Introducing Father John Muir

November 17, 2022  •   LPi

Photo of Father John Muir
LPi is pleased to present a new writer for our weekly Gospel Meditations available in WeCreate starting this Advent season — Fr. John Muir, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale, Arizona. Fr. Muir is a published author and speaker in the Catholic community. To introduce him to you, we interviewed him about his life and his parish family. Here’s what he had to say!

1. Describe your parish demographic in 280 characters or less.
St. Thomas Aquinas parish has over 5500 registered families, made up of a variety of ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and economic status. Filipinos, Hispanics, Polish, Nigerians, Ugandans, Tanzanians, Italians, Irish, and many more. It’s a joyful, faith-filled place.

2. Why do most people visit your city?
Near us, the Phoenix International Raceway has two big races each year. The Wigwam Resort attracts many people to our area, as do several golf courses. The White Tank mountains are popular for hiking.

3. What do people say when they visit your parish for the first time?
“Wow, it’s so big! It’s so beautiful! It’s so colorful.”

4. What is a fun fact about you?
Although I live in Phoenix, deep down, I’m a Vermonter. This means I love maple syrup, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and believe in lake monsters.

5. Which communication platforms do you use to spread the message of Jesus to the world?
I have a side project called Catholic Breakfast, which is a website as well as a social media space. It’s my attempt to engage, encourage, and equip people who are “Catholic curious” or just getting started in the faith. It’s available at www.CatholicBreakfast.com.

6. What is an unexpected blessing of your priesthood?
The friendships and relationships that form when I am living my life on mission. I’m amazed at how deep and meaningful friendships are with so many priests and lay people. That’s a huge joy.

7. You’re writing our new Gospel Meditations, what end-goal encouraged you to agree to this project?
I want Catholics to know and love the Bible! The Bible is breathtaking in its power to illuminate and change us for the better. The more I can facilitate this for others, the better. Writing the Gospel Meditations is a blessing for me too because it helps me be more attentive to the Scriptures, which never disappoint.

8. Do you have a favorite Gospel-writer?
I have a special affection for Saint Luke because he clearly learned a great deal about the Lord Jesus from the lips of Mary, herself. Also, I love the way he records three persons breaking into song near the time of Jesus’ birth — Zechariah, Mary, and Simeon. He appreciates the connection between Christ and art from the very beginning. He understands that the love of Christ makes us sing.

9. What is one of the scariest invitations God has extended to you and how did you respond?
Last year I was invited to give the opening invocation for a NASCAR race. It was broadcast on live television. I was pretty nervous because I wasn’t sure how the largely Protestant crowd would respond to a Catholic priest. Also, it was on live TV. No second chances. But, as I waited to start, I realized that God had sent me there and the Sacrament of Holy Orders would give me whatever I needed. When the cameras came on and it was my turn to speak, I spoke confidently and calmly. It went so well. As I left the race that night, many folks said to me with their southern drawl, “Nice work up there, Father!”

10. What advice for the spiritual life have you received that has made a difference in your life?
Just try to please Jesus. Do everything for him, and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. Everything else will take care of itself.

Churches who print their bulletins with LPi have full access to WeCreate for free! If you don’t publish with us, reach out to us to get started. You can also purchase a subscription to WeCreate here.

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