About Our Parish

Humble Beginnings

The ministry to the people at Fort Defiance actually began more than 100 years ago.  The story of our church at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament begins at St. Michael’s, the first mission of the Franciscans.

     Fr. Anselm Weber conducted the first Catholic catechism class of 198 pupils in the assembly hall on February 7, 1911, and this schedule was observed until the time of the dedication of the church at Fort Defiance in 1915.

In the summer of 1911 Fr. Egbert Fischer was assigned to this mission. By April 28, 1912 he had a class of twenty-two pupils prepared for Baptism and First Holy Communion. These ceremonies were held in the chapel of St. Michael Indian School, as were many similar festivities in the ensuing years.

By the fall of 1915 the church constructed of native sand stone was completed.  It measures 40 x 80 feet and has a seating capacity for 300 people. 

The solemn dedication of the church of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament took place on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1915.

Growing Through Change

 

The Second Vatican Council had a profound effect on Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish. 

As we look at these five decades, there was continuity, but changes were made to reflect the signs of the times as the documents of the Second Vatican Council encouraged.   One of the first effects was an increase in personnel resources.  Vatican II emphasized the role of lay people in the church as all - pope, bishops, priests, religious and laity - are equal members through Baptism.  Collegiality was encouraged with shared ministry recognized between the pope and bishops, bishops and priests, pastors and parishioners. The ministry of permanent deacons was restored.