Monday Memo, Vol. 15, No. 18. May 22, 2017

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






The Ascension of the Lord
This Thursday is Ascension Day, but in our diocese, in this province, Ascension Day will be celebrated on Sunday, May 28.


Ascension Day occurs on the 40th day of Easter. It occurs 39 days after Easter Sunday and commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. The Latin terms “ascensio” and, sometimes, “ascensa,” signify that Christ was raised up by his own powers, and you likely guessed that those terms give the day its name.


Ascension marks the entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain, and until He returns, this humanity is hidden from the eyes of those on earth.


His ascension makes clear that Christ’s work now on earth has been placed in our hands. We are to be his eyes and ears within our communities showing His compassion and care especially for the littlest and weakest among us. We, the baptized, now take up His work and mission.


Annual Catholic Appeal
As of the close of business on May 18th, we have received $3.57 million in pledges and donations to our Appeal. Many thanks to the generosity of the parishioners of, and visitors to, our Diocese. Some great news is that the above total includes pledges or donations from 1,381 new donors.


We are now at 93 percent of this year’s goal of $3.85 million, and a little over $48,000 ahead of last year’s receipts.


Congratulations to St. Helen Parish in Oracle, Sacred Heart Parish in Clifton, and St. John Neumann Parish in Yuma, all of which now join the other 20 parishes that have met or exceeded their congregation’s pledge goal for 2017. Special congratulations to St. Thomas the Apostle in Tucson on reaching 216 percent of their goal, and to Sacred Heart in Tombstone for achieving an amazing 357 percent of their goal!


Sixteen parishes have met the goal of increasing parishioner participation by at least 10 percent.


Four parishes have met both goals! They are St. Andrew’s in Sierra Vista, Immaculate Heart in Somerton, St. Joseph in Wellton, and St. John Neumann.


Remember, your gifts help educate seminarians to serve as our future priests, and form deacons and lay ministers to serve among us. Your gifts to the Appeal provide needed assistance to our parishes and schools that cannot afford a repair or to assist in launching a program. Your gift helps us to work wonders. If you have not yet given, please join those who have.


Catholic high school graduations
Congratulations to the Class of 2017. Our high schools – Lourdes, Salpointe, St. Augustine, San Miguel – conducted their graduations last week.  Immaculate Heart and Yuma Catholic will be holding their graduations soon.  When all is said and done, we will have had 480 graduates now continuing their journeys at many institutions, such as the University of Arizona, Georgetown, Northern Arizona and others.  Congratulations also to the parents, grandparents and others who made it their mission to support and encourage their children and grandchildren through all the basic and secondary educational programs, and reminding them that a sound Catholic education is the gift of a lifetime.


Photo by Julieta Gonzalez — Above, Kieren Roache, director of the Notre Dame Schools program; Sheri Dahl, superintendent of Catholic Schools; and Gracie Quiroz Marum, executive director of the Catholic Tuition Support Organization at the St. Augustine High School graduation.

Speaking of graduations . . .
Congratulations to Gracie Quiroz Marum, executive director of the Catholic Tuition Scholarship Organization, who was recognized as recipient of the Buck O’Reilly Award for Commitment to Catholic Education at the St. Augustine High School commencement ceremonies for her local, state and national leadership on behalf of school choice.  Her service to the Catholic schools’ community has long been successful. She has helped secure quality education and helped make it available, accessible and affordable to families that might not otherwise have the opportunity.



Congratulations also to Kieren Roache, former principal at St. John Catholic School and presently the Director of the Notre Dame Schools program. He received the Sister Lauren Moss, OSF Award for Catholic School Leadership.


Hispanic Ministry
Yesterday at Saint John Evangelist Parish, 16 committed lay people completed the Ministerial Formation Level I Program from different parishes of the Tucson area: Saint John Evangelist, Santa Mónica, Saint Joseph, Sacred Heart, Santa Margarita, Our Lady of Valley, Our Lady of Fatima, Santa Margarita.


This training program prepares, and gives the knowledge and skills to provide various pastoral ministries. It also offers opportunities for the spiritual development of each person. This is the broadest of all the training programs that the Hispanic Ministry Office offers in Spanish at the diocesan Level.


Msgr. Raul Trevizo General Vicar for the Hispanic Ministry was the main celebrant at yesterday’s Mass.


Youth Cenacle
I am delighted to visit the Youth Cenacle – a center for positive activities, socializing and faith learning – later today. The center, called San Jose Luis Sanchez Youth Cenacle, is located at the Pasqua Yaqui Community Center, and those who use the center along with center leader Rosario Caputo invited me to come receive a blessing. Rosario is a youth minister at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, and he said center activities support work being done at the parish.


I hear they play foosball at the center. Can’t wait to join in!


Finance Council
Will meet at the Diocesan Archives on Tuesday morning. Topics will include the FY 2017-2018 Diocesan Budget and progress on Cathedral Square funding.



