Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrated the first Mass at the new Queen of Angels Center for Priestly Formation during a Feb. 24 visit to bless the center’s campus. 

Formerly the Juan Diego House in Gardena, the Queen of Angels Center will continue its mission as a home for young seminarians completing their undergraduate studies while discerning the priesthood. 

After nearly three years of construction, seminarians have begun the transition from the Gardena location to the new center in Torrance, located at the site of the former Nativity Convent next to Bishop Montgomery High School. 

Archbishop Gomez celebrated the first Mass at the new chapel. (Victor Alemán)

During the visit, Archbishop Gomez celebrated Mass with seminarians and blessed the new chapel’s altar, before blessing the rest of campus. Auxiliary Bishop Marc V. Trudeau of the archdiocese’s San Pedro Pastoral Region, where the campus is located, concelebrated. 

“The altar is the heart and soul of every chapel,” the archbishop reminded the young men. “This altar and this chapel are even more special. In this place, the sacrifice of the Mass will be offered to nourish and help form future generations of priests — the men who will one day offer this holy sacrifice at altars across this archdiocese.”

This year, 13 young men will call the new campus home. 

Archbishop Gomez offers the seminarians a blessing. (Victor Alemán)

“We still have a lot of settling in to do,” said Fr. Paolo Garcia, the Center’s director.

The Queen of Angels Center broke ground on their new location on Palm Sunday in 2018. 

Seminarians of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles complete their studies and formation for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo. 

To view more photos of the visit, click here.