Holy Rosary Church, Woodland, CA

The landmark Holy Rosary Church in downtown Woodland is a massive neo-Romanesque structure which contains beautiful stained-glass windows in its awe-inspiring space. The structure that opened in 1949 is on-par architecturally with the nearby local old and new courthouses and is home to a growing parish and parish school.

In addition to the windows, the interior contains many unique traditional statues, as well as a beautiful shrine for Our Lady of Guadalupe so dear to the many of Hispanic descent in the parish and the community. The church continues to be open daily for private prayer and is holding both on-line and in-person Masses during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are eight Sunday Masses and daily Mass at 8:30 a.m.

Holy Rosary Church stands as a massive monument to the history and vibrancy of the Roman Catholic Church in Woodland, the County Seat of Yolo County California. This fourth church home of the Holy Rosary Parish was dedicated on October 2, 1949, on the Feast of the Holy Rosary. At the corner of Court and Walnut Streets in downtown Woodland, the modern Romanesque-design structure stands over 100-feet high and is made of white granite-faced reinforced concrete. Crosses rise to the skies from the peaks of the tiled-roof at each end of the cruciform layout; along with a slender cross topping the 108-foot bell tower which is visible throughout the city.

The west-facing façade of the church reflects the Romanesque design with a nearly 50-foot rounded arch portal encasing a large rose window with tracery of an eight-petaled flower above a vertical ribbed design above the double entrance doors. The Romanesque features are also seen in the heavy walls with narrow, arched window openings on either side of the nave.

On the north side of the church, is a moving scene of Jesus’ crucifixion cast in stark white showing Jesus hanging dead on the cross surrounded only by three sorrowful women (Mary Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas). This highly visible reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice stands along the busy Court Street for many to see and experience each day.

The church property comprises nearly one-quarter of a block in the historic area of the city near the old County Courthouse. This centrally located plot also houses the parish rectory and administrative offices, as well as a parish hall and small parking lot.

Address: 301 Walnut Street, Woodland, CA

Phone: (530) 662-2805


Sacramento Diocesan Archives – Boll, Father John E., Archivist. The History of Holy Rosary Parish, Part I – II. https://www.scd.org/archives

Sanctuary and Main Altar — Holy Rosary Church, Woodland

The entire layout of the church leads the focus to the sparsely adorned sanctuary on the eastern end of the church. The long, high-ceilinged nave leads to a series of steps rising from the main floor to the main altar and finally the back altar which holds the golden tabernacle. The Holy Eucharist and overhead crucifix beneath the majestic 25-foot-high ciborium attracts attention immediately upon entry at the opposite end of the building.

Neo-Romanesque Architecture — Holy Rosary Church, Woodland

The Holy Rosary Church in downtown Woodland is an excellent example of neo-Romanesque church architecture. The prefix “neo” simply means “new” and is appended to the word “Romanesque” to indicate an architectural style employed to replicate designs from the Romanesque period which was most prevalent in church buildings in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine — Holy Rosary Church, Woodland

Of special prominence in the church is the shrine for Our Lady of Guadalupe to the left of the sanctuary. The large wooden cabinet has columns of intricate carvings of roses, scrollwork and keys and holds a beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was imprinted on the tilma of Juan Diego that is now enshrined in the Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

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