Archbishop Jose H. Gomez meets with One LA-IAF


Archbishop Jose H. Gomez met with One LA-IAF on March 12 for a two-hour conversation about the Eucharist and the social mission of the Catholic Church. The event was held at St. Brigid Catholic Church in South Los Angeles and approximately 200 One LA leaders were in attendance. Bishop Matthew Elshoff, Auxiliary Bishop for the Our Lady of Angels Pastoral Region also participated in the meeting, as did representatives from the Office of Life, Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Archbishop Gomez is the leader of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the pastoral leader of 3.4 million Catholics, in the largest and most diverse Catholic Diocese in the United States. Throughout the two-hour conversation, Archbishop Gomez engaged with One LA leaders from across Los Angeles on the issues that matter most to Angelenos, including immigration, housing and homelessness, mental health, and human trafficking. 

The Archbishop’s message to One LA was centered on the Eucharist, the sacrament of Holy Communion, and its connection to the social mission of the Church. He explained that the transformation sustained by the Eucharist extends beyond the walls of the church, into each individual’s communal contributions. After the Archbishop’s teaching, One LA leaders shared with the audience their own stories of personal and communal transformation through organizing in their parish. Ortencia Ramirez (San Gabriel Mission) discussed the ways in which organizing in her parish has deepened her faith and enabled her to put her faith into action. Phaebra Croft (St. Brigid Catholic Church) described how she and the organizing team at her parish fought for COVID vaccine distribution to take place in their community. Gerardo Villalobos (Our Lady Queen of Angels-La Placita) shared the great hardships that those without immigration status endure. Terri Huerta (San Gabriel Mission) told the church of her own experiences attempting to navigate the broken mental health care system in an attempt to find care for her family. 

These stories shared by One LA leaders came from house meetings, which are small group conversations in which church leaders share the pressures that they and their families are facing. One LA organizes these small group conversations in homes, parish halls, and community centers in order to find leaders, understand the problems that families are facing, and form a basis for action. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Archbishop Gomez agreed to meet again for a similar event in the future and affirmed his commitment to support the work of One LA-IAF. He expressed his hope that more people can learn of the great work that is occurring and that clergy and laity can be trained to work on the issues discussed in the meeting.

Attendance at the event was representative of the diverse membership of One LA-IAF across Los Angeles County, representing over 50,000 families in the San Fernando Valley, Westside, South Los Angeles, Mid-City, Eastside and San Gabriel Valley. Participation included leaders from a diverse range of faith and secular traditions. Language interpretation was available in Spanish and American Sign Language. In addition to Archbishop Gomez and Bishop Elshoff, special guests at the event included Michael Donaldson and Isaac Cuevas from the Office of Life, Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

One LA’s primary mission is to develop leaders in congregations, schools, and nonprofits and to help these institutions thrive and act on the issues affecting their communities. Please contact One LA-IAF for more information about how you and your community can get involved ([email protected]).


Support OneLA-IAF