The first Missionary Servant was missioned to California in 1957. Our ministry then was to the Mexican farm laborers who were brought in with visas to work the farms in what was then rural Orange County. Most of them returned to Mexico in the early 1960’s, but we stayed and found new people to serve.
When we first arrived at Our Lady of Victory parish in Compton in 1969, just outside Los Angeles, the population was largely African-American; today’s parishioners are primarily Hispanic, many of them first-generation immigrants. Recently, Our Lady of Soledad parish in the desert town of Coachella was given over to our care. This diverse community with members from Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico serves 7,000 families through various pastoral and sacramental ministries. Our missionaries in California comfort the sick, celebrate the sacraments, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and provide a safe haven for youngsters who have been caught up in the gangs. We offer hope and a helping hand to thousands of families whose Catholic faith is such an integral part of their lives.