Parish History

aint Timothy's was established in 1943 to serve the people the Rancho Park/Cheviot Hills area of Los Angeles. Its boundaries include Olympic Blvd. to the north, Westwood Blvd. to the west, Beverwil Drive to the east, and National Blvd. to the south. the first pastor was William O'Shea. The first masses were celebrated in an ice cream parlor on Pico Blvd. Fr. O'Shea and the parishioners set about the task of putting together enough money to build a temporary church. This church, which is the present parish hall, was completed in 1946. In the process of building this facility an antique Spanish altar piece was obtained at auction and installed in the building. Not long after this, construction began on a new permanent facility that would house this altar piece and would architecturally complement it.

 

outside of church today

On Christmas 1949 the first Mass was said in the permanent church at midnight. About the same time, the Sisters of Notre Dame opened a grammar school (Notre Dame Academy) and the Sisters of Nazareth opened a Catholic Retirement Home within the boundaries of the Parish. additional furnishing and art, including the stained glass windows were added throughout the fifties. Because there were many artisans from MGM and Fox studios among the parishioners, many of the items in the church were crafted including most of the metal work, the tabernacle (gold and silver was collected from parishioners), the pews, and many of the paintings. In the fall of 1958,

St. Timothy's School opened under the leadership of the Sisters of Notre Dame. This school has provided education to members of St. Timothy's from grades Kindergarten to Eighth. Many of its graduates have gone on to distinguish themselves in higher institutions of learning. Currently, there are 225 students in nine grades, and the present principal is a Sister of Notre Dame. In 1963, the first pastor, Fr. O'Shay passed away. The second pastor appointed was Bishop John J, Ward, who had been recently named auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. St. Timothy's was one of only two parishes in the Archdiocese having a bishop for a pastor. Bishop Ward served as pastor until 1996 when he celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest and retired. Fr. William J. Brelsford took over as pastor in July 1996 and has served in that capacity to the present time. Currently, there are 1,200 registered households in parish.

Pico and Beverly Glen Blvds. intersection, 1943

The followingtext was written by Donald Kennedy.] St. Timothy's Parish was founded in 1943. Shortly thereafter, plans were approved for the construction of a church, rectory, and parish hall at the corner of Pico and Beverly Glen Boulevards. At first, services were held in a store building on Pico Boulevard. Later, the present parish hall, the first structure completed, served as the parish church and so served until Christmas of 1949 when the doors of the present church were opened for the first mass. During the six-year interval between the founding of the parish and the completion of the present church, the parish acquired many of the decorative furnishings that adorn the church today. As will be seen, St. Timothy's has been blessed, not only in its loyal and dedicated priests and parishioners, but in its associations with good men of other religious persuasions.

Father O'Shea and contractors

Thechurch was designed by architect Harold Gimeno, AIA. The contractor was Robert B. Hedberg. Some of the work was subcontracted to a Mormon, the builder of the Mormon Temple in Westwood. On several occasions, his all-Mormon workmen, apart from their regularly scheduled work, donated their services on Saturdays to speed completion of the church for the opening mass on Christmas, 1949. (Shown on the right,) the founding pastor, Father William T. O'Shea (1902-1963), was able by taste and circumstances to blend unusually fine altars, windows, and other decorative effects with the architecture of the church. Some items he obtained through the generosity of motion picture studios. Others he obtained at auction or through donations by individuals.

Father O'Shea

The second pastor, Bishop John J. Ward, added to the artistic effect of the church with the mosaic wall decoration behind the main altar, the re-arranged altar table, additional stained glass windows, new lighting fixtures, and wall paintings of ecclesiastical coats-of-arms on the north and south walls of the sanctuary.

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Saint Timothy Catholic Church
10425 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Rectory: (310) 474-1216
Saint Timothy School
10479 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064
School: (310) 474-1811

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