Solemnity of All Saints – November 1, 2015

All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.
All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.

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Pastors’ Desk

Greetings! During the month of November we remember our departed love ones. Please write the name of your family member or loved one you want to remember on the back of the “All Souls envelope, and put it in the second collection basket. 

The second collection this weekend is for Restoration and Repair funds.  Thank you!

The story is told of a clever spider that managed to construct a most magnificent, beautifully patterned web — a work of art …

The web was so marvelously constructed that spiders from all over the land came to marvel at it. The web was so symmetrical that if you folded it over at the middle, the two sides would fit exactly over each other. The designs would have matched perfectly.

The spider of course, was very pleased with its creation. One morning, the creature made the usual inspection tour of the web, tightening up a knot here, loosening another there. All seemed to be in order, until the spider suddenly saw a thread it didn’t recognize. What could it be? Where did it come from? Soon the spider discovered that the thread was long but seemed useless. “Who needs it?” the spider thought. And so it bit through the thread. Whereupon the beautiful web collapsed, and the spider had a big fall. The one essential thread — the thread that held the beautifully patterned web together — the thread on which the spider’s whole world depended, had been broken — disconnected.

The Apostle Paul has written, “There are three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13). The Apostle Paul is telling us that the essential thread on which our whole life depends is Love — for God is Love. And oh how we so desperately need to translate that into our daily living!

It’s been said that human love can be compared to the sunshine which shines brightly on the trees of the forest. The trees sink into the earth and finally are dug up as coal. When the coal burns, it returns the light and heat that came from the sun. Like the trees which receive sunlight, the human heart receives the capacity to love from God. Then, in union with another heart, love burns, and returns again to God the love that came from Him.

In the famous novel, “The Diary of a Country Priest,” there is a moving scene in which the priest encounters a woman who is completely turned in on herself. She has been abandoned by her daughter and betrayed by her husband. Death has claimed her young son. And her heart has hardened. Beseeching her to unlock her hardened heart, the priest says, “Hell is not to love anymore.”
To tuck ourselves away in a little ego-world of our own is hellish. To deceive ourselves into believing that our own little world is the world, is hellish. To search for any kind of lasting fulfillment outside the context of “giving a drink of water” is hellish. That is a hellish life to be living. But when you break out and give of yourself in Jesus’ Name, He tells us: “I assure you, you will not go without reward.”
As a community of Christians, that is our number one priority. As a people of faith, our number one priority is to translate God’s love into everything we do. There’s no better translation than that!

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

Nov. 1, Feast of All Saints

   “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honor of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.”

 

“The saints are God’s masterpieces. He never tires of painting them in different colors…each one unique, each one reflecting some aspect of the divine reality. The saints are not simply models or people to be admired; above all, they are friends. If we have a devotion to a particular saint, we’ve found a soul companion, a spiritual guide, one upon whom we can rely personally. So find a heavenly soul-mate.  Make him or her part of your prayer life.”  (Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire)  Let the power of their lives, their witness and writings open up to you!

This year we have the unusual occurrence of the Feast of All Saints falling on a Sunday.

In today’s gospel, we hear Jesus preach His well-loved and oft-quoted Sermon on the Mount, or the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”  At first glance, it doesn’t seem to make sense.  How can those who are poor, or in mourning, or persecuted, be “blessed”, or “happy”?  Jesus is telling us that true happiness consists only in Him, and doing His will.  Our songs today were chosen to remind us that we are all saints in the making, and our hope is to someday join our loved ones and all the saints and angels in heaven.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: Sing With All the Saints in Glory  # 622

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 24:  Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Preparation of Gifts:  We Shall Rise Again  (ss)

Communion:  Blest Are They # 640

Recessional:   Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine  (ss)

Want to make a meaningful impact in your community? Catholic Charities in partnership with United Way is looking for volunteer Tax Preparers to help low-income families and individuals get back the money they deserve at tax time.  For more information on volunteering, please contact Eileen at Catholic Charities at (707) 528-8712 x142 or ecangany@srcharities.org

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 25, 2015

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PASTOR’S DESK
On June 17th, nine of Charleston, South Carolina’s most prominent educators and religious leaders were killed inside Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church — including four members of the clergy. In a silent vigil, countless millions sat glued to their screens as the details of the unspeakable tragedy were broadcast throughout the world. How could this happen, we asked? That afternoon, a small group, just 13 people had assembled at the church. Many were familiar faces. One was a stranger. But it was unfathomable that this stranger was a killer lying in wait — a man who would kill nine of those churchgoers and church leaders in cold blood.

Nine people gathered together for fellowship and Bible study — vibrant, loving, beautiful souls so full of life one minute — snuffed out like a candle the next. It was unthinkable, unimaginable, and unreal. And in the hours and days that followed, something perhaps even more unimaginable was made real. Inspired by the families of those murdered at Mother Emanuel that day, “The Hate Won’t Win Campaign” was born. Only hours after the tragedy, community leaders, politicians, educators and family members of the victims spoke not of retribution, anger and hatred — but rather of love, reconciliation and forgiveness.

“I forgive you.” Those were the words spoken by the daughter of one of the nine to the man accused of pulling the trigger. “I just want everybody to know, to you, I forgive you,” she told the shooter during his first court appearance. Referring to her mother, she said to the shooter, “You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people, but God forgive you, and I forgive you.” Later, dozens of the victim’s family members and friends packed a courtroom to face the alleged gunman in person for the first time. Some stared at him from a jury box stone-faced, while others turned and wiped away tears. Several family members again expressed forgiveness. Said one, “He will not take my joy,” and with the accused just steps behind her, she declared “Hate will not win. I pray the Lord have mercy on his soul.”

In those darkest hours, the world stood witness as unfathomable evil met with genuine forgiveness. The world stood witness to the miraculous healing power of love.

As a faith community, we know that part of the Good News of the Gospel is that God’s healing power is present to us, even in our darkest moments — especially in our darkest moments. It is then that the light breaks through, and the way opens, and we know that God is acting in that situation to make all things new.

Peace and blessings!

Fr. Luis

View from Fr. Luis' room at Priests' Retreat in Menlo Park.
View from Fr. Luis’ room at Priests’ Retreat in Menlo Park.

We welcome Fr. Luis back from the Priests Retreat last week and look forward to hearing him speak about his experiences. Welcome home Fr. Luis!

All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.
All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.

LUX AETERNA LITANY NOV. 8

The choir will be singing the beautiful “Lux Aetena Liturgy” Sunday Nov. 8th. If you would like to have your deceased loved one (especially those deceased this past year) included, please write the name and leave it for the choir director after mass. You can also email churchelizabeth@comcast.net.

Video of LUX AETERNA LITANY from last year. 

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

10-25-15  30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Oct. 25, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy!”

What would it have been like to be present when Jesus healed the blind man? Have you ever thought about that?  How wonderful to actually witness a miracle with our own eyes!    Well, miracles do happen.  Just read Sr. Briege McKenna’s book, Miracles Do Happen: The Inspiring True Story of the World-Famous Healer.  As a young woman, she was instantaneously healed of crippling arthritis and went on to follow God’s call to the healing ministry. She says, “The question Jesus asked Bartimaeus is the same question he asks all of us.  ‘What do you want me to do for you?’  With faith we should answer, ‘Lord, I want to be healed.’ ”  In today’s first reading, God promises to deliver His people, to gather them from the ends of the earth, to console them and bring them back rejoicing. This is His promise to us, His people, His church.  Rejoice!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: All the Ends of the Earth  # 554

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 126:  The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy.

Preparation of Gifts:  Church of God, Elect and Glorious # 417

Communion:  You Are Mine # 460

Recessional:   Come Let Us Sing With Joy to the Lord   (ss)

From Left: Volunteer David Gillespie, project organizer Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Sonoma County Roads worker Brian Britton, Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet.
From Left: Volunteer David Gillespie, project organizer Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Sonoma County Roads worker Brian Britton, Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet.

We are very pleased to announce the outdoor church property passed the county inspection with flying colors. Once again we express our sincere thanks to Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Brian Britten, Sonoma County Roads Dept., and Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet. We also thank the many volunteers from the parish who helped. We pray for continued cooperation and understanding from the community as we deal with the difficult social problems of homelessness in our town.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 18, 2015

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PASTOR’S DESK
The truth is more than two millennia ago there were times when the Apostles’ loyalty to Jesus was motivated by self-interest. Today’s Gospel story gives us a clear example of this type of misguided, “What’s in it for me?” attitude.

James and John approach Jesus in just such a frame of mind. “Master,” they ask, “we want you to do us a favor … Allow us to sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory” (Mk.l0:35,37). The “hand of God” was a symbol of the highest power and glory, and here are James and John trying to exact a promise for a share in God’s power and glory greater than anyone else’s. In so doing, they irreverently reduce Jesus’ promise of the Coming Kingdom to the level of a political spoils system. In return for loyalty to their Leader, James and John demand the top spots in the Kingdom. No doubt they are dismayed and disenchanted, momentarily at least, when Jesus tells them to forget it — that He just can’t comply. “The cup that I must drink of you shall drink, and the baptism with which I must be baptized you shall be baptized,” He says. “But as for seats at My right hand or my left, these are not Mine to grant” (Mk.10:39,40). Then Jesus adds, “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all” (Mk. 10:43).

We share in the cup from which Jesus drinks to the extent that we simultaneously share it with others. To experience the healing, cleansing power of the waters in which Jesus is immersed, we must enter hand-in-hand with others. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read, “Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help” (Heb.4:16). But, as Jesus informs the Apostles in today’s Gospel, we cannot do so in isolation. We approach the “throne of Grace” hand-in-hand-in the spirit of the “Son of Man” who “did not come to be served but to serve” (Mk.10:45).

There would come a time for the Apostles when notions of being in competition with one another for special rewards and privileges were unthinkable. The day would come when Peter would address the crowds in these words: “I have now come to realize that God does not have favorites” (Acts 10:34). How true it is! God does not play favorites. He commissioned His Divine Son in the service of all mankind. “The Son of Man has come not to be served but to serve.” So it is with every loyal supporter of the Lord Jesus. We are not strangers to the temptations of the Apostles James and John. There are times when the lure of self-glorification seems irresistible. There are times when we approach Jesus in a “What’s in it for me?” frame of mind. And Jesus answers, as He answered James and John. “From the cup I drink you shall drink… Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.”

There is our invitation to true greatness! There is a mighty work to be done! Though the reward of true greatness exacts a mighty price, it is a price within our means to pay.

Jesus knows what we can afford. Again in the Epistle to the Hebrews we are reminded that Jesus understands our weakness because He “was tempted in every way that we are” (Heb.4:15). Jesus knows the temptation we feel to pass up the cup. “My Father,” He prayed, “if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by” (Mt.26:39). But the cup did not pass Jesus by. He paid the price. He gave His life in loving service to us all.

The late psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger wrote that his father, Dr. Will Menninger, listed a number of attributes as criteria for emotional maturity. One of the most important of these was to find more satisfaction in giving than receiving.

Yet he believed the true value of giving is expressed in a Nigerian proverb which he first became aware of through the Peace Corps — and it was Karl Menninger’s favorite:

It reads, “When the right hand washes the left hand, the right hand becomes clean also.”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

10-18-15  29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gathering Song:  Glory in the Cross  # 724 (Holy Thursday verses)

Gloria: sung!  New Mass of John Carroll

Psalm 33:  Let your mercy be on us, O God, as we place our trust in you. (Haugen)

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic  (G)

Intercessions:  O God hear us, hear our prayer.

Preparation of Gifts:  Servant Song # 376  (E)

Holy:  Mass of Creation (Gm)

Acclamation:  When we eat this bread (Gm) # 882 (Mass of Creation)

Amen:  W/S # 259  (F)  Bolduc

L/G:  Mass of Renewal:  Dm/Em

Communion: So Beautiful (ss) / (Love Goes On # 491, if time)

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 11, 2015

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PASTOR’S DESK

In his best-selling book, “Emotional Intelligence,” author Daniel Goleman asserts that “since the beginning of the last century, each generation has lived with an increasing risk of suffering a major depression — not just sadness, but a paralyzing listlessness, dejection, self-pity, and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness.” Just reading that is very depressing, but it’s also very important. It’s important because it affects so many of us. The “overwhelming hopelessness” that Goleman describes results from the feeling that one is unable to overcome this impoverished emotional state — on either the individual or the global level.

According to Goleman, the “age of anxiety” that characterized the last century is now evolving into an “age of melancholy.” In “Man’s Search For Meaning,” the psychiatrist and educator Viktor Frankl claimed that this kind of bankrupt emotional state is widespread, and lamented the fact that 60% of his American students felt that they lived in a state of “inner emptiness — a void within themselves.” Yet the situation today is worse than it was in 1950 when Frankl wrote his book. A more recent survey of students entering American Colleges may help to explain why. Eighteen years after Frankl’s book was published, college freshmen were asked what their personal goals were: only 41 per cent said they wanted to make a lot of money. But the overwhelming majority also wanted to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. The pattern was significantly different recently when 75 per cent of college freshmen said their goal was to be very well-off financially, while only 41 per cent wanted to develop a meaningful philosophy of life — the exact opposite finding from the previous generation.

As more-and-more people come to perceive material wealth as an end in itself, and as more individual members of society are unhappy, society as a whole nears this same state of “emotional bankruptcy.” Sadly, the end result has created some of our most disturbing social problems including drug and alcohol abuse.

In our material world, we worship the material. Wealthy people are revered by virtue of their material possessions, as if net worth is an apt measure for how worthy a person is. We measure the worth of a day or a week according to how productive we are and how much we get done. As someone has said, “Society tells us the only thing that matters is matter — the only things that count are the things that can be counted.”  And just reading that is very depressing. Yet, as Christians, we are a people of hope. As a people of hope, what matters most are the things that accrue to our “eternal account” as we read in today’ Gospel Lesson . . .

If we were to review your checkbook what would it say about your priorities? Would it paint the picture of a self-centered or an other-centered person? Would it inform a biography of a person focused on living well-off, or a follower of Christ intent on living a life of loving service to others? So we get on our knees and ask, “Good Lord, what must we do to share in the only True Source of the Good life?”

“Come, follow me,” says the Lord. Come follow Christ our Lord and place yourselves in one another’s service. Shift your focus from your bank account to your eternal account. If you do this, “you will have treasure heaven.”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

Oct. 11, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”

 

When my husband was confirmed as an adult, his prayer was this:  “Lord, I’ll take any gift you want to give me, but if I have my preference, please give me wisdom”.  (Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, conferred on us through the Sacrament of Confirmation).  Our first reading today, from the book of Wisdom, states, “I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her…because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand…”  Let us pray today for wisdom, that gift which helps us to see the truth, to love the truth, and to act on the truth, for there are many things in today’s society which try to muddle and obscure the truths of God and draw us away from Him.  May we always desire wisdom, more than gold!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: Holy Wisdom, Lamp of Learning  # 521

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 90:  Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy.

Preparation of Gifts:  More Than Gold

Lord, I love your commands, more than gold is your word, so precious to me.

Communion: In Every Age   # 469

Recessional:   Come Let Us Sing With Joy to the Lord  ss

It’s time to start planning the Parade of Lights float! Scheduled for Dec. 5 (rain date Dec. 12) at 7:00 PM. We will be decorating at 5:00 at St. Hubert’s Hall. It’s lots of fun, hope you will join us! Here are some photos from last year’s float.

St. Elizabeth's "Joy to the World" Float, Guerneville Parade of LIghts Dec. 6, 2014
St. Elizabeth’s “Joy to the World” Float, Guerneville Parade of LIghts Dec. 6, 2014

 

 

Joy to the World - our logo and a lighted diorama of Guerneville's Main Street. Wishing joy for the Guerneville community this Christmas!
Joy to the World – our logo and a lighted diorama of Guerneville’s Main Street. Wishing joy for the Guerneville community this Christmas!
Parade of Lights Decorating Party
Parade of Lights Decorating Party
3 shepherds and an angel
3 shepherds and an angel

27th Week in Ordinary Time – October 4, 2015

PASTOR’S DESK

Greetings!  Just a note of gratitude to Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman and Russian River Fire District President Mark Emmett and the volunteer firefighters and sheriff’s deputies.  Thanks to volunteers Frank Danzart, daughter Denise and her husband Brian Britton,  Frank’s son-in-law Bronson Johnson, Rosie Bohnie and Gail Culverwell, Dave Gillespie, Dan Bajone,  and Muff Centiss and Lonnie and Chris from Monte Rio.

The late great humorist, Erma Bombeck, told the story of what happened to her in Church one Sunday. She said,

“I was focused on a small child who was turning around and smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just… smiling. “Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theater off Broadway said: ‘Stop that grinning! You’re in Church!’ With that, she gave him a glare, and, as the tears rolled down his cheek, the mother added, ‘That’s better,’ and returned to her prayers.” Bombeck reflected, “We sing, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’ while our faces reflect the sadness of one who has just buried a rich aunt who left everything to her pregnant hamster.” She continued, “Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if you’re not, then you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us. I wanted to tell him He is an understanding God. One who understands little children who turn around and smile in Church, and even curious little children who rummage through their mothers’ handbags. I wanted to tell that little child that I too have taken a few lumps for daring to smile in an otherwise solemn religious setting. By tradition, I suppose, one wears faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the mask of tragedy. What a fool, I thought, this woman sitting next to the only sign of hope — the only miracle left in our civilization. If that child couldn’t smile in Church then where was there left to go?”

 

When a child learns to say a new word there is delight in the new discovery. And as the child continues to repeat the new word that she or he has just learned, there is joy all round. . Regrettably, when we allow the child within us to die there is no longer “joy all around.” In terms of what we need to know about living the good life, it’s as though we see no possibility of hearing some new word from God; it’s as though we see no possibility of change, no possibility of spiritual growth, no possibility of new life. Absent these childlike qualities, the joy has gone out of our lives! In those difficult times when you feel overwhelmed by a sense of abandonment, a sense of lost-ness, in childlike fashion put all of your trust in a Gracious God on whom you can depend always to seek you out. And He will find you!

In today’s Lesson, therefore, Jesus is telling us that only the spirit of childlike, unconditional trust in God’s promise to fulfill us in His life of love can liberate us from the heavy burden of obligation that hangs like a dark cloud over our religious experience. So let us “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!” With smiling faces, we give thanks to the One who says, “Let the little children come to Me, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs” — a word from the Lord that should make miles of smiles!

Peace and blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Oct. 4, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh .”

Today’s readings touch on many things:  the creation of woman from the first man: the suffering of Jesus; the indissolubility of marriage, the fact that we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of God.   As we sing the hymns today, let us remember that God created the world out of love, and let us pray that through the power of God, we may receive that love and spread it to others, especially our spouses, our children, and all those around us.  As we do so, let us pray for the safety and protection of all abused women and children in the world, and for the healing of all marriages. God bless you!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: Morning Has Broken  # 646

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 128:  May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.

