ALL OLL ALUMNI REGISTER HERE
1911 - 39 (1)
1940 - 49 (13)
1950 - 59 (128)
1960 - 69 (209)
1970 - 79 (147)
1980 - 89 (161)
1990 - 99 (105)
2000 - 09 (106)
2010 - 19 (9)
Friends of OLL (96)
OLLAlumni.com Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy
OLL HISTORIC TIME LINE
We intend to present a timeline of the history of OLL since the Parish was formed in 1905 through to present day. We intend to create a complete time line history on this page. We are working with several sources including the Local Historical Societies, Historians, The Presentation Sisters' Archives and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles archives offices to gather all information available. If you have any information, photos or if you can add to this page or this website please click here and help us to build this site for all OLL alumni.
Below is a Historic Time Line for events associated with OLL Church, Parish, School and Community. your help is needed to fill in the many time line events.
Temple Street Cable Railway Company’s Car Barn in Background
- Bishop George Montgomery sees the need to offer religious services to the ever growing Catholic population of the north west suburbs of Los Angeles (then known as Edendale, Echo Park, Ivanhoe, Belmont Heights and Angelino Heights). Sunday Mass and Holy Day of Obligation services are offered from the old Temple Street Cable Railway Company’s car barn on Temple Street and Edgeware Road.
- The Parish of Saint Augustine is setup by Bishop Thomas J. Conaty somewhere between 1903 and 1905.
- Bishop Thomas J. Conaty changes the name of the parish from Saint Augustine Parish to Our Lady of Loretto Parish with an announcement made on August 28, 1905 prior to his departure to Rome at the invitation of Pope Pius X to attend the 1905 Eucharistic Congress. Father George Donahoe (former Secretary to the Bishop) is appointed pastor of the new parish and takes up residence at 324 N. Union Avenue.
The Original Our Lady of Loretto Gothic Style Church
- Ground is broken on the new Gothic style church to be named Our Lady of Loretto at the corner of Union Avenue and Court Street.
Interior of the Original Our Lady of Loretto Church
- The new church of Our Lady of Loretto is completed and on November 17, 1907 Bishop Conaty, Monsignor Hartnett, and 16 priests including Fr. Donahoe conduct a High Mass to dedicate the new home for the parishioners of Our Lady of Loretto located at 300 North Union Avenue (corner of Union Avenue and Court Street). The church can seat 500 parishioners and was built at a cost of $25,000. The steeple stands a full 125 feet high.
Church and Rectory at Right
- The Rectory for the new Church is completed and the Priests move into their new residence. Previous to this they occupied an adjacent house at 324 North Union Avenue.
- Our Lady of Loretto Elementary School opens on Union Avenue one block from its present 258 North Union Avenue location.
- The original school set up in 1911 was enlarged in 1914.
- J.J. Bodkin former owner of the Catholic weekly paper "The Tidings" was buried from Our Lady of Loretto on January 29, 1918.
- The Presentation Sisters start teaching at Our Lady of Loretto.
- A shrine in the image of Saint Anne is erected next to the main alter in the church. The image was designed by Eugene Alker (California Art Wood Company) and the gold and silver decoration supplied by Buelow Art and Frame Company. Fr. Cullen (A Paulist Priest) from San Francisco conducted the special dedication services on April 17, 1921.
Our Lady of Loretto Elementary School
- A new 6 room school house is built at 258 North Union Avenue site of the present school. The Siters of the Presentation are the faculty.
- Father James Deenihan (S.T.L.) becomes the pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish on October 10, 1927 replacing Father Patrick O'Donoghue.
- Completion of the first extention of the new school built in 1921 at its present location was completed in 1928.
- Real life "Keystone Cops" at OLL. On March 4, 1929 a mentally disturbed individual by the name of Leonard T. Peterman climbed up the 125 foot high bell tower of OLL Church and rang the bells and yelled and taunted people on Union Avenue and Court Street below in a high shrill voice. Unable to get into the locked church, police were called to remove the man. Using a new weapon just made available to them, 2 detectives climbed the outside of the church steeple and entered the side window of the bell tower and up a stairway to confront the man. After not being able to coax him down the detectives threw their new weapon (a tear bomb canister) towards the man. Upon seeing this Peterman quickly ran down the stairs of the bell tower closing the trap door behind him and leaving the detectives victims of their own weapon. Upon finally getting to the bottom of the steeple the detectives found Mr. Peterman sitting waiting for them, however, they were unable to act as they were crying profusely and it was hours before they could resume their duties again. Other police officers arrived at the scene and Mr. Peterman was held for observation. The other policemen that arrived on the scene were also quickly in tears when they heard the story ... albeit their tears were from laughter at the antics that preceded their arrival.
- Former chief deputy collector of the Internal Revenue Service Richard S. Patterson was buried from OLL Church on August 17, 1932. He had been a resident of West Third Street Los Angeles and an OLL parishioner for five years after his retirement from government service in 1927.
- Our Lady of Loretto’s Boy Scout group was asked to march in a very special parade in Boyle Heights attended by 40,000 people in devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and attended by a group of Yaqui Indians from Mexico who were special guests of the occasion officiated by Bishop John Cantwell on December 9, 1934.
Echo Park Flooded - February 1938
- The area around Echo Park was underwater as a result of the catastrophic Los Angeles Flood of 1938 that began on February 27, 1938, when an abnormally large amount of rain fell in the Los Angeles area due to a storm from the Pacific Ocean. Heavy rainfall lasting three days caused the Los Angeles River to spill over its banks, killing approximately 115 people and destroying 5601 homes. Damage from this flood prompted the passage of the Flood Control Act of 1941, which called for the construction of storm drains and flood control channels in the Los Angeles area to prevent future floods.
- The owner of the very first music shop in Los Angeles, Mrs. Nellie Foster was buried from OLL Church on February 5th, 1941. Mrs. Foster set up the first music store in Los Angels soon after she arrived here with her Father Bartholomew J. Cooke in the migration to Los Angeles in the early days of the City. As Nellie Cooke, the oldest of 10 children, she actually drove one of the two weather-beaten covered wagons owned by her family as they came West to California on a 13 month trek over the Oregon Trail in 1883-84. She also became a prize winning waltzer winning prizes for her dancing at the historic Merced Theater.
- Father Joseph Weyer joins the staff of priests at OLL Parish as Assistant Pastor.
- Monsignor George Donahoe, the first pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish was buried from St. Vibianas Cathedral in Los Angeles with a solemn pontifical requiem mass on June 6, 1943. Monsignor Donahoe had an illustrious career as a priest and administrator in the Archdiocese. As well as serving as the Secretary for Bishop T.J. Conaty in the early part of this century, Monsignor Donahoe also served as a parish priest and pastor in Southern California for 42 years until his death on June 3, 1943. Monsignor Donahoe died peacefully at the rectory of St James Church in Redondo Beach where he was the pastor since 1935.
- Father George Conboy joins the staff of priests at OLL Parish as Assistant Pastor.
- Former State of Montana Attorney General James Donovan a well known attorney and political figure was buried from Our Lady of Loretto on January 18, 1945.
- Former OLL parish priest Monsignor Michael O'Gorman dies on November 2, 1946. Monsignor Gorman took up his first parish post as assistant pastor of OLL in 1909. Monsignor Gorman had an illustrious career as a priest and administrator and was actually named as the Papal Chamberlain and Regional Prelate to Pope Pius XI as well as being appointed by Archbishop John J. Cantwell as archdiocese director of the Holy Name Union (a position that he held for 20 years) that saw the numbers of members of Holy Name Societies in the archdiocese grow to over 100,000 members under his directorship. Monsignor O'Gorman spent 37 years as a parish priest and administrator in the archdiocese.
- OLL pastor Father Raymond O'Flaherty (who was also the Executive Director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau) was elevated to the rank of Papal Chamberlain (or Monsignor) at a service held at St. Vibiana's Cathedral and officiated by Bishop Timothy Manning.
- Mrs. Mary Ronnan Powers was buried from OLL Church on May 20, 1948. Mrs. Ronnan Powers, who lived on Alvarado Street, was the daughter of the early pioneer Timothy Ronnan who first came to the Los Angeles area by covered wagon in 1868. Timoth Ronnan eventually went on to build the first railroad linking Los Angeles with Wilmington.
- An early morning fire at 1906 West Temple Street caused more than $50,000 in damages for the Krispy Kake Kone Kompany. All OLL Alumni of the 50's and 60's and into the 70's will remember Krispy Kake Kone Kompany, not for the fire, not for their catchy name, but for the fact that they used to give away the broken cones that they made at the plant to the students returning home from school and passing by the plant on Temple Street. Joseph Evans, the plant manager started the policy of giving away the broken cones to the local kids and this "policy" was carried on by subsequent managers Joseph Orrell and Art Platz. The policy ended sometime in the early 1970's but the memories of the Krispy Kake Kone Kompany will live on with fond memories by all OLL Alumni who had the pleasure of stopping by Krispy Kake and tasting those delicious cone pieces. Krispy Kake Kone Kompany is no more as they were bought out by another company who still operates at the same plant and still makes cones for the ice cream industry, however the policy of giving out free bits and pieces of the cones broken on the production line is no more and lives on only in the memories of OLL Alumni and of course in the annals of this alumni website.
