Giussani's Anniversary Celebrated in LA

The Holy Mass for the 12th anniversary of the Servant of God Fr. Luigi Giussani's death, and the 35th anniversary of the Fraternity of CL's pontifical recognition, took place in Southern California on February 18th...

The Holy Mass for the 12th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Fr. Luigi Giussani, and the 35th anniversary of the pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of CL, took place in Southern California in Newport Beach at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church. Fr. Brandon celebrated the Mass during the Saturday vigil on February 18th. He gave a beautiful announcement at the beginning of Mass which caused Giovanni, a young man from Milan, working in Los Angeles, to turn to turn to me and say, "Wow! I could not have done better myself!" Fr. Brandon at the end invited everyone to come to the exhibit From My Life to Yours, which was on display in the Parish Hall. There we were joined by Fr. Kerry.

Six friends gave short witnesses of how an education in faith through the School of Community has helped their life, each using one of the panels of the exhibit to show the contemporaneous of the charism. Angeline, though the panel, "Living Reality Intensely" shared that it was not easy for her to attend School of Community, but when she was there recently and blurted out an irritation, the leader of the group asked her questions that helped her to enter that irritation and not stay at the feeling. Jason, using the panel "To demonstrate the relevance of the faith" said that he was an atheist before meeting the Movement and was looking for a place where the face of Christ was present, which he found in his CL friends. Claudia started from the panel, "Woman do not weep" sharing some personal struggles after marriage and how this group of friends shared that pain with her. Paul and Lucia, a newly married couple, told their story and how friends were courageous enough to ask them tough questions before they married, relating to the panel, "Not a road, but The Road." None of the witnesses personally met Fr. Giussani, but it was clear that through friendships of people in CL, Christ won; He brought something greater into the lives of those who spoke, something great out of their personal obstacles, histories, personalities, and circumstances, which helped them freely follow the charism.

After, we ate pizza and were amazed when another group, also at the parish, listening to opera, joined us for the dessert. Some even gave a donation! We gathered back together and sang a few songs including Sou Feliz Senhor, a song in Portuguese song that the first missionaries of the movement leaving Italy and arriving in Brazil learned and shared with their friends back home. As the evening wound down, we heard from two witnesses who personally met Fr. Giussani, Guido and Cristina. Cristina shared an experience of how Fr. Giussani looked at reality in its simplicity and Guido noted how much Fr. Giussani loved him, as he didn't let him lose the origin, but called him back to the origin, even through correction.

On the drive home, I found myself full of Hope at how clearly the witnesses showed that Christ can win any circumstance; this was a beautiful re-discovery of something I had forgotten.