Parish History

On December 20, 1935, the first Catholic Mass was offered in Kanab at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Carrico. Since 1936, Mass has been said regularly in Kanab each month, particularly during the tourist season.

In 1947, when Fr. Valine was appointed the pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Milford, Kanab was declared a mission of St. Bridget. Fr. Valine offered Mass in Kanab monthly during most of the year, and weekly during the tourist season, going also to the North Rim. Fr. Valine made and sold doughnuts along his stops, and became known affectionately as the “Doughnut Priest”. He did this in order to supplement his meager income.

In 1953, Bishop Hunt established St. Christopher as a parish and appointed Fr. Alphonse Lemay as pastor. Fr. Lemay died that same year and the care of the parish reverted to Fr. Valine until 1971. After serving Mass in homes, a trailer, and a converted house, in 1957, Fr. Valine undertook the task of constructing the present cinder-block church.

The church was remodeled after the 1962-65 Vatican II Council to comply with the new direction. The altar and altar rail were removed. In 1988, the Crucifixion Mural was added. The latest remodeling was done to comply with safety, accessibility, liturgical codes and improve HVAC efficiency.

(The Rectory was built in 1984 under leadership of Father Anthony Vollmer. Fr. Vollmer also directed the construction of the Social Hall in 1995.)