Monday Memo, Sept. 11, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 28

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






Please remember in your prayers today those who perished in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks. Pray also for those who worked to save others and for all families of those killed in needless acts of violence. Sept. 11 was a painful day that continues in our memory.


A day of prayer against racism


U.S. Bishops’ Anti-Racism Committee Chair Lifted Up National Day Of Prayer


WASHINGTON—Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, called on Catholics and all people of faith to observe an annual Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on Sept. 9, the Feast of St. Peter Claver.


While this happened over the weekend, we here in the Diocese of Tucson still can pray for peace.


“St. Peter Claver is a model for us in understanding that hard work and perseverance are required to combat the sin of racism and build community; we must begin and end this effort in prayer together, even as we seek to act in concrete ways,” Bishop Murry continued. “To help dioceses, parishes and other places of worship, communities, and families observe this National Day of Prayer, the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and USCCB staff offer pastoral and prayer resources which can be found at”


The Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism was formed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), after the recent shocking events in Charlottesville, Va. Bishop Murry was appointed as the Ad Hoc Committee’s first chairman. The committee will focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church, as well as the urgent need to come together to find solutions.


“Last year, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, then-president of the USCCB, called for a day of prayer for peace in our communities at a time of intense strife over police-related shootings,” said Bishop Murry. “Archbishop Kurtz also formed a task force that, among other things, recommended that the National Day of Prayer become an annual observance.  As the chairman of the newly-formed Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, it is my honor to continue this call for prayer, and to do so every year on this feast (day).”


St. Peter Claver (1580-1654) was a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to ministering to people enslaved by the African slave trade. He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those he served, and heroically sought an abolition of the slave trade.”


There are many ideas, philosophies and practices taking place in our world that require our prayer.  Racism, or the practice of undermining the importance of other human beings because of race, culture or skin color, is just one of those immoral and unjust practices taking place now.


Guard your emotions and keep intact in your hearts that love and the imitation of Christ are the sources of our strength, our unity and our hope.  We must remember to act with compassion and to treat all with equality as children of God.


Please pray for peace and for compassion and for the joy of treating all with love.


Care for those in nature’s path
I ask that we continue to pray for all humanity suffering the effects of wildfires, of raging storms and of flooding as well as earthquakes that ravage peoples’ lives.


Last weekend we completed our second collection to provide aid to those suffering from Hurricane Harvey, and now we are dealing with those who are struggling with the enormous impact of Hurricane Irma. Our prayers go out to all affected. We pray also for the people in Mexico who experienced a major earthquake with the loss of nearly 90 lives.


Photo by Michael Brown — Bishop Kicanas talks with some of the many buyers at the yard sale on Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral. The sale mostly sold out of items in about two hours. Proceeds from the sale benefitted the Cathedral Square Project.

Yard Sale
A great success!
Thanks to all who helped make this weekend’s yard sale of books and artifacts that I collected over many years a success. Thanks to the members the Knights of Columbus, who got up so early to set up tables and sale items, and to people from the Cathedral parish community, the Catholic Foundation and the diocesan Pastoral Center who all worked hard to help raise money for our Cathedral Square Project.


I was grateful that the Arizona Daily Star mentioned it on the front page of Saturday’s newspaper.


Convocation for Religious
Sixty-five Religious Men and Women gathered Saturday to reflect on benefits of pilgrimage with speaker Father Greg Adolf as part of their annual convocation.


The day each year gives the Brothers and Sisters a chance for shared reflection and comradery. In addition, the day served as an opportunity to express our profound gratitude for the support that 80 years of prayer ministry the Benedictine Sisters have provided in our diocese, giving our work with the People of God a “foundation of grace.” The quoted phrase came from Bishop Kicanas’ blessing of the religious attending at the end of the Mass on Saturday.


USCCB Webinar on responding to community needs
Ana Chavarin, a Tucson Community Action staff member of the Pima County Interfaith Community Education Organization, will participate in a webinar hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.


The topic of the webinar is “Why Advocacy is Essential for Hispanic Missionary Disciples,” and it will take place Wednesday, Sept. 13, at noon, Arizona time.  Those that want to view the webinar can contact Sister Leonette Kochan or Sister Gladys Echenique for information on how to connect to it. Please email or for more information.


Ana will give personal testimony as an individual recognized by the USCCB as a passionate speaker on responding to Christ’s call to love God and neighbor.


The webinar is intended to help diocesan Hispanic Ministry staff to better respond to their  communities’ realities concerning immigration, racism, poverty, safety and other important issues.


Congratulations, Ana, for representing the Diocese of Tucson as a leader in faith and action.


Positive Discipline for Parents
The Single Parent Ministry of the Diocese of Tucson Office of Human Life and Dignity is offering a six-session series on Positive Discipline for Parents. All parents are welcome. The sessions are free of charge. A meal, childcare and parent resources will be provided for participants.  The registration deadline is Sept. 15.  Since the sessions are sequential, parents are asked to commit to attending all sessions if possible.


