The bright yellow green of local mustard is a harbinger of spring and wonderful reminder of the parable of the mustard seed.

Bishop Vasa Press Conference January 14, 2019  

Bishop Vasa discusses the publication of names of priests published as sex abuse offenders who were affiliated with the Diocese.

Published Online in the Press Democrat on Dec. 30, 2018

RIP John Seymour

John Seymour
February 24, 1948 – December 8, 2018

With a great deal of sadness, we announce the passing of John. He fought a great fight as any Warrior does but lost the toughest battle–his life. We will miss him very much.

Friends and family are invited to attend services at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Guerneville on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Donations may be made to Vietnam Veterans of America or Russian River Firefighters Association.


RIP George Ayoob.

Our love and prayers to Bonnie and family.

St. Elizabeth Parishioner, Vincentian and graduate of St. Ignatius, SF.

Welcome to St. Elizabeth, Guerneville and the Mission Churches of St. Catherine of Siena, Monte Rio and St. Colman, Cazadero.

The DONATE button will take you to PayPal where you can make a donation in the amount you designate using a credit card or your PayPal account. You don’t need a PayPal account to use your credit card. Thank you for your generosity.

Fr. Luis Peñaloza is the pastor and welcomes you!

St. Elizabeth Office (707) 869-2107

1405 Woodland Drive, Guerneville, CA 95446

email: churchelizabeth@comcast.net


4:00 PM Vigil Mass at St. Catherine of Siena, Monte Rio

5:00 PM Saturday Vigil Mass at St. Elizabeth

9:00 AM Sunday St. Elizabeth, Guerneville (choir and instrumentalists) 

11:00 AM Sunday St. Colman, Cazadero (Outdoor Church)

9:00 AM Mass Tues thru Friday St. Elizabeth, Guerneville; the rosary is recited before weekday mass at 8:30. Tuesday: Adoration following Mass Wednesday; Devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help following mass. Thursday: No mass or services third Thursday of the month; Friday: Following mass there is Anointing of the Sick, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (for one hour); Confessions are heard during the latter part of the Exposition at about 9:30 AM.


Great news for Catholic Walkers! Plenary Indulgence/Papal Blessing for Participation at Walk’s Sacred Ceremonies!

For information visit: https://www.walkforlifewc.com/

As always, EWTN is deeply involved in the pro life movements. Here are EWTN resources:


Thank you Fr. Luis for providing us with much needed spiritual nutrition. “Feed my sheep” said Jesus – and indeed you have!

  • SACRED SPACE “Prepare for the Birth of Christ by Entering a Sacred Space. Advent, a joyful time of preparation for the birth of Jesus, can be further enriched with Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2018-19, a daily prayer experience from Sacred Space, the internationally known online prayer guide. Sacred Space – Advent invites reads to develop a closer relationship with God during this season of preparation and anticipation. What we know and trust about the Sacred Space online prayer experience is now available in a compact, portable print format to heighten our Advent prayer practice in a way that is accessible, engaging and meaningful to daily life.
  • THE LIVING GOSPEL: Daily Devotions for Advent 2018 by Greg Kandra. Award-winning journalist and blogger Deacon Greg Kandra accompanies you in prayer and reflection through the busy days and long nights of the Advent season to help you spiritually prepare for Christmas. In Daily Devotions for Advent 2018, he comforts, challenges, and leads you toward the undying hope of Christ’s birth. each two-page daily devotion offers brief Bible verses, prayers, wise and practical reflections on the Word of God, and an easy-to-do spiritual exercise that hyou can usually accomplish in a single day.
  • THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK Advent and Christmas Seasons 2018-19 Six minute reflections on the Sunday Gospels of Year C. “Advent / Christmas plans. Spend today’s six minutes with the Lord sketching below some ideas on how you can spend these 23 days of Advent well. Your plans can include items that are spiritual (deciding where and when you will pray each day)…practical (your gift list)…personal (sending a Christmas card to someone with whom you’ve not been on good terms)…charitable (doing something for the poor)…
  • ADVENT GOSPEL REFLECTIONS Daily Meditations from Bishop Barron.

    Spend your time with Christ in the Gospel this Advent, alongside Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire community. Always gorgeous art accompanies Bishop Barron’s works – enjoy! Also available via email – sign up at https://adventreflections.com/


Fr. Luis’ books has provided these books free of charge on the table at the back of the church with the hymnals.

