Monday Memo, Nov. 14, 2016, Vol. 14, No. 37

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Please remember in your prayers this week, the soul of Bishop Manuel Moreno, the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Tucson, who passed away on Nov. 17, 2006.


Post-election Faithful Citizenship

Our country certainly had a roller coaster ride of emotions following the presidential elections last week.


I will not dwell on the outcome or on who won or lost, because I believe now is the time for us to very much practice Faithful Citizenship.


In the October edition of our Catholic newspaper, The New Vision, I published a column about Faithful Citizenship before the election.  I will repeat some of it here today, because it is relevant to where we Americans now find ourselves as citizens.


“No political party in place today endorses the full range of moral issues important to us as Catholics. . .

Among the moral issues important to us as people of faith are:

-the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

-the need to address the escalating violence in our cities

-the plight of refugees and migrants

-the struggle of the poor and the inequality in our society

– the care of creation.


“. . . As important as it is to vote, it also is important to stay involved and to push elected officials, once elected, to propose, support and pass legislation that continually advances the dignity and worth of people or to oppose legislation that stands contrary to our moral principles as Catholics. After a candidate is elected we must continue to advocate for values that are fundamental to our faith. We need to get involved in civic affairs and we need to raise our voices on issues that matter. We write those in office. We call them. We visit them. We make our convictions and expectations known.”


Now, we ask that the Spirit guide President-elect Donald Trump and all those elected to office this past week. May they be leaders who hold up our highest ideals as a nation, fostering unity and working diligently for the dignity and respect due to all life.


As we pray for our leaders I urge us all of us to remain active and involved in the care of our country. Our leaders act in our name. Consider how you might stay engaged as Americans and faithful citizens.


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Is meeting this week in Baltimore. This fall meeting will result in the election of a new president and vice president of the USCCB, as I mentioned in last week’s Memo. I expect here will be some discussion of how the Conference will work with our newly elected officials to advocate on behalf of issues important to the Church.


Catholic Foundation Board of Directors
Meets on Thursday.  As I have written previously, the sage and devoted committee members of this Board guide the direction of the Catholic Foundation, its fundraising progress and its mission and I am grateful to these fine people. Even now, they are planning for upcoming events like our Cornerstone Gala that this year will honor the work of the Patronato de San Xavier in restoring San Xavier del Bac, our earliest Church, as we consider how our parishes, schools and Catholic institutions have evolved to the Church we have today.


Congratulations St. Elizabeth Health Center

It will be my joy to participate in the 55th Anniversary celebration for this fine Center that provides so many needed services in our community.


Who could have guessed back in 1961 when the center opened as St. Elizabeth of Hungary Clinic, just how important the center would become to low-income residents by offering a wide array of affordable health care for those without of insurance or other means to get medical, dental, behavioral and preventive health services.  The services then and now are provided through a sliding fee scale and extensive community partnerships.


The clinic officially was renamed in 2008. Then, it became an independent non-profit organization on Oct. 1, 2014 and no longer an agency of Catholic Community Services. This change allowed the Center to be able to apply for federal funding through a collaborative partnership with El Rio Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center.


My thanks to St. E’s, as it is affectionately called, and to those professionals and care givers that make the Health Center possible.


I encourage people to check out the Center’s webpage for more information about services provided, ways to donate and also for volunteer opportunities. You can visit at


Director’s Meeting
A meeting of all of our Pastoral Center directors will take place Thursday.  The group will be reviewing annual goals and individual Department progress in meeting those goals.


More Congrats!

On Saturday, Immaculate Conception Parish in Ajo is celebrating its 100th Anniversary.


The town of Ajo was founded as a mining community in 1847, but existed for Native Americans long before that. The early mining by Spaniards was stymied by repeated battles with the indigent peoples and operations were stopped. In 1884, a man named Tom Child, who had fallen upon the property shortly after the Spaniards abandoned mining, returned to the area and again started mining.


After the discovery of high-grade copper ore, Ajo became the location of the first copper mine in Arizona. A succession of owners bought and sold the original mine and Ajo became a boom town in about 1911, when the mine, now called the New Cornelia Mine, was sold to Col. John Campbell Greenway. He expanded the mine and the Tucson, Cornelia & Gila Bend Railroad was built from Gila Bend to serve the mining industry. The rail line was in service from 1916 to 1985.


