Ever get stranded at an auto repair shop and have nothing to read or do except whatever you may have left in the car? For you lower-tech people out there who can relate, that was me a few weeks ago.

I had left my notebook at the office, so I couldn’t write while my car and I patiently awaited our turn. I had to read. Thinking I would call a nearby parish about a photo opp when my car was fixed, I brought the diocesan directory with me to “read” in the lobby.

The diocese has at least 10 parishes and missions that share the same patron saint. Other parishes share the same street name, but different zip code.
The diocese has at least 10 parishes and missions that share the same patron saint. Other parishes share the same street name, but different zip code.

If you’ve never seen the directory, think of it as a phone book exclusively containing diocesan info with bonuses such as handy maps and Mass times, names of hospital chaplaincies and a collection of key info for other institution and agencies with whom the diocese works.

I was set out to learn some rather useless information. Or so I thought.

What I found was a few fascinating facts. It all started with me realizing that Fr. Bruno Cuario is canonical pastor at St. Francis Parish in Seligman and pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Williams, 42 miles away.

Then I started to notice that some of our parishes across our nearly 44,000-square-mile diocese share more than just pastoral leadership. They share similar street addresses too.

With at least two Catholic school students I know of headed to the State Geography Bee in Tucson April 5 — including St. Theresa eighth-grader Chad Woods who finished in Arizona’s top 10 last year — I thought I would quiz you on parish geography.

See if you know which parish properties have the following addresses:

  • 3rd Street — I guess its fitting that a trio of churches with parishioners who believe in the Trinity were built on Third Street, although they each have differing corresponding cardinal directions, but strangely enough, a similar number of registered families.
    The diocese’s only basilica, St. Mary’s, is located on N. Third Street. It has 670 registered families…
    …while St. Henry’s parish office in Buckeye is on S. Third Street. A new church property at a different location opened in February. It has 686 registered families.
    St. William Parish in Cashion, home to 600 families, is on W. Third Street.
  • Schools and parishes with their own road name
    St. Thomas Aquinas School and Parish in Avondale are both on Thomas Road.
    St. Peter Mission School in Bapchule is located on St. Peter Road.
    St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Parish in Anthem is located on Rose Canyon Circle, a cross between its parish name and the name of a Christian church slated to be built nearby.
  • 24th Street — Holy Family Parish is south of Southern Avenue and St. Thomas the Apostle School is south of Camelback Road.
  • E. Dana Ave./E. Dana Dr. — The former is the address for Christ the King in Mesa and the latter is for St. Germaine in Prescott Valley.
  • 35th Avenue — St. Jerome Parish and School are north of Peoria Avenue while St. James Parish is five-and-a-half miles north just before Loop 101. Don’t be late to Mass at either location as three of their five Sunday Mass times match as well.