To an outsider, the signs that this is no ordinary Christmas Mass are obvious.
Posted from what resembles a choir loft, deputies in riot gear from the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team keep watch as inmates wearing blue, light green, and white jumpsuits file inside the drab, windowless chapel on the third floor of Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.
The jail’s priest chaplain, Father Paul Griesgraber, fist-bumps the men as they walk in. Once they’re seated, a female deputy has to ask them to quiet down. “We’re in church!” she reminds them.
But when the Mass’s celebrant, Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, preaches on the significance of what the Church is celebrating today, the message of his homily is the same as the one he gave at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at Midnight Mass just a few hours earlier. Read more on Angelus News.