, perhaps we can still manage to raise that last amount. I pray you will consider making a contribution – every donation matters.
The Foundation will be reminding us about the Appeal in the weeks ahead; you can get information through your parish, or click here to visit the Foundation’s website: http://www.cathfnd.org/
My congratulations to Msgr. Raul Trevizo, whose 25th jubilee as a priest was celebrated by his parish family on Thursday. It is obvious that Monsignor’s flock loves him dearly. For my part, I count on Monsignor’s love, compassion and knowledge of our Spanish speaking community. His counsel on matters of faith for our Latino Catholics also is wise.
To find out more about Msgr. Trevizo, you can check out what our diocesan paper wrote in the April 2013 edition at http://www.newvisiononline.org/2013/jubilarian-priests-thankful-for-call-to-serve/
The story has information on all seven of our 25-year jubilee priests, plus information on those celebrating other milestones such as their 40th and 10th jubilees.
If you know someone fluent in Spanish, they might enjoy reading a brief story about Msgr. Trevizo that appeared in La Estrella de Tucson at http://azstarnet.com/laestrella/ciudad/a-os-de-sacerdocio-en-pro-de-los-hispanos/article_9bc63f80-3b83-59b6-ac6b-d50153e4453b.html
About Catholic schools
As I mentioned in last week’s Memo, our Catholic schools all are back in session for the 2013-2014 year. This morning, I am joining Sr. Rosa Maria Ruiz, our schools superintendent, and her staff at a meeting of all the school principals.
The meeting will include information about Jordan Ministry, our Catholic Tuition Support Organization, or CTSO, Human Resources and a talk by our Director for the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston.
As our principals work to hone their skills for the betterment of our schools, we here in the Diocese also are hard at work promoting Catholic schools.
We have 25 schools across our diocese, and some have been struggling with lower than expected student enrollment. We believe a variety of factors are contributing to these enrollment figures, including the emergence of many more charter schools, tuition costs, and a general lack of awareness about the value and success of Catholic schools.
Kathy Linehan, a public relations expert with Change Strategies, graciously has offered to assist us pro bono with developing a marketing campaign that will include a toolkit of information and mailings for each school to use to reach adults seeking school options for their children. In addition to the materials, Kathy is working with our Office of Catholic Schools and with principals to develop sound, factual strategies that can help inform the public about the value of attending schools.
Our Communications Department and the New Vision, our diocesan newspaper, also are working to highlight the accomplishments of our schools and students. For example, did you know that nearly 100 percent of our Catholic high school students graduate and go on to colleges and universities. That is an astounding percentage!
Finally, the marketing effort is working hand in hand with our CTSO office to promote the availability of scholarships from both CTSO and from the state through the Empowerment Scholarship Account, or ESA program. The ESA program provides tuition assistance to students who switch from a failing public school to attend other schools, including Catholic schools. Children of military families also qualify for these scholarships regardless of where they go to school.
Did you know that nearly half – about 48 percent – of the more than 6,300 students attending Catholic schools in our diocese receive scholarships from CTSO? The financial aid provided makes attending Catholic schools much more affordable than many people may think, and the assistance is based on need, so that for the very poorest of our families, paying for their children to attend a fine school is not a hardship.
For more information about our Catholic schools, please call our schools office at 520-838-1047 or visit the schools webpage at http://www.diocesetucson.org/cms.diocesetucson/index.php?id=52
For information about tuition assistance through CTSO, visit them on the web at http://www1.ctso-tucson.org/, and to apply for the Empowerment Scholarships, or ESAs, visit http://www.azed.gov/esa/ or call 602-364-1969.
Notre Dame ACE Academies
Five years ago the University of Notre Dame selected three of our Catholic Schools — St. Ambrose, St. John the Evangelist and Santa Cruz — as the first Notre Dame ACE Academies. Since that time, much progress has been made in improving achievement scores, marketing and financing of the schools and the Catholic formation taking place.
In fact, I recently saw a story in the National Catholic Register about great progress being made at St. John the Evangelist School. Take a look at the story at http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/catholic-education-success-story/ Congratulations to all at the school!
