St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Parish History

Prior to 1948, Trinitarian Fathers, located in the Alturas Parish, offered a monthly Mass in the Grange Hall in Fall River Mills, thereby serving the area from Oak Run Road on the south to Adin Summit on the north, approximately 80 miles.

In 1948, Bishop Robert Armstrong assigned the Reverend John DeAndreis the task of establishing a new parish in eastern Shasta County. On October 7, 1948, the parish of St. Francis of Assisi was established in Burney, with the Fr. John DeAndreis as the founding pastor.

Assembling a scattered Catholic population in early 1949 and planning the construction of a parish church from literally nothing must have seemed an insurmountable task. The church community had quickly joined together to make the building a reality. A Burney property owner gave the land, a Redding firm donated foundation material, and lumber firms contributed as well. A donation of $5,000 was made by Extension Society to aid the cause. Furnishings such as the altar, tabernacle, statues, pews and vestments came from churches throughout the state, the original bell coming from a Los Angeles girls school. The church was constructed by a corps of volunteers for the most part, mainly out of materials native to the area at Fr. DeAndreis' request.

The first Mass celebrated in the new church was Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, 1949. The church was dedicated by Bishop Armstrong on May 28, 1950, with Fr. DeAndreis celebrating a Solemn High Mass to mark the occasion.

For a number of years, Fr. DeAndreis brought the Blessed Sacrament to parishioners in the Bieber area and recognized the need for a church there. With a donation from Extension Society and a private individual, St. Stephen's Church was constructed in 1955. Mass was celebrated there two Sundays a month. Today Mass is offered there each Sunday.

Over the years our parish has grown in population and new facilities have been added to meet our needs. A spacious and comfortable rectory, which includes the the pastor's office and business office, was built in 1963 next to St. Francis Church to replace the original rectory which now serves as the parish hall.

To fulfill the increasing needs of parishioners in the Fall River Mills-McArthur area, the Community Methodist Church in Fall River Mills was made available in October,1974 and Fr. O'Reilly celebrated Mass there each Saturday evening. After many years of fundraising, in 1998 a building was purchased and dedicated as Our Lady of the Valley Church where Masses are celebrated in English and Spanish each weekend.

On October 4, 2008, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, Bishop Jaime Soto offered Mass with the parishioners in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the founding of our parish.

It is clear that a great deal has been done through the efforts of our pastors:
1948 - Rev. John DeAndreis
1957 - Rev. Patrick Corkell
1961 - Rev. Daniel Cullinan
1971 - Rev. Charles Brady
1973 - Rev. Robert Connelly
1974 - Rev. Januarius Rodrigues
1974 - Rev. Aidan O'Reilly
1994 - Rev. Dev Burke
1997 - Rev. Eric Lofgren
2001 - Rev. Paul Schloeder
2002 - Rev. Alfredo Tamayo
2005 - Rev. Vincent Juan
2008 - Rev. Efren Garcia
2012 - Rev. Jovito Rata
​2014 - Rev. Hector Montoya

We owe these dedicated men a debt of gratitude and we can be proud of our accomplishments under their leadership.