St. Anne Roman Catholic Parish

Divine Master

Jesus Christ
Founder of the Catholic Church

Jesus the Nazorean, Son of God. Son of Mary. He was born in Bethlehem during the time of Caesar Augustus. After being exiled to Egypt with Mary and Joseph, he lived in Nazareth for roughly 30 years. He went about doing good and healing all of those oppressed by the devil. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, was buried and rose on the third day. He ascended into heaven and now is present in our midst as he promised: “... I am with you always, until the end of age." (Mt 28:20)

Jesus is the founder of the Catholic Church. He endowed his community with a structure that will remain until the kingdom is fully achieved. Before all else there is the choice of the twelve with Peter as their head: “... I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt 16:18-19)

Successor of St. Peter the Apostle

Pope Francis
Bishop of Rome

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, when he was named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Bergoglio, the first pope to hail from the Americas, reportedly took his papal title after St. Francis of Assisi of Italy. Pope Francis made his first international visit in July 2013, traveling to Brazil for World Youth Day. In December 2013, Pope Francis was also named Person of the Year by TIME magazine.

Successor of Apostles, in Phoenix, Arizona

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix

Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, July 2, 1973. He was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix December 20, 2003. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix he served as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas, after being ordained Coadjutor Bishop on April 20, 1999. Before serving in Wichita, he served as the Rector / President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Catholic Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

The Most Reverend Eduardo Alanis Nevares was ordained as the first Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Phoenix on July 19, 2010, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale. He began his priesthood as a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette on July 18, 1981, and was later incardinated into the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, in May 2007.  He served as Vice Rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, after serving as the Co-Director of Vocations in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, from 2002 until 2008. Before serving in Tyler, he was the Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Lufkin, Texas. For 25 years, Bishop Nevares served as a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette before he sought incardination to the Diocese of Tyler.

Clergy - Priests

Father Sergio Muñoz Fita
Pastor

The second of three sons, Father Sergio M. Fita was born in Cuenca, Spain. He was ordained a priest on July 10, 2004 in his home town of Cuenca. That same year he joined the Secular Institute of Servi Trinitatis, which consists of priests and secular members, both men and women alike. He arrived in the United States in January of 2012 and since then has worked diligently to promote the goals of Servi Trinitatis, which include the cultivation of vocations to the consecrated life, missions, the education of children and young people, an apostolate with the secular community through the Catholic Action, and social media.

Father David Mbimadong
Parochial Vicar

Ordained October 31st in 1998 for the Diocese of Tamale, Ghana in West Africa, Fr. David has been at St. Anne for more than a year. His birthday is the same as his feast day, which is on March 1st. One can always find Fr. David with a joyful smile on his face!

Father Dan Vanyo
Parochial Vicar

Fr. Dan Vanyo was ordained to the priesthood June 2, 2012. He served as parochial vicar at Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa, AZ until July 1, 2015. He also served as chaplain at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler.

Father Dennis Riccitelli
Visiting Priest

Clergy - Deacons

Deacon Keith Boswell

Born and raised in Iowa, Deacon Keith has served at St. Anne for fourteen years since his ordination for the Diocese of Phoenix. He and his wife of thirty-seven years, Karen, have a daughter named Erin. While Dcn. Keith doesn’t have any serious hobbies or pastimes, he enjoys a variety of activities. His favorite saint is St. Charles Borromeo.

Deacon Joe Spadafino

The St. Anne community has been blessed with Deacon Joe’s cheerful smile since he was assigned here in 2006. He and his wife of twenty-five wonderful years have four children (one of their children is deceased). His favorite saint is St. Joseph, and his favorite Bible story is the widow’s mite.

Deacon Bob Carey

Ordained on January 16th, 1999, Deacon Bob Carey initially served at St. Anne from the date of his ordination through April 2005, until his reassignment in May of 2005 to St. Mary Magdalene. After serving there for 8 years, he was again reassigned to our beautiful St. Anne.

A New York native, he married in 1967, and later moved to Arizona in 1983. He and his wife Beatrice Carey have six children: Jill lives here in Phoenix, Marla resides in Spokane, Barbara lives in Tucson, Chris in San Diego, Craig in Laveen, and Amy lives in San Diego.

Currently, Dcn. Carey is a member of the Diocesan Deacon Council, Diocesan Coordinator of Diaconal Life and Ministry, member of the Diocesan Deacon Retreat Committee, Cursillo Associate Director (English speaking), Spiritual Director to the East Phoenix Legion of Mary Curia and represents the Diocese in Jail Ministry two to three days per month.

