St. Mary Magdalene Staff
St. Mary Magdalene in Gilbert, Arizona is a Roman Catholic Parish that witnesses the love of Jesus Christ through evangelization, catechesis, and celebration of the Sacraments.
Fr. Chris Axline Biography
I am the oldest of three children. My sister, Michelle, lives in Tempe and my brother, Nicholas, currently attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY studying to be an engineer, though in his words, he's studying to become Iron Man. My family came to Arizona in 1997 after moving from San Jose California to Tucson. I graduated from the University of Arizona (Bear Down and go Wildcats!) in 2007. After graduating from the UofA, I entered the seminary and attended the Pontifical College Josephinum where I graduated in May of 2013. I was ordained a priest on June 1, 2013 and served as priest in residence at St. Mary Magdalene and Chaplain and Theology teacher at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School from July 2013 until April 2018. I was assigned as Parochial Administrator at St. Mary Magdalene in April 2018. God Bless you and thank you for your prayers!
Fr. Sylvester Modebei
Our Permanent Deacons
Deacon Craig Hintze Biography
I was born in phoenix and went to Catholic school my entire life until I attended ASU, where I spent a lot of my time at the Newman Center. Before meeting my wife, Heidi, I was a seminarian for the Redemptorist order, She and I have been blessed with 8 children. I was ordained a deacon in November of 1996 and have been at St. Mary Magdalene since 2010.
Deacon Kevin Knapp Biography
I came to St. Mary Magdalene parish on August 9, 2012 and assisted at Mass here for the first time as an Acolyte on August 12 near the end of my diaconate formation. I was ordained to the permanent diaconate on November 10, 2012 and was installed as a deacon here on Sunday November 18, 2012. My wife Kathy and I are both graduates of Arizona State University and were married at the Newman Center at ASU in October 1980. Our son Brian is also an ASU graduate and lives with his wife Jill in Phoenix.
Deacon Jerry O'Toole Biography
I was ordained a deacon on June 13, 1981. I am a Senior Deacon in the Diocese of Phoenix having reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. I have been in Arizona for 23 years. I served for 13 years at St. Anne's in Gilbert and have been at St. Mary Magdalene for the past 10 years. I am the middle child of 6 siblings. In addition to serving at Mass, my present ministry is to conduct a communion service at the Signal Butte Mental Care facility and to conduct two communion services at the 4th Ave. Jail every Friday. I am the assistant chaplain of the Knights of Columbus as well as the Senior Singles.
Deacon Rick Nevins
Coordinator of Sacred Liturgy / Pastoral Care to the Sick and Homebound
Claire Halbur Biography
I grew up in Joliet, Illinois and was homeschooled through high school, which provided many opportunities for service and leadership from a young age. Ours was a musical home, and my mother tells me I started singing as soon as I could talk. My music degree is from the University of Saint Francis in Joliet (vocal emphasis), and I have been involved with parish ministry since my teen years. Prior to coming to Saint Mary Magdalene, I served on the Music Staff at the Cathedral of Saint Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet, Illinois, where I co-founded and directed a Diocesan-wide youth choral program. Some of my other interests include holistic cooking, creative projects, and photography. I consider it a great gift to serve the Lord and the community of Saint Mary Magdalene as Director of Sacred Music. My responsibilities include direction of choirs for adults and children, planning and preparation of music for all weekend liturgies and holy days, and coordination of music for weddings and funerals.
Please contact me if you are open to joining the music ministry as a choir member, cantor, or instrumentalist: firstname.lastname@example.org (480) 279-6737 ext 209. I will be delighted to speak with you!
Evangelization, Catechesis & Sacrament Preparation
Lita Martinez Biography
Though originally from the Los Angeles area, I mainly grew up in Mesa, AZ. I’ve been Catholic since my Baptism at 5 months old, but experienced a profound conversion after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation my junior year in high school. My passion for the Truth led me to missionary work in Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and then to the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, where I graduated with a degree in Theology and Catholic Studies. I later earned a Master's Degree in Theology from the Franciscan University at Steubenville. At the parish, my responsibilities include the coordination of Marriage Preparation and weddings, accompanying adults interested in learning more about the Catholic faith, overseeing the RCIA (the process of initiation for adults who are not yet baptized), and preparing already-baptized adults to receive the Sacraments of Holy Communion and/or Confirmation.
If you are engaged to be married, interested in being married in the Church if you are currently in a civil union, or are interested in becoming a fully initiated Catholic, please contact me at email@example.com or (480) 279-6737 ext 210.
Lou Martinez Biography
I like to think of myself as the Catholic tumbleweed of Phoenix. I’m a Cradle-Catholic and mostly grew up in Central Phoenix. I attended Most Holy Trinity Catholic School for grade school and graduated from Saint Mary’s high school. I received an Associate’s Degree from Phoenix College and then discerned the priesthood at St John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado. Through that discernment the Lord made it known to me that that priesthood was not his plan for me, so I returned back home to the Valley. Youth ministry has always been one of my biggest passions. I have helped out at multiple parishes serving on the core team, retreats, music ministry, bus driving, etc. I currently live in Gilbert with my wife Lita.
Talk to me if you’re interested in joining the GS24 or Edge youth groups or if you’d like to join either core team. I believe that the best thing we can do for our youth is to invite them to partake in the Sacraments and to be a bridge to encounter Our Lord. Please pray for our youth and those who help in their formation that they may continue to have the desire to seek out our Lord.
Mary Jane Choi
Director of Family Faith Formation
Mary Molina Biography
I was born and raised in the great state of Texas. I have lived in Arizona for the past 17 yrs. My family and I have been members of the parish for 10 years. I have been married for 20 years to my husband, Rick, and we have three children, Matthew, Luke and John. I am bilingual (English and Spanish) and if the need arises, I am here to help. I have been volunteering with Saint Mary Magdalene in several capacities over the extent of our time with the parish. I am now the Assistant Director of Children’s Religious Education and it has been a pleasure to get to know and work with the wonderful families that make this their parish. In my role, I, help to coordinate volunteer catechists, register new students into our program and help families through the process of receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.
Please contact me during the month of July if you would like to register your child for Religious Education or anytime if you have a question about your student already in our program. firstname.lastname@example.org (480) 279-6737 ext 211
Shari Stenborg Biography
I am originally from Indianapolis, Indiana and have moved several times during my adult life finally landing in Gilbert in 2004. I have worked at St. Mary Magdalene Parish since the Spring of 2007. I feel very blessed to be employed and a parishioner at this parish. As Director of Finance & Operations, I manage relationships between all of our vendors, service agencies, as well as the parish finances and the day to day operations at the parish. I also manage all aspects of parishioners’ financial contributions and planned giving.
Please contact me if you have a question regarding your own financial contributions, if you need a tax receipt, or have other questions regarding the business side of the parish. email@example.com (480) 279-6737 ext 206
Jackie Sullivan Biography
I have been happily married since 1986 to my husband, Tim. We have been very blessed with nine children and have welcomed in-laws and a few grand kids to the mix as well.
I am honored to help you in your journey here at the parish. Contact me if you need to make an appointment with a priest, need to register for a baptism, or if I can help you with funeral planning.