'Bless Our Summer Days'
Each year, at the end-of-the-year prayer service at St. Clement School in Hayward, students ask God to "bless our summer days." Inspired by those words, art teacher Angela Quiroz introduced her students, in first through fifth grade, to Vincent van Gough's "Sunflowers," as well as images of sunflowers on the internet. Her youngest students worked with torn paper, while older students' used pencil, crayon and watercolor pencils to depict their slice of summer. The project, which is on display on the first floor of the Cathedral Event Center, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland through mid-September, also serves as "a way to end a chapter." Quiroz, who has taught art for 13 years – she also directs the after-school program – will become the transitional kindergarten teacher this fall.
Appeal passes $2M
As of June 5, the 2013 Annual Bishop's Appeal has raised just more than $2 million. Twenty-four parishes have reached or exceeded their goal, the latest one being St. Perpetua. While the following parishes have not yet achieved their goal, they have made substantial increases over what they had achieved during the same number of days into the appeal as last year. These parishes are: Corpus Christi (Fremont), Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Anne (Byron), St. Bonaventure, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Columba, St. Jarlath, St. John the Baptist (San Lorenzo), St. Leander, St. Margaret Mary, St. Michael, St. Monica and St. Raymond Penafort.
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Bishop visits St. Rose
Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will concelebrate Mass at St. Rose of Lima Parish, 555 Third Ave., Crockett, at 10 a.m. June 30. It will be the last Mass at St. Rose for Rev. Ciarian Dillon, OMI, who is retiring and who has been pastor at St. Rose since 1993. A reception honoring Father Dillon, a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, will follow in the parish hall. The Oblates have served at St. Rose since 1955. Beginning July 1, diocesan priests will staff the parish, and its mission church, St. Patrick's in Port Costa.
Rev. Fred Riccio will serve the community until a new pastor or administrator is named. There will be no Saturday evening Mass in Crockett, nor any Mass at St. Patrick's mission that Sunday. The regular 9 a.m. St. Rose Sunday Mass moves to 10 a.m.
Help Catholic Charities
Those looking to make a difference in their community can volunteer to help Catholic Charities of the East Bay support individuals and families in need. Most volunteer opportunities are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays primarily at CCEB's Oakland, Concord and Richmond offices. Training will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19. Call for an interview and to register, or for more information. Lunch will be provided.
Volunteer opportunities include:
• Help with administrative support by answering phones or entering data.
• Represent CCEB in your parish community as an ambassador.
• Support a family by participating in Family to Family.
• Assist with one-time projects such as delivering bikes for the holidays or help CCEB remodel its lobby.
• Assist with immigration and citizenship services.
• Donate your professional services in tax preparation, mentoring, tutoring, graphic design, accounting, fundraising, etc.
Blood drive begins
The interfaith effort to assist the American Red Cross meet its need for blood during the summer will kick off on July 1. Blood donations drop in the busy summer months, at the same time demand rises due to accidents and injuries during vacation and travels. This very important drive helps the Red Cross save many lives.
Several parishes are hosting drives. A list of sites can be found at RedCrossBlood.org, and that is where donors can make an appointment, as well.
Harley Davidson jacket
Pope Francis is presented with a leather Harley-Davidson jacket during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 12.
Ken Hackett, retired president of Catholic Relief Services, was nominated by President Barack Obama as the next U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. Hackett retired in December 2011 after 18 years as president of CRS, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency. As U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, he succeeds Miguel Diaz, who left the post in late 2012. Diaz now is a professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton, Ohio.
St. Joseph's name added
St. Joseph is depicted in a mosaic at Galway Cathedral in Ireland. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said Pope Francis confirmed a decision originally made by Pope Benedict to include St. Joseph permanently in the eucharistic prayers used at most Masses in the Latin rite.
Hotelier to head bank
Pope Francis has approved the appointment of the new interim prelate of the Vatican bank, Msgr. Battista Mario Ricca, a Vatican diplomat who has been director of the guesthouse where the pope is living. Msgr. Ricca was chosen by the commission of cardinals overseeing the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal name of the Vatican bank. The appointment is "temporary and not definitive" because the pope is still in a phase "of reflection" concerning permanent appointments within the Roman Curia.
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Politics must serve all
The goal of politics and economics is to serve all of humanity, starting with the poorest, the most vulnerable and the unborn, Pope Francis told British Prime Minister David Cameron, president of the Group of Eight industrialized nations. "Money and other political and economic means must serve, not rule," the pope said, adding that "in a seemingly paradoxical way, free and disinterested solidarity is the key to the smooth functioning of the global economy."
Threats to human life
Ideologies and practices that destroy human life arise from false ideas of freedom without God, Pope Francis told a crowd in St. Peter's Square, including thousands of pro-life activists from around the world. "Whenever we want to assert ourselves, when we become wrapped up in our own selfishness and put ourselves in the place of God, we end up spawning death," the pope said in his homily during the Mass June 16.
Magazine can heal rift
Pope Francis said his fellow Jesuits can help heal the rift between the Gospel and today's cultures. "This ministry is typical of the mission of the Society of Jesus," he said, urging the editors and staff of a Jesuit journal to continue offering the world "your reflections and your in-depth analyses" of cultural and social trends and transformations, including hot button topics. The pope met June 14 with the editors and staff of La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit-run magazine founded by Pope Pius IX in 1850.
Pope to finish work
Pope Francis told members of the ordinary council of the Synod of Bishops that he was preparing to publish an encyclical on faith written "with four hands" — his own and those of Pope Benedict XVI. While a formal speech was prepared for the pope's meeting with the council responsible for helping draft post-synodal apostolic exhortations and suggesting themes for the next synod, Pope Francis told them, "The text will be given to you, no problem, but it would be better to talk among ourselves a bit."
Martyrdom of 95
Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of 95 men and women religious and laymen who were killed during the Spanish Civil War. The pope's approval of a series of martyrdom decrees June 3 opened the way for their beatification to be scheduled. A miracle is required before any blessed may be canonized.
Truth spoken with love
Christians need to "speak the truth with love," overcoming the temptations of wanting always to be liked or of always thinking their own status or desires are what counts, Pope Francis said. In his homilies at his early morning Masses June 3 and 4, Pope Francis spoke about people who are corrupt: their attitudes, actions and ways of speaking. "Hypocrisy is the language of corruption," he said during the June 4 Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
— Catholic News Service