Our Parish

About St. Francis Parish

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.


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.

Our Pastor Rev. Dr. Theophane Antony, OCD. (Fr. Theo)

On September 10, 2023, Rev. Dr. Theophane Antony was installed as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bakersfield, CA. by Bishop Joseph V. Brennan.

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Our Bishop & Diocese Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, D.D.

On May 2, 2019, The Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan was installed as Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno.

Bishop Brennan is the Episcopal Vicar of the San Fernando Pastoral Region, one of the five Pastoral Regions in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Trofimiana and Auxiliary Bishop in 2015.

Bishop Joseph Brennan received a B.A. in Philosophy from St. John’s Seminary College, in 1976 and a Masters in Divinity from St. John’s Seminary Theologate in 1980.

After his ordination to the priesthood, he served as associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Los Angeles, St. Linus in Norwalk and at the Cathedral of St. Vibiana in Los Angeles. Later on, he was a pastor at St. Linus in Norwalk and Holy Trinity in San Pedro. After becoming Moderator of the Curia, he was in residence at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and at Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church.

He has been a Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus in California, a member of the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and also sits on the Board of the Catholic Education Foundation, the Williams Charitable Trust, and Together in Mission, and Served as Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of

Parish Clergy & Staff