To mark the centennial of the Maryknoll Sisters, a prayer service will be held at 2 p.m. on March 25 at Immaculate Conception Church, 740 S. Shamrock Ave., Monrovia, a few blocks from the sisters’ retirement facility on Norumbega Drive.

The service will feature a talk by Maryknoll Sister Joanne Haruko Doi, and be followed by a mission movie and exhibits. 

Currently serving in 29 countries worldwide, the Maryknoll Sisters were the first U.S.-based Catholic congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign missions. Founded on Jan. 6, 1912, by Mollie Rogers, a graduate of Smith College, a group came from New York State to Los Angeles in 1920 to start an elementary and boarding school in Little Tokyo for Japanese students that would become St. Francis Xavier School.  

Ten years later, at the invitation of Bishop John Cantwell, the congregation bought a sanatorium nestled up against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains to care for Japanese patients with tuberculosis. During World War II — when anti-Asian hysteria spread throughout the West Coast and some 100,000 Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps — the Sisters in Monrovia continued to minister to Japanese women with TB. 

And in 1974, the hospital compound was converted to a center for retired Maryknoll Sisters, fulfilling the wish of Mother Mary Joseph (Mollie Rogers) who said, “You know, we are all young now, but some day we will need a place for our Sisters to spend the years of their retirement.” 

Currently, 35 women religious — who have served throughout Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, Africa and the United States — live at the center in Monrovia. Most remain active by volunteering in a variety of local pastoral and social justice ministries.   

Immaculate Conception Church is located at 740 S. Shamrock Ave., Monrovia, All are invited to the prayer service and mission movie. Information: (626) 358-1825. 

Lenten series on ‘Mary of Nazareth’ set in Ojai

Augustinian Father Gregory Heidenblut, president of Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, will present a Lenten lecture series, “Mary of Nazareth: Myths and Realities,” on Monday evenings beginning Feb. 27 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Ojai.

The six-week series will address Mary’s role in the history of salvation, with a focus on “her role as Mother of God and our Mother,” said Father Heidenblut. 

Each lecture will run 7-8 p.m. in the hall at St. Thomas Aquinas, 185 Saint Thomas Dr., Ojai (March 5 and 12 lectures will take place in the church). All lectures are free and open to the public. For information, call (805) 646-1464 or email [email protected].

Restorative Justice conference set Feb. 24 at LMU

The Center for Restorative Justice (CRJ) at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles will host its second annual conference, “Another Way: Imagining a Justice that Restores,” 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Ahmanson Auditorium at Loyola Marymount University. 

The conference will feature a conversation between California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and LMU President David W. Burcham (’84), a lunchtime presentation by Jesuit Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries, and the presentation of the inaugural Francisco Carrillo, Jr. Award. 

Panels will include “Adult Prison Reform and Re-Thinking the Death Penalty,”  “Restoring Victims and Survivors of Crime” and “Restoring Youth Offenders.” Clinical Professor Scott E. Wood, co-director of the CRJ, will deliver the keynote address.

Ahmanson Auditorium is located in University Hall on LMU’s campus at 1 LMU Dr., Los Angeles. Information: