ABOUT MANY THINGS & HUMBLE PIE:
Four special First Communion Mass celebrations and the two special Mass Confirmation celebrations were very humbling in the movement of God’s Spirit among His people crowding the church space for each of the six celebrations. Families and extended families gather on these occasions for these milestone moments in a family’s journey. Grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts and uncles, showed up in great numbers for these joyful celebrations of faith alive in the abiding presence of the Lord among us. One hundred sixty-five children made their First Communion at these celebrations and 114 received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The grand success of the 3R’s Campaign was another experience of humble pie. The Lord’s blessing in abundance has become evident upon our collective efforts in our enhancing the legacy of prior generations of parishioners. A year ago at this time, our Parish Building & Maintenance Commission and our Parish Ministries Council and board of directors were identifying needs within our parish campus which became the core of the 3R’s case statement. In August the leadership of our Parish Ministries Council, Parish Stewardship & Development Council and Board of Directors voted for the parish to engage the professional services of CCS for the capital funds campaign which was launched in January around the goal of $850,000.
THREE R’s CAMPAIGN EXCEEDS $850,000 GOAL IN $1,047,347 PLEDGED SUPPORT:
Thanks to all who participated with monetary gifts and three-year pledges. Thanks to all our parishioners for your patient understanding, toleration, endurance and prayer in response to the call of our parish leadership (Parish Ministries Council, Parish Stewardship and Development Council, Parish Finance Committee, Parish Building & Maintenance Committee and Parish Board of Directors) in mounting this necessary capital campaign. As funds become available from the maturing three-year pledges, projects that have been identified in the case statement of the campaign will be completed. Overage beyond the campaign goal will be most helpful in addressing the legitimate expenditures incurred in conducting the campaign.
A very special thanks to the following members of the Executive Campaign Committee: George & Julie Gewehr and RJ & Eddie Saavedra, co-chairs; Ed Ackerley, Hector & Elizabeth Acosta, Gerardo & Geraldine Aguilar, Nancy Arce, Paul & Brenda Carrillo, Steve Contreras, Pam Coonan & Keiron Bailey, Anthony & Madeleine Crespo, Pegi & Kenneth Dodd, Jean Fedigan, Gordon & Lynn Fuell, Ralph & Herminia Gantt, Mary Gioco, Conrad & Luisa Greer, Mari & Michael John, Felicia Klein, Rick & Cecelia Lind, Eric & Diana Maugans, Maggie & Francisco Medina, José & Jeannete Merino, Rachel Michaud, Leyda Ketcham, Jenine & Daniel Moss, Jack & Cindy Nisbet, Nichole & Adam Pelan, Frank & Lucy Perotti, Janice Price Davis, Rafael & Mari Ramirez, Alicia Reyes, Aida & Randy Samuel, Erin Vu. Their participation and involvement as committee members in weekly meetings during the campaign was indeed exemplary in a loving spirit of dedication and service to the parish. Their update sharings from the pulpit on many of the weekends during the campaign was a great blessing and most appreciated. Their commitment reflected a great spirit of collaboration and shared leadership and responsibility. I consider this shared leadership and responsibility to have been the cornerstone for the success of the 3R’s campaign.
As your pastor, I found the exercise of the 3R’s campaign to be very challenging and I am most grateful to God and the good people of Our Mother of Sorrows parish that we are now enhancing and adding to the legacy that prior generations of parishioners have handed down to us. I am thankful, indeed very thankful, that the pledged portion of the campaign is successfully concluded.
THREE R’s CAMPAIGN COUNSEL PERSPECTIVES:
It has truly been my privilege to serve as campaign counsel for the Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ campaign here at Our Mother of Sorrows. As I look back over the past few months, I am amazed at the level of activity and participation of the OMOS family. It is wonderful to see the vibrancy with which this community lives out the Gospel message to love and serve one another. The success of the campaign reflects that commitment to serve others. As of this writing the campaign has raised $1,047,347 or 123.2% of goal! 525 families contributed to the campaign, many are first time donors of record to the parish. We have already collected nearly $220,000 in cash. In a campaign such as this it is common to lose a few pledges here and there, so we must not become complacent and think we exceeded our goal until all the money is collected. I am confident that will happen. If you are still thinking about making a donation, it is never too late. Just contact Steve Contreras in the parish office. I look forward to being with you when you celebrate your parish’s 60th anniversary next year.
God bless, Martin Camacho
SR. JOSE WOMEN’S CENTER:
The new 9,000 sq. ft. Women’s Center ministering to homeless women in this city recently became functional. The initial shelter was launched from Our Mother of Sorrows parish some nine years ago and has now become an interfaith endeavor crossing boundaries of all faiths. I shared the following poem entitled Miracle on Park Avenue at the public opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 20 that its new site at 1050 South Park Avenue:
MIRACLE ON PARK AVENUE
Sister Jose’s Women’s Center
Is a miracle on Park Avenue.
A miracle place of God’s abiding love,
Sisters serving sisters.
Many loving hearts and hands
Fashioned this sheltering space.
God’s unconditional love flows freely
Through these heart-prints and hand-prints.
It’s truly a miracle place
God transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Where there is love,
There is God.
This Park Avenue miracle place
Continues Sister Jose’s passion.
Finding and recognizing the Lord in “the least”
Through sisters serving sisters.
God’s love transcends all boundaries here,
Transcends all interfaith labels.
This miracle place
Is a sheltering ark and tabernacle.
PARISH STRUCTURES OF SHARED RESPONSIBILITY AND CONSULTATION:
Our parish is blessed with a broad participation of lay leadership in the following major oversight groups. Parish Ministries Council has twelve members and meets six times a year. Our Parish Stewardship & Development Council has eleven lay members and a number of ex-officio parish staff members and meets on a monthly basis except for the summer months. Our Parish Board of Directors is made up of five members whose names appear on the front cover of the weekly bulletin. Our Parish Endowment Board of Directors is made up of seven members and meets five times each year. The following parishioner members are currently serving on the Parish Ministries Council: José Merino (President), Alicia Reyes (Vice President), AnaLiza Sala, Andrew Malinowski, David Caballero, Jack Nisbet, Jenine Moss, Kevin Curry, Maria Arvayo-Campbell, Michael Cruz, Nichole Pelan, and Oscar Esquerra. On Stewardship & Development Council: Sharon Brewer, Melinda Caballero, Pam Coonan, Kathy Dehn, Jean Fedigan, Susan Hillman de Alban, Mari John, José Osuna, Glenda Roark, and Sand Zaspel. Members of the Parish Endowment Board are: Ann Marie King, Bette Glover, Bob Gagnon, Dan Moss, Robert Blanchette, Tim Heinan.
The following seven commissions are under the oversight of the Parish Ministries Council…Christian Education Formation, Parish School Board, Christian Life, Liturgy & Worship, Hispanic Affairs, Parish Finance, and Building & Maintenance.
PRAYING TO BECOME WHAT WE RECEIVE BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
“Behold what you are; become what you receive,” wrote St. Augustine in the fourth century. When I first encountered this quote during graduate school, it set my head spinning — and changed the way I understood the Eucharist.
Augustine’s famous comment reminds us that we can look at the “Body of Christ” in a number of ways, all of which overlap. There is, first, the body of Jesus Christ, who lived on earth, suffered, died, and was raised from the dead. There is the Church as one body with many parts, an image used by St. Paul (I Cor 12:12). There is the “Mystical Body of Christ”, the Church on heaven and on earth (the subject of an encyclical by Pope Pius XII). There is the Body of Christ that is the present-day Church, the people of God throughout the world. Each reality is present in the Eucharist, which is also the Body of Christ.
Trying to unpack Augustine’s profound counsel would be like trying to explain a poem. But for me, his words remind us to live in both the present and future. The knowledge that we are already part of Christ’s Body is immensely comforting. But there is a future promise too: the more we partake of the Eucharist, the more Christlike we will become.
Perhaps you might use Augustine’s words as an invitation to prayer —to meditate more deeply on the reality you are receiving in the Eucharist. On the reality you already are, and are called to be. That’s a prayer for a lifetime.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America and author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, Seven Last Words, and a new collection of his columns from Give Us This Day entitled In All Season, For All Reasons (August 2017).
THE CENACLE CHAPEL… A COOL PLACE:
Yes, the Cenacle Chapel is a cool place physically during the summer (it’s air-conditioned) and it’s a cool place spiritually for quiet prayer in the presence of the Lord in the exposition of the Eucharist and in the exposition of the Word. So many people have found it to be a place most favorable for prayer. Recently, a person from Vail who frequents the Cenacle Chapel shared her regret with me at not being able to come more frequently because of the distance factor to fulfill her desire for prayer there. It is truly a blessed space of encounter with the Holy. Parishioners are encouraged to experience the “cool” there physically and spiritually during these hot days of summer. It is a wonderful place to make vacation trips during the summertime.
The word “vacation” comes from Latin word “vacare” which means to empty out. The Cenacle Chapel is a wonderful place to empty out our burdens to the Lord… the Lord who says, “Come, to me all you who are weary and are burdened and I will refresh you.”
PRAYER FOR THE RENEWAL OF SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
To be recited daily before Pentecost this weekend:
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into Heaven promised to send the Holy Spirit to complete Your mission on the earth. Grant a renewal of the same Holy Spirit to us that He may perfect in us, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant us, the Spirit of Wisdom that we may appreciate Your created gifts in this world and aspire more fully after the gifts that are eternal. Renew the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten our mind with the light of Your divine truth. Renew the Spirit of Counsel that we may always choose the ways of pleasing You in lovingly serving neighbor and gaining heaven. Renew the Spirit of Fortitude that we may bear the cross with You and that we may overcome with courage any and all the obstacles that oppose loving service of You and neighbor and our salvation. Renew the Spirit of Knowledge that we may know You and know ourselves and grow in the way of the Saints. Renew the Spirit of Piety that we may find the service of You and neighbor sweet and fulfilling. Renew the Spirit of Awe and Wonder that we may be filled with a loving reverence towards You – God of mercy, compassion and forgiveness. Renew all these sevenfold gifts within us - within the Church, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
PETITIONS FOR LOURDES:
Petitions for the shrine in Lourdes are to be completed by Sunday, June 25th. Blank petition forms are available in the church by the icon of Mary and completed forms are to be dropped into the special basket there. It is always a joy for me to bring many, many parishioner personal petitions with me for my annual ministry time at Lourdes each year.
BECOMING CATHOLIC — A NEW PERSPECTIVE:
Becoming Catholic has changed my entire perspective on life, my fellow man and my role in all of it. Before, I had lost all faith in everything and was for the whole world to burn. I was full of anger and disgust with my fellow man and the events taking place around the globe. The love for my family was the only thing that kept me going, but I was starting to lose them due to my feelings towards the rest of the world. Now, thanks to the Parish being so welcoming and the life changing education through the RCIA program, I am a new and better man. Not only have I been able to forgive those I have harbored anger and ill will towards for over 35 years, I have been able to pray for their well-being and have asked the Lord to help them find the way to true peace and happiness. As my faith has grown throughout the RCIA program, all aspects of my life have greatly improved. I know it’s the Lord blessing me as my faith grows stronger.
PARISH PASTORAL CARE OUTREACH:
Our Pastoral Care ministries are busy growing. Four new Stephen Ministers were commissioned on May 31st. They are Susan Hillman de Alban, Glenda Roark, Rich Tritchel and Rocio Zamora. They prepared by completing 52 hours of study on various life situations that we all face at one time or another.
Our hospital ministry team at Banner South located at 2800 E. Ajo Way continues going strong. We welcomed three new Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist in April and May. Teams of two take communion to the Catholic patients in the hospital every Tuesday and Thursday.
Six new Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist were welcomed in April to the ministry who take communion to our home-bound. Should life changes occur that do not permit you to attend Mass, call the parish office to arrange for an EME to bring the blessing of communion to your home, hospital room or nursing home.
If you are experiencing illness, divorce or the death of a loved one, you do not need to walk the path alone. Our Pastoral Care Director, Patsy Klein is available to help. You can reach her at the parish office or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM OMOS HAITI MINISTER JOAN MARTIN:
To Msgr. Tom, the OMOS Parish & School Communities, the OMOS Haiti Committee, the Change Haiti Team and other friends and benefactors --
Thank you for your kind words, your generous financial support and your prayers for the past fifteen years. Mesi anpil!
United in the Spirit, Joan Martin
DEACON AL SILVA AND MSGR. A.S. CARRILLO GO HOME TO THE LORD:
Deacon Al was a faithful member of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and was an active deacon for the first decade of the new century. He served in our parish and through the diocese with great dedication.
Msgr. Carrillo served as a priest in the diocese for 61 years and in his early retirement years related to our weekend Mass schedule. He was a good pastor, a great priest and trusted friend. May their souls rest in peace.
TWO PARISHIONERS TO BE ORDAINED TO THE DIACONATE ON JUNE 17TH:
Eric Maugans and Frank Perotti will be ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on Saturday, June 17th at 10 a.m. at St. Augustine’s Cathedral. They have completed the four year special formation process for the Permanent Diaconate through the Diocesan Common Formation Program. Our congratulations and welcome to them into the active ministry here at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish.
NOW ENROLLING FOR VBS:
Maker Fun Factory! Created by God, Built for a Purpose! The dates of VBS are June 19-23 and it takes place from 8:45 – 12:00pm each day. VBS is for children going into grades 1-6 and will help them discover they are lovingly created by God. Registration forms are available in the Parish Office and on the parish website. For additional information about VBS, contact Laura Stehle at email@example.com or at the parish office, 747-1321.
PARISH BUDGET NEWS:
As we approach the end of May 2017, our stewardship is almost 12% ahead of our budget for this time of the year. We are so grateful to God and the faithfulness of our parishioners! Even with the Three R’s Capital Campaign, our stewardship has been maintained. But as we come to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, our stewardship typically enters into a 'lean & mean' time in our annual income cycle, so this current surplus will help carry us through the “lean summer”.
Our new FY17/18 Budget has been approved by the Finance Committee and OMOS Board of Directors. Because of our stewardship plateau, the new budget will continue with the weekly stewardship goal of $19,000 per week. Again, we are so grateful to you, our parishioners, who make all the 70 to 80 ministries possible with your support.
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL SECOND COLLECTION AT ALL MASSES:
The parish is 22% or $34,851 away from its goal of $158,000. Contributions in any amount should help us conclude the appeal. Thanks to all for your generosity.
Spread a little love around!
Dates to Remember
Pentecost ~ June 4th
Trinity ~ June 11th
Corpus Christi ~ June 18th
Sacred Heart of Jesus ~ June 23rd
Immaculate Heart of Mary ~ June 24th
ABOUT MANY THINGS:
Our Holy Week and Easter celebrations were again the highlight of our annual celebrations. Jesus the Son of God’s saving action for us on Holy Thursday, Good Friday culminating with His triumph and His Resurrection over sin and death form the very core of our faith. The very large number of participants in these rituals underscores the spiritual instincts of people of faith relating to our Passover observances.
Again, all ten of our Easter Masses were needed and we were blessed in having five priest celebrants and four of our parish deacons available for these celebrations. The outdoor 5:45am Easter sunrise Mass in the school courtyard had an even larger number of participants this year than any of the prior years. All the celebrations were joyful, prayer-filled celebrations including the two and a half hour Holy Saturday Vigil during which 24 people were fully received into the Church. Special thanks to Lyn Bulski and to all who were involved in preparing for the Holy Week and Easter celebrations. They called forth a huge effort and transparent commitment to detail by all involved which translated into quality celebrations for the worshipping community.
Our Easter celebrations continue with 157 children making their First Holy Communion in four separate celebrations and 113 teens receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation in two celebrations. These are very much joyful celebrations of family and extended family. This year, Bishop Kicanas has delegated me to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 1st and May 8th to both our Confirmation groups. A quadruplets group made up of two brothers and two sisters will be among the confirmandi receiving the Sacrament. Thanks to Laura Stehle, Kim Sisson and the teachers for their transparent dedication in preparing all of these young people for First Communion and Confirmation.
Our thanks to Mrs. Louise Kane, our principal pro-tem during Mrs. Erin Vu’s maternity leave. Mrs. Kane brings a rich experience to this function since she retired just a year ago from being assistant superintendent in the Catholic school’s department of the Diocese of Fall River in New England.
My deepest thanks to all who have contributed to make the $850,000 3R’s Campaign a grand success. At this point, we are past goal. The final figure will become available within the next week after the concluding in-pew solicitation which thankfully completes the campaign on April 29-30. Special thanks to the members of our campaign executive committee and to Martin Camacho from Community Counseling Services (CCS) who have helped us conduct this campaign to address critical needs within our parish plant as our parish moves into its sixth decade of life beginning on May 10, 2018.
MOVING TRIDUUM SERVICES:
Dear Msgr. Tom,
Just a short note to share with you and your Pastoral staff how deeply moving the Triduum services touched my heart.. words cannot express the feeling. Again, though I may not always express myself the way I would like in person..I am deeply grateful for the devotion and reverence communicated at Our Mother of Sorrows. Thank you all for the deeply moving service and for the love and dedication shown and given to all of us who are privileged to be a part of this community in Christ.
Sincerely, Christina Hart
EASTER TESTIMONIALS AND WITNESSES:
Following are some personal testimonials and witnesses from some of the 24 people who were fully received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. I am always struck by the movement of God’s amazing grace in the lives of those coming to a new fullness of faith. The witnesses are a refreshing gift to all of us cradle Catholics. I am always amazed at how God’s spirit of love and mercy moves in people’s lives.
Thanks to Mary Chajewski and the RCIA team for excellent ministry to the adults received at Easter.
FAITH A GIFT:
I was watching a TV show recently, and one person believed in God, one did not. It made me pause to think and wonder and marvel at the great gift God has bestowed on us – FAITH. It is a GIFT, given freely by God. Going along with FAITH is HOPE, the belief and confidence that no matter how difficult life is, God is WITH us. It provides us with comfort in knowing Jesus is with us, always. And I DO! But our gift must be nurtured and cared for. Our parish and our wonderful pastor, Msgr Tom, helps and guides us by his prayerful nature and example, and wise instruction in the word of God through the Gospels. FAITH helps us believe in nature, goodness, and the universe, all beautiful gifts from Him.
I trust in the mercy, wisdom and goodness of God to offer this gift to all, and to help those who find it hard to believe. Thank you Msgr., and thank you God for the gifts you have bestowed on us.
PARISH RECEIVES $10,000 CATHOLIC FOUNDATION GRANTS:
I’m very excited to announce that OMOS has received a $10,000 grant from the Catholic Foundation to address important safety and facilities needs around the campus. These projects are non-recurring maintenance items separate and not included in the RRRJC capital campaign. The grant will allow us to:
OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS CATHOLIC SCHOOL RECEIVES $10,000 GRANT:
I wish to extend a warm thank you to the Diocese of Tucson. This year, our school is the proud recipient of the Catholic Foundation grant from the diocese. The grant award was for $10,000, and it will allow the school to add wireless access points to the school in grades 1-6. The wireless access will enable the teachers to incorporate technology into the learning environment seamlessly, and it will provide the infrastructure needed for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program that the school is developing with the help of the Capital Campaign.
As a school, Our Mother of Sorrows has benefited from the Catholic Foundation grant for many years in a row, and the support from the grant has allowed the school to improve the school and help make many of our campus projects possible. For example, last year, we were able to bring the exits of the courtyard up to fire code by adding the push bar exits as well as increase security in the preschool with the addition of a key pad entry.
SUMMARY OF SCHOOL SURVEYS:
This spring, the school students and parents both completed school surveys. These surveys are done annually as a way to help determine where the school is strong and how we can continually improve our school. Additionally, the results assist the school as we complete our self study as part of our accreditation process. Overall, the surveys were very positive. The results of the student survey showed that over 90% of students said their religion classes help them to learn about their faith and that they try their best in school. The parent survey showed that the top two reasons that families send their child to Our Mother of Sorrows is for the academic excellence and the Catholic faith and values.
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL ON LEAVE:
Beginning at the end of April, I will be on maternity leave. Our family is waiting with anticipation for the birth of our son, Michael. My entire family is overjoyed to welcome our new child, and I am excited to spend a little bit of time focusing on my vocation as a mother. While I am away, Louise Kane will be stepping in as the principal. Mrs. Kane is currently our assistant principal, and she is highly qualified to lead the school community. I am thankful for the leadership of Mrs. Kane while I am on leave, but I also look forward to returning to work this summer in preparation for the new school year which will begin in August.
Erin Vu, Principal
SCHOOL EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNT - EXPANSION:
Following is the new ESA expansion eligibility criteria for school year 2017-18: All eligible kindergarten students, as well as children entering grades, 1, 6, and 9 who attended a public or charter school in 2016-17 school year may be eligible for an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) which offers tuition assistance to attend a Catholic School in the Diocese of Tucson. To enroll, families will need to access the ESA website: https://esa.azed.gov/esa. We are currently waiting for the state to update this web page. Contact Lupita Rocha at OMOS Catholic School, 747-1027, extension 254, for more information on how to apply.
GIFT OF ONEPARISH APP:
I continue to appreciate the gift of the One Parish app. It has truly made our attempts to honor "First Fruits" giving. I receive a text message alert when our paychecks are deposited and can immediately make our tithe offerings. Historically, we had paid other bills and then looked at what was left for Sunday giving. God can never be outdone in His generosity and it is a blessing to give to Him a small portion of that which He gives us and to put Him first in our lives and to demonstrate our gratitude and trust.
May 10 OMOS 59th Anniversary
May 13 Our Lady of Fatima 100th Anniversary
May 14 Mother’s Day
May 17 8th Grade Graduation Mass, 8:30am
May 28 Ascension of the Lord
OUR MOST HOLY TIME:
We are now entering into our most Holy time and season. If Holy week and Easter were to be omitted from the Church’s calendar, we would be left with nothing. Our pastoral theme would begin and end with the phrase, “We are all sinners” and “loved by God” would not be part of our reality and understanding. But, because of the saving and life-giving action of Jesus during Holy week, through His suffering, dying, death, and rising, we are all loved by God. Because of Jesus, God’s own Son, willingly entering into His Passion for us, we can fully proclaim that, “We are all sinners, loved by God.” The joy of the Gospel is surely proclaiming this Good News.
MISSION WEEK, HOLY WEEK, & EASTER WEEK:
We are now entering into our most Holy time. Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ will be our Mission Director for March 27-28 (Spanish) and April 3-5 (English). The Mission for our Hispanic Community will be conducted in Spanish on Monday and Tuesday evening, March 27th & 28th at 7 pm in the church. The Mission in English will be on April 3rd, 4th, and 5th, mornings at 9:15 am and evenings at 7:15 pm.
Mission Week leads us into Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday on April 9th. The Triduum… Holy Thursday, April 13th, Good Friday, April 14th, and Easter Saturday, with its glorious Easter vigil, April 15th. The Triduum services each evening will be at 7 pm with an added Good Friday service at 2:30 pm.
The Triduum, our three most Sacred days, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Saturday, leads us to the greatest celebration of our faith… Easter… Alleluia, Alleluia. Easter is the mountain top experience of our faith. The Risen Lord brought our broken humanity to the cross and brought it in triumph over sin and death to Resurrection and Glory. Through our Baptism, the Risen Lord leads us and calls us to be a risen people, bringing hope and joy and life beyond life to our everyday world, so often searching desperately for meaning and purpose. The renewal of our Baptismal promises at all the Easter Masses should reconnect us more deeply to the new humanity bestowed upon us through the Risen Lord of Glory. Easter is a 50-day festival of faith and Easter is to each year what Sunday is to each week. Each Sunday is a mini-Easter and participating in Sunday Mass renews us in the Easter life.
The Enchained Dying Prisoner
The prisoner lays unconscious
Dying in his hospital bed.
An armed guard stands in the doorway,
Two are on watch outside.
He is shackle-bound to the bed
Hands and feet in padlocked chains.
His tattooed and spent body
Is embraced by the tattooed Savior.
A priest administers the Last Rites
Jesus in His mysterious Risen presence
Breaks through the visible and invisible chains
Holding the dying prisoner in bondage.
The enchained prisoner in his final agony
So totally helpless and powerless
Represents our sinful humanity in bondage
Waiting and yearning for the Lord’s release and freedom.
Note: The above poem is a reflection on my recent experience in giving the Last Rites to a dying prisoner in the hospital. For some time afterwards I found myself very preoccupied and haunted by the experience. Without the gift of God’s amazing grace to us through Holy Week and Easter, we would all be enchained prisoners in our sinful and struggling humanity. I know Jesus in His mysterious risen presence breaks through the visible and invisible chains that can bind us. He does so especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. (See pre-Easter confession schedule at the end of this document.)
OMOS PARISH HONORED:
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish was honored for its good work by Arizona Inter-Faith Power & Light with the “SAGE Award” on March 23rd in Phoenix. SAGE stands for “Spirited Activists Greening the Earth”.
I participated with a deep sense of pride with Hank Krzysik, the chair of our parish Care for Creation committee, in the awards ceremony. David Martinez of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance and Paul Hirt of ASU School of Sustainability were the keynote speakers on the theme “Eco-Activism: Loving Earth in a Dangerous Time”. The award plaque states in part — In recognition of their exemplary activism in partnership with the mission of Arizona Interfaith Power and Light to reduce the cause of climate change, the SAGE award is presented to Our Mother of Sorrows on this 23rd day of March, 2017, at the AZIPL Annual Gala Celebration held at Temple Chai in Phoenix, Arizona. The award was presented by Patrick Grady, president of Arizona Interfaith Power and Light.
A TOTAL OF 350 SOLAR PANELS form Phase I one of our solar energy master plan for the plant. The solar energy canopy in the west parking lot makes its own gigantic statement. The greater number of the 350 solar panels are on the roof of the church and are not at all visible from the ground level. We are most fortunate to have this major project funded through grants and non-parish funding sources. The following is a personal reflection obviously inspired by our solar energy project.
Solar Praying Arms
Solar power hangs in the sky of mystery
It emanates from two suns,
The Son of God and the sun of creation
They are life-giving, absolving gifts.
The Son’s rays of grace,
Pierce through the clouds of sin and death.
Creation’s sun’s rays break through the sky’s storm clouds
Bringing warmth and growth and power to the earth.
The Son of God’s solar power
Transfigures and transforms life into a new creation.
On the mount of transfiguration the Son’s glory
Shone from a body like our own.
He shows us through this solar power
That one day we will share His glory.
We must hold our solar panel arms prayerfully aloft
To catch power and grace streaming from the sky of mystery.
SOLAR POWER SYSTEM REVIEW:
Since the system went live in October 2011, OMOS has reaped the financial, as well as the environmental benefits, of generating about 1/5 of our total electrical usage from our solar system. As of February 2017, we’ve cumulatively generated $286,760 in gross savings from both producing our own electrical energy and not paying TEP, and in TEP incentive rebates. These savings more than offset our cumulative lease payments of $258,635, netting a savings of $28,125. When our lease expires in 2021, we will be able to purchase the system and continue to see real savings for many years to come. The Parish has been setting aside funds each month in our operating budget, so we will be ready to buy the system without having to dip into any other funds, such as the RRRJC capital campaign funds or Endowment funds.
Steve Contreras, Business Manager
PRAYING FOR OUR COMMON HOME BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
My favorite part of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Sí: On the Care of Our Common Home, is a brief section called “The Gaze of Jesus”. It changed the way I look at creation.
Most of us already know, in a deep way, that God lived among creation in the person of Jesus. We also know that Jesus often used images from nature — seeds, birds, clouds, wheat, fish — in his parables to help people understand the reign of God. But Pope Francis offers us a fresh insight in Laudato Sí, which is that Jesus enjoyed creation: “The Lord as able to invite others to be attentive to the beauty that there is in the world because he himself was in constant touch with nature, lending it an attention full of fondness and wonder. As he made his way throughout the land, he often stopped to contemplate the beauty sown by his Father, and invited his disciples to perceive a divine message in things” (97).
What a wonderful invitation to pray with creation! The next time you find yourself in the midst of nature can you “stop to contemplate the beauty sown” by God? Many times I’ve heard this called “nature prayer”, allowing nature — whether you are standing at the ocean, in a forest, or before a sunset — to lead to an appreciation of God as the creator of all things. That appreciation will naturally lead you to pray for creation, “our common home”. And then to work and advocate for this beautiful world, into which God has placed you.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest and author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and Seven Last Words.
OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS’ PARISH CARE FOR CREATION INITIATIVE’S HISTORY & ACCOMPLISHMENTS BY HANK KRZSIK AND KATIE HIRSCHBOECK:
Our Mother of Sorrows’ Care for Creation Initiative (CFCI) emerged in summer 2008 from a confluence of factors that highlighted the need to promote a deeper awareness of the gift of God’s creation, and to transform that awareness into a praxis of active, parish-wide environmental stewardship. These included: reflection on calls for stewardship of the Earth in multiple documents from our popes and bishops; the desire to address — as a parish — the Catholic Social Teaching theme of Care for God’s Creation, the inspiration and pastoral leadership of Msgr. Tom Cahalane, and his endorsement of the efforts of key parishioners: a LEED certified architect, and a University of Arizona climate scientist and “Catholic Climate Ambassador” for the Catholic Climate Covenant. This beginning grew and developed through the awareness, motivation, and commitment of our CFCI Committee and many other individuals in the parish, along with a modest “Environmental Stewardship Fund” that was donated as a stimulus to begin moving the parish toward a more energy efficient and creation-friendly environment.
CFCI Vision: We envision a parish that has been transformed into a prayerful, environmentally sensitive, and committed community that serves as loving stewards of the gift of God's Creation and advocates for sustainable practices that will protect God’s gift of Creation for all life that depends on it – especially the poor – and the future generations who will come after us.
CFCI Mission: Our mission is to invite, stimulate, and sustain a "Care for Creation" conversion at multiple levels in the parish through prayer, worship, education, advocacy, and action.
Following are some of the activities and accomplishments the Care for Creation Initiative has facilitated or sponsored over the past nine years:
Education, Outreach and Advocacy in the Parish and Beyond:
THREE R’S CAMPAIGN UPDATE:
The Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ campaign is entering the home stretch. As of this writing we have raised $556,333 towards our $850,000 goal. That is 65.5% of goal! I want to thank the 192 families who have already given to the campaign. Your support means a lot to me. If you are not among the 192 families, I hope you will consider making a pledge to the Three R’s campaign. By now you should have received a campaign mailing containing a letter, brochure, prayer card, pledge form, and return envelope. Please take a moment to read the materials, talk to your family, and spend some time in prayer to discern how you can best support our campaign. You may drop off your pledge in the parish office or place it in the collection basket. No gift is too small or too large. We need everyone’s help. If you are able to, please consider making a pledge over three years. If you have questions, contact our campaign director, Martin Camacho in the parish office at 747-1321. We hope to wrap up the active fundraising by the end of April. Thank you!
PARISH ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL UPDATE:
Thanks to the 349 parishioners who have already pledged $87,521 representing 55% of our parish goal of $158,000. Parishioners who have not yet completed their pledge to this year’s appeal are encouraged to do so during these weeks.
COMPLIANCE PROCESS UPDATE:
Here at Our Mother of Sorrows we are very blessed to have so many parishioners sharing their gifts of time and talent in the many ministries available in our parish community. Our parishioners that are active in ministry have gone through the compliance process in order to be active in their particular ministry. Parishioners first start by discerning how their gifts of time and talent can best work with each of the individual ministries. Once these parishioners discern for which ministry their gift of time and talent would be best suited, they make an appointment to begin the compliance process. For those ministries that involve working directly with children or vulnerable adults this process requires fingerprinting or presenting a copy of a current Arizona DPS fingerprint card at the time of appointment. Once this process is complete and we receive the individual’s clearance from the Diocese of Tucson, they are ready to begin participating in ministry. We continue to work together in maintaining our commitment to the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults with ongoing safe environment training. If you are interested in sharing your gifts of time and talent in one of our parish ministries and are ready to start the compliance process please contact me to make an appointment at (520)747-1321.
Sylvia Ramirez, Compliance Coordinator
COMFORTABLE & AT PEACE AT OMOS:
In all my time in the Mormon faith I never felt so comfortable and at peace as I do here at Our Mother of Sorrows. I so much enjoy the Mass, prayers and fellowship and it has filled my heart with a joy I didn’t know I could feel in this life. I had always been drawn to the Cenacle Chapel of our parish so one Wednesday night I decided to attend Mass and get some information. On leaving I got a copy of the newsletter and read it cover to cover while sitting in my car. I was really touched by the mission statement and all the outreach programs and especially the fact that the readings and homilies were based on the Holy Bible.
Learning the prayers, the music and especially the Rosary have been such a delight and blessing in my life. I truly love the Catholic Church and can’t imagine why I waited so long to finally answer the call and join.
I thank God everyday for allowing me to find this wonderful new family, faith and relationship with Him and His Blessed Mother. I pray that He will continue to guide me in the path that He has for me to follow and that I can find a way to repay Him for all He has given me.
Karen M. Spor
SPECIAL HOLY WEEK & EASTER SCHEDULES
Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession:
Communal Penance - Sunday, April 9th at 7:30 am
Tuesday, April 11th after the 8:30 am Mass, 4:00-5:00 pm & 7:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, April 12th after the 6:30 am Mass, 4:00-5:00 pm, 6:00-6:25 & 7:00-8:00 pm
There will be no confession times on Holy Saturday, April 15th
Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday
at 7:00 pm each evening
Holy Thursday - Mass of the Last Supper;
Washing of the Feet, 7 pm
Good Friday - Stations of the Cross and Communion Service, 2:30 pm
Good Friday - The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Communion Service, 7 pm
EASTER MASS SCHEDULE
Saturday, April 15
7:00 pm - Easter Vigil Mass - All Priests - Combined Choirs
There is no 5:30 pm Mass
Easter Sunday, April 16
5:45 am - Sunrise Mass - Courtyard - Cantor
7:00 am - Church - Cantor
9:00 am - Church - Combined Adult Choirs
9:00 am - Parish Hall - Cantor
10:45 am - Church - Angels & Jammin’
10:45 am - Parish Hall - Cantor
12:30 pm - Church - Jubilation
2:00 pm - Misa en Español - en la Parroquia - Coro de Niños
6:00 pm - Cantor
No habrá misa de las 4 pm en español
MARCH & LENTEN GREETINGS:
March days bring us into springtime in the world of Grace. Ash Wednesday, on March 1st, will introduce us into our spiritual springtime training (PFA). Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving are the three pillars of the Christian life and being more attentive to them during the 40-day period of Lent will bring us a deepening springtime in God's love and presence...springtime in the Spirit.
SPRINGTIME IN THE SPIRIT — LENTEN OPPORTUNITIES:
It will be so good to see the increased participation at our daily Lenten Masses and also increased prayer participation in the Cenacle Chapel. The Sacrament of Reconciliation during the three scheduled weekly times usually shows increased participation. The Friday evening 5:30pm Lenten Mass before the Soup & Sacrifice in the Parish Hall is very popular gathering time for the Lenten discipline of PFA - Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
A LENTEN CALL TO ESTABLISH FAVORABLE TIMES FOR PRAYER & FAVORABLE PLACES FOR PRAYER:
In my own personal practices of daily prayer I found that a favorable time each day for intentional prayer and a favorable place to pray are two essential pillars for daily communion with God. Our desire to pray and to pray more often is best translated when we have a place favorable for prayer in our home… a prayer corner and a specific time to be there each day. A prayer corner in the catechism of the Catholic Church is described as a place that is favorable for prayer, a place that is free from distraction, and a place that will help us focus on sharing with God. Many of our parishioners have such prayer corners in their homes. They are constant reminders to them of the Holy and a call to have a consistent appointment time with the Lord to be there in the prayer corner on a daily basis.
PRAYING THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS DURING LENT – BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
For the last several years, I’ve made a weeklong pilgrimage to the Holy Land along with a group of pilgrims. Near the end of our time in Jerusalem, we walk the “Via Dolorosa”, or “Way of the Cross”, which traces the steps of Jesus from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his crucifixion. The locations of some stations are nearly certain (such as the location of Calvary, the hill on which Jesus was crucified). Others are less historical (such as the spots where Jesus fell).
In the 15th century, Christians in Europe began promoting the practice of praying with the stations in their local parishes because few could make the trip to the Holy Land.
So what might this ancient tradition say to you? To begin, it’s not so important that every station is historical (Veronica’s wiping of Jesus’ face is not even in the New Testament). More important is the invitation to meditate on each of the stations, understanding that in their totality they are true – that is, Jesus was indeed condemned and tortured, suffered and was crucified. As you meditate, you might ask what each station means for you. For example: What does it mean to have someone help you carry your cross, as Simon of Cyrene did for Jesus? Are you open to letting someone share your suffering?
Each of the stations can open up a window into Jesus’ life, and each can be a means for Jesus to enter your life, making holy any land you are in.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor of America magazine and author of several books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, Seven Last Words, and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Every Friday at 3:30pm and 6:45pm, and 7:30pm (Estaciónes de la Cruz).
PARISH LENTEN MISSION APRIL 3-5 after the 8:30am Mass and at 7:15pm each evening in the church.
BEST LENT EVER®:
This year you have the opportunity to experience a truly life-changing Lent. Join us for BEST LENT EVER® a free daily email program that will take you on an incredible journey through Lent. The program features video reflections from Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic team members who share insights that will inspire and encourage you. Plus you’ll get a simple action step and prayer each day to help you apply what you learn to your everyday life. I hope you will sign up for this free program! All you have to do is sign up at DynamicCatholic.com/bestlentever. Let's do something life-changing this Lent. Let's take a 40-day spiritual journey to encounter Jesus -- and ourselves -- in a deeply personal way.
3R’s 60TH ANNIVERSARY THEME — REMEMBER, RENEW AND REDISCOVER JESUS CHRIST:
The three R’s theme for our 60th anniversary 16 months from now is because the core of our faith as Catholics is to:
3Rs PRAYER – REMEMBER, RENEW AND REDISCOVER JESUS CHRIST:
Please pray the following prayer regularly for God’s blessings on all our efforts in renewing our OMOS campus:
Loving and merciful God, your Word proclaims — “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it”. Thanks for your guiding hand and abundant blessings on the mission, growth and development of Our Mother of Sorrows parish faith community and school.
Lead us to prayerfully Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ in all that we are and do. Pour out your Spirit anew upon this community of faith. Bless and renew your people and our campus and buildings—launching pads for encountering Jesus Christ in Word, community, Sacrament and loving service.
Open our hearts to be generous in renewing our campus for rediscovering Jesus Christ and His mission, ministry and way of loving service. Lest we labor in vain, we entrust our capital campaign and all our efforts to Jesus through Mary, His Mother—our Patroness—Our Mother of Sorrows. Amen.
3Rs CAMPAIGN: “UNLESS THE LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE...THE CITY, THEY LABOR IN VAIN WHO BUILD IT."
Sixteen months from now our parish will be celebrating in great thanksgiving the 60th anniversary of its beginnings on May 10, 1958. At this time 58 years ago in the first year of the parish’s existence, a small group of charter members from the 200 original families were focusing their efforts on building the first church of the parish which is now our parish hall. They were also planning to build the first wing of Our Mother of Sorrows School.
During this past year, in anticipation of the 60th anniversary of our parish 16 months from now, a significant core leadership group of our parishioners from existing leadership councils and commissions have been reviewing and discerning some of the critical needs within our parish plant calling for attention.
The process has resulted in a comprehensive plan addressing many of the needs which were revealed to us during the review process of this past year. With the unanimous concurrence of our Parish Ministries Council, our Parish Stewardship & Development Council, our Parish Board of Directors, and our Liturgy & Worship and Building & Maintenance commissions, we are now launching a campaign around the theme “Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ”.
As we prepare to celebrate our 60th anniversary, we stop to reflect on all that has been given to us and ask, “What can we do now to ensure that the legacy we inherited remains for future generation?”. This is the question the various commissions and Parish Council have been asking for much of the past year. In order to ensure that Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and School remains a strong and vibrant community of faith, we are embarking on a milestone capital campaign entitled Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ. This campaign will help us to address the following needs:
In the coming weeks, fellow parishioners serving on the campaign executive committee will be calling parish families to discuss the campaign and invite you to participate. When you are called we ask that you receive this person lovingly and receive the message with an open heart and mind, and prayerfully consider supporting this vital effort.
MEMORIAL GIFT OPPORTUNITIES:
What is a Memorial Gift Opportunity?
A memorial gift opportunity is a specific item possessing religious, devotional or functioning significance which may be sponsored in memory of or in honor of a loved one.
How will Memorial Gifts be recognized?
Memorial Gifts will be recognized with an attractive name plate located on or near the item being sponsored.
Do suggested Memorial Gift amounts represent the actual costs?
No, the suggested amount of a memorial is not based solely on the cost of the item being memorialized, but rather on the overall goal and objectives of the campaign. Your gift will permit OMOS to raise the funds necessary to carry out the completion of all of the projects outlined.
How are Memorial Gifts reserved?
Memorial items are listed on a special brochure available from the parish office. Simply select a memorial item that corresponds with the pledge amount you wish to donate. Memorials are reserved on a first come, first served basis. Please indicate the item you wish to reserve on the campaign pledge form. The campaign office will notify you if the item selected is no longer available. Questions about Memorial Gifts can be directed to Martín Camacho at the parish office — 520.747.1321.
VALENTINE’S DINNER & DANCE WELL RECEIVED:
The annual event was again very well attended by 80 couples. It was beautifully presented. This annual event gives special opportunities for couples to renew and strengthen their bonds of friendship and love. The unique gift of friendship and love in marriage is a sign of God’s love for His people - the Church.
Thanks to our LifeTeen Youth Ministry for providing the gift of free childcare services. Because of this loving service, it was possible for couples with younger children to enjoy the evening. Our deepest thanks to all the members of the organizing and sponsoring groups for your splendid efforts and service in ministry.
MARCH 11TH PILGRIMAGE DAY TO OUR LADY QUEEN OF ANGELS ORPHANAGE IN AGUA PRIETA:
The Tucson Chapter of the Blessed Nuno Society, home-based here at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, is sponsoring an all-day pilgrimage to Our Lady Queen of Angels Orphanage in Agua Prieta on Saturday, March 11th. Carl Sylvester, Executive Director, will lead the one-day pilgrimage. Participants will be helping bring supplies provided by the Society to the orphanage. The onsite visit to the orphanage, now housing almost 30 orphans, will give a hands-on prayerful experience of reaching out to the most vulnerable among us, the homeless orphans at the orphanage.
Parishioner pilgrims must have a valid passport. The carpool will depart from the parish parking lot after a 7:15am Mass on Saturday, March 11 and return by 8:00pm on that Saturday evening. Cars will be parked on the Douglas side of the border and the pilgrim group will walk across the border and board a bus for the 5-minute ride to the pilgrim site in Agua Prieta. There is no cost, but a freewill offering to offset the cost of the bus and to assist the orphanage will be collected. Pilgrims are responsible for paying for their own lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Interested parishioners are asked to contact Rocio at 520.747-1321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY MASS FRIDAY, MARCH 17TH:
The 8:30am Mass on March 17th will be our annual citywide Mass in honor of St. Patrick. Celtic music and dancing will be a special feature of the celebration and will begin at 8am and continue during the Mass. All Irish who fit into any of the following acronyms are invited and welcome… CIA, FBI, IBM, TWWTW.
AFTER-CHRISTMAS ALIENATED CATHOLICS ANONYMOUS PROCESS PARTICIPANTS EVALUATION FORM COMPOSITE:
1. Strengths of the series as I experienced them are:
The date for the next six-week ACA series for Catholics who wish to return to and renew their Catholic faith will begin after Easter on Monday, April 17th.
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL:
Our parish is in the first weeks of the Annual Catholic Appeal toward our parish goal of $158,000. Thanks to all who have participated to date and we look forward to generous participation of so many of our parishioners who have helped us meet our parish goal. Parishioners who have not yet responded are invited to return their completed pledge in the weekend collection.
FROM A GRATEFUL VISITOR:
I just wanted to let you know I visited your beautiful church several times when I visited my daughter and her family. It gave consolation and peace. The people are kind and welcoming. I’ll be back there soon. God bless everyone.
March Dates to Remember:
Lent Begins This Wednesday, 3/1
Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule
6:30am, 8:30am, 10am (School Mass), 3:30pm, 6:00pm,
7:30pm in English in the Parish Hall
7:30pm in Español en la parroquia
St. Patrick’s Day Annual Citywide Mass, 3/17 8:30am
February days bring us into springtime in the world of nature and usually in the Lenten world of grace. Both bring times of new life – life in the world of nature and life in the world of supernature.
Ash Wednesday, one day beyond February on March 1st, will introduce us into our annual springtime training during the Lenten season. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving (PFA) are the three pillars of the Christian life. We give more deliberate attention to them during the forty day period of Lent. They bring us a deepening springtime in God’s love and presence…springtime in the Spirit.
NEW FRESHNESS IN THE CHURCH:
The following is a very interesting quote from an article in a recent issue of The Tablet, the international Catholic weekly. “There’s a new freshness in the Church, a new joyfulness, a new charisma which speaks to people, and that is something beautiful.” This is the remarkable assessment of the papacy of Pope Francis by his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict, in interviews with him recently published as “Last Testament”: The Francis papacy is a reminder that the Catholic Church is flexible, dynamic and open, that is developing from within, that is not frozen in old patterns, and that surprising things happen again and again. The Second Vatican Council marked the great turning outwards to the world of the Church in the second half of the last century: not in contempt or distaste, but in curiosity and humility, eager for engagement and dialogue, yearning to serve and protect the poor, our most vulnerable.
…Into a world of anxiety and ruthlessness something beautiful is struggling to be born. That, perhaps, is the story of Christianity in a phrase. While each of the five popes to have led the Church since the Council have contributed special gifts to its life and mission, in Pope Francis it has found a personality and voice to express the genius of the Council with uninhibited conviction and charisma.
END OF LIFE ISSUES:
Over the next several months, Our Mother of Sorrows' Consistent Ethic Of Life Committee plans to focus on End-of-Life issues. We feel that addressing this issue for Catholics is especially important now, given the growing acceptance of physician-assisted suicide and related legislation in nearby states.
The mission of our Consistent Ethic of Life Committee is to invite and promote a charitable dialogue regarding a consistent ethic of life within our parish community and beyond; to address all life issues by articulating the authentic teaching of the Church and advocating for the sacredness and dignity of life in all its forms; and to do so with a reconciling spirit of humility, openness and prayer.
Chair, Consistent Ethic of Life Committee
DISRESPECTING AND DISREGARDING THE LIVES OF THE SICK AND THE ELDERLY:
The following is a summary quote from an article by Archbishop William E. Lori which was featured in the January issue of Columbia magazine.
“Compassion and Choices”. Judging only by the name, it sounds like a good-hearted organization. After all, who would withhold compassion or helping people know and understand their options?
In reality, Compassion and Choices is not a new organization but an old one that formerly went by the name of Hemlock Society. Hemlock was the poisonous drink that ended the life of the philosopher Socrates. The old name tells us much more about the nature of the organization, which is dedicated to legalizing doctor-assisted suicide. The compassion it offers is suicide. The choice it offers is death.
Wearing its new Orwellian moniker, Compassion and Choices has mounted a formidable campaign to legalize doctor-assisted suicide throughout the United States and beyond. The group turns up in community health fairs and public libraries. Well-funded and politically savvy, it has recently succeeded in a number of states. In 2017, the organization is targeting many more states.
Let us make no mistake: Compassion and Choices is out to legalize doctor-assisted suicide throughout the United States. We can also be assured that the performance of what our Pope Francis calls “throw away culture” will share their flavor, so as to spread their deceptive message throughout the world.
The starting part for our efforts is confidence in the Church’s teaching on the dignity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. This teaching corresponds to a deep seated instinct in every person to preserve his or her own life. Indeed, “we are the stewards, not the owners of life. God has entrusted it to us.” (paragraph 2280 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church)
A LETTER FROM JOAN MARTIN, OUR HAITI MINISTER:
Dear Msgr. Tom,
Once again, my two week visit to Tucson has passed very quickly. It has been wonderful to see so many old friends and to meet some new friends. The warm OMOS welcome is always a blessing to me.
I wanted to thank you and the OMOS parish and school communities for your very generous support in many areas: Bishop Kicanas' second collection for new parishes and hurricane relief (in November 2016), the OMOS school activities for giving a Christmas party in two of the Haiti parishes (in Nov. 2016), and the regular OMOS second collection for supporting the many activities of our sister parish St. Francis of Assisi (in Jan. 2017). The financial support, the prayers, and the kind words are a tangible sign of our unity as a Catholic Christian community--both here in Tucson and around the world.
Since it is still January, I want to wish all of you a peaceful and healthy New Year 2017. Bondie beni nou byen beni. (May God bless you with a good blessing).
Sincerely, Joan Martin
WHY NEW CHURCH PEWS?:
Over 84% of the 58-year old pews are showing significant signs of wear and damage. When the pews were brought over from the original church of the parish — the present parish hall — they had been painted and had to be dipped in a stripping compound to remove the paint so that the natural oak wood would show. Unfortunately, that process weakened the glued joints and many of the seats are beginning to crack.
Three vendors who specialize in this area have been consulted, including the vendor who did the new pews for St. Augustine’s Cathedral. Our hope was that the pews needing repair and most attention would be handled by one of these vendors. Unanimously they would not guarantee any repairs or the capability of repair of the pews because of their age and condition. The Building & Maintenance Commission and the Liturgy & Worship Commission recommended replacing of the pews to the Parish Council at its May 21st meeting last year. After full discussion at the Parish Council meeting, a motion was passed to replace them. More information will be forthcoming in mid-February on how the parish will move forward to address this challenge and other maintenance challenges within the parish and school campus in preparation for the 60th anniversary of the parish beginning on May 10, 2018.
COMING HOME TO ACTIVE FAITH PRACTICE:
For some 30 years now our parish has been offering the six-week Alienated Catholic Anonymous series after every Christmas and Easter. The process continues to be very helpful to folks who have been disconnected from the Church for long periods of time. The following are a sample of responses to the seven open-ended statements on the intake form, which was completed by participants in the first session after Christmas.
1. I am here because:
ANNUAL VALENTINE’S DINNER & DANCE:
This annual event is scheduled to take place in the Parish Hall after the 5:30pm Mass on Saturday, February 11th. The theme is “Arabian Nights”. Tickets are $50 per couple and are available at the parish office. Free childcare is provided by our LifeTeen group for children who are potty-trained through 6th grade.
Married couples will have the opportunity to renew their marriage vows at all Masses on the weekend of February 11-12. Couples coming to the annual dinner and dance are encouraged to participate in the 5:30pm Mass on February 11th and renew their marriage vows during the Mass itself. The annual dinner and dance is very well received and is a blessing opportunity for couples to have time out to celebrate and renew God’s presence in their friendship and in their call to be together in marriage.
As your pastor, I very much encourage married couples to give yourself this gift. You deserve it, you’ve earned it, and you’ll relish it.
ANNUAL WINTER VISITORS RETREAT, MASS AND LUNCHEON:
Welcome back, Winter Visitors! Please join us for this special annual gathering on Tuesday, February 14th. We’ll begin at 9:30am for a time of reflection. Mass begins at 11am, followed by a luncheon in your honor. RSVP by February 10th with the parish office at 747-1321. This luncheon is for all winter visitors… if this your first winter with us or your fifteenth, we’d like to welcome all of you.
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS EPIPHANY PARTY SPONSORS:
Our exceptional sponsors this year included Watson Refrigeration, Bring’s Broadway Chapel, Holy Hope and Our Lady of the Desert Catholic Cemeteries and the OMOS Parish Endowment Trust. We are deeply grateful for your generosity and support of our parish family and for the ministry you provide to those you serve in our community.
FROM VOYAGER RV RESORT:
Parishioners and winter visitors from Voyager RV Resort honored Monsignor Tom at a luncheon on Monday, January 16th. Monsignor Tom blessed the forty or so in attendance with stories of his past. We learned how he studied to become a priest in Ireland and then was convinced by his cousin to travel to Arizona. The first church he was assigned to was in Scottsdale, Arizona and then he transferred to Tucson, where he has been ever since. Monsignor Tom answered questions about the future plans of the parish and ended with a blessing upon all in attendance.
Sandra Smith, Voyager RV Resort
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL:
Bishop Kicanas will introduce the Diocesan Annual Appeal through a DVD presentation at all Masses next weekend 2/11-12. Our parish goal is $158,000. Thanks to all who participated and helped us make our goal last year. The spirit of generosity alive in our parish will help us to reach this year’s increased goal, which challenges us to a greater generosity of spirit.
MATCHING GIFT PROGRAM... DID YOU KNOW?
Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match any parishioner charitable contributions made by their employees. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, contact your Human Resource representative or enter your employer's name on the following website link: www.matchinggifts.com/acs. If your company offers such a program, simply request and complete a matching gift form from your employer. Some companies even match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses. The impact of your gift to Our Mother of Sorrows Parish/School may be doubled or possibly tripled!
CELEBRATING OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY WITH ONE PARISH:
It has been one year since Our Mother of Sorrows jumped on the app bandwagon to deliver one more way to stay connected in prayer, learning, giving, and evangelization – through the free OneParish app for Smartphones and tablets. The OneParish.com app is available to all OMOS parishioners. Included among its many features are parish Mass times and confession schedules anywhere in the country, pastor’s messaging, parish directory, Pope Francis’ Tweets, Catholic radio, daily readings, saint of the day, donations, and more. OneParish is one more way that Our Mother of Sorrows is using technology to reach out and grow our Catholic faith and discipleship of everyone in our parish family. Go to OneParish.com app for the free download. It is safe and secure and there is never a fee.
TIHAN (Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network) - Last week Our Mother of Sorrows joined St. Francis Cabrini and Temple Emanu-El in sponsoring the Poz Café at St. Francis in the Foothills. Seven parishioners including Msgr. Tom enjoyed setting up, preparing a meal, and serving those with HIV. We learned about those living with HIV before lunch and after lunch we had the opportunity to participate in playing bingo. As each guest left they were given a care package which included personal hygiene products collected through the Angel Tree and cleaning products donated by the Ladies Guild. The guests greatly appreciated the meal and gifts. If you are interested in finding out more about TIHAN or helping those with HIV please contact me at the parish office or email@example.com.
Laura Stehle, Social Concerns
OMOS SCHOOL WELCOMES NEW ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL:
In January, the school welcomed Mrs. Louise Kane to the Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School as the Assistant Principal. Mrs. Kane recently moved to Tucson with her husband from Rhode Island. Her dedication to Catholic education shows through her career as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. This year, Mrs. Kane has been volunteering with the students at Our Mother of Sorrows. We are excited to have Mrs. Kane bring her experience and dedication to our staff.
Erin Vu, Principal
FRONT OFFICE RECEPTION MINISTERS NEEDED:
We are in need of additional loving ministers to help in the parish office on Sunday mornings. Interested parishioners are encouraged to call Cindy Phillips in the parish office for more information.
February/March Dates to Remember:
Valentine’s Dinner & Dance 2/11/17
Winter Visitors Mass & Luncheon 2/14/17
9:30am (Reflection), 11am (Mass), 12pm (Luncheon)
Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule 3/1/17
6:30am, 8:30am, 10am (School Mass), 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm
7:30pm Spanish Mass in Parish Hall
It’s boundary time again.
Year’s end…a measure of time completing.
The old calendar comes down,
the new calendar goes up.
The boundary line between new and old, night and day
is so often blurred, indistinct, and undefinable.
The calendar of life
is full of boundaries and borderlands.
…Births and birthdays, deaths and anniversaries
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time.
Halloween, All Saints and All Souls.
Life is lived on boundaries,
neither here nor there but everywhere.
It is so many borderlands at once.
It is of time in the mirror of eternity.
The endless dichotomies of life,
…the sacred and the secular,
the religious and political,
Love, compassion, anger, hatred and forgiveness.
There is a forever movement across boundaries.
From the borderland of the divine to the human
…the human to the divine and darkness to light.
Yes, across all boundaries to infinity,
transcendence and eternal day.
Tomas õ Cathalãin
WELCOME TO 2017:
May we continue to be open to the companionship of the Lord in all our activities during this New Year. May the Lord bless our church, our country, our world through all the opportunities and daunting needs and challenges confronting us.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2017…?
A new president, possibly a new bishop, an old pastor, and three Rs! I quote Bishop Kicanas in a recent communication to the diocese on faithful citizenship and our new President. I find it timely, appropriate and challenging:
Faithful Citizenship & A New President
Our country certainly had a roller coaster ride of emotions following the presidential elections. I will not dwell on the outcome or on who won or lost, because I believe now is the time for us to very much practice Faithful Citizenship.
In the October edition of our Catholic newspaper, The New Vision, I published a column about Faithful Citizenship before the election. I will repeat some of it here today, because it is relevant to where we Americans now find ourselves as citizens.
No political party in place today endorses the full range of moral issues important to us as Catholics…
Among the moral issues important to us as people of faith are:
Now, we ask that the Spirit guide President-elect Donald Trump and all those elected to office this past week. May they be leaders who hold up our highest ideals as a nation, fostering unity and working diligently for the dignity and respect due to all life.
As we pray for our leaders I urge all of us to remain active and involved in the care of our common home and our country. Our leaders act in our name. Consider how you might stay engaged as Americans and faithful citizens.
A NEW BISHOP THIS YEAR???
Bishop Kicanas also communicated the following recently…
“As you may know, I submitted my letter of resignation to the Holy Father when I reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. I am the bishop of this diocese until a new bishop is found. While I am still here working, though, let us all pray for the successful selection of a new bishop.”
Prayer to Holy Spirit in Preparation for Appointment of our Seventh Bishop:
Holy Spirit come down with your wisdom and counsel to guide our Holy Father Francis in his appointment of the seventh bishop to serve the Diocese of Tucson.
May our new bishop be a true shepherd who deeply loves his people and serves them faithfully.
May he be someone who shows mercy to those who struggle and kindness to all.
May he be a missionary who gives witness to what it means to be a disciple of Christ. May he have a love for the unborn, for the poor, the sick, the migrant, those homeless or in prison.
May he be a collaborative coworker serving alongside our priests, religious, deacons and laity who make up the Body of Christ.
Holy Spirit come down to enrich our diocese with a new pastor who knows what it means to serve, who will inspire all of us to care for one another, to support each other and to send us out to invite others to come to know the Lord.
Holy Spirit, come down to give us a bishop who listens, who leads and who lives faith. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
THE OLD PASTOR CONTINUES:
On January 5th, I will have completed 36 years as pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish. The following letter is my response to recent communications between Bishop Kicanas and myself regarding my year by year appointment as pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows since passing the 75 year milestone:
Dear Bishop Kicanas,
Thank you for your communication of November 22nd regarding my re-appointment as Pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows. I am grateful for your support and affirmation of the one-year term in my regard since my 75th birthday. After prayerful reflection, I am open to continue the one-year term going forward. I am most grateful to God for the continuing sense of call, good energy and motivation to serve on the one-year term basis. I note the following with deep gratitude from your letter, “…I am certainly open for your request for an additional year as pastor/administrator”. I am hoping that the higher authority dealing with your retirement will be as gracious to you as you have been to me.
THREE R’s PRAYER AND THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN:
Our deepest gratitude to the following parishioners who have who said ‘Yes’ to serve on the Executive Committee of the Capital Funds Campaign which will be conducted in the early months of 2017. The campaign will address some critical needs within our church and parish and school campus in anticipation of the 60th anniversary year of the parish beginning on May 10, 2018. Detailed information on the campaign will be available to all parishioners and school parents in the next several weeks. Again, our thanks to the following who have said ‘Yes’ to serve on the Executive Committee: Co-chairs George Gewehr & R.J. Saavedra, Ed Ackerley, Nancy Arce, Robert & April Baltierrez, Paul & Brenda Carrillo, Pam Coonan & Keiron Bailey, Anthony & Madeleine Crespo, Janice Price Davis, Steve & Marifi English, Jean Fedigan, Virgil & Dolores Knox, José & Jeannete Merino, Daniel & Jenine Moss, Jack & Cindy Nisbet, Adam & Nicole Pelan, Alicia Reyes, Saul & Tracy Rodolfo, Aida & Randy Samuel, Don & Evelyn Wahl.
All parishioners and school parents are invited to pray the following prayer for God’s blessings on our anticipatory efforts towards the 60th anniversary of the parish. Its theme is…Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ.
Three R’s Prayer:
Loving and merciful God, your Word proclaims – “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it”. Thanks for your guiding hand and abundant blessings on the mission, growth and development of Our Mother of Sorrows parish faith community and school.
Lead us to prayerfully Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ in all that we are and do. Pour out your Spirit anew upon this community of faith. Bless and renew your people and our campus and buildings – launching pads for encountering Jesus Christ in Word, community, Sacrament and loving service.
Open our hearts to be generous in renewing of our campus for rediscovering Jesus Christ and His mission, ministry and way of loving service. Lest we labor in vain, we entrust our capital campaign and all our efforts to Jesus through Mary, His Mother – our Patroness – Our Mother of Sorrows. Amen.
PRAYING AS PRIEST, PROPHET, AND KING BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
You probably have seen the phrase “by virtue of your baptism.” This means that baptism confers on us certain graces and privileges, one of which is participation in the “threefold office” of Jesus – priest, prophet, and king. Jesus served as “priest” since he offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father and serves as a mediator between us and the Father. Clearly he was a “prophet” in all he said and did on earth. And he is a “king” who said he came not to be served but to serve – a servant leader.
How might this threefold ministry influence us? First, if we are praying, we are carrying out a “priestly” ministry. The daily sacrifices we make for others are prayers in action. Like Jesus the High Priest, we also offer our lives to God and invite others into a relationship with God. Second, while we are not called to preach the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus the Prophet did, we are all called to lead prophetic lives. We might do this by speaking out for the voiceless or by challenging unethical practices in the workplace. Finally, while few (none) of us are members of a royal family, we are called to exercise leadership both in the Church and in the world. We do so not by lording our authority over others but by serving them and helping them grow - empowering them to become leaders in their own way.
So one suggestion for prayer is to ask: Where have I exercised these roles in the past? Where am I now exercising them? And where can I exercise them in new places? Because you are indeed called to be priest, prophet, and king. By virtue of your baptism.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America, and author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, Seven Last Words, and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
ADULT FAITH WINTER CALENDAR COMING OUT SOON:
The Adult Faith Calendar for Winter/Spring is coming out on January 8 in the Sunday Bulletin. At Our Mother of Sorrows Parish we take seriously the formation and continuing growth of our parishioners, by offering enrichment programs to help you grow in mind, heart, spirit, and body. Here’s a preview of new offerings:
Mary Chajewski, Adult Faith Formation
WILL YOU ANSWER THE CALL TO HOSPITAL MINISTRY?
Our Mother of Sorrows Hospital Ministry serves the patients and their families at University Banner Hospital-South located at 2800 E. Ajo Way. We are always looking for individuals to join our Eucharistic Ministry team at the hospital. The team of Extraordinary Ministers are at the hospital every Tuesday and Thursday distributing Communion. Next training classes for new EMEs will be Tuesday and Wednesday, March 21 & 22, 2017. Please contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-3613.
Patsy Klein, Pastoral Care Coordinator
EPIPHANY PARTY ON JANUARY 7TH:
This year our parish Epiphany party will again be observed on the weekend near to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The annual Epiphany dinner and dance party recognizes all in our parish who are truly living out their Baptismal call in the 60 to 70 ministries active in our parish. Our parish continues to place a special emphasis on the call of the Baptized to active ministry in the ministry of everyday life and in the servant leadership ministries of our parish. We are trying to move away from the culture around the word “volunteer” and the associations that the word “volunteer” evokes. Through our Baptism and Confirmation, all of us have received the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit empowering us to give witness to the Lord in the ministry of our everyday lives and in the servant ministries of the parish.
JANUARY 21ST MARCH FOR LIFE:
The annual March for Life will take place Saturday, January 21st beginning at 9am with Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral. The Tucson March for Life gathers at St. Augustine Cathedral and proceeds to Holy Hope Cemetery where a special prayer service at the "Statue of Rachel" will conclude the march. For more information contact the Diocese at 792-3410.
Respect Life Prayer:
God our Creator, we give thanks to you, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb; grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
ANGEL TREE AMAZING TOTALS:
Through the generosity of our parishioners we received the following donations:
Angel Cause Amount
White Haiti $ 830
Yellow Blessed Nuno gift cards (misc.) $ 875
Blue Merilac Lodge gift cards $ 390
Blue Merilac/Reachout Women’s Center $2,594
Purple CCS - Refugees $ 392
Green Sr. Jose Women's Shelter, TIHAN,
Casa Maria, Poverello House, Primavera,
Stand Up for Kids $3,273
Red SVDP & Project Outreach $5,607
In total we received about $13,961 in cash, gift cards and gifts. Thank you to all our parishioners who befriended the angels and made the Angel Tree a success through their prayers and donations.
FRONT OFFICE RECEPTION MINISTERS NEEDED:
Do you like helping people? Are you one of those person’s with too much time on your hands? Can you spare 6 hours on a Sunday morning once a month? We are in need of additional loving ministers to help in the parish office on Sunday mornings. Please call Cindy Phillips in the parish office at 747-1321 for further information.
MID-YEAR FY16/17 PARISH INCOME REPORT:
As we reach the end of 2016 and the halfway point of the fiscal year, thanks to all our parishioners for their faithfulness and generosity in stewardship and outreach to the ministries at Our Mother of Sorrows and our community at large. Indeed, we are all blessed! As of December 25th, our weekly average stewardship is $20,119, which is 6% above our budget of $19,000, but 1% behind last year at this point. Our “Yes, Lord” campaign cumulative pledge values are 6% higher than last year, despite a decrease in the number of pledges. Seventeen new families have signed up for EFT and combined with ongoing EFT families who have increased their gifts, the overall monthly value has increased 9%. Thank you again, and may God continue to bless you.
Steve Contreras, Business Manager
January Update - 2017
“We are all sinners loved by God” Pope Francis
(Parish Pastoral Theme)
“Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more” Jesus
“Without me (Jesus), you can do nothing”
The feast days of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd are both door-openers to November. On Tuesday, November 1st, All Saints’ Day, we pray to God through the intercession of all the saints and we clearly acknowledge the company we keep in the opening prayer of the Mass…Today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. In this prayer, we acknowledge not only all canonized saints, but all our loved ones who have gone on before us, and who, in the course of their lives, let God’s light shine through them to us. We acknowledge these holy men and women to be people like parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, whose lives have been a compelling inspiration to us on our journey to the holy. All Saints’ Day Masses: Monday, 6:30pm; Tuesday, 6:30am, 8:30am, 10:00am (School Mass) and 6:30pm.
All Souls’ Day on Wednesday, November 2nd, we pray that any of our loved ones who may still be separated from God by any burden might be set free by our prayers on their behalf. The memorial altar set up in the vestibule of the church is a reminder to us of this door opening into this All Souls’ month of November. All three All Souls’ Day Masses (6:30am, 8:30am, 6:30pm) will have a special All Souls’ Day emphasis and will be the opportunity to come and pray for our beloved dead.
ALL SOULS MEMORIAL CANDLES:
All Souls memorial candles are available for purchase from the parish office as a way of remembering beloved dead during All Souls’ month – the month of November. A label is available with each purchased candle. The names of deceased family members and friends can be noted on the label, and then placed on the candle. Candles can be brought to the Mass of your choice on All Souls’ Day, November 2nd, for a simple blessing during the prayers of petition. The blessed candle can be lighted during prayer time in the home during the month of November and may also be placed on the dinner table in the evening and lighted as a way of personally remembering those whose names have been noted on the candle. Perhaps praying the Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be would be an appropriate way to prayerfully entrust them into God’s loving care. The blessed candle is a sacramental in our Church practice, a way of reminding us of the holy. May our beloved family members and friends who’ve gone on before us in faith, rest in peace.
MERCY, MERCY, MERCY:
The Year of Mercy concludes on the Feast of Christ the King on November 20th. The focus of the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis was to highlight the centrality of God’s mercy for us, and the ongoing mercy ministry of Jesus through His other Body, the Church. All of us are embraced by His loving mercy and compassion. In turn, we are called to be merciful like the Father has been to us in Jesus.
The Holy Door leading to the reconciliation/confession rooms in the church will remain in place as a reminder to us of God’s ongoing merciful action towards us in the Sacrament of His mercy…the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. There’s always a way home for us to new beginnings through God’s personal mercy for us in this Sacrament.
The prayer of mercy & forgiveness that the priest prays over us in the Sacrament unlocks the floodgates of God’s mercy: God, the Father of mercy, through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, has reconciled the world to Himself, and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you His pardon and His peace and I absolve you from all your sins, in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Weekly Reconciliation/Confession times are Wednesday 6:00-6:25pm, Saturday 4:00-5:00pm and 7:00-7:30pm.
PRAYING FOR MERCY BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
When Pope Francis inaugurated the Year of Mercy last December, I was asked the same question by several Catholics: “Are we supposed to be merciful for only a year? What happens when the year ends?” Needless to say, Pope Francis intended to emphasize mercy, not to limit it. In fact, you could say that his entire papacy has focused on that theme. The same might be said — with only a few quibbles from New Testament scholars —of Jesus’ ministry.
By this point you might be tired of hearing about all the ways you are called to be merciful (pick one): to your spouse, your family members, your coworkers, and your neighbors; not to mention the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and as Pope Francis reminded us in his encyclical Laudato Sí, the earth. Creation itself deserves our mercy.
So let me suggest one person you might have forgotten to have mercy on: you. That is the prayer I suggest for this month. Of course you an always pray that God in his infinite compassion might look upon you mercifully. But God is already looking at you with mercy. So why not also pray that you might look upon yourself mercifully. That you might give yourself a break for all that you do. That, as one of my spiritual directors liked to say, you might be “easy with yourself.”
Why not ask God to help you see yourself as God sees you: someone who is trying his or her best. Why not conclude the Year of Mercy by being merciful to someone God cares for very much: you.
Used with permission. Fr. James Martin, “Teach Us to Pray: Praying for Mercy,” from the November 2016 issue of Give Us This Day, www.giveusthisday.org (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016).
PARISH MERCY OUTLETS:
I like to think of our parish outreach ministries as mercy outlets. Our St. Vincent de Paul ministry surely is a mercy outlet to those who are most needy and vulnerable in our parish. Our Haiti minister and ministry is a mercy outlet to the poorest of the poor in the country of Haiti which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Sr. Jose Women’s Center is a mercy outlet to homeless women in our community who are so often abandoned and most vulnerable. Our sandwich-making and reach-out to Casa Maria where the hungry homeless are fed is another tangible mercy outlet from our parish. The following groups in the parish are also very mercy-centered and are authentic mercy outlets…our parish Care for Creation committee, Blessed Nuno Society, Primavera Shelter for Homeless Men, Reachout Pregnancy Center, PCIC, etc., etc.
The following poem entitled, Mercy Outlets, is a reflection on this reality of our parish:
God’s song is a song of mercy.
It befriends the hungry and the lost,
The abandoned and the stranger,
The homeless and the refugee.
God’s never ending mercy
Flows like a mighty river.
Its flow is all-embracing,
Embracing burdened, sinful, and broken hearts.
Mercy’s flow absorbs and possesses
Individual and collective hearts.
It flows to and through God’s community
Forming mercy rivulets and outlets.
Our God of infinite mercy
Acts in and through us.
His face of mercy
Shines brightly on and through our faces.
In God’s never-ending mercy
We become merciful like the Father.
Forgiven and forgiving
We become mercy outlets.
Tomãs õ Cathalãin
“YES, LORD” ANNUAL RENEWAL OF TITHE/STEWARDSHIP PLEDGE: During these weeks, our parish is into the annual exercise of the renewal of our stewardship giving of treasure. My deepest thanks to Saul and Tracy Rodolfo who shared personal witness on their tithing/stewardship practices during the annual preaching on this important aspect of holistic stewardship. All registered parishioners will be receiving their annual “Yes, Lord” mailing this week. Commitments for this annual appeal is to begin on November 5-6.
INCOME/BUDGET PLATEAU: Our stewardship/tithe weekly income seems to have reached a plateau. Overall support of annual operational budget seems to be adequate for now. Recognizing the plateau reality, our current year’s budget has been adjusted to $19,000 a week income – a decrease of $500 a week from last year’s budget. This has been attained through some reorganization. Our regular givers are encouraged to consider a dollar per week increase in their giving during the upcoming “Yes, Lord” annual stewardship/tithe campaign. Non-givers on our parish roster are invited to consider beginning a weekly giving within a $1 to $5 range. Our deepest thanks to all who are regular and faithful supporters of our parish.
OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS HOME BOUND MINISTRY: Few realize the congregation that extends beyond our church walls and reaches to our home bound. These wonderful people whose parish seats happen to be in their homes, nursing care facilities or hospice are visited weekly by the dedicated home bound Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist (EMEs) from Our Mother of Sorrows parish. The anticipation of receiving the body of Christ, having someone to sit and pray with them as well as provide the news of the parish is seen on the face of each of our home bound.
Our parish has a large home bound congregation. Currently we have 36 regularly scheduled EMEs, 12 EMEs who are substitutes for EMEs ill or on vacation that visit 81 home bound once a week, all year long. Our parish priests visit each home bound parishioner at least once every 2.5 months. This comes to a total of 280-300 visits per month to our home bound. For many of the home bound the EME is the only visitor they receive separate of a nurse or doctor visits.
The EMEs remind our home bound they are not forgotten, they are still part of the congregation and their spiritual need and desire for communion, prayer and company are actively recognized and provided for. Please keep these wonderful EMEs as well as our home bound congregation in prayer. If anyone wishes to respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit by joining the EMEs for Home Bound Ministry, please me at 305-3613 or email@example.com. ~Patsy Klein
JOAN MARTIN & HURRICANE MATTHEW: First, let me say that the damage in our area is NOTHING, compared to the devastation in the South--Jérémie and Les Cayes. So far, I have heard of no deaths in our area.
Hurricane Matthew hit our area midday on Tuesday Oct. 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Port-de-Paix had no major problems. The area most affected was to the west of Trois Riviere. The roads in the area were blocked by downed trees, displaced rocks, mud, and overflowing rivers. I got a ride to Jean Rabel on Thursday Oct. 6, but it was two days before I could go farther west.
Two sisters of the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa`s sisters) had organized an expedition of a pick-up, a large shipping truck, and their Land Cruiser to deliver 500 sacks of food (rice, beans, oil) and individual sacks of water to the west; they had a small space for me in the back with 5 people and the water sacks.
1. Savan Mole--a chapel of Mole St. Nicolas. Trees down, houses without roofs, many people lost their gardens and their goats. Over 150 people, mainly women, assembled in the Digicel school (where some had been spending the night because their homes were gone), and the sisters and young people gave out the food sacks and water.
2. Bombardopolis--probably over 400 people assembled, but there were only sacks for 150. Many more trees down, more gardens lost, more houses without roofs; for the convent--about half of the back side of the roof was ripped off...2x4s and sheet metal completely gone. The chunk of twisted metal and lumber managed to hit 2 of the priests` cars that were parked there for protection during the storm---one on the front windshield, one on the roof...skipping over the car of Pere Ricardo, the parish priest, that was parked in between the two.
3. Baie-de-Henne--the River Henne comes down the mountain and creates a beautiful lush gardening area as you enter Baie, which is located right on the ocean. The banana and plantain trees are almost all down, and the gardens are covered with mud. Many goats lost. Many houses without roofs. Over 150 people received sacks of food and water, with 50 sacks for the people of Petite Tans which is a little farther down the road. Because it is even closer to the ocean, many homes were destroyed--plus the chapel/school. Fr. Ader was one of the priests whose windshield was cracked by the convent sheet metal in Bombard.
On the way back to Bombard, the sisters passed out the remaining 20 sacks of food (plus some boxes of crackers, and small sacks of water) to anyone we passed on the road---women with families, boys on bicycles, drivers with broken down cargo trucks, old people sitting by the road, women leading their donkeys. ~Joan Martin
CASA MARIA MASS - A TRULY HUMBLING EXPERIENCE: There are moments in my life that have had a profound impact on my spirituality and on who I am as a person and as a Christian. One day, when I lived out of the country and was in Tucson on vacation, my mom asked me if I wanted to help her make lunches for Casa Maria. I gladly accepted the invitation and, as I was making the sandwiches, I came to the realization that much of who I am today is thanks to my mother and father (who had passed away a few weeks earlier). Giving of oneself is part of life, sharing what we have with those who have less is not the ‘right’ thing to do, it’s the only thing to do. I finally understood why I had suffered when I was not able to give of myself or my resources due to external factors.
Today, going with Msgr. Tom and Jobita, who is new to our parish, to Casa Maria where Msgr. Tom celebrated Mass, was another one of those moments. The Mass was this morning. Now, in the late hours of the night, I still feel the effects of the Holy Spirit flowing through me. To say that it was a moving experience would be an understatement.
The modest house, that serves meals to over 300 people a day, exudes with Christ’s love. It is a true home to anyone who arrives with an open heart. The joy of serving in God’s name, the acceptance of people for who they are, the vibrant energy, and the caring spirits of those present all join together as these witnesses to the Lord’s Word took time out of their activities to participate in Mass.
The music was in Spanish, the Mass in English, and I heard people’s prayers in both languages. But more important than that was the fact that the universal language of God’s love, which has no barriers, was so present that I felt as if it were penetrating my pores and filling my soul.
If you ever want to feel, to experience, to live a truly humbling encounter with God and His disciples, I strongly recommend that you accompany Msgr. Tom when he celebrates a 10:00am Mass at Casa Maria on the 2nd Monday of each month. ~Susan Hillman
POPE FRANCIS AND THE NOVEMBER 8TH ELECTION: Pope Francis has advised U.S. Catholics voting in the presidential election to study the proposals of the candidates well, to pray about it, and then “choose in conscience”. In a lengthy press conference aboard the papal flight back to Rome on October 2nd, Pope Francis was asked what counsel he might give to Catholics who are unhappy with both the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. “I never say a word about electoral campaigns”, the Pope replied. “The people are sovereign. I will only say: study the proposals well, pray, and choose in conscience.”
Specifically after addressing the U.S. election, the Pope continued to speak about the selection of political candidates in a more general way, outside the context of the presidential contest. “When it happens that in a country, any country, there are two or three or four candidates that do not satisfy everyone, it means the political life of that country may be too politicized.”
SCHOOL REFLECTIONS FROM OUR PRINCIPAL, ERIN VU: During the month of October, families were asked to share their thoughts and ideas about the school. The data will be used as part of our self study and accreditation process through the Western Catholic Educational Association. As a school, we are committed to continually improving the educational and faith experience at Our Mother of Sorrows, and this survey helps us to continually improve!
Of our 265 families, 94 families responded to our annual survey, and the results were positive about the school. Our families shared that the top two reasons they send their children to Our Mother of Sorrows is our academic excellence and our Catholic faith formation and values, and 98% of parents responded that they are satisfied with the school. The survey also asked families to reflect on the quality of our academic and religious programs and experiences. The families overwhelming responded that our school provides opportunities for students to learn about their faith and experience their faith. The parents also responded that our core academic programs are effective or highly effective with 100% of families responding positively regarding the Language Arts program and 95% responding positively regarding the math program. Over 95% of parents positively responded to statements regarding the safety of the school, the perceived working relationships at the school, and the availability of the faculty and staff.
DECEMBER 3RD PILGRIMAGE DAY TO OUR LADY QUEEN OF ANGELS ORPHANAGE IN AGUA PRIETA: The Arizona chapter of the Blessed Nuno Society, home-based here at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, is sponsoring an all-day pilgrimage to Our Lady Queen of Angels Orphanage in Agua Prieta on Saturday, December 3rd. Executive Director Carl Sylvester will lead the one-day pilgrimage. The onsite visit to the orphanage will give a hands-on prayerful experience of reaching out to the most vulnerable among us, the homeless orphans at the orphanage. Parishioner pilgrims need to have a valid passport. The carpool will depart from the parish at 8am on Saturday, December 3rd and return by 8pm that evening. Cars will be parked on the Douglas side of the border and the pilgrim group will walk across the border and board a bus for the 5-minute ride to the pilgrim site in Agua Prieta. There is no cost, but a freewill offering to offset the cost of the Mexican bus and to assist the orphanage will be collected at the orphanage. Pilgrims are responsible for paying for their own lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Interested parishioners may contact Rocio at the parish office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARISH OFFICE RECEPTIONIST IN TRANSITION: Thanks to Rossy De La Torre for her three years of faithful service and welcome back to Sylvia Ramirez to her former role.
Yes, Lord Renewal of Tithe/Stewardship Season
All Saints’ Day Masses - October 31 (Anticipated) & November 1
Monthly Memorial/All Souls’ Day Mass/Altar of Remembrance - November 2
Anointing of the Sick - November 4 & 9
Veterans Day Mass for Active & Retired Military - November 9
Feast of Christ the King - November 20
Thanksgiving Day Mass- November 24 at 9am
First Sunday of Advent - November 27
FIESTA GREETINGS: Welcome to our Fiesta Weekend this Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon until 8pm.
Our deepest gratitude to all who have been involved for months preparing for our 38th annual Fiesta event. The Fiesta is really an environment for celebrating friendships and community that draws together our parish and school families in an atmosphere of food, games, fun, music and dancing. There will again be a diversity of activities to engage children, teens, and adults. We will have a special emphasis during the weekend on respecting and cherishing our common home…planet earth, with attention to recycling and waste management. Please come and join us this Friday 5pm-10pm; Saturday 4pm-10pm; and Sunday 1pm-8pm.
OCTOBER 2 - GUARDIAN ANGELS FEAST DAY: PRAYING WITH YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, S.J.:
In his homily for the feast of the Guardian Angels in 2014, Pope Francis said, “According to Church tradition, we all have an angel with us, who guards us.” Earlier that day, in his private chapel, he said that we often have the feeling that “I should do this; this is not right; be careful.” This, he suggested, is the voice of our guardian angel.
A skeptical Catholic may raise an eyebrow at that. But the pope is correct: the belief is part of our tradition. In the Old Testament, a variety of angels demonstrate their care for men and women. “My angel shall go before you,” says God to Moses (Exod 32:34). Speaking of his “little ones,” Jesus says, “their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father” (Matt 18:10). In the Acts of the Apostles, an angel rescues Peter from prison (12:6-11). Later scholars and saints, including St. Jerome, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. John Paul II, also wrote about these angelic protectors.
The word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means messenger. Guardian angels, then, are simply emissaries from the God who wants to protect us. Pope Francis suggested some questions we might ask about our guardian angel: “Do I listen to him? Do I bid him good day in the morning? Do I tell him: ‘Guard me while I sleep’? Do I speak with him? Do I ask his advice?” (Of course we can say “her” as well.)
All of us need help. So why not ask help from the angel whom the Lord has appointed to, in the Pope’s words, “guard me and accompany me on the path, and who always beholds the face of the Father who is in heaven.”
The above is reprinted with permission. Fr. James Martin, SJ. “Teach Us to Pray: Praying With Your Guardian Angel,” from the October 2016 issue of Give Us This Day,www.giveusthisday.org (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2016).
OTHER OCTOBER HAPPENINGS:
- October 4 St. Francis’ Feast Day: The annual blessing of animals and pets will take place at 6pm on Tuesday, October 4th adjacent to the outdoor statue of St. Francis outside the southeast door of the church. Four-legged creatures on a leash, please. Two-legged creatures come at your own risk.
- Anointing of the sick monthly Masses: The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated regularly at the 6:30pm Wednesday evening Mass on the first Wednesday evening of the month (October 5th), and also at the 8:30am Mass on the first Friday morning of the month (October 7th).
- The parish Rosary rally will take place after the 8:30am Mass on Saturday, October 8th. It will consist of praying the Rosary within the church and conclude with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
- Our annual parish Ministries Awareness Weekend will take place in the parish hall October 15/16. Our seven Parish Council Commissions and our Stewardship & Development Council will feature their respective ministry materials with relevant information for all parishioners trying to navigate the ministries maze of the parish. Our parish Stewardship & Development Council will have helpful information on the discernment of personal gifts and matching them to the appropriate ministry in the parish.
OCTOBER IS RESPECT LIFE MONTH:
For several years, the U.S. Catholic Bishops have designated October as Respect Life Month. This October’s theme continues to be deeply personal for me since I saw the light of day for the first time on October 6, 1938.
I am always thankful to God for the gift of my parents who celebrated, protected and nurtured my life in the vulnerability of its beginnings all those years ago.
It is kind of a mystical experience always when I return to my home on vacation in Ireland to be able to sleep in the room where I was born. I typically meditate on the first chapter of Jeremiah there which says…Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I consecrated you, as a prophet to the nations I sent you.
The greatest gift that God has given to each of us is the gift of life. Its preciousness comes from the fact that each person’s life is unique… Made in the image and likeness of God. This God-given image impressed in each and every person’s life is what gives each person their unique dignity. This is why each human life is to be cherished and protected and respected in all its seasons from the first moment of conception to its last natural breath.
Our parish Consistent Ethic of Life Committee strives to promote this vision of respect life throughout the year through different points of emphasis and activities. The following is their mission statement: To invite and promote a charitable dialogue regarding a consistent ethic within Our Mother of Sorrows Parish community and beyond. To address all life issues by articulating the authentic teachings of the Church on life issues and advocating for the sacredness and the dignity of every human life. To do so with a reconciling spirit of humility, openness and prayer.
Queen of Angels Orphanage in Agua Prieta, Mexico, sponsored by the Blessed Nuno Society, is a natural respect life ministry in our outreach to the least. Thanks to all who subscribed over $4,400 to the recent annual collection for the Blessed Nuno Society.
Prayer for life: God, our Creator, we give thanks to you, who alone has the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb; grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
A NEW WORK OF MERCY - POPE FRANCIS in a message on September 1st, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, established “Care for Our Common Home” as an added work of mercy. Pope Francis added Care for Creation to the traditional seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy. The theme of his message was a call to us to “show mercy to our common home”.
The following is a quote from his message: “We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness…But if we look at the works of mercy as a whole, we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces.”
Obviously “human life itself and everything it embraces” includes care for our common home. So let me propose a complement to the two traditional sets of seven: may the works of mercy also include care for our common home.
As a spiritual work of mercy, care for our common home calls for a “grateful contemplation of God’s world” which “allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us”. As a corporal work of mercy, care for our common home requires “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world”.
PARISH MERCY OUTREACH OUTLETS:
As we journey through the Year of Mercy, our parish is blessed with many mercy outreach outlets. The following active ministries present many opportunities to actively engage parishioners in fulfilling the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Our parish St. Vincent de Paul Society is a very active mercy outlet, as are the following groups…our parish Care for Creation, Haiti Project, Blessed Nuno Society, Sr. Jose’s Women’s Center, Primavera Shelter for Homeless Men, Reachout Pregnancy Center, PCIC, etc., etc.
Thanks to so many of our parishioners who are actively engaged in the ministry of these mercy outlets. They address and fulfill the primary focus of the corporal works of mercy. These active mercy outreach activities are given oversight and coordination under the parish Christian Life Commission.
Our parish presents a host of opportunities for addressing and fulfilling the spiritual works of mercy through the Christian Education Formation Commission/School Board; through our Liturgy & Worship Commission and our Hispanic Ministry Affairs Commission. A core focus of our parish through the oversight of our Parish Ministries Council and our Stewardship & Development Council is striving to implement and fulfill the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Through the deliberation and planning of our Stewardship & Development Council, our annual stewardship season of Time, Talent and Treasure will be presented this year beginning mid-October. It will be within the timeframe of approximately 5 weeks. Sequencing the presentation of the 3 T’s within this timeframe will help the overall connectedness and understanding of holistic stewardship. Holistic stewardship, simply stated, means that everything in our life is gift. Once we acknowledge and recognize everything as gift, then we are moved in thanksgiving with a need to share. We are to share the blessings that have been given to us with family and in the ministry of everyday life and in our parish ministries. Completed ministry registration forms are to be turned into the Sunday collection on the weekend of October 22/23.
The “Yes, Lord” stewardship of treasure will be promoted and presented to all parishioners toward the end of October and early November. Holistic stewardship, in the area of Treasure, holds up the ideal of tithing. The relevant mailings to all parishioners toward the end of the month will explain this ideal more fully.
A NEW PARISHIONER’S REFLECTION ON STEWARDSHIP:
While marvelous in its reward, stewardship is not without some sacrifice, however. For our family, it often means that being active at the school equates to less time spent getting our yard just the way that we want it, that putting our tithe in the basket means one less meal that we get to eat out or volunteering to be part of a parish committee means one more television show that we are going to miss. As a one-income family for over a decade so that I could be a full time stay-at-home mother, we are no strangers to the idea of sacrifice. However, Saul and I decided early in our marriage that tithing was important to us, and we have built our lives around it. We have seen our months of struggle, but for the duration of our marriage, God has never let us falter. When calculations just did not add up, somehow God always pulled us through. We know now that regardless of the sacrifice that stewardship asks of us, we know that the spiritual rewards are immeasurable. As the common expression goes, just when we feel that we are at the end of our rope, God always ties a knot.
ST. TERESA OF CALCUTTA CANONIZATION BLESSING:
Dear Monsignor, Thank you for the beautiful ceremony honoring St. Mother Theresa. The letter she wrote framed with her pictures, the procession, flowers and blessing of her statue made her canonization so very personal and real. May her legacy, grace and dedication to those in need live in all of us to make us be "our better selves". I pray for her to guide all of us and especially for all of you as leaders of the Church. May God bless you!
OUTDOOR SHRINES - “PRAYER CORNERS” - AT OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS:
There are approximately nine outdoor shrines in close proximity to the church at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish. These are reminders to us of the company we keep and are prayer corners favorable for prayer. Statues/images in the shrine areas are reminders to us of the Holy. We do not pray to the statue or the image, we pray to the presence represented by the statue or image. Again, statues and images are reminders to us of the company we keep in the communion of saints.
LOCATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF OUTDOOR SHRINE AREAS:
In walking into the placita through the double-gates from Denebola Street, the first shrine area on the left is to the Holy Family. Directly across from it is the statue of St. Peregrine. His intercession is invoked by people who are experiencing serious illnesses…cancer, etc., etc.
Moving through the placita, there is a beautiful mosaic shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe…Our Lady of the Americas. Directly across from this shrine is a pedestal area where seasonally one of four statues of saints in the All Saints Garden is featured there during the feast day time of the particular saint. Close to the Fountain of Life in the placita is the image of Our Lady of Life.
There are three shrine areas off the walkway just outside of the parish offices. On the west side of the walkway is the shrine to St. Martin de Porres. At the midpoint of the walkway is the shrine to St. Teresa of Calcutta. The next shrine closest to the parish office is the shrine to St. Kateri Tekakwitha. In the alcove outside the southeast door of the church is the special shrine to St. Francis of Assisi.
The architectural cross in the placita is a reminder to us of the source of God’s manifold graces to us, through the mediatorship of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. All the other shrines are outlets of His amazing grace and blessings in and through Jesus.
As we come and go from the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries … the Mass, go forth renewed amid these outdoor shrine locations - “prayer corners” - and be aware of the company we keep.
MISSALS TO BE DISCONTINUED IN THE PEWS:
In accordance with the directives from the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, beginning on November 27th of this year, the 1st Sunday of Advent, the missals will not be in the pews of the church so that will may “listen attentively” and “not miss the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit”.
For those who may be unable to hear the spoken word or for the visual learners who need to follow along, there will be a limited amount of missals in the back of the church which you can pick up on your way into Mass. We will also provide a list of other resources such as the Magnificat and The Word Among Us. You may also wish to purchase your own subscription of our missals to take home with you and prepare the readings for the following Sunday.
Monsignor Tom, thank you for your monthly up-date with all the inspirational information you write about. I'm especially grateful that we will be encouraged simply to LISTEN to the proclamation of the words of scripture without reading along with them. Our lectors are, to a person, very compelling in their proclamation which shows they truly care about the Word and have prepared for their ministry. And it is another small way we as a parish community can show our "care for creation" (namely, our glorious trees.) Special thanks to the thoughtful parishioners who have worked to make this change possible
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CENACLE CHAPEL?
Hello Msgr. Tom, Thank you for talking with me on Wednesday. I truly enjoyed it and I appreciate you taking the time to get to know a new member of the parish.
When I moved back to Tucson after living in Ecuador for many years, I was looking for a parish where I would feel at home. After some searching, God guided me to OMOS and, for many reasons, I am thankful and feel blessed.
One of the things I missed most about my parish in Ecuador was being just a short walk from the church and Chapel of Adoration, which I was commissioned to open every morning and close every evening. Those moments with the Holy Sacrament were the most precious part of my day. Finding the Cenacle Chapel was just what I needed. Yes, it’s farther away physically than in Ecuador, but knowing I can go and pray, or just sit with Jesus, in the chapel when I need to makes all the difference in the world. Thank you, Our Mother of Sorrows, for receiving me with open arms and for making God’s House a true Home.
Susan de Alban
NEW PARISH WEBSITE OPENED:
I’m very excited to announce the grand re-opening of the OMOS website on the Feast Day of Our Mother of Sorrows September 15th. Thanks to a team of dedicated, hardworking and creative parishioners and staff, we were able to update the face and functionality of the website to be more user friendly and with fresh, current and relevant information for new visitors, parishioner and school families, liturgical ministers, and anyone active in ministry. The new web address is “www.ourmotherofsorrows.church”, but it can be accessed through the current website address www.omosparish.org.
Some of the new features include a welcome video by Msgr. Tom, church events calendar, Lyn Bulski’s liturgical ministry calendar, and Parish Council, Stewardship Development Council and staff pictures. Because of safe environment compliance protocol, the liturgical calendar is password protected. Please contact Lyn Bulski for access.
We hope you enjoy the new website. We will continue to evolve the site with new features and fresh content. Please contact me at the parish office or via email at email@example.com with any questions or comments. God bless.
VISIT OUR NEW PARISH WEBSITE:
Click on ourmotherofsorrows.church to visit our new website. The following parishioners, José Merino, Steve Contreras, Madeleine Crespo, Melinda Caballero, Jean Fedigan, Michelle Benzenhoefer, Maria Arvayo-Campbell, and Pam Coonan have put in endless hours since December reshaping and refocusing our website.
NOVEMBER 5TH LEADING LIKE JESUS SEMINAR… SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT DAY:
The parish continues to make a very intentional investment into the Jesus model and example of servant leadership. A day-long seminar (8:30am-3:30pm) entitled "Leading Like Jesus" will be presented in the parish on Saturday, November 5th. The gathering will include parishioners in leadership from parish groups. Parishioners who may have a desire to participate in this seminar day are encouraged to contact Steve Contreras at firstname.lastname@example.org or 747-1321.
Respect Life Month - All month long
Fiesta Weekend & White Elephant - Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 2
St. Francis’ Blessing of the Animals - October 4 at 6 pm
Ministries Awareness - October 15/16 after all Masses
OMOS Annual Rosary Rally - October 8
HAPPY, BLESSED AND REFRESHING AND RENEWING LABOR DAY WEEKEND:
Labor Day creates a marked separation between Summer and Fall. •During this month we have our annual Seven Day Novena to our patroness…Our Mother of Sorrows.
•Our parish staff and school faculty will have its annual Retreat Day at the Benedictine Monastery on Country Club on Friday, September 16th. Your prayers for us will be a welcome gift.
•Ministry Awareness Weekend will be observed on the weekend of September 17-18.
•New school families will be hosted by the parish to the 12:30pm Mass on September 25thand to a welcome gathering in the Parish Hall afterwards.
•All levels of our Religious Education Formation program/processes (children, teens, adults) are becoming fully active again.
•Our annual Fiesta event is scheduled for the last day of this month and the first two days of October.
•Welcome Fr. Richard to OMOS
A LETTER FROM BISHOP KICANAS TO THE CATHOLIC FAITHFUL OF OUR MOTHER OF SORROWS:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Richard Awange, CCSp as a Parochial Vicar of your parish effective August 8, 2016.
Fr. Awange belongs to the Religious Order of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers of Nigeria, who has been sent to do pastoral work in the Diocese of Tucson. I know that Fr. Richard Awange will be a blessing to your parish and provide greatly needed assistance to your pastor Msgr. Thomas Cahalane.
He has been a priest for 17 years and will bring his many talents and experiences in his ministry at Our Mother of Sorrows. I know the community of Our Mother of Sorrows will welcome him with open arms. Please be assured of my prayers for all of you as well as for Fr. Richard as he starts his new assignment.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, D.D.
NEW PRIEST SELF-INTRODUCTION - FR. RICHARD AWANGE, C.S.Sp.:
“I am from Benue State in Nigeria and am of the Tiv Tribe. I was born on September 29, 1969 and was ordained on 10th July, 1999 for the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers) with a Master degree in theology from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh USA. Immediately after my ordination I served as Assistant Director of Novices for my Congregation in Ghana. During the same time, I served as Associate Pastor of Our Lady’s Chaplaincy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Later, I was appointed Assistant Director of Pope John Paul II Formation and Training Center for the Catholic Diocese of Obuasi in Ghana, between 2002 and 2005. In 2003, while still serving as Assistant Director of the Formation Center I was appointed to serve concurrently as the Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish Trede, also in Ghana.
In 2005 I proceeded to Dublin, Ireland to complete a formation course at Loreto House, Willow Park in Blackrock after which I returned and served as Director of Novices for my Congregation in Nigeria until 2012. The next year, 2013, I served as Director of Formation for Via Christy Society, also in Nigeria.
In September 2014, while pursing a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and later a Master in Educational Counseling at the University of Agriculture Makurdi, Nigeria, for which I am writing my dissertation now, I served as a teacher of Religion in Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School Makurdi, until my arrival at Our Mother of Sorrows.
My passion in the priesthood is studying the Holy Scripture and sharing the Word of God with people. I also have some experience in Spiritual Direction and love celebrating the liturgy. Coming to Our Mother of Sorrows and Tucson gives me the rare opportunity to gain more experience in pastoral ministry in a parish setting among the faith filled people of Our Mother of Sorrows after many years of dominantly formation ministry. May Mary Our Mother of Sorrows support me with her intercessions during this period of ministry.”
MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA CANONIZATION:
Pope Francis will officially proclaim Mother Teresa of Calcutta to be among the canonized saints next Sunday, September 4th. St. Teresa of Calcutta was an extraordinarily graced woman in her lifetime for the way in which she recognized Christ in the poorest of the poor, “…the least among us”. At the end of all Masses next weekend, we will process to her outdoor statue adjacent to the parish offices. We will pray a prayer featured in next week’s bulletin invoking her intercession upon us and pray God’s blessing on her outdoor shrine. This will become the location for informal prayer and devotion through her intercession. Some of the parking spaces adjacent to her shrine will be reserved next weekend to accommodate parishioners gathering for the brief devotion at the end of each of our Masses.
The following is the content of a personal letter I received from Mother Teresa when I was Vicar of Education for the diocese. I invited her to be the featured speaker at our Diocesan Congress in February, 1978. She wrote…
Dear Fr. Cahalane,
Many thanks for your kind letter and invitation. It will not be possible for me to come to you February 1978, but I will pray much that the Good God may bless you and all those who will participate in the Congress – that all those who come – leave the Congress with a deep conviction in their vocations – ‘I belong to Jesus – nothing will separate me from the love of Christ’. Christ has chosen us for Himself – to belong to Him – and the work we do is but a means to put our love for Christ into a living action – that is why we must do the work entrusted to us by the Church with great love. For this reason, we need to be holy – because Jesus to whom we belong is Holy.
Pray for me and I will pray for you.
God bless you,
LETTER ON DISPLAY:
The personal handwritten letter of St. Teresa of Calcutta will be displayed in front of the altar during all Masses next weekend. Her message is still very relevant to all of us. She tells us the following in a very simple way, “…I belong to Jesus – nothing will separate me from the love of Christ. Christ has chosen us for Himself – to belong to Him – and the work we do it but a means to put our love for Christ into a living action – that is why we must do the work entrusted to us by the Church with great love.”
353 STUDENTS ENROLLED IN OUR PARISH SCHOOL:
Our parish school has registered a significant bump up in enrollment. It was good for me to visit all the classrooms from preschool to eighth grade recently with our new principal, Mrs. Erin Vu. I conducted a brief blessing ritual for the students in each of the classroom spaces with blessed water from Lourdes. I prayed, “God to protect the students, their families and the classroom space in His loving presence and protection, and keep away from them any and all intrusions of the Evil One.” It was indeed uplifting and a joy to experience the quality teaching environment in each of the 20 classroom spaces. Our parish is very blessed in having a quality Catholic school.
NEW SCHOOL PARENTS/FAMILY GATHERING:
Families new to our school are invited to 12:30pm Mass September 25th and to a welcome and hospitality gathering in the Parish Hall immediately afterwards. Happily because of the increased enrollment in our school, we have quite a significant number of new families this year. Enrollment in our school draws students from 27 distinct ZIP codes around the city. This reality offers a pastoral challenge to the parish not only to link these new families to our school but also to the parish in its mission of Message, Community and Service (MCS).
12:30PM MASS BEGINS SEPTEMBER 11TH:
As has been announced to the parish over these past months, the 12:15pm will move to12:30pm on September 11th. The fifteen minute time change to 12:30 should resolve the traffic jam situation in our parking lot and even within the church that so often takes place after the 10:45am Sunday morning Mass. Thanks to all the regular participants of the12:15pm Mass for your understanding of this fifteen minute time change from 12:15 to 12:30.
SOME OTHER LITURGICAL CHANGES:
Besides the Sunday 12:15 pm Mass changing to 12:30pm on a regular basis, the following changes have also been approved by the Liturgy & Worship Commission. Some functions of our church sacristy will be extended into a new designated space. Our church sacristy space is often very crowded in the multiple liturgical functions taking place there.
The new altar server albs, when they arrive, will be housed in a re-designated space named Liturgical Ministers Sacristy. This is a rather large room between the two Reconciliation / Confessional spaces. It has been used as kind of a storage space and work space for church maintenance. The new Liturgical Ministers Sacristy will be used by our altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers, Hospitality Ministers and Lectors as a sign-in and preparation station. The regular sacristy will be designated the Clergy Sacristy for our priests and deacons. This re-ordering of space should greatly alleviate the overcrowding and congestion that has been happening in our very limited church sacristy space.
MISSALS TO BE DISCONTINUED:
The volume of missals in all the pews will be discontinued at the beginning of the new season of Advent. A small number of missals will be available in the vestibule of the church for those who may have difficulty hearing the Word proclaimed. Another limited number of missals will be available through the parish for purchase by parishioners who may have a preference to have their own. The Power Point projection of so much of our weekend Masses over the past few years has made the utilization of missals obsolete for the most part. Full active participation in the Mass calls for participants to listen and hear God’s Word, rather than reading along with the proclaimer while the Word is being proclaimed. Discontinuing the missals in the pews because of their minimal use also makes a big contribution to our Care for Creation in saving trees otherwise needed for creating paper to produce the missal copy.
THE SEVEN SORROWS OF MARY STATIONS …SEPTEMBER 9TH TO SEPTEMBER 15TH:
At 7:15pm each evening from September 9th and concluding on the Feast Day of Our Mother of Sorrows on September 15th, a devotional prayer ritual around each of Mary’s stations of sorrow will be celebrated in the Church. Each evening will focus on a particular sorrow of Mary. It will be followed by silent prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the main altar and conclude with Benediction at 8:15pm each evening. A station prayer particular to each day will be included in the each of the daily and weekend Masses during the seven days.
Parishioner Petitions: Parishioners who wish to have particular personal intentions included in the prayers during the seven stations devotions are asked to note their petitions on the special form in front of the image of Our Mother of Sorrows in the Church during these weeks.
SPECIAL MEETING OF PARISH BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
The Parish Board of Directors met with the following members on August 20th: Msgr. Thomas Cahalane, President/Pastor, Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy, Vice President, George Gewehr, Secretary, Aida Samuel, Treasurer, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of the Diocese, and approved the following Resolutions:
Capital Fundraising Campaign –
Resolved, that Our Mother of Sorrows Roman Catholic Parish, Tucson, an Arizona non-profit corporation, authorizes Msgr. Thomas P. Cahalane, President/Pastor, to enter into an agreement with Community Counseling Service Company, LLC (CCS), to conduct a three-year pledge capital fundraising campaign for the purpose of capital improvements.
CAMPAIGN IN EARLY 2017:
The special fundraising campaign will be conducted during January, February and March of 2017. The parish will be engaging Community Counseling Services (CCS) to provide professional campaign service to assist Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in conducting the campaign. The funds from the campaign will address some critical needs that have been identified within the parish plant as we approach the 60th anniversary of the parish in May 2018. More specific information will be shared in the upcoming months. Personal prayers are requested for enlightenment and guidance in this major effort.
PRAYING FOR OUR ENEMIES:
It is difficult and challenging to forgive our enemies…isn’t it? Jesus asks us as his followers to pray for them. During this special Year of Mercy, pushing ourselves to pray for our enemies, not just once but many times over, can be a very important blessing exercise. The following article from this month’s booklet, Give Us This Day, written by Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin is very insightful and enlightening.
Teach Us to Pray: Praying for Our Enemies
Is there anything more difficult than forgiving our enemies? Yes: praying for them. Forgiveness may be slightly easier because, at least in some cases, you find yourself able to “move on.” That is, once you find the grace to forgive people who have hurt you – and this can take weeks, months, and even years – you often feel free to put a painful chapter of your life behind you. You can say, “I’m glad that’s over.”
Praying for your enemies, by contrast, takes more spiritual work because it forces you to make those who are hurting you present. Then you go even further, and do something positive: pray for them. Yet this is what Jesus asks of us (Matt 5:44).
Not long ago, I met a 93-year-old Jesuit with a great sense of good cheer. I asked if he had any secrets to living peacefully in a religious community. “Well”, he said, “I do get bothered sometimes by the people I live with!” But when he struggles with someone’s behavior, he first thinks of the good that the person has done. (Admittedly, it is hard to see anything good in people who have harmed, persecuted, or abused you.) The Jesuit then asks to see the person as God sees them. This second insight has always been helpful for me. Most likely, these people have themselves been mistreated; insecurity may underlie their cruelty, and their insensitive behaviors are often indicative of their own emotional suffering. Understanding and even pitying people makes it easier to pray for them.
As I said, it’s hard. But once done, you may feel more free of anger or resentment. So in the end it can be a gift both to you and to those for whom you have prayed. Fr. James Martin, SJ
CENACLE CHAPEL…REST STOP PLACE:
For so many of our parishioners and so many people beyond our parish, our Cenacle Chapel is a rest stop place in the Lord. It is a unique place within our church and our parish plant for encountering the Lord in the prayer of quiet and solitude.
The Word/Scriptures are always in exposition there. The Eucharist/Blessed Sacrament is in exposition there after the 6:30am on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, until8:45pm each evening. It is in exposition there all day Friday after the 6:30am Mass, all through Friday evening and through the night until 8:00am on Saturday morning. All adorers do an hour of prayerful adoration time during each of the hours on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The Blessed Sacrament is in exposition also in the Cenacle Chapel every Sunday after the 12:30pm Mass until 8:45pm each Sunday evening. This prayer chapel is indeed a blessed graced rest stop place in the Lord. Parishioners are encouraged to befriend the Lord there for a brief or long stop over anytime during the week. This rest stop place of the Cenacle Chapel is a wonderful way to respond to the Lord’s personal invitation “….Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you”.
ANNUAL PARISH FIESTA SEPT. 30, OCT. 1 & 2:
Our annual parish Fiesta has been changed from the second weekend in October to the first weekend of October. This change makes it possible to accommodate our school families into the Fiesta since the semester break for the students from the school occurs now on the second weekend in October. The annual Fiesta is the single biggest gathering of our parish and school and neighboring community each year. It takes appropriately 300 volunteers to present the Fiesta event each year. Parishioners and school parents are encouraged and invited to sign up for some volunteer hours during these weeks. You’re encouraged to do so through the parish office. The final day of the Fiesta this year will commence after the 12:30pm Mass on Sunday afternoon. This change will give an opportunity for families to enjoy lunch and the many other Fiesta activities from early afternoon into the evening. Our deepest thanks to R.J. Saavedra and her family for the huge leadership investment in the Fiesta with the core team and parishioners who plan the Fiesta over a period of many months. The Fiesta event each year creates a unique environment for celebrating community and promoting a network of deepened relationships and friendships. Pray for God’s blessings on all who are involved in presenting the Fiesta and all who will participate in this annual gathering.
Personalizing the Parish Mission Statement:
Filled with the joy of the Gospel, as a Catholic, I joyfully proclaim an ongoing encounter with Jesus Christ through Word, community, Sacrament, and loving service.
Seven Sorrows Novena
September 9th - 15th 7:15pm each evening