Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future
In 2008 the Diocese of Tucson launched the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future capital campaign to help meet the growing need for new and expanding parishes, schools, community services and benefits to retired priests.
Our Diocese, our parishes, and our schools are more than the buildings we construct and maintain and the programs and services that we provide. The buildings, programs and services are the vehicles through which we hand on our Catholic Faith from generation to generation and through which we fulfill our responsibility – as individuals and as a community of Faith – to carry on the mission that Christ has entrusted to us.
Similarly, Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future has its meaning and worth only as a vehicle through which we can realize – as the Catholics of the Diocese of Tucson in this day and time – the critical support that our Diocese, our parishes, our schools, and our Catholic institutions need to carry on that same sacred mission.
Since we are now in the pledge collection phase of the campaign we are no longer accepting long-term pledges; however, individually gifts are still most welcome. Gifts and pledge payments can be made here.
Handing On the Faith and Teaching Our Children - $4,000,000
The most valuable gift Catholic parents can give their children is a quality Faith-based education. In our Diocese, parents give this gift either by sending their children to a Catholic school or by enrolling them in the Religious Education program at their parish.
There are two components within the critical need to support and enhance the handing on of our Catholic Faith to our children: Catholic Schools and Religious Education.
Catholic schools have long proven to be an effective form of handing on our Catholic Faith.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Tucson foster the growth of the whole person by providing an education that emphasizes the Catholic Faith, academic excellence, and service. The efforts of the Diocese of Tucson and its parishes, associated religious orders, and laity have resulted in the operation and maintenance of a network of two pre-schools, twenty elementary schools and six high schools.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Tucson have much to celebrate, yet they also face significant challenges. Population growth in the Diocese and increasing costs for facilities and personnel are challenging our Catholic schools each year. We need to find innovative and effective ways to further strengthen Catholic schools in our Diocese.
The allocation will enable our Catholic schools to:
- Develop, retain, and train faculty and staff to ensure continued spiritual and academic excellence in our schools;
- Purchase and upgrade educational materials, equipment, and technology;
- Modernize and upgrade school facilities for a proper learning environment;
- Provide for repairs, preventive maintenance, and capital improvements for schools with urgent needs;
- Hire a diocesan school nurse to coordinate health and safety programs for our students within the twenty elementary schools.
It is through the partnership between and among families, parishes, schools, and diocesan ministries that our young people awaken to the presence of God in their lives and come alive in their Faith. With only a small percentage of our Catholic children and youth able to attend Catholic schools, it is all the more essential that our parish Religious Education and Youth Ministry programs be vibrant, strong, and supported by the Faith community.
Nearly 20,000 children and youth within the Diocese are involved in parish Religious Education or Youth Programs. Many other Catholic youth could be involved if not for the limited resources and staffing of existing programs.
The allocation will enhance and strengthen these important ministries by:
- Expanding certification and training programs for catechetical and youth ministry leaders;
- Establishing a tuition-assistance fund to encourage our parish directors and coordinators of Religious Education and Youth Ministry to obtain advanced degrees in theology and religious education;
- Helping parishes with economic challenges to purchase religious education materials and resources such as audio-visual equipment;
- Providing more catechetical materials in Spanish, including training and formation resources for bilingual leaders and catechists.
Caring for Our Retired Priests - $4,000,000
Our retired priests are the “living roots” of our sacramental community – our link with the believing and worshipping generations of the past. By giving themselves in a life of service, they have given us new life in Christ.
After a lifetime of sacrifice and service, no priest should face retirement with financial uncertainty. While parishes support their priests during their active ministry, once retired our priests must depend on their monthly retirement income, social security, and personal savings to meet living expenses.
Today, priests retired from active ministry in the Diocese of Tucson receive one of the lowest pension payments in the nation (just $1,200 a month). Currently, the Diocese has 25 retired priests receiving full benefits and 14 priests receiving partial benefits. In the next five years, we estimate that approximately 10 to 16 priests will seek retirement.
One of Our Retired Priests
Father Edward C. Carscallen
Ordained on Dec. 8, 1947, Father Ed has given 60 years of dedicated priestly service to the people of the Diocese of Tucson at parishes in Bisbee, Clifton, Coolidge, Douglas, Green Valley, Hayden, Mammoth, Miami, Nogales, and Tucson.
Even though he is retired, Father Ed remains active in his priestly service through a special ministry to families that he carries out at Holy Hope Cemetery in Tucson.
