St. Hedwig Parish Trivia
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of our parish, we are printing short "did-you-knows" in our bulletin. Here's the archive:
- February 16 - The Roman Catholic Parish in Los Alamitos was founded in 1922 under the patronage of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers.
- February 23 - The site of the original parish church (then St. Isidore) was donated by Bixby, a big land owner at the time. Mike Reagan organized the building project, and the church was constructed by the parishioners themselves.
- March 1 - St. Isidore was (and still is!) situated at the corner of Katella Ave and Reagan St in Los Alamitos. Reagan St was named in honor of Mike Reagan, who organized the building project of the original church.
- March 8 - In 1933 a devastating earthquake struck. St. Isidore (St. Hedwig parish’s original church) had been built with brick—both the choir loft and the four walls of the sanctuary collapsed. The parishioners had a tremendous spirit, though, and women could be seen standing in front of the ruins selling food to raise money for repairs. Fundraising at that time was not easy, since the weekly collection totaled $1.20. During the three months it took to repair the church, the priests lived at in a home provided by the owners of the Sugar Beet Factory, and Sunday Mass was celebrated in the Scott Brothers General Store.
- March 15 - When priests were deported in the 1920s from Mexico as a result of the anticlerical laws, many bishops and priests came to celebrate Mass at St. Isidore’s (St. Hedwig’s original church). One tradition—though it would be impossible to verify—claims that more bishops have celebrated Mass at St. Isidore’s than the Cathedral in Los Angeles.
- March 22 - In the late 50s, Ross Cortese, the builder of Rossmoor, donated a sizeable amount of land at the corner of Orangewood and Los Alamitos Blvd for a new Catholic church to accommodate the influx of people moving into new homes.
- March 29 - Ross Cortese, who built Rossmoor and donated land for the construction of a Catholic church, insisted that the new church be put under the patronage of St. Hedwig, instead of St. Isidore. Cortese’s mother-in-law was named Hedwig and he wanted to honor her.