October 17, 2022  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

—Media are invited to the altar building by East LA’s Our Lady Guadalupe School students Oct. 27 and to the Oct. 28 preparations for the annual family celebration at Calvary Mausoleum Oct. 29—

Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries will resume this year in-person Día de Los Muertos celebrations at Calvary Cemetery & Mortuary in East L.A. on Saturday, October 29, and for the first time will host a Vigil Prayer Service at San Fernando Mission Cemetery & Mission Hills Mortuary in Mission Hills on Tuesday, November 1, All Saints Day. The celebration will also be returning in-person at Santa Clara Cemetery & Mortuary in Oxnard on Saturday, November 5, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The three events will be preceded by a media Día de los Muertos preview at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in East L.A., 4018 Hammel St. 90063, where students will be preparing for their school’s participation at Calvary’s annual event.

“After a two-year absence, we are happy to be able to provide our Día de los Muertos celebrations for our Patrons, their families, and the local community,” said Brian McMahon, director of community outreach for Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries. “Understanding the importance of All Souls Day and Día de los Muertos to the Catholic faithful, we wanted to resume our in-person observances as soon as it was safe. Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles and Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard will continue their annual tradition with in-person events this year. In addition, we are happy to report many families have expressed interest in building altars to honor and remember loved ones.

“This year we are excited to bring our Día de los Muertos Vigil Service to San Fernando Mission Cemetery & Mission Hills Catholic Mortuary in Mission Hills. We have invited the public to join us for this beautiful outdoor evening service, which will also be livestreamed. The event in San Fernando will now become an annual tradition.”

This will be the 9th consecutive year that the Día de los Muertos is held at Calvary Cemetery. Due to the pandemic, the family day event, a vibrant faith-based tradition when the life of the deceased is honored and celebrated through songs, prayer and ofrendas (altars), was replaced the last two years by a virtual Vigil Prayer Service. This will be the 5th anniversary of the celebration at Santa Clara.

This year’s 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 29 at Calvary in East L.A. (4201 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90023) will begin at noon with a Mass presided by Msgr. John Moretta, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Boyle Heights.

The celebration on November 5 at Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard. (2370 North H St. 93036) will begin at noon with a Mass presided by Fr. Leon Hutton, Episcopal Vicar for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region. Both events will include a procession plus children’s crafts, snacks and entertainment, including a special performance by Ballet Folklorico Ollin and the award-winning all-female mariachi ensemble Las ColibríSacred art specialist Lalo Garcia and a group of artists from Southern California will exhibit their art pieces. The pilgrim images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego will be present at the celebration at Santa Clara Cemetery.

San Fernando Mission Cemetery & Mission Hills Catholic Mortuary in Mission Hills (11160 Stranwood Ave., Mission Hills, CA 91345) will open its doors at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 1, All Saints Day. Festivities will begin with a welcome at 6:45 p.m. followed by a 7:00 p.m. Prayer Vigil Service presided by Bishop Marc Trudeau, Auxiliary Bishop for the San Pedro Pastoral Region. The service will include traditional altars in honor of the departed, one especially built by 8th graders of North Hollywood’s St. Charles Borromeo School to honor the students and teachers killed in the Uvalde massacre. The evening celebration will also feature large-scale projections, and a special performance by Mariachi Charros de Oro de Adrian Cruz, by the Aztec dancers group Azteca Águilas del Tepeyac, and the Ballet Folklorico OllinDia de Los Muertos art will also be on display.

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. This year, both Calvary Cemetery and Santa Clara Cemetery staff will include a large-scale altar to celebrate the life of their patrons, deceased personnel and members of their communities in East L.A. and Ventura County, respectively.

Free food samples and refreshments will be provided by Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries. Event sponsors include, Vallarta SupermarketsClark & Green AssociatesArchdiocese of Los Angeles’ Office of Religious Education and Parishioners Federal Credit Union.

The preview event at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School will be co-presented with the Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries on Thursday, October 27, at 11 a.m. Third and fourth grade students will learn about the meaning and significance of Día de los Muertos as a celebration that commemorates the Feast of All Souls in the Catholic Church. They will learn to paint sugar skulls in the classroom, as well as picture frames and craft paper flowers, and will build a school Día de los Muertos altar with mementos of loved ones. Seventh and eighth graders will decorate a banner with La Catrina and her husband El Catrin, the emblem of the Day of the Dead. Wearing vivid makeup and dressed in elegant and colorful attires, the skeleton couple suggest celebration. The banner will be featured at Calvary Cemetery on October 29.

A special All Souls Day Mass presided by Archbishop José H. Gomez will be held in-person on Wednesday, November 2, at All Souls Cemetery, 4400 Cherry Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807. 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 toll free at (844) 286-6041.


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