The origins of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish go back to the early 1980s and a determined group of people who had the very sympathetic ear of one priest who just happened to know someone with some land. With the help of Fr. James Sweeny, then pastor of St. Timothy's in Morro Bay, a donation of land for an eventual church site on Palisades Avenue in Los Osos was obtained from Al Switzer.
The formation of the new parish was approved by Bishop Shubsda on July 2, 1984, and Fr. Jim Frerkes was assigned as the Pastor [copy of article from the Tribune, July 14, 1984]. Lobbying on the part of the Los Osos Catholic Church Formation Committee (consisting of members of St. Timothy's who lived in Los Osos) along with positive surveys of the Catholic residents of Los Osos convinced the Bishop to take the unusual step of parish formation when there was no church building!
Prior to the official parish formation, Los Osos Catholics had been meeting for services at Trinity United Methodist Church, with Fr. Frerkes celebrating, for more than a year and a half. Following the official formation of the parish, the Sunnyside School auditorium was rented for Saturday and Sunday masses. Daily Mass was held in the residence of Fr. Carl Scheljens, a retired priest, who had cast his lot with the Los Osos group early in the process and eventually bought a house on Bush Drive near to the proposed church site [early Sunday Bulletin, ca. 1984].
In two years time sufficient funds had been raised through the consistent sacrifices of Los Osos Catholics and a new church building was constructed on the Palisades Avenue property [ slide show of construction from the ground up!]. Furnishings were still needed and a too-early attempt to occupy the building resulted in Mass being held in the adjacent rectory garage! But eventually Mass was celebrated in the new church building, with Fr. Frerkes's beloved dog, "Buttons", waiting at the church entrance for parishoners to offer a treat as they came in.
In the end, of course, the building we now take for granted is a gift given to us by those who came before and dreamed of a Faith home close to their home. As Church, we are more than a building, and the example of the people who brought St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish into being inspires us all.
Over the years the people of St.Elizabeth's have been fortunate to be served by many good priests and deacons. They are:
1. Frs. Jim Frerkes & Carl Scheljens,
Jul. 1984 to Dec. 1993
2. Fr. Michael Bell, Jan. 1994 to May 1994
3. Fr. Paul Valdez, Jul. 1994 to Nov. 1995
4. Fr. Mark Stetz, Dec. 1995 to Feb. 2001
5. Deacon Dave Leach, Feb. 2001 to Jul. 2005
6. Fr. Joel Almendras, Apr. 2003 to Jun. 2004
7. Fr. Heibar Castaneda, Aug. 2004 to Apr. 2008
8. Fr. Lucas Pantoja, June 2008 to June 2014
9. Fr. Joey R. Buena, July 2014 to present