Our Church History

St. Brendan's was formed from sections of the existing parishes of St. Anne, St. Cecilia, and St. Emydius in July of 1929. At the time, the parish consisted of approximately two hundred families. The Reverend John M. Ryan was appointed pastor of St. Brendan's Parish by Archbishop Edward J. Hannaa. Father Ryan had been serving as headmaster of the Archbishop's School for boys in Belmont at the time of his appointment. Within the first five years the parish grew one hundred and fifty percent to almost three hundred and fifty families.

The ground breaking ceremonies for the church were held on October 11, 1929. The resulting church was a small frame structure with an exterior of stucco and dominated by a tower of some sixty feet. Designed by Edward Eames, the church is a beautiful example of the "early Calfiornia style of mission architecture" with a tile roof of variegated colors, heavy buttresses, a tall bell tower, and deep-set windows. The building of the new rectory, immediately adjacent to the church, was begun in August of 1930 and completed within four months. The architect once again was Edward Eames, who designed the rectory to be in harmony with church.

Father Ryan's dream of a parochial school had to be dormant for seventeen years, until the postwar boom to the economy made additional building and funding a practical reality. In January of 1947, construction was begun on a two-story school building. Designed in the California Spanish style architecture, the school was open for classes in September. Planned for an enrollment of 350 students, the new St. Brendan's school consisted of eight classrooms and a cafeteria in the main section of the building, along with a kindergarten classroom, library, music room, nurse's quarters, principal's office in the front administration wing.

While the school was undergoing construction, a convent was also being built across the street next to the church. The Domincan Sisters of Adrian Michigan had agreed to staff the school and a proper house was necessary for them. The completed two-story convent with a gabled Spanish tile roof, complemented the architecture of the church, rectory and school. The building had twelve bedrooms on the second floor and a beautiful convent chapel located toward the rear of the house.

Under the supervision of the Dominican Sisters, the school immediately set a standard of excellence which it has maintained unto this very day. Sister Alice Joseph, O.P. was the first principal of St. Brendan's school from 1947–1953. Sister Elizabeth Clare Schindler, O.P., 1953–1959, and Sister Madonna Marie Black, O.P., 1959–1965, served as principals. In 1965, the parish was blessed to have Sister Diane Erbacher, O.P., appointed as their school principal. Sister Diane's tireless efforts in guiding our school children is truly a blessing from God.

On June 20, 1955, in ailing health, Father Ryan became Pastor Emeritus and moved into the "retirement apartment" at the rectory. He lived there until his death on November 4, 1962.

During his more than twenty-five years of active service to the parish, Father Ryan saw many dreams turn into vibrant realities. No doubt the creation of St. Brendan school was the culmination of those dreams.

On June 22, 1955, Monsignor Cummins was appointed was appointed second pastor of St. Brendan's. A native of San Francisco, Monsignor Cummins was pastor when in 1970, the entrance of the church was bombed during the funeral of one of the parishioners, a slain police officer. Damage to the entrance was not extensive, and fortunately, the graceful steeple with its handsome design of blue and white tile — erected in 1960 during his tenure — did not have to be replaced.

Monsignor Walsh was the third pastor of St. Brendan appointed on January 23, 1973. At the time Monsignor Walsh was serving as Chancellor of the Archdiocese as well as pastor. Monsignor John Pernia served as Administrator for one year from 1987 to 1988 when Monsignor Walsh became ill.

Monsignor Edward P. McTaggart became the fourth pastor in February, 1988. Monsignor McTaggert came from St. John the Evangelist, wehre he served as Pastor for 12+ years. Monsignor McTaggert concurrently served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese for a portion of his tenure as Pastor. During Monsignor McTaggert's time as Pastor he led the effort in establishing a St. Vincent de Paul ministry, an active Grief Support Ministry, and saw through the renovation of the church in 1995. Monsignor McTaggert describes the people of St. Brendan's as a true Parish family, that strongly supports each other through good times and bad. A parish community of which he was pleased to be an integral part.

Father Thomas M. Parenti came to St. Brendan's as the fifth Pastor on October 1, 1998 from St. Sebastian the Martyr in Greenbrae, Marin County where he served as Pastor. Father came running and immediately jumped in with both feet. The dream of having a Parish Center soon became a reality with ground breaking taking place on May 16, 2000. He soon upgraded the rectory office space to better serve the parishioners and then enhanced the liturgy and environment of the Church to aid in worship of the Lord. The parish gardens took on a new look with the establishment of Archbishop McGucken Park (an area off Rockwood, behind and next to the convent) which is open for all parishioners to use. There continues to be new and enriching changes in the parish. Hopefully all these changes will bring the parish closer to the goal of being made holy.

existing parishes of St. Anne, St. Cecilia, and St. Emydius in July of 1929. At the time, the parish consisted of approximately two hundred families. The Reverend John M. Ryan was appointed pastor of St. Brendan's Parish by Archbishop Edward J. Hannaa. Father Ryan had been serving as headmaster of the Archbishop's School for boys in Belmont at the time of his appointment. Within the first five years the parish grew one hundred and fifty percent to almost three hundred and fifty families.

The ground breaking ceremonies for the church were held on October 11, 1929. The resulting church was a small frame structure with an exterior of stucco and dominated by a tower of some sixty feet. Designed by Edward Eames, the church is a beautiful example of the "early Calfiornia style of mission architecture" with a tile roof of variegated colors, heavy buttresses, a tall bell tower, and deep-set windows. The building of the new rectory, immediately adjacent to the church, was begun in August of 1930 and completed within four months. The architect once again was Edward Eames, who designed the rectory to be in harmony with church.

Father Ryan's dream of a parochial school had to be dormant for seventeen years, until the postwar boom to the economy made additional building and funding a practical reality. In January of 1947, construction was begun on a two-story school building. Designed in the California Spanish style architecture, the school was open for classes in September. Planned for an enrollment of 350 students, the new St. Brendan's school consisted of eight classrooms and a cafeteria in the main section of the building, along with a kindergarten classroom, library, music room, nurse's quarters, principal's office in the front administration wing.

While the school was undergoing construction, a convent was also being built across the street next to the church. The Domincan Sisters of Adrian Michigan had agreed to staff the school and a proper house was necessary for them. The completed two-story convent with a gabled Spanish tile roof, complemented the architecture of the church, rectory and school. The building had twelve bedrooms on the second floor and a beautiful convent chapel located toward the rear of the house.

Under the supervision of the Dominican Sisters, the school immediately set a standard of excellence which it has maintained unto this very day. Sister Alice Joseph, O.P. was the first principal of St. Brendan's school from 1947–1953. Sister Elizabeth Clare Schindler, O.P., 1953–1959, and Sister Madonna Marie Black, O.P., 1959–1965, served as principals. In 1965, the parish was blessed to have Sister Diane Erbacher, O.P., appointed as their school principal. Sister Diane's tireless efforts in guiding our school children is truly a blessing from God.

On June 20, 1955, in ailing health, Father Ryan became Pastor Emeritus and moved into the "retirement apartment" at the rectory. He lived there until his death on November 4, 1962.

During his more than twenty-five years of active service to the parish, Father Ryan saw many dreams turn into vibrant realities. No doubt the creation of St. Brendan school was the culmination of those dreams.

On June 22, 1955, Monsignor Cummins was appointed was appointed second pastor of St. Brendan's. A native of San Francisco, Monsignor Cummins was pastor when in 1970, the entrance of the church was bombed during the funeral of one of the parishioners, a slain police officer. Damage to the entrance was not extensive, and fortunately, the graceful steeple with its handsome design of blue and white tile — erected in 1960 during his tenure — did not have to be replaced.

Monsignor Walsh was the third pastor of St. Brendan appointed on January 23, 1973. At the time Monsignor Walsh was serving as Chancellor of the Archdiocese as well as pastor. Monsignor John Pernia served as Administrator for one year from 1987 to 1988 when Monsignor Walsh became ill.

Monsignor Edward P. McTaggart became the fourth pastor in February, 1988. Monsignor McTaggert came from St. John the Evangelist, wehre he served as Pastor for 12+ years. Monsignor McTaggert concurrently served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese for a portion of his tenure as Pastor. During Monsignor McTaggert's time as Pastor he led the effort in establishing a St. Vincent de Paul ministry, an active Grief Support Ministry, and saw through the renovation of the church in 1995. Monsignor McTaggert describes the people of St. Brendan's as a true Parish family, that strongly supports each other through good times and bad. A parish community of which he was pleased to be an integral part.

Father Thomas M. Parenti came to St. Brendan's as the fifth Pastor on October 1, 1998 from St. Sebastian the Martyr in Greenbrae, Marin County where he served as Pastor. Father came running and immediately jumped in with both feet. The dream of having a Parish Center soon became a reality with ground breaking taking place on May 16, 2000. He soon upgraded the rectory office space to better serve the parishioners and then enhanced the liturgy and environment of the Church to aid in worship of the Lord. The parish gardens took on a new look with the establishment of Archbishop McGucken Park (an area off Rockwood, behind and next to the convent) which is open for all parishioners to use. There continues to be new and enriching changes in the parish. Hopefully all these changes will bring the parish closer to the goal of being made holy.

 


 

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