St. Joseph's Parish - San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA Biographies





ST. JOSEPH'S PARISH
One of the most important Roman Catholic parishes of San Francisco is that of St. Joseph's, which has played a prominent part in both the civic and archdiocesan history of this locality. The parish was established in the year 1861 by the Rev. Hugh P. Gallagher, and immediately unprecedented growth occurred. The first small church building had to be dismantled and remodeled almost before it was finished, in order to accommodate the increasing number of communicants. St. Joseph's School, under the able direction of the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary, was established by Father Gallagher within three years after he had organized the pastorate, to fulfill the utmost need of a Christian education for the younger folk of his church. Fifteen years later, the Brothers of Mary were installed in a separate building, wherein the boys of the parish are educated.

Father Gallagher passed away at the zenith of his career, and was succeeded by the Rev. Patrick Scanlan, who continued the great work of his predecessor with marked ability, and maintained the progressive development of the parish until his own demise. Succeeding him was the Rev. P. E. Mulligan, who had been for ten years secretary to Archbishop Riordan. Then came disaster on that fateful morning of April 18, 1906, when the tremors of earthquake and the sweep of fire devastated the city of San Francisco. The material achievements of nearly fifty years in St. Joseph's Parish were destroyed within a few hours, but the courage of Father Mulligan and his parishioners were untouched, and within six weeks' time temporary structures were erected and parish activities renewed. Seven years later, the church and schools were completed in grander architecture than previous to the fire. On April 27, 1913, His Grace, the Most Rev. Archbishop Riordan, D. D., officiated at the laying of the cornerstone of the new Church of St. Joseph, and on November 22, 1914, Archbishop Riordan dedicated the new edifice. Pontifical high mass was celebrated after the dedication by the Most Rev. E. J. Hanna, D. D., who later succeeded Archbishop Riordan, and the late Rev. Peter C. Yorke, S. T. D., delivered the sermon.

Father Mulligan died on December 6, 1928, and in March, 1930, Rev. Richard Collins, for ten years previously pastor of St. Patrick's Church in San Jose, California, returned to San Francisco, and assumed the pastorate of St. Joseph's Parish. His services here since that date have been highly commended throughout the archdiocese, and he has carried on the splendid progress and the fine traditions laid down by Father Gallagher and his other predecessors.

Father Collins received his education and was ordained in the country of Ireland. He completed his preparatory studies at the noted St. Brendan's Seminary in Killarney, and studied theology at Carlow College. His first appearance in San Francisco was in the capacity of curate of St. Agnes' Parish, where he served for sixteen years. For twelve years, he was chaplain of the League of the Cross cadets. In 1916, he became pastor of St. Rose's Church in San Francisco, and in 1919 he was appointed to the pastorate of St. Patrick's in San Jose, where he did notable work, including the construction of a parish hall, a modern parochial school and an assembly hall. Father Collins is beloved in the city of San Francisco, his sphere of influence extending much beyond the borders of his parish. He possesses an admirable civic spirit, and lends his aid and influence to every movement of merit in the community. He is assisted in the holy work of St. Joseph's by the Rev. Thomas Fleming and the Rev. Daniel O'Riordan.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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