Monday Memo, Nov. 4, 2013
Vol. 12, No. 12

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas








Teens from among the 40 parishes attending the event enjoying themselves at YouthFest. Above, m

YouthFest 2013
Until last weekend, I don’t think I ever would have associated the ghoulish fun of zombies with anything related to faith.


But thanks to the innovative and youthful thinking of our Youth Ministers led by Joe Perdreauville, our assistant director of Pastoral Services, my thinking has changed a little.  The planning team came up with the idea of using the unusual tactic of teens’ interest in zombies to draw them to the YouthFest.


The strategy worked. Just over 1000 young people attended the Diocese’s Annual YouthFest and from what I saw, it was anything but zombie-like.  Instead the place was very busy and very much reflected the conference theme of “Faith Alive!”



Members of St. Rita Parish in Vail dressed up in ghoulish outfits emphasizing that living without Christ can lead to a zombie-like life.

The event featured Jackie Francois a speaker, singer/songwriter, and worship leader from Orange County, Calif. ,  who

has been involved in youth ministry since she graduated high school, and who now talks to young people about God’s love and leading worship for

various events and ministries.  As the information for the Youth Fest said “She is friends with people who are passionate about God, food, and coffee and perhaps saints, spiritual books, volleyball, quoting stupid things, the beach, accents, and bowling.” Interested parents might tell their teens to visit either iTunes or to listen to Jackie’s albums “Your Kingdom is Glorious” and “Divine Comedy.”


This year’s fest also included, for the first time sessions for parents.


Frank Mercandante, the author of Engaging a New Generation, presented the parent track of YouthFest. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from Wheaton College, and a  Master’s degree in Professional Studies from Loyola University, Chicago. MM-OctFor 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 has served as Executive Director of Cultivation Ministries since 1991 and has designed and written extensive youth ministry training planning manuals used to help train and equip student leaders and adult youth workers internationally. For information on books Frank has written — Growing Teen Disciples, Positively Dangerous, and Make It Real  –you may want to check and


I was encouraged to hear the enthusiasm of the parents for their part in YouthFest. Many commented that they found support listening to one another. No parent gets advance training to become a parent and those at the fest felt having a chance to discuss challenges they face was most helpful.


Congratulations to Joe and to all of the organizers for reaching so many young people this year and for all the work they put into the YouthFest. Thanks to the Knight of Columbus from Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson for cooking up over a 1000 hamburgers and hot dogs for the young people, their chaperones and YouthFest staff.



Photo by Julieta Gonzalez
Bishop Kicanas receives the Arizona Public Servant of the Year Award from the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Building border connections
Last Saturday, it was my honor to attend the annual 19th Annual Noche de Exitos Gala and Bi-National Awards of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


This is a tremendous event in which the “Chamber celebrates the accomplishments of the business community and bi-national and bi-cultural programs in Southern Arizona and Mexico” and it is an occasion truly befitting our Latino community. The attendees included well-known members of Tucson’s business, political and charitable organizations.  This year the Chamber recognized the Hispanic Man and Woman of the Year: Ricardo Cazares, owner of Los Portales Restaurant  and Alejandro’s Tortilla Factory; and Cecilia Mata, owner of AllSource Global Management, LLC.  Other award winners included:


La Estrella Award: Larry Lucero, Chairman  of the Arizona Mexico Commission

Mexican Public Servant of the Year: Iveth Dagnino de Padres, the First Lady of Sonora

Legacy Award: Boris Kozolchyk, Founder, National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade

Southern Arizona Corporation of the Year: Century Link

Mexican Corporation of the Year: El Imparcial


I was especially honored to be named the Arizona Public Servant of the Year.  Cooperation and mutually beneficial partnerships are so important to interactions between Arizona and our border communities.  My thanks to the Chamber for its fine work.


Ongoing priest training
Today, several of our diocesan priests will be attending another of our ongoing formation sessions. Priests are required to attend at least one of the two offerings.  This presentation, taking place at the Redemptorist Renewal Center,  is being conducted by Father Pat Lagges, a Canon Law instructor from the University of Chicago and the Catholic University of America. Father Lagges also serves as the Promotor of Justice for our Diocese, meaning that he is called  upon to represent our Diocese in canonical trials that may be necessary.


