Enthusiasm and excitement are second nature to Father Anthony Bozeman. He describes himself as “on fire with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and he intends to apply that energy as the new pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration in L.A.’s Leimert Park.
The parish has been without a priestly leader since 2014, so Bozeman’s appointment will aid the congregation in further establishing itself as a Black Catholic Church. And no one is more motivated to publicize that designation than the new pastor of the historic church.
“I came to Los Angeles from New Orleans and really didn’t know about Transfiguration, but once I Googled it, I learned about the deep history and prominence that Transfig had in the community,” said Bozeman.
“My plans are to work with the members to build on that great legacy and continue making Black Catholic history. I think by God’s grace, our actions working together, that will happen,” he declared.
Bozeman’s passionate fervor and deep faith in God has guided him throughout his life. Prior to becoming a priest, he served 16 years in the military, as an active and Air National Guard reservist. Convinced that he had a higher calling to fulfill, Bozeman entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, which resulted in his ordination in May 2000.
By this time, he was 40-years-old, but Bozeman was undaunted. He embraced his spiritual profession with his usual optimistic zeal and served admirably as the parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace and Our Lady of Hope Churches in Philadelphia.
“In 2005, I left [that position] for a higher calling with a religious community called the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart – the Josephites. I joined them and spent some time in Washington, D.C. and Houston, Texas until I finally got an official assignment in New Orleans,” recalled Bozeman.
After being pastor of St. Joan of Arc Church in New Orleans for a little less than two years, he was appointed to lead the newly created St. Raymond & St. Leo the Great Parish, where he served nine years before he was transferred to Transfiguration in January 2021.
Admitting that “it was not the smartest move to come in the middle of a pandemic,” Bozeman is still impressed by the abundance of potential that Transfiguration possesses. The congregation is dedicated and continues to attend Masses, now held in the parking lot due to the pandemic.
In addition, the Diocese of Los Angeles designated the church as the only African American parish in its district. That means, according to Bozeman, “Transfiguration is specifically for the Black community. There are no bi-lingual Masses for any other ethnic community.
“All are welcome, of course, but the mission is to make sure we focus on our Blackness and celebrate that Blackness, so we can bring our gifts to make the church truly catholic – universal – and bring people together,” he insisted.
Bozeman also extended an invitation for the community to worship at Transfiguration where the congregation continues to “praise God in spirit and in truth” every Sunday on the parking lot. “While we’re outside, we’re still rockin’ it and still making sure that God get praised because we know when the praises go up, the blessings come down,” Bozeman said.
“So, if you need a little hope, Transfiguration is on the spiritual corner of hope and transformation. If you’re in need, this is where you come. Check us out and see what God is doing to, through and for us and will do it for all who come and worship with us!”
Transfiguration Catholic Church is located at 2515 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., in Los Angeles. To learn more, call (323) 291-1136.