Monday Memo, Aug. 8, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 24

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Forgive others and find peace, pope says during brief visit to Assisi
ASSISI, Italy (CNS) — Celebrating how God’s mercy has been experienced for 800 years in a tiny stone church in Assisi, Pope Francis said people need to experience God’s forgiveness and start learning how to forgive others.


“Too many people are caught up in resentment and harbor hatred because they are incapable of forgiving. They ruin their own lives and the lives of those around them rather than finding the joy of serenity and peace,” the pope said Aug. 4 during an afternoon visit to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels.


Before speaking about the importance of confession and forgiveness, Pope Francis set a bouquet of red and white roses on the altar and prayed silently for 10 minutes in the Portiuncola, a stone chapel in the middle of the basilica.


How wonderful it is for our Holy Father to remind us of these very basic ideas to help bring us closer to God amid so much violence and imbalance in the world.  The above information was taken from a CNS/Reuters story that you can finish reading at


We all know that Christ died for our sins and that Christ preached the need to forgive and to love one another.  This week as we listen to yet more news story filled with aggression, misinformation and violence, say a prayer for forgiveness and ask God to bring the peace of His love back to our world.


Working to raise people out of poverty
This afternoon I will be meeting with Sister Leonette Kochan and representatives from other faith denominations in the surround area as they are working on collaborating on a fall program for all religious leaders, Christian, Jewish and Muslim that works to help people help themselves out of poverty.


The program is called “Bridges Out of Poverty”, and it was begun Peter LeVoy and is being used successfully by the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and others in our community.  Today’s meeting is working to plan the fall program to introduce other congregations to this program which uses mentoring and education to help people struggling with poverty.


Pima County also is engaged with Bridges and is looking to expand its outreach.


I found the following Arizona statistics online. Keep in mind that the Arizona population is between approximately 6.7 million and an estimated 6.8 million people:

State Ranking                                                                                           42 percent

Overall Poverty Rate                                                                                18.2
About 1.2 million people in general live in poverty

Deep Poverty Rate                                                                                   8.5

Child Poverty Rate (under 18)                                                                  25.6
More than 1.7 million children live in poverty

Senior Poverty Rate (65 years of age):                                                    9.4

Poverty Rate for People with Disabilities                                                21.8

Poverty Rate for Women                                                                         19.2
About 1.3 million women in this state live in poverty

Poverty Rate for Men / Tasa de pobreza de varones:                             17.3
Clearly, poverty continues to be a challenge for all of us. It is difficult to break the cycle of poverty but working together is imperative for us to create viable and ongoing solutions for those living in poverty.


St. John the Evangelist Fights drug “Spice”
Learn more
Attend a public meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16

7 p.m.
Inside the church at 602 W. Ajo Way


The Arizona Daily Star published an article on Saturday reporting about the work of St.John the Evangelist and its pastor, Msgr. Raul Trevizo, to combat a new and very addictive synthetic drug being sold in smoke shops and on the streets near the Church. Since May 1 the Tucson Fire Department has responded to 192 calls for spice overdoses. Msgr. Trevizo has called for restriction in what smoke shops can sell and their hours of operation.


I am grateful to Msgr. Trevizo for raising awareness about this important community issue affecting so many young people.


Seminarian Convocation
Beginning tomorrow and continuing through Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Redemptorist Retreat Center.


Nineteen of our 20 seminarians will attend sessions focused on “Ministries of Mercy” with emphasis on homelessness, drug addition, people in prison and poverty.  The convocation will feature presentations by Peggy Hutchinson and Jean Fedigan, (on homelessness) Deacon Ernie Trujillo, Mike Gutierrez, Deacon Ed Sheffer (on prison ministry), Guilio Grecchi and Bonnie Bozata (on poverty) and Dr. Lenn Ditmanson on the plague of addiction.  The convocation also includes day trips to related organizations and facilities.


Perhaps more now than ever, priests need to have both compassion and understanding for people struggling with the issues and questions of poverty, homelessness, addiction and serving in prison.  Becoming introduced with and more comfortable with these areas will no doubt assist our future priests in their ministries.


My thanks to Msgr. Al Schifano, our Vocations Director for Seminarians; to our presenters, as well as Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston, from our Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection, and to Ms. Marty Hammond and Mercy Ortiz of the Vocations Department for their hard work in planning this convocation. Rev. Jorge Farias, vocation director for recruitment will also attend.


Also, I will be interviewing and speaking with each of our Seminarians on their experience of seminary formation last year, and will celebrate Mass with them along with donors to seminary formation on Wednesday afternoon.  As you may know, our seminarians attend Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Ore.; Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.; Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisc.; and at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida.


I am grateful for all in the community who share their resources to assist in the formation and education of our Seminarians.


St. Christopher – Marana, AZ

St. James – Coolidge, AZ

GOMEZ, Jesus
St Monica – Tucson, AZ

*SCHAAF, Joseph
St. Andrew – Sierra Vista

Sacred Heart – Nogales, AZ

*VILLABLANCA Jr., Roberto E.
St Elizabeth Ann Seton – Tucson


AGBIR, Justin
St. Francis of Assisi – Superior, AZ
St. Thomas the Apostle – Tucson, AZ

San Felipe de Jesus Parish – Nogales, AZ

IYOREMBER, Callistus T. (Dcn)
St. Augustine Cathedral – Tucson, AZ

MARCOS, Dennis
**MORENO, Martin (Dcn)
Sacred Heart – Nogales, AZ

PEDRASA, Peter John
St. Anthony – Casa Grande, AZ

QUIRK, Thomas
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – Tucson, AZ

RIVERA, JR., Richard
St. Andrew – Sierra Visa, AZ


Catholic Cemeteries Board
Will meet at the Pastoral Center on Friday.  The Board has A new chair – Chris Rod, whose leadership will be such a blessing. Items to be discussed include:  a history of Holy Hope Cemetery; a report on cemetery staff meeting with Deacon Paul Duckro regarding sensitivity matters; a report on roadwork at Holy Hope Cemetery and a building progress report on the new mausoleum; discussion on accommodating families currently retaining possession of cremains due to financial challenges; maintenance on a closed cemetery in Pirtleville; and updates on other cemeteries-wide maintenance.

Other leaders and members of this Board include:  Tom Hanlon, executive director of the Catholic Cemeteries; Carmen Lombardo, vice chair; Anne Marie King, secretary; Doug Rogers, treasurer; David Blanchett, Belinda Motzkin Bauer, Carol Ewing, Father James Hobert, and Herman Johannesmyer.


I will be celebrating Mass and formally installing Father Clement Agamba as Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson on Thursday, August 11.  Father tends the flock in the not so big town of Benson – about 45 miles east of Tucson – was established back in the wild west days of 1895, and was a railroad town for a long time.  You can still drive through Benson proper pretty quickly, but more recently the town has been recognized for having an amazing school and is better known for its proximity to Kartchner Caverns.


Fr. Clement is from Ghana and has been a missionary in our diocese for a number of years. He is Vicar for priests from other countries and serves on the Presbyteral Council as well as a member of our Diocesan Pastoral Council. His leadership in so many areas is a blessing and gift.


Picture1caf Annual Catholic Appeal
It was nice to learn that the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal is very close to its goal.  In fact, the campaign is less than 2 percentage-points way from reaching 100 percent in promised pledges!  This is such good news because it ensures that thousands of people will continue to benefit from the charities and ministries of the Annual Catholic Appeal.


You can help both your parish and the overall campaign with one gift.  If you have not yet made a 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal gift, please consider being amongst those that help us reach that 100 percent goal.


Secure online gifts can be made through the Catholic Foundation website at


-The Dedication of the parish hall for Our Lady of Fatima Parish on Saturday was a wonderful event. The parishioners obviously were proud of the new hall which was long in coming and are happy to have this new space for meetings and functions.  As I mentioned last week , the facility also has a full-service kitchen and includes 2,000 feet of space for expansion of the current parish office space.  Congratulations again to Father Villi Valderrama and his parish family .


-Eighty Permanent Deacons attended the Annual Deacon Convocation, this year held at Most Holy Trinity Parish. The key speaker at the Convocation was Greg Dobie Moser, who works with Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Cleveland. Wives of our Deacons also attend the convocation and I appreciate their dedication to this ministry.


My thanks to Rick Valencia, our Vicar for Deacons,  and others for their planning of this gathering. I am delighted to celebrate Mass with the diaconate community on Saturday afternoon during which the deacons will renew their ordination promises.


Los Descendientes
I will attend the dinner on Saturday evening at Starr Pass Resort sponsored by Los Descendientes, a group that keeps alive the rich history of our community and continues to remind us of the contributions of those who have gone before us. This grand celebration each year helps us to remember how blessed we are in our community.


Please pray for:
The soul of Deacon Paul Welsh, 73, who passed away  July  22. Deacon served at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish for 30 years.   He is survived by his sons, Vincent, Nicholas and Matthew.  A message to OMOS parishioners summarized Deacon Paul this way:


“Deacon Paul regularly facilitated the monthly assignment schedule for our five permanent active deacons.  He exercised his diaconal ministry with a very prayerful and loving heart and with great attention to detail.  His exceptional preaching gifts will be greatly missed.  Deacon Paul was a longtime committed and faithful parishioner.  He had a great love for OMOS parish and parishioners.  Deacon Paul – your parishioner family – especially your fellow deacons, pastor and parish staff thank God and your family for the bigness and abundance of God’s blessings upon us through your witness and example.  Good friend – thanks and rest in peace.”


Visitation and the vigil service will take place at OMOS on Friday evening, Aug. 12.  Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with scripture and Rosary Service at 7 p.m.  The funeral Mass will be celebrated on  Aug. 13 at 10 a.m.  The parish MOSES group will host Deacon Paul’s family members, friends, and parishioners to a luncheon reception at the parish immediately following Mass.  Following the luncheon, interment will take place at Our Lady of the Desert Cemetery.



Solemnity of the Assumption
On this day we celebrate that Mary, the  immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.


According to a degree of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 17, 1992, the Solemnity of the Assumption, when it occurs on a Saturday or a Monday, causes the precept to attend Mass to be abrogated.  It is not a Holy Day of Obligation on Monday, Aug. 15.


Convocation of Catechetical Leaders
Our Mother of Sorrows Parish
August 20


This year, an invitation is being extended not only to our parish directors of religious education, but also to our parish youth ministry directors/coordinators . Open to these key catechetical leaders: your director of religious education and  to parish  director/coordinator of youth ministry. This is a required gathering for DREs and Youth Ministers.


Twilight Evening of Prayer for Discerning Women
Thursday, Aug. 25
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center


Light dinner and time for group and personal prayer.  For further information contact Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., at


Pastor/President/Principal Convocation
Friday, Aug.26, 2016
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Four Points by Sheraton Tucson Airport

For more information please contact: Lupita Garay at (520) 838-2547 or email