730 S. Euclid Street
Santa Ana, Ca. 92704
Tel: 714.775.7733
Fax: 714.775.9467
Map to Church

Parish History

The Beginning

James Francis Cardinal McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angeles, designated Reverend Michael Collins to shepherd the Catholics of West Santa Ana in 1962. Fr. Michael came as an Assistant Pastor at Incarnation Parish of Glendale and St. Gregory of Los Angeles. He was now ready for the role of Pastor which meant transforming a ten acre tomato patch at Euclid and McFadden into a living Faith community. It would take time to build the facilities, but that didn’t mean mass couldn’t begin in a rented facility. Mass indeed was held at the Garden Grove Elks Lodge as the first two school buildings of St. Barbara were built. In September of 1963, the first classes began in the two buildings. The west end of the south building served as the parish church for two years. The rectory which started on Wisteria Avenue moved to Maxine Avenue just as Fr. Michael’s first assistant arrived. At that time he was the recently ordained Fr. Frank Buckman.

The Early Years

Fr. Michael eventually added a second helper, Reverend Erwin Bauer, SVD. This team of priests oversaw the development of the faith-life of the parish through a Catholic School program, Religious Education and adult formation classes. The Poor Clare Missionary Sisters were the first teaching Order at St. Barbara School and our first Principal was Sister Rose Mary Uribe.

The new Church was opened on September 24, 1965, followed by the Rectory and a Parrish Hall-Gymnasium. In the background of faith development was the feed to provide for sportsmanship and physical development. St. Barbara has facilities for baseball, football, soccer, basketball and volleyball. A Parents Association works to support the Catholic School Program.

Fr. Erwin Bauer, with the strong support of Fr. Collins and the laity assisted our parish community to become a springboard for the pro-life movement in the early 1970s. Fr. Collins took a very strong position in the pulpit that basically asked parishioners to vote for pro-life candidates at all levels of government.

Fr. Collins approved two new lay activities. The first was support for the parish’s participation in the Cursillo Movement in 1967. The Cursillo is a means of bringing men and women (on separate weekends) close to Christ through a short course in religion. The second was blessing the formation of a group called Men of the Sacred Hearts in 1970. Tony Nieto was the first Santa Ana Chapter President. This group assisted families to grow close to Christ by Enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their families.

Fr Collins and Fr. Bauer recognized that the parish was growing based on registrations and the increase in church support envelopes. They felt strongly that they needed to know the newcomers better, so they began dedicating some time to visit families in their homes. It was an experience they both enjoyed.

Growth Continues

Early in 1973, Fr. Collins felt it was time to get assistance from lay persons to assist with Communion at Mass and to the sick and homebound. Richard Naumann, Guillermo “Bill” Rettaly and Tom Mueller were asked to be Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. At the time, our communion rails were still in use. Richard Naumann was enrolled in the first Deaconate Training Program held in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In June of 1975, Richard was Ordained to the Office of Deacon. So, in effect he was the first Permanent Deacon assigned to St. Barbara. One of his directed assignments was to minister to the incarcerated.

Probably the most significant program inaugurated in the spring of 1975 was the welcoming and resettlement of the Vietnamese peoples who left their home country under Communist duress. Since St. Barbara’s formation in 1962, there was a gradual assimilation of the Hispanic community and subsequently St. Barbara evolved into a multi-cultural parish from its earlier European rooted population.

It was 1975 that brought two new religious communities to St. Barbara. Parochial Assistant, Fr. Dennis O’Neill, was asked to find a replacement Order for the Poor Clare Missionary Sister who wished to concentrate on their New Hope Avenue Pre-school Nursery. Fr. Dennis was surprised when both the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse and the Sacred Heart Sisters responded. The Franciscan Sisters were assigned responsibility for the St. Barbara Catholic School Program. The first Principal was Sister Colette Walter. The Sacred Heart Sisters were assigned responsibility for the Religious Education Program.

