Sept. 21-28: Papal visit to the U.S., Washington, DC; New York; Philadelphia
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Sept. 30: 12:10 p.m. Mass with Eighth Grade classes, Cathedral of Christ the Light
Visit with Most Rev. Abba Kidane Yebio, bishop of Keren, Eritrea
6 p.m. Mass, installation of Rev. Peter Rogers, OP, as president of Dominican
School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley
Oct. 1-2: Diocesan priests' retreat, Villa Maria del Mar, Santa Cruz
Oct. 2: Mass, Chestnut Center, Berkeley
Oct. 3: 2:30 p.m. Mass, Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Crusade, St. Leander Parish, San Leandro
Oct. 3-4: 6 p.m. St. Francis of Assisi School Gala, and parish visitation, St. Francis of Assisi, Concord, Masses at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 4. See story on Page 3 for details.
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Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, made these appointments:
Rev. Bich Nguyen has been appointed half-time vice rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light. The other half of his time he will continue in the Marriage Tribunal in his capacity as judge and presiding judge of the Second Instance court, effective July 1.
Rev. Bartholomew Hutcherson, OP, has been appointed parochial vicar for Most Holy Rosary Parish, Antioch, effective July 1.
Rev. William Mason, OMI, has been appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Oakland, effective July 15.
Rev. Lee Chompoochan has been appointed parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish, Fremont, effective Sept. 8.
Voice collection Oct. 4
Parishes will accept donations for the annual collection to support the publication of The Catholic Voice, El Heraldo Católico, the annual Diocesan Directory and affiliated websites and social media.
Collection envelopes are usually distributed in October. The official weekend for this second collection was set by the diocese as Oct. 3-4, though individual parishes can change the date.
The money donated in each collection remains in each parish to offset the parish's support for The Voice and affiliated operations. Make the checks payable to your parish.
The Voice publishes 21 issues a year and is delivered at their request to 90,000 Catholic households — about half of all Catholic households — in the Oakland diocese. El Heraldo Católico is available monthly at all parishes where Mass is said in Spanish.
Every registered Catholic household is entitled to receive The Voice as part of belonging to a parish. It is the bishop's primary method of communicating with the people, and the primary method people of the diocese know about each other and their Catholic faith. The newspaper is also available online at www.catholicvoiceoakland.org as is an online subscription and breaking news is on facebook.com/TheCatholicVoice.
If you are not receiving The Catholic Voice and would like to, please contact your parish or The Voice at 510-893-5339 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue Mass Oct. 9
The annual Blue Mass honoring first responders will take place at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, at 10 a.m. Oct. 9 with Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, as the principal celebrant. All police, fire and other first responders and their families are invited to attend this interfaith service of Mass, prayers and blessings.
The public is invited to come and support these public safety officers with prayers for their safety and thanksgiving for their service. The day will include a display of equipment on the Cathedral Plaza and a memorial for those who lost their lives in service in our counties during the past year.
Oct. 18 collections
The diocesan second collection for World Mission Sunday and Catholic Home Mission Appeal is Oct. 18. Several national second collections were combined into one collection on this single date. These separate collections included World Mission Sunday; Home Mission Appeal; Support of Catholics in the Near East, Africa, South America, and several others. An envelope for this second collection will be shipped directly to the parishes from the printer in the same manner as the envelopes for the Priests Retirement Benefits Trust were sent.
The collected funds are divided thusly: 45.5 to the National Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith; 4.5 to Catholic Near East Welfare Association; and 50 to the Office of National Collections, Catholic Home Mission Appeal.
Support Malta Clinic
Tickets for the Order of Malta's Seventh Annual Silver Chalice Awards Dinner are now available for purchase. Proceeds from the gala will support the clinic's goal of expanding weekly operations from 2½ days to 5 days. The gala will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at St. Francis Yacht Club, 99 Yacht Road, San Francisco; details: www.oakdiocese.org/MaltaGala.
