St. Augustine Catholic Church
Re: Looking for progressive Catholic Church in Berkeley, Piedmont
Visit St. Augustine Church in Rockridge. It has a great pastor, wonderful music and a warm, welcoming and diverse community. I am a Catholic married to a Jewish man. We have raised both our daughters at St. A's and feel a very strong connection to the church --even my husband feels very welcomed there even though he rarely attends. The parish has many non-traditional families -- a true ''big tent'' church. Masses are at 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m and 10:30 Sunday (this is the family mass). Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. Check out the website and watch one of Fr. Mark's homilies on webcam. www.staugustineoakland.com Jacqueline
Re: Catholic Church for our family to join
I'm not catholic, but I'm married to one, and we've felt welcome at St Augustine on Alcatraz near Telegraph. We are discussing the pros and cons of raising the kids catholic, so they've not yet been baptised, plus we attend sporadically. Nonetheless, the priest and all the folks there have been friendly and welcoming, even to a heathen (never baptised) like me. The homily is not too heavy handed, they make an effort to bring joy into the service, and they are really trying to grow, so they love families! anon
Re: Interracial family seeking truly diverse church
Check out St. Augustine's Episcopal Church at 29th & Telegraph. It's predominantly, but not exclusively, African-American. We are a caucasian/asian couple and we felt very welcomed there. We got married there so it's very near and dear to my heart! (We stopped attending when we moved too far away to do so). It is a gorgeous church with wonderful, friendly, progressive congregation.
Please come visit our parish, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Oakland (http://www.staugepiscopal.org/). St. Augustine's is the only majority African-American parish in the Diocese of California (the Bay Area diocese of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.). My daughter and I are one of three families of white parents and African-American children in this parish, and we have been warmly welcomed by this church since we began attending in 2005. It is a great blessing to our family. rhenke
Re: Returning to the church, seeking a community
I attended both parishes when I was picking a church and ended up at St. Augustine Church in Rockridge. It's warm, friendly, with great music and a fabulous pastor and associate pastor. We have lots of young children and a good children's liturgy program. Check it out before you choose. Jackie
I didn't read your original post, but wanted to add to the list of suggested places to check out. St. Augustine Church on Alcatraz near College Ave. in Oakland is a friendly, welcoming community with a great music program, inspiring pastor, and a beautiful worship space. While it's a Catholic church, many parisheners are of mixed faith backgrounds (my husband is Jewish and I'm Catholic.) We also have a number of gay families who are unconditionally welcomed there. Children attend religion classes before the 10:30 mass while their parents meet in the rectory for lively theological discussions. Children who enjoy music can join the Catholic Kid Band to sing or play an instrument. St. A's is great place for ''reentering'' Catholics to reconnect with a spiritual community. Jacqueline
St. Augustine's Catholic Church on Alcatraz (and Colby) in Oakland is a small, welcoming, spiritual, open, progressive and wonderful parish. I was raised Catholic, but stopped attending as a teenager because it felt irrelevant. Several things drew me back: a personal spiritual longing, and the birth of my two children. The parish has offered me solace, peace, and a wonderful sense of community. Mass is Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. There are many non-Catholic members.
Since you were reared a Catholic, you might seriously consider St. Augustine's Catholic Church on Alcatraz at Colby. I was reared Catholic and thought I would never go back, but my husband wanted to go to church regularly so I went along for the ride, so to speak. I am very glad I did. St. Augustine is a very welcoming, nonjudgmental place. Because of the priest shortage, the parish staff (lay people) and parish council have a lot of control. We are gay-friendly and feminist. Our main staff person has a degree from GTU and she even gives the homily sometimes, which definitely brings a woman's perspective to the Mass. Our pastor just left to become a hospital chaplain, so we have a new priest. He has just started so I can't say much about him but he teaches Drama at GTU, so I expect some non-traditional approaches to the Mass. EG, during his first homily he recited poetry.
It is a small parish but (as a result?) many people get involved and are friendly. We feel like part of the whole thing, not just an audience. There is a school attached to the parish and many of the kids there are not Catholic but have other faiths. I think that also makes the mood more relxed and welcoming.
I have to warn you that the choir has more enthusiasm than talent. But don't let the music scare you off. It is such a labor of love for them that even the sour notes grow on you.