Los Angeles, Archdiocese of
LOS ANGELES, ARCHDIOCESE OF
Metropolitan see (Angelorum ) comprising the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura in California, an area of 8,782 square miles. In 2001 there were 4,121,601 Catholics, about 39 percent, in a total population of 10,449,129. When the diocese was erected April 27, 1840, San Diego was constituted the see city; it was moved to Monterey in 1850, and five years later to Santa Barbara. In 1859, after the episcopal residence had been moved to Los Angeles, the title of the diocese was changed to Monterey-Los Angeles. In 1922 it became Los Angeles-San Diego when Monterey-Fresno was constituted a diocese. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was established July 11, 1936. Its suffragan sees in 2001 were the Dioceses of Monterey, Fresno, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego.
Early History. Los Angeles is an abbreviated version of the title El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula, given to the town founded by Gov. Felipe de Neve on Sept. 7, 1781. The area covered by the archdiocese was originally part of the first Diocese of the Californias, which was created by Gregory XVI in 1840 as a suffragan of the See of Mexico, and comprised the state of California, Lower California, and much of present-day Nevada and Utah. Upper California contained the missions founded by the Franciscan, Junípero serra; the missions of Lower California were the work of the Jesuit, Juan Maria salvatierra. The first bishop, Francisco garcÍa diego y moreno, OSF, was consecrated on Oct. 4, 1840, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City, and arrived in his episcopal city, San Diego, Dec. 11, 1841. A year later, however, he took up residence at Santa Barbara and administered the diocese from there until his death on April 30, 1846. The first priest ordained in California was Miguel Gomez on June 29, 1842, at Mission Santa Barbara.
Before the California diocese was established, the Mexican government had appropriated the pious fund, upon which the missions depended for support. Thus, the bishop found 12 of the missions, which had been secularized by 1833, in ruins. These were restored to episcopal control; in 1841 García Diego had 17 Franciscans in Upper California and four Dominicans in Lower California. In 1844, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary was opened near Santa Ines (now Santa Barbara County) where it survived for 17 years. Two priests and four students were brought from Mexico.
After the flag of the United States was raised over the custom house in Monterey July 7, 1846, disturbed political conditions between Mexico and the United States and revolts in Italy delayed the appointment of a new bishop. At the time when Father Gonzales Rubio acted as administrator of the diocese (1847–50), the Picpus Fathers, who had been temporarily in the area in the 1830's, returned to California. With the discovery of gold in northern California in January 1848, a new era began,
trade routes were opened, and California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state Sept. 9, 1850.
1850 to 1896. In 1850, after the Seventh Provincial Council of Baltimore had proposed three names for the vacant California diocese, Joseph Sadoc alemany, OP, was appointed May 31, 1850, and Monterey was designated his official residence.
Alemany. After his consecration in Rome June 30, 1850, and establishment at Monterey early in 1851, Alemany directed his attention principally to the northern part of the diocese. Since his jurisdiction over Lower California was not recognized by the Mexican government, the Holy See removed the Diocese of Monterey from the Province of Mexico in 1851, and a year later Lower California Peninsula was withdrawn from the diocese. On Dec. 18, 1855, a U.S. Land Commission, after a three-year study, decreed the return of the mission properties to the diocese; in the following six years this was gradually accomplished over the signatures of Presidents James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln.
Amat. When, on July 29, 1853, Alemany was transferred to the new metropolitan See of San Francisco, Thaddeus amat, CM, was appointed to Monterey and consecrated in Rome March 12, 1854. In November 1855, he took possession of his see, establishing his residence at Our Lady of Sorrows church in Santa Barbara. Besides the Franciscan and Picpus fathers, he had only nine secular priests. Through him the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul arrived in Los Angeles Jan. 5, 1856, to establish a school, an orphanage, and the city's first hospital. In 1858, envisioning the growth of Los Angeles, Amat moved his residence there. A year later, during a visit to Rome, the bishop succeeded in having the title of the diocese changed to Monterey-Los Angeles. The old Plaza Church of Our Lady of Angels became the procathedral. When, in May 1862, a diocesan synod was held in Los Angeles, there were 13 parishes with resident pastors.
In 1865 the Vincentian fathers opened a school in Los Angeles; four years later it received its charter as St. Vincent's College. A college for lay students, opened by the Franciscan fathers in 1861, lasted until 1877. In 1869 the Pious Fund was again the object of investigation, and when the members of an American-Mexican commission failed to agree, an umpire, in the person of the British Ambassador, gave the verdict in favor of the Catholic bishops of California and the vicar apostolic of Colorado and Utah. Amat attended the sessions of Vatican Council I, returning to Los Angeles in December 1870. The following spring, ground was broken for a cathedral, which was consecrated by Archbishop Alemany April 30, 1876, in honor of St. Vibiana, whose relics Amat had obtained from Pius IX on the promise to honor her with a cathedral as the principal patroness of his diocese.
Mora. When Amat died on May 12, 1878, he was immediately succeeded by Francis Mora, his vicargeneral and pastor of Our Lady of Angels, who had been consecrated coadjutor on Aug. 3, 1873. Mora, a native of Catalonia, Spain, had come to America as a student with Amat; he was ordained for the diocese March 19, 1856. By the time of his succession the diocese had 31 priests in addition to the Franciscan community at Santa Barbara and the Vincentian community at Los Angeles. The city's population of 10,000 included about 2,300 Catholics, while of the 100,000 throughout the diocese, about one-fourth were Catholics. However, with the inauguration of transcontinental railroads (1885), the discovery of oil (1891), and the development of the citrus industry, the population of city and diocese grew rapidly and the Church's progress was marked.
In 1886 the cathedral school was built and entrusted to the Immaculate Heart Sisters who had come to California and located at Gilroy in 1871. St. Vincent's College moved to a more spacious location in March 1887; St. Vincent's parish, also under the direction of the Vincentian fathers, was erected. Sacred Heart parish and St. Joseph's were established. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Sisters of the Ho1y Names joined the diocese and opened academies for girls, and the Sisters of Mercy arrived to found a home for working girls and one for the aged. The Daughters of Charity moved their hospital to a new location in 1884, and in 1890 transferred the orphanage to a site in Boyle Heights. St. Mary's Church was built in 1896.
1896–1936. Failing health led Mora to request a coadjutor, and the chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, George Montgomery, was consecrated for Monterey-Los Angeles April 8, 1894. Two years later Mora resigned the see, returning to Spain where he died Aug. 3, 1905.
Montgomery. When Montgomery succeeded Mora on May 16, 1896, there were in the diocese 72 parish churches and missions, ten religious communities with 183 sisters, and six orphanages, four hospitals, two colleges, four academies, and 18 parish schools, for a Catholic population estimated at 52,000. During Montgomery's administration, Los Angeles, among other cities, suffered from the anti-Catholic bigotry of the american protective association. Its influence was counteracted to some extent, however, by a series of lectures under the auspices of the Catholic Truth Society. In September 1902 Montgomery was appointed coadjutor to Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco, and left Los Angeles on March 27, 1903.
Conaty. Bp. Thomas J. conaty, second rector of The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., was transferred to Monterey-Los Angeles and took possession of his see June 18, 1903. Two months after his arrival three new parishes were erected in the city. The Claretian fathers took charge of San Gabriel 1908 and the Old Plaza Church in 1910. The St. Vincent de Paul Society was organized. In 1905 the Little Sisters of the Poor arrived in the diocese. By 1911 there were 166 churches and chapels in the diocese, 18 of which were centers of parish life in the city of Los Angeles. Nine new schools had been erected, making a total of 29 parish schools, exclusive of the academies, which still provided elementary school facilities for a number of parishes. The orphanages cared for 1,048 children and the Catholic Indian school at Banning had 118 pupils, while an additional 335 Catholic children attended the two schools for Native Americans in the diocese. Mass was celebrated at least monthly at 43 mission stations. There were five hospitals in the diocese, and three homes for the aged. In 1910 the number of priests had increased to 206, including 73 who were members of the eight religious communities, serving about 100,000 Catholics in the diocese.
Although they retained St. Vincent's parish, the Vincentian fathers gave up their educational work in Los Angeles in June 1911, after 46 years in charge of St. Vincent's College. The Jesuits, who had been in Santa Barbara since 1908, entered the field of education in 1911. Under their direction St. Vincent's College became Loyola University and moved to a new location in 1929. For the benefit of the teaching religious, Conaty inaugurated summer conferences at which educators of national reputation taught the latest methods of administration and instruction. Settlement work in the poorer parts of the city met with immediate success. When religious communities devoted to works of mercy were encouraged, Sisters of the Good Shepherd established a home in Los Angeles. In San Diego and other cities of the diocese new parishes and institutions were founded, and proportionate progress was made. When Conaty died at Coronado, near San Diego, Sept. 18, 1915, the Catholic population of the diocese had grown to 178,000, and the number of priests to 271. The diocese, which remained vacant for two years, was administered by Msgr. Patrick Harnett. Although Bp. Peter J. Muldoon, of Rockford, Ill., was appointed to Monterey-Los Angeles March 22, 1917, he did not take possession of the see, and resigned in June of that year.
Cantwell. On Dec. 12, 1917, John Joseph cant-well, vicar-general of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, who had been appointed bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles Sept. 21, 1917, was installed in Los Angeles, after his consecration in San Francisco on December 5. During his 30-year administration, the diocese shed its Mexican-colonial characteristics and took its place as one of the great metropolitan sees of the U.S. The population increase was a prime factor in diocesan development, which included the erection of the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno on Dec. 3, 1922, comprising the 12 northern counties, while the eight remaining counties received the new title of Los Angeles-San Diego. Many Mexicans, fleeing from their native land during the persecution of the Church under President Plutarco Calles, arrived in Los Angeles, where their total grew to more than 300,000, including 129 expelled priests. There, 50 parishes and missions were erected and Spanish-speaking priests were provided.
The growth of the diocese necessitated the better organization of its departments of administration. The Catholic Welfare Bureau was established in 1919; the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, in 1922; and the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, in 1924. In November 1920, the Holy Name Union was established, while the Council of Catholic Women had its origin in April 1923. The Catholic Youth Organization, with its club and camp programs, came into being in 1936. To ensure a steady supply of priests, appeals were made to the missionary seminaries of Ireland, and the generous response provided the founders of most of the new parishes for half a century. Religious orders were invited; the Augustinians and Capuchins arrived in 1922, and a year later the Passionists began the lay retreat movement, and the Oblate fathers located in San Fernando. The Dominican fathers were established in Eagle Rock in 1921; the Salesian fathers, in 1919; and the Paulists, in 1925. To provide for native vocations, a junior seminary, under the title of Los Angeles College, was instituted in 1926 as a day school, and a major seminary of St. John's at Camarillo was founded in 1939, both institutions under the direction of the Vincentian fathers.
Archdiocese. When in 1936, four southernmost counties were separated from Los Angeles to form the diocese of San Diego, Los Angeles was elevated to the status of an archdiocese, with Cantwell becoming its first archbishop.
1936 to 1947. Even after the division, the Catholic population in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was estimated at 650,000. By 1947, the archdiocese had 688 priests, of whom 362 were diocesan. There were 217 parishes with resident pastors, four colleges, 35 high schools, 115 parochial schools with an enrollment of 42,877 pupils, and 36 communities of sisters established in the diocese. Five hundred Confraternity teachers were giving religious instruction to 45,000 pupils.
The Legion of Decency, particularly appropriate in view of the vast motion picture industry in Los Angeles, was established in 1934. Other notable events of Cantwell's episcopate included the convocation in 1929 of the first synod since 1889; the great earthquake of 1933, which did considerable damage to Church properties in the Long Beach area; the consecration of two auxiliary bishops, Joseph T. McGucken on March 19, 1941, and Timothy Manning on Oct. 15, 1946; and the visit of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli in October 1936. Two historic anniversaries were celebrated, with attendance of over 100,000 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum—on Sept. 6, 1931, the sesquicentennial of the founding of the city of Los Angeles, and Oct. 13, 1940, the centennial of the foundation of the hierarchy. Other developments included the founding of 18 hospitals and health agencies. An unsuccessful statewide effort was made in 1933 to secure tax exemption for private nonprofit schools. A national celebration of Catholic Action was held in Los Angeles in April 1934, the 150th anniversary of the death of Father Junipero Serra.
McIntyre. At Cantwell's death Oct. 30, 1947, McGucken was elected administrator of the diocese until March 19, 1948, when James Francis A. mcintyre was installed in St. Vibiana's Cathedral as the second archbishop of Los Angeles. Archbishop McIntyre who since 1946 had been coadjutor archbishop in New York under Cardinal Spellman, brought experience of administering a large archdiocese with him to Los Angeles. Shortly after his installation, he set about reorganizing the archdiocesan curia and administrative structures of the archdiocese. During his episcopacy, a total of 82 new parishes were established. In 1956, McIntyre formally sponsored the establishment of the Lay Mission Helpers Association, the pioneer organization of lay missioners in the nation.
Cardinal McIntyre is credited with using his influence to repeal the burdensome taxation of parochial schools in California, but he was criticized for his silence on interracial issues. In 1964 the bishop of every diocese in California save Los Angeles issued a statement against the repeal of the Rumford Fair Housing Act. The Reverend William DuBay petitioned the pope to remove McIntyre from office because he had forbidden the priests of the archdiocese from addressing the race issue.
In 1960, on the eve of Vatican II, the cardinal convened an archdiocesan synod. He served on the Central Preparatory Commission, attended all the sessions, and took an active role in the deliberations of the Council. And though he spoke in favor of the continued use of Latin, opposed changes in the Mass, and argued against giving juridical status to liturgical conferences, after the Council he moved expeditiously to implementing its recommendations and complying with its spirit. On the other hand, the archdiocese received a national notoriety because of the Cardinal's opposition to renewal measures taken by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters and because of his highly publicized dispute in 1969 with Catholicos por La Raza, a radical Mexican rights group. McIntyre resigned the archbishopric in 1970 at the age of 88.
Manning. McIntyre was succeeded by Timothy manning, who had been appointed coadjutor to McIntyre in May 19, 1969. Before his installation as Archbishop of Los Angeles on Jan. 21, 1970, Manning had been an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles (1946–1967) before becoming the first bishop of Fresno (1967–1969). Three years later Manning was named a cardinal. Although his administrative style was less confrontational, Manning pursued the expansionary policies of his predecessor, and energetically supported a host of ecumenical involvements and warmly endorsed the Cursillo movement. He continued to encourage the Lay Mission Helpers that McIntyre had established, visiting missionaries in South Africa, Rhodesia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. Although a portion of the archdiocese was carved out into a new Diocese of Orange County in 1976, the Catholic population continued to grow rapidly, fueled by massive waves of Mexican and other Latin immigrants. A year later, Manning retired and turned over the reins of leadership over to his successor, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony. Manning remained active in his retirement years. In addition to working a day each in the archdiocesan archives and spending another visiting infirm priests and religious, he traveled widely and gave numerous retreats throughout the west. He passed away on June 23, 1989 in Los Angeles.
Mahony. In 1985, Bishop Roger Mahony of the diocese of Stockton was installed Archbishop of Los Angeles. Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal on June 28, 1991. Mahony's active and highly visible leadership put him at the center of some controversies and at the same time enabled him to reach to the farthest outposts of the most populous diocese in the country. His relationship with Los Angeles's powerful media and film industry, initially testy and filled with mutual suspicion, led him to found Catholics in Media, an organization intended to influence, shape, and reward the entertainment industry. A high priority in Mahony's tenure as archbishop was to erect a new cathedral for Los Angeles. When in 1994 the Northridge earthquake so undermined the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana that repairing it was not an option, Cardinal Mahony obtained a prime location in the Los Angeles Civic Center on which to build the Cathedral Center of Our Lady of the Angels in grand contemporary style.
Mahony's friendship with Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago and his participation in the latter's Common Ground project expanded his view of the Church's need to interact with contemporary society. His personal friendships with other religious leaders in Los Angeles led to the signing of a covenant among Catholics, Lutherans, and Episcopalians. He worked hard to increase lay involvement in the administration of the archdiocese, expanding the services of the archdiocese while simplifying archdiocesan structures. A pastoral letter on the liturgy, Gather Faithfully Together, published on the feast of Our Lady of the Angels, Sept. 4, 1997, served as a call to renewal for the parishes in the archdiocese. The years of Cardinal Mahony's ministry have returned him to his roots in Catholic social activism. He has fostered free and open dialogue in the archdiocese—especially through the expansion of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, an annual event that has drawn tens of thousands and became a forum for speakers from all over the Catholic world. Mahony has been a frequent caller on local talk radio, and has used his skill as a ham radio operator to keep in contact with people all around the world. He was quick to grasp the power of the Internet and frequently uses it to hold chat sessions with his people. With funds and friendship he has supported churches in the developing world, especially in Central and South America.
Catholic Higher Education. Los Angeles is home to two Catholic institutions of higher learning, Loyola Marymount University and Mount St. Mary's College. Loyola Marymount University traces its roots to the Jesuit-sponsored Loyola College (established 1911; university status 1930) and Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary–sponsored Marymount College (established 1933). In 1968, Marymount College moved to the campus of Loyola College as an autonomous institution. At this point, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange joined the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary as co-sponsors of Marymount College. After five years of sharing faculties and resources, Loyola University and Marymount College merged in 1973 to form Loyola Marymount University, sponsored by the Jesuits, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The other major Catholic institution of higher learning in the archdiocese is Mount St. Mary's College, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
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