Monday Memo, Sept. 14, 2014. Vol. 13, No. 29September 14, 2015
The Diocese of Port au Paix is in the Northwest portion of Haiti is a very poor area with mostly inaccessible roads (unpaved, deeply-rutted, almost undriveable even with a sturdy four wheel drive vehicle).
Several parishes in our Diocese (Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Andrew in Sierra Vista, Santa Catalina and for a while Most Holy Trinity) serve as sister parishes to impoverished parishes in the Diocese of Port au Paix. Our parishes support Joan Martin in her efforts to help the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi in Bombardopolis, St. Nicholas in Mol San Nicolas, St. Gerard in Ti Rivye. Some of our parishes have allowed Joan to give talks on the needs of the Haitian diocese and people have been very generous.
God has worked powerfully through Joan to assist Bishop Paulo and the priests, religious and communities in this Diocese of Port au Paix. Their support has been used to pay priest stipends and health costs since the priests have no health insurance nor do they have retirement funds; to repair blown out tires (these tires last less than a year on the rugged roads), to help pay teacher salaries in Catholic Schools; to repair facilities; and meet other needs of the area. One of our priests gives money every month to help support seminarians studying to be priests.
One cannot imagine the hand-to-mouth existence people live every day. They have many health issues, lack of work, and intense heat to deal with. Msgr. Tom Cahalane and I found our four days extremely difficult and demanding, but people there live this existence every day of their lives. Yet the people are happy. They love to sing (Joan sang in Creole the prayer before every meal while we were there). While the people have little, they have deep faith.
We met some incredible priests and religious as well as so many beautiful people; they are admirable. Their lives are arduous but they support one another. Joan, who drives one of the rugged jeeps, would stop to pick up anyone walking along the way, most of whom, in the custom of the area, were carrying heavy loads on their heads.
Our diocese can be very proud of Joan Martin, who, with a joyful spirit, brings hope to people in dire situations day after day.
While in Haiti we spent two days in Port au Prince, the capital, visiting with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) personnel who work in Port au Prince and Les Cayes areas. We spent time with a group of 30 Haitians participating in a program sponsored by CRS in which they save money and loan money to participants needing or wanting to borrow. It is a fascinating experience of solidarity. In addition to saving money to loan, they have some of the monies they save put aside to help members in a crisis. The group meets every week for one hour.
The money saved is kept in a small blue box with three locks. Different people carry one of the keys to unlock one of the three locks on the box. During their meeting they count the money they have saved and then each member can give some money for the solidarity fund to help people through another through a crisis and then they can save any amount of money into the fund. It was interesting to see how serious they were about the project. They begin their meetings with a prayer and end with a song. Msgr. Tom and I had a chance to congratulate them on their care for each other and to offer a final prayer.
The five days in Haiti were a humbling and inspiring experience. Here in this country, we take the many blessings we have for granted. If only we were more generous in sharing our blessings.
I will talk with the Presbyteral Council about whether it would consider a second collection for Port au Paix during the Year of Mercy. which begins on December 8.
Countdown to Papal Visit: 1 week
There is so much happening in preparation for the upcoming visit by Pope Francis.
The Metropolitan Archdioceses of Washington (D.C.), New York and Philadelphia all are hard at work, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB, preparing for the Holy Father and the incredible number of people expected to share in Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States.
The USCCB will have livestreaming of significant events of the visit. If you are a fan of social media, there also will be intense coverage at #PopeinUS. The major television networks will be heavily covering the Pope and in at least one of the cities, huge television screens are being put up to help as many people as possible see the Holy Father. Even channel 13 in Tucson is sending a crew to cover the visit.
I will be in Baltimore for the early part of the week for a meeting of the Review Board of the Conference of Men Religious, then flying into Washington, D.C. through Sept 23 for the Pope’s visit. The Holy Father will arrive in the nation’s capital on Sept. 22. He plans to meet with the Bishops of the United States for midday prayer at St. Matthew Cathedral and then the bishops will concelebrate the canonization Mass for Father Junipero Serra, O.F.M. that will take place at Catholic University.
Pope Francis continues to surprise and please Catholics worldwide with his example and decisions. Over the last couple of months he sought to help women who have had abortions by giving priests permission to absolve the women seeking forgiveness, and last week he announced new streamlined changes for those seeking Declarations for Nullity. Both changes are occurring within the Pope’s designated Year of Mercy.
