Monday Memo, Nov. 7, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 35

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Photos by Steff Koeneman — At center, from left to right, Rabbi Tom Louchheim, of Congregation Or Chadash, and Imam Sheik Watheq Alobaidi, of the Muslim Community Center, and Bishop Stephen Talmage of the Grand Canyon Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, during the Interfaith Poverty Solutions gathering at San Miguel Cristo Rey High School on Sunday.

Interfaith Poverty Solutions
We had outstanding participation in this multi-religious event on Sunday.  As I wrote in last week’s Memo, several religious leaders from the greater Tucson area and me have been trying to establish a community response to poverty in this area working to bring about systemic change.

 

There were nearly 90 faith and community leaders or organizational representatives, including some of our parishes that participated in this event.  To give you some idea of how collaborative this event was, there were representatives from the following faiths: Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Latter Day Saints, the United Church of Christ and again, many other community groups working to assist those living in poverty. I was delighted that Bishop Kirk Smith, the Episcopal bishop of this area, and Bishop Steve Talmage, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in this area, were both present this coming together is really quite beautiful and illustrates how most religions have teachings and traditions calling for the care of others.  These are rich and heart-felt beliefs that make us specifically human.

We heard from several presenters, including:

Rev. Robert Hendrickson, St. Philip in the Hills Episcopal Church

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Bonnie Bazata during her presentation on poverty in Tucson.

Rabbi Tom Louchheim, Congregation Or Chadash

Imam Sheik Watheq Alobaidi, Muslim Community Center

Bishop Stephen Talmage, Grand Canyon Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Grady Scott, Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church

Rt. Rev. Kirk S. Smith, Episcopal Bishop of Arizona

Mr. Giulio Grecchi and Mr. Thomas Jefferson of the St. Vincent de Paul Society

 

Bonnie Bazata, manager of the Pima County Ending Poverty Now program, and Giulio Grecchi and Tom Jefferson, from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, also made presentations.

 

We also listened to the success stories of people who are working to break their cycle of poverty. And, we discussed one practical approach to helping people of poverty become self-sufficient through a program called Bridges Out of Poverty – Getting Ahead.  This program has been implemented in Tucson and in many communities around the country.

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Rev. Grady Scott, Rev. Grady Scott, of Grace Temple Missionary Baptist Church, addresses the 116 faith and community group representatives during the gathering.

My thanks to all those involved in this effort:  Members of the Planning Committee: Imam Watheq Alobaidi; Rabbi Samuel Cohon, Bishop Judd Curtis, Pastor Tom Dunham, Mr. Giulio Grecchi, Rev. Alison Harrington, Rev. Robert Hendrickson, Mr. Thomas Jefferson, Rev. John Leech, Rabbi Thomas Louchheim, Rev. Randy Mayer, Pastor Elwood McDowell, Rev. Grady Scott, Bishop Kirk S. Smith, Bishop Steve Talmage, and Msgr. Raul Trevizo and Kevin Courtney, leader of the PCICEO.  Several of these committee members also made presentations on Sunday. My thanks also to Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., our diocesan coordinator of the Office of Human Life and Dignity, and to Sonya Gutierrez, executive assistant, for their extensive work in contacting representatives and organizing the event.

 

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Photos by Omar Rodriguez — A view of all the attendees at the 2016 Men’s Conference at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. The annual conference is co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

 

Men’s’ Conference

More than 250 men attended the 2016 Men’s Conference with the theme Be a Man, Be a Saint, the saint that God created you to be! last Saturday.

 

It was wonderful to see the auditorium of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish so full of men of all ages eager to hear about faith in their lives and seeking to learn more about that faith.

 

Keynote presenters Chris Muglia and Dr. John Bergsma, a full professor of theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, did amazing and captivating jobs of keeping the audience involved in their presentations. Deacon Ed Sheffer from St. Thomas Parish, and Joseph Mona, a young man from St. Mark’s Parish, gave witness talks.

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Keynote presenter Chris Muglia, also a musician, used both words and music to spread his message.

The Mass at the closing of the event was inspiring – it is not often that I see an all-male congregation before me, and the sight of so many men filled with the Spirit, was heart-warming.

 

Our hope is that such conferences give Catholics a jump start to get and stay involved and active in the faith; that they, by their words and actions can share and pass along the faith to their children and grandchildren, and that they feel embraced and strengthened in the love of our God.

 

My thanks to Joe Perdreauville, assistant director of Pastoral Services, Bill Breen, his committee and the Knights of Columbus who support this event each year,  and to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish for hosting us so well.

 

Visit to Sacred Heart Seminary
Tomorrow I will travel to Hales Corner, Wisc. To visit one of our seminarians, John Gonzalez, who is attending Sacred Heart in his third year of Theology studies.  My visit coincides with a Mass of Candidacy for him. This Mass is another step in the process of becoming a priest.

