THOUSANDS JOINED ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ FOR SPECIAL MASS IN SOLIDARITY WITH ALL IMMIGRANTS
–Archbishop Gomez urged community of faith to support USA Act, a common sense, compassionate and bipartisan compromise to immigration–
Thousands of faithful from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the Dioceses of Orange and San Bernardino, joined Archbishop José H. Gomez to show solidarity and pray and celebrate all immigrants at the annual Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants today at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.
“We all know that beautiful Latin expression, e pluribus unum. “Out of many” races, languages, traditions and beliefs—we form one nation, one family. All of us children of God. This is the dream, the vision we are celebrating today,” said Archbishop Gomez during the homily (full homily is attached).
The Mass is a culmination of a novena, nine days of prayer and reflection, at parishes throughout the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and a three-day, 60-mile walking pilgrimage by a group of faithful from Orange County to the Cathedral for all those impacted by the broken immigration system.
“We have thousands of children in facilities that are hundreds of miles away from their parents. Our government says it will take months — months — before these little ones are reunited with their mothers and fathers,” continued the Archbishop. “We need to pray today for those little ones and their parents. And especially we need to pray for our politicians and for all citizens of good will.”
Archbishop Gomez urged faithful during his homily to tell leaders in Washington D.C. that the time to act is now.
“There is compromise legislation in Congress that the Catholic Church supports. It is called ‘the USA Act.’ This bill has broad bipartisan support. It would permanently protect the Dreamers from deportation and provide them a path to become citizens. It would also strengthen security along our nation’s borders,” said Archbishop Gomez. “We need to insist that our leaders in the House of Representatives allow a debate on this bill.”
A pre-gathering procession included representatives from parishes throughout Southern California, included the pilgrims and people impacted by the broken immigration system, as well as refugees and expatriates from different nationalities.
Local immigrants shared testimonies before the Mass. Adán, an unaccompanied minor from El Salvador, shared 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, shared her account of living with cerebral palsy and working on her Master’s degree while her fate in the U.S. remains unclear.
Adán said that he often thinks about other migrant children who have been separated from their parents. “A few days ago, I prayed to God to bless all the kids that are not with their parents,” he said.
The community of faith gathered at the Cathedral this afternoon prayed for all migrants and refugees around the world, civil and ecclesiastical leaders, and for families separated by international boarders in various languages including Vietnamese, Tagalog and Spanish.
At the end of Mass, Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell for the San Gabriel Region of the Archdiocese asked all people of faith at the Mass and those tuning in via livestream to call their local representative on July 10 and ask them to support a bipartisan bill like the USA Act or make it a priority to work on a piece of legislation that will be a fair and just compromise for immigrants.
Following the Mass, faithful venerated the relics of St. Junípero Serra, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and St. Toribio Romo. These saints are of great significance to the Catholic immigrant community in the U.S. from its founding to present day. Those attending the Mass also wrote prayer requests for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe that they left in the Shrine of the Relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Cathedral. Archbishop Gomez will present the prayers at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe during a Mass for the second yearly Archdiocesan Pilgrimage with Archbishop Gomez to the Basilica in Mexico City on July 7.
The community of faith across the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are also showing their support by sharing immigration stories on social media using the hashtag #PrayForImmigrants.
NOTE: PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AVAILABLE BY REQUEST.
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