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placeholder Jubilarians

Salute to our sisters and brothers

As Church growth explodes, parishes can't keep up

Year of Consecrated Life

Bishop Barber
honors jubilarians
with Mass

Aging, the next
frontier for Holy
Family Sisters

Redemptorists fulfill mission of bringing Gospel to the poor

Over time, Mercy Sisters focus
shifted from
education to care

Precious Blood Missionaries celebrating
200th anniversary

New principals welcomed
at diocesan
elementary schools

Father Sullivan joins BOD as religion teacher, chaplain

Going back to
school with FACE

Holy Names
students inspired
at Youth Justice

Leadership changes
at Berkeley's School
of Applied Theology

Adoration gives
people a time to
contemplate God

Catholics@Work unveils 2015-16 speaker series

Apply now for grants
to feed hungry


• Rev. Austin
Conterno, SDB

• Sister Marian
Arroyo, SHF

St. Elizabeth golf tournament part of
the Lema legacy

St. Anne's wraps up
50th year events

Vailankanni festival
coming up

St. Patrick's Seminary
plans annual gala

Chautauqua focuses on Mary

placeholder August 10, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
Year of Consecrated Life
The Precious Blood Missionaries began administering St. Edward Parish in Newark in 1979. They celebrated the parishes' centennial the following year with a parade, and standing in front of the church, Bishop John S. Cummins and the pastor, Father Marvin Steffes, CPPS.
All: Catholic
Voice file

Precious Blood Missionaries celebrating
200th anniversary

On Aug. 15, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, also known as the Society of the Precious Blood, throughout the world will rejoice. The congregation is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding by St. Gaspar del Bufalo.

St. Gaspar was born in Rome, Italy, to a father who was the servant of a wealthy man. His mother Annunziata, was a pious woman who sensed that her son was destined for religious life. St. Gaspar also felt called to the priesthood as a youth. He would visit the sick, poor and the lonely every day.

Ordained to the priesthood at the age of 22, the young priest started a society for farm workers and laborers. His plan was to draw people back to the Church.

A year later Napoleon came to power. The new government — which was anti-religious — ordered all priests to sign an oath of allegiance to Napoleon. St. Gaspar refused and reportedly uttered the memorable response: "I cannot. I must not. I will not." For his punishment he was sent into exile and imprisoned for four years. Other priests, bishops and even the pope suffered a similar fate.

Challenged by despair, the future saint managed to survive his ordeal through prayer and his devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus. After Napoleon's defeat he returned to Italy in 1814 and picked up from where he left off.

An eloquent preacher, Gaspar del Bufalo attracted followers. On Aug. 15, 1815 he established the Congregation of the Precious Blood, with an initial membership of four men. But even with that small group that included del Bufalo, the men traveled from city to city in Italy preaching missions and attracting more followers.

Today the Missionaries of the Precious Blood exist as a society of Apostolic Life made up of priests, religious brothers and lay associates (also called companions) throughout the world. They believe that the Precious Blood of Jesus offers healing and redemption to all.

The Missionaries have made numerous contributions to the life of the diocese. After first arriving in the East Bay in 1955 they assumed responsibility for St. Barnabas Parish, which they staffed for 49 years. Over the years many CPPS priests have assisted in parishes of the diocese, said Rev. James Sloan, CPPS, a former pastor who served at the Alameda parish for 10 years.

On the diocesan level, Rev. John Bosch, CPPS, built and ministered at the Apostleship of the Sea at the Port of Oakland, said Father Sloan. Both Fathers Sloan and Bosch served on the diocesan building committee (Design Review Board) for many years. During some of those years Father Sloan was chair of that committee. He also became a member of the Senate of Priests.

The Precious Blood Missionaries took over St. Edward Parish in Newark, which began as a mission church of Mission San Jose in 1880, on July 3, 1979. Father Marvin Steffes, CPPS, was the first Precious Blood pastor.

Rev. Jeff Finley, CPPS, served as both pastoral director at Washington Hospital in Fremont and as chaplain of the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. Father Finley also served as co-pastor and pastor for several years at St. Edward and was succeeded in 2004 by Rev. Jeffrey Keyes, CPPS, whose term as pastor recently ended. Rev. Jayababu Nuthulapati, CPPS, succeeded him in July.

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood are also involved in the media and social media. The province publishes a quarterly magazine called CPPS Today, and maintains a presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google plus.

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