Saturday 5:00 pm (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 8:30 am & 11:15 am
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 12:15
Saturday 4:00 - 4:30 pm
Welcome to St Catherine of Siena Parish! If you are looking for a church to enliven and deepen your faith, be part of a friendly, easy-going community, or would like to get involved in one of our ministries or begin a new one, I believe you may well have found the parish for which you’ve been looking!
Introduce yourself to me in the narthex before or after Mass – I’m always the first to arrive and the last to leave. I have a very good memory for faces, and in time, I will even remember your name! To get to know your fellow parishioners, come to our Saturday evening refreshments immediately after the Mass or Sunday breakfast after the 8.30 Mass. This is usually held on the weekend of the first Sunday of the month during the school year. Notification of any and all activities is in the parish bulletin which you’ll find here online. This allows us to keep our tradition of keeping Mass completely announcement-free.
As part of our charitable outreach, we donate 10% of our annual income to charities nominated by the parishioners during Lent each year. We have a food drive for a local shelter every month, and as you get to know us, you’ll discover all the other ways we are church, live our faith and serve our neighbors.
Holy Week; the Week of Weeks, the most important Feast in the Christian Calendar, begins on Palm Sunday (April 14) with the proclamation of the Passion Narrative according to Saint Luke. He gives us a much different perspective to that which we will hear on Good Friday from Saint John’s Gospel. To encourage you to listen with less distraction and prevent you being delegated solely to the role of those who shout for Christ’s execution, the texts of the Gospel and the other Scriptures of the day (Palm Sunday to Good Friday inclusive) will not be available in the church pews. Enter the narrative and just let the Word of God speak to you!
But, before that we will have our last Saturday Evening Mingle and Sunday Morning Breakfast this weekend, April 13 & 14. Thereafter, most of us will be in our end-of-academic-year mode; final exams, graduations, First Communions, college-placement decisions, etc. And, the kitchen and Community Hall will be closed for kitchen renovations which are due to start immediately after Easter.
The CCE classes came to an end last weekend (April 7) so that we could use Sunday, April 14’s scheduled CCE time for a teachers’ assessment and planning meeting. Thanks to one and all who strive to make the faith journey of the next generation something they will want to continue, deepen and live with greater commitment.
The schedule for the Holy Week ceremonies is on the calendar across the page. The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper is at the earlier time of 6:00pm to facilitate greater attendance and participation. We found that over the years, a later hour does not work well for most; less and less people were coming to the mass. The people who will have their feet washed during the Lord’s Supper Mass are the families and children of the year’s First Communion class. The Good Friday service is always celebrated at 3:00 pm. The only change to this service here at Saint Catherine’s is that the veneration of the Cross is left to the end of the service for whomever would like to partake. We used to do this during the service itself, but it was impossible to get the congregation to come to venerate the cross in two lines which resulted in a longer than necessary service.
The Easter Vigil (800 pm) is celebrated only at sunset, beginning with a small bonfire in the plaza and proceeding into the church with candle light. Since we do not have baptisms at the Easter Vigil, it is shorter than most - guaranteed! Last year it was about an hour and forty-five minutes - I double checked my notes!
The 11:15 Easter Day Mass was so well attended last year that there were people standing the whole way down to the kitchen. So, be warned! The Divisi String Quartet, which we had at our celebrations last Easter, and for the past few Christmases, will be at the Easter Masses - the Saturday Easter Vigil at 8:00pm, Easter Sunday morning mass at 8:30 and 11:15. So, choose wisely and plan carefully which Easter Masses you intend to celebrate with us.
There will be limited office hours after Easter and there will be no daily mass. I am escaping across the pond, so watch the calendar here in the bulletin or online on our web page. Did you know that you can also opt to have the bulletin automatically emailed to you and save you a lot of bother? Just sign up on the parish webpage.
A very Happy Easter to one and all, and specially to our visitors and your family members who are home again. Safe travels - enjoy your families and friends.
On May 14, 1975, Bishop John Morkovsky issued a formal Declaration establishing the parish of St. Catherine of Siena to help provide for the corporal and spiritual welfare of the growing west Houston community with Fr. Cliff Natho being assigned as the founding pastor.
Until the completion of construction (3 years later), Sunday Masses were celebrated in neighboring churches and schools, including Congregation Beth Am Synagogue, Spring Oaks Junior High, and Fairhaven United Methodist Church.
The initial construction was completed in 1978, and included the community center (which doubled as the sanctuary), the offices and classrooms. The present sanctuary was completed in 1993 and stands as a living testament to the generous spirit of the people who gather to worship God under the patronage of St. Catherine of Siena. At the 25th anniversary celebration in 2000, our beautiful prayer plaza garden was dedicated by Auxiliary Bishop Curtis J. Guillory.
Born small and committed to growth in the Holy Spirit, the parish family of St. Catherine of Siena continues to blossom in what was once a distant Spring Branch prairie but is now part of Houston’s ever-expanding metropolis. From the beginning, this community has fostered a loving, welcoming family spirit. And as with most families, the sharing of food occupies a very important place in all our gatherings; so don’t be startled if someone offers you a cup of coffee and a doughnut. It’s just who we are.
St Catherine of Siena (1347 – 1380)
Born in 1347, St. Catherine of Siena was the twenty-third child born to Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa. Recognized as a lovely and highly intelligent youth, she was filled with a joyous spirit from an early age.
However, no one expected this lovely young girl to become one of the great mystical doctors of the Church. Yet, it was early in life that she demonstrated an uncommon desire to surrender herself completely to Christ. It is due to this desire and her willingness to live it completely that she is remembered and celebrated today. At the age of eighteen, she entered the Dominican Third Order and spent three years in seclusion and prayer. A group of followers gathered around her—men and women (lay and religious) – and an active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life.
But it was during the Great Schism (beginning in 1378) which split the allegiance of Christendom between first two, then three popes that Catherine became most notable. She spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the unity of the Church and arguing for the legitimacy of Urban VI. In 1380, she died at the age of 33. She was canonized in 1461.
Along with Theresa of Avila, St. Catherine was named a doctor of the church in 1970 by Paul VI. Her most famous work, The Dialogue, contains an ecstatic vision of a conversation between a soul (who rises to heaven) and God. This mystical work is often called her spiritual testament.
She is the patron of Italy and Europe.
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Feel free to visit during normal parish office hours.
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Hours may vary during holidays.