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placeholder October 26, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA

Oct. 28: Catholic education fundraising dinner, Oakland

Oct. 29: Jubilarians celebration, St. Stephen Parish, Walnut Creek

Oct. 30-31: Seminary board retreat

Nov. 1: 5:30 p.m. Mass, Fauré Requiem, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

Nov. 3: Catholic Telemedia Network board, St. Patrick Seminary and University, Menlo Park

Nov. 4: Priests' Bible Study Day, St. Joan of Arc Parish, San Ramon

Nov. 5: Capital Campaign dinner, Saint Mary Parish, Walnut Creek

Nov. 7: 10 a.m., ordination to the deaconate, Old Mission San José, Fremont

      6 p.m., Knights of Columbus vocations dinner, Carondelet High School, Concord

Nov. 8: 5 p.m., Mass, dedication of the altar, Holy Spirit Parish, Fremont

Nov. 11: 10 a.m., Mass, Veterans Day, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oaklande

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Announcement of construction work at
Chancery Building and Event Center

Since the completion of the Chancery building and Event Center adjacent to the Cathedral of Christ the Light, the Cathedral Board of Directors has been monitoring outstanding construction issues. In a building project of this scale, it is typical for "punch list" repairs to be completed even after the buildings have been occupied. However, the board became concerned that these "punch list" items have been recurring issues, most noticeably the cracks in the walls, doors that do not fully close and water intrusion. In follow-up meetings and communications with the architecture, engineering and construction firms involved, we were advised that these issues were cosmetic, routine and not a matter of concern. Based on the persistence and prevalence of these problems, the board decided to engage independent consultants to get a second opinion.

As a result of engineering studies conducted by our consultants over the past nine months, we have identified various waterproofing and structural issues that need to be corrected, including excessive "sag" or deflection of the floor slabs. These design and construction-related issues are mostly confined to the Chancery building, parking garage and Event Center areas. The Cathedral of Christ the Light, which is a structurally separate building, the Cathedral mausoleum and the parish offices and meeting rooms are not impacted.

The Cathedral Center complex remains safe for our employees, visitors and parishioners to occupy. However, in the event of a major earthquake our consultants believe that portions of the Chancery building, parking garage and Event Center may experience structural damage. Building occupants will be able to safely exit, but the buildings would need to be closed for an extended period of time while repairs are made. Although similar damage is expected to occur to many Oakland buildings after a major earthquake, this is not the standard of quality that we paid for in a new building.

In the coming months, we will be undertaking a series of construction projects in the Chancery building and the parking garage underneath the Chancery and Event Center to begin addressing these issues. The diocese has undertaken legal action to ensure that the responsible parties pay for the corrective work.

Cathedral board member Bill Utic, a licensed civil engineer and former PG&E building management executive, will oversee this ongoing work for the diocese. Given his experience in overseeing more than $1 billion of building construction projects during his corporate career, Bill has both the engineering knowledge and business acumen to effectively manage these projects for the diocese. We are extremely grateful for his dedication and service.

In the near-term, you may notice increased activity in the Chancery and parking garage, which may include engineers completing their surveying and evaluation, workers adjusting interior doors in the Chancery and making repairs that require temporarily removing ceiling tiles and closing spaces while work is under way, and fire alarms being tested throughout the complex. Additional work expected to begin in the next few months includes relocating file cabinets in the Chancery building and installation of additional supports on the B2 parking level to reinforce the B1 parking level.

More specific details about the impact of this work on parking, upcoming Cathedral Center events and reorganization of Chancery work spaces will be forthcoming as soon as possible. Bill Utic is working directly with our engineering consultants to prioritize, schedule and execute the necessary work. Further analysis is also under way to determine what additional work may be required to meet the standards we require for the complex. As more information becomes available, I will keep you fully informed with regular updates.

Very Rev. George Mockel
Vicar General
Chair of the Catholic Cathedral Corporation of the East Baye

Gala raises $175,000 for free clinic
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, joins with Lenore and Frank Heffernan as the Order of Malta Clinic of Northern California celebrated its Seventh Annual "Knight for Champions" Silver Chalice Awards Dinner on Oct. 13 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The event succeeded in raising $175,000 in donations and proceeds, which will be applied toward the goal of expanding the clinic's operation hours. The clinic is on the Chancery campus at 21st Street and Harrison, Oakland. For more information, http://bit.ly/1Row1e3.

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50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops
Pope Francis delivers his blessing during an event marking the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Oct. 17. The pope outlined his vision for how the entire church must be "synodal" with everyone listening to each other, learning from each other and taking responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel. From left are: Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops on the family; Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the synod; Pope Francis; and Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, relator for the synod.
Paul Haring/cns

Pastoral approach
While church doctrine must stay unchanged, an Australian archbishop expressed his hope that the Synod of Bishops will lead the church to a genuine pastoral approach using a new language of mercy toward families, particularly those in difficult situations. Speaking at a Vatican news conference Oct. 19, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane said he was concerned that an "all-or-nothing" approach tended to dominate discussions before and, at times, during the synod. Between that approach, he said, there exists a "vast territory that calls us to a new kind of pastoral creativity."

Synod not manipulated
The Synod of Bishops on the family is not being manipulated, rather the distortion rests in how it is being depicted or seen by a number of people, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington. "I don't think the synod itself has been tainted, but the lens through which it is being seen by many, many people has been tainted, and so I suspect that that will have some impact," he said in an interview Oct. 18 with the Jesuit magazine America. "

Papal visits
The Mexican bishops' conference and the Vatican have confirmed Pope Francis will visit Mexico in 2016, marking his first trip to this heavily Catholic country in throes of unrest over unresolved issues such as violence, crime and corruption. And, despite continued instability and outbreaks of violence in the Central African Republic, the Vatican announced Pope Francis will spend about 33 hours in the country during a Nov. 25-30 visit to Africa.

Obedience to God's commandments must be the response to his limitless love, but it is not a condition for his love and for the salvation he offers through Jesus, Pope Francis said. Celebrating the feast of St. Teresa of Avila Oct. 15, Pope Francis said that when Jesus persevere, when the early Christian community was growing, and today as well, there are "doctors of the law" who think that they can know who is and is not saved by the apparent way they obey certain commandments.

Health report false
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said an Italian newspaper's claims about the pope's health were "entirely unfounded." The "Quotidiano Nazionale" reported Oct. 21 an anonymous source said a possible brain tumor could be taken care of without surgery and that the specialist following the case was Dr. Takanori Fukushima, a neurosurgeon who teaches at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and travels to clinics in Japan and Pisa.

Catholic News Service

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