Monday Memo, Feb. 9, 2015. Vol. 16, No. 5

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






A big pitch for a big conference
Have you found yourself wanting to know more about your Catholic faith?


Maybe, while sitting at Mass, you’ve wondered if the Catholics sitting around you ever have the desire to learn more about the faith.


The upcoming Co-Workers in the Vineyard conference being hosted by our diocese is designed just for you.


image001There are 30 workshops in English, and another 30 in Spanish. Some of the topics include:


Rebuilt: Make Church Matter
Discovering the Biblical Roots of Liturgy: Praying the Mass with Scripture
Morality in Religious Education; the “How To” Approach
The Journey Within – Contemplative Spirituality for the Everyday Catholic
Building Unity Here, There and Everywhere
Sacred Art and Spirituality
Reading the Signs of the Times
Jesus is Yaqui
Pope Francis and Missionary Discipleship
End-of-Life Care


Each of these workshops taps into a different aspect of our faith, and each might give you new appreciation, new insights and renewed faith.


There also are great keynote speakers: Fr. Robert Barron, creator of the critically acclaimed Catholicism series (check out the story on Crux at ); and Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Relief Services – an agency that provides international relief aid and services to hundreds of thousands of people in over 100 countries.


Save the dates of March 5 to March 7 and attend the Coworkers in the Vineyard conference at the Tucson Convention Center.


More conference information is available at The online registration at that webpage is fast and easy too.


I encourage people also to check with their parishes. I know Father Domenico Pinti, pastor of St. George Parish in Apache Junction, is organizing a bus trip for parishioners in his area, and I believe there is a similar plan for members of parishes in the Yuma area. Perhaps you too can organize a group of Catholics friends to attend with you.


I am proud to be Catholic and I know you are as well. Why not show our pride as Catholics from all around our Diocese come together for three days of celebrating, learning, praying, and enjoying the joy of being Catholic?


Sign up now.


Mass and Visit to Tombstone
Tombstone often is called “the town too tough to die”. Well, let me just say that Catholics in the once wild west town are rugged too, in a spiritual and enduring way.


Father William Gyure, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Tombstone, invited me to celebrate Mass and to visit with his parish. The parish is on Safford Street, not very far from the probable location of the famed O.K. Corral shootout and the original courtroom of the western town.


Bishop Kicanas with members of Sacred Heart Parish in Tombstone: Bonnie, Marge, Debbie and Father Gyure,


There is one story about Tombstone I just love, and it has to do with a woman known as the “Miner’s Angel” or the “Angel of Tombstone”. Her real name was Nellie Cashman, a restauranteur who helped down-and-out prospectors. Nellie was Catholic and was, if you’ll excuse the description, “hell-bent” on building a church in perhaps one of the most unlikely, but most needy spots in the West.


Want to take a guess about which church she got built? Yep, Sacred Heart Parish.


Nellie was born in County Cork, Ireland, and escaped the famine there with her family who all moved to Boston and later to San Francisco. She later moved to British Columbia and set up a boarding house and took in donations for the Sisters of St. Anne.


image011Tombstone came next and in addition to her work with miners, she raised her sister’s five children after they were orphaned in 1883. In the late 1880s, Cashman set up several restaurants and boardinghouses in Arizona.


From Arizona, Nellie went on to mine in Alaska. Imagine, way back in 1898, she went to the Yukon looking for gold. Talk about tough. She stayed until 1905, and later was inducted into the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame.


Nellie Cashman; part of the wonderful history of Sacred Heart Parish.




Who Will Fill My Shoes?
We had 30 men attend the first of two sessions for those interested in finding out more about priesthood. The men came from 15 parishes. Priests attending were Msgr. Tom Cahalane, and Fathers. Marco Carrasco, Albert Miranda, Paul Mom, John Paul Shea, Madhu George and Vili Vilderrama. The following seminarians also participated: Jesus Haros, Bryant Gracia-Ramos, Callistus Iyromember and Martin Moreno.



And of course, the session planner and our Director of Vocations, Recruitment, Father Jorge Farias Saucedo led the session.


Father Jorge Farias Saucedo, our director for vocations recruitment, will be holding a second session on Feb. 28 in Yuma at St. Francis of Assisi Parish from noon to
2 p.m.


I encourage men between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, who have thought about the possibility that they may interested in a life of service to others, to contact our Vocations Office.   For those who are unable to attend one of our sessions, please take the time – just about 3 minutes – to view the video on our diocesan homepage at, or visit our YouTube channel at . There may be something in the words of the priests featured in the video that speak to you.


The next session is Feb. 28 in Yuma.


A photo of the group attending the Evening of Prayer event.


An Evening of Prayer
Our Director of Religious, Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., and the Religious Vocations Committee also have been hard at work seeking those who may be interested in consecrated life. “An Evening of Prayer” was hosted last week at our Pastoral Center. Sister Jeanne wrote:


Photos by Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C. Women gathered for prayer in the St. Joseph Chapel at the Pastoral Center.


“Thursday (Feb. 5) evening at the Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center, six young women gathered for
prayer, reflecting on the plan God has for them. The evening focused on the need to let go so that God can work in their hearts and in their lives as they discern his dream for them.


On Friday (Feb. 6) evening at St. Francis of Assisi in Yuma, another six young women gathered for the same purpose. The Religious Vocations Committee invited the discerners there to a time of silence and prayer. A couple of the participants commented about the evening: “I liked the evening of prayer because we had enough time to think about what’s going on in our life and what we can do to follow the Lord.” and “It was wonderful to be surrounded by people who love God and are so happy because of it.”


Photo by Father Emilio Chapa Women that attended the Evening of Prayer at St. Francis Assisi Parish in Yuma.



My thanks to Sister Jeanne, and to the committee, and to those sisters that attended the Evening of Prayer in Tucson: Sister Lois Paha, O.P., Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., and Sister Esther Calderon, O.P.


One more bit of thanks: Two of the young women that came to the Tucson Evening of Prayer were driven to the Pastoral Center by their moms. Those mothers stayed throughout the evening as their daughters prayed. We can never underestimate the nurturing and support those who seek religious life receive from their parents and family. That support is a true act of love, and an act of service to God too.


Welcome home!
I am pleased that Father Robert Gonzalez, a priest of the Diocese of Tucson, has returned for service here after several years of working in the Archdiocese of Munich in Germany.

Prior to Germany, Father Robert worked for many years on the faculty of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.

He is a renown expert on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Father Robert will serve as Parochial Vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Tucson. It is a joy to have him home in the Diocese.


Welcome Jesuits!
I was invited to meet Provincials from the Society of Jesus (S.J.) from the United States and Canada who will meet this week at the Redemptorist Renewal Center here in Tucson.
We have several Jesuit priests serving here in our diocese, such as Father Sean Carroll, S.J., the leader of the Kino Border Initiative, or KBI, in Nogales as well as our famed Jesuit astronomers.


I noticed that the Jesuit Order posted the following on their website just last week:
Jesuits Urge Congress to Reject Anti-Immigrant Legislation

February 6, 2015 — In a letter to U.S. Representatives and Senators, the Jesuits of Canada and the United States urged members of Congress to reject amendments to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill that will hurt immigrants.

image025The letter called on the Senate and House of Representatives to pass the bill “free of harmful immigration amendments that seek to block or undermine the recent Executive Action on immigration.”

The Jesuits urged Congress to “remember the humanity of our migrant brothers and sisters as you consider these important immigration related issues.

“Going forward, rest assured that we will continue to challenge you to support immigration policies that treat our undocumented neighbors with the dignity and respect that all people deserve.”


If you would like to read the entire letter, please follow this link:


Speaking of immigration and the like . . .


As I scan various news sources lately, it is obvious that more and more lay and religious organizations are calling upon Congress to become more aware of the need to preserve human dignity and to reduce suffering. As you may have read recently, Pope Francis will be addressing Congress in September. It also is expected that Holy Father will visit with President Barack Obama.


While the topics to be covered by our Holy Father while he is in Washington, D.C., are not yet known, Pope Francis has made the plight of immigrants and the need to serve the poor an important focus of his public addresses.


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and its Committee on Migration also has been hard a work in the same areas. I will be going to Washington this week to address the House Committee on Immigration and Border Security about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.


Human suffering because of border struggles, war, drug trafficking, human trafficking and poverty must be stopped whenever possible. I am thankful that these issues are receiving more attention.


I will recommend that the Congress enact comprehensive immigration reform providing a legalization program for undocumented workers in our nation; the reform of our employment-based immigration system so they can enter and work in a safe, legal, orderly, and humane manner; and that the waiting time for families to be reunited be reduced.


I also will recommend the enactment of policies which would encourage sustainable economic development in those communities we see migrants coming from, as well as the adoption of humane immigration enforcement policies that ensure the integrity of our nation’s borders but that also ensures that human rights and human life are protected.


The Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes three proposed pieces of legislation including HR 2280: The Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act; HR 5143: The Protection of Children Act; and HR 5137:The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act. While the title of the legislation seems benign, the content of the proposed pieces of legislation are problematic from a moral perspective.


Theology Uncorked at Most Holy Trinity Parish
It will be my joy to make a presentation at this evening’s Theology Uncorked session at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson.



My presentation is “ A Poor Church for the Poor”. Most Holy Trinity works hard to bring issues of concern to a people of faith. I am grateful to Father Thomas Tureman, pastor at Most Holy Trinity, for his leadership in this area.



A visit to St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande
It will be my joy on Tuesday to visit with the students at St. Anthony Catholic School in Casa Grande. The visit begins with Mass with the entire student body; many of the students will be assisting with Mass as altar servers, singing in the choir, and presenting the gifts. I always try to include a few students in my homily too. They are usually very good natured about participating, even without any advanced notice.


There have been a few changes at the parish and the school since my last visit; Father Ariel Lustan became pastor in July, and Jean McKenzie became the principal.


