Angelus News | December 1, 2023 | Vol. 8 No. 24

Many of the parishes celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2023 are shown in historical photos. On Page 10, Angelus explores why 1923 was such a significant year for growth — a record 18 churches that year alone — in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and how several parishes celebrated their century.

Many of the parishes celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2023 are shown in historical photos. On Page 10, Angelus explores why 1923 was such a significant year for growth — a record 18 churches that year alone — in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and how several parishes celebrated their century.


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<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> <strong>Vol</strong>. 8 <strong>No</strong>. <strong>24</strong>

B • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>


<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Vol</strong>. 8 • <strong>No</strong>. <strong>24</strong><br />

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Many of the parishes celebrating their 100th anniversary<br />

in <strong>2023</strong> are shown in historical photos.<br />

On Page 10, <strong>Angelus</strong> explores why 1923 was<br />

such a significant year for growth — a record 18<br />

churches that year alone — in the Archdiocese of<br />

Los Angeles, and how several parishes celebrated<br />

their century.<br />



Father Michael Wakefield, pastor at St. Francis de Sales<br />

Church in Sherman Oaks, blesses the new Healing<br />

Garden installed at the parish during a special ceremony<br />

on <strong>No</strong>v. 19. With plans to have a garden in each of the<br />

Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ five regions, the one at St.<br />

Francis de Sales is the third, dedicated to victim-survivors<br />

of sexual abuse.<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 />

16<br />

18<br />

20<br />

23<br />

26<br />


Ancestral Mass honors Black Catholics’ past with an eye on the future<br />

House of Yahweh and its 90-year-old foundress are still changing lives<br />

John Allen explains Pope Francis’ sudden eagerness to answer ‘dubia’<br />

What the U.S. bishops were thinking about in Baltimore this year<br />

Grazie Pozo Christie on our deep-seated longings for large families<br />

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28<br />

30<br />

Only Nicolas Cage could’ve played this part in ‘Dream Scenario’<br />

Heather King on an Instagram account-turned-LA exhibit featuring La Virgen<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 1


Advice to America’s priests<br />

The following is adapted from the<br />

Holy Father’s address to the Association<br />

of Hispanic Priests of the U.S. at the<br />

Vatican on <strong>No</strong>v. 16.<br />

We must seek Jesus in Scripture<br />

and the Gospel, in silent<br />

adoration, because we have<br />

lost the sense of adoration a little; we<br />

must find the Lord in the silence of adoration.<br />

If I were to ask now how many<br />

hours you spend in worship each week,<br />

that would be a good test. Everyone can<br />

answer within themselves: <strong>No</strong>, because<br />

it is too much effort, because here,<br />

because there. If you don’t pray, if you<br />

don’t worship, your life is worth little.<br />

In the United States, a National<br />

Eucharistic Congress is being prepared<br />

for next year, and Blessed Carlo Acutis<br />

and St. Manuel González have been<br />

chosen as its patrons, both of whom<br />

excelled — like so many saints of the<br />

Church — in the art of reading this<br />

living book, before the Tabernacle, in<br />

the silent, kneeling school.<br />

On one occasion, St. Manuel addressed<br />

a group of the faithful, reflecting<br />

on the role of the holy women on<br />

Calvary, as models for every disciple<br />

before the Lord’s cross, then as now.<br />

The same helplessness, the same desire<br />

to act against injustice that the holy<br />

women experienced in those moments,<br />

we can experience in the face of the<br />

problems of immigrants, the closure of<br />

certain civil and religious authorities,<br />

the challenges of interculturality, the<br />

complexity of proclamation, etc.<br />

Faced with these difficulties, the<br />

saint warns us that “Jesus does not stop<br />

suffering.” Jesus says that he will stand<br />

on Calvary until the end of time, even<br />

though he is risen, he continues to<br />

stand on Calvary in the person of his<br />

brothers and sisters. In every Tabernacle,<br />

in every consecrated chalice, we<br />

see the cross standing, and he asks us,<br />

“Can we do something to relieve the<br />

suffering Christ today? Do it, do it as<br />

soon as possible,” but do it knowing<br />

that “the Passion will be the companion<br />

of the Jesus of your Tabernacles” in<br />

every suffering brother and sister, and<br />

what God asks of you is not to leave<br />

them alone.<br />

Do not leave those who suffer alone,<br />

do not leave the Lord of the Tabernacle<br />

alone, convince yourselves that you<br />

cannot do anything with your hands<br />

if you do not do it with your knees.<br />

Adoration, Eucharistic silence, and<br />

intercession before the Tabernacle.<br />

And then yes, service.<br />

Beware of settling down, do not make<br />

yourselves comfortable. Sometimes the<br />

modern world leads us to schedules,<br />

but please, first the people, then the<br />

timetable. Don’t become “employees”<br />

of the sacred.<br />

St. Manuel said that above all else,<br />

what a priest can do today begins with<br />

simple prayer, a close word, fraternal<br />

acceptance, and persevering work.<br />

Prayer, simple, close word, fraternal<br />

welcome, and persevering work. Do<br />

not spare yourselves!<br />

I want to mention one thing. Do<br />

not have dirty nails, have clean nails,<br />

because nails get dirty when the priest<br />

starts to climb. And you climb for that<br />

post, for that parish … and then human<br />

promotion surpasses the gratitude<br />

of proclamation. And if you lose this,<br />

you will become poor priests who have<br />

lost the joy of their lives. Always return<br />

to Jesus’ call to serve, at the disposal of<br />

others.<br />

Papal Prayer Intention for <strong>December</strong>: We pray that people<br />

living with disabilities may be at the center of attention in<br />

society, and that institutions may offer inclusive programs<br />

which value their active participation.<br />

2 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>



The blessings of the U.S. Church<br />

I<br />

was in Baltimore <strong>No</strong>v. 13-16 for<br />

the annual plenary assembly of the<br />

United States Catholic bishops.<br />

It was the first bishops’ meeting for<br />

our four new auxiliary bishops, who<br />

were ordained in September. So, it<br />

was a special time for me to pray and<br />

share with them and Auxiliary Bishop<br />

Marc Trudeau.<br />

I always come away from these gatherings<br />

with my brother bishops feeling<br />

hopeful and inspired. It becomes so<br />

clear that God is alive and his Spirit<br />

is working in the Church in so many<br />

beautiful ways, not only here in Los<br />

Angeles but across the country.<br />

In the United States, we are blessed<br />

to have good bishops leading our<br />

dioceses, many appointed in the last<br />

decade. Also, as we see with our new<br />

bishops here in Los Angeles, across<br />

the country a fine new generation of<br />

auxiliary bishops has been appointed<br />

in recent years, men of prayer who are<br />

alive with apostolic zeal.<br />

The same is true of our new American<br />

priests. Across the country, an<br />

excellent new generation is being<br />

ordained. These are men who are on<br />

fire to spread the Gospel, men who<br />

love Jesus and long to make Jesus<br />

loved by every heart.<br />

We see all of this here in Los Angeles,<br />

and in my conversations with my<br />

brother bishops, they see it in their<br />

dioceses, too.<br />

The American Church is doing what<br />

Christ commanded: we are united in<br />

the urgent task of proclaiming his Gospel<br />

of love and seeking to save souls.<br />

We are also striving to build Christ’s<br />

kingdom, spreading the social message<br />

of the Gospel and, through our<br />

charities and outreach efforts, working<br />

for a world that protects the sanctity<br />

and dignity of the human person as a<br />

child of God.<br />

We began our meeting in Baltimore<br />

with a Mass for Peace, praying<br />

especially for Ukraine, Palestine, and<br />

Israel. In our sessions, we reaffirmed<br />

our commitment to defend migrants<br />

and refugees and seek solutions to our<br />

long-broken immigration system.<br />

One of our most important discussions<br />

concerned the growing crisis of<br />

mental health and the bishops’ new<br />

National Catholic Mental Health<br />

Campaign, aimed at raising awareness<br />

and helping people find care and<br />

treatment.<br />

Looking ahead to the 20<strong>24</strong> elections,<br />

we revised the introduction of our<br />

“Forming Consciences for Faithful<br />

Citizenship” document to address the<br />

most “grave threats to life and dignity<br />

of the human person,” including<br />

abortion, euthanasia, gun violence,<br />

terrorism, the death penalty, human<br />

trafficking, and efforts to redefine<br />

marriage and gender.<br />

We face many challenges in the<br />

Church in this country. But they are<br />

the challenges that the Church faces<br />

in every age and every place: How do<br />

we live as followers of Jesus Christ in<br />

a world that is hostile to the Gospel?<br />

How do we proclaim the Gospel and<br />

pass on our faith to the next generation?<br />

Historically, the mission of the<br />

American Church has always been<br />

distinguished by the leadership and<br />

participation of the lay faithful.<br />

And in the presentations at our meeting<br />

in Baltimore, it was again clear<br />

that laypeople are the source of so<br />

much creativity and apostolic energy<br />

in the Church.<br />

We are blessed with a diversity of lay<br />

apostolates and ministries that work in<br />

partnership with bishops and pastors<br />

to accompany and deepen the faith<br />

of our people, especially our young<br />

people and families.<br />

The Church here has long reflected<br />

what the Second Vatican Council<br />

called “the universal call to holiness,”<br />

and the collaborative vision that Pope<br />

Francis is calling us to in the Synod<br />

on Synodality.<br />

That is why I am so encouraged<br />

by the two most important apostolic<br />

initiatives in the Church right now,<br />

the Holy Father’s call for “synodality”<br />

in the universal Church and the U.S.<br />

bishops’ call for a Eucharistic revival.<br />

As the pope’s delegate, Apostolic<br />

Nuncio Cardinal Christophe Pierre,<br />

said in his address to the bishops,<br />

“Eucharistic revival and synodality go<br />

together.”<br />

Both are about the Church’s essential<br />

mission of evangelization,<br />

about bringing our people to a new<br />

encounter with Jesus Christ, the living<br />

God, the God of love who comes to<br />

save us and make us one family.<br />

This divine love is what makes all<br />

things new in the Church and in our<br />

lives. Bringing people to know this<br />

love is the urgent reason for everything<br />

we do in the Church, all our<br />

teaching and preaching, all our works<br />

of mercy and pastoral care.<br />

In his encouraging address, Pierre<br />

quoted Francis’ words in concluding<br />

the recent synod in Rome: “Loving<br />

God with our whole life and loving<br />

our neighbor as ourselves … that is<br />

the heart of everything.”<br />

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

Let’s thank God for all the gifts<br />

he has bestowed on his Church in<br />

America.<br />

And let’s ask our Blessed Mother<br />

Mary to make the love of her Son the<br />

heart of everything we do.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 3

WORLD<br />

■ Thousands pray ‘living<br />

rosary’ for peace in Mexico<br />

More than 20,000 people filled a<br />

stadium in Mexico to participate in a<br />

“living rosary” for peace.<br />

The <strong>No</strong>v. 5 prayer service in the city<br />

of León in the state of Guanajuato<br />

was held under the theme “The Lord<br />

bless us and his people with peace”<br />

following the highest number of homicides<br />

recorded in the state’s history:<br />

4,329 people last year.<br />

“When the Church was born, the<br />

greeting to the apostles was ‘Peace be<br />

with you,’ ” Father Roberto Guerrero<br />

Velázquez, who organized the service,<br />

told ACI Prensa. “And it comes from<br />

hope, it cannot happen without hope.<br />

Peace is the gift of God and we have<br />

to build it.”<br />

An almost 70-year tradition, the<br />

living rosary features performances for<br />

each mystery and is inspired by the<br />

Fátima apparitions.<br />

■ Indi Gregory dies<br />

following UK court ruling<br />

An 8-month-old British girl with a rare<br />

mitochondrial disease died after U.K.<br />

courts blocked attempts to extend life<br />

support and transfer care out of the<br />

country.<br />

Indi Gregory’s parents had requested<br />

to have the girl transferred to a hospital<br />

in Rome that had agreed to accept her<br />

for treatment funded by the Italian<br />

government. She was granted Italian<br />

citizenship on <strong>No</strong>v. 9 to encourage the<br />

Indi Gregory in an undated photo before her death. |<br />

transfer, but the next day the U.K.’s<br />


Court of Appeal sided with the National<br />

Health Service (NHS) decision to transfer her to hospice and remove life<br />

support.<br />

Despite additional requests to allow her to return home with her parents for<br />

end-of-life, Gregory was transferred to hospice <strong>No</strong>v. 11 and died two days later.<br />

“The NHS and the courts not only took away her chance to live a longer life,”<br />

said father Dean Gregory in a statement, “but they also took away Indi’s dignity to<br />

pass away in the family home where she belonged.”<br />

Weeks before her death, Gregory was baptized by Christian volunteers visiting<br />

her hospital, despite her parents not being religious.<br />

Sent by the ‘Lady in Blue’ — Two people take pictures with their mobile devices during an audience<br />

with Pope Francis at the Vatican <strong>No</strong>v. 16 as part of a conference on Venerable María de Jesús de Ágreda.<br />

The 17th-century Spanish Conceptionist nun was believed to have had the gift of bilocation as it was<br />

said she appeared to members of the Jumano tribe in central New Mexico, Tucson, and West Texas, and<br />

evangelized that region. The audience with the pope included members of the Conceptionist sisters and<br />

Indigenous peoples who trace their lineage to the Jumano tribe. | CNS/VATICAN MEDIA<br />

■ Vatican: Catholics<br />

still banned from joining<br />

Masonic groups<br />

Responding to worries about a rise in<br />

faithful joining Masonic groups in the<br />

Philippines, the Vatican reiterated that<br />

Catholics are forbidden from joining<br />

such groups.<br />

Cardinal Víctor Fernández, prefect of<br />

the Vatican’s doctrine office, cited a 1983<br />

declaration that states that Catholics<br />

who join Masonic groups are “in a state<br />

of grave sin and may not receive Holy<br />

Communion.”<br />

He encouraged the country’s bishops to<br />

develop a pastoral plan to curb Catholic<br />

enrollment in Freemasonry.<br />

Freemasonry, a global network of fraternal<br />

organizations oath-bound to secrecy,<br />

is often associated with charitable activity<br />

in modern times, but is based on a set of<br />

beliefs that relativize the faith of its members<br />

and rejects core Catholic teachings.<br />

“Christianity and Freemasonry are<br />

essentially irreconcilable, so that enrollment<br />

in one means separation from the<br />

other,” Pope Leo XIII wrote in 1892.<br />

4 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

NATION<br />

■ Ohio voters approve abortion measure<br />

Ohio voters approved a measure to codify the right to<br />

abortion, dealing the state’s pro-life movement a second<br />

loss this year.<br />

The approval of “Issue 1” by a 57%-43% margin on <strong>No</strong>v.<br />

7 followed an Aug. 8 special election which tried to make<br />

amending the state Constitution more difficult. Seen by<br />

many as a proxy battle for abortion, that measure failed, allowing<br />

Issue 1 to pass in <strong>No</strong>vember with a simple majority.<br />

“Despite this outcome, we are grateful for all of you who<br />

prayed, educated yourselves and others, and voted NO on<br />

this horrific amendment,” Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis<br />

M. Schnurr said.<br />

“Moving forward … in 20<strong>24</strong>, pro-life, pro-woman coalitions<br />

will need to devote more resources to compassionate<br />

pro-life messages for women and their children, combatting<br />

the campaign of fear from the other side,” said Marjorie<br />

Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America.<br />

■ Brooklyn: Outrage after<br />

lewd filming at parish<br />

Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn celebrated a Mass<br />

of reparation at a 160-year-old church after a pop singer was<br />

allowed to shoot a lewd music video inside.<br />

The music video released Oct. 31 shows singer Sabrina<br />

Carpenter dancing on the altar at Annunciation of the Blessed<br />

Virgin Mary Church, which has long served Lithuanian<br />

Catholics in Brooklyn. Outrage on social media quickly<br />

followed, with many questioning how filming of the video<br />

was allowed.<br />

Brennan said he was “appalled” to learn of the video and<br />

ordered an investigation into the incident.<br />

“A review of the documents presented to the parish in advance<br />

of the production, while failing to depict the entirety<br />

of the scenes, clearly portray inappropriate behavior unsuitable<br />

for a church sanctuary,” Brennan’s statement read.<br />

The church’s pastor, Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, was removed<br />

from his role on <strong>No</strong>v. 3.<br />

Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn blesses<br />

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church<br />

<strong>No</strong>v. 4 during a Mass of Reparation. | OSV NEWS/<br />


The American martyrs you’ve never heard of — Lynn Mangan, a vice postulator<br />

for the sainthood cause of Antonio Inija and 57 companions, signs documents<br />

affirming the truth and accuracy of documentation for the “Florida martyrs” at an<br />

Oct. 12 ceremony. The cause documents the historical accounts of the 1704 massacre<br />

when Inija and many other Indigenous were captured, killed and, in some<br />

cases tortured, by Col. James Moore, British governor of the Carolinas, and his<br />

Creek allies in the name of Queen Anne of England. The documents were set to<br />

be delivered to Rome, where they will be studied by the Dicastery for the Causes<br />


■ Denver archbishop: Just say no to pot<br />

Seventy percent of Americans believe marijuana should<br />

be legal. The archbishop of Denver finds that of “pastoral<br />

concern.”<br />

“We cannot pretend that the legalization and growing<br />

cultural acceptance of drugs do not have disproportionate<br />

effects on the most vulnerable in our society,” wrote Archbishop<br />

Samuel Aquila in a new pastoral letter. “<strong>No</strong>t only<br />

that, but it is an assault on human dignity, taking advantage<br />

of the vulnerable for the sake of financial profit.”<br />

The letter focused on marijuana specifically, which<br />

Aquila argued is scientifically proven to cause physical and<br />

psychological damage that does not respect the value of<br />

a human life. Colorado has some of the most permissive<br />

cannabis laws in the U.S.<br />

Catholics should respond to growing support of marijuana<br />

use through a three-pronged approach of prevention,<br />

suppression, and rehabilitation, Aquila wrote.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 5

LOCAL<br />

■ 1 million meals packed for needy people worldwide<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteers at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach packed their<br />

millionth meal to help feed needy people in other countries during a special<br />

event on <strong>No</strong>v. 10-11.<br />

In collaboration with Cross Catholic Outreach, American Martyrs has hosted<br />

food-packing events every nine months since 2021. At each event, volunteers<br />

would pack between 150,000 and 200,000 meals.<br />

“We are incredibly inspired by Father John Barry and his team of friends, families,<br />

and parishioners at American Martyrs Catholic Church for putting their<br />

faith into action and sharing the love of Christ with the poor,” said Michele<br />

Sagarino, president of Cross Catholic Outreach. “Packing 1 million meals for<br />

the poor is a tremendous accomplishment and a testament to the Church’s<br />

commitment to serving impoverished families.”<br />

Learn more about the fruits of this partnership at crosscatholic.org/martyrs.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteers celebrate the 1 millionth meal packed at American Martyrs Church on <strong>No</strong>v. 10-11. | BOB VISTY JR.<br />

■ LA parishioner<br />

receives award for<br />

missionary work in Brazil<br />

Angel Mortel, a parishioner at<br />

Dolores Mission in Los Angeles, was<br />

awarded the <strong>2023</strong> Bishop John E.<br />

McCarthy Spirit of Mission Award<br />

by Maryknoll Lay Missioners for her<br />

work in Brazil and LA.<br />

With her husband, Chad Ribordy,<br />

Mortel joined Maryknoll Lay Missioners<br />

in 1997 and spent 16 years in the<br />

São Paulo area of Brazil organizing<br />

community health volunteers, coordinating<br />

an income generation project<br />

for women, and fundraising for the<br />

national prison ministry.<br />

Since returning from Brazil, Mortel<br />

has worked for the past five years with<br />

LA Voice, a nonprofit service organization<br />

that trains local members to<br />

advocate for what their communities<br />

need.<br />

“Maryknoll disrupted my life — but<br />

in the positive sense of shaking things<br />

up, waking me up to possibility, to potential,<br />

to a new perspective,” Mortel<br />

said.<br />

Y<br />

■ Archdiocese helps raise<br />

$200,000 for Maui fire victims<br />

Parishioners of parishes in the Archdiocese of Los<br />

Angeles helped raise $200,000 during a special collection<br />

in August to help those affected by the Maui<br />

wildfires, according to the Mission Office.<br />

Optional second collections were made at parishes<br />

throughout the archdiocese on Aug. 19-20 and Aug.<br />

26-27 after the devastation of the Maui wildfires in<br />

early August.<br />

“I wanted to thank you for your generous support,<br />

help, and prayers during the time of the Maui<br />

wildfire,” said Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese<br />

of Honolulu, which includes Maui, in a message<br />

shared with <strong>Angelus</strong>. “You have been wonderful in<br />

sending in contributions to help that community<br />

recover, to help their schools continue, and to help<br />

those who are without homes find a place to live<br />

and a job. I’m very grateful.”<br />

Donations can still be made to Catholic Foundation<br />

of Hawaii at tinyurl.com/MauiCatholic or<br />

Catholic Charities of Hawaii at catholiccharitieshawaii.org.<br />

Faith and film — Father Matthew Wheeler, left, administrator at Visitation Church in<br />

Westchester, introduces Marcela García-Romero, Ph. D., an associate professor of philosophy<br />

at Loyola Marymount University, during a screening and discussion of the film “Babette’s Feast,”<br />

at the parish on <strong>No</strong>v. 15. The discussion centered around why the film is Pope Francis’ favorite<br />

and the movie’s central themes. | ROBERT CETL<br />

6 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

V<br />


Letters to the Editor<br />

Charity, justice, and immigration reforms<br />

The middle-of-the-road approach expressed by Msgr. Richard Antall<br />

in his article in the <strong>No</strong>v. 17 issue, “A Crisis In Plane Sight,” is one that I<br />

wish was expressed more often by our leaders, both political and ecclesial.<br />

Unfortunately, Msgr. Antall’s claim that “charity and justice are not competing<br />

claims” is a hard one to grasp these days.<br />

I fear that the idea of a “comprehensive” reform that “fixes” our immigration system<br />

is unrealistic and won’t happen in our lifetimes. Meanwhile, the high volume<br />

of migrants being bused to major American cities from the U.S.-Mexico border<br />

with the tacit approval of immigration authorities can’t go on forever: There will<br />

need to be either a more clearly stated amnesty policy for new arrivals or a stricter<br />

closure of the border.<br />

Either of those options may not be the kind of reform that politicians tend to<br />

promise or that advocates may like, but it would be an honest start.<br />

In the meantime, Catholics should show more support and gratitude for the quiet<br />

work of aid agencies like Catholic Charities for our migrant brothers and sisters.<br />

— Dustin Paetzold, Portland, Oregon<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 monument<br />

“Satan wouldn’t go after<br />

what isn’t valuable, right?”<br />

~ Writer Scarlett Rose Ford, in a <strong>No</strong>v. 16 Aleteia<br />

commentary on the nerves some get before the<br />

sacrament of reconciliation.<br />

“Dad, I am the same as<br />

always but dressed in<br />

brown.”<br />

~ Sister Belén de la Cruz, a Spanish Carmelite nun<br />

who died in 2018, in a <strong>No</strong>v. 15 National Catholic<br />

Register article on her life and the purpose of<br />

cloistered nuns.<br />

“We used to laugh at those<br />

people in L.A. and now<br />

that’s what we’re seeing.”<br />

~ Mechele Dickerson, law professor at the<br />

University of Texas at Austin, in a <strong>No</strong>v. 7 L.A. Times<br />

article on droves of Californians moving to Texas.<br />

“The school closures … at<br />

the start of the pandemic<br />

may prove to be the most<br />

damaging disruption in<br />

the history of American<br />

education.”<br />

~ The New York Times Editorial Board in a <strong>No</strong>v. 18<br />

editorial titled “The Startling Evidence on Learning<br />

Loss is in.”<br />

Members of the Gabrieleño San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians helped dedicate a new Native garden space and fountain<br />

at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel on <strong>No</strong>v. 19. Since the garden was sponsored by the late Bishop David O’Connell, a<br />

monument was placed in memory of him. | VICTOR ALEMÁN<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 />

“If I don’t do everything<br />

right, then my kid will end<br />

up living on my couch<br />

forever or be a serial killer.”<br />

~ Karen Benjamin Guzzo, sociologist and director<br />

of the Carolina Population Center, in a <strong>No</strong>v. 3<br />

Washington Post article on why millennials aren’t<br />

having children.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 7

IN EXILE<br />


Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father<br />

Ronald Rolheiser is a spiritual<br />

writer; ronrolheiser.com<br />

Helplessness as fruitful<br />

Sometimes we are the most helpful and life-giving at<br />

the very times when we are most helpless. We’ve all<br />

been there. We’re at a funeral and there’s nothing to<br />

say that will ease the heartache of someone who has lost a<br />

loved one. We feel awkward and helpless. We’d like to say<br />

or do something, but there’s nothing to be said or done,<br />

other than to be there, embrace the one nursing the grief,<br />

and share our helplessness. Passing is strange, but it is our<br />

very helplessness that’s most helpful and generative in that<br />

situation. Our passivity is more fruitful and generative than<br />

if we were doing something.<br />

We see an example of this in Jesus. He gave both his<br />

life and his death for us — but in separate moments. He<br />

gave his life for us through his activity and his death for us<br />

through his passivity, that is, through what he absorbed in<br />

helplessness. Indeed, we can divide each of the Gospels into<br />

two clear parts.<br />

Up until his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is<br />

the active one: he teaches, he heals, he performs miracles,<br />

he feeds people. Then, after he is arrested, he doesn’t do<br />

anything: he is handcuffed, led away, put on trial, scourged,<br />

and crucified. Yet, and this is the mystery, we believe that<br />

he gave us more during that time when he couldn’t do<br />

anything than during all those times he was active. We<br />

are saved more through his passivity and helplessness than<br />

through his powerful actions during his ministry. How<br />

does this work? How can helplessness and passivity be so<br />

generative?<br />

Partly this is mystery, though partly we grasp some of it<br />

through experience. For example, a loving mother dying in<br />

hospice, in a coma, unable to speak, can sometimes in that<br />

condition change the hearts of her children more powerfully<br />

than she ever could during all the years when she did so<br />

much for them. What’s the logic here? By what metaphysics<br />

does this work?<br />

Let me begin abstractly and circle this question before venturing<br />

to an answer. The atheistic thinkers of the Enlightenment<br />

(Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Marx, and others) offer a very<br />

powerful critique of religion and of religious experience.<br />

In their view, all religious experience is simply subjective<br />

projection, nothing more.<br />

For them, in our faith and religious practices, we are<br />

forever creating a god in our own image and likeness, to<br />

serve our self-interest (the very antithesis of what Christians<br />

believe). For Nietzsche, for instance, there is no divine<br />

revelation coming from outside us, no God in heaven<br />

revealing divine truth to us. Everything is us, projecting our<br />

needs and creating a god to serve those needs. All religion is<br />

self-serving, human projection.<br />

How true is this? One of the most influential professors I’ve<br />

studied under, Jesuit Michael Buckley, says this in face of<br />

that criticism: “These thinkers are 90% correct. But they’re<br />

10% wrong — and that 10% makes all the difference.”<br />

Buckley made this comment while teaching what John of<br />

the Cross calls a dark night of the soul. What is a dark night<br />

of the soul? It’s an experience where we can no longer sense<br />

God imaginatively or feel God effectively, when the very<br />

sense of God’s existence dries up inside us and we are left<br />

in an agnostic darkness, helpless (in head, heart, and gut) to<br />

conjure up any sense of God.<br />

However, and this is the point, precisely because we are<br />

helpless and unable to conjure up any imaginative concepts<br />

or affective feelings about God, God can now flow into us<br />

purely, without us being able to color or contaminate that<br />

experience. When all our efforts are useless, grace can finally<br />

take over and flow into us in purity. Indeed, that’s how<br />

all authentic revelation enters our world. When human<br />

helplessness renders us incapable of making God serve<br />

our self-interest, God can then flow into our lives without<br />

contamination.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w, this is also true for human love. So much of our love<br />

for each other, no matter our sincerity, is colored by self-interest<br />

and is at some point self-serving. In some fashion,<br />

we inevitably form those we love into our own image and<br />

likeness. However, as is the case with Buckley’s critique of<br />

the atheistic thinkers of the Enlightenment, this isn’t always<br />

the case.<br />

There are certain situations when we can’t in any way taint<br />

love and make it self-serving. What are those situations?<br />

Precisely those in which we find ourselves completely helpless,<br />

mute, stammering, unable to say or do anything that’s<br />

helpful. In these particular “dark nights of the soul,” when<br />

we are completely helpless to shape the experience, love<br />

and grace can flow in purely and powerfully.<br />

In his classic work “The Divine Milieu,” Father Pierre<br />

Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, challenges us to help others both<br />

through our activity and through our passivity. He’s right.<br />

We can be generative through what we actively do for others,<br />

and we can be particularly generative when we stand<br />

passively with them in helplessness.<br />

8 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>


As parishes celebrate<br />

their 100th anniversary,<br />

the history behind why a<br />

record 18 churches were<br />

established in 1923.<br />


Los Angeles Archbishop José<br />

H. Gomez presents a certificate<br />

to Msgr. John Moretta, the<br />

pastor at Resurrection Church<br />

in Boyle Heights, during the<br />

parish’s centennial Mass on<br />

10 Oct. • 15. ANGELUS | VICTOR ALEMÁN • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

In 1923, a sign was placed in the<br />

hills above Los Angeles hoping to<br />

attract buyers to a new real estate<br />

development. Though the sign was<br />

only meant to be temporary, 100 years<br />

later it has become a symbol of both<br />

a bygone era and a representation of<br />

something that has endured through<br />

constantly changing times.<br />

That was the Hollywood sign.<br />

This year, many LA-area landmarks<br />

and institutions are turning 100: the<br />

Hollywood sign, the LA Memorial<br />

Coliseum, the Biltmore hotel, El<br />

Cholo restaurant.<br />

Also 100 years ago: The then-Diocese<br />

of Los Angeles-San Diego established<br />

18 parishes — the most of any year<br />

before or since.<br />

So what was happening in the Los<br />

Angeles area in the early 1920s that<br />

not only brought these historic landmarks,<br />

but also necessitated then-Bishop<br />

John Cantwell to establish a<br />

whopping 18 parishes?<br />

In short, LA was growing by leaps and<br />

bounds.<br />

In 1920, Los Angeles had overtaken<br />

San Francisco to be the most populated<br />

city in California. In 1916, there<br />

were 49,107 Catholics residing in the<br />

city, according to federal census data.<br />

By 1926, that number jumped 132%<br />

to 114,211 Catholics in Los Angeles<br />

alone, not counting surrounding areas.<br />

There were two major reasons for<br />

this, according to Father Michael<br />

Engh, SJ, chancellor at Loyola Marymount<br />

University and a former history<br />

professor. The first was LA and its<br />

Chamber of Commerce were heavily<br />

promoting the area for its sunny<br />

weather, affordable land, and plentiful<br />

jobs.<br />

Entire industries were flocking to the<br />

region or being created. Movies. Oil.<br />

Parishioners at Our Lady<br />

of Guadalupe (Hammel)<br />

in Los Angeles sing<br />

during the parish’s 50th<br />

anniversary in 1973. |<br />


Aerospace.<br />

With more<br />

jobs came<br />

more people.<br />

With more<br />

people came<br />

new construction.<br />

With new construction came<br />

more infrastructure.<br />

“It’s the American dream,” Engh<br />

said. “Get a job, get a home, raise your<br />

families here. Great environment,<br />

great weather.”<br />

The second reason was the Mexican<br />

Revolution. With strife, battles, and<br />

chaos waging south of the border,<br />

many Mexican citizens poured into<br />

LA dreaming of a better life of better-paying<br />

jobs, housing, and education<br />

for their children.<br />

With anti-Catholic sentiment also<br />

raging in Mexico, streams of priests,<br />

nuns, and religious also fled to the<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 11

Msgr. Daniel Sullivan, left, who was pastor<br />

at Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly<br />

Hills for <strong>24</strong> years, speaks to parishioners and<br />

students in 1972. | TIDINGS ARCHIVES<br />

U.S., with many ending up in Los<br />

Angeles.<br />

So with an increasing Spanish-speaking<br />

population, and priests and nuns<br />

available to serve that community, that<br />

also required more churches.<br />

“So economic growth, enormous influx<br />

of people, railroad transportation,”<br />

Engh said. “And then this great flood<br />

from Mexico coming up as well. So<br />

the diocese was growing by leaps and<br />

bounds along with Los Angeles and<br />

Southern California.”<br />

Then Engh exclaimed, “I had<br />

forgotten just how dynamic the period<br />

actually was.”<br />

Celebrating100<br />

For several of the 18 parishes celebrating<br />

their centennial this year, the<br />

festivities came in all manners and<br />

measures.<br />

At Mother of Sorrows Church in<br />

South Los Angeles, the commemoration<br />

actually began last year, with a different<br />

celebration each month. Those<br />

events included a Mass with Archbishop<br />

José H. Gomez, a centennial logo<br />

contest, and raffles of religious articles.<br />

For Father Brian Chung, the pastor<br />

at Mother of Sorrows, the blessings<br />

have come for a parish he said is poor<br />

financially, but rich in spirit.<br />

“Despite all our struggles, in many<br />

ways we’re never shy about expressing<br />

our faith,” Chung said.<br />

At St. Bernard Church in Bellflower,<br />

the parish didn’t know the exact date<br />

when it was established, so it set its big<br />

celebration for Aug. 20, the feast day<br />

for its namesake saint. The problem<br />

is that day turned out to be the exact<br />

time the historic Hurricane Hilary<br />

was set to touch down in Southern<br />

California.<br />

Thankfully, the outdoor event went<br />

on windy and wet, but with canopies<br />

and hearts full of grace.<br />

“Everybody enjoyed it,” said St. Bernard<br />

pastor Father Toribio Gutierrez.<br />

“It was a lot of people out in the rain.<br />

We enjoyed a lot of food, music, and<br />

dance.”<br />

As part of its 100th anniversary, St.<br />

Bernard is also planning a door-to-door<br />

ministry to welcome the neighborhood<br />

to the parish with an upcoming town<br />

hall in <strong>December</strong>.<br />

“We are going to start going door to<br />

door for all the neighbors to come<br />

and to know our community and to<br />

let them know that we are here and<br />

all the ministries for serving them,”<br />

Gutierrez said.<br />

As the only Catholic parish in Inglewood,<br />

St. John Chrysostom Church<br />

kept things simple by having one big<br />

reception following Mass with the<br />

archbishop, replete with mariachis,<br />

food, and a packed house with about<br />

1,000 parishioners.<br />

“To me, it was important to not only<br />

celebrate as a parish, but to celebrate<br />

as a parish community,” said Father<br />

Alexis Ibarra, administrator at St. John<br />

Chrysostom. “We had a whole ministry<br />

fair. We figured what better moment<br />

than our anniversary to invite more<br />

people to join the ministries and to<br />

serve the community in a larger sense.”<br />

12 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

For Father Peter Irving III, who has<br />

been the pastor at Holy Innocents<br />

Church in Long Beach for 17 years,<br />

he knows a thing or two about longevity.<br />

So when it came time to celebrate<br />

Holy Innocents’ 100th anniversary, the<br />

parish tried to commemorate all the<br />

things that make it special.<br />

First, they honored the Carmelite<br />

Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los<br />

Angeles — and especially its foundress,<br />

Venerable Maria Luisa Josefa,<br />

who escaped Mexico as part of the<br />

Cristero War and later taught at Holy<br />

Innocents — with several talks and<br />

book signings about the order’s history.<br />

The parish also had several Eucharistic<br />

processions, including one that<br />

led to an abortion clinic, which falls<br />

in line with the church’s pro-life work.<br />

Since 2008, as part of its expectant<br />

mothers outreach and providing<br />

material and spiritual support, Irving<br />

estimated they’ve saved 1,603 babies.<br />

Holy Innocents is taking its celebrations<br />

all the way to the absolute end of<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, with a special Mass on its feast<br />

day, Dec. 28, followed by a grand gala<br />

on Dec. 29.<br />

“I take zero credit for all of that because<br />

it’s all a gift,” Irving said. “Also,<br />

we have really good people. Very<br />

generous, wonderful people.”<br />

At Church of the Good Shepherd in<br />

Beverly Hills, its centennial celebration<br />

came with another piece of good<br />

news: The parish was designated as<br />

a historical landmark by the City<br />

Council.<br />

Along with a huge Mass and gala<br />

celebrated on Aug. 13 and attended<br />

by the mayor, police chief, council<br />

members and former California Gov.<br />

Gray Davis, parishioners received a<br />

commemorative book highlighting the<br />

parish’s rich history.<br />

Good Shepherd’s pastor, Father Ed<br />

Benioff, said that while the parish has<br />

a history with entertainers and being<br />

located in a wealthy city, the church is<br />

for everyone.<br />

“Our first 50 years, we had a lot of<br />

entertainers here so it was truly the<br />

parish of the entertainment stars,”<br />

Benioff said. “But I would say [in] the<br />

last 50 years, entertainment people<br />

now have multiple homes and they<br />

don’t necessarily live in Beverly Hills<br />

anymore. It’s kind of just more of the<br />

common person.<br />

“I think the misconception would<br />

be just a bunch of rich well-dressed<br />

snobs. That’s not the case. People are<br />

very down to earth. Very warm and<br />

friendly.”<br />

The next 100 years?<br />

As celebrations for the 18 parishes<br />

come to a close, several of the pastors<br />

couldn’t help but think about what the<br />

next 100 years might bring, both for<br />

their parishes and the overall Church.<br />

“I hope the parish will be alive and<br />

will also be useful,” said St. Bernard<br />

pastor Gutierrez. “<strong>No</strong>t just a parish to<br />

give the parishioners maintenance,<br />

but to make them disciples and send<br />

them out to talk about the good news<br />

to other people.”<br />

Gutierrez is proud of the improvements<br />

made to his parish that he<br />

hopes will endure for another century.<br />

“There are a lot of changes and<br />

improvements that the community<br />

considered to be needed in order to<br />

make the church look alive, not only<br />

to be alive,” Gutierrez said.<br />

Ascension Church in Los Angeles celebrates<br />

Mass in 1990. | TIDINGS ARCHIVES<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 13

Father Chung, the pastor at Mother<br />

of Sorrows, pointed to his parish’s<br />

weekly food distribution and helping<br />

those less fortunate as where he’d like<br />

the Church to head going forward.<br />

“We try to be something not just<br />

for ourselves, but for other people as<br />

well,” Chung said.<br />

“So hopefully in the next 100 years,<br />

we maintain who we are as Catholics,<br />

but yet reach out to our more vulnerable<br />

brothers and sisters so that we can<br />

be a place of hope and faith toward<br />

people.”<br />

For Father Alexis Ibarra, administrator<br />

at St. John Chrysostom, it’s<br />

important to remember the individual<br />

moments of faith that have occurred<br />

at each parish over the past 100 years,<br />

and to focus on creating many more in<br />

the next century.<br />

“We must leave it better than we<br />

found it,” Ibarra said. “We’re building<br />

on the first 100 years, so for the next<br />

100 years to continue that tradition of<br />

Catholic values, family values, upholding<br />

the dignity of human life, and keep<br />

spreading the Gospel.<br />

“Archbishop says to imagine how<br />

many baptisms and how many first<br />

Communions, how many first reconciliations,<br />

how many confirmations,<br />

weddings, how many funerals, how<br />

many people have received the Eucharist<br />

week after week, day after day in<br />

those 100 years, and then those to<br />

come. That to me is not only historic,<br />

but that’s the grace, that’s the blessing.”<br />

Nativity Church in El Monte is<br />

pictured during its 75th anniversary<br />

in 1998. | TIDINGS ARCHIVES<br />

Mike Cisneros is the associate editor<br />

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

Centennial celebrations<br />

Here are the 18 parishes celebrating their 100th anniversary in <strong>2023</strong>:<br />

• Ascension Church in South Los Angeles<br />

• Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights<br />

• Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills • Santa Teresita Church in <strong>No</strong>rtheast LA<br />

• Holy Innocents Church in Long Beach<br />

• St. Agatha Church in Jefferson Park<br />

• Mother of Sorrows Church in South Los Angeles • St. Bernard Church in Bellflower<br />

• Nativity Church in El Monte<br />

• St. Gregory Nazianzen Church in Koreatown<br />

• Our Lady Help of Christians Church in <strong>No</strong>rtheast LA • St. John Chrysostom Church in Inglewood<br />

• Our Lady of Guadalupe (Hammel) in East Los Angeles • St. Kevin Church in Los Angeles<br />

• Our Lady of Mount Lebanon in Los Angeles<br />

• St. Mark Church in Venice<br />

• Precious Blood Church in Los Angeles<br />

• Church of the Transfiguration in Leimert Park<br />

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

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 15



Candles featuring the photos of a deceased community<br />

member were placed on the altar at St. Odilia<br />

Church during the 14th annual African American<br />

Ancestral Mass on <strong>No</strong>v. 11. | VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

Faithful from around the archdiocese marked Black Catholic History<br />

Month by commemorating the past while looking to the future.<br />


As the Procession of Ancestors<br />

made its way down the center<br />

aisle at St. Odilia Church in<br />

Los Angeles, volunteers walked with<br />

candles illuminating the photo of a<br />

departed community member.<br />

One by one the soul’s names were<br />

called out, each punctuated by the<br />

ringing of a bell. Tearful family<br />

members watched as the candles were<br />

placed on the altar.<br />

This solemn march was the signature<br />

moment of the 14th annual African<br />

American Ancestral Mass held <strong>No</strong>v.<br />

11. The event celebrates the contributions<br />

of Black Catholics, their triumphs<br />

over adversity, and the sacred connection<br />

between generations.<br />

“It was beautiful,” said Lisa Baxter,<br />

the daughter of “modern ancestor”<br />

John Coleman II, as she came with<br />

her husband and son. “My father was<br />

a man of faith, a man of virtue. He was<br />

definitely God’s disciple. … I wanted<br />

my son to understand he comes from a<br />

legacy of love.”<br />

The other honorees were Lola Loudd,<br />

Sister Marianna Halsmer, SSS, and<br />

Stanley LeSassier. All were recognized<br />

for their work in ministry and dedication<br />

to their community.<br />

The Mass, hosted by the African<br />

American Catholic Center for Evangelization<br />

(AACCFE) and partnering<br />

with the Knights of Peter Claver and<br />

Ladies Auxiliary, occurs every <strong>No</strong>vember<br />

during Black Catholic History<br />

Month.<br />

Monica Lewis, a second cousin of<br />

LeSassier, was galvanized by the event.<br />

She came to the Mass for the celebration<br />

but left with a mission.<br />

“That means to me to continue to<br />

fight the good fight, to fight for a seat<br />

at the table,” said Lewis, co-chair of<br />

African American Cultural Awareness<br />

Ministry at Holy Name of Jesus.<br />

“There’s been a shift toward multiculturalism,<br />

but Black Catholics tend to<br />

get lost in that concept.<br />

“I believe we have a place here in the<br />

archdiocese and in our parishes.”<br />

During the Ancestral Mass, a portrait<br />

of St. Peter Claver, “Apostle of Slaves,”<br />

16 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

was gifted to the church by the AAC-<br />

CFE. The Knights of St. Peter Claver<br />

was launched in 1909 when other<br />

Catholic apostolic groups didn’t accept<br />

Black members.<br />

St. Odilia parishioners like the late<br />

Julius Pratt Sr. are credited for bringing<br />

the service order to California.<br />

Members were a strong presence at<br />

the Mass featuring pews full of men<br />

in black suits with blue sashes and<br />

women in white suits with matching<br />

fezzes. Pratt’s relatives — including his<br />

grandson, who is the current Grand<br />

Knight of Council 87 — were also in<br />

attendance.<br />

“There’s a little bit of pressure because<br />

of the weight his name carries in<br />

the organization,” said Ryan Pratt. “I<br />

knew him as a wonderful loving grandfather.<br />

… He never judged anyone or<br />

had a harsh word. He tried to see the<br />

best in people.”<br />

Black-and-white photos of mid-century<br />

parishioners were on display near<br />

the altar. Many of them were familiar<br />

faces to Cheryl Burnett, who recalled<br />

for Massgoers the days when St. Odilia<br />

was a hub for the Black Catholic<br />

community.<br />

“It was a vibrant atmosphere, a lot of<br />

zeal and enthusiasm about building<br />

the Church, building the faith. I’ll never<br />

forget that,” Burnett said. “We had<br />

fashion shows, teas, and talent shows.<br />

Everybody had something to do in<br />

this parish, adults and children alike. I<br />

hope those ancestors are smiling down<br />

on what we’re doing.”<br />

Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of St. Peter<br />

Claver pose in front of the altar. The Knights<br />

organization helped put on the event along<br />

with the AACCFE. | VICTOR ALEMÁN<br />

Before St. Odilia was<br />

founded in 1926, church<br />

life was not always so<br />

pleasant, said AACCFE<br />

Director Anderson Shaw.<br />

An influx of Black Southerners<br />

came West during<br />

the 1920s and found themselves<br />

unwelcome in some<br />

Catholic parishes.<br />

“In many cases, they<br />

were forced to sit in the<br />

choir loft or the back of<br />

the church,” Shaw said.<br />

“They could not receive<br />

Communion before any<br />

white person.<br />

“When St. Odilia was<br />

established as the ‘Negro<br />

National Church,’ people<br />

came from as far as San<br />

Bernardino and San Diego<br />

counties so they could worship<br />

in their own way while still being<br />

authentically Catholic.”<br />

That comfort and support is still<br />

the goal of the AACCFE today. The<br />

organization serves 22 parishes in<br />

the archdiocese with predominantly<br />

African American and native African<br />

parishioners. While advancements<br />

have been made, Shaw acknowledged<br />

America’s 3 million Black Catholics<br />

still encounter racism.<br />

A report released from the first session<br />

of the Synod of Bishops suggests the<br />

same. The report said “systems within<br />

the Church that create or maintain<br />

racial injustices need to be identified”<br />

A portrait of St. Peter Claver, “Apostle of Slaves,” was gifted to St. Odilia<br />

Church by the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization. |<br />


and all Catholics should work to “eradicate<br />

the sin of racism.”<br />

To further bolster the community,<br />

congregants would like to see the Black<br />

Catholics known as the “Holy Six”<br />

become saints. Venerables Pierre Toussaint,<br />

Henriette Delille, Augustus Tolton,<br />

and Servants of God Mary Lange,<br />

Julia Greeley, and Thea Bowman are<br />

still being considered for canonization.<br />

In honor of Black Catholic History<br />

Month, Holy Name of Jesus Church<br />

in Los Angeles is praying the Black<br />

Catholic History Rosary each week,<br />

which follows the traditional method of<br />

prayer but the Mysteries are dedicated<br />

to those up for sainthood.<br />

At the close of the Ancestral Mass, the<br />

AACCFE Choir led a rousing version<br />

of “When The Saints Go Marching<br />

In.” Parishioners then attended<br />

a luncheon allowing old friends to<br />

catch up. Lola McAlpin-Grant and<br />

Sir Knight Elmer Pratt were part of<br />

the first graduating class of St. Odilia<br />

Catholic School and reminisced about<br />

class picnics and parties.<br />

“With all those wonderful fond<br />

memories, I had to be here today,” said<br />

McAlpin-Grant with a wide grin. “This<br />

Mass is so special.”<br />

Natalie Romano is a freelance writer<br />

for <strong>Angelus</strong> and the Inland Catholic<br />

Byte, the news website of the Diocese of<br />

San Bernardino.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 17



Four decades later, an<br />

LA religious sister’s<br />

vision for the Lawndalebased<br />

House of Yahweh<br />

is still taking shape.<br />


Founder Sister Michele Morris (right) with<br />

House of Yahweh staff. | TOM HOFFARTH<br />

After 40 years worth of creating,<br />

growing, and reinventing the<br />

House of Yahweh in Lawndale,<br />

you would think Sister Michele Marie<br />

Morris had an iron-clad template for<br />

how the nonprofit can continue its<br />

success for the next four decades.<br />

But the 90-year-old doesn’t operate<br />

that way. Neither does reality, she<br />

believes.<br />

“I only work in the present with the<br />

light I get from God at that moment,”<br />

she said, eyes gleaming as she sat at a<br />

meeting-room table in the organization’s<br />

office trailer recently. “I don’t<br />

plan ahead. You go step by step and<br />

things just evolve, one miracle after<br />

another.”<br />

That’s been a motto of sorts for<br />

Morris, who founded the House of<br />

Yahweh in 1982 to help residents in<br />

the South Bay who experience food<br />

insecurity, lack of clothing, and difficulty<br />

in applying for vital services.<br />

In the words of its mission statement,<br />

House of Yahweh seeks “to serve the<br />

economically disadvantaged, especially<br />

women and children, so they can<br />

attain greater fullness of life.”<br />

Since retiring five years ago, the Sister<br />

of St. Joseph of Carondelet Los Angeles<br />

has left much of the heavy lifting<br />

these days to Donna Quirk, executive<br />

director, who first joined House of<br />

Yahweh in 2015 to lead its transitional<br />

housing program. She took over as<br />

executive director in 2018.<br />

“And I’ve been in this pair of roller<br />

skates ever since,” said Quirk, who<br />

first met Morris when the two were<br />

parishioners at St. Raymond Church<br />

in Downey and happened to have<br />

a common interest in animal care.<br />

Today, she leads a staff of seven.<br />

Morris still remembers a renewal<br />

weekend retreat more than 40 years<br />

ago at St. Catherine Laboure Church<br />

in Torrance. The pastor came across<br />

a homeless person sleeping where<br />

the program took place, something<br />

she described as “the spark” for the<br />

program’s genesis.<br />

“That was a wake-up call, and I was<br />

the one to wake ’em up,” said Morris,<br />

who was working at St. Catherine<br />

at the time. She recruited the local<br />

deacon and two others to start brainstorming<br />

through the parish council.<br />

“Those renewal weekends were intense,<br />

but it was the perfect moment.<br />

You’re irresponsible if you try to wake<br />

the people up without giving them<br />

something to do.”<br />

18 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

Through her connections at various<br />

local parishes going back to her<br />

teaching days in the 1960s, Morris was<br />

able to start a 501c3 nonprofit named<br />

“South Bay Outreach Center.”<br />

But its permanent name came from<br />

another spark — a moment when<br />

Morris and her assistant, Lyndon<br />

Reid, were praying with a Jerusalem<br />

Bible translation of Psalm 23. The last<br />

line read: “My home, the House of<br />

Yahweh, forever.”<br />

“The spirit moved me to name it<br />

right then and there,” said Morris,<br />

who soon came across a graphic artist<br />

who created a burning-bush logo to<br />

represent the inspiration.<br />

She went fundraising and soon<br />

found property across the street from<br />

Lawndale City Hall, left behind by<br />

another nonprofit that had moved.<br />

She launched a soup kitchen and a<br />

makeshift thrift store.<br />

One of the guests who regularly<br />

came by for hot meals worked at a<br />

trailer park a few blocks away and<br />

had empty spaces. An appeal in local<br />

Catholic parish bulletins asked for<br />

donated trailers to be used as temporary<br />

shelters. They ended up with 10<br />

spaces.<br />

Today, House of Yahweh sits off of<br />

Marine Avenue near the 405 Freeway,<br />

about a mile from its original location.<br />

Since Sister Michele’s retirement, its<br />

operations have been streamlined.<br />

One notable change: its thrift store<br />

is housed in a 5,000-square foot<br />

Sister Morris with<br />

current House of Yahweh<br />

Director Donna Quirk. |<br />


portable structure,<br />

managed<br />

by Denys San<br />

Martin. Clothes,<br />

shoes, blankets,<br />

and hygiene kits<br />

go out to more<br />

than 125 people<br />

a month. The<br />

food distribution,<br />

run by longtime<br />

employee Mirna<br />

Anaya, has some<br />

400 local families<br />

registered for pickups. A permanent<br />

mailing address is being provided for<br />

more than 150 homeless guests.<br />

But through a steady pool of donors<br />

and income from fundraisers, as well<br />

as a volunteer base that has come<br />

back stronger after the pandemic,<br />

Quirk said she has been delighted to<br />

see the operations thrive on a Monday-through-Saturday<br />

basis, welcoming<br />

visitors whose needs sometimes<br />

even include help with asylum<br />

applications.<br />

“I’m always surprised by people<br />

who are afraid to ask for help,” said<br />

Quirk, who now attends St. Gregory<br />

the Great Church in Whittier. “It just<br />

seems they’re afraid and don’t know<br />

how. You call us, make an appointment,<br />

and we will give you<br />

an hour of uninterrupted<br />

time to work with you on<br />

your needs.”<br />

Bob Breen, an American<br />

Martyrs Church volunteer,<br />

said he responded to a bulletin<br />

request looking for a<br />

driver for homebound food<br />

delivery on Tuesdays and<br />

Thursdays. That led to him<br />

helping in the thrift store as<br />

a fill-in cashier.<br />

“It’s a wonderful mission<br />

for those in need from<br />

Bob Breen of American Martyrs Church<br />

in Manhattan Beach volunteers at<br />

House of Yahweh as a fill-in cashier. |<br />


our own neighborhood,” said Breen,<br />

whose son, Tim, was recently ordained<br />

a Jesuit priest.<br />

“I see people who come into the<br />

store able to buy almost everything<br />

and some who just have 25 cents in<br />

their hands, but we adjust and make<br />

sure they get what they need.”<br />

The organization’s 41st year of operations<br />

kicked off <strong>No</strong>v. 1, with plans<br />

ramping up for its annual distribution<br />

of Thanksgiving turkeys, hams, and<br />

gift cards. It then moves to collecting<br />

toys in the month of <strong>December</strong> to distribute<br />

in the days before Christmas.<br />

Morris still visits the House of Yahweh<br />

facility every Monday to visit with<br />

guests and pick up donations that she<br />

takes back to South Gate, where she’s<br />

lived since the 1980s.<br />

She also gathers donut donations<br />

to bring back to fellow Sisters of St.<br />

Joseph of Carondelet who live in<br />

assisted living in Santa Monica.<br />

Morris credits the one-to-one relationships<br />

formed with guests, some<br />

that go back to its opening 40 years<br />

ago, with the organization’s longevity.<br />

“This is God’s house, it doesn’t belong<br />

to me — it’s not mine,” she said.<br />

“It is where you have to be a listener.<br />

That’s how you honor someone.<br />

It’s unconditional love. We can get<br />

caught up in the doing and miss just<br />

being. And each day is a new adventure.<br />

I think that’s what keeps House<br />

of Yahweh going.”<br />

Tom Hoffarth is an award-winning<br />

journalist based in Los Angeles.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 19


THE ‘DUBIA’<br />

For years, Pope Francis steered clear of answering questions<br />

on thorny doctrinal matters. <strong>No</strong>t anymore.<br />


Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández<br />

comments on changes in the Dicastery for<br />

the Doctrine of the Faith, where he serves<br />

as prefect. | CNS/LOLA GOMEZ<br />

ROME — Once upon a time, being pope meant<br />

never having to say you’re sorry. St. Pope John Paul<br />

II shattered that precedent, apologizing more than<br />

100 times over the course of his papacy for past sins of the<br />

Church, including a massive “Day of Pardon” ceremony in<br />

St. Peter’s Square during the Great Jubilee Year of 2000.<br />

More recently, being pope has meant never having to<br />

explain yourself, at least to your most determined critics.<br />

Famously, Pope Francis received a set of five “dubia,”<br />

or theological doubts, from four conservative cardinals,<br />

20 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

Cardinal Gerhard Müller. |<br />


including American Cardinal Raymond Burke, in 2016,<br />

regarding his controversial document “Amoris Laetitia”<br />

(“The Joy of Love”), which appeared to open a cautious<br />

door to reception of Communion by divorced and civilly<br />

remarried Catholics.<br />

For almost seven years the pontiff never directly responded<br />

to those “dubia,” preferring to allow others to do so in<br />

his name. Occasionally, he would appear to endorse one<br />

or another reply, but always in a way that never directly left<br />

his fingerprints on the content. In an interview the same<br />

year, the pope said he doesn’t “lose any sleep” over the<br />

reactions of his critics, seemingly ratifying the principle of<br />

the nonanswer.<br />

Yet of late, it almost seems the Vatican under Francis can’t<br />

see “dubia” anymore; it doesn’t want<br />

to answer right away.<br />

To begin with, another group of<br />

conservative cardinals, also including<br />

Burke, submitted a new set of “dubia”<br />

to Francis in July, ahead of his Oct.<br />

4-29 Synod of Bishops on Synodality,<br />

and announced that they actually received<br />

a response the very next day —<br />

which, let’s face it, sets a new standard<br />

of rapid response for an institution<br />

whose usual modus operandi is, “Talk<br />

to me on Wednesday, and I’ll get back<br />

to you in 300 years.”<br />

However, the cardinals declared<br />

that since the pope’s responses didn’t<br />

follow the traditional yes-or-no format<br />

in such matters, they reformulated<br />

the “dubia” and resubmitted them in<br />

late August. They concerned several<br />

matters, including the perennially<br />

contentious issues of the blessing of<br />

same-sex unions and the ordination<br />

of women clergy.<br />

On Oct. 2, just before the curtain<br />

went up on the synod, the Vatican’s<br />

Dicastery for the Doctrine of the<br />

Faith published the pope’s replies,<br />

which appeared to boil down to a<br />

cautious yes on the blessings issue,<br />

as long as it doesn’t court confusion<br />

with the sacrament of marriage, and<br />

a basic no to women clergy, while<br />

allowing that it can be the object of<br />

further study.<br />

<strong>No</strong>t only did doing so break with<br />

the practice from 2016, but it also<br />

stunned some observers that Francis<br />

essentially took those issues off the table during the synod,<br />

whose members had been preparing to discuss them for 2<br />

1/2 years.<br />

The very next day, the dicastery released another response<br />

to a set of “dubia” submitted by Cardinal Dominik Duka<br />

of the Czech Republic, regarding Communion for the divorced<br />

and remarried. In this case, the responses came not<br />

from the pope but from Argentine Cardinal Victor Manuel<br />

Fernández, the new head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office.<br />

In case there was any doubt about the face value reading<br />

of the pope’s original ruling, Fernandez was clear: “The<br />

apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ of Francis opens the<br />

possibility of access to the sacraments of reconciliation and<br />

the Eucharist when, in a given case, there are limitations<br />

Cardinal Luis Ladaria. |<br />


<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 21

that accentuate responsibility and guilt.”<br />

More recently, the dicastery also published a set of<br />

responses to six “dubia” submitted by a bishop in Brazil regarding<br />

the eligibility of transsexuals for various acts in the<br />

Church, including baptism, serving as godparents, having<br />

their own children baptized, and acting as witnesses to a<br />

church wedding.<br />

In every case, the replies given both by Francis and<br />

Fernández amount to another cautious yes, though always<br />

with the proviso that allowing transsexuals to play these<br />

roles must not create “public scandal” or “disorientation<br />

among the faithful.”<br />

Exactly what might constitute either of those conditions<br />

was not spelled out in the response, leaving a great deal,<br />

in the eyes of most observers, up to the discretion of local<br />

pastors and bishops.<br />

The basic question all this raises is: After a long span in<br />

which “dubia” basically ended up in the Vatican’s dead letter<br />

office, why now are they responding with such alacrity?<br />

Three answers suggest themselves.<br />

First, with Fernández in the Holy Office, Francis likely<br />

feels a higher degree of certainty that the answers it may<br />

give to nettlesome questions will reflect his own outlook.<br />

First under German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, and then<br />

under Spanish Cardinal (and fellow Jesuit) Luis Ladaria,<br />

the pope may not have felt the same absolute confidence.<br />

Second, the answers that are now on the record are classics<br />

of the Francis approach to contested issues: At least at<br />

face value, they don’t change Church teaching, but they<br />

do clearly encourage moderates and progressives seeking<br />

the most generous possible interpretation of that teaching.<br />

Perhaps it’s simply that since 2016, Francis has become<br />

more confident in that approach, and thus less hesitant<br />

about saying so out loud.<br />

Third, there’s also the fact that Francis will turn 87 next<br />

month, and that since his discretion in 2016, he’s been<br />

hospitalized three times and undergone two surgeries. He’s<br />

already the oldest reigning pope in the Catholic Church<br />

since 1903, and anyone in his position would have to hear<br />

time’s winged chariot hurrying near.<br />

In that light, perhaps he’s simply less willing to allow<br />

difficult questions to dangle, feeling that if he truly wants to<br />

cement his legacy, now is the time.<br />

However one explains it, the fact of the matter seems<br />

clear. For bishops across the Catholic world, the new rule<br />

of thumb has to be, if you don’t want the answer, don’t ask<br />

the question — because odds now are, an answer is precisely<br />

what you’re going to get.<br />

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

22 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu prays <strong>No</strong>v. 14 during<br />

a session of the USCCB’s fall general assembly<br />

in Baltimore. | OSV NEWS/BOB ROLLER<br />


A look at the top<br />

storylines from the<br />

US bishops’ annual<br />

<strong>No</strong>vember gathering<br />

in Baltimore.<br />


The U.S. Conference of Catholic<br />

Bishops’ annual fall meeting<br />

in Baltimore this year didn’t<br />

feature the intense public debates or<br />

closely watched leadership elections<br />

we’ve come to expect in recent years.<br />

Instead, the <strong>No</strong>v. 13-16 gathering<br />

featured the presence of a recently<br />

deposed Texas bishop steps away from<br />

the meeting’s venue, an apparent difference<br />

of opinion between the USCCB<br />

president and the pope’s ambassador to<br />

the U.S., and a surprisingly lively public<br />

discussion of the Church’s role in<br />

responding to the mental health crisis.<br />

A bishop deposed<br />

The case of Bishop Joseph Strickland<br />

took a dramatic turn two days before<br />

the meeting started when the Vatican<br />

announced that Pope Francis had<br />

removed him as bishop of Tyler, Texas,<br />

and appointed Bishop Joe Vasquez of<br />

the nearby Austin Diocese as “apostolic<br />

administrator” until a permanent<br />

replacement is named.<br />

Strickland has been a leading critic of<br />

the pope, particularly in his warnings<br />

of Francis’ alleged lack of clarity on<br />

Church teachings related to sexuality<br />

and gender. Last May, he accused the<br />

pope of “undermining the deposit of<br />

faith” in a post on the social media<br />

platform Twitter (now known as X).<br />

Days before he was deposed, Strickland<br />

read a letter describing the pope as “an<br />

usurper of Peter’s chair” at a gathering<br />

of conservative Catholics in Rome.<br />

The Vatican asked Strickland to<br />

resign and, after he refused, quickly<br />

removed him <strong>No</strong>v. 11.<br />

But if what happened in Baltimore<br />

is any sign of things to come, the<br />

65-year-old Strickland won’t be going<br />

quietly. After reportedly being asked by<br />

Apostolic Nuncio Cardinal Christophe<br />

Pierre, the pope’s delegate to the U.S.,<br />

not to participate in the bishops’ meeting,<br />

Strickland traveled to Baltimore<br />

anyway with the stated intention of<br />

praying outside the Waterfront Marriott<br />

Hotel.<br />

After his final prayer rally outside the<br />

bishops’ hotel, Strickland was asked by<br />

the National Catholic Reporter if he<br />

was trying to draw attention to himself.<br />

“It’s about Jesus Christ, and his truth<br />

has to be proclaimed,” he answered.<br />

Synodality in America<br />

While controversy stirred outside the<br />

assembly, Strickland’s name was not<br />

mentioned as the bishops’ briskly pursued<br />

a largely administrative agenda.<br />

In his first address to the bishops since<br />

being elevated to the rank of cardinal<br />

in September, Pierre recalled the<br />

Gospel story of Jesus’ Easter encounter<br />

with his disciples on the road to<br />

Emmaus to link the Vatican’s ongoing<br />

Synod on Synodality with the bishops’<br />

National Eucharistic Revival initiative.<br />

“I believe that we will have true<br />

Eucharistic revival when we experience<br />

the Eucharist as the sacrament of<br />

Christ’s incarnation: as the Lord walking<br />

with us together on the way,” said<br />

Pierre, echoing the “walking together”<br />

slogan of the synod.<br />

Moments later, U.S. bishops’ president<br />

Archbishop Timothy Broglio<br />

praised “the many synodal realities<br />

that already exist in the Church in the<br />

United States” in his opening address.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 23

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland led more than 100 people<br />

in the recitation of the rosary <strong>No</strong>v. 15 outside the site<br />

of the U.S. bishops’ fall general assembly. At the end,<br />

he blessed the crowd with a relic of St. Pope Pius X (in<br />

a reliquary seen at the bottom left). | OSV NEWS/BOB<br />

ROLLER<br />

Broglio’s speech was interpreted by<br />

some as a gentle rebuttal to more<br />

controversial remarks that Pierre had<br />

made in an America magazine story<br />

published days earlier. In the interview,<br />

Pierre expressed concerns that some<br />

American bishops and priests were not<br />

fully supportive of the pope’s synodal<br />

initiatives. In his talk, Broglio thanked<br />

“those who instill vibrancy, commitment,<br />

and renewal into our faith communities,”<br />

and made a point of praising<br />

American priests “on the front lines”<br />

for being “on fire with the Gospel.”<br />

In a press conference later, he said<br />

that he had spoken to Pierre about his<br />

interview.<br />

“At least the way America magazine<br />

characterized Archbishop Pierre’s<br />

reflections, I don’t think that really<br />

reflects the Church in the United<br />

States,” he said.<br />

A mental health epidemic<br />

Most of the meeting’s action items<br />

prompted little to no debate or discussion<br />

from the bishops, with one notable<br />

exception: the conference’s new<br />

“National Catholic Mental Health<br />

Campaign.”<br />

In the longest public floor discussion<br />

of the assembly, nearly 20 bishops rose<br />

to address the initiative with input on<br />

ways the Church in the U.S. can confront<br />

the mental health crisis.<br />

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston<br />

lamented the shortage<br />

of psychiatrists in his archdiocese,<br />

and urged the Church to find ways to<br />

encourage more young people in medicine<br />

to seek careers in the field.<br />

“The lack of such help is very, very<br />

disturbing in the United States,” he<br />

said.<br />

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of<br />

Kansas City, Kansas, brought attention<br />

to the breakdown of family life and<br />

the pornography industry’s targeting<br />

of young people; Archbishop Gustavo<br />

<strong>No</strong>tes from the <strong>2023</strong> agenda<br />

Here are a few of the other notable developments from the U.S. bishops’ annual plenary assembly:<br />

• The USCCB’s liturgy committee asked the bishops<br />

for their feedback on the idea of establishing national<br />

guidelines on the use of technology in liturgy, with an<br />

emphasis on screens. The bishops were asked to discuss<br />

the item at their tables and pass on their thoughts<br />

to the committee.<br />

• In a 225-11 vote, the conference approved supplement<br />

materials for its “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”<br />

teaching documents stating that the threat of<br />

abortion remains a “preeminent priority” among others<br />

important for Catholic voters.<br />

• A vote on a pastoral framework for Indigenous ministry<br />

was pulled by the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Native<br />

American Affairs and postponed to next year after bishops<br />

proposed several amendments to the document in<br />

Baltimore.<br />

• The bishops elected Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of<br />

Oklahoma City as the conference’s secretary-elect,<br />

as well as chairman-elect for six USCCB standing<br />

committees. Among them are Auxiliary Bishop James<br />

Massa of Brooklyn for the Committee on Doctrine;<br />

Bishop William Byrne of Springfield, Massachusetts,<br />

for the Committee on Communications; and Bishop<br />

David M. O’Connell of Trenton, New Jersey, for the<br />

Committee on Catholic Education. Those elected will<br />

begin their terms next <strong>No</strong>vember.<br />

<strong>24</strong> • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

Garcia-Siller of San Antonio worried<br />

about the crisis’ relation with the<br />

nationwide increase in gun-related and<br />

domestic violence.<br />

Several bishops spoke of initiatives<br />

in their own dioceses to address what<br />

they described as a mental health<br />

“epidemic,” including healing Masses,<br />

introducing therapists in Catholic<br />

schools, and parish-based mental<br />

health ministries.<br />

20<strong>24</strong> on the horizon<br />

Overall, this year’s meeting impressed<br />

some observers as a reflection of the<br />

new “synodal” style that the pope is<br />

calling for in the universal Church,<br />

with the bishops spending more time in<br />

prayer and private “fraternal dialogues”<br />

than in earlier years.<br />

In his public presentation, synod delegate<br />

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville,<br />

Texas, suggested that the synod’s<br />

discussion of potential reforms of the<br />

Church’s leadership structures would<br />

have to respect “doctrinal principles.”<br />

“Structure alone, of course, cannot ensure<br />

a Christian way of life and mission<br />

shared and promoted in common; for<br />

without the Spirit, the letter is dead,”<br />

said Flores, who also announced that<br />

the synod’s “interim report” would be<br />

discussed at the bishops’ next meeting<br />

in June 20<strong>24</strong> ahead of the synod’s<br />

second session next October.<br />

Meanwhile, the bishops also heard<br />

an update on preparations for next<br />

year’s National Eucharistic Congress<br />

in Indianapolis (July 17-21). Lead<br />

organizer Bishop Andrew Cozzens of<br />

Crookston, Minnesota, emphasized the<br />

pilgrimage aspect of the event, which<br />

he said is intended to be “a moment of<br />

great renewal and great revival for our<br />

Church” that will “spur evangelization”<br />

in the U.S.<br />

Ultimately, if there’s one takeaway<br />

from the bishops’ week in Baltimore,<br />

it’s that the outcomes of moments like<br />

the Eucharistic Congress, and the<br />

concrete steps taken to address crises<br />

like the mental health epidemic or<br />

the decline in faith and practice in the<br />

U.S., will tell us much more about the<br />

state of the Church in the U.S. than<br />

sound bites from ecclesial leaders.<br />

Pablo Kay is the editor-in-chief of<br />

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

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 25



In defense of the big family<br />

The Cabrera family poses outside of their<br />

home in Camby, Indiana. They are, from left,<br />

Daniel, Maria, Fatima Lucia, Joseph, Daniel,<br />

Gianna, David, and Sarah. | OSV/NATALIE<br />


When you have five children,<br />

you become accustomed to<br />

the spontaneous comments<br />

from strangers when they see your<br />

offspring spilling out of your minivan.<br />

“What, you and your husband didn’t<br />

own a TV?” is one that got old rather<br />

quickly, but having been raised to be<br />

unfailingly polite, I always respond<br />

with a chuckle. Over the years,<br />

however, I’ve noticed that reactions<br />

have tended to become more positive,<br />

admiring, even wistful: “Wow, you are<br />

a champ!” and “Oh, I also wanted a<br />

large family, but we just couldn’t.”<br />

This is my anecdotal experience, but<br />

it tracks nicely with the results of a recent<br />

Gallup poll which found that the<br />

percentage of Americans that think<br />

the ideal family should include three<br />

or more children is as high as it was in<br />

1950. Today, almost half believe this,<br />

compared to a third in 2003.<br />

Sadly, those desires for a large family<br />

are not matched with their fulfillment.<br />

The American birth rate is dangerously<br />

low at 1.6 births per woman,<br />

well beneath the replacement rate of<br />

2.1 (the statistical number of children<br />

each woman would have to have in<br />

order to keep the population stable).<br />

Much has been written about this<br />

widening mismatch, with thinkers and<br />

experts offering ideas on how to help<br />

Americans have more children, as<br />

they seem to want. There’s little question<br />

that larger families are a positive<br />

good for the country, as a demograph-<br />

ically top-heavy society (with more old<br />

people, and fewer younger ones) presents<br />

all kinds of problems, beginning<br />

with economic ones (see Japan).<br />

Some researchers suggest that<br />

boosting the marriage rate or encouraging<br />

couples to get married earlier<br />

in life could help. Others point to<br />

inflation, housing shortages, and the<br />

stratospheric cost of higher education<br />

as root causes that could be curbed.<br />

The Brookings Institution calculated<br />

the cost of raising a child to adulthood<br />

today at $310,000, not including education.<br />

Gulp.<br />

I’ll leave possible solutions for these<br />

existential problems to the experts. I’m<br />

more interested in why larger families<br />

have become aspirational, even as the<br />

material obstacles multiply.<br />

I would like to think that, as modern<br />

and increasingly removed from all<br />

things “earthy” as we are, something<br />

about our ancestors’ conviction that<br />

sons and daughters are like flowers in<br />

a well-tended garden, or “arrows in a<br />

soldier’s quiver,” still rings true for us.<br />

An older wisdom held that children<br />

were a net-positive: they were bearers<br />

of joy and excitement, prudent<br />

safeguards against the loneliness and<br />

dependency of old age, and fitting,<br />

happy workers in the family vineyard.<br />

The man with sons could pass on his<br />

wisdom and craft, as his father had to<br />

him. A woman with daughters had a<br />

web of female connections, a strong<br />

safety net stretched out under the<br />

precariousness of life.<br />

26 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie is a mother of five<br />

who practices radiology in the Miami area.<br />

“Thy wife shall be a fruitful vine, in<br />

the innermost parts of thy house; thy<br />

children like olive plants about thy<br />

table,“ the psalmist says. “Behold, thus<br />

shall the man be blessed that fears<br />

God” (Psalm 128:3).<br />

We are, most of us, far away from<br />

vineyards and olive plants, but our<br />

lives are marked by the same desire<br />

for the blessings of connection. Something<br />

tells us that some are better<br />

than none, and so more must be even<br />

better. One child giggling and glad to<br />

see us when we come home harried<br />

after a long day is only topped by two<br />

children at the door and a cooing,<br />

messy-faced baby in a highchair.<br />

And when those sons and daughters<br />

grow up, they become our special<br />

friends, the ones that will be there to<br />

care for us when our days of need inevitably<br />

arrive. The trappings of modern<br />

life may protect us from much,<br />

but they can’t protect us from the iron<br />

wheel of life, which sweeps us up and<br />

then inexorably down, down. Thank<br />

God for our children who are there to<br />

catch us.<br />

A large family is an act of prudence<br />

in a hard and often joyless world.<br />

It’s also a great yes to the question of<br />

existence. It’s a vote of confidence in<br />

the essential goodness of God’s plan of<br />

salvation and a sign of our ready cooperation<br />

with his strategy. Christianity<br />

teaches that conceiving a child is an<br />

extraordinary act of co-creation with<br />

God and that we, the flawed vessels<br />

we are, participate in the crowning of<br />

his spectacular design.<br />

If any of these thoughts and longings<br />

sound familiar, that’s a great sign.<br />

It means that we are just as human<br />

today as we were when the psalmists<br />

sang of the joy of generation. And that<br />

we are just as able to understand the<br />

principle behind the ancient belief:<br />

“Children are a gift from the Lord;<br />

they are a reward from him.”<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 27


Nicolas Cage plays Paul Matthews in the<br />

film “Dream Scenario.” | IMDB<br />


Actor Nicolas Cage<br />

reminds younger<br />

generations he’s more<br />

than a meme in a<br />

new Oscar-worthy<br />

performance.<br />


On a recent (and very bachelor)<br />

Sunday afternoon I watched a<br />

Criterion Collection documentary<br />

called “The Love Goddesses”<br />

(1965), which analyzes movie starlets<br />

from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s and<br />

tries to decipher what made them so<br />

alluring. (The film reaches the critical<br />

conclusion that it was likely their drop<br />

dead looks and extensive gams that<br />

did the trick.)<br />

The most interesting segment<br />

looked at <strong>No</strong>rma Jeane Mortenson,<br />

a winsome brunette from Van Nuys.<br />

Through a succession of photos, we<br />

see how this girl next door was gradually<br />

built into Marilyn Monroe while<br />

<strong>No</strong>rma Jeane was entombed inside<br />

like some pharaoh slave. Despite<br />

creating half the conversation and<br />

controversy of the 1950s, we sense that<br />

<strong>No</strong>rma was as much a spectator as the<br />

rest of us.<br />

It reminds me of the story told about<br />

Charlie Chaplin, who placed fifth<br />

in his own lookalike contest. Fame<br />

creates the illusion of intimacy, but<br />

we only know the iconography and<br />

not the person. In other words, famous<br />

people aren’t actually famous: they<br />

just play one on TV.<br />

In his new film “Dream Scenario,”<br />

Paul Matthews (played by Nicolas<br />

Cage) learns this lesson the hard way.<br />

Paul is a mild-mannered evolutionary<br />

biology professor who soon notices<br />

complete strangers eying him on the<br />

street with a sense of déjà vu. Paul<br />

goes on to discover he’s been appearing<br />

in the dreams of people he’s never<br />

met from around the world. Paul<br />

becomes the world’s most famous man<br />

overnight through no effort of his own,<br />

which hardly surprises in the influencer<br />

age.<br />

It’s a miracle this is even happening,<br />

doubly so because Paul himself is<br />

thoroughly unexceptional. He’s the<br />

type that leaves no lasting impression,<br />

and even when remembered appears<br />

in your mind’s eye as blurry as every<br />

photograph of Bigfoot. His students<br />

and children don’t respect him, and<br />

marriage seems more familiar than<br />

affectionate. We only tolerate Clark<br />

Kent because he becomes Superman,<br />

but when Paul Matthews runs into a<br />

phone booth he just exits a quarter<br />

poorer.<br />

28 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

This is Paul’s first taste of being<br />

noticed, and he responds with all the<br />

dignity of a toddler getting laughs<br />

by shouting a dirty word. He’s done<br />

nothing to earn this newfound fame<br />

yet still tries to claim the spoils. But<br />

soon the dreams become nightmares,<br />

and Paul’s life follows suit. He is now<br />

blamed for the nothing he was taking<br />

credit for, people holding him personally<br />

accountable for reverie violations<br />

he has no control over. Earlier in the<br />

film he lectures on how the zebra’s<br />

stripes only confuse predators when<br />

they stick to the herd. Paul forgets<br />

his own lesson and separates himself,<br />

learning a lion will only eat you if you<br />

make yourself the daily special.<br />

It is an exceptional performance by<br />

Cage, one that should be remembered<br />

come Oscar season. It could<br />

be played by no one but Cage at this<br />

point in his career, for he understands<br />

better than anyone the double-edged<br />

sword of celebrity. After early critical<br />

success and a lucrative action movie<br />

run, a series of unwise land investments<br />

required Cage to accept any<br />

job if the check cleared. His already<br />

expressionistic acting style was now<br />

servicing scripts that didn’t deserve his<br />

effort — much to the glee of the early<br />

A scene from the film<br />

“Dream Scenario.” | IMDB<br />

internet. Line readings were clipped<br />

without context and often went viral,<br />

forming the bedrock lexicon of most<br />

reaction GIFs today. (<strong>No</strong> one under<br />

the age of 30 has said “bees” without<br />

trying his inflection at least once.)<br />

Cage was once an Oscar winner, now<br />

he was reduced to a meme.<br />

And yet, that very meme status has<br />

preserved Cage’s career beyond those<br />

of other actors of his class. <strong>No</strong> one<br />

envies the caveman who falls into<br />

the glacier, but he’s the one who gets<br />

thawed out millennia later. Moreover,<br />

in a world of corporate memes<br />

and manufactured virality, Cage had<br />

grandfathered authenticity. Those<br />

same abstracted images that once<br />

made him the object of quiet pity<br />

have since made him the internet’s<br />

folk hero, or at least its wacky uncle.<br />

Positive or negative, the attention<br />

remains divorced from the actual<br />

person of Nicolas Cage. It has been<br />

since the beginning, for like <strong>No</strong>rma<br />

<strong>No</strong> one understands the double-edged sword of<br />

celebrity better than Nicolas Cage.<br />

Jeane before him Cage changed his<br />

surname from Coppola (yes, he is related<br />

to those Coppolas.) This split is<br />

somewhat explored in his recent film<br />

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive<br />

Talent,” where he plays himself in a<br />

fictional plot. There is an amusing yet<br />

heartbreaking anecdote from the set,<br />

which unlike Chaplin’s was confirmed<br />

by Cage himself.<br />

The director instructed Cage to<br />

“just play himself,” only to call cut<br />

after a few subdued takes from Cage.<br />

The director was confused, and Cage<br />

explained that “himself” was a pretty<br />

quiet guy. It soon became clear that<br />

the director wanted him to act as the<br />

public saw him, not how he actually<br />

was. Cage complied to typically wonderful<br />

effect, but the Cage on screen<br />

was no closer to the real man than<br />

Paul Matthews or Cameron Poe or<br />

Benjamin Franklin Gates before him.<br />

The brand proved more valuable than<br />

the soul.<br />

Like most constructs, celebrity only<br />

has power from the power we willfully<br />

cede to it. Cage didn’t become a<br />

better or worse actor throughout his<br />

career, the audience’s attitude simply<br />

evolved.<br />

Paul sows his own downfall by investing<br />

his self-worth in his newfound<br />

notoriety; it’s his own fault when it<br />

fluctuates like bitcoin.<br />

The only consistency with humanity<br />

is that we are a fickle lot, and heaven<br />

help you if we are allowed to dictate<br />

who you are and whether you matter.<br />

I always empathized with the man<br />

who built his house on sand instead of<br />

rock: beachfront property is wonderful,<br />

at least until it suddenly isn’t.<br />

Joseph Joyce is a screenwriter and freelance<br />

critic based in Sherman Oaks.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 29



