Catholic Education Arizona is once again proud to sponsor Night of Hope, an event that assists families in need continue to send their children to Catholic schools.  

The Night of Hope was started in 2007 by Superintendent MaryBeth Mueller (Retired), who also became the 2017 Guardian of Hope for sustaining the legacy event for more than a decade.   

Since its inception, the Night of Hope has served two purposes:  

  • To raise funds for families who have emergencies during the school year and need unforeseen tuition assistance 
  • To recognize and celebrate Catholic schools, its students, and those who serve, promote, and support them 

This year, Night of Hope will again take place to meet emergency need that surfaces among Catholic school families.  2020 has brought unpredictability to families who already make sacrifices in order for their children to attend Catholic schools, so Night of Hope will go on to make sure there is a tuition safety net for families.  

The Catholic Schools Office, the Office of Mission Advancement, and the Night of Hope Committee, made up of volunteers from throughout the diocese, have worked together to create a 35-minute online event that will be attended by more than 800 registrants.   

Night of Hope Committee Chairwoman Patti Serrano, who has led the event for 6 years, believes a virtual event without overhead costs will yield more funds to assist students. This year’s Night of Hope is crucial, more so than any other year in our history,” said Serrano. The need for assistance to our families is greater than ever, due to the effects of COVID-19.  So many families are suffering from loss of jobs, furloughs, and medical issues. We hope you will join us to help support our families struggling to keep their children in a Catholic school!” 

Two committee members have been Night of Hope committee members since its creation.  Jim Burke and Brigid Skoog have both worked on the event throughout the years, managing communication, outreach, and the evening itself when it was an in-person celebration. 

“I got involved because Catholic education is a cornerstone of my family’s life,” Jim said. “Supporting Night of Hope and doing everything I can to help make it a success is really an honor.” Jim is an accomplished multi-media designer whose work can be seen throughout the diocese and whose company, Industrial Arts, has been a sponsor of Night of Hope since its inception. 

Of all the aspects of Night of Hope, Brigid points to the Guardian of Hope honoree presentations as the highlight of the eventIt has been such a privilege to work with and get to know these amazing men and women who have given so much of themselves to the ministry of Catholic education in our diocese. As Pope Francis said, ‘Education bears within itself a seed of hope: the hope of peace and justice; the hope of beauty and goodness; the hope of social harmony.’ These Guardians have truly been sowers of this seed of hope, and we, as a diocese, are lucky to have these men and women beside us as we continue to bring up children who are faithful to the message of the Gospel.”  

To find out who the 13th annual Night of Hope will honor as Guardians of Hope, register for the free event and tune in at 6:00 tonight, November 12. Register Here.

Previous Guardians of Hope include: 

F. Michael Geddes 

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust 

Nancy Knight, Benefactor 

Sr. Joan Fitzgerald, BVM, Catholic Educator 

Andrew Rubalcava, Catholic Alumnus 

Owen Cotton, Benefactor 

Sr. Raphael Quinn, IBVM, Catholic Educator 

Kelly McKone, Catholic Alumnus 

Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Cemeteries and 

Mortuaries, Corporate Partner 

Sr. Mary Norbert Long, SC, Catholic Educator 

National Bank of Arizona, Corporate Sponsor 

Dr. Vincent Sheridan, Catholic Educator 

Kevin Strayton, Corporate Partner 

William Scott Jenkins, Benefactor 

Suzanne Fessler, Catholic Educator 

Cecilia and Michael Frakes, Catholic Educators 

Margaret Gillespie, Benefactor 

Franciscan Sisters of Charity, Catholic Educators 

MaryBeth Mueller, Catholic Educator 

Irish Missionary Priests of the Diocese of Phoenix
The Women Religious of the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic School


Pictured: Christine Tax, Principal of St. Agnes Catholic School in Phoenix preparing for her Night of Hope video interview. 

Pictured: Melissa Pena, Director of Financial Aid at Xavier College Prep preparing for her Night of Hope video interview.