Meet the Diocesan Chaplain and Committee Chair

Meet the Diocesan Chaplain and Committee Chair

Fr. Christopher Axline, Chaplain

Fr. Chris grew up in San Jose, California where he joined Cub Scouts as a 1st year Webelos Scout. From there he entered Boy Scouts in May of 1995. In 1997 his family moved to Tucson where he continued in Scouting and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in March of 1999 at the age of fourteen!

Fr. Chris was also awarded with a BSA Heroism award for his actions in a car accident in August of the same year. This same accident, began to plant the seeds of his priestly vocation. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Fr. Chris entered the seminary and attended the Pontifical College Josephinum where he graduated in May of 2013. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 2013 and served as priest in residence at St. Mary Magdalene Roman Catholic Church in Gilbert and as Chaplain and Theology teacher at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School from July 2013 until April 2018. Fr. Chris was then assigned as Parochial Administrator at St. Mary Magdalene and became pastor July 28, 2019.

During his time in the seminary, and since his ordination, Fr. Chris has continued to enjoy Scouting. He gave tours for Scout units while he was in the seminary and he spent one summer as a seminarian on assignment at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico!  In January 2019, in addition to his other duties, Bishop Olmsted appointed Fr. Chris as the new Scout Chaplain for the Diocese of Phoenix.

Fr. Chris attended the Walk in the Son Scout Retreat at the Heard Scout Pueblo in March 2018 where he gave a talk on vocations, led the Palm Sunday procession and celebrated Mass for Scouts, Scouters and families. He recorded an inspirational video for our 2020 retreat and recently hosted our annual Religious Emblems ceremony at St. Mary Magdalene.   Fr. Chris also continues to support Scouting with Pack 522 and Troop 522 at the parish. 

In the fall of 2018, Fr. Chris was a recipient of the Bronze Pelican award.

Kathleen Polowski, Chairperson

Kathy lives in Tempe, AZ and is an active member of Church of the Holy Spirit where she serves as an EM/Sacristan. Kathy works as a part time sales associate at the Scout Shop, thoroughly enjoying the interaction with families and leaders.

Scouting is part of Kathy’s heritage. Her grandfather was the Scoutmaster in her small hometown in Michigan, and an uncle attended the first national Scout Jamboree in Washington, DC in 1937. Her older brother was an Eagle Scout and two sons also attained Eagle rank.

Kathy was a First-Class Girl Scout (now Gold Award) and leader in the AZ Cactus Pine Council for 20 years and became involved in BSA when her sons joined Cub Scouts at St. Mary-Basha Catholic School in Chandler. After serving the pack as a den leader, Kathy became an assistant scoutmaster, merit badge counselor and committee member with Troop 565 at St. Timothy Parish in Mesa. That “one hour a week” has led to 25 years. Kathy continues to be involved at the unit level as Troop Committee Chair and Committee Chair for Pack 71 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Kathy has served the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Committee on Scouting for 15 years, serving as committee chair since 2013. She serves as a member of the steering committee for the annual AZ Rosary Celebration sponsored by the State of AZ Knights of Columbus Council and is Vice President of Vocations for the East Valley Serra Club. Kathy is chair of the Council’s Religious Activities Committee.

Kathy is a Vice Chair for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting and served on faculty for the Scouting in the Catholic Church conference at the Philmont Training Center in 2014, 2015 and as Course Director for 2017. Kathy traveled to Florida Sea Base in the Florida Keys and had the privilege of serving on faculty for the Scouting in the Local Church -Diocesan Committee Development Conference in 2018 and as Course Director for 2019. Kathy has received the Bronze Pelican, St. George and Silver St. George Emblems. Kathy is a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, recipient of the Silver Beaver Award and the District Award of Merit. She was honored as a Distinguished Commissioner after serving for 5 years as an Assistant Council Commissioner working with 60 Catholic-chartered units.

Kathy was recently invested in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Western Lieutenancy and was the 2019 Bill Folz Outstanding Serran of the Year with the East Valley Club.

​Kathy completed two years of catechetical studies at the Kino Institute in the Diocese of Phoenix and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the NCCS team hosting the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis in November 2021.      Catholic Scouting—Faith, Family and Adventure