A History/ Un Historia
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish was originally founded at 407 S. Tejon St. in 1948 by Theatine priests to meet the needs of the local Spanish-speaking Catholic community. In the mid-1940s, the Denver Archdiocese began to send a Spanish-speaking priest, Father Emmenuel Sandoval, to St. Mary Cathedral. Father John Ordinas began celebrating a monthly Spanish Mass at the cathedral shortly thereafter.
In July 1948, Archbishop Urban J. Vehr orchestrated the purchase of the Second Congregational Church on Tejon Street, with a house on Costilla Street serving as the social center. The first Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Sept. 19, 1948. The parish was designated a national parish, which meant any Hispanic in the region was welcome to worship at Our Lady of Guadalupe as his or her home parish. Theatine Father Anthony Barcelo was the first pastor, installed in Sept.1949.
Theatine Father Francis Colom (known as “Padre Poncho”) was the driving force as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe for nearly 30 years (during two stints). He oversaw the transition from the parish’s Tejon Street location to its current building, where Our Lady of Guadalupe has stood since 1984.
Father Colom served at Our Lady of Guadalupe until 1993, when Deacon Emilio Reyes took over administration of the parish. Father Francisco Quezada served as pastor from August 2004 until leaving in July 2006 to start the diocese’s Office of Hispanic Ministry. Father Alfredo Garcia was installed as pastor on Aug. 6, 2006. Father John Toepfer, O.F.M. Cap. was installed pastor in August 2012, assisted by Deacon Ernest Romero.