University of Mary Tempe Campus Relocates into Historical Church
TEMPE, AZ — The beautiful St. Mary Church, one of Tempe’s most significant landmarks dating back to its construction in 1903, is the new home of the University of Mary campus in the Valley of the Sun. In partnership with All Saints Catholic Newman Center and Arizona State University, the University of Mary will use the historic St. Mary’s Church as its new base of operations in Tempe. The facility includes a classroom, reception area and administrative offices downstairs as well as the restoration of the upstairs into a place of prayer and study for use by all students.
“The new location demonstrates the strength of the partnership between University of Mary and the Newman Center and our shared mission to serve the intellectual and spiritual life of the students who attend ASU,” commented University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea, who in 2012 pioneered with ASU president Michael Crow an unprecedented academic partnership of public and Catholic higher education—the first of its kind in the U.S. “University of Mary in Tempe, now housed in this iconic place, is home to ASU students who not only study and major in Catholic studies and theological studies, but also use it daily for intellectual formation and human and spiritual formation—holding to the tradition of forming the mind alongside the heart. The Old Church will continue to be a place of study and prayer, and the new Newman Center Chapel and adoration chapel will continue to be the spiritual home of our students and where they encounter Jesus in the sacraments.”
The renovations began in July with new floors and fixtures. St. Mary’s is also undergoing changes that extend the narthex and include a new library and study space while still maintaining the overall feel and structure of the old chapel. The upstairs choir loft will transform into a study space for students with seating areas under the beautiful stained glass rose window.
St. Mary’s is the oldest church in the Phoenix metro area and has served the Catholic community of Tempe as well as the students at Arizona State University for over a century.
The new space will be blessed and dedicated on August 15 and courses at ASU begin Tuesday, September 5. An open house for students, family and the community will be hosted after the 5:15 p.m. Mass on September 14th—the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s visit to Arizona State University.
For more information about these upcoming activities go to www.umary.edu/tempe.