St. Mary’s Basilica Celebrates 100 Years

Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 5:06pm
Updated: Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 8:12am
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(Kathy Ritchie/ KJZZ News)
St. Mary's Basilica
(Kathy Ritchie/ KJZZ News)
(Kathy Ritchie/ KJZZ News)

Phoenix’s oldest Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Basilica, celebrated its 100th anniversary Wednesday. The basilica is steeped in history and that history is carrying the church into the future.

St. Mary’s Basilica hasn’t changed very much since it was dedicated 100 years ago today, even though the city has. Built in the Mission revival style, the church’s main altar and the stained glass windows are original to the building. The circular Rose Window is the largest stained glass and depicts St. Mary in Paradise. The basilica’s rich history can be seen everywhere, but it’s not only found in the architecture.

The first St. Vincent de Paul Society started here. St. Mary’s Food Bank, which is the biggest food bank in the world, started here. The Sisters of Mercy came here first of all and then moved to Polk street where they started St. Joseph’s Hospital. So many wonderful things have come from St. Mary.

Jerome Doris is St. Mary’s Parish Manager. He said over the years, parishioners have come and gone, especially as old neighborhoods were lost to high rises. But with the city enjoying a renaissance as of late, some of the old parishioners are being joined by new faces.

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