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An activist for Jesus

An activist for Jesus

Father Richard Estrada is described as a fixture of the religious left and an activist for justice in and around Los Angeles. Now he is an Episcopalian.

Kate Linthicum writes in the LA Times:

These days, Estrada’s base is the small stucco home near Montebello that he inherited from his parents. A fountain bubbles in the flower-filled courtyard. Inside, a television tuned to CNN often plays in the background.

In his bedroom, a poster that says, “Proud member of the religious left,” looms next to a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe. On a recent morning, his 2-year-old pit bull, Honey, was quietly gnawing on a Bible on the bed.

For decades, Estrada saw the pain of gay and lesbian parishioners who were ashamed of their sexuality, and of women who he felt were treated as second-class citizens. He saw the Catholic Church evolving on those issues, but the changes felt too slow.

In 2013, he left the Claretian Missionaries and joined the Episcopal Church.

One recent night, Estrada stood before a small group gathered in the first few rows of pews at the Church of the Epiphany, an Episcopal church in Lincoln Heights. He was leading a small prayer vigil to honor several dozen college students who recently disappeared and are presumed dead in Mexico.


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