Divine Savior Catholic Parish became a church in the Diocese of Sacramento on the weekend of November 14, 1987. Bishop Francis Quinn defines the parish boundaries and appointed the first pastoral staff. Bishop Quinn, with the cooperation of the Society of the Divine Savior (The Salvatorians), appointed Father Robert Marsicek as pastor and Fr. Neil Seidl as the Parochial Vicar. Fr. Bob and Fr. Neil visited local parishes and introduced themselves and set a clear beginning course. They promised to set community building as the focus of the new parish. Buildings and permanent buildings would have to wait. Liturgies began in a rented Bingo hall in Orangevale.
From the very first gathering in the Bingo Hall (St. Raleys), the priests joined the parishioners as co-planners in the future directions of Divine Savior. The initial 200 families gathered and established an environment characterized by openness, warmth, acceptability, informality and faith. As a result of these efforts, the parish began to grow and multiply. The increase in parishioners propelled Divine Savior into its first, of many, fund-raising drives.
The Diocese of Sacramento announced that Divine Savior would receive an 8-acre tract of land for its future home. The property located at the corner of Greenback Lane and Filbert Avenue in the heart of Orangevale would be the site of our new parish complex. Easter Sunrise Mass in 1988 would become the first liturgy on this vacant field.
Groundbreaking was held on May 19, 1991 and was witnessed by some 300 people. Bishop Francis Quinn officiated and many area priests were in attendance. Divine Savior parishioners acquired bags of dirt from the field as treasured mementos of this day.
The Planning Committee determined that temporary buildings would be erected on our new property until a permanent church building could be constructed. A multipurpose building (the Pavilion) made of vinyl with metal framing was erected just hours before Christmas Eve masses were held in 1991. This structure would be used for most of our liturgical and social events. Basketball and volleyball would be favorite sports in the Pavilion. In 1992 a row of portable buildings would house the chapel, office and other meeting rooms. These temporary buildings became home as traditions developed. People attached themselves to the "Divinal Savior" or "the puff puff church": babies were baptized, couples married and life transitions were celebrated.
Construction-Dedication-Sunday on July 19, 1999, reminded us of the ever-present contemporary needs of our people and of the necessity of responding to these needs. With prayer, songs, colorful signs and banners, the reality of finally starting the construction of the permanent church building came over the parish. After much waiting and prayer, the bulldozers went to work on August 8, 1999. People excitedly watched and marveled as the work continued.
Leadership of the growing congregation was shared: Priests, individuals, parish committees, diocesan committees and the expanding parish staff all worked together. With the retirement of Bishop Quinn in 1993, the parish refocused its plans with help of Bishop William Weigand, the new bishop of Sacramento.
Saturday the 8th of January 2000 has been established as the day of dedication of our new permanent church building. Bishop Richard J. Garcia, D.D., auxiliary of the Diocese of Sacramento will officiate at the 10 AM Liturgy. Local priests, deacons, Divine Savior parishioners, relatives and friends will assist him. Neighbors and friends of other religious congregations will join in the community wide celebrations.