Divine Savior Church History
Divine Savior Catholic Parish became a church in the Sacramento Diocese on November 14, 1987. Bishop Francis Quinn, with the cooperation of the Society of the Divine Savior (The Salvatorians), appointed Fr. Robert (Bob) Marsicek as Pastor and Fr. Neil Seidl as the Parochial Vicar.
This Divine Savior history is divided into three areas: development of the Divine Savior complex; reflections on the Salvatorian priests that have served at Divine Savior; and, learning about the dedicated staff, volunteers and ministries that have made Divine Savior Catholic Church a hospitable, friendly, compassionate, caring and living place to worship.
Development of the Divine Savior Complex
In 1987, Fr. Bob Marsicek and Fr. Neil Seidl felt it was critical to focus on building the Divine Savior community instead of a physical structure. Permanent buildings would have to wait until the community had been established. From the very first gathering at a Bingo Hall at the Raley’s Shopping Center at Hazel and Madison Avenues, the priests joined the parishioners as co-planners in the future direction of Divine Savior. Two hundred households gathered and established an environment characterized by openness, warmth, acceptance informality and faith. As a result of these efforts the parish community began to grow. The rapid increase in parishioners propelled Divine Savior into short term and long term planning. The Bingo Hall would not be able to accommodate the parish and its ministries for long.
The Sacramento Diocese announced that Divine Savior would receive an eight-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 to be held on the new property—then, just a vacant field. Over 300 people attended the groundbreaking on May 19, 1991. Bishop Francis Quinn officiated, and many area priests were in attendance. Divine Savior parishioners took home small bags of dirt from the field as treasured memories of this day.
The Planning Committee determined that a temporary building would be erected on our new property until a permanent church building could be constructed. A multipurpose building (the Pavilion), a vinyl covered metal-framed structure, was erected. It was completed just hours before the 1991 Christmas Eve masses. 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, portable buildings were added, housing the chapel, office, and other meeting rooms. These temporary buildings became home as traditions developed. People attached themselves to “Divinyl Savior”; babies were baptized, couples married, and passing lives were celebrated. The parish enjoyed services in the Pavilion until the permanent church would be constructed.
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 launched the next phase of development with the help of Bishop William Weigand, the new Bishop of Sacramento.
Starting construction of the permanent church building finally came a reality at the groundbreaking ceremony on July 19, 1998 (Construction-Dedication Sunday). The parish was reminded of the ever-present contemporary needs of our people and of the necessity of responding to these needs. After much waiting and prayer, the bulldozers went to work on August 3, 1998. Excited parishioners watched and marveled as the work continued.
Our new permanent church building was dedicated on Saturday, January 8, 2000. Bishop Richard J. Garcia, D.D., auxiliary of the Diocese of Sacramento officiated at the 10 am Mass. Neighbors and friends of other religious congregations joined in the community wide celebrations.
The parish grew quickly after the completion of the church in 2000. Under the leadership of Fr. Tom Truman, the parish began planning for suitable facilities where the various groups, ministries, and committees could serve the community and pass on their faith and stewardship to the next generations of Divine Savior households.
In 2002, a second major building campaign began in order to construct a Multipurpose Building. The building would include a gymnasium, a full institutional kitchen, a smaller kitchen for buffets and snacks, a youth room, meeting rooms, and office space for the Divine Savior office staff and volunteers to conduct church business. The state-of-the-art facility would provide space for activities throughout the week, and would also be rented out to outside groups for a fee.
The Multipurpose Building’s groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 4, 2004, and just a year later, the building dedication was held. There was nearly a week of celebrations starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony on February 23, 2005 and ending with a dinner-dance on February 27, 2005.
The Salvatorian Priests Serving at Divine Savior
Fr. Robert (Bob) Marsicek, S.D.S. ~ Fr. Bob, served from 1987 until the church building was completed in 2000. Fr. Bob was well known in the Orangevale community. He even ran for honorary mayor of Orangevale and was an active member of the Orangevale Rotary Club. He loved wearing his Green Bay Packers jacket—especially when the Packers were playing well! The Salvatorian elders moved Fr. Bob back to Wisconsin after 13 years at Divine Savior.
Fr. Neil Seidl, S.D.S. ~ Fr. Neil was Divine Savior’s first Parochial Vicar. Fr. Neil often recited the Gospel from memory. He touched many with his homilies, his insights and his selflessness. He often delivered inspirational homilies without any notes, or with just a “post- it-note” in hand. On May 12, 1999, Fr. Neil was quietly called to his heavenly home.
The Knights of Columbus formed at Divine Savior in 2004, and as a tribute to Fr. Neil’s service to Divine Savior parish, they named their council, The Father Neil W. Seidl Council, No. 13,672.
Fr. Patrick Ritter, S.D.S. ~ Associate Pastor Fr. Patrick Ritter joined the Divine Savior community in 1994. His primary duty was to establish and run a counseling center at the parish. Fr. Patrick provided counseling services at Divine Savior until 2000. He also participated in the community by saying Mass and working along side Fathers Bob and Neil. Divine Savior was blessed to have three excellent priests during this period. Fr. Patrick passed away on August 24, 2010.
Fr. Tom Tureman, S.D.S. ~ After Fr. Bob was reassigned to Wisconsin Fr. Tom Tureman was named pastor. Fr. Tom led the parish through a capital campaign to raise money and begin construction of the Multipurpose Building. Like Fr. Bob, Fr. Tom also understood fundraising campaigns, and he worked hard to include everyone in the process. Fr. Tom is also an avid photographer, and he loves to travel. After serving our parish well for four years, he was assigned to become the Salvatorian’s Mission Procurator, a job that allows him to raise money for the Salvatorian missions and travel (while taking a few photographs). This appears to be the perfect assignment for Fr. Tom, who currently lives in Tucson, AZ.
Fr. Jeff Woken, S.D.S. ~ Fr. Jeff was assigned the parochial vicar in 2000. Fr. Jeff had a powerful ability to connect with people in discussion groups. Fr. Jeff was a good listener, and offered thoughtful advice with a friendly smile. His musical talents were many. Fr. Jeff often played guitar during his homilies, had a great voice when singing Mass parts, and played trombone in the Capitol Pops Orchestra. Fr. Jeff was reassigned in 2006 and is currently serving on the Salvatorian’s Jordan Ministry Team. He lives in Tucson, AZ.
Fr. Tom Perrin, S.D.S. ~ Fr. Tom Perrin served at Divine Savior From 2006 to 2009. He was especially inspirational in presiding over daily Masses. His brief homilies often left the congregation with an encouraging message of hope and peace. Fr. Tom grew up in the Sacramento area, and was a civil engineer working for Caltrans before he took his vows. Fr. Tom’s family still lives in the area.
For information on our current pastor, Fr. Roman, please see About Us > Meet the Staff.
Divine Savior Parish Community
When the parish formed, about 200 members began to organize needed ministries and social groups, which allowed the parish to bond together. The news of Divine Savior’s positive, warm, inclusive and open-minded spirit spread across the area. As a result, the parish grew quickly, even though we did not have permanent facilities. Fr. Bob worked with Bob and Shirley Daniels to form the first Planning Committees. The committees formed by Fr. Bob and the Daniels evolved into more than 60 different ministries today.
When the multipurpose Building was constructed, there were approximately 1,250 registered households in the parish. Today, the number is about the same even with the addition of a new parish in Granite Bay.
Today’s parish has a vibrant staff that plans, implements, and supports the day-to-day functions of our active parish. For Biographies of the Divine Savior staff, click on About Us > Meet The Staff.
Today, Divine Savior is an active and lively parish community. Look at the Ministry Section of the website for ways to get involved in our parish! It is a great way to not only serve our community and our parish, but it is also a great way to meet people and make new friends.