December 7, 2018 Vol. 3 No. 41
ON THE COVER
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.
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE/GREGORY A. SHEMITZ VICTOR ALEMÁN
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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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
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
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
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
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
BY ARCHBISHOP JOSÉ H. GOMEZ
Our Guadalupe moment
The story of Guadalupe is a story for
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
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
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
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
To read more columns by Archbishop José H. Gomez or to subscribe, visit www.angelusnews.com.
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.”
THE MONKS OF NORCIA
for Cameroon nuns
DANIEL IBAÑEZ/CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
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
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
4 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018
Congress follows through
with aid for Iraqi minorities
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE/RICK WILKING, REUTERS
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
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
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
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
signs that read
the busiest section
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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
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 gps2018event.eventbrite.com.
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 ConsecrateCalifornia.com.
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 hsrcenter.com/event/registertoevent.
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 RFrecruitment@all4kids.org.
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 dreamorchestra.org.
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 www.jpstem.org or email Michael
Parks at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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 Pauline.org/concerts 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 AngelusNews.com
Visit AngelusNews.com 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
BY SCOTT HAHN
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,
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
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
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
Scott Hahn is founder of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, stpaulcenter.com.
8 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018
BY FATHER RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI
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, www.ronrolheiser.com.
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
BY PABLO KAY / ANGELUS
BY NAME HERE / ANGELUS
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
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
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,
There are many other
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
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
“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
“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?
BY R.W. DELLINGER / ANGELUS
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:
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
“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.”
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 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
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
“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
“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,”
“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
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
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?”
JOHN MCCOY/ANGELUS NEWS
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
BY PILAR MARRERO / ANGELUS
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.
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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
BY CAITLIN YOSHIKO KANDIL / ANGELUS
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
the couple began
to renew their
own faith, which
for them, started
with saying their
So on November
24 the Ambrosios
got married in a
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
“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
for decades and had
— were approaching
Many of them
had put off getting
the cost of a wedding
while for others, the
shame of not being
married already —
before they had children
— had kept them from
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.
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
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,”
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
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, NBC-News.com, 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
BY INÉS SAN MARTÌN / ANGELUS
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
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.
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE/JORGE CABRERA, REUTERS
24 • ANGELUS • December 7, 2018
Well, I’m not interested in power, so
I can’t be a coup leader!” Brenes said
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 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
When relearning honest prayer requires a return to childhood
BY GARY JANSEN / ANGELUS
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
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
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
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
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
“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
BY RUBEN NAVARRETTE
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
187 — which would
have denied education,
services to illegal immigrants
children, even those
born in the United
hitched his re-election
campaign to the
until they seemed
to be one and the
approved the measure,
to the governor’s
office for a second
term, and doomed
the long-term future
of the Republican
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
COURTESY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
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
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
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
COURTESY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
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
BY MIKE NELSON / ANGELUS
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
“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
COURTESY CVIJANOVICH FAMILY
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
“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
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
“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
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,
Mike Nelson is the former editor of
The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus
December 7, 2018 • ANGELUS • 31
BY HEATHER KING
Singing in the
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
We know the feeling from church
when we sing hymns with the people
“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,”
“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