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placeholder November 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA

The current St. Leander church was dedicated in 1957.
The Catholic Voice

St. Leander Parish begins celebration of its 150th year

St. Leander Parish begins its sesquicentennial celebration at all Masses the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 with the reading of this proclamation:

"On November 27th, 1863 this land upon which we have built God's church was donated by the Estudillo Family, to the people of God in San Leandro. The Church of San Leandro, in grateful remembrance, celebrates one hundred and fifty years at St. Leander Parish, following Christ the Light to all nations by a Jubilee year, a year acceptable to the Lord, a year of mercy and grace, a year of reconciliation and forgiveness, of salvation and peace. Celebrating the past, embracing the future, in Christ Jesus the Lord!"

With banners inside and bunting outside the church, the celebration begins, with various groups in the parish community participating in the Masses. St. Leander School and choir will participate in the 4:30 p.m. Nov. 30 Mass.

The CCD program will participate at the 8 a.m. Dec. 1 Mass, with the Spanish community participating at the 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 Mass, as well as the 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Masses on Dec. 1.

The Filipino community and choir will participate at the 11 a.m. Mass on Dec. 1.

In addition to the special blessing imparted at all Masses that weekend, the parish plans a half-dozen events in 2014 to celebrate its 150th year. Photos and documents chronicling the parish history are being gathered and will be displayed at some of the events during the year.

According to the church history, the land was granted by the Estudillo Family on Nov. 27, 1863. Construction of the church began in January 1864.

At noon on March 1, 2014, a peace pole will be installed on the lawn area in front of the rectory. There will be one main pole in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Tagalog; smaller poles in additional languages are also planned. A reception will follow this event.

On June 14, 1864, Father James Callan became the first pastor to be assigned to the church. A celebration on June 14, 2014 with the 4:30 p.m. Mass followed by a reception, will honor past and present employees of St. Leander Church.

Rev. Paul Vassar has served as pastor since 2004.

The original St. Leander Church, which stood at the site of the present elementary school, was dedicated on Aug. 7, 1864. (The current church was dedicated in 1957.) Three days of festivities are planned in August to commemorate that event. Fiesta and block parties, from 6 to 9 p.m., are planned for Aug. 7 and 8, 2014. The Sesquicentennial Mass will be celebrated outdoors at 5 p.m. Aug. 9, 2014.

Additional events on the calendar are the St. Leander Parish Festival on Sept. 13, 2014, and the closing of the Jubilee year on Nov. 29-30, 2014.

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