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: 12/4/2014
For details, see below

Recent updates...

The following information has been recently added to our website in the
In Memoriam section. (Click here) or on the tab at the top of this page.
Walt Harrington, R'51 (1932 - 2014)

James Heyburn, R'66 (1946 - 2014)

Fr. John Olivier, (1920 - 2013) Added another tribute page; this one was published in The Patrician magazine, Fall 2013 issue, page 26.

MRev. Rich Garcia 1967

Our seventeenth annual Day of Recollection was held on Saturday February 22, 2014.
Most Reverend Richard Garcia R'67, hosted this special day. His interesting theme for our day was The Four Pillars Revisited. Bishop Garcia's 2 page outline is attached: (click here) - Outline.
To read a summary of our day and to see a small collection of photographs, (click here) - Pictures.
To see the invitation letter, (click here - Flyer).
Over the years, this has become quite a popular day, hosted for us ex-seminarians by our Alumni Association. If you want to see a quick history of these special "Days:" (click here - History). For more information please contact Jim Murphy.

After Richard Garcia was ordained, he came to my home parish, Saint Catherine's of Alexandria in Morgan Hill. He moved on, and I have stayed here all this time. Wow! Our parish has a "Centennial History Book" (1909 - 2009) that contains some articles about our Day of Recollection host. These were originally printed by the San Jose Mercury News.
MRev. Rich Garcia 1967 For a bit of fun, and a little background information, I am posting a pair of articles. To see the 5/28/1973 article (click here - 1973); Then to read the 9/5/1978 article, (click here - 1978). For an additional treat, I am also posting this 1981 Morgan Hill parish picture. Enjoy!

Our annual Alumni Day will be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014. The R'1964 anniversary class has already made some good progress contacting their alumni; they expect a very good turnout. The contact person for this class is Patrick Cloherty, R'64 (of course).

News Items...

Mass for Deceased Alumni

On December 12, 2013 after our Alumni Board meeting, we celebrated our annual Mass for Deceased Alumni. 12 Board members are pictured: in order.....
1. Andy McClure     2. Jack Sutcliffe     3. Frank Brady     4. Tom Dillon 5. Rev. Joe Gordon    6. Jim Murphy     7. Pat Cloherty
8. John Brennan    9. Don Carroll     10. Kevin Connolly
11. Denis Ducey     12. Jim Hansen
Missing from this picture are: Bob Gorman, Don Casella, Tim Goode
Our deceased alumni in 2013 were:
      Rev. William Ahlbach, R'56
      Joseph F. Cirimele, c'76
      Loren Dwyer, R'53, Board Member
      Lt. Col. Walter Falconer, Sr., R'50
      Msgr. John T. Foudy, R'34
      Peter Hegarty, R'58
      Charlie Heinrich, R'37
      Rev. Jerry Kennedy, R'60
      Msgr. Leo E. McFadden, R'48
      Rev. Edward Murray, R'56
      Rev. Joseph O'Connell, R'45
      Msgr. John J. O'Connor, R'54
      Rev. John H. Olivier, S.S., Professor
      Rev. William P. Quinn, R'49
      Terrence J.Shannon, R'63
      Gary Teply, R'64
      Rev. Jerald Thomas, R'50
      Anita 'Sis' Watts, Secretary at College
      Richard J. Wingell, R'55

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 in 2013. Click on the button at the top of this page and explore the various picture folders.
We begin this new year by adding 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)

For a list of our honored Alumni Of The Year, 2000 through 2012  (click here) It's not current; I will update this page soon. To hear about and experience the 2014 awards, come to our Alumni Day on 4/26/2014.

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:
12/4/2014 updates :
Presidents message page: Inserted 2 pictures for the "passing of the presidential gavel." These were taken at our board meeting on 9/25/2014.
8/15/2014 updates :
In Memoriam: Scanned the program for Walt's Mass of Christian Burial and inserted this next to his obituary.
8/13/2014 updates :
In Memoriam: Established a connection to Walt Harrington's 1952 Grotto article, which is over in the Memoirs section of this website.
8/12/2014 updates :
In Memoriam: Walt Harrington, R'51 and James Heyburn, R'66
3/6/2014 updates :
Home Page: Inserted Bob Gorman's 1952 Bear's picture as a "pop Quiz." Also added a clickable page with an enlarged picture and student names.
In Memoriam: Fr. Maurice O'Neil's page - replaced the fuzzy, newspaper quality picture with a excellent quality ordination picture sent in by Mark Mosher, C'1983 Also corrected the ordination year question marks for Fr. O'Neil.
2/25/2014 updates :
In Memoriam: Scanned and uploaded the tribute page for Fr. John Olivier; published in The Patrician magazine, fall 2013 issue, page 26.
2/24/2014 updates :
Album Page: Created a newsy page about our Day of Recollection; inserted 9 pictures and uploaded this page. Also updated my total picture counts for our album.
Day of Recollection History Page: Added M.Rev. Richard Garcia into our history list. Also added pointers to the same 2 documents cited on the home page.
Home Page: Changed the Day of Recollection details (to past tense). Wrote a summary of this day; added 9 photographs. Scanned and uploaded Bishop Garcia's 2 page outline. Added reference pointer to these 2 documents from the home page and also from the Day of Rec page. Inserted the names of our Alumni Board members beneath the photograph on the home page. Also listed the names of our deceased alumni in 2013.
2/21/2014 updates :
Photo Gallery: Uploaded a small collection of class graduation picture plates for the rhetoric years: 1951, 1957, 1959, 1960 and 1961.
Home Page: A year ago I deleted some references to other websites that were created for Alumni class celebrations. I should have been more careful. It turns out that websites for the classes of 1961 and 1957 still exist. So I re-inserted my references and connections to these two websites. However the classes of 1962 and 1958 websites are no longer are functioning. I should have just deleted these two instead of deleting them all. So there still is some other great information out there.
2/20/2014 updates :
Home Page: Added references to 3 videos
2/19/2014 updates :
In Memoriam: Added Father Maurice O'Neil. S.S.
2/17/2014 updates :
Home Page: Inserted the Alumni Board picture that was taken at our annual Mass for Deceased Alumni. Follow-up is needed to attach names.
2/15/2014 updates :
Home Page: Finished my overhaul for now.
Added the Day of Recollection invitation page and some background information about Bishop Garcia.
January 2014 updates :
Home Page: Year end 2013 cleanup.
Several uploads, many changes, discarded and filed away a lot of 2013 material.
Calendar Page Updates: Added dates for our 2014 Day of Recollection, Alumni Day and our next Alumni Board meeting.