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placeholder March 26, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA

March 29: (Morning) Bishop's Administrative Council, Chancery

      (Afternoon) Chancery staff lunch

      (Afternoon) Pastoral Leadership Placement Board meeting

       (Evening) Mass for Christus Medicus Conference, Oakland

April 1: 10 a.m. Palm Sunday Stational Mass, Cathedral

       (Evening) Lamb of God Oratorio, Cathedral

April 2: (Afternoon) Chancery staff lunch

April 5: (Morning) Bishop's Administrative Council, Chancery

       (Afternoon) Cathedral Corporation Board Meeting

       7:30 p.m. Mass of the Lord's Supper, Cathedral

April 6: 12:10 p.m. The Lord's Passion, Cathedral

April 7: 8:30 p.m. Easter Vigil, Cathedral

April 8: 10 a.m. Easter Stational Mass, Cathedral

April 11:(Morning) Meet with Diocesan Review Board, Chancery

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New pastor

Rev. George Quickley, SJ, has been named pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Oakland, effective June 1.

Child abuse prevention

The nation's bishops have asked that we observe the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention month. The Diocese of Oakland re-affirms its deep commitment to creating safe environments and to bringing protection and healing within the Church for children, youth and vulnerable adults. Participation in communicating to parishioners about these matters and sharing this information with school families is one powerful way to bring positive change by stopping abuse in all its forms.

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Choral performance

The Pacific Mozart Ensemble program, Heaven and Hell, features Renaissance music and madrigals of Palestrina and Gesualdo as well as the premiere of a new work by Persian-American composer, Omid Zoufonoun. It will be at 8 p.m. March 31 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Tickets: www.pacificmozart.org.

Also, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 1, Palm Sunday, the Temple Hill Symphony Orchestra, Choir & Soloists, will perform "Lamb of God Oratorio a Sacred Easter Celebration." Written and composed by Rob Gardner and directed by Alan Chipman, this oratorio had its California premiere last year in Oakland. This effort of the Interfaith Community launches the 2012 Interfaith Community Blood Drive. Updates available at TempleHillEvents.com. Free admission with ticket(s), available at http://lambofgod.eventbrite.co.

Pedals, pipes and pizza

Children of all ages are invited to a special concert featuring the 5,298-pipe organ at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 21 in a program, "Pedals, Pipes and Pizzas A Pipe Organ Concert for Children." Prokofiev's music and narration of the children's story, "Peter and the Wolf," will be followed with pizza on the Cathedral Plaza. The event costs $5 per person, and was organized in partnership with Children's Fairyland. Visit www.ctlcathedral.org.

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Pray for religious liberty

WASHINGTON The U.S. bishops have urged Catholics and "all people of faith" across the nation to observe March 30 as a day of prayer and fasting for religious freedom and conscience protection. The bishops announced the daylong observance in a statement titled "United for Religious Freedom" that was approved March 14 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Administrative Committee.

They asked Catholics and others to join them in "prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection of our first freedom religious liberty which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great tradition."

The bishops said that among current threats to religious liberty is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that forces employers, including religious ones, to provide coverage of contraception/sterilization in their health plans.

In a letter about the March 30 day of prayer addressed to Catholics in their state, Pennsylvania's bishops said the observance was planned in response "to the assault by the federal government on constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty." They, too, cited the federal contraceptive mandate, saying it "punished the church for its firmly held beliefs and consistent teaching."

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Paper figurine of pope
Alejandra Farfan holds a paper figurine of Pope Benedict XVI for sale in Leon, Mexico, March 15. The pope will arrive in Leon March 23 to begin a six-day visit to Mexico and Cuba.
CNS photo/
Mario Armas, Reuters

Help the Holy Land

VATICAN CITY Tension, hostility and even violence are the "daily bread" of many of the Christian communities living in the biblical lands of the Middle East, said Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches. In a letter to bishops around the world, Cardinal Sandri asked for widespread participation in the annual collection on behalf of Christians in the Holy Land. The collection, coordinated by the Congregation for Eastern Churches, is taken up during Good Friday services in many dioceses. Cardinal Sandri said Good Friday is a special time to remember Mideast Christians' needs, which "are bound up with the sufferings of the entire Middle East.

Unions devalue marriage

VATICAN CITY The Catholic Church condemns violence and discrimination against homosexual persons, but recognizing same-sex unions as a marriage devalues the unique identity and social contributions of the union of a man and a woman, a Vatican official told the U.N. Human Rights Council. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Vatican observer at U.N. agencies in Geneva, told the council March 9 that the Vatican "condemns discrimination and violence against any human person, including those who are so targeted because of perceived sexual differences."

But, "The Holy See expresses grave concern that, under the guise of 'protecting' people from discrimination and violence on the basis of perceived sexual differences, this council may be running the rise of demeaning the sacred and time-honored legal institution of marriage between man and woman." Traditional marriage has "enjoyed special protection from time immemorial within legal, cultural and religious traditions and within the modern human rights instruments, starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," he said.

Document leaks probed

VATICAN CITY Pope Benedict XVI has established a commission to investigate a series of leaks of letters exchanged among Vatican officials and between the officials and the pope himself. Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Vatican substitute secretary of state, said March 16 that the papal commission would try "to shed light on the whole affair," while a Vatican tribunal would look into taking legal action against those who gave the documents to reporters, and the Vatican Secretariat of State would carry out an administrative review of every Vatican office. While some of the leaked letters are gossipy, others include allegations of serious financial misconduct.

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