Monday Memo, Nov. 28, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 39

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Advent, Week 2
We light the second of the Advent Candles on Sunday, Dec. 4. I encourage you to take some time for silence and reflection during this holy season.



Our lives are very busy and hectic especially as we prepare for the holy days that are nigh upon us. Don’t let the frantic pace of these days rob you of the stillness and quiet that allows us to breathe in the mystery of God born among us, an unfathomable happening.


His coming among us tells us of God’s powerful, unconditional love that He holds for each one of us. Take time this week to marvel at how loved you are by a God, who cares for each of us so much that He came among us to bear our burdens and to share our joys.


On Immigration
I will be in San Diego attending and speaking at the 2016 Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative Conference at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego this week.


“The primary purpose of the conference is to advance the goals of the Center for Migration Studies) Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII) which seeks to study, document and support a growing network of diverse Catholic institutions that are working successfully to advance immigrant integration, empowerment and well-being. The conference will:

-Convey the spiritual and theological vision that undergirds the Catholic Church’s work with immigrants.

-Review public policies affecting immigrant integration and academic research on the work of Church institutions with immigrant communities.

-Lift up model integration programs and ministries.

-Offer optional field visits to migrant ministries and shelters in San Diego and Tijuana on November 30th.”


The conference lasts through Nov. 30 and includes a broad array of workshops and trips to various locations.


Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be meeting with Father Abraham Vettuvelly, Superior General of the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales order.   Father Vettuvelly is visiting several priests of the MSFS order serving in our diocese. They include: Father Matthew Thayill, Sacramental Minister at St. Patrick Parish in Bisbee; Father Alex Tigga, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Hayden; and Father George Kunnel, Administrator at Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Kearny.


Their order was founded by Father Peter Memier in 1838 at La Roche–Sur-Foron, France, but its first mission, back in 1845, was the large territory of Visakhapatnam, in India.


I look forward to meeting with Father Vettuvelly and  talking with him and his brother priests during a dinner later in the day.


Travel back East
I will travel to Baltimore on Wednesday to attend the farewell dinner for my friend and colleague, Dr. Carolyn Woo as she prepares to leave her post as President and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Relief Services.  She has been a fine leader of CRS and guided the organization to lending crisis help and ongoing support to so many countries in the world.


I encourage you read more about Dr. Woo’s achievements at


Here is a small summary of her work with CRS:


From 2004 to 2010, Carolyn served on the Board of Directors of CRS.  She became president and CEO in January 2012.  In addition to her work for CRS, she also serves or has served on  boards for the Aileron Foundation; Catholic University of America; the Archdiocese of Baltimore Independent Child Abuse Review Board; Migration & Refugee Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and the International Policy Committee, United States of Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Carolyn also was one of five presenters in Rome at the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment in June 2015.  Her vita includes numerous academic achievements and honors.


It was a pleasure to serve as Chairman of the Board for CRS with Dr. Woo and I wish her choicest blessings as she returns to South Bend, Indiana where she will have time with her husband and two boys.


I will travel on to Chicago for a meeting of the Board of Directors for Catholic Extension.  That meeting will review the Extension financials as well as discuss a new outreach to support the church in Cuba.



Yuma visit
I return to our diocese via a brief, but very busy Saturday (Dec. 3).  To begin, I will celebrate the annual Misa de los Campesinos, or Farmworker’s Mass, put on by the Pastoral Campesino.


The goal of the organizers is to promote the pastoral care of a peasant farmer through the values of the Kingdom: to live in truth, justice and charity as a response to our Christian faith. The event is intended to promote human dignity, fraternity, charity, solidarity, justice, freedom, and the cultural identity of our people, as well as to provide support and spiritual development to the rural migrant workers in the fields and places of work and to invite them to participate in their parish communities.


This year, the Mass begins at 10 a.m. at the agricultural fields of Pasquinelli Produce at the south side of 32nd Street between Avenues B and C.  This truly is a beautiful Mass with much symbolism of the farmworkers –their tools, the produce they help nurture and harvest and the beautiful music of the Mexican culture.


Also in Yuma on Saturday is the Colorado River 5K walk/run  for Vocations.  Since the walk begins at 10 a.m., I will not be able to participate, but as a runner/walker myself I will be with those participating in spirit.


My thanks to Father Jorge Farias-Saucedo, our director of Vocations Recruitment, for organizing such a grand Yuma event!  Contact our Vocations Department at 520-838-2531 for more information or visit


A second 5K, this one for those living closer to Tucson, will take place Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at Reid Park.


Still on Saturday, there will be a Mass of Certification for Hispanic Ministers that have completed studies and earned their Level II certification.  We’ll write more about that in the next Memo. I know Sister Gladys Echenique, our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry,  has worked hard to provide solid formation to these Hispanic ministers who do so much to further the work of the Church in our diocese.


Viva Tumacacori


This event is free!


It will be my joy to participate in a Mass at Tumacacori Mission on Sunday, Dec. 4.  The principal celebrant will be Bishop Jose Leopoldo Gonzalez Gonzalez, of the Diocese of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.


The Mass is part of glorious two-day celebration of La Fiesta de Tumacácori that takes place:

Saturday, December 3, 2016: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, December 4, 2016: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


According to the National Park’s webpage, the annual La Fiesta de Tumacacori is held “In recognition and celebration of the many cultures that were historically and are presently associated with the Santa Cruz Valley, the Tumacácori Fiesta presents the traditional creations of these cultures.”


Park Service Photo — Tumacacori Mission was established in January 1691.


On Sunday, a procession through the Fiesta grounds to the historic church starts the day, followed by a traditional Mariachi Mass outside of the church The mission grounds and park are open throughout the weekend and admission is free, and I read that The fiesta features around 50 food and craft booths, continuous live entertainment on stage, and children’s activities each day.


For more details on vendors, performers, and activities, please visit La Fiesta de Tumacácori.


To learn more about the history of the Mission, visit



Please pray for
… the full recovery of Father Clement Agamba, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson, who had emergency surgery last week.




Cathedral Concert Series

Presents vocalists Humberto Borboa and Yunnie Park

Friday, Dec. 16

Our Lady’s Chapel

On the Cathedral campus at 192 S. Stone Ave.

7 p.m.

Suggested Donation: $15


Plan to attend another concert taking place at the recently restored Our Lady’s Chapel. The beauty of the space and its acoustics makes the Chapel a perfect place for chamber music. Tenor soloist Humberto Borboa, and Soprano Yunnie Park perform this month. For more information or to buy tickets call the Cathedral at 623-6351.


Liturgical season of Advent

Dec. 4 – Second Sunday of Advent

Dec. 11 – Third Sunday of Advent

Dec. 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent