St. Mary’s Church, Sacramento, CA
Address: 1333 58th Street, Sacramento, CA 95819
The lighthouse bell tower visible from the Hwy 50 exit road to Folsom Boulevard has been a beacon of faith, and curiosity, since the church was constructed in 1947 at, what was then, the edge of suburban development in East Sacramento.
The interior of the church is a wonderful place to worship at a formal service or in private prayer and is graced with a star-studded blue backdrop to the sanctuary holding a glowing niche of the parish patroness, St. Mary. Inside one will also find many stained glass windows full of color and stories; and an overhead canopy painting of a blue sky filled with clouds. The church has many sacred images and artifacts important to people of Italian heritage, particularly the intimate Infant Mary Chapel, as the parish initially served primarily Italian-Americans.
Today the diverse parish holds many well-attended liturgical events including 8 a.m. Masses on weekdays, a 5 p.m. Saturday vigil Mass and three Masses on Sundays.
Special things to see in the Church
> The unique architectural design of a prominent Sacramento architect, Clarence Cuff
> The sky-blue, star-studded apse surrounding a glowing image of Mary within a heavenly niche in the sanctuary
> Brilliant stained glass windows full of sacred scenes and symbolism
> Infant Mary Chapel has several images originating in the Italian culture
> The building is decorated with marble that was part of the Italian pavilion at the 1939 Treasure Island World’s Fair
> Photographs on the back wall of the nave of St. Joseph Marello and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara highlighting two chapters of priestly service at the parish
Interesting Fact(s) About the Church
The early years of St. Mary’s were marked by the initial establishment of the parish as a “national parish” to serve the Latin Catholics (Italian and Portuguese) and community-building within that context. Next came the era of the Oblates of Saint Joseph (OSJ) whose priests served at St. Mary’s for nearly 70 years. The current chapter in the history of the parish started in 2005 when the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) started service to the parish.
The artifacts and activities of the church reflect the influence of these phases:
> Many images of Italian-heritage saints
> The story of the OSJ at St. Mary’s in a stained glass window in the south transept
> The Chavara International Center for Indian and Inter-Religious Studies was started by a CMI priest (Fr. Isaac Arickappalil) at St. Mary’s in 2004.
Contact us at Info@churchwonders.com for a detailed and illustrated Guidebook about this church.