The allocation of $4,000,000 will allow the Diocese to provide a more meaningful retirement benefit to our priests. (To fully fund the priests’ retirement program would require $7,000,000.)
Expanding the Presence of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona - $3,000,000
For more than 70 years in our Diocese, Catholic Community Services has represented our care and compassion for the littlest and weakest among us.
Through its six member agencies and with more than 100 health and human services programs, Catholic Community Services provides healing and supportive programs to more than 100,000 people each year, without regard to race, religion, or national origin.
Population growth within the nine counties of our Diocese is challenging the capacity of Catholic Community Services’ agencies and programs to help people in need.
The allocation of $3,000,000 will allow Catholic Community Services to initiate these critically needed projects:
- New Emergency Domestic Violence Shelters in Sierra Vista and Douglas
Catholic Community Services is the only provider of such services in these rural communities. Existing facilities must be replaced.
- New Community Services Center in Southeastern Arizona
This one-stop facility in Sierra Vista will consolidate home health, senior nutrition, foster care, adoption, and transportation services.
- Purchase of the Community Services Center in Yuma
This beautiful facility houses counseling, case management, child welfare, home care, and nutrition programs.
- Expansion and renovation of Catholic Community Services’ main facility in Tucson
This will create six new and vitally needed pediatric dental exam rooms at St. Elizabeth’s Health Center and expand and improve facilities for Catholic Community Services and Catholic Social Service’s counseling, adoption, senior, and refugee services.
- Renovation of Merilac Lodge
This group home in Tucson is for teens who are new or expectant mothers and their babies.
Expanding and Strengthening Parish Services and Ministries
The parish is the center of our Catholic community and sacramental life. It is at the parish where we celebrate the most important spiritual events in our lives, praise God together, enjoy fellowship, form our children in Faith, and provide for those in need.
There are three components within this critical need to expand and strengthen parish services and ministries: Land for New Parishes, Strengthening Our Parishes, and Renovation of St. Augustine Cathedral.
Land for New Parishes - $7,000,000
Our Diocese is located in the fastest growing area of the nation, and all indications are that this dramatic growth will continue over the coming decades. According to the U.S. Census, 1,106,073 people lived in the boundaries of the Diocese in 1990. In 2006, that number grew to 1,632,189. Based on this population growth, the Diocese is actively looking to obtain land for new parishes, especially in Pima, Pinal, Yuma, and Cochise counties.
The allocation of $7,000,000 will be used to acquire properties for new parishes and, where feasible, for new Catholic schools. New parishes that are established on the properties will repay the cost of acquisition, thus providing a continual resource for the purchase of land for new parishes.
Strengthening Our Parishes - $5,600,000
Though our Catholic Faith is universal – one teaching, one Church, one Body of Christ – each of us experiences this Faith most immediately and intimately in our local parish. Strong parishes that are vibrant communities of Faith are central to our lives of discipleship and to our efforts to carry on the mission of Christ.
As part of Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future, each parish is identifying specific needs that must be addressed now.
These needs may include construction, repairs, renovations, parish endowments, debt relief, or a base of funding for parish ministries.
Twenty percent of funds contributed to the campaign in each parish – up to its goal – will be returned to the parish to meet the needs it has identified. In addition, each parish that exceeds its campaign goal will receive fifty percent of the overage contributed by its
Renovation of St. Augustine Cathedral - $1,000,000
St. Augustine Cathedral is our “Mother Parish,” the heart of the Diocese. While we all participate as members of our own parishes, St. Augustine belongs to all the people of the Diocese. Since its reconstruction in the late 1960s, the Cathedral has not undergone any significant renovations. Today, the Cathedral has critical renovation and maintenance needs.
The Cathedral is where priests and deacons are ordained for service to parishes. Diocesan events like the Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion, the Chrism Mass, the Red Mass, and other significant diocesan-wide celebrations are held in the Cathedral, along with many activities and events hosted by the Bishop. The Cathedral is the only parish routinely called upon to shoulder the expense and burden of these diocesan liturgies and events.
The primary responsibility for upkeep of its parish buildings rests with each parish. The same is true of St. Augustine. However, in the case of the Cathedral, as the “Mother Parish” of the Diocese of Tucson, the responsibility also rests with the Bishop and the entire Diocese.
The allocation of $1,000,000 will provide resources to be used to renovate and preserve the Cathedral. Specifically, funds will be used to paint the interior, remodel the restrooms, refinish the pews, improve the lighting, and provide new flooring and artwork.