St. Patrick Seminary
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A Brief History

Saint Joseph's College seminary began as a part of Saint Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California, in 1898 where candidates for the Catholic priesthood were educated in a 12–year seminary program. Due to considerable expansion in the early part of the last century, Saint Joseph's College was built and opened as a separate school in 1924 in the foothills of Mountain View-Cupertino, California. The program included the four years of high school plus the first two years of college education, preparing candidates for admission to the major seminary at St. Patrick's.

The college was placed under the direction of the Sulpician Fathers, a society founded in Paris, France, and specially organized for training of aspirants to the priesthood. St. Joseph's grew to become one of the largest college seminaries in the United States. In 1968, St. Joseph's assumed responsibility for the four years of high school and four years of college. The high school program was discontinued in 1980. The Saint Joseph's College seminary became a part of the newly formed Diocese of San Jose in 1981. The seminary buildings were damaged beyond repair by the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989. Students and faculty relocated to a commercial building in Santa Clara for a while, but the local bishop decided to close the college on June 30, 1991.

Alumni News and Events:

New updates added on: 3/16/2020
For details, see below

NEWS FLASH: This year's Day of Recollection is on the horizon. It will be held on, Saturday, February 1, 2020. Mark your calendars - I'm assuming that we all have our 2020 calendars - right? We begin at 9:00am and lunch will be provided. We are doing something different this year. SPOUSES ARE WELCOME! We have never really excluded spouses and some spouses have attended. Based on feedback we are positively encouraging attendance. This invitation also includes widows of deceased alums.
Father David Pettingill, Rhet '56 will be our director for this day. The attached page will give you some more info about Fr. Dave.
Here is a page with more information. (click here)

NEWS FLASH: Yes, another flash? This years' Alumni Day is on our calendar for Saturday, April 18th 2020.

This year we are celebrating the classes for:
1960 – 60 years
1965 – 55 years
1970 – 50 years
1975 – 45 years
1980 – 40 years
Small committees of class captains have been formed, class student lists have been created, raffle gifts are being donated, our newly formed Sports Hall of Fame made it's debut last month and they also have something planned for Alumni Day.

Last Year's Alumni Day 2019 was a lot of fun. Check out this Rhet 1959 table. I interrupted their conversations just to click this single picture. This was their 60th year reunion. WOW! - A very happy time.

POP QUIZ: Where were you? Thirty years ago? On 10/17/1989 at 5:04 PM? Probably tuning in to game 1 of the world series between S. F. and Oakland. On this same day, 30 years later, the Los Altos History Museum opened its doors to a new exhibit featuring the impact of the Loma Prieta earthquake upon this area - and the destruction of Saint Joseph's Seminary in particular.
Our Alumni Board (Don Carroll & Chuck Smith) worked with the exhibition curator Dr. Amy Noel Ellison in gathering materials. This museum is at 51 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022. This is well worth a visit. I am not sure about the closing date for this exhibit.
Here are 3 old newspaper photographs of the earthquake damage. Bishop Pierre DuMaine and Fr. Cale Crowley are featured. (click here - BishopDuMaine)

The class celebration dates of our Alumni Days go back in time. The first Alumni Day occurred in 1981. See a really neat article (below) titled "A Brief History of the Alumni Association." It is an excellent summary of our 1981 to 2020 alumni group and our annual sponsored events (reunions, days of recollection, and more). Our student body and our Sulpician teachers date way back to 1920. So check out another slice of history (also below) titled "Tributes to our Sulpician Teachers." This four page document spans the years 1920 to 1994 in pictures with a yearly count of the number of students who have attended St. Joseph's school.
These efforts inspired me to do some archeological digging. Beginning last year, I reached way back in time, 80 years, - scanned and uploaded some historic St. Joseph's student school newsletters from our archives. November 1938 was the first, or at least the oldest one that I have. You will find this if you click on the The Newsletter (button) at the top of this home page. In honor of last year's 1959 class (60 years) I added "The Blow" (1959) and another Alumni Newsletter dated June 1940. For this coming alumni day I hope to upload some more old newsletters for the celebrating classes. A big "Thank you" goes to Pat Cloherty for discovering and preserving these wonderful relics.
In the same vein, but over on the Memoirs page (another button up at the top of this home page), I added 2 new books to our collection on this page: by Brian Cahill, R'60 and John Michael Sheehan, H'71. (Note: Brian also wrote an article in the 1959 "Blow" school newsletter --- also posted on this website).

The Saint Joseph's Sports Hall of Fame


Click here instead (a temporary detour) and enjoy browsing!

During our May 24, 2018 Alumni Board meeting, Mike Sheehan, H’71, proposed some of his ideas about a “Sports Hall of Fame” for our school. He described several of his thoughts and he received a unanimous approval from the board. His generation at St. Joe’s produced annual yearbooks, and Mike showed us a set of yearbooks that contain a lot of photographs and other useful information. Mike quickly put together a committee of volunteers and they have been on a roll.
On October 12th, 2019 the first annual St. Joseph High School/College Sports Hall of Fame was born. It was a rousing success. 63 outstanding coaches and athletes were honored. 108 athletes, coaches and family members attended.

