Monday Memo, Jan. 12, 2015. Vol. 16, No. 1

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas







Please note: The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 19 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.


Attention benefit eligible employees: Please scroll to the bottom of the Memo for important insurance information that is time sensitive.


Having celebrated the great feasts of the birth of Our Lord, Mary as the Mother of God, the Epiphany revealing the Divine One born as a babe revealed to the Gentiles, and the Baptism of the Lord, we find ourselves back in ordinary time.


But for our diocese the New Year welcomes an extraordinary time when we will be hosting some events and gatherings at the heart of who we are as Catholics.


The biggest event will be our Diocesan Conference, Co-Workers in the Vineyard, from March 5-7, 2015 at the Tucson Convention Center. You may remember we held a similar well-attended conference three years ago. All those who participated spoke highly of the experience and how good it was to gather as Catholics from all around our diocese. That Conference was directed at people in our parishes involved in ministry responsibilities.


This year’s conference is designed for all Catholics, every one of us here in the Diocese of Tucson. The conference planning committee has organized an amazing three days with some of the nation’s finest speakers and a multitude of workshops and sessions that will help all of us to grow in our faith and experience of what it means to be Catholic and to be members of the Diocese of Tucson family.


Our Conference keynote speakers include:


Father Robert Barron. Father  is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, the Rector of Mundelein Seminary, and is the host of CATHOLICISM, an award winning documentary about the Catholic faith. He also is a widely-published author.


Father Barron recently returned from England where he is currently doing work in preparation for a DVD series on the lives of saints, including people like John Henry Cardinal Newman and G. K. Chesterton.


He is among the most sought after speakers.


image005Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Relief Services. I worked with Dr. Woo for three years while I was Chair of the Board for CRS. Under her leadership, the organization has served thousands of the world’s neediest people in dozens of countries and the United States, providing everything from emergency aid to food, safe water programs, and micro-loan and educational programs to assist people with achieving a better life and self-sufficiency.


Dr. Woo was born and raised in Hong Kong, and immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she received her B.S., M.S.I.A. and Ph.D. degrees, and became a member of its faculty. From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Woo served on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services, and currently sits on numerous boards and USCCB Committees.


I also will be a keynote speaker.


In addition, the Conference will feature two very well -regarded keynote speakers – Father Alfonso Garcia and Bishop Sigifredo Noriega Barceló of the Zacatecas Diocese, for those in our diocese that are Spanish speaking.


The theme of this year’s conference is “A People of Faith, Hope and Charity”

Faith – Our response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to us.
Hope –  Our desire and expectation from God of eternal life and the means of grace necessary to attain it.
Charity – Our ability to love God above all things and to love others out of love for God.


There will be 30 workshops in English and 30 workshops in Spanish, with topics that we believe will be of wide interest to attendees, including:
Tom Booth on The Journey Within: Contemplative Spirituality for the Everyday Catholic.

Deacon Alex Jones on Learning to Witness: How to Share Your Faith with Others

Victor Valenzuela on The Spirituality of Children – Practical Ideas that Foster Faith Growth.  

Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy on End of Life Issues,


For more information on the conference, lodging and speakers, please visit


I am hopeful that 3,000 or more people from all around our diocese will participate. It will be a memorable few days. I have seen thousands of members of the Jehovah Witnesses and thousands from the Church of the Latter Day Saints gather at the Tucson Convention Center. As Catholics we have not had a chance to show our unity as a family, proud to be Catholic, until these conferences.


Two other events early in the New Year

  1. Listening Sessions


Recently, I held a listening session in Yuma with over 60 people that came to share their thoughts, suggestions and advice in response to our Holy Father’s desire to listen to our people on issues related to marriage and family life in preparation for the Ordinary Synod in Rome during October 2015.


I will be holding three more such sessions in our diocese. The next one will be in Tucson at Most Holy Trinity Parish on Sunday, Jan. 25. The English session will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and the Spanish language session will occur from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


When I complete the listening sessions I will put together a report to be sent to the Conference of Bishops in Washington and they, in turn, will submit the report to the Holy See for consideration at the Synod.


The last two sessions will be

Saturday, Feb. 7 at St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 15 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, also from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


  1. Vocations information sessions

These sessions, titled “Who Will Fill These Shoes” will be held in February for men between the ages of 16 and 35 who may be interested in considering a vocation to priesthood.


A video invitation is available on YouTube and will also be shown at our parishes. The first gathering will be at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, followed by a light supper.


The second gathering will be at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma on Saturday, Feb. 28 from noon to 2 p.m. in the afternoon with a light lunch following.


If you have ever thought about the priesthood, go to our diocesan website, to register for one of these 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.
This annual event calls broad attention to the need to protect the lives of the unborn. The local March has been taking place since 1993, and each year it is gratifying to see so many people – including many young people – participating first in the Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral and then in the nearly 4-mile march to the memorial for the unborn at Holy Hope Cemetery.


We are called as Catholics to preserve the dignity of human life from the womb to natural death. I encourage you to join me for Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral at 9 a.m. and then to put on your sneakers and join in the March.


You can find more information at


I am grateful to Kelly Copeland of the Fatima Women’s Center who has been such a dedicated leader of the march, as well as to Father Domenico Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction, our Vicar for Life Issues and to Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., who directs our Office of Human Life and Dignity , for the efforts on behalf of the unborn and their right to life.


As you can see, 2015 is going to be a very busy year for our diocese.


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Please join in this week of prayer, taking place Jan. 18 to Jan. 25. The theme for this year is: Jesus said, “Give me to drink.” John 4: 7.


The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman invites us to try water from a different well and also to offer a little of our own. In diversity we enrich each other.


An Ecumenical Celebration of the Word, based on the above theme will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 20th, 6:30 p.m. at St. Pius Catholic Church, 1800 Camino Pio Decimo south of Tanque Verde Road, east of Sabino Canyon Road and west of Pantano Road.


The presenters of this celebration are representatives of different denominations. Bishop Stephen Talmage, Bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Lutheran ELCA, will be the guest preacher. Everyone is invited to attend. Following the service there will be time for fellowship and refreshments. Child care will be provided.


I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on adult parishioners at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson Tuesday.


A” think tank” on immigration
I will be participating in a “Think Tank” on immigration with members of the Lasallian Ministries on Thursday at San Miguel High School. Brothers and Lasallian Lay Partners from the provinces of the Districts of San Francisco, New Orleans and Mexico will be talking with me about long terms needs for migrant issues along the border.


Brother Chris Patano, who ministers at San Miguel High School where the De La Salle Brothers serve, has helped to organize this gathering.


So many of our religious communities have taken a deep interest in the plight of migrants and refugees as has our Holy Father Pope Francis. I look forward to the reflections and ideas that will come out of this “Think Tank.”


Sister Jose Women’s Shelter
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and I are co-chairing a fund raising event for the Sister Jose Women’s Shelter on Thursday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at its new location at 821 N. Main St. next to Caridad. The Center is seeking to raise $500,000.00 to expand its outreach to homeless women, which is a great need in our community. I pray members of our community will respond generously to meet this critical need.


A new advisory board
I welcome the addition of an advisory board for the Office of Human Life and Dignity. This board, which will hold its first meeting on Friday, will assist Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., in her role as coordinator of the Office. This Board will meet approximately four times a year and will play an active role in setting goals for the Human Life and Dignity Office, providing expertise in carrying out these goals and will serve as a resource in addressing the concerns and operations of the office.


My sincere gratitude to these first board members and their willingness to serve:


Alfred Soto of St. Kateri Parish in Tucson
Rosario Otero of St. Kateri Parish
Frank Pierson of St. Helen Parish in Oracle
Jessica Luebbering of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Tucson
Sister Barbara Monsegur, C.F. M.M., Principal of Lourdes Catholic High School in Nogales
Tom and Jan Jefferson of St. Cyril Parish in Tucson
Sister Christine Garcia, S.S.N.D., who serves in Immigration ministry in Douglas, Ariz.


Sister Eileen Mahony, C.S.A., of St. Elizabeth’s Health Center
Father Domenico Pinti, Pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction, and our diocesan Coordinator for Respect for Life activities


Annual Scout Retreat focuses on Family Faith
The Anza Trek is our annual Scout retreat hosted by the Diocesan Catholic Committee Scouting will be held on Jan. 17.


Scouts of all ages gather that morning on the Parade grounds at the Tumacacori National Historical Park before setting out on their 5-mile hike along the Santa Cruz River on the historic Anza Trail. Along the trail they will hear from five different couples who will share their story about sharing faith in their family. The scouts will be encouraged to share their stories of faith along the trail as well.


In addition to learning more ways to share faith with their family, they also will be picking up garbage along the trail. After the hike, there will be numerous activities around the historic San Jose Cayatano Mission for scouts to learn about the history of Padre Eusebio Kino and the Primeria Alta.


I will be there to celebrate an outdoor Mass at 4:30 p.m. in the shadow of the historic mission. The day concludes with dinner after Mass, a flag retirement ceremony, and great campfire camaraderie. For more information, please contact our “trek master’’ Pam Xeele at


A new mission church
It was my joy to bless the altar of the new mission in Sonoita, called Our Lady of the Angels.


Here are some photos from the blessing. My thanks to Manuel Coppola for use of these photographs.




Knights of Columbus
Annual Priest Appreciation Dinner
Sunday, Jan. 18
Skyline Country Club

The 11th annual dinner that raises money for our priest retirement fund will recognize Msgr. Robert Fuller, beloved pastor of St. Francis Cabrini Parish in Tucson.

Each year the members of the Msgr. Don H. Hughes Assembly
Fourth Degree, led by Marty and Babs Ronstadt and Kelly Bequette, put tremendous effort in to planning and hosting this dinner.


Msgr. Fuller, who has been a priest for our diocese for about 58 years, continues to serve even now that he has past the usual retirement age.


Over his long ministry, he has served in many capacities: as a parish priest at Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa before the Diocese of Phoenix was created; then as Chancellor for the Diocese and Administrator at All Saints Parish in Tucson; and then as Pastor at St. Pius X for 11 years before taking five years to work for RENEW International, an organization based in Newark, New Jersey that was and is dedicated to “fosters spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition by empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life. He also once served the Diocese as its Director of the Bureau of Information, now called our Communications Department.


Msgr. Fuller returned to Tucson in March of 1987 and started his assignment as pastor at St. Francis Cabrini Parish, where he has been a stellar preacher delivering his famous 8-minute homilies for 27 years! He also served as the Vicar for Education and as the Vicar Forane during part of that time.

If you would like to share the evening with the Knight of Columbus and Msgr. Fuller, please call 577-1037.




Please pray
For healing to Blacita Nuñez, who is currently receiving care at St. Mary’s Hospital. Ms. Nunez is mother to Sonya Gutierrez and Chris Barrios, both of whom work in our Pastoral Center.
For the soul of Brenda Neve, who passed away. She was the mother of Father Alonzo Garcia, pastor at St. Helen of the Cross Parish in Eloy.


For the soul of Patrick R. Crino, 94, father of Father Patrick M. Crino. Mr. Crino died peacefully in his home on Jan. 4.


Condolences May Be Sent to: Father Patrick Crino and family, in care of Saints Peter and Paul Parish, 1946 E. Lee Street, Tucson, AZ  85719.


For the soul of Gloria Rosemary Ackerley who passed away Jan. 2 at the age of 92. She was the mother of Deacon Keating Ackerley, who serves at St. Augustine Cathedral Parish. She is survived by her husband of 72 years, Gene; children, Keating (Mary Jane), Ande, Julian (Jane), William and Ed (Susan); 13 grandchildren, and 11 great- grandchildren.


Donations can be made to Our Mother of Sorrows Endowment Trust, 1800 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ 85710.


For the soul of Mauro Garza, who died in a traffic accident. He is the brother-in-law of Father Raul Valencia, pastor of St. Monica Parish in Tucson.


For the soul of Efren Santos Batungbacal, who passed away on the Feast of the Epiphany in Houston, Texas. He was the father of Father Eugene Batungbacal, C.s.S.R. Mr. Batungbacal also is survived by his wife, Cecelia and his other children: Ephraim Patrick, Enrico Regino and Maricel Ana.


For the soul of Sister Inez Mary Beckel, S.C., age 102, who passed away Dec. 18 at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. A native of Altoona, PA., Sister Inez Mary entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity on Sept. 8, 1932, from St. Leo Parish in Altoona. University as a librarian and as sacristan. In reflecting on her life as a Sister of Charity, Sister Inez Mary said, “Living religious life in the presence of God is the fullness of joy. May I live in this presence until eternity dawns.”