“What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth.”
1 Corinthians 3:5-7

The parish of St. Gregory the Great was established in August 1985. On September 3, 1985, our first Mass was celebrated at Miramar Ranch Elementary School on the Feast of St. Gregory the Great. For the first two years, our faith community held weekend liturgies in various locations. The Parish Office was in the Scripps Ranch residence of our founding Pastor, Fr. Jim Poulsen. Weekday Masses were in the living room and Holy Day Masses in the backyard until December of 1987 when office space at the Geico building on Treena St. was leased as our parish center for the next twelve years. During that time, our parish grew from 200 families to over 1300, and we longed for a permanent home.

After three capital campaigns, years of meetings, and a multitude of prayers, the parish of Saint Gregory the Great broke ground for our permanent church home on October 12, 1997. On February 7, 1999, the first permanent cross was raised and placed on the first permanent church in Scripps Ranch, marking a historic moment not only for our parish but also for the entire Scripps Ranch community. Bishop Robert H. Brom formally dedicated our church on November 6, 1999.

 A year later, our campus, including the church, the grounds, the parish offices, and the hall, was considered for San Diego County’s top architectural awards. St. Gregory the Great won top honors in all three categories, receiving a Grand Orchid Award and praise from the media. We frequently have visitors from other parishes who tour our campus for inspiration, marveling at the sacramental symbolism and environmental components woven into the fabric of our campus.

In October 2003, 300 homes were destroyed in Scripps Ranch by the Cedar Fire. Our church building and parish hall became the refuge and outreach center for hundreds of families and civic leaders in the days and weeks that followed. We reached out to the local community, opening our doors for town hall meetings and establishing a distribution center for clothing, food, and furniture in our parish hall.

In 2005, we supported the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Our parish hall was the “Community Center” for collecting truckloads of clothing and other necessities destined for those in need in Louisiana. It was a time for supporting communities beyond our church home.

We continue our outreach efforts through the work of many parish ministries. To name a few, we minister to our sister parish, Our Lady of Angels, with the Sister Parish Outreach Ministry, Our Build-A-Miracle and Outreach for Nazareth Orphanage Ministries assist with shelter, job skills training, and a variety of tasks for our brothers and sisters in Mexico. Our Rosary Makers Ministry creates and ships mission rosaries all over the world.

After 19 years of dedicated service, we said farewell to our founding pastor, Fr. Jim Poulsen, in the fall of 2004 and welcomed our second pastor, Fr. Nicholas Clavin, to meet the increasing challenges of our growing parish. Father Nick embraced his new home with warmth and a caring heart. His passion was Catholic Stewardship.

In 2005, the parish remitted the debt for the church campus and purchased land in Stonebridge for a new parish school from developer Corky McMillan. Funds were raised to build the school, which opened its doors to 60 students in 2009 under the leadership of founding principal Maeve O’Connell. Soon after, the library and school office were built.

School enrollment continued to grow, and in 2018, six new classrooms were completed. These new classrooms allow us to be competitive with surrounding schools. Catholic education of our youth is a priority, and between our Catholic School and parish Faith Formation programs, we provide well-rounded religious education and formation for all young students, teens, and adults of all ages.

In 2023, after 18 years of faithful service to our community, Fr. Nick retired as Pastor. Our Bishop, Robert W. McElroy, then entrusted the service of St. Gregory the Great Parish to The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle – also known as the Paulist Fathers. The Paulists serve at Catholic parishes and are known for wonderful liturgies, impactful ministries, and a strong sense of welcome for all people.

We were delighted to welcome Paulist Father Bartholomew Landry, C.S.P. as Pastor, and Paulist Father Gerard Tully, C.S.P. as Associate Pastor of St. Gregory the Great. Their ministry began on July 1st. While we were excited to welcome Fr. Bart and Fr. Jerry, it was also bittersweet as we said goodbye to our beloved Fr. Nick, who faithfully served our community for so many years.

Also in 2023, our founding principal, Maeve O’Connell, retired, and we welcomed Dr. Erin Zwahlen, Ph.D., BCBA-D, a long-time parishioner, as her replacement. Erin is a Doctor of Psychology and Educator who plans to strengthen the school mission of creating a culture of growth mindset and fostering lifelong learners and stewards of our faith and community.

While people and physical structures are certainly a part of our history, the most important aspect of St. Gregory the Great is the extraordinary liturgies that take place here. These liturgies have always been incredibly significant to our community development. Of note, the Triduum and Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Healing Masses are unique blessings that enhance and deepen our spirituality.

We invite you to join us, along with our current roster of 3300 families, as we continue to make history together!