The special thing about Saint Alphonsus Church is that it’s the only one in East L.A. It is located on Atlantic and Hinge, bordering East L.A. and the City of Commerce. One important street in our community is called “Atlantic Avenue.” It is really big and nice in the church, and there’s a lot of different reasons that it’s good. There is mass every Sunday, and it offers classes to children in the community to get their first Communion and Confirmation. It also has a fair every three months for the community to get more involved, and helps the community out by hosting a charity basketball game for the kids and bingo night for the adults. Those are some of the main reasons it’s a landmark; it hosts activities that no other church does in our community.
I’ll probably never forget my connections with Saint Alphonsus Church. One of my main connections is that my father had his funeral inside that church. Even though that church is probably the biggest one in our community, most of my dad’s friends and family couldn’t fit inside the church because he knew so many people. He was one of the nicest guys, friends with everyone. Whoever was around him loved him because he was a good guy. The second connection is that I attended my First Communion in the church of Saint Alphonsus. My uncle and aunt also go to school there.
The church symbolizes a lot for the people in East L.A. Most people go to it because the majority of people in East L.A. are Catholics. It lets us keep our heritage by having the area’s predominantly Mexicans go to one main church, which is important to us.
Honestly, I think if people from out-of-town wanted to know about our community, they would be fascinated. Everyone goes to church in the community, but not just any old church, Saint Alphonsus Church. It connects community members by having everyone join Sunday mass, which is different from the image of violence you might see about East L.A. on the news. Without Saint Alphonsus Church, people would probably be disconnected from other families and community members. Saint Alphonsus Church made a community that cares about something important to them, which is why it should be considered a landmark.