Crozier Gala poised to formally mark diocese’s 50th, create new legacy

Keeping with the Diocese of Phoenix’s theme for its 50th anniversary, guests attending this year’s Crozier Gala April 27 will find a “Remembrance” theme guiding the night.

Catholic Community Foundation Crozier Gala

April 27

The Phoenician Resort, 6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale
(602) 354-2400


The black-tie gala, hosted by the Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix, is doubling as the formal celebration of the diocese’s jubilee year.

Attendees can expect short tributes to diocesan history via the first of a three-part video series and a testimony from a more recent convert — Herm Edwards, NFL’s studio analyst for ESPN and Arizona State University’s head football coach. There will also be live music by a seven-piece band — conveniently named the Lucky Devils — and dancing and fellowship with Catholics that crosses parish boundaries and spans generations.

To ensure greater inclusion of the latter, organizers reduced ticket prices for young professionals ages 35 and younger. All guests will be part of paying tribute to the generations of families, businesses and organizations that shaped the diocese and are a part of building its future.

“It is a joy to reflect on the growth of the Diocese of Phoenix over the past 50 years, recognizing the individual and collective dedication it took to bring us to where we are today,” said Trish Stark, co-chair for this year’s Crozier Gala. 

The St. Patrick parishioner, who also has roots at the Franciscan Renewal Center, has been a part of the diocese for much of its history — some 40-plus years — and knows its people fund widespread diocesan needs. The Catholic Community Foundation, particularly through its Crozier Gala, is one way to do that. 

Half of the funds raised at this year’s gala will establish a perpetual Eternal Life Fund supporting corporal works of mercy locally. The other half will continue the Crozier Catholic School Scholarship for children of diocesan employees with verified need and offset programmatic costs associated with events surrounding the Catholic Community Foundation’s grants, scholarships and other special programs.

“We provide so much support and help in our community, and I am honored to be part of those efforts,” Stark said of her involvement with the Catholic Community Foundation. Her efforts span nearly a decade.

The Crozier Gala itself is in its 31st year. The signature event takes its name from the stylized staff carried by a diocesan bishop as proceeds support the bishop’s priorities.

“It’s nice to look around the ballroom and see everyone enjoying themselves and celebrating our shared Catholic faith. You get to meet everybody from throughout the diocese,” said Lynn Donahue, director of fundraising for the Catholic Community Foundation.

The Crozier Gala Committee — Jill O’Sullivan, Nicole Fleckenstein, Tami Christifulli, Andy Hardin, Darcy Royal, Suzanne Kramer, Brenda White, Yvette Schipansky, Elizabeth Carabajal, Elisabeth Wisthoff, Heather Johnson, Jennifer Lum Lung, Suzanne Strickbine, Maria Chavira, Patti Serrano, Raegen Johnson and front, Trish Stark, Kim Ruggiero — invite the adult Catholic community to its April 27 formal celebrating 50 years of Catholic life in the Diocese of Phoenix. (courtesy of CATHOLIC COMMUNITY FOUNDATION)