Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas to celebrate Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Francis

Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, D.D., of Tucson will lead local Catholics in prayer for the future of the newly-elected Pope Francis at noon at St. Augustine Cathedral on Friday, March 15.

All are invited to the celebration at the Cathedral at 192 S. Stone Ave.

Bishop Kicanas, who also is Chairman of Catholic Relief Services, was in Baltimore for meetings during the historic papal election, and he released the following statement after hearing the news of the election of the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Argentina.

“Our heartfelt congratulations and prayers go out to our new Holy Father Francis,” said Bishop Gerald Kicanas. “We pledge to him our loyalty and obedience as he takes up his challenging role as Vicar of Christ.

“I have every confidence our Holy Father will help the Church address the challenges of our day and that he will communicate the joy and hope that only comes in knowing the love of Jesus Christ.

“I was moved by his thoughtful prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, symbolizing the smooth transition in the leadership of the Church. I also was inspired by the way he asked the people to bless and pray for him prior to him giving his first apostolic blessing.

“His choice of the name Francis may reflect his embracing the simplicity of St. Francis of Assisi, or the missionary zeal of St. Francis Xavier.

“I invite all the priests, deacons, religious and people of our Diocese who are able, to join us in celebration and prayer, that the Spirit will guide our Holy Father Francis.

“It is the responsibility of the Holy Father to hold our global community of faith in communion. He has a home in every country and in every heart, and we look forward to a future time when he visits the United States; we would be thrilled if he stopped in Tucson.”

The Diocese of Tucson covers roughly 43,000 square miles and counts over 350,000 people as members of the Catholic Church. The boundaries of the diocese extend south to the Mexican Border; west to Yuma and the California border; north to Florence, Arizona; and East nearly to the New Mexico border.

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EmailS.Koeneman@diotuc.org                               Telephone520.838.2500                                520.838.2590

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson 1897-2014 — Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center, 111 S. Church Ave. Tucson, AZ, 85702. Tel: 520.838.2500 Fax:520.792.0291