Santa Cruz County History - Religion & Spirituality

Santa Cruz Spirituality: Catholic and Episcopalian
by Paul Tutwiler

The lead line of each association's entry includes its primary name, the type of organization, if not primarily for worship, its location, the time span of its existence.

  1. Roman Catholic Church: local association founded before 1901
  2. Roman Catholic Church: local association founded after 1900
  3. Recently founded Catholic separatist groups
  4. Episcopalian

Roman Catholic Church: local association founded before 1901

Since Mission times the Roman Catholic Church has been the largest religious group of any kind in Santa Cruz, as the statistics in Chapter 3 Tables show. Its history in this county, however, is complex. First there was the Catholicism of the Spanish missionaries and their indigenous converts; then there were the many and diverse immigrant groups which brought their Catholicism with them. The page references in the following paragraph refer to Californian Catholicism by Kay Alexander.

From the founding of the first Alta California Mission until the end of the Mexican period, the Missionaries baptised about 99,000 natives, although by the year 1873, the California Catholic Indian population was only about 3,000 (p. 35). More numerous than this component of the Catholic community at the time California became part of the United States were the Spanish-Americans (p. 39). By then, however, Irish Catholics had started to arrive, as well as the earliest Italian Catholics, who were merchants and political refugees (p. 35). With the Gold Rush French, German, and Slavonic Catholics appeared in Northern California (p. 49), as did Basques and more Italians (p. 50). Later Catholic immigrants included Native Americans from New Mexico, where the Catholic Church had been established before it was in California (p. 60), and Filipinos, who came after the Spanish American War (p. 61). Then, principally after the Mexican revolution of 1910, the great wave of Mexican Catholics rolled northward (p. 61) and gave the strongest Hispanic-Catholic imprint to present day Catholicism in California (p. 61).

Finally, a huge component of contemporary Catholicism in California consists of the Catholic segment of the millions of Americans who moved to California, especially during and after World War II. My Uncle George Liske and his family, coming from Illinois, were among these, and they were typical of the ethnically assimilated Americans who did not bring Irish or German or Polish Catholicism with them.

As far as I observe, all the above elements of the Catholic population of California have been represented in Santa Cruz County. It is also true that many Italians came to Santa Cruz County before and after World War II, but they have not, to my observation, made a noticeable ethnic imprint on Santa Cruz Catholicism. The Croatian Catholics who settled in the Watsonville area (I do not know the details of their history) do not seem at all to have left an ethnic religious imprint on the Catholic Church there.

There are dissident Catholic groups which have left behind allegiance to the Church as an institution either theologically, by denying, for instance, the infallibility of the Pope, or practically, by ignoring selected pronouncements of his. I list two such groups under Recently founded Catholic separatist groups.

» Holy Cross Church. Santa Cruz, 1791-2010.

Photograph of Holy Cross Church
Holy Cross Church, ca. 1889-1890
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Photograph Collection.

Founded in 1791 by Franciscan missionaries as Mission Santa Cruz or Mission of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the mission, like the other Franciscan missions in Alta California, had many functions in the life of the area. It was secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, its buildings gradually deteriorated, and there is no record of its being served consistently by any priest between 1844 and 1853. In 1853, however, the Bishop of San Francisco appointed a priest as pastor. (van Coenen Torchiana, Story of the Mission Santa Cruz, passim) The church facade collapsed in 1857, but a wooden church structure was built the very same year, and in 1889 the present brick church was built. (Chase, Sidewalk Companion, pp. 99-100)

Interesting details about life in the mission are in "The Narratives of Lorenzo Asisara: Three Accounts of Life and Death in Mission Santa Cruz," in Linda Yamane, Ed. A Gathering of Voices. The Native Peoples of the Central California Coast. Santa Cruz, California: Santa Cruz County History Journal Issue No. 5, 2002, pp. 51-76.

Now the church is at 126 High St., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 423-4182. (2010 White Pages)

» Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum. Service org, Santa Cruz, 1791-2010.

Mission Santa Cruz had a cemetery in its compound from its beginning in 1791. Needing more land for burials, the new parish in 1868 bought the land where the cemetery now is, and began to use it for interments in 1873. Many remains were also transferred from the original cemetery. (Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum Compiled Records. Volume I. Old Holy Cross Interments. Surnames A - L. Published by The Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County, 2004)

The cemetery is now at 2271 7th Ave., Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 475-3222. (2010 White Pages)

» Rancho Las Aromitas Chapel, Monterey County, 183?-1854?

"On Sundays the various families [Californios of the lower Pajaro Valley] would wend their way to the Church at Rancho Los[sic] Aromas, long since abandoned as a place of worship..." (Edward Martin. Directory of the town of Watsonville, 1873, p. 31).

In 1833 Padre Jose Antonio Anzar was sent from the Franciscan College of Guadalupe, Zacatecas, a Mexican Franciscan institution, to be the last Franciscan pastor of Mission San Juan Bautista. His brother, Juan Miguel Anzar, who came with him, bought the Rancho Las Aromitas y Agua Caliente, a corner of which lay in what is now Santa Cruz County. (Charles W. Clogh, San Juan Bautista: the town, the mission, & the park. Fresno: Word Dancer Press, 1996, p.24) In 1853 Juan Miguel Anzar died, and the next year his brother returned to Mexico.

