A time of Renewal

02-28-2021From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, SJ

One of the most welcome blessings of being a religious is the opportunity to spend a week of prayer and renewal each year on an annual retreat. Tomorrow I will leave to make my retreat at the Redemptorist Renewal Center, returning to the office on March 12. Since I will go completely offline for those days (another blessing!), please contact my assistant Clara Arvayo should you need help with anything.

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First Week of Lent

02-21-2021From Fr. TeodoroFr. George Teodoro, SJ

On Ash Wednesday, the prophet Joel proclaimed, “Blow the trumpet from Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly!... Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep, and say, “Spare, O Lord, your people!”

In ancient times, prophets would blow the trumpet and call the people to repentance – to turn to the Lord – and take action in order to rectify injustice in their community and repair relationships. Whole communities would repent of how they treated the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. Entire cities would put on sack cloth and ashes to make amends for how they had treated the least among them. The trumpet call of the prophet would help the people examine their own lives and walk a more righteous path together.

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Heart Speaks to Heart

02-14-2021From Fr. SauerFr. Anthony P. Sauer S.J.

A bit like Mr. Rogers kindly querying “will you be my neighbor?, the somewhat shy and timid little girl passes a valentine – newly created in class – across the aisle to another equally timid, shy person: “will you be my Valentine?”

Happy Valentine’s Day, good friends! Albeit a Sunday, we remember thisspecial holiday of Love dating way back in history to the days of the martyrs. What we may not fully realize as we come to church this sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time is that Jesus Christ Himself leans over and asks each of us, timid and shy though we may be: “Will you be my Valentine?”

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Staff Changes

02-07-2021From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, S.J.

In light of Laura Jordan’s departure from our pastoral staff, I am happy to report that Maeghyn Thornton has been offered, and has accepted, the business manager position. Maeghyn has spent the last 2.5 years working in the business operations of the parish, and is aware of the processes, our vendors, and perhaps more importantly, our parishioners. She will oversee the day-to-day business operations and collaborate with Mark Krysiak (Boudreau Consulting LLC) as he creates the FY22 budget. Mark Krysiak will serve the parish (and school) as our accountant and the primary overseer of our finances. In addition, Maeghyn will continue to work as the manager of events in Anderson Hall.

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Job Lucks Out

02-07-2021From Fr. WanserFr. George Wanser, S.J.

Today’s reading from Job gives me great consolation. Job praised the Lord when things were going right, but the angels were testing Job to see if his faith would hold up under hardship. Eventually, Job loses everything but his faith.

Our Parish, our country, the whole world is suffering from tremendous loss. We are all grieving from the effects of the pandemic. Rosaries, funerals, gravesides, isolation from loved ones and friends have been taking a tremendous toll. Many are anxious, depressed, edgy. Some are hopeless.

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Apoligies are in Order

01-31-2021From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, S.J.

Earlier this month a Chicago newspaper reported that on the weekend after the insurrection on the Capitol, a local Catholic priest went to his pulpit to apologize to his congregation for his complicity for what took place. Here is how he explained himself. A year ago, when the president proclaimed that the Covid-19 virus would simply disappear, he remained silent. When he began to push unscientific and unproven cures, the pastor did not respond. When the president reiterated over and over again how the process of voting by mail was illegal and how the results would be fraudulent, the pastor kept his mouth shut. When the president used his rallies and social media to push numerous conspiracy theories, including how the election had been stolen, the pastor said nothing. Ultimately when even small untruths go unchecked, especially in our current political climate, they can become small fires in tinder dry brush. The result is destruction and death. This is what almost happened to our democracy on January 6.

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Thank You, Laura Jordan

01-17-2021From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, S.J.

Dear Parishioners of St. Francis Xavier:

I regret to inform you that Laura Jordan, my parish manager, has submitted her resignation, effective January 27. As you may know, Laura was hired by Fr. Dan Sullivan to bring the capital campaign to a conclusion. She successfully completed that task in June and has moved us on to the restoration of our dome. As parish manager she has helped with our many new hires during the past year and has shepherded us through tricky financial waters during the pandemic. Laura has faithfully served three pastors and, speaking personally, she has made my transition as pastor here at SFX the smoothest I have ever experienced. Because she always cleared everything with me before-hand, I had the confidence in her to state that when she spoke, I was speaking. I will miss her daily guidance, wise counsel, and many kindnesses here in the office but I know our friendship will remain. Now, along with her husband Michael, she has the opportunity to expand their restoration business. Please join me in wishing Laura all the best as she looks forward to “once again simply being a parishioner in the pew.”

