History of the Parish



The Church of St. John the Baptist was begun by Father McEvoy about the year 1895 and was completed about the year 1900. A newspaper clipping, of unknown source, gives an account of the dedication by the Most Rev. Archbishop Riordan.

San Lorenzo was a mission attended from San Leander's Parish until the year 1925. In July 1925 it was made a parish with the Rev. Abel Costa as the first Resident Pastor. Father Costa immediately set about the work of repairing the church and building a rectory. The cost of the new building was $10,000. The Stanton family donated the property for the church and John Baptista the ground for the rectory.

The next pastor, Rev. Arthur J. Cantwell, received his appointment July 2, 1930. During his administration substantial improvements were made in the Church and Rectory. A new steam heating plant was installed in the house and church at a cost of $1800. The church had been renovated and painted. New windows were put in and a new organ and a lighting system were installed. Vestments and furnishings for the altar complete the improvements. The total cost of these undertakings amounted to $4000.

Father Arthur Cantwell was succeeded by Father Philip Ryan who became Pastor of St. John's, San Lorenzo in 1942. During his pastorate, Father Ryan acquired the property on which the new church is built, as well as the adjacent parking lot. He also was responsible for a new roof on the old church. In 1945, Father Ryan was stricken with a severe illness and was hospitalized for the greater part of a year, during which time Father John Clogher was Administrator of the parish.

Father Ryan was succeeded by the Rev. Patrick J. Dermody, the present Pastor, in January 1946. He acquired the property at the back of the church and rectory as a future site of the convent and a playground at the children. Due to the Influx of the people of San Lorenzo, it was necessary for Father Dermondy to build a temporary church to answer the pressing problems of the parish. The new church was dedicated by Archbishop John J. Mitty of San Francisco on May 8, 1949. He ran a Parish Drive to defray the building expenses and began a fund for the building of a parochial school. He built the first unit of the school in 1952, the convent in 1955 and made additions to the school in 1957 and 1959. He was pastor for twenty two of the most turbulent years of the parish live; from post war population expansion, through the changes of Vatican II.

In May 1968 Father John Wagner Succeeded Monsignor Dermody who remained as Pastor Emeritus until his death in 1972. Father Wagner remained for one year and was succeeded by Father John J Mallon .In 1972 the parish community center was built and dedicated on November 18, 1972. Father Mallon also remodeled the Rectory and the School.

Father Mallon was succeeded by Father William Marshall in late 1983. Father Marshall resigned a year later and Father Seamus Farrell was parish administrator for a year.  Father Brian Timoney was appointed Pastor in 1985. He ran the Parish until 1993 when he was succeeded by Father William J Dunn who was pastor for four years (1993-1997). Father David Link became pastor in 1997 and was succeeded by Father Michael Lacy in 2003. Father Michael was pastor for more than a decade until he retired in 2016. Father Sergio Lopez came on board in July as our current pastor.

Pastors' History:

Revs. Able Costa 1925-30; Arthur J Cantwell 1930-42; Philip J Ryan 1942-46; Rev. Msgr. Patrick J Dermody 1946-68; Revs. John J Wagner 1968-69; William J Marshall 1983-85; Seamus J Farrell administrator, 1985; Brian T Timoney 1985-93; William J Dunn 1993-97; David Link 1997-2003; Michael Lacy 2003-2016; Sergio Lopez 2016-

Parish Boundaries