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placeholder June 10, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA

June 10-14: US Conference of Catholic Bishops, San Diego

June 15: 10 a.m., Group Confirmation, Cathedral of Christ the Light: Queen of All Saints Parish, Concord; St. David of Wales Parish, Richmond; St. Ignatius Parish, Antioch

June 17: 5 p.m., Newly ordained priest event

June 18: 11:30 a.m., Catholic Charities of the East Bay board meeting

June 19: 10 a.m., Diocesan Review Board

June 20: 10:30 a.m., Pastoral Leaders Placement Board

      1 p.m., Ongoing Formation Committee

      4 p.m., Finance Committee

      6 p.m., Senior Pastors event

June 25: 6 p.m., Junior Pastors event

June 30: 10 a.m., St. Rose of Lima Parish, Crockett

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Father Mockel reappointed

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, has reappointed Very Rev. George E. Mockel as vicar general of the diocese. The announcement was made by Bishop Barber at a gathering of chancery employees on May 31. Father Mockel continues as moderator of the curia, whose responsibility is to promote unity and results from all the offices of the diocesan administration.

The vicar general aids the bishop in the governance of the diocese — similar to a corporate chief operating officer. He also assists in the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation and supervises several diocesan departments and ministries.

Bishop's video

The May 25 Episcopal Mass of Ordination and Installation of Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, may be viewed on the diocesan website, www.oakdiocese.org. The Mass is divided into sections, allowing viewing of shorter segments at a time. The full-length video is also viewable on the EWTN YouTube channel. DVDs are being produced and their availability will be announced.

An official portrait of our new bishop will be produced and made available to parishes.

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South American cowboy art part of Vatican exhibit
This painting of a South American cowboy by Mauricio Rugendas is part of the special Vatican exhibit "Argentina, the Gaucho: Tradition, Art and Faith," which runs until June 16. The exhibit on gauchos, or cowboys, was planned before the election of Argentine Pope Francis. Organizers said it was "providential" and "lucky" the show opened under a new pope from Argentina.
of the exhibit

50th anniversary
A pilgrim raises a banner honoring Blessed John XXIII after a June 3 Mass in St. Peter's Basilica marking the 50th anniversary of his death. Pope Francis prayed at Blessed John's tomb and greeted pilgrims from the late pontiff's home diocese of Bergamo, Italy. The banner reads, "Blessed Pope John XXIII, pray for us."
Paul Haring/cns

What have you done?

All Catholics must ask themselves what they personally have done lately to build up the holiness of the church and ensure people feel welcomed and loved in it, Pope Francis said. "Some people today say, 'Christ, yes; the church, no,' like they say, 'I believe in God, but not in priests,'" the pope said. Such a position does not make sense because "it is the church that brings us Christ and brings us to God. The church is the great family of God's children."

Encyclical to be finished

Continuing a papal tradition of finishing a predecessor's work in progress, Pope Francis intends to complete an encyclical — on the virtue of faith — begun during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Persecution decried

GENEVA — More than 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith, and millions more face bigotry, intolerance and marginalization because of their beliefs, a Vatican official said. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to U.S. agencies in Geneva, told the Human Rights Council May 27 that "credible research" by Massimo Introvigne, a former representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on combating intolerance and discrimination against Christians, "has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year."

'Despicable, a disgrace'

Human trafficking is "a despicable activity, a disgrace for our societies, which describe themselves as civilized," Pope Francis said. Refugees, displaced and stateless people are particularly vulnerable to "the plague of human trafficking, which increasingly involves children subjected to the worst forms of exploitation and even recruitment into armed conflicts," the pope said May 24.

Be salt of the earth

Christians are called to be the salt of the earth, and if they don't share the flavor of their faith, hope and love with others, they are simply "museum Christians," Pope Francis said. "Salt has meaning when it gives flavor to something. Salt kept in a bottle, with the humidity, loses its strength and is useless," he said May 23 in a homily during his early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Cardinal reappointed

Two months after he said he wanted time for dialogue and prayer before fully confirming or appointing top officials, Pope Francis reappointed Cardinal Agostino Vallini as his vicar for Rome. The pope is the bishop of Rome, but as Pope Francis' letter appointing Cardinal Vallini, 73, said, the pope's responsibilities are so vast that he needs a vicar to ensure the proper pastoral care of the Diocese of Rome.

Archbishop Romero relic

Pope Francis received a bloodstained relic of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero as a gift from El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes Cartagena. Funes had told the media before his May 23 trip that the primary aim of his visit with the pope would be to express his gratitude that the archbishop's canonization process had been "unblocked" and to encourage the sainthood process move forward.

Public exorcism denied

When Pope Francis solemnly laid both hands on the head of a young man in a wheelchair and prayed intently over him for several minutes, he was not performing an exorcism, said the Vatican spokesman. The young man, who was among dozens of people in wheelchairs greeted by the pope at the end of Mass May 19, appeared somewhat agitated when the pope approached. "The Holy Father had no intention of performing an exorcism, but — as he often does with the sick and suffering people presented to him — he simply intended to pray for the suffering person before him," said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.

Power struggle a sin

Careerism and a drive to seek power in the church are sins as old as the church itself, Pope Francis told a group of employees from Vatican Radio and from the Vatican's office for pilgrims and tourists. Commenting on the day's Gospel passage — Mark 9:30-37 — the pope said that while Jesus is talking about his upcoming passion and death, the disciples are arguing over who is the greatest among them. "The struggle for power in the church isn't something recent," Pope Francis said in his homily at the Mass May 21 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Such struggles "should not exist," because Jesus' whole life and death teach his followers that greatness is measured by humility and service.

Argentine chalice

Bearing a chalice made of silver from Argentina and Colorado, as well as written messages from Catholic faithful in two countries, Argentine silversmith Adrian Pallarols reconnected with the priest who officiated at his wedding and baptized his daughter: Pope Francis. Pallarols, who had traveled to the Vatican in 2007 with the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires to give Pope Benedict XVI a chalice, was back at the Vatican May 21 bearing his new work.

— Catholic News Service

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