Prayer breakfast kicks off holiday season

The morning after ghouls and goblins ruled the streets, more than 200 people gathered at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA for the 20th annual Community Prayer Breakfast. Leaders of six local churches offered prayers in languages including Armenian and Hebrew. Reid Samuelson, board chair for the YMCA of the Foothills, said the goal of the event was “to kick off the holiday season with a time of thanksgiving and prayer,” with proceeds to benefit the Y’s new chaplain program.

Highlights included the Crescenta Valley High School choir’s performance of “O Nata Lux,” which spurred the crowd to absolute silence so every nuance could be heard. Emcee Ron Pearson, a comedian and actor who lives in La Cañada Flintridge, noted afterward that “only the monsignor” of St. Bede the Venerable, Antonio Cacciapuoti, understood the Latin lyrics.

Domingo Mota, a chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers and pastor of Winds of Hope Ministries in Sun Valley whose father is former Dodger Manny Mota, delivered the keynote speech. Mota spent some of his youth in the Crescenta Valley and energetically recalled a terrifying skateboard ride down Lowell Avenue toward Foothill Boulevard.

He also outlined a difficult period where he went from professional baseball player through career-ending injuries and a stint as a pot-and-pan salesman before he found his religious calling. He encouraged attendees to concentrate every day on what they can do to aid others. “Life is good,” said a smiling Mota. “Eternal life is better.”

-- Bill Kisliuk, Times Community News

Twitter: @bkisliuk

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