Masks required effective 8/7

Note from Bishop Weisenburger:

Dear Friends,
I received the letter below, slightly edited for the writer’s privacy, from
a concerned father who is also a medical doctor (pediatrician). His
message to me is about our current Covid 19 situation and his family. I
pass it along for your consideration:

Dear Bishop:
I am (an active Catholic and) father of 2 children and a general
pediatrician. I was a Catholic school teacher for 6 years before entering

I was at Mass this morning … and noted something quite particular. Of
the 6 families with children that I could see, 5 of those families were
wearing masks (parents as well as the non-infant children). That was in
stark contrast to the rest of the worshipers where only about 25% were
wearing masks. … My wife and I are vaccinated but my children, like the
children in the 5 other families that I could see, cannot be vaccinated. I
did not feel comfortable for my children in this setting.

There is some emerging data (currently moving from anecdotal to
stronger evidence) that the delta variant is affecting children and
infants much more than the original COVID-19 strain. I’ve heard this
locally from my colleagues who care for hospitalized children and read
published observations from pediatricians outside of Tucson.

Because of this, I ask you to consider taking the following actions:

  1. Ask Mass attendees directly to wear masks while giving the reason
    that we need to make Mass attendance safe for those who cannot be
    vaccinated at this time (children).
  2. Ask priests and deacons celebrating Mass as well as those
    participating in the Mass to wear masks when not speaking. This would
    serve as an example for parishioners in attendance.
  3. Continue to encourage vaccination for those eligible as you are
    Thank you for your time and consideration of my suggestions.
  4. A Catholic Father and Pediatrician

    What I recommend is what this young doctor and father urges you to

    1.Directly ask Mass attendees to wear masks while giving the reason
    that we need to make Mass attendance safe for those who cannot be
    vaccinated at this time (children).
    2.Ask priests and deacons celebrating Mass as well as those
    participating in the Mass to wear masks when not speaking to serve as
    an example for parishioners in attendance.
    3.Continue to encourage vaccination for those eligible as you are doing.
    4.Due to the growing risk for unvaccinated parents, children, in general
    families with small children are hereby dispensed from the Sunday Mass
    obligation until further notice. As circumstances related to Covid
    protocols may vary from place to place, it is entirely at the discretion of
    parents as to whether or not they conclude that it is best to bring small
    children to Mass or to spend special prayer time with them at home on

    May God bless you and keep you safe!
    +Edward J. Weisenburger

    Read the full message here

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!

Latest Message from the Bishop 6/4/21

As of July 1, 2021, the general dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation for the general public will cease.  However, the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation remains in place for those at serious medical risk. Serious medical risk refers primarily to those with a chronic health condition, those providing direct care for the vulnerably ill, or those with a compromised immune system or other health condition that leaves them unable to be vaccinated.   Read the full statement at The New Outlook

COVID-19 Protocol Changes Effective 5/22/21

The bishop has updated guidance based on CDC recommendations issued this past week: starting May 22nd/23rd, Newman will be designating the Saturday 5:15PM Vigil Mass as the COVID-19 Protocols liturgy with social distancing and masks still in effect.

A reminder that masks will still be required at all of our liturgies for those not fully vaccinated. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible to bring a
faster end to this pandemic. Entrance to the chapel will still be done through the North and South Doors that we’ve been using the past several months. Thanks for your continued patience with us, patience with one another, and of course your prayers. More to come after our Staff Planning Days.

Dear Faithful Catholic:

As you probably are aware, the CDC has announced that facemasks and social distancing are no longer required at indoor events for those who have been fully vaccinated. This is great news! However, in charity we must recall those who cannot be vaccinated or fear the possible transmission of the Covid-19 virus to vulnerable family members. Indeed, charity and understanding remain the hallmarks of the true followers of Jesus Christ. For this reason I am asking each pastor to provide one weekend Mass that keeps the full protocols in place. All remaining weekend Masses will resume without requiring facemasks or social distancing.

This change in protocols will begin on the weekend of Pentecost (May 22/23). If you prefer a Mass without protocols then I urge you to check your parish web site which will show which weekend Mass retains the protocols and the remaining weekend Masses which will be celebrated without protocols.

As we move forward let us not forget those whose lives were lost, those who were gravely impacted by the Coronavirus, or the vulnerable who walk with us still.

May God bless you abundantly,
+Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger

Welcome Fr. Pius

I am grateful that I was born to the loving parents who practiced their faith. The earliest memory that I have is in Seoul, S. Korea in an ornate chapel worshiping the Lord. My older brother and l both attended a private Catholic school. The subjects that I excelled in the most were mathematics and music. In addition, I enjoyed extracurricular activities such as ice skating and playing soccer.

When I was nine, my family moved to Orange County, CA where we continued to be involved in the life of a parish. My older brother and I enrolled in a public-school system which took on a different pace and structure to that of a Catholic school. It was also a period when my younger brother was born: I had become a middle child.

Throughout middle and high school, I was heavily interested in electronics. I had a desire to learn about sound programs and how sound systems worked. In addition, I started attending live concerts. Sounds in general were fascinating. This persisting interest encouraged me to pursue a major in music technology at the New York University.

In college, I had a strong inclination to stop practicing the faith. Busy with classes and internships, I lost interest in God and the Church. Upon an invitation to a friend to St. Joseph’s in Greenwich Village, the campus parish of NYU, I encountered the men in white habit who were known as the Dominicans. Before this period, I had never encountered priests who were
competent yet so personable. And I was sold by their preaching.

It was through a particular friar by the name of John McGuire, OP that I began to think about the priesthood. I had considered it a few times in the past, but the call seemed to be stronger this time around. To my amazement, I was praying the divine office, and I started attending daily Mass. I was on fire.

Upon graduation without thinking much of the details, I joined the Diocese of Orange to be closer to my parents and to answer the call to the priesthood. After spending three years in the diocese, however, I realized that I did not have a call to the Diocesan way of living. I strongly wanted a Dominican life: a strong zeal for preaching by the way of community and contemplation.

Eventually, with prayer and direction, I made the decision to leave the diocese and to become a Dominican in the western Province.

I have been very happy to be a part of this Province and the worldwide Order. In April of 2017, I made solemn profession, and in June of 2018, I was ordained to the priesthood.

My first assignment as a newly ordained priest was in Anchorage, AK where I practiced the art of the sacraments and where I learned about God from the parishioners and the people in the ‘bush.’

Perhaps the dark and cold nights of the never-ending winters will balance out in the heat of Tucson. I really look forward to meeting you, and to learn about God from you! – Fr. Pius Youn, OP