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placeholder February 29, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA

Feb. 29-March 2: Seminarians' evaluations, Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, Oregon

March 2: Mass of Institution of Lectors and Acolytes, Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, Oregon

      6:30 p.m., Bishop's Appeal Reception, St. Callistus, El Sobrante

March 3: Board of Trustees, St. Patrick Seminary and University, Menlo Park

      Meeting, president, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States

      6:30 p.m., Bishop's Appeal Reception, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Brentwood

March 5: 10 a.m., Confirmation, Transfiguration Parish, Castro Valley

      5:30 p.m., Mass, 24 Hours for the Lord, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland

March 6: 10 a.m., Mass with the Eritrean Catholic Community, St. Anthony-Mary Help of Christians Parish, Oakland

March 9: Day of Recollection for Priests, Archdiocese of San Francisco

March 12: 10:30 a.m., Confirmation, St. Bede Parish, Hayward

      5:30 p.m., FACE Gala, Oakland

March 13: 3 p.m., Italian Catholic Federation Bishop's Day Mass and banquet, Our Lady of Grace Parish, Castro Valleye

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New assignments

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, made these appointments:

Rev. Kuriakose Nadooparambil, MF, has been appointed parochial vicar of St. Philip Neri-St. Albert the Great Parish in Alameda effective Feb. 1.

Rev. Frankline Rayappa, CPPS, has been appointed parochial vicar of St. Edward Parish, Newark effective Feb. 15.

Chrism Mass

All parishes and members of the diocese are invited to celebrate the annual Chrism Mass at 6:30 p.m. March 16. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, will bless the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick and consecrate the Sacred Chrism, all of which is taken back to the parishes for the celebration of the sacraments. This celebration begins with music and the procession of the parishes. Parishes are requested to invite two parishioners to participate in the Mass: One to represent the parish in the "Parade of Parishes" and one to accompany the oils that will be blessed during the liturgy. Details are available at www.Oakdiocese.org/Chrism.

Lent, Easter resources

The Office of Worship has numerous resources in English and Spanish for Lent and the Triduum available on the Office of Worship website, Oakdiocese.org/Worship. These include the 2016 Resource Guide for Lenten Observances, a FAQ about Lent, Pope Francis' Lenten message, and resources for the Triduum.

FACE Gala March 12

FACE — Family Aid Catholic Education — holds its major fundraiser of the year March 12 at Scott's Seafood in Oakland. The FACE Gala — "Pot of Gold" — begins with a hosted cocktail reception and silent auction at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and student speakers at 7:30 p.m. The live auction kicks off at 8:30 p.m. In the 2015-2016 school year, more than 700 students are receiving assistance: 425 elementary school students are receiving $1,750 each in aid, while 297 high school students are receiving $3,050 in aid. Information and tickets are available at www.oakdiocese.org/giving/face

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Mercy saints
People venerate the body of St. Padre Pio in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 6. The bodies of Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic were brought to Rome at the request of Pope Francis for the Year of Mercy.

Doing God's will

For a Christian, talk is cheap; the faith requires concretely doing God's will and serving the least as well as those around you, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass Feb. 23. Christianity isn't a religion that's all talk because "just talking leads us to vanity, to pretending to be Christian," he said.

Zika outbreak

With physicians across Central and South America urging women to postpone pregnancy because of the Zika virus that causes birth defects, Pope Francis said using contraceptives could be a "lesser evil." Holding a news conference Feb. 17 on his way back to Rome after a six-day visit to Cuba and Mexico, the pope was asked if the use of artificial contraceptives or abortion could be considered "a lesser evil" when the baby had a high risk of birth defects. "Abortion is not a lesser evil — it's a crime," Pope Francis said. "It's an absolute evil. Don't confuse avoiding pregnancy with abortion," the pope said. The concept of a "lesser evil" may apply to artificial birth control, however, he said, pointing to Blessed Paul VI's consent in the early 1960s for women religious in the then-Belgian Congo to take the pill when rape was being used as a weapon of war.

Forgive like Jesus

Confessors have two choices: to be like Jesus who readily forgave sins or like the devil who always condemns, Pope Francis said. "You can either do the work of Jesus, who forgives, by giving your lives in prayer (and) through many hours seated there or you do the work of the devil who condemns and accuses," the pope said during Mass Feb. 9 with Capuchin friars from around the world.

— Catholic News Service

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