Message from Father Jay – April 30, 2021

Feast (Optional Memorial) of St. Pius V, Pope

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings on this incredibly windy and allergy/asthma triggering day!  I hope this finds you all doing well in every way.

I had a meeting with Bp. Weisenburger a week ago today, and I want to share some important portions of that meeting with you.  No doubt, you have heard a rumor that St. Frances Cabrini Parish is closing.  Our bishop wants me to assure you that he has absolutely no intention of closing the parish.  I believe that perhaps there was some “conclusion jumping” around this issue that stems from my upcoming retirement.  He also wants me to assure you that you will not be without a priestly presence here after my departure.  He is working on a plan for that and is trying to make it as smooth a transition as possible.  Finally, Bishop Weisenburger said that nothing is really going to be done here at St. Frances Cabrini probably within the next six months.  When there are transitions that take place, they hardly ever move quickly because there is a ripple effect which impacts such transitions.  Know this: Bishop Weisenburger has been through these kinds of transitions before, and he certainly has our parish in his heart.  Someone said, “I hope he won’t do something silly.”  Trust me; Bishop Weisenburger doesn’t operate out of “silly.”  He will certainly be making decisions that will be for the best.

Connie Bracamonte, our parish business manager, and I attended a Zoom meeting yesterday regarding making our parish a one-time Covid-19 vaccination site.  The Pima County Health Department has observed that certain segments of our population are not getting vaccinated because they don’t have access to the internet or are unable to get to those big vaccination sites.  Many of the Catholic parishes in Tucson, therefore, were contacted to see if they would be willing to open their campuses as vaccination sites not only for parishioners but for anybody living within their parish boundaries.  I, of course, said we would certainly be willing to be such a site.  Therefore, this coming Monday, Connie will be meeting here at the parish with a man from PCHD who will do a site inspection to determine if we can be used for either a drive-through or an indoor vaccination site.  As soon as we get the details worked out, I will send out word via an email and will have the information posted on our parish website (www.cabrinitucson.org) as well.

I want to put another rumor to rest.  I was approached last weekend by someone who claimed an acquaintance had heard another pastor say they were sorry to announce  they would be losing the good services of Fr. Marty Barnum.  Did you follow all of that?  Well, when I asked him about this, it was as much a surprise to him as it was to me!  What the other pastor had actually announced was that a retired, seasonal priest who gives weekend coverage in that parish was returning to his home diocese for the spring and summer months.  His name is Fr. CHARLIE, not Fr. MARTY.  I guess they sound somewhat similar.  So, if you hear this one going around, just let it go, OK?  Fr. Marty is a permanent Arizonan!  Having said that, Fr. Marty won’t be with us this weekend as  he is helping out in another parish.  I will be at both of the Masses this Sunday.

Rather than give a reflection on this weekend’s Gospel reading, I am going to encourage you to do some personal reflection upon two things from that reading.  Please read John 15:1-8, and in particular dwell on two things: remaining in Him, and pruning.  What do those two things mean in the life of a Christian?  What is the personal price I must be willing for in order to “remain in Him?”  Also, what needs to be pruned from my life and why?  I’ve asked you to do a spiritual exercise like this before, and when I’ve done it, I’ve also asked you to then share what you wish of your reflections with me.  I always look forward to what you have gleaned from such reflections.  I’m already enjoying this exercise myself as I prepare for this weekend’s Masses, and I have no doubt you will find it fruitful as well.

As we continue in this Easter season, I hope that you are finding much to rejoice in.  More and more, I’m conscious of the fact that we are deep within the loving heart of our Resurrected Savior who always has our good at heart.  I treasure His first words to the community:

“Peace be with you.”

He is risen from the dead!  Alleluia! Alleluia!

Fr. Jay

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