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placeholder Pope Francis,
with retired pope, canonizes Sts.
John and John Paul

Meet our soon-

Catholic family
flees to America to
avoid persecution

A Family to Family

the numbers

3 questions

Changing role
of today's
Catholic women

Parish groups
enrich faith,
spiritual growth

objective: grow
in holiness

Catholic Daughters
aim to aid priestly

Sisterly care at
heart of Young
Ladies Institute

KOC affiliate
supports Knights

Strong group aids
St. John

'Laughter, tears,

of Contra Costa

Pope says women
must have voice


Rev. Gary Klauer, OFM Conv.

James Barnes

Tri-Valley KOC
honors firefighters,
law enforcement

Holy week
procession grows
into Mexico's largest
such event

Music concert
benefits St. Joseph

placeholder May 5, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 9   •   Oakland, CA
Catholic Women

'Laughter, tears, friendship'
Women's Faith Sharing
St. Monica Parish
1001 Camino Pablo, Moraga

Nine Tuesday mornings a year, Women's Faith Sharing at St. Monica Parish in Moraga offers women of all ages the opportunity to grow in faith in good company.

It's an encouraging group of "women who are looking to support each other to become more faith-filled and see God in our hectic, day-to-day lives," said Pam Plant, one of the volunteer leaders.

Founded 14 years ago by Annmarie Claymore, Women's Faith Sharing has grown to more than 60 members. They gather once a month to listen to engaging speakers and share their thoughts afterward in small, confidential table groups.

The group's brochure says: "Laughter, tears, friendship and camaraderie are promised!"

Each year, Women's Faith Sharing adopts a theme. The 2013-14 theme has been, "Ask, Seek, Knock." Speakers have included Father Jeremy Leatherby, pastor of Presentation Parish in Sacramento, who told his inspiring story of how he went from being a Catholic who attended Mass twice a year to a priest with a devotion to Mary, Plant said. Sister Joann Heinritz, CSJ, director of spirituality and mission at Carondelet High School in Concord, talked about holistic spirituality. Particularly inspiring, Plant said, was Sister Joann's story of becoming a certified massage therapist so she could offer massages to homeless women.

Twice a year, near Christmas and Easter, Women's Faith Sharing schedules a "Spiritual Spa Day," an opportunity to slow down from the hectic pace of holiday preparation. It's an opportunity, Plant said, "to nurture spirit, rejuvenate faith." The group encourages registration, but visitors are welcome. Dues are $25 a year, or a free-will donation.

Women's Faith Sharing offers stipends to the speakers, and from the remainder of the dues this year will host a pizza party for the children at St. Anthony School in Oakland who receive their First Communion. St. Monica Parish and St. Anthony School have a relationship that includes the Shoes That Fit program, in which the parishioners provide shoes to the children.

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