ELECTRICAL WORK in the church to meet code requirements and out of safety concerns was completed in mid-January and daily Masses held in the parish hall during this week. The parishioners were informed that the funds for this work were the result of their generosity from the mini-festival in November for the Feast of Christ the King. They appreciated being informed of the scope of the project and many recalled their family members being involved in various aspects of the construction of the church. March 12 was the 70th anniversary of the dedication of the church and this date was marked with prayers for the living and deceased members of the parish.
THE ANNUAL APPEAL of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles began in mid-February and by the second week the parish had met the assigned goal for this year.
AN ENTHUSIASTIC GROUP of 40 teenagers in the Second Year Confirmation program, accompanied by the catechists and group leaders, participated in a weekend retreat from March 7 – 9 at Camp Hollywoodland located in Griffith Park.
THE COMBINED CELEBRATION of the 70th anniversary of the dedication of the church and the upcoming 75th anniversary of our establishment as a parish included the painting of the interior of the church during the week of March 17th. Following the Sunday evening Mass, an enthusiastic group of parishioners helped to remove all of the statues to the classroom area so that the work could begin the following morning and several members of the Guadalupanas arrived during the week to give a much-needed cleaning to each of the images. Even though a good amount of time was spent in making repairs to the walls, especially in the choir loft and sacristy areas, the project was completed during the week. The parishioners are very appreciative of the work that has been done.
Parishioners were enthusiastic in carrying statues from the Church for cleaning as part of the interior painting.
15 TEENS AND ADULTS received First Communion on Sunday, April 6th as part of their preparation to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Teens and adult members of the parish on the day of their First Communion.
“CRISTO SIEMPRE," the parish theatrical group, was reminded by Fr. Michael Stechmann, OAR, that it was 40 years ago that they were established when Fr. Jose María Santiago was pastor here. Upon learning of this anniversary, they remembered that their first presentation was the Christmas “Pastorela” which they prepared again and presented in the parish hall on the Solemnity of the Epiphany. They presented their Passion Play on Palm Sunday in the afternoon. They meet weekly and Deacon Ascención Esqueda, OAR, is usually present. Fr. Michael Stechmann met recently with the committee planning for an anniversary celebration in August, beginning with a Mass to remember their deceased members and followed by a dinner in the parish hall.
"Passion Play" by Cristo Siempre on Palm Sunday.
A TALENTED PARISHIONER is bringing Cristo Rey into the age of technology with a new website that can be viewed at www.CristoReyLA.com and many favorable comments have been received from parishioners.
A NECESSARY PROJECT to remove a large tree that was damaging the sidewalk and wall and to make repairs to the sidewalks was completed before Easter. After four years of communications with the City of Los Angeles, Fr. Michael Stechmann received word that his repeated requests to repair the badly damaged sidewalk was approved by the City Council. Sidewalk and street repairs throughout Los Angeles are frequently mentioned in a series of newspaper articles and the expense is now being turned over to the property owners. Since our documentation was on file, the tree removal and repair of sidewalks in front of the Rectory and Church was completed without any cost to the parish. The only stipulation was that this would be paid for out of funds for special projects and work could only be done on the weekends. The Department of Street Services worked around our schedule of services and the final load of cement was delivered early on Palm Sunday. The work at Cristo Rey served as the impetus for seven other problem areas within Atwater Village and this was recorded in the June issue of the Los Feliz Ledger.
THE HOLY WEEK TRIDUUM was bilingual in prayers, readings and song. A combined choir from the English Mass and two of the Spanish Masses was organized and was well received. Those who play instruments at Masses were especially interested in learning bilingual hymns and psalm responses and preferred to focus on singing, accompanied by the organ and piano, rather than playing instruments. Many parishioners commented that they were pleased to hear the organ during these days. Deacon Ascencion Esqueda organized lectors, acolytes and ushers for all of the services and was a tremendous assistance with translations. Those responsible for Divine Mercy devotions organized the novena of prayers beginning on Good Friday and they organized a gathering after the 9:00am Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday which included substantial amounts of food and gifts for everyone in attendance.
31 PARISHIONERS recently completed the series of thirty-two sessions of Bible Study sponsored by the Instituto Biblico Católico of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and were presented with certificates from Fr. Michael on May 18th during a reception in the parish hall. Prior to this the members were presented to the parish and the announcement was made of a new class that will begin in September. The sessions are evenly-divided between the Old and New Testaments. The group from Cristo Rey has been invited to the Cathedral downtown to receive certificates from Archbishop José Gomez on September 14th as part of the Commissioning Service for Catechists and Catechetical Leaders.
THE PARISH FESTIVAL was held on Sunday, May 4, and was a tremendous success. This year it was a one-day event without rides and there was a marked increase in proceeds, especially from the raffle. In addition to the cash prizes, there were hourly raffles from local stores, markets and services. One of the young adults served as D.J. for the day and there was continuous entertainment from 1 – 7pm that included two baile folklorico groups, a mariachi, a Mexican trio and a lively Cumbia group.
Members of Movimiento Familiar Cristiano during the parish festival.
Members of the parish provided entertainment for the parish festival.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES came to a close with the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 17 with Bishop Gerald Wilkerson. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was impressed with the large number of candidates preparing for Confirmation and sent a photographer from the newspaper to document this.
Father Michael Stechmann, OAR