The Hall of Fame planners created an 8 page outline for this event. Here is a quick glimpse of pages 1 and 2. (click here - IntroOutline)

If you have received Our Alumni Association spring 2020 newsletter, then you have a description of this event plus some excellent pictures by John Ravnik.
Thank you Mike! Thank you John! Great work!

A March meeting surprise
Our Alumni Board meets quarterly and our spring meeting usually occurs in March. We have noticed that something very unusual happens if per chance we select a date near, or on, St. Patrick’s Day. The best way, maybe the only way, to describe this apparition is to reveal it with a single photograph: (click here - March meeting photo)
Note: This photograph has been here on this web page since last Nov. 2018. One week ago, 2/28/2019, Bob Gorman died. So I have added a couple more pictures of Bob. When I receive his obituary, I will post it in the In Memoriam section of this website.

Tributes to our Sulpician teachers
4988 students were educated, influenced and inspired by the Sulpician Fathers at the Saint Joseph's Seminary College, 1920 - 1994. A 4 page tribute has been created in honor of our teachers. Using numerous photographs and a year-by-year enrollment summary, we show our appreciation for the work of these dedicated men. You will enjoy this document! To see this printable Sulpician historical tribute (click here - Sulp)

More tributes were written last year as the Sulpician Fathers moved away from California and St. Patricks Seminary/University. Rev. Ronald Witherup. PSS, the Superior General of the Sulpician Fathers, spent eleven years on the faculty of St. Patricks. He writes about his memories in his letter of adieu. (click here - Father Ron)
Father Gladstone Stevens, PSS, the President/Rector of St. Patrick's Seminary/University (2014 2017), speaks from his heart in this letter published in the Patrician magazine. (click here - Father Gladstone)
Father Roger Gustatson, speaks about his proud legacy as a graduate of St. Patrick's Seminary/University, (click here - Father Roger)
The prayer service and luncheon document is large (4 pages) and colorful (some great photographs). Since it is heavy with pixels, it might be a bit slower to open up than the other pages cited above. Enjoy! (click here - Patrician)

Pop Quiz...

Bears of 1952

Bob Gorman loaned this 1952 picture to me to scan and add to our web site collection. To see the enlarged picture, and the names written on the back, (click here - 1952 Bears)

Many photographs were added to our website's Photo Gallery over the years. Click on the button at the top of this page and explore the various picture folders.
I have added some class graduation picture plates. I have scanned 5 years: 1951, 1957, 1959, 1960 and 1961. I placed this collection near the top of the Photo Gallery.
We now have approximately 950 total pictures in the Photo Gallery.
In additiion, There are many more photographs on other pages at this website. They reside behind the buttons, mouse clicks and locations waiting to be explored. Too many to count - except that I do know that the slide show (above) contains 37 pictures.

SemNet: This is a valuable resource for us former seminarians. SemNet is not an internet location or a website; It is an e-mail hub of activity. As its name states, is it a network - and a marvelous one too. Former classmates have been writing and distributing e-mail messages about their halcyon days at St. Joseph's on this SemNet, plus some news and commentaries about current events. So you don't go to the SemNet; it comes to you (via e-mail). All you have to do is subscribe to it by contacting Tom Sheehan. He will want your class year, your team affiliation, and your laundry number. Easy!

A Brief History of the Alumni Association, by Don Carroll, R'58, was written to commemorate the 25th anniversary of our Association (click here to read this interesting story)

Annual Award: Each year at our Alumni Day Reunion celebration, we honor one or two of our fellow alumni. Our Alumni Board spends a good chunk of time recommending and debating the possible candidates. We have kept a list of these honored individuals here at our website. This enables those folks who cannot attend the party, to at least keep up with the news. We began this recognition twenty years ago (2000), and it continues in this year (2020). To view this historical list of our honored Alumni Of The Year, just (click here)

To see a complete list of our current Alumni Board members   (click here) or click on the "Message from our president" below.

The Alumni Association Board has written a statement regarding sexual abuse and fairness for priests:  (to see this statement, click here)

Other class websites

The class of 1961, while preparing for their Alumni Day celebration in 2011, gave us a beautiful artifact. Paul Feyen and his classmates constructed special website with memorabilia that all of us former students can enjoy. Just click here on: and enjoy browsing!
Another interesting web site wase created by the class of 1957. This class also gathered some fascinating memorabilia from their years at Saint Joseph's College. This can be seen at
Two other classes, 1958 and 1962, once had websites. These no longer appear to be working. If I am wrong, will somebody please let me know? Thanks.

Testing 1..2..3..

I am experimenting with our school website being able to link into some video material. For starters, lets try these three. Each video should pop up in a separate window, which you can close when you are done viewing. Enjoy!
Greg McAllister, R'61 has sent a link to the class of 1961 reunion video. It is titled "The boys who would be Priests" and is delightful to view. Plus, it brings back plenty of memories. One side effect is that this video will cause some of us former students to ponder the the impact of seminary life upon our own journey. It runs about 14 minutes. Enjoy! Just click on: 1961 Class reunion video

Fr. Maurice O'Neil gives a tour of St. Joseph's College after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 destroyed our school. Mark Mosher, C'1983, sent this video in two parts. Click on: Fr. O'Neil tour, part 1 (15 minutes) and then Fr. O'Neil tour, part 2 (12 minutes) These videos provide a very detailed look at a lot of rooms in their damaged state, plus many exterior views too. Commentary is provided by Fr. Maurice O'Neil. It is kind of sad to watch, but you can certainly see how much Fr. O'Neil loved the place.

Thank you Greg, and thank you Mark! You two have inspired me to learn some new website stuff (videos).

Contact Us: (click here)

President A Message From Our President

Website updates, recent history details:
1/6/2018 updates :
Contacts (button) page: Removed Jim Murphy (with a quiet prayer); Inserted Don Carroll and Tom Dillon.
Calendar (button) page: Updated the dates to cover 2018
Home Page: Backed up the prior home page as of 1/8/2018. Began to update (clean house.....) working top-down.
1/10/2018 updates :
Calendar, button - added more dates and Contacts (the tiny envelope icon) pages needed a fix.
4/24/2018 updates :
Memoirs (button) - added 2 more books: Brian Cahill and John Michael Sheehan
Home Page (button) pages needed a fix.
Home Page Added text and a 4 page tribute to our Sulpician Fathers/Teachers.
Home Page Extracted the Mass for deceased alumni (photograph and names); put it on a single page and inserted this page into the In Memoriam section.
4/30/2018 updates :
The Newsletter (button) - scanned and inserted three newsletters: "The Alumni Bulletin" from 1940 and 1938, plus another "The Blow," (1960)
5/26/2018 updates :
The Home Page - inserted Tom Dillon's photograph, and on the Message from our president page - I inserted the "passing of the gavel" ceremony(?) from Jack Sutcliff to the new president, Tom Dillon. This includes a group picture. of the current Alumni Board.
7/2/2018 updates :
The Home Page - Inserted Mike Sheehan's "Sports Hall of Fame" proposal to our board.
7/5/2018 updates :
The Home Page - Scanned 4 additional Sulpician tributes; tried to introduce each segment.
7/9/2018 updates :
The Home Page - Inserted the 4 "adieu" files, with accompanying text info.
7/10/2018 clean-up :
The Home Page - proof reading and clarifying some of the text.
7/11/2018 clean-up :
The Home Page - Rewrote the first two paragraphs (Alumni Day) and old newsletters.
7/13/2018 Addition:
The Home Page - announce the 2019 Alumni Day; The date was set today.
The Calendar Page - updated the page behind this button - new dates.
7/14/2018 Addition:
The Home Page - Added a picture; the Rhet-1959 dinner table; 2018 Alumni Day.
11/3/2018 clean-up:
The Home Page - rewording, clarify stuff 11/3/2018 updates:
The Calendar Page - Changed dates through 2019, which we set at our 9/20/2018 Alumni Board meeting.
11/6/2018 Addition:
The Home Page - Added text & picture; Spring meeting in March - Leprechaun
11/7/2018 Addition:
The Home Page - Inserted M. Sheehan's on-going "sports awards" work; based upon his 9/20/2018 report to the alumni board.
3/5/2019 Addition:
The Home Page - Updated; Spring meeting in March - Leprechaun page, Added more pictures; it is now 2-pages..
8/20/2019 Addition:
The Newsletter Page - Added our Spring 2019 newsletter (8 pages); lots of photographs
9/30/2019 Addition:
The Home Page - updated the home page and the calendar page.

Jan. 2020 Revisions/Updates:
The Home Page - Significant updates to the home page and the Calendar page. Most of the scheduled dates have become "past tense." Alumni board calendar is now set up for 2020.
March 2020 Revisions/Updates:
Updated the AlumniOfTheYearList.html history list - from the year 2000 to 2020. The first 12 years were online but the final 8 were not. Thanks to Pat Cloherty for digging up the data.

2020 Next to do :
Bishop Garcia material is gone from our home page (His Day of Rec is over); move these docs into Memoirs for long term access and storage. Add his Day of Rec outline and pictures.
He was at St. Catherine's 1973 - 1977
find his obit to post
2018 Alumni Day - add picture pages, etc. (w/o pics, it gets boring.....)
Add more pics (earthquake, alum days, days of rec, class plates, etc.) into Photo Gallery Somehow post my photo index file (a work in progress) that lists all pictures at this web site(!?!)
Class lists from 1920 to 1959 are on this website--- click the Alumni button. I need to complete these lists from 1960 to 1994.
Add Don Osuna's book to Memoirs
Ditto Don Kohles Rambler book.
Day of Recoll. history page needs to be updated, with pictures when/if available.
Also the alum of the year list needs to be updated.
Does a 1977 yearbook exist? (#77-123, Scurlock)
The rock - new pictures.
Resolve B. Gorman's pop quiz - move this into photo gallery.