By Octavio Serrano
Gas pumps and tires have given way to crucifixes, religious statues and spiritual books.
An old Phoenix gas station was developed into a family center space and gift shop for Most Holy Trinity Parish, located at 8620 N. 7th St.
Dale Craig, a pastor of the Parish, said, “It was a gift from God. I am convinced He wanted us to have that property.”
The Parish had been interested in the adjacent property for 12 years but was unable to afford it, Craig explained. Then two years ago, two things happened.
Two members of the Parish passed away within four months of each other and left a sizeable donation for the Parish in their wills. Apart from that, the realtor of the property contacted the church and said the owners were willing to sell the former Defi gas station and mini mart for a significantly reduced price.
“It was divine providence,” Craig said.
Most of the work was done for free or at a reduced price because the architect and contractors hired for the renovation were members of the Parish, according to Craig.
The Family Center is a large, open room with high ceilings. The building also has two bathrooms and a small kitchenette. An outdoor sitting/play area is being developed on the back side of building.
Pat Galaviz, a volunteer at Most Holy Trinity, said the Parish uses the Family Center for meetings, religious programs and classes.
The gift shop officially opened on May 2, and is significantly bigger than the previous gift shop space housed inside the Parish office.
Tia Tribe, a volunteer manager with the gift shop, said she only sells religious items but the shop is open to the public. Customers may find spiritual books, holy cards, rosaries, and other religious items as well as baptismal items and, particularly for December, items celebrating Advent, which begins on Dec. 2. “We are here to evangelize and we have very beautiful product and books to accomplish that,” Tribe said.
The gift shop is located at 8722 N. 7th St., and it is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays. The gift shop can be reached at 602-386-1179.