On Good Friday: Looking Back At America`s Past—And A Prayer For America`s Future
So I went last week. And as it happened,
the evening turned into another step in my journey back to
I barely made it
out of Dodge in time. Since my departure, California
unemployment has risen to
10.5 percent, the
multi-billion dollar budget deficit grows daily and the
state`s leaders are too
paralyzed by political correctness to identify the most
take the necessary punitive steps to stem the tide.
Thank goodness for the fish fry that
confirmed the wisdom of my decision to abandon California.
The dinner was a page from my past. Although
the patrons represented a mixed group, it was an American
version of diversity —and not
In fact, the English-speaking assemblage
prompted me to wonder when I last heard Spanish. As impossible
for me to believe as it is, I`ve not heard it since I left
Since the dinner took place in St. Alphonsus`
cafeteria, the evening took me back to
of long ago when I was a devout
Catholic altar boy living in Los Angeles. Although I am no
longer a practicing Catholic, my memories of Holy Week from
fifty years back remain vivid.
Like most Catholic families, our celebration
began on Palm Sunday. And from Holy Thursday, the first day of
Triduum and often referred to as Maundy Thursday, through
Easter Sunday, we spent many hours in Church commemorating
Saturday, however, was different. Since Holy
Saturday is a sacred but not a
Day of Obligation, we took it off—so to speak—to drive
Olvera Street where the annual
Blessing of the Animals took place.
On Olvera Street, Mexicans have been
celebrating Sabado de Gloria
for decades by sprinkling holy water on each animal as its
owners walk it along. Appearing in the animal parade over the
years have been cats,
snakes, pigs, sheep, goats,
opossums, hamsters, birds, monkeys, llamas, camels,
chickens and peacocks.
For my younger sisters and me, after days of
solemn prayer, the hours we spent on Olvera Street was like
going to the circus.
But everything has changed since the
mid-1950s. As much as I still love animals and enjoy a fun time,
I doubt if I would venture to Olvera Street today.
First, this year`s animal parade will be led by one of
patriotic immigration reform`s most notorious enemies,
Roger Cardinal Mahony.
Second, East Los Angeles, then a quaint ethnic enclave, is
now overwhelmingly Mexican, many of them illegally living in
the United States.
When most of those demographic groups left for
the suburbs, Mexicans seized the opportunity to move into the
East Los Angeles`s low cost housing.
By 1960, with the exception of a small but distinct
population in areas such as
Glassell Park and
Atwater Village, Mexicans dominated the region.
In fact, “greater” East Los Angeles has
expanded—if not geographically then culturally. While many
baby Hispanics still live in
Pico Rivera, since the 1970s many have moved into
that previously had been heavily
Third, as the Mexican population has spread out,
its festivals have annoyingly taken over not only Los
Angeles but also California.
In the name of
“embracing diversity,” they are widely celebrated on
public streets as well as in parks and schools:
President Benito Juarez Day,
Cinco de Mayo,
Virgen de Guadalupe,
Los Tres Reyes Magos and the all-encompassing
One is left to wonder if Californians rejoice
on Easter Sunday or on la Pascua de Resurrección.
Naturally, I`ll be going—for more reasons that
just to eat
Whenever I write about my
abandonment of the Roman Catholicism, the faithful among you
encourage me to return to the flock.
I like to think that my mind remains open
to that possibility. For me, being on Church grounds is a big
step in that direction.
Although I no longer go to Church, I`ve never
given up praying.
for my family, friends and country, imperiled today more than at
any time in its history.
But I`m trying to decide if my prayers are
heard more clearly from a Church pew
Mass than they are from my bed late at night.
Knowing the answer to my question would
play a big part in my ongoing, unresolved internal debate about
To all VDARE.COM readers, I wish you a
Happy and Joyous Easter.
him] is a California native
who recently fled the state because of over-immigration,
over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He
has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the
growth rate stable. A
long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School,
Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It
currently appears in the