This year marks the 75th Anniversary Jubilee of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Chino, and parishioners have been looking back on the generations who have helped form the parish as well as taking time to celebrate this milestone.
“There was one Catholic church in the Chino Valley until our church was founded in 1947,” Father Resti Galang said. “After 75 years since the groundbreaking for our parish took place, we stand firmly and grow steadfastly.”
St. Margaret Mary parish has created a website dedicated to the 75th Anniversary where parishioners can read about the history of the church, look back on key moments and view old photos of the church through the years. According to the website, the theme of their celebration is “A Grateful, Joyful, and Hopeful Community” and is taking place from January 15 through October 15 of this year.
“We are joyful because our parish is blessed with diverse communities that pray and work together in times of need,” said Beverly Natividad, the parish’s Filipino Ministry leader. “As such, we are hopeful that our 75th foundation anniversary celebration will ignite in our youth and young adults a fervent desire to propagate our faith and continue with our mission through God’s help and intercession from our patroness St. Margaret Mary.”
As a part of their celebration, the parish has been hosting several events to commemorate the Jubilee. Parishioners had the opportunity to register to have their picture placed in a 75th anniversary Commemorative Yearbook as well as share other photos of their time at the church.
“Long-time parishioners who had their pictures taken said it had been a while since our parish had a historic celebration and wanted to be a part of our history,” Natividad said. “Some parishioners did not have their pictures taken, but pre-ordered their yearbook because they wanted a piece of our history or to do their part in making our diamond jubilee successful.”
To also celebrate the jubilee, the parish held a Family Mass on August 6, where parish families were honored. On August 13, they held a Thanksgiving Mass for Parish Ministries. On August 20, they held a Mass honoring the youth and young adults with Diocesan Vocation Director Father Hau Vu presiding.
“Our youth and young adults were elated because of the attention that our parish gave them at the special Mass on August 20,” said Dan Leeds, volunteer.
Then, on August 27, they hosted a Tony Melendez concert on the St. Margaret Mary School field. Tony Melendez is a Nicaraguan-American Latin Grammy Award winning guitar player and inspirational musician who was born without arms and learned to play the guitar with his feet. Melendez’s career took off when he sang for Pope John Paul II in 1987 in Los Angeles.
“We are grateful to the Lord for our founding fathers, brothers, and sisters who made sacrifices to build our church physically and spiritually, our parishioners who remain steadfast in their faith and continuously support our church’s mission, and our parish leaders with our pastor Fr. Resti Galang at the helm for their wisdom,” Natividad said.
75 years later, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church parishioners celebrate the history of their church by being a grateful, joyful and hopeful community. “Like a diamond, our 75th foundation anniversary celebration is a rare gem that has emerged from the rubble,” Natividad said.
Elena Macias is the Managing Editor of the Inland Catholic BYTE.