This year marks the 25th anniversary of Chavez’s passing and the 50th anniversary of his first hunger strike

California farm workers and community leaders joined the family of Cesar E. Chavez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sunday, April 22, for a special Mass to honor the legacy of the civil rights and farm labor leader who passed 25 years ago on April 23. Archbishop José H. Gomez presided at the Spanish-language Mass, now in its 18th year.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of his first hunger strike to rededicate the farm workers movement to nonviolence.

Farm workers and members of the Chavez’s family, including his son Paul F. Chavez, president and chair of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, brought up the communion gifts during the Mass. His granddaughter Julie Chavez Rodriguez, California director for U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, and Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) founded by Chavez, spoke after communion.​

Photo credit: VICTOR ALEMAN / ANGELUS NEWS.

The annual Mass celebrates Chavez’s commitment to the struggle for justice and dignity for all workers. Cesar Chavez, a lifelong Catholic and the son of a family of extremely poor farm workers, founded the UFW in 1962, to advocate on behalf of the farm workers in the United States.

You can view the Mass here: