The Archbishop of L.A. Counts the City’s Blessings

José Gómez, the most powerful Catholic in Los Angeles, gives props to downtown and taco trucks

Now in his fifth year as the Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Gómez has come to know the city well. (He served as Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas from 2004 – 2010). Despite the traffic (yes, he uses Waze), he says the city has plenty of blessings. In celebration of Easter, we asked him to reflect on five.

L.A.’s Diversity
“The people of the city of Los Angeles are from all over the world. It’s beautiful for me to see all kinds of people and how we try to work together and live together. It’s easy to take it [diversity] for granted, but when we reflect on what people do in this city, it’s beautiful.”

Our Geography
“I love, obviously, the weather, but we have valleys, mountains, and the ocean. It’s not easy, but in the summer I try to spend some time and walk [at the beach]. Sometimes we have seminary in Camarillo, so I go there.”

Our Generosity
“We have in our parishes and in our schools so many good people doing wonderful things, helping out with social services the church provides, like feeding the hungry and helping the poor. The people are extremely generous in Los Angeles. Whatever the have, they know how to do things for others.”

Our Chiles Rellenos
I’m not big on food, but I like Mexican food and you can find really good Mexican food in Los Angeles. It’s not easy to do the same in other cities. I like chiles rellenos and you can get really good ones here. And there are taco trucks that are great—there’s one in Pasadena I don’t name the name of—and they do excellent tacos, better than the ones in Mexico!

Downtown L.A.
“[Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels] is there. Downtown is coming to life! It’s safe for people to walk and enjoy.”