Jan. 18-23: Retreat master, Navy Priests' Retreat, Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center, Florida
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Jan. 24: 51st International Eucharistic Congress, Cebu, Philippines
Feb. 1: USCCB Committee on Higher Education, Washington, D.C.
Feb. 1-3: Ordination of Bishop-elect Steven J. Lopes for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Houston, Texas
Feb. 6: 11 a.m., Mass, World day of the Sick, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland
World Day of the Sick set Feb. 6
The annual World Day of the Sick Mass will be 11 a.m. Feb 6 at The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Those who are sick or ill and their families, caregivers and health care providers are invited to observe this day with the religious and lay people from the Diocese of Oakland.
World Day of the Sick events in Oakland will include Mass, Sacrament of Anointing the Sick, blessing of caregivers and health care providers, distribution of holy water from Lourdes, France and a reception.
World Day of the Sick, initiated by Pope St. John Paul II in 1992 and held annually worldwide near the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, Feb. 11, is a ministry of the Diocese of Oakland.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick as a "special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one's suffering for the good of the Church and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ who, by suffering, dying, and rising, achieved the salvation of mankind."
The Order of Malta serves the sick, and assists with many charities, including a medical clinic in the cathedral center.
No RSVP is necessary. There is handicapped drop-off in front of the cathedral on Harrison, and parking in the Kaiser Garage, turn right from Harrison onto 21st Street. For more information: www.oakdiocese.org/WDS.
The Diocese of Oakland is divided into five regions containing 14 deaneries. Each deanery is led by a priest appointed by the bishop to help coordinate its common pastoral activities. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, has approved these new divisions and deans:
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REGION ONE: CENTRAL
Deanery 1: Rev. George Quickley, SJ, dean, St. Patrick, Oakland; Cathedral Parish of Christ the Light, Oakland; Our Lady of Lourdes, Oakland; Sacred Heart, Oakland; St. Columba, Oakland.
Deanery 2: Rev. Leo Edgerly Jr., dean, Corpus Christi, Piedmont; St. Leo the Great, Oakland; St. Margaret Mary, Oakland; St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus, Oakland.
Deanery 3: Rev. Stephan Kappler, dean, St. Jarlath, Oakland; St. Anthony-Mary Help of Christians, Oakland; St. Benedict, Oakland; St. Bernard, Oakland; St. Elizabeth, Oakland; St. Lawrence O'Toole-St. Cyril, Oakland; St. Louis Bertrand, Oakland; St. Paschal Baylon, Oakland.
Deanery 4: Rev. George Alengadan, dean, St. Joseph Basilica, Alameda; St. Philip Neri-Albert the Great, Alameda; St. Barnabas, Alameda.
Deanery 5: Rev. Carl Schlichte, OP, dean, St. Mary Magdalen, Berkeley; Holy Spirit-Newman Hall, Berkeley; St. Ambrose, Berkeley; St. Augustine, Oakland; St. Joseph the Worker, Berkeley.
REGION TWO: NORTHWEST
Deanery 6: Rev. Thuong Hoai Nguyen, dean, St. John the Baptist, El Cerrito; Our Lady of Mercy, Point Richmond; St. Cornelius, Richmond; St. Jerome, El Cerrito; St. Mark, Richmond.
Deanery 7: Rev. Jimmy Thottapally, dean, St. Callistus, El Sobrante; St. David of Wales, Richmond; St. Joseph, Pinole; St. Patrick, Rodeo; St. Paul, San Pablo; St. Rose of Lima, Crockett; St. Patrick, Port Costa.
Deanery 8: Rev. Joseph Parekkatt, dean, St. Anne, Walnut Creek; Santa Maria, Orinda; St. John Vianney, Walnut Creek; St. Mary, Walnut Creek; St. Monica, Moraga; St. Perpetua, Lafayette; St. Stephen, Walnut Creek.
REGION THREE: NORTHEAST
Deanery 9: Rev. Ismael Gutierrez, dean, St. Francis of Assisi, Concord; Christ the King, Pleasant Hill; Queen of All Saints, Concord; St. Agnes, Concord; St. Bonaventure, Concord; St. Catherine of Siena, Martinez.
Deanery 10: Rev. Kenneth Sales, dean, St. Anthony, Oakley; Good Shepherd, Pittsburg; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Brentwood; Most Holy Rosary, Antioch; Our Lady Queen of the World, Bay Point; St. Anne, Byron; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Antioch; St. Peter Martyr of Verona, Pittsburg.
REGION FOUR: SOUTHEAST
Deanery 11: Rev. Lawrence D'Anjou, dean, St. Raymond Penafort, Dublin; St. Augustine, Pleasanton; St. Elizabeth Seton, Pleasanton; St. Charles Borromeo, Livermore; St. Isidore, Danville; St. Joan of Arc, San Ramon; St. Michael, Livermore.
