Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email info@sttheresaphx.org

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-12noon         Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
7:30AM
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
(Confession)
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment

Pastor

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Priest in Residence

Rev. Kevin Grimditch

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri

Deacons

Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri

 

Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

www.stcs.us

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax

 

 

Administration
Thursday
Aug032017

August 6, 2017

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

   St. Theresa Catholic School starts this week for another academic year. There have been some members of our parish have been getting ready for this opening event all summer. Clothes, shoes, school supplies of varying kinds were purchased. New Principal, new  teachers, new schedules, new faces will have to be learned (prime opportunity for some Evangelization…).

  Moms and Dads will leave  their little darlings off as they hand their care over to others. Some children will be left off with sighs of relief. Some children will have a photograph while other children will make a video. There will be a few tears from some children and parents alike. Other veteran parents will just smile. First year college students are stopping by the parish just to share with us, that they will be off to their universities in a few days. They have already started corresponding with their soon-to-be roommates so as to see who would bring the mini-fridge and who will bring the microwave. Of course there should be no duplicate CDs as space is at a premium. The anticipation is almost freighting. Lots of anticipation and excitement on the parts of most. Every day contains excitement and anticipation if we but look and see how blessed and graced we are. Then we invite others into our blessed and graced lives. That is Evangelization “on the hoof”. Every day is a new start with all kinds of adventures. All of us, like this year’s parents and students, have opportunity to get started again. Just like those students who ran off to dive right into the adventure, we are called to jump into this gift of life with all we have and invite others into our lives. Remember that is what evangelization is at the core. Inviting others into our grace filled lives. We are called to proclaim the Good News of Jesus with joy and excitement: to evangelize! We have been given a mission. We have the mission of helping in the gathering of all to experience the great and powerful love of God. There were a few students who hung back clinging to the familiar. Those students were wanting to stay with mom or dad. We know that there are those in our own community who want the safety of clinging to the old and the familiar. However we are called, like that wise second grader who with love took the hand of her sister and gently led her away from mom to something new. We are to lead with compassion, others who might need more support to “new life”. This new life is the life of salvation won for the baptised by the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ - the Paschal Mystery. Out of love in faithfulness to the Father’s will, our Savior procured for us everlasting life! We do indeed have much to be excited about, and we must share this with others. We are called to embrace and live his way through evangelization. It is a great time of year to Evangelize.  It’s a wonderful time of year.  WE go out and Evangelize.

~Fr. JC

 

Thursday
Aug032017

Reflections - July 30, 2017

THE ART OF LIVING
Do you recall last week’s “Pastor’s Note”? It was about being KIND. I suggested that, “Our lives would be more attractive to others when we are KIND. That is one of the components to Evangelization. To live lives that are at-tractive to others. To evangelize is to be KIND.” I don’t know about you, but I am almost sure that most of us are attracted to kind people. After all, the kindness they exude is contagious. There it is once again, as plain as the nose on my face, simple, direct and obvious. EVANGELIZATION is living well, which embodies being kind. It is not something hard to achieve. It is as simple and as direct and as obvious as realizing that all it takes to be gracious is to be kind. All it takes to Evangelize is to live attractive inviting lives. Pope Emertius Benedict XVI even wrote that living well is the path toward happiness. “To evangelize means to show this path - to teach the art of living,” he says. The retired pope goes on to say that Evangelization entails more than proclaiming doctrines and moral truths. More fundamentally it is teaching what he calls, “the art of living.” For hundreds of years, men and women learned the art of living from a predominately Judeo-Christian culture that handed on the wisdom of how to live a happy life from one generation to the next. Perhaps as society has forgotten the way to be gracious, we have forgot-ten how to live happy lives. “The deepest [human] poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life consid-ered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today, in very different forms in the materially rich as well as the poor countries. The inability of joy presupposes and produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice - all defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world. This is why we are in need of a new evangelization - if the art of living remains an unknown, nothing else works.” Our de-Christianized, relativistic, “anything goes” society has cut itself off from this tradition. Benedict was concerned that the essential values to live a happy life are no longer being passed on. Young people might learn how to succeed in a job, but they aren’t trained in the basics of how to build a successful marriage. We might learn how to invest our money wisely, but we’re unsure how to raise our children in the faith. Benedict XVI said that our relationships are stunted by the ina-bility to possess joy and love. The former pope goes to say that there is hope, “There are Christians who drop out of this strange consensus of modern existence, who attempt new forms of life.” In Salt and Light, he says, “To be sure, they don’t receive any public notice, but they are doing something that really points to the future.”
For the Holy Father the New Evangelization will be carried out in a particular way through new movements, in-dividuals, families and other small Christian communities who eventually transforms the culture. In other words, it takes place through those of us who dare to show - with our lives - this hope and joy the world has forgotten simply by living lives that attract others and inviting them into our joy. This new Evangelization being talked about by Pope Francis is nothing new at all. Benedict wrote about it. St. Pope John Paul II spoke about it. Pope Francis preaches it. Countless men and women down through the centuries have lived it. To evangelize means to show this path - to teach the art of living; to be kind to each other. This means that everyone, the whole parish is the Evange-lization Committee, the entire parish becomes the Evangelization Team. All of us, the members of this Saint The-resa Faith community are aware and on the lookout for those in our neighbourhoods, our schools, at sporting events, the pool, at a barbecue who have been away from a community that cares. They have been away from the Church. We simple “invest” in these relationships (when the appropriate time and opportunity arises) to kindly invite them into our lives, our communities, back into the Church. The new Evangelization strategy is all of our responsibility. I realize that it may be difficult to invite someone back to church. It is initially easier to invite some-one to a Wine Tasting put on by the Knights of Columbus, a Baseball Game on the beautiful school fields, a Len-ten DVD presentation, the new Drips & Digs Gardening group, singing in the choir, a backyard barbeque or any of the countless opportunities that exist here and in our neighbourhoods. This KIND and simple invitation is part of The Art Of Living well and basically our baptismal call: To reach out to others, kindly inviting them into lives that reflect love, joy and hope. It is the ART OF LIVING.
~Fr. JC

Do you recall last week’s “Pastor’s Note”? It was about being KIND. I suggested that, “Our lives would be more attractive to others when we are KIND. That is one of the components to Evangelization. To live lives that are at-tractive to others. To evangelize is to be KIND.” I don’t know about you, but I am almost sure that most of us are attracted to kind people. After all, the kindness they exude is contagious. There it is once again, as plain as the nose on my face, simple, direct and obvious. EVANGELIZATION is living well, which embodies being kind. It is not something hard to achieve. It is as simple and as direct and as obvious as realizing that all it takes to be gracious is to be kind. All it takes to Evangelize is to live attractive inviting lives. Pope Emertius Benedict XVI even wrote that living well is the path toward happiness. “To evangelize means to show this path - to teach the art of living,” he says. The retired pope goes on to say that Evangelization entails more than proclaiming doctrines and moral truths. More fundamentally it is teaching what he calls, “the art of living.” For hundreds of years, men and women learned the art of living from a predominately Judeo-Christian culture that handed on the wisdom of how to live a happy life from one generation to the next. Perhaps as society has forgotten the way to be gracious, we have forgot-ten how to live happy lives. “The deepest [human] poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life consid-ered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today, in very different forms in the materially rich as well as the poor countries. The inability of joy presupposes and produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice - all defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world. This is why we are in need of a new evangelization - if the art of living remains an unknown, nothing else works.” Our de-Christianized, relativistic, “anything goes” society has cut itself off from this tradition. Benedict was concerned that the essential values to live a happy life are no longer being passed on. Young people might learn how to succeed in a job, but they aren’t trained in the basics of how to build a successful marriage. We might learn how to invest our money wisely, but we’re unsure how to raise our children in the faith. Benedict XVI said that our relationships are stunted by the ina-bility to possess joy and love. The former pope goes to say that there is hope, “There are Christians who drop out of this strange consensus of modern existence, who attempt new forms of life.” In Salt and Light, he says, “To be sure, they don’t receive any public notice, but they are doing something that really points to the future.”For the Holy Father the New Evangelization will be carried out in a particular way through new movements, in-dividuals, families and other small Christian communities who eventually transforms the culture. In other words, it takes place through those of us who dare to show - with our lives - this hope and joy the world has forgotten simply by living lives that attract others and inviting them into our joy. This new Evangelization being talked about by Pope Francis is nothing new at all. Benedict wrote about it. St. Pope John Paul II spoke about it. Pope Francis preaches it. Countless men and women down through the centuries have lived it. To evangelize means to show this path - to teach the art of living; to be kind to each other. This means that everyone, the whole parish is the Evange-lization Committee, the entire parish becomes the Evangelization Team. All of us, the members of this Saint The-resa Faith community are aware and on the lookout for those in our neighbourhoods, our schools, at sporting events, the pool, at a barbecue who have been away from a community that cares. They have been away from the Church. We simple “invest” in these relationships (when the appropriate time and opportunity arises) to kindly invite them into our lives, our communities, back into the Church. The new Evangelization strategy is all of our responsibility. I realize that it may be difficult to invite someone back to church. It is initially easier to invite some-one to a Wine Tasting put on by the Knights of Columbus, a Baseball Game on the beautiful school fields, a Len-ten DVD presentation, the new Drips & Digs Gardening group, singing in the choir, a backyard barbeque or any of the countless opportunities that exist here and in our neighbourhoods. This KIND and simple invitation is part of The Art Of Living well and basically our baptismal call: To reach out to others, kindly inviting them into lives that reflect love, joy and hope. It is the ART OF LIVING.~Fr. JC

Friday
Jul212017

Reflections - July 23, 2017

JUST BE KIND

A week or so ago when I was scheduled for the “Midnight Mass” (the 6:30 a.m. weekday Liturgy), I began to read through all of the readings for the upcoming week that Sunday afternoon.  Yet, I found myself still pondering the Sunday readings for that Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Psalm especially for that weekend had called for disciples to be gracious , merciful, and compassionate.  I was stuck at gracious. Just what is/was gracious? I hadn’t heard that word used since my mother had said that, “one of her friends was a gracious person and to act accordingly when we visited”. Indeed, as I looked up gracious, there happened to be a chart on the web site that I visited showing the frequency of the use of the various words. Gracious was used frequently in the 1800s but the chart showed that the word gracious almost “flat-lined” by 2010. Did this mean that we moderns stopped using the word? Did modern Americans, like myself, stop using the word because we had no idea of what it meant to be gracious? Had social media taken it’s toll on graciousness with the lack of opportunity to actually be social? I mean, that we have all experienced to some degree, either by watching or participating, the act of being in the same spot with another person and actually texting one another and not engaging in actual conversation. I must confess. I have been on car trips and instead of talking, I have asked questions, sent quips, photographs, cute sayings, etc. via text while people were less than a foot away. Mea culpa! I don’t think that was gracious. Well, I had the perfect opportunity with the upcoming weekly homilies to investigate not only gracious, but merciful and compassionate as well. The readings for that week actually lent themselves to this task quite well. That Monday I explained my dilemma and with the collective wisdom of the “Early Birds” we set out to find out what the scriptures were asking of us. Several early morning Mass attendees came up to me after Liturgy and gave me examples and situations where someone had acted in a gracious manner. Well, at least I knew that they were listening. Some of the synonyms for gracious were, among many, considerate, courteous, polite, thoughtful, kind. In Christian belief and usage, gracious meant showing divine grace. Alright, we were getting somewhere. Parishioners kept giving me their own definitions such as “joyful giving” as an attempt to better understand. So, we tackled merciful and compassionate in the same manner. It was quite easy to begin to get a handle on these words or give examples of when someone was gracious or merciful or compassionate. However what seemed to be lacking was making these words, these attributes  part of our individual lives. We knew when someone was gracious, or merciful, or compassionate but how did we become gracious, merciful, or compassionate? Is not Liturgy meant to change us, transform us, converts us? How does this work in our own lives? We (I needed!) agreed we needed some simple act or advice or a constructive way to become more of what the Scriptures were asking us to become. I needed a visual reminder! A chart, I needed a chart. I looked at all of the words again. I looked at their definitions. I looked at their synonyms again. These words were used to define the other. Merciful was used to define gracious. Compassionate was part of being merciful. Gracious was the act of being compassionate with others… Then it jumped out! There it was obviously present. The one word that was used to help in defining the other three words-KIND! To be gracious was to be KIND. To be merciful was to be KIND. To be compassionate was to be kind. KIND. Simple, direct, easy, and obvious; all we had to be was KIND! In being KIND, one was on the road to being gracious, to being merciful, to being compassionate. Our lives would be more attractive to others when we are KIND. That is one of the components to Evangelization. To live lives that are attractive to others. To evangelize is to be KIND. That week we heard in Scripture that The mission of Jesus is authenticated. (by being KIND)  Jesus prayed to send (KIND) laborers for the harvest.  Jesus chooses and sent (KIND) disciples to proclaim the reign of God. We are called to share God’s love as gift (KINDly). When one encounters opposition and even persecution, return it with KINDness.

