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 - July 29, 2018

Last week in the Pastor’s “Reflections”, I spoke about Christmas in July. It follows then that this weekend should be the celebration of the “New Year” in July. Actually, it is the beginning of a New Year—The New School Year. School for the Fall semester begins one week from Monday, the 6th of August. Parents, students, teachers, the administration, the staff, even the priests and the parish at large are gearing up for something new. 

Any new beginning, the beginning of a secular year, the beginning of a school year, even the beginning of a new day has a better chance of being profitable if we take the time to to employ “intention”. Intention is to aim for some goal or have a plan to achieve something. Knowing the cycles of life, innate to human living, give us opportunities every year, every month, indeed every day to try to do better when these opportunities present themselves time and again, every time they come around. It is with intention, we can make the most of such opportunities. 

This year, we might begin by the intent to be genuinely grateful for the summer that passed by too quickly. In being grateful for the past, our  intentions can move into being grateful for what is to come in the new. We become a more grateful parent, priest, person; a more greatful living being. It takes the intention to be more aware of our personal needs as well as our communal needs to move more deeply into the awareness of what we are  called to be and what our call to others is.

Intentionality means you are purposeful in word and action. It means you live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means you make thoughtful choices in your life. Being intentional means you actively interact and engage with your life and the life’s of others. Sound familiar? It means all of our gifts, blessings, talents are given by God to be used not only for our benefit, but the benefit of others. 

Starting with the simple act of being grateful for the past summer (however imperfect it was) helps us toward making a commitment to carry out those actions in the future that will make a difference in our lives. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought that help us to be successful in our goals. Hummmm... let’s start this new “year” with the intention to be better than last year. Let’s begin this new day with intent to be more patient, forgiving, loving.  Let’s pray for the courage that lead to the actions that will change our world. Let’s take one small step toward engagement of others with kindness and love... Happy “New” Year.



Fr. JC



Reflections - July 22, 2018

It is “Christmas in July” this Wednesday. Ok, you may want to label me “Peter Pan”, one of those that loves a good time and uses any excuse to run toward any celebration. Take into consideration that a great many have now included Christmas in July in their annual festivities. Even the Hallmark Channel schedules a “Christmas Keepsake Holiday Week” from July 13-July 26 where their roster of our favorite Christmas movies is guaranteed a diversion for our hot summers. Rather than a mere diversion, or an excuse for a good time, might Christmas in July be an opportunity to celebrate all the countless good things, the blessings, the people that come our way every day?

Looking at it in this way might entail some thought, some serious deliberation, some energy like anything that is worthwhile. It might entail actually paying some attention. It would require that we would give genuine attention to others, and ourselves. I know of one young man, attending Brophy, that realizes it is indeed important to authentically relate to one another. Although it doesn’t shock him, it still puzzles him that his buddies come together and the first thing that occurs is the temptation for everyone to get on their cell phones and start texting away or start playing Fortnite, (which is the game ALL the boys are enamored with at the moment).  It isn’t just the younger generation that have this temptation. I have been at a dinner table where the cell phones are kept in close proximity in order to attend to something important, should that happen. What is more important than, at least in that time frame of a dinner, the other, the guest? Dare I confess that I have sat across the breakfast table from Fr. Chuck with coffee cup in one hand and iPhone in the other. I half heartedly listen to him while using the excuse of multitasking in order to keep the requirements of the day in control. I wonder what happened to that gift of Presence in our modern American culture? It is much easier to give Chuck a token, a small offering, a gift I picked up along the way during my travels & adventures, a Present to reward him for accommodating my lack of authentic interest in his day. An object that caught my attention for whatever reason. A thing that originally I really never associated or even concerned him with. In being attentive to my needs and wants, I can confess that perhaps there is that  element of a tactic (at least partially) to divert his awareness from my lack of wanting to relate authentically with him in that moment. An excuse to avoid genuinely being present to him. We are all overburdened with “important” activities.

We are all pulled in many directions. Our precious time is sought after from many sources at once. Never the less, it happens to be true, that the greatest gift we can give others and ourselves is genuine Presence.


Fr. JC



Reflections - July 15, 2018

Brothers and Sisters,

Last week in my reflection letter I wrote about the effort I see parents making with their children, that is to help them know and live the word of God and to be strengthened by the Eucharist.  One of the many ways to achieve this goal is to help parents grow in their relationship with God.  There’s that old adage  “You can’t give what you don’t have”.  

Personally, this strikes a chord in me because all day long, I am called on to be compassionate and understanding (among many things), just like many parents are in interacting with their children. We are all aware of the importance of self-care and how the lack of it can impact our attitude.  When I am well rested and feeling happy, my patience level is high and I have enthusiasm to share.  So often, with all the demands of the day this important awareness takes a back seat and I‘m not good for myself, much less for others.  I can imagine the busy demands of our days cause all of us to feel this way from time to time.

