“The Church today asks us as Christians to focus on these brothers and sisters, some of whom are in darkness, feel unloved and unwanted, treated as second class, who are oppressed and not equal,” Bishop Barnes said.
In his homily Bishop Barnes examined the impact baptism has on a person. Baptism is more than a single event, but is a source of identity and mission, he said.
“I may be Tongan or Korean or Chamorro, I may be an African American or Portuguese American or Mexican American or Vietnamese American …, but when I am baptized, I am first a Christian.”
Drawing from the image of a child sleeping through the rite of baptism, Bishop Barnes urged those gathered not to ignore or be passive about their baptismal call.
“We, as a church, are missioned by God to do God’s work in the world. And we do it because of our baptism. Don’t sleep through your baptism,” Bishop Barnes said.
He applauded the progress made over the last year in addressing unjust immigration-related laws at the state level, noting that more needs to be done at the national level.
“Our baptism tells us that all men and women have the dignity that God gives them and are to be treated with respect. Our baptism tells us that we must be there in solidarity especially with those that are still in darkness, because of oppression, injustice, inequality, prejudice and racism.”
In celebration of the diverse cultures present in the diocese, several cultures were highlighted in the liturgy through music and prayer. Following the Mass, a reception was held in the parish hall where groups from the Filipino community of Sacred Heart, Rancho Cucamonga, the Shrine of the Presentation Vietnamese community, Catholics of African Descent and others offered cultural dances and entertainment.