1st Sunday of Advent

by Fr. Tony Sauer, SJ   |  11/29/2020  |  From Fr. Sauer

Dear Parish Friends,

The liturgical season of Advent is an endangered species. It has been for a long time. We get Lent, but Advent, not so much. The four weeks before Christmas are not meant to be a Christmas celebration, but a time to delve a bit more deeply into why we have Christmas at all!

Advent is a time to hold our horses, hold back. Secular-commercial Christmas is already with us, but we wait in anticipation for Christian Christmas which will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The Jews waited some 4000 years; we can quietly welcome Jesus into our world for four weeks!

Christ has come – Christ will come again!


Meet Dcn. Jaime Garcia

by Deacon Jaime Garcia  |  11/29/2020  |  From Deacon Jaime Garcia

It is an honor to be able to share with you a little bit of my life and how the Lord Jesus Christ brought me to this city of Phoenix. I was born in the city of Tijuana, MX. in one of the poorest neighborhoods where the houses were made of cardboard. I lived poverty as if I had not been poor, only my parents knew how difficult it was to live there.

I am the youngest of four in my family, all from the state of Michoacán. We lived in California and Mexico and finally, we settled in San José, CA. I like to play guitar and mandolin ... not professionally. Thank God I worked in two of the largest multicultural parishes in San José, with the Jesuits in Most Holy Trinity and in St. Maria Goretti.


Thanksgiving 2020

by Father Robert Fambrini, S.J.   |  11/22/2020  |  From Fr. Fambrini

Dear Beloved in Christ,

As people of faith, through prayer and devotion, we express our gratitude for the blessings we receive.

During this season of Thanksgiving I'd like to suggest that we take time to notice our blessings more mindfully. By that I mean, to listen with greater intention to the sound of your children laughing, telling you a story from their day, or as they pray with you each night. To take a moment from your busy day-to-day rhythm to sit with a co-worker or friend and enjoy that special time -- without your phone nearby. And, start your day with a moment of quiet reflection, hands open, ready to receive what God has planned.


Meet Anne Sanford

by Anne Sanford  |  11/22/2020  |  From Anne Sanford

What a special place we are fortunate to call home. St. Francis Xavier Parish and School have been my home away from home for my entire life. As a baby I was baptized here, and my parents chose St. Francis School for my siblings and me. My childhood memories are filled with visions of Christmas Eve Mass packed with friends, joyful and very challenging school days, spending almost every summer day swimming at Brophy pool and every evening playing softball on the SFXAA fields. Much has changed since the 70’s and 80’s, but thankfully, much has stayed the same. Our school day still begins with Pledge and Prayer in the morning and the students are filled with joy while they learn challenging lessons. Jesuit principles are integrated seamlessly into their superior education, and I am so grateful to be a part of the amazing staff at St. Francis. For most of my fifteen years professionally at SFX, I have taught Junior High English or Social Studies, but most recently I have moved into the role of Director of Development. I am tasked with raising funds for the school to offset tuition costs for students with financial needs and to assist our principal in enacting our mission to cultivate excellence in mind, body and spirit and to send forth “kids for others.” It is a job I love. You can usually find me at the 11:00 Mass sitting on the Mary side with my boys. Please introduce yourself and share with me what makes St. Francis special for you.


Meet Dcn. Tom Klein

11/15/2020  |  From Deacon Tom Klein

I was born and raised in Phoenix, attended Saints Simon & Jude and Brophy, then ended up at Baylor Law School where I met Sue. We moved back to Phoenix in 1986 and joined St. Francis Xavier . At the time, my brother, Fr. Dave Klein, was assigned to Brophy. We were active parishioners, sent our daughters (Laura and Michelle) to the SFX grade school, then Xavier College Prep, then Jesuit universities (LMU and Georgetown).

On Nov. 6, 2010, I was ordained a permanent deacon, and in the ten years since, Sue and I have helped over 500 couples in marriage preparation, baptized hundreds of children, assisted with annulments, taught baptism and family and adult religious education, and facilitated webinars and online and in-person discussion and prayer groups. We have worked with a number of terrific staff and volunteers, parish organizations (St. Vincent de Paul and the Knights of Columbus to name just two), as well as more than 20 Jesuit fathers who have been assigned to the parish over the years.


