Santa Barbara, California
For over 230 years, Our Lady of Sorrows Church has served the Catholic community in Santa Barbara, Calif. For more than 100 years, the Jesuit Fathers have guided the church community in their journey with God and each other. Our Lady of Sorrows Church is rooted in the founding of Santa Barbara and is one of the oldest churches in California.
In 1782, a presidio, or fortress, was established to protect interests of the Spanish Empire in the California frontier, as well as safeguard the Spanish citizens. A Presidio Church was constructed to serve as the parish of the Spanish army, and this church grew into Our Lady of Sorrows Church. The present-day church building was completed and dedicated in 1929 and has 32 original, Venetian-style stained-glass windows.
Today, Our Lady of Sorrows is as strong as ever, full of people who make the parish part of their daily lives in Santa Barbara. The parish offers Mass in English and Spanish, and parishioners are involved in a variety of ministries, including religious education, music, altar society, ushers and a social club.
Our Lady of Sorrows also operates Casa Loyola, a low-cost, private Catholic housing facility for single women in Santa Barbara. Safe, secure and affordable, this former convent with a chapel onsite provides each resident with a private bedroom and the use of all common living spaces, including laundry, dining, a full kitchen and free parking. (Photo by Zruda, via Flickr