St. Birgitta’s Catholic Church, Portland

Our Parish for the Week of May 28:

St. Birgitta’s Catholic Church, Portland

A few quick facts about the Parish:

  • Birgitta’s in located in the Linnton area, off Highway 30 to the Northwest, on St. Helen’s Road past the St. Johns Bridge.
  • Pastor Fr. Joshua Clifton is assigned to St. Birgitta and St. Mary’s in Vernonia.
  • The parish serves people who live in the area, while also attracting people from far away due to the community and the reverent liturgies.
  • Birgitta’s is a young parish with many families and children, and is also growing due to baptisms and new parishioners.
  • They are just completing a renovation! The church has been upgraded significantly inside and a portico has been added to the front of the church.  he sanctuary, floor and pews have been redone.  Another great addition was a TV in the cry room so that people can watch (and with the help of a speaker, hear) the Mass while they are in there.


Liturgy Schedule:

  • Weekend Masses
    • Saturday, 5:00 PM
    • Sunday, 8:00 AM
      • Featuring Latin Gregorian Chant, with beautiful organ pieces played before and after Mass
    • Sunday, 9:30AM
      • Gregorian Chant sung by the Schola on 2nd and 4th Sundays, beautiful organ music
      • Most attended Mass, with many activities taking place afterwards
    • Weekday Masses
      • Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM (Chapel) – English
      • Saturday, 9:00 AM
      • First Fridays, 7:00 PM
    • Confessions:
      • Thirty minutes prior to each weekend Mass
    • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament:
      • Every Friday after the 9:00 AM Mass until 10:30 AM in the chapel.


Parish Activities:

  • Catholic Friendship Group
    • The Catholic Friendship Group in the Archdiocese of Portland is for single Catholics ages 40 to 60 who are looking to grow in Faith and fellowship. The Catholic Friendship Group meets every other week for prayer, a talk on a prepared theme and a social.
    • Upcoming topics / theme (planned out through the end of the year)
      • June 7 – First Friday Mass and Social
      • June 21 – Shrines and Relics in Oregon and Washington
      • July 5 – St. Bridget of Sweden
      • July 19 – Spirituality of Religious Orders
    • Just did a Bible Study on the Book of Numbers
    • Parish Potlucks
      • Second Sunday of the month, after 9:30 AM Mass
      • Last Saturday of the month, after 5:00 PM Mass
    • Coffee and Donuts
      • First Sunday of the month after the 8:00 AM Mass
      • Every Sunday after the 9:30 AM Mass
    • Children’s Catechism
      • Second Sundays of the month – After 9:30 AM Mass (during the potluck)
    • Youth Confirmation
      • Fourth Sundays of the month – After 9:30 AM Sunday Mass
    • Adult Catechism
      • Sundays – After 9:30 AM Mass
    • Trail Life USA
      • Boys, Kindergarten through 12th grade
    • American Heritage Girls
      • Girls, Kindergarten through 12th grade.
      • Recently hosted a baby shower for the many new mothers in the parish


Upcoming Events:    

  • Free Scola Concert on Thursday, May 30, at 6:15 PM. Followed by a 7:00 PM Corpus Christi Mass and Procession.
  • Special Mass to celebrate the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, May 31, at 7:00 PM.
  • 2024 Sacred Liturgy Conference
    • June 4 – 8, 2024, in Ferndale, California
    • Parish involved in putting together the conference
    • This year Fr. Joshua Clifton is the MC and will interview Cardinal Müller via live feed from Rome
    • Three sung Gregorian Liturgies and one Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy

History of the Parish:

  • The parish started with Mass in private homes and a mission from St. Peter’s Catholic Chapel car before officially becoming a mission parish. Mass was celebrated in town dance hall for months while the church was being built. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated in July 1916.
  • Due to unusual geography of the area and the location of local Catholics, the church was built on two steep lots, on stilts, and had 3 stories. The top floor (church) was connected by a wooden bridge to Highway 30. The first priest in charge of the parish, Fr. Smith, wrote to ask permission for bridge. On receiving no reply, they built the bridge anyway and later asked for forgiveness (which he was given).
  • Because of the unique structure, the church was featured three times in Ripley’s “Believe It or Not.”
  • For several years, the priests lived in St. Johns and was rowed across the river each Sunday (where St. John’s Bridge is now), and then walked the rest of the way. The ferry didn’t run on Sundays!
  • Visit the History of the Parish section on St. Birgitta’s website for more wonderful photos and history.

Find out more through their website