We are a Roman Catholic Community located the Sun Lakes- Chandler area in southern Maricopa County in Arizona. The current population of families ( July 2014) is about 1900 with week end attendance about 3200 with 6 regular mass services. Each mass service provides something for all ages in liturgy and music. We currently have two full time priests augmented by a few retired clergy from the Diocese of Phoenix. Four deacons serve our parish in various capacities.
The support staff provides for the needs of parishioners in spiritual, religious education, music, ministries, facilities, organizations, health, and social. Parishioner’s participate in many groups outreaching to the community, diocese and other faith communities. The parish has over 25 ministries and organization that provide something for all those who wish to join and participate. Check our Ministries Tab on the Home Page.
We are located in a over 55 plus community. However, we have a large number of those younger families attending from the surrounding community in Chandler. The church provides a religious education experience for K-5 and young teen program for 6-8 (Edge) and 9-12 (Life Teen).
THE HISTORY OF ST. STEVEN’S PARISH
Originally founded as a Mission under the administration of St. Mary’s Parish in Chandler, the growing Sun Lakes Catholic population outgrew this status and in July, 1988, became an independent parish. Fr. Emmett J. FitzPatrick was appointed the founding pastor. Parish boundaries were drawn from Hunt Hwy on the south to Price Road on the west to Ocotillo Road on the North and Arizona Avenue on the east. The desire to become our own community led to the construction of our church where, on August 15, 1990, the first Mass at St. Steven’s Church was celebrated on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.
The name Steven was chosen by the “founding” parishioners for two reasons: it was the middle name of former Phoenix Bishop James S. Rausch who died in 1981, and it represented the first Christian martyr. While the spelling of Steven may also be Stephen, it is still the same man who is our parish patron saint. His feast day is December 26. In 1994, the complex was expanded to include a new social hall with meeting rooms, a storage area and a large Great Room. This construction completed the enclosure of the Spanish style courtyard centered around a fountain. In 1995, the parish purchased a new rectory location in the Oakwood area of Sun Lakes, just minutes from the church complex. In 1997, the population growth in the southeast Chandler area necessitated an expansion of the church’s seating capacity. Following the innovative addition of “wings” on each side of the main sanctuary, seating capacity doubled from 400 to 800.
Our founding pastor, Fr. E. J. FitzPatrick, passed away in October, 2004, one year after celebrating his 45’h anniversary of ordination. Bishop Thomas Olmsted appointed Fr. L. Pierre Hissey to become the second pastor of St. Steven’s parish, and presided at Fr. Pierre’s installation held at St. Steven’s on February 26, 2005.