Sagrado Corazon and Santa Maria de Guadalupe Church in Cudahy is a faith-filled community where worshippers attend Mass in an outdoor church they call “the annex.” The largely immigrant parishioners flock to the annex to hear the gospel each Sunday despite not having a building with four walls, sometimes weathering rain, cold or fiercely hot summers. Fortunately, the community will not have to worship in these conditions much longer. 

Last month Archbishop José H. Gomez presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for a new church building, office, kitchen, religious education classroom, fellowship hall and a parking lot for the parish community of Sagrado Corazon. Bishop Oscar A. Solis, Bishop Joseph Sartoris and Msgr. David Sork from St. John Fisher Church in Rancho Palos Verdes were some of the clergy in attendance. 

“We will have a dignified building, a classroom for the children and a safe environment for our parishioners,” said pastor Father Miguel Angel Gutierrez, MSC.

Sagrado Corazon started out as the Cudahy Rescue Mission in 1992 under the religious order of Sagrado Corazon and Santa Maria de Guadalupe. In 1998, the mission became an official parish under the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. To help raise the $4 million needed for the project, the community has been aggressively fundraising and is grateful for the generosity of the archdiocese and local parishes, including their “sister parish” St. John Fisher, according to parish secretary Teresa Zargosa. 

In 2012, proceeds from the Cardinal’s Awards Dinner benefitted the building fund for Sagrado Corazon. To date, a total of $2 million has been raised. The community is continuing to raise the remaining funds needed.