Arizona, USA

[seal of the state of Arizona]
The 48th state to be admitted to the Union, 14 February 1912. Spanish Franciscans began missionary work among the Moki Indians about 1629, but massacres during the revolt of 1680 put a temporary end to their activities. One of the first Jesuit missionaries to the Indians of the region was Father Eusebius Francisco Kino (Kuhn), who established the Mission of San Xavier del Bac, in Upper Pimeria, just south of Tuscon, about 1700. This and nine other missions, including Guevavi, later replaced by Tumacacori, were given over to the Franciscans after Spain had ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767. Father Francisco Garces, O.F.M., was killed with several companions in 1781. Two years later the foundations of the present fine Byzantine church of San Xavier were laid, two miles south of the earlier mission. It was completed in 1797. After the Spanish missionaries had been driven out by Mexico in 1827, religion suffered a severe setback until the appointment in 1853 of Right Reverend John B. Lamy as bishop of the new Diocese of Santa Fe. In 1859 he sent Reverend Joseph P. Machebreuf to Tucson, where Mass was first said in a private house. In 1863 the Jesuits took over the parish and Mass was again offered in the abandoned church of San Xavier del Bac. Catholic influence on place-names in Arizona include

  • Christmas
  • Saint David
  • Saint Johns
  • Saint Michaels
  • San Carlos
  • San Simon

Ecclesiastical divisions include the dioceses of

  • Phoenix
  • Tucson

see also