Last Sunday November 8, I was awakened around 11.15pm by Marlen Benitez, one of our janitorial staff, telling me that there was a fire behind the school. I rushed to the school, and I was informed that it was one of the houses of our neighbors. Last year, while negotiating with another neighbor adjacent to this house about taking down 5 Eucalyptus trees in his backyard that were hovering over our school, the then occupant of the burnt house was a parishioner who was very helpful. I don’t know who lives there, but I do intend to reach out and see how we can support the family. God is good. If the Eucalyptus trees were still there, probably the whole school would have burnt down with the neighborhood. The church shared the expenses of the tree removal with the school at that time.
The staff has been creatively planning for some of our important future celebrations. We will hold a ‘Thanksgiving Day’ mass under the tent at 9.00 am and another at St. Stephen at 9.30 am. We priests have decided to stay home and celebrate the day by ourselves. This year, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe will take place on Saturday, December 12. Since, we have a Spanish community with us during this pandemic, we will celebrate the 5pm Mass with Mariachis and a bilingual mass. That will be followed by some Spanish music on the lawn. Feel free to bring drinks (tequila, Margaritas, wine etc.) and snacks and enjoy some good Mariachi music. Plans are afoot about Christmas. If you have ideas to share please do email it to me or to the staff.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement on the 2020 presidential election:
“We thank God for the blessings of liberty. The American people have spoken in this election. Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a spirit of national unity and to commit themselves to dialogue and compromise for the common good.
As Catholics and Americans, our priorities and mission are clear. We are here to follow Jesus Christ, to bear witness to His love in our lives, and to build His Kingdom on earth. I believe that at this moment in American history, Catholics have a special duty to be peacemakers, to promote fraternity and mutual trust, and to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in our country.
Democracy requires that all of us conduct ourselves as people of virtue and self-discipline. It requires that we respect the free expression of opinions and that we treat one another with charity and civility, even as we might disagree deeply in our debates on matters of law and public policy.
As we do this, we recognize that Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has received enough votes to be elected the 46th President of the United States. We congratulate Mr. Biden and acknowledge that he joins the late President John F. Kennedy as the second United States president to profess the Catholic faith. We also congratulate Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, who becomes the first woman ever elected as vice president.
We ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of this great nation, to intercede for us. May she help us to work together to fulfill the beautiful vision of America’s missionaries and founders — one nation under God, where the sanctity of every human life is defended and freedom of conscience and religion are guaranteed.”
Note: This year, we won't be hosting Winter Nights in our facilities as we are still under lockdown. We will, however, work with our neighbors, Church of the Resurrection who will host them for an entire month beginning Dec. 28th. We will assist them for 15 days with food and drinks, and certain activities by offering our outdoors. We have offered Winter Nights $5,000 to offset some of their expenses as we are not able to house them. We are in communications with the Pastor of Church of the Resurrection and the director of Winter Nights as to how best we can minister. Our staff will reach out to you for your donations in this regard.