The State of Our Capital Campaign

08-30-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

1. What is the For the Glory of the Risen Lord Campaign?

When this campaign was launched in March of 2017 it was laid out as the first of three phases designed to help us meet the current and future needs of St. Mary Magdalene.

Phase one (the current phase) is focused on the construction of a social hall providing additional gathering space for various programs, PLC's, social events, and other needs as they arise. We are currently in phase one, focusing on the social hall. Once this is done, then we can begin phase two and turn our attention towards the beautification/renovation of the church building.

Phase two (to begin after phase one) turns our attention towards the current church or multi-purpose building and worship space. For this endeavor, after consulting with many groups and individuals within the parish, and based on finances, the decision was made to renovate the current space rather than build a new church. Doing this will save us millions of dollars and will still meet the needs of St. Mary Magdalene. The need for a larger church building is no longer present as the Diocese has already opened one parish near us and have plans for another parish to the east.


True Adoration

07-21-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

It is with great joy that we once again celebrate the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene. For us, since she is our patron, we celebrate her feast day as a liturgical solemnity which means that we treat July 22 as if it were a Sunday, or another high holy day (such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost). This means that we can (and should) celebrate her feast day with great joy!

Recently, a priest invited me to cultivate a deeper devotion to St. Mary Magdalene in my own prayer life, and, heeding his advice, the Lord revealed two very powerful attributes about St. Mary Magdalene. First is the radical conversion and re-orienting of her life entirely to Christ. Second is her ability to surrender all things to Him.


Happy Easter!

04-21-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Happy Easter everyone! We give thanks this day as Christ frees us from the captivity of death. It is truly a time to rejoice, especially after our long Lenten journey. I pray that this season is a blessed one full of joy and new life in Christ for you and your families.

In his Easter homily in 2012 Pope Benedict wrote these words which powerfully summarize the great joy of this blessed day:

"Easter is the feast of the new creation. Jesus is risen and dies no more. He has opened the door to a new life, one that no longer knows illness and death. He has taken mankind up into God himself."


Encountering Christ in the Liturgy

03-10-2019Weekly ReflectionBishop James S. Wall

The central theme of Pope Saint John’s Paul II’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Ecclesia in America, is the encounter with the living Jesus Christ. As he points out, the Second Vatican Council identified a “manifold presence of Christ in the [sacred] liturgy,” and he insists that this presence should be a theme of constant preaching on the part of the Church. Liturgies are guaranteed encounters with the Living Christ because they spring from the will and power of God and not from our efforts. This manifold encounter with Jesus in the liturgy is central to the teaching, to the catechesis, and to the evangelization of Holy Mother Church.


I Love Lent!

03-03-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Happy (almost) Lent! I pray that this journey for us all is fruitful and leads us closer to Christ.

I remember especially well the six years I spent in seminary formation and how this time grew my appreciation for the Lenten season. Lent was a HUGE deal in the seminary (every year seminarians joked about making "I Love Lent" t-shirts and I usually scowled at them in return). Yet, the special emphasis the seminary culture gave to the penitential nature of this season was an opportunity for my own spiritual growth and helped me to focus on the ways I often drown out the Lord in my own life. One example I remember vividly was how much noise there is in my life. From the radio, television, podcasts, and my phone, I was continuously surrounded by things and people talking at me. Lent, in its simplicity, was a chance for the Lord to speak to me. In the simple and silent character of the Lenten season, the Lord's voice grew louder. However, initially letting go of many things and comforts I enjoyed each day, I began to feel like I was being thrown around like a ship at sea without an anchor. Then, the Lord made Himself known through the silence and intentional focus that I, and the seminary community, gave to Him. I was no longer being thrown around as the Lord became my anchor and sheltered from the storm. This is where the full beauty of Lent made itself known and the Lord drew me closer to Him than I had ever been before (so much so that if they had actually made the t-shirts, I would have been the first in line!).


