St. John the Baptist is a Catholic Community in Milpitas, CA located in the heart of Silicon Valley. St. John the Baptist Church serves a vibrant and diverse community, comprised of a multitude of talents and all working for the glory of God.


Our Parish has a long glorious history. It has been said that “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you have been.” Saint John the Baptist Catholic Parish has been through a beautiful and historic past, and we have been left with a legacy unmatched by any other parish. St John the Baptist church was established as a mission in 1866 and became a parish in 1877. St. John the Baptist is the first Roman Catholic Church in Milpitas. The original steeple wood frame church stood near the middle of the parking lot off Main Street From 1870 -1900. After the First Church burned down a Second Church was built on the grounds in the same location. St John’s was originally established to serve the large Portuguese immigrant population of Catholics who arrived in Milpitas from the Azores. Prior to the church’s construction, Catholic priests from San José Mission or Santa Clara Mission would visit a small adobe building called a “penitencia” to hear confession by the local Indians and farmers. The exact location of this penitencia is not known but is believed to have been a mile or two south of the present church and on the banks of Penitencia Creek.

In 1877 became a parish. The orginal woodframe church stood near the middle of the current parking lot off Main Street From 1872 -1901. After the First Church burned down a Second Church was built with a tall steeple on the grounds in the same location in 1901.

The Second church was deemed unsafe in the late 1960’s and the current church was built on th the other side of the property facing Able street and was dedicate on June 27th 1971.

There was also by Rev. Pavalkis was built on the grounds . The original location of the Imperito (pronounced “Em-peddy-oh” by long-time Milpitans) was somewhere behind the current rectory approximately where the storage sheds are currently located. In 1947 it was moved to its current location and redesigned to its current “Mission” design. The Imperio was primarily used for storage and during the Feast of the Holy Ghost, an annual fiesta which featured a parade down Main Street. The Queen would prepare for the parade in the Imperito. At the end of the parade, the queen placed her crown in the Imperio where it would be on display all day. At times small services, such as a masses were held in this building.

The church built a larger frame building on the northern side of the property. Called St. John’s Hall, it was the site of many community and church functions. The Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 severely damaged the  old hall so it was demolished to make way for a newer facility.

Today, the St. John’s complex includes a K-8 school, rectory, church, imperio, Catholic Education office, bell tower and hall. St John’s also owns and maintains St. John the Baptist Cemetery (established in 1898) on Piedmont Rd. in Milpitas, California.

Memories of Church

Looking Back


List of Pastor’s 

Rev. Fedre (Fedry) 1868 – 1872 (construction of church)

Rev. Mulville 1872 – ? (first pastor )

Rev. William Federy 1877 (first resident pastor)

Rev. Terence Caraher 1878 – 1897

Rev. Charles Franchi 1897 – 1900

Rev. Charles Browne 1900 – 1901

Rev. John Villadomat 1901 – 1905

Rev. Joseph Montaner 1905 – 1920

Rev. Michael A. da Cruz 1920 – 1931

Rev. John E. Silver 1931 – 1952

Rev. Patrick O’Brien 1952 – 1955 (Administratior)

Rev. William B. Flatley 1955 – 1959

Rev. Victor Pavalkis – 1968 – 1986

Rev. Kieran L. Murray 1984 – 1985

Rev. Charles Doherty – 1986 – 1998

Rev. G. Robert Legér 1998 – 2002

Rev. Norman Segovia 2002 – 2011

Rev. Ritche Bueza 2011 – 2018

 Msgr. Wilfredo S Manrique 2018 – Present