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
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

If your kids earned a dollar for every time someone says, “Remember when….” during family gatherings this Christmas, they might strike it rich enough to buy a new toy. I won’t pay up for typing those same words, but do you remember when these stories made headlines?

From December 1987 issues (25 years ago):

  • Phoenix Serra Club installs first women members
    The club devotes itself to prayer and support of religious vocations, both as priests and women religious. Its first two female members included Jean Roozendaal, who appeared to work in the diocesan Office of Vocations for five years at the time. Theresa Heidgen, the other female inductee that year, had a son ordained to the priesthood 27 years prior.
    A related brief from the newswire reads: ‘Serra miracle clears way to beatification.’ The Serra Club is named after Fr. Junipero Serra.
  • Phoenix Suns’ coach named CDA chairman
    John Wetzel
  • Priest turns 90, reflects on pioneer ministry
    The lead read: “During the past month, Fr. Joseph Patterson has been interviewed three times and photographed from just about every angle of his living room, resulting in five Valley newspapers running his story.”
    He helped fix a well in Guadalupe and built what was then St. Mary’s grammar school, one adobe brick at a time.
  • New church being built in Sun City
    That December saw a groundbreaking for a new Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Sun City West. Its 2,000 families held services in a multi-purpose social hall.
  • Ukrainian parish marks anniversary, millennium
    Report that the local Catholic community marked its 25th anniversary, although the article said the founding could have been as early as ’57, making it the 30th anniversary.

From December 2002 issues (10 years ago):

  • A day of achievement and grace (deacon ordination)
    The page 3 article reported on the 1,600 people — including that bishop of Gallup, New Mexico at the time who came as Deacon Lou Cornille’s friend — who showed up to witness and celebrate the ordination of 19 new deacons, the largest group in years.
    The first cohort of deacons was ordained for the Phoenix Diocese 40 years ago. Like this year when the bishop ordained 16, the 2002 ordination class was so large, that it wasn’t practical to hold the Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, the diocese’s mother church. St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Chandler hosted the historical event.
  • New church to be ready in time for Christmas
    St. Thomas More Parish in Glendale, then a five-year-old family, planned to open a 1,600-seat house of God by Dec. 14 that year. It was a quick transition from an orange grove at 6180 W. Utopia* Road to a ceremonial groundbreaking in late 2001 to a full church the following Christmas.
    *Tidbit: the parish is so named because its location matched the title of a work by St. Thomas More.
  • Synod: unifying the diverse and colorful people of our diocese
    Reports on the Dec. 12 multilingual liturgy that commissioned a 350-member delegation as a synod to “strengthen the unity and vitality of the life of the church, and perhaps set new directions for all of us as members.”
  • New campus locates social services to one site
    Tucked back on page 19, this article reports on groundbreaking for what is now the Human Services Campus, a one-stop shop of outreaches designed to help the homeless and those newly released from jail receive daily meals, temporary shelter, job leads, health care and more. It’s now home to offices like André House, St. Joseph the Worker, St. Vincent de Paul.
  • Cuban family finds Ariz. refuge, thanks to Catholic Social Service. Family arrives in time for holidays
    Reports on how, through the help of Catholic Charities, Erick and Misleydis Leyva won the lottery system that allowed them to move from Cuba to Phoenix with their three children as refugees.
    Ten years later, our December issue happens to again report on a Cuban refugee family that Catholic Charities helped resettle in the Valley. The agency serves roughly 1,000 refugees each year.