After 11 years of construction and delays, Thursday was the grand opening and dedication mass of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Visalia.
“Today, it becomes sacred ground and that is the cause for great rejoice,” said Father Alex Chavez, pastor of the Good Shepherd Catholic Parish.
About 3,200 people took part in the Dedication Mass of St. Charles Borromeo, a day the community has been patiently waiting for.
“For the 14,000 registered families just in this parish alone the anticipation is above and beyond,” explained Father Chavez.
“All of us under one roof and a lot of space to fit many Catholics so we are very excited. In in our little hometown of Visalia. We get the biggest parish!” said Mikaella and Sarah Peltzer, members of the community.
Bishop Joseph Brennan of the Diocese of Fresno says while construction started in 2011, the effort kicked off way before that.
He says there is a growing congregation locally and nationwide.
“The community has changed, it’s gotten bigger and it’s getting bigger every day,” said Bishop Brennan.
Father Chavez says while a growing Catholic community is great, there are fewer priests.
A church like St. Charles Borromeo, which is now the largest parish Church in North America, is exactly what was needed.
The project came with a $21 million price tag.
“A project of this size and this scope takes on a life of its own and requires a lot of time and attention,” said Bishop Brennan. “This place will be a place of pilgrimage where people from all over the state and world will come to be inspired.”
There are still some final details to complete the parish, like landscaping.
Services will begin this Sunday with Mass in Spanish at 8:30 am and 12:30 pm and in English at 10 am.
Full story at ABC30 Fresno.
Congratulations! I watched the video of the dedication Mass.
The church is obviously not designed for the TLM, so they apparently agree that the TLM is on the way out in the Latin Church since they are not planning for it to be celebrated in that new, growing parish.
The altar is dignified.
I could have done without the paintings of the cows in the fields behind the sanctuary, but there is a depiction of the realm of heavenly glory above it.
Overall grade A- from me.
Why would a Church be designed for the TLM?
It is not on the way out. It has been out since 1970.
Pope Paul VI gave a special permission to allow it in England and Wales. Called the Heenan indult here is a copy of the letter written by the oft-maligned Archbishop Bugnini concerning this. https://lms.org.uk/heenan-indult
In 1984, Pope John Paul II gave permission to extend the indult to every bishop with these conditions:
Since, however, the same problem continues, the Supreme Pontiff, in a desire to meet the wishes of these groups, grants to diocesan bishops the possibility of using an indult whereby priests and faithful, who shall be expressly indicated in the letter of request to be presented to their own bishop, may be able to celebrate Mass by using the Roman Missal according to the 1962 edition, but under the following conditions:
a) That it be made publically clear beyond all ambiguity that such priests and their respective faithful in no way share the positions of those who call in question the legitimacy and doctrinal exactitude of the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
b) Such celebration must be made only for the benefit of those groups that request it; in churches and oratories indicated by the bishop (not, however, in parish churches, unless the bishop permits it in extraordinary cases); and on the days and under the conditions fixed by the bishop either habitually or in individual cases.
c) These celebrations must be according to the 1962 Missal and in Latin.
d) There must be no interchanging of texts and rites of the two Missals.
e) Each bishop must inform this Congregation of the concessions granted by him, and at the end of a year from the granting of this indult, he must report on the result of its application.
Others see the truth– you don’t. The Roman Catholic Church, initiated by Christ and His Apostles over 2,000 years ago, was not made for Godless modernity, and its blasphemous sins. Ugly modern churches, no priestly vocations, crummy New Mass, poor liturgical music, poor catechesis, lots of immoral behavior, scandalous clergy paedophilia, heresy, LGBT “Rainbow Agenda,” waste of time … You probably have no religious education, so you cannot understand whatever the religious painting is in the church– that you naively described as “cows.” No doubt. the religious painting depicted a holy scene from the life of Christ. You do not understand that the holy Tridentine Latin Mass can be arranged to be offered anywhere, in any circumstance. The very first Masses– the holy Latin Tridentine Mass– offered in America, were held by Spanish priests, either outdoors or in temporary shelters.
“The church is obviously not designed for the TLM, so they apparently agree that the TLM is on the way out in the Latin Church since they are not planning for it to be celebrated in that new, growing parish.” I find it a little unbecoming to use the occasion of a new parish opening to cast aspersions on the TLM, and I say this as one who is no trad. Could we just thank God for what we see, cows and heaven above, that is, for what it is, not what it is not?
I suspect the point was that you can infer liturgical use and priorities from the architectural design of a church. This newest church in the Diocese of Fresno is teaching a liturgical/theological lesson by its design and artwork.
If I may add another observation, I watched the video of the dedication Mass.
They sang a lot of chant and even in Latin. That’s telling, in my mind. It means that chant is making a comeback. Everything about this church and the way Mass was celebrated (Novus Ordo) is showing the future of Catholic worship in the Diocese of Fresno.
A good sign is that people were allowed to receive standing or kneeling, on the tongue or reverently in the hand. It seemed to go well.
In one church I attended, where there are still kneelers in the sanctuary but not in the hall used for mass also, one gentleman in line, moved off to the left center, knelt and received on the tongue, thus avoiding tripping anyone behind him. Another good idea.
Summorum Pontificum Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962, and ensure that the welfare of these faithful harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the guidance of the bishop in accordance with canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church. § 2 Celebration in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII may take place on working days; while on Sundays and feast days one such celebration may also be held. § 3 For faithful and priests who request it, the pastor should also allow celebrations in this extraordinary form for special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages. § 4 Priests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so and not juridically impeded. § 5 In churches that are not parish or conventual churches, it is the duty of the Rector of the church to grant the above permission. Pope Benedict SVI 2007
So if there is no stable group of faithful asking for the Latin Mass, why would a church be designed for one?
Then Pope Francis restricted it’s use again due to concerns about things that were happening, not with the Mass, but with those who attended it in 2021 by Pope Francis.
In Catholic canon law, an indult is a permission or privilege, granted by the competent church authority – the Holy See or the diocesan bishop, as the case may be – for an exception from a particular norm of church law in an individual case.
For example, according to the canons 692 and 693 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, an indult is needed when members of the consecrated life want to be dispensed from their religious vows, or when priests and deacons voluntarily seek to return to the lay state (usually to marry).
A recent indult was the one granted in 1984 by Pope John Paul II, Quattuor abhinc annos, which authorised the world’s Catholic bishops to permit celebrations of the Tridentine Mass liturgy in their dioceses. This indult was superseded in 2007 by new legislation introduced by Pope Benedict XVI in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, and superseded again in 2021 by Traditionis custodes.
As a Hispanic male , I am tired of this modernist churches.
What does being Hispanic or male have to do with your point?
your point: Tony de NY must be referring to architectural heritage, which is part of Catholic culture in Europe, in Latin America, and in some fairly Catholic places in Asia (i.e., the Philippines, parts of India, and former French colonies in the south seas, etc.)
While those churches were traditionally built of stones, lava rocks, or adobe, their more important feature is the nave, which is designed like a boat (that’s why their worship spaces are called “nave” – the root word of “naval”) or a cross (with transepts in the pattern of the patibulum) with one arm leading to the sacristy and the other, to a side door.
I don’t know if the church in Visalia is shaped like a cross or a boat, but most US churches built in mid-20 century and on to the present, are in the “round” or “square” form, with the sanctuary pushed so far into the center, thus allowing no space for the Blessed Sacrament (which is relegated to a side altar) and no communion rail.
I am reminded of the time the cathedral in San Francisco was unveiled to the public. People were expecting it to be along the shape and style of the old Mission Dolores, but instead it turned out to be huge, gleaming, round monument not unlike the Sidney opera house. San Franciscans called it the “great washing-machine agitator” and “heavenly space shuttle launching pad.”
I think that is what Tony in NY is critical about.
It appears that 14,000 families, not individuals, are served by only two priests and five deacons. That is daunting. I don’t know the average family size, but, if, for example, it is three, each priest would be serving more than 20,000 persons. May God bless all. Pray for vocations.
I think this church is the new mothership in the merger of four different parishes. There’s no way that two priests can serve 40,000 Catholics effectively. The mothership is going to be a sacrament drive-through like St. In-N-Out or St. Chick-Fil-A, where people will stop by, get their dispensed sacramental graces, and then go. They are probably going to have funerals at least three days every week.
It will be very interesting to see how well this parish fares over the next 5-7 years. The Church is losing adherents rapidly. Odds are that 14,000 families will dwindle to fewer than 5,000 within a decade.
The architectural plan only shows one “reconciliation room”, which doesn’t even have a door that opens to the church. You have to enter the confessional from the lobby. Confessions for thousands of people every weekend in one confessional? Confessions there are going to be get-in-get-absolved-get out in 60 seconds or less, just like a drive-through window at a fast food restaurant.
Fast sacrament Catholicism. I coined it.
The Novus Ordo Mass does NOT “unify.” That is a selfish delusion of some top Catholic prelates. From the day it was imposed on us, in April 1969– it tore the Catholic Church apart– very divisive. Before the Council, our home parish church and school were thriving– many priests (usually 5-6, in rectory), many nuns, parish school enrollment maxed-out. Hundreds of large Catholic families, church pews full to the brim, at all Masses. By the mid-1970s, disaster struck– all the teaching nuns had left, the parish school closed, the number of registered parish families dwindled, and the Diocese could only send one or two priests to the parish church. Finally, the Diocese arranged for a priest to commute from a nearby town, for Sunday and daily Mass. There are just a few devout faithful left– but the beautiful, historical landmark parish church, is expected to close, eventually. A terrible tragedy.
In all fairness– I thought that the text of the vernacular Mass which we were given, after the Council, before the Novus Ordo text was written– was very good! This Mass followed the text of the original Tridentine Latin Mass very closely. Many people were still upset with the changes in the Church– but this Mass had a good text, close to our original 1500+ years-old Tridentine Latin Mass. When we were finally given the Novus Ordo Mass– oh, it was a terrible shock! Extremely disappointing! The text was completely different! Plus– the strange, new vestments for the priest, the strange new “table” altar, the priest nervously turning to face us, the strange interruption of the Mass, right before the Agnus Dei, for a very “worldly,” noisy “Rite of Peace,” etc. etc. Then– the shock one day, when we all were lined up to practice receiving Communion in the hand. The altar rail had sadly been removed. And as time went along, more and more “novelties” were added. Many people were very shocked, feeling that the sacredness of our Holy Mass had been trivialized and destroyed– no respect at all for it. The problems just went on and on.. . What a shame. Well, in all fairness– maybe as time goes by, all of these issues will eventually be fixed.
I recall, one day, an elderly, soft-spoken Monsignor talking to myself and several Mass-goers, after a daily Mass, in the early 1970s. Monsignor was retired, about the same age as Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. He told us that he missed saying the Last Gospel (so beloved, very beautiful) at the end of Mass.There were a lot of lovely, holy religious things and traditions, that he missed! Bless him! So many lovely, holy religious traditions were gone, after Vatican II! He got cancer, unfortunately, and died a few years later.
It seats 3200?
There are 14,000 registered families.
And they have 3 Masses on Sunday?
It is one parish, with four churches. Parish mergers have been going on for a while, for reasons of both declining attendance and a declining number of priests.
Thanks for that link. This says they have 5 Masses. All Sunday Masses are held at SCB.
The math still does not add up.
Maybe they have a lot of families that don’t attend.
It seems I have to correct myself. Are Sunday Masses really offered only at St. Charles?
If so, that indicates a much deeper problem.