WHO WAS ST. VICTOR?
St. Victor was a native of Africa and succeeded St. Eleutherius as Pope, about the year 189. He opposed the heresies of that time and ex-communicated those who taught that Jesus Christ was only a man and not God. He was involved in the controversy regarding the date of Easter and confirmed the decree of Pope Pius 1, which ordered the Feast of Easter to be celebrated on a Sunday. He ruled the Church for ten years. His energy and zeal exposed him to persecutions for which alone he deserves the honors of a martyr, which are accorded him liturgically. This pope is named in the canon of the Ambrosian Mass and is said by St. Jerome to have been the first in Rome to celebrate the Mysteries in Latin. He was formerly held in special veneration in Scotland for having sent missionaries there. While we know little about him, we may reflect that it was through such people as St. Victor, that Christianity took root and has survived to be cherished by us some eighteen centuries later.
THE HISTORY OF OUR PARISH
St. Victor Parish was founded in 1961 by the Rev. Prendeville. Its territory was originally part of St. Patrick Church, St. John Vianney Church (both in San Jose) and St. John the Baptist Church in Milpitas. The first Mass was celebrated on October 29, 1961, the Feast of Christ the King, in an old farm house that Mateo and Ann Sunseri made available to the community. This temporary church served as a place of worship for seventeen months. Men of the parish took care of remodeling the farm house and provided 160 seats for the community.
The first Christmas midnight Mass was celebrated with an ancient spinet organ donated for that occasion. The farmhouse lights worked on individual chains. It was understood that parishioners in the front rows would stand and move to the side so that communicants would be able to kneel at the railing. On summer days, early Mass was best and in rainy weather, boots were convenient. It was a simple and homey church in every sense of the word.
The first rectory was purchased in August 1961. It was used as such until 1964 when the church bought two other properties to house the priests. The original rectory then became the convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Corondolet. In 1972, a house was purchased at 3108 Sierra Rd for use as a rectory; it is now the current Parish Office Building.
To serve the needs of the rapidly growing community, it was decided to build a Church Hall. On May 28, 1978, ground was broken. The shell was built by a construction company and the men of the parish did the finishing work. The hall was completed on April 11, 1979; Bishop Francis Quinn blessed it on April 22, 1979.
Just when everything was going well for the faith community, a calamity struck on April 10, 1980. A three-alarm fire swept through St. Victor Church and burned it to the ground, including the newly-installed $22,000 organ. Investigators reported that an arsonist started the fire using candles taken from the sacristy. But out of the ashes emerged the indomitable spirit of the St. Victor Community. The night after the fire, the Parish Council, led by the then-acting chairman, Tom Zeitvogel, had an emergency meeting. It was decided then to rebuild the church with a Spanish Mission theme. Jean Dargis headed the pledge drive to secure funds for the building of the new church and the ground-breaking ceremony took place on June 14, 1981. The first mass was celebrated on May 15, 1982 and on September 9, 1982, Bishop Pierre DuMaine dedicated the church, followed by a parish barbecue and Fiesta.
In June of 1996, a decision was made to construct another wing to take care of the needs of the growing population. Located on the southeast corner of the present school building, the new wing houses meeting rooms and additional space for St. Victor School.
Our statue of St. Victor