Father Paul Spellman’s Story on The Rozman Experience

Father Paul Spellman’s story

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As you may know, I am the Pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Los Angeles, on Jefferson Boulevard, between Arlington and Western.

My journey to the priesthood has been a bit of a winding road, but each turn has filled me with many of God’s graces.  I grew up in a Catholic home in Memphis, Tennessee with my Mom and Dad, my older brother and two younger sisters.  In 1977 I graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in Accounting and came to California to work as a Certified Public Accountant for Price Waterhouse, an international accounting firm.  For the next four years I continued to attend Mass each Sunday, but never got involved in my local parish.  I guess I was just too busy to give God anything other than one hour per week of praise and worship.

In 1981, at the age of 26, I entered graduate school at the University of Southern California, and got involved in the Newman Center (Catholic Center) on campus.  Two years later, in 1983, I graduated from USC with an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) with the idea of becoming a financial consultant and then working my way up the corporate ladder.  While at Mass one Sunday at the Newman Center, I saw a notice in the bulletin regarding the Catholic Chaplains’ Program at Central Juvenile Hall in East Los Angeles.  I thought I would go and check it out, and from the minute I stepped in to their small chapel, I felt God working in my life.  Through the priests, sisters, and lay ministers, I began to experience my faith on a much deeper level.  And through the incarcerated youth I had an experience of Jesus in ways that I had never dreamed of.  We celebrated Mass each Sunday morning, met with the youth in small groups, and then came back on Wednesday evening to meet with them individually.  As a result of these discussions, I began to read the Bible more, especially the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, in which Jesus says, “When I was in prison, you visited me.”

 

Six years later, in 1989, I began volunteering at Covenant House in Hollywood, driving around the streets in the Covenant House vans and reaching out to the homeless adolescents who were living on the streets and under the freeways.  Again, I saw the face of Jesus in those whom society considers, “the least of our brothers and sisters.”  Three years later, in 1992, I was appointed Treasurer for the House of Ruth in East Los Angeles that provides shelter for homeless women and children.  All this time I kept working at my day job as an accountant, and volunteering at Juvenile Hall.  For twelve years Juvenile Hall was my home parish, the center of my faith community.

During this time I began to really ask what God’s plan was for me in my life, and I took it to prayer and began meeting with a Spiritual Director. I was spending so much time at work, earning money, but it was my time at Juvenile Hall, Covenant House, and the House of Ruth that really energized me.  Could God be calling me to change my time commitments to truly serve Him?   Finally I began to realize that God was calling me to the priesthood, and after a long series of interviews, retreats, and applications, I entered Saint John’s Seminary in 1995, at the age of 40.  And six years later I was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, on June 2, 2001.

You can see why I say that my faith journey has been a bit of a winding path.  And throughout my six years in the seminary, I continued to follow that trend.  During our summer breaks I would travel to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, in an effort to see what the Catholic Church was doing to help the poorest of the poor, and to see if I could learn a bit of Spanish.  In the spring of 1999 I traveled to Bolivia and lived and worked in an orphanage as part of a program with the Maryknoll Missionaries. Once ordained I joined a group of folks with Catholic Relief Services and went to Cambodia to get a first-hand look at how the Church is helping the people of this impoverished country in Asia, and four years ago I went to Uganda in East Africa to visit two friends of mine from my seminary days who are now priests in this poor African nation.  It was an incredible experience, especially when we went to the outlying villages to celebrate Mass.

My first assignment as a priest was as the Associate Pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Claremont, about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.  It is a wonderful parish and there I met a lot of fabulous people.  We expanded our Saint Vincent DePaul Society, and began a Side-by-Side Ministry to help people navigate the system of social services and help them get the assistance that they need.  I was the celebrant at each Sunday’s 5:00 afternoon Youth Mass, which is aimed at reaching the teens of the parish, and that was very rewarding.  This was a blessed experience for me as a newly-ordained priest, and I had a wonderful four years in the parish.

I am now in my eighth year as Pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Los Angeles (South Central Los Angeles, in the Jefferson Park community).  The area is much more impoverished than Claremont, but the people of the parish have been most welcoming!   There is a lot more gang activity, drug abuse, and violence, but the people of the parish have a great sense of spirituality in them.  I have really enjoyed getting to know the people and walking with the people of God on our Journey of Faith.  We have shared our stories, and have walked together in the Light of Christ.  We have a school, Kindergarten through 8th grade, and I visit the classrooms each Tuesday and teach the children about the Good News of the Gospel.  I am blessed to be able to share our faith with our school children, and on Saturdays I meet with the students of our Religious Education program.  We also have a Soup Kitchen that serves soup and sandwiches to the homeless of our area, and our St. Vincent DePaul Society is quick to help anyone who may be struggling financially (or otherwise).  Each Friday I join the Eucharistic Ministers as we take Holy Communion to the sick and the elderly, especially those who have been long-term members of our parish but are physically unable to join us for the celebration of the Mass.

Throughout my twelve years of priesthood God has blessed me in so many different ways, and for that I give thanks to God!

This is my guest Show stars 4 pm pst 03/31/2013 on

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The Asomugha Foundation interviews with Rick Rozman on The Rozman Experience

Richard Rozman: My Life of Passion

Redondo Beach Educational Foundation.

03-24-2013 Listen to the live interview 4 pm pst

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My passion is people, and I have dedicated my life to helping people improve their lives. I also run marathons and love traveling. Like most others, passion fills me with complete and total satisfaction even when I simply talk or think about it. I have worked with many charitable foundations and wish to introduce you to some compassionate people who strive to make a difference in our world. May this inspire you to also reach out and touch someone.

Let me start with The Asomugha Foundation which focuses on creating educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the U.S. and underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa. I am honored to say that I have been intimately involved since the beginning with the foundation as a board member, and I have worked with a woman whom I consider to be a saint, Dr. Lilian Asomugha. Known as Dr. Lilian, she is a fearless leader and purpose driven woman when it comes to educating and empowering children yet she possesses the sensibilities and selflessness of a saint. She has raised her own amazing and successful children who work with her in The Asomugha Foundation.

Formally established in 2010, The Asomugha Foundation can trace its history to its core programming which began in 2005 serving orphans and widows in Nigeria and 2007 focusing on youth in the United States and their pursuit of higher education. Nnamdi Asomugha, Dr. Lilian’s son, serves as chairman of the board. He looks at giving back as a family project. At the same time, he pursues his demanding job as a professional football player in the NFL. He is a four-time All-Pro selection and Pro-Bowl athlete. Nnamdi, Dr. Lilian, and I are joined on the board by Dr. Chisara N. Asomugha – Vice President, Chijioke Asomugha, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Frank Oti, Georgia Richardson, and Roger Rodas. Details of each board member are found on The Asomugha Foundation website below.

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The Asomugha Foundation is comprised of two primary programs: Asomugha College Tour for Scholars (ACTS) and Orphans and Widows in Need (OWIN). ACTS is an annual college tour and mentoring program that provides high-achieving students of color in high school with the opportunity to visit college campuses across the country. ACTS is built on the belief that education is the springboard of innovation. ACTS helps the students to focus on higher education, services to humanity, and giving back to the community. The tours have included colleges and universities located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, DC.

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OWIN provides aid to the growing populations of widows and orphans in Africa and creates programs for education, spiritual guidance, and vocational training. In 2005, Dr. Lilian founded OWIN following her passion for helping disadvantaged widows and orphans of our world. She is a motivational speaker, published author, and devoted advocate for women and children. More details about Dr. Lilian and her talented children can be found on The Asomugha Foundation website.

The Seventh Annual “Service Matters” Fundraising Gala presented by The Asomugha Foundation takes place, Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. I have been the master of ceremonies of this event in the past. My good friend Sam Beard, The Jefferson Awards, previously received The Asomugha Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, taking the reins as master of ceremonies for the second year in a row is Rich Eisen of the NFL Network who hosts the show The Rick Eisen Podcast. The keynote speaker will be Omar McGhee of Executive Preparatory Academy; Attorney General Kamala Harris will receive the Visionary Award; Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle will be awarded Emerging Humanitarian; and brothers Dana and David Pump of the Harold Pump Foundation will receive the Leadership Award. Details of the event regarding sponsorship opportunities and tickets can be found on The Asomugha Foundation website at www.asomughafoundation.org or www.buildingtoday.org. You may contact us by email at info@buildingtoday.org.

