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.

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

Fr. Luis Peñaloza is pastor and welcomes you!

St. Elizabeth (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 

9:00 AM Mass Tues thru Friday St. Elizabeth, Guerneville

Outdoor church from July through Labor Day at St. Elizabeth and St. Colman.

The rosary is recited before week day mass at 8:40.

  • 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 Annointing of the Sick, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (for one hour); Confessions are heard during the latter part of the Exposition at about 9:50 AM. During Lent Stations of the Cross are held at noon on Friday.

Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) on line at https://www.catechismclass.com/about.php.

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

Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival Parking huge success!

Thank you to our wonderful Jazz & Blues fans who park with us each year! What a fun crowd, they keep us laughing all day! Thank you also to our volunteers who worked in the heat to make this important fundraiser a success! Huge thanks to Fran Korn, Jeanne Kootz, Denise and Brian Britton, Ben Robles, Linda Payne, Ellen Strady, Dennis Shea, David Gillespie, John O’Connell, Bob Dunne, Kenny Smith, Rosie Bohnie, Frank Danzart, Irene Deem, Carlos Gonzlez, John and Katrina


Don’t miss our fun casual pasta dinner on Sunday, October 15 at 5:00. A hearty Italian feast will be served, prepared by John and Katrina Angeli with biscotti made by Fran Korn (served with ice cream for dessert.) Sign up after the masses or phone the office at (707) 869-2107. See  you there!

Simply Sacred Books & Gifts http://www.simplysacredbooksandgifts.net (707) 528-7749
1791 Marlowe Rd., #111 (at Guerneville Road)
Santa Rosa, CA 95401




ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA now open for 4:00 PM vigil mass on Saturdays

Heartfelt thanks to all those involved in getting the necessary permitting to  allow use of the church, Fr. Luis, Michele McDonell, Dan Demers, Margaret McAtee. What a blessing to once again have mass at St. Catherine’s, which has been closed following the fire in 2015! (For story of the fire click HERE.) Thank you to the Monte Rio Variety Show for 106 years of support!

Note: The renovations are not complete so please check back on this site to see the mass schedule for St. Catherine of Siena.

Please note the St. Catherine’s church is open only temporarily as more work needs to be done. It will then be rededicated and resume its normal schedule. Please check this website for mass schedule at St. Catherine’s.

Monte Rio Variety Show, Thursday, July 27th was a huge success! Thank you all who volunteered their time and talent!

Monte Rio Variety Show &  Raffle
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Bassist Carol Shumate, left, lead vocals/guitarist Mark Larson, and Curtis Duff on the Dobro. Photo by Alvin Jornada, Press Democrat.

POST EVENT INFO: Event Coordinator Michele McDonell reports the 2017 Monte Rio Variety Show enjoyed the largest audience since the 100th Anniversary Show. She expressed her appreciation to all the volunteers who contributed to the success of a great show.

PRE-EVENT INFO: The 106th Annual Variety Show is planned for July 27th.  Mark your calendars for this summer tradition – an evening of great entertainment that supports St Catherine’s.  The proceeds of the raffle will be specifically designated for the purchase of a new keyboard and amplifier for St Catherine’s (our instrument was destroyed in the 2015 fire).   Please help us support this need which is anticipated to cost approximately $2500.00

 Our raffle prizes this year are fabulous – Dinner for 20 at the Union Hotel, Northwood Golf 1 yr Membership, River Rock Casino wine tasting and gambling package, the Taste of Monte Rio gift package, and a weeks stay in a condo in Puerto Rico.  Tickets for raffle are 1 for $5.00, 3 for $10.00 or 8 for $20.00.  Need not be present to win.

 Variety Show admission tickets are $30.00, sold after Masses in July or go to brownpapertickets.com


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Rina Steiner, left, Ryan Steiner, 10, Bob Dunne and Stella Dunne at Monte Rio Variety Show. Stella sings with the St. Elizabeth Choir. Photo by Alvin jornada/The Press Democrat. Click HERE for more photos and info.
 Monte Rio Variety Show website: monterioshow.org 


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

No CoffeeWEB

St. Elizabeth’s Guild president Fran Korn texted us from Giants Stadium that Elaine hit a home run! See story HERE. Photo from Twitter:

Elaine kills it! Twitter feedback great, people loved her, moved to tears.
Bishop Robert F. Vasa addressing the confirmandi at the confirmation mass May 21, 2017 concelebrated with Fr. Luis Peñaloza, Pastor of St. Elizabeth’s, and Fr. Lauren Allen, pastor of St. Philips. Both parishes had members confirmed.






