Churches worth driving to

St. Catherine of Siena Church, Veneta, Oregon


Name of Church St. Catherine of Siena

Address 25181 E. Broadway Ave., Veneta OR 97487

Phone number (541) 935-3933


Mass times Saturday vigil 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.; noon (Latin Tridentine).  Wednesdays – Fridays, 9 a.m.  Mondays & Tuesdays, Liturgy of the Word or morning prayer with Communion.  Holy days, vigil, 7 p.m., 9 a.m. & 7 p.m. (Latin)

Confessions 4:30-5 p.m.

Names of priests Father Mike Morrissey, pastor.



School No.

Special events Monday rosary 9 a.m., Liturgy of the Hours Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m.

Special parish groups Altar Society, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Ministry to the Homebound; the parish also has an annual beef BBQ that is well attended, and many other social activities.

Fellow parishioners The parish serves about 150 families in the area.

Additional observations  Veneta is a small community west of Eugene, Oregon.  St. Catherine of Siena Parish was founded in 1955.  The parish says of itself: “We are the only Catholic church in the Veneta-Elmira area under the direction of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon [Alexander Sample].  We are in the full communion of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, the Roman Pontiff.”  The description is prompted by St. Thomas Becket Church, a beautiful mission church located a few minutes away served by three priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX).  (Southern California traditionalists may remember Father Harry Marchosky; he is buried in the St. Thomas Becket cemetery.)

When Rome’s talks with the SSPX under Pope Benedict failed to produce a reconciliation, Father  Morrissey and the parish council agreed to have one of the two Sunday Masses be Latin Tridentine.  Father initially brought in a priest from northern California to celebrate the Mass but has since learned to celebrate it himself.  In doing so, he acknowledged that many pastors and bishops had not done enough to make the Tridentine Mass available to those who wish to participate in it.

Father Morrissey says of the SSPX, however: “A group [SSPX] that ‘cannot and never can accept the teaching of the Catholic Church’ cannot and never can be in the full communion of the Catholic Church.   As long as this remains the attitude of the society there is no hope for a reconciliation because they do not accept the teaching of the Catholic Church.  Therefore, a Mass using the 1962 Missal is now available at St Catherine of Siena in Veneta at noon every Sunday.”


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  1. This is confusing. Is this parish faithful to the Pope of Rome, or not?

  2. Maryanne Leonard says:

    If we’re going out of state now to visit other churches, as Cal Catholic readers themselves do, of course, I suggest profiling the ancient mission established hundreds of years ago on what is now an Indian reservation just north of Tucson, Arizona – one of the most unforgettable churches I’ve ever visited. Might be fascinating to take this column around the nation for a while, and then around the world. Be sure and stop at St. Paul’s Cathedral in St. Paul, Minnesota while we’re out and about seeking churches worth driving to, flying to, sailing to, and gosh, maybe even walking to occasionally. Okay, I’m old-fashioned, I admit it.

  3. I’m sure Father Morrissey means well, but his “facts” show that a little more research is needed on his part. This type of statement does nothing to further reconciliation with the SSPX. He is in no position to speak for the SSPX. He should present his position and let them present theirs.

  4. I’m actually GRATEFUL that the pastor informs people about the difference his parish and the SSPX place.
    We have so many people using the word “Catholic” when they are not in full communion with the Holy Father, or are not even part of the Catholic Church at all, just using the name to fool people.
    God bless him for learning how to celebrate the TLM properly for the sake of his parishioners!

    • Michael writes, “We have so many people using the word “Catholic” when they are not in full communion with the Holy Father, or are not even part of the Catholic Church at all, just using the name to fool people.”

      Michael, You are not fooling anyone.

      #1717 The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity. They express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ’s disciples; they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.

    • Ann Malley says:

      Michael, don’t kid yourself. It is for the sake of the increasingly stable, faithful, tremendous following at St. Thomas Becket Church and Academy that the Latin Mass is now being offered at St. Catherine’s in Veneta. The town itself is piddly, but St. Thomas Becket is huge, thriving, and attracting Catholics from across the United States – especially those who want a truly Catholic education and parish life for their children.

