Over 150 people representing nearly 80 parishes from across the Diocese of Phoenix attended the first-ever Appreciation Mass and Luncheon for parish receptionists on Tuesday at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in downtown Phoenix.  Hosted by Bishop John Dolan, the event was held to thank the people who serve their parishes and are often the first encounter for those reaching out to their local Catholic church seeking information or spiritual guidance.

“We wanted to show our gratitude for all of the hard work that a parish receptionist does on a daily basis, as they are really important, front-line responders to people who need help or have questions,” said Maria Chavira, Ph.D., the chancellor and vice moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Phoenix.  “It was an opportunity to recognize and truly thank them.”

In addition to lunch and Mass, held at St. Mary’s Basilica, the staff from the pastoral center shared best practices for receptionists, including the importance of hospitality, understanding your audience and providing a list of resources. The event also included an overview of the diocese’s Mental Health Ministry, which was launched in December of 2022.

Attendees had the opportunity to mingle with their counterparts from across the Phoenix Diocese and share stories of their front-line work. They also learned key information from chancery staff about how to manage calls to the parish regarding anointing of the sick.