Monday Memo, Dec. 5, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 40

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Please note:  The Diocese of Tucson offices will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 8 in observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – a Holy Day of Obligation.


image002Advent, Week 3
Gaudete Sunday
This Sunday, Dec. 11, is Gaudete Sunday. The term “Gaudete”
refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, “Rejoice”. The celebrant at Mass will wear a rose-colored vestment to show the joy we have that Christmas is near, and we light the rose-colored candle on our Advent wreaths.


Are you joyful?


It is important at this time not to let the commercial pressures of the season crumple the happiness of knowing our Savior is soon to arrive.


As you watch the rose-colored candle of the Advent Wreath being lit on Sunday, focus, if only for a short time, on the amazing gift of Christ’s arrival, a birth that has changed us and all the world. Then bring that wonder, that joy into your heart.  Let the warmth of God’s love fill you and let that peace and comfort guide your thoughts and actions.  Hang on to those feelings as you work your way through each day of the week.




Photo by Jessica Caraballo — Gifts of the harvest were among the offerings presented during the Mass for Farmworkers in Yuma.


Yuma visit recap
The annual Misa de los Campesinos, or Farmworker’s Mass, put on by the Pastoral Campesino organization in Yuma was, as always, an enlightening experience, although a windy one (winds were high reflecting the presence of the Spirit blowing among us).  It is good to celebrate the Eucharist in the fields where farmworkers toil, to feel closer to them and to their lives and to be thankful for the hard work each worker does every day to put nourishing food on our tables.


Photos courtesy of Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P. — An estimated 400 people attended the Farmworkers Mass – 300 farm laborers. Below, some of the participants.

I pray that farmworkers remain as strong in the faith as they are in the fields. I pray that their service is recognized and that those that employ them treat them with pay equal to the work; with respect due such hard labor; and that these workers find the help and the lives they seek.


I am grateful to Deacon Gary Pasquinelli, a dedicated and ethically sensitive grower who offered his field as the place for our celebration. My thanks also to Teresita Kontos, one of the main coordinators for this event, along with Liliana Bustamante.


The Colorado – Color River 5K walk/run for Vocations that took place at the same time as the Farmworkers’ Mass also was a success.  Despite the very windy day, many showed up to walk or run or to simply cheer others on.


My thanks to Father Jorge Farias-Saucedo, our Director of Vocations Recruitment, for organizing a Yuma event!.


Remember, if you live closer to Tucson you too can participate in a Vocations walk.  Another such event will take place Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at Reid Park. Contact our Vocations Department at 520-838-2531 for more information or visit  Click on the banner to register.


This past Saturday, there was a Mass of Certification for Hispanic Ministers at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission. These laity have completed studies in Spanish and each earned his or her Level II certification under the direction of Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, and her staff. It was a delight to see the pride in the people’s faces as they received their well-earned certificates. This formation will help them in their ministry and in the service of others.


Level II Certification
Will take place for those in the Tucson area at a Mass celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Parish on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. The Diocese offers two levels of certification in English and in Spanish, both of which prepare those in ministry to acquire more knowledge and understanding of the faith they seek to bring to others. Congratulations to each of those receiving their advanced certification for work well done.


Arco Iris Youth Movement
This group as been a very important program in our diocese. Several of our priests have been educated about or urged to hear the call to priesthood initially in the movement. Father Martin Martinez has served as the Spiritual Director of the movement since its inception in our diocese. He now has concluded his service. I am pleased to announce that Father Emilio Chapa will take on this important role in Arco Iris. He will be assisted by priests in parishes where the movement is active. I am grateful for Father Emilio’s willingness to serve.


Training for the recently ordained (priest ordained five years or less)
Takes place this week from Monday through Wednesday at the Redemptorist Renewal Center. The theme for the gathering is “Ministering to the Peripheries” which is Pope Francis directive to bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity serving as ministers in the Church.


During the training the recently ordained will be presented with an overview of poverty in our area by Bonnie Bazata who works with Pima County. They will hear from people who are struggling to get out of poverty speak about how priests can help them in their spiritual journeys. Giulio Grecchi and Tom Jefferson of the Vincent de Paul Society have been working with these heroic people as they seek to rebuild their lives.


The priests will hear from Michael Guttierez and Father Landry, part of the Diocesan Prison Ministry. The recently ordained priests will meet some inmates who have been released and learn from them what the formerly incarcerated need from priests and the church.


One session will involve meeting people involved with the homeless and migrants and refugees. They will hear from Peggy Hutchison of Primavera, Pastor Roy of Gospel Rescue Mission and Brian Flagg of Casa Maria regarding the pastoral needs of the homeless. Msgr. Raul Trevizo, pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish, and Father Sean Carroll, S.J., of the Kino Border Initiative,  will speak of the needs of immigrants and refugees. Each of those speaking will bring some representatives from the community that will speak first-hand of their spiritual needs and what they expect from the Church.


Part of the training includes the recently ordained sharing a review of their lives – the blessings and challenges of each man’s ministry — with their brother priests.


