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On behalf of all of us in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and at St. Paul’s Commons, Echo Park, I bade au revoir this evening to Br Ambrose Cristóbal, a professed member of the Society of St. Francis, Province of the Americas, a community of Episcopal monks founded in the U.S. in 1919. Read more about SSF here. Their bishop protector is the Rt. Rev. Robert L. Fitzpatrick of Hawaii.

With Br. Antonio, who left us a few weeks ago, Br. Ambrose has lived at St. Paul’s since 2018, assisting with special events, hospitality, and reception along with his abundant ministries at St. Mary’s, Mariposa (Los Angeles), and in the Episcopal Asian-Asian American community. Bibliophile, linguist, and scholar of religions, always with a kind word or fascinating question, Ambrose’s was the first three-dimensional face of a colleague I saw most mornings and the last many evenings.

Ambrose and his ride, his colleague Br. Desmond Alban, will leave Echo Park first thing Tuesday morning in a well-packed rental car, heading for the San Damiano Friary, the SSF’s home in San Francisco’s Mission District since 1971. Ambrose told me he was 50% tired from packing (not an easy process, as he’s still recovering from a shoulder injury) and 50% excited about being in community with his brothers. May we see them all again before too long.