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2018 Winner of the Bishop John England Award
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Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas
Catholic Outlook, Tucson, AZ

For his more than 50 years as a priest, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas has been a champion of Catholic social teaching at its ground level. Whether promoting the messages of immigration reform, overseas aid through Catholic Relief Services, or simply extending a hand of solidarity through the cold steel of a border wall, Bishop Kicanas has been a living icon of the Good Shepherd.

What many don't know is his savvy and steely use of diocesan media, especially his ground-breaking blog "Monday Memo" and the Catholic Vision-Catholic Outlook newspaper. Using his weekly blog to communicate directly to priests, parishes, Catholics and anyone who requests it, Bishop Kicanas used "Memo" as a primary teaching tool, a travelogue, an expression of gratitude, an update on clergy, and on more than a few occasions, to break hard or challenging news to the Catholic faithful. During the last two years, it also appeared in Spanish.

For many, the week could not begin until reading "Monday Memo." As a publisher, Bishop Kicanas had the highest respect for the newspaper. He left editors alone to edit and publish the important news of the day, and he supported the paper full throat with columns in English and Spanish. When challenged over the use of Spanish in the newspaper, Bishop Kicanas was unflappable and undeterred. He would quiet the critics with a pastoral word, an arm around the shoulder and a gentle smile.

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