Bulletin Letter from August 22

Dear Friends,

As we begin a new academic year, it is my pleasure to welcome all the members of the University Community back from Summer recess.  It has been a real joy this week to greet returning students and to hear of their Summer adventures and share mine.  Receiving new students and their families is also great fun during these days.  Once again this year, our student leaders have been busy during move-in days passing out cold bottled water to the throngs of students moving into the residence halls on these scorching Arizona summer days.  Besides the obvious public service, each bottle has a label with our Mass schedule and a list of Welcome Week events.  This activity each year is an invaluable opportunity to make first contact with many students.

The one constant during the Summer of 2011 has been CHANGE.  The most obvious changes are visible in the Church itself.  In May, I introduced a mini-capital campaign to raise money to complete a number of much needed repairs and renovations to our physical plant.  I asked that in celebration of our 85th anniversary, we raise the rest from outside funding sources.  Over the summer, we raised more than half of that amount and were able to start the work.  The interior of the Church was painted, the church has been recarpeted, the size of the sanctuary was reduced making room to restore an additional pew to each side of the Church.  Several trees around the property were removed or trimmed, and the Wildcat Lounge (downstairs) was repainted and re-carpeted.  We are particularly proud of the warmth that was created by the color changes in the Chapel.  Our worship space has indeed been beautified to the Glory of God.  there are more details about the “85 for 85” Campaign on the inside back cover of the bulletin.

The other big changes are personnel: David Mares, a 2011 graduate of the University of Arizona and a very active member of Newman’s Student leadership teams, joined the staff as our Campus Ministry Intern in June.  David is well known to our community and brings a plethora of talents and gifts that he is eager to share with you.  We are blessed by his decision to remain in Tucson and continue ministering in our Community.

In the spring, the Newman Center was awarded two grants that have made it possible for us to expand our commitment to Social Justice Ministries.  To that end, I was able to offer the newly created position of Social Justice Coordinator to Sr. Angelica Velez, OP.  Sr. Angelica arrived last week and is settling into her new role here in Tucson.  Additionally, we found out over the summer that our request for an additional Dominican Friar in our community was granted after Fr. Donald requested to reduce his hours (largely for health related reasons).  Our new associate, Fr. Jacek Buda, OP will arrive in September.  He is a member of the Polish Dominican Province but has been ministering at American Universities for nearly a decade.  We look forward to his arrival.

Each Staff change brings adjustments and two changes at that level of leadership in any organization requires a great deal of creative reorganization.  Once again, adjustments are made, responsibilities reorganized, and patience is called for.  In the meantime, Sr. Elizabeth, Fr. Donald, and I welcome Fr. Jacek, Sr. Angelica, and David to the amazing adventure that is Newman.

I look forward to another great year.


Peace and blessings,

Fr. Bart Hutcherson, OP

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