People of Visitation

In honor of our 75th anniversary, let’s meet some of the parishioners who make Visitation so wonderful and welcoming.

Mike Mininsky
Visitation School PTO Chairperson

“When Allison and I moved to Westchester we weren’t sure where we would settle in for Church or School. We had friends who were passionate about their own situations and we needed to figure out what felt best for our family.

The energy and warmth we felt from our first few trips to Visitation were a sign. We knew it was a great fit on the car ride home from open house. One friend said, “I told you!” Little did we know the extent to which we’d “fit in” and how our sense of community would grow over the next 5 years years – wow, has it only been 5 years?

I’m the current PTO Chairperson and Co-Chair of The O’Grady Golf Classic, while Allison is a room parent for the Junior Kindergarten class. We like to stay involved in the Visitation Community any way we can and enjoy working alongside so many great people to help improve an already fantastic Parish. Joining our friends and making so many new ones at Visitation has been a highlight of our time in Westchester. We are looking forward to our boys, Sean and Colin, growing up through the Renewal of Visitation.”

You can find Mike working the bar at any Visitation event or on weekday mornings in the school parking lot chatting it up with the dad’s. He’ll be the one in flip flops.

Barbara Berg
Visitation parishioner 22 years
Parish Pastoral Council member
Bible Buddies leader
Faith, Food, and Fellowship organizer

“I moved to LA in the fall of 1989 to attend LMU. Before that I had lived in Columbus, OH; Seattle, WA; and Munich, Germany. Although I lived in Westchester while attending LMU, I never knew Visitation existed until 1995, when my husband and I moved into our current house, one block from Visitation.

The people of Visitation welcomed us and our growing family to the point that I came to consider Visitation as my second home and second family. I am grateful for this wonderful, close community! And I love that I have been privileged to be here for 22 years: having moved around during my childhood, I cherish this stability and continuity.

In fact, a few years after I first came to Vis. I arrived for 8 AM Mass and there was a new pianist: Kathy McGrath. I couldn’t believe it: Kathy had been one of my piano teachers (my favorite, of course!) at LMU back in 1990. Talk about continuity!”

Barbara leads Bible Buddies, a group that meets on Tuesday evenings from 7-8:30 pm in the Parish Center to study and discuss the Bible.
You can find Barbara, her husband Michael, and their six children in the front pew at 8am mass on Sunday.

Mary Golad
Visitation Parishioner for 61 years
Attends 5pm mass on Saturday evenings

“I started in 3rd grade at Visitation school, as a parent I sent my own children to Visitation, and today I am the parish secretary.

I have worked at the rectory since 1992, first as a housekeeper/cleaner, then as the secretary since 1995 for every pastor Visitation has had except Msgr. O’ Sullivan.

Visitation’s defining quality has always been the people who make up the parish. They are generous, kind, loving and helpful in every way.

We have also been very lucky in the quality of the pastors and associate pastors who have worked here, although I am really partial to our current pastor and associate. They are truly the best of the best. As my husband said when he met Father Jim, “if you look in the dictionary under priest, there should be a picture of Father Jim.” He is the energizer bunny whose brain never stops and who can’t say no. I can’t say enough about what a pleasure it is to work with/for him.

My favorite memory is a recent one. When my office was renovated by a very generous parishioner. I am very appreciative of my “new” surroundings and I thank them in my prayers everyday!

The future of Visitation is very bright. With the renovations that are planned for RENEW VISITATION, there are some good changes coming. I am especially excited about all the technology that we have tapped into with Facebook, Instagram and using email and messaging. I still don’t know how to tweet, but maybe my son will show me how someday.

And I do love my job! ”


Courtney O’Donaghue
Visitation parishioner for 40 years.

I’ve been a parishioner here since I was a baby.
I went to school here and was in the first class of girl altar servers.
I went away to college and traveled a lot in my 20’s and whenever I came home it always felt good to be at Visitation. A place that never changes but always grows.
My wedding day was my best memory at Visitation. To be in a place so special where I grew up in front of all my friends and family with my soon to be husband. The walk down the long aisle with my Dad was magical. We talked about Dodger Baseball and who was pitching on Sunday to keep us from crying.

Today, I chair the campaign to Renew Visitation.
For me, the future of Visitation has a fresh new look and more young families beginning their roots at Visitation.

Dick Van Dusen
Visitation parishioner for 67 years
“I am Sacristan in the Church and help in the Rectory office.
As Sacristan I ready the needs for Mass celebration for all Masses. I am an usher at the Sunday 11 AM Mass.
Where I am now, I can appreciate being a student at Visitation School in the 1950s.
Playing in the dirt lot that was just north across from 86th street of where the old Church stood and where the Jr. High building is now.
How the School became an island surrounded by water when it rained.
How we had about 8 racks for parking bikes that we took to school.
The nuns were tough but extremely loving and giving of their lives.
I dearly miss the carnival dunk tank that Dick Laner manned some times on a cold October day, also the carnival jail that held students that had warrants of arrest put out for them, we also had the U.S. Coast Guard land a helicopter on the School yard in front of all the classes and then offer hands on tours of the airship and of a Fire Department Hook & Ladder truck brought in by Fire House #5. Lastly I still remember a December where we all crowded into the auditorium, sat on the floor with popcorn, and watched a Laurel & Hardy Christmas themed film “March of the Toy Soldiers”.”