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placeholder November 9, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA

Recalling his first encounter with SPRED
"Jesus tells us today that he will always be with us. Jesus was hurt, misunderstood, not listened to and left alone. When we are hurt, misunderstood, not listened to, we are not alone because Jesus is with us. Let us go to the altar of God and thank Him for His mercy." With just a few words, accompanied by gestures, the Rev. Paul Vassar delivered the homily Oct. 19 at the annual SPRED Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins, above, aided by Deacon Ray Encarnacion, spoke at the end of Mass, recalling his first encounter with SPRED. "I remember the impression left on me by the devotion of these young people, and the wonderful accompaniment of their families," he said. He recalled, too, in a time of budget cuts in 1999 that "nobody touched SPRED." SPRED — Special Religious Education — ministry serves 200 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in 31 parish centers. Each participant is called a "friend," and is served by a "helper catechist" in this one-to-one ministry. The waiting list for friends stands at 50, meaning 50 helper catechists are needed. To become a catechist, contact 510-635-7252 or info@spredoakdiocese.org.
Michele Jurich/The Catholic Voice
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