he origins of the Catholic Church in Arizona can be traced back to 1539. A Franciscan friar named Marcos de Niza traveled up through the Gulf of California into a northern territory, which had never been explored. Planting a cross in the land, he named it “the New Kingdom of St. Francis.” As a result he is called the discoverer of Arizona and New Mexico.
On December 2, 1969 the Diocese of Phoenix was established by Pope Paul IV and is now led by Most Rev. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted.
That same year, the Catholic population in the Diocese numbered around 200,000, with 51 parishes, 61 missions, and 182 Diocesan and Religious priests.
Today, the Diocese of Phoenix is home to more than 1.1 million Catholics including representation from Hispanic, Filipino, Native American, Vietnamese, and African communities.
Together, we follow Pope Francis, our inspiring Holy Father, to be missionary disciples.
“When we think about going far away, to an extreme outskirt, we may be a bit afraid, but in fact God is already there. Jesus is waiting for us in the hearts of our brothers and sisters, in their wounded bodies, in their hardships, in their lack of faith.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the missionary spirit we need today. For our call is to share our joy as disciples and to reveal the light of Christ to others, igniting hearts to welcome Him.
Together, though our parishes, schools and ministries, we can harness the instruments of evangelization and go forth as missionary disciples of Christ.
Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante!