Established: 1911Location: 322 North Avenue 61, Los AngelesSan Fernando Region: Deanery 6A unique series of unrelated events contributed to the founding of this parish, officially opened in 1911. In 1865 Bishop Thaddeus Amat sought to establish a college in Southern California. The Spanish Vincentian, realizing the necessity of establishing an institution of higher education, facilitated the cooperation of civic leaders to contribute. St. Vincent’s College opened in 1865 in the old Lugo House in the Los Angeles Plaza, but a lack of funds and the death of several faculty members proved to be a problem. A solution came when Mr. Ozro Childs deeded the fathers a nine-acre tract on Broadway between Sixth and Seventh streets. Bishop Amat laid the cornerstone in 1867 and the new college flourished for 19 years. (St. Vincent’s Jewelry Center operates on that site today.)Urban growth and the offer of $100,000 for the Broadway site led to the relocation of the college to the corner of Washington and Grand in 1887. In 1910 the Vincentian Fathers informed Bishop Thomas Conaty that they would temporarily withdraw from the field of education and the bishop invited the Jesuits to take over the high school and college. Thus, in 1911 the intrepid Jesuits established a high school and college in several bungalows along Avenue 52 in Highland Park and Father Richard Gleason was named president. One year later Father William Deeney replaced him and two years later the Jesuits decided to relocate on Venice Boulevard in L.A. That school became Loyola High School, while further west the college became Loyola (today, Loyola Marymount) University.To honor the Jesuits, Bishop Conaty named the new parish for the founder of the society — St. Ignatius. Msgr. Thomas O’Regan from Ireland was the first pastor (1914-19) and built the parish house and church. He later served as pastor at St. Mary, L.A., for 18 years and pastor of St. Philip, Pasadena, for 20 years. He died in 1957. Father Jeremiah Burke headed St. Ignatius parish from 1919 to 1927 and built the school in 1922, staffed by the Dominican Sisters from Mission San Jose who still remain a presence at the school. For 17 years Father Patrick O’Donoghue from County Kerry, Ireland, shepherded the parish, the first in the diocese to hold nocturnal adoration one night each week. During Father O’Donoghue’s pastorate, the Diocese of Los Angeles became an archdiocese in 1936. He died in 1944 after a long illness and over 200 priests were present at the requiem Mass. Another Irishman, Msgr. Thomas Francis O’Carroll from Dublin, had been pastor at St. Teresa of Avila in Silver Lake for 11 years before his pastorate of 26 years at St. Ignatius. He secured additional property for a new church (built in 1953), renovated the school and served on the Matrimonial Tribunal as secretary for more than 40 years. He died July 12, 1970 at age 71.Msgr. John Acton, from County Galway, received his early education in Ireland but completed his seminary studies at St. John’s in 1948, the first group of priests ordained for L.A. by new Archbishop James Francis McIntyre. He was the associate pastor at four parishes before his appointment in 1972 as pastor of St. Ignatius. In 1979 he was named as a consultor for the archdiocese and served until 1999, the same year he retired as pastor emeritus from St. Dorothy in Glendora where he was pastor for 21 years. Msgr. Acton now lives at Nazareth House.A Los Angeles native, Msgr. Alfred Hernandez, headed the parish for 18 years (1978-96). Ordained in 1955 as part of St. John’s largest class ever (31 priests), he ministered for many years as a chaplain at juvenile detention facilities, hospitals and fire departments. During his term as pastor, the parish celebrated its 75th anniversary with the motto “a family united in prayer, love and service … to the greater glory of God.” Msgr. Hernandez is retired and living privately.Father Arturo Velasco, also an Angeleno, was ordained in 1986 and pastored St. Ignatius for three years. He is now pastor of Our Lady of the Valley in Canoga Park. The current pastor, Father Edwin Duyshart, was born in Buffalo, reared in Southern California, and ordained in 1984 by Cardinal Timothy Manning, the cardinal’s golden jubilee of priestly ordination. For St. Ignatius, 102 years is quite a milestone too. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0517/ignatiusside/{/gallery}