All Hallows is named after All Hallows Seminary, Dublin, source of Irish missionary priests sent to "missions" in the United States and other countries in the English-speaking world. Shown at right: seal of All Hallows Seminary, with its Latin motto "Collegium Omnium Sanctorum pro Missionibus exteris" ("College of All Saints for the Foreign Missions").
All Hallows Parish was founded in a Stockton Boulevard storefront in 1942, on the 100th Anniversary of the founding of All Hallows College Seminary in Dublin. Naming the parish “All Hallows” was testimony to the contributions of the priests who had come to Sacramento – and All Hallows - from this famous Irish seminary that trained and then sent priests to Protestant-majority countries in the English-speaking world, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. (For one chapter in this history, read here.) In Latin, All Hallows translates to “Omnium Sanctorum,” or All of the Saints. In Spanish - Todos los Santos. The parish's founding families were immigrant sons and daughters of Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Mexico.
In 1946, the parish came to its current location on 14th Avenue and 55th Street, beyond the edge of Sacramento’s Oak Park residential district, adjacent to land that was still farmed and ranched. But the rural was soon to give way to the fast-growing residential areas of Tahoe Park, Tallac Village, Fruitridge Manor and Colonial Heights, mostly built in the 1940s and 1950s, and composed almost exclusively of homes financed by the World War II GI Bill.
Reflecting the late-forties influx of families into the new neighborhoods, All Hallows Parish School opened in 1948, staffed by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The parish school became the City of Sacramento’s seventh Catholic elementary school, matching the architectural styles of its contemporaries Holy Spirit and Sacred Heart Schools. Classes at All Hallows School in the fifties and sixties frequently numbered into the seventies, taught by still-famed All Hallows BVM Sisters Mary Sarah James (Dolores Doohan), Francilla (Kirby), Julia Patrice (Ange Cadigan), St. Austin (requiescat in pacem), Paul (requiescat in pacem), Margaret, Margretina (requiescat in pacem), Pauline (requiescat in pacem), Incarnata (Gephardt), Beatrice (requiescat in pacem), Ann Irene, Margaret Daniel (requiescat in pacem), John William (Nan Ross), Romaine (requiescat in pacem), Teresetta (Ellen Murphy), Paul Thomas (Elizabeth Olsen), Frances, Sylvia, Virginie, Katherine Patrice (requiescat in pacem), Caritas (Roberta White), and, of course, Noella (Cavallero). Sister Mary Noella, BVM, served at All Hallows first as classroom teacher (1964-1970), and then as principal until 1989, the year of the BVMs' withdrawal from the Parish School. (Reflecting All Hallows’ Irish pedigree, girls’ and boys’ uniforms always included the color green – a tradition that continued well into the 1980s.) Over the history of the school, famed lay teachers include Mrs. Nan Wilbur (requiescat in pacem), Mrs. Mary Kassis (who taught two generations of All Hallows students), Mrs. Jeanine Owens, Miss Margaret Lipper, and Mr. Eamon Kelly. Mrs. Owens also taught at St. Peter Parish School. Mr. William Condos was the first male lay teacher, arriving in 1966. (All Hallows School, by then named John Paul II School, closed in June 2010.
In 1960, then-Bishop Joseph McGucken dedicated the current All Hallows Church. Monsignor John Maguire, pastor at the time of the new Church's dedication, died soon thereafter after while preparing for Mass. Monsignor John Maguire's new Church was a wonder of its time, featuring green-flecked terrazzo floors, twenty stained-glass windows, a full choir loft, two traditional apses, and a full-sized campanile. Imported Italian marble was used in the altar, sanctuary, communion rail, and in all internal statues - all life-size.
Recognizing its heritage of Saints and church history, 14 three-story high stained glass windows each picture a different saint, including St. John the Baptist de LaSalle, St. Laurence, St. Frances Cabrini, St. Peter, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Elizabeth, St. Pius IX and, of course, Sts. Brigid and Patrick. Smaller stained glass windows depict the Nativity, Jesus and Mary at Joseph's Death, and the Assumption. A large stained-glass rose window features Jesus at its center, surrounded by the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - now surrounded by organ pipes, donated in December 2007 as complement to the William A. Bakes Memorial Organ (also donated and installed in 2007). The Parish's Yamaha Conservatory Grand Piano arrived in 2005. A small-statue gallery of Saints resides in the vestibule, along with a artisan-restored BVM Rosary. While All Hallows Church originally sat 720, renovations reduced capacity to about 630.
Our Community recalls with fondness and love multiple dedicated members who have served throughout our history. From the Altar Society: Lil Hagus, Margaret Dullanty, Frances Federer, Carolyn Bakes, Elisa Kiefer, Johanna Garlinghouse, Toni Niehaus, Gen Kaspinski, Catherine "Kitty" Shroeder, and multiple others. From the Holy Name Society: Leo Kiefer, Vic Kaspinski, Alex Lopez, John Mosloskie, Jack Palmero and many others still in service to the Community. From the Parish School Mother's Club, we remember: Ann Bianchini Cima, Bev Sickels, Alice Bell, "Boots" Bacchini, and those grandmothers and great-grandmothers with grand-children and great grand-children attending our Parish School. And, still in service to the Parish, Mrs. Veronica "Ronnie" Fritzche and Mrs. Rose Carson are both past presidents of the Mother's Club in the 1950s and 1960s. From the Italian Catholic Federation, we remember those parish founding families, sons and daughters of immigrants, who served the Community, and continue to do so through the All Hallows Social Club. [See the Parish Directory for information about reconnecting with alumni/ae from these and other Parish Organizations, past and present.]
And we celebrate our present, with never-ending opportunities for service.