Monday Memo, May 1, Vol. 15, No. 15

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Such a legacy!
Msgr. Arsenio Carrillo and Msgr. Van Wagner pass away a day apart.


It is with great sadness that we learned first of the death of Msgr. Arsenio Sotomayor Carrillo, 87, the morning of April 26.  Then, the following morning, we learned that Msgr. Van A. Wagner, 80, had passed away in the late evening of April 27.


For those of you who have lived here in the Diocese for many years, I am sure you have heard of and maybe had known or been ministered to by one or both priests.  They were amazing ministers for God.


Visitation for Msgr. Carrillo will be at St. Augustine Cathedral from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4.  A rosary will be said at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Fiday, May 5, at 10 a.m. with internment to follow at Holy Hope Cemetery. A reception will take place following internment at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish.


Msgr. Carrillo was born in Barrio Anita and he said he knew during his childhood that he wanted to be a priest.  After he was ordained at the seminary he studied at in Ohio, he came back to our diocese. His first assignment was at St. Augustine Cathedral as assistant pastor.  He was then assigned to Holy Family, his home parish, and later to Immaculate Heart Parish in Douglas.


But he was destined to minister at St. Augustine Cathedral and so in September 1969 he was assigned to be both the pastor and the Vicar for Spanish Speaking People in the Diocese.  He retired as pastor in February 1995, but still continued his ministry at the parish, finished his tenure as Vicar General for the Diocese, and ultimately retired from active priesthood in July of 2002. All totaled, Msgr. Carrillo served the people of St. Augustine for 40 years.


Visitation and rosary will take place for Msgr. Wagner from noon to 2 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish on Friday, May 5. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 2 p.m. also on May 5 at the parish with internment to follow.


Msgr. Van Wagner was another beloved minister. A former Vicar General for the Diocese of Tucson, died April 27. He was 80. Born July 24, 1936, in Evanston, Ill., to Van A. and Helen R. (Kalmes) Wagner, he was baptized in St. Jerome Church, Chicago, and attended the parish school there until his family moved to Phoenix in 1943. He attended Catholic schools in Phoenix until entering minor seminary and subsequently St. John Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tucson on April 25, 1961, by Bishop Francis J. Green in St. Agnes Church, Phoenix.


He attended the University of Arizona and earned a master’s in education in 1963.


He served as an assistant or associate pastor at St. Anthony’s, Casa Grande (1961-62); St. Joseph’s, Tucson (1962-68, 1971-74); as co-pastor at St. Monica’s, Tucson (1974-75); and pastor at St. Monica’s (1975-82, 1983-92) and at Sts. Peter and Paul, Tucson, (1994-99). He also was administrator at St. Cyril’s, Tucson (1974), and administrator pro-tem at Our Lady of the Valley, Green Valley, and Sts. Peter and Paul (1993). He also served as senior priest and parochial vicar at Sts. Peter and Paul, beginning in 2004.


Besides parishes, he was the diocesan director of Vocations (1965-72), assistant superintendent of Schools and assistant director of religious education (1962-68), director of religious education (1965-68), Vicar General (1999-2006) and as Vicar for Priests (1980).


He served on several committees including the Priests Personnel Board (1975-78), the Priests Assurance Association (1977-80) and the Presbyteral Council as vicar for the following terms: Pima West (1976), Pima South (1985-91).


He retired in 2006 and subsequently moved to Phoenix.


Please visit for information on the ministries of both Monsignors.


Another farewell
Our loving embrace reaches out to Sergio and Becky Celis, and their family, who at last were able to bid farewell to their daughter Isabel Celis through a private funeral and public memorial Mass. The Mass, celebrated at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday, was attended by over 500 people.  The memorial was celebrated by Father Miguel Mariano, who came to know and minister to the Celis family as pastor of St. Joseph when Isa was abducted in 2012.


As you know, Isa was kidnapped and her remains were discovered only a few weeks ago after a terrible five-year time.  Please pray for little Isabel, her parents, her brothers and all who knew and loved her.


In Nashville

Yesterday, I traveled to the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators (NACPA)


annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Richard Serrano and Alicia Corti from our Human Resources Department also are attending this conference.


We are so blessed to a dedicated Human Resource Department at our diocese and I look forward to sharing best practices with the attendees at this conference. I am giving a presentation on “HR in the Catholic Church: How the Bishops are Addressing Complex New HR Issues to Ensure Justice in the Workplace” today.


Annual Priests Convocation:

Most of the active priests of the Diocese will be with me in Chandler, Ariz. from tomorrow through about noon on May 4 for our annual Priests Convocation at the San Marcos

Resort.  This is a critical time for our priests to gather for presentations by Bishop Dan Flores of Brownsville, Texas on Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest and to hear additional information from Human Resources, our Protection Office and to complete needed forms for our Chancellor’s Office.  The Convocation also provides time for our hard working priests to relax and catch up with another.  The highlight of the Convocation is the annual celebration dinner for our jubilarians, who this year are:


Celebrating 60 Years:
Father Theodore Lobo
Father Duane Eichhorst, OFM Cap.


Celebrating 50 Years

Father Mathew Thayhil, MSFS
Father William Remmel, SDS

Your humble Bishop


Celebrating 40 Years

Father Ron Oakham, O.Carm.

Father Peter Connelly, CSsR


Celebrating 25 Years

Father Gonzalo Villegas

Father Jay Luczak

Father Rober Kose, OFM Cap.


We also will hold our Presbyteral Council meeting at the Convocation. Topics on the agenda include: Vicariate reports; updating the Clergy Manual; Discussion on Priests salary subsidy; an update on the Annual Catholic Appeal; discussion on the Synod – Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment; vocations; the upcoming ordinations and the tentative Pastoral Center calendar for 2017-2018


Annual Catholic Foundation Gala: Friday, May 5, Marriott Star Pass Resort,  “Building a Living Church”. Silent Auction, dinner and guest speakers discussing amazing history of the Diocese.  Tickets: visit or call 520-838-2525.

Please join us. It is always a joy when our diocesan family gathers. This year’s Gala will be an interesting mix of music, dance and presentations about our Diocese as we honor the Patronato that has been involved with the restoration of San Xavier, and the Norville Family representing all the families who have been great stewards sharing their time, talent and resources for the good of the Diocese.

I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on young people at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Maricopa and at Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley in different Masses on Saturday; at

Our Lady of Sacred Heart in Sells and at St. Thomas the Apostle in Tucson on Sunday.


My prayer is that the sacrament will sustain and help guide the hearts of our young Catholics as they grow in the faith.



The San Ysidro festival: Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

A celebration in revival of the work of farmers.

Procession from the future location of the Tucson Origins Heritage Park to Mission Garden.

Event features:

  • Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos
  • Alabanza by Bobby Benton
  • Native American four-directions blessing
  • Presentation by Father Gregory Adolf
  • Ceremonial wheat harvest, threshing & winnowing
  • Blessing of fields, food, and animals
  • Tohono O’Odham Dancers
  • Tasting of Pozole de trigo


For more information visit,  or call 520 955-5200


Our Diocese is rich in history. Come and join us as we remember the past and look to the future.


Kino Cup Soccer Tournament: May 26 and 27 at Kino Sports Center.  Annual soccer match between diocesan priests and seminaries. This year there also will be a match between priests and seminarians of Phoenix and our Diocese, plus a youth tournament. Visit for more information or to register teams.