Monday Memo, Feb. 17, 2014
Vol. 13, No. 6

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas









Bishop Kicanas with Catholic Relief Services in Haiti.

Presentation at OMOS
On Sunday, it was my honor to give a presentation at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish to about 150 people about Catholic Relief Services.


I was Chairman of the Board for CRS for three years, and during that time I had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the amazing work the organization does – everything from providing emergency relief and temporary shelter to places struck by natural disasters ,to organizing refugee camps and providing much-needed services there, to making available safe water, developing more effective farming techniques, cash for work programs and funding for micro-business programs to help people or entire communities learn how to become financially self-sufficient.  CRS also provides education and training, medical assistance and programs to teach people better nutrition and child care.


My presentation keyed-in on “The joy of the Gospel: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation … Becoming a people of the poor.”  As you know, our Holy Father has spoken out publicly about the need for all of us to help those in need and to address poverty in our world.


CRS is an organization dedicated to helping impoverished people.  Today, CRS provides programs, funding and relief services in 100 countries.


To learn more about CRS, please visit  Once you are on the webpage, click on the tabs that say “Where we serve” and “How we serve” to get some very good information on CRS.


I encourage you to read my column in the March edition of the New Vision.  The column focuses  on what we can do during Lent to serve others and to become a people of the poor.


Annual Catholic Appeal at St. Andrew Parish
Last week, as I have done for the last several years, I celebrated Mass for the community of St. Andrew in Sierra Vista and afterward attended a parish wide dinner sponsored by the Knights of Columbus to help raise money for the Annual Catholic Appeal. Father Greg does an amazing job giving witness by his own giving but also encouraging and supporting his people to be generous in response to others needs. MM-Oct

I am so proud of all our pastors and their teams to do help us reach our ACA goal of 3.7 million dollars to fully fund the twenty six ministries and charities so important for the work of the Church. We are off to a wonderful start and I am confident we will reach goal for the second year in a row. But that can only happen when all around the diocese pitch in to get us there.

I want to encourage our Catholic Schools and parish religious education programs to encourage their students to participate this year. Their small sacrifices can reap much good for others. We will see which parish school or RE program gives the most. Getting our young people to learn to be good stewards begins now by inviting them to make a small sacrifice to help others in need.


Presbyteral Council
Today there is a meeting of the Presbyteral Council at the Pastoral Center. Priests from each of our 11 Vicariates gather with Msgr. Al Schifano, our Moderator of the Curia; Kathy Rhinehart, our Chancellor, me and any guest presenters that have been called to inform the council about specific topics.


Items on the agenda today include: Lent – Themes and Programs; Diocesan and Societal Goals (Mentioned in my February New Vision column, see:
an update on Cathedral Square – St. Augustine Cathedral, the Msgr. Arsenio S. Carrillo Plaza and Hall and Marist College; the new diocesan Fingerprinting  Procedure; Senior Deacons; and three topics presented by Margie Puerta Edson, executive director of the Catholic Foundation: an Annual Catholic Appeal update, our Stewardship Program,  and updating databases.


We will conclude the meeting with reports from each of our Vicariates.


Breakfast with the Bishop
I will be holding two more of my “Breakfasts with the Bishop” tomorrow and Wednesday at my residence. These are smaller gatherings put together by the Catholic Foundation that give me an opportunity to meet with local Catholics, and to hear their comments and suggestions. I have learned a lot from these gatherings and have had an opportunity to meet some of the over 350,000 Catholics that make up our Diocese in a more personal way. We have so many incredible stewards who share their time generously, their talent incredibly, and their resources amazingly.


Presentation to St. Augustine students
I was delighted to accept a speaking invitation from the students at St. Augustine High School. Want to guess what they asked me to speak about? Perhaps, “How to live a holy life?” Nah.  “How to pray better?”  No.  “Understanding scripture?”  Not even.


Their topic: Marriage, or specifically, Catholic teaching on marriage. Seems as though the students have picked up our Holy Father’s theme for the upcoming Synod: Marriage and Family Life.  My presentation tomorrow will focus on what the Church teaches about the dignity of marriage as well as some of the difficult questions young people have about our moral teaching with regard marriage and family.


Thanks to the students for the invitation, and to Principal Lynn Cuffari for hosting my presentation.


Knights of the Holy Sepulchre 
On Wednesday, there will be  a candidate orientation for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem at the Pastoral Center from 5 p.m. to 7 pm.image005


The orientation includes a presentation on the Order, including its history and mission.


The Order dates back to 1099AD when Godfrey Bouillon became the protector of the Holy Sepulchre.


The Order’s mission: To strengthen in its members the practice of Christian life, to sustain and to aid the charitable, cultural and social works and institutions of the Catholic Church in the holy Land, to support the preservation and propagation of the Faith in the Holy Land,  and to sustain the rights of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.


The meeting will end with Ernie and Kathy Nedder, area councilors, asking the candidates to carefully and prayerfully consider becoming members.






Seminary visit
Thursday through Saturday, I will be visiting our seminarians attending Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.   Last week, I visited our four seminarians attending Mt. Angel Seminary in Portland, Ore.

image005Just as I did at Mt. Angel, I will be visiting, meeting each of our seminarians and meeting with seminary formation and academic staff to review their progress.  Those attending Mundelein are:  Bill Duffert, who taught last year in San Luis, Arizona; Martin Moreno from Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales; Callistus Iyorember from the Via Christi Society in Nigeria; Edson Elizarraras, from Immaculate Conception in Yuma; Alan Valencia, who also comes from Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales; Tom Quirk from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish; Albert Miranda from St. Joseph Parish in Tucson; and Marco Carrasco from Immaculate Conception Parish in Douglas.


Albert and Marco will be ordained to the priesthood in June. Marco at St. Augustine Cathedral on June 7, and Albert in his native Philippines on June 21.


Our two seminarians from nearby Sacred Heart School of Theology – John Gonzales and George Holley – will join us all for dinner one evening.  Sacred Heart, in Hales Corner, Wis., is a 45 to 60 minute drive from the seminary in Mundelein.


While I am in the Chicago area, I will have a chance to gather with my own family and will confirm my great niece, Zoe,  at St. Mary’s Parish in Riverside, Illinois.


Staff Meeting
While I am in Mundelein on Thursday, there will be a Joint Directors’ Meeting at the pastoral center.  These monthly meetings give me and Msgr. Al Schifano a chance to get Pastoral Center Department updates, and we also use the time to give our directors updates on important diocesan event or news. I like meeting with our directors and keeping abreast of their important work in carrying on our Diocesan mission. I will miss being there.


Charismatic Youth and Young Adult Retreat
Feb. 21 -23
St. Joseph’s  Parish

Please note: This event is being held in Spanish only


I am so proud of our Hispanic Ministry Department.  At the end of this week, those working with Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, will be hosting this retreat for people between the ages of 18 and 35.


I will join the retreat for Mass on Sunday.  It will be my joy to see so many of our mostly younger Catholics gathered together to find Christ and to strengthen their faith.


If you, or a Spanish speaking person you know are interested in attending, check out the youtube video link above.


Two opportunities:
image007On Monday, Feb. 24, Father Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C,  Ph.D., an associate  professor of Theology from Notre Dame University, will be making two presentations in our diocese.


  1. Training session for our Ongoing Priest Formation program.  Father Groody will be talking with many of our priests on the topic: “Eucharist and Welcoming the Stranger.” This presentation will take place at the Redemptorist Renewal Center.
  2. In the evening, Father Groody will give the annual Robert A. Burns Lecture for Religious Studies at the University of Arizona.


For the lecture, Father  Groody, who also is an expert in Latino spirituality and its influence on immigration, will give the presentation entitled “Dying to Live:  A Theology of Migration.”   It will begin at 7 p.m. at the UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen Street.  Father Groody has written extensively about border issues and is a familiar face in Southern Arizona.


The Burns lecture is given each year by the Religious Studies Program at the UA.  It is named for Father Robert Burns, O.P. , who was the program’s founding director and who  has been teaching Religious Studies at UA since 1971. The Burns lecture is free and open to the public.


You may remember Father; he was an educator at the ‘Summer Institute’ on Immigration in our diocese this past June at UA.