St. Mary Mission was elevated to parish status in 1912 when the Jesuits, short of priests, turned the mission over to the control of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Archbishop Edward ]. Hanna named the Rev. Charles R. Baschab, PhD, a diocesan priest, as first pastor.
And the building began. The parish acquired property at Bean and Tait (370 feet on Bean by 200 feet on Tait) and moved the small hall, previously used as a church, from its old location between Main and Bean, to the new site where it became the nave of the new church.
The church was enlarged with the addition of a front section consisting of a vestibule, baptistry, choir loft, transept and sanctuary with sacristies. Louis T. Lenzen of San Jose was the architect and H. Hooper of Los Gatos, the contractor. The new church building, completed in 1914, seated 286.Father Baschab also coordinated the building of the first
permanent rectory in 1913. It was a wooden frame cottage-type house faced with shingles and a small upper-story containing two rooms and bath. The house had a total of 11 rooms, four baths and cost $6,500. The first rectory had been a small sacristy attached to the hall first used as a church.
By 1914 the church was sponsoring a June Fair and a September Bazaar. The three-day Fair realized a profit of $1,000 from the booths and a dinner which served 400 persons. The dinner menu isn't known but the Bazaar, a few months later, told patrons "to save a nickle for the feasts of chicken and Spanish dishes to be served."
Letter of Protest
The upkeep of church property became subject for a letter in the newspaper. Mrs. Wm. M. Godfrey, President of the Board of Trustees for the Town of Los Gatos, protested in a Letter to the Bishop, of the dilapidated and unsightly condition of two vacant properties in town owned by Santa Clara College. Mrs. Godfrey encouraged the archbishop's intercession with Santa Clara College to upgrade the properties to meet the level of adjoining land . .. noticeably to build a concrete sidewalk on land leased to Standard Oil and to build a fence and plant roses to hide the broken down wagons and debris on a second lot.
The Rev. Patrick]. O'Hara was named pastor in 1919 and the Rev. William F Keller in 1925. An outdoor procession marked the 1928 festivities that surrounded the dedication of a new chapel. A band played the National Anthem while veterans of the World War raised the flag blessed by Archbishop Hanna.
Clothed in "gorgeous green vestments" the Archbishop then celebrated Mass, giving First Communion to 14 children and the Sacrament of Confirmation to 100. Boys wore navy blue suits with white arm ribbons and girls, white dresses and long veils. Mr. James Bacigalupi served as sponsor for the boys and Mrs. Howard Blethen for the girls.
Professor Hamalichek played the organ and sang while Madame Couchet "inspired the congregation with devotion by her interpretation of Guno's Ave Maria ." The choir sang Holy God We Praise Thy Name.In the same year The Catholic Circle women were organizing card parties of bridge and whist under the direction of Mrs. H. A.
And Forty Hour devotions really lasted 40 hours .. .from Sunday to Tuesday. The opening and closing ceremonies included music along with a procession of alcolytes and "little white-clad girls, strewing the path of the Blessed Sacrament with flower petals." Special services were held on Monday (no Monday night football competition), but the regular Lenten services of the time were held each Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Information about our early pastors is scant but the San Francisco LEADER had this to say about the Rev. William F.
Keller, pastor from 1925 to 1934:
It is impossible to calculate the extent of good accomplished by Father Keller, but certain it is that no one touched by his influence has been able to resist the power of his Christian zeal and his great faith. His example alone has been a force for good in the parish, but Father Keller is a man of energy and initiative and he has been tireless in his efforts to build up all branches of the parish organizataion. The result has been a great quickening among those of all ages in the parish of their sense of obligation to the church and its work.
In 1934 the Rev. Richard J. Curtis was appointed the fourth pastor