St. John Eudes Parish at Founding

St. John Eudes Parish was founded on May 14, 1963, by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to serve the needs of the growing Roman Catholic community in the northwest San Fernando Valley. The area was being served by Our Lady of the Valley Parish, however with the growth of the population in the Valley it became essential that additional parishes in the area be formed. Cardinal McIntyre named the parish in honor of St. John Eudes, a charismatic French priest of the 17th century who, among other great accomplishments, initiated devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Heart of Mary. Cardinal McIntyre did so in recognition of the work performed in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by the Good Shepard Sisters, a religious congregation inspired by the work of St. John Eudes. Our neighboring sister parish, named in honor of St. Euphrasia, the foundress of the Good Shepard Sisters, was also founded the same day.

The founding pastor, Rev. Philip Grill, who had been serving at Our Lady of the Valley Parish, was commissioned to begin fundraising and to purchase land for a church and school. During the development and construction phase, the parish used the facilities of Rancho San Antonio. With the help of local families the school opened in 1966 and the parish church opened in 1967. As the local community grew with the surrounding suburban expansion, the ministries of the parish grew to serve the local community.

St. John Eudes Parish Today

The 1994 Northridge Earthquake had a profound impact on the parish, extensively damaging the church. However, under the leadership of then pastor, Rev. Robert McNamara, the church was rebuilt, along with the expansion of parish facilities that included a new tower and a new parish hall, which was named Fr. Grill Hall in honor of the founding pastor.

With new facilities in place, and with an expanding parish community due to the continuing settlement of the surrounding area, parish ministries grew and flourished under pastor Rev. Msgr. Peter Nugent. The religious and lay staff was expanded to meet the new needs. Technological improvements in the parish and school provided additional resources for parishioners. And the parish began celebrating its annual Summer Carnival and Multi-Cultural Celebration to bring the local community together and to celebrate the wonderful and rich ethnic diversity of the parish.

In 2011, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary was invited by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to administer the parish, and Fr. Gérard Lecomte, CJM, became the first Eudist pastor of the parish (which is the only parish in the United States to be named in honor of St. John Eudes). The Congregation of Jesus and Mary was founded by our patron saint, and the Eudist priests and seminarians who came to us brought a new awareness of the charism and message of St. John Eudes. Parish ministries expanded further and additional capital improvements were made to parish facilities, including new technological enhancements and the installation of new stained glass windows in the church.

In 2013 the first presentation of the Saint John Eudes Medal was made to recognize outstanding individuals or groups in the parish that exemplify the values that are at the core of the teachings of our patron saint, St. John Eudes - the presentation of which was part of our 50th Anniversary celebration. During those 50 years St. John Eudes Parish has grown to be a vibrant community with over 4,300 registered families.

The parish is now under the guidance of our pastor, Rev. Lawrence Goodwin, CJM. With the support of a religious and lay pastoral staff our numerous ministries serve the parish community, our school, and the community at large. Inquries regarding parish membership are welcome and guests are invited to visit our parish and worship with us.

St. John Eudes Church is located in Deanery 5 of the San Fernando Pastoral Region of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles which is shepherded by Archbishop Jose Gomez. Bishop Joseph V. Brennan is our regional bishop.

Learn more about our patron saint, St. John Eudes. To learn more about our parish visit the links below:

50th Anniversary Articles: