News briefs: St. Anne’s hosts Holocaust speaker

Jeanne Opdyke Smith, daughter of a woman who saved dozens of Jews during the Holocaust in Poland, will speak at the St. Anne’s Feast Day event on July 26.

Following 11 a.m. Mass, Smith will be the featured speaker at the noon luncheon, a fundraiser for the residence that assists pregnant young women, mothers and children. Irene Gut Opdyke, Smith’s mother, was a young Polish Catholic woman who hid and saved Jews from the Nazis during World War II; her story is told in the book, “In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer.”

“My mother was what we call a bystander,” Smith noted in a talk earlier this year at San Buenaventura Mission. “We are all in this group at some point during our lives. And if you see something wrong and don’t do anything, you have taken a side — the side of the perpetrator.”

St. Anne’s is located at 155 N. Occidental Blvd., Los Angeles. Tickets for the event are $30. For information, call (213) 381-2931 or email

Covenant House California celebrates 25th anniversary
On June 22, Covenant House California celebrated 25 years of serving the Los Angeles community. The early afternoon event hosted by CHC’s development staff, honored donors, volunteers, community leaders and supporters who have contributed to Covenant House’s ability to transform the lives of homeless, trafficked and at-risk youths.

The celebration featured the unveiling of CHC’s new “Donor Wall of Honor,” along with tours of the Western Avenue facility in East Hollywood, a catered lunch as well as interaction with current and former residents. Perhaps the most moving moments were when youths testified how Covenant House had radically changed their lives — from literally living on the mean streets of Hollywood and other locales to getting their own apartment and a job.

Since 1988, when Covenant House California began with two volunteers and a van outreach program for homeless youths in Hollywood, its programs have expanded to include a continuum of care, with medical services, educational and employment programs, life skills training and a transitional living program called “Rites of Passage.” During the last 25 years, CHC has provided some 160,000 youths with social services and assistance.

CYO, Hilton, CEF team to enable wider participation in sports
The Catholic Youth Organization launched their Sport Development Fund this past spring with a $35,000 grant from the Hilton Foundation. The Catholic Education Foundation administered the grant working closely with the CYO in the formation of this program.

“CYO is grateful to the Hilton Foundation for this grant that allows so many youth to participate in CYO sports.” said James McGoldrick, CYO director. “Working with the CEF helped bring this program along and I appreciate the assistance they afforded in making the program occur.”

CYO’s Sport Development Fund benefitted 13 low income schools that applied to take part in the program. Requirements for participation included commitments to field a new team, provide a coach and ensure that kids participate.

Some schools had not participated in various sports in prior years, but the CYO Sport Development Fund helped start new programs in boys and girls soccer, softball and boys volleyball. The participating schools received uniforms and equipment for up to two sports per school. In addition, schools were given funds to cover costs for registration, officials, facilities, “Play Like a Champion” coaches’ training and coaches’ stipends.

Schools (all in Los Angeles except where noted) receiving grant benefits included Assumption, Blessed Sacrament, Nativity (El Monte), Our Lady of Lourdes (East L.A.), Our Lady Help of Christians, Resurrection, St. Columbkille, St. Frances X. Cabrini, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Patrick, St. Philip Neri (Lynwood), St. Thomas the Apostle and Sts. Peter & Paul (Wilmington).

“The softball season was a wonderful experience for the girls,” said Dr. Joan Shoff, principal of St. Patrick School. “They made a big improvement of their skills over the season. We are so glad to have been given the grant for softball.”

Carolina Gomez, principal of Assumption School, likewise expressed gratitude for being able to participate in the grant offering. “We are very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to offer two more sports to our students,” she said. “Thank you, CYO!”

CYO will be extending the SDF program for Boys and Girls basketball next school year. Schools that are interested in applying should contact the CYO office (213) 251-3454.

SMA student is Gates Millennium Scholar
Briana Price, a recent graduate of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, has been selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Briana will use her scholarship to attend UCLA this fall and then graduate or professional school.

The teenager was a member of the high school’s Health Careers Program, which offers students at the all-girls’ Catholic high school to take challenging health-science courses while gaining hands-on clinical experience. The program’s goal is to prepare students for higher education and a career in medicine or other health sciences.

“Briana’s consistent dedication to her schoolwork, interest in enriching her education through a variety of venues, respectful manner and excellent attendance has truly paid off in a wonderful way,” said Jeanne Fisher, RN, BSN and director of the Health Careers Program.

Blessed Sacrament choir members perform at Carnegie Hall
Joseph Modica, director of Blessed Sacrament Sacred Music, choir members and Parish Life Director Yolanda Brown performed at Carnegie Hall over the Memorial Day weekend.

Modica conducted the New England Symphonic Ensemble, which included members of Blessed Sacrament’s choir, in Mozart’s “Requiem.”

“It was a profound experience of holiness to sing the Mass of Peace on the historical Carnegie Hall stage surrounded by its amazing architecture and precision sound system,” said Brown.

Modica directs Blessed Sacrament’s liturgies, accompanied by Hungju Hwang, who plays the Hollywood church’s 4,100 pipes organ.


Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”


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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner or Jim LoCoco at



    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to or; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 


    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.


    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or

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