Raise the Roof for Our Church

Santa Sophia Church is an iconic structure in East San Diego County. The church was built in 1958 on property donated by the Nasim Fares family. The church is known for having the largest indoor crucifix in the United States. The church has a fine-looking entrance leading to the vestibule, and its seating capacity is 754 people.

The structure is unique. The large stained glass window of the Risen Christ in the front of the church makes morning Masses so graceful; when the sun rays flash on the window, it makes the church glow. As with any other church, it is used for celebrating Masses and other liturgical services. The Academy uses it for Masses, meetings, and training of children. It is also used to host local community events such as Padre Pio Celebration, the Grossmont College Symphony Choir, and other events.

Some old structures and buildings are very strong. Although our church is strong, it is 70 years old and requires ongoing maintenance. The church roof has been leaking for quite some time. Our previous pastors had some repair work done as needed, but a complete reroofing has not been done since the church was built because of the heavy volume of work required and the expense of having this done.

The church’s roof is 22,200 sq. feet (17,200 sq. feet of barrel roof and 5,400 sq. feet of flat roof) which is equivalent to 22 typical house roofs. Last December, East County experienced heavy showers, and, on Christmas Day, the roof sprang 26 leaks throughout the church. A little girl attending the 10:00 am Mass, who noticed the leaks, came up to me and said, “Father, your church is leaking.” It made me feel sad to see our church in this state of disrepair. Her concern reminded me of the vision St. Francis of Assisi experienced when he was praying in his old church. God told him, “Go and rebuild my church.”

A committee of eight parishioners consisting of architects, engineers, and professionals reviewed the bids we have received. Due to the structure of the roof, we have to remove the air-conditioning units to get to the flat roof. The cost to do that might as well be used to replace the units. The estimated cost of the Roof Project including removing the old roofing, repairing wood damage, replacing both roofs, and installing new energy efficient air conditioning units, is $800,000. The reroofing needs to be done immediately, before more damage is done to the roof and structure below.

Depending on the success of our fundraising, we plan to begin the work on the roof in June 2018.


  • Lus Elena Villanueva 
    • $500 
    • 38 mos
  • Tina Jellison 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Christina Williams 
    • $10 
    • 43 mos
  • Jimmy Villalobos 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
  • Alicia Graves 
    • $50 
    • 44 mos
See all


Robert Ulrich 
Spring Valley, CA
Pastor Of Santa Sophia Catholic Parish In Spring Valley California 
Registered nonprofit
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