Churches worth driving to

St. Teresa of Avila Church, Bodega
St. Teresa, rear view

St. Teresa, rear view

Name of Church St. Teresa of Avila

Address 17242 Bodega Hwy., Bodega CA 94922

Phone number (707) 874-3812

Website http://www.stphilipstteresa.org/st-teresa-of-avila.html

Mass times Saturday vigil, 5 p.m.  Sunday, 9:30 a.m.  Tuesday & Thursday, 9 a.m.

Confessions Saturdays, 4:30 p.m. or by appointment.

Names of priests Father Loren Allen, pastor.  Father Loren has had experience in the preservation of California’s historic churches; before coming to St. Teresa he was pastor of 127-year-old St. Bernard Church in Eureka and oversaw extensive restoration efforts there.

Front view

Front view

School No.

Fellow parishioners  The church serves a small, English-speaking community as well as tourists who visit the area.

Parking Plenty.

Acoustics Fine.

Cry room No.

Additional observations  St. Teresa is a pretty, historic church southwest of Santa Rosa, and part of the Santa Rosa diocese under Bishop Robert Vasa.  It is a small, white wooden church with a steeple sitting on a hilltop overlooking the rural community of Bodega.  It was built in 1860, and dedicated by the Archbishop of San Francisco, Joseph Alemany, in 1862.  It was expanded in 1872 to serve the growing numbers of Italian immigrants who came to the region to engage in dairy farming.  It has undergone a series of modifications since, including major restorations 1954-55 and 1967-74.  A historic cemetery, Calvary, is nearby.

For the past 50 years, St. Teresa has been part of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Occidental (St. Philip is a historic church as well, it’s about eight miles away and worth a visit).  Sixty years ago, in 1953, photographer Ansel Adams helped make St. Teresa famous by making it the subject of his black & white photograph “Church and Road.”

Ten years later, in 1963, the school next door was a filming location for Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds, from which terrified children run from attacking crows.  According to local residents, Hitchcock attended Mass at the church.  The church is a historic landmark of the State of California.  Also notable about the building is that unlike most churches, it has no center aisle, but two side aisles.

 

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Comments

  1. Nice church. Unusual in that it has no center aisle. And, a good time to profile it, as it is the 50th anniversary of The Birds!

  2. Maryanne Leonard says:

    And more importantly, it soon will be the anniversary of the birth of Our Lord, for whom this church was built to worship.

  3. Abeca Christian says:

    Nice church. It looks like it’s coming out of an old movie, a little house on the prairie kind, Small town feeling. Perhaps even from a Thomas Kinkade painting.

  4. St. Christopher says:

    St. Teresa’s shows how complete the revolution in the Catholic Church has been. From centuries of the true, and the faithful, we now have a clergy there (and almost everywhere) that describes the “Eucharist” as being “both a sacrifice and a meal.” The Mass and its communion is never a “meal” and always a “sacrifice.” This is a signal demarcation with what has become the post-Vatican II church (along with no-kneelers, communion taken in hand, and standing, singing Broadway “songs” at “services led by a presider,” hand-holding at the Our Father, and many more examples, including mass in the vernacular. No one even questions these things anymore, even though many of the changes were not permanent, being the results of indults (which, of course, are now effectively permanent and final). The fact that St. Teresa’s put back on its “historic” doors is also laughable. Look at the altar area — there is nothing historic about it. The founders of the Church, and its founding Archbishop would literally nail these doors shut if they saw what has happened to their wonderful Church. Nice to see that the important things are observed, however, like the local filming of the “Birds” motion picture that that Alfred Hitchcock was there. It would be laughable, if not so sad.

  5. Nice church

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 250 words, and should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.