On March 24, following a celebratory Mass, Bishop Robert W. McElroy, Bishop Emeritus Robert H. Brom, and Mater Dei Parish’s founding pastor, Father Jovencio D. Ricafort, led the groundbreaking and blessing of Mater Dei’s new permanent church building site.
About 1,000 parishioners, community leaders and other well-wishers took part in the historic event. At the blessing, Bishop McElroy led everyone in procession as he walked around the perimeter of the church site and blessed it. Subsequently, the official groundbreaking took place. Using eight gold celebratory shovels, celebrants and participants alike took turns breaking the earth.
Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed fellowship and a potluck lunch in the adjacent outdoor patio area. Mater Dei Parish, serving San Diego County’s rapidly growing South Bay area, was established on Jan. 1, 2004, by Bishop Brom. Construction of the permanent church building is scheduled for completion in spring or summer of 2020. The site has a commanding view of mountains, the downtown San Diego skyline, the shimmering waters of the Pacific Ocean, Point Loma and many other area landmarks.