Monday Memo, Jan. 20, 2015. Vol. 16, No. 2

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






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


May the courage and passion for justice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. become a part of our own lives as we seek to make our community a better place to live, especially for those mired down by poverty or marginalized or treated with less than the dignity they deserve. As we celebrated his holiday yesterday, may we be reminded to pick up and carry out the work for the equality he began.


March for Life
More than 1,000 people from all around our Diocese attended this year’s March for Life Mass and procession. The marchers included people of all ages, but there were an amazing number of high school and grade school participants.


Photos by Victor Calderon Marchers on their way from St. Augustine Cathedral to Holy Hope Cemetery


This annual event calls broad attention to the need to protect the lives of the unborn and to provide community support for women contemplating abortion. The March calls for the repeal of the Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade that occurred 42 years ago. Our local march has been taking place since 1996.


We are called as Catholics to preserve the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. Those who attended gave witness to that core tenet of our faith. The march extended four mile in length with people carrying banners and witnessing to life.



Father Domenico Pinti and Bishop Kicanas at the event.

My thanks to Kelly Copeland of the Fatima Women’s Center who has been such a dedicated leader of the march from the beginning, as well as to Father Domenico Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction, our Vicar for Life Issues, who also has been a part of this event over the last 18 years, and to Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., who directs our Office of Human Life and Dignity, an office that is engaged in all the life issues.


Are you a coworker? Absolutely!
Last week, I introduced you to and invited you to attend our Diocesan Conference, Co-Workers in the Vineyard, from March 5 to March 7 at the Tucson Convention Center.


In the middle of your hectic lives, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I attend this conference?”




Because we Catholics have a strong presence here in southern Arizona, and knowing more about your Catholic roots and about the thousands of Catholics that live all around you can be a great source of inspiration.


From time to time in this memo or our Diocesan newspaper, The New Vision, we mention the work of your fellow Catholics, people such as the dedicated staff members at the Catholic school your son or daughter or grandchild may be attending; the health care professional that assists the infirm at one of our Catholic hospitals or the service programs to the poor conducted through Catholic Community Services; the Director of Religious Education that makes sure our children receive proper religious and sacramental instruction, or even the choir members that enhance our Masses with song.


In addition to those in ministry roles, there are other Catholics in our community who are hard at work, day in and day out, using their talents and skills in all kinds of jobs to make life better for others. This conference will bring so many of us together to share, to pray and to become more acquainted with this, our Catholic community.



Because the Co-Workers Conference will have top-notch speakers in English and Spanish who bring their expertise, humor and insight into their presentations to inspire and broaden our awareness of the power of our faith.



Because through all of us attending the conference we will bring alive the Spirit and embrace the unity and joy of our faith. There will be 30 workshops in English and 30 workshops in Spanish to enlighten, inspire and inform those who attend.



Last week I invited you to come. Perhaps this week, you can invite a friend or family member to attend the Co-workers Conference with you.



Easy and fast registration is now available at



Annual Catholic Appeal
As you may have read in the January issue of The New Vision, the 2014 Annual Catholic Appeal was one of the most successful ever. I am so proud to be Bishop of a Diocese with so many caring and giving people.



In addition to extending my thanks to the over 15,000 parishioners who participated, I would also like to congratulate the following parishes whose fulfillment reached or surpassed their goal in 2014:



Every parish works very hard to make sure the Annual Catholic Appeal is successful. We could not do it without the committed leadership of the clergy and their dedicated teams of staff and volunteers. I am truly grateful for everyone’s efforts.



image012Different founding fathers
Last week we heard that Pope Francis will canonize Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary that personally established the first nine of 21 missions throughout California from San Diego to San Francisco. You may have heard of some of these missions: San Juan Capistrano, north of San Diego; Mission San Diego de Alcala in San Diego, and Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in San Gabriel in San Gabriel, California.


Here in Arizona, we have our own Padre Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit, who established various missions in the Pimeria Alta, which is now Mexico and southern Arizona. Like Serra, Kino worked to convert Native Americans to Catholicism and to teach them new ways of life – today the result of their work is viewed with benefit of time and with both good and bad perspectives, but scholars and historians recognize that both of these missionaries had profound impact in the regions where they worked.



We still await word that Padre Kino may someday be canonized as well.



There is a great deal of information about Father Serra. You might enjoy the following:


Presbyteral Council
Our monthly Presbyteral Council Meeting was held Monday. Topics discussed included: The upcoming Annual Catholic Appeal and the encouragement for parishes to participate in the Extension Calendar Program presented by Ernie Nedder; the status of the Cathedral Square revitalization project; Property and New Parishes presented by John Shaheen, IT Report suggestions and insights; and the Involvement of members of the Presbyteral Council participating in the upcoming Directors’ Summit . We also heard reports from each of our 11 Vicariates and began to look at priest appointments that will become effective July, 1, 2015.


Vatican Observatory
We are blessed to have the Jesuit astronomers in our diocese who work here and at Castel Gandolfo in Rome. Father Jose Funes, S. J., and Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., are holding a seminar this week on astronomy. I had the joy of celebrating Mass for the participants Monday. The program goes until Thursday and is well attended by clergy and laity who have an interest in science and theology. I am grateful to Father Funes and Brother Consolmagno for this initiative, and I hope it will be offered again in the future.



Is the theme for a day of encouragement for all who minister to youth in our diocese. This retreat day will be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Tucson. It will bring together Directors of Religious Education and Youth Ministers for reflection and sharing. I am grateful to Mike Berger and Joe Perdreauville for the many ways they resource those working with youth.



On Education
I will travel to Washington D.C. today, Tuesday, for a Bishop’s Conversation on Catholic Education. The Conference is the second sponsored by the University of Notre Dame in conjunction with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).



Discussions will include the importance of advocating for parental choice in education. “Choice” is made possible by state assistance to parents that allows parent to determine where they will send their children to school.



The program also involves discussion of how Catholic schools can become more appealing for Hispanic families. I will be on the panel discussing this theme.



About 50 bishops are expected to attend.




Human Life and Dignity Board
Our diocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity Advisory Board had its initial meeting last Friday. This board will assist Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., in her role as coordinator of the Office 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.



The group discussed the importance of education of Catholics in the social teaching of the Church, the need for advocacy in addressing many life issues, the power of immersion experiences to better understand various life issues, as well as the need to provide direct service to people whose lives are robbed of the dignity deserved.



Among the issues they discussed were: poverty, addictions, immigration, climate, capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion and the wide range of life issues.



The advisory group suggested focusing first on single women with children. Members suggested discovering what the community and Church are doing now to assist and support single parents as a first step. The Board also recommended holding some focus groups with single parents to listen to their needs and concerns.



image018Equestrian Order, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre
It will be my pleasure to lead the Annual Retreat for the members of the Equestrian Order on Saturday. The focus of the retreat, taking place at the Redemptorist Renewal Center, will include a presentation of the spirituality of Vatican II as well as a reflection on Pope Francis’ post Synodal Exhortation titled “The Joy of the Gospel”. I am grateful to Mike Marum, who has arranged for the day and for the support of Kathy and Ernie Nedder , who are the leaders of our local Equestrian Order.




Congratulations Msgr. Fuller
Msgr. Robert Fuller was the honoree at Sunday night’s annual Knights of Columbus dinner with the Bishop. The dinner is held to raise money for the priest’s retirement fund.



My thanks to the members of the Msgr. Don Hughes Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree, led by Marty Ronstadt and Kelly Bequette for their hard work.


Catholic Community Services Fundraising event
It will be my privilege to attend a dinner presented by Catholic Community Services celebrating family.


The event is called Family Matters! – A Celebration of Family and American TV Favorites

Saturday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.

Hilton El Conquistador, 10000 N. Oracle Road, Tucson.



CCS will recognize three families whose legacy of leadership and love are at the very heart of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona’s work. I’ll quote from a story written by CCS that describes the families:



The Jack and Jocelyn Cotter Family
Recognizing Jack Cotter’s longstanding leadership as CEO, his son Colin’s dedication through service on the both the CCS and Foundation boards, and the commitment of Jocelyn, Jack’s wife, and the entire family’s continued involvement with Catholic Community Services and the legacy they have created for the future of CCS through the Jack Cotter Endowment.


The Tom and Karen Hall Family
Recognizing Tom Hall’s service on the boards of CCS and its Foundation, where he served as board president and founder of the Old Pueblo Road Rally, and Tom and Karen Hall who opened their hearts and home when they adopted their daughters through Catholic Social Service.



The Richard and Elisabeth Buchanan Family
Recognizing the Buchanans for providing a loving home for more than 200 infants awaiting adoption into their forever homes through Catholic Social Service. The Buchanans also became that forever home for their three adopted children.



Proceeds raised from the event will strengthen parents and children through CCS’ services and programs for families. For more information, please visit the CCS website for event information or follow this link to reserve your seat:




Listening Sessions
Sunday, Jan. 25
Most Holy Trinity Parish
1300 N. Greasewood Road
English session from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Spanish session from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


In December, I held a listening session in Yuma attended by more than 60 people who shared 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.



As I reported in last week’s Memo, I plan to hold three more such sessions in our diocese. The next one is Sunday at Most Holy Trinity Parish.


When I complete the listening sessions I will put together a report to be sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington and they, in turn, will submit the report to the Holy See for consideration at the Synod. The results will also be helpful to our pastors and staffs of our parishes in determining what more we can do to support marriage and family life.



The last two sessions after the gathering at Most Holy Trinity on January 25 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.



I encourage you to come to these sessions and share your thoughts.





Ordination: Father Ken Wolfe
St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
Monday, Jan. 26
5 p.m.
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.
Vocations information sessions
On the subject of ordinations, our diocese is planning two sessions, titled “Who Will Fill These Shoes” 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 our diocese’s YouTube channel 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. You also can watch the video, in either English or Spanish, by clicking on image on the diocese homepage.


Diocese of Tucson Parish Corporate Board of Directors and Diocesan Pastoral Council Convocation

Saturday, Jan. 31

8:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Mass will be offered at the beginning of the day. The formal program begins at 9:30 a.m.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
8650 E. Shannon Road


This annual Convocation provides important information to all members of Parish Boards of Directors. Please plan on attending. Board of Directors are asked to register by emailing:


Pilgrimage with Bishop Kicanas
A Spiritual Journey to Turkey & Rome with Saints Peter & Paul

A pilgrimage under the Spiritual Direction of Bishop Kicanas

12 Days: Oct. 26 to Nov. 6, 2015.

For more information contact Ernie Nedder at the diocese’s Pastoral Center at (520)838-2509.


Please remember in your prayers Father Jim Travis M.M., a Maryknoll priest, who served many years in our diocese and who was well-loved. He died last week and we pray he now enjoys eternal rest.