Seven years ago, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church parishioners began fundraising for a new church, a worship space that would serve the needs of ever-growing parish and whose grandeur would add a mark of beauty to the community in Oxnard's historic La Colonia district.
Through a variety of fundraising efforts and campaigning, they have raised more than $5 million in funding, 80 percent of the total goal. It was with great excitement, then, that in recent months orange tape went up to surround the construction site, commencing the building of the new church on the northeast end of the parish property.
Construction is now well underway on the new church which will rise significantly higher than the current church (at the southwest corner of the property), and will house more than 1,000, nearly twice the capacity as the old church. The busy, largely Latino, 7,000-family parish --- served for many years by the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit priests --- currently celebrates nine Masses each weekend at the current church and two more at the Christ the King parochial mission nearby, and all are filled to overflowing.
"Our Lady of Guadalupe has been serving Ventura County in the underprivileged areas of Oxnard for more than 50 years with honor and pride," said Siobhan O'Reilly-Hill, co-principal of the parish school and a member of the parish building committee. "Through the generosity and charity of parishioners and those who support their mission, they have been able to share the Catholic faith, make the sacraments available, and run various charitable movements for over hundreds of people."
Our Lady of Guadalupe School --- located at the northwest corner of the property --- has received numerous awards for academic excellence, and ahs an enrollment of 315 in grades K-8.
Although the majority of funding is in place, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is still seeking aid in raising the remaining $1.5 million. The goal is to be debt-free and have the church paid in full before completion, said O'Reilly-Hill.