150th Celebration of Nativity
Painted onto the side of the safe which served as the original tabernacle for the Church of the Nativity is the address: “Rev. Father O’Riordan Menlo Park San Mateo CA." That was all that was needed to deliver the heavy box to its destination. Fr. Michael O’Riordan was the second pastor of Nativity (1881-1899). It says a lot already about the humble origins of our parish. Menlo Park was not yet incorporated as a city, and no street address was necessary. This object served as the tabernacle for the church until the renovations and restoration work in 2008. It still resides, however, in the rectory guarding other precious items. It is a happy thought that for most of the 150 years of our existence it held the most precious object of any church – the Blessed Sacrament.
For 150 years people have been coming into Nativity to find spiritual consolation, encouragement, and sustenance. Only seven years after the close of the Civil War Nativity’s doors were opened and have remained open. This makes Nativity the oldest continuously used Catholic church on the Peninsula. We can imagine the thousands of faithful who nurtured their spiritual lives here. How many Baptisms, Weddings, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Funerals, daily and Sunday Masses celebrated!
A parish is not just a “place.” It is, most importantly, “people.” We celebrate in 2022 the great “cloud of witnesses” which has passed through this treasured house of worship. It is they who make the building a “holy house.” How aptly we have seen it grow from a modest structure into a beautiful historic edifice surrounded by magnificent gardens. It is truly the “Jewel of the Peninsula." It is a living symbol of the Holy People of God who find here their refuge, training ground, sanctuary, their home.
Msgr. Steven D. Otellini
15th Pastor, Church of the Nativity
Nativity's 150th Anniversary upcoming events:
- September 10 and 11, 2021: Nativity School and Carnival Silent Auction
- September 11, 2021: Dinner and Raffle Kickoff event
- November 26, 2021: Nativity Christmas Tree Lot Opens
- December 18, 2021: Volunteer Appreciation Reception
- February 26, 2022: Nativity School Gala and Online Auction - VIRTUAL!
- June 4, 2022: Fr. Davenport Golf Tournament
- June 10, 11 & 12, 2022: Nativity's 40th Annual Carnival - The Magic is Back!
- September 24, 2022: 150th Anniversary Mass and Dinner
Nativity's 150th Anniversary Upcoming Events
Office hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am-4:00pm
210 Oak Grove Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
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