Mass Times

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Sunday 9 am & 5 pm
at St. Ignatius Mission
Sunday 11:30 am
at Sacred Heart, Arlee
Friday 8 am Mass with Adoration
at Sacred Heart, Arlee

Sunday Masses will also be live-streamed
from our sister parish, St. Francis Xavier at
10:00 am

Sunday July 5th, 2020

Fourteen Sunday in Ordinary Time

To watch Fr. Hightower’s Mass from St. Francis Xavier parish

Click HERE 


Sunday June 28, 2020

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary time Mass will be

live streamed at 10:00 am from our Sister Parish

St. Francis Xavier, click HERE to view


Sunday June 21, 2020

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary time Mass will be 

Live streamed at 10:00 am, click  HERE to view.

Sunday May 31, 2020 

Pentecost Sunday Mass will be live at 9:00 am, click HERE to view.

Sunday, May 24, 2020 

Seventh Sunday of Easter Mass, click HERE to view.

Tuesday, May 19, 2002

To read Fr. Hightower’s re-opening letter click HERE.

To read our re-opening guidelines click HERE.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Sixth Sunday of Easter Mass, click HERE to view.

Sunday, May 10, 2020 

The Fifth Sunday of Easter Mass, click HERE to view.

Sunday, May 2, 2020

The Forth Sunday of Easter Mass, click HERE to view.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

On updated information received from the CSKT-Lake County Unified Command Center, the CSKT Council has asked St. Ignatius Mission to not re-open our church for services.   While Lake County is slowly re-opening some businesses; the tribe remains closed.  Neither the CSKT nor Lake County web sites list information about houses of worship re-opening. 

There will be no public Masses at St. Ignatius Mission until further notice. 

I would like to remind you that all parish functions and activities continue to be suspended.

Bishop Vetter has continued to suspend the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

Because some Catholic Churches in the area are open on a limited basis and others remain closed, we are asking parishioners to wait until our parish is open to attend public Mass.  You may very well be turned away from other parishes.    

Our Parish Mass will be posted every Sunday at 9 am MST.  

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Third Sunday of Easter Mass; click HERE to view.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Parish announcement from Fr. Hightower, SJ about Montana’s phase I re-opening plan, click HERE.

To read the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe Council’s SIP resolution, click HERE.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

On April 22nd, Governor Bullock introduced guidelines for Phrase I of re-opening Montana.  Under these guidelines, houses of worship may, with proper social distancing, hold services as early as this weekend, April 25th-26th.  Bishop Vetter has left the decision for publicly held Masses up to individual parishes, provided they can do so safely and under certain liturgical guidelines.  In preparation for these re-openings and out of an abundance of concern for the safety of all people, Bishop Vetter is requiring all parishes to submit and receive approval for plans of re-opening that cover a number of areas. 

After conversations with various members of St. Ignatius Mission’s parish council, the staff of our parish, and in discernment with the Ravalli Jesuit Community, it is clear that we will not be in a position to receive approval before this Sunday, April 26th.  Therefore, we will not celebrate public Masses this weekend at St. Ignatius Mission, Sacred Heart Mission, or John Berchmans. We will submit our plans for re-opening on Monday, April 27th.  This will allow for implementing the needed social distancing, cleaning,  and liturgical guidelines Bishop Vetter is asking of all parishes.  It is my hope and desire that we will re-open St. Ignatius Mission, Sacred Heart & John Berchmans on Sunday, May 3rd.      

The obligation to attend Sunday Mass continues to be suspended.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

On April 22nd, Governor Bullock published guidelines for phase I of lifting his stay at home directive. 

This phase includes opening houses of worship if proper social distancing is maintained. Read Governor Bullock’s guidelines HERE.

Bishop Vetter has not yet lifted the Suspension of Masses for the Diocese of Helena.  Once the suspension is lifted, the parish staff will communicate how and when Masses will resume at St. Ignatius Mission Parish, Sacred Heart Mission and John Berchmans.  Please watch our parish website, Twitter account, and Instagram for updates.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Second Sunday of Easter Mass; click HERE to view.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

St. Ignatius in the news, click HERE.

‘Murals of Saint Ignatius Church highlight Easter season’

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Morning Mass; click HERE to join us in prayer

We are united with you at home and with Christian communities all over the world to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.  The Paschal Candle burns brightly casting away all darkness. 

Christ is risen, truly risen!

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Stations of the Cross; click HERE to follow along.

We reached out to friends in our community and across the country to lead us in prayer and reflection on Good Friday. We hope that these Stations of the Cross will bring us close in prayer spiritually since we cannot be together physically. At the beginning of each Station, the Leader will invoke “We adore you, o Christ, and we bless you…” your response from home is “Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.”  At the end of each Station, the leader will pray, “Your attitude must be that of Christ, who humbled himself…” your response from home is “..obediently accepting death, even death on a cross.”

