St. Francis of Assisi Parish is a thriving Catholic Parish located in downtown Bakersfield. From the first store front Mass offered in 1871 to six Catholic families.
The first building committee included its chairman, Col. Thomas Baker, A.R. Jackson, Julius Chester, Bakersfield’s first newspaperman, John C. Fremont’s scout, Alexis Godey and the store owner Pablo Galtes. Plans were completed in 1881 and the first pastor for the new church was named in 1884.
In 1910, St. Francis Parish opened the doors of St. Francis Parish School to provide excellence in Catholic Education for students throughout Kern County. Following the opening of the school, the 50 year old church was destroyed by the 1952 earthquake. Msgr. Patrick Leddy led the effort to build the church and rectory in use today.
Today, under the leadership of Msgr. Craig F. Harrison, the parish is growing rapidly in both attendance and property needed to better serve over 6,500 families. St. Francis is also a member of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno led by Bishop Armando Xavior Ochoa.
The Mission of St. Francis of Assisi Parish is to provide a safe, welcoming environment of Catholic worship, evangelization & fellowship, living in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.