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Angelus News | July 14, 2023 | Vol. 8 No. 14

On the Cover: Father Luis Estrada, new administrator at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, takes part in a Sunday, June 18, groundbreaking event for a new 17,000-square-foot church. On Page 10, Tom Hoffarth reports on how determined parishioners in one of the poorest corners of LA overcame a series of setbacks to make their dream a reality.

On the Cover: Father Luis Estrada, new administrator at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, takes part in a Sunday, June 18, groundbreaking event for a new 17,000-square-foot church. On Page 10, Tom Hoffarth reports on how determined parishioners in one of the poorest corners of LA overcame a series of setbacks to make their dream a reality.

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ANGELS AT WORK<br />

How a new church is rising in Pacoima<br />

ANGELUS<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 8 <strong>No</strong>. <strong>14</strong>


ANGELUS<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. 8 • <strong>No</strong>. <strong>14</strong><br />

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ON THE COVER<br />

VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

Father Luis Estrada, new administrator at<br />

Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, takes<br />

part in a Sunday, June 18, groundbreaking<br />

event for a new 17,000-square-foot church.<br />

On Page 10, Tom Hoffarth reports on how<br />

determined parishioners in one of the poorest<br />

corners of LA overcame a series of setbacks<br />

to make their dream a reality.<br />

THIS PAGE<br />

OFFICE OF LIFE, JUSTICE, AND PEACE<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteers handed out donated clothes, toiletries, and<br />

other supplies to more than 150 refugees at the Cobina<br />

Posada del Migrante Shelter in Mexicali, Mexico, on<br />

World Refugee Day June 20. The archdiocesan Office of<br />

Immigration Affairs, together with the nonprofit Border<br />

Compassion and SoCal Immigration Task Force, collected<br />

the donated items at St. Cornelius Church in Long Beach to<br />

be taken across the border.<br />

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Pope Watch.................................................................................................................................... 2<br />

Archbishop Gomez..................................................................................................................... 3<br />

World, Nation, and Local <strong>News</strong>.......................................................................................... 4-6<br />

In Other Words............................................................................................................................. 7<br />

Father Rolheiser............................................................................................................................ 8<br />

Scott Hahn................................................................................................................................... 32<br />

Events Calendar......................................................................................................................... 33<br />

<strong>14</strong><br />

18<br />

20<br />

22<br />

24<br />

CONTENTS<br />

World-famous Eucharistic miracle exhibit arrives to more than 30 LA parishes<br />

San Gabriel Mission celebrates latest ‘visible sign of resurrection’<br />

John Allen on the winds of change blowing at the Synod on Synodality<br />

Charlie Camosy: What California’s Catholic leaders are getting right<br />

Is this short story collection the best new Catholic fiction out there?<br />

Sign up for our free, daily e-newsletter<br />

Always Forward - newsletter.angelusnews.com<br />

26<br />

30<br />

Greg Erlandson weighs in on the modern manhood crisis<br />

Heather King: ‘Omelas,’ suffering, and the price of happiness<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 1


POPE WATCH<br />

Rediscover adoration<br />

The following is adapted from the<br />

Holy Father’s June 19 address to the<br />

Organizing Committee of the National<br />

Eucharistic Congress in the United<br />

States.<br />

All of us are familiar with the<br />

multiplication of the loaves<br />

recorded in the Gospel of John.<br />

The people who witnessed this<br />

miracle came back to the Lord the<br />

following day in hopes of seeing him<br />

perform another sign. Yet Christ<br />

desired to transform their hunger for<br />

material bread into a hunger for the<br />

bread of eternal life.<br />

The Eucharist is God’s response to<br />

the deepest hunger of the human<br />

heart, the hunger for authentic life,<br />

for in the Eucharist Christ himself is<br />

truly in our midst, to nourish, console,<br />

and sustain us on our journey.<br />

Sadly nowadays, there are those<br />

among the Catholic faithful who<br />

believe that the Eucharist is more a<br />

symbol than the reality of the Lord’s<br />

presence and love. It is more than a<br />

symbol; it is the real and loving presence<br />

of the Lord.<br />

It is my hope that the Eucharistic<br />

Congress will inspire Catholics<br />

throughout the country to discover<br />

anew the sense of wonder and awe at<br />

the Lord’s great gift of himself and to<br />

spend time with him in the celebration<br />

of the holy Mass and in personal<br />

prayer and adoration before the Blessed<br />

Sacrament.<br />

We have lost the sense of adoration<br />

in our day. We must rediscover the<br />

sense of adoration in silence. It is a<br />

form of prayer that we have lost. Too<br />

few people know what it is. It is up to<br />

the bishops to catechize the faithful<br />

about praying through adoration.<br />

I likewise trust that the Congress<br />

will be an occasion for the faithful to<br />

commit themselves with ever greater<br />

zeal to being missionary disciples.<br />

In the Eucharist, we encounter the<br />

One who gave everything for us, who<br />

sacrificed himself in order to give<br />

us life, who loved us to the end. We<br />

become credible witnesses to the joy<br />

and transforming beauty of the Gospel<br />

only when we recognize that the love<br />

we celebrate in this sacrament cannot<br />

be kept to ourselves but demands to<br />

be shared with all. This is the sense of<br />

a missionary spirit.<br />

You go to the celebration of Mass,<br />

receive Communion, adore the Lord<br />

and then what do you do after? You<br />

go out and evangelize. Jesus asks this<br />

of us.<br />

The Eucharist impels us to a strong<br />

and committed love of neighbor, for<br />

we cannot truly understand or live the<br />

meaning of the Eucharist if our hearts<br />

are closed to our brothers and sisters,<br />

especially those who are poor, suffering,<br />

weary, or who may have gone<br />

astray in life. Two groups of people<br />

come to mind whom we must always<br />

seek out: the elderly, who are the<br />

wisdom of a people, and the sick, who<br />

are the image of the suffering Jesus.<br />

This congress marks a significant<br />

moment in the life of the Church in<br />

the United States. May all that you are<br />

doing be an occasion of grace for each<br />

of you and may it bear fruit in guiding<br />

men and women in your nation to the<br />

Lord.<br />

Papal Prayer Intention for <strong>July</strong>: We pray that Catholics may<br />

place the celebration of the Eucharist at the heart of their<br />

lives, transforming human relationships in a very deep<br />

way and opening to the encounter with God and all their<br />

brothers and sisters.<br />

2 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


NEW WORLD OF FAITH<br />

ARCHBISHOP JOSÉ H. GOMEZ<br />

San Gabriel and the American mission<br />

On <strong>July</strong> 1, Mission San Gabriel<br />

Arcángel fully reopened to the<br />

public for the first time since<br />

the pandemic and the devastating<br />

arson attack in <strong>July</strong> 2020.<br />

I had the privilege a few days<br />

beforehand to bless the exquisitely<br />

renewed altarpiece, along with the<br />

new museum and garden space, and<br />

to take part in an emotional ceremony<br />

with descendants from the original<br />

mission.<br />

The mission was founded in 1771 by<br />

St. Junípero Serra and his Franciscan<br />

brothers and was built by and for the<br />

Tongva natives, the first peoples of this<br />

land.<br />

The ceremony was built around their<br />

prayers, rituals, and sacred music, all<br />

in their native tongue.<br />

One of their songs included these<br />

moving lines: “O my ancestors, listen<br />

to my heart / O my ancestors, here is<br />

my heart.”<br />

It reminded me of those words from<br />

the Letter to the Hebrews: “We are<br />

surrounded by so great a cloud of<br />

witnesses.”<br />

These words remind us that our faith<br />

is never a solitary journey. We owe the<br />

gift of faith to our ancestors, to those<br />

who have gone before us, that great<br />

cloud of witnesses down through the<br />

ages, who professed the Catholic faith<br />

and proclaimed it.<br />

The missionaries came to this country<br />

with that noble intention, to share<br />

what they believed was the greatest<br />

gift they could ever give, the gift of<br />

knowing Jesus Christ and his love and<br />

salvation.<br />

As you enter into the restored mission<br />

museum, you encounter a white<br />

wall inscribed with the names of the<br />

7,054 Native Americans baptized at<br />

the mission from 1771 to 1848.<br />

It is a striking visual testimony to the<br />

truth that every soul is precious in<br />

the eyes of our loving God. And it is<br />

beautiful to reflect that the original<br />

baptismal font used by Junípero and<br />

the Franciscans is still there in the<br />

mission’s baptistry.<br />

The Franciscans kept track of every<br />

baptism, every marriage, and every<br />

burial. For them, this was not simply<br />

paperwork, it was “soulcraft.” They<br />

were charting the faith journeys of the<br />

souls entrusted to their care, as they<br />

made their way through the challenges<br />

of this world to the love that never<br />

ends in heaven.<br />

The new mission museum is world-class.<br />

And as its co-curator, University<br />

of California historian Steven<br />

Hackel, Ph.D., said in the opening<br />

ceremony, there is no museum in<br />

Los Angeles that tells the story that<br />

the mission museum tells, “a unique<br />

and vibrant history where the past so<br />

palpably informs the present.”<br />

He is right. The past is alive and<br />

“present” here. As I walked the mission<br />

campus, I felt the strong sense<br />

that I was on holy ground, walking<br />

among the souls of the 5,000 Natives<br />

who are buried here, proud sons<br />

and daughters of this land’s ancient<br />

peoples who had met Jesus Christ and<br />

decided to make him the way and the<br />

truth for their lives.<br />

In one of the museum rooms, along<br />

with some masterpieces of colonial-era<br />

Spanish painting, there is<br />

a confessional that scholars believe<br />

Junípero used. I thought of all the<br />

countless souls reconciled to God<br />

through the mission’s ministry, all<br />

those men and women who heard<br />

those beautiful words from the mission<br />

priests: “I absolve you from your<br />

sins. ...”<br />

Mission San Gabriel will always be<br />

the true spiritual heart of Los Angeles.<br />

The mission marks the birthplace of<br />

the Christian faith here and, 10 years<br />

after the mission was established, the<br />

city itself was founded by men and<br />

women who came from the mission.<br />

The mission is a sign of the Christian<br />

beginnings, not only of our city, but of<br />

our nation.<br />

I have often remarked how, in God’s<br />

providence, the feast of St. Junípero<br />

Serra falls on <strong>July</strong> 1 and the celebration<br />

of America’s independence on<br />

<strong>July</strong> 4.<br />

This too is “God’s reminder” that<br />

the missionaries were here first, that<br />

the people of this country were called<br />

Christians long before they were<br />

called Americans.<br />

The same “worldview” and values<br />

that inspired Junípero and the missionaries<br />

are reflected in our Declaration<br />

of Independence, which is rooted in<br />

the belief that all men and women<br />

are created by God out of love and<br />

endowed with equal dignity and equal<br />

rights, and called to a transcendent<br />

destiny.<br />

The American dream still depends<br />

on this belief.<br />

Pray for me and I will pray for you.<br />

And as we mark America’s independence,<br />

let us pray that our neighbors<br />

and leaders will continue to treasure<br />

our Christian heritage and know that<br />

these Christian values are essential to<br />

our nation’s ideals and institutions.<br />

Let us entrust ourselves and our nation<br />

to the Immaculate Heart of Mary<br />

our Blessed Mother.<br />

By her intercession, may we be<br />

renewed in our dedication to continue<br />

the work of the missionaries and<br />

to bring Jesus into the lives of every<br />

person in this land.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 3


WORLD<br />

■ Fátima visionary, Black American<br />

sister closer to sainthood<br />

Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange (left) and Sister Lúcia dos Santos. | CNS<br />

■ Catholic sister who revolutionized<br />

Indian education dies at 86<br />

Girls at the Rainbow Home in Kolkata, India, get<br />

a goodnight blessing from Loreto Sister Cyril<br />

Mooney in 2011. | CNS/ANTO AKKARA<br />

Catholics in India<br />

are mourning the<br />

death of an Irish nun<br />

who helped expand<br />

education access to<br />

the country’s poor.<br />

Sister Cyril Mooney,<br />

IBVM, died June<br />

24 in Kolkata at the<br />

age of 86. While a<br />

school principal in the<br />

1980s, she founded a<br />

program that covered<br />

tuition for poor<br />

students using the<br />

payments made by<br />

students from well-off<br />

families.<br />

The program’s<br />

model, which allowed<br />

more than 450,000 children in poverty to attend school, was<br />

imitated by the entire country of India, which since 2010 has<br />

required private schools to follow a 25% quota for disadvantaged<br />

students similar to Mooney’s.<br />

Mooney also opened a home at the school for roughly 200<br />

street children with no families.<br />

She was awarded India’s highest civil award, the Padma<br />

Shri, in 2007, and Ireland’s distinguished service award in<br />

2013.<br />

Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtues of two influential<br />

Catholic sisters June 22, moving both closer to sainthood.<br />

Born in Cuba to Haitian parents, Mother Mary Elizabeth<br />

Lange moved to Baltimore in 1813 and later started a<br />

school there for Black children who had no access to free<br />

education. She later founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence,<br />

the first religious order for Black women at a time<br />

when Black Catholics were barred from religious communities<br />

in the U.S.<br />

“She was determined to respond to that need in spite of<br />

being a black woman in a slave state long before the Emancipation<br />

Proclamation,” reads Lange’s official biography for<br />

her sainthood cause. “She used her own money and home<br />

to educate children of color.”<br />

Sister Lúcia dos Santos was one of the three children —<br />

including her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta — that the<br />