Our Lady of Loretto High School
- Our Lady of Loretto High School opens in 1949 to offer Catholic continued education for girls in the Los Angeles area. The Sisters of the Presentation staffed the school as teachers and with a combination of sisters and lay teachers, Our Lady of Loretto flourished as a center of learning until its closure due to financial and staffing demands. A decision was made by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to close Our Lady of Loretto and merge the school with Bishop Conaty High School for the 1989 school year. Thus after 40 years, OLL High School closed her doors for the last time and will be missed by all who knew, attended, associated with and became part of Our Lady of Loretto High School. There is still a strong OLL HS Alumni to this day.
OLL Students Make Headlines
- OLL Students make national news when 20 out of a total of 115 students that were on a special school outing to Manhattan Beach had to be rescued from drowning by a mass contingent of life guards. Severe rip tides caught the students off guard while they were in the Ocean. June 6, 1949.
- The convent on Belmont Avenue was completed and occupied by the Sisters of the Presentation.
- OLL Parishioner Henry Cremer, originally born in Cologne Germany and a sculptor and interior designer was buried from OLL Church on July 31, 1952. Mr. Cremer is best known for designing the magnificent interiors of theaters in Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego. However, Mr. Creamer's most elaborate work could be seen in the interiors of the magnificent Egyptian Theater and the United Artists Theater in Hollywood or the Million Dollar Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.
- The daughter of former heavyweight boxing champion of the world Jack Dempsey weds at Our Lady of Loretto Church. Joan Hannah Dempsey married Denis O’Flaherty on August 31, 1953. Denis O'Flaherty is the nephew of OLL pastor Monsignor Raymond O'Flaherty who officiated at the ceremony.
- Jack Dempsey gives away another daughter at Our Lady of Loretto Church as his second daughter Barbara Judith Dempsey weds John Warren McMillan on April 5, 1954. Monsignor Raymond O'Flaherty officiated at the ceremony. The groom and maid of honor Mr. and Mrs. Denis O'Flaherty (Jack Dempsey' other daughter and son-in-law) were also married at OLL Church just 7 months previous to this 2nd Dempsey daughter wedding.
- Cartoonist William de la Torre creator of “Li’l Pedro” cartoon that was syndicated by The Mirror Enterprise Syndicate was buried from Our Lady of Loretto on February 24, 1955.
- Former OLL Parishioner (who lived at 324 North Rosemont Avenue) and popular cartoonist and artist William de la Torre was honored at a memorial fiesta at the Del Mar Club in Santa Monica on August 5, 1956. William de la Torre was the creator of the very popular "Li'l Pedro" cartoon strip that was syndicated nationwide. He died at the age of 39 in early 1955 and his many friends decided to honor his memory with this special fiesta. The emotional highlighted was a Mexican dance performance by his 12 year old daughter Louise. Dignitaries present included the Mexcican Consulate General for Los Angeles Adolfo G. Dominguez as well as famous Mexican actor Leo Carillo and the organizer of the event and fellow Mirror Syndicate Group cartoonist Renny McEvoy creator of the comic strip "Dixie Dugan". Many parisioners of OLL Parish were also in attendance to celebrate the life and memory of Willaim de la Torre.
Our Lady of Loretto Church
- The new church at 250 North Union Avenue (on the corner of Union Avenue and Council Street) is dedicated and opened to the parishioners. Cardinal McIntyre officiated at the dedication ceremony on November 1, 1959.
Mary Ann (Rania) Kass wins 1959 Archdiocese of Los Angeles Yo-Yo Championship
- Mary Ann (Rania) Kass was the Archdiocese of Los Angeles champion Yo-Yo Queen of 1959. Mary Ann is seen here in a photo with the huge trophy given to the annual winner and posing with Mary Ann is Sister Mary Joan her 8th grade teacher in the school playground.
- Ex opera singer and movie star turned Fransican Father says mass at OLL High School on January 12, 1966. Jose Mojica, born in San Gabriel, Jalisco Mexico was a world famous operatic tenor who was discovered by the legendary Enrico Caruso. Jose Mojica performed operas and sang on stages all over the world throughout the 1920's. In the 1930's he turned his attention to Mexican movies and was a leading man in no fewer than 20 Mexican films from 1930 - 1940. Upon the death of his mother, Jose Mojica answered a late call in life to become a priest and entered the Franciscan Order. While in Los Angeles in 1966 he celebrated mass (now as Father Jose de Guadalupe) for the girls of OLL High School. After the mass he also treated the girls by singing "Corazon Mexicano" and "Estrellita". Father Jose was in town to do a cameo role in the Mexican movie "Seguiré Tus Pasos" as well as performing for the Spanish speaking community by singing on stage for an entire week at the Million Dollar Theater. Father Jose would perform and any money raised would go to help fund his Franciscan missionary work in Lima Peru. After 27 years as a Franciscan priest, Father Jose de Guadalajara died in Lima in 1974 of a heart condition at the age of 79. To say he lived a full life is a major understatement!
Vickie (Velasco) Allen is crowned Miss Phillippines of Los Angeles Queen
- On July 4, 1966 while attending Our Lady of Loretto High School former OLL Elementary School graduate Victoria "Vickie" (Velasco) Allen (Class of 1963) was crowned Miss Philippines of Los Angeles for the Filipino Community. As you can see in her picture today (see her "now photo" on her profile page), Vickie would easily win that title again today without any problem at all!
OLL's Major Leager Ken Rudolph
- OLL former student makes his debut in Major League basebal.Ken Rudolph was born on Sunday, December 29, 1946, in Rockford, Illinois however, he attended elementary school at OLL and graduated in 1960. Ken then spent the next 4 years at Cathedral High School before excelling in baseball at LACC and eventually catching the eye of MLB scouts. Ken was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 20, 1969 with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs selected him in the 1965 amateur draft, passing on another young catcher named ... Johnny Bench, who they had scouted and originally intended to pick. The Cubs recent acquisition of veteran catcher Randy Hundley had changed their mind on picking Bench. Their initial intention was for Johnny Bench to catch and learn the position behind Hundley in Chicago, instead, they drafted Ken Rudolph who performed that same task as the Cubs' backup catcher for five seasons! Ken rarely started, except when catching one half of doubleheaders or to give Hundley a day off now and again. All that time on the bench allowed Ken (a career .213 hitter in a nine-year career) to earn his teaching degree in the off-season. After he retired from baseball he became (and still is) a teacher and baseball coach at Arcadia High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- In September of 1974 The Eucharistic Missionary Sisters took on the role of staffing the school but a decision was made to cut the school back to grades 1-6 as opposed to grades 1-8 as it was prior to 1974. The children in graded 7 and 8 were transferred to Queen of Angels Elementary School to finish off their education. Miss Flavia Lopez was appointed Principal of Our Lady of Loretto in 1974 (a position she would hold for an amazing 28 years). Also joining the Principal in the new setup were Miss Hermelinda Oliveras (Vice Principal) and Miss Maria Concepcion Castillo (Religious Coordinator).
- Former OLL alter boy and famous television star Jack Webb died on December 23, 1982. Jack Webb appeared as "Sargeant Joe Friday" on the television series "Dragnet" that appeared off and on from 1951 to 1970. In the late 1920's and early 1930's Jack Webb resided in the OLL Parish and did his stint as an alter boy during that time.
Monsignor John Patrick Languille
- Monsignor John Patrick Languille, long term pastor of OLL and head of the Catholic Welfare Bureau died of a stroke on September 30, 1985 while attending a conference in Seattle Washington. Monsignor Languille was ordained in 1949 and was the Director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau since 1976.
