Monday Memo, Feb. 6, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 5

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Photos by Steff Koeneman — Imam Watheq Alobaidi of the Muslim Community Center of Tucson, Bishop Gerald Kicanas and Rabbi Thomas Louchheim of Congregation Or Chadash during a Jan. 31 gathering of Multi-religious leaders. That gathering was held to discuss ways to support Muslims and refugees and resulted in a joint statement sent to the Arizona Congressional and to the president.

Religious Leaders Respond
Last week it was my honor to participate in a multi-religious gathering where over 57 religious leaders or religious organizations representatives worked together to create a statement opposing, from a moral perspective, the executive orders signed by the president late last week. One order called for continued construction on the border wall between the United States and Mexico; expansion of immigrant detention facilities and adding more personnel to border security agencies.  The second order called immediate ban on allowing refugees into our country, particularly those arriving from seven counties that happen to have large Muslim populations.  The orders did not, at the time of being signed, make clear provisions for those refugees who had followed proper protocols to enter the United States.


Participants that included Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Sikh representation did a conscientious reading and editing of a statement expressing the views of all those in attendance. It was indeed a task undertaken seriously by all those present; a task that called for careful consideration of all the people involved and the compassion needed to work on behalf of Muslims, refugees and migrants.


Those present understood the importance of security and proper vetting of those entering our country but they also understand the common values we hold as people of faith to welcome the stranger and to receive with compassion those enduring horrible suffering.


image004Once the statement was complete, 105 leaders supported it. It was sent to our Arizona Congressional Delegation as well as the Office of the President of the United States. Additional signers have since joined the effort.


This meeting came together in just two days and was a tremendous sign of the unity of thought and conscience among our Southern Arizona faith leaders.


Similar sentiments were made by many Catholic Bishops throughout the United States as well as the Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops.


It is too soon to know what the final outcomes of these orders.  By last weekend a federal judge already had suspended the immigration ban. It is clear that millions of Americans oppose both directives.


To read the statement, please visit my Facebook page for the complete statement:


First ever dinner for a Catholic Schools Endowment
This first-ever event was a success!  The dinner hall/gym at St. Augustine High School was packed last Saturday evening to capacity with parents, students and Catholic education supporters.


Members of our Diocesan School Board chaired by President Dynse Crunkleton worked hard on this dinner to raise funds for Catholic education in the Diocese.


Various student groups performed so well; their performances made the evening a wonderful event.


I am an ardent supporter of Catholic Schools as the best way to hand on the faith. I appreciate the desire of our Superintendent, Sheri Dahl, and of our Diocesan School Board to raise the level of awareness of the importance of Catholic Schools and how we can help garner the resources necessary to provide more opportunities for families to choose Catholic Schools.


We are blessed in the Diocese to have 25 Catholic Schools:19 grade schools and six high schools.


Seminary visit
I will be traveling to Fort Lauderdale and then to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, to review the progress of our two seminarians Freddy Medina Rodriguez and Vinicio Jimenez-Medina, who are studying there.


We have seminarians studying at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Hales Corner, WI; at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.; at Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, OR; and at St. Vincent de Paul.


We select the seminary each student will attend based on their needs, and other factors that will help them each succeed.  Fredy and Vinicio are fluent Spanish speakers, and we are working to help them with their English. St. Vincent fosters “a bilingual and multicultural environment in recognition of the growing Hispanic presence in the United States. St. Vincent is one of only two bilingual theologates (schools of theology) in the country.”


Cemeteries Conference
After my visit to Boynton Beach it will be an easy trip to Miami where I will participate in the Catholic Cemetery Conference Board meeting. I serve as the Episcopal Moderator for the Board and provide counsel on their deliberations regarding how to make our Catholic Cemeteries more responsive to the needs of those they serve all the while upholding our beliefs as Catholics.


Serving as Moderator helps me to see what other cemeteries are doing that I can share with our own director, Tom Hanlon, as we strive to make our Catholic Cemeteries the very best possible.


There will be a meeting of our diocesan Catholic Cemeteries Board two days after the conference concludes.  This meeting will be our Mass and Breakfast meeting. This type of meeting gives members a bit more time to talk and get to know one another and to share ideas a little less formally.


Priest Assurance Corporation Meeting
Takes place on Friday is a quarterly meeting of the Priest Assurance Corporation, better known as PAC.  The members of this Board, led by President Father Pat Crino, oversee the retirement investing and management for the retired priests of our diocese.


Deacon Candidate Interviews
During the later parts of this week I will be meeting with and interviewing each of our  candidates studying to become Permanent Deacons or lay ecclesial ministers.  God-willing, in June I will be ordaining six Permanent Deacons in Yuma and 14 Permanent Deacons in the larger Tucson area.


I also will certify those laity that have studied along with our deacon candidates and that now will go back to their parishes with much more knowledge of the faith to serve in their parishes. This deacon, lay ecclesial ministry education program, known as Common Formation, brings so many wonderful people into ministry in our diocese. I am grateful to Sr. Lois Paha, O.P., D.Min and all the formation staff for their tireless work over these last four years to prepare these candidates to serve.


As part of this formation program I will make a presentation Sunday to our deacon candidates on three of Pope Francis’ major documents: The Joy of the Gospel, Laudato Si and Amoris Laetitia.


Annual Catholic Appeal Kick-off
All parishes in our dioceses announced the upcoming Annual Catholic Appeal this last weekend.  The theme this year is: “With your help, we work wonders”. . Next weekend, our parishes will all be showing a video about the Annual Appeal, with interviews of parishioners, ministers and lay people who speak about how contributions to the Appeal help them in their ministry.


The Catholic Foundation is hoping this year’s campaign can raise the same total goal as last year: $3.85 million.  In addition, Foundation leaders are encouraging parishes to try to increase the number of people making contributions by 10 percent at each parish.  By December 2016, just under 14,000 donors – a small number of donors compared to the more than 350,000 registered Catholics in our diocese —  had contributed $3.795 million to the Appeal.


I hope many more people will chose to get involved and will give a one-time contributions or a pledge to the Appeal this year.


On Saturday, I will head out to St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista.  Each year, the parish has a festive dinner to collect pledges and donations to the Annual Appeal with amazing results.  Father Greg Adolf and his parish family truly see the value of helping the Appeal and letting their contributions “work wonders” for others.



A Shepherd guides his Flock
St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish
4725 E. Pima St.
Tuesdays: Jan. 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.


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.


Catechesis of the Good Shepheard

This evening: Monday, Feb. 6

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Complimentary dinner served at 6pm

St. Francis Cabrini, 3201 E. Presidio

Education Building, Room 5


Hands-on work is offered to the young child in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Come and see more about this method of religious formation in an upcoming workshop!


The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd seeks to create a prayerful atmosphere where the child can nurture his or her own relationship with God. Themes include the Good Shepheard, baptism, the Mass, infancy narratives, and geography of the land where Jesus lived.


Registration is required for this workshop. RSVP to

See you there!

Parish Festival
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church
221 E. 8th St, Florence
Sat. Feb. 11
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Everyone is Welcome to 5th Annual Parish Festival at the parish be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Phelan Hall. Come enjoy delicious foods and beverages, music, a silent auction, raffles with great prizes and arts and crafts for sale.


Jordan Ministry Team
Alive in the Savior Awards
Sunday, Feb. 19
Viscount Suite Hotel
4855 E. Broadway Blvd.
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Social Hour, dinner and silent auction
Reservations required: $35 per person
Please RSVP by Feb. 13


This year the Jordan Ministry Team will recognize Deacon Paul Duckro, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, St. Louis University School of Medicine, and former Diocesan Director of the Office of Child, Adolescent and Adult Protection. Deacon Duckro has been active in many aspects of Jesuit-Lay collaboration; In St. Louis, he served as a teacher and director of Bridges, a program that offered spiritual exercises to laity.  Here in Tucson, he is among the sponsors of the annual Ignatian Silent Retreat.


Cathedral Concert Series
Feb. 21
Our Lady’s Chapel
St. Augustine Cathedral
7 p.m.
Requested donation is $15

A performance by Jorge Luis Prats, pianist

For information contact 623-6353.

If you haven’t yet attended a concert in Our Lady’s Chapel, you will be joyfully surprised; the chapel has amazing acoustics and is a magnificent setting for concerts.