Finding a home at St. Patrick Catholic Church |

Finding a home at St. Patrick Catholic Church

Cathleen Molaro has been a member of St. Patrick's Church in Grass Valley for 34 years.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

Kathleen Molaro has been a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Grass Valley since she moved here in 1980.

Growing up in a Navy family that moved frequently, she found the familiar worship services at all the Catholic churches she attended were one of the few consistent things in her life.

“St. Patrick’s has been my family, a home away from home,” she said. “When we moved here we didn’t know anyone. We didn’t have any relatives nearby. So, in that sense, my faith became part of everyday life.”

Molaro is a member of the Lay Order of St. Francis.

“People in that order don’t take holy vows like the priests and brothers and sisters, but are consecrated to the Lord as lay people,” she explains. “The focus of the lay order is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus using the Charism of St. Francis as our guide.”

Molaro adds that Charism refers to St. Francis’s beliefs and ways of doing things.

“Our focus as a Franciscan is living from the Gospel to life and from life to the Gospel,” she said. “We try to bring the Gospel to life in everything we do, which all Christians do.

“Throughout our life at St. Patrick’s, we were always involved,” Molaro says. “Being a Franciscan has just added another dimension to that.”

For about 15 years, while her six children were young, Molero volunteered in the church’s youth ministry, among many other things.

She and her husband Cliff are lectors, reading lessons to the congregation during worship services.

As a Eucharistic minister, she takes communion to people who can’t be at church.

She says St. Patrick Church has a lot of opportunities for people to help others, such as with the Interfaith Food Ministry, Living Well Medical Clinic, making prayer shawls, leading Bible studies, music and teaching classes for adults or children.

Besides being a parent, Molaro has been a kindergarten teacher.

She was a substitute teacher for many years because she had a big family and didn’t want to work full time.

She is a freelance writer, has had articles published in the “Diocesan News,” “St. Anthony’s Messenger,” and “The Way,” and is currently working on a book for children.

She says her faith has influenced her work.

“Faith should be part of everything people say and do: how we behave, how we treat people, and our values,” she says.

But, she explains: “That would be really hard to do without a community of people who believe as you do.”

St. Patrick Catholic Church has a membership of about 800 or 900 families.

On Sundays, they have liturgical services, called Mass or Eucharist, at 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m.

There are morning masses at 8:30 a.m. on all other days.

On Saturdays, there is also a service at 5 p.m. and one in Spanish at 6:30 p.m.

The church is located at 235 Chapel St. in Grass Valley. The phone number is 530-273-2347.

The website is

Janet Ann Collins is a freelance writer in Nevada County. She can be reached at or

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