Saturday, January 26, 2008

Journey to Justice Day - TODAY!

The new JUSTFAITH groups will have their "Journey to Justice Day" at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish on January 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00. It is an excellent time for all JUSTFAITH members to come together in unity and get to know one another and the new groups. The day will be a wonderful day involving dialogue and sharing with Native Americans and learning about the barriers they have had to overcome.

DIRECTIONS: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish is located at: 507 W. 29th Street. The Church is located on the south side of the street and is blue in color.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Faith Works Newsletter

The January - March 2008 Issue of the FAITH WORKS Newsletter is now available HERE

Faith Works is a quarterly newsletter produced by recent JustFaith graduates in conjunction with Our Mother of Sorrows parish. The newsletter features short personal reflections on a different theme of Catholic Social Teaching each month.

The current issue includes pieces by: Barbara Padilla on Fair Trade (Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers); Charolette Speers on a day in the life of a Casa Maria worker (Option for the Poor and Vulnerable); and Jean Fedigan on prayer and the practice of Catholic Social Teaching in our everyday lives (Call to Family, Community and Participation in Society).

The issue opens with a short piece on "The Consistent Ethic if Life" to highlight January as Respect Life Month and concludes with "pointer" links to relevant websites.

NOTE: A link to both current and previous issues of the Faith Works Newsletter can be found on this blog in the sidebar under ->-> Local Links & Resources

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This week: Two Casa Maria Housing Coalition Meetings

The Casa Maria Housing Coalition is involved in advocating for affordable housing and responsible downtown development. You can show your support and learn more to help with advocacy at two important meetings this week:

TUESDAY January 22 @ 5:00 pm
Casa Maria Housing Coalition meeting at Casa Maria with guest Councilwoman Regina Romero. Casa Maria location: Map

THURSDAY January 24 @ 5:00 pm
Rio Nuevo Subcommittee meeting at the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 255 W. Alameda, 1st Floor. City Hall location map. On the agenda [pdf] is a presentation on Affordable and Workforce Housing. Contact Brian Flagg for more details, 624-0312.

[NOTE: For some background on issues related to homelessness, here's a 2001 article from the Tucson Weekly on the topic: "Shelter Skelter" by D.A. Barber ]

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Announcing: a new program on God's Creation & Climate Change

At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both “the human environment” and the natural environment.

US Bishops 2001 Statement on: Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good

An 8-week program on God's Creation Cries for Justice—Climate Change: Impact and Response will be offered on Thursday evenings in the Diocese of Tucson, beginning February 28th. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Environmental Justice Program, JustFaith, and the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and is based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. JustFaith graduates are particularly invited to participate, but the program is open to any interested persons who are willing to commit to the 8-week session. The program will be facilitated by JustFaith graduates from Our Mother of Sorrows and St. Pius X parishes, including UA experts on climate change and the environment.

Topics will include: Catholic teaching on the environment, the science of climate change, environmental justice and the poor, faith-based responses, and practical actions. Sessions will be held on Thursday evenings at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish from 6:30 - 9:00 pm. Dates are: Feb 28; Mar 6, 13, 27; Apr 3, 10; and May 1 with an “immersion experience” field trip on Saturday Apr 26.

For more details and to inquire about registering, contact Katie Hirschboeck at

Registration may be limited to keep the size of the group manageable.

NOTE: ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE POSTED SOON ON THIS BLOG UNDER Catholic Social Teaching (CST) Theme #7: Care for Creation.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

JUSTFAITH Participants -- Two Important Events Coming Up!

THIS WEEK: Friday Jan 18th

Some of you may be going to the SW Liturgy Conference during the week of January 14 – 19th here in Tucson. Jeff Korgan, Director of Social Ministries at The National Pastoral Life Center in New York City will be one of the guest speakers. He has worked in Catholic social justice education and action, community organizing, interfaith relations and youth ministry. He is author of “Solidarity Will Transform the World.” (An earlier blog post on Jeff's book can be found HERE.)

