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Welcome to St. Joseph Basilica

Welcome to the web site of St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda, CA, a parish in the Diocese of Oakland, CA.
On this site there is information about our church and location, our schools and parish community.
You will also find our history, and the most important aspect of our life together, the celebration of the sacraments.

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

God Has No Favorites

Dear brothers and sisters, thewaythetruth

In the midst of the polarization happening in our society and the world, the divisiveness over politics and elections, religion, immigration, and on and on, today’s readings remind us that God indeed has no favorites. We are ALL called and chosen and loved. In today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel, “ Someone askedhim, ‘Lord, will only a few people be saved?’” As Jesus often does, rather than answering the question directly he redirects attention to where it should be. Those in the “in-crowd” are wanting to ensure they are among the chosen few, while the real question is not how many will be saved, but whether those posing the question (and we) are choosing to follow Jesus. “I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father, except through me.

ALL are called. In the first reading from Isaiah we hear: “ I come to gather nations of every language... to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.” The Gospel continues the theme: “And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. ” Let us remember that ALL are welcome; not just my nationality, my religion, my political party. As we go about our daily lives, as we vote or encounter those who look or speak differently or follow a different faith, may our actions demonstrate that same openness and love for others that God offers. Only then can we be assured that we will “ enter through the narrow gate.

In peace and brotherhood, 

Fr George

Deacon Jimmy’s reflection on Seminary Life

I guess anything that is the first time in our life, whether good or bad, is something that we always remember. My first year of seminary life is an especially powerful and unforgettable experience. There were many things that I have encountered that helped me to grow and follow Christ. Being at Pope Saint John XXIII Seminary allowed me to discover new things and develop new perspectives in my vocation as well as in my ministry. There are four important pillars in seminary formation that guided me in my journey: community, studies, pastoral work, and prayer life.

One thing that is very strong in our seminary life is community, in spite of the fact that we come from different backgrounds in at least thirty various dioceses in the country and abroad. We have a wonderful support system and brotherhood. We help each other whether personal or vocational concerns and the word “competition” is not in our vocabulary. Some of the seminarians were doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, military men, and businessmen in their past life and yet everyone is just very humble and we don’t need to prove ourselves. The community is filled with joy, wisdom, and life experience. We all know that we are there to be formed and to learn, so we can be well equipped as ministers of God’s people. 

Studies is an area that is significant in our formation. As future ministers, we need to be abreast in theology so we can respond to the demands of parish life. As a third year theology student I took Medical Ethics, Ecclesiology, Canon Law, Liturgical Preaching, Liturgy Practicum, Sacraments of Initiations, Parish Work, Theology of Priesthood, Ignatian Spirituality, RCIA, Spanish, and others. Each seminarian is unique and so we follow a slightly different formation depending on each one’s academic background and needs. The academic program is tailored to our background and it combines rigor and pastoral approach.

I really enjoyed my pastoral assignment at St. Michael’s in North Andover, MA. I was assigned as a deacon in this affluent parish and I had a great time doing baptisms, preaching, and teaching in the faith formation program. I come in the parish every Sunday whether it’s snowing or not! The parishioners, clergy, and staff were absolutely very welcoming and supportive in my vocation. They have given me all the opportunities to minister and learn some best parish practices from the Archdiocese of Boston.

The most vital aspect of my formation is prayer life. The individual and communal prayers were irreplaceable times of communion with God that were my sources of strength, clarity, and direction. I have learned to follow a routine and the discipline of praying that somehow I overlooked before because of the “busyness” of my life. But with the grace of God I came to realize that there is no substitute for silence and prayer. This is why the seminary structure and community support really worked very well for me. The daily Masses, Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration, various devotions, retreats, meditations, spiritual direction, and others have helped a lot in my spiritual growth. I always look forward to participate and serve in various religious services as a normal part of our seminary life. For me, prayer life is the most crucial and center of my formation that I have discovered and learned this past year and that is why I always look forward to just be with God!

I would like to thank all of you for your continued trust and support in my vocational journey. God willing this will be my last year in the seminary. In closing, a parishioner asked me the other day: “What do you really need?” I responded: “Nothing EXCEPT prayers”! Peace and good,

Deacon Jimmy

Pictures from the Mass of Confirmation, April 15 2016. 


Faith Direct- Online Giving. 

I’d like to remind you about the value of the new eGiving option through Faith Direct. It offers some important advantages over the current Sunday envelopes: It’s green. Less paper. Less postage. No need to mail envelopes every two months. It’s labor saving. Less work for those who count and deposit the collection each week; less effort for you with no need to write a check. It helps parish finances. Vacation time can cause a big drop in the Sunday offering, even though the parish expenses continue. The predictable and steady income provided by eGiving allows us to better support our ongoing parish ministries. 

You can fill out the form available at church or mailed to your home and return it to the Parish Office or drop it in the collection basket, or register online  HERE and use our parish code CA702. They also offer personalized offertory cards to replace your envelopes so you can continue to participate in the physical act of giving during Mass. Please give eGiving your prayerful consideration, and give envelopes a permanent vacation this summer. 

Fr. George Alengadan