There is a significant and long-standing Jesuit connection to Pope Francis — the first member of the Society of Jesus to be elected pope — in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.Three parishes are administered by Jesuit priests, starting with Our Lady of Sorrows in Santa Barbara, the oldest parish in the archdiocese outside of the six California missions and Our Lady of Queen of Angels (La Placita) downtown. The first Our Lady of Sorrows Church was consecrated July 29, 1855, and the Jesuits have served at the parish since 1908.Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood, established in 1904, came under Jesuit administration in 1914, beginning with Father William Deeney pastor, the former president of Loyola College (now Loyola Marymount University). And Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights — at 68, the “baby” of the group — has been administered by the Jesuits since 1980.A fourth parish with Jesuit history, St. Ignatius of Loyola in Highland Park, was founded in 1911 by Jesuit priests under the leadership of Bishop Thomas Conaty of the Monterey-Los Angeles Diocese. It has been administered for many years now by diocesan priests.Perhaps the largest local Jesuit presence is at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester, whose roots extend to the founding of St. Vincent's College for boys in Los Angeles by the Vincentian Fathers in 1865. When this school closed in 1911, members of the Society of Jesus opened the high school division of their newly founded Los Angeles College.Because of rapid growth, the Jesuits incorporated on a new campus as Loyola College of Los Angeles in 1918, relocating to its present Westchester campus in 1929, and achieving university status in 1930. In 1973, the university merged with Marymount College, operated by the Religious of Sacred Heart of Mary, and was renamed Loyola Marymount. Today LMU serves a student body of more than 9,000, including nearly 1,300 at the downtown Loyola Law School. Founded in 1920 as St. Vincent’s School of Law on Venice Boulevard, its students today donate more than 40,000 hours of pro bono work annually to non-profit organizations.Two boys’ high schools in the archdiocese are operated by the priests of the Society of Jesus. Loyola High School near downtown Los Angeles, founded in 1865, is the oldest educational institution in Southern California, whose numerous claims to fame include four Cardinal’s Awards recipient-alumni in the last three years (Javier Guerena, Michael Enright, John McNicholas and Stephen Page) plus an alumni mother honoree (Bitsy Hotaling) who cofounded the school’s St. Ignatius of Loyola Guild.Verbum Dei High School in Watts, founded in 1963 by the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries, has been administered by the Jesuits since 2000 and is a member of the Jesuits’ national Cristo Rey Network of high schools. Since 2002, an innovative Corporate Work Study Program requires all students to work at local firms who pay the school for services rendered. The money earned helps pay student tuition fees.Since 2005, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps has operated in Los Angeles, serving the community in refugee and migration services, substance abuse recovery programs, community and parish outreach, and vocational education and job placement programs. Its mission statement is rooted in Jesuit principles: providing mature men and women “the opportunity to serve the needs of people who are poor, to work for a more just society, and to grow deeper in Christian faith by reflecting and praying in the Ignatian tradition.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0405/localjesuit/{/gallery}