Monday Memo, Feb. 1, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 4

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Welcome Father Neske
We celebrated a liturgy of ordination for Father Robert Neske on Saturday at St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista.


Photos by Steff Koeneman — Bishop Kicanas congratulates Father Neske.

Father Neske, a former Anglican priest, joined the Roman Catholic Church and clergy through what is known as the Pastoral Provision.


The provision, established by Saint Pope John Paul II, allows for Episcopal and Anglican laity and clergy to come into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. It also permits former Episcopal/Anglican priests to be ordained in the Catholic Church after proper preparation and acceptance by a benevolent bishop to serve in a diocese. If they were married prior to ordination they remain married as Catholic priests. Kateri Neske, Father Robert’s wife, certainly will continue to support her husband in his new ministry.


The ordination liturgy was beautiful and the church was full of members of the St. Andrew’s and Our Lady of the Mountains parishes as well as a large number of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre and the Knights of Columbus. Father Neske gave touching thanks at the end of Mass to all those who have helped him on his journey to the ordination yesterday, and there were tears of joy shed by many people.



Father Kenneth Wolf, another priest who joined the Diocese of Tucson in January 2015 through the Pastoral Provision, lays hands on Father Robert Neske during Neske’s ordination Saturday.

I was grateful to Father Jay Jensen, parochial vicar of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, who served as Master of Ceremonies, as well as Sr. Lois Paha, O.P., and Ofelia James of the Pastoral Services Department, Marty Hammond from the Vocation Office and Steff Koeneman of the Diocesan Communications Department for their hard work preparing for the ordination.


Father Greg Adolf, pastor of St. Andrew, was rightly proud of the day. Father Michael Bucchiarelli, pastor of Our Lady of the Mountains Parish in Sierra Vista and Vicar for the area, was ordained 41 years ago at Fort Huachucha in Sierra Vista. Several of our current diocesan priests: Fathers Dale Branson, Robert Gonzalez and Chris Orndorff also were ordained in Sierra Vista. At the present time there are several young men from St. Andrew Parish discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Keep them coming, Father Adolf!


Father Robert Nekse will be serving as parochial vicar at St. Andrew’s Parish and also assisting where needed in Cochise County.



Photos by Victor Calderon


Jubilee Mass
We celebrated a second beautiful liturgy last weekend. This Mass was Sunday at St. Augustine Cathedral. It was the annual Mass recognizing the jubilees of those serving in consecrated religious life. It also was the official end of the Year of Consecrated Life.



The religious sisters and brothers serving our diocese provide dedicated and loving service to us in schools, parishes and other ministries, and it brings me great joy to congratulate them as they celebrate these milestones of service and conclude the year in which we had an opportunity to express our thanks for their ministry among us.

My thanks to Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., our Vicar for Vowed Religious, who planned yesterday’s liturgy and reception.


Those celebrating their jubilees were:

  • Sister Blanch Marie Felix, I.H.M.                   70 years
  • Sister Ursula Galvez, I.H.M.                           60 years
  • Sister Joan Therese Anderson, O.S.B.          60 years
  • Sister Susan Huppe, O.S.B.                             60 years
  • Sister Dorothy Ann Lesher, C.S.J.                     60 years
  • Sister Mary Ann Rawson, S.N.J.M.                50 years
  • Sister Margarita Walsh, O.C.S.O.                 50 years
  • Rev. Paul Mandziuk, M.S.                             40 years
  • Sister Pamela Fletcher, O.C.S.O.                   25 years
  • Sister Inez Sandoval, OCD                             25 years


So much has taken place during this Year of Consecrated Life including: discernment experiences for those considering consecrated life, luncheons and activities to express thanks to our Religious, the Chrism Mass and Rosary Celebration on the theme of Consecrated Life, the Seton Award given to Sister Jeanne, participation in the 5K run for vocations and many more events. A great year!



Photo by Nancy Kirk — St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista starts off their Annual Catholic Appeal with an event – cake and all. This year’s ACA launch was held Saturday evening.


Annual Catholic Appeal
As you may know we are in the beginning of our 2016 Catholic Appeal Drive. On Saturday, the St. Andrew Parish community led by Father Greg Adolf, did their annual dinner and ACA drive.


Happily, the parish raised an amazing $56,565 or 44 percent of their goal of $128,000.


Arizona Catholic Conference
I will participate in the quarterly meeting of our Catholic Conference in Phoenix the first few days of this week. As Memo readers may know, the Conference is the public policy agency for the Diocese of Gallup, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Tucson and the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix.


Ron Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Conference, works as the Conference lobbyist on our behalf, urging legislation that stays in line with the Catholic belief and he also works on speaking with lawmakers to keep them aware of the Catholic viewpoint on various matters.


During the time in Phoenix we will host a breakfast for Legislators to build relationships and share our viewpoint on the many issues they are addressing. We will also meet with the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. We also tried to meet with the Governor, but this year he was not available because of previous commitments.


The Conference meeting includes an update on pending legislation as well as a discussion of major issues being addressed by the legislature.


Part of our meeting will include attending the Catholic Schools rally at the state capitol. Our diocesan schools always make sure the Catholic schools of the Diocese of Tucson are well represented and I know members of our Catholic Tuition Support Organization, CTSO, attend to show support for our schools as well.


It is a festive day, and a good civic lesson for our students to let them know how important it is to let lawmakers hear about important concerns and successes of our Catholic schools.


By the way, this is National Catholic Schools Week. All of our 25 diocesan schools are celebrating the theme for the week this year, “Catholic Schools Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”


If you would like to know more about Catholic Schools Week activities, please visit the Catholic Schools page on our website at


My thanks to our Catholic School principals, teachers and staffs for all their hard work. I am very proud of our Catholic Schools and this week is an opportunity to boast of all the good they do.


School Mass
On Thursday I will celebrate Mass with the students of Santa Cruz School. I am looking forward to my visit with the students at one of our two Notre Dame ACE (Alliance for Catholic Education) schools here in Tucson.


I especially want to hear how the students are liking their school, since it was renovated about a year ago with new heating and cooling and with better classroom equipment.


I look forward to celebrating the Mass with Rev. David Guzman, pastor of Santa Cruz who grew up in this parish.


I know the kids will light up the day with their questions and stories.


Cathedral Square Revitalization and Beautification
As we continue our progress on the restoration of Our Lady’s Chapel and begin work on the Cathedral Rectory, we held a press conference last Friday to announce details of the entire Cathedral Square project to the public. As Monday Memo readers have seen in previous Memos, we are planning many significant projects to improve the many buildings of Cathedral Square – Marist College, Our Lady’s Chapel, the Parish Rectory and a new Diocesan complex – to better serve our diocese, the parish and the larger downtown community.


The press conference and tour of the buildings of Cathedral Square gave our local media all of the information they needed to give people an accurate view of the great downtown project. We had a great turnout of the local media.


Interviews with prospective Deacons and Lay Ecclesial Ministers
On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5 and 6, I will meeting with and interviewing each of the diaconate as well as the Lay Ecclesial Ministry candidates.


Those preparing for either of those ministries currently are attending the 4-year Common Formation program. They are now finishing their third year of formation.


These are extremely important ministries in parishes and other settings, and the training these candidates receive is intense. These interviews help me to better know the people working toward becoming permanent deacons or LEMs.


Super Bowl 50
I am sure many will be glued to the television to watch the Broncos vs. Panthers. Parties will abound including lots of salsa and chips, pizza and yes a beer or two. This has become a national event. I only wish the Chicago Bears were competing. May the best team win.


A visit with teens and the Kino Border Initiative
Later on Saturday on Feb. 6, I will try to stop by to visit with teens on the Kino Team of the KBI. There are Kino Teens at several of our High Schools including Lourdes, St. Augustine and Salpointe Catholic High School. They are learning the complexity of issues affecting migrants and helping to assist our Jesuit Fathers who serve migrants in Ambos Nogales.


                                 Annual Mardi Gras
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10. That means it’s time for the Catholic Foundation’s Annual Mardi Gras party this Saturday, Feb. 6.


There is lots of fun and posing with those crazy beads, masks and hats and such. The food is great too, worthy of Fat Tuesday celebrating.


My thanks to Ernie Nedder, executive director of the Foundation,
his Mardi Gras planning team and of course, the guests attending.


Greater Tucson Leadership
Man and Woman of the Year and Founders Gala
Saturday, Feb. 6
I am humbled to have been named one of the 2016 Founder’s Award winners from Greater Tucson Leadership. The other Founder’s Award was given to former Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.


The Man of the Year was awarded to Fletcher McCusker, founding Chief Executive Officer of Providence Service Corp., founder of Sinfonia Healthcare Corp. and chairman of the Rio Nuevo downtown development district.


Woman of the Year honors were given to Rosey Koberlein, chief executive officer of all Long Companies, including Brokerage, Mortgage, Title and Insurance. She has 30 years of real estate experience. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Pima County Real Estate Research Council. She is also a member of Realty Alliance, a national organization made up of more than 135 of the country’s most elite real estate firms and a member of the Tucson Airport Authority. And she serves on the board of directors of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, and co-chairs their K-20 Education Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA; is an active member of Women at the Top (WATT); Imagine Greater Tucson, and works with Long Realty Cares Foundation, a philanthropic organization




I feel blessed to be included in this impressive group of individuals. It is a privilege to serve in a community like we have in Tucson.


Asian New Year
It has become my tradition to celebrate the Asian New Year with the parish family of Our Lady of La Vang, our parish serving the Vietnamese Catholics in our diocese.


The Year 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. If you like, you may want to read up on the characteristics of folks born in the Year of the Monkey and what the traditional forecast for the year might be for 2016. There is more information at


I always enjoy the great richness of Mass and the New Year celebrations by our Vietnamese community and I am looking forward to wonderful hospitality and tasty dishes always available at the parish celebration. If you have never attended, join us at Our Lady of La Vang, located on Tucson Blvd. just south of Broadway for the Mass beginning at 10:00 am.


This will be Father Joseph Hung Le’s first celebration with his community, having recently arrived as the new pastor of the parish.