Monday Memo, Dec. 22, 2014. Vol. 15, No. 21

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






Please note: The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed from 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23 until Monday, Dec. 29. The offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 31 and Thursday, Jan.1.


The Monday Memo will take a short break, returning on Monday, Jan. 12.


image001The Fourth Week of Advent

Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.”
“The promises of the LORD I will sing forever”;

through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.”


We have been waiting and preparing. Now is the time to embrace – with all our hearts and deep faith – our newborn King, our protector, our savior, our counselor and our hope.




This week, concentrate on the message of yesterday’s readings and on the responsorial psalm: Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” Think about making your actions, your ways of living, a prayer to God.


Open you heart to the joy of Christ. Let the Light of Christ we have been working to bring into our lives guide you in your actions today, tomorrow and always. Be loving and merciful as our Lord is loving and merciful, and look to help others around you.


Sing praise to the Lord through your thoughts and actions as Mary did when she was told that she would be the mother of Christ.



Don’t forget to participate in Mass at your parish this Christmas. We welcome those who may have been away from church a long time and are grateful that they join our Catholic family on this holiest of days. Bring your whole family and pray together as we rejoice in the Lord’s birth.



Merry Christmas!











Deacons Ken Wolfe, George Holley and Alan Valencia. These three men enter the diaconate from many different paths.



Ken is married to his wife Shelley L. Stone, who came into full communion with the Catholic Church on April 7, 2012. Ken holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature, a Master of Divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School, a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Boston College Law School and a Doctor of Ministry in Marriage and Family from Palmer Theological Seminary.



He served as an Episcopal priest in Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Vermont. He also was a special agent for the FBI.



Since coming to Tucson he has helped in prison ministry, outreach to the homebound and those in hospice.



He will be a member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter established in January, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI in his decree, “Anglicanorum Coetibus”. He will be ordained for the Ordinariate overseen by its Ordinary, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5 p.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Tucson.



George Holley was born in Roswell, New Mexico to John and Margaret Holley. They were a loving family and his parents sacrificed to send him to boarding school at Holy Cross Benedictine School where he later worked in recruiting students for their summer camp.



He went to the University of Arizona, earned his degree and eventually started his own business called Barbecue Galore. He thought about entering the permanent diaconate but applied for the seminary and was accepted on May 17, 2012. He went to Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners. He is from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish and will be ordained to the priesthood in a year, on Dec. 19, 2015.



The community of St. Thomas rejoices in their new deacon who grew in his faith at their parish.



Alan Valencia was born in Nogales, Ariz. His family was from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. He remembers the great sacrifice his mom, Adriana, made to care for him by leaving her job because it involved so much travel.


In high school he was involved with the Border Patrol Explorers and excelled in the program. He went to the U of A where he studied psychology and Spanish literature with a minor in criminal justice.



He got involved with the youth group Arco Iris in Nogales and there he began to think about the priesthood. He was accepted to the Diocese on June 2, 2008 and went to Mt. Angel Seminary and then on to the University of St. Mary of the Lake at Mundelein. He will be ordained to the priesthood on June 6, 2015.



The parish community of Sacred Heart in Nogales is indeed proud of their native son now ordained a deacon and soon a priest.



God willing, we will have two new diocesan priests in 2015. Keep praying for more vocations and encourage those you think would make great priests to consider whether God may be calling them to serve.


In February we will be hosting two vocation events, one in Tucson on February 8 and one in Yuma on February 28, focusing on the theme “Who Will Fill These Shoes?”  We are inviting 16-35 year old men to explore the possibility of priesthood for the Diocese.



Welcome back!
We have been hard at work searching for a new Executive Director for our Catholic Foundation only to find the very best candidate right here among us. Happily, I can now report that Ernie Nedder, who served as interim director, has agreed to accept the position!



Our Pastoral Center staff, and almost everyone who knows Ernie, teases him whenever he says he’s going to retire, since before he even gets a chance to put his feet up, I come calling, asking him to serve us once again.



As you know, Ernie has assisted our diocese in many roles: he was a member of the Foundation Board several years ago, before joining the Pastoral Staff as our Chancellor. After over three years in that job, he “retired” only to start assisting our Catholic Tuition Support Organization in its work to raise scholarship funds. Then, I asked him to step in as the interim Executive Director of the Foundation.



