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 - January 29, 2012

My Brothers and Sisters,

Just two weeks ago, over the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday weekend, the annual P.F. Chang Marathon took place on Sunday January 15th.   Personally I have nothing against marathons – in fact I ran in one when I was in graduate school, believe it or not (that’s certainly a piece of “ancient history” for me!).  I enjoyed participating in that marathon and helping to raise funds for a good cause.

Some years ago, the originally P.F. Chang Marathon was run, among other places, along McDowell Road and through Papago Park – this was as close as the marathon encroached into the geographical area of our parish in its first couple of years.  Then, after some pressure from car dealers along McDowell Road due to their loss of Sunday business as a result of the road closure, the marathon planners came up with the idea of including some scenic neighborhoods – Arcadia among them – in the marathoners’ itinerary, in order to avoid a closure of McDowell Road. A great idea, except for the fact that the route of the marathon cut through the geographical area of our parish (roughly 40th Street to 64th Street, McDowell Road to the crest of Camelback Mountain). Had the marathon been scheduled on the Saturday or on Monday of the MLK Holiday weekend, it would have been no issue for St.  Theresa Parish or other Christian churches in our area – but of course, the marathon was scheduled on a Sunday morning – the “prime time” for Christian worship. When that decision was made, I contacted the governor’s office and City Hall – and it was arranged that I would meet with representatives of the city governments and police departments of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale along with the marathon organizers so that I could “state my case” for the impact that the new marathon route would have on St. Theresa and other churches (as the auto dealers had stated their case about the former route). The upshot of that meeting was that a few concessions were made – such as issuing “passes” to churchgoers to cross the blocked streets as police-controlled checkpoints – but that never really worked too well, mainly because of interdepartmental miscommunication among the various police departments involved.  Predictably, due to the inconvenience of Sunday morning travel within our parish, Sunday morning Mass attendance was abysmal on “Marathon Sunday.” For the 2012 marathon we were informed that the “passes” would no longer be available, and the route of the runners was altered slightly – making travel in our neighborhoods even more restrictive.

So – the decision was made to change Mass times for the weekend of the Marathon, with the hope of easing our parishioners’ ability to attend Mass. Masses were offered at 4:00 and 5:30PM on Saturday, 7:00AM and 6:00PM on Sunday.  The 4PM Mass was the most “popular” of the Masses – it was packed. At 5:30, the church was probably about two-thirds full, at 7AM Sunday the attendance was very light and 6PM was slightly lighter than normal.  (After the fact, I came to learn that some streets were closed an hour or so earlier than the 7:30AM closures that were promised us – no doubt foiling the attempts of some to come to the 7AM Mass on Sunday).

I would like to gain your input into potential schedule adjustments for NEXT year’s Marathon Weekend, while it’s still relatively fresh in all of our minds. So, in next Sunday’s bulletin I will offer a “ballot” of sorts so that you can express your opinion and preferences as to what Mass schedule might work best for you for Marathon Weekend 2013. Please take some time this coming week to creatively and prayerfully reflect on the schedule that we followed two weeks ago, and what changes could even better serve you on this challenging weekend as we move forward into the future!

Many thanks! 


Blessings and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer, V.F.




Reflections - January 22, 2012

My Brothers and Sisters,

Do you know of anyone who is looking for a great Catholic education in a loving and faith-filled environment for their pre-K through grade eight child(ren)? 

Let your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors know that St. Theresa Catholic School is hosting an Open House NEXT Sunday, January 29th, from 10:00AM until 1:00PM.

The Open House gives anyone interested a chance to learn about our school directly from teachers, students and staff.  Tours of the facilities will be offered, as well as a chance to register prospective students for the 2012-13 school year.  Even if you’re not “in the market” for a school, but would like to experience a bit of our school, come to the Open House!   In addition to the Open House, a special Kindergarten Information Evening is scheduled in Father Feeney Hall for Thursday February 2nd from 6:30 until 8:30PM.

St. Theresa Catholic School is a fully-accredited (NCEA and WCA), nationally recognized school that has some of the most experienced and competent teachers in the Diocese and a tradition reaching back to 1957.  The overwhelming majority of our graduating eighth-graders go on to succeed at the high school of their choice.  In addition to top-notch academics, our school offers strong Catholic Christian spiritual formation, weekly all-school Masses, a variety of extra-curricular sports, social, service and enrichment activities, a wonderful community of families with many opportunities for parental involvement as well as bus and lunch service on a secure and beautiful campus.  We also provide licensed before- and after-school extended care for students.

All of the attributes and enhancements of our school help us to fulfill our mission statement: “St. Theresa Catholic School, a ministry of St. Theresa Parish, prepares students spiritually, academically and socially to assume responsible and productive roles in society while living out the values of the Gospel.”

Check out our school website (www.STCS.US) for further info… if someone you know may be  interested in our school but is unable to make the Open House next week, have them contact the school office at 602.840.0010 to arrange for a private tour and a meeting with our Principal, Mrs. Maureen Fyan.

