Monday Memo, Aug. 15, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 25

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption when we celebrate that Mary, the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory. While not a Holy Day of Obligation this year because it falls on a Monday, I encourage you to participate in Mass on this important Marian feast.

 

Gathering of parish elementary and youth ministers
Convocation 2016
In the past, this convocation focused only on our Directors of Religious Education. These past convocations  had a strong focus on the formation of younger Catholics in our diocese as provided by our catechists, or teachers, and guided by our Directors of Religious Education.

 

These are important years, and Directors of Religious Education, also called DREs, and their catechists work hard to pass on the faith to the next generations.  These gatherings have been an opportunity for the DREs to update their skills, to attend to their own formation and to build fraternity with one another to garner the support they need to carry on this important but challenging ministry.

 

In religious education classes our young people receive instruction in preparation for receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. In addition, each year our Religious Education teachers seek to instill the values and moral teaching of the faith as well as strengthen the young people’s understanding of their faith.

 

This year, I am happy that our annual DRE convocation has been reorganized a bit to include also more attention to the needs of our Directors of Youth Ministry, or DYMs. Youth ministers are heroic working with our teens in fostering their faith.

 

Teens are trying. They are trying to figure out so many things – what is good and right, what can’t be tolerated, what they think and what they believe.  It is very important that the Church provide them with resources and that we work with parents to guide teens through this time of their lives.

 

Youth ministry works toward three goals.  These goals, listed below, have been embraced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and were excerpted from Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry:

 

Goal 1: To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
Ministry with adolescents helps young people learn what it means to follow Jesus Christ and to live as his disciples today, empowering them to serve others and to work toward a world built on the vision and values of the reign of God. As we wrote in A Message to Youth. . .All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good News of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become his disciples. For this reason, catechesis is an essential component of youth ministry and one that needs renewed emphasis. If we are to succeed, we must offer young people a spiritually challenging and world-shaping vision that meets their hunger for the chance to participate in a worthy adventure.

 

Goal 2: To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.
Young people experience the Catholic community of faith at home, in the parish (especially in youth ministry programs), in Catholic schools, and in other organizations serving youth. Ministry with adolescents recognizes the importance of each of these faith communities in helping young people grow in faith as they experience life in community and actively participate in the mission of Jesus Christ and his Church.

 

Goal 3: To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.
Ministry with adolescents promotes the growth of healthy, competent, caring, and faith-filled Catholic young people. The Church is concerned for the whole person, addressing the young people’s spiritual needs in the context of his or her whole life. Ministry with adolescents fosters positive adolescent development and growth in both Christian discipleship and Catholic identity. Promoting the growth of young and older adolescents means addressing their unique developmental, social, and religious needs and nurturing the qualities or assets necessary for positive development. It also means addressing the objective obstacles to healthy growth that affect the lives of so many young people, such as poverty, racial discrimination, and social injustice, as well as the subjective obstacles to healthy growth such as the loss of a sense of sin, the influence of values promoted by the secular media, and the negative impact of the consumer mentality.

 

If you would like to read more about the goals and challenges, I encourage you to visit http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/youth-ministry/

 

Also, pray for those involved in working with our young people. Their success is critical for youth; especially those who may not be receiving adequate direction at home, or who are struggling with issues such as unrest, drug use or gang involvement.

 

All of our religious educators and youth ministers are expected to attend the Convocation taking place Saturday, Aug. 20, at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish.  I will make the Keynote Presentation, including information on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, The Joy of Love; providing support to young people for a vocation journey; and best practices and challenges in Formation.

 

We will begin the day with Mass, and after the Keynote presentation, participants will attend two workshops of their choice.

 

My thanks to Mike Berger, director of our Office of Catechesis, to Joe Perdreauville, assistant director of Pastoral Services who works with youth ministers, to our workshop instructors, to our Pastoral Services Department and to Our Mother of Sorrows Parish for hosting this event.  Great thanks to our religious educators and youth ministers for their dedication to sharing Christ with their students and for taking time to attend the Convocation.

 

3 ways for DREs and DYMs to register:
·         Online registration: Click Here
·         Email:  to imadrid@diocesetucson.org
·         Phone: Isabel Madrid @ 520-838-2544
Deadline: Tuesday August 16, 8PM.

 

Sonia_CompletingSurvey

My Executive Assistant Sonya Gutierrez completed her New Vision survey. How about you?

 The New Vision survey
Our diocesan newspaper, The New Vision, is conducting a survey to gather reader input about stories and columns, and to invite comments about what items may improve their reading experiences.   We also are seeking some demographic information about our readers. Don’t be shy, do a survey.  These surveys are anonymous.

 

You can do the online survey at https://diocesetucson.org/general/tnv-online-survey.html, or you can return the printed survey in the back of the newspaper to your parish office.

 

Thank you for your assistance.  I look forward to learning the results of the survey.

 

St. John the Evangelist Fights drug “Spice”
Public meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16
7 p.m.
Inside the church at 602 W. Ajo Way
I am repeating this section written in last week’s Memo in hopes that more people will read and attend tomorrow’s meeting. The Arizona Daily Star published an article on Saturday reporting about the work of St. John the Evangelist and its pastor, Msgr. Raul Trevizo, to combat a new and very addictive synthetic drug being sold in smoke shops and on the streets near the church. Since May 1, the Tucson Fire Department has responded to 192 calls for spice overdoses. Msgr. Trevizo has called for restriction in what smoke shops can sell and their hours of operation.

 

I am grateful to Msgr. Trevizo for raising awareness about this important community issue affecting so many young people.

 

Congratulations
In the Arizona Daily Star this morning I noticed that two of the 11 Arizona educators selected to take part in a program designed to strengthen STEM education in Pima County were from our Catholic Schools. We are proud of Katie Berghoefer of St.Thomas Preschool and Kindergarten and Danielle Coleman of St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic School. The newspaper reported that “They (the teachers) will receive professional coaching on how to effectively implement STEM lessons using affordable materials so they can bring these best practices to their colleagues.”

 

STEM  is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

 

Staff and Directors Meeting
Tomorrow morning members of our Pastoral Staff will gather for our usual meeting.  I will be discussing with them the upcoming October move from the Pastoral Center building at 111 S. Church to our temporary home at 64 E. Broadway, just west of the Unisource Building downtown.  As you may recall, the Catholic Foundation sold our current Pastoral Center building to the Foundation for Senior Living as part of the deal that led to FSL agreeing to purchase and restore Marist College and to turn it into low-income senior apartments and a recreation center.  The current pastoral center will be raised and a seven story building of additional apartments for low-income seniors will be built in its place.

 

We will be in the temporary offices for about two years, while the new diocesan center is being constructed within the Cathedral Square, adjacent to St. Augustine Cathedral.

 

Our all staff meeting also will include some information on Catechesis, or religious education.

 

The Directors’ meeting follows the staff meeting.  During these meetings we hear about each department’s progress on projects and meeting diocesan goals.  We will discuss the work on Our Lady’s Chapel, upcoming events such as the Arizona Rosary Celebration in October, the Wedding Anniversary Mass on Oct. 16, and the Right to Life walk on Jan. 21.

 

Happy Birthday!
The quarterly staff celebrations of birthdays for our employees born in May, June, July and August  is on Thursday.

 

We at the Pastoral Center all have been very busy, and I know I am looking forward to a fun break for a couple of hours.  Our birthday celebrations begin with Mass, followed by a delicious meal.

 

Seminarian Convocation
This past week our 20 seminarians who will begin or who will return to formation in the next two weeks attended a convocation titled “Ministries of Mercy”. In the two days of the convocation they had the opportunity to learn about drug addiction at one of the COPE centers here in Tucson. They were presented with the staggering statistics of drug use in our communities throughout the Diocese. They were presented with information regarding the scourge of heroin use in our communities. They learned that many heroin users begin with opiates prescribed for pain by medical doctors.IMG_4517

 

They visited the programs of Primavera Homeless Shelter and met a family that was homeless, living in one of the temporary homes run by Primavera. They had an opportunity to talk to homeless men and women and to learn the struggles the homeless face. That made a powerful impact on the seminarians. Peggy Hutchinson and Jean Fedigan gave powerful presentation on homelessness in our area and the struggles men, women and families.

 

An incredible experience took place at the State Penitentiary on Wilmot. The seminarians had a two hour conversation with 40 prisoners on their needs for spiritual guidance and support. The prisoners gave powerful testimony of their struggles, some beginning their addiction to drugs at seven and eight years of age. The prisoners expressed their gratitude and admiration to the seminarians, some of whom were the ages of their sons, for having a desire to do something important with their lives. Some men asked the seminarians for prayers for a loved one whom they let down by their actions. The inmates talked about their guilt and the challenges of prison life. The visit was very moving.

 

The seminarians also had a chance to listen to women taking part in the “Bridges Out of Poverty” project begun by the St. Vincent de Paul organization and developed by Phillip DeVoy. The participants talked about the obstacles involved in breaking the cycle of poverty, the struggle they face caring for their children. One woman spoke of her desire to help her granddaughter to have a life she never had. She is hearing impaired and through the program got help with for her hearing. She talked about the joy of hearing birds for the first time. In addition to the participants, the facilitators spoke with the seminarians. They themselves were involved in poverty and now are using their talents to help others get out of poverty. This was the first time these women spoke in front of others. They cheered one another on as they shared their very moving and touching stories.

 

The seminarians expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who have so many challenges and to hear from them how important they are as ministers of God’s love.

 

Please pray for:
The soul of Sister Maxine Hart, O.S.F., 88, who passed away on Aug. 10.  Sister had lived in the Diocese for 30 years. A funeral Mass will be celebrated today, Monday, Aug. 15, at Santa Catalina Parish, 14380 N. Oracle Road at 10 a.m. Visitation will take place prior to Mass.

 

Here is some of the obituary written for Sister Maxine:

 

As a Sister of St. Francis, Maxine’s exceptional talent in teaching and research were soon recognized by her instructors which led her to the University of Minnesota where she earned doctoral degrees in education and nutrition. She taught nutrition to high school and university students and could often be found in a dining room orchestrating large banquets. Before retiring Maxine provided leadership to the American Dietetic Association, as their educational director.

 

Maxine’s real love was creating a beautiful meal. She believed that sitting down to eat with her guests was a sacred time. Hospitality was her hallmark. In her later years, you could find her reading mysteries, pressing flowers, or collecting recipes for future events. She was known by her fellow sisters as the “BEST” candy maker in her religious community. All her friends and neighbors eagerly awaited treats from her Christmas kitchen.

 

She leaves behind a niece, Lela Luetger and her Franciscan family.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Sister Jose Hobday Homeless Women’s Center, in care of Santa Catalina Church, 14380 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85739.

 

Czarina Lopez who has been a great to support to our Diocese and to Catholic Community Services as well as many other Tucson organizations. She and her husband, Humberto, have been leaders in our community for many years. She is currently in a hospital in La Jolla awaiting a need heart and kidney transplant. We ask the Lord to watch over her.

 

Upcoming

Twilight Evening of Prayer for Discerning Women
Thursday, Aug. 25
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center

 

Light dinner and time for group and personal prayer.  For further information contact Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., at jbartholomeaux@diocesetucson.org

 

Pastor/President/Principal Convocation
Friday, Aug.26, 2016
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Four Points by Sheraton Tucson Airport

For more information please contact: Lupita Garay at (520) 838-2547 or email lgaray@diocesetucson.org