Monday Memo, Dec. 12, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 41                                   

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas. Many people in our diocese know and are devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe, who appeared to Juan Diego in the Tepayac hill country in central Mexico and told him: “All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Bishop all that you have seen and heard.”


For more details about Mary’s appearance, visit


image002Advent, Week 4

Look for the sign from God

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:

Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;

let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky!

But Ahaz answered,

“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”

Then Isaiah said:

Listen, O house of David!

Is it not enough for you to weary people,

must you also weary my God?

Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:

the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,

and shall name him Emmanuel.

                                                                        IS 7: 10-14


On Sunday, we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent.  The weeks of anticipation of the Savior’s arrival are drawing to a close and the birth of Christ is at hand.


The reading from Isaiah gives us a wonderful instruction; that is, to look for the sign from God about the Father’s love and the presence of that love among us.


As Christians, we are called to be on the lookout for Christ, for opportunities to find God in all things and to share God with others.  This week, as we welcome the birth of Christ, let us think about the different signs of the presence of Divine love around us. The Creator has given us signs of his love during times of struggle, times of joy and times of stress. Let us ask for the ability to see those signs and to bring God’s love to those in need of His love and care.



Happy Anniversary Immaculate Conception
As I mentioned in last week’s Memo, Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma celebrated its 150th Anniversary on Dec. 8. There were 1,800 people at the celebration that included Mass and the blessing of an amazing mural depicting the history of both the parish and of the larger Yuma area.


Congratulations to all involved, especially those that worked so hard with the mural planning, seating and video work and with making their parish so welcoming to their parish family and surrounding community.


Two pieces of art were created especially for the anniversary. Adry del Rocio (pronounced A-dree) from Guadalajara did the magnificent mural depicting the history of Yuma, and Fernando Mendoza did an image of the Immaculate Conception which was given out as a prayer card after the celebration.


The presence of so many of the Sisters of Christian Charity from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, including their Provincial Sister Natalie, who have served IC School since 1930, made the celebration even more special.


Father Manuel Fragoso, pastor, and all the planners did us proud in making this historic event such a grand celebration.


To read more about the event, you may want to check out the coverage by the Yuma Sun, at



Level II certification recipients in Yuma with Bishop and Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P.

Yesterday, (Dec.11) 53  people from all over our diocese gathered to receive their Level II certification in Hispanic Ministry at Saint Francis De Sales Parish. This included people from many communities including Sacred Heart in Aqua Prieta, Sonora, Divine Providence, Nogales, Sonora, San Felipe de Jesus, Nogales, Arizona, San Martin de Porres, Sahuarita, St. Anthony in Casa Grande, and Most Holy Nativity, Rio Rico, the parishes of St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Mark and St. Christopher as well as St. Cyril, Our Mother of Sorrows, St. John the Evangelist, Santa Cruz, St. Augustine, Santa Monica, St. Margaret Mary, and San Xavier. I was delighted so many parishes were represented.


On Saturday, Dec. 3, 30 people in Yuma also received their level II certification.


The adult students that completed the Ministerial Formation Level II in Yuma and in Tucson are all dedicated individuals who are committed to serve.



Level II certification recipients from all around the southern part of the with Bishop and Sister Gladys Echenique, O.P., at the Certification Mass at St. Francis de Sales Church in Tucson. Photo is a combined image of two photos.

They are ready to work within the Church, to build up the Christian community through various forms of ministries and projects. Our Hispanic ministers include people serving in a variety of roles. For example, these ministers serve as catechists, liturgical ministers, in teaching adult formation, as visitors to the sick, youth workers, advocates for the poor, immigration and so on.


During these years, many students have shared how much they have grown in their knowledge and faith and how they have come to a deeper appreciation of their roles and responsibilities as leaders within the local Church. They said they felt encouraged to deepen their understanding of their own baptismal call to Discipleship.


Congratulations to Sister Gladys Echnique, O.P., coordinator of Hispanic Ministry, who worked so hard to prepare these newly-certified laity.


 This week:
This morning I will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mass at Salpointe Catholic High School as has been my custom for the last 15 years.  We received good and bad news last week when we learned that Sister Helen Timothy, principal of Salpointe, has been selected to serve on her provincial team and so will be moving at the end of this school year.


She will be greatly missed.


St. Joseph Parish in Tucson holding its annual procession and Mass for Our Lady later today. The procession begins at 6 p.m. at Freedom Park, followed by Mass At St. Joseph’s with Bishop Kicanas at 6:30 p.m.. For more information, please call the parish at 747-3100.


This has been a marvelous gathering led by Father Ricky Ordonez, pastor of St. Joe’s, and the parish community over the last three years. I hope many of you can attend.


We will be holding our All Staff and Directors’ meetings at the pastoral center offices on Thursday. Topics to be discussed include the status of Cathedral Square, events of the remaining days of 2016 and the events of early 2017, and information about the new overtime rules established by the government.


Catholic Community Services
On Thursday, it will be my joy to celebrate Mass with the employees of Catholic Community Services in another Mass that has become an annual Advent event.  This amazing organization and its employees offer so many needed social services to our community.  Their devoted work has at its heart the care and concern for others, and the holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate Mass with CCS’s fine people to let them know their work is very much appreciated, by those who receive their services and by their Bishop.


My thanks to all those working to help others, and to Peg Harmon, chief executive officer of CCS.


Christmas gatherings
On Thursday evening I will host an Advent dinner to thank those who serve on our Catholic Foundation Board of Directors, and on Friday, I will gather with the members of our Diocesan Pastoral Council.


Diocesan Pastoral Council  meeting
Members of our Diocesan Pastoral Council will hold their final meeting of the year on Saturday.  Topics for discussion will include: Implications of the recent election; improved hospitality in our parishes; transition in /out of the Diocese; and improved communication in our diocese


To both Robin Evans, Operations Manager for our Annual Catholic Appeal, and to Clara Moreno, Special Events Coordinator for the Catholic Foundation.  Clara’s last day with the Foundation after 16 years with the organization and nearly 23 years with the Diocese was Dec. 7, and Robin’s last work day was Dec. 9. Robin worked with the Foundation for almost eight years.


It is difficult to lose long-serving employees. We thank Clara and Robin for their work and wish each good fortune and happiness in the future.


Mass at Davis Monthan Air Force Base
I will be celebrating Mass for those working at Davis Monthan Airforce Base on Sunday, Dec. 18.  It always is enjoyable to meet with those working in our Armed Services and to share Mass with they and their families.


Please pray for
… the soul of Judy Schultz who passed away suddenly on Dec. 5  Judy  was a  sister of Sister Lois Paha, O.P., D. Min.   We ask that you pray also for pray for Judy’s husband, Barney, her 10 living children (of 11), Sr. Lois and her brothers and sisters at this time.


Viewing,  rosary and memorial Mass for Father Clement Agamba, who passed away Dec. 3, at St. Augustine Cathedral on Dec. 21.  Visitation will begin at 8:40 a.m.; the rosary will begin at 9:40 a.m. and Mass starts at 10 a.m.  His funeral Mass and burial will take place in Ghana at the Basilica in which he was ordained as a priest.


Father was a priest for 26 years; he served in the Diocese of Tucson for nine years, and was Pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Benson.


For those priests who plan to concelebrate – Please remember to let the Pastoral Services office know so they can plan for seating in the sanctuary and also for vestment information. Please call or send an email to or 520-838-2545.



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


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 calendar

Sunday Dec. 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sunday, Dec. 25: Christmas

Sunday, Jan. 1

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Sunday, Jan. 8

Epiphany of the Lord

Sunday, Jan. 9

Baptism of the Lord