This chapter focuses on the formal declaration of public sanctuary at La Placita Church by Fr. Olivares. In step with the national sanctuary movement in the country, Fr. Olivares believed that after four years of assisting the refugees the time had come to announce public sanctuary. La Placita would be a safe space for refugees against immigration officials who regarded them as “illegal aliens.” On December 12, 1985-the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe-and in a formal Mass, Fr. Olivares declared La Placita a public sanctuary. This chapter also deals with the tense relationship of Fr. Olivares with Archbishop Roger Mahony over sanctuary.
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