Bishop's Vineyard tastings
Bishop's Vineyard, whose wine is made from vineyards on the grounds of cemeteries within the Diocese of Oakland, will hold two public tastings on Oct. 3. The first will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1965 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette after the 11 a.m. Mass; the second at noon at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 26320 Mission Blvd., Hayward. There will be complimentary food and wine pairings with an opportunity to learn more about Bishop's Vineyard wines, vineyards and ministry. A portion of the income from wines purchased through the Bishop's Vineyard Wine Club helps provide tuition assistance to needy students wishing to attend a Catholic school. Visit www.bishopsvineyard.org for more information.
Chautauqua Oct. 10
For the first time, the Cathedral of Christ the Light will host Chautauqua, the gathering of people that marks its 19th event in the Diocese of Oakland. This year's theme, "Mother Mary, Untie the Knots of Our Lives," will be carried out through the procession into the cathedral. Participants from the groups represented in the Ethnic Pastoral Center will carry their statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the cathedral for the Mass, which will be celebrated by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. The event runs from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 10, at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Entertainment and food to follow Mass. Details: www.oakdiocese.org/chautauqua.
Little engine that could
Pope Francis' initiative for a church whose doors are wide open is making the summertime papal property of Castel Gandolfo even more accessible to visitors in Rome by linking Vatican City State with the so-called "second Vatican" by a regular train service. The tiny train station of the smallest country in the world is now open to ticketed tour goers so anyone can take a specially chartered train that leaves every Saturday for a round trip journey to Castel Gandolfo, just 13 miles away. The coal-powered steam locomotive from 1915 had been used by the Italian royal family and once carried Pope John XXIII to Loreto and Assisi in 1962. A full-day ticket is $45.
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The Vatican's doctrinal congregation upheld a Spanish bishop's refusal to allow a transsexual person to be a godparent. Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of Cadiz and Ceuta said in a written statement that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says godparents must be "firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized ... on the road of Christian life" (1255). The church teaches that sponsors must live a life of faith that is in keeping with their function as someone who must "seriously assume" responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at baptism, he said in the statement that was published on the diocese's web site Sept. 1. If it is not possible to find a person who has all of "the necessary qualities," the priest can confer the sacrament of Baptism without godparents, he said. Given "the confusion" among some of the faithful concerning this decision, the bishop said, he also formally consulted with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which reaffirmed the "impossibility" of allowing an openly transsexual person to be a godparent.
Get a desk job
To be a true Christian means being forgiving, kind, humble, gentle, generous, merciful and very patient with one another, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. Priests must be especially merciful, he added, saying if that they weren't, then they should ask their bishop for a desk job and "never walk into a confessional, I beg you. A priest who isn't merciful does much damage in the confessional. He berates people," the pope said Sept. 10 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Parishes not a club
A church that lives according to the Gospel must always have its doors open and be a welcoming community, not "an exclusive, closed sect," Pope Francis said. "Churches, parishes, institutions with closed doors must not call themselves a church; they must call themselves museums," he said to applause during his general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 9.
Pope on ABC special
Pope Francis gave words of affirmation and encouragement to predominantly Hispanic audiences gathered in Los Angeles, Chicago and a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border who had little clue they had been selected for a "virtual audience" with the pope. The audience was arranged by ABC News, which aired major excerpts of the audience Sept. 4 on "Pope Francis & the People," a special installment of its "20/20" newsmagazine.
While a juridical process is necessary for making accurate judgments, the Catholic Church's marriage annulment process must be quicker, cheaper and much more of a pastoral ministry, Pope Francis said. Rewriting a section of the Latin-rite Code of Canon Law and of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Pope Francis said he was not "promoting the nullity of marriages, but the quickness of the processes, as well as a correct simplicity" of the procedures so that Catholic couples are not "oppressed by the shadow of doubt" for prolonged periods.
— Catholic News Service