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placeholder November 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA

Nov. 18: 10:30 a.m., Mass, Mercy Retirement Center, Oakland

      College of Consultors, Chancery

Nov. 19: 9 a.m., Mass, All Saints School, Hayward

Nov. 21: 11 a.m., Mass, St. Felicitas School, San Leandro

      Presbyteral Council, Chancery

      Vespers and dinner, University of California, Berkeley,
      Catholic faculty and Graduate Theological Union, Cathedral Event Center

Nov. 24: 4 p.m., Mass, Vietnamese Martyrs, St. Anthony Parish, Oakland

Nov. 25: 10 a.m., San Francisco Province Bishops, Archdiocese of San Francisco

Nov. 26: Priests' Day Lecture, Mass and Dinner, St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park

Nov. 28: 10 a.m., Mass, Thanksgiving, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 2-5: Priest Convocation

Dec. 7: 9 a.m., Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimage and Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 8: 10:30 a.m., Mass, St. Bonaventure Parish, Concord

Dec. 9: 9:30 a.m., Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl Grants, Cathedral Event Center

Dec. 10: 7 a.m., Catholics@Work, Mass and presentation, Crow Canyon Country Club, San Ramon

Dec. 11: 7 p.m., Simbang Gabi, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 12: Presbyteral Council, Chancery

Dec. 13: 6 p.m., Crèche Festival, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 17: College of Consultors, Chancery

Dec. 19: Bishops Administrative Council, Chancery

Dec. 24: 11 p.m., Christmas Vigil Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 25: 10 a.m., Christmas Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light

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Vietnamese celebration

The Vietnamese Community of the Diocese of Oakland will celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the Vietnamese Martyrs' canonization at 4 p.m. Nov. 24 at St. Anthony Parish, 1535 16th Ave., Oakland. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins will participate in the procession and liturgy. For more information, contact Sister Rosaline Nguyen, 510-628-2153, or rnguyen@oakdiocese.org.

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Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, of Oakland, prays at the start of the afternoon session of the U.S. bishops' fall meeting in Baltimore Nov. 11.
Nancy Phelan Wiechec/cns

Cardinal sets priority

BALTIMORE — New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan called upon his brother bishops to champion the cause of people around the world being persecuted because of their faith even as the bishops continue to prevent what he described as infringements upon religious practice in the United States.

In his final address as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the opening of their fall general assembly Nov. 11 in Baltimore, Cardinal Dolan outlined a series of steps the bishops can take to protect religious freedom around the world.

Citing recent incidents of attacks on Christians during Syria's civil war and in Egypt, India, Nigeria and the semiautonomous island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania, the USCCB leader encouraged intercessions for persecuted people, comparing the action to "prayers for the conversion of Russia" in the mid-20th century.

Muslims, Jews and Buddhists in some part of the world also are facing persecution, but not on the same scale as Christians, he added.

During the first day of the U.S. bishops' fall general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops also discussed providing typhoon relief in the Philippines and supporting efforts to defend traditional marriage.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., was elected president of the conference by a wide margin Nov. 12.

The archbishop, the current USCCB vice president, received 125 votes during the first round of balloting during the fall general assembly of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore.

In the voting for vice president, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected to the post during the third round of voting. He defeated Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, 147 to 87.

Archbishop Kurtz easily outdistanced the nine other candidates for president, who received a total of 111 votes. Cardinal DiNardo tallied the second highest vote total with 25.

With the election of Archbishop Kurtz to head the USCCB for the next three years, the bishops returned to the practice of electing a sitting vice president to the conference presidency.

The U.S. bishops Nov. 12 approved the development of a pastoral statement on the dangers pornography poses to family life that would serve as a teaching tool for church leaders.

A committee planned to bring a draft to the bishops in 2015. It would be the first formal statement on pornography issued by the bishops as a body.

In a report on USCCB efforts to promote and defend traditional marriage, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, former bishop of Oakland, said the Supreme Court's ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and the Senate's passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act put the legal defense of marriage "at a critical point in this country."

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Pat on the head
Pope Francis touches the head of a child as he addresses pilgrims in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 26. He addressed an estimated 100,000 people taking part in a Year of Faith celebration of family life.
L'Osservatore Romano/Reuters, cns

'Dirty money'

Despite the perks and high living they may bring, bribery, corruption and dishonest work are serious sins that rob people and their children of their dignity, Pope Francis said. "Devotees of the goddess of kickbacks" bring home "dirty bread" for their children to eat, the pope said Nov. 8 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives. "Their children, perhaps educated in expensive colleges, perhaps raised in well-educated circles, have received filth as a meal from their father," rendering them "starved of dignity," he said in his homily, according to Vatican Radio.

Beatitudes as themes

Pope Francis has asked Catholic young people around the world to read, meditate and act on the beatitudes as they celebrate World Youth Day in their dioceses in 2014 and 2015 and as they prepare to join him in Poland in 2016. Taking the text of the beatitudes from the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Pope Francis has chosen the themes for World Youth Day celebrations for the next three years.

Justice, pastoral care

Members of a marriage tribunal, including the official responsible for defending the bond of marriage, must aim to provide justice but also pastoral care to the couples involved, Pope Francis said. "Workers involved in the ministry of church justice" act "in the name of the church," the pope said Nov. 8 during a meeting with members of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, the church's highest tribunal.

St. Peter's relics

For the first time, the bones traditionally believed to be the relics of St. Peter the Apostle will be on public display for veneration. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said the veneration of the relics at the Vatican is a fitting way to conclude the Year of Faith Nov. 24. The bones were discovered during excavations of the necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica in the 1940s near a monument erected in the fourth century to honor St. Peter.

Love for the lost

God has a certain weak spot of love for those who are lost or have strayed furthest from him; they are the ones he goes out to find, Pope Francis said. It's because God is a sore loser, he added, saying God doesn't like losing his children. "He searches for all those who have strayed from him. Like a shepherd, he goes looking for the lost sheep," the pope said at his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Nov. 7.

Share burdens in prayer

Saying, "don't worry, we aren't taking up a collection," Pope Francis asked people at his weekly general audience to perform an act of charity by praying for a seriously ill 18-month-old girl named Noemi. Being part of the church means sharing "spiritual goods — the sacraments, charisms and charity" — including by helping someone or praying for those in need, he said Nov. 6 at his weekly general audience.

No Medjugorje ruling

The Vatican ambassador to the United States has reminded U.S. Catholics that the Vatican has not recognized alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia- Herzegovina, as authentic. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio, wrote to Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and told him the reminder came as one of the visionaries was scheduled to tour U.S. parishes.

— Catholic News Service

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