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