Our New Mission
Just one mile down the street southeast from St. Jarlath Catholic Church is International Boulevard, the heart of Fruitvale District, where Hispanic culture has been strongly preserved and you can go “taco-hopping” in Oakland’s highest density of taco food trucks. In the other direction, just across the street from the parish parking lot begins the Dimond District. This area boasts of the city’s annual “Oaktoberfest” and native trees in quiet residential neighborhoods, while simultaneously growing with a refreshing urban vibe, taquerias, and mural art.
Nestled in such a dynamic locale and containing great potential as a faith community, St. Jarlath Catholic Church is a source of hope for the Capuchin Franciscans of the Western America Province of Our Lady of Angels. This is a historic moment, as it will be the first time that the friars will assume the pastoral care of a parish in the Diocese of Oakland.
Parishioners include 1,032 registered households, or 3,096 registered individuals. They are ethnically diverse, identifying as at least one of 10 different nationalities represented in the parish, many of whom are Latino.
A New Vision: Believe, Belong, and Bless
Personally, as I am about to become the new pastor of the parish beginning August 1, 2022, I think of how I can be of service to the 50.3% of surveyed parishioners who agree that “religion should play a major role in shaping social morality” (Oakland Diocese, ReligiousInsite Report 2021). I am humbled to be entrusted to their spiritual care. I am also praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance to shepherd the other 49.7% who have yet to see how a relationship with Jesus Christ is integrated into every aspect of our lives.
With this hopeful future in mind for the parish, I offer my vision: that St. Jarlath Catholic Church is a place to believe, belong, and bless.
- Be enlightened and formed by the beauty of our Catholic faith
- Have a home in a vibrant community that nourishes and accompanies you
- Be the holy presence of God for others and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world in need
Whether it be through our faith formation program, Sunday liturgies, celebration of the Sacraments, or even casual conversations, I pray that I, along with the Capuchins Franciscans, will serve the parish community as “brothers of the people” (a name that the early friars were affectionately called).
I invite you, parishioners and other supporters alike, to allow us to accompany you as lesser brothers, offering the unique gift of our Capuchin charism. Thus, together, come closer to the love of God and the love of our neighbor. With this same hope in Christ, I also humbly ask you to please consider being a part of our mission at St. Jarlath’s. Your presence in the pews, efforts to clean or decorate the church, service as volunteer catechists or musicians, technical skill to update our parish website, helping hand for painting or remodeling projects, financial gifts, or whatever contribution that is great or small, can be instrumental in making our parish community a loving place to believe, belong, and bless.
-Father Hai, OFM CAP