Dear Beloved in Christ,
It is with great enthusiasm that I share this news: at the June meeting of our parish Finance Council, funds were approved to purchase permanent audio/visual equipment which will allow us to stream our Mass, as well as, other special events or programs, for years to come. Thank you to our Finance Council members: Carla Consoli, chair; John Finnegan, Amy Flood, John Keane, Marie Masenga and Jeff Moloznik.
Our efforts to provide streamed Sunday Mass has been made possible through the efforts of our capable staff, led by Craig Colson, as well as a few resources, most notably, Xavier College Prep. I extend my gratitude to Sister Joanie Nuckols, Sister Joan Fitzgerald and Sister Lynn Winsor for cameras, and various A/V equipment on loan to us from the Xavier College Prep Technology Department. We have the use of this equipment through the month of July.READ MORE
We want to extend our prayerful best wishes and congratulations to those who have been or will soon be fully initiated into the Catholic Church As you may know, we were prepared to welcome over 100 of our youngsters, teens and adults into the life of the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist – at the Easter Vigil in April.
In so many ways, this year has been different. But we are excited to relay the news that at special Masses being celebrated at St. Francis Xavier Church on June 20th and again on June 27th these Sacraments will be conferred. We are grateful to God for allowing us to welcome them into our parish community.READ MORE
When you arrive at St. Francis Xavier for Mass you may notice a few changes. We have marked the pews to enable physical distancing so you can confidently choose where to sit. Our Ministers of Hospitality will be present to answer questions, assist with physical distancing, create lines for Communion, and enable leaving the church to be as uncomplicated as possible.
Prior to Mass, the Ministers will open the main doors; the interior glass doors will remain open until Mass starts. The Ministers will remain in the vestibule to open these doors for any parishioner needing access to the vestibule.READ MORE
Dear Beloved in Christ,
The past few months have been difficult for all of us. As people of faith, we know that God has walked with us through these challenging days. Know that the Jesuits of Phoenix have kept you in our daily prayer and hold you close in our hearts.
I am pleased to share with you that we will begin to celebrate in our Church once again. Daily Mass will start on Monday, June 8 at 8 a.m. Daily Mass will be held in the main church, with the church open 30 minutes before Mass, Monday - Saturday.
Confessions will resume on Saturday, June 13 with one priest scheduled at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., using the west confessional only. And, Sunday Mass will be celebrated in the church starting on June 14, at 11 a.m. in English and 1 p.m. in Spanish.READ MORE
Dear Beloved of St. Francis Xavier Parish:
Happy Pentecost! Today we celebrate the Spirit of God which energizes and gives life and renewal to us as a people of faith.
Last week we Jesuits received a letter from our provincial which posed a piercing question: We are facing the greatest humanitarian and economic crisis our world has seen since the Great Depression, the largest unemployment in 100 years, and are likely on the verge of wide-spread famine. We are seeing the biggest spending packages ever passed; we are seeing who gets included, and who gets left out in response. In 20 years, what do we want to look back and say we did in this moment? How do we lead our people from a mind-set of recovery and returning to normal, to a mind-set of renewal to a better future?
I share this question with you because I feel it is important that as Arizona begins its cautious reopening, we as a faith community begin to ask ourselves: how will we be different; how do we want to be?READ MORE
Last week I went to the dictionary to find out the root meaning of quarantine. To my surprise the first definition (and root) was simply “a period of forty days”. Nothing about staying at home, social distancing or face masks.
Curiously, the number 40 appears dozens of times in the Bible, always indicating a time of testing and trial.
Our current quarantine has lasted more than forty days but it has certainly been, and continues to be, a time of testing and trial. But perhaps there is some good news when we examine the scriptural references to the number.READ MORE
Last week you heard from Simon Zachary. I’m the “other guy” in the back row. My name is Nick Russell, and I’m a novice in the Society of Jesus. Novitiate is the first step for Jesuits who are in formation for the priesthood. It’s a two-year process in which we undergo a series of different “experiments” to test out our Jesuit vocation. These experiments include making the 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat, serving in a hospital, making a pilgrimage, performing “humble tasks” around the novitiate, teaching in a school, and preaching (usually in the novitiate and on our experiments). My teaching experiment has brought me here to Phoenix, where I am teaching Scripture to first-year students at Brophy College Preparatory.READ MORE
If you've recently been tuning into our streamed Masses, you may have wondered who some of the younger guys (without grey hair) in the back seats are. My name is Simon Zachary, SJ, and I like to call myself a teenage Jesuit. I have been in the Society of Jesus for seven years now, and am approaching my last three years of formation, aka training, before priestly ordination. My current work involves teaching across the parking lot from St. Francis, over at Brophy. I teach, and hopefully don't bore, juniors and seniors with coursework in economics and international politics. I also moderate a handful of clubs, which are basically an excuse to get to know students just a bit more.READ MORE
Where is Jesus? Is he hiding until the Pandemic is over?
After the first Easter Sunday, the early Jewish-Christians continued to worship in the Temple on the Sabbath, but they also got together again on the Lord's Day to celebrate how they had experienced Jesus present in their lives throughout the week. Some didn't recognize Jesus at first because they weren't looking for him with eyes of faith.
Long after Jesus' Ascension, we Christians continue to gather on the Lord's Day to celebrate Jesus' presence among us.
Almost 2,000 years later, looking carefully with eyes of faith, we find Jesus present among us in the Eucharist, in the Sacraments, in our prayer, and in our loving care for one another.READ MORE
This is probably the most unexpected question to bring up the week after Easter but have you ever considered how authorities attempt to solve the mystery of an unidentified body? After the very basics of skin color, sex, approximate age, it’s those aspects which distinguish one person from another: a tattoo, receding hairline, missing appendage, a scar.
Every year the Sunday after Easter we hear the same Gospel: Jesus appears to his disciples twice. The first time Thomas is missing, the second time he is present. The obvious focus is Thomas’s lack of faith.
But I see a different message. Jesus is the only person ever to conquer death. When He makes his appearances after rising from the dead, you’d expect him to present himself with what the kids would call, a “ripped” body: strong, new, without blemish. After all, death has no claim on him. And yet, how does Jesus present himself? He shows off his wounds, the markings which distinguish him, which tell the story of his love for us.READ MORE
Dear Beloved in Christ,
There is a phrase used in monastic life to refer to the period of time between the last hour of prayer at night after which the monks retire to their cells, and the first hour of prayer, with which the monks greet the new day, called “the great silence”. On a practical level, the great silence seems to refer simply to the time when all the work of the day is done, and the monks settle down for sleep. But deeper than this, the great silence is not just a time of rest, but the time where, our day’s work is over, God remains active and working, though unseen and most often unheard, speaking in the stillness. The monks rest, knowing that God in the great silence abides.READ MORE
Solidarity means unity. When one is in solidarity with another one feels a certain kinship having experienced something in common. Jesus tells us: “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mt 12:50)
The previous four churches of which I was pastor were predominantly immigrant communities. My grandparents were immigrants to this country but I am far removed from the struggles which my congregants endured coming to this country, learning a new language, new customs and ways of doing things. I developed a kinship with my parishioners by being present to them but I knew that their experience was not mine.READ MORE