Monday Memo, Nov. 11, 2013
Vol. 12, No. 13

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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A great opportunity
For more information on the synod visit http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1304231.htm

 

Bishops around the world recently learned that Pope Francis is calling together an Extraordinary Synod in October of 2014 on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”.

 

Let me start by explaining the differences in synods.image005

 

In 2012, I was involved in an Ordinary Synod on the New Evangelization.  These Ordinary Synods are gatherings of bishops chosen by their bishops’ conference with the Pope. They are  a way of continuing the dialogues on pastoral issues that happened at Vatican II but without having to call together all the bishops from around the world. The synods also involve experts and observers, many of whom are laity, as well as fraternal delegates who represent other churches.

 

These Ordinary Synods take place every four years and have  covered  some very timely and important themes such as the priesthood, the role of the laity, the Word of God, the Eucharist, and many others topics. The next Ordinary Synod will take place in October 2015 and will continue the theme  of “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context  of Evangelization.”
An Extraordinary Synod involves only Presidents of Bishops’ conferences, the heads of the Eastern Churches and leaders of curia offices. So, it is expected that about 150 synod fathers will take part in this upcoming synod. These extraordinary general assemblies have been called just twice since the Second Vatican Council II. Once in 1969 on the theme of “Cooperation between the Holy See and the Episcopal Conferences”, and in 1985 on the implementation of the Second Vatican Council.

 

Another interesting fact about this Extraordinary Synod is that Church leaders have been asked to gather input from a broader group of people.  Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary-General of the Synod, newly appointed by Pope Francis, asked the various episcopal conferences to “share as widely as possible in the deaneries and dioceses” the list of questions to start gathering information.

 

This Extraordinary Synod will serve the critical role of preparing information gathered by dioceses worldwide for the Ordinary Synod on the Family in 2015.

 

Here in the United States, all of the dioceses are fast at work getting responses to the multi-question survey the Vatican has developed to begin the information gathering process. Each bishop will determine how widely he will  consult.

 

In our diocese, we have created an electronic survey, called a survey monkey with the questions. There are nine areas covered by the survey, and we have broken the Vatican questions into 57 survey questions.

 

MM-Nov--11-final-2On Friday, we emailed the survey to all of our  priests, deacons, religious, marriage ministers, those leading our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) programs, Lay Ecclesial Ministers, members of our Diocesan Pastoral Council and our Pastoral Center Directors.

 

And as you can see, you can participate in the survey by clicking on the link in the box to the left.

 

The surveys must be completed by midnight on Sunday, Nov. 24.  Then, members of my pastoral staff will gather the data and we will prepare a report to forward to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  The USCCB will gather the information submitted from dioceses nationwide, and prepare the U.S. report for the Vatican.

 

Collating the data, even here at the diocese level, is a challenge since many of the survey questions are qualitative, not quantitative. I want us to make sure that as we read the survey responses we are careful to retain the details of the information submitted.

 

It is indeed wonderful that our Holy Father continues to reach out to Catholics and that he begins work on this much-needed study of challenges facing marriage and families by encouraging  bishops and archbishops to seek wide input from both ministers and Catholics from their dioceses.

 

I am also grateful for this opportunity. I  look forward to hearing what my brother priests working on the “front line” in our parishes have to say about the challenges of faith and family life and about how our Church responds, or needs to respond in this area.

 

If you get the time, please take the survey.  Some of the questions are complicated, but don’t feel that you cannot continue the survey. Simply skip those questions with topics you are not familiar with and move on.  The data from this survey will provide me with critical information that we in the Diocese can use to develop programs and ministries.

 

Pray for those in the Philippines
The news updates from the Philippines, where Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Friday, continue to report a climbing death toll and mass destruction.

 

I ask that all of us pray for the people living there. Pastors and Pastoral Administrators will receive a letter this week suggesting a second collection for those areas affected by the Super Typhoon, Haiyan that struck in Asia, as well as offering sample petitions to be prayed at Masses on the weekend of Nov. 16 and 17.

 

Please read the CRS information below:

 

“Catholic Relief Services teams are poised to respond to Typhoon Haiyan, a monster storm that hit the Philippines Friday morning.

 

The pain of another disaster is devastating,” said Greg Auberry, CRS’ regional director for Southeast Asia. “We’re currently moving tarpaulins to Cebu City so that we can provide 8,000 families with inevitable shelter needs. Our response teams are traveling to the areas hardest hit to determine exactly what people need and how CRS can help them.”

 

Haiyan, currently categorized as a “Super Typhoon,” made landfall on the eastern Visayas islands of Samar and Leyte—both heavily populated areas.

 

The typhoon comes just three weeks after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol, an island in the central Visayas. Especially vulnerable are the roughly 281,000 people living in makeshift shelters and tents near their homes. Another 89,000 people are living in evacuation centers and spontaneous settlements. Government officials ordered an evacuation of all residents living in tent cities, as well as those in low-lying and coastal areas.

 

CRS is working with local governments, Caritas partners, and local parishes in the Philippines to maximize the agency’s response and recovery efforts to reach those most in need.

 

Please keep the people of the Philippines in your prayers as they start to rebuild from this storm. We are providing prayer resources on our website for your use.

 

For the latest information about CRS’ response to Cyclone Haiyan, please visit the CRS Newswire. Please direct contributions for emergency response and long-term recovery here.”

 

Fall Session
This morning I am in Baltimore for the annual Fall Session of the USCCB.  This meeting is particularly important, as the nation’s bishops and archbishops will be electing the new president and vice president for the national conference.

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I am grateful to outgoing President Cardinal Timothy Dolan and also to Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the vice president, for their leadership during this challenging time, guiding the USCCB through issues such as religious liberty, healthcare, and immigration reform, and working with a heavily divided Congress.

 

I’ll be sure to report on the new USCCB leadership in a future Monday Memo, but you also can learn about the meeting at http://www.usccb.org/news/2013/13-191.cfm  or view the meeting at http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/2013-november-meeting/2013-november-meeting-live-stream.cfm

 

Congratulations Salpointe!
The Salpointe Lancers devastated  Yuma  Friday night with a 54-7 win, or as the Arizona Daily Star reported, “The top-seeded and host Lancers (11-0) plowed through Yuma Cibola 54-7 in the first round of the Division II playoffs.”

 

Congratulations also to receiver/backup quarterback Cameron Denson who holds an impressive record this season.  I understand that he completed a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown in Friday’s game.

 

Keep up the good work.  We’re all hoping for a championship year!

 

Annual Catholic Appeal
As of Nov. 8, the Annual Catholic Appeal is at 98 percent fulfillment, with $3,625,877 from 15,688 donors. We have collected 92 percent of the amount pledged, with $3,327,953.

 

We sincerely hope that everyone who has made a pledge will complete payment by December and we want to encourage everyone to consider making a special end of year gift if they are able. Please know that we remain deeply thankful for the support we receive throughout the Diocese and that each donation is sincerely appreciated. With your help, we are able to help others.

 

We are, of course, deep into planning ACA 2014. The theme for the campaign will be “Live in Faith, Give in Love”. We hope, in the spirit of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that we will be able to inspire the faithful to live out their baptismal call to stewardship through this expression of love.

 

While in town
I return to our Diocese on Nov. 13 in time for two celebrations.

 

On Friday, we’ll hold the quarterly birthday gathering for Pastoral Center employees celebrating birthdays between September and December. As we get older, celebrating birthdays is not as exciting as it once was, but one’s birthday remains a significant event that we enjoy celebrating at the Pastoral Center.

 

On Friday evening it will be my pleasure to attend the 5th Annual Fundraising Event for Jordan Ministry here in our diocese.

 

Jordan Ministry “is a team of trained professionals who collaborate with the Diocese of Tucson in response to the Second Vatican Council’s universal call to holiness and participation in the mission of the Church. The Team provides theological and spiritual formation to foster Catholic leadership and promote spiritual growth throughout the Diocese. Sponsored by the Salvatorian Community, the Jordan Ministry is committed to making Jesus the Savior known and loved by all.”

 

This year’s event has the theme of “Celebrating a Life Dedicated to Global Service,” and will recognize the work of Deacon Ken Moreland, our Vicar for Deacons.

 

Deacon Ken is well-known for his leadership in the formation and training of deacons ordained for our diocese. He and his wife, Linda, also are respected members of the Holy Trinity parish community and Deacon Ken is a global fellow for Catholic Relief Services who makes several presentations about CRS’ work around the world.

 

As I wrote last week, I know Deacon Ken to be a compassionate and very level-headed person who is very knowledgeable about parish life and about guiding our deacons. He also accompanies me on many of my trips to parishes outside of Tucson, and I know that deacons in some of our more remote parishes are glad to see him to share their questions and suggestions with him.

 

The dinner will be held at Most Holy Trinity Parish. For more information, or if you would like to attend the dinner, please visit http://www.jordanministry.org/fundraiser_event_.aspx.

 

For more information about Jordan Ministry, visit http://www.jordanministry.org/home.aspx

 

Religious Convocation
Saturday at the Benedictine Monastery
800 N Country Club Rd, Tucson, AZ 85716
Visit the monastery at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg3mux81vRI

 

Brother and Sister Religious of the Diocese will gather at the Benedictine Monastery in Tucson for their Annual Convocation. Guest presenter, Sister Susan Jenny, S.C., a Sister of Charity of Seton Hill from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, will lead the Sisters and Brothers in a reflective exploration of themes from Pope Frances’ Encyclical, “Lumen Fidei”.

 

I will join the religious in an open forum, an important part of the yearly Convocation and we will end the day with Mass. Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, our Vicar for Religious, will host the event.

 

I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but talking about the Monastery made me think about the Benedictine Sisters’ other “ job” – at Prayerfully Popped.  You might like to check out the Sisters’ webpage at http://www.prayerfullypopped.com/  Maybe you’ll find a gift idea; purchases benefit local charities in Tucson.  I know the popcorn tastes great!

 

Confirmation
On Sunday it will be my joy to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation to young people at the St. Thomas More Newman Center on the University of Arizona campus.

 

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Bishop Moreno

In remembrance
This week, I invite you to remember our beloved Bishop and my predecessor, Bishop Manuel D. Moreno on the seventh anniversary of his death, Nov. 17.

 

Bishop Moreno was a compassionate and humble man and I always remember the gift of being able to work alongside him in my early days here in the Diocese.  He was a gentle man who loved the people of the Diocese.

 

We will remember Bishop at the noon Mass on Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral. Please join me in prayer that God will grant Bishop Moreno eternal rest.

 

Please pray
We pray for the safety of Father  Arnold Aurillo’s family who live in Leyte in the Philippines, the area struck directly by Typhoon Haiyan. Father  Aurillo is the pastor of Holy Angels Parish in Globe. We pray also for all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.