Volume 3: Western United States
Arizona: AZ-55

St. Francis Church
9 West Elm Street
P.O. Box 679
Whiteriver, AZ 85941

Phone: 928-338-4432


St. Catherine Mission
Human Services Road
Cibecue, AZ 85911

Phone: 928-338-4432


History: St. Francis Church, Whiteriver, Arizona, and St. Catherine Mission, Cibecue, Arizona, have been predominantly Native American (Apache) parishes on the Fort Apache Reservation and in the Diocese of Gallup (Archives: Gallup, New Mexico).


Rev. Isidore Ricklin, O.S.B. [Benedictines] (Archives: Shawnee, Oklahoma), from St. Patrick’s, Anadarko, Oklahoma, baptized Geronomo (Apache) while he was incarcerated at Fort Sill, Oklahoma


Rev. Justin Deutsch, O.F.M., established and Franciscans (Santa Barbara Province) (Archives: Santa Barbara, California) have administered St. Francis Church (Apache), Fort Apache Reservation


Gallup diocesan priests have administered St. Francis

1923-1925, 1930-1935

Rev. Augustine Schwarz, O.F.M. administered St. Francis

Franciscans at St. Francis attended to the following Native American (Apache) missions on the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona:

1939-1970 (became a parish)

St. Catherine Mission, Cibecue, Navajo County

1939-1970 (transferred to St. Catherine’s, Cibecue)

St. Anthony Mission, Cedar Creek, Gila County

St. Catherine Mission, Cibecue:


Franciscans (Santa Barbara Province) (Archives: Santa Barbara, California) established and administered St. Catherine Mission (Apache), Cibecue, Fort Apache Reservation


Franciscans at St. Francis, Whitewater, attended to St. Catherine’s


Holy Ghost Fathers (Western Province) (Archives: Houston, Texas) administered St. Catherine’s


Claretian Missionaries (Western Province) (Archives: Chicago, Illinois) at St. Anthony’s, McNary, also attended to St. Catherine’s


Gallup diocesan priests at St. Anthony’s, McNary, attended to St. Catherine’s


Gallup diocesan priests administered St. Catherine’s


Salvatorians (U.S.A. Province) (Archives: Milwaukee, Wisconsin) have administered St. Catherine’s

Various priests at St. Catherine’s intermittently attended to St. Anthony Mission, Cedar Creek:

1928-1939 (transferred to St. Francis, Whiteriver)

St. Anthony Mission (Apache), Cedar Creek, Fort Apache Reservation

1971-1979 (transferred to St. Anthony’s, McNary)

St. Anthony’s

1983-2010s (closed)

St. Anthony’s


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans: 

Inclusive dates: 1921-ongoing

Volume: Ca. 3 cubic feet

Description: The records at St. Francis Church were not arranged according to a classification scheme when reviewed by a Marquette University archivist, 2006. Consequently, description is by record type. 


/1 Correspondence 

Inclusive dates: 1921-1976

Volume: Ca. .2 cubic foot

Description: Mostly correspondence and reports with the bishops of Tucson and Gallup, the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, and the Marquette League.  


/2 Chronicles, Journals, and History Notes 

Inclusive dates: 1931-1980

Volume: Approximately .2 cubic foot (includes 2 volumes)

Description: Includes 1962 clipping on the baptism of the Apache leader Geronomo and a list of Pastors.  


/3 Reports

Inclusive dates: 1923-1988

Volume: Ca. .1 cubic foot 

Description: Includes the following: 

A. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, 1923-1930, 1 folder; re: mission and catechetical reports

B. Diocese of Gallup, 1941-1988, 1 folder, re: financial

C. Franciscan Santa Barbara Province, 1935-1944, 1 folder; re: financial


/4 Sacramental Records

Inclusive dates: 1921-ongoing

Volume: At least .5 cubic foot

Description: Includes baptisms, first communions, confirmations, marriages, and burials.

A. St. Francis Church, 1921-ongoing

B. St. Catherine Mission, 1928-ongoing

C. St. Anthony Mission, 1928-2010s


/5 Photographs

Inclusive dates: 1922, undated

Volume: 1 album

Description: 19 black and white and 8 color prints and captions to several black and white prints, re: parishioners, pastors, and 1922 construction of church.  


/6 Clippings and Printed Materials

Inclusive dates: 1931-2004

Volume: Ca. .1 cubic foot

Description: Includes article draft, “A Year at Whiteriver, Arizona,” Rev. Justin Deutsch, O.F.M., 1923 


/7 Parish Publications

Inclusive dates: 1971, 1974-1976

Volume: Ca. .1 cubic foot


A. 50th anniversary commemorative booklet, 1971

B. Weekly bulletins, 1974-1976


Unless noted otherwise, the repository named above holds (or held) the records described and not the Marquette University Archives. However, Marquette’s holdings, e.g. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, include related records about these Native and Catholic groups and places.