ST. ANTHONY’S CROATIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
St. Anthony Croatian Catholic Parish is a community of faith and love, graced with a revered ethnic heritage.
We share our Catholic faith with other parish communities that constitute the larger local Church of Los Angeles. With them we are devoted to a common Church mission, which is to witness the presence of God in our world and to advance the civilization of love.
At the same time, we are a distinct ethnic community. The Croatian Christian heritage is fourteen centuries old. We cherish such a legacy and are indebted to preserve our rich Croatian culture, traditions, customs, values and language for future generations.
In regard to this specific character of our parish community, our primary goal is to enhance efficient interaction of faith and culture. Therefore, we commit ourselves to promoting the cultural adaptation of liturgy. Also, in order to invigorate dynamics of evangelization we are committed to contextualize all pastoral, catechetical, social and cultural activities in the parish.
At the turn into the 20th century two major groups of the Croatian immigrants began to settle in Southern California. Among the first to arrive were Croatians from Dalmatia. The Pacific ocean was a perfect match for the Adriatic Sea they left behind. So, many of them chose to settle in San Pedro where they soon became an integral part of the local fishing and ship building industry. Ecclesially the majority of them have become affiliated with a local Catholic parish, Mary Star of the Sea.
The other group arrived from Hercegovina and from the continental Croatia. They settled at the heart of Los Angeles. Having been involved in the heavy construction industry, they greatly contributed to the Los Angeles area impressive growth.
The Exodus continued throughout the 20th century. Three large waves of the Croatian immigrants kept inundating the greater Los Angeles area, where most of them settled down. These immigrants were motivated to leave both for economic and political reasons. They were arriving in between the two world wars, after World War II and just recently during the Croatian war for independence.
In order to advance their ecclesial adaptation, in 1910 the Croatian national parish was formed and the present church building built under the leadership of Fr. Anthony Žuvić.. In 1934 a parish hall was erected, and it served its multi-purpose design well over the years. The magnificent new parish center replaced the old parish hall in 1996. The present rectory was constructed in 1967.