Department of Ethnic Pastoral Centers - Chautauqua XVII
A History of the Annual Chautauqua Celebration
The year 1992 marked the commemoration of the 500th Anniversay of the Evangelization of the Americas. Native Americans first encountered European immigrants and the merging and clash of two cultures began. Despite the agony of the sword, the cross prevailed as the ultimate sign of hope and reconciliation. Evangelization makes it possible to proclaim the presence of the Spirit of Jesus in all cultures and in all places throughout modern history.
The Diocese of Oakland, like many West Coast Churches, continues to experience the arrival of many new immigrants. The fabric of life changes for our cities and towns. New voices rise in praise of the one God. The stranger and refugee in our midst is our brother Joseph who comes to claim his or her place among the People of God.
Since 1985, the Ethnic Pastoral Centers have created occasions to gather to celebrate the richness that diversity brings to our Diocese. With the advent of the 500th anniversary, we sought to create a celebration that would reflect the hospitality of the first Native Americans and celebrate the richness of our diversity today.
As a group, the Ethnic Centers of the Diocese chose to call this celebration Chautauqua, a Native American word means “the gathering of peoples.” Our first celebration was held at Saint Monica, Moraga. People’s enthusiastic response to this experience led us to decide to make the experience an annual diocesan event. The succeeding host parishes continued to embody the generous hospitality of our Diocese.
Past hosts are:
- St. Monica, Moraga, 1992
- St. Joachim, Hayward, 1993
- St. Felicitas, San Leandro, 1994
- St. Augustine, Oakland, 1995
- St. Francis of Assisi, Concord, 1996
- Assumption, San Leandro, 1997
- St. Joseph, Pinole, 1998
- St. Lawrence O’Toole, Oakland, 1999
- Transfiguration, Castro Valley, 2001
- All Saints, Hayward, 2002
- Our Lady Queen of the World, Bay Point, 2003
- St. Anne, Union City, 2004
- St. Raymond, Dublin, 2005
St. Lawrence O’Toole, Oakland, 2006
- St. Stephen, Walnut Creek, 2007
- St. Joseph The Worker, Berkeley, 2010
What happens at a Chautauqua event?
First, a religious procession honoring Our Lady begins the mid-morning gathering rites. It is followed by multicultural, multilingual Liturgy. The celebration continues with ethnic foods and cultural entertainment.