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 otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.