Los Angeles, Calif., Apr 5, 2022 / 15:13 pm (CNA).
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles urged those making a pilgrimage Saturday to mark 250 years of Christianity in the archdiocese to emulate the courage of St. Junípero Serra, who first brought the Church to the area.
“Two hundred and fifty years ago, this mission was founded by St. Junípero Serra and his Franciscan brothers, together with the noble Tongva natives, who are the first peoples of this land. These men and women trusted God –completely. St. Junípero Serra and his brothers left behind their homes and families, knowing they would never be coming back. Let’s pray to have that kind of trust, that kind of courage,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said in his homily at an April 2 Mass at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in San Gabriel, California, about 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
“God goes with us, we are never alone… Let’s keep trusting in God, let’s keep asking him for strength, for guidance; let’s keep seeking his will in everything,” the archbishop said.
Archbishop Gomez preached that “our lives are a pilgrimage to the promise land of heaven, to our Father’s house. This is a journey we are making, walking with Jesus. Following him. Living with him. Loving as he loved. Sharing in his mission by living his Gospel of love, by our words, by our actions.
“As we begin our pilgrimage today – from this place where the faith was born in Los Angeles, to the mother Church of the family of God today –let us renew our dedication to our mission.”
More than 1,700 people participated in the pilgrimage from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Before the Mass, pilgrims were able to see the state of renovations at the mission, which was damaged by arson in July 2020.
Archbishop Gomez blessed the pilgrims after the Mass, and the walk ended with a closing prayer service at Los Angeles’ cathedral. Along the way from the mission to the cathedral, pilgrims stopped at All Souls in Alhambra, All Saints in El Sereno, Our Lady Help of Christians in Los Angeles, and lunched at Cathedral High School.
The pilgrimage is part of the archdiocese’s Jubilee Year, “Forward in Mission,” which celebrates 250 years of the faith in the region.
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