This item appeared in the April 25, 1912, minutes of Bishop Thomas Conaty’s monthly Diocese Council Meeting. “Recommendations of the Bishop that Parishes be established as follows: one in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. Joseph Glass Pro Tem.” Therefore, St. Mary’s Mission, also referred to as the Huntington Beach Parish, was assigned resident priests as administrators or acting rectors by the Diocese of Monterey-Los Angeles, which at the time covered all of California south of San Jose.
Fr. Andrew Reynolds was the first priest assigned to the church. Huntington Beach was not considered a plum of the diocese and as such, Fr. Reynolds was the first in a succession of 27 priests in 52 years. No one stayed longer than three years, many an even shorter time, and at least three for less than a year. In one case the parishioners requested that a priest be removed because they thought he was a danger to himself and the congregation. An Irish priest, who after being assigned to the Mission Church, informed the bishop that he was going to New York on vacation, was never heard from again. It seems that he had either become homesick or was disenchanted with his new assignment and had sailed back to his homeland of Ireland for good.