REV FATHER PATRICK J. O'HARA
History of Santa Clara, Sawyer, published 1922

When ever the historian shall address himself to the delightful task of penning the history of Los Gatos, he will not fail to record the life and labors of the Rev Father Patrick J O'Hara. and in the recording thereof find inspiration. He was born at Omagh, County Tyrone, Ireland, June 17, 1871, the son of Francis and Susan (McWilliams) O'Hara, both natives of County Tyrone descended from ancient Irish families.  Francis O'Hara was a prominent merchant in Omagh.  He passed away at the age of ninety years and his widow survived him one year, she, too, being almost ninety years of age at the time of her death. This worthy couple were the parents of ten children, all living, of whom Patrick J. is the fifth. He attended Christian Brothers' College in his native place until he was twelve years of age, when he entered the Jesuit College of Clongowes Wood, where he made his classics and philosophy.  Next he studied at the American College at Louvain, Belgium.  On completing his course at Louvain he came to San Francisco, Cal. in 1899, and soon afterwards he made his way to St. Paul. Minn., where he  was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral in St. Paul by Archbishop Ireland for the diocese of San Francisco.

His first appointment was as assistant at St. Patrick's Church, San Francisco, under Rev Father Cummings; and he continued to discharge that responsibility for five years.  then he served as assistant pastor at other places in the dioceses.  His first pastorate was at St. Mary's Church, Cotati, Sonoma County, where he officiated for two years. During this time Father O'Hara built the new church and this and parochial residence at Cotati and brought the parish to a successful and sound financial basis.  In 1917 he was appointed pastor of St. Mary's Roman Catholic church, at Los Gatos.  He has a large territory to to look after, stretching from the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains to Campbell, and including about 400 families, but he is untiring in his arduous work as shepherd of his flock, and is esteemed and beloved by all who know him.  He takes a deep interest in civic affairs, and he is particularly active in the Knights of Columbus.  With the same zeal and ardor, he is building up the parish and has materially reduced the indebtedness placed on it by the erection of the beautiful church and rectory.  St. Mary's parish was established by the Jesuits about eighteen years ago, but they relinquished the parish in 1913 and Father Barshab was the first pastor to take the helm, until his transfer to Sausalito , when he was succeed by the present incumbent.

While attending the American College at Louvain, Father O'Hara's vacations were spent in travel, having visited every county on the continent.  He had the pleasure of visiting Rome and was fortunate in having an audience with Pope Leo.  In  1902, and again  in 1906 he made  trips back to Ireland, where  he visited his parents, who were still living at the old home, and in later years he also  traveled over the British Isles.  However, on his return to his beloved adopted home in California he was more pleased than ever to get back to his favored section of the world.

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