St. John of the Woods Parish WALast updated on July 31, 2016

Fr. Huber T. J Mertens, was instrumental in building missions and parishes in Western Washington. Realizing that Catholics in Midland and Summit were in need of his ministry, he decided to celebrate Mass in private homes until a church could be built. The church was begun in the fall of 1029 seating 175 persons. The following spring it was completed at a cost of $3,000, with donation from Fr. Mertens’ personal funds, parish contributions and the Extension Society. A fire destroyed the church in 1940. The rectory was built in 1932 for $2,000.

Fr. Mertens was killed in October 1938, while riding his bicycle. Fr. Edward Barry was named Pastor in July 1939. Fr. Robert Logan became Pastor in January 1944. Under the guidance of Fr. Logan, the building of a new church began and was completed in December 1947.

Fr. Andrew M. Prouty was appointed Pastor in 1954. With Fr. Prouty’s leadership, the Parish Hall was built and dedicated April 1958. Extensive remodeling was done and the Parish purchased 10 more Acres in 1960. The CCD classrooms were built in 1965 shortly after Fr. Brendon Gallagher became Pastor that fall.

In the late 1960’s mandated of Vatican II changed the Mass and Sacraments to the Vermacular and Lay Ministers were developing. Many areas of the Church were assumed by Lay Leadership.

February 1971, Fr. Michael J. Schmitt arrived as Pastor to be followed by Fr. Patrick McDermott in February 1975.
The parish underwent many changes of Pastors between 1975-1994. Fr. Gordon Douglas, Fr. Carl Hageman, Fr. Wm. Slate and Fr. P.G. O’Neil became Parochial Vicars.

In July 1996, St. John of the Woods, St. Ann and Cared Heart became a Cluster. Fr. Vince Pastro was Pastor with Parochial Vicars: Fr. Dominic Hung Nguyen S. J., Emmanuel Iweh, and John Kohler, who retired in 1996. Fr. John Nwanze and Fr. Dan Chaiz joined the Cluster while Fr. Vince Pastro was still Pastor until June 2006.

In July 2006, Fr. Tuan Nguyen, Regional Pastor came into our Parish Family. Visitation Parish joined the Cluster with Parochial Vicars: Rev. Poao Saena, Rev Gilberto Moar-Tapia and Rev. Bryan Dolejsi.

In July 2008-2010 we became a Cluster of six parishes, adding Holy Rosary and St. Josephs. A new team of Vicars: Fr. Cal Christiansen, Fr. Jacob Maurer, Fr. Poao Saena, Mr. Gilberto Mora-Tapia with Fr. Tuan Nguyen as Pastor of the Regional Parishes.

In July 2010, Fr. Francisco Cancino, Fr. Leonardo Pestano, Fr. Amondo Red, Fr. Nicolas Wichert arrived to serve with Fr. Tuan Nguyen Pastor of the Six Regional Parishes until June 2011.

In July 1011, we were reduced to the original cluster of three parishes: St. John of the Woods, St. Ann and Sacred Heart, Fr. Tuan Nguyen as Regional Pastor with Vicars: Fr. Francisco Cancino, Fr. Dave Gese and Fr. John Koehler who helped out occasionally, but he has since passed away on April 15, 2013.

In July 2011, Sister Theresa Nguyen became Fr. Tuan’s Assistant and has a part time office at St. John’s. Sister Mary Van Vu was assigned to direct the Outreach, Homebound/Nursing Home Ministry. Her office is at St. Johns. Sister Delores Herbeck, OSF is in charge of Faith Formation/Religious Education and volunteers her services.

Fr. Dave Gese, left us in February 28, 2013 for a new assignment and was replaced by Parochial Vicar, Fr. Laga Paulo Olaaiga.

On June 20, 2013 Fr. Francisco Cancio left our Cluster for a new assignment and was replaced by Parochial Vicar, Fr. J. Carlos Saenz