Juan Miguel's house was on the Rancho Las Aromitas. Local historians of the area are certain that a chapel was constructed on his property, but its location is no longer known.

Other references concerning the Anzars and their role in local history are Isaac L. Mylar, Early Days at the Mission San Juan Bautista, Fresno: Word Dancer Press, New Edition 1994; Marjorie Price, East of the Gabilans, Fresno: Valley Publishers, 1977; and 2010.

» Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Church. Santa Cruz County, 1856-2010.

Entitled Immaculate Heart of Mary, the original church of this congregation was dedicated in 1856. It was enlarged in 1860 and destroyed by fire in 1927, but a new structure, the present one, was erected in 1928. In 1921 the change was made to the present title, but the church is also known simply as Valley Catholic Church. (A Tombstone and Vital Records Survey to the Historic 'Valley Catholic Church Cemetery.' Vol 1. Compiled by D. D. Fletcher, 2001)

The church is now at 2401 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-2665. (2010 White Pages) Associated with it are the cemetery and orphanage listed separately below.

» Valley Catholic Cemetery. Service org, Santa Cruz County, 1856-2010.

The cemetery was established adjacent to Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Church at the same time as the church. (A Tombstone and Vital Records Survey to the Historic 'Valley Catholic Church Cemetery.' Vol 1. Compiled by D. D. Fletcher, 2001)

It is called St. Francis Cemetery on the Street Guide and Map of Santa Cruz County, North American Maps, San Francisco, 1971.

The cemetery office is now at 66 Marin St., Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-0310. (2010 White Pages)

» Holy Cross Catholic Elementary and Junior High School. Santa Cruz, 1862-2010.

"The Daughters of Charity founded Holy Cross School in 1862 as an orphanage. In 1926, the parish built a structure on High Street and a co-educational day school was established for Grades 1 - 12. The Holy Cross Elementary School was constructed on the site of the old orphanage in 1958 to relieve crowded conditions in the High Street building. In 1977 the present junior high building was constructed." ( 2010)

Some additional details: the first, temporary quarters of the original school and orphanage were in the adobe which was the juzgado of Mexican Days. (Rowland, Annals, p. 75) The original boarding school for girls and orphanage fronted Mission Street and its grounds extended back along Emmet Street to School Street. These buildings were left vacant after the opening of the High Street structure, but were torn down in 1944. In 1943 the Daughters of Charity left Santa Cruz and turned over their teaching activities to the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, who at first lived in the former Henry Willey home at the corner of Mission and Sylvar Streets. (The McHugh Scrapbook, Vol. 1, p. 8) The high school was closed in 1970. (Koch, Parade of the Past, p. 193)

The present day school is at 150 Emmet St., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 423-4447. (2010 White Pages, which, however, do not state the fact that the school has the junior high level as well as the elementary.)

Students at Holy Cross School
7th and 8th grade students at Holy Cross School, 1929
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Photograph Collection.

» St. Patrick's Church. Watsonville, 1865-2010.

Postcard of St. Patrick's Church
St. Patrick's Church, Watsonville, CA
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries'
Photograph Collection.

Although its first church structure was built in 1865, the congregation was not established as a parish until a few years after that. In 1903 its new, brick gothic building was dedicated. Badly damaged in the earthquake of 1989, the structure was demolished and its replacement was dedicated in 1994. (Elliott, Santa Cruz County, pp. 93-94; Koch, Parade of the Past, pp. 172 and 177; San Jose Mercury News, Mar. 15, 1994; and Watsonville Yesterday, p. 114)

The church is now at 721 Main St., Watsonville 95076, tel. 724-1317. (2010 White Pages)

» Resurrection Catholic Community. Aptos, 1867-2010.

In the beginning there was a chapel built in 1867 on land donated by Rafael Castro in connection with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery. The chapel, which operated as a mission of Holy Cross Church and later of St. Joseph's, was razed in 1935. (Survey of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Compiled by Phyllis Casey and Dorothy Garske, July, 2002, Preface and Historical Introduction.) The present church structure was dedicated in 2002, ( 2010) and it is at 7600 Soquel Dr., Aptos 95003, tel. 688-4300. (2010 White Pages)

» Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Service org, Aptos, 1867-2010.

Also called Aptos Cemetery, Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery, St. Joseph's Cemetery, and Resurrection Cemetery, it was established on land donated by Rafael Castro in 1867. (Survey of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Compiled by Phyllis Casey and Dorothy Garske, July, 2002, Preface and Historical Introduction) It is adjacent to Resurrection Catholic Community's church structure, as I observed in 2010.

» Franciscan/Salesian Orphanage/School/Seminary. Santa Cruz County, 1869-1981.

Originally adjacent to Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Church and Cemetery, this school began as a catholic orphanage in 1869, and it was operated by Franciscans until 1919, when it was taken over by the Salesian Society. (Watsonville: The First Hundred Years. Watsonville: The Watsonville Chamber of Commerce, 1952, pp. 64-65 In 1960 it became St. Francis Preparatory, a seminary for high school age aspirants to the priesthood in the Salesian Society, (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2395) and it appears that it was a seminary through 1967. (photo of the class of 1967 in The most recent structure, built in 1928 across the road from the church, was lost in the 1989 earthquake. (San Jose Mercury News, Mar. 15, 1994)

Some details can be added to the above chronology from the yearly Yellow Pages entries of the school. Thus, through 1959 it was a resident boys' school for grades 6 through 12. From 1961 through 1975 it is simply listed as a school. In 1976, 77, and 78 it is a boys' school for grades 6 through 9, in 1979 through 1981 it remains a boys' school for grades 6 through 8, and that is the final year of its listing as a school.

» Villa Maria del Mar. Conf center, Live Oak, 1891-2010.

This facility was established as Santa Maria del Mar, a religious resort, in 1891 by the Catholic Ladies' Aid Society, and a hotel was built on the property in the same year. (Francis, History, pp. 59-60; The McHugh Scrapbook, vol. 3, p. 47; the San Jose Mercury News, Aug. 16, 1994) Remodeled and enlarged, the original structure is still in use, and since 1963 it has been a retreat center, operated by Sisters of the Holy Names. (Brochure distributed in 2005) It is at 2-1918 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 475-1236. (2010 White Pages)

» Christian Brothers School. Santa Cruz, 1891-1921.

(Rowland, Annals, p. 75)

» Villa Manresa. Conf center, La Selva Beach, 1894-1925.

An ocean frontage property of about 60 acres donated by members of the Leonard family in 1894 to Santa Clara College, now Santa Clara University. Retreat and relaxation place for Jesuit priests and Jesuit scholastics, who are trainees for the priesthood engaged in teaching. (Ledger maintained by the Leonard family from 1896 to 1906; in the possession of Tom Leonard of Santa Cruz in 2003)

In 1925 the property was sold to David Batchelor, who developed the community of La Selva Beach on it. (Punnett Brothers 1906 map of Santa Cruz County and Clark, pp. 196-197)

» St. Michael's Church. Boulder Creek, 1899-2010.

Its original structure was built "in 1899 and 1900." (San Lorenzo Valley Sun, Sep. 29, 1950) The present church was built no earlier than 1968, (Valley Press, July 28, 1968) and it stands adjacent to the lot on which the first church stood. (My observation upon visiting the site in 2005) The address is 13005 Pine St, Boulder Creek 95006, tel. 338-6112. (2010 White Pages)

St. Michael's Church
St. Michael's Church, late 1960s-era postcard view
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Postcard Collection.

» Moreland Notre Dame School. Watsonville, 1899-2010.

Moreland Notre Dame Academy
Moreland Notre Dame Academy, photo ca. 1913
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Photograph Collection.

Now a Catholic, private K-8 school, this opened in 1899 as Moreland Notre Dame Academy, a boarding school for girls at both the elementary and the secondary levels. In 1957 the high school graduated its last class and the boarding facility, too, was closed. In the same year Mora Central High School, operated by the Catholic Diocese of Monterey, opened at 444 Arthur Road in Watsonville. Mora struggled with low enrollment, and it, in turn, graduated its last class in 1970. In the meanwhile Moreland Notre Dame Elementary School has continued to exist at its original location, ("Moreland Notre Dame Academy Centennial 1899-2000: A Century of Service to the People of Watsonville," monograph maintained in the Pajaro Valley Historical Association, courtesy of the association Archivist.) the address of which is now 133 Brennan St., Watsonville 95075, tel. 728-2051. (2010 White Pages)

Roman Catholic Church: local association founded after 1900

» St. Joseph's Catholic Community. Capitola, 1904-2010.

The church was established in 1904 at Bay St. and Capitola Ave., but its original structure was razed in 1973 and the present one was then built. (Historic Context Statement for the City of Capitola, pp. 86-87) It is at 435 Monterey Ave., Capitola 95010, tel. 475-8211. (2010 White Pages)

St. Joseph's Church
The ornate altar of St. Joseph's Church in Capitola By The Sea
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Postcard Collection.

» St. Vincent de Paul Church. Davenport, 1915-2010.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, photo taken 1998
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Photograph Collection.

The church building was dedicated on May 16, 1915. (2004 Calendar, "Davenport Snapshots. Then and Now." Davenport: Davenport Resource Service Center, 2003). Its address is 123 Marine View Ave., Davenport 95017, tel. 429-1426. (2010 White Pages)

» Catholic Chapel in Scott's Valley. 1917-1941.

In 1917, Father Joseph McAuliffe, a Catholic pastor in San Francisco, bought 80 acres about a mile north of Scotts Valley, along Mackenzie Creek, which flows into Bean Creek, a tributary of Zayante Creek. (Santa Cruz County Book of Deeds, Vol. 27) Here McAuliffe had a chapel built, where people of the neighborhood attended Mass for many years. (SC Sentinel-News, Apr 22, 1951. I was told in 2008 that a private oral history gathered by a present neighbor also attests to this report.) He also erected at least one classical statue, an ornamental tiled fountain, and a wayside shrine. (According to a neighbor who visited the property in 2008 these three structures and remnants of others are still in place, but the chapel and McAuliffe's house are no longer standing.)

