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Saint Mary, Gilroy, Closes Sesquicentennial Year


On December 31, Father Robert Brocato, pastor, offered special prayers of thanksgiving at all the Masses to close out the 150th Anniversary year at Saint Mary Parish, Gilroy.

The Parish was founded in 1865 by Father Thomas J. Hudson and has been shepherded by 13 dedicated pastors throughout its 150 years. Originally in the Diocese of Los Angeles-Monterey, Gilroy was transferred to the Archdiocese of San Francisco and then became part of the Diocese of San Jose at its founding.

The parish marked the Anniversary year with a special Anniversary Mass and Dinner on August 15, the patronal feast dayof the Assumption. Bishop Richard Garcia of the Diocese of Monterey presided at the Mass that was concelebrated by two of the three living previous pastors, and the current pastor. Honored guests were many of the previous Pastoral Associates and several of the Sisters who had taught at the parish school. A formal dinner under the stars on the parish grounds followed the Mass.

Several other events throughout the year helped mark the entire year as one extended celebration.

In January, the Anniversary Year began with special Jubilee Masses held on the second Sunday in January. As Lent began, a special Stations of the Cross booklet was published, using photographs of the church’s stained-glass windows, which depict the Stations, and meditations written by our own Parochial Vicar, Father Jose Rubio.

In March, the school sponsored a special Jubilee Year edition of their annual fundraising Blue and White Auction. After Easter, all the parish priests, Fathers Rubio, Brocato, and Vincent Pineda, and our Deacon, Pat Allen, were presented with special Jubilee Year stoles. In May, the Parish Youth Group sponsored a float in the Gilroy Memorial Day Parade, highlighting our Anniversary Year and the Veterans from the Parish. In June there was a special Mass for married couples in the parish who wished to renew their vows, followed by a small reception.

There were three pilgrimages in Fall: to Ireland in September; to the Philippines in October, and to Fatima and Lourdes in November. Also in October was the Jubilee Parish Festival, featuring a picnic and games. Then in October, the Parish partnered with the Gilroy Historical Society to refurbish, including replacing the fence around it, the Old St. Mary Cemetery and there was a tour of the historic gravesites. In November, on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, our Oaxacan community celebrated Jubilee Our Lady of Juquila with a day of mananitas, Masses, food and ethnic entertainment. December concluded the year with our special prayers of Thanksgiving on December 31.

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