After interviewing several candidates, we approached Ernie about taking on the job permanently. Dedicated as he is, he accepted. Ernie brings all of his business savvy, skills and knowledge of our diocese to his work with the Foundation. Already, in the time he worked as the interim executive director, he has been setting things into motion, hard at work raising money for and working to make our Annual Catholic Appeal, our planned giving, and our various capital needs requests successful.



Welcome back Ernie. And, thanks to his long-suffering wife, Kathy, for letting us share Ernie again.



Christmas luncheon
Tuesday, I will host our Pastoral Center staff for a Christmas luncheon at my residence. I find that my staff is quite the celebratory bunch, and I always enjoy the chance to talk with them and be with them in a setting not strictly related to work.



I appreciate all of the people working and volunteering at the Pastoral Center. They are my front line; they assist pastors and parishes and me in a loving and dedicated way, and many of them can be found hard at work over weekends in their offices or somewhere in the Diocese.


Remember those in custody
   On Christmas Eve, I will celebrate Mass at the Pima County Jail for both men and women as well as visit with juveniles being tried as adults and later celebrate Mass for Juveniles detained at the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center.



I know those in custody must feel lonely and separated from their families during the holidays. I ask that you remember those in custody in your prayers. Perhaps we can ask the Lord to touch the hearts and minds of those who have followed the wrong path, and ask that they be guided to have the courage and the resolve to change their lives, and that through God’s love they may find serenity in their current situation.



It is always a humbling experience to see the faith of those in custody and the reverence with which they celebrate the Mass. We have a chance to sing Christmas carols together and there are always tears as the carols are sung with great emotion.



Christmas Eve Masses
I will celebrate two Masses on Christmas Eve at St. Augustine Cathedral. The first Mass will be at 4 p.m. and the early evening Mass at 7:30. I welcome all to join the Cathedral family for these beautiful celebrations. The Cathedral is located at 192 S. Stone Ave.




Installation of Father Chris Orndorff
On Jan. 3, I will install Father Chris as the pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Tucson. Father Chris served previously at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma where he was well loved. His parents live in Sierra Vista.



I know the entire community of Corpus Christi is thrilled by their new pastor. I have heard rave reviews and expressions of gratitude for his work. I am sure they will receive Father Chris with great joy.



Region XIII Bishops’ Retreat
As I do each year, I will host a dinner at my home on Jan.4 for the bishops of our region which includes Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, El Paso Texas, and Colorado. This is followed by our weeklong retreat at the Redemptorist Renewal Center.



Bishops, too, need time away to be with the Lord and to reflect on the ministry entrusted to them. This is special and important time.



Knights of Columbus Exemplification
I will celebrate Mass on Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Double Tree Hotel for those members of the Knights of Columbus from around the state that will become members of the Fourth Degree. This exemplification is sponsored by the Archbishop Daniel Gercke Assembly #16.



The Fourth Degree Knights always add so much to our diocesan celebrations. Second and Third Degree Knights are also welcome to attend.



At an exemplification celebration there always is a class honoree who stands as a model for the class. This group’s honoree is Past State Deputy Bryant Sayers from Sierra Vista. A wise choice! Bryant did exemplary service as State Deputy.



Dedication of Our Lady of the Angels Mission in Sonoita
For many years the people of Sonoita have been scrimping and saving and doing fund raisers to build their mission church. That goal finally has been realized! It will be my honor to dedicate the Mission on Sunday, Jan. 11.



Father William Cosgrove, pastor, is rightly proud of what the people have done in building this beautiful and fitting place of worship for the people of Sonoita. Our Lady of the Angels will remain a mission of St. Therese Parish in Patagonia.


Mass at Sycamore Canyon Academy
Last week I visited the students attending this school. Here a few photos from the Mass and visit:image027image029

Please pray . .
For the continued healing of Guillermo Sandoval who has been hospitalized with a neuromuscular disease. He is the father of Lupita Garay, executive assistant in our Catholic School Office.


Pray also for the parents of Carol Pina, who works in our finance office, who have been both hospitalized.

Upcoming events:

Tucson March for Life
Saturday, Jan. 17
Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral at 9 a.m.

 192 S. Stone Ave.
March begins in front of the Cathedral at 10:30 a.m.


Participants march from the Cathedral, north down Oracle Road into Holy Hope Cemetery.