History of the Parish

On October 1, 1951, Archbishop John J. Mitty announced the establishment of 14 new parishes among which was Good Shepherd in Sharp Park, encompassing Pacific Manor and Rockaway Beach. Prior to this time, visiting priests from Holy Angels Parish, Colma celebrated Mass once each Sunday in what later became Ben’s Trading Post in Rockaway Beach; the building has since been demolished.

A home on Brighton Road (Sharp Park) was subsequently purchased and the large front parlor was converted into a chapel — complete with pews — while the upper floor served as a rectory with meeting rooms. The establishment of the CCD on October14, 1951, the Holy Name society on October 18, and the Altar Society on October 21 provided the support needed for ministering to the 300 families in the parish.

In late June of 1953, the present church on Oceana Boulevard was completed (with plans to be converted into a parish hall in the future). On September 13, the church was dedicated by Archbishop Mitty. When the present hall was constructed, it was named St. Rita by Fr. Mullen, the first pastor, because of his devotion to the saint.

The first classes at Good Shepherd School began on September 2, 1968 under the direction of the Sisters of Providence, while CCD classes continued under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Family.  The interior of the church, especially the altar area, was remodeled in the mid-1970’s.  The mid-1980’s saw the Earthen Vessels Prayer Group meeting in the church as well as the formation of the Legion of Mary and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.  Our school grew in the late ’80’s with the addition of a kindergarten, library and computer lab.

In July 1989, Fr. Maurice (Mickey) McCormick, was appointed pastor.  Fr. Mickey further developed our Christian community by encouraging more involvement by the parishioners in the educational, liturgical and social outreach ministries of the parish.Under Fr. Mickey’s direction, the parish developed two building projects: low-income senior housing run by Catholic Charities, and a multi-purpose facility to serve the ever-growing community.

Rev. Piers Lahey continued the tradition of upgrading the facilities and growing the Christian community.  In 2003, the church interior was completely remodeled including a new baptismal font.

Rev. Jesus Labor brought his own brand of change with the expanded outreach programs. He also initiated the repair and renovation of our rectory.