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.”


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Have you ever noted how we spontaneously react to a perceived threat? Faced with a threat, our primal instincts tend to take over and we instantly freeze over and begin to shut all the doors opening to warmth, gentleness and empathy inside us.

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land

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September 19, 2014

  • Friday, September 19

    Pilgrim Virgin of Our Lady of Fatima, visit of image (continues through Sept. 21 at parishes throughout archdiocese), 8 a.m., St. Therese Church, 510 N. El Molino St., Alhambra. (626) 282-2744.

    ACCW Central District, guest speaker Fr. Allan Roberts, 11 a.m., St. Bernadette Church, 3825 Don Felipe Dr., L.A. (323) 293-4877.

    Bob Hurd in Concert, 7 p.m., St. Anthony Church, 2511 S. C St., Oxnard; $. (805) 469-6293.

    Concert: L.A. Children’s Chorus, plus trio from L.A. Master Chorale, fundraiser for ongoing church renovation, 7:30 p.m., St. Andrew Church, 140 Chestnut St., Pasadena; $. (626) 792-4183.

    “USC Caruso Center Church: Stained Glass Exhibit,” from conception to installation, presented by Cathedral Fine Arts Committee (to Oct. 26), Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. (213) 680-5200.

    “Following the Prescribed Path,” exhibit (to Nov. 23), LMU Laband Art Gallery, 1 LMU Dr., L.A. (310) 338-2880.

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