Monday Memo, April 15, 2013
Vol. 11, No. 14

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

 

 

Ernie Nedder

Ernie Nedder

Catholic Foundation Gala
It was my delight to attend the annual Catholic Foundation Gala Friday at the Marriott Star Pass resort. The event, this year attended by over 400 people, is one of the principal fundraising events for the Foundation, and is always memorable.

 

This year, the Foundation recognized the time and talent contributions of Ernie Nedder.  Our former Diocesan Chancellor, Ernie, has been involved with the Foundation as a Board member and leader for years.  But more than that, we recognized Ernie as “a true steward”, who also gives of his time and expertise to the Catholic Tuition Support Organization, to the Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and to his parish, Corpus Christi.

 

Ernie’s reflections Friday about the people who inspired stewardship in him was very touching. Those people included his mom and dad and family who taught him “living is about giving.” He shared some moving stories about people he met through the Catholic Foundation who were more concerned about sharing than keeping their treasure to themselves. He talked about a woman who had a broken down wheelchair but who wanted her annuity checks not to be given to her but to those in need.

 

image003The Foundation also showed a presentation from the Catholic Extension, a tremendous organization that assists mission dioceses such as ours by providing needed funding for various pastoral programs and services. Father Jack Wall spoke passionately about how care for the poor is one of the pillars that defines who we are as Catholics. He emphasized that we all make up Catholic Extension because it is our gifts that make it possible for parishes in remote and rural areas of our country to receive help to carry on their important pastoral work.

 

Extension, in addition to helping us pay tuition costs for seminarians studying for the priesthood, funding the education of some of our lay ministers from the Diocese and providing stipends for priests in parishes that cannot afford to give their priests such stipends, have given us two additional grants this year, one to hire a Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry and the other to hire an IT specialist to assist us in technology.

 

My heartfelt thanks to members of the Catholic Foundation Board, led by Ed Steinhoff, who offered some challenging encouragement to support the work of the Catholic Foundation, to Margie Puerta Edson and her staff: Nancy Kirk, Clara Moreno, Olga Alarcon, Robin Evans, Bonnie Hoyt and Katheryn Hutchison at the Catholic Foundation; to Pat Cracchiolo, who headed up the Gala Committee and to Father Ricky Ordoñez who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. I am grateful to Steff Koeneman and her staff for the wonderful video highlighting Ernie Nedder and the regard we all have for him.

 

It was a great night!

 

 

image005Year of Faith
On Sunday, more than 80 people attended the Year of Faith presentation at St. Cyril’s Parish on two important documents written during Vatican II: Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium.

 

The last of these presentations for the Year of Faith is set for Sunday, Sept. 8 at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

I have been very pleased at the attendance for these presentations but even more by the interest shown by those attending in the Second Vatican Council and how it has impacted on our lives as disciples of Christ.

 

Meeting with Bishops from the North
On Monday I will travel to Dallas where I along with members of the United States Conference  of Catholic Bishops and staff of Catholic Relief Services will be meeting with Bishops and staff from the Canadian Bishops Conference and their Social Development and Peace Committee to consider our work around the world to assist people in need. Part of this work includes partnering with other organizations and agencies that do not always uphold Catholic teaching. The conference will consider how we can continue to do our important work while retaining our values and morals as a Church.

 

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CARA Meeting
From Dallas I head to Washington D.C. to attend the Board of Directors meeting for the Center of Applied Research of the Apostolate, or CARA which I chair. This national organization is affiliated with Georgetown University and does social scientific studies about the Catholic Church.  CARA’s research provides useful data for dioceses that assist with pastoral planning.

 

Prior to the meeting, CARA will gather pastoral leaders from the area to present some of their recent findings from their research. It always is interesting to hear how people are reacting to the Church. So far studies show a high degree of respect and regard for our new Holy Father, Pope Francis.

 

Among the areas under discussion are plans for the 50th anniversary of CARA as well as reviewing the proposed budget for 2014.

 

CARA is presenting several symposia in the next months. One is a vocations summit at Boston College on June 20-22. Bishops, vocation directors and university leaders will gather to reflect on research regarding vocations. Another workshop in planning for the spring of 2014 is at Catholic University on CARA research regarding parishes and schools. A third symposium is in the making at Villanova University focusing on CARA’s research on parishes and finances. This would happen in the spring or summer of 2014.

 

Among the many CARA projects in the works are:

-A book on International priests highlighting their contributions to the work of the Church here and identifying some of the challenges presented by their ministry

-Data collection for Catholic Charities on the effectiveness of their work

-USCCB survey for the office of Child and Youth Protection including how the Church continues to seek to restore trust

-USCCB research on cultural diversity: its blessings and challenges

 

Meetings at the Pastoral Center
When I return from the CARA meeting on Thursday, there are several critical meetings to attend. In the morning, I will meet first with the Administrative Directors of our Pastoral Center. Topics for this meeting will include a preliminary review of budget guidelines for next year as well as a report from each department on progress on departmental goals.

 

Immediately following the administrative meeting, the Departmental Directors and I will meet to discuss similar items.

 

Thursday is the quarterly celebration for all Pastoral Center employees with birthdays. These brief gatherings are fun, and give all of us a chance to get to know one another better.

 

Priests Assurance Corporation (PAC) Meeting
The PAC Board chaired by Father John Allt is charged with establishing and reviewing policies governing the priest retirement funds. Special needs for priests who are sick or in some need are considered for assistance by the Board.

 

Thanks to the generosity of our people over the last few years, the PAC has been able to raise the monthly stipend for retired priests from the lowest in the nation at $600.00 to $1,500.00 which is still not sufficient to cover all needs but is much better than before. The PAC also covers health insurance costs for the retired priests and makes recommendations on the care for priests. The Board includes, in addition to Father John Allt, Fathers Pat Crino, Domenico Pinti, Joseph Lombardo, Mgr. Al Schifano and also Msgr. Tom Millane in an advisory role.

 

 Confirmations
I will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at Most Holy Trinity Parish on Thursday, April 18, at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford on April 19, at Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley for parishes in Santa Cruz County on April 20, and in Clifton/Morenci on April 21.

 

Our annual confirmations require a great deal of traveling around the Diocese, but I enjoy visiting the parishes. I am amazed at how hard our Directors of Religious Education, Catechists and our Catholic school personnel work to prepare candidates to receive the gifts of the Spirit. These catechetical leaders are such a blessing and we owe them our heartfelt gratitude.

 

Diocesan Pastoral Council
Our Diocesan Pastoral Council also will meet this Saturday. Representatives from all 11 of our Diocese Vicariates, along with some ad hoc members I have appointed, as well as Father Domenico Pinti representing the Presbyteral Council, are of great help to me in providing wise council and advice on matters important in our Diocese.

 

This meeting we will discuss possible Diocesan goals for next year. We also will be updated on the Annual Catholic Appeal and the progress made on our capital campaign, “Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future”,  which is now in its fifth year. Much good has happened because of this campaign and it will be good to share the good news with the DPC. We also will explore what we might do to enhance our outreach to the Latino community and how we might provide more opportunities to strengthen Catholics living in married life.

 

Retired Priest Party
I will be hosting our retired priests for dinner at my home on Saturday. I stand in awe of what these priests have accomplished in their ministry and all that they continue to do for our Diocese. They are such a blessing and a gift to this diocese! This dinner is an occasion to thank them and to hear their stories and reminisces of the many people whose lives they have touched by their ministry. We cannot thank them enough. I invite to this gathering any retired priests living in our Diocese – diocesan, religious and priests from other dioceses who have retired here – to join us for the party.

 

Annual Catholic Appeal
As of today we have raised $2,944,815  – about 79 percent  – of our total goal this year, from 12,496 donors. The Catholic Foundation recently sent a letter encouraging those who have not yet giving to the annual appeal to consider making a gift as good stewards of God’s blessings.

 

Contributions to the ACA assist the diocese with providing key programs and services at all levels. If you haven’t yet made a contribution, please consider making a donation soon.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

 

Farewells and welcomes
Our blessings to Veronica Valencia, administrative assistant for Corporate Matters, who will be leaving our Diocese on Wednesday. Veronica has accepted a position with Pima County working in the mental health area.  During her time here Veronica took on the intense demands of coordinating many of the demands related with our parish Boards of Directors, and also worked on a myriad of projects for our Diocese. Good luck Veronica!

 

Welcome to Noelia Montano who is taking on the Corporate Matters position beginning today.  Welcome also to Rachel Guzman who will be assisting Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston in our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection beginning

 

Congratulations to Angelica Lozier, who transitioned from working part-time to full time as Administrative Assistant to the Chancellor.

 

It is always hard when one of the staff leave but it is also an occasion to experience new people bringing new talents and new ideas to the work of the Pastoral Center. Over the last months we have lost some wonderful people primarily due to retirement but new people have stepped in and continue to enhance the ways we are able to serve the parishes, schools, and Catholic organizations in our Diocese.

 

Please pray
For the soul of Teresa Bier, who worked and volunteered at St. Odilia Parish. Father Richard Troutman said Teresa had been a volunteer since 1985 and was the parish’s Director of Religious Education since 1993.  She also took on the duties of Pastoral Administrator in 2002 along with being the parish liturgist. In 2007 she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and also struggled with asthma, and later, heart problems.  She made one trip to assist her First Communion students yesterday and on the way home stopped breathing.

 

A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Odilia’s, and the Mass of the Resurrection will be Friday at 11 a.m. also at the parish. She is survived by four daughters and one son.