Monday Memo, Oct. 3, 2017 (Tuesday). Vol. 15, No. 31October 3, 2017
A new Bishop!
We welcome our seventh bishop of the Diocese of Tucson. Bishop Edward Weisenburger, formerly the Bishop of Salina, Kansas. He brings many gifts to his care of the people of this vast and wonderful diocese in Arizona. I know he will quickly come to feel at home as I did when I arrived in 2001.
Very soon Bishop Weisenburger will travel around the diocese and come to know the family to which he now belongs. He will meet the wonderful priests, deacons, religious and people that make up this local church. He will learn about the southern border between Arizona and Mexico; its blessings and its challenges.
He will meet migrants and hear their stories and be moved by their struggles. He will become acquainted with our once-thriving mining communities but that today are often struggling economically. He will travel Interstate 8 west to Yuma and the surrounding area where he will encounter the vibrant parishes in the Yuma/La Paz Counties. He will make it up to Payson and Parker, both north of Tucson. Parker, to the west, and Payson to the east in the White Mountains. In Parker he will see boats making their way to the Colorado River, and in Payson he will see pine trees aplenty. He will be introduced to mountains, dry river beds and diverse varieties of cacti that make their home in our desert. He will be introduced to the native peoples, their culture and traditions, who have inhabited this land from the earliest days. I know he will fall in love with this diocese that I treasure and appreciate so much.
When you meet Bishop Weisenburger, you will be impressed as I have been. He is hard working, caring, and genuinely interested in you. He is bright, a canon lawyer who is grounded in the faith. He is a man of prayer who will lead us into a closer relationship with Christ. We are blessed.
He is a strong advocate for the poor, to those struggling and to those feeling alienated. His voice will join others in our state to defend the rights of the littlest and weakest among us.
We have prayed for months that Pope Francis would send us a shepherd who will work alongside the priests, deacons, religious and laity to further the mission of this local church and community. Pope Francis has sent a true pastor.
I look forward to doing whatever I can to assist Bishop Weisenburger in his pastoral mission. He will guide us with a new, fresh pastoral plan which will become clearer over time as he settles into our community.
Now as priests and people we will pray for Edward, our Bishop, every day at Mass asking the Lord to guide him that he might witness faith, stir our hope and direct us in charity.
His installation on Nov. 29 will be an occasion for us to greet him, assure him of our support and prayers as well as to give him a great big Diocese of Tucson embrace like the arms of the saguaro cactus.
At that celebration we also will welcome Archbishop Christophe Pierre, our Apostolic Nuncio, who represents Pope Francis in the United States. The Archbishop spent several days with us last year celebrating the Mass at the Border where Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, Bishop of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and I were privileged to concelebrate. The Nuncio will read the Pope’s letter appointing Bishop Weisenburger as our new Ordinary.
Bishop Weisenburger’s family and friends, as well as bishops from our Region XIII and Region IX where he served as bishop these past five years, are also expected to attend the Installation Mass.
Please pray for those priests of our diocese who will be attending the first of two annual retreat weeks provided to them. The retreat leader for this week is Father Richard B “RB” Williams, O.P. The priests are in retreat until Oct. 6.
Father R.B., is a native of Natchitoches, LA). He attended Catholic grade school and high school in his hometown and then attended Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, 1960-64, earning a B.A. in political science.
During his formation years, he earned M.A. degrees in Philosophy and Theology. After ordination, he returned to Tulane to complete a law degree (J.D.) and was admitted to the Louisiana Bar. However, he was serving in campus ministry at the time and continued in that ministry for 17 years before being appointed Novice Master of the Southern Dominican Province which he had joined upon its establishment in 1979. He served in that position four years before being appointed Vicar Provincial of the Southern Province. After that assignment ended in 1993, he began part-time itinerant preaching in addition to duties as pastor of St. Ann Parish in San Antonio, TX (1994-98), and pastor of the university parish at Tulane (1998-2003).
Assignments followed to superior of a formation community in San Antonio and then four years as chaplain to Dominican sisters and St. Catharine College in Kentucky. (Part-time mission and retreat preaching continued in this period.)
In 2009, he began full time itinerant preaching of retreats and parish missions, serving also as prior of the Dominican community at Holy Rosary Priory in Houston, TX. In April 2015, he moved to Lubbock, TX, to live with the Dominican campus ministry community at Texas Tech University. Over his 46 years of priestly ministry, his two “side-line” ministries have been in the field of health care ethics (which he also taught at St. Catharine College in Kentucky) and matrimonial tribunal ministry.
Other priests will be on retreat the week of Sunday, Oct. 8 to Oct. 13. That retreat will be led by Father Jim Clarke of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with the theme of Reigniting Our Faith in Jesus.” More about him in the next Memo.
Remembering Brother Angel
Last Friday, the community of Santa Cruz Parish dedicated a portrait of Discalced Carmelite Brother Angel Brinque Fransi, who served the parish family for about 70 years, often as sacristan, or the person who prepares the church for Mass. Brother Angel was very close to many people at Santa Cruz who sought advice, and who also was “sought out by past bishops, most notably Bishop Green.” The portrait will be hung in the sanctuary, perhaps across from the place where he liked to sit during Mass.
