On January 10th the Diocese celebrated its annual Migrant Mass. Despite different circumstances due to the pandemic, people still made time to celebrate this occasion and share in an opportunity to be in community with each other. To remember that we are all neighbors within our Church.
Bishop Alberto Rojas spoke to the theme of the Mass – “We Are Home” - as he celebrated the first Migrant Mass as Ordinary for the Diocese:
“It has been the teaching of the Church for years that [the Migrant community] are always welcome with us. That every Catholic church is a home for them. This is our understanding, this is our belief, and this is what our faith teaches us.”
The Mass was held as it has been for the past three years at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral in San Bernardino, having been moved to the location as a way to symbolically call all corners of the Diocese into the heart of the region - into our pastoral home. Looking at that as a source for the theme, the Mass once more displayed the great diversity and celebrated the ways in which the people that make up our local church come from all places on the globe. Featuring readers who spoke languages from Ghana, the Philippines, and Vietnam, as well as Spanish and English, it is clear that many people have opted to find their home here in the Diocese.
Following the Mass, people were invited to tune into the Diocesan YouTube channel where they would be greeted with migrant stories from within our own community. One of those stories is from seminarian Arinze Ezeoke, who spoke of his journey in the Diocese:
“I believe that the more I hear your stories and you hear mine, we only come to recognize that which brings us together: the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. The spirit of unity. The spirit of Love.”