The Diocese of San Diego has received a $2 million gift from The Skaggs Foundation of La Jolla, Calif., for the construction of a multi-purpose Mexican American Center on the grounds of Mission San Antonio Parish in Pala. It will be called San Juan Diego Center, and serve as a place for large worship assemblies, education, and cultural activities, including fiestas, for the growing Hispanic population in the Pala/Pauma area.
San Diego Bishop Robert H. Brom expressed gratitude to Mr. L.S. Skaggs and his wife, Aline, for this very generous contribution which will help the diocese to be of service to many Spanish-speaking people and their families.
Mr. Skaggs’ other Catholic philanthropy has included the building of Juan Diego High School in Salt Lake City (which is considered one of the foremost Catholic high schools in the United States), substantial support for Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles, and scholarships for Catholic education of more than $1 million each year.
Skaggs philanthropy in San Diego is most noteworthy in its major support for biomedical research at the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at the Scripps Research Institute, as well as support for the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla.
Plans are in place to begin construction of San Juan Diego Center in early 2003, with its opening scheduled for the summer of 2004. Total cost will be approximately $3.5 million.
Mission San Antonio de Pala is a diocesan parish begun in 1810. It rests on land which belongs to the diocese, though all but surrounded by the Pala Indian Reservation. Fortunately, there is sufficient parish property unused and available to provide nearly 5 acres for San Juan Diego Center.