Catholic Shrines and Holy Places
Shrines, Basilicas, Cathedrals, Monasteries,
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Shrines and Holy Places

St. Joseph Basilica Parish
1109 Chestnut St. (at Encinal Ave.)
Alameda, CA 94501
St. Joseph Parish started in 1873 when the first St. Joseph Mission Church was built. At the time it was attached to St. Anthony Parish, Oakland and each Sunday Fr. Gleeson came to Alameda on horseback or on foot to celebrate Mass and to teach Catechism.
Twice church was enlarged and in 1881 it was moved just across from its present location.
In 1885 St. Joseph became an independent parish. Just ten years later it had grown to the extent that a new church was needed. The new building, a beautiful Gothic edifice with a seating capacity of 700 was dedicated on January 20, 1895.
On September 29, 1919 St. Joseph Church burned to the ground. On August 22, 1920, the cornerstone for a new church, a replica of the old mission at Monterey, was laid.
On June 4, 1972 St. Joseph Church was designated a minor Basilica by Pope Paul VI
Between 1987 and 1993 St. Joseph Basilica was restored to its Romanesque/Mission Revival roots and renovated in accordance with liturgical guidelines established at the second Vatican Council.
Web site

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
The Carmel Mission, a Minor Basilica
3080 Rio Road
Carmel, California 93923
The Carmel Mission was established on June 3, 1770, in nearby Monterey. It was named for Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, Italy. In May, 1771, the Mission was relocated to its current location. The settlers at the Mission trained local indians as plowmen, shepherds, cattle herders, blacksmiths, and carpenters. They made adobe bricks, roof tiles and tools needed to build the Mission. The Mission flourished for years.
In 1818, a French privateer raided the Monterey Presidio and left the Mission in ruins.
The Church regained control in 1863 and started restoration. In 1935 it became an independent parish.
In 1961, the Mission was designated as a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII. In 1987, Pope John Paul II visited the Mission as part of his U.S. tour.

Mission Carmel is considered to be one of the most beautiful Spanish style churches in the U.S. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.
It is an active parish church and also hosts concerts, art exhibits, lectures and numerous other community events.
Web site

Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows
745 Ware Ave.
Colusa, CA. 95932
Site of the first Catholic mass to be said in Colusa County in May of 1856.
In 1864, a Catholic mission was conducted and a large wooden cross erected to commemorate the occasion. Masses, pilgrimages and visits were made here continuously thereafter.
In order to preserve the identity of the place, Father Michael Wallrath, the first pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, secured a deed from Mrs. Anna Myers to this parcel of land and constructed a small shrine from hand kilned bricks in 1883.
The present cross was erected by the Knights of Columbus and replaced the one erected here in 1864.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2707
Tel: 213-680-5200
After th 1994 earthquake extensively damaged the 1,200 seat LA Cathedral of Saint Vibiana or St. Vibiana's the archdiocese decided to build a new and larger edifice. Rather then tearing down the old cathedral a land swap was arranged with the city. Construction of the new cathedral finally began in 1999.
The stained glass windows and sarcophagus of the St. Vivianís were used in the new Cathedral's crypt mausoleum. Pipes from the 1980 Austin pipe organ were incorporated into the new organ.
The conservatively modern Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was designed by a Spanish architect Professor Josť Rafael Moneo. It is built with adobe colored architectural concrete is reminiscent of walls of southern missions. A 50 foot concrete cross adorns the front of the Cathedral.
The cathedral windows are of alabaster with an exterior window of glass protecting the alabaster from heat and dirt. Lights between the glass and the alabaster blanket the cathedral with a warm even glow.
The Cathedral was completed in the spring of 2002. Web site

Holy Family Cathedral
566 South Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866
Telephone: 714-639-2900
Parish E-mail:
The Holy Family Cathedral Parish was established until October of 1921. The first parish church was finished one year later.
Plans for the present church were started in 1956. The building was completed in April 1958 and dedicated January 8, 1961. A new Rectory was added in 1962. A Convent with a chapel for the Sisters was also added.
In June of 1976 the County of Orange was separated from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and became the Diocese of Orange. Web site

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala
10818 San Diego Mission Road
San Diego, CA 92108-2429
Parish Office 619-283-7319 8:00
Tours: 858-565-9077
On July 16, 1769, Father Serra established Mission San Diego and the California mission system was begun on a site overlooking the bay. In 1775. Indians pillaged the mission, burned it to the ground and massacred Father Jayme who became California's first Christian Martyr.
Fearing further raids, the mission was rebuilt according to fort specifications. Despite difficult circumstances the mission prospered and was firmly established by 1797.
In 1834 Mexico took the mission from the Franciscans. The United States acquired the area, and used the mission for a few years then abandoned it. In 1892, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondolet moved onto the mission compound and conducted an American Indian childrens' school for seventeen years.
In 1931, the mission was rebuilt to mirror the 1813 church. It is an active Catholic parish and is visited by thousands of fourth graders from throughout the state studying California history.
Pope Paul VI designated the mission as a Minor Basilica in 1976. Web site

Mission San Francisco de Asis
The Mission Dolores Basilica

3321 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Tel: 415-621-8203
The Mission was founded on June 29, 1776, by Lieutenant Josť Joaquin Moraga and Father Francisco Palůu. The present Mission church was begun in 1782 and dedicated in 1791. It was constructed of adobe and became part of a complex of buildings used for housing, agricultural and manufacturing. The church was restored in 1917. The only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra. It is also the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco.
In 1913, construction began on a new brick Gothic Revival church, the present Mission Dolores Basilica. It was completed in 1918 and was further remodeled in 1926.
Mission Dolores has always had a central place in the civic and cultural life of San Francisco. Today, it is the center of a vibrant, diverse parish and a destination for hundreds of thousands of San Francisco visitors. Web site

Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption
1111 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tel: 415-567-2020
The original Saint Mary Cathedral was built in 1854. It is still standing and is now called the Old Saint Mary's Church. A second cathedral was built In 1891. It was destroyed by arson in 1962.
The current, strikingly modern cathedral was commissioned in 1967 and completed three years later. It was blessed On May 5, 1971. On October 5, 1996 was formally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the name of Saint Mary of the Assumption. Pope John Paul II celebrated the first papal mass in the cathedral in 1987.
The diocese serves the counties of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo. Web site

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph
80 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
In 1777 Mission Santa Clara was founded and the adjacent Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe became the first civil settlement in Alta California. In 1803 a small adobe church was established in the village and dedicated to Saint Joseph making it the first parish in the state of California. The church was administered by Franciscan priests.
That church and itsí replacement wee severely damaged by earthquakes. The third church was destroyed by fire and replaced by a temporary church.
On March 19th, 1876, the feast day of Saint Joseph, the cornerstone was laid for 5th and present church. It was designed in the form of a Greek cross with one dome and the altar is set directly under the dome.
The Diocese of San Jose was founded 1981 and four years later the Vatican approved Saint Joseph as cathedral of the Diocese of San Jose.
In 1997 the Vatican conferred the designation of "minor basilica" on St. Joseph Cathedral.
Web site

Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano
A National Shrine
31520 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
The San Juan Capistrano mission was founded on All Saints Day November 1, 1776 by members of the Franciscan Order from Spain. The mission was named after the 15th century theologian, Giovanni da Capistrano. Padre Junipero Serra celebrated mass here in a chapel built 1782. The chapel is the oldest structure in the complex and is now referred to as "Serra's Chapel" or "Father Serra's Church,"
Construction of a large stone mission church was begun in 1797 but it was destroyed in in an earthquake in 1812. Ruins of the church have been stabilized and restored.
A new church complex was constructed just north and west of the old mission compound. The church is patterned after the 1797 structure but is larger. Ground was broken on January 31, 1982. It was officially opened on October 23, 1986 and dedicated on February 8, 1987.
On February 14, 2000 Pope John Paul II conferred the rank of Minor Basilica
Web site

Shrine of Our Lady of Peace
2800 Mission College Boulevard.
Santa Clara, CA. 95054
In August of 1980, Msgr. John J. Sweeny, then pastor of Our Lady of Peace Church in Santa Clara, California, commissioned Charles C. Parks, a noted sculptor, of Wilmington, Delaware, to design a 32-foot stainless steel statue of Our Lady.
When completed, the statue was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Pierre DuMaine of the Diocese of San Jose. The ceremony took place October 7, 1983, on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary and we received a special blessing for the dedication ceremony from Pope John Paul II.
The Shrine is the only major Marian Shrine on the West Coast. Thousands of people visit the shrine weekly from neighboring parishes and from across the country. All are welcome to participate in our many programs and services.
Web site

Shrine of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer
Oblates of St. Joseph
544 West Cliff Dr.
Santa Cruz, CA. 95060
Two priests of the Oblates of St. Joseph came to the West Coast in 1931 to minister to the large number of Italian immigrants in the Diocese. In 1933 they purchased a house in Santa Cruz to be used as a seminary. On December 8, 1949, a benefactor appeared and deeded a parcel of bayside property to them to be used for religious purposes. Ground-breaking for the construction of a seminary and chapel took place on September 30, 1951. By July 29, 1952, the first Mass was celebrated in the chapel. In March 1952 Bishop Willinger had granted permission for pilgrimages to this "shrine." He blessed the chapel on August 31, 1952, as a "semi-public oratory dedicated to St. Joseph."
In late 1992 extensive remodeling was begun on the chapel and completed in 1993. On November 3, 1993 the chapel was dedicated by Bishop Sylvester Ryan of the Diocese of Monterey and declared to be a diocesan shrine according to the norms of canon law, with the title "Shrine of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer." The title is chosen after the name of the apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph, Redemptoris Custos, "Guardian of the Redeemer," written by Pope John Paul II. Bishop Ryan also encased under the altar a relic of Saint Joseph Marello, Bishop of Acqui and founder of the Oblates of St. Joseph, who recently had been beatified on September 26, 1993, and Canonized on November 25th, 2001.
The Shrine chapel continues to serve as a place of devotion for the Oblate religious community, and for individual and group pilgrims from near and far. It contains a variety of beautiful devotional artwork, the most striking of which is a six foot by eight foot original Italian wood carving of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, Guardian of Jesus, and Patron of the Church.
Web site

Saint Eugene's Cathedral
2323 Montgomery Drive
Santa Rosa CA 95405
Tel: 707-542-6984
Spanish missionasries came to the Santa Rosa area in the early 1800's and established a mission on land next to where the present St. Eugene's Cathedral now stands. Around 1829 they built an adobe mission building on the site, which was considered the first building in the valley.
St. Eugene's parish was established on July 1, 1950 and a new church building was started. The dedication of the new church was held on November 25, 1951. A parish school was opened in 1953.
The Diocese of Santa Rosa was split off from the Archdiocese of San Francisco 1962 and St. Eugene's was designated a Cathedral on February 20, 1962.
Web site

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