Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Parish for the Week of February 25:

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Forest Grove (Verboort)


This week our good friend Sister Krista Von Borstel, SSMO, was excited to nominate Visitation Parish in Verboort as our Parish of the Week! Led by pastor Fr. Michael Vuky, this historic parish is full of rich tradition and strong faith. Here’s a little bit about the parish:

  • Verboort is famous for it’s annual Sausage and Sauerkraut Dinner in early November, which began in 1934. This event features sausage, kraut, and applesauce handmade by the community. 14-16 tons of sausage and almost 8,000 dinners are served to benefit the parish and school.
  • Other annual events include the parish rummage sale – happening this coming weekend – as well as a parish picnic in July under their 140 year old Redwoods.
    Visitation Catholic School was founded in 1883 and serves PreK to 8th grade. There has been a sister from Sisters of Saint Mary of Oregon teaching and assisting at the school for over a century!
  • Pastor Fr. Michael Vuky is a graduate of Valley Catholic, and oversees 3 parishes and 2 schools!
  • Parish activities include RCIA, Sacramental Prep, Altar Service, Altar Society, CYO, the Knights of Columbus, Religious Education, and Youth Group!

Hear our interview with school principal, Carol Funk!

History of the Parish

  • The church was established in 1875 with the arrival of six adventurous Catholic Dutch families.
  • These included John Verboort, his wife Theodora, and their four children (one of whom would become the Catholic priest, Father William Verboort).
  • They left Holland in 1848 because the famine. They traveled from Boston to Buffalo and settled in Wisconsin for 25 years.
  • Then were drawn west by promise of better life and resolved to buy a farm here. They all lived under one roof for a while land was surveyed and divided, houses and stables built, and farm cultivated.
  • Fr. William Verboort was soon able to transfer from his diocese in Wisconsin to his family’s new home, and settlers built a rough temporary chapter. The community called itself  “The Catholic Colony of Forest Grove” in 1875.
  • Fr. Verboort had many accomplishments but never robust health, and never recovered from a knee infection. Soon after arriving, he had to give the last rites to both his mother and father, being so ill himself that local men transported him by wheelbarrow to his father’s deathbed. Within a couple of weeks, he died of his leg infection and pneumonia.
  • Archbishop Blanchet traveled to Forest Grove to say Fr. William’s requiem Mass. At this time the name of the community was changed to “Verboort” in honor of the founding family.

About Visitation Catholic School

  • Visitation is a PreK to 8th grade “Catholic Parish School that promotes life-long learning, responsible citizenship, academic excellence, and sharing the Good News and love of Jesus Christ.”
  • The first informal school and church were built in 1975 when the founders of the town arrived.
  • In 1883, a new church was built and named Our Lady of the Visitation. The old church was converted into a two-room schoolhouse. The first lay teacher arrived at this time.
  • Archbishop Blanchet founded the community of The Sisters of Saint Mary of Oregon primarily for the education of the youth in parochial schools.
  • In January 1891, the first Sisters of Saint Mary of Verboort arrived. There has been a sister from the Sisters of Saint Mary of Oregonteaching and assisting at VCS for over a century!
  • Some school traditions include The Blessing of the Animals on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, The May crowning of Mary, Weekly Mass, Catholic Schools Week, field trips, Christmas program, spring musical, All School Science Fair,, outdoor school, and buddy program.

Find out more through their website and over the air throughout the week!