Brief History of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
The parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe began as a mission of the Parish of Our Lady of the Angels in San Diego. As a result of the revolution, many Mexicans had crossed the border and settled in the southern part of the parish. The pastor then felt unable to assist the community and requested that a special mission be created for these people and the parish was founded in the border area.
La Purisima Mission was founded in 1917 and soon the Bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles made it the Mexican national parish of San Diego with the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As a national parish, any Catholic born in Mexico or your children could come to the parish pastoral care. Almost all Masses were celebrated in Spanish, and the other sacraments and programs of faith formation also used the same language. Catholics around San Diego came to the parish.
Shortly after the church was named the national parish, it was under the direction of the administration of the Augustinian Recollects in Spain. They also received help from exiled priests from Mexico as a result of the persecution of the Church. The Augustinians built what is now the temple and tended to the village for about 15 or 16 years. . The first Bishop of San Diego Bishop Charles Buddy, decided to replace the Augustinians in 1938. In 1940 two Mexican Jesuit priests came to serve in the parish: Benjamin P. Silva as pastor, and Father Julio Vertiz to help. Soon after, more Jesuits of the Province of California would arrive to work under the direction of Father Silva.
In 1946 they opened an elementary and junior high school in the parish. Soon, many neighborhood children arrived for lessons. But with the destruction of much of the Logan neighborhood due to road construction, the school suffered a shortage of students and instead joined the school of Our Lady of the Angels to form a single school.
The Diocese was changing during this time and every time new parishes were opened, ministry in Spanish was also developed. More and more masses were being celebrated in Spanish elsewhere as well as Spanish programs in dozens of parishes in San Diego. Each year, it became less necessary for this parish to exclusively be a Mexican national parish.
In 2010, the pastor, Robert Fambrini, SJ. requested from the Bishop that the parish receive specific territory jurisdiction to better focus on his ministry. The bishop agreed to the request. Thereafter, it was no longer a Mexican national parish, but continues to be the parish of Barrio Logan/Logan Heights.