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 - February 3, 2019 | Main | Reflections - January 20, 2019 »

Reflections - January 27, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

Following our September 24th “Evening of Prayer and Discussion” regarding the various levels of crisis surrounding the Church’s dealing with sexual abuse, I promised that I would do my best to keep the community informed of developments and/or progress made in addressing the concerns that all of us share as Catholics.  Now that the rush of the Thanksgiving through New Year’s “holiday season” is behind us, I thought it time to update you on a few developments.

Many of us are aware that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at their annual meeting in November was poised to vote on adopting various protocols for how bishops and cardinals could be held to accountability for either mishandling abuse claims in their dioceses or being perpetrators of abuse themselves.  On the first day of that meeting, the President of the USCCB announced that “at the insistence of the Holy See” the bishops would not be voting on the measures after all.  Many people – including bishops – were frustrated, disappointed and felt that the Holy Father was being obstructionist or telling the bishops to drag their feet, perpetuating a sense of cover-up.  Unfortunately most media outlets only added fuel to these flames, increasing a sense of divisiveness in our Church.  However, on January 1st, the Associated Press released the “backstory” on why the Vatican put the brakes on the vote (go to to see a copy of the article).  Essentially, U.S. church leaders didn’t sufficiently discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See before the USCCB meeting (as they are required to do).  The draft proposals to be voted on only arrived at the Vatican on Nov. 8, four days before the U.S. bishops’ meeting began.  While the Vatican is known for its slow pace, even the speediest bureaucracy would have found it difficult to review and sign off on sensitive legal documents in that time.  The Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops wrote: “Considering the nature and scope of the documents being proposed by the (conference), I believe it would have been beneficial to have allowed for more time to consult with this and other congregations with competence over the ministry and discipline of bishops,” since the Holy See has exclusive authority to investigate and discipline problem bishops.  

So – far from being obstructionist, Pope Francis had already called the US Bishops to take a decidedly un-American approach to the problem: instead of holding a knee-jerk type of vote (the subject of which apparently was already causing factions among the bishops), he challenged the bishops to enter into prayer and discernment.  He provided the services of Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household, to lead a “mandatory” retreat earlier in January for some 280 US Bishops, gathering a group of men publicly divided over a host of issues for prayer and meditation away from daily pressures.  Their reflection was guided by a hard-hitting 8 page letter from the Holy Father, received as the retreat began, in which Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the bishops during the retreat and urged them to draw on the Holy Spirit’s guidance as they reflected on how to combat the “culture of abuse” and work together with the Holy Father and all the world’s bishops toward restoring credibility to the Church.  

Pope Francis is scheduled to enter into deliberations with the presidents of all the world’s bishops’ conferences in late February, to ensure that there will be worldwide applicability in working toward healing the brokenness of our Church and bringing renewed hope to Catholics everywhere.    

Our Holy Father is bringing a very Ignatian approach to collaborating with the bishops to address the crisis:  prayer, discernment and then action.  (No doubt misguided “actions” of some bishops in the past – taken without much prayer and discernment – have been a great contributor to the mess we find ourselves in today!) 

We continue to pray for Pope Francis, our bishops, all women and men who minister in the Church and all members of the People of God as we move through this present darkness, guided by the light of Christ.   

                                                                                                                                                            Grace and peace,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer



p.s. In the spirit of continued transparency, I hope to host another open-forum discussion (like that of September 24th) for our community sometime in March, once we hear and can process the results of the late February meeting at the Vatican of Pope Francis with the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences.  Stay tuned!