St. Margaret Mary Church
photo from Our Oakland

Saint Margaret Mary Church is a Catholic church at 1219 Excelsior Avenue.

The parish was founded in 1922 by Archbisop Edward Hanna, and Reverend Peter Doyle was the first pastor. The current Gothic church building and adjoining rectory were dedicated in 1931.


St. Margaret Mary’s has long been known for being old-school. Their attitude toward Vatican II (1962–65) might be characterized, with only mild exaggeration, as “Vatican … who?” A full-size replica of the Shroud of Turin, recently carbon-dated to the time of Christ, hangs on one wall; some female parishioners wear prayer shawls, and Mass is said in English, Latin, and in a combination of the two, the way originally envisioned by the Vatican II Fathers. You will find more incense, candles, and children at Mass than one sees in most churches. The two priests assigned here are very personable and readily available. Confession, a Sacrament that people seem to only rarely avail themselves of these days, is offered on Sundays, and the lines are long. Some people will not feel comfortable here. One Wiki contributor attended a funeral and described it as having been “interrupted only a few times by the celebrant’s rather pointed reminders that hell awaits, and good works alone are not enough to save one from just punishment.” But if you’ve ever felt you should not presume on God’s mercy, and would like to hear what the real teaching/dogma of the Church is, this may just be the place for you!

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