In September 2001, Father Abdallah Zaidan M.L.M., established Saints Peter and Paul Mission to minister to the needs of the many Middle Eastern Christian families residing in Ventura County, the San Fernando, Conejo, Simi and Santa Clarita Valleys.
Father Pierre Albalaa was appointed as Administrator of the Mission on September 14, 2001. He was tasked with securing a place of worship and with gathering the community and introducing them to the new Mission.
Saint Bernardine of Sienna Church in Woodland Hills was identified as a suitable location for our services. Father Abdallah Zaidan and Father Pierre Albalaa concelebrated the first Mass at the Mission on June 29, 2002. That day was also the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
On October 4, 2003 the First Annual Gathering was held. The event attracted over 300 people and we have held the gathering every year since then, with the same overwhelming response and success. This event became a significant source of income and goodwill for the Mission.
As a result of Father Pierre’s success in putting the Mission on solid foundations, he was asked to establish another Mission in Mexico. Father Jean Yammine was appointed the new Administrator of the Mission beginning on September 1, 2009.
The growth of the Mission made it necessary to add another weekly Mass on Sunday mornings. Since Saint Bernardine’s could not accommodate us on both Saturdays and Sundays, a decision was made to relocate to “Saint Martin In The Fields” Church in Winnetka. The first Mass at Saint Martin’s was held on August 22, 2008. Services began to be held Saturday nights at 6:00 pm and Sunday mornings at 11:30 am.
2008 proved to be a very busy year in the life of the Mission. During the year, the Immaculate Conception Society, the Ladies Altar Society, Maronite Youth Organization, Maronite Young Adults and the Mission’s soccer team were established.
February 7, 2009 was a very significant date in the life of the Mission. His Excellency Bishop Robert Shaheen ordained Albert Constantine and Dib Tayar the first Subdeacons from the Mission, further cementing the vitality of the Mission.
On June 29, 2009 the first annual Saints Peter and Paul Feast Day Festival was held.
On November 1, 2010 Father Jean Yammine was re-assigned and Father Abdallah Zaidan M.L.M., and Father Elias Sleiman M.L.M., took direct control of the Mission. Under their leadership a new Mission council was appointed and a major emphasis was placed on raising additional funds with the aim of buying an appropriate Church, a priest’s residence and a hall. Those efforts have now culminated in the Mission purchasing a property in Simi Valley, California.
The journey that has led our Church to Simi Valley underwent many tribulations and hardships. Through the bleak outlook, God looked upon a small group of peoples who put their trust in Him and remained consistent in their labor in the field of the Lord. In a tangible manifestation of His faithfulness, the Lord led the SPP Community to fulfill its dream in having a sanctuary that it can call “Home” in Simi Valley, California. On September 9, 2012, Saints Peter and Paul Maronite Catholic Church in Simi Valley was dedicated through a Divine Liturgy presided by Bishop Shaheen.
On Saturday July 13, 2013, Fr. Joe Daccache, a diocesan priest from Beirut, was appointed by Bishop Shaheen as Administrator of SPP. Next to his appointment, Fr. Joe started a new schedule for Masses; he started a Sunday Mass at 11 am, turned the Saturday evening Mass into a solely Arabic Mass. After about a year, he started to celebrate an evening daily Mass (except on Wednesdays) with an all English Maronite Mass on Mondays to outreach to American people. Since the appointment of Fr. Joe, two beautiful shrines for Saint Charbel and Our Lady of the Garden of Simi Valley were built in the Church garden. Additionally, during Fr. Joe’s service the Pastoral life was established through the youth ministries and organization of several spiritual retreats and pastoral gatherings… aimed to build the community spiritually and socially.