Several East Bay parishes plan anniversary events
The St. Stephen Parish community will launch the start of a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the parish's founding at the 10 a.m. Mass Aug. 14 at the church, 1101 Keaveny Court, Walnut Creek. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will join Rev. Mark Amaral and parish members and friends for this Golden Jubilee event. A luncheon will follow in the parish hall. Information: 925-939-3826.
Bishop Floyd Begin, the diocese's first bishop, established St. Stephen Parish on July 1, 1966, from parts of St. Mary Parish in Walnut Creek, Christ the King in Pleasant Hill and St. Perpetua Parish in Lafayette.
The new parish community met temporarily in a converted supermarket at the Palos Verdes Shopping Center. Parishioners nicknamed their new worship space "Saint Thrifty's" because of its proximity to a Thrifty Drug Store.
Bishop Begin appointed Rev. Joseph F. Keaveny, principal of Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School, as St. Stephen's founding pastor. Father Keaveny offered the first Mass in the temporary church on Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent.
Heavy rains delayed the construction of the church, which began in April 1970. The first Mass in the new worship space was celebrated Sept. 11, 1971.
During the parish's first decade the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Salesian Fathers from Richmond provided assistance for the weekend Masses. By the 1980s priests from the Jesuit School of Theology, led by Rev. John Huesman, SJ, provided regular weekend help.
During the long illness of Rev. Keaveny, who was named a monsignor in 1975, Revs. John Bosch and John Gilmore served as administrators from 1990 to 1991. Following the death of Msgr. Keaveny in 1991, Rev. Anthony Thurston became pastor. A number of clergy changes then followed with the appointment of Rev. Harry Morrison as temporary administrator in April 1992; Rev. Brian Timoney became pastor in September 1992 with Father Morrison as parochial vicar. Father Morrison succeeded Father Timoney as pastor in 1998. Shortly before the death of Father Morrison in April 2000, Rev. Denis Des Rosiers was named pastor. Deacon Bill Bothe served the parish from 1999 to 2006.
Father Amaral, who currently serves as parochial administrator, succeeded Father Des Rosiers in 2013.
St. John Vianney
1650 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek
925-939-7911 OR www.sjvianney.org
St. John Vianney Parish will end its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration with Mass at 5 p.m. Aug. 6 followed by the Tiki Room Dinner Dance.
1427 Sixth St., Alameda
St. Barnabas celebrates its 90th anniversary with Mass at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 14 followed by food and festivities.
308 Carmel Ave., El Cerrito
510-525-0876 or www.stjeromeec.org
The church will celebrate its 75th anniversary with Mass at 11 a.m., Sept. 25, followed by a dinner the same day at the Galileo Club in Richmond.
St. Lawrence O'Toole
3725 High St., Oakland
510-530-0761 or www.oaklandcatholic.net
In conjunction with the diocesan Chautauqua celebration, St. Lawrence O'Toole will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Oct. 8. The anniversary Mass will be celebrated Nov. 27.
St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception
2039 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek
510-891-8900 or www.stmary-wc.org
St. Mary is planning a 75th anniversary for October. More information will be announced.
2800 Camino Diablo Road, Byron
925-634-6625 or www.stannechurchbyron.com
A bilingual Centennial Mass with Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, presiding is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30. A 100th anniversary celebration is planned Nov. 4.
— Staff report
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