FSSP Phoenix Runners Shine Bright at Annual Nun Run

Fr. Malain, Fr. Passo and parishioner Matt Heffernan

On March 3rd, 2018, Mater Misericordiæ Mission, our apostolate in Phoenix, Arizona, turned out in force for the 9th annual Nun Run, the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery in Tonopah. The sisters are of the same order as Mother Angelica’s sisters in Alabama, and their desert monastery has been a place of solitude and retreat for our FSSP priests as well as other priests and laity of the area. And the runners from Mater Misericordiæ, led by pastor Fr. Michael Passo and assistant pastor Fr. Michael Malain, not only came and participated in the Run – their performance was outstanding. To find out more, we caught up with Fr. Passo, who told us more about the parish’s excellent results and what they did to prepare for the Run.

Fr. Passo and Fr. Malain are both accomplished runners, and, as Fr. Passo explains, make a great team in Arizona where the warm weather makes running possible year-round. Fr. Passo was a state qualifier in track & field in high school, and Fr. Malain ran track and cross-country in high school as well as cross-country at the University of Houston. Fr. Malain was the fastest priest at the Nun Run, and finished 3rd overall in the 10K, Fr. Passo finishing 6th overall at the same distance.

Fr. Malain placed 3rd overall

Other winners among the FSSP Phoenix contingent included Maria Brezniak and her daughter Natalia, who both finished 1st in their age groups for the 5K, and Brittany Allen, who finished 1st in her group for the 10K. Matt Heffernan, brother of FSSP Seattle pastor Fr. Joseph Heffernan, finished 1st in his group in the 10K, and 7th overall. In total, 36 FSSP Phoenix parishioners participated, and they received an award for that too, taking home the prize for the parish with the most participants.

Fr. Passo recounted how the parish joined together to prepare for the race in the time leading up to the big day on March 3rd. After the parish’s three Sunday Masses, the priests would hold “fun runs” with the parishioners. 10-15 people would come out each Sunday for the runs, and then they would head over to a local IHOP for a late lunch. The event thus became not only an enjoyable challenge for the parish and an act of charity for a monastery of sisters dear to them, but also a way to strengthen the bonds of the parish and build up their sense of community with one another.

Our congratulations go out to FSSP Phoenix for their superb performance, and to the sisters for a successful Nun Run!

June 13, 2018