Native American Ministry
Spring was an active time for Native American Ministry in the Diocese of Phoenix. Between Easter Vigil and Confirmation many new members came into the Church. We celebrated Easter Vigil at 6 of our 9 active Missions in April. We set it up that we have the same priest celebrated Masses at a Mission from Palm Sunday through the Triduum and Easter Sunday which gave continuity during these Holy Days.
I was able to get photos from 3 of our Missions for Easter Vigil. Our San Lucy Mission in Gila Bend had 2 individuals coming into the Church. I have attached a picture of one them with the celebrant, Fr. Tom Suss and her Sponsor. Fr. Tom is one of the indispensable retired priests who assists out on the Reservation and we pay Mass stipends and mileage. The Sponsor for the young lady is one of our 2 volunteer catechists who is extremely dedicated to working with the folks at this little Mission.
St. Peter Mission and St. John Mission also submitted photos from their Easter Vigils. Both of those Missions had one of our Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit celebrating. Fr. Benedict Mary Lieb, FHS was at St. Peter Mission and Fr. Antony Tinker, FHS was at St. John the Baptist Mission. These two priests are on salary with Native American Ministry.
This is the first year that we had Confirmation scheduled at 3 of our Missions! We typically only have 2 confirmations, one on the East Side and one on the West Side to accommodate all the Missions. The Missions celebrating Confirmation were: St. Peter Mission, St. John the Baptist (both on the Gila River Reservation) and St. Francis of Assisi Mission-AkChin (AkChin Reservation). St. Peter Mission and St. Francis of Assisi Mission AkChin both submitted photos from Confirmation. We were extremely blessed to have Bishop Eduardo Nevares come down to St. Peter Mission to celebrate Confirmation. It was also a blessing that Fr. Carson from the UCCSB was present, as well, along with Fr. Antony Tinker, FHS from Native American Ministry. Also present was Deacon Jim Trant who is a Pastoral Administrator for Native American Ministry. At St. Francis of Assisi AkChin, we had Fr. Chris Fraser, the Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Phoenix, for Confirmation. Fr. Chris fills in on a regular basis celebrating Mass on the Reservation and assisting with funerals. He enjoys being with the Native People.
These celebrations in the Spring brought many new families into the Church. None of this would be possible without the assistance from Black and Indian Mission Grant. Thank you so much for your support to our Native Communities.