Father's Weekly Bulletin Message
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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 21, 2018

Dear Friends and Family,

Our local “pro-life” organization, LifeGuard, works hard to keep us attentive to the fact that we live as a society in contradiction to the Gospel and to the notion of the sanctity of human life. Since so many people seem to disregard the efforts of such groups, even those who consider themselves good Christians, I wonder if we realize what is at stake. The denial of human personhood to the unborn means that some types of human life do not need protection, and can in fact be eliminated because in some general sense they do not, cannot, function as we do.  

I spent most of my Friday evenings during my college years with mentally challenged teens and young adults, including my own sister. Many of these persons were profoundly challenged and would always be dependent upon those who could feed them and provide for them. I wonder when the day will come when we will decide that anyone dependent upon another for life is no longer worthy of possessing “personhood”, and therefore no longer requires protection. Maybe the handicapped or those needing specialized care will be seen as compromising the health of another. What about an infant, or young child who becomes an unwanted burden? Do we allow the location of a person, inside or outside of the womb, to determine whether they require protection or not? With the recent state decisions regarding the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, I wonder if we realize how cheap and dispensable human life has become. Capital punishment also contributes to the idea that “productive” and independent members of society have a right to life, the rest do not. I think culturally we are treading on a very dangerous path, and that as a faith community we have to do better than we are. This Monday, the 45th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, is a day of repentance in the Catholic Church. We continue to fail the lives we should protect, and beseech the mercy of God.  

In Christ,
Fr. Kevin

Parish History

The Cornerstone for St. Columba Church was laid June 12, 1881 on land donated by real estate developer Peter Fassbinder. The location, halfway between Animas City and Durango, meant that the church escaped fires that consumed other early churches along 3rd Avenue. Not only the building, but the people of this faith community have flourished in spite of a history of struggle and imperfection. Even St. Columba had problems before he achieved sainthood. He made his epic journey to Scotland in 563 AD, and began establishing monasteries after being accused of starting a war. Sheriff Robert Dwyer was present when the church’s cornerstone was laid, as there were no barroom brawls to break up that day. Sister Mary Baptiste Meyers, who led the Sisters of Mercy to Durango in 1882, was beheaded in a 1901 train wreck while traveling to Denver to visit a sister who was gravely ill. Father William Kipp traveled all over the mountains of southern Colorado in the 1920s bringing the sacraments to miners, and others who lived in remote locations. The Sisters of Mercy bravely cared for patients during the smallpox and flu epidemics of the early 20th century.

Wars came and went, and the mines of the San Juan Mountains produced minerals needed for weapons and industry. National economic problems had their effect, like the demonetization of silver, the crash of 1893 and the depression 35 years later. The mines that drove the economy of the region thrived, and eventually died. But in the end, families that started the parish in the early years are still represented at Mass each Sunday. Newcomers from all over the country have joined the parish, coming to retire, to work in natural gas production, construction or the tourist industry. They come for the quality of life, abundant outdoor recreation, and for the excellent, yet affordable St. Columba School. Together they have kept alive a common faith, in spite of their differences and hardships, so that the faith community of St. Columba Church might flourish.
St. Columba Church
St. Columba Church

Parish Staff

Fr. Kevin Novack


Steve Johnson


Judy Sturdevant
Liturgy & RCIA


Sally Fochtman
Youth Ministry


Pete Fochtman
Youth Ministry


Cathy Cray
Parish Secretary


Kelly Gessel
Business Manager


Kevin Chick


Dan MacVeigh


Fabian Mendez


Interested in Volunteering?

If you are interested in volunteering in any of our wonderful ministries, we'd love to have you! To learn more about opportunities to serve at St. Columba and in the community, and to find the perfect fit, please click  below or join us at the next Leadership Forum on the last Thursday of each month at 6:30pmParish members are encouraged to attend the upcoming gathering of the five commissions to participate in decision-making and leadership. 

Ministries & Leadership Forum
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