Monday Memo, Oct. 16, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 33

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas






Annual Marriage Mass
Sunday I celebrated our diocese’s annual Marriage Mass where about 175 couples —  some as newly wedded as one year and others celebrating their 70+ anniversaries — recommitted their lives to one another.


These Masses always are beautiful, as we get to see not only the couples, but the families and extended families that came about because of their devoted and sacred lives as married people.


There were 13 couples celebrating their first wedding anniversary, 17 celebrating their 10th, 26 celebrating their 25th anniversary, 49 celebrating their 50th, 21 celebrating their 60th and five celebrating 70+ years of married life and others celebrating varied anniversaries between.


The longest wed couple was Alfredo and Susie from St. Joseph Parish in Hayden at 71 years. All married 70 years are: Mr. and Mrs. Francis Annesse from Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley; Ramon and Lucia Hernandez of Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson; and from Tucson, Marty and Babs Ronstadt from St. Thomas the Apostle and Robert and Dorothy Whalen of St. Pius X Parish.


Congratulations to all and to the families connected to our couples.  Thank you for your amazing examples of commitment and devotion to the sacrament of marriage. Marriage is amazing but it is also hard. What a wonderful example these couples are of fidelity and perseverance.


Joint Lutheran-Catholic Statement
This year marks the 500th Anniversary of Augustinian Friar Martin Luther posting “95 these”s – or topics – that he wanted discussed by the Church. The postings ultimately led to what became known as the Protestant Reformation.


This year, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, has been an occasion to seek reconciliation and healing of memories.


Acknowledging this anniversary, Bishop Lowell Almen of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and I will sign a joint statement on Oct. 20 at the Pastoral Center at 2 p.m. as a sign of fraternity and a longing for unity between our two faith communities.


The statement will be published after signing.


Archbishop John Barwa, S.V.D.
I was happy to meet with Archbishop John Barwa, S.V.D., of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar in India, on Saturday evening.  He had come to Tucson to visit with one of his diocesan priests serving here  –  Father Kishore Singh —  and got to see some of our diocese.  We were joined for dinner by our Moderator of the Curia, Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy. I met Archbishop Barwa when I visited India with Catholic Relief Services several years ago.


Priest Meeting
This morning at the Pastoral Center. Because Pope Francis has appointed our new bishop, the Presbyteral Council no longer exists but it seemed important to gather the vicars to discuss the following items: an update on the Annual Catholic Appeal and approval of a 2018  schedule of vicariate meetings for the Annual Catholic Appeal; a discussion on two programs: “Strong Catholic Families” and Pastoral Care of Marriage; a report on the diocesan listening sessions and information being sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment; an update on V Encuentro; information about the upcoming Installation Mass for Bishop Edward Wiesenburger on Nov. 29  and related events; further discussion on priest payroll matters; and discussion on Catholic radio in the diocese: and reports from each vicariate.


Mass for Father Widhammer
Many of our diocesan priests and Capuchin priests will be participating in the funeral service for Father Nicholas Widhammer, O.F.M. Cap., who passed away Oct. 3. The Mass on Wednesday is taking place at Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley where Father Nicholas often assisted. I also will be attending the Mass.


The Capuchin Fathers are a great help to our diocese for their untiring assistance celebrating Masses and assisting us with pastoral responsibilities. They have been a true blessing.


Fr. Widhammer will be greatly missed.


St. Cyril
We join the St. Cyril Parish and School in mourning the loss of Anna Menzter and her son Ethan who were struck by a car on the way to school. This was a great tragedy. Father Ron Oakham, O.Carm., and Father Edgar Lopez, O.Carm.,  as well as Principal Ann Zeches have done an amazing job comforting and supporting the community.


Notre Dame Academies Board
There is a board meeting for our local Notre Dame ACE Academies on Wednesday. Our two ACE or Alliance for Catholic Education  schools are St. John the Evangelist and Santa Cruz.  The ACE program provides teachers and educational resources to assist schools that in the past have been underperforming academically.  Here in Tucson, the ACE Program has been of great help to our schools.


Annual Red Mass
Will be celebrated tomorrow at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish at 5:30  p.m. The Thomas More Society will honor Deacon Ernie Trujillo for its recognition of someone serving in law enforcement, and attorney Patrick R. MacNamara for its recognition of judicial service.  MacNamara specializes in Workers’ Compensation, Federal Appellate practice and general practice.


Dioceses throughout the country host a Red Mass to pay tribute to those in our community working in the judicial and law enforcement fields.


These two men have rendered great service to our diocese.


I hope you will join us.


Pastoral Staff and Directors’ meeting
Will take place Thursday at the Pastoral Center. Topics to be discussed at both meetings will focus on the upcoming Installation Mass for Bishop Weisenburger and the ensuing transition as he prepares to “take possession” of the Diocese as its bishop.


Interment of Cremains
You may have seen a story in the Arizona Daily Star some weeks ago and in our diocesan paper, the Catholic Outlook, about our Catholic Cemeteries’ work to help those unable to inter the cremains of Catholics that have not yet been interred.  The Cemeteries Board of Directors elected to inter cremains at Holy Hope Cemetery at no charge in one or more empty crypts of the cemetery’s mausoleum. Situations for this interment had to meet specific criteria.  I will be at the cemetery on Friday to provide the needed rites for those being interred.


While the Catholic Church has long allowed cremation of  deceased loved ones, the Church has been very clear that cremains should be, with rare exception,  interred in sacred ground or crypts as quickly as possible after the funeral Mass.  The Church does not allow the storing of cremains at home.  The scattering of cremains is equally discouraged.


This service being provided by Holy Hope clearly shows the recognition of the Cemetery Board of Directors that some families are either unaware of this need to inter their loved ones or they cannot afford to do so.


In either case, I encourage families to meet with our Catholic Cemeteries staff, who will work hard to assist people with the proper and respectful disposition of cremains.  My thanks to Father Jim Hobert and the Board of Directors for their leadership and compassion regarding this important duty to  bury the dead.


Annual Rosary Celebration
Our very festive and well-attended annual Rosary Celebration will take place on Oct. 21 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish (SEAS).  This is a joyful event where parish groups and youth groups come in full force with rosaries, banners and their faith and devotion to Mary.


This year the theme focuses on Our Lady of Fatima, recognizing the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Mary to the children at Fatima. Our speaker this year is Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, Bishop Emeritus of Las Cruces. He is a great speaker and will help us recall how Mary stood by her Son at the foot of the cross and how she always stands by us in our need.


I am grateful to Father Joseph Lombardo, pastor of SEAS, to Karen McEwen and all the staff of SEAS for their hospitality and welcome. Great appreciation is due the Arizona Knights of Columbus who sponsor this event each year.


If you can attend, please do.


Farewell and welcome
We recently learned that Shirley Kalinowski, principal of San Xavier Mission School, will retire Nov. 1.  Shirley has worked for our diocese for nearly 32 years.  We are grateful.


Sheri Dahl, our superintendent of Catholic schools reports that Carol Arritola, who is a “seasoned Catholic school administrator with many years of experience “ as a principal and as a superintendent, agreed to serve as  principal  for the rest of the school year.  She is coming out of retirement to help us out and we are very thankful!



Annual Catholic Appeal
The Foundation reports that through the generosity of 13,485 donors, we have received $3.8 million toward our Annual Catholic Appeal, as of Friday, Oct. 13. This represents approximately 1,579 new donors across the Diocese.


Thanks to everyone who donated and helped us get to this point. We are now at 98.7 percent of this year’s goal.  I am hopeful that this generosity will continue over the next three months, and it would be wonderful if we could raise at least another $128,000  to exceed last year’s total giving of $3.928 million.


If you have not already done so, please make a pledge or one-time gift to our Annual Catholic Appeal today. Visit or try out our new giving option: text “ACA” and your pledge amount to 41444 to make a donation, conveniently, from your cell phone. (Ex.: ACA 100)


Your contributions and generosity are deeply appreciated, much needed, and make a real difference in the lives of many.



Arizona Rosary Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 21
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
10 a.m.


This is an annual celebration of the Rosary.  Youth and parish groups gather to pray the rosary and celebrate this devotion.


Men’s Conference
Saturday, Nov. 4


This is a wonderful gathering of men from across the Diocese coming together to pray and learn more about the Catholic  faith.


For more information, please visit: