Monday Memo, Sept. 8, 2014. Vol. 15, No. 6

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas







A grand octogenarian
This morning it is my honor to say Mass and to spend time at Lourdes Catholic School in Nogales for celebration of the school’s 80th anniversary.


Eighty years! Just imagine what southern Arizona looked like back then, when going to school really was an exception for many people in a time when ranching and farming and surviving the “wild West” often were viewed as more pending needs for children rather than attending school. Even so Lourdes, as we know it today, was opened in 1910 under the name St. Dominic which also was known as Sacred Heart School, under the guidance of the Adrian Dominican sisters.


Then the Sisters of Mercy led the school until the Minim Daughters of Mary Immaculate were asked to oversee the school.


It was the Minim Sisters that established Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in 1940, and then three grades were transferred from Sacred Heart to Lourdes. Since then the two became somewhat intertwined.


Eventually, as more Catholic families wanted parochial education for their children, the Sacred Heart School added grade levels until it became a K-8 school.


Over the years, many changes occurred for both schools. Beginning in 1992, Sacred Heart was in the process of being privatized; in 1997 its middle school grades were returned to Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and then it became Lourdes Catholic Middle and High School. In 1998, during negotiations with the Diocese, the two sister schools merged into Lourdes Catholic School, and following construction of an elementary building at the Lourdes campus, the entire Sacred Heart Campus moved to the Lourdes location in 2001 when a new Catholic School was also opened at Sacred Heart Parish. Meanwhile, the high school was founded in 1986 at the same location.


All that moving around definitely is a testament to the Nogales Catholic community’s commitment to faith-based education and to its tenacity.


If we just estimated that there were a minimum of 100 children in every class since 1934, we could easily say that Lourdes School provided sound faith-based education to at least 8,000 students over its lifespan. Of course, we know that in the last 40 or so years, the school’s enrollment (kindergarten through 12th grade) has been somewhere between 200 and 325 or so. Using an average of about 275 students just over 40 years, we know that Lourdes has been involved in the education of well over 11,000 children and teens.


It is heart-warming to think of so many young people being nurtured and receiving the sacraments through the guidance of a Catholic school.


I know Sister Esther Hugues, C.F.M.M. , principal of the elementary and middle school, and Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F.M.M. , principal at the high school, both have planned, along with their faculty members, parents and students, a fabulous day to recognize this hallmark moment for their school. You should know that Sister Rosa Maria Ruiz, C.F.M.M. our former Schools Superintendent, also served as principal of Lourdes.


I found some other historic photos of the school(s) online:


A view of the original school off the Patagonia Highway in 1948.


Some Lourdes students circa 1938.


Students from 1960.



A conversation with teens
Tomorrow morning I will participate in the videotaping of a “conversation with teens” being handled by St. Mary’s Media Mission. The conversation will be used as part of future religious education programming. I will be talking with three or four young people about many aspects of their faith, especially the things that cause them to have questions and to doubt. According to information from Robert Feduccia, executive producer and director of St. Mary’s Mission Media, the video hopes to capture “ questions that have to do with their faith in God.”


St. Mary’s Media also will be filming a music video while in Tucson.


Tucson Chaplains
I will be speaking with members of the Tucson Chaplains Association tomorrow at Catalina United Methodist Church. The Association asked me to talk with them about how non-Catholic chaplains can best work with and guide Catholics. I am thankful for this opportunity and especially grateful to the chaplains who seek the information they need to minister to Catholics.


The group works to:


Facilitate mutual encouragement, support and understanding among chaplains in the Tucson area.


Advertise and provide opportunities for continuing education that especially address the needs and concerns of chaplains.


Support and promote professional chaplaincy, and to safeguard high professional standards among chaplains in the Tucson area.


Increase awareness, respect and appreciation for area chaplains, and for the Tucson Chaplain Association within the Tucson community.


Staff celebrations
On Tuesday evening my pastoral center staff and I will be celebrating birthdays for all the employees born during the month of July through November. I understand the planning committee has chosen to make this a BBQ, so I am waiting anxiously to see what sort of vegan BBQ dish they have waiting for me.   I don’t know if tofu goes with BBQ sauce, but I trust my employees. I understand we’ll all be learning to square dance too. These always are enjoyable gatherings.


Santa Cruz Vicariate Meeting
Priests of our vicariates meet monthly with their vicar. While I wish I could attend all of those meetings, it is impossible. But I do appreciate the chance to do that when possible. I will be attending the Santa Cruz Vicariate meeting this week led by Rev. Alex Mills, pastor of St. Ann Parish in Tubac. These gatherings are an opportunity for me to hear the priests concerns and affirm the good work they are doing.


Santa Cruz Vicariate ,which includes Green Valley, Nogales, Patagonia, Rio Rico, Sahuarita and Tubac churches, is a growing area of the Diocese that includes two grade schools and a high school. I had a chance recently to do a pastoral visit to the Vicariate and got a chance to see first-hand the great pastoral work happening in these parishes by our priests, deacons, religious and laity.


Pastor installation at Our Lady of the Mountains
Friday evening I will celebrate a Mass for the installation of Father Mike Bucciarelli, V.F., as pastor of Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista.


Father Mike joined the parish as pastor in July, after leaving Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson, where he had served for the last 10 years. While he is serving at a new parish, he retained his job as Vicar of the Cochise Vicariate.


Here’s what Father Mike wrote about himself for his new parish’s webpage:


“I am delighted to be back in Sierra Vista as I feel like I have come home again. I am looking forward to serving the community here at Our Lady of the Mountains as I follow in the footsteps of my friends, Fr. Bob Bryerton, Fr. Bob Brazaskas and Fr. Ariel Lustan. Since they have done so much to serve and build this beautiful community, I know that I have big shoes to fill and that humbles me. On the other hand, I am excited to be working with All Saints School. After 39 years of priesthood, this will be my first experience working with a school and I hope and pray for your support, help and prayers as I begin my ministry at Our Lady of the Mountains and All Saints School.”


You can learn more about the parish at


Our Lady of the Mountains is one of two parishes in Sierra Vista. The other is St. Andrew the Apostle, led by Father Greg Adolf. All Saints School in Sierra Vista serves both communities and both parishes serve the military base at Fort Huachucha.



Candidacy at Mundelein
It was a joy to participate in the Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., where Tom Quirk, a first year theology student at Mundelein Seminary, publicly declared his decision to move forward toward ordination.

Following the Mass the seminary community had dinner. The Tucson Mundelein contingent of seminarians sat together and were joined by our two seminarians who traveled in from nearby Sacred Heart in Hales Corners.


Mundelein has 209 seminarians this year — one of the highest enrollments in recent history.


Review Board of the Conference of Major Superiors (CMSM)
As I attended this meeting last week, it was encouraging to see how much the Church has learned from the past and how many new policies and procedures have been implemented in dioceses and religious communities to create safe environments for children and vulnerable adults in the Church.


At the second meeting of the newly established review board for CMSM last week, a number of presentations were made about best practices and remaining challenges that face religious congregations in dealing with abusers and protecting children. Mens’ religious communities work with an organization called Praesidium, that has set standards that are in place in congregations. The organization conducts audits of communities to assure they are following those standards, just as our diocese following of protection standards and practices is audited by Stonebridge.


The Board also listened to a presentation by Father Gerald McGlone S.J. , about what communities can do to assess candidates, treat those who develop issues and mitigate risk for children. Father McGlone has worked in a treatment facility and brought that expertise to the group.


While the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has its charter and the CMSM has its standards, it is important that all in the Church work together and collaboratively to address these protection issues. Much progress is being made.


I was appreciative to be a part of the dialogue because it gave some insights on what more we can in our diocese as well. Last week’s gathering confirmed for me how important it is to stay the course and to not let tedium or inattention allow us to drift away from our determined effort to restore trust with those we serve..


I am always grateful to Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston, director of our Office of Protection, her assistant Rachel Guzman and Richard Serrano, our Human Resources Director, and his staff, and to our Sexual Misconduct Review Board for their work in assuring that our Pastoral Center, parishes and school adhere to our safe environment policies in cooperation with our many compliance representatives ,our pastors and principals.


Religious Convocation
It will be my joy to spend part of Saturday with our religious men and women from the many orders serving in our Diocese during their convocation at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson. The guest speaker is Sister Caritas Foster, HFS, a leader of the Holy Family Sisters, and coordinator of the Sisters’ anti-trafficking ministry.


The annual Convocation for Vowed Religious is an opportunity for the Religious Brothers and Sisters to be together and grow in our knowledge and spirit for the sake of our service in the Diocese.


The topic for the Convocation is a timely one because of the Super Bowl presence in Glendale in 2015. It is a well- known fact that human trafficking increases in the area that hosts such sporting events. It is also poignant for Arizona because unaccompanied minors, who are increasing among the undocumented immigrants, are vulnerable targets for human traffickers along the border.


Sister Caritas has been very active in raising awareness among many people in California about this issue and with working to help local law enforcement to address the problem. Some of the points in the presentation will address


  • How to recognize the signs that identify a child or woman or man as a victim of traffickers
  • How each individual contributes to the situation with daily life practices
  • How we can mend the wounded world, scared by this abuse of the vulnerable especially women and children.


In one article I read, Sister Caritas was quoted as saying “human trafficking is modern-day slavery. People are being exploited, bought and sold.” The article went on to say “During her presentations on human trafficking to various groups, Sister Caritas seeks to educate those in attendance about the scope and urgency of the problem . . . “Human Trafficking 101 is what I call it,” she said. “It’s basic information.”


It will be very interesting to talk with her and to hear some of her views on the trafficking situations we encounter along our border with Mexico.


Bishop Kicanas will join the Religious Sisters and Brothers in an Open Forum and conclude the day with the celebration of the Eucharist at at 4:15 p.m. All are invited to join the Religious in this evening Mass. This will be a vigil Mass for Sunday and the celebration of the Exultation of the Holy Cross.


On Sunday I will celebrate Mass, with members of Movimiento Familiar Cristiano at St. Cyril Parish. This movement reaches out to support families and encourage them in the faith. Our local leaders for the movement are new, Roberto and Veronica Lopez, and the Regional Directors are Freddy and Lisa Valenzuela.


My hope is that more and more families will join the movement in our efforts as a diocese to strengthen family life. The movement remains strong in Spanish and I hope we might see some progress in Christian Family Movement groups in English.


Annual Catholic Appeal
As regular readers of the Monday Memo probably know, the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal is nearing completion and all signs are that the final collection numbers will be very close to the campaign’s goal of $3,721,840.  To date, our fulfillment rate is nearly 90 percent of the goal.  In order to help make sure that our ACA collection reaches goal, parishes that have not yet reached their individual goals will conduct an Amen Sunday collection at their masses on Saturday and Sunday.


My hope is that we will go well over goal so that we might provide more grants for needy parishes to do necessary work on their facilities. This added benefit from the Appeal could benefit many.


Each year people come forward to support the ACA as a way of giving back the gifts they have been given.  By sharing their gifts this way the people of our Diocese are assisting in the education of our seminarians, preparing deacons and lay ministers to serve in our parishes, caring for children in need, assisting seniors, and providing care for the indigent.


If you have not yet given to the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal, please consider following the example of your friends and neighbors who have embraced the theme of Live in Faith, Give in Love and make a gift this Amen Sunday.  If you would like to make your gift before Amen Sunday, you can do so by visiting the Annual Catholic Appeal page of the Catholic Foundation website at:  Thank you.


Please pray
For the soul of Frank Pietrucha who passed away recently. He is the brother of Father Ed Pietrucha, C.S.P., who assists at St. Cyril’s Parish in Tucson.


For the soul of John Shadonix, husband of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School Principal Suzanne Shadonix, who passed away suddenly during his struggle with cancer.


For the soul Bishop Cirilo Flores, of the Diocese of San Diego, who died Saturday of cancer.   Bishop Flores, 66, was a southern California native and the Diocese of San Diego’s first Hispanic bishop.


For the soul of Cecilia Kulpa . She was mother of Deacon Rodney Kulpa, who serves at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.



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. For more information, contact Grace Lohr, Office of Worship, at 520.838.2512.


2014 Arizona Rosary Celebration
Saturday, October 11, 2014
10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
8650 North Shannon Road, Tucson, AZ 85742


Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas will preside over the Tucson event, which also takes place in the Diocese of Phoenix: Sunday, October 12, 2014
2:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., Phoenix Convention Center, Halls F & G
33 S. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.


Father Juan-Diego Brunetta, O.P. is the guest speaker. He is Prior of St. Catherine of Siena Priory and Judge–Marriage Tribunal at Archdiocese of New York