The Black Lives Matter Too Committee was formed after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. We have seen and experienced the sin of racism and the injustices that have affected people of color for far too long and demand change. We are dedicated to educating others on the history and systems of injustice, raising awareness for the issues affecting the Black community, and gathering in prayer and action so that we can help end the oppression, discrimination and racism affecting our Black brothers and sisters.
A handful of parishioners did participate in this year’s Juneteenth City of Santa Monica Celebration on June 25 at Virginia Avenue Park. Like many festivals, we found an abundant display of art, crafts, and clothing booths, great food, and wonderful music. Next year, we'll definitely remember to bring our dancing shoes! The prayer presented by the Santa Monica Area Interfaith Council reminded us why it is important to celebrate this particular day of freedom. Our parishioners have already begun planning how St. Monica can be involved in 2023 and setup our own booth distributing information on the Black Catholic American men and women up for sainthood in the Catholic Church among other contributions of Black Catholics.
Our largest takeaway from the Festival was a reminder to celebrate Juneteenth all year long. Here are some examples:
The Archdiocese of Baltimore encourages us to “celebrate this day as a reminder of the transformative power of human liberation.” They encourage all “to spend time with our families, reflecting on the meaning of the day by using this as a day of education about our collective history and taking the time to pray for real change.”
We want to thank all of those who attended this year’s Anti-Racism Walk and George Floyd Memorial.
We especially thank the following for organizing the event and making it all happen:
-Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson
-Black Lives Matter Committee: Brianna Rodrigues, Tola Alade, Delis Alejandro
-Dr. James Spellman, Principal, St. Monica High School
-Symphany W., High School student speaker
-St. Monica High School students
-Dennis Hardwick and St. Monica JustFaith Community
-St. Monica Elementary School Grade 7 Teacher Theresa Rentar and her class who produced our signs!
It was a moving and heartfelt ceremony.
This February, we honor the contributions, struggles, and milestones of the black community: activists, civil rights leaders, writers, and more. They inspire our commitment to social justice and to raising awareness for the achievements, issues, and the history of the black community.
The Black Lives Matter Too Committee has curated resources from our local community - we invite you to explore and learn more about the black community, here in Santa Monica, regionally, and beyond.
*Click the button on the right for our Black History Month page!
Annually, the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization (AACCFE) honors those men and women who have kept the flame of evangelization alive in their respective parishes.
We are happy to announce that our very own Tola Alade Lutz has been chosen as this year’s Keeper of the Flame. Tola will be recognized at the ADLA Black History Mass, Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles.
As a leader on the Black Lives Matter Too Committee, Tola las led the effort to educate our parish community on the challenges faced by Black Americans, our faith’s call to justice, and the contributions of Black Catholics. She has been a member of our community for over 12 years, as an active member of the schools Confirmation Team, YMA Socials, Special Events, YMA Core Team, Thanksgiving Boutique, and the Black Lives Matter Too Committee. Tola met her husband, got married, and baptized their child at St. Monica. Professionally, she works as a senior strategist and business development professional at a cyber technology firm.
We honor Tola for her commitment to service and evangelization fot the cause of Black Catholics in our community!
Intro to gallery of Black Catholics on their way to sainthood.
The Black Lives Matter Too Committee was formed after the murder of George Floyd in May, 2020. We have seen and experienced the sin of racism and the injustices that have affected people of color for far too long and demand change.
Our goals are three-fold:
In the gospel, Jesus implores us to “love your neighbor as yourself" and He reminds us that we are "all made in God's image and likeness." We’re each called to help create a more loving and just world and to embrace our uniqueness. Racism and white supremacy won’t die until everyone sees them as issues that they need to solve personally, rather than just Black issues they need to sympathize with. This starts with our very own Catholic community, which is why we have formed this group.
We are dedicated to educating others on the history and systems of injustice, raising awareness for the issues affecting the Black community, and gathering in prayer and action so that we can help end the oppression, discrimination and racism affecting our Black brothers and sisters.
St. Monica has long been in partnership with the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization an organization that serves Black Catholics in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Archdiocese and parishes to develop and support programs of evangelization, fellowship, and education.
Stand with us, pray, and witness our support for peace and ending inequality. We will begin with prayers and reflections in front of the Church followed by a walk to the St. Monica statue at Wilshire and Ocean Avenue.
Join Archbishop Gomez as we celebrate and honor the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this holiday with Mass. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Mass commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's Call for Service will be held on Monday, Jan. 17 at 3:00 p.m. - available via livestream - Click Here For More Information.
An annual tradition this liturgy recognizes our Most recent Ancestors who have made a significant contribution to the community.
St. Odilia Catholic Church was established in 1926 as the Negro National Church of Los Angeles and today is recognized as the Mother Church for all Los Angeles African American Catholics. This led to African American Catholics from Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana and many other states settling in South Los Angeles as parishioners of St. Odilia Catholic Church. The first council of the Knights of Peter Claver was established at St. Odilia Catholic Church leading the way for Councils, Courts, Assemblies, Chapters and Juniors to be established throughout the Western United States.
The Forum will explore the reasons for the establishment of a Black Catholic History Month and review the lives of African American Catholics who are on the road to Sainthood; the contribution of African American Catholics in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; the History of the largest lay African American Catholic organization, the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver, and their contribution to the History of Black Catholics in Los Angeles. Panelists include: Bishop Edward Clark, Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Fr. Anthony Bozeman, Pastor, Church of the Transfiguration; Michele LeBlanc, Supreme Lady, Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary; Moderator is Sherry Haines Pierce, Social Media Strategist.
We are happy to announce that Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, will be presenting on his book The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice on Thursday, Aug. 12, both in-person and via zoom. After the presentation, we welcome our in-person guests for a reception and book signing opportunity.
The book is designed to lead the reader through a month-long Ignatian “retreat,” focusing on racial justice following the format of the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatian spirituality offers us tools for today's antiracist struggle, tools that are both spiritual and practical. As Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J., explains, the legacy of Ignatius of Loyola is accessible not only to Jesuits and not only to Catholics but to all followers of Christ. His book inspires our inner journeys, while it fuels racial justice in the outer world.
Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J., PsyD, currently teaches in the psychology department at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where he is also a psychotherapist. He enjoys jazz, traveling, and learning new languages; and he plays the guitar, harmonica, and drums.
Patrick Saint-Jean’s Southern California tour is being sponsored by three Catholic Churches: Padre Serra in Camarillo, Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood and the St. Monica Catholic Community.
by Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J. (Author)
"Saint-Jean’s book beautifully weaves together several threads: the author’s personal experience as a Jesuit in formation who is both an immigrant and a Black man; poignant reminders of the long history of race-based violence; calls for racial justice; and the perennial wisdom of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, with their focus on examining our sin so that we are free to love God and neighbor. The end result is an invitation to the interior work necessary to deepen our commitment to racial justice."
-Very Rev. Brian G. Paulson, S.J., Provincial Superior, USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus
Tuesday, May 25 | 6:30 p.m. | Meet in Front of the Church
Let us stand, pray and witness together to show our support for peace and to end inequality. Please wear a mask and we ask that all in attendance adhere to social distancing guidelines.
From the front of the church, we will walk to the Saint Monica statue at Wilshire Blvd. and Ocean Ave.