History

Pastors of St. Mary of the Angels:

Pastor James Burns (1974 – 1981)

Pastor Patrick J. Universal (1981 – 1987)

Pastor John Paul Sauter (1988 – 1991)

Pastor William F. Day (1991 – 1994)

Pastor Thomas R. Coleman (1994-1995)

Pastor Oliver Curran (1995-2004)

 

Pastor Daniel P. Daley, S.T.L.

(2004-Present)

Timeline:

  • 1973 – Father Theophane Robertson, O.F.M., known fondly as “Father Cookie Jar” and Bishop Jerome Hastrich of the Diocese of Gallup worked together to find a site for a new parish church in Pinetop and oversee its construction.
  • 1974 – Log church built and dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels. Later, a grotto was built in honor of The Blessed Mother.
  • 1980 – 1997 – The first of three Franciscan nuns arrived to assist in various capacities. The Parish acquired a home next to the church for a convent, and the sisters were a helpful presence in the community until the last nun, Sister Daria Herbella, O.P., retired in 1997.
  • 1981 – 1987 – Father Pat Universal lead the Parish and was instrumental in purchasing additional property for the Church and in 1983 presided over “Burning of the Mortgage Celebration”. In 1985, the Church underwent renovations. Father Pat left in 1987 to serve in the missionary field in South America.
  • 1987 – Pope John Paul II came to Arizona and many parishioners traveled to Phoenix to take part in the Papal Mass.
  • 1989 – One of the most important community outreach projects began with the formation of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and thrift store.
  • 1990 – Wide range of ministries and activities formed to include the Prayer Line, Youth Choir, Adult Choir, RCIA, Living Rosary, Knights of Columbus, Madonna Guild, Library, Food Bank, and Religious Education.
  • 1995 – 2003– Father Oliver Curran lead the Parish and under his leadership donations and funds were raised for the expansion of classrooms for Religious Education, the ‘Pieta’ (an exact replica of Michelangelo’s original) encircled by an outdoor shrine, 20-foot wrought iron cross surrounded by a crown of thorns, an ornate gold-plated tabernacle, a carved wooden altar from Italy, and hand-carved Stations of the Cross, and cupola and chimes.
  • 1996 – Parish Council established a trust fund of $33,000 dedicated to the renovation of the church.
  • 1997 – Parish Council discussed the concept of the “Parish Center”.
  • 1998 – Parish Council forms Parish Finance Committee.
  • 1999 – Parishioners raised a half million dollars and plans set in motion for Church renovations and construction of the “Parish Hall” under the direction of parishioner Don Dodge and Architect John Chopas. The Building Fund grew to $1.3 million dollars that summer.
  • 2001 – In May a building contract was signed for $1,941,264 dollars for the construction of the “Parish Center”. Construction began in August.
  • 2002 – June 2nd, St. Joseph Family Center was dedicated, and guidelines established for the use of the Family Center.
  • 2003 – Father Daniel Daley arrived to lead the Parish.
  • 2009 – Father Daley presents an idea to the congregation to build a colombarium on the grounds of St. Mary of the Angels. In April, plans were drawn up and designs submitted to the Diocesan Capital Improvement Committee for approval for the construction of the colombarium.
  • 2009 – In May, Bishop James Wall, of the Diocese of Gallup, approved the construction of the colombarium. Construction of the columbarium was completed at the end of summer.
  • 2009 – On October 10th, Bishop James Wall consecrated Angels Rest Colombarium.