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placeholder New altar, numerous renovations at
Holy Spirit

Gift of Giving

New president is a
first for St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

Local charities
deliver holiday
season wish lists

Help retired
religious weather
financial future

Supporting elderly religious is work
of the heart,
honorees say

Deeper look at statistics about women's religious orders


Pilgrimage takes us
into our faith
in a profound, transformational way

Pax Christi
Assembly inspired
by panelists,

Coptic deacon
fights secularism
to reach youths

Financial Services

Have a conversation about long-term care with your parents

Making this
Christmas season bright, and
affordable for everyone

How to save
money on pet care

Holiday Guide

Bishop's Vineyard
at the Cathedral

'VatiLeaks' 2015: Books claim
resistance to pope's
finance reform

Fremont pastor
pens a book on
humor, inspiration


New liturgical year
a time to put our
houses in order

The "O Antiphons"
of Advent

Blessing of an
Advent wreath

Sister Theresa
Martin Pigott, OP

placeholder November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Holiday Guide

Fremont pastor pens a book on humor, inspiration

Rev. Mathew Vellankal

"I've always used humor in my homilies," says Rev. Mathew Vellankal, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont. "Good humor brings the attention of the people.

In Father Vellankal's world, the punch line is not the last word.

It's what the humor can inspire his listeners to that matters. He uses his humor to inspire his parishioners, and those he meets in his busy schedule.

In his 28 years as a priest, Father Vellankal has collected snippets of humor, at one time in a notebook, but these days in his computer.

Father Vellankal has published "From Humor to Inspiration: Jokes, Reflections, and Quotes to Enliven Your Day." The collection of 178 jokes — each followed by a couple of paragraphs inspired by the joke — begins with a forward by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ.

"The jokes in this book have been gathered over several years from different sources — conversations, friends, books and magazines," Father Vellankal said. "They have served to make my presentations and homilies interesting and thought provoking. In fact, I have rarely given a Sunday homily or conducted a presentation without making my listeners laugh," he said.

Reading, book signing
"From Humor to Inspiration: Jokes, Reflections, and Quotes to Enliven Your Day"
By Father Matthew Vellankal

When: Nov. 28, 10 a.m.
Where: DeSousa House,
Holy Spirit Parish
37648 Fremont Blvd., Fremont

Light refreshments will be served
In addition to the general audience, he said, the book would be particularly useful for priests and deacons, as well as for anyone involved in public speaking.

There are jokes, he said, about all the sacraments, and "birth, life, death, resurrection."

"I preach at all the important occasions of one's life," he said.

If he has a favorite joke among the 178, he's not saying.

In addition to his keen sense of humor, Father Vellankal is known for performing magic shows, often as fundraisers for good causes in parishes around the diocese, as well as the Drive-Thru Prayer ministry that he began last year at Holy Spirit.

Father Vellankal has served at Holy Spirit since 2006. He has been to 65 countries as an international youth chaplain. He holds bachelor's degrees in philosophy, history, theology and education, and a master's degree in education.

The book is available in the Holy Spirit Parish Gift Shop in Fremont, the Cathedral Shop in Oakland, and at Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions. Additional information is available at www.humortoinspiration.com.

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