Over the last twenty-five years St. Mary’s has expanded services and programs. Religious Formation has added adult activities in addition to the (RCIA) Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; Youth Ministry includes both a junior and senior high program, St. Mary’s also has a Stephen Ministry Group (peer help for hurting people), a volunteer coordinator, and a preschool for three and four-year-old children. The staff has increased to fourteen full-time and twenty-four part-time employees. An exciting and innovative Religious Formation program was embarked upon in 2005. G.I.F.T. (Growing in Faith Together): a monthly faith development program which includes everyone regardless of age. It begins with a meal, breakout sessions (age appropriate), teaching, sharing, discussion, and activities, then a return to the original setting to end with a closing activity that focuses on the topic. G.I.F.T. has replaced our after school program for children. This new format was endorsed and implemented in over 60 dioceses and 1000 parishes nationwide when St. Mary’s began it in 2005. Currently, 700 families are involved. Christian Service has expanded to include many Ministries. The ministry with the largest participation is S.O.S. (South Oakland Shelter). For the past 10 years approximately 30 homeless are provided food, shelter, entertainment, and rides for one week a year. Hundreds of parishioners have sacrificed their time and talent for the parish in various capacities during the years. God knows who they are and they know what they have done for St. Mary’s. Mary Bomarito and Bill and Catherine Sabanos stand out among those who were especially helpful in bringing the parish to life from its beginning. St. Mary’s delights in the fact that it provides for the poor and for ministries of the Archdiocese. In past years it has met and surpassed its quotas for the annual Catholic Services Appeal and for the Archdiocesan Endowment Fund called Stewards for Tomorrow. The quick growth of the parish is due to the generosity of many individuals among them being the late Miss F. Evelyn Cunningham, who left the parish 30% of her estate valued at over $1,000,000. This was very good of her considering she was not a member. Memorial plaques honoring her and her parents as well as other generous donors can be found in the chapel.