Founded in 1954 by the Jesuits, St. Ignatius Loyola is a historic, urban parish located just outside of the city limits of Sacramento, Calif. In the beginning, the parish community reflected suburban America of the 1950s. The population was mainly people of Irish and Italian origin. Today, like the rest of America, the parish population is multi-ethnic, diverse and inclusive.
When the Jesuits originally came to Sacramento, there was an intention to open a high school. The early years at St. Ignatius included establishing the parish and its organizations along with conducting organizational efforts that would lead to the founding of Jesuit High School of Sacramento in 1963.
From the beginning, there was a deep commitment to education among the founding members of St. Ignatius Parish. Many of the founders still worship at St. Ignatius and there are a number of second-generation families that are now sending their children to St. Ignatius Parish School.
To meet the many social needs of the community, St. Ignatius established a Community Assistance Ministry, which helps families with rental, utility and furniture assistance. They provide food baskets and hygiene items at Christmas and Easter for 250 families through their Feed-A-Family Program. The ministry also provides snack bags for the hungry.
A social services program is also run out of the parish, which offers a wide range of services including tutoring programs in public schools and coordination with and support of Pacific Institute for Community Organizations (PICO). (Photo by Pedro Marenco)