There is, however, one obstacle to the enhancement of the educational opportunities and that is the schools’ facilities, especially at St. John’s and Santa Cruz. For example, the University of Notre Dame offered to provide a number of computers for the schools, only we discovered that the electrical systems could not accommodate the computers.
At the end of last school year, we decided to launch a capital campaign to raise needed resources to enhance the facilities. This campaign is being organized by Smith and Dale, a development consulting firm.
I am glad to report that our Property and Insurance Department, headed by John Shaheen, already is working to improve energy efficiency and comfort at Santa Cruz and St. John schools using capital campaign funds already raised through the generosity of people who care about education on the southside. Installation of electrical upgrades, air conditioning and new windows will begin at Santa Cruz in the very near future, as well as work to upgrade the electrical system and to install new efficient windows at St. John’s.
We’ll continue to upgrade all three ACE Academy campuses as monies become available. If you are interested in helping us achieve the capital campaign goal of $5 million, please contact Margie Puerta Edson at the Diocese, 520-838-2509. Your gift will reap benefits for generations of young people.
Director and Administrator meetings
On Thursday morning we will be hold two meetings for leaders of our diocesan departments. I look forward to hearing from our Directors, who will be providing brief updates on the progress of our diocesan goals.
Those goals were set back in May during our annual Directors’ Summit, and revolved around the following areas of strength and concern determined by a survey sent to our Directors, pastoral center staff, and members of the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
The survey revealed the following as areas going well at the Pastoral Center:
-Collaboration, team work and cooperative spirit
-Strong desire to serve parishes and schools
-Filling new positions: Director of Hispanic Ministry, Canonical Advisor, and an
These areas of concern were brought forward:
-Lack of work and storage space within the Pastoral Center
-Lack of a common database
– A need for longer term planning
-More outreach to vicariates
– A need to enhance and recharge liturgies
Breakfast with the Bishop
I will host another of my Mass and breakfast gatherings, sponsored by our Catholic Foundation, at my residence on Friday. These breakfasts give me a wonderful opportunity to meet and to listen to the suggestions and comments of our fellow Catholics here in our Diocese.
Diocesan Pastoral Council
The Pastoral Council meeting on Saturday will feature a presentation by Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., our diocesan Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, about her Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry. Sister joined the diocese in September 2012 to fill a greatly-needed position to serve our Latino populations. I have been pleased by her work in understanding and orchestrating various aspects of ministry to our Spanish speaking Catholics, and I look forward to seeing the long-term plan for continuing that work. I also heard positive reaction to Sister Glady’s recent Spanish language certification classes during my visits to parishes in Santa Cruz County and Cochise County.
Following Sister’ presentation, the council will be discussing two topics I would like our diocese to pursue earnestly: 1. Reaching out to fallen away or Catholics who have left the faith, and 2. enlivening rural parishes.
As a diocese, we have been discussing ways to re-invite those among us who have left the Catholic faith, particularly during this Year of Faith. Since this topic came up again during our Directors’ Planning Summit and in my recent pastoral visits, I want to begin discussing and implementing ways to encourage the return of those who have left, and to bolster ways that our parishes can help Catholics strengthen their faith.
Regarding our rural parishes, I have been contemplating what our diocese can do to assist those parishes for some time now. You may recall that I held a meeting for pastors of rural parishes about two years ago to hear their comments, suggestions and needs. The results of that meeting left me with better insight into the struggles of rural pastors, and that in turn, gave insight into how we might assist parish life in those areas.
Welcome new Religious
This Sunday I will celebrate a Mass to welcome new Religious Brothers and Sister to ministry in our Diocese. The Mass will take place at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, and will be followed by a breakfast reception and a tour of the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center. This annual event is hosted by the Council of Vowed Religious.
Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., our Vicar for Religious, reports that this year, we are welcoming one Sister and four Brothers to our diocese. I should mention that we ask that all members of religious communities to let Sister Jeanne know that they have arrived, and specify their ministry assignments. Sister said that sometimes the new religious are so busy with the assignments given them by their orders that they forget to report their presence to us.
