Hope in the face of hardship: St. Anthony Mission

It was in January 2000 when St. Anthony Mission Church in Sacaton, Ariz., on the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) went up in flames. The community would soon learn that the cause of the fire was arson. Carol Jackson, a parishioner, grew up on the reservation and was in a building next door the night of the fire. “I saw smoke…Everybody rushed over there. We stayed there with the church and watched it. Everybody was crying.” Smoke lingered in the air the next morning when the fire department investigated the interior and pulled out vestments that were completely untouched as well as a glass container of holy water. After the building cooled off, Jackson went inside as the fire department dismantled the tabernacle and pried it off, revealing an interesting burn mark on the wall.