St. Brendan Catholic Church, Los Angeles

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St. Brendan Church
St. Brendan Catholic Church (Los Angeles, California) edit.jpg
34°04′07″N 118°18′53″W / 34.06871°N 118.31474°W / 34.06871; -118.31474Coordinates: 34°04′07″N 118°18′53″W / 34.06871°N 118.31474°W / 34.06871; -118.31474
Location 310 S. Van Ness Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90020
Country  USA
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1915
Dedicated 1927 (current church building)
Architect(s) Emmett G. Martin (1889-1937)
Diocese Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Division Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region
Archbishop José H. Gómez
Bishop(s) Edward W. Clark
Pastor(s) Msgr. Terrance L. Fleming

St. Brendan Catholic Church is a Catholic church in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, located in the Windsor Square section of Los Angeles, California. The current Gothic Revival-style church was built in 1927 and has also served as a location for various Hollywood productions.

Early history[edit]

St. Brendan was formed as a new parish in 1914 under the leadership of Father William Forde.[1][2] The parish was initially dubbed the "baby" parish, and in 1915 Father Forde told the Los Angeles Times: "The growth of the 'baby' parish of the diocese has been remarkable. New families are moving in every day. The whole community is alive and developing rapidly. The congregation is enthusiastic and hopeful of great things in the future."[2]

New church built in 1927[edit]

Time capsule in church courtyard with seal of St. Brendan

The parish opened a parochial grammar school in 1915 on Western Avenue, which still operates at that location.[2] In 1927, the parish built the large brownstone Gothic church that has been used by the parish for more than 80 years.[1] At the time of the new church's dedication in January 1928, the Los Angeles Times noted that the "beautiful" new church had cost $400,000, and reported: "The new building is in the old English Gothic style and is considered one of the handsomest structures of its kind in California."[3] Designed by architect Emmett Martin, the church has been called "one of the archdiocese's architectural gems."[4]


In 1957, Archbishop Timothy Manning honored St. Brendan's by consecrating it in a three-hour service. Consecration raises a church to the highest order, which may never be transferred for common or profane use. St. Brendan's was one of only six churches in Los Angeles to reach that level.[1] As part of the consecration ceremony, a relic of the 6th century St. Brendan was taken in a procession through the church and then sealed into the altar.[1]

Location in Films, Television Shows, and Music Videos[edit]

Located near the Hollywood studios, St. Brendan's gothic structure has proved a popular setting, appearing in the following productions.

  • The St. Brendan Church Boys Choir (also known as the Bob Mitchell Boys Choir) 1936- 2000 was featured on radio and in over 100 films.
  • In the Our Gang short Pups Is Pups (1930), Wheezer is reunited with his lost puppies outside the doors of St. Brendan's.
  • In War of the Worlds (1953), the climactic scene in which desperate humans gather to pray for a miracle inside St. Brendan's while Martian ships blast away outside.[5][6][7]
  • Armageddon (1998). In an apparent nod to War of the Worlds, the lead characters played by Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck are married at St. Brendan's at the end of the movie.[8][9]
  • In November Rain by Guns N Roses (1991) the wedding scenes between Stephanie Seymour and Axl Rose
  • In Fight Club (1999) the narrator attends a support meeting for cancer victims at the church
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)

St. Brendan’s also appears in the following television shows (TV movie and series episodes):

  • Congratulations, It’s a Boy! (1971 TV Movie)
  • Castle (series 2009-2016) “Always” (2012) and “Hunt” (2013)
  • Mod Squad (series 1968-1973) “Keep The Faith Baby” (1969)
  • The Fugitive (series 1963-1967) “Angels Travel On Lonely Roads” parts 1 and 2 (1964)
  • FalconCrest (series 1981-1990) “For Better, For Worst” (1984) and “Love’s Triumph” (1984)
  • Beverly Hills 90210 (series 1990-2000) “Class of Beverly Hills” (1990)
  • CSI Miami (series 2002-2012) “From The Grave” (2005)
  • Monk (series 2002-2009) “Mr. Monk Is The Best Man” (2009)
  • Murder She Wrote (series 1984-1996) “Murder Through The Looking Glass” (1988)
  • Desperate Housewives (series 2004-2012) “There’s Something About A War” (2006)
  • Columbo (series 1971-2003) “Undercover” (1994)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Rare Services Conducted at Consecration of Church: St. Brendan's Catholic Church Consecrated". Los Angeles Times. 1957-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "'Baby' Parish Growing Fast: St. Brendan's School has been completed; New Catholic Church Plans Expensive Home". Los Angeles Times. 1915-09-18. 
  3. ^ "CHURCH TO BE DEDICATED: Bishop Cantwell in Officiate Tomorrow at Rites Blessing St. Brendan's Gothic Edifice". Los Angeles Times. 1928-01-28. 
  4. ^ Charles A. Coulombe (2002). "St. Brendan, Hancock Park: 'A Little Louder, Sweetheart'". Los Angeles Mission. 
  5. ^ Samantha Bonar (2004-03-18). "WRITING HOME; Spaces that inspire awe; Photographer Robert Berger's new book pays homage to L.A.'s religious buildings -- some grand, others humble". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ "Hollywood on Location: 1950's Movies". Seeing Stars. 
  7. ^ "St. Brendan Parish Albums: War of the Worlds". St. Brendan's Church. 
  8. ^ "Armageddon Filming Locations". The World-Wide Guide to Filming Locations. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  9. ^ "Trivia for Armageddon". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  10. ^,%20Hancock%20Park,%20Los%20Angeles,%20California,%20USA&ref_=ttloc_loc_2

External links[edit]