“To know Christ better, and to make Him better known.”
The story of St. Clement Parish is, in miniature, the history of the Church itself-first sacrifice and hardship, and then triumph.In 1951, the area surrounding St. Clement Parish was semi-rural. Apricot orchards flourished, Mission Blvd was a two-lane road an there were very few commercial enterprises along Mission Blvd. South Hayward was rapidly growing and the need for a Catholic parish for the area was great.
In answer to this need, Most Reverend John J. Mitty, DD, Archbishop of San Francisco established St. Clement parish on October 1, 1951. Rev. Robert J. Hennessey was appointed the first pastor. The first mass was celebrated in the Mausoleum Chapel of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. The parish of St. Clement gathered there weekly until the current Church was dedicated on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1953. The church building was designed by Vincent Buckley and was erected at a cost of $163,000. Archbishop Mitty formally dedicated it on September 27, 1953.
The design of the Church draws its look from the ancient Mission Churches that dot the coast of California. The church seats about 450 people and is often filled to capacity. Over 2800 gather to worship each Sunday at seven masses. In 1983, the main altar was removed as part of the liturgical renovations brought on by Vatican II. The altar and other decorations live on in the current sanctuary furnishings. One of the highlights of the church are the beautiful stained glass windows, commissioned by Hogan Studios. These windows were installed in 1964 and each tells a story of our Christian faith.
St. Clement Parish is more than the sum of its buildings. St. Clement parish has established itself in the community through the hard work of many concerned and dedicated people. It is an ethnically diverse and multilingual parish. Through the years, groups and organizations were founded to continue to the mission of the parish.
Besides strong participation from parishioners, St. Clement Parish has been ministered to by priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the newly created Diocese of Oakland, from 1980 – 2001 the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita founded St. Clement School and the Sisters of the Holy Family served as the religious education teachers for many years.
The groundbreaking ceremony of our parish school took place February 23, 1958. The Sisters of Joseph of Wichita opened the school in August. Our parish school has been educating our children in the Catholic tradition for fifty years and counting. Our dedicated teachers, staff, parents and volunteers work long hours to provide the finest education for our students.
Today St. Clement Parish is ministered by the Diocese of Oakland and continues to profess the diocesan mission statement to parishioners and community.
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