ST. CYRIL'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
The most recently organized Roman Catholic church in Oakland is St. Cyril's, at 3114 Sixty second avenue. This
young parish has shown remarkable vigor and its accomplishments within the space of less than two years reflect
creditably on the progressive and determined spirit of the parishioners. The recent rapid growth of Oakland in
the vicinity of Mills College prompted the Most Rev. Archbishop Edward J. Hanna to establish the parish of St.
Cyril for the convenience of the Catholic residents of that locality and on December 17, 1926, definite boundaries
were officially named for the parish, of which Rev. Francis F. McCarthy was appointed the first pastor. During
the preliminary work of organizing the parish Father McCarthy availed himself of the invitation of Rev. P. j. Quinn
to make his home at St. Anthony's rectory, in East Oakland. A central location was chosen for the site of the parochial
buildings at Sixty second avenue and Camden street and sufficient property was immediately pruchased for a church,
rectory, school, convent, auditorium and school yard. The first problem was that of securing a temporary place
for holding religious services, as there was no suitable social hall in that locality. In the emergency the Golden
State Theater and Realty Company generously turned over the Capitol theater, on Foothill boulevard, to the pastor
gratis for Sunday mass, which was said over a portable altar on the stage, with the congregation assisting from
the body of the church, while the choir rendered hymns from the orchestra pit. Mass was said here every Sunday
morning from January 30 to March 27, 1927.
At the end of February, Father McCarthy had taken up residence in the parish in a cottage at 3114 Sixty second
avenue, which had been purchased with the rest of the church property. With the advent of good weather in April
a commodious tent was set up on the corner of the property to serve as a temporary church until the completion
of a permanent place of worship in the fall. The tent was furnished with a wood floor, while pews and kneelers
were provided sufficient to accommodate three hundred at a mass. The altar was presented to the church by the Fathers
of the Redemptorist College, on Eighty third avenue, and the pews and the statues were obtained from St. Rose's
church, of San Francisco, which had just been canonically closed.
Study was immediately given to the construction of a permanent place of worship before the rigors of winter would
again set in. At the request of the Most Rev. Archbishop, the decision was made to erect a combination parochial
school and church, so that the generation of children growing up at the very inception of the parish might not
he denied advantages of a religious education. The new building, which was completed in October, 1927, at a cost
of fifty thousand dollars, is a two story, reinforced concrete structure of modified Spanish design. Originally
planned to house ten classrooms, the present building is divided into four large and beautiful classrooms, a roomy
social hall and the temporary church quarters. Six grades are now under the supervision of Sisters of the Dominican
order from San Rafael. The seventh grade will be added in 1928 and the eighth grade the year later. Father McCarthy
has labored hard and earnestly in securing these tangible results and St. Cyril's parish is in a position now to
do the work for which it was established. Its pastor has shown forceful and effective strength, both as preacher
and pastor, and has won a warm place in the hearts of those to whom he is ministering.
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Alameda County, CA
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