Established: 1917Location: 1920 South Bronson Avenue, Los AngelesOur Lady of the Angels Region: Deanery 15Each of the 300 churches in the archdiocese can claim at least one or two distinctive features — its architecture, well-known pastors or administrators, or community contributions. St. Paul Church, situated halfway between the L.A. Civic Center and the west side, is no exception. On May 13, 1917, a month after the U.S. declared war on Germany, the Blessed Mother appeared for the first time to the three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. A few months later, Msgr. Patrick Harnett, administrator for the Diocese of Los Angeles-Monterey, established the parish of St. Paul in Arlington Heights, a rural suburb where fields of yellow grain and beans stretched northwest and oil derricks pumped nearby.Father John Lucey was the first pastor and celebrated Mass in the convent of the Sisters of Mercy until the church was completed in December. But the founding pastor died of a sudden illness just two days after the Christmas Mass. That same month, 43-year-old Irish-born John Cantwell was named Bishop of Los Angeles-Monterey, serving 30 years as head of what became the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. One of the new bishop’s first appointments, in February 1918, was that of Father Leo J. Foin to St. Paul’s vacant pastorate. Father Foin only served until October when Father Thomas Blackwell, a native of County Limerick, Ireland, began his legendary term of 41 years, one of the longest in L.A. church history. Named a domestic prelate in 1949, Msgr. Blackwell died in 1959.During his pastorate, St. Paul School opened, the convent was built for the Sisters of the Holy Cross and the impressive Romanesque church — modeled after the famous structure in Rome, Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls — was solemnly blessed in January 1938. The basilica-like church remains one of the most artistic in the city with a marble altar, murals and mosaics throughout the interior. Msgr. Anthony Brouwers, a native Angeleno and alumnus of Cathedral High School, served St. Paul’s for five years, and he replaced the old school building. But he was known internationally for his work on behalf of the mission, especially in Africa. He founded the Lay Mission Helpers Association and was the director of the Propagation of the Faith, before he died of cancer in 1964. Father Michael Haran, from County Sligo, Ireland, served as associate pastor, administrator and then pastor for two years at the parish. He died at age 53 in 1973 after 20 years of ministry at St. John the Evangelist.In 1967 Msgr. Harold Laubacher was named pastor and served four years before his death at age 45 in 1971. A native of Oxnard and a member of St. John’s class of 1950, he served as director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Holy Childhood Association and spiritual director of the Mission Doctors Association. He was succeeded as pastor by his St. John’s classmate, Msgr. Thaddeus Shubsda, a native Angeleno who first served in the Matrimonial Tribunal. Named a monsignor in 1965 by Pope Paul VI, he also worked for the Propagation of the Faith, Holy Childhood and Lay Mission Helpers. During his pastorate at St. Paul he was appointed an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese and in 1982 named bishop for the Diocese of Monterey. He died in 1991 at age 66. Msgr. Royale Vadakin, a native of Detroit, was administrator following Bishop Shubsda and named pastor in 1980. After four years at St. Paul, he was named pastor of St. Vibiana Cathedral, then pastor of St. Anastasia in 1990 and, in 2003, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the archdiocese. Known throughout the city for his efforts in strengthening relations with other denominational and faith communities, he is currently senior advisor to Archbishop José Gomez. Msgr. Louis Gutierrez — a native Angeleno, Army veteran and classmate of Msgr. Vadakin — headed St. Paul for ten years. A former teacher at St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) and Santa Clara (Oxnard) High Schools, he died in San Diego in 1994 at age 61.On May 24, 1994, the Mexican Society of Our Lady of Guadalupe for Foreign Mission, founded in 1949, was appointed to guide the parish of St. Paul. Pastors have included Guadalupe Missioner Fathers Jose Luis Ochoa (for two years), Eugenio Roma (five years), Gerardo Cabral (seven years) and Jose Navarro (four years). Father Maurilo Franco, formerly an associate at the parish for four years, was named administrator in 2012. Masses are now celebrated in English and Korean, affirming the parish’s statement that no matter where one is from or what language one speaks, everyone can come together as one family to worship our Lord. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1026/stpaulside/{/gallery}