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Excerpt from "Saint Stephen Parish Celebrates Fifty Years"

Saint Stephen has been a beacon of Roman Catholic spirituality, a second home, an extension of the family, a place where lifelong friendships have formed, an excellent school offering values-based education, a warm and friendly community, a new beginning for some and a final resting place for others.

Archbishop John J. Mitty appointed our first pastor, Rev. Richard W. Power, in August 1950 when our parish was formed. Our first mass was celebrated in the basement of our temporary rectory at 475 Eucalyptus Drive. Fourteen parishioners received communion at that mass and subsequent Sundays were standing room only.

Helen Tinny, matriarch of one of our first families, counted 192 school-age children in our first census who needed a place to learn. Father Power was called to active duty and Rev. Joseph A. Donworth was appointed administration in May 1951 and pastor in June 1952 serving through 1972.

Key years in Saint Stephen history:

1952~School opens with 164 student in Grades 1-5

1953~New Church at 473 Eucalyptus opens on Easter Sunday

1957~New Convent opens on school grounds

1964~New Church at 601 Eucalyptus dedicated by Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken. Former church converted into "Donworth Hall"

1972~Father Joseph R. O'Reilly appointed as third pastor

1979~Rev. Mr. Gary West ordained as permanent deacon

1986~After hours day care program began

1987~Father William Knapp appointed as fourth pastor

1992~Father Mario Farana appointed as fifth pastor. Donworth Hall converted to multipurpose center

1993~Father John Wester appointed as sixth pastor. Father Sean Corcoran serves as administrator pro temporare

1997~Father Joseph Walsh appointed as seventh pastor

1998~Former convent converted into "O'Reilly Parish Center"

2000~New school wing opens

2006~Campaign for new Parish Center to replace "Donworth Hall" begins

2008~Demolition of Donworth Hall & Construction of new gym/hall begins

2009~St. Stephen Parish Center opens and dedicated by Bishop William Justice

2010~Father Paul F. Warren appointed as eighth pastor

2016~Father Tony P. LaTorre appointed as ninth pastor

2021~Father Michael Liliedahl appointed as tenth pastor

Father O'Reilly once commented that "no matter where he went in San Francisco, there was always someone from St. Stephen involved." In other words, our parish's good works and community service extends far beyond its boundaries.

St. Stephen Parish has much to recall and many reasons to rejoice but most importantly, it has a very promising future.