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placeholder March 9, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO.5   •   Oakland, CA

March 10: 6:30 p.m., Capital Campaign reception, St. John the Baptist Parish, San Lorenzo

March 11-13: USCCB Committee on Catholic Education, Washington, DC

March 14: FACE benefit concert, Cathedral of Christ the Light

March 15: 10 a.m., Mass, celebrating the Canonization of St. Joseph Vaz, Cathedral of Christ the Light

      3:30 p.m., Mass with the Indonesian community, St. Anne Parish, Union City

March 17: 9 a.m., Mass and school visit, St. Patrick Parish, Rodeo

      7 p.m., talk — GIFT group, St. Joan of Arc Parish, San Ramon.

March 18: Mass, lunch, diocesan youth ministers, San Damiano Retreat Center, Danville

      7 p.m., Capital Campaign reception, Holy Spirit Parish, Fremont

March 19: Mass, school visit, St. Joseph School, Alameda

Presbyteral Council meeting

      7 p.m., Capital Campaign reception, Good Shepherd Parish, Pittsburg

March 20: 7:10 a.m., Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light

March 21: 10 a.m., Confirmation, St. Mary Parish, Walnut Creek

      Order of Malta benefit dinner

March 22: 10 a.m., Confirmation, St. Margaret Mary Parish, Oakland

      2 p.m., celebration in honor of Archbishop Oscar Romero, Oakland Catholic Worker

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Chinese New Year Mass
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins handed out traditional red envelopes at the annual celebration of Mass for the Chinese Catholic community in honor of the Lunar New Year at St. Leo the Great Parish in Oakland. The choir sang sacred music in Chinese.

Members of the Confraternity of Eucharistic Devotion, Diocese of Oakland, gathered for their semi-annual Mass with Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, on Feb. 28 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. Assisting Bishop Barber, with the Cathedral Choir in background, is Deacon Alberto Dizon. CEDDO helps increase love and reverence for the Eucharist, primarily through prayer and Eucharistic devotions. A general membership meeting and election of officers took place at a reception after Mass. For more information about CEDDO, www.ceddo.org.

Chrism Mass

All parishes and members of the diocese are invited to celebrate the annual Chrism Mass at The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, beginning at 6:30 p.m. March 26. Join Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, as he blesses the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick, and consecrates the Sacred Chrism, all of which are taken back to the parishes for the celebration of the sacraments. In a sign of unity and fidelity, the priests of the diocese concelebrate the Mass with their bishop and recommit themselves to their priestly ministry.

This year's celebration begins with the musical prelude and Procession of the Parishes. Parishes are requested by March 15 to invite two parishioners to participate in the Mass: the first to represent the parish in the procession and the second to accompany the oils from the parish and to participate in the Procession of the Chrism during Mass. For more information, contact Mark Hernbroth, mhernbroth@oakdiocese.org or 510-273-4980 or www.oakdiocese.org/chrism

Lenten practices

During the season of Lent, the Church issues two important invitations: to have a greater awareness of the redemptive work of Christ; and to live out one's Baptism with deeper commitment." (Pope Francis, General Audience. March 5, 2014)

The Lenten season is a special opportunity to grow spiritually through other penitential practices, especially those of self -denial, alms giving and through work of kindness and compassion.

The following regulations regarding fasting and abstinence are observed in the United States:
Catholics ages 14 and over are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent.

Individuals between 18 and 59 are also obliged to fast eat one full meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Eating two smaller meals is permitted if necessary to maintain strength, but eating between meals should be avoided.

These obligations, however, do not apply to those whose health or ability to work would be seriously affected.

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Swiss Guard cookbook
A cookbook featuring favorite dishes of the three most-recent popes and their elite military corps will be available this summer in English. "Buon Appetito, Swiss Guard" was written by 24-year-old David Geisser, who had worked as a chef and published two popular cookbooks in his native Switzerland before joining the Swiss Guard nearly two years ago. "Many people do not know about the Swiss Guard," said Geisser, whose commander conceived of the coffee-table-size book as a means to make the Guard better known.

Pope Francis documentary
Argentine filmmaker Miguel Rodriguez Arias poses for photo during interview in Buenos Aires Feb. 23. Rodriguez is the director of the documentary "Francis of Buenos Aires," which narrates the life of Jorge Bergoglio through the people close to Pope Francis.
David Fernandez.EPA. cns

Confession tips

Pope Francis offered some quick tips to help people prepare for the Sacrament of Penance. After a brief explanation of why people should go to confession — "because we are all sinners" — the pope listed 30 key questions to reflect on as part of making an examination of conscience and being able to "confess well." The guide is part of a 28-page booklet in Italian released by the Vatican publishing house. Pope Francis had 50,000 free copies distributed to people attending his Angelus address Feb. 22, the first Sunday of Lent.

Liturgies spark awe

The liturgy should help the faithful enter into God's mystery and to experience the wonder of encountering Christ, Pope Francis told priests of the Diocese of Rome. People should feel the wonder and allure "that the apostles felt when they were called, invited. It attracts — wonder attracts — and it lets you reflect," the pope said during an annual Lenten meeting with Rome pastors in the Paul VI audience hall. Sitting behind a table and talking off-the-cuff, the pope led the pastors Feb. 19 in a reflection on the homily and the art of celebrating the liturgy well.

St. Gregory named

Pope Francis approved the designation of St. Gregory of Narek, a 10th-century Armenian monk, to be a doctor of the church during a meeting Feb. 21 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes. The church confers this designation on saints whose writings are considered to offer key theological insights for the faith.

Leader's invitation

The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church invited Pope Francis to visit the war-torn nation, saying it would help bring peace. "It would be a prophetic gesture that would show the power of prayer and Christian solidarity, give us courage and hope and build a better future for everyone," said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kiev-Halych.

— Catholic News Service


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