Enjoy Dan Demer’s most recent writings, reflections on modern medicine and the miracles of Jesus.


December 2 Update


Dan Demers is continuing the stone work on the little shed. The side facing the pews will have a 30″ statue of Saint Francis and the corner will have a gargoyle protecting it. Small musical and seasonal angels are placed among the stones.


PROGRESS! The back of the altar has been painted to cover up the graffiti and looks much better. By improving the property we are pushing back against the vandalism and negative behavior that have been a challenge.


St. Francis will stand on a ledge on the wall facing the pews.


Cherubs will be placed above the door.


Cherubic violinist will join the other angels over the door.


For those of you who are purchasing pew plaques, please be aware that you may request a specific pew, if it is not already taken. Here is the current pew assignment plan:


Development plans include a picnic area with outdoor kitchen/bbq to operate during summer season. Jim Rossi completed two of three picnic tables Oct. 7, 2018.

Parishioner Linda Payne shares her precious childhood memories of St. Elizabeth’s Outdoor Church:

We just cannot get enough of Linda ELIZABETH, so we gave her her own show!

Aug. 19: Our beloved Linda ELIZABETH continues her delusion the church is named after her, and galloped up the aisle at the end of mass to deliver yet another episode of THE LINDA SHOW! Enjoy!


Sept. 9, 2018 THE LINDA SHOW EPISODE V: The delusion expands to include angel wings! What’s next???

Note: All due apologies for poor camera work! No excuses, just bad with my iPhone!

Sept. 16, 2018 THE LINDA SHOW EPISDOE VI – Linda ends her show season with a loving tribute to her parents and faith and Fr. Luis offers her a new gig! 

Thank you Linda for lighting up our plaque drive! You are “da bomb!”

As you will see we are kicking off a drive to refurbish and upgrade the outdoor benches and install a cement pad and small storage shed for items and equipment associated with the summer mass. In addition we are upgrading the deteriorating electrical service to the altar for the choir and outdoor events including weddings. We have close to 80 benches that are being refurbished and will be ready for the plaques. The board can hold up to 80 also.

Let’s keep the memories and tradition alive and active for our community.

This is a special place! —Jim Rossi

For your convenience, you can purchase the plaques on line using your credit card or PayPal account.













Name(s), dates, inscription

PayPal tech support suggest that visitors having issues with any online purchases use the PayPal Customer Service number 888-221-1161.

If you prefer to pay by check, download MemorialPlaqueBulletinInsertV2 and fill it out, return it to the church with your check. St. Elizabeth Church, 1405 Woodland Drive, Guerneville, CA 95446.


We have expanded this fund raising effort by adding a sponsorship portion. Sponsors will be recognized with signage on the property bordering 4th Street. Here is the letter and accompanying form being sent:




The repaired pews at the outdoor church and cleared underbrush greatly improve the appearance of the property.



Wedding in the St. Elizabeth Outdoor Church June 23, 2018:

Music by Mariachi Torres (707) 228-0646

Special thank you to Larry Poirier who sanded off the graffiti on our benches before the wedding. Thank  you also to Jim Breaux and Larry Love who weed whacked for two week ends, Carlos Gonzalez and Ben Robles who have been working for weeks on this annual project, and for the people listed below who helped prepare the property for the summer season. Here is another video showing the beauty of the outdoor church – what a precious heritage our faith is!

The beautiful team of white Percherons, Jayder and Lucky, are provided by www.WineCountryWeddingCarriages.com, Julie Vasquez (707) 971-9660.


Update on St. Elizabeth Summer Church Renovation

Dan Demers doing the stone work for the shed! Thank you so much Dan, it’s looking wonderful!


The shed is at an exciting stage: the stones are being put in place by Dan Demers! Dan has provided us with a sample of his work below, and we are so excited to see our shed finished. The stone work is slow and laborious so we have to be patient!


On Friday a crew consisting of Jim Rossi, Ben Robles, Jim Breaux, Larry Love, Dan Demers and Irene Deem worked for about 5 hours. Dan and Jim Rossi worked on the shed while the rest of us worked on clearing underbrush. The property looks so much better with the brush removed. We had a chipper this morning and made use of the chips as ground cover.


We thank all the volunteers who are working on this project and those who have purchased Memorial Plaques to underwrite the cost of restoring this sacred place filled with family memories.



