St. Mary’s School was founded with the efforts of the Paulist Fathers who have conducted missions in San Francisco since the 1870’s and accepted the invitation of Archbishop Riordan to administer the parish of Old St. Mary’s in 1894.
Mother St. Ida, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Helpers, arrived at the mission in 1904 and with their assistance, a kindergarten was formed. Through the challenges of the 1906 Earthquake and other challenges in the community, the mission continued to grow.
On August 1, 1921, with Archbishop Edward Hanna’s strong support, the new Holy Family Catholic Chinese School and Social Center was dedicated. The first faculty were members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and we continue the relationship with the Sisters to this day.
St. Mary’s Chinese Mission prospered at its location on 902 Stockton Street for over 68 years. In 1989, the Loma Prieta Earthquake struck and the site that has housed the school for so many years had to be changed. St. Mary’s School then moved to a “temporary site” at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Broadway.
After much dedication, hard work, and prayer, St. Mary’s School moved to its new home on 838 Kearny Street in 2011. This beautiful new building is a clear monument of the long-lasting tradition of the Chinese Mission and its movement into the 21st Century.