Services to commemorate 1st anniversary of tragedy
Various faith communities will join together for a public Interfaith Service to mark the first anniversary of the tragic Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson that took six lives and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The service, with the theme “We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe,” will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, at St. Augustine Cathedral. Music, readings, visual imagery and silent reflection will be included in the service, which is open to the public.
“It is important that we remember those who died and were wounded in that tragic event,” said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, who will not be in attendance at the service.
“I regret that I will not be able to participate in the service since I will be in Egypt and the Holy Land representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the annual Coordination of Episcopal Conferences for the Church in the Holy Land,” the Bishop said. “I am so pleased that the event will be held at our Cathedral.”
Two additional community events of remembrance are being planned for later in the day.
At 3 p.m., at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall, there will be music and memorial presentations, and at 6 p.m. the university will hold a candlelight vigil for those who died in the tragedy a year ago.
‘March for Life’ set for Jan. 21
As they have annually since 1993, marchers will take to the streets of Tucson on Jan. 21 in a testimony to life.
The Tucson March for Life, which coincides with the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalizing abortion in the case of Roe v. Wade, will begin at St. Augustine Cathedral and proceed to Holy Hope Cemetery.
Before the march, a Mass will be offered by Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas at the Cathedral at 9 a.m., and a non-denominational service will be held at nearby Tucson Community Center.
At the end of the march, participants will rally at the cemetery at 12:30 for a multi-faith Rose Ceremony at the statue of Rachel.
Tucson March for Life describes the march as “a public event to show the Tucson community our commitment to the protection of all human life, especially women and their unborn children.”
For the re-dedication of St. Augustine Cathedral last February, 12 locations were selected for the anointing, with the Diocese’s Vicars Forane and Vicars General standing at the places of anointing while Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas and Father Gonzalo Villegas, Cathedral rector, anointed each location.
Now, those places of anointing are marked by bronze crosses, installed last month. A holder for a candle is attached to the base of each cross. The candles will be lighted on special occasions.
There are two crosses in the front at the entrance of the sanctuary, two at the apse near the choir and the baptistery, two in the rear beside the main door and three on each wall near the Old Testament images.
The crosses were crafted by Rory McCarthy Design Studio of Tucson and given as a gift by Father John Lyons, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, and the people of St. Thomas, as a tribute to their beloved pastor emeritus, Msgr. Todd O’Leary.
‘End of life’ program
David A. Lichter, executive director of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, will be the presenter at a program titled “Respecting Diverse Religious Traditions at End of Life” on Feb. 9 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson.
The day-long program will offer perspectives on the major religious traditions’ understanding of the end of human life, including Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity-Catholicism.
Cost for the day is $45 and includes lunch and refreshments. The program offers five hours of continuing education.
For more information or to register, contact Cheryl Wilson-Weiss at Carondelet Health Network at 520-872-7523
Students explore ‘other side’
San Miguel High School students are further expanding their perspectives and impact through El Otro Lado, a five-day immersion program that connects students to the challenges immigrants face crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
The program explores “the other side” of the line that divides nations—the lives of citizens in Mexico and the perspectives of immigrants who travel north.
El Otro Lado was the focus of a presentation by San Miguel Spanish teacher Alma Mejia-Garcia and Campus Minister Jerry Meyer at the recent 2011 Huether Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference, a yearly assembly of Lasallian educators, offers an opportunity for participants to share and discuss current issues and themes in education, and to recognize one Distinguished Lasallian Educator of the Year in each District.
“Most Catholic schools don’t serve the poor,” said Mejia-Garcia, who coordinates El Otro Lado. “However, because of Cristo Rey, we can. Now, we need to pay attention to student needs and find new, creative ways to empower our students. El Otro Lado does that.”
Students from different schools meet in Tucson and develop relationships with one another through classes and activities. They attend presentations by members of Tucson’s immigration awareness community and the U.S. Border Patrol, clear belongings and refuse from migrant trails, see deportation hearings, and work with the Kino Border Initiative to fulfill the basic needs of persons recently deported.
“People are fascinated by what our kids can do,” said Jerry Meyer, campus minister. “The fact that they take AP classes, go to school from August to May and attend college on poverty-level incomes inspires people.”
For those who want to learn more about the Search for Christian Maturity Retreat, and deepen their faith, another weekend is planned for Feb. 4-5 at St. Odilia Parish in Tucson.
Organizers promise “a lot of fun” at the event.
For more information, contact Bridgette Gomez-Munoz at 520-795-2977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Julie Machen at 520-250-1299 or email email@example.com.
Retreats for women
Vine of Grace Retreat Ministry will offer two retreats for women this month – on Jan. 20 at St. Augustine Cathedral and on Jan. 27-28 at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson. Register online at www.vineofgrace.org or call 520-631-1408.