Homecoming Week

Community and Tradition are two words we at Saint Mary’s hold dear. It is a part of what makes our family a family. This past week at Saint Mary’s, we celebrated our 102ndHomecoming week. The community of Saint Mary’s was U-Knighted in keeping with traditions of the old and making some new ones to carry with us into the future.

Our weekday activities were planned by members of Saint Junipero Serra House. During the week, we had numerous dress-up days to help showcase our school spirit. On Tuesday we celebrated Decades Day with members of each class representing different decades. This included our dear teachers bringing us back to the 1950’s. 

Wednesday was a day full of competition. Students and faculty were encouraged to dress in their House colors. During House time, the entire school went to the gym to battle for honor and glory in a Tug-of-War competition.  It was during this that we learned just how strong our Knights are: we broke the rope in half! The competition continued into lunch where students had the opportunity to partake in inflatable jousting. To quote our legendary Athletic Director, “We may not be the biggest but we have the firm conviction to be the best”. 

Throwback Thursday was a great success. The generations of the Saint Mary’s family were well represented with students wearing uniforms and letterman sweaters from parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents: Once a Knight, Always a Knight. Lunchtime was packed with yard games and music, including a dunk tank occupied by different members of the senior class. The fun continued with bringing back a SM Tradition―the Homecoming Bonfire. Despite the rain, We had over 130 students, coming out to support our Knights as they prepared to battle the football field Friday night against Washington. 

 Onlookers to Saint Mary’s campus may have confused Friday for St. Patrick’s Day as the entire school was decked out in Green, complete with Mrs. Vietri wearing green head to toe in scrubs. Students came to the gym Friday with green face paint ready to cheer our team onto victory. 

On Friday night before the game,  the food trucks and the DJ were a great success, thanks to our wonderful PSO. So many of our students were involved in the Game festivities including our 50/50 raffle led by the youth for life club and the many members of our House System who both represented their beautiful playhouses before the game and brought them onto the field during halftime. Saint Mary’s loves to serve our community, and our students were proud to be a part of something that benefits the entire Phoenix area. This year our playhouses went to many organizations including St. Thomas the Apostle Preschool, Sts. Simon and Jude Preschool, and Maggie’s Place. 

We would be remiss to not mention this year’s Homecoming King and Queen, Ernesto Garcia and Ivon Gondara. Ernie and Ivon were nominated by their Senior Class and then voted for by the entire student body. They are incredible witnesses to what it means to be a Knight. Congratulations to our entire Homecoming Court! 

The excitement of Friday continued with our boys defeating Washington in an exciting game. The boys showed determination and drive as they valiently battled on the field. 

Finally, Homecoming Week ended with our “Knight in New York Dance” on Saturday evening. Over 300 students attended the dance, which was planned by members of Saint Agnes House. The students danced the night away, celebrating the end of a busy and memorable week. 

Honor Board

During our Honor Board ceremony for the Class of 2020, we celebrated the outstanding academic and extracurricular accomplishments of the top students in this year’s senior class. To earn this distinction, these students achieved a cumulative weighted GPA of 3.75 or higher by the end of their junior year. Our Honor Board students have their photos displayed in our front office for the duration of the school year, not only to acknowledge their many accolades, but to serve as inspiration to other students and visitors. These students are true examples of what it means to be Saint Mary’s Knights!

Congratulations to our Class of 2020 Honor Board Students: Monica Arce, Maria Brittain, Jonathan Collins, Olivia Drapeau, Lauren Engelthaler, Andrew Fahrendorf, Giavanna Fernandez, Genevieve Gignoux, Brittany Orozco, Sarya Palencia, & Claire Rayner.

Join us for our fall blood drive

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Fall Sports off to a Blistering Start

As a new school year gets underway, some of Saint Mary’s most exciting sports programs are kicking off another season. With many strong performances already, the Knights are hoping to carry that momentum forward in the coming weeks. Here’s a quick glance at some key things to know about each team and how each has performed so far:

Women’s Volleyball


The Lady Knights opened their season overwhelming Glendale 3-0. The Knights balanced attack was led by freshman newcomer Kadyn Dahlke who had 11 kills and Leilani Clark who added 8 kills. Spirit Phipps led the way for Saint Mary’s with 25 assists and the Knights cruised 25-3, 3, and 9. The Knights finished off the Cardinals in just 50 minutes of action.


Varsity football fought valiantly but came up short against Seton 28-22. The Knights were led by Seniors Patrick Sullivan, Sam Bryant and Junior Liam Phelan. The Knights continue to fight hard and get better each day.

JV football is 2-0, starting the season with two shutouts: 20-0 over Seton and 27-0 over Marcos de Niza.

Boys Golf

Nick Nuez

Nick Nuez

Led by freshman phenom Nick Nuez the Knights Boys Golf team has opened the season with a sizzling 4-0 record. Nuez shot a 2-under, 34 in his very first match for the Knights and he has not looked back. Congratulations to first year head coach Chris Dupuis and his LPGA Hall of Fame assistant Kerry Graham and the rest of the boys golf program on an excellent start to the 2019 Season.



Get ready for the Saint Mary’s Open

Dust off those clubs, grab a friend or two, or three. Make it a foursome and enjoy a wonderful day out in the sun with your friends.

Don’t miss out, sign up today!

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Peer tutoring available

As of Monday, August 19, 2019, members of the National Honor Society will be available in the St. Mary’s College Room to tutor other students. N.H.S. members will be manning the peer tutoring table from 7:30 a.m. to 7:55 a.m. every Monday through Thursday Please feel free to en-courage your students (especially sophomores and freshmen) to utilize this opportunity to be tutored by their peers. A daily log will be kept on those students reporting for tutoring, to allow you to check on any of your stu-dents.If you have any comments or questions regarding this program, please feel free to contact Julie Vietri, N.H.S. Advisor, the Guidance Counselors, or any member of the National Honor Society. Thank you for your support! 

Saint Mary’s Hires Patricia Hollerbach
as Head Girls Basketball Coach

Saint Mary’s Catholic High School has named Patricia Hollerbach the next head coach of the girls’ Basketball Program, winners of 7 Arizona State Championships and 1 National Championship in school history, Athletic Director Greg Fahrendorf announced on Friday.  Coach Hollerbach, a 4-year letter winner and graduate of the class of 2009 at Saint Mary’s, was a member of the Knights 2006 State Championship and the 2009 State Runners-Up teams.  After high school, she continued her basketball career at the University of Denver and Northern Arizona University.  Coach Hollerbach returns to Saint Mary’s after coaching stints at North Phoenix Prep and ASU Prep.

“This is an exciting day for Saint Mary’s,” Fahrendorf stated.  “Not only are we hiring an excellent basketball coach, who also excelled as a player, but we are also able to welcome Patricia back to our campus.  We believe her combination of knowledge and passion for the game and love of Saint Mary’s make her the perfect fit and cannot wait for her to get started.”

“The traditions of Saint Mary’s run deep within my family,” Hollerbach said.  “I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to come home and instill the traditions, values and virtues of a Knight that were taught to me while playing for Coach Denogean and Coach Ekmark.  I hope to create the same great memories and success for our basketball program for years to come.”

 A native of Phoenix, Coach Hollerbach is married to Cameron (Saint Mary’s Class of 2008) and mother to one son, Jace, and one daughter, Maddie.

Saint Mary's Catholic High School, a private co-educational school, was established in 1917 and is the oldest Catholic high school in Arizona.  Saint Mary's has been recognized as a Cardinal Newman Society Catholic School of Excellence and Honor Roll member every year since 2014. To find out more, please visit www.smknights.org.


The St. John Paul II Foundation is excited to announce the first Together in Holiness marriage conference in the Diocese of Phoenix on Saturday, September 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.! The conference will be held in two locations, both featuring the same national speakers. Join us at St. Thomas Aquinas in Avondale or St. Andrew the Apostle in Chandler. Seating is limited!

Together in Holiness is a Catholic marriage conference series that seeks to inspire couples and empower parents to form their children in the Catholic faith. This one-day conference includes Mass, dynamic presentations, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and on-site childcare.

To learn more about Together in Holiness, visit togetherinholiness.org or email conference coordinator Susie Lopez atsusie@forlifeandfamily.org.

Girls State

Every summer almost 300 girls between their junior and senior years from across the state of Arizona are invited to attend Arizona Girls State.


This year, Saint Mary's was represented by Senior Brittany Orozco. Saint Mary's teacher Mrs. Julie Vietri also attended. She is in her 26th year as a staff member at Arizona Girls State. This year was the 72nd Annual Session sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, held June 2nd - 8th, at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The Girls State program provides young women the opportunity to come together to study city, county, and state government. It teaches them to understand that they are an integral part of the political process. It helps them realize they have a responsibility to make tomorrow a better time, the world a better place, and that this job is up to them regardless of religious or political beliefs.

Girls State programs are held in all 50 states. At the end of each session, two Senators are elected to represent Arizona at Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to Brittany for being selected to participate in this prestigious program!

Go Knights!

Sr. Mercedes Torres, OP,
Professes Solemn Vows

Sr. Mercedes Torres, OP, professed solemn vows as a Dominican Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist July 24that the motherhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Originally from Brooklyn, Sr. Mercedes is in her fourth year at Saint Mary’s teaching Spanish and Humanities. Below please read a letter of thanks from Sr.:

Good evening,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for you prayers leading up to and during my Final Vows.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me. All of your joyful “congratulations” upon arrival back to school have been to touching.  I am so very grateful.

There were 7 Sisters that made Final Vows on July 24th. Father Bolding concelebrated, St. Mary’s seminarians Erik Ochoa and Roberto Huerta served the Mass, and Deacon James Carabajal (father of recent graduate Mariana Carabajal) proclaimed the Gospel at the Mass.  As you know, many of the members of the St. Mary’s community including Liz Salgado with Nikki, Veronica Kuenstle, Amy Jerome and her son Alex, Jim Spina with his wife Nancy and daughter Calley, The Mowery’s, and the Gignoux’s were able to it up for the Mass.  It was a blessing to have such a St. Mary’s presence.

While most of you were not able to make it to Ann Arbor, I know you were most certainly there in prayer.

I am including a few pictures from a couple particularly special parts of the Profession Mass.

Thank you, again, for all of your prayers.  I felt the support of the St. Mary’s family in a special way.

God Bless you all!

Sr. Mercedes, OP

Sr. recently conducted a wonderful interview with the Catholic Sun, please enjoy reading:

St. Mary's teacher returns to class as perpetual, dual Dominican

On behalf of the entire Saint Mary’s community, Congratulations Sr.!
We are all very proud and honored to have you teaching our students at Saint Mary’s.