Readings for Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020

Fr. Luis Peñaloza is the pastor and welcomes you!

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church

14095 Woodland Ave

Guerneville, CA 95446

(707) 869-2107


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) Note: Sept 1 is last mass in outdoor church.

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: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after 9:00 AM mass. No mass or services third Thursday of the month;
  • Friday: Healing Service follows 9:00 AM mass. Sacrament of Reconciliation and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament follow.

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

HOME BOUND? EWTN (channel 229 in Sonoma) offers daily mass at 9:00 AM as well as a rich program schedule of news from a catholic perspective, apologetics, scripture studies, special events, church history and other content. https://www.ewtn.com/tv/schedule

Selling out fast – don’t miss out!

Bishop Barron offers free posters featuring 3 famous Catholic scientists. All you pay is for shipping – great for high school and college students. Visit his new site www.reasonfaithscience.com. If you have rebellious grandkids visiting for Christmas, this is an excellent resource for you. Or perhaps you don’t know of these famous scientists and will benefit from learning about them and how science compliments faith and reason. Bishop Barron believes we have dumbed down catholicism which contributes to youngsters rejecting it as early as 13 years old. Secular society scoffs at religion and catholicism, this is the antidote: sound discussions in the home, teach your kids to cherish and defend their heritage.

First Communion, Divine Mercy Sunday
First communion in our tiny parish is a great joy!

Monte Rio Variety Show Report

Our Monte Rio Variety Show event this year was very
successful! The net proceeds were almost $65,000, which
are split equally between the three beneficiaries ($21,600).
A check was delivered to Father Luis earlier this month for
$20,100. The balance of the proceeds ($4500 or $1500 per
beneficiary) are held back until the following July to allow
for start up funds for 2020. Thank you to all who supported
our event with your time, talent and resources. Together we
can make a difference. Our show next year will be on July
23rd 2020 – mark your calendars!


In 2018 we raised $17,000 through the Memorial Plaque Program for the Renovation of St. Elizabeth’s Outdoor church and in 2019 we raised $9,000 for restoration costs of the parish buildings through the First Annual Golf Tournament – The MacKenzie Classic. Thank you to everyone who helps our parish through prayer, service, financial support or other support! We are blessed! 

As you know our area was evacuated for a week in November, meaning we lost a week’s worth of collection money. Please donate online or to the collection basket, even the smallest amount helps to make up our deficit.

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.

Donate Button with Credit Cards
New: As of April 23, 2019 St. Elizabeth and its mission churches were verified by Paypal and our processing fee is reduced from 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction to the non-profit rate of 2.2%  + 30 cents per transaction. Our parish now participates in the Paypal Giving Fund, Go Fund Me and eBay for Charity. Click on the links below to donate.

What’s the difference?

Paypal Giving Fund charges no fee; generates more than $100 million per year for charities; lists us as a charity making us visible to millions; issues you a donation receipt; you can chose to remain anonymous. Even if you cannot donate, please visit the link and share it via email, Twitter and Facebook (see lower right hand corner of page.) There is a link on this page to the Paypal Giving Fund FAQ page as well.

GoFundMe is free and is the No. 1 free fund raising platform (no platform fee, but there are the usual Paypal charity rate fees charged per transaction.) Paypal verification is the gateway to GoFundMe,

eBay for Charity: eBay raised more than $10 million for families of the 9/11 victims. It provides an opportunity for eBay sellers to donate a portion of their earnings to their favorite charity, and eBay buyers can donate while shopping. Click HERE for more information on this program.

As we are new to these programs, if you have experience using them and wish to suggest better ways to use them, please contact irenedeem@comcast.net (volunteer webmaster.) 

The Russian River Food Pantry is a joint effort by St. Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army, the Redwood Empire Food Bank, and Safeway “Feed the Need” program. Food is now distributed at St. Hubert’s Hall (on Fourth Street behind the Guerneville Fire Station, following this years flood which affected the Russian River Community Church. See map at bottom of page.



Thank you to the St. Sebastian’s Young Ladies’ Inst. for hosting the annual “Women of the Year” celebration of the Santa Rosa Diocese Council of Catholic Women. Bishop Robert Vasa said mass and delivered a heartfelt homily expressing gratitude and celebration of the women volunteers nominated by their pastors throughout the diocese. Thank you to the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa choir. Irene Deem and Vera Bohan represented St. Elizabeth and St. Colman, nominated by Fr. Luis. It was very instructional to listen to the biographies of the nominees, to learn of the various ministries conducted throughout the diocese. Thank you Fr. Luis for nominating us to this inspiring event.

The lunch was delicious and especially appreciated as the caterer had her electricity turned off the morning of the event. Everything was transferred to St. Sebastian’s and was served without a hitch. 

It was encouraging to see a younger generation represented at the luncheon. 



We picked Fr. Tekle Dini’s grapes Nov. 1, 2019 (All Saints Day) and they are currently fermenting. Since the racoons indulged in the harvest as the grapes ripened, we will only produce a single bottle of wine from our vine! The must smells heavenly and promises to be a nice wine, remembering dear Fr. Tekle!

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

Music by Mariachi Torres (707) 228-0646

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 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.

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.


Catholic nuns as nurses in US Civil War
Sisters of Charity, Gettysburg 1863
Sisters of Charity, Gettysburg 1863

Please 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.   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.


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