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April 24, 2007 > Local church celebrates 100 years

Local church celebrates 100 years

In April 1907, a century ago this month, the first Roman Catholic Mass was said in the Decoto District of Union City. The pastor of Holy Spirit Church in nearby Centerville was Portuguese-speaking Fr. Domingos Governo who traveled to Silva's Portuguese Hall in Decoto to offer the Mass.

Today, a century later, the community that grew from these beginnings is celebrating their history with Bishop Allen H. Vigneron, Bishop of Oakland, at a special Centennial Mass which will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 703 C Street, Union City.

Pastor Jose M. Leon has invited former pastors and priests and who served at Our Lady of the Rosary Church to concelebrate the Mass. Women religious and priests from the neighboring parishes have also been invited along with many former parishioners who are "coming home" for the event.

The Mass will begin with a "flags of many nations" procession featuring Portuguese, Mexican, Filipino, Chinese and other ethnicities that make up this multi-lingual parish. Donna Santos, music director, will lead the combined English, Spanish and Chinese choirs and musicians in an opening anthem, "All Are Welcome."

Within the last few days, 13 new stained-glass windows, have been installed in the church just in time to be blessed by Bishop Vigneron at ceremonies during the Mass.
At 7 p.m., the parish is hosting a dinner for more than 500 parishioners and guests in the Parish Hall.

The climax of the evening will be a fireworks display set up in the field outside the Hall. The display has been donated by Pyro Spectaculars. The Bishop will be invited to push the plunger that will ignite the fireworks and the 18-foot high image of Our Lady of the Rosary.

This is one of six Centennial events that will mark the 100th year. There will be a Centennial Concert on June 24, a Centennial Golf Tournament on July 12, a procession and outdoor Mass and family picnic on August 12, the Centennial Festival for the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on the weekend of October 6 and 7. The year will close with a tree planting and time capsule ceremony on the last Sunday of the year, December 30.

In October, the parish is publishing a history book titled "100 Years of Faith."

For more information and photo arrangements contact Deacon Dick Folger,, 510-489-7644

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