We are blessed to have many talented and hard working religious serving in our diocese. They assist us in the fields of education, counseling, prison ministry and other pastoral ministries, and I appreciate their service. My gratitude to Sr. Jeanne for organizing the upcoming Mass and reception.
Last weekend was a busy one for ministries in our Diocese. On Friday and Saturday, more than 160 of our permanent deacons attended their annual Convocation at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. They heard a presentation by Sr. Lois Paha, O.P., D.Min., director of Pastoral Services, on her doctoral thesis on training for deacons’ wives, and another by Father Scott Brubaker of St. Bridget Parish in Mesa about deacons and Vatican II.
In addition, Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston presented information about mandatory reporting, critical areas in working with youth, and how to keep boundaries in working with others. She also spoke with the deacons about the responsibilities of being in leadership at their parishes and how to avoid misunderstandings in behavior and interaction.
I was pleased to celebrate a Mass with the deacons and their wives during which the deacons renewed their vows in service of the Diocese.
My thanks to Deacon Ken Moreland, our diocesan Vicar of Deacons, who organized this annual gathering. My thanks also to our permanent deacons, who have become a valuable asset to our diocese for their devoted ministry and assistance to our priests. I should also point out that a deacon’s duties often require long days and many hours away from their wives and families, and I am grateful for the sacrifice they all make. Special thanks again to Father Pat Crino and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish for sharing their campus with us this year.
Many of our Directors of Religious Education, or DREs and key parish catechists, attended a one day convocation at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish on Saturday. About 100 catechetical leaders attended the sessions, which included the following presentations: Child Development and Catechesis: Speaking the Learner’s Language, by Dr. Joseph White, a clinical child psychologist and National Catechetical Consultant with Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum writing; “Balancing the need to Know: Catechetical leaders and our Call to Protect”, by Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston, director of the diocesan Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection; and my own presentation, “Catechists and the New Evangelization.
I am pleased that our catechists are able to come together to share information and insights on how to best teach our future Catholics. Their work in passing on the faith, especially in preparing our youth for sacraments, is essential. It is so important that our catechists also stay well-trained and inspired for the work they do for us.
My thanks to Mike Berger for his work in leading our DREs in this convocation, and to Msgr. Tom Cahalane and his congregation for sharing their parish with us.
Congratulations to St. Monica Parish!
I celebrated Mass with the parish family on Saturday to bless the new altar and the many improvements made to the church. The altar furniture is beautifully carved with the same sort of arch design found throughout the church, and the new altar very much ties the appearance together.
We also wished Father Raul Valencia Garcia congratulations on his 10th anniversary as a priest.
It was wonderful to be with the parish for both of these happy events.
For the soul of Dave Sitton, a local sports broadcaster, UA Rugby coach, philanthropist and friend of the Diocese of Tucson, who passed away suddenly on Aug. 12. As you may have read in local news reports, Dave was remembered by everyone as a good person who valued and worked for Tucson. I encountered Dave many times and like his friends and admirers, I always knew him to be an energetic, positive person who sought to help others.
I was grateful that I could preside at Dave’s funeral Mass celebrated by Father John Allt on Saturday at St. Joseph’s Parish. The church was completely packed — more evidence of how loved Dave was. Please pray for the comfort of his daughters, Olivia and Blakeney, during this difficult time.
For the soul of Deacon Gilbert Bracamonte who also passed away Aug. 12. His funeral will be Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Parish at 10:30 a.m. Deacon Gilbert endured much suffering and sadness in his life but despite his disabilities he kept his desire to serve others, the heart of the deacon’s charism.
For the speedy recovery of Msgr. Gerald Brynda, a retired priest of our diocese who recently had surgery in California, where he now lives; and also for the full recovery of Miguel Lopez, a young man who asked that he be able to serve with me at the Cathedral, and who underwent surgery last week. His family members are parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish.
Vol. 12 Num. 2 Monday Memo, 26 de Agosto, 2013
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