(707) 869-2107
14095 Woodland Drive
Guerneville, CA 95446
Email: CHURCHELIZABETH@comcast.net
People of France we are praying for you!
First Communion class members killed in Sri Lanka. Please pray for the people of Sri Lanka.

Good news from Paris: https://beekeepingbasic.com/bees-kept-on-notre-dames-roof-have-survived-the-fire/?fbclid=IwAR3XbZhKPVoDa8l86YJNSWTeks4oBcLL5ljnwP_8jcz_sLDd4FrJEmWq-UI

Beautiful Easter Floral Arrangement by Florabunda, Duncans Mills

Handel wrote the Messiah for Easter originally. See article in SMITHSONIAN.


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


The DONATE button below 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 generous support of St. Elizabeth and the Mission Churches of St. Catherine of Siena and St. Colman. Current costly projects include a new roof and foundation work for St. Colman’s, and repair of retaining wall for the rectory at St. Elizabeth’s. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Update: St. Elizabeth is now participating in the Paypal Giving Fund which includes an opportunity for you to favorite us on eBay:
Favorite us on eBay

Fr. Luis Peñaloza is the pastor and welcomes you!


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

5:00 PM Saturday Vigil Mass at St. Elizabeth, Guerneville

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.
  • During Lent on Thursday: Following mass there is Anointing of the Sick, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (for one hour); No mass or services third Thursday of the month;
  • Friday: During Lent Stations of the Cross follow mass. Sacrament of Reconciliation available after services on Thurs & Fri or by appt.

Please take the time to send a thank you note (maybe with a small donation) to CHRISTIAN AID MINISTRIES/ RAPID RESPONSE TEAM who cleaned up the basement of St. Hubert’s Hall for us. We had no volunteers available as our parishioners are affected by the flood, and this wonderful ministry from Fresno drove the distance to clean up the Community Church and St. Hubert’s Hall Basement. More info…
Christian Aid Ministry Rapid Response Team
Rapid Response Team saying a prayer before lunch with us. They are all construction people who volunteer for the international Christian Aid Ministry.



SAVE THE DATE – JULY 25, 2019 

Now’s the time to plan your fabulous evening with world class music, comedy, and great entertainment surrounded by magnificent redwood trees in the heart of Monte Rio Vacation Wonderland. Plan your July vacation now. Buy your tickets today to enjoy an amazing Show on Thursday, July 25, 2019! 

Join us for the 108th annual Monte Rio Variety Show on July 25, 2019. Our Venue opens at 4:30 PM with a “no host” Fireman’s BBQ, Wine & Beer concessions, and an incredible dessert bar. You can also enjoy old fashion Hot Dogs and Popcorn for sale throughout the evening. Our pre-show featuring local talent begins at 6:30 PM. The main show starts at 8:00 PM featuring world class entertainers.

Our event supports three beneficiaries – St Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Monte Rio School Foundation, and the Monte Rio Fire Services Foundation. 

Purchase Tickets at: www.brownpapertickets.com 

Please contact us:  info@monterioshow.org

Visit Website at: www.monterioshow.org

Facebook: monteriovarietyshow



Michele M. McDonell
Cell:  707-486-1739


Credit Card Badges

$300 PLAQUE:
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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:





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By the end of summer about 80% of the pews were repositioned and restored, extensive underbrush was removed, providing a beautiful park-like vista. We have planted a hardy grass seed in the parking area hoping to reduce dust.


Flooding of St. Elizabeth Outdoor Church
St. Elizabeth’s Outdoor Church Feb. 27, 2019. The pews and altar are completely submerged, with only the altar cross visible.


We post the photo above to show the challenges of maintaining the outdoor church! We will be calling for volunteers in June and we hope you will consider pitching in! 


Thank you Fr. Luis, our pastor, for directing us to a holy lent.

  • THE BLACK BOOK contains daily meditations for Lent, taking about 6 minutes to read per day. Topic include stories of saints, various Catholic traditions from around the world, and scriptural readings and mediations. They are free and available on the tables in the back of the church (next to the hymnals.)
  • DYNAMIC CATHOLIC provides digital and print inspirational books and online media, challenging us to be the best version of ourselves.  https://dynamiccatholic.com/best-lent-ever 
  • THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS WITH BISHOP BARRON – typical WORD ON FIRE production, gorgeous sacred art with the erudite Bishop Barron. Example quote from the illuminator of St. John’s bible: “We have to love our way out of this.” Challenging our hedonistic era, Bishop Barron explains the reality that “the cross is the very structure of the Christian life.” 

Save the Date: Lake County Passion Play May 18 & 19

Backstory on Outdoor Church:

We thank Frank Danzart and his crew for working on this property every year to clean up debris from storms and vandalism each year. See archive of 2017 massive outdoor church cleanup. Lead by Brian Britten and supported by the Russian River Fire District, with approved county equipment provided by Supervisor Linda Hopkins, Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Dept staff members Rob Howlin and Joe Gonzalez, and District Director Susan Upchurch. The work continues today with the Memorial Plaque Program, replacing and refurbishing the pews and beautifying the area. Jim Rossi is routing the pews for the placement of memorial plaques, and Dan Demers if finishing the very attractive stone storage shed. The stone work is all done by hand and compliments the stone altar and landscaping. Electricity is now provided for the food serving area and makes the after mass coffee service easier.

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.

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:


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

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.


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.


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.

Recommended Spiritual Reading
These books are offered FREE of charge at the back of the church, courtesy of Fr. Luis.






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.

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: The Missing Cross

Story of SF Phone Book Cover
Dan Demer’s Story of early political correctness overcome in SF.

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.


outdoorchurchmap3 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. 



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 Siean, Monte Rio; mass is at 4:00 PM on Saturday




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!


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



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.