The Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas
Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Tucson
Former Chairman of the Bishops Committee on the Diaconate
The Most Reverend Gerald Kicanas was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, from where he obtained his licentiate in Sacred Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 27, 1967, and then earned a PhD in Educational Psychology and an MEd in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago.
After working as an associate pastor until 1978, Kicanas held various offices within the archdiocesan seminary for over twenty-five years. He was appointed rector of Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1984.
On January 24, 1995, Kicanas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 20 from Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. Kicanas’ episcopal motto is: "La Justicia Promueve La Paz", meaning "Justice begets peace" (Isaiah 32:17).
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 highly involved with vocations, the permanent diaconate, and encouragement of lay ministry.
Kicanas was named Coadjutor Bishop of Tucson, Arizona on October 30, 2001, being formally installed as such on January 15, 2002. He later succeeded Manuel Moreno as the seventh Bishop of Tucson on March 7, 2003. 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 On February 28, 2008, Kicanas was chosen by the USCCB, and confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI, to become a member of the American delegation to the twelfth World Synod of Bishops, which was held in the Vatican from October 5 to October 26, 2012. On November 17, 2010 Kicanas was appointed chairman of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors by Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, outgoing president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.