The Catholic Community of St. Polycarp is blessed with many cultures and vibrant ministries that offer a welcoming spirit to all people, especially the youth, who desire a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ. We are disciples who feed the hungry, journey with our brothers and sisters on the road to new life with hope and courage, within a safe and joyful environment.
The Early History of the Parish
St. Polycarp Catholic Church began as a small mission church in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during the 1920’s. Its original location was a converted barn located on Flower Street amongst the rural strawberry fields in Stanton, California. In 1959, the Columban Father Missionaries, under the direction of Fr. Robert Ross, started a mission school at the current campus on Chapman Avenue. They appointed a member of the Columban Sisters as the school’s first principal. The school operated alone on the Chapman site, under the guidance of the Columban Fathers (living at Blessed Sacrament Church). Cardinal James Francis McIntyre officially founded St. Polycarp Parish in 1961, appointed Fr. Daniel McLaughlin as its first pastor, and the five acres of farmland at Chapman Avenue and Beach Boulevard were to be developed for the new parish. This development was to include an expansion to the School (already on site), a new Church building and an onsite Rectory, for the priests to live. A house on Orangewood Avenue was purchased as a rectory for the newly assigned diocesan priests to live in, until construction at Chapman be completed. The Church building was opened in 1962 and the priest house (rectory) was finished in December 1964. In 1976, St. Polycarp became a part of the newly created Diocese of Orange, with Most Reverend William Johnson installed as its first Bishop. Bishop Johnson granted permission to the parish to build a hall, which was completed in 1979. The house at Orangewood (the original rectory) was sold to help pay off the debt incurred by this new structure. It has been almost forty years since the last structure was built at St. Polycarp, and in those forty years, the community has only grown and been blessed with many cultures and ministries to meet the specific needs of those cultural languages. In 2018, Fr. Michael St. Paul, with the permission of Bishop Kevin Vann, began a Capital Campaign to build a Parish Center to meet the needs of the growing parish and its outreach.