- Catholic Common Ground Initiative - http://catholiccommonground.org -

2008 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award Citation

June 27th, 2008

Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, Ph.D.

Shortly after Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas arrived in the Diocese of Tucson in November of 2001, a senior and much-respected priest of the diocese said publicly about him. “He’s our ‘Energizer Bishop.’ He just keeps going, and going, and going, and going!”

In the seven years since, two as coadjutor and five as the sixth bishop of the diocese, the energy and pace of Bishop Jerry (as he likes to be called) have only increased.

For the more than 350,000 Catholics in his diocese and to his brother bishops, though, it is not just the fact of his unflagging energy and his seeming ability to be in twenty different places at the same time that have endeared Bishop Jerry to them and that have gained their respect.

It is the intense focus of that energy, a focus that hones in like a laser beam on the things that really matter to people and finds the common ground of those things.  To mention just some of those things on which he has focused:

In each of his 13 years as a bishop, he has modeled the example set for him by his friend who ordained him to the episcopacy, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. He has been a man of prayer, a listener, a reconciler, and an initiator.

For his productive and faithful service to the church for 41 years as priest, teacher, seminary rector, and bishop, and for his commitment to finding the common ground of things that really matter, the Catholic Common Ground Initiative proudly gives the 2008 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award to Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas.