Ellie Hidalgo serves as the pastoral associate for Dolores Mission Catholic Church and School, a Jesuit parish in Boyle Heights, just east of downtown Los Angeles. The parish is known for its restorative justice ministries, including special liturgies and support groups for families who have lost loved ones to homicide and for families with loved ones in prison. It is also the home-base parish of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and reentry program in the world. Dolores Mission School, TK-8th grades, opens the doors of opportunity to low-income, inner-city students of largely immigrant families from Mexico and Central America. Many will be the first in their families to graduate high school and college.
Ms. Hidalgo also teaches classes and workshops in Hand in Hand Parenting. She believes that working with parents to build and sustain a life-long connection with their children is a key element in families breaking the cycle of addictions, domestic violence and gang violence in the neighborhood. The parish also is active in the work of faith-based community organizing through LA Voice – PICO to address issues of societal injustice.
Previously, Ms. Hidalgo served as a staff writer for The Tidings Catholic Newspaper writing news and feature stories about Hispanic ministry, restorative justice, youth ministry, and immigration reform. Her articles frequently appeared at Catholic News Service, and she also wrote for the website Busted Halo.
Ms. Hidalgo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles). She was commissioned as a pastoral associate for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2013.
Ms. Hidalgo is the first of five children born to Cuban immigrant parents and a proud aunt to eight nieces and nephews and numerous godchildren.