Church of SS. Peter and Paul
San Francisco, CA Biographies





CHURCH OF SS. PETER AND PAUL
One of the most beautiful Catholic churches on the Pacific coast is that of SS. Peter and Paul at Filbert and Powell streets in the city of San Francisco. This church is one of the Salesian Houses of the Western Province of the United States, and the Salesian Fathers of Blessed Don Bosco are in charge.

The Church of SS. Peter and Paul is the first Italian church in San Francisco. It was erected in the year 1884 on the corner of Grant avenue (then Dupont street) and Filbert street by the late Father Carlo Franchi. Rev. Father Raffaele De Carolis succeeded Father Franchi as pastor, which position he held until the arrival of the Salesian Fathers in 1897.

In answer to the insistent summons of His Grace, the Most Reverend Archbishop Riordan of blessed memory, who was then archbishop of San Francisco, the Salesian Fathers, under the leadership of their pastor, Father Raffaele M. Piperni, arrived in San Francisco on March 11, 1897, to take possession of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. On the following Sunday, the new pastor explained to the people who had gathered in the church who the Salesians were and what they were going to do in San Francisco on behalf of the Italian people. The Salesian program was immediately put into effect by the complete organization of all the parochial activities, which greatly increased the attendance at the masses and at the Sunday evening services.

The Salesians take their name from St. Francis de Sales, whom Blessed Don Bosco selected as their patron model. The mother house is in Turin, Italy, and they have colleges, institutions, schools, boys' clubs, churches, missions, and missionary settlements in nearly every part of the world, there being altogether about sixteen thousand Salesians, including Fathers, Brothers and Sisters, in the order. The Salesian Houses of the Western Province include, in addition to Saints Peter and Paul of San Francisco, the following : Corpus Christi Church and School of San Francisco; Salesian House of Studies and Novitiate, Richmond, California; St. Francis Salesian School of Watsonville, California ; Our Lady Help of Christians Church of Watsonville, California ; St. Patrick's Church and School of Los Angeles, California; St. Joseph's Church of Oakland, California; Our Lady Help of Christians Church of Oakland; and St. Mary's Church of Sacramento.

The Church of SS. Peter and Paul has fifteen thousand souls in its district, and the parochial school has a membership of three hundred boys, with a Boys' Club of two hundred and fifty members. A number of valuable organizations are connected with the church, such as the Holy Name Society, the Christian Mothers of St. Ann, the Catholic Women's Professional Club, the Young Men's Institute, the Knights of Columbus, and the ladies' auxiliary of the same.

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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