Father Pat also presented training at Most Holy Trinity Parish on Saturday to our deacons.  The training was opened to any of the deacon’s wives who do parish work that requires knowledge of different aspects of Canon law.


I cannot emphasize how important this sort of training is for our priests and deacons and those who work daily with parishioners in situations that may involve necessary Canonical stipulations.  Training like this ensures that our diocese is complying with Church law.


Father Lagges, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is among the highest respected canonists in the country. We are blessed to have him among us. I have known Pat for  many years and hold high regard for  him.


Arizona Catholic Conference
This Wednesday I will attend a meeting of the Arizona Catholic Conference in Phoenix. The conference, comprised of the bishops of  the Diocese of Gallup, the  Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Tucson and the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, comes together regularly to discuss important concerns in our State and issues affecting each of our regions.  During each meeting, we also hear from directors of specific areas of expertise from our dioceses.  This week, we will be hearing from the Communications Directors, and so Steff Koeneman, our director, will be making a brief presentation on the work of our Communications Office and about the tools and strategies she and her staff use to reach Catholics throughout our diocese.


The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) recently completed a study of how Catholics get their information about the Church. Interestingly,  the two most important communication vehicles identified were the parish bulletin and the Diocesan  newspaper. In the age of the internet, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, this finding is quite interesting.


Red Mass
It will be my honor to celebrate the Annual Red Mass liturgy at St. Augustine Cathedral on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.


The annual tradition of holding a Mass for judges, attorneys, law school professors, and others working in the legal profession, dates back to 1245. During the Mass we pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and we focus on  the God-given power and responsibility of all those working in the legal profession.


The liturgy is called a  Red Mass because of the red vestments worn to symbolize the tongues of fire (the Holy Spirit) that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost, and historically, the Judges of the High Court of England and all doctors of law wore red robes or academic hoods.


The event is celebrated in conjunction with the St. Thomas More Society of Southern Arizona and the Catholic Foundation


Each year  people working in our local legal professions are recognized for their work in our community. This year’s honorees are Patricio Lopez, III, Esq., a long-time Tucson attorney, and Tucson Police Detective Benjamin Jimenez.


Pat co-founded the Tucson, Arizona Law Firm of Rusing,  Lopez & Lizardi, with fellow Stanford Law School graduate, Mick Rusing in 1992.  In addition, he was an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Arizona College of Law from August 1988 to June of 1992, and has been an attorney for several law firms, including Gammage & Burnham, and Brown & Bain.  He is a graduate of Stanford University Law School, and the UA where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in accounting; and he also is a Salpointe alumnus.  Pat has more than 30 years of experience in counseling and assisting businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers.


Detective Ben Jimenez is a 30-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department and has been a homicide detective for several years. During his career, he has investigated many notable crimes  including the tragic murder of Jerry Taylor, 60, of Oro Valley on March 19, 2002.


Taylor was slain as he golfed at the Fred Enke Golf Course.  The death remained a mystery until his assailant, Lee Boy Malvo confessed to the crime. You may remember that Malvo and John Allen Muhammad eventually were captured and convicted for a horrible spree of random shootings on the East Coast.
This annual Mass provides us a great opportunity to support the sometimes difficult, yet critical work of those in the legal profession, My thanks to the local St. Thomas More Society that works to give “ structure for lawyers, judicial officers, and law students of Southern Arizona to foster fellowship and continued ethical formation in the spirit of St. Thomas More in support of the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Tucson.”


Andrew Myriam Dinner
Wednesday evening, Our Mother of Sorrows Parish will host another of our Andrew Myriam Dinners.


The events, sometimes called St. Andrew Dinners in other dioceses, give us the chance to invite people to meet with us who 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 where vocation can be discussed openly and freely and there are priests and sisters there to share their vocation stories with the invitees.


In its recent research on vocations, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) found that there are far more young people who have given serious  thought to the priesthood or religious life than one would think, but those people did receive enough encouragement to pursue their interest. In our diocese we also have found that a student’s inability to pay off already incurred college financial debts can cause possible candidates to be hesitant to enter preparation.


Catholic Cemeteries
This week there is a meeting of the Board of Directors for our Catholic Cemeteries.  Topics to be discussed include financial reports and the status of maintenance projects.


