Monday Memo, Feb. 27, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 8

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Lent 2017
Please read Bishop’s column in the March edition of the Catholic Outlook for more about our Lenten theme.


The diocesan theme for Lent this year is “Encountering Christ in your neighbor.”


image001The logo depicts two hands reaching together in a gesture of help. While this image is a very good start, the Lenten theme and the photograph both were selected to encourage and to promote several ideas:


Who is our neighbor?  In this time of rapid changes taking place in our country, “neighbor” could well mean your next-door neighbor, your friends at work, a family living in a one room apartment or even someone you don’t know at all.  Our neighbor is every person.


Scripture tells us:

 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.


34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’                                         -Matthew 25: 31-40


image003Our Lenten theme calls all of us to see Christ in one another, no matter the circumstance.  When we answer this call, to help those we see in need – maybe food is needed or clothing, or just a kind word or maybe something more – we are helping a neighbor. Perhaps the person before you needs only a smile, or a listening ear.  Perhaps the person before you is lonely and needs companionship, if only for a few minutes during lunch.


There are so many ways we can encounter Christ in one another. Talking briefly with someone may bring us comfort also; providing food or water or belongings needed to survive will warm your heart as much as it sustains the person you assisted.


The means for encountering Christ through helping others are not expensive tools or big bill items, but rather they come from the goodness of our hearts and God-given abilities to see what is needed in the person near us and the willingness to reach out with those gifts of friendship, understanding, acceptance and love. If persons from other faiths or other cultures are in need, do not be afraid to help, but instead let them know their language, their attire, their culture or their appearance make no difference.  They are human and they are in need.


If you have more to give, do so.  If you want to give more, do so.


Helping others is part of our faith, it taught in the oldest lessons of our faith.  It is part of our Catholic identity.


It is part of our human heritage.


Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, March 1. 


Please consult your parish bulletin for specific parish Mass schedules.  For Lenten Penance Services check out the listings in the March Outlook.


I will be celebrating Mass and imposing ashes on students and faculty at Yuma Catholic High School in Yuma.


Yuma/La Paz Vicariate Meeting
A meeting of pastors from the parishes in this area will take place Thursday at noon in San Luis.   This is a good opportunity to share diocese news and information with priests serving in Yuma and surrounding area, and a time for them to share topics for discussion with me. I am grateful to Father Manuel Fragoso, Vicar of Yuma/La Paz Vicariate for his support to area priests and deacons. There is a wonderful spirit within the Vicariate and the priests and deacons work very cooperatively together on many issues.



Photo by Michael Brown — Patrick Coleman of the Coleman Group, gave Parish Directors good information on communications and stewardship.


Parish Directors Convocation
Patrick Coleman of the Coleman Group was the keynote speaker. He provided specific, concrete suggestions how parishes could increase their resources. He emphasized being in regular communication: highlight the good things happening, make the communication personal and recognize that there has been a paradigm shift on how people give money. He also said it was important to recognize that many parishioners now do not put their weekly offering in the collection basket while some do. It is important to recognize the various ways people give. He encouraged pastors to send a personal email to parishioners at least once a month and suggested ways to build a data base of emails.


Fathers Juan Carlos Aquirre, Vili Vilderama and Marcos Velasquez offered their reflections on what has been helpful in their parishes in encouraging stewardship and participation in support of the parish.


Members of the Pastoral Center offered some guidance for the directors: John Shaheen on property issues, Tom Arnold on finance issues, Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston on building safe environments, Steff Koeneman on communications, and Msgr. Jerimiah McCarthy spoke on behalf of Gerry O’Meara on legal matters. There was lively discussion.


Msgr. McCarthy and I spoke with the pastors that attended. It was a very engaging conversation on better use of technology in fundraising. In the meantime, the lay directors asked some insightful questions of the panel.


Thanks to Danielle Eckhoff, Kathy Rhinehart and Msgr. McCarthy for a day well spent.


Photo by Steff Koeneman — President Cole Thies presented Bishop Kicanas with the beautiful Christus statue.


Beautiful dinner with members of LDS Church
The LDS Church members in Tucson have been truly collaborative with Tucson’s inter-faith community, especially regarding the plight of migrants and refugees.



It was my privilege and an honor on Tuesday to receive a beautiful Christus statue from the local Mormon community for service to others.


My thanks to President Cole Thies, Bishop Judd Curtis of the Central Ward, Tucson Stake and the 14 other Stake leaders and their wives for the award and delicious dinner.


Thanks also to Tucson North Stake youth that sang so beautifully and to the Priests and Laurels of the Saguaro Park Ward, Rincon Stake for their amazing service during the dinner.



Rodeo Parade …. Winners
Congratulations to the members of the Vocations Department, let by our own vaquero, I mean Director of Vocations Father Jorge Farias Saucedo, who with his team created a float.image008


That float claimed the Chairman’s Award prize at the Rodeo Parade last week.


Father Jorge reported, “I am so proud of the Team Vocaciones, Young Adult Group that helps us promote Vocations and to be able to represent our diocese well.”


In Yuma . . .

Rite of Election
I traveled to Yuma yesterday to celebrate the Rite of Election, one of the last steps for those in the process of joining the Catholic Church. This year we again have many Catechumens and Candidates joining the faith. A candidate is someone previously baptized in another Christian faith. Catechumens are people who have never been baptized before joining the Catholic Church.


There are five parishes in the Yuma/La Paz Vicariate participating in this Rite of Election: Immaculate Conception, St. Jude Thaddeus, Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Francis de Assisi, St. Joseph in Wellton.


There will be about 35 parishes participating in the Tucson area Rite of Election on Sunday March 5 at 3 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral.


Communications Meeting
This morning I am in a teleconference for a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Communications Committee. The Committee will address matters related to the effort of the Bishops’ Conference to get its message out as well as how the Conference can better make use of technology in its effort to spread the Word.


Appreciation Dinner
This annual dinner is put on for priests, deacons and religious women serving in the Yuma/ La Paz Vicariate by the Knights of Columbus. Tonight’s dinner takes place at St. John Neumann Parish. It is always an amazing gathering with representation from all the parishes in the community. It is always inspiring to see the respect and regard people have for those serving them.


John Paul II Youth Awards – Yuma
It always is my joy to participate in this beautiful event where so many of our young people are recognized for their work in several categories.  It is good to know that already, at this youngish age, our teens are aware of the need to help others and to provide service.  Here are the winners from the Yuma area with the category of service they have been working in:

Brissa Grijalva Prayer and Worship (IC Yuma)
Bocilio Sanchez Prayer and Worship (IC, Yuma)
Luis Fernando Palencia Prayer and Worship (IC, Yuma)
Daniel Castillo Prayer and Worship (IC, Yuma)
Natalia Nuñez Catechesis and Evangelization (St. Francis, Yuma)
Jovan Cramer Catechesis and Evangelization (St. Francis, Yuma)
Anthony Ramirez Catechesis and Evangelization (St. Francis, Yuma)
Jaime Hernandez Community Service and Social Justice (Yuma Catholic HS)
Bethany Johnson Prayer and Worship (Yuma Catholic HS)
Michael Nicholls Catechesis and Evangelizaton (Yuma Catholic HS)
Christian Lopez Prayer and Worship (Immaculate Heart, Somerton)
Edith Cota Catechesis and Evangelization (Immaculate Heart, Somerton)
Kimberly Lopez Catechesis and Evangelization (Immaculate Heart, Somerton)
Breanna Kempton Catechesis and Evangelization (St. John Neumann, Yuma)
Holly Hight Catechesis and Evangelization (St. John Neumann, Yuma)
Marco Silva Prayer and Worship (St. John Neumann, Yuma)
Ariana Politron Community Service and Social Justice (St. John Neumann, Yuma)
Elias Ortega Community Service and Social Justice (St. Joseph, Wellton)
Jocelyn Ochoa Community Service and Social Justice (St. Joseph, Wellton)
Ana Teresa Bernal Catechesis and Evangelization (St. Joseph, Wellton)
Alberto Cinco Prayer and Worship (St. Joseph, Wellton)
Julissa Alvarez Catechesis and Evangelization (St. Jude Thaddeus, San Luis)
Genesis de la Torre Community Service and Social Justice/Prayer and Worship (St. Jude Thaddeus, San Luis)
Montserrat de la Torre Community Service and Social Justice/Prayer and Worship (St. Jude Thaddeus, San Luis)
Ana Karen Serrano Prayer and Worship (Sacred Heart, Parker)
Jose Juarez Prayer and Worship (Sacred Heart, Parker)
Silvia Guadalupe Mendoza Prayer and Worship (Sacred Heart, Parker)


Yuma Confirmations: I conferred the sacrament of Confirmation on special needs youth, at St. Francis Parish on Sunday evening; I will confirm students from Immaculate Conception School the morning of March 2; and for English speaking confirmation candidates of the Immaculate Conception Religious Education program the evening of March 2; at St. Francis of Assisi School for students there on the morning of March 3; and for students of St. Francis Religious Education program the evening of March 3; for Spanish speaking students of Immaculate Conception parish’s religious education the morning of March 4 and for Confirmation candidates of St. Jude Thaddeus Parish in San Luis later in the day of March 4.


Time for Thanks
The Catholic Foundation has invited people from the Yuma area to a breakfast at the Hilton Gardens and others to a luncheon at Deacon Gary Pasquinelli’s office as a way of expressing thanks for their good stewardship in assisting the work of our Diocese. I look forward to expressing personal thanks to each one of these invitees for all they do. There are many more as well and I hope we can continue to reach out to those who do so much to carry on the mission of Christ.


Installation of New Newman Chaplain
It will be my joy on Sunday, March 5 to install Father John Paul Forte, O.P., as the pastor and chaplain at St. Thomas More Parish and Newman Center at the 11 a.m. Mass. Father John Paul brings so many gifts to this community and the students and parishioners are delighted with his enthusiasm and passion to serve. He joins the other Dominicans, Father Thomas Saucier, O.P., his associate, Father Thomas DeMan, O.P., who is in residence, and Sister Angelica Velez, O.P., who serve with such distinction. The Newman Center is a place where young people can encounter Jesus Christ and I am grateful to the Dominicans for their dedicated commitment to the student community as well as the parishioners.


VI Congreso Cuaresmal
Will take place at San Miguel High School Gymnasium on March 4-5, 2017. This Congreso has been a tradition for the Santa Monica community for some time. Every year people from as far as Hermosillo, Mexico and California come to take part in this spiritual opportunity to re-encounter Christ through His passion, death and resurrection. The Mass takes place at 6 p.m. at San Miguel at 6 p.m.


Up coming

Poverty Simulation
An experience  ; I was hungry… I was thirsty… I was naked…
Tuesday, March 7
6 p.m. Gathering
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish
Nicholson Hall
Northeast corner of Pima & Swan
Hosted by: St. Cyril in collaboration with the Office of Human Life and Dignity Diocese of Tucson


This Lent, broaden your understanding of poverty by experiencing the challenges actually faced by those living in poverty.


During the Poverty Simulation, you will take on the identity of someone who lives in poverty. You will work together with your family to live a month in poverty. 


You will participate in a simulated “community” with  The services you need like banks, schools and grocery stores are tables that line the perimeter of the room.


The Poverty Simulation event is an outcome of an Interfaith Poverty gathering  hosted by Bishop Kicanas held in November to encourage awareness of the realities people living in poverty face.  Poverty is not just about being low on funds; the condition involves challenges in accessing services such as  transportation, information and understanding.


Cathedral Concert Series

Presentation by Cardinal Joseph Tobin, C.S.s.R.

Monday, April 3
Redemptorist Renewal Center
7701 N. Picture Rocks Road, Tucson
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


The Diocese of Tucson welcomes Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R from the Archdioceses of Newark for an Adult Faith Formation session.  Cardinal Tobin will offer insights and reflection on Catholic Social Teaching and its message for today. For more information please contact Ofelia James at or 520-838-2545.  There is no charge for the presentation.


Friday March 10, 2017
Tucson Convention Center
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
$25 per person
Join 100’s of adults who are engaged in helping our children, youth and adults navigate the spiritual life! Start your day with Mass, celebrated by Bishop Kicanas at 8:30 a.m., followed by a keynote address from Dr. Ann Garrido, followed by workshops before and after lunch! The day concludes at 3PM. Cost: $25 per person (includes lunch).  (3 CEUs for full participation!)


Register here.



YOUTH FEST2017: MIGHTY WAVES; Navigating the Spiritual Life

Saturday, March 11
Tucson Convention Center

$15 per person.  Check in starts at 9:30 a.m., day ends at 6:30 p.m.

The registration deadline is Feb. 24.


For registration.

The Diocese of Tucson’s Youth Fest is an annual experience for middle and high school teens featuring great speakers, amazing music, workshops, lunch and lots of fun!


This year’s theme “Mighty Waves” comes from Psalm 93:4, “More powerful than the roar of many waters, more powerful than the breakers of the sea, powerful in the heavens is the LORD.”


Our speakers this year are phenomenal. This is a Youth Fest you won’t want to miss!


There also is a special program for parents with Ann Garrido- “Redeeming Conflict in your Family” (9:30 a.m. to noon) Every family has its disagreements, but whether those disagreements lead the family toward greater unity or fragmentation depends on how we handle them.  Come and learn a framework for analyzing the conflicts that pop up in every home along with a set of tools parents can use to engage their children effectively around tough topics.