Rolling Stone’s publisher planned to convert a Black church into his home, but residents fought back to preserve it

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LOS ANGELES (RNS) — On a recent Sunday, about 10 people sat outside the steps of the boarded-up First Baptist Church of Venice, a century-old congregation that, to many, remains a symbol of the thriving Black population that once existed in the seaside town of Los Angeles. They discussed potential uses for the church that … Read more

‘Apostles of Change’ tells how secular Latino activists protested by seizing sacred spaces

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(RNS) — In the late 1960s and early ’70s, Latino activists occupied church buildings across the country as a way of taking back control of their communities and calling attention to local residents’ poverty, lack of educational opportunities and displacement amid revitalization plans that hiked up rents. In a recently published book, Texas A&M historian … Read more

‘Rebel Hearts’ film features defiant nuns ‘who stood up to the patriarchy of the Catholic Church’

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LOS ANGELES (RNS) — A documentary film chronicling a group of protesting nuns who clashed in the 1960s with their archbishop and every expectation of who religious sisters could be will air later this month on the streaming service Discovery Plus. The religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, a group of nuns based in Hollywood, … Read more

Archdiocese of Los Angeles issues new guidelines to fully reopen parishes

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LOS ANGELES (RNS) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has issued new guidelines for its more than 300 parishes, which, beginning June 19, are set to fully reopen. In a letter to congregants over the weekend, Archbishop José H. Gomez announced guidelines allowing liturgical celebrations — including weekday and Sunday Masses as well … Read more