In the Fall of 1977, Fr. Collins asked Tom Mueller to head up a committee to from a Parish Council. After two years of meetings and multiple charter documents, our proposal was submitted to the diocese for approval. With approval in hand, a slate of officers was assembled with multiple candidates for each Office. The recently deceased Bernie Selz was elected as first president by the voting parishioners.

In 1980, Fr. Collins asked Bishop Johnson for assignment to a smaller parish. There was an opening at St. Anne’s in Seal Beach, California. He was transferred there as Pastor.

Fr. Richard A. Delahunty was appointed as Pastor of St. Barbara in 1980, and served for eight years. Fr. Delahunty further developed the Parish Council, liturgy and music renewal (directed by Mrs. Pat McCollam), with the training of cantors for participation of the congregation. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or Catechumenate was begun at St. Barbara’s in 1980, by Fr. Delahunty, directed by Joann Simons. Sr. Pat Spangler, an Adrian Dominican, inaugurated a ministry of spiritual and psychological support for the elderly, the sick, the dying and the bereaved.

Looking Back, Present, and into the Future

Since St. Barbara’s formation in 1962, there has been a gradual assimilation of the Hispanic community though the “Busqueda” Search for Christ movement, under the caring leadership of Bill and Leovarda Mamasita Marquez, and Archbishop Tomas Clavel, and others, maturing us into a bi-lingual parish community, with various prayer groups. Probably the most significant program inaugurated in the spring of 1975 was the welcoming and resettlement of the Vietnamese peoples who left their home country under duress and persecution. We are blessed with the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth, Viet Bi-lingual Religious Education, Sunday Viet Language Program, and many Adult Prayer Associations. St. Barbara’s has grown into a multi-cultural parish of three languages, English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Many of these ministries are coordinated through the Vietnamese and Hispanic Councils.

Through the years, other Pastors such as Reverend Gary Kinzer (1989-1990), Reverend John Joyce (1990-1996) have all added their won dimensions of change to continue and update the faith life of the parish.

The current Pastor, Fr. Richard Kennedy, came to the parish for the second time in July of 1996. He assessed the school-parish situation and decided the priority was a third school building, improved parking and a landscaped field for sports. The new school building was open for use in September 2001 and embellished the areas for kindergarten classes, the computer lab and the music room, and all grade levels, through the direction and loving care of our principal, Mrs. Judith Bloom.

Fr. Kennedy inaugurated three social and spiritual helps to the parish: the annual Parish Festival, the Neo-Catechumenate for adults and youth, and a Parish Pastoral Council. Some fruits of the Neo-Catechumenate are vocations and evangelization through home visitation.

The Parish Pastoral Council acts as a consultative body to the Pastor, reflecting on the seven elements of parish life: Evangelization, Word of God, Worship and Sacraments, Service, Community, Stewardship, and Leadership. The Parish Pastoral Council does get involved with operational issues when requested to do so. A current major project is how to reconfigure the interior with an altar backdrop of Christ-centered iconic art, improvements in the worship space and an Adoration Chapel.

  Saturday Vigil
  4:00 PM
  5:30 PM
  7:00 PM Vietnamese
  7:00 PM English
  8:30 PM Spanish
  6:30 AM Vietnamese
  8:00 AM Vietnamese
  9:30 AM English
  11:00 AM Vietnamese
  12:45 PM Spanish
  4:00 PM Vietnamese
  5:30 PM English
Youth Mass
  7:00 PM Spanish
Complete Mass Schedule
8:45AM - 9:15AM
6PM - 7PM
(English, Spanish, Vietnamese)
Friday 6PM - 7PM
(English, Spanish, Vietnamese)


Parish Address
730 S. Euclid Street
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Email: info@st-barbarachurch.org
Tel: 714.775.7733
Fax: 714.775.9467
Map to Church

Saint Barbara Catholic School

Saint Barbara Catholic School
5306 W. McFadden Ave.,
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Email: info@stbarbara.com
Tel: 714.775.9477
Fax: 714.775.9468
Map to School