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placeholder Celebration of Scouting recognizes
82 boy and girl scouts with awards

Bishop: Mass is the closest we can get
to Jesus on Earth

Bishop celebrates Catholic Schools
Week Mass
at Carondelet

40 Days for Life
to stand vigil at
San Ramon clinic

Seminarians in
Rome benefitting
from being at the
center of the Church

Mass opens Year
of Consecrated Life


San Lorenzo
eighth grader wins
Marty Mart
volleyball scholarship

Teams from
St. Felicitas, St. Bede win annual sportsmanship

Deacon Luis Trucios

81st birthday

Weddings & Anniversaries

Date nights:
Something the
Church is doing
for married couples

Marriage prep
way of life for this
Livermore pair

Support for
marriage, new
and not-so-new

The Marriage
resource list

All Saints
Valentine's Day

Prayers for
beheaded by IS


Shrine at Lourdes
has seen 69 miracles authenticated

placeholder February 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, blesses students as he leaves the altar after Mass at the School of the Madeleine in Berkeley.

Bishop: Mass is the closest we can get
to Jesus on Earth

Fifth-graders at the School of the Madeleine enthusiastically showed their Catholic Schools Week visitor something they made for him.

They huddled around a computer monitor in their Berkeley classroom. On the screen appeared a virtual cathedral, "built" for Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, using the school's Minecraft program that can only be accessed by its community.

The bishop asked questions as they described the cathedral. But then the students had something else to show him.

They "built" a ship, which they named the USS Barber.

You could say the bishop, who also serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Naval Reserve, was pleased.

He had also stopped to take a photo of a bulletin board outside the main office, upon which were posted student-written descriptions of service projects the students had undertaken. Among them was a project to assist Wounded Warriors.

In a visit with kindergarteners, he showed them his ring, one of the symbols of his office. He fielded questions from eighth-graders, including what languages he speaks and what it's like to meet Pope Francis. ("I was nervous," he said. "Holy Father, like you I am a Jesuit,' he said. "So he starts teasing, me, "You have that virus, too.")

The bishop would use the analogy of the ship during his homily later in the morning in the church, where students attended in faith families for the Mass celebrated in memory of St. John Bosco.

"Mass is the closest we can come on Earth to be with Jesus," the bishop told the students.

He told them that in St. John Bosco's time, it was not unusual to see homeless children. But the saint found homes for these children and educated them.

"If you're doing God's work, God will protect you. You have nothing to fear."

One way to be protected, he said, is "you get on the ship of the church."

"Stay on the ship of the church," he advised. "Never leave it. You'll be OK."

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