History of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi, originally within the Diocese of San Diego, was established in 1974. The founding pastor was Fr. Raymond Bluett. For the first 10 years of the parish's history, there was no parish church building. Mass was celebrated at a local bank and a local auto dealership.

The present church building, nestled in the hills of the La Quinta cove, was dedicated by Bishop Philip Straling on November 25, 1984. Patterned after the Church of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, the concept and design were envisioned by acclaimed film director Franco Zeffirelli and Fr. Bluett. The interior artwork and fixtures were done by local artists.

While administration of the parish shifted back and forth between pastors and parochial administrators, the new Pastoral Center was completed and dedicated by Bishop Gerald Barnes in April 1999. St. Francis Parish currently is in advanced planning toward the complete build-out of the parish property. This will include additional parking, a day-care center and ultimately a larger church building.