New processes for Marriage Nullity
As mentioned above, Francis issued two Moto Propio changing the Marriage Nullity process for the Eastern and Roman Catholic Churches that will become effective on Dec. 8.
These changes affect only the process for obtaining a declaration of nullity (also commonly known as an annulment), but do not change the grounds needed to grant the declaration. For a marriage to be declared invalid, the grounds must have been present from the day of the wedding.
The most significant changes deal with first, the competence of the (church) Court or of the Tribunal: Now cases can be heard as long as one of the parties have permanent or seasonal residence in the Diocese of Tucson. Permission from the diocese of the responding party no longer is needed.
Secondly, cases decided in which nullity was granted no longer have to go to a second court of appeal automatically, but parties still have the right to appeal to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe (our Metropolitan See) or to the Roma Rota, the Court of Rome also known as the Court of the Pope.
Thirdly, a new briefer process has been established in which the decision of nullity is made by the local bishop. For this process it is required that both parties are seeking nullity and that the grounds are clearly established by testimony or documents and it is apparent that there is no need for further investigation to reach the truth about the case.
Cases that are not immediately clear or that the responding party is not willing to participate in, must be done by an Ordinary Judicial Process.
The changes, while significant, do not enable me or the Diocese to declare marriages invalid without a process. A process still must be begun through the Marriage Tribunal, even if I will eventually decide the case through the new process.
Plans are now being made to provide training for parish ministers to aide in presenting cases to the Tribunal Office in a proper and adequate manner.
Questions concerning matters of the Declaration of Nullity should be directed to the diocesan Marriage Tribunal Office by calling 520-838-2500.
Our Holy Father truly is working in the spirit of the Year of Mercy, which he declared early this year. The new Declaration of Nullity processes will begin the same day as the Year of Mercy. The title of the Motu Propio is. “The Lord Jesus: Gentle and Merciful Judge.”
The diocesan Presbyteral Council will begin addressing these changes and implementation in our diocese this week.
Presbyteral Council Meeting
Speaking of the Council, it held its monthly meeting yesterday at the Pastoral Center. Topics discussed include:
Marriage and Family Topic – Discussion in Vicariates from the Convocation
Priests on Leave of Absence
Participation in Legatus, an organization for lawyers
Discussion of future of missions: St. Helen, Sasabe and Our Lady of the Lake, Tonto
ACA Report/Cathedral Square
Financial Management Training Seminar sponsored by Catholic Extension
Convocation on the theme of Stewardship
Year of Mercy
Laudato Si Presentations in four areas of the Diocese
CCS Pastoral Ministry Tool Kit – Peg Harmon, Manny Guzman
Discussion of parishes and upcoming civil elections.
Annual Catholic Appeal
As regular readers of the Monday Memo know, the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal is nearing completion and all signs are that the final collection numbers will meet the 2015 campaign’s goal of $3,850,000. To date the total of the pledges and gifts received is less than 1 percent from reaching the goal and the fulfillment rate just reached 90 percent of the goal!
On Thursday, Sept.10, two of the ministries that receive funding from the Annual Catholic Appeal – the Office of Formation and the Office of the Permanent Diaconate in conjunction with the Catholic Foundation – launched a collaborative stewardship effort called With All Your Heart, Con Todo Nuestro Corazón.
Nearly 50 people from eight parishes met at the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center to kick-off the first stage of the new stewardship program. The program’s pilot parishes are: Immaculate Conception, Yuma; Most Holy Trinity; Our Lady of Fatima; St. Ambrose; St. Augustine; St. Christopher; St. Cyril and St. Patrick.
The parish representatives spent the day learning about this unique stewardship program that offers a way to invite Catholics to fully live their faith as members of a thriving parish. The program aims to strengthen parish life by increased involvement, generosity and membership.
This stewardship model establishes a cycle of four seasons throughout the year, always building from one to the next. The four seasons take on an important way to live as a faithful and generous disciple of Jesus: Heart to Pray, Heart to Share, Heart to Serve and Heart to Witness. Thursday’s agenda included guidance on “The Call to be Christ’s Disciples, the call to Conversion, and the Commitment to live as Christ in our Community.”
