History Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church

Church Main

In 1927, Rev. Father J. J. Cox, pastor of the Catholic Church of St. Sebastian, invited Father Buenaventura Nava, a Franciscan Missionary, to preach a Mission to the Spanish—speaking people. The zealous Missionary quickly understood that the Mexicans had to be instructed and guided in their own language and that the best way would be to construct a church under the patronage and help of Our Lady of Guadalupe. During this Mission, Father tried to arouse the enthusiasm of all the Mexicans for his idea. Imbued with a strong spirit of unity, faith and love to Our Lady of Guadalupe, they all joined hands, hearts and souls to carry out their cherished plan to build a.~ church.  

Construction Guadalupe Church

Different money-raising projects were launched in order to finance the construction. One of them was the “Jamaica” (bazaar) which was sponsored by the “Guadalupanas”. For this atlair women prepared savoury Mexican food and cakes to be sold. Men donated articles to be used as prizes for the many wholesome games, and all proceeds were given to the church building fund. The Mariachis played for The Lady of Guadalupe who certainly was pleased and blessed them for their good intentions. At the same time parishioners found it real fun to be together and enjoy a feast so typically Mexican. The generosity of Mr. Joseph Nicholas Thille, who donated $8,000, together with all the patient )))))efforts of our people to raise money for payment of the finishing touches, made the construction of our temple of Guadalupe a reality. On July 7, 1927, Rev. Father Nava started the construction With the laying and blessing of the cor- nerstone.




And on December 1, 1929, he was happy to behold the fruits of his labor. He blessed the finished church and bell and celebrated the first Mass, ador- ing and thanking God for the fulfillment of a dream. Until 1942, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe had been a Mission dependent on the Parish of St. Sebastian. However, it was necessary to make it an independent parish provided with a pastor totally dedicated to its good and simple people.
For a more forceful representation in the Diocesan oflice, and to show that the Mexicans in Santa Paula ‘with their Pastor in the lead, were self-suffi- cient enough to maintain the church, Rev. Father Gargallo, assistant, organized the “Club de los Cien.” The members of this club promised to pay a fixed monthly quota to meet parish obligations. In this Way, Father Gargallo was able to obtain from His Excellency, The Most Rev. Archbishop John J. Cantwell, the elevation of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church to a parish independent from that of St. Sebastian, on October 31, 1942. The first pastor then appointed was Rev. Father Juan Padilla who served for less than a year. He was succeeded by Father Anthony Cambra who served for years.

 The next pastor, Father Jose Veloz, re- mained for eleven years. In 1958, the parish was entrusted to the Spanish Foreign Mission Society of St. Francis Xavier by virtue of formal agreement between the Chancery Ofiice of the Archdiocese and the major Superiors of the aforementioned society. The first pastor from this society was the Rev. Father Jenaro Artazcoz, I.E.M.E. He was born in Pamplona, N avarra province, and attended the Pam- plona Seminary and the Burgos Foreign Seminary. He was among 839 priests ordained during the Inter- national Eucharistic Congress in Barcelona in 1952. The Rev.
Father Jenaro served from September, 1958, until February, 1963. He came to Santa Paula with Rev. Antonio Gonzalez as assistant. In 1959, the Rev. Father Antonio was transferred as assistant to La Puente and from there, two years later, he left for the Mission in Japan. Rev. Father Joseph Lecumberri and Rev. Father Jose Maria Bidegain followed as assistants. In February, 1963, the parish welcomed back Father Antonio, this time as pastor, with the Rev. Father Michael San Sebastian as assistant. In February, 1964, Father San Sebastian was ap- pointed by the Society and confirmed by the Chancery Oflice as an itinerant missionary, preaching in Spanish, and moving from parish to parish Whenever a Mission required his appearance. Father San Sebastian was followed by Rev. Fran- cisco Saura, who remained as assistant until March, 1967, when he, too, became an itinerant missionary.

From 1958 to 1973 four pastors were members of the Burgos Foreign Mission Society (I.E.M.E.) that was founded in Spain and sent missionaries to different countries. They were Father Jenaro Artaz (1958-63) from Spain, who had also served at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Barbara and in 1969 was named Superior General of the Mission Society; Father Antonio Gonzalez (1963-67); Father George Duran (1967-69), who later was incardinated in the archdiocese and named a monsignor; and Father Jesus Gomez (1969-73). Three Franciscan priests from the Santa Barbara Province were pastors from 1974 to 1998: Father Duncan MacDonell, for six years; Father Joseph Zermeno, a native of Texas, for 10 years.


Plans for our newly remodelled and enlarged church
were initiated in 1992. At the urging of a group of parishioners, Fr. Rene Juarez from Mexico who served eight years who became pastor of the church in 1991,(He now serves as pastor at St.Francis of Assisi Church in L.A). called a meeting to start planning the new church. After six years of work, ground was broken for the construction project that included the remodelling of the hall.




By this time Fr. Nelson Trinidad had been named as administrator of the church. He proceeded to faithfully guide the construction project to its completion.
Father Nelson Trinidad, administrator from 1998 to 2000, was incardinated from the Diocese of Santa Ana in El Salvador. He now administers Our Lady of Guadalupe (Rosehill) in East L.A.
On September 12, 1999 the church was rededicated by Cardinal Roger Mahoney. It was a joyous occasion for the hundreds of families that had worked hard and had sacrificed much to see this day arrive. Today it stands as a beacon of hope to all who seek the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Since 2000, three of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s four leaders have been members of the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception and one was a Claretian Missionary.
 Father Arturo Gomez from Arizona). Brooklyn-born Father Pasquale Vuoso, local superior for the Canons Regular, served as administrator and pastor and is now pastor at neighboring St. Sebastian. Father James Garceau, pastor for two years, is now with the Norbertine Fathers in Orange. The current administrator, appointed in 2006, is Father Charles Lueras, a native Angeleno, ordained in 1981 and well-known for his work with the Southern California Renewal Communities. He inherits the famous “stone church” and the long tradition of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  


The Building of the Parish Hall

When Father José Veloz came to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in 1947, there was no conveni- ent, comfortable or proper place in which to conduct parish activities, such as the catechism classes and religious-social affairs. Also needed was a kitchen as well as a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Library. Mr. Pablito Reyes, therefore, very generously do- nated his lot which is adjacent to the church. It was a blessed day when, on July 22, 1950, the ground was broken for the parish hall. George J. Adams was the architect. Barringer and Botke of 333 Riverside Drive, Santa Paula, were the general contractors; however, nearly every man in the parish contributed time and labor to the con- struction. It was completed in November, 1950. The Hall was not in a condition at this point to provide a comfortable and warm accommodation. Through the thoughtfulness of a generous soul, Mr. Max Rudolph, a pair of heaters were donated and installed, solving the problem.



Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is also fortunate to have Rev. Eulogio Coello, C.M., pro- fessor and spiritual director for St. John’s Seminary College, to celebrate the English Masses each Sunday.


Historia de nuestra Iglesia en espanol


Old Church inside












Inside Old Church










Inside Altal











Click Here for Gallery pictures doring construction



















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