We are a thriving Catholic Community in North Natomas. All are Welcome!
Our Blessed History
We want you to know about our history, and how our Church came to be – truly we were built by love but sustained by stewardship.
In September 2004, Fr. Cesar Ageas, Pastor at St. Joseph Parish, met with a Core Group of Natomas residents to locate a building where the faithful could celebrate Mass. The core group rented a small hall in the Natomas Unified School District and our first Mass was celebrated on September 26, 2004. But there was one problem – the hall was too small for the overwhelming turnout. A larger space was located, and then- Bishop William Wiegand joined the faithful for a Mass a month later.
Fr. Cesar Ageas Named as Founding Pastor
Seeing the need, in January 2005 Bishop Wiegand appointed Fr. Cesar as Founding Pastor of the new Natomas Parish. But what should the Parish be called?
Father Cesar tells that he was inspired after serving at Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Joseph Parish, and thought of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. He suggested the name “Divine Mercy” because, of the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ and for him, it completed the Holy Family. Bishop Wiegand gave his approval, and Divine Mercy became the 100th Parish in the Diocese of Sacramento.
There were many obstacles to getting our Church built, including a severe recession and building moratorium, but despite this we moved forward. To help us, the Diocese donated the land where our Church is currently situated and provided $500,000 “seed money” to get started. This building would be our FIRST church, and once this was paid for, additional structures – a final church and multipurpose building – would be added.
Rectory was Purchased
A Rectory was purchased, and attendance continued to grow. When it appeared, we could financially support a church, $3.8 million was borrowed from the Diocese with the understanding that there would be several Capital Campaigns (every 3 – 4 years) until the debt was repaid over a 20 –25-year period. During this evolving period, Mass was being celebrated at a local school.
First Capital Campaign
In 2007, the first Capital Campaign was launched, and 320 registered families pledged $1.1 million dollars and construction began in 2008. The $1.1 million dollars was applied towards the building construction only, and Fr. Cesar asked the faithful to donate interior decorations from a parish “Wish Book”.
Divine Mercy Catholic Church Dedication
Through the generosity of early parishioners, all of the interior decorations we now have (pews, statues, baptismal font and altar) were donated. A year and a half later, on September 5, 2009, our Divine Mercy Catholic Church was dedicated in a celebration overseen by Bishop Jamie Soto.
Fr. Soane Kaniseli Appointed as New Pastor
In January 2010, the Diocese appointed a new Pastor, Fr. Soane Kaniseli, to lead our Parish. Soon after, our second capital campaign began. Additional money was borrowed from the Diocese to allow us to add portable meeting rooms/classrooms to accommodate the growth of Catholic Faith Formation (CFF) and various Ministries in our Parish. At the time there was a building moratorium in Natomas, and portable buildings were our best option. The City approved the use of portable buildings with the understanding that, when the moratorium lifted, the portable buildings would have to be moved.
3rd Capital Campaign Ends
In December 2018, our third Capital Campaign ended and focused on reducing our mortgage debt. New Parish families are invited to assist in the mortgage reduction effort. This ongoing stewardship is necessary to maintain all of the services our Church provides its members.
Fr. Eric Flores Appointed as New Pastor
Upon the retirement of Fr. Soane Kaniseli on June 30, 2020, the Diocese appointed Fr. Eric Flores to be our new pastor. Fr. Eric was previously the Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Anderson, CA.
Our Church today has grown to more the 1,500 households—three times the size of our fledgling church community. Divine Mercy now offers many ways to participate in the spiritual, educational, social, and service ministries of our church. It is through the continued generosity of all Parish families, past and present, that enables our Church to provide daily Mass and Sacraments to our Catholic community.