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Parish History

Rialto
Fontana

Rialto Center

Our Rialto Church Center was formerly St. Thomas Moore Church which was founded by Fr. Albert Schwartz in 1961. The first Mass of this Church was celebrated in the Priest's Rectory and later Masses were celebrated in a remodeled two room schoolhouse on Riverside Avenue where the Y.W.C.A. later stood. When Fr. Daniel O'Callaghan became the first pastor of St. Thomas Moore in 1961, he began immediately to look for a new site for the location of the Church building. Meanwhile the Holy Mass was celebrated at the Rancho Verde Country Club and at the Lutheran Church of the Cross pending the building of a permanent Church house. In 1965, the present Church property was purchased on Easton Street. On this new ground, a hall was built and dedicated by Bishop Buddy to serve as a place for celebrating Mass at the meantime. In 1968 Fr. Timothy Harnett became the second Pastor. The parish grew very rapidly at the time, and on December 22, 1966, the first Confirmation class was confirmed by Bishop Furey.

In 1968, an Adult Choir was formed under the direction of William Priestly. This Choir was seconded by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) which was very active at the time and sang regularly at Folk Masses. It was in this same year (July 4, 1968) that the first Mexican Fiesta was held with Mrs. Manuel de la Vega and Lupe Ross as Co-Chairpersons. In 1970 Fr. Thomas Healy became the third pastor of St. Thomas Moore. A new Parish Church construction was signed in 1971 by Bishop Maher. The construction of the new Parish Church was completed in April 1972. In 1974 Fr. Richard Waterfall became the fourth Pastor of the parish.

In 1974 the Altar Society began sponsoring funeral receptions for all parish families. In 1978 Fr. Thomas Gillespie became the fifth pastor of St. Thomas Moore. By 1980 the first Parish Council was formed, and Bishop Phillip Straling ordained Tom Brannick as a permanent Deacon for the parish. In 1981 Sr. Eileen Rafferty was appointed Pastoral Assistant, and the Parish Hall was enlarged with offices to provide accommodation for the administrative staff. The Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was installed and dedicated by Bishop Straling in 1985. On October 18, 1986 a Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated to mark the 25th Anniversary of St. Thomas Moore Church.

By 1991 St. Thomas Moore received her sixth pastor, Fr. Edward DuBel, CR. With a growing Spanish Speaking families arriving to the parish location area, a need for a Spanish Mass became expedient. Thus in 1993 St. Thomas Moore Church celebrated her first Spanish Mass. Unfortunately, in 2001 the Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was vandalized but later replaced with a new one in May 5th at the 21st Annual Madonna Tea. Throughout the length of the church's existence the Religious Education, Liturgical Ministries and more recently the Hispanic and Filipino Ministries have been an integral part of the parish. The seventh and last pastor of St. Thomas Moore Church before it became part of the present parish was Fr. Timothy Jenejcic. In 2006, St.Thomas Moore Church combined with Resurrection Church in Fontana to become Saint John XXIII.

Fontana Center

Resurrection Parish in Fontana was established in 1953 when the city was still part of the Diocese of San Diego. Located on the city's north side, it developed from St. Joseph Parish a mile south west. Both parishes at the time and until 2010 have been administered by the priests and brothers of the Congregation of the Resurrection. Fr. Clement Weiss, C.R., was the first pastor.

Fr. Albert Kowalczyk, C.R. was the pastor when the present church with a capacity of 550 was constructed in 1957. One of its most attractive qualities is a series of 21 stained-glass windows. He also oversaw the opening of grades K through 4 of the parochial school, Resurrection Academy, currently enrolling about 200 children.

By 1978 an increase in the Catholic population called for the creation of the new Diocese of San Bernardino to which Resurrection Parish would now belong. As growth continued, during the pastorate of Fr. Timothy Keppel, C.R., a large parish hall was built in 1989 and six years later, three classrooms were added. Easter 1990 saw the celebration of the first Mass in Spanish. Today four Masses in English and four Masses in Spanish are offered every weekend. There is also a small, but notable, presence of Filipinos in the parish today. A major event that brings the several parish communities together is the annual three day summer fest held on the last weekend of June. Fr. Leonard Krzywda, C.R. was the pastor at the time that Resurrection Church and St. Thomas More in Rialto merged to become Blessed John XXIII in 2006.