St. Camillus Center prepares for celebration
St. Camillus Center for Spiritual Care is marking 60 years of its founding on Aug. 24 with a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Archbishop Jose Gomez. The evening will also feature an interfaith presentation, a reading of the St. Camillus’ story and a special recognition of chaplains and outreach partners, now and then.
Former as well as current parishioners, chaplains trained at the center, medical staff from nearby hospitals and supporters of the numerous programs at St. Camillus are expected to attend the festivities.
Dinner will be catered by Homegirl Café, and music will be provided by Bob Hurd along with Incarnation Church of Glendale’s Irish ensemble.
“This is a celebration of the founding of the church in 1954, but St. Camillus has been around since 1856 and we have been caring for L.A.’s poor for more than 160 years,” says Father Chris Ponnet, St. Camillus director and pastor.
At that time, the Daughters of Charity — along with clergy from Sacred Heart Church — offered a religious presence at nearby L.A. County Hospital for those suffering. In 1889, the archdiocese provided chaplains to L.A. General Hospital.
St. Camillus Church was founded in 1954 but changed its focus in 1985 when parish boundaries were reconfigured. St. Camillus became a Center for Pastoral Care with chaplains serving L.A. County-USC Medical Center, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center & Hospital, and USC University Hospital.
Today, the Center has a certified chaplain training program that draws international students of all faiths. “This has been the biggest transition for St. Camillus over the years,” explains Father Ponnet. “It used to be only clergy doing chaplain work, but now we have interfaith lay people taking on duties.”
Dinner tickets are $50. Information: (323) 225-4461 ext. 111.