Worship Space

2019 Church Beautification Project

Missionary Disciple's Prayer for Evangelization

Holy Water Font & Nicean Creed

Fray Marcos de Niza 

Padre Eusebio Kino

Church

Sanctuary

Ambo & Altar

Confessionals (Divine Mercy & Good Shepherd Images)

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

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Our Lady of Guadalupe Statue with St. Juan Diego

St. John Paul II

St. Teresa of Calcutta

Mysteries of the Rosary Etched Glass

 

Reflections of the 2019 Church Beautification Project by Fr. Greg Schlarb  

         Several years ago, when Fr. Greg Menegay was assigned to OLPH, a church architect visited our parish as a courtesy.  He was attending a conference and was very interested in the work accomplished at our Old Adobe Mission.  He asked to give us a complementary review of our Church worship space.  His observations were as follows: When walking into the church, your attention is drawn to the large wooden accordion door - not the crucifix.  The title of the parish is Our Lady of Perpetual Help, yet it is difficult to sense through our worship space that we are a Marian parish.

That gave me enough to think and reflect on before we embarked on this process.  The elimination of the accordion door was a simple idea, but structurally it was going to be complicated.  A structural engineer helped us calculate how the removal and addition of a glass panel door would be possible for the worship space. 

Following the same idea, the next logical item to be removed was the wooden roller door that separated the church space from the adoration chapel space.  What could we add on those four openings between the two worship spaces.  Since I have been a child, I was given the gift of learning to pray the rosary.  Luckily Pope John Paul II added the fourth Luminous Mysteries to this Marian devotion.  It was a simple math solution and the Blessed Mary’s intercession that I was focused on making those opening a way to honor Mary and teach others the Four Mysteries of the Rosary.  I knew what manufacturer could be used to fabricate the etched glass panels.  Bob Rigali had fabricated stained glass for the Diocesan Pastoral Center and Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes.  I spent a few hours collecting beautiful images of the 20 mysteries of the rosary.  None of which were not from the same artist.  Then I came across an illustrated book of the Rosary by local artist, Chuck Pabst.  He created these images along with his grandchildren to teach them about the rosary.  He gave his permission to use his images for the etched glass panels.  We are blessed to have them.

On Wednesday October 2, 2019, Bishop Olmsted dedicated the New Altar along with blessing the new statues of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. John Paul II, and St. Teresa of Calcutta. 

Part of the dedication of the New Altar included the presentation of a relic to be placed in the new altar.  The relic placed in the altar is St. Paul, the Apostle.  This relic we received from the estate of Fr. Eugene O’Carroll who was Fr. Greg Schlarb’s pastor at St. Paul’s parish from 2002 - 2004.  Fr. Eugene passed away September 1, 2018.  His estate included a relic of St. Paul the Apostle.  Fr. Greg is the executor of his estate and the relic was graciously given to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the Church Beautification Project. 

We focused the beautification project on Missionary Discipleship.  St. Paul, along with St. Peter were the first Missionary Disciples to bring the Gospel Message to the world.  How fitting it is to have a relic of St. Paul as we focus our attention on Missionary Discipleship for Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the new millennium.    

On the north side of the church vestibule you will find the bronze statue of Fray Marcos de Niza in front of a painting of the Sonoran desert.  Fray Marcos de Niza is credited with being the first European and the first Catholic Missionary in what is now the State of Arizona in the United States.  He emigrated to America in 1531 for exploration of new land, and after serving his order zealously in Peru and Guatamala, de Niza was chosen to explore the country north of Sonora, whose wealth was depicted in the accounts of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. In 1537 he arrived in Mexico City at the request of the viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. Preceded by Estevancio, the Moroccan-Berber companion of Cabeza de Vaca in his wanderings and the Black Mexican of Zuni traditions, Culiacan in March 1539, crossed south-eastern Arizona near the present-day Lochiel, penetrated to the Zuni or the Seven Cities of Cibola, and in September returned to Culiacán. He saw Cibola only from a distance, and his description of it as equal in size to Mexico City was probably exact; but he embodied much mere hearsay in his report, Descubrimiento de las siete ciudades, which led Francisco Vazquez de Coronado to make his famous expedition next year to Zuni Pueblo, in present-day New Mexico, of which Fray Marcos was the guide; and the realities proved a great disappointment. Fray Marcos was made provincial superior of his order for Mexico before the second trip to Zuni, and returned in 1541 to Mexico City in shame, where for a time was able to exercise the highest office of the Franciscans, in the province.

On the south side of the Church vestibule you will find a statue of Padre Eusebio Kino.  Padre Kino, a Jesuit missionary, came to the Sonoran desert to evangelize from 1687 to 1711. 

During his 30 years in the Sonoran Desert and Sky Island Mountain regions, Kino fought for social justice on behalf of the Native People against those European settlers and miners who relentlessly attempted to enslave the Native People and steal their lands. In one incident Kino established peace between the Western O'odham and the Spanish military after 5 months of violence. Then Kino rode on horseback 1,500 miles in 7 weeks from his mission headquarters to Mexico City on the Camino Real de la Costa to appear before the highest colonial officials where Kino spoke truth to power.

 

 

 

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