Monday Memo, March 7, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 9

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas


Congratulations Bishop Kicanas!

Today is the 13th anniversary of your installation as Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003.

-Diocese of Tucson Pastoral Center Staff


Come to your senses
Most people know the parable of the prodigal son. Most Christians know the story, and while each person may take away a slightly different message from the story, we all can relate to one or more of its “plots” and lessons.


There is of course, the lesson of parental love and forgiveness. Then, there is the lesson of taking your blessings or wealth for granted. There is also the plot and repercussions of envy or anger as the prodigal son’s brother misunderstood why his father was throwing this big return celebration for the son that essentially abandoned his father for a good time.MMFeb.22 final_html_5aee3132


Many truths are present in this Gospel message. But there is another message that can be found in all three readings from yesterday: that we need to come to our senses and return to our loving and merciful Father.


The first reading showed how the weary Israelites – who had been crossing out of Egypt for 40 years – finally gave up their foolishness of trying to worship false gods and live wildly. When they returned to God, they found they could survive on the land on their own.


The words “came to his senses” is written within the Gospel. The prodigal son, who had raced through his inheritance and found himself in a pig sty hungry and working for another man, realized that he could go home and so “came to his senses” and left for home where he was immediately embraced by his father.


We too sometimes need to come to our senses in our relationship with God. The sacrifice of Christ and the never-ending love of the Lord is always ready to take us back even after we have turned our backs on the Lord.


This fourth week of Lent, let’s all come to our senses and join our Lord in our everyday lives.


Visit in Yuma
Over last weekend I completed my pastoral visit to the Yuma-La Paz Vicariate. I conferred the sacrament of Confirmation on the English speaking young people at St. Francis de Assisi Parish as well as on the students at St. Francis Catholic School and on Saturday I baptized and also celebrated a Confirmation liturgy at St. Jude Thaddeus in San Luis.


What a wonderful community of faith exists in the Yuma/La Paz Vicariate. Our priests, deacons, religious and laity serving in their parishes and schools and Catholic institutions are doing amazing work for which I am deeply grateful.


St. John Paul II Award winners
I mentioned in my last Memo that I would list the student winner names. Here is the list from the Yuma-LaPaz Vicariate Awards ceremony.


1 Palencia Luis Alberto Immaculate Conception, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
2 Lopez Bastida Agustin Jaime Immaculate Conception, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
3 Guerrero Maria Cruz Immaculate Conception, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
4 Todd Amanda Immaculate Conception, Yuma Prayer and Worship/Catechesis and Evangelization
5 Guzman Isidro Immaculate Conception, Yuma Prayer and Worship
6 Boyd Alexander Immaculate Conception, Yuma Community Service and Social Justice
7 DeAnda Gabriela St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
8 Ramos Xcaret St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
9 Pedraza Mayely St. Francis of Assisi, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
10 Boyd Veronica Yuma Catholic Hich School Catechesis and Evangelization
11 Vance Rylie Yuma Catholic Hich School Community Service and Social Justice
12 Martin Lindsay Yuma Catholic Hich School Prayer and Worship
13 Cota Paola Immaculate Heart of Mary, Somerton Prayer and Worship
14 Ozuna Ana Paula Immaculate Heart of Mary, Somerton Prayer and Worship
15 Young Sydney St. John Neumann, Yuma Prayer and Worship
16 Contreras Isaura St. John Neumann, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
17 Vargas Brenda St. John Neumann, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
18 Rivera Iesha St. John Neumann, Yuma Catechesis and Evangelization
19 Barajas Sandoval Rosaura Isela St. Joseph the Worker, Wellton Community Service and Social Justice
20 Silva Dorian U. St. Joseph the Worker, Wellton Prayer and Worship
21 Espinoza Cinco Diana Sofia St. Joseph the Worker, Wellton Catechesis and Evangelization
22 Arias Fernanda St. Jude Thaddeus, San Luis Community Service and Social Justice
23 Campa Karely St. Jude Thaddeus, San Luis Community Service and Social Justice
24 Gonzalez Lesly St. Jude Thaddeus, San Luis Community Service and Social Justice




I will list the Tucson area student winners after their ceremony in May.


I am always inspired at these events to see the pride in the young people’s parents and grandparents. It is not easy today to be a parent. I know they have many fears and concerns on how their children will turn out. But how rewarding it must be for them to know that their sons or daughters are distinguishing themselves in service to the Church.


I was delighted Father John Friel, pastor of St. John Neumann, was honored for his support of young people. It was a recognition well deserved.


Bishop Kicanas with some of the youth award recipients in Somerton near Yuma.


On-going Priest Formation
Priests from our diocese will be attending the second presentation in their continuing formation today (Monday, March 7) at the Redemptorist Renewal Center. Attendees will listen to Father Brian Pierce, O.P. and a discussion of Reflections on the Life of Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero.


sAnnual Catholic Appeal
The 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal is 50 percent towards it overall goal! Congratulations to Sacred Heart (Tombstone), Corpus Christi (Tucson), St. Andrews (Sierra Vista), and St. Thomas the Apostle (Tucson) who have already reached their overall pledge goal. Thank you to everyone who contributed!


If you have not yet made your Annual Catholic Appeal gift, you can do so at or by calling 520.838.2504.


St. Augustine Cathedral Square
Our Lady’s Chapel, week of Feb. 29 – March 4, 2016
Work continues at Our Lady’s Chapel where plumbing and vent work for heating and cooling is being installed. Thanks to Patricia and Patrick Schifano, (no relation to Msgr. Al Schifano) who donated a beautiful Lowry organ owned by their mother Florence Madas for use in the chapel.


We continue to work with the city staff to prepare for the presentation of the plan to Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and the City Council. I encourage anyone who supports the project including the need to replace the current Cathedral Hall to write a letter of support. If you live in the City, address the letter to your proper Council member. If you live outside the city, in the county or another municipality, send the letter to the Mayor.


Meeting in Washington, D.C.
I returned to Tucson from Yuma on Saturday and celebrated the Funeral Mass for Father Gerald Cote, a long-time priest of our diocese that passed away Feb. 27. On Sunday, I flew to Chicago then on to heading to Washington, D.C., for a meeting of the CLINIC Board as well as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Education. The CLINIC Board will discuss issues related to refugees and migrants and especially how refugees will have sufficient legal guidance as they present their cases for refugee protection.


The committee’s lengthy agenda includes the following and more: Development of a Catholic Parental Choice Organization; National Catholic Education Association Update; Alliance Defending; information from the Subcommittee and Working Group Reports; information from the Subcommittee on Certification of Ecclesial Ministry and Service; a report from the Inter-Secretariat Working Group Follow up to Summit; discussion of a Cultural Diversity Survey Project and updates from the Higher Education Working Group .


YouthFest, March 11 -12

Follow YouthFest on Facebook at


On Friday and Saturday the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in collaboration with the Department of Catholic Schools, will be presenting our annual YOUTHfest event. This year’s theme is “Thousand Hands”. I am grateful to our YOUTHfest2016 coordinator, Diego Pina-Lopez, who has been working behind the scenes at our Co-Workers in the Vineyard conferences and numerous YOUTHfests since he was teen attending with St. Pius X Parish and St. Augustine Catholic High School.


Our Theme is Thousand Hands – inspiring our youth to make a difference in their communities by getting involved, using their hands for good, and building up our communities, as Pope Francis has called all of us to do– be present to and assist the poor and vulnerable in our society.


All 6th -12th graders were invited to the annual diocesan gathering of youth and registration is now closed. This will be an amazing two-day event full of engaging keynotes and activities that will inspire our youth to make a positive difference in their communities!


I will be on hand to open each day’s events. The teens will hear a presentation by Father Greg Boyle, S.J., executive director and founder of Homeboy Industries on Friday morning and a presentation by Righteous B (Bob Lesnefsky) a Catholic hip-hop artist and founder of Dirty Vagabond Ministries – an outreach ministry to inner city kids. YOUTHfest2016 continues on Saturday with another presentation by Righteous B and then Ken Yasinski – a highly sought after Catholic Canadian speaker who at the core of every message, challenges people to realize their full potential in life – to be a saint. There are lots of activities and chances for teens to meet with amazing adults working in different places such as the Kino Border Initiative, Ben’s Bells, Youth on their Own, and Catholic Relief Services and other local non-profit service organizations.   Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will be at the YOUTHfest on Saturday morning.


Before his work with the organization Homeboy Industries Father Greg taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was Pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles where he served from 1986 to 1992. He later was Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison, before returning to Los Angeles and Dolores Mission.


Today Father Greg also is a consultant to youth service and governmental agencies, policy-makers and employers. He is a member of National Gang Center Advisory Board through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy in Los Angeles.


Father Greg also will be the keynote presenter for our Diocese of Tucson Catholic Schools Pastor/President/Principal Meeting on March 10. The theme for the meeting is “Mission Possible: Serving our Catholic school families with mercy, compassion, and courage” – Part II


I will celebrate Mass with the teens on Friday at 3:45 and Saturday at 4:30 p.m.


Presentation to parents
On Friday evening I will be making a presentation at the Leo Rich Theatre at the Tucson Convention Center to the participants of the Catholic Parent Revival, or CPR.


This presentation is part of the Strong Catholic Families program we have here in our diocese. Visit the Strong Catholic Families website and you will read:


“Catholic Parent Revivals bring national Catholic speakers and performers together in a local church or auditorium for a two-hour event that motivates, inspires and moves parents and grandparents toward growing more deeply in faith as a family. Dioceses, parishes and/or schools use these evangelizing events to reach those who are seeking to revive their faith, rediscover the sacredness within their famil and receive support in their daily faith journeys. During a Catholic Parent Revival, parents are treated to an evening of inspiring speakers, moving music, deep dialogues and meaningful prayer as they inhale a breath of new life for the critical vocation of parenthood.”


I am looking forward to this presentation and to hearing what other speakers will say. Faith-filled parenting is so important to instilling the faith in our children and young adults.


Mass for Tenet Hospitals
St. Augustine Cathedral
192 S. Stone Ave.
Sunday, March 13


Readers of the MM may remember that several months ago, St. Joseph, St. Mary’s Hospitals in Tucson and Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Ariz., were involved in the merger of Tenet Health, Ascension Health and the Carondelet Health Care Network. As part of the merger, the Diocese of Tucson agreed to be the Catholic Sponsor of the former Carondelet Hospitals, in order to keep Catholic Hospitals within our diocese.


I will be offering Mass for the staffs of the hospitals especially as in this Year of Mercy we are giving thanks to those who carry on the Corporal Works of Mercy one of which is visiting and caring for the sick.


Following the Mass for the hospitals, I will celebrate the annual Mass for Scouting, also at the Cathedral, beginning at 2 p.m.


Virginia Robillard, chair of our Catholic Committee on Scouting and Joseph Perdreauville, associate director of our Pastoral Services Department, and I will be giving out the Scout awards to those who have worked to fulfill all the requirements of the medal they are pursuing. Congratulations to all the scouts who work to earn their respective medal or patch. I am grateful to Father Robert Rodriguez, Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford who serves as spiritual director to our Catholic Scouting program.


Scouting is a great opportunity for young men and women to learn what it means to serve others. I am always delighted to write a letter of support to those receiving the highest Boy Scout award, Eagle Scout. It is impressive the projects they work on and the leadership they show.


Gun Violence Prevention Arizona
St Mark’s Presbyterian Church
3809 E. 3rd Street (west of Alvernon, south of Speedway)
Monday, March 14
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Please join Gun Violence Prevention Arizona and St Mark’s Presbyterian Church in welcoming Sandy and Lonnie Phillips to Tucson.   The Phillips’ daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was killed in the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colo. on July 20, 2012. Sandy and Lonnie are traveling the country to share the story of their daughter’s life and death and of their own efforts to shed light on the injustice of laws that protect gun and ammunition sellers at the expense of victims and their families. Come and be inspired and empowered to make a difference in reducing gun violence!


A question and answer period and light refreshments will follow the presentation.


The event is FREE, but donations will be accepted to offset the Phillips’ travel expenses.


Please pray for
-Ask for prayers for Msgr. Ed Carscallen who passed away today. More information will be forthcoming about the funeral and services as soon as those detail are made.


-Please remember in your prayers the mother of Deacon Paul Duckro who died last week. The funeral will be celebrated on Friday, March 18 in Dayton, Ohio.