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THE DIOCESE placeholder News briefs from the Oakland Diocese
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placeholder November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA

Nov. 23: Duty, United States Navy

Nov. 25: College of Consultors, Chancery

       Presbyteral Council, All Saints Parish, Hayward

Nov. 26: 10 a.m., Thanksgiving Day Mass, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

Nov. 28: 5:30 p.m., Mass for the Knights of Columbus deceased members, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

Nov. 29: Visitation and Masses, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Brentwood

Dec. 2-3: Keynote speaker, annual Msgr. Thomas J. Herron CEO dinner, Diocese of Orange

Dec. 4: Capital Campaign event, Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 5: Pilgrimage honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, begins 8:30 a.m. at St. Louis Bertrand Parish, Oakland; Mass, 1 p.m., Cathedral of Christ the Light

Dec. 6: Duty, United States Navy

Dec. 10: Priest Personnel Board, Chancery

Dec. 11: Rice Bowl Breakfast, Cathedral of Christ the Light Parish Hall, Oakland

      7:30 p.m., Theology on Tap, Eight Bridges Brewery, Livermore

Dec. 12: Visitation, St. Callistus Parish, El Sobrante

Dec. 13: Opening of Jubilee of Mercy, 10 a.m. Solemn Mass and opening of the Holy Door, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

      5:30 p.m. Advent Lessons and Carols, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

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Mexico trips
Following the State Department's official warning regarding travel to Mexico and the high level of violence and the danger involved, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, has prohibit edtravel into, Mexico, for all diocesan groups, whether for adults or youth.

In his official statement, Bishop Barber wrote:

"For a number of years a few parishes in the Diocese of Oakland have sponsored immersion trips to Tijuana Mexico for Catholic teenage volunteers. Our youth and their chaperones generously gave of their time and talent to help build houses for the needy. I applaud the Christian charity and concern for the poor that motivated these trips. However, circumstances have changed, and it is no longer safe for our youth to travel to this area.

"I want to make clear that this decision is specifically for official groups, parishes and ministries of the Diocese of Oakland. Individual clergy, employees, and parishioners who travel on personal business are not affected by this decision. But the diocese cannot sponsor trips that place our young people in unnecessary danger."

Priests and parishes cannot take a leadership role in sponsoring or promoting such trips.

The bishop's full statement is available at the diocesan website, www.oakdiocese.org.

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Christmas music
The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland, will be filled with Christmas music as the holidays approach. Chanticleer will perform its annual Christmas concert at the Cathedral at 8:15 p.m. Dec. 12. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will preside over the Advent Lessons and Carols at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13. The San Francisco Boys Chorus will celebrate the winter season with songs from around the world and holiday favorites at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. For tickets and information, www.ctlcathedral.org.

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Bishops meeting begins
BALTIMORE — A 2017 convocation for Catholic leaders represents "a new way of reaching and teaching our people," Bishop Richard W. Malone of Buffalo, New York, told the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 16 in Baltimore. Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston said the aim of the research project was to "focus on the people in the pew and why they accept or disregard the church's teachings." The goal was to find ways to "motivate Catholics to embrace the full vision of what it means to be Catholic," he added.

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Pope's general audience
Pope Francis greets a woman and boy while meeting the disabled during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 11.
Paul Haring/cns

When a Lutheran woman married to a Catholic man asked Pope Francis what could she and her husband do to receive Communion together, the pope said he could not issue a general rule on shared Communion, but the couple should pray, study and then act according to their consciences. "I would never dare to give permission for this because it is not in my authority," the pope told Anke de Bernardinis after a lengthy response about the faith Catholics and Lutherans share and the ecumenical goal of full unity.

Christ in Christmas
Keeping the "Christ" in "Christmas" is part of not giving in to pressure to conform to the "norm" and become like nonbelievers, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. Giving in to the things of the world is like saying, "Let's put our ID up for auction. We are the same as everyone," the pope said.

Terror attacks
Using God's name to try to justify violence and murder is "blasphemy," Pope Francis said Nov. 15, speaking about the terrorist attacks on Paris. "Such barbarity leaves us dismayed, and we ask ourselves how the human heart can plan and carry out such horrible events," the pope said after reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

Laity not "2nd-class"
Laypeople are not second-class members at the service of the church hierarchy, but are disciples of Christ called to "enliven every environment, every activity and every human relationship according to the Gospel," Pope Francis said. The pope sent a message Nov. 10 to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and participants of a workshop marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, which defined the role, vocation and mission of laypeople in the Catholic Church.

The Eucharist is not just a reward for the good, but also strength for the weak and nourishment for those who hunger for love, forgiveness and mercy, Pope Francis said. "This hunger can be satiated only by the bread that comes from above. Jesus himself is the living bread that gives life to the world," the pope said in a message to participants of the National Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai, India, Nov. 12-15.

'Hardly a family'
A family that chooses to watch TV or play with their smartphones rather than talk at the dinner table is "hardly a family," Pope Francis said. "When children at the dinner table are glued to the computer, or the telephone and do not listen to one another, they are not a family, they are retired," the pope said Nov. 11 during his weekly general audience.

Visit to Africa
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.

— Catholic News Service

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