FAITHFUL UNITE IN PRAYER AND PILGRIMAGE TO PREPARE FOR MASS IN RECOGNITION OF ALL IMMIGRANTS
SoCal Faithful to Participate in Nine Days of Prayer, 50-Mile Walking Pilgrimage in
Spiritual Preparation Leading to Mass on June 18
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 José H. Gomez on Sunday, June 18 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 9, focusing on immigrants, refugees and human trafficking victims. Faithful are also encouraged to show support by sharing their immigration stories on social media using the hashtag #PrayForImmigrants. There will also be a #PrayForImmigrants Facebook profile photo frame available beginning on the first day of the Novena. (Click here for Novena prayers and resources)
“These times we are living in call for prayer and thoughtful action. Prayer always comes first —and what we do must always flow from prayer,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Every year, this Mass is a beautiful reflection of the immigrant spirit that gives America its identity and gives such energy and creativity to our economy and culture. This year it will be even more emotional as we pray for end to the fear in our communities and for action to reform our broken immigration system and show mercy to those who are undocumented, especially our children and their families.”
On Friday, June 16, a group from Orange County will begin a three-day, 50-mile walking pilgrimage, for the fourth consecutive year, 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 18 just a couple of hours before the Mass.
The bilingual celebration on June 18 will begin at 2:45 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 as well. During Mass, an immigrant family, DACA students, Syrian refugees and Haitian refugees, from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and dioceses Orange and San Bernardino will read the prayers of the faithful.
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.
In honor of Pope Francis’ faithful leadership on immigration, the “Cross of the Encuentros” will be present at the Mass. The “Cross of the Encuentros” was blessed by the Holy Father during his visit to Philadelphia in 2015, which symbolizes the faith journey of Hispanic/Latino Catholics in the U.S. in the past 50 years.
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 8.