Youth, ‘New Evangelization’ needs inspire April 26 Vigil event

Pope John Paul II is greeted by youth Sept. 15, 1987 at Universal City, from where he spoke to youth locally and nationally via TV satellite. — Credit: R.W. DELLINGER

Worldwide television exposure doesn’t normally accompany an event at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. But the April 26 Vigil Celebration for soon-to-be-canonized Pope John Paul II has a built-in worldwide appeal — especially with thousands of youth having been invited to participate.

Thus, the bilingual event — hosted by Archbishop José Gomez and featuring joyous music and contemplative prayer time — will be broadcast on EWTN beginning at 7 p.m. to 144 countries.

The Vigil Celebration also marks an important and public introduction of the archdiocesan Office of New Evangelization, formed last year at the behest of Archbishop Gomez, and inspired by Pope John Paul’s coining of the term (one reason he is the focus of the celebration). The Office of New Evangelization and the Cathedral are coordinating this event.

“Pope John Paul had an amazing connection with youth,” explained Father Ed Benioff, director of the Office of New Evangelization. “He began the World Youth Day celebration, and his appearance with the youth during his 1987 visit to Los Angeles was one of the most memorable parts of his time here. So it is only natural that we celebrate that connection at this event.”

In a poignant tie-in to that September 1987 papal visit to Los Angeles, armless guitarist-singer Tony Melendez — who played for the pope that day in Universal City and was afterward embraced by the Holy Father who exclaimed, “Tony! Tony!” — will perform at the Vigil Celebration. He will be joined by the band Love Resonate, singers Danielle Rose and Miriam Solis, and a choir of young adults.

“We are also hoping many people who were at that 1987 event might attend the Cathedral that evening,” said Father Benioff, who will introduce Archbishop Gomez at the event. “We certainly want youth there, but everyone is invited.”

Along with music, the evening will include praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. Once EWTN breaks away from its Cathedral coverage (to prepare for its canonization coverage from Rome), attendees are invited to stay at the Cathedral for Eucharistic Adoration inside, or enjoy snacks and films on John Paul II outside on the Cathedral Plaza.

Father Benioff stressed that Pope John XXIII will not be ignored at the vigil —in fact, his and John Paul’s canonizations will be celebrated together on April 27 at a special 3:30 p.m. Mass of Thanksgiving, with Archbishop Gomez presiding.

“But because of John Paul’s connection to youth and to evangelization, he’s getting more attention at the vigil celebration,” said Father Benioff. “We are hoping, in this digital age, that youth especially will come to our website, and make evangelization a priority. Along with Archbishop Gomez, we feel this can be a bridge to people becoming more energized and active in their faith, and that it can lead to their involvement in a variety of ministries.”

The April 26 Vigil Celebration begins at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. Information: (213) 637-7542. The April 27 Canonization Mass of Thanksgiving begins at 3:30 p.m. Information: (213) 680-5200.


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.


October 2015
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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.

Get our news by email

Bob Smith BMW 300x250
Bob Smith Toyota 300x250
Bob Smith Mini 300x250