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  August 6, 2007VOL. 45, NO. 14Oakland, CA

articles list

Parish’s new center appears as Byron landmark

St. Augustine Parish begins its centennial year

St. Joseph the Worker School closed after major drop in enrollment

New superintendent wants schools affordable for all

Diocesan cemeteries adds a second
mortuary to its funeral services

St. Ambrose Parish welcomes new administrator to Berkeley

COR asks San Leandro to add more affordable units to housing plan

Assessment reveals great needs among Monument Corridor seniors

Celebrating Sisters' years of jubilee

Vatican congregation reaffirms truth, oneness of Catholic Church

Church leaders seek ways to
‘implement’ Latin Mass directive

Pope’s letter seeks rapport among Chinese Catholics

The ‘Brad Pitt of Mexico’ gives up fame to make movies that affirm life

Award-winning ‘Bella’ is story of heroic decisions, genuine friendship

Sister Mary Martin
Bush, O.P.

Brother Victor Christian Conners, F.S.C.
Sister Margaret Mary
McSweeney, O.P.

























Parish’s new center appears as Byron landmark

St. Anne Parish moved its original church (left) 600 feet and built its new Community Life Center adjacent to it in downtown Bryon. The center’s Great Hall (with its gold exterior) will serve as space for worship and social events. Parish offices and meeting rooms are in the front of the building, which is painted red. The vibrant colors reflect the agricultural nature of the area and the aesthetic traditions of many cultures within the diocese.
The square freestanding altar, designed by Father Ronald Schmit, pastor, is in the center of the worship space. The early Church used square altars and new Church rubrics call for a return to this shape.

The new Community Life Center of St. Anne Parish rises dramatically amidst the vineyards and rolling hills of Byron. The deep red and butterscotch gold exterior of this 20,000 square-foot facility beckons parishioners and visitors alike to the corner of Camino Diablo and McCabe Road.

More than 700 gathered there July 1 as Bishop Emeritus John Cummins celebrated a Mass blessing the building’s worship space. No longer will the parish need to gather in the gym of Discovery Bay Elementary School for its Sunday liturgies and hold meetings in the converted garage of the parish rectory.

The original St. Anne Church, dedicated in 1917, had seating for about 100. The new Great Hall will seat 800 for Mass and even more for some social events. In the past decade the parish has grown significantly in the last decade and now has about 800 registered families.
Construction of the new center began in the fall of 2005 and concluded just weeks before the dedication ceremony. Total cost was $9.2 million, said Father Ronald Schmit, pastor.

An evening ecumenical service with the pastors and members of Delta Community Presbyterian Church and Byron United Methodist Church as well as civic leaders concluded the July 1 celebration.

Four members of the original St. Anne’s Ladies Guild, from left, Anita Blai, Anna Piazza, Mary Rego and Clara Pereira, place the altar cloth during the liturgy.


Bishop Emeritus John Cummins incenses the altar during the dedication liturgy. The top of the altar is made of California black walnut. The remainder is surrounded by a powder-coated steel plate with metal and brass cutouts and jeweled insets of the Chi-Rho symbol of Christ and vine branches that wrap around all four sides of the altar. The same vine motif also appears on the ambo. It recalls the Scripture passage, “I am the vine and you are the branches.”
Father Ronald Schmit (left), pastor, concelebrates the liturgy with Bishop Emeritus John Cummins. Choir members and musicians join parishioners in song.






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