First Juneteenth Mass reinforces Catholic value of freedom for all

For the first time in the Diocese of Phoenix, Catholics celebrated Juneteenth — the commemoration of when the last slaves were freed following the Civil War — at St. Josephine Bakhita Mission Parish in Phoenix on June 19. Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing all slaves within those states that had seceded, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, at the end of the war, when Major General Gordon Granger and the Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to enforce it, thus freeing the last of the slaves in the former Confederate States. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, has been celebrated since 1866 but it wasn’t recognized as a federal holiday until President Joe Biden signed it into law in 2021. 

‘LIKE COMING HOME AGAIN:’ After nearly 25 years, St. Anthony has a church again

SACATON, Ariz. – When fire destroyed St. Anthony Mission Church in 2000, it prompted the Diocese of Phoenix’s vicar for Native American Ministries at the time, Fr. John Hall, to voice a theme Catholics hear often. “The building was not the community,” he said, referring to the Church as the body of Christ; its people, not the structure in which they worship. Still, in this part of the Gila River Indian Community, where physical amenities are farther between and resources fewer than those in the non-Native world, St. Anthony was as big a part of the lives of believers as any other local place. 

Worship nights unite adults in community

The bass guitar vibrations shake the walls. Rows of chairs along a center aisle are filled at a valley parish every first Friday. Some people are sitting, some kneeling, and some standing. Others are found sitting crisscrossed before the altar gazing at the Beloved in the monstrance. While others take a posture of surrender and lie prostate in front of Jesus. Some cry, overwhelmed with joy and consolation. Others sit in serene peace, others stand with their hands raised up in front of them showing praise to the King. Some line up against a wall waiting for the sacrament of Confession. The Lord is filling them, filling their need. 

Phoenix gears up for annual John Paul II Classic: A night of faith, family...

The stage is set for the annual John Paul II (JPII) Classic, where priests and seminarians from the Diocese of Phoenix will go head-to-head in a friendly yet spirited basketball matchup. Slated for Friday, August 2, at Brophy College Preparatory (BPC) in Phoenix, this event has become a cornerstone of the Phoenix Catholic community, celebrating unity and faith. Fr. Matthew Lowry, episcopal vicar of the North and director of the Northern Arizona University Newman Center in Flagstaff, Ariz., has played in every JPII Classic since the inaugural tip-off in 2015.

Modern martyrs are seeds of Christian witness in the church, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Condemning the killing of Christians in Congo, Pope Francis said the sacrifices of modern martyrs are seeds that grow into examples of Christian witness for the church. After praying the Angelus in St. Peter's Square June 16, the pope referenced the "painful news" of violence in eastern Congo where over 120 people were reported to have been killed by suspected Islamist rebels in recent weeks. Local officials have said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a rebel group affiliated to the Islamic State, were responsible for the attacks.

Angels or aliens? Some researchers say Vatican archives hold UFO secrets

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A group of scientists and researchers are seeking access to the Vatican Apostolic Archives to uncover information about UFOs and the paranormal, believing there may be traces amid the 50 miles of shelves holding everything from handwritten papal notes to presidential missives. The decades-long effort gained momentum in 2023 following former U.S. intelligence official David Grusch's congressional testimony alleging the Vatican's involvement in an international cover-up of alien secrets. Grusch claimed Pope Pius XII "backchanneled" information to the United States about a crashed UFO recovered by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

NDP hires new Assistant Principal Isaac Sedillos

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Notre Dame Preparatory High School is pleased to announce the hiring of Isaac Sedillos as its new assistant principal on Wednesday,...

New artwork connects culture and reverence during second St. Josephine Bakhita Founders Day

Known for its strength and stability even in harsh climates, Sacred Scriptures reference the Acacia Tree throughout its pages, notably in being used to build the Ark of the Covenant in Exodus. A plant native to Africa, it has long been associated with the Black Catholic community in the United States. In preparation for its second annual Founders Day Celebration June 9, St. Josephine Bakhita Mission Parish near downtown Phoenix. brought this symbolism to the forefront in artistic restoration of its interior, which includes a mural of the tree behind the tabernacle. The church’s crucifix hangs in front of it, in the middle of the sanctuary, as if the wood of the cross is connected to the wood of the tree.

100 Days of Summer – Society of St. Vincent de Paul

This summer, support us in our mission to Feed, Clothe, House and Heal! 100 Days of Summer is dedicated to meeting the heightened summer...

NEWS BRIEF: Kino congratulates graduating class

Over 30 people graduated from Kino Catechetical Institute, held at St. Mary’s Basilica in downtown Phoenix on June 4. The 33 graduates came from 23 different parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix and the class included three religious sisters.  “They are now better equipped to share their faith with their friends and family and support their parishes in whatever way the Holy Spirit is calling them to do,” said Luz Lobado, manager of Kino Catechetical Institute.