Monday Memo, May 31, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 20

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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An Ordination
On Saturday, June 4, it will be my joy to ordain Dcn. Edson Elizarrarás as a priest for our diocese.


image003Edson has wanted to become a priest since his youth and has taken the long preparation and made many decisions in response to his calling.   His ordination will take place at St. John Neumann Parish in Yuma, beginning at 10 a.m.


Many of Edson’s family members, who reside in Mexico, will be attending, and following the ordination, he will travel to Mexico to celebrate with all those loved ones and friends that have walked along with him during his journey to priesthood.


We celebrate Edson’s ordination. We pray that his ministry always will be strong, vital and fulfilling. At the same time, we pray in thanksgiving for all those who have supported Edson in his yearning to become a priest: his parents, his friends and other ministers who have coaxed him along the way.


Effective July 1, Father Edson will be a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson.


Remember also that we will be ordaining two seminarians, Martin Moreno and Callistus Iyorember, as deacons at St. Augustine Cathedral on June 11. This is one of the last steps needed as both these men prepare for their own priestly ordinations in 2017.


Father Kino Cup
It was the rematch of the year with the Men in Black, aka as our diocesan seminarians, versus the Padres, our priests. The seminarians were successful, retaining their title over the Padres with a score of 5 to 1.


But, I understand that they had one non-seminarian player. Who knows; maybe that was the key … we can’t give the younger guys all the credit. I also understand that Father Chris Orndorff, pastor of Corpus Christi, showed some real skill as goalie for the Padres. Funny, he’s a scratch golfer too. Maybe we need to get the Padres out for a little more exercise.


Father Jorge Farias certainly found a great way to get both our seminarians and priests, and many faithful Catholics out to the soccer field. The crowd at the Craycroft field was about 300 people strong, and complete with snacks, cheerleaders, and lots and lots of great sports moments.


My thanks to Father Jorge, to the Vocations Office staff, to Kathy Rhinehart, coach for the Padres, and to all those who gathered along the sidelines to cheer our players on!



Ministry Certification Level I – Yuma
Students preparing for Hispanic Ministry Certification Level I from five parishes within our Yuma-La Paz Vicariate gathered to celebrate their completed training. I presided at that Mass and certification ceremony for these fine ministers on Sunday in Yuma.



Level 1 instructors in the photograph are from left to right: Aida Urbieta, Maguie Cabrera, Susy Gomez and Olivia Jaramillo.

The students completed 52 hours of instruction in scripture, theological foundation, liturgy and sacraments, Christian morality, methodology, and spiritual formation.


Congratulations to all!



My thanks to Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, for her continued work in this area. It involves a great deal of travel between Tucson and Yuma, and both she and her students work very hard.


Catholic Extension Dinner
I will be in Chicago for two days for a meeting of the Catholic Extension Board that I serve as Vice Chancellor. I will be making a presentation on my experience of being part of a mission diocese and how Catholic Extension has supported our effort to serve our people at a Board dinner on June 2. The Board will meet on June 3 at Wintrust, an organization run by one of the Board members. The meeting will look at some of Extension’s strategic initiatives to assist mission dioceses. For more information about Extension and the great work it does to support key ministries for rural and other mission or underfunded dioceses, please visit


Our diocese, designated a mission diocese, has benefitted greatly from Extension with grants for seminarian training, grants for Sister Glady’s work as Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, assistance to our Schools Department, and assistance with the technology enhancements in addition to other help.


Mass at Santa Rita Abbey
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On Tuesday, I will travel to the Abbey to celebrate Mass and to pray with the members of the monastic community of the Trappistine branch of Cistercian nuns in Sonoita.



The community was founded in 1972 and is the only Cistercian community in the American Southwest. The community is led by Prioress, Sister Victoria, one of those who founded the monastery, and together she and the other nine sisters carry on their work and the work of keeping the community going.


The women at the monastery are very gifted with diverse talents. It is always wonderful to share in the joy of their lives as we celebrate Mass and enjoy some social time together.


The Abbey also hosts retreats and can be contacted for additional information at 520.455.5595.


Retired Priests Dinner
I will host the retired priests of our diocese for dinner and a chance to catch up with one another’s lives. About 16 retired priests will be joining me for dinner and most of them worked in our diocese for all or a significant part of their ministries. I look forward to welcoming them into my home for fellowship. I marvel at all they have done and all that they continue to do on behalf of our diocese. They know the history of our diocese including all the blessings and challenges they have faced in their ministries.


It will be my joy to confer the sacrament of Confirmation on people at the following parishes this week: for young people of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish at Century Park, 1055 W. Grant Road, on Wednesday evening; and at Immaculate Conception Parish in Ajo on Sunday.



Blessing of Pipe Organ
It will be my delight to bless the new pipe organ at St. Margaret Mary later in the day on Sunday. Music brings such depth and opportunity to focus on prayer, and I know this pipe organ will be well-used. Congratulations!


Father Abran Tadeo has worked hard on this project and is excited for the event that will include the blessing, Mass and some social time for his parish family.


Cathedral Square
The Diocese will be presenting its plan for the revitalization and beautification of Cathedral Square to the Mayor and Tucson City Council on June 7. There will be a study session for the Council members on the afternoon of June 7, and if all goes well, we will make our request that the council find “no reasonable economic use” for Cathedral Hall at that evening’s City Council Meeting sometime around 5 p.m. at the City Council Offices.


I hope you can plan to be at that meeting on June 7 at 5 p.m. to show your support for this first step in constructing our four story building. You may remember that this building will include offices and meeting space on the first floor; a 500-person Conference Center for use by the Diocese, the Cathedral and the community; and the third and fourth floors will become the new Diocesan Offices.


Your presence and participation will mean a great deal to the support of the project and I would be grateful for your attendance at the meeting.


We also hope to hear from the Foundation for Senior Living – the organization that plans to restore Marist College and to build a 7-story senior living facility at the location of the Pastoral Center – on whether it will receive Federal Tax credits needed to complete those plans.


Please pray for …
The soul of Deacon Donald Abler, who has passed away. Deacon Abler ministered at St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande, but was already retired. Please pray also for his family and friends.