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

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

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
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
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment


Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri


Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri


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

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



« Reflections - December 30, 2018 | Main | Reflections - December 16, 2018 »

Reflections - December 23, 2018

My Brothers and Sisters,

The celebration of Christ’s first coming in history (Christmas) is literally a few hours away, with Christmas Eve falling on Monday and Christmas Day on Tuesday of this week. Hopefully our preparation for this celebration in terms of shopping, decorating, etc. is pretty well completed… and, as Advent quickly winds down, we are able to say confidently that we have made strides in our inward preparation as well: keeping our focus on the true meaning of Christmas as well as on our state of preparedness to meet the Lord at his Second Coming, when he returns in glory at a time we cannot predict to judge all the peoples of the earth. 

How can we best use these “final hours” of Advent to continue building our readiness to celebrate the gift of God’s Son at Christmas and be as prepared as possible to meet him when he returns in glory? 

I think that one way this can happen is for us to resolve to be as patient and welcoming as possible when we come to the parish for Christmas Masses... letting the warmth of our hospitality shine forth. We all remember the role of the innkeeper in the Christmas story, telling Joseph and Mary (who was pregnant with Jesus) that there was “no room for them at the inn.”  The couple and child within the womb were left to fend for themselves, finally finding space for the night (and a place to give birth) in a stable.

When our brothers and sisters (some of whom have not been to church for a while) arrive for Mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, will they find welcome… or “no room at the inn?” Will they be greeted in a friendly way by us “regulars” – even if they’ve taken a spot in our favorite pew? Will we be willing to give up some space in the pew by squeezing tighter together so that they can have a place to sit (or maybe even give up our seat altogether to accommodate the visitor)? Will they encounter loving patience from us if they have a “noisy child” or instead be met by a scowl? On leaving our campus, will they encounter courtesy in the parking lot?  Will they want to come back to St. Theresa?

I can’t begin to tell you how many times throughout the year that I am approached by visitors after Mass and told “Father, this is such a welcoming community” or “this parish is so alive – I felt so good attending Mass here today” or “I wish the people at my parish back home were as friendly as they are here.” This is proverbial “music to the ears” of a Pastor, and a great reminder to me of how blest I am to serve as pastor of such a hospitable and welcoming community. These compliments about our community, directed to me by our guests, reaffirm for me that St. Theresa parishioners are a very special group of people.  Thank you for helping make newcomers and visitors feel welcome throughout the year.

Especially at major feasts like Christmas and Easter, let’s remember that each of us is an “innkeeper” of sorts… with the ability to warmly welcome and make a difference to the “stranger,” maybe assisting that person on their first steps back to regular practice of their Catholic faith.


Grace and peace in the Christ who is to come,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer