Bishop Kicanas was born in Chicago on August 18, 1941, the son of Frederick and Eva Kicanas. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on April 27, 1967, Bishop Kicanas served in various capacities in the Archdiocese’s seminary system for more than 25 years. In 1984, he was appointed Rector of Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois, the Theologate graduate level seminary of the Archdiocese. Concurrently, he served as a Lecturer in Community and Organization Development at Loyola University. Other seminary appointments included Rector, Principal, and Dean of Formation at the former Quigley Seminary South. Bishop Kicanas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago on January 24,1995, and ordained a bishop on March 20,1995. As Episcopal Vicar for Deanery I in the Archdiocese, he had pastoral responsibility for the Archdiocese’s northern tip, which includes Lake County and northwest suburban Cook County. Educational accomplishments include post-graduate work in several areas, as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. Principal among his pastoral interests are vocations, the permanent diaconate, and encouragement of lay ministry. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Kicanas the coadjutor Bishop of Tucson on October 30, 2001. Upon the retierment of Bishop Manuel D. Moreno as fifth Bishop of Tucson, Bishop Kicanas became the sixth Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003.

Upon becoming a bishop, a priest selects a coat of arms that includes symbols of significant inspirations in his life and symbols of his ministry. When a bishop becomes the bishop of a diocese, he incorporates the symbols of his coat of arms into the coat of arms of the diocese.

On Bishop Kicanas’ coat of arms as Bishop of the Diocese of Tucson, the left side of the shield displays the symbols of the diocesan coat of arms.

The red cross symbolizes the early missionaries in Arizona. The black tri-mount symbolizes the Native American origin of the word "Tucson." The stag is from the Territorial Seal of Arizona. When the Diocese was established in 1897, Arizona was still a territory of the United States.

On the right side of the shield are the symbols of Bishop Kicanas' coat of arms.

The field of the shield is blue to honor the Blessed Mother. The blue chevron, in similar form to a carpenter’s square, honors St. Joseph, patron of the Bishop's first pastoral assignment. Below the chevron is a cedar of Lebanon, to honor the heritage received from his parents, Frederick and Eva. The waves beneath the tree symbolize the Colorado River, which forms the western boundary of the Diocese of Tucson, and Lake Michgan. The blue star and the red heart honor the Blessed Mother in her title of "Morning Star" and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Bishop’s home parish in Chicago. On the scroll is Bishop Kicanas’ motto in English and Spanish, "Justice begets peace," which is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (32:17).