Angelus News | December 7, 2018 | Vol. 3 No. 41


A stained-glass window depiction of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Mary Church in Manhasset, New York. Nearly 500 years after she changed the course of history, the world finds itself once again in times of confusion and discord similar to those of 16th-century Mexico. On page 3, Archbishop José H. Gomez explains how Our Lady of Guadalupe reminds us that the Church was established to be “the vanguard of a new humanity.” On page 10, editor Pablo Kay speaks to Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, the man who’s made bringing the message of Guadalupe to today’s world his life’s mission.




December 7, 2018 Vol. 3 No. 41



A stained-glass window depiction of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Mary Church IMAGE: Central American migrants rest in tents at

in Manhasset, New York. Nearly 500 years after she changed the course of history, the world finds

Tijuana’s Benito Juarez sports complex in

itself once again in times of confusion and discord similar to those of 16th-century Mexico. On page 3, Tijuana November 21. Living at the camp are

Archbishop José H. Gomez explains how Our Lady of Guadalupe reminds us that the Church was established

to be “the vanguard of a new humanity.” On page 10, editor Pablo Kay speaks to Msgr. Eduardo caravan that left October 15 from San Pedro

some 4,000 people from the first migrant

Chávez, the man who’s made bringing the message of Guadalupe to today’s world his life’s mission.

Sula, Honduras, for the U.S.



Archbishop Gomez 3

World, Nation and Local News 4-6

LA Catholic Events 7

Scott Hahn on Scripture 8

Father Rolheiser 9

What led one veteran to kill another in Thousand Oaks? 14

Laying California’s first peoples to rest — one last time 18

A ‘more the merrier’ marriage in San Gabriel 22

Catholics seek a peaceful way out of turmoil in Nicaragua 24

Gary Jansen on learning that ‘Daddy’ knows best 26

Ruben Navarrette: What killed the California GOP? 28

Remembering the quiet triumphs of ‘Coach C’ 30

Heather King: A choral Christmas gift for LA 32


December 7, 2018 | Vol.3 • No. 41

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God’s X-ray

By reflecting on the Ten Commandments,

Christians can examine their

hearts to see where disordered attachments

and desires have made them in

need of Christ’s healing, Pope Francis

said in his weekly Wednesday general

audience November 28.

“The Decalogue is [Christ’s] ‘X-ray,’

it is described as a photographic negative

that lets his face appear — as in

the Holy Shroud [of Turin],” the Holy

Father told those gathered inside the

Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

“Here is what the Decalogue is for us

Christians: to contemplate Christ in

order to open us to receive his heart,

to receive his desires, to receive his

Holy Spirit.”

At the final general audience of the

Church’s liturgical year, which began

its “new year” on the first Sunday of

Advent, Francis concluded his yearlong

teachings on the Ten Commandments.

Reflecting on God’s commandments,

the pontiff spoke about the freedom

that comes from acknowledging when

desires are disordered, opening one’s

self to receive instead the good desires

God wishes to give his children.

God invites his children to obey his

commandments, the pope explained,

in order to release themselves “from

the deception of idolatries,” which

only empty and enslave.

“It is evil desires that ruin man,” he

noted. “The Spirit lays down in our

hearts his holy desires, which are the

seed of new life.”

Francis explained that a part of find-





ing freedom from worldly attachments

is first accepting one’s past, then, in

order to live “in the beauty of fidelity,

generosity, and authenticity — we

need a new heart, inhabited by the

Holy Spirit.”

How can a Christian receive such a

heart “transplant?” he asked. Through

contemplation of Christ and his

commandments: “Looking at Christ

we see beauty, goodness and truth.

And the Spirit generates a life which,

following these desires, triggers hope,

faith, and love in us.”

At one point during the audience, a

young boy ran onto the podium where

the pope was sitting.

“If he wants to play here, let

him,” the pope told the 6-year-old

speech-impaired boy’s mother as she

tried to fetch him from the stage.

When the mother explained to the

pope that the boy and their family

were from Argentina (like the pope),

the Holy Father joked that the boy

was “undisciplined” because of his

Argentinian heritage.

Pope Francis used the unexpected

interruption to reflect on the freedom

of God’s children.

“When Jesus says we must become

like children, he is telling us we must

have the freedom children have with

their father. This child has taught us

all. And we ask for the grace that he

may speak.”

Reporting courtesy of Catholic News

Agency Rome correspondent Hannah


Papal Prayer Intention for December: That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of

faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.





2 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018




Our Guadalupe moment

The story of Guadalupe is a story for

our times.

Our Lady of Guadalupe came at a

time of confusion and discord — and

a time of immense cruelty and suffering,

corruption, and infidelity.

In 1531, the Church on the European

continent was confronting decadence

and corruption and the need

for renewal and reformation.

Many theologians and ordinary

people could not even recognize the

humanity of the indigenous peoples of

the Americas. In the Old World, academics

actually held scholarly debates

about whether the natives were people

with souls.

At the same time in the New World,

a new global economy was beginning

to be built on the basis of slavery and

inequality. The greed and ambition of

Spanish colonizers led to unspeakable

horrors and the destruction of millions

of lives and the ruin of native habitats

and ways of life.

This is the world that the Virgin

Mary came to visit.

Our Lady did not appear only for

the Mexican people. Her mission was

continental and universal.

She came as a mother, as the “new

Eve,” the mother of all of the living.

She told St. Juan Diego: “I am the

ever-Virgin, holy Mary, Mother of the

true God — the life-giving Creator of

all peoples.”

When we look at the self-image

that Our Lady of Guadalupe left

imprinted on Juan Diego’s tilma, we

notice that she is a brown-skinned

young woman, a “mestizo,” a mix of

European and indigenous peoples.

She is dressed in the garments of the

indigenous peoples and she spoke to

Juan Diego in his own indigenous


Our Lady of Guadalupe reminds us

that the Church was established to

be the vanguard of a new humanity.

She reminds us that beyond the color

of our skin or the countries where

we come from, we are all brothers

and sisters. We are — every one of

us, without exception — children of

one heavenly Father and we have the

Mother of God as our mother.

She is, then, a profound icon of the

unity of humanity and the Church’s

mission to create one family of God

out of all the world’s nations and

races, peoples, and languages.

Holy Mary of Guadalupe appeared

also as an icon of new life, as a woman

carrying a child. A Child in whom we

see the hope of humanity.

Today we are faced with many troubles,

in the world and in the Church.

There are whole new forms of

cruelty and inhumanity, racism, and

slavery. There is selfishness and greed

that leads to suffering on a global

scale. There are whole categories of

people — from the child in the womb

to persons with disabilities, to ethnic

and religious minorities — who are

stripped of their dignity and rights by

the powers that be in this world.

As in Juan Diego’s time, in the

Church today we face new challenges

to our fidelity to Jesus Christ, both

personally and institutionally.

In this moment, Our Lady of Guadalupe

comes to us, speaking words of

compassion and consolation.

She spoke to St. Juan Diego: “Do not

let your heart be disturbed. Do not

fear. ... Am I, your Mother, not here?

Are you not under my shadow and

protection? Are you not in the folds of

my arms? What more do you need?”

We are not lost. We are not alone.

Our Lady goes with us. She takes our

hand, like a mother, and she guides us

along the pathways that lead us to her

Son. Always. In every generation. In

every time and place.

This is the Virgin’s role. She keeps

us sheltered underneath her mantle,

in the embrace of her arms. We go

always in her gaze.

The great St. Pope John Paul II

called the image of Our Lady of

Guadalupe “the Marian heart of

America.” But more and more, I see

that Guadalupe is about more than

Mexico, more than America.

In leading the mission to the Americas,

Our Lady of Guadalupe was

showing us the vision of a way forward

— to a new humanity, a new Church,

a new world.

Authentic reform and renewal are

always based on a return to the origins

— to the purity of first beginnings.

That is what distinguishes reform

and renewal from revolution, which

always seeks to destroy the old in order

to build the new.

In this moment, I am more and more

convinced that we need to “return to

Guadalupe,” to the original vision, the

original path that Christ wanted for

us in this country and throughout our

continent. Our Lady of Guadalupe is

the messenger who is sent to lead us

to renewal and reform in our time.

Pray for me this week and I will pray

for you.

In these troubling times, we need

to go always forward with joy and

confidence. May we lay our fears and

hopes at the feet of the Virgin. And

may we contemplate these times we

are living in under the gaze of her

loving eyes.

To read more columns by Archbishop José H. Gomez or to subscribe, visit

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 3


Vatican confirms second

Cardinal Newman miracle


The miraculous healing

of a pregnant woman

in the Archdiocese

of Chicago could lead

to the canonization of a

new English saint.

The Vatican’s Congregation

for the Causes of

the Saints has approved

the healing as a second

miracle to Cardinal

John Henry Newman.

Now, it must approve

Cardinal John Henry Newman

his canonization before

Pope Francis declares

the famed scholar and convert from Anglicanism a

saint — an event most likely to occur after next Easter,

according to the Catholic Herald.

“It looks now as if Newman might be canonized, all

being well, later next year,” wrote Bishop Philip Egan

of the Diocese of Portsmouth in England in a diocesan


Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010

after he was attributed with the miraculous healing of

a deacon with a disabling spinal condition.

Monks in Norcia visit their collapsed basilica after the 6.5 earthquake

that struck in October 2016.

No change in Norcia?

More than two years after the destruction of the Basilica

of St. Benedict of Norcia in Italy, the people of

Norcia have received some much-needed good news:

a promise that the basilica will be rebuilt to look as it

had before a massive earthquake reduced it to rubble.

The community had been concerned that the basilica

would be reconstructed in a modern architectural

style, as preferred by the local archbishop, Renato

Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia.

“[T]o remake everything as before would be to erase

history,” Boccardo told the National Catholic Register

for a November 20 article, “Why do we have to erase

the signs of this earthquake?”

However, after a petition to rebuild and not remodel

reached more than 2,000 signatures, Marica Mercalli,

superintendent of Umbrian fine arts, assured the

community that the original appearance of the basilica

would be recreated. In a November 14 statement to

Italian news agency ANSA, she claimed that the basilica

will “look exactly as it was before the earthquake.”


