Monterey Park Church holds special mass honoring shooting victims
In the final of a somber week of commemorations since the Monterey Park mass shooting, dozens of people streamed into St. Stephen Martyr’s Catholic Church Friday night for a service honoring the 11 victims.
In front of the church was a placard bearing the names of the dead: Mymy Nhan, 65; LiLan Li, 63 years old; Xiujuan Yu, 57 years old; Hongying Jian, 62 years old; Muoi Dai Ung, 67 years old; Valentino Marcos Alvero, 68; Yu-Lun Kao, 72; Chia Ling Yau, 76; Wen-Tau Yu, 64 years old; Ming Wei Ma, 72; and Diana Man Ling Tom, 70.
Father Joseph Magdaong, who presided over the Mass with Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Goméz, underscored the significance of the shooting that occurred on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
“Ironically, this is the saddest time for us in Monterey Park,” said Magdaong, the pastor of St. Stephen Martyr Catholic Parish.
Alvero had been a parishioner at St. Stephen Martyr, according to Magdaong. He was a Filipino American and a devout Catholic who enjoyed ballroom dancing, his family said. They called it a “great travesty” that he didn’t receive his last rites, a sacrament administered before death.
“Our family would like to ask all priests and Catholics to pray for him by his name, Valentino Marcos Alvero,” the family wrote in a statement. “He was a faithful servant of God and we know he would want the world to uplift his family in prayer more than anything.”
Alvero’s daughter was married to St. Stephen Martyr a few years ago, said Martha Sanchez, a parishioner at the Friday evening service.
“When I found out he was among those killed, what came to mind was the wedding day. It was so joyful,” Sanchez said. “He was so proud to walk her down the aisle. He just beamed.
Alvero also had at least three grandchildren, Sanchez said.
“He was a very nice man,” she added. “Very respectful and very affectionate towards his daughter.”
Alvero was a “loving father, a devoted son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three nieces and nephews as his own children,” his family said.
Nearby, at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, the site of Saturday’s mass shooting, two of Alvero’s relatives stood in front of his photo where a memorial sprouted, visitors leaving bouquets of flowers and lighting candles.
Alvero’s relatives both declined to be interviewed, but one recalled that Alvero was “always happy and smiling”.
Alvero was “more than just a headline or news story,” the family said in their statement.
“He loved people and heard about their lives and in return he shared his own stories with such enthusiasm and excitement that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh with him,” she wrote. family.
An almost nocturnal vigil was held at the site with hundreds of passers-by each night.
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Star Ballroom on Wednesday and placed a bouquet in the front.
Los Angeles Times