The Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa next traveled to St. Kilian Church in Mission Viejo. Although the Mass was celebrated on a Monday August 18, the church was packed with around 800 people. St. Kilian Church had recently finished building a new church that was blessed by the Diocese of Orange’s very own Bishop Kevin Vann who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the new bishop of the diocese on September 12, 2012.
The Black Madonna traveled to the John Paul II Polish Center in Yorba Linda after the prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood. The Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa was processed into the center which was packed with the Polish faithful. They prayed a Rosary and celebrated a Mass. Fr. West concelebrated the Mass and afterwards there was time given for private devotion and there was a special prayer service that began at 7:30pm.
The Feast of the Assumption was celebrated again by the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa at St. Martin de Porres Church in Yorba Linda. Fr. West preached the homily during an evening Mass and concelebrated the Mass. The priests at St. Martin de Porres Church, Father Sy Nguyen and Father Jeffrey Droessler were especially pleased to receive her and to hear about her victories on the Feast of the Assumption.
The Black Madonna traveled to Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Wilmington, CA which is a historic church and one of the first established in Los Angeles in 1865. During the Jubilee year 2000 it was recognized as a Pilgrimage Church and Historic Faith Center. To this church the Black Madonna arrived on August 14 and was received enthusiastically. Pedro Diaz Ruben was the organizer for this church and is an active organizer of pro-life events.
The Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa returned to the Los Angeles area to visit Holy Family Church in Glendale. She was present for an evening Mass on Tuesday August 12 and Fr. West gave the homily; thereafter there was a holy hour with the recitation of the Rosary. Fr. West invited those attending the Mass to join the Black Madonna in a prayer vigil to end abortion at Family Planning Associates in Glendale.
There is a vibrant growing Hispanic and Filipino population St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, CA, church staffed by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. Fr. Larry Darnell and Fr. Ed Broom greeted us upon our arrival on August 11 and Fr. West gave the homily during a noon day Mass he concelebrated with Fr. Broom that was well attended with over 200 people. Another Mass was celebrated in the evening with even more people attending.
When our entourage traveled through Southern California, Long Beach’s Church of the Holy Innocents was our first stop on August 9. We brought the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa to Family Planning Associates Medical Group and Planned Parenthood for a prayer vigil with approximately 100 pro-life faithful. It never ceases to amaze me the power of our dedicated pro-lifers.
The short drive to St. Joseph’s Church resulted in another successful turnout of pro-life parishioners who showed immense devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa. I concelebrated the evening Mass with Father Mark Wagner, spoke about the historic pro-life Ocean to Ocean campaign, led the Rosary, and provided ample time for veneration afterwards.
After Sonora in nearby Modesto, it seemed only natural that we visit Gifts of Faith, a store selling religious goods and icons to support Mary Mother of God Mission Society. The society’s mission is to revive the Catholic faith in Eastern Russia and support the consecrated religious who work in Vladivostok, Russia -- the place where the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa started her historic world pilgrimage in 2012.
After departing Madera, on August 4 the Black Madonna traveled to St. Susanna Orthodox Church in Sonora, an arid area of California suffering from a long-term drought. Pulling into the driveway, Father Andrew Jacobs, Deacon Elias Union and Subdeacon Nicholas Teshin welcomed us with warm enthusiasm in anticipation of the Akathist to the Mother of God.