Virgin Mary appeared to at Fátima starting in 1917. Her<br />

written memoirs have been an important account of the<br />

message of the Fátima apparitions.<br />

Though her cousins both died in childhood and were<br />

canonized saints in 2017, Lúcia spent 50 years as a cloistered<br />

Carmelite in Coimbra, Portugal, dying at 97 in 2005.<br />

A family shares a<br />

meal at the New<br />

Church of God<br />

of Deliverance<br />

camp for displaced<br />

people in Port-au-<br />

Prince, Haiti, June<br />

19. | OSV NEWS/<br />

RALPH TEDY EROL,<br />

REUTERS<br />

■ Does Haiti need its own Marshall Plan?<br />

Haiti needs the help of a “new Marshall Plan” to bring it<br />

out of the worst humanitarian crisis in its history, one of its<br />

Catholic bishops believes.<br />

Bishop Pierre-André Dumas of Anse-à-Veau-Miragoâne<br />

made the comments to Vatican <strong>News</strong> in the wake of a new<br />

UNICEF report showing an alarming increase in endemic<br />

poverty in the country — especially affecting children.<br />

UNICEF estimates that territory covering approximately<br />

2 million people is now controlled by armed gangs, where<br />

violence, summary executions, kidnapping, and sexual<br />

assault are more common.<br />

Dumas called for the international community to step up<br />

relief efforts in the country, which is also facing a cholera<br />

pandemic following recent flooding and earthquakes.<br />

“The humanitarian needs are even greater today than<br />

after the devastating earthquake of 2010, but with far fewer<br />

resources to respond,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine<br />

Russell told Vatican <strong>News</strong>.<br />

4 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


NATION<br />

■ Supreme Court sides with Christian<br />

postal worker in Sabbath case<br />

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a legal interpretation that has been<br />

used to deny employees religious accommodations.<br />

In its ruling on Groff v. DeJoy, the court sided with Gerald Groff, a Christian<br />

postal worker who claimed he had been disciplined by the USPS for refusing to<br />

work Sundays due to religious beliefs.<br />

The USPS had relied on the “de minimis” interpretation of Title VII of the Civil<br />

Rights Act, which allowed employers to reject religious accommodations if they<br />

imposed more than a trivial cost.<br />

Under this decision, employers must show that a religious accommodation<br />

would result in substantial increased costs in order to deny it. The Supreme Court<br />

has returned Groff’s case to lower courts to be examined under the new standard.<br />

■ Study: Church attendance up, but still down<br />

More Americans are going to church this year, but still not enough to match<br />

pandemic losses.<br />

According to a Gallup poll released June 26, 31% of survey respondents said<br />

they had attended religious services in the past seven days. That is up from 30%<br />

last year, but still below the 34% attendance rate in 2019. It also follows a general<br />

decline seen since 2009, when 42% said they attended services.<br />

The rates of decline are starker for Catholics than Protestants: 30% of Catholics<br />

attend Mass, down from 37% as a 2016-2019 average compared to Protestants’<br />

fall to 40% from 44% in the same period.<br />

■ Biden calls for more contraception access<br />

on Dobbs<br />

anniversary<br />

President Joe<br />

Biden marked<br />

the first anniversary<br />

of the<br />

Supreme Court’s<br />

overturning of<br />

Roe v. Wade by<br />

signing an executive<br />

order aimed<br />

at expanding<br />

access to contraception.<br />

The June 23<br />

order directs<br />

federal agencies<br />

to consider new<br />

Pro-lifers gather near the Lincoln Monument in Washington, D.C., June 24 at a rally<br />

to commemorate the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that<br />

overturned Roe v. Wade. | OSV NEWS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN, REUTERS<br />

guidelines enabling more over-the-counter access to contraceptives, including<br />

those that induce an abortion. It also asked the agencies to explore policies<br />

ensuring private health insurance coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives<br />

without cost sharing.<br />

Five days later at a campaign fundraiser in Maryland, Biden reasserted his<br />

position favoring federal protections of abortion access provided by Roe v. Wade<br />

despite personal issues with abortion.<br />

“So I’m — you know, I happen to be a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on<br />

abortion,” he said. “But guess what? Roe v. Wade got it right.”<br />

Bishop Richard Stika in 2019. | CNS/VATICAN MEDIA<br />

■ Tennessee bishop<br />

out; Texas bishop under<br />

Vatican investigation<br />

Two U.S. bishops made headlines<br />

last month following news of Vatican-ordered<br />

investigations.<br />

On June 27, Pope Francis accepted<br />

the resignation of Bishop Richard F.<br />

Stika, 65, of Knoxville, Tennessee.<br />

The Vatican had been investigating<br />

Stika for allegedly covering up sexual<br />

abuse by a seminarian, as well as<br />

financial mismanagement. However,<br />

the bishop cited health reasons for<br />

his resignation, and following the<br />

announcement told a local reporter<br />

that a priest had sexually abused him<br />

when he was a teenager.<br />

Meanwhile in Tyler, Texas, two U.S.<br />

bishops completed a weeklong “apostolic<br />

visitation” in June on behalf of<br />

the Vatican.<br />

The cause of the investigation is<br />

unclear, but news reports claimed that<br />

the bishops interviewed diocesan staff<br />

looking into Bishop Joseph Strickland’s<br />

social media use and diocesan<br />

management.<br />

Strickland has gained national attention<br />

for his social media use, especially<br />

for criticism of Pope Francis that<br />

included a May 12 tweet claiming the<br />

pope was “undermining the Deposit<br />

of Faith.”<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 5


LOCAL<br />

■ USC Catholic<br />

institute founder marks<br />

50 years as a priest<br />

Father James Heft, the founder and<br />

longtime leader of the Institute for<br />

Advanced Catholic Studies at USC,<br />

celebrated his golden jubilee on June 9.<br />

Ordained in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio,<br />

as a Marianist priest, Heft spent more<br />

than 25 years at the University of Dayton,<br />

before moving to LA and founding<br />

the institute, known today as a global<br />

hub for Catholic thought, imagination,<br />

and experience.<br />

An expert on Catholic higher education,<br />

Heft has written and edited<br />

numerous books, articles, and journals,<br />

and was honored with the Theodore<br />

Hesburgh Award in 2011 by the<br />

Association of Catholic Colleges and<br />

Universities.<br />

Looking back on his priesthood,<br />

Heft said God has been “prodigal” in<br />

“blessing me, both as a Marianist and a<br />

Catholic, with his mercy and love.”<br />

■ Archdiocese<br />

to reintroduce<br />

Communion chalice<br />

during Mass<br />

Starting <strong>July</strong> 15, the distribution of<br />

the Precious Blood of Christ in the<br />

Archdiocese of Los Angeles “may be<br />

reintroduced into parish Masses at the<br />

pastor’s discretion,” Archbishop José H.<br />

Gomez announced.<br />

“Communion from the chalice is to<br />

be restored, so that all may have the<br />

opportunity to participate more fully in<br />

the celebration of the Eucharist,” wrote<br />

Archbishop Gomez in a June 28 letter<br />

to priests in the archdiocese.<br />

Distribution of Communion wine at<br />

Mass had been officially suspended<br />

since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic<br />

in early 2020.<br />

In his letter, Archbishop Gomez said<br />

the move “provides an opportunity<br />

during this time of national Eucharistic<br />

Revival, to gain a renewed appreciation<br />

of, and devotion to Jesus who makes<br />

himself present to us in holy Communion<br />

at every Mass.”<br />

■ South LA catechism students add some color<br />

to Corpus<br />

Christi<br />

A South LA parish<br />

found one creative<br />

way to keep catechism<br />

students into<br />

the start of summer.<br />

Three catechism<br />

students at St.<br />

John the Evangelist<br />

Church were<br />

honored as part of a<br />

Corpus Christi tradition<br />

that the parish’s<br />

pastor, Father<br />

Pavol Sochulak,<br />

SVD, learned about<br />

after being ordained<br />

in Germany.<br />

Father Pavol Sochulak, SVD, stands in front of the makeshift altar with some of<br />

the art created for Corpus Christi. | SUBMITTED PHOTO<br />

Sochulak, who is originally from Slovakia, noticed while in Germany how<br />

townspeople would create artworks using seeds of different colors and place<br />

them on altars built to be seen during the traditional Corpus Christi Eucharistic<br />

procession. This year, he asked catechism students to create some Bible-themed<br />

art with different seeds before inviting parishioners to vote for their favorite.<br />

“It was a simple idea, but I really like it,” said Sochulak, who is leaving St.<br />

John’s for a new assignment in San Bernardino this summer. “I tried to involve<br />

the youth into this part of religiosity and what we have in our Catholic Church.”<br />

The winning students were: Kelly Cruz (first place), Diamond Rangel (second<br />

place) and Jocelyn Parra (third place).<br />

Crooning at Carnegie — The Bishop Amat High School student Chamber Singers spent six days touring New<br />

York City, culminating in the group performing “Requiem for the Living” at Carnegie Hall along with the Masterwork<br />

Festival Chorus and New York City Chamber Orchestra. While touring sites such as the Statue of Liberty and<br />

taking in two Broadway shows, the students found time to stage impromptu performances at St. Paul’s Chapel and<br />

Central Park. | JENNIFER ESCOVAR<br />

Y<br />

6 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


V<br />

IN OTHER WORDS...<br />

Letters to the Editor<br />

The AI balancing act<br />

Regarding the recent interview on the subject of artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) in the June 30 issue: Justin Welter and Joseph Vukov both point to<br />

Catholicism’s capacity to directly answer the debacle of AI through person-centered<br />

ethics. It seems that more extreme camps of the issue divide into “AI is going<br />

to take all of our creative jobs and force us into hard labor” and “Human creativity<br />

is being rightfully supplanted by AI generation.” Their mistake is not seeing<br />

humans beyond their own function.<br />

As Welter pointed out, “original sin is probably more powerful than AI.” Technology<br />

is a tool and a tool will be used to destroy if the holder thinks that is its only<br />

function. Catholics know there is much more to themselves and the capabilities<br />

of their creations. Still, with technology as powerful as AI, is the possibility of<br />

destruction not too much of a risk? Can Catholics remain both hopeful and aware<br />

of our fallen nature?<br />

— Dean Robbins is an undergraduate student at Catholic University of America<br />

in Washington, D.C.<br />

Y<br />

Continue the conversation! To submit a letter to the editor, visit <strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong>.com/Letters-To-The-Editor<br />

and use our online form or send an email to editorial@angelusnews.com. Please limit to 300 words. Letters<br />

may be edited for style, brevity, and clarity.<br />

Mission makeover<br />

“I used to think that God<br />

watches people suffer, but<br />

this showed me that God<br />

actually suffers with you.”<br />

~ Musician Trevor Powers, in a June 11 NPR<br />

interview on how losing his voice gave him a new<br />

appreciation for God.<br />

“If it’s circumstantial, it’s<br />

God’s providence; if it’s<br />

possibly intentional, that’s<br />

in God’s providence also.”<br />

~ Father William Holiday, a priest in Orlando, Florida,<br />

in a June 25 interview with local news station WKMG<br />

on whether his burned church was targeted.<br />

“I would love it if Black<br />

Catholics know they’re<br />

not alone.”<br />

~ Sister Josephine Garrett, in a June 26 Our Sunday<br />

Visitor interview on the creation of her new podcast,<br />

“Hope Stories with Black Catholics.”<br />

“This game might be<br />

the only Bible some<br />

people read.”<br />

~ Game creator Arve Solli, in a June 22 FaithWire article<br />

on the new Bible-themed video game, Gate Zero.<br />

“Everybody comes into the<br />

world being held, and they<br />

should leave being held.”<br />

~ Ben Kresse, teacher at St. Xavier High School in<br />

Kentucky, in a June 27 National Catholic Register<br />

article on high school students participating in<br />

pallbearer ministries.<br />

Andrew Morales of the Gabrieleño San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians helps with singing traditional welcome<br />

songs and blessing the renewed Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which reopened to the public on <strong>July</strong> 1, feast day of<br />

St. Junípero Serra. Archbishop José H. Gomez was also on hand to bless the mission church’s new interior, as well as a<br />

“reimagined” museum. Read more about the mission’s reopening on Page 18. | JOHN RUEDA<br />

View more photos<br />

from this gallery at<br />

<strong>Angelus</strong><strong>News</strong>.com/photos-videos<br />

Do you have photos or a story from your parish that you’d<br />

like to share? Please send to editorial @angelusnews.com.<br />

“The bell bore witness to a<br />

difficult history but also to<br />

peace and hope.”<br />

~ Bishop Jacek Jezierski of the Diocese of Elbląg, in a<br />

June 26 Catholic <strong>News</strong> Agency article on the return of<br />

Nazi-plundered bells returning to Poland.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 7


IN EXILE<br />

FATHER RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI<br />

Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father<br />

Ronald Rolheiser is a spiritual<br />

writer; ronrolheiser.com<br />

The therapy of a public life<br />

More than 50 years ago, Philip<br />

Rieff wrote a book entitled<br />

“The Triumph of the Therapeutic.”<br />

In it, he argued that widespread<br />

reliance upon private therapy<br />

today arose in the secularized world<br />

largely because community has broken<br />

down.<br />

In societies where there are strong<br />

families and strong communities, he<br />

contends, there is less need for private<br />

therapy. People can more easily work<br />

out their problems through and within<br />

the community.<br />

If Rieff is right, and I suggest he is,<br />

then it follows that the solution to many<br />

of the things that drive us to the therapeutic<br />

couch today lie as much, and<br />

perhaps more, in a fuller and healthier<br />

participation within public life,<br />

including ecclesial life, than in private<br />

therapy. We need, as Parker Palmer<br />

suggests, the therapy of a public life.<br />

What is meant by this? How can public<br />

life help heal us?<br />

In caption: Public life (life within<br />

community, beyond our private intimacies)<br />

becomes therapeutic by immersing<br />

our fragility into a social network<br />

which can help carry our sanity, give us<br />

a certain rhythm within which to walk,<br />

and link us to resources beyond the<br />

poverty of our private helplessness.<br />

To participate healthily in other people’s<br />

lives links our lives to something<br />

bigger than ourselves, and this is its<br />

own therapy because most public life<br />

has a certain rhythm and regularity to<br />

it that helps calm the chaotic whirl of<br />

our private lives, which are often racked<br />

with disorientation, depression, psychological<br />

fragility, paranoia, and a variety<br />

of obsessions.<br />

Participation in public life gives us<br />

clearly defined things to do: regular<br />

stopping places, regular events of<br />

structure, a steadiness, a rhythm. These<br />

are commodities the psychiatric couch<br />

does not provide. Public life links us to<br />

resources that can empower us beyond<br />

our own helplessness. What we dream<br />

alone, remains a dream. What we<br />

dream with others can become a reality.<br />

But all this is rather abstract. Let me<br />

try to illustrate with an example. While<br />

doing doctoral studies in Belgium, I<br />

was privileged to attend the lectures of<br />

Antoine Vergote, a renowned doctor of<br />

both psychology and the soul. I asked<br />

him one day how one should handle<br />

emotional obsessions, both within<br />

oneself and when trying to help others.<br />

His answer surprised me. He said something<br />

to this effect:<br />

“The temptation you might have as<br />

a priest is to simplistically follow the<br />

religious edict: ‘Take your troubles to<br />

the chapel! Pray it all through. God<br />

will help you.’ It’s not that this is wrong.<br />

God and prayer can and do help. But<br />

most paralyzing obsessional problems<br />

are ultimately problems of over-concentration<br />

. . . and over-concentration<br />

is broken mainly by getting outside of<br />

yourself, outside of your own mind and<br />

heart, life, and room. Have the emotionally<br />

paralyzed person get involved<br />

in public things — social gatherings,<br />

entertainment, politics, work, church.<br />

Get the person outside of his or her<br />

closed world and into public life!”<br />

He went on, of course, to qualify this<br />

so that it differs considerably from any<br />

simplistic temptation to simply bury<br />

oneself in distractions and work. His<br />

advice here is not that one should run<br />

away from doing painful inner work,<br />

but rather that doing one’s inner work<br />

is sometimes very dependent upon<br />

outside relationships. Sometimes only a<br />

community can stabilize your sanity.<br />

As a corollary to this, I offer this example:<br />

I have been teaching theology in<br />

a number of colleges for more than 40<br />

years. Many is the emotionally unstable<br />

student, fraught with every kind of inner<br />

pain and unsteadiness, who shows<br />

up at these colleges, hangs around<br />

its classrooms, cafeteria, chapel, and<br />

social areas, and slowly gets steadier and<br />

stronger emotionally. And that strength<br />

and steadiness come not so much from<br />

the theology courses, but from the<br />

rhythm and health of the community<br />

life. These students get better not so<br />

much by what they learn in the classrooms<br />

as they do by participating in the<br />

life outside of them. The therapy of a<br />

public life helps heal them.<br />

Further, for us as Christians, the<br />

therapy of public life also means the<br />

therapy of an ecclesial life. We become<br />

emotionally healthier, steadier, less<br />

obsessed, less a slave of our own restlessness,<br />

and more able to become who<br />

and what we want to be by participating<br />

healthily within the public life of the<br />

church.<br />

Monks, with their monastic rhythm,<br />

have long understood this and have secrets<br />

worth knowing: Program, rhythm,<br />

public participation, the demand to<br />

show up, and the discipline of the<br />

monastic bell have kept many a man<br />

or woman sane — and relatively happy<br />

besides.<br />

Regular Eucharist, regular prayer with<br />

others, regular meetings with others<br />

to share faith, and regular duties and<br />

responsibilities within ministry not only<br />

deeply nurture our spiritual lives, they<br />

also help keep us sane and steady.<br />

Robert Lax, who greatly influenced<br />

Thomas Merton, suggests that our task<br />

in life is not so much finding a path in<br />

the woods as of finding a rhythm to walk<br />

in. Public life can help us find that<br />

rhythm.<br />

8 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


PATIENCE PAYS IN PACOIMA<br />

After years of priest changes, construction delays, and tamale sales, a<br />

new church is rising in one of the toughest corners of LA.<br />

BY TOM HOFFARTH & PABLO KAY<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez blesses the crowd at the<br />

groundbreaking for the new Guardian Angel Church<br />

building in Pacoima. | VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

Over the last 20-plus years,<br />

plenty of guardian angels have<br />

watched over the effort to build<br />

a new church for parishioners of the<br />

Guardian Angel Catholic community<br />

in Pacoima.<br />

But last month, at last, trucks were<br />

moving dirt and pouring concrete<br />

behind a gate adorned with a piece of<br />

plywood that reads “12305 Terra Bella<br />

Street.”<br />

The milestone was celebrated as a<br />

testament to the faith of Guardian Angel’s<br />

parishioners at a Sunday, June 18,<br />

ground-blessing ceremony attended by<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez and nearly<br />

400 people at the four-acre parcel of<br />

land steps away from Pacoima’s Hansen<br />

Dam Recreational Center.<br />

The new 17,000-square-foot church,<br />

on track to open in summer 2024, will<br />

seat some 1,300 people. The project<br />

calls for parking space for more than<br />

200 cars, parish office and meeting<br />

room space, plus widened surrounding<br />

streets and new sidewalks.<br />

It is a notable improvement over the<br />

site of the current 200-seat church that<br />

sits about a mile east, built almost 70<br />

years ago at 1088 Lehigh Ave., just off<br />

Van Nuys Blvd. It is surrounded by the<br />

densely populated and landlocked San<br />

Fernando Gardens, one of the oldest<br />

low-income public housing project<br />

developments in Los Angeles that has<br />

overcome a troubled past with gang<br />

violence.<br />

Parking there is almost nonexistent.<br />

Even when the church celebrates five<br />

Masses every Sunday, it only allows for<br />

about 1,000 total worshippers. A small<br />

patio behind it with folding chairs<br />

serves as a gathering spot, whether for<br />

Mass overflow or fellowship afterward<br />

despite often baking in the San Fernando<br />

Valley summer sun or on chilly<br />

winter days.<br />

“I have seen parishioners stand outside<br />

in the rain for Mass,” said Gerardo<br />

Ascencio, a Guardian Angel parishioner<br />

for more than 40 years and president<br />

of the parish’s capital campaign for the<br />

new church.<br />

Ascencio said he was first drawn to<br />

10 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Guardian Angel when in high school<br />

while helping his father in music<br />

ministry. Ascencio met his future wife<br />

at a church fiesta and they now have<br />

three sons who attend school there.<br />

He’s been inspired by the parishioners’<br />

resolve, including the drive to make<br />

this new church happen.<br />

“They would never give up on<br />

Guardian Angel,” Ascencio said of<br />

his fellow parishioners. “I think that<br />

standard sent out a strong indication<br />

of how they were brought up. For a<br />

new church, we can ask the Mexican<br />

American community to think of this<br />

as a heritage building, like they do in<br />

small towns in Mexico. They can put<br />

their muscle and money into making<br />

this a reality.”<br />

Jose Ponce said the parish’s peaceful,<br />

welcoming ambiance has kept them<br />

for all his 28 years. Witnessing the<br />

groundbreaking gave him hope.<br />

“I look forward to having everyone<br />

being able to be inside the church, not<br />

sectioned off, all coming together,” said<br />

Ponce.<br />

For a community that already has<br />

a source of pride in Eric Mejia, a<br />

28-year-old<br />

parishioner<br />

raised by a single<br />

mother in the<br />

surrounding<br />

projects who was<br />

ordained a transitional<br />

deacon in<br />

June and has one<br />

year of studies<br />

left at St. John’s<br />

Seminary, the<br />

Currently, Guardian<br />

Angel Church only<br />

holds some 200 people.<br />

For years, the overflow<br />

crowd has had to listen to<br />

Mass while sitting in an<br />

outdoor patio area.<br />

| VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

opening of the new church is expected<br />

to coincide with his planned ordination<br />

to the priesthood and only adds to their<br />

gratitude.<br />

But few in the crowd that day knew<br />

the history of the project as well as<br />

Bishop Gerald Wilkerson.<br />

Soon after taking over the San<br />

Fernando Pastoral Region as a new<br />

auxiliary bishop in 1998, Wilkerson<br />

heard from the pastor of Guardian<br />

Angel at the time, Father Juan Enriquez,<br />

about plans for a new church.<br />

After a feasibility study was completed,<br />

the bishop and Enriquez’s successor,<br />

Father Steve Guitron, canvassed the<br />

area to find a site.<br />

Once the property at Terra Bella was<br />

agreed upon in 2003, Wilkerson needed<br />

a new source of help.<br />

While the Guardian Angels parishioners<br />

could do fundraising — sales of<br />

tamale or menudo or fruit drinks on<br />

Sundays, or larger raffles and fiestas<br />

— it wouldn’t be nearly enough.<br />

Wilkerson asked leadership at the 55<br />

parishes of his region to help purchase<br />

the land through a three-year donation<br />

added on to their Together in Mission<br />

commitment. When some $2.5 million<br />

was raised, a six-acre L-shaped spot was<br />

bought in 2009, with the plan to have<br />

not just a larger church on one end,<br />

but room for the school, a rectory, and<br />

parish hall.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w the challenge was finding a way<br />

to pay for all the construction.<br />

Guitron’s plans to the archdiocese<br />

building commissioner were considered<br />

not financially viable. After<br />

revisions, more land entitlements, and<br />

permits, architectural firm Jp Darling<br />

& Associates was hired for the project<br />

in 20<strong>14</strong>. Wilkerson retired in 2015,<br />

but not before he reluctantly agreed<br />

that two acres of the original six-acre<br />

plot had to be sold off in order to fund<br />

construction.<br />

When Father Rafael Lara arrived as<br />

pastor in 2018, he tried to rebuild momentum<br />

and tamp down discouragement,<br />

but was dealt two new setbacks<br />

in 2020: the death of architect Darling<br />

and the COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

In 2021, architect Chuck Kluger —<br />

with more than 25 years experience in<br />

archdiocesan projects — was brought<br />

in to work with the existing designs.<br />

Hoffman & Associates Building in Van<br />

Nuys was asked to take over construction.<br />

Today, a project that the Archdiocese<br />

of Los Angeles estimates will come<br />

to $12.7 million is only half funded<br />

with the latest influx of donations and<br />

grants. Those include the steady support<br />

provided by the annual Cardinal’s<br />

Award fundraisers and the philanthropic<br />

efforts of the Shea Foundation<br />

through Brother Hilarion O’Connor,<br />

operators director and Strategic Capital<br />

Projects leader for the Cathedral of<br />

Our Lady of the Angels.<br />

There is still $6.5 million outstanding<br />

to pay a construction loan.<br />

The circular irony is not lost on<br />

Wilkerson, who was asked by Archbishop<br />

Gomez last fall to come out<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 11


of retirement<br />

and oversee the<br />

San Fernando<br />

Pastoral Region<br />

once again while<br />

Auxiliary Bishop<br />

Alex Alcan recovers<br />

from a stroke.<br />

Bishop Gerald Wilkerson<br />

has been involved in<br />

efforts to build a new<br />

church at Guardian<br />

Angel for 25 years.<br />

| VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

“I know I wasn’t sure if I would still<br />

be here to see this,” Wilkerson, 82, said<br />

with a laugh. “The archdiocese and<br />

the region should really be proud of<br />

this. Guardian Angel Church is going<br />

to rise a year from now as a result of<br />

every pastor and every person in this<br />

region continuing their effort to make<br />

it happen.”<br />

Kluger described the new Guardian<br />

Angel church with its arches, tiles, and<br />

colors as a modern interpretation of a<br />

traditional Spanish architecture. He<br />

said he feels it fits well into the personality<br />

of the community it will serve.<br />

“They have really embraced this<br />

design from the start, and those who<br />

were here at the start took community<br />

involvement into it,” said Kluger.<br />

“Considering the story of where it started<br />

and where we are now, you see God<br />

may not have a plan that’s straight, but<br />

Architect Chuck Kluger<br />

looks at blueprints during<br />

a visit to the church<br />

construction site. Kluger<br />

took over the project in<br />

2021 after the original<br />

architect died in 2020.<br />

| TOM HOFFARTH<br />

it will be done<br />

right. It’s having<br />

faith in the<br />

process.”<br />

Chris Hoffman<br />

said his construction<br />

company<br />

rarely gets to<br />

build churches<br />

from the ground up nowadays.<br />

“This is more than building a church.<br />

It’s building a community,” said<br />

Hoffman, a parishioner at Our Lady<br />

of Grace Church in Encino. “It is very<br />

much ministry work for us. <strong>No</strong> shortcuts.<br />

This building has to be around for<br />

a long time.”<br />

One of Hoffman’s first steps in a focus<br />

on “value engineering” was to change<br />

from an expensive steel structure framing<br />

plan and move to a more flexible<br />

wood-frame approach, in the wake of<br />

current escalating prices for materials.<br />

While the parish school will stay at<br />

its current site, the future use of the<br />

soon-to-be former church is still to be<br />

determined.<br />

Meanwhile, the start of the construc-<br />

12 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


tion project coincided with another<br />

change: the departure of Lara, who<br />

was assigned as pastor in the town of<br />

Guadalupe outside Santa Barbara.<br />

“For me as a pastor, this experience<br />

was almost like touching heaven,” said<br />

Lara. “The church will be a great benefit<br />

and spiritual comfort to hundreds<br />

of families in Pacoima.”<br />

New administrator Father Luis Estrada,<br />

who comes from St. Rose of Lima<br />

Church in Simi Valley, knows how<br />

hard his new parishioners have worked<br />

to get to this point.<br />

“I am sure we can raise what is still<br />

needed,” said Estrada. “This is a mission<br />

not just for Pacoima, but for all of<br />

us in Los Angeles to say thank you to<br />

God.<br />

“I can envision still having five Masses<br />

every Sunday,” he added, “and all of<br />

the seats filled in each one.”<br />

Tom Hoffarth is an award-winning<br />

journalist based in Los Angeles.<br />

Pablo Kay is the Editor-in-Chief of<br />

<strong>Angelus</strong>.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 13


Bringing miracles home<br />

Thanks to an unplanned twist during a pilgrimage to Italy,<br />

Blessed Carlo Acutis’ exhibit on Eucharistic miracles is<br />

coming to more than 30 LA parishes.<br />

BY GREG HARDESTY<br />

Visitors check out the exhibit on Eucharistic miracles at Christ the King<br />

Church near Hollywood on June 11, the day it opened. | VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

<strong>14</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Being three minutes late was all it<br />

took to change Patrick Magat’s<br />

life.<br />

Magat and seven other members of<br />

his church group had made it to the<br />

Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi last<br />

September during a tour of Italy, but<br />

they were turned away at 7:03 p.m.<br />

from viewing the body of Blessed<br />

Carlo Acutis.<br />

Closing time was 7 p.m. sharp.<br />

Rather than leaving with the rest of<br />

the church group, Magat and his aunt<br />

stayed overnight in Assisi to venerate<br />

Acutis the following day.<br />

“Something told me that this was<br />

about more than a visit,” Magat<br />

recalled.<br />

Turns out that it was.<br />

Magat, who oversees livestreaming<br />

of Sunday Masses at Christ the King<br />

Church in Hollywood, had become<br />

interested in Acutis’ life after Pope<br />

Francis beatified him on Oct. 10,<br />

2020.<br />

That and Magat’s experience in Assisi<br />

inspired him to bring an exhibition<br />

to Christ the King that is based on a<br />

website Acutis created that catalogs<br />

the 100-plus Eucharistic miracles<br />

recognized by the Catholic Church.<br />

Much like Acutis’ faith grew during<br />

his brief life, the exhibition has caught<br />

fire and will be traveling to more than<br />

30 other parishes in the Archdiocese<br />

of Los Angeles through next spring,<br />

fueled by growing interest in Acutis’<br />

life at a time when the National<br />

Eucharistic Revival is in full swing.<br />

“We never expected so many parishes<br />

to say yes to hosting the exhibit<br />

— that was something surprising to<br />

all of us,” said Father Juan Ochoa,<br />

pastor of Christ the King and director<br />

of the archdiocese’s Office for Divine<br />

Worship.<br />

Maybe not so surprising considering<br />

Acutis’ life story.<br />

After Acutis was beatified, interest<br />

grew in a website he created that catalogs<br />

Eucharistic miracles throughout<br />

the ages and around the world.<br />

Acutis, a gamer and computer<br />

programmer born in London and<br />

raised in Italy, was 15 when he died<br />

of leukemia in 2006. He was devoted<br />

to serving the poor, and his deep faith<br />

led to the conversion of his family<br />

and sent him on pilgrimages to the<br />

birthplaces of saints and the sites of<br />

Eucharistic miracles.<br />

Acutis asked to be buried in Assisi<br />

because of his love for St. Francis of<br />

Assisi, patron saint of the poor. The<br />

teenager was known for buying sleeping<br />

bags for the homeless and giving<br />

away what money he had.<br />

And Acutis was passionate about the<br />

holy Eucharist.<br />

“The more often<br />

we receive<br />

the Eucharist,”<br />

Acutis wrote<br />

on his website,<br />

“the more we<br />

will become<br />

like Jesus, so<br />

that on this<br />

Earth we will<br />

have a foretaste of heaven.”<br />

The body of Carlo<br />

Acutis, who died in 2006,<br />

is pictured after his tomb<br />

was opened in the church<br />

of Santa Maria Maggiore<br />

in Assisi, Italy, Oct. 1,<br />

2022. | CNS/COURTESY<br />

DIOCESE OF ASSISI-NOCERA<br />

UMBRA-GUALDO TADINO<br />

The Eucharistic miracles Acutis<br />

chronicled consist of unexplainable<br />

phenomena such as consecrated hosts<br />

bleeding. Some Catholic saints reportedly<br />

survived for years on nothing but<br />

the holy Eucharist.<br />

Although the exhibit has already<br />

been hosted at more than 3,000 parishes<br />

worldwide, the Archdiocese of<br />

Los Angeles is believed to be the first<br />

diocese in California to host it, Ochoa<br />

said.<br />

The exhibit debuted on June 11 at<br />

Christ the King, and will be featured<br />

in <strong>July</strong> at St. Columbkille Church<br />

and nearby Nativity Church in South<br />

Los Angeles, then at St. John Chrysostom<br />

Church in Inglewood before<br />

moving on to other parishes.<br />

Acutis is nicknamed the “millennial<br />

saint” because of his youth and<br />

computer skills. Although he loved<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 15


to play video games like “Halo” on<br />

his PlayStation, he reportedly limited<br />

himself to an hour of gaming a week.<br />

Ochoa believes the timing of the<br />

Eucharistic Revival and Acutis’ youth<br />

is a reason for his rise in popularity.<br />

“He’s a teenager, which means our<br />

youth can relate to him so much<br />

easier,” Ochoa said. “Usually when<br />

we speak of religion we are relating<br />

to adults. Many times, it’s difficult to<br />

relate to teenagers.<br />

“At our exhibit, I asked people, ‘Do<br />

you realize the person who put this together<br />

was a teenager between the ages<br />

of 12 to 15 years old?’ It’s so difficult<br />

to get younger generations to become<br />

active in the Church. This is an opportunity<br />

for us to speak to teenagers.<br />

“And, of course, with the Eucharistic<br />

Revival, we are speaking about<br />

Eucharistic miracles. This exhibition<br />

provides an opportunity for Catholics<br />

to deepen their faith and recognize the<br />

presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.”<br />

Parishes that want to host the exhibit,<br />

known as the Blessed Carlo Acutis<br />

International Exhibition of Miracles<br />

of the Eucharist Across the World, can<br />

visit Acutis’ website and download the<br />

free PDF files they can enlarge for<br />

display.<br />

Magat, 33, considers Acutis, who<br />

would have been 32 this year, a shining<br />

example of faith — especially to<br />

people his age.<br />

He said he’s glad he was moved to<br />

spend the night last September in<br />

Assisi to pay<br />

his respects to<br />

Acutis.<br />

“I want to<br />

return to Rome<br />

when he is<br />

canonized as a<br />

saint,” Magat<br />

said.<br />

Father Juan Ochoa, pastor<br />

of Christ the King Church,<br />

blesses the parish’s Carlo<br />

Acutis Eucharistic miracles<br />

exhibit June 11.<br />

| VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

For information on local parishes<br />

hosting the Eucharistic miracles exhibit,<br />

visit LACatholics.org/Eucharist.<br />

Greg Hardesty was a journalist for the<br />

Orange County Register for 17 years,<br />

and is a longtime contributing writer to<br />

the Orange County Catholic newspaper.<br />

16 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Mission San Gabriel pastor Father John Molyneux speaks at the start of<br />

the June 27 blessing ceremony for the historic church’s restored interior.<br />

OLD CHURCH, NEW LOOK<br />

Three years after its near destruction, Mission San Gabriel’s fully<br />

restored interior and ‘reimagined’ museum are open to the public.<br />

BY PABLO KAY / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN RUEDA<br />

Grand reopenings don’t always happen all at once.<br />

In the case of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which<br />

was nearly destroyed in a <strong>July</strong> 2020 arson fire, its reintroduction<br />

to the public has happened gradually, carefully,<br />

in stages.<br />

First, there was the closing of the mission’s 250th anniversary<br />

Jubilee Year in September 2022, when the restored adobe<br />

church opened its doors for a single Mass celebrated by<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez — only to close them again so<br />

that artisans could complete delicate restoration work on the<br />

church’s interior.<br />

This past Easter, celebration of Sunday Mass resumed, even<br />

while scaffolding covered the church’s restored altarpiece,<br />

the crown jewel of the historic church.<br />

Finally, on June 27, the scaffolding came down and the<br />

renovated church was ready for its first official closeup. More<br />

than 100 people — a mix of parishioners, members of the<br />

Gabrieliño-Tongva tribe, benefactors, and staff involved in<br />

the restoration project — were on hand to witness Archbishop<br />

Gomez bless the church’s new interior, as well as a<br />

transformed mission museum.<br />

“It’s beautiful,” said parishioner Mary Acuña Garcia, 71. “It<br />

looks like a brand new church.”<br />

Acuña’s ties to the mission run deep. Having lived in the<br />

city of San Gabriel all her life, she was baptized in its church<br />

and got married there, just as her parents did. She has served<br />

in all kinds of ministries at the parish over the years. She<br />

and other parishioners at the Tuesday afternoon event were<br />

impressed by how the restoration seemed to bring the best<br />

out of the old and the new.<br />

18 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


“It amazes me how everything can be<br />

refurbished and brought back to the<br />

original thing that was done,” Acuña<br />

said.<br />

The most visible example was the<br />

church’s restored altarpiece (also<br />

commonly known as the “reredos” or<br />

Archbishop José H.<br />

Gomez blesses the new<br />

mission museum, which<br />

features a collection of<br />

30 mission era artifacts.<br />

“retablo”) featuring statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and<br />

Sts. Gabriel the Archangel, Joachim, Dominic, Anthony<br />

of Padua, and Francis of Assisi. Even before it narrowly<br />

escaped destruction in the 2020 fire, the altarpiece needed<br />

restoration work. Long hours of investigation by artisans<br />

and historians into what the original 19th century “reredos”<br />

looked like served as the basis for the color scheme used in<br />

the renovation.<br />

“There wasn’t enough historical data to know exactly how<br />

the ‘retablo’ was done,” said project manager Jill Short of the<br />

Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ construction department. “So<br />

we took the historical data we had and tried as best we could<br />

to stay faithful to the original.”<br />

Short oversaw a team of artisans and historians that included<br />

Enzo Selvaggi, the Orange County-based creative director<br />

of Heritage Liturgical, a sacred art and architecture firm. She<br />

credits him with helping pull off the delicate balancing act.<br />

“You want to embrace the tradition, but you also have to be<br />

cognizant that we’re in the 2020s,” said Short. “It needs to<br />

have elements that speak to us today.”<br />

After Archbishop Gomez blessed the altarpiece, the<br />

ceremony moved outside, where tribal chief Anthony Morales<br />

led members of the Gabrieleño San Gabriel Band of<br />

Mission Indians in singing traditional welcome songs, while<br />

remembering the approximately 6,000 Gabrieleño-Tongva<br />

natives buried on mission grounds.<br />

Then it was time to see the mission’s museum, a “reimagined”<br />

version of its pre-fire predecessor featuring interactive<br />

displays, artwork from the mission era, readings from the<br />

letters of St. Junípero Serra, and maps detailing the tribal history<br />

of the Los Angeles Basin and its transformation following<br />

the arrival of the first Spanish missionaries and settlers.<br />

Steven Hackel, a historian at UC Riverside and a wellknown<br />

expert on the mission period in Southern California,<br />

worked as curator of the museum alongside Gabrieleño<br />

Tongva tribal member, Yve Chavez.<br />

In remarks at the outdoor ceremony, Hackel said the museum<br />

sought to “put a new emphasis on Native experiences in<br />

the mission through 1900,” combining “visuals and sounds<br />

and interactives to suggest the varieties of Catholic experience<br />

at the mission and the persistence of Native belief and<br />

practice within an expanding Spanish and Mexican realm.”<br />

Several pieces in the collection are accompanied by<br />

scannable QR codes that direct viewers with smartphones to<br />

historical audio recordings, including a rare one of the Our<br />

Father recited in the Gabrieleño language.<br />

One of the most striking features is a wall displaying the<br />

names of more than 7,000 natives whose names were recorded<br />

in baptismal records through 1848, along with the years of<br />

their birth and death, when possible.<br />

At least a few of them are ancestors of Adela Garcia, a Gabrieleño<br />

tribe member who grew up coming to the mission<br />

with her family. She said seeing the restored mission “brings<br />

me happiness” after seeing it nearly destroyed three years<br />

ago.<br />

“There is going to be a lot of healing<br />

Andrew Morales here,” said Garcia.<br />

(right) and his father, For pastor Father John Molyneux,<br />

Chief Anthony Morales<br />

of the Gabrieleño on <strong>July</strong> 1 — the feast day of St. Junípero,<br />

