On Saturday, May 9, San Francisco’s Star of the Sea Church hosted a “thank you” dinner for the parish’s “1% club”—those parishioners who had pledged or donated 1% of Star of the Sea’s Archbishop’s Annual Appeal assessment. Following the dinner, Fr. Joseph Illo, the parish’s fighting pastor thanked parishioners, noting that the parish had fulfilled its assessment on the first weekend of the appeal, and that the parish is more than $10,000 over its goal.
Faithful Catholic readers can guess what followed: Fr. Illo told those in attendance that he was going to ask their help again, this time in the creation of a Chapel at Star of the Sea devoted to Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He said it was a sad thing that there is no Perpetual Adoration within the city of San Francisco. He acknowledged that while there is indeed Perpetual Adoration within the boundaries of the archdiocese– at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park, and at St. Bruno’s in San Bruno—there is no parish with Perpetual Adoration within the City of San Francisco itself. The cost of the Chapel is anticipated to be between $60,000 and 70,000. His vision is to initially have Perpetual Adoration as the church’s St. Joseph side Chapel, but eventually to have it in the main church, once it is made more secure and with improved lighting.
Fr. Illo described to parishioners the effects Perpetual Adoration had at his former parish, St. Joseph’s in Modesto. “We organized Perpetual Adoration, and it transformed the parish. Within 5 years, the attendance at Mass doubled (we had to add three more Masses, from 5 to 8 weekend Masses), the weekly income doubled (from $14K to $28K), the apostolates increased by a factor of five. Our St. Vincent de Paul program expanded so that we had our own building, open twice a week for food distribution, rental assistance, housing, etc. We had five different ministries to the poor of Stanislaus County. Last but not least, we began sending men to the seminary and women to the convents (the parish currently has 3 men studying for the priesthood).”
Fr. Illo told parishioners that he thinks Star of the Sea has that kind of potential, even if the demographics are more challenging. “Of course, it all depends on God’s grace, and our prayerful submission to that grace. But an Adoration program can transform any parish. We have begun with a weekly holy hour on Tuesdays, and a monthly holy hour on Thursdays. We want to keep extending times of Adoration, encouraging our community to go deeper and longer in prayer. Our next step is to expose the Blessed Sacrament every Saturday, not just on first Saturdays. Last Saturday (first Saturday) a woman thanked me for having Adoration—she was from another part of town, but we came up on the internet as the only parish with Saturday Adoration. That’s a service we can and want to provide.”
He then shared his vision of the effects Perpetual Adoration will have on the larger community: “It is our goal to one day provide a Chapel for our city that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed. A few parishes have Perpetual Adoration, such as St. Brunos in San Bruno and Nativity in Menlo Park, but no such Chapel exists in the City of SF. We aspire, with the grace of God, to be the first, but hopefully not the last. Imagine one day if a dozen parishes offered Perpetual Adoration in the city of San Francisco, what a blessing it would be to everyone!”
If you give God an hour a week, I guarantee he will bless you in ways you cannot imagine. My goal is to have everyone, or at least most of us, making a holy hour, and if so, Star will be do just fine. It will become a model parish, a prayerful parish, a dynamic parish. Join us priests, who do a holy hour every day, in putting yourselves in a place where God can speak to your heart and bless you. If you spend that hour with him once a week, he will not only bless you, but bless your family, your neighborhood, and this country.”
He finished his talk with an invitation to the active parishioners there assembled to sign up for at least one hour with the Blessed Sacrament every Saturday as the next step towards the eventual creation of Perpetual Adoration. Many responded, and the Saturday Adoration has begun.
To learn more or to find out about donating to the cost of the Chapel, visit: https://staroftheseachurchsf.com/
That is welcome news! I know the other parishes with perpetual adoration (Narivity and St Bruno) are vibrant. I didn’t know that SF had no parishes with perpetual adoration (why am I not surprised?).
