Monday Memo, Feb. 10, 2014
Vol. 13, No. 5

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






Photo by Omar Rodríguez

Kids Helping Kids
You may remember from my Memo last week that the students in the Religious Education program at Most Holy Trinity Parish were working to raise money to build a water well in Tanzania as part of their outreach projects.


The Mass with African cultural elements yesterday went very well with good music and, and as you can see in the photo above, the students showed how much money was raised for the project by making a “check” presentation.





Photos by Steff Koeneman
From left to right are: Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F.; Sister Catherine Gilles, O.S.F.; Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M.; Bishop Gerald Kicanas; Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., Vicar for Religious; Sister Lenora Black, O.S.B.; Sister Rosemary Sampon, M.M.S., and Sister Mary Joe Heinlein, O.S.B.

Congratulations and gratitude
On Sunday I celebrated Mass with the jubilarian religious working in our diocese.  They represent 555 years of service to the church. Astounding!


We listed them in last week’s Memo, but I will list these true servants again, because of their outstanding years of devoted service to Catholics in southern Arizona that still continues:

70 years:
Sister Stella Cunniff, O.S.B. Retired60 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.
Sister Francesca Marti, I.H.M.
Sister Rosemary Sampon, M.M.S.


Sisters Delores Vogt, O.S.F., Lenora Black, O.S.B. and Carla Riach, O.S.F.

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 at St. Francis Cabrini Parish.

25 years (Silver):
Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M., who serves in education at Lourdes Catholic School


Special thanks to Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., our Vicar for Religious who organized this celebration along with help from her team. Many of us can look back in our lives with gratitude for the religious men and women who taught us, who attended to us in hospitals, and who supported us in troubles. Their remarkable service has been a true gift to the Church that  continues in those religious who still serve. Let’s pray for more vocations to religious life.


Let us also remember three of our religious women who are in the hospital: Sister Rose Kordick, O.S.F., Sister  Ellen Pachmayer ,O.S.F., and Sister Luisa Sanchez, I.H.M.. We pray for their speedy and full recovery.


Dedication Mass
This evening it is my joy to celebrate a liturgy dedicating the new altar and blessing the recently renovated St. Michael’s Mission in Naco.


The small town of Naco, Arizona, established in the early 1900s, is one of two Arizona ports of entry into  the Rio Sonora region of Mexico and is the sister city to Naco, Sonora. It was originally settled by Nahua and Opata Indians. “Naco” means nopal cactus in the Opata language. The town’s population was 1,046 at the 2010 census and the small community literally is a stone’s throw from the U.S.-Mexico border.


St. Patrick’s Church in Bisbee is the “mother church” of the mission. Deacon Tony Underwood serves as Pastoral Administrator of St. Patrick and its mission along with Father Samuel Jandeh, V.C. , who is the  parochial vicar. They have worked tirelessly with parishioners to renovate the mission church and what a beautiful job they have done. There are about 60 parishioners that call St. Michael’s their spiritual home and who now are rightly proud of the work that was done.


Bishop Kicanas blessed the faculty at Lourdes School in Nogales in this Aug. 2012 photo. His visit then included a trip to the school garden.


School visit
On Tuesday I will visit the students attending Lourdes Catholic School in Nogales. The school on the hill near the Nogales border has 223 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and there also is a high school. Lourdes School is an example of how well students from both sides of the border can come together and achieve academically.


I always enjoy my visits there, and I always get a heart-felt welcome from the faculty and students.  During my visit this year,  we will celebrate the 25th jubilee of Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M.  Sister Barbara is the principal of Lourdes High School and recently completed a study on how Hispanic families access our Catholic Schools and describes what more could be done to welcome them into our faith communities.


I still fondly remember my last visit to Lourdes where I had a chance to bless a garden that the students, encouraged by teacher Tere Scully, had cultivated.  The garden showed their respect and regard for the environment.


There always are wonderful surprises awaiting visitors to Lourdes. Students from Lourdes are also deeply involved with the Kino Border Initiative where they are learning how we can respect and develop friendships with people on the both sides of the border.



Seminary visit
I will be in Portland, Oregon from Wednesday to Saturday of this week visiting four of our seminarians  who are studying for priesthood at Mt. Angel College Seminary — Zachary Ferell of St. Mark’s Parish, Ivan Garcia-Hernandez of St. Helen Parish in Eloy, Paul Grandi from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, and Jesus Sanchez from San Judas Tadeo Parish in San Luis, Ariz.


Mt. Angel, according to its website, “is home to 114 seminarians from approximately 30 dioceses, plus 40 candidates for priestly formation from religious orders.  Counting 25 lay students working toward advanced degrees in theology, the Seminary maintains a total enrollment of just under 200.”  This includes both college and theologate seminarians.


I will be visiting, meeting each of our seminarians and meeting with seminary formation and academic staff to review the progress of our four seminarians over the two days, and I will have the honor of  celebrating Mass on Thursday with all of the students attending Mt. Angel.


We also have eight seminarians at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Chicago and two seminarians at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corner, Wis.


MM-OctAnnual Catholic Appeal dinner
Upon my return to Tucson on Saturday, I will be heading out to St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Sierra Vista for an Annual Catholic Appeal dinner. Each year,  I enjoy celebrating Mass with the parish followed by a fabulous dinner sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. My vegan meal is prepared by Frances, who always does a great job at making other people consider becoming vegans.


Father Greg leads the way in filling the ACA envelope with his gift and then inviting the community to do the same. It works like magic, mainly because of the high regard and respect people have for Father Greg.


Last week, I enjoyed saying Mass and sharing dinner with parishioners at Our Lady of the Mountain Parish also in Sierra Vista. This was Father Ariel Lustan’s first effort  at thanking ACA donors and inviting them to join in this year’s campaign. There was a marvelous turn-out and the parish successfully raised a good amount toward  its goal for this year’s Appeal. Earlier in the day, I celebrated Mass for the children of All Saints School and the students gave me a recap of their talent show held last Saturday. I was treated to young pianists, two first grade comedians, and a glorious rendition of a number from the Broadway musical, “Annie”. The singers were fantastic.


Sierra Vista takes the lead in exercising true stewardship by sharing their blessings with others through the Annual Catholic Appeal.


CRS Presentation by Bishop Kicanas
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, 1800 S. Kolb Road
2 p.m.

On Sunday I will celebrate the 12:15  p.m. Mass with the parishioners at Our Mother of Sorrows and then give a presentation about the work of Catholic Relief Services and the call of Pope Francis in his Post Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, the Joy of the Gospel to serve those in need.


Bishop Kicanas, as Chairman of the Board for Catholic Relief Services, during a visit to Haiti.


As you know, I was the Chairman of the Board for CRS for three years, and during my tenure, I had the amazing opportunity to see the humanitarian and emergency aid provided by CRS in many countries.  In fact, CRS provides services to people in 100 countries.


I encourage you to visit the CRS website at  There is nothing more humbling than to walk among the weakest and poorest around us and to see the world through their eyes.  Their spirit and faith is amazing.



Please pray
For the soul of Father Fred Curry, who will be laid to rest this Friday at Our Lady of the Desert Cemetery at 11 a.m.  Msgr. John Cusack will conduct the military funeral. Brother priests are welcome to attend.  Father Fred died in December, and he will be buried on what would have been his 94th birthday.


He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tucson on May 26, 1949 in Hartford, Connecticut. In our diocese, Father Fred served as Associate Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Nogales, and at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish from 1949-1952. He was pastor of St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Arizona from1952 to 1962. He was a chaplain for USAF – Air National Guard in 1959 and was called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. He served in the Air Force in Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam and Germany, before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Tucson from 1974 to 1984 and was named Pastor Emeritus when he retired.


For the soul of John Paha, brother of Sister Lois Paha, O.P., D.Min. , our Director of Pastoral Services.  John passed away Feb. 5 in Chicago after a hard fought battle with cancer.  Sister and John’s wife and his daughter were with him, and as Sister wrote, together they “prayed him into heaven.”  Please pray that Sister and her family may also find comfort and peace.