PARISH HISTORY

Fr. Gary Timmons was appointed the first pastor, and a temporary rectory was purchased on Heath Circle in July, 1981. The first parish Masses were celebrated on August 2 at Rancho Verde Mobile Home Park’s recreation center With a core of approximately 125 families, the present parish structure was established and by May of 1982, we had approximately 20 ministries functioning within the parish and the first Parish Council was formed.

In March, 1982, we moved to the Commons Building at Sonoma State University for Masses and in November, 1982 we obtained our first full time facility at 1 Padre Town Center The present church/hall was used for the first time on Thanksgiving Day, 1983 and the formal blessing took place December 13, 1983.

The permanent rectory was built and occupied in 1989 In addition to the pastor’s living quarters, the rectory also provided much needed meeting and office space.

From 1981 to 1985 Fr. David Brusky, SDS campus minister at Sonoma State University, served as unofficial parish associate In 1993 Fr. Bob Dunn, retired priest from New York, moved to our parish and began assisting us Joseph Remley, permanent deacon, served in our parish from 1985 until 1997 Paul Bromham, a permanent deacon, began serving the parish in June 1995 until the fall of 2001 Deacon Joe Olsen and Deacon Brad Andrews joined our parish in October 2000.

In June of 1989, the Bishop assigned a seminarian, Rick Boettcher, to spend his year of pastoral training at St. Elizabeth Seton parish He was ordained as Fr. John Boettcher in February, 1991.

In September of 1990, Fr. Gary was transferred to St. Bernard’s parish in Eureka. Our next pastor, Fr. Bob Blake, was assigned to St. Elizabeth Seton Parish effective October 1, 1990 He came to us from Sacred Heart Parish in Eureka On April 30, 1993 Fr. Bob was transferred to St. Peter’s Church in Cloverdale and Fr. John Griffin was assigned to St. Elizabeth Seton Fr. John came to us from St. Vincent De Paul Church in Petaluma

The first parish secretary was Kathy Vander Vennet, 1981 to 1988 and Lyle Blair served as custodian since the construction of our present church in 1983 until his retirement in 1994 In 1988, our present parish secretary Kay Corn was hired Kathy Ferri, our first bookkeeper served from 1987 to 1990 She was replaced by Maureen Mancuso, 1990 to 1991 Kitty Kerrigan then served as bookkeeper from June 1991 until December 21, 2000 when Mary Grubb was hired.

1990 saw new additions to the parish staff We hired a part-time Music Director, Marcia Kostielney, Catechumenate Director, Gerry Gospe and Elementary Education, Director Linda Remley In 1991, the Elementary Religious Education Position was expanded and incorporated with a new Pastoral Assistant position filled by Moira Bromham and she served in this position until June, 2001 In June, 2001 Louise Gingras became our Religious Education Director and in July, 2001 Ann Comstock followed as our Religious Education Director In June 2003 Alicia Slaugh filed this position.

Parish Council presidents have been Lynda Howerton 1982-83, Dave Perdue 1983-84, James Peebles 1984-85, Moira Bromham 1985-86, Maureen Mancuso 1986-87, Leslie Fisher 1987-89, Mark Kostielney 1989-91, Robert Niklewicz 1991-93, Mary Denson 1993-94, Spike O’Keeffe 1994-95, Mark Ritchie 1995-96, Mel Fee 1996-97, Ron Keith 1997-98, Mike Doyle 1998-2000, Peggy Mattis 2000-2001, Joseph Sheridan 2001-2002, Tim Mattis 2002-2003, Ann Comstock 2003-2004 and Susan Harrow 2004-2005, John Donovan 2005-2006, Ed Charbonneau 2006-2007, Char Mayclin 2007-2008.

St. Elizabeth Seton Parish currently has 29 active ministries serving the 632 Registered families in our parish.