Divine Mercy missions
God's mercy is so great, and the world is so desperately in need of it. Come and join the diocese-sponsored Divine Mercy Missions in October and discover the Divine Mercy message and why you need to know about it. The Marian Evangelization Team, Father Daniel Cambra, MIC and Brother John Paoletti, MIC, will promote: the ABC's of Divine Mercy; how Divine Mercy is at the Heart of the Gospel; Mary as Mother of Mercy; the Feast of Divine Mercy, the Image, the Novena, the Chaplet and the Hour of Mercy; the Historical Background of St. Faustina; and the amazing connection between the Shroud of Turin and the Divine Mercy Image. Receive a Blessing with the Relic of St. Faustina.
The parish missions run from 7 to 10 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. More information is at www.divinemercyoakland.org.
The missions' schedule:
Oct. 13: Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 500 Fairview Ave., Brentwood, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact: Nona Cornejo, 925-339-4469.
Oct. 13: St. John the Baptist Church, 11150 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito. Contact: Zenny Miguel, 510-222-1375.
Oct. 14: St. David of Wales Church, 5641 Esmond Ave., Richmond, 2-5 p.m. Contact: Jo Beth Strawn (Nolan), 510-237-1531 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 15: St. Catherine of Siena Church, 606 Mellus St., Martinez. Contact: Deacon Albert Dizon, 925-324-3589.
Oct. 19: St. Joachim Church, 21250 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward. Contact: Marissa Segundo, 510-364-4791.
Oct. 20: Most Holy Rosary Church, 1313 A St., Antioch. Contacts: Andrea Vitalae, 925-778-7575, or Andre LoGrasso, 925-754-3665.
Oct. 22: St. Francis of Assisi Church, 860 Oak Grove Road, Concord. Contact: Father Carl Arcosa, 510-552-6596.
Oct. 24: St. John the Baptist Church, 264 E. Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo. Contact: Yolanda Anderson, 510-276-3054.
Oct. 25: St. Joseph Church, 837 Tennent Ave., Pinole. Contact: Marcela de Leon, 510-799-6246.
Rosary in Alameda
St. Barnabas Church, 1427 Sixth St., Alameda is planning a human rosary from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 27 to honor Our Lady during the month of the rosary. Organizers plan to have participants pray the four mysteries, not by the use of actual beads but with humans representing the beads. Each person will act as a bead and when it is his or her turn, he or she will say the first part of the Hail Mary and the people will answer with the Holy Mary. To participate, email email@example.com and request assignment to one or two beads. At the end of the devotion, there will be fellowship and a potluck lunch. For more information, 510-522-8933.
Last mixer of 2012
The last of the free Twilight by the Lake mixers on the Cathedral Plaza will be 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 on the Plaza of The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland.
The band for the final Twilight will be Vocal-ease and The Boogie Men, playing '50s and '60s music.
Renew commitment to life
WASHINGTON — During October, designated each year as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Catholic Church, Catholics should "renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family," said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. "By our unflinching defense of human life and religious freedom, by our witness to the transcendent nature of the human person, and by our compassionate service to our brothers and sisters in need, may we spark a renewal of love and commitment to the true good of others," said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.
WASHINGTON — Over the past several months, the U.S. Catholic bishops and other religious leaders have urged Americans to defend religious liberty in the United States in the face of what they see as threats to that freedom. And the issue continues to gain momentum as the November election draws near. It has been at the forefront for the Catholic bishops since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in January that it would require most religious employers to provide free contraceptive coverage against their moral objections. The bishops have repeatedly described the mandate, which violates church teaching, as a restriction on religious liberty. Theologians and Catholic leaders discussed the issue of religious freedom at recent seminars at The Catholic University of America and Georgetown University in Washington and a forum at St. John's University in New York. At both of the national political conventions this summer, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, mentioned religious liberty in his closing prayers. At the close of the Republican National Convention Aug. 30 in Tampa, Fla., he gave thanks for the "singular gift of liberty" and prayed for a renewed "respect for religious freedom" and a "new sense of responsibility for freedom's cause." During a closing benediction Sept. 6 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the cardinal prayed that God would "renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our founding."
Pope greets crowd
Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd after celebrating the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 7.
Butler gets 18 months
VATICAN CITY — A three-judge panel of Vatican jurists found Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler, guilty of aggravated theft and sentenced him to 18 months in jail for his role in leaking private papal correspondence and other confidential documents. The verdict was read Oct. 6 by Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president of the three-judge panel, just two hours after the fourth and final session of the trial. He said the judges had found Gabriele guilty and sentenced him to three years in jail, but reduced the sentence to 18 months.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI named the Vatican's top investigator of abusive priests to be the new auxiliary bishop of Malta. Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who was born in Toronto to Maltese parents, served for the past decade as the Vatican's first promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, handling cases brought against clergy accused of the sexual abuse of minors.
VATICAN CITY — Catholics who participate in events connected with the 2012-2013 Year of Faith can receive a special indulgence, the Vatican said. Pope Benedict XVI authorized the granting of a plenary, or full, indulgence in order to highlight the Year of Faith and encourage the "reading, or rather, the pious meditation on" the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Sept. 14 Vatican decree said. An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.
Christ center of liturgy
VATICAN CITY — A liturgy is not Christian if Christ is not the center of the celebration, Pope Benedict XVI said. "The conviction must grow in us every day that the liturgy is not 'our' or 'my' doing, but is God's acting in us and with us," he said Oct. 3. The pope spoke to an estimated 20,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for his weekly general audience. The talk was the latest focusing on the liturgy in the pope's series on the subject of prayer.
Seeking new portals
VATICAN CITY — Having a Catholic presence online isn't enough for effective evangelization, the Vatican said. The church must develop "a new way of thinking" in order to find ways that engage and help people meet Christ, it said. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications announced Sept. 29 that Pope Benedict XVI had chosen "Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization" as the theme for World Communications Day 2013. The pope chose the theme in the context of the Year of Faith and amid fresh calls for launching a new evangelization. The digital environment represents new missionary terrain, given that "technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences," including how people build relationships and seek knowledge, the social communications council said.
— Catholic News Service