First Sunday in Advent – November 29, 2015

Christmas Eve Carols Dec. 24th at 4:00 PM at St. Elizabeth

Christmas Eve Mass at 5:00 PM at St. Elizabeth

Christmas Day Mass at 10:00 AM  at St. Elizabeth


In a nineteenth century painting entitled “Hope,” the artist portrays a woman with bandaged eyes. She is unable to see ahead of herself. In her hands is a harp with broken strings, representing her shattered dreams and expectations. Immediately beneath the woman is a globe, representing the world that is pitted against her. Still one string on the harp remains intact. It is the string of hope, which she plucks triumphantly, sending a beautiful melody floating out over that hostile world, and filling the dark night with bright-shining stars. Over the years, the artist received many letters from persons who saw the painting and identified with the woman whose future seemed as dark as the night. One woman said that at a time when her life had become unbearable and she was ready to end it all, quite by chance she saw that wonderful painting. In her own words, “It inspired me to strike the string of hope within my own soul — and I was able to face the world and try again.”

It is often possible for persons to be more clear-eyed in disaster than in prosperity. Isn’t it remarkable that some of the noblest literature of the ancient Hebrews was produced during the Babylonian captivity? Isn’t it remarkable that Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” — often called the noblest speech ever made in America — came in the darkness of the Civil War?

There is something about dark times that can inspire our most profound thoughts on the really important questions about life. The Apostle Paul expressed his firm belief in this reality in his Letter to the Romans. “We can boast about looking forward to God’s glory,” he says, “But that is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us” (Rom. 5:2-5).

My prayers for our parishioners from St. Catherine, Monte Rio, I’m sure Margaret, Michelle, Rose, Frank and those who are hard core parishioners of St. Catherine find this time discouraging and maybe somewhat sad and anger by what had happen.  May the words of St. Paul give you strength and may this experience be a catalyst to strengthen your faith and not give in to negative thoughts.  “The sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope…”


Fr. Luis



By our Music Director, Rebecca Brown


Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Nov.29, First Sunday of Advent

“…Strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with his holy ones”.

  The word, “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming”, particularly of something having great importance. As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world.  We want to experience Jesus’ coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.

As we are launched into the season of Advent today, the Church is going to make us more disposed and prepared to meet Jesus in our lives both as a new born King and as the judge of heaven and earth.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Gathering Song for Advent

   Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come and give us your peace.

Psalm 25:  I Lift Up My Soul # 752

   To you, Lord, I lift up my soul, O my God.

Preparation of Gifts: Just a Closer Walk with Thee (ss)

Communion:  O Come, O Come Emmanuel  # 38 

World Peace Canon (Dona Nobis Pacem)

Recessional:   Let the King of Glory Come # 63


Today begins the new liturgical year, and our reading cycle is Year C.  There is no Gloria during Advent.



Catholic Charities Alzheimer’s Respite Center

Our licensed adult day program for people with dementia allows family members a break from full-time care giving, while their loved one enjoys a stimulating day of music, activities, exercise, sharing, and caring. The Respite Center maintains a highly trained staff, including a registered nurse, and provides a 2:1 client-to-caregiver ratio of care.

The program is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. We currently have openings! Suggested contribution for services are based on a sliding scale. Veterans welcome. Please contact Michele Osmon, Director of Senior Services, at 707-528-8712 x185 or We look forward to welcoming you into our program.



This week we’ve been working with insurance adjusters to ascertain extent of damage and costs to repair.  Church has been tarped to protect from the weather.  Next week we’ll be pulling up the pews and re-stationing them so workers can remove floor tiles and carpet. Also we’ll be engaging a structural engineer next week to start the evaluation of re-engineering and redesigning if needed to bring into compliance with current building codes. Temporary power for church has been installed and approved by County for workmen.- Dan Demers

Solemnity of Christ the King, Sunday November 22, 2015


The prompt response of the firefighters saved our beloved St. Catherine of Siena Church. This Thanksgiving we have so much gratitude in our hearts for the Russian River & Monte Rio Fire Protection Districts, Cal Fire, the ATF and especially for Chief Steve Baxman and Margaret McAtee, our super sleuth!


November begins with All Souls Day, then honorsVeterans, and ends with thoughts of gratitude.  After the attacks in Paris we are reminded of small and big acts of kindness.  We are reminded of the  people that we may sit beside that we don’t realize often do things above and beyond for the parish and parishioners. Their names may not always be mentioned but their time, effort and presence is deeply felt. One of these people is our Margaret MacAtee.


Within minutes of receiving a phone call that there was a fire at St. Catherine’s church, Margaret jumped into her car and sped to the scene. While driving over the Monte Rio bridge she could see smoke and flames billowing from the highest windows. Knowing emergency personnel would need the closest parking, Margaret made the hike up the hill, only approaching as close as the firefighters would allow. Answering Chief Baxman’s questions and offering insight that her years of service as a Eucharistic minister, lector, and more than one time, stand in priest, could provide. She met with ATF investigators and various personnel the day following the fire. Watching Margaret’s face as she recalled these events you could see the range of emotions she experienced within those first minutes of the news.


Then you notice the sharp eye to detail shine through as she recalls first noticing something sparkling on the floor behind the altar. It could only mean that the window had been broken. A point of entry. Her attentiveness to detail in preparing the altar for mass let her know that this fire was no accident. When she was questioned by fire personnel about specific procedures and practices, she was able with confidence to say who locked the doors and closed the windows as she either is performing these duties or overseeing them. You could not find anyone more familiar with this 102 year old, redwood sided church. As treasured as St. Catherine’s is to us all, people like Margaret are the real treasure. Volunteering, giving of her time, knowledge, deep faith. We are grateful for Margaret and for all the big and small things she does for St. Catherine’s and all of us.

Denise Danzart


St. Catherine of Siena news: looks like we need to gut the inside of the church, replace the rug and the tiles.  It’s possible the tiles are asbestos as well as the roof so; all of those need to be replaced.  ServPro is a company that will store and clean the pews that were damaged by water or smoke.  Interior paneling and new paint will likely be required.  Guess estimation: overall cost $300,000; possibly be done within 7 or 8 months if there are no other surprises, again this is a guess estimation.

As I said last week, Saturday mass will be at 5 p.m. just a temporary schedule. Considering it is winter time, we don’t have a lot of people attending both masses and I have to emphasize that there is two adult candidates that are coming to the Catholic faith, they need instructions.  The only time available that these adult can get together is Saturday afternoon.  Thanks for your understanding, you are a good witness to our candidates of RCIA.

 The daily mass group voted on not having 9:00 am mass Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday except for Friday, till February due to personal reasons.  So starting next week, there is no Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday mass, but we will have Friday healing mass, confession and adoration.


Henry David Thoreau, the New England Yankee social critic who wrote “Walden,” one of the great American classics, rebelled at the intrusion of government and social institutions in man’s life. When he was twenty-seven, Thoreau moved from his home in Concord, Massachusetts to nearby Walden Pond where he built a small cabin. He spent two years there, living his way into each moment of the day, trying to be totally present to each simple thing that was happening. In “Walden,” Thoreau reflects his extraordinary delight in life — his rare ability to find real joy in the ordinary, simple things in life. He didn’t merely swim or fish or raise beans or play the flute or take hikes or read books or talk to friends — he entered into the experience — listening, noticing, paying attention, marveling, enjoying.

At the age of forty-five, Thoreau was stricken with tuberculosis. During the months of what we would now call “terminal illness,” the lesson of the pricelessness of each moment of life he had learned at Walden Pond was confirmed for him. When one of his friends tried to engage him in speculation about life after death, Thoreau is reported to have said, “One world at a time!”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis


by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 Nov.22, Feast of Christ the King

   “How worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, and wisdom and strength and honor, to Him belong glory and power forever and ever”

“The liturgical year ends with the feast of Christ the King. This day reminds us what the Christian thing is all about: that Jesus really is the king, the Lord of our lives, that we belong utterly to him, and that we can say, with St. Paul, ‘it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.’ “(Bishop Robert Barron)


Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King # 734

Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.

Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking Bread hymnal, p. 6.

Psalm 93:  The Lord is King, He is robed in majesty..

