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placeholder December 12, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA

Dec. 14: Ecumenical/Interreligious Summit on Marriage and Religious Liberty, Washington, D.C.

Dec. 15: (morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

        (afternoon) Cathedral corporation board meeting, Cathedral Parish

        (evening) GTU/Berkeley faculty vespers and dinner, Cathedral Center

Dec. 16: (morning) Visit to Bishop’s Appeal speaker training session, Chancery

        (evening) Priests’ Christmas dinner, Rectory

Dec. 17: (morning) Visit to Bishop’s Appeal speaker training session, Chancery

Dec. 18: 10 a.m. Stational Mass, Cathedral

Dec. 21: (evening) Seminarians’ Christmas Dinner, Rectory

Dec. 22: (morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

Dec. 23: (afternoon) Chancery staff Christmas party, Cathedral Center

Dec. 24: (evening) Midnight Mass, Cathedral

Dec. 25: 10 a.m. Stational Mass, Cathedral

Dec. 28 – Jan. 16: Pilgrimage to India

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There were no diocese items in this issue.

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Holiday concert

The San Francisco Boys Chorus, a Grammy Award-winning choir and choir-in-residence of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, will perform its annual Christmas concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 17. Tickets are $20 each; available online via www.ctlcathedral.org.

Simbang Gabi celebrations

The Cathedral of Christ the Light will kick off an inaugural Mass titled, “Let There Be Light,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 to begin the annual Simbang Gabi diocesan celebrations. After Mass, attendees are invited to the Cathedral Event Center for a reception, complete with traditional Filipino food and music. Simbang Gabi is a Filipino holiday tradition that begins nine days before Christmas.

See the story.

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Marriage ads working

BALTIMORE — A series of advertisements for the U.S. bishops’ campaign to strengthen marriage have been successful in the numbers of people they have reached and the awards they have garnered from professional advertising organizations, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., said Nov. 14. The bishop, who is chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, said the public service announcements with messages about marriage had been measured as having 1.3 billion “audience impressions” since they began several years ago. A series of public service announcements with the theme of “a good marriage goes a long way,” was released in September to 1,600 television stations and 7,000 radio stations, he said.

Cardinals support Project

BALTIMORE — Signaling the importance they gave to the topic, three U.S. cardinals offered a briefing Nov. 14 on efforts to expand and strengthen the Church’s post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston described Project Rachel as “one of our best pastoral initiatives.”

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Christmas tree

The Christmas tree, a 100-foot-tall spruce from Ukraine, is placed in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 5. The Vatican will sing its way into the Christmas season this year, with a chorus and orchestra leading Christmas carols at the annual unveiling of its Nativity scene. The hourlong evening ceremony Dec. 24 will feature traditional Christmas songs in several languages, performed by a 100-person choir and orchestra in St. Peter’s Square.
CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope’s African visit

COTONOU, Benin — Pope Benedict XVI urged the African continent to protect its ancient values in the face of spiritual and ethical erosion. “The transition to modernity must be guided by sure criteria based on recognized virtues . . . firmly rooted in the dignity of the person, the importance of the family and respect for life,” the 84-year-old pope said during his three-day visit to the country formerly known as Dahomey. The small West African nation was celebrating 150 years of Christianity.

Cardinal Law replaced

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Bernard F. Law, former archbishop of Boston, has been replaced as archpriest of the Rome Basilica of St. Mary Major, the Vatican announced. Cardinal Law turned 80 Nov. 4, at which time he stopped being a member of Roman Curia agencies. Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Law to the position in May 2004, about two years after he resigned as Boston’s archbishop amid criticism of his handling of clerical sexual abuse cases in the archdiocese.

Shakespeare, secret Catholic

VATICAN CITY — There is “little doubt” that William Shakespeare was a Catholic who was forced to hide his faith in Protestant England while leaving hints about his faith throughout his vast body of work, said an opinion piece in the Vatican newspaper. Taking a cue from renewed speculation about Shakespeare’s true identity sparked by the film “Anonymous,” L’Osservatore Romano wrote, “There may be questions regarding his identity, but not his religious faith.”

Benetton removes image

VATICAN CITY — Hours after the Vatican condemned an Italian ad campaign that depicted Pope Benedict XVI kissing a male Muslim leader, the Italian fashion house Benetton withdrew the photo. The campaign is titled “Unhate” and features doctored images of supposedly antagonistic world leaders in kissing scenes.

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