Jan. 12 - Day 6

It has been a busy and thought provoking week. We are currently heading back to our home in Duarte after touring the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels downtown. We were so fortunate to have an awesome tour guide who took us through the over five acre property, and discussed the importance of the architecture, tapestries and artwork and St. Vibiana Chapel and Mausoleum. St. Vibiana, our tour guide told us, has become the "patron saint of no-body's." The cathedral represents a place where all are welcome and can find sanctuary, no matter of religious or social background. This is so important for the city of Los Angeles, where I am struck by the incredibly unbalanced distribution of wealth. We have spent time with those who are impoverished, hungry, homeless, tired, and oppressed, and yet people back home keep wondering if LA is as beautiful and "dreamy" as it is made out to be.

Yesterday, I was inspired by the Jesuit Volunteers who have dedicated a year to do service and live in community. They talked about their experiences in LA and how it has affected their relationships back home and the way that they view their own service. They also helped us relate their experiences to our own short term mission here in LA, so that we can begin to understand what we can take from this and how we can implement what we have learned, and continue to learn when we return to our respective homes. We have a lot to think about as a group and individually over the next two days. I pray we can be present in every moment to make the most out of the opportunities we have been given here. I am so thankful to be here with such wonderful people- what a great way to bridge the gap between our Marianist universities.

U. Dayton


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