Deacon Rick Nevins
Liturgy Director

A longtime parishioner at St. Anne, Deacon Rick Nevins was ordained in November of 2014 and assigned to St. Anne. He is originally from Waltham, Massachusetts, and has been married for thirty-three years. Dcn. Rick and his wife, Liliana, have 5 beautiful children; he enjoys spending time with them as his pastime. His favorite saint is St. Pio of Pietrelcina and his favorite Bible story is Jesus’ healing of the centurions servant in the Gospel of Luke (7:1-10).

Administration

Deacon Andrew Gilliland
Director of Parish Administration

Currently serving as the Director of Parish Administration here at St. Anne since June 2013, Deacon Andrew was recently ordained as a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Phoenix and is now serving at Resurrection Catholic Church in Tempe. He and his beautiful wife Jessica have been married for twelve years. Those twelve years have brought them 4 wonderful blessings! Their names are Hadrien (6), Liam (4), Simon (3), and Elizabeth (2 months).

When Dcn. Andrew isn’t at church, he enjoys reading and learning about the liturgy and naval history, along with watching baseball! Some of his favorite saints are St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Joseph, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. John of the Cross.

Norma Guzman
Priests' Secretary

Born and raised in Superior, Arizona, Norma moved to the valley in 2007 with her family. She has been married for forty years to her husband Michael, and together they have three wonderful daughters named Alicia, Elaine, and Valerie. They have been blessed with nine grandchildren and one great grandson. Norma has worked at St. Anne as the Administrative Assistant to Youth Ministry since 2007. She enjoys her job because it has brought her closer to God, and continues to help her grow in her faith. When Norma isn’t working or spending time with her grandchildren, she loves crocheting and being outdoors.

Lourdes Miramontes
Front Office Receptionist

A Queen Creek resident, Lourdes has been faithfully making her way to St. Anne since January 2015. In her spare time she devotes herself to her family and friends. She also loves to sing! Her favorite story from the Bible is in Genesis where Abraham’s faith is tested when God asks him to sacrifice his only son. This has taught her to trust in the Lord and follow Him regardless.

Merci Hernández
Director of Friends of the Needy

Upon meeting Merci, one will have the impression of knowing her their entire life. Her smile is inviting and her heart is filled with compassion for others. She was born in Mesa, Arizona, and has worked at St. Anne since 1995. Merci’s favorite hobby is taking pictures of her family and then scrapbooking those photos. St. Padre Pio, Blessed Mother Theresa, and Pope St. John Paul II are a few of her favorite saints. Something Merci loves to tell people is, “JOY (Jesus Over You)!”

Margarita Sánchez
Gift Shop Volunteer

Margarita delights in her fourteen wonderful nieces and nephews since she never had any children of her own. She cared for her parents until they passed away to rest in the presence of the Lord, and as a result never married. In 2007 she moved to Arizona and began volunteering at the St. Anne gift shop in 2009. Her favorite hobby is decorating, and her favorite pastime is reading or watching some games on GSN, like Family Feud. Our Blessed Mother is her favorite saint, and while she doesn’t have a favorite Bible story because they’re all great lessons, her favorite Bible prayer is Psalm 23.

Communications

Mike Zazick
Communications Director

A New Jersey native, Mike is thankful to his parents for having moved the family to Arizona in 1980. He has been happily married to his wife, Dana, for over 15 years. They have four amazing boys: Zach, Ben, Nick, and Will. A drummer since he was five years old, Mike enjoys playing music and is active within the charismatic and contemporary music scene, playing for retreats and prison ministry. He also enjoys photography and videography. He has worked at St. Anne for over ten years and continues to seek new ways of using his gifts and talents to serve the church and the people of St. Anne through the New Evangelization efforts.

In Matthew 14:22-3 Mike is challenged to consider the trust and faith that he must have to follow Jesus when the Lord calls to “walk on the water” towards Him.

Monique Spryszak
Technology Development Coordinator

Monique began working at St. Anne in May of 2015.  She serves St. Anne by updating the parish website, phone app, The City, and social media.  She provides desktop support, email support, technology training, database management, and more.  Originally from Campbell, California, Monique moved to Arizona with her husband, Mark, in 2007.  In her spare time, Monique likes walking, riding her bicycle, reading, designing websites, and watching sci-fi movies. One of her favorite saints is St. Madeleine Sophie Barat.  Some of her favorite scriptures are Philippians 4:6 and Galatians 2:20.

Wanda Guercio Castro
Volunteer Coordinator

Born in the small town of Douglas, AZ, Wanda attended elementary school there up to the 4th grade in a Catholic School, even though she lived on the Mexican side of the border. Her and her family moved to their state capital of Hermosillo where she continued her schooling in bilingual institutions all through college. In 2003 Wanda received her bachelor’s in marketing, and upon graduating she moved to TN, where she lived for 2 years before moving to AZ in 2005.

She has been married for 7 years and has 3 beautiful children; Arielle (13), Ben (7) and Cailyn (5), and 2 grown up stepchildren; Adam (18) and Deveny (22). Wanda loves the arts, especially music, theatre and dance. She participated in many theatrical and musical productions throughout her education, and now her daughters are following suit. She’s also a soccer fan and is her son’s biggest supporter in this sport. She is also a photographer and loves painting and learning new languages whenever she can.

She has always loved helping others and working with children, and in 2012 she started working as a teacher at her kids’ preschool, and while she loved being around kids, she remained there until 2015 when she became a part of St Anne’s staff. Her favorite saints are Pope John Paul II, because of his love for Mexico, St Francis of Assisi for being able to give up everything he had for others, and St Mary Magdalene because of her conversion after falling in love with our Lord Jesus.

Faith Formation

Donna Kano
Faith Formation Director

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Donna considers Arizona her true home. She is a widow, but she and her husband had three sons (Patrick, Andrew, and Joseph). Playing the piano and reading books on the lives of the saints are a few of the things she most enjoys. Her favorite saint is Pope St. John Paul II because his life and writings are very inspirational. Donna was blessed with the opportunity of seeing him in person many times and was also able to attend his canonization in April 2014.

Micheal McConnel
Catechesis of the Good Shepard - Children's Sacraments

Happily married for twenty years, Micheal and her husband have raised two wonderful children; Nathan is eighteen and away at college, and Sylvia is sixteen and in high school. Micheal’s favorite hobbies are knitting and watching TV.

In 2012 Micheal began working for St. Anne and loves working with children. Her favorite Old Testament saint is St. Esther because she practices her faith with great dedication and overcomes her fears to do what is right. In the New Testament, her favorite saint is St. Mary Magdalene because she converts her life, follows Jesus, and is so thankful for his love and mercy. One of her favorite Bible stories is the parable of the ten virgins because it speaks of how we need to keep our oil full and therefore be ready at all times. It reminds her that the Lord has given us all we need to receive Him when He comes.

Lourdes Santiago
Coordinadora de Catequesis del Buen Pastor

Lourdes moved to the desert during the winter of 1989 with her husband and two daughters. A catechist trained in all three levels for English and Spanish, Lourdes came to St. Anne in 1994. She loves working with children! Her favorite Gospel is by John the Evangelist, and her favorite saint is St. Peter Julian Eymar. Learning about his life taught her how to enjoy our greatest gift – Jesus in the Eucharist.

Rosaura Tasso (Coco)
Faith Formation Assistant

bio coming soon

Doris Gastelum
Catechesis of the Good Shepard Office Assistant

Originally from Los Angeles, Doris is widowed and has a son. Spending time with her three grandchildren and brand new great-grandchild is her favorite thing to do! She has been at St. Anne since 1995 as a volunteer, and an employee since 2001. Some of her hobbies include baking and gardening. Her favorite saint is our Blessed Mother Mary and particularly loves her appearance in Fatima.

Elvira Gutierrez
CGS Environment Care

Born in Mexico D.F., Elvira is the oldest of 8 children. She came to live in California in 1975 and moved to Arizona in 2003. She has been married for 37 years, has 7 children, and 13 grandchildren (and more to come). Elvira has been parishioner at St Anne since 2003. She had her encounter with the person Jesus and her conversion in 1986. Her favorite saints are St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Monica, and St. Rita of Acacia. Elvira shared, "I love the Lord our God with all my life and have no other desire than to serve him, please him and try my very best to do his will."  Favorite Bible verses: Philippians 4:13;  Mark 12: 29 - 31. 

Sister Balbina Retama
Coordinadora de Catequesis Familiar

Thank you for all you did for us Sister!  We will miss you!

Originally from Mexico, Sister Balbina has been at St. Anne since April 2003 to 2005 as the Spanish Baptism Coordinator and Spanish Catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. In 2010 she returned to the parish as the Coordinator of “Catechesis Familiar” and Sacramental Preparation in Spanish. She belongs to the Carmelite Missionaries of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, a Mexican Congregation, since 1998.

During her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, embroidering, listening, and helping people. Her favorite saints are St. Therese of the Child Jesus because of her spiritual “little way” which leads us to a deep spiritual experience, and St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) because of her courage to live out her strong relationship with God as a woman in an anti-feminist ideology.

Sister Juana Vera
Coordinator of Catequesis Familiar

Originally from Puebla, Mexico, she has spent the past 25 years in the Congregation of Carmelite Missionaries of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus. As a missionary she has served the Kingdom of God in different places, among which we can mention: Federal District (in charge of Urban Pastoral); State of Guerrero, (worked in the Parish Pastoral); and Puebla (for 7 years she was responsible for the Vocational Ministry and for 2 years accompanied the postulants in their formation). In the United States she has served for 2 years in Sacramental Preparation and Parents formation at Saint Catherine of Sienna Parish in Phoenix, AZ. She was also the Spiritual Director of the EPJ movement-Youth Ministry- and later was in the Diocese of Fresno, CA in the Holy Family Parish of Kingsburg for 7 years as a Director of Faith Formation and Director of Hispanic Ministries. She also initiated the Movement EPJ-youth ministry-in the Diocese of Fresno, CA. This year the Lord entrusted her with a new mission to Arizona, this time in our beloved Saint Ann Parish. 

Sister Juana Vera joined us on August 9th, 2017.  Welcome Sister!

Sister Angeles Sarmientos
Catequesis Familiar

Sister Angeles has been at St. Anne for less than a year, but already she has brought much joy to everyone at the parish! She belongs to the Carmelite Missionaries of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and has been a part of her congregation for eight years. Her hobbies include playing the guitar and reading.

Sara Rassas
Baptism Coordinator (English and Spanish)

Sara is a familiar face to both the English and Spanish speaking members of our community and has been a parishioner at St. Anne for many years. A native of Nogales, Arizona, Sara taught at Phoenix Community College until 2016 and is currently in her first year of retirement. Wishing to serve God in this new stage of her life, she has taken on this ministry with great determination and tremendous enthusiasm. Since July she has been familiarizing herself with the work and is now, happily, a member in the staff of the parish. Sara is bilingual and works with many other apostolates at Saint Anne as a volunteer.

Jean Estes-Gonzales
Marriage Coordinator

Happily married for forty-four years to her husband, Al Gonzales, she and him raised a family of seven children and now relish spending time with their fourteen grandchildren. Some of that time involves cooking and reading (she makes delicious desserts, by the way). Jean has been at St. Anne since July of 2001. Her favorite story from scripture is the wedding feast at Cana and her favorite Bible quote is from 1 Corinthians: “Love is patient; love is kind…” (1 COR 13:4).

John Caballero
Youth Ministry Coordinator

John is from Oxnard, California, and has been a faithful, wonderful volunteer and parishioner at St. Anne for a few years.  He also happens to be a movie star and an adventurous person!  He is one of the pilgrims appearing in Footprints: The Path of Your Life.  He walked "The Way of St. James" in Northern Spain with Fr. Sergio Fita and several other men from our parish.  We are thankful John is currently working with our Youth Ministry.

Aurora Sarmiento
RCIA/Returning Adult Formation Coordinator

Thirty-eight years of marriage and three adult children are only a few of the blessings in Aurora Sarmiento’s life. For seventeen years she has dedicated her time to volunteer and work at St. Anne. Her pastimes include watching EWTN and listening to EWTN Radio ever since she discovered it in 1984, along with reading about the faith. A few of her favorite saints are St. Therese (her patron saint), St. Padre Pio, Pope St. John Paul II, and Venerable Fulton Sheen. You can find Aurora at the parish at all times of the day always wearing a smile on her face!

Alia Suchomski
Young Family Ministry

Alia has been a St. Anne’s parishioner since 2004.  She studied Theology and Music at Ave Maria University, and there she met her husband, Michael.  They have two children so far (Joey and Enna). Alia enjoys spending time with family, singing, and anything creative.  Some of her favorite saints are St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Bernadette, and St. Louis de Montfort.

Liturgy & Music

Paul Dittus
Director of Music

Recently a newlywed to his beautiful bride since this past January 2015, Paul began working at St. Anne on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, 2015. Originally from Georgia, he recently moved across country to Arizona from southwest Florida. When he is not playing music, he enjoys reading, recording, working on computers/websites, and exploring the great outdoors!

Francisco Santos
Spanish Music Coordinator

Francisco has been the Spanish Music Coordinator at St. Anne since 2007. He has been married for twenty-two years. He truly enjoys playing the piano as well as distance running. His three favorite saints are St. Elias, St. John, and of course, St. Francisco!

Maintenance

Joe Reed
Maintenance Coordinator

Happily married for over twenty-eight years now, Joe and his wife have raised two children. He has been at St. Anne since 1996. When he isn’t on campus, Joe enjoys working with his hands to build and create different things. His favorite saint is St. Joseph.

Stephen Swingle
Maintenance

Bio coming soon.

Tom Grodecki
Maintenance

Bio coming soon.