Preparation of Gifts: How Great Thou Art  # 423

Communion:  In Christ Alone # 414

Recessional:   Lord I Lift Your Name on High  (ss)

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 9:30 am

Gathering Song:  For the Beauty of the Earth  # 595

Psalm 113:  Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.

Preparation of Gifts: Dona Nobis Pacem  (choir)

Communion:  Instrumental

Malo, Malo, Thanks Be to God (ss)





33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 15, 2015



Due to a small fire in the choir loft on Nov. 12, we will not have mass at St. Catherine’s until repairs are completed. We are very grateful to the quick response by the firefighters who saved the church. Cal Fire, Monte Rio and RR rigs responded.


Pastor’s Desk

Greetings, to all!  I know things are getting hectic for all of us.  The Holiday season is upon us! Just a reminder Thanksgiving Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. November 26th and bring your baked goods, pies, bread and wine that you will share with your Thanksgiving dinner and will bless it during the mass.  And also bring can goods such as peanut butter, canned tuna, corn, beans etc. for St. Vincent de Paul Society. There is also a collection for St. Vincent de Paul society to help them continue their ministry here at the Russian river area, especially during this Holiday season.

Our Parish Christmas party will be December 19th Saturday at 6:30 p.m.  It will be at the Northwood Golf Restaurant, the price is $20.00.  It’s an adult event and limited sitting to 55 people, so please sign up   early.  I need volunteers after mass next week to man the table for sign ups or call the office if you wish to attend the event.  The Menu is Tri-tip, or chicken, garlic mash potatoes, fresh salad, string beans and dessert.  Coffee and tea is provided however cocktails and other drinks are open bar.

Advent this year starts November 29th and we will be starting a Faith-Sharing group that will be held at the rectory after the Morning mass 10 a.m., until 11 a.m. on Wednesday.  The title of the book is “THE HOLY YEAR OF MERCY,” the book is designed to be a simple, easy-to-use study guide that is also challenging and thought provoking.  The guide is divided into eight sessions, each focused on a particular insight into God’s mercy.  We will start with a prayer and share our thoughts and our own insight of what you have read that week.  It is a faith sharing group session.  Or if you just want to do it your own you may do that and the book is available at SIMPLE SACRED BOOK STORE located in Santa Rosa between Marlow and Guerneville road.

Some of you may remember Hannah Green’s moving semi-autobiographical account entitled, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.” In the book, she chronicles her three-year battle with schizophrenia. She describes her terrible emotional breakdown leading to some terrifying experiences. But through therapy and other avenues of healing, she begins to undergo change. And she has a dream. In the author’s words …
“The dream began with winter darkness. Out of the darkness came a great hand, clenched in a fist. The fist opened, and in the palm lay three small blocks of coal. Slowly the hand closed, causing within the fist a tremendous pressure. The pressure began to generate a great white heat. And the dreamer seemed to feel the suffering of the coal within her own body, almost beyond the point of endurance. At last she cried out, to the hand, ‘Stop it! Stop it!'”
“After what seemed too long a time, the torment in the fist relaxed. The fist turned, and very slowly opened. Diamonds! Three clear, brilliant diamonds lay in the palm. And a voice called to her and said, gently ‘this will be you.'”

The very same voice is within you, enabling you to bear the pressure that is transforming the coal of your life into diamonds. The very same voice is within you, offering New Life in the healing, saving Presence of our Lord.

Our Christian Faith offers us no illusion that we are a People chosen for exemption from pain and suffering. It holds no promise of a trouble-free life of easy comfort. It grants us no immunity from evil and its consequences. It makes no exception to the rule of God’s judgment. Rather, our Christian Faith provides us with the spiritual equilibrium and the moral stamina we need to face up to the burdens and the fears and the evil days that overtake us — often in the most unexpected ways. With eyes of Christian Faith, we see things as they are in the light of things as they will be. With eyes of Christian Faith we see our own culpability for things as they are and our own responsibility for things as they will be.

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis



by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Nov.15, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

   “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence.”  Ps. 16


Veteran’s Day was another day rich in bittersweet memories for me of my father, also a WWll veteran, who passed away just over a year ago at the age of 94.  One of my favorite pictures of him was in his dress army uniform, looking very young, handsome and distinguished, and with a big smile on his face. But the happiness of this world is nothing compared to the happiness that scripture tells us awaits us in heaven.


Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine  (ss)

Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.

Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking Bread hymnal, p. 6.

Psalm 16:  You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Preparation of Gifts: Lux Aeterna Litany 

Lux aeterna, dona eis requiem.  (Let eternal light shine upon them.  Give them peace.)

Communion:  There Are Many Rooms (ss)

Recessional:   Lord I Lift Your Name on High  (ss)




On Friday, Nov 20 the St. Vincent de Paul Society, working with the Salvation Army, will be filling bags for the Thanksgiving Giveaway at the Russian River Food Pantry on Armstrong Woods Road at 2:30 pm The Giveaway will be Saturday, Nov. 21st, but busy hands are needed on Friday for the filling of the bags.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bulletin Master left side8Nov2015

Bulletin Master Right side8Nov2015 (1)


During the month of November we remember the names of our love once that are not with us.  In remembrance of them and in keeping the tradition of our Catholic  faith, we remember them in our Sunday mass as well as in the daily mass.  On the altar we have the book of remembrance with the names that you have given me, continue to pray for your love once and I’m sure they are praying for us.

I often missed having a small faith sharing group.  And this year I invite you to join me in reflecting on “The Holy Year of Mercy,” reflection by Pope Francis.  Starting the first week of Advent, it is a time of reflecting and growing in faith as we prepare to celebrate the Christmas season.

Also, this Thanksgiving Day, we will have Thanksgiving mass at 9:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, before you celebrate your time with family please join me.

In the Old Testament Book of Exodus, there is a passage in which the preacher has just told his congregation that they need to be generous with their offerings. Call it a “money” sermon. He doesn’t plead, he doesn’t manipulate, he doesn’t try to instill guilt feelings, he merely tells them that money is needed to take care of the sanctuary and other needs. “This is what Yahweh has commanded,” he says, “set aside a contribution for Yahweh out of your possessions. Let us all give willingly.” And the people respond by bringing in their offerings. And they continue doing so until it gets to the point where it is becoming more and more difficult to handle all that is coming in. And believe it or not, the preacher went before the congregation and told them, “Don’t bring in any more offerings.”

Have you ever in your whole life heard a preacher say to a congregation, “Stop giving — You’ve given enough — Don’t give any more?” So what was the secret of this generosity?

Actually, it’s was no secret! It was a spontaneous reaction to the experience of God’s Presence in their life as a People. They had been living a life of slavery in Egypt. And because of the Grace of God, they were set free. God saved them! God entered into Covenant with them! God chose them to be His People! And, as they journeyed through the desert wilderness toward the Promised Land, their hearts were deeply stirred by the abiding Living Presence of God, the Bible tells us. And their offerings were spontaneous expressions of what was going on in their hearts — an outward expression of their inner-experience of God’s caring Presence. Because they knew in their hearts that God was with them, they wanted to give generously and willingly.

So let us pray that our generous giving to the Church comes straight from the heart in the spirit of the widow at the Temple Treasury.

Let us pray that the generous giving of ourselves to others comes straight from the heart in the spirit of Christian love.

That’s the true spirit of giving! And that’s what it means to be rich in love!

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Nov.8, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose”
(Communion antiphon)
This is the month of All Souls, where we remember all those
who have gone before us “marked with the sign of faith”.
Today we include in our liturgy the singing of the “Lux Aeterna”
litany, commemorating our loved ones who have died, and
praying for each of them by name, that God would welcome
them into His heavenly kingdom. We also pray for ourselves,
that we may be worthy of this gift of salvation, and in
thankfulness for the gifts that God gives us. Let us have pure
hearts, giving freely to God as did the poor widow in today’s
Gospel, who contributed “all that she had, her whole
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: Blest Be the Lord # 433
Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.
Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking
Bread hymnal, p. 6.
Psalm 146: Praise the Lord, my soul, praise the Lord!
Preparation of Gifts: Lux Aeterna Litany
Lux aeterna, dona eis requiem. (Let eternal light shine upon
them. Give them peace.)
Communion: There Are Many Rooms (ss)
Recessional: Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine (ss)