McAuliffe died in 1941, leaving the property and an adjacent 47 acres which he had bought in the meanwhile to a relative. (Santa Cruz County Records, Vol. 432)

Bean Creek
A postcard view of Bean Creek
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Postcard Collection.

» Chaminade School. Soquel, 1923-1983.

In 1923 the Society of Mary, otherwise known as the Marianist Priests and Brothers, founded by William Joseph Chaminade, bought a tract of land on Paul Sweet Road. (Evening Pajaronian, May 21, 1923) From 1930 to 1940 this was a high school operated by the society. (Santa Cruz Evening News, June 11, 1940) From 1950 to 1957 it was called Chaminade Preparatory School, (Polk, 1950-57) but in 1958 it became Chaminade - Marianist Novitiate, which it remained through 1983, (Polk, 1958-83) and it was also known simply as Marianist Novitiate. (1966-79 Yellow Pages) Its final address in the Polk and telephone directories was 3586 Paul Sweet Road.

» St. Joseph's Preparatory Seminary. School, Santa Cruz, 1932-1982.

The seminary is listed in Polk from 1932 through 1964 and in the White Pages from 1965 through 1982. The address, according to both, was 544 W. Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz. Information about subsequent use of the facility can be found below in this section under Shrine of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer.

» St. Mary's of the Palms Catholic School. Glenwood, 1940-1953.

The only testimony I have to the existence of this school is Polk 1940-53. I suppose it is connected with "St. Mary of the Palms," which was incorporated for education, and especially for orphans, in 1946 in Santa Clara County. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 1242)

» Sisters of the Holy Family. Community, Live Oak, 1940-2010.

In 1940 the Sisters of the Holy Family established in Capitola a convent from which they traveled to do religious education in the area; in 1967 they opened a new convent at 436 Effey St. in Santa Cruz and also had a convent at 1255 38th Ave., Capitola. (SC Sentinel, Feb. 10, 1967) In 2010 they have a convent at 2-2806 East Cliff Dr., tel. 475-5369, and there is a "Sister Superior" at 1255 38th Ave., tel. 475-1734. (2010 White Pages)

» Dominican Hospital. Service org, Santa Cruz County, 1941-2010.

In 1941 the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan incorporated Sisters Hospital, (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 1347) the new name for the West Cliff Drive hospital which they had bought that year as Hanley Hospital. In 1951 the sisters bought Santa Cruz Hospital on Soquel Avenue in the city of Santa Cruz and they operated both hospitals until 1967, when they moved to the new grounds and structures on Soquel Drive, which is actually in the unincorporated area of the county. ( 2008) The location is 1555 Soquel Dr., Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 462-7700. (2010 White Pages)

» Poor Clares Convent. Community, Santa Cruz County, 1941-2010.

These strictly cloistered nuns bought the Rispin property, nine acres on Wharf Road in Capitola, in 1949 and moved there from Oakland. In 1956 they completed a new convent at Highway 1 and Seacliff Drive in Aptos, but they sold this property to Dominican Hospital in 1987 and moved to their present location on 30 acres in 1990. (SC Sentinel, Jan. 19, 1949; June 30, 1957; Nov. 9, 1969; Dec. 25, 1989; Apr. 20, 1992; Dec. 4, 2003; also Pajaronian, Apr. 17, 1992)

The sequence is the same, but the dates are different - the Capitola property was bought for the nuns in 1941; the nuns stayed there until 1959 - in the Historic Context Statement for the City of Capitola, pp. 48-49. Some of the dates, as well as the size of property ("50" acres) are different in a March 16, 2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel article.

The 2006 White Pages listed the Poor Clares Convent, but the White Pages of 2007 and 2008 listed St. Joseph's Monastery at 1671 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos 95003, tel. 761-9659 and 761-9481. The 2007 and 2008 Yellow Pages list, under "Churches - Catholic, Church of God," St Joseph's Monastery with the 761-9569 telephone number. When I visited there in December, 2007 the Abbess told me that St. Joseph's Monastery always was the name of this convent of the Poor Clares. In 2010 the list the convent under "Poor Clares of California" with the address as above and the 761-9659 telephone number.

Poor Clares Convent
Poor Clares Convent
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler

» Salesian Society Theological College. School, Aptos, 1945-1978.

Sesnon Estate
The Sesnon Estate
Built 1911, later used as a theological college
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Photograph Collection.

The Salesian Society [Priests and Brothers] bought the Sesnon Estate, 16 acres, on Soquel Drive in Aptos in 1945 and used it as a theological college. (West Side News, Sep. 1, 1965) Officially the school was incorporated as Salesian College in 1955. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 1872) By 1965 the Society had sold the property to the Salesian Sisters, who then used it for aspirants to the sisterhood. (West Side News, Sep. 1, 1965) The Sisters moved from it to Aptos in 1978. (See Salesian Sisters' School below)

A plaque on the facade of the building, as I saw in 2006, states that it was "Salesian College" from 1948 to 1978. This evidently refers to its use as an educational facility by the Salesian men and then the Salesian women.

» Our Lady Star of the Sea Church. Santa Cruz, 1947-2010.

The congregation was founded in 1947, and the church was constructed in 1949. ( 2010) It is at 515 Frederick St., Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 429-1018. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» St. Clare's Retreat House. Conf. Center, Santa Cruz County, 1950-2010.

Founded in 1950 by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, this facility served as the administrative headquarters of the group, at least for many years, and, it would appear, now too. (Santa Cruz Sentinel January 19, 2010, Obituary of the former superior general of the group) The original buildings were of the Mountain View Ranch Hotel, which had existed from the 1880s to the 1940s. (Koch, Parade of the Past, p. 122 and SC Sentinel October 21, 1966) It is at 2381 Laurel Glen Road, Soquel, 95073, tel. 423-8093. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Queen of Angels Novitiate. School, Santa Cruz County, 1952-1953.

All I know about this evidently Catholic institution is that it was listed in the 1952 and 1953 Yellow Pages at 4573 Branciforte Dr.

» St. John's Church. Felton, 1953-2010.

The structure was built in 1953, although a grass roots movement to establish a parish in Felton had begun in 1943, and by 1952 daily services were being held in temporary quarters. (SC Sentinel, Apr. 5, 1953) McCarthy, Grizzlies, pp. 90-91, has an alternate version of the formation of the parish, but agrees on the date of the structure. Its address is 5953 Hwy. 9, Felton 95018, tel. 335-4657. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Assumption Church. Monterey County, 1955-2010.

A clipping - source lacking - in the Pajaro Valley Historical Association Archives relates that in January, 1955 the rectory was moved from the Watsonville side of the Pajaro River bridge to the other side, where the church was. The present address of the church is 100 Salinas Road, Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-1104. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Villa St. Joseph. School, Soquel, 1955-1988.

This facility was at 4556 Paul Sweet Road, Soquel. (Polk 1955-70; listed under "School-Parochial") From 1961 through 1968 the facility at 4558 Paul Sweet Road was Marianist [Brothers] Provincialate in the Yellow Pages, and later it was the Marianist Art Center. (1969-1972 Yellow Pages) In Polk 1980-88 it was the Holy Trinity Monastery. I am not sure how all these relate to each other, but I hesitate to make them separate entries. Chaminade School, the Marianist Brothers School, is listed above.

» Camp Don Bosco. Conf center, Bonny Doon, 1956.

The Salesian Society bought 120 acres at the end of Thayer Road in 1956, intending to use it for a junior seminary, but in reality they used it only as a summer camp before selling it. ("The History of the Sturtevant Property, 700 Thayer Road, Bonny Doon" by Margaret, Bob, and Mary Sturtevant, 1994, cited in Memories of the Mountain, p. 116)

» Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Community, Watsonville, 1960.

Incorporated in 1960 as "Mother Superior of the Catholic Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary," at 86 Hecker Pass Road, (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2265) this had to be a convent, although I have no information concerning the work the sisters did or how long the convent existed.

» St. Vincent de Paul Society. Service org, Santa Cruz, 1961-2010.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is a world-wide charitable organization founded by Frederick Ozanam in Paris in 1833 (a typographical error in the website has 1883). It spread to the United States in 1845 and is organized on the parish level into "conferences," which currently number more than 4,500 in the country. The earliest date I have found for it in the county is 1961, at 315 Main St., Watsonville. (1961 Yellow Pages) The conferences are grouped into "district councils," and the Santa Cruz District Council, formed in 1969, includes seven conferences. The Council also has three thrift stores and two resource centers for the homeless and poor. ( 2008) The 2010 Yellow Pages and White Pages have telephone numbers, but no addresses for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Santa Cruz County: 763-0702, Pajaro; 722-3250, South County; and 423-0878, North County Centers.

» Salesian Sisters School. Corralitos, 1961-2010.

The story of this K-8 school begins in 1961 in Aptos, where the Salesian Sisters incorporated a school for high school age aspirants to the sisterhood, Mary Help of Christians Juniorate at 6412 Soquel Drive, at the present center of the Cabrillo College campus. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2393) Beginning in 1974 the school for sisters was located at the Sesnon House, another location now on the campus. (SC Sentinel, letter from a reader, March 29, 2007) Also in 1974 the Sisters bought the property at 605 Enos Lane in Corralitos, (SC Sentinel, letter from a reader, March 15, 2007) and the following year they incorporated the Mary Help of Christians Youth Center at 605 Enos Lane. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2393)

The year 1978 is marked both by the end of the Sisters activity in Aptos (Plaque on Sesnon House) and by the establishment of the school in Corralitos. (SC Sentinel, March 15, 2007)

The present address of the Sisters' school is 605 Enos Lane, Watsonville 95076, tel. 728-5518. (2010 Yellow Pages)

For the earlier history of the Aptos Sesnon property see Salesian Society Theological College above.

» Good Shepherd Catholic School. Live Oak, 1963-2010.

Opened in 1963 for children in the mid-county area, it includes elementary and junior high. ( 2010). It is at 2727 Mattison Lane, Santa Cruz 95062, tel. 476-4000. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Dominican Sisters Provincialate. Community, Santa Cruz, 1964-1970.

In 1964 the sisters of Dominican Hospital (Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan) bought the property at 434 Highland Avenue to use as their provincial headquarters. (SC Sentinel, Jan. 15, 1964) They used it as such, but only for a short while, selling it to private parties in 1970. (Communication of Jan. 8, 2005 from John Mahaney, one of the purchasers)

» Holy Eucharist Catholic Community Parish. Corralitos, 1968-2010.

Establishment of the parish was authorized in 1968 and construction plans were approved in 1969. (Pajaronian, June ?, 1969) The multipurpose building which includes the worship space was dedicated in 1977. (Malmin, Corralitos, p. 119) It is located at 527 Corralitos Road, Watsonville 95076, tel. 722-5490. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Catholic Community of San Agustin Parish. Scotts Valley, c1970-2010.

This parish has been in existence since approximately 1970. (SC Sentinel, Oct. 13, 2005) The church is located at 257 Glenwood Dr., Scotts Valley 95066, tel. 438-3633. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Fundacion San Pablo de Colores. Conf center, Monterey County, 1979-2010.

The White and/or the Yellow Pages now and as far back as 1979 list this facility at 505 San Juan Road, Watsonville, tel. 728-1616. The SC Sentinel of July 19, 2005 calls it San Pablo de Colores Central Pastoral, "a religious retreat center." The 2010 White Pages list it under Federacion San Pable de Colores.

» St. Francis Catholic Kitchen. Service org, Santa Cruz, 1982-2010.

Established by Peter Carota in 1982 in a restaurant on Beach Street, later moved to a truck behind a store on the Laurel Street Extension, and, since 1984, on Mora Street, this provider of food and other services has generally been known as the St. Francis Soup Kitchen. (SC Sentinel, Mar. 20, 1984 and May 5, 2002; also The Observer [Monterey], Aug. 15 & Aug. 22, 1984) It is at 205 Mora St., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 459-6712. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Shrine of St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer. Conf center, Santa Cruz, 1983-2010.

Until 1982 this facility was listed as a seminary, as stated above in this section under St. Joseph's Preparatory Seminary. In 1983, however, it began to be listed in the Yellow Pages as a shrine. According to the SC Sentinel, May 24, 1993, the structure was erected in 1950 and remodeled to its present form in 1993. According to Chase, Sidewalk Companion, p. 3, the chapel "was begun in 1952, but was left unfinished until 1992...." It is located at 544 W. Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 471-0442. ( 2010)

» Jesus Mary and Joseph Home. Service org, Santa Cruz, 1989-2010.

An outreach program of St. Francis Catholic Kitchen since 1989, this home at 132 Lennox St. is a shelter for women and their children. (Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 6, 2009) More information is available at 2010.

» Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes. Service org, Watsonville, 1989-2010.

Currently listed in the Yellow Pages under "Social & Human Services for Individuals & Families," as Loaves And Fishes, this is primarily a food kitchen for the homeless and the needy. It began in 1989 as a Thanksgiving meal behind St. Patrick's Church. (Pajaronian, Nov. 26, 1992) Since about 2000 it has been in its present location, a renovated residence. When I looked at it in 2007 I saw no obvious sign of religious background in front of it or inside the door except the name.

The address is 150 Second St., Watsonville 95076, and the telephone is 722-4144. (2010 Yellow Pages)

Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes
Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler

» Pinto Lake County Park. Santa Cruz County, 1992-2010.

Pinto Lake sign
Pinto Lake location marker
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler.

In 1992 Anita Contreras was praying in this park near Watsonville when, she related, the Virgin Mary appeared to her in a tree. There remained after that on the tree a mark resembling the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This has since been considered an unofficial shrine, and it has been visited by large numbers of people. (Pajaronian, Aug. 15, 2001) The site and the park it is in are on Green Valley Road. The Santa Cruz County Parks website suggests in 2007 "See the location where locals believe the Virgin Mary appeared." ( 2010) On a visit to the site in December, 2007, I saw many offerings of flowers and religious objects there.

Pinto Lake shrine
Offerings and flowers at the Pinto Lake shrine
Image courtesy of P. Tutwiler.

» Agnus Dei Christian Book & Gift Store. Service org, Santa Cruz, 1996-2010.

In existence since 1996, (1996 Yellow Pages) this store has a Catholic focus, as I saw on visits to it in 2004 and 2006. Previously its location was that of White's Mortuary, also called White's [mortuary] Chapel, (Yellow Pages from 1940 to 1995) although in the 1996 and 1997 Yellow Pages its address was 150 Walnut. Agnus Dei's address now is 138 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 457-2636. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Siena House Maternity Home. Service org, Santa Cruz, 2000-2010.

This Catholic sponsored maternity home is located in the former convent adjacent to Holy Cross Church. (SC Sentinel, Apr. 27, 2007 and May 11, 2008) It is at 108 High St., tel. 425-2229. (2010 White Pages)

» St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School. Santa Cruz County, 2001-2008.

The school was opened in temporary quarters in 2001. In 2002 it began operating in its present location, the site of the Salesian Society's school across East Lake Avenue from the original orphanage and school associated with Our Lady Help of Christians Valley Church. It is administered by the Salesians. Further information, including its adress, 2400 East Lake Ave., Watsonville 95076, and telephone, 724-5933, can be found on the website 2010.

Recently founded Catholic separatist groups

» Liberal Catholic Church. Santa Cruz, 1963-1965.

In 1963 this group held services in the "Chapel of St. Michael, 209 Wilkes Circle or 120 Errett Circle." (Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 22, 1963) According to Polk (1964) the group met in the "Pastor's Study" at 209 Wilkes Circle, but its address in the 1963 and 1965 Yellow Pages was 120 Errett Circle. The two addresses are a short block apart.

The name "Liberal Catholic Church" belongs historically to a British and American descendant of the "Old Catholic Church" of Holland. The group was founded in Britain in 1916, and it quickly spread to the United States. While retaining a Catholic-like creed and liturgy, the church from its beginning was closely identified with Theosophy. Melton, Encyclopedia *987, *988, *989, still lists it along with Theosophy in the Ancient Wisdom family, but since 1966 it has been divided into two major groups, one of which, the "Liberal Catholic Church International," does not require Theosophical adherence, although the other, "Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the U. S. A.," does require it. The emphasis has shifted to practices, such as the ordination of women, and so I have placed these groups in the Liberal family. The websites of the two branches are 2010 and 2010.

» American Catholic Christian Apostolic Church. Santa Cruz County, 1964-2007.

This association was incorporated in Santa Cruz in 1964; its principal office and headquarters was at 1611 Branciforte Dr., Santa Cruz; its president was William Franklin Wolsey. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 2771) Wolsey had in 1960 been the first signatory of the articles of incorporation of the United Patriarchate of the Universal Apostolic Church of Life in British Columbia, which was renamed the United Patriarchate of the Holy Catholic Christian Apostolic Church in 1965. (Santa Cruz County Articles of Incorporation no. 3493)

In 1971 Wolsey, who called himself Archbishop, was being sued for manipulating the American organization as a way to direct funds from the Canadian one to his personal benefit. (SC Sentinel, April 29, 1971)

The location of the American Catholic Christian Apostolic Church was a 22 acre property, formerly a campground called Leprechaun Woods. (Cabrillo Times & Green Sheet, April 1, 1971)

The preamble to the articles of incorporation states that as the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church "decided to raise and elevate the Ideals of their respective cultures and ways of social living into the Realm of Spiritual qualification," the American Catholic Christian Apostolic Church does "declare, that the said Constitution of the United States of America, together with the general Ideals of 'The American Way of Life,' shall be part and parcel of these Sacred Church Articles of Incorporation here-in-after set forth in this Divine Charter."

For many years, at least through 1998, the church was listed in the Yellow Pages under Non-Denominational, and, as late as 2007, it was listed in the White Pages, but it is not listed in either place in 2008. In 2008, however, a website search for "Recreation and Vehicle Parks & Campsites" leads one to, among other places, the American Catholic Christian Apostolic Church.

» Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel. Santa Clara County, 2005-2010.

This chapel and the St. Aloysius Camp and Retreat Center to which it is attached are facilities of the Society of St. Pius X. ( 2010)

When I drove to this address in 2005 I discovered that it was the St. Aloysius Camp and Retreat Center of the Society of St. Pius X.

The Society of St. Pius X was founded in 1970 in Switzerland by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who objected to some of the reforms of the Vatican Council II. Later he distanced himself more and more from the Catholic hierarchy, and in 1988 the Pope excommunicated him and declared the Society of St. Pius X to be schismatic, that is, cut off from the Catholic Church. (Matt C. Abbott, "Schismatic Traditionalists," Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Ignatius Press, March, 1999, pp. 55-58, but taken here from 2007) Additional information on the society and its relation to the Catholic Church, including talks which may lead to the society's reassimilation into the Catholic Church, is on the society's 2010 website.

Offering "Traditional Latin Mass," the chapel is located at 19101 Bear Creek Rd., Los Gatos 95033, tel. 408-354-7703. ( 2010)

» Sophia Catholic Community. Santa Cruz County, 2006-2010.

"Dedicated to living the Gospel values of compassion, peace and social justice, this group meets in members homes with Roman Catholic woman priest Victoria Rue presiding." (SC Sentinel, April 5, 2008) The Santa Cruz Good Times, July 19-25, 2007, had details. Additional information is in 2010.


The Episcopal Church, until 1967 the "Protestant Episcopal Church," has occupied a unique position among American Christian bodies due to its affinities with Roman Catholicism on the one side and with Protestantism on the other. It can be classified either way, but conceptually it is more true to its tradition to see it as the peculiar form of the Catholic Church as it was in England in 1534 and as it spread from there.

In 1849 an Episcopalian parish, the first in California, was established in San Francisco, and a church was built for it in the same year. William Ingraham Kip, appointed bishop of California in 1853, arrived in San Francisco the following year. Under his leadership - he was bishop until 1893 - the church expanded, mainly to the south. (Lionel Utley Ridout, Foundations of the Episcopal Church in the diocese of California, 1849-1893. PhD dissertation, University of Southern California, 1953)

» All Saints'. Watsonville, 1861-2010.

In late 1863 or early 1864 Bishop Kip visited some of the his Episcopalian parishes. "After visiting Santa Clara Kip went for his first visit to Watsonville, a bustling and thriving town of 2000-2500 people which he compared with Petaluma. He felt that the Church could easily be established in Watsonville, where only the Methodists and Presbyterians had secured a foothold." (William Kip, "Letter" in Spirit of the Missions, XXVIII (January, 1864) pp. 29-31, quoted in Ridout, Foundations, p. 309)

Episcopalian services were already being held in various locations in Watsonville beginning in 1861 (We are All Saints: the Story of the Episcopal Church in the Pajaro Valley, Watsonville, 1985, p. 11.). Grace Mission, however, was not organized until 1874, (Ibid., p. 12.) and Grace Mission Church was opened in 1876 at E. 3rd St. and Beach St. (Ibid., p. 13.) In 1884 its name was changed to All Saints', and two years later the church building was moved to the corner of Carr and East Beach. (Betty Lewis, Watsonville Yesterday, p. 41.) The present structure was inaugurated in 1967, (We are All Saints, pp. 15 and 41.) and it is at 437 Rogers Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 724-5338. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Calvary Episcopal Church. Santa Cruz, 1862-2010.

First Episcopalian services in Santa Cruz were in 1862, the church cornerstone was laid in 1864, and the first services were held in it in 1865. ( 2010)

In the 1880s a school for boys, Quincy Hall, was operated in a manner independent of the Episcopal Church in Santa Cruz, but in connection with it. Such an arrangement was found in several Northern California cities at that time. (Ridout, Foundations, pp. 482-483)

The existing structure was completed in 1867, (SC Sentinel, Oct. 14, 1951) and it is at 532 Center St., Santa Cruz 95060, tel. 423-8787. (2010 Yellow Pages)

Calvary Episcopal Church
Calvary Episcopal Church
From Santa Cruz Public Libraries' Photograph Collection.

» St. John's Episcopal Church. Aptos, c1889-2010.

The congregation was founded about 1889, (SC Sentinel, July 22, 1979) and the present structure was inaugurated in 1898. (SC Surf, Aug. 12, 1898) The Historical Context Statement for the City of Capitola mentions on page 95 that this is the only church structure in Capitola surviving from the nineteenth century. This building is located at 216 Oakland Ave., Capitola 95010, tel. 475-2894. (2008 Yellow Pages)

In June, 2009 the congregation moved to a new structure in Aptos (Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 25, 2009), the location of which is 125 Canterbury Dr., Aptos 95003, tel. 708-2278. A more proper name of the congregation is "Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist". (2010 Yellow Pages and 2010)

» St. Andrew's. Ben Lomond, 1899-2010.

The website 2010 states that the church was founded in 1899, and it contains much other information about the history of the church, which is at Riverside Ave. and Glen Arbor Road, Ben Lomond 95005, tel. 336-5994. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Christ Episcopal Mission. Santa Clara County, 1899-1930s.

"... in 1899 local residents built Christ Episcopal Mission. The Episcopal Church building was located across from Schultheis Lagoon at the corner of Santa Cruz Highway (Woodwardia) and Summit Road. Reverend Tilletson, from Santa Cruz, held services there every three months. Other ministers came on a routine basis from Los Gatos and other nearby towns to preach there. In the 1930's church attendance declined and forced the church's closure. Vandals and tramps used the building until it was torn down." (Stephen Payne, A Howling Wilderness, p. 91. Additional details are in John Young, Ghost Towns of the Santa Cruz Mountains, pp. 22-23)

» Grace Episcopal Church. Boulder Creek, 1906-1923.

The structure was built as an Episcopalian church in 1906, and it later became the First Church of Christ Scientist. ("The San Lorenzo Valley Museum," undated pamphlet published by the Boulder Creek Historical Society at 12547 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, in the former Grace Church building)

The pamphlet cited also corrects the erroneous date of 1885 or 1888 given by some secondary sources as the year of the erection of the building. The history of the building from 1923 on can be found under the entry for the First Church of Christ Scientist under Christian Science.

» St. Philip's. Scotts Valley, 1987-2010.

Established in 1987, the congregation moved in 1996 to its present structure, a pre-existing building, ( 2008) which is at 5271 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley 95066, tel. 438-4360. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Good Shepherd Fellowship. Aptos, 2001-2010.

The Good Shepherd Fellowship is one of 79 California churches of the Anglican Church in North America. Until 2008 or 2009 the congregation was affilated solely with the Anglican Mission in America (now the Anglican Mission in the Americas), which is a "missionary outreach of the Anglican Church of Rwanda," but now, 2010, it is listed as a congregation of the much larger Anglican Church of North America.

Both Anglican groups represent American Episcopalians who do not agree with the Episcopalian Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada, which, they maintain, "have increasingly accommodated and incorporated un-Biblical, un-Anglican practices and teaching." The salient point of contention regards the open practice of homosexuality by the clergy, and especially by Bishops. Further information can be found on the website of the Rwandan group, 2010, and on that of the North American group, 2010.

The Good Shepherd Fellowship began to be listed in the Yellow Pages in 2001. Its services from that year on were held at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 2402 Cabrillo College Dr., Aptos 95003, tel. 430-0152. The of March, 2010, however, do not have an address, but have, rather, the usual telephone number plus another number, 430-0151 for "Good Shepherd Fellowship of Santa Cruz" at 111 Bean Creek Rd. #151, Scotts Valley.

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