The parish history of St. Clare of Assisi began when the area was part of three parishes: Santa Teresita Parish in El Mirage, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Sun City West and St. Anthony in Wickenburg. All three neighborhood communities experienced growth that caused them to run out of space. The Diocese of Phoenix purchased 12.5 acres at the corner of Bell Road and Cotton Lane. The founding pastor was Reverend John Coleman when the parish was established in July of 2000. Reverend Hans P. Ruygt was appointed Pastor in July of 2002. On August 12, 2006 after the feast of their patroness, St. Clare of Assisi, Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix gathered the parishioners for the blessing and groundbreaking of the new church.
It was a glorious day when parishioners moved into the new church and celebrated the first Mass on Christmas Eve in 2008. The Stations of the Cross came from a closed Polish church in Massachusetts and were restored and installed. Statues were commissioned and arrived from northern Italy.
The parish community has grown quickly with many ministry and activity groups. The growth of new housing and businesses along the Loop 303, along the Sun Valley Parkway in northern Buckeye and in Northern Surprise has brought almost 5,000 families to be members of the parish.
Supporting the Catholic Church’s Largest Ministry, Catholic Education
There are approximately 5.8 million students attending private schools, including Catholic schools, in the U.S. to receive an optimal educational experience. By directing a portion of your Arizona state taxes to Catholic Education Arizona for the Private Education Tax Credit, you can help to support Catholic education. To learn more about how to contribute through Individual and Corporate Tax Credits and how they work, contact Catholic Education Arizona today at 602-218-6542 or visit www.ceaz.org.