In 1904, Los Angeles Bishop Thomas Conaty, concerned about the religious welfare of Italian Catholics in Los Angeles, ordered the creation of two churches, St. Peter’s and Immaculate Conception. St. Peter’s Italian Church, still in existence today, began as a small frame structure on San Fernando Street (now North Spring), before moving to its present location on North Broadway.  The second church, Immaculate Conception, was located on Fourteenth and Wilson Streets in the city’s Sicilian enclave. While Immaculate Conception’s baptismal, marriage and death records have been preserved, little other information is known about the church. It seems that in 1924, Immaculate Conception relocated to Avenue 20 and Darwin in Lincoln Heights, likely coinciding with the growth of the neighborhood’s Italian population. It was later renamed Our Lady Help of Christians. Inspection of the church’s marriage records reveals that many of the parishioners hailed from Piana dei Greci, Corleone and other villages in the province of Palermo, Sicily. If you have any information about the Immaculate Conception Church, please call (213) 485-8432.

L’Italo-Americano thanks for the historic photo the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles. The image can not be copied, printed or used in any other way without the permission of IAMLA.

The mission of the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles is to promote awareness of different cultural heritage of Northern California through research, historic preservation, exhibitions and educational programs that examine the history and ongoing contributions of Italian-Americans in the multi-ethnic Los Angeles and in the United States.

Receive more stories like this in your inbox