Dear Holy Family Parishioners,
At the beginning of last month, Holy Family received the announcement of my appointment as the new administrator. I am deeply grateful to God and to Archbishop Gomez for this opportunity to serve you and look forward to meeting you in person soon. In the meantime, here is a bit of my background as an introduction.
I’m the oldest of three children and the first member of my family to be born in the United States. My mother is from Suzhou, China and my father (who passed away a couple years ago) was from Macau, a former Portuguese colony, now part of China. My father’s side of the family also has roots in Peru and Ecuador and distant ancestry in Spain. I am a Los Angeles Westside native: born in Santa Monica, raised in Westchester, and graduated from St. Bernard’s in Playa del Rey and then UCLA in Westwood (double major in Philosophy & Latin). For seven years before becoming a priest, I worked as a high school teacher at Bishop Amat in La Puente, teaching several courses in religion as well as Latin and an introduction to philosophy course.
Also, before becoming a priest, I spent seven years as a friar in the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), who staff our neighboring parish in Eagle Rock. They gave me the gift of a deep intellectual, spiritual, and ministerial/ pastoral formation, while studying and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Washington DC (MA Philosophy and MA Theology).
During my time in formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I served as a summer intern at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore and visited Tanzania, East Africa as a CRS Global Fellow. My time at St. John’s allowed me to complete a third master’s degree (in Divinity) before my ordination as a priest and first assignment to St. John Chrysostom Church in Inglewood in 2016. In April 2020, I was appointed administrator of St. Martin of Tours Church in Brentwood, where I was blessed to shepherd the community through the lockdowns and into reopening. In July 2021, I was appointed administrator of St. Paul of the Cross Church in La Mirada, blessed again to build up the community of the Church by restoring the life of worship, faith formation, and Christian service as we emerged from the pandemic. As a priest, my special passion is for education and evangelization, equipping and forming the People of God as “missionary disciples” who proclaim and live the message of Jesus.
Some people are fearful of what the future holds. We live in times of political, social, and economic instability. One of the more repeated sayings of Jesus to his disciples is “Do not be afraid!” Jesus is asking us to renew our trust in him. Our confidence in God’s mercy and love for us is our strength as disciples. In his letter to the Romans, chapter 8, St. Paul reminds and assures us that nothing in creation (no war, no virus, no rising costs) can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wishing you a blessed Sunday, in good health and joy of heart,
Fr. Anthony Garcias