Los Angeles, California
What characterizes the charisma of Dolores Mission, a parish created in “the Flats” east of downtown Los Angeles, is its continuous and dedicated service to the poor and the immigrant and to social justice. When the church began in 1925, it depended upon the supportive priests from nearby St. Mary’s Parish. In 1945 the parish received a donated building and was named “The Mission of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores.” Currently, Dolores Mission Church and School do a lot with a little to serve what is still today a low income population of “the Flats” of Boyle Heights.
In 1980 Cardinal Manning asked the Jesuit order to take charge of the mission. In the intervening years since 1980, the people of Dolores Mission have worked hard with the Jesuits to ask the question, “What is God asking us to do, here and now?” As a result of this question, various grassroots nonprofit organizations have sprouted and grown from the parish, including Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission, a community-building organization; CHIRLA, an East Los Angeles Housing Coalition; and Homeboy Industries, which serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs.
Dolores Mission School has served the children and families in the heart of Boyle Heights since 1950. As an integral part of a Jesuit parish, it empowers children to become young men and women for others.