United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez and Cesar Chavez Foundation President Paul F. Chavez led the farm worker movement tribute to Bishop Richard J. Garcia D.D. as the Catholic Diocese of Monterey announced funeral services scheduled over four days (see details below). The following is the text of a joint letter Arturo Rodriguez and Paul Chavez sent to the bishop’s family.
It was with profound sadness that the farm worker movement and the Chavez family learned of Bishop Garcia’s passing. His works on behalf of the farm workers are well known to all of us. He was always present with the farm workers, even when it was difficult or inconvenient. Here are only some examples of his devotion to farm workers.
Bishop Garcia marched with us in Salinas. He travelled to the state Capitol in Sacramento to stand with the farm workers when they won landmark legislative reforms. He personally intervened to aid farm workers, even appealing to employers within the Diocese during challenging union contract negotiations. He regularly led other clergy in officiating at Mass during United Farm Workers conventions held in Bakersfield honoring the union’s martyrs who lost their lives during farm worker strikes. Bishop Garcia was unfailingly generous with his time and unequivocal in fulfilling the Church’s commitment to the poor.
One of Cesar Chavez’s favorite Biblical passages was from the Book of Micah: “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” Those words aptly describe the life and labors of Bishop Garcia. He preached the gospels and he also strived to live out their lessons every day of his life.
For that the farm workers will forever be grateful.
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The following is the schedule of services for the Most Reverend Richard J. Garcia, Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey.
Monday, July 16: San Carlos Cathedral, 500 Church St., Monterey, CA 2-8 p.m. Body lying in repose; 7 p.m. Evening prayer
Tuesday, July 17: Madonna del Sasso Pro Cathedral, 320 East Laurel St., Salinas, CA 12 noon-8 p.m. Visitation; 3 p.m. Rosary; 7 p.m. Evening prayer (for the general public)
Wednesday, July 18: Madonna del Sasso Pro Cathedral, 320 East Laurel St., Salinas, CA 12 noon-8 p.m. Visitation; 3 p.m. Rosary; 7 p.m. Vigil (for the general public)
Thursday, July 19: Madonna del Sasso Pro Cathedral, 320 East Laurel St., Salinas, CA 12 11 a.m. Funeral Mass; Commital private