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 24, 2019 | Main | Reflections - February 10, 2019 »

Reflections - February 17, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

I recently read an article in America Magazine (an excellent Catholic periodical published by the Jesuits) that spoke of the experience of parents and priests around the presence of little children at Mass.  Predictably, the stories told by parents covered the spectrum from being made to feel terribly unwelcome at Mass by a priest or a fellow church-goer due their child “doing what children do” and not being perfectly still and quiet… to the exact opposite, where families with young children felt embraced by a caring and welcoming community and their presence at Mass is a cause for joy and hope. 

Not surprisingly, those families who are made to feel unwelcome (either by the priest or by adults around them) because of their children often make the decision to go elsewhere for Mass (or, they just quit going altogether – thinking “maybe we’ll return when the children are a little older,” but in fact they just drift away).  Conversely, those who feel that their entire family (kids and all) are welcome at Mass end up being joyful and engaged parishioners, active in their Catholic faith. 

I do believe that St. Theresa is a parish where little ones are a valued presence at Mass (I hope you parents feel the same way!)  To me, a squeal or other reminder of the existence of young people at Mass is a wonderful reminder of the gift of life and is a sign of hope in our Church… and of course, that’s only amplified in the ramada after Mass when the kids are running around with their donuts, playing hide-and-seek with their friends. 

One insightful priest, quoted in the America article, summed it up wonderfully by saying this:

“I love having little kids at Mass.  I love it when they are bored and pay no attention and squirm. I love it when they get distracted by a moth and spend five minutes following the moth’s precarious voyage among the lights.  It’s all good.  They are being soaked in the Mass.  They hear the words and feel the reverence and maybe they even sense the food of the experience, you know?  Sometimes people complain and make veiled remarks about behavior and discipline and decorum and the rapid dissolution of morals today and stuff like that but I have no patience for it.  For one thing they were little kids at Mass once, and for another if there are no little kids at Mass, pretty soon there won’t be any Masses.  You have to let kids be kids.

I love having little kids at Mass.  If you are distracted by a little kid being a little kid you are not focused on what’s holy.  Little kids are holy.  Let it be.  My only rule is no extended fistfights.  Other than that I don’t care about grapes and yawning.  I think the cadence and the rhythm and the custom and the peace of the Mass soak into kids without them knowing it.  That’s why a lot of the students here come back to Mass, I think—it sparks some emotional memory in them, and once they are back at Mass then they pay attention in new ways and find new food in it.  It’s all good.  The more the merrier.  I don’t mind dogs when I celebrate Mass, either.  For one thing they are generally better behaved than little kids, but for another I figure the Mass soaks into them too, and how could that be bad?  You know what I mean?”

To me, this is a perspective that we can all reflect upon!


Peace and joy in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer