|October 24, 2016 • VOL. 54, NO. 18 • Oakland, CA|
Twin festivities for St. Anne's 100th
St. Anne Parish in Byron will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding with two events — a centennial Mass on Oct. 30 and a gala on Nov. 4.
Originally founded as a parish, it soon became a mission church of St. Michael Parish in Livermore. Later the faith community became a mission of St. Anthony Parish in Oakley. During the 1940s the mission reverted back briefly to being a parish and then it became the mission church of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood. Finally in 1994, it regained its status as a parish and has remained a parish ever since.
Father Schmit has seen St. Anne undergo tremendous growth during his years of ministry there. "It's almost like St. Anne were three different parishes," he said. When he first arrived in the parish the community consisted of mostly older, retired parishioners. That "first parish" numbered about 100 families and gathered for Mass in a small chapel.
Parishioners of the "second parish" had outgrown the chapel and began gathering for Mass at a Discovery Bay school for 11 years. Members of the "third Parish," grew from some 500 to 700 families, and built and moved into a new gym building.
Today the parish has more than 1,400 families.
In addition to the population spurt the parish became more ethnically diverse. The parish population moved from being mostly white and now has a large number of Latino families as well as families who are from the Philippines and India.
"Trying to keep up with the changes has been rather exciting," the priest said.
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