Name of Church Holy Rosary

Address One St. Vincent Dr., San Rafael, CA 94913

Phone number See the website for various contact numbers.


Mass times Sundays and holy days at 12:15 p.m. (Latin Tridentine, sung High Mass). Fr. Young also celebrates the Tridentine liturgy on Sundays, 5 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Chapel in San Francisco. Visitors are welcome, although it is requested that all observe modesty in dress and demeanor. Missals and hymnals are available in the vestibule for use by visitors. Holy Communion is taken kneeling and on the tongue.

Confessions Sundays, 11:45 a.m. – noon

Names of priests Fr. William Young. Fr. Young was ordained for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, but is now retired and devotes his time to the Latin Mass community. He is a Thomist, orthodox and reverent, and is an excellent preacher.

Music The Most Holy Rosary Schola and Mixed Choir is a volunteer ensemble dedicated to singing Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony for the Tridentine Mass at Holy Rosary. Every Mass the Holy Rosary Men’s Schola and a mixed choir sing a full Gregorian Mass with Gregorian chant propers, ordinaries and polyphonic motets.

Fellow parishioners Locals, visitors; many interested in and drawn by the Latin Mass.

Parking There is parking alongside and in front of the church.

Cry room no

Additional observations Holy Rosary is located north of San Francisco, up the 101 freeway. It is a parish mission of St. Isabella Church, San Rafael.

Holy Rosary chapel is on the grounds of the St. Vincent’s School for Boys, which was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1855. St. Vincent’s was a home for orphaned, neglected and abused boys, and operated under the auspices of Joseph Alemany, the first Archbishop of San Francisco.

The chapel was one of a group of Renaissance-style buildings built in the 1920s by the director of St. Vincent’s, Fr. Francis McElroy. Today, St. Vincent’s is part of Catholic Charities CYO, and serves “at risk” boys from abusive and troubled backgrounds.

The chapel—or church, because it is the size of a regular parish church—is beautiful inside and out.

Special elements include 15 magnificent stained glass windows which feature Bible stories that appeal to youth (as it was built in the days when St. Vincent’s was an orphanage). The colors are bright and vibrant; make a point to go when the sun is shining brightly.

There are many nice statues, including St. Isabel, Mary and Joseph, St. Therese of the Little Flower and Jesus welcoming a little child. The altar and sanctuary are marble; the concrete ceiling appears to be made of wood and matches the floor below. The chapel is modeled after a Tuscany seminary, and has an Italian feel.

Take a walk on the beautiful grounds afterward. They are green and lush, with horses (and occasionally cows) in pastures. Visit the old orphanage buildings, built in the 20s, and see the courtyards and ball fields. In decades past, the priests and nuns of St. Vincent’s set many orphaned boys on the path to become virtuous, productive citizens.