One-day abduction

for Cameroon nuns


VENICE GOES RED — Venice’s famous Grand Canal and several

other landmarks were lit red November 20 — a symbol of the

blood of persecuted Christians — to draw public attention to the

plight of the modern Christian martyrs. The event, #RedVenice,

was sponsored by the Patriarchate of Venice, the Venetian government,

and the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

A group of 13 Cameroon nuns found themselves

short-lived hostages during an abduction that lasted a

single day.

While travelling between two cities in the conflict-ridden

northwestern region of Cameroon, the

Sisters of Saint Francis were abducted by an unnamed

entity, who kept them overnight before releasing them

the next day. Nobody has confirmed whether ransom

was paid for their release.

This brief abduction is just the latest act of aggression

in the tumultuous and English-speaking northwest

region of the country, where rebels are fighting for

independence from the French-speaking government

and majority.

4 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018


Congress follows through

with aid for Iraqi minorities


PRESIDENTIAL PASSING — U.S. President George H.W. Bush

applauds St. Pope John Paul II after a welcoming ceremony prior

to their audience at the Vatican in 1991. Bush, the 41st president

of the United States and the father of the 43rd, died November 30

at his home in Houston. He was 94.

Police search Church files in

Galveston-Houston Archdiocese

During an unexpected search of the Archdiocese of

Galveston-Houston headquarters and archives, local

and federal law enforcement collected evidence for

their investigation into the handling of priests accused

of sexual abuse.

One of them, Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, was

arrested in September on four counts of indecency

with a child involving sexual contact. Cardinal Daniel

DiNardo has faced criticism over placing the priest

in charge of Hispanic ministry despite accusations of

sexual assault dating back to 2001.

Among the items taken were computers belonging

to DiNardo and his predecessor, Archbishop Joseph

Fiorenza, the Houston Chronicle reported December


The search has been classified in multiple news sites

as a raid, which the archdiocese claims is an unjust

classification. In a November 28 statement, the archdiocese

reiterated its commitment to cooperating with

the investigation, saying, “Consistent with Cardinal

DiNardo’s pledge of full cooperation, the information

being sought was already being compiled.”

“If Cardinal DiNardo is cooperative, it doesn’t mean

that people that are with Cardinal DiNardo are cooperative.

It doesn’t mean that they’re going to tell him

the truth,“ said Montgomery County District Attorney

Brett Ligon.

More than a month after Chaldean Patriarch Louis

Raphael I Sako criticized the U.S. for not following

through on a promise of aid for religious minorities

in Iraq, Congress has passed unanimous legislation to

finally provide the aid requested.

The “Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief Accountability

Act” looks to assist the rebuilding of Christian and

Yazidi communities in Iraq and Syria, where their

status as religious minorities have made them targets

for Islamist militants such as ISIS.

The bill provides funding for those who offer recovery

assistance for minority refugees in Iraq and Syria and

includes faith-based entities among those eligible for

funding. The bill based through the Senate unanimously

on October 11 and through the House unanimously

on November 27, and now awaits the signature

of the president.

Archdiocese of Santa Fe files for

bankruptcy in response to lawsuits

In response to consecutive sexual abuse lawsuits that

have drained its resources, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe

has filed for bankruptcy.

“We’ve [consulted with] a bankruptcy attorney for the

last four or five years because we could see where this

is all leading,” Archbishop John C. Wester confirmed

at a November 29 press conference.

Wester said there are between 35 and 40 active claims

against the archdiocese, which is comprised of more

than 300,000 Catholics in northwestern New Mexico.

Advocates for clerical sexual abuse survivors are skeptical

of the bankruptcy filing, reiterating longstanding

claims that the archdiocese has rearranged its parishes

and property under separate nonprofits and trusts in

order to protect its assets from potential lawsuits.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe.


December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 5


Simbang Gabi in LA

The Filipino Christmas tradition of

Simbang Gabi will be celebrated in

dozens of parishes across the Archdiocese

of Los Angeles.

Simbang Gabi dates back nearly

500 years. It begins nine nights before

Christmas Eve, and during each

Simbang Gabi a Mass is celebrated

before dawn or in the evening of

each day in preparation for Christmas.

A special Simbang Gabi Mass will

be celebrated by Archbishop José H.

Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady

of the Angels on Saturday, December

16 at 6:30 p.m.

For a full list and schedule of

Simbang Gabi events in the archdiocese,

visit the Catholic LA section of

Angelus News.

PAJAMA TIME — Members of the Respect Life Ministry and Religious Education

Program at St. Paschal Baylon in Thousand Oaks held a “Foster Youth Pajama Drive” for

Olive Crest foster/adoption agency on Tuesday, November 27. The drive was originally

scheduled for November 15, but was postponed due to the Woolsey Fire. Pictured with

St. Paschal pastor Father Michael Rocha (left) and Olive Crest’s Rebekah Weigel (fourth

from right) are members of the parish school’s second-grade class, the First Communion

class, Respect Life Ministry, and the archdiocesan Office of Life, Justice and Peace.



Saturday night silence in Hollywood


by the Blessed

Sacrament and

signs that read

“sacred silence,”

700 Catholics

processed through

the busiest section

of Hollywood’s

Walk of Fame to

bring Jesus Christ

to the poor on the

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”

The November 24 event was part of Beloved Movement,

a forum for partnerships in poverty-related discipleship

and spirituality that makes special use of digital media.

The procession was led by local seminarians and representatives

of several religious orders. Men in discernment

with the Office of Vocations and representatives from the

Order of St. Lazarus and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre

were also among the crowd.

The evening ended with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

in the Blessed Sacrament Church parking lot,

alternating between praise and worship by Jon Martin and

Chris Nuno and periods of silent prayer.

Catholic group appeals to Brown

Ministers of Justice from 25 countries have joined

the Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio, one

of the new lay movements in the Catholic Church,

to jointly issue an appeal to Gov. Jerry Brown to

impose a moratorium on the death penalty in


Should Brown comply, the moratorium could

be short-lived, since Gavin Newsom will be sworn

in as the new governor January 7. Yet Sant’Egidio

insists the measure is urgent, since California

presently has the largest death row in the Western

world with 742 inmates awaiting execution.

The appeal came from a Sant’Egidio-sponsored

conference at the Italian parliament on “A World

Without the Death Penalty.”

“We launch an appeal to a great American

politician, Jerry Brown, governor for four terms

with a vision for the State of California, the state

with the largest death row in the Western world in

San Quentin: 742 death row inmates waiting for

execution, among them innocent people — as the

Vincente Benavides and Fred Watherton case have

shown this year,” read the appeal from Sant’Egidio

representative Mario Marazziti released November


6 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

LA Catholic Events

Items for the Calendar of events are due two weeks prior to the date of the event. They may be mailed to Angelus News (Attn: Calendar), 3424 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241;

emailed to; or faxed to (213) 637-6360. All calendar items must include the name, date, time and address of the event, plus a phone number for additional information.

Fri., Dec. 7

LACBA Cleaning Criminal Records and Resolving

Outstanding Tickets and Warrants. Patriotic Hall,

1816 South Figueroa Ave., Los Angeles, 5:30-6:30

p.m. Self-help presentation, 6:30-8:30 p.m. consultations

with pro bono attorneys. Call 213-896-6537

to RSVP.

46th Annual Portraits of Prince of Peace Pageant.

Pageant will start on the southeast corner of Bellflower

and Wardlow, in front of St. Cornelius. Fri., Sat.,

Sun., 7:30-9 p.m. Combined efforts of six different

churches will tell the story of Jesus’ birth with music,

live actors, murals, and live animals. Free event, open

to the public.

Seniors Ministry of St. Paul the Apostle Movie

Series: “The Post.” 10750 Ohio Ave., Los Angeles,

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All adults invited to free film

series curated by master catechist Joan Doyle. Bring

a friend, bring a snack. Call Pat Osman at 310-553-


Sat., Dec. 8

Celebration of LIFE — Love Begins with a Heartbeat:

Guadalupe Pregnancy Services’ 8th Annual

Year-End Benefit Dinner & Concert. Doubletree

Hotel, 888 Montebello Blvd., Rosemead, 5:30-9 p.m.

Cost: $55/person, $65/person at door. Call 323-360-

5186 or visit

Team Consecrate California Celebration. Sts. Peter

and Paul, 515 W. Opp St., Wilmington, 10 a.m.

Daylong celebration includes food, music, talks from

Jesse Romero, Patrick Coffin, and more. Noon Mass,

followed by Marian procession and consecration

service. Day concludes with concert, 6-8 p.m. Learn

more at

Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols: Concert by

Valyermo Dancers. Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316

Lanai Rd., Encino. Sat., 2 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m. Cost:

$15/person. Visit

Limited free parking.

Foster or Adopt Information Meeting. Children’s Bureau’s

Carson Office, 460 E. Carson Plaza Dr., Ste.

102, Carson, or Andrew’s Plaza, 11335 Magnolia

Blvd., Ste. 2C, North Hollywood, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Discover if you have the willingness, ability, and resources

to take on the challenge of helping a child in

need. To RSVP or for more information, call 213-342-

0162 or toll free at 800-730-3933 or email

Sun., Dec. 9

Handel’s “Messiah” Cathedral Choir Performance.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple

St., Los Angeles, 7 p.m. Holiday classic will be performed

by Cathedral Choir and music director Joseph

Bazyouros, and conducted by music director Daniel

Suk of the Dream Orchestra and Opera Chorus of Los

Angeles. Visit

87th Procession and Mass to honor Our Lady of

Guadalupe. 10:30 a.m. procession begins at the

corner of Cesar Chavez and Ford Blvd. 1 p.m. Mass

celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez at East

Los Angeles College Stadium, 1301 Avenida Cesar

Chavez, Monterey Park. Call 323-269-2733 or visit

St. John Paul II STEM Academy Open House. 465

E. Olive Ave., Burbank, 2-4 p.m. Meet the founders,

tour campus, and learn about the vision and progress

of the new archdiocesan Catholic high school, opening

fall 2019. Visit or email Michael

Parks at

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration at Forest Lawn.

1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 2-5 p.m., or 1500 E.

San Antonio Dr., Long Beach, 2-5 p.m. Free community

event filled with impressive entertainment and

pageantry. Free parking available. Call Tom Smith at

323-340-4742 or email

“A Joyful Celebration: For Unto Us a Child is Born”

Christmas Concert. St. Brigid Church, 5214 S. Western

Ave., Los Angeles, 3 p.m. Featuring the St. Brigid

Gospel Choir, the Resurreccion (Hispanic) Choir, the

New Generation Youth Choir, the Traditional Choir, and

other guest artists. Cost: freewill offering. Call 323-


Mon., Dec. 10

“Into the Deep” Contemplative Retreat. 920 E.

Alhambra Rd., Alhambra. Join Father Jeremiah

Shryock, CFR, as he leads this five-day retreat from 3

p.m. on Dec.10 to 11 a.m. on Dec.15 in silent prayer

toward a deeper encounter with God. It is recommended

that those who attend these retreats already

have a regular prayer life and are comfortable with

silence. Call 626-289-1353, ext. 203 or visit https://

Tues., Dec. 11

Las Mañanitas at La Placita: Celebration of Our

Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady Queen of Angels, 535

N. Main St., Los Angeles. Masses on Dec. 11 at 5:30

p.m., 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m., Dec. 12 at midnight with

traditional mariachi music, 1:30 a.m., 3 a.m. concert

(no Mass), 5 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m.,

6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9 p.m. Celebration ends with

10 p.m. rosary. Live performances and entertainment

start on Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. at La Placita Olvera.

Wed., Dec. 12

Catholics at Work — Culver City. Pauline Books &

Media, 3908 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, Mass 6:30

a.m., breakfast and speaker 7-8:30 a.m. How would

it feel if your workplace supported your faith principles?

Catholics at Work helps people close the gap

between their faith and their work. This meeting will

feature Father Darrin Merlino, CMF, a media missionary

working in radio, television, and print.

Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Holy Trinity

Church, 1292 W. Santa Cruz St., San Pedro. Mariachis

and procession with roses 5:30 a.m., Mass 6 a.m.,

reception 7 a.m. Sponsored by Guadalupanas.

Thurs., Dec. 13

Nazareth House Auxiliary Christmas Luncheon/

Card Party. 3333 Manning Ave., Los Angeles, 11:30

a.m. Door prizes. Cost: $20/person donation. RSVP to

Marilyn at 424-275-9609.

Seniors Ministry of St. Paul the Apostle Movie Series:

“The Martian.” 10750 Ohio Ave., Los Angeles,

10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. All adults invited to free film

series curated by master catechist Joan Doyle. Bring

a friend, bring a snack. Call Pat Osman at 310-553-


Sat., Dec. 15

Daughters of St. Paul Glorious Night Christmas

Concert. Chaminade High School, 7500 Chaminade

Ave., West Hills, 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16. Tickets range

from $20-$100/person, children 5 and under are

free. Visit to purchase tickets.

Glorious Night: A Christmas Concert with the

Daughters of St. Paul. Barnum Hall, Santa Monica

High School, 600 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, Sat.,

Dec. 15 and Sun., Dec. 16, 7 p.m. Come celebrate

the birthday of Jesus and experience the joy and

singing of the award-winning Daughters of St. Paul

Choir with this unforgettable Christmas concert. Tickets:

$20, $30, $50, $100/person. Group rate for $20

tickets: 10-plus $15/person. Children 5 and under

free. For tickets call 310-397-8676 or visit Pauline.


This Week at

Visit for these stories

and more. Your source for complete,

up-to-the-minute coverage of local news,

sports and events in Catholic L.A.

• Robert Brennan on holiday TV specials and what they’re missing.

• Get the full Simbang Gabi schedule with Mass times in your area.

• Mike Nelson has the fall sports recaps and winter sports lineups for Catholic high schools.

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 7




Bar. 5:1-9 / Ps. 126:1-6 / Phil. 1:4-6, 8-11 / Lk. 3:1-6

Today’s Psalm paints a

dream-like scene — a

road filled with liberated

captives heading home to

Zion (Jerusalem), mouths

filled with laughter,

tongues rejoicing.

It’s a glorious picture

from Israel’s past, a “new

exodus,” the deliverance

from exile in Babylon.

It’s being recalled in a

moment of obvious uncertainty

and anxiety. But

the psalmist isn’t waxing


Remembering “the Lord

has done great things”

in the past, he is making

an act of faith and hope

— that God will come to

Israel in its present need,

that he’ll do even greater

things in the future.

This is what the Advent

readings are all about:

We recall God’s saving

deeds — in the history of

Israel and in the coming

of Jesus.

Our remembrance is meant to stir

our faith, to fill us with confidence

that, as today’s Epistle puts it, “the

One who began a good work in [us]

will continue to complete it” until he

comes again in glory.

Each of us, the liturgy teaches, is

like Israel in her exile — led into

captivity by our sinfulness, in need of

restoration, conversion by the word of

the Holy One (see Baruch 5:5). The

lessons of salvation history should

teach us that, as God again and again

delivered Israel, in his mercy he will

free us from our attachments to sin, if

“The Holy Family with the Infant John the Baptist,” by Federico

Barocci, Italian, circa 1535-1612.

we turn to him in repentance.

That’s the message of John, introduced

in today’s Gospel as the last of

the great prophets (compare Jeremiah

1:1-4, 11). But John is greater than

the prophets (see Luke 7:27). He’s

preparing the way, not only for a new

redemption of Israel, but for the salvation

of “all flesh” (see also Acts 28:28).

John quotes Isaiah (40:3) to tell us

he’s come to build a road home for us,

a way out of the wilderness of sin and

alienation from God. It’s a road we’ll

follow Jesus down, a journey we’ll

make, as today’s First Reading puts it,

“rejoicing that [we’re] remembered by



Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology,

8 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018



A lesson in a parking lot

Our natural instincts serve us well,

to a point. They’re self-protective and

that’s healthy, too, to a point. Let me


Recently, I was at a football game

with a number of friends. We arrived

at the game in two cars and parked in

the stadium’s underground parking

lot. Our tickets were in different parts

of the stadium and so we separated for

the game, each of us finding our own


When the game ended, I arrived at

the cars with one of our party about

10 minutes before the others showed

up. During that wait, my friend and I

scanned the crowd, looking for members

of our party.

But our scanning eyes drew some

unwelcome attention. Two women

approached us and, angrily, demanded

why we had been looking at them:

“Why were you looking at us? Are you

trying to pick us up?”

That’s when natural instinct cuts

in. Immediately, before any rational

reflection had a chance to mitigate

my thoughts and feelings, there was

an automatic flash of anger, of indignation,

of injustice, of coldness, of

shame, and, yes, of hatred.

Those feelings weren’t asked for;

they simply flooded in. And, with

them, came the concomitant accusatory

thoughts: “If this is the ‘Me

Too’ movement, I’m against it! This is

unfair!” Fortunately, none of this was

expressed. I apologized politely and

explained that we were scanning the

crowd for our lost party.

The women passed on, no harm

done, but the feelings lingered until

I had a chance to process them, set

them into perspective, and honor

them for what they are: instinctual,

self-protective, feelings meant eventually

to be replaced by something else,

namely, by an understanding that goes

beyond reflexive reaction.

On reflection, I didn’t see this

incident as an aberration of the “Me

Too” movement or as something to

be indignant about. Rather, it helped

me realize why there is a “Me Too”

movement to begin with.

The reaction of these two women no

doubt was triggered by a history of injustice

that they themselves (or other

women they’ve known) have experienced

in terms of sexual harassment,

unwanted solicitation, and gender


Recently, I read statistics from a

study that concluded that more than

80 percent of women in America

have experienced some form of sexual

harassment in their lifetime. In my

naiveté, that figure seemed high, so

I asked several women colleagues for

their reaction to that statistic.

Their reaction caught both me and

my naiveté by surprise. Their reaction:

“Eighty percent is far too low;

it’s everyone! Rare is the woman who

goes through life without experiencing

some form of sexual harassment in

her life.” Given that perspective, the

paranoia expressed in the parking lot

no longer seemed out of order.

Something else, too: Reflecting

further on this, I began to see more

clearly the distance between natural

instinct and mature empathy. Nature

gives us powerful instincts that serve

us well, to a point.

They are inherently self-protective,

selfish, even as they contain within

them a certain amount of natural empathy.

Instinct can sometimes be wonderfully

sympathetic. For example, we

are naturally drawn to reach out to a

helpless child, a wounded bird, or a

lost kitten. But what draws us to these

is still, however subtle, self-interest.

At the end of the day, our reaching

out to them makes us feel better and

their helplessness poses absolutely no

threat to us.

But the situation changes, and very

quickly, when any kind of threat is

perceived; when, to put it metaphorically,

something or somebody “is in

your face.” Then our natural empathy

slams shut like a trap door, our

warmth turns cold, and every instinct

inside us raises its self-interested head

and voice. That’s what I felt in the

parking lot at the football game.

And the danger then is to confuse

those feelings with the bigger truth

of the situation and with who we

really are and what we really believe

in. At that point, natural instinct no

longer serves us well and, indeed, is

no longer protective of our long-term


What’s good for us long-term is,

at that moment, hidden from our

instincts. At moments like this we

are called to an empathy beyond any

feelings of having been slighted and

beyond the ideologies we can lean on

to justify our indignation.

Our feelings are important and need

to be acknowledged and honored, but

we’re always more than our feelings.

We’re called beyond instinct to empathy,

to pray that the day will soon

come when these two women, and

their daughters and granddaughters,

will no longer need to feel any threat

in a parking lot.

Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father Ronald Rolheiser is a spiritual writer,

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 9



10 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018




As the 500th anniversary of

her apparition nears, a leading

expert on Our Lady of Guadalupe

explains the key to her message



Msgr. Eduardo Chávez meets Pope Francis at the Vatican Nov. 29, 2018.

Plague. Earthquakes. Violence.

