Case Statement – Parish Identity and Mission Statement
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic Christian community dedicated to living and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus. We, as a family of diverse ethnic heritage, are committed to calling forth the gifts of all members in the service of God’s Kingdom.
In the spring of 1920, “Miss Dewey”, a parishioner of St. James Church (the only Catholic parish at the time in the South Bay) encountered a group of young children frolicking on a dusty road in the hills of North Redondo Beach, CA. Never having seen these children at St. James, she asked them where they went to church. One answered, “To the Placita Church when our father can take us.” Little Juanita Martinez replied, “What is church? I have never been to church.” Shocked, Miss Dewey was moved to action with great apostolic zeal and generosity of heart to take these children to church and teach them the faith by beginning catechism classes for these children. Primarily through her efforts and those of the community of St. James, these children and their families grew in their faith and in 1927, the first Mass was celebrated in the “hall” of the Guadalupe Mission serving all the Spanish-speaking peoples of the South Bay. On February 14, 1958, the Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hermosa Beach was raised to the canonical status of a parish, the parish we are proud to be a part of today. It has been almost 100 years since the mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus to our community began. It has been almost 90 years since the first Mass was celebrated for our community rich in diversity and gifts for the service of God’s kingdom. It has been almost 60 years that our parish and school has continued to grow and form our young children in faith and excellence in academics to become good citizens and disciples for God’s kingdom. It is a proud vocation and tradition entrusted to us today.
Nearly 10 years have passed since our parish gathered to rededicate our newly renovated church building to the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This much needed renovation of the church building, friary, and the offices was only accomplished by the generosity and hard work of all our parishioners here in our community. As a result, it also gave rise to a rediscovery of our need to renovate our own hearts, minds, and lives for the building of God’s kingdom – the need to use and develop our gifts and talents for all of God’s children. This recognition also gave rise to a recommitment to focus and serve the needs of the young people of our small beach community – in its diversity of faiths, cultures, socio-economic status, and heritage. By the leadership, vision, and hard work of the clergy, staff, principal, teachers, volunteers, and parishioners of OLG, we continue the excellence of education and faith formation of our students.
Our growth and development have brought us now into a moment of great opportunity and excitement. With more than 1600 families attending Sunday Mass each week, and the growth of the School’s enrollment in recent years, we find that we are in need of more space. Our hope is to build a multipurpose facility – one that would include space for parish-wide gatherings as well as a science lab and a music/technology classroom.
In addition, we are planning on building additional office space for the school faculty and administration so they may be well prepared to educate and guide their students. As a result, this new building project will free up space for additional church ministries to the entire faith community, as well and create a beautiful gathering space for our parish and school communities.
We want to give all our households the opportunity to participate in this important endeavor. A Planning Study questionnaire will be available to every parishioner. If you are interested in completing this questionnaire online, please visit the following link: www.changingourworld.com/OLGHermosaBeach. Please be assured that we will not proceed with a campaign unless we have the full support and understanding of our people. Your feedback is important. Our deadline for completing the survey will be January 30. Renderings of this plan will be posted in the vestibule of the church.
Since 1920, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church has been the beneficiary of a generous and faithful community. We seek your continued support in making our goals a reality.