Our Lady of the Pines Church in Pioneer
In 1978, Fr. Ignatius Haran was appointed Pastor of St. Patrick Parish, which included St. Patrick Church in Jackson and St. Bernard Church in Volcano. With the growing upcountry area, Father Haran anticipated a need for another, larger church to serve the Pine Grove and Pioneer areas. In 1982, ground was broken in the Buckhorn area of Pioneer for the building of Our Lady of the Pines. The church was dedicated later that year, on October 24, 1982, by Francis Quinn, Bishop of Sacramento.
Fr. Haran remained St. Patrick Parish’s pastor until 1995. He was succeeded that year by Fr. Paul Ricks, in 1998 by Fr. Thomas Bland, and in 2002 by Fr. Tom Seabridge. When the Amador Catholic Community (comprising St. Patrick, Immaculate Conception, and Sacred Heart Parishes) was officially unified into one parish—St. Katharine Drexel Parish—Our Lady of the Pines (‘OLOP’) became one of six mission churches of the new parish, under Fr. Larry Beck. Today, Our Lady of the Pines continues to serve the upcountry community with Mass on Sundays at 11:30 AM and a Holy Day Mass schedule as designated. Fr. Colin Wen was appointed Parochial Administrator of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in July 2017.
OLOP seats about 250 people in the nave. There is a detached church hall, in which social and charitable functions are held, as well as regular meetings of the Our Lady of the Pines Society and the Young Men’s Institute #137. The church community is vibrant, active, and welcoming to all.