The groundbreaking celebration was on April 16 1994. The owner-builder concept was used with most of the work being done by volunteers—“A Labor of Love”. Tony Ward was the project coordinator and Ted Woodward the General Contractor. Thousands of volunteers contributed skills, time and treasure to a fantastic accomplishment.
The newest Catholic Church in the mountain area will be two story with the lower level to serve as the parish hall. On Christmas of 1996 Mass was celebrated in the hall. Our worship services were held there until the upper level was completed in 1999. It is a one-of-a-kind church….from the glass panels in the sanctuary you can enjoy the mountains which surround Oakhurst. You are in the midst of the beauty of the Sierras, in the church dedicated to Mary, hence the name “Our Lady of the Sierra”.
As you look around the sanctuary you can see evidence of the blessed vision of the Priests and the adoring love of parishioners. The quilt of Our Lady of Sierra lovingly made by Carol Spalding hangs next to the altar. The St. Therese and Holy Family statue through donations of Isabel Rajcan, the Women’s Guild, and other parishioners. Dick Poitras carved the Madonna in the vestibule. The unique oak and manzanita altars were designed for each parish church. And many more items too numerous to mention.
Walk the grounds and notice even more items of the “Labor of Love”. The Blessed Mother’s Garden and the Garden to the Unborn make for a peaceful spot for prayer. The “Bell Tower” was built by Larry Cone and was dedicated to Msgr. Herman just before he retired. These few stories are only a small reflection of the love the parishioners and our Priests have had for our three beautiful and unique churches.