Holy Redeemer Masses
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Our Lady of the Snows Services
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The first Catholic church built in what is today Holy Redeemer Parish was in the homestead town of Fleetwood, in 1918. It was first named in honor of Saint Rose of Lima, but was renamed "Saint Bridget's" in the 1930's. This was the only building constructed especially for worship during the homestead years in the Fort Rock Valley. Other services were held in schools. At the end of the homestead era, after the population declined, Saint Bridget's was closed and Mass was held in people's homes. This continued until 1988 when the present church, Holy Family, was built. Holy Family was dedicated by Bishop Thomas Connolly on Christmas Day 1988.
In the fall of 1936 Fr. William Coughlan and two Holy Names sisters visited a timber camp located south of LaPine every Saturday morning, and conducted Mass in parishioner's homes. The sisters gave religious instruction to the children. Two other priests who celebrated Mass in this era were Fr. Roger Anderson and Fr. Herbert Whitfield. In 1957, Frank and Helen Gilchrist of the Gilchrist Timber Company deeded property to the Catholic community and the church we know today as "Our Lady of the Snows" was built. Cardinal Cushing of Boston and the Gilchrist Timber Company donated funds and material. This church was first known as Saint Mary's of the Snows and was dedicated on October 28, 1957 by Bishop Francis Leipzig.
As the population grew, so did the number of Catholics and in 1983 the Holy Redeemer Parish in LaPine was established. Fr. Robert Sinard was the first pastor. Holy Redeemer Church, as we know it today, was built on 10 acres in 1986 with the first Mass celebrated in December of 1986.
Prior to 1983, Mass in Sunriver was held in the Great Hall or other rooms of the lodge. Celebrants came from Bend. Starting in the fall of 1983, weekly Mass was held in the Sunriver community church. As attendance increased, Christmas and Easter Masses were held in the Great Hall. The community continued to grow and, in 1998, a portion of the Sunriver preparatory school was purchased and remodeled into the church we know today. On August 1, 1999, Bishop Connolly dedicated Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Today the Holy Redeemer Parish staff includes Pastor Fr. Theo and five paid office employees. It ministers to an area of approximately 10,000 square miles, which includes a very large part-time and tourist population. The parish has just over 300 registered families. Our goal is to minister to all, through living out the commitments of our mission.