ST. LOUIS BERTRAND CATHOLIC CHURCH
One of the most active and prosperous religious organizations in Oakland is the Roman Catholic church of St. Louis
Bertrand, at One Hundredth avenue and East Fourteenth street, Elmhurst. Though two decades cover the history of
the church, it has made rapid and substantial growth and exerts a strong influence for good in the community which
it serves. Over the extensive territory included within the parish of St. Louis Bertrand church Rev. James Kiely
was placed in charge in October, 1908. It was his task at the outset of his ministry here to provide a church and
a rectory. Until this could be done, mass was celebrated in the Odd Fellows hall in Elmhurst and in Melrose hall
in Melrose. In the comparatively short space of two years the energetic pastor succeeded in completing churches
for both places and a suitable parochial residence was also erected on East Fourteenth street. The church of St.
Louis Bertrand is a type of the Spanish renaissance and has a seating capacity of seven hundred. The property on
which the church was built was donated by Mrs. Ludovina Peralta Ivey, of San Leandro, a direct descendant of the
well known Louis Peralta. The church is named after the patron saint of the famous Don Louis Peralta, well known
in the early days of California.
Father Kiely received his ecclesiastical training in Thurles and was ordained in 1897. The following year he arrived
in California and was appointed assistant pastor at St. Patrick's church, in Oakland, where he remained four years,
when he was transferred to St. Francis church in San Francisco. In 1904 he was appointed to the pastorate at Novato
and in 1908 came to the newly formed parish of St. Louis Bertrand. He was succeeded here by Rev. Robert Sampson,
the present pastor of Sacred Heart church in Oakland, during whose pastorate a splendid hall was added to the parish
property. In this building, which faces East Fourteenth street, the classes in Christian doctrine are held, they
being taught by the Holy Family Sisters. The hall is also a social center for the parishioners. Following Father
Sampson came Rev. Michael Horan, who did effective work in maintaining the activities of the parish, and was succeeded
by the late pastor, Rev. M. J. Concannon, who died March 4, 1928. Father Collins the assistant pastor, is a forceful
and enthusiastic worker, has stimulated all departments of the church work, and has gained a warm place in the
hearts of the parishioners and the confidence and respect of the people of that section of the city who appreciate
his loyal interest in the general welfare of the community. The Rev. Father Quirk has just been appointed pastor
to succeed the late Father Concannon.
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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