October 23, 2023  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

—Media are invited to Catholic Schools Catechetical Day Oct. 25 and altar building Oct. 27 at Calvary Mausoleum in East L.A. in preparation for the annual family celebrations—


Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will host this year three Día de Los Muertos celebrations, the first one at Calvary Cemetery & Mortuary in East Los Angeles on Saturday, October 28, and at San Fernando Mission Cemetery & Mission Hills Mortuary in Mission Hills and Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard, both on Saturday, November 4. The celebrations will be preceded by a Catechetical Day at Calvary Cemetery where nearly 200 students from nine Catholic schools will learn about the significance of Día de los Muertos, a celebration of All Souls Day, and participate in altar building, sugar skull and photo frame decoration, making tissue flowers and face painting.


“We are thrilled to announce that we will be organizing three events this year to celebrate Día de los Muertos, a day that holds immense significance in our community, both culturally and spiritually,” said Brian McMahon, director of Community Outreach of Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries. “It is a time when we come together to pay our respects to our loved ones who have passed away. The festivities bring together a unique combination of cultural traditions, art, and prayer, creating a space for reflection, connection, and healing.


“We are proud to be working in collaboration with local artists, community organizations, and religious leaders to make these celebrations truly meaningful and inclusive. By commemorating Día de los Muertos we aim to promote unity and understanding among different communities while raising awareness of this day’s beauty and significance. We cordially invite you to join us in honoring our ancestors, connecting with other attendees, and embracing the rich cultural heritage that has shaped our communities,” said Mr. McMahon.


This will be the 10th consecutive year that the Día de los Muertos is held at Calvary Cemetery, the 6th anniversary of the celebration at Santa Clara, and the second year it is held at San Fernando Mission Cemetery. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. at all the locations, where the celebrations will offer a unique opportunity for families to enjoy a Catholic tradition that unites faith, prayer and cultural heritage to honor the faithful departed.


The celebration on October 28 at Calvary Cemetery in East L.A. (4201 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90023) will officially begin at noon with a Mass presided by Msgr. John Moretta, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Boyle Heights, followed by a procession and blessing of altars. The event will include a wide choice of food and vendors, traditional altars in honor of the departed, art exhibits, folkloric dancers, live music and activities for children. Patrons and the public are encouraged to contribute to a community altar with a picture of a deceased loved one.


The November 4 celebration at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills (11160 Stranwood Ave., Mission Hills, CA 91345) will feature an altar built by Bishop Alemany High School students dedicated to student athletes who have died this year on the field or court. The community, especially in San Fernando Valley, is welcomed to contribute with altars dedicated to their deceased loved ones. Holy Mass will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Albert Bahhuth at 6:00 p.m.


The celebration at Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard (2370 North H St. 93036) on November 4 will begin at noon with a Mass presided by Fr. Celso Marquez, M.Sp.M., from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Oxnard, which will feature the pilgrim images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego. The Mass will be followed by a procession and blessing of altars.


All the celebrations are free, open to the public, and fun for the entire family. They will also include blessing of the altars in honor of the departed, built with a special message by different parish groups and ministries, and the cemeteries’ patrons. Each of the three cemeteries will include a large-scale altar built by each staff to celebrate the life of their patrons, deceased personnel and members of their communities in East L.A., San Fernando Valley and Ventura County.


Food samples and refreshments will be provided by Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries. Event sponsors include, Vallarta Supermarkets, Clark & Green Associates, Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Office of Religious Education, Parishioners Federal Credit Union, Forneris Farms, and Batesville.


A special All Souls Day Mass presided by Archbishop José H. Gomez will be held in-person on Wednesday, November 2, at Queen of Heaven Cemetery and Mortuary in Rowland Heights (2161 Fullerton Rd., Rowland Heights, CA 91748). The liturgy will be livestreamed on catholiccm.org/diadelosmuertos. Doors open at 9 a.m. A presentation about the meaning and significance of the celebration according to our Catholic faith will begin at 10 a.m. In-person Masses will take place at all 11 Archdiocesan Catholic cemeteries on this day.


For more information, visit catholiccm.org/diadelosmuertos, or call toll free at (844) 286-6041.