Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, will celebrate Mass at Ventura's San Buenaventura Mission, 211 E. Main St., at 9 a.m. Sunday. Immediately afterward, he will bless and dedicate the mission's newly completed Blessed Junipero Serra Center.
Celebrating the Mass with Mahony will be Bishop Thomas Currie, auxiliary bishop of the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region, Msgr. Patrick O'Brien, pastor of the Old Mission, and visiting priests.
The dedications will be accompanied by inspirational songs in English, Spanish and Native American.
The Blessed Junipero Serra Center will house administrative offices and kindergarten and pre-kindergarten for the Holy Cross School building scheduled to be completed in 2000.
Pre-Christmas Services Begin
* Services in preparation for Christmas will begin today with the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the San Buenaventura Mission, 211 E. Main St., Ventura, at 3 p.m., and a communal penance service at Our Lady of Assumption Church, 3175 Telegraph Road, Ventura, at 3:30 p.m.
There will be a bilingual penance service at the Old Mission at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 10 to 11 a.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday.
At the mission, Mass will be held at 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve with the children's choir and at 7:30 p.m. with the Spanish choir. There will be Christmas caroling at 11:30 p.m., and the combined choirs will sing at midnight.
Christmas Day Masses will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m. with a cantor, at 9 a.m. with the traditional choir, at 10:30 a.m. with the Spanish choir and at noon with the folk choir.
There will be no evening Masses on Christmas Day.
Kids Stage Christmas Musical
* The South Coast Fellowship Now Generation Kids Choir presents "A Star Is Born," a Christmas musical, at 6 p.m. today at 4050 Market St. in Ventura.
About 130 children ages 2 and older will participate.
For more information, call 658-7646.
Living Nativity Planned
* The Moorpark I and Moorpark II Wards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present "The Living Nativity" today at 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Candlewood Court and Christian Barrett Road next to Peach Hill School.
The half-hour presentation will include actors portraying the birth of Christ, with live animals, scriptural narration and Christmas music.
All are invited. There is no charge, and refreshments will be served. There will also be a food drive; all donated canned and packaged food items will go to the Moorpark Food Pantry.
Lecture Series to Conclude
* The Rev. Craig Johnson, pastor of Bethel Christian Fellowship in Agoura Hills, will conclude his Winter Lecture Series as part of the Bethel Forum, a series that has celebrated the holiday season.
The final lecture, "What Child Is This? Christ: The Reason for the Season," will be presented from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. A question-and-answer period will follow the lecture.
The church is at 5310 Derry Ave., Suite P. For more information, call (818) 889-7215.
Care Items for Needy to Be Sorted
* On Sunday, members of the United Methodist Church in Simi Valley will sort, pack and wrap personal care items--such as toothpaste, nail clippers and deodorant--into shoe boxes to present to homeless and needy Simi Valley residents at a Christmas Day dinner.
Each December, the church's Shoe Box Ministry offers this assistance to dozens of individuals who rely on area churches for meals and shelter. The sorting begins at 11:30 a.m. at the church.
Also on Sunday, the Rev. Brandon Cho will preach the message "See Mary--God's Chosen One" at the 8 and 10 a.m. services using Luke 1:26-38. Communion will be celebrated at the 8 a.m. service. Child care is offered at both. Sunday School for all ages begins at 9 a.m. Mission Hispania Biblica celebrates worship in Spanish at 1:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
The church is at 2394 Erringer Road. For more information, call 526-6231.
Services Include Special Music
* St. Matthew's United Methodist Church in Newbury Park will hold worship services at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Sunday with special music at both services.
At 8:30 a.m., the Rev. Lynne Austin will focus on Luke 1:26-38, 47-55. At 10 a.m., St. Matthew's Chancel Choir will present its Christmas program. At 6 p.m., St. Matthew's Youth Group will host "Sing for Your Supper," an evening with a potluck dinner and caroling.
At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Austin will lead a special worship service on "Healing for the Holidays," a candlelight service centering on God's healing message at Christmas.
There will be a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. Friday. The church is at 1360 Wendy Drive. For more information, call 498-6910.
Fourth Sunday of Advent Service
* The Fourth Sunday of Advent will be celebrated at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Oxnard with a worship celebration at 10:15 a.m. Sunday.
Randy Bowin and his family will be lighting the Fourth Advent Candle.