1171 NE Sand Hill Rd | Belfair, WA 98528

Parish History

Prince of Peace Parish History

  •  1950’s:
    • In the early 50's a group of Christian men gathered to discuss building some sort of structure to be used for various church services. Land was donated and plans were drawn for the building.  It became evident a specific denomination needed to facilitate the effort and the Belfair Community Baptist congregation stepped forward. 
  • 1960’s:
    • The early stages of the parish, religious education classes were held during the 60's upstairs in the Fire Department Hall on Ste Rte. 3.
    • At that time Belfair families had the choice to attend Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton, St. Edwards Church in Shelton or St. Gabriel’s in Port Orchard. The Archdiocese realigned parish boundaries in the late 1960, North Mason was added to the St. Gabriel boundary.
  • 1970’s:
    • After a Mass at a local home, the Hall Family approached the Baptist Congregation asking if we could rent their church on Saturday evenings for Mass, they agreed.
    • Father Don Piro officiated Mass from 1971-1976 at the Baptist Church, during these four years the and the congregation grew.
    • The children received their Sacraments at St. Gabriel, attended Faith Formation and Youth Groups were formed.
    • Women of the Belfair Community began talking about having a Catholic women's group in Belfair. They met in homes and eventually the discussion turned to the need for a local church.
    • Sacramental supplies (hosts and wine) were stored at individuals’ homes, we had a small locker for supplies which were donated to the congregation. Our hosts, The Baptist Community Church, were gracious and inviting making worship a wonderful event.
    • Father Patrick O’Neill was instrumental in establishing the group as a Mission. He recognized the need for our own facility and purchased a piece of land on highway 3 a short distance above the South Shore stop light. A building committee began assessing all of the ramifications of the huge project.
  • 1980’s:
    • The Belfair Community Festival was born from a local lady who returned from Hawaii where she helped a friend working a school carnival. The entire Belfair
    • Catholic Community pitched in and each year the Belfair Midsummer Festival grossed over $5,000 each year.
    • We celebrated many occasions using their facility for parish dinners, meetings, Wednesday Religious Education, baptisms, weddings and funerals. 
    • Parishioners were asked to pledge money for the project.
    • An architect was chosen, A liturgical consultant was hired.
    • The congregation hired an outside consultant, we were told the land on Rte. 3 was totally unsuitable for a church.
    • God’s Gift of Patience and Tenacity are virtues because, though disappointment, within a few months Tony Hannan discovered the property on which the church is now located
  • 1990’s:
    • The building committee was a mixed group. There were discussions, agreements, disagreements and a lot of learning. Vatican II had dictated a lot of changes from the church in which we grew up. It was 5 years in the planning, praying before construction began.
    • Upon completion of our facility the North Mason Chamber of Commerce elected to continue the festival renaming it Taste of Hood Canal.
    • In the 1990’s St. Gabriel sold a portion of their property to the Post Office they gave us $100,000, added to our already raised $100,000 we approached the Archdiocese with the request to build a church.
    • Cloquet donated a number of books and a parishioner spent a summer creating an actual library, cataloging all of the materials.
    • James Cathedral donated their pews to Prince of Peace.  It was decided not to use them however their lumber was used for the altar, ambo, presiders chair, processional cross, sound cabinet, music stands, bulletin boards and all of the baseboard in the church. Two parishioners constructed all of it. 
    • Late 1990’s the local chapter of Knights of Columbus was formed. The group has provided numerous social gatherings, supported seminarians and serves the community of North Mason.
    • An Italian artist was commissioned to carve the Corpus on the processional cross.
    • 1990’s brought a trickle of Guatemalan men and some of their families to Prince of Peace. Fr. Dennis Sevilla welcomed them with open arms. Even while saying 5 Masses on a weekend he added a Sunday afternoon service in Spanish. A full dinner was provided following Mass provided for by a Rice Bowl grant and the devout care of two women. The community has grown to overflowing the church each weekend. Two Dominican nun’s Sr. Gertrude Pena and Sr. Sienna Smith visited monthly offering religious education in Spanish, the Mayan second language.
    • Boy Scouts have gifted the parish with their Eagle Scout projects, Girl Scouts utilized the community room for a decade or more, exercise groups and card clubs also have enjoyed our welcoming building.
    • Archdiocese recommendation was to build the Community Room as a multipurpose room.
    • Parishioners enthusiastically formed a very successful St. Vincent De Paul store.
      • It began in a home, and then moved to a renovated commercial garage.
      • Finally, to the former hardware store.
      • Vincent de Paul Store closed operation in Belfair in 2003, the entire operation was given to the local Faith in Action group.
  • 2000’s
    • Ann Montgomery was hired as the 1st Parish Administrator for Prince of Peace.
    • Maryann Shutty replaced Ann Montgomery until her death in 2018.
    • Faith Formation programs were expanded to help the Anglo and Hispanic Communities.
    • 2017 Fr. Ron Belisle a retired Diocesan priest volunteered to help Fr. Phuong with Liturgical Duties at Prince of Peace and St. Gabriel.
    • Late 2018 a new model of Administration was developed to serve St. Gabriel’s and Prince of Peace adding more onsite administration support throughout the week.
    • 2019 a new Marion Garden and memorial walkway was built in the front of the church adding access to the secondary Church entrance doors.
    • Plans to refinish the Community Room floor and hallway have been created. Implementation should be in the Fall of 2019.

Priests and Deacon of the Parish

Fr. Donald Piro

1971

Pastor

Fr. Patrick O'Neill

1976

Pastor

Fr. William Dell

1976

At Large

Fr. Jerry Evoy, SJ

1976

At Large

Fr. Gary Wiesenberger

1980

Associate Pastor

Deacon John Ricciardi

1982

Deacon

Fr. Dennis Sevilla

1984

Pastor

Fr. Tony Haycock

1984

Associate Pastor

Fr. Victor Cloquet

1992

At Large

Fr. Jerry McLoskey

1999

Pastor

Sr. Deana Carr, BVM

2003

Pastoral Administrator

Fr. Thomas Park

2005

Parochial Vicar

Fr. Henry Mulindwa

2009

Priest Administrator

Fr. Phuong Hoang

2010

Pastor