Newcomers’ Resources

Newcomers’ Resources

Welcome to Saint Michael Parish!

We’re very glad you’ve decided to make Saint Michael Parish your spiritual home. We’ve tried to make this page a one-stop shopping resource to help you get acquainted with your community and rapidly get plugged in to parish life. Check out Fr. Jim’s short welcome video, then scroll down and get started!

First Steps

The first thing you should do is join us for Mass every Sunday at either our downtown or Westside locations! Directions and Mass times can be found here.

Please note that our downtown church is undergoing an extensive renovation and our primary Mass location through September 2018 is the Westside Chapel.

Registration. Our hope is that you’ll cement your relationship with us by registering in the parish. You can do that by filling out a registration form at the link below or stopping by the parish office any time during business hours (Mon-Thurs, 9-5, Fridays 9-noon). Or, you can simply download and print a registration form, then either mail it to us or drop it off the next time you come for Mass.

Click here for online registration

Click here to download a parish registration form

Orientation. On the third Sunday of the month, we offer an orientation for newcomers. Normally held after the 10AM Mass at the downtown (school gym through renovation period)  location, the orientation will provide you with lots of information in one setting. You’ll get a tour of the church and facilities, information on ministry opportunities and happenings, and a meet & greet with our Pastor or Parochial Vicar.  Just meet your hosts under the flag in the gym following Mass. You’ll normally see dates for orientations published at least a week in advance in the bulletin, plus an announcement at the end of Mass on the day of to remind you.

Small Groups. As an adult, the single most effective way to rapidly plug in and engage with parish life is to enroll in one of our Small Groups. These groups are a primary way in which we build disciples, offer continuous adult faith formation, and how we often connect with one another socially outside of the Mass. Comprised of as few as 6 to as many as a dozen or more members, some groups meet year-round and will warmly welcome you into the fold. Most groups meet weekly in a group member’s home to pray, perform lectio divina (an ancient form of praying the Gospel readings), and generally offer support to one another. Some groups undertake structured programs like a ten-week study of Bp. Robert Barron’s Catholicism DVD series or will spend a few weeks on some other structured programs. Some groups simply meet to pray and have fellowship. Twice per year, usually in concert with Advent and Lent, we offer formalized Small Group sessions that run for a dedicated six week period and feature a course of Gospel study and video reflections each week from Fr. Jim. Many groups form for that six week period and then disband until the next dedicated session.

The goal for continuing groups is to enrich members’ faith and help each person to center their life around God. We also hope groups will continually expand and eventually divide as new members are added. Perhaps you’ll quickly find that you’d like to be a facilitator yourself and begin to form a new group. That’s how we continue to build the Kingdom and make disciples!

Click here to learn more about and register for a Small Group


Saint Michael is a Stewardship Parish. As such, we recognize that everything we have is a gift from God and that we are called to return a portion of those gifts back to God. As disciples, we give of our time, our talent, and our treasure.

Time. At Saint Michael Parish, our goal is for all members to commit to M.A.S.S. – Making All Sundays Sacred. The weekly sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist are the source and summit of our faith and we hope all parishioners honor that time. We should also return the gift of time to God is through prayer. Prayer must under-gird all of our efforts as disciples of Christ. Father Jim has long advocated a “five & five” approach to prayer: give God at least five minutes in the morning and at least five minutes at night. For us as Christians, nothing is more important than the relationship we have with God, and nothing strengthens that relationship like consistent, faithful, and thankful prayer.

Talent. We all have unique God-given gifts, ways in which we can work to build the Kingdom like no one else. But, we must also remember that our gifts are given to us by God to be used not for ourselves, but for others! There are so many ways in which we can do that, and so many ministry opportunities here at Saint Michael Parish. It is our expectation that every member will find at least one ministry each year to which they commit their service. Some churches just want to get people into the pews, but we’d rather get everyone out of the pews and into service!

Click to visit the landing page for ministries and explore options

Click to download our Time & Talent Catalog

Treasure. At St. Michael Parish, we don’t do fund raisers. We don’t do second collections. We don’t nickel and dime our members throughout the year. No bake sales. No car washes. Once a year in the fall, we ask every registered family or member to pledge a dollar amount that they will give to support the parish and its ministries for the coming year. We ask our members to prayerfully consider working toward the Biblical tithe of 10% of their income – 6% to Saint Michael Parish and 4% to other charities and worthwhile causes. We also encourage Online Giving, as it ensures on-time delivery of your pledged amount and reduces postage and printing costs. As a new member, we also ask you to fill out a pledge form and commit to financial support of the parish. We can only do the things we do and offer the programs we offer because our members support the parish.

Click here to fill out an online pledge form

Click here to sign up for online giving

Kids’ Faith Formation

We have a host of faith formation programs available for kids of all ages.

Please click here to visit our main Faith Formation landing page

A bit of history and context

Saint Michael Parish is the heir of a Catholic legacy and presence in Thurston County that began in 1848 when Fr. Ricard Pascal and three other priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate landed at what is now Priest Point Park on Olympia’s East Bay Drive. While we no longer operate a school for Native American boys as the original missionaries did, we do still identify with the original spirit of missionary outreach and hospitality. Our goal remains to carry out Christ’s great commission, to carry the Gospel message to all the earth.

The Sisters of Providence established Providence St. Amable Academy, Olympia, Washington, in 1881, at the request of the Reverend Peter Hylebos, then Pastor of St. Michael Parish. The school grew and moved locations several times over the following decades and was eventually sold to the parish in 1926. St. Michael School continues today as Olympia’s only Catholic school and the oldest parochial school in the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Photos of Saint Michael Parish as it looked in the 1950s

Saint Michael Parish has been a fixture in Olympia since the city’s very beginnings. We strive to serve our community, to be a light in the darkness, and a Catholic voice in civic discourse. We seek to engage and evangelize the un-churched and to form disciples of those who enter our halls. We hope you’ll help us to continue building the Kingdom by becoming an active, engaged member who is solidly on the path of discipleship and recognizes that we are the best versions of ourselves when we are actively seeking to fulfill God’s will for our lives. It’s a great adventure, and we’re glad to have you with us.