Monday Memo, June 5, 2017. Vol. 15, No. 20

Posted on by Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas





Photos by Steff Koeneman — Deacons Callistus Iyorember, (left) and Martin Moreno lie prostrate at the altar at St. Augustine Cathedral during their ordination on Saturday. The act of lying on the floor “symbolizes their unworthiness for the office to be assumed and their dependence upon God and the prayers of the Christian community.”


Welcome Fathers Iyorember and Moreno!
It was with great joy that I imposed hands on Callistus Iyorember and Martin Moreno, ordaining them to priesthood and welcoming them to the presbyterate of the Diocese of Tucson. Along with me were more than 50 priests from across our diocese who also imposed hands to ordain their new brothers in the beautiful liturgy held at St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday.

Above, Fathers Manuel Viera and Gonzalo Villegas impose hands on Callistus Iyorember and Martin Moreno during the ordination.


I have watched both men grow in wisdom and faith as they worked through their seminary studies, and I look forward to seeing how they employ their gifts in their new ministries.  Father Iyorember’s first assignment is St. Mark Parish in Oro Valley, and Father Moreno will begin his ministry at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma.


The liturgy was filled with spontaneous applause for the new priests from those who watched the ordination from the pews.  It truly was an uplifting experience, and following the ordination, our new priests spent their first minutes in ministry giving blessings to dozens of people who supported their priesthood over the years.


Serving during the Mass were many of our seminarians, each one at a different point in their studies in preparation of priesthood.  Included with them, were John Gonzalez and Tom Quirk, both entering their final year of study in theology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wis., and St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein Ill. On June 17, they will be ordained transitional deacons along with the permanent deacons, and then, God-willing, they will be ordained as priests in June 2018.


The newly ordained priests give blessings to their parents: Margaret and John Iyorember in the foreground, and Alejandro and Dolores Moreno to the right of the photo.

The very next day, St. Augustine Cathedral hosted another liturgy in celebration of the certification of 13 Lay Ecclesial Ministers, or LEMs, who now have completed their training.


LEMs provide much needed support to our deacons and priests, and it is fitting that these lay ministers have been thoroughly trained to offer that assistance.  I am grateful for their dedication and for their service.


Congratulations to the following LEMs:

Deborah Ann Ruder Amash
St. Pius X, Tucson

Mark DeGrofft
St. Pius X, Tucson

Sharon Hammond
Saints Peter and Paul, Tucson

Helen Maria Jansen-Guerrero
Immaculate Conception, Yuma

Cari Kimminau
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson

Teresita de Jesus Kontos
Immaculate Conception, Yuma

Steven LeGendre
St. Cyril of Alexandria, Tucson

Marianne Martin
St. Pius X, Tucson

Ann Joy Napolitano
Our Lady of Grace, Maricopa

Carla Peralta
Our Lady of Grace, Maricopa

Nancy Rodriguez
Immaculate Conception, Yuma

Francisca Elena Treviño
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Tucson

Kristin Van Tilborg
St. Francis de Sales, Tucson


Over these four years I have seen the gifts these men and women will bring to the Church grow and flourish. They love the Church and are eager to share their gifts generously to further Christ’s mission. For that I am deeply grateful.


Permanent Deacon Ordinations
Speaking of ordinations, I will be in Yuma on Saturday, June 10 to ordain six men as Permanent Deacons at St. John Neumann Parish.  The liturgy begins at 10 a.m.  There will be a second such ordination in Tucson at St. Augustine Cathedral on June 17, also at 10 a.m.


Preparation for the diaconate takes four years, during which time the wives of the future deacons can also receive formation. Wives must give consent for their husbands to pursue the diaconate.


The formation to become a deacon is intense and human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation. In human formation they learn about themselves, their ability to relate to others and to deal with conflict and issues of personal growth. In intellectual formation they learn theology, church history, canon law and the Bible. In spiritual formation they seek to grow in their relationship with the Lord and to become men of prayer. In pastoral formation, they learn the skills of ministry like preaching, proclaiming God’s word, how to baptize and conduct Eucharistic services, blessing of marriages and conducting funerals outside of Mass.


Deacons have become a critical part of clergy support at many of our parishes.  Deacons can lead rosaries, visit the sick and assist priests at Mass.  They cannot consecrate Holy Eucharist or hear confessions.


My sincere thanks to Sister Lois Paha, O.P. D.Min., and her staff along with Deacon Rick Valencia, Vicar for Deacons, and some of his brother deacons for all the work they have done with the formation of and ordinations of our Permanent Deacons and LEMs. It is demanding work, and they do it well.


Thanks also to the members of the Pastoral Center staff who assisted over the weekend. The beautiful liturgies and organization could not take place without the help of so many people.


Campaign for Human Development
I will travel to Indianapolis on Sunday to join the Subcommittee meeting for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development just prior to our Spring Bishops’ meeting being held next week in Indianapolis.


The CCHD is the national anti-poverty and social justice program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  The theme of this year’s campaign is “Working on the Margins” under the leadership of Bishop David P. Talley of Alexandria, La., who is Chair of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.


I very much like the introduction to the campaign he wrote in a letter for campaign directors: “The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) works to empower people who live in poverty to bring the transforming mercy of Jesus into their communities. By encouraging your parishes to support this collection you are extending the hand of solidarity to those living on the margins.”


If you would like to know more about the CCHD, I would suggest you read the rest of that letter at


Helping others is a basic tenet of our faith.  I urge all of us to consider how we may help this effort.


Installation of Bishop Steven Biegler
I am looking forward to my quick trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming to witness the ordination and installation of Bishop Steven Biegler as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Cheyenne. The Diocese of Cheyenne is part of Region XIII of which the Diocese of Tucson is part.


I read online that Wyoming is known as “Big Wyoming,” the “Cowboy State,” and the “Equality State.” What is not to love about a state whose motto is “Equal Rights”?


Bishop Biegler is one of 13 children and was the Vicar General of Rapid City and Rector of Western South Dakota’s Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in South Dakota. He may be familiar with his new home, as it is not all that far from Rapid City.


Notre Dame ACE Academy Board Meeting
I will be back in Tucson in time to attend the Notre Dame ACE Academy Board meeting.  As you may know, the Diocese of Tucson has two ACE Academies:  St. John the Evangelist and Santa Cruz.  ACE stands for Alliance for Catholic Education.


Notre Dame provides teachers and educational support to the academies, which often are under-resourced and that may have under-achieving student populations.  Using strong curriculum with emphasis on Catholic identity, student populations flourish academically and spiritually.


Review Board
The Sexual Misconduct Review Board meets at the Pastoral Center on Wednesday. Several members are completing their second term and are deciding about a third year on the Board.


I will confer the sacrament of Confirmation on young people at St. Rose of Lima in Safford Wednesday afternoon.


Annual Catholic Appeal
The Catholic Foundation reports that as of the close of business on May 31, we have received $3.63 million in pledges and donations.  Many thanks to the generosity of the parishioners of, and visitors to, our diocese; including 1,423 new donors.


We are now over 94 percent of the way to this year’s goal of $3.85 million, and a little over $60,000 ahead of last year.


Congratulations to two more parishes, Sts. Peter and Paul in Tucson, and St. George in Apache Junction, that have met or exceeded their pledge goal for 2017, bringing the total to twenty-five.


Another goal this year was to increase parishioner participation by at least 10 percent, and 16 parishes have met that goal.


I urge everyone to consider contributing to the Appeal. If you take a look at my Facebook page at , you’ll see images from Saturday’s ordination of two priests for our diocese. Contributions to the Appeal help make the training of new priests possible.


Sunday, June 4
Pentecost Sunday, the recognition of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, is celebrated 50 days from Easter Sunday. It is also the tenth day after Ascension Thursday, which is 40 days from Easter. This is a major feast of the Church and was celebrated with solemnity in all of our parishes yesterday.


It was an honor to confirm young people from Corpus Christi and St. Augustine Cathedral. What a great day to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation the very day the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles in the upper room.



Silver Anniversary of Ordination
Father Gonzalo Villegas, Rector of St. Augustine Cathedral, will celebrate his 25th Anniversary of Ordination on Saturday, June 10 at the 5:30 Mass. Congratulations to Fr. Gonzalo and gratitude for his service at the Cathedral.