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placeholder A note to our readers/
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

The papal bull, or decree, appointing Bishop Barber, is held during the ordination and installation Mass on May 25. The official document gets its name from the "bulla," or seal affixed to the document in order to authenticate it.

Decree appointing Bishop Barber

Pope Francis
Paul Haring/cns

(This is an English translation from the Latin of the papal decree appointing Michael C. Barber, SJ, bishop of Oakland.)

Pope Francis, Servant of the Servants of God, sends greetings and Apostolic Blessings to his beloved son, Michael Charles Barber, priest of the Society of Jesus and spiritual director at Saint John's Major Seminary in Brighton, now appointed Bishop of Oakland.

Constantly striving for the greater glory of God and assiduously following in the footsteps of the Peter, I wish to ensure that every local church enjoys the protection of a compassionate and vigilant shepherd. Indeed, if I am willing to join forces with men who are really on fire with a love for truth and a concern for God's people, how much more happily men and women would heed God's words which are "Spirit and life" (John 6:63)! Since therefore the Diocese of Oakland is in need of a new Bishop after the transfer of Salvatore Joseph Cordileone to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, I turn to you, my dear son, who have clearly shown yourself to be a dedicated minister and soldier of Christ, someone who not only treasures the precious gift of faith but does everything he can to share it with others. For this reason, having accepted the recommendation of the Congregation for Bishops, by the fullness of my Apostolic authority, I nominate and constitute you Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland and grant to you all the rights and responsibilities that pertain to this episcopal office. I furthermore grant my permission for you to receive your episcopal ordination outside the city of Rome from any Catholic bishop in good standing and in accord with liturgical laws. Before you do so, however, you must make the Profession of Faith and take the Oath of Fidelity to me and my successors according to the norms of the Church. Moreover, I ask that you inform the clergy and people of Oakland of my decision to entrust them to your care, and I exhort them to obey you and to follow your direction in all matters pertaining to the life of the diocese. As for you, my dear son — I know this assignment will entail grave responsibilities that may seem too heavy to carry. Yet I encourage you in a spirit of fraternal charity — do not allow fear to weigh you down! For if Jesus, by forgiving and choosing whom he will, empowered Saint Paul to "do all things" and to "fight the good fight" victoriously, what on earth do you have to fear (cf. Philippians 4:13 and 2 Timothy 4:7)?

Given in Rome near the Tomb of Saint Peter on the third day of May in the Year 2013, the first of my Pontificate.

— Pope Francis

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