Monday Memo, Sept. 16, 2013
Vol. 12, No. 6

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas


El Informe de los lunes (Monday Memo) ahora se publica en español. Haga clic aquí para leer el Informe en español, o búsquelo en nuestra página web del Ministerio Hispano.

El Informe de los lunes es una publicación electrónica semanal donde se difunden noticias e información presentada por el Obispo Gerald Kicanas.




On Marist College
Tomorrow we will be meeting once again about the future of Marist College. This meeting will include representatives from the Tucson community.  We have invited representatives from business, municipal, preservation and neighborhood groups to enlist their opinion and counsel on the fate of this historic building.


Marist College in better condition. For a good description of Marist College as a historical building, visit

Marist College in better condition. For a good description of Marist College as a historical building, visit

You may remember that the beleaguered college building, now 98 years old, was the subject of much discussion and controversy in the media and among many people as our Diocese struggled to find a solution to save the slowly deteriorating structure.  Sadly, the Diocese has not, for many years now, had the funds needed to restore and renovate this building, which is believed to be the tallest unfired adobe structure remaining in Arizona.


For our diocese, the college holds historic value as a very old and well-remembered school for thousands of children who grew up in a smaller old pueblo.  It was a Marist College (a boys’ school), then a parish school that was desegregated about 50 years before the Civil Rights Movement, and then it became the Diocese offices for many years.


Our diocesan building committee has deliberated many different outcomes for Marist

Storms in 2006 led to a corner literally falling off of the aging Marist College.  This photo, taken by the Arizona Daily Star, shows John Shaheen, the diocesan Director of Property and Insurance, surveying the damage.

Storms in 2005 led to a corner literally falling off of the aging Marist College. This photo, taken by the Arizona Daily Star, shows John Shaheen, the diocesan Director of Property and Insurance, surveying the damage.

College, but always the huge financial impact of restoring the building becomes insurmountable.  At this week’s meeting we will discuss four ideas or learn of others:


  1. The financial feasibility and likelihood of finding the needed financing to fully restore and remodel the building to a new use.  I should mention that we have had little success with fundraising for Marist College, including but not limited to, proposed federal restoration funds to cover part of the estimated $3 million in repair costs.
  2. The need to demolish the structure and replace it with a prayer garden or other green space. Because of the building’s current condition, we maintain, honestly, that the structure is a blight on the area and an embarrassment to the Diocese.
  3. Demolish most of the structure, maintaining the recognizable entrance façade as a historical reminder or marker of the venerable college.
  4. Restore the façade only.

I have been advised that at this time, our Diocese has no funding to cover the above options.  Since storms ravaged the building in 2005, shearing off the northwest corner of the building, we have continued to maintain the structural reinforcements necessary to keep the building from further damage and to protect the public from harm.


Since Marist College is on Cathedral Square, the Cathedral parishioners do not want to relinquish ownership of the property to a developer, even one contemplating a use compatible with such a location. Because Cathedral needs to retain ownership, we have been told that block grants for alleviating urban blight are not possible. Similarly developers are reluctant to enter a venture in which they do not own the property.


We know there is a great deal of unoccupied space in downtown Tucson that makes it unlikely that any developer could find a good end use for the property. The Diocese, too, lacks a justifiable end use for the facility at this time.


A decision soon will be determined about the four options or others that may surface. We must be realistic in evaluating these options since, while probably most would want  to save the building, the cost may simply be prohibitive.


I welcome any constructive comments from the public about Marist College.  Please email those comments to


Giving hope to a world of need

Giving hope to a world of need

Catholic Relief Services
As chair of CRS, I have no doubts about the positive work done by this organization. Unfortunately, a group of critics continues to imply that CRS does not follow Catholic teaching concerning pro-life concerns.  CRS does not condone any action contrary to Catholic teaching.  Please read the press release issued by the USSB concerning this matter.


Catholic Relief Services helps the poorest of the poor
CRS critics do not speak for the Church
Bishops stand firmly behind CRS, confident in its prolife commitment


WASHINGTON—Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the U.S. bishops’ overseas humanitarian aid agency, is deeply committed “to Church teaching in fulfilling its mission of mercy,” the U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee said in a September 11 statement the first day of its annual fall meeting in Washington.


boxs16The bishops strongly endorsed the 70-year-old agency after critics “raised allegations about CRS’ adherence to Church teaching and its identity as a Catholic institution” and questioned its pro-life credentials, the statement said.


“Last year, CRS served more than 100 million people in 91 countries,” the bishops said.


“Those making these public critiques, albeit, we hope, in good faith, do not speak for the Catholic Church and we advise the Catholic faithful to exercise caution and consult the CRS website for clarification before endorsing or giving credence to the groups’ critiques.” The bishops “urged the Catholic faithful to continue to support Catholic Relief Services.”


“The U.S. Catholic bishops stand firmly behind CRS in its commitment to promote and defend human dignity and the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and at every moment in between,” the bishops said.


“Its service around the world makes us all proud,” the bishops added.


The full statement can be found at


Specifically, the bishops said, “it is and has been CRS’ policy never to distribute or promote artificial contraceptives or abortifacients or to promote abortion.”


“All of CRS’ life-saving work to provide food and clean water, to fight malaria and other diseases, to promote education, and to help the poor find ways to support themselves and their families fully conform with Catholic teaching,” the statement said.


CRS’ staff training program for its nearly 5,000 staff around the world include an agency-wide tutorial, “Protecting Life,” that informs staff of Church teaching on the sanctity of life, contraception and abortion and explains CRS’ requirement that they uphold the teaching in their work.


CRS vets its activities and partnerships with other groups or governments so that they do not violate Catholic teaching. The agency operates in highly complex and rapidly changing environments and welcomes questions and concerns offered in a spirit of Christian charity. If weaknesses or problems are found assessment and action are undertaken to correct the problem, the bishops said.


CRS represents the U.S. Catholic community at the invitation and with the support of local Church leaders. CRS’ activities must be acceptable to those local Churches, follow their policies and the policies of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. If questions or concerns are raised by the local Church in any countries served, they are addressed and resolved.


Presbyteral Council
Our Presbyteral Council meets today after a summer break and will cover a wide variety of topics, including an update on the final campaign for the 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal; proper clearance for priests; priest’s absences from parish and the required notification of the Bishop; chaplain coverage of Tucson Medical Center and other hospitals in Tucson; an update on our Catholic Cemeteries; reflection  on marriage preparation and enrichment programs and how they might be improved; the possibility of a Catholic men’s conference in our Diocese; a discussion of the diocesan wide email project; Catholic school marketing plans; a review of survey responses from across our diocese; a discussion of the retirement policy for deacons; and how we might continue to inform and assist our people regarding pending immigration reform. As you can see the  agenda will be quite full.


At every meeting we reserve time for each vicariate representative to give a brief report on news or concerns from his vicariate. There also is an executive session in which we look at personnel issues.


ACA update
For more information, please visit


As we come to end of the active pledge phase of the 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal we are so grateful to everyone who has helped the appeal reach $3,572,029 – 96 percent of our  goal, as of the end of business on Sept. 12.


Over the last three weeks parishes that have not reached their goal reminded their congregations of contribution opportunities through weekly bulletin inserts, in-pew envelopes and having the pastor provide his endorsement of ACA during Mass.


I want to remind people that even though parishes will not be featuring the Annual Catholic Appeal during Mass anymore this year, it is not too late to help the 2013 campaign finish as strongly as possible.  Reaching our $3.7 million goal is critical to being able to train priests and deacons, offer social services for the needy and poor, sustain and grow Catholic schools and so much more.  To make a gift to the 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal, visit the Foundation’s website or click on the link above.


To Danielle Palmas, who joined the Diocese last week as an executive assistant to the Moderator of the Curia. She will be responsible for corporate affairs.  Danielle brings us 13 years of experience in the legal and public administration fields, specializing in local government administration, and has worked in both southern and northern California.  A native of San Diego, she also was a professional ballerina and speaks Italian. She is a member of Corpus Christi Parish and is eager to serve our Diocese, for which I am grateful.


Breakfast with the Bishop
On Wednesday, I will host another of the breakfasts at my residence, where I meet with parishioners from different areas and talk with them about the ministries supported by their generosity of time or resources, and thank them for their support of the Diocese.  I find these gatherings are very informative and I appreciate the discussions at each of these meetings.


Review Board
Members of our Diocesan Review Board, the Board that works in conjunction with our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, will be meeting at our Pastoral Center on Friday.  I am grateful for the service of these Board members, who sensitively and proactively work to protect all those who serve and who are served by the many ministries in our diocese.  Their counsel and advice about delicate and sensitive issues has been immensely helpful to me over these past years when we have had to deal with very complex, painful and alarming situations.


At this meeting we will welcome a new member, Dr. Jody Comstock, M.D., who comes to us from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. As a professional and as a mother she will bring much expertise to our discussions. I am thankful for her willingness to serve.


My gratitude to Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston and her assistant, Rachel Guzman, who work diligently with the compliance officers at our parishes and who help staff this important Board. Dr. Rosemary has brought new understanding and new guidelines to propel the work of this office and her expertise has been a great help to this work.  My thanks also to Charlotte Harris, who serves as the Board’s chair, and to David McElroy, who is the vice chair. Their leadership over a number of years has been most beneficial.


A visit to St. Melany

Take a look and listen at St. Melany by watching

I know that I said I gave my last Year of Faith presentation to the folks at St. Andrews Parish in Sierra Vista last week, but it seems I have developed a bit of a fan base for my presentation on the Vatican II documents.  I will give an “encore” presentation to parishioners at St. Melany Byzantine Catholic Church in Tucson on Saturday. All are welcome.


The faith family at St. Melany practices the Byzantine Rite as part of the Eastern Catholic Churches  that are in full communion with the Pope. This community is under the episcopal  authority of the Eparch (Bishop), Gerald Dino, who resides in Phoenix and who serves a huge geographic eparchy (Diocese), the Eparchy of Van Nuys, that goes throughout the West and across the ocean to Hawaii.


My thanks to Father Robert Rankin for the invitation to make this presentation to his parish family.




Visit to Morenci


On Saturday I visited Holy Cross parish in Morenci to celebrate a Mass and to install Father Martin Atanga-Baabuge as pastor at Holy Cross Parish in Morenci and Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton, along with its mission in Duncan.  We also celebrated the parish’s 100th anniversary.


I also observed the flooding taking place along the San Francisco River in nearby Clifton. It is truly amazing when nature shows just what a force it can be. Let’s pray that those living in Clifton stay safe.



Mass for Renovacion Catolica Carismatica

For more information, please visit

It will be my joy to celebrate Mass for these devoted Catholics during their annual Congreso.  Mass will be celebrated at the San Miguel High school on Sunday, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.


In the 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11, St. Paul instructs us about the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to other gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to other mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to other varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as He wishes.


These gifts represent the foundational beliefs for The Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Dioceses of Tucson (CCRDT), which has made evangelization and catechesis – spreading the Good News — priorities for the group.


One website I visited described the Charismatic Movement this way:

“The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement within the Catholic Church. Worship is characterized by vibrant Masses, as well as prayer meetings featuring prophecyfaith healing and “praying in tongues.” This movement is based on the belief that certain charismata (a Greek word for gifts), bestowed by the Holy Spirit, such as the abilities to pray in tongues and to heal (which Christians generally believe existed in the early Church as described in the Bible) should still be practiced today.”


Both Father Marco Basulto, parochial vicar of St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista, and Father Liam Leahy, pastor emeritus of St. Mark’s in residence at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, serve as spiritual advisors to the movement in Spanish and English respectively.


Please pray
For Sister Jean Olmstead, S.B.S., former Vicar for Religious for our diocese, who will be having serious back surgery in a Philadelphia hospital on Sept. 23.  Sister Jean worked at the Pastoral Center prior to Sister Rina Cappellazzo, O.P.


Other events:

Reachout Women’s Center 40th Anniversary Gala

Saturday, Sept. 21 at Skyline Country Club, 5 p.m.

image011I wrote about the Reachout Center in one of my Monday Memos last year. At that time, Reachout was celebrating the “arrival” of a brand new ultrasound machine, and I joined that celebration by blessing that amazing piece of technology.  It can “see” a heartbeat when a fetus is just six weeks old.


In 2011, Reachout helped about 5,000 women, and in 2012 it helped even more women with pregnancy tests; sonograms; pre-natal counseling and guidance; adoption information and referrals; counseling for women, counseling for women with parents, boyfriends or husbands; as-needed referrals for medical and employment planning; help and guidance in all related areas; and clothing and diapers.  All of these services are provided free of charge.


Reachout relies completely on private donations. As I wrote last year, if you are looking for a holiday charity, consider Reachout.  If you’d like to help out now, maybe the upcoming Gala on Sept. 21 will provide just the right opportunity.  Call 321-4300 for information, or visit


Catechist training
New Catechist inservice training

Saturday, Sept. 21

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  (please arrive between 8:00 and 8:30am)

Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church

1300 N. Greasewood Road


The sessions today will help catechists understand more fully their role in passing on the faith of the believing and worshiping community and also will give practical tips on how to plan effective lessons and how to manage time for the fullest benefit of student’s learning. This session is for both new and returning catechists. Credit toward Level I certification is awarded for attending.


The training presenter is Peggy Guerrero, who has served as a teacher and administrator in Catholic Schools for 25 years. As a member of the Jordan Ministry Team, Peggy has presented training and certification courses for parish catechists, youth ministers, and Catholic school teachers for the past several years. She has a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministries from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota


This workshop is especially planned for catechists who are new to catechetical ministry or who are in their first 3 years of teaching, but all catechists can benefit and are welcome!


To register:

Email the information below to Isabel @ or call
520-838-2544. This training also will be offered in Yuma on Oct. 12.




Grade/age of students you teach__________


Email address_____________________________Phone______________________



Fire Benefit Concert for St. Demetrios
Saturday, Sept. 28
Fox Theater, 17 W. Congress
Ticket information at  or information at



It is a terrible blow to any faith community when a place of worship is heavily damaged or destroyed.  In late May, fire raged through St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, causing an estimated $1 million in damage to the structure.


A concert to raise funds to assist with repair costs is a cause that we all can support. This concert features performers Bill Canos, Mari Falcone, the Jim Howell Band and the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band.


I encourage parishes in the diocese to spread the word about this concert.


Annual Anniversary Mass with Bishop Kicanas

Sunday, Sept. 29, 2:30 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave.

Every year, the Diocese holds this liturgy for married couples celebrating their 1st, 10th, 25th, 50th, 60th and 60-plus wedding anniversaries.  This year, 172 couples will come to St. Augustine Cathedral for this annual Mass.  Read about last year’s Mass by clicking here and scrolling down to the heading “Marriage Celebration”:


Our times are very challenging for married couples. It is a delight and joy to share in this event when we honor these couples as they renew the vows they extended to one another on the day of their wedding.


If you have not yet registered for the Mass and are celebrating one of these special anniversaries contact Grace Lohr at 520-838-2512.