LENT IS A-MOVING
Hopefully moving us in the Spirit, the Spirit that led Jesus into the desert. Ash Wednesday was somewhat like a gold rush for the ashes, with very full participation at all scheduled masses. Participation at all our seven Ash Wednesday Masses was exemplary, edifying, prayerful and faithful. May this Lenten season, which began so well, continue to be a blessing in the Lord for all of us as we fully embrace the discipline of Lent…Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
It is so good to see the increased participation in our daily Lenten Masses and also increased prayer participation in the Cenacle Chapel. The Sacrament of Reconciliation during the three scheduled weekly times also shows increased participation. The Friday evening 5:30pm Lenten Mass followed by the Soup & Sacrifice meal in the parish hall are very popular gathering points 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.
A MEAL BLESSING FOR YOU TO USE AND SHARE DURING THIS HOLY SEASON:
Lenten Meal Blessing
We bless you, Lord, and we praise you,
For you have given us this meal to share,
Provided by the earth and prepared by human hands.
Help us remember those who cannot eat
Because of poverty or sickness
Let the brief hunger we feel this Lent
Make us hunger even more for justice.
May this meal strengthen us to do your will.
Blessed be God forever.
-Diana Macalintal, The Work of Your Hands
Reprinted from the February issue of Give Us This Day
FR. GREG ADOLF TO PREACH THE PARISH LENTEN MISSION
Fr. Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew’s parish in Sierra Vista, will preach at all Masses on the weekend of March 17-18, and the Parish Mission on March 19, 20 & 21. The morning Mission during those days will be at 9:15am and the evening Mission at 7:15pm. The Mission theme is “Encountering Jesus…The Way, the Truth and the Life.”
ANOTHER SENSELESS MASS SHOOTING!!
The following is a statement from Bishop Weisenburger on the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Its focus is very clear, thought-provoking, and a call to action. It is shared here for our parishioners’ prayerful review and call to action.
“The mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida again calls us to action against the random and senseless destruction of human life. As with many of us, I too ask myself how many times will we need to hear the shocking, even unbelievable statistics that follow each incident without taking any meaningful action.
The Catholic Church discerned long ago that the faithful cannot condone abortion and also be followers of Christ. The Church also has come to recognize that other life issues such as slavery, racism, and usury also compromise our discipleship. I join with Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago in asserting that we cannot stand by and shrug our shoulders. We must make clear to our elected officials that the weapons and ammunition that facilitate this carnage have no place in our culture. We owe it to our children to protect the cherished freedoms so many have fought and died for: to worship, learn and work in safety. That is true patriotism. I also join with Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia who likewise asserts that while we must pray for victims and promote healing, we also need to get angry: angry at our lawmakers for doing so little to prevent these catastrophes; angry at the media coverage that feeds off these tragedies as well as fuels them with a steady stream of sensationalism; and angry at ourselves for perversely tolerating these things and then forgetting them until the next round of violence.
One research group identified that between 2013 and 2015 there were 160 school shootings across 38 states. Nearly 53 percent of the identified shootings took place at K-12 schools, and 47 percent took place on college or university campuses. Here in Arizona, in January of 2011, when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot with multiple deaths resulting, there were calls for restrictions on assault weapons and better protection for all of us. In December 2012 in Newtown Connecticut, 20 children and six adults were murdered. More calls for limited gun control, especially assault weapons, but no action by our elected leaders. Then the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas with 58 deaths and 891 injuries. I would add that some call this recitation of facts “the normalization of shootings,” in other words, the new normal.
Enough. We all are called to protect life. We must address this issue now.”
Let’s honor those already lost and suffering with action that will save lives. I urge our parishioners to contact our legislators and ask them, plead with them, to enact reasonable legislation and safeguards to protect the precious gift of human life. Contact information for our legislators is available on our parish website.
LITANY OF NON-VIOLENCE
Sisters of Providence
aware of our own brokenness,
we ask the gift of courage
to identify how and where
we are in need of conversion
in order to live in solidarity with all Earth's people.
Deliver us from the violence of superiority and disdain.
Grant us the desire, and the humility,
to listen with special care
to those whose experiences and attitudes
are different from our own.
Deliver us from the violence of greed and privilege.
Grant us the desire, and the will,
to live simply so others may have
their just share of Earth's resources.
Deliver us from the silence
that gives consent to abuse, war and evil.
Grant us the desire, and the courage,
to risk speaking and acting for the common good.
Deliver us from the violence
of irreverence, exploitation and control.
Grant us the desire, and the strength,
to act responsibly within the cycle of creation.
God of love, mercy and justice,
acknowledging our complicity
in those attitudes, action and words
which perpetuate violence,
we beg the grace of non-violent hearts.
+ Amen +
THANKS TO OUR THREE R’S PLEDGE GIVERS
Our parish is entering into its sixtieth anniversary year in mid-May. Over this past year we’ve been reflecting on all that has been given to us. We have been reflecting especially on “…what can we do now to ensure that the legacy we inherited remains for future generations?” This question has been reflected upon especially through our leadership councils…our Parish Ministries Council, our Stewardship & Development Council, our Parish Board of Directors, and our Liturgy & Worship and Building & Maintenance commissions. In order to ensure that Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and School remain strong and vibrant communities of faith, we embarked on this time last year on a capital campaign entitled Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ. The maturing dollar pledges from the campaign are now adequate for us to address Phase One of our critical needs within our plant calling for attention. Phase One of the three-year projects are scheduled to take place from mid-May to mid-August within our church building. The following needs will be addressed within the church building renewal during the three months of the summer, from mid-May through mid-August:
MASSES BACK TO THE ORIGINAL CHURCH OF THE PARISH…THE PARISH HALL
Daily and weekend Masses will be celebrated in the original church of the parish…the parish hall…beginning on May 17th and will continue until mid-August. It is estimated that the church building projects will take a minimal three months to complete. In these three months, the regular weekly exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be located in the Choir Room in the southeast corner of the parish hall.
MARCH 10TH 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 10th. 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, will give a hands-on prayerful experience of reaching out to the most vulnerable among us, the homeless orphans at the orphanage.
Parishioner pilgrims will need to have a valid passport. The carpool/motorcade will depart from the parish parking lot after a 7:15am Mass on Saturday, March 10th returning by 8pmon that Saturday evening. Pilgrim 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 are asked to contact Rocio at the parish office at 747-1321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRAYING THE ‘JESUS PRAYER’ BY FR. JAMES MARTIN
In The Way of a Pilgrim, a 19th-century Russian spiritual classic, the words of St. Paul change a man’s life. An unnamed pilgrim encounters Paul’s advice to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17) and embarks on a quest to learn how. In time, he encounters a starets, or holy man, who teaches him the “Jesus Prayer.” The prayer has its roots in the fifth-century Desert Fathers, though it may be older. It is deceptively simple: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Some versions do not include the words “a sinner”.) One practice is to breathe in slowly as you pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” and then slowly exhale on the words, “have mercy on me, a sinner”.
The prayer can be used in at least two ways. First, as a quieting backdrop for prayer. You can repeat the words and let yourself enter into the presence of God, noticing what arises or simply enjoying being in God’s presence. For many people, the practice of using comforting words to quiet themselves can be a highly effective way to pray.
The second way to use the Jesus prayer is to focus on the meaning of each word and let it penetrate your soul. What does it mean to call Jesus “Lord”? (For some that carries negative connotations; for others it reminds them of Jesus’ power and majesty.) What does it mean for Jesus to have mercy on you? And how does the awareness of your sins influence your relationship with Jesus?
However you pray it, let this simple and ancient prayer carry you closer to Jesus’ mercy.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest and author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide, and In All Season, For all Reasons, a collection of his essays from Give Us this Day.
“KNOW YOUR STAFF”...MEET STEVE CONTRERAS: As I approach my three-year anniversary as the Parish Business Manager, I have to do a double-take at how God has blessed my family and me, and how He continues to move in my life. The wide spectrum of my previous undergraduate and graduate degrees in Management and Accounting & Controllership, along with my over 30 years of secular business experience in budgeting, cost and investment analysis, proposals, and project management have all come into focus in this new ministry. I’m so grateful for the love and support of my wife, Debbie, for over 33 years. We both are Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and have been Religious Education Catechists, and I continue to lector. Now as empty nesters, our four children are off living their own lives and doing their own thing. But we get to see our two grandchildren almost every day.
I’m humbled and thankful for the prayers, support and encouragement I receive from the whole parish and school. May God continue to bless all of you abundantly in every way.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY MASS SATURDAY, MARCH 17TH
The 8:30am Mass on Saturday, 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.
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL
Our parish is in the first weeks of the Annual Catholic Appeal. Our parish goal is $163,304. 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 in the past. With the spirit of generosity that is so typically alive in our parish, this year’s goal should be attainable hopefully by Easter time. Parishioners who have not yet responded are invited to return the completed pledge in the weekend collection.
SPECIAL HOLY WEEK & EASTER SCHEDULES
Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession:
Communal Penance - Sunday, March 25th at 7:30 PM
Tuesday, March 27th - after the 8:30 AM Mass, 4:00-5:00 PM and 7:00-8:00 PM
Wednesday, March 28th - after the 6:30 AM Mass, 4:00-5:00 PM, 6:00-6:25 PM, and 7:00-8:00 PM.
There will be no confession times on Holy Saturday, March 31st.
Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday 7:00 PM each evening.
Good Friday has Stations of the Cross at 2:30 PM and Proclamation of the Passion at 7:00 PM.
EASTER MASS SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, MARCH 31
7:00 PM-Easter Vigil Mass - All Priests - Combined Choirs
There is no 5:30 PM Mass
EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 1
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
10:45 AM-Parish Hall - Cantor
12:30 PM-Church - Jubilation
2:00 PM - Iglesia - Misa en Español - Matices
No Habra Misa de 4 PM en Español
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