Originally created 04/11/98

Spanish-language masses held at many archdioceses



LOS ANGELES -- About 60 percent of Los Angeles' Latino Catholics speak Spanish as their primary language, said Louis Velasquez, director of the Los Angeles archdiocese Office of Hispanic Ministry. Spanish-language Masses are held at 187 of the Los Angeles archdiocese's 287 parishes, and at most of those churches they make up 80 percent of the services, he said.

At least 15 city churches hold only one English Mass a week, on Sunday, he said.

Latino immigrants also are boosting parochial school enrollment wherever they settle. The number of Latino students has risen more than 60 percent in the Los Angeles archdiocese since 1970, and nearly half of the city's Catholic schoolchildren now are Latino, according to church figures.

Velasquez said Latino enrollment would be even higher if tuition -- $100 to $130 monthly -- was not too expensive for many immigrants.