On Palm Sunday morning I had the blessing of being able to celebrate Palm Sunday Mass at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange. The joy of the capacity crowd was evident in the Church and outside of the parish Church. This was a scene repeated all of the Diocese all of the weekend. St. Polycarp’s in Stanton, like so many of our parishes, had great processions and festivity. Later on in the afternoon, there was another procession that I was part of in the neighborhood of St. Joseph’s in Santa Ana. Thanks to Fr. Christopher Smith, when he was pastor of the parish, the custom was begun to have a Eucharistic process and to bless the streets, homes and families in the neighborhood around St. Joseph that was subject to so much violence. This tradition continues and a great group of us prayed, carried the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance and sang and blessed all who passed by. We were accompanied by singing in Spanish, English and especially by the beauty of the Samoan choir! Last year, and this year, we also stopped at two locations where individuals had died and we blessed these areas, and visited and prayed with the families of those who had died.
The violence these days is much less, thanks no doubt to the presence of the Eucharistic Lord who is carried through the streets, and the prayers and ministry of all who walk in procession.
We were also blessed, this Palm Sunday Weekend, to have a major gathering – for the first time in many years of the young people of our Diocese on the Cathedral campus. Over 700 young people were present for Mass and reflections and talks. It was certain ly a time that I enjoyed. After the opening Mass, I had a question and answer session with the young people, took a lot of “Selfies” and jammed on the keyboard with the Francis Cabildo band!
At this same time we were blessed to have Leonardo Defilippis back on campus with his drama about the life of St. John Vianney. This was held in the Freed Theatre of the Cultural Center. This production of the life of St. John Vianney is captivating and powerful. Another example of how the Christ Cathedral campus is a home for all who come, and evangelizes through music and drama which can draw so many to God!