Archbishop joins others in honoring Cesar Chavez

Archbishop José H. Gomez addresses crowd during the annual Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards Dinner in downtown Los Angeles March 27 at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel. (Credit: John Rueda)

 Archbishop José H. Gomez joined civil rights advocates and stars of the film “Cesar Chavez” during a dinner in the civil rights leader’s honor in downtown Los Angeles March 27 at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

“As we all know, César was not only an important labor leader,” the archbishop said. “César was one of our country’s great moral leaders — a true civil rights pioneer.”

Society faces many challenges, he said, including building a culture of life and human rights, strengthening families and schools.

“We need jobs and justice for so many people, especially our undocumented brothers and sisters,” the archbishop said to applause. “So tonight let us honor the legacy of César Chavez by dedicating ourselves again to his mission.”

That mission, he said, is of a nation where everyone is welcome and able to live “with the dignity that God intends for all his children.” 

The annual awards dinner honored six of entertainment professionals involved the film’s production: director Diego Luna, producer Pablo Cruz and actors Michael Peña, Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera and John Malkovich.

“It shows us that if we don’t give up, then victory is within reach,” said Paul Chavez, César’s son and the president of the César Chavez Foundation. “What my dad and the other workers showed is that if you don’t give up, you can make a change.”

He hopes the film will inspire people to keep fighting, especially in their pursuit of immigration reform.

The film depicts César as a man of faith. Images of Our Lady of Guadalupe appear often and César breaks his longest fast by receiving Holy Communion.

Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers, said faith is still a part of the movement. He worked with César for 20 years.

“The Virgin Mother was always present,” he said, “we always felt her protection.”

Rodriguez hopes the film will encourage a new generation of activists.

“The film depicts challenges,” he said. “But overwhelming message is that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.”


Voices

The parish is the heart of the new evangelization

Archbishop José H. Gomez

As I continue to visit parishes around this great archdiocese, I see every day that the life of faith is lived in the heart of the parish.   

Office for Vocation

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March 6, 2015

  • Friday, March 6

    Lenten Fish Fry, 4:30-8:30 p.m., St. Clare’s, 19606 Calla Way, Canyon Country. Every Friday through March 27. (661) 252-3353. http://www.st-clare.org/.

    Fish Dinner, 5:30-7 p.m., St. Luke’s Catholic Church, 5605 Cloverly Ave., Temple City. Hosted by Kinghts of Columbus Council #9128 every Friday through March 27.

    CRS Rice Bowl 40th Anniversary Concert, 6-9:30 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica Featuring Stations of the Cross, speaker Thomas Awiapo, performer Ben Walther and food trucks. This year marks the 40th anniversary of CRS Rice Bowl, the largest and oldest Lenten program used by millions of Catholics across the United States known for its iconic and symbolic cardboard ‘rice bowl.’

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