OLA says goodbye to beloved pastor

With over 1300 people in attendance, Father Charles Ramirez made the rounds during the outdoor retirement dinner on the Our Lady of the Assumption grounds on Saturday. The pastor also met longtime friend Mary Jensen who travelled from Temple City. “We’ve been hugging since we were three,” she said teary-eyed. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

Retiring Our Lady of the Assumption father Charles Ramirez said he hopes the church will be a haven for “spiritual rest” for those in need of renewal, and a place for parishioners to get closer to God

Ramirez made the remarks Saturday to the more than 1,300 people who were on hand at OLA to say goodbye at a Catholic Mass and retirement party.

Ramirez’s connection with OLA goes back to 1984 when he was in seminary. He was hired that summer to work with youth at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo. He returned to OLA as pastor in 2009.

A former TV journalist known among worshippers for his quick wit and sense of humor, Ramirez was sent off by a packed house of OLA faithful. He told the crowd he didn’t want to say farewell since he plans on returning to visit and will be close by should the need arise for a  “relief pitcher.” Still, the pastor emeritus said he looks forward to the next phase of his life.


Father Charles Ramirez receives a standing ovation during the 90-minute mass and retirement party on Saturday. Courier photos/Peter Weinberger

During the tri-lingual mass at OLA honoring retiring pastor Father Charles Ramirez, a member of the OLA Vietnamese Dancing Group added a colorful flair to the festivities.

Sister Rosario Therese drove from Duarte to congratulate father Charles Ramirez on his new title, pastor emeritus.

Ramirez led the parish in song and prayer during a 90-minute tri-lingual Mass Saturday at Our Lady of the Assumption Church. The pastor had been with OLA for 14 years.

The parish prepares for dinner and entertainment to thank Ramirez for his service after a Mass Saturday at Our Lady of the Assumption Church.


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