Holy Spirit Church is an historical landmark located in the center of Fremont. Originally named Holy Ghost Church, it has brought worshipers together for the Sacraments since 1886.
The cornerstone was laid on March 28, 1886 by Bishop Eugene O'Connerll of Grass Valley, assisted by Fr. Montgomery and Fr. Governo. The cost of the building at that time was $12,000. Holy Ghost Church was dedicated on Sunday, October 17, 1886 by Vicar General Fr. John J. Prendergast. Two homilies were preached... one in English by Fr. Prendergast and one in Portuguese by Fr. Governo. The City of Centerville, at the time, were primarily Portuguese, and the area consisted mostly of farms and orchards. Later, the church was renamed Holy Spirit Church and five surrounding districts were combined and named Fremont.
In 1919, the wooden church burnt to the ground, when a candle fell over that was left burning after a funeral. Over the next 6 years, parishioners donated monies, hauled sand and gravel from the local quarries, and gave their labors to erect a new stucco church building. From an aerial view, the building was the shape of a cross
As the population in Fremont grew, so did the needs of Holy Spirit Church. In 1965, a large extension (the North nave) was built that extended behind the altar area of the old church. The new sanctuary area, in the middle, was redesigned to serve the two naves. A new marble altar was donated and placed in the sanctuary between what is now commonly called the old side and the new side of the Church. Within the walls, close to 1,000 people can be seated
Behind the Altar of Repose is a 15 foot wide mosaic mural of people young and old offering gifts to Christ. The mosaic was designed and installed by Isabel and Edith Piscek.
The pipe organ was rebuilt about 1960 by Schoenstein & Sons and uses 868 pipes and two manuals.
Located in the South bell tower, is a large bell forged in Portugal. It survived the 1919 fire and was reinstalled in the new church bell tower. Located in the North bell tower is a large speaker that tolls the angelus and other electronic and taped music. The electronic bell system is a Schulmerish Carillon Company installed in 1978.
Today, we are proud to claim that Holy Spirit Church has the largest Sunday Mass attendance in the Diocese of Oakland. There are almost 4,000 people attending our Saturday and Sunday Masses each weekend. Presently, we have over 4,400 registered families in our parish which continues to grow by 15 to 20 families each month.
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