Our Patron Saint
A description of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, our patron saint, that sits beside her statue at the rear east side of the vestibule (next to the front doors). Above this description is a certificate of celebration from His Eminence, Cardinal Rodger Mahony recognizing the 100th anniversary of our parish, as well as the 400th anniversary of the first Mass offered in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
(Important note, that the first Spanish explorer to reach Santa Catalina Island was Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in October of 1542. If it weren't for the later renaming by Viscaino, the island would still be known as "San Salvador" the name of Cabrillo's ship.)
Catholicism on Santa Catalina Island
Saint Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church is located on Santa Catalina Island, 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, California. The church building has been serving the city of Avalon since 1950, but our catholic history on the island begins much earlier when the first Catholic Mass was said on the island in the year 1602 by three Discalced Carmelite Friars accompanying Spanish explorer, Sebastian Viscaino.
The first Catholic Church building on the island was dedicated in 1902 on Vieudelou Avenue, with Fr. P. F. Byrne as the first celebrant. When a larger property became available, a new sanctuary was built in 1950 on Beacon Avenue, where we stand to this day.
The main building and rectory were built first, and in the Summer of 1963, the parish hall and other auxiliary rooms were built to support and expand the parish.
Construction of the new Church and Rectory
Expanding the Parish
In the present day, our church has a beautiful courtyard garden area that was recently renovated between 2019 and 2021. New concrete was laid, trip hazards and old concrete removed, and more patio-style seating added for our weekly post-Mass coffee time (as well as other gatherings). Father William Ruther (pastor, 2016-2022) was a tremendous support for this project, and did a majority of the flower planting himself. Thank-you also to Randy and Carol Harrell, who donated towards the patio improvement project.
P.O. Box 735
800 Beacon Street
Avalon CA. 90704