We are excited to share our progress on the renovation of our church and hall! Work began on June 26 with removal of the Blessed Sacrament and a blessing of the building. We anticipate the renovation will cost around $3 million. Everything except air conditioning will be completed by Christmas 2023. Air conditioning will be added in 2024.
We have moved all masses to the Mission church during construction. If you would like to help this project, please donate Thank you for your generosity. Scroll down to learn more about our church renovation.
The Latest News
Our Church Renovation is nearing completion – Like the Advent Season we are now experiencing, in just a few weeks the waiting for Christmas and project completion will be over! The workers are busy completing their tasks and soon will be cleaning up the construction dust in time for the renovated church and hall for the dedication on December 23rd. Click here for information about December 23rd dedication events.
Remodeled Worship Space
In our renovated sanctuary we have installed four of the eight stained glass windows originally acquired for the new church project. These windows were restored and have been in storage. The four stained glass windows in the sanctuary depict four gospel stories about Jesus: Jesus the Good Shephard, Jesus and the Little Children, Jesus visiting Martha and Mary, and Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. Scroll down to see pictures of all eight restored stained glass windows.
We have moved our former altar against the back wall of the sanctuary to hold a new handcrafted wood tabernacle. Our new wood ambo (lectern) will move to the right hand side of the sanctuary platform. Our new altar was carved from wood from a dead olive tree removed from the front of the church in 2021. This olive tree was more than 200 years old. The carvings on the new altar show the Last Supper on the front, an Indian woman making bread on one end panel, and Christ, the holy wine-presser, on the other end panel. The columns framing the Last Supper have four carved animals traditionally used to represent the four gospel authors (Mark, Mathew, Luke, and John). The columns were made in Jerusalem using olive wood from Jesus’ land. Click here for more about our new altar.
We will also have two new beautiful votive candle stands, similar to those pictured here, one depicting Jesus and the other depicting Mary.
In our Catholic tradition we light votive candles in prayer. The light reminds us of Christ. With the light of faith, we petition our Lord in prayer (or petition the saint for intercession.) The light also shows a special reverence and our desire to remain present to the Lord in prayer even though we may leave and go about our daily business.
The movable wall separating our worship space from the church hall has been replaced with a permanent, soundproof wall to enable activities in the church hall at the same time as Mass and other liturgical celebrations in the church. The worship space side of the new dividing wall have organ pipes and the San Damiano Cross painted for us by parishioner Jose Isla.
The restored baptismal font saved from our 1869 parish church will replace our existing font. The 1869 church was built of redwood and stood on the site of the original Mission church, which destroyed by an earthquake in 1868 on the Hayward Fault. The 1869 church was built directly above the tile floor and stone foundation of the original adobe church. The old wooden church was moved to make way for rebuilding Mission San Jose. Click here for more information about our 1869 church.
The new back wall of our worship space will feature a 50 foot long by 7 feet high oil painting commissioned from religious artist Michael Corsini. The painting will show a symbolic representation of the joyful communion between Christ and his Church. Images of Christ the Bridegroom, Our Lady (as the embodiment of the Bridal Church), and St. Joseph (Guardian and Patron of the Church) will be centered at the baptismal font, the place of of our deepest identity in the Church. The entire painting will be filled with beautiful and heavenly garden imagery. Saints from all eras, ancient and modern, along with people from all cultures will be pictured. The painting be bright, mystical, and filled with many biblical references and images.
The windows on the side walls of our renovated worship space have been enlarged and filled with twelve new stained class windows commissioned from a studio in Florida for our church. Scroll down to see illustrations of our new windows.
Our old pews and kneelers have been replaced. Wood planks created from the old pews have been used to clad columns and beams. Wood, tile, and stone are being added to the interior to represent the type of buildings St Joseph may have helped to build.
NEW ORGAN AND SOUND SYSTEM
We are replacing our old aging organ with a new, state of the art digital organ. The organ console and new speakers are ready for installation.
Our old sound system has been replaced with new amplifiers and speakers to improve everyone’s ability to hear the presider and lectors.
A new, separate sound system has been installed in the parish hall.
Restored Stained Glass Windows
In addition to the four stained glass windows placed behind the altar in the sacristy, we have four more restored stained glass windows. These windows are being installed in the new side entry vestibules to the church.
