Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, meets some of the members of the Knights of Columbus at
New pastor in Martinez
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, installed Rev. Clarence S.A. Zamora, foreground, as pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, as Rev. Alexander Castillo assists.
Rev. Clarence S.A. Zamora was installed as pastor of Martinez's St. Catherine of Siena Parish before a packed church at the 8:30 a.m. Aug. 17 Mass by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. A reception followed.
Father Zamora, who served at St. Catherine's while a seminarian, is an Oakland diocese priest who was on loan to the Diocese of Hawaii. "I taught Father Clarence in the seminary," the bishop said, "and wanted him to come home. … He is a true priest faithful to his vows."
The bishop complimented the parish for having "reverently preserved" the church, built in 1940. The bishop recalled taking the train through Martinez en route from San Francisco to Sacramento to visit his mother.
"Americans are very tolerant," Bishop Barber said in his homily. "It's popular now for people to say 'All churches are the same; it's all about love.'
"No," the bishop said, "There is a difference."
Non-Catholics often come up and ask for Communion, he said, "and I have to say 'No.'"
Catholics are an exclusive group, he said. Pope Francis has rightly said, "inside every Catholic you will find a Jew;" Christ's crucifixion is the fulfillment of the Jewish faith.
At the beginning of the Church, the bishop explained, St. Peter wanted people to become Jews first, then Christians. But St. Paul argued that people can become Christians directly. St. Paul won out.
At the crucifixion, Christianity was offered to all, not just Jews, the bishop said.
"Jesus is the way," the bishop said, quoting, "No one comes to the Father except through me."
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