I’m privileged and proud to be Pastor of a parish with a school as fine and vibrant as St. Theresa Catholic School!


Grace and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer, V.F.




Reflections - January 15, 2012

No Reflections - Marathon Route Map Insert


Reflections - January 8, 2012

My Brothers and Sisters,

We’ve had a rather abbreviated experience of the Christmas Season this year, since Christmas fell on a Sunday – as did the Octave Day of Christmas, the Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God – New Year’s Day.  As a result, feasts of the Christmas Season which typically occur on Sunday landed on weekdays this year: the Feast of the Holy Family was celebrated on Friday December 30th and the final day of the Christmas Season, the Baptism of the Lord, falls on Monday January 9th.

Today’s Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, then, is our final weekend celebration of the Christmas Season.  (In years past, Epiphany would always be celebrated on January 6th as the final of the “twelve days of Christmas” – so the idea of Epiphany being the last “big” feast of this season is nothing new!) 

The word “epiphany” has its roots in the Greek word ἐπιφάνεια, which means “to show, make known or reveal.” In the context of the Church’s celebration, Epiphany signifies the manifestation or revealing of Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior – not just of the Jewish people, but Savior of the World. 

The concept of the universality of salvation brought about by the Messiah was unprecedented in the Hebrew Scriptures. The long-expected Messiah was coming to save the Chosen People, the Jews – to set them free.  And yet, as we celebrate Epiphany, we hear the Gospel story of the magi (wise men, likely astrologers) arriving “from the east” – i.e., Gentile (or pagan) territory to pay homage to the newborn king of the Jews. They are guided by the light of a star to find the Light of the World. After paying the newborn Christ Child homage, they elude Herod and return to their own land – bringing the light of Christ with them: a Light which has spread to all nations.

Our tradition of decorating with lights at Christmas – and keeping them lit at least though Epiphany – symbolizes this same Light of Christ which has gone forth to all nations, which has come into our hearts twenty centuries after the light of the star guided the magi to the newborn King. As we drink in the beauty of the lights on the Christmas tree, at the crèche and around the church – both inside and out – may we be reminded that we too – like the magi – bear the Light of Christ to a world that is still in need of the full manifestation of that Light!


Grace and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer, V.F.






Next Weekend’s Masses, to accommodate the PF Chang Marathon road closures:


Saturday 14 January at 4:00PM and 5:30PM

Sunday 15 January at 7:00AM and 6:00PM


Confessions on Saturday from 3:00 – 4:00 PM (half hour earlier than usual).



Reflections - January 1, 2012

My Brothers and Sisters,

Happy New Year!  As we enter 2012, may we follow the example of Mary, the Mother of God as we heard in today’s Gospel: “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2: 19). All what “things?” we might ask. I suspect that what Mary was caught up in pondering was how God had blessed her in so many ways!

The New Year is a great opportunity to reflect… to ponder the events of the past year, and to look forward to what’s to come in the New Year. Maybe we can take some time in the coming days to do this reflecting and pondering specifically in light of how God has been – and continues to be – so very active in our lives. God has blest each of us incredibly… in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. We have so much to be grateful for, and to rejoice in, as we begin 2012.

On a slightly different note… the annual P.F. Chang Marathon is just two weeks away (Sunday 15 January). Those of you who have been parishioners for a while can recall the ways in which the Marathon road closures make coming and going to Sunday Mass extremely challenging on the day of the run. We have been informed that this year, traffic will be even more restricted than in the past on Sunday the 15th from 7:30AM to 2:00PM. So, rather than having parishioners “run the gauntlet” to try to get to Mass on the morning of Marathon Sunday, we are going to “experimentally” change the Mass schedule for January 14th and 15th, to make it easier for St. Theresa Parishioners to make it to Mass. The adjusted schedule will be as follows:

· Saturday 14 Januarytwo Vigil Masses will be celebrated, one at 4:00PM and the other at 5:30 PM (note: there will be no 5PM Mass that day).


· Sunday 15 January:  only two Masses will be celebrated, one at 7:00AM and the other at 6:00PM (note: those coming to 7AM Mass will be given specific instructions how to navigate home after Mass, avoiding the road closures).


· Confessions on Saturday 14 January will be offered from 3:00 to 4:00PM (one half hour earlier than usual).


We will return to our usual Mass and Confession schedule the following weekend, January 21st and 22nd.

My hope is that all of our parishioners will be able to adjust their schedule so as to be able to participate in one of the four Masses offered at St. Theresa on “Marathon Weekend.” If you have friends or neighbors who normally try to make it to another church on the morning of the Marathon and have been frustrated by the traffic detours, please feel free to invite them to come to one of our special Masses on January 14th or 15th. All are welcome, including runners!  

May God, the source and origin of all blessing, grant you grace, pour out his blessings in abundance, and keep you safe from harm throughout the (new) year! *


Grace and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer, V.F.



(* from the Blessing for the Beginning of the Year, Third Edition of the Roman Missal)

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