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Wednesday Update

Congratulations Father Haros-Mendez!

Photos by Steff Koeneman
Above, Bishop imposes hands on Jesus Haros-Mendez during the ordination last Saturday. In the photo at right, Father Angel Iram Santiago Torres welcomes now Father Jesus to the brotherhood of priests.       

We had a beautiful Ordination at St. Augustine Cathedral last Saturday.  Father Jesus will spend one more year at Mundelein Seminary for additional studies, before joining his brother priests in service here in our diocese.

This weekend brings the ordination of  Deacon Justin Terna Agbir, 33, who will be ordained by Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe, C.M.F. at God the Father of All Mankind Parish in Makurdi, Nigeria.  He is assigned as a parochial vicar at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson.

Please join me in praying for our new priests and in praying that their ministries be long and successful. 

Parish Board of Directors Convocation and Pastoral Council Meeting

We will hold this meeting on Saturday, June 8 at the Cathedral Square Conference, Educational and Pastoral Center.

Members of our parish Boards of Directors come together annually for training specific to their roles as directors.  Just less than 100 directors or parish representatives are expected to attend.  Topics include a review of Parish Corporation documents, such as Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Minutes and Parish Service Agreements.  Other presentations will be made about the role of compliance officers, diocesan construction policies, parish budgets and strategic planning.  There also will be information on Roberts Rules of Order and corporate meeting order.

After a break, the annual Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting will take place.  Sister Lois Paha, OP,  and I will lead an open forum for parish delegates. Sister is our Director of Pastoral Services.

Youth Pentecost Mass and Retreat

Later on Saturday I will celebrate Pentecost Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Tucson. This Mass is being celebrated as part of a youth retreat.  Speaking of Pentecost, I will be conferring the sacrament of Confirmation on young people at St. Augustine Cathedral on the June 9 feast day.

Meeting of the US Bishops

News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials from the meeting will be posted to as soon as possible during the General Assembly.

Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter ( as well as on Facebook ( and Instagram (


I will be attending the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Spring General Assembly in Baltimore from June 10 to June 14. Information from the USCCB read: "During the assembly, the bishops will discuss and vote on bishop accountability measures to respond to the abuse crisis and will also hear reports from the National Advisory Council and an annual progress report by the National Review Board.   

The bishops will also discuss and vote on the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States (2nd edition); and on the final approval of revisions made to the second typical edition of the ICEL Gray Book of the Ordination of a Bishop, of Priests, and of Deacons.

The assembly will also discuss and vote on the revised passage of the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults and subsequent recognitio from Rome. The bishops will also hear a report on the Committee on Priorities and Plans on the Strategic Priorities of the Conference for the development of the 2021-2024 USCCB Strategic Plan.  They will also hear reports from Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis as well as a report on the Bishops Working Group on Immigration Issues and an update from the Bishops' Working Group on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.

There will also be a voice vote on the cause for canonization of the Servant of God Irving (a.k.a. Francis) C. Houle, a stigmatic, visionary and healer from Michigan.


More congratulations!

To Msgr. Tom Cahalane who will begin retirement with a big send off from Our Mother of Sorrows on Saturday. Other priests retiring include Msgr. Al Schifano, Father John Friel and Carmelite Father Ron Oakham.  Father Walter Balduck, O.F.M. Cap., also is included in this group. While he retired last year, he has now left our diocese. Franciscan Friar Matthias Crehan, who has been serving in our diocese since 2016 and who was most recently Parish Administrator at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Tombstone also is retiring.

Below is information about our retiring priests. For more information check out the June/July issue of the Catholic Outlook in parishes next week.

Msgr. Schifano

Born July 20, 1938, in Detroit to Isidoro and Vita (Parinello) Schifano, he attended a Catholic school there until his family relocated to Tucson in 1945. He attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School and Salpointe High School and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's in education in 1961.

Eventually, he became a ranking executive at Sundt Construction, Inc., and he and his wife Alice had two children. Alice died in 1991, and then Msgr. Schifano began to experience a call to the priesthood. He entered the seminary in 1996 and studied at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.

He was ordained in 2001 and his first assignment was as parochial vicar at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Tucson. He was appointed Moderator of the Curia in 2004, leading the Office of Corporate Matters.

In March of 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a Prefect of the Papal Household and the title of "monsignor."

Bishop Kicanas described Msgr. Schifano as "a trusted friend who works tirelessly to improve the functioning of our Pastoral Center and parishes."

Msgr. Schifano will most be remembered for his integral role assisting with the 2004 Chapter 11 reorganization.

He stepped down from the Moderator's position in 2014. In a "Monday Memo," Bishop Kicanas wrote: "Many of us remember how well Msgr. Al guided us during our diocesan Chapter 11 re-organization – no small task - and how his business savvy, strength and faith led us along until the very long process was complete. The job was so well done, that other dioceses now seem to be following our example as a model in their own similar proceedings.

"Without fail, our Msgr. Al kept things steady and moving forward. He was and is a great gift to our diocese!"

Msgr. Schifano immediately transitioned to the diocesan Vocations Director for Seminarians, relinquishing his role as Vicar General in 2016.

Msgr. Cahalane

He was born in Maulmoreen Glendore, County Cork, Ireland Oct. 5, 1938, to Thomas and Hannah (O'Donovan) Cahalane and attended local schools before entering St. Patrick College in Carlow for his seminary studies in 1957. He completed his undergraduate, philosophy and theology studies there.

He was ordained June 8, 1963, at Carlow, Ireland by Bishop Thomas Keogh of Kildare and Leighlin.

He followed his cousin, Father Cornelius "Con" Cahalane, and moved to Arizona to join the Diocese of Tucson, which then included what is now the Diocese of Phoenix. He has served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Scottsdale (1963-67); St. Bartholomew Parish, San Manuel; and at St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson, as associate pastor, 1969-72. His one and only pastorate began at Our Mother of Sorrows in 1981.

He became a US citizen in 1969.

He served as diocesan director of the Catholic Youth Organization/ Youth Ministry, 1972-76, and later as the Vicar for Education from 1976-82. He has also served in the Priests' Senate, Presbyteral Council, as vicar forane for Pima East, as the diocesan ecumenical officer and as the regional representative to the National Federation of Priest Councils.

Other projects in which he has been involved include the Queen of All Angels Orphanage in Agua Prieta, Mexico; the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen; and the Pima County Interfaith Council.

When he marked the 50th anniversary of his priesthood in 2013, he said, "The overwhelming sentiment I have is one of gratitude for God's call to serve others."

He published a book of poetry in 2013 called "The Poetry Within."

Coming out of the 2004 reorganization, he served as the president of the board of parish corporations for the Diocese.

He served as vicar forane of the Pima East Vicariate.

In 2015, he received one of 12 national Distinguished Pastor Awards from the National Catholic Educational Association for outstanding support of Catholic elementary education.

He was a longtime friend of Catholic columnist and author Father Andrew Greeley, and Our Mother of Sorrows hosted a memorial Mass following Father Greeley's death May 30, 2013. He also concelebrated at the priest's Chicago funeral Mass.

Msgr. Cahalane received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award in 2009 for outstanding contributions to Catholic Education. The following year, he was among a group of priests with the titles of "monsignor" honored by the Catholic Foundation at its annual Cornerstone Gala.

He is known for supporting innovative parish ministries, including Jean Fedigan's Sister Jose Women's Center and Joan Martin's Haiti Project. In 2015, Msgr. Cahalane was part of a parish delegation that visited Haiti, where the parish began working in 2005.

Father Friel

Born March 8, 1942, in Philadelphia to John and Catherine (O'Brien) Friel, he attended local Catholic elementary and high schools. He enrolled at West Chester State College in West Chester, Pennsylvania, before transferring to Niagara University, a Vincentian school in Lewiston, New York. He graduated with a bachelors in 1968. He was ordained for the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Sept. 12, 1970, in Holy Innocents Church in Philadelphia, by Bishop Edward J. Schlotterback of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. He also did post-graduate work at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California (1979-80) and Webster University in Webster, Missouri, earning a masters from Webster in 1983. He also served in the US Navy in the 1970s.

He served in various Oblate ministries (1970-90) before his appointment as the founding president of Yuma Catholic High School in 1999. He served there until 2003, when he was appointed pastor of St. John Neumann in Yuma.

He was incardinated into the Diocese of Tucson on July 1, 2004.

He was part of a 2007 delegation led by Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas to Mexico as part of Catholic Relief Services' Mexico Project. The goal was to help Mexican workers obtain US H2A visas for working on US farms.

He was appointed to a third six-year term as pastor in 2015.

Father Oakham

Born July 11, 1949, in Newport, Rhode Island, to Herbert and Rita (Theriault) Oakham, he attended St. Anthony Catholic School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, before entering the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts in 1963. He also attended Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, (1967-68), and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1969-72), earning a bachelor's degree.

He studied summers at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina (1972-75) before enrolling in the Washington Theological Union, Silver Spring, Maryland (1974-77), completing work on a master's in theology in 1984.

He was ordained a Carmelite priest by Bishop Kenneth A. Angell in St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth on May 7, 1977. His early assignments included as parochial vicar in a parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; as the director of the Catechumenate in the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey; and as a pastor in a parish in Houston, Texas. He served as commissary provincial at the Carmelite Priory at Salpointe Catholic High School (1994-99) before being assigned pastor of St. Cyril Parish in Tucson in 2008.

During his time at St. Cyril's, he was involved in a program that worked with preparing inmates for the sacraments of initiation. He served on the Presbyteral Council representing the Pima East Vicariate.

Father Balduck

Born Aug. 21, 1935, in Detroit to William F. and Anne (Murphy) Balduck, he attended local Catholic elementary and high schools before enrolling at the University of Detroit, administered by the Sisters of Mercy. He graduated with a bachelors, studying English and Education, in 1965.

He entered the novitiate for the Capuchin Friars in the Province of St. Joseph in 1966, making his solemn profession on Dec. 18, 1967. He studied theology at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated with a bachelor's June 2, 1968.

He was ordained a Capuchin on June 9, 1973, at the community motherhouse in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, by Bishop Salvador Schlaefer, a Capuchin serving in Bluefields, Nicaragua.

Following ordination, he served in parishes in Wisconsin and Montana, before spending 10 years in communities in Nicaragua and Panama. In 1992, he returned to Detroit to serve a year as superior at St. Bonaventure Monastery, before a stint as a retreat master and pastor in Saginaw, Michigan.

In 2001, he moved to Casa San Jose, a Capuchin residence in Tucson, in semi-retirement. He served as administrator briefly at St. Therese, Patagonia, and Blessed Sacrament, Mammoth, 2007-09.

"I enjoyed being in Patagonia where I was the parish administrator at St. Therese of Lisieux. I liked the mountains, the view, the running water and the lake and especially the people," he said in an interview. "I have also served in Nicaragua during a civil war there and in Panama. I've been an itinerant priest. I've enjoyed moving around. I'm grateful to God for the call to ministry."

Father Crehan

Born Nov. 1, 1947, in Detroit, he was ordained as a Franciscan by Chicago Archbishop Joseph Bernardin, in Dayton, Ohio on June 7, 1975. He came to the Diocese of Tucson on Oct. 1, 2016 and was appointed administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Tombstone on July 1, 2017.

You're invited to pray

RosaryMsgr. Raul Trevizo, Father Jorge Farias Saucedo, Sister Gladys Echenique, OP, Sister Jeanne Bartholomeaux, SC, and I recently recorded a recitation of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. The recordings, in both English and Spanish, now are available at your parish for no cost while supplies last.  If you prefer, the recordings also are available as downloadable MP3 files, also at no charge, at our diocesan webpage at 

As I wrote in a letter to our priests, " I would like to focus attention on sharing the power of prayer with our brothers and sisters, specifically prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. In the sh0rt time that I've been in our Diocese I have come to understand that the need for more priestly vocations is at the top of our most critical issues for the future. Addressing this need first and foremost with prayer is critical, and for that I need your help."

Each CD or MP3 download includes a very brief introduction to prayer followed by me praying the first decade. The others follow me, each praying a decade or two. I encourage you to join us in prayer for priestly vocations.