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Fr Anthony Bozeman, SSJ's installation festivities running this weekend in Los Angeles

Los Angeles' newest Black (religious) priest is being installed this weekend with a slate of events serving the full gamut of the local community.

This weekend, Fr Anthony Bozeman, SSJ will be installed as the first African-American pastor of Church of the Transfiguration in Los Angeles, a Black parish in the Leimert Park neighborhood.

He will be their first pastor in eight years, with the church having been served during that time only by visiting priests.

In addition, Transfiguration has recently been designated by the chancery as a personal parish for the pastoral care of the African-American community—a rare move in the United States, despite the preponderance of Black parishes in many dioceses.

In various ways, Bozeman’s installation is the answer to many prayers, and the entire weekend will be a celebration of this significant event in the life of the Church in the United States’ second-most populous city.

In Bozeman’s words, it is just another way the parish is answering her call to bring “hope & transformation” to Leimert Park and the world.

Included in the festivities will be dinner theater on November 19th (tickets available here), a picnic for the homeless, and an installation Mass on Sunday at 10am PST with a luncheon to follow.

The picnic, on November 20th, will include mobile barbers, manicurists, a resource fair (mental health, jobs, housing, etc), hot meals, entertainment, and COVID testing/vaccines. More information about all these events can be found on the parish website.

The installation Mass on Sunday can be viewed via livestream on Facebook or the website, and the parish is also open for indoor attendance with masks and social distancing required. (The parish also maintains open doors during the service to improve ventilation.)

Tickets for the luncheon are available for $45.

Bozeman, who is new to Los Angeles, was formerly a diocesan priest in Philadelphia and now serves as a member of the Josephites, the only priestly society dedicated to serving African Americans. The society also founded the Knights of Peter Claver, which are active at Transfiguration.

He is also one of the few African-American Catholic priests active across social media, maintaining a Twitter and Instagram under the username @iamfranthonyb.

He also has his own podcast, entitled “Turned up on the Word!”.

Gunnar Gundersen is an attorney in Newport Beach, CA. He serves in his parish council and choir, is a published essayist, and regularly lectures on natural law and the American Founding. He is also the first Ordinariate member of the Knights of Peter Claver. Follow him on Twitter at @GBGundersen.

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