We are Parishes
30 missions and chapels
16 Eastern Rite Catholic Churches
We are Schools
214 elementary schools
51 high schools
73,750+ students enrolled
We are Community
Residing in 120 cities
Mass celebrated in 42 languages
LA Catholics Mission
We, the People of God of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, accept our mission to continue the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Baptized into the Body of Christ, confirmed in the Holy Spirit, and nourished by the Word and Eucharist, we share Christ’s mission as priest, prophet and servant kings. We are one with the Catholic Church throughout the world, in communion with the pope.
With the pastoral leadership of our Archbishop, we collaborate to live and proclaim the gospel. Christ announced the reign of God. We are the instrument of this reign in the world. We commit ourselves to build a community of faith and love. With Christ, we bring good news to the poor. We commit ourselves to eliminate the many faces of poverty in our midst— spiritual, economic, and moral. With Christ, we uphold the dignity of human life. We commit ourselves to cherish each person and to be faithful stewards of God’s creation. With Christ, we affirm the bonds that unite us. We commit ourselves to remove the barriers that divide. We dedicate our parish communities and our schools, institutions, ministries, and organizations to fulfill this mission under the loving patronage of Mary, Queen of the Angels.
The Saintly Beginning of an Archdiocese Named for Mary and the Angels
The first Church in Alta California was made up of 21 missions, three pueblos, four presidios and multiple asistencias. There was a plan behind the use of each. We can trace these foundations (in a more or less north to south order) along El Camino Real.
The Church of Our Lady Queen of the Angels, known as “La Placita” was built in 1814 as the first Church in the City of Los Angeles, which is an abbreviation for the full name “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles,” The City of Our Lady Queen of the Angels. While ‘La Placita’ is the first Church in Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Mission, built in 1771 in the present City of San Gabriel, was the first Church built in our Archdiocese, predating the birth of our country. San Gabriel mission was home to the recently canonized St. Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary who made his way to California through Mexico from Spain. We see the Franciscan influence across our Archdiocese in the names of the streets, cities and neighborhoods we call home.
Spiritually, we look to St. Junipero as a founder of our Church in Los Angeles, our state and our country who began his missionary efforts with a visit to the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, in Mexico City. We have the special privilege to venerate Our Lady in front of a relic of the Tilma, just as St. Junipero did, in the Tilma Chapel of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Today, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles comprises three counties in the southern part of the State of California: Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The area extends from the northern county line of Santa Barbara County, near the city of Santa Maria, to the southern county line of Los Angeles County. It covers 8,762 square miles (22,430 square kilometers) of territory. The total Roman Catholic population, as of 2005, stands at 4,349,267 people living among a total population of 11,258,600. There are 288 parishes located in 120 cities throughout the Archdiocese.
There are 30 missions and chapels and 16 Eastern Catholic churches. In all, there are a total of 214 Catholic elementary schools and 51 Catholic high schools. Together they comprise one of the three largest school systems in California in either the public or private sector. Ethnic services in a very culturally mixed environment are offered to 72 different groups. These services include clergy, liturgy, social services, publications, counseling, and cultural affairs.