Fr. Luis has very kindly provided these books FOR FREE to assist us in becoming more holy. Please take them home and read them, they are located  on the tables with the hymnals.





Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) online at https://www.catechismclass.com/about.php. Catechismclass.com also offers classes for adults and children, as well as a series of talks by Bishop

We regret that we do not have a religious education program at this time. St. Philip’s in nearby Occidental offers religious education. Click here for information.

Enjoy a comical tale “Duct Tape for Jesus” by Dan Demers about the thieves who broke into St. Elizabeths!

restoration of St. Catherine of Siena Church, Monte Rio, CA
St. Catherine’s Church was dedicated in August of 1912. San Francisco Archbishop Edward J. Hanna presided at the ceremonies. The cozy little structure was built at a cost of $3,000 [$75,000 in 2017 values]. The church, constructed entirely of redwood, was not wired for electricity until 1948. -From Daniel J. Demers “The Church the Bohemians Built.” The church was damaged by a fire in 2015, here is the story.













NEW! From Dan Demers: Why Isn’t Being a Catholic a Habit? 


Enjoy Dan Demer’s history of St. Catherine of Siena: The Church the Bohemians Built

There is a contact form below if you would like to join or are moving, or want to subscribe to the email version of the newsletter. This website is a volunteer effort for the convenience of our parishioners and visitors;  is not an official publication of the Catholic church.



New:Catholic nuns as nurses in US Civil War

Sisters of Charity, Gettysburg 1863

Plesase enjoy reading parishioner/writer Daniel J. Demer’s latest publication, a fascinating story about Catholic nuns working with Florence Nightengale during the Civil War. We also congratulate Dan on the nice review of his new book, OLD WINE & FOOD STORIES, available on Amazon.

Enjoy North Coast Ecumenicist #3 , Dan Demer’s profile of the early California Russian Orthodox priest who shared warm friendships with Roman Catholic priests in Northern CA.  Ioann (John) Veniaminov would later become St. Innocent of Alaska.

St. Innocent of Alaska, Fr. Ioann (John) Vianiminov


SEBrochurev4 (use this version of parish brochure for printing)

SEBrochureWEB (low resolution of parish brochure for email/web viewing)

Pope Francis Encyclical LUMEN FIDEI  papa-francesco_20130629_enciclica-lumen-fidei_en

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/stelizabethguerneville

Retreats: Our region is world famous for tourism, offering spectacular scenery and world class wineries.  Majestic redwoods, invigorating coastal hiking, delicious artisan cheeses, fresh salmon and crab (in season), kayaking on the Russian River, are just some of the attractions in our vacation environment that lend themselves to a restorative spiritual retreat. Here is a list of hotels and resorts. One of our favorites is the Raford Inn which is about 10 minutes from St. Elizabeth’s.  We also encourage you to visit the other charming churches in our region. Here are two: St. Teresa of Avila and St. Philips in Occidental. We hope you plan a visit soon!

St. Colman’s Outdoor Church – a beautiful redwood grove, perfect for weddings!


Fr. Luis reminds us that singing is praying twice – a statement made by St. Augustine which is cited in the Catholic Catechism. We so appreciate the Music Ministry at St. Elizabeth’s which includes our choir and our guest instrumentalists and singers: Sopranos Misty North, Carol Kimbal; Tony Madrid, piano, John O’Connell and Noel Fahlen. Rebecca Brown, who taught Fr. Luis guitar years ago, travels from Rhonert Park; Winnie Myers (keyboard) comes all the way from Cotati; Stella Dunne, singer, comes in from Penngrove; Doris Belluomini sings alto; Sean and Terese Brown play cello and violin respectively. Eric Lindenbusch, tenor, our former cantor and cornet player has moved to St. Ann’s Parish in Bonners Ferry, Idaho – we miss him but are happy for him in his beautiful new home.



Fr. Luis often explains the importance of singing at mass by saying “Imagine if you just said the words of the song “Happy Birthday to You.” That is the difference that singing makes. St. Augustine writes:

So, then, my brothers, let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten our labors. You should sing as wayfarers do – sing, but continue your journey. Do not be lazy, but sing to make your journey more enjoyable. Sing, but keep going. What do I mean by keep going? Keep on making progress. This progress, however, must be in virtue; for there are some, the Apostle warns, whose only progress is in vice. If you make progress, you will be continuing your journey, but be sure that your progress is in virtue, true faith and right living. Sing then, but keep going.



OutdoorChurchMap Outdoor mass is said from July 4th thru Labor Day at 9:00 AM. The outdoor church is located in the wooded area across Armstrong Woods Road and is wheelchair accessible.

Here is a map showing the location of the St. Elizabeth’s Outdoor Church (Sunday 9:00 AM July 4th thru Labor Day.) You can drive cars down the dirt path for wheelchair access. Restrooms are in St. Hubert’s Hall. Here is a link to map of Guerneville area.


St. Elizabeth’s, Guerneville: Sat. 5:00 PM & Sun 9:00 AM. Enjoy the choir and instrumentalists at the 9:00 AM mass.

St. Catherine of Siena, Monte Rio, CA St. Catherine of Siena, Monte Rio; no services at this time due to fire.

St. Catherine of Siena, Monte Rio: Sat 4:00 PM

St. Colman's Church, Cazadero. St. Colman’s Church, Cazadero. The outdoor church is about a half mile before you get to the church. Watch for the sign on the right, after crossing the second bridge.

St. Colman’s, Cazadero: Sun 11:00 AM

Information on St. Colman’s Outdoor Church Weddings

For other masses in the area visit the Santa Rosa Diocese website.

Office: (707) 869-2107

Email: CHURCHELIZABETH@comcast.net

Baptisms: By appointment. Preparation classes are required.

Marriages: Engaged couples are required to meet with the priest 6 months prior to the wedding date.

Confessions: By appointment. Call the office.

Enjoy this little boy named Augustine who played his imaginary violin during mass last Sunday!

St. Elizabeths Guerneville St. Catherine Monte Rio St Colman Cazadero Mass schedules for St. Elizabeth, Guerneville,St. Catherine, Monte Rio and St. Colman’s, Cazadero.

Click image for larger views.

Note: Enjoy the outdoor masses at St. Elizabeth’s and St. Colmans. Join us for coffee after the 9:00 am Mass at St. Elizabeth’s.

If you would like to join one of the parishes or subscribe to the email version of the bulletin, please fill out this form.


Thank you to our Russian River Food Pantry and fellow St. Vincent de Paul member, Mike's Fruit Garden (on River Road right after you leave Hwy 101.) Mikes has generously donated beautiful baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables for years! Thank you to our Russian River Food Pantry and fellow St. Vincent de Paul member, Mike’s Fruit Garden (on River Road right after you leave Hwy 101.) Mikes has generously donated beautiful baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables for years!
Mike's Fruit Garden, Fultonn Beautiful fresh fruit for needy families donated by Mikes Fruit Garden


St.ColmansOutdoorChurch SEChristmasOutsideWEB  StCatherinesWEB

Left: St. Colmans’s Outdoor Church, Cazadero

Center: St. Elizabeth’s, Guerneville

Right: St. Catherine of Siena, Monte Rio

Disclaimer: This blog is maintained by volunteer Irene Deem for St. Elizabeth’s Church and is not an official publication of the Catholic Church or the Diocese of  Santa Rosa.

Walk for Life West Coast

7 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi Patti yes there are several food distribution centers in our area. The Russian River Food Pantry distributes on the first and third Saturday’s of each month between 10 and noon. It is located at the Community Church on Armstrong Woods Road. Your daughter can fill out the form and receive free groceries. St. Andrews in Monte Rio has free food also. She should makes a visit to West County Community Services in the Bank of America building in Guerneville. She can find out her entitlements and other services in the area. River to Coast Children’s Services also provides services to mothers and children, be sure to direct her there. Located on First St and Church, across from the Veterans Hall.

  2. Hello,
    I have a niece that is having difficulties. She has two small children. I live in southern CA, and the Catholic churches nearby, have something they call, The Pantry free food for people in need.
    Do you have something similar?
    Thank you,

  3. Congratulations! St. Elizabeth offers Roman Catholic weddings in the indoor church and outdoor church. Our outdoor church might not be dry enough for a May wedding. For information please contact the pastor, Fr. Luis Penaloza. 706-869-2107. My best wishes to you! Also for your reception we have a small hall that hold 150. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

  4. Hello!

    We are Stephanie Silva and Daniel Tavares, a recently engaged couple looking for a site for our wedding in May 2019. Would you please send us any information on your available packages.

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