There it was! 

JUST BE KIND.  JUST BE KIND.  JUST BE KIND

Love and KINDness,

Fr. JC

 

Monday
Jul172017

Reflections - July 16, 2017

   Evangelization?

Me?

You’re Kidding?

  “I was?”

I told someone at the ice cream social this past weekend that they were Evangelizing. They responded, “I was?” I replied, “YOU ARE!”

Who can remember the essential “marching orders” issued by the founder of the Christian religion, namely Jesus Christ? To answer that one, just take a look at the last two verses of the final chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (28:19-20).

Could Jesus have put it any plainer than that? Why is it, then, that we Catholics seem so strangely, stubbornly resistant to the idea, the injunction actually, to go out and spread the Good News? Almost, it seems, to the point of neurosis. How can something so central to the teaching of the Gospel become an impediment among those who already believe in the Gospel? “Christians who are afraid to build bridges,” Pope Francis tells us, “and prefer to build walls, are Christians who are not sure of their faith, not sure of Jesus Christ.” Why then this fear? A faith grown cold and anemic cannot survive, much less share its marvels with others. Hardly an appealing face, one would think, to present to a world thirsting for the redemption of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul, who could not even bring himself to boast about his own preaching since to do so was nothing more than an exigency inscribed in the gospels themselves. “Woe to me if I do not evangelize” (1 Cor 9:16). This, after all, is the job description of anyone who puts on Christ. 

“There are backseat Christians,” the Pope reminds us. “Those who are well mannered, who do everything well, but are unable to bring people to the Church through proclamation and Apostolic zeal.” Their fear of soiling the linen prevents them from going out in search of others, especially along the edges where the dust and the dirt, the muck and the mire are likely to accumulate.  Among the poor and the needy, that is, for whom Jesus shed his blood.  “We cannot become starched Christians,” the Pope warns. Do not become, says the Pope, “too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea. We have to become courageous Christians and seek out those who are the flesh of Christ.”

It was a crazy Saturday afternoon. The parking lot was full at 2PM, but that didn’t make sense. Down the road was “The Cannabis Cup” with free samples for those with a Medical Marijuana card. They were using our parking lot. Why God? It’s the opening event for our own re-start/kick-off  of evangelization. Cheryl and I looked at each other both thinking, this is the muck & the mire. “Thanks a lot God!  Ok then, OPEN  the field and put out the overflow parking signs. We are not towing anyone when we are about to proclaim that “Our Doors are OPEN!” “OPEN to all!” But what if we make mistakes, falling flat on our newly apostolic faces? “Well, what of it,” the Pope snaps. “Get on with you: if you make a mistake, you get up and go forward: that is the way. Those who do not walk in order not to err, make the more serious mistake.” AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

Blessings, Fr. JC

 

Wednesday
Jul122017

Reflections - July 9, 2017

ICE CREAM!

