Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Chapel for Circle V Ranch Camp

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles Council along with 175 campers and staff celebrated the dedication of a new, outdoor chapel at the Society’s Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center located just 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara at 2550 Highway 154 across from Cachuma Lake.

Situated in a grove of native oak and fir trees, the new outdoor chapel seats 200 on 54 benches made of Monterey pine and the altar is made of sycamore; both hand-crafted by John Miller of Goleta. The hand-made redwood cross donated by camp volunteer Paul Melancon of Solvang stands an impressive eight feet high and five feet wide.  The original chapel in the woods only seated 150 on rough-hewn logs. A generous donor made this new facility a reality.

The formal dedication of the chapel was conducted by Father Peter Banks, O.F.M.Cap. from Old Mission Santa Ines in nearby Solvang. Father Banks regularly celebrates Mass during summer camp sessions and was honored to have been asked to celebrate the first Mass in the new chapel. Circle V Ranch Camp Director Ray Lopez remarked, “What a blessing to have this larger, new outdoor chapel to serve our summer session campers and be available for retreat groups throughout the rest of the year.”

About Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch Camp & Retreat CenterCircle V Ranch Camp & Retreat Center was founded in 1945 by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Council of Los Angeles and has been located on its current site since 1990 on 30-acres in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County. During autumn, winter and spring, Circle V is available for rental to other non-profit groups and organizations. Circle V Ranch Camp summer sessionsfor boys and girls ages 7 to 13 feature six days and five nights of traditional supervised summer fun. In 2013, more than 1,200 children enjoyed activities including hiking, swimming in the pool, learning about nature, archery, arts & crafts, painting, photography, playing games of baseball, basketball, ping pong, foosball, soccer, miniature golf and of course, campfires, skits and songs. (There is no TV, radio or internet access to affect the experience.) Campers stay in cabins or traditional canvas tents. Three nutritious daily meals are served family-style in the Dining Lodge. The Circle V Ranch Camp fee for six days/ five nights including lodging, all meals, activities, recreation and supervised fun is $425 per child; and “camperships” paid by charitable donations are available for qualified campers. Spaces are still available for remaining 2014 summer sessions. Call 805-688-5252 for information, applications and for more details visit

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