Los Angeles Times (California)
By Kurt Streeter
December 17, 2013
Surrounded by dozens of Latino parishioners, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez led a traditional "posada" procession through an impoverished neighborhood at the edge of downtown Tuesday night, recounting Mary and Joseph's search for shelter before the birth of Jesus and tying that search with the fight for immigration reform.
"Our prayer is that God moves the hearts of our elected officials so they can start a process of comprehensive reform," said Gomez, carrying a candle as he walked near Dolores Mission Church, a longtime sanctuary for immigrants.
Gomez drew a direct comparison between people who are here illegally and are seeking citizenship and the posada's theme — Mary and Joseph being turned away as they sought a night of rest before Jesus' birth.
Being scorned and told to leave "is something many immigrant families face in this country today," Gomez said, noting his opinion that a change in immigration laws would help the country "live up to its promises" for equality and justice.
Welcoming Gomez were about 200 Dolores Mission parishioners — among them AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo. Most had committed to a daylong fast for immigration reform. After Gomez stood in the Dolores Mission plaza and blessed the group, he walked the surrounding, dimly lit streets with them.
Together they sang Spanish songs and prayed the rosary. As is traditional during the posada, a nine-day celebration leading up to Christmas commonly celebrated among Latino Catholics, there were symbolic stops: first at an apartment in the Pico Gardens housing project and then at a nearby home. At each stop, they were told to leave, in keeping with the biblical account, before returning to Dolores Mission to celebrate finding a welcoming home.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com