Monday Memo, Aug. 25, 2014. Vol. 15, No. 4

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas









image006Pastoral Visit
One of the many blessings of being the Bishop of a sprawling diocese is that I have the opportunity to visit the 11 vicariates, or regions, that make up our diocese.   Happily, each vicariate includes its own very distinct terrain, resources, and parish personalities, and each possesses a history that makes the visits very interesting and inspiring.


This week, I am visiting the Graham-Greenlee Vicariate that also includes Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Willcox. The vicariate is very rich in history – a couple of parishes predate the formation of our diocese – and the area is steeped in mining and agricultural culture. Even today, the parish communities of Morenci, Clifton, and Safford of this vicariate have a strong connection to the mining industry. For an entertaining and detailed description of the parishes in this vicariate, many of which were built and restored numerous times after fires, floods and other disasters, I encourage you to read a story that appeared in our New Vision newspaper last year:


Here’s a history primer on this beautiful vicariate:

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe was built in Solomonville – now Solomon – to serve all of Graham and Greenlee Counties, parts of Cochise and Gila Counties and a bit of New Mexico in 1884. That’s 28 years before Arizona was a state, and 13 years before the Diocese of Tucson was created in 1897.


Solomonville was named for settler Isadore E. Solomon, who also deeded property for Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. The town became known as Solomon in 1950.



Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Solomon

The nearby San Jose Mission was established in 1894. The mission was closed in 1954 when people left the area, but it was re-established in 1985 by Bishop Manuel D. Moreno. Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton was founded in 1899, the same year, according to the Mission’s anniversary booklet, when “Pope Leo XIII dedicated the whole human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by a solemn Act of Consecration in all the churches of the world.”


The town of Duncan is served by St. Mary’s Mission, once part of Holy Cross Parish in Morenci. According to the story in the New Vision newspaper “Records show the first priest to officially visit Clifton and nearby Morenci was missionary Father Antonio Jouvaceau in 1882. The first church in Clifton was built in 1899, The first church in Morenci was a mission built in 1892 by Father Michael Vandermesen, who served in nearby Solomonville … Msgr. Peter Timmermans, who served in Clifton, built a church on the present site in 1900 but it was destroyed by three successive dynamite blasts in nearby mines.” Not one, but three blasts. Wow! Those parishioners must have been very resilient to rebuild so many times!


Morenci’s Holy Cross Parish was formed by Bishop Henri Granjon in 1913, and the parish was led by the Discalced Carmelite Fathers.


St. Rose of Lima Parish was built in Safford beginning in 1925. It also had been a mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Solomonville from 1927 until 1937, when it was designated a separate parish. In 1961 the Sisters of the Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, now known as “the White Sisters,” came to Safford to help in the catechetical program. The current church was built in 1962, and its first Mass was celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1963.
In Willcox, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish was established by Bishop Daniel J. Gercke on March 25, 1936. Prior to that, in 1934, the community had been a mission, using a building constructed in 1887. That building was destroyed by fire on May 5, 1947, the day of its 60th anniversary.

The current church built to replace the one that burned was constructed of cement bricks and it was dedicated in March 1948 by Bishop Gercke, who was accompanied by another priest: Father Francis J. Green, who was later Bishop of Tucson.


My pastoral visit will begin on Friday, as I travel to Morenci for morning Mass at Holy Cross Parish. I also will celebrate noon Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton, then end the day with Mass at the Newman Center in Thatcher near the campus of Eastern Arizona College.


Saturday, I will have the opportunity to visit nursing homes in the Solomon area, and then will celebrate Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe. On Sunday, I will be visiting Willcox and Sacred Heart Parish and will celebrate Mass there at 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.


I’ll head east again that afternoon and will celebrate Mass with the community of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Bowie. Later in the day I will visit the mission community at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Simon. Both missions are part of the larger parish family of Sacred Heart Church in Willcox.


image011Thank you Century Link!
It is joy to witness active and significant participation by business leaders and the corporations they represent in our community. Guy Gunther, CenturyLink’s Vice President and General Manager for Northern and Southern Arizona presented a large check –literally — -for our own Arizona’s Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO). Gracie Quiroz, Executive Director of CTSO and I are grateful for CenturyLink’s commitment to accessible and affordable quality education in our Catholic Schools. The $200,000 corporate gift under Arizona’s Tax Credit program will go a long way to help families who need scholarship assistance. To date, CTSO has awarded scholarships to more than 2,500 students in our Catholic schools and the school year has just begun. Thank you, CenturyLink!


image013Directors of Religious Education
Some of our Parish Directors of Religious Education gathered for their annual Convocation along with Mike Berger who has worked for the Diocese for 43 years, amazing! What a gift they are to the Diocese in handing on the faith to the next generation. In the photo at left, Mike Berger is the third person from the left in the front row.


Catholic Foundation
There is a meeting of the Catholic Foundation Board of Directors today. The Board will review the results of the feasibility study being done on Cathedral Square. The Board commissioned Smith and Dale to speak with Catholic and non-Catholic leaders in the community about possible plans for the renewal of this space. I also made mention of this in the recent issue of the New Vision in which I sought input on what people think would be best to do.


The Foundation Board will also discuss the financial status of the Foundation and the recent decision to have the finances taken care of by the finance office of the diocese. Even though the Foundation is separate from the Diocese it has decided to contract with the Diocese’s finance office to oversee their books.


The Board will get a summary report of the recent hugely successful Cornerstone Gala held at the Starr Pass and consider plans for this year’s gala. They will review Foundation grant distributions and proposals. Many parishes and schools and Catholic institutions like Catholic Community Services are grateful for the support of the Foundation providing opportunities for them to do needed work, purchase necessary items or support a project.


image015Annual Catholic Appeal
As we near the last quarter of 2014, the Catholic Foundation is beginning to think about the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, People of Faith, Hope and Charity. While there is much to do to prepare for next year’s campaign, there is still in fact much to do to make sure that the current appeal, Live in Faith, Give in Love is as successful as possible.


Still to be done in 2014 is Amen Sunday. Amen Sunday is the end of the active pledge phase and an opportunity for parishes still below their pledge goal to try and close the gap. This year, Amen Sunday will take place on the weekend of Sept. 13 and 14. I encourage all parishes under goal to participate by:


  • Utilizing the Amen Sunday bulletin inserts created by the Catholic Foundation to inform parishioners of the upcoming collection;
  • Locating all un-used Annual Catholic Appeal pledge envelopes at your parish. If the supply you locate is NOT sufficient to distribute some in every pew/seat, contact the ACA office with a request for more.
  • At the beginning of all masses on AMEN Sunday weekend, announce from the pulpit that a second collection will be taken for the purpose of reaching the parish’s Annual Catholic Appeal goal.
  • Announce the parish ACA $ goal and the results so far. This information can be found by either contacting the Catholic Foundation office or from the daily progress report on the internet (
  • Encourage parishioners to complete a gift/pledge envelope located in the pew/seat. Inform the parishioners that you have made a gift to the ACA (if you have). An invitation to participate from the pastor will produce the most positive results!
  • Announce that today’s effort will be the final time they hear about the Annual Catholic Appeal in mass in 2014 (you may hear a loud AMEN!)
  • Encourage every household to participate at some level of giving. Challenge your parishioners to meet the parish goal — use an example, for instance, “if each household that has not yet participated would contribute $ _________ “ we will make our goal.


Amen, as you may know, means, “I believe”. If you believe that as a Church we are committed to helping others, please consider making a contribution to the Annual Catholic Appeal if you have not already done so. Every bit helps. We all play a role in our Church and your participation will truly make a difference.

Mentoring program for the newly ordained
Tomorrow and Wednesday, those priests who have been ordained within the last five years will be attending another session in the ongoing training held at the Redemptorist Renewal Center. This week’s programs will focus on spirituality. Monsignors Van Wagner, Raul Trevizo, John Cusack and Al Schifano will present a panel discussion on “Staying Alive Spiritually as a Priest”, and later on Fathers Paul Coury, C.Ss.R., David Louch C.Ss.R., Chris Orndorff, Jeff Wocken, S.D.S. and Sister Jan Eschweiler, S.D.S., will hold a panel discussion on “Spiritual Growth through Scripture and Spiritual Direction.


At these gatherings I meet with the priests to have a review of life in which each priest has a chance to share his experiences since the last time we met. Msgr. Al Schifano will be joining me for these days.


It is always a joy to meet with our recently ordained and to hear how their ministry is unfolding.


I will celebrate Mass with the priests on Wednesday.


On Wednesday I will be meeting with priests and deacons and lay people involved with the development and implementation of our Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry. This gathering also will take place at the Redemptorist Renewal Center.


The Office of Hispanic Ministry is hosting a first annual gathering for priests and deacons who are ministering to the Hispanic population in the Diocese .


