Julie Hoy
Julie Hoy
“Thank God we’re still practicing our religion. The faith stayed strong, even during COVID when we couldn’t go to church.” — Pat Mattsen, who has been coordinator of the seniors program at St. Peter Parish in Southeast Portland for 18 years. Mattsen went through grade school at St. Peter School and then on to St. Mary’s Academy.

“I’m surprised the archdiocese is that old — I’m interested in learning more about the history.” — Jewel Lee, RCIA coordinator at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rainier. Lee has a solid basis for her surprise, having worshipped in Alexandria, Louisiana, for 30 years. The Diocese of New Orleans was erected in 1793, making it the second oldest diocese in the United States after the Archdiocese of Baltimore, created in 1776. The Diocese of New Orleans, however, did not become a metropolitan archdiocese until 1850.

“I’m glad I don’t have to establish a church here! I don’t think I’d live here without a Catholic presence and I like living here. I have the best of both worlds in that there is a Catholic presence and yet there’s a missionary flavor here, probably because we’re so far from any major city. Missionary churches are fervent.” — Deacon Pete Broussard of Holy Redeemer Parish, North Bend

“It shows how strong we are in the faith. We have stayed true to our Catholic roots. It’s amazing that we’ve been here 175 years — a testament to our families, that they’ve passed along the faith to their children, generation after generation. That’s quite remarkable.” — Linda Sitkowski, on the pastoral council of Star of the Sea Parish, Astoria.

“I think back about the generations of holy people, walking this land, right here — what a powerful thing. Imagine all of our ancestors from around the world, who have prayed in the pews in our churches at Mass, kneeling at adoration, or praying the rosary. They too strived for holiness by laying their burdens down at the feet of Jesus. Truly we are blessed to have a warm church to go into and pray. We are indebted to the Archdiocese of Portland to be a steady presence of Christ welcoming people from all around the world. This is 175 years of God’s people, each one of us, choosing to walk the path of Christ.”

“It’s a huge milestone. Especially in light of COVID-19 and everything else that has gone on in the world, it’s extraordinary to know the light of faith has continued to shine. Christ is still here, and the richness of the Catholic Church is still thriving. The saints always listen.” — Paula Cramer, an active parishioner at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rainier, and wife to Deacon Paul Cramer.

“A two-thousand-year-old church… with a 175-year-old archdiocese… which has consistently defended our faith through some pretty incredible times. All that… from the forward-thinking state of Oregon. Impressive to say the least!” — Julie Hoy, who with her husband, Roger, owns Geppetto’s Chicago Style Pizza and Pasta in Salem, is a parishioner at Queen of Peace, Salem and a composer of sacred music for OCP, publisher of this newspaper. The Hoy children attended Queen of Peace school and Blanchet.