Another historical first in the San Francisco Bay Area in more than fifty years will take place this coming Saturday November 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm in San José. The pastor of Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, Rev. António A. Silveira, will celebrate his first-ever Extraordinary Form Mass. Fr. Silveira will fittingly celebrate a Traditional Latin High Mass in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the parish’s first Mass, which was celebrated on November 15, 1914 in a temporary Holy Ghost Chapel before the current church was built. Several parish music groups will sing Gregorian chant and selected motets.
Fr. Silveira became pastor in 2013, and his family has deep ties to the parish. Fr. Silveira was born in the Azores. He began seminary education there as a youth, but later he married and had two children. He was ordained as a deacon in 2012, after his wife of 25 years had passed away.
He began serving the parish as a deacon, and then he went on to complete his seminary education and was ordained to the priesthood in 2013.
The architecture of Five Wounds Church was inspired by the Igreja de Santa Cruz of Braga in Northern Portugal, which was built in the Baroque Mannerist style. (Five Wounds Church is often mistakenly said to be Manueline or Mission Revival style.) The first Mass in the current church was celebrated on June 28, 1918, and the church was dedicated on July 14, 1919. The church is located near the intersection of highway 101 and Santa Clara Street in San Jose, and its two imposing white towers and facade are an impressive sight that can be glimpsed from the freeway.
The Centennial Mass is part of the parish’s observance of the hundredth anniversary of the parish’s founding, and it will be the first Extraordinary Form Mass held under parish auspices since the changes to the liturgy that began during Second Vatican Council. However, Extraordinary Form Masses are already being celebrated in the church almost every day under the direction of rector Canon Raphael Ueda of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. In December of 2013, the church became the home of the new Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory, which was erected by Bishop Patrick McGrath as the center for the Extraordinary Form and sacraments for the diocese of San Jose. Regular Extraordinary Form Masses are celebrated on Sundays at 12:30 pm and Mondays through Fridays at 12:15 pm.
Former pastor Fr. Donald Morgan is expected to attend, along with Canon Ueda and Canon Olivier Meney. Fr. Morgan began celebrating Extraordinary Form Masses starting in 2009 while he was pastor at Five Wounds, during the period of about a year when the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Santa Clara was allowed to celebrate a 9:15 Mass at the church every Sunday morning. Fr. Morgan moved on to another assignment in the diocese in 2011, but he assists the Institute as an associate and continues to celebrate the EF Mass frequently at the Oratory, at St. Margaret Mary Church in Oakland, and at other locations, while he remains a diocesan priest.
The history of the parish is documented with brilliant photos in a centennial book, A Vestibule to Heaven, authored by Miguel Valle Ávila. Copies may be purchased at the Portuguese Heritage Publications of California’s website: http://portuguesebooks.org/books/a-vestibule-to-heaven.