Parish History

Parish History 2020-05-03T07:09:49+00:00

University Heights used to be part of St. Joseph’s Parish (Cathedral), which had been founded in 1874 with Fr. Anton Ubach as pastor. In 1912, a group of local ladies appealed to Fr. Nunan, existing pastor of St. Joseph’s, to establish a new parish here. He encouraged them, but his successor, Fr. Heffernan, wanted them to remain in his jurisdiction. The Catholic ladies group finally appealed to the new Archbishop of Los Angeles and San Diego, the Most Rev. John J. Cantwell, and he agreed, and in late 1913 appointed Fr. Peter McNellis as Pastor of the new parish in University Heights.

In 1914 great efforts were made by pastor and people to buy property and build a church. They purchased the property at Lincoln and Normal. Fr. Loughlin Golden succeeded Fr. McNellis as pastor and assisted by Fr. McCormick, erected our first church building in honor of St. John the Evangelist in 1915. This served as the parish center of worship until the present church at Polk and Normal was dedicated by Bishop Buddy on May 30, 1952.

Priests who served at the Parish

Rev. Kevin Casey, 2017-Current
Rev. John P. Dolan, 2015 – 2017
Rev. Henry Rodriguez, 2015
Rev. William Dillard, 2003 – 2014
Rev. Philip Sessions, 1999-2003
Rev. George Byrne, 1999-1999
Rev. Msgr. Anthony Giesing, 1988-1999
Rev. Msgr. Andrew Hanley, 1970-1988
Rev. Vincent Walters, 1969-1970
Rev. Msgr. M.C. O’Connor, 1945-1969
Rev. Msgr. John B. Cotter, 1930-1945
Rev. Martin C. Keating, 1927-1930
Rev. Paul de Munck, 1924-1927
Rev. Thos F. King, 1918-1924
Rev. L.P. Golden, 1914-1918
Rev. Peter McNellis, 1913-1914