Established: 1937Location: 252 Granada Avenue, Long BeachSan Pedro Region: Deanery 20Bartholomew is named as the sixth apostle in each of the synoptic Gospels. In Matthew 10:3, “Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority”; in Mark 3:18, “And he appointed twelve to be with him and to be sent out to proclaim the message”; and in Luke 6:14, “Jesus called the disciples and chose twelve.” Other than those references, little is known of Bartholomew other than his name is an ancient Hebrew title, and many scholars identify him with Nathaniel (John 1:45-51). The manner of his death is equally uncertain; some sources say he was beheaded, others say he was flayed alive and crucified (Bartholomew is often portrayed in art — e.g., Michelangelo’s “Last Judgment” — as flayed and holding in his hand his own skin.) Other legends portray him as preaching in India, Egypt and Armenia. His feast day is August 24.The parish in Long Beach named for this apostle was the fifth established in the city (the first, St. Anthony, opened in 1902; currently there are 12 serving Long Beach). Father (later Msgr.) Thomas Francis Kennedy, a native of New York but ordained in Ireland, was the founding pastor of St. Bartholomew, having previously headed Nativity (Torrance) and St. Rose of Lima (Chula Vista, as part of the L.A.-San Diego Diocese). Father Kennedy purchased the triangular block bounded by Broadway, Granada Avenue, Livingston Drive and Nieto Avenue as the site of the church that was dedicated March 12, 1939. Archbishop John Cantwell officiated, praising the design of the building. For 38 years Father Kennedy shepherded St. Bartholomew. The Blessed Mother Shrine was dedicated in 1946 and the school opened in 1951, dedicated (as was the convent) by Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Manning. There were 132 students in six grades, staffed by the Immaculate Heart Sisters. Named a Prelate of Honor (monsignor) in 1974 by Pope Paul VI, Msgr. Kennedy, a priest for 62 years, died at age 86 in 1986. Four of the next five pastors at St. Bartholomew were also Irish natives and all were named monsignors. For nine years Msgr. Peter C. Caslin, a native of County Roscommon, headed the parish in the Belmont Shore area that was a famous beach resort. Most of his priestly life was devoted to education as chaplain and teacher at Marymount College and Immaculate Heart College and high school. Also the founding pastor of St. Irenaeus Church in Cypress, he retired in 1984 and died in 2003 at age 92. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the parish, Msgr. Thomas McGovern built the Jubilee Room in 1987. A native of County Cavan, Ireland, he served at St. Bartholomew for four years after his 13-year pastorate at Holy Family, South Pasadena. Particularly known for his great wit and hospitality, he died in 2013 at age 92.From 1991 to 2002 Msgr. Jerome Elder, a native of Ohio, headed the parish. having completed 13 years at Sacred Heart in Lancaster. He was able to update the electrical system throughout the church, chapel and social hall and installed the fire sprinkler system. Msgr. Elder, who also directed the archdiocesan Scout programs for boys and girls, died in 2003 at age 71. For the next four years, Msgr. Sean Flanagan, from County Dublin, Ireland, ministered the parish after serving for 21 years as pastor at St. Catherine of Siena in Reseda. He is now retired and resides at Nazareth House.Msgr. Bernard Leheny, a native of County Sligo, Ireland, is St. Bartholomew’s current pastor. Ordained in 1966, he was pastor of St. John of God in Norwalk for 22 years and served as the Episcopal Vicar for the San Pedro Pastoral Region for almost two years. Having witnessed many changes in the church, he told The Tidings he is content with his assignment in Belmont Shore. And more young families, he added, are joining the parish that now has 1,200 altogether registered who each year celebrate the feast of its patron saint, the apostle chosen by Christ.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/1115/stbartside/{/gallery}