Gerald Frederick Kicanas

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Gerald Frederick Kicanas
Bishop Emeritus of Tucson
Tucson AZ - Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas.jpg
Bishop Kicanas in 2013.
ChurchRoman Catholic
ArchdioceseSante Fe
AppointedOctober 30, 2001
InstalledMarch 7, 2003
Term endedOctober 3, 2017
PredecessorManuel Moreno
SuccessorEdward Weisenburger
OrdinationApril 27, 1967
ConsecrationMarch 20, 1995
by Joseph Bernardin, Alfred Leo Abramowicz, and Timothy Joseph Lyne
Personal details
Birth nameGerald Frederick Kicanas
Born (1941-08-18) August 18, 1941 (age 79)
Chicago, Illinois
Previous postAuxiliary Bishop of Chicago (1995–2002)
Styles of
Gerald Frederick Kicanas
Coat of arms of Gerald Frederick Kicanas.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Gerald Frederick Kicanas (born August 18, 1941) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Bishop of Tucson from January 15, 2002, to October 3, 2017. He served as the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Las Cruces from September 2018 to July 2019.

Early years[edit]

Gerald Kicanas was born in Chicago, Illinois, to parents being of Lebanese heritage, Frederick and Eva Kicanas. He attended Immaculate Heart Elementary School and Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago. He obtained his licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 27, 1967, and then earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago.

After working as an associate pastor until 1978, Kicanas held various offices at the archdiocesan seminary for over twenty-five years. He served as rector, principal, and Dean of Formation at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South, and became rector of Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1984. While rector, he also served as a lecturer in Community and Organization Development at Loyola University.


On January 24, 1995, Pope John Paul II named Kicanas Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Bela. He received his episcopal consecration on the March 20 from Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, with Bishops Alfred Abramowicz and Timothy Lyne serving as co-consecrators. Kicanas chose to express his episcopal motto in both Spanish and English: "La Justicia Promueve La Paz and "Justice begets peace".

During his tenure as an auxiliary, he served as Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate I in the archdiocese, which includes Lake and Cook Counties. He also became involved with vocations, the permanent diaconate, and encouragement of lay ministry.


Kicanas was named Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson, Arizona on October 30, 2001, and he was installed on January 15, 2002. He succeeded Manuel Moreno as the seventh Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003.[1] Kicanas has been praised for his handling of the sexual abuse crisis in his diocese, which had declared bankruptcy due to settlement costs.

On November 13, 2007, he was elected Vice-President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), receiving 22 more votes than Archbishop Timothy Dolan.[2] On February 28, 2008, the USCCB chose Kicanas as a member of the American delegation to the twelfth World Synod of Bishops, which was held in Vatican City in October 2008.[3] On November 16, 2010, Archbishop Dolan was elected as USCCB President,[4] the first time a sitting vice president who sought to become president was not elected.[5] On November 17, 2010, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, outgoing president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, appointed Kicanas chairman of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services.

In June 2009, Kicanas spoke at the annual meeting of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. His talk addressed the need for effective communications in the Catholic Church.[6][7]

In 2017, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Kicanas, Diocese of Tucson, and named as his successor Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger, who previously served as the Bishop of Salina since 2012.[8]

Kicanas was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Lewis University in 2010 honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Notre Dame on May 22, 2011.[9][10]

Bishop Kicanas assumed the duties as Chair of the Board of Directors at The National Catholic Educational Association on January 1, 2018, replacing Bishop George v. Murry, S.J.[11]

Las Cruces[edit]

On September 28, 2018, Kicanas was named temporary Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Las Cruces after Bishop Oscar Cantu was reassigned to the Diocese of San Jose, California.[12]


  1. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (March 8, 2003). "Resignation of Bishop in Troubled Tucson Diocese Is Accepted". New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  2. ^ Allen Jr., John L. (November 13, 2007). "USCCB Day Two: Kicanas elected vice-president". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  3. ^ "U.S. bishop delegates to World Synod appointed". Catholic News Agency. February 27, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  4. ^ Filteau, Jerry (November 16, 2010). "Spurning tradition, Bishops elect Dolan as new president". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  5. ^ Fox, Thomas C. (November 18, 2010). "U.S. bishops' rejection of Bishop Kicanas has got to hurt". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  6. ^ Gibson, David. "2009 Annual Meeting: Bishop Kicanas Speaks on Effective Church Communications". National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Gerald Kicanas. "2009 Annual Meeting: Bishop Gerald Kicanas on effective communication". National Ledership Roundtable on Church Management. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "Bishop Kicanas of Tucson retires; pope names Kansas bishop his successor".
  9. ^ University of Notre Dame. "Honorary Degree". Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "NCEA Press Release". 2018-01-01.
  12. ^

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Manuel Duran Moreno
Bishop of Tucson
Succeeded by
Edward Weisenburger
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
Succeeded by