Monday Memo, Sept. 22, 2014. Vol. 15, No. 8September 22, 2014
See more images from the Mass at
Yesterday, it was my joy to gather with about 170 married couples and their families and friends to celebrate Mass and to listen as those couples renewed their marriage vows.
Looking out across the many, many people sitting in front of the altar at St. Augustine’s Cathedral were couples celebrating anniversaries from the first year “rookies” to many celebrating 25 or 50 or more years together . Among these long marriages are:
Camiel and Alice Albrecht, who attend Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson and who are celebrating 68 years of married life.
Marty and Babs Ronstadt from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish; and Richard and Mary Yenter
from St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande, celebrating 67 years together.
Brian and Jean Dumas from Our Lady of Grace Parish; Mr. and Mrs. Knebelsberger from Sacred Heart Parish; Jack and Dee Lyle from St. Odilia Parish; and Richard and Rachel Rendon from Santa Cruz Parish, all celebrating 65 years of marriage.
Truly amazing! In total the couples present represented 6,712 years of married life. Fantastic!
All of these couples embody sacrificial love, and the willingness to do for another, perhaps even when it means sacrificing something they need or want. I pray their example of dedicated, committed love will inspire their loved ones to love in the same way. The love and faith of these couples have withstood the tests of happiness and sadness, ease and difficulty in living, working with good and bad health, and they have remained steadfastly committed to one another and their families. What a lesson they teach us.
As they came forward to have their photograph taken with me, their devotion to one another is still so apparent. You see the stronger of the couple tenderly assisting their partner with support while walking, or guiding them along through the many people waiting in line. There is the gentle hand-holding and the smiles between them. Their love and commitment to one another has been fortified by many years of being ready to help one another. Such examples are indeed a gift to the rest of us.
My thanks to the planning committee for their work for this Mass: Mike Berger and Grace Lohr from our Pastoral Services Department; Sonya Gutierrez from my office; Steff Koeneman, Victor Calderon and Omar Rodriguez from our Communications Department , Father Gonzalo Villegas, rector of St. Augustine and his staff, and Carlos Zapien and the Cathedral Choir.
Renovacion Catolica Carismatica/ Charismatic Catholic Renewal Congress
I also had the opportunity to briefly make a visit to the Catholics participating in the 27th Congresso Carismatica that took place over the weekend. There were 1,000 Catholics at this gathering that took place at San Miguel High School.
It always is a pleasure to be with so many faith-filled people all sharing and renewing their belief! I also am happy that our Spanish-speaking community of believers is very alive and engaged.
One presenter was Padre Dario Betancourt. A native of Medellin, Columbia, he was ordained a priest in September 1964. This year he is celebrating 50 years as a priest. He studied Philosophy and Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. In the Pontificia Academia Alfonsiana he obtained a Doctorate in Moral Theology and he also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Padre Dario is fluent in five languages: Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese.
He has ministered in Brooklyn New York and served as an adviser to the Cursillo Movement. Today he presents courses and seminars of spirituality in many countries of the world, particularly with doctors and priests.
According to online information, Padre Dario is “Famous for his great oratory skills to convey the message of the Gospel, has traveled to five continents carrying the Word of God, and inviting people to come closer to the Catholic faith. . . . Many people are (interested in) his reputation as healer.” I understand that Padre Dario strives to improve and maintain a deep spiritual connection with God first, and that healing comes about because of that connection.
Another presenter was Father Carlos Triano, originally from Columbia as well, who now serves as an advisor to the Archdiocese of Mexico about Charismatic Renewal.
Our local Charismatic group was formed with the “purpose to ignite with your love the hearts of their children and they bear the vivifying word of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel, the Good News) to the entire community of Tucson…”
I am grateful to Father Marco Basulto, parochial vicar at St. Andrew in Sierra Vista, and Deacon Mario Aquirre, who serve as chaplains to the Spanish Charismatic Renewal Program in our Diocese.
I will be in Chicago attending a meeting of the Catholic Extension Society for part of this week.
Extension “is a national fundraising organization committed to supporting and strengthening poor mission dioceses across the United States. (It) provides funding and resources to dioceses and parishes through programs and services investing in people, infrastructure and ministries. This support is given based on need, passion and commitment to the growth of the Catholic faith.
“Catholic Extension assists the growth and vibrancy of the Church in the U.S. by strategically investing in poor mission dioceses to unleash the power of faith that transforms hearts, lives and society.”
The Diocese of Tucson is one such diocese. Extension recognizes that our diocese often is under resourced, or unable to cover the much needed expenses involved in ministering to over 300,000 Catholics spread out across 43,000 square miles. While many of our metro-Tucson parishes are able to fully fund their own parish and ministry needs, this is not so with many of our non-urban parishes and outlying missions. Funds from Extension cover a variety of needs in our diocese, including support for seminarians preparing to be priests, our Hispanic Ministry Office, our office for Youth as well as providing assistance to pay the salary of priests serving in under resourced parishes. What a gift they are to us and the other mission dioceses.
There will nearly 100 participants at the Catholic Extension meeting. I look forward to listening to the many presentations and speaking with other Bishops of mission dioceses. I am grateful to Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension and a classmate of mine from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, and to his staff for their incredible assistance.
Gratitude to Catechists
Yesterday was Catechetical Sunday and in many parishes it was an occasion to affirm, thank and bless the many laity, deacons and religious who help hand on the faith to the young by their volunteer service as catechists. I had the joy of thanking catechists at St. Luke and Immaculate Conception parishes in Douglas on Sunday. What a blessing these catechists are to the Church, sacrificing their time and sharing their talent to raise a new generation in the faith. We cannot express sufficient gratitude for their work.
St. Augustine Catholic High School
Friday evening I will stop by the Red and Silver Foundation Dinner, an event benefitting St. Augustine Catholic High School.
Our Catholic schools rely on funding events such as this, and I have found that these dinners are great places to meet the people who champion our schools.
St. Augustine experienced a significant increase in enrollment this year and are looking to expanding their facilities to accommodate an anticipated increased enrollment next year.
Friday’s dinner will be at Tucson Skyline Country Club. Tickets $75 per guest. Reserve your tickets at the St. Augustine Advancement Department, contact Doreen Alderete, 520-382-1305, or by email at email@example.com.
I was delighted to learn that Bishop Blase Cupich, a good friend, has been named by Pope Francis as the Archbishop of Chicago, replacing Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. who is retiring. He will be a true pastor eager to serve his people, especially those most in need. He will be a blessing for the Archdiocese. He was formerly the Bishop of Spokane in Washington State.
Please pray for
The soul of Msgr. Gerald Brynda a great priest who served our diocese in many important responsibilities including as Chancellor. He died in Clovis, Calif. where he has lived after retirement. Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy will represent the Diocese at his memorial Mass that will be celebrated in Clovis on Saturday, Sept. 27.
Msgr. Brynda was born on August 9, 1931 in Chicago. He received his calling early in life and entered St. Mary of the Lake at Mundelein in 1950 at the age of 19 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. After discernment, he requested incardination into the Diocese of Tucson and was accepted by Most Rev. Daniel Gercke, Bishop of Tucson. On May 19, 1957, he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Andrew’s Church, Chicago, Illinois.
Msgr. Brynda served throughout the Diocese of Tucson holding the positions of Parochial Vicar, Administrator, Pastor, Chaplain, Vice Chancellor, Chancellor and Secretary to the Bishop, Vicar Forane, Consultor, Defender of the Bond, Promoter of Justice, Treasurer, and Director of CYO. He was appointed the honor of Honorary Prelates by Pope Paul VI on March 6, 1969 bestowing him with the title of Monsignor. He worked at St. Theresa Phoenix (before the split of the Diocese) Saints Peter & Paul, Holy Family, St. Monica, St. Rose of Lima Safford, Immaculate Conception Yuma, St. Ambrose, Blessed Sacrament Mammoth, Infant Jesus of Prague Kearny, Holy Angels Globe, Boy Scouts, St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Loyola University Medical Center, Foster McGraw Hospital Maywood and finally supporting the small parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Clovis.
He reired to Clovis,in November 1997, but returned often when asked by the Bishop to support parishes of the diocese when shortages of priests occurred. He spent his final years in Clovis and loved his home there.
He is survived by his nephews Tim Koren (Roxanne) and Pat Koren (Rosemary) and niece Barbara Schawager (Steve) and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother and sister. And his caregiver Ms. Pat Strohmeier for the final years of his life.
The soul of Margot S. Richard, sister of Father Gilbert Padilla. Margot was a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Although she spent most of her life in a wheelchair, she did not complain and provided an amazing model of self-sacrifice and love to those around her.
Condolences may be sent to:
Rev. Gilbert Padilla
3006 E 6th St Unit K41A
Tucson, AZ 85716
Community Health Awareness Fair
800 N. Country Club Road
Downstairs conference room
9 a.m. to noon
The public is welcome to attend this first annual event , sponsored by the Tucson Commission Corps Officers Association.
The following health screenings will be available: Blood pressures, blood sugar levels, weight and BMI, and medication reviews. There also will be printed educational materials.
For more information, please contact Amerita Hamlet at 520-295-2415.
2014 Arizona Rosary Celebration
Saturday, October 11, 2014
10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
8650 North Shannon Road, Tucson
Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas will preside over the Tucson event, which also takes place in the Diocese of Phoenix: Sunday, Oct. 12 from 2p.m. to 4:15 p.m., at the Phoenix Convention Center, Halls F & G
33 S. 3rd Street, Phoenix.
Father Juan-Diego Brunetta, O.P. is the guest speaker. He is Prior of St. Catherine of Siena Priory and Judge–Marriage Tribunal at Archdiocese of New York.