Updates from Fr. JP

Greetings Newman Community!

I hope my note finds you well as we officially enter this first day of summer. Our semester has ended, and another class of students has graduated and is moving into a wider world! Even in this pandemic we have remained active at Newman! Masses, sacraments, appointments, and much that needs our attention, continues on, as we remain faithful to our mission “to be transformed through an encounter with the Spirit of Truth and the Love of God”(The living Christ).

Since the middle of May we have opened our weekend Masses to the public with updated guidance from the Diocese. Our Saturday Vigil Mass still has the Covid-19 protocols in place. But, our Sunday masses have lifted them, and people are welcome to come. As a pastoral staff we gathered to evaluate the past year, and to plan the next. It was a deep and helpful experience for us to be reflective and to learn how to continue to do things better according to our mission statement at Newman, and hearing your feedback as it comes in through a number of different mediums and communities.

Summer is always a wonderful opportunity for us to slow down and to be more intentional with our planning, outreach, appointments, and renewal as a staff. The summer will have some changes and additions to our staff. As you have heard Sr. Mary V will be moving to be the administrator of the Motherhouse of the Mission San Jose Dominican Sisters in Fremont, California. Sr. Lynn Allvin, an Oakford Dominican, will be joining our staff, and will arrive in September. Sr. Eileen Hinsberger, another Mission San Jose Dominican Sister, will be joining Sr. Angelica; and Sr. Fatima Morales, will be joining them/us for the year, as a part of her non-canonical novitiate. The friars will be receiving Br. Diego Maria Carrasco, one of our seminarians, for his residency year at the St.
Thomas More Newman Center.

So, as you can see we’re going to be a full house, and will need to move up our
Dominican Common Room expansion project sooner, which will cost us an additional 300,000 dollars to what has already come in quietly. So, we’ll be starting efforts to make this happen, and any financial support will be greatly appreciated! We’re bursting at the seams with Dominicans and need to desperately update our living situation.

Lastly, Tom Booth will be making a transition from Music Director to our ‘Pastoral Liturgical Music Artist in Residence’. Tom will continue to assist and support the Newman Center music ministry and mission, and will also have more time for his full-time position with Oregon Catholic Press, and his family. He is happy to remain at
Newman and to support Nathan Payne, our new Music Director, and the music ministry at St. Thomas More.

We are excited to welcome Nathan Payne, who is studying musical composition in the School of Music here at the University of Arizona. Nathan and his wife Natalie (also of graduate student at UofA) have been faithful members of the music ministry at the Newman Center for the last two years.

The fall will bring a number of changes as the University of Arizona and many colleges around the nation are planning to open their doors to a new COVID-19 vaccination culture, and all that this will mean. We need to be charitable and courageous as we move into these new waters. May the power of a useful fear/holy fear…. shine light, peace, and perspective on our steps forward….

As Jesus was requested to heal the daughter of Jairus he did not hesitate… but continued to move into faith.. despite being needed by the apostles, disciples, the pressing crowds, and the touch of a woman who had been in deep need of healing for many years….

Jesus continued to allow healthy fear and grounded faith to support….. to heal, and empower him forward…. to be of good use wherever he was needed.

Jesus in today’s Gospel continues to walk towards his mission…. to heal and restore, and to ‘put out’ whatever is contrary to faith, hope, and love. It is ‘these hands’ that take away the sins of the world, and that bid the young to arise” eat, and rejoin life and community. “Fear is useless what is needed is trust” Amen!