CMF, the mission’s official reopening<br />

San Gabriel Band of who founded San Gabriel — was the<br />

Mission Indians, sing culmination of a long journey marked<br />

at the unveiling of the by unexpected delays and seemingly<br />

new mission museum. miraculous surprises. Longer, at least,<br />

than he had envisioned while picking up<br />

the rubble three summers ago.<br />

“I didn’t realize that this process was going to take three<br />

years,” confessed the Claretian priest.<br />

Still, Molyneux said he and parish staff have seen God’s<br />

hand at work through all the challenges.<br />

“I always talk about crisis and opportunity,” said Molyneux.<br />

“And I think that’s why for me this turned out to be the<br />

greatest opportunity.”<br />

Pablo Kay is the Editor-in-Chief of <strong>Angelus</strong>.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 19


Pope Francis gives his blessing to members of the Italian bishops’ conference and diocesan leaders<br />

involved in Italy’s national synod process May 25 in the Vatican audience hall. | CNS/VATICAN MEDIA<br />

Don’t call it a revolution<br />

Pope Francis’ reforms suggest this October’s meeting in Rome will be less<br />

a Synod of Bishops, and more a Synod with Bishops.<br />

BY JOHN L. ALLEN JR.<br />

ROME — As a general rule, it’s<br />

probably not good practice to<br />

cite Karl Marx as an authority<br />

on ecclesiastical matters, since he<br />

famously dismissed religion as the<br />

“opiate of the masses” and gave rise to<br />

officially atheistic systems all over the<br />

world.<br />

Still, there’s a Marx quote from “Das<br />

Kapital” that seems remarkably apposite<br />

in light of Pope Francis’ looming<br />

Synods of Bishops on Synodality, set<br />

for this October and October 2024:<br />

“Merely quantitative differences,<br />

beyond a certain point, pass into qualitative<br />

changes.”<br />

In that spirit, changes made under<br />

Francis to both the membership and<br />

process of the synod — while in one<br />

sense simply extending earlier revisions<br />

over the years — nevertheless,<br />

taken together, suggest we’re looking<br />

at a new ecclesiastical animal.<br />

What we’ll see the next two Octobers,<br />

in effect, will be the debut of a<br />

Synod with Bishops, no longer just a<br />

Synod of Bishops.<br />

To be clear, the post-Vatican II Synod<br />

of Bishops as conceived by Pope<br />

Paul VI, now St. Pope Paul VI, was<br />

never exclusively a body of bishops,<br />

as is the general practice in Orthodox<br />

Christianity, where synods are usually<br />

the supreme authority of the Church.<br />

The “Holy and Sacred Synod,” for<br />

example, which governs the Ecumenical<br />

Patriarchate of Constantinople,<br />

is composed of the patriarch and 12<br />

other hierarchs, representing the 12<br />

original apostles.<br />

The same practice is true of the<br />

Eastern churches in communion with<br />

Rome. The permanent synod of the<br />

Syro-Malabar Church based in India,<br />

for example, consists of the major<br />

archbishop and five other bishops,<br />

with four bishops also as substitute<br />

members.<br />

20 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


In his 1965 apostolic letter creating<br />

the synod, “Apostolica Sollicito” (“Apostolic<br />

Solicitation”), Paul VI allowed<br />

for the participation of a restricted<br />

number of additional clerics and<br />

religious, so that the post-Vatican II<br />

synod has always included a handful<br />

of nonbishop participants.<br />

The clear intent, however, was that<br />

the Synod of Bishops would become<br />

a miniature version of the ecumenical<br />

council, since by the close of the<br />

Second Vatican Council in 1965, the<br />

number of Catholic bishops in the<br />

world (now well in excess of 5,000)<br />

made summoning all of them to<br />

Rome again impractical.<br />

The idea was to act on Vatican II’s<br />

stress on collegiality, meaning the<br />

idea that all the bishops together<br />

form a “college,” which is responsible<br />

for leading the Church in concert<br />

with the pope. It was, in other words,<br />

conceived primarily as a vehicle for<br />

allowing the world’s bishops to play<br />

a more regular and structured role in<br />

governance.<br />

Over the years, the Vatican’s version<br />

of the synod evolved to include<br />

a whole series of other participants,<br />

The people who presented the working document for the Synod of Bishops pose for a photo in the Vatican Press<br />

Office June 20. From left are Helena Jeppesen-Spuhler, a synod participant from Switzerland; Sister Nadia Coppa,<br />

president of the women’s International Union of Superiors General; Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the<br />

synod; Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, relator general of the synod; and Father Giacomo Costa, SJ, a consultant to the<br />

synod. | CNS/CINDY WOODEN<br />

including women religious and laity,<br />

ecumenical partners, and invited<br />

experts. <strong>No</strong>ne, however, generally had<br />

the right to cast votes on the synod’s<br />

conclusions, and in general the operation<br />

remained a bishops’ show with<br />

others as mere advisers, in somewhat<br />

the same role as the “periti,” or theological<br />

experts, at Vatican II.<br />

This time around, however, the stage<br />

is set for a different kind of assembly.<br />

Bishops will still cast the majority of<br />

votes, and five religious women along<br />

with five religious men will also have<br />

voting privileges, as will 70 nonbishop<br />

members, at least half of whom will<br />

be women and most of whom presumably<br />

will be laity.<br />

In effect, and despite the repeated<br />

insistence of Francis and his advisers<br />

that a synod is definitely not a parliament,<br />

this Synod with (not of) Bishops<br />

will be the closest thing the Catholic<br />

Church has ever had to a legislative<br />

branch of government.<br />

In terms of form supporting function,<br />

even the setting of this gathering reflects<br />

the idea that it’s something fundamentally<br />

new. Instead of meeting in<br />

the New Synod Hall constructed under<br />

Paul VI precisely to accommodate<br />

a limited summit of bishops, this time<br />

participants will gather in the much<br />

larger Audience Hall to accommodate<br />

the larger cast of characters and also<br />

to facilitate easier transitions between<br />

plenary sessions and small working<br />

groups.<br />

The working document for the synod,<br />

technically called an “Instrumentum<br />

Laboris” (“Working Instrument”),<br />

also reflects awareness that something<br />

new is stirring.<br />

One question proposed for discussion<br />

asks how the consultation involved in<br />

a synod “truly captures the manifestation<br />

of the sense of faith of the People<br />

of God living in a given Church?”,<br />

meaning not just the bishops; another<br />

asks participants to ponder the<br />

creation of permanent ecclesial bodies<br />

composed of more than just bishops,<br />

such as the “Ecclesial Conference for<br />

the Amazon Region” established in<br />

2020 that includes not just bishops<br />

but also religious, laity, representatives<br />

of indigenous communities, and<br />

others.<br />

Presumably, that could be a down<br />

payment on the creation of some similar<br />

body at the level of the universal<br />

Church — either a further-transformed<br />

synod, or some entirely new<br />

institution. In any event, it certainly<br />

wouldn’t just be a gentleman’s club<br />

for members of the episcopacy.<br />

Critics, naturally, will style all this<br />

as a worrying erosion of the unique<br />

teaching and governing authority<br />

invested in the episcopal office,<br />

while supporters likely will tout it as a<br />

long-overdue injection of democracy<br />

into what, in their eyes, all too often<br />

remains an all-male oligarchy.<br />

As ever, settling that debate will<br />

require seeing how things play out.<br />

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of<br />

Luxembourg, a leader of the synod<br />

and a key papal ally, has insisted that<br />

what’s underway is “an important<br />

change, but not a revolution.”<br />

Make no mistake, however: What<br />

we’re about to witness this October<br />

isn’t a remembrance of things past,<br />

but a step into a different, somewhat<br />

less episcopally dominated, kind of<br />

future.<br />

John L. Allen Jr. is the editor of Crux.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 21


Hope in California<br />

An outsider’s perspective on what Catholic<br />

leaders in the Golden State are getting right.<br />

An estimated 2,500 Catholics participated in an Oct.<br />

1, 2022, Respect Life Month kickoff event at Christ<br />

Cathedral in Garden Grove. | DIOCESE OF ORANGE<br />

BY CHARLIE CAMOSY<br />

One of the central messages of<br />

Pope Francis’ visit to the United<br />

States in 2015 was an invitation<br />

to resist polarization between<br />

two simplistic political or ideological<br />

camps of “good” versus “evil” guys. In<br />

other words, the righteous versus the<br />

sinners.<br />

The problem he described was on<br />

full display during the Holy Father’s<br />

address to a joint session of Congress,<br />

where he got rousing cheers from<br />

Republicans when he insisted that<br />

life be defended at all stages, and the<br />

same from Democrats when he firmly<br />

denounced the death penalty.<br />

As the years of his pontificate have<br />

gone by, Francis has emphasized<br />

anti-polarization regularly — especially<br />

when addressing our U.S. context.<br />

“Polarization is not Catholic,” he said<br />

in response to our particular situation.<br />

Instead of adopting the secular spirit<br />

of the age, we must be about the great<br />

“both/and” of our tradition.<br />

Unfortunately, it seems we haven’t<br />

paid much heed to the pope’s advice<br />

lately. Nearly everything seems viewed<br />

through a fight-to-death, good versus<br />

evil, antagonistic binary. Indeed, it’s<br />

easier to classify Americans by the<br />

ideas and people they despise, than by<br />

those they support and love.<br />

More and more, “nearly everything”<br />

includes sex and gender as a central<br />

matter of polarized difference. When<br />

asked whether being a man or a woman<br />

is something that is permanent and<br />

cannot be changed, 90% of Republicans<br />

agreed, compared with only 36%<br />

of Democrats.<br />

This attitude has infected the<br />

Church, even on matters that seem<br />

to be settled cases. My column last<br />

month made what I thought was the<br />

uncontroversial point that vicious<br />

mocking of Catholic nuns and even<br />

Christ made the “Sisters” of Perpetual<br />

22 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Indulgence a hate group, but even<br />

