History of Saint Junipero Serra

Saint Junipero Serra Parish, Phelan, was founded in early 1988. Fr. John Keleghan, pastor of Our Lady of the Snows, Wrightwood, began to recognize the growth potential in the High Desert area. Around that time, a 2000-square-foot restaurant became available and Fr. John seized the opportunity. Bishop Philip Straling approved the purchase of the property and not long after, the first Mass was celebrated on December 18, 1988.

This humble little building, previously a hamburger stand, became popularly known as "St. Mac's." On Sunday July 9, 1989, Bishop Straling brought the parish the papal rescript approving the foundation of anew parish under the patronage and title of Blessed Junipero Serra.

Afflicted by failing health, Fr. John retired in 1993, and Fr. Patrick Kirsch arrived to take the reins of both Our Lady of the Snows and Blessed Junipero Serra. Within a few short years, the parish grew at a rapid rate, and Fr. Kirsch knew it was time for a bigger church. Blessed Junipero Serra launched a capital campaign for a new building with a groundbreaking ceremony on June 14, 1998. August 19, 2001, marked the date of the dedication of the new "House of Worship."