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 - April 14, 2019 | Main | Reflections - March 31, 2019 »

Reflections - April 7, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

Last week I learned from Fr. Nelson Libera (a fellow Judge on the Tribunal and Pastor of St. Matthew Parish and School in West Phoenix) that he and his parishioners had spent the prior Sunday (March 24th) assisting 37 migrant families seeking asylum in the US (90 people in all) who had been “dropped off” by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. These families were bused from the border and simply left at the bus terminal to fend for themselves. They had no resources, no place to sleep, no food, water and only the clothing on their backs.

Parishioners of St. Matthew’s, members of their parish and school staff were joined by other volunteers from a network of Valley churches to provide medical care, food, water and showers.  Many of the asylum-seekers shared their experiences with Fr. Nelson, who was moved by the stories of the conditions in their own countries from which they were fleeing along with stories of their long journey to seek asylum. Having had a week-long stay in El Salvador the year before last related to my involvement with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), I have some appreciation of the economic and other hardships of many Salvadorans, the prevalence of gang violence and even the corruption of many police and other government officials. Currently, the US Department of State classifies El Salvador as a “Level 3/High Risk” country for danger, noting “Violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics and arms trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.”  Honduras and Nicaragua are also Level Three countries (only Level Four countries, mostly found in war zones, are considered more dangerous). Three out of the seven nations are considered “high risk” by the State Department – and these countries are the ones that many Central Americans are fleeing in search of asylum. Frankly, if I lived with my family in a Level Three country with little hope of change or improvement there, I too would be seeking asylum. And, traditionally, the United States has been considered a refuge for those seeking asylum. (Note: the asylum-seekers are not “undocumented” or “illegal” immigrants. These individuals and families have presented themselves to US authorities at the border in order to begin the process of being granted asylum. It’s at that point that our government buses them to places like Phoenix, so that they can then find their way to family members or friends around the US until such time their asylum cases are settled). Unfortunately there is a gap between the asylum-seekers being dropped off by ICE and their being able to make it to wherever their destinations might be. This is where communities like St. Matthew’s have stepped in to assist the asylum-seekers. I am pleased to let you know that St. Theresa Parish has assisted St. Matthew Parish in their efforts to assist the asylum-seekers with a grant of $1200 from our parish tithing budget. It’s just one small way that we can help an already economically-disadvantaged parish community as they respond to the Gospel challenge to “welcome the stranger.”

Our Holy Father Pope Francis, in addressing the people of Morocco on March 30th upon his arrival there noted that the migration crisis throughout the world is “grave” and that it is an “urgent summons for concrete actions.”  The pope went on to urge global governments to see migrants as "persons, not numbers" and to acknowledge "their rights and dignity in daily life and in political decisions."  He said that many would not have left their home countries "were they not forced to do so.” 

May our Lenten journey challenge us to be grateful for the blessings that we enjoy (and easily take for granted) as we grow in our sensitivity toward those seeking hope in new lands.


Lenten grace and peace,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer