Our Mission: To EMBRACE our faith, to NOURISH our formation as Catholics and to SERVE in a community filled with the Holy Spirit.
ST. FRANCES CABRINI PARISH
Father George Weibel (1972 -1984)
Father Roger Mollison (1984 - 1989
Father Richard Ling (1989 - 1993)
Father Darrell Schaeffer (1993 - 1993)
Father Ken Leone (1993 - 2005)
Father Sean McGrath (2005 - Present)
Father Karl Useldinger
Msgr. Michael Chamberlain
Father Steve Padilla
Father Len Schreiner
Father Tim Gaines
Father Gerard Beigel
Father Michael Pavlakovich
Father Emilio Franchomme
Father Timothy Hjelstrom
Father Pawel Zborowski
Father Rick Nakvasil
Father Brady Wagner
Father Scott Bailey (Present)
Rev. Mr. Ernie Anderson
Rev. Mr. Bruno Jambor
Rev. Mr. Ron Claussen
Rev. Mr. Craig Fucci
Rev. Mr. Witold Engel (retired)
Rev. Mr. Paul Grimm (retired)
Rev. Mr. Chet Ubowski (present)
Rev. Mr. Russ Barrows (present)
Congregation Growth History
1972- 200 +Families
1979- 1,200+ Families
1988- 1,500+ Families
2002- 3,000+ Families
2010- 3,500+ Families
On June 28, 1972, Archbishop James Casey assigned Father George Weibel to the task of studying the feasibility of establishing a parish in the Columbine area southwest of Littleton, Colorado. The first Sunday Masses were celebrated in Columbine Hills Elementary School in September 1972 with 862 worshipers.
On December 26, 1973,Archbishop Casey appointed Fr. Weibel as pastor and formally established the parish in the growing Columbine area. The parish was named after the state flower. The Latin derivation Columbine also means of the Dove or spirit of the dove - a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The new parishioners named the church Columbine Catholic Parish.
On June 30, 1974, the cornerstone was laid for the church and the first Masses were celebrated. Archbishop Casey dedicated the new church on September 21, 1974 designating St. Frances Xavier Cabrini as patroness of the parish. In September of 1977, a large addition to the original building was completed, including a multipurpose area, a nursery, religious education offices, youth ministry offices and classrooms. By 1979, the parish had grown to 1200 families. A rectory was completed two years later to accommodate several priests and assistants and to increase office space.
In June of 1985,after 13 years with the parish, Fr. Weibel was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Denver. In September of 1984, Father Roger Mollison was installed as the second pastor. In 1987, after a sermon by Fr. Mollison on the abuse of children, a couple offered their home as a safe house for children. The home was named St. Joseph Home for Abused Children. Parishioner volunteers ran the home and a parish physician agreed to be the pro bono publico donor for the home. The home was opened to all abused children in Jefferson County.
A Perpetual Adoration Chapel was completed in 1986 and has been a cornerstone of our parish. On September 6, 1988, Fr. Mollison received permission from the Archbishop to rename the parish in honor of St. Frances Cabrini, its patroness. The name change became effective on November 13th of that same year. In addition to the Adoration Chapel, a Prayer Garden with sandstone Altar was built. Stone benches were placed in the garden for reflection and prayer. Stations of the Cross are scattered among the flowerbeds and the entire area is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. The Prayer Garden was blessed by Archbishop J. Francis Stafford on October 4, 1988.
By 1988, the parish had grown to almost 1500 families and plans to build a new worship space were begun. In 1989, Father Mollison was reassigned and Father Richard Ling became the third pastor of the church. The dream to build a new church continued. In January of 1993, Father Ling was assigned to Notre Dame Parish and Father Darrell Schaeffer took over on temporary assignment until Father Ken Leone was named as the fourth pastor in July of 1993.
Under the leadership of Father Leone, a final fund raising plan was achieved and the dream of building a new church became a reality. The ceremonial groundbreaking was celebrated on July 7, 1996, the 50th anniversary of Mother Cabrinis canonization. Archbishop Charles Chaput dedicated the new church on February 8, 1998.
THE CHURCH The basic physical structure of the new church consists of the Gathering Space and the Sanctuary (Altar, Crucifix, Tabernacle and the Organ). The Sanctuary design is contemporary yet with a traditional feeling. The church was designed to have a daylit interior. Light shelves on the four sides are staggered at different heights to allow the daylight to penetrate. Large skylights also enhance the lighting effect. The space available and the required seating capacity dictated the shape of the church structure. Large buttresses create the skyline and the shape. The sanctuary has horseshoe-shaped seating and the farthest seat from the altar is 70 feet. The pews are situated on an incline so that visibility is maximized for all.
THE ALTAR The Altar was donated by the Cardosi family and is one of the most beautiful attractions in the facility. It was placed in the middle of the church elevated by a wooden platform allowing that no worshiper is farther than eleven pews from the center. Raised three steps above the tile floor; the wooden Altar table is the lure of every vision. It stands free and is approachable from all four sides.
THE BALDACHIN Suspended over the altar, the Baldachin or in Italian Baldacchino is a gold metal circle enclosed in a square, representing the Circle of God inside the four elements of the earth. On the surface of the metal square there are silver etchings representing the seven sacraments.
THE AMBO The Ambo or Lectern was donated by the Wicks family and is a standing wooden desk for reading and preaching. A microphone is stationed above the Ambo for the use of the cantor, lector and/or commentation.
THE COLUMBINE WINDOW The Columbine window was chosen because the original church was named Columbine Catholic Community and it is dedicated to that time of our history. The window, designed by Elizabeth Deveraux, faces southwest and is framed by the RUTZ Pipe organ. It is the largest window in the church and depicts the columbine flower with a pistol rising to become a path through and around the mountains, which eventually leads to heaven.
THE CRUCIFIX The Crucifix, sculpted by Lynn Kircher, was made possible by the generous donations of the parishioners for their own visible part in the creation of our churchs sanctuary. The consensus was that the crucifix depict both the crucified Christ and the risen Christ, Christ transcending - between death and resurrection. In this new concept of Christ on the cross, nothing remains of the death the Savior endured. The arms, no longer limp and hanging, are raised to the sides. The chest is extended as if it were lifting up and away from the cross and the loincloth has been given a flourish, wind-swept motion which is also reflected in the line of movement in the stained glass columbine window just behind it. Christ is looking straight up to His Father; head tilted back, every aspect attesting to the hope engendered by His experience. THE TABERNACLE To the left of the Crucifix is the tabernacle, a receptacle for the reservation of the Eucharist. The structure is of Gold plated metal and is the same one that was used in the original church and brought from Nativity of Christ Church in Broomfield by Fr. Weibel. There are two sanctuary lamps donated by Jeannie Johnson, which burn continuously near it while the Eucharist is present. THE TABERNACLE WINDOW The stained glass window, which surrounds the Tabernacle, was designed by Elizabeth Devereaux, who also designed the Stations of the Cross. The window was donated in memory of Madonna Leone Overholt, the sister of Fr. Ken Leone. The colors of the window are shades of purple and white, used also in the Stations of the Cross and the Columbine window, which also has shades of gold.
THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS The Stations of the Cross are located on the Southwest and Northeast walls of the Sanctuary in window form. Parishioners and/or their companies individually donated all fourteen stations, dedicated in memory of family members.
THE ORGAN The Organ was built by Rutz Organ Company and was installed and dedicated in September 2000 at a recital given by Vatican organist, James Goettshe. With 50+ ranks of pipes (over 3000), it is the largest pipe organ in a Catholic Church in Colorado.
THE HOLY SPIRIT WINDOW To the west of the Ambo and the Columbine Window and framed by the choir section is the window dedicated to the Holy Spirit, a creation of Creative Glass of Lakewood. The fine lines in the window depict the outline of a dove representing the Holy Spirit. Red tongues of fire are prominent in the picture.
THE MARIAN WINDOW This window offers the spring sun of Medjugorje, the Mantel of Blue, ten red roses for the Rosary, Our Lady of Guadalupe and a depiction of the Little Flower. Pat Drummond donated the window. A statue of Mary stands in front of the window. THE CABRINI WINDOW This window depicts the journey from Rome Italy of our patroness. The panel on the right depicts her birth in Europe and the Holy Spirit taking her to the United States. The top panel depicts the state of Colorado, which she loved. The panel on the left depicts the Shrine and the spring that she discovered in the mountains west of Denver. Parishioner donations made this window possible. In front of this window is a statue of St. Frances Cabrini.
BAPTISMAL FONT As one enters the Sanctuary, the view of the church is spectacular as seen through the Baptismal Font, designed by artist, Tim Hinz, and placed at the entrance. The Font is an equiangular octagonal shape, for the day of creation and is a representation of the rock that Moses split.
