Monday Memo, Sept. 26, 2016. Vol. 14, No. 29

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Simply beautiful
Sunday, hundreds of parishioners from St. Augustine Cathedral Parish and others visited Our Lady’s Chapel for the first time to see the beautiful restoration work that is now nearly completed.  While we still are awaiting the altar pieces, everyone that saw the beautiful chapel was inspired by the magnificent murals and panels created by artist John Alan.


The chapel is the first phase of the Cathedral Square Project, and is a grand representation of the great work we can do with your help. This project was made possible by the donations of many individuals who feel as I do, that the Cathedral and this chapel are positive attributes of both the Cathedral and the greater downtown community.


Another group also got to view the chapel this weekend:  members of our Pastoral Council celebrated Mass with me there before our Saturday meeting.


Plans for the continued revitalization and beautification of Cathedral Square will continue over the next few months. Demolition of the Cathedral Hall has begun, permits have been obtained and work to remove asbestos within the painted exterior walls is underway. We are developing final plans and estimates for the four story building that will replace the hall and that will include the offices of the Cathedral and the Diocese as well as a 500-person conference/education center. Fundraising continues and with your help we will complete this project for the future of our diocese.



Photos by Steff Koeneman — Bishop Kicanas gives residents of Mexico Holy Communion near the port of entry at Naco, Ariz. The fence runs along the International Border.

Mass on the Border
About 400 people from both the United States and Sonora, Mexico, sides of the International Border near the Naco Port of Entry participated in the second of three Masses on the Border.  Bishop José Leopoldo González Gonzalez of the Diocese of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and I both celebrated this Mass, which was intended as a Year of Mercy project to broaden awareness of and compassion for those involved in the struggles along the border.  These struggles are not simply about immigration, but also about the need to preserve the dignity of all people and to have compassion for those striving to have better lives.



Diocese of Nogales Bishop José Leopoldo González González delivers his homily during the Mass. González celebrated Mass on the Naco, Ariz. side of the International Border fence. He and Bishop Kicanas alternated celebrating different parts of the Mass together in both English and Spanish.

These Masses show the faith of those living along the border and it is inspiring to pray with these faithful people.

The final border Mass will take place on Oct.23, in Ambos, Nogales. I am delighted that our new Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, will be joining us for this Mass. Archbishop Pierre was the Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico before being named by Pope Francis to work in the United States.


Attention:  Diocesan Pastoral Center offices moving
As many of you already know, the Diocese of Tucson Pastoral Center is being re-located in
mid-October.  The move is part of the larger Cathedral Square project.  The Foundation for Senior Living  agreed to rent Marist College and restore the building, creating senior living apartments and a senior recreation center, but the Marist building was not big enough to accommodate all of the Foundation’s needs.  In order to ensure that the historic Marist College could be restored, the Board of Directors for the Catholic Foundation, owner of the Pastoral Center, agreed to sell the current Pastoral Center at 111 S. Church to the Foundation for Senior Living so that the organization could build a seven story building of apartments for low-income seniors to accompany the Marist building.


As a result, the Pastoral Center offices are moving temporarily to 64 E. Broadway Blvd. at the southwestern corner of Broadway Blvd and Scott Avenue.  The offices will remain there until the new office building at Cathedral Square is completed – about two years from now.


Our current offices will close for all business at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11.  The new offices will open for business at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18.  Our P.O. Box address, telephone numbers and fax will remain the same.  For a summary of important moving dates, please see the diocesan website at


Catholic Extension Society Meeting
I will be attending the Catholic Extension Society Mission Bishops’ Conference in Chicago for the better part of this week.  As you may know, Extension provides critical funding to many Mission dioceses in the United States so that key ministries and programs can function in those dioceses that are otherwise without the funds to operate those programs.


In our own diocese, Extension helps provide for programs such as our Hispanic Ministry and in the past, provided much support to seminarian formation as well as providing funds for stipends for priests in rural area parishes that cannot afford to cover the costs of the stipend for their pastors. Extension has provided millions of dollars over the years to assist us with our pastoral programs.


This conference includes representatives from 90 Mission dioceses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, Micronesia and the Virgin Islands, showing just how important Extension’s work is to many dioceses.


As Vice Chancellor for the Extension Board of Directors, and as the Bishop of a Mission diocese, I look forward to seeing others working with Extension and hearing about the vast programs and services being served by Extension.


They have invited some wonderful speakers for the conference, including Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston, along with Father Brian Hehir who works in the offices of the Archdiocese of Boston and Dr. Carolyn Woo, former President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services.


New Vision Managing Editor
As I reported in the last Memo, we are soon to begin the search for a new editor for our Catholic newspaper, The New Vision.


Basic skills needed for this very important position include, a solid background in journalism, with at least 10 years reporting experience and at least five years of editing.  Being bilingual in spoken Spanish is preferred by not required, and the successful candidate will be able to produce clear, interesting stories that include facts, historical and trend perspectives to give readers a complete understanding of the events and topics affecting our diocese.


If you have questions about the soon-to-be posted position, please call our Communications Director, Steff Koeneman, at 520-838-2561 for more information.


Because we are searching for an editor and because we are in the process of moving the Pastoral Center offices, we will suspend publication of The New Vision for November and December. The next edition of the newspaper will be published in January. In the meantime, information about the happenings in the Diocese can be accessed by looking at the Monday Memo which is published every Monday online and by viewing the news posted on our webpage at


Annual Meeting
Western Lieutenancy: Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
Sept. 29 through Oct. 3


The Diocese of Tucson is honored to host the Annual Meeting of the Western Lieutenancy of Equestrian Order this year.  More than 500 people from the Western Lieutenancy will be visiting our diocese during this time.  The group, which supports the Catholic Church in Jerusalem, will be holding many events and activities during the meeting, including Vespers at San Xavier Mission and several Masses at St. Augustine Cathedral, including the Mass of Investiture on Sunday, where new members are brought into the group.


Cardinal Roger M. Mahony has served as the Grand Prior of the Western Lieutenancy for many years. He is stepping down from this post at this meeting. Cardinal O’Brien who is the Grand Master of the Order will install Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, of Los Angeles as the new Grand Prior.


There also are several gatherings and a Grand Ball at the Starr Pass Marriott on Sunday evening.


Before the gathering the members of the order have been invited to visit San Xavier del Bac for a concert and refreshments. It is a fitting way to begin the conference since San Xavier has such a special place in our history.


The people being brought into the group at the Mass of Investiture are:

David & Elaine Ball

Maryann Hockstad

Gracie Quiroz Marum

Father Robert Neske

Thomas Rogers

Katherine Smith



Education and economic Success for All
Candidate Forum
Sunday, Oct. 2
4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Amphitheater High School Performing Arts Center
125 W. Yavapai Road.


The Pima County Interfaith Coalition, Southern Arizona Interfaith, the Amphitheater School District, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Literacy Connects and the University of Arizona are hosting a candidate forum titled Education and Economic Success for All  during which participants can hear directly from candidates their positions on issues important to our community.


I encourage all voters to attend to become informed before the upcoming November elections. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.


Welcome Single Parent Families – A gathering for you
Saturday, October 15
2 p.m., concluding with 5 p.m. Mass with Bishop Gerald Kicanas
Our Lady of Fatima Parish Center
1950 W. Irvington Pl., Tucson


Single parents are invited to gather as families, parents and children, for an afternoon of food, prayer, community building and conversation.  Childcare and activity sessions will be offered for the children. Adults will have the opportunity to share your blessings and concerns as single parents.  A pizza and salad lunch will be served.  This invitation includes single grandparents who are raising children.


Please register by Oct. 8 by postal mail, email, fax, or register by phone.  Registration is available at


Registrations can also be returned to parish schools or religious education offices and they will be forwarded to the Office of Human Life & Dignity, Diocese of Tucson.


Red Mass
Oct. 4
5:30 p.m.
St. Augustine Cathedral

Nationwide, dioceses, along with other legal field organizations, come together to recognize outstanding individuals with the celebration of the Red Mass.  Here in Tucson, our diocese coordinates with the St. Thomas More Society that makes the awardee selections.


This year, the following individuals are being recognized:


image020 Colonel Ernest (Skip) M. Skinner, Esq. (posthumous award)

Beginning in  2002  Ernest Skinner served as a law clerk to the Hon. John M. Roll, Judge (later Chief Presiding Judge) of the District Court for the District of Arizona. During 2005 and 2006 Skinner was a prosecutor while serving as a deputy Pima County Attorney. In 2006, Skinner started service as a volunteer attorney with the Volunteer Lawyer Program, conducting Title 14 Guardianship clinics and Bankruptcy advice clinics. He also volunteered as supervising attorney for University of Arizona law students participating in the Regional Municipalities Veterans Treatment Court.  Skinner passed away on Oct.16, 2015.


Colleagues remember him for bringing the organizational skills he acquired as a colonel in the Air Force and as an A-10 wing commander.  He also was a dedicated president of the  St. Thomas More Society of Southern Arizona.  He is further remembered for being willing to help always, and for often being the first to volunteer for service. And if that was not enough, He also was an excellent golfer, guitar, banjo and harmonica player (often playing the guitar and harmonica simultaneously).


image022Deacon Rick Valencia
Arizona Attorney General Special Investigation Section (retired)

Deacon Rick Valencia served three years of active duty with the United States Army after graduating from Tucson High School.


Valencia began his career in law enforcement by joining the Arizona Department of Public Safety. He was first assigned to the Benson area of Cochise County as a Highway Patrol Officer from 1977 to 1992, then worked in the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) from 1992 to 2004; and left the Department after 27 years in August 2004 as a detective. During his assignment in CIB, He was assigned to the Cochise County Boarder Alliance Group Task Force, a multi-agency group covering narcotic enforcement along the southwest border. Many of his assignments included working in high risk covert operations that spanned the entire state of Arizona.


Valencia joined the Office of the Arizona Attorney General Special Investigation Section within the Criminal Division from February 2005 until he retired in 2015. During his 10 years of service with the Attorney General’s office, Valencia served as a Special Agent and was promoted to the position of Supervising Special Agent in charge of the Major Fraud Unit and the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Section.


Since his June 2012 ordination as a Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, Deacon Valencia has served at his home parish, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Benson.  He and his wife, Beverly have been active on the Parish Board of Directors, the Parish Pastoral Council, Compliance Officer, Hospital Ministry, Knights of Columbus, Hospitality Ministry and the St. Vincent de Paul- St. Bernadette Conference.


“It has truly been a blessing and a sincere privilege to serve Our Lady of Lourdes Parish as well as the community over the past 39 years,” Valencia said. “With God’s grace we look to continue being of service to the great people of our parish and community and the Diocese of Tucson.”