Has it already been 1 year? Can you believe it is that time again? It is time for the Ice Cream Social!!! We continue our call for Evangelization as a parish & through our individual efforts. It would be beneficial for all of us to revisit what our pope has called The Baptized to achieve through evangelization.

"Ask me, for ice cream. ”At 7:30 in the morning?" was the response from one of the staff members. "Of course. Why not?" I yelled over my shoulder running through the office chanting, "Ask me, ask me, ask me, ask me for ice cream." Of course we all know that it really isn't about ice cream. So then what is the Ice Cream Social about after all the masses this weekend? I'm glad you asked. ASK ME! It is about Evangelization. Which by the way, is one of Pope Francis' hopes for the Church. Pope Francis has been trying to tell us more and more about how he hopes the Church can evangelize. Pope Francis has the amazing knack for preaching while embodying this preaching with his own life. He is not simply a great marketer for the Church; he is a model of evangelization that we can all learn a lot from. Each of us can come up with our own lists of what evangelization should entail but my list of dreams concerning evangelization most closely resembles that of Kevin Cotter who writes for Focus on Campus at University of Texas El Paso. It's easy. It's simple. It's something you will find you have already been doing. We just need to keep marching forward spreading the Good News and proclaiming that the kingdom is near. Kevin pens the following:

 

The List of 10 things Pope Francis wants You to Know about Evangelization 

1. Everyone is Meant to Evangelize

Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.—Evangelii Gaudium

2. Want Authentic Personal Fulfillment? Evangelize

When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. For “here we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means”. —Evangelii Gaudium

3. Evangelization Starts with Our Own Relationship with Jesus

The spread of the Gospel is not guaranteed either by the number of persons, or by the prestige of the institution, or by the quantity of available resources. What counts is to be permeated by the love of Christ, to let oneself be led by the Holy Spirit and to graft one’s own life onto the tree of life, which is the Lord’s Cross. —Homily, Mass with Seminarians and Novices, July 7, 2013

4. We Must Witness the Faith with Our Lives 

If you happen to be with an atheist who tells you that he does not believe in God, you can read him the whole library, where it says that God exists, and where it is proven that God exists, and he will not believe. [However] if in the presence of this same atheist you witness to a consistent, Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart…. It will be your witness that brings him the restlessness on which the Holy Spirit works.—Homily, Domus Sanctae Marthae, February 27, 2014

5. An Evangelizer Must be Joyful

Consequently, an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! … And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ”. —Evangelii Gaudium

6. We Must Encounter People to Evangelize

Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter! I would like you to be almost obsessed about this. Be so without being presumptuous, imposing “our truths,” but rather be guided by the humble yet joyful certainty of those who have been found, touched and transformed by the Truth who is Christ, ever to be proclaimed. —Homily, World Youth Day, July 27, 2013

7. We Must Know How to Give an Initial Proclamation of Jesus

On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you…. nothing is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation. ” —Evangelii Gaudium

8. Get Out of Our Comfort Zone

I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures. —Evangelii Gaudium

9. Evangelizers Love People

Evangelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice. An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be. It is familiar with patient expectation and apostolic endurance. —Evangelii Gaudium

10.   Everyone Needs to be Evangelized

Jesus teaches us that the Good News, which he brings, is not reserved to one part of humanity, it is to be communicated to everyone.—Angelus, January 26, 2014

Numbers 1 & 10 are the bookends as one can see: Everyone is Meant to Evangelize and Everyone Needs to be Evangelized. What better way to begin the discussion on Evangelization, in these hot sticky Julys of Arizona than to cool off and be joyful with the Faith community of Saint Theresa, by eating ice cream, getting out of our individual comfort zones, and beginning to live our baptismal call more fully as the EVANGELIZERS we are all called to be. Still uncertain about it all? Then "ASK ME!" or any one wearing an "ASK ME" apron. Blessings!

–Love, Fr. JC