AS FATE OF “DREAMERS” HANGS IN THE BALANCE, ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ ONCE AGAIN CALLS FOR BIPARTISAN COMPROMISE; CATHOLIC FAITHFUL UNITE IN PRAYER AND PILGRIMAGE IN PREPARATION FOR MASS IN RECOGNITION OF ALL IMMIGRANTS
On the heels of a decision by House of Representative leaders to not permit a debate on the USA Act, Archbishop José H. Gomez once again called on lawmakers to pass compromise legislation to protect “Dreamers.” (The full text of the statement is attached.)
“We are closer to a bipartisan compromise than we have been in many years,” said Archbishop Gomez. “It is time for Congress to finish this work. It would be unconscionable to allow another year to pass without finding a compassionate solution for these young people who did nothing wrong and want only to make their own contribution to the American dream.”
The decision comes as thousands of faithful, including those from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of San Bernardino and Orange, are preparing to unite in prayer to celebrate the immigrant spirit of the U.S. at the Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants presided by Archbishop Gomez on Sunday, June 24 at 3:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.
For nine days leading up to the Mass, parishes throughout the tri-county (Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles) Archdiocese will partake in a novena, nine days of prayer and reflection, starting on Friday, June 15, focusing on immigrants, refugees and human trafficking victims. The novena aims to unite Catholics in spiritual preparation for the Mass and during uncertain times for the immigrant community with a lack of compromise legislation for DACA youth.
On Thursday, June 21, a group from Orange County will begin a four-day, 60-mile walking pilgrimage, for the fifth consecutive year, from San Juan Capistrano to the Mass to pray for all those impacted by the broken immigration system. The pilgrimage called “Siempre Adelante” (Always Forward) in honor of St. Junípero Serra, as it follows part of the same route he traveled with fellow missionaries to found the first nine missions in California. The group will arrive at the Cathedral on Sunday, June 24 just a couple of hours before the Mass.
The bilingual celebration on June 24 will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a pre-gathering procession inside the Cathedral, including representatives from parishes throughout Southern California, people impacted by the broken immigration system, as well as refugees and expatriates from different nationalities.
Local immigrants will share testimonies before Mass. Adam, an unaccompanied minor from El Salvador, will share his story of how he reunited with his mother in Los Angeles after three attempts to seek asylum in the U.S. UCLA graduate and DACA recipient, Paulina Ruiz, will share her account of living with cerebral palsy and working on her Master’s degree while her fate in the U.S. remains unclear.
St. Junípero Serra, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Toribio Romo are of great significance to the Catholic immigrant community in the U.S. from its founding to present day. Relics of the saints will be on display during the Mass and available for public veneration following the Mass.
Faithful have also been invited to write prayer requests for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe that they may leave in the Shrine of the Relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Cathedral at the end of the Mass. Archbishop Gomez will present the prayers at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe during a Mass for the first Archdiocesan Pilgrimage with Archbishop Gomez to the Basilica in Mexico City on July 7.