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Catholic Voice
 
June 25, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
 
Rally for religious freedom
draws enthusiastic crowd

 
Casa Vincentia, diocese
settle building issue

 
Eventful jubilee year comes
to a close
East Bay native to be ordained June 29
 
Derek Kea Oliveira

Derek Kea Oliveira, a 30-year-old native of the East Bay and veteran of the Navy, will be ordained to the sacred order of the priesthood by the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, bishop of Oakland. The Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. June 29 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland.

"As I approach this special milestone in my life I am full of gratitude and joy," Deacon Oliveira wrote in an e-mail from Rome, where he has been at the Pontifical North American College. "The journey to priesthood has not gone without some unexpected difficult and perplexing moments. Having to persevere through an ear tumor and multiple lung surgeries over the past seven years, I am grateful for the great mercy and love of God, and am especially grateful for the unfailing love and support I have received from my family, friends and the people of the Diocese of Oakland."

Deacon Oliveira was among 35 seminarians there to be ordained to the transitional diaconate during a celebration of the Eucharist on Oct. 6. Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was the ordaining prelate.

"Hope in the Risen Lord has strengthened me during my days in seminary," Deacon Oliveira wrote. "A passage from the First Letter of Peter really touches my heart, 'Blessed be the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 1, 3).

Ordination
Who: Deacon Derrick Kea Oliveira
When: 7 p.m. June 29
Where: Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland
 
 
"These words give us a good lesson on Christian hope: We offer thanksgiving to God for this free gift of hope; we rely and depend on our Risen Lord Jesus who is the source of our hope; our hope is fresh and alive because Jesus is alive and truly risen from the dead," Deacon Oliveira wrote.

The new priest will celebrate his Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving at noon July 1 at the Church of the Assumption in San Leandro.

Deacon Oliveira's parents are parishioners at Assumption. Two years ago, Deacon Oliveira spent the summer at the parish.

Rev. Vincent Scott, pastor of Assumption, recalled an event from their time together. One morning, he suggested to the seminarian: "What if we go over to the church at 10 and celebrate the Eucharist together?"

"I don't usually do that," Father Scott said.

At the church, they found they were not alone. A Filipino woman in her mid-30s was in the church and she joined in the responses. After the Gospel reading, "I motioned to go sit with her," said Father Scott.

He and his seminarian sat with the woman, and Father Scott began to offer reflections on the readings. The woman began to weep. She was a single mother, she told them. Her children were in the Philippines, being cared for by family members while she worked as a nurse in the United States.

That day, she had felt down. She had asked God for a sign. She felt that her prayer had been answered by Father Scott and Deacon Oliveira.

Deacon Derrick went to the sacristy and brought her a box of tissues.

Invited to stand with the two, she "quietly cried for the rest of the Mass."

After Mass, Father Scott said he told Deacon Oliveira, "God must really want you to be a priest, because I could not have set these things up."

Among the other lessons Father Scott said he hoped Deacon Oliveira learned was that "he could be himself and people would love him."

He has a skill that may come in handy in his future pastoral work. Deacon Oliveira is a juggler.

At an Assumption parish picnic, he regaled young and old alike. But beyond the technical skills, Father Scott said, is something greater.

"What you did is part of your pastoral ministry," he told him, reminding him that people who saw him juggling, for example, may find it easier to come to approach him when they have a need.

"Don't underestimate that."

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