Covid-19 Update

Msgr. Ronald Swett

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church:

The Diocese of Fresno has lost a good priest.

Msgr. Ronald Swett was born in Fresno on October 30, 1941. His family moved from Fresno to Taft in 1947 where he attended St. Mary’s School. In September 1955, he entered Ryan Preparatory College in Fresno, the high school seminary for the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno.

Msgr. Swett was ordained to the priesthood on April 29, 1967. His first assignments as a young priest were St. John’s Cathedral, Fresno (1967-1969); St. Brigid’s, Hanford (1969-1972); and St. Mary’s, Visalia (1972-1976).

Following those first assignments, he was appointed pastor to a succession of parishes around the Diocese: St. Joseph’s in Firebaugh; Merced Catholic Churches; St. Malachy’s Church in Tehachapi; and St. Anne’s Church in Porterville.

In September 1987, Msgr. Swett was appointed Pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Church here in Bakersfield where he served for 26 years until retiring in January 2013.

Many of us remember his years at St. Philip the Apostle. He was shepherd to a very active and dynamic faith community. St. Philip boasted a number of ministries which served the spiritual needs of several thousand families. Msgr. Swett was a “hands-on” pastor—spending up to 14 hours a day in the parish office taking appointments, teaching classes or just being present. He was always accessible to his parishioners. Even with his heavy schedule, he served on a number of diocesan committees and was Rector of Garces for 17 years.

When I arrived as an “associate pastor” at St. Philip’s in 1989, Msgr. Swett and I developed a wonderful friendship. Aside from the regular “teasing” that we both engaged in, I found him to be completely dedicated to the well-being of the parishioners. I learned much from his style of ministry and leadership which has provided me with a firm foundation in my own ministry as a pastor. When I moved back to Fresno in 1992, we remained in touch with one another. I was overjoyed when I learned that Bishop Steinbock would be appointing me first pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church here in Bakersfield and Msgr. Swett was the first person I called. He graciously offered me room and board so that I could begin the work of starting the new parish. It was my great joy to spend these past 12 years with him in Bakersfield.

Even though Msgr. Swett retired from parish ministry in 2013, he remained just as active in the subsequent years until the time of his death. He was quick to offer assistance to local parishes when a priest was needed. Finally, he was appointed and served as Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Church for the past year.

After a brief struggle with cancer, Msgr. Swett left us on August 3 to go to his eternal reward.

Never weary of serving God’s people; always ready to help a brother priest; Msgr. Swett gave us an example of the selfless love of Christ Jesus throughout his 53+ years of priesthood.

Let us remember him well and let us pray for him as he enters the new life promised to him by Christ. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Msgr Perry Kavookjian


“As a result of the coronavirus epidemic, our parish remains closed. We are following the bishop’s instructions in this regard, which means that we are not celebrating any public liturgies or conducting any ministry meetings. All are welcome to join us through weekly live streams of Mass, the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, and other spiritual opportunities. Let us work together to stay connected and practice our faith during this time.”

-Monsignor Perry Kavookjian

Next Livestream

Sunday Mass

(Permission to podcast/live stream in this service obtained from OneLicense with License #729903-A.)


Last year in our survey, almost everyone said they need more help with prayer. We listened!! We are excited to partner with Hallow which is a Catholic prayer and meditation app. With over 375,000 users it is the #1 rated Catholic App out there. This app is perfect for those wanting a deeper prayer life, or help with praying.

Contributors and familiar voices such as Fr. Mike Schmitz, Lisa Hendey, and more will lead you through over 300 sessions with a range of different techniques including Christian Meditation, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Daily Rosary, Daily Gospels and more.

Hallow is a free app however they have a premium option. We are able to offer our parishioners 3 FREE months if they sign using our unique link. You MUST use the link to get the free months. Downloading it straight from the app store will not give you the free offer. You will have to put your credit card info in but if you decide after 3 months you don’t like it, you can cancel and never be charged. We get nothing back from the company for this.  We simply want our parishioners to be able to get the most from their prayer life, especially during this difficult time when we can’t all meet together. For questions please contact Colleen @ 587-3626.

Our unique link is:


Share your creative talents with our parish community by joining our production ministry. We are in need of editors, photographers,  videographers, graphic designers and audio engineers. If you are interested in joining our ministry, please download the volunteer application (found below) and e-mail it to Megan Pruett at

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