The main focus for this gathering is the implementation of the Diocesan Hispanic Ministry Pastoral Plan.  The Pastoral Plan has four dimensions, Formation, Evangelization, Missionary Option, and Pastoral de Conjunto (Communion in Mission) based on the experience of many other dioceses in our country.  The plan speaks of a Pastoral de Conjunto, reminding all of us that we need to work together as one family in Christ to grow in our relationship with the Lord and to intensify our efforts to carry on his mission.  The heart and the success of the implementation will require regular review at the parish level.  Our goal is to encourage the parishes with Masses in Spanish to give particular attention to these priorities of the Pastoral Plan over the next years.


image006Alfonso Lara, Director of Formation and Catechesis of Centro San Juan Diego of the Archdiocese of Denver, will be the main speaker for this gathering. Born and raised in northern Mexico, Alfonso was involved in youth pastoral ministry since a very young age and, later, studied Philosophy and Theology in the Diocesan Seminary of Ciudad Obregón. Alfonso has worked for the Archdiocese of Denver for more than 15 years in the areas of youth ministry, religious education and catechesis, and leadership formation. As Director, he has influenced the creation and curriculum of the San Juan Diego Pastoral Institute since its inception in 2003 He will share some of the efforts they have made in the Archdiocese to encourage the involvement of the parishes in these important areas of Formation, Evangelization, and Missionary Option.


I encourage all those working with our Latino populations to read through the newly adopted Ministry Plan, which can be found at


Father Paul Mom

I am thankful to the work of the Hispanic Ministry planning team, led by Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P.


You may also like to listen to a radio feature focusing on the Diocese of Tucson, the need for Spanish speaking priests and how international priests are assisting us by following this link:


On the segment you will hear Father Paul Mom, parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral, talking about what drew him to travel from his home in Nigeria to Tucson to serve, and how he has worked to learn Spanish to better serve those living in our diocese



image024Feast of St. Augustine: Patron of the Diocese
Thursday, August 28 is the feast day of St. Augustine. I will be celebrating Mass with the faculty and students of St. Augustine Catholic High School on the Eastside. As you know each diocese has a patron saint and ours is St. Augustine. Our Cathedral is named after him. Augustine was a bigger than life person. He struggled as a youth not sure of his direction but at the prodding and prayer of his mother Monica he came to embrace the Lord and became a great leader in the Church.


Florecitas Mass at St. Augustine
Father Gonzalo Villegas will celebrate the annual Florecitas Mass on Sunday. Eight girls will be celebrating their Quincineras together this year. They have prayed, done service projects and learned more about their faith as they now become adults in the Church. Congratulations to each of the girls!



St. Kateri Tekakwitha Annual Indian Festival

Sept. 6-7
El Senior de los Milagros (behind Pueblo High School)
3410 S. 16th Ave. in Tucson
Fill you weekend with healthy food, fellowship and a good deed! The festival includes souvenir booths, food booths, games for children, mini-raffles ad lovely Native American and Mexican music and dancing, plus karaoke.

Proceeds from the festival go to will go to family catechesis, the Strong Catholic Family Project and youth ministry.


First Annual Grandparents’ Day Event
Saturday September 6th
Holy Hope Cemetery
3555 N. Oracle Road
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Diocese of Tucson Catholic Cemeteries is holding its first annual Grandparents Day Event.. Grand children are invited to come out and celebrate their Grandparents life, visit with them and write something special to their grandparents on a banner.


Come out and enjoy in the festivities. Tucson Police, Tucson Fire, the US Air Force, KoSho Martial Training Institute (Martial Arts) and Take 25, a campaign created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), along with other organizations will be available for families to visit . Children will be able to have their finger prints taken and learn how to keep them-selves safe in the community. Entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.


Come out and Join us in celebrating Life through Hope and Faith!


Reachout Pregnancy Center Gala
Sept. 6
The Annual Celebrate Life Gala will be held Saturday, Sept. 6 at Skyline Country Club, 5200 E. St. Andrews Drive in Tucson. The guest speaker is Tiana Ronstadt, a Tucson mom and blogger who had a son who was diagnosed with Leukemia.


A reception begins at 5 p.m. with dinner to follow. The event is $70 per person and there is a silent auction and raffle during the evening. Tickets may be purchased online at .


Proceeds benefit Reachout’s services for expectant women. All services are free.

Marriage Encounter Weekend Sept. 12 – 14
Get away from everyday distractions and focus on each other Sept. 12 – 14 in Tucson. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a positive and personal couple experience, offering a loving communication technique that helps couples deepen and strengthen their relationship with each other and with God.


If you are looking to explore, rediscover and reconnect in your marriage, more information is available at 520-477-2121 or


Annual Marriage Mass with Bishop Gerald Kicanas
Sunday, Sept. 21
St. Augustine Cathedral
Couples celebrating their first, 10th, 25th, 50th or 60th anniversaries are invited to this annual Mass with renewal of vows celebrated by Bishop. Couples must register to be included and the deadline to be included is Aug. 31.   Please fill out the form below, or get a form from your parish office and send the completed form to:


Grace Lohr, Office of Worship
P.O. Box 31
Tucson, AZ 85702