Click HERE for photos and videos of the Confirmation Mass.








It is more than a year since the fire at St. Catherine of Siena and Dan Demers has sent us recent photos the pews which have been sanded and refinished, now in place.  Thank you to Dan and all other those involved in the restoration.





Photo of newly renovated St. Catherine of Siena taken July 22, 2017. Thank you Dan Demers and all others involved in restoring the church following the fire.

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.

Larry Love and Jim Breaux watering St. Elizabeth's outdoor church garden which they donated.
Each Sunday before mass, Larry and Jim hand carry 40 gallons of water to irrigate their project.


Thank you to all who assisted in the annual cleanup of the outdoor church. Click HERE for details.










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

Catholic Charities Alzheimer’s Respite Center

We are looking for volunteer to ork in our Alzheimer’s Senior Respite Center. This is an innovative day actiity program for people with dementia that provide music, art, and other appropriate activitie while allowing family members much-needed time off from full time caregiving. Open M-F 9 am to 3 pm.

The Catholic Charities Family Support Center is seeking front dek reception volunteers! FSC is the largest shelter for familie in Northern CA, serving up to 138 homele people daily. Program include case management,, employment and housing counseling, health and wellness and other supportive services.

If you’re interetested in either of these volunteer opportunititie or to hear more about the other programs that volunteer serve in through Catholic Charities, please contact Maureen Mendoa at 707-528-8712 ext 160 or email nmendoza@srcharities.org.

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 and Sue Tierney; 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; Eric Lindenbusch, tenor, is cantor and plays cornet;Doris Belluomini sings alto; Sean and Therese Brown play cello and violin respectively.

Our choir also serves the broader community by performing in the Parade of Lights in December and appearing at an Alzheimer’s care center. Here is a video of the choir singing in the local Christmas parade 

JesusIsComing from Irene Deem on Vimeo.


If you would like to show your appreciation, send a donation to St. Elizabeth’s marked for the music ministry. Mailing address is St. Elizabeth’s Church Music Ministry 14095 Woodland Drive Guerneville, CA 95446.

Your donations will be greatly appreciated.

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 couple 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 sponsors who advertise in our bulletin:

Jim Laufenberg, Realtor, Coldwell Banker, (888) 565-4114;  jim@sf-realty.com

Sonia, Licensed Acupuncturist (707) 235-7598

Santa Rosa Mortuary and Eggen & Lance Chapel (707)545-3747

Guerneville Glass (707) 869-3793

Pleasant Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary (707) 823-5042; http://www.pleasanthillsmemorialpark.com

Cazadero Supply (707) 632-5257

Gene Gaffney Insurance Services (707) 874-2666

Gaddis Construction (707) 836-9109

Lark Drugs (707) 869-9055

Parent-Sorenson Mortuary (707) 829-5433

River Run Coin Laundry – in Raley’s Shopping Center at Fulton and Guerneville Road

Washing Well Laundry, 106 N. Cloverdale, Cloverdale

McPhail Fuel Company (707) 285-3525

Larry Moyer Insurance (415) 897-9437

River Plumbing (707) 869-0660

Burke’s Canoe Trips (707) 887-1222

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.


12 thoughts on “Home

  1. Irene, what a great job I was impressed by all these wonderful things that you did. keep it up!
    hopefully, people will take advantage of this. I will announce this this weekend for all to see and share.
    Fr. Luis


  2. Irene:

    One very slight puncutation correction — The Church in Cazadero is St. Colman, not pluralized. Other than that very minor correction, you should be commended for the website development and hosting.



    • Thanks Michael. It’s a funny thing how we speak of the three churches in the possesive. I even did it on the logo! Thanks for drawing it to my attention, and I will make corrections.


  3. Hello Fr and Choir,
    We were wonderfully treated to one of the most beautiful Christmas music during mass this Sunday, 12/27/2015. My family are really thankful!

    Keep up your joyful ministry to reach more for Christ!

    Chris, Gina and Hu Family


  4. Is there a handicap entrance to St. Elizabeth’s? I had hip surgery and there are too many slippery steps for me to feel safe.


    • I apologize for answering so late. Unfortunately there is not a handicap entrance, but starting July 3 the 9:00 AM Sunday mass is held at the outdoor church, which is handicap accessible. St. Philips in Occidental and St. Sebastians in Sebastopol have easier access.


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