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placeholder May 9, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 9   •   Oakland, CA

May 12: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

      (Afternoon) Presbyteral Council; Diocesan Consulters, Chancery

      (Evening) Oakland Police Foundation Board reception, Oakland

May 13: (Morning) Catholic Telemedia Network Board meeting, St. Patrick’s Seminary

      (Evening) CEDDO Eucharistic Holy Hour, Cathedral

May 14: (Morning) Priesthood Ordination, Cathedral

May 14-16: Parish Visitation, St. Francis of Assisi

May 18: (Evening) Region 5 Deanery Dinner, Rectory

May 19: (Morning) Mass and Visitation, Moreau High School

      (Afternoon) Diocesan Finance Council, Chancery

      (Evening) Region 4 Deanery Dinner, Rectory

May 20: (Evening) Malta Medical Clinic Benefit Auction Dinner

May 21: (Morning) Group Confirmation, Cathedral

May 21-22: Parish Visitation, St. Monica

May 22: (Evening) Confirmation, St. Monica

May 23: (Morning) Mass and Visitation, Salesian High School

May 25: (Afternoon) Bishop-elect Ordination, San Jose

      (Evening) Legatus Dinner and Speech, Napa

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There were no diocese items for this issue.

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Lawmakers urged to save anti-poverty programs

WASHINGTON — Religious leaders, including two prominent Catholic bishops, challenged lawmakers to avoid cutting federal spending on anti-poverty programs that help the poorest and most vulnerable people during the country’s mounting budget crisis. The challenge came April 27 as the leaders introduced the Circle of Protection campaign, pointing to biblical values of justice and care for the “least of our brothers and sisters” that Congress and the White House must uphold as the debate over the 2012 federal budget unfolds.

U.S. bishops to discuss assisted suicide, youth

WASHINGTON—The annual Spring General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will be June 15-17, at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel in Seattle.

The bishops will debate and vote on revisions to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a document on physician assisted suicide called “To Live Each Day With Dignity,” and the Spanish translation of USA Propers, as well as an appendix of major feast days of Spanish-speaking countries for inclusion in the future Spanish translation of the Roman Missal.

The agenda also includes: a presentation on the Defense of Marriage efforts of the USCCB, including a Spanish-language video, a report by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington on Anglicanorum coetibus, the Vatican guideline for allowing communities of Anglicans to enter into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.

Food security event launched on Facebook

WASHINGTON—On the first Friday of each month from May 6, 2011 to April 6, 2012, Catholic families and individuals can participate in First Fridays for Food Security, as a way to raise awareness about food insecurity in the U.S. and help Catholics pray and act for those in need. Catholics can take part by limiting meal spending on the first Friday of each month to the amount allotted for a family of their size in the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan.

The event’s page on Facebook provides a forum for Catholics to leave comments about their experiences and access learning and prayer resources.

— Catholic News Service

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CNS graphic/Emily Thompson

Thousands of pilgrims pray before JP2’s new tomb

VATICAN CITY — Before a slab of gleaming white marble inscribed “Beatus Johannes Paulus PP. II,” thousands of pilgrims made the sign of the cross, snapped a picture and said a quick prayer.

Some left photographs or letters in a basket in front of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s new tomb in the Chapel of St. Sebastian in St. Peter’s Basilica. A few also left flowers and a monetary contribution to support the process of declaring him a saint.

After hundreds of thousands of people filed past Blessed John Paul’s mortal remains May 1, the day of his beatification, and May 2 after a Mass of thanksgiving, a small ceremony was held to place the remains — still in their original triple-casket — under the altar and seal it with the white marble slab.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the ceremony began May 2 at 7:15 p.m., after St. Peter’s Basilica had been closed to the public. Before the marble slab was put in place, nine cardinals, several bishops and the priests who staff the basilica chanted “Blessed John Paul” in Latin. They recited the approved Mass prayer for his Oct. 22 feast day and the casket was censed.

Among those present were Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, the late pope’s longtime personal secretary, and the Polish nuns who cared for the papal household. They returned to St. Peter’s May 3 for an early morning Mass in the chapel.

Vatican officials had said more than 250,000 people visited Blessed John Paul’s mortal remains on the day of his beatification.

“John Paul II is blessed because of his faith — a strong, generous and apostolic faith,” Pope Benedict XVI said May 1 just minutes after formally beatifying his predecessor. Italian police said that for the Mass more than 1 million people were gathered in and around the Vatican and in front of large video screens in several parts of the city.

Meanwhile, men and women of all ages and nationalities have sent personal stories to www.karol-wojtyla.org — a website run by the Diocese of Rome dedicated to the late pope’s beatification and canonization. As of April 28, the multi-lingual site published more than 400 testimonies from people sharing the ways they feel Pope John Paul interceded on their behalf or brought them back to the Church.

And some pilgrims said Blessed Pope John Paul II worked a number of miracles at his beatification. Weather forecasts of a weekend of heavy rains turned into innocuous grey clouds April 30 and then sunny skies May 1. Also, mysterious benefactors with a special devotion to the Polish pope paid for a bus full of young people from Naples to attend the ceremonies “because John Paul II loved young people and we had to be here,” Rosa Giordano said. Each of the more than 1million people of every age, background and nationality attending the April 30 vigil in Circus Maximus and May 1 beatification in St. Peter’s Square had his or her own story of pilgrimage. Danila Fabrizio, another member of the group that left Naples at 1 a.m. May 1 on the benefactor’s bus, said, “This is a sign of God’s providence that we’re here.”

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