The year 1531 did not mark the

end of the world for people living

in New Spain, but at the time, many

of its inhabitants certainly thought it


For all the turmoil surrounding

colonial life in the region 487 years

ago, one supernatural event decisively

altered the course of the history of

the Americas forever: the apparition

of Santa María de Guadalupe to a

poor, middle-aged indigenous man on

the outskirts of what is now known as

Mexico City.

Today, Our Lady of Guadalupe might

seem as much a cultural icon as a

religious one. The image miraculously

received on a “tilma” (“cloak”) by St.

Juan Diego has been reproduced in

countless forms and settings all over

the world, especially in Mexico and the

United States.

Easily forgotten in the story of the

apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe

to Juan Diego is that it came at a

critical moment in history for the

newly discovered continent.

Few people today have dedicated

more time to understanding the

impact of the Guadalupe miracle than

Msgr. Eduardo Chávez. A Mexican

priest and scholar who is the rector

and co-founder of the Institute for

Guadalupan Studies in Mexico City,

Chavez was the postulator for the

sainthood cause of Juan Diego.

Since being ordained a priest in 1981,

he’s made it his mission to make sure

the world understands the message of

Guadalupe is a universal one.

In light of the approaching feast day

of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December

12), Chavez spoke to Angelus News

about the Virgin’s meaning for

today’s world from Rome, where

he was attending the International

Convention of Shrines.

“There’s a very strong similarity

between that time [of the apparition

of Guadalupe] and our current age,”

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 11


said Chavez. “There are so many who

are trying to persecute and destroy

life from its origin, from the maternal

womb … and to silence the Church

at all costs, even killing her so that she

can’t fight for life.”

As Chávez explained it, the 16th

century saw a series of plagues

inadvertently transmitted by newly

arrived Spaniards claim the lives of

millions of natives in present-day


It was also a time of constant conflict

not only between Aztec natives and

Spanish conquerors, but even among

the Spaniards themselves. According to

accounts from the time, many Spanish

missionaries were slaughtered by their

military counterparts who feared that

baptizing natives and bringing them

to the Faith would prevent them from

being enslaved and exploited.

Tensions ran so high that at one

point, a Spanish judge named Diego

Delgadillo tried to assassinate the

bishop of Mexico at the time, Fray

Juan de Zumárraga.

But a lesser-known source of distress

at the time was the series of three

major earthquakes that struck presentday

Mexico in 1530, the year before

the Guadalupe apparition.

“This was terrible for all the settlers,

not just for the indigenous,” said

Chavez. “But it was especially terrible

for the indigenous, because according

to their creation myths, the world

was created by four movements, or


Naturally, the natives feared the world

would end in the same way.

“So you can imagine those three

earthquakes in 1530, they were just

waiting for one more [earthquake] for

this whole thing to be over!”

To make things worse for the

superstitious Aztecs, a major comet

appeared over Mexico in 1531.

“For the indigenous, the universe

was tearing apart” at this point,

said Chávez.

There are many other

circumstances surrounding

Guadalupe that Chávez has

spent much of his academic career

studying, such as the meaning of the

presence of a black crescent moon

(representative of death to the Aztecs)

and a serpent (a symbol of life in

indigenous culture) depicted in the

“tilma” image of Guadalupe.

According to Chávez, one of the most

striking aspects of the final apparition

is how it coincided with the winter

solstice (according to the Julian

calendar used at the time) on Dec. 12,


The Aztecs spent a period of 80 days

(comparable to Lent for Christians,

said Chavez) eating only tortillas,

salt, and water while offering human

sacrifices and performing acts of self

mutilation to prepare for the solstice

feast of Panquetzaliztli.

As the darkness of night shortened the

days in the weeks before the solstice,

the Aztecs hoped the sun’s energy

would overcome the darkness of night.

“Everything that goes around this

feast that falls on December 12 helps

you to understand the Eucharist, leads

you to understand that Jesus Christ

is the only and eternal sacrifice,” said


“You come to understand what the

Passover means, a concept that the

indigenous did not have. They had no

idea of ​resurrection. They had an idea

of ​an afterlife, that lasted four years and

that was it. They saw themselves to be

custodians of the sun as they died, not

as they lived.”

Ultimately for Chávez, the rich

and complex story of Guadalupe

is ultimately one of a “perfectly

inculturated evangelization” centered

around a moment in time that

even Mexico’s pagan natives could

understand as being divinely inspired.

“The Second Vatican Council

elaborated on the idea that there are

seeds of the Word in cultures, there are

good things that God already planted

in every culture, and beyond them

there is a transcendence that unites

them, that makes them participate in

the fullness of Jesus Christ,” explained

Chávez, who holds a doctorate in

Church history.

The Virgin Mary “takes the good

from each culture and human heart,

and knows how to put Jesus Christ in

the heart of each person,” said Chávez.

Chavez insisted that what most

attracts people to the history

of Guadalupe still today is that

God chose to manifest himself through


Even her name, Chávez explained,

combines a name of Jewish origin,

Mary, and Guadalupe, which is of

Arabic origin.

“In this way she is uniting what is

Jewish and what is Arab, uniting those

who can’t live together, those who

want to kill each other.”

As a canon of the Basilica of Our

Lady of Guadalupe, the priest says

he’s witnessed countless miracles

brought about through Our Lady’s

intercession, including medically

inexplicable physical healings and the

births of children to parents for whom

conception was considered impossible.

But even more striking, Chávez said,

is the gratitude and devotion shown

by the millions of visitors from around

the world to the site of the Guadalupe

apparition every year.

“When you hear all this [history], you

begin to understand that the Virgin

comes precisely to teach, to make

known, to give love, to bring with

mercy him who is the Way, the Truth

and the Life: the Resurrection, he

who has destroyed death and gives us

eternal life.

“That is the perfect inculturation

achieved by the Blessed Virgin of

Guadalupe,” stressed Chávez.

At a time when the world once again

finds itself threatened by violence

and political chaos and the Church’s

internal divisions show the need

for reform, Guadalupe’s message is

needed more than ever, said Chávez.

“God takes the initiative through the

Virgin of Guadalupe to encounter

mankind and say through her

maternal voice, ‘Don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid of death, but don’t be

afraid of life either, because that’s the

source of our joy!’ ”

Pablo Kay is the editor of Angelus.

12 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 13

‘The worst betrayal’

What led one former Marine to kill another in Thousand Oaks?


Over the past few years,

therapist Mark Mitchell has

organized some 10 workshops

to address the plight

of hurting military veterans in recent

years at Loyola Marymount University,

with topics ranging from post-traumatic

stress disorder (PTSD) to moral

injury. Most have been clinically


But on November 17, he and other

speakers drew on psychological, anthropological,

and biological research

on how humans find tribes or community

in a session titled “Veterans:

Finding Tribe.”

And “Finding Tribe” would be his


The workshop’s goal was to offer

disconnected and alienated veterans

help in bridging the cultural gap

between military and civilian cultures.

Speakers included combat vets, mental

health workers, social workers, and


People like Jim Zenner, a licensed

clinical social worker, Army combat

veteran and director of the Department

of Mental Health Emergency

Outreach and Triage division; Lt. Paul

Cobb, a retired Marine and chaplain

for the California National Guard;

and Krishna Flores, a Marine combat

veteran who works with the homeless

out of the Antelope Valley Veteran


Missing was Daniel Manrique.

The 33-year-old was a field radio

operator, who served in the Marines

from 2003 to 2007. He rose to the

rank of sergeant, earning multiple

awards, and spent most of 2007 deployed

in Iraq. In 2012, he joined the

Ventura County chapter of Team Red,

White and Blue, where he became

chapter president, and for five years

organized events for other veterans.

Recently, he took on the job of

regional program manager at Team

RWB. And from 2017 until last

month, he also worked as a program

manager of veteran programs at the

St. Joseph Center in Venice.

But Sgt. Manrique never made it to

the “Finding Tribe” workshop, where

he was scheduled to speak.

Nine days before, he was mortally

wounded at the Borderline Bar and

Grill in Thousand Oaks by a spray of

bullets from a Glock .45-caliber handgun

with an illegal extended magazine.

The man dressed in black firing

it was 28-year-old fellow ex-Marine

Ian David Long.

“It’s kind of the worst betrayal there

can be,” said Mitchell, who co-chairs

the behavioral health team of the Los

Angeles Veterans Collaborative.

“You’re taught to trust your brother

or sister that you’re fighting alongside.

I think that’s one of the hardest things

for me, even as a civilian. And the

Marines, in particular, are bonded so

tightly. That’s the tragedy on top of it

all. It’s, you know, one of your own.”

The therapist had an hour FaceTime

talk with Manrique the day before

he was killed. They spoke about the

positive things Team RWB was doing

locally to foster community and bonding

among veterans.

“When I met Dan a year or so

before, I could tell he was really

grounded as a leader and emotionally

intelligent and very present,” Mitchell

told Angelus News in an interview.

“That’s the thing that struck me

about him. Very soft-spoken, but very

present and listening, which is unusual

for most people. I really wanted

him to speak because there’s more of a

connection from vet to vet, you know,

peer to peer.

“But team RWB’s events are usually

activity based and include civilians,

too. So it’s a nice transition where

vets can meet civilians and civilians

can meet vets, and have more of a

relationship. If anybody is trying to do

‘tribe,’ it’s them.”

PTSD stereotyping

It’s been speculated by no less than

the commander-in-chief of the armed

forces that the borderline gunman

suffered from PTSD. With no clinical

evidence, President Trump called Ian

David Long a “very sick guy.”

He added that the former Marine

machine-gunner “saw some pretty bad

things. And a lot of people say he had

the PTSD. And that’s a tough deal. …

They come back, and they’re never

the same.”

The president’s remarks immediately

drew the ire of veteran groups and

their advocates. They declared he was

reinforcing a blatantly untrue stereotype

— debunked by solid research —

that all veterans who serve in recent

combat come home with serious

mental health problems. Behavioral

scientists, meanwhile, stressed it was

way too early to draw such a divisive


Paul Rieckhoff, president of Iraq

and Afghanistan Veterans of America,

called the comments “extremely


“Most people who suffer from

PTSD, when able to access effective

treatment, are able to live healthy,

happy, meaningful lives,” said Rieckhoff

in a November 9 statement.