Joanne Welter has arranged to have Jeff meet with all JUSTFAITH participants (current groups & graduates) at 5:45 to 6:45 on the 18th of January at the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Life Center.

(RSVP your attendance to Joanne Welter. You may park in the St. Augustine Cathedral parking lot. Just walk down Church Street to the Diocesan Pastoral Center at 111 S. Church)

NEXT WEEK: Saturday Jan 26th

The new JUSTFAITH groups will have their "Journey to Justice Day" at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish on January 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00. It is an excellent time for all JUSTFAITH members to come together in unity and get to know one another and the new groups. The day will be a wonderful day involving dialogue and sharing with Native Americans and learning about the barriers they have had to overcome.
DIRECTIONS: the parish is located at: 507 W 29th St

Please check your calendars and RSVP to Jean Fedigan as soon as possible about the Journey to Justice Day. She wants to provide refreshments and needs a good count.

AZ Bishops: "Humane immigration reform needed"

This past Sunday on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted published a guest opinion piece titled "Humane immigration reform needed" in the Arizona Star.

In their piece the bishops referred back to their December 2005 "You Welcomed Me" [pdf] pastoral letter to Catholics in our dioceses in which they expressed concerns about "the tragic deaths of migrants in our desert, the growing fear felt by citizens and non-citizens in our state and the increasingly hateful and hostile rhetoric in our state and nation about immigration" and stated that "such rhetoric is not characteristic of our state and the good people who live here."

In their new opinion piece, they then expressed their concern "that recent state and local actions, such as the state employer sanctions law that just went into effect, are not solutions, but may make matters worse. "

They close by saying: "Echoing our 2005 pastoral letter, we again commit ourselves to work with others in our state for a comprehensive solution at the federal level that protects the rights and dignity of immigrants among us, that strengthens our communities, that protects our borders and makes us safer as a nation, that enriches our faith communities and that builds on the great immigrant heritage of which we Arizonans are rightly proud. "

CLICK HERE for a complete copy of the January 6th opinion piece in PDF form.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's not too late to register for The Southwest Liturgical Conference

COMING SOON! Register now if you haven't done so already!

"Eucharist and Justice: Walking in Charity and Peace" will be the theme for the Southwest Liturgy Conference 2008 Study Week, which will be held in Tucson on January 16-19th, 2008 at the Hotel Arizona.

Here is a description of the conference theme:

We will examine more closely the relationship of our participation in the Eucharist and the Catholic Social teachings of the Church. How is our Eucharistic life exemplified in our daily living? Are we bringing forth the kingdom of justice, of love and of peace called for by Jesus in the Gospels? Our speakers, Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Sister Sarah Ann Sharkey, O.P., Most Reverend Wilton Gregory, Dr. Maxwell Johnson and more will help us explore this topic. Workshops will be provided for the on-going formation of clergy and lay liturgical ministers, catechists and Catholic School teachers as they foster good liturgy in the communities they serve.

To register, go to the SWLC website and click on Online Study Week Registration. At the SWLC website there is also a downloadable [pdf] brochure with program.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI's World Day of Peace Message

January 1, 2008 -- Pope Benedict XVI's 2008 World Day of Peace Message is titled "THE HUMAN FAMILY, A COMMUNITY OF PEACE" CLICK HERE to read the entire message, which is posted at the Vatican website:

A short description of the Pope's message is posted at the Center of Concern's Education for Justice site:

In his January 1, 2008 World Day of Peace Message, Pope Benedict XVI focuses on several main topics, including the challenges of relativism, global citizenship and the family, environmental stewardship, the call for disarmament and the need to fight poverty.

The "Education for Justice" (EFJ) site of the Center of Concern (CoC) provides a 2-page summary of the Pope's message, along with a Prayer for Peace. The EFJ site contains many other resources for education on Peace and Justice issues.

(NOTE: a membership is required for access to many of the EFJ materials. A Free Trial is available. Click here for more information about the EFJ site, membership, and the free trial.)