More confirmations going on this week as the school year and religious education programs begin drawing to a close. This week I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on young people at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson and at San Carlos in the Apache Community of San Carlos.


I am most grateful to our Vicar Generals, Msgrs. Jeremiah McCarthy, Raul Trevizo and Al Schifano as well as our Regional Vicars for helping to celebrate confirmations in parishes when I am not available. Their assistance is much appreciated.


Catholic Foundation Board
Will meet Thursday. This meeting no doubt will include a debriefing on the 35th Annual Cornerstone Gala and all the many jobs and roles Board members and Foundation employees did to make the Gala such a resounding success. Again, thanks to Ann Dickson and Maryann Hockstad of the Gala Planning Committee and to all of the Foundation’s employees for their hard work.


Ryle Fund
It will be my pleasure to spend most of Thursday with organizers of the Monsignor Edward J. Ryle Fund. First, there will be a Board Meeting, then a reception with faith leaders, then the program. I will give a presentation on immigration, and then there is one more reception. All events will take place at St. Francis Xavier Parish in the Diocese of Phoenix.


Msgr. Ryle was an amazing advocate for others and used his persuasive skills and intellect to advise and push politicians and community leaders for laws and public policy that would help many people. Here is how the work of the monsignor and the fund is described on the fund’s website:


“The Monsignor Edward J. Ryle Fund was founded to honor the memory and extend the legacy of Msgr. Ryle, who provided a lifetime of service to the people of Phoenix and the state of Arizona, especially the most vulnerable and the disenfranchised. The Fund’s mission is to continue Msgr. Ryle’s work through stimulating scholarly dialogue around public policy issues affecting the common good in Arizona. As part of its work, the Ryle Fund has established the Faith Leaders Seminar series. The seminars permit faith leaders to explore and understand Arizona’s social justice public policy issues through education and collaboration. The fund also provides community grants, as well as scholarships for faith-based, public-policy studies at Seattle University.”


New members of the Junior Catholic Daughters Court installed
These young women will join the ranks of the Catholic Daughters whose service around our diocese is such a gift. The installation took place at St. Margaret Mary Church in Tucson by Father Abran Tadeo, who has been a strong supporter of the Catholic Daughters. Congratulations to these young women who begin to share their gifts generously with the Church.


Kino Cup Soccer Tournament
Coming up May 26 and 27 at Kino Sports Center. This is the third annual soccer match between our diocesan priests and seminarians. This year there also will be a match between priests and seminarians of Phoenix and our Diocese, plus a youth tournament. I will not be able to attend this event, due to my going to Washington, D.C. But by all means, please cheer on your favorite priest or seminarian during this tournament. I know Father Jorge Farias, our Director of Vocations Recruitment, and his staff work hard on planning this event and I have heard that our priests and seminarians play with great heart. They need to be cheered on against that northern diocese’s team!

Visit for more information or to register teams.


Carmelite priest ordination
Last week I was in New York to ordain three priests for the Paulist community at St. Paul’s Parish in Manhattan. This Friday, I will be heading to Washington, D.C. on Friday to ordain Rolf Nepi Willemsen for the Carmelite Order at St. Gabriel Church.


Nepi served an internship here in Tucson at Salpointe Catholic High School and was beloved. He quickly became part of our diocesan family and I look forward to ordaining him a priest. My only regret is that soon-to-be Father Nepi will not be reassigned here in Tucson, but one day we hope he will return. I pray his priestly ministry will bring him much joy.


Welcome, in advance
Gregory Henderson has accepted the position Chief Financial Officer for the Diocese, and will be arriving to work alongside Tom Arnold, our current CFO, over the summer. By canonical appointment, the diocesan CFO is the principal advisor to the diocesan bishop in matters of finance in cooperation with the College of Consultors and Diocesan Finance Council and Henderson will not be the CFO immediately.


Until just recently, Henderson was the Chief Financial Officer for Accion New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. He had been with the firm since October 2004 until family needs brought him to Tucson. Prior to working with Accion, he worked as Finance Director for McKee Wallwork & Company; was Vice President of Finance for Strascina & Partners and earlier still, was Chief Financial Officer for Six Values, Inc.


He was ordained as a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in July 2003 and is bilingual.




Synod on Youth and Vocations
St. Francis de Assisi, Yuma
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Pope Francis has called for all dioceses to gather input widely for the 2018 Synod of Bishops on Youth and Vocations. Here in the Diocese of Tucson, members of a team assembled to collect this input will be holding a number of listening sessions.

One of the first such sessions is on Friday, June 9 at St. Francis Assisi Parish in Yuma. Catholics between the ages of 16 and 29 are asked to attend to give their answers to a number of questions about the Catholic Church and faith. The listening session will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

If you have suggestions for how the church can help grow the faith in our younger adult Catholic community please attend.


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:


 World Refugee Day