14 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

Daniel Manrique

When vets with mental health

problems hurt somebody, it’s usually

themselves. “We lose 20 veterans and

service members to suicide every

single day,” he pointed out.

Elspeth Ritchie, a retired Army

colonel and psychiatrist, told the

Washington Post in a November 9 article

that about 25 percent of combat

soldiers who served during the height

of the Iraq War returned home with

some symptoms of PTSD. But these

veterans didn’t necessarily have the

full-blown condition.

“Like often with mental illness,

there is a little bit of increased risk

of violence, but it’s not the kind of

violence where you go into a bar and

shoot people,” she said. The psychiatrist

explained that mass shooters are

very often experiencing delusions and

paranoia, symptoms even more severe

than those of PTSD resulting from


“When you’re talking about going in

and shooting someplace up … nearly

all of the time it’s something worse

than PTSD,” said Ritchie. “It’s usually

a psychotic episode. Psychosis means

being out of touch with society.”

Which begs a rather big question.

If the mental health issues mass

shooters are dealing with rise above

the more run-of-the-mill PTSD issues,

why wasn’t Ian David Long placed

on a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric

evaluation hold when Ventura County

Sheriff Department deputies responded

in April to a disturbance at the

home he shared with his mother?

Deputies noted that he was somewhat

irate and acting irrationally. But

a mental health specialist who also

met with Long decided not to detain

him under existing laws.

“I don’t know what the deputies and

mental health person had as data to

judge if he was a threat to himself or

others,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell believes that the mental

health worker assigned to the future


December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 15

People on Janss Road watch the procession

carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff

Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in a mass

shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in

Thousand Oaks, California.

shooter may have felt confident

enough that Long wasn’t a threat, and

that Long could have “tap danced”

in front of the worker to create a false

impression, something Mitchell says

is all too common.

But the therapist who has worked

with veterans for almost a dozen

years wonders whether Long, like so

many young veterans, struggled with

readjusting to civilian life once home

from war.

“This guy was 28. So he went into

the Marine Corps at 18, 19, to find

his identity. He finds his identity as a

gunner and as a combat instructor,”

Mitchell explained.

“Coming out and being in Thousand

Oaks really is a rough transition in his

identity. So I would say the identity

issue is a big one. I would say the

stigma of seeking help is big: ‘I’m 28.

I’m strong. I don’t need nothing!’ And

he was a loner. There was no tribe or

group of people that could influence

him enough, obviously.”

After a moment, Mitchell added,

“and then you have the gun thing,

which is he probably had access to

weapons. So when you have easy

access to weapons, it’s easy to think of

the gun when you don’t know how to

self-soothe yourself.”

A missed opportunity?

Spurred by the 1978 death of her

older brother Peter in gun violence,

Suzanne Verge has been going up

against the “gun thing” for 18 years

now. As president of the Los Angeles

chapter of the Brady Campaign to

Prevent Gun Violence, she has advocated

for more state and federal gun

and ammunition laws than she can


Verge, who is a parishioner at St.

Monica Church in Santa Monica,

said she was not surprised by the latest

deadly mass shooting, not with the

continued easy availability of guns in

the U.S.

But there was something that really

bothered her about this particular


According to Verge, authorities in

Ventura County were seemingly unaware

of California’s gun violence restraining

orders that prohibit someone

from possessing a gun or ammunition.

And police — as well as close family

members — can get a “Firearms

Emergency Protective Order” in

California if someone poses an “immediate

and present danger of causing

personal injury to himself/herself, or

to another person.”

“I really think law enforcement is

just not aware that they have the ability

to do it,” said Verge, who participated

in one of the prayer vigils held

in Thousand Oaks the night after the


“We’ve got this great tool, but

nobody knows about it. They have

no idea they have this tool they could

be using. And it went into effect Jan.

1, 2016. But in 2016, there was only

one case filed in Ventura County.

Last year only three,” she told Angelus


“Who knows if it would have stopped

the Thousand Oaks shooter?”


16 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018



Remains belonging to LA’s first people unearthed

amid urban development find a final resting

place in local Catholic cemeteries


On a bright Saturday morning

in late November,

about 25 Native Americans

from the Gabrielino/

Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission

Indians gathered to bless a piece of

land where many of their ancestors

will finally, after many years, get a

proper burial.

While Andy Morales, the son of

Chief Anthony Morales, prepared the

earth by leading chants, burning sage,

and spreading a bit of tobacco on the

green grass, two Catholic bishops and

a chaplain observed and respectfully

prayed along with the indigenous


“This day symbolizes the coming

together of the Native American and

the Catholic religions,” said Morales,

as he started leading the ceremony

and chanting.

“That shows strength and unity and

it’s also a day of healing for our families

and our ancestors.”

The land in question, located in the

Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery

in Rowland Heights, will now become

the permanent site for the reburial of

the tribal ancestors thanks to a series

of protocols signed earlier this year by

the tribe and the Archdiocese of Los


A similar ceremony had occurred a

week before at the Good Shepherd

Cemetery in Lancaster for the Fernandeño

Tataviam Band of Mission

Indians. Both were presided by Auxiliary

Bishop Edward Clark, episcopal

vicar for the Our Lady of the Angels

Pastoral Region.

It was an issue of justice and it was a

long time coming, said Clark.

“Both tribes appealed to the archdiocese

because they had no place

to rebury their ancestors that get

unearthed because of construction or

when federal law required museums

and universities to return remains to

the tribes,” said Clark. “They made an

appeal to Archbishop José Gomez and

he promised that he would find them

a place.”

Members of both tribes were part

of the original peoples of Southern

California: The Tongvas occupied

much of the LA Basin and the Channel

Islands, and the Tataviam lived in

northern LA County, including near

what is now the area of Santa Clarita.

During the Spanish period they were,

by many accounts, enslaved to build

the San Gabriel and San Fernando


After that, there came a long time

of “being invisible,” said Julia Bogany,

the cultural affairs officer for the


“People were buried at their villages,

but when the land was gone, nobody

undug people because we would not

do that,” Bogany said. “I always say

that, as a Tongva woman, I feel invisible

because we never left our land,

but we were here.”

Over the years, thousands of remains

belonging to tribal members have

been unearthed during construction

and development in the Los Angeles


The protocols of the Tataviam and

Gabrieleño call for reburial as close

to the original places as possible. That

is not always possible, as developers

are often not responsive and there’s

no solution to the issue. Many are

interred at the missions, but space

there was limited and it was filled a

18 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

Members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians were joined by Los Angeles

Auxiliary Bishops Joseph Brennan and Edward Clark at the dedication and blessing of a new

reburial site at Good Shepherd Cemetery in Lancaster November 17.

long time ago.

Fernandeño Tataviam Tribal President

Rudy Ortega Jr. said the new

land given to his tribe at the Good

Shepherd Cemetery in Lancaster will

provide some “security and placement.”

“The tribe doesn’t have any cemetery

lands or property,” Ortega said. “We

don’t have federal recognition. Next,

we have to plan the reburial of about

20 remains that we know of that range

from the 1880s all the way to 1980.

And as long as people continue building

and digging, they will continue

finding remains.”

Chief Morales of the Gabrielinos

said that more than 6,000 Tongva

ancestors are buried at San Gabriel

Mission, but that it has been 247 years

since they had access to bury anyone

in that land.

“What’s so sad is that a lot of our

people are still boxed in museums and

in warehouses and universities,” added

Sylvia Mendivil Salazar, coordinator

for Native American Concerns Ministry

of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“I can’t speak for all, but most of us

have high honor for our ancestors, we

believe their spirit lives and we respect

the dead as the Catholic Church


Several women members of the

Valenzuela family (“the largest Tongva

family in existence,” as one of them

explained) observed the ceremony

while participating in the chants and


One of them, June Lucero, from La

Puente, said it’s very important to their

people to be able to visit their buried


December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 19


“It’s quite an honor to be proud to

come and visit your ancestors and say,

hello, hello. And to remember them,”

she said. “It’s a good feeling in your

heart to know you are taking care of

your ancestors because development

companies would destroy them; we

have seen what they are capable of

doing, and we are just grateful that we

now have this land again.”

After chanting, praying, and dancing,

Morales declared that “we have sent

the message to our ancestors.” Then

he posed for pictures with members of

the band and all the Catholic dignitaries


For Lucero, the “Valenzuela,” one

Tongva word describes how it feels to

now have a place for the remains.

“Ewachem,” she said. “That means,

‘We are still here.’ ”

Pilar Marrero is a journalist and author

of the book “Killing the American

Dream.” She worked as a political and

immigration writer for La Opinion and

as a consultant for KCET’s “Immigration

101” series.

20 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

Andy Morales, son of Chief Morales, burns sage while blessing the Tongva burial plot. The area is

marked by a statue of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was canonized in 2012 as North America’s first

Native American woman saint.





JANUARY 19, 2019







CONNECTED OneLife-LA 1lifela @1lifela @1lifela

A long-awaited blessing

A Catholic wedding seemed out of the question for more than one couple

at San Gabriel Mission — until their parish priest came up with an idea


When Susana Ambrosio walked down the aisle

of the San Gabriel Mission Church, adorned

in a white, sequined gown as the crowd sang

and clapped along to “Vienen Con Alegria,”

(“We Come With Joy”), it had been three decades

in the making.

Ambrosio and her partner, Victor,

had been together for 30 years

and were the parents of three

children, but never got

married in the Catholic

Church. It wasn’t until

last year, when their

adult son, Jose, felt a

calling for vocational

discernment that

the couple began

to renew their

own faith, which

for them, started

with saying their

wedding vows.

So on November

24 the Ambrosios

got married in a

“boda comunitaria”


wedding”) alongside

six other couples who,

like them, looked to

the ceremony not as the

beginning of a life together,

but as a long-awaited blessing on

their union that would let them fully

participate in the life of the Church

— and most importantly, to receive

the Eucharist.

“I feel so happy,” Ambrosio said

after her wedding ceremony. “I came here because of

Christ’s love and knowing that his love revolves around our


Father Ray Smith, associate pastor of San Gabriel Mission

Church, said the idea for the “boda comunitaria” began

about nine months ago when Jose Ambrosio, with whom

he had been working on his vocation discernment, asked

Susana Ambrosio and her husband, Victor, walk down

the aisle as a newly married couple.

him for help on behalf of his parents.

“Out of nowhere, I told him, ‘Father, my mom and dad

did a retreat and he proposed to her,’ ” Ambrosio recalled.

“And Father Ray said, ‘Let’s get them married.’ And I said,

‘Really, it’s that easy?’ And in less than two weeks

they started their preparations.”

Once Father Smith agreed to help

the Ambrosios make arrangements

for a wedding, they told him

about another couple in a

similar situation that also

wanted to get married.

Soon, more couples

— most of them had

been cohabitating

for decades and had

children together

— were approaching


Many of them

had put off getting

married because

the cost of a wedding

was prohibitive,

said Smith,

while for others, the

shame of not being

married already —

before they had children

— had kept them from

pursuing it.

So Smith had a different approach

— a “boda comunitaria.”

“When they come to me, I say,

‘Don’t be afraid of the money, don’t

be afraid of the shame of it,’ ” he

said. Group weddings, he added,

have been held in the archdiocese

before, but aren’t common.

Having seven couples marry at once offsets the cost of a

wedding. The church offered the venue, cake, and champagne,

and several church groups provided music, entertainment,

and various dishes at the reception. The couples

split the remaining costs.

Normally, a wedding at San Gabriel Mission Church and


22 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

a reception for 300 people — the number in attendance on

November 24 — would cost a minimum of $11,000, Smith


The group wedding also let Smith tailor the premarital

counseling curriculum to the couples’ specific life circumstances.

So instead of having the couples discuss if they’re

open to the possibility of having children — “they already

proved that,” he said — he talked to them about the place

children have in a marriage.

And for the handful of individuals who hadn’t yet received

their First Communion, he had them also make extra

preparations so they could take the Eucharist in time for

the wedding. In one week, three of them went to confession,

received First Communion, and were wedded, he


Laura Flores, one of the brides, said she and her partner

of 27 years, Esteban Bustamante, had been thinking about

marriage for 25 years. But when she became pregnant with

her first child, she said, she didn’t think it would be acceptable

to get married in the Church.

“That’s what kept me away,” she said.

But after going on a spiritual retreat, she said that she and

Bustamante “got to know God” and decided to set a good

example for their four children by getting married.

“It gave us the strength for this moment,” she said. “I’m

happy but nervous.”

Yolanda and Freddie Torralba also said that family was

one of their main motivations.

The couple

had been together for 35

years and have two children,

but after the birth

of their first grandchild

seven months ago, they

started thinking about

getting married.

For Marina Santiago,

marriage meant finally

being able to receive the


“It was time for us to

do the sacrament so that

God is in our family,”

said Santiago, a mother

of five who has been with

her partner for 35 years.

“I decided to not live in

sin anymore. Now I can

take Holy Communion

and the blood of Christ.

This is what I most desire,”

she said.

Smith said the Eucharist

was important for

all the couples. When

he offered communion

to one of the brides at

the wedding, she started

weeping and fell to the

Newly married couples kneel in prayer after receiving Holy Communion.

floor, he said.

“It took everything within me to keep going because I

know how great this is for her,” he said. “For me, that was

one of the pieces where I see the power of God and he’s

coming back into their lives, and what that means just

overwhelms them.”

For Smith, this work is also part of his own spiritual tradition.

St. Anthony Mary Claret, founder of the Congregation of

Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed

Virgin Mary (Claretian Missionaries) — which staffs the

San Gabriel Mission Church — made it a priority during

his service in Cuba to marry couples that had been cohabitating,

he said, and he wanted to continue this idea.

So Smith plans to continue hosting “boda comunitarias,”

with the next one scheduled for May.

During the reception, Smith said that several families

approached him, offering to contribute to a future group

wedding, while others asked about getting married.

“My hope was with all these couples, that they will go out

and help find others who were like them and bring them

into the full life of the Church,” he said.

Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil is an award-winning reporter and

graduate of Harvard Divinity School whose work has appeared

in the Los Angeles Times,, Religion

News Service and other publications.


December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 23

Protesters hold an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Nicaraguan flag during a march in support of the Catholic Church July 28, in Managua.

The only way forward in Nicaragua

The Catholic Church finds itself in a critical position amid political turmoil


NICARAGUA — In October,

the government of Daniel

Ortega and his wife, Vice

President Rosario Murillo,

imposed a sweeping ban on civil protest

in Nicaragua, including carrying

the national flag or inflating blue and

white balloons.

Critics see the crackdown as an effort

to snuff out a spontaneous protest

movement that almost brought them

down earlier this year.

Those in favor of Ortega, who’s on

his third consecutive presidential

mandate, see it as the government trying

to lead the country back to peace

after protests that began in April in

response to a proposed social security

reform that would have hurt the working

class and the elderly.

The Catholic Church was literally

caught in the middle, with Ortega

asking the bishops’ conference to mediate

in a dialogue effort that was held

in the interdiocesan national seminary

of Our Lady of Fátima, located in Managua.

Due to disruption caused by

the dialogue, classes were suspended

and every diocese forced to improvise

a study center for future priests.

At times, the Church’s signals have

seemed mixed — Cardinal Leopoldo

Brenes at one point asked people to

stop using the Managua Cathedral

as a protest base, while Msgr. Miguel

Mantica, a parish priest in Managua,

has called on those same people not

to be “paralyzed by fear.”

“I’ve been accused of leading a

coup. The dictionary defines a coup

leader as someone who brings down a

government to take power for himself.


24 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

Well, I’m not interested in power, so

I can’t be a coup leader!” Brenes said

November 17.

Brenes is a man who can’t disguise

his concern for Nicaragua, a country

that’s seen enough revolutions

to know that lofty ideas to convince

the masses sooner or later end up

shipwrecked by abuses of the few in

power, their families, and some of

their closest friends.

“Injustice in Nicaragua is centuries

old; there has been an inability to

dialogue, to recognize the other. We

always go back to this deathly cycle

of violence, of crushing one another,

to make my word count and ignore

that of others,” Mantica, who leads St.

Francis of Assisi Church in Managua,

told a local newspaper.

In a nutshell, eight of the country’s

10 bishops interviewed during a November

16-28 visit to Nicaragua agree

that dialogue is the only way forward.

Asked about the cause of the current

crisis, which has left an estimated 500

protesters dead and an even larger

number in prison or “disappeared,”

most observers say the bill proposed in

April was just the match that lit a fire

building for years, with the Ortega regime

steadily amassing control over all

four traditional powers — executive,

judiciary, congress, and the military.

Opposition is virtually nonexistent,

with those who might have the

potential of succeeding Ortega either

lacking the social base to be elected or

the safety needed to actually run for

the presidency.

The Church’s role at the center of

the crisis, with priests literally placing

themselves between the army, police,

paramilitary forces and students

protesting the regime, has led to a

division among some of the faithful.

Many Catholic churches, including

the Managua Cathedral, were opened

to the young protesters during some

of the worst of the clashes, and to receive

medical attention, since public

hospitals had received orders to let the

wounded die upon arrival.

Those who are pro-government

argue the bishops and priests should

preach to them, too.

“Veronica,” who agreed to talk only if

her identity was protected because the

regime didn’t give her the green light,

said that she supports Ortega because,

“I see the trajectory of progress his

governments have provided to the

country since 2006.

“Don Daniel has implemented many

social projects that favor the poor,”

Veronica said. “They’ve implemented

many projects related to family economy,

giving people chickens, pigs, and

a cow. They’ve helped a lot to reduce

the poverty levels in the rural areas.”

Within the flock, there are even

radicalized pro-Ortega Catholics who

shifted from being Mass-going faithful

to people who stop the bishops on the

street to accuse them of terrorism.

One of the bishops who’s been at the

forefront is Bishop Silvio Jose Baez,

appointed as auxiliary of Managua

nine years ago, and whose entire

family has had to flee the country due

to his outspokenness both in traditional

media and through his Twitter


“I have nothing to hide … all I’ve

done is serve the people in the name

of God, and I will continue in this

role that the Church has entrusted to

me,” he said, speaking at his residence

in the diocesan seminary. “My

conscience is clean, I have nothing to

hide, and I’m innocent of everything

I’m being accused of.”

The reference is to voice recordings

of Baez allegedly calling for a coup.

The tape was procured during a

private conversation with five peasants,

then altered and released in an

attempt to discredit him. Afterward,

a petition demanding his removal

began to circulate and public employees

are being forced to sign it or face

being fired from their jobs.

According to Baez, the “narrative

from the state” of a failed coup

financed by foreign interests is “all a


“This was a pacific and citizen-led

insurrection that caught us all by surprise,

because it began from where we

least expected it, young people,” he

said, acknowledging that until April,

many older Nicaraguans saw young

people invested only in watching

soccer. “But they’ve woken the conscience

of the country,” he said.

Inés San Martín is the Rome bureau

chief for Crux, a partner of Angelus.

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 25

‘Abba, Daddy’

When relearning honest prayer requires a return to childhood


you are children,

God has sent the Spirit

of his Son into our


hearts, crying, ‘Abba!

Father!’ ” (Galatians 4:6).

One day some years ago, I took my

then 4-year-old son Eddie for a walk

around the grounds of the beautiful

St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset,

New York. For Eddie and me,

both Harry Potter fans, this former

1920s Gold Coast estate became a

real-life Hogwarts, a land of enchantment

and mystery.

With its baroque, three-story mansion,

tall oaks, gravel pathways, canopied

trails, gurgling stream, and stone

labyrinth, it was just the right place for

the two of us to set off on a late-afternoon


We had been to St. Ignatius many

times in the past. We would take

plastic swords (some times “Star Wars”

lightsabers) and seek out villains to be

fought and monsters to be conquered.

The vilest of these imaginary

creatures was the dreaded Minotaur,

half man, half bull, who was trapped

somewhere inside a maze of woods

that lay just beyond the man sion. Often

Eddie was Theseus the Brave and

I was the grotesque monster in search

of a hero to devour.

That day, however, we had no

swords, only sticks. I knighted Ed die

St. George the Dragon Slayer and we

spent the afternoon in search of an

imaginary flying serpent. Once we

discovered and vanquished the beast

we carried it to the base of a 6-foot-tall

statue of the Virgin Mary that stood

atop a small incline on the north end

of the property.

“For you, Our Lady, Slayer of Serpents.”

Afternoon quickly turned to dusk.

We made our way down a hill beneath

a copper and blue crepus cular sky,

toward an enormous weep ing beech

tree, where other mysterious creatures

were known to hide.


26 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

On guard and with sticks in hand, we

entered the cave-like dwelling created

by the drooping branches. We found

ourselves inside a cathedral of shadows

and shade, clambering over thick,

exposed roots and crooked branches

that looked like witch fin gers beckoning

us to draw closer to the trunk of

the tree.

I kept my hand near Eddie’s back to

catch him if he lost his footing. Once

inside, we talked about Mario Bros.

and dinosaurs and we played a quick

pickup game of stickball with the

large beechnuts that littered the dark


Dusk quickly turned to evening. I

told Eddie it was time to leave. As we

exited this tree castle, a quarter moon

struggled to shine in the east and the

blue hill before us looked murky and


We were entirely alone. A light

shone in the window of an upper

room in the mansion some distance

away. I reached out and took Eddie’s

hand and we walked together. We

stopped for a mo ment. I wanted to

feel the air on my face and stand

beneath the vast sky above us. And

that is when my son said, “Daddy, I’m

afraid. Don’t let go of my hand.”

I looked at Eddie, squeezed my

fingers into his tiny palm and said,

“Don’t be afraid. I’ll always be with

you.” He gave my hand a squeeze in

return and kept close to my side as

we walked in silence through a pale

path cut by the dull light of the moon.

We made our way to the parking

lot, climbed into the family car, and

headed home.

My son is older now and he no

longer holds my hand when

we go for walks. St. Ignatius

and the mysterious landscape that was

our playground were demolished a

few years ago when the Jesuits sold the

property to an investment firm looking

to build condos. I know that God asks

us to be forgiving, yet certain things

seem to me to be a little bit unforgivable.

This was one of them.

But when I think back to that night I

realize that in that singular moment,

Eddie helped me ex perience and

understand the purest and most innocent

form of prayer:

“Daddy, I’m afraid. Don’t let go of

my hand.”

I’m older now, too, and in the years

that have passed I’ve come to see that

the spirit of Eddie’s words is arguably

at the center of every single, honest

prayer we ever utter: “I need you God,

stay with me.”

What do these words represent? Surrender.

A childlike openness to God’s

great love and God’s desire to protect

and help his sons and daughters.

We live in a time and place that

stresses independence and individualism,

self-reliance, and selfworth.

To rely on another is to put

oneself in a precarious position. But

long before psychologists coined terms

such as codependency and before

theologians intel lectualized God,

somewhere, one quivering, frightened

person looked up at the sky and asked

an invisible presence to help him feel

less alone.

“Father, Abba, I am afraid; stay with


That night when Eddie reached

out and took my hand, I was given a

vision of what it must feel like to be

God. I felt great love, great warmth,

a great desire to offer comfort to my

son. I wanted nothing else to do than

to protect him, to remind Eddie that

beneath this vast and sometimes

troubling universe he’s not alone, that

I was always with him.

Isn’t that what God feels for us?

Isn’t that what God is always saying?

Maybe we just need to surrender our

complaints, to let go of our attempts to

be brave, to know it all, and just reach

out our hands and just say, “Father,

Abba, Daddy, Dad, I’m afraid. Don’t

let go of me.”

If we listen closely, a still, small voice

will say, “I never have. I never will.”

Gary Jansen is a noted spiritual writer

and director of Image Books and an

executive editor at Penguin Random

House. Among his many books are

“The 15-Minute Prayer Solution,” “The

Infernos of Dante and Dan Brown: A

Visitor’s Guide to Hell,” and “Station

to Station.” As a lecturer, he has been

featured on NPR, CNN, Huffington

Post, and elsewhere.

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 27




The GOP’s Golden State blues

In CA, the GOP is DOA.

The Republican Party in the

Golden State has dissolved.

For the last 20 years, my home

state has been blue and then bluer.

Statewide officials have almost always

been Democrats, including both U.S.


But there were still about a dozen or

so members of Congress from California

who were Republican, out of a

total delegation of 53 lawmakers. That

wasn’t much, but it was something.

Now imagine cutting that number in

half, so that Republicans only occupy

about seven or eight of the congressional

seats in the state.

And just like that, over a couple of

decades, California becomes Massachusetts


Paul Ryan doesn’t understand how

this happened. This week, during a

Washington Post event, the outgoing

House speaker brought up what he

considers a “bizarre” election system

in California that he claims cost Republicans

seven congressional seats.

To understand what has happened in

California, you need to flip the calendar

back a couple of decades.

Remember Pete Wilson? He was

the Republican governor who helped

wipe out his party by making the GOP

brand toxic with a group of Californians

that represents 1 in 5 voters

and nearly 40 percent of the state’s


Those figures are significant, but

they don’t tell the whole story. Factor

in all the friends, neighbors, and

spouses of the people in that group —

who might likewise come to resent the

Republican Party for picking on their

loved ones. And you can see what a

terrible calculus it was to antagonize

Former Gov. Pete Wilson during a visit to the Pentagon in 1993.

that group of voters.

And for what? The short-term benefit

of Wilson winning re-election to what

would be his final four-year term.

In 1994, with the state’s economy

on the ropes and facing off against

Kathleen Brown — heir apparent to

one of the great Democratic dynasties

in the history of the state — Wilson

rolled the dice on the theory that he

could scare up enough votes from

whites who felt overrun and displaced

by Latinos than he could absorb whatever

losses he would suffer in terms of

the Latino vote.

He even had a vehicle, a statewide

ballot initiative

called Proposition

187 — which would

have denied education,

social services,

and nonemergency

services to illegal immigrants

and their

children, even those

born in the United

States. Wilson

hitched his re-election

campaign to the

initiative campaign,

until they seemed

to be one and the


California voters

approved the measure,

returned Wilson

to the governor’s

office for a second

term, and doomed

the long-term future

of the Republican


Why? Latinos

didn’t forget.

But Republicans

can’t say they weren’t warned. They

were told this would happen, frame

by frame — 24 years ago this month,

during that fateful 1994 election.

The warning came from Jack Kemp

and William Bennett, two of the

most influential Republicans of the

late-20th century and co-directors of

the Washington-based center-right

organization, Empower America.

The two men traveled to California

to spread a simple message to Republicans:

passing Proposition 187 would

place their party on “the wrong side”

of the immigration debate.

They were both drawing directly


28 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

on the spirit of Ronald Reagan, the

pro-immigration Republican who

crushed Walter Mondale in 1984 by

winning 40 percent of the Latino vote.

After Proposition 187 was approved

by voters, it was soon struck down as

unconstitutional by a federal judge,

just as opponents has predicted it

would be.

Undaunted, the newly re-elected

Wilson tried to take the issue national

in order to help him run for president

in 2000. Neither the national version

of Proposition 187 nor Wilson’s presidential

campaign got very far.

A couple weeks after the 1994

election, Kemp and Bennett spoke at

an event sponsored by the Manhattan

Institute. The conservative research

group had just issued a new report

challenging the claim by nativists that

illegal immigrants take jobs and use


“Just like health care, there is no

crisis in legal immigration,” Bennett

told the audience. “There are some

problems with illegal immigration,

but ... Wilson is scapegoating, d***it,

and he should stop it. Now he is trying

to ride this horse to a national level.

Come on, Pete, get off it.”

Meanwhile, Kemp looked down the


“I believe there is no chance for the

Republican Party to be a majority

party in this country without being a

party of inclusion,” he said. “We have

to make the case that immigration is a

blessing to America, not a curse.”

True enough. And now, for its sins,

it’s the California Republican Party

that is cursed. The only question is for

how long.

Oh, and how’s this for a small world?

You know who got his start in politics

working with Bennett and Kemp at

Empower America? A sharp, young,

pro-immigration conservative named

Paul Ryan.


Ruben Navarrette — a contributing

editor to Angelus News — is a syndicated

columnist with The Washington

Post Writers Group, a member of the

USA Today Board of Contributors, a

Daily Beast columnist, author of “A

Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of

a Harvard Chicano,” and host of the

podcast “Navarrette Nation.”

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 29

Remembering ‘Coach C’

Luka Cvijanovich Jr.: a winner on the court and in the game of life


His life could

easily be defined

by the hundreds

of games and

dozens of championships

his Santa Clara High

School teams won. But

Lou Cvijanovich had a

broader vision for his players

that extended beyond

final scores or names on a


“For him, coaching

wasn’t about accolades, or

wins and losses,” said Bob

Swisher, who served as a

player in the 1970s and

as assistant coach in the

1980s for the legendary

leader of Santa Clara’s

basketball team.

“Teaching us about life

was Coach’s main thing

— taking a group of kids

and showing them that

if you work together and

put your mind to it, you

can overcome obstacles

anywhere, whether on the

basketball court or in life.

‘Without hard work,’ he

said, ‘you go nowhere — but with it, you accomplish so

much more than you think you can.’ ”

Swisher, who now teaches and works with at-risk youth

in the San Diego School District, was one of many former

players, colleagues, and friends who came to a public viewing

November 30 at Reardon Mortuary in Oxnard for Cvijanovich,

92, who died November 24 at home in Oxnard,

following a long battle with cancer and a heart ailment.

And Swisher was one of many who spoke about the man

who, in 41 years at Santa Clara, compiled one of the

greatest coaching records in California prep history, yet

is remembered by those who knew him for far more than

wins and losses.

