About Our Parish
HISTORY OF OUR LADY OF THE SACRED HEART PARISH
On a beautiful summer morning, August 15, 1911, the first members of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish met in a partially completed church, situated on the north-east corner of 42nd and Polk Avenues. The seats were planks on trestles. A temporary altar served Father Patrick McLaughlin as he said the first Mass. In 1920, parishioners doubled the small church’s size.
Under Pastor Fr. Joseph Lynn, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, at the corner of Forty-Second Street and Orange Avenue, opened September 6, 1927. The church and rectory were moved to the corner of Forty-Second and Orange Avenues, and were remodeled and stuccoed to present a Spanish facade.
On October 30, 1930, Father (later Monsignor) Owen Hannon became pastor. He instituted weekly religious instruction for the parish children who attended public school.
East San Diego kept growing, as did OLSH. The parish needed a larger church by the late 1940’s. Property for one was secured at the corner of Marlborough and Orange Avenues. Groundbreaking took place on May 31, 1947, the Feast of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Msgr. Hannon guided furnishing the church, from the main altar to the stained glass windows to the tabernacle. The new church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, November 1948.
Rosary High School opened in September 1948. Not part of the parish, it was nonetheless intertwined with parish life. In 1959 plans were formed for a new parish hall. When completed, it had a spacious hall and stage, a kitchen with the latest equipment and a parish library with 1500 books. The mosaic on the east outside wall of the hall, Christ Blessing the Little Ones, was completed in 1962. The Second Vatican Council brought changes in liturgy and ceremony. Msgr. Hannon placed today’s simple but distinctive Altar of Sacrifice. The Altar railing, a memorial to the parish’s War Dead, was moved in front of the first row of pews.
When Monsignor Raymond Kirk became pastor in July 1977, Rosary High School had just closed, more and more senior citizens were becoming part of the parish, and the school building was 50 years old. The Rosary High building was purchased and became the parish grade school. Guadalupe Plaza, the senior citizen high-rise, replaced the old school and convent in 1982.
From 1911 through the 1950’s, the parish’s cultural makeup had been relatively uniform. That has changed. Cultural and ethnic diversity have been a source of strength for OLSH for the past many decades. In 1989, Father Khing Vano reflected on OLSH’s growing diversity: A typical Sunday setting and experience at OLSH liturgy. Lucy is Anglo, Mary is from London. Phan Nguyen landed in San Diego after fleeing Vietnam on a small boat. Lupita is Mexican, Monique is Afro-American…. One in faith, we come together to worship one Lord….
Catholic Christian social action has had a long tradition in OLSH. The Shrines to Our Lady of Guadalupe and to the 117 Vietnamese Martyrs were dedicated December 7, 1991. The dedication was so popular that attendance had to be limited to 600, with reservations required.
In July 1995, Father Richard Perozich became pastor. He immediately re-emphasized calling parish members to the basics of Catholic Christianity and to full parish participation. He was instrumental in refurbishing the church and other parish facilities.
In 2007, the OLSH Vietnamese Community presented the pastor with a check for $30,000 to help with essential repairs. Between July 2007 and January 2008, $120,000 had to be spent on roofing repairs, painting and electrical work.
Bishop Robert Brom installed Father Duong Nguyen, SVD pastor on September 20, 2009. With Father Nguyen came renewed support for the parish school, which had been hit hard by the economic hard times of 2009-2011. And by May 2011, Hannon Hall was once again undergoing renovation of the restrooms and on 2016 the kitchen's complete renovation began.
On July 1st, 2016 Father Jose Goopio, SVD, was appointed as the new pastor being under his administration when the kitchen project was completed.
Our current pastor as of July 1st 2018 is Father Dominic Asare, SVD, from Ghana. He was ordained 27 years ago on 1991, He was sent to Paraguay where he stayed for over 19 years. On March 2011 he came to USA and sent to our parish as supply priest for three months; then he was assigned as a Pastor at a parish in Oakland were he spend the last 7 year.