A love letter to LA’s La Virgen<br />

Photograph of “Virgen de Guadalupe Mural in Mariachi<br />

Plaza,” by Nydya Mora, 2020. | COURTESY IMAGE<br />

LA is rich in museums. Here’s one<br />

you may have missed: the Forest<br />

Lawn Museum, billed as “a<br />

small museum at a cemetery featuring<br />

changing exhibits focused on religious<br />

& historical art.”<br />

From Oct. 19 to Feb. 11, 20<strong>24</strong>, you<br />

can check out an exhibit there called<br />

“La Reina de Los Angeles.”<br />

That the Queen of LA would be the<br />

Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of the<br />

Americas and revered throughout the<br />

Mexican community and beyond, is<br />

only fitting.<br />

The exhibit features the work of<br />

Nydya Mora, 34, a native Angelena<br />

and youth librarian with a background<br />

in urban planning who also possesses a<br />

fierce love for her family and her city.<br />

Since 2012, she’s been taking<br />

informal photos of the innumerable incarnations<br />

of the Virgin of Guadalupe<br />

that dot the neighborhoods of LA.<br />

She grew up surrounded by such images.<br />

The living room of her mother’s<br />

home still features a large shrine to the<br />

Virgen de Guadalupe — “It’s bedazzling!”<br />

laughs Mora.<br />

In fact, the whole idea of collecting<br />

images arose from her initial vision<br />

of a kind of coffee-table book that she<br />

hoped would please her mother.<br />

Why is the Virgin of Guadalupe so<br />

universally loved?<br />

“I think she represents many things<br />

for many people. She instills a sense<br />

of hope, especially in immigrant or<br />

historically marginalized communities<br />

where people don’t feel empowered<br />

or emboldened to reach out to official<br />

forms of protection, or who don’t<br />

have the financial means to buy, for<br />

30 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>

Heather King is an award-winning<br />

author, speaker, and workshop leader.<br />

l in Mariachi<br />


example, security cameras: mom-andpop<br />

businesses, tucked-away residential<br />

communities. In that sense, she’s a<br />

beacon of hope and protection.”<br />

“For me, she represents my culture.<br />

She represents cultural and social<br />

pride, my upbringing.”<br />

Thus, she appears on Gomez Appliances<br />

in South Central LA, on Lupita’s<br />

Market on E. Hubbard Street in East<br />

LA, surrounded by a phalanx of guitars<br />

in Mariachi Plaza.<br />

The Freeway Virgin, visible from the<br />

101, adorns a spot on the north wall of<br />

the downtown cathedral. She shows up<br />

in taquerias, carnicerias, tattoo parlors,<br />

food trucks, and chop shops. She takes<br />

up residence on school windows, beside<br />

back doors, behind security fences,<br />

beneath wooden lattices, on walls of<br />

cinderblock, stucco, corrugated tin,<br />

and glazed tile.<br />

Some images are painted in full-on<br />

color, with blue-green, star-speckled<br />

robes. Others are mere suggestions,<br />

a haloed outline in black and white.<br />

Statues are draped with string lights, or<br />

bedecked with votive candles, tinsel,<br />

and garlands. Murals stand lonely sentinel<br />

on an inner-city street corner.<br />

You can see many of the images on<br />

Mora’s Instagram page, Virgens de Los<br />

Angeles, @virgensdela. The account’s<br />

followers number over 13,000. Mora<br />

also provides a Google map of her<br />

Virgin of Guadalupe captures.<br />

She calls herself a documentarian<br />

rather than a photographer.<br />

Most of the images are snapped on<br />

her phone, and the whole DIY, on-therun,<br />

informal, down-home approach<br />

perfectly matches the spirit of the<br />

works themselves.<br />

She considers the project her love<br />

letter to LA.<br />

“It’s always been a very intimate project<br />

for me. It started on my phone. It’s<br />

still my phone. It’s all so happenstance.<br />

‘Oh! There she is!’ ”<br />

These are works of true folk art. Each<br />

homage to La Virgen is a unique<br />

expression. Each is a small urban<br />

memento, witness, treasure. Each is an<br />

emblem, somehow, of exuberant hope.<br />

A few of the images are iconic: Paul<br />

Botello’s “Virgin’s Seed,” for example,<br />

painted in 1991. “That one’s in East<br />

LA. She looks like she’s on fire and<br />

glowing. It’s really impressive.”<br />

But for the most part no one knows<br />

who created the mural or sculpture<br />

or painting. Some are signed with a<br />

phone number that generally culminates<br />

in a dead end: the number’s been<br />

changed or the phone’s been disconnected.<br />

The images are one-of-a-kind and<br />

they’re also ephemeral. They get painted<br />

over, knocked down, washed away,<br />

destroyed.<br />

Always, however, Our Lady resurrects,<br />

popping up in new forms. When Mora<br />

started out, the finds were mostly serendipitous.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w people often send her<br />

tips, so her image searches are a little<br />

more intentional.<br />

“I started actively going out, taking<br />

surface streets instead of freeways. I’ve<br />

been driving up and down LA ever<br />

since I had a car. Sometimes I’ll just<br />

take Rosecrans up from Paramount,<br />

where I grew up and still have family.”<br />

One thing’s for sure. She’s never<br />

going to run out. The images are<br />

everywhere.<br />

Since the Instagram page took off,<br />

lots of Our Lady lovers have reached<br />

out. “People will say, ‘Hey, there’s one<br />

here’ and ‘There’s one at my neighbor’s<br />

house.’ It’s been really phenomenal to<br />

have this supportive community.”<br />

Forest Lawn also reached out through<br />

Instagram: “Hey, are you interested?<br />

We think your content would be perfect<br />

for an exhibit.” Mora was thrilled.<br />

So was her mother.<br />

Her photography is somehow of a<br />

piece with her work as an outreach<br />

librarian for the LA Public Library. “I<br />

go to community events to connect<br />

community members who can’t access<br />

the library for one reason or another.<br />

We help to bring the library services<br />

and resources to them.”<br />

Like the library, the Virgin of Guadalupe<br />

is for everyone. Mora has followers<br />

from all over the world: Brazil,<br />

Japan. Under that blue mantle, Our<br />

Lady harbors all of humanity.<br />

But let’s face it: she has a special heart<br />

for LA.<br />

“La Virgen creates a place for the<br />

culture. And the culture creates a place<br />

for her.”<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 31



Scott Hahn is founder of the<br />

St. Paul Center for Biblical<br />

Theology; stpaulcenter.com.<br />

A new Eve for a new creation<br />

Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to<br />

do with me? My hour has not yet come’ ” (John<br />

“And<br />

2:4).<br />

Sometimes Jesus says something that seems very odd. This<br />

is one of those times.<br />

Why would he talk to his mother that way?<br />

Well, there are many possible reasons. But the main reason,<br />

I believe, is that he wanted to echo other biblical uses of the<br />

title “woman” — one from the past and one from the near<br />

future.<br />

For in just a few years Jesus would again address Mary as<br />

“woman.” When he hung dying on the cross, he called her<br />

“woman” as he gave her as mother to his beloved disciple,<br />

John (John 19:26).<br />

But his use of the word also echoes the first book of the<br />

Bible. There, “woman” is the name Adam gives to Eve<br />

(Genesis 2:23). Jesus, then, is addressing Mary as Eve to<br />

the New Adam — which heightens the significance of the<br />

wedding feast they’re attending, whose historical bride and<br />

groom are never named.<br />

“Woman” redefines not only Mary’s relationship with Jesus,<br />

“Wedding Feast at Cana,” by Michael Damaskinos, 1530-<br />

1593, Cretan. | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS<br />

but also with all believers. When Jesus gave her over to his<br />

“beloved disciple,” in effect he gave her to all his beloved<br />

disciples of all time. Like Eve, whom Genesis (3:20) calls<br />

“mother of all living,” Mary is mother to all who have new<br />

life in baptism.<br />

At Cana, then, the New Eve radically reversed the fatal decision<br />

of the first Eve. It was “woman” who led the old Adam<br />

to his first evil act in the garden. It was “woman” who led the<br />

New Adam to his first public miracle.<br />

The figure of Eve reappears still later in the New Testament,<br />

in the Book of Revelation, which is also attributed to<br />

John. There, in chapter 12, we encounter “a woman clothed<br />

with the sun,” who confronts “the ancient serpent, who is<br />

called the devil.” These images hark back to Genesis, where<br />

Eve faced the demonic serpent in the Garden of Eden, and<br />

where God cursed the serpent, promising to “put enmity”<br />

between him and “the woman … and her seed” (Genesis<br />

3:15). Yet the images of Revelation also evoke the New Eve<br />

— who gave birth to a “male child” (v. 5) who would “rule<br />

all the nations.” That child could only be Jesus; and so the<br />

“woman” in Revelation could only be Jesus’ mother.<br />

In Revelation, however, the New<br />

Eve prevails over evil, unlike her<br />

long-ago “type” in the Garden of<br />

Eden.<br />

Both the old Eve and the New<br />

were created without sin. But only<br />

Mary remained sinless and kept<br />

God’s commands.<br />

The early Church Fathers spoke<br />

with one voice of Mary as the New<br />

Eve. The Church carried on its<br />

reflection on Mary’s sinlessness over<br />

almost two millennia before the<br />

dogma was promulgated.<br />

The medieval poets summed up<br />

the matter neatly by pointing out<br />

that the Angel Gabriel’s “Ave” (the<br />

Latin greeting) reversed the name<br />

of Eva. So also did it reverse the<br />

rebellious inclination Eve left to<br />

her children — and replace it with<br />

the readiness to obey, which Mary<br />

wants to teach us when she says:<br />

“Do whatever he tells you.”<br />

32 • ANGELUS • <strong>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong>


The Life Beyond the Veil of Death. St. Denis Church, 2151<br />

S. Diamond Bar Blvd., Diamond Bar, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. With<br />

Dominic Berardino. Topics include: “What Happens When<br />

We Die?” and “Examining Near Death Experiences.” Cost:<br />

$20/person through <strong>No</strong>v. 20, $25 at the door. To register,<br />

visit events.scrc.org or email spirit@scrc.org or call 818-<br />

771-1361.<br />


Installation Mass: Bishop Slawomir Szkredka. San<br />

Buenaventura Basilica, 211 E. Main St., Ventura , 3 p.m.<br />

Archbishop José H. Gomez will celebrate Szkredka’s Installation<br />

Mass for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.<br />


Virtual Advent “Cinema Divina” Retreat. Fri., Dec. 1 and<br />

Sat., Dec. 2, Zoom, 5 p.m. Participants will use Scripture<br />

and film in the form of “lectio divina” as a way of praying<br />

with movies. “The Miracle Club” and “Thirteen Lives” will<br />

be watched on one’s own, followed by “cinema divina”<br />

sharing via Zoom each day. Zoom link and film guides<br />

will be emailed upon registration. Cost: $25/person. Visit<br />

bemediamindful.org/cinemadivina.<br />


In-Person Advent “Cinema Divina” Retreat. Pauline Books<br />

& Media, 3908 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.<br />

One-day retreat using Scripture and film leads participants<br />

on the journey of hope and new beginnings as we reflect on<br />

“The Miracle Club” and “Thirteen Lives.” Cost: $60/person,<br />

includes breakfast and lunch. Register at bemediamindful.<br />

org/cinemadivina.<br />

Christmas Boutique. St. Timothy Church, 10425 W. Pico<br />

Blvd., Los Angeles, 2-6 p.m., Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Hosted<br />

by St. Timothy’s Women Club.<br />

“Best Birthday Party Ever.” Pauline Books & Media, 3908<br />

Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 1-3 p.m. Children are invited<br />

to play games, blow out candles on Jesus’ birthday cake,<br />

photos with St. Nicholas, stories, and more. Free event. Call<br />

310-397-8678 or email culvercity@paulinemedia.com.<br />


92nd Annual Procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady<br />

of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Solitude Church, 4561 E. Cesar<br />

Chavez, Los Angeles, 10:30 a.m. procession begins. 1 p.m.<br />

Mass at East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave.,<br />

Monterey Park, presided by Archbishop José H. Gomez.<br />

For more information, visit lacatholics.org/guadalupe.<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 />

Loyola High School Open House. Loyola High School,<br />

1901 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, 1-4 p.m. Open to all 6th-<br />

8th-grade boys and their families. Visit loyolahs.schooladminonline.com/portal/new_inquiry.<br />

St. Agatha Annual Christmas Craft Fair. St. Agatha<br />

Church, 2646 S. Mansfield Ave., Los Angeles, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.<br />

Holiday raffle, handcrafted gifts, and bake sale. Proceeds go<br />

to S.H.A.R.E. Christmas Day dinner and Saturday distribution<br />

programs. Call Margie Nickleberry at 323-935-8127<br />

for more information.<br />

“Anima Mundi/Soul of the World” Outdoor Multimedia<br />

Show. LMU Sacred Heart Chapel, 1 LMU Dr., Los Angeles,<br />

7 p.m. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the merger of<br />

Loyola University and Marymount College, this animated<br />

display set to live music is free and open to the public. Runs<br />

Dec. 3-5. For more information, visit mission.lmu.edu/acti/.<br />


Las Rosas Gala. Sherwood Country Club, 320 W. Stafford<br />

Rd., Thousand Oaks. Catholic Charities of Ventura County<br />

will honor Father Thomas Elewaut. For more information,<br />

contact Juliue Cariani at 805-643-4694, ext. 308, or email<br />

jcariani@ccharities.org.<br />


Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience. Our Lady of<br />

Refuge Church, 5195 E. Stearns St., Long Beach, 4-6 p.m.<br />

The next best thing to visiting Lourdes itself is a pilgrimage<br />

journey without the travel! Free event, donations welcomed.<br />

Call 562-498-6641.<br />


Catholic Maker Advent Market. St. Francis de Sales<br />

Church, 13360 Valleyheart Dr., Sherman Oaks, 9 a.m.-8<br />

p.m. Market features Catholic artisan and author booths,<br />

live music, speakers on faith and liturgical living, seasonal<br />

and festive food vendors, activities for kids, Meet a Saint<br />

story hour, film screening and Q&A. For more information,<br />

email info@catholicmaker.com.<br />

Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pauline Books &<br />

Media, 3908 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, 1-3 p.m. Families<br />

are invited for prayers, songs, food, crafts, and more. Free<br />

event. Call 310-397-8678 or email culvercity@paulinemedia.com.<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 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 />


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 />

<strong>December</strong>. Wear your ministry uniform and bring a flag or<br />

banner.<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 />


Simbang Gabi Celebration. Cathedral of Our Lady of<br />

the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, 6:30 p.m.<br />

Celebrant: Archbishop José H. Gomez. Parade of Parols<br />

will precede the liturgy to kick off Simbang Gabi. For a full<br />

schedule of Simbang Gabi Masses, visit angelusnews.com.<br />


Advent Vespers and Harp Concert. Holy Spirit Retreat<br />

Center, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino, 7 p.m. For more information,<br />

visit hsrcenter.com or call 818-815-4480.<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>December</strong> 1, <strong>2023</strong> • ANGELUS • 33

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