Italian Americans and other members of parishes all over the archdiocese of Los Angeles, including members of the Italian Catholic Federation branch at St. Bede the Venerable Roman Catholic Church in La Cañada Flintridge, will honor Archbishop Jose H. Gomez at a Bishop’s Banquet and Mass to be held on Sunday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles in Los Angeles.
Each year members of the Italian Catholic Federation in branches all over the archdiocese celebrate a special Mass and then honor the archbishop at a gala luncheon. This year will be the first in which Archbishop Gomez will be honored since he assumed leadership of the archdiocese from Cardinal Roger M. Mahony who retired in February upon his 75th birthday, the mandatory retirement of priests and bishops throughout the world. Concelebrating the Mass of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King with the archbishop will be Auxiliary Bishops Most Reverend Gabino Zavala of the San Gabriel Region; Most Reverend Edward William Clark, Our Lady of the Angeles Region; Most Reverend Thomas J. Curry, Santa Barbara Region and Most Reverend Alexander Salazar, Vicar of Ethnic Ministry. Two other bishops cannot attend. Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson from the San Fernando Region will be engaged in confirmations at St. Bede Church, and Bishop Oscar Solis, will be out of town on church business in the Philippines.
Also concelebrating the special Mass will be Rev. Monsignor Antonio Cacciapouti, pastor of St. Bede and archdiocesan director of the Italian Catholic Federation. Rev. Monsignor Craig A. Cox, rector president of St. John Seminary and Father Leon Huttton, director of Human Formation and evaluations at the seminary will also participate. Eleven priests from parishes in the archdiocese will also be honored as chaplains and will concelebrate the Mass with Archbishop Gomez and the bishops.
In La Cañada Flintridge the ICF branch operates at St. Bede Parish. Its president is Sherene Abay, a native of Sri Lanka. The bylaws of ICF allow for membership of up to 45% from other than Italian background, including spouses who are not Italian. Members must be Catholic.
At St. Bede branch members meet on the third Thursday of each month for a potluck (typically home cooked Italian food) dinner, and interesting program and fellowship. The meetings are held in the Parish Center.
Leading this year’s Bishop’s Day Mass and celebration is Theresa Sabatella Shaw, president of the ICF Los Angeles District and a member of Holy Family parish in South Pasadena. St. Bede ICF First Vice President Al Restivo is coordinating the Mass and the luncheon. Tickets for the luncheon are $50 and can be obtained by calling (818) 952-1969.
All are welcome to attend the 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral, 555 West Temple St. in Los Angeles. Reservations will be accepted through Friday.