Click HERE to view Father Hightower’s Palm Sunday Mass from Flathead Lake. 

All public Masses in the Diocese of Helena are currently suspended.  Along with these suspensions, all parish functions are also suspended.  St. Ignatius Mission Church and grounds are closed. During these uncertain times, we invite you to continue to support your parish and local communities.  You may join your faith community in prayer by following and participating on-line with the Church.  

Bishop Austin A. Vetter will celebrate privately daily liturgies.  Daily masses are at noon and will be livestreamed on the diocesan website:

Fr. Hightower, SJ,  and the entire parish team will continue to pray for each and every one of you during these weeks ahead.

Click HERE for a letter from Bishop Vetter.

Bishop Vetter has encouraged all to pray the ‘Spiritual Communion Prayer’ when praying Mass on-line.



***Masks to be worn entering and leaving the church; they may be removed once one is socially distant in one’s pew or chair. We ask everyone to err on the side of generosity and care for one’s neighbor.

The Mission

All are welcome to the following mass times in St. Ignatius


9:00 am (Vulnerable and Aged)


5:00 pm (Families and Children)


8:00 am (Followed by Eucharist Adoration until 10:00 am. Confessions will be available.)

Monday-Tuesday Rectory

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Sacred Heart

All are welcome to the following mass times in Arlee


11:30 am (Open)

John Berchmans

All are welcome to the following mass times in Jocko


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Our Mission

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St. Ignatius Mission consists of three communities: The Mission, Sacred Heart Mission/Arlee, and John Berchmans/Jocko. Located among the Salish & Kootenai peoples, we are Catholic communities of the Diocese of Helena grounded in the Jesuit tradition. We search for God's will on a continuous basis, responding to the evolving needs of our people and our society, especially in the areas of sacramental ministry, enculturation, spiritual development, faith formation, and social justice.

Our History

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Indian Peoples and Jesuits in the West have participated together in an unfolding story for the past 180 years.

– Patrick J. Twohy, S.J.

Visions came in the late 1700’s to Chief Shining Shirt of the Pend d’Oreille tribe in Mission Valley, Montana, that one day men would come in black robes and teach important new truths about religion. Some years later Catholic Iroquois spread throughout the West working as canoemen for the Hudson’s Bay Company. They too spoke of a new religion and of men in black robes who carried a crucifix and said a great prayer.

These early traditions had a dramatic meeting in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula in 1820. A band of Catholic Mohawk Iroquois had migrated under the leadership of Ignace LaMousse and settled among the Salish Flatheads in their Bitterroot Valley. Old Ignace, as he was known, taught the sign of the cross and Catholic prayers to the Flatheads, baptized their children, and marked their graves with a cross. He urged the need for Blackrobes who could say the great prayer (Mass) among them.

In 1831 a delegation of Flatheads and allied Nez Perce journeyed 1600 miles to St. Louis to seek Blackrobes. The delegates’ deaths prevented the acquisitions of Blackrobes. In 1835, and again in 1837, Old Ignace traveled to St. Louis to petition for Blackrobes. However, a Sioux attack on the South Platte River resulted in the deaths of LaMousse and his traveling companions.

An 1839 delegation encountered Fr. Peter De Smet, a Belgian Jesuit in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and convinced him to come to the Flatheads. Arriving in 1840, De Smet was so impressed with the eagerness of the Flatheads, their knowledge of Christianity, and their morals, he returned to St. Louis to secure funding for the founding of Catholic Missions.

In rapid succession, De Smet of his fellow Jesuits founded missions among the Flatheads in 1841, the Coeur d’Alenes in 1842, the Kalispels in 1844 and the Colviles in 1845.

St. Ignatius Mission Parish was founded in 1845 by Fathers De Smet, S.J. and Adrian Hoecken, S.J. along the Washington/Idaho border and moved to our present location in 1854. The Mission, and the town which grew up around it, were the home to the first Jesuit theologate and industrial arts school in Montana. The home to the first Catholic Sisters, (1864), first Catholic school, and hospital in Montana. St. Ignatius Mission is the oldest continually active Catholic parish, in the Jesuit tradition, in the West.


Excerpted and edited from the pamphlets:

“Visions of Chiefs and the Iroquois Connection: The Northwest Tribes and the Catholic Way” by Rev. Thomas Connolly, S.J.


“St. Ignatius Mission: National Historic Site” by Rev. Joseph Obersinner, S.J. and Judy Griztmacher.


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