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