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About Our Parish History

Ascension Catholic Church was founded by Bishop Leo T. Maher in 1980 with Monsignor Neal T. Dolan as its founding pastor. The first Mass was celebrated on August 17, 1980, at Miller Elementary School. Daily Masses were said in the rectory garage at the corner of La Cuenta and Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Five years later, Ascension Catholic Church was built and dedicated on November 23, 1985 by Monsignor Dolan and the Most Reverend Leo T. Maher, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. On August 1, 1987, Rev. James Sassone was appointed pastor and served until his death in 1999. Rev. Scott McColl served as pastor from July 1999 until January 2003 when Rev. Chuck Fuld came to our parish and served as pastor until his retirement in June of 2008. Rev. Robert Irwin served until the end of that year. Rev. Anthony Saroki was assigned to the parish on January 1, 2009 and oversaw the completion of a thirty year dream with the construction of the John Paul II Parish Center and the St. James Pavilion. On July 1, 2012, the Rev. Dr. Robert J. Perelli, CJM became the administrator of Ascension Catholic Parish. Fr. Edwin Tutor became the current Pastor on July 1, 2014.  Ordained on May 26, 1984, Deacon Jim Scull has been involved in parish life at Ascension since 1982. He and his wife Mattie were married in 1970 and have four children.


Our family is made up of every race. We are young and old, rich and poor, men and women, sinners and saints. Our family has spanned the centuries and the globe. With God’s grace, we started hospitals to care for the sick. We established orphanages to help the poor. We are the largest charitable organization on the planet bringing relief and comfort to those in need. We educate more children than any other scholarly or religious institution. We developed the scientific method and laws of evidence. We founded the college system. We defend the dignity of all human life and uphold marriage and family. Cities were named after our revered saints who navigated a sacred path before us. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we compiled the Bible. We are transformed by Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition which have consistently guided us for 2,000 years. We are the Catholic Church, with over 1 billion in our family, sharing in the sacraments and fullness of the Christian Faith. For centuries we’ve prayed for you and our world, every hour of every day, whenever we celebrate the Mass. Jesus himself laid the foundation for our Faith when He said to Peter, the first Pope, “you are rock and upon this rock I will build my Church.” For over 2,000 years, we’ve had an unbroken line of shepherds guiding the Catholic Church with love and truth in a confused and hurting world. And in this world filled with chaos, hardship and pain, it’s comforting to know that some things remain consistent and true and strong – our Catholic Faith and the eternal love that God has for all creation.