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placeholder January 9, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA

Jan. 10-16: Pilgrimage in India

Jan. 18: Bishop’s Appeal regional meetings, St. Callistus Parish, El Sobrante, and Good Shepherd Parish, Pittsburg

          (Evening) Ecumenical Vespers Service, Cathedral

Jan. 19: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

          (Afternoon) Presbyteral Council, Chancery

          (Evening) FACE auction dinner, Cathedral Rectory

Jan. 20: (Morning) Bishop’s Appeal regional meeting, St. Anne Parish, Walnut Creek

          (Afternoon) Lay Ecclesial Ministers Mass and convocation

          (Evening) East Bay Memorial Prayer Service and
          Confraternity of Eucharistic Devotion adoration, Cathedral

Jan. 21: Walk for Life, Mass and walk, San Francisco

Jan. 22: 10 a.m. Stational Mass, Cathedral

          (Afternoon) Talk, Catholics for the Common Good Summit, San Francisco

          (Evening) Mass, Vietnamese New Year, Cathedral

Jan. 23: Bishop’s Appeal regional meetings, St. Philip Neri–St. Albert the Great Parish, Alameda, and St. Clement Parish, Hayward

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New deans announced

Rev. Mark Wiesner was appointed dean in Deanery 6 replacing Rev. David Farrugia, OP.

Rev. Jan Rudzewicz was appointed dean to the vacant position in Deanery 18.

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Mass, festivities begin Simbang Gabi
More than 700 people joined in an opening Mass Dec. 14 to begin the Filipino Christmas novena, Simbang Gabi. In front, Deacon Peter Ta and Rev. José Arong, OMI, were among more than a dozen priests and deacons who participated in the Mass, followed by traditional Filipino music and food in the Event Center. At left is a paról, a Filipino Christmas lantern meant to illustrate the Star of Bethlehem.

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Americans named to council

VATICAN CITY — U.S. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Australian Archbishop Mark B. Coleridge of Canberra and Goulburn, and Greg Erlandson, president of the Catholic Press Association, were named by Pope Benedict XVI to help advise the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Ten bishops were named new members of the council; 11 non-clergy new consulters or advisers to the communications council were named.

National immigrants’ week

WASHINGTON — National Migration Week will be observed in dioceses around the country Jan. 8-14. This year’s theme, “Welcoming Christ in the Migrant,” and the artistic renderings in the week’s materials depict the disciples welcoming a stranger on the road to Emmaus. “Just as on the road to Emmaus, Christ’s disciples met him in the guise of a stranger, this year’s theme helps remind us that Christ makes himself present to each of us in the lonesome traveler, the newcomer, and the migrant,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles.

Resources for National Migration Week can be found on the USCCB website (http://www.usccb.org/about/migration-and-refugee-services/national-migration-week/).

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Pope kneels in prayer
Pope Benedict XVI kneels in prayer during Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24.
CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope’s busy 2012 schedule

VATICAN CITY — A trip to Latin America, a Synod of Bishops on new evangelization, the start of the Year of Faith, creation of new cardinals and proclamations of new saints are all on Pope Benedict XVI’s calendar for 2012.

Of particular interest to the United States, the pope will also continue his meetings with groups of U.S. bishops making their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican during the first half of the year. The Diocese of Oakland is scheduled for its ad limina visit in March. The pope’s talks to the bishops are expected to focus on themes of education, religious freedom and the relationship between culture and religion.

The 2012 highlights are only a small part of the pope’s day-to-day schedule, which includes hundreds of meetings, speeches, messages and liturgies. The German pope, who turns 85 in April, also pursues a “private” agenda of writing whenever he gets the chance, as he works to complete the latest in his “Jesus of Nazareth” series of books — this one on Jesus’ infancy and childhood.

Pope Benedict is virtually certain to call a consistory to create new cardinals in 2012. He may do so as early as February, when there will be at least 13 “vacancies” in the roster of voting-age cardinals (those under the age of 80); or he may wait until fall, when 10 more cardinals will have turned 80.

Pope Benedict plans to travel to Mexico and Cuba in March, on a trip that will turn a spotlight once again on Latin America, home to nearly half the world’s Catholics. It will also move the pope onto the radar of U.S. media, which have cut back on their coverage of the pope and the Vatican in recent years.

2011 in review

An interfaith meeting in Assisi, a new book on Jesus of Nazareth and a website-launching tap on an iPad were among the highlights of 2011 for Pope Benedict XVI. Although the year saw a further cutback in individual papal audiences, the 84-year-old pope still enjoyed a productive and busy 12 months, meeting privately with nearly 400 church or civil leaders, addressing more than 180 groups and presiding over about 40 public liturgies. He traveled to Croatia, Spain, Germany and Benin, delivering 60 speeches on the road. Close observers say that, like most octogenarians, the pontiff tires more easily today, but that he suffers no serious health problems. The year 2011 saw two of Pope Benedict’s favorite themes come into clearer focus: new evangelization and religious liberty.

— Catholic News Service

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