St. Hedwig Church is a faith community of the Catholic Diocese of Orange.
As the area expanded there was a need for a larger church as well as a school. Father Dominic Daly, the pastor, obtained land for the new church through Mr. Ross Cortese, the developer of Rossmoor. Plans were drawn for the church, convent, and an eight room school. The first school, staffed by the Irish Sisters of Charity, opened with four grades. Sister Francis Stanislaus was appointed principal. Each year another grade was added until all eight classrooms were in use.
The new church, St. Hedwig, was named for a polish noble woman who gave her life and goods to the Catholic Church. Her feast day is celebrated on October 16.
Father Desmond Quinn was appointed administrator in 1962 and served in that capacity until 1964 when he was named pastor. In response to the area's rapid growth, he supervised the development of eight additional classrooms for the school, the kindergarten classrooms (now the SRE offices,) library, hall and rectory. Father Quinn was responsible for the initiation of many popular parish programs, the parish council, the Legion of Mary and the guilds. It was also under his direction that the St. Hedwig Athletic Association was formed. This unique addition to the parish has been appreciated by hundred of families in the surrounding communities.
When Father Quinn became ill in July of 1979, Father Timothy MacCarthy was assigned to the parish to act as administrator. Upon Msgr. Quinn's retirement in 1980, Father MacCarthy was named pastor. Under his guidance, the parish continued to grow in size as well as in spirituality. His leadership played an instrumental role in the renovation of the church that would reflect the liturgical and pastoral mandates of Vatican II. The construction of our new house of worship began in 1989.
The last mass held in the old church was Easter Sunday, March 26, 1989. The renovation of St. Hedwig Church began on March 27, 1989. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on Christmas Day, December 25, 1989. Dedication of the newly renovated church took place on Sunday, June 10, 1990.
Presently there are over 2000 families registered in the parish, and over 600 students enrolled in the school. The SRE program provides religious training for over 400 students. The parish is extremely proud of its young men and women who have dedicated their lives to the church. Within our parish Family, we have eight young men and women: five priests, a transitional deacon, a Brother and a Sister. This is outstanding evidence of the exemplary religious models found in our faith community. Many graduates of our school have achieved numerous scholastic and professional honors. We attribute this to the splendid education offered by the Sisters, the Priests and the lay teachers who have worked in the parish over the years.
There are many parish organizations in which people may become involved. The parish staff strives to provide for the needs of the people through its service programs as well as its support groups.
St. Hedwig is proud of its history, its place in the community, and especially, its people
1921 - St. Isidore was established.
1960 - St. Hedwig Church completed. The first Mass in the new church was on Easter Sunday, April 17, 1960. The middle aisle of the church was 104 feet long, with 35 pews on each side. The convent and school, with four classrooms, were also built during this time. School opened in September, 1960. Four more classrooms were eventually added.
1962 - Classroom additions brought the school up to its present size of 16.
1965 - First graduation class for St. Hedwig school.
1967 - Quinn Hall was built. (Church and Hall contractor: Verge & Clatworthy.)
1969 - St. Hedwig rectory was built.
1972 - St. Isidore Family Center opened.
1989 - Renovation of St. Hedwig Church began on March 27, 1989. The last Mass held in the old church was Easter Sunday, March 26, 1989.
1990 - Dedication of the newly renovated church took place on Sunday, June 10, 1990. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on Christmas Day, December 25, 1989. On December 3, 1990, the time capsule vault, located in front of the church, was sealed.
Succession of Pastors
Rev. John Purtill (1924-25)
Rev. Delfino Garibay (1930-35)
Rev. J. J. Sullivan (1925)
Silviano Garcia (1935-39)
Lawrence D. Ryan (1925)
Rev. Jose Lopez (1939-42)
Rev. Miguel Santacana (1925-26)
Rev. John McFadden (1942-48)
Rev. Victor Deby (1926)
Rev. Albert Duggan (1948-50)
Rev. Msgr. Jose Gutierrez (1926)
Rev. Daniel Kielty (1950-51)
Rev. Luciano Ravelo (1926-28)
Rev. Daniel Leary (1951-52)
Rev. Juan Deigo (1928)
Rev. Samuel Hynes (1952-54)
Rev. Dominic Daly (1954-62)
St. Hedwig Established in 1960
Rev. Msgr. Desmond Quinn 1962-80)
Rev. Timothy MacCarthy (1980-90)
Rev. Daniel Hopcus (1990-2001)
Rev. Kenneth A. Schmit (2001-13)
Rev. Christopher Heath (2013-Present)