 

“The rite of admission is a rite by which one who aspires to ordination as a deacon or presbyter publicly manifests his will to offer himself to God and the Church so that he may exercise a sacred order. The Church in accepting this offering chooses and calls him to prepare himself to receive a sacred order. In this way he is properly admitted into the ranks of candidates for the diaconate or presbyterate (priesthood).”

 

We welcome John as a candidate for priesthood.

 

Still on my seminary tour, I will stop in Chicago to attend the Mundelein Seminary Board meeting in Mundelein.  We have nine seminarians currently attending Mundelein.  They are: Calistus Iyomember, Martin Moreno (both to be ordained June 3), Thomas Quirk, Paul Grandi, Dennis Marcos, Justin Agbir, John Peter Pedrasa, Richard Rivera and Jesus Haros-Mendez.

 

USCCB Fall General Assembly
I will be attending the Fall General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore from Nov. 12 to Nov. 16.
Several actions occur during the Assembly, including the election of a new USCCB President and Vice President. The candidates for President and Vice President are:

 

Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston

Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami

Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe

 

The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms that begin at the end of the meeting. At that time, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky and Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, will conclude their terms as president and vice president, respectively.

 

We bishops also will elect new chairmen for these USCCB committees: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on International Justice and Peace, and the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.

 

In addition, I will be attending meetings for the committees I belong to: the Church in Africa, CLINIC. the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Communications and Hispanic Affairs.

 

We also will be hearing a report from the Peace in Our Communities Task Force.

 

A lovely prayer was written calling for peace:

“O Lord our God, in your mercy and kindness,

no thought of ours is left unnoticed, no desire or

concern ignored.

You have proven that blessings abound

when we fall on our knees in prayer,

and so we turn to you in our hour of need.

Surrounded by violence and

cries for justice, we hear your voice telling us what is

required . . .

“Only to do justice and to love goodness,

and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6:8).

Fill us with your mercy so that we, in turn, may be

merciful to others.

Strip away pride, suspicion, and racism

so that we may seek peace and justice in our

communities.

Strengthen our hearts so that they beat only to the

rhythm of your holy will.

Flood our path with your light as we walk humbly

toward a future filled with encounter and unity.

Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts, for only by the

prompting of your grace can we progress toward virtue.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Copyright © 2016, Therese Wilson-Favors. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Scripture

quote taken from the New American Bible, Revised Edition, copyright © 2010,1991,1986,1970,Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

 

Vocation Awareness Week
Takes place this week from Nov. 6-12. During this week we pray for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life for service in our diocese. It is also an opportunity to personally invite men and women you see as having potential to serve the Church. It means a lot when someone is told by someone they respect that they have gifts to be a priest or a religious. Personal invitations cam matter very much. This week also is a good time to learn more about priesthood or religious life.

 

Father Jorge Farias Saucedo, vocation director for the Diocese of Tucson, and Sister Jeanne Bartholomew, S.C., our vicar for religious, would be happy to talk with anyone who feels they are being called by the Lord to serve.

 

During this week in our schools and religious education programs it would be a good opportunity to introduce vocations in the classrooms and invite young people to talk about what might attract them to a life of service and what might make them hesitant.

 

A great event!
The Catholic Foundation held its second In the Mood Big Band era dinner and dance on Friday.  More than 100 people attended, many dressed in Big Band style.

 

It was great fun to see everyone there and the live music by Big Band Express was perfect!

 

My thanks to all those involved in the planning and especially to those that attended.

 

New Vision Managing Editor
Basic skills needed for this very important position include a solid background in journalism, with at least 10 years reporting experience and at least five years of editing.  Being bilingual in spoken Spanish is preferred by not required, and the successful candidate will be able to produce clear, interesting stories that include facts, historical and trend perspectives to give readers a complete understanding of the events and topics affecting our diocese.

 

If you have questions about the position, please call our Communications Director, Steff Koeneman, at 520-838-2561 for more information, or visit www.diocesetucson.org

 

For now, information about the happenings in the Diocese can be accessed by looking at the Monday Memo which is published every Monday online and by viewing the news posted on our webpage at www.diocesetucson.org.

 

Please pray for
The soul of Kelly Bequette, a member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas the Apostle.  He was killed in a motorcycle accident on Saturday.

 

Prayers for the speedy recovery of our three Pastoral Center staff members: Sonya Gutierrez, administrative assistant to the Bishop, Michelle Buhs, coordinator of student services for our Catholic Schools Department, and Msgr. Al Schifano vicar general emeritus.

 

Upcoming

Sunday, November 20, 2016
 HOLY DAY-Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King

 

Saturday, December 3, 2016
 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Colorado River Walk for Vocations

Yuma

Father Jorge Saucedo Farias

Vocations Office

jfarias@diocesetucson.org