Over the next 27 months, the Catholic Foundation will be evaluating this program to see how it transforms parishes into a welcoming place where everyone appreciates the gifts they have been given and shares those gifts with others.
The presenter was Joseph Citro from Greater Mission. Joe has served the Catholic Church in a variety of leadership positions for more than 25 years. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and taught in the Graduate School of Social Services at Catholic University. He writes “Viviendo la Mision de Cristo/Living Christ’s Mission,” the only national bilingual Stewardship blog in Spanish.
If you have not yet given to the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, please consider following the example of your friends and neighbors who have given to the Annual Catholic Appeal and made the opportunity to present programs like With All Your Heart possible. You can make a secure online gift by visiting the Annual Catholic Appeal page of the Catholic Foundation website at: www.cathfnd.org/annualcatholicappeal. Thank you.
To Julieta Gonzalez, program coordinator for Arizona’s Catholic Tuition Support Organization, CTSO, and to Father David Guzman, O.C.D., pastor at Santa Cruz parish in Tucson, who both were named 2015 F.B.I./LULAC Community Service Award winners.
Julieta was recognized for “outstanding and dedicated service to our community”.
I know Julieta as a very hard working member of the CTSO team that provides thousands of dollars in tuition assistance to students attending our Catholic schools. She also is a devoted member of the St. Augustine Cathedral Parish choir, serving as a flutist, and uses her skills to take beautiful photographs for CTSO and our diocese.
Father Guzman shepherds a vibrant parish with an Notre Dame ACE Academy. The community is diverse with long-time parishioners and new families, with young and older members.
Congratulations Julieta and Father Guzman!
Concert for Vocations
Plan to attend. I know it will be a delightful and entertaining opportunity.
Sat, Sep 26
St. Augustine Cathedral Placita
192 S. Stone Ave., Tucson
Renewal of Marriage Vows
Sunday, Oct. 11
St. Augustine Cathedral
This annual Mass is for couples celebrating 1st, 10th, 25th, 40th, 50th and longer. The liturgy is celebrated by Bishop Kicanas and includes wedding vow renewals.
Couples have to register to participate. Please contact Pat Gerardo in Pastoral Services at
520-838-2512 for registration information or email her at email@example.com
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish
Panel Discussions on Laudato Si
Sept. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5; each presentation takes place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish will host a three person panel discussion on the Encyclical. The panel members all are OMOS parishioners: Katie Hirschboeck, Hank Krzysik, and Deacon Francisco Zamora. The discussions will take place on four consecutive Monday evenings in the early fall. All three panelists are eminently qualified to facilitate the sessions.
Katie Hirschboeck, an OMOS parishioner for 24 years, is a University of Arizona climate scientist in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research with over 30 years of experience.
Hank Krzysik, an OMOS parishioner for 32 years, is a LEED-certified architect with 22 years of experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy design.
Deacon Francisco Zamora, an OMOS parishioner for 13 years, has served as a deacon there since 2012. He also is a scientist and conservationist, with nearly 20 years of experience working on conservation and management of natural resources,
For more information about the OMOS discussions, please call the parish at 747-1321.
Bishop Kicanas also will be offering diocesan presentations in four areas of the Diocese on Laudato Si . The presentation schedule is:
Sunday, Oct. 18, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Odilia’s Parish in Tucson
Sunday, Nov. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley.
Sunday, Dec. 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Francis Assisi Parish in Yuma.
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande.
In the Mood Dinner and Big Band dance
Friday, Nov. 20
Savoy Opera House, Tucson
No host cocktails: 5 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m.
Dancing: 6:30 p.m.
Music performed live by the Big Band Express
Come remember the days when Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and singers like Dinah Shore, Lena Horne, Doris Day
and Ella Fitzgerald rocked the Savoy.
Join the Catholic Foundation during this event to benefit Cathedral Square as we rock the Savoy House in Tucson.
The Foundation will bring the music, the dance floor and great food to put you “In the Mood” for a lovely evening of dinner and dancing. Those attending are encouraged to wear 1940s attire with the chance of winning the “best dressed” award.
Tickets are $125 per person
Contact Clara Moreno at 520-838-2507 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reserve your spot at http://www.cathfnd.org/inthemood
Proceeds benefit Cathedral Square.