Some of what makes our parish so special is the thoughtful artwork and beautiful statues that we have been blessed with throughout our history.
One of the most notable features of our church is the murals that adorn the walls of the front of the sanctuary. The murals were painted by local artist Will Richards, as well as the tile tympanum over the exterior of the front doors. The murals have many objects craftfully blended within the imagery. Next time you visit, see how many hidden treasures you can find! (Hint: angels, faces, hands, animals... just to name a few.)
There are 14 stained glass windows crowning the upper half of the santuary walls. Many of the windows depict scenes from the old testament, including this one, which presents the "first family" of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. It is speculated that this could be the Holy Family, but then why would there be two children?
The stained glass windows were designed by Sr. Genevieve Underwood, and crafted by James Kirk Piechowski.
The statues of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus originated from the old church on Vieudelou Avenue, and are quite cherished among our older parishioners. The statues act as artful reminders of the qualities of whom they depict. We see Mary standing on a snake, which reminds us of her immaculate nature and devotion to God - unfettered and unblemished by the works of evil. Joseph holds the baby Jesus in his arms; caring for him and taking him in as his own son despite not being his biological Father, as well as Mary - bringing her into his home to protect her from harm and trusting in God.
The stations of the cross are, individually, pieces of art in and of themselves. Like any Catholic parish, these images surround the inside of the nave. At this time, we are unsure of who provided these carved pictures, but we greatly appreciate their contribution to the beautification of our parish.
The overhead light fixtures may seem slightly out-of-place, but there is more than meets the eye. Saint Catherine of Alexandria, our patron saint, was an Egyptian scholar and martyr. Her murderers attempted to kill her upon a spiked wheel, which became her identifying symbol. These light housings resemble an old-fashioned spoked wheel.
The crowning historical mosaic of the front fascade of our church: "First Island Mass - November 1602" designed by Brother Claude Lane, O.S.B. Tile artist: Matthew Doolin of Topanga Art Tile. Donors: Dr. Charles F. Schreiner and his wife, Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner.
Depicts the three Discalced Carmelite Friars celebrating Mass on Santa Catalina Island.
Oratory of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mary), one of two prayer oratories at the back of the nave. This version shows Mary with a crown of stars and a child at her feet, rather than the well-known depiction of the Blessed Mother on Juan Diego's cloak. Devotional candles surround the statue that parishioners can purchase from the sacristy or the parish office. Red devotional candle holders donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Fine, in loving memory of Pete Vojkovich. Blue devotional candle holders in memory of Elizabeth O'Flaherty (1/1/98).
Our Lady of Grace outdoor oratory at the west side of our property. This is located at the south facing wall of our Parish Hall complex. In memory of Father Joseph F. Alker, November 12, 1966. The bench facing the statue was built by the donation of the Brent-Fipp Family. (See plaque on our "Donor Plaques" page).
Andalusian tile wainscoting on the lower part of the walls of the nave, in loving memory of Herbert A. and Rita "Dolly" Connaughton. Donated by Mike, Karen, & Luke Sciaraffa. (See plaque on our "Donor Plaques" page).
P.O. Box 735
800 Beacon Street
Avalon CA. 90704