Monday Memo, Feb. 3, 2014
Vol. 13, No. 4

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






Live in Faith, Give in Love
Our theme for the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal speaks of the virtues of faith and charity. These virtues describe how we should live and how we are called to share the blessings we have received.


image002Faith moves us to live a life of charity, to give of ourselves in the service of others. Faith inspires us to see others as our brothers and sisters about whom we must be concerned. Charity helps us to see beyond our own needs and to be attentive to the needs of others.


image003 Our commitment to the virtues of faith and charity is reflected in the work of the 26 ministries and charities so important for the work of the Church in our Diocese.  Your generosity to the Annual Catholic Appeal is your recognition that there are priests and deacons to be trained to serve throughout our Diocese. There are Catholic Schools to provide for so that they may educate the next generation of faithful.


The Annual Catholic Appeal is about understanding the necessity of offering social services for the needy and poor and to care for retired priests who have served us.


A lot of work goes into making the Annual Catholic Appeal happen each year.  At the pastoral center, the staff of the Catholic Foundation works hard to develop each year’s campaign materials and make sure that parishes have access to these tools.  At each parish, pastors lead parish staff and volunteers in sharing with parishioners why the appeal is important and why it is essential for each parish to achieve its goal.  While I am deeply appreciative and grateful for every gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal, I am also very thankful for the people who organize and run the Annual Catholic Appeal each year, whether it is here at the pastoral center or at each of the parishes across the Diocese.


image007The Annual Catholic Appeal is about living our Catholic faith and recognizing that the future of our church’s mission in our community depends on how generously we share from our blessings for others.  Please consider living the virtue of charity by donating to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal.  Through your dedication to the mission of your parish and our diocese, through your charitable giving, you embrace and live the virtues of faith.


Staying the course for protection
Saturday, about 140 Compliance officers and pastors came together at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish for a day-long training presented by our Office of Child Adolescence and Adult Protection. The day featured two very interesting and fact-filled panels; the first with public safety or state personnel who work in the area of elder protection. This was especially appreciated by those attending since we have so many retirees in our diocese. Sometimes elder citizens are abused in their home or a nursing facility. Sometimes they lack proper self care. Numerous suggestions were made on how to handle such   situations.



Photo by Steff Koeneman
Panelists Rae Vermeal, District Program Manager for Adult Protective Services; Deacon Rick Valencia, who is a Special Agent Supervisor for the State Attorney General’s Office; and Det. Erika Stropka, of Tucson Police Department’s Elder Abuse Unit, with Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston, Director of our Office of Protection.

The second panel included Richard Serrano, our Human Resources Director; Kathy Rhinehart, our Chancellor; and Rachel Guzman, from our protection office. They reflected on the importance of background checks and fingerprinting for countless volunteers and paid personnel, as well as letters of good standing for anyone coming  into our diocese to serve . The letters affirm to the visiting priests’ or others’  fitness for ministry.


Both panels gave our diocesan employees critical information and motivation for their work.  Most of the training participants are charged  with ensuring that all employees and volunteers working in our parishes and schools have been properly vetted.  Their hard work is essential in order to protect all those served by our schools and parish ministries.


The day ended with a powerful presentation by Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston.  My thanks to her, to Rachel and Danielle Palmas (from the Moderator of the Curator’s office) and the Human Resources staff of our pastoral center involved in background screenings: Lisa Nanez, Isela Celaya and Alex Neely, for their hard work with this day and to Steff Koeneman, director of communications for the Diocese, who taped the presentations for future use.



Priest Training
Today and tomorrow, there is another training session for those priests in our diocese that have been ordained for five years or less. The topic of this two-day session is preaching and public speaking.



The first part of the training is “Preparing a Powerful Homily”, with discussion on the materials, planning, topic variety and delivery style a priest might use in writing a homily.  Our newly ordained priests are fortunate to receive  tips from among the best preachers in our diocese, including Fathers Greg Adolf, pastor at St. Andrew’s Parish in Sierra Vista; Adolfo Martinez-Escobar, of St. James Parish in Coolidge; and Msgr. Bob Fuller, pastor of St. Francis Cabrini Parish, in Tucson. They will also discuss comments about the importance of preaching by Pope Francis made in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.


