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Our Lady of Lourdes


News from Cristo Rey Parish, Los Angeles, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Sunday, 30 August 2015 23:04


THE ANNUAL APPEAL of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for 2015 developed the theme of “Be Imitators of Me,” from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Fathers Michael Stechmann, OAR, and Juan Jose Guzman, OAR, attended an orientation session in mid-January to keep informed as to the scope of the appeal as well as specific changes for recording of donations that were initiated this year. The Annual Appeal, “Together in Mission,” provides for necessary funds for parishes and schools within the Archdiocese. The Announcement Weekend came early in February at all of the Masses to encourage participation, and Commitment Weekend was held February 14/15 with the “in-pew process” at all of the Masses. Thanks to the generosity of Cristo Rey parishioners, we were able to reach our goal on the first weekend because of direct mail solicitation from donors in previous years and new pledges gathered at each Mass. By the following weekend, we were able to exceed our goal in pledges and in payments with congratulatory letters received from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

RELIGIOUS JUBILIARIANS were invited to attend a special liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on January 25, 2015. Father Michael Stechmann received an invitation as he had celebrated 40 years of religious profession. At the end of the Mass, jubilarians were acknowledged in groups and there was special recognition for the Augustinian Recollects who have served Cristo Rey Church continuously for these past 75 years.

Archbishop José Gomez and Father Michael Stechmann, OAR, at the reception following the Mass for religious jubilarians.

Father Michael Stechmann, OAR, and Father Frank Wilder, OAR, were invited to stand as the Augustinian Recollects were acknowledged for their years of service in the Archdiocese.

AN ORGAN CONCERT was held in the church on Sunday, February 15, with a guest organist and vocalist presenting familiar and classical hymns in honor of Mary. This was one of the activities for the parishioners that had been planned in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the parish. Prior to this, one of the parishioners made a generous donation to repair pipes and for necessary restoration of the organ. During the process of repair, we learned from the serial number that the organ was originally built for St. Alphonsus Church in Los Angeles in 1940; however, information as to the date and installation in our church is not recorded. Immediately following the concert, the Guadalupanas and representatives of other parish groups hosted a joint birthday celebration in the parish hall for Father Michael Stechmann and Father Juan Jose Guzman. The parishioners were pleased to meet Father Juan Jose’s parents who had arrived from Mexico for a visit.

A LENTEN MISSION, directed by Brother Mauricio Torres of the lay movement "Totus Tuus" was held in the parish on the evenings of March 3-5. There was a good response from the parishioners; this activity coincided with the parish anniversary. Attendance at the mission grew, and the final evening included the Consecration of homes to the Sacred Heart.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 15:25
Diaconate Ordination of Frater Jorge Valdivia, OAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 20:58

The ornate Gothic vaults of Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica in Newark, New Jersey, echoed to the Easter hymn “Alleluia! Let the Holy Anthem Rise” at a noon Mass on May 17, 2015, as Fra. George Valdivia and ten other men received the Order of Deacon from Archbishop John Joseph Myers. Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary and a great many priests concelebrated, including Fr. Joseph Gallardo, OAR, Prior Provincial of St. Augustine Province, who also vested Fra. Valdivia, as well as Frs. Fredric Abiera, OAR, Michael Rafferty, OAR, John Gruben, OAR and John Oldfield, OAR. The Cathedral was filled with family members, friends of the deacon candidates, seminarians and members of various religious congregations. Several of our SAR members from the Tagaste Monastery fraternity and a good contingent from the Hispanic Community of Tagaste were also present, as were several members of Fra. Valdivia’s family, including a brother and nephew. After the opening procession and the welcome, the readings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese followed. The Archbishop then called on the candidates to make a commitment to celibacy and a promise of respect and obedience to the bishop. Following the solemn singing of the Litany of the Saints, the Archbishop laid his hands on the head of each of the candidates and then prayed the Prayer of Ordination. After the vesting of the new deacons, the Archbishop handed each the Book of Gospels with the traditional words: “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” Some of the current deacons then embraced the newly ordained, and the assembly signified its approval with an animated round of applause. All of the new deacons helped with the distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful. Following the recessional, there was time for greetings and picture taking. Deacon Valdivia then had an opportunity to spend some time with his family, and Fr. Provincial invited the community to a very satisfying lunch. Our congratulations to our new Deacon who will be spending the summer exercising his ministry in a parish of the Archdiocese before returning to the seminary in the fall for his final year of theological studies.

- Father John Gruben, OAR

Archbishop Bernard Hebda (c) joins Recollects (l to r) Frs. Michael Rafferty, and Fredric Abiera, Deacon George Valdivia, and Frs. Joseph Gallardo (Prior Provincial), and John Oldfield.

Fr. Joseph Gallardo vests Deacon George Valdivia with stole and dalmatic of his new ministry.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica in Newark, New Jersey




Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 May 2015 21:15
News from Saint Benedict Parish, Montebello, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 02 March 2015 14:33

Gathering with Archbishop Gomez

Frs. Francisco Sandoval, OAR, and Euben Capacillo, OAR, attended the annual priests' gathering with Archbishop Jose Gomez at Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles, California, on October 6th. Hundreds of priests from the Archdiocese gathered with their bishop for a day of fellowship and unity.

Fr. Jorge Alberto Nino Gomez, OAR, arrives in St Benedict

On October 10th, Fr. Jorge Alberto Niño Gomez, OAR, arrived in St. Benedict Parish from our sister province of Candelaria to help with ministries here. Fr. Jorge was happily welcomed by community and parish alike to begin immediately the many duties our life as religious and pastors of God’s people. He was immediately sent to night school for adult English classes and a tutor was found for him who continues to help him in the afternoons. We welcome Father Jorge Alberto and hope that his time with us will be fruitful and joyous.

Tardeada in the Hall

On October 11th, the “nececidad comite” prepared for Día de la Hispanidad with a dinner dance on Saturday where parishioners were able to mingle and to celebrate the different cultures present at St. Benedict's. The proceeds of the dinner dance went to help with our church renovation project.

Tardeada in the Parish Hall for the Día de la Hispanidad

Dia de la Hispanidad

At 12:30 pm on October 12th, a solemn bilingual Mass marked the parish celebration of Día de la Hispanidad. It began with a procession of flags representing the different Hispanic groups present in this country. There were readings in English, Spanish and Italian with music in English, Spanish and Tagalog. It was a great occasion for the different parish cultures to get together as one and celebrate the one thing that makes us all one, our faith in the One and True God.

Cena Encuentro Matrimonial Cristiano

On the evening of October 16, Frs. Francisco Sandoval, OAR, and Jorge Alberto Niño Gomez, OAR, were invited by the Encuentro Matrimonial Cristiano of St. Benedict to a dinner in honor of priests celebrating World Day for Priests at the Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia. They were welcomed at the entrance in the dark with a flashlight and taken to a very elaborately decorated room where they were given a gift and seated at a table. Dinner was served immediately and all present were delighted with a play prepared by the Encuentro Matrimonial couples.

School Halloween Party

Fr. Francisco joined the school festivities on October 31st as they celebrated Halloween on the school patio. Children were given prizes for the best costume and the most original in each grade. Fr. Francisco bestowed the awards although he himself, dressed as a scary clown, did not compete.

Halloween Party in the School Patio with Fr. Francisco dressed as a clown.

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 15:05
News from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Santa Ana, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 23 February 2015 21:28

Feast of Our Patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe

As is the practice in this parish, to prepare for the Feast of Our Patroness, we held a novena in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe during the Evening Masses.

On December 11, after the 7:00 pm Mass, Fr. Marlon Beof, OAR, led everyone to the parking area for the coronation of the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe after which he pronounced the Parish Fiesta officially open. For the next twenty-four hours, thousands of parishioners and guests from all walks of life came for the flower offerings and mañanitas serenading Our Lady, participation at Eucharistic celebrations and to enjoy the different booths offering food and religious articles.

At the parking area, Fr. Marlon, Deacon Miguel and Altar servers after the crowning of the Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Eve of her Feast.

On the Day of the Feast of Our Lady at 4:30 am, Bishop Kevin Vann presided over a concelebrated Mass with Fathers Marlon, Alfredo de Dios, OAR, and Jose Antonio Arias, OAR. Deacons Domingo Garza and Miguel Gonzalez assisted at the Mass.

Bishop Kevin Vann accompanied by Frs. Marlon, Alfredo, and Jose Antonio and Deacons Domingo Garza and Miguel Gonzalez after the Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


After Mass, Bishop Kevin Vann blessed our new community chapel located in the Rectory.


The highlight of the Advent Season was the nine day Christmas Posada before each 7:00 pm Mass. Posadas are an important part of Mexican Christmas celebrations. The word posada means "inn" or "shelter" in Spanish, and this tradition re-enacts Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Posadas are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas from December 16 to 24th.

To the delight of children and their parents this year, we also had Posadas with the CCD students during their respective days of CCD classes.

On December 24, Fr. Marlon presided at the 5:00 pm children’s Christmas Eve Mass; this was the second time we held it in our parish. The children's choir helped to enrich the celebration.

At 11:00 pm, Fr. Jose Antonio Arias presided over the Noche Buena Mass with Frs. Marlon and Alfredo concelebrating.

On December 31 at 9:00 pm, Fr. Alfredo de Dios presided over the Noche Vieja Mass with Frs. Marlon and Jose Antonio concelebrating. The Mass was followed by a Holy Hour led by Fr. Marlon to thank the Lord for the blessings for the end of 2014 and asking God’s blessing for everyone and every family in the parish for the New Year.

--Father Marlon Beof, OAR


Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 21:40
News from Cristo Rey Parish, Los Angeles, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Tuesday, 10 February 2015 22:14


THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY of the foundation of Cristo Rey Church was a highlight of this year’s activities. The Augustinian Recollects have enjoyed a long and wonderful history here and it was through the vision of our community that permission was given for Fr. Jesus Domench, O.A.R. to begin ministering to the Hispanic Catholics in the Atwater Village section of Los Angeles. The small community joined with the Glendale Fiesta Association to raise funds to purchase land for a church. The first meeting in 1939 was held on the Feast of Christ the King and the enthusiastic members of the local community hoped that if their fund-raising activities would be fruitful that they would eventually be able to construct a church and desired that it be called "Cristo Rey," a title which is so dear to the Hispanic community.

Masses were celebrated outdoors and in various locations for several years before construction began on the church. It was a joyous occasion when Archbishop John J. Cantwell dedicated the new church on March 12, 1944. The beautiful statue of Christ the King in the sanctuary is a replica of the image in the Recollect church of the Sacred Heart in Manizales, Colombia. The numerous and beautiful statues that adorn the church are an inspiration to the people and a fascination for visitors. A recent issue of the Atwater Village Residents Association described the mission style architecture of the church and the unique interior as well worth a visit.

Several of the Augustinian Recollects with Archbishop José Gomez and Bishop Gerard Wilkerson prior to the anniversary Mass.

Archbishop Jose Gomez was the principal celebrant of the 75th anniversary Mass on Sunday, November 23, the Feast of Christ the King. He was joined by Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson and members of our Province who were able to attend.

During the initial planning, Fr. Michael Stechmann, O.A.R. pastor, had invited the Archbishop to participate in the street procession following the Mass. The presence of so many parishioners, led by the young members of a “banda” created an enthusiasm throughout the neighborhood that is still very much a part of conversations. Archbishop Gomez enjoyed the enthusiasm of the day and remained afterwards for over an hour being photographed with parishioners. The festivities continued with a festival and food booths sponsored by various groups and parish families.

The anniversary celebration was included in the religious and secular press and photographs posted on the Facebook page of Archbishop Gomez were viewed by more than 41,000 persons. Certificates were received from the California State Legislature and the City of Los Angeles and are displayed in the church entrance.

The distribution of a brief parish history and commemorative holy cards was welcomed by the parishioners. A good number of former residents of Atwater Village returned for the celebration and it was a delight to welcome back those who called Cristo Rey their “home” during these 75 years.

The Presentation of the Gifts during the liturgy. (Overflow crowds viewed the Mass in the parish hall via a video feed.)


FR. JUAN JOSE GUZMAN and members of the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano took advantage of the feast of All Saints and All Souls to prepare altars for a “Dia de los Muertos” celebration in the parish hall. Parishioners brought photographs to place on the designated altars and following each Mass there was a procession to the parish hall and prayers for our beloved deceased. The parishioners were delighted to share in this tradition and are looking forward to it next year.

A MARATHON OF NOVENAS began in November in preparation for the Feast of Christ the King and this was followed by the novenas in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Las Posadas. All of the novenas were extremely well attended and met with an enthusiastic response.

LAS GUADALUPANAS continue to be a very active group in the parish with their regular meetings, Sunday breakfasts and cleaning of the church. Prior to the anniversary celebration, they purchased a new rug for the sanctuary area and made a generous gift to the Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the parish. In addition, they provided the mariachi for the Mañanitas on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as entertainment and plentiful refreshments in the parish hall after the Mass.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 22:52
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