St. Patrick's Church Founded by City' Early Irish Families

by Maurice Shean

February 25, 1953

Said to be "the most Irish church in America," St. Patrick's Catholic Church here nevertheless serves as many nationalities as there are colors in its brilliant stained glass windows.

Although the parishioners come from many lands, the taste of the city's early Irish is easily apparent in the church they built to honor their patron.

Imported from Ireland is the rich marble of Connemara for church pillars and interior walls.

Magnificent windows of stained glass trace the Irish race from pagan days to the conversion by St. Patrick.

Many returns to pray

Although the sons and daughters of the San Francisco Irish gave scattered throughout the city, there is hardly a day that some do not return to visit which holds memories of their early days.

There are touches in St. Patrick's that are found in few other Catholic churches in America.

At each confessional, for instance, there is a slim cane pole- a "penitence pole" - with which European priests at one time concluded the confession by lightly tapping the penitant.

Rebuilt after 1906

St. Patrick's Church, more than 100 years old, was rebuilt after the devastating earthquake and fire, scars of which are still apparent on the original walls.

Credit for the beauty of the present interior must go to the Rt. Rev. John Rogers, pastor of the church from 1905 to 1935, according to the Rev. Leo Powleson, present pastor.

Located at 756 Mission Street, St. Patrick's is a convenient church for downtown workers to visit during the day.

Hundreds of persons regularly attend special weekly devotions each Tuesday noon to the Mother of the Perpetual Help.