Catholic Church of the Holy Name of Jesus Celebrates 100th Anniversary – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentry


Father Kenneth Ugwu, pastor of the Holy Name, enjoys the festivities of the celebration of the 100th anniversary. (Cora J. Fossett / LA Sentinel)

Celebrating a history of worship and community service, members of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church gathered for the 100e birthday from September 10 to 12.

The three-day celebration was designed to highlight the huge impact the ministry has had on the Jefferson Park district in Los Angeles. The festivities included an alumni blender from the school, a Thanksgiving Mass, and a birthday reception.

Bishop John Ricard, Superior General of the Order of the Josephites, was the chief celebrant of the Mass and Father Greg Chisholm, former pastor of Holy Name, delivered the homily.

The fun day for family and friends was another highlight of the celebratory occasion as local residents joined Holy Name members for food, games, entertainment and camaraderie. The outdoor event, located in the parking lot of the church, attracted nearly 200 people of all ages and ethnicities.

“It was a truly wonderful celebration. I am very happy to be a part of this story, ”said Father Kenneth Ugwu, pastor of Holy Name who was appointed to the church in February 2020.

“When I arrived it was only a month before the closure due to the pandemic, but I was able to do it thanks to the people, who are really beautiful. I love them. It is truly a blessing to be here!

Deacon Douglas Johnson with his wife, Sheree Brown Johnson, who has been a member of Holy Name since childhood. She is also a former student of the Holy Name of Jesus School. (Cora J. Fossett / LA Sentinel)

Holy Name has also proven to be a blessing for the entire community through the operation of a K-8 school and outreach programs to help those less fortunate. Church ministries focus on religious education, helping the infirm, intercessory prayer, and feeding the homeless.

“One of the things that excites me is working with young adult ministry,” said Deacon Douglas Johnson. I work with Deacon Jose Pente and his daughter, Rosa Pente and it is an African American and Latin ministry.

As Rosa Pente explained: “Every Thursday we have a revival, which includes an altar call and people come from all over – Montebello, San Pedro, other parts of Los Angeles – to make it. experience. It is a good way for us to spread the message of God.

Since its founding in 1921, Holy Name has shared the word of God through a strong program of evangelism. While the congregation was originally white, a large influx of African Americans united with the parish during the Great Migration from the Southern States in the 1940s and 1950s.

Rosa Pente, on the left, and Deacon José Pente, on the far right, lead the young adult ministry of the Holy Name. Looking over are two church members. (Cora J. Fossett / LA Sentinel)

Today, the members are predominantly black Americans, but there are also Latino, Belizean and Nigerian devotees. The various groups come together for Mass, available in English and Spanish, and other church sponsored programs.

Recognizing that Holy Name is one of the few predominantly black Catholic parishes in Los Angeles, member Monica Lewis gave credit to the precursors of the church for paving the way for future generations.

“All the parishioners before us laid the foundations. They instilled in us the importance of supporting your church and it really helped to maintain the Holy Name as well as the spiritual dynamism of the pastors that we have had, ”noted Lewis.

She added that these ancestors also highlighted civic engagement, which continues today through Holy Name’s close relationship with elected officials and neighbor organizations.

As we look forward to another century of worship and service, the Holy Name congregation invites the Angelenos to join them on the journey. One of the future goals of the members is “massive evangelical action towards the uncommitted and the strengthening of community unity”.

The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church is located at 1955 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 734-8888.

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