Preparation of Gifts:  Love Goes On  # 491

Communion: Shelter Me, O God   # 474

Recessional:  We Are Called  # 630

From Left: Volunteer David Gillespie, project organizer Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Sonoma County Roads worker Brian Britton, Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet.
From Left: Volunteer David Gillespie, project organizer Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Sonoma County Roads worker Brian Britton, Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet.

FIREFIGHTERS RETURN FROM LAKE COUNTY TO CLEAN UP ST. ELIZABETH’S PROPERTY

Sonoma County required that St. Elizabeth clean up the property abutting Fife Creek to prevent flooding in Fife Creek and to prevent public health hazards from unsanitary conditions of transient encampments. St. Elizabeth’s parish and the Guerneville community are deeply grateful to Chief Steve Baxman of the Monte Rio Fire Dept., Mark Emmet, President of the  Russian River Fire Protection District , Brian Britton and foreman Rick DiCarly of the Sonoma County Dept. of Transportation & Public Works, headed by Nathan Mayo, and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Dept., who collaborated, directed by Frank Danzart, in a 160 volunteer hour effort on Saturday, September 26, assisted by parish volunteers. West County Disposal donated the debris box and the Refuse Dept. waived the dumping fees. The Road Dept provided a back hoe, loader and long arm mower. Steve Baxman hauled a chipper and fire fighters – who had just come off the Valley fire – cleared a significant portion of the property before being called to a fire. They returned in a few hours and finished. The project had been originally scheduled for Sept. 19 but was postponed due to the fires in Lake County.

The project will hopefully prevent detritus from floating into Fife Creek and contributing to flooding. The cleanup is further complicated by social and public health problems. Chronic encampments of transients have used the area behind the altar of the outdoor church as  bathroom. They have also grafitied the back of the altar (see photo below.)

Graffiti on back of outdoor church altar.
Graffiti on back of outdoor church altar.

It is probable that even if housing were provided, many of these behavioral problems would persist, as this population is habituated to the area and are non compliant with signs designating the area as private property. Sheriff’s officers described a frustrating cycle of receiving complaint calls and moving people from one location to another around the community. Across the US public and private spaces are occupied by people, many of them mentally ill, who would previously had been cared for by mental institutions that are now closed. It not just an inconvenience to property owners, it is a disowning responsibility for this population who are unable to care for themselves, and poor public health policy. Numbers of mental patients are likely to increase due to grants given to West County Medical Services to expand services for mental illness. Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul are the local Catholic social services in the area. Please consider volunteering.

IMG_2174

Special thanks to our parishioners who participated, as well as neighbors: Bronson Johnson (Frank’s son-in-law and newly expecting father), Daniel Bajone (who restored the bell and crucifix for the outdoor church this summer); Brian Britten, Daniel Olson, Dave Gillespie, Gail Culverwell, and Muff Centiss who came from Monte Rio with Lonnie and Chris, young volunteers. It was wonderful to see the community working together. Again, we express our appreciation to the fire fighters, knowing the exhausting work they did last week fighting the Lake County fires.

Bac

Mark Emmet, RRFD President and member of the Russian River Community Alliance, emphasized that the parish must not enable the alcoholic and drug addicted behaviors and that Guerneville as a community must try to get these people into appropriate programs. He suggested that St. Elizabeth, as the property owner, should monitor the grounds daily and evict campers.

Everyone understands how difficult this is and we ask that any communications regarding the matter be conducted with a civilized tone and recognition of the complexity of the issues.