One way at Saint Theresa we help in this endeavor, even though we are still overwhelmed by the hundreds of little things, is to remember the big picture.  Parents transfer happiness and contentment to their children and others, according to German studies (2012).  Here at Saint Theresa, we want to support that and encourage parents as well as everyone to realize their own best self.  We want to assist you in continuing to build a community where you will find support.  We want to remind everyone to find gratitude daily.  How will we support that?  One of many programs offered here is Praise for Parents (PfP). One of the basic premises of PfP is to let go of what doesn’t matter and stay engaged with what does. 

So you might be thinking to yourself, what is Praise for Parents?  It’s an awesome program that does just what the title says.  It helps parents understand that parenting is a ministry and a vocation.  It is a monthly program that strengthens the bond between parish and families, parents and priests.  Set in a non-threatening and non-judgmental environment, the demands placed on parents are explored in light of Gospel values through use of Scripture. Make a decision to join us when the program starts again this fall!



Father JC



Reflections - July 8, 2018

Once again, while Father Chuck is on his yearly vacation, the “Reflections” column in the bulletin falls to me. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I thought I would share some of the emotions, thoughts and feelings that flood through my mind as I sit in the Presider’s chair every Sunday.

One thought that frequently comes to my mind as I look out and see families at Mass is an appreciation of the sacrifice and energy they’ve given to attend and make Sunday Liturgy a priority. I want you to know that from my perspective, I see men and women, families, who are trying. Some are struggling, but all are doing their best to be here every Sunday and lead their family in staying present at Mass. That in itself gives me feelings of hope, joy and some excitement. For I know it isn’t easy to get your younger children ready, when they want to wear their cowboy boots with their shorts and you want them to wear something else.  It isn’t easy to get your teens out of bed and listen to them grumble all the way here. I know it isn’t easy when your spouse doesn’t feel as motivated as you to be here. It isn’t easy when society presents so many other events and opportunities to fill your schedule, even on a Sunday. Remember the good old days, when everything was closed on Sundays and families went to church to worship and to find a social connection?

In working together with dedicated men and women from every walk of life, I hear their needs and know they only want to do the best for their families. This priest, among others, wants to convey a message that your presence here matters. The message that your presence makes Scripture come alive and makes the Eucharist an important, energizing force in all of our lives.

So thank you for making the effort to be here. Pope Francis says, “Family life, seen with the eyes of faith, shows itself to be worth more than the effort it requires. It is a masterpiece of simplicity and is beautiful precisely because it is not artificial, not fake." Let us continue to work together to build a strong Parish FAMILY here at Saint Theresa.



Father JC



Reflections - July 1, 2018

My Brothers and Sisters,

You may be aware that, in order to have my Reflections column appear in the Sunday bulletin, it has to be completed prior to the entire content of the bulletin being sent to the publisher early in the “week before” you receive the printed copy of the bulletin at Mass. So, I’m working on this particular Reflections on Monday June 25th from Albuquerque, New Mexico where Fr. JC and I have come to attend a National Assembly of US Catholic Priests as part of our continuing education/formation as encouraged by the Bishop. This is a bit of a preamble to giving you the context of why I’m choosing to share my thoughts on the daily Gospel of Monday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time, since that passage is foremost on my mind as I write: Matthew 7:1-5.

The advice (command?) Jesus gives in these few verses challenges me, as I know I have a considerable amount of growth to accomplish in order to fully integrate this teaching into my life. It’s definitely a day-to-day discipline for me (and some days are “better” than others!).  Perhaps you feel a similar challenge as you hear these words: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye."

These are stinging words to me, as I realize how very easy it is for me to slip into judgmentalism:  whether it be about another’s physical appearance, their particular approach to practicing their Catholic faith, the appearance of their particular lifestyle and the choices that they make – of course, the list of things that can provoke me to be judgmental can go on and on. Maybe you can relate to this temptation! 

Sometimes I have success in fighting this temptation (and approaching the ideal that Jesus calls his disciples to) when I consciously “catch” myself in the act of being judgmental. I internally tell myself to stop those judgmental thoughts, ask the Lord’s strength in being able to do so and then I ask God to bring blessing to the person I was just in the process of judging. For me, this helps… but it’s definitely a day-by-day process. The first step is to be aware that we’re actually being judgmental, and not just passively accept it as a norm of our daily activities.  Asking the Holy Spirit to help me to recognize those situations in which I tend to be judgmental has also been helpful to me.

In these coming weeks, as I take my annual vacation, you will have a little break from my Reflections column and will instead hear from Fr. JC and maybe Fr. Joachim. Know that I will be lifting you in prayer during my time away from the parish; please keep me in yours! May God continue to bring us – as Christ’s disciples – wisdom, grace and strength as we strive to put into practice and live the challenging teachings of our Lord and Master! 


Blessings and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer



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