Monday Memo, Oct. 20, 2014. Vol. 15, No. 12

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas


Synod on Marriage and Family in Rome
At the beginning of the *Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and the Family, Pope Francis encouraged the participants to be open and to say what was on their minds regarding the various topics in the Instrumentum Laboris, the document developed after the wide discussions held around the world in preparation for the Synod and that is now being used as an outline of topics being discussed at this preliminary Synodal gathering. The Holy Father also strongly encouraged the delegates to listen to one another and to be open to the Spirit.image001


For the last several days members of the Synod have been commenting on the various issues that are the topics of the Synod. They were encouraged to give written statements and to make brief oral comments.


Cardinal Peter Erdo, who is the General Relator for the Extraordinary Synod, now has summarized all the varied written and spoken comments in his Relatio post disceptationem (Summary of Comments) which was delivered to the Synod Delegates today, Oct. 13.


MM_Oct_20_2014-final-2The members of the Synod gathered in small groups for the last few days to review Cardinal Erdo’s summary and to make recommended modifications. The final document will become the working document for the Ordinary Synod that will take place in Rome next October. So, no final propositions or recommendations will take place before next October. The revised document that will guide the next Synod will be released this week.


There was certainly a welcome pastoral tone to Cardinal Erdo’s summary, reflecting on whether divorced and remarried persons can receive communion; cohabitation; and those involved in same sex unions. The Holy Father’s desire that the Church walk with people who are struggling, distressed, confused or alienated also is reflected in this summary of the Synod’s delegates’ comments released last week. The Bishops at the Synod are seeking to balance being merciful and being faithful to the truth of the Gospel.


The document that will be released this week will not be a final piece either but will be used for the next synod at which the delegates will prepare propositions for the Pope’s consideration in issuing his post synodal exhortation.



Other important news
Last Friday U.S. District Judge John Sedwick overturned a state ban against same sex marriages. This is, as you know, a highly charged subject. Even now our faith leaders are meeting at the Extraordinary Synod in Preparation for the October 2015 Synod on the Family. Please read the statement below issued by the Arizona Catholic Conference about the court ruling:




Arizona Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Decision Overturning Marriage Amendment

by Arizona Catholic Conference on October 17, 2014


A recent court ruling has overturned Arizona’s law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Today’s action overturns the will of Arizona voters and reflects a misunderstanding of the institution of marriage.


For centuries, marriage has been recognized as the lifelong union of a man and a woman that benefits the common good by respecting the unique and complementary gifts of both a mother and a father in the lives of children. As Catholic bishops, we remain committed to affirming the truth about marriage and its goodness for all of society.


We also want to reiterate our pastoral concern for all people, including our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction, and denounce any unjust discrimination toward anyone.


It is our fervent hope that the Supreme Court will eventually reconsider the issue of marriage in the future. In the meantime, we pray that the Church may continue to serve as a loving and joyful witness of the truth about the family and human sexuality.


Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix

Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of Gallup

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas
Bishop of Tucson

Most Rev. Gerald Dino
Bishop of Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix



Presbyteral Council Meeting
Our council will meet this morning at the Pastoral Center. Topics we’ll discuss include: Marriage and family listening sessions that may be held in four places around the Diocese; an update of the Annual Catholic Appeal and the Our Faith, Our Hope, Our Future Capital Campaign by Ernie Nedder, interim director of the Catholic Foundation; an update and discussion on the diocesan email system called DT Connect by David Knight; information on IOI (our payroll system) and changes for priests , presented by Alicia Corti from our Human Resources Department; information about the upcoming Priest Administrative Training Program by Richard Serrano, our Director of Human Resources; and information from our Vocations Department from Vocations Director Father Jorge Farias. We also will reports from our vicariates.


More meetings
Tomorrow I will participate in the Diocesan Finance Council meeting at the Archives Meeting Room. That meeting will review our diocesan financials, review the progress on the feasibility of renovating Cathedral Square and discuss how we can assist parishes that are struggling to meet their responsibilities.


Later tomorrow I will attend the ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) Academy Board meeting. Much progress has been made in marketing and student achievement in these Notre Dame ACE Academies. There will also be a report from the new development person, Dene Hummon (See introduction of her below) who is spearheading the continued capital campaign to raise $5 million for the full renovation of St. Ambrose, Santa Cruz and St. John the Evangelist Catholic schools. She will be conducting parish wide capital campaigns in the three communities.


Seminary Visit
I will be traveling to Portland, Ore., to visit with our seminarians studying at Mt. Angel: Isaac Allwin, from St. Christopher Parish in Marana; Zachary Ferell, from St. Mark Parish in Tucson; and Paul Grandi, from St.Thomas the Apostle Parish, also in Tucson.


Mt. Angel is one of three seminaries our diocese uses to prepare our priests. The other two are Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois and Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.


Mt Angel began as a Benedictine college in 1887. In 1889, Archbishop William Gross of Oregon City asked the monks to establish a seminary in conjunction with their college. The college and its associated high school closed in the 1970s, but the seminary remains.


“Today it 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, enrollment in the Seminary totals just under 200.”


I look forward to seeing some of our younger seminarians and talking with them. This is also the occasion of the Episcopal Council (Bishops who have seminarians at Mt. Angel) Annual Meeting with the Rector and administrators to discuss the seminary program and to offer recommendations for enhancement.


Go Salpointe!
On Friday I’ll be cheering on the Lancers as they take on Ironwood Ridge High School. The Lancers beat Vista Point High School last week20 to 0. This week’s game also is Salpointe’s Homecoming, so I am looking forward to a lot of team spirit from the fans! Go Lancers!


We are truly fortunate that our Catholic high schools provide great academic training and moral development, as well as a high level of champion level athletics. Great job to both Salpointe — who have lost only one game this year — and to Yuma Catholic High School which is still undefeated. Go Shamrocks!



To Father Manuel Viera, O.F.M. our Judicial Vicar, who was elected as the 2015 Vice-President for the Canon Law Society during its meeting in St. Louis, MO, last week. Following a year as vice president, Father Viera will take over the presidency at the end of the 2015 convention, and will serve that office until Oct. 2016. Finally, he serves one more year as ex-president on the Society’s Board of Governors.


The Canon Law Society of America  “is a professional association dedicated to the promotion of both the study and application of canon law in the Catholic Church” with over 1,200 men and women members from 35 countries. The Society remains active in the study and promotion of canonical and pastoral approaches to significant issues within the Latin and the Eastern Catholic Churches.


There were about 350 members from all over the world at the meeting in St. Louis.


In so many ways, Father Manuel’s expertise in Canon Law serves our diocese. We are truly blessed to have him working in our Diocese.


Over the last several weeks four employees have joined the Pastoral Center staff. Here’s a little information they shared with us. Please join me in welcoming:


Dene Hummon as Development Officer with the Notre Dame ACE Academies. “ I am a Tucson native and attended St. Ambrose in my early years.  I graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Communications, Minor in Spanish and Religious Studies . . . I have always been passionate about the Catholic faith and am grateful that my passion can also be ingrained in my profession.   God in All Things! I am both humbled and excited to serve and promote Catholic education in my new position as a Development Officer with the Notre Dame ACE Academies.”


Teresa Moreno, Payroll Coordinator. Teresa must have really wanted a job with our diocese – she completed two short terms part-time jobs -first for the Catholic Tuition Support Organization (CTSO) and then for our Catholic Foundation – before being selected for the job in our Human Resources Department. Teresa was born in Korea, and traveled the world as a youngster as an “Army brat”, but now has lived in Tucson the longest.  A graduate of the University of Arizona, Teresa is married to a restaurateur and the couple has a son and daughter attending Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School.


Ana-Elisa Rivera Arredondo, Archivist: “I am a native Tucsonan who has spent the last four years dedicated to caring for archival collections at UA Special Collections and Arizona State Museum. I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art (Painting/Drawing) in 2007, and Master of Arts in Information Resources and Library Science (emphasis in Archives) in 2012 from the University of Arizona. When I am not focused on preserving our region’s history, I enjoy painting, traveling to historical destinations, and spending quality time with my family.”


Sylvia Ramirez, temporary Safety Program Coordinator for the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection. “I am very excited and thankful to have the opportunity to work here at the Diocese with Bishop, Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston and all the great people that are such a vital workforce to the Diocese. I am a parishioner and employee of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish where I am the compliance officer. Besides work, I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom, student and friend. There is never a dull moment which also makes me appreciate times for quiet reflections (these are usually very rare). I have been married for 22 years to my wonderful husband Raymond Ramirez and we have four children. I am also very blessed to have my mom, who is such a loving support in everything I do.”




On Saturday it will be my joy to attend this year’s YOUTHfest2014 at the Tucson Convention Center.


I am told that 1000 teens will attend this annual faith event for middle school and high school age Catholics.


The event includes -workshops, music, lunch, inflatables, and a closing Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral


Well-known Catholic author and musician, Robert Feduccia will be this year’s keynote speaker. Robert worked for years as director of Spirit and Song, publishers of contemporary Catholic music and recently returned to work for St. Mary’s Press. Comedian Judy McDonald and musical group, Popple will be featured presenters.


I will quote from the YOUTHfest Facebook page to sum up the event:


“YOUTHfest2014 will be awesome: Judy McDonald, Popple, and Robert Feduccia all together in one place!”


I truly look forward to seeing our many young people gathered to explore and strengthen their faith! Their witness inspires me.


I am grateful to Mr. Joseph Perdreauville ,who chairs the team that organizes this amazing event every year. What a great opportunity for our young people to meet other Catholics from all around the Diocese. The Knights of Columbus from Corpus Christi provide the lunch which is devoured by the teens.



CARA Meeting
I will leave Sunday for Washington to chair the Board of the Center For Applied Research in the Apostolate(CARA). This is the 50th year anniversary for CARA ,which was founded by Cardinal Cushing to provide research on pastoral concerns. Cardinal Sean O’Malley, now the Archbishop of Boston, the Archdiocese that Cardinal Cushing headed at the time of the founding of CARA, will celebrate Mass and offer a reflection on the importance of CARA for the work of the Church. The Cushing Medal also will be awarded to the Oblates for their sponsorship of church research. CARA researchers will make a presentation on some of their recent findings for those who attend the gathering.


Father Thomas Gaunt, S.J. , the director of CARA, will be coming to Tucson to speak with our priests on research related to parish life on Nov. 3 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center.


Please pray for
the soul of Sister Corrine Fair, O.S.B., from St. David’s Benedictine community who died on Oct. 13, after a long illness with Parkinson Disease.  The funeral was Saturday at Holy Trinity Monastery Chapel


Sister was born Oct. 15, 1933, in Belvidere, Ill., to Gertrude (Aten) and J. Stanley Bruner. She graduated from Belvidere High School and attended The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where she received a bachelor’s degree in library science.


She married Richard D. Fair on May 28, 1955, and they had five children, Kathleen (Jim) Mercer, Cornell, Wis., Mary (Tony) Brooker, El Paso, Texas, Tom (Mary Beth), Sierra Vista, Dale, Sierra Vista, and Carol, Durham, N.C.


For the recovery of Father Walter Balduck, O.F.M who is at St. Mary’s Hospital. Father Balduck continues to administer Blessed Sacrament Parish in Mammoth and is well-loved by the congregation there.


At Our Lady of La Vang’s 15th anniversary, children from the parish dressed as the Pope, a cardinal, an archbishop, a monsignor, a priest and members of different religious communities. They were very proud.



Bishop with one parishioner who is 113 years old! Bishop had been involved in the same person’s 107 the birthday.

Mass in Florence and Our Lady of LaVang Anniversary
Last week I told you about an upcoming visit to prisoners in Florence. Here a couple of photos from that Mass. As you can see, there are many men present for the Mass; I pray they find strength and comfort from our Lord during their time of incarceration. There also are photos from the celebration at Our Lady of LaVang last week.




Mike Gutierrez, who heads our prison ministry, with me as Mass was celebrated.






The Black Madonna
Our Lady of the Valley Parish
505 N. La Canada Drive, Green Valley
Tuesday, Oct. 28
Mass at noon
See an icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. This image of the Blessed M other is venerated globally, but especially in Poland, the Ukraine, Belarus and parts of Russia.


Men’s Conference
Saturday, Nov. 22

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Tucson
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.



Tucson Catholic Men’s Conference
A day for Catholic men to be inspired and renewed in their Catholic Faith featuring presentations by Bishop Emeritus Ricardo Ramirez, Diocese of Las Cruces, and Peter Herbeck of Renewal Ministries. There also will be challenging testimonials from local men, opportunities to receive the sacrament of confession, and our closing Mass celebrated by Bishop Gerald Kicanas. For more information contact Mike Berger at 520-838-2541.