Julian Nabozny, owner of five Phoenix-area McDonald’s restaurants, gets up from a booth as a homeless man enters his bustling store on south Central Avenue. The man is carrying a grimy thermos he’s hoping to fill with ice at the soda dispenser.
At 35, Tom Peterson was a cradle Catholic who ran his own ad agency and never missed Mass. “But I lived in that lukewarm area where I could pick and choose,” Peterson said. He was prone to swearing and given to anger, busy running his agency.
When you turn onto their quiet street in East Mesa, you can spot the Briseño family’s house right away: it’s the one with the 15-passenger van parked in the driveway.
That knock at the door might not be a sales person. Sr. Margery Therese Harkin, PVMI, with her soft Irish brogue and sparkling blue eyes, is out pounding the streets, looking for the lost sheep, even as the summer’s brutal heat beats down on her pale blue dress and veil.
By the world’s standards, Cristofer Pereyra was doing well. He’d emigrated from Peru at age 15, graduated from college and landed a good job, working as a reporter at Channel 33, the Phoenix affiliate of Univision, the Spanish-language television network.
Deacon Ken Kulinowski was born in Buffalo, N.Y., just 22 days after the Nazis invaded Poland. The grandson of Polish-speaking immigrants, Kulinowski attended a Polish national school.
Nestled at the foot of Camelback Mountain, the Mount Claret Retreat Center stands as oasis of sorts in the midst of a bustling city. Tom McGuire, the new director of the facility, is hoping more and more Catholics will seek God’s presence there.
Alex Vera grew up in St. Joseph, Mo., during the 1940s — a time when European immigrants arrived fleeing World War II. Although she was baptized Catholic by her mother, Vera was actually raised as a Methodist.
A teacher spotted Mike Shanks’ extraordinary artistic ability when the St. Thomas the Apostle parishioner was in eighth grade. “What you have, it’s not normal,” the photography instructor told him.
Although fiction, Joyce Coronel has taken elements of her life growing up in Scottsdale and as a writer for The Catholic Sun to craft a story loosely based on the real hardships facing Chaldean Catholics living in the Middle East.