Father Erasmus Soriano
St. Paul’s Church, located on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Bronson Avenue in the city of Los Angeles, is a church of immediate distinction and charm. Architects describe the exterior of St. Paul’s as Italian Romanesque.
St. Paul’s parishioners are of many ethnic and national origins, but currently, the main languages are English, Spanish, and Korean. St. Paul’s Church was established in the summer of 1917 by Msgr. Patrick Harmelt. The original geographic boundaries were Arlington Avenue on the east, La Brea Boulevard on the west, Adams Boulevard on the south and 9th Street on the north. The Sisters of Mercy had already erected a convent in the area of Washington Boulevard and Bronson Avenue, where the church is now located. Fr. Lucey set about securing properties on Washington Boulevard during the autumn of 1917.
By December of 1917 Father Lucey had completed a small brick church and a frame rectory. On December 27, 1917, soon after celebrating first mass, Fr. Lucey passed away. Fr. Leo Foin briefly succeeded as the second pastor in the spring of 1918. That same year, the newly consecrated Bishop, John J. Cantwell called on Fr. Thomas Blackwell from Fullerton to take over the parish as the third pastor. He served the parish for 41 years, and was mainly responsible for what is now St. Paul’s Church. A Convent and a School were the first major projects undertaken by Msgr. Blackwell. He realized the importance of a strong academic and religious education to the growing parish. Therefore, in 1922, a one-story school was under construction.