The following comes form a Feb. 4 story in the Catholic Voice in Oakland.
According to reports from 2017 — the last full year that is available — the parish in which the most marriages were celebrated in the diocese of Oakland was St. Cornelius Parish in Richmond. The parish, with 645 registered families, witnessed 40 Catholic marriages that year.
“In the Hispanic community, a lot of Catholics don’t see a wedding without a Mass,” said Rev. Sergio Mora, who has been pastor for the past 5½ years. “There will be a Mass.”
Those nuptial Masses, for the most part, are scheduled on Saturdays — at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Sometimes couples will request a Friday evening wedding — often due to the availability of a reception hall. “I can help,” the pastor said.
“It’s a big community and a young community,” he said of his parish. The couples who marry there are not new to the parish.
“They’ve been coming here a long time: First Communion, confirmation,” the pastor said. They want to be married in their church.
A couple seeking to be married in the church meets with the pastor, who helps them begin their paperwork. A married couple in the parish offers marriage preparation close to home.
“I’ve done some of these blessings on Sunday liturgies,” he said. “I tell them what marriage is all about. It doesn’t have to be that big. They want it, they’re willing and there’s no impediment.”
They can do without the costly cultural trappings of weddings, he said. “The coins, the veil … they don’t need all of that.”
By the numbers
Parishes with the most Catholic marriages in the Diocese of Oakland, 2017
40 St. Cornelius, Richmond
36 Queen of All Saints, Concord
33 St. Mark, Richmond
31 St. Michael, Livermore
27 Immaculate Heart of Mary, Brentwood
27 St. Francis of Assisi, Concord
25 St. Lawrence O’Toole/St. Cyril, Oakland*24 St. Elizabeth, Oakland
23 Most Holy Rosary, Antioch
21 All Saints, Hayward
*Now, with St. Paschal Baylon Church, Divine Mercy Parish