Our Lady of Solitude Catholic Church was initially opened on Christmas Eve in 1925. Before it opened, in the late 1920’s, a fearless priest and his religious sisters traveled across the country from Mexico to escape the savage oppression in their home. They promised to be reliable and devoted to the people of East Los Angeles in order to promote unity and solidarity.
Our Lady of Solitude Church or also known as “La Soledad” was the third church built specifically for Spanish-speaking individuals but the doors were open to anyone who was interested in joining them. Many families would gather together every Sunday to feel the presence of the Lord and repent for their sins but also thank him and honor him for always being there when they needed him.
This church might seem ordinary like any other in the neighborhood, however it’s much more unique. The community has developed a close-knit relationship over the years because they find the church peaceful and comforting, especially when they’re in search for answers during times of distress.
One of the main reasons why the church community has become so close is because the neighborhood is mostly made of Hispanic/Latino people and through their cultural similarities, they have created a strong bond that keeps the church alive. Our Lady of Solitude Church wouldn’t fit in any other neighborhood because although there are many neighborhoods composed of Hispanic/Latino people, the church has existed for so long in that specific area that the people know each other well and trust each other. This trust allows them to share their experiences with each other, which is valuable because it’s like having a group of quality friends and family who understands your hardships and celebrates your successes in life.
Overall, the church’s ties with the community is one that is only possible through the individual people who belong to the church, so the church would not be what it is today if it were in another neighborhood.
When you first walk in, you hear absolute silence and feel the tranquility within the church. The silence heard in the church shows that everyone that goes is dedicated and truly believes in each tradition of the church service.
In addition, the exterior and interior of the church have historical significance because the architecture is roughly 92 years old. The architecture of the church adds to the essence of the community because it represents the traditional aspects of the church service that still exists today.
Aside from the church’s physical attributes, the fact that the church accommodated to Spanish speakers reflects the welcoming spirit that the church offers to all people. During the time it opened, Hispanic/Latino people weren’t welcomed everywhere so the church was a symbol of acceptance and demonstrated the church’s solid belief in equality for all people.