The community of St. Andrew was formed in September 1968 with Father James Moher as pastor, ably assisted by Father James Pulskamp, many seminarians, including Craig Forner and (then soon to be ordained) John Riley.
Our first Sunday liturgy was celebrated at Daniel Webster. As our community grew, we celebrated special feasts such as Christmas and Easter at Westmoor's gym. Weekday Masses were celebrated at St. Andrew Rectory at 1 Ridgefield. Our Religious Education classes were held at Thomas Edison/Abraham Lincoln (now Fernando Rivera) or in parishioners' homes. We found a semi permanent place to gather at Serramonte del Rey's gym.
The 1970s brought many changes. The parish finally had a (semi) permanent home when we rented a storefront at St. Francis Square. Religious Education classes continued in people's homes or at the storefront. We began a pre-school program that took place on Sunday mornings at the Round Table Pizza restaurant a few doors down from our parish center. In order to continue building community, parish leaders began a program of small Christian communities called Family of God or FOG. Facilitators were trained to lead this 14 week program which was not only a course in post Vatican theology but also a community building process. Although many people who took part have moved away, some still gather together on a regular basis. Also in the early seventies, our parish formed one of the first parish councils in the Archdiocese.
Fund-raising for a permanent home continued and in July of 1975 our parish church was completed. On July 6th, the first Mass was celebrated. Our parish center was dedicated on the feast of St. Andrew, November 30th,1975. We acquired new staff members during the 70s. Sister Irmalyn Benkhert became the DRE and Sister Jeannene Weis came aboard as the Director of Family Life. Our adult education programs continued to educate our parishioners. Rosemarie Rodriguez became our Religious Education Secretary, Helen Curran became our receptionist and Barbara Bruno joined the staff as bookkeeper. Father Ron Diegel joined the staff as the associate pastor and in 1978, Father John Cloherty became our second pastor.
The 1980s brought more changes to our parish. Our community was growing more ethnically diverse and in recognition of that, a Cultural Awareness Committee was created to plan events for our many different cultures: Filipino, Samoan, Burmese, Hispanic and others. We learned the value of diversity.
A new parish council began when Father Piro became pastor in 1983. Sister Nancy, Sister Rose and Sister Clo joined the staff as we began the first RENEW program. Through their hard work and coordinated efforts, our program succeeded as a pilot for the Archdiocese.
When Sister Carol joined the staff in the late 80s, she began a number of new programs. We had the GUPPIES - grandparents praying for pregnant people and the Doll Project, parishioners adopted a doll, made or bought clothes for it and the dolls were distributed to the poor through Neighbors in Need and later through the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Christmas.
In the 1990s, our parish community continued its mission of social justice and building church through Small Christian Communities. These groups grew from the original RENEW program and RENEW 2000. Our parish council continued to empower lay leaders who developed a vision of and direction for our parish. Outreach to the poor continued with the development of a St. Vincent de Paul Conference. And in 1994, we developed a Mission Statement which is still a guiding force in our parish: "We are Christ's eyes, ears, hands and feet, bringing the Good News to Daly City and beyond."
On July 1, 2000, as we welcomed the new millennium, we also welcomed our new pastor, Father Alex Legaspi, and many new staff: Father Nady Corrales, Doy Fernandez, Leo Redondo, Dina Reyes, Chris Redada, Bing Feliciano, Carmela Roxas, Ed Velazco and Joan Gonda. When Father Alex became pastor, he emphasized our role as evangelizers and directed all programs to focus their ministry on evangelization. Each ministry is challenged to proclaim the Good News in the context of their work. Our Social Justice Ministry, with programs such as Out of Harm's Way, information meetings about health insurance programs for the uninsured and information sessions for displaced airport workers after September 11, 2001, proclaim that each of us is a child of God and deserves respect and basic needs such as health care and jobs. Small Christian communities, beginning with Family of God and continuing through RENEW and RENEW 2000 live on in the many groups still meeting, which reach out to the unchurched and invite them to join our community. We continue our outreach to the poor through St. Vincent de Paul, special collections for disasters and various drives to provide socks or jackets or other items to those in need. These activities evangelize through actions that recognize the basic human dignity of all people.
Through 40 years there have been many changes. We have moved from Daniel Webster to Serramonte to the hardware store and then to our permanent home. We have changed from a mostly Anglo community to an ethnic rainbow. There have been four pastors, numerous parochial vicars, pastoral associates and support staff. Through all of this, we have never backed away from trying new challenges, pilot programs, new ways of celebrating liturgy. And through all this, we have welcomed all who come to pray and worship with us. We continue to live our mission statement "We are Christ's eyes, ears, hands and feet, bringing the Good News to Daly City and beyond." We are blessed!!
Compiled by Michele Bussey