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We had a wonderful show today with our very distinguished guest, Sr. Johnellen Turner! She brought her story, her joy and her knowledge to our Call Me Catholic studios. It was fascinating to learn about the work done by the Dominican Sisters with young boys at St. Catherine’s Academy in Anaheim, California, and how the combination of military and spiritual disciplines yields such enduring success for these fortunate students.

To learn more about this uniquely excellent Catholic elementary school for boys, go to






Originally broadcast on 4/21/18


St. Catherine’s Academy, an all-boys Catholic school with a military tradition, received the Anaheim Beautiful Award at the recent Demin & Diamonds 45th Anniversary Gala.

The event, held at the Colony House of Anaheim, gathered more than 200 Anaheim residents, business owners and workers. The prestigious award is presented to recognize the efforts of home and business owners who enhance and beautify properties. Entries were judged on overall appearance, landscape and hardscape, screening of utilities, maintenance of structure and general affect on the neighborhood.

Anaheim Beautiful was organized in 1970 by founding President Thelma Jordan. It is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization.

St. Catherine’s was proud to receive the award as it celebrates more than 127 years of education excellence. St. Catherine’s Academy’s 9-acre campus is home to both local and international students ranging from 4-13 years old. It is the only Catholic school with military tradition in the entire country and oldest elementary school in Orange County, dating back to 1889.

The mission of Anaheim Beautiful is to initiate, encourage, promote and actively participate to preserve and enhance the beauty of Anaheim.

“It is a true honor to receive this award on behalf of St. Catherine’s Academy and the Dominican Sisters,” Said Sister Johnellen, president and administrator of St. Catherine’s Academy. Sister Johnellen was also asked to do the invocation for the evening and the Catherine’s Academy’s color guard presented the colors at the event.



For the past 11 years, Chef Bruno Serrato, owner of the Anaheim White House Restaurant, has become known worldwide for his daily efforts to cook warm dinners for 1,400 underprivileged “motel kids” every night. Serrato was named one of CNN’s 10 Heroes of the Year and has been recognized on TV and in international publications. He was even honored on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with a humanitarian award.

But one of his most treasured honors came recently when Pope Francis sent him greetings and a gift.

“Dear Bruno, I have the pleasure to send you the crown of the rosary on behalf of the Holy Pope Francis. He will remember you during his prayer and send you a big brotherly hug from his heart and the apostolic blessing to you and all the people who are helping you. I am also sending you my personal prayers.” It was signed the Archbishop of Venevento and Elemosiniere of the Holy Pope.

“This means all of you who have helped me the past 11 years through your support of Caterina’s Club have been blessed directly by Pope Francis,” Serrato wrote to his supporters.



RECongress 2016 – the world’s largest gathering of Catholic high school students, adults and young adults – begins with Youth Day at the Anaheim Convention Center on Thursday, Feb. 25 and continues with a host of events until Sunday, Feb. 28.

The four-day event, with the theme of “Boundless Mercy” in acknowledgement of the Year of Mercy, will attract more than 40,000 registered visitors. It will feature more than 200 speakers and more than 300 workshops in three languages, as well as entertainment, evening concerts and 16 Liturgies. The Congress Exhibit Hall – held Friday through Sunday – will showcase more than 200 companies offering materials ranging from religious art to music, and representing vendors from publishing houses to educational institutions.

Sponsored by the Office of Religious Education of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the Congress began in 1968 as an “institute” for religious education (CCD) teachers and has grown to include people of all vocations and different faiths.

“One of the most important factors in faith formation ministry is leadership and well-trained catechetical leaders,” says Father Jerry Horan, vicar of faith formation for the Diocese of Orange. “That’s really what the Congress is all about.

“As we look at the Church and its multicultural realities, this is an important training opportunity to renew and strengthen the skills required for religious educators and catechists,” Father Horan adds. “It provides a place for renewal of theological thought and spiritual experience. For those who run parish programs, this is where they can deepen their knowledge and sharpen their skills.”

Youth Day will attract more than 20,000 high school students who will share in Liturgy, workshops, entertainment and a Youth Day Rally.

RECongress begins the following day and features several keynote speakers. Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of “Dead Man Walking” and a noted human rights activist, is Saturday’s keynote speaker, presenting “Boundless Mercy and the Compassion of Christ.”

Sunday’s keynote address, “Pope Francis, the Environment and U.S. Politics,” will be presented by Father James L. Heft, SM, a Marianist priest, professor and president of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC, who has authored 12 books and 190 articles.

Other prominent speakers at RECongress include John L. Allen Jr., associate editor of Crux, and author of nine books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs. Also speaking is Father Gregory Boyle, founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries and an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention. Bishop Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, also is a featured speaker.

“What’s always the high point of each Congress is the time it provides to meet and support the people who are doing religious education or faith formation in the Diocese,” Father Horan says. “Another aspect this year that’s invigorating and insightful is the theme – it will be exciting to see the expression of ‘Boundless Mercy’ and the focus it’s given.”

Truly an international event, last year’s Congress attracted participants from Canada, Australia, Mexico, Ireland and from many Western states, he notes.

For more information, or to register for RECongress and/or Youth Day, visit or contact the Los Angeles Office of Religious Education at 213-637-7348 or



Employees and their families joined community leaders and local residents on a cloudy morning last Saturday to celebrate the blessing of St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare’s new Shared Services office in Anaheim.

Sister Marian Schubert, CSJ, executive vice president of mission integration for St. Joseph Health, presided over the blessing of the new 191,000-square-foot office building, located at 200 W. Center Street Promenade.

“This blessing ties our new space back to our mission and the values that St. Joseph Health stands for, which is to go out and identify needs in the community,” says Kevin Manemann, president and CEO of St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare. “Blessing our building grounds us in the work we do to extend the healing of Jesus.”

More than 800 Heritage and Home Health employees in 15 different departments have been brought to work together in the offices, which first opened in October 2015. The new space helps promote collaboration across the St. Joseph Health network, including medical groups, affiliated networks and St. Joseph Home Health. Now the people performing different functions can discuss important issues in hallway conversations and efficiently coordinate key services in one place.

The Shared Services downtown location is close to the Anaheim Packing District, the Downtown Anaheim Certified Farmers Market held every Thursday, and a number of locally owned restaurants and small businesses, which encourages those working in the building to get outside.

The Shared Services offices were designed with employees’ health and well-being in mind, and will feature a wellness center, community room, classrooms and a gym, as well as open break areas where workers can collaborate creatively or rest and regroup.

The eight-story building features 23 Reflection Walls in its conference rooms. The walls showcase photographs and historic facts about St. Joseph Heritage’s medical groups across the state and pay tribute to important people in the organization’s history, including Mother Bernard Gosselin, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

“Within these walls there are groups of people meeting to discuss the future of health care, working to shape something extraordinary,” notes Darrin Montalvo, president of integrated services. “They have big visions and they are ready to act. If that sounds familiar, it is. For generations, this is how we collaborate to envision and create a better tomorrow.”

Speakers at the Jan. 23 event included Tom Tait, mayor of the city of Anaheim and three officials from St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare: John Bennett, chief administrative officer; Montalvo; and Dr. Robert Rosenberg, chair of the board of directors. Tours followed the blessing ceremony.

“We want to have a presence in Anaheim and we’re planning to put a clinic in the area,” Manemann says. “The city’s perspective is in line with how we like to engage in the community, helping people thrive and be healthier through preventive care and outreach.”

St. Joseph Health is a not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system that includes 16 hospitals, physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services and community outreach services. Part of St. Joseph Health, St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare includes eight medical groups in California, four of which are in Orange County. In addition to its medical groups, Heritage supports four affiliated physician networks throughout the Orange County region.



Established in 1955 as part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and later becoming part of the newly formed Diocese of Orange, St. Anthony Claret in Anaheim will cap off a yearlong celebration of its 60th anniversary this weekend. The Oct. 23 – Oct. 25 festivities lead up to the feast day of the parish’s namesake, St. Anthony Claret, on Sunday, Oct. 25.

“Our 60th anniversary has been a great time of excitement and renewal,” says parish administrator Fr. Bill Cao. “It’s given us an opportunity to celebrate our origins and the mission of our patron saint — and also to reflect and plan on what we want to be as a faith family going forward.”

In addition to a thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Orange Diocese Bishop, the Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann on Sunday, Oct. 25, other festivities include a parish-wide dance (Oct. 23) featuring popular Latin music acts Los Angeles Negros and L.A. Sonora Dinamita, a concert (Oct. 24) by the Philippine Chamber Singers of Los Angeles, and a solemn procession (Oct. 25) through the surrounding Anna Drive neighborhood.

The second-oldest Catholic Church in Anaheim was built on what were avocado fields surrounded by Orange groves. Today, some 3,000 worshipers attend one of eight masses each weekend.

In 2009, the parish school closed after 52 years in operation; however, the classrooms continue to be in constant use throughout the week by one of 25 active ministry groups (including 10 choirs), and for religious education and sacramental preparation – approximately 800 children and 300 teens per year.

The parish’s devout and joyful personality will be on display during the nine days leading up to its namesake’s feast day on the 25th October. Known as a “novena,” by Catholics, the period of Oct. 17-24 will illustrate our belief in unity in diversity as each day a different language or age group takes the lead in leading that night’s prayers. The yearlong jubilee will culminate with a night of dancing (tickets also available to the general public) on Oct. 23 (6 p.m.-11 p.m.) with entertainment provided by the well-known and popular Chilean pop ballad band Los Angeles Negros and the Colombian cumbia group L.A. Sonora Dinamita.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, the parish’s Filipino community invites the public to purchase tickets to the performance (6:45 p.m.-9 p.m.) from the choral singing group Philippine Chamber Singers of Los Angeles. The night will include musical contributions from St. Anthony’s parish choirs and popular Filipina vocalist Lara Avengoza (currently starring as Princess Jasmine for Disneyland’s “Aladdin” show).

Finally, on Sunday, Oct. 25, the entire community will come together to live out the call to witness to the love of God in the second annual procession through the Anna Drive neighborhood. Last year, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait was among the 1,000-plus walkers and he is an invited guest as well this year. The Rosary procession immediately precedes the 12:15 Mass to be presided by Bishop of Orange, Kevin Vann.

“The goal is to have communities of reconciliation,” says Fr. Bill Cao. “Healthy families, to form leaders, and to see our multi-culturalism as a true strength.”

For more information on the events noted, contact the parish at (714) 776-0270.


After several delays and scheduling changes, a community forum was held Sept. 30 at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim to discuss upcoming plans for a year-round emergency shelter. A proposal has been submitted to build the shelter in an abandoned warehouse at 1000 N. Kraemer Place in Anaheim. It will potentially offer temporary housing and other resources to homeless men and women in the community.

Those in attendance who oppose the project passed out petitions to be signed, informational flyers and stickers that read “No 200-bed homeless shelter.” Supporters held large photos of former homeless individuals, ranging from adolescents to adults, who have been able to start a new life after finding refuge in a shelter that offered them a chance at a new beginning.

Supporters of the shelter, many from surrounding communities, gathered prior to the forum to pray. Director of Life Justice and Peace for the Diocese of Orange Greg Walgenbach lead the large group of supporters, asking for the Lord’s guidance for this controversial topic and that those in leadership show compassion for the homeless as they make their decision.

Members of the community on both sides of the issue engaged in conversation with one another before the meeting began, voicing their opinions.

During the course of the proceedings, select board members informed attendees of the proposed plans for the shelter and progress of the project.

Eventually audience members were allowed to address the panel with their thoughts or concerns. Nearly 100 individuals rose to voice their opinions, allowing each person only 30 seconds to speak.

Catherine Ord addressed the board saying, “Homelessness has a variety of faces; it is time for us to stop being afraid of homeless people and start providing the necessary resources.”

This forum was an opportunity for the board to gather the community response to building a shelter in this location. Further deliberation and planning is still required before approval.




AGE: 65


HOMETOWN: Pico Rivera





FAVORITE BOOK: “The Razor’s Edge” by W. Somerset Maugham

FAVORITE SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:3 – “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”



More than 38,000 faithful are gathering this weekend at the 2015 Religious Education Congress, held at the Anaheim Convention Center. Here’s a look at what’s in store for those attending.

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