Los Angeles, Calif., Feb 28, 2011 / 12:21 pm America/Denver (CNA).
With the retirement of Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has taken over leadership of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in the United States.
“L.A. is home for me now,” the Mexican-born archbishop told the cardinal and the assembled worshipers at a Mass marking the transition of leadership on Feb. 27. “I pray that I will be worthy of continuing the work that you have begun here.”
Before a crowd of 3,500 faithful at Los Angeles' Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Cardinal Mahony ceremonially passed on his crozier to Archbishop Gomez, investing him with the traditional staff that symbolizes the leadership of the local bishop. On that same day, his 75th birthday, the cardinal submitted his resignation in a faxed letter to Pope Benedict XVI.
On Sunday, March 6, one week after the transition, Archbishop Gomez will celebrate his inaugural Mass as Archbishop of Los Angeles.
At the transition Mass, Archbishop Gomez graciously thanked the cardinal for his leadership of the archdiocese over the course of 26 years. Cardinal Mahony's legacy, he said, is “a Church that radiates the love of God and the truth of the Gospel.”