Our bounded issues since 1987. To contact diocesan archives for copies of old articles or photos: (602) 354-2475 or online: https://www.diocesephoenix.org/archives.php

Is your summer flying by? How about the years? It’s been almost 25 years since Pope John Paul II visited Phoenix and 10 since he canonized Padre Pio. Take a look at select headlines from July issues of The Catholic Sun over the years.

From our July 1987 issues (25 years ago):

  • Pope to draw largest press corps here ever
    An estimated 15,000-20,000 press credential requests would be filed for the pope’s U.S. visit which got underway in September 1987. At the time of printing, 1,000 had applied in Phoenix. His visit was set to beat another high-profile media event: the 1984 Olympics on Los Angeles which drew 6,000 journalists.
  • 150,000 papal cross replicas will be distributed for visit
  • Pope prays for 5 billionth living human
  • Bilingual services held for Vietnamese here
    Some 250 Catholics throughout the diocese gathered weekly for a bilingual (English and Vietnamese) Mass at St. Matthew Parish. Children arrived early for a Bible study. A Vietnamese mission was established in 2004 and, within months, was elevated to “parish” status. The church, now at 29th and Northern avenues, was dedicated in April 2010.
  • Navajo Bible camp had many Valley volunteers
    Four Missionaries of Charity Sisters plus 11 Valley volunteers — largely teenagers from St. Timothy Parish in Mesa, St. Jerome Parish and Bourgade Catholic High School — ran a two-week Bible camp for 50 children on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Gallup, New Mexico. Only six of the kids were Catholic at the time.
  • Desire since third grade fulfilled for Claretian
    Fred LeClaire, a Sacred Heart School alum, was ordained at the Prescott church for the Claretian order
  • Stars come out for liturgical music concert
    What was planned as a youth event for northern Arizona Catholics became a five-hour family affair featuring Tom Booth, Rory Cooney, Paul Hillebrand and Daniel Consiglio
  • Publication sets focus on Catholic teen-agers
    Hearts Aflame magazine by Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, was a 32-page, full-color bi-monthly magazine. Subscriptions: $2/year
  • Fire! Arson being investigated in Xavier High gym blaze
    The fire caused more than $250,000 in damage, gutted the coaches’ office and caused smoke and water damage to the building.

From our July 2002 issues:

  • Pope canonizes Padre Pio, says his spirituality was valuable model
    The June 16 canonization marked one of the largest liturgies (more than 300,000) in Vatican history.
  • Obituaries
    Connie Beachem, 80, was a founding member of the Black Catholic Concerns Committee, which became the Office of Black Catholic Ministry. She vowed to send her future daughter to St. Mary’s after being impressed with St. Mary’s students she interacted with while working at a grocery store. She later converted to the faith.
    Monica Weflen, owner and cofounder of The King’s House Catholic store in Scottsdale.
  • Numbers down spirits up for World Youth Day in Toronto
  • Survey finds campus ministry boosts Catholics’ faith lives later
  • ‘Pit Bull’ Injasoulian signs off as communications director
    Marge Injasoulian was the first communications director for the diocese