New employee orientation
Our diocesan Human Resources Department will hold a second orientation for new employees this week.  This group includes parish employees who are new to the Diocese.  Just like during the Oct. 28 session, these people will be getting valuable HR and benefit information and learning about important policies and procedures as well as the priorities of the Diocese.


I find these sessions very valuable. The orientation provides me the opportunity to match faces with names and jobs, and I get to meet new employees before too much time has elapsed. Likewise, these employees who may not get to visit the Pastoral Center very often are introduced to our Department Directors, so they also get to know more about how our diocese operates.


My thanks again to Richard Serrano and his department for putting this very needed orientation together.


USCCB meeting
I will be in Baltimore from November 8-13 attending the Fall session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At this meeting the Conference will elect a new President and Vice President who will serve for the next three years. There also will be discussion of the Pope’s call for a Synod on the Family as well as the election of several Chair Elects for several Conference committees.


While in Baltimore, there is an opportunity for Conference committees to do their work. I will be participating in the meeting of the Subcommittee on Africa which awards  grants to  Bishops’ Conferences in Africa; and I also work the Communication Committee. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will have an opportunity to make  presentations to the full Conference as part of its 40th anniversary.


The Conference have an opening Mass at the beautiful Baltimore Basilica, which was among the first churches in the United States


This meeting will be broadcast and streamed, so if you are interested, please check  next week.


The USCCB webpage holds a bounty of information on many aspects of the Conference’s work. You may find a great deal of useful information there.


image010Jordan Ministry
On Friday there will be two joyous celebrations. The first is the quarterly birthday gala for Pastoral Center employees celebrating birthdays between September and December. The second gathering is the 5th Annual Fundraising Event for Jordan Ministry here in our diocese.


Jordan Ministry “is a team of trained professionals who collaborate with the Diocese of Tucson in response to the Second Vatican Council’s universal call to holiness and participation in the mission of the Church. The Team provides theological and spiritual formation to foster Catholic leadership and promote spiritual growth throughout the diocese. Sponsored by the Salvatorian Community, the Jordan Ministry is committed to making Jesus the Savior known and loved by all.”


This year’s event has the theme of “Celebrating a Life Dedicated to Global Service,” and will recognize the work of Deacon Ken Moreland, our Vicar for Deacons.


Diácono Ken Moreland

Deacon Ken Moreland

Deacon Ken has taken a strong leadership role in both the formation and training of deacons ordained for our diocese, and also has put his own faith to good work as a deacon and as a member of the Most Holy Trinity parish community. He also is a global fellow for Catholic Relief Services and recently made a trip to Haiti, that has led to his making several presentations on CRS’ work around the world.


I know Deacon Ken to be a compassionate, very level-headed person who is very knowledgeable about parish life and on guiding our deacons.


It will be my pleasure to see him recognized at the dinner on Friday, Nov. 15 at Most Holy Trinity Parish.  For more information, or if you would like to attend the dinner, please visit


For more information about Jordan Ministry, visit


Religious Convocation
Brother and Sister Religious of the Diocese will gather at the Benedictine Monastery in Tucson for their Annual Convocation on Saturday, Nov. 16.


This year the day of socializing, prayer and study features a guest presenter, Sister Susan Jenny, S.C., a Sister of Charity of Seton Hill from Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  Sister Susan will lead the Sisters and Brothers in a reflective exploration of themes from Pope Frances’ Encyclical, “Lumen Fidei”.   I will join the religious in an open forum, an important part of the yearly Convocation.  We will end the day with Mass. Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, our Vicar for Religious, will host the event. I greatly appreciate the open forum as a way of hearing the recommendations of our sisters and brothers as well as their questions and thoughts.


Please pray
For the soul of Jack T. Arnold, father of Father John Arnold and Tom Arnold, our Chief Financial Officer, who passed away on Oct. 29.  Please pray also for all the members of the Arnold family: His wife of 61 years, Dorothy and their eight children, Tom (Karen), Mary (Paul) Leonardi, Fr. John P. Arnold, Rose (Victor) Fontes, Mike (Linda), Dennis (Tauna), Kevin (Kathy) and Kathleen (Brian) Koppy; 17 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Marjorie and by his three siblings, Rose Marie Arnold, Ed Arnold and Peggy Flack.


Jack was a decorated member of the Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force Reserves, an attorney and a Pima County Superior Court Judge.  He also was one of the founders of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Clinic and past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Council 1200. The funeral was today at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish.