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placeholder February 9, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA

Feb. 9-17: San Francisco Province Bishops' retreat, Jesuit Retreat House, Los Altos

Feb. 18: 12:10 p.m., Ash Wednesday Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

Feb. 19: 7:10 a.m., Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

      Capital Campaign dinner, Queen of All Saints, Concord

Feb. 20: Service for parents of service members killed-in-action, Marines Memorial Theatre, San Francisco

Feb. 21: Rite of Election, 2 p.m., Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

      Mass, reception for FACE donors, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

Feb. 22: 1 p.m., Mass, celebration of Chinese New Year, St. Leo the Great, Oakland

      Rite of Election, 4 p.m., Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

      Rite of Election, 7 p.m., Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oaklande

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Clergy assignments

Bishop Michael Barber made the following appointments effective Feb. 1:

Rev. Jay Nuthulapati, CPPS, parochial vicar at St. Edward Parish, Newark, appointed director of the Charismatic Renewal Movement (English).

Rev. Olman Solis, pastor, St. Louis Bertrand Parish, Oakland, appointed director of the Charismatic Renewal Movement (Spanish).

Lent resources

The Office of Worship has prepared a Lenten resource guide to assist pastors, liturgy directors, committees and parishioners during Lent. Included is pertinent information about Lent, helpful reminders and important information particular to the diocese. For more information, see the website www.Oakdiocese.org/worship.

Diocesan Choir Festival

Choirs from throughout the diocese will participate in the second annual Diocesan Choir Festival at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, at 1 p.m. Feb. 14.

This is one of the few opportunities for liturgical musicians to get together and sing to the Lord. The theme for this year's festival is Sacred Songs of Love and parish choirs are invited to sing any liturgical music with reference to love, as the festival falls on St. Valentine's Day. The performance will finish early enough so that those who have 5 p.m. Mass responsibilities could still make it.

Choir registration is mandatory. For more information contact Denise Kogler, dkogler@ctlcathedral.org or visit www.Ctlcathedral.org/ChoirFest.

Deacon class forms

In preparation for the new Permanent Deacon formation class, the Diocese of Oakland will host a series of discernment workshops, all from 9 a.m. to noon, beginning Feb. 14 and continuing on March 14, April 11, May 9 and June 13 at St. Stephen Parish, 1101 Keaveny Court at San Luis Road, Walnut Creek. If you are a man between the age of 35 and 55 and would like assistance in clarifying God's possible call in your life to serve the Church as a Permanent Deacon, you need to attend the following sessions. Each session is mandatory for interested men and their wives in order to be considered for the upcoming Formation Program. Questions, contact Rev. Mark Amaral, director of Deacon Formation at 510-267-8345, MAmaral@oakdiocese.org or Arlene Beaman in Clergy Services, 510-267-8348, ABeaman@oakdiocese.org.

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Bill would legalize assisted suicide

SAN FRANCISCO — California legislators have introduced assisted suicide legislation modeled on Oregon's assisted suicide law, energized by the heartbreaking story of Brittany Maynard, a young woman with brain cancer, who moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Oregon to end her own life Nov. 1.

Before her suicide, Maynard, 29, created videos asking for assisted suicide legislation that drew tens of millions of views, and her mother and husband are now campaigning for legalization.

California S.B. 128, as it is called, would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients who want to commit suicide. Written by Sens. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and Lois Wolk, D-Davis, the bill has sparked strong opposition.

"Assisted suicide is not a progressive social cause," said Diane Coleman of Not Dead Yet, an organization of people with disabilities who oppose assisted suicide. "There are a lot of ways to look at this, but the first thing is to look at the deadly mix of the profit-driven health care system and the other is the sad reality of elder abuse."

If the legislation passes, "some people's lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse," said Marilyn Golden, Berkeley-based senior policy analyst with the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund. "No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone."

Data from Oregon's 1997 law show the top five reasons people choose assisted suicide are not because they are suffering from a terminal illness, Coleman noted. Feeling like a burden and a fear of loss of control are among the main reasons for choosing assisted suicide, according to the Oregon data, she said.

The assisted suicide campaign is heavily funded by Compassion & Choices, a national assisted suicide advocacy organization that has received millions in funding from billionaire George Soros. Committing suicide is legal in California, but it is illegal for a doctor to prescribe drugs to help someone kill themselves.

In 2006 and 2007, similar legislation was defeated after a hard-fought battle in California, said Tim Rosales of Californians Against Assisted Suicide.

"The coalition that is formed against it is really one of the most diverse and ideologically diverse coalitions that you are going to see on an issue in California. I think that lends to the credibility of the opposition," Rosales said.

Among the many organizations that have joined Californians Against Assisted Suicide are the American Medical Association, American College of Pediatricians, American Geriatrics Society, American Nursing Association, California Catholic Conference, California Disability Alliance, Not Dead Yet, Berkeley Commission on Disability, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.

While there have been more than 100 attempts to legalize assisted suicide in the past 20 years, only three states have legalized it through legislative or voter action, Californians Against Assisted Suicide notes on its website. Those are Oregon, Washington and Vermont. In Montana and New Mexico, judges have sided with advocates of assisted suicide, ruling in 2009 and 2014, respectively, that doctors in their respective states would not be prosecuted for helping a terminally ill patient commit suicide.

The Catholic Church opposes assisted suicide because of its respect for the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. In 2011, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement titled "To Live Each Day with Dignity: A Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide."

The California Catholic Conference website, www.cacatholic.org, has a special section on end-of-life decisions, "Embracing Our Dying."

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Visit to Sri Lanka
People in native costume look on before Pope Francis celebrates the canonization Mass of St. Joseph Vaz, a 17th- and 18th-century missionary from India who rebuilt the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka after its suppression by Dutch Protestant colonists. In canonizing Sri Lanka's first saint, at Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 14, Pope Francis proclaimed what he called the "fundamental human right" of religious freedom. He also told Sri Lankans seeking reconciliation after two-and-a-half decades of civil war that, before they can forgive each other, they must repent of their own sins.
Paul Haring/cns
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