I look forward to hearing about any changes, seeing the students at work and listening to the teachers and children at the school.


My thanks to Jean and Father Ariel for the invitation.


I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on the teen parishioners at St. Francis de Sales on Thursday.


Mardi Gras
You know Lent is near when the Catholic Foundation holds its annual Mardi Gras celebration. This year the event is on Saturday and as in past years, I will host guests of the Catholic Foundation at the event. This annual gathering provides me with a chance to meet and talk with members of our community who are dedicated to stewardship to our diocese.


A Kino Anniversary
Arizona’s Kino Statue Dedication in U.S. Hall of Heroes
Saturday, Feb. 14
10 a.m. to noon
Arizona Historical Society Museum
949 E. Second Street


I have a particular fondness for Padre Eusebio Kino because of his work to bring the Catholic faith into the Pimeria Alta, which now includes Sonora Mexico and, of course, Nogales and Tucson.



On Saturday, it will be my privilege to participate in the 50th Anniversary of the dedication of the statue of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino that is part of the collection of National Statutory Hall of Heroes at the United States Capitol Building Visitors Center.


I’ll quote here from a press release about the event:


“The State of Arizona honored Kino by naming him as one of Arizona’s heroic representatives to our nation and by presenting his statue at the dedication ceremony held in Washington D.C. on Arizona Statehood Day in 1965. The U.S. ceremony spurred the federal government of Mexico to fund the discovering of Kino’s skeletal remains in May 1966 in Magdalena, Sonora by an international team of scientists.”


The event includes recognition of Dr. Bernard “Bunny” Fontana and Dr. James “Big Jim” Griffith, “who have devoted their lives and scholarship to the better understanding of the people and culture of our Sonoran Desert.”


My thanks to Mark O’Hare of the Kino Heritage Society for his dedicated involvement in all matters related to Padre Kino, especially the effort to have the Padre canonized.


If you wish to attend, please contact The Kino Heritage Society at 520 325-2366 or at


Happy Asian New Year!
Did you know that the Year 2015 is the 4,712th year in the long record of Chinese New Year celebrations?


That is quite a record. On Sunday, I will happily join the faith community at Our Lady of La Vang Parish for their celebration of the Asian New Year. I enjoy celebrating Mass with the beautiful sights and sounds of Vietnamese culture.


After Mass, there is a great festival of food and dancing. This year, Asian cultures celebrate the Year of the Sheep. The sheep (goat or ram) is well-liked and is viewed as being gentle and calm, and so some of its attributes often are said to belong to those born in the Year of the Sheep. Some of these attributes include sensitivity to art and beauty, faith in a certain religion (as witnessed by our friends at Our Lady of La Vang) and they may also have a fondness for quiet living. One online source I read said those born in the Year of the Sheep are wise, gentle and compassionate.


I look forward to seeing Father Dominic Phuc Trong Pham, C.Ss.R., pastor at Our Lady of La Vang , and the parish community. Cung Chuc Tan Nien, or Best Wishes for the New Year!


Listening Sessions
This week: Sunday, Feb. 15 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Casa Grande, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


I have held three listening sessions in our diocese to gather 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 October, 2015.


If you haven’t done so already, please attend the last Listening Session, planned for Sunday at St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande.


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 report also will help us in the Diocese to see what more we can do to support marriage and family life. Already many helpful ideas have come forward. I will be writing a bishop’s column for The New Vision summarizing the input I receive.


2015 Annual Catholic Appeal
Ernie Nedder, the executive director of the Catholic Foundation, likes to describe the Catholic Foundation as the financial lungs of the Diocese of Tucson when he meets people who ask “What is the Catholic Foundation?”


He goes on to explain that one lung tends the programs and services of our diocese and parishes for the long-term through planned gifts such as bequests and endowments. The second lung, through the work of the Annual Catholic Appeal, sustains these programs on a day-to-day basis and makes certain that these programs have the funding to provide benefits to parishes and parishioners now.image024


Monday Memo readers may have already deduced — from the posters around your parish, inserts in their weekly bulletins, or from a recent letter — that the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal has begun. Each year the Foundation asks the people of faith, hope and charity in our diocese to respond to the words of St. John, “Let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18) and do what we can to share the blessings we have received.


I encourage all of us to answer the call of St. John and support the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal, either by returning the donation form that was included in the Appeal Package recently sent in the mail, or by making an online gift through the Catholic Foundation website at:   Donations also can be made by calling the Foundation staff at 520-838-2504


On behalf of all our ministries and services that receive support from proceeds of the Appeal, thank you for your prayerful and continued support.


Giving is a way of living your faith.



Cathedral Concert Series
Pianist Eric Zuber
Tuesday, Feb. 10
St. Augustine Cathedral
192 S. Stone Ave.
5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25 for adults / $10 for students


The Cathedral Concert Series will hold its next concert featuring pianist Eric Zuber, winner of the 2013 Bosendorfer International Piano Competition. He will perform selections of Chopin. Information is available at: Tickets also can be purchased at the door.
Don’t miss it!