In 1917, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles-Monterey established a mission in a Spanish-speaking barrio of San Diego responding to a request of the local pastor to better attend to the needs of a growing population. La Purísima Mission eventually became the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe and continued its mission as a Mexican National Parish.
During the 1930s, the parish was staffed by Spanish Augustinian Recollects, and after their removal by the first bishop of San Diego in 1939, three Mexican Jesuits were found to staff the parish. Eventually the California Province Jesuits took over.
A school was established at the parish in 1945, but the building of a freeway took the buildings away and almost ruined a thriving community. When the school reopened it never regained its robustness, and so, in 1973, the school merged with the much-older school of Our Lady of the Angels. The new Our Lady’s School occupied both campuses as it continues to do today.
A few years ago, the parish ceased being a Mexican National Church and is now a territorial parish with an emphasis on Spanish-speaking sacramental work. As the area changes, the parish expects to see changes in its ministries, too.