Funeral Mass was held May 30 at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Highland Park for Msgr. Alfred Hernández, pastor emeritus, who died May 26.
Ministering locally for 41 years before retiring in 1996 (following 18 years as pastor of St. Ignatius) he was part of the largest class of ordinands (31) in the history of the archdiocese.
Born in East Los Angeles, Msgr. Hernández graduated from St. Mary School, Los Angeles, and attended Mount Carmel High School for two years before entering Los Angeles College (the former minor seminary). He graduated from St. John’s College and Seminary and was ordained April 27, 1955.
He spent much of his priesthood as a chaplain at juvenile detention facilities and hospitals throughout the archdiocese, while also serving as an associate pastor at numerous parishes. Among them: St. Anne (Santa Monica), St. Camillus (L.A.), St. Joseph (La Puente), Resurrection (East LA) and San Antonio de Padua (L.A.).
In 1975, he was named a Chaplain of His Holiness (monsignor), and in 1978 was named pastor of St. Ignatius. Additionally, he was part of numerous archdiocesan/clergy committees, and also served as coordinator of the archdiocesan Spanish-speaking apostolate.
Msgr. Hernández kept active at the Hollenbeck Palms convalescent home in Boyle Heights, where he lived the last few years. He told The Tidings at last year’s annual Retired Priests luncheon at the Cathedral that his non-sectarian rest home was like having a little parish. When he moved in, he was invited by the staff to hold a Sunday Mass, attended by about 40 residents.
“You’re retired but not from priestly work,” said Msgr. Hernández, holding one of the rosaries handmade by his former parishioners that he enjoyed handing out to people. “You have to perform your ministry. I meet a lot of people who are not practicing, and it’s an occasion to bring them back to the Church.”
“He was a very kind man, very patient and always had time for everybody,” said Fr. Edwin Duyshart, pastor of St. Ignatius. “He loved being a priest.”
Surviving family members include his sister, Yolanda, and his brother, Edward, and their families. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles.