February days bring us into springtime in the world of nature and on February 14th into the world of love, Valentine’s Day and the Lenten world of grace. Both bring times of new life – life in the world of nature and the life of the world in supernature.
Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day this year will introduce us into our annual springtime training during the Lenten season when the exercises of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (PFA) renew us in the three pillars of the Christian life. We are called to give more deliberate attention to them during the 40-day period of Lent. They bring us a deepening springtime in God’s love and presence…springtime in heart and in the spirit.
IS THE CALENDAR MIXED UP?
Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday on the same day! Seems though we should not be celebrating and enjoying “heart” day and begin the season of Lent on the same day. However, perhaps it is a great blend and mixture. What better way to begin Lent than to reflect on how we are called to change our heart? What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to reflect on how we are called to become more loving?
Lent’s basic message is to be open and be ready to change so that God’s love may increase in us. Lent isn’t just a time to remember that we are dust. Rather, we are to remember that God’s spirit of love was breathed into us when we were merely dust. That dust was then formed into a living person, capable of loving God and all creation. Lent is a point of turning or returning to our God, a season when our hearts can expand as God fills them with love.
BISHOP EDWARD WEISENBURGER’S NEW YEAR GREETINGS:
We are at the beginning of a new year. I must admit that I am moved by the year-end message of Pope Francis. He remarked that 2017 had been marred by war, lies and injustice. In his characteristically direct and prophetic manner, he urged people everywhere to take responsibility for their actions. While I find the Holy Father’s assessment accurate and sober, I also find that it comes from a man whose life is a constant witness to boundless joy. Indeed, I believe it is that joy that has endeared him to most all the world. I suspect his words have great power as they flow from one who lives as he preaches, spending his days as a prophetic witness to peace, mercy, service of the poor and reconciliation among all peoples. Pope Francis is indeed a man who sees the world’s sufferings, but his witness is to the light of Christ — a light burning brightly which no darkness can ever overwhelm.
For those reading these humble words, I kindly invite you to join with me in looking honestly at our world and looking honestly within ourselves. Take an honest look at the sufferings of Christ as they are found in so many in our world today even as you take stock of the undeserved blessings of your own life. Consider the year behind us and join with me in answering Pope Francis’ call for the year ahead — accepting responsibility for our world, perhaps most especially by working to be part of someone else’s blessings in 2018.
SCHOOL STUDENT BODY ADORATION AND BENEDICTION:
Recently I celebrated a holy hour of adoration and benediction with the entire student body from our school. There was a very prayerful participation on the part of all the students during the prayer time. Following are some (direct) quotes from the third-graders’ reflections on their experience. They are simple, profound and precious.
The comments and observations of our third-graders on the exposition experience can be an invitation to all of us to visit the Cenacle Chapel during the exposition days. It’s a wonderful way to joyfully encounter Jesus Christ as the source and summit of the Christian life and His companionship in the living bread from heaven during exposition times.
MONTHLY HOLY HOUR OF PRAYER:
The parish will be offering a monthly Holy Hour of Prayer on the first Friday of each month beginning on February 2nd from 6:30pm to 7:30pm in the church. Parishioners who are actively involved in ministry in the parish are especially invited and encouraged to participate. The monthly Holy Hour offers an opportunity for parishioners to come together in community of prayer in the presence of the exposed Sacrament. It will keep us prayerfully connected again and again with the source of all ministry. Without it, we may just be doing our own thing. The longer I remain in the ministry, the more I realize that it is the Lord who ministers to us and through us. When we continue to come back to the source, the Lord will bless us all abundantly.
KNOW YOUR STAFF - Madeleine Crespo, Executive Assistant to the Pastor:
I initially joined Our Mother of Sorrows as a 7th and 8th grade science and religion teacher. I answered the call to serve the wider parish community and joined the parish staff in 2015 as Executive Assistant to Msgr. Tom, a position which is both an honor and a joy. In addition to administrative duties, I am a Eucharistic Minister and also coordinate the parish schedule for the OMOS food service ministry benefiting Sr. Jose Women’s Center. My husband and I also serve as a sponsor couple in the Couple to Couple diocesan marriage preparation program.
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and School is a unique faith-filled community of very special people who encounter Christ every day in the faces of those we serve. It is a great blessing and a privilege to serve the Church in the capacity that I do.
TEACH US TO PRAY - WAITING AND PRAYING BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
The feast of the Presentation of Our Lord (sometimes called Candlemas because of the tradition of blessing candles on that day) commemorates the “presentation” of Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, not long after his birth. “When the days were completed for their purification,” Joseph and Mary brought their firstborn son for the ritual dedication to God, as required by the Jewish law. And so, as presented in the Gospel of Luke, the Presentation is a story about faithfulness.
But not the faithfulness of just Mary and Joseph. It is about also the patient fidelity of two other people in the story: Simeon and Anna. Both are usually depicted as elderly, but only Anna is described that way by Luke. Both, however, are faithful. Simeon has been promised that he will see the Messiah before his death, and so he waits patiently. When he encounters Jesus, he takes the child in his arms and praises God. Anna prays constantly in the Temple, and when she sees Jesus she rejoices.
Simeon waits and Anna prays. What wonderful models of faithfulness for all of us. In our prayer this month, we might imagine Simeon asking us, “What is worth waiting for?” And we might hear Anna asking us, “What is worth praying for?”
For me, the most beautiful part of this story is that while both Simeon and Anna understood that the Messiah had come, they didn’t know what, precisely, that would mean. As it is with us: sometimes God answers our prayers in ways that may remain mysterious for many years. So, then, there may be more waiting and praying.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest and the author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, and In All Seasons, for All Reasons, a collection of essays from Give Us This Day.
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 10th. The theme is “Great Gatsby/The Roaring 20s”. Tickets are $50 per couple and are available for sale at the school and 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 10-11. Couples coming to the annual dinner and dance are encouraged to participate in the 5:30pm Mass on February 10th 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.
Beginning in February, Catholic Extension will broadcast weekly Sunday Masses for the homebound on KOLD, Channel 13. Catholic Extension selected the Tucson area to launch this new and exciting initiative, a partnership with the Diocese of Tucson and Tucson's local CBS affiliate, KOLD. Broadcast decisions were made by the Extension Society. The Sunday Masses will air both at 6am and 9:30am.
WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS - JUNE 14-23, 2018
A 10-Day Pilgrimage Retreat to the Holy Land: A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey made to a certain sacred place as an act of religious devotion with the aim of growing in one’s relationship with God. It is time set aside to be with God: to listen and talk with Him. The Holy Land of Israel is the main setting of Gospel events in the life of Jesus. Undertaking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land also helps Christians to connect to the historical sites of the events in the life of Jesus and our Christian faith. In the year of our 60th Parish Jubilee, we hope to renew our commitment to continue “walking in the footsteps of Jesus.”
Planning is underway for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for parishioners, their family and friends. This 10-day retreat experience will be led by Fr. Richard and would include prayer at the Church of the Nativity, The Valley of Cana, The Sea of Galilee, Mount Tabor, The River Jordan, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
The complete itinerary of this pilgrimage costs $3,300 per person and includes round-trip air fare from Phoenix, accommodation in first class hotels, breakfast and dinner, all land transportation, expert and professional guides, and daily Masses, spiritual exercises and reflections. Space is limited to 40 persons. Interested parishioners are invited to a brief informational meeting with tour personnel on Tuesday, February 6th at 6:30pm in the church. Deadline for registration is March 1st. For additional information, please contact Fr. Richard at the parish office or visit www.nativitypilgrimage.com.
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS EPIPHANY PARTY SPONSORS:
Our exceptional sponsors again this year included Watson Refrigeration, Bring’s Broadway Chapel, Tucson 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.
ANNUAL WINTER VISITORS RETREAT, MASS AND LUNCHEON:
Welcome back, Winter Visitors! Please join us for this special annual gathering on Tuesday, February 13th. 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 9th 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.
RRRJC CAMPAIGN & PROJECTS STATUS UPDATE:
Wow! God is on the move. Thanks to all those in the parish and school communities who have made sacrificial pledges to the Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ Capital Campaign and faithfully continue to fulfill them. As of 1/15/18 we have received pledges amounting to $1,043,523 and received $431,343 in pledge fulfillment – over 41%! Together with our Building & Maintenance Commission, Campaign Master Planning Committee, and staff, the church remodeling projects are coming together.
We are very excited about all the work to be done in the church this summer. The first Masses celebrated in the hall will be on May 19th, back in the first church of the parish.
Then, the church projects begin as we replace the pews, carpet and tile, remodel both bathrooms, build shrine niches by the altar space and the back of the church, and install glass doors by the main entrance vestibule. Our 60th Jubilee Anniversary Mass will be celebrated September 16th with a special 1:00pm Mass instead of the regularly scheduled Mass at 12:30.
Stand by for more updates to come. Together we are the family of Our Mother of Sorrows and together we are making a difference for today and for tomorrow for the glory of God and to be a blessing for His people.
Steve Contreras, Parish Business Manager
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL:
Bishop Edward Weisenburger will introduce the Diocesan Annual Appeal through a DVD presentation at all Masses next weekend 2/3-4. Our parish goal is $163,340. Thanks to all who participated and helped us achieve 92% of 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!
Pray. Fast. Give.
February Dates to Remember:
Valentine’s Dinner & Dance 2/10/18
6:30pm in the Parish Hall
Winter Visitors Mass & Luncheon 2/13/18
9:30am (Reflection), 11am (Mass), 11:45am (Luncheon)
Ash Wednesday Mass Schedule 2/14/18
6:30am, 8:30am, 10am (School Mass), 3:30pm, 6pm,
7:30pm English in Parish Hall
7:30pm Spanish Mass in Church
WELCOME TO 2018
May we continue to be open and receptive to the companionship of the Lord in all our activities during this New Year. May the Lord bless us in our individual needs, in the needs of our Church, in the needs of our country, and our world through all the opportunities and daunting needs and challenges confronting us.
WHAT’S NEW FOR OUR PARISH IN 2018….
Our parish is moving into its 60th Jubilee anniversary year on May 10th. OMOS was established as the farthest eastside parish in the city on May 10, 1958. The following Jubilee committee is meeting on a monthly basis planning the Jubilee Year activities. The Jubilee anniversary committee roster is as follows: Msgr. Tom, Aida Samuel & George Gewehr (co-chairs), Cindy Phillips, Ed Ackerley, Erin Vu, Jose Merino, Jose Osuna, Laura Stehle, Lyn Bulski, Madeleine Crespo, Pam Coonan, RJ Saavedra, and Steve Contreras. A calendar of activities for the Jubilee Year is presently in process. An upcoming monthly update will have an extensive outline of the Jubilee activities.
PRAYER AND PRAYING:
Prayer and praying has been a lifeline to me as an individual and as a priest. Prayer keeps us connected with God who is the source of all blessings. The following prayers are very timely and I encourage using them on a regular basis.
New Year’s Blessing
O God of ancient blessing,
Your servant Mary pondered in her heart
The treasured words spoken about her Son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Bless us, as we gather in his name,
And prepare our hearts to receive his Spirit,
That our tongues may confess him Lord,
Every day of this new year,
And for ever and ever. Amen.
~ Blessings and Prayers for Home and Family
Prayer for Those Who Migrate*
Mary knew the weariness of the journey;
To Bethlehem, to Egypt, back to Nazareth.
She knew the weariness, the fear, the longing for home,
The need to continue moving, moving,
The longing for journey’s end,
The longing for at least a semblance of a home.
To Mary we entrust the mothers, the fathers, the children
Who today are holy families
Migrating in hope, in fear, in longing,
For peace, for some security, for something like a home.
May they find their journey’s end
As we open ourselves to their stories,
Their need, their spirits;
We ask for mercy for all migrants
And for our communities
Who are challenged to welcome them,
To hold up hope for a new beginning.
~Jane Deren, Education for Justice
*January 14 is World Day of Migrants and Refugees
A Prayer for Life
Father and maker of all,
You adorn all creation
With splendor and beauty,
And fashion human lives
In your image and likeness.
Awaken in every heart
Reverence for the work of your hands,
And renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
Your precious gift of life.
Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and resigns with you in
The unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever. Amen.
~Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers
Stewardship Prayer: I Am
My parish is composed of people like me.
I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am.
It will be holy, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work.
It will be prayerful, if I pray.
It will make generous gifts to many causes,
if I am a generous giver.
It will bring others into worship,
if I invite and bring them.
It will be a parish of loyalty and love,
of fearlessness and faith,
Of compassion, charity and mercy,
If I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God,
I now dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my parish to be.
THREE R’s FIRST PHASE PROJECTS
During these past months, five of our nine free-standing buildings have had their roofs either replaced or repaired. During the summer months, a major part of our 3R’s projects will be taking place within the church. In mid-May, the weekend Masses will transfer to the Hall during the duration of the upgrades within the church space. The church floor will be re-tiled and re-carpeted. The new pews will be installed. The church restrooms will be remodeled and made handicap accessible. Glass doors will be installed in both entry ways from the vestibule. The statues of Mary and Joseph will be relocated from the back of the church to new shrine areas on either side of the sanctuary space. Shrine areas in the back of the church will feature Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. John XXIII, and St. Teresa of Calcutta. All of this work is being underwritten through the 3R’s campaign maturing pledges. Thanks to all who are turning in their pledge payments faithfully.
WE ARE SEEING REALITY THROUGH THE EYES OF EIGHTH-GRADERS
Our school involves our junior high students in justice exercises through what is known as Justice Monday. Recently they had a field trip to Casa Maria, the Catholic Worker House, where the hungry homeless are fed. It happened to be the second Monday morning of the month when I do an outdoor Mass at Casa Maria and they were participants. Afterwards, their Justice Monday field trip took them to Holy Hope Catholic Cemetery. The following is a sampling of reflections from the students. I find their witness very refreshing and telling.
Yesterday, I visited Casa Maria. It was a heart-breaking experience because it was sad that so many people weren't able to live independently. During Mass they were so enthusiastic.
Yesterday I went to Casa Maria. At Casa Maria we gave the people our lunches that we made for them. We also had Mass with them outside. It was very wonderful to see all of their wonderful, happy faces when they were singing the songs at Mass. I can’t wait to go back soon. It was a very important day that happened to me. It increased my faith very much!
Yesterday I went to Holy Hope Cemetery for our Justice Monday field trip. The first thing I felt as I got onto the bus was how I am going to really dislike going to a cemetery, but as the day went on it was much more than just going to it because I simply have to. I learned that people have lost loved ones that they deeply loved and yet they still go on with their lives serving God. I can’t even imagine losing anyone I love. I saw markers that have beautiful flowers and decorations with nicely polished stones, but I also saw some that had nothing but a name and date, dusty, with no decorations. I felt sad that their lives are now a memory and how families have to deal without their loved ones. This experience made me appreciate my family much more.
When I went to the cemetery I felt bad. When I saw all the graves of the children, I thought, “Not fair! Why did they have to go so early and lose their family?” It was hard to see all the graves and very heart breaking. I said a prayer in my head whenever I cleaned a grave out of respect. I want to say it helped me understand what it felt like to lose someone and not get them back. I would like to pray for the deceased that they find their path to God.
That a grade school and parish can impact and help so many people through everyday of life. I now really get why Mrs. Stehle asks for food to give back to the people in need. Thank you for letting us have this great opportunity.
Yesterday we went to Holy Hope Cemetery and in my personal experience I felt very pained in my heart knowing that there were thousands of bodies under my feet, especially after going to the section of children who had died. I feel very grateful that I am still on this earth. This experience made me realize that every day, every minute, every second, may be our last so we should live out our lives the way we have always imagined/dreamed. Now after, I have really thought about the meaning of life and now in my soul I believe that it is to love people while they are here and learn to let them to go live eternally with Jesus.
PRAYING FOR PEACE…BY FR. JAMES MARTIN
The most well-known prayer for peace may be the Prayer of St. Francis, which begins, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” It’s attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but it is the work of an anonymous French writer who published it in 1912. St. Francis’ non-authorship shouldn’t deter us from the underlying goal of the prayer, which is peace.
What does it mean to pray for peace? First, it means to beg God to bring peace to warring countries, into troubled regions, and in the midst of tense interpersonal situations. Peace is at the heart of the Christian message. And the peace that Jesus envisioned – the Hebrew word shalom – is not simply a cessation of violence, but the highest good for all involved. By praying for peace, we unite ourselves with God’s desires.
Second, praying for peace means putting those hopes into action. It means becoming a reconciler – among individuals, groups, and nations, as well as with those from whom we are estranged. All this brings us into closer relationship with God, for reconciliation with God demands reconciliation with one another. And how can you be in right relationship with God if you hold a grudge against your brother and sister?
Finally, there is a prayer for inner peace. Can you allow God to enter your heart and give you calm? Can you turn over the “warring” factions within you and give them to God? In all this, trust that Jesus, the “Prince of Peace” is on your side.
James Martin, SJ is a Jesuit priest, editor at large at America and author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, as well as In All Seasons, For All Reasons, essays collected from his column in Give Us This Day.
JANUARY 20TH MARCH FOR LIFE
The annual March for Life will take place Saturday, January 20th beginning at 9 am with Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral. The Tucson March for Life gathers at St. Augustine Cathedral (192 S. Stone Ave.) and proceeds to Holy Hope Cemetery (3555 N. Oracle Rd) where a special prayer service at the "Statue of Rachel" will conclude the march. For more information contact the Diocese at 520-792-3410.
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, forever and ever. Amen.
ANGEL TREE AMAZING TOTALS
Through the generosity of our parishioners we received more Angel Tree donations than we have over the last few years:
Angel Cause Amount
White Haiti $1755
Yellow Blessed Nuno Gift cards $ 815
Blue Merilac Lodge Gift cards $ 370
Blue Merilac/Reachout Women’s Center $1936
Purple CCS - Refugees $ 648
Green Sr. Jose Women's Shelter, TIHAN,
Casa Maria, Poverello House,
Primavera, Border Ministries $2271
Red SVDP & Project Outreach $4902
In total we received about $12,697 in cash, gift cards and gifts. Thank you to all our parishioners who made the Angel Tree a success through their prayers and donations. Thanks, thanks, thanks a thousand times over to all who befriended the angels!
KNOW YOUR PARISH STAFF
Patsy Klein, Pastoral Care Director In overseeing the Stephen Ministry, Home Bound Ministry and the Hospital Ministry at Banner University on Ajo Way, I continue to be in awe of the daily witness that God walks this earth in the form of the person willing to answer His call to service as well as the miracle of the believers whose pain and worry, doubt and fears vanish with prayer and receiving the Body of Christ. I will never know how I came to be so blessed to be called to this service, but I will always begin and end my day in total and complete gratitude!
In good humor Patsy Klein responds to the always asked question – “No I’m not a singer. I love music but singing was not a talent the good Lord thought to give me. I was however, a teacher and dancer of Mexican folkloric dance. Family and friends know I love to enjoy chocolates and cups of hot tea. Come visit me for prayer and conversation.”
If you would like more information on the ministries Patsy oversees or is in need of pastoral care services, you can reach her at the parish office at (520) 305-3613 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A NOTE OF APPRECIATION TO SISTER JOSE WOMEN’S CENTER
I wanted to let the staff and volunteers know how much I appreciate the support and help I received while staying in the overnight program for three weeks. The smallest things can make all the difference in your life and this place made a huge difference in mines. My first day here was very hard for it was the first time I had been in a shelter. Jean and Kim were very welcoming and made the stay here worth it. I thank you all for your help and to the staff and volunteers as well. The bed and warm blankets was so comforting. The delicious dinners that were prepared for all of us women were so wonderfully made. The guests (the other women) made me feel good by letting me know they, too, have faith which only made my faith grow. Sister Jose’s Jean and Penny are wonderful women and I’m very grateful to come to this shelter. It’s a special place in my heart I’ll never forget. I stayed together here and felt safe and that’s what matters the most. Anything is possible…. Thank you to all of you at Sister Jose Women’s Center.
MID-YEAR FY17/18 PARISH INCOME REPORT
As we reach the end of 2017 and the halfway point of the fiscal year, I want to thank all our parishioners for their faithfulness and generosity in their 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 $20,520, which is 8% above our budget of $19,000, and 2% ahead of last year at this point. Our “Yes, Lord” campaign cumulative pledge values continue to lag behind last year, however, and we are under by 5%. EFT values have increased 1.5% thanks to 27 families increasing their gifts and seven new families signing up. Thank you again, and may God continue to bless you and your loved ones.
Steve Contreras, Parish Business Manager
DATES TO REMEMBER
Epiphany Ministries Dinner and Dance - January 6th - 6:30 pm
Liturgical Ministers’ Convocation - January 13th - 8:30 am
Special Celtic Mass - January 13th - 5:30 pm –“Switchback Duo”
March for Life - January 20th - St. Augustine Cathedral
“Mere administration” can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be “permanently in a state of mission.” ~Pope Francis
TRIPLE GREETINGS AND BLESSINGS:
I. New Church Year Greetings and blessings as we enter into the Advent season.
As we journey into the season of Advent in preparation for Christmas the following Advent prayer sets a good perspective for us.
Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance into His company.
I like the following older translation of the prayer,
God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy, so that we may share His wisdom and become one with Him when He comes in glory, while He lives and reigns with You in the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
At this time of year, a host of burdensome expectations can indeed become “earthly undertakings”, hindering us from meeting Jesus and receiving Him with joy. They can sidetrack us from gaining admittance into His company as we approach the great season of His birth among us at Christmastime. Preparing to receive Christ with joy challenges us to pay more deliberate attention to time for prayer, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and reaching out to the least in loving forms of service. These are some of the ways of gaining “admittance to His company” and will help us to receive Christ with joy.
II. Christmas Greetings are surely most appropriate as we observe and celebrate Jesus being born into a human condition on December 24/25. Prayerful Christmas greetings come to all who read this Update. These greeting come from our very committed parish and school staff and faculty. I greet you especially through my 2017 Christmas poem entitled, Wonder of Wonders. It is a profound mystery and wonder of our faith that God has come into our human condition and desires to be our companion on the journey of life. This, indeed, is a wonder of wonders.
Christmas…Wonder of Wonders
Christmas is God’s wonder
In Mary’s helpless baby in the manger.
Wonder of Wonders
God is now within and among us.
Wonder at God’s omnipotence
Coming into human bondage.
The God-child helpless,
Needy, dependent and powerless.
Christmas is pondering time,
Pondering and wondering time.
Pondering within the heart
The heavenly treasure come to earth.
Mary kept all these things
Reflecting on them in her heart.
Will our hearts be filled
With the wonder of wonders now and always?
III. New Calendar Year Greetings - January 1, 2018: Prayerful greetings and blessings for the new calendar year of 2018.
The year 2018 will bring us into the 60th anniversary year of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish. The parish was established on May 10, 1958. An anniversary committee is presently planning a calendar of events for the Jubilee Year…one major event each month of the Jubilee Year.
As we prepare for a new calendar year, let’s prayerfully reflect and embrace our parish mission statement…as missionary disciples, our parish joyfully proclaims ongoing encounter with Jesus Christ through Word, community, Sacrament and loving service. Let’s be witness to this mission statement in our daily lives and in doing so, we witness to the Gospel values of love of neighbor, inclusivity, respect and love for the gift of life in all its forms from the womb to the tomb. We are called to reach out to the least…the homeless, refugee, migrant and all on the margins, and care for our common home.
DOOR OF MERCY REMAINS OPEN:
MERCIFUL LIKE THE FATHER is the motto and theme over the door frame leading to the Reconciliation/Confession Rooms in the church. It is a reminder to us that Jesus is the doorway to the mercy of the Father. As our Pope Francis states so beautifully, “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy”.
The Door of Mercy leads to the Reconciliation/Confessionals where we encounter the face of God’s mercy among us in Jesus.
APPOINTMENT TIMES TO EXPERIENCE THE FACE OF GOD’S MERCY:
The following are times when the Lord is available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession for blessing you with the gift of His healing mercy, reconciliation and peace.
On a weekly basis: Wednesday evenings 6pm-6:25pm and Saturdays 4pm-5pm and 7pm-7:30pm.
First Communion Families: Saturday, December 2nd at 9:30am and 10:45am.
School Communal Penance: Tuesday, December 12th at 9:30am and 10:15am.
Parish Communal Penance: Sunday, December 17th at 7:30pm.
Pre-Christmas opportunities: Monday, December 18th (9am); Tuesday, December 19th (7am); Wednesday, December 20th (6pm); Thursday, December 21st (4pm-5pm, and 7pm-8pm); Friday, December 22nd (4pm-5pm, and 7pm-8pm).
NEW PARISHIONER GATHERING:
I am responding to the invitation to the new parishioner gathering. I will be unable to attend because I am heading out of town early to join family out of state for the Thanksgiving holiday.
I will answer the statements for Msgr. Cahalane as follows: I most enjoy the fact that OMOS has Eucharistic Adoration throughout the week. It is what brought me to the Parish. I have been invited to join the Servites and their book club. I hope to connect with the Rosary Makers as I am a Rosary Maker myself. I have attended the recent Faith, Dying and Dignity Series. I also attended all seven nights of the OMOS Novena in September. I may look for other opportunities to join in church activities in the future.
NOTE: 139 new parishioners registered between April 1st and October 31st of 2017.
BEING STILL IN ADVENT BY FR. JAMES MARTIN:
This may sound almost heretical, but with each passing year I like Christmas less and less. At the same time, with each passing year, I like the feast of the Nativity more and more. Maybe you feel the same. The craziness surrounding the secular season of Christmas – the endless ads on TV and online, the crowded stores, the glut of often crass holiday-themed movies – sometimes seems to drown out the real meaning of the season.
That’s why I treasure silence during Advent. Silence is a gift that we can give to ourselves in the middle of a noisy season. And silent prayer is something we can all afford – it costs nothing. Of course many people – parents of young children, children of aging parents, and people with hectic working lives – may not have much time to spare, but even a few minutes of quiet may help to center oneself.
In busy times it’s important to let quiet be your prayer. This can be as simple as “withdrawing”, as Jesus did, from the busyness of life and just sitting in the presence of God. Or it could be a simple meditation, reflecting on a single word from the stunning readings of Advent: from the Book of Isaiah, the Psalms, or the Gospels.
Sometimes people feel guilty for taking a break in the weeks before Christmas – there’s often so much to do. But think of silence as a gift you give not only to yourself but to God, who wants to meet you in the silence as you wait for Jesus to enter your heart in a new way this Advent.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest and author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage and a collection of essays from Give Us This Day entitled In All Seasons, For All Reasons.
“KNOW YOUR STAFF” — CINDY PHILLIPS:
My name is Cindy Phillips and I am the Front Office Manager here at the parish. I grew up in this parish and I consider it my “family.” I have worked here for 24 years and consider it a true privilege to minister to the parishioners here at the parish. My job entails many facets which gives me an opportunity to work with people in all walks of life and generations. I oversee the front office, do data entry, scheduling for the entire plant and a wide variety of other tasks and duties. I am on the Fiesta committee, am a Eucharistic Minister and the staff liaison for the Ladies Guild. I am a mother of five and have four beautiful granddaughters. I love spending time with my family and friends. Board games are one of our favorite things to do together. I greatly admire St. Teresa of Calcutta. One of my favorite quotes from her is, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
RESERVE JANUARY 6TH… ANNUAL EPIPHANY PARTY:
The 5:30 pm Saturday evening Mass on January 6th, the week of the Epiphany, will be offered in thanksgiving, acknowledgement and gratitude for all the gifts of service given to our Bethlehem King by our parishioners during this past year. All adults who are actively involved within ministries in the parish are invited to this annual dinner. The weekend bulletin of January 6th will have an honor list of names of parishioners nominated for special recognition because of their ministerial service to the parish.
BECOMING FULLY CATHOLIC:
The following witness sharings are from some of our adults Confirmed on November 18th:
I've known my whole life that Christ has always been present and has never left my side even in my darkest days of when I’ve felt completely alone. During this past year battling a brutal divorce and all of its other challenges there have been many days I’ve wanted to give up, but the Holy Spirit has stayed with me and pulled me through.
To me, completing confirmation is not just because I was born and raised Catholic but an opportunity to commit my life and my true self to God. I want to be of service, continue to learn, grow, share the Lord with others, and most importantly; just be the very best person I can be during my time here on this earth.
I know in my heart and soul that I have grown and look forward to the many more amazing experiences through Christ and to love all people as He has loved me. I also have learned true forgiveness. I have let go of a lot of baggage through confession and feel renewed in spirit and mind.
I am grateful to be here right now and my home church of Our Mother of Sorrows and after 10 years being gone from Tucson it was not an accident to come back home and be here during these incredible life changing events. God has provided for me in more ways than I can count…I am truly humbled.
I want to become Catholic so that I can continue my journey with my family. I practice the Catholic faith as much as I can but I want to fully receive the body and blood of Christ. I know that I am here at Our Mother of Sorrows for a reason. I was pulled by the Holy Spirit to be involved. Several years ago I prayed to be involved in some way at OMOS since both of my kids went to school here and then the next week I received a call to be an LMS minister so I accepted. The next year I was the head coordinator of the LMS group and served on the School Board and now work in the School office and I love it! I would never have thought 15 years ago I would be where I am with two beautiful healthy boys, a loving husband and a part of this great parish. I know that my grandmother is in Heaven very happy that this is where I am. I can’t wait to start my new life on this beautiful journey. Thank you.
Luke12:34 – “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” We are all made to believe money and material items are our treasures. My parents migrated here to the US in hopes of a better life. But it came with a price of long hours of working, discrimination, and being made to believe money will solve all your problems. As a young man seeing all this, God and Church were not a priority. My parents’ heart was in money and giving us a better future. Unfortunately I did the same. Since January of this year, I’ve been coming to church every Sunday and I give my 10 percent and I pray with love to God.
I would like to thank the church and the staff in our confirmation class for taking time out of their evenings to teach us about our Catholic faith. Thank you so much for all you do.
NEW LIFE MOMENTS:
Twenty-two adults received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the 5:30 pm on November 18th. Two couples had their marriages validated. Eighteen children from our Religious Education program and from our school were baptized into the church at a special Mass on Friday, November 11th. More than 100 teens took part in the Rite of Welcome of Confirmation at the 12:30 pm Mass on November 19th.
