Our Lady of Guadalupe started out as a mission church
Long before there was a Catholic church in Lathrop, the faithful who lived here attended Masses and other programs either at St. Anthony’s in Manteca or St. George’s Church in Stockton. In 1991, St. George Parish sponsored a mission church in Lathrop to serve the growing Catholic population in the newly incorporated city.
Tapped to shepherd this mission church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Lathrop was Sister Gladys Guenther, SHF, who served as administrator from 1994 to 2003. During the early years, meetings and other gatherings were held in a house not far from the church where Sister Gladys also lived. She started church programs such as religious education, scripture studies and preparations for the sacraments such as baptism and confirmation with the help of the late Deacon Art Sanchez. She also started an after-school tutorial program for students through Give Every Child a Chance, which continues to this day.
In addition to her pastoral work, Guenther oversaw the construction of the multi-purpose building which is currently being used as a church for worship services.
Prior to the completion of the building, Masses were held at the Union Hall on West Louise Avenue with different priests from the diocese presiding.
In 2002, Bishop Stephen Blaire dedicated Our Lady of Guadalupe as a parish in a ceremony attended by hundreds of parishioners. The naming of the mission church and parish in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is Patroness of the Americas was in recognition of the Spanish-speaking community as the largest segment of the population in Lathrop.
After Sister Gladys left Lathrop in 2003 to serve her religious community, the Sisters of the Holy Family in Fremont where the nuns’ motherhouse is located, Father Dean McFalls was appointed by the diocese to become the new parish’s first pastor up till 2008.
Then, Father Francisco Naranjo took over the reins of the parish until his retirement in April, 2017 and now in his place we have Fr. Salvador Ledesma.
Our Lady of Guadalupe currently has a membership of more than 1,500 families.
The church is located on Cambridge Drive just a block north of West Louise Avenue.
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Phone: (209) 858-4466
Fax: (209) 858-4978