Catholic Church Fos­ters Unity With Parish­ioners

Escalon Times - - LIVING - BY ALYSSON AREDAS 209 staff re­porter

When in­quired about the un­der­ly­ing mis­sion of the St. Stanis­laus Church in Modesto, Rev­erend Ra­mon Be­jarano said that the church not only strives to live in re­li­gious unity with parish­ioners within the Catholic faith, but also with mem­bers of the broader com­mu­nity.

“We have sev­eral out­reach pro­grams that al­low us to be­come in­volved in the com­mu­nity,” said Be­jarano. “We have groups that feed the hun­gry, groups that help peo­ple in need, groups of peo­ple who visit the sick in their home, but we also are con­nected with other Catholic churches.”

As part of the Dio­cese of Stock­ton, the parish was es­tab­lished in 1881 and the first St. Stanis­laus Church was built in down­town Modesto in 1913. How­ever, in 1998 when parish­ioners out­grew the orig­i­nal build­ing, which was only able to hold ap­prox­i­mately 500 peo­ple, the parish started a pas­toral plan and saw the need for a larger space.

The re­sult was a larger build­ing nearby which — when com­pleted in 2008 — ex­panded the ca­pac­ity of the church to 1,300 peo­ple. The old church is still used for a num­ber of re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to Be­jarano.

“We have ap­prox­i­mately 4,700 fam­i­lies reg­is­tered with our church,” said Be­jarano, “and ev­ery week­end we have eight dif­fer­ent ser­vices, so if we count the peo­ple who come to all those ser­vices—chil­dren and adults—we have more or less than 6,000 peo­ple that come very week­end.”

Be­jarano said that he has been with the St. Stanis­laus Church in Modesto for the past seven years and a Catholic priest with the Dio­cese of Stock­ton for the past 17 years.

“As a pas­tor I make sure that ev­ery­one has guid­ance and I es­tab­lish the mis­sion of the parish,” said Be­jarano. “I am mostly over­see­ing all of the work of the min­istries and groups that we have in the parish com­mu­nity along with the other two priests that work with me.”

At both lo­ca­tions, the church of­fers Satur­day Vig­ils, Sun­day Mass, Daily Mass, Daily Con­vent Mass, Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion or Con­fes­sions, and Ado­ra­tion of the Eucharist. For spe­cific lo­ca­tions and times, visit ststan­scc.org/mass-times.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the St. Stanis­laus Catholic School at the new church lo­ca­tion is a preschool through eighth grade Catholic school with more 50 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in ed­u­cat­ing faith filled, in­tel­lec­tu­ally cu­ri­ous chil­dren. Cur­rently the school has over 200 stu­dents, with 90 per­cent who are Catholic and 10 per­cent who are non-Catholic.

“We are very priv­i­leged to have a Catholic school,” said Be­jarano. “This is one of the ways that we reach out to chil­dren and their fam­i­lies re­li­giously and aca­dem­i­cally.”

Over­all, Be­jarano said that the St. Stanis­laus Church aims to pro­vide more than just a church to parish­ioners and strangers alike.

“Here at St. Stanis­laus Church, we of­fer a fam­ily, a home. We want ev­ery­one to feel at home when they come to church,” said Be­jarano. “This is their fam­ily of faith and we strive to be as hos­pitable as pos­si­ble to ev­ery­one.”

ALYSSON AREDAS/209 PHOTO

With events like pic­nics and fes­ti­vals, St. Stanis­laus Church aims to live in unity with oth­ers in the Catholic faith and with mem­bers of the broader

com­mu­nity.

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