Thank you Denis Britton and Rosie Bohnie for preparing coffee, pastries and sandwiches.
Thank you Denis Britton and Rosie Bohnie for preparing coffee, pastries and sandwiches.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 27, 2015

Bulletin27Sept2015

PASTOR’S DESK

I hope everyone had a chance to watch the historical event about Pope Francis visiting our country and the speech to a joint session of congress on Thursday is being heralded as one of the most significant political events in Washington D.C. in recent memory. Following his speech, Pope Francis has reportedly chosen to skip a number of invitations to dine with members of congress, including Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Instead, he opted to spend his lunch both serving, and eating with members of Washington’s homeless community. The Pope blesses a meal of chicken, salad, green beans and brownies for around three hundred poor and homeless diners. This Sunday we are offering our second collection for the relief of the fire victims in the Clearlake and Middletown area. A pastor was asked about his Church membership. “We have eight hundred members,” he said. “How many active members?” the questioner asked. “All of them,” the pastor replied. “Half are working with me and half are working against me.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to the Apostles, “Anyone who is not against us is for us” (Mk. 9:40). In another place, Jesus says “He who is not with Me is against Me, and He who does not gather with Me scatters” (Mt. 12:30). Both sayings are meant to deliver the same message: when it comes down to the bare bones truth about our relationship with Christ, the Gospel admits of no neutrality. Unlike membership in ordinary man-made institutions, any notion of inactive Church-members or passive Church-members or indifferent Church-members is a contradiction.

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Sept. 27, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time “Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth .” From today’s psalm: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.” (Ps. 19) Who likes laws? We may think of them as restrictions on our freedom, but if we didn’t have them, society would be in chaos. It’s the same with God’s laws; they are there for our good, for our ultimate happiness. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit would give us open hearts to hear His word and the courage to follow it. May God’s commands be to us “more precious than gold”.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: Envia Tu Espiritu # 455

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 19: The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart. Intercessions: O God, hear us, hear our prayer. Preparation of Gifts: More Than Gold Lord, I love your commands, more than gold is your word, so precious to me.

Communion: I Will Choose Christ # 520

Recessional: We Are Called # 630

GodBlessThem

ST. ELIZABETH’S PROPERTY PREPARED FOR EL NINO WINTER

Sonoma County required that St. Elizabeth clean up the property abutting Fife Creek. St. Elizabeth’s parish and the Guerneville community are deeply grateful to Chief Steve Baxman of the Monte Rio Fire Dept., Mark Emmet, President of the  Russian River Fire Protection District , Brian Britton and foreman Rick DiCarly of the Sonoma County Dept. of Transportation & Public Works, headed by Nathan Mayo, and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Dept., who collaborated, directed by Frank Danzart, in a 160 volunteer hour effort on Saturday, September 26, assisted by parish volunteers. West County Disposal donated the debris box and the Refuse Dept. waived the dumping fees. The Road Dept provided a back hoe, loader and long arm mower. Steve Baxman hauled a chipper and fire fighters – who had just come off the Valley fire – cleared a significant portion of the property before being called to a fire. They returned in a few hours and finished. The project had been originally scheduled for Sept. 19 but was postponed due to the fires in Lake County.

The project will hopefully prevent detritus from floating into Fife Creek and contributing to flooding. The cleanup is further complicated by social and public health problems. Chronic encampments of transients have used the area behind the altar of the outdoor church as  bathroom. They have also grafitied the back of the altar (see photo below.)

It is probable that even if housing were provided, many of these behavioral problems would persist, as this population is habituated to the area and are non compliant with signs designating the area as private property.

Special thanks to our parishioners who participated, as well as neighbors: Bronson Johnson (Frank’s son-in-law and newly expecting father), Daniel Bajone (who restored the bell and crucifix for the outdoor church this summer); Brian Britten, Daniel Olson, Dave Gillespie, Gail Culverwell, and Muff Centiss who came from Monte Rio with Lonnie and Chris, young volunteers. It was wonderful to see the community working together. Again, we express our appreciation to the fire fighters, knowing the exhausting work they did last week fighting the Lake County fires.

Mark Emmet, RRFD President and member of the Russian River Community Alliance, emphasized that the parish must not enable the alcoholic and drug addicted behaviors and that Guerneville as a community must try to get these people into appropriate programs. Everyone understands how difficult this is.

 IMG_2185 FrankRosieGailDenise

Thanks to Rosie Bohnie and Denise Danzart Britten who prepared breakfast and lunch for the hardworking crew. Gail Culverwell on right put in a full day.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sept. 20, 2015

Greetings, to all! Last weekend was the Jazz Festival and we had our fund raising, it was great to see the St. Catherine’s parishioners participating at the event and helping out. If you have a chance to assist next year I think you will find it wonderful and lots of fun meeting visitors as well as able to know some of the parishioner. Thanks, for all who have volunteered monitoring and making sure the rest room was clean and well supplied with toiletries.
In one of the “Peanuts” Comic Strip, Charlie Brown worries about his chronic, lifelong sense of low self-esteem. He says to Linus, “It goes all the way back to the beginning. The moment I was born and stepped on the stage of history, they took one look at me and said, ‘Not right for the part!'”
Unfortunately, many of us can identify with our friends Linus and Charlie Brown. We forget that God looks at us and says, “You are right for the part, and no one else can replace you. You are unique. No matter what your faults may be you are special. You are you, and no one else can fill that role. And I love the you I have created — in My own image!”
Peace and blessings!
Fr. Luis

Bulletin20Sept2015

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER
by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Sept. 20, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Behold, God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.”
Today’s readings have several themes, including that of trusting God even when our lives are threatened. In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks again of His passion, death and resurrection, and He teaches us to be the servant of others.
As we sing the hymns today, let us reflect on what it really means to choose the cross, to trust God in all circumstances, and to seek wisdom and righteousness.
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: Glory in the Cross # 724
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 54: The Lord upholds my life.
Intercessions: O God, hear us, hear our prayer.
Preparation of Gifts: How Can I Keep From Singing? # 441
Communion: Shelter Me, O God # 474
Recessional: We Are Called # 630

Congratulations & Thank You to Frank Danzart and his crew: Nina & Bob Woodcock, from Oakland; Jean Kootz & Joan Brown; Carlos Gonzalez, Sherilyn Parmeter, Denise Britten (Frank’s daughter and SE CCD instructor) and Fran Korn, SE Guild Pres.shown above. Thank you to all – John O’Connell, Dave Gillespie, Ken Smith, Michael Collins RN, Vincent Umscheid RN, Dennis Shea, Ben Robles, Rosie Bohnie, Michelle McDonell, Mary Anne Gustafson and Marty & Sue Tierney. Thank you to McT’s Bullpen for collection of garbage weekly from the outdoor church area which is littered by vagrants. Correction: the grounds were expanded to create more parking spaces by Tom Finn, wrongly identified last week as Tom Lynch. A huge thanks to Tom, we had the biggest year ever thanks to you! We called for extra volunteers and the parish really stepped up to the plate! Thank you all! We all had a lot of fun and great to see our return customers!
Congratulations & Thank You to Frank Danzart and his crew: Nina & Bob Woodcock, from Oakland; Jean Kootz & Joan Brown; Carlos Gonzalez, Sherilyn Parmeter, Denise Britten (Frank’s daughter and SE CCD instructor) and Fran Korn, SE Guild Pres.shown above. Thank you to all – John O’Connell, Dave Gillespie, Ken Smith, Michael Collins RN, Vincent Umscheid RN, Dennis Shea, Ben Robles, Rosie Bohnie, Michelle McDonell, Mary Anne Gustafson and Marty & Sue Tierney. Thank you to McT’s Bullpen for collection of garbage weekly from the outdoor church area which is littered by vagrants. Correction: the grounds were expanded to create more parking spaces by Tom Finn, wrongly identified last week as Tom Lynch. A huge thanks to Tom, we had the biggest year ever thanks to you! We called for extra volunteers and the parish really stepped up to the plate! Thank you all! We all had a lot of fun and great to see our return customers!