Monday Memo, April 4, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 12

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

facebook Eng




It is truly fitting that yesterday we observed Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast initiated by Saint Pope John Paul II and celebrated every year on the Octave of Easter. This feast reminds us that our Risen Christ is among us, showing us the mercy and compassion of the Father.


As you know, we also are celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy worldwide at the request of Pope Francis. It is indeed wonderful to celebrate such a year when all around us we see the need for mercy. Clearly this celebration of Divine Mercy and the Year of Mercy lifts up this divine attribute in our hearts and minds.



Here in our diocese, we now continue our Year of Mercy events. Our first Mercy activity was to remember in Mass the hungry and those who assist with feeding the hungry. Our next activity will emphasize the need to help the sick, or as listed in the Corporal Works of Mercy, “visit the sick. We have broadened this idea to include all those who treat and minister to the sick.


I will celebrate a Mass for the sick and all those that care for the sick on Sunday, April 17 at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave. Mass will begin at noon. Members of the Tenet Hospital communities of St. Mary’s and St. Joseph Hospitals and Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales will be among those attending.


The work of caring for the sick, whether performed by a professional, a volunteer or by a loving family member, requires deep compassion and care. I have visited many people suffering from illness, and always the work of those who gently tend them and the visits of those who come to offer friendship and comfort are seen as great blessings.


It is not always easy work; helping those in pain or those who may be nearing the end of their lives can be very emotional, but helping such people is God’s work and hopefully faith sustains all – those who are ill and those offering comfort to the ill.


Please plan to attend the Mass initiated by the Tenet Catholic Hospital Community in our Diocese. All are welcome including those involved in the healing arts; those serving as ministers of the sick or to the homebound, family members or those with illness that are able to attend.


Exhortation on Marriage and Family Life
An Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and Family was held in October 2015 just after our Holy Father completed his Papal Visit to the United States in September. At the conclusion of a Synod, propositions likely were presented to the Holy Father for his consideration in writing a Post Synodal Exhortation. At this time, we know only some of the documents quoted in the text of the exhortation, but none of the content.


An Apostolic Exhortation is published “to encourage the faithful to live in a particular manner or to do something, e.g., post synodal documents offered to the Church in summary of a previous synod and hoping the faithful will do something helpful for the life of the Church.”


You may remember that each diocese was asked to gather input from a widespread group of Catholics and that Pope Francis asked for wider consultation of people for initial input of the synod.


At the Marriage and Family Synod itself there were 270 Synod Fathers, 14 Fraternal Delegates (Representatives from other faith traditions), 17 auditors and 17 observers (lay and religious).


We await the Exhortation.


Annual Catholic Appeal
Catholic Foundation Grants
The Catholic Foundation will be awarding more than $350,000 in grants to parishes, schools and social services throughout our diocese. Recipients will be receiving their awards at a special gathering on April 19.


There are so many needs in our diocese, such as fire alarms, roof repair, security gates and cameras, technology upgrades, religious education materials, funds to help the homeless, and many more. This year, the Foundation received the most requests ever in its history.


Funding for these grants comes from three sources: revenue from the annual Cornerstone Gala, the Annual Catholic Appeal and income from permanent endowed assets that are managed by the Catholic Foundation.   These sources are crucial to the Foundation’s ability to make funding available for our diocese.


This grant process is only a small part of what the Catholic Foundation funds each year to all the ministries and programs throughout the Diocese. With overall funding from the Annual Catholic Appeal, the Cornerstone Gala, the 76 endowments that are managed by the Catholic Foundation and the many outside organizations that the Foundation wins grant from to obtain funds, more than $5 million is distributed annually.


For more information on the Annual Catholic Appeal or to make a gift, you can go to or call 520-838-2504. Help us reach our goal.


The Annual Cornerstone Gala
The Catholic Foundation Gala Committee are hard at work getting ready for the Cornerstone Gala, which will be held at the JW Marriott Starr Pass on May 6. (Many of you may know this year’s honoree!). My thanks to Ann Dickson and those working to plan this event.


For information on buying Gala tickets, contact Clara Moreno at (520) 838-2507 or email at


Welcome to Father Godfrey
We have been blessed from the beginnings of our diocese to have the services of the Discalced Carmelites who have served in the Copper Quarter of the Diocese and most recently at St. Margaret Mary and Santa Cruz parishes in Tucson. They now staff only Santa Cruz.


Father Godfrey Chandez, O.C.D., from Uganda has joined Father David Guzman, O.C.D., pastor of Santa Cruz, and Father Juan Elias Medina, parochial Vicar, in serving the people of Santa Cruz.


This week I will be conferring the sacrament of Confirmation on young people at St. Ambrose in Tucson; at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Mammoth and at the Newman Center at the University of Arizona campus as well as in Sierra Vista. The season after Easter is the time in which hundreds of young people and adults are fully initiated into the Church in the Sacrament of Confirmation. I try to celebrate as many of the Confirmations as possible but because some are on the same day and because of the geographic extent of our diocese, that is not possible. I am grateful to our Vicar Generals and members of the Presbyteral Council who celebrate some of the Confirmations.


Seminary visit
Msgr. Al Schifano, our Vocations Director for Seminarians, and I will be visiting St. Vincent de Paul Seminary this week to check on the progress of Brayant Gracia and Vinicio Jimenez Medina. Both men are in their first year of theology studies at the seminary.


St. Vincent de Paul “fosters a bilingual and multicultural environment in recognition of the growing Hispanic presence in the United States” and the campus is one of only two bilingual theologates in the country. There is a desperate need for bilingual or Spanish speaking priests in our diocese. Both Brayant and Vinicio’s first language is Spanish and this program gives them an opportunity to develop their English speaking skills while offering some theological courses in Spanish.


PCIC Celebration
Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo and I are among those to be recognized at the upcoming Pima County Interfaith Coalition Community Celebration and Fundraiser on Sunday, April 10 at 1:30 p.m. at Most Holy Trinity Parish. The celebration is called “The Beat Goes On . . . 26 years of celebrating Faith –Power-and Action.”


The others being recognized include these Champion of Justice Awards:
Julie Johnson, St Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal
Mari Helen High, St Mark’s Presbyterian
Art Evans, St Francis in the Foothills UMC
The late Patty Flores, Most Holy Trinity Catholic
Brad Stroup – Bill Estes, Jr. Business Ally Award
If you would like to attend, please visit for information.


Please pray for
the soul of Daniel R. Vargas, age 60, who passed away unexpectedly Saturday. Mr. Vargas is the father of Christina Vargas, Human Resources assistant for our diocese.


Visitation will take place Sunday, April 10, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with Rosary at 7 p.m. at Carrillo’s Tucson Mortuary. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral with burial to follow at Holy Hope Cemetery.
the soul of Kenneth M. Hontz, father of Kenneth B. Hontz , development associate for the Catholic Foundation. The senior Mr. Hontz passed away at the end of March. Please pray also for the family at this difficult time.


Also remember Bernard “Bunny” Fontana, a renowned historian and scholar of Southwestern history who died early Saturday morning. He was the co-founder of Patronato San Xavier, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration of Mission San Xavier del Bac which remains an active Catholic Parish. He also served on the Advisory Board for our Diocesan Archives for a time. He also served on our diocesan Archives Advisory Board for a time.


It was an honor to know Bunny and I learned so much about our beautiful Southwest desert from him personally and from his writings. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held at San Xavier del Bac on Friday, April 8, at 10 a.m.