It’s boundary time again.
Year’s end…a measure of time completing.
The old calendar comes down,
the new calendar goes up.
The boundary line between new and old, night and day
is so often blurred, indistinct, and undefinable.
The calendar of life
is full of boundaries and borderlands.
…Births and birthdays, deaths and anniversaries
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time.
Halloween, All Saints and All Souls.
Life is lived on boundaries,
neither here nor there but everywhere.
It is so many borderlands at once.
It is of time in the mirror of eternity.
The endless dichotomies of life,
…the sacred and the secular,
the religious and political,
Love, compassion, anger, hatred and forgiveness.
There is a forever movement across boundaries.
From the borderland of the divine to the human
…the human to the divine and darkness to light.
Yes, across all boundaries to infinity,
transcendence and eternal day.
Tomas õ Cathalãin
WELCOME TO 2017:
May we continue to be open to the companionship of the Lord in all our activities during this New Year. May the Lord bless our church, our country, our world through all the opportunities and daunting needs and challenges confronting us.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2017…?
A new president, possibly a new bishop, an old pastor, and three Rs! I quote Bishop Kicanas in a recent communication to the diocese on faithful citizenship and our new President. I find it timely, appropriate and challenging:
Faithful Citizenship & A New President
Our country certainly had a roller coaster ride of emotions following the presidential elections. I will not dwell on the outcome or on who won or lost, because I believe now is the time for us to very much practice Faithful Citizenship.
In the October edition of our Catholic newspaper, The New Vision, I published a column about Faithful Citizenship before the election. I will repeat some of it here today, because it is relevant to where we Americans now find ourselves as citizens.
No political party in place today endorses the full range of moral issues important to us as Catholics…
Among the moral issues important to us as people of faith are:
Now, we ask that the Spirit guide President-elect Donald Trump and all those elected to office this past week. May they be leaders who hold up our highest ideals as a nation, fostering unity and working diligently for the dignity and respect due to all life.
As we pray for our leaders I urge all of us to remain active and involved in the care of our common home and our country. Our leaders act in our name. Consider how you might stay engaged as Americans and faithful citizens.
A NEW BISHOP THIS YEAR???
Bishop Kicanas also communicated the following recently…
“As you may know, I submitted my letter of resignation to the Holy Father when I reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. I am the bishop of this diocese until a new bishop is found. While I am still here working, though, let us all pray for the successful selection of a new bishop.”
Prayer to Holy Spirit in Preparation for Appointment of our Seventh Bishop:
Holy Spirit come down with your wisdom and counsel to guide our Holy Father Francis in his appointment of the seventh bishop to serve the Diocese of Tucson.
May our new bishop be a true shepherd who deeply loves his people and serves them faithfully.
May he be someone who shows mercy to those who struggle and kindness to all.
May he be a missionary who gives witness to what it means to be a disciple of Christ. May he have a love for the unborn, for the poor, the sick, the migrant, those homeless or in prison.
May he be a collaborative coworker serving alongside our priests, religious, deacons and laity who make up the Body of Christ.
Holy Spirit come down to enrich our diocese with a new pastor who knows what it means to serve, who will inspire all of us to care for one another, to support each other and to send us out to invite others to come to know the Lord.
Holy Spirit, come down to give us a bishop who listens, who leads and who lives faith. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
THE OLD PASTOR CONTINUES:
On January 5th, I will have completed 36 years as pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish. The following letter is my response to recent communications between Bishop Kicanas and myself regarding my year by year appointment as pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows since passing the 75 year milestone:
Dear Bishop Kicanas,
Thank you for your communication of November 22nd regarding my re-appointment as Pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows. I am grateful for your support and affirmation of the one-year term in my regard since my 75th birthday. After prayerful reflection, I am open to continue the one-year term going forward. I am most grateful to God for the continuing sense of call, good energy and motivation to serve on the one-year term basis. I note the following with deep gratitude from your letter, “…I am certainly open for your request for an additional year as pastor/administrator”. I am hoping that the higher authority dealing with your retirement will be as gracious to you as you have been to me.
THREE R’s PRAYER AND THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN:
Our deepest gratitude to the following parishioners who have who said ‘Yes’ to serve on the Executive Committee of the Capital Funds Campaign which will be conducted in the early months of 2017. The campaign will address some critical needs within our church and parish and school campus in anticipation of the 60th anniversary year of the parish beginning on May 10, 2018. Detailed information on the campaign will be available to all parishioners and school parents in the next several weeks. Again, our thanks to the following who have said ‘Yes’ to serve on the Executive Committee: Co-chairs George Gewehr & R.J. Saavedra, Ed Ackerley, Nancy Arce, Robert & April Baltierrez, Paul & Brenda Carrillo, Pam Coonan & Keiron Bailey, Anthony & Madeleine Crespo, Janice Price Davis, Steve & Marifi English, Jean Fedigan, Virgil & Dolores Knox, José & Jeannete Merino, Daniel & Jenine Moss, Jack & Cindy Nisbet, Adam & Nicole Pelan, Alicia Reyes, Saul & Tracy Rodolfo, Aida & Randy Samuel, Don & Evelyn Wahl.
All parishioners and school parents are invited to pray the following prayer for God’s blessings on our anticipatory efforts towards the 60th anniversary of the parish. Its theme is…Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ.
Three R’s Prayer:
Loving and merciful God, your Word proclaims – “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it”. Thanks for your guiding hand and abundant blessings on the mission, growth and development of Our Mother of Sorrows parish faith community and school.
Lead us to prayerfully Remember, Renew and Rediscover Jesus Christ in all that we are and do. Pour out your Spirit anew upon this community of faith. Bless and renew your people and our campus and buildings – launching pads for encountering Jesus Christ in Word, community, Sacrament and loving service.
Open our hearts to be generous in renewing of our campus for rediscovering Jesus Christ and His mission, ministry and way of loving service. Lest we labor in vain, we entrust our capital campaign and all our efforts to Jesus through Mary, His Mother – our Patroness – Our Mother of Sorrows. Amen.
PRAYING AS PRIEST, PROPHET, AND KING BY FR. JAMES MARTIN, SJ:
You probably have seen the phrase “by virtue of your baptism.” This means that baptism confers on us certain graces and privileges, one of which is participation in the “threefold office” of Jesus – priest, prophet, and king. Jesus served as “priest” since he offered himself as a sacrifice to the Father and serves as a mediator between us and the Father. Clearly he was a “prophet” in all he said and did on earth. And he is a “king” who said he came not to be served but to serve – a servant leader.
How might this threefold ministry influence us? First, if we are praying, we are carrying out a “priestly” ministry. The daily sacrifices we make for others are prayers in action. Like Jesus the High Priest, we also offer our lives to God and invite others into a relationship with God. Second, while we are not called to preach the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus the Prophet did, we are all called to lead prophetic lives. We might do this by speaking out for the voiceless or by challenging unethical practices in the workplace. Finally, while few (none) of us are members of a royal family, we are called to exercise leadership both in the Church and in the world. We do so not by lording our authority over others but by serving them and helping them grow - empowering them to become leaders in their own way.
So one suggestion for prayer is to ask: Where have I exercised these roles in the past? Where am I now exercising them? And where can I exercise them in new places? Because you are indeed called to be priest, prophet, and king. By virtue of your baptism.
James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America, and author of many books, including Jesus: A Pilgrimage, Seven Last Words, and The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
ADULT FAITH WINTER CALENDAR COMING OUT SOON:
The Adult Faith Calendar for Winter/Spring is coming out on January 8 in the Sunday Bulletin. At Our Mother of Sorrows Parish we take seriously the formation and continuing growth of our parishioners, by offering enrichment programs to help you grow in mind, heart, spirit, and body. Here’s a preview of new offerings:
Mary Chajewski, Adult Faith Formation
WILL YOU ANSWER THE CALL TO HOSPITAL MINISTRY?
Our Mother of Sorrows Hospital Ministry serves the patients and their families at University Banner Hospital-South located at 2800 E. Ajo Way. We are always looking for individuals to join our Eucharistic Ministry team at the hospital. The team of Extraordinary Ministers are at the hospital every Tuesday and Thursday distributing Communion. Next training classes for new EMEs will be Tuesday and Wednesday, March 21 & 22, 2017. Please contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-3613.
Patsy Klein, Pastoral Care Coordinator
EPIPHANY PARTY ON JANUARY 7TH:
This year our parish Epiphany party will again be observed on the weekend near to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The annual Epiphany dinner and dance party recognizes all in our parish who are truly living out their Baptismal call in the 60 to 70 ministries active in our parish. Our parish continues to place a special emphasis on the call of the Baptized to active ministry in the ministry of everyday life and in the servant leadership ministries of our parish. We are trying to move away from the culture around the word “volunteer” and the associations that the word “volunteer” evokes. Through our Baptism and Confirmation, all of us have received the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit empowering us to give witness to the Lord in the ministry of our everyday lives and in the servant ministries of the parish.
JANUARY 21ST MARCH FOR LIFE:
The annual March for Life will take place Saturday, January 21st beginning at 9am with Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral. The Tucson March for Life gathers at St. Augustine Cathedral and proceeds to Holy Hope Cemetery where a special prayer service at the "Statue of Rachel" will conclude the march. For more information contact the Diocese at 792-3410.
Respect Life Prayer:
God our Creator, we give thanks to you, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb; grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
ANGEL TREE AMAZING TOTALS:
Through the generosity of our parishioners we received the following donations:
Angel Cause Amount
White Haiti $ 830
Yellow Blessed Nuno gift cards (misc.) $ 875
Blue Merilac Lodge gift cards $ 390
Blue Merilac/Reachout Women’s Center $2,594
Purple CCS - Refugees $ 392
Green Sr. Jose Women's Shelter, TIHAN,
Casa Maria, Poverello House, Primavera,
Stand Up for Kids $3,273
Red SVDP & Project Outreach $5,607
In total we received about $13,961 in cash, gift cards and gifts. Thank you to all our parishioners who befriended the angels and made the Angel Tree a success through their prayers and donations.
FRONT OFFICE RECEPTION MINISTERS NEEDED:
Do you like helping people? Are you one of those person’s with too much time on your hands? Can you spare 6 hours on a Sunday morning once a month? We are in need of additional loving ministers to help in the parish office on Sunday mornings. Please call Cindy Phillips in the parish office at 747-1321 for further information.
MID-YEAR FY16/17 PARISH INCOME REPORT:
As we reach the end of 2016 and the halfway point of the fiscal year, thanks to all our parishioners for their faithfulness and generosity in stewardship and outreach to the ministries at Our Mother of Sorrows and our community at large. Indeed, we are all blessed! As of December 25th, our weekly average stewardship is $20,119, which is 6% above our budget of $19,000, but 1% behind last year at this point. Our “Yes, Lord” campaign cumulative pledge values are 6% higher than last year, despite a decrease in the number of pledges. Seventeen new families have signed up for EFT and combined with ongoing EFT families who have increased their gifts, the overall monthly value has increased 9%. Thank you again, and may God continue to bless you.
Steve Contreras, Business Manager
January Update - 2017
“We are all sinners loved by God” Pope Francis
(Parish Pastoral Theme)
“Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more” Jesus
“Without me (Jesus), you can do nothing”