Brother Angel was born in Pobella, Lerida, Spain, on Oct. 26, 1898. He joined the Carmelites in 1916 and traveled to Arizona three years later. After assignments in Morenci, Tucson and Tombstone, he came to Santa Cruz in 1934. He remained there, except for six years in the 1950s, as cook and sacristan until his death from pneumonia on Sept. 29, 1993. He is buried in Holy Hope Cemetery.
Many at Santa Cruz still remember Brother Angel as a simple and humble man.
How wonderful for the community to so lovingly remember Brother Angel. Best wishes to the priests now serving or residing at Santa Cruz including Frs. Steve Watson soon to be pastor of Santa Cruz, Juan Elias Medina, current administrator, Rev. Godfrey Leega and Father Jose Luis Ferroni, O.C.D., and all those at Santa Cruz Parish.
Our Lady of Fatima traveling statue
The now world-famous international pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be at Holy Family Catholic Church, 338 W. University Blvd., tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 4.
The day begins at 8 a.m. with an entrance procession and statue crowning followed by Latin, low Mass at 8:30 a.m. Veneration of the statue begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 6 p.m.
There are several prayer opportunities during day:
10:30 a.m.: Rosary, focusing on the Joyful Mysteries
Noon: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and reconciliation
1 p.m.: Benediction with the prayer of consecration to Sacred Heart.
2:30 p.m. Rosary meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries
4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.: Reconciliation
6 p.m.: Latin High Mass followed by Procession
8 p.m.: Reception
Please wear appropriate church attire.
I will be in Boston later this week to participate in a conference at Boston College on our Holy Father Pope Francis post synodal document, Amoris Laetitia. The forum for bishops and theologians is being sponsored by Cardinal Blase Cupich.
This Saturday, I will be in Yuma with members of the Pastoral Services Department, including Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., for an Encuentro session for Catholics living in the vicariates of Yuma and La Paz.
Encuentro is a national undertaking and the program works to build awareness in our parishes of the need to invite more members of Latino backgrounds to be involved in parish leadership and ministry. As you know, Latinos make up a sizable percentage of Catholics in many areas nationwide, including our own congregations here in our diocese.
Each of our parishes have been asked to offer V Encuentro sessions at their parishes, and at least half of our 78 parishes have embraced this invitation, offering Encuentro training over the course of five weekly sessions. Employees of our Pastoral Center participated in a shortened version of the sessions at the Redemptorist Renewal Center one day last June.
My thanks to Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P. our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, and to Joe Perdreauville, assistant director of Pastoral Services.
There will be a similar V Encuentro event in Tucson at the Tucson Convention Center on October 28.
While in Yuma I will join Joseph Perdreauville, assistant director of Pastoral Services, and Father Jorge Farias Saucedo, director of vocations, recruitment, for a listening session with young adults on Saturday evening, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Young adults – age 16 years old and older – are welcome.
Welcome to Archbishop John Barwa
It is a privilege to welcome Archbishop John Barwa, S.V.D., of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, India, where I visited as part of a Catholic Relief Services, to my home for dinner on Sunday. I am grateful to Archbishop John for sending Father Kishore Singh to Tucson. Father Kishore serves as parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.
The Archbishop is a Divine Word Missionary and serves his diocese with great pastoral zeal.
Annual Catholic Appeal
The Foundation reports that through the generosity of 13,426 donors, we have received $3.749 million towards our Annual Catholic Appeal, as of Thursday, Sept. 28. This represents approximately 1,568 new donors across the Diocese; however, we still need to focus on increasing the number of people participating in the annual campaign by 10 percent.
Thanks to everyone who donated and helped us get to this point. We are now at 97.4 percent of this year’s goal; I am hopeful that this generosity will continue over the next three months, and it would be wonderful if we could raise at least another $181,000 to exceed last year’s total giving.
If you have not already done so, please make a pledge or one-time gift to our Annual Catholic Appeal today. Visit www.cathfnd.org/donate or try out our new giving option: text “ACA” and your pledge amount to 41444 to donate, conveniently, from your cell phone. (Ex.: ACA 100)
Your contributions and generosity are deeply appreciated, much needed, and make a real difference in the lives of many.
Thank you John Shaheen!
John Shaheen, our Director of Property and Insurance, completed his term as a board member for the Bishops Plan Insurance Company and was recognized for his service in the BPIC Fall 2017 newsletter. John will continue to serve the BPIC as a member of the underwriting committee, which he has chaired for seven years.
Last week the Memo reported on the 100-year anniversaries of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Globe and for St. Patrick’s Parish in Bisbee. Here are a few photos from the event.
Please pray for
The soul of Father Nicholas Widhammer, O.F.M. Cap., who passed away Oct. 3. Information on services will be announced soon.
Danny Alegria, maintenance technician for our pastoral center, who is struggling with a health issue.
Richard Serrano, diocesan director of Human Resources, who is recovering from surgery. We pray for his rapid recovery.
Annual Marriage Mass
Sunday, Oct. 15
St. Augustine Cathedral
Mass with Bishop to celebrate and renew wedding promises. Open to couples celebrating first, 10th, 25th, 50th and longer anniversaries.
Arizona Rosary Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 21
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
This is an annual celebration of the Rosary. Youth and parish groups gather to pray the rosary and celebrate this devotion.