As part of my outreach to spread the word of my passion for giving, I host a podcast on Blog Talk Radio through the EZ Way Broadcasting network every Sunday at 4:00 p.m. PST. My guest on March 24 will be Dr. Lilian of The Asomugha Foundation. I invite everyone to listen to the show and call to talk directly with Dr. Lilian to ask questions about the work of The Asomugha Foundation.

The Rozman Experience Talks to Keith “Sarge” Gibbs to help at risk youth

Show today with Rick Rozman

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STOP BULLYING AT RISK YOUTH SHOW

L.A. Non-Profit Provides Leadership Training To At-Risk Youth

March 14, 2013 6:30 AM

Courtesy of 94.7 The Wave

Photo courtesy of Keith "Sarge" Gibbs

Photo courtesy of Keith “Sarge” Gibbs

The founder and creator of a local non-profit is providing the much-needed life skills training and leadership development to area youths who require a strong role model the most.

Keith “Sarge” Gibbs is the founder of the non-profit organization Sarge’s Community Base, which uses its “Commit II Achieve” program to provide guidance and life skills training for at risk youth in the greater Los Angeles area to encourage them to become leaders.

A former marine, Keith Sarge Gibbs decided to take his experience and skills from his service and apply it to a program to help at risk boys and girls turn their lives around and stay out of trouble.

“All these years where we’re at, it’s amazing the amount of lives and the amount of people that we’ve touched,” he said in an interview with The WAVE’s Pat Prescott.

His organization is throwing its 4th Annual Spirit Of Achievement Dinner & Fundraiser on March 23rd to help raise the necessary funds to keep the program alive and continue providing guidance for our future leaders.

“We put our life on the lines for these kids and we do it for free, we get nothing out it except for the self-gratification of seeing a kid do something in his life,” said Sarge, noting that much of the funds used for the program comes from the annual gala.

“We need your help,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Keith Sarge Gibbs

Photo courtesy of Keith Sarge Gibbs

The Achievement Gala is hosted by our own Deborah Howell and features a dinner and live entertainment including local speakers, blues singer Barbara Morrison, comedian JeROME, singer/songwriter Tony Saint Tone, and saxophonist Poncho Williams.

The gala takes place on March 23rd at City Club on Bunker Hill, located in downtown Los Angeles at 333 S. Grand Avenue

The Rozman Experience interviews Olivecrest.org

03-10-2013 4 pm pst

Call in # 914.338.1303

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THE ROZMAN EXPERIENCE with RICK ROZMAN

TODAY’S GUESTS FROM OLIVE CREST (Strong Families, Safe Kids)

WILLIAM BEDROSSIAN and TIM BAUER

olivecrest.org

Celebrating Olive Crest 40th Anniversary

Olive Crest is proud that we have strengthened our full continuum of care while actually expanding our
services to best meet the increasing needs of youth and families in the community. Our development of
programs such as Safe Families for Children and our Family Resource Centers are specifically aimed at
preserving families through community-based services and support. At Olive Crest, we believe that keeping
families strong keeps kids safe.
@Rick Rozman

Click picture to listen to the show

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The Rozman Experience dives into the realm of finance and philanthropy with host Rick Rozman.  After 33 years in the world of finance and work with charitable and non-profit organizations, Rick has created a plan to enlist his fellow philanthropists and business leaders to offer advice on how to make a difference by focusing on the three T’s:  time, talent, and treasure.  Rick’s guests include the busiest Los Angeles movers and shakers who give their own time, talent, and treasure to unite the world through giving.

Rev. Andy Bales great guest on The Rozman Experience hosted by Rick Rozman

I had a amazing show today with my Rev. Andy Bales, who I am proud to call a friend. Please listen to this show click EZ WAY BROADCASTING to listen to it. I really hope that for those of you that listen to this, strongly think of helping in some way! Go to the featured show of the month link!

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Thanks for following!

Your friend,

Rick Rozman