By Liz Sullivan
Slightly more than two years since a fire destroyed parts of Holy Cross Church on 13th and Jackson streets in San Jose, the parish community, along with diocesan and elected officials, came together on December 10 for a ground blessing. The service was conducted in English and Spanish.
“I am very pleased to have this opportunity to be here,” said Diocese of San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath. “This is a wonderful moment in this parish.”
On November 16, 2014, just after the 1 p.m. Italian Mass had concluded, fire broke out in the second floor of the church. More than 100 San Jose Fire Department personnel battled the fire that was contained after a couple of hours. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire has never been determined. After the fire, the parish moved all liturgies to the Parish Hall, located behind the church.
The parish was founded in 1906, and the church was built in 1919. At a rebuilding cost of more than $6.1 million, the reconstructed church is expected to be ready in Spring 2018.
“I am thrilled to join in this celebration,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo, whose father, Salvador, worshipped at the church as a child. “I am grateful that everyone has been able to come together for this great moment.”
Holy Cross is home to about 741 families and is ministered to by the Scalabrinian order of priests and brothers.
“This is an historical moment in this church,” said Father Clair Orso, Scalabrinian Provincial and a former Holy Cross Pastor. “The True Church is not a building, but instead it is made by each of us. The Lord lives with us; we are never alone.”