LOURDES WATER DISTRIBUTION:
When Mary appeared to Bernadette in Lourdes in 1858, she identified herself as….I am the Immaculate Conception. During one of the apparitions, she asked Bernadette to “…go and drink at the spring and wash in it”. Drinking the water from the spring and washing in it is a special feature of pilgrimages to the Shrine in Lourdes. A limited number of small containers with water from Lourdes will be available to parishioners after all Masses on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.
PARISH RESOURCE GUIDE:
Three thousand copies of the Parish Resource Guide have just been published for distribution to our parish families. The Resource Guide has been in ongoing stages of development over this past year under the sponsorship of our Stewardship & Development Council. The booklet is an extensive review of the ministries and different forms of service active in Our Mother of Sorrows Parish. The booklets are being distributed after all Masses during the first weekend of Advent. Thanks to Madeleine Crespo, Melinda Caballero, Rocio Zamora, José Osuna and José Merino for finalizing the Resource Guide. A special thanks to a number of sponsors and to our Parish Endowment Trust, our primary sponsor, for underwriting the printing cost of the Parish Resource Guide.
COMING HOME TO GOD'S MERCY THROUGH CHRISTMAS ALIENATED CATHOLICS ANONYMOUS PROCESS:
Beginning on January 8th, ACA can be a very helpful process for inactive Catholics to come home to God's mercy to reconnect and rediscover Jesus. The ACA six-week sessions can be most helpful and effective towards personal encounter with Jesus as the face of God's mercy. Contact Msgr. Tom for more information.
ANNUAL TITHE/STEWARDSHIP RENEWAL:
Yes, Lord responses have been steadily coming in this year. To date we have received a decrease of 14 in responses over the same period last year. The total amount pledged is 5%less than last year as well. Five percent of our 336 current active EFT stewardship contributors have increased their monthly automated donation for the new pledge year. We are thankful to those parishioners who have responded thus far to this year’s Yes, Lord campaign.
CTSO GIFT TIME:
The CTSO acronym stands for Catholic Tuition Support Organization. Did you know that couples can designated $2,177 of their state income tax or $1,089 for individual filers to help students at OMOS School? An upcoming mailing from the parish will fully explain how parishioners can designate a portion of their state income tax between now and December 31st to benefit OMOS School. In the meantime, brochures with all the relevant information are available in the vestibule of the church and in the parish and school offices.
HOW TO INCLUDE OMOS IN YOUR WILL OR ESTATE PLAN:
One of the easiest planned gifts is a bequest. You can simply state in your will or trust: I give to OMOS Endowment Trust, a not-for-profit organization with its principal office located at 1800 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ 85710…(then specify what you want to give.) If you wish to restrict your gift for the benefit of a particular ministry, this should also be stated here. Ministry categories within the Parish Endowment are: General Unrestricted; Christian Education Formation; Parish School; Social Outreach; Liturgy & Worship; Building & Maintenance; Scholarship; and Other (designated). You can:
Christmas Mass Schedule
CHRISTMAS EVE - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24TH
7:00am, 9:00am, 10:45am, 12:30pm, and 12:30pm (Spanish) in the Hall
5:00pm - Msgr. Tom....Angels & Jammin’
5:00pm - (Hall) Fr. Richard...Cantor
7:00pm - Fr. Liam Jubilation
11:30pm - Carol Service/12:00am - Msgr. Tom...Solemn Celebration/Combined Choirs
CHRISTMAS DAY - MONDAY, DECEMBER 25TH
7:00am - Fr. Richard...Cantor
9:00am - Msgr. Tom...Praise Alive
10:45am - Fr. Liam...Laudate
12:30pm - Fr. Jorge...Cantor
2:00pm - (Spanish) Fr. Ruiz...Coro de los Niños
No 6pm Mass
PARISH COMMUNAL CELEBRATION OF PENANCE
Sunday, December 17th 7:30pm (10 Priests/Confessors)
ABOUT MANY THINGS:
Our early October annual three-day Fiesta was again an outstanding success. There was a wonderful presence of community, family and loving service evident at the three evenings of the Fiesta. Thanks to RJ Saavedra and her family and the entire core committee who presented the 39th annual Fiesta. Next year is our 40th Fiesta which will be a highlight of our 60th Anniversary/Jubilee Year.
NOVEMBER DOOR OPENERS:
The feast days of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls on November 2nd are both door-openers to November. On Wednesday, November 1st, All Saints’ Day, we pray to God through the intercession of all the saints as 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:
Tuesday (Anticipated), 6:30pm;
Wednesday, 6:30am, 8:30am, 10:00am (School Mass), 6:30pm, and 7:30pm (Spanish).
PRAYING TO THE SAINTS AS PATRONS – by Fr. James Martin, SJ: A common misconception about Catholics is that we worship the saints. Not true. Worship is reserved for God alone. The saints are “venerated”, much as you would venerate a beloved mentor. Frankly, the saints would be the first people to tell you not to worship them. The other misconception concerns praying to the saints. Some people think that when Catholics pray to the saints, we are supplanting prayers to God Also not true. We are simply asking for their prayers.
Here’s an easy way to understand it: Most of us ask our friends on earth to pray for us, especially when we are struggling. If you ask for the prayers of friends on earth, why not ask for the prayers of friends in heaven? And why would the saints not pray for us? What’s known as “intercession” has always made sense to me.
I pray to the same few saints over and over, those for whom I feel a great deal of affection. Often some facet of their lives intersects with my needs. When I am sick, I pray to St. Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes, not only because she uncovered the spring water that has proven helpful for physical healing, but because she herself suffered from several serious illnesses. When tempted with pride, I pray to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the French Carmelite nun who was one of the humblest of saints. And when I need help with problems in our Church, I pray to St. John XXIII, who was pope from 1958 to 1963.
The saints are our companions, examples to inspire us. They are also our patrons in heaven, whose constant prayers help us here on earth.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America, and author of many books, including My Life with the Saints and In All Seasons, For all Reasons, a collection of his essays from Give Us This Day.
ANOTHER DOOR OPENING FEAST
All Souls’ Day on Thursday, 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.
PRAYER FOR ALL SOULS:
Almighty ever-living God,
Who rule both the living and the dead and are
merciful to all,
We humbly beseech you,
That those for whom we pour out our prayers
May obtain pardon for their sins through
your tender mercy,
Rejoicing together, blessed in your sight,
And praising you without end.
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.
“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 Mari John who shared personal witness on 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 during this time. Commitment Weekend for this annual appeal is on November 4/5.
Our stewardship/tithe weekly income seems to be on a stationary plateau. Overall support of annual operational budget seems to be adequate for now. Recognizing the plateau reality, our current year’s budget remains at $19,000 a week income. Thanks to our regular givers for maintaining our budget in balance. 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.
FY 17/18 WEEK 16 PARISH INCOME REPORT:
Thank you to all of our parishioners for their faithfulness and generosity in stewardship and outreach to the ministries at Our Mother of Sorrows and our community at large. As of October 15, 2017 (week 16 of FY 17/18), our weekly average stewardship is $18,401 which is 3% below our budget of $19,000, but slightly ahead of last year at this point. Fiscal year-to-date, we are $9,577 behind our budget. Thank you again, and may God continue to bless you and your loved ones.
Parish Business Manager
LIVING AS MISSIONARY DISCIPLES:
The Book “Living as Missionary Disciples” has been an eye opener to our parishioners. With over 100 people participating in 9 different groups, there have been a lot of great ideas being shared. I visited most and facilitated some of the groups and I can say there is a lot of energy throughout. Most agree that Our Mother of Sorrows does a good job at reaching out to people, but they also think we can do more. We are called by Pope Francis to move from a mindset of maintenance to mission. This vision cannot be accomplished without shared effort by the whole church community. Participants are openly sharing their concerns and ideas as we take on a “road map” to new paths for the Church’s journey of evangelization. This is becoming an on-going effort of our parish to be Missionary Disciples and I hope to see you along the journey!
