• Union Station Serves 2,000 in Central Park

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Christmas in the Southland included the region’s top spiritual leader and its top lawman attending Mass among about 150 county inmates and offshore winds pumping up temperatures to summer-like highs.

    Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose Gomez joined Sheriff Lee Baca for Christmas Mass in Men’s Central Jail, the focus of a federal civil rights probe in which 18 deputies have been indicted so far.

    Afterward, Gomez headed back to the seat of the most populous archdiocese in the nation to celebrate a midday Mass in Spanish at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. English-language Masses were held at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

    “Christmas tells us that God loves all of us — just as a father loves his little baby — with a precious love, with a tender mercy,” Gomez said as part of his Christmas message.

    At the San Gabriel Mission, the fourth oldest of California’s 21 missions, four Masses were celebrated before noon in the historic structure and newer chapel. At 3 p.m., Mass celebrated in Vietnamese is scheduled in the old mission.

    By midday, with inland temperatures nearing 80 degrees, the beaches resembled a summer’s day  – except for the surfers riding waves in Santa Claus suits. The record high downtown on Christmas is 85 degrees, and forecasters say that 1980 mark could be tied or beaten before the day is done.

    In Pasadena, Union Station Homeless Services was feeding about 2,000 homeless and low-income adults and children in the Crown City’s Central Park.

    For its 34 year, The Laugh Factory is putting on its free Christmas Day Feast for anyone away from family and might need laugh. Stand-up comedians and other celebrities in helping serve a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

    Live shows following meals served at 1 p.m, 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

    Temple Israel of Hollywood’s 28th annual Christmas Dinner for the Hungry and Homeless is feeding the down and out at Hollywood United Methodist Church.

    In his Christmas radio address, President Barack Obama said it was “a season for millions of Americans to be together with family, to continue long- held holiday traditions and to show our gratitude for those we love.”

    Obama also said “we want all of our troops to know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers this holiday season.”

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