Saturdays:  Sept. 23; Oct. 14; Nov. 4; Dec. 9; Jan. 13; Feb. 10


St. Cyril’s Parish, 4725 E. Pima St.
9:30 a.m.: Begins with a light meal, followed from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. with the teaching session.


Contact Sister Leonette Kochan by phone or email to register.




Meeting with Bishop Angel Recinos
This afternoon, Bishop Angel Antonio Recinos Lemus, Bishop of the Diocese of  Zacapa y Santo Cristo de Esquipulas in Guatemala, will stop by the Pastoral Center to meet with me following a visit to the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.


The bishop has led the diocese in Guatemala since his appointment in February 2016.


I have learned that Bishop Recinos “studied at the Faculty of Computer Science and Computer Science at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City from 1981 to 1985, where he graduated as a system engineer. In 1987, he worked as a computer scientist for various companies until he began his studies at the University of Rafael Landívar. He completed his theological studies at the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción National Priesthood in Guatemala City. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Jalapa on Dec. 3, 1994.


“. . . he was responsible for the bishop’s seminary of Jalapa from 1994 to 1995. From 1997 to 2000, he represented the Diocese in the episcopal conference on Pastoral Care for Indigenous Peoples (and) he studied Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.”


Meeting on the Certification of Ecclesial Ministry
Unless the hurricane causes us to cancel, I will attend the Fall Meeting of the Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service this week in Washington, DC.


The group assists the bishops in establishing, reviewing and approving certification standards and procedures to be used on a voluntary basis by dioceses and national organizations in the certification of specialized ecclesial ministers. It also offers consultative services aimed at improving the quality of lay ministry formation programs that are sponsored by arch/dioceses and by academic institutions.


For more information, please visit


Feast of the Holy Cross
I will celebrate Mass with the members of the Santa Cruz Parish community on this Feast Day, Thursday at 7 p.m.


You may know that the Feast of the Holy Cross, also called the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, is celebrated every year on Sept. 14.

The feast remembers three events: the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena, the mother of the emperor Constantine; the dedication of churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Calvary; and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem by the emperor Heraclius II.


At least one resource adds that “the feast also celebrates the Holy Cross as the instrument of our salvation  . . . This instrument of torture, designed to degrade the worst of criminals, became the life-giving tree that reversed Adam’s Original Sin when he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.”


Breakfast with the Bishop
The Catholic Foundation continues to host breakfasts for members of our parishes. These gatherings are a wonderful opportunity to meet our people and to thank them for their support. Another breakfast, attended by invitation, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15 at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson. I am grateful to Father Thomas Tureman, pastor of the parish for his hospitality.


Annual Catholic Appeal
Through the generosity of 13,359 donors honoring their pledge commitments or who have made one-time gifts, the Catholic Foundation reports it has received $3.6 million towards the Annual Catholic Appeal.  As of Thursday, Sept. 7, contributions now are at 94 percent of this year’s goal of $3.85 million.


With the addition of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Tucson, St. Philip the Apostle Parish in Payson and St. Bartholomew Parish in San Manuel, there now are 37 parishes that have met or exceeded their pledge goals for 2017 and another four parishes are within a percent or two of meeting their goals.


I am also very pleased to learn that we have gained 1,558 new donors.


We are very close to achieving our annual goal, but still need to raise at least $249,000 over the next four months. Your contributions and generosity are deeply appreciated, much needed and make a real difference in the lives of many. If you have not already done so, please make a pledge or one-time gift to our Annual Catholic Appeal today.


Priest assignments
I announced last week that Father Greg Okafor, formerly pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus in Pearce/Sunsites and St. Francis of Assisi in Elfrida, will become the administrator of St. Luke and Immaculate Conception Parishes in Douglas and at St. Bernard’s in Pirtleville as well as the missions of Sacred Heart and Double Adobe. He will serve with Fathers Luis Armando Espinoza and Bosco Ormin.


Father Thomas Maruthoor, from parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma, to  administrator of the parishes in Pearce/Sunsites and Elfrida.


These assignments take effect Sept. 18.


Father James Hobert, previously assigned as pastor of the parishes in Douglas and Pirtleville, has taken a leave of absence for personal reasons. Please pray for him.


In Chicago
I will be in Chicago Saturday for the 80th Anniversary of Christ the King Parish where I celebrated Mass when I was the Rector of Quigley Seminary South, now 32 years ago.


Please pray for
… the soul of Joe Schifano, Sr., brother of Msgr. Al Schifano.  Joe passed away suddenly last week. He spent many years of his retirement, following the death of his wife, Ana, playing piano at the Veterans Administration Hospital and at retirement homes.


The funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 9 at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.  Please pray for Msgr. Al and all the members of the Schifano Family at this time.