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Bishop Kevin Vann to bless streets of Santa Ana to kick off Holy Week 2022

April 06, 2022 at 9:00 am

The tradition, which is unique to Orange County and promotes peaceful neighborhoods, occurs on Palm Sunday and dates to the 1990s.

Garden Grove, Calif. (March 17, 2022) — The faithful within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will be celebrating Holy Week in April, beginning on Palm Sunday (April 10) through Easter Sunday (April 17).

The celebrations include one unique to Orange County: the annual Blessing of the Streets, which began in 1993 in response to a surge in violence and gang-related shootings in Santa Ana near the St. Joseph parish on North Minter Street. At the time, several teens and a 2-year-old child were shot in the neighborhood.

Bishop Kevin Vann will be participating in the Blessing of the Streets on Palm Sunday April 10, celebrating Mass at 2 p.m. with an outdoor blessing procession afterward at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 1100 S. Center St., Santa Ana.

The procession is expected to draw hundreds of parishioners and visitors from other churches and faith communities, with stops at temporary altars to offer prayers for peace, celebrating one of the most holy days in the Christian calendar while calling on God to bless and protect their local community.

Other Holy Week celebrations include the observance of the conclusion of Lent and the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday), followed by Easter Sunday.

This year, several Diocese of Orange parishes are reviving a tradition known as the Holy Thursday Visitation of Seven Churches, which involves parishioners making pilgrimages to meditate and pray at different churches that correspond to seven altars of repose, or “stations.” This devotion is particularly popular in Poland, Mexico, Italy and the Philippines, but can be traced back to the Station Churches of Rome, where the tradition is still practiced.

In addition, Bishop Timothy Freyer will baptize the elect and accept candidates — nearly 1,000 people in total — into full communion in the Catholic Church during the Great Easter Vigil on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 566 S. Glassell St., Orange.

Many services and Masses will be in-person and livestreamed. Languages present throughout the Diocese include English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean.

Media outlets that wish to cover the Blessing of the Streets and/or other Holy Week celebrations, whether at Christ Cathedral or another Diocese of Orange parish, are asked to contact Bradley Zint (bzint@rcbo.org, 714-282-6052) and Christina Montes (cmontes@rcbo.org, 714-282-6035).

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About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, five Catholic centers and 35 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese empowers Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Bishop of Orange, was dedicated in July 2019.

Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at rcbo.org.