Diocesan Finance Council
Meets today at the Archives. We will welcome a new member of the Council: Roberto Ruiz, a very successful businessman who is very committed to the faith. He is a member of St. Cyril Parish.


The Council will review plans for the funding of Cathedral Square and the diocesan budget.


Salvatorian Community 125th Anniversary Celebration
Will be held at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson.  Father Joseph Rodriques, provincial, will celebrate the Mass that I will attend. We are most grateful for the Salvatorian priests and sisters who have served in our diocese for many years including at St. Rita in the Desert, San Martin de Porres and Most Holy Trinity parishes where they continue to serve. The Salvatorians also direct Jordan Ministries, which has guided so many people in the faith in our community.


As many of you remember Father Rodriques worked in our diocese for a number of years. He has many talents including a magnificent voice.


Among the Salvatorians still in our community are Fathers Bill Remmel (St. Francis Cabrini), Tom Tureman (Most Holy Trinity), Jeff Wocken (Jordan Ministries) and John Pantuso (retired). Sister Jane Eschweiler was director of Jordan Ministries for many years.


Catholic Physicians Mass
Will be celebrated at St. Joseph Hospital on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. This annual event is a way to gather our Catholic physicians and their families to thank them for their important care of the sick.


Christmas gatherings
On Wednesday evening I hold the first of the many Christmas dinners to thank those who work so hard for our Diocese.  I will host the members of the Tribunal for this first dinner.


Happy Anniversary
It will be my great joy to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma as this wonderful parish community holds its 150th Anniversary.  This parish has been the hub of faith on the furthermost western border for so many years and I can say that there is no lack of pride within the community.


Father Manuel Fragoso Carranza, Vicar Forane for the Vicariate and pastor at IC, has much to be proud of and I know the parish has a marvelous celebration planned.


A mural reflecting the history of the faith in this area has been commissioned as a. Imagine, IC parish has been an open since 1866 – thousands of Catholics and many family generations have practiced their faith in this welcoming place.


Advent Mass at Catholic Cemeteries
I encourage all to attend the Annual Advent Mass, on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8:30 a.m. at both Holy Hope Cemetery and Our Lady of the Desert Cemetery.  I will celebrate the Mass at Holy Hope and Father Ricky Ordonez will celebrate the Mass at our Lady of the Desert.


Our Lady of Guadalupe
The great feast will be celebrated next Monday. Many parishes are already planning their celebrations. I will comment on this in the next Monday Memo.


For the future . . .
As Memo readers may know, I submitted my letter of resignation to the Holy Father when I reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.  I am the bishop of this diocese until a new bishop is found.  While I am still here working, though, let us all pray for the successful selection of a new bishop.




Holy Spirit come down with your wisdom and counsel to guide our Holy Father Francis in his appointment of the seventh bishop to serve the Diocese of Tucson.


May our new bishop be a true shepherd who deeply loves his people and serves them faithfully. May he be someone who shows mercy to those who struggle and kindness to all.


May he be a missionary who gives witness to what it means to be a disciple of Christ. May he have a love for the unborn, for poor, the sick, the migrant, those homeless or in prison.


May he be a collaborative coworker serving alongside our priests, religious, deacons and laity who make up the Body of Christ.


Holy Spirit come down to enrich our diocese with a new pastor who knows what it means to serve, who will inspire all of us to care for one another, to support each other and to send us out to invite others to come to know the Lord.


Holy Spirit, come down to give us a bishop who listens, who leads and who lives faith.


We ask this through Christ Our Lord.


Please pray for
… The soul of Father Clement Agamba, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson, who passed away overt the weekend.  Arrangements are pending; the Chancellor’s Office will notify pastors and others of information when available.


… the soul of Lee M. Oser, 81,  a member of the Catholic Foundation Board of Directors, who passed away Nov. 26.  He was CEO of Oser Communications Group, a company he founded in New York City more than 40 years ago and that he moved to Tucson 20 ago.


Lee is survived by his wife Kimberly; sons, Peter Oser, Lee Oser III and his wife, Kate; daughters Delaney Oser, Margaret Oser and Mariella Oser; grandchildren, Ellie Oser, Briana Oser, Emma Romanow, Jackson Romanow, Gaven Williams and sister, Gail Wimmer.


A funeral mass will be held today, December 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cyril’s of Alexandria Roman Catholic Church, 4725 E. Pima St. with entombment immediately afterwards at East Lawn Palms Cemetery.


… a memorial Mass for Mike Ivers will be celebrated in Yuma on Dec. 9 at noon at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Mike served for several years as the director of the Yuma Food Bank and had accepted the position of President of Yuma Catholic High School after which he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and died several weeks later. Deacon Gary Pasquinelli will offer some reflections at the Mass.



Cathedral Concert Series

Presents vocalists Humberto Borboa and Yunnie Park

Friday, Dec. 16

Our Lady’s Chapelimage009On the Cathedral campus at 192 S. Stone Ave.

7 p.m.

Suggested Donation: $15


The concert season takes 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. 11 – Third Sunday of Advent

Dec. 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent