Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Posted in Apostolates on December 17, 2012
Tucson Latin Mass

That the desert can harbor plentiful life can be discovered by a visit to the Southwest. The "green desert" of Tucson is well known for its humongous cacti and rich variety of desert plants. In this town there is also a spiritual oasis which refreshes its visitors with the beauty and bounty of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite:  St. Gianna Oratory, named after the Italian pediatrician, wife and mother Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962) who sacrificed her life to save the life of her fourth child Gianna Emanuela whom she was expecting. St. Gianna Oratory is the thirteenth apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King in the United States and it is canonically erected at Holy Family Church, the oldest Catholic church in Tucson. It is also the home of an active and committed pro-life group.

This past Saturday, November 17th, the Feast of St. Gregory the Wonderworker, was a very special day for our community. We were blessed to receive the Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop of Tucson, for a pastoral visit. His Excellency signed our sacramental registers and looked at the ongoing renovation work of Holy Family Church which will celebrate its one hundredth anniversary in the coming year. Bishop Kicanas then entered the Oratory in procession in order to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation to thirty-two candidates. The church was filled to the last seat and additional chairs had to be set up to accommodate all the faithful attending. During his sermon Bishop Kicanas reminded the Confirmandi of the supernatural character of this sacrament which perfects Baptism and strengthens us inwardly to witness Christ. The joy was radiant in the faces of the newly Confirmed! They were confirmed in the name of the Most Holy Trinity with fullness and an abundance of grace. They thought back on the two years of preparation, on their final exam, and on their Confirmation Retreat this past November 10. They thought of their Confirmation saint whose name they had added to their baptismal name. Among the newly Confirmed are two couples who had been received into the Catholic Church just two weeks earlier. They converted from Protestantism and are rejoicing now as confirmed Catholics. There is also one lady who married at St. Gianna Oratory two weeks after her Confirmation. One faithful made his First Holy Communion at the age of forty in November and was then confirmed as well. There are many beautiful and moving stories. Half of the Confirmation students came from St. Gianna Oratory and the other half from Holy Family Church whose Religious Education Program and parish management have been confided by Bishop Kicanas to  the good care of the Institute of Christ the King.  Lay Catechists like Mrs. Sylvia Cordova and Mrs. Dori Downs from the Marian Catechist Apostolate, founded by the Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, S.J., and directed nationally by His Eminence the Most Rev. Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, are assisting the Rector of the Oratory, Canon Richard von Menshengen, with religious instruction.  Events like these Confirmations are a great opportunity for guests and for the parishioners of Holy Family Church to discover the awesomeness of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

It was especially moving for all the clergy and faithful in attendance to see Bishop Kicanas celebrate Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This is the second time that His Excellency, who was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1967, has celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Gianna Oratory. Canon Richard von Menshengen, the Rector of the Oratory, Fr. David Reinders, Chaplain at the Veterans' Hospital in Tucson, and Canon William Avis, Master of Ceremonies for the North-American Province of the Institute of Christ the King, assisted Bishop Kicanas in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass. St. Gianna Oratory Choir sang traditional Latin hymns under the direction of Miss Marie Hackert accompanied by our organist Miss Claire Gauger.

After the Low Mass of a Bishop, the newly Confirmed were invited to take pictures with His Excellency who also took time to hand the Confirmation certificates to each one of them.

A festive reception with fine foods in honor of Bishop Kicanas awaited the faithful in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall. Canon von Menshengen presented His Excellency with a spiritual bouquet prepared by the newly Confirmed, together with a basket with seven bottles of good red wine which should remind us of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. Bishop Kicanas graciously took time to visit with all the families. All were enchanted to see a cake bearing the Bishop's coat of arms and another one with the Institute's crest being served for dessert.

This past November 17th, Feast of St. Gregory the Wonderworker, was truly a day of heavenly sweetness, filled with joy and gratitude.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson
Confirmations and Pontifical Mass in Tucson