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Archbishop celebrates Shipwreck centennial Mass

February 13, 2015
Christina Gray

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone joined more than 300 parishioners and guests on Feb. 8 for a daylong celebration of the 100th anniversary of St. Paul of the Shipwreck Parish that included a gospel Mass and reception.

The parish in the Bayview-Hunters Point district of San Francisco has served a diverse community including African-Americans, Latinos, Filipinos and Nigerians since 1915 when it was founded by Maltese Catholics.

The archbishop served as principal celebrant of the two-hour Mass said and sung in English, Spanish, Tagalog and Igbo, the tribal language of Nigeria.

The pastor, Conventual Franciscan Father Paul Gawlowski, said the Mass was one of a yearlong series of events the parish community has planned to mark the history of the church.

“So far for us, the year is turning out to be one of community-building and evangelization as we reach out to former parishioners and alumni,” he told Catholic San Francisco.

The Conventual Franciscans of California, who have run the parish since 1998, will leave the parish on July 1. St. Paul of the Shipwreck will be run by either the archdiocese or another order, Father Gawlowski said.

“A primary focus of the parish will continue to be promoting our black Catholic spirituality as a gift to the greater church,” he said.

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