Meet Lisa Appelbe

11/08/2020  |  From Lisa Appelbe

My name is Lisa Appelbe, and I am the Admissions Director at St. Francis Xavier Elementary School. My journey at St. Francis began because my two daughters, now 28 and 26, both attended St. Francis and then moved on to Xavier College Preparatory for High School. During the time my daughters were enrolled here I enjoyed being involved as a parent and have wonderful memories from those experiences.

Many years later in March of 2017 I began working at St. Francis. I feel lucky to work with an outstanding staff and be a part of our incredible community. It is an honor for me to walk the Admissions path with the families who have interest in being a part of our St. Francis community and to share with them all of the hard work, dedication, creativity, and pure love of education that goes into every day here on campus.


AIN Clergy Statement on the Election

11/01/2020  |  From Fr. Fambrini


Voting is now underway at a torrid pace, and soon we will know the much-anticipated results of our pending election. Still, we hear misguided threats and attempts to cast doubt on the election process and how well ballots will be counted.

As faith leaders of the Arizona Interfaith Network who lead congregations that claim active members of all political persuasions, we want to remind all citizens that it is important to vote, regardless of your party affiliation, and to vote with confidence.

Arizona runs elections well. We employ highly professional election officials, and the state has become a model for mail in ballots. We have personally met in the past month with county and state officials overseeing the voting process. The work of these officials will be essential for an orderly election.


Meet Deborah Westerfield

10/25/2020  |  From Deborah Westerfield

My passion for all things Ignatian and work with the Jesuits and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola as a Spiritual Director, are at the root of my role as Director of Campus Ministry at St. Francis Xavier School and what guides me in my ministry. As a member of the school’s administration team, I wear many hats and also serve on the school’s Cura Personalis Team and the Parish Liturgy Committee.

Although I have worked at the school for twenty years, St. Francis has been my family's home for many more. My husband Chuck and I were married at St. Francis 36 years ago and we raised our sons Lane and Carson here. Both are proud graduates of SFX and Brophy.

I am filled with gratitude for this incredible community and am filled with hope for our future, trusting in the knowledge that God has great plans for SFX.


A Prayer for Peace

by Father Robert Fambrini, S.J.   |  10/25/2020  |  From Fr. Fambrini

At the beginning of the month, I wrote of how we are asking for your financial support of St. Francis in a “quieter” way this year. We were intentional about this decision knowing that this year has been, and probably will be, the most unusual year of our lifetimes. As we continue to wade our way through these stormy waters, we join you in prayer asking for peace within our homes, in our faith community, the greater community of Phoenix, and our country.

Knowing that we turn to our church when feeling uncertain, I hope we have provided the nurturing environment you seek. Our ministries are now back and running and our religious education program has reached its enrollment capacity for the year. Our elementary school is thriving with the joyful sound of young voices echoing across the campus and our mass schedule has increased to include the Saturday Vigil Mass. Yes, we are in unusual times, but we strive each day to provide the security of a church that is more than a place of worship...ours is a breathing entity found in the lives of all who proclaim their Catholic faith.


Meet Sue Klein

by Sue Klein  |  10/13/2020  |  From Sue Klein

Although I was born in the Valley when my father was stationed at Luke Air Force Base, I do not consider myself a true “native Arizonian” as I did not live here long enough to remember anything. I moved in and out of the country many times until landing in Austin, Texas, where my father retired from the Air Force. I attended college and law school in Texas. It was at Baylor Law School, while attending the local Catholic Church, that I met Tom, a true “native Phoenician.” We were married about one year later.

Tom and I moved back to Phoenix and became members of the St. Francis Community shortly thereafter. We raised our two wonderful daughters here and they attended St. Francis Elementary School and Xavier. I became involved in the parish by participating in the Social Justice Committee, serving on the Parent Association and School Board, serving as an EM, and participating in prayer groups. Involvement in these ministries led me to discover the beauty of a Jesuit Parish, where all are welcome.


Meet Ryan Watson

10/11/2020  |  From Ryan Watson

My name is Ryan Watson and I am blessed to serve as principal at St. Francis Xavier Jesuit School. I was hired to be principal at SFX starting June 1, 2019. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to help lead and live out the mission of our school to work in partnership with parents and teachers to form "kids for others".

Conoce Ryan Watson

Mi nombre es Ryan Watson y es una bendición el servir como director de la Escuela Jesuita St. Francis Xavier. Me contrataron para ser director de SFX a partir del 1 de junio de 2019. Estoy realmente agradecido por la oportunidad de ayudar a liderar y vivir la misión de nuestra escuela de trabajar en asociación con padres y maestros para formar "niños para los demás".

Annual Offertory Appeal

by Father Robert Fambrini, S.J.   |  10/04/2020  |  From Fr. Fambrini

Typically we find ourselves in the midst of our Annual Offertory Appeal during the month of October. We launch with messaging from the pulpit, perhaps a video or special slogan, followed by a mailing of commitment cards to our parish families. This year, we’ve discerned that our efforts would be “quiet” -- we aren’t going to formally ask for offertory commitments. Rather, we will speak to you from the pulpit with a message of gratitude believing that your hearts have been moved and your financial support to the parish will evolve and continue.

Without question, this year has been unusual. That is why our offertory commitment request of you will be different, too. Throughout the last several months, you’ve shown your devotion to St. Francis. As you watched Mass from your homes, you contributed online. When we were able to greet you in person, you maintained your support of St. Francis through a variety of means, not the least of which was your gift collected during the Mass.


Meet Neva Smith

by Neva Smith  |  10/04/2020  |  From Neva Smith

When I was asked what brought me to St. Francis Xavier Parish, my answer was simple; the Holy Spirit brought me!

I'm a Mom and a Grandmother. I've been a parishioner of SFX for 22 years and an employee for almost 23 years.

For 5-10 years, I prayed for this job. I'd worked in the oil industry for years and wanted to slow down and reduce the amount of responsibility I'd had for so long. I decided I wanted to be a receptionist at a Church. I contacted a temporary agency and they sent me to an interview one, Monday morning in September. When I arrived they told me that they didn't need me for another week. When I returned home, I called the agency and they apologized, but informed me that while I was over at the other interview, another job came up. They were hesitant and asked me if I would mind working for a Church? I said, "not at all!" Being Baptist, I didn't realize that accepting this job would mean I would need to become Catholic. The Lord and I laugh about that to this day! He always says to me, "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that".



by Father Robert Fambrini, S.J.  |  09/20/2020  |  From Fr. Fambrini

Dear parishioners of St. Francis Xavier:

Every ten years our country is required by our constitution to count every person living in our country, not just citizens but everyone. This decennial count is essential as it determines our representation at all levels of government. Just as importantly, the census count also determines which federal funds flow back to our community. These funds (our tax dollars) provide for infrastructure, housing, the building of schools and hospitals, all vital components of our everyday lives.

I urge you to fill out the census form you received in the mail in March. It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail---all without having a census taker come to your door.


Let’s Get to Know Josh Condon

by Josh Condon  |  09/06/2020  |  From Josh Condon

Hello SFX Community!

It is without hesitation that I can say I have been abundantly blessed in being your new Director of Music & Liturgy. The past six weeks have been a whirlwind of exciting new adventures and challenges, but the staff has been incredibly welcoming and supportive—everything a new employee could have asked for! My wife Lexy and I are both very grateful to all of you for your kindness in making us feel right at home. While you may now be acquainted with us through our music, Fr. Bob asked me to use this space to talk a bit about my background, so here we go.

Originally born right outside of Boston, MA, I am the oldest of eight children and spent most of my life growing up in western New York. For 23 years, my father served as a Pastoral Administrator in two Catholic parishes (serving as head of the parish in lieu of a priest pastor) in the Diocese of Rochester, being ordained to the Permanent Deaconate in 2000. Since beginning piano studies at age 6, I had the privilege of starting to play for liturgies in my very early teen years, and over the years moved from pianist in the youth group ensemble to adult choir accompanist; eventually becoming the sole music director for the parish in my undergraduate college years.


Let’s Get to Know Katrina Winn

by Katrina Winn  |  09/01/2020  |  From Katrina Winn

At the time of writing this, it has been almost one year since I came to St. Francis Xavier parish here in Phoenix. I have lived in the Valley for the past 20-odd years, having moved here from Virginia when I was nine: just old enough to remember what it's like to have a true winter! I'm a cradle Catholic, and I even attended Catholic school back east before switching to public school when we moved to Arizona.

I drifted away from the Church in high school, and attended Arizona State University where I majored in Marketing, fully intending to continue on to law school. However, the summer before the last year of college, I was asked to start volunteering with the high school youth program at my home parish in Gilbert. This changed my life plan entirely as I found myself drawn to ministry despite my best efforts to resist it. It was during this time that I first encountered St. Ignatius, the Spiritual Exercises, and the Jesuits.