St Katherine Orthodox Mission is a rapidly growing community of Orthodox Christians located in the scenic coastal region known as North County, San Diego.
With the blessing of Archbishop BENJAMIN, we celebrated our first Divine Liturgy on Aug. 28th, 2011. From that point onwards, we have grown from meeting in a library – setting up and taking down each weekend – to a lovely chapel which was used by St. Katherine College students during the week and by our own distinct OCA community on the weekends. New families have continued to arrive and the chapel is packed with small children, giving life and energy to the parish. The adults? They come from all walks of life: engineers, doctors, CEO’s, software specialists, teachers, and quite prominently, wonderful mothers. Because the Mission is under the patronage of St. Katherine, we enjoy a strong devotion to her and to education in our faith. Moreover, because several of our founding parishioners are blessed to have known St. John of San Francisco personally, he, too, has been a source of great spiritual strength and inspiration to us an ‘unofficial patron’. In them both, we locate a love for monastic life of the Church, a traditional and reverent piety, and a desire to witness to the True and Living God.
The parish today is a microcosm of Orthodoxy in America, with her members coming from not only different ethnic traditions – Russian, Romanian, Chinese – but also every American walk of life. By the mercy of God, St. Katherine Mission continues not just to minister unto those cultures which are historically Orthodox, but to witness to the Holy Faith in a Californian culture spiritually dry – and thus quick to ignite. All of our services, for instance, are in English and yet the music tradition has a strong connection with the best of Russian composers in America. Also, with the San Diego region being the metropolis and holiday region that it is, there is no lack of inquirers, visitors and guests at each service.
Fr. Andrew Cuneo, the rector and founding priest of St. Katherine, was drawn to the Diocese of the West by its strong emphasis on and support of mission parishes. By way of background, he was raised in Connecticut, earned degrees from Stanford and Oxford Universities, and taught at Hillsdale College for many years. The consuming beauty of Orthodoxy led him to leave academe and to receive training at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, where he was ordained a priest in 2009. A year of solid happiness and formative, practical training then ensued at St Seraphim’s (OCA) in Santa Rosa under Archpriest Lawrence Margitich. Fr Andrew lives in Encinitas, California, with his wife Matushka Elizabeth, three lively daughters and one smiling son. He taught English Literature at St. Katherine College for the first 3 years of the Mission; as of June 2014 with the beginning of the OCA Church Planting Grant, Fr. Andrew is blessed to be a full-time rector.
Rector: Rev. Dr. Andrew Cuneo
Address: 681 Encinitas Blvd, Suite 305, Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone: (914) 255-5434