Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, February 10, 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
8/11/2013 4:44:00 PM
St. Clare Church in Southwest Portland celebrates centennial

Catholic Sentinel photos by Clarice Keating Mila Maskell reads during the centennial Mass.
Catholic Sentinel photos by Clarice Keating 

Mila Maskell reads during the centennial Mass.
Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated the centennial Mass at St. Clare Church.
Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated the centennial Mass at St. Clare Church.
Clarice Keating
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Today, faithful gathered at St. Clare Church in Southwest Portland to celebrate 100 years since the parish's creation.

To mark the occasion, Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated a centennial Mass. Father Steve Stobie, pastor, and Father Charles Wood, former pastor, concelebrated.

The Mass was a time to focus on the deep gratitude to the God who has gathered and watched over the parish for the past 100 years, said Pastoral Associate Pia de Leon in a centennial reflection.

“From our innocent infants to the revered seniors and all ages in between, St. Clare community is a testimony that his body of Christ was never for us to possess but for us to care for and to share with humility, patience and dedication to our future – to the people of the next 100 years.”

During his homily, Archbishop Sample echoed that message of gratitude.  He thanked those who worked to lay the foundation upon which the parish now builds. That development has been spiritual as well as structural, he said. 

“This is your home – the place of worship where you gather to celebrate the mysteries of faith, through good times and bad,” Archbishop Sample said, and today St. Clare’s parishioners’ “eyes and hearts are fixed on what is yet to come.” 

In 1909, St. Clare’s first pastor, Franciscan Father Capistran Damek, served Mass in the home of the Walsh family. Father Damek had spent many years stationed in the Pacific Northwest, helping parishes build and expand, and after a few years he would pick Capitol Hill for the site of a new parish – St. Clare.

Construction started on the three-story wood-framed church soon after the community was declared independent from St. Anthony Church in Tigard, where it had formerly been a mission. Father Damek celebrated the first Mass on Aug. 23, 1914, in the partially finished building. Only the chapel floor was complete.  

Those who served at St. Clare in its early years were hardy souls. Sister M. Virginia was one of two Franciscan sisters who came from New York to teach at the parish school. They arrived before the convent and school were finished, and slept on the floor and ate only what was donated to them. The women Religious kept warm using wood-burning stoves, fueled by lumber they chopped themselves.

In 1921, the Sisters of Charity from Dubuque, Iowa, replaced the two Sisters from New York, but Franciscan priests continued to serve at St. Clare. Father Loren Kerkof introduced congregational singing after the Vatican II changes. The first altar girl served in 1975. She had written to Pope Paul VI for permission, but didn’t hear back.  Nevertheless, Father Peter Krieg let her serve.

Eventually the old wood church was replaced with the current church, which was built in 1950.

The Franciscan spirituality’s emphasis on hospitality led to one of the Archdiocese of Portland’s first inclusive floor plans in the new church, where parishioners could see one another during Mass, as well as the liturgy. 

Today, that welcoming environment was immediately apparent to the parish’s newest members, Alicia and Sean Brady. Their two children, ages 4 and 6, are enrolled at St. Clare School.

“St. Clare’s knocked our socks off,” Alicia said. The couple discovered a school and parish that were as vibrant as they were welcoming. Alicia and Sean were immediately asked to become involved in church ministries.

“My husband and I believe strongly that your faith is something that is practiced and not just held within you,” Alicia said. “We saw many opportunities to meet people and to feel like we were contributing, not just to the parish, but also to the greater community as well.”

Janet Patella, 64, was baptized at St. Clare and has spent her entire life tending to and loving the parish. She has fond memories of carnivals, barbecues, and rolling hundreds of meatballs for spaghetti dinners. Her parents, Vito and Violet, ran a nearby grocery store and flower shop, and Patella’s father delivered groceries to the convent. 

The parish has a long history of following St. Francis’s tradition of service, supporting local and global social action. For a time, immigrants and refugees were invited to live in the lower level of the rectory, while the parish offices were squeezed into the building’s upper floor.

After 79 years of Franciscan leadership, St. Clare became a diocesan church in 1992, however the Franciscan influence is still evident in the parish’s vibrant ministries.

In a book written by Sheila Cullen, “Remembering St. Clare Parish: Ten Voices from Her First Century,” Edward Weber remembers helping with carpentry and cabinetry during various construction projects over the years. He assisted with repairs, too. Lending a hand is central to what it means to be a Catholic, in particular a Catholic at St. Clare, he said.

“You can’t just sit there,” Weber said. “You know, you’ve got to be active in the parish. “

Father Steve Stobie, pastor of St. Clare, has fond memories of being a student at the parish school. He remembers the 1960s expansion project, when he was awed by bulldozers, trucks and cranes operating amid dust and gravel.

“There was nothing so amazing to a fifth grader than the day the workers had to employ a giant high lift crane to place the roof beams on the massive structure that appeared to me at the age of 10 to rival the great pyramids of Giza,” Father Stobie wrote, in a reflection of his childhood at St. Clare.

Parishioner Jim Shand has spent decades organizing the parish’s archives, serving as unofficial historian. His grandparents, the Borsches, were among the founding families of the parish.

In Shand’s research for the parish’s 75th anniversary, he discovered during a visit to the Franciscan Province in Santa Barbara, Calif., that St. Clare was considered a peachy assignment because the congregation was always so friendly. 

For more photos of the Mass, check out the Catholic Sentinel's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CatholicSentinel. 

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