the old catholic church still stands where it has for as long as i can remember and was there even before i was born. one of the oldest catholic churches in the area. the church sits just steps away from the old padre winery. while i was visiting padre winery the other day i stopped by the church as well. the church was my grandparents back in the day. they could walk there very easily and did several times a week.
our lady hasn’t held up as well as padre winery. plenty of parishioners but not the well to do types of other parishes in cucamonga. just your average work a day joes go to this church these days. the salt of the earth types. not unlike in the old days. the old days, when the street that fronts it was smaller. the intersection was also the home to some old stately eucalyptus trees. long gone due to street widening projects and the addition of curb and gutters.
since the church stands so close to padre winery i’ve been by it many many times over the years. though i hadn’t been inside of the church since june of 1968 or 1969. the day of my grandfather’s funeral. you would think i could remember the exact date but i was in a wisdom tooth extraction haze and all i really remember about the day was the huge cloud of incense drifting about my grandfather’s coffin.
i made it back inside the church the other day. it was an odd experience at best. there have been some changes and the floor is now carpeted. i guess carpet is easier to maintain than the old hardwood floors. the simple beauty of a very very old and small catholic church that served old italians and mexicans remains.
i miss, nona and nono, italian for grandmother and grandfather. the little house they used to live is gone. but the little church they worshiped in still stands. stands like a memory of a long ago past.
our lady of mount carmel catholic church.