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In 1928 a Franciscan Mission was founded in Indio to serve the small community, and by 1934 this mission had grown to become a quasi-parish. By 1937, under the care of Fr. Patrick Kenny, the first pastor, the church was raised to parish status and the first church building was erected. The next twenty years saw rapid growth in Indio, and the growing Catholic population found the original church too small for the liturgical and sacramental needs of the community. Fr. John Rhatigan (pastor from 1958-61) began the process of building a larger parish church. On April 24, 1960, the Indio church was solemnly blessed and dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.Through the years, the community has seen continued growth, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help has faithfully stood as the heart of Catholic identity for the City of Indio.

Today, thousands of resident families (both permanent and seasonal) call Our Lady of Perpetual Help their home. Of the more than 80,000 people who live in Indio, more than sixty percent profess the Catholic faith. The housing opportunities for working families in Indio, calls our Church to minister faithfully to the needs of the Family and especially our Youth. Working in collaboration with civic and elected officials, we strive to promote unity, wholesome family values, and a faithful Catholic identity.

Our emphasis on promoting family values is most reflective in our support for Catholic education. Our Lady of Perpetual Help School opened its doors under the care of the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1951 to 218 students. As the first Catholic School in the Coachella Valley, the school continued to flourish from the 1960s through the 1990s. In 1996, we added the first Catholic Preschool. Between 2005-07, with the generous support of Tom and Rita Martin, a new two-story school building was built as a testament to the importance of Catholic Education in the East Coachella Valley. Much has been added to our small Parochial School and more is on the way. The 2014-15 Academic Year counted with an enrollment of 242 students.

Previous Pastors of OLPH:

  • 1937-44 Rev. Patrick J. Kenny (First Pastor)
  • 1944-45 Rev. Michael J. Browne
  • 1945-48 Rev. Richard P. Maher
  • 1948-55 Rev. Joseph Mackey
  • 1955-58 Rev. Michael O’Duignan
  • 1958-61 Rev. John Rhatigan
  • 1961-66 Rev. Msgr. Maximiliano Gomez Macouzet
  • 1966-67 Rev. J. Ernest Hayes
  • 1967-69 Rev. Llyod Bourgeois
  • 1969-80 Rev. J. Vincent Sullivan
  • 1980-84 Rev. Patrick Comerford, C.S.Sp.
  • 1984-86 Rev. Michael Grey, C.S.Sp.
  • 1986-88 Rev. Joseph B. Gaglione, C.S.Sp.
  • 1988-92 Rev. Robert Clover
  • 1992-93 Most Rev. Bishop Gerald Barnes
  • 1993-2002 Very Rev. Rafael Partida
  • 2002-08 Rev. John S. Vieira
  • 2008-15 Mrs. Laura Lopez (Pastoral Coordinator)
  • 2015- Rev. Alexander Gamino

OLPH Parish Today

The third millennium has been a time of great growth for Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We have been at the forefront of creating innovative ways for parish governance and leadership. Under the care of Mrs. Laura Lopez, as Pastoral Coordinator, and with the assistance of Priest Ministers—Rev. Franklin Cubas (2008-2011), Rev. Miguel Corona (2008-2012), Rev. Luis Guido (2011-2014), Rev. Alex Gamino (2013-2015), and Rev. Kien Kieu (2014-2015)—OLPH has had the blessing of seeing a growing commitment among her members from being Catholic believers to Disciples of Christ. Many of our parishioners have been, and are, committed to being formed in Catholic leadership for the benefit of our parish and school and ministries. We are indeed proud of the number of families we have and the quality of ministries we offer.

In 2015, OLPH was once again challenged to make manifest their commitment and unity in the launching of a Capital Campaign to build a new Preschool, Ministry Center/Gym, and Parish Offices. With the generous support of John and Dorothy Shea, the parish came together under the motto “Living Our Faith, Building Our Community” to show concretely all the growth it had been experiencing for years.

At the same time, Bishop Gerald Barnes challenged the parish to test a new form of governance based on the principles of Collaboration and the spirituality of Stewardship. Under the leadership of Rev. Alexander Gamino (the previous priest minister since 2013) and with the assistance of Mrs. Laura Lopez (previous Pastoral Coordinator) the parish began to explore a model of shared leadership where a Pastor and a lay-leader can work together to build up the Church.