Ex.17:5 The Lord said to Moses: Go over there in front of the people, along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock and the water will flow from it for the people to drink. This Moses did in the presence of the elders of Israel. THE AMBRY AND PASCAL CANDLE The oils used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick and other sacramentals are stored in the wooden and marble cabinet called the Ambry. The Ambry hangs on the wall just inside the main doors of the church. The Pascal candle stand, donated by the Hinkle family, sits just to the side of the Ambry, which was designed and built by parishioner, Peter Stur. THE RECONCILIATION ROOM As you enter the Sanctuary on your far right is the Reconciliation Chapel. This room is used for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Furnishings and decor are purposely simple and austere offering the penitent a choice between face-to-face encounter and/or anonymity. The windows in this room were fashioned by parishioners from windows in the original church.
THE CHILDRENS ROOM To the left as one enters the Sanctuary is the Childrens Room. This room is designated for children and their parents who need to use it. The Mass may be heard from this room, which is equipped with sound.
THE SOUND BOOTH Located just to the side of the Cabrini Window, is the sound booth, which maintains an amplification system. The worship space does not require voice amplification, however; with the size of the attendance and the necessary movement of adults and children, the best orators cannot always be heard. Trained sound technicians are used whenever needed. THE ADORATION CHAPEL The tabernacle is secured in and to the wall it shares with the Adoration Chapel. The Chapel is specifically designed and separate from the Sanctuary. It is accessible from the outside of the building or from the church. Featured in the Adoration Chapel is the Monstrance which was handmade in Spain and donated to the parish by Jerry and Rozella Leone, parents of Fr. Ken Leone. The Domanick and Hynt families donated the candleholders. The candlesticks were donated by the Mignon family. Parishioners continue to participate in Perpetual Adoration in the chapel. THE GATHERING SPACE The Gathering Space is used for socializing prior to and after Mass. The Memorial Plaque window is the main feature in this space. The window hosts a dark rose/purple circular plaque that honors all who donated larger amounts for many of the items in the Sanctuary such as the Sanctuary lamps, the Cabrini Window, the Altar furnishings, the Altar candlesticks, etc. It is worth our time to examine the memorial and give silent appreciation.
THE PROCESSIONAL CROSS The Processional Cross was donated by the Egli family in celebration of those we love who have gone to be with the Lord. It was uniquely designed by artist Tim Hinz, who did not realize that the cross would become the symbol of our church.
Toward the end of the Gallery wall, used to display current parish events, and to the left of the Gathering Space is a wall plague Let The Children Come To Me donated by the Bergman Family.
THE MARIAN STATUE Just outside of the Gathering Space at the entrance to the Community House (former rectory) now used for counseling and meetings are the Marian Statue and two black marble benches. The statue is white in color and is made from granulated marble. The inscription on the base of the statue: Jesus and Mary Protect The Unborn - was suggested by one of our teens, Matt Bruce. Appropriate inscriptions are included on both of the black benches used for rest and prayer. The statue and benches were presented to St. Frances Cabrini Parish by the Knights of Columbus Archbishop James V. Casey Council 9349 and dedicated on September 30, 2001.
The church facility also includes the renovated old church which is now the Music Room, the Frassati Room, Parish Hall and Kitchen which are used for various meetings and events. The upper and lower levels of the building serve Religious Education, Catholic Biblical School, Christian Initiation, Community Life and Social Ministry needs. The Youth Department Offices are adjacent to the Frassati Room. Parish Administrative Offices are adjacent to the Gathering Space and next to the Prayer and Reflection Room.
After serving as pastor for twelve years, Fr. Ken Leone was assigned as Pastor to Church of the Risen Christ in Denver.
On July 31, 2005, Father Sean McGrath was installed as the fifth pastor of St. Frances Cabrini parish.
In 2004, parishioners, under the leadership of the Knights of Columbus Council 9349, began a campaign under the title: Project Moses. This campaign resulted in the dedication of a large monument created from ivory colored Sinai marble inscribing the Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes. The monument was placed on the west side of the church facing the mountains. This endeavor was blessed by Fr. Sean and dedicated to the parish on August 20, 2006.
In 2007, a decision was made to install the remaining section of pipes for the organ and to commission bronze statues of the Blessed Mother and Mother Cabrini to commemorate the 10th Anniversary, February 8, 2008, of the dedication of the new church. In May 2008, the Antiphonal division of the pipe organ was completed.
On March 6, 2009, three flag poles were installed at the north entrance of the church. The Papal Flag flies to the right, the Colorado State Flag to the left and the Flag of the United States in the middle. The United States Flag is dedicated to the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Land has been purchased directly across the street from the church and future plans will determine its use.
Our parish has grown from 862 worshipers in 1972 to approximately 14,000 in 2009. We have been richly blessed!
With grateful hearts, we give honor and glory to God as our faith is professed today and in the years to come.