Casa del Pomba
House of the Dove
December 4th, 2009
27th Grand Opening Last Night a Success:
Last night at 6:30 p.m. the folks gathered in front of the darkened property of the House of the Dove waiting for the Christmas Procession to march down Hillcrest Ave. Security Eye Patrol, Inc. provided the Security Staff to close off the side streets until the procession passed. They did an outstanding job. Deacon Dave receives a permit from the City of Livermore to close the street each year for the opening Ceremonies. Mayor Marshall Kamena addressed the crowd from the stage. Deacon Dave reading from the Bible (Book of Genesis) to the verse “Let there be Light” set the instant turning of 325,350 Christmas Lights.
Deacon Dave Presents Awards:
The 2009 Gold Star Award was presented to Holly Loberg. This award is given to the person who is a current member of the Christmas Team and who demonstrates outstanding performance in helping build the Christmas Display. This person contributes time, talent, long hours and maintains the ability to rally the crew with the Spirit of Christmas.
The Founders Award is presented to the person who early in the Christmas Display years contributed their God given gifts and talents in helping Deacon Dave build the Display. This year the award was presented to John Bliss. Accepting the award for John who was out of town was Jeanie Haigh.
The 2009 Dove Award is presented to the person who is a current member of the Christmas Crew and has demonstrated outstanding Technical, Mechanical and Carpentry Skills in building the Christmas Display. This person fosters team spirit in accomplishing the project. Deacon presented the award to Russ Duguid.
Christmas Lights Dedicated as prayer for Safety of U.S. Military Men and Women:
The Deacon announced that each of the 325,350 Christmas lights were dedicated as a prayer for the safety of our military men and women.
Theme for 2009 Christmas Display:
Deacon Dave spoke about what Christmas means to each of us. The reason for the season being the celebration of the birth of Christ, families gathered together, shopping, gift wrapping, wide eyed children going thru the Toy Store, dreams of the North Pole, a child’s visit to Santa, giving gifts, helping the less fortunate, Peace, Joy, Love and Hope. So many images of Christmas come to mind. Then the Deacon announced the 2009 theme “Christmas Is….” Upon walking thru the Display you will view a variety of images of Christmas. A room with family gathered together around the Christmas Tree. Grandma baking, Dad reading in a rocker and children watching T.V. (there is an actual movie playing on the TV) Another room is a Toy Store. Dad with stacked boxed gifts, mom shopping, children waiting in line to see Santa. The Reason for the Season, the Nativity is set off by itself. The now famous live white doves in the hay loft. As one walks over the bridge, to the left is an Ice Skating pond with skates moving in a circle around a Christmas Tree. On the opposite side is a room with an artist sketching what he thinks “Christmas Is.”
November 29th 2009
High Winds usher in last week of preparation:
Saturday November 28th found the Christmas Team working hard despite the extremely powerful winds. The Christmas Light Crew spent prime time replacing the strands of lights back into the trees. One large display of lights toppled over in the wind.
In this last week before the Grand Opening, Deacon Dave’s Christmas Team will be working every night.
Friday night, December 4th at 6:30 p.m. the Christmas Procession will travel down Hillcrest Ave. to the House of the Dove for the Opening Ceremonies. This will be the 27th year of Deacon Dave’s Christmas Display. Livermore High Coral Group will once again lead the procession.
Folks will gather in front of Deacon Dave’s Home in the Street. The property will be darkened until the “Official Let There Be Light” is proclaimed by the Deacon. It is expected that over 300,000 Christmas lights will be turned on. Last year the light count was 301,000. The deacon purchased more lights this year.
Although the inside of Deacon’s Home is closed to the public, some of the 42 Christmas Trees in the home can be seen from outside.
Construction on the Christmas Display begins September 1st and until the opening night. Team meetings take place during the summer. The Theme is always a secret until the opening night.
Deacon Dave’s Christmas Trees:
The tallest Christmas Tree in the Deacon’s Home is the Grand Library Christmas Tree. It stands at 22.5 feet tall and supports 1000 ornaments. There are several trees in each and every room of the home including the closet. Some are theme trees, some are Deacon Dave design trees (designed by the deacon himself) and others are specific such as the antique bubble light tree.
Deacon Dave has stated that his all-time favorite design tree is the Christmas tree displayed in the front window. Visitors passing the window will enjoy this elegant tree. The Deacon usually does not have a favorite tree nor does he ever say if he does.
Casa del Pomba has year around security camera coverage with battery back-up in the event of power outage or disaster. If visitors do not wish to be on camera we suggest to stay away from the display. Security Cameras are throughout the gardens and home. The Security Cameras constantly record and transmit. Many of the cameras are not noticeable where other are more visible. It was recently stated that the general public is being recorded daily by merchants, City Street Corners, Airports, Bart, Schools, Courts, Shopping Malls, Parking lots and much more. The Casa del Pomba Security Cameras are for Security purposes only.
Christmas Team Members:
Deacon Dave wishes to thank the Christmas Team Members of 2009 for all their hard work, dedication and Christmas Spirit. The 20 member team consists of members of all faiths ages teens and adults. They like the deacon, wish to bring the Christmas Spirit alive through the colorful Christmas displays.
Christmas Lights become a Prayer for the Safety of U.S. Military:Deacon Dave proclaimed that each Christmas Light represents a prayer for the safety of our Military forces serving overseas. Pray for our men and women of the Military Services.
January 29, 2009
Electronic Count: Deacon Dave announced that 33,041 persons walked thru the Gates of the House of the Dove. The Electronic Count does not include children in arms nor the very large number of people who drove by to see the Christmas Lights and not walk thru the property. The Electronic counter shoots a beam of light across the walkway of the Exit Gate. When the beam is broken by a person walking thru it a count is registered.
Record Take Down: Jeanie Haigh of Deacon Dave’s Planning Team announced that the Christmas Buildings are all down. The Christmas Lights are not only down but tested, wrapped and all stored in the Light Tower. The miles of extension cords are rolled, wrapped and hung in the “Cord Bldg.” The front gardens are currently being raked, pruned and restored to the pre-Christmas Landscaping. However Jeanie stated that the Deacon is currently packing the Christmas decorations inside the residence. 20 of the 40 Christmas Trees are down and the mammoth Christmas Village in the front window is down and packed away. This is all in record time.
Web site Record: We are very pleased that over 8,000 people visited the Casa del Pomba web site: www.casadelpomba.com This is an increase from last year. It seems more and more folks are interested not only in Christmas but other information on the web page. The web page continues as an on-going project. One person E-mailed to say that he viewed the web page for over an hour and his wife enjoyed the Recipe Section. This too is an on-going project when the Deacon has time to add to the section.
Deacon Dave has his maternal grandmother’s recipe books and is gradually adding to the section. His mother also is quite the cook and Deacon is beginning to add her recipes to the section.
Deacon Dave’s Christmas Trees: We will soon be adding photos of this years Christmas Trees inside the House of the Dove and also the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
Did you Know: Did you know that Deacon Dave has paid Teens during the Christmas Season (that we are opened to the public) who sweep the curbs on the weekends from Pomona Way to Compton Ct. on both sides of the Street. The guys perform this task to pick up litter that may be generated by the visiting public. This practice has gone on for years.
Display Building Go Modular: Christmas Building over the next few years will go up much faster due to advance planning. Deacon Dave announced that the Long Building that stretches along the driveway will be Modular from now on. It will go up in sections and come down in sections and be stored the same way. Also slated for Modular building will be the two building on both sides of the exit walkway. This will be built this summer. The Deacon stated that it is impossible to build the very front building or the front of the year around Gazebo because of the fact that those two buildings are built very differently dependant on the Theme for the year.
The Deacon and his team expect that eventually the buildings will go up faster and begin putting them together later in the season. Something to watch for?
Successful Christmas Display: We continue to receive favorable E-mails, letters and comments from those who visited the Christmas Display. Deacon Dave’s Christmas Team is already planning Christmas 2009. See you then. Remember we are always in need of volunteers to join in the fun.
Closing Ceremonies: The 2008 Christmas Team of volunteers gathered around Deacon Dave as he closed the Christmas Display with a “thank you” to the team and then prayed a blessing on all those people of all faiths who walked through the Gates of the House of the Dove. As the recorded Bells rang out, the music of Silent Night played as the Flag was slowly lowered and slowly the 301,000 Christmas Lights began to go off. The one remaining light was a Dove Candle of the Most Holy Spirit. This last light of the season will lead the Christmas 2009 Procession for the opening ceremonies.
From the Deacon: God bless the 2008 Christmas Planning and Christmas Team for all their many hours of dedicated work and spirit in making the Christmas Display at the House of the Dove so special for so many visitors. We thank the Mayor of Livermore, the honorable Marshall Kamena for addressing the opening 2008 ceremonies.
October 28, 2008
Long awaited Restoration of the stature of Archangel Uriel completed:
The Statue of the kneeling Archangel in prayer was given to Deacon Dave 35 years ago by the then pastor of St. Joseph Church Mission San Jose. The Stature was in very bad condition. Deacon Dave stored the stature over these past 35 years. Three years ago Deacon Dave began restoring the stature himself. The 150 lb. – 200 year old statue from Rome was completed the week of October 20th. and on Saturday October 25th the stature of the Archangel Uriel was carefully lifted to its place high up over the doors of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at the House of the Dove.
The praying angel is symbolic of the Archangel Uriel praying for all who enter and exit the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
The name Uriel means God is my Light, most fitting for the House of Christmas Lights, is the Interpreter of prophecy; guarded Jesus’ tomb (see Mt. 28.3); appeared to Ezra in a dream.
The Archangel Uriel is one of the Seven Archangels: St. Michael (Who is like God) – St. Gabriel (God is My Strength) – St. Raphael (God is My Health) – Uriel (God is My Light) – Jophiel (The Beauty of God) – Zadkiel ( The Righteousness of God) – Jophkiel (The Purity of God)
The above taken from “Catholic Source Book, edited by Rev. Peter Klein.
The stature was placed on a platform that was built to hold 300 lbs. knowing that the stature would one day be placed on it. Mr. John Bliss, Mr. Rod Hollister and Mr. David Haigh labored to raise the blessed stature to the platform. Once set in place John Bliss (earth quaked proof) fastened base strips around the statue base to keep the stature from sliding in the event of building movement. He also placed a (earth quake) strap around the statue. Deacon Dave came up with the idea of Gold cording with tassels to place over the straps to hide it from view.
Christmas Décor was placed around the stature the same day the stature was placed.
Casa del Pomba goes Green:
50,000 Christmas LED Christmas Lights were ordered from a Wholesale Warehouse in Montana. They should arrive by October 31, 2008. This is the year Deacon Dave is introducing the LED lights into the 26th Annual Christmas Display. The LED Christmas Lights should use 80 to 88 % less power.
His Holiness Pope Benedict the 16th is known as the Green Pope because of his efforts on preservation of Planet Earth. Maybe Deacon Dave will become know as the Green Deacon? Hmmmmm! It’s possible.
The LED Christmas Lights will be added to the existing lights. Both types of lights will be aglow.
It is anticipated that there could be as many as 280,000 lights in the display this year.
Christmas Display Opens Friday December at 6:30 pm.
Folks will gather in front of Deacon Dave’s Casa del Pomba (House of the Dove) prior to 6:30 pm. They will be standing in the Street in front of the darkened property. The beautiful Christmas procession begins down Hillcrest Ave. in Livermore promptly at 6:30 pm. and proceeds to the House of the Dove for the opening ceremonies. Mayor Kamena of the City of Livermore is expected to speak at the opening ceremonies.
Terry’s Tree Service becomes Sponsor:
Rev. Deacon Dave extends his appreciation and thanks to Mr. Terry Powell of Terry's Tree Service Inc. . (925-449-2087 or 510-887-8733) for cutting, thinning & pruning the giant trees above Deacon Dave’s Residence in preparation for hanging Christmas Lights. We greatly appreciate the donation of time and labor. They did a beautiful and professional job.
Upgraded Security System installed:
Due to vandalism and the attempted arson last year of the Christmas Display Deacon Dave has upgraded the Security System for the entire property. Inside the Residence, Christmas Display, surrounding gardens, back buildings, Chapel and Whistle Stop. The System has back-up batteries that in an emergency P.G. & E. Power Outage the system will continue to operate. Some of the Cameras are noticeable and others are hidden. We are certain that the many visitors will understand the necessity for the security cameras. Deacon Dave stated “that in this day and age we are being on camera daily in stores and public places.”
For Immediate Press Release:
Deacon Dave of St. Michael Parish and the Diocese of Oakland Celebrates Silver Jubilee of Ordination.
Come let us Celebrate!
All are Invited to a Parish Celebration of Deacon Dave Rezendes
25th Anniversary of his Ordination. The Jubilee Mass will take place at the regular Saturday Parish 5 p.m. Mass on December 1st.
Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins will preside. Our own parish clergy and visiting clergy will take part in the Mass. A Reception will follow at the Parish Hall. In lieu of gift a contribution may be made in Deacon Dave’s name toward two Advent Tapestries for the Church that will be utilized beginning in Advent 2008.
Deacon Dave has ministered here at St. Michael Parish since he was ordained in 1982. He is also the Bishop’s Representative to the Deacons and Director of Deacon Personnel of the Diocese of Oakland. Deacon Dave is Secretary General of Santa’s Secret Service, an organization that has distributed over 1 million Christmas Gifts to people of all faiths who are in hospitals, shelters, care centers, teen group homes, shut-ins, homeless and the poor over the past 48 years. The Deacon was President of the Deacon Board from 1988 – 1994. He has served continuously on the Deacon Council and Deacon Board since he was ordained. Deacon Dave also celebrates this year his 25th Anniversary of his Christmas Lights and Display at his private residence The House of the Dove, with the Blessing of the Lights and opening Friday December 7th.
Deacon Dave is a 4th generation Livermore resident. He was baptized at St. Michael Church and graduated from St. Michael School. His Grandparents the late Manuel and Clara Gomes were Livermore Ranchers. Deacon’s Father the late Charles Rezendes was employed 43 years by the former Cresta Blanca Winery. The Deacon’s Mother, Norma Rezendes is a life long parishioner of St. Michael Church. Deacon Dave has ministered at countless Weddings, Funerals & Memorial Services in Livermore. The Deacon is involved in various ministries in the Parish.
Deacon Dave's Religion Class - a refresher course!
Casa's Recipes - updated!
Dave Rezendes at the Alameda County Fair 2006. (more Alameda County Fair Pictures - click here)
Recent Article in the Contra Costa Times