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placeholder March 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA

March 24: Capital Campaign reception, Church of the Assumption, San Leandro

March 25: Catholic Charities of the East Bay quarterly meeting, Chancery

      Capital Campaign reception, Our Lady of the Rosary, Union City

March 26: Day of reflection for the Presbyterate of the Diocese, Cathedral of Christ the Light

      6:30 p.m., Chrism Mass

March 27: Capital Campaign reception, St. Jerome, El Cerrito

March 29: 10 a.m. Mass, Palm Sunday, Cathedral of Christ the Light

April 2: 7 p.m. Holy Thursday Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light

April 3: 12:10 p.m. Good Friday liturgy, Cathedral of Christ the Light

April 4: 8 p.m. Easter Vigil, Cathedral of Christ the Light

April 5: 10 a.m. Easter Day Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light

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Mass for Indonesians
About 300 members of the Indonesian Catholic community of the diocese gathered for a special Mass preceded and followed by ethnic music and dances at St. Anne Church in Union City on March 14. "There is so much joy and kindness in the Indonesian Catholic community, and they contribute so much to the rich makeup of our diocese," Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, wrote in his blog, https://bishopbarbersj.wordpress.com.

Clergy changes

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, announced these changes:

Rev. James Pham, CSSR, has left the Redemptorist Community at St. Clement Maria, Berkeley, to accept another assignment outside of the Diocese of Oakland.

Rev. Brandon Macadaeg, parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish, Fremont, has been appointed spiritual director to the Confraternity of Eucharistic Devotion of the Diocese of Oakland effective March 1.

Rev. Paul Vassar, pastor, St. Leander Parish, San Leandro, will retire effective June 1.

Rev. Hugo Franca has been appointed parochial administrator at St. Leander Parish, San Leandro, effective June 1.

Rev. Timothy Johnson, pastor, St. Leo the Great Parish, Oakland, will retire effective June 30.

Rev. Joseph Nguyen has been appointed parochial administrator of St. Leo the Great Parish, Oakland, effective July 1.

Rev. Jay Matthews, rector of the Cathedral of Christ the Light, was appointed temporary parochial administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Oakland, effective March 12, after the death of pastor Rev. Seamus Genovese.

Immigration workshop

Catholic Charities of the East Bay is hosting a series of informational workshops on the new executive actions announced by President Obama on Nov. 20 regarding immigration relief.

These free informational sessions from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. April 9 and May 14 at the West County Service Center, 217 Harbour Way, Richmond, are an opportunity to learn about the benefits, limitations and eligibility criteria for Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (DAPA); and expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Details: 510-243-5110 or immreform@cceb.org.

Directories on the way
The newsprint edition of the Diocese of Oakland 2015 Directory is being distributed to parishes. New in this issue of the directory: photos of priests serving in the diocese and a One-Stop Social Service Guide. Deluxe versions of the directory, which include a comprehensive telephone book of all things Catholic in the diocese, were mailed the week of March 16. To purchase a deluxe directory, dial 510-893-5339.

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Vatican astronomers' book
"Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? ... and Other Questions From the Astronomers' Inbox at the Vatican Observatory" by Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno and Jesuit Father Paul Mueller. Image (New York, 2014). 293 pp., $25. Two members of the research staff at the Vatican Observatory answer questions related to science and faith, such as What was the star of Bethlehem, how did the universe begin and how will it end, what really happened to prompt Galileo Galilei's entanglement with the church, and another particularly quirky one inspiring the title of the book "Would you baptize an extraterrestrial?"

Holy Year of Mercy

Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church's "mission to be a witness of mercy."

"No one can be excluded from God's mercy," the pope said March 13, marking the second anniversary of his pontificate by leading a Lenten penance service in St. Peter's Basilica.
"I frequently have thought about how the church can make more evident its mission to be a witness of mercy," he said during his homily; that is why he decided to call a special Holy Year, which will be celebrated from Dec. 8, 2015, until Nov. 20, 2016.

The biblical theme of the year, he said, will be "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful," an admonition that applies "especially to confessors," the pope said with a smile.

Traditionally, every 25 years the popes proclaim a holy year, which features special celebrations and pilgrimages, strong calls for conversion and repentance, and the offer of special opportunities to experience God's grace through the sacraments, especially confession. Extraordinary holy years, like the Holy Year of Mercy, are less frequent, but offer the same opportunities for spiritual growth.

Church must be open

The church "is the house of Jesus," and Christians must welcome everyone, even bringing those who are unable to make their way on their own, said Pope Francis at morning Mass March 17. People who are sad or "sick in their soul" or who have "made many mistakes in their lives" may, at a certain point, feel the Holy Spirit inspire them to go to church, the pope said. But, after mustering up the courage to go, they will often find unwelcoming and judgmental Christian communities with their "doors closed" to them.

Christians follow God

Christians either love God and their neighbor or they are hypocrites; there is no middle ground, Pope Francis said. "Jesus says, 'Whoever is not with me is against me.' Well, can't there be a compromise — a bit here and a bit there? No. Either you are on the path of love or you are on the road of hypocrisy," he said March 12 in the homily at his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

Listen to young people
Young people are honest and bold in identifying fakes, which is something church leaders should not be afraid of, Pope Francis told the bishops of South Korea and Mongolia. "When we speak with young people, they challenge us to share the truth of Jesus Christ clearly and in a way that they can understand," he said in the written message handed to the bishops March 12.

— Catholic News Service

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