Monday Memo, Vol. 15, No. 17. May 15, 2017

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






The Call
Tomorrow morning it will be my joy to assist our transitional deacons – Martin Moreno and Calistus Iyorember – with another step in their journey toward their ordination to priesthood on June 3.  This brief ritual/rite is known as the Call.


Here’s a little information on our soon-to-be priests:


Deacon Iyorember was born in Benue state, Nigeria, to John and Margaret Iyorember and has four sisters: Philomena, Benedicta, Angela and Callista.


Before entering the seminary, he studied international relations and taught high school. In 1997, he entered the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Makurdi as a member of the Via Christi Society.


He arrived in Tucson on Feb. 19, 2013, for acculturation and continued his seminary formation at Mundelein, 2013-17.


He enjoys playing badminton and singing, and his favorite spiritual activities are praying the rosary and the psalms.


He was ordained a transitional deacon a year ago in June.


“I look forward with gratitude to God as my ordination to the priesthood approaches,” he said. “Today I am thankful for those moments when Jesus enlightened my way, provided for me, protected me against danger, guided me in my relationships, helped me forgive people who may have offended me, inspired me, spoke to my heart, and helped me respond to Him in an appropriate manner.”


After ordination, Father Calistus will serve as parochial vicar at St. Mark’s, Tucson. He recently incardinated to the Diocese of Tucson. We are glad now to have him as one of our own.


Deacon Moreno was born to Alejandro and Dolores Moreno in Nogales, Ariz., and grew up a member of Sacred Heart Parish. He has an older brother, Joel, and younger sister, Criselly.


He attended Pima Community College in Tucson, and worked at Child and Family Resources in an afterschool mentoring program. He was a youth minister at Sacred Heart and worked with the Arcoiris youth group. He entered the seminary July 1, 2009, and continued his undergraduate studies at Mount Angel Seminary, Saint Benedict, OR, 2009-13, before moving on to Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, Ill., 2013-17, for theology studies.


He enjoys music, reading novels and spending time with friends. His favorite spiritual activities are singing in choir and spending time with the Blessed Sacrament.


He too was ordained a transitional deacon in June 2016.


“It’s been a roller coaster ride with doubts, fears and questions. It was tougher than I thought it would be,” Deacon Moreno said of his eight years in formation. “It was knowing that God called me that has gotten me through.”


Speaking with priests, he said he has come to realize that “the Holy Spirit works through us in ways we don’t realize. Peoples’ lives are changed and we may never know it.”


He said that his faith in God’s call has helped in discernment and formation; that confidence will be what helps him grow in his priestly ministry. “God is trusting me, even though I am an instrument with faults.”


Following ordination, he will serve as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception, Yuma.


Annual Catholic Appeal
As of the close of business on May 11, the Catholic Foundation has received $ 3.49 million in pledges and donations. Thanks to the generosity of the many parishioners of, and visitors to, our diocese, we are now at 91 percent of this year’s goal of $3.85 million.


Congratulations to St. Luke Parish in Douglas on reaching 100 percent of its parish goal in pledges and donations and for exceeding their pledge goal for 2017; 20 parishes now have met individual church ACA goals. Nine parishes currently are at 90 percent of them of goal milestone.


My thanks to all that have participated in this very important funding drive.  Please, if you have not yet contributed, consider doing so again.  Every contribution matters.


As I wrote last week, every sacrifice helps our diocese continue its assistance to ministries and makes it possible to provide necessary grants to needy parishes and schools.


Oh, that Padre Kino
For more information, watch


The 29-minute video is narrated in German but has English subtitles


I will be meeting with Alberto China, an Italy-based member of Padre Eusebio Kino’s family. Later he will travel to Mexico to further his work on the life and legacy of a Kino.


Alberto Chini has been president of the Associazione Culturale Padre Eusebio F. Chini, the Cultural Association of Father Eusebio F. Chini. According to a story reported by the Arizona Daily Star in 2011, Chini was Kino’s birth name. Alberto Chini lives in Segno, a town in the northwest part of Italy in the Liguria Region.


Kino’s Missionary work was vast.  His time here in the Pimeria Alta involved much building of missions and roads and interacting with the people of 16 tribes in the region.  As you know groups, such as the Kino Heritage Society have been working hard, pressing for Padre Kino to be canonized as a saint. This work involves years of research and documentation.


There is a very good summary of Kino’s work and life at


This is a very busy week for confirmations: I will be conferring the sacrament at Our Lady of All Saints in Tucson; at Mission San Xavier; and at St. Rita in the Desert Parish in Vail. I am grateful to our Vicars General’s and our Vicars who help with our many confirmations.


School visit
I am going to play hooky from the Pastoral Center on Tuesday to celebrate Mass with the students at San Miguel High School.


I am looking forward to hearing their progress and I am thankful to David L. Mason President and CEO at San Miguel High School, and to Principal Armando V. Valenzuela III for their invitation to celebrate Mass with the students.


As you may know, San Miguel is a member of the Cristo Rey Network sponsored by the LaSallian Brothers.  Part of the education provided includes real work experience. Students work a full day once a week to learn more about the skills, attitude and demeanor needed for real-life employment. Our Pastoral Center is one of the employers helping students with the work life curriculum and we have had one or two students at work for us each semester over the past several years.


Paulist priest ordination
I will be traveling to New York later this week to ordain three priests for the Paulist community at St. Paul’s Parish in Manhattan.


I will stay at their rectory. I am grateful to Rev. Eric Andrew, President of the Paulist’s for the invitation. While there I will visit with Fathers. Gilbert Martinez and Ed Pietrucha who, in the past, served in Tucson at St. Cyril.


Directors Meeting
Our Pastoral Center Directors will hold their regular meeting Thursday morning. Discussion may include the status of the construction of the new Pastoral Center; recap of events such as the Cornerstone Gala and other recent events.


Please pray
For the soul of John Corbally, brother of Father Chris Corbally, S.J. John who was diagnosed with cancer last January,  passed away last week He lived in London, England and will be buried there. Please pray also for his wife, Louise, three children, and three grandchildren, Condolences may be sent to Father Chris in care of the Jesuit priory at 2017 E. Lee Street in Tucson, 85719.


For the soul of Marco Antonio Valderrama Islas, brother of Father Villi Vilderrama, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima.  March was 66 years of age and the eldest of ten children. He is survived by his wife, Maria Elan Valencia and five children. He is also survived by his five brothers and two sisters.  Mass of Christian Burial took place at Escatepec estado de Mexico on Friday.


Condolences may be sent to Father Vili in care of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, 1950 W Irvington Place, Tucson 85746.


For the soul of Helen Modeen, 101, mother of Father Jim Modeen   Helen passed away after a brief illness. She is preceded in death by her husband John Wesley Modeen.  At this time, there are no funeral plans.  Please keep Helen Modeen, Father Jim and his family in prayer.


Condolences may be sent to Father Jim Modeen at 4933 N. River Vista Dr. Tucson 85705.


For the soul of Eugene Benton a long time parishioner at St. Augustine who helped with many ministries there.  Gene passed away Friday, May 12. He was 75 years old. The rosary will take place on May 18 at Carrillo’s Mortuary, 204 S. S. Stone Ave., beginning at 7 p.m., and Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Msgr. Raul Trevizo will take place on Friday, May 19 at 9 a.m. with burial at Holy Hope Cemetery, 3555 N. Oracle Road.


The following information came from the website of Carrillo Mortuary:


Gene is survived by his 105-year-old mother, Amelia Tellez Benton; children, Steven, Santiago (Rosa Maria) and Damian; grandchildren, Daniel, Armando, Aleyda and Eugene; brother, Bobby (Patricia); niece and nephews Tina, Robert Lee, David and Daniel. He is preceded in death by his father, Robert Lee Benton and is a descendent of Tucson Presidio soldier Jose Gausinio Tellez.
Gene was born on April 16, 1942 in Tucson, AZ to Robert Lee and Amelia Benton. He graduated from Tucson High School in 1961, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in education from the University of Arizona and a Master’s in Education from New Mexico State University. Gene worked for the Tucson Unified School District from 1966 until his retirement in 2003. He started his career as a teacher in bilingual education and subsequently as a vice principal, principal and assistant district superintendent. He was an active, devout member of the Catholic Church and volunteered at St. John’s Church and St. Augustine Cathedral. Gene touched many lives and will be remembered as a kind and devoted father, son, brother, teacher and friend to many.


For the full recovery of Beverly Valencia, who is mending after heart related issues.  Beverly is the wife of our Vicar for Deacons, Rick Valencia.



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.


Father’s Day tardeada to raise money for Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Parish is hosting a Father’s Day Celebration, a tardeada with Mariachis and DJ Dancing Music, at the Casino Ballroom 437 E. 26th St. from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 18.  Proceeds from the event will go towards the costs of renovating the parish kitchen.


Cost is $25 per person, and includes a delicious meal, dancing, raffles, a silent auction and lots of fun.


For more information, call Martha Tadlock at 520-548-8062 or email: