Among the authorities there were a strong supporter and long-time friend of the Salesian presence in Los Angeles, Bishop Edward Clark; the Provincial of Salesians of Don Bosco, USA West Province, Fr Mel Trinidad, and other Salesians and cooperators; the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange; California State Senator Maria Durazo; the City Mayor representative; the high-ranking officers from the construction company; priests from other churches; Fr John Lam, Fr Peter Pong, Sr Maria Lai and many honorable parishioners, came together for the celebration.
With the blessing, they held the shovels and performed digging to symbolize the beginning of the construction.
Before the groundbreaking, a Mass was held and Fathers prayed to Our Lady of China, to say thanks and pray for the construction process to be safe and smooth. Five years ago, in light of limited spaces for current facilities, and forecasted future requirements, the idea of adding multi-function building was born; led by Fr John Lam, Parish Pastoral Council and Chinese Catholic Association of Los Angeles (CCALA), the idea flourished. The PPC chairman Richard Cheung researched and formally presented the needs for a new building to CCALA. CCALA quickly formed the construction team to handle all aspects of the new building and a fundraising team to raise funds needed for the construction.
From the initial step of assessing future needs, to understanding current city building code, to selecting architect, to raising funds… Every step is full of challenge, risk, and uncertainty. Today, the groundbreaking represents the result of many years hard work and benefactors financial supports. This accomplishment is truly a reflection of their huge faith in God.
“Ask and it will be given to you. We have the deep faith in God. All the preparation and arrangement from God are always greater than what we can expect of,” a parishioner comments.
“May is the month of Our Lady Mary. We pray to our Mother Mary and St. Don Bosco to bless all Salesians and all committee members of the construction team with graces of support. We pray for ‘Grateful for our past and building for our future’. We wish the Mary Help of Christians Center will be completed soon. Glory to you Lord, Amen,” he finally concludes.