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.”


Things beyond our imagination

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently, at an academic dinner, I was sitting across the table from a nuclear scientist. At one point, I asked him this question: Do you believe that there’s human life on other planets? His answer surprised me: “As a scientist, no, I don’t believe there’s human life on another planet.


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October 4, 2015

  • Sunday, October 4

    Gerard Thomas Straub Book Signing, 9 a.m.- 1p.m., Holy Family Bookstore, 1519 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Straub will discuss his newly re-released book, “The Sun and Moon Over Assisi.” (626) 403-6133.

    St. Kateri Mass, 11 a.m., St. Marcellinus Church, 2349 Strong Ave., Commerce. Everyone is welcome to honor and follow in the footsteps of St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Potluck and raffle immediately following – bring a favorite dish to share!

    Faith Support on Our Cancer Journey, 2-4 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. This afternoon of reflection will explore ways for those struggling with cancer can nurture their spirits and seek divine guidance and support. $25 ($20 if paid in full by September 25). (310) 377-4867.

    “Come and See” Vocation Event, 2-7 p.m., Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, 2927 S Greenville St., Santa Ana. Single women of high school and college age are invited by Sacred Heart Sisters to learn more about religious life. Dinner will be provided. RSVP by Oct. 3 at (714) 557-4583 or 

    Once Upon a Time: Stories to Awaken the Mysteries of the Heart, 3-5 p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. $25. (310) 377-4867.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965.

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