Divine Mercy Sunday

04-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! Today the Church invites us to celebrate the beautiful devotion to celebrate the infinite, undeserved outpouring of God’s Love for us. This devotion is a powerful one and one that’s quickly gained popularity in the life of the Church. The Divine Mercy devotion comes from a series of visions and locutions that Jesus gave to St. Maria Faustina Kowalski during the 1930’s and 40’s in Poland.

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Easter Greetings

04-17-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Hello St. Mary Magdalene,

Happy Easter! On this joyous day we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. Our joy is made perfect in Him as He rises to new life showing us that we too are made for Heaven and eternal union with Him. Easter and Christ’s Resurrection becomes the lens through which we view the events of the past three days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) and we see God’s great victory as He speaks His final word: Life!

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“Domine, non nisi Te.”

04-10-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Towards the end of his life, one of my favorite saints, St. Thomas Aquinas, was praying in front of a crucifix when Christ spoke to him, praised all his great writings given to the Church and promised Thomas any gift of his choosing. Thomas replied back “Domine, non nisi Te” (Lord, nothing but you) indicating that he already had everything he needed in that experience with the Lord. Thomas wanted only the love of God.

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Our Temporary Altar Backdrop

04-03-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting lots of questions about our backdrop. Thank you for your interest and for engaging with the sacred art. One of the great historical means the Catholic Church has used to teach the faith is through sacred art (murals, frescoes, stained glass windows, etc.).

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The Annunciation and Mary's Response

03-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

I hope you had a great Solemnity of the Annunciation! Did you know that the Annunciation liturgically is celebrated as a solemnity (meaning equal to a Sunday)? This means that on such solemnities, one is dispensed from Lenten disciplines such as no meat? That means Friday the 25th, you could have had bacon (and I hope you did, because I sure did!!!). The reason first for this solemnity is that it’s nine (9) months until Christmas. So, you now have a little less than 9 months to get your Christmas shopping done. Nine months before Christmas, that means that March 25th the Church celebrates that this is the day when the Archangel Gabriel came to visit Mary and Announce to her that she was to become the Mother of God!

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Feast of St. Joseph

03-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Hello St. Mary Magdalene,

Happy feast of St. Joseph! What a beautiful time to celebrate and reflect on the universal patron of the Church, he who cared for, watched over, and protected St. Joseph. Because of his role in welcoming Jesus and Mary into his life, he’s the patron saint of the universal Catholic Church. He’s also a role model for us too as we strive to make room for Christ more and more in our daily life.

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Sanctuary Renovation Coming Soon!

04-11-2021Weekly Reflection

Dear Parishioners:

I am excited to be able to share this wonderful news with all of you! This summer, we’re going to be doing some renovations to our sanctuary space. The design concept is pictured here (large image also in the church narthex) and below is a summary from the artists about the symbolism and meaning behind what you will see. This build is the fruit of the 2019 “Together Let Us Go Forth” diocesan campaign and our own capital campaign launched in 2017. These campaigns have had two goals: 1) to build a parish hall; and 2) the beautification of our church. This sanctuary build will cost us between $500,000 and $750,000, will take 90-120 days to complete, and will not incur any more debt upon St. Mary Magdalene. We are continuing to work towards the parish hall. We have not given up on the hall, but have to continue raising monies, as current construction costs exceed the funds we have on hand. I will continue to share development updates as they become available.

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Moments of the Mass: Agnus Dei

02-14-2021Weekly ReflectionClaire Halbur

In the powerful TV series The Chosen*, a breathless Andrew comes running to exclaim to his brother: “Simon, it’s happened! We are saved! I saw him with my own eyes...the Lamb of God.

He who takes away the sin of the world.” He tries to describe being at the Jordan river with John the Baptist and seeing John point out Jesus with this title. Simon, stressed out about his finances, sick mother-in-law, recent argument with his wife, and the lack of good catches lately (he’s a full-time fisherman), dismisses his brother’s testimony as irrelevant to his personal troubles.

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Moments of the Mass: Sanctus

02-05-2021Weekly ReflectionClaire Halbur

During the middle of Mass (after the Liturgy of the Word and the preparation of the altar) comes the Eucharistic prayer, which the General Instruction of the Roman Missal calls “the center and high point of the entire celebration...the prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification.” (GIRM 78)

This prayer begins with a dialogue in which the priest exhorts us to lift up our hearts. Then the celebrant chants or speaks the Preface, “in which the Priest, in the name of the whole of the holy people, glorifies God the Father and gives thanks to him for the whole work of salvation or for some particular aspect of it, according to the varying day, festivity, or time of year.”

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Missa Magdalena: A gift for the Lord and for you

01-29-2021Weekly ReflectionClaire Halbur

As Catholics, we possess a heritage of prayers that pass our lips thousands—even tens of thousands—of times in our lives. The Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be probably come to mind. So should the basic prayers of our Liturgy…

  • Each Holy Mass starts by calling to mind our shortcomings and failures in order to humbly ask for forgiveness: “Lord, Have Mercy”.
  • On holy days and most Sundays of the Church year, this moment is then followed by the “Glory to God” with a focus on adoring and praising God for his greatness and proclaiming who He is.
  • A little while later is a prayer called the Preface Acclamation, beginning with the words “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts…”
  • After the Consecration, we proclaim the Mystery of Faith in one of three acclamations (for example, “We proclaim your death, O Lord”).
  • Just before Communion is the Fraction Rite, during which priest breaks the newly-consecrated host while the people pray, “Lamb of God…”
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Our Spiritual Staff Members

02-23-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Ever since I was a child, I have enjoyed learning about the saints. Now, as a priest, I love celebrating the many saints' feasts and memorials on the liturgical calendar. I find their stories both inspiring and challenging: inspiring because God worked through them despite their human weaknesses, and challenging because they remained faithful to the Lord and His Church both in good times and in bad.  

It prompts me to reflect on my own life and whether I could make the same choice if put in similar circumstances. One thing I notice is that these heroic men and women—Catholic superheroes we can rightly call them—were not born saints. Rather, they became saints through the choices they made every day. Like us, they too made mistakes but would admit their failings and entrust them to God's mercy, thus turning their mistakes into opportunities to be drawn closer to the heart of Christ and purified by His Love.

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Diocesan Campaign Update

02-09-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

I want to thank you for your generous support to the Together Let Us Go Forth Campaign for the Diocese of Phoenix. This diocesan wide campaign will provide the necessary resources for both current and future generations of Catholics to have an encounter with Christ and to develop a relationship with Him. Our Parish and Diocese can only accomplish this important work through the sacrificial gifts you have made through your pledge.

It is with great gratitude that I thank you for your commitment to fulfilling your pledge, which is so vital to our growth and our success. I would like to take a moment to update you on the progress of the campaign. While we did not make our assessed goal of $1,519,803, we did receive $752,385 in promised pledges. This is fantastic and we should not be discouraged as a parish. We did not fail. In fact, I want to acknowledge that the timing of this campaign was not ideal; especially in light of our own needs and our campaign to build the parish hall. However,

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God is With Us

12-22-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

I've always been a huge fan of Christmas; there's such a great joy buzzing around that makes this time so different than any other. This joy that seems to fill every heart is so great that it is hard to describe exactly where it comes from. Some would say it comes from giving or receiving exactly the "perfect gift." Others say it comes from the acts of kindness we perform for each other. Still others might think it's all just a lie that we use to fool ourselves and hide whatever pains and hurts we've had to endure this past year. Yet, none of these three options is really able to pinpoint the source of this great joy; that is, until Christmas.

What is it, or better yet, WHO is it that motivates our gift-giving, our works of charity, and the great hope with which we look to the future? It can only be Jesus Christ, God made flesh, who breaks forth into our world on this Holy day.

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On Adoration

11-24-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Having a perpetual adoration chapel where we can visit Our Lord at any time of the day or night is a great joy and privilege. It is also a great responsibility for the parish and the individual adorer. As your pastor, I am responsible for ensuring Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I must tell you with great sadness, that a recent audit of our adoration chapel indicates that we have many open hours where the Lord is alone with no assigned adorer.

In order to ensure proper vigil, and custody of the Blessed Sacrament, and to comply with the directives given by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), I must ensure that our parish has: a minimum of 2 adorers are assigned per hour, and that the Blessed Sacrament is never left unattended during exposition.

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