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Meet Fr. Tom Griffin, SJ

01-10-2021From Fr. Tom Griffin

As we begin the New Year, it seems like a good time to introduce myself, the new priest at St. Francis Xavier Parish. I’m a Jesuit priest of the Jesuits West Province and was ordained in Hollywood in 2000. Before becoming a Jesuit, I worked with BBDO, a large advertising agency, in New York and Johannesburg. While I enjoyed that work very much, after about ten years it became rather meaningless and God’s goodness led me to priesthood. Most of my priestly ministry has been in healthcare, a primarily administrative but also direct patient care, in Honolulu and Los Angeles. Working with people who were sick, especially those near the end of life, was a very wonderful and privileged experience.

About six years ago, God let it be known, as He sometimes does, that He had other plans for me. I’m originally from Connecticut and my Mom was still living there. When she began to deal with Alzheimer’s, the Jesuits graciously allowed me to work at my childhood parish, St. Gregory, near my Mom. It was a difficult but blest time, and my Mom is now in God’s loving embrace. So, it was time to return to my Jesuit home province. Through God’s graces, I landed on your doorstep and am very grateful that I did!

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Meet Clara Arvayo

01-03-2021From Clara Arvayo

Arriving at St. Francis Xavier has been a long journey. In 2001, it was time for me to re-enter the workforce and my “ideal” job was to work in a Catholic Church. Preferably my home parish, but it’s small and the employees are lifers”. After 10 years with Mesa Public Schools, I felt a nudge to give working for a Church another try. I wasn’t in a position where I felt pressure to “find a job”, but more of a calm in finding the right fit for me. I expanded my reach and after several weeks of knocking on St. Francis’s doors, Fr. Wanser and Laura Jordan found a home for me. That was 2.5 years ago!

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Apoligies are in Order

01-31-2021From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, S.J.

Earlier this month a Chicago newspaper reported that on the weekend after the insurrection on the Capitol, a local Catholic priest went to his pulpit to apologize to his congregation for his complicity for what took place. Here is how he explained himself. A year ago, when the president proclaimed that the Covid-19 virus would simply disappear, he remained silent. When he began to push unscientific and unproven cures, the pastor did not respond. When the president reiterated over and over again how the process of voting by mail was illegal and how the results would be fraudulent, the pastor kept his mouth shut. When the president used his rallies and social media to push numerous conspiracy theories, including how the election had been stolen, the pastor said nothing. Ultimately when even small untruths go unchecked, especially in our current political climate, they can become small fires in tinder dry brush. The result is destruction and death. This is what almost happened to our democracy on January 6.

READ MORE

Thank You, Laura Jordan

01-17-2021From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, S.J.

Dear Parishioners of St. Francis Xavier:

I regret to inform you that Laura Jordan, my parish manager, has submitted her resignation, effective January 27. As you may know, Laura was hired by Fr. Dan Sullivan to bring the capital campaign to a conclusion. She successfully completed that task in June and has moved us on to the restoration of our dome. As parish manager she has helped with our many new hires during the past year and has shepherded us through tricky financial waters during the pandemic. Laura has faithfully served three pastors and, speaking personally, she has made my transition as pastor here at SFX the smoothest I have ever experienced. Because she always cleared everything with me before-hand, I had the confidence in her to state that when she spoke, I was speaking. I will miss her daily guidance, wise counsel, and many kindnesses here in the office but I know our friendship will remain. Now, along with her husband Michael, she has the opportunity to expand their restoration business. Please join me in wishing Laura all the best as she looks forward to “once again simply being a parishioner in the pew.”

READ MORE

Meet Fr. Tom Griffin, SJ

01-10-2021From Fr. Tom Griffin

As we begin the New Year, it seems like a good time to introduce myself, the new priest at St. Francis Xavier Parish. I’m a Jesuit priest of the Jesuits West Province and was ordained in Hollywood in 2000. Before becoming a Jesuit, I worked with BBDO, a large advertising agency, in New York and Johannesburg. While I enjoyed that work very much, after about ten years it became rather meaningless and God’s goodness led me to priesthood. Most of my priestly ministry has been in healthcare, a primarily administrative but also direct patient care, in Honolulu and Los Angeles. Working with people who were sick, especially those near the end of life, was a very wonderful and privileged experience.

About six years ago, God let it be known, as He sometimes does, that He had other plans for me. I’m originally from Connecticut and my Mom was still living there. When she began to deal with Alzheimer’s, the Jesuits graciously allowed me to work at my childhood parish, St. Gregory, near my Mom. It was a difficult but blest time, and my Mom is now in God’s loving embrace. So, it was time to return to my Jesuit home province. Through God’s graces, I landed on your doorstep and am very grateful that I did!

READ MORE

Meet Clara Arvayo

01-03-2021From Clara Arvayo

Arriving at St. Francis Xavier has been a long journey. In 2001, it was time for me to re-enter the workforce and my “ideal” job was to work in a Catholic Church. Preferably my home parish, but it’s small and the employees are lifers”. After 10 years with Mesa Public Schools, I felt a nudge to give working for a Church another try. I wasn’t in a position where I felt pressure to “find a job”, but more of a calm in finding the right fit for me. I expanded my reach and after several weeks of knocking on St. Francis’s doors, Fr. Wanser and Laura Jordan found a home for me. That was 2.5 years ago!

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Happy New Year!

12-27-2020From Fr. FambriniFr. Robert Fambrini, SJ

Dear Beloved in Christ:

It is hard to imagine that there is anyone out there who is not happy to see 2020 come to an end. To say the least, it has been challenging as we have all searched for some sense of normal. And yet we as people of faith have also experienced that God has been at work even at these most difficult of times. Several months ago, Cardinal Tobin of Newark described what we are going through these days as an apocalypse, not in the sense of death and destruction, but rather one of revelation. I have grappled with this question for months: what is God telling us through all of this? Entering a new year as we are called to remain alert and prepared, I believe that, in the person of a vulnerable human-God, we will be told. Meanwhile, mask up, live in hope of a vaccine and help build a better world.

Happy New Year!

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Meet Susie Garlick Our SFX School Counselor

12-20-2020From Susie GarlickSusie Garlick

Although this is only my second year as the school counselor at SFX, it has been a part of my life for many years. My mom, aunt, and uncles all graduated from SFX in the late 1950s, I graduated from SFX in 1985, and two of my three children graduated from SFX. I often find myself looking around campus with nostalgia. Although the campus looks different today, it is where my family and I grew up. We have childhood memories, friends that we still keep in touch with, and values that have lasted a lifetime. The biggest blessing is that I get to experience it all over again through a different lens. I get to experience it as the school counselor.

Married for over twenty-five years to my husband Mike, we are raising our three children Ryan (21), Macy (18), and Kenzie (15). Whether parenting my children or counseling the ones at SFX, my hope is that the values and sense of community that has been instilled in me since I was a young child at SFX will always be at the core of what I teach and how I live.

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4th Sunday of Advent

12-20-2020From Fr. Tom GriffinFr. Tom Griffin, SJ

Dear Friends,

Christmas is coming quickly! During this very busy time, its fine to be concerned about getting those last few gifts, but I hope that we’re all taking time to prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus at Christmas. That would be the gift that would make Jesus most happy!

In Luke’s gospel today, the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she was chosen by God to bear His son. Not surprisingly, she was shocked and ‘greatly troubled’ by this news! She was a young, unmarried and ‘ordinary’ woman. Yet, she had deep faith! She asked a question, the angel reassured her and she responded by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled.” Mary’s faith and trust in God allowed her to accept His plan for her.

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Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday

12-13-2020From Fr. WanserFr. George Wanser, S.J.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thess 5:16). Today is Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. After centuries of oppression by the Egyptians, the Philistines, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and now the Romans, the people of Judah were awaiting the Messiah. Today’s readings point to hope and expectation that the coming of the Messiah is near. John the Baptist, or as Fr. Sauer has nicknamed him, 'Jack the Dipper', advises us that ‘One is coming after me whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie’ (Jn 1: 27).

Just as the world today is awaiting the imminent arrival of vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic, so we must take precautions and prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus into our hearts every day, - especially at Christmas.

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Meet Andy Arvayo

12-13-2020From Andy ArvayoAndy Arvayo

Hello, I am Andres Arvayo, most people call me Andy (Andres is Andrew in Spanish). I was born in Chandler Arizona on Easter Sunday. I attended private school in Chandler at St. Mary-Basha Elementary school then on to Seton High School for two years, graduating from Gilbert High School in 1992. My hobbies include camping, baking, anything hot rod/muscle car related and especially anything ASU! Go Devils! I don’t know what specifically has called me to St. Francis Xavier Church, but usually I am sent to be a source of calm and understanding as it pertains to my field. Be blessed everyone.

~Andy

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Advent Reflection

12-06-2020From Fr. TeodoroFr. George Teodoro, SJ

“In the desert, prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight his paths.”

The second week of Advent focuses on faith – the belief in the God who saves. Time and again, God has delivered his people through their desert wanderings and into the promised land.

Today, we too are in a desert of loneliness and division, isolated from one another not only by pandemic, but by economic disparities and cultural differences. Though we desperately long for unity, it is difficult to see a way forward.

So this Advent season, we turn once again to God, and ask him to make straight our paths and to guide us through the desert to a promised land. We must have faith that the God who guided Abraham and Sarah, who watched over Moses and David, and who sheltered Mary and Joseph, is still there to watch over our pathways and guide us safely home.

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