      So if you want to thank anybody, thank God that He deigns to use the SSPX as His vehicle to teach, feed, and grow His flock when those in ‘full communion’ choose to do the opposite. Tossing out the full communion bone to Veneta Catholics now – after a couple decades – while maligning the SSPX is something akin to disparaging those who fed YOUR poor without permission while you had the authority and food to do the job all along.

      But hey, if this new addition to St. Catherine’s increases traditional practice, GREAT!!!!! I know the much maligned/ostracized/falsely labeled priests of the Society would join me in thanking God. Because they do not seek their own glory, Michael, or their own agenda as you may believe, but rather the salvation of souls through the transmission of Truth….. all of it!

      God bless!

      • Ann Malley says:

        ….and if anyone drives up to St. Cathrine’s they’d be doing themselves a grave disservice if they didn’t visit St. Thomas Becket Church and Academy: 25269 E Bolton Rd, Veneta, OR 97487.

        It is a stunning facility, chock full of dedicated, loving Catholics who have given much – including giving themselves over to being ostracized, maligned, misunderstood, called outcast, etc. – to preserve that which those at St. Catherine’s are now BLESSED to receive!

  5. St. Christopher says:

    It is worth knowing more about this Church and about Fr. Morrissey. So good to have a regularly scheduled TLM on Sunday. Father says the right thing about not enough being done to educate Catholics about the TLM. Good job, Father. Now, get out and demand that other OR churches do the same. The conspiracy by American bishops to ignore the Pope and Summorum Pontificum is one of recent history’s critical scandals. And, we need to recognize that the SSPX is doing God’s work. The notion of not being in “communion” with the Church is laughable. The victors of the revolution (Vatican II) write the histories, so this “communion business” does not really mean much. We need to pray for Pope Francis, as he needs to make critical choices here, perhaps those beyond his basic competencies. But, the Holy Father is lead by the Holy Ghost, in whom he needs to trust. Step away from Archbishop Marini, Holy Father, step away from Cardinal Wuerl and the liberal bishops. You are needed to lead Christ’s own Church, not find it deficient to crowds on a Brazilian beach, or to the homosexual sexual practitioners, or to women priest advocates, or to those, like the followers of Hans Kung, that believe so many of the Church’s teachings are an embarrassment, are “medieval.” Mistakes are understandable, and expected, Holy Father. Remember St. Peter encountering Christ on the road out of Rome; he asked Jesus, “Quo Vadis, Domine?” and returned for his martyrdom. Respectfully, you need to do the same thing.

  6. mike magee says:

    Actually, San Xavier del Bac is about 10 miles (16 km) SOUTH of Tucson just west of Interstate 19. Watch carefully since, in an experiment, the road is signed primarily in kilometers.

    Dress warmly in winter, even during the day. The Mission is in the Sonoran High Desert. I believe the Church is unheated.

    Does CCD maintain a directory of Churches recommended as worth driving to? Cant visit them all. But certainly nice to know about if in the area.

  7. So what if the S.S.P.X. were not in the area of St. Catherines, then Father Morrissey would have no TLM? That is generaly the issue because he knows people would flock to the local S.S.P.X. chapel for Holy Mass. I do wish however the facts were correct about the S.S.P.X. they most certainly do adhere to the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and consider the current Pope in Rome their Pope, even if the don’t agree with him on his modernism. So if the S.S.P.X. had dancing girls, female altar girls, dancing nuns, giant puppets, drums, guitars, felt banners, hand holding, kiss of peace to the extreme, then and only then would they be in communion with Rome? The S.S.P.X. was what the Church was before Vatican II, so if they are wrong now then “we were wrong”before Vatican II, their is no defense against this simple question. If it were not for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the S.S.P.X. defending the Mass of All Times, there would be no F.S.S.P. Institute of Christ the King, and Summorum Pontificum.

  8. Has always puzzled me if the Novus Ordinarians hate and fear the S.S.P.X. so much, would that not entail hating themselves as well? The Novus Ordo does not object that heretics and Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, Pagans, and others use their churches but God forbid the S.S.P.X. ask and the answer would be a flat HELL NO!!!! You tell me??????

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