THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY of the foundation of Cristo Rey served as the impetus for several projects in the church which including necessary electrical work, interior painting and the replacement of the air conditioning unit. The first event in the anniversary year was a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner hosted by Frs. Michael Stechmann, OAR, Juan Jose Guzman, OAR, and Dcn. Ascencion Esqueda, OAR, and attended by close to 100 persons representing catechists, choir members, ushers, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and various volunteers. Those in attendance were delighted to be the first to view the Apostolic Blessing which will be presented to the parish.
Fr. Michael Stechmann, OAR, presents the Apostolic Blessing to the parish community as Fr. Juan José Guzman, OAR, looks on.
A series of monthly meetings with thirty members of the Anniversary Committee has been beneficial in planning for the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 23 and the pastoral visit of Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Archbishop realizes the space limitations in our church and after the 12:30 pm Mass, he has generously agreed to participate in the procession of the image of Christ the King through the streets. All of the parish groups will be represented at the Mass and will carry their banners for the procession which will be led by members of the banda, Nueva Ilusion. The presence of the banda always generates a tremendous enthusiasm throughout the neighborhood.
Other activities throughout the year include the distribution of a parish history, a concert in the church and a Parish Mission during Lent. All parish groups are working to increase membership with evangelization as a major focus.
FR. MICHAEL STECHMANN, OAR, was invited by the Sisters, Servants of Mary to be the homilist for the 50th anniversary of Mary, Health of the Sick Convalescent Hospital in Newbury Park, CA, on June 28. Archbishop Jose Gomez presided at the Mass with several Augustinian Recollects concelebrating and over 600 guests present for the outdoor Mass and reception.
“CRISTO SIEMPRE,” the parish theatrical group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a Mass, followed by a celebration in the parish hall on August 23. This group was founded under the direction of Fr. Jose Maria Santiago who encouraged them to prepare the Christmas “Pastorela.” They have remained active in the parish and each year present the Passion Play, the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and other productions. Deacon Ascencion Esqueda is moderator for the group and is present for their weekly gatherings and practice sessions.
A DEDICATED GROUP of sixteen volunteer catechists and ten assistants gathered for an initial meeting prior to the beginning of classes for the new school year in order to review course material and content. The opening Mass for the students at all levels was held on September 6 followed by a brief meeting of the catechists in small groups with parents and students. Religious Education classes began in early September and the adult classes for Sacraments will begin on October 6.
Enthusiastic Students look forward to Catechism classes.
THIRTY-ONE PARISHIONERS were present at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, September 14, for a Service of Prayer and Commissioning. More than 2,000 catechists from parishes throughout the Archdiocese were recognized for completing the certification process. The Cristo Rey parishioners received certificates from Archbishop Jose Gomez for completing the Instituto Biblico Catolico. They met in the parish hall for thirty-two weeks of intense instruction which was facilitated by instructors who had already received their Certificate in Bible Study Leadership from the Archdiocese. A new session of classes began in the parish on September 9.
ASCENDING LIGHTS LEADERSHIP NETWORK has awarded a complete scholarship for college tuition, textbooks, transportation and any other study-related expenses to Adriana Castro, a member of Cristo Rey. Ascending Lights is funded by generous benefactors and their main purpose is to recognize individuals who are active leaders in church communities and to equip them with whatever they need to complete their college degree. Adriana has been active in the choir and also is a peer leader in our Confirmation program.
fr. Michael with Adriana Castro (wearing her logo t-shirt) and directors of the Ascending Lights program following the presentation of her scholarship award at the parish.
FR. JUAN JOSE GUZMAN is working to strengthen the Secular Augustinian Recollect Chapter at Cristo Rey. At present there are twenty active members who meet on Wednesday evenings twice a month for Augustinian formation. They begin with Evening Prayer before Mass and their sessions afterwards include a study of the Confessions of St. Augustine and the SAR Manual, both of which are explained by Fr. Juan Jose as part of their eventual profession of promises and commitment to the Order of Augustinian Recollects. All of the members are active in the life of the parish which is evident in the amiable spirit at their gatherings.
Secular Augustinian Recollects of Cristo Rey with their spiritual director, Fr. Juan José Guzman, OAR.
THE CATECHETICAL CONGRESS for the San Fernando Region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was held on September 20 at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills. A group of thirty catechists and others serving in parish ministries joined the more than 1,000 participants for the day which was centered around the theme, “Go out with Joy." Attendance at this regional congress has continued to increase each year along with the quality of the presentations and our parishioners are enthusiastic participants.
--Father Michael Stechmann, OAR