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placeholder May 18, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA

The dedication Mass for the Church of the Good Shepard on Sept. 6, 1970. At the altar, from left, Rev. Louis Dabovich, Bishop Floyd L. Begin and Msgr. James Wade.
Catholic Voice file photo

Church of the Good Shepherd celebrates
50 year anniversary

Our story began more than 100 years ago when the Dominican Fathers established Pittsburg's first Catholic Church, St. Peter Martyr. As agriculture, fishing and other industrial enterprises developed, so did the need for additional religious facilities in Pittsburg's fast-growing residential area.

 

50-year events

May 30-31:
Parish Flock Party, Mass with Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

July 11:
Mass and dinner with Bishop John S. Cummins

Aug. 14-15:
parish retreat with Tim Staples, director of Catholic Answers

Nov. 3-13: Marian Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Fatima and Spain

By the numbers
Registered parishioners
1,683 households
4,720 individuals

Ethnicities
55% Filipino
20% Caucasian
15% Latino/Hispanic
3% Tongan
2% Vietnamese
No record — others

— 2014, Church of the
Good Shepherd

 
On May 25, 1965, Bishop Floyd L. Begin appointed Rev. Louis Dabovich, a priest from Yugoslavia, as the first pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd. He served for 32 years and stayed in the parish until his death in 2001.

A former furniture store was leased and transformed into the first church. The first Mass was celebrated on July 4, 1965 and we became affectionately known as "The Supermarket Church."

On Sept. 6, 1970, our present church and rectory were completed and officially dedicated by Bishop Begin. The church sits on the former Camp Stoneman, an Army base that served as a major staging area in World War II and the Korean War. Named after George Stoneman, a cavalry commander during the Civil War, the camp was activated in 1942 and decommissioned as a military post in 1954.

Our present parish hall was completed in April 1980 and was officially dedicated by Bishop John S. Cummins and named after the beloved Father Louie Dabovich. This hall is one of the biggest halls and event centers in Pittsburg and well-known for hosting crab feeds, quinceañeras, wedding banquets, dinner dances and parties and other religious and civic events.

During the course of the years, we have established many ministries to carry on the work of Christ. Some of those are St. Vincent de Paul, RCIA, Altar Guild, Women's Guild Ushers, Lectors, Faith Formation, Music, Eucharistic Ministers, Grief Support, Hospitality, Social Justice, Youth Ministry, Children's Liturgy, Pastoral Council, Finance Committee, Altar Servers, CYO and Ushers and Stewardship.

In February 1997, Rev. Helmut Richter was named pastor, replacing Father Dabovich after his retirement. Under Father Richter's leadership, the parish Ministry Building was erected in 2000. Today the Ministry Building houses all of the parish offices and is used as a meeting space by many ministries and community organizations.

Father Richter's vision of a Spiritual Garden was realized in 2002. The beautiful recreation and prayer area was built through the hard work and generosity of many parishioners, benefactors and people in our community. Currently, this garden has Stations of the Cross where people can do their devotions and being used by ministry groups and parishioners by the parish to host wedding banquets, parish events and fundraisers.

Upon the retirement of Father Helmut in 2012, Archbishop Alexander Brunnet, the apostolic administrator of the diocese, appointed Rev. Rolando Bartolay as the parish administrator; Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, appointed Rev. Carl Arcosa as parish administrator in September 2013.

With the leadership of Father Arcosa, the parish operates under the vision-mission: Good Shepherd Catholic Parish … One Flock … One Family … Living and Sharing the Love of Christ.

Through God's grace and blessings, we have more ministries that were added to our parish such as La Pieta Group, the St. Pedro Calungsod Filipino Ministry, the Hispanic/Latino Ministry and the Divine Mercy Prayer Group. We have also fully embraced the work of social justice begun through our St. Vincent de Paul Ministry, and have added Brown Bag and Shepherd's Closet and other charity work for the poor and needy in the parish.

Father Arcosa plans to build a "shower for the homeless" with the guidance and support of the parish pastoral council, parish finance council and St. Vincent de Paul. With our passion for the care for the sick, the homebound and the elderly, we have Tuesday Holy Communion to the homebound and the sick and the monthly Mass held at Diamond Ridge Rehab Center every second Tuesday at Stoneman Village Senior Facility every fourth Thursday.

Currently, we have almost 500 individuals both children and adults enrolled or registered in our Religious Education Ministry and Program. For our spiritual nourishment and growth, we have our Lenten and Advent Parish Evening of Reflection, the Annual Parish Mission Retreat, Annual Lenten 40-day Holy Hour, Friday Holy Hour, Month of the Rosary in May and October, hold devotional prayers to our Mother of Perpetual Help, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and soon the Devotion to the Holy Infant Child Jesus. We have also a Blessed Sacrament Chapel which is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As we strive to build and gather as a family and community, we have integrated the Parish Monthly Dinners and the Annual Flock Party, which is considered as our own annual parish festival.

We, as a parish, have experienced ups and downs, challenges and victories and sorrows and joy. We hope that together we may receive on our year of jubilee God's immense blessing and the grace to become a vibrant community where each one is formed and transformed to be truly a disciple of Christ sharing and living His Love and Mercy.

— Compiled by the staff at the Church of the Good Shepherd

 
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