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placeholder September 5, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA

Dedication of the labyrinth area between the church and hall after Mass.

St. John Vianney closes jubilee year

St. John Vianney Parish in Walnut Creek closed a year of celebration for its 50th anniversary with a Mass and dinner Aug. 6. The church also used the occasion to break ground on a new landscaping feature and dedicate its new labyrinth, a walk-centered spiritual tool.

Pastor Rev. William Rosario thanked and blessed the founding families, clergy, deacons and religious, living and dead, for sowing the seeds of growth in both faith and outreach. "The heart of any parish is our liturgical life which is a celebration of our relationship with God and His people. While we began as a Vatican II parish, the liturgy has seen many changes in the past 50 years. We have responded to these changes through a process of 'information, formation and transformation' as we grew into the welcoming and hospitable parish community that we are today."

In his homily at the jubilee Mass, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, recounted that when he was in the fifth grade, his family lived in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. People there started a new church in the stockroom of a supermarket. At St. John Vianney, the first Mass was celebrated at a school building. How were both those communities successful, the bishop asked. "They had faith. … This parish was founded to give root to our faith." Indeed the parish is named for a saint, John Vianney, who persevered for years at a struggling French parish. He was steadfast in his faith, and that's how it is with us, the bishop said. "We all have the same faith as St. John Vianney. … Trust God. We have a relationship with Him. He will hear and answer your prayers."

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