America magazine — normally a<br />

source of anti-polarization — foregrounded<br />

the views of one Catholic<br />

Sister of the Holy Names, who said<br />

she finds them to be “kindred spirits”!<br />

If we cannot even agree that a group<br />

which hosts annual “peep shows” at<br />

Easter, mocking Christ on the cross as<br />

a stripper, is anything but a Catholic<br />

kindred spirit; boy, the polarization<br />

runs deep.<br />

Into this mess enters the California<br />

Catholic Conference, which for many<br />

years now has been tasked with navigating<br />

a political and cultural scene<br />

that is openly hostile on many fronts.<br />

The group, which serves as the public<br />

policy arm for the Golden State’s<br />

Catholic bishops, recently brought me<br />

to Sacramento to help run a workshop<br />

retreat exploring best practices based<br />

in part on my book “One Church”<br />

(Ave Maria Press, $17.23).<br />

I was impressed by the group of people<br />

that showed up: diocesan leaders<br />

in the fields of communications,<br />

Hispanic ministry, Catholic schools,<br />

Respect Life and Family Life ministry,<br />

religious education and catechetical<br />

formation, and legislative advocacy,<br />

among others.<br />

There was a palpable unity-in-diversity<br />

at the retreat, something like<br />

the opposite of polarization. There<br />

was racial and ethnic diversity, real<br />

political and ideological diversity,<br />

and notable ecclesial and theological<br />

diversity. But all were very clearly<br />

united in a common commitment to<br />

the Gospel. There was no idolatry of<br />

secular politics to be found.<br />

I guess this shouldn’t surprise me.<br />

When it comes to anti-polarization,<br />

Catholics in California have been<br />

leading the way for some time now,<br />

particularly as dioceses combined<br />

their “conservative” pro-life activism<br />

with their “progressive” social justice<br />

activism into one Gospel-centered office<br />

focusing on a consistent vision of<br />

human dignity. The name Archbishop<br />

José H. Gomez gave to the office in<br />

Los Angeles, for instance, is “Life,<br />

Justice, and Peace.”<br />

The leadership of Kathleen Buckley<br />

Domingo, the dynamic and creative<br />

executive director of the whole conference,<br />

cannot be overstated either.<br />

Under her leadership, it was clear after<br />

this event that California dioceses<br />

— despite the significant challenges,<br />

again, they face in their state — are<br />

poised to reach new heights of anti-polarization,<br />

anti-idolatry in service of<br />

the Gospel.<br />

As the action plans of the dioceses<br />

toward this goal were conceived and<br />

articulated, frankly, I couldn’t help<br />

but tear up a bit. It is clear that these<br />

centers of Catholicism in California<br />

want to marshal their resources to be<br />

field hospitals for hurting people all<br />

over the state.<br />

Among the many great ideas, for<br />

instance, was a proposal to pick up<br />

on the Holy Father’s call for intergenerational<br />

solidarity by creating<br />

an institution for young Catholics to<br />

serve elderly Catholics and vice versa.<br />

This beautiful witness will serve two<br />

of the most disconnected and lonely<br />

groups of people through a culture of<br />

encounter, an effective antidote to our<br />

polarized throwaway culture.<br />

As I left the event, I began thinking<br />

about how I could feel so very positive<br />

about the Church in a state and<br />

culture that, again, is so hostile in so<br />

many ways. I came to the conclusion<br />

that this authentic Catholicism is<br />

growing not despite the hostility, but<br />

because of it.<br />

Iron sharpens iron. Amid all the<br />

difficulties, California Catholics<br />

have developed commitments to the<br />

Gospel of Christ that are thick and<br />

tough. Their hands have developed<br />

callouses from the hard and pressurized<br />

work required of them. But they<br />

prove that the end result of this kind<br />

of persecution — as we know well<br />

from our Church’s history — need not<br />

end in cynicism, despair, and defeat.<br />

In California, mirroring the response<br />

of our ancestors, they are responding<br />

with energy, creativity, and above all,<br />

Christian love. I saw it with my own<br />

eyes and heard it with my own ears.<br />

And I cannot wait to see what the<br />

Holy Spirit will do with it.<br />

Charlie Camosy is professor of<br />

Medical Humanities at the Creighton<br />

University School of Medicine. In addition,<br />

he holds the Monsignor Curran<br />

Fellowship in Moral Theology at St.<br />

Joseph Seminary in New York.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 23


Fiction<br />

that cares<br />

Katy Carl’s struggling<br />

characters in ‘Fragile<br />

Objects’ are good<br />

news for modern<br />

Catholic literature.<br />

BY NICK RIPATRAZONE<br />

you’re writing,”<br />

the Catholic short story<br />

“When<br />

writer Andre Dubus<br />

once said, “you love somebody as God<br />

does.” His comment wasn’t meant<br />

to imply that writers of fiction are<br />

divine, or all-knowing. Rather, Dubus<br />

believed that authentic, meaningful<br />

fiction could only be created by writers<br />

who loved their characters — in all of<br />

their follies, paradoxes, and sins.<br />

Katy Carl loves her characters. In<br />

“Fragile Objects” (Wiseblood Books,<br />

$13), her debut story collection, we<br />

are introduced to imperfect yet deeply<br />

endearing and believable characters:<br />

a grown son struggling to placate his<br />

aging mother. A good-intentioned but<br />

overzealous convert, “a former fan of<br />

Fight Club,” who had been reading<br />

the Desert Fathers but needed a more<br />

prosaic and contemporary touch of<br />

faith. An anxious mother who worries<br />

that her move to the suburbs might<br />

temper her professional ambition,<br />

despite its benefits for her family.<br />

Carl is the author of “As Earth Without<br />

Water” (Wiseblood Books, $16), a<br />

well-received novel from 2021, and the<br />

editor of “Dappled Things,” a Catholic<br />

quarterly literary magazine. The stories<br />

in “Fragile Objects” benefit from her<br />

editorial sensibility. They are neither<br />

trite nor slight. They are clearly the<br />

work of a Catholic writer, but they<br />

don’t read like devotional tracts.<br />

One of Carl’s great strengths as a writer<br />

of fiction is her ability to help us be<br />

more attentive to the complexities of<br />

the world through careful description.<br />

In the book’s title story, placed first in<br />

the collection, a boy nicknamed Bub<br />

is visiting his grandmother with his<br />

father. Carl’s description of her house<br />

is so sharp and believable: “Bronze<br />

baby shoes, as if just dropped from<br />

little feet, rested beside plaster hands<br />

that seemed to pray. Demitasse cups<br />

yearned open next to porcelain roses<br />

that fooled you into thinking they<br />

bloomed. Sprays of dried cotton bolls<br />

bristled from crystal bud vases.”<br />

Bub’s father must tread carefully with<br />

his aging mother, who appears to have<br />

descended into<br />

paranoia. The boy<br />

is understandably<br />

bored; “he sat studying<br />

the clementine<br />

paisley pattern<br />

of the tablecloth<br />

and debating within<br />

himself whether<br />

Students walk out<br />

of the Institute of<br />

<strong>No</strong>tre Dame building<br />

in Baltimore in this<br />

20<strong>14</strong> photo. | CNS/<br />

COURTESY INSTITUTE<br />

OF NOTRE DAME<br />

to trace the teardrops with a fingertip<br />

might invite reproof.” Yet Carl effectively<br />

pivots from the passive nature of<br />

the visit to a surprising and powerful<br />

ending to the story, a demonstration<br />

about how unresolved anger can have<br />

inevitable consequences.<br />

As a first story, “Fragile Objects”<br />

demonstrates that Carl is willing to<br />

take risks and jolt her reader. Flannery<br />

24 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


O’Connor would be proud.<br />

The story “Hail Thee, Festival”<br />

begins with a talky character’s monologue;<br />

a meandering spiel about a<br />

school fundraising festival. The technique<br />

works well, as the story pivots to<br />

a first-person narrator who has moved<br />

with her family (her husband, Kichiro,<br />

and their daughter, Ena) from the<br />

city to the suburbs. Like many parents<br />

who’ve made similar life changes, she’s<br />

worried: “Surely part-time accountancy<br />

in the suburbs is a step down<br />

in the world, mere counting up of<br />

other folks’ earnings and dividing out<br />

Caesar’s share. Would it even be worth<br />

going back, back in truth to the city, to<br />

what I am really good at? Could I still<br />

be good at it now?”<br />

Carl aptly captures the mental gymnastics<br />

we perform when reflecting<br />

on such decisions. “Here, things are<br />

better,” the narrator hopes. “Here, in<br />

a smaller, safer city two hours south,<br />

he doesn’t have to be left out nearly so<br />

much anymore. His office and mine<br />

lie within the same twenty-minute<br />

travel radius as do the house, school,<br />

church, pediatrician, dentist, orthodontist,<br />

grocery, pharmacy, and, yes,<br />

family therapist, and we are happier.<br />

We are. Happier?”<br />

The contrast comes into full view<br />

once the fundraiser actually begins<br />

— the volunteer-run carnivals the<br />

likes of which Catholic school parents<br />

recognize. Carl writes poetically of<br />

mundane moments: “The low light<br />

yawns in long bars between the<br />

poles of tents and the flailing limbs<br />

of stubborn grade-school-aged game<br />

players still unwilling to pack it in.” Yet<br />

an incident that occurs at the festival<br />

increases the narrator’s worry about<br />

her decisions.<br />

Such realistic concerns anchor “Fragile<br />

Objects.” The collection ends with<br />

“Awards Day,” possibly the best story of<br />

the book, a tight, profluent tale about<br />

a black high school student named Diamond,<br />

whose mother’s car accident<br />

led her to being driven to school by<br />

two white students, Helen and Emilia<br />

Delacroix. During Lent that year,<br />

mama “had suffered a seizure behind<br />

the wheel. The car rolled out of<br />

control and crashed into the left-hand<br />

side of the pair of metal handrails that<br />

ascended the school’s front steps.”<br />

Author Katy Carl.<br />

| WISEBLOOD BOOKS<br />

WISEBLOOD BOOKS<br />

The Delacroix family offered to help,<br />

but as Carl illustrates, generosity is<br />

not always simple. Martine Delacroix<br />

makes the offer, with an awkward<br />

caveat that Diamond might come to<br />

help babysit their youngest: “we’d be<br />

grateful, but we wouldn’t expect.” It is<br />

a delicate moment, and Carl renders it<br />

well: “When Mrs. Delacroix had said<br />

all this to Diamond’s father after Mass<br />

on the pebbled front steps of Little<br />

Flower, hedged on both sides by the<br />

rose garden that faced the decayed restaurants<br />

and new brick bank branches<br />

across Government Street, Diamond<br />

had known from the angle of his brow<br />

and the set of his full lips both that he<br />

wanted to refuse and that he did not<br />

dare.”<br />

In “Awards Day,” Carl perfectly captures<br />

the inherent tensions of Catholic<br />

schooling, and offers a dynamic<br />

view of race and class. “Sometimes<br />

it seemed their whole family life had<br />

been nothing but saving and saving for<br />

Diamond’s education,” the narrator explains.<br />

“All through her middle-school<br />

years they had striven, squeaked by, to<br />

keep affording her tuition and to help<br />

her stay at the top of her class.... They<br />

had taken turns waiting and drinking<br />

social cups of coffee and feeling<br />

the jitters in shiny, freshly renovated<br />

kitchens while someone with a degree<br />

explained equations and formulae to<br />

their brilliant daughter, every step ensuring<br />

she would one day leave them<br />

behind.”<br />

Late in the story, Diamond’s father<br />

laments about his daughter’s reality: “I<br />

wish she didn’t, but she’ll always have<br />

to prove herself, prove her worth. We<br />

can’t allow one thing to go wrong for<br />

her, if we can help it.” His wife’s sarcoidosis<br />

requires expensive and extensive<br />

treatment — a dramatic turn in<br />

the story of their family that ruptures<br />

their plans for<br />

Diamond. Like<br />

so many of Carl’s<br />

tales, there are<br />

no easy exits and<br />

solutions, making for deeply engaging<br />

fiction.<br />

Short story collections are often not<br />

the first choice for casual readers, who<br />

might be more drawn to the singular<br />

focus of a novel. But “Fragile Objects”<br />

is an excellent choice for reading<br />

first-rate Catholic fiction, crafted by a<br />

writer who cares about her characters<br />

— and her readers.<br />

Nick Ripatrazone is culture editor<br />

for Image journal and the author of<br />

seven books of fiction, poetry, and<br />

literary criticism. His most recent book,<br />

“Wild Belief: Poets and Prophets in the<br />

Wilderness,” was published in 2021 for<br />

Broadleaf Books ($25.99).<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 25


INTERSECTIONS<br />

GREG ERLANDSON<br />

From boys to men<br />

SHUTTERSTOCK<br />

In a recent essay about the German<br />

theologian Romano Guardini, I<br />

read this quote: “As long as men<br />

are unable to control themselves from<br />

within … they will inevitably be ‘organized’<br />

by forces from without.”<br />

Appropriately enough, it is from<br />

Guardini’s “The End of the Modern<br />

World.” Written in the 20th century, it<br />

would certainly be an apt epigram for<br />

“Brave New World” or “1984” or other<br />

predictions of dystopia of that era.<br />

But it made me think of a very<br />

21st-century problem in our country:<br />

The problem of men. Men and boys,<br />

actually.<br />

The statistics about the decline of<br />

my gender are now commonplace and<br />

ubiquitous. There are fewer young<br />

men than young women at the top of<br />

their class, and more young men at the<br />

bottom. We are told that fewer young<br />

men are going to college, going to law<br />

school, going to medical school. Men<br />

kill themselves at four times the rate of<br />

women. They are far more likely to die<br />

of “deaths of despair,” suicide, or drug<br />

overdoses.<br />

Too many of my gender seem increasingly<br />

rootless, unfocused, unable to<br />

make a commitment. And if we were<br />

raised without a father or father figure<br />

in our family, it is much more likely to<br />

impact us negatively than our sisters.<br />

Books and articles are coming fast<br />

and furious on this topic. One article<br />

even bemoaned the lack of sexual<br />

activity among young men, because<br />

sex, it argued, leads to relationships,<br />

which leads to marriage, which leads<br />

to stability. This decline of sexual<br />

activity isn’t due to a rediscovery of<br />

the virtue of chastity, but rather to a<br />

lack of interest in the work of dating<br />

or relationships. I know of at least two<br />

professors at Catholic colleges who<br />

are holding seminars on how to date,<br />

but the complaints of young women<br />

suggest it is still pretty slim pickings on<br />

the dating scene and only gets worse as<br />

time passes.<br />

The solutions are as varied as the problems.<br />

In our increasingly gender-fluid<br />

society, some would suggest a reversal<br />

of the “My Fair Lady” dictum: Why<br />

can’t a man be more like a woman?<br />

The obvious excesses that are labeled<br />

“toxic masculinity” suggest the solution<br />

lies in a retreat from masculine stereotypes.<br />

Others go in the opposite direction,<br />

encouraging a more aggressive or<br />

martial masculinity, a nostalgia for the<br />

“king in his castle” days. There’s even<br />

the self-pitying Incel movement, angry<br />

young men who describe themselves as<br />

“involuntarily celibate.”<br />

All of which brings me back to<br />

Guardini’s quote. “As long as men are<br />

unable to control themselves from<br />

within … they will inevitably be ‘organized’<br />

by forces from without.”<br />

If men, young or old, are bereft of<br />

discipline, virtue, or at least some<br />

self-control, then others are willing to<br />

take advantage. These days, the forces<br />

26 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Greg Erlandson is the former president and<br />

