Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 14, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News
3/18/2011 12:10:00 PM
After a century, parish is still a home of generosity
Catholic Sentinel photos by Gerry Lewin
Parishioners and guests listen to the homily by Archbishop John Vlazny during the 100th anniversary celebration Mass at St. Edward Church in North Plains.
Catholic Sentinel photos by Gerry Lewin
Parishioners and guests listen to the homily by Archbishop John Vlazny during the 100th anniversary celebration Mass at St. Edward Church in North Plains.
People came from near and far to join in the 100th anniversary celebration Mass at St. Edward Church in  North Plains.
People came from near and far to join in the 100th anniversary celebration Mass at St. Edward Church in North Plains.
+ view more photos
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Archbishop John Vlazny and Bishop Kenneth Steiner celebrate the 100th Anniversary Mass in North Plains.

NORTH PLAINS — Rose Coussens, 87, has been a member of St. Edward Parish here for 75 years. She recalls her dairy farmer father taking her from North Plains to St. Mary's Academy in Portland during milk delivery runs.

St. Edward has long been the center of not only Coussens' spirtuality, but also her social life. That's the case with many residents of this region with its lush fields.
"It was our main deal," Coussens says of the parish. "People visited after church. That was their main time together."

Most were farm families who milked the cows early on Sunday morning before coming to Mass, having fasted. Any food and fellowship after worship was precious.
When someone was ill, the parish would have tea parties to help them pay medical bills. Needy families always got gifts at Christmas — and still do.

Even though the farmers now worship side-by-side with high tech workers, St. Edward is still a hub of community and generosity.

Each year during the Annual Catholic Appeal, parishioners tend to give twice as much as their goal. In one weekend last year, this community of 400 donated $5,000 for Haitian earthquake victims.

The parish has long held many successful events, including an annual bazaar, breakfasts and an auction. Parishioners meet periodically at local restaurants for fundraising dinners to support religious education, youth ministry and subsidies for Catholic schools.

The tone of service is set at the front door of the church. There stands a wood statue of St. Edward, the English king known for his goodness. He is hefting a beggar.
Coussens' father arrived in 1905 or so from Switzerland. Remi, her husband of 65 years, traces his Oregon roots to 1920, when his father arrived from Belgium.

The old St. Edward's was too small for their nuptials in 1945. "You went to Communion and when you came back, you'd probably lost your seat," Coussens says. "That was real togetherness."  

So they wed at St. Matthew in Hillsboro. But St. Edward has always been their faith home. They have lived about two miles from the church their entire married life. The couple ran their own dairy farm for decades, with 230 cows. She recalls cattle runs from North Plains down through canyons to Sauvie Island.  

Planning for a parish started in 1910, when a priest in Roy requested a church for the new town of North Plains, then with population 200. St. Edward was established as a mission the following year. The next task was building a house of worship.

One parishioner traveled farm-to-farm in a horse-drawn buggy to ask for donations to the construction fund. A church was completed in 1915 and dedicated by Archbishop Alexander Christie. It seated 85.

In the early days of the parish, worshipers came to Mass by wagon, horse, foot and even train. Priests traveled from Forest Grove or St. Mary’s Boys Home. The Sisters of St. Mary taught religious education.

In 1929, the Catholic Extension Society sent a chapel car to North Plains to give a mission.  

In 1953, Father William Delplanche, grandson of a Verboort pioneer, was assigned as first resident priest and St. Edward became an independent parish.

In 1964, Father Louis Urbanski was ordained and offered his first Mass for the people of St. Edward.

The faith family grew, and by the 1960s a new church was needed. The current St. Edward, with a capacity of more than 500, was dedicated in 1966 by Archbishop Howard. It cost $130,000.

A new parish hall went up in the early 1980s and it has been used heavily ever since.

These days, parishioners like their rural home, and at the same time would like to see their faith community grow. It has a mix of English- and Spanish-speakers.  
Auxiliary Bishop Kenneth Steiner, pastor here since 2002, loves parish life. He wouldn’t feel right outside it, he told the Sentinel last year.

Bishop Steiner says the mission of the parish parallels the mission of the archdiocese. It’s about evangelization, with a special focus on youth, multicultural ministry and faith formation for all ages.

“They are really wonderful people and very generous people,” he said of the members of St. Edward's. Bishop Steiner has double duty as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in nearby Roy, a community he also admires. He often reminds worshipers at both places that the Church is the people, not the buildings.  

As when Bishop Steiner was pastor in Corvallis, so in North Plains there has been an increase in vocations. One young man from the Hispanic community is studying to become a Missionary of the Holy Spirit and a young woman has joined a community of Dominican Sisters in Ann Arbor, Mich. Another man is in seminary to become a diocesan priest.

Admiration for St. Edward's even comes from outside Catholic circles.
Brenda Lyon, youth minister North Plains Christian Church, has served on committees and boards with many parishioners.

"It's really a joy. They are a blessing to be with," Lyon says. "I feel blessed to be here when they are celebrating their 100th."

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved