Oblate History

"It matters little how one begins, provided that he be resolved to go on well, and to end well."

-St. Francis de Sales


Fr. Matthew Issac, O.S.F.S..



Bro James Retires



For over 45 years, Bro. James has been a pillar of gentle strength at St. Mary's as a teacher, mentor and as the ever-present smile in the Bro James Ram Center, Bro James has brought the Gospel message to generations of students in a quiet, humble and unassuming way, from quiet counseling to the collection jar for the missions at the checkout counter. Many are the times that students would see him quietly reciting the rosary in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels - prayerful and inspiring. As he prepares to retire and go to the Oblate residence in Toledo Ohio, the St. Mary's community wants to express its deep love, admiration and thanks to this great man, this gift to our school.




Fr. John Fallon,O.S.F.S. Dies


St. Mary's beloved President Emeritus, Fr. John Fallon O.S.F.S. died on April 21, 2108 after a long illness. Fr. Fallon served St. Mary's for over 45 years as a priest,  teacher, principal, president, a mentor and a friend to all. Under his guidance the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales was introduced to the school and became it's guiding force. May the angels greet him, may the Blessed Virgin Mary, our patroness, accompany him to meet the Father and May God shine His Perpetual Light upon Fr. Fallon. May he rest in peace.





Rev. John P. Fallon, OSFS, passed away on April 21, 2018 at Meadowood Skilled  Nursing and Rehabilitation at O’Connor Woods in Stockton, CA at the age of 85. Fr. Fallon was born to John and Ann (Purcell) Fallon on November 26,1932 in Camden, NJ. He made his first profession as an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales in 1951 and earned a Bachelor Degree in English and Philosophy from Niagara University in 1957. After completing graduate studies at DeSales School of Theology, Hyattsville, MD, Fr. Fallon was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1960. He later returned to college to earn a Master’s Degree in Guidance from Niagara University in 1970 and a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1980

After ordination Fr. Fallon began a long career in Catholic education. He taught a year at Northeast Catholic High School, Philadelphia, PA before becoming Assistant Principal  of Judge Memorial High School, Salt Lake City, UT in 1962. Four years later he moved to Bishop Duffy High School, Niagara Falls, NY and then to St. Mary’s High School, Stockton, CA, as a guidance counselor and teacher. In 1974 he became an administrator at Aquinas High School, Southgate, MI. He was appointed principal of St. Mary’s High School, Stockton, CA in 1977 and school president in 1988. After stepping down a few years ago, he remained active in the school.

Fr. Fallon will be remembered as a leader, priest, teacher, mentor and friend. St. Mary’s High School experienced substantial growth in enrollment, curriculum, facilities, extracurricular activities and spirituality during his tenure. He served on many committees in the diocese and was respected for his practical, sound advice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fr. John Fallon Endowment Fund at St. Mary’s High School or the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Retirement Fund.



The Record Article


Memory Video


History of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales


The tumultuous years in France after the Protestant Reformation formed the background for Francis de Sales. He was born August 21, 1567, into a family of nobility of what was then the Kingdom of Savoy, which bordered France, Italy and Switzerland. He was educated by the Jesuits at the College of Clermont in Paris and the University of Padua, where he earned a Doctorate in both Civil and Church Law.

To the great disappointment of his father, Francis gave up a promising civil career to follow his calling to the priesthood. After his ordination, he was sent as a young missionary to the Chablais district of Savoy for four years. By the end of his missionary apostolate, 72,000 men and women had re-embraced the Catholic faith.

Francis was ordained Bishop of Geneva in 1602 but resided in Annecy (now part of modern-day France) because Geneva was under Calvinist control and therefore closed to him. His diocese became famous throughout Europe for its efficient organization, zealous clergy and well-instructed laity - monumental achievements in those days

Francis' fame as a spiritual director and writer grew. He was convinced by others to collect, organize and expand on his many letters addressing spiritual subjects. He published these letters in 1609 under the title Introduction to the Devout Life. This work would become his most famous, but Francis' special project was the writing of A Treatise of the Love of God, published in 1616, over which he prayed and labored many years.

The spirituality of Francis de Sales flowed out of his experiences as a missionary priest, bishop, spiritual director, author and Religious Founder.


Basic tenets of his teachings include:  


v      The recognizable call to holiness for all people in all walks of life

v      The necessity of living in the "present moment" as the privileged opportunity to know and live God's will

v      The goodness of creation

v      The centrality of love and freedom in one's relationship with God and the world  

v      The sanctity of the "ordinary" done "passionately well"  

v      The gentleness, humility, optimism and joy that come from living in truthfulness


Francis collaborated with Jane de Chantal in founding the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary, a religious order known for the simplicity of its rule and traditions. After Francis' death in 1622 (at the age of 55), Jane was determined to establish an order of men who, above all, would be formed by the teachings of Francis de Sales. Her dream finally was realized in the work of Father Louis Brisson and Mother Marie de Sales Chappuis some 250 years later.

Louis Brisson, a priest of Troyes in France, founded the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Since 1875, thousands of men in Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America have joined the community. Oblates first arrived in the United States in 1893 and established a permanent community in 1903. The decision was made to form two American provinces - one headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and one in Toledo, Ohio

in 1966.

The dream, inspiration and vision of Father Louis Brisson and Mother Marie de Sales Chappuis - embraced over and over again by each new member of the Community - is the ongoing story of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.


In the fall of 1970, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales of the Toledo-Detroit Province were invited by Bishop Merlin J. Guilfoyle to administrate St. Mary's High School. They have built on the fine tradition of Catholic secondary education and have built St. Mary's High School into the remarkable institution it is today.


In 2010, the Oblates celebrated their 40th year of serving the St. Mary's community and the Diocese of Stockton.


Today, the Oblates continue to serve our school with the same commitment as they have shown through all of their many years of service.




The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales who have ministered at St. Mary's High School since 1970 are pleased to share with you the good news that Fr. Louis Brisson, the founder of the Oblates has  been beatified. From humble beginnings in France, the Congregation has spread from France to North and South America, Europe, Africa and India.Blessed Fr. Brisson's feast day is now celebrated October 12.







Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Toledo-Detroit Province


St. Mary's High School
5648 N. El Dorado St.
Stockton, CA 95207