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Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church

Caption | Father Paul Spellman at the Wednesday Morning Mass for students of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.
Caption | Holy Name of Jesus Morning Soup Kitchen
Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church
Caption | Plaque outside the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church
Harold & Belles: Gather, Greet and Grub
Harold & Belles: Gather, Greet and Grub
Harold & Belle’s is a Creole restaurant on Jefferson that serves as a local hangout for people who have lived in the community for years. The restaurant was opened by Harold and Belle Legaux in 1969 and is still owned and run by the same family.
Leslie N. Shaw Park
Leslie N. Shaw Park
Leslie N. Shaw Park on Jefferson Blvd. provides community members with a place to relax, focus and interact with each other.
Behind the Small Susinesses of Jefferson Behind the Small Susinesses of Jefferson
Jefferson Boulevard is lined with small businesses ranging from auto repair shops to clothing stores. The owners of the businesses have had their fair share of stories about holding on in the economy slump, but have looked to the community of Jefferson for support..

By Caroline Vandergriff and Jessica Hagy

The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church is the only Catholic Church on Jefferson Boulevard. Their congregation is made up of approximately 1,000 families. About 80% of the congregation are African-American, and 20% are Hispanic.

Father Paul Spellman has been the pastor at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church for the past 5 years. He originally thought he would be a CPA when he graduated with an MBA from the University of Southern California.

However, Spellman said he felt pulled in different direction after working with youth in juvenile halls in Los Angeles. Spellman says his main focus at Holy Name is the youth, as he believes many are moving away from spirituality.

The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School, located right next door to the church, has 165 enrolled students, although they have the capacity for 270 students. Father Paul Spellman says the economy is to blame for the drop in enrollment, because the monthly tuition for the Kindergarten-8th Grade school is $250.

Normally, the parish gives 110 scholarships each year, but this year they could only provide scholarships for 65 students. Spellman says the parish is breaking even in terms of money, but the school is not doing well financially.

Although Spellman says he sees a great deal of spirituality in the community, he also sees many fractured families. He contributes the high amount of gang activity to the breakdown of the family. Many youth see a gang as a replacement for family, but Spellman works hard to discourage kids from joining in the first place.

Spellman's goal is to encourage the kids to do well in high school so they can go to college. Even though USC is right down the street, many kids feel like it is an impossible goal. Spellman is trying to change that.

The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church also serves hot meals to the neighborhood's hungry. Some are homeless, some are struggling to make ends meet, but all are issued a sandwich, cup of soup, coffee and a kind greeting when they stop by the Church's soup kitchen.

The kitchen runs Monday through Thursday from 10:30 to around 11:30. The operation takes place out of a converted garage behind the Church and is staffed by volunteers within the congregation.

Volunteers show up early to set up shop. They expect around twenty five people a day but have supplies on hand in case the demand is high. As of late, church voluteers have witnessed increased numbers and a larger number of families. They hope their efforts will offer their homeless neighbors hope.


Holy Name of Jesus Announcement Board
Caption | Holy Name of Jesus Announcement Board
Main Building of Holy Name of Jesus
Caption | Main Building of Holy Name of Jesus