Holy Name Parish was established in 1925 with Father Richard Ryan as pastor. The Parish grew quickly and a school was erected in 1941. The founding faculty were: Sisters M. Bernadette Gallagher, Principal; M. Genevieve Mazy, M. Gregory (Catherine) Owens, M. Nicholas (Nicole) Vavuris, M. Ruth Carroll, M. Canisius (Velma) Brand, M. Imelda Patterson, and M. Isabel Tibbet. The Mercy Sisters traveled to school from the Motherhouse in Burlingame for seven years; then for a short time they commuted from St. Mary’s Hospital, San Francisco, until the present Convent was built and the Sisters moved in on March 16, 1949.
The school opened with 430 students and by 1951 had increased to over 900. There were 18 classrooms with 50 children in each room. In the 64 years at Holy Name School, 117 Sisters taught classes, 12 Sisters served as Principal and 28 graduates were received into the Sisters of Mercy.
In March of 2005, the last four Sisters of Mercy residing at Holy Name Convent retired to Burlingame: Sisters Flora (formerly Anastasia) Batterton, M. Georgina Maher, M. Edith Hurley, and M. Edwin Byrne. It is worth noting that Sisters M. Georgina Maher and M. Edwin Byrne were part of the opening of the convent and part of the closing group as well.
On September 5, 1984, the Canossian Sisters moved to San Francisco and to Holy Name Convent to build their roots in our City by the Bay. The Canossian Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor is an international missionary congregation of women founded by St. Magdalene of Canossa, canonized in 1988. Many sisters lived and worked here at Holy Name Parish and School and in other neighboring parishes. After 20 years of calling Holy Name Convent their home, the Canossian Sisters (with resident Sisters Cristina, Josie, Lucy, Maria & Rita) purchased their own home on 38th Avenue. Canossian Moving Day was April 8, 2005.
When the Sisters moved, our 5th Pastor, Fr. Don D’Angelo and staff were faced with the dilemma of what to do with the Convent and how best to utilize this wonderful space. The months that followed were a flurry of activities. The last week of November in 2005 was a week of nonstop packing – after all 60 years worth of documents could be daunting. December 2, 2005 was moving day for the Parish Staff. We started bright and early at 9 AM sharp. With boxes and equipment in tow, we were all excited to move to our new abode – our new Pastoral Center. The Center now is the home to the Parish offices, Religious Education classes, the Conservatory of Music, and multiple Parish Organization offices; as well as the location of many group activities and meetings. The Chapel, now remodeled to accommodate about 60 people is where daily Masses are held with the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Wednesday. Intimate weddings and receptions can now also be held in the Chapel and the recently remodeled Victorian inspired Dining Room.
Turning the Convent building into the new Pastoral Center was the right decision. Because of this move, the Parish Staff is able to not only serve you better, but also offer more services and activities to you. It has truly been a blessing!