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Our Parish History Time Line

--> --> A longer account of our parish history can be found here

pre-2000  priests celebrated Sunday Masses for several years in neighboord center buildings in the retirement communities at Happy Trails, Arizona Traditions and Sun Village as part of Santa Teresita Parish in El Mirage. This group of founders started raising money for a permanent parish site.
2000 - parish was established July 1, 2000 by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Sunday Mass was celebrated in a hall at Kingswood Elementary School. Parishioners did set up and take down every week. 
2001 - The Diocese put two "temporary" modular facilities on our parish campus and a small parking lot was built. For several years we did not have to pay rent on the buildings. When rent started, we bought the buildings to save costs.
          1) Multipurpose Building - used originally as a church and meeting hall
          2) Office Building with two conference rooms, reception, and two staff offices.
2006 - August groundbreaking and blessing of the construction site for the church and parking lot with Bishop Thomas Olmsted officiating
2008 - Our First Mass was celebrated Christmas Eve at 4:00pm. We used the wooden altar furnishings from the parish hall. The floor was bare concrete and the windows were clear glass. There was no marble in the sanctuary
2010 - Sunday of Divine Mercy, the Sunday after Easter, we held the Mass of the Dedication of the Church and Altar by Bishop Olmsted. We finally had a permanent altar, ambo and baptismal font, but the rest of the interior was barren: concrete floor, plain glass windows, chairs.
2010-2019 - Our parish community grew quickly with many ministry and activity groups. Soon, there was a shortage of adequate space. We worked hard to bring down the parish loan debt to the point where we could start thinking about planning for the next phase of construction for a parish activity center to replace the temporary modular buildings and improve services to the parish community.
2019 - New housing construction is underway in many areas of the parish.  Large housing developments are being built along Cotton Lane and the Loop 303; along Sun Valley Parkway in northern Buckeye and in northern Surprise, along both sides of Grand Avenue (Highway 60). Vinstancia in northern Peoria is booming with growth.
2020 - Sterling Grove by Toll Brothers opened on 1/25/2020 on 781 acres on the corner of Cactus and Cotton.  Although it is south of our parish boundary (Waddell Road) it will likely bring many more parishioners who will find it much easier to drive north on Cotton Lane to St. Clare than to drive east to downtown El Mirage to Santa Teresita Church.

Statistical Notes

164 square miles within the parish boundaries, roughly Festival Ranch in north Buckeye, to Wittmann to Litchfield Road and Waddell Road, but we draw people from much farther south and north and several other parish boundaries. There are many large residential areas popping up within and near our geographical boundaries and many Catholics in these new areas will come to St Clare if we can provide for their needs.
5,000 registered parish homes
11,500 registered parishioners
Many public schools - 11+ from which we draw students and families
Many young families and teens are not being served well, lack of program space
Many retirees are active
Over 90 parish groups compete for very limited meeting space. See our groups and organizations.
30-35% of the parish is out of state or out of area during the summer heat
One hospital and one more under construction (Banner Del Webb, Abrazo)
Many assisted living facilities served by our Communion Visitors, clergy and staff
2 priests, 3 deacons, 12 lay staff crammed into tight office space

We know that many Catholics are not being served well and that we need to evangelize and re-evangelize the area.  Society is becoming increasingly secular and unchurched. We need a stronger parish and stronger ministerial outreach. 

When will construction begin?

We hope to begin construction in late 2020, but it is up to the will and ability of generous donors. 

We hired Ruotolo Associates to professionally assess the ability and willingness of parishioners to take on a large parish project to advance our mission to serve Catholics and visitors well into the future. They conducted personal interviews and focus groups of parishioners in May and June 2019. An in-pew survey was done the weekend of June 29 and 30, 2019.  A final report about this feasibility study was prepared and shared with the parish leadership. An executive summary of the report was inserted in the parish bulletin. 
Executive Summary of Feasibility Study  

Current Mortgage
We will continue to pay our current mortgage( for the building of our church and site preparation in 2006-2008) and hopefully not have to take on a new mortgage for new construction until the current mortgage is paid off completely. As money comes in from pledges for the new campaign, that money will be available to get us started on the new project without needing to immediately take out a new mortgage. We already have mortgage lender prospects in conversation with us.
Here is our current mortgage balance:

10/28/20 15:13:37 PM


Loan Balance

Balance of Building Loan Repayment


We worked with the Office of Buildings and Properties of the Diocese of Phoenix to help us select an architectural firm and construction management team.

On September 11, 2019 at Letter was sent by the Office of Buildings and Properties to five (5) architectural firms with a Request for Qualifications and Proposal of Fixed Fees.  Four firms returned their documents to the Diocese and to St Clare office by 4pm on September 26, 2019.

The four proposals were evaluated and interviews were conducted. The costs presented vary from $300,00 to $600,000.  We announced on December 14 and 15 at open receptions in the parish hall that we have chosen an architect.

We signed a contract with: Adaptive Architects, Inc., Mesa, AZ.

The Fixed Fee Total Sum for the Project scope: $295,300.00
As follows:
Schematic Design: 29,530.00 or 10%
Design Development: 44,295.00 or 15%
Construction Documents: 132,885.00 or 45%
Bidding Support:  14,765.00 or 05%
Construction Administration:  73,825.00 or 25%
*All Additional Services must be pre-approved by the Owner.

If all goes smoothly it is possible that we could break ground near the end of 2020. A lot of work will need to be done to make that happen and pledge payments will need to be fulfilled.  Our process of raising pledges will continue as we ask people to contribute by means of a series of bulletin messages, lay witness talks at Mass and an in-pew commitment Sunday process.  Pledges are really important because they will give us a better idea of how much money might be available for setting a budget. Pledges set the budget, which in turn determines what the architects can design for us. So please make a pledge if you have not done so. And urge your friends and neighbors and other parishioners to also make pledges.  Thank you.

CMAR The project delivery method used in our diocese is Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR).


New Project page

is under development to better inform you of the project underway.
Go to  project

Sharing the Vision with Parishioners
In 2019, we conducted a feasibility study (May-June) and then a series of individual interviews and open receptions with hundreds of parishioners.
January 12, 2020 First In-Pew Commitment Weekend, We distributed pamphlets and pledge cards.
January 26, 2020 Second In-Pew Commitment Weekend. We distributed pamphlets and pledge cards.
March 17, 2020 The COVID-19 Pandemic swept across the world and our parish went into quarantine. All public Masses were stopped and all parish activities. The Together Campaign had to be put on pause temporarily. 
July 1, 2020 the pandemic continues to severely limit public gatherings as many people choose to stay at home for self-imposed quarantine.

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