“He made me the man I am today,” Swisher said, struggling

to contain his emotions, as he introduced his adult

son to a visitor. “I named my son Luka — that was Coach’s

given name, and I was proud to give it to my son.”

Lou and Martha Cvijanovich are surrounded by their eight children at a recent family gathering. Lou, basketball

coach at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard for 41 years, died November 24 at age 92.

On this pleasant Friday afternoon, visitors at the mortuary

stopped to greet, offer condolences, and share stories with

members of the Cvijanovich family. They spoke of games

won in the last minute, of dominant and not-so-dominant

seasons, and of enjoying time with the man forever known

as “Coach C.”

A few also recalled how, uh, challenging Cvijanovich

could be at times, especially if he thought the effort wasn’t

as maximum as it should be.

“Yeah, he could get a little, let’s say, raw at times,” smiled

Scott Cvijanovich, the sixth of the eight Cvijanovich

children and a member of the 1980 CIF-Southern Section

championship team. “I think for myself and my siblings

who played for him, he held us to higher expectations than

everyone else, so he’d get more raw with us.”

“It probably wasn’t as bad for the girls,” chuckled Sue Cvijanovich,

the fifth child (and oldest of two daughters), who


30 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

played for Santa Clara in the mid-1970s. “Dad wasn’t our

coach, but he’d help out if we made the playoffs and he let

us know when we were falling short.”

And yet, the Cvijanovich children noted, their father

knew when to apply the brake, so to speak.

“He was very forgiving and supportive, as a coach and as

a father,” said Sue. “If you made a mistake, he’d sit down

with you, analyze what happened and help you figure out

how to do better next time.”

“Athletics were only a small part of what he was trying to

teach us,” added Stacey Cvijanovich, the youngest of the

eight and the CIF-SS Player of the Year for the 1985 Santa

Clara CIF-SS champions. “It was more about respect,

discipline, and giving 100 percent. If you were making

the effort, it was OK to make mistakes as long as you learn

from them.”

“He had an innate sense of who could take how much

criticism,” added Scott, “so he would back off before it

got out of hand. And he never cut anyone from his team,



“Never,” Scott repeated firmly. “Because for years,

Santa Clara basketball was the biggest event in town on

a Tuesday or Friday night, and kids grew up dreaming of

wearing the Santa Clara uniform, of playing for the Saints.

And Dad knew that, so if a kid came out for the team, Dad

made sure he had a uniform and that he felt welcome.”

“He encouraged the nonathlete kids, those who might

have been cut right away at another school, to stay with the

program, maybe to become team managers or statisticians,”

said Sue. “He created a real sense of community that way.”

His own family was a community in itself. Born in Arizona

to Yugoslavian immigrants, Luka Cvijanovich Jr. was

an all-state athlete and U.S. Navy veteran who, in 1948,

married the former Martha Sue Stanley.

After graduating from Arizona State, Cvijanovich moved

his family to California and taught in Ventura County

junior high and high schools before coming to Santa Clara

in 1958.

As he built a local powerhouse in basketball (and coached

football and baseball as well), he and Martha built their

family: Sam, Stefan, Stan, Stuart, Sue, Scotty, Sherri, and


“He was a great dad, but we had him only part of the

time,” smiled Sue. “He gave his life to the school.”

At Santa Clara, Cvijanovich swept the basketball court,

lined the football field and taught year-round — impressive

at any school, and certainly for a Serbian Orthodox coach

at a Catholic school.

“Dad wasn’t Catholic,” said Scott, “but he had great faith,

and one of the things he was most proud of was receiving

an apostolic blessing from Pope John Paul II.”

Before he retired from coaching in 1999, Cvijanovich

had become friends with legendary UCLA Coach John

Wooden, whose principles he tried to incorporate into his

own philosophy.

“Dad evolved as basketball evolved, from a more deliberate

offense to more wide open,” said Sue. “He was a real

student of the game, and was one of the first to take his

players to summer leagues, to clinics, anything to make

them better.”

Along the way, Cvijanovich developed his own set of admiring

colleagues, perhaps none moreso than Mater Dei’s

Gary McKnight, who has surpassed Cvijanovich as the

state’s all-time high school coaching leader in games won.

That was clear the day before he died.

“Coach McKnight was taking his team to Santa Barbara

for a game, but he went out of his way to stop in Oxnard,”

Scott noted proudly. “He and Coach Pat Frank [of St.

Bonaventure High, who played for Cvijanovich in the

1970s] spent more than an hour with Dad, and that

means so much to us that they took

that time to be with him.”

Much more meaningful, Coach C

might say, than any championship.

Among the mementos displayed during a public viewing of Lou Cvijanovich November 30 at

Reardon Mortuary in Oxnard are (from left): a photo of Coach Cvijanovich; an “All American Team”

jacket; and a ball presented to him on his 91st birthday by fellow basketball legend Bill Walton,

with whom Cvijanovich was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 1997.

Lou Cvijanovich is survived by Martha,

his wife of nearly 70 years, and

their eight children, seven grandchildren

and four great-grandchildren, plus

many nieces, nephews, and grand-nieces

and nephews. A Celebration of Life

will take place December 15, 2 p.m., at

Santa Clara High School. Donations

may be made to the Coach C Scholarship

Fund at Santa Clara High

School, 2121 S. Saviers Road, Oxnard,

CA 93030.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of

The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus



December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 31



Singing in the

Christmas spirit

Spend an evening with the LA Children’s Chorus this December

Malvar-Ruiz conducts the Los Angeles

Children’s Chorus last spring.

On two consecutive Sundays,

December 9 and 16, at 7:30

p.m., the Los Angeles Children’s

Chorus (LACC) will

present what promises to be a bang-up

program at the Pasadena Presbyterian


“Winter Wonderland: Sounds of the

Season” marks the first stand-alone

program led by the chorus’ new artistic

director, internationally regarded

choral conductor, clinician, and

educator Fernando Malvar-Ruiz.

The entire chorus comprises 400

kids and seven choirs. Two hundred

and fifty of them will perform in December’s


Associate Artistic Director Mandy

Brigham leads the Intermediate

Choir, Diana Landis leads the

Apprentice Choir, and Dr. Steven

Kronauer conducts the Young Men’s


Malvar-Ruiz will conduct the Concert

Choir, the Chamber Singers, and

the new SATB Choir (soprano, alto,

tenor, bass), the mixed-voice ensemble

he established in August.

“They’re all quite different. The

Concert Choir is a treble choir,

which means high voices. It’s a mixed

ensemble, meaning young boys and

girls, and they all sing both soprano

and alto.”

“The Chamber Singers are young

women between 16 and 18. It’s a

more mature sound. The SATB

Choir is both young men and women

singing a repertoire that has moved

beyond the younger high voices.”

The program includes carols and

folk songs from around the world,


32 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018

seasonal songs from Venezuela —

where Malvar-Ruiz spent his youth —

and winter-themed works by classical

composers from various countries and


Though the concerts are different,

each will have five sections, each

based on a different holiday theme

and introduced by a single a cappella


Among the works featured are Elgar’s

“The Snow,” Kodály’s “Stabat Mater”

for male voices, the gorgeous Bach

cantata “Sleepers Awake,” and Verdi’s

“Laudi Alla Vergine Maria” (“In

Praise of the Virgin Mary”), based on

a poem from Dante’s “Paradiso.”

How do the kids come to participate

in the chorus?

“Each spring, the call goes out to the

community. If the audition is successful,

and the large majority are, then

we place the child in whichever choir

will benefit him or her most. They’ll

stay there until they’re ready for the

next level,” Malvar-Ruiz said.

“The system works really well. We

lose very few children from year to

year. The chorus is Pasadena-based,

but the offering is so unique we have

children from all over LA.”

What draws Malvar-Ruiz to young

singers, with whom he’s worked his

whole professional life, as opposed to


“One, children are artistically honest.

If they like something they love

it. And if they don’t, you don’t have

to guess. Also, unlike adults, children

have been told very few times, ‘You

will never be able to do this.’ Young

artists are capable of amazing things

and an incredible level of sophistication

simply because they believe in


“Two, there is nothing like the sound

of a good children’s choir. The purity,

a certain level of innocence, and the

honesty combine to create a sound

that goes straight to your heart.”

As artistic director of American Boychoir

for 18 years, he’s now something

of an expert on the adolescent male

evolving voice.

“The attitude toward voice change

has changed dramatically in the last

few decades, fortunately. It used to

be that the boys would be told to stop

singing until the change was over. In

many cases, however, they stopped

singing forever,” he said.

“So now they’re given pieces to sing

while the voice is in the process of

changing. We teach them to learn to

trust the notes they have, and to sing

those. The range is narrower and the

voice for a time is often quite unstable.

So they may be able to sing only

25 percent of a given piece, but they

sing it.

“The real work with this particular

kind of singer is psychological. You

have to let the boy know that at the

end of the transition, he’s going to

have a voice that’s just as beautiful in

its way as the treble.”

When an LACC boy’s voice begins

to change, he’s placed in the Young

Men’s Ensemble, which will perform

December 9.

“Dr. Kronauer helps them to develop.

Those whose voices have already

changed combine with the voices of

boys who are still going through the

process, and together they create a

beautiful, beautiful sound.”

Malvar-Ruiz created the SATB choir

to bring the process full circle.

“The boy starts out singing soprano

with girls who are also singing soprano.

When his voice changes, he goes

to the Young Men’s Ensemble. When

he’s ready for the SATB choir he goes

back to singing with the girls he was

singing with when he was a treble.

The kids love this. If you sing with

someone, it’s impossible not to form

a bond.”

We know the feeling from church

when we sing hymns with the people

around us.

“It doesn’t need to be Bach or

Mozart. We feel connected in some

mysterious way when the focus is

something that’s bigger than we are,”

he said.

“It’s a very human activity. There’s

no culture, present or past, that has

not an element of common, group

singing of some sort. It cannot be

overestimated how wonderful it is to

raise our voices in song with others.

That’s what choirs capture.”

Heather King is a blogger, speaker and the author of several books.

December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 33

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