St. Albert the Great - Our Church

St. Albert the Great Church


Shortly after the Diocese of Oakland was established in 1962, Bishop Floyd L. Begin realized that a parish should be cut off from St. Philip Neri parish in Alameda.  A site on Bay Farm Island was considered at the corner of Holly Street and Fir Avenue.  That site was rejected in favor of the corner of Holly Street and Mecartney Road where the Diocese purchased the property.

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A parishioner of St. Philip’s parish, Mrs. Maude Marshall, stipulated in her will that the Diocese would receive $200,000.00 towards the building of a Church on Bay Farm Island. 

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 The wished that Church be named after the patron Saint of her late husband Albert and the construction had to begin within two years of her death.  Maude Marshall died in 1975 and on May 12, 1976, Bishop Begin established the parish of St. Albert.  On May 13, 1976, he appointed Father William J. Marshall as founding pastor.  (Maude Marshall was not related to Father Marshall). 

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Construction began during the late summer of 1976.  At this time, the Diocese rented a townhouse on Fiji Lane in the Islandia development as a temporary Rectory.  Daily Mass and the usual parish business took place there.  Sunday Masses continued to be offered at St. Philip Neri.  The parishioners of the newly established parish were given their own collection envelopes.

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In January of 1978 the construction of the parish Rectory was completed.  A suite for Bishop Begin had been included in the building plans which he planned to occupy in his retirement as of May 1, 1977.  Unfortunately, he died on April 26, 1977.  Once the Rectory was moved from Fiji Lane to the new building, daily Mass and some smaller liturgies (marriage validations) were offered there until the Church structure was completed.  On April 22, 1978 the first Mass was celebrated in the new Church at 12 noon. 

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It celebrated the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Mario and Josephine Femminis.  On the same evening at 5PM, the first Sunday Mass was celebrated in the new Church.  On September 10, 1978, the Church was blessed by Bishop John S. Cummins.

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Succession of Pastors

1976 – 1984

Fr. William J. Marshall

1984 – 1996

Fr. Ed Gracias

1996 – 2001

Fr. James Cummings

2001 – 2007

Fr. Fernando Cortez

2007 – 2008

Fr. Vince Cotter

2008 – Present

Fr. Joy Kumarthusseril, M.F.



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