editor-in-chief of Catholic <strong>News</strong> Service.<br />

that seek to organize from without are<br />

often nothing more than entertainment<br />

and distraction. Porn replaces<br />

relationships. Gambling and gaming<br />

replace adventure and accomplishment.<br />

Political movements also exploit<br />

the male drift, offering community,<br />

identity, and purpose in the service of<br />

radically simplistic ideological causes.<br />

Proud boys, loud boys, but not men.<br />

Perhaps we are simply seeing the<br />

end times of a self-indulgent market<br />

economy. John Steinbeck, in a letter<br />

to Adlai Stevenson, wrote, “If I wanted<br />

to destroy a nation, I would give it too<br />

much, and I would have it on its knees,<br />

miserable, greedy and sick.” To which<br />

we might add, divided, resentful, and<br />

self-obsessed.<br />

Too many of us are miserable, sick<br />

with consumerism and self-indulgence.<br />

The uber-rich buy themselves a<br />

one-way tourist ticket to take pictures<br />

of the Titanic or ride a billionaire’s<br />

rocket into space, while too many of<br />

their fellow citizens struggle to make<br />

ends meet or give up trying.<br />

A couple I know who were concerned<br />

about their son and his future life goals<br />

went to a counselor. The counselor<br />

told them: If your children have books<br />

in the house and both parents live with<br />

them, they already have a huge leg up.<br />

That is how low the bar is set these<br />

days.<br />

The Church has always taken its role<br />

in the formation of the family and the<br />

next generation seriously. It bolstered<br />

families and created community, and<br />

provided role models in parishes and<br />

youth movements. It held up ideals of<br />

fortitude and prudence, of saintly heroism<br />

or lives dedicated to serving others.<br />

Today, in many places, the Church<br />

seems weary and divided, distrusted<br />

and distrustful in the culture it finds<br />

itself adrift in.<br />

Yet the Church is the guardian of the<br />

virtues and the values that are now in<br />

short supply, a shortage that is impacting<br />

the Church itself.<br />

We need to create a new culture of<br />

masculine virtues, not nostalgic, not<br />

toxic, but ennobling, self-controlled,<br />

and self-sacrificing. Our boys need<br />

worthy models of masculinity if they<br />

are ever themselves to become men.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 27


NOW PLAYING ASTEROID CITY<br />

LOST IN THE COSMOS<br />

Weird, confusing, and<br />

ultimately profound,<br />

‘Asteroid City’ looks<br />

to the heavens for an<br />

answer to man’s oldest<br />

question.<br />

BY JOSEPH JOYCE<br />

is connected but<br />

nothing’s working.”<br />

“Everything<br />

So says the lone mechanic<br />

in lonely “Asteroid City,” one of those<br />

dusty desert 1940s pit stops that won’t<br />

survive the accroaching interstate<br />

system.<br />

He is, of course, diagnosing a broken<br />

car. But if everything is indeed<br />

connected, as it tends to be on the<br />

Pinterest board that is a Wes Anderson<br />

feature, then that could easily apply to<br />

the broken world itself.<br />

The car belongs to Augie Steenbeck<br />

and family, limping into town from a<br />

bad engine and the recent death of his<br />

wife and their mother. Augie hasn’t told<br />

the kids yet, waiting for an opportune<br />

moment even he knows will never<br />

come. Like everyone else in town,<br />

they are here for the Junior Stargazer<br />

convention, where little Poindexters<br />

show off their inventions to the judges<br />

and the sponsoring military-industrial<br />

complex.<br />

Alongside the contestants are their<br />

families, a school bus full of spectating<br />

grade-schoolers, local astronomers,<br />

a Marilyn Monroe analogue, and a<br />

troupe of singing cowboys. The last visitor<br />

is an extraterrestrial, who ironically<br />

might be the most down to earth of<br />

the bunch. His quick visit is enough to<br />

send this whole little microcosm into<br />

military quarantine, which resembles<br />

COVID-19 quarantines but with fewer<br />

Facebook fights.<br />

If you’re still following, Anderson<br />

solves that by adding yet another wrinkle.<br />

What we’re watching is a televised<br />

production of the stage play “Asteroid<br />

City,” and we get intermittent behindthe-scenes<br />

peeks of our actors playing<br />

actors preparing to play the roles. Even<br />

though we oscillate between color and<br />

black-and-white photography, it still<br />

becomes difficult to track just who is<br />

who and where the story ends and reality<br />

begins. At some point you just give<br />

up, and it is only in this defeat where<br />

it all finally makes sense. Everything<br />

becomes fiction, but then that fiction<br />

all becomes real.<br />

Anderson isn’t new to existential<br />

concerns. From the enigmatic Jaguar<br />

Shark of “The Life Aquatic” to the<br />

wind whistling through the graveyard<br />

in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,”<br />

Anderson has struggled to reconcile<br />

a world where nothing has meaning<br />

yet everything means so much. His<br />

characters here are no different, their<br />

pains even harder to hide on this arid<br />

plain. Everyone in town is nursing their<br />

own particular hurt; the grown-ups<br />

are jaded, which is just another way<br />

of saying grown up. Their kids haven’t<br />

learned those hard lessons, or even that<br />

eventually everyone learns them.<br />

“I feel more at home outside the<br />

atmosphere,” one contestant confides<br />

to another, one of those mock profundities<br />

of youth that cuts closer to the<br />

truth than we like to admit.<br />

Anderson doesn’t offer a solution; if<br />

28 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Jason Schwartzman and Scarlett Johansson star in a<br />

scene from the movie “Asteroid City.” | OSV NEWS/<br />

POP.87 PRODUCTIONS, FOCUS FEATURES<br />

he solved the quandary of existence<br />

then this movie would probably have<br />

opened in more theaters. But like<br />

Edison inventing the lightbulb by<br />

narrowing down ways it didn’t work,<br />

Anderson knows where the answers<br />

Bryan Cranston as The Host in “Asteroid City.” |<br />

ROTTEN TOMATOES/FOCUS FEATURES<br />

aren’t. They certainly aren’t outside the<br />

atmosphere, yet we feel at home there<br />

because there’s nowhere to look but<br />

back at Earth. If there is meaning to<br />

be found, Anderson suggests we search<br />

within ourselves rather than in the cosmos,<br />

preferably through the expression<br />

of art.<br />

The alien brings no message, but<br />

perhaps that’s all right. We learn more<br />

by what each resident reads into him. It<br />

drives some to atheism, others to Episcopalianism.<br />

The military see a threat,<br />

while the more depressed tenants<br />

read sadness on his face, as if he pities<br />

mankind and its inevitable doom. In<br />

a more unique response, one of the<br />

schoolchildren writes a country song<br />

with the cowboys titled “Dear Alien<br />

(Who Art in Heaven).” The song gets<br />

the whole class to up and hootenanny,<br />

which is the closest Anderson gets to an<br />

endorsement. Art seems like an easier<br />

response to mystery than baseless worry,<br />

especially when a fiddle is involved.<br />

Truth through fiction keeps popping<br />

up. Augie romances the Marilyn Monroe<br />

type, each step of their tentative<br />

courtship under the guise of helping<br />

her rehearse a part. They can say the<br />

things they want to say and turn the<br />

bases they need to turn only with the<br />

permission of the script. Like Binx<br />

Bolling in Walker Percy’s “The Moviegoer,”<br />

reality only gets its benediction<br />

through unreality.<br />

At one point our “actors” perform an<br />

exercise in rehearsal, all pretending to<br />

fall asleep. Suddenly each bolts awake<br />

and yells into the camera, shattering<br />

Anderson’s fourth wall. They shout,<br />

“You can’t wake up if you don’t fall<br />

asleep,” with the fury of indictment and<br />

the frequency of a mantra. It’s about<br />

as direct as Anderson allows himself to<br />

get with his viewers: If you want to find<br />

out what’s actually going on, first you<br />

must dream. Reality gives us the truth,<br />

but it’s often all out of order. When we<br />

create, we are simply shuffling the facts<br />

back into place.<br />

The most touching example is on the<br />

first night of the “performance.” The<br />

actor who plays Augie runs out of the<br />

scene and to his director. Even with all<br />

the rehearsal, he still doesn’t get the<br />

meaning.<br />

“Am I doing it wrong?” he quivers.<br />

“It doesn’t matter. Just keep telling the<br />

story.”<br />

Unconvinced, he goes out on the<br />

balcony and finds the actress who was<br />

to play his dead wife, before she and<br />

her scene were cut from the play. They<br />

run through this gnostic text together,<br />

and in doing so Augie finally gets a<br />

grasp on his character. There’s nothing<br />

supernatural about the encounter, she’s<br />

just another understudy after all. But it<br />

isn’t a coincidence that salvation only<br />

comes from “beyond the grave.” This is<br />

intercession, and Anderson’s first hint<br />

that the world alone isn’t enough.<br />

If the actor finds meaning from a<br />

scene outside the play, perhaps we can<br />

too. Stephen Park, who plays a father<br />

of a young stargazer, plays a different<br />

father in the Coen Brothers’ “A Serious<br />

Man.” There he commands that film’s<br />

existentially racked protagonist to<br />

simply “accept the mystery.” God and<br />

the alien are in heaven, and they aren’t<br />

providing answers anytime soon. You<br />

might as well spin your partner round<br />

’n’ round; it’s a blessing just to have<br />

someone to twirl.<br />

Joseph Joyce is a screenwriter and freelance<br />

critic based in Sherman Oaks.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 29


DESIRE LINES<br />

HEATHER KING<br />

The price of<br />

fake happiness<br />

SHUTTERSTOCK<br />

Ones Who Walk Away<br />

from Omelas” is a dystopian<br />

short story by California “The<br />

native and celebrated “speculative<br />

fiction” author, Ursula K. Le Guin<br />

(1929-2018).<br />

“Omelas” came to Le Guin when, on<br />

a road trip, she saw the words “Salem,<br />

Oregon” backward in her rearview<br />

mirror.<br />

Published in 1973, the story begins<br />

as the people of the city of Omelas in<br />

a fictional country are celebrating the<br />

Festival of Summer. The sun is shining.<br />

There are sparkling flags, clamoring<br />

bells, and prancing horses whose<br />

manes are braided with streamers of<br />

silver, gold, and green. The procession<br />

is a dance, led by a “shimmering of<br />

gong and tambourine.”<br />

“How can I tell you about the people<br />

of Omelas?” writes Le Guin. “They<br />

were not naive and happy children —<br />

though their children were, in fact,<br />

happy. They were mature, intelligent,<br />

passionate adults whose lives were<br />

not wretched. O miracle! But I wish I<br />

could describe it better. I wish I could<br />

convince you.”<br />

The people of Omelas have no king,<br />

no sword, no stock exchange. They<br />

don’t resort to violence. They are joyous.<br />

But are they happy? The narrator<br />

isn’t taking sides, only observing. “Happiness<br />

is based on a just discrimination<br />

of what is necessary, what is neither<br />

necessary nor destructive, and what is<br />

destructive.”<br />

We’re thus invited to imagine our own<br />

utopia, our own version of the worldly<br />

city that we believe would make us<br />

happy. Technology can be included<br />

if you like, though the narrator is<br />

inclined to think the city has neither<br />

helicopters nor cars. If the whole scene<br />

sounds too goody-goody, the author<br />

says feel free to add orgies. “Let tambourines<br />

be struck above the copulations,<br />

and (a not unimportant point) let<br />

the offspring of these delightful rituals<br />

be beloved and looked after by all.”<br />

Such offspring, as we know from our<br />

real cities, would be abandoned, neglected,<br />

and abused. Still, the narrator<br />

30 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


Heather King is an award-winning<br />

author, speaker, and workshop leader.<br />

continues, “One thing I know there is<br />

none of in Omelas is guilt. But what<br />

else should there be?”<br />

Drugs, perhaps? Intoxicants? But no<br />

need: “A boundless and generous contentment,<br />

a magnanimous triumph felt<br />

not against some outer enemy but in<br />

communion with the finest and fairest<br />

in the souls of all men everywhere and<br />

the splendor of the world’s summer:<br />

This is what swells the hearts of the<br />

people of Omelas, and the victory they<br />

celebrate is that of life.”<br />

But what supports this life? Here’s<br />

where the story gets to the crux of<br />

Omelas: In a filthy, fetid dark mop<br />

closet in the basement of one of the<br />

city’s mansions, sits a child who looks<br />

to be 6 years old, but is closer to the<br />

age of 10. It could be a boy or a girl.<br />

The door is locked. The child, covered<br />

with festering sores, sits in its own filth<br />

and lives on a half-bowl per day of corn<br />

meal and grease. Every so often, the<br />

door opens and the child is ordered to<br />

stand so that the group can gawk at it.<br />

“The people at the door never say<br />

anything, but the child, who has not<br />

always lived in the tool room, and can<br />

remember sunlight and its mother’s<br />

voice, sometimes speaks. ‘I will be<br />

good,’ it says. ‘Please let me out. I will<br />

be good!’ They never answer.”<br />

Everyone in the city knows the child<br />

is there. Some have come to see it, others<br />

have not. But everyone understands<br />

that their happiness, health, prosperity,<br />

wisdom, and beauty — even the city’s<br />

gorgeous weather — depend wholly on<br />

this child’s “abominable misery.”<br />

It’s a dreadful setup in which we know<br />

ourselves to be complicit. We all live<br />

each day with the knowledge that millions<br />

of people around the world are<br />

destitute, sick, starving, enslaved.<br />

But what if “the poor” weren’t a faceless<br />

mass of almost a billion people?<br />

Ursula K. Le Guin in 1995.<br />

| MARIAN WOOD KOLISCH/<br />

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS<br />

AMAZON<br />

What if it were only one? Like the high<br />

priest Caiaphas trying to convince the<br />

people to crucify Christ, the Omelas<br />

people’s reasoning is that it’s better for<br />

a single human being to suffer abominably<br />

so that many can be “happy.”<br />

That thought alone generates rich re-<br />

flection. But I wonder if the story can’t<br />

be read another way. What if that child<br />

in the dark is me, or you? Or what if<br />

we put him or her there ourselves?<br />

What if the child is our true self, the<br />

one who longs to step outside the lines,<br />

to give all of herself, to worship Christ<br />

in a culture that mostly hates him? To<br />

seek the good, the beautiful, and the<br />

true no matter what the cost?<br />

Instead, we can lock ourselves in a<br />

closet, promise to be “good,” and stifle<br />

and starve everything in us that is our<br />

truest, purest, best.<br />

A small few in the story cannot live<br />

with the knowledge of the child in the<br />

mop closet. They walk away, always<br />

alone, to an unknown, uncertain<br />

future. Narrow is the gate. And few are<br />

those who will risk setting off on their<br />

lonely, perilous path — and leaving<br />

behind Omelas.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 31


LETTER AND SPIRIT<br />

SCOTT HAHN<br />

Scott Hahn is founder of the<br />

St. Paul Center for Biblical<br />

Theology; stpaulcenter.com.<br />

Ways to pray<br />

It’s midsummer, and everyone should be praying.<br />

Baseball fans are praying for their team — or for the<br />

conversion of its management. Farmers are praying for a<br />

bit more rain. Lots of people are praying for relief from the<br />

heat.<br />

The truth is, we should always be praying. Jesus said so<br />

(see Luke 18:1), and our patron St. Paul insisted upon it<br />

(see 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Ephesians 6:18). Guidance<br />

in prayer is what Jesus’ disciples have always sought from<br />

their Master (Luke 11:1).<br />

Prayer is necessary for Christian life. And Catholic prayer<br />

is rich and diverse — a treasury of traditions and techniques.<br />

Jesuits teach Ignatian methods, while Carmelites<br />

follow after Sts. Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross.<br />

Franciscans, Dominicans, and Augustinians follow their<br />

own ways. And different ritual families — Malabar, Melkite,<br />

Chaldean, Anglican Use — preserve their ancestors’<br />

particular customs.<br />

Individual Catholics have their own options. We pray the<br />

Mass. We pray on our rosary beads. We pray on our knees.<br />

We pray in tongues.<br />

Catholic ways of prayer are breathtakingly varied. How to<br />

sort them out and find one’s own way?<br />

It’s good for us to take a breath and think deeply about<br />

what they all hold in common. What is it that makes one<br />

way of all those many ways?<br />

Pope Benedict XVI considered the matter not just once,<br />

but repeatedly in his 2010 apostolic exhortation “Verbum<br />

Domini” (“The Word of the Lord”). And he kept coming<br />

back to the same answer: “the great currents of spirituality<br />

in the Church’s history originated with an explicit reference<br />

to Scripture. … The word of God is at the basis of all<br />

authentic Christian spirituality. … We<br />

“Old Woman Praying,”<br />

by Matthias Stom,<br />

1615-1649, Dutch.<br />

| WIKIMEDIA COMMONS<br />

must never forget that all authentic<br />

and living Christian spirituality is<br />

based on the word of God proclaimed,<br />

accepted, celebrated and meditated<br />

upon in the Church.”<br />

Catholic prayer is inconceivable<br />

apart from God’s word, apart from<br />

divine revelation. Our most common prayers — from the<br />

Sign of the Cross to the Holy Mass, from the Hail Mary to<br />

the St. Michael Prayer, from the Jesus Prayer to the Divine<br />

Office — are, one and all, expressions of biblical religion<br />

and fruits of biblical reflection. The path we follow,<br />

through the ages and stages of spiritual life, is a path blazed<br />

in the pages of the Bible.<br />

The history of Christian spirituality, then, can be seen as a<br />

great community Bible study on the subject of prayer. And<br />

that is indeed how we treat it in our new study. We range<br />

in the biblical canon, the Old Testament and the New, and<br />

we read with the great saints. We learn the ways of adoration,<br />

contrition, thanksgiving, and intercession by observing<br />

the prayers of the patriarchs and prophets, the great<br />

kings and the apostles. We learn the Catholic way of prayer<br />

from Jesus, whose very life and character and mission were<br />

defined by his prayer to the Father.<br />

Our own life and character and mission take shape from<br />

our prayer, which itself must be biblical if it is to be authentically<br />

Catholic.<br />

32 • ANGELUS • <strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong>


■ SATURDAY, JULY 8<br />

“Woman of Hope” Day of Reflection. Mary & Joseph<br />

Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, 9<br />

a.m.-7 p.m. Retreat for deacons’ wives hosted by the Office<br />

of Deacons in Ministry. Lunch and dinner provided.<br />

To register, email Natalia Dubon at ngdubon@la-archdiocese.org.<br />

Eucharistic Revival Retreat. Our Lady of Grace Church,<br />

5011 White Oak Ave., Encino, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Retreat<br />

with Father Roch Mary Greiner, CFR, Father Juan Diego<br />

Sutherland, CFR, and Father Marinello Saguin. Topics<br />

include “The Healing Power of the Eucharist” and “Becoming<br />

Eucharistified.” Adoration and solemn benediction<br />

included. Cost: $20/person before <strong>July</strong> 3, $25 after.<br />

For more information, visit scrc.org.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JULY 9<br />

Virtual Diaconate Information Day. 2-4 p.m. To register,<br />

email Deacon Melecio Zamora at dmz2011@la-archdiocese.org.<br />

■ TUESDAY, JULY 11<br />

Memorial Mass. San Fernando Mission, 15151 San<br />

Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills, 11 a.m. Mass is<br />

virtual and not open to the public. Livestream available at<br />

catholiccm.org or facebook.com/lacatholics.<br />

LACBA Unlawful Detainer Answer Clinic. LA Law<br />

Library, 301 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, 12-3 p.m. Providing<br />

limited assistance with reviewing unlawful detainer<br />

complaints, jury demands, fee waiver requests, and more.<br />

Open to the disabled veteran community in Los Angeles<br />

County. Spanish assistance available. RSVP to 213-896-<br />

6536 or email inquiries-veterans@lacba.org.<br />

■ WEDNESDAY, JULY 12<br />

St. Padre Pio Mass. St. Anne Church, 340 10th St., Seal<br />

Beach, 1 p.m. Celebrant: Father Al Baca. For more information,<br />

call 562-537-4526.<br />

■ THURSDAY, JULY 13<br />

Young Adult Rosary. Morgan Park, 4100 Baldwin Park<br />

Blvd., Baldwin Park, 6 p.m. Rosary for young adults and<br />

youth groups. Meets on the 13th of every month through<br />

December. Wear your ministry uniform and bring a flag<br />

or banner.<br />

■ SATURDAY, JULY 15<br />

Eucharistic Revival Retreat. St. Denis Church, 2151 S.<br />

Diamond Bar Blvd., Diamond Bar, 12-4:45 p.m. Retreat<br />

with Father Roch Mary Greiner, CFR, Father Juan Diego<br />

Sutherland, CFR, and Dominic Berardino. Topics include<br />

“The Healing Power of the Eucharist” and “Becoming<br />

Eucharistified.” Adoration and solemn benediction<br />

included. For more information, email spirit@scrc.org.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JULY 16<br />

Mass for Bishop David O’Connell’s birthday. Cathedral<br />

of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles,<br />

10 a.m. Archbishop José H. Gomez will celebrate<br />

Sunday Mass with a Mass intention for late Auxiliary<br />

Bishop David O’Connell on what would have been his<br />

70th birthday.<br />

Jazz Brunch. Church of the Transfiguration, 2515 W.<br />

Martin Luther King Blvd., Los Angeles, 12 p.m. Cost:<br />

$35/person. Call Sonya Robertson at 323-574-4846 or<br />

email ssonya@sbcglobal.net, or call Evelyn Payne at 323-<br />

291-8325 or email pookie6@ca.rr.com.<br />

■ SUNDAY, JULY 23<br />

Blessing of World Youth Day Pilgrims. Cathedral of Our<br />

Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, 10 a.m.<br />

Local young adults and guardians planning to attend World<br />

Youth Day <strong>2023</strong> are invited to a special blessing from<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez. Pilgrims are invited to wear<br />

their WYD t-shirts.<br />

■ THURSDAY, JULY 27<br />

“The Deepest Sorrow: Discovering New Ways to Bring<br />

Comfort and Hope to a Grieving Mother” Webinar.<br />

6:30-8:30 p.m. Parish leaders are invited to participate in<br />

a webinar hosted by the Office of Life, Justice, and Peace,<br />

and Sacred Sorrows. For more information, visit lacatholics.<br />

org/events.<br />

■ FRIDAY, JULY 28<br />

Women at the Well Summer Weekend Retreat: Jewish<br />

Spirituality. Holy Spirit Retreat Center, 4316 Lanai Rd.,<br />

Encino, Friday, 4 p.m.-Sunday, 1 p.m. With Sister Chris<br />

Machado, SSS, and the Women at the Well Team. Visit<br />

hsrcenter.com or call 818-784-4515.<br />

■ SATURDAY, JULY 29<br />

Glorifying Christ: Retreat with Michael R. Heinlein.<br />

Pauline Books & Media, 3908 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver<br />

City, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Heinlein will share lessons from<br />

Cardinal Francis E. George’s life and legacy. Donation: $30/<br />

person, includes lunch. 4 p.m. Mass. RSVP to 310-397-<br />

8676 or email culvercity@paulinemedia.com.<br />

■ THURSDAY, AUGUST 3<br />

Church of the Transfiguration: Celebrating 100 Years.<br />

Church of the Transfiguration, 2515 W. Martin Luther King<br />

Blvd., Los Angeles, 6:30-8 p.m. prayer service. Friday, Aug.<br />

4: international food and dance, 5 p.m. Saturday, August 5:<br />

KPC centenary awards, 2 p.m. Sunday, August 6: Mass and<br />

gala, 10 a.m.<br />

■ FRIDAY, AUGUST 4<br />

City of Saints. UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles.<br />

Catholic teen conference runs Aug. 4-6, features dynamic<br />

speakers, Mass, reconciliation, praise and worship. Cost:<br />

$260/person, includes housing and meals. For more information,<br />

visit cityofsaints.org.<br />

■ SUNDAY, AUGUST 6<br />

Eight-day Directed Retreat. Holy Spirit Retreat Center,<br />

4316 Lanai Rd., Encino, Sunday, 4 p.m.-Sunday, 1 p.m. With<br />

Sister Rosheen Glennon, CSJ, Sister Chris Machado, SSS,<br />

and the retreat team. Visit hsrcenter.com or call 818-784-<br />

4515.<br />

Holy Silence Contemplative Prayer Group. St. Andrew<br />

Russian Greek Catholic Church, 538 Concord St., El Segundo,<br />

12-1:30 p.m. Call 310-322-1892.<br />

■ TUESDAY, AUGUST 8<br />

LACBA Unlawful Detainer Answer Clinic. LA Law<br />

Library, 301 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, 12-3 p.m. Providing<br />

limited assistance with reviewing unlawful detainer complaints,<br />

jury demands, fee waiver requests, and more. Open<br />

to the disabled veteran community in Los Angeles County.<br />

Spanish assistance available. RSVP to 213-896-6536 or<br />

email inquiries-veterans@lacba.org.<br />

■ WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9<br />

St. Padre Pio Mass. St. Anne Church, 340 10th St., Seal<br />

Beach, 1 p.m. Celebrant: Father Al Baca. For more information,<br />

call 562-537-4526.<br />

Items for the calendar of events are due four weeks prior to the date of the event. They may be emailed to calendar@angelusnews.com.<br />

All calendar items must include the name, date, time, address of the event, and a phone number for additional information.<br />

<strong>July</strong> <strong>14</strong>, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 33

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