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placeholder November 7, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA

Nov. 10: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

Nov. 12-17: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, annual meeting, Baltimore

Nov. 20: 10 a.m. stational Mass, Cathedral

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New clergy assignments

Father Larry D’Anjou has been named parochial administrator of St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, effective Nov. 27.

Father Neal Clemens has been named Vicar for Priests of the Diocese of Oakland, effective Dec. 12.

Martyrs celebration

Join the Vietnamese community of the diocese to celebrate the Vietnamese Martyrs. Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins will preside at a 3 p.m. ceremony Nov. 20 at St. Felicitas Church, San Leandro. The Eucharistic liturgy will begin with a procession. For more information, contact Sister Rosaline L. Nguyen at 510-628-2153 or Rnguyen@oakdiocese.org.

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Simbang Gabi Mass

The Cathedral will host a kick-off celebration for Simbang Gabi, a Filipino Christmas tradition, with Mass followed by music and food. The event will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland. For more information, www.ctlcathedral.org or 510-495-3202.

Concerts, tours

Go to www.ctlcathedral.org for complete concert listings and ticket information. Cathedral tours are available one hour prior to each concert at $5 per person. The Cathedral of Christ the Light is at 2121 Harrison St., Oakland.

Upcoming concerts:

Nov. 19, 8 p.m., Oakland Symphony Chorus, Haydn’s Harmonie Messe.

Nov. 20, 8 p.m., Cathedral Organ Concert, featuring Gail Archer.

Guadalupe pilgrimage

The annual Diocesan Guadalupe pilgrimage and Mass begins at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 at St. Louis Bertrand Church, 1410-100th Ave., Oakland, and proceeds for eight miles to the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will preside at the Mass. For more information, contact Hector Medina at (510) 496-7224.

Crèche Festival deadline

Parishes, schools and other pastoral leaders are encouraged to participate in this year’s Cathedral Crèche Festival, a weekend devoted to the family tradition of the nativity scene. The Crèche Festival will take place the weekend of Dec. 9-11. Register your interest in participating by Nov. 4 or contact Denise Kogler, 510-271-1935 or cctlstarlight@gmail.com.

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Bishops’ agenda more devoted to internal matters than social ills

By Nancy Frazier O’Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore will be shorter than usual and focus primarily on the inner workings of the Church than on larger societal issues.

The Nov. 14-16 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, originally scheduled to last until Nov. 17, will include a discussion on religious liberty that could touch on a wide range of topics. But the main business of the gathering will be on liturgical, financial and organizational matters.

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, elected to head the USCCB for a three-year term last November, will open the meeting with his first presidential address. If tradition holds, the talk will present a “state of the U.S. church” message and a look at the challenges Archbishop Dolan foresees for the coming year.

It could also be the first USCCB meeting for Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, recently appointed as the new apostolic nuncio to the United States, who has said he hoped to arrive in the U.S. in time for the assembly.

Oakland Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will team with Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who is chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, in a report. Bishop Cordileone is head of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Looking back on one of their biggest challenges of the past 18 months, the bishops will vote on whether to make their former Task Force on Health Care into a permanent Subcommittee on Health Care Issues under the Committee on Doctrine.

The subcommittee would address such issues as “guidance in implementing the bishops’ ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,’ non-Catholic hospitals in Catholic health care systems, for-profit Catholic health care, canonical status of Catholic health care facilities, conscience protection and health care reform,” according to a USCCB news release.

Members of the subcommittee would represent the committees on doctrine, canon law and church governance, pro-life activities, and domestic justice and human development and could include other bishops or consultants, the release said.

Also up for a vote at the meeting is a resolution to support yearly voluntary financial reporting by each diocesan bishop in the U.S. to the archbishop who heads his ecclesiastical province.

Several liturgical matters are scheduled to come before the bishops for a vote. They will decide whether to include two new optional memorials, for Blessed Marianne Cope and Blessed John Paul II, in the proper of saints calendar for the United States and whether to approve a new translation of the Rite for Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, and for Consecrating the Chrism.

Book remains troublesome

WASHINGTON — The nine members of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine have reaffirmed their concerns that a 2007 book by Fordham University theologian Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson is “seriously inadequate as a presentation of the Catholic understanding of God.” In an 11-page response to Sister Elizabeth’s extensive June 1 defense of her 2007 book, “Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God,” the bishops said her explanation did nothing to change their minds.

While commending Sister Elizabeth “for her stated intention to help the Church progress in her understanding of divine realities,” the bishops go on to say that the book “fails to fulfill this task because it does not sufficiently ground itself in the Catholic theological tradition as its starting point.”

House passes Life Act

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Oct. 13 passed the Protect Life Act, which applies long-standing federal policies on abortion funding and conscience rights to the health reform law. The measure passed with a bipartisan vote of 251 to 172. Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the U.S. bishop’s pro-life secretariat, said the Protect Life Act applies the Hyde amendment to health care reform “so federal funds will not be used to subsidize elective abortions,” which brings the law “into line with other federal health programs such as Medicaid and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.”

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Feast of All Saints
Jessica Garrido of Chile holds rosaries to be blessed as Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints.
CNS photo/Paul Haring

Help for world’s migrants

VATICAN CITY — Christians need to offer migrants special care, ranging from prayer and concrete aid to promoting policies that uphold immigrants’ rights and dignity, Pope Benedict XVI said. Modern migration represents “an unprecedented mingling of individuals and peoples, with new problems not only from the human standpoint but also from ethical, religious and spiritual ones,” he said.

Three saints proclaimed

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed three saints and said their lives demonstrated that true faith is charity in action. The new saints were:

• St. Guido Maria Conforti, an Italian who founded the Xaverian Foreign Missionary Society, dedicated to the sole purpose of evangelizing non-Christians. He sent missionaries to China in 1899 and personally traveled to China in 1928 to visit the order’s communities.

• St. Louis Guanella, the Italian founder of the Servants of Charity, the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, and the Confraternity of St. Joseph, whose members pledge to pray for the sick and dying. Having worked with young women in northern Italy, he came to Rome and founded an association of prayer for the dying.

• St. Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro, a Spanish cordmaker in Salamanca who gathered working women for spiritual encounters in her house-shop. The group became the Servants of St. Joseph, a congregation dedicated to providing a religious and technical education to poor women and protecting them in the workplace.

Translation improves prayer

VATICAN CITY — The new English translation of the Mass is the result of a long process of international cooperation and is meant to help Catholics pray better, Pope Benedict XVI told Australia’s bishops. The new translation, which most Australian dioceses began introducing in parishes on Pentecost in June, “is intended to enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God by his people,” the pope said Oct. 20.

Pope will use JP2 stand

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has begun using a wheeled platform used by Pope John Paul II to move through crowds at major events, a change the Vatican said was designed to reduce the physical toll on the 84-year-old pontiff. The pope entered St. Peter’s Basilica on the mobile podium Oct. 16, holding onto the bar of the device with one hand as ushers rolled it slowly down the main aisle.

“Year” renews missions

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI announced a special “Year of Faith” to help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith, deepen their relationship with God and strengthen their commitment to sharing faith with others.

Celebrating Mass Oct. 16 with participants in a Vatican conference on new evangelization, the pope said the Year of Faith would give “renewed energy to the mission of the whole Church to lead men and women out of the desert they often are in and toward the place of life: friendship with Christ who gives us fullness of life.”

Women march on Vatican

ROME — After marching up the wide boulevard to St. Peter’s Square, Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois and two other demonstrators supporting women’s ordination were briefly detained by Italian police.

A group of 18 people, most of them from the United States, were trying to deliver to Vatican officials a petition supporting the ordination of women as Catholic priests. The petition, signed by 15,000 people, praised the work of Father Bourgeois, who faces possible dismissal from his order and the priesthood for his refusal to recant his continued support for the ordination of women.

Prayers for quake victims

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI offered prayers for the victims of Turkey’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake as Catholic aid agencies worked to support the tens of thousands of victims left homeless in temperatures that approached freezing each night. At the Vatican Oct. 26, at the end of a prayer service for peace, Pope Benedict said his thoughts were with the victims of the earthquake.

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