Monday Memo, Jan. 13, 2014
Vol. 13, No. 1

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






Annual Catholic Appeal meets goal!image002
There is a joy and fulfillment that comes to those who share God’s blessings to help others.


I am very pleased to report that for the first time in a number of years our 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal has reached its goal with $3,712,824 collected in pledges and gifts.


Catholic Foundation Executive Director Margie Puerta Edson tells me that a few final gifts are left to be processed, so the actual total will exceed our goal this year.


Other  noteworthy accomplishments  are that we received over $71,000 in new gifts between Dec. 18 and the end of the year, and that 40 out of 80 parishes and communities met their individual goals!  Fantastic!


We are incredibly thankful for all the hard work by pastors, lay leaders, parish support staff and, of course, to the 15,867 very generous donors who worked together to bring the Annual Catholic Appeal to this most successful conclusion. Thank you and congratulations for your terrific efforts.


We also are deeply grateful and appreciative of the support and participation that the Appeal has received across our Diocese.  Reaching this goal means that this year we will be able to fully fund every ministry and service supported by the Annual Appeal and this is extremely welcome news for everyone. It will also make possible some grants to needy parishes to do projects that are not possible for the parishes to fund. Much good will come of people’s generosity.


Of course, as one year closes, a new one begins and we look forward to the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal with much optimism that we will be able to again be successful in this effort to garner financial resources for the work of the Church.


A special thanks to all our Catholic Foundation Office staff especially Margie Puerta Edson, Robin Evans, and Olga Alarcon who were directly involved in the Appeal.


image004School Open Houses
As I have mentioned in several of my past Memos, the Diocese has been working very hard to better promote our Catholic schools. Very soon, you will be seeing changes on the diocesan  school’s webpage – changes that are designed to help better inform you about the quality and effectiveness of our schools.


I am pleased to let you know that each of our schools will hold an Open House  sometime during National Catholic Schools week from Saturday, Jan. 25 to Wednesday, Jan. 29.  For a complete listing of the schools and the date and time of each Open House, please click here:


These Open Houses offer school tours and information directly from the school principals and faculty.  It is the best possible way to learn more about the Catholic school near your parish, or perhaps about one of our schools that you have been considering for your children or grandchildren.


You also can learn about financial aid possibilities that could make attending a Catholic school affordable. There will be information available about our Catholic Tuition Support Organization, CTSO,  and about the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, or ESAs, that are available through the State of Arizona.


If you want to learn more about those tuition assistance programs now, I encourage you to visit or for more information, or call our Catholic Schools Office at 838-2547.image020


Also, be on watch for a special television commercial about our Catholic schools beginning this Wednesday.


Catholic Schools offer families a tremendous opportunity for strong academic instruction and for the building of faith and values in our children.  Our schools provide  the curriculum, technology, sports, art, music and teaching needed by students today to prepare them for college and beyond.  I encourage you to visit one of our schools to find out more for yourselves.


Thanks volunteers!
Tomorrow, it will be my pleasure to attend a luncheon thanking volunteers at Southwest Medical Aid during 2013.


MM-OctSouthwest Medical Aid is a distributor of donated “reclaimed’ and surplus medical supplies that it then sends to those in need both here in Arizona and in other countries such as Haiti, Honduras, Uganda, Mexico and Peru.  It could be said that many of the supplies sent by Southwest Medical Aid go to the very poorest people in the world.


In so many places the lack of even simple medical supplies can cause people to suffer needlessly from simple wounds, infection and many other easily cured or prevented conditions.


My thanks to those who work so hard for Southwest Medical  Aid.



Pastoral Center meetings
Tomorrow also is the day we are holding our regular Administrative Directors and Pastoral Directors meetings. Tuesday’s meetings will focus on how well we are meeting our annual diocesan and departmental goals, and so each department or ministry will be giving a report on progress made over the last several months.


You may recall that our diocesan goals are centered mainly around what I call the Six I’s:


Inspire vocations; Increase a sense of stewardship all around our diocese; improve communications and use of technology, Implement the Year of Faith, Inform people in the faith and Increase the number of students in Catholic Schools.


I am grateful to all of our Administrative Directors and our Pastoral, or ministry, Directors for their work.  Achieving goals can be difficult; I know that the day-to-day work at our Pastoral Center often takes up nearly every minute of the day.  But my staff fully understands the need to define and meet new challenges to keep our diocese current with the needs of our parishes.



Welcome visiting seminarians
Over the past several days Pre-Theology II students from Mundelein Seminary have been working at the Tohono O’odham Nation in Sells with the Franciscans at San Solano Mission in Topawa.  During their time here, they have been working with Father Alfonso “Ponchie”  Vasquez, O.F.M.  and others as they minister to Catholics living in the various parts of the reservation.


Our visitors, led by  Father  Chris Ciomek , whom I know from my days as Rector at the seminary, include German Alzate from the Diocese of El Paso; Agustin Garza, Stephen Lilly, Christian Shiu and Emmanuel Torres-Fuentes from the  Archdiocese of Chicago; Aaron Kuhn from the Diocese of Springfield, IL; and Joseph Van Havermaet  from the Diocese of Rockford.


The visit to the San Solano Missions provides very good “hands on” training for seminarians, as they can get a close look at what is involved in working with people of different cultures, and who also may be living through experiences such as poverty, illness, addictions and isolation.


My thanks to Father Ponchie for his work with these future priests, and to the seminarians for their earnest desire to learn more about what ministry is all about.


I hosted  Father Ciomek and the students for dinner at my residence last Friday. They will be leaving our diocese on Jan. 17.


New parish assignments
Effective Jan. 25 the following priest assignments will begin:


Father Thomas Munoz Gallardo, from pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton, to parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma.


Father Manuel Fragoso-Carranza, from pastor at Sacred Heart Parish and its missions in the Parker, Arizona area, to pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Somerton.


Father Richard Kusugh, V.C., from parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, to Parish Administrator at Sacred Heart Parish  and its missions in the Parker area.


Two very important events will be taking place in our diocese over the weekend of Jan. 18 and Jan. 19. There also is a special day of recognition taking place on Jan. 21.  Please read below for more information.


image01017th Annual March for Life
Sat. Jan. 18

The day begins with a Mass at 9 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave.
Organizer Kelly Copeland, from the Fatima Women’s Center, said about 1,350 people of all ages are expected to participate in this year’s event. The Fatima Center works with expectant women, offering pre-natal services and education on abortion procedures and risks.


Following the Mass, participants and many groups from parishes and other organizations, carrying banners and signs, process just over four miles to Holy Hope Catholic Cemetery at 3555 N. Oracle Road for a brief memorial service.


At the cemetery, a bell is rung and roses are placed in front of a tombstone “dedicated to all the victims of abortion” for each year since the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. The final rose is placed by an expectant mother.
“Our prayers are important because we want to end abortion,” Copeland said in story published in the New Vision newspaper . “We hold a memorial service at the cemetery to realize the loss we’ve suffered because of abortions.”


I am grateful to Father Domenico Pinti who is a liaison for pro-life groups in our diocese,  as well as Joanne Welter ,Director of our Office of Human Life and Dignity, for their efforts on behalf of the protection of the unborn. Thanks to Sister Lois Paha, O.P. , for her assistance with the liturgy. I am always pleased to see so many priests participate and all priests are welcome to concelebrate the liturgy on Saturday. Fathers Marcos Velasquez, Martin Martinez, and Juan Carlos Aquirre also have helped organize the upcoming liturgy.


To read the entire story published in the New Vision, please visit






Priests Retirement Dinner
Sunday, Jan. 19

This dinner, hosted by the Knights of Columbus, Msgr. Don H. Hughes Assembly, Fourth Degree, raises thousands of dollars to benefit the priest retirement fund that assists priests with living expenses after they have retired from active ministry.


This year’s honoree is Msgr. Arsenio S. Carrillo, former Vicar General for our diocese and pastor of St. Augustine Cathedral, who led the Cathedral Parish community for a total of 40 years.  Msgr. Carrillo retired in 2001, but still attends Mass at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, where his longtime friend, Msgr. Tom Cahalane is pastor. A marvelous video of Msgr. Carrillo’s service in our Diocese will be shared with those who attend.


If you would like to attend the dinner, I encourage you to call Marty Ronstadt at 577-1037 for information.


Martin Luther King Holiday
On Monday, Jan. 20 our nation celebrates a day in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King who played such a major influence in helping our country move away from a racial divide to provide equal opportunity for all. While we are still a long way from realizing Dr. King’s dream, he made a great difference, as did Nelson Mandela, in ending apartheid in South Africa.


Day of Recognition
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., our Vicar for Religious, told me that the Sisters and Brothers working in our Diocese are invited to participate in a Day of Recognition of those suffering from human trafficking.


Sister encourages people to include prayers for the just treatment of migrants and end of suffering for those affected by human trafficking in their personal prayer intentions.


Most of the Brothers and Sisters will be praying for this intention in their chapels, classroom, offices and homes throughout the day.  Vespers will be held at the end of the day – 7 p.m. at the Monastery of Perpetual Adoration, 800 N. Country Club Road, for anyone who wants to come together with the Benedictine community at that time.


The Day of Recognition also is the Feast of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr.


Please pray
For the soul of Bob Preble, who passed away Dec. 28.  Bob was husband to Katherine Preble, our diocesan Internal Auditor. Bob worked at the UA for 35 years. Please also pray for his family at this time.


For the soul of Jose Maria Dominguez who passed away Jan. 10.  Jose Maria was the uncle of Sonya Gutierrez, Executive Assistant in the Office of the Bishop, and of Chris Barrios, diocesan Financial Operations Assistant.  A man of great faith, he asked for Holy Communion just days before his death, and Sonya was able to bring the Sacrament to him.  His funeral will be Wednesday.>