Parish History


Bishop John S. Cummins established St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish by Episcopal Decree on June 4, 1979. Fr. Bob Ponciroli was appointed Pastor and arrived on July 15, 1979. During Fr. Bobís tenure, Liturgy was celebrated at Park Middle School (then Park Junior High) and the Pastoral Council and Harvesters group were established. Because of Park Middle Schoolís roof needing repair, Liturgy was transferred to Mission Elementary School for a short while. Fr. Bob remained pastor for four years and left due to health reasons on February 27, 1983.


The Rectory was built in 1979 at 209 Tanganyika Court and a small mobile trailer was placed near the Rectory to serve as the Parish Office. Anita Calderoni was the first Pastoral Secretary and Director of Music, and Bev Iacona was the first Faith Formation Director.


Fr. Anthony Harcar was assigned as our Parochial Administrator and arrived on February 27, 1983. During Fr. Harcarís tenure, the present building was constructed serving as a multi-purpose facility for worship, dinners, social events and meetings. Faith Formation Classes at the time were held in the homes of the individual Catechistsí. Fr. Harcard retired in 1993.


Fr. Paul Devine succeeded Fr. Harcar and served the parish for five months as the new Parochial Administrator. Fr. Paul stepped down on July 13, 1993 for personal reasons.


Fr. Vince Cotter was appointed as our second Pastor on July 15, 1993. During Fr. Vinceís first two years, the parish was restructured to meet the Ten Essentials of Parish life. In June of 1994, Seminarian Hy Nguyen was assigned for his pastoral year. In August of 1995, Fr. Leo Edgerly, Jr. arrived as our Parochial Vicar and Al Fleischer as our First Permanent Deacon.


The present worship area was remodeled from a parish hall with cement floors and movable chairs, to carpeted floors and permanent pews in May of 1997. Most of the remodeling work was done by parishioners. In 2000, Fr. Leo left St. Ignatius of Antioch to become Pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Piedmont and Fr. Ramiro Flores was assigned as our new Parochial Vicar. In 2001, Fr. Vince was transferred to become Pastor of St. Philip Neri Church in Alameda. The Diocese then appointed Fr. Geoffrey Baraan as Parochial Administrator.


A few months later, Fr. Ramiro was appointed Parochial Vicar to St. Anthony Church in Oakland. In 2003, the parish celebrated the ordination of two of our parishioners as Permanent Deacons-Gary Hack and Jerry Waters. Fr. Geoffrey remained with us for four years and then was reassigned to St. Anne Church in Union City as Pastor.


On December 6, 2005, the Diocese appointed Fr. Robert Rien as our new Parochial Administrator with Fr. Thomas Bonacci, C.P. in Residence.


In 2009, Fr. Tom was reassigned by his Order to their Retreat House north of Sacramento.


In May 2016, Fr Robert was appointed as the third Pastor in the history St. Ignatius of Antioch. Fr. Robert was formally installed on July 3, 2016.