Sunday, September 11, 2011

St. Joseph Bacilica
Alameda, California

"In the center of Alameda stand the buildings, old and new, of St. Joseph Parish.(1106 Chestnut St.) For over 133 years this parish has served the spiritual life of the Catholic families of central Alameda; at one time, all of Alameda. St. Joseph Parish started as a mission church in 1873. Land on the southeast corner of Santa Clara Avenue and Chestnut Street had been donated by Mr. Minturn, a non-Catholic, and the first Catholic church in Alameda was built... Each Sunday Fr. Gleeson came to Alameda on horseback or on foot to celebrate Mass and to teach Catechism. He served the entire Catholic population of Alameda which consisted mainly of families of Irish extraction. ..Twice in a period of seven years the church was enlarged. Finally in 1881 St. Joseph Church was moved to the southwest corner of Chestnut Street and San Antonio Avenue, just across from its present location...In 1885 St. Joseph became an independent parish.
                                                                Sanctuary 2011

"Just ten years after St. Joseph Mission Church became an independent parish, it had grown to the extent that a new church was needed. The new building was to be a beautiful Gothic edifice with a seating capacity of 700.

                                                      Window above altar 2011

"St. Joseph Church was designated a minor Basilica by Pope Paul VI on June 4, 1972....

                                                             High side windows 2011

In 1989 " It was decided early on that the altar needed to be moved closer to the congregation to an area near the meeting of the nave and transept of the Basilica...The new altar is made of wood and is square in shape. The ambo and presider’s chair are also of wood with the same design motif. The original high altar is still in place at the rear of the sanctuary. The tabernacle for the repose of the Blessed Sacrament is still mounted on top of the high altar and is separated from the new altar and congregation by a screen made of wood and plaster to create a sense of privacy for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Also, pews in the north and south transept of the basilica were turned inwards at a 90 degree angle to allow worshipers a better view of the altar." (See Link.)

Photos: Taken in 1911 by SW.



God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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