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placeholder March 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA

March 20-22: US bishops, Washington D.C

March 23: College of Consultors, Chancery

      Meeting with deans, Chancery

      6 p.m., Cristo Rey school benefactors' dinner

March 24: Archdiocese for Military Services vocation retreat, St. Patrick's Seminary,
Menlo Park

      7 p.m. Mass in honor of Blessed Oscar Romero, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

March 25: 10 a.m. Mass, lunch, Young Ladies Institute, St. Jerome Parish, El Cerrito

      6 p.m., Cristo Rey School auction dinner hosted by the Builder's Club

March 26: Meeting, Bishop of Northern Alaska

March 27-28: Jesuit Deaconate ordination, Seattle, Washington

March 29-30: USCCB, meeting of bishops and college presidents, De Paul University, Chicago

April 1-2: Naval Duty

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Priests discuss assisted suicide
Priests from throughout the Bay Area came to the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland March 3, to study and learn how to address California's new assisted suicide law. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice of San Francisco, and Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins of Oakland, joined in the event, hosted by Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and the Ongoing Formation office of the Oakland diocese. The conference was also made available online for those who couldn't attend in person.

Chrism Mass
All parishes and members of the diocese are invited to celebrate the annual Chrism Mass at 6:30 p.m. April 6 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. This year's celebration begins with a musical prelude. Each parish is invited to have a non-clergy representative to accompany the oils that will be blessed by Bishop Michael J. Barber, SJ. The Oil of the Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick and the Sacred Chrism are taken back to parishes for the celebration of the Sacraments. For information: mhernbroth@oakdiocese.org or www.oakdiocese.org/Chrism.

Mass for Blessed Romero
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will offer a Eucharistic celebration of the life of Blessed Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mass at 7 p.m., March 24 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Salvadorian food and folk dancing will follow. Archbishop Romero an advocate for the poor, was killed March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass in El Salvador during that country's civil war. For more information, www.oakdiocese.org/ministries-formation/latino-ministry/events.

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Pope marks fourth anniversary
A lamb sits around the neck of Pope Francis as he visits a Nativity scene at the Church of St. Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in Rome in 2014. March 13 marked the fourth anniversary of the Argentine cardinal's election as pope.

Not a lab experiment
The path toward Christian unity can't be found isolated in a laboratory hashing out theological differences, but rather by walking together on a common journey, Pope Francis said. While theological dialogue is necessary, Catholics and Anglicans can continue to "help each other in our needs, in our lives and help each other spiritually," the pope said Feb. 26 while answering questions from parishioners of All Saints' Anglican Church in Rome.

Irregular unions
Reaching out to and guiding couples in cohabitation with tenderness and compassion is essential to promoting and defending the sanctity of marriage, Pope Francis said. Couples who have chosen to live together without getting married in the church "are, in spiritual and moral terms, among the poor and the least, toward whom the church, in the footsteps of her teacher and Lord, wants to be a mother who doesn't abandon, but who draws near and cares for," he said in an audience with parish priests Feb. 25.

Mouth shut, ears open
People need to listen more if they want there to be peace in the world, Pope Francis said. Open "ears are missing, there's a lack of people who know how to listen," which is essential before there can be dialogue, he said during an audience March 11 with volunteers for a national help hotline, Telefono Amico Italia.

God ready to forgive
Witches don't really exist, so they can do no harm, Pope Francis told a young girl, but gossip, sin and evil exist and they hurt people every day. "What frightens me?" the pope asked, repeating the question posed by Sara, one of the children at the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa. "I'm frightened when a person is bad; the wickedness of people" is scary.

Visit to Colombia
Pope Francis will be visiting Colombia Sept. 6-11 as the Latin American nation works to implement a new peace deal and rebuild after 52 years of war. Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit the nation after Blessed Paul VI and St. John Paul II.

No change with Trump
Despite opposing views on some issues, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See will still look for common ground on global issues, the interim leader of the embassy said. "There's an expectation that the relationship between President (Donald) Trump and Pope Francis will be difficult to establish" and that "the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Holy See is going to suffer and that is not the case at all," Louis Bono, charge d'affaires to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See said.

Always carry Bible
Christians should care about reading God's messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said. As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they "read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it" into their lives, he said before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square March 5.

Catholic News Service

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