Something You Don’t See Everyday: Church Holds “Occupy Christmas” Prayer Flash Mob In Mall

Posted By The P/Oed Patriot

Over the past month we have seen crazy examples of people showing up in Congressmen’s offices, in malls, and parks who decide to “Occupy” the space in the name of economic equality (or any other number of reasons).

But St. Raymond, a Catholic church in Downey California, decided to ‘Co-Opt’ the Occupy theme and hold an “Occupy Christmas” Flash Mob at Stonewood, a local shopping mall.

This event may not be earth shattering news, but a religious flash mob held in a mall in uber progressive California is definitely something you don’t see everyday.

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  • Galt

    It’s nice to see something positive for once. I’m surprised the mall allowed it.

  • wtd

    Amount this flash mob cost taxpayers . . .$0

  • PB-in-AL


    Obviously they had the mall’s approval, with the security guard walking with them. Kudos to you all!


  • chris

    California has a liberal coast and conservative inland – the number of conservatives, while in a clear minority and being re-districted into ghettos, still totals more than the entire population of all but a couple states.

  • PJ

    Love it! And I’m not even devout, just hate leftist speech codes.

  • Adirondack Patriot

    Amen. Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.

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  • Firebird

    Looks like no crimes committed and no fecal matter left behind, so why not? God bless ’em. Kneeling that long can’t be easy on the old bones. They earned it.

  • bg



    LOVE IT!! 🙂

    loved those flash singin’ & dancin’ mobs too.. 😉


  • Gregor

    In Indonesia they would have been beheaded

  • Lady Mondegreen

    OK, but how many people showed up? The article doesn’t say.

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  • Galt

    From the video I would say about 30 or so.

  • paul52

    God bless ’em all. NO pooperscoopers in sight. No profanity. No nudity, no mastubation, no drums, no lice, no screaming, no bloody cops. Had to smell better!

  • workingclass artist

    That was Great.

    Thanks for posting the video…made my day

  • Old One

    California is indeed much more than the lunatic left dominated San Francico Bay area and the environs of uber left Hollywood & the westside of the Los Angeles basin. Thanks to the repeated gerrymandering of the state since 1958 when the democrats won a control of the legislature conservative & republican voters have been neutralized. We live in a region that had a republican congressman & state legislators for fifty years runtil it was gerymandered out of existence in 2002.
    In 2002 republican candidates for Congress i California got 52% of the total votes cast in congressional races but thanks to five decades of unrelenting democrat gerrymandering won only 31% of the states congressional seats. Thanks to leftist judges the picture is likely to get even worse in 2012 even though population has shifted to the conservative inland counties. Somehow the democraps always ace the state’s cluelss republicans in the reapportinment game.
    Nowhere in the nation is the repub establishment more clueless, ineffective, and rino ridden than in California.

  • Big eyeroll. If they really wanted to make an impression, the Blessed Sacrament ought to have been accompanied by some sort of light or candle as well as a bell as the ministers and alcolytes approach the space – just as they used to do when bringing viaticum. Since the clerics were dressed in albs and stole – why not an appropriate display for the Bl. Sacrament? The idea is fine – perhaps – just executed rather dorky.

  • Economan

    I know the priest. He’s on Facebook and a strong Conservative! His parish is just 10 minutes from my house.

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  • midusdew

    God Bless you Fr. John Higgins!

    Very Nice, Keep doing Gods work.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • Patty

    When God receives 1% of the vote and the disinterested seem to have fail Him. Time to call out the big guns.

    Thank God that originally is still alive and well.

  • just-saying

    I loved this. [I would absolutely hate it, though, were some immams there doing their muslim thing…]

  • bill

    Thanks, Patriot, I needed something uplifting.

  • There is a time and a place for Eucharistic adoration. I’m sorry, but I do not find the mall to be either the place nor the appropriate time. While the priest may have had every good intention, etc., I found this rather embarrassing for the Church. I think the priest and his bishop need to sit down and discuss a few things…

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  • mortimerzilch

    I agree with Always Happy that this is inappropriate. Not that Jesus shouldn’t go to the mall, but His visit should not be trivialized, and it appears that this MAY HAVE been cheese-y. The same thing was done in Boston last year, that’s where this priest must’ve gotten the idea. I think secular priests should not do stuff like this without prior notice to the bishop, and religious priest without the permission of the Superior.
    Otherwise, it’s a rogue act. Without discipline. After all, THERE ARE RULES according to Canon Law that cover the Exposition of The Blessed Sacrament, and I really feel this flash act must certainly be breaking some of the Canon Law rules, but I am not a canon lawyer, so I don’t know for sure…. CAN WE GET AN EXPERT TO COMMENT PLEASE !!??

  • Carolyn

    I’m not an “expert” but Canon Law does stipulate if the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the Tabernacle, it is for the purpose of taking it to the sick or dying. It is to be transported in a Pyx, enclosed in a Burse, worn around the priest’s neck – NOT in a rolling duffle bag already in a Monstrance. It is to be taken directly from the church to the person with no stops in between. Now, this “flash mob” might be more of a “Eucharistic Procession”. In that case it is to be carried IN PROCESSION by a priest, HELD ALOFT, UNDER A CANOPY – again, not a rolling duffel bag, casually like any piece of luggage. They should have made this a real Eucharistic Procession thru the Mall, stopped and done the same hymn and prayers, which were very appropriate.

  • dC

    Archbishop Gomez is very orthodox and is a protege of Archbishop Chaput, who he worked with when he was auxillary bishop in Denver. The Mahoney protege in CA is I think slowly but progressively withering away.

  • Joan

    What about the Humeral Veil? And you do not toss a Monstrance back and forth between priests like a football. A very SACRELIGIOUS and INAPPROPRIATE display.

  • Deb

    I am not an “expert” but I am a faithful Catholic who belongs to a faithful parish. Did you see how many people were wiping tears from their faces? Peoples hearts were touched by the living God in that mall. When Jesus walked this earth, he went to the people who needed him and dined in sinners houses. People aren’t coming to Jesus the way they should be. A church I visit is threatening to stop Eucharistic Adoration because they don’t have enough people to fill the time slots. I am 52 and I was in my 30’s before I even knew what Adoration was, and I was raised Catholic. This was a great opportunity to capture peoples hearts and interest in our Eucharistic Lord and hopefully some will follow up on their interest

  • Jim

    CANON LAW on Eucharistic Processions:

    Can. 944 §1. When it can be done in the judgment of the diocesan BISHOP, a procession through the public streets is to be held as a public witness of VENERATION toward the Most Holy Eucharist, especially on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.

    §2. It is for the diocesan BISHOP to establish regulations which provide for the participation in and the DIGNITY of processions.

  • Jim

    Deb, your points are well taken and good…BUT, that does not mean the procession, veneration and blessing should not have been done PROPERLY. Think how much more effective this would have been for people if true reverence was displayed by the priests, instead of it being like a show.

  • NJ Priest

    I agree with those who felt this was misguided (kudos for hutzpah, though!) for all the reasons above, plus a few others…
    A suggestion, Fr., for next year: how about setting up confessionals in the mall instead?

  • Fr. John Higgins

    I am the Priest in the video. The Blessed Sacrament in Adoration in Public idea came from a You Tube Video of a Priest in Great Britain who did this in a public square. Our Men’s Prayer group, Our Life Teen, Our Hispanic Ministry and many others from the Parish came. But then people in the Mall who happened to be passing by also knelt in prayer during this short event.

    The numbers of those who do not want Jesus to appear in public are growing smaller and smaller. The “Secular Humanists” and the “Politically Correct” folks may not like this. But faithful Catholics do and it was a great reminder and opportunity to touch the lives of people who may have forgotten that this is Advent, not XMas and that CHRISTMAS isn’t just about shopping, it’s about the Light of the World coming to us in the darkness of sin.

    For those who think this wasn’t done properly or according to what you think is “Catholic” you can help us next time by coming and carrying a Tablernacle so this can be done according to your wishes. No cheating by using wheels! Keep it steady. I know it’s heavy, but isn’t it worth it? (grin)

  • Joe

    I wonder how much debris they left behind (not!).

  • Fr. John Higgins

    @NJ Priest
    Thanks for the suggestion about setting up Confessionals. Have you done that? If so, how did it go?

  • ExExZonie

    Father John, I’m not Catholic (yet) but what you did was beautiful and very moving, bringing Our Lord to the people as ?Jesus commanded. God bless you and St. Raymond’s parish.

  • ExExZonie

    The stray question mark is a meaningless typo.

  • greenfairie

    Nice work, Fr. John!

  • Marie Pruden

    Before Vatican II, it was a tradition among Catholics to hold a public procession of the Blessed Sacrament on Corpus Christi Day and on the feast of Christ the King.

    This “occupy” is no different and I’m so happy the tradition is being revived. God bless the people of Downey, California!

  • Coasta

    Expect Great Things………..

  • Westcoast Catholic

    This is wonderful work done by a wonderful priest. This takes alot of courage and strength to perform and should be used as an example for other priests to follow.

  • cherrywoman22

    Father I am very happy to read about something like this. Would definitely attend something like this in Skokie, IL or in Chicago, if accessible by public transportation. God bless you!

  • John

    Dear Fr. John Higgins, Did your Bishop grant you permission for this public display, as required by Canon Law?
    Your suggestion to “carry a Tabernacle” is absurd, as that is also against Canon Law. The host should have been transported in a Pyx to the Mall, assuming you did have to drive there, and transferred to the Luna and Monstrance according to all the usual procedures, some sort of small altar-like table with a white cloth should have been set up, unless you did a procession, but you did neither, just waved it around from your suitcase. Your hands, as you must know, never touch the monstrance, you use a veil. Nice idea, disgracefully executed. And NOT YOU, but YOUR BISHOP, per CANON LAW, should be setting all the formalities and guidelines, not a bunch of bloggers or your Men’s and Life Teen groups. Your intention is beautiful, your execution is a disgrace.

  • Kathy

    Father, re: “Thanks for the suggestion about setting up Confessionals. Have you done that? If so, how did it go?”

    A few years ago a diocese rented a small store space in a mall, right between 2 regular retail shops. Inside they set up 3 confessionals, they had a little area to sit or kneel and pray, a crucifix, and a picture or statue of the Blessed Mother. All was neatly done with soft lighting in a small space. A sign explained, for clarity, this was for Confession or anyone who wished to talk to a Catholic priest, that this was not a church and the Blessed Sacrament was not present, and all faiths were welcome to come in and pray. Problem is rental of space costs money but maybe someone would donate it.

  • Vicky Hernandez

    Thanks for bringing Our Lord to the people, Fr. Higgins. Perhaps, you all planted a seed in fertile ground ;-}. Maybe it could be someone who is NOT Catholic and will one day “cross the Tiber.” Or it could be someone who has been away, and this event will inspire them to return.

    Dolly Parton says it best when she quotes her dear Mom, ”I hope you get a blessin’ out of it!”
    For those who didn’t… Oh, well. Maybe next time.

  • Serge

    I was there. For those of you who thought this was irreverent or not done right let me tell you what happened.

    The Padres came and people started to wonder what was happening. I heard someone say “Is this some religious thing?” Another person said “A Priest in a mall? This is cool!” As the Priest opened the suitcase (it wasn’t a duffle bag) and held it up people dropped to their knees. The Priest started singing in a big, booming voice and soon people who were just passing by started to sing along and kneel.

    So he didn’t have a vail on or think he was doing something wrong you are mistaken. I saw people who were just passing by drop to their knees, make the sign of the Cross and pray. One man told me that he hadn’t been to Mass in years, and that this was God telling him to go back to Confession and Mass. When I was leaving one young woman with a baby said to her friend “Jesus touched my heart tonight.”

    So, thank you Fr. John. And thanks to everyone involved. Jesus went among tax collectors and sinners. He didn’t stay in the Temple or Synagogue.

    He still comes among the people who need the light in the darkness of their world!

  • OneoftheSheep

    Thank you. I am a member of St. Mels Parish in Fair Oaks,CA. I love the Eucharist and I believe that Jesus was very happy to come to the mall this year to be with all the people who do not come to Him in the church. He loves us all very much and this was a wonderful reminder of the most blessed gift we Catholics have to cherish. God bless and a Merry, Holy, Christmas to you all.

  • Kathy P

    That was very beautiful! I wish I could have been there!
    Saskatchewan, Canada.
    God Bless!

  • Finally we let people know the REASON FOR THE SEASON-Jesus Christ is born. AMEN, AMEN AMEN!!!

  • California YOuth minister

    To Fr. John what an awesome job! You are truly doing gods work! And to those who are criticizing on what should be done my question to you what are you doing to bring Jesus to your youth and parishioners of your city. I can even say showing my teens and pastor this they are so moved and touched. The pastor who I know did what most of us should be doing evangelizing to strangers and touching lives who are all you to tell a reiligious and ordained priest how to expose the blessed sacrament, we criticize but how awesome is it that a priest was able to show the true meaning of Christmas how were so focused on materialistic things that we forget about Jesus

  • Anna, 75 and tired of nonsense

    THANK you for this great demonstration of FAITH. IT’S about time that someone begins to bring out in the open the real meaning of CHRIST – MAS. i am 75 and i am very tired of hearing “politically correct, you must not offend, you must be careful… Offend? careful? What is going on here? People who don’t believe in God have a problem, let them solve it. I will not offend GOD to spare humans who refuse to believe in Him. I mn ust ignore CHRIST so that those who don’t accept Him will not be offended> Is this a JJOKE? GIVE ME A BRAKE!!! I don’t believe in BUDDA. so what should I do, go over to the Buddists and tell them that they cannot mention the name of Budda, lest I’ll be offended? I don’t beleve in Mohammad, so should I go and tell the Muslims that they cannot mention the name of Mohammad, lest I shall be offended? HELLO !!! IS ANYBODY HOME??? WAKE UP PAOPLE, I am not the only one who is sick and tired of the entire nonsense!!! Get real, and DO BEGIN TO RESPECT HUMANITY, by respecting the HUMAN DIGNITY which lies in the HUMAN FREEDOM, freedom to worship GOD acconrding to one’s own conscience. TO VIOLATE MY CONSCIENCE TO WORSHIP, IS TO VIOLATE MY HUMAN RIGHTS. As a human being I HAVE HUMAN RIGHTS. I insist that they should be RESPECTED,as I respect the rights of aLL HUMAN BEINGS. Once again, THANK YOU FOR THE BEAUTIFUL DEMONSTRATION OF FAITH. Let’s continue with them. Amen