A Roman Catholic Parish
It may seem difficult to believe but in the United States, specifically in California, there is a Roman Catholic Parish which feeds its parishioners with everything necessary to nourish their Roman Catholic Faith. Let's look at a brief list of things that take place in this parish on an ongoing basis.
#1. Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Unlike other parishes throughout the world, including in Rome, Our Lady of Peace has Eucharistic Adoration around the clock; 24 hours a day; 7 days a week; 365 days out of the year, for over 25 years. This means that the parishioners have always given their time for at least one hour each day from midnight to midnight.
#2. The Holy Rosary is prayed publicly before the Blessed Sacrament every hour, 24 hours a day by both priests and laity.
#3. There are 6 Masses every Sunday and 2 vigil Masses every Saturday. Each of these Masses are usually filled to overflowing. Every First Saturday there are devotions to Our Lady and a Traditional Latin Mass, the only Traditional Latin Mass officially allowed in the diocese per month. On the other Saturdays of the month there is a Latin Novus Ordo Vigil Mass allowed.
#4. There is a Shrine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; a 35 foot metal statue that is situated in such a way that it can be seen from the nearby freeway.
#5. There are 3-4 every day Masses Monday-Friday. They have from 100-300 people at every weekday Mass.
#6. There are priests in the confessionals during every Mass. Sometimes the lines for confession are so long that not everyone makes it to confession before Communion and this occurs during the week days. The 12 noon daily Mass is usually packed.
#7. There are no extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. Communion is always distributed by priests and on occasion by a deacon or seminarian. Communion is given to people as they KNEEL at the Altar rail.
#8. The are no female altar servers but more than enough male acolytes for each Mass.
#9. Only male Lectors read at all the Masses.
#10. The bishop has assigned only two priests to Our Lady of Peace but a contingent of retired priests and dedicated Jesuits help out for all the Masses. And are always welcomed. At Our Lady of Peace there is never a shortage of good orthodox priests to serve the faithful.
#11. There are beautiful statues around the sanctuary and in the back of the Church. (The only criticism is that they use electric "candles" which are tacky at best but it is for safety reasons).
#12 From May-October on the 13th of every month Our Lady of Peace conducts the "Fatima Pilgrimage" which is in honor of Our Lady's appearances in Fatima, Portugal. This devotion has been the backbone of Our Lady of Peace Church since the current Pastor took over the parish in June of 1969.
The pilgrimage from May-October is attended by 2000- 3000 people on the 13th of each month. It consists of Mass, an outdoor candlelight Rosary procession, procession of the Blessed Sacrament within the church itself, blessing of the sick with the Blessed Sacrament along with a Eucharistic meditation and finally Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with all Latin hymns.
#13. Other devotions include well attended novenas, Santa Nino on Monday nights, St. Anthony of Padua on Tuesday nights, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Wednesday nights; First Friday devotions which begin at 9:00 PM Thursday and go all night until Mass at 6:00 AM Friday morning. There are usually about 200-300 people that commit themselves to the all night vigil every month.
Every New Years Eve there is an all night vigil to pray for peace in the new year and to make reparation for the sins of the year that is ending.
Lent and Holy Week services are especially edifying.
And every Friday the Pastor leads an evening Rosary of all fifteen decades in reparation for the crime of abortion throughout the United States and the world.
Father John Sweeney
By the grace of God Fr. Sweeney was made Pastor of Our Lady of Peace in 1969 and through his faith and devotion has transformed a parish that is in the very heart of silicon valley's industrial/business area to be an oasis for Roman Catholics dissatisfied with the Modernist Church and who have sought a Parish that holds firm and fast to the Ancient Roman Catholic Faith of our fathers.
Ever obedient and faithful to the local bishop Fr. Sweeney has nonetheless been able to develop a parish that overflows with Catholic faith and devotion. The point is that if he can do this here in liberal California then any priest who possesses the Faith can do the same. Fr. Sweeney is not an extraordinary man he is simply an ordinary man doing an extraordinary job. It is his own love and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament , to Our Lady and to the Magisterium of the Church that has given Fr. Sweeney the ability to do what he has done. For example when he wanted to build the Shrine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary he didn't ask for money he asked for rosary pledges. When he received his millionth pledge that is when he began to ask for the money needed to build the shrine. Please pray for Fr. Sweeney as he enters his 75th year.
If I were to attempt to write about the rich, community life at our Lady of Peace it would take up the whole Newsletter. But I will give you a brief list. Our Lady has a very orthodox catechetical program. They have about 20 different lay societies that are very active in the Parish including the Knights of Columbus, the Legion of Mary, the Altar Society, the Third Order Carmelites, The Sacred Heart Men's Society, just to name a few. There are a vast number of home schooling families that congregate at Our Lady of Peace and whose efforts are supported both spiritually and morally by Fr. Sweeney and the other priests.
There is a Book Store and gift shop that provides only the best in Roman Catholic literature and religious articles.
To support the Shrine, the new parish hall and educational complex and the parish itself send your donation to:
Our Lady of Peace
2800 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
If ever there was a parish that has earned and deserves our support it is Our Lady of Peace. Whatever you send will be used to support the spiritual lives of thousands.
It is our duty to tithe a certain portion of our income to the Catholic Church. The dilemma comes when one cannot in conscience support his/her local pseudo-Catholic parish because it has failed miserably to feed or enrich Catholic spiritual life. If your parish is not feeding you at least you now know of one that is. I encourage you to support orthodox Roman Catholic parishes and organizations and to withhold your support from Modernist/pseudo-Catholic parishes and organizations. By so doing you will be instrumental in helping to bring about the failure of Modernism and the triumph of the Roman Catholic Church.