In 1921, Phelps Dodge bought New Cornelia and the mine became the New Cornelia Branch of Phelps Dodge. At one time, the mine employed 1,000 people, but ultimately the mine ceased operations in 1985.


Did you know that the Salazar-Ajo Library still in Ajo was the first branch library established by the Pima County Public Library System in Tucson?  The branch – 113 miles from Tucson – was established in 1947 probably because of the size of the then-bustling community.


The brilliant white plastered church in Ajo started in 1916.  Imagine all that its members saw over all this time.  Alas, Ajo is a boomtown no more, Today there is a large seasonal retiree population and families of Border patrol agents and others.


Whenever we hold diocesan events, IC  parish in Ajo is represented, although people have to come from far away to participate. The parish with its pastor, Father Peter Nwachukwu, is so cooperative in being a part of the Diocese. I look forward to being with this marvelous community as it celebrates this historic anniversary.


Closing of the Year of Mercy
On Sunday, I will celebrate Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral at 10 a.m. to officially close the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis on March 13, 2015.  Here in our diocese, we chose to follow the Corporal Works of Mercy and to call attention to the needs of others through Masses at food banks, a prison, a cemetery, and St. Vincent de Paul. We also opened several Holy Doors in Tucson and other vicariates.


But we are not quite finished.  On the weekend of Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, we will hold a second collection to assist the people of Haiti currently being helped by the Haiti Project at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish and its missionary to Haiti, Joan Martin. I encourage everyone to view the video, to be shown at parishes at weekend Masses or that can viewed at our diocesan homepage at


Since 2002, OMOS parishioners have assisted Port Au Paix churches with building water cisterns, feeding school children, purchasing a van and funding numerous other very low cost building projects that have enormous good impact on the quality of life for people living near the churches.  I visited the region in September 2015 with Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, and I can tell you, the people live with so little, that any help big or small goes a long way to helping ease their lives.


We are concentrating the second collection effort at providing critical aid to priests in the region assisted by the OMOS project.  Priests in Haiti are sent to parishes with no provisions for their own survival, and must even find clean water to drink – all in the midst of communities also struggling to survive.



I will be conferring the sacrament of Confirmation to young adults at the St. Thomas More Newman Center on the University of Arizona campus this week.  A week from today, I also will be confirming adults from the parishes of  Sacred Heart, Tucson; Most Holy Trinity , St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and Our Lady of Fatima  at St. Augustine Cathedral.



New Vision Managing Editor

Basic skills needed for this very important position include a solid background in journalism, with at least 10 years reporting experience and at least five years of editing.  Being bilingual in spoken Spanish is preferred by not required, and the successful candidate will be able to produce clear, interesting stories that include facts, historical and trend perspectives to give readers a complete understanding of the events and topics affecting our diocese.


If you have questions about the position, please call our Communications Director, Steff Koeneman, at 520-838-2561 for more information, or visit


For now, information about the happenings in the Diocese can be accessed by looking at the Monday Memo which is published every Monday online and by viewing the news posted on our webpage at now, information about the happenings in the Diocese can be accessed by looking at the Monday Memo which is published every Monday online and by viewing the news posted on our webpage at


Please pray for

The soul of Sigrid Gisela Renate Just, who passed away Nov. 7, at the age of 87.  She was the mother of Father Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D., executive director, of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality, who also is the leader of the Southern Arizona Biblical Institute in our diocese.


The soul of Kelly Bequette, a knight of the Knights of Columbus, who died in a tragic accident last week. I will participate at his funeral Mass this Friday, Nov.18 at St. Mark Church. Kelly worked very hard for many years assisting Marty Ronstadt in hosting the Knights of Columbus Skyline Mass and Dinner to support retired priests. He will be missed.


Prayers for the speedy recovery of our three Pastoral Center staff members: Sonya Gutierrez, administrative assistant to the Bishop, Michelle Buhs, coordinator of student services for our Catholic Schools Department, and Msgr. Al Schifano vicar general emeritus.



Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016

8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Colorado River Walk for Vocations


Father Jorge Saucedo Farias

Vocations Office



Saturday, Dec. 3
Annual Farmworkers Mass in Yuma



Liturgical season of Advent

Nov. 27 – First Sunday of Advent

Dec. 4 – Second Sunday of Advent

Dec. 11 – Third Sunday of Advent

Dec. 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent