On the day of his ordination, Bishop Barber processes into the cathedral with Father Sacca.
JOSÉ LUIS AGUIRRE/THE CATHOLIC VOICE
A pair of Navy chaplains
The arrival in Oakland of Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, reunites him with a fellow Navy chaplain, the Rev. Ray Sacca, rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light. Father Sacca, who has been discharged from the service since 2005, served with the bishop beginning in the late 1990s, when both were assigned to the Marine Expeditionary Force Religious. They would typically drill at Alameda Naval Marine Corps Center.
"He's very fair and is sensitive to people being treated justly and fairly," Father Sacca said. "There was a situation that occurred that needed to be addressed with the officer in charge of this training module, who was senior in rank to both of us," he said.
Bishop Barber spoke up. "He did not hesitate to bring this, respectfully but firmly, to the commanding officer because this was something that needed to be corrected and it wasn't being addressed appropriately," said Father Sacca.
They were both Navy lieutenants. "I admired his ability and willingness to be assertive to ensure that a situation that needed correcting was addressed fairly and justly," Father Sacca said.
In the day to day life of a chaplain, Father Sacca said, Bishop Barber reached out to those he was serving. "He was always very approachable, genuinely interested in the people who would engage him for conversation or come to him for advice, or would need pastoral attention," he said.
back to top