Church of the Nativity (Menlo Park, California)

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Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity (Menlo Park, California).jpg
Church of the Nativity is located in San Francisco Bay Area
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity is located in California
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity is located in the United States
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity
Location210 Oak Grove Avenue, Menlo Park, California
Coordinates37°27′39″N 122°10′48″W / 37.4607717°N 122.1799648°W / 37.4607717; -122.1799648[3]Coordinates: 37°27′39″N 122°10′48″W / 37.4607717°N 122.1799648°W / 37.4607717; -122.1799648[3]
Area1.7 acres (0.69 ha)
Built1872 (1872)
ArchitectJames Doyle
Architectural styleGothic Revival
NRHP reference No.80000855[1]
CHISL No.P197[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 31, 1980
Designated CHISLMay 19, 1971
Church interior

Church of the Nativity is a historic Roman Catholic church on the National Register of Historic Places in Menlo Park, California. It was built in 1887 and added to the National Register in 1980.


The church was constructed in 1872 and was moved on log rollers twice before arriving at its current location in 1877. This earned it the nickname of the "Roaming Catholic Church."[4]

In 1996 the church adopted the tradition of Perpetual Adoration, with members of the church volunteering to pray continuously in an uninterrupted chain, and has continued for over 20 years.[5]

The current pastor at the Church of the Nativity is the Rev. Msgr. Steven D. Otellini,[6] brother to past Intel CEO Paul Otellini, and, because of the church's proximity to Saint Patrick's Seminary and University in Menlo Park, weekend assistants often include young or international priests. Nearby are the Vallombrosa Center retreat house and the Corpus Christi Monastery of Dominican sisters. The parish serves a predominately Anglo Catholic community and has an associated parochial school, Nativity School. With a relatively strong academic reputation locally, students from Nativity School have gone on to such local high schools as Sacred Heart Preparatory (Atherton, California), Saint Francis High School (Mountain View), Mercy High School (Burlingame, California), Bellarmine College Preparatory, and Notre Dame High School (Belmont, California) as well as colleges including Stanford University, Loyola Marymount University, California Polytechnic State University, New York University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Davis, and Saint Mary's College of California among others.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System – Church of the Nativity (#80000855)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  2. ^ "Church of the Nativity". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Church of the Nativity". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 9, 1995. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  4. ^ McCuan, Jessie (July 30, 1997). "The story of the 'Roaming Catholic Church'". Palo Alto Weekly. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  5. ^ Desmond, John Frawley (January 8, 2016). "Perpetual Adoration Transforms California Parish". National Catholic Register. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  6. ^ Kelly, Kevin (April 13, 2017). "Menlo Park: School safety experiment going down to wire". The Mercury News. Retrieved October 10, 2018.

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