Bishop John P. Dolan will begin a series of Masses celebrating the Diocese of Phoenix’s religious orders with a special Mass next month honoring and thanking the Jesuits.
Bishop Dolan will celebrate the special Mass at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17.
While the bishop will preside at the liturgy, a number of Jesuit priests will concelebrate the Mass.
Installed as the diocese’s fifth bishop Aug. 2, 2022, Bishop Dolan plans to celebrate similar Masses for the Diocese’s other religious orders throughout his tenure.
“I want to celebrate the religious orders in the Diocese of Phoenix and thank them for their contributions and thank them for their commitment to the Catholic Church.”
“The Mass will also express gratitude for the Jesuits’ contributions, which include the establishment and operation of Brophy College Preparatory and St. Francis Xavier Parish,” said Bishop Dolan. The Jesuits also operate Kino Border Initiative and the Phoenix campus of Creighton University in downtown Phoenix.
The bishop went on to say that there has been a mutual collaboration between the Diocese and the Jesuits over the years as well as mutual enrichment through that work. Further, he described the collaboration as part of a common mission between the Diocese and its religious communities that nourishes its rich diversity as well as that of the Church. These communities, he explained, are not in competition with the diocese.
Fr. Bob Fambrini, S.J., pastor of St. Francis Xavier and a longtime friend of the bishop’s, was gratified by the bishop’s decision.
“I’ve worked in five different dioceses as a parish priest. This is the first time a bishop has approached us with an invitation to highlight our ministry in a Diocese and promote vocations,” Fr. Fambrini said. “It’s highly unusual.”
The Mass will be followed by a light breakfast reception in Smith Hall next to the cathedral, where several speakers will share thoughts about how the Jesuits and their unique spirituality have influenced their lives. Fr. Fambrini said those remarks will include personal stories of the bishop’s own priesthood.