Adult Faith Coordinator
PRAYER FOR THE MINISTRY OF EVERYDAY LIFE:
God our Father,
Work is your gift to us,
A call to reach new heights
By using our talents for the good of all.
Guide us as we work and teach us to live
In the spirit that has made us your sons and daughters,
In the love that has made us brothers and sisters.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
DECEMBER 2ND 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 2nd. 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 2nd 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.
“KNOW YOUR STAFF” - KIM SISSON:
My name is Kim Sisson. I am married and have 4 amazing young adult sons. My missionary heart and desire is to stay close to Jesus as He fills my life with adventure and love. I am a trained Catechist in all three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and a certified level one trainer. This work keeps me in constant formation and leads me to orphanages in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua each year. I am the Executive Director of StandUp for Kids in Tucson, working in the street with homeless and at risk youth and young adults. These kids are a true testament that there is beauty and goodness in every dark corner of our world. A little over a year ago, I began a new journey with OMOS Teens as the Youth Minister. I am fascinated and inspired by the young people in our parish and continually encounter Jesus, in new ways, through them. I trust the wisdom and love the beauty of the church especially as it is reflected in our youth. I feel very blessed to be part of the OMOS parish staff and grateful for the opportunity to pray, grow and work together. I look forward to the sacrament of every moment and the joy that it brings through so many young people in so many different capacities. Please pray for me, pray for our youth and for our programs.
ROSARY-MAKING SPONSORED BY STRONG CATHOLIC FAMILIES:
In celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 7th, Strong Catholic Families sponsored rosary making for all ages. It was wonderful to have 64 adults and children come for the event. Everyone was invited to make a rosary for themselves and another to donate to the Blessed Nuno Society for distribution in Agua Pieta, Mexico. Over 200 rosaries were made, many of which were donated. It was beautiful to see so many families come out and honor Mary by making rosaries on her feast day.
COOKING AT SR. JOSE WOMEN’S CENTER:
Once a month students from OMOS School have been providing the food and cooking dinner at the Sr. Jose Women’s Center. Here is what a few of them had to say about their experience:
THANKSGIVING MEAL PRAYER:
God most provident,
We join all creation
In raising to you a hymn of thanksgiving
Through Jesus Christ, your Son.
For generation upon generation
Peoples of this land have sung of your bounty;
We too offer you praise
For the rich harvest we have received at your hands.
Bless us and this food which we share with grateful hearts.
Continue to make our land fruitful
And let our love for you be seen
In our pursuit of peace and justice
And in our generous response to those in need.
Prayer and glory to you, Lord God, now and forever. Amen.
BRIEF SELF-INTRODUCTION BY DEACON GREGORY HENDERSON:
For the last twelve years I have worked for a great nonprofit organization named Accion based in Albuquerque as Chief Financial Officer. However, in February it became apparent to my wife and I that we were needed to move to Tucson to support my wife’s mother. Very shortly thereafter I was very pleasantly surprised to learn of the timing of the Diocese of Tucson CFO opening.
In my life I have had the blessing of relating to a broad range of people, from spending two summers on the Navajo reservation in college, to living three years in India as a missionary, to serving as a deacon with a majority of Spanish-speaking immigrants. As a deacon, I have served at the diocesan level on the archdiocesan pastoral council, deacon formation policy board, and deacon council, as well as at the parish level on a parish building committee and parish finance and pastoral councils.
By God’s grace, I look forward to serving as a deacon at OMOS and meeting my new parish family.
Deacon Gregory Henderson
Yes, Lord Renewal of Tithe/Stewardship Season
All Saints’ Day Masses - October 31 (Anticipated) & November 1
All Souls’ Day Mass/Altar of Remembrance - November 2
Anointing of the Sick - November 8
Veterans Day Mass for Active & Retired Military - November 8
Monthly Memorial Mass - November 15
Thanksgiving Day Mass- November 23 at 9am
Feast of Christ the King - November 26
Welcome to our Fiesta Weekend this Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. Our deepest gratitude to all who have been involved for months preparing for our 39th 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.
OTHER OCTOBER HAPPENINGS:
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.
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 and is one of many of our mercy outlets to the least. Thanks to all who will subscribe to the annual collection for the Blessed Nuno Society on October 14/15.
GRATEFUL FOR VISIT TO CHILDREN'S ORPHANAGE:
My name is Evelina Henderson, I am 18 years old, and I recently got the chance to go to Agua Prieta, Mexico, with a group of about 15 people from our church. Starting our day off with prayer at OMOS, we then carpooled to the border. We walked across the border, and piled into a bus. We first went to a very poor barrio and handed out food, clothes, school supplies, and other necessary items. It was heartbreaking to see the way that these people lived. Their homes were very rundown, with tin roofs on many of them. They lacked many necessities, some wore pajamas as day clothing because it was all they had. There were stray dogs wandering the dirt streets, and there were flies everywhere. I was happy that I was able to help them in the small way that I could, and talk to them in my limited Spanish (I'm learning!). After this, we went to a drug rehab center and heard the testimony of former drug addicts who now help others move past their own addictions. Lastly, we went to an orphanage. There were nearly 20 children with ages ranging from about a year to 16 years. We painted and played and danced with them. It was amazing to see how much joy they had despite the struggles that they have borne. We ended our day with prayer again in the beautiful little chapel in the orphanage, before traveling back to Tucson. I am very grateful that I got the chance to go help and spend time with the people in the barrio, the rehab center, and especially the children at the orphanage. I look forward to a chance to go again in December.
DECEMBER 2ND PILGRIMAGE OF MERCY 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, December 2nd. Parishioners will need to have a valid passport. We will depart from the parish parking lot at 8:00am, Saturday, December 2nd returning by 8pm on that Saturday evening. Vehicles will be parked on the Douglas side of the border and the group will walk across the border and board a bus for the 5-minute ride to the pilgrim site in Agua Prieta. Parishioners interested in this pilgrimage are asked to register by calling the parish office at 747-1321.
Respect Life Prayer:
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.
END OF LIFE ISSUES:
Towards the end of October and early November, 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
"Faith & Dying With Dignity" a 3-part series on
Three consecutive Sunday afternoons:
Oct 29, Nov 5, Nov 12
1:45 - 3:15 pm (90 minutes long)
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish
(Session I to be held in the Church)
FROM OUR SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, ERIN VU:
This year, our school enrollment from Pre-K-8 is 397 students. The school year has been off to a great start! With our increased enrollment, we have found that we have an increased financial need for families. The school families in grades K-8 are so grateful for the Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO) donations from our parishioners. These tax credits help families attend the school. Many families are unable to pay $5,500 per child to attend the school, and the CTSO helps to bridge the gap between what a family can afford and the cost of tuition.
In the preschool, the tax credits are not an option, but we are grateful for scholarships which have been provided by generous parishioners and other friends of the school. This year, one parishioner donated a scholarship which fully funded one child and provided a partial scholarship for another student. Two other families donated scholarships which helped assist other children. In total, we have been blessed with over $11,000 which has support ed our preschool families.
Financial support helps make a Catholic education possible for many of our families. Gifts whether small or large go a long way to support our mission. We are so blessed to have many parishioners who believe in our school and support us through the CTSO and scholarships. If you would like to help support a child's Catholic education, please contact Erin Vu at email@example.com or 747-1027.
"KNOW YOUR STAFF" - ROCIO ZAMORA:
I'm the Parish Ministry Volunteer and Hispanic Ministry Coordinator. I have been a parishioner of Our Mother of Sorrows parish for 15 years and on staff since 2013. In 2002, I moved with my husband and two kids to Tucson. I was not so sure what God wanted for my family here in Tucson since we came because of my husband's job. Soon we found OMOS and loved it, and decided to make it our home parish and school for our kids . Very soon the Lord started to show our family the path He wanted us to take. My husband became a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Tucson in 2012, and I was certified into Lay Ecclesial Ministry along with him.
I love to work with different cultures and look for opportunities to bring our parish together and build community. As a missionary disciple, I truly believe that the New Evangelization which Pope Francis is calling us to, is one that is based in love, is inclusive and intercultural.
ENTERING THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY...BY FR. JAMES MARTIN:
I have a confession to make: I haven't memorized all the Mysteries of the Rosary. That may sound disappointing or scandalous, since I'm a priest. But since I never went to Catholic schools, and spent only a few years in religious education, I wasn't taught the Mysteries as a boy and I find it a challenge to memorize them as an adult. That doesn't mean that I don't pray with them, just that I need a "cheat sheet".
The Mysteries are events and themes for the life of Jesus and Mary that one meditates on while saying the Rosary. They are a kind of backdrop for the "Hail Marys" and "Our Fathers." And since Jesus' life was a mixture of both happy and sad moments, there are "Joyful", "Sorrowful", "Glorious", and thanks to additions from St. John Paul II, "Luminous" Mysteries. Traditionally, one prays a different set of mysteries for different days of the week.
My favorite insight into the Mysteries came from an elderly woman I met after a parish talk I had given. When she brought up the Rosary, I shared that I had a hard time remembering the mysteries. She smiled and said, "Oh, I love the Mysteries. When I remember all the things that happened to Jesus, it's like I'm with Mary and going through her scrapbook with her. We remember all those events, and I tell her what I think about them, and how they make me feel, and sometimes Mary tells me what she thinks and feels." That night I went home and started to memorize them.
James Martin. SJ is editor at large of America, and author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, Seven Last Words, and a new collection of his columns for Give Us This Day entitled In All Seasons, For All Reasons.
OCTOBER 28TH 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, October 28th. The gathering will include parishioners in leadership from parish groups. Interested parishioners are encouraged to contact Steve Contreras at 747-1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHILD'S PRAYER BEFORE TRICK-OR TREATING:
God, bless all the people we will meet.
Let our visit with them be a pleasant treat.
Whatever the costumes we wear tonight,
May we all be clothed with Christ 's light.
Protect us from danger and the devil' s ways,
That tomorrow with the saints we may sing your praise.
-Diana Macalintal, The Work of Your Hands
CENACLE CHAPEL "SUCH A JOY":
Do you know that it has been almost five years since we left Tucson to take up residence back East? The time has really flown by for us. We are much comforted by the fact that our family is now close by us. However, I am writing with a different point in mind. I have tried to maintain a prayer life and still have what you have called a "prayer corner". What I am missing most in this regard is the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Cenacle Chapel at OMOS was such a joy - one could stop in and visit the Lord at any time during the day. Here, there is no comparable practice and the churches are closed and locked after Mass each day. Please continue to remind the good folks of OMOS that they enjoy a singular privilege and one that I dearly miss.
SISTER JOSE WOMEN'S CENTER ANNUAL DINNER CELEBRATION:
The annual dinner celebration benefiting Sr. Jose Women's Center will be held on Saturday, October 21st at St. Augustine Catholic High School Gym located at 8800 East 22nd Street. The evening will begin with a reception from 5-7pm, with dinner immediately following. Silent Auction will be open throughout the evening . Tickets for this worthwhile and enjoyable celebration are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Jean Fedigan at (520) 954-3373 or email@example.com.
THE LIVING AS MISSIONARY DISCIPLES FIVE WEEK SERIES BEGINS ON OCTOBER 8TH THROUGH NOVEMBER 5TH:
In preparation for the 60th anniversary of the parish, you are invited to participate in a 5-week faith- sharing opportunity to explore the 34-page bookIet: Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization. Participants can participate in a group at any of the following session times:
1. Sunday 9:00 - 10:15am PAC Retreat Room
2. Monday 9:30am - 11:00am PAC Room #2
3. Tuesday 7:00pm - 8:30pm PAC Room #1
4. Wednesday 7:00pm- 8:30pm PAC Room #1
5. Thursday 9:15am - 11:00am Family Room
6. Friday 7:00pm - 8:30pm PAC Room #2
7. Saturday 9:30am- 11:00am PAC Room #1
Registration information can be found in the Sunday bulletin or on our website at omosparish.org.
OCTOBER 2017 UPDATE
Fiesta Weekend...This weekend - September 29, 30, October 1
Respect Life Month - All month long
Blessing of the Animals - Feast of St. Francis, 6pm - October 4
OMOS Annual Rosary Celebration, 6:30pm - October 7
Missionary Disciples Series starts - October 8
Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Celebration - October 13
Ministry Awareness - October 14 & 15
Leading Like Jesus - October 28
End-of-Life Issues Series - October 29, November 5, November 12
PASTOR’S JULY TIME AWAY
My time away during the month of July was renewing and refreshing. My two weeks of ministry in Lourdes was again inspirational and grace-filled. Administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation on an average of three to five hours a day was a fulfilling and joyful part of my priestly ministry there. The universality of the Church in the living faith of pilgrims coming to the sacrament there from all countries was amazing, striking and most edifying.
My home visit time with family in Ireland during the last two weeks of July was also a very blessed reconnection and relaxing time with family. Returning to the roots of family is always homecoming time, for all of us.
NEW SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE AT LOURDES
Access to the vast sanctuary space at Lourdes which encompasses the Shrine and many of its basilicas have been reduced from 32 points of entry to three. The three major points of entry now have massive concrete blocks to impede any motorized vehicles from having easy access. One of my favorite walkways from the chaplains house to the Shrine is the zigzag pathway down to the Shrine is now closed as part of these new security measures. I find the following article by the late Cardinal Hume of London on the zigzag pathway down to the Grotto to be very insightful and enlightening. It’s entitled, “What We Do Not See”
What We Do Not See
By Cardinal Basil Hume, The Mystery of Love
One of my favorite places in Lourdes is the zigzag path down to the Grotto. What you see on the first corner is a statue of Bartimaeus, the blind man. Why is it there? Looking over the Grotto, he sees nothing because he is blind. That statue was placed by an Italian who, though not cured of her blindness, rediscovered her faith, which she realized was more to be prized than physical sight…
The point about [the Bartimaeus] story is not that the blind man got back his physical sight, which indeed he did; the important point is that he followed Jesus.
What is important for us in following Jesus is that we should get back to the inward eye, the inner light. So we pray, not for a physical miracle, but a spiritual change.
The inner life: that part of us where faith and doubt contest the mastery, and where alas, doubt prevails because it is the stronger of the two, though not the wiser. Without faith, life is emptied of its true meaning and purpose.
A long time ago I had a friend who had been born blind. He had one great enthusiasm in his life and that was watching cricket. He had no idea what cricket looked like. Yet he had this tremendous interest, almost a passion for it. I used to take him to matches, sit behind him, giving a running commentary. He would be riveted and get very excited.
The point is this: He was totally dependent on what I was saying to him. I could have been telling him a pack of lies. We might not even have been watching a cricket match at all. But, no, as I described the game, he got more and more interested and involved.
It was that experience that taught me about faith. Because I do not see God with my eyes, I do not see him present in the Blessed Sacrament. I did not see him rise from the dead. I have not seen any of these things with my eyes. I cannot touch God with my hands, nor hear his voice with my ears. So in a way we are all blind, like that man at the cricket match.
You and I depend entirely on what God tells us. That is why the Word of God is so important. Faith is listening to what God has to say through the Scriptures.
ETERNAL REST ON SPECIAL FRIENDS
HAPPY, BLESSED, REFRESHING AND RENEWING LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Labor Day creates a marked separation between Summer and Fall
“GO, YOU ARE SENT”…is the command of Christ to His followers.
