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

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas

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Update: Immigration Ban
As you may be aware, leaders from many faiths, as well as our own Catholic Church, and other non-religious groups oppose the recent executive order banning immigration from seven countries for a period of time.  Last week a federal judge stopped the ban, and more and more individuals and groups are opposing the ban. It is reported that the

CNS photo/Jim West

Administration may be developing a revised Executive Order to address some of the court concerns. Clearly, we have to be concerned and vigilant for the safety of people in our country. But we ought not let irrational fear force us to make decisions that run contrary to our values as a nation. The Administration’s next steps will need to be monitored.


Bishop Joe Vasquez, the Bishop of the Diocese of Austin in Texas, made the following statement on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops last week.


Bishop Vasquez welcomes federal appeals court ruling on refugee ban
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration welcomed a federal appeals court ruling that upheld a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump’s travel ban on refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries that also temporarily suspended the country’s refugee resettlement program.

“We respect the rule of law and the American judicial process. We remain steadfast in our commitment to resettling refugees and all those fleeing persecution,” Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, said in a statement Feb. 10.

“At this time we remain particularly dedicated to ensuring that affected refugee and immigrant families are not separated and that they continue to be welcomed in our country,” the statement said.

The bishop pledged that church agencies would continue to welcome people “as it is a vital part of our Catholic faith and an enduring element of our American values and traditions.”

In a decision issued late Feb. 9, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected the government’s argument to lift the freeze on the president’s order and maintained that the court had jurisdiction in the case as a check on executive power.

Trump had argued that his order was a matter of national security and that the courts had no claim to decide the issue.

The panel ruled otherwise saying that such an argument “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

To read the complete CNS story, please visit



Annual Catholic Appeal Kick-off
Many parishes in our diocese showed their congregations the 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal yesterday.  As I reported in the Memo last week, the Appeal theme this year is: “With your help, we work wonders”.  I hope the interviews of parishioners, ministers and lay people in the video will be helpful in encouraging Catholics to give generously to the many ministries assisted by the Appeal.



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 below 14,000 donors – a small number of donors compared to the number of registered Catholics in our diocese — had contributed $3.795 million to the Appeal.


Now is the time to consider your gift.  I hope you chose to participate. Your gift will help form seminarians for future service as priests in our diocese. Your gift will benefit the poor among us and support the training of deacon and lay ministers who will serve in our parishes. Your gift will assist our young people and the pastoral works of the diocese. Your gift helps provide grants to needy parishes, schools and Catholic institutions that receive grants from the proceeds of this appeal for projects critical to their communities.


Saturday, I went out to St. Andrew Parish in Sierra Vista where the parish has a festive dinner to begin the Annual Appeal campaign. They 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. Fr. Greg is also the first to make his pledge.


I have already made my pledge and I ask you to help us reach our goal again this year.
Jubilee Celebration for the Religious Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese


Sunday, Feb. 19
Mass at 11 a.m.
Sts. Peter and Paul Church
1946 E. Lee St.


Fourteen religious celebrating significant anniversaries will be the guests of honor for this Mass and rightly so, since each has been a vowed religious for no less than 40 years!  Sister Ramona Pietrowski, I.H.M. is celebrating 80 years as a sister!  Wow!  Here’s list of the other jubilarians:



Sister Audrey Jean Loher, O.S.F.: 70 years
Sister Mary Ann Bogosoff, C.S.A.: 60 years
Sister Jacqui Moore, O.C.S.O: 60 years
Sister Charlene Acker, O.S.F.: 50 years
Sister Rebecca Anya, I.H.M.: 50 years
Sister Marilyn Bever, C.S.A.: 50 years
Sister Kathy Cook, C.S.A.: 50 years
Sister Ruth Holthouser, C.S.C.: 50 years
Sister Mary Kirkoff, M.M.S.: 50 years
Sister Susan Kolb, C.S.A.: 50 years
Sister Mary Rose Obholz, C.S.A.: 50 years
Sister Esther Sawal, O.S.C.O.: 50 years
Sister Michelle Humke, C.S.J.: 40 years.


Such tremendous service.  Imagine how many lives each of these people have touched.


to Suzanne Hopkins, who joins the Catholic Foundation full time this week as the Annual Catholic Appeal Manager. Before joining the Foundation, she was employed at the Muscular Dystrophy Association as Direct Marketing Information Systems Manager.


Suzanne brings over 10 years of fundraising and marketing experience to her position with the Foundation.


Suzanne and her family are members at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish (SEAS), where she serves as a catechist, youth minister, and minister of the homebound. When she is not volunteering at SEAS, she enjoys spending time with her family, her pets and Toodles –a “most awesome desert tortoise.” Suzanne also is dedicated to public service, advocating for public education, and supporting other youth causes. She sits on the board of the Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation and is serving her third term on the Marana Unified School District Governing Board.


“It is truly a blessing to be able to use my gifts to support the great mission of the Catholic Foundation. I am looking forward to my new role as Annual Catholic Appeal Manager, and pray that as a team we can continue to fund programs that bring help and hope to so many in need,” she said.


Mundelein Seminary Visits
On Tuesday I will host Father John Kartje, Rector of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, where many of our seminarians study, along with Ryan Butts, Director of Development for the seminary, at a dinner for Mundelein priest alumni serving in our diocese have been invited. It is good that the seminary is staying in touch with alumni and learning how it can better prepare candidates for service in our diocese.


On Wedneday pre-theologians from Mundelein will join me for prayer and dinner. They are working on our reservation at Topawa for the week. They are accompanied by two professors from the seminary Father August Belauskas and Father Brandon Luptan. They will be assisting Father Ponchie Vasquez, O.F.M.,  in helping the Tohono O’ odham people in whatever way they can. The seminarians come from many dioceses around the country, including one of our own,Dennis Marcos, who is in second pre-theology studies.


We welcome home four of our seminarians who will be doing a pastoral semester working at parishes in our diocese. Justin Terna Agbir, Paul Grandi, Jesus Haros and Peter John Pedrasa will get a real first-hand experience of ministry under supervision. Their mentors, Fathers John Arnold (St. Mark). Mike Bucchiarelli (Our Lady of the Mountains), Pat Crino (Sts. Perter and Paul), and Deacon Tony Underwood (St. Patrick’s in Bisbee) are looking forward to their ministry among us.


SW Medical Aid
This morning I am meeting with the volunteers of Southwest Medical Aid.  The organization, a ministry of the Salvatorian Community, gathers surplus and recovered medical goods and works to send them to places in need of the supplies because of emergencies or poverty, natural disasters or political unrest. These supplies go all over, to our state and well beyond; to Haiti, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Honduras, Uganda, and Ethiopia


The volunteers form the very core of this organization and I am always happy to participate in this annual Volunteer Recognition.  My thanks to the Board of Directors:  Cheryl Wilson-Weiss, S.D.S., President; Diego Navarrette, Jr. Vice President; Linda Sellner, Secretary; Elizabeth (Lisa) Ripley, Treasurer; Marcelino Flores, Yariela Olguin-Teran, Father John Pantuso, S.D.S, and Raul Silva for the fine work they do. They have welcomed a new Executive Director couple, Susan and Michael Taylor.


Mass at Villa Maria
It also is time for my visit to Villa Maria Care Center.  This facility provides assisted living and other care to many people.  Sister Dorothy Ann Lesher, C.S.J., continues to organize my visit and Mass and to minister as she can to the elderly at Villa Maria. It is a joy to see so many of our elderly attend Mass at the facility’s chapel, to visit with them afterward.


I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on students from Salpointe Catholic High School on Wednesday morning at Salpointe. These young adults are stepping forward to be disciples of Jesus Christ and I pray they will stay active and involved in the life of the Church.


Pastoral Center Directors’ Meeting
Thursday we will hold our monthly meeting of our Department Directors.  This month, departments will be bringing information on events coming up in the next few months to help each department anticipate calendar and tasks needed for each event.  We also will be discussing critical planning for those events nearest on the calendar and Msgr. McCarthy, our Moderator of the Curia, and I will be updating the Directors on important topics.


School visit
I will celebrate Mass and visit with the students of Sts. Peter and Paul School on Friday morning.  Principal Charlene Roll, N.B.C.T., and her faculty have their hands full with more than 404 students, and soon we will be heading into the very busy spring months – already.


Welcome Loyola Graduate Programs
I will make a presentation on Lay Ministry to members of the Association of Graduate Programs of Ministry from Loyola University for their 2017 Annual Meeting taking place at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson.


“Context, Reflection, and Integration in Ministerial Education Today” is a presentation that will be made by Facilitator Ed Foley, O.F.M, CAP, the Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality and Professor of Liturgy and Music at the Catholic Theological Union.


I learned online that “AGPIM was founded in 1987 to create a forum for graduate program directors and administrators to participate in collegial conversations about the education of ministers. Member institutions are currently training numerous students for roles as lay and ordained ministers of the Catholic Church. Members share common experiences and challenges, offer mutual support and dialogue, and work together to improve the state of training for ministers in the Catholic Church. Members are also able to participate in the annual member meeting, which occurs in various retreat centers throughout the United States.”


It is wonderful to have this group meeting in our diocese.


Protection Officers Convocation
Many of our parish compliance officers – those charged with ensuring that diocesan protection policies and plans are followed at all of parishes, ministries and events – will be gathering at San Miguel High School on Saturday, Feb. 18, for their annual convocation.


I know Dr. Rosemary Celaya-Alston has a well-planned training program planned, and working in collaboration with the YMCA and the Girl Scouts, participants will be hearing presentations by From Dark to Light, a community group working to help other organizations implement and following best practices for protection of young and vulnerable people.


The work done by our compliance officers is essential and I am grateful to each of those working hard to ensure that all attending our schools, our churches and that are involved in ministries are protected from harm.  Thank you!


Buon appetite
I finish up on Saturday with Mass and a great Italian Feast with members of the Italian Catholic Federation at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish.


This group, a mainstay at so many parishes in our country, works to support the Catholic faith and its values, encourages apostolic and charitable works, and celebrates our Italian American heritage and all the heritages of our communities.


Each year they give a gift to our diocese to support seminarians for which I am deeply grateful.


I look forward to savoring this event!



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.


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.  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.