We were supposed to have a separate adoration chapel at my parish (not 24 hour but with that in mind for the future) but with a change in leadership that idea got shelved. (We do have adoration once a week in the main church.)
Thank you Archbishop Cordileone for bringing Fr. Illo to SF!
“Take this, all of you, and eat it…”
No, no, Jesus, we’re supposed to LOOK at it.
Hi Joe! I didn’t realize you posted here!
He also said, “I will be with you till the end of the world.” The better if we look at Him.
There he goes again…another step in the right direction for Fr. Illo!!
Hope you locals will take up this challenge, the rewards will be many. Imagine how you will look back at all the growing pains and realize that Star of the Sea is the kind of parish others want to be! Make it happen, God Bless :)
Soon Fr. Illo will have all of SF praying the Rosary. He is a holy priest.
What does holy mean to you? Pious and sanctimonious? This man is divisive and spiritually immature with quite a checkered past. You should pick your role models more carefully. Adoration is wonderful but it is supposed to transform us into more loving disciples, not rigid culture warriors.
Divisive and spritually immature?? Pious and sanctimonius?? Linda, I am not sure that you know the meaning of those words. Divisive? Do you mean that he is attempting to divide(separate) Catholics from the unholy environment that they presently find themselves in? Immature? Do you mean that he is returning to the rituals and devotions that have sustained Catholics in their hours of travail and life events for millennia? Pious and sanctimonious? Surely you don’t think that the proper reverence in the celebration of the rites and devotions of the Catholic Church is merely “Pious and Sanctimonious”. He is a man who is responsible for the care of souls, in other words, a true Priest. If all the priests in this world behaved and were as concerned about the welfare of souls as he is, our Holy Church would lead the world.
CCC: ” 2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion.
To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love.
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.”
Lk 4:8; Deut 6:13.
CCC: ” 2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God.
The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration.
Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense.
An idolater is someone who “transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God.” ”
Rigid culture warriors??? Why … Would you say that???
No, Linda– Fr. Illo is a very good and faithful, orthodox priest! Do not believe everything you read or hear, from the immature, immoral media– or from “bad Catholics,” who pretend to go to church, but truly are worldly, liberal, and corrupt– with NO HONEST CATHOLIC FAITH AT ALL!! “Bad Catholics” are the ones who are immature and divisive, ignorantly tearing the Church and society to pieces!! Our good and faithful, orthodox Catholic priests and prelates, are trying to build a good Church, for Christ– and to decently work around all the terrible, liberal, IMMORAL, ignorant, divisive “bad Catholics,” who are phony hypocrites– whose true belief, is in the latest fads of the self-centered, “politically-correct” atheist, CORRUPT ” kiddie me-generation!” Christ commands us, to make war on sin!
I am so thrilled with Fr. Illo’s decisions, and his boldness to move forward, with this project, of eventual Perpetual Adoration, at Star of the Sea! He seems to be ignoring recent setbacks, and simply moving forward, with these goals– that is so wonderful!! I hope he will be blessed with complete 100% success!! LOVE to go to Adoration, at any possible opportunity! I also hope our Archbishop will be blessed with complete 100% success, with his education goals!! Maybe someday, by the grace of God, San Francisco can be converted back to God, and to Christian Morality! That would be so WONDERFUL!!
…the setbacks are often the visible sign that one is on the right road!
God bless and preserve Fr. Illo!
I wish Father Illo all the best on this worthy venture. I disagree with him on his handling of some things, but he’s spot on when he leads his flock towards prayer. Prayer has so much untapped possibility to heal division, and get us all oriented towards a relationship with the lifegiving presence of Christ in our lives.
It’s not going to be easy. Keeping a church open 24 hours a day is expensive, and there will be security issues and lots of unforseen challenges. But I have a sense that Father Illo has thought through those issues as best as anyone can.
YFC, your disagreement with Church teaching, and with the mortal sin of homosexual acts – is why you are not a Holy Priest, or a Holy anyone.
We pray that you will repent and become a force for good rather than the evil of helping send Souls to Hell through your support of Sodomy Marriage.
Dottie, with all due respect, you are incorrect. I am not a Holy Priest because I do not have a calling to be one. Simple as that. Please, it would be nice if you ddin’t use every post I write to slam me, as though you are not yourself a sinner. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but it is not necessary to pretend that we don’t sin, and show our pride by lording it over others as though we are free of sin.
YFC, we are all sinners in one way or another. However the difference is that, you personally Publically PROMOTE the Mortal Sin of Sodomy.
Your active and public promotion of Mortal Sin can lead others to Hell, and this is also another Mortal Sin of Scandal.
In addition you publically lie with your chosen moniker. You are NOT a “Faithful Catholic” based upon your own posts about sodomy marriage.
You have made these sins public, promote them, and appear to be proud of these sins. You are not repentant. You have not made public reparation for your Public Mortal Sins.
This is the HUGE difference between you and other sinners.
“YFC”, you know I disagree with you on most things, but I appreciate your recognition of a priest trying to do good work. :) Fr. Illo is also an excellent confessor and I would encourage anyone in the area to go to him.
Kristin, thanks for the recognition, and yours is the kind of response that moves us all forward together. We are divided on some issues, but we shouldn’t let small issues divide us when we are united in many many of the same things.
God bless Father Illo. Excellent. Our local OF parish has perpetual adoration. They are very devoted to having a person there every hour even in the wee hours of the night. There is also another devoted OF parish that has it round the clock, but our local EF parish does not. Our prayers are being answered for San Francisco. They are blessed to have Father Illo, Archbiship and more priests thats are also holy that we hardly hear about but I recall back when we had Father Nabil with us before he was transfered, i dont recall his name, we had a visiting priest from San Francisco, give Mass. He was very solid and holy. The good Lord is merciful and good to His children who endure in faithfulness. He provides what we need, even when we do understand it.
Wow…. Star of the Sea is so blessed to have Fr. Illo as a pastor and we wish and pray for his success with 24 hour adoration. We could not believe that a place like San Francisco didn’t at the very least have ONE church with 24 hour adoration.
This man is awesome and is one of the best things to happen to the Church in that city.
Perpetual Adoration and a Legion of Mary with the middle name of St. Joseph protector of the Universal Church. WOW INDEED! Father Il is reigning in the MOST POWERFUL and MOST VALUABLE team of all. God bless you Father Joseph Illo!
I clearly remember Father Hugh Thwaites SJ telling us that he knew what would help to change our diocese (heterodoxy, scandals, catechesis, Catholic schools) and our city. Father Hugh Thwaites SJ, visited from England many times and he was a very holy priest.
Father Hugh Thwaites said that if each diocese found a property to build and dedicate a new shrine to Our Lady, coupled with a diocese wide rosary procession through the streets, then Our Lady would powerfully intercede on our behalf.
‘Priest who said future of Church rested on family rosary dies aged 95’
I had heard that Fr. Illo was removed from the Star of the Sea Parish – guess not?
Also, why not have a Perpetual Adoration arrangement with the Perpetual Adoration Nuns in San Francisco. They have a beautiful chapel! It may also brings vocations to them.
Not either or. Both and.
“Also, why not have a Perpetual Adoration arrangement with the Perpetual Adoration Nuns in San Francisco. They have a beautiful chapel! It may also brings vocations to them.”
The Perpertual Adoration Nuns’ chapel is inside the monastery [on Ashbury?] and opens only to the public [I think] during the day. At night it’s [understandably] the nuns’ private chapel. [Not sure, since it’s been 10 years since I was a San Franciscan.]
But the sisters of Perpetual Adoration have been at it for many years now. Father Illo should check them out. It is not correct to say there is no perpetual adoration in San Francisco. But more would be better!
Oops…correction: Fr. Illo was removed from being Star of the Sea School chaplain?
The headlines and tweets screaming “Fr. Illo removed…” Fr. Illo fired…” Are meant to give that impression.
Father Illo is still pastor and a very good and orthodox priest (who celebrates the OF and EF as well as the Divine Liturgy) has been named chaplain of the school. He is one of the COSJ.
God bless Fr. Illo for his courage and initiative. I try to do Adoration weekly at the Adoration chapel in Haight-Ashbury though it is not perpetual. They close the chapel at 6pm. A 24 h Perpetual Adoration chapel is much needed in this city. Clarification on the chaplain of the school who is Father Vito Perrone, with the COSJ order. There is so much misinformation out there, it’s amazing. Fr. Illo is still the pastor by the grace of God. God Bless.
Audrey– Fr. Vito Perrone, who is now serving as Chaplain at Star of the Sea School– is founder of the Contemplatives of St. Joseph, which you noted, above. He is also devoted to the Divine Liturgy, in the Eastern Rite. But I don’t think Fr.Illo is also a member of his religious order! Does Fr. Illo also offer the Divine Liturgy, as well as the Novus Ordo, and Tridentine Masses?? Please clarify! Thanks!
Sorry if my wording wasn’t clear. The “very good and orthodox priest” I was speaking of who offers the EF, OF and Divine Liturgy is Fr. Perrone.
Fr. Illo is also “very good and orthodox priest” in my opinion. I am so glad they are both part of our archdiocese!
We will see what happens to the wonderful Fr. Illo. Satan and his wickedness are strong and pervasive. The Devil has targeted Fr. Illo and his boss, so neither are yet out of the woods. Beware of what the Pope and his apostate cardinals and bishops do after the October Synod.
Father Illo, we pray for you. You are a good and faithful priest, seeking the salvation of those entrusted to you. Archbishop Cordileone, please support this priest and his vision (which is also your vision, in large part, Excellency). We will pray for your success. Imagine, no other Perpetual Adoration in the entire City; simply amazing how little Faith exists there. You can change this, Fr. Illo.
“Beware of what the Pope and his apostate cardinals and bishops do after the October Synod.”
Gosh, Christopher, you would make Martin Luther proud, with your dissing of the Holy Father.
Who do you think inspires the Church: the Holy Spirit?
…perhaps Catholics, all Catholics, would be better served to focus on not ‘dissing’ the Faith, Joseph. Sadly, it could be said that the current state of the Catholic Church, which is a direct fruit of the increasingly tenuous disposition of many of Her hierarchy would have made Martin Luther proud. (Remember, the sheep only know what they’ve been taught…. or not taught.)
That’s the real gosh here for the Holy Spirit doesn’t inspire anyone or anything to take a 180 degree position opposite of what was previously inspired. A house divided does not stand – remember? And the Catholic Church is more than the Church of right now.
Whatever the “state of the Church” is, it is not due to the “increasingly tenuous disposition of Her hierarchy.”
The state of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is a result of the choices made by Catholics, all of us. When we obey God’s commandments and fulfill our duties, the Church is healthy. When we disobey God’s commandments and do not fulfill our duties, the Church is wounded.
It is our duty to attend Mass at the parish we are assigned to. It is an act of justice. There is no excuse not to.
It is our duty to never work on Sunday and to not cause others to work on Sunday.
It is our duty to support with our prayers and with our worldly goods the parish we are assigned to.
It is our duty to honor out mother and father, all priests and bishops, all elected officials.
…and the choices made by Catholics, that is all of us, are greatly influenced by those clerics who have for years not taught the faith, misled the faithful as to what the Faith teaches, and are even now seeking to please the people instead of teach the people, Anonymous.
As to your discourse on duty, it is true, we Catholics have a duty. The duty to not be led blindly by compromise formulas that are leading ourselves and our children closer to the pit. You cannot excuse yourself, Anonymous, by way of claiming “obedience” when that which is coming from Church “leaders” is not that which was handed down from above. We owe obedience in all but sin, Anonymous. That is one aspect of the Faith you seem to dismiss often.
Ann Malley, each person is held accountable for their sins.
…absolutely, Anonymous. That is why having a “leadership” that downplays sins or just avoids the subject is highly dangerous.
The leadership in the Catholic Church obviously is not like that, that is why the media goes after it so much.
“Joseph”: Your view is typical of those that believe (and the present N.O. team tries to make you believe this) that whatever they do is guided and protected by the Holy Ghost. Not so.
The Holy Ghost is there for the Church, and all of us (especially the Holy Father). But the Holy Father is also a man, and makes many, many mistakes to which no claim of “authority” can be attached. And, Francis shows his contempt for the Church in ways that gain him no credit, as well.
In fact, Francis seems against pretty much everything that his predecessor tried to do. With little grace, the Pope is careening out of control by appointing men to positions of authority that may well not even be Catholic in their beliefs, men like: Cardinals Kasper, Marx, Maradiaga, Dolan, Wuerl, and Abp. Cupich, Forte, and priests like Timothy Radcliffe.
Bless you, St. Christopher! I sympathize! Today’s Church is so unfairly and unnecessarily deceptive and cruel, for true Catholic believers, in the pews! While there are many faithful Catholics who ignore this situation, with confidence– others are so hurt and upset! What are we to think, of the deceptions of our Church leaders?? They seem to often let non-believers in the secular world, just do as they please, and they will obey them all! “Give us Barabbas!” shouts the angry, ignorant mobs of “unbelievers, who pretend to be Catholics. So– the Church leaders give us not Christ– but Barabbas!! Deceptive, and cruel!!
Father Joseph Illo is NOT the PASTOR of any parish – including St Mary Star of the Sea on Geary Blvd.
Bishop Cordileone apparently decided to put Fr Illo on “probation” by making him merely the “administrator” (not “pastor”) of Star, perhaps so he could discover first hand if Fr Illo has what it takes.
Some Bishops always make a man an administrator first, and only them promote him to pastor if he turns out to be worthy. It’s easier for a bishop to fire an administrator than to remove a pastor under Canon Law…
Anonymous– Do you know just how many Catholic parishes have priests in charge with the title of “Administrator” rather than “Pastor?” Ask Fr. Illo yourself, to explain these terms, and what they mean! Fr. Illo is also establishing an Oratory of St. Philip Neri, at Star of the Sea! A completely unique and very special situation, which we are all so BLESSED to have! (Want to ask Fr. Illo, how you can maybe join the Little Brothers of the Oratory?) The title of “pastor,” or “administrator,” is of no concern!! We are VERY FORTUNATE, to have any good, faithful, orthodox, Catholic priests at all, in this terribly sick, sinful city– “SIN CITY BY THE BAY!!”
That’s very interesting Anonymous. Could you enlighten us further?
When did the “change” take place? I see him listed as “administrator” on an inside “clergy” page on the web. But on the homepage he and Fr. Driscoll are pictured under “Pastor’s Welcome”. Was he originally listed as “pastor” and has it changed? I checked with the wayback machine for an archived snapshot of the website but the only one available was from Feb. of this year and it only showed the homepage (with “pastor”) not the “clergy” page where it currently shows “administrator” so I could not compare.
If his “position” has changed perhaps it was because he is no longer chaplain of the school. I hope you can give us links to more information!
I am thinking I was mistaken in thinking you were Joe. Your name might be Sam!
A little more research since my last reply to the person posting as Anonymous about the Fr. Illo’s “Pastor” or “Administrator” situation indicates to me that he may never have been installed specifically as “pastor”. I find “administrator” an unwieldy title (since my parish has one in fact). It’s often simpler to just call him “pastor”.
I’m not just throwing that out there as an unsupported “well that’s what I think as often happens on the web. A google search shows Fr. Illo being referred to as “administrator” many times, even as far back as November 2014, before he was used as ammunition in the war against the archbishop..
Audrey– Fr. Illo was ordained by the Bishop in the Diocese of Stockton, and it seems that although he has served in churches both in that Diocese, and others (as well as serving as Chaplain for Thomas Aquinas College, in Southern CA)– it is not clear, whether Fr. Illo is still connected to the Stockton Diocese. When Archbishop Cordileone invited Fr. Illo to come help start the Fathers of the Oratory program, here— it is unclear, Fr. Illo’s relationship to our Archbishop. He would have to explain that! The title of “Administrator” is given to priests serving as heads of parishes, at the direction of the local Bishop (or Archbishop), for a particular need. The title of “Pastor” denotes a definite, permanent status, as stated in Canon Law, as head of the parish. Regardless of title– the job is exactly the same!
Linda Marie–I am in agreement with you. I was trying to explain to Anonymous that Fr. Illo had not been removed as the priest in charge of Star of the Sea, whether he’s called Pastor or Administrator. I feel that Anonymous was trying to insinuate that this was “news” (and I appologize if that was not the intent–there are no inflections or facial expressions in text!)
Fr. Illo remains the head of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, which I read somewhere is intended to be a permanent community.
And whose memorial is celebrated today! St. Philip Neri!
Audrey– I know, the poster “Anonymous,” is just being obnoxious, and cruel– he loves to “play the devil,” and to hurt good Catholics! Anyway– I have no idea as to the reason for Fr. Illo’s status, as “administrator.” I don’t feel it is right, for me to inquire– so, I will just have to ignore it! Best I can do! Maybe “Anonymous” also will forget about this, and forget all about hurting good Catholics, and faithful, orthodox priests!
I will add one more thing, to my above reply, to the poster, Audrey. Our beloved Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, once stated, that after his ordination for the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, he never changed his status, lifelong!! I always found that amusing!! LOVED dear Archbishop Sheen!! I wondered, when he was on television in the 1950’s, how he could serve as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of New York– yet never change his original status?? And all through his long, 25+ years of teaching, at the Catholic University of America, in Washington D.C.– he never changed his status!! Why?? How funny!! The Bishop of Peoria who ordained him, Sept. 20, 1919— was kind of cruel to him, too!
Okay, I am feeling very confused: just checked out Father Illo’s website for Star of the Sea, and there is no mention of the parish school.
There is a page for ‘donations’ so I clicked on that, but once again, it’s as if there were no school at Star: one may donate to the oratory, the adoration chapel, but there is no box for supporting the school or the scholarship fund.
Did Star of the Sea School get closed?
Star of the Sea school has its own website. I think this is usually the case. I know it is in the parish where I grew up. Google “Star of the Sea school” and make sure the on in SF comes up and you are all set.
Thank you, Audrey: I found it!
I attended that school and was afraid it had closed, like so many.
My best friend attended St. Emydius School in The City but it’s long gone, sad to say, as is St. Elizabeth’s.
I don’t have any idea just WHY Bishop Cordileone did not make Father Illo the pastor of Star of the Sea Parish, but rather the administrator. However, the only significant difference is that the “administrator” does not enjoy stability in his office. This means that the bishop can remove him from office whenever he wants and the priest would have no legal recourse. A parish priest (pastor) has stability in his office and can not be removed unless specific procedures are followed.
What kind of a priest would use “legal recourse”? That is a ridiculous statement. Very secular.
Not sure what you are implying here or if it applies (in your mind ) to Fr. Illo.
He is not that type of person.
I will finish, with my above post. Anonymous– so what, the title of the good priest, serving God, and HELPING YOU??
I am tired of people who take every opportunity they can to bash the Catholic Church.
This is a good article.
The Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration, coupled with the sanctity of all members of the Church (pray for this, please) will transform the city and the US.
Our Lady of America, pray for us.