About 800 people attended a thanksgiving Mass and reception for the Tongan chaplaincy of the National St. Joseph Women's Groups of the United States on March 18 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. The main celebrant was Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, of Oakland, and several priests and deacons concelebrated. There are 31 groups in 17 states that participate in the St. Joseph women's organization. Their 39th annual meeting followed the Mass and reception. A day of cultural dances and celebration of the groups at the Concord Pavilion in Concord followed on March 19. Cardinal Mafi, 54, was appointed by Pope Francis a year ago as the first cardinal from Tonga and at that time the youngest member of the College of Cardinals. In the photos, Cardinal Mafi and Bishop Barber distribute Communion; groups from many regions joined for the Mass and annual meeting afterward.
ALL: ALBERT C. PACCIORINI/
THE CATHOLIC VOICE