Welcome to Our Lady of Fatima Parish

Parish History

        Our Lady of Fatima Parish (OLOF), currently serving the spiritual needs of about 60 Traditional Roman Catholic Families in and around the South San Diego area of Southern California, had its humble beginnings about 1973 when Fr. Clement Kubish and then Brother Denis Cicone, CMRI, would travel to the National City/Chula Vista area of South San Diego to offer an occasional Mass (about three times a year). These first Masses were offered in rented halls or conference rooms for a small, yet loyal group of Traditional Catholics. These occasional masses were usually preceded by a "talk" or "seminar" about the changes in the Catholic Church since Vatican Council II (VC2).

        About a year later, a Chula Vista parishioner offered the upstairs apartment of her home as a chapel, where the Blessed Sacrament was eventually reserved. Mass was offered about five times a year in this first "temporary" chapel location.

        About 1978, the chapel was relocated to its present location in National City, in what was a "rec room" in the back of a home of a large family that was, and still is, very loyal to the Tridentine Mass. The head of this family prepared the chapel by adding paneling, insulation, and by installing a recently constructed altar. This altar was made possible through the generosity of a Traditional Catholic associated with the CMRI Parishes in the Washington State area, and an occasional visitor to the San Diego area. Even though there were a number of children in their family, the National City family most graciously donated one of the bedrooms within the house also, to serve as the Priest's Sacristy. To this very day, a log book is still maintained in the back of the Chapel to record the minimum one hour of daily adoration necessary to maintain the Blessed Sacrament, as established by the (then) new Fr. Denis Cicone, CMRI.

        Although it was never incorporated as such, both the original Chula Vista Chapel and the present National City Chapel came to be known as "Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish," mainly due to the proximity of both Chula Vista and National City to the border of Mexico (about 8 miles away).

        From the early 1980's to the early 1990's, Mass was offered on a frequency that ranged from once every two months to as often as twice a month, as determined by the availability of priests. Perhaps, a somewhat unique feature of this small Parish at this time, was the fact that it was serviced by no fewer than five (still current) CMRI priests, as well as some "fill in" priests from south of the border. With that being said, many of the current CMRI priests still feel welcomed back to their "other" Parish when they are occasionally able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass while passing through the San Diego area.

        During these years when a priest could not be had for Mass EVERY Sunday, the faithful would usually gather on Sunday morning at the National City Chapel and say their Mass Prayers and/or listen to a recording of an earlier Mass offered at the Chapel. Often, the loyal families and original parishioners of this Parish would schedule each family for a different hour of the Sunday morning or afternoon, so that Our Lord was being worshipped for as many hours as possible on "His Day." On occasion, a pot luck meal would be held in the family's kitchen during a "break in the service" on Sunday.

        After the ordination of another CMRI Priest in early 1992 and his ultimate assignment to a Parish in nearby Phoenix, Arizona, this new priest agreed to fly in from Phoenix and offer a Mass each Sunday in the late afternoon for this new San Diego Parish. To accommodate the growing number of parishioners each Sunday, space for the Holy Mass was rented at a Comfort Inn in National City. The loyal parishioner family at the National City Chapel agreed to pack-up all that was needed for Mass from the Chapel and bring it to the Comfort Inn for the Sunday afternoon Mass.

        In 1997, a new Sunday Mass site was found a few miles south of National City at the Ramada Inn in Chula Vista. The same family continued to make an empty conference room into a "Church" each Sunday.

        In late 1999, the CMRI priest from Phoenix needed to concentrate more of his time at home in Arizona as he was getting closer to buying the Parish's first church building. A priest that was recently ordained in Omaha, Nebraska and stationed in Santa Clarita, CA was then instructed by His Excellency Bishop Mark Pivarunas, CMRI to travel to the San Diego Parish every weekend to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

        In early 2000, the new Priest formally incorporated the Parish under the new title of Our Lady of Fatima. A name change was necessary as there was already an incorporated Vatican II Parish in the city of Chula Vista by the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and future planned advertising in the yellow pages and local papers would prove confusing.

        Because the parish had outgrown the small confines of the Ramada, the location was moved to a central location in San Diego at the Holiday Inn-Express in Old Town San Diego at 3900 Old Town Ave San Diego, CA, providing an excellent location easily accessible by freeways for those coming from all directions. Sunday Holy Mass is held in the Mission Conference Room there at 9:00AM and on some Holy Days when the room is available for 4 p.m. Mass or Midnight Mass on Christmas and Easter Vigil. On First Fridays and every Saturday, Mass is available at the National City Chapel.

       With the advent of 2010, His Excellency reassigned several priests with Fr. Gerard McKee CMRI, our pastor for the last several years, transferred to Holy Rosary in Middleville, Michigan and Our Lady of Victory in London in Ontario, Canada. Replacing Fr. Gerard is a familiar face in Father Gabriel Lavery, CMRI who officially became our new Pastor on January 10. He is stationed at Mt. St. Michael's during the week where he also teaches in the Mount's Academy there and flies down on weekends to administer to the sacramental needs of Traditional Catholics at Our Lady of Lourdes in Fontana and here at Our Lady of Fatima in San Diego/National City. We continue to add to our Building Fund through fundraisers and a monthly collection which will enable us to purchase a building for a church in the near future through the intercession of St. Joseph.

       In May of 2010, the parish made a move to the historic NTC North Chapel at Liberty Station on Sundays, providing a church atmosphere for parishioners in a building replete with pews, choir loft, organ and sanctuary.