Rock, Father Francis

1975, February 24

Date of Birth: 1896, April 11

Francis Rock was born in Los Angeles, California, on April 11, 1896. He began his education at a public school in Los Angeles in 1903. He continued it when his family moved to San Francisco in a public school in that city. In 1909 he entered St. Ignatius Parochial School in San Francisco and remained there until he entered high school at St. Patrick’s Seminary in 1911. When he finished his minor seminary course in 1917, he continued at St. Patrick’s Seminary for his Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 16, 1924. Archbishop Hanna of San Francisco then sent him east to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received his M.A. in English in 1925.

Adapted from Father Rock’s “Personal Data” sheet and from The Voice.

In 1925 Father Rock went to St. Joseph’s College in Mountain View, California, as an auxiliary. There he taught Latin and English for four years. In 1928 he returned to The Catholic University of America and earned his Ph.D. in English in 1929. He then went back to Mountain View to rejoin the faculty of St. Joseph’s College. In 1933 he became a Sulpician. He had been exempted from the obligation of making Solitude. That same year Father Rock became Prefect of Studies at St. Joseph’s College, while continuing to teach there. In 1936 he added the office of Vice-president to his other duties, and in 1943 he became President. He held this position until he returned to the ranks in 1954. Father Rock taught for a number of years thereafter. Both before and after his presidency, he was a published poet. He died on February 24, 1975.