The year 1949 saw the start of a mission out of Queen of Peace Church, Mesa, which came to be known as "The Little Catholic Church in the Desert."
The site of this mission was in a cabin on land owned by Mr. and Mrs. Pat Bailey, on Vineyard Rd. not far from US Highway 60 in Apache Junction. The cabin was about 16' x 16', had an altar and some chairs - enough to seat about 24 people. An Irish priest from Queen of Peace Church came out to say Mass each Sunday. Sometime in the 50's, the public school was opened and Mass was said in the school.
From time to time, neighbors would get together and discuss the need for a church of their own in the area. A visiting priest instructed them on how to obtain ecclesiastical approval for a church in Apache Junction. A door-to-door census was taken in order to find out how many Catholics would attend Mass if there were a church in Apache Junction. About 150 names were obtained from the census and the Catholic men in the area pledged their services for a church. A small plot of land was donated and a drawing was held to realize the down payment for the church land on Plaza Drive. The adjacent 2 1/2 acres were donated and the plans and pledge names were taken to the bishop for his approval.
In the two-year interim before the building was completed the people did everything they could to raise money for the mortgage payments and upkeep. There were box lunch and bake sales, Bingo, rummage sales, carnivals, doughnut sales, roast beef dinners and a Mardi Gras.
Fr. John Cullinan, pastor of Christ the King, our parent church at the time, broke ground on the new church on April 13, 1962. Fr. Colum Casey was named the first pastor and was followed by Fr. William Burke and Fr. Floyd Stromberg.
Fr. Charles Maloney came to the church in 1983 and immediately saw the need for a larger church as the number of winter visitors increased each year. A series of parish workshops were held and it became obvious that those who wintered in the area thought of themselves as fully participating members of the parish and would support and utilize a larger facility. As more and more people became actively involved, the requirements for the new facility began to be developed by consensus and a new physical complex with a cost of two million dollars evolved.
Subtly, and of even greater lasting term impact, St. George's was developing the view that they were not just a parish, but a community. Rather than a parish, viewed as having boundaries, the conviction developed that they were a community that came together to celebrate their common purpose. This ever growing sense of community continued to manifest itself as St. George's moved into its new complex in the summer of 1989 with a seating capacity of 750 people.
In December of 2001, Fr. Ben Konda was named Administrator of St. George's, followed by appointment as Pastor in March, 2002. Under his leadership, the entire parish complex was renovated, including the expansion of the Social Hall and Church. Currently, the parish has 2256 families and continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Our Pastor is Fr. Domenico C. Pinti, he was ordained a Deacon on June 9, 1984, at St. Augustine's Cathedral in Tucson, AZ. He was assigned to St. George Parish in Apache Junction until his Ordination on February 2, 1985. His first Mass was said at St. George on February 3, 1985, at the old Church.
His first assignment was St. Joseph Church in Tucson. He stayed there for three and a half years, until July 1988. Father then spent three and a half years at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Tucson. He was Associate Pastor at both Parishes.
On February 1, 1992, Father Pinti went to St. Rose of Lima Parish in Safford, AZ to serve as Pastor. He remained there for 12 years, and has many fond memories from the Parish. Father Pinti was assigned as Pastor of St. George Parish on February 1, 2004 and celebrated his 25th Anniversary on February 2, 2010.