Capital Campaign Update

02-24-2019Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Dear parishioners of St. Mary Magdalene,  

First, I want to start out saying a few thank you's to the many of you whom I have met with over these past several months. This includes: Pastoral and Finance Council members, Capital Campaign Committee members, and many other individuals who have shared with me your thoughts, prayers, and desires regarding St. Mary Magdalene's "For the Glory of the Risen Lord" Capital Campaign. Your insights are greatly appreciated and have been most beneficial in continuing to guide the campaign; which is still progressing.  


Mary, Our Patroness and Mother

01-06-2019Weekly ReflectionBishop Thomas J. Olmsted

Following is the prepared text from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s homily for Honor Your Mother and the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary Year of the Diocese of Phoenix

“Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous deeds” (Psalm 98).

These words of Psalm 98 eloquently express what is in our hearts as we initiate the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary Year of the Diocese of Phoenix. We begin a jubilee year of remembering the fidelity of Jesus throughout the past half-century, giving thanks and praise to the Lord for remaining faithful to us even when we were not. In fact, confessing our many shortcomings and sins does not diminish our gratitude to God but rather deepens our praise of Him for His fidelity. Our sins and failings of the past have this great benefit: they remind us of our absolute need for a Savior. We know, in the very marrow of our bones, that without Him we are bound to fail. But, as St. Paul never ceased to proclaim, “If Christ is for us who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).


The Heart of Christmas

12-23-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Christmas is definitely my favorite time of year. Everyone and everything seems so full of joy. However, what really transformed Christmas for me was something my spiritual director said to me in seminary. He encouraged me to look beyond the surface and delve into the heart of Christmas: Jesus Christ. What he encouraged me to do was to reflect and pray over what Christmas means . Through this, I was able to see how much God loves me; as He sends His son into the world for me. In other words, God's love for me is so great that He is willing to die for me so that I can be with Him for eternity. I have to say, this blew me away! I have been Catholic my entire life and it was only when I intentionally reflected and prayed upon Christmas in my 20's that I could truly see what Christmas means.


Why Latin Mass?

11-25-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

Over the past several weeks you have heard about the adjustment in our Latin Mass schedule. I wanted to take a few moments of your time and explain my reasoning behind this revision.

First, we are down one priest. Since Fr. Will and I both received new assignments in April, St. Mary Magdalene has had one less priest to help with Sunday masses. With that in mind, reducing the number of masses offered on Sundays from 6 down to 5 alleviates the burden on the priests. While he was here, Fr. Will and I were both able to offer the Mass in Latin and could alternate to cover the additional Mass offering. Now there is just me who is able to celebrate and offer the Mass in Latin.

Additionally, I have heard from a number of families within our community that have a devotion to the Latin Mass that 7pm on Sunday night is too late for families as it cuts into valuable family time together. This change, I pray, will help to accommodate the needs of these families. Thank you for your feedback.  


Shepherds That Have Failed Their Sheep

09-02-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

I have no idea where even to begin. I am overwhelmed, heartbroken, angry, but mostly disappointed. Disappointed that innocent people, and all of you had to pay the price for the atrocities of my brother priests. For that, I am sorry and I am praying for you and am also still trying to figure out “how” and “why” this happened. It is alright to be angry, hurt, sad, and whatever other emotions you are facing, I know I have done my own share of shouting and “having it out” with the Lord. But, what we should not do, what we cannot do, is to give up on our faith, or on the Church. The words from Ezekiel ring sharp and true, “I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep so that they may no longer be food for their mouths.” God has heard the cry of His people and revealed the evil that has long been hidden, those brave men and women who came forward, have been led away from the wolves, these wicked shepherds, and they can begin to heal.


An Act of Love

08-19-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. Chris Axline

I remember the first time I experienced Eucharistic Adoration; I was in college and 21 years old. The experience was amazing and I left adoration elated at having spent that intimate time with Christ and disappointed that I, a cradle Catholic, had never experienced this before! I also remember being drawn to Adoration and spending time adoring Our Lord whenever I had the chance, specifically if it was late at night. I was never one who stayed up late in college and so getting up at 2:00am was difficult for me. But I chose that time with the Lord specifically because it disrupted my routine! Every time the alarm went off, I had a choice to make; will I get up and offer this to the Lord, or would I selfishly roll over and go back to bed?