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Official Portrait

Welcoming Bishop
Michael C. Barber, SJ

California a large
influence in Barber
family history

Journey to Oakland

Decree appointing
Bishop Barber

Your new bishop,
my brother, Michael,
'did time' at
San Quentin

Welcome to this
local church

Homily for the
ordination of the fifth
bishop of Oakland

Reflection: Lessons remembered, and
lived: Be merciful
and pure of heart

Getting around

'A ministry
of service,
of availability and
of vulnerability'

Bishop, and a
naval officer

A pair of
Navy chaplains

Bishop Barber's
photo album

A lifetime of
spiritual influences
formed Bishop
Barber's path

First classroom visit:
St. Agnes School,
fourth grade

Sister Mary Jude,
a teacher who made
a difference

A hello in their
native language

Why people
came out

Description of
Bishop Barber's
personal coat of arms, episcopal symbols

Parts of a bishop's
coat of arms

high school boys paths intersect
during careers

Bishops of the
Diocese of Oakland

Bishop selection
process is thorough,
strictly confidential

What the Church teaches about

New focus on
Jesuits' role within
the church

What the pope
is looking for
in new bishops

What you might
not know about
Bishop Barber

The bishop at the
cathedral, 2008

By the numbers:
Michael C. Barber, SJ

In This Issue:

Rev. John Paul

placeholder July 15, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 13   •   Oakland, CA

Bishops John S. Cummins and Allen H. Vigneron rub chrism oil into the altar at the dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the Light in 2008.
Greg Tarczynski/The Catholic Voice

The bishop at the cathedral, 2008

The celebrations surrounding Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ's, ordination and installation as the fifth bishop of Oakland were not the first time he had set foot in the Cathedral of Christ the Light.

The first time Bishop Barber saw the cathedral was as a ticket-holder.

He attended the dedication of the Cathedral of Christ the Light on Sept. 25, 2008.

The bishop recalls he had written in and requested a ticket. He attended with priests from St. Patrick's Seminary, where he was teaching as well as serving as spiritual director, and with priests from the seminary in Detroit, where then-Bishop Allen H. Vigneron had taught before coming to Oakland.

"I knew them because we were all spiritual directors in seminaries," he said. "We used to meet once a year."

At the end of the dedication Mass, the guests were invited to walk around the cathedral.

"The whole church smelled so beautiful, with the perfumed oil," Bishop Barber said, recalling that then-Bishop Vigneron had poured a pitcher of chrism on the altar, and rubbed it in, with oil dripping down the sides.

"When the ceremony was over, you could go around and to the sanctuary, and I saw oil dripping there. Just like you come in the church, and bless yourself, I said, 'That's holy oil,' and I took some and made the sign of the cross."

He did one more thing: "I kissed the altar," he said.

It would be at that same altar, almost five years later, that new chrism would be poured on his head, as he was ordained a bishop and installed as the fifth bishop of Oakland.

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