Monsignor Thomas Cahalane
Diocese of Tucson, Arizona
Reverend Monsignor Thomas Cahalane was ordained in Ireland 56 years ago and came to America to serve as the pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in the Diocese of Tucson for the past 38 years. Monsignor Cahalane has a passion for ministry and under his leadership Our Mother of Sorrows Parish has become known for its social justice and charitable work all over the world.
The outreach of Monsignor Cahalane’s ministry work goes well beyond the Diocese of Tucson. He has founded and works with several ministries all over the world including Our Mother of Sorrows Haiti Project, Queen of All Angels Orphanage in Agua Prieta, border immigration outreach in Nogales, and Sister Jose Women’s Center in Tucson among others. These ministries were founded and have grown under Monsignor Cahalane because of his encouragement to his parishioners to delve deeply in their personal spiritual journeys, focusing on the ministry of their everyday lives.
Monsignor Cahalane has coined the phrase “put shoes on the Gospel” and lives by it daily as a reminder that your faith is lived every day through every encounter. He is recognized as a leader by the entire community of Tucson for living as a missionary disciple. His devotion to prayer, service and faith has transformed and made a lasting impact on many lives and communities around the world.
Monsignor Cahalane has collaborated with lay ministers and lay people in his parish to pursue several ministries and projects within Our Mother of Sorrows. Monsignor Cahalane started the Our Mother of Sorrows Haiti Project nearly twenty years ago, and other Our Mother of Sorrows ministries include community outreach, Respect for Life, Hispanic Mass, Ladies Guild, Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and bereavement. Most of these ministries began with a parishioner’s initial conversation with Monsignor Cahalane, and he immediately worked to address the issue.
Our Mother of Sorrows was the first parish to begin a Catholic Social Teaching through the “Just Faith” series, rejuvenating the Catholic faith in their parish by bringing more than 400 people back during the 35 years of the program. Monsignor Cahalane has a passion for serving others through love, compassion and without judgment.
He began a ministry ten years ago to open an emergency women’s shelter and has served as the president of the Sister Jose Women’s Center board ever since. Sister Jose Women’s Center has grown from an initial 20 women volunteer-based ministry to a now city-wide ministry serving over 100 women per day and 40 women overnight. The center has helped more than 80 women leave the streets for a more sustainable and safe life.
Monsignor Cahalane continues to grow these ministries by encouraging his parish’s youth to take part in the work by hosting retreats, seminars and prayer services. “My ministry is motivated by my trust and faith in the Lord, and it helps me 'put shoes on the Gospel,'” he said.