Monday Memo, May. 18, 2015. Vol. 13, No. 20






Please note: The Monday Memo will take a short break, returning on June 8.



The Grad Pack: Members of the St. Augustine High School Class of 2015 during their commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17. San Miguel and Salpointe high schools also held their graduations on Saturday. Photo by Steff Koeneman


Last week I mentioned the upcoming graduations at our Catholic high schools. We had beautiful commencement ceremonies last weekend, and there will be three more graduation events this week. The New Vision will publish much more about our graduates, but here is a “primer” list of some students highlighted by their schools as speakers, valedictorians or salutatorians:



Just some of the over 200 graduates from Salpointe Catholic High School during their commencement ceremony at the Tucson Convention Center. Photo by Omar Rodríguez


Juan Rascon

Matt Gerlach



Mireya Iglesias, Valedictorian



Valedictorian – Anna Masciola

Salutatorian – Bradley Woods



Alex Buranday, Valedictorian



Theresa Haynes

Robbie Almario

Alexus Bussari



Valedictorian: Becket Edwards

Salutatorian: Gabrielle Rowlison


The smile says it all for this San Miguel grad. She got her diploma! Photo by Jessica Caraballo

In case you missed the dates and times of Catholic high school graduations in last week’s Memo, here is the information from the three remaining ceremonies:


Lourdes High School Baccalaureate Mass at 2 p.m., Wednesday May 20 at Lourdes Chapel. Graduation follows in the Lourdes High gymnasium.


Immaculate Heart High School Baccalaureate Mass at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 21 at St. Odilia Catholic Church. Graduation on Friday, May 22, at 6 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart Academy gymnasium.


Yuma Catholic High School Baccalaureate Mass at 4 p.m. ,Friday, May 22 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Graduation follows at 6:30 p.m. at Yuma Catholic Stadium.

Priest assignments
Each year, the Presbyterian Council and I meet to discuss and decide priest assignment changes. Here are this year’s placements:


Pastor assignments

Father   Clement Agamba                                             Effective: July 1, 2015

To: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish – Benson – Pastor-1st term

From: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish – Benson – Administrator

Term:   six years

Father Arnold Aurillo                                                     Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     Holy Angels Church Globe –Pastor–1st term

From: Holy Angels Church Globe – Administrator

Term: six years


Father Joseph Esson                                                       Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     St. Bartholomew Parish – San Manuel – Pastor-1st term

From: St. Bartholomew Parish – San Manuel – Administrator

Term: six years


Father Richard Kusugh, V.C.                                       Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     Sacred Heart Parish Parker – Pastor–1st term

From: Sacred Heart Parish –Administrator

Term: six years


Father Samuel Jandeh                                                   Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     St. Francis of Assisi – Superior – Administrator

From: St. Patrick Parish – Bisbee – Parochial Vicar

Term: one year


Father Walter Balduck, OFM Cap.                     Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     Blessed Sacrament Parish Mammoth –Administrator

From: Blessed Sacrament Parish Mammoth –Administrator

Term: one year


Father William Cosgrove                                               Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     St. Therese Parish Patagonia – Administrator

From: St. Therese Parish Patagonia – Administrator

Term: one year


Father William L. Gyure                                              Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     Sacred Heart Parish Tombstone – Administrator

From: Sacred Heart Parish Tombstone – Administrator

Term: one year


Father John Friel                                                   Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     St. John Neumann Parish – Yuma – Pastor – 3rd Term

Term: Six Years


Father Vincent Ahar
                                            Effective: May 21, 2015

To:     St. Rose of Lima Parish – Safford – Parochial Vicar

From: Our Lady of Fatima Parish – Tucson – Parochial Vicar


Father George Kunnel, M.S.F.S.                                       Effective: July 1, 2015

To:     Our Lady of Grace Parish – Maricopa – Parochial Vicar

From: St. Anthony of Padua Parish – Casa Grande – Parochial Vicar


Msgr. Carlos Romero                                       Effective: May 21, 2015

To:     Our Lady of Fatima – Tucson– Parochial Vicar


Dcn. Alán Valencia   (to be ordained June 6, 2015)             Effective: July 1, 2015

To:   St. Anthony of Padua Parish – Casa Grande – Parochial Vicar

From: Mundelein Seminary – Newly Ordained


Father Matthew Thayil                                        Effective: July 1, 2015

To:   St. Patrick Parish – Bisbee – Sacramental Minister

From: St. Joseph Parish – Hayden



I will be participating in a meeting of the Caritas Lebanon Board of Directors in St. Louis on Monday and Tuesday. Caritas Lebanon seeks to assist Christians in the Middle East and respond to their needs which, oftentimes, are quite desperate. The Board strives to raise monies to assist those in need.


I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on young people this week at St. Monica Parish in Tucson. Father Raul Valencia, pastor and Father Abram Guerrero, parochial vicar will assist. On Pentecost Sunday, I will perform confirmations at St. Augustine Cathedral as has been my custom.


Congratulations Bishop González
Friday will be big day in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. In March, Pope Francis announced the creation of the new Diocese of Nogales and named its first Bishop to be José Leopoldo González González who was formally the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara. Bishop González served in the Pontifical Commission of Justice and Peace in Rome and so knows very well the challenges faced by immigrants.image012


The new diocese was formed from the Archdiocese of Hermosillo. Bishop González was born in 1955 in Cañadas de Obregón in the Diocese of San Juan de Los Lagos. He was ordained on May 27, 1984 and was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara.


The new diocese includes many of our border neighbors; Agua Prieta, Altar, Atil, Bacoachi, Caborca, Cananea, Fronteras, Imuris, Naco, Nacozari de García, Nogales, Oquitoa, Pitiquito, Santa Cruz, Sáric, Trincherai and Tubutama.


The Diocese of Nogales has a population of 483,180 people with a Catholic population of 381,398. There are 25 parishes and 44 priests.


I will participate in the installation Mass on Friday and many from our diocese are going to Nogales for the installation Mass, including Father Sean Carroll, S.J. and Father Peter Neely, S.J. , both of the Kino Border Initiative; Sister Gladys Echenique, our coordinator of Hispanic Ministry; Sister Leonette Kochan, O.S.F., director of our Office of Human Life and Dignity; Deacon Ken Moreland, our Vicar for Deacons; Steff Koeneman, our director of Communications; Victor Calderon, editor of The New Vision newspaper and Joanne Welter, the former Director of Human Life and Dignity.


It will be helpful to the Diocese of Tucson to have a diocese and another bishop directly across the Nogales International Border less than 100 miles from Tucson. Such close proximity will allow us in Tucson and even those in the Diocese of Phoenix to confer with Nogales diocesan officials about border concerns and other pastoral needs.


I am confident that the Diocese of Nogales will be a welcome addition to Dioceses Without Borders, a group that includes the Archdiocese of Hermosillo and the dioceses of Phoenix and Tucson. This group explores ways to collaborate together to raise awareness and find solutions for border concerns. The group also has held posadas at the border, as well as seminars and get-togethers for members of our dioceses.


Similarly, I hope that our dioceses will come together in supporting the important work of the Kino Border Initiative which works in Ambos Nogales, Mexico, to support migrants deported from the United States and that works to raise consciousness of border concerns in our two communities.


Pastoral Center Directors’ Meeting
On Friday of this week, the Pastoral Center staff will be sharing information on diocesan projects and also will be getting a bit of formation. We are trying to give our Directors some learning experiences in the faith.


Visit to Nigeria
Next week, from May 25-June 3, I will be visiting Gboko, Nigeria, an area that has sent us a number of priests that served or are serving in our diocese. Bishop William Avenya was the founding bishop of Gboko, which broke off from the Diocese of Makurdi. While in Gboko I will be honored to ordain the new priests for that Diocese on May 30.


During this trip, I hope to have an opportunity to visit with families of priests serving here in our diocese.


I will have an opportunity to visit Bishop Athansius Usuh at the hospital. He was the Bishop of Makurdi when we first began receiving priests from his diocese. He recently retired and his health has been poor.


I also will have time to visit with Bishop Matthew Audu of the Lafia Diocese where Father Joseph Esson (St. Bartholomew in San Manuel) comes from, and to visit with Bishop Wilfred Agnabe, the new Bishop of Makurdi. Both Father Vincent Ahar and Father Nathaniel Mma are from Makurdi, which also is the home of the Via Christi community founded by Father Angus Fraser. Our diocese is blessed to have Fathers James Aboyi, Samuel Jandeh, Richard Kusugh and Paul Mom, as well as seminarian Callistus Iyorember from that community serving here.


Annual Catholic Appeal
In a recent reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we Catholics were told, “The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace . . . It was being built up” with help from the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).



How do we invite others to follow Jesus? How do we build up a Church of peace today? The Gospel of John, chapter 1, gives us a guide: “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth” (John 3:18). We reveal the face of Christ, and draw others to Him, by the way we live our lives.



The Annual Catholic Appeal is one way that we can live our lives as people of faith, hope and charity.  Together, we offer hope and joy to the least of our brothers and sisters – building up a community of Christ’s peace.



Please consider joining with the thousands of parishioners who are contributing to the success of the 2015 Annual Catholic Appeal.  The appeal has reached 90 percent in promised pledges!  With your help we will reach this important goal.


CTSO Donor Breakfast
Gracie Quiroz-Marum and the Catholic Tuition Support Organization Board (CTSO), chaired by Pat Lopez, will be hosting a breakfast at the Arizona Inn for corporate sponsors whose assistance has greatly aided our Catholic schools and the parents who choose to send their children there.


These Corporate Sponsor contributions have made it possible for so many young people to access a Catholic education. The foresight of our State in making these funds available for parental choice is doing much good for needy families.


The State recently has extended corporate tax credits to include S-Corps businesses, expanding the number of corporations allegeable to participate in tuition assistance programs.


Presbyterian Council
Our diocesan Presbyterian Council will meet on Thursday. We will be discussing the recommendations from our recent Priest Convocation to support marriage and family life, as well as listen to updates from the Catholic Foundation’s Annual Catholic Appeal and its Cathedral Square Project. The Council also will hear an end of the year report on priest vocations.


Meeting in Hayden and Kearney
I will be meeting with the people of St. Joseph Parish in Hayden on Saturday, May 23 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss future staffing for that parish and within the area. I look forward to hearing parishioners’ thoughts on what they see as the needs of the parish. I will celebrate the 5 p.m. Mass after the meeting.


Priesthood Ordination
Deacon Alan Valencia will be ordained at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m.


Alan is from Nogales, Arizona, and it will be a joy to have him now serve as one of our priests. He comes from Sacred Heart Parish in Nogales and I am sure Father Martin Martinez, pastor, and all the priests, staff and people of Sacred Heart are very proud of Alan and rightly so. Congratulations to Alan’s mother and grandmother, who raised him and who handed on the Catholic faith to him. As mentioned above, his first assignment will be at St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande. Among the many gifts Alan will bring to his ministry, one talent is that he is bilingual in using English and Spanish. This gift will be very helpful to him.


I hope you can join us for the ordination. It always is a very special celebration. Father August Belauskas from the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary will represent the Mundelein Seminary community. We are expecting a number of Alan’s classmates who are being ordained for other dioceses.


I will participate in the June 4 installation of the new Archbishop of Santa Fe, John Wester -formerly bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City – at the Cathedral in Santa Fe. Archbishop Wester is our Metropolitan Archbishop which includes the states of New Mexico and Arizona. He will serve this historic Archdiocese in New Mexico where two of our former bishops also served, John Salpointe and Peter Bourgade. Archbishop Wester is the 12th Archbishop to serve in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe begun by Archbishop John Lamy in 1853.


image014Groundbreaking at our Lady of Fatima Parish
It will be my joy to visit the parish family of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Tucson on Saturday, June 6 for this groundbreaking. Parishioners have waited a long time to begin work on their needed parish hall and I am delighted that the project is moving forward. They and Pastor Vili Villderama have been working hard to bring their dream to reality and this is an important first step. I know the community has been sacrificing to raise the needed monies and it must be encouraging for them to see progress as they move closer to realizing their goal.


Bishops’ Spring meeting
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be meeting in St. Louis, MO, June 7 through June 11. The larger meeting is proceeded by committee meetings and I will be participating in the Board meeting for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, as well as at a seminar on evangelization sponsored by the Committee on Catholic Education. I also will attend the CLINIC and subcommittee on Africa meetings.


Please Pray . . .
for restoration of health and serenity to Michael C. McCarthy, retired Brigadier General of the United States Air Force, father of Msgr. Jeremiah McCarthy, our Moderator of the Curia.




San Ysidro Festival
Saturday, May 16
9 am. to 11:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace
a morning of activities “reviving a celebration of our fields and farmers”.

This is not a Diocese of Tucson event.

For more information contact 520-7779270


Come one, come all
You can help create awareness for the need for priests and inspire future generations of priests by attending one or more of the family vocations events taking place in our diocese.


The next event is a soccer match between the Men in Black (a team of seminarians) versus the Padres … you know, some of our parish priests.   Guests are invited to cheer on their favorite cleric and have fun at the same time. This event will take place:


Celestial Soccer Match
Saturday, June 27

St. Augustine High School

Soccer field

8800 E. 22nd St.

Match play begins at 8 a.m.

Families and parishioners all are invited to attend this match of skill and sports moxie. A 5k run also is in the planning stages, so stayed tuned for information on that event. We believe the run will take place in the fall


image025A pilgrimage under the Spiritual Direction of Bishop Kicanas
12-Days: Oct. 26 to Nov. 6, 2015.


Join with Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson to walk some of the holy places traced by Saints Peter and Paul in the lands of Turkey and Rome.


The days of the pilgrimage will be an opportunity to explore the richness of early Christian life, art and history of Istanbul, Ephesus and the other treasures of Turkey.


We will then travel to Rome to continue in the footsteps of these wonderful saints and the many others who followed them. The registration deadline is June 30, 2015. Sign up NOW!


Information brochures are available at the Diocese of Tucson Pastoral Center. You can contact Sister Lois Paha, O.P. at 520-838-2542, or see the brochure ON LINE at