St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oroville, CA
Address: 1330 Bird Street, Oroville, CA 95965
The classically designed St. Thomas the Apostle Church sits amid mature trees at the front of a large compound housing a school, the rectory, a pastoral center and an ample parking lot in a historic area of the gold-rush town of Oroville. The building houses beautiful stained-glass windows, lovely statues and a sacred sanctuary, all of which have been present for nearly a century as the parish has grown from its 1857 roots. The 800-family, culturally-mixed parish hosts four weekend Masses, including a 7 p.m. Saturday Vigil Mass in Spanish; as well as daily Masses from Tuesday – Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Special things to see in the Church
> The classical architecture of the building including the tall side tower and triangular, peaked decorative entrance with a tympanum decorated by a Biblically-inspired Last Judgement scene
> The sanctuary beneath the two-tiered round arch, within sky blue walls studded with clouds, forms a magnificent location for the celebration of the Mass
> The statues and Stations of the Cross have been part of the church since 1929
> Nearly twenty stained-glass windows featuring meaningful liturgical subjects
Interesting Fact(s) About the Church
The parish has been marked by two stages of growth related to important activities in the area:
> The gold discovery in the Oroville area in 1855 led Archbishop Joseph Alemany of San Francisco to purchase land at the corner of Pine and High Streets for only $250 to eventually build a church to serve the growing population.
> The construction of the Oroville Dam project in the 1960’s resulted in the parish adding more classrooms to St. Thomas School to serve the many new families in the area.
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