St. Stephen
Walnut Creek, CA

Mass Schedule

Saturday: 5 pm
Sunday: 9:30 am
Mon - Fri: 7:30 am ( Rm 1 Chapel)
Holy Days: 7:30 am, 7:00 pm
Reconciliation: Sat. 4:30 pm

A message from our parochial administrator, Fr. Paulson Mundanmani:

Dear Friends,

We are still in the Christmas season, and we know that “home for the holidays” has taken on a whole new meaning this year for the victims of the fire in Paradise and beyond. Our Franciscan retreat center in Danville accommodated nearly a hundred victims for Christmas. Here is an excerpt from their weekly bulletin:

“Ordinarily, San Damiano shuts down at Christmas. But this was no ordinary Christmas! When word got out that San Damiano would be home to 90 adult and children survivors of the Camp Fire, Christmas miracles began happening. Donations of clothing, food, gift cards, massages, hair cuts, toys, music and much more came pouring in. Like Magi, four television stations traveled to us to report the good news. Over 200 of you volunteers made this possible. One of the victims, Mandi Moons summarized his feeling this way: "My kids and I could not have felt more welcomed and blessed with such beautiful people, in the most beautiful, peaceful place I have ever been. We will never forget this time spent with all of you in some of our most darkest of days. You all have given us the sense of family and that’s something my kids don’t know much about to begin with, so for that I thank you with all my heart."

Nearly 90 have died in the Northern California fire known as the Camp Fire, though the number of people still missing has dropped from thousands to a single digit. The fire began Nov. 8 and as of Dec. 3, the blaze was entirely contained, after having consumed 150,000 acres of land and 18,000 structures.

John Watkins, director of Catholic Charities and Social Concerns for the Diocese of Sacramento said that several local aid organizations have been coordinating efforts to help survivors, setting up booths and holding events at the Disaster Resource Center (DRC) in Chico, CA.

Father Michael Ritter, one of the priests from St. John the Baptist Church in Chico, CA said that for many undocumented members of the community in need, and even for legal immigrants who may have lost their documentation in the fire, there is a discomfort with approaching FEMA — a federal agency — at the DRC. “Our hope is that the parish provides a place of greater confidence or trust, where people who maybe wouldn't be able to approach a federal agency for support can get the same kinds of service,” he said. “What the church does offer is help for anyone who needs help, and whether one's documented or not is not a question.”

Outside of Chico, the small city of Paradise was almost completely destroyed by the fire. Nearly all the buildings belonging to St. Thomas More Parish succumbed to the blaze. Jim Collins, leader of relief efforts at the parish, said, “We have an expectation of about 80% [of our 800 parishioners] burned out of their homes, and maybe 20% [of their homes] still standing.” According to him about 80% across the board have lost everything.

During the collection for fire victims, CTK and St. Stephen Parishes raised nearly $ 45,000.00, which will directly go to St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Paradise. We have another Social Justice collection at CTK coming up next week, January 19-20th. This collection will be sent to 3 charities working closely with the fire victims. These three groups are reaching out to the poor and needy in a special way.

1. St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. John the Baptist Church, Chico, CA
2. St. Thomas More Knights of Columbus 7773, St. Thomas More Parish, Paradise, CA
3. Diocese of Sacramento Fire Assistance Fund (for free tuition for children of fire victims).

Fr. Paulson

Mission Statement: To Live and to Love in Christ
1101 Keaveny Court Walnut Creek, California 94597 USA
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