This week's arts and culture column begins like this:
Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, in the West Adams District, is the only Polish parish in Los Angeles.
On Oct. 25, 2015, Archbishop José H. Gomez declared it LA’s Shrine of St. John Paul II.
The shrine is only open during Mass, which is 9 a.m. and noon on Sunday, 8 a.m. on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday, with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, devotions and prayers before (all are welcome to come and pray or sit in silence).
All Masses are in Polish.
Before making my way to the church for Pentecost Sunday Mass, I arranged to meet afterward with Sebastian Konarski, office administrator.
Then I brushed up on the history of Poland and studied the information on the church’s website:
Eleven-year-old Jadwiga, a “delicate young girl,” installed as queen in 1384.
The intrigue surrounding the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, known to the Polish faithful as the Black Madonna.
The terrible suffering of the Polish people, first under Nazi Germany, then the Soviet Union, from the beginning of World War II until the 1989 establishment of the (democratic) Republic of Poland.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.