Catholics Relocating to Silicon Valley: Welcome to a Wonderfully Diverse Church Community!

If you are Catholic and moving to the San Jose – Silicon Valley area, you’re in luck and we hope you’ll feel right at home. We enjoy a very vibrant Catholic community here, with lots of parishes, Masses in a many languages and several Catholic rites, and of course tons of opportunity for involvement in spiritual and volunteer activities.

Find a church: You can find a list of Roman Catholic Parishes in the Diocese of San Jose (which covers Santa Clara County and is most of “Silicon Valley”) on the diocesan website:
http://www.dsj.org/about-us/parishes.

Find a Mass: About one-third of Silicon Valley happens to be Catholic (yes, that is a high percentage), and there are both a lot of churches and a lot of Masses. (I like to joke that when you’re Catholic here you have no excuse for missing Mass because there are a ton of opportunities, beginning late on Saturday afternoon, to attend.) Please check the diocese’s website for a list of parishes.  From there, click on one near you (the map function is interactive!) and from there you can click on the parish link to see when Mass is offered.

What about Mass in another language? Finding Mass in languages other than English is not too hard in Silicon Valley.  Here are the other languages, which you can find in the area:

  • English
    • all parishes except the Latin-only
      Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel
  • Spanish
    • Offered at 19 parishes in and near San Jose, including the Cathedral, Christ the King, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Peace, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Athanasius, St. Catherine of Alexandria (Morgan Hill), St. Clare, St. Cyprian, St. Elizabeth, St. John Vianney, St. Joseph, St. Julie Billiart, St. Leo the Great, St. Maria Goretti, St. Mary’s (Gilroy), St. Patrick Proto-Cathedral, and St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Vietnamese
    • Offered at 6 parishes: Most Holy Trinity, St. Elizabeth’s, St. John the Baptist, St. Maria Goretti, St. Martin’s, St. Patrick’s
  • Croatian
    • St. Mary of the Assumption Croatian Mission
  • Polish
    • St. Brother Albert Chmielowski Polish Mission
  • Portuguese
    • Five Wounds Portuguese National Church
    • St. Clare’s
  • Latin
    • Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel
  • Tagalog
    • St. Joseph’s
  • Korean
    • Holy Korean Martyrs Parish
  • Cantonese
    • St. Clare’s
  • Mandarin
    • St. Clare’s
  • Italian
    • Holy Cross


Additionally, there are many other eastern Catholic rites (in communion with Rome, 100% Catholic but not “Roman Catholic” in case there’s any confusion – see link for more info) which also have Mass or The Divine Liturgy here in their rites and languages.  These Catholic communities are not under the Diocese of San Jose, but rather their own tradition’s eparchy (like a diocese but covers a lot of area).

While the Mass or the Divine Liturgy is arguably the fullest way in which we express our Christian faith, we have many other devotions, prayer and support groups, activities and ways to be involved too.  If you are new to Silicon Valley, one of the best things you can do to make yourself at home quickly is to get involved.  Here there are loads of opportunities – where do you want to start?

Find a Catholic Group in Silicon Valley

Not every parish offers every group, so you may need to check around both your own parish and those nearby to find what you’re looking for. Some groups are tied to the larger region rather than one parish.

Prayer and devotions: There are many parishes where the faithful regularly meet to pray the rosary, pray before the Blessed Sacrament, say the Angelus or novenas, have parish retreats or gather for other prayer and devotion. (Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara, in particular, has a lot of various devotions.)

You will also find bible studies available (at some point I will compile a list) in English and other languages (St. Joseph of Cupertino offers a bible study in Chinese, for instance – though Mass is not offered in Mandarin or Cantonese  at that parish).

Faith and support groups exist in several places for those with special needs, including widows and widowers, for children grieving the loss of a parent or loved one (the Rainbows program, which I used to help with several years ago in my parish and is offered mostly on the east side now), for moms of small kids and more.  There are Masses and groups for gay and lesbian Catholics too.

Groups by language and place of origin: the diocese has a council of Filipino Catholics and also a concerted effort with Hispanic youth and young adults.

All kinds of ministries: Youth ministry and young adult ministry is found in most parish communities and it can range from meetings at the parish to groups like “theology on tap“.  There is outreach to the poor, the divorced, those whose marriages are struggling (Retrouvaille) and those which seek to be deepened in Christ (Marriage Encounter).

All kinds of service: We have no shortage of need here, and in many parishes there are opportunities to serve the sick, the lonely, the poorest and least protected members of society in a large number of ways. Please check out the San Jose Diocese’s page on Social Ministries for more information.

The Catholic Professionals & Business Club meets to grow in faith, to share in community, to network and to serve.  Each month they have a breakfast & speaker meeting with great topics (I have attended a few of them).  Check out their website.

This is only scratching the surface.  Looking for a particular devotion, prayer group, support group, or committee to help with? Check your nearest parish first. If they don’t have it, ask if they know where you can find it.  The odds are good that it’s here somewhere (and perhaps just isn’t listed in an easy-to-find place). The chancery office (the office for the bishop and those who work for the diocese) should be able to help locate what you need if you cannot find it elsewhere.

For more reading:
List of Catholic dioceses of the United States” (Wikipedia)

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