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Msgr. Francisco Rios, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, Father Brendan McGuire at conclusion of dedication Mass.

Our Lady of Refuge Church was dedicated Feb. 19 in a special tri-lingual (English, Spanish, Vietnamese) Mass at the Lucretia Ave. facility on the east side of San Jose.
The church serves the newly created parish of Our Lady of Refuge which embraces a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic part of the city which has a dense population, largely in the Santee area of San Jose.
At the dedication ceremony, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath blessed the building and officially opened its doors, followed by the entrance procession into the church.
The newest parish in the Diocese of San Jose was announced in August 2011. It had been over a decade since a new parish had been established in the now 31-year-old Diocese of San Jose.
St. Maria Goretti Parish has supported the Santee Mission for 20 years, with priests celebrating Masses in several locations, most recently at R.F. Kennedy School.
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary have been instrumental in the mission work, namely Sisters Guadalupe Maria Johnston, Miriam Daniel Fahey, Catherine Mary Thoeni and the late Sister Martha Bendorf. Marianist Brother Paco Gomes was also an initiator of the Santee ministry.
Some parts of Santee are predominantly Hispanic, but overall, Hispanics are 50 percent of the population, with 36 percent being Asian which include largely Vietnamese and Filipinos.
The bishop formed a team which began working officially on July 1, 2011, with Father Brendan McGuire as administrator and Msgr. Francisco Rios as onsite pastoral minister.
The new parish already has facilities, purchased by the diocese. The spacious property consists of two buildings and a large parking lot. The buildings provide worship space as well as meeting rooms, offices and classrooms.
The purchase was made possible by funds generated from the Capital Campaign and in the custody of the Catholic Foundation of Santa Clara County.
In addition, four parishes have become sponsors and all parishes in the diocese participated in the special fundraising drive last fall which provided some $2.6 million.
Funds are still needed. To make a donation, visit
Plans are to provide Masses in Spanish, Vietnamese and English. Beginning Sunday, February 26, 8 am Mass will be Vietnamese, 10 am Mass will be Spanish, and 12 noon Mass will be English.
“We view Our Lady of Refuge as being a resource for the entire community,” Msgr. Rios said. “It will be in service to the community and attempt to meet many needs.”


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