Masstimes.Org: The resource for traveling Catholics

No matter where you are in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, finding a Sunday Mass to attend (such as here, at St. Joseph in Hawthorne) is easily done with the help of masstimes.org. — Credit: SR. NANCY MUNRO, CSJ

I love a road trip. I’ve made innumerable jaunts to Anza-Borrego, Joshua Tree, Santa Barbara and the Bay Area. I’ve driven to Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. I’ve made two cross-country runs in the last 10 years. Then there are the visits made by plane, train, cab and bus: NYC, St. Paul, MN, northern Ontario, the Lost Coast of California.

I travel alone, but my trusty companion is masstimes.org: You can enter a zip code, province, street, city or state — anywhere in the world — and find the nearest church with Mass. You can search by day. You can search for Adoration and Confession. On any given day, the Masses are arranged by time, from earliest to latest, with the name of the church, address, phone number and link to the website. There’s a map of the area showing the church in question and a guide showing the distance from your current location.

I once made a self-styled cross-country pilgrimage: a seven-week drive from L.A. to the New Hampshire coast during which I went to Mass every single day. During that time, masstimes.org was invaluable, especially through parts of the country, in particular the Southwest, where the daily Mass pickings were slim.

In all that time, only one church, a parish in eastern Pennsylvania, didn’t offer Mass at the time indicated, and even there, I had a nice chat with the sexton, and in the side garden, a “moment.” I was tired, conflicted, bowed down by emotional and spiritual infirmities, and suddenly I saw my footprints in the wet lawn, out of nowhere thought “Sprung in completeness where his feet pass,” and realized: Oh. He knows. He likes having me close by. He’s glad I am here.

But it was only back in L.A. that I made a truly useful discovery: I could use masstimes.org here! Dentist appointment in Beverly Hills: noon Mass at Good Shepherd. Evening jaunt to the Norton Simon Museum: 6 p.m. Mass at St. Dominic’s in Eagle Rock. Tickets to a Saturday night play near Pico and Bundy: vigil Mass at the stunning St. Timothy.

I live in Silver Lake so I’m often at Our Lady of the Angels. But for those who live further afield and are traveling downtown to, say, fight that very unfair traffic ticket: why not arrive early, duck into the 7 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral, and spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament? I’ve discovered St. Bernard’s in Glassell Park (with the wonderful Father Perry Leiker) while house-sitting; St. Anne’s in Santa Monica, an oasis in the midst of several parking lots, while visiting a sick friend; and Holy Family in Glendale, while hunting down a mid-week Sacrament of Reconciliation (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30 to 5:15).

I was confirmed and took my first Communion at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Hollywood 19 years ago this August. Ever since, I’ve known that scattered throughout the city, in the midst of clamor and chaos, are sanctuaries of quiet: oases of dark tranquility smelling of incense and wax.

Through shoot-outs and stabbings, mudslides and earthquakes, jittery nights and adrenaline-charged days, all over our little corner of the world candles burn in red glass above the Body of Christ, the deepest, most hidden mystery of all. Nothing has formed me more, as a Catholic, a human being, and a lover of Los Angeles, than the sacramental experience of trudging invisibly, anonymously, to daily Mass.

I’ve been to St. Bede the Venerable in La Canada (Sunday morning Angeles Forest hike), St. Eugene’s in South L.A. (gospel choir), St. Joseph’s in Hawthorne (funeral Mass for a friend’s sister), Our Lady of Guadalupe in the central coast farming community of Guadalupe (visiting Catholic Worker friends), Dolores Mission in East L.A. (Homeboy Industries). 

Even so, I’ve barely scratched the surface. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles comprises 288 parishes and communities, located in 120 cities and three counties. So from Santa Maria to the Antelope Valley, from ocean to mountains to desert to the heart of any number of urban downtowns, daily Mass is a beautiful way to explore the city, to connect with our brothers and sisters, to incorporate Christ into the smallest hour and activity of our daily lives.

Because the fact is that, home or away, we are always traveling. As Dorothy Day observed in “Loaves and Fishes”: “When I moved to the East Side, I went to a Salesian priest, Father Zossima. It was he who urged me to go to daily Communion. I had thought this was only for the old or the saintly, and I told him so. ‘Not at all,’ he said. ‘You go because you need food to nourish you, for your pilgrimage on this earth.’”

 

Heather King is the author of “Parched: A Memoir,” “Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God,” and “Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux.” She lives in Los Angeles.


Voices

Iowa and us in a Year of Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez

It was in the general-purpose room of St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines that Donald Trump made his last pitch to Iowa voters, inside a caucus room. He wanted to make sure people remembered that not only will he build the wall on our border with Mexico, but that he’s the only candidate who will make Mexico pay for it.

Events

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February 6, 2016

  • Saturday, February, 6

    Second Annual Sisters of Notre Dame Nun Run 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run, 8 a.m., Hosted by the Sisters of Notre Dame and La Reina High School and Middle School in Thousand Oaks. Course starts on Dover Avenue in Thousand Oaks and finishes in front of La Reina School. Open to runners and walkers of all ages and ability levels. Professional chip timing technology will be provided to 5K runners by Vendurance Sports. Participants will receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last); pancake breakfast available after the race. Pre-registration is $35 per person for the 5K, and $25 for the 1-Mile. All proceeds support the Sisters of Notre Dame Life and Ministry Fund, allowing the sisters to continue their ministries in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. For more information, contact Chloe Vieira at cvieira@sndca.org, or visit sndca.org/nunrun. 

    Math Competition for Middle School Students & Problem-Solving Workshop for Teachers, 7:45 a.m., Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead.A mathematics competition for fifth through eighth grade students. The 44th annual event will offer awards for the highest scoring individual and teams. Participants must register by Feb. 2 atwww.boscotech.edu/events. Space is limited. The cost is $8 per individual and $5 per person for teams of four or more, up to 15. Check-in begins at 7:45 a.m.; one-hour test starts at 9 a.m. Free activities offered and food available for purchase. Award ceremony follows the competition at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Valeria De Luna at MathCompetition@boscotech.edu.

     

    San Fernando Regional Day of Prayer for the RCIA, 1 - 4:30 p.m., St. John Baptist De La Salle Church, 16555 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. An afternoon of prayer for those who will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this Lent. Catechumens, candidates, sponsors and team members will come together in prayer with Bishop Joseph V. Brennan. To register or for more information, contact Sandy Cole at (818) 368-1514 or dre@sjbdls.org.

     

    Second Annual Valentine's Dinner/Dance, 7 p.m., St. James School - O'Gorman Center, 4625 Garnet St., Torrance.Dance music from the 50's to the present; $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit our seminarians. For more information, call the parish office at (310) 372-5228, or Ely at (310) 944-3355.  

     

    Snowflake Swing Dinner/Dance, 6 p.m. to midnight,St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1523 Golden Gate Ave., Los Angeles. Great food, door prizes and dancing (assorted music), featuring the LA Trio. Tickets $25; RSVP by Feb. 2. For reservations, call Liza at (323) 664-1305 or Renee at (213) 413-3036. 

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