The call and mission of Jesus is inseparable from discipleship. As we ready ourselves for the 60th anniversary of the parish in May of 2018, our parish will be lifting up our call to living as missionary disciples. We will be reflecting and prayerfully considering what our main purpose and goal is as a parish community in the Lord. We are much more than structures and buildings. The challenge as we approach the milestone of the 60th anniversary is to move the parish and its ministry strategies from a mindset of maintenance to mission. Pope Francis in the Joy of the Gospel document offers the following: “I hope that all communities will devote the necessary effort to advance along the path of pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are. Mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be ‘permanently in a state of mission’”.
LIVING AS MISSIONARY DISCIPLES
This is the title of a resource booklet from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which was published in May of this year. It provides parishes and other church ministries with a road map to “new paths for the Church’s journey” of evangelization. I read and reviewed its content during my time away and found it most insightful and enlightening and visionary. I see it as a very helpful resource for our pastoral staff and parish leadership and I hope during the fall months to engage them in reviewing its content and direction. The 34-page booklet does not provide a ready-made program for a parish to follow or a detail study or plan to implement. Rather, it offers principles that a parish can apply to its efforts in evangelization and missionary discipleship.
I very much agree with the following observation from the booklet, “Pastoral leaders cannot form missionary disciples alone. Evangelizing parishes and therefore missionary disciples foster co-responsibility among the baptized.” Pope Francis reminded the pastoral leaders in the United States of this way of being churched during his apostolic visit in 2015: “One of the great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission, and to enable them to fulfill their responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven of the Gospel in our world. This will require creativity in adapting to change situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past, not primarily by maintaining our structures and institutions, which have served us well, but overall by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us in communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life.”
The theological and pastoral resources provided in the booklet Living As Missionary Disciples is an aid to assist a parish in its journey towards forming missionary disciples and transforming the world with the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
SOLAR ECLIPSE…A FAITH LESSON!
The moon recently shadowed out the light of the sun in the solar eclipse. However in our faith practice as followers of Jesus we believe that Jesus the Son of God is the Light of the World. Jesus is the Son/Sun who is at the very core of our faith. As the Light of the World, Jesus pierces through all shadows and darkness with the light of eternal life. No shadow or darkness can overcome the light of this Son…Jesus Christ. He proclaims to us, “…I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will not walk in darkness.” He proclaims to us as His followers, “…You are the light of the world; your light must shine before others so that seeing your good deeds they may give all glory to the Father who is in heaven.”
Through the gift of living faith each of us are transmitters of this extraordinary light. How blessed we are to have this Son shine on us and through us.
“KNOW YOUR STAFF” - PARISH RECEPTIONIST
My name is Yvonne LaRoque. I’m a life long Catholic and have been a member of OMOS Parish since 1994. I am a married mother of two beautiful daughters, one son-in-law and two darling grandchildren. One of my daughters attended OMOS school. Her time at this school made such a positive impression on her that when she graduated from the U of A she turned to me and said the OMOS school motto to me, “Hard work pays off!!” I have been an active member in many ministries here at OMOS. After 17 years of being a stay at home mom I am excited to return back to the work force at such an active and faith filled parish that lives out Our Lord’s Beatitudes on a daily basis. Deciding to return to work led to many hours of prayer and contemplation. Saint Anthony had a hand in it too! My prayers were answered with a receptionist position listed in the Sunday bulletin. I officially started working mid-summer and love being able to serve God and OMOS parish in this capacity. Thank you OMOS parish staff for “adopting” me!
Many blessings, Yvonne LaRoque
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.
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, until 8:45pm 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 daily adoration hours and on Friday evening/night 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 and graced rest stop place in the Lord. Parishioners are encouraged to befriend the Lord there for a brief or long stop over times 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 & SCHOOL FIESTA SEPT. 29, 30, OCT. 1
Our annual parish and school Fiesta will be on the first weekend of 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 at the Fiesta 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 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 RJ Saavedra and her family for the huge leadership investment in the Fiesta with the core team and all 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.
“THE VOICE, VISION AND NAME OF POPE FRANCIS” BY LESLYE COLVIN
A man humbly enters the global stage of a hungry world — an abundant world seemingly anesthetized to the reality of those on the margins. Like the one whom he follows did 2000 years ago, he seeks to encounter, to embrace, and to listen to those cast to the peripheries by systems of indifference — the ill, the imprisoned, the migrant, the poor, the refugee, the other. Summarily, his faith and life lessons compel him towards inclusion as he affirms their dignity, their humanity. Before choosing his name, he is reminded to remember the poor, a prophetic act speaking to how he would move forward in this new mission.
“I was seated next to...Cardinal Claudio Hummes...And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: ‘Don’t forget the poor!’ And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assist. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man...How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!”
Leslye Colvin is the communications coordinator for Gathering for Mission. She has experience in promoting mission and expanding outreach in a variety of sectors including faith-based nonprofit and at the archdiocesan level.
MERCY OUTLETS — SISTER JOSE WOMEN’S CENTER
When asked to make and serve a meal for the women at Sr. Jose's shelter for homeless women I felt an excitement and a little anxiety. I had never done anything like that before yet serving homeless women has been in my heart for some time. Madeleine was super easy to work with ..she is well organized and made the experience fun and effortless. When serving food to the women I was so aware of how all of us are interconnected in Christ. Anyone who has some time and are called to help in this Ministry of preparing and serving food to the women at Sr. Jose's I would strongly suggest you step up. We work as a team and the grace received is far greater than the service given!
Blessings, Christina Hart
Sister Jose Women’s Center annual dinner celebration will be held on Saturday, October 21st at St. Augustine Catholic High School Gym, 8800 E 22nd Street. Silent auction begins at 5pm, dinner at 7pm. Tickets $40. To purchase tickets, contact Jean Fedigan, executive director, at 954-3373.
FIRST VOWS CONSECRATION
Dear Msgr. Tom and OMOS family,
Hello! I hope you have been having a good summer. I wanted to ask for your prayers because my year of 19 novices will make our first religious vows as Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus in Galapagar, Madrid, Spain. Please pray that the Lord may grant us the graces we need to persevere always in faithfulness to the consecration of our lives to Him, and that we might be authentic witnesses of His love and mercy for the world. May His Mother and our Mother always keep you in her care and keep us safe on the path marked out for each one of us. You’re in my prayers as well.
God bless, Sr. Caeles Grace María
Note: Sr. Caeles is a graduate of our school. Her parents Scott Wilson and Dynse Crunkleton are OMOS parishioners.
RRRJC CAMPAIGN STATUS UPDATE
We continue to praise God and be thankful to all those in the parish and school community who have made pledges to the Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ Capital Campaign. As of August 18, 2017, $1,054,169 has been pledged and we have received $318,350 in pledge fulfillment – over 30%! As of July 31, 2017 we have incurred $128,148 in campaign expenses and project expenditures. We continue to work hard on planning out the projects targeting the summer of 2018 for the church renewal. The major repairs needed on the campus roofs will begin this fall/early winter. Together we are the family of Our Mother of Sorrows and together we are making a difference for today and for tomorrow for the glory of God and to be a blessing for His people.
Steve Contreras, Parish Business Manager
A PRIEST KIDNAPPED AND RELEASED
Recently we all shared some anxious days with Fr. Richard as one of his community members, Fr. Thaddeus, was kidnapped in Nigeria. A few days later we rejoiced with Fr. Richard and his community when Fr. Thaddeus was released unharmed by his kidnappers.
Seven Sorrows of Mary Novena - September 9~15 at 7:15pm each evening
Staff & Faculty Retreat - September 15
Parish Feast Day - September 15
Fiesta Weekend & White Elephant - September 29, 30, October 1
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