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placeholder  August 6, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA

Aug. 9: (Evening) FACE Board of Directors

      Farewell dinner, Rev. Ray Breton, Rectory

Aug. 10-17: Vacation

Aug. 18-19: Parish visitation, Our Lady Queen of the World, Bay Pointe

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Financials released

Lately, we have spoken a great deal about our 50th anniversary as a diocese. We have also, on many occasions, promoted the principles of Stewardship as they apply to the needs of the wider Church. It has been our practice to publish the financial statements of the central services of the diocese for many, many years. These statements report the cumulative results of your generosity and that of your predecessors since our origins in 1962. I present these statements to show our responsible use of your generous gifts and to assure you we are well positioned to meet the needs of this diocese for the next 50 years.
Annual report

Thanks principally to the support of our parishes, cemeteries and your generous contributions to the Bishop's Annual Appeal; we have spent no more than has been received for the support of diocesan ministries and administration. Despite our diligence, you may note that the activities of the diocese for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011 reflect a $4 million loss. Two factors led to the deficit.

As with so many cities and large businesses in these times, we are not immune to reflecting the present value of anticipated future compensation for our retired priests. Because of lowered expectations for future investment returns, The Priest Retirement Plan was forced to recognize an additional need of approximately $2 million in funding to provide retired priest compensation in years to come.

The second factor which contributed the remaining $2 million to the deficit was the recording of the decline in the value of our investment portfolio. These investments are held for the purpose of supporting diocesan ministries. Just as we rely heavily on the direct support of our parishes, cemeteries and the Bishop's Appeal, we rely very heavily on what have been extraordinarily volatile markets for a portion of our income. Despite the best efforts of our very talented Diocesan Investment Committee and Diocesan Finance Council, investment results reflected a negative return during 2011.
These results in no way hamper our ability to flourish in future. In fact, the recovery of investment markets in 2012 has overtaken losses we experienced in 2011. But as they say, "past performance is no guarantee of future results." We, therefore, continue to rely on you for support.

The financial statements reflect the good stewardship of the people of the Diocese of Oakland in contributing to the support of our Church, our Universal Church.

Thank you for your long and faithful attention to our needs. May God bless you and all those you have helped to find God's Divine Mercy, not only within the confines of your local parishes, but in a much broader sense, for those you've touched in the wider church during these last 50 years.

Personnel changes

Rev. David Staal has moved from the position of priest secretary to the bishop to the Department of Canon Law. Father Staal served both Bishops Allen H. Vigneron and Salvatore J. Cordileone. Father Staal is now a Tribunal judge.

Rev. Paul Coleman, most recently associate pastor at St. Isidore Parish in Danville, is the new priest secretary to the bishop and the director of Office of Worship.

Rev. Paul Minnihan will be leaving the position of director of the Office of Worship at the end of August to assume full-time responsibilities as pastor of St. Paschal Parish in Oakland.

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Summer mixers back

Come enjoy the sounds of jazz from Soul Mechanix, complimentary appetizers and the beautiful Lake Merritt view. The free Twilight by the Lake mixers are back for the third Thursday of each month in August, September and October at Plaza of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. The first one is from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16.

Choir forming

As part of our Jubilee Mass Celebration, Terrance Kelly, director of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, will present two workshops and rehearsals in August to form a diocesan gospel choir to sing during the Prelude to the Jubilee Mass at 4 p.m. Aug. 22. Rehearsals/workshops will be at the Cathedral of Christ the Light from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 11 and 18. To sign up for these workshops and sing in the choir please email Denise Kogler, office manager for Cathedral Ministries, dkogler@oakdiocese.org.

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Praises for House bill

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities praised lawmakers for including two conscience provisions in the House version of the 2013 appropriations bill for the federal departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. "Our government has a long history of respecting rights of conscience in health care, and the time is long overdue to reaffirm this laudable tradition in the face of today's growing threats," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in a July 17 letter to members of the House Subcommittee on Labor/HHS. Cardinal DiNardo said the provision called the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which had 124 co-sponsors from both parties, "will reaffirm the basic principle that no health care entity should be forced by government to perform, participate in or pay for abortions." The other provision is the Respect for Right of Conscience Act, which Cardinal DiNardo said would "counter a policy that poses the most direct federal threat to religious freedom in recent memory," a reference to the "HHS mandate" requiring most religious organizations to include sterilizations and contraceptive coverage — including those that could cause early abortions — in their employee health care plans.

Poor have 'greatest needs'

WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development urged the Senate to retain tax credits that keep low-income Americans from sinking into poverty, saying it would be "unjust and unwise" to let them lapse while addressing tax-cut proposals for higher-income Americans. "It would be unjust and unwise to fail to renew improvements and extensions of low-income tax credits as the Congress addresses tax cuts for middle-income and wealthy Americans," said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, the committee's chairman, in a July 25 letter addressed to members of the Senate.

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Summer audience
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead his weekly audience at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug. 1.
Giampiero Sposito/CNS

Appeal for Syrian peace

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — Pope Benedict XVI renewed his appeal for peace in Syria and humanitarian assistance for civilians threatened by the ongoing fighting or seeking refuge far from home. After reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in the courtyard of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, July 29, Pope Benedict told the crowd that he hoped that suffering Syrians would be guaranteed the necessary humanitarian assistance. Asking for an end to "all violence and bloodshed," he prayed that God would guide leaders in Syria and in the international community to a negotiated settlement to the fighting.

Meeting on leaks

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI hosted a top-level meeting of Vatican officials involved in investigating and responding to the leak of Vatican documents July 26. Greg Burke, the former U.S. journalist appointed by the pope to advise the Vatican secretary of state on communications strategy, said, "The Holy Father was informed about the conclusions" of the investigation carried out since late April by the cardinals' commission, and about the status of the official investigation of his former valet, Paolo Gabriele. A Vatican judge's decision on whether to indict Gabriele and put him on trial is expected Aug. 6 or 7.

Protect the environment

VATICAN CITY — Going on vacation must not be an occasion to relax one's commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment, the Vatican said. Tourism can have "a serious environmental impact owing, among other factors, to the immoderate consumption of energy resources" and an increase in pollution and waste, said a message from the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

SSPX, LCWR discussions

VATICAN CITY — German Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in early July, told the Vatican newspaper that the congregation's discussions with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X and with the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious would focus on the fact that being Catholic means believing what the church teaches. Referring to the talks with the SSPX, which rejects certain reforms introduced by the Second Vatican Council, Archbishop Muller said, "One cannot make reference to the tradition of the church and then accept only parts of it." Regarding the LCWR, he said, "One cannot profess the three religious vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) and not take them seriously."

— Catholic News Servicee

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