Catholics from around the Diocese of Phoenix showed up in big numbers this past Friday night for the first-ever Catholic Night at Chase Field, as the Arizona Diamondbacks hosted the Houston Astros. It was a night of fellowship and fun, while raising money for Catholic Schools 365 along the way.
A special pre-game recognition featured Sr. Raphael Quinn of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral School and Sr. Joan Fitzgerald of Xavier College Preparatory. Combined, the two Sisters have dedicated over 110 years to Catholic education in the diocese. Sister Raphael, who retired this summer after spending over 50 years as the principal at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral School in Phoenix. A native of Ireland, Sister Raphael arrived at Saints Simon and Jude in 1962 and taught second-grade, fifth grade and seventh grade before stepping in as principal in 1972. Known as a community builder, Sister Raphael still remains involved in the school as the director of community engagement.
Sister Joan Fitzgerald has been serving the diocese and Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix for the past 60-years as a teacher, principal and most recently as the school’s president. This past spring, she was honored by Pope Francis in recognition for her faithful service to the Church in Catholic education – one of the highest honors the Holy Father can award to laity and religious.
Bishop John Dolan and Domonic Salce, the superintendent of Catholic Schools for the diocese, presented the two Sisters with special, personalized D-backs jersey on the field during the pre-game event.
In addition, Seton Catholic Preparatory standout softball player Brooke Zuluaga threw out the ceremonial first pitch.