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  September 24, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 15Oakland, CA

articles list

St. Mary-St. Francis de Sales Parish
St. Andrew-St. Joseph Parish

St. Mary’s Center to relocate to church site

Soup kitchen closes after serving meals
for 30 years

USCCB education secretary named chancellor for Oakland Diocese

Anne Rynders named Catholic Woman of the Year

Guatemalan village gets clean water with help from Fremont parish

Migrants risk lives, hope in desert crossing

CCEB issues Katrina assistance report

Catholic agencies
continues to serve hurricane survivors

U.S. bishops’ pro-life official urges
pharmacists not to support Plan B

Activists urge no students for U.S. military school

A Labor Day reflection on immigration and work

Father Vincent Foerstler, O.P.


























• St. Mary-St. Francis de Sales Parish

• St. Andrew-St. Joseph Parish

St. Mary-St. Francis de Sales Parish

1853 - Catholics begin gathering for Mass in a chapel on Seventh Street in Oakland that was briefly known as St. Anthony’s. Sometime during the year the name of the chapel changes to St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception and it operates as a mission of Mission San Jose in Fremont.

1858 - Father James Croke becomes the first “resident missionary” of St. Mary’s Church.

1861 - Father John Quinn becomes the first resident pastor. Called the Mother Church of the East Bay, St. Mary’s Parish encompasses an area from San Francisco Bay to Pinole in Contra Costa County and to Livermore and Mission San Jose.

1865 - Father Michael King is named pastor, a position he would hold for some 40 years.

1868 - Father King arranges for the arrival of the Sisters of the Holy Names who open the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a secondary school for girls at 20th and Webster streets. The Sisters also open a grammar school for girls on the parish property. The Christian Brothers follow soon afterwards and open a grammar school for boys in the parish.

1886 - St. Francis de Sales Parish is created with Father Thomas McSweeney becomes first pastor.

1887 - The Holy Names Sisters establish a combined grammar and high school for boys and girls with the Christian Brothers at St. Francis de Sales Parish. The Sisters
also operate an all-girls high school at the parish until 1931.

1893 - On July 9, Archbishop Patrick Riordan dedicates the new St. Francis de Sales Church, a red-brick Norman Gothic structure with a handsome steeple and stained glass windows. Mary Canning, a parishioner who donated some $125,000 for the construction of the building, attends as does Archbishop (later Cardinal) Francesco Satolli, the apostolic delegate.

1905 - Father Edward Dempsey becomes pastor at St. Mary’s Parish. During his term he oversees a renovation of the church, convent and school buildings.

1961 - The Oblates of Mary Immaculate assumes pastoral responsibility of St. Mary’s Parish and Oblate Father John J. Kelly becomes pastor. During his tenure both the church and school are renovated.

1962 - St. Francis de Sales Parish becomes the cathedral of the newly created Diocese of Oakland.

1967 - On Feb. 4, Bishop Floyd L. Begin presides over the rededication of St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, which had undergone extensive renovation that included painting the exterior brick edifice adobe white and the removal of the altar rail.

1989 - The Oct. 17 Loma Prieta earthquake causes severe damage to St. Francis de Sales Cathedral.

1990 - Bishop John Cummins announces that the diocese does not have adequate funds to restore the cathedral building and ensure its seismic safety. The structure is demolished in November 1993.

1991 - On Aug. 1, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate transfer pastoral responsibility for St. Mary’s Parish to the Oakland Diocese. Father Michael Norkett becomes administrator.

1993 - St. Mary, Immaculate Conception merges with St. Francis de Sales Cathedral Parish.

St. Andrew-St. Joseph Parish

1892 - Feb. 23: San Francisco Archbishop Patrick Riordan dedicates St. Joseph Church at Chestnut and Seventh streets in West Oakland. The national parish was created to care for the large community of Portuguese immigrants. Father Manuel Fernandes is appointed as pastor.

1902 - Sept. 10: The Salesian Society comes to Oakland to assumed pastoral responsibility of St. Joseph Parish.

1907 - Oct. 7: San Francisco Archbishop Patrick Riordan creates St Andrew Parish in Oakland to attend to the needs of people who had been displaced by the earthquake and fire that devastated San Francisco the previous year. Father Patrick J. Quinn is appointed pastor.
Oct. 27: The first Mass of St Andrew Parish is celebrated at Old Dominion Hall at 36th Street and San Pablo Avenue.

1909 - Oct. 19: The recently constructed St. Andrew Church is dedicated at Adeline and 36th streets. The property and buildings cost $67,000.

1936 - Father William Fleming begins a 21-year tenure as pastor at St. Andrew Parish.

1954 - St. Andrew Parish is stunned by the announcement by the State of California that their church property is required for an extension of the MacArthur Freeway. The state buys the property and sells the church building to St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church. The new owners move the structure to its current location at 19th and Market streets.

1957 - Following the death of Father Fleming, Father Francis Scanlon is appointed pastor at St. Andrew Parish. The archdiocese studies the possibility of eliminating the parish but feels that the Catholic population, then about 500 families (about 30 percent of them black), was stable and that the parish had the potential to increase in size through conversions. Father Scanlon oversees construction of a new parish plant including a church, rectory and hall at San Pablo Avenue and Brockhurst Street.

1958 - March 9: Auxiliary Bishop Hugh A. Donohue of San Francisco dedicates St. Andrew Church.

1960 - Father Scanlon resigns as pastor at St. Andrew and is succeeded by Father Denis Kennelly.

1962 - Salesian Father Edgar Rocha, pastor of Mary Help of Christians Parish in Oakland, is appointed pastor at St. Joseph Parish when Mary Help of Christians becomes a mission of St. Joseph Parish.

1965 - Oakland Bishop Floyd Begin closes St. Joseph Parish, which was located in the midst of the City of Oakland’s Acorn Redevelopment Project. The parish community merges with St. Andrew Parish and the newly combined congregation is known as St. Andrew-St. Joseph Parish. The Salesian Fathers become
administers of the new parish.

1968 - May 1: Salesian Father John Maxwell, who had been principal at Salesian High School in Richmond, becomes pastor at St. Andrew-St. Joseph, a position he would hold for 26 years.

1973 - Bishop Floyd Begin joins Father Maxwell and some 300 parishioners and neighbors for the dedication of St. Andrew Manor, a residence for low-income older people sponsored by the parish in partnership with Satellite Senior Homes, Inc.

1976 - The parish opens a soup kitchen to feed the hungry.

1991 - The Salesians return the administration of the parish to the Oakland Diocese. Father Maxwell, who was recently incardinated to the diocese, remains as pastor.

1999 - Holy Names Sister Marian Wright is appointed parish life director, developing a ministry to the growing Spanish-speaking community.

2003 - Following the death of Sister Wright, Father John Direen is appointed parochial administrator.



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