The next day’s training will be presented by Dr. Dina Leonard, lecturer/director of Public Speaking for the Department of Communications at the University of Arizona.  Leonard holds a master’s degree in Communication and her graduate research was focused on small group, cultural studies, and teaching communication. She has taught introduction to communication, interpersonal communication, small group communication, communication criticism, communication and instruction, and public speaking.


In addition to the UA, she also has taught at San Francisco State University and Northern Arizona University and is the director of public speaking courses at the UA.


Catholic Schools Day at the state Capitol
Catholic educators, students and leaders visited the state legislature on Tuesday and Wednesday last week to meet with lawmakers to support various measures that help support our Catholic schools, especially those measures that help


parents pay tuition costs or that enable the tuition support organization such as our own Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO),  that provides financial assistance to more  than 50 percent of the students attending Catholic schools in our diocese.


Here are several photographs from the days’ events.  Many of our diocesan schools brought students to Phoenix to participate:


Photos by Julieta Gonzalez
Scenes from the recent visit by Catholic schools to the state Capitol: Students from Lourdes Catholic School attended this years event, which included a celebration of our Catholic Tuition Support Organization or CTSO.


School visits
Wednesday morning I will join the students and faculty at Santa Cruz Catholic School, one of our Notre Dame ACE Academies.  The school has an enrollment of 232 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.  As you know, our three ACE Academies – ACE stands for Alliance for Catholic Education – Santa Cruz, St. Ambrose and St. John the Evangelist, focus on strong academic preparation and instilling solid faith-based values.  Through the Notre Dame partnership, the teachers at Santa Cruz gain strong teaching skills and the entire academic program employs both tried and true and newer education methods to help students learn.  My thanks to Principal Ted Wallace for the invitation to meet the students.

On Friday, I will visit the students at All Saints School in Sierra Vista, operated by Our Lady of the Mountains Parish and serving St. Andrew in Sierra Vista and Fort Huachucha as well .  One of the smaller schools in our diocese, All Saints can provide its students with smaller class sizes that must certainly benefit students.  I very much like the school’s mission statement “All Saints Catholic School is dedicated to educate and guide children as they follow the footsteps of Jesus. Faith, family, social growth and excellent academics form the foundation upon which we build our world’s future. Thanks to Principal Sister Carol Seidl, O.S.F. for her invitation.


If you are looking for educational options for someone in your family, I encourage you to visit the websites of both of these fine schools.  Santa Cruz Catholic School information can be found at and information about All Saints Catholic School can be found at


If you are interested in learning more about the Notre Dame ACE Academies, please visit



Before I move on to another topic, I wanted to bring up one more item.  As you may know, we just finished National Catholic Schools Week.  Many of our schools started the week with Open Houses – a great opportunity for parents to check out a particular school in our diocese, meet the principal and faculty members and to take a school tour.


Last Tuesday, the students from St. Ambrose and principal Emma Chavez made a surprise visit to our Pastoral Center, where they presented gifts and expressed their thanks to employees in the schools office, the CTSO office and others.  They even stopped by the Presbyteral Meeting and really brightened everyone’s day with their enthusiasm and smiles.  Thanks St. Ambrose for the great surprise!


St. Ambrose is another of our ACE Academies. Visit for information.




Catholic Cemeteries
The Board of Directors has a meeting on Thursday.  Included among the topics for discussion are:  a report on special events, (Advent, March for Life; upcoming events, Catholic Cemetery Conference at El Conquistador in April, and the Memorial Day Mass at both cemeteries in May);  maintenance projects at both cemeteries; personnel and financial issues; cemetery outreach efforts and potential new board members. I am grateful to Mr. John Fay, Chair of the Cemeteries Board and all the Board members for their wise counsel and advice to Anthony Crespo, our  Director of Catholic Cemeteries.


National communications
Also on Thursday, I will be participating in a teleconference for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Communications Committee. This committee meets in person once a year and by teleconference once a year. We will be discussing ways to provide more effective communication throughout the archdioceses and dioceses of the United States. Bishop John Wester of the Diocese of Salt Lake City is the Chair and the committee includes bishops from various regions of the Conference.


Diocesan Pastoral Council
Saturday’s meeting will include looking at our diocesan priorities: Increasing vocations, informing people in the faith, increasing a sense of stewardship around the Diocese, improving communication and use of technology, and increasing the number of students attending Catholic schools. We will also reflect on the five societal issues I raised  my column in this month’s New Vision newspaper: poverty, addiction, violence, homelessness, immigration and refugees. It is my hope that our parish and diocesan pastoral councils will help develop ways for us to better respond to these goals.  To read my column, please visit:


Welcome to Tucson
On Feb. 8 I will celebrate Mass with members of the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry, who are conducting their annual meeting at the Redemptorist  Renewal Center in Tucson.  Following Mass, I look forward to dining with the leaders of the Association.  These leaders use their expertise to direct graduate ministry programs at places such as the School of Ministry at the University of Dallas; St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, Minn.; St Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin and the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. We are blessed that so many national groups meet at our Redemptorist Renewal Center. It is a marvelous place to gather.


Mass for Religious Jubilarians
Sunday, Feb. 9
10 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral

It will be my joy to celebrate Mass for our Sisters and Brothers  celebrating  jubilees for their live of service in ministry.  This year’s jubilarians include:

70 years:
Sister Stella Cunniff, O.S.B.

60 years  (Diamond):

Sister Catherine Gilles, O.S.F., who works in education as Administrative Assistant for Santa Cruz and San Xavier.

Sister Lenora Black, O.S.B., who serves as the Director of Benedictine Oblates.

Sister  Joy Heinlein, O.S.B.

Sister Miriam Claire Arnold, I.H.M., who serves in teaching.

Sister Francesca Marti, I.H.M., who serves in teaching.

Sister Rosemary Sampon, M.M.S.,  who serves in Religious Education, hospice and ministry to immigrants

50 years (Golden):
Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F.,  who serves as the- Assistant Supervisor of Catholic Schools for our diocese.

Sister Karen Berry, O.S.F.  who serves as a Director of Religious Education.

25 years (Silver):

Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M., who serves in education

The contribution of religious in our diocese is invaluable, and I am very grateful, always, for the tireless work each one of these people do in service of others.

My thanks to Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., our Vicar for Religious, for her work in organizing this heart-warming  Mass and reception.


Kids Helping Kids  African Mass with Bishop
Most Holy Trinity Parish
1300 N. Greasewood Road
Sunday, Feb. 9
1 p.m. Mass



Photos by Victor Calderon
Above, representatives from Our Lady of La Vang Parish at the annual Asian New Year celebration at the parish.

The children in the Religious Education Program at Most Holy Trinity have been working to raise $5,000 to build at water well in Tanzania, Africa, as one of their Outreach Projects this year. So far, they have raised close to $3,000.


This Sunday, Feb. 9, it will be my great joy to visit the parish to celebrate  a traditional African American Mass with members of the African Community visiting from St. Cyril’s Parish and with the children of the MHT Religious Education Program, who are learning about African saints, martyrs and Catholic African customs and culture.


This well project  is a wonderful way  to  help our children learn about another culture, and to learn about the needs of others and how to take action to help.  I look forward to celebrating the Mass!


Bishop Kicanas with Father Ed Pietrucha, C.S. P. , and two young parishioners at the Mass in Polish at St. Cyril.


You may remember that I celebrated Mass at Our Lady of La Vang on Sunday to help the parish celebrate the Asian New Year, and I also concelebrated Mass in Polish at St. Cyril’s Parish.  Here are a couple of photos from each of those occasions:


Please remember Msgr. Thomas Cahalane’s older brother in your prayers. John  Cahalane suffered a serious stroke. Msgr. Tom will be visiting his brother in Ireland in the near future.


Remember also the father of Father Abraham Guerrero, parochial vicar at Santa Monica, who is seriously ill in Ecuador. Father Abraham recently went to be with him.