St. John Paul II, Pray for us. Ruega por nosotros.

Bronze Statue of St. John Paul II in front of St. John Paul II Catholic High School in Avondale.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy Feast Day of St. John Paul II! Please know that I am praying for all you as we continue to adjust to the effects of the COVID – 19 pandemic. Corage! Have courage! Be not afraid to live Jesus with faith, hope and love!

Left to Right: Sr. Esther Pilar Torres, Sr. Kelly Grace and Sr. Clare Marie, SCTJM.

I have had the blessing of being able to visit the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary at their Convent, Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent in Phoenix near St. Gregory the Great Parish and Nazareth House. On Saturday, October 10, my Sisters and I went to visit Sr. Esther Pilar, Sr. Clare Marie and Sr. Kelly Grace. We shared the joys of teaching together! As you know, Sr. Esther Pilar Torres is teaching at Bourgade High School and Sr. Clare Marie and Sr. Kelly Grace serve at Holy Spirit Newman Center at Grand Canyon University. They shared stories of teaching their students. Here are some photos from our visit. Their Convent is absolutely beautiful!

The Pierced Hearts are right by the front door outside to the right.
Chapel of Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent with Our Lady of Fatima and St. Joseph.
Sr. Clare Marie, SCTJM, Director of the Holy Spirit Newman Center at GCU. She taught me about the recently beatified Blessed Carlo Acutis, an Italian youth on his way to Sainthood.
Altar cloth with their logo handmade by a Servant of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Picture of Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died at the age of 15 in 2006.
Portrait of Mother Adela Galindo, SCTJM, Foundress, with documents of their Mission.
Statue of St. Michael the Archangel to protect us from evil. Defend us in battle!
Statue of Our Lady of the Pillar, an apparition of Our Lady to St. James the Greater in Spain.
Mother Adela Galindo prayed to Our Lady of Fatima for clarity about their Mission here. Mother shared that she prayed that Our Lady put the spinning sun in place for her Sisters.
St. Padre Pio (top left), St. Therese of the Child Jesus (top right), St. Faustina (bottom left), and St. Maximilian Kolbe (bottom right). You can order these via www.portraitsofsaints.com
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, prayer for us!
Our Lady of La Leche, Nuestra Señora de La Leche y Buen Parto, Mary nursing infant Jesus.

Portrait of St. Pope John Paul II, the spiritual father of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts.

Recently, we grieved the loss of one of our beloved Priests of the Diocese of Phoenix, Fr. Kieran Kleczewski, who served as Pastor and the Executive Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese. Fr. Kieran, with his artistic genius, not only brought beauty to the Roman Catholic Churches through liturgy, sacred art and dignified architectural restoration, he touched so many peoples lives as a Priest, Pastor and servant of God. October 6, 2020, I participated in his Funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale, where he served as the Pastor prior to Fr. John Muir. This was obvious as there were many people who attended the Funeral.

Fr. Kieran Kleczewski, Priest of Phoenix

The spacious and beautiful Church of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish is the fruit of Fr. Kieran’s strong leadership as its Pastor. He not only envisioned this uplifting Church building but also the possibility of a high school for which he acquired the property right next to the Parish Church and Elementary School. Thanks to his foresight and faith-filled perspective, we have St. John Paul II Catholic High School and its beautiful, precious chapel. I learned on this visit that he assisted in providing for the Chapel by designing the altar, commissioning it with the ambo, tabernacle and statues. He left his mark. What a masterful designer and benefactor! Thank you, Father Kieran!

Here are photos of this precious Chapel which I took the day of his funeral:

Chapel of St. John Paul II Catholic High School in Avondale, AZ.
Sanctuary of the Chapel of St. John Paul Catholic High School in Avondale, AZ.
Do you see St. John Paul II and Our Lady of Guadalupe? Those images are murals on the walls of the hallway outside of the Chapel which can be seen through glass doors!

The Eucharistic Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Los Angeles, Sister Magdalena and Sister Bernadette attended this funeral. Sister Magdalena serves at St. John Vianney Parish in Sedona, where Fr. Kieran was Pastor.

Sr. Magdalena is looking right at the camera! Thank you, Sister!

Here are some photos from the display of Fr. Kieran’s life for the Funeral:

The Kleczewski Family (Mom and Dad (left), Fr. Kieran (center), his sister & brother (right).

The Funeral was glorious! Fr. John Muir gave an excellent homily that I will remember for the rest of my life. The reunion with those who attended after the Mass was such a gift. There was even a reception with a delicious Italian meal which reminded us of Rome. The day was filled sunshine. The sun was bright, and I thanked God for it. Would you believe that St. Thomas Aquinas Parish has “The Dumb Ox Center” with an inviting café and gift shop? It’s true! Maybe another day I will be able to enjoy a coffee there.

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I would like to conclude this post with a request for prayers for my dear friend from my high school and college years, who is also a Religious Sister. Mother Maria Stella Whittier, CJD of the Sisters in Jesus the Lord, (Missionary Sisters who serve in Vladivostok, Russia) was just elected Prioress of her Religious Community shortly after visiting me in Phoenix. She and her Sisters, based in Raytown, MO have a Mission in Vladivostok, the eastern most part of Russia. There, she serves as a music liturgist and organist at Most Holy Mother of God Catholic Parish, serves in orphanages and is totally given to pro-life ministry education including giving post-abortion (Rachel’s Vineyard) retreats to women who have had abortions. This new Religious community needs our prayers and support to persevere in their heroic, extraordinary vocation.

Left to Right: Sr. Anthony Mary, Bishop Olmsted and Mother Maria Stella Whittier, CJD.
Mother Maria Stella, Sr. Anthony Mary and Fr. Paul Sullivan, Rector of the Nazareth House.
Sr. Mary Katerina Masek, Mother Maria Stella, Sr. Anthony Mary and Sr. Mary Angela, RSM.
Mother Maria Stella (front and center) with the Sisters in Jesus the Lord and their local Bishop, Bishop Johnston, of Kansas City, MO.

Thank you for your prayers. Please know that you are in mine daily. I wish each of you many graces and blessings during this time as Jesus Christ, Our Lord, accompanies you closely and as you live in Him with deep trust.

Your Sister in Christ,

Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM

2 thoughts on “St. John Paul II, Pray for us. Ruega por nosotros.

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