In 1925 the town of Mayfield merged with Palo Alto and there were two Catholic parishes within thenew city’s limits; St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Aloysius. As the city grew, two Catholic schools were built. St. Thomas Aquinas School opened in 1950 on Channing Avenue and St. Aloysius School opened in 1954 on Cowper Street. With the continued population growth in the area, the original churches were both overflowing and Masses were being held at the school auditoriums. It was decided to make new parishes and Our Lady of the Rosary parish was created in 1959 and St. Albert the Great parish in 1961. (See the Parish History for full details)
Succession of Pastors:
Rev. Henry A. MacEnery, 1961-1964
Rev. Edwin W. Casey, 1964-1972
Rev. William R. Lowery, MA 1972-1980
Rev. Stephen Perata, 1980-1986
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Succession of Pastors
Rev. Alexander C. Larkin, 1987-1992
Rev. Dennis Browne, 1992-1994
Rev. John P. Cooper, CSSp, 1994-1996
Rev. Bernard Freyne, 1996-2002
Rev. George Aranha, 2002-2010
Rev. Matthew Stanley 2010-
St. Albert the Great Church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in November 2011.
On October 15, 2010, the church of St. Albert the Great began its 50th year as a dedicated Catholic church for the Catholic Community of Palo Alto. The St. Albert Site Committee designated that this 50th Anniversary Year be one of special celebrations and special focuses on traditional events. A committee chaired by Jerry Martinson planned ongoing events, the first of which was December’s second annual Creche Exhibit.
The next Anniversary Year event occurred on March 13th when parish musicians and performing groups presented an afternoon of music and family sing-a-long fun. The 50th Anniversary Committee also helped sponsor the annual St. Patrick's Day dinner held at St. Elizabeth Seton Auditorium. Saturday, June 25th, in celebration of Corpus Christi, we saw the transfer of the Holy Eucharist from St. Thomas Aquinas Church to St. Albert the Great Church with Benediction, 5:00 pm Mass and all-night Adoration ending with Benediction again before 9:00 am Mass on Sunday, June 26th.
The other scheduled events are listed below. The year culminated on November 12, 2011, with a Mass commemorating the church’s dedication. Bishop Patrick McGrath was the main celebrant.
December 10, 2010 - Creche Exhibit
March 13, 2011 - Afternoon of Family Music and Fun
March 19, 2011 - St. Patrick's Day Dinner
June 25, 2011 - Celebration of Corpus Christi (The Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ)
On Saturday afternoon, June 25, parish clergy transferred the Blessed Sacrament from the parish Mother Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, to St. Albert the Great Church to mark the 50th year that the St. Albert community has celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ.)
All parishioners who worship at any of the churches in St. Thomas Aquinas parish were invited to join in welcoming the arrival of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Albert the Great and join in solemn Benediction. After the 5 PM Mass, the monstrance was returned to the altar for exposition. All parishioners were invited and encouraged to sign up for an hour of adoration that continued throughout the night and end with Benediction before the 9 AM Sunday Mass.
August 13, 2011 - Women's Leadership Tea
October 1-2, 2011 - Artists of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Exhibition
This exhibit was made up of ALL art forms including, but not limited to, paintings, photographs, graphic arts, sculpture and crafts.
October 29, 2011 - Mass of Remembrance
This Mass is separate from our Annual Mass of Remembrance for all parishioners and highlighted all those parishioners that have died who are or were affiliated with St. Albert the Great Church site.
November 12, 2011 - Golden Jubilee Mass with Bishop Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop McGrath presided at 5:00 pm Mass at St. Albert the Great Church. An Anniversary reception for all attendees was held immediately following Mass.