Franciscan Footprints in Casa Grande, AZ

Franciscan on the move

After serving four years in Sierra Vista at All Saints Catholic School my Franciscan footprints found me walking north and west in the desert sands   this summer to Casa Grande, AZ .With Labor Day ending the summer season I know I will remember this summer for a long time. Others often heard me say – ” I will not forget the summer of 2015! ”

I moved to Casa Grande on June 25th. I took on the principalship of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School with the permission of my religious community – The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.


St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School

The city of Casa Grande was established in 1915. The name Casa Grande is Spanish for  “Big House” . It was named this for the famous Hohokam Indian Ruins 20 miles to the northeast in Coolidge.

The current population of Casa Grande is about 50,000. It is located halfway between Tucson and Phoenix and at the intersection of two intestate highways ( I-8 and I-10).

When Casa Grande was first established it was known for cotton and other cash crops along with dairy farms. These are still vibrant today but also many people live in Casa Grande and commute to Phoenix or Tucson for jobs.

When I arrived at St. Anthony School I found it in the midst of a major renovation project. The office area was completely gutted and being redone.

All nine classrooms had the plaster taken down to the brick wall. New electrical wiring was put in and then new plaster boards with a fresh coat of paint. Each room received a new bulletin board, white board and Smart Board. All of this was done by the week before inservice began for the faculty.

Summer Office in the library

The office area ran into some snags so it took longer than expected. Myself and my secretary worked out of the library all summer.

All of our office files, furniture, equipment was stored in the cafeteria which is attached to the office area. A minor complication developed and everything being stored in the cafeteria had to be moved outside-so a new ceiling could be put into the cafeteria.



The average temperature in July in Casa Grande is about 114 with monsoons popping up towards the end of the day. So yes, some sand and rain blew around at times at our office files, equipment etc. We prayed daily to our patron-St. Anthony of Padua to hurry the workers to finish the renovation. We were very anxious to get into our new home. That day was Saturday, August 1st.


Wow! A New Office !

School has begun and I have begun the task of learning lots of new names.

As the summer of 2015 comes to a close so is our monsoon season. The monsoons can be very wicked with strong winds and rains 009 But they also have a beauty in the sky all their own

The rain is pouring down amidst the vibrant colors.
The clouds are gathering for another monsoon rain soon to come.


St. Anthony of Padua when the Child Jesus appeared to him.

May St. Anthony of Padua, our patron saint of our school, watch over us this year and may he especially bring all of our students closer to the Child Jesus.

8 thoughts on “Franciscan Footprints in Casa Grande, AZ

  1. Thanks for sharing your beginnings at St. Anthony’s. It is easy to understand why you will never forget the summer of 2015!!! May the rest of the year be much more peaceful than your beginning time there. Blessings on you and all the good that you are doing in your new location.

  2. Congratulations, Sister Carol, on the new blog and to you for “walking in the footsteps” of both St Francis and Jesus. Neither ever had a place to rest. Neither ever seemed to slow down, except to go to a quiet place to pray. Each of us must go where the Lord leads us, sometimes very unexpectedly, but, like you, we rejoice and follow, living the gospel, serving God’s people. Many blessings on your coming year and all the adventures it’s bound to bring you and those you serve!!

  3. Congratulations, Sister Carol, on work accomplished and a job (I ‘ m sure), well begun!
    Many blessings on all in your new home, parish and school!

    • Thank you for telling of your first weeks at St. Anthony’s. Challenges for the Kingdom that bring good results?
      May our Lord’s care bolster the dedication and work of you and your staff!
      With prayer, Sister Judanne

  4. Carol,
    Blessings on your new mission, school and all your endeavors. I hope you are not near the highway 10 shooter!

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