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Faith in Phoenix

Well, I took my laptop to Phoenix, but I just never got around to blogging. I did keep reading, but things were busy. First the soccer news: The girls played well and made it to the quarter-finals before being eliminated. This was a very competitive tournament so I think they should be proud of their showing. As an added bonus, the temperature was in the mid 70’s all weekend so our frozen toes actually thawed out for a while. Of course, that did make yesterday’s return to ice and snow a bit brutal.

It was a very busy weekend with four soccer games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday but we did find Mass near our hotel. We went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in a rather industrial area of Phoenix near the airport. It was a very nice Mass with the baptism of a young boy who looked to be about a year old. The small congregation was predominantly Hispanic and was very pious in the celebration of the Mass. It was clear who the matriarchs of the community were because as young men entered the sanctuary they made a point of greeting and offering a kiss to these women. The priest obviously takes his role as teacher very seriously. Good, solid, basic catechesis accompanied the readings as well as the baptism. After reading the wikipedia article linked above, I learned the church has an historic place in the Phoenix Hispanic community. However, the congregation still struggles financially. I guess the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal is going on in many diocese across the country and even this financially disadvantaged community was asked to make a sizable contribution. Father asked every household in the parish to contribute thirty dollars over the next year. Now thirty dollars over a year doesn’t sound like that much to many of us. I’ve been known to spend that on coffee in just a month. But it was clearly a stretch for many present. And the head of nearly every household present held up his or her hand to receive a donation envelope. Their willingness to give was inspiring.

Please keep the members of this parish in your prayers. They have a strong faith but they also face many struggles.


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