Back in the 1960's, things were not going well for St. Peter's Church. In addition to the difficulties of drawing Italian people in great numbers to the church, and in part because of it, it became harder and harder to find priests who spoke Italian and who were willing enough to serve as pastors.
In 1961, Cardinal McIntyre, through the intermediary of the Italian Catholic Federation, turned to the Missionaries of St. Charles, more commonly known as Scalabrini Fathers from the name of their founders, and asked them to send a priest for St. Peter's church.
The Scalabrini Fathers worked specifically for Italian migrants and in the United States staffed dozens of parishes, but none west of Kansas City. The Superiors of the Scalabrini Father accepted the offer.
The first priest to come to Los Angeles as pastor of St. Peter's Church was an elderly but zealous priest, Father Joseph Chiminello. He was succeeded the following year, in 1962, by Father Luigi Donanzan. With this dynamic and resourceful man, St. Peter's Church entered a new phase that can be described as a period of revival and expansion. The Italian community is forever grateful to The Scalabrini Fathers for the role they played in unifying not just the Italian Catholics but also the Italian and Italian American communities as a whole.
Since the Scalabrini Fathers are still running the parish, it is fitting here to name all the Scalabrini priests who served the church in various capacities through the years.
THE SCALABRINI FATHERS
1961-1962: Father Joseph Chiminello (pastor)
1962-1979: Father Luigi Donanzan (pastor)
1962-1967: Father Peter Tessaro
1962-1968: Father Rino Spada
1965-1972: Father John Avi (non-Scalabrinian priest)
1966-1968: Father John RigoGroup
1967-1970: Father Giulio Gragnani
1969-1970: Father Primo Beltrame
1970-1972: Father Luigi Gandolfi
1971-1980: Father Mario Trecco (editor of L'Italo-Americano, in residence)
1972-1978: Father Angelo Bordignon
1972-1974: Father Gregorio Zanoni
1973-1976: Father Joseph Bolzan
1975-1979: Father Emilio Donanzan
1979-1988: Father Adolph Nalin (pastor)
1979-1980: Father Adam Torresan
1980-1983: Father Lino Fongaro
1984-1989: Father Ignazio Militello
1986-1987: Father Silvano Orso
1986-1986: Father Aldo Vendramin
1986-1990: Father Carlo Titotto
1988-1994: Father Rino Spada (pastor)
1990-1991: Father Peter Corbellini
1991-1992: Father Gerardo Garcia
1992-1994: Father Angelo Risoli
1994-1998: Father Angelo Bordignon (pastor)
1998-2005 : Father Giovanni Bizzotto (pastor)
1998-1999: Father Miguel Alvarez
1999-2000: Father Julio Lopez
2000- : Father Guillermo Diaz
2001-2003: Father Jesus Olivarez
2005-2012: Father Raniero Alessandrini (pastor)
2012-present: Father Louis Piran
For more information on the Scalabrini Fathers in this Province visit: http://www.scalabrinians.org/website/Index.html#
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