Deanery 12: Rev. Antony Vazhappilly, dean, St. James the Apostle, Fremont; Corpus Christi, Fremont; Holy Spirit, Fremont; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fremont; St Edward, Newark; St. Joseph, Fremont.
REGION FIVE: SOUTHWEST
Deanery 13: Rev. Ramon Gomez, dean, All Saints, Hayward; Our Lady of the Rosary, Union City; St. Anne, Union City; St. Bede, Hayward; St. Clement, Hayward; St. Joachim, Hayward, St. John the Baptist, San Lorenzo.
Deanery 14: Rev. Hugo Franca, dean, St. Leander, San Leandro; Assumption, San Leandro; Our Lady of Good Counsel, San Leandro; Our Lady of Grace, Castro Valley; Transfiguration, Castro Valley; St Felicitas, San Leandro.
Many parishes will celebrate the devotion to St. Blaise, patron of throat ailments, on his feast day, Feb. 3. This is the day crossed candles are used to bless the throats of the congregation
St. Blaise was an Armenian bishop martyred in 316. A legend is that while he was imprisoned, a woman came to him whose son had a bone lodged in his throat. At his command, the bone came free. Later, St. Blaise was beheaded, and made a saint. For information about times for the blessings, check with the individual parish.
Looking forward to Lent
Lent, the 40-day period of fasting and prayer before Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but many Catholics attend Mass and receive a mark of ashes on their foreheads as a sign of our mortality.
Diocesan Choir Festival
In keeping with the Jubilee of Mercy, the theme for this year's Diocesan Choir Festival is "Sacred Songs of Mercy." Parish choirs will perform from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 30 in the Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. Information: www.ctlcathedral.org/ChoirFestival or contact Denise Kogler, 510-271-1935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About 15,000 pilgrims, with crowds of up to 1 million are expected at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, aimed at promoting awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church, which will take place in Cebu, the Philippines, Jan. 24-31. Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will preside at one of 14 Masses celebrated Jan. 27. A number of clergy and diocesan residents are expected to participate, and there will be a dinner on Jan. 25 for the Oakland pilgrims.
Feast of the Epiphany
People in traditional attire participate in a parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Jan. 6.
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True love comes from God and is expressed through his mercy and forgiveness, not through sentimental expressions that can easily vanish, Pope Francis said. Although many people use the word 'love,' "when used, it is not known what it exactly means," the pope said in his homily Jan. 8 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. "What is love? There are times we think of soap opera love. No, that does not look like love. Or love may seem like enthusiasm for a person and then it is extinguished," he said.
More than 3.2 million pilgrims visited and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services at the Vatican in 2015, the Vatican said. The statistics, released Dec. 30, were compiled by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, which coordinates papal events and distributes free tickets to papal audiences and liturgies. The total was a significant drop from the 5.9 million visitors received by Pope Francis in 2014.
Pope Francis called on Christians to pray for victims of several natural disasters that have hit parts of the United States, Great Britain and Paraguay. "I invite you to pray for the victims of disasters that in recent days have struck the United States, Great Britain and South America, especially in Paraguay, and that unfortunately have caused casualties, many displaced persons, and extensive damage," the pope said Dec. 30, before concluding his weekly general audience.
Let go of ego
The Christmas season is a time to learn from baby Jesus to let go of selfishness and be humble and giving as he is, Pope Francis said. In fact, people should take the little figurine of Jesus from their Nativity scene and kiss it, "and tell Jesus, 'I want to humble like you, humble like God,'" the pope said Dec. 30 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
Singing does good
Singing is good for one's soul and, as St. Augustine says, Christian life is not a sad path but a joyous one that is done "singing and walking," Pope Francis said. "Remember this: Sing and walk," the pope said Dec. 31 to 6,000 young choristers, their families, friends and choirmasters from 18 countries. "And in this way, your soul will enjoy more the joy of the Gospel." The young choir members took part in the Dec. 28-Jan. 1 International Congress of Pueri Cantores in Rome.
Pope Francis erected a new Syro-Malankara eparchy for the United States and Canada. The pope also named Bishop Thomas Eusebios Naickamparambil, who served as the apostolic exarch for Syro-Malankaran Catholics in the United States, as its first bishop. The new diocese is called the Eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace, and will be based out of Elmont, New York, in the Latin-rite Diocese of Rockville Centre, at St. Vincent de Paul Malankara Catholic Cathedral.
An historic agreement signed between the Holy See and Palestine that supports a two-state solution in the Holy Land has gone into effect, the Vatican announced. "The agreement, consisting of a preamble and 32 articles, regards essential aspects of the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, while at the same time reaffirming the support for a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict in the region," the Vatican said in a statement Jan. 2.
— Catholic News Service