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placeholder  December 17, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA

Dec. 17: 10 a.m., College of Consultors

      Noon, lunch with seminarians

      6 p.m., Cathedral donor dinner

Dec. 18: Chancery Christmas lunch

Dec. 19: Bishop's Christmas party for priests

Dec. 20: 10 a.m., Bishop's Administrative Council

       4 p.m., Diocesan Finance Council

Dec. 23: 10 a.m. Stational Mass

Dec. 25: Midnight, Stational Mass, Cathedral

       10 a.m., Stational Mass, Cathedral

Jan. 3: 10 a.m., Bishop's Administrative Council

Jan. 4: 9 a.m., Mass, St. Monica Parish, Moraga

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New assignment

Archbishop Alex J. Brunett announced that Rev. Paul Coleman is appointed parochial vicar of St. Raymond Penafort Parish, Dublin, effective Feb. 1.

More Simbang Gabi
In addition to the parishes offering Simbang Gabi (evening Mass) listed in The Voice Nov. 19, these parishes are offering celebrations. All events daily through Dec. 24 unless noted:

• St. Michael Parish, 448 Maple St., Livermore, 5:30 a.m. Mass, for the Tri-Valley area, Rev. Robert Mendonça, presider.

• Catholic Community of Pleasanton, St. Augustine Church, 3999 Bernal Ave., Pleasanton, Mass, 6 a.m. Dec. 22, contact Tony Landicho, 925-487-4160 or tlandich@yahoo.com.

• St. Bede Parish, 26950 Patrick Ave., Hayward, Mass, 5.30 a.m., reception following, Rev. Seamus Farrell, 510-782-2171.

• St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 606 Mellus St., Martinez, Mass, reception following, 5:30 a.m. Dec. 20-22. Rev. Leo Asuncion, 925-228-2230.

• St. Clement Parish, 750 Calhoun St., Hayward, Mass, 5:30 a.m., reception following, Aida Geronimo, 510-582-7282 (church office) or aida901@sbcglobal.net.

Art lesson for the season
Jocelyn Pierre-Antoine asked her third-graders at St. Edward School in Newark to share their understanding of the Nativity. The students then looked at PowerPoint slides reflecting different artistic symbols of the Crèche. The children identified key elements in each crèche, such as the types of animals, the number of angels and the depictions of the stable. The third- graders noticed the bright halo around Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They observed the diversity of skin tones and facial expressions of the people in the scenes. The students then created their own Nativity scenes, using colored chalk, paint, oil pastels, crayons, markers and colored pencils. Their work will be on display in the hall gallery at the Cathedral Event Center, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, through Jan. 6.
Staff photo

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Organ concert

Bay Area organist Jonathan Dimmock will perform in a concert of Messiaen's masterpiece, La Nativite du Seigneur (The Nativity of the Lord) from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Free-will offering; visit www.ctlcathedral.org for more information.

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"Protection" for poor

WASHINGTON — Catholic social teaching's concern for human life and dignity stood front and center as the role of the federal spending was debated by political leaders and assessed by the electorate in a presidential election year.

Concepts rooted in church teaching — subsidiarity, solidarity and the common good — entered the public arena, offering Americans insight into principles that, church leaders repeatedly explained, must be considered when identifying spending priorities while the country struggled with a growing federal deficit and a sluggish economic recovery.

Throughout the debate, the chairmen of two committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops renewed their call for a "circle of protection" around federally funded programs benefiting poor and vulnerable people. "Our ongoing concerns remain centered on the care for the poor and most vulnerable in society," Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said Dec. 6. "We cannot neglect them as we seek to stabilize our political economy. While it is certainly a good to be accomplished in terms of creating a more stable economy with a balanced budget, it would not be beneficial to have such efforts result in a wider gap between those who are rich and those who are poor. The common good requires that the people who are hurting the most will not be hurting even more as a result of efforts that are being taken to improve the economy," he said.

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An encounter with love
VATICAN CITY — Far from being just a moral or ethical code, Christianity is "an experience of love; it's welcoming the person of Jesus," Pope Benedict XVI said. "Many people today have a limited concept of what the Christian faith is because they identify it with a mere system of beliefs and values and not with the truth of a God revealing himself in history, eager to communicate with humanity one-on-one in a relationship of love," he said.

Office for art, music
VATICAN CITY — The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is establishing an office to promote the development and use of appropriate liturgical art, architecture and music. The new office was approved in early September by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state; final arrangements and the designation of personnel are being made, said Marist Father Anthony Ward, undersecretary of the congregation. The office will provide advice, encouragement and guidance, he said, but it will not attempt to impose specific styles.

Well-catechized laity
VATICAN CITY — The universal church needs Catholics in the Americas who are joyful missionaries, well-catechized and faithful to the teachings of the church, Pope Benedict XVI said. The only way to solve today's problems is through credible and effective Christian witness and charity, he said, since only actions based on God's truth and love can be the "decisive force which will transform the American continent," he said. The pope made his comments during the opening Mass of a Dec. 9-12 international congress marking the 15th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops for America.

— Catholic News Service

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