Volume 3: Western United States
California: CA-83

Catholic Church. Diocese of San Diego. Archives
3888 Paducah Drive
P.O. Box 85728
San Diego, CA 92186

Phone: 858-490-8208
Email: See website (Search “Archives”)

Policies and Forms: See website (Search “Archives”)


History: The Diocese of San Diego, California, was erected for Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties from territory in the Diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego, 1936, and Riverside and San Bernardino Counties were separated and erected as the Diocese of San Bernardino, 1978. The San Diego Diocese reported 1,000 baptized Native American Catholics, 1999. San Diego and its predecessors have served the following Native American ministries in San Diego and Imperial Counties, California:

1769-1853, 1862-1907 (no longer Native) (San Diego, 1936)

San Diego de Alcalá Mission (Kumiai), San Diego

1780-1781 (closed) (San Diego, 1936)

Puerto de la Purísima Concepción Mission (Yuma), Fort Yuma

1795-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

San Antonio de Pala Mission (Cahuilla, Kumiai, Cupeño), Pala, Pala Reservation

1798-1900? (no longer Native) (San Diego, 1936)

San Luís Rey de Francia Mission (Cahuilla), Oceanside

1818-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Francis of Assisi Mission (Kumiai, Cupeño, Yuma), Warners Springs

1818-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

Santa Ysabel Mission (Kumiai, Cupeño, Yuma), Santa Ysabel

1858-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

St. Joseph Mission (Cahuilla), San Jacinto

1878-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

Santa Rosa Mission (Yokuts), Santa Rosa

1884-1929 (closed) (San Diego, 1936)

Fort Yuma Government School (Yuma), Winterhaven/ Fort Yuma

1886-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

Our Lady of Refuge Mission (Cahuilla), La Jolla

1887-1907 (closed) (San Diego, 1936)

St. Anthony School (Cahuilla, Kumiai, Cupeño), San Diego

1890-1952 (no longer Native) (San Diego, 1936-1978)

St. Boniface School (Cahuilla, Serrano, Cupeño), Riverside/ Banning

1890-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

St. Mary Mission (Cahuilla, Serrano, Cupeño), Morongo, Morongo Reservation

1890-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

St. Florian Mission (Cahuilla, Serrano, Cupeño), Cabazon

1894-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Thomas Mission (Yuma), Winterhaven/ Fort Yuma, Quechan Reservation

1898-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Dominic Mission (Kumiai, Cupeño, Yuma), Mesa Grande

1903-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Mary Mission/ Holy Trinity Church (Kumiai), El Cajon

1903-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Peter/ St. Therese Mission (Kumiai), Jamul

1904-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Mission (Cahuilla), Thermal, Torres-Martinez Reservation

1909-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

St. Michael Mission (Cahuilla), Temecula, Pechanga Reservation

1912-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

Our Lady of the Rosary Mission (Kumiai), Boulevarde-Manzanita

1918-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mission (Kumiai), El Cajon

1918-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

Immaculate Conception Mission (Kumiai), Sycuan Reservation

1920s-1990s (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Michael Mission (Kumiai, Cupeño, Yuma), Cosmit-Inaja Reservation

1925-present (San Diego, 1936-present) (few Natives)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission and School (Cahuilla, Kumiai), San Ysidro

1930-present (San Diego, 1936-1978)

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Cahuilla), Riverside

1930-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. James Mission (Cahuilla), Valley Center/ Pauma, Pauma Reservation

1930-present (San Diego, 1936-present)

St. Bartholomew Mission (Cahuilla, Kumiai, Cupeño), Rincon Reservation


St. Adelaide Mission (Kumiai), Cameron Corners

1958-1996 (transferred to public schools)

San Antonio de Pala School (Cahuilla, Kumiai, Cupeño), Pala, Pala Reservation


Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mission (Kumiai), Lakeside


St./ Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Mission (Kumiai), Lakeside


Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mission (Kumiai), Alpine


El Centro Guadalupaño Mission (Cahuilla, Kumiai, Cupeño, Yuma), Valley Center


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans: 

Inclusive dates: 1769-ongoing 

Volume: Ca. .2 cubic foot 

Description: The Diocese of San Diego Archives were not arranged according to a classification scheme when reviewed by a Marquette University archivist, 2006. Consequently, the description is by record type. 


/1 “Bishops Papers”

Inclusive dates: 1936-ongoing 

Volume: Few letters  

Description: Divided by administration.

A. Bishop Charles Francis Buddy (1887-1966), ca. 1936-1966; Rev. Bonaventure [Oblasser, O.F.M.?], was a notable correspondent since 1938

B. Bishop Francis James Furey (1905-1979), ca. 1963-1969

C. Bishop Leo Thomas Maher (1915-1991), ca. 1969-1990

D. Bishop Robert Henry Brom (1938-), ca. 1990-ongoing


/2 “Parish File”

Inclusive dates: 1891-1911, 1952-1964, undated 

Volume: 1 folder

Description: Arranged alphabetically by location of parishes and there under by name; re: Santa Ysabel Mission, Santa Ysabel, which includes a parish history and photographs of sketches by Russell and Elaina Quinn.   


/3 “Sacramental Records”

Inclusive dates: 1769-ongoing 

Volume: 21 reels of microfilm, in part  

Description: Arranged alphabetically by location of parishes and there under by name; includes baptisms, first communions, confirmations, marriages, and burials for Native and non-Native parishes with a few Native parishioners and/or attended Native missions and stations; microfilmed by Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

A. El Cajon, Our Lady of Grace Church, 1954-ongoing, 2 reels

B. El Cajon, Holy Trinity Church, 1917-ongoing, 1 reel

C. Oceanside, San Luis Rey de Francia Mission, 1869-ongoing, 3 reels

D. Pala, San Antonio de Pala Mission, 1903-ongoing, 2 reels

E. San Diego, St. Joseph Cathedral, 1856-ongoing, 4 reels

F. San Diego, San Diego de Alcalá Mission, 1775?-ongoing, 2 reels

G. San Ysidro, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission, 1925-ongoing, 2 reels

H. Santa Ysabel, Santa Ysabel Mission, 1937-ongoing, 2 reels

I. Winterhaven/ Fort Yuma, St. Thomas Mission, 1894-ongoing, 3 reels


/4 “Diocesan Newspaper”

Inclusive dates: 1913-ongoing

Volume: Few articles 

Description: The Southern Cross has included a few articles on Native Americans and Catholic evangelization in the diocese.


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.