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 - September 1, 2019 | Main | Reflections - August 18, 2019 »

Reflections - August 25, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

Periodically in our spiritual journey as Christ’s disciples, it’s good to re-visit some of the “basics” of our faith – and nothing is more basic, or central, to Catholic Christians than the Sacrament of the Eucharist: something that we celebrate each time we participate in the Mass and receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. The celebration of the Eucharist, the Liturgy, is so central to our Catholic Faith that is referred to in the teachings of the second Vatican Council as “the source and summit – the fount and apex - of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, §11). 

The Liturgy and the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ is what gives us the grace, wisdom and strength to live out our lives as Christ’s disciples (with all the joys and challenges that come with that life). In this way, then, it is our “source” for the Christian life; our “fuel” to follow Christ day-by-day. The Eucharist is also the ultimate way we Catholics offer our thanks to God for all the blessings of our lives – in fact, the word Eucharist derives from the Greek word for “thanksgiving.” In this way, the Eucharist is the “summit” of all that we do as Catholic Christians.

The mystery of the Eucharist – in which the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ is made present and shared with us for our nourishment as the Body of Christ, the Church – challenges human understanding, logic and ultimately reason. The presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine cannot be known by the senses, but only through faith.  Relying on the senses alone, we can only see bread and wine – but by faith, we are able to recall the words of Christ by whose power the bread and wine have been transformed into his Body and Blood… and experience the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Hopefully, then, the act of receiving Communion is also an act of faith. When the minister says “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ,” the communicant’s “Amen” is a profession in the presence of the saving Christ: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, who now gives life to the believer by his or her reception of Holy Communion.

This is why the Church teaches us to come to Mass and (especially) to receive the Eucharist with reverence. As we are making our way forward to receive Holy Communion, we try our best to focus ourselves on the incredible gift of Christ himself that we are about to receive. Hopefully, we can have minimal distractions at this time! The norm established for Dioceses of the United States of America is that communion is to be received standing.* According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (§160), when receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes the whole of it. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood. Receiving under both kinds is a “fuller sign” of the Sacrament, however if one chooses to receive only the consecrated host, the communicant is still receiving the entire Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord.

*An exception can be made to the norm of standing to receive, in that the communicant can opt to receive the host while kneeling (Redemptionis Sacramentum § 91). Here at St. Theresa, our sloping floors present a hazard to those approaching from behind should a communicant unexpectedly kneel (a few years ago, a gentleman using a walker could not stop in time when someone suddenly knelt in front of him, and was forced to crash into the pew). So, a communicant who wishes to kneel while receiving should take his/her place (for the entire Mass) near the center aisle in the first pew on the tabernacle side of church and use the kneeler when receiving the host from the celebrant of the Mass. In this way, safety hazards can be avoided. 

Those adults and children who are not receiving Communion but wish to come forward at Communion time are welcome to come forward, approaching the minister with arms crossed over the chest to receive a special prayer from the minister.

May we always keep in mind what a tremendous gift the Eucharist is… the source and summit of our faith!   


Grace and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer