It is with great excitement and anticipation that we embark on the important and historic step of finally constructing a permanent church building at St. James the Apostle. This will be the culmination of more than 10 years of planning and preparation. For far longer – over four decades – pastors and lay leaders alike have envisioned moving out of our temporary worship space, the Multi-Purpose Hall, and into a permanent church. In order to do that, parish leaders and I – inspired by your feedback during a 2019 planning study – decided to embark on a capital campaign.
As we prayed over a theme for our capital campaign, we believed it would be important to choose a title that truly embodies the spirit of St. James the Apostle Catholic Church. This is why we chose United We Build Our Church. Because at St. James, we are united. We are a family. As brothers and sisters – united – we can accomplish great things. And united, we will build our church!
We anticipate the permanent church will cost roughly $10 million, which is a staggering amount for a small parish like ours. But we can do it if we remain united. All we need is your participation. We are building God’s house, as He deserves a better place for worship. Everyone in the St. James community will be asked to invest in our future. I am not asking all parishioners for equal giving, best replica watches but rather equal sacrifice. Take it as an opportunity to give back to God what He has given us abundantly. I want you to see this project as an investment into our ultimate future, which is our life in eternity. We can all contribute toward building our eternal kingdom.
I want you to dream with me and think 5 to 6 years into the future. Picture in your mind a new church, which will be another monument built to recognize your generous response, dedication and commitment to the blessings you have from God. Imagine this new church where your children or children’s children will receive baptism, First Communion, Confirmation or the Sacrament of Marriage.
Make this your daily prayer: Lord, help me live to see this new church. The next 5-6 years will pass in the blink of an eye, and it will become a reality for you. Nothing is impossible with God. We have already proven beyond a doubt what we can accomplish together by building our Mother Teresa Center, a $3 million project. Once more, I am calling on you to come together as a parish and, by the glory of God, make our vision our reality. United, we build our church!
May God bless you,
Fr. Antony Vazhappilly
To the parishioners of St. James:
“Non est hic aliud nisi domus Dei et porta caeli” (Gen 28:17)
I would like to congratulate you on your commitment to build a permanent parish church, and I am pleased to offer my personal support and prayers as you embrace this tremendous effort.
We build churches, first of all, to respond to God’s love and mercy through the fitting homage of our worship and loyalty. New life comes to us with the celebration of the Sacraments: the children of God are reborn in baptism, we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, our sins are forgiven in the Sacrament of Confession, and above all, the presence of God transforms our lives when Christ Himself comes to us when we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A parish church is, indeed, “the house of God and the gate of heaven” (Gen 28:17). Our churches are to provide an experience of the beauty and the transcendence of God as they also welcome and shelter His children.
This is a blessed opportunity for you to work together, led by the Holy Spirit, and translate your Christian identity into a material building that will be a sign of your faith, love and devotion. This will be a significant and formative experience in the life of your parish community and will carry God’s unlimited love and blessings to all those involved.
I thank each one of you for your ongoing tradition of spirituality, service and commitment. Your campaign goals will certainly be a challenge, but at the same time they are an exciting opportunity to demonstrate your love and commitment to our Lord and Savior as you so generously accomplished also when you united together to build the Mother Teresa Center for Children.
I encourage you to actively support this effort to provide a firm foundation for the parish community of St. James the Apostle and to create this wonderful legacy in the community of Fremont.
May God bless all of you with the successful completion of your campaign: United We Build Our Church!
The Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ
Bishop of Oakland