From the Archives: Church hosts holiday party for immigrant children in 1914


A weeklong series of Christmas festivities at the so-called Plaza Church, a historic Catholic church in downtown Los Angeles, ended with distribution of presents and candy to about 2,000 children.

A story in the Jan. 4, 1914, Los Angeles Times was headlined, “Two Thousand Mexican Children Receive Gifts at Plaza Rectory Through Generosity of Society of El Amigo de los Ninos — Practical Help to Poor.”

“Yuletide good cheer extended clear over into the first week of the new year for the children of Our Lady of the Angels. Yesterday, the closing Christmas festivities were held in the court and patio of the old rectory, adjoining the church.”

The Los Angeles Times article added that, “Santa Claus was on hand in regulation red and white. The good old saint was personified by Jose E. Villasenor. Father Michael gave an address to the children on ‘The Babe of Bethlehem,’ and under the direction of Father Diego the children sang.”

This post was originally published on Dec. 21, 2016.

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