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placeholder Parishes celebrate Feast of Corpus Christi

St. Raymond begins yearlong celebration

Relic of St. Toribio Romo visits Bay Area

Bishop to preach at inaugural Napa Institute

‘The Church was Catholic from the very first moment’

Sisters of the Holy Family make plans for ‘public jewel’

Elder abuse workshop
planned for June 28

Help from Hope Hospice

Quiz helps adult children have ‘that talk’ with aging parents

It’s never too late to improve health

Pittsburg clinic receives $40,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente

CYO results

Raiders lend hand to urban schools

OBITUARY: Father Martial Luebke, OFM


placeholder June 20, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
St. Raymond begins yearlong celebration

“Our suburban parish is rich in children and mortgages,” is how Father John Murphy described St. Raymond Parish, not long after its founding.

Golden anniversary festivities began with a Mass on June 12 at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin.
José luis aguirre photo

As the Dublin parish begins a yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary, there will be ample opportunities for the parishioners — now 3,000 families strong — to gather together and recognize their many accomplishments.

The jubilee was the idea of the pastor, Father Robert McCann.

“Father Bob announced in 2010 that he wanted to see a yearlong celebration,” said Ron Fedore, who is chairing the jubilee year events. “He wanted us to follow our mission statement: worship, serve, grow and connect.”

“I took the word ‘connect’ and ran with it,” said Fedore, who has been a member of the parish for 18 years.

The theme for the jubilee year is “50 Years of Blessings, A Year of Favor . . . 50 Years of Blessings.”

The June 12 kickoff — a noon Mass and multicultural potluck — also gave the parish the opportunity to bid farewell to Father McCann, who will become pastor of St. Teresa Church in Oakland on July 15. It will mark the second time the pastor has gone from St. Raymond to St. Teresa, Fedore noted.

The faces of the suburban parish have changed over 50 years. What was once a very Anglo community has grown multicultural, with the addition of many Hispanic and Filipino parishioners. A “growing, loving community” attends the Spanish-language Mass at St. Raymond, Father McCann said.

Over the course of the year, parishioners will be invited to many events. At the kickoff event, Fedore and his committee unveiled a “skeleton” time line of parish history. Throughout the year, parishioners will be invited to add their own milestones.

To illustrate their diversity, parishioners are being invited to pinpoint their hometowns on a large map of the world. And everyone will be asked to participate in the creation of a photo mosaic. By using a small photo of each parishioner, a piece of art will be made that people will pass as they walk into the church.

The focus will also remain on one of the hallmarks of the Dublin parish: service. There are 52 organizations, committees and action groups, Father McCann said. In addition to 150 Eucharistic ministers, there are 25 special ministers to the homebound. The parish is also active in the ministry to both the nearby Alameda County Jail at Santa Rita and the federal prison in Dublin, with more than 60 volunteers making visits.

The future is being nurtured as well. Father McCann points to the “vibrant school of 300 students,” the last Catholic school built in the Diocese of Oakland. There are about 1,200 students in religious education, and just recently 113 young people were confirmed.

After its first year, the parish reported 600 families with 950 children in CCD. The First Communion class numbered 145.

Many groups — including “incredibly generous” Knights of Columbus, who not only host popular fish fry dinners but make donations to both the school and parish; five choirs; and social justice groups, including JustFaith, Catholic Daughters and The Women’s Guild — will have the opportunity over the course of the year to not only be recognized for their achievements, but to welcome new participants.

Archbishop John J. Mitty established St. Raymond Parish on June 24, 1961, but there was no church for quite some time. Masses were celebrated in the chapel at nearby Camp Parks.

The first building constructed on the St. Raymond site was a multi-use building that would serve as the church for a decade. The first Mass was celebrated in what Father Murphy described to the Catholic Voice, on that Thanksgiving 1966, as “contemporary Mediterranean Safeway.”

Father Murphy did not live to see it replaced. The first Mass in the new church was offered on July 16, 1977, with formal dedication ceremonies following on Sept. 18. The celebrant was Bishop John S. Cummins.

Another milestone in the life of the parish was the opening of St. Raymond School in 1986. An education building followed in 1996.

Celebrants in this jubilee year will leave a little something for future parishioners to discover: A time capsule will be filled. There isn’t a time capsule from the early days. But there is this, from the Jan. 28, 1970, issue of the Catholic Voice: “Perhaps our best memorial would be to continue giving of our ‘time and talent’ to the parish as he asked us many times,” Mrs. William M. Carlisle wrote in a tribute to Father Murphy on behalf of the parishioners. “And maybe we can do whatever we’re doing just a little better.”

Parishioners have been giving in service to the community for these 41 years after. It’s time, Fedore said, “to give everyone an ‘Atta boy.’”

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