ST. BRIDGET CHINESE CATHOLIC CHURCH
1939-1999 AT A GLANCE
1939 Father John Cowhig, a Columban priest forced to leave China, is directed to seek support for a mission for the growing number of Chinese in Los Angeles.
1940 The Center is built at the north end of Chinatown. Its missionary services begin with a Chinese language school, church, and recreational hall. Soon the Immaculate Heart sisters and other volunteer teachers gather the local children for weekend, summer, and even primary school programs.
1954 The Center thrives under Columban Father Anthony O’Doherty, who is followed a decade later by Father Matthew Quinn. During this period, visits are made to the homes of local parishioners in an effort to strengthen their relationship with the Center as well as to distribute basic educational and social services needed by an increasing number of Chinese-speaking immigrants from all parts of Asia.
1980 Father Peter Tsang emigrates from Hong Kong to serve as the Center’s first bilingual pastor. He adds a separate Mass conducted in Chinese.
-Local American-born Chinese students come to the Center on Saturdays for drama and piano classes and in the evening for sports and social activities. These students perform dances and plays outside Chinatown in order to raise money for war bonds in World War II.
-The sisters of Social Service help to establish the Altar Society, the Men’s, and Youth Clubs.
-Annual Bazaars for the entire community are held to create a measure of self-sufficiency and to establish contact with the Chinatown merchants for soliciting food, prizes and publicity.
-The Sacred Heart Sisters introduce new songs and offer camp retreats for children and parents, while expanding CCD classes.
-Special recognition programs such as “Mother of the Year” make the Center an integral part of everyday life in the Chinatown community.
-The Legion of Mary is formed and members visit the Chinese elderly in nursing homes and hospitals on a regular basis.
-In 1984, the Center joins the entire city at large in a successful protest against the proposed closure of neighboring Cathedral High School.
Under Salesian Leadership
1991 The Salesian Society from Hong Kong takes over the responsibility of administrating the Center. With the help of Fr. Francisco Lau and prominent Center leaders, the Chinese Catholic Association of Los Angeles is established to assist in fund raising and expansion. Under the direction of Father Francisco Lau and Brother Paul Li, the chapel is completely renovated and refurbished with a modern altar, new lighting and seating, a children’s playroom, and office space.
1992 The Chinese Catholic Association of Los Angeles acquires property adjacent to the church, doubling the Center’s physical facilities to provide parishioners with greatly improved programs and services, such as classrooms for teaching English to newly arrived immigrants. In addition, there is now a home for the pastor, a large indoor meeting room, a well-built kitchen, a basketball court, and space enough for bilingual Masses for the total congregation and outside guests.
1993 Different sodalities are reorganized, boosting and rejuvenating the spirit and cooperation among parishioners. A delegation of young people raises funds at the Center’s first Walkathon in order to attend the Pope’s “World Youth Day” in Denver.
Since 1994 to present
1994 Father Joseph Cheng, S.D.B. becomes the administrator/pastor.
With his enriched experiences, he helps develop the growth of St. Bridget. Community service, youth development, and outreach become an integral
part of our Center’s goals along with internal strengthening and
evangelization. Committees and programs are established to meet the needs of the surrounding community.
An additional property across the street from our Center is acquired in the middle of the Jubilee year. We hope that the St. Joseph House is just another step of many in the overall expansion and development plan for St. Bridget.
2000 St. Bridget is upgraded from Center to Parish.
2001 St. Bridget is named one of the 300 excellent Catholic Parishes in America.
Community activities and outreach services
-Free English Citizenship Class to answer the urgent need to assist new immigrants
-A scouting program is established, consisting of Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts
— After school programs are created.
— Basketball workshops are established for children.
— An English soccer team is formed. Teams organize games and tournament matches with other Chinese teams.
Spiritual Growth and Evangelization
— “Friendship Mass” is offered to the extended community.
— Numerous on-site retreats, workshops and Taizé Communion Prayers
–All sodalities are now encouraged to hold Bible studies and sharings at least once a month, in addition to their regular meetings.
— Young people are encouraged to attend seminars, training, and living camps.
— Religious services are expanded to include Eucharistic ministers, lectors, and altar servers.
— Parishioners are now encouraged more than ever to help organize, participate, and attend Evangelization Rallies.
— The creation of new groups: Hospitality, Salesian Cooperators, Teens For Christ, and Bereavement.
— A monthly bilingual magazine, “Warm Front,” is published in April 1999, and is now published bi-monthly.
Working with other Chinese organizations and overseas activities
–Parishioners organize and sponsor the youth to World Youth Day
— Organize, host, and attend the North America Chinese Clergy Religious & Laity Convention (NACCRLC ) and Worldwide Oversea Chinese Pastoral and Evangelization Convention
— Attend and participate in the Dedication of Our Lady of China Mosaic picture pilgrimage in Washington D.C.
–Hong Kong Salesian Centennial Celebration and China tour
Fr. Cheng serves St. Bridget for twelve years. He is elected the president of the NACCRLC and appointed National Consultant for Chinese Affairs, from 2000 to 2006 for USCCB.
Fr. Cheng transfers to serve in Edmonton in August 2006. However, he is
diagnosed with cancer shortly afterward, and returns to Los Angeles
for treatment. He peacefully returned to Our Heavenly Father in 2007. 2227.
2006 Fr. John Lam S.D.B becomes pastor of St. Bridget. Adheres to two
former pastors of the Salesians priests’ spirit. Continues to strengthen parishioners’ formation and cultivate outreach services.
Organizes a church-wide clean-up. Remodels St. Joseph House in order to give the parishioners a more comfortable, bright, and spacious space to use as leisure and for conference and prayer.
–Organize to increase visits to the sick and homebound parishioners.
–Establish a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the parish to provide free taxation service to the low-income neighborhood.
–Tai Chi classes and Basic English classes.
— Healthier Living Workshops.
— Organize liturgy workshop and training
— Organize and hosted Evangelization rally, including:
2007 Ms. Law Lan Evangelization;
2008 (July): Fr. Savio Hon and the San Francisco youth, Prism
Concert and workshop;
2008 (August): Fr. Yan and the “FOJP” overseas youth “Moment of
Light” EV concert;
2009 Bonfire Chinese opera fund-raising EV concert.
— The parish support and organize fund raising for the priests and sisters’
mission in China.
— We support and attend NACCRLC.
2008 Fr. Lam was appointed National Advisor for Chinese Affairs for USCC.
The same year, Fr. Lam was elected as one of the vice president of the NACCRLA.
一九三九年： 高隆龐會會士裘益神父（Father John Cowhig SSC）原本服務於中國內地， 因健康原因被調回美國，但是他的內心仍希望為華人服務，剛巧得到干斌主
一九四零年： 經過裘益神父及聖母聖心女修會(Immaculate Heart Sisters)修女們和數位熱心人士的支持及捐助，本中心終於在一九四零年展開了一連串的傳教活動，成立要理班、暑期班、中文學校和各項康體活動。
多爾神父（Fr. Anthony O’Doherty, SSC 1954-1962），關瑪竇神父(Fr. Matthew Quinn,SSC,1963-1980)。中心踏入六零年代不斷擴大，教友人數也日益增加，由一九三九年到一九八零年相繼在本中心服務的都是高隆龐會神父。
一九九一年： 來自香港的慈幼會會士劉志剛神父（Fr. Francisco Lau, S.D.B.）接掌本中心後，開展各項工作，大事擴張，除成立羅省華人教友協會外，並得力於教友們及社會人士的捐助，在劉神父及李東彪修士領導下，聖堂重新裝置，不論祭台、燈光、座位以至兒童遊戲室、辦事處，增設的增設，擴充的擴充，經過一番整頓後，煥然一新。
一九九四年： 一九九四年：鄭海康神父（Fr. ChengS.D.B.）於是年九月接任正發展中的中心，以其豐富經驗作一連串革新計劃。推廣福傳及青年牧民，鼓勵及支持教友神修培育和外展服務。
‧ 主辦及參加[北美華人聖職修會及教友代表大會]和 [全球海外華人聖職人員、修女大會
二零零六年： 林健漢（Fr. John Lam S.D.B.）於九月走馬上任。堅守兩位前任主任司鐸的慈幼會士精神。承先啟後，繼往開來地加強教友培育與外展服務。並且將教堂內外重新清潔整理，更把聖若瑟樓裝修，使教友有更多舒適、明亮和寬敞空間，用作會議廳；祈禱室和休憩閒談地方使用。
二零零八年 韓大輝神父與三藩市PRISM 音樂福傳會和講座; 恩保得神父與[逾越知音]”萍水相逢”福傳音樂會