12 New Stained Glass Windows
The exterior windows on each side of the worship space have been enlarged for 12 new stained glass windows. These new windows depict St Mary Magdalene, St Francis of Assisi, St Claire of Assisi, St Dominic, Blessed Augustus Tolton, St Lorenzo Ruiz, Vietnamese Martyrs, Chinese Martyrs, Joseph from the Old Testament, St Kateri Tekakwitha, St Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and St Gianna Beretta Molla.
New Entry Vestibules
The entry porches on both sides of the church have been enclosed with glass and new doors to create a welcoming transition into the worship space and parish hall. The stairs on the parking lot side of the church have been removed and replaced with a wide, gently sloping walkway from the parking lot to the floor of the church. We have also installed a wheelchair ramp from the parking lot on each side of the sloping walkway.
The walkway will feature a life sized bronze statue of St. Joseph and the Holy Family which will arrive in time for our second annual St Joseph Conference on March 16, 2024.
The old gas heaters (original to the building) will be replaced with a modern, energy-efficient electric heat pump system to heat and cool the building and improve ventilation.
The old men’s and women’s restrooms are being replaced with larger, fully accessible restrooms that will accommodate more people.
The parish hall will receive new flooring and lighting and an improved sound system. The parish hall kitchen will be reduced in size and refinished. A larger food pantry storage space has been created for our St. Vincent de Paul chapter.
Dry rot and cracked stucco has been repaired and the church has been repainted inside and out. All exterior windows are being replaced with new, energy efficient security glass. All the exterior doors are being replaced with new doors.
Creating the new stained glass windows for the enlarged exterior openings on each side of our worship space.
Interior Demolition Began the Week of June 26. The wood from the old pews will be used as part of the interior renovation.
The movable wall between the worship space and parish hall is being removed and will be replaced by a new sound proof stationary wall.
Demolition of the old restrooms. They will be replaced with larger, fully accessible men’s and women’s restrooms.
The old window openings on each side of the worship space have been enlarged for our new stained glass windows. Notice the columns that divided each window opening into two parts have been removed.
Interior demolition work is complete. New floors and painting are next.
Parish volunteers are refinishing the old frames and assembling our eight restored stained glass windows for use inside the renovated worship space, All eight will be backlighted.
Preparing the building exterior for repainting. Stucco cracks have been repaired and walls are primed for final exterior repainting. The building exterior will be white when we are finished.
Framing the walls for the new, larger women’s restroom.
Installing new tile floor in the Sanctuary. Notice also the four pedestals ready to support four of our restored stained glass windows.
Wood from our old pews has been added to columns and horizontal beams.
Painting the ceiling and interior walls.
Framing the interiors of our new restrooms continues.
Demolition of the steps at the parking lot entrance to the church – the first “step” towards providing barrier free access to our renovated church and hall.
Installing tile on the floor of the worship space.
Our new windows are made of high-security unbreakable glass to protect the new stained glass windows that will be installed over the inside surfaces of the windows.
Painting continues. Notice the electrical for the new vestibule light fixtures.
Paving has been removed from several parking spaces at the south end of the parish hall. A 5 to 6 foot high masonry wall covered with stucco and painted to match the church is being built to surround new air conditioning and heating equipment. When the new equipment is fully operational sometime in 2024, we will no longer burn natural gas to heat the building. Heat pumps will electrically heat and air condition the church and hall.
The new wall between the church and hall is actually two walls spaced 30 inches apart. The space in between will help to prevent sound from the hall from being audible in the church, and vice versa. The wall will house speakers for our new digital organ.
Here’s a “sneak peak” of our renovated sanctuary’s stained glass windows. The windows are lighted from behind with LED panels.
Construction continues on the new accessible wheelchair ramps and pedestrian walkway from the parking lot.
Canvas panels being prepared for painting in the artist’s studio. There are seven panels comprising the the 50 feet long by 7 feet high oil painting, which will hand on the new back wall of our renovated worship space. (That’s one of the artist’s daughters in the picture.)
Our new stained glass windows have been installed!
Our new pews arrive and are installed.
San Damiano Cross and organ speakers installed in the new dividing wall at the back of our renovated worship space.