Tucson, Ariz. — Three resounding knocks reverberated throughout the quiet interior of St. Augustine Cathedral. The door was opened by the cathedral’s rector, and Bishop Edward Weisenburger was invited into his new cathedral. The choir swelled with “Festival Alleluia” as Bishop Weisenburger made his way down the aisle of the cathedral to be installed as the seventh bishop of the Tucson Diocese Nov. 29. In his homily on the Gospel of John 15, Bishop Weisenburger highlighted the importance “ ‘It’s not you who chose me but I who chose you (Jn 15:16),’ ” Bishop Weisenburger continued to paraphrase Christ. “I don’t want you for a servant, I want you as a friend.” The focus of friendship is important, he said.
“He doesn’t want us for a slave or servant,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “What’s the motivation of a slave? Fear. What’s the motivation of a servant? Salary. “All through his Gospel, (Jesus) uses endearing examples. A friend will do anything for another friend because his motivation is love.” The difficulty for culture today, however, is that the phrase is too common. “We let it run in one ear and out the other. We don’t let it sink in,” Bishop Weisenburger said. “How incredible it is that the creator of the universe wants to be in a relationship with us as friends. Where everything that we do for him is done in love, just as everything he has done for us has been in love.”
The Installation Mass began with the Rite of Installation, with the reading of the Apostolic Mandate by Archbishop Christophe Pierre. Archbishop Pierre gave the mandate to Bishop Weisenburger, who showed it to the College of Consultors, the Chancellor, priests of the diocese and the congregation. Next, Bishop Weisenburger was led to the cathedra (the bishop’s chair) by Archbishop Pierre and Archbishop John Wester, of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Metropolitan. He was then handed the crozier (the pastoral staff) and became the main celebrant of the liturgy.
On Oct. 3, Bishop Weisenburger was announced as the replacement for Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who submitted his retirement in 2016 at the age of 75. Bishop Weisenburger honored his predecessor during his homily. “I cannot let the day pass without one final time saying thank you to that magnificent shepherd for 16 years poured out sacrificial love for us — Bishop Kicanas,” Weisenburger said, as the members of the overflowing cathedral gave the retired bishop a standing ovation. “Does it not feel good to say thank you when the thanks are so deserving?”
“Brothers and sisters, as I step into this new role, let it be one of holy friendship,” Bishop Weisenburger continued during his homily. “Let us be committed to this very true Biblical friendship with one another which will entail a loving relationship with God as well as a loving relationship with one another. “Let us be in friendship with all. For surely, that is the way love grows, the kingdom is built and the great Diocese of Tucson will step into its next age. Brothers and sisters, let the friendship begin.”
The night before the installation, Bishop Weisenburger gathered with priests and congregants to pray Solemn Vespers in the cathedral, including about a dozen priests from the Salina Diocese. Bishop Weisenburger took the opportunity to share with those gathered to share his belief about a bishop’s role in the church. “The bishop is a man ultimately of relationships,” he said. He pointed out the word “pontiff” is one that most apply to the pope as “supreme pontiff,” but the term “pontiff” actually means bridge builder.
Salina — The eight priest consultors of the Diocese of Salina elected Father Frank Coady to serve as diocesan administrator.
Father Coady, 67, is the director of three offices for the diocese: Office of Liturgy, Office of Deacons and Office of Lay Ministry Formation. He has been the pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Manhattan since 2015.
He was sworn in as diocesan administrator Dec. 1.
When the bishop’s office becomes vacant, the consultors are temporarily responsible for the governance of the diocese until they elect a diocesan administrator from among the priests of the diocese. The priests’ council is dissolved, and the power of the vicars general ceases.
The elected administrator is bound by the obligations and possesses the power of a diocesan bishop with a few exceptions. He cannot initiate new programs but oversees operations of the diocese with the assistance of the consultors.
Father Coady said he will work on the confirmation schedule, and assign priests to handle confirmation, as well as arrange the Rite of Election for those in the RCIA program.
“I’ll (also) have to arrange for a visiting bishop to do our ordinations next spring if we don’t have a bishop by then,” he said.
The consultors are: Msgr. James Hake, Msgr. Barry Brinkman, Father Keith Weber, Father Michael Elanjimattathil, Father Kerry Ninemire, Father Joseph Kieffer, Father Kevin Weber and Father Frank Coady.
Q: Why do Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
A: In discussing the Catholic belief of the Immaculate Conception, which we celebrate every year on Dec. 8 (a Holy Day of Obligation), we can start with something of an odd question: If you could create your own mother, would you make her just like everyone else? Or would you make her special and unique, possessing every good quality and having no flaw? Well, Jesus Christ is the only person ever who created his own mother. As God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, He existed before his mother and is the author of her existence and her creator. It’s within that context, and considering her unique mission as mother of the Messiah, that we believe God gave her unique privileges and graces. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This dogma was formulated and definitively pronounced by Blessed Pope Pius IX on Dec. 8, 1854. He taught, “that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.” Put more succinctly, we believe that Mary was free from all sin, both original and personal, from the very first moment of her existence and remained that way throughout her entire life. Put positively, this means that Mary was created in a state of sanctifying grace, similar to Adam and Eve before the fall.
We, on the other hand, are created in the state of original sin, which means we are initially deprived of sanctifying grace, which we ordinarily receive at Baptism. This was a unique privilege granted only to Mary, for she was given a unique role to play in God’s plan for our salvation. She is “full of grace,” as Gabriel said at the Annunciation, in a way that no one else ever has been.
Looking now at some of the reasons why we believe this, we can return to the initial question. It seems perfectly reasonable that Jesus, being all powerful, would protect his mother from the stain of sin and preserve her in God’s grace. He honored his mother in a way that only he could. We can see this hinted at in Genesis 3:15, where God says to the serpent (the devil), “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” The woman is the mother of the messiah, the one who will “crush the serpent’s head.” Jesus specifically calls Mary “woman” twice in the Gospels, at Cana and Calvary, drawing our attention to this early prophecy. This enmity means that she is totally opposed to the work of the devil, which is sin. Every time we sin, we are NOT at enmity with the devil, we’ve sided with him against God. But Mary has never been separated from God by sin; she has always been perfectly holy and in union with God.
Salina — The Catholic Community Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for the 2018 Bishop’s Fund.
Any Catholic entity with innovative ideas or projects within the Diocese of Salina is welcome to apply. The maximum amount of funding for each grant is $5,000. The Bishop and the board of the Catholic Community Foundation will review and determine grant awards at their December meeting. Funding will be available for the 2018 calendar year.
The application process is completely online at the diocesan website, salinadiocese.org. Click here to go to the "Grants" page. All applications are due Dec. 1, 2017.
“This is a helpful way for parishes, schools and ministries to access funding for a project that could not be funded in their annual budget,” said Beth Shearer, executive director of the foundation. “The board is delighted to make these innovative and new projects possible. This follows the original intent of the Bishop’s Fund. We are proud partners with our grantees in fulfilling their missions across our diocese. Together we are strengthening our Catholic community of faith.”
Last year, the Bishop’s Fund awarded $33,272 for various projects. Donors wanting to help the Bishop underwrite important projects established the Bishop’s Fund in 2008. Each year the diocese continues to receive donations to the Bishop’s Fund.
Applications are open to all parishes, Catholic schools and Catholic ministries within the diocese. The following are examples of grants that will be considered.
The Foundation will NOT consider grants to the following:
Inquiries CAN be directed to Shearer at (785) 827-8746, ext. 42, or beth.shearer@ salinadiocese.org.
By The Register
Salina — The Register, the newspaper of the Diocese of Salina, is delivered to all registered parishioners.
To be able to continue to do that, however, requires some help on their part.
Today’s issue includes a donation envelope. Every household is asked each year to donate $25, roughly the cost of printing and mailing the newspaper.
Until three years ago, The Register was mailed only to those who subscribed. In January 2014, the publication model changed, and the newspaper was sent to every household registered with a parish in the diocese.
To accommodate the increased printing and mailing costs — from 5,500 to about 17,500 copies — the decision was made to reduce publication from weekly to twice monthly — on the second and fourth Fridays.
Instead of selling subscriptions, The Register would seek a $25 donation from each family to underwrite the additional costs.
In addition to each household receiving the newspaper, each Register edition also is available online at salinadiocese.org/the-register.