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Sept. 21, 2015
The journey begins

Sept. 22, 2015
National shrine

Sept. 22, 2015
God's help
in getting a job

Sept. 23, 2015
Despite huge crowd, courtesy, hospitality

Sept. 25, 2015
on St. Serra

Sept. 26, 2015
Four examples
of Catholic
Social Teaching

Sept. 27, 2015
Memories, joy
from Philadelphia

placeholder September 21, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Papal Visit • September 22, 2015

About 40 people were gathered downstairs in the basilica for Eucharistic Adoration.

Vestments are piled high in preparation for the canonization Mass.

A giant poster graces the tower of the basilica.

God's help in getting a job

Very Rev. George Mockel

As I wandered around the National Shrine, I made my way to the crypt church which is located beneath the main basilica. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was taking place. There were some 40 people in the chapel.

I was struck by the age diversity. Young and old and everyone in between. Another sign of the vibrancy of the faith and devotion of so many to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

As I made my way to an educational display on the life of Father Serra, I struck up a conversation with one of the security people.

I asked how long he had worked at the shrine. He briefly told me his story. About six years ago he was out of work and as he told it "my life was going in the wrong direction."

He found himself coming to pray at a Catholic Church. It was closed and pouring rain. He knelt in the rain and asked God to help him get a job and his life back on track.

Two weeks later he got a phone call from a friend whom he had not heard from in years. During the conversation the friend told him that the place he worked at was hiring people for its security force.

Where did he work? The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; yes the very same church where he had come to pray two weeks earlier. Coincidence or divine Providence?

(Father Mockel is vicar general of the Diocese of Oakland and pastor at Santa Maria Parish in Orinda.)

An image of Father Serra at the doors.

A stained glass image of Father Serra is in the basilica.
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