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 - October 6, 2019 | Main | Reflections - September 22, 2019 »

Reflections - September 29, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

Over the course of the past several years, I’ve been fairly “quiet” about my being a member of a special Order of the Church, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre (more formally known as the “Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem”). However, due to the fact that I am absent from the parish this weekend attending the Annual Meeting of the Order taking place in Scottsdale, I thought that this would be an appropriate opportunity to share with you a bit of how I became involved in the Order, and a bit of what this Order is all about.

Close to ten years ago, I was surprised to learn that Bishop Olmsted had recommended me to be inducted into the Order. At first, I didn’t realize that it would be as significant as it turned out to be.  On October 3rd 2010 at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, each inductee was individually “knighted” by Cardinal Roger Mahoney, then-Archbishop of Los Angeles and Cardinal John Foley, Grand Master of the Order and papal representative, based in Vatican City. The “Mass of Solemn Investiture” was close to three hours long (and no one left early). A couple of days before the investiture, all of the inductees attended a retreat day at which the history and goals of the Order were shared. At the retreat, we learned that the Order traces its origins to the years before 1336 (which was the first written documentation of the Order) when it was seen necessary to provide protection for the burial place of Jesus and other sacred sites in the Holy Land during the violence of the Crusades. Knights (who rode on horseback – hence the “Equestrian” name of the order) were sent to patrol the significant Christian sites in and around Jerusalem to prevent them being destroyed or vandalized. From the 14th century on, due to the commitment and ideals of these Knights, the popes re-affirmed their desire that the Order remain “juridically annexed” to the Holy See – as a result, to this day the Order is the only such organization with the distinction of such a unique connection with the Holy Father. 

In the words of the Vatican’s press office, “In more modern times, the Order’s policy has been, and still is, to help the Christians in the Holy Land achieve educational and professional standards that will enable them to play an active part in the society of their own country, at a level that will give them equality with people of other faiths.  Since the end of the 19th century, the Order has financed the construction of 40 patriarchal schools in Israel, Palestine and Jordan and it now has a commitment to fund their running costs. Today around 19,000 pupils and students attend these schools, from nursery classes through elementary, middle and upper school, as well as in a number of technical schools. On average, the student breakdown is 60% Christian (Catholics, Orthodox, etc.) and 40% Muslim. The Order’s involvement with education helps to deal with a very important problem in the region: how to get people of different races and religions used to living in peace and mutual respect. If these values are encouraged from an early age they may be implanted in children’s minds, otherwise there is no hope of doing it at a later stage, for in adolescence young people are easy prey to extremist ideologies.”  

Please keep the men and women of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre – and their efforts - in your prayer.  The Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre support and underwrite the operational expenses of the Patriarchate and its 68 parishes, the 900 or so teachers and other staff in the educational establishments, the patriarchal seminary, orphanages and clinics - as well as those of the Patriarchate’s new enterprises and other ongoing projects (including the construction of housing for young Christian families).  May God continue to bring the Order’s good works success and blessings!


In Christ’s peace,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer