Rudy Ortega Jr. and Ray Rivera sing bird songs to welcome the gathering. Photo by Timmy Ornelas.

On Sunday June 12, 2016, the Native American Concerns for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Auxiliary Bishop Joseph V. Brennan hosted “Mercy with All Our Relations” at the San Fernando Pastoral Region.

Keynote speaker Rudy Ortega Jr., Fernandeño Tataviam Tribal President, opened the event with blessings and a prayer hoping for harmony and peace between all peoples, regardless of their faith. He acknowledged the hardships the ancestors faced as they tried to keep their traditions while maintaining loyalty to the Catholic Church.

“We can only imagine what [the ancestors felt]- their feelings as the world was changing. My father has shared with me what his father and grandfather would say: ‘the world is not ending, but the world we live in dies, and we die with it.’” (Rudy Ortega Jr., Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians)

The gathering offered the “Lord’s Prayer” in Fernandeño and the “Amazing Grace” sung in both the Tongva and Acjachemen language. Beautiful words and traditional stories that exemplified Mercy were told by Georgiana Sanchez, Chumash, Julia Bogany, Gabrielino San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians, and Adelia Sandoval, Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation.

Photo by Timmy Ornelas.

Sylvia Mendivil Salazar, Akimel O’odham and Yaqui, who is also the coordinator for Native American Concerns Ministry and chairperson of Pukúu Cultural Community Services, also offered sincere words about mercy. The event concluded with “Amazing Grace” sung by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, after he also shared thoughts about mercy.

Sylvia Mendivil Salazar and Georgiana Sanchez. Photo by Timmy Ornelas.

Please click here to read more about the event.