Monday Memo, April 24, Vol. 15, No. 14

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A memorable Mass
Tomorrow, April 25, I will be celebrating my Golden Jubilee as a priest.  I wrote a column for the April edition of the Catholic Outlook chronicling my ministry and tomorrow I look forward to celebrating Mass with six of my brother bishops, and with priests, family, Pastoral Center employees and many Catholics from around the Diocese.



Photo courtesy of Kicanas Family. The newly-ordained Father Kicanas gives a blessing to his mother, Eva, and father, Frederick.

All are invited to attend.  The Mass begins at 4 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave.


I am grateful for the blessings and so many of the experiences of these 50 years and pray that I may continue to minister here in our diocese after my retirement – assisting the new bishop in any way that I can.


My thanks to all those who have been involved in assisting with the Mass and celebration planning:  Sonya Gutierrez, Sister Lois Paha, O.P., Sister Charlotte Anne Swift, John Shaheen, our Cathedral staff, Carlos Zapien our diocesan music director, and our Communications Department.


I am deeply grateful to God for the opportunity I have had to serve as a priest. What a privilege it has been to enter the lives of so many people. They have been an inspiration for me in my own faith.







To the Sr. Jose Women’s Center that is celebrating its new home at 1050 S. Park Ave. Jean Fedigan, founder of the Center and her legion of volunteers have worked long and hard to ready the 9,000 square foot facility that can accommodate 35 homeless women each night.



The facility also has a room to coordinate volunteers; a library sponsored by Congregation Or Chadash, a local Jewish community, and other rooms that will be “quiet rooms” with cots for women. These rooms then can be transformed as needed to allow staff form the El Rio Community Health Center to assist with resident medical needs. Czarina’s Kitchen (gifted by Humberto and Czarina Lopez) which is where food will be prepared is a marvelous place that has everything needed to prepare good food for the residents.



I had the opportunity to share in the ribbon cutting that took place last week that included Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Councilman Richard Fimbres, Msgr. Thomas Cahalane and others. I could see the pride in Jean’s face and in all who have assisted her in making this dream come true. Msgr. Cahalane offered a poem he had written titled “Miracle on Park Ave!” Indeed this is a miracle especially for the homeless women who will find respite at Sr. Jose Women’s Shelter.



I encourage you to read a wonderful story in the May edition of our diocesan newspaper that details the center’s journey from a small home sponsored by Our Mother of Sorrows Parish on Tucson’s eastside to the large facility, the work and passion of Jean and her volunteers and the amazing generosity of contractors and workmen to make Jean’s dream a reality.


Yesterday’s Open House at the Center was a community celebration and a joyous event.



Most Holy Trinity Monastery

You may have seen the article in yesterday’s Arizona Daily Star on the closing of the Monastic Community at St. David. That small monastic community included Father Henri Capdeville, O.S.B. and two religious brothers, Gary and Chris. The monastery is part of the Benedictine Congregation of Santa Maria of Monte Oliveto Maggioe in Italy. The Olivetan Community has had to close other monasteries because of a shortage of monks.



The decision by Abbot General Diego M. Rosa to close the monastery came only after extended conversation with his council. The matter is currently before the courts because Father Henri is objecting to the decision of his Abbot General. Clearly, the Benedictine community is concerned about these three monks who have lived on the grounds for many years. They are being asked to join the Olivetan Benedictine Community in Pecos, New Mexico and will receive whatever support they need in moving to this new monastery.



It is hoped that the legal matter soon will be settled so that the Olivetan Benedictines, who own the property, can assess the situation and determine the best way forward.



The monastery has been home to an Oblate community, and to those who park their recreational vehicles there. The campus also has a cemetery, chapel and a retreat center. The grounds are still open and scheduled retreats are being honored. The Olivetans have assured families with loved ones buried there, they will not be disturbed. Those who have arranged for burials in the cemetery will be respected.



The decision by the Olivetan Benedictines regarding the remainder of the property and the programs will be made when greater clarity about the monastery’s financial situation and the viability of its programs can be determined.



As soon as the court appeals made by Father Henri can be resolved, the Olivetans plan to appoint Deacon Rick Valencia, who lives in the area, as Administrator and along with Very Rev. Mark Ephrem Nolan, O.S.B. ,who would serve as the President of the Corporation. They will begin their assessment that involve discussion with the Oblates living on grounds as well as the staff.



Guest Opinion in the Star
I wrote an Op-Ed regarding the recent visit of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the Border.  It seems he visited with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, but did not seem to get any input from residents, or those who have experience with crossing the International Border at Nogales.  I invited the Attorney General back for another visit, this one with others who have knowledge of the border.  You can read the Op-Ed at



Annual Catholic Appeal

The 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal continues its march towards this year’s goal.



As of the close of business on April 20, the Foundation received $ 3.13 million in pledges and donations. Thanks to the generosity of the many parishioners and visitors of our diocese, including 1,196 new donors this year, we are now at 81 percent of this year’s goal of $3.85 million.



Congratulations to three more parishes that have met or exceeded their pledge goal for 2017: Our Lady of the Mountains, Our Lady of the Desert at the Redemptorist Renewal Center and Immaculate Heart; bringing the total to 15 parishes.



My prayer and hope is that more of our people will join in participating in this year’s appeal. Whatever they can give will be much appreciated and assist in the formation of priests, deacons and lay ministers as well as attend to the needs of the poor through Catholic Community Services as well as the education and formation programs of the Diocese.



Catholic Foundation Board
Will meet Wednesday.  As you know, this board oversees the activities and work of the Catholic Foundation, the entity that works to raise funds to cover operations and grants for ministries and services of the Diocese of Tucson.


I am grateful for the work of the Board, and the generosity, skills, expertise and time its members share with me and the Diocese.


CTSO Board Retreat
Members of the Catholic Tuition Support Organization Board will be on retreat at the Redemptorist Renewal Center on Thursday.  This is another group of highly knowledgeable and selfless people dedicated to raising funds to provide tuition assistance to the families of students attending our diocesan schools.


Without their help, hundreds of students each year might not be able to attend our schools.


My thanks to Gracie Quiroz, CTSO’s executive director and her tireless staff members: Julieta Gonzalez and Marty Esparza, for all they do on behalf of so many families.


To Mundelein
I will travel to Chicago on Thursday to participate in a meeting of the Mundelein Board of Directors.  Mundelein is one of four seminaries our diocese sends students to in preparation of priesthood, and most of these men will complete their formation for priesthood at Mundelein.


Later, I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation at St. Gertrude Parish with young people from St. Gertrude, St. Ignatius and St. Gregory parishes. The pastor of St. Gertrude taught with me at the high school seminary many years ago. He also is retiring and asked if I might celebrate their confirmation Mass as he concludes his service as pastor.


Back here in our diocese I will celebrate Confirmations at Most Holy Nativity Parish in Rio Rico, and at Immaculate Conception Parish in Douglas for Immaculate Conception and St. Luke parishes. That day I will also confirm candidates at St. Patrick in Bisbee.  I pray that the youth and adults confirmed will continue their lives in faith.


National Association of Church Personnel Administrators (NACPA)

I am grateful for the invitation by NACPA to speak at their annual convention which this year is being held in Nashville, Tennessee. Richard Serrano and Alicia Corti from our Human Resources Department will be attending.


We are so blessed to have a wonderful Human Resource Department and I look forward to sharing best practices with the attendees at this conference. My presentation on “HR in the Catholic Church: How the Bishops Are Addressing Complex New HR Issues to Ensure Justice in the Workplace” will take place next Monday,  May 1. Regina Haney, EdD,  serves as Executive Director of the Organization.




Annual Catholic Foundation Gala: Friday, May 5, Marriott Star Pass Resort,  “Building a Living Church.”  Silent Auction, dinner and guest speakers discussing the amazing history of the Diocese.  Tickets: visit or call 520-838-2525.


Please join us. It is always a joy when our diocesan family gathers. This year’s Gala will be so interesting as we honor the Patronato who have been involved with the restoration of San Xavier and the Norville Family representing all the families who have been great stewards sharing their time, talent and resources for the good of the Diocese.



The San Ysidro festival: Saturday, May 13,  9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

A celebration in revival of the work of farmers.


Procession from the future location of the Tucson Origins Heritage Park to Mission Garden.


Event features:

  • Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos
  • Alabanza by Bobby Benton
  • Native American four-directions blessing
  • Presentation by Father Gregory Adolf
  • Ceremonial wheat harvest, threshing & winnowing
  • Blessing of fields, food, and animals
  • Tohono O’Odham Dancers
  • Tasting of Pozole de trigo


For more information visit,  or call 520-955-5200



Our diocese is rich in history. Come and join us as we remember the past and look to the future.



Padre Kino Cup Soccer Tournament: May 26 and 27 at Kino Sports Center.  Annual soccer match between diocesan priests and seminaries. This year there also will be a match between priests and seminarians of Phoenix and our Diocese, plus a youth tournament. Visit for more information or to register teams.