Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Old Town, San Diego, California
On July 22, 1917 the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was opened for divine worship. Here is a bit of history. It was here on September 28, 1542 that the first European, the noble Captain Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and his heroic crew landed from two ships, San Salvador and Victoria. Here too, the daring Spanish navigator, Captain Sebastian Vizcaino entered the harbor on November 10, 1602 with three ships and anchored opposite the site of Old Town. Read more here.
Two days later, on the Feast of Saint Didacus, O.F.M., or San Diego, Vizcaino with three Carmelite Fathers, and some officers accompanied by their men stepped ashore here. In a tent, quickly prepared for that purpose, the three Carmelites on that day, for the first time in the history of California, celebrated Holy Mass in thanksgiving for their safe arrival.
On July 22, 1917 the church was opened for divine worship. The Solemn Dedication took place on July 16, 1919 at the hands of Right Reverend John C. Cantwell, D.D., Bishop of Los Angeles and San Diego. The Church has been in continuous operation since that time and the ties to the Founding Fathers remain strong. In fact, two of the original bells of the San Diego Mission still summon the faithful to worship: one in the Mission San Diego de Alcala in Mission Valley, the other one, here in the bell tower of Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town. And here, upon completion of the Church renovation in July 1997, the Mission Bell began ringing again in Old Town. This parish is the oldest in Alta California. Please click on their link below to fnd out how to download an app that will allow patrons to make donations to this church.
Since Old Town has little housing, our parish consists of Catholics from throughout San Diego who have chosen to make this first parish their own parish. This parish relies on the generosity of its visitors to sustain this holy shrine. You may make a donation in any of the candle boxes. Please contact the church to find out how to help.
Photos from Old Town National Park in San Diego, California as seen on September 26, 2016. Take a quick tour of Old Town San Diego.
Photos from top: Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Old Town, Centro Artesano arts and crafts, an old building, plaza across from the church.
Old Town National Park commemorates the early days of the town of San Diego and includes many historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870. The park was established in 1968. In 2005 and 2006, California State Parks listed Old Town San Diego as the most visited state park in California.
History is waiting for you with many historic points of interest. This state park has easy access from Interstate 5 and Interstate 8, close to the airport, and trolly station.
OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND VISITOR’S CENTER
2415 San Diego Avenue, Suite 104. San Diego CA 92110
(Phone) 619.291.4903 • (Fax) 619.291.9383