Monday Memo, Jan. 17, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 2

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

facebook Eng





Immigration update:
This week President Elect Donald Trump will become our 45th President. No one knows exactly what his first 100 days will include but I share with you some thoughts by Cardinal Dan DiNardo who is President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as others as reported in Catholic News Services:


Bishops still have hope Congress will pass immigration reform

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Despite the apprehension over policies that could be enacted by a Republican-led Congress acting in accord with a Republican president in Donald Trump, the U.S. Catholic bishops remain hopeful that Congress will pass an immigration reform bill.



Photo by NCR online

“This is a new moment with a new Congress, a new administration. We should up our expectations and move very carefully on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


“I think this might be a very good time, a better time, to pursue our goals,” Cardinal DiNardo

“In the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense debate over immigration reform and refugee policy. Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God?” Cardinal DiNardo said.


“Pope Francis reminds us we are all equal before God. In equal measure, we are in need of and can receive God’s great mercy. This is what makes us sisters and brothers, regardless of how we chose to divide ourselves.”


The morning of the conference call, Archbishop Jose Gomez , of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, presented a video message from Pope Francis on immigration during a Mass at the Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. The clip was part of the pope’s interview with a U.S. television journalist.


Bishop Joe Vasquez of the Diocese of Boston Texas, dismissed the notion that nationwide immigration reform is virtually impossible.


“I don’t know whether indeed working with the local level is sufficient. I think we as a church have to work with our local communities, with our local diocese and our state Catholic conferences,” he said. “But it’s important that we engage the current administration, to make known what is taking place in our countries. We have to work at the local level, but yes, we also have to work at the national level.”


“There are many in Congress who think that immigration reform is a definite possibility,” said Ashley Feasley, policy director for the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services. “We need to show the need for the reform of our broken system.”


Shortly after Trump’s election, Archbishop Gomez had preached about children in his diocese going to bed afraid. Bishops, he said during the conference call, “can be present to the people and give that sense of peace that we are together. There is a democratic process in our country, and this happens every four years. … We can address those situations and accomplish that in the specific area of immigration reform.”


He added that in his archdiocese, people are “more open to see the future with more peace and understanding.”


Copyright ©2017 Catholic News Service / U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Send questions about this site to


My fellow-border bishops and I in the Dioceses of places such as Houston, Gallup, El Paso and our Metropolitan See, Bishop John Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, continue to work for and to broaden awareness for the need of comprehensive immigration reform.


Immigration is a complicated matter with challenges facing our nation’s leaders from many sides.  My hope is that we Catholics can continue to urge congressional action to preserve the life and human dignity of the millions of people involved.  While we most often think about immigration concerning the Mexico-U.S. International Border, there are many other immigrants arriving to our country from farther away places, including Haiti, Central America and India.


We must continue to work for comprehensive immigration reform.


New Altar
I spent part of my day yesterday with Father Mark Stein, pastor, and the parish community of Sacred Heart Parish in Willcox, celebrating Mass and blessing the church’s new altar.  The altar contains a relic from St. Teresa of  Kolkata.


Relics that now are part of the new altar at Sacred Heart Parish in Willcox. Photo by Carol Broeder, Courtesy the Arizona Range News.


Father Stein has worked very hard to beautify the parish facilities in Willcox as well as its two missions in Bowie and San Simon. This is just another example of his work with his parishioners to make this parish and its mission proud of their community.


If you ever get out to Willcox you can see for yourself how the parish has been beautifully restored and the new altar is a fitting finishing touch.



Photo by Narda Ferguson

Casa Grande March For Life
A March for Life was held in Casa Grande this past Saturday. Fathers Ariel Lustan and Alan Valencia led the group in raising consciousness of the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death.  I was delighted to thank the group for their dedication and commitment to the protection of the unborn since I was in Casa Grande for Mass with the councils of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in our Diocese.


Dinner to support retired priests and seminarian education
We celebrated the careers of two  “Men of God”  in the annual fundraising dinner for retired priests and for seminarian education.


The honorees were newly-ordained Father Edson Elizarraras, parochial vicar at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Tucson, and Msgr. Tom Cahalane, pastor at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, also in Tucson.


We watched a video about both of these fine priests; one brand new to his priesthood, and Msgr. Tom who has been a priest for more than 50 years and who has ministered both in congregations and at the diocesan level.


If you would like to see the video, go to and scroll down to the video section.


My thanks Marty Ronstadt, Brad Pemberton and the other Knights of the Fourth Degree who continue to support priests and retired priests with their work



To Sister Romana Piotrowski, IH.M., who celebrated her 100th Birthday on Jan. 5. Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., tells me that Sister Ramona also will be celebrating 80 years as a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Eighty years!  Imagine, Sister Ramona started her ministry in 1937.  At that time: After 4 years, on May 28, 1937, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge opened. Pedestrians were allowed a day Disney’s Snow White became the biggest film of all time and was not ousted from that position ‘Gone With The Wind’ came out in 1939.


Hector Boiardi, Chef Boyardee, started canning his pasta sauce in 1937.

The “Hindenburg” exploded at Lakehurst, N.J.,

Amelia Earhart and co-pilot Fred Noonan vanish over the Pacific Ocean on their Round-the-World Flight.

A first-class postage stamp cost $0.03.


The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was completed.


All that happened at the beginning of Sister’s ministry.  I am sure her work and her memories could fill volumes!


More congratulations
To our own Amanda Catherine Minke, a student at Immaculate Heart High School, who was selected as a scholar for the Regeneron Science Talent Search, a prestigious recognition earlier this month.


Minke, 17, is one of 300 students from around the nation to be selected.  Forty of these scholars will go on to the second round of selections to be announced later this month, with the opportunity to win a top prize of $250,000.


She created a filter that uses algae to remove lead from water.


According to local news sources, Minke already has been awarded a scholarship to the University of Arizona for the filter project.  She said she was inspired to find a way to create clean water for victims of natural catastrophes that poison water.


Good luck Amanda!


New Managing Editor
It is my joy to announce that we have hired Michael Brown, former Director of Communications and Editor of the Idaho Catholic Register for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise, as the Managing Editor of our Catholic Outlook newspaper.


Brown has been the Editor of the Boise newspaper since 2007.  Previously, he was the editor of The Providence Visitor in English and Spanish from about 1991 to 2007; was a Staff Reporter, Advertising Manager and Assistant to the Publisher (1985-87) of The Catholic Advocate in Newark, N.J., and even worked for about a year as the Wire Service Reporter and Editor for Catholic News Service in Washington, D.C.


He has been a member of the Catholic Press Association of North American and Canada’s Ad Hoc Committee on Spanish Language Publications.


It will take a bit of time for Brown to come to Tucson, but we expect to see him in March.


God’s Healing Love Men’s retreat
Jan. 21 and Jan 22
Tucson Convention Center Copper Ballroom
260 S. Church Ave.
45$ Registration fee

Father Greg Bramlage, a Missionary of the New Evangelization. travels the world evangelizing with the Word of God and teaching others how to pray for miracles with expectant faith. His mission is to share the healing love of Jesus, thus bringing about the renewal of all God’s people. For complete details, schedule and register for this life changing weekend go to:  or call 520-742-6687. This promises to be a retreat weekend filled with the power of God’s word, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the power of God’s miraculous healing grace! An donation offering will be requested at the retreat. Seating is limited. Registering in advance is recommended!


This week:
Vatican Observatory workshop
I will be celebrating Mass and attending a dinner Tuesday along with several scholars and other participants of a workshop taking place through the Vatican Observatory operating on Mt. Graham outside of Safford, Ariz.  Brother Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J., is astronomer to the Vatican Observatory, where he also serves as curator of the Vatican Meteorite collection and is a leading astronomer. I am grateful for the invitation.


The work done by the Vatican Observatory is exacting and often ground-breaking.  The work also combines and furthers our understanding of the heavens through faith and science.


Director’s Meeting
 On Thursday, we will be holding our monthly Pastoral Center Director’s Meeting at the Center. Topics to be discussed will include an update on the recent demolition of the old St. Augustine Parish Hall, an update on the beginning of construction of the New Pastoral Center, the start of the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal and other events.   We also will review department goals and progress toward those goals.


Notre Dame ACE Academy Board Meeting
Also on Thursday, I will be attending a Notre Dame ACE Board Meeting in the afternoon.  As you know, our diocese has two Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) schools, St. John the Evangelist and Santa Cruz.  These schools have teachers from Notre Dame and the program strives to provide educational resource and assistance to schools in areas that have suffered from lower academic achievement.


Kino Border Initiative Board meeting
The KBI provides ministry and support to migrants on both sides of the Nogales-U.S. International Border.  I will attend this meeting Friday, where we discuss the KBI recent activities and other topics.


Tucson Annual March for Life
 I will celebrate Mass and then join in the annual March for Life. This inspiring event always brings together adults and teens, as well as many parish groups and organizations committed to protecting the unborn.  There is a great exuberance during event and I am proud to participate alongside so many people committed to life.


The Mass begins at 9 a.m.  Saturday at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave., followed by the march that begins at about 10:30 a.m. from the Cathedral to Holy Hope Cemetery, 3535 N. Oracle Road, where there is short memorial ceremony. The event is open to all.


500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Also on Saturday, I will be attending an event commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  Lutheran Bishop Steve Talmage, of the Grand Canyon Synod, and I are hosts for the event at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. Guest presenters of this Lutheran/Catholic  dialogue are Rev. Lowell G. Almen, co-chair of the U.S. Lutheran Catholic Dialogue, and Father John Crossin, a priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.  He recently served as the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).


I encourage all of you to consider participating in this historic event. All are welcome. I am grateful to Loretta Tracy who serves as my liaison for ecumenical and interfaith events. She has worked hard to prepare this local celebration of the 500th anniversary.


On Sunday   It will be my joy to celebrate the closing Mass for the Vine of Grace Retreat taking place at the Tucson Convention Center.  These retreats have been occasions for many women to grow closer to the Lord and deepen their understanding of the faith. I am grateful to Erin Blanchette and her team for all they do to help provide spiritual experiences for women in our diocese.


Please pray for . . .
The soul of Isa Rose, seven months, who passed away two weeks ago. Little Isa, niece of Rachel Guzman, program manager for our Safe Environment office, was born with health problems but fought hard to stay here on earth.  Isa’s funeral will be held Jan. 21 at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Tucson at 10 a.m.


Also, Rachel’s husband, Sal, lost his grandmother, Mary Lou on Jan. 9. Her funeral services will take place at Our Lady of Fatima on Friday, Jan. 20, beginning at 10 a.m. with an 11 a.m. Mass.  Please hold Rachel’s family in your prayers at this very difficult time.



Cathedral Concert Series
Tuesday, Jan. 24
St. Augustine Cathedral
7 p.m.

Organ Recital by Douglas Leightenheimer

For ticket information contact 623-6351.


Twilight Evening of Prayer for Women discerning religious life
Thursday, Jan. 26
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Join with other women considering the possibility of religious life. The evening includes a light dinner and time for group and personal prayer.  For more information, contact Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, S.C., Vicar for Religious, at  or call 520-838-2524


Anza Trek
Catholic Scouting
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Tumacacori National Historical Park
Registration required:

A retreat hosted by the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting which represents all involved in scouting -Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls. Spend the day hiking the Historic Trail reflecting on and learning about our faith. Scouts will be picking up trash along the trail as a service project. The trek will finish at the mission at Tumacacori.

Mass will be celebrated in the late afternoon shadows of the Mission.

Cost: 15.00 per scout/person – T-shirts available for $12 each. For more information please Contact Pam Xeele at (520-668-4882);

All are welcome to attend, families, youth groups, and of course Scouting troops, crews, packs and dens – cost is $15 per person.


A Shepherd guides his Flock
St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish
4725 E. Pima St.
Tuesdays: Jan. 23, 31 and Feb.7.

In collaboration with The Jordan Ministry Team, St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish is hosting a series on Pope Francis’ writings.

The next series, will focus on his encyclical On Care of Our Common Home. The three sessions will be on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Presentations will be offered both in English and in Spanish. Sessions begin in Dougherty Hall; a free will offering will be taken up to cover the costs.


First Annual Endowment Dinner for Catholic Schools
Feb. 4
St. Augustine Catholic School
8800 E. 22nd St.
5 p.m. Reception and Silent Auction
6 p.m. Dinner and concert by Catholic school performers
Cost $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight guests
To purchase tickets, please visit:

A great way to support Catholic schools, this is the first annual dinner dedicated to an endowment just for schools.  Call for information.


St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish

Exploring Laudato Sí:

From Science and the Spirit

In Spanish on Feb. 7

English on Feb. 8


St. Cyril’s Parish, 4725 E. Pima, will host two evening sessions exploring Pope Francis’ encyclical on the Care of Our Common Home. The presentation, sponsored by the Carmelites’ Peace, Justice & Integrity of Creation Commission, will be in Spanish of Tuesday, Feb.7 and in English on Wednesday, Feb. 8 starting at 7 p.m. in Nicholson Hall. Both evenings are open to all in the Diocese. A free will donation will be accepted.


The presenter will be Father Eduardo Scarel, O.Carm. from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the Director of The Climate, Environment and Economics Center at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina [a center begun by Pope Francis when he was the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires] and was one of the collaborators on the encyclical.