About the Immaculata
The church of The Immaculata, which was dedicated on May 5, 1959, owes its beginning to the Most Reverend Charles Francis Buddy, founding bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. The church was originally designed to serve as the main chapel of the University of San Diego and of the Immaculate Heart Seminary. Today, it has become a separate parish encompassing Alcalá Park and the surrounding community.
Spanish styling is dominant in the exterior architecture of the church with its mosaic dome and red Cordova tile roof. The following basic statistics reflect the tremendous effort and dedication of many workers and donors:
- The church is cruciform in shape. It is 200 feet in length and 148 feet in width through the transept.
- The bell tower is topped by a 300 pound cross, which is the highest point of the church. Its height, measuring from the ground to the top of the cross, is 167 feet.
- The statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, mounted atop the dome, stands 10 feet 8 inches high and weighs approximately 8500 pounds.
- The door at the front entrance to the church is built of solid bronze.
- Inside the church, there are 20 side chapels. The Stations of the Cross, which are located above the chapels, were imported from Italy. The hand-carved crucifix on the north wall of the church was constructed in Oberammergau, Germany.
- The barrel-vaulted ceiling is 50 feet high through the nave and transept areas, increasing the total height to 105 feet atop the sanctuary dome.
- Throughout the church, a mixture of marble and marble aggregate was used for the pillars and floor. The main altar is one slab of marble. It is constructed in a way so Mass can be offered with the priest facing in either direction.
- A baldachino is over the altar.
- Seating capacity of the church is approximately 900.
Rev. Msgr. William Bergin, 1959-64
Rev. William J. Kiefer, 1964-66
Rev. Patrick Kearney, 1966-68
Rev. J. Vincent Sullivan, 1968-69
Rev. Jeremiah O'Sullivan, 1969-72
Rev. Msgr. John R. Portman, 1972-76
Rev. Robert Callahan, 1976-79
Rev. James R. Rankin, 1979-83
Rev. Michael Gallagher, 1983-86
Rev. Michael A. Smith, 1986-90
Rev. Msgr. Mark Campbell, 1990-93
Rev. Msgr. Daniel Dillabough, (Admin.) 1993-98
Rev. Michael Robinson, (Rector) 1998-1999
Rev. Edward McNulty, (Rector) 1999-2003
Rev. Matthew D. Spahr, Pastor, 2003-present