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Two Cathedrals
21st March, 2018

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles)

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, informally known as COLA or the Los Angeles Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Opened in 2002, it serves as the mother church for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as the seat of Archbishop José Horacio Gómez. The Cathedral is named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the patronal title of Our Lady of the Angels, echoing the full name of the original settlement of Los Angeles (Spanish: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, or “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels”). The Cathedral is widely known for enshrining the relics of Saint Vibiana and tilma piece of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the mother church to approximately five million professed Catholics in the archdiocese.

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Two Cathedrals
21st March, 2018


Until 2013, the building had been the principal place of worship for Crystal Cathedral Ministries (now Shepherd’s Grove), a congregation of the Reformed Church in America, founded in 1955 by Robert H. Schuller. Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 and in February 2012 sold the building and its adjacent campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for use as the diocese’s new cathedral. The building, especially the interior, is currently being renovated to accommodate the Roman Catholic liturgy and is due to re-open in early 2019, at which time it is expected to be consecrated and formally renamed Christ Cathedral and become the seat of the Diocese of Orange.

The statues that adorn this property are amazing!

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Homeboy Industries
20th March, 2018

I visited Homeboy Industries in LA today. Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community. Each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change.

We listened to Ramon share his life story of tragedy, hope, love and powerful inspiration. We shared lunch provided by Homegirl industries and it was FRESH AND DELICIOUS. They use the freshest, highest quality ingredients, and  prepared appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees from a wide variety of cuisine.

Home girl catering is a uniquely women-run venture whose mission is to help formerly gang involved and previously incarcerated brave men and women become contributing members of our community.

It was so inspirational….

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Day two and three LA RE Congress 2018
20th March, 2018

The LA RE Congress has been very good with some amazing speakers in one place. I took so many notes and i am afraid I cannot remember  everything. There was so much to take in.

Rabbi Michael Mayershon spoke on the Jewish understanding of Prophets and Prophecy and how our two religious beliefs differ on their understanding but can also have points of agreement.

Steven Ellair who shared seven great insights into how we can reach the hearts of the children when we teach Religion. Great practical and theoretical ideas that I found useful and will probably use myself.

Cardinal Roger Mahony on post – sacramental evangelisation. wonderful practical suggestions for parish sacramental teams. I look forward to sharing these ideas in more detail.

Dr Meaghan McKenna walked us through an exegesis of John 12: 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. It was a powerful experience and very thought provoking.

Dr Carole Dempsey connected the Biblical Text to the Text of Life. Carol said : Text is like a prism- turn it in your hand and see may colours.”

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Day one – LA RE Congress
17th March, 2018

Well the day began beautifully. The weather is fine, the air is crisp. Day one of the Congress began with prayer complete with great music and liturgical dancing!

My first workshop was with Fr Donald Senior and he spoke on the Pope’s

encyclical Laudato Si

Then I hit the ground running to check out Hall A – the Merchandise Hall! shopping shopping shopping!

During lunch I listened to the group WAL who provided great music that gives thanks and praise to God through song.

Workshop number two was great. I loved it. Just what I love – Old Testament information on David ben Jesse the Outlaw. Professor Daniel Smith Christopher was so so good.

Then a bit more shopping and then Workshop number three – Sr Carol Dempsey who spoke on the world in Front of the Text and social justice issues in the Bible and how we interpret them for today. I loved that she used the three worlds of the text framework. I felt affirmed that we are doing the right thing in our Religion Curriculum. She was amazing too but in a much more confronting way – relating Biblical text to issues of child sacrifice, human trafficking and forced migration today. Very very challenging.

We finished the day with an amazing mass in the Filipino culture. Cardinal Luis Tagle gave the very moving and relational homily – at one time he had us all in tears relating a personal story from his country and the generosity of giving and caring.

Tomorrow is another full day.


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LA RE Congress 2018 – Getting Ready
16th March, 2018

We have all settled into our accommodation and have familiarized ourselves with Anaheim. Our first excursion was to Disneyland for a quick immersion into Movie mania, bad food, tired feet, lots of strollers, long waits but an amazing nighttime Fantasia show on the water.

Tomorrow is the first day at the ‘Rise Up’ LA RE Congress to be held at the Anaheim Convention Centre – a huge complex beautifully set out and landscaped.

I am feeling quite excited.

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Praying with the Pope in March
5th March, 2018

The Pope’s Monthly Pray intention for March is – Formation in Spiritual Discernment 

Taken from Daily Prayer:
This website allows us to follow along with Pope Francis’ monthly intentions to pray for the challenges of humanity and for the mission of the Church


That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.


Father of all Goodness,
send on each of us
your Holy Spirit, a spirit of understanding and wisdom,
which helps us to look at the present with gratitude and the future with hope.
Help us to free ourselves from discouragement and from all kinds of resistance,
opening us with courage and creativity
to what the Church and the world need most.
Grow in us the desire of discernment,
so that our communities can be places of sharing and dialogue,
witnesses of your charity and able to respond with generosity
to what you ask us in each moment.
Our Father…

Practical guide

  • Seek, throughout this month, to meditate on the events of the present, on a personal and community level, and discern in them the ways in which God wants to speak. Thank God for what goes well, what bears fruit…Evaluate what needs to change…
  • Ask for the grace of inner freedom, questioning without fear types of statements that can block a true process of discernment, such as: “it’s always been done” or “it’s no longer worth it.”
  • Organise, in the community or institutions, a moment of prayer and sharing about the benefits of discernment and how it can bring forth ideas for future action. What concrete steps need to be taken and what continuity can be given to these processes?
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Lent – the gift of God’s self.
27th February, 2018

What does Lent mean to you?

Giving up things?

As Fr Andy Hamilton (2018) reflects , this was often an attitude we had when we were children. Giving up lollies and storing them in a jar to eat at Easter and as we grew up we gave up other things like alcohol!

But Lent is not just about giving up, it is also about giving!

Lent is a time to encourage us to give away to charities such as Project Compassion, St Vincent de Paul.

Lent is a time to encourage us to give of time – to family, to prayer.

Lent is a time to encourage us to give in – to being forgiving and being forgiven.

But at its heart lies, not giving, but being given. Its point is to remind us of all that we have been given by God through Jesus and to encourage us to be thankful for it. Jesus is the dearest gift that God can give us – God’s self.

adapted from Fr Andy Hamilton

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Because there was no room in the Inn
15th December, 2017

The birth of Jesus, celebrated by hundreds of millions every year on Christmas, is certainly one of the world’s best known stories. Surprisingly, this famous scene only appears in two of the four canonical gospels, Matthew and Luke. Of these two, Luke contains the more detailed description of the birth itself:

And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7).

This verse has given rise to the popular image of the holy family in a barn on the outskirts of Bethlehem. Most of us assume that Joseph and Mary were looking for a hotel room and when they found all the rooms booked they had no choice but to sleep in a stables. Is this so?

Probably not. The most problematic English word in this verse is “inn”. Firstly. Bethlehem was far too small a village to have an actual hotel. Secondly, the Greek word which means “inn” pandoxeion (πανδοχεῖον) is not used here. Luke uses the word in 10:34 in his telling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. But here in chapter 2 he uses a different word: katalyma (κατάλυμα). Based on the verb katalyo (καταλύω), which means “to put down one’s things”, the katalyma is simply any sheltered space used as a resting place. Israelite_pillared_house

Mary and Joseph were not looking for a room in an “inn” but simply the upstairs level of a typical residential house used as a bedroom. When visitors came, it could be used as a guest room. Due to the empire-wide census, numerous members of Joseph’s family had congregated in Bethlehem, and all the katalymata in town were occupied. Because there was “no room in the upstairs bedroom,” Joseph and Mary had to sleep downstairs in the main room of a relative’s house. This room was a sort of all purpose room. During the day it was used as a workshop. At night it was used to house frail animals, while the rest of the flock was left outdoors. The katalyma was not a full-fledged barn or stables, but it did contain a drinking trough or manger cut in the bedrock. This was the most convenient place to place the baby Jesus once he was born. So while Jesus was indeed born in a room used for animals, this was not strictly a barn.

A model of a typical Israelite house from the period of the Hebrew Bible.

Presumably first century homes in Bethlehem looked similar.

The katalyma is above whereas animals are kept below.

taken from: accessed Dec 2017

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