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Historia de la Parroquia



THE FIRST CHURCH (1944-1963)

In 1944 Most Rev. Charles F. Buddy, the first Bishop of San Diego, authorized the establishment of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Otay, California. The Parish Register book opened on Dec. 12, 1944, with its first baptism on Dec. 14, by the Rev. Vincent Cizauskas, first pastor from 1944-45. Building of the first church structure began with the generous donation of land by the San Martin family, in whose home the first masses had been held. The tiny church was located on the corner of Anita and Fresno with only twelve pews on each side.

1945-1946 Rev. Paul B. Ward was assigned as pastor for a year, followed by Rev. Theodore J. Hatton, pastor 1946-1947 and Rev. J.A. Browne in 1947.

After this yearly change of pastors, in 1947 Rev. Jacob A. DeMoor petitioned the diocese for a permanent priest to serve the Spanish speaking community. Rev. J.A. DeMoor was assigned as pastor and stayed for 10 years (1947-1958).

With the growing number of parishioners, the plan to build a new church started. About a mile away from the original site on 4th Street between Palomar and Oxford Streets a 4.22 acres land was purchased. Bishop Charles Buddy granted the permission to build a bigger church of Our Lady of Guadalupe on this site. Parishioners helped in the construction and it was intended to serve the surrounding community. The need to offer permanent Spanish Masses and services increased but this new Church does not offer Spanish Mass. After much debate, the new church was renamed as “Most Precious Blood Church” and was dedicated in the late 1958.

Parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe petitioned Bishop Buddy to return to the original site in the corner of Anita and Fresno to better serve the Spanish speaking parishioners.


THE SECOND CHURCH (1963- 1993).

In 1958 Rev. Antonio Gallegos was assigned as pastor but did not stay long. In the same year Rev. Rudolph Galindo was assigned as pastor from 1958-1968. The church was too small for the growing community. Approval by the Bishop of San Diego was given to begin plans for a much larger church. The style of the second church looked like Precious Blood Parish. The new church and rectory were dedicated in 1963. It was designated as Mexican National Church in Otay. When the new church was paid off, other properties surrounding the church were purchased and the addition of a new hall came a few years later.

Our Lady of Guadalupe became well-known for its annual bazaars (kermes), queen contest and raspado sales on Sundays. In an effort to involve more participation of parish members, the Holy Name group was started. Many of parishioners participated in the first Spanish Curcillo in San Diego.

In 1968 Rev. Adolphus Chavez as assigned pastor until 1975. The CCD program grew. The Adoration Society group was initiated in 1969. The youth group "Santa Cecelia" put on spiritual plays and participated in folk dancing classes given by Josefina Romero, who with her dance group provided entertainment for the various church feast days, including Dec. 12 in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and our annual bazaars for many years. During this time, it was a tradition to pick one of the parish grandmothers and a teen as queens for the month of May to honor Our Lady.

In 1975 Rev. Edward Connolly became the new pastor until 1977. Through his spirituality and generous manner, he encouraged a sense of community. Fund raising continued and our families become a more close-knit family. The Guadalupana Society was very active and joined the Confederation on the Diocesan level.

In 1977 Monsignor Luis Balderas became a pastor until 1990. Rev. Emilio Maldonado served as assistant pastor. Monsignor Balderas supported Natural Family Planning and family-based evangelization groups coordinated by the Padre Hidalgo Center. He also encouraged social ministry and participation of the laity sent various young men to the seminary and promoted the permanent Diaconate program.

Many couples participated in the first Marriage Encounter weekend in Spanish. With the support of Monsignor Luis Balderas, a church library was available to parishioners, located in the parish hall. These books included spiritual, educational and recreational reading.


THE THIRD CHURCH (1993- to present)

In 1987 the Parish Council/Building Committee met with Bishop Leo Thomas Maher to get support and a loan for expansion and construction of the new church. With the cooperation of many people, including members of the Guadalupana Society, Altar Society, Nocturnal Adoration, Knights of Columbus and Youth Group, many events were held such as dances, raffles, luncheons, tamales sales, snow cone sales, queen contest and annual fiestas. Parish members of all ages offered their time, talent and treasure for the success of the construction plans.

In 1990 Rev. Bruce Orsborn became pastor until 1996. 1991 Fr. Bruce, with his youthful energy and enthusiasm, he continued the work on constructing the new church. Blocks for the walls of the church and tiles for the roof were sold, donors wrote their names on them with pride for having contributed to the building project. The workers included parish families that would come on Saturdays. The rectory was remodeled into a spacious C.C.D. center, additional parking lot, and the church offices became computerized and the kitchen in the hall was expanded. The new church was completed in 1993. We have always counted on the support of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word. They worked offering religious education to both children and adults. Sister Flavia Arellano recruited parents in the parking lot. Her effort to involve the parents of the children as teachers, expanded the program both in English and Spanish.

In 1996 Rev. Mario Vesga became the pastor until 2006. The parish community continued to pay off the construction debt. Through his effort the plans for building the new parish hall began and completed in 2006. He was an excellent homilist.

In 2006 Rev. Pedro Navarra became pastor until 2010. He came to evangelize our community. He gave classes on Ecclesiology, Mariology and bible study. He stressed understanding the liturgy by teaching about the sacramental, parts of the Mass and the liturgical calendar. He also encouraged more participation by the laity and made the liturgies filled with many points of awe, recollection and reflection.

In 2010 Rev. Jose Luis Muro became pastor until 2017. Had a significant part in the “New Evangelization" of our parish community through daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, extended hours for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, participation in Year of the Faith, and continued growth in parish ministries such as Liturgy, Pre-Cana and especially our Youth Groups. Deacon Guillermo Valdivia was ordained a permanent deacon to serve our community in 2012. Fr Muro and Deacon Valdivia took a group of young adults to World Youth Day in Brazil. Participation in all sacraments has increased significantly, our pastor encourages participation of all age groups and devotions. With the addition of groups such as Divine Mercy, Senior Citizen Lunches, youth Soccer tournaments, diet and exercise classes and English classes. The new crucifix was installed and the Tabernacle of the Blessed sacrament was transferred to the sanctuary and they have enhanced the spiritual environment of the church. The church flooring, pews and the new retablo have added liturgical design and beauty to our place of warship. Fr. Muro’s efforts to create a place of beauty for God and our community is much appreciated.



In 2017 Bishop Robert McElroy entrusted the Parish administration to a religious congregation named, Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo or known as Scalabrinian Missionaries. The main charism of the Scalabrinians is for the pastoral care of migrants, refugees, and seafarers. The first Scalabrinian pastor is Rev. Ramiro Chan, C.S. with Rev. Louis Féliere, C.S. It was a challenging transition because parishioners did not know much about the Scalabrinians and what is the difference between diocesan and religious administration. Some parishioners thought that the Scalabrinian brought the parish. The pioneering Scalabrinian priests worked hard in introducing the Scalabrinian mission in the parish. They formed Scalabrinian lay that also helps the Casa del Migrante of the Scalabrinians in Tijuana.

In October 2021 Rev. Hily Gonzales, C.S. was appointed pastor with Rev. Liem Nguyen, C.S. as associate pastor (2020 – 2023). It was at the last stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and many activities were still suspended. Early 2022 the “Restore my House Project” was initiated with the purpose of repainting of the exterior walls of the Church, restoration of the doors, stained windows, repair of the stained glass of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This was completed in 2023. A new air-conditioning unit was installed, electric fans were changed. In preparation for the 80th Anniversary of the Parish (2024), the project to restore the altarpiece (retablo) of Our Lady of Guadalupe started.

In September of 2023 Rev. Rigorberto Olivares, C.S. joined the leadership team as associate pastor. Life of the parish returned to normal after the pandemic, and the activities of the different groups and ministries re-started. A new young adult group started and new set of parish staff were hired.

At the end of 2023 there was an increasing number of refugees entering San Diego area, the parish started offering an overnight stay for 20 refugees, different group every night. The parishioners helped through food and monetary donations as well as volunteering together with the Scalabrinian Lay.

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