Monday Memo, Sept. 23, 2013
Vol. 12, No. 7

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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A balanced, welcoming Catholic Church:  Doctrine, yes, but with a generous dose of love

Pope Francis I

Pope Francis

Late last week, several Jesuit publications released a compilation of interviews done by Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J., with Pope Francis, in which the Holy Father beautifully stated his views of the Catholic Church and how necessary it is to spread the Gospel in our actions and our words based on the love of God.

 

The news media worldwide has jumped to cover some of the content of this very extensive and revealing set of interviews.  It is important, I think, to remember that news coverage is abbreviated, and that what has been disseminated by the many forms of news coverage is a very basic summary of the Holy Father’s thoughts.

 

The document is a breathtaking, beautiful and thought provoking view of our Holy Father, in which he uses imagery, metaphor and gentle words to explain very complicated ideas that we Catholics have struggled with for a long time.

 

He bravely discusses hot button topics and how the Church needs to respond to gays and lesbians, gay marriage, the role of women in the Church, and abortion and contraception.  He handles each of these with amazing common sense and confidence.  Most of all, Pope Francis continually reminds us that love and compassion must prevail in how we treat each other – always.

 

One of my favorite parts of the interview was where he said “the ministers of the Gospel must be people who warm the hearts of people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost.”

 

Amazing.  Just one section of many crystal clear and highly focused insights presented within the interviews.

 

I cannot do justice to Pope Francis’ words here, but I will say that he truly seems to have just the right words, just the right sentiment to help us understand both the nearness of God, and how we also can be people who share God with others.

 

He began the interview describing himself as a sinner, a sinner among sinners. What a humble expression in which our Holy Father recognizes his own need for God’s mercy. His image of the Church as a field hospital that cares for the wounded providing compassion and comfort is striking and reminds us all to walk patiently with people who struggle in life, not judging but caressing and supporting.

 

I encourage you to follow the link to the entire interview that appears in America Magazine at www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview

 

It is inspiring to hear the pope say that we are a Church that needs to live in balance or risk losing the “freshness and fragrance” of the Gospel.  His words will renew us.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

For the future
The Diocese of Tucson always tries to keep aware of demographics and population growth in each of our 11 vicariates.  Like any responsible entity, the Diocese works in conjunction image007with parishes to ensure that parishes have a faith community capable of supporting a Catholic church for generations and to avoid over-crowding an existing parish as a community grows.

 

In areas that are just now coming under development, it is critical that the Diocese begin looking closely at how many homes are being built, and how a growing population affects existing parishes, so that we can begin planning and finding buildable locations for future churches.

 

At this time, we are scouting land locations in northern Pinal County. We have purchased land in central Pinal County, and south and east of Tucson around the Corona de Tucson area.

 

We are fortunate to have Capital Campaign funding to purchase needed land and to continue to research other areas.

 

My thanks to our Finance Council members, as well as to David Miller, our Real Estate and Risk Management Specialist, Tom Arnold, our chief financial officer, John Shaheen, director of our Property and Insurance Office and Msgr. Al Schifano, Vicar General, all of whom offer good counsel on these matters.

 

Helping teens
Tomorrow I will visit the Youth on Their Own headquarters.  The organization requested that I bless their new facility and student center at 1660 N. Alvernon Way.

 

image009Youth on their Own was begun as a grassroots movement in 1986 when Amphitheater High School counselor Ann Young realized that she knew of many homeless teenagers, struggling to remain in school, but faced with having to bounce from one friends’ home to another. Her efforts led to a dropout prevention program for homeless high school and middle school youth. From the original 10 students, the program grew into a countywide project helping 300 young people by 1994.

 

In 2012, just over 700 students received assistance from the program. Teresa Baker, YOTO executive director, wrote in her invitation to me that the organization was on track to assist 1,200 young people this year – an increase of 60 percent in the number of students served.

 

Working with high school liaisons, homeless students enrolled in school can apply for help from YOTO. This assistance includes: a Student Living Expense Program providing monthly funds to give the young person a safety net in managing daily needs; and Emergency Needs Funds to help with living essentials such as utilities or rent. Students must have passing grades in all classes and meet school attendance requirements to be eligible for these funds.

 

The program also offers a Basic Needs Mini-Mall: open to students for items such as food, clothing, hygiene items, household goods, and school supplies; monthly bus passes; and young people also may receive help with housing referrals, personal counseling, one-on-one success coaching, medical, dental and vision care, refurbished computers, employment opportunities and community involvement activities.

 

This is an amazing program.  Just think, we have adults in our midst that have difficulty dealing with finding housing, food and medical care.  Imagine being someone between the ages of 13 and 21 – still in school, trying to deal with these challenges.

 

Thank goodness for the work of Youth on their Own.

Members of the Tribal Council at the Recognition celebration.  On the far left of the photo is Father Seraphim Molina, S.T., who ministers to the community along with Father Abram Dono, S.T., who isn't in the photograph.

Members of the Tribal Council at the Recognition celebration. On the far left of the photo is Father Seraphim Molina, S.T., who ministers to the community along with Father Abram Dono, S.T., who isn’t in the photograph.

 

Congratulations
To members of the Pascua Yaqui Nation, who last week celebrated the 35th anniversary of the tribe’s recognition by the U.S. Government.  I was invited to celebrate a Mass in thanksgiving of the event at the Cristo Rey Mission in the area known as New Pasqua on the southwest side of town.  The small church was packed with members of the tribal faith family.

 

The tribe has been largely Catholic for many generations now, following the introduction of the faith to their ancestors by the likes of missionaries such as Padre Eusebio Kino, S.J., and Father Francisco Garcés, O.F.M. Today, the Yaquis adorn their churches with brightly vested statues of saints, and colorful paper flowers festooned across the ceiling rafters.
During last week’s Mass, I asked the young people present for the celebration to come

Bishop Kicanas asked all of the children present at Christo Rey Chapel to come forward. Behind Bishop stand the colorfully vested saint statues.

Bishop Kicanas asked all of the children present at Cristo Rey Chapel to come forward. Behind Bishop stand the colorfully vested saint statues.

forward and gather in front of the altar.  Later, I invited tribal elders present to tell their young ones what hopes and dreams their elders had for them.  The elders spoke of pride, of keeping the faith and the traditional values and culture alive, and to remember to become educated so that they too, like those before them, can work to help the Yaqui Nation.

 

My thanks to the Pasqua Yaqui Council members, and to Fathers Seraphim Molina, S.T., and Abram Dono, S.T., who minister to this community, for inviting me to their celebration.

 

Finance Council
Tomorrow I will meet with the Diocese Finance Council.  Topics for discussion will include: the future of Marist College, the financial status of the Diocese, and consideration of matters pertaining to the economic well-being of the Diocese.

 

Welcome!
To  Amanda Alcaraz, who has joined us as Accounts Payable Accounting Clerk on Sept. 19. Amanda came from Riverside County, California and grew up in South Pasadena.  She has more than 18 years in the accounting field. She and her family are parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

 

Increase vocations
Increasing vocations has been one of our diocesan goals for the last several years.  This Wednesday evening, there will be an Andrew/Myriam Mass and dinner at the St. Thomas More Newman Center on the University of Arizona campus.

 

The events, sometimes called St. Andrew Dinners in other dioceses, give us the chance to invite people to meet with us that we think may have a priestly or religious vocation,  or who may have qualities needed in a good priest  or sister. This is, as the USCCB website describes it, “a no pressure atmosphere of discussion and dialogue about religious life.” The dinners provide a setting that cannot always be found at a parish and usually there are priests and sisters there to share their vocation stories with the invitees.

 

This also gives me a chance to meet people who may consider a vocation and encourage them to follow the Lord’s call.

 

The campus at the University is a significant place to invite women and men to consider service in the Church. I am grateful to Father Bart Hutcherson O.P., and his staff who know the importance of fostering vocations and encouraging others to take up the challenge of ministry in our community.

 

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On immigration
Wednesday, Sept. 25: Live web event with Franciscan Media featuring Bishop Kicanas.

 

Follow this link to register for free for the live web event: http://onlineevent.franciscanmedia.org/

 

I will be participating in this Franciscan Media “Live Event” (http://productions.franciscanmedia.org/) on immigration at 3 p.m. EST (noon Tucson time). Judy Zarick, of American Catholic Radio, will be hosting the event and Father Mike Pucke, a pastor working with migrants in his parish in Hamilton, Ohio, also will be taking part.  (For more about Father Mike visit: http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/pastor-works-for-understanding-of-hispanic-communi/nNYJk/)

 

I hope to cover four areas important in the immigration debate during this live event: First, I will try to explain what Scripture and Church tradition have to say about “welcoming the stranger”; Second, I will give a reflection on the migrant as a person; Third, create awareness for the complexities of the border situation; and finally, I will outline the critical components of comprehensive immigration policy reform.

 

present; 169 in 2012 and already 129 deaths in 2013. Arizona senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, along with six other senators known as the “Gang of Eight”, helped draft the heavily debated and recently passed Senate Bill (S.744) dealing with immigration reform. Arizona has an important voice in this debate.

 

It is estimated that 70 percent of Arizonans want immigration reform. Arizona is characterized, I believe, unfairly, as “anti-immigrant”. Arizona’s religious, civic, and business leaders and its people need to make their voices heard. Comprehensive immigration policy reform makes moral, economic and civic sense for our state and our nation.

 

I will be participating in a Franciscan Media “Live Event” (http://productions.franciscanmedia.org/) on immigration at 3 p.m. EST (noon Tucson time) on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Judy Zarick, of American Catholic Radio, will be hosting the event and Father Mike Pucke, a pastor working with migrants in his parish in Hamilton, Ohio, also will be taking part. There is an interesting story on Father Mike at http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/pastor-works-for-understanding-of-hispanic-communi/nNYJk/

 

I hope to cover four areas important in the immigration debate during this live event: First, I will try to explain what Scripture and Church tradition have to say about “welcoming the stranger”; Second, I will give a reflection on the migrant as a person; Third, create awareness for the complexities of the border situation; and finally, I will outline the critical components of comprehensive immigration policy reform.

 

You can follow this link to register for the live web event on Sept. 25. Anyone who wants to register can do so for free at http://onlineevent.franciscanmedia.org/

 

If you would like to know more about the Senate Bill 744 on immigration you can visit http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s744Arizona is at the epicenter of immigration into the United States. In our diocese, which spans the entire border between Arizona and Mexico, we have had over 2,000 immigrant deaths in the Sonoran desert between 2000 and the present; 169 in 2012 and already 129 deaths in 2013. Arizona senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, along with six other senators known as the “Gang of Eight”, helped draft the heavily-debated and recently passed Senate Bill (S.744) dealing with immigration reform. Arizona has an important voice in this debate.

 

It is estimated that 70 percent of Arizonans want immigration reform. Arizona is characterized, I believe, unfairly, as “anti-immigrant”. Arizona’s religious, civic, and business leaders and its people need to make their voices heard. Comprehensive immigration policy reform makes moral, economic and civic sense for our state and our nation.

 

If you would like to know more about the Senate Bill 744 on immigration you can visit http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s744

 

Breakfast with Bishop
I will host another in the ongoing series of community gatherings at my residence on Thursday.image020


Dinner with ACE teachers
I always enjoy this annual gathering of some of the teachers working at our Notre Dame Ace Academies and several other schools in our community. This experience helps me get to know these people involved in teaching in one or another of our under- resourced schools. There are eight such teacher/students this year participating in the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program as they earn their graduate degrees in education. Rachel

 

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Moreno helps mentor these students and she will host us at her home. These young people

 

are very inspiring. I enjoy so much hearing about their experiences; it reminds me of how much I liked teaching in my early years of priesthood. This program, similar to the group

 

“Teachers Across America”, is a great way for young people to get excited about choosing teaching as their profession.

 

Diocesan Pastoral Council
Our Diocesan Pastoral Council meets this Saturday.  I look forward to this because we will focus on a presentation by Sheri Dahl Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools., our schools superintendent, and Kathy Linehan, a business consultant who has been helping us develop a strategic marketing plan to increase enrollment in our schools.  Kathy, who has been focusing on collecting strong data to help us zero in on those areas where our schools can best promote themselves, is with the company Change Strategies, but is doing this work for our diocese pro bono. I am grateful for her assistance.

 

If there is time, we also will discuss ways to invite and encourage Catholics who have left the Church to return as well as how we can invigorate our rural parishes.

 

100 years!
You can learn a bit of Hayden’s mining history and the ethnic struggle of miners in old Hayden at http://www.theirminesourstories.org/?cat=14

 

Or visit: http://markhahnphotography.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/hayden-arizona-all-american-mining-town/ for one person’s view of Hayden.

 

                               Photo from www.theirminesourstories.org Here’s Hayden in the 1940s.

Photo from www.theirminesourstories.org
Here’s Hayden in the 1940s.


Also on Saturday, I will join the faith community of St. Joseph Parish in Hayden for its celebration of its 100th anniversary.

 

I always find it interesting that the oldest parishes in our diocese tend to be those not in the more populated areas of the Diocese.  One of the commonalities of these more outlying parish communities is that they were mining towns.

 

Hayden and its close neighbor, Winkleman, are such towns.

 

Like Morenci, which I featured in my Monday Memo a couple of weeks ago, Hayden is a small town – with far fewer than 500 families living there.  I didn’t find current statistics, but as of the 2000 Census, there were less than 230 families in the community. As of the 2006 Census, there were just over 800 people in the community.

 

Nearby Winkleman is smaller yet.  These two small communities are separated by only a couple of miles, not quite 40 miles south of Globe.

 

The parish was established in 1913, presumably to serve the growing community brought in because of the mining and smelter operations.  Sadly, after the 1960s the mining operations were shutting down, and according to one website, the town of Hayden was pretty much abandoned by the 1980s.  Pollution caused by the smelters also drove away residents.

 

I read on the website, “Unlike neighboring mining towns, such as Miami to the north, which was primarily white, Hayden was always mostly Mexican-American. Hayden started out as a segregated company town in 1905 and remained segregated into the 1950′s. Even the movie theater was segregated. A local chapter of the KKK was responsible for harassing Mexican-Americans by carrying out public activities which included local cross burnings. It wasn’t until the 1960′s that a Mexican-American could buy a house anywhere they chose in Hayden. The town is now more than 85% Mexican-American.”

 

Despite all that has happened in these two now-tiny towns, St. Joseph’s Parish has been there.  It will be interesting on Sunday to hear from some of the parishioners.

 

Annual Anniversary Mass
Sunday, Sept. 29
St. Augustine’s Cathedral. 192 S. Stone Ave.
2:30 p.m.

On Sunday, it will be my joy to celebrate mass with 182 couples, each celebrating a significant anniversary.

 

The thought of these 364 people returning to Church to renew their vows and to celebrate their love in the presence of God and their families and friends is heartwarming, and I think the best possible modeling of the sacrament of marriage.

 

The longest married couple is Philip and Lucia Montaño, who can boast 70 years together!  There are two couples – rookies you might say – celebrating their first year of marriage.  I will tell you more about the Montaños in my next Monday Memo, and fill you in on the other details and publish some photographs.  Who knows?, maybe Philip and Lucia will tell us their secret for a long and happy marriage.

 

Episcopal Bishop Armando Guerra of Guatemala

Episcopal Bishop Armando Guerra of Guatemala

Visit of Episcopal Bishop from Guatemala
Most Rev. Armando Guerra of Guatemala will be visiting our Tucson community. I look forward to hosting him and other religious leaders from our community at the Diocesan Pastoral Center. Bishop Guerra is very interested in learning more about the border situation, since many migrants seek to enter the United States from Guatemala. Ila  Abernathy, coordinator of the Guatemala Project at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, is hosting him in our community.

 

Priest Assurance Corporation
I will be meeting on Thursday with the Priest Board of the Priest Assurance Corporation, the group that oversees the pension fund for priests. Thanks to the gifts from the Annual Catholic Appeal, the success of the Capital Campaign: “Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future” and similar fund raisers sponsored by the Knights of Columbus under the leadership of Marty Ronstadt, we have helped the pension plan fund immensely.

 

When I first arrived in Tucson, our retired priests were receiving the smallest stipend of any diocese in the country. Thanks to people’s generosity, we know can provide a $1,500 monthly  stipend to assist retired priests with their housing, food, car expenses and other living costs. We hope to raise the stipend each year by a small percentage if funds are available.

 

You may want to mark Sunday Jan. 19 on your calendar.  The Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Don Hughes Assembly, will host its annual dinner to raise money for our Priests Retirement Fund. This year’s event recognizes Msgr. Arsenio S. Carrillo, long time pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral and former Vicar General for our diocese. For information about the Msgr. Don Hughes Assembly, visit, http://www.kofc.org/un/en/knightsinaction/detail/547486.html

 

I’ll post more information about the dinner as the date approaches.

 

I am grateful to Father John Allt, pastor of St. Rita in the Desert in Vail and Chair of the PAC; and to the other board members: Father Domenico Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction; Father Patrick Crino, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish; and Father Joe Lombardo, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. Msgr. Al Schifano; Moderator of the Curia;  Msgr. Thomas Millane, Vicar for Retired Priests; and our Chief Financial Officer Tom Arnold serve on the committee as ad-hoc members, and Richard Serrano, director of Human Resources, and Kathy Rhinehart, our chancellor, staff the committee.

 

Catholic Community Board Dinner
The Board of Catholic Community Services (CCS) renders great counsel and advice to Peg Harmon, the Director of CCS. This is just another example of the generous gift of time and talent people in our community provide to our Catholic institutions. The dinner on Thursday evening is an opportunity to express thanks to board members who help with the long range planning of CCS, its financial stability, and its enhanced services to the littlest and weakest among us. CCS is an organization in which we can all take pride. It is doing the works of mercy in our name throughout the Diocese.

 

St. Augustine High School
On Friday I will participate in the groundbreaking for the new driveway at St. Augustine Catholic High School on the east side. The present entry and egress is very dangerous and the school is moving the driveway further west to create a safer way to enter and leave the school.

image028St. Augustine has been working hard to raise the needed money to accomplish this. I know that the Board, under the leadership of Chair Richard Schaefer of RBC Wealth, as well as the efforts of David Keller, President of St. Augustine School, and Principal Lynn Cuffari, has been instrumental in bringing about this important campus improvement.

 

Upcoming
You are invited to participate in the live webinar Immigration: God’s People Hit the Road offered by the Pastoral Services Department on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

 

As Congress reconvenes to take up business, this timely webinar will be presented by West Cosgrove, Director of Education at Kino Border Initiative.

 

To register, please follow this link  “Register now”: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/560547873669856257

 

YOUTH Fest
Faith Alive
Sat. Oct. 26
Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Visit: http://youthfest.diocesetucson.org/ for more information

 

image031Often times we live our lives as zombies, going through the day to day, unfazed the loving presence of God in every moment.  At YOUTHfest2013, the young church will have an opportunity to AWAKEN their faith through music, fun, food, and Mass; to DISCOVER new insights about our faith through workshops, and be INSPIRED to live their faith in all aspects of their lives through the strong witness of our keynote presenter.

 

We are happy to welcome Jackie Francois-Angel to the Diocese to share her reflections on Faith Alive.

 

YOUTHfest is a daylong event for teens in junior high and high school.  Experiences such as these play such an important part in the life of our youth and provide new excitement and encouragement for them to take back to their parishes and schools.  All teens must register with their parish or school – registration forms can be found here: http://youthfest.diocesetucson.org/

 

Jackie Francois-Angel is a full-time traveling speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader from Orange County, CA. In 2006, she became an artist with OCP/SpiritandSong.com with whom she has released two albums. She has been involved in youth ministry since she graduated high school, and she now travels the globe speaking to young people about God’s love and leading worship for various events and ministries. She is friends with people who are passionate about God, food, and coffee, and perhaps saints. Check out iTunes or SpiritandSong.com to get Jackie’s albums “Your Kingdom is Glorious” and “Divine Comedy.”

 

New this year is an opportunity for parents, catechists, youth ministers, and others interested in sharing our faith with the young church.  Frank Mercadante, of Cultivation Ministries, will be our workshop presenter.  Frank received his bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from Wheaton College, a M.P.S. from Loyola University, Chicago. For 10 years he served as Director of Youth Ministry at St. John Neumann in St. Charles, Illinois, which was recognized as one of the most successful Catholic youth ministries nationwide. Frank also has authored the books Growing Teen Disciples, Positively Dangerous, and Make It Real from St. Mary’s Press and Disciples in Mission Small Group Leaders Guide for Teens from PNCEA. Frank received the National Catholic Youth Ministry Award in Training from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in 2008.