- The famous OLL parishioner and artist Leo Politi dies at the age of 89. Leo Politi has had the distinct honour of having a school, a park and a library named after him. Leo Politi was born on November 21, 1907 on a ranch just outside of Fresno, California, where his father bought, sold and attended to horses. He moved to Italy and began drawing at the age of 6 in his Mother's native home in a village called Broni, not far from Milan, Italy. After studying art and design at the Monza based art school "The National Art Institute at Monza", Politi decided to return home to the USA at the age of 22. He soon found himself in the Los Angeles area and became intrigued with Olvera Street and the Mexican American "Color" as he called it. The color and folkways of the Mexican American community in Los Angeles would prove to influence him and his art for the rest of his life. Leo earned an early living sketching tourists, the vendors and the Los Angeles architecture at Olvera Street and the surrounding areas. His break came when he began to illustrate Christmas cards with a Mexican Children theme. Leo would send these theme cards to the publishing company of Charles Scribner & Company were seen by and Editor named Alice Dalgleish who fell in love with his work and pushed for their publication. The Christmas cards became extremely popular and sought after and Leo experienced his first commercial success as an artist. Leo took up home at 436 1/2 North Grand Street in old Bunker Hill in the early 1930's. In 1938 Leo married Helen Fontes and it was in that same year he published his first book "Little Pancho". Due to the Bunker Hill renewal program that totally changed Bunker Hill, Politi was forced to move and soon found his long term home in Echo Park's Angelino Heights where he and his wife Helen were much loved neighbors at their West Kensington Road near Douglas Street. In his lifetime Leo Politi became a local icon and his art filled the hearts of many. He wrote and illustrated books, created much sought after works of art, created the "The Blessing Of The Animals" mural on the side of the Biscailuz Building in Olvera Street and gave freely of his time and talents to help and contributed to his community. Leo Politi was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the nation's highest honour to authors of children's books, for his books Mission Bell and Song of the Swallows. He has been honoured with a school being named after him in 1991 by the Los Angeles Unified School District with The Leo Politi Elementary School on 11th Street in Los Angeles. A Park has also been dedicated to him in Elysian Park and named Monticello de Leo Politi Park (the old Lodge in Elysian Park) as well as having the city of his birth dedicate the Fresno Public Library in his name in 1980. Leo Politi died in 1996 at the age of 89 but his legacy remains in his art and many fond memories he leaves behind. Leo was a devote Catholic and was regularly seen in the "La Placita Church" at Olvera Street, St. Vibiana Cathedral downtown and Our Lady of Loretto Church.
The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great
- Three OLL Parishioners were bestowed papal awards when they received the titles of Knight and Dames of The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. The 3 parishioners were bestowed the papal honours in recognition of their service to the Church, unusual labors, support of the Holy See, and the good example set in their communities and country. The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. was begus by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831 and all members are chosen personally by Pope John Paul II. The 3 parishioners are Knight Lanh Van Nguyen, Dame Isabel Piczek and her sister Dame Edith Piczek.
Sandy (The Singing Angel) Caldera
- Sandy Caldera gives Gospel performance at OLL Church on July 30, 1999. Sandy Caldera, (sometimes called the "Singing Angel") is a Tijuana born student who, despite being blind is also one of the biggest-selling Catholic gospel singers in the Latino world. Her songs, mostly dedicated to Jesus or the Virgin Mary, bring hope to thousands, if not millions, of listeners from Alaska to Argentina. She has released 6 CDs and all have sold thousands of copies worldwide. She has just signed a new contract to produce more mainstream music, but she says "it may be more mainstream but the message will be the same"!
- Former OLL altar boy in the early 1920's and two time academy award winning actor, Anthony Quinn died on June 3, 2001 at the age of 86. Quinn lived in the OLL parish in the 1920's prior to breaking into the movie industry. Anthony Quinn won not one, but two "Oscars" in his supporting actor performances in "Viva Zapata" (1952) and "Lust For Life" (1956). It could have been so different for Anthony Quinn as he mentioned many times in interviews that he had one ambition as a child and that was to ... become a priest!
- In 2003 Miss Flavia Lopez retired after 28 years as Principal of Our Lady of Loretto Elementary School. Easily the longest serving faculty member in the school's history.
- In September of 2003 Miss Fidela B. Suelto took over the reigns as Principal at OLL, joined by Mrs. Isabel Kuhn (Vice Principal) and Mr. Miguel A. Solis (Religion Coordinator).
- Father Richard Casillas comes to OLL as Pastor.
- Former long-serving OLL Pastor Father James Nash dies at the age of 94 in Orange County, California. Father Nash oversaw the construction and eventual dedication of the new OLL Church in 1959.
OLL CD Featuring Loretto Hymn
- Our Lady of Loretto releases a CD comprising of 11 songs performed by the "Children's Choir". The CD includes the "Loretto Hymn" was an original song written by OLL Pricipal Fidela Suelto and music arranged by Christopher Avendano that is performed by the entire kindergarten to eigth grade students of OLL.
This CD can be ordered by going to the merchandise page on this website.
- Our Lady Of Loretto Alumni mourn the passing of a true OLL Icon. Mrs. Phoebe Porche passed away after a long and fruitful life having dedicated many of her adult years to further the education of girls at both OLL Elementary School on Union Avenue as well as the old OLL High School on Lake Street. Many girls who knew Mrs. Porche will always be inspired and influnced by her involvement in their lives. The entire OLL Alumni thanks Mrs. Porche for her love, kindness, knowledge, patience and dedication to the OLL family.
MORE OLL HISTORIC TIME LINE TO COME ... and again, if you want to contribute to this page or any of the many pages on this site please feel free to submit your suggestions, photos, ideas, stories and comments by clicking here.