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placeholder September 5, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
Above, St. Barnabas had part of its damaged floor repaired just in time to accommodate a capacity crowd for its anniversary Mass. Left, parishioners join in the blessing before lunch.
ALL: ALBERT C. PACCIORINI/
The Catholic Voice

St. Barnabas celebrates 90 years of faith

Despite the many challenges facing St. Barnabas Parish in Alameda since its founding 90 years ago, "we're here because we persevered in our faith," acknowledged Rev. Dana Michaels, parish administrator.

"Since the beginning our parish has struggled," he said in his homily at an Aug. 14 Mass to celebrate the parish's anniversary. "But we will build on a durable foundation and continue to go forward.

"We're different than other parishes I've been. We're more of a family than a parish."

Father Michaels estimated between 45,000 and 50,000 Masses have been said at St. Barnabas over the years.

"This beloved worship space is going to have a future," he said. Noting the great numbers of new homes to be built on the Island City in the next year, "I need your help to regrow the parish. I need your help to get the Word out. Next year is Father Michaels' Year of Action. Will you help me?" he asked, as church goers burst into applause.

Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins, who joined in the Mass and festivities afterward praised the parish for its "heroic accomplishment." He recounted how $12,000 was paid for the land, and $50,000 to build the church, 90 years ago.

"Hospitality is one of the great Christian virtues," Bishop Cummins said. "You have done that so very well. You are a model of what a parish should be. You should congratulate yourselves."

After the Mass, several hundred parishioners joined Father Michaels and Bishop Cummins in the parish hall across the street for a potluck lunch and music.

St. Barnabas' celebration will culminate with a Mass and breakfast Dec. 11, marking the 90th year since the church building was dedicated by Archbishop Edward J. Hanna.

For its 90th, the parish produced a celebratory yearbook that included a detailed history and recognized its various organizations and ministries.

Father Michaels noted that critical to the parish's formation were the years 1955-2004 when it was administered by the Society of the Precious Blood. Rev. Aloys Selhorst, CPPS, its dynamic pastor from 1956 to 1965, was instrumental in building the school and church hall, named in his memory.

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