We are a multicultural and diverse Catholic Community. In the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we strive to reach out with open arms and receive all people by our commitment to evangelization,
social justice, and active participation in community life.
Ministry Staff Leadership
Who We Are
St. Paul of the Shipwreck Catholic Church has served the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco
since 1915. The Conventual Franciscans of California are the Western United States Province of the Catholic Religious
order founded in 1229 in Italy by St. Francis of Assisi. The Franciscans have been especially known to serve the poor.
In the California province, the friars have pledged themselves to minister to California’s diverse ethnic communities.
In accord with this mission and history, the California Province of the Conventual Franciscans accepted the ministry at
St. Paul of the Shipwreck and served our parish until June 2015. St. Paul of the Shipwreck provides a Gospel/African American Liturgy, a Spanish Liturgy and other programs to serve our diverse congregation that is predominantly African American, Hispanic, and Filipino. In addition to our Church ministries, we have been active members of the greater community working for systemic change and reaching out to those in need. Some of our activities have included: our Catholic Elementary School education from
the 1950s through 2003, community organizing with the San Francisco Organizing Project to bring $2.5 million to the Bayview
Hope House project (housing and job training for homeless), weekly street vigils for peace on the corners of Sunnydale & Hahn in Visitation Valley and on 3rd and Palou, neighborhood Health Fairs, our food pantry that served over 275 families every week,
and our Sports and Arts Academy after school program that provided a safe haven, positive role models and character
evelopment programs through arts and sports to over 150 families. Please come and visit us!
How We Got Our Name
"Once we had reached safety we learned that the island was called Malta. The natives showed us extraordinary hospitality;
they lit a fire and welcomed all of us because it had begun to rain and was cold." from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles
It is no wonder that our Church provides a sense of hospitality to all who enter our diverse and multicultural parish community! We only need to look back at our extraordinarily rich history of humble beginnings, as told in the Book of Acts, to understand this impression, when the imprisoned apostle Paul and his colleagues found themselves shipwrecked on the little island of Malta, and were surprisingly welcomed by its inhabitants who lit a fire to warm their feet. In 1913, some 300 immigrants from that same island of Malta settled in the Bayview Hunters Point area of San Francisco. Encompassing a strong sense of family and faith, they teamed up with the Italian community, petitioned the Archbishop to establish a Maltese National Church, and named it St. Paul of the Shipwreck.