The yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary began the first weekend of January, as all parishes were invited to join together in an anniversary prayer. At the Cathedral of Christ the Light, the Most Rev. John S. Cummins, who served as bishop of Oakland for more than a quarter-century, offered a reflection on the diocese at 50. The New Year found Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone traveling in India with several diocesan priests; he wrote about his trip on the diocesan website. "Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America," a national exhibit on a three-year tour, makes a stop in Sacramento. About 50,000 people join the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, while a smaller number rallies in Oakland, and ends the day with the prayer service at the cathedral, the day before the march.
St. Rose of Lima Parish in Crockett celebrates its 100th anniversary. Msgr. John McCracken, the longest-serving priest in the diocese, died in Danville at 93. World Day of the Sick, organized by the Order of Malta, drew the sick, their families and their caretakers to the cathedral. The spirit of the first Oakland cathedral was lovingly recalled in words and music at "Those Who See Light," with former cathedral rector Father Don Osuna and music director John McDonnell directing. Ash Wednesday dawned with the realization that someone had vandalized St. Anne Church in Union City. St. Columba celebrated 30 years of African American spirituality with the Rawn Harbor Experience gospel choir and Mass celebrated by Father Paul Vassar.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood organized leaders of its more than 80 groups to take action against the HHS mandate. March 17 was a lucky day for FACE. Face Aid/Catholic Education nets $550,000 at its annual gala at Blackhawk. The diocese surveys the potential to raise $70 million over four years. A reverse collection at St. Augustine Church in Oakland sets out to turn $12,100 into the $60,000 needed to build a dormitory at a Kenyan orphanage.
Bishop Cordileone makes his ad limina visit to Rome, accompanied by Rev. George Mockel, the vicar general. Father Mockel writes of the visit: "The ad limina visit reminds me that the church is really 'Catholic,' i.e. universal. We sometimes tend to think of 'church' as only 'my local parish.' The church is a much larger, deeper, more profound (and sometimes more complicated) reality than what we experience on the local level. The next time I recite the Profession of Faith the words 'one, holy and Catholic' will take on an added dimension and texture." On the home front, the annual youth rally moved to James Logan High School, where enthusiasm abounded. Catholic Underground, prayer followed by a social hour and entertainment for young Catholics, made its local debut.
About 200 people show their support for sisters in the wake of an assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious by the Vatican, by praying and singing on the steps of the cathedral. Representatives of Catholic Charities statewide tell the governor of the importance of their work in providing a safety net for the state's most vulnerable. Graduation season begins, as diocesan elementary and high schools celebrate.
Father Jeffrey Keyes, CPPS, pastor of St. Edward Church in Newark, calls upon the words of the order's founder in speaking to the crowd at a religious freedom rally in San Francisco: "I cannot. I must not. I will not." The diocese and Casa Vincentia, a shelter for pregnant women and new mothers, reach an agreement on vacating the former convent at St. Cyril Parish. After 41 years, the Dominican Kindergarten closes; St. Joseph School in Fremont will welcome kindergartners in the fall. Derrick Kea Oliveira, 30, a native of the East Bay, is ordained to the priesthood at the cathedral.
Pope Benedict XVI names the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone the archbishop of San Francisco. Families that practice Natural Family Planning gather for an annual picnic at St. Raymond Parish in Dublin. Pro-life activists fondly remember the life of Andrew Moore, 20, of Concord, who died during a pro-life walk across America. The Rev. Raymond Breton is named a monsignor.
The second, third and fourth bishops of Oakland gather with representatives of each parish for a liturgy celebrating the Diocese of Oakland's 50 years. The celebration is held on the feast day of Our Lady Queen of the World. The Bay Point parish named for that feast celebrates its 50th anniversary. St. Bernard Parish in Oakland celebrates its 100th birthday. A second vigil supporting sisters is held on the cathedral steps. Catholic social service agencies help undocumented youths, ages 16 to 10, file paperwork that will allow them to remain in the United States. In June, President Obama said the US would stop the deportation of, or the beginning of deportation proceedings for some young people who were brought to America as children.
The largest open-to-the-public event of the jubilee year is a symposium on Vatican II and the Diocese of Oakland. Moderated by Bishop Emeritus Cummins, speakers include Rev. Joseph Chinnici, OFM, president of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley; Rev. John Coleman, SJ.; Sister Rose Marie Hennessy, OP; and Mary Ann Mattos of De La Salle High School. CEDDO — The Confraternity of Eucharistic Devotion of the Diocese of Oakland — premieres the film, "Christ Among Us." The official opening of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Canyon is celebrated at a High Pontifical Mass at St. Monica Church in Moraga.
Archbishop Cordileone is installed as the ninth archbishop of San Francisco. When he takes his seat at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, the Most Rev. Alex J. Brunett, the archbishop emeritus of Seattle, becomes the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Oakland. He presides at a prayer service at the Unity Festival the following week, when hundreds of people, in ethnic dress and bearing traditional gifts, gather for prayer, and later entertainment and feasting. The archbishop traveled to the Vatican for the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, whose miracle occurred in his archdiocese. Father Mockel presides at a Mass for couples celebrating significant wedding anniversaries — a combined total of 6,734 years of marriage. One couple — Petra and Adolfo Padilla of Oakland — were celebrating 70 years of marriage. Mercy Brown Bag program celebrates 30 years of assisting low-income seniors in Alameda County.
St. Mark Parish in Richmond celebrates its centennial. African American liturgist Rawn Harbor brings his gospel music workshop to the cathedral. St. John the Baptist Parish in El Cerrito says it will administer Eucharistic adoration in the chapel there beginning in December, relieving the Divine Mercy Eucharistic Society of that responsibility. An exhibit of Nativity scenes from around the world opens at the Cathedral Shop. Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection is taken up in the diocese. A quarter of the funds collected will be put to work locally; eight agencies received local grants of $5,000 each in 2012. More than 1,000 join in the annual procession and Mass honoring the Vietnamese martyrs.
Braving the rain, more than 1,000 people made the 7.5-mile pilgrimage to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. Fifty parishes were the goal for the Crèche Festival, with weekend concerts and family-friendly-activities. More than 20 parishes take part in Simbang Gabi liturgies, with the cathedral kicking off the festivities. The Bishop's Appeal ends the year with more $2.25 million in pledges, more than 107 percent of its goal.
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