How it Started

San José is one of the parishes established by the far-sighted Archbishop Joseph Hurley who recognized the potential for growth between downtown Jacksonville and Mandarin.

The new community was established in 1959 with a congregation meeting for Mass in the gym of the Bolles School.  Before long, nearly 300 families were attending Sunday Masses in the school’s gym.

On June 29, 1959 San Jose Catholic was formally established as a parish with Father Mortimer Danaher as the founding pastor.

In 1961, with the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy from Ireland, San Jose Catholic School welcomed its first students.  The school has been flourishing and expanding over the years and now includes:

  • Science labs
  • Media center
  • Early-Childhood Learning center
  • Gymnasium
  • Athletic fields

In 1968, new construction continued on the parish property with the building of the Shrine of the Holy Family.  The shrine was completed in late 1968 and the first Mass was celebrated on the outdoor altar on Thanksgiving Day.  The next addition to San Jose Parish was the Cultural Center which was completed in 1974. 

Monsignor John Lenihan, who was appointed pastor in 1977, continued to foster the growing community of San Jose Parish.  Under his direction, the school was expanded and later a new Spanish style church was constructed and dedicated on November 9, 1990.

As we reflect on the past, live in the present, and look to the future, the San Jose Catholic Church & School family will continue to be devoted, faithful, and committed people of God who strive to do His holy will in all things.