Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles stressed the importance of unity at a Mass recognizing immigrants, as the archdiocese launched a new website with information and resources on the subject of immigration.
Some 3,000 people attended the Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants, celebrate on June 18, the Feast of Corpus Christi, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
“Let us dedicate ourselves – all of us – to the beautiful promise of America!” the archbishop said in his homily. “Out of many – we can be one! We will be one!”
The Mass marks the end of a novena throughout Los Angeles, as well as the end of a “three-day, 50-mile walking pilgrimage by a group of faithful from Orange County to the Cathedral for all those impacted by the broken immigration system,” according to an archdiocesan press release.
The website offers information on the topic of immigration and current laws surrounding the issue, as well as the principles outlined by Archbishop Gomez for comprehensive immigration reform. It also offers opportunities to attend events and workshops, contact lawmakers, present prayer requests and seek immigration help.
The June 18 Mass and subsequent launch of the resource website took place just days after Archbishop Gomez spoke to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the efforts of the immigration working group which he helped direct.
The archbishop spoke in both English and Spanish as he delivered his homily. In addition to the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, he said, “(t)oday, we are also celebrating the immigrant spirit that makes America wonderful.”
Reflecting on immigration in the country, Archbishop Gomez said that “America has always been a beautiful collection of immigrant peoples. And the immigrant spirit is still renewing the soul of America.”
He gave advice for confronting the challenges behind immigration, saying, “In our lives, we need prayer and action. But, as the saints remind us – prayer should always come first.”
“The promise of America is that this land will be a home for all peoples – no matter the color of their skin, or what nation they come from, or what language they speak, or what religion they believe,” he commented on the history of the nation.
He indicated the relics of three saints by the altar – St. Junipero Serra, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, and St. Toribio Romo – and asked for their prayers.
“The beautiful mystery of Corpus Christi means that we have a duty to care for others, to show compassion,” he said. “In Jesus Christ, we are one Body. And when one member of the Body is suffering, it means we all suffer.”
“Jesus told us that he would be present in the poor – just as he is present in the Eucharist.”
In closing his remarks, Archbishop Gomez called for prayers for the country’s leaders, and for “peace and security and freedom in our borders.” He invoked the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe to “help us build the next America, and renew the soul of our society.”
After Mass, the relics of the three saints were presented for veneration. The faithful also wrote prayer requests, which will be presented at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on July 8, during the Archdiocesan Pilgrim