Grateful for Our Past
The families of St. Rose of Lima Parish are the proud recipients of a legacy, which can be traced back to 1859, when Fr. Louis Rossi, at the time the pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Tomales, began celebrating Masses in a hotel in Santa Rosa. By 1860, we had our first church building built out of wood, which was located on Fifth Street near B Street.
By 1876, the number of Catholics had increased, requiring a resident priest. In 1877, in response to this growth, Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany elevated St. Rose from the status of Mission to Parish, with Fr. Peter J. Kaiser as our first pastor. Our Parish’s territory included, Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, and Guerneville.
By 1880, the church building was moved to the current property; however, with the continued growth of the Parish, plans to build a new church were drafted. In June of 1900, work began to build the current stone church. The cornerstone was laid on October 28, 1900, in a ceremony presided by Archbishop Patrick William Riordan. Nine months later, on July 21, 1901, Archbishop Riordan returned to Santa Rosa to dedicate the completed church building.
In 1962, His Holiness, Bl. John XXIII created the Diocese of Santa Rosa from parts of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Diocese of Sacramento. On that same year our Parish launched an expansion campaign. Through the successful outcome of the expansion campaign, we were able to build our current worship space, parish house, and offices.
Our Parish Today
Today, our Parish is vibrant, serving the spiritual needs of over 1,600 families. Under the pastoral and spiritual care of Rev. Denis O’Sullivan, Rev. Gabriel Barrera, Rev. Moses Brown, along with the dedicated support of our Pastoral Team, our Parish serves our community through our 28 ministries, and organizations. Currently, St. Rose School serves nearly 300 children from Preschool to Eighth Grade. Our Parish is also blessed with a thriving Religious Education and RCIA program where children and adults are learning the beauty of our Faith.
As we continue to grow in faith, we find ourselves with the opportunity to restore our Old Stone Church. From daily to weekly Masses, this historic building, which is now 117 years old, has served sacramentally many generations of parish families with Baptisms, Confirmations, First Communions, and Weddings. Our Stone Church also served us for funerals as we say goodbye to our loved ones.