‘We are called to invite others,’ archbishop tells seminarians

Archbishop José Gomez and priests from archdiocesan offices are surrounded by seminarians from St. John’s in Camarillo and Juan Diego House in Gardena following a Mass Aug. 21 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. — Credit: VICTOR ALEMAN

Seminarians, both new and returning, were welcomed to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Aug. 21 for a special Mass and luncheon with Archbishop José Gomez, who invited them to be mindful of the Gospel call of invitation to a closer relationship with God.

“We need to understand that God wants to be with us,” he told more than 60 men from St. John’s Seminary and Juan Diego House in his homily at the Mass celebrated in the Cathedral’s St. Vibiana Chapel. “God is always rooting for us. And that should fill our hearts with joy.”

The day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew — the Master’s invitation to a wedding feast — indicates that, “in the same way that God invites us to be with Him, we are called to invite others,” said Archbishop Gomez. “This is an exciting time to be a priest or a seminarian in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, for there are so many possibilities to invite people to live a life of holiness.”

After Mass, seminarians enjoyed a lunch prepared by the Serra Club, and several told The Tidings they were eagerly looking forward to beginning or continuing their formation process, with the encouragement of their families.

“Since I was little, I’ve felt the priesthood was a possible calling in my life,” said Zachary Beach, 18, from St. Rose of Lima Church in Simi Valley, who is beginning his first year at Juan Diego House in Gardena. “Seeing how much our parish priests at St. Rose can help people has inspired me to pursue this.”

Beach, whose parents encouraged him in his youth to “follow the priests’ movements” during Mass as he served at the altar, noted that his father, a firefighter, was in the business of healing lives “in the physical sense. I hope, as a priest, to do the same in the spiritual sense by healing souls.”

Sean Moreno, a 27-year-old pre-theology student from St. Paul of the Cross, la Mirada, said observing priests “live a life filled with love for others, especially in making calls to the sick,” encouraged him to become Catholic (in 2010) and consider the priesthood.

“It’s been a real grace for me to pursue this calling,” said Moreno, who credits his spiritual maturation to his time as a resident of Bethany House in Los Angeles. “And I have also seen how I can’t possibly do this without the help of God in my life.”


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

February 2016
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February 14, 2016

  • Sunday, February 14

    Mother Cabrini Library and Chapel Open House, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 3801 Scott Road, Burbank. The event is hosted by the Los Angeles Region.

     

    Italian Catholic Club of SCV Valentine's Day Dinner Dance, 7 p.m., Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Parish Hall), 23233 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Come enjoy a delicious gourmet buffet dinner and dance the night away to the music of Linda Pippin. Wear your favorite red dress, shirt and/or tie. All adults (single or married) are welcome. Tickets are $35 each (prepaid), or $45 at the door. Please call Anna Riggs at (661) 645-7877 to reserve your spot by Feb. 10.

     

    Stations of the Cross, 2 p.m. Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Boulevard, East Los Angeles. Continuing each Sunday of Lent. For more info, please call Calvary Cemetery: 323-261-3106.

     

    Year of Mercy Mass and Pilgrimage in The Shrine of St. John Paul II, 3 p.m., Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, 3424 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles.  Mass celebrated in English with Fr. John Paul Gonzalez of Christ the King Church.  Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession, with Divine Mercy Chaplet.  The closing prayer will be a blessing and veneration of the 1st class relic of St. John Paul II.  

    South Bay Catholic Co-ed Adult Softball League Pre-Season Practice Games, McMaster Park, 3624 Artesia Blvd